December 2013 Archives

December 31

Healthy cities: public health and urban planning

A new Report on the State of Health + Urbanism (pdf) from MIT looks at the relationship between urban planning and public health, with some surprising findings. The cities covered are Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Minneapolis, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. [more inside]
posted by gingerbeer at 8:53 PM PST - 52 comments

very origin, such meme

On February 12, 2010, a photograph of a rescue dog was posted on a blog in Japan. Three and a half years later, that photo changed western popular culture.
posted by ardgedee at 6:57 PM PST - 108 comments

"congress shrugged"

If it weren't for the 1976 Copyright Act, copyright on work would expire after 56 years - which would have meant that Kerouac's On The Road, the original 12 Angry Men, and Elvis's All Shook Up would be public domain by today.
posted by divabat at 6:38 PM PST - 38 comments

Music for New Year's Eve

ABBA - Happy New Year, Wendy & Lisa - The Closing Of The Year, Otis Redding & Carla Davis - New Year's Resolution, Harry Connick, Jr - What Are You Doing New Years Eve?, Dan Fogelberg - Same Old Lang Syne (okay, the lyrics say "Christmas", but it's totally a New Year song) [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 6:08 PM PST - 25 comments

The cold never bothered me anyway

Disney's FROZEN: How one simple suggestion broke the ice on the Snow Queen's decades-long story problem
posted by crossoverman at 5:20 PM PST - 145 comments

Go-Go-Hockey-Gopro

This hockey ref's helmet cam is the future of televised sports
posted by nevercalm at 4:08 PM PST - 24 comments

Jacco Gardner's Cabinet of Curiosities: psych-baroque-pop

Here's a little something old to bring in the new year: Jacco Gardner and his debut solo album, Cabinet of Curiosities (Grooveshark streaming tracks; full album on YouTube). Why? Because it's a delicious platter of ornate, lushly orchestrated, psych-inflected "soft rock" or "baroque pop" and if you didn't know better, you might guess it was made in the 1960s, not in 2012. The album was created almost solely by Gardner, who played all the instruments except the drums. For live shows, the 25 year old multi-instrumentalist had to enlist more help, as you can see in this live set from Lowlands, and two more, from Ancienne Belgique and at International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 4:07 PM PST - 14 comments

This way lies madness.

The problem with time.
posted by pjern at 2:41 PM PST - 107 comments

"This is my team. This is C O P R A."

Michel Fiffe contemplates life After COPRA, the 12 part monthly comic which he wrote, drew, published and distributed himself throughout 2013. A brutal, action-packed follow up of sorts to Fiffe's bootleg Suicide Squad comic Deathzone it managed to do a better job of evoking the spirit of Ostrander and McDonnell than DC's own efforts and become one of the top comics of 2013. Fiffe talks more about the expeirence in his Exit interview with Comics Alliance.
posted by Artw at 2:40 PM PST - 18 comments

It's about a sociopathic sexual predator with a vagina

Is Alissa Nutting's 'Tampa' the most controversial book of the year? Or just the most controversial of the summer?
posted by mediocre at 1:18 PM PST - 37 comments

The Madness Of The Planets

I am a staunch believer in leading with the bad news, so let me get straight to the point. Earth, our anchor and our solitary haven in a hostile universe, is in a precarious situation. The solar system around us is rife with instability.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:25 PM PST - 42 comments

Don't Sweat The Technique

The most amazing six-year-old breakdancer you will ever see. Happy New Year!
posted by jason's_planet at 12:09 PM PST - 22 comments

Rap Idiot

Rap Genius is a lyrics site that allows its users to annotate lyrics with additional data and criticism. The site has become a touchstone in the hip-hop community: various prominent rappers have signed up for accounts to explain their own lyrics, it's been profiled and discussed in the NYT, and has raised $15 million in venture capital from Andreessen Horowitz. The founders have talked about expanding the site's annotations to other topics. Then came last Sunday, and the SEO. [more inside]
posted by Going To Maine at 11:10 AM PST - 99 comments

"I only hope Michael Schumacher pulls through..."

"...so that he can see all of the nice things people are saying about him." Like this. Michael Schumacher, arguably one of the greatest auto racers ever, is fighting for his life after a freak ski accident on Sunday in Grenoble. [more inside]
posted by glaucon at 9:58 AM PST - 65 comments

new data visualization site: vizynary

There are only a few posts since September 2013, but three of them are pretty cool: state-to-state migration in the United States in 2012; last two popes' word clouds and diff word clouds; real estate price movements in New York City. [more inside]
posted by bukvich at 9:13 AM PST - 7 comments

I’m sure you‘ll love to read these answers. Happy reading!

What are Quora's best answers of 2013 so far?
posted by andoatnp at 9:13 AM PST - 26 comments

Matt Berry is the Toast of London

Toast Of London stars Matt Berry (IT Crowd, Snuff Box, Garth Marenghi’s Dark Place) as troubled theatre actor Steven Toast, an eccentric middle-aged actor with a chequered past who spends more time dealing with his problems off stage than performing on it. With a recent divorce, a highly controversial play to perform every night, a shell shocked army officer for a brother and an audition in a prison - it’s turning into another very busy day for Toast in this, the pilot episode for the Channel 4 series. [SLYT] [NSFW] [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A at 8:40 AM PST - 25 comments

Heck, it's Tex-Czech!

If you're going to listen to a brass band play a waltz, it might as well be a joyously exuberant one, with a unabashed sense of humor and a firm conviction that notes were made to be bent. Right? Oh, and it might as well be played, by, say, a Texas Czech (yes, a Texas Czech) band. Right? OK then, here's Circling Pigeons Waltz by the Joe Patek Band of Shiner, Texas. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:33 AM PST - 20 comments

Ain't That Texas Cookin': The Pitmaster's Wisdom

"Kreuz Market is the most famous name in the most famous barbecue city in Texas. Founded in 1900, it has for decades been an exemplar of the classic German meat-market style of Texas barbecue and one of the first places mentioned in any list of the state’s best joints. Since 1987, its legendary pits have been watched over by Roy Perez, a Lockhart native who has become perhaps the most recognizable face in Texas barbecue." An interview with pitmaster Roy Perez. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:14 AM PST - 92 comments

Peter Scott (1947-2013), developer of HyTelnet

Peter Scott (February 14, 1947 - December 30, 2013) worked in the Systems Department of the University of Saskatchewan (Saskatoon, Canada) Libraries from 1976 to 2005. One of the early library weblog writers, Peter is most well known for HyTelnet, an interface for Telnet services he developed from 1990. In his 1991 video, Peter demonstrates a later version of HyTelnet, while an archive lists the resources available through the service. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore at 4:38 AM PST - 20 comments

December 30

3D Printed Headless Spider Robot Salsa Dances

3D Printed Headless Spider Robot Salsa Dances
posted by Munching Langolier at 10:52 PM PST - 41 comments

Best Longform of 2013

2013 had a lot of great longform writing. Longreads and Longform lead the way with their best of lists. Lots of sites provided year end lists: The American Prospect, The Atlantic, Business Week Buzzfeed, The Daily Beast, Dazed Digital, Deadspin, Esquire UK, FlavorwireGawker, Inc., Impose Magazine, Indiewire, i09, Lifehacker, Maclean's, Mashable, Mother Jones, National Geographic, National Journal, The New Yorker, On Earth, Out, Pocket, ReadWrite, Slate, Spin, Sports on Earth, The Electric Typewriter, The Verge, The Voice Media Group, and The Washington Post. [more inside]
posted by reenum at 7:11 PM PST - 37 comments

Broken Pledges

Bloomberg has been publishing a series of articles on the misdeeds of the fraternity system in the U.S., particularly how Greek organizations "dodge liability for mayhem at their local chapters, oppose anti-hazing bills in Congress and pressure colleges to drop restrictions on recruiting freshmen as pledges. Colleges face litigation from fraternities and the withholding of donations by wealthy alumni." [more inside]
posted by Cash4Lead at 4:50 PM PST - 127 comments

Tatsuo Horiuchi: The David Byrne of Excel

Tatsuo Horiuchi came to art late in his life, and with an unusual tool. At age 60, he was inspired by graphs he saw, and started using Microsoft Excel to make art in the style of traditional Japanese scenes. See more on Spoon & Tamago and Bored Panda.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:02 PM PST - 16 comments

Your funk says a lot about you

Bacteria have a Hobo Code. Next month's Science News carries a pretty interesting overview about the cutting edge of microbial science, including recent studies showing "in many mammals a microbial community ferments various sweats, oozes and excretions into distinctive scents that reveal age, health and much more to knowing noses in a select social circle". That's right, microbes are posting status updates to each other through smells, sharing with other microbes what they've learned about host animals.
posted by mathowie at 2:52 PM PST - 29 comments

Owlbears, rust monsters, and bulettes - common ancestor found.

Inspiration comes from strange places. During that time that I was playing with these “Prehistoric Animals”, somebody else was playing with them too – a fellow named Gary Gygax.
posted by bitmage at 2:49 PM PST - 39 comments

Why did the chicken cross the Möbius strip?

Scientists tell The Guardian their favourite jokes
posted by Artw at 2:28 PM PST - 80 comments

Pufferfish the Magic Dragon

The latest generation of the UK's world-leading state-backed surveillance technologies have reportedly captured shocking scenes of high-risk potentially lethal narcotics use by gangs (or "juvenile pods") of young dolphins, who have worked out how to get a high from chewing pufferfish to release their neurotoxins [more inside]
posted by Bwithh at 2:19 PM PST - 38 comments

Occasionally NSFW.

Recent uploads to photobucket. [more inside]
posted by Mitheral at 1:31 PM PST - 49 comments

11 Reasons to Be Optimistic in 2014

It's not all bad news. People are living longer, we're winning the fight against malaria, worldwide poverty is down, and eight more reasons for hope in the coming year.
posted by gottabefunky at 12:07 PM PST - 127 comments

I will be gone, but not forever.

Former bandmates of singer-songwriter Jason Molina have announced a string of January tribute shows called "Songs: Molina - A Memorial Electric Co." They will feature the members of Magnolia Electric Co., joined by M.C. Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger, performing material from throughout Molina's career. [more inside]
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:47 AM PST - 17 comments

m01$tRoACh31!4

Passweird - Passwords too gross to steal. This website will create for you a password that is not only secure*, but is also so utterly repulsive that not even the most hardened criminal, identity thief, NSA agent, or jealous boyfriend would ever want to use it. *ish, but probably not. Don't use these for real.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:15 AM PST - 28 comments

"We are going to get rid of the horse carriages. Period."

When Bill de Blasio takes the oath of office on Wednesday to become New York City's mayor, one of the first things on his agenda will be the fight to ban horse drawn carriages in Central Park. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:05 AM PST - 166 comments

Digital Black-Bag Ops:

Der Spiegel reports on the NSA's "plumbers" at the Office of Tailored Access Operations, who collect and deploy exploits to infiltrate computers and even redirect shipments so they can install malware and hardware backdoors on electronics ordered by those they are targeting. Jacob Appelbaum [AKA ioerror] reports on the NSA's 'catalog', which ranges from $30 monitor cables that send back screenshots, to exploits for network security hardware from Cisco and Huawei, to backdoored BIOS code and firmware for all major hard drive manucfacturers. While some of the NSA's malware requires physical access or proximity, much of it is remotely installable over the Internet.

At the 30c3 conference in Hamburg, Appelbaum gives an in-depth talk about the NSA's Tailored Access Operations hacking activities and its 'interdiction' process, whereby computers are tampered with during shipping or as part of a 'black-bag' operation. Appelbaum, a Wikileaks affiliate who has reported on documents leaked by Edward Snowden, has been personally targeted by such operations, as have his family members.
posted by anemone of the state at 9:50 AM PST - 201 comments

Despecialized and Remastered

This featurette will give you a quick look at the various sources used to recreate the original 1977 version of Star Wars in the Star Wars: Despecialized Edition: Remastered.
[more inside]
posted by Sokka shot first at 9:11 AM PST - 80 comments

Mads Mikkelsen is absolutely stellar as the Mad Hatter

Ranking all the James Bond movies from the universe where Bond faced off against all of Batman's villains
posted by The Whelk at 8:53 AM PST - 32 comments

"they run a body of code that can be modified"

On Hacking MicroSD Cards
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:41 AM PST - 13 comments

The Quenelle - Anti-establishment or a reverse Nazi salute?

With his celebration during a match on Saturday, French striker Nicolas Anelka has brought renewed attention to a gesture originating in France, known as "The Quenelle". Anelka has vehemently denied any racist intent and has argued he was merely expressing solidarity with the inventor of the gesture, the controversial French comedian known as Dieudonné. Dieudonne and others maintain that the gesture is merely anti-elite in nature (signifying a fuck you to the establishment), but given Deudonne's past, in which he coined the term Shoananas and expressed particular support for Hezbollah and Hamas, many disagree.
posted by beisny at 8:07 AM PST - 88 comments

a US presidential slave ownership reference table

Which US presidents owned slaves? [more inside]
posted by threeants at 4:57 AM PST - 82 comments

Middlebrow megachurch infotainment

Let me tell you a story. I was at a presentation that a friend, an Astrophysicist, gave to a potential donor ... After the talk the sponsor said to him, “you know what, I’m gonna pass because I just don’t feel inspired… you should be more like Malcolm Gladwell” ... So I ask the question: does TED epitomize a situation where ... a scientist... is told that their work is not worthy of support, because the public doesn't feel good listening to them? I submit that Astrophysics run on the model of American Idol is a recipe for civilizational disaster.
Benjamin H. Bratton (Dept. of Visual Arts, UC San Diego) uses a TEDx talk to critique the medium of the TED talk itself. Does TED—"weird, inadequate and symptomatic"—encapsulate the twenty-first century's inability to face the challenges of the future in any honest way?
posted by Sonny Jim at 4:48 AM PST - 58 comments

December 29

Revitalizing lies to perpetuate your disguise

The Black Bruins [Spoken Word] by Sy Stokes
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:12 PM PST - 4 comments

Scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours.

Back at the beginning of 2010, Peter Gabriel released Scratch My Back, an album of covers of various artists. He had hoped those same artists would, in turn, cover songs he had written. Well, it didn't all come together as smoothly as he had planned, and not all the artists participated, but he's finally released And I'll Scratch Yours. NPR has a limited time preview of both albums running right now. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 10:33 PM PST - 42 comments

"To my friends, everything; to my enemies, the law."

When he was arrested in Siberia in 2003, billionaire oil oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky was "the Bad Bad Leroy Brown of Russia...In a nation of mobsters, he is king, a stone-cold ruthless genius." [more inside]
posted by Snarl Furillo at 9:41 PM PST - 30 comments

It all started in Washington Square...

The Coen Brothers latest film "Inside Llewyn Davis" is fictional, but it aims to portray the very specific time and place of the Greenwich Village Folk scene in the early 60's. Reviewers have already noted the similarities between the movies characters and some real life counterparts, starting with Llewyn Davis himself and legendary folk singer Dave Van Ronk. [more inside]
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 8:23 PM PST - 42 comments

The Dark Enlightenment

As the term suggests, the Dark Enlightenment is an ideological analysis of modern democracy that harshly rejects the vision of the 18th century European Enlightenment—a period punctuated by the development of empirical science, the rise of humanist values and the first outburst of revolutionary democratic reform. In contrast, the Dark Enlightenment advocates an autocratic and neo-monarchical society. Its belief system is unapologetically reactionary, almost feudal.
The many bloggers who constitute the movement style themselves as “Dark Lords of the Sith,” self-described fearless truth-tellers, who—mixing their cinematic metaphors—offer Matrix-evocative “red pills” of awakening in the form of sulfurous conclusions about the state of the world. Indeed, questioning the prevailing Western narrative is typically a Dark Enlightenment writer’s modus operandi, skewering the values of the liberal establishment. [more inside]
posted by p3on at 7:53 PM PST - 249 comments

One Weird Old Trick to Undermine the Patriarchy

"Bilbo, it turns out, makes a terrific heroine. She’s tough, resourceful, humble, funny, and uses her wits to make off with a spectacular piece of jewelry. Perhaps most importantly, she never makes an issue of her gender—and neither does anyone else."
posted by Jacqueline at 6:25 PM PST - 90 comments

Catch Me If You Can: Real Estate Edition

Ryan Mullen was on the run for over 14 years. Then, a professional skip tracer named Michelle Gomez got on the case.
posted by reenum at 4:59 PM PST - 20 comments

Project Lucidity

The first open source, fully featured, developer friendly, lucid dreaming mask.
posted by edwardog at 3:27 PM PST - 39 comments

HOT SINGLES IN YOUR AREA, GAZING AT YOU WITH THAT BUSTER KEATON LOOK

HOT SINGLES IN YOUR AREA, RISING FROM THEIR SLUMBER, CLAWING UP THROUGH THE COLD MOIST EARTH, LICKING THEIR FANGS, READY TO USE THAT GROUPON
posted by filthy light thief at 3:00 PM PST - 40 comments

Psybrid Theory

What you didn't realize you needed: Psybrid Theory. "Linkin Park’s entire first album, gangnamfied for your listening pleasure!" [Youtube playlist] (via)
posted by kmz at 1:57 PM PST - 10 comments

Proof of Heaven? Hold off on that QED.

Dr. Eben Alexander's book Proof of Heaven has a complex backstory. One that's not very heavenly. [more inside]
posted by Charity Garfein at 1:42 PM PST - 54 comments

The shameless pursuit of discounts

How To Save Money On Amazon With a Fake Baby.
posted by jason's_planet at 1:29 PM PST - 67 comments

Old words never die; they just wend their way to their just deserts.

12 Old Words that Survived by Getting Fossilized in Idioms. We generally know what the idioms we use every day mean, but do we give much thought to the individual words that make them up, or why we rarely, if ever, see some of them out of that context? Maybe they're just plain outdated. [more inside]
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:36 AM PST - 52 comments

American Recipe

You may not know his name but you will certainly know his work: Morris Cassanova (aka Mr Chicken) designs and makes signs for most of the fried chicken shops in the UK. Meet Mr. Chicken
posted by timshel at 10:04 AM PST - 31 comments

Which dreamcatchers?

The Indian Store (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by griphus at 9:40 AM PST - 22 comments

The Daily Routines of Famous Writers

“A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.” The daily routines of famous writers. [more inside]
posted by SpacemanStix at 9:01 AM PST - 36 comments

Remembering Rudolph and his creator, Robert L May

Robert L May was a bit of an outcast as a child. He skipped a few grades and was younger and smaller than his classmates.

Robert L May dreamed of writing the great American novel, but instead, became a catalog writer at Montgomery Ward in Chicago. It was here in 1939 that he wrote Rudolph and 2 million copies were made and distributed to children.

The company later gave Robert L May the rights to the story.[NPR audio story]

See and hear the original sketches and story read by his daughter. [more inside]
posted by Wolfster at 8:55 AM PST - 4 comments

Here Be Duck Trees

An interactive version of Olaus Magnus’ 1539 Carta Marina, a map of the sea filled with the usual ( and unusual) monsters and creatures. (Slate)
posted by The Whelk at 8:49 AM PST - 3 comments

The old man looked deep into him. "Mr. Feinberg, I have some advice,"

But really, Feinberg picked up the phone that day for the same reason Americans yield to their instinct to give money to those felled by spectacularly unkind fates: He felt helpless but wanted to help, and his version of helping was to volunteer for one of the worst jobs in the world. Hagel placed a call to Attorney General John Ashcroft, and after a series of backroom discussions, Ashcroft appointed Feinberg the special master of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, working pro bono, as he almost always does on behalf of the dead. That work and the work that has followed it, his growing collection of aftermaths, have changed him. He has become smarter, humbler, more acute, more uniquely fitted to his task. Virginia Tech, the Deepwater Horizon, Newtown, Boston—he managed each of those horrors, and each was managed better because of what he has learned. But all of them were shaped, because he was shaped, by September 11.
Kenneth Feinberg: The Nation's Leading Expert in Picking up the Pieces [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:37 AM PST - 28 comments

The Myth of the Medieval Repression of Science

In the academic sphere, at least, the "Conflict Thesis" of a historical war between science and theology has been long since overturned. It is very odd that so many of my fellow atheists cling so desperately to a long-dead position that was only ever upheld by amateur Nineteenth Century polemicists and not the careful research of recent, objective, peer-reviewed historians. This is strange behavior for people who like to label themselves "rationalists".-- The Dark Age Myth: An Atheist Reviews “God’s Philosophers”
posted by Pater Aletheias at 6:30 AM PST - 95 comments

21st century birdwatching

Drone Survival Guide is a downloadable poster of robotic birds. It's also available on mirrored paper for those in harm's way.
posted by xowie at 6:07 AM PST - 28 comments

December 28

The King goes to wedding. What the best man does next will make you cry.

Tired of Upworthy? Why not try SFFworthy? (SLtumblr) Via
posted by Mezentian at 11:52 PM PST - 61 comments

pure-gas.org

"Pure-Gas.org" -- a comprehensive index of gas stations in Canada and the US which sell gasoline that isn't contaminated with ethanol.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:22 PM PST - 42 comments

Is the Contraceptive NuvaRing Killing Thousands?

"Danger in the Ring." According to Karen, a doctor in the emergency room asked her over the phone: “Was your daughter using birth control?” Karen said, “Yes, NuvaRing.” He removed the device and said, “I thought so, because she’s having a pulmonary embolism.” [more inside]
posted by blue suede stockings at 8:31 PM PST - 103 comments

Superego & Thrilling Adventure Hour present "The War Of Two Worlds"

Superego (previously) and The Thrilling Adventure Hour present A War of Two Worlds, a multi-part, crossover, podcast event spectacular. Written by Ben Acker and Ben Blacker and improvised by Superego, The WorkJuicePlayers, and special guests. Written and improvised? Yes! [NSFW] [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A at 6:25 PM PST - 2 comments

Abstract Skateboarding

Gou Miyagi does not skateboard how most people skateboard. previously
posted by Tom-B at 4:13 PM PST - 23 comments

A real poet would never do what I just did.

Though best known to fans of Joe Frank, This American Life, and Hearing Voices for the irreverent spirit medium recordings he made as an telephone psychic in the 1990s, the Baltimore poet, composer, and artist David Franks spent decades creating his own work. Several recordings are now available at the internet archive. (previously) [more inside]
posted by eotvos at 4:11 PM PST - 4 comments

Deadly Mix in Benghazi: False Allies, Crude Video

A new piece of investigative reporting by the New York Times would suggest vindication to some degree of the U.S. government's original explanation of the 2012 Benghazi Attack, which proposed that the attack developed from a spontaneous protest in anger over the anti-Islamic youtube video, Innocence of Muslims. Despite this being the explanation that the intelligence community found most probable given their quick, initial analysis of the empirical data, the government faced much criticism for it. Susan Rice, who might have otherwise became the new Secretary of State, was one individual who got caught in the crossfire. Senator McCain once remarked that, "she has proven that she either doesn't understand or she is not willing to accept evidence on its face. There is no doubt five days later what this attack was and for." But as the NYT indicates, what truly happened there in Benghazi is, "murkier and more complex than initially believed."
posted by SollosQ at 4:11 PM PST - 25 comments

Horace; Ursine Ourobouros

PC game superblog Rockpapershotgun's 24 Games of Christmas. Individual links below. [more inside]
posted by Sebmojo at 3:36 PM PST - 17 comments

Land of Sleep

Beautiful video from author Ransom Riggs. [more inside]
posted by holmesian at 3:28 PM PST - 3 comments

Euphoria, panic, and delusions: Stendhal, Paris and Jerusalem Syndromes

Marie-Henri Beyle was a French novelist, better known by his pen name Stendhal. Though he is now known for his acute analysis of his characters' psychology and he is considered one of the earliest and foremost practitioners of realism, during his lifetime his reputation was largely based on his books dealing with the arts and with tourism. He is also notable for personal experiences he recorded in Naples and Florence: A Journey from Milan to Reggio. There he wrote that his "heart was beating fast at the thought of entering Florence," then when in the Basilica of Santa Croce, he "experienced the most intense pleasure art has ever bestowed upon me ... a sort of ecstasy." Later, he "was seized with a fierce palpitation of the heart;" he "walked in constant fear of falling to the ground." This was the first recorded case of hyperkulturemia, also known as the Stendhal or Florence Syndrome, a psychosomatic reaction to art and/or scenes of beauty. Similar psychosomatic experiences have been recorded in Paris and Jerusalem, though the former largely linked to cultural shock and disconnect at the imagined and real Paris, while the latter most often associated with evangelical Christian tourists who are overwhelmed by their experiences and come to believe they are the Chosen One. The good news for people who suffer from any of these syndromes: the symptoms generally diappear once the person leaves the location or region that set off the psychosomatic illness.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:43 PM PST - 19 comments

Fallon Fox: The Toughest Woman in Sports

Fallon Fox is the world's first and only transgender MMA fighter. Profile by Nancy Hass for GQ.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:53 PM PST - 169 comments

A spectacular historical atlas refashioned for the 21st century

Here you will find one of the greatest historical atlases: Charles O. Paullin and John K. Wright's Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States, first published in 1932. This digital edition reproduces all of the atlas's nearly 700 maps. Many of these beautiful maps are enhanced here in ways impossible in print, animated to show change over time or made clickable to view the underlying data—remarkable maps produced eight decades ago with the functionality of the twenty-first century.
posted by cthuljew at 12:22 PM PST - 8 comments

You have to warm up to the idea that you will look like an idiot.

With AWESOMeFEET you have to warm up to the idea that you will look like an idiot. Detroit resident Marty Stano, minimalist, filmmaker, oddball, makes a joyous video in celebration of winter. [more inside]
posted by QuakerMel at 11:25 AM PST - 12 comments

On reading, love, and loss

Laurie Penny writes about reading and the death of her father. I could sound out letters to form a word, but then groped for its use. Sentences were harder and any sort of narrative was impossible. What sort of story could possibly make sense now?
posted by Gilgongo at 10:39 AM PST - 1 comments

Why Your Children's Television Program Sucks

Why Your Children's Television Program Sucks: Jessie / Thomas and Friends / Super Why! / The Fresh Beat Band / Dora the Explorer / Chuggington / Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! / Max and Ruby
posted by The Gooch at 9:53 AM PST - 207 comments

Revenge is a dish best served cold

The Janitor's Revenge (SLVideo)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:58 AM PST - 15 comments

Computer, enhance

Researchers at the University of York were able to identify people using the reflection of their faces in pupils of photographs of other people. Original paper
posted by Chrysostom at 8:12 AM PST - 32 comments

Wondering What to Get with That Gift Card?

It's a bit late for the holiday, but math(s) comedian Helen Arney sings about her Christmas wish -- the largest known Mersenne Prime, Mersenne 48. [more inside]
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:20 AM PST - 1 comments

Behind The Voice Actors

Behind The Voice Actors is an IMDB-like resource for looking up voice actors. Though it has articles, features, and trailers, it also provides fascinating time-sucks, as you can compare every actor who's played a character (for example: X-Men's Gambit or Batman's Joker) or every character an actor played ("Oh, hey! the same dude played Captain N and Ed from Ed Edd & Eddy!"). Happy clicking!
posted by Greg Nog at 4:47 AM PST - 32 comments

See how the ants drip like syrup?

Physicists study fire ants (SLNYT)
posted by angrycat at 4:40 AM PST - 14 comments

December 27

The Art of Kevin Cyr

Camper Kart: A pop-up camper constructed out of a shopping cart. [more inside]
posted by sarastro at 11:40 PM PST - 18 comments

All the colors of the-- Eames chair?

The Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum's collections, now searchable in color. Colors? They got colors. All kinds of colors. My god, it's just full of colors. But wait, there's even more inside... [more inside]
posted by jetlagaddict at 9:15 PM PST - 3 comments

Lunch Poems: Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Foundational Beat Poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti comes to UC Berkeley's Lunch Poems in 2007 and spends ~50 minutes flipping through a book of his collected works and reading poems old and new. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 8:32 PM PST - 5 comments

The 38 Most Haunting Abandoned Places On Earth.

The 38 Most Haunting Abandoned Places On Earth. [more inside]
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:30 PM PST - 59 comments

Michaelangelo's Grocery List.

Michelangelo's Grocery List : written for an illiterate servant.
posted by sonika at 8:28 PM PST - 17 comments

Making Excuses for Science Fiction

When I published my first novel 20 years later, I found myself faced with the same challenge: how do I talk about this book to people whose entire conception of science fiction and fantasy are built around Star Wars and The Hobbit? How do I convince folks that stories about the dissolution of a marriage in Montreal in 2155 are just as serious an endeavor as writing about the dis­solution of a marriage in Montreal 1955?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:04 PM PST - 43 comments

Guy Clark: He Ain't Going Nowhere

"A tall man with regal posture, [Guy Clark has] got an angular white mustache and soul patch, wavy gray hair that curls up at his collar, and a woodblock of a forehead that looms over deep-set blue eyes. His general expression is that of someone who’s thinking about something more important than you are. Or at least more interesting." Texas Monthly profiles the legendary songwriter. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:06 PM PST - 7 comments

Knitting Peace on Earth; Good Wool Towards Men

Cirkus Cirkör, a contemporary Swedish circus company, brings you "Knitting Peace", an ensemble performance that combines acrobatics, dance, music, and yes, knitting, to explore the theme of working through complex and tangled realities to bring about peace.
posted by orange swan at 5:29 PM PST - 4 comments

The Roots of Orchis: post-rock, downtempo, and a bit of turntablism

The Roots of Orchis (Facebook page) don't seem to be active much these days, but sometimes it's nice to look back. Their peak was probably their 2002 album, Some Things Plural (Bandcamp), which blends the mellow post-rock styles of Tortoise with the downtempo, instrumental hip-hop grooves of early era DJ Shadow. For example, the first track "develops into a smooth post-rocking instrumental with a dusty groove that never imagines itself any more pimped out than it is." For another fantastic blend of relaxed instruments and subtle turntablism, check out their take on Björk's Possibly Maybe, from the Read: Interpreting Björk compilation. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 2:33 PM PST - 5 comments

This is Harry.

If you are in a shell.... [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong at 2:28 PM PST - 10 comments

...you took Christopher and turned it into Krystougher.

You named me... WHAT? Nine baby-naming rules.
posted by crossoverman at 2:19 PM PST - 406 comments

Lights Out, Luthor. I said...LIGHTS OUT!

January 1st, 2014 ushers in a new era for the U.S. population, as 40 and 60 watt incandescent lightbulbs will no longer be produced nor imported into the mainland. This turnaround follows the demise of non LED/CFL 75w bulbs on January 1st, 2013, and 2012's phaseout of 100 watt bulbs under the revised provisions to the National Energy Law of 1978. The ultimate catalyst for the greening of America? The 1973 Oil Crisis.
posted by Smart Dalek at 2:07 PM PST - 140 comments

Kleptomaniac cat burglars steal and stash holiday decorations and more

Meet our protagonists, Denis and Theo. Instead of the normal things that they steal during other times of the year (ie., hand puppets, fluffy pens, and phone chargers from the neighbors), during the holidays they steal Christmas decorations. You can watch one of the cat burglars carry home his Christmas loot on youtube. [more inside]
posted by Wolfster at 1:55 PM PST - 32 comments

A song for the formerly hearing impaired

I Liked You Better Deaf. (slyt, now with captions)
posted by Soliloquy at 1:31 PM PST - 6 comments

Inside the Company That Built Healthcare.gov

That lack of expertise explains why in building healthcare.gov, the government turned to industry contractors; in particular, to CGI Federal, a subsidiary of CGI Group, a Canadian company. To those uninitiated in the dark art of government contracting, it seems scandalous that CGI, a company most Americans had never heard of, a company that is not located in Silicon Valley (where President Obama has plenty of Internet superstar friends who could have formed a dazzling brain trust to implement his signature legislation) but rather in Montreal, could be chosen as the lead contractor for the administration’s most important initiative. While right-wing news outlets have focused on the possible relationship between Toni Townes-Whitley, senior vice president for civilian-agency programs at CGI Federal, and Michelle Obama, both of whom were 1985 Princeton graduates, CGI’s selection is probably more an example of a dysfunctional system than it is a scandal. “A lot of the companies in Silicon Valley don’t do business with the government at that level [the level required for federal contracting],” explains Soloway. “It is very burdensome, and the rules make it very unattractive.” Indeed, government contractors have to meet a whole host of requirements contained in a foot-thick book, including cost accounting and excessive auditing, to prove that they are not profiting too much off the American taxpayer. Hence, there tends to be a relatively small, specialized group of companies that compete for this work, even on such critical matters as healthcare.gov. - Accounting for Obamacare
posted by beisny at 11:33 AM PST - 106 comments

A Gift To You

As the Christmas season winds down, but before New Year plunges a stake into its Dracula Corpse to end it, enjoy Matt Fraction, Maggie Serota and the War Rocket Ajax crew challening each other to create the worst Christmas mixtape. Not interested in audio format banter and such? There is a Youtube Playlist. WARNING: Mostly offensive for aesthetic reasons but there are some other terribles in there as well.
posted by Artw at 9:58 AM PST - 34 comments

Give me my #**$!! ice cream

Have an ice cream cone. [via]
posted by Think_Long at 9:40 AM PST - 21 comments

Game developers you should know

Twenty game developers you don't know, but should
posted by mediareport at 9:35 AM PST - 29 comments

Cool Science GIFs in 2013

"If a picture’s worth a thousand words, a GIF is easily worth a million. The file format—which uses a series of images to produce a looping video, like a flip book—is a tremendous way to convey all sorts of moving wonders. ... It’s appropriate, then, that we use the GIF to explore some of the coolest, weirdest, most remarkable science stories of 2013. What follows is a non-exhaustive list of amazing science GIFs from 2013, in no particular order." [more inside]
posted by SpacemanStix at 7:54 AM PST - 21 comments

Gagadoll

Lady Gaga satirizes the objectification of celebrity while cashing in on it with a series of creepily lifelike gagadolls. You can even rent one for an event. Several models to choose from.
posted by adamrice at 7:38 AM PST - 35 comments

"Start cabbage indoors."

sproutrobot.com is just the thing for all of the gardeners who feel the walls starting to close in. Give it your ZIP code and sproutrobot will do the rest. [more inside]
posted by jquinby at 7:37 AM PST - 14 comments

The Manhunt of Christopher Dorner

The LA Times recounts the Manhunt of Christopher Dorner from Feb. 3-12, 2013 through a series of interviews and research. Previously [more inside]
posted by fizzix at 7:13 AM PST - 30 comments

Resplendent with simple graphics and simpler rules

The Internet Archive Console Living Room harkens back to the revolution of the change in the hearth of the home, when the fireplace and later television were transformed by gaming consoles into a center of videogame entertainment... Simply click on a system below to browse through available games and cartridges and try them out. Where possible, links to manuals and additional information are available for reference.
posted by griphus at 7:05 AM PST - 8 comments

December 26

"They just continue to fall into the pattern, so why wouldn't I do it?"

Cleveland Scene takes a look at the paranoid and obsessive life of a mid-level bookie.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:01 PM PST - 54 comments

Henry's Concepts

Henry chooses the location and the pose. Alex (his nanny) takes a photo of him and then he takes a photo of her in the same pose. Henry is two and a half. Via
posted by zarq at 9:25 PM PST - 46 comments

Found at sea

An emergent map of the 18th and 19th century world
posted by spbmp at 9:06 PM PST - 15 comments

Wait, what was that about the Holocaust?

Back in 08', filmcow.com, the people behind Charlie The Unicorn and other such Internet nonsense, released a darling little video about adorable singing ferrets signing about the things they love, "Make Me Smile!"
posted by The Whelk at 8:05 PM PST - 12 comments

Remember, if approached by a librarian, keep still. Do not run away.

Welcome to a tumblr of wonders. Special Collections, archives, and libraries have many wonderful items, but getting to them all can be a bit like trying to walk into Mordor, unless you have unlimited time and grants. But now, thanks to Tumblr, you too can explore collections around the world, and one of the best comes to us from the University of Iowa. Want a Hamlet quote on a miniature book that unfolds into a tiny Globe Theatre? Of course you do. Actual flying squirrels? Adventure with Alice! Get close to illuminations? Catch a glimpse of hipster frames circa 1504? More awesome librar* tumblrs inside. [more inside]
posted by jetlagaddict at 5:58 PM PST - 13 comments

Maps

Open data from balloon and kite photography
posted by aniola at 5:08 PM PST - 12 comments

The Origins and Meanings of Ashkenazic Last Names

Ashkenazic Jews didn't originally have family names until compelled to do so starting in the 17th century. Bonus: Why Your Family Name Was Not Changed at Ellis Island. [more inside]
posted by ShooBoo at 3:25 PM PST - 50 comments

What "makes a man willing to sit up on top of an enormous Roman candle"?

In 1972, Tom Wolfe was assigned to do a piece for Rolling Stone on Apollo 17, NASA's last moon mission (Google book preview). That turned into a four-part series on the astronauts, written in a frantic three weeks. From there, he thought he could quickly expand the piece into a book (Gbp). But that book, on what makes an astronaut, ended up taking a much broader scope and more time. In 1979, The Right Stuff was published, and later was made into a well-regarded 3 hour movie. A few years later, Andrew Chaikin started on a similar path to Wolfe, more broadly documenting the US moon missions in his book, A Man on the Moon. The book was published in 1994, and HBO used it as the basis of a 12-part mini-series that they aired in 1998, titled From the Earth to the Moon. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 2:28 PM PST - 28 comments

Lake Monsters of North America

American myths and mystery allisonmeier "You'll see a good share of serpent-like animals of the Loch Ness Monsters variety, such as Isabella of Bear Lake in Idaho who was spotted by a Mormon pioneer in the 19th century and even had Brigham Young himself send a hunting party after the possible plesiosaur. There's also the famed Champ of Lake Champlain, possibly the most famous of American lake monsters, and the Lake Dillon monster in Wyoming that some think is being suppressed by a secret society."
posted by naight at 1:48 PM PST - 28 comments

Reykjavíkurdætur

Reykjavíkurdætur (SLYT)
posted by CitoyenK at 12:58 PM PST - 22 comments

Birth of an island

Lava flow connects new islet with Nishinoshima island A new islet formed by volcanic activity in late November in the Ogasawara island chain far south of Tokyo (halfway to Guam) has now grown and connected to neighboring Nishinoshima island. Spectacular footage of magma eruptions. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu at 12:27 PM PST - 17 comments

Puzzle Nerd Nirvana

griddlers.net (Java required) is a terrific site for puzzle players. [more inside]
posted by Ipsifendus at 11:56 AM PST - 6 comments

A tale of Dynamite and septic tanks

I can tell right now you don't know shit about dynamite.
posted by 445supermag at 11:12 AM PST - 31 comments

Yuletide 2013

Yesterday morning, fans all around the world woke up at the crack of dawn to eagerly open their gifts on the most important day of the year. ...Wait, what, I have to go do this "Christmas" thing? Sorry, I'm busy reading this year's new creations for the Yuletide Fanfiction Challenge (previously). [more inside]
posted by capricorn at 8:08 AM PST - 53 comments

It's English Jim, but not as anyone knows it

Strewth! It's bloody Christmas? Stone the flamin' crows, why would you be a Darth Drongo and watch The Star Wars Holiday Special when you can crack a coldie and watch the 30-minute fan filmStar Wars Down Under? (Trailer) (Website) [more inside]
posted by Mezentian at 6:58 AM PST - 18 comments

Happy Zelda Day!

A Japanese commercial for the Gameboy video game The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. With puppets. Here's a traditional speedrun that finishes in a little under one-and-a-half hours. Here's a tool-assisted speedrun that wins the game in less than six minutes. (Most of the video is the game's ending.) A manga was released in Japan detailing the events of the game's story. A fan translation of it can be read, in its entirety, here. Also.... [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 5:43 AM PST - 34 comments

Insect Intricacies

Painstakingly assembled insect sculptures by Edouard Martinet (more images on his Press page).
posted by cenoxo at 3:41 AM PST - 3 comments

Let It Dough

A sweet little graphic story by Christoph Niemann in The New York Times: Let It Dough.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:38 AM PST - 18 comments

Feliz Naviblah!

Until Sunday, 12th January, Paul Reubens, aka PeeWee Herman, has released the PeeWee's Playhouse Christmas Special on YouTube for free holiday viewing. [more inside]
posted by Katemonkey at 3:16 AM PST - 13 comments

December 25

Christmas is Winning the War on Christmas

Christmas is Winning the War on Christmas
posted by Golden Eternity at 8:11 PM PST - 136 comments

Happy Life Day!

In defense of 'The Star Wars Holiday Special'
posted by Artw at 6:49 PM PST - 92 comments

A Bear Called Paddington, from darkest Peru to TV (and the internet)

It all started on Christmas Eve 1965 (Google books preview), as a cold and wet Michael Bond was doing some last minute shopping. He had missed a bus, and ducked inside a department store to get out of the sleet. It was there that he saw a small bear, all alone on a shelf. On a whim, he picked it up as a stocking stuffer for his wife. The couple named him after the Paddington railway station that was near where they lived at the time. A few months later, Bond turned to Paddington to break his writers block, and the Paddington books were born. Paddington was turned into the UK's favorite animated character thanks to the 56 five-minute long episodes and three longer specials that were originally aired in the 1970s and 1980s, and are online in one form or another. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:01 PM PST - 39 comments

Pay just 99 cents to read the rest of this post

The Year of the Crush: How the Radically Unfair Candy Crush Saga Took Over Our Lives We are clearly drawn to structured entanglements with chance. We use rules and money to define the stakes, and we use cards or dice or candies not as generators but as channelers — mediums — of the chance we believe is already out there, secretly running the show. Despite whatever other beliefs we have about fate or God or a deterministic universe, we often act as if luck is quite real in our daily lives. Candy Crush Saga has capitalized on this to become the mobile game of the year. Not the best, nor the worst, but the mobile game that dominated the charts, that succeeded at free-to-play in a way that will be studied for years, that penetrated the wider culture and came to stand in for all of addictive, time-wasting mobile gaming in 2013. And yet Candy Crush is not simply game of the year in the way that Stalin was once Time’s Person of the Year. It’s a genuinely compelling game that fully commits to radical unfairness. In fact, this is the primary source of its appeal.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:56 AM PST - 138 comments

I shiver when I see the falling snow

It's gonna be a blue Christmas: Merle Haggard - If We Make it Through December [more inside]
posted by byanyothername at 10:29 AM PST - 22 comments

Santa? Let me tell you about Santa.

The Blade Runner Holiday Special (SLYT)
posted by Aznable at 9:35 AM PST - 36 comments

'Tis the season

Racketboy is a retro-gaming site with an excellent series on Hidden Gems, a Beginner's Guide to old consoles and genres, the games that defined them, rare games for collectors and cheap games if you'd like to give that old console a try. Bonus: Top 20 games that nobody played but you should. Happy retro Christmas!
posted by ersatz at 9:10 AM PST - 22 comments

For unto us a child is born

According to statistician Aki Vehtari of Aalto University in Finland, there is diminished 20% chance that today, December 25th, is your birthday. There is a 5% higher likelihood than chance that your birthday is actually February 14th. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:53 AM PST - 27 comments

Mom's Spaghetti

This Christmas, please remember the real reason for the season: a three-minute long Smash Mouth / Eminem mashup. Mom's Spaghetti, everybody.
posted by Greg Nog at 4:09 AM PST - 16 comments

'just pretend you're Santa.'

Since 1955 NORAD has been tracking Santa Claus on his annual trek around the world delivering presents (previously), but do you know why and how a grim, uber serious military organisation like NORAD, at the height of the Cold War started doing this? It turns out it's all because Sears used the wrong phone number in a Christmas advert and the officer on duty at NORAD had the presence of mind to play along.
posted by MartinWisse at 3:02 AM PST - 24 comments

December 24

Rainbow deflection

13 minutes of shooting through things (SLYT) in ARMA 3. Trajectories are colour-coded.
posted by squinty at 11:53 PM PST - 12 comments

A Very Beerbohm Christmas

Presenting A Christmas Garland woven through with festive stories and essays by H*nry J*m*s, R*dy*rd K*pl*ng, Th*m*s H*rdy, H.G. W*lls, G**rg* B*rn*rd Sh*w, and many other worthies from the Edwardian literary c*n*n! [more inside]
posted by Iridic at 10:44 PM PST - 6 comments

For everyone out there listening

Edward Snowden has delivered the UK Channel 4's Alternative Christmas Message (alternative links, transcript):
Together, we can find a better balance. End mass surveillance. And remind the government that if it really wants to know how we feel, asking is always cheaper than spying.
This address follows Monday's interview with the Washington Post in which he explains his motives for releasing information he collected while working for the NSA.
posted by Joe in Australia at 9:59 PM PST - 93 comments

Peace on Earth. Good will toward men.

Bklyn legend Jonny Sierra and B-More titan Spank Rock bring to us a most glorious parody of a most glorious titanic legend.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:30 PM PST - 2 comments

PowPOWPOWPOW!

Run away! Run away FARTHER! (SLYT) A malfunction at a fireworks show entertains the crowd.
posted by bitmage at 8:01 PM PST - 20 comments

The Snowman

"... and it was on that day I made the snowman." In 1982, the film adaptation of Raymond Briggs 1978 children's book The Snowmanwas released on British television. The original release begins with a short narration by the Briggs, but a later version replaced him with David Bowie gently rocking a toy horse in an attic. Besides the opening narration, the film is without talking and is accompanied by a score by Howard Blake. It yielded the hit We're Walking in the Air which peaked at #5 on UK pop charts when Aled Jones covered it in 1985 (here he is many years later on This Morning Programme singing along with a video of himself as a boy). Last year, a sequel called The Snowman and the Snowdog was released to mixed reviews.
posted by Corduroy at 5:40 PM PST - 25 comments

...and then "some clown invented the printed circuit."

During the 1950's, Wernher von Braun served as technical adviser for three space-related television films produced by Disney: Man in Space, Man and the Moon and Mars and Beyond. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 3:17 PM PST - 40 comments

Have yourself a Chicago Christmas

Now listen dear children, and you will hear,
A story fantastic, a story so queer,
It's all about Santa, and his helpers three,
there's Hardrock, and Coco, and Joe.

Ooh dee-o laadee I laa-dee I-a,
Donner and Blitzen, away, away
Ooh dee-o laadee I laa-dee I-oh,
It's Hardrock, and Coco, and Joe.


Suzy Snowflake - Frosty the Snowman (original)
Chicago Kids TV
posted by JHarris at 2:41 PM PST - 12 comments

Christmas is Go

Christmas Control to Thunderbird 3 [more inside]
posted by philip-random at 1:31 PM PST - 11 comments

Revealed: US 'knew of other Lockerbie suspects'

"On the 25th anniversary of the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 , which led to the deaths of 270 people, a specially commissioned report by Channel 4 News claims that a CIA agent, Dr Richard Fuisz, was given detailed information from within US intelligence and from 15 high-ranking Syrian officials in the immediate years after the December 1988 bombing...The CIA briefing to Dr Fuisz, in the months after bombing, also claimed the PFLP-GC, then based in Syria, had organised the mid-air destruction of the Pan Am jet." Indy article on Jim Swire's speech at the 25th Anniversary Memorial Service.
posted by marienbad at 12:56 PM PST - 10 comments

This Is Your Head

You, too, can learn modern dance!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:16 PM PST - 15 comments

World Order - Last Dance

World Order's latest, "Last Dance", starts with a shot of TEPCO corporate headquarters. Also making apperances are the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), anti-nuclear protesters outside METI, and the Ministry of Finance. [more inside]
posted by needled at 12:03 PM PST - 4 comments

Smaug Alert

Smithsonian Magazine examines the extent to which Peter Jackson's vision of The Hobbit shows fidelity to Tolkien's text. [more inside]
posted by MoonOrb at 11:37 AM PST - 104 comments

Shaken, not stirred.

The BMJ analysis of 007's alcohol consumption.
posted by pjern at 10:55 AM PST - 57 comments

The Good Earth

How The 'Earthrise' Photo Was Made.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:44 AM PST - 4 comments

Merry Paul F. Tompkins!

A Paul F. Tompkins Christmas Party Story. Actually it's mostly a story about smoking pot, but I figured it was a timely way to present this: Someone (not me!) has compiled 132 Paul F. Tompkins videos into one YouTube channel. [132LYT] [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A at 9:46 AM PST - 8 comments

If the spell wasn't supposed to do that, it wouldn't be in the PHB.

Seven Ways to Kill the Tarrasque (in D&D 3.0)
posted by griphus at 8:36 AM PST - 114 comments

A Visit from St. Nicholas to Usenet groups, the by-you, and beyond

Nearly 200 years after "A Visit from St. Nicholas" was written, the authorship is still in dispute. In the years since, there have been quite a few parodies and variants of the poem written, recorded and performed, including at least two different versions of a Cajun Night Before Christmas (a recording of the version by Te-Jules, and Trosclair's version[Google books preview], read by Larry Ray, recorded from WLOX). Snopes tracked down the history of The Soldier's Night Before Christmas, Fifties Web collected 21 tame versions (with auto-playing music), and Dirty Xmas has a number of "adult" versions. Yuks 'R' Us has a large collection, including some dated computer-related stories. Speaking of dated, you can view a vintage '98 "enhanced" version of the original poem plus more variations from Purple Lion (a member of the Merry Christmas Webring from 1998). But for the ultimate collection of variants and parodies, you might recall this thread from 2002. The link is dead, but Archive.org caught the site around that time, with 581 versions. That was over a decade ago, and now Alechemist Matt is up to 849 versions, parodies and variants of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:57 AM PST - 5 comments

Elementary, my dear Santa

Sherlock Mini-Episode: Many Happy Returns (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:51 AM PST - 54 comments

December 23

Look at all these people, liking a thing!

Criticising popular things: why is it so popular?
posted by Artw at 11:33 PM PST - 118 comments

A Better Cardboard Box

Two engineering students attempt to revolutionize the cardboard box
posted by roaring beast at 10:54 PM PST - 76 comments

Woodsongs + Amy Grant = <3

Grammy-award-winner, multi-platinum artist Amy Grant does a mostly-acoustic, lengthy, combination interview and performance set for Woodsongs [1h20m, direct mp4 video link], partially to promote her new-ish album How Mercy Looks From Here, and mostly because she is totally awesome. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 10:42 PM PST - 12 comments

One does not simply walk into Fairmount Park

Google Places reviews one of the lesser known landmarks in Philly.
posted by 256 at 10:04 PM PST - 23 comments

PsychoQuiz!

How Much of a Psychopath Are You? Take the quiz, compare yourself with your friends (or with some historical figures), and see what pets, musical styles and news media are more popular with the more psychopathic.
from Great Britain's Channel 4, which won't tell you how Nigella Lawson scored.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:00 PM PST - 128 comments

RIP Yusef Lateef

Today was marked by the passing of the venerable Yusef Lateef. Perhaps best known for his Eastern Sounds, he notably played with the Cannonball Adderly sextet. A largish (89 song) youtube playlist.
posted by juv3nal at 9:53 PM PST - 29 comments

The Transcendental Transatlantic Sessions

The other day, I woke up humming Guy Clark's "Dublin Blues." That terrific performance is from Transatlantic Sessions, a long-running project uniting musicians from different countries and varying musical backgrounds. "For almost two decades, the sessions have been inviting American musicians – from Rufus Wainwright to Emmylou Harris to James Taylor – to the UK to collaborate with British musicians steeped in the folk tradition, and filming the results. Imagine Later with Jools Holland, if all the acts played on each other's songs. And with more accordion." Drawing from Wikipedia's list of performances, I offer for your listening pleasure... Transatlantic Sessions. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 9:41 PM PST - 18 comments

Shenzen spins around me, wowing sporadically.

In the Kingdom of Mao Bell Neal Stephenson for WIRED, Feb 1994. via
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:37 PM PST - 10 comments

What is your generic term for a sweetened carbonated beverage?

In 25 questions, it will tell you where you are from (in the US), using results from the Harvard Dialect Survey [prev, now closed]. Don't peek, but this is an answer key of sorts, showing the full results of the survey. Come for the highly accurate maps, stay for the interesting variations - apparently, over 6% of people call a sunshower "the devil is beating his wife," and a small group calls it a "fox's wedding." [more inside]
posted by blahblahblah at 7:52 PM PST - 334 comments

He Tried Therapy, All We Have Left Is DTFMA

In short, I have, since the age of about 2, been a twitchy bundle of phobias, fears, and neuroses. And I have, since the age of 10, when I was first taken to a mental hospital for evaluation and then referred to a psychiatrist for treatment, tried in various ways to overcome my anxiety. Surviving Anxiety.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 5:55 PM PST - 40 comments

#1: 1, #2: 3, #3: 2, #4: 4, #5: 5

Die Hard is objectively the best Christmas movie ever made. Related: What makes a good Die Hard movie (and its not necessarily Bruce Willis).
posted by mediocre at 5:27 PM PST - 107 comments

60 Minutes and out of time.

When ‘60 Minutes’ Checks Its Journalistic Skepticism at the Door. ''“60 Minutes” is a calling, not an assignment, and the program should not be the kind of outfit that leaves its skepticism at the door to get inside.' '"In the last few months, there have been significant lapses into credulousness, when reporters have been more 'gee whiz' than 'what gives?'"' 'The sad decline and fall of 60 Minutes has been a long time coming, but now it is nearly complete. Just in recent months: the horrid hit on Americans with disabilities, the Lara Logan affair, and now tonight’s whitewash of NSA (and bonus slam vs. Edward Snowden), hosted by longtime FBI/police/NSA propagandist John Miller. Good night and good luck!' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 4:34 PM PST - 82 comments

You have to turn around sometime...

T Rex is just waiting for the perfect time to pounce. (SLYT)
posted by aspo at 4:07 PM PST - 10 comments

Turing pardoned

Alan Turing, the cryptographer and mathematician whose work was credited with shortening the Second World War, has been pardoned. Turing, a gay man, was convicted of gross indecency following consensual sex with a man in 1952. Ordinarily, a pardon will only be granted if the person is believed to have been innocent of the offence and the request is made by a family member. Turing met neither criteria, but his application was supported by a petition of over 37,000 people. Of course, this comes far too late for Turing, who poisoned himself over 60 years ago at the age of 41. (previously)
posted by tim_in_oz at 3:47 PM PST - 73 comments

Chief O'Brien at Work

"If you've ever felt lost and worthless, step aside, because someone else feels even more so, and his name is Chief O'Brien of the Starship Enterprise. Fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation, crappy jobs, and ennui will enjoy our short-lived Chief O'Brien at Work comics." From cartoonist Jon Adams.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 3:38 PM PST - 86 comments

Web Domain White Elephant Gift Exchange

"This should be a web domain that you currently own, but do not want. At the end of the exchange, you will need to transfer this domain to someone else. In return you will receive a domain from someone." [more inside]
posted by roll truck roll at 3:32 PM PST - 21 comments

Complex Things Explained

This Video Will Hurt
A detailed explanation of a fascinating field of science and medicine by the always interesting C.G.P. Grey.
[more inside]
posted by Blasdelb at 1:54 PM PST - 7 comments

Tis The Season To Secure Contain Protect

The collaborative wiki-as-fiction site, Secure Contain Protect (previously), held a contest to determine which entry will get the coveted SCP - 2000 spot. The theme? Science Fiction. Read the winning entry here, and the rest of the alien-spaceship-crashing-memetic-virus-watching-living-TV-show-spreading contestants here.
posted by The Whelk at 1:44 PM PST - 31 comments

Canada's Siberian Expedition to Counter Bolshevism, 1919

On a wooded hillside outside Vladivostok, Russia, fourteen Canadians found their final resting place in 1919. Five others died at sea. They were ordinary folk who had enlisted in the closing days of the Great War for service in an unlikely theatre — Siberia. Consisting of 4,209 men and one woman, Canada's Siberian Expedition mobilized alongside a dozen Allied armies in a bid to defeat Lenin’s Bolsheviks. The mission failed — in the face of a robust partisan insurgency, divided Allied strategies, and heated domestic opposition.
This is their story, including over 2,000 photographs and images. Also available in French and Russian.
posted by Rumple at 1:33 PM PST - 32 comments

Shall these bones live? shall these Bones live?

Settling in for a long winter's nap? In need of a memento mori to guard against the unbridled jollity of the season? Just want to explore the wonderful world of 3D scans, osteology, and bioarchaeology on the internet a little further? Sad that Santa probably isn't bringing you a T-Rex for Christmas? Well, just peak inside... [more inside]
posted by jetlagaddict at 1:31 PM PST - 4 comments

Who wouldn't go?

Special Santa! Special Santa! Special Santas!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:30 AM PST - 27 comments

"Mirror twins are the ultimate twins. Fuck all you other twins."

Meet the ATL Twins: two men who "share the same bed, wear matching outfits, only fuck the same girls, were both engaged to the same Penthouse Pet, and are both looking forward to marrying the same woman and fathering the same child." After Vice interviewed them in 2011 — "[T]hey literally finished each other’s sentences. Every sentence." — the twins achieved a certain notoriety, which led to Harmony Korine casting them in his 2013 film Spring Breakers. Last July they gave an interview with GQ, and Vice filmed a mini-documentary about their life [part 2; part 3] earlier this year. [ALL LINKS STRONGLY NSFW]
posted by Rory Marinich at 11:14 AM PST - 383 comments

The past guides us; the future needs us.

Whenever I look around me, I wonder what old things are about to bear fruit, what seemingly solid institutions might soon rupture, and what seeds we might now be planting whose harvest will come at some unpredictable moment in the future. The most magnificent person I met in 2013 quoted a line from Michel Foucault to me: "People know what they do; frequently they know why they do what they do; but what they don't know is what what they do does." Someone saves a life or educates a person or tells her a story that upends everything she assumed. The transformation may be subtle or crucial or world changing, next year or in 100 years, or maybe in a millennium. You can’t always trace it but everything, everyone has a genealogy. Rebecca Solnit in TomDispatch: The Arc of Justice and the Long Run: Hope, History, and Unpredictability [more inside]
posted by davidjmcgee at 10:49 AM PST - 8 comments

Get into my truck, girl

Why Country Music Was Awful in 2013. Grady Smith reviewed the 10 ten country albums in 2013. This was his response to the comments. [more inside]
posted by zabuni at 10:29 AM PST - 107 comments

"I invented it for the protection of the Motherland."

Mikhail Kalashnikov , inventor of the AK-47 assault rifle, has died after a lengthy illness. He was 94 years old.
posted by Gelatin at 8:26 AM PST - 94 comments

Oliver Stone's Untold History of the United States

"Untold History of the United States challenges the basic narrative of the U.S. history that most Americans have been taught.... [Such history] is consoling; it is comforting. But it only tells a small part of the story." Instead of clips of modern people pondering the past, Oliver Stone's ten-part series relies heavily on archival footage and clips from old Hollywood films, with narration by Stone. Towards the end, he gets into the assassination of JFK, "but that should not detract from a series that sets out to be a counterweight to the patriotic cheerleading and myth-making." [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 7:49 AM PST - 66 comments

the olfactory arts

Is perfume art? Could it be? Or is it something else: a craft, a commercial product, an ornament, a luxury, a prosthetic, an aphrodisiac, a love letter, a prayer, a con? Why does it matter?
[more inside]
posted by divabat at 7:27 AM PST - 30 comments

New Frontiers In Science

Can plants think? Michael Pollan asks the question. (SLNewYorker)
posted by Diablevert at 7:01 AM PST - 75 comments

Archaeology vs. Physics

Conflicting roles for old lead
The use of old lead for shielding increases the sensitivity of our most delicate experiments by orders of magnitude, an increase that is crucial when looking for a reaction that sheds light on new physics. Lead recovered from roofs, old plumbing, and even stained glass windows has been used, but Roman lead from a shipwreck is the best you can find.
posted by Jpfed at 6:41 AM PST - 25 comments

That is not dead which can eternal lie

Something unknown, engineers say — and all the more intriguing to many residents for being unknown — has blocked the progress of the biggest-diameter tunnel-boring machine in use on the planet, a high-tech, largely automated wonder called Bertha. At five stories high with a crew of 20, the cigar-shaped behemoth was grinding away underground on a two-mile-long, $3.1 billion highway tunnel under the city’s waterfront on Dec. 6 when it encountered something in its path that managers still simply refer to as “the object.”
posted by Chrysostom at 6:16 AM PST - 126 comments

TOTALLY UNAUTHORIZED

Strategy guides, then. Some were official. Some were... less official. Unauthorized, even, free to explore a game's mysteries without the nagging presence of the developers hanging over them. Of course, being unofficial meant these guides couldn't use official artwork for their covers. They had to produce their own alternate, non-copyright-infringing cover art. Can you see where I'm going with this? That's right, here are some unofficial strategy guide covers and boy howdy are they a mess.
posted by timshel at 5:57 AM PST - 14 comments

Pandamonium!

A scientist radio-tracking pandas in the Chinese wilderness frolics with an inquisitive cub who was left in his care by its mother: Dajun and the wild baby panda. [more inside]
posted by Westringia F. at 5:57 AM PST - 8 comments

The Politics Of The Next Dimension: Do Ghosts Have Civil Rights?

The Awl presents the article that would've accompanied that Atlantic Monthly cover from Ghostbusters.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:13 AM PST - 21 comments

More now die by suicide than car wreck

The American suicide rate has spiked upwards, according to the CDC. That increase is especially noticeable among baby boomers. Is the reason the availability of prescription drugs, or challenging family circumstances? The article's comments generally cite the economy. (SLNYT)
posted by doctornemo at 5:02 AM PST - 82 comments

What do you get when you mix red and blue paint?

David Briggs' The Dimensions of Colour, a comprehensive online explanation of traditional (what you've probably been taught) and modern colour theory, and its applications to visual art. Invaluable for artists and non-artists alike. (The answer: probably some kind of brown. Yes, your kindergarten teachers fed you lies.)
posted by Quilford at 2:00 AM PST - 28 comments

December 22

Revenge for Victor Borge

Tom Lehrer's full performance in Copenhagen, 1967 [slyt]
posted by cthuljew at 11:03 PM PST - 39 comments

Мадемуазель Бриджит Бордо

Mademoiselle Brigitte Bardot is a delightful mashup of a scene from Come Dance With Me! and a cover of Boris Potemkin's 1968 song Our Neighbor (scroll down, first song).
posted by Confess, Fletch at 10:25 PM PST - 2 comments

Cancer and the mythical journey

"The experience of being struck down by cancer is very interesting. Assuming it doesn’t kill you very quickly (and it does sometimes kill speedily and without mercy) the cancer sufferer can find himself or herself launched on an heroic journey. By that I don’t mean that I’m a hero because I have cancer; I mean ‘heroic’ in the mythical sense, in that your life is suddenly propelled along a remorseless narrative that has the structure of all great mythical journeys." -- Graham Joyce, himself recovering from cancer, looking at recovery as a quest story.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:16 PM PST - 10 comments

When I was a kid I used to play the video game Street Fighter.

“I wanted to take each dancer and make them into a very defined character, so people could choose their favorite and stick with them.” Eight voguers, three rounds. This is Ballroom Battle. [warning: autoplay]
posted by oinopaponton at 8:28 PM PST - 27 comments

Hey Joe, where you goin' with that pulley in your hand?

Meet "Joe", the hardest working man in show business, as he pulls out all the stops in his virtuoso performance of 12th Street Rag, on what *may* be the world's last surviving Cremona Photo-player [PDF]. On the other hand, it might be just a run-of-the-mill player piano with some extra bells, whistles and car horns tacked on. At any rate, "Joe" is absolutely killing it. Go, "Joe", go!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:20 PM PST - 17 comments

What to say at the holiday table

Summing up years of work in one sentence "Moby Dick is the hero of 'Moby Dick'." - English, Northwestern. "Really, really thin semiconductors look different and act differently than really thin semiconductors because quantum mechanics." - Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University. "such pulsating stars. very cosmic distance scale. mid-infrared wow." - Astrophysics, Pomona College.
posted by goofyfoot at 6:37 PM PST - 91 comments

Things Don't Make Sense Till They Make Sense to a Stupid Robot

In 2010, Judea Pearl was honored with a symposium on his work. He gave a talk on how to use causal models to evaluate counterfactuals. (He takes the first 14 minutes to thank people and reflect on his intellectual debts. Skip it if you really want to get to the meat of the talk, but it is well worth watching.) [more inside]
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 4:59 PM PST - 8 comments

Parents recreate movie scenes with their baby and a lot of cardboard

Welcome to Cardboard Box Office. "The project began after finding that we had accumulated both a lot of cardboard boxes (due to moving to a new country) and a baby (due to giving birth)."
posted by Mezentian at 4:28 PM PST - 24 comments

When Doves Cries

"ON DARK evenings in late 1916, a frail 76-year-old man could often be seen shuffling furtively between The Dove, a pub in west London, and the green and gold turrets of Hammersmith Bridge. Passers-by paid no attention, for there was nothing about Thomas Cobden-Sanderson’s nightly walks to suggest that he was undertaking a peculiar and criminal act of destruction." The Economist's Christmas Edition tells the story of "the Fight Over the Doves": “No more graceful Roman letter has ever been cut and cast,” [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 4:24 PM PST - 23 comments

Happy Holidays

About the only place this book hasn't been is in my hands, open and upright, with my eyes pointed at it. But that's about to change. Because I'm going to read this book in 20-minute bursts over the next eight hours. Why 20-minute bursts? Because that's how long it takes for a batch of my mother's Slog-famous Christmas Snowball cookies to bake. I'm going to put a tray in the oven, read, swap trays out, read some more. And I think it's fair to say that by the end of the day today—after all my Christmas cookies are baked—I will have read more of this book than Sarah Palin wrote. - Dan Savage reviews Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas.
posted by Artw at 4:16 PM PST - 91 comments

K-pop Christmas

It's that time of year when Korean entertainment companies / music labels release Christmas songs, typically featuring all the acts from the label. Christmas 2013 saw songs from the smaller labels, Cube, Starship, Jellyfish, MYSTIC89, Bighit. Of the big 3 (SM, YG, and JYP), SM and JYP released all-company Christmas songs in the past, although they seem to be skipping them of late in favor of individual releases. SM's 12-member boy band EXO had the melancholy "Miracles in December", YG's Park Bom (from 2NE1) and Lee Hi covered "All I Want for Christmas Is You", and JYP avoided Christmas songs altogether. Crayon Pop had a Lonely Christmas, being Chrome Entertainment's only signed act until late this year. [more inside]
posted by needled at 4:11 PM PST - 12 comments

Vooza will disrupt the disruptors.

Vooza is synonymous with bold innovation. Vooza is making our world a better place. Vooza engineers run far ahead of the pack. Vooza lives and dies by its design. Vooza is uncompromising in its pursuit of integrity. Learn more about Vooza here.
posted by Nomyte at 3:15 PM PST - 22 comments

You had me at Wolvervine as an otter.

The Marvelverse seen as animals. (slWired)
posted by Kitteh at 2:59 PM PST - 27 comments

Far more than The Philadelphia Chromosome Story.

On Tuesday, December 17th, 2013, Dr. Janet Rowley passed away. The story of her research and life serves as inspiration to Women Scientists, Men Scientists, Drug Developers and Urban Cyclists. [more inside]
posted by Cold Lurkey at 2:38 PM PST - 9 comments

What Does the Furby Say?

Reverse Engineering a Furby
posted by cjorgensen at 2:10 PM PST - 18 comments

What's the rest of the place look like?

There's case mods. Then there's this.
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 2:02 PM PST - 23 comments

Chasing arctic light

Zaria Forman uses oil pastels to draw amazing ice and water from places like Greenland, the Maldives, Israel and Svarlbard.
posted by klangklangston at 1:39 PM PST - 7 comments

Does Your Character Sparkle In Any Way?

Hey! It looks like you're trying to write an original character for your fiction/fanfic/RPG, why not run it through The Universal Mary Sue Litmus Test and make sure you're not actually writing a self-insert wish-fulfillment fantasy.
posted by The Whelk at 1:33 PM PST - 71 comments

Generation June

Fury, anarchy, martyrdom: Why the youth of Brazil are (forever) protesting, and how their anger may consume the World Cup. (hat tip).
posted by adamvasco at 10:43 AM PST - 13 comments

"The classiest singing and silkiest chops in the singing game"

You'll never find, as long as you live / Someone who loves you tender like I do. / You'll never find, no matter where you search / Someone who cares about you the way I do / [more inside]
posted by growabrain at 10:11 AM PST - 9 comments

But everybody's like Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your... timepiece?

It's the holiday season! Time to relax in front of the TV and shop for some new gear. Sit back and enjoy some of Samsung Mobile's horrifically tone-deaf commercials from 2013. The latest How to pick up women with Samsung Galaxy Gear arguably being the most cringeworthy.

Then there's Samsung doesn't understand Lorde's 'Royals;' uses it to advertise the Galaxy Note 3 to street urchins. Baffled housewife, studious Asian gamer and corporate ladder-climber discover what an SSD is. Samsung Evolution Kits for burpy, farty boyfriends. 10-year old boy in a Bentley (driven by a butler named "Benson") unpacks a Galaxy S4. And here's some coverage of Samsung's "shockingly sexist" Galaxy S4 launch event. [more inside]
posted by phaedon at 10:10 AM PST - 84 comments

When you wish upon a star...

Brenda Schmitz wrote a letter to STAR 102.5′s Christmas Wish in August of 2011 – one month before she passed away from ovarian cancer at the age of 46. She asked her friend to send us her wish once her husband David had found someone else to love him and to help take care of their four boys. David has found someone and Brenda's Christmas wish has been granted.
posted by NoraCharles at 7:55 AM PST - 51 comments

Slow down YouTube with YouTubeSlow

YouTubeSlow is pretty straightforward to use: you can either enter a YouTube URL on the site, or add "slow" to the URL of any YouTube video (remove the "S" from HTTPS, too). Then you can watch speed painting at a slower speed, adjusting the playback speed with a slider. Sorry, the audio doesn't slow down. (Hat tip to Greg_Ace)
posted by filthy light thief at 7:28 AM PST - 4 comments

Allez Cuisine!

"Tell me what you eat, and I'll tell you what you are." -- Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin [more inside]
posted by zarq at 5:39 AM PST - 152 comments

H

Heroin: art and culture's last taboo
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:27 AM PST - 112 comments

Christmas? Bah, humbug!

There's a slight problem with Brighton's Christmas Lights. (SLV, Probably NSFW)
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:13 AM PST - 27 comments

hydra!

Try to defeat the hydra! (Java required.) More about hydra math.
posted by divabat at 1:42 AM PST - 27 comments

December 21

Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume

Sometimes it's hard to remember that there are Holiday songs that aren't about being jolly, rocking around Christmas trees, and drugging your girlfriend's drink. From the dirgelike to the hopelessly obscure, here are some Christmas carols you probably won't hear on Black Friday. [more inside]
posted by Sara C. at 11:02 PM PST - 95 comments

Intuitive Guide to Principles of Communications

Charan Langton (blog) hosts Complex To Real: which "...offers tutorials I have written on various topics in analog and digital communications that will help you cut through this complexity." [more inside]
posted by Confess, Fletch at 9:23 PM PST - 8 comments

An Engineer's Guide to Cats, 2.0

An Engineer's Guide to Cats is a helpful video about cats, time travel, gravity, adorableness. [more inside]
posted by gingerbeer at 8:38 PM PST - 14 comments

The hobbit — an unexpected deficiency

Vitamin D has been proposed to have beneficial effects in a wide range of contexts. We investigate the hypothesis that vitamin D deficiency, caused by both aversion to sunlight and unwholesome diet, could also be a significant contributor to the triumph of good over evil in fantasy literature.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:35 PM PST - 14 comments

Common Arabic female name; said by an amnesiac sun god? (5)

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of Arthur Wynne's creation of the crossword puzzle, Google's homepage hosts a (not terribly difficult) example of the form today.
posted by JHarris at 8:20 PM PST - 26 comments

Duran Duran's "Hungry Like The Wolf" - Isolated Tracks

Duran Duran's "Hungry Like The Wolf" - Isolated Tracks

While not an immediate hit, "Hungry Like the Wolf" is considered a classic song today, due in no small part to the band's use of emerging technology.

“That track came from fiddling with the new technology that was starting to come in”, guitarist Andy Taylor said in an interview with Blender magazine. They joined a Roland TR-808 drum machine with a sequencer and a Roland Jupiter-8 keyboard.

The isolated tracks are a treat to listen to - sadly, Simon Le Bon's vocals are not featured as one of the tracks.
posted by dotgirl at 8:02 PM PST - 25 comments

Meanwhile, on the blue, the thread is flagged as newsfilter

How the media will report the (zombie) apocalypse.
posted by MartinWisse at 5:59 PM PST - 33 comments

A Novel Use

Stuck on that novel or just looking for some writing inspiration? Swing by the WritingPrompts subreddit for a wealth of clever prompts, each with a different set of constraints. Be sure to browse the stories submitted in the comments. [more inside]
posted by spiderskull at 5:49 PM PST - 3 comments

Christmas music that won't make you want smash the stereo.

Bill Adler's Xmas Jollies 2013, via LAtino USA this year. Christmas music. It is bad. There is no escaping it. This playlist might help. [more inside]
posted by vrakatar at 4:17 PM PST - 4 comments

Enoby, Evony, Egogy, and Tara

The worst thing ever written - The terrible, wonderful weirdness of fake fanfiction.
posted by Artw at 4:00 PM PST - 36 comments

That's when you started graphing everything.

The 15 Best Behavioural Science Graphs of 2010-13. [more inside]
posted by aka burlap at 2:59 PM PST - 4 comments

DO YOU WANT TO SING CHRISTMAS CAROLS WITH AMY POEHLER?!?!

Watch as Billy on the Street's Billy Eichner and his Parks and Recreation pal Amy Poehler terrorize people on the streets of Manhattan by forcibly conscripting them into an ad hoc caroling group.... (Begins at 1:25)
posted by The Whelk at 1:27 PM PST - 67 comments

snort snort grunt wheeze

CHRISTMAS PUGS! (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by elizardbits at 1:12 PM PST - 18 comments

Mr. Rick Wakeman on keyboards ... and various other concerns

Whether taking all mankind close to the edge with his keyboard contributions to every punk's favorite prog-rock band Yes, or going it solo (in fully sequined gown) with all Six Wives of Henry VIII all the way to the center of the earth, or perhaps with figure skating Knights of the Round Table, or composing the score for Ken Russell's Liztomania (and "acting" in it), or doing definitive session work for the likes of David Bowie, Black Sabbath, etc, or candidly singing the praises of Christianity and/or Freemasonry ... [more inside]
posted by philip-random at 12:10 PM PST - 34 comments

Once upon a time before photoshop.....

Phillipe Halsman is probably best known for his collaborations with Salvador Dali and for his Jump series.
A Latvian, he was exiled from Austria in 1931 after serving prison time for patricide and went to Paris where his photographic career really began; also this series of magnum galleries shows the full diversification of his work.
Previously.
posted by adamvasco at 9:11 AM PST - 3 comments

Without A Leg to Stand On

John Bell Hood’s Leg — "This marked Hood’s third major combat injury; he had suffered an arrow through the hand while fighting Comanche Indians in 1857, and had lost the function of his left arm after being struck by shell fragments at Gettysburg. Hood was a famous general, but he now faced an outlook shared by hundreds of thousands of other soldiers who were likewise injured during the war. He became dependent on the kindness of strangers, like the Little family, in order to start his long road to recovery in the midst of a realization that he would live the rest of his life as a disabled man." By Brian Craig Miller, New York Times, December 20, 2013.
posted by cenoxo at 9:08 AM PST - 10 comments

What scale did you say that was in?

You or someone you know, at one time or another, might have taken a blade of grass, positioned it between thumbs or fingers, and made some sound, a note or two, by blowing over it. You can actually do the same with certain other things, like, say, fish scales. But chances are that neither you nor anyone you know can make music like the music Marin Toma of Romania, back in the 1930s, made with a fish scale. I mean, hey, just listen to this.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:16 AM PST - 20 comments

BMJ Christmas Edition

Every year the British Medical Journal publishes a special Christmas edition. [more inside]
posted by alby at 5:29 AM PST - 12 comments

Hang a shining star upon the highest bough

Christmases around the world: Children Dancing to《铃儿响叮当》at 2008 Christmas Party, Xiangxiang North Gate Church, Hunan (China; 1:13); "Gloria in Excelsis Deo," Blind Musician on the Side of the Road (Benin; 1:28); Performance by Companhia de Dança de Aveiro at the Portuguese Institute of Oncology Francisco Gentil (Pediatric Section?), Lisbon (Portugal; 3:28); "Aldi's Surfing Santas" Advertisement (Australia; 1:35); Danza de Música Folclórica por la Navidad, Riobamba (Ecuador; 3:18); "A Very Vancouver Christmas," Dan Mangan (Canada; 3:17). [more inside]
posted by Monsieur Caution at 5:04 AM PST - 6 comments

Why is pop music so sad?

Why is pop music so sad? A study (PDF) published in the Journal of Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts tracked the mood of pop songs over five decades of Billboard charts, and it confirms that pop has changed in substantial ways. Over the years, popular recordings became longer in duration and the proportion of female artists increased. There was also an increase in the use of minor mode and a decrease in average tempo, confirming that popular music became more sad-sounding over time. (MP3 podcast) [more inside]
posted by Lanark at 4:56 AM PST - 60 comments

King William's College General Knowledge Paper 2013-14

The 109th issue [pdf] has been released. [more inside]
posted by 7segment at 2:38 AM PST - 141 comments

OED birthday word generator: which words originated in your birth year?

Click on your birth year in the left-hand column to discover your OED birthday word. [more inside]
posted by JujuB at 1:09 AM PST - 109 comments

December 20

The only thing I can compare it to was working with the Sex Pistols.

The oral history of Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back."
posted by Chrysostom at 8:00 PM PST - 73 comments

“My time, unlike your schlong, grows short."

A Christmas Boner is a complete retelling of A Christmas Carol, with the added wrinkle of Scrooge's constant erection. Completely puerile, completely giggle inducing.
posted by yellowbinder at 7:49 PM PST - 27 comments

"James Tiptree, Jr.: two decades of new wave science fiction (1968-88)

"We can go to science fiction for its sense of wonder, its power to take us to far-off places and future times. We can go to political fiction to understand injustice in our own time, to see what should change. We may go to poetry — epic or lyric, old or new — for what cannot change, for a sense of human limits, as well as for the music in its words. And if we want all those things at once — a sense of escape, a sense of injustice, a sense of mortality and an ear for language — we can read the stories of James Tiptree, Jr.," the reclusive, award-winning author whose vague biography started out in the Congo, routed through a period as a painter, then service as a photo intelligence officer in WWII, and finally a researcher and teacher of "soft" sciences before getting to writing science fiction. There was another facet that was only guessed at by some, dismissed by others: the fact that "Uncle Tip," and his reclusive friend, the former school teacher Racoona Sheldon, were the same person. And they were Alice Bradley Sheldon. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 7:32 PM PST - 31 comments

A Tale of Surgically Enhanced Long Distance Love

Collision Detection. "They sit cross-legged, facing each other, six thousand miles apart. Then he strokes her cheek." [Via]
posted by homunculus at 6:55 PM PST - 14 comments

The poo was very large and contained great variety of cake

Tootleg Boy's 'Pride and Prejudice' trilogy comes to an explosive end. [NSFW] [more inside]
posted by AzzaMcKazza at 5:11 PM PST - 8 comments

Enough is Enough

Rhiannon Schneiderman's delightful photography series Lady Manes was just featured on HuffPo. It is very much not safe for work.
posted by showbiz_liz at 4:53 PM PST - 40 comments

La Mujer Mono

Behold! The Heartbreaking, Hair-Raising Tale Of Freak Show Star Julia Pastrana, Mexico’s Monkey Woman
posted by desjardins at 4:35 PM PST - 7 comments

An itinerant scholar for Bayes’ rule

Dennis Lindley, one of the most influential of 20th century statisticians, passed away on December 14 at age 90. Lindley was a strong advocate for Bayesian statistics before it was widely popular. What is Bayesian statistics and why was Dennis Lindley important? [more inside]
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 4:04 PM PST - 13 comments

Bashar Al Assad: An Intimate Profile of a Mass Murderer

And if a series of well-timed massacres by the regime would provoke outrage in the West, Assad also knew that images of carnage would cause Gulf states to arm the Islamist opposition and escalate the sectarian warfare. This was his strategy: to make intervention so unpalatable that the international community would take no steps to alter the course of the conflict. “These jihadists who have come in, largely courtesy of private Gulf money, these are his enemies of choice,” says Frederic C. Hof, the Obama administration’s former envoy to the Syrian opposition and currently a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. “I call it a coalition of co-dependency.” - An in-depth piece in The New Republic Examines Bashar Al Assad
posted by beisny at 3:52 PM PST - 10 comments

RSA Paid by the NSA to screw the USA

"Undisclosed until now was that RSA received $10 million in a deal that set the NSA formula as the preferred, or default, method for number generation in the BSafe software, according to two sources familiar with the contract. Although that sum might seem paltry, it represented more than a third of the revenue that the relevant division at RSA had taken in during the entire previous year, securities filings show." Previous
posted by stoneweaver at 3:41 PM PST - 74 comments

Horse Fancy Dress Ideas

Do you have a horse that you want to dress up in a costume but can't decide which costume? Then check out the Horse Fancy Dress ideas blog. [more inside]
posted by jedicus at 2:25 PM PST - 26 comments

No Rational Reason

A federal judge has ruled Utah's Amendment 3 is unconstitutional. [more inside]
posted by msbutah at 1:44 PM PST - 283 comments

Red Planet Blues

The trouble with terraforming Mars...
posted by Artw at 1:41 PM PST - 73 comments

Nearly 20 Years Ago...

Best known for creating the nostalgic mash-up REMEMBER series (previously), Youtube user Thepeterson teams up with Slackstory to create another video clip time machine: REMEMBER 1994
posted by The Whelk at 1:23 PM PST - 16 comments

Christmas Time in the Trailerpark

Y'all, consisting of Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer and James Dean Jay Byrd, first surfaced in New York city in 1992, touting themselves as the first openly gay country music act. That same year, they preformed Y'all's First Xmas Xtravagaza: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8. [more inside]
posted by 1f2frfbf at 12:41 PM PST - 8 comments

"This is crazy, man, I love it."

International students in Toronto get a heartwarming first Christmas
posted by 256 at 11:01 AM PST - 56 comments

Author Ned Vizzini has died

Young adult author Ned Vizzini has passed away at the age of 32 [more inside]
posted by holmesian at 10:41 AM PST - 50 comments

The Millions's Year In Reading 2013, My Year In Reading 2017

The Millions has finished its Year In Reading for 2013. Sixty-eight people, including Metafilter's own Stephen Dodson, write about the books they read in 2013. Highlights include Choire Sicha, editor at The Awl, Sergio de la Pava, who wrote A Naked Singularity, and Rachel Kushner, who wrote The Flamethrowers. Full list here.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:14 AM PST - 18 comments

Sans Protovision

Michael Walden satisfies a 30-year search for the magazine glimpsed in WarGames with help from the efforts of the Internet Archive.
posted by gilrain at 9:59 AM PST - 62 comments

You are either In or you are Out

There is a fundamental disconnect between large-scale, for-profit media and the crushing power of enthusiasm, which is that when they try to control it, it instantly isn't real. It's patently unreal. It's excitement given life by force, Pet Sematary-style. But when they don't control it, it isn't profitable. And that means that when they run into people excited about their stuff, they vacillate between an Ebenezerian lack of generosity and a Professor-Harold-Hillian smarm. To own enthusiasm and to exploit it are competing instincts, much as they often seem to be twins. You can, in fact, sometimes best exploit it — or only exploit it — by leaving it alone. -- In what could be considered a Metafilter Manifesto, Mefi's own Linda Holmes takes on the multivariate economics of fandom and the internet.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:57 AM PST - 23 comments

The Environmental Disaster You've Never Heard Of

24 million gallons of jet fuel have been leaking from Albuquerque’s Kirtland Air Force Base for 60 some years. And nobody seems very concerned about it.
posted by fontophilic at 9:55 AM PST - 41 comments

Glamour, Virginia Postrel

The book reviewed. The blog. The website. The TED talk. The interview with Nick Gillespie from Reason magazine. [more inside]
posted by bukvich at 9:53 AM PST - 3 comments

A Christmas Offering

...They have got up among themselves a periodical called THE LOWELL OFFERING, "a repository of original articles, written exclusively by females actively employed in the mills," -- which is duly printed, published, and sold; and whereof I brought away from Lowell four hundred good solid pages, which I have read from beginning to end...Of the merits of the Lowell Offering as a literary production I will only observe, putting entirely out of sight the fact of the articles having been written by these girls after the arduous labours of the day, that it will compare advantageously with a great many English Annuals. It is pleasant to find that many of its Tales are of the Mills, and of those who work in them; that they inculcate habits of self-denial and contentment, and teach good doctrines of enlarged benevolence.
On an early leg of his 1842 American tour, Charles Dickens paid a visit to Lowell, Massachusetts, where he toured the famous river-powered textile mills and met some of the thousands of young women employed there. The literary journal he carried away, the Offering, inculcated certain of its benevolent doctrines through stories about Christmas, ghosts, mystic journeys through time and space, and mystic journeys through time and space with ghosts. Soon after his return to England, Dickens published A Christmas Carol. Coincidence? [more inside]
posted by Iridic at 9:36 AM PST - 13 comments

I always feel like somebody's watching me

For years we've been told that our laptop cameras and webcams are "hardwired" to an LED such that the camera can't be turned on without triggering the light. Yeah, you can see where this is going (the original paper). The exploit works on pre-2008 Macs, though other laptops and webcams could be vulnerable to a similar exploit. The researchers have a kernel extension to prevent this on 2007 / 2008 MacBooks. My preferred solution for the rest of us.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:31 AM PST - 96 comments

Whither Academic Freedom

144 characters can ruin a lifetime of work. In September, The University of Kansas suspended a tenured journalism professor for a tweet. On Wednesday, the Kansas Board of Regents adopted a new rule that says that faculty members and other employees can be fired for "improper use of social media", including when the usage "is contrary to the best interest of the university." [more inside]
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 8:17 AM PST - 79 comments

Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown

Live action Peanuts Christmas dance (SLYT)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:16 AM PST - 26 comments

Plastic Beads of Fish Food

    "Tiny plastic beads used in hundreds of toiletries like facial scrubs and toothpastes are slipping through water treatment plants and turning up by the tens of millions in the Great Lakes. " (NYT)
This new environmental threat is particularly worrisome because the beads float and look like fish's normal food. The toxins in the beads tend to degrade slowly, so they bioaccumulate and are passed up the food chain. The majority of the beads appear to enter the lakes when storms cause wastewater treatment plants to overflow.
posted by DoubleLune at 8:16 AM PST - 54 comments

Use tractor as battering ram to bash in gate protecting infidels

An explanation of the most confusing car buttons and symbols is illuminating (what does the "Funk" button do?) but even better is this comment thread featuring an incredibly funny interpretation of some particular obscure symbols. If bad design has you down, look at some of the most amazing in-car graphics for contrast. Jalopnik has been compiling these lists for awhile, with the help of their readers. Some other favorites: the cheapest cars ever sold, the worst highway exits, worst taxi experiences, misleading car names, coolest non-US space projects, oldest military vehicles in service, best car print ads, coolest car keys, and, more practically - things you shouldn't ignore on your car if they go wrong and the 10 cars most recommended by readers.
posted by blahblahblah at 7:58 AM PST - 45 comments

Ugandan Parliament Passes Anti-Homosexuality Bill

After years of speculation and stagnation, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill was reportedly passed by Uganda's parliament. Early reports indicate the bill passed despite a possible lack of quorum. A full history of the bill and additional context on LGBT rights in Uganda can be found here.
posted by duffell at 7:50 AM PST - 26 comments

SCC Strikes Down Prostitution Laws

The Supreme Court of Canada has struck down Canada's prostitution laws saying that bans on street soliciting, brothels and people living off the avails of prostitution are arbitrary and create severe dangers for vulnerable women. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad at 7:12 AM PST - 39 comments

...a small tribute to honour the great legacy of Winamp.

Spotify marks today's death of Winamp (previously) by releasing Spotiamp, a winamp-inspired player for Spotify Premium subscribers with a built-in shoutcast server and compatibility with Winamp visualization plugins. More info and downloads here
posted by namewithoutwords at 7:04 AM PST - 21 comments

8 Inches of Blackberries and 10 Strawberry Jam

Episode 3: Learn how to make Pasta and Jam Sauce with Misha Collins and his son West. [more inside]
posted by Lord_Pall at 6:59 AM PST - 6 comments

The next thing that happens is it’s all over.

What happens when one of your coworkers dies?
posted by ChrisR at 6:50 AM PST - 56 comments

To test price theory, try a cash gift next Valentine's day.

The IGM Economic Experts Panel tackles the Inefficient Santa question: "Giving specific presents as holiday gifts is inefficient, because recipients could satisfy their preferences much better with cash." [more inside]
posted by hawthorne at 4:09 AM PST - 59 comments

"Stop making cookies!"

For the latest edition of The Food Lab J. Kenji Lopez-Alt made 1,536 cookies in search of the perfect chocolate chip cookie.
posted by Karmeliet at 3:36 AM PST - 54 comments

On The Eighth Day, Nobody Rested...

Simpsons animator and cute animal comicker Liz Climo (previously here) is currently doing her own version of "The 12 Days of Christmas" featuring her bear and bunny characters: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8 (and more to come),

Meanwhile, those always wacky and seldom subtle folks at Cards Against Humanity (also previously here) are doing "12 Days of Holiday Bullshit", as 100,000 people reportedly sent them $12 to get 12 daily gifts, also being made available online (including a special Day 8 package for comics lovers!) [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:03 AM PST - 18 comments

Origins of Common User Interface Symbols.

Ever wanted to know why the Bluetooth symbol looks like it does, or what the deal is with the logo on the Command button on Apple keyboards? This link, which tells the story behind the design of many common user interface symbols, has got you covered.
posted by Effigy2000 at 12:36 AM PST - 28 comments

December 19

Google knows where you've been

Google Location History- LifeHacker tells you how to delete your history (you need to be logged into google to use this link) and turn off Google location tracking on your phone.
posted by HuronBob at 8:11 PM PST - 47 comments

Unconstitutional, unworkable, or politically unsustainable

In 2011, Alabama passed perhaps the country's toughest immigration law, seeking to push undocumented immigrants out (previously). In October 2013, the state agreed to permanently block major portions of the law in response to lawsuits. Two years on, popular opinion and political momentum have largely turned against the law, and the immigrants are mostly still there.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:30 PM PST - 22 comments

aᓌozı7n

Content aware typography. A software algorithm transmutes a mix of familiar and classic graphics and logos into something else altogether.
posted by ardgedee at 7:26 PM PST - 31 comments

Jewel Box Sun, seeing the sun through different lights

"This video of the sun based on data from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, shows the wide range of wavelengths -- invisible to the naked eye -- that the telescope can view. SDO converts the wavelengths into an image humans can see, and the light is colorized into a rainbow of colors." And because it's NASA, you can download the video in various formats.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:24 PM PST - 9 comments

NSA says: squeeeeeee!

The attack can extract full 4096-bit RSA decryption keys from laptop computers ... within an hour ... using either a plain mobile phone placed next to the computer, or a more sensitive microphone placed 4 meters away. RSA Key Extraction via Low-Bandwidth Acoustic Cryptanalysis [more inside]
posted by flabdablet at 6:56 PM PST - 46 comments

A GRAT Idea Whose Time Has Come

Grantor retained annuity trusts are a method that the ultra rich use to avoid gift taxes. Many lawyers insist that these trusts are a cornerstone of any sound estate plan.
posted by reenum at 6:30 PM PST - 22 comments

Strategic Computing Initiative

DARPA Tried to Build Skynet in the 1980s.
posted by homunculus at 6:15 PM PST - 8 comments

Noblesse N'Oblige Pas.

The Endgame for Democracy: A short essay by Bill Moyers. [SLYT]
posted by phaedon at 5:56 PM PST - 31 comments

μὴ ζῴην μετ᾽ ἀμουσίας

How Did Ancient Greek Music Sound?
The music of ancient Greece, unheard for thousands of years, is being brought back to life by Armand D'Angour, a musician and tutor in classics at Oxford University. He describes what his research is discovering.
Song Of The Sirens [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 5:19 PM PST - 12 comments

$40 Million Canada Lottery Philanthropist

The Tom Baker Cancer Centre is the first recipient of winnings from the Calgary lottery player who won $40 million and pledged to give it all away. Is writing cheques the best solution to his problem or would setting up some trusts be better?
posted by PixelPiper at 4:42 PM PST - 18 comments

"We are open even during air-raid drills"

Japanese Film Posters in the Prewar Period: Part 1
Japanese Film Posters in the Prewar Period: Part 2
Japanese Film Theaters in the Prewar Period: Part 1 Asakusa, Tokyo
Japanese Film Theaters in the Prewar Period: Part 2 Ginza/Yurakucho/Hibiya, Tokyo
Japanese Film Theaters in the Prewar Period: Part 3 Shinjuku/Shibuya/Kanda/Roppongi, Tokyo
posted by timshel at 4:05 PM PST - 4 comments

Lil Bub for Your Home

Lil Bub in front of a fireplace. For an hour! It's the new Fireplace for Your Home.
posted by cjorgensen at 4:03 PM PST - 44 comments

Why Russell Brand is banned in Guantanamo Bay.

Clive amuses himself (and me) by testing what the censors will let through.
I have been cleared to leave here for over half of my time behind bars – first by the Bush administration in 2007 and then by the Obama government in 2009 – and yet I remain here. - Shaker Aamer.
posted by adamvasco at 2:49 PM PST - 21 comments

Look What Uncle Jack Sent Me In An Email

39 Test Answers That Are 100% Wrong These are actually pretty fun.
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:18 PM PST - 135 comments

I don't want him to go.

The first proper trailer for Matt Smith's ultimate episode as the eleventh Doctor, "The Time Of The Doctor" dropped today. And apparently a star-studded tribute to Smith was made as a companion piece.
posted by mediocre at 1:48 PM PST - 231 comments

Violent Recipes

The author of the infamous "Anarchist Cookbook" has had a change of heart. "Over the years, I have come to understand that the basic premise behind the Cookbook is profoundly flawed," he writes in the Guardian.
posted by chrchr at 1:47 PM PST - 81 comments

More with less

Guitar maker at Dzaleka Refugee Camp, Malawi
posted by Wolof at 1:36 PM PST - 13 comments

Personal Development gurus can get away with anything, so why can't you?

When is "life hacking" simply what we used to call selfishness? Jen Dziura takes on blogger James Altucher's recent Quora piece, How to Break All the Rules and Get Everything You Want.
posted by cairdeas at 1:23 PM PST - 135 comments

Sitting On Knees

For 34 Years, two brothers have had thier picture taken with Santa.
posted by The Whelk at 1:15 PM PST - 28 comments

Do you love robots, and christmas music? You're in luck!

The Festive Funk Machine is a fun little Incredibox-esque christmas music making website. [more inside]
posted by DigDoug at 12:55 PM PST - 8 comments

New Mexico Fully Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage

Following the state Supreme Court's decision in Griego v. Oliver [pdf], New Mexico has become the 17th U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage. [more inside]
posted by jedicus at 12:43 PM PST - 59 comments

The devil take your stereo and your comic collection!

"You live now, Adam Ant, as you have lived many times throughout history, fighting evil wherever you may find it!"
posted by scody at 12:11 PM PST - 29 comments

The 52 Pages: Illustrated rules outline for refereed fantasy adventures

Does the world really need another “fantasy role- playing game”? Why take yet another try at improving those old-school adventure rules? Good questions. People who run such games and write about them online tend to kit-build their own rules. On these grounds I decided to present my own game notes in modular form, that people could choose from and use.
52 Pages 1.0 (PDF) by Roger the GS. [via]
posted by griphus at 12:10 PM PST - 26 comments

Bare Necessity

Glass Box Public Toilet with a Garden
posted by maggieb at 11:53 AM PST - 42 comments

...which is where the Spirt Cards Come In

The creators of Parks and Recreation often express their fandoms through their Nerd Spirit Animal, Ben Wyatt. After dropping references to Catan, Batman, baseball sabrmetrics to name but a few, Ben's geeky awesomeness reached a new height in a recent episode, in a scene where he shows off his new board game, the Cones of Dunshire. (Poorer quality version for non-USians) The pretend game was created specifically for the scene by Mayfair Games, makers of Settlers of Catan. Hot on its tail, Vulture presents An Oral History of the Cones of Dunshire scene. (via Vulture's micro-oral histories week, recently previously)
posted by dry white toast at 11:02 AM PST - 118 comments

What information do data brokers have, and how do they use it?

From the testimony, PDF of Pam Dixon (World Privacy Forum) before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation:
What do a retired librarian in Wisconsin in the early stages of Alzheimer's, a police officer, and a mother in Texas have in common? The answer is that all were victims of consumer data brokers.
[more inside]
posted by rjs at 10:53 AM PST - 10 comments

The Real Wolves of Wall Street

While the world eagerly (or not so eagerly) awaits the Christmas Day release of "The Wolf of Wall Street" an entirely different class of Wall Street Wolves (Although really Stamford CT) get their comeuppance in a courtroom in lower Manhattan [more inside]
posted by JPD at 10:23 AM PST - 15 comments

Video Game Foliage

Video Game Foliage. "Making spaces for games is a strange and interesting art. Not being bound by physical limitations makes it possible to create impossible structures, but being bound by the technical limitations of modern computer graphics makes it difficult to create accurate simulacra of even simple objects. So video games cheat, using approximations to create the desired aesthetic result. Plant approximations are especially hard, since organic structures tend to be difficult to describe in terms that graphics cards understand. This creates an interesting design constraint. How do you create representations of plants given the limitations of realtime rendering? I plan to use this blog to show a bunch of games that choose different answers to this question. I hope you’ll join me in looking into the weird world of video game foliage." [more inside]
posted by kmz at 10:07 AM PST - 31 comments

Why find more? Unburnable carbon as financial assets.

There is another bubble. Before it's burned, Coal, Oil and Gas sit for years on the balance sheets of private (and national) resource companies, as "known reserve" assets. Assets that, someday, will become revenues. Or will they? And if they won't, what will the balance sheets of ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, Petrochina, and Gazprom actually look like? [more inside]
posted by anthill at 9:59 AM PST - 22 comments

Witchling

A lovely webcomic by Renee Nault.
posted by Kitteh at 9:40 AM PST - 9 comments

What's That Clinging To The Towering Wall And Why Doesn't It Fall Off?

What's That Clinging To The Towering Wall And Why Doesn't It Fall Off?
posted by Daddy-O at 9:36 AM PST - 30 comments

Born sinner, the opposite of a winner

Why is there Poverty? An Animated History. From WhyPoverty.net. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:18 AM PST - 5 comments

Guard your card!

Target says they've suffered a data breach that may have exposed 40 million credit card transactions since the end of November. [more inside]
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:06 AM PST - 154 comments

Plate of (fake) blue

Beans (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:55 AM PST - 10 comments

"What a spooky song for Yuletide!"

Rasputina, purveyor of strange and historical modern Victorian show-tunes, has released a typically cello-creaky/creepy version of God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen.

If that's not enough, Melora has another Christmas song for you!

"Cult of the Virgin touches on born-again virginity, but at it's core it examines some of the misconceptions around immaculate conception, and I know whereof I speak."
posted by Bourbonesque at 8:50 AM PST - 5 comments

2013: The Year 'the Stream' Crested

"Information is increasingly being distributed and presented in real-time streams instead of dedicated Web pages. The shift is palpable, even if it is only in its early stages," Erick Schonfeld wrote. "Web companies large and small are embracing this stream. It is not just Twitter. It is Facebook and Friendfeed and AOL and Digg and Tweetdeck and Seesmic Desktop and Techmeme and Tweetmeme and Ustream and Qik and Kyte and blogs and Google Reader. The stream is winding its way throughout the Web and organizing it by nowness."
[more inside]
posted by Elementary Penguin at 8:45 AM PST - 30 comments

Jezebel, Actually

I Rewatched Love Actually And Am Here To Ruin It All For You
posted by litleozy at 8:40 AM PST - 98 comments

Cortylandia, Cortylandia ¡Vamos todos a cantar!

"Every year since 1979, madrileños young and old have lined the streets, craning their necks for 15 minutes each hour to see the Cortylandia show – music, blinking lights and singing puppets different every year. Celebrating Christmas in Madrid is incomplete without seeing Cortylandia." [more inside]
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 7:52 AM PST - 4 comments

Hacktacular!

The 2013 edition of Salon's annual Hack List is out, and this year, Salon hackmaster Alex Pareene has stirred the pot of hackery by "channel[ing] each hack's unique voice" and "let[ting] them 'write' their own entries." [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu at 7:24 AM PST - 69 comments

Pretend you're a cool ghost.

From Retronaut, please enjoy these stylish selections from the 1990 J.C. Penney Christmas Catalog. Come for the Beetlejuice pajamas, stay for the "ice-washed" denim overalls.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:19 AM PST - 120 comments

The only known case of braces interlocking during a kiss.

"The story surfaced after the St. Louis-based American Association of Orthodontists surveyed some of its 15,500 members in early January [2008] to find any known, publicized case confirming that classic orthodontic myth: If two sweeties in braces kiss long enough, they get stuck."
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 3:33 AM PST - 6 comments

The Welfare Queen

Slate.com reports on the story of the woman behind Ronald Reagan's "welfare queen in a Cadillac" story: "When I set out in search of Linda Taylor, I hoped to find the real story of the woman who played such an outsize role in American politics—who she was, where she came from, and what her life was like before and after she became the national symbol of unearned prosperity. What I found was a woman who destroyed lives, someone far more depraved than even Ronald Reagan could have imagined. In the 1970s alone, Taylor was investigated for homicide, kidnapping, and baby trafficking. The detective who tried desperately to put her away believes she’s responsible for one of Chicago’s most legendary crimes, one that remains unsolved to this day. Welfare fraud was likely the least of the welfare queen’s offenses... In the aftermath of that Tribune article—and the one published two weeks later that gave Taylor her famous nickname—Sherwin and his partner were detailed to the investigative unit of the state Senate’s Legislative Advisory Committee on Public Aid. The detective had been looking into a wide range of Taylor’s crimes, but now a police matter had become a political one. The welfare fraud, it seemed, was all that mattered. For the Chicago burglary detective, Linda Taylor was never really the welfare queen. He believed she was a kidnapper and a baby seller. Maybe something worse."
posted by bookman117 at 12:24 AM PST - 52 comments

December 18

Evidence-based software development

Greg Wilson talks about What We Actually Know About Software Development, and Why We Believe It's True (slides for one iteration of this talk) [more inside]
posted by Jpfed at 10:40 PM PST - 51 comments

Multilingual children's books that can be read online

International Children's Digital Library Treasure trove of children's books that can be read online in many languages from Amharic to Vietnamese.
posted by Listener at 10:21 PM PST - 6 comments

Socialism: Converting Hysterical Misery into Ordinary Unhappiness

In real (or at least our preferred) life, we do have other, better things to do. We have books to read, children to raise, friends to meet, loved ones to care for, amusements to enjoy, drinks to drink, walks to take, webs to surf, couches to lie on, games to play, movies to see, protests to make, movements to build, marches to march, and more. Most days, we don’t have time to do any of that. We’re working way too many hours for too little pay, and in the remaining few hours (minutes) we have, after the kids are asleep, the dishes are washed, and the laundry is done, we have to haggle with insurance companies about doctor’s bills, deal with school officials needing forms signed, and more.
posted by latkes at 8:26 PM PST - 129 comments

Utah3D

Utah3D. Highlights include the Bonneville Salt Flats, Goblin Valley and Cedar Breaks National Monument.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 8:00 PM PST - 11 comments

SMS Is Passe

Japan and other Asian countries have moved from SMS to smart phone messaging apps, with great success for all.
posted by reenum at 6:27 PM PST - 91 comments

The Lady Who Shot Lee Morgan

If You Didn't Know Already Morgan was killed in the early hours of February 19, 1972, at Slug's Saloon, a jazz club in New York City's East Village where his band was performing. Following an altercation between sets, Morgan's common-law wife Helen More (a.k.a. Morgan), shot him. The injuries were not immediately fatal, but the ambulance service was reluctant to go into the neighborhood where the club was located. They took so long to get there that Morgan bled to death. He was 33 years old. According to an eyewitness, Miss More (13 years his senior) walked out of the club just before the last set. She returned and the band was already on stage. Lee was trying to get up there, but was talking with some people. He just started to get up the stage, when she entered and called his name. He turned around and she shot him. She then turned the gun on the club's doorman Ernie Holman, who grabbed her wrist and took the gun away from her. She started to scream, "Baby, what have I done?" and ran to him. She was later committed to a mental institution for some time. Soon after, Helen Morgan returned to her native North Carolina. Reportedly she never spoke publicly of the incident, until she granted an interview a month before her death. She died in Wilmington, NC, from a heart condition, in March 1996. [more inside]
posted by metagnathous at 5:31 PM PST - 22 comments

"What is actually in my herbal supplement?"

Examine.com is "an independent organization that presents un-biased research on supplements and nutrition," and aggregates and analyzes studies on various supplements.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 4:44 PM PST - 36 comments

Photoshop can make you into an ideal image, for the holidays

"Ad agencies go to disturbing lengths to create the perfect image. Guess we're no different." Victors&Spoils takes the "regular woman to ad-agency image" video (info) a (seasonal) step further.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:38 PM PST - 6 comments

GitHub removes anti-feminist satire from code repo

In the wake of a questionable article about feminist programming languages, a group of trolls leapt on the idea to create a parodic implementation. GitHub promptly removed the code repository, as did BitBucket, but the latter restored it amid the controversy. More commentary from Slashdot and Twitter.
posted by vira at 4:30 PM PST - 138 comments

Hey, Dick! It's Mike Duffy

Mike Duffy has unique, personalized greetings for the Gregg, Greg, Elisabeth, and Elizabeth (among many others) in your life
posted by Copronymus at 4:19 PM PST - 54 comments

P.L Travers, Walt Disney and the "Brand Deposit"

Is Saving Mr. Banks, Disney's retelling of the events surrounding the adaptation of Mary Poppins a corporate, borderline-sexist spoonful of lies which throws author P. L. Travers under the bus?
posted by Artw at 4:18 PM PST - 69 comments

Science Fiction stamps

Science fiction themed stamps from around the world.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 4:07 PM PST - 8 comments

...and I hear the Union Jack's to remain

If the drive for Scottish independence succeeds, what should be done about the Union Jack?
posted by Chrysostom at 3:49 PM PST - 44 comments

Ghosts of Evolution

After a species goes extinct, in some cases its "ghost" may linger in the ecosystem it leaves behind in the form of evolutionary anachronisms. [more inside]
posted by brundlefly at 3:49 PM PST - 11 comments

Noclip

"Noclip" is a fake trailer, for a movie that, for now, is not going to be made, about the incredible power of its characters to defy the physics of the world they live in, almost as if they were cheating a videogame.
posted by Lorc at 2:10 PM PST - 30 comments

COLOR BY TECHNICOLOR

Of course matte art has for a long time played a major part in Hollywood's recreation of the old west, with effects shots ranging from simple top ups of mood enhancing skies right through to entire recreations of frontier settings to often wonderful effect. Todays blog will take a look at some of those marvellous visions - the product of the many often uncredited artists who worked tirelessly in the various studio matte departments.

Mattes Ride The Range: The art of the matte shot in Westerns
posted by timshel at 1:55 PM PST - 8 comments

i dont care what you say this video game character is my boyfriend

If you've ever dreamed of making out with one of the villainous cats from Mappy or getting into a love triangle with the spaceship from Galaga and a talking Taiko drum, enrolment at Namco High is now open. [more inside]
posted by emmtee at 1:07 PM PST - 50 comments

"... it feels like it was all for nothing. Nothing pays off."

7 New Yorkers About to Lose Their Unemployment Benefits Tell Their Stories
posted by The Whelk at 1:05 PM PST - 139 comments

It's OK, you can admit it.

Conan O'Brien once again catches local news media recycling the same joke, over and over, this time for christmas. [more inside]
posted by anazgnos at 11:22 AM PST - 122 comments

Man emerges from bunker 14 years after Y2K scare.

January 1, 2000 was the day that our computers were meant to fail us and change our lives forever. It was also the day that 44 year old Norman Feller headed into his underground bunker over fears of the fallout from the Y2K virus. Remarkably Mr. Feller spent the next 14 years in isolation only to emerge this past September. [more inside]
posted by Telf at 10:29 AM PST - 90 comments

"Are you ready to find love in Alderaan places?"

Regret the Error: The best and worst media errors and corrections in 2013 [more inside]
posted by zarq at 10:18 AM PST - 41 comments

The Unimog

"With the exception of a tank, this is the most capable production vehicle on the planet." [more inside]
posted by Sokka shot first at 9:36 AM PST - 42 comments

Hope your holiday is [sunglasses] out of this world!

Like sending out Christmas cards but prefer something light on the Santas and Jesuses? The Hubble Telescope is here to help you out with a whole line of free-to-download-and-print holiday-themed greeting cards!
posted by phunniemee at 9:27 AM PST - 7 comments

I LOL'd.

"Impossible to Tell," by Robert Pinsky (via)
posted by anotherpanacea at 9:04 AM PST - 8 comments

Worst Case Scenarios

The Coming ‘Instant Planetary Emergency’ [more inside]
posted by eviemath at 8:13 AM PST - 254 comments

I don't care, I love it

While traditional music venues offer their usual Best Albums (or whatever) of the Year round-ups, Spotify confers with a different set of experts of find out what songs and musicians were most important to 2013: You.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:05 AM PST - 58 comments

6 haircuts/year x $20 per haircut x 10 years = $1200 in savings.

FLOWBEE OFFICIAL HOW TO
HOW NOT TO
HOW TO WITH A PARROT
HOW TO ON LIVE TV
HOW HOW?
DELUX EDITION
SHAVE YOUR OWN HEAD BY ACCIDENT
MISHAP FLIGHT

(Who orchistrated this downfall?)
(Battle of the Titans: FlowBee vs. RoboCut) [more inside]
posted by grobstein at 7:43 AM PST - 42 comments

The X-Men are curious (black)

"Simply changing the skin color of the mutants obviously doesn’t address all of the issues around privilege in the Marvel Universe. The visual and narrative sexism that permeates superhero comics remains intact. Some characteristics of white characters also become negative stereotypes when applied to non-white characters. Wolverine is a symbol of wild, untamed, white male power, but when I recolor his skin to imagine him as a person of color, his snarling, predatory aggression reads as a stereotype of wild black men." -- Orion Martin reimagines the X-Men as mutants of colour to make clear why the idea of mutant discrimination as standin for real world issues is problematic. He does so by recolouring some famous X-men images. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse at 7:18 AM PST - 104 comments

Faces of Real Estate

Designer/Artist Phil Jones decided to do something to both honor and play with those ubiquitous real estate ads on bus benches seen in cities by recreating every photo of a realtor with a picture of himself, then pasting it over the originals. It's odd, amazing and Buzzfeed of all people has some followup with the artist.
posted by mathowie at 7:15 AM PST - 39 comments

A Christmas Cooky Memory

Quick: What does this book mean to you? Does that image make you crave Snickerdoodles? Or Hermits? Chocolate Crinkles? SO MANY COOKIES. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:54 AM PST - 46 comments

Rethinking School Privatization in Sweden

20 years ago, Sweden passed a series of reforms that encouraged privatization of its schools. In addition to making it easier to create new schools, the new laws made it legal for private, profit-seeking companies to open schools. For over a decade, these reforms were hailed as a market-driven success story, as market share private schools grew. Earlier this year, the bankruptcy of Sweden's largest private school operator and questions about school quality has some in Sweden rethinking its privatization experiment.
posted by snickerdoodle at 6:49 AM PST - 27 comments

"the vast majority of cars are colorless: white, gray and black"

San Diego Study #3: Midday Traffic Time Collapsed and Reorganized by Car Color
posted by ardgedee at 2:54 AM PST - 106 comments

Ronnie Biggs has caught the train to the afterlife

Great Train Robbery brazen villain, rock star, former fugitive and former prisoner, and cultural icon, the always colourful Ronnie Biggs, has died. [more inside]
posted by Mezentian at 2:07 AM PST - 47 comments

December 17

Breathe Me

The Oral History of the Six Feet Under Finale’s Death Montage
posted by guiseroom at 7:02 PM PST - 73 comments

The Pareto of our Discontent

College football attracts a lot of rabid fans. Of late, college football (and football in general) has also attracted an increasing number of stats enthusiasts peddling increasingly obscure metrics to quantify success and failure. At MGoBlog, a popular Michigan fan blog, one intrepid poster has turned the statistics tools on the fanbase itself. A Season in Profanity details the usage of various swear words in open game threads. Among the relationships detailed are the usage of various colorful expressions by game, mood of the fan base by opponent, swearing efficiency, which coach(es) should be fired, and even the individual play outcomes that inspired the greatest amount of swearing. As it was kind of a rough season for the team, there was a substantial amount of data to comb through. [more inside]
posted by Existential Dread at 6:00 PM PST - 13 comments

Mary! Did you hear that?

Ship My Trousers(SLYT, PepsiBlue) Previously
posted by donut_princess at 4:53 PM PST - 29 comments

BBC jumps the shark

A reporter conducting vox pops re the Heathrow extension snags an a somewhat unexpected interviewee
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:15 PM PST - 61 comments

How to make iced tea in Twin Peaks

How to make iced tea in Twin Peaks
posted by Rory Marinich at 3:57 PM PST - 23 comments

The fall of the house of Tsarnaev

A five month Boston Globe investigation of the Boston Marathon bombers
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:19 PM PST - 45 comments

"Some stories start at the end."

Robert Redford's Restless Solitude
Redford started Sundance because the movies he wanted to see – ones with story and characters – weren't being made in Hollywood. The only problem is he was so successful that Hollywood decided to devour his Xanadu, with premium vodka parties and assistants scouring the Park City Albertsons for Fiji water. "It makes me fucking nuts," says Redford. He has physically distanced himself from the film festival, making only occasional cameos. "It has moved out of what I had as a comfort zone. It's moved beyond, to where I'm uneasy about it." Redford talks with sadness about his wayward film child, ticking off the rise of ambush marketers and swag bags, as if it is all out of his control, a stance that Redford's skeptics claim is evidence he sees himself as a reluctant, tragic hero – not only in his movies but also in the story of his life.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:55 PM PST - 29 comments

Denise Richards, nuclear physicist

50 Performances That Ruined Movies [deslided version here]
posted by Chrysostom at 1:16 PM PST - 373 comments

Giving Back

"After two to three hours, the body is transformed into a sterile coffee-colored liquid the consistency of motor oil that can be safely poured down the drain, alongside a dry bone residue similar in appearance to cremated remains." GOOD magazine: The emergence of the sustainable death industry.
posted by The Whelk at 12:56 PM PST - 93 comments

In Greenspan's book, ideology trumps data

Greenspan’s Iron Law is that the sum of these two numbers is approximately constant, at least for the last half-century in the United States. That is a pretty fraught claim: it means that every time the United States adds a billion dollars to Social Security benefits or Medicare payments or unemployment insurance outlays we are forcing a billion-dollar reduction in family saving or in the retained earnings of business, or an increase in government deficits, or some combination of these. ... So what is the evidence for it? Nobel-prize winning economist Robert Solow finds Alan Greenspan's latest book to be ideologically driven and embarrassing, a pity for someone who, Solow writes, was, when looking at his whole tenure, a very good chairman of the Fed.
posted by shivohum at 12:25 PM PST - 28 comments

"They are Christmas Jammies."

XMAS JAMMIES - Merry Christmas from the Holderness Family! - a video Christmas card that is cute and bound to get stuck in your head. [slyt | via]
posted by quin at 11:36 AM PST - 106 comments

I Got Myself Arrested So I Could Look Inside the Justice System

"From Brownsville to downtown Manhattan, I would estimate that I passed more than 200 police officers, some from a distance, some close enough to touch. Though I was conspicuously casing high-profile public targets while holding graffiti instruments, not one of them stopped, frisked, searched, detained, summonsed, or arrested me. I would have to go further."
posted by katemonster at 10:16 AM PST - 147 comments

Winter is... you know the rest

Game of Thrones inspired snowflake patterns for when you want to get your pop-culture fantasy geek on, but in a subtle way this holiday season.
posted by mathowie at 10:15 AM PST - 16 comments

"You think you can do that to me?"

After the title character died at the end of Buffy the Vampire Slayer's fifth season (a season that included the death of Buffy's mom), the writers knew that the show had to be a little less dark in its sixth year. Hence the formation of The Trio, a triad of nerds who acted like they thought villains should act, got in way over their heads, and ended up, in the words of writer Drew Z. Greenberg, "tear[ing] the family apart in a way they’ve never been hurt before."
posted by Etrigan at 8:49 AM PST - 327 comments

Dad?

"What happened to Homeland this season?" (Major spoilers throughout!) [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:58 AM PST - 179 comments

"My God! It's full of LED stars!"

All it takes is a regular mirror, a two-way mirror and some LED lights and BAM! you have yourself an Infinity Mirror. Chances are you've seen one or two before at science museums, but you can make one of your own (either large or small). Then there is Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama (previously), who has done a series of "Infinity Room" art projects over the years. The latest of which can be found at the David Zwirner gallery in New York City (but hurry! The show ends this Saturday).
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 7:31 AM PST - 30 comments

Icelandic traditions: the Yule Cat, Gryla, and the 13 Yuletide Lads

The Yule Cat, called Jólakötturinn or Jólaköttur in its native Iceland, is something in the lines of a holiday threat. Those who don't work hard and make, earn, or receive new clothes before Yule will be devoured by Jólakötturinn, as told in the poem by Jóhannes Bjarni Jónasson (original poem with some illustrations). Myths say that Jólakötturinn belongs to the ogress Grýla, mother of the 13 "Yule Lad" trolls. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 7:06 AM PST - 22 comments

Socrates in his own words

An introduction to Socrates in his own words through Plato by Michael Griffin, Assistant Professor of Greek Philosophy at the University of British Columbia [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb at 7:05 AM PST - 20 comments

A Barkeeper Entering the Kingdom of Heaven

Mark Twain famously derided Jane Austen (who would have had her 238th birthday yesterday), saying (among other things) that he could not read her prose even if paid a salary to do so. But what did Twain really think about Austen's work?
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 6:59 AM PST - 63 comments

Recreation, Drinking, and Sea Monkeys

This guy really wants to sell his sailboat.
posted by pjern at 6:30 AM PST - 42 comments

Cartons, not contents

The Eggnog Project is the collection of Madeleine Eiche. "The peculiarities of the packaging range from festive to banal, minimal to unappetizing, and each seem to be printed with complete disregard for color alignment. It is precisely these things that make for such compelling kitsch."
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:21 AM PST - 57 comments

Frosting has more integrity than your ex-boyfriend.

Christmas Cookies For Singles [SLYT]
posted by NoraReed at 4:17 AM PST - 22 comments

December 16

The 2013 Black List

The 2013 Black List has been released.  For those unfamiliar, the “Black List” is a list of the most liked unproduced screenplays circulating around Hollywood, as voted on by over 250 film executives, and past Black List scripts include The Social Network, Saving Mr. Banks, The King’s Speech, and Slumdog Millionaire.
posted by Artw at 6:53 PM PST - 124 comments

The Tomb of the Warrior Prince

In September, Italian archaeologists removed a slab door in Tarquinia and entered an untouched, newly discovered Etruscan tomb (Slideshow: Entry to Tomb, Pictures of Contents) There was much excitement to find the intact tomb of a high-status man - a warrior, a prince, a man of importance, with a lance, grave goods, and the remains of his wife. Or so it was trumpeted by the discovering team and the media. A month later … the figure on the wider slab with the lance turns out to be the female, and the man was on the other slab. Whoops! Judith Weingarten writes about the assumptions made before and after the osteological analysis (and Part II). [more inside]
posted by julen at 6:27 PM PST - 14 comments

Where Are the People?

The waning influence of evangelical Christianity can be seen through the story of Orange County's Crystal Cathedral.
posted by reenum at 6:16 PM PST - 59 comments

Some Essays by Hilton Als

This year's critical darling essay collection -- Junot Diaz's favorite read of the year (#), Michael Robbins's pick for best book of the year (#) -- is White Girls by Hilton Als. Mentions of Als are infrequent on Metafilter, so I thought I would share a Readlist collection of his stuff (that has a bit of overlap with the book).
posted by AceRock at 5:14 PM PST - 3 comments

Historic ruling: NSA Mass Phone Surveillance Likely Unconstitutional

A federal judge in Washington, DC ruled today that the mass phone records surveillance revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden is likely unconstitutional. [previously on Metafilter] Judge Leon wrote: “The question before me is not the same question that the Supreme Court confronted in Smith” and is “a far cry from the issue in this case.” [annotated by Spencer Ackerman, original PDF here.]
Journalist Glenn Greenwald, who broke the story, responds on MSNBC.
posted by anemone of the state at 4:53 PM PST - 87 comments

Would you believe...

What do you need to be an international CONTROL super spy fighting the forces of KAOS? A Shoe-Phone. A Cone of Silence. A Bulletproof Invisible Wall and a Laser Blazer. Then, and only then, can you Get Smart. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 3:43 PM PST - 52 comments

FDA to Require Proof That Antibacterial Soaps Are Safe

F.D.A. to Require Proof That Antibacterial Soaps Are Safe - SLNYT
posted by Evilspork at 1:50 PM PST - 96 comments

Ghosts On The Record

It used to be that a CD or good old fashioned 12" vinyl would simply play, and your only indication of when it was about to end would be the album tracklisting printed on the sleeve. Hearing another song start up just as you thought the album was finished and got up to change the record was always an unexpected thrill - a surprise encore in your bedroom, a sort of reward for listening right through to the end. Yes, the iPod and its many variants have transformed the way people listen to music, but as someone who grew up waiting excitedly when an album finished to see if there was an extra hidden treat at the end of an album, I'll always see the death of the secret song as the sad flipside of its success. [more inside]
posted by mannequito at 1:44 PM PST - 76 comments

The Last of the Unjust

In 1941, the Nazis turned the the Czech fortress and town of Terezin into the ghetto of Theresienstadt. The ghetto was a transit center as well as a camp for high-profile people, and was turned into a "model Jewish settlement" in preparation for a Red Cross visit in 1944. The "embellishment" had the desired propaganda outcome - a "positive report."
While researching Shoah, Claude Lanzmann interviewed Benjamin Murmelstein, the last surviving member of the Jewish Council of the Elders in Theresienstadt. That footage is now in a new film, "The Last Of The Unjust." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:36 PM PST - 4 comments

Paul van Hoeydonck's Fallen Astronaut

The Sculpture on the Moon. "Scandals and conflicts obscured one of the most extraordinary achievements of the Space Age."
posted by homunculus at 1:20 PM PST - 25 comments

Howardcantour.com

Howardcantour.com is a short film about an online film critic, directed by Shia LaBeouf and starring Jim Gaffigan. [via]
posted by brundlefly at 1:10 PM PST - 104 comments

just a bit of what you might call magic, perhaps

Christopher Lee reads 'The Monkey's Paw' by W.W. Jacobs
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:36 PM PST - 8 comments

The will change everything!

How Global Warming Works in 1.2 Minutes (via)
posted by cjorgensen at 12:34 PM PST - 31 comments

Professor Xavier is a JERK!

On the heels of firing Wolverine, Professor X makes some additional personnel changes. [more inside]
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:30 PM PST - 22 comments

Today, however, simply living together doesn’t amount to being "married"

On Friday, federal court judge Judge Clark Waddoups issued a ruling stating that parts of Utah’s polygamy laws, including the statute that criminalizes cohabitation, is unconstitutional. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:17 AM PST - 153 comments

"O Pruney Night, the stars are slightly wrinkled"

Presenting Will Vinton's Emmy-award winning A Claymation Christmas Celebration (1987) [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor at 9:45 AM PST - 19 comments

Keeping Little Breaths Flowing

The trachea, or windpipe, of a young child is about the width of a drinking straw, and if food or a small object is inhaled instead of swallowed, it can block the airway. Even when something is swallowed and becomes lodged in a child’s throat or esophagus, it may compress the trachea enough to impair breathing. After just four minutes without oxygen, a child’s brain can be permanently damaged. - A NYTimes piece gives useful advice on preventing and responding to a young child's choking
posted by beisny at 9:38 AM PST - 31 comments

"...nobody matters less to our society than young black women. Nobody."

R. Kelly's latest album, Black Panties, was released earlier this month to great praise from music and feminist outlets alike. However, Kelly's continued success has brought his history of sexual abuse and pedophilia back into the spotlight. Chicago-based music journalist Jim Derogatis speaks with the Village Voice about his coverage of Kelly's court appearances. On WBEZ, DeRogatis and several music critics, fans, and professors to discuss the intersection of Kelly's music and his offstage behavior.
posted by pxe2000 at 8:36 AM PST - 165 comments

Tawdry Toons/Puerile Panels/Gags to Make You Gag

Much like its former publisher, the cover art for pornographic magazine SCREW could be described as “crude, rude, infantile, obnoxious, and dirty," as well as gross, misogynistic, and really NSFW. But it has also featured work from such terrific cartoonists as Tony Millionaire, Wally Wood, Spain Rodriguez, Renee French, and many others. Frequent contributor Danny Hellman presents SCREW: The Unofficial Cover Art Blog.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:50 AM PST - 9 comments

New Spammer Panic

The search engine optimization community has spent the last two years in a panic. SEO people flood our Internet with spam links and fake Twitter bots and paid traffic, to help bad websites look more popular than they are, to deliver fake viewers to web ads. They now spend their lives on the run, Google nipping at their heels. Their biggest project? Removing all the spam links on websites like this one—the spam links that they put there.
posted by josher71 at 7:46 AM PST - 102 comments

He was only a fighter in the ring

"Assault In The Ring" (originally called "Cornered: A Life in the Ring") is a film about a boxing match that took place between undefeated prospect Billy Collins Jr and Luis Resto. What began as a match turned into a life altering moment for both participants - Collins' career dreams ended and Resto and his trainer Panama Lewis landed in prison for their illegal actions. The subsequent investigation and trial have led many to declare this bout the darkest day in boxing history. But the film-maker doesn't stop there. He tracked down the surviving principals and arranged meetings among some of them, trying to see if the documentary can be an occasion for reconciliation or justice. Watch the film in its entirety on Youtube here.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:24 AM PST - 8 comments

Naturalis Historia

"My subject is a barren one – the world of nature, or in other words life; and that subject in its least elevated department, and employing either rustic terms or foreign, nay barbarian words that actually have to be introduced with an apology. Moreover, the path is not a beaten highway of authorship, nor one in which the mind is eager to range: there is not one of us who has made the same venture, nor yet one Roman who has tackled single-handed all departments of the subject."
Naturalis Historia was written by Pliny the Elder between 77 and 79 CE and was meant to serve as a kind of proto-encyclopedia discussing all of the ancient knowledge available to him, covered in enough depth and breadth to make it by a reasonable margin the largest work to survive to the modern day from the Roman era. The work includes discussions on astronomy, meteorology, geography, mineralogy, zoology and botany organized along Aristotelian divisions of nature but also includes essays on human inventions and institutions. It is dedicated to the Emperor Titus in its epistle to the Emperor Vespasian, a close friend of Pliny who relied on his extensive knowledge, and its unusually careful citations of sources as well as its index makes it a precursor to modern scholarly works. It was Pliny's last work, as well as sadly his sole surviving one, and was published not long before his death attempting to save a friend from the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum, famously recounted by Pliny's eponymous nephew Pliny the Younger.
Here is a reasonable translation that is freely available to download from archive.org for your edification.
[more inside]
posted by Blasdelb at 5:48 AM PST - 24 comments

The NSA: An Inside View [blog-post]

In which I relate my experience as an NSA employee and impart my thoughts on the policies in place, my former coworkers, and the current cyber war. I am an American patriot. Many impressions may come to mind at that word, “patriot”: perhaps that I am a Republican, that I don’t care about people outside the US, or that I am afraid of them. In my case, none of these conceptions apply. Patriotism to me simply means that I care about the US and its future. [more inside]
posted by panaceanot at 4:41 AM PST - 149 comments

Best Korean Dramas 2009 / 2010 / 2011 / 2012 / 2013

"Here are some of the Korean dramas that I have watched and some were aired in 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009 or even older. Although some of them might be older than the others, they are still really good dramas which you will definitely enjoy watching. I am watching some of the newer ones which have just started airing a few weeks back and I will share my thoughts with you after I have finish watching them. :)"
posted by timshel at 3:14 AM PST - 33 comments

December 15

Breakfast in cemetery...

We'll come back for Indian Summer / And go our separate ways
posted by Going To Maine at 10:34 PM PST - 16 comments

Dehydrated beer?

It's the 21sth Century, so how about some dehydrated beer? [more inside]
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:39 PM PST - 55 comments

RIP Joan Fontaine

Joan Fontaine, star of Alfred Hitchcock's "Rebecca" and "Suspicion" (not to mention "Jane Eyre" and "Ivanhoe"), has died at the age of 96. [more inside]
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 8:47 PM PST - 34 comments

The Lord is my happening; he's where it's all at.

In the late 60s, Lutheran clergyman John Rydgren hosted the weekly radio Silhouette, broadcast across the US and in Vietnam, and squarely aimed at the flower power generation. Silhouette Segments (1968) was a double-album which compiled short excerpts from the show. I've compiled as many of the tracks as I can find (see below). But perhaps it makes sense to begin with the Hippie Version of Creation: "The Cat flipped a switch, blinked those big, eternal eyes, and he dug the switch action. 'Yeah... I'll take it.' " [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 6:00 PM PST - 19 comments

What do you care about a leggy dame in nylons?

You probably know of Paul Dini as the guy who, over the past 20 years brought to television Batman, the beloved DC's animated universe (with Bruce Timm) and Duck Dodgers (among many other things). He's now working at Marvel after 20 years with Warner Brothers. Speaking recently on Kevin Smith's podcast he claimed that executives are spurning female viewers because they believe girls and women don't buy superhero show related toys, which may go some way to explaining the Wonder Woman decision (previously). (via) Dini's comments come at a time when many feel that the gender segregation of toys is regaining strength.
posted by Mezentian at 4:37 PM PST - 104 comments

A Lost World

In the 90s there was a niche Japanese game development house called Human Entertainment, which was perhaps most famous for its Clock Tower series, and was also the launchpad for the career of Suda51. Before they folded in 1999, they released one final title: the massive open world detective game known as Mizzurna Falls. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla at 4:14 PM PST - 10 comments

The Belly Of The Beast

Industrial farming and animal cruelty (warning: very distressing images and sound) Rolling Stone reports on animal abuse in American factory farms...and the attempts by agribusiness to stop the exposure of this cruelty.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:20 PM PST - 82 comments

Bing Crosby at Christmas: "Right or wrong, I sing either way."

Bing Crosby is something of the unofficial "classic voice of the Christmas season," but his most popular piece in recent years is the unlikely duet from 1977, the same year he passed away. The Washington Post provides the odd story of holiday harmony, how David Bowie joined Crosby at the piano for their duet, "Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy". If you like the classics, here's some Bing over the years: a fan-made abbreviation of Frank Sinatra's Christmas Show from 1957, Bing sings "White Christmas" in 1961, Bing & Kathryn Crosby take you on a trip to "Christmas Island" from his 1971 Crosby family special, and from his final Christmas special, Bing Crosby's Merrie Olde Christmas, Bing and Twiggy singing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." If you'd like a full period piece, here's an all-star 1958 USO Christmas show (program history and overview). If that's all a bit too sweet for you, let Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings, June Carter-Cash, Jessi Colter, John Carter-Cash, and more regale you in the Christmas On The Road TV Special (1984).
posted by filthy light thief at 2:57 PM PST - 32 comments

Too bad the post office isn't as efficient as the weather service

EARTH is an amazing visualization of global weather conditions which uses data from the NOAA and the public domain natural earth dataset, to show the wind patterns across the entire globe in real time. previously
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 2:53 PM PST - 32 comments

Life On Life On Life

Once you’ve picked your jaw from the floor, here’s what you’re looking at: the final stop of this zoom, which spans multiple orders of magnitude, is a little bacterium.
posted by monospace at 2:20 PM PST - 20 comments

Hobbits would only drink ales since lagers are not found on Middle-earth

So, you want to eat like a hobbit do you? The big old dragon of Middle-Earth recipes is the charmingly retro 'Middle-Earth Recipes' (now with a more modern and photo-friendly blog version ) from which NPR's Beth Accomando has complied an all-day feasting menu suitable for marathon watching (or reading) assorted Lord Of The Rings media while Recipewise sticks to foods served by Bilbo in The Hobbit itself and explains the Victorian convention of high vs. low tea. (Author Diane Duane's own Hobbit-inspired recipe, Took Family Seed Cake can be made with poppy rather than caraway seed if that's your thing) Need something to do while digesting? Why not read about the history and meaning of the rural comfort food in Tolkien at Strange Horizons " Well Stocked Larders: Food And Diet Of Hobbits" by Stephanie Green.
posted by The Whelk at 1:44 PM PST - 45 comments

“Walking through walls training systems” + more wtf patent applications

John Quincy St. Clair has a considerable body of patent applications well worth reading. Inventions include the Remote viewing amplifier, “[an] apparatus which enhances the ability of a person to perform remote viewing by connecting the human spiritual eye to the tetrahedral geometry of subspace”, and the Walking through walls training system, a “training system which enables a human being to acquire sufficient hyperspace energy in order to pull the body out of dimension so that the person can walk through solid objects such as wooden doors.” [more inside]
posted by edwardog at 12:30 PM PST - 20 comments

[hidden mother photos]

[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8] [more inside]
posted by stbalbach at 12:16 PM PST - 19 comments

Keep Smiling!

Is there any reason to think dolphins and humans have a special relationship? Sure, but it might not be a friendly one
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:06 PM PST - 50 comments

Wicked and fantastic Stop Motion Animation

Beats Antique "Beelzebub" (feat. Les Claypool)
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:21 AM PST - 12 comments

Last of the hellraisers

RIP Peter O'Toole star of Lawrence of Arabia [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:32 AM PST - 170 comments

The Boy Whose Brain Could Unlock Autism

Rather than being oblivious, autistic people take in too much and learn too fast. While they may appear bereft of emotion, the Markrams insist they are actually overwhelmed not only by their own emotions, but by the emotions of others. Consequently, the brain architecture of autism is not just defined by its weaknesses, but also by its inherent strengths. The developmental disorder now believed to affect around 1 percent of the population is not characterized by lack of empathy, the Markrams claim. Social difficulties and odd behavior result from trying to cope with a world that’s just too much. [more inside]
posted by latkes at 10:24 AM PST - 23 comments

Liftoff for the Chinese Dream

China’s Space Program Is Taking Off — "Its engineers have caught up with Europe when Europe was 20 years behind the space-racing superpowers. But by 2020 or a little thereafter, when the International Space Station (ISS) may be on its last legs, Chinese space managers expect to have a Mir-class space station in orbit. ... As was the case with the Cold War space powers, China's leaders are using human spaceflight to signal the world—and the long-suffering Chinese people—that Beijing's state-capitalism approach has won modern superpower status for their ancient society." From Aviation Week & Space Technology, November 25, 2013.
posted by cenoxo at 7:43 AM PST - 45 comments

Computers can be creative

Having trouble coming up with an idea or a SEO friendly title for your next web article? Portend's Content Idea Generator comes to the rescue.
posted by reenum at 7:28 AM PST - 35 comments

Only going forward 'cause we can't find reverse.

Renegade Studios, the team behind the 2008 fan film "Star Trek: Of Gods and Men", has released a teaser trailer for their next web series project: Star Trek: Renegades. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 12:08 AM PST - 33 comments

December 14

Your tax dollars at work

The book on Wood-Frame House Construction (with diagrams) is brought to you by the USDA Forest Service. Here is the full online index of USDA Agriculture Handbooks. They're public domain. [more inside]
posted by aniola at 10:46 PM PST - 15 comments

WinFS - what it could have been, and why it failed

Hal Berenson discusses the motivation, technical details, and death of WinFS. [more inside]
posted by Jpfed at 8:41 PM PST - 54 comments

And Santa was his name-o

Need an American Sign Language interpreter? Consider 5-year-old Claire Koch, a KODA ("kid of deaf adults") who recently signed — and signed the hell out of — her kindergarten holiday concert. [Extremely adorable SLYT]
posted by Charity Garfein at 8:30 PM PST - 27 comments

Do cats love us back?

A researcher at the University of Lincoln tests whether cats form secure attachments in the same way human babies or dogs do. [SLYT] [more inside]
posted by dontjumplarry at 7:37 PM PST - 171 comments

Mikenesses

Cartoonist Mike Holmes draws himself (and his cat) in the style of other famous cartoonists/illustrators/animators. Examples: Maurice Sendak. Chris Ware. Rob Liefeld. Dr. Seuss's How The Grinch Stole Christmas.
posted by Greg Nog at 6:07 PM PST - 70 comments

The White Album demos

"The relaxing weeks in India yielded a bumper crop of new compositions. Around the third week of May [1968], the Beatles congregated at 'Kinfauns', George's bungalow in Esher, Surrey, and taped 23 [sic] demo recordings using George's Ampex four-track machine. Most, though not all, ended up on the Beatles' next LP, the double-set commonly called the 'White Album' but actually titled, simply, The Beatles. In probable order of recording, these were those 23 demos." [excerpt from Mark Lewisohn's The Complete Beatles Chronicle] [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 5:51 PM PST - 12 comments

Mother Expletive Nature

Everybody's talking about Beyoncé, but earlier this week, 90s alt-pop superstars Cibo Matto dropped the music video "MFN", their first release in over fourteen years. It's the leadoff to their upcoming album "Hotel Valentine" due on Valentines Day, 2014. And it's about time.
posted by SansPoint at 5:24 PM PST - 31 comments

What you were watching on Saturday nights 30 years ago.

The making of HBO's classic "Starship" feature presentation introduction clip. Also, what "Starship" may have looked like if done by Best Brains.
posted by mediocre at 4:44 PM PST - 35 comments

An Evening with Private Eye

An Evening with Private Eye. "Ian Hislop takes a satirical look back at the people and events of 2013 with special guests Craig Brown, Harry Enfield, Lewis Macleod, Jan Ravens and John Sessions. This is a recording of a live (National Theatre) Platform event from December 2013." [SLYT]
posted by feelinglistless at 3:45 PM PST - 9 comments

20 years of Essential mixes: a kaleidoscope of sounds

For younger fans of electronic music, the Essential Mix archive* is a time capsule that allows them to listen to sets that took place before they were born; for others, it’s a treasure chest of musical memories that allows them to re-visit the glory days. And what better way to celebrate 20 years than with a party? Rather than the usual broadcast from Tong’s studio, fans had the opportunity to join in on the fun at the Manchester Warehouse Project, with an absolutely stellar line-up pitting veterans of the scene back-to-back with rising stars. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 2:40 PM PST - 34 comments

While You Wait...

Some new concepts for "work in progress bars"
by Viktor Hurtz (previously, also here with dead link (fixed it!)
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:39 PM PST - 5 comments

Rewrite It One More Time To Get Lucky

Vocal band Pentatonix (previously) presents A Daft Punk Medley
posted by The Whelk at 1:19 PM PST - 28 comments

A source for 531 excellent FPPs

531 of the most interesting articles on Wikipedia covering everything from the linguistic (self-contradicting words in English) to the philosophical (The Ultimate 747 Gambit); from the only German military landing in the Americas (Weather Station Kurt) to the world's only Bigfoot Trap; to oddities both geometric (Gömböc ) and mathematical (Tupper's self-referential formula); great lists of various things (Bible errata, unsolved problems, camouflage patterns, blurred spots on Google Maps, lost art, the last monarchs of the Americas) to things that will make great band names (Orbiting Frog Otolith). [prev, shorter lists]
posted by blahblahblah at 12:53 PM PST - 17 comments

Plain Jane: Modest Dress and the Modern Woman

Fifteen years before Katy Perry advised her fellow female performers to "put it away," one woman decided to go all the way and to live as a bonnet-required Plain-dressing Quaker. Her experiment is long over, but her website, Quaker Jane, remains as a collection of resources for plain/modest/plain modern dressing, and a look at the responses her distinctive dress drew. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 11:15 AM PST - 144 comments

A lot of public domain images

The British Library has posted more than a million public domain images on Flickr.
posted by jiawen at 11:08 AM PST - 23 comments

Unusual weather

It's snowing in Cairo. (For the first time in 112 years.)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:48 AM PST - 62 comments

Poor Man's Pappy

Pappy Van Winkle, the white whale of bourbons, uses the same mash bill, spirit, and barrels as a cheaper, considerably easier-to-find bourbon (previously). When you mix that with yet another, even cheaper (but higher proof) bourbon, you get a whiskey that tastes pretty damn close to the highly-coveted PVW 15.
posted by AceRock at 10:40 AM PST - 29 comments

In the City of Brotherly Love ...

At 3 pm EST, the BLACK KNIGHTS of WEST POINT will meet the MIDSHIPMEN of the NAVAL ACADEMY in PHILADELPHIA. It is the 114th time since the two teams first met, in 1890. Navy leads the series, 57-49, and after an 11 year winning streak, spirits are running high... [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:04 AM PST - 26 comments

The dark powers

In the last few weeks, extensive evidence has emerged that Japanese show business is saturated with the yakuza’s influence. Police records and sources, along with testimony from current and former yakuza members, have revealed that many powerful Japanese talent agencies and production companies are not simply fronts for the yakuza—they are the yakuza.

Yakuza Goes Hollywood – Jake Adelstein reports on recent attempts to remove the yakuza from the entertainment industry
posted by timshel at 9:35 AM PST - 18 comments

To the gods I caused oxen to be sacrificed.

The initial beta release of SteamOS became available for download yesterday. Intended to run on Valve's emerging SteamBox platform [Prev] , you can also install it on a fairly modern desktop PC today, presuming it can match up with the adoption-limiting early hardware support requiring UEFI BIOS and Nvidia GPUs ("AMD and Intel graphics support coming soon!"). [more inside]
posted by laconic skeuomorph at 9:07 AM PST - 40 comments

Chicago's Magic Piano

A little bit of Christmas joy in Chicago's Union Station, courtesy of Amtrak.
posted by pjern at 9:04 AM PST - 23 comments

Scarf

"Scarf" - a wordless wintry comic by Emmy Cicierega
posted by overeducated_alligator at 8:25 AM PST - 29 comments

Beautiful Decay

Urban explorer Dan Marbaix has travelled around the world taking pictures of unusual derelict buildings.
Here is some more from the series America in Ruins.
posted by adamvasco at 7:56 AM PST - 5 comments

Lest We Grow Too Fond of It

The Great War’s Ominous Echoes — "It is tempting — and sobering — to compare today’s relationship between China and America to that between Germany and England a century ago. Lulling ourselves into a false sense of safety, we say that countries that have McDonald’s will never fight one another. Yet the extraordinary growth in trade and investment between China and the United States since the 1980s has not served to allay mutual suspicions. At a time when the two countries are competing for markets, resources and influence from the Caribbean to Central Asia, China has become increasingly ready to translate its economic strength into military power." By Margaret MacMillan, New York Times, December 13, 2013.
posted by cenoxo at 2:43 AM PST - 74 comments

2013 Billabong Pipe Masters & ASP World Championship

At some point today (hopefully) the last rounds of the 2013 Billabong Pipe Masters taking place in the North Shore of Hawaii will kick off, and the last stop of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing will be decided. With it, the battle between Mick Fanning and Kelly Slater will conclude, crowning either surfer the 2013 ASP World Champion. [more inside]
posted by pwally at 12:34 AM PST - 5 comments

December 13

Google acquires Boston Dynamics.

Big Dog. Wild Cat. Cheetah. Petman. Atlas. Google acquires Boston Dynamics, notable maker of terrifying robots. [more inside]
posted by tracert at 11:16 PM PST - 105 comments

Christmas Music For Those Sick Of Christmas Music

Tired of the endless onslaught by mainstream Christmas music? Perhaps you might want a break. Tori Amos - Star Of Wonder, Melissa Etheridge - Glorious, The Polyphonic Spree - Winter Wonderland, Jon Anderson - Three Ships, Carbon Leaf - Christmas Child [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 10:28 PM PST - 63 comments

GeoQuiz

Can you name a firth in Scotland where the dolphins have individual names? The destination of Haiti's Kita Nago parade? A Sami Village in Lapland where tourists go to see the Northern Lights? A former "city of pirates" on the Adriatic Coast? Every weekday, listeners of PRI's international-news radio show The World are treated to the serendipity of a brief journey to a distant point on the globe. It's part of the daily GeoQuiz, a challenging geographical trivia game enhanced with ambient audio, imagery, mapping, and revealing details of history and landscape. You can play along via Twitter or subscribe to the podcast - either way, this 5 minute vacation will make you a little bit smarter about this incredible planet.
posted by Miko at 8:59 PM PST - 6 comments

Donald Glover's 404 Error

"Glover feels that the Internet has cut him off from the experience of feeling truly alive, and he believes he can express this feeling only on the Internet." Steven Hyden reviews Childish Gambino's Because The Internet - and ruminates on social media's "hunger that can't ever be satisfied."
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 5:39 PM PST - 60 comments

July 30, 762 to February 13, 1258

In two weeks of blood and fire, one of the greatest intellectual and cultural legacies the world had ever seen came to an end. Crushed under the hooves of a mighty foe (in one case literally), a dynasty, an empire, a city, and a library all disappeared. It was perhaps the swiftest and most complete collapse of a civilization ever, still felt to this day. Now, how about for some context? [more inside]
posted by cthuljew at 2:45 PM PST - 39 comments

For if we don't find the next whiskey-bar, I tell you we must die!

"Oh, show us the way, to the next whiskey-bar. Oh, don't ask why, oh, don't ask why." And so opens the Alabama Song (Google books preview) by Bertholt Brecht and Brecht's close collaborator, Elisabeth Hauptmann (Gbp), first published in 1927. Brecht set it to music and performed it on stages all over Berlin, but the better known version was scored by classical composer Kurt Weill, who was impressed with Brecht’s poetry and wanted to break away from the constraints of his previous work. It was this version, first performed by Lotte Lenya, that was made famous by The Doors and their use of a Marxophone (Wikipedia). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:47 PM PST - 24 comments

"swallow capsules, after effect, protect metals, wait for mask signal"

The Lead Masks Case is the name given to a bizarre incident in August of 1966 in which two Brazilian television repairmen were found dead of unknown causes, wearing radiation-proof lead eye masks and raincoats, on a hilltop just outside the city of of Niterói in Rio de Janeiro. Along with a bizarre note left by one of the men which reads (in English), "16:30 (04:30 PM) be at the agreed place. 18:30 (06:30 PM) swallow capsules, after effect, protect metals, wait for mask signal," the unusual circumstances have prompted decades of speculation. [more inside]
posted by kewb at 1:12 PM PST - 40 comments

I didn't even know she was a real person.

Inside the Rainbow Gulag: The Technicolor Rise and Fall of Lisa Frank
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:01 PM PST - 42 comments

Confession of an Ivy League teaching assistant

The revelation that the median grade at Harvard is an A- prompted lots of discussion, especially among Ivy-league educated journalists. Some speculated high grades reflect intelligence. Others say professors just want their students to get jobs, or, selfishly, they want favorable teaching evaluations. As a teaching assistant in the economics department at Columbia, I too inflated student grades, but for none of those reasons. I just didn’t want to deal with all the complaining.
posted by latkes at 12:50 PM PST - 164 comments

Landmark Protect Protocol

Our Drone Future — A short film by Alex Cornell. "Created with DJI Phantom Drones, After Effects, Premier, Logic, GoPro, and a liberal interpretation of FAA regulations". If not actually the future of domestically deployed drones, it's probably the future of sub-$2K filmmaking hardware (if you don't include the software licenses and, um, FAA fines).
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:44 AM PST - 31 comments

I love the smell of francs in the morning

Have you dreamed of owning a money bin a la Scrooge McDuck? Your dreams can now become a reality.
posted by reenum at 11:28 AM PST - 33 comments

Words of the Day

Please enjoy this smattering of Word of the Day sites and pages: OED (RSS), Wordsmith (RSS), Wordnik, The Free Dictionary (RSS), Merriam-Webster (RSS), WordThink (RSS), Urban Dictionary (RSS), Macmillan (RSS), NY Times Learning Network Blog (RSS), Scrabble, Wordsmyth (RSS), Easy Speak (Toastmasters), Wiktionary, Wiktionary "Foreign", OLDO (RSS: Chinese, French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish, all in OLDO), Arabic (RSS), Japanese (RSS), Nahuatl, ASL, History, Geology, Theology (RSS), and Sesame Street (not daily, unfortunately).
posted by cog_nate at 9:26 AM PST - 11 comments

Oh, I Just Made a Giant Masterpiece....

Vice magazine attempts to get to the bottom of the mystery of the creepiest television hack (moderately NSFW). Previously.
posted by carrienation at 9:21 AM PST - 33 comments

How drunk and loud do you have to be to get banned from Hell's Kitchen?

Last year, over 35,000 people amassed in NYC to participate in SantaCon, a New York City tradition since 1994, SantaCon is a pub-crawl where people dress up like Santa. In the past few years, it has been associated, however, with public drunkenness, homophobia, mob like behavior, and even sexual assault. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:02 AM PST - 102 comments

"de-CAP"-itation

Use the Ninja Swipe Technique to open bottles of soda that have been shaken up! [slyt | via]
posted by quin at 8:42 AM PST - 31 comments

In Nature, the biggest study on gender citation gaps EVER!

We analysed 5,483,841 research papers and review articles with 27,329,915 authorships. We find that in the most productive countries, all articles with women in dominant author positions receive fewer citations than those with men in the same positions. And this citation disadvantage is accentuated by the fact that women's publication portfolios are more domestic than their male colleagues — they profit less from the extra citations that international collaborations accrue. Given that citations now play a central part in the evaluation of researchers, this situation can only worsen gender disparities. The data are also used to make a really cool interactive map.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 8:34 AM PST - 53 comments

Vidi mammam osculari Sanctum Nicolaum

Let's sing some Christmas carols! We'll start with the great "Reno Erat Rudolphus," then we can move on to favorites like "Frigus Vir Nivis," "Avia renone calcabatur," and of course, "Tinnitus, tinnitus." Then let's read that classic Dr. Seuss story, Quomodo Invidiosulus Nomine Grinchus Christi Natalem Abrogaverit (backstory)! As they say, Hoc mirandis est temporis anni!
posted by Cash4Lead at 8:10 AM PST - 11 comments

メインヒロインのおばあちゃんだよ! (It's Grandma main heroine!)

Cookie Clicker + video sharing site NicoNico Douga (Wikipedia article) (English user guides for the pre-English site) + Vocaloid = Grandma's GIFT 3D Model of cursor appears courtesy of Bowlroll.net. Music taken from the video GIFT, recorded using GUMI. Vocaloids previously.
posted by Going To Maine at 7:21 AM PST - 18 comments

China reaches for the Moon

This Saturday, the Jade Rabbit will meet with Chang’e when China attempts its first landing of an unmanned spacecraft on the Moon. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:14 AM PST - 66 comments

YouTube's aggressive robot approach to copyright

A furious 18-minute rant posted Wednesday has drawn attention to YouTube's new automatic content ID system, implemented in earnest this week.

VentureBeat: YouTube suddenly begins flagging hundreds of game-related videos for copyright violations
Ars Technica: YouTube goes nuts flagging game-related content as violating copyright

Any copyright claim against a video immediately results in the removal of ad revenue at the moment the claim is made, even if 1) that content is clearly fair use, 2) the game companies who own the content say they're not making a claim (like Deep Silver, which posted a statement assuring reviewers they "will not be alone in this"), or 3) the claim comes from an odd third party who doesn't appear to have a clear ownership interest. Kotaku has good quotes from gamers who strongly disagree with YouTube's claim that "channel owners can easily dispute Content ID claims if they believe those claims are invalid." Earlier today, Angry Joe posted a calmer, more detailed 31-minute video: Whats Broken & How to Fix it.
posted by mediareport at 6:56 AM PST - 74 comments

Bears Bears Bears. Too many bears

Special Report: BEARS! [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:27 AM PST - 31 comments

Parisian Auction of Sacred Hopi Artifacts

"These are not trophies to have on one’s mantel; they are truly sacred works for the Native Americans. They do not belong in auction houses or private collections." Despite protests by the US Embassy on behalf of the Hopi and San Carlos Apache, a Paris auction house continued with the sale of twenty-five katsinam (sacred masks). Surprisingly, the US based Annenberg Foundation bought twenty-four of them for $530,000 to return to the tribes. (Previously on a similar auction)
posted by Deflagro at 6:19 AM PST - 74 comments

Letting freedom ring

The Soweto Gospel Choir pays beautiful tribute to Nelson Mandela by staging a flash mob event in a Woolworths in South Africa.
posted by orange swan at 6:16 AM PST - 16 comments

Ursula Le Guin

Ursula K. Le Guin, The Art of Fiction Interview at The Paris Review: "It’s like working in any form—in poetry, for example. When you work in form, be it a sonnet or villanelle or whatever, the form is there and you have to fill it. And you have to find how to make that form say what you want to say. But what you find, always—I think any poet who’s worked in form will agree with me—is that the form leads you to what you want to say. It is wonderful and mysterious."
posted by dhruva at 5:16 AM PST - 22 comments

a judicial psychoanalysis of a drafter’s heart of hearts

Westlaw's Headnote of the Day. From wrong wives to published dog heights to suing yourself to Lardashe to talking cats to pompous expert witnesses to defendants as "suppressible fruit" to "animals ferae naturae" to corporate agents of Satan to riding atop of doghouses to the torture of words to "Queen for a Day" agreements to the shockingness of prosecutorial rhymes and to the unsurprising boringness of closing statements. "IMPORTANT: We offer the Headnote of the Day as a diversion; the point of law it contains may no longer be good law."
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:13 AM PST - 4 comments

The Sorrows of Camden

Apocalypse, New Jersey Matt Taibi looks at the sad story of Camden, N.J.
posted by angrycat at 1:53 AM PST - 68 comments

Many recipes for candy

Make your own candy (canes). Konpeitō. Pop rocks. Rock candy. [more inside]
posted by aniola at 1:43 AM PST - 28 comments

In the blue

Huge reserves of freshwater lie beneath the ocean floor. There is mounting evidence. "The volume of this water resource is a hundred times greater than the amount we've extracted from the Earth's sub-surface in the past century since 1900".
posted by stbalbach at 12:44 AM PST - 49 comments

December 12

Fixing Windows 8

Wow! Microsoft is thinking about bringing back the Start Menu and Modern apps on the Desktop. This is perfect timing! Here you’ll why it’s a good idea and how they should do it.
posted by Artw at 11:07 PM PST - 174 comments

Does anybody remember The Juggler? The Amiga 500: now in your browser.

Christian Stefansen has made Amiga Workbench 1.3 available in Chrome via the Portable Native Client. For those of you rode on the third wheel of the 16-bit operating system wars, this is quite a treat, in addition to being a nifty proof-of-concept. More info on the technology here.
posted by grumpybear69 at 9:03 PM PST - 18 comments

Lynch on the Air

On the Air: "While mixing the sound for an episode of the second season of Twin Peaks, Lynch was hit with a sudden inspiration. 'It just came into my head, the idea of people trying to do something successful and having it all go wrong.' Following the initial success of Twin Peaks, David Lynch and Mark Frost were hot properties in Television. When they approached ABC with the idea for 'On the Air,' the network was eager to take them up on the offer. The show itself was a half-hour absurdist comedy featuring many of the cast and crew from Twin Peaks. The pilot tested very well, and six more episodes were ordered. However, by the time it came to scheduling the On the Air, things with Twin Peaks had already fallen apart, and the network was no longer eager to work with Lynch." On the Air was received so poorly (due, in part, to being premeired in the summer on a Saturday timeslot) that only three episodes were ever aired in the states. However, the entirety of the program was aired overseas. In Episode 1 the misfit crew of the Zablotnick Broadcasting Corporation struggles to put together the first episode of the Lester Guy Show. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla at 8:49 PM PST - 22 comments

Think you're an alcoholic?

Think you're an alcoholic? Not by the standards of great artists and writers! "As for Balzac, he was definitely a coffee kind of guy – he sank 60 cups a day. Samuel Beckett slurped red wine every night til 5am. Pablo Picasso liked opium (he claimed opium has the “least stupid smell in the world”). Across Paris, Jean Paul Sartre guzzled four pints of Burgundy for lunch, liked his barbiturates, and was addicted to Corydrane, a mix of aspirin and amphetamine. The recommended dose of this now-prohibited tablet was 1 a day, Sartre took 20."
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:17 PM PST - 72 comments

An eye pleasing NY/NJ rail map.

Inspired by the Massimo Vignelli NYC subway map and the upcoming Super Bowl at the Meadowlands, NJ Transit unveils a new Regional Transit Diagram (pdf) to help people take public transit between New York and New Jersey. [more inside]
posted by fings at 7:06 PM PST - 28 comments

I was mugged and shot, but I also wasn't.

"Am I safe? Is what I have, my memory of the event and your scribbled notes, enough to get this guy? Should I tweet about this?" C. D. Hermelin is mugged in broad daylight in Manhattan’s Financial District.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 4:58 PM PST - 85 comments

What is the best way to ease someone's pain and suffering?

Why is empathy different from sympathy? Because the truth is, rarely, can a response make something better. What makes something better is connection. [more inside]
posted by jammy at 4:39 PM PST - 13 comments

"They need to pay attention"

Saturday Night Live, facing criticism for lacking diversity, has held 'secret' auditions for black female cast members. [more inside]
posted by troika at 4:26 PM PST - 79 comments

Speech Aid for People Losing the Ability to Speak

Modeltalker has been around since at least the early 90s ... Modeltalker is a company that, for free, provides people with a synthetic version of their own voice and the software that lets users convert any text they want into that voice. It is continually updating it's software and in beta stages. But for people with onset neurological diseases that threaten to rob them of the ability to speak, Modeltalker will provide them with an 1800 word list to read. From that list, it will deliver a software program that contains their voice, the software and the tools to adjust the voice to make it as natural as possible. At some point, the company will make it product public. There are many synthetic voice programs, but only Modeltalker can make a synthetic voice out of your voice. For now, people can get a free version.
posted by CollectiveMind at 3:43 PM PST - 13 comments

Truth; it depends who is telling it.

Congressmen Call For Declassification Of 9/11 Files Discussing Hijacker Links To Saudi Government.
Last week, Reps. Walter B. Jones, R-N.C., and Stephen Lynch, D-Mass introduced a resolution that urges President Obama to declassify the 28 redacted pages of the Joint Intelligence Committee Inquiry (JICI) of 9/11 issued in late 2002, which have been thought to hold some answers about the Saudi connection to the attack and were originally classified by President George W. Bush.
Official declassified documents about the September 11 attacks. (Previous 1; 2 ).
posted by adamvasco at 3:37 PM PST - 42 comments

A TARDIS materializes at 221B

A ridiculously impressive fanmade Doctor Who slash Sherlock mashup slash crossover. (SLYT)
posted by mediocre at 3:33 PM PST - 28 comments

The great ship J.P. Morgan...

Twenty-three lush, splendid photos of the fog that enveloped London yesterday.
posted by Mistress at 3:05 PM PST - 17 comments

Others held in Iran have returned home. Not her husband.

In March 2007, retired FBI agent Robert Levinson flew to Kish Island, an Iranian resort awash with tourists, smugglers and organized crime figures. Days later, after an arranged meeting with an admitted killer, he checked out of his hotel, slipped into a taxi and vanished. For years, the U.S. has publicly described him as a private citizen who traveled to the tiny Persian Gulf island on private business. But that was just a cover story. An Associated Press investigation reveals that Levinson was working for the CIA. In an extraordinary breach of the most basic CIA rules, a team of analysts — with no authority to run spy operations — paid Levinson to gather intelligence from some of the world's darkest corners. He vanished while investigating the Iranian government for the U.S. [more inside]
posted by dsfan at 3:04 PM PST - 19 comments

Airing the Immigration Bill's Dirty Laundry

Undercover of helping immigrant agricultural workers who have long needed a break in America, the American technology sector - lead by Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg - has seen fit to heavily lobby Congress to increase H1-B and other worker visa permits, vastly increasing H1-B visas at a time when very good research shows that there is no shortage of tech workers in America. Zuckerberg has so far succeeded, in the Senate. What is motivating the claim for more H1-B visas and what's at stake? [more inside]
posted by Vibrissae at 2:20 PM PST - 131 comments

Selecting the right glass can be key

Can the shape of your glass enhance the taste of the wine? Do you need to change your glass depending on what you're drinking? "I'm pretty sure that the right glassware can't make a bad wine good, but it can make a good wine more enjoyable." With that in mind, here is a guide to selecting the proper wine glass. A few bonus links: how to choose the right cocktail glass, and Beer Advocate breaks down glassware by types of beer.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:39 PM PST - 65 comments

That's the football way

But I learned to deal with the pain, the instability, the imbalance, just like every other NFL player does. My story is not unique. Every other football-playing man deals with the same cycle of injury and rehab, separated by periods of relative health. Some bodies are better suited to the demands of the game than others. They stay healthy longer, play more, smash more skulls, die younger. I should see my inability to stay healthy as a blessing in the long run, because it spared my brain the extra punishment. The fact is, no one remembers any NFL game I ever played in but me. My Injury File: How I Shot, Smoked, And Screwed My Way Through The NFL.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 1:25 PM PST - 12 comments

Hear Streets of Rage, Apparently. (NSFW)

'90's Video Game Hallucination has Spawned Massive Remix Possibilities, Here is One! A tiny Vitamin K for a musical diet, continue to scream and dance, oh...I guess driving is involved? Don't drive, please...don't drive.
posted by breadbox at 1:05 PM PST - 4 comments

Why did you put millet in my muffin?

2013 Hater's Guide to the Williams-Sonoma Catalog. The Miele Rotary Iron is a machine as old as the hills and used to be called a mangle. A mangle. For what it did to your fingers. I know, because I inherited one from my grandmother. [more inside]
posted by Sophie1 at 12:57 PM PST - 125 comments

Ars Morendi.

“I am going to put you on a bit of morphine,” I said, like I was used to saying such things, announcing to dying patients that I was going to put them on a drug named for Morpheus, the god of sleep, descended from Thanatos, the god of death." A doctor reflects on the art of dying in 21st century America.
posted by sonika at 12:47 PM PST - 9 comments

And here's how it looks if you combine mercury thiocyanate and fire

Animated gifs of high energy chemical reactions.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:43 PM PST - 17 comments

I love the smell of burning celluloid in the morning.

This is what it looks like when you set 2500 ping pong balls on fire. [slyt]
posted by Lutoslawski at 12:25 PM PST - 48 comments

The archipelago of militarized space

The map of US military installations by artist Josh Begley uses the US military's list of bases (plus a few other sources) to provide satellite image maps of hundreds of military sites around the world. For similar efforts, see Radical Cartography and the always-amazing work of Trevor Paglen
posted by blahblahblah at 12:22 PM PST - 10 comments

A lion told her to walk away, and she did.

"Can we talk about Susan’s fabulous adventures after Narnia? The ones where she wears nylons and elegant blouses when she wants to, and short skirts and bright lipstick when she wants to, and hiking boots and tough jeans and big men’s plaid shirts when she feels like backpacking out into the mountains and remembering what it was to be lost in a world full of terrific beauty— I know her siblings say she stops talking about it, that Susan walks away from the memories of Narnia, but I don’t think she ever really forgot."
posted by MartinWisse at 11:10 AM PST - 193 comments

"It's a choice I've made, making people who care about me worry."

Split of a Second is an eight and a half minute youtube video about wingsuit flying and a practitioner of the art.
posted by jason's_planet at 11:05 AM PST - 8 comments

The War on Christmas Lasted Until 1870

Ten Things You Might Not Know About Christmas. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu at 10:43 AM PST - 45 comments

Now rapping "Basketball", Number 1, Kurtis Blow . . .

Kurtis Blow's "Basketball", 30 years later. A cagey look back at the hardest of hard odes to roundball.
posted by yerfatma at 9:40 AM PST - 14 comments

At least Roger Corman didn't have a preoccupation with ping pong balls.

In the mid-1960's, American International Pictures hired director Larry Buchanan to make eight films for television. Their instructions were blunt: "We want cheap color pictures, we want half-assed names in them, we want them eighty minutes long and we want them now." [more inside]
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 9:34 AM PST - 17 comments

A giant leap for mankind.... It's more like a stumble in the dark.

On September 13, 1999, nuclear waste from Earth stored on the far side of the Moon exploded in a catastrophic accident. The explosion knocked the Moon out of orbit and sent it, and the 311 inhabitants of Moonbase Alpha, hurtling uncontrollably into space. Their subsequent trials and adventures were chronicled... in Space: 1999. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 9:21 AM PST - 62 comments

Sec. 8. This act does not create a right to abortion.

Michigan's Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act has been approved by the legislature and will become law unless vetoed. Women in Michigan will now need to purchase a separate rider to cover abortion services even in cases of rape and incest. Abortions will only be covered when the woman's life is in danger.

"Requiring Michigan women to plan ahead for an unplanned pregnancy is not only illogical, it's one of the most misogynistic proposals I have ever seen in the Michigan Legislature." -- Gretchen Whitmer, State Senate Minority Leader
posted by Talez at 8:58 AM PST - 161 comments

Your average ordinary SUPERHUMAN punishers-of-evil rock-and-roll band!!!

They were a one-hit wonder in the 90s. Then they got a hit show on Nick Jr. and introduced a generation of young children to Of Montreal, Mos Def, and MGMT. They have another TV show where they fight evil monsters, but first and foremost they're a kick-ass band that mixes new wave, surf rock, ska, B-movies, nostalgia, romance, and general ecstatic feel-goodiness into a tight, clever, and totally awesome package. WHO ARE THOSE MASKED MEN, YOU MAY ASK??!? THEY ARE... THE AQUABATS. [more inside]
posted by Rory Marinich at 8:19 AM PST - 23 comments

"Hello, my name is Eliza..."

Samantha West is a telemarketing robot. Someone has hooked up a chatbot with speech recognition and a telemarketing script. It charmingly insists that it is a human. Is this the future of telemarketing? Apparently, robo-calls are illegal, but it is easy for these companies to disappear when caught (as "Samantha West"'s company has).
posted by Galaxor Nebulon at 7:59 AM PST - 42 comments

Braying Crowds & The Accidental Death of Quiet Music

It's an experience any performer will recognise: providing music that is, however reluctantly so, incidental. What is peculiar to our age is that it is now the lot not only of those who play at parties, in pubs or bars and so on, but of almost any artist at every level of performance, when they play anything too soft to blot out the human voice. The gig-talkers have won. It holds out in pockets here and there, but for the most part, quiet music, as a live affair, is done for.
posted by Grangousier at 7:08 AM PST - 99 comments

"I've known Tip for about 26 years..."

On November 21, Busta Rhymes announced that he and Q-Tip would be releasing a joint mixtape. On November 25, the two released Thank You, a single from the tape featuring Kanye West and Li'l Wayne. In a December 6 interview with RapFix Live, Rhymes explained that the tape would consist of old material that has been reworked or gone unreleased, mixtape-specific material, and songs that will be on future releases from the artists. This tape would be about their legacy, as embodied in the artwork. The day has arrived, and you can now download The Abstract and the Dragon.
posted by Going To Maine at 7:04 AM PST - 16 comments

Such outcries overlook the close quarters in which [they] work

A recent great pull from White House photographer Pete Souza shows Bush and Obama seeming to not just tolerate but actually enjoy each other's company. This is nothing new, however. Not only have Presidents always still been just as human as anyone else, but they occasionally cross the aisle to have close relationships that can be not only shocking, but endearing - including Barbara Bush referring to Bill Clinton as their "adopted son." Ridiculous conspiracy theories abound, but a simpler explanation may serve: that even the most partisan of politicans have more in common with each other than they would like us to believe - a common background, and often, common professions.
posted by corb at 6:37 AM PST - 103 comments

Pop music and the apocalypse

Never Forever is Prince Rama's new 18-minute rock epic. "I think music videos will evolve to a point where they are embedded holographically within the songs themselves, so that as your brain is translating the music as auditory information, it will simultaneously be reading it as visual material as well, projecting a unique holographic map of imagery onto the brain that is tailored to the memories and desires of the listener himself." [more inside]
posted by hereticfig at 6:27 AM PST - 11 comments

Iterating on the keyboard

Jesse Vincent has spent some time thinking about, designing, and building keyboards.
posted by Jpfed at 6:05 AM PST - 18 comments

mamako mamasa mamamakossa!

Let's celebrate the 80th birthday of Afrofunk pioneer Manu DiBango with a few of his groovy tunes, shall we? He made a splash way back in 1972 with a catchy (and rather influential) little number called Soul Makossa. A few years later, in 1982, another DiBango tune, also catchy as hell, might've made it onto a turntable or a dance floor near you: it was called Echos Beti. Aside from these two tunes, there's been lots, lots more from this very prolific Cameroon-born saxophonist, vocalist and bandleader, so I've included... [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:16 AM PST - 5 comments

"It is up to Parliament to legislate on this issue"

A day apart, the Supreme Court of India and the High Court of Australia respectively overturned the three-year-old 2009 Delhi High Court ruling and the five-day-old Australian Capital Territory same sex marriage law. For India, this means a return to laws dating from the British rule of India which criminalise sexual acts "against the order of nature", and for Australia this means a return to the "man and woman" 2004 Amendment of the Federal Marriage Act.
posted by ossian at 3:35 AM PST - 46 comments

Basically the Clicking Bad Christmas Special

Merry Clickmas! Make presents for everyone in the world and save Christmas!
posted by Elementary Penguin at 3:13 AM PST - 139 comments

Why the Web Won't Be Nirvana

"After two decades online, I'm perplexed. It's not that I haven't had a gas of a good time on the Internet. I've met great people and even caught a hacker or two. But today, I'm uneasy about this most trendy and oversold community. Visionaries see a future of telecommuting workers, interactive libraries and multimedia classrooms. They speak of electronic town meetings and virtual communities. Commerce and business will shift from offices and malls to networks and modems. And the freedom of digital networks will make government more democratic. Baloney. Do our computer pundits lack all common sense? The truth [is] no online database will replace your daily newspaper, no CD-ROM can take the place of a competent teacher and no computer network will change the way government works." A view of the Internet's future from February 26, 1995 at 7:00 PM
posted by Blasdelb at 12:52 AM PST - 41 comments

December 11

"the center of the Earth is off by about two meters"

What Happens To Google Maps When Tectonic Plates Move? [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:24 PM PST - 19 comments

Jim Hall (1930-2013)

The jazz guitarist Jim Hall died yesterday. The New York Times reports:
Jim Hall, a jazz guitarist who for more than 50 years was admired by critics, aficionados and especially his fellow musicians for his impeccable technique and the warmth and subtlety of his playing, died on Tuesday at his home in Greenwich Village. He was 83.
[more inside]
posted by John Cohen at 8:14 PM PST - 28 comments

Landlines? Who needs them?!?

"(TL;DR summary: AT&T is buying entire legislatures to rewrite the laws to allow them to become a fully unregulated company with no wholesale obligations, creating a de-facto monopoly. They can (and likely will) use it to squash or hurt wireless competitors as well, as they're permitted to favor their own subsidiaries with the network built and created over a hundred plus year monopoly, and Comcast is fully on-board because they'd like to split the market created when all their competitors are dead)" Paul Timmins, the telco nerd behind TelcoData.US (Previously), expounds on how the big players in the telecom business (AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast) are ruining the future of connectivity in the US.
posted by c0nsumer at 7:08 PM PST - 65 comments

My face fills the screen

Buried deep among the hundreds of old scripts in RKO Pictures’ archives was a 1941 melodramatic gem about an amnesia-stricken man who wakes up in the middle of a revolution in Mexico. Never produced, the screenplay for “The Way to Santiago” is credited to Orson Welles.
posted by dobbs at 6:27 PM PST - 6 comments

In The Jungle

"Mbube", a song that morphed into "The Lion Sleeps Tonight", illustrates the convoluted legalities surrounding music publishing rights and payments.
posted by reenum at 6:20 PM PST - 19 comments

Interview with Alice Munro

Alice Munro, awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature, was unable to travel to Stockholm due to her health, so the committee went to her. This is their 30 minute interview with the celebrated author. [more inside]
posted by Short Attention Sp at 6:20 PM PST - 6 comments

Hands down, the best possible use of fire ants

A Louisiana fire ant colony and 18 pounds of molten aluminum -- two great tastes that taste AWESOME together. Brought to you by the good folks at Anthill Art.
posted by KathrynT at 5:41 PM PST - 86 comments

Owls are high maintenance

Top Ten Reasons you Don't Want an Owl for a Pet [more inside]
posted by Narrative Priorities at 5:31 PM PST - 70 comments

Such Moon! Very Going!

DogeCoin : Wow   Very Currency   Such Culture   Many Epic
posted by jeffburdges at 4:32 PM PST - 86 comments

WOW, that is a really cool jacket.

Scary Compliments (SLYT)
posted by Evernix at 2:12 PM PST - 101 comments

Crack Open a Sunset Sarsaprilla And Settle In

Wayside Creations' surprisingly high-budget, on location shot Fallout New Vegas fan-series returns with: Nuka Break Season 2! (Full episode playlist). Rejoin Twig the Vault-Dweller, Ben The Ghoul , Scarlet The Escaped Slave and the Mysterious Ranger as they deal with the explosive aftermath of Season 1. (Nuka Break Previously, Wayside Creations previously)
posted by The Whelk at 1:35 PM PST - 47 comments

Disappearing American Landmarks: Roadside Rest Areas

"...Rest stops are vanishing from the landscapes of America. All over the country, rest areas are losing the fight to commercial alternatives: drive-thrus at every exit and mega-sized travel centers offering car washes, wi-fi, grilled paninis and bladder-busting sized fountain drinks. They're on the chopping block for many states, their upkeep giving way with tight highway budgets. Louisiana has closed 24 of its 34 stops, Virginia, 18 of its 42; pretty much every state in the country has reduced its number of rest areas, or at least cut operating hours. And they're not just being closed, they're being demolished. "They're just toilets and tables" you might say. But if you take a closer look, you will see that they are much more. " (Via The Atlantic Cities, which includes an interview with the photographer, Ryann Ford) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:32 PM PST - 110 comments

The Nastiest Injury in Sports

After a weekend in which tight end Rob Gronkowski and safety Tyrann Mathieu both sustained season-ending tears to their anterior cruciate ligaments, many NFL fans are wondering why there seem to be more such injuries this season than in seasons past. Grantland looks at the dreaded ACL tear and tries to solve the puzzle. [more inside]
posted by savetheclocktower at 1:26 PM PST - 34 comments

The NSA Raven

Once upon a database query, while I pondered weak security,
And many avenues of access via backdoor,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a wiretapping,
As of some one gently sniffing, sniffing at our server's door.
“‘Tis some hacker,” I muttered, “tapping at our server door
Or just a virus, nothing more.” -- The NSA Raven
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 1:21 PM PST - 9 comments

Blorpy: Interesting stories found in comments

Blorpy: Interesting stories found in comments "Internet comments are NOT all stupid. If you read through enough comments, you come across some amazing stories. I find them and post them here." [via mefi projects]
posted by rebent at 1:08 PM PST - 22 comments

Cooperstown number crunching

Kenny Shirley and Carlos Scheidegger of AT&T Labs have put together a fascinating tool to analyze voting patterns for the baseball Hall of Fame. This Deadspin post will help walk you through it. [more inside]
posted by Chrysostom at 12:10 PM PST - 20 comments

And a body, dead, wrapped in plastic

The Twin Peaks 12 Days of Christmas featuring a few actual cast members of the show (including BOB!), recorded by those wacky radio folks at KROQ in Los Angeles and barely tied-in to their first annual "Almost Acoustic Christmas" concert which continues to this day. Lyrics here. Previous Peaks
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:54 AM PST - 12 comments

Dark side of the Moon

Watch from Space as the Moon Orbits Around the Earth [more inside]
posted by bluefly at 11:28 AM PST - 27 comments

An Introvert's Guide to Better Presentations

Improve your public speaking with the help of MeFi's own Mathowie.
posted by Artw at 10:33 AM PST - 62 comments

The return of Sid

29 Easter Eggs and Bits of Trivia about Toy Story, which turned 18 last month. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:01 AM PST - 22 comments

Yule Logs

Yule Log. Yule Log on TV. Yule Log '83. Yule Log on YouTube. Yule Log with Music. Yule Log on Netflix. Yule Logs for Designers. Yule Log with Bacon. Previously, previouslier, previousliest.
posted by Sokka shot first at 9:51 AM PST - 20 comments

Forgotten soldiers

Veterans Administration hospitals performed lobotomies on more than 2,000 mentally ill soldiers during and after World War II. Today, the Wall Street Journal published the first part of a story extensively documenting the lives of the men who underwent this procedure, and those who performed it.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 9:28 AM PST - 23 comments

The strain beneath the surface

Re-examining Yasujiro Ozu on film. On the 50th anniversary of Yasujiro Ozu's death, Mark Schilling examines the iconic director's own thoughts on the filmmaking process. Donald Richie's review of ‘Ukigusa (Floating Weeds),’ Nov. 26, 1959. Ebert on Ozu. Criterion on Ozu.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:25 AM PST - 6 comments

Getting your mail at home is for suckers.

Canada Post to phase out urban home delivery and also hike up the price of stamps.
posted by Kitteh at 7:24 AM PST - 192 comments

Flur Buh coppa Wee!

The sign language interpreter at the funeral of Nelson Mandela apparently... wasn't. If you thought the strangest thing out of the Nelson Mandela funeral was the byplay between President Obama, the first lady, and the Danish Prime Minister, think again. Deaf advocacy groups, led by the Deaf Federation of South Africa are expressing anger today over the appearance onstage of a supposed sign language interpreter who apparently knew nothing of sign language and was just making nonsense gestures.
posted by Naberius at 7:06 AM PST - 303 comments

I AM A WOMAN NOT A TRAFFIC JAM

The best comebacks to sexist comments. From @EverydaySexism (website, previously).
posted by Ned G at 6:51 AM PST - 140 comments

Time's Person of the Year 2013

"He took the name of a humble saint and then called for a church of healing. The first non-European pope in 1,200 years is poised to transform a place that measures change by the century." Pope Francis, "The People’s Pope," is Time's 2013 Person of the Year. [more inside]
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:37 AM PST - 193 comments

The Bonfire of Empire

The marking "DG" was said to be an abbreviation of deputy governor, but in fact was a protective code word to indicate that papers so marked were for sight by "British officers of European descent only". -- Before withdrawing from its colonies, UK colonial officials made certain to destroy any papers that "might embarrass Her Majesty's [the] government", that could "embarrass members of the police, military forces, public servants or others eg police informers", that might betray intelligence sources, or that might "be used unethically by ministers in the successor government".
posted by MartinWisse at 3:46 AM PST - 15 comments

From WNYC in New York, this is Radiolab...LIVE!

The public radio science program Radiolab recently wrapped up a tour featuring their latest live show, Apocalyptical. It is, as you might have guessed, about the end times. The show, hosted by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich and featuring live performances from comedians Kurt Braunohler and Reggie Watts and an appearance from dinosaur puppets, is now available for free on YouTube.
posted by inturnaround at 3:31 AM PST - 13 comments

December 10

Mr X

"I view tattooing as a bit like scratching away the surface and kind of revealing what's really under you. If somebody's getting tattooed quite a lot it does give you an insight into what's going on inside them, I believe." [vimeo, 5:00]
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 9:28 PM PST - 17 comments

Dinner, Lemmings, and the Hour

In 1972, National Lampoon expanded into recorded comedy with Radio Dinner. The album was largely a star turn for a young NatLamp contributor named Christopher Guest; when the magazine followed up on Radio Dinner's success by sponsoring an off-Broadway "satirical joke-rock mock-concert musical comedy semi-revue," he was tapped to perform in it alongside a drummer named Chevy Chase and a 24-year-old John Belushi. National Lampoon's Lemmings (original cast album) was another hit, running for 350 performances of Woodstock parody and Joe Cocker mockery. NatLamp editor Michael O'Donaghue decided the time was right to take the brand to a weekly radio show. He brought the stars of Lemmings back for it, together with Belushi's old Second City castmates Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, Harold Ramis, Joe Flaherty, and Brian Doyle-Murray. Harry Shearer, Doug Kenney, and Richard Belzer helped round out the cast of The National Lampoon Radio Hour. [You should probably just assume that all YT links are NSF playing out loud at W.] [more inside]
posted by Iridic at 8:46 PM PST - 32 comments

"People in power ... will routinely lie to their population,"

The Men Who Leaked The Secrets
To the likes of Brooks, Snowden was a disconcerting mystery; Glenn Greenwald, though, got him right away. "He had no power, no prestige, he grew up in a lower-middle-class family, totally obscure, totally ordinary," Greenwald says. "He didn't even have a high school diploma. But he was going to change the world – and I knew that." And, Greenwald also believed, so would he. "In all kinds of ways, my whole life has been in preparation for this moment," he says.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:14 PM PST - 46 comments

Let Me Finish

Roger Angell is the greatest of all baseball writers. Today, the game has recognized the fact. This July, along with Joe Torre, Bobby Cox, and Tony La Russa, Roger will be celebrated in Cooperstown, New York, the site of the Hall of Fame. He will receive the J. G. Taylor Spink Award, which has previously gone to the likes of Grantland Rice, Red Smith, Ring Lardner, and Damon Runyon. [more inside]
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:54 PM PST - 10 comments

Demographics is Destiny

4 GIFs showing how the population in 4 different countries has and will age over time. (courtesy of Planet Money)
posted by dry white toast at 7:47 PM PST - 11 comments

Top Secret Funk Report

Russian scientists attempt to perfect the ultimate dance shoe in Slightly Left of Centre's "Love the Way You Move" (SLYT)
posted by Aznable at 5:31 PM PST - 22 comments

Uruguay breaks the taboo

Today Uruguay became the first country to legalize the growing, sale and smoking of marijuana.
posted by Tom-B at 5:11 PM PST - 60 comments

Beyond a boundary

We overwork like cyclists dope: because everyone does it, because it’s what you do to get by, because in the moment we argue to ourselves that it feels like health and freedom.
posted by latkes at 4:52 PM PST - 23 comments

Epic Fail

Demand Media, once valued higher than the New York Times, is seeing a rapid decrease in profits because of Google changing its search algorithms. Does this mean the beginning of the end for "content farms"?
posted by reenum at 4:43 PM PST - 41 comments

Crazy as a rocket

The Electric Mayhem (previously) perform "Can You Picture That" (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by Gelatin at 4:42 PM PST - 23 comments

A few cups of good cheer

A Bar Above presents 25 freely available classic bartending books providing a wealth of drinks (and otherwise fascinating information) to liven up your holiday season. These are hosted on Google's Play service, so a Google account might be necessary to access. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla at 4:34 PM PST - 9 comments

Sorry, it must be dusty in here..

Two Turkish girls react to seeing [SPOILER REDACTED] in "Day Of The Doctor"
posted by mediocre at 3:36 PM PST - 49 comments

Martyn Ashton's Bike Party 2

Martyn Ashton gets a little help from his friends to finish Bike Party 2 Earlier this year, Martyn Ashton, one of the fathers of trials riding, sustained life changing injuries (Previously). He is currently paralyzed from the waist down. When he was injured, he had partially completed the sequel to his first Road Bike Party video. His friends, Chris Akrigg and Danny MacAskill, helped finish the new video.
posted by The World Famous at 2:34 PM PST - 11 comments

Rachel Maclean

The humorously horrible, nauseatingly positive and cheerfully grotesque art of Rachel Maclean.
posted by homunculus at 1:20 PM PST - 17 comments

Boot Boy

Skinhead Farewell a BBC documentary on the controversial cult novelist James Moffat aka Richard Allen
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:12 PM PST - 12 comments

Hot, Hot Climate Science

Climate Models: A calendar of "renowned climate scientists, their research, their favorite datasets, and memorable dates in weather and climate history."
posted by Cash4Lead at 12:30 PM PST - 6 comments

For all your ghost town needs

Do you like obsessively cataloged information? Do you like abandoned, semi-abandoned, and/or semi-repopulated ghost towns? Do you like amazingly poor web design? Then you will love ghosttowns.com, an exhaustive collection of thousands of ghost towns in the US and Canada. Find out how to visit ghost towns, and then click on the map to find one near you!
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:29 PM PST - 24 comments

A Universe In Which Time Has No Beginning

"Maybe the Big Bang never happened because the universe never began because it has always existed." Scientific American magazine revisits the decade-old idea that we live in a "Rainbow" universe (where different wavelengths of light experience spacetime differently and where the big bang may never have happened) following the publication of new physics research on the subject.
posted by rcraniac at 12:19 PM PST - 83 comments

Hey it's Tuesday, again.

"I don't think you're an angel! I think you're a smelly man in a smelly coat!" A very special Supernatural Christmas parody.
posted by The Whelk at 12:08 PM PST - 90 comments

America's last political taboo

We were left wondering why a man who served 16 terms in Congress and who bravely came out as gay all the way back in 1987 felt the need to hide his atheism until he was out of office. Was it really harder to come out as an atheist politician in 2013 than as a gay one 25 years ago? Incredibly, the answer might be yes. For starters, consider that there is not a single self-described atheist in Congress today. Not one.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:05 PM PST - 165 comments

Throughout the ages, women have led rebellions and revolutions...

Ten amazing women who led rebellions.
posted by Mistress at 11:32 AM PST - 12 comments

Here's yer new engine.

Piratjagt! Discover what patrolling pirate infested waters off the coast of the Horn of Africa is like with the Danish Navy. (6lyt)
posted by allkindsoftime at 11:29 AM PST - 14 comments

Ought to Focus

On Sunday I covered what was easily the hardest football game I've ever been asked to shoot. In turn it was the most fun I've ever had on an assignment.
The blizzard-like conditions this past Sunday rendered his auto-focus useless, but for photojournalist Kyle Grantham, the challenge didn't stop him from capturing incredible photographs.
posted by spiderskull at 11:25 AM PST - 27 comments

Ooh, pick me up.

The New York City Taxi Drivers 2014 Calendar (via New York Magazine) [more inside]
posted by facehugger at 11:20 AM PST - 3 comments

The Big Picture

This is The Big Picture, an official television report of the United States Army, produced for the armed forces and the American people. Now to show you part of The Big Picture here is Master Sargent Stuart Queen
The series consists of ~822 documentaries produced by the United States Army Signal Corps Army Pictorial Service from 1951 to 1971 to educate both soldiers in uniform and the American public about military concerns as well as things like historical battles, world geography, famous soldiers, the latest weapons, space exploration, strategic objectives, peaceful initiatives, and the life of a soldier. Being a product of the Federal Government it belongs to the the American people, and is thus freely available to all to copy and distribute. Most can now be viewed on archive.org
[more inside]
posted by Blasdelb at 11:05 AM PST - 6 comments

We're not so different

Who's influencing reproductive policy in Canada? Unfortunately, the difference between the religious right in Canada and our neighbours to the south is not so much doctrinal as it is window dressing. The Tea Party’s "late term abortion" red herring with its attendant gruesome imagery very much parallels the "gender-selection" trope of the Conservative base in Canada. It’s a matter of media and public relations, knowing your audience and playing to its sympathies.
posted by Conspire at 11:02 AM PST - 22 comments

Bootstrapping Young Lads

Just two sentences make Americans as pro-welfare as Danes People’s attitudes to welfare depend on their perceptions of welfare recipients. If they believe that welfare recipients are lazy, they are unlikely to support welfare. If they believe that welfare recipients are making an effort to find work, they are likely to take a different attitude. Aarøe and Petersen conducted survey experiments in the United States and Denmark to investigate whether stereotypes shaped Danish and European attitudes. They randomly exposed some participants in both countries to canned information suggesting that a welfare recipient was lazy, others to information suggesting that a welfare recipient was motivated to find work, and others to no substantial information about the recipient. They then asked people to evaluate social welfare benefits. On average, Americans were considerably more likely to associate welfare with laziness than Danes. But what’s interesting is that these stereotypes were largely overwhelmed by the canned information when it was available. When the man on welfare was described in the following terms: "He has always had a regular job, but has now been the victim of a work-related injury. He is very motivated to get back to work again" the differences between Americans and Danes disappeared. Both were largely willing to support social welfare measures. [more inside]
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 10:34 AM PST - 29 comments

There’s a Reason They Call Them ‘Crazy Ants’

“They literally come in waves of just millions." Crazy ants are infecting Texas. (Single link NY Times Magazine)
posted by capnsue at 10:01 AM PST - 128 comments

So thank you for that wonderful gem of musical goodness!

Bastille - Pompeii (Violin Loop Cover By David Wong) by David Wong (DLYT)
posted by andoatnp at 9:38 AM PST - 4 comments

Eternal moral vigilance is no laughing matter.

The PLT Games are a monthly programming language competition. At the beginning of every month, a new theme is picked and developers begin work on a language that they think best fits the theme. At the end of every month, developers submit their projects and entries are submitted during the next month. [more inside]
posted by fizzzzzzzzzzzy at 8:53 AM PST - 5 comments

"[L]uxury journals are supposed to be the epitome of quality"

Prestige scientific journals are bad for science, and we should avoid them. "Just as Wall Street needs to break the hold of bonus culture, so science must break the tyranny of the luxury journals." So argues Nobel laureate Randy Schekman, urging scholars to shift their work to open source journals. [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 8:04 AM PST - 26 comments

People should believe 71% of what they hear on the news

Ron Burgundy did the News last week in Bismark North Dakota. Some thought it made a mockery of the news, but the station is pretty happy with how it turned out. This week, Ron dropped in on Emerson College to give some advice to the journalism grads, starting with "Of course you have to report the facts. Unless it’s too hard to find the facts — then, just make something up."
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:54 AM PST - 100 comments

What Happened on Easter Island

What Happened on Easter Island - A New (Even Scarier)Scenario A new theory exploring the rise and fall of the people of Easter Island.
posted by agregoli at 7:42 AM PST - 52 comments

My Big Gay Illegal Wedding

Tim Gunn and the ACLU present "My Big Gay (Il)legal Wedding", a contest for same-sex folks in non-marriage equality states to come up with the most creative ways to cross state lines into a marriage equality state and get married. The winning couples will receive $5,000 for their wedding expenses, assistance from a wedding planner and a trip to New York for an event, planned for March, styled like a wedding reception.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:38 AM PST - 24 comments

Aliens didn't do it

The mystery of the Mima mounds may have been solved.
posted by Artw at 7:06 AM PST - 42 comments

Stop Motion

Making Of The Bear and The Hare - For the John Lewis Christmas advert Hornet/Blinkink directors Elliot Dear and Yves Geleyn took the two most traditional and time-honored animation processes – stop-motion and traditional hand-drawn 2D animation – and combined them to create something innovative and unique.
posted by Wolfdog at 5:50 AM PST - 13 comments

iPads and food banks.

Let's admit it: Britain is now a developing country.
Gender equality? The WEF ranks us behind Nicaragua and Lesotho. Investment by business? The Economist thinks we are struggling to keep up with Mali. Let me put it more broadly, Britain is a rich country accruing many of the stereotypical bad habits of a developing country.
Aditya Chakrabortty discusses the increasing hollowing out of the UK economy, as well as the City as an economically distorting resource curse.
posted by jaduncan at 3:18 AM PST - 74 comments

...homophobia isn't a punchline.

Why I’m quitting Tropfest The December 2013 winner of Tropfest - The world's largest short film festival has attracted controversy by awarding first prize to Bamboozled - a story where a man sleeps with his ex girlfriend who's had a sex change as a punchline. TROPFEST #FAIL: WHY THEY GOT IT WRONG
posted by mattoxic at 1:32 AM PST - 93 comments

Hickory Dickory Dock

"We began the present study by asking, as some linguists have asked before us, why the ordering of certain conjoined elements is fixed." -Cooper and Ross, 1975 (pdf) Siamese twins in linguistics: examples are "here and there (and everywhere)" and "peas and carrots." Siamese twins are also known as "binomial freezes," "irreversible binomials," or "freezes," and they can change over time, too. And that can lead to fossil words! Speaking of fossil words, did you know about cranberry morphemes? [more inside]
posted by aniola at 1:00 AM PST - 40 comments

From Deleuze to LOLCats: the Story of the BuzzFeed Guy

"It is difficult to isolate a particular ideology from the image-repertoire of late capitalism. What is noticeable is not the content of the images but the efficiency and rapidity with which they are circulated and consumed." [more inside]
posted by Alterity at 12:20 AM PST - 10 comments

Five tackles and a kick

We northerners are well-balanced people: we have chips on both our shoulders. One of our long-standing gripes is that Their Rugby – union – is treated as a national sport while Our Rugby – league – is patronised as a parochial throwback to a mud-splattered, black-and-white, trouble-at-the-mill world of slag heaps, Tetley’s ale, black pudding, whippets, brass bands and bizarrely accented, trilby-hatted buffoons droning on about “up and unders” and “early baths”. -- Why is Rugby League still patronised as a mud-splattered, parochial throwback?
posted by MartinWisse at 12:14 AM PST - 26 comments

December 9

It's coming just that much closer to reality

Curious as to what various legal and intelligence agencies can do with the data they are now currently collecting? They are collecting cell phone locations, there are currently license plate scanning vehicles in many larger cities, and Google Maps will gladly integrate with your location mapping systems to show you what type of business is at your coordinates. All state criminal databases are now nationally available. So the ACLU would like you to know what is going to happen in the possible near future.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 8:53 PM PST - 68 comments

"appointed to his spot by every single president since Nixon."

In 1973, a small think-tank with the mandate of anticipating and preparing for future threats was formed inside the DoD, called the Office of Net Assessment. A RAND corp strategist named Andrew Marshall was placed at its head. Forty years later, he's still at it and has survived the latest round of budget cuts - for now. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:55 PM PST - 18 comments

Replacing a trampoline with a see-saw...

David and Steph Teeterboard training.
posted by dobbs at 7:35 PM PST - 7 comments

The Vine Orchestra

Last month, the Vine Orchestra held a call for orchestral scores with durations of less than 6 seconds. Over 150 compositions were entered, and 52 compositions were performed and recorded on December 1st. You can find all 52 on their youtube playlist. [more inside]
posted by moonmilk at 6:26 PM PST - 23 comments

Margaret Mead's passion

"Always I love you and realize what a desert life might have been without you." —Margaret Mead to anthropologist and folklorist Ruth Benedict, who remained her companion and arguably her soul-mate despite both women having husbands.
posted by Athanassiel at 5:25 PM PST - 9 comments

Oregon Christmas Tree Harvest With Helicopter

Oregon Christmas Tree Harvest With Helicopter. [more inside]
posted by SpacemanStix at 4:57 PM PST - 46 comments

Movie Posters from a Hollywood where Values Are...Different.

Red Jalopy creates posters for 10 fake films from The Simpsons. Fake promotional materials for fictional movies have become a popular form of amateur and professional graphic design on the web and in real life. The latest entry, Red Jalopy's posters for ten fictional films featured on The Simpsons, plays with fantasy casting and period design elements. It follows the recent appearance of posters for Seinfeld's fake foreign movie, Rochelle, Rochelle around New York City and the circulation online of a Wonder Twins movie. [more inside]
posted by kewb at 4:20 PM PST - 46 comments

The 'grotesque beauty' of medieval Britons' diseased bones

Digitised Diseases is an open access resource featuring human bones which have been digitised using 3D laser scanning, CT and radiography. The resource focuses on a wide range of pathological type specimens from archaeological and historical medical collections, specifically examples of chronic diseases which affect the human skeleton for which many of the physical changes are often not directly observable within clinical practice. Of major interest to many will be high fidelity photo-realistic digital representations of 3D bones that can be viewed, downloaded and manipulated on their computer, tablet or smartphone. [more inside]
posted by shoesfullofdust at 3:56 PM PST - 7 comments

A Hundred Bucks Says You Won't Read This Story

Esquire's Chris Jones looks at the old techniques used to make the new US $100 bill.
posted by reenum at 1:24 PM PST - 50 comments

"I feel bad for that kid if he got Cart Life for Christmas.”

The Making Of Cart Life, the 2013 IGF award winning video game. [more inside]
posted by Diskeater at 1:01 PM PST - 12 comments

“People don’t go nowhere in Brooklyn”

The number of homeless New Yorkers in shelters has risen by more than 69 percent since 2002, when Mayor Bloomberg took office. Each night as many as 60,000 people -- including more than 22,000 children, the highest number since the Great Depression, -- experience homelessness in NYC, and during the course of each year, more than 111,000 different homeless New Yorkers, including more than 40,000 children, will sleep in the city's municipal shelter system. Meet Dasani, one of the city's 'invisible children.' [more inside]
posted by zarq at 12:34 PM PST - 112 comments

*peep peep* What does it take to kill this monster?

Let's mod Skyrim so that the dragon is Thomas the Tank Engine! (SLYT)
posted by Zarkonnen at 12:25 PM PST - 26 comments

This is the Way I Love

Ellie Castellanos is a severely autistic thirteen year old artist whose prolific drawn art, animation, films, photographs and clay sculptures all share a distinctly colorful, vibrant and upbeat style. Her mother maintains an online gallery of her work, as well as sharing her story as it develops on the site and in a blog. She has also notably used Rickrolling as inspiration to create beautiful art. [more inside]
posted by byanyothername at 12:17 PM PST - 5 comments

"You can't afford it? You can leave!"

Protesters blocked a private Google shuttle in the Mission District of San Francisco today. "In the video, a Google employee who hopped off the bus shouts down Erin McElroy, a protester who also heads the eviction mapping project. 'How long have you lived in this city?' McElroy asked him. He shouted back 'Why don't you go to a city that can afford it? This is a city for the right people who can afford it. You can't afford it? You can leave. I'm sorry, get a better job.'" Concern over increases in cost of living in San Francisco are becoming more of a focal point for discussion, as seen in a recent NYT blog post, Dystopia by the Bay.
posted by FuturisticDragon at 12:04 PM PST - 574 comments

But who needs bears when you can see a platypus?

Do not return after an encounter. Australian magpies have an incredible memory (as with all members of the Corvid family, they are very intelligent) and will attack the same people again and again. It is also too bad if you happen to look like someone they attacked before. -- Thoughts on Australia fauna
posted by Chrysostom at 11:59 AM PST - 45 comments

Getting Shit Done

A new iteration of the august tradition of fictional Amazon.com product reviews has arrived: The 2-in-1iPotty Activity Seat for iPad. (scroll down for reviews)
posted by The Whelk at 11:40 AM PST - 36 comments

A well needed refresh for the Santa brand

*Santa* is the industry standard for child-centric gift-delivery solutions
posted by rolo at 10:04 AM PST - 53 comments

I Remember It Well

Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the 1920s is very nearly literal in its title—its author, Harper's editor Frederick Lewis Allen, published it in 1931. Writing before popular memory of the decade had solidified, Allen chronicles the Scopes Trial and the Harding scandals, radio and the Red Scare; but he ignores jazz for the mahjong craze and devotes an entire chapter to the real estate boom in Florida. [more inside]
posted by Iridic at 9:16 AM PST - 33 comments

Is the Affordable Care Act a 'Republican' Health Plan?

The conventional wisdom about the origins of the Affordable Care Act is that it is a reformulated plan from the Clinton era, one that right-wingers like Newt Gingrich and the Heritage Foundation created. How true is it? [more inside]
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 9:02 AM PST - 141 comments

A Sonic Time Machine

The Roaring Twenties: An Interactive Exploration of the Historical Soundscape of New York City (sound autoplays). via i09, which says The map uses a combination of noise complaints and old reel footage to plot everything from what must have been an exceptionally noisy subway turnstile (complete with notes from the police report) all the way to a carnival barkers in Coney Island, and is a great way to listen in on the everyday life of a New York City gone-by.
posted by davidjmcgee at 8:15 AM PST - 3 comments

Tech rivals unite against surveillance

Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Apple, LinkedIn and Aol have all teamed up to oppose widespread government surveillance. In an open letter to the US president and members of congress, the companies urge the government to reform its digital spy apparatus. Live reactions at the Guardian.
posted by brina at 8:04 AM PST - 126 comments

Just vent your spleen, vent it now

SLMSV (single link med school video) NSFS not safe for (the very) squeamish [more inside]
posted by sammyo at 7:30 AM PST - 10 comments

Twenty Years of Ultra-Violence

Twenty years ago tonight, id Software uploaded Doom to an FTP server at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and completely changed the video gaming industry. [more inside]
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:16 AM PST - 92 comments

The Voice of Russia

Via decree, Russian president Vladimir Putin has abolished the country's state-owned news agency RIA Novosti, as well as the state-owned Voice of Russia radio station, effective immediately. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:54 AM PST - 47 comments

Monday Morning Robocoach

Watching one of the exciting snow-bound football games yesterday, the thought may have occurred to you: If I was a coach, would I go for it on this 4th down? This bot from the New York Times will tell you, and maybe even add a little attitude to the answer, which is usually much more aggressive than NFL coaches.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:20 AM PST - 74 comments

What Young Gay Men DO Know About AIDS

[Eleven] days ago, The New Yorker’s Daily Comment blog published an essay by Michael Specter titled “What Young Gay Men Don’t Know About Aids,” in which Specter points to the increase of “unprotected anal intercourse among gay men,” claims that “the rates of HIV infection will surely follow,” and then identifies the cause of this shift as the ignorance of my generation, who weren’t around to see the AIDS epidemic for themselves. The piece is a call to arms of sort, stating the need for increased public funding for HIV/AIDS prevention, and concludes by quoting Larry Kramer’s famous 1983 warning, “1,112 and Counting.” It’s a familiar argument—one that, in my lifetime, I have heard repeated ad nauseam and, I fear, largely misses what AIDS means to me and many other young gay men.
posted by Blasdelb at 5:53 AM PST - 71 comments

Games are an opportunity!

CIA, FBI and Pentagon spies have infiltrated online games including World of Warcraft, Second Life and Xbox Live games.
posted by xowie at 5:49 AM PST - 67 comments

The UK's first social supermarket

The UK has opened its first social supermarket as a means of combatting food poverty.* [more inside]
posted by MuffinMan at 5:34 AM PST - 7 comments

I can't believe it! Nintendo!!!

Super Mario on Ice, with Jason Bateman and Alyssa Milano
posted by timshel at 3:42 AM PST - 12 comments

There are two Americas

"That we've gotten to this point is astonishing to me, because basically in winning its victory, in seeing that Wall come down and seeing the former Stalinist state's journey towards our way of thinking in terms of markets or being vulnerable, you would have thought that we would have learned what works. Instead we've descended into what can only be described as greed" -- David Simon
posted by Acey at 3:38 AM PST - 54 comments

Boards of Italia

A musical interlude. [SLYT]
posted by panaceanot at 3:13 AM PST - 8 comments

Discrepancies in sentencing.

Men receive longer sentences for equivalent crimes. Abstract: This paper assesses gender disparities in federal criminal cases. It finds large gender gaps favoring women throughout the sentence length distribution (averaging over 60%), conditional on arrest offense, criminal history, and other pre-charge observables. Female arrestees are also significantly likelier to avoid charges and convictions entirely, and twice as likely to avoid incarceration if convicted. Prior studies have reported much smaller sentence gaps because they have ignored the role of charging, plea-bargaining, and sentencing fact-finding in producing sentences. Most studies control for endogenous severity measures that result from these earlier discretionary processes and use samples that have been winnowed by them. I avoid these problems by using a linked dataset tracing cases from arrest through sentencing. Using decomposition methods, I show that most sentence disparity arises from decisions at the earlier stages, and use the rich data to investigate causal theories for these gender gaps. [more inside]
posted by vapidave at 2:56 AM PST - 54 comments

December 8

Where does the will to go on come from?

In a rare study involving direct brain stimulation, Michael Greicius, a neurologist at Stanford University, and collaborators say they have uncovered direct evidence that a brain region known as the anterior midcingulate cortex and its surrounding network play a central role in motivation and a readiness to act.
posted by headspace at 11:25 PM PST - 8 comments

Let's "liven up our dour wardrobes with a few shades of traffic cone"

"Replace the paint of your car and accessories with reflective material" is the first of several suggestions from TriMore, a brilliant parody of the "Be Seen, Be Safe" campaign from TriMet, provider of public transit for Portland, OR. [more inside]
posted by sibilatorix at 9:57 PM PST - 33 comments

Prison for white collar criminals not as bad as commonly thought

The Atlantic cities reports: "Criminologists call it the 'special sensitivity hypothesis.' Defense attorneys often cite it as a mitigating circumstance when asking for lighter sentences for white collar clients. But according to researchers at the University of Cincinnati and the University of Missouri, "special sensitivity" may not actually exist. In the forthcoming December 2013 issue of Justice Quarterly, UC's Michael Benson and his co-researchers argue that white collar offenders adapt to prison just as well as other types of offenders, and in some categories, do even better.... 'Prisons are bureaucracies that have rules and regulations,' Benson says. 'People from middle class and white collar backgrounds understand rules and bureaucracies. I did an interview for my dissertations where I talked to a small number of white collar offenders. Before they went they were scared to death. They imagined all these bad things happening. Once they get there, after the initial shock passed, they realized it’s just a big organization. Follow the rules, be polite to people, don’t go outside your space, and you’ll be fine.'"
posted by bookman117 at 8:12 PM PST - 27 comments

Toxic Hot Seat

Previously, covering Part One (out of Six) of the Chicago Tribune investigation Chemical flame retardants are everywhere. Our furniture. Our homes. Our bodies. Yet they don’t seem to stop fires. They do, however, seem to make us sick. TOXIC HOT SEAT is a documentary which takes an in-depth look at a nexus of money, politics and power – and a courageous group of firefighters, mothers, journalists, scientists, politicians and activists as they fight to expose what they assert is a shadowy campaign of deception that has left a toxic legacy in America’s homes and bodies for nearly 40 years. Set against the backdrop of the award-winning 2012 Chicago Tribune investigative series “Playing with Fire,” TOXIC HOT SEAT tells an intricate story, detailing how chemical companies that produce flame retardants spend millions of dollars on lobbyists, publicists and influencers, and how Big Tobacco had a hand in convincing fire-safety officials to back a standard that, in effect, requires all furniture to be filled with toxic flame retardants. [more inside]
posted by beisny at 7:41 PM PST - 7 comments

"And I require the ATF to pay for the removal"

28 year old Chauncey Wright, brain damaged, with an IQ in the 50s, had trouble holding a job. Seeing some men handing out flyers at a Walmart parking lot, Wright asked if they needed a helper. Soon, Wright found himself handing out flyers on his bike, eventually procuring drugs and firearms for his employers. And inidicted on several drug and gun charges after finding out his employers were undercover ATF officers running a sting operation in a curious Milwaukee storefront. During which the storefront was burgled, damaged, the owner stiffed on repair costs, and several guns stolen from ATF vehicles, including a machine gun that has yet to be recovered. This wasn't an isolated incident. [more inside]
posted by 2N2222 at 7:40 PM PST - 30 comments

Canadian As F**k

...sure gas is cheap but fuck if they don't even have all-dressed chips in that shithole. [more inside]
posted by jimmythefish at 3:57 PM PST - 82 comments

Bring life to something inanimate

The work of Zina Nicole Lahr. [more inside]
posted by klausman at 3:55 PM PST - 10 comments

There and Back Again

To define the world of The Hobbit is, of course, impossible, because it is new. - C.S. Lewis reviews The Hobbit. Why Smaug Sill Matters. Tolkien, Alignment, Non-Violence, and Why Hobbits are Required for Middle-earth to Survive. "‘Smaug’ is about almost absolutely nothing". Scientist maps climate of Lord of the Rings.
posted by Artw at 1:37 PM PST - 157 comments

Isleworth Mona Lisa: a younger, happier version, or a decent knockoff?

There has long been various lines of speculation about Mona Lisa, including the existence of an earlier version of the painting. A painting purported to be the earlier version was revealed in 2012. The accuracy of the statements are supported by The Mona Lisa Foundation, who have set up an extensive website around the history of the Mona Lisa and other versions, and also prepared a 21 minute documentary with various professionals providing their knowledge on the topic. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 12:42 PM PST - 24 comments

Kim and Kanye for the Comic Con classes

Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer: an audience with geek royalty
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:47 AM PST - 247 comments

Meatball!

Corgi on a Carousel (Obligatory Yakety Sax version)
posted by griphus at 9:28 AM PST - 36 comments

People of Color are not an anachronism

The Tumblr blog People of Color in European Art History, or medievalpoc for short, has a simple mission: to showcase works of art from European history that feature People of Color. All too often, these works go unseen in museums, Art History classes, online galleries, and other venues because of retroactive whitewashing of Medieval Europe, Scandinavia, and Asia. [more inside]
posted by daisyk at 9:12 AM PST - 107 comments

Tongue twister

MIT Researchers Say They Have Created The Trickiest Tongue Twister To Date [more inside]
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:48 AM PST - 75 comments

There’s a 1,200-year-old Phone in the Smithsonian Collections

There's a 1,200 year old string phone made out of gourds and twine, and it's the only one we have. It's from the Chimu, a culture in Peru that was later conquered by the Inca around 1470.
posted by shashashasha at 8:34 AM PST - 29 comments

If Only For A Second

Twenty cancer patients were asked to keep their eyes shut while they were given a makeover. A photographer then immortalized the moment they opened their eyes in front of a one-way mirror.
posted by gman at 6:34 AM PST - 57 comments

Across Europe, a Growing Sense That Legalized Prostitution Isn't Working

Don't believe France's reputation as a country where sexual peccadillos are always overlooked. After a vote by the country's National Assembly on Wednesday, it has just joined a growing group of European nations where buying sex is now illegal. France is not alone in its fresh efforts to curb prostitution. The move follows similar bans in Sweden and Norway, while other European countries are also scaling back laissez-faire prostitution policies. Germany is poised to change its liberal sex trade laws, while Ireland is also debating a measure similar to France's. Is the end of legal prostitution in Europe in sight?
(Don't miss the deep and interesting links found within the article.)
[more inside]
posted by Blasdelb at 5:48 AM PST - 87 comments

Dreams

In Dreams is an experimental documentary that visualises the dreams of ordinary individuals...
posted by homunculus at 12:32 AM PST - 2 comments

December 7

Are you ready, boots?

12 Shoes for 12 Lovers [NSFW] is a creative collection of sculptural footwear by New York-based Chilean designer Sebastian Errazuriz that is inspired by his past personal relationships. [SFW alternate link]
posted by sacrifix at 11:29 PM PST - 18 comments

"We just choose to be present."

In 1986, Sandra Clarke was working as a staff nurse at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Eugene, OR when a dying man asked her to sit with him. She agreed but first needed to make her rounds and the man died alone in his room before she was able to return. Troubled, and feeling that she had failed a patient, she resolved to gather volunteers to stay with those who were alone and close to death. Ms. Clarke enlisted her entire hospital for a bedside vigil system to help ensure that patients would not be alone when they died. In 2001, Sacred Heart formalized the program as No One Dies Alone (NODA) and over the last decade, it has spread to hospitals across the US. "Susan Cox Is No Longer Here" offers us a glimpse into the NODA experience in Indianapolis. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 10:09 PM PST - 23 comments

Thanks, Cinco! ;-)

The Cinco Family/Corporation is a fictional corporation which spans the television and internet works of comedian Bob Odenkirk. From 2007 to 2010, the comedy television program Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, served as an outlet for Cinco Products skits. The commercials and infomercials use green screen and special effects with the intent of mimicking the standard format of infomercials from the late 1980s and early 1990s, often lampooning technology from the same era (such as the Cinco MIDI Organizer). Generally, the goods and services sold by Cinco companies are a bizarre assortment of useless, pointless and/or physically harmful products, at least three of which require the removal of all of the user's teeth. [NSFW] [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A at 8:50 PM PST - 48 comments

Give the gift of GIF!

Gifpop is a tool to make custom cards from animated gifs, using the magic of lenticular printing. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:43 PM PST - 18 comments

One pill makes you nano, and one pill makes you giga...

The pressure of a human bite is about 1/9th of the atmospheric pressure on Venus. The fastest bacterium on earth is just outstripping the fastest glacier. A square meter of sunshine in the spring imparts about 1 horsepower. [more inside]
posted by kagredon at 6:10 PM PST - 20 comments

A cob house project

How Lois Lewis, 72, Built Her Own Home [more inside]
posted by aniola at 5:50 PM PST - 22 comments

The community garden, red in tooth and claw

“People have this idea, because it’s a ‘community’ garden, you’ll have a bunch of people sitting around holding hands, singing ‘Kumbaya,’” says Julie Beals, executive director of the Los Angeles Community Garden Council (LACGC ). “Have you seen an actual community?”
posted by jason's_planet at 5:40 PM PST - 43 comments

At least there's only five more to go.

Following the high profile of her first major song, "Friday", Rebecca Black has released the video to her new song, "Saturday". [more inside]
posted by Wordshore at 5:27 PM PST - 48 comments

At least three disturbing lessons about love.

So take the film on its own titular terms. What does Love Actually tell us about love, actually? Well, I think it tells us a number of things, most of them wrong and a few of them appalling. Now, anyone who goes to the cineplex with any regularity knows that the last decade has seen more than its share of bad romantic comedies. But Love Actually is exceptional in that it is not merely, like so many other entries in the genre, unromantic. Rather, it is emphatically, almost shockingly, anti-romantic. Love Actually Is the Least Romantic Film of All Time
posted by davidjmcgee at 4:55 PM PST - 105 comments

WIND

WIND is an animated short about the daily life of people living in a windy area who seem helplessly exposed to the weather. However, the inhabitants have learned to deal with their difficult living conditions. The wind creates a natural system for living.
posted by sweetkid at 4:30 PM PST - 10 comments

The Other Side of the Story: Having an Affair with My 8th Grade Teacher

"I once believed that that flutter came from the flapping of butterflies’ wings, but I have since learned that it came from a grown man fanning the flames of a young girl’s vulnerability...they engulfed trust and then incinerated innocence. They left scar tissue on my memory and cinders of my late childhood...I could gather those remains just as I once gathered lies in a jar, and I have learned to spread the ashes along wherever I go, so that I won’t have to rummage through debris."
posted by rcraniac at 4:07 PM PST - 62 comments

Are you alive? If so, can you define what that means?

Why Life Does Not Really Exist
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:57 PM PST - 85 comments

Half a pinkie's length up, right where the cartilage meets the bone

I discovered a new species up my nose. It could well be that the Ugandan nostril ticks have yet to spread beyond the particular park where we conducted our research. We now have to return and set traps to catch more. More on Tony Goldberg
posted by KokuRyu at 2:41 PM PST - 19 comments

Don't try this at home, kids

Riding a bike backwards at 80km/h. (SLYT) In Trollstigen, Norway.
posted by ambrosia at 2:12 PM PST - 27 comments

Our Final Invention: How the Human Race Goes and Gets Itself Killed

Worried about robots? You should be. Artificial intelligence superior to our own is, by some estimates, only thirty years away. What could possibly go wrong? The answer: everything.
posted by artemisia at 2:02 PM PST - 86 comments

Faculty X

Colin Wilson has passed away at the age of 82. He rose to fame in the 50s with The Outsider, which made him a figure amongst Britain's Beat movement and Angry Young Men. His writing has spanned the fiction and non-fiction, with an interest in the paranormal and the occult, his thoughts on which he blended with HP Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos to produce The Mind Parasites. A TV series based on his The Space Vampires, also the basis for the movie Lifeforce (previously), is currently planned. Wikipedia page, 2004 Guardian interview, Times Obituary (subs only).
posted by Artw at 1:19 PM PST - 40 comments

Glorp Gum: alternate history air sickness gum and Soviet holiday cards

Glorp Gum is a alternate/deviant history project made by Brad McGinty, detailing the history of Glorp Gum as an air-sickness preventing gum in World War II, and the Glorp Gum subsidiary, the Glorp Greeting Card Company, with their soviet holiday card fiasco. (previously: Brad McGinty's alternate history of the "cut-away Santa" card)
posted by filthy light thief at 11:45 AM PST - 4 comments

Porn comments on stock photography

Pornhubcommentsonstockphotos combines the (NSFW) comments left on porn sites with stock photography. (NSFW because of text). [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus at 9:09 AM PST - 87 comments

I'm Beginning To Eat The Slice

Do you like Pizza? Do you like The Velvet Underground? Then you might like Mccaulay Culkin's new pizza-themed Velvet Underground tribute band.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 8:18 AM PST - 51 comments

acousticks

The Wikidrummer How the sound of a drum kit changes depending on where you play it. (slyt)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:50 AM PST - 11 comments

"More than anything, they are our equals."

West Australian MP Stephen Dawson and his partner Dennis Liddelow have become the first same-sex couple to legally marry in Australia. But the High Court of Australia may declare the legislation that allowed them to get married — and thus their marriage itself — invalid next week. [more inside]
posted by Georgina at 6:30 AM PST - 13 comments

Let's adorably freeze to death!

Canadian couple blows bubbles in 45 below weather [more inside]
posted by angrycat at 5:52 AM PST - 81 comments

The Invisible World of cute Animalcules doing cute things

We are all surrounded by microorganisms, they live on us within us and around us, they affect everything we do, yet most people have no idea what they look like. Using the latest technology it is possible to see into this normally invisible world
posted by Blasdelb at 4:15 AM PST - 24 comments

December 6

The Pit of Bones

Baffling 400,000-Year-Old Clue (NYT) to Human Origins: The pit of bones hides our oldest DNA.
posted by homunculus at 10:40 PM PST - 7 comments

What it says on the tin.

Celebrities naked with fish. Photography done for the Fishlove campaign which raises awareness about the destruction of the seas and the unsustainable practices that lead to over fishing. Founded by the restaurant, Moshimo and the actresss, Greta Saatchi it gathers celebrity, professional photography and fish to ask the question, "Are you a fish lover?" [more inside]
posted by jadepearl at 8:22 PM PST - 47 comments

Radiant Orchid is the New Black

Pantone's committee of designers and fashion mavens have declared that the 2014 color of the year will be Radiant Orchid. Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore disagree. [more inside]
posted by humanfont at 7:38 PM PST - 81 comments

PATIENT ZERO

There's A Whole New Way Of Killing Cancer: Stephanie Lee Is The Test Case [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:37 PM PST - 45 comments

You Shall Not Pass, Dog.

You Shall Not Pass, Dog. Sweet dogs terrified of walking past cats: a dramatic compilation. Apparently, Gandolf would be a kitty.
posted by SpacemanStix at 7:00 PM PST - 74 comments

"Music"

This poster has written this Metafilter post of music specially to introduce you to the instruments of the orchestra. There are four teams of players; the STRINGS, the WOODWIND, the BRASS, and the PERCUSSION. Each of these four teams uses instruments which have a family likeness. They make roughly the same kind of sound in the same way. The STRINGS are played with a bow or plucked by the fingers. The WOODWIND are blown by the breath. The BRASS are blown too. The PERCUSSION are banged. Now we have taken the whole Orchestra to pieces. We have no intention of putting it together again. [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco at 5:38 PM PST - 3 comments

Wrist Mounted Gadgets Ahoy!

Drop Kicker is a blog that investigates products on Kickstarter and Indiegogo that look scientifically implausible, outright impossible, or completely scammy
posted by The Whelk at 5:18 PM PST - 15 comments

Detainee on board

The Rendition Project is the most recent and the most thorough attempt to render visible the extraordinary scope of the global system of detention sites, linked by the covert transfer of detainees across national borders (via Geographical Imaginations which discusses the project in the context of earlier visualizations). The Project includes first-hand accounts, a timeline, and the Rendition Flights Database and interactive map (the world's largest compilation of public flight data relating to the rendition program). [more inside]
posted by spamandkimchi at 2:47 PM PST - 6 comments

Game 150: A Week in the Life of an Officiating Crew

The MMQB went behind the scenes with NFL referee Gene Steratore and his crew for an unprecedented look at the pressures and responsibilities of the third team on the field on NFL Sundays: the seven men in stripes who enforce the rules.
Part One: The Referee
Part Two: The Crew
Part Three: 24 hours of football: Saturday preparations and Game 150
posted by popechunk at 2:33 PM PST - 21 comments

Turntable.fm shuts down

Turntable.fm (previously), a virtual DJ room where users streamed music together, has lost the fight (previously) to stay alive and has gone silent. Are other streaming music sites like Spotify and Pandora also in danger?.
posted by melissam at 2:29 PM PST - 46 comments

Portal to a Wiki-Hole

Every Animated GIF on Wikipedia
posted by nadawi at 1:17 PM PST - 35 comments

Sexism alive and well at D.C. Metro

DC Metro launched a new ad to promote their rebuilding effort and were immediately criticized for the sexist message. Parodies have begun.
posted by agatha_magatha at 1:12 PM PST - 70 comments

Games people (can) play (by themselves)

Lonely? Bored? Well, the 2013 Solitaire Print and Play Contest is here to help you stave off boredom this weekend (and burn through all of your printer ink). This year's winner is Maquis, a "solitaire worker-placement game with variable goals and a play time of approximately twenty minutes. The player places his resistance agents on spaces around town to achieve his goals - blowing up trains, publishing underground newspapers - but at the same time Milice collaborators and Wehrmacht soldiers patrol the area." [more inside]
posted by jbickers at 12:47 PM PST - 5 comments

Sell, Mortimer, Sell!

Bitcoin is crashing. After reaching a peak of approximately $1150 USD per BTC yesterday, a panic selloff is happening now. The price has dropped below 800USD, a loss of over 30%, and may be lower by the time you read this. Or it could recover and go higher. You can watch realtime charts of the bubble bursting at The Genesis Block and other BTC tracking sites. The panic began when the government of China has banned banks from using Bitcoins. China is the largest Bitcoin market and restrictions have a significant and unpredictable impact. Bitcoin panic selloffs have occurred before, but the price has recovered and increased nearly tenfold. [more inside]
posted by charlie don't surf at 12:38 PM PST - 296 comments

Mad Love

Chris Sims examines Harley Quinn, one of the most misused and misunderstood characters in comics, taking in her Batman:The Animated Series debut played by Arleen Sorkin (audio), through to The Batman Adventures: Mad Love and the New 52 incarnation which recently drew ire with a controversial try-out page for artists.
posted by Artw at 12:17 PM PST - 40 comments

The illuminating history of the Gävle Goat

The Gävle Goat is a house-sized Swedish Yule Goat made of straw erected at the start of Advent each year and sponsored by merchants from the southern half of Gävle. While the 2013 incarnation is currently unharmed, the goat is a magnet for vandalism and 22 of 37 goats since 1966 have been destroyed, usually by burning. Some burn just days after construction even with ice coats and fire-proofing. The event is frequent enough that there are bookmaking odds on whether this year's goat will survive. [more inside]
posted by Alison at 9:40 AM PST - 74 comments

The Rise and Fall of BlackBerry: An Oral History

In 1984, Mike Lazaridis, an engineering student at the University of Waterloo, and Douglas Fregin, an engineering student at the University of Windsor, founded an electronics and computer science consulting company called Research In Motion, or RIM. For years the company tinkered in obscurity, until it focused on a breakthrough technology: an easy, secure, and effective device that allowed workers to send and receive e-mails while away from the office. They called it the BlackBerry.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:40 AM PST - 62 comments

The Obesity Myth.?!?

Study may bust myth of 'fat and fit' healthy obesity. Being healthy and obese is a myth, researchers say. People who are obese and have normal blood pressure, cholesterol and blood-sugar readings will still be unhealthy and die sooner compared with people who have a normal body weight, according to researchers. [more inside]
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 8:29 AM PST - 226 comments

Maria, what is it you cannot face?

Last night, for the first time since the 1955 broadcast of "Peter Pan", the NBC television network aired a live performance of "The Sound of Music". [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:21 AM PST - 311 comments

If I had wings like Noah's Dove...

In 1904, John A. Lomax recorded Dink, a levee worker, singing a folk song. In 1934, Lomax published the song in his book, American Ballads and Folk Songs. It went on to become a folk staple. Recently, the Coen Brothers used a new recording of the song by Marcus Mumford and Oscar Isaac in the trailer for the film Inside Llewyn Davis. (Isaac plays the title role.) Jool's Musical Flowers, a blog dedicated to "the ORIGINAL versions of [mostly blues and gospel music] famous songs and songs covered by famous poeople" has compiled a thorough list of covers. The only two I might add are Jeff Buckley's 1992 performance at WFMU, and Joan Baez's 2004 performance at the Bowery Ballroom. (Previously)
posted by Going To Maine at 7:51 AM PST - 6 comments

you can love me if you want it's not my problem

"Alt lit [previously] is accused of navel-gazing myopia, but technically any writing occurring outside of traditional institutions qualifies for the label. Everyone I know has written alt lit: every status update, every blog post, everything that has ever been said on Twitter. And Twitter, unbeknown to Jonathan Franzen, is especially literary...Which brings me to Heiko Julien," Author (and composer) of "I Am Ready To Die A Violent Death." [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:41 AM PST - 21 comments

Hacking a Reporter

Adam L. Penenberg challenged a white-hat group of hackers to see how much they could learn about him. Two months later, the result terrified him. SpiderLabs tells how they did it in three posts: one two three
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:13 AM PST - 28 comments

It’s a Midwestern strip

From 1989, when Calvin & Hobbes was still pretty new, The Comics Journal's interview with Bill Watterson. The interviewer was Richard Samuel West.
posted by MartinWisse at 6:59 AM PST - 18 comments

Traditional Finnish Log House Building Process

This video shows the process of building a log cabin. It was shot in Finland. The narration is in Finnish, but you can turn on the English subtitles.
posted by tykky at 5:38 AM PST - 36 comments

It is very cold in space

Captain Picard and the crew of the Enterprise sing "Let it Snow" (SLYT)
posted by Gelatin at 5:11 AM PST - 16 comments

The purrfect activity for a coffee break

The worst thing about cats is that you can't play with them unless you're physically present. Being elsewhere means being unable to play with a cat! It's a horrible situation, but now there's a solution. iPet Companion lets you select a shelter and control a camera and trigger toys in the selected shelter's kitty play room. If there's other people on that shelter's page, you'll have to wait your turn, but turns are two minutes long so there's rarely much of a wait.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:01 AM PST - 46 comments

Where My Ladies At?

Recently Emily Graslie, of the fantastic natural history tumblr and youtube series TheBrainScoop, was asked a question about whether she had personally experienced sexism in her field. Her response is fucking amazing.
Inside is her goldmine of awesome female science educators online with channels that focus on Science Technology Engineering and Math. My work day is fucked.
[more inside]
posted by Blasdelb at 3:57 AM PST - 37 comments

December 5

Leaked photographs from the Nauru immigration detention centre

For the first time, photographs have leaked out from inside the Nauru immigration detention centre. Reopened in 2012, the detention centre houses between 500-600 people, mostly of Iranian background, who are attempting to seek asylum in Australia. The centre was most recently in the news following riots that destroyed much of the facility's infrastructure. Conditions at the center have been criticised by the UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights as "unbearable".
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot at 10:35 PM PST - 31 comments

( o > ... ( - >

Sleepy, sleepy ostriches. According to this PLOS One article, "the amount of REM sleep in ostriches is greater than in any other bird." Here's a simplified article about that study, featuring video of three of the ostriches from that study experiencing [well-labelled] slow-wave and REM sleep. Here's one tired ostrich, succumbing to slumber around 0:50. And here's the cute baby ostrich who just can't stay awake. If this all's making you snoozy, you may need an ostrich pillow.
posted by not_on_display at 9:51 PM PST - 10 comments

Revolutionary new birthing device based on party trick

The Odon childbirthing device Argentinian car mechanic Jorge Odon saw this party trick. It occurred to him it could help with difficult births. It seems he may be right.
posted by holist at 9:34 PM PST - 49 comments

So smart it's stupid

Unbrella is everything bad about umbrellas, improved. Once you see its innovations (dry side out when closed, water repelled away from you as you close it, stands on its own) you'll wonder like I did why no one thought of this decades ago. [more inside]
posted by mathowie at 9:27 PM PST - 53 comments

"[O]ne of the more egregious failures of the criminal justice system..."

U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff on "Why Have No High Level Executives Been Prosecuted In Connection With The Financial Crisis?" Judge Rakoff, a federal trial judge who sits in the Southern District of New York, writes: "[M]y point is that the Department of Justice has never taken the position that all the top executives involved in the events leading up to the financial crisis were innocent, but rather has offered one or another excuse for not criminally prosecuting them – excuses that, on inspection, appear unconvincing."
posted by jayder at 9:08 PM PST - 28 comments

Just out for a rip

Who says our friends to the north are too polite to cause trouble ? Sometimes, they like to go out for a rip eh. (slyt)
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:03 PM PST - 49 comments

Rule Six: The winning team shall be the first team that wins.

Do you love to play a well crafted video game, and are also interested in learning more about The Ashes? Then this video commentary is not for you. (SLYT, blue language)
posted by Brocktoon at 7:52 PM PST - 13 comments

"Might as well have been."

Skeptics Gone Wild: Navigating America’s Conspiracy Theory Culture
But trying to explain away anyone’s specific conspiracy belief, or conspiratorial thinking in general, misses the point—the point being that there’s no longer anything especially irrational about believing that shadowy actors are subverting American democracy. Think of that CIA dispatch, advocating a propaganda campaign against the suspicious. Picture the president, slumped forward in the back seat of his limousine, a bullet through his neck. As he lays dying something new is being born, a creeping miasma of suspicion that will spread across Dallas, across Texas, across America.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:27 PM PST - 80 comments

Supersonic bionic robot voodoo power

Little girl does karaoke to "Earth People" by Dr. Octagon (SLYT).
posted by escape from the potato planet at 7:25 PM PST - 15 comments

The Biggest Little Site in the World

Imgur began as a photo sharing site to be used by Redditors. It now outpaces Reddit in total traffic. What's next for the site?
posted by reenum at 7:18 PM PST - 20 comments

"Why do you dance?" "I love it! My body loves it!"

Dancing is fun, if it's by the pool, on the porch (previously), or on television in front of millions. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 7:10 PM PST - 2 comments

Bunnies.

The 33 Most Important Bunny Gifs on the Internet. (Via Buzzfeed. They can stop now, they have won the Internet.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:51 PM PST - 21 comments

Nine Inch Nails: Tension 2013

Now available, Nine Inch Nails: Tension 2013 [~90m], a concert film at Staples Center, Los Angeles on November 8, 2013. Also, Nine Inch Nails 2013, Pt 2, a behind the scenes look at preparation for the tour. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 5:24 PM PST - 28 comments

A different religion

Interview with a Santeria Priestess
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:22 PM PST - 9 comments

What is writing? Words that stay.

A YouTube user has uploaded an earlier cut of Jim Henson and Frank Oz's The Dark Crystal (with characters designed by Brian Froud). Some scenes are re-ordered, there is some different dialogue and the narration has been removed. It didn't perform well in testing, so changes were made to the version we all know and love. A threatened sequel, to be directed by Genndy Tartakovsky, is on hold. [more inside]
posted by Mezentian at 4:59 PM PST - 33 comments

You've Trained Your Whole Life For This Moment

Horse Master is a Twine text adventure game made by Tom McHamry. It's about becoming a master of horses, and has been described as "body horsehorror" and like living "inside a fever dream". John Campbell of Pictures For Sad Children has written a review entitled "Horse Master Class Anxiety Dream Review". (Warning: review will make no sense until you play the game.)
posted by Maecenas at 4:51 PM PST - 30 comments

"It was much, much more fun being absolutely unknown"

Laurie Penny interviews Neil Gaiman on his career, success and influence.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 4:46 PM PST - 11 comments

I was young once. Make it quick and get out of here.

"My friend Nick and I planned another prank. We thought it would be funny to scare a couple of friends while they were hanging out with some girls. We drove over to their house and crept up to the living room window with ski masks pulled down over our faces and realistic-looking water guns in our hands..." Participants in We Are All Criminals tell stories of crimes they got away with. via [more inside]
posted by postcommunism at 4:14 PM PST - 24 comments

RIP Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela has died peacefully at home at age 95. The Globe and Mail has a good roundup of information and resources about his life. The PBS Newshour already has a show online about his life and moments after the news broke even The Onion chimed in. Rest in peace, Madiba.
posted by mathowie at 3:10 PM PST - 359 comments

Bruce? Too gay.

Before Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D, before Blade: The Series or even the execrable Power Pack, the Marvel television universe was populated by few aside from Spider Man and The Incredible Hulk. Until 1990, when NBC and Marvel decided to make a movie that should be admired for its audacity is nothing else, "The Death Of The Incredible Hulk". And true to word, by films end both David Banner and The Incredible Hulk are dead.
posted by mediocre at 2:48 PM PST - 43 comments

Winners don't do puppet drugs

Puppet recreation of the drug den shootout from the brilliant Dredd (2012). NparticularlySFW owing to voluminous slow-mo blood jets and flagrant use of Paulstretch. Recreated shootout starts at 2.05.
posted by Sebmojo at 2:44 PM PST - 17 comments

Study gives new meaning to ‘let your fingers do the walking’

When you are typing away at your computer, you [apparently] don’t know what your fingers are really doing. [more inside]
posted by SpacemanStix at 2:00 PM PST - 56 comments

501(c)(3) "charities" at work

State conservative groups plan US-wide assault on education, health and tax. The policy goals are contained in a set of funding proposals obtained by the Guardian. The proposals were co-ordinated by the State Policy Network, an alliance of groups that act as incubators of conservative strategy at state level.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:18 PM PST - 163 comments

if P and Q are polynomials, let O1 be the order of blessed

King James Programming – "posts generated by a Markov chain trained on the King James Bible and Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs." SLTumbler
posted by tss at 1:09 PM PST - 17 comments

I was wondering what became of him

Meetin’ WA is a film-interview conducted by Jean-Luc Godard of his “old friend” Woody Allen, in 1986. With JLG-style editing (and JLG-style trolling??). Previously
posted by zbsachs at 1:06 PM PST - 2 comments

Amazingly, the Christmas tree is still standing.

Christmas Cats TV is "an eight-hour streaming video of a 'cat lady' and an elf hanging out with cats — some of them in holiday sweaters." (Direct link to site - autoplaying music)
posted by desjardins at 12:48 PM PST - 36 comments

They get progressively less human the further they are from the Sun

"I’ve always loved space and the planets. I’ve seen a few 'human planets' sets done by other artists and most of them are pretty literal in the human department. I wanted to try making something more androgynous and godlike." [more inside]
posted by Narrative Priorities at 12:27 PM PST - 25 comments

T. Rex didn’t evolve wings because the sky doesn’t bleed.

"Dinosaurs! WTF? is a blog devoted to exposing dinosaurs for the murder oriented monstrosities they were, promoting preparations for the likelihood of their return, and outing those people who support the dinosaur agenda."
posted by brundlefly at 12:05 PM PST - 15 comments

Which Came First, the Depression or the Insomnia?

Insomnia causes depression as much as depression causes insomnia: Three surprising points from a fascinating episode of KQED Forum [audio, no transcript] with guest Dr. Michelle Primeau of the Stanford School of Medicine.
  • Insomnia has long been taught to be a symptom of depression, but in many cases is a cause of depression.
  • CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) is an effective treatment for both insomnia and depression.
  • CBT can be more effective and longer lasting than sleeping pills
For those averse to audio (like me, normally), the NYT also covered the research in print:
  • First story: Treating Insomnia to Heal Depression,
  • Follow up a couple of days later: Double Effectiveness of Depression Treatment by Treating Insomnia,
  • Two readers (both psychiatrists) respond, and
  • A NYT editorial.
  • [more inside]
    posted by Hello Dad, I'm in Jail at 11:53 AM PST - 22 comments

    (setq clock (simulate clock dt))

    Clocks is a set of generative art pieces written in gazelle (a lisp (written in elisp!) that compiles to javascript) with the help of processing.js. Best viewed in Chrome.
    posted by Jpfed at 10:21 AM PST - 13 comments

    On Smarm

    "Over time, it has become clear that anti-negativity is a worldview of its own, a particular mode of thinking and argument, no matter how evasively or vapidly it chooses to express itself. For a guiding principle of 21st century literary criticism, BuzzFeed's Fitzgerald turned to the moral and intellectual teachings of Walt Disney, in the movie Bambi: 'If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all.'"
    posted by josher71 at 9:43 AM PST - 106 comments

    Theatre critic fired over gay pictures

    Theatre critic Mark Shenton has been fired from the Sunday Express for having brought the company into disrepute after naked images of him were posted on a gay website behind a paywall. Richard Desmond, the owner of the Sunday Express is also the owner of Television X, the UK's most popular pornographic TV channel.
    posted by the latin mouse at 9:16 AM PST - 50 comments

    So Meta -- Fanfiction Really

    Monster Of The Week (previously), the X-files recap comic by Narbonic creator Shaenon K. Garrity presents a guest-artist filled tribute to one of the strangest episodes of TV ever: Thirteen Ways Of Looking At Jose Chung's 'From Outer Space'.
    posted by The Whelk at 9:06 AM PST - 20 comments

    Will NY turn into a city with museums but without culture?

    The city is a fountain that never stops: it generates its energy from the human interactions that take place in it. Unfortunately, we’re getting to a point where many of New York’s citizens have been excluded from this equation for too long. David Byrne comments on New York's hospitability to creative types.
    posted by shivohum at 8:40 AM PST - 86 comments

    Mouseland

    Mouses Houses 'Pictures from my own private mouseland' (tumblr) [more inside]
    posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:37 AM PST - 19 comments

    How To Crush Leaves

    Quick Tutorial on How To Crush Leaves (slyt, 1:02)
    posted by Greg Nog at 8:27 AM PST - 36 comments

    One Kid's Insane Christmas List, Annotated by Dad

    Forget the pony, forget the teddy bear -- this kid wants a little thing that can turn into anything at anytime.
    posted by flyingsquirrel at 7:44 AM PST - 166 comments

    #2, pink eraser

    Count Anton-Wolfgang von Faber-Castell has been known to hurl wooden pencils from the tower of his castle to the stone courtyard below.
    posted by Chrysostom at 7:44 AM PST - 17 comments

    The Joshua Generation is rebelling

    The Homeschool Apostates by Kathryn Joyce. Via The Toast.
    posted by zeptoweasel at 7:29 AM PST - 177 comments

    Furtherfield's 17 years of oppositional agency

    For over 17 years Furtherfield gallery, London, has been working in practices that bridge arts, technology, and social change. As its physical and online territories expand to include a new 'Commons' lab space curator, director and critic Marc Garrett reflects on the gallery's rich history, arguing that art from beyond the mainstream exhibits an ever burgeoning oppositional agency. [prev-iously]
    posted by 0bvious at 7:10 AM PST - 1 comments

    Hall Pass: An Oral History of Kids In The Hall

    Hall Pass: An Oral History of Kids In The Hall
    posted by Optamystic at 7:08 AM PST - 47 comments

    Shoot that poison arrow

    Katniss Everdeen Kills Everything. Warning: arrows hitting people.
    posted by MartinWisse at 5:53 AM PST - 24 comments

    We all big brother now

    The imminent Childish Gambino album 'Because the Internet" (as rumored, recorded at Chris Bosh's house) leaked over the weekend so the rapper/actor provided a streaming link to an iTunes site so that his fans could hear it while supporting him. The record features songs about: Oakland, World Star Hip Hop (in reaction to being shot at in Atlanta), being The Worst, and Death (so much death).
    posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:45 AM PST - 22 comments

    American Mariachi. Southern Mariachi Bands Changing the South.

    “American Mariachi,” by photographer Greg Miller and writer Peter Short, tells the story of how Southern mariachi bands like Mariachi Mexicanisimo de Atlanta tour the region, “playing to audiences of immigrants and learning to please the gringos at the same time. As Short so beautifully puts it, ‘Tradition and culture sustain themselves not through purity and absolute preservation, but through introduction and acceptance.’”
    posted by ob1quixote at 3:30 AM PST - 19 comments

    Mannequins and the peculiar morgue between Paris and Rome

    Because who is perfect? Disabled mannequins will be eliciting astonished looks from passers-by on Zurich's Bahnhofstrasse today. Between the perfect mannequins, there will be figures with scoliosis or brittle bone disease modelling the latest fashions. One will have shortened limbs; the other a malformed spine. The campaign has been devised for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities by Pro Infirmis, an organisation for the disabled.

    Busty Mannequins and an Inflated Sense of Beauty in Venezuela In Venezuela, women are confronted with a culture of increasingly enhanced physiques fueled by beauty pageants and plastic surgery. - The New York Times [more inside]
    posted by Blasdelb at 2:31 AM PST - 26 comments

    My anchovy of Lannister

    Though humans often liken themselves to top predators such as lions, a new study (paywalled) used FAO data to calculate the human trophic level (HTL), i.e. the position of Homo sapiens in the food chain, and found that humans are actually on a par with anchovies and pigs with an average trophic level of 2.21 (vs 1 for plants to 5.5 for bears and orcas). Values vary by country, from 2.04 in the 97% plant-eating Burundi to 2.57 in the 50% fish-loving Iceland. As meat consumption is growing in countries like India and China, mankind is globally becoming more carnivorous and has been improving its trophic level by 3% since 1961. [more inside]
    posted by elgilito at 2:09 AM PST - 31 comments

    December 4

    Bill Murray on Gilda Radner

    I’ll always remember it. It was the last time I saw her "The whole Monty Python group was there, most of us from the show, a lot of other funny people, and Gilda."
    posted by GrapeApiary at 8:48 PM PST - 35 comments

    Emu Tango

    The Emus and Sexy Sexy Sniper the Ostrich dance the tango against their greatest enemy: The weasel ball.
    posted by bobobox at 7:30 PM PST - 40 comments

    Cloud City: Grand Canyon

    In a rare occurrence that only affects the area about once a decade, the Grand Canyon was recently filled with a dense, white fog due to heat inversion (Flickr gallery with a few short video clips; Flickr search for "grand canyon fog").
    posted by filthy light thief at 7:08 PM PST - 23 comments

    Hostis Humani Generis

    The legal framework of terrorism has been ... complex. Under the Bush Administration, terrorists were deemd to be "unlawful enemy combatants," and not afforded the protections of the III Geneva Convention. The policy, thought not the name, has continued under the Obama Adminstration, and this indeterminate legal status has significantly complicated efforts to try or release them. However, there is an older legal model that may suffice: piracy. (previously [more inside]
    posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:56 PM PST - 16 comments

    Under the skin

    "X-ray images usually show the finite nature of our bodies composed only of matter. But these couples' portraits reveal a pulse that isn’t normally seen." —Ayako Kanda and Mayuka Hayashi.
    posted by Athanassiel at 6:51 PM PST - 15 comments

    They should have sent a poet

    The World Outside My Window - Time Lapse of Earth from the ISS (SLYT, make sure to play it in the highest resolution you can)
    posted by griphus at 6:21 PM PST - 15 comments

    "Wait... You're trans *and* gay? Come on, no one is *that* weird."

    Roman Jones reflects on the presentation of introversion in The Big Bang Theory... [more inside]
    posted by paleyellowwithorange at 4:42 PM PST - 163 comments

    Suckerpunch

    Wonder Woman will be finally be appearing on the big screen, though not in her own film. Instead she'll appear in the untitled Batman vs Superman movie set to open in 2015 that will be directed by Zack Snyder. The character will be played by actress Gal Gadot.
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:11 PM PST - 200 comments

    Free Energy...we''ll tax that.

    ALEC calls for penalties on 'freerider' homeowners in assault on clean energy. The American Legislative Exchange Council commonly know as ALEC which raises over 90% of its funds from corporate backing is associated with the Dominionists web. Wisconsin State Rep. Chris Taylor caught a glimpse of the ALEC Nation a Climate Denial Machine. A little more.
    posted by adamvasco at 3:30 PM PST - 59 comments

    במבי

    Bambi's Jewish Roots [more inside]
    posted by overeducated_alligator at 2:58 PM PST - 17 comments

    "Doing the 'hezza', which is believed to be slang for heroine"

    In case you were starting to miss the daily insanity that is Rob Ford, Toronto's admitted crack-smoking, tax-cutting, drunken stupor of a Mayor, your wait is over. Newly-unredacted wiretaps from the police investigation into attempts to retrieve the infamous video of Rob Ford smocking crack, calling his football team "a bunch of fucking minorities", and Justin Trudeau a "fa**ot", have re-ignited the inquiry into the Mayor's actions. [more inside]
    posted by dry white toast at 2:57 PM PST - 147 comments

    Warren Publishing's Creepy and other non-Comics Code comics online!

    In the introduction [of Batman: Black & White] the editor mentions that the premise of the book came about because he had a discussion with other members of the comic world and they were debating which one comic run you'd want with you if you were stuck on a desert island. The consensus was Creepy the classic Warren Magazine because of all the incredible artists who contributed to it.
    The Warren Publishing Archive is online, courtesy of the Internet Archive. [more inside]
    posted by Zed at 2:43 PM PST - 15 comments

    "This is a military base! A military base needs explosive barrels!"

    Fire Point is a free downloadable puzzle-platformer (Windows only, sorry) with retro graphics and a cheerful chiptune soundtrack. Use your fire hose and ladder, along with portable fire extinguishers, to fight fires and rescue people from the blazing infernos! A trailer is available here.
    posted by Pope Guilty at 2:40 PM PST - 4 comments

    Cell Phones: Tracking Devices That Make Phone Calls

    The NSA is gathering nearly 5 billion cell phone location records a day, allowing the agency to track the movement of individuals and map their relationships in ways that would have been previously unimaginable. The bulk collection feeds CO-TRAVELER, an analytic tool that lets analysts identify relationships by tracking people whose movements intersect, and look back in time to see where people have been. TL:DR? The WaPo has a quick video explaining CO-TRAVELER here. [more inside]
    posted by anemone of the state at 1:33 PM PST - 134 comments

    "All they are doing here is shelving people."

    Slide show of Michigan prisoners sentenced to life for crimes committed while they were minors. [more inside]
    posted by mibo at 12:51 PM PST - 44 comments

    Stage of Mind

    Within the confines of her tiny studio and without the help of digital embellishment, Korean artist JeeYoung Lee created elaborate landscapes for her series of self-portraits. [more inside]
    posted by Narrative Priorities at 12:14 PM PST - 15 comments

    "It's the lousy drink," he said, summing things up.

    On September 20, 1956, just before the bars closed at 3 a.m., a single-engine plane landed on St. Nicholas Avenue near 191st Street in northern Manhattan. Behind the stick was 26-year-old Tommy Fiztpatrick, who pulled off the no-lights, no-radio "feat of aeronautics" while (allegedly) drunk to (allegedly) win a bar bet. Two years later, when a fellow patron called his story into question, Fitzpatrick did it again.
    posted by gottabefunky at 11:20 AM PST - 43 comments

    Video games are for boys

    Despite a customer base that crosses many demographics, a large part of the video game industry has remained resolutely focused on appealing and marketing to male players in the 18-24 age group. It wasn't always this way. Although early coin-op and console game development was male-dominated, titles in the 1970s were either marketed for entire families or for adults in bars and later arcades. What changed? Polygon investigates.
    posted by figurant at 11:20 AM PST - 135 comments

    "Most of America's Silent Films Are Lost Forever"

    Most of America's silent films are lost forever, according to the newly released Library of Congress report The Survival of American Silent Feature Films: 1912–1929. (You can look up the ones that survive in this handy database). [more inside]
    posted by bubukaba at 11:13 AM PST - 39 comments

    Prohibition ends!

    80 years ago the "Noble Experiment" was repealed by ratification of the 21st Amendment. And everyone kept right on drinking...
    posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:58 AM PST - 46 comments

    The Readings of Elizabeth Klett

    Librivox, the grand repository for free recordings of public domain literature, hosts quite a few fine readers. I'm partial to the Dickens interpretations of Czechchris and Mil Nicholson, and I've warmed to Chiquito Crasto's judicious renditions of classic ghost stories. But for my money, the best reader on Librivox is Elizabeth Klett, a trained actor and English professor whose many recordings unite range and insight. [more inside]
    posted by Iridic at 10:02 AM PST - 34 comments

    La bôite á donuts

    Le French Food Note: Not all food speaks French. Extra note: some of the food is NSFW!
    posted by chainsofreedom at 9:50 AM PST - 22 comments

    Stressful day? How about some nice, relaxing hydrographic printing.

    Here's a mesmerizing 14 minute long video of a dude doing some water transfer printing on some boring car part things. Despite that glorious undersell, it's actually quite interesting. [more inside]
    posted by phunniemee at 9:33 AM PST - 25 comments

    "His crime: having sex without first disclosing he had HIV."

    BuzzFeed and ProPublica report: How An HIV-Positive Man Was Sent To Prison For Having Sex — With A Condom [more inside]
    posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:19 AM PST - 215 comments

    This is the hand, the hand that saves

    "The divers had already pulled up four bodies. So when a hand appeared on the TV screen Walker was monitoring in the rescue boat, showing what the diver in the Jascon saw, everybody assumed it was another corpse." Harrison Odjegba Okene survived three days of darkness and isolation when he was trapped in a sunken tugboat, breathing from an air bubble and listening to the sounds of his shipmates being eaten by fish. His amazing rescue hit the news this spring. (Previously.) The actual video of his rescue has now been widely distributed. Short version. Long version, with an appropriate but inappropriate piece of jaunty music at the end.
    posted by maudlin at 9:16 AM PST - 40 comments

    Bring on the Dancing Crocodiles

    Jeff Clark's review of the newest Echo And The Bunnymen release, "Crimes Of Passion" for Stomp And Stammer Magazine.
    posted by Annika Cicada at 9:05 AM PST - 17 comments

    I wish you would stop looking for beauty in things that want to kill us.

    "The long night has come. The Systems Commonwealth, the greatest civilization in history, has fallen. Now, one ship, one crew have vowed to drive back the night and rekindle the light of civilization. On the starship Andromeda hope lives again" [more inside]
    posted by zarq at 8:42 AM PST - 43 comments

    Old Finnish People with Things On Their Heads

    It is exactly what it says.
    posted by xingcat at 8:40 AM PST - 21 comments

    Disco pants and haircuts

    The Blues Brothers mall car chase recreated in Lego. Comparison. Making of. (MLYT)
    posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:20 AM PST - 48 comments

    A melted listicle

    NPR is sick of the list. For their year end book round up this year, they have instead compiled an interactive web app which categorizes books by type (allowing you to apply these types as filters) and connects similar books by hyper-linked keywords.
    posted by codacorolla at 7:23 AM PST - 25 comments

    "How important is eating?"

    Detroit ruling on bankruptcy lifts pension protection. (NYT) U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes ruled Tuesday morning that yes, Detroit is eligible for Chapter 9. The shocker for retirees — Rhodes also ruled that city pension benefits won’t receive heightened protection in bankruptcy and may be cut. (Detroit Free Press) Firefighters, along with police officers, don't qualify for Social Security, while other city workers do. (Detroit News) Previously. Previouslier. [more inside]
    posted by sio42 at 5:57 AM PST - 286 comments

    I regret that I only have so much wall space to fill.

    There's a pretty good chance you've seen Ork Posters' city map posters celebrating the neighborhoods of San Francisco, Washington, DC, or Seattle, among others. But have you seen Archie Archambault's more conceptual letterpress circle maps? Or These Are Things' floating-text versions? How about Parts + Labour's batty view of Austin? Bored by uniform fonts? Check out some festive breakdowns of New York (by I Lost My Dog) and Madrid (by Helena Ecija). Not epic enough? Maybe you'll like Rodger Binyone's rock-tour style posters, like Baltimore or Chicago. Perhaps you'd rather check out neighborhoods in isolation? Not to worry, Meredith Miotke has Detroit covered. semi-previously
    posted by psoas at 4:49 AM PST - 18 comments

    No Relation to Ren & Stimpy's Log

    "Yule Log 2.0 re-imagines the traditional Video Yule Log* through a collection of short videos by illustrators, animators, directors, and creative coders (66 collaborators making 55 segments). With the controls in the upper-right corner, you can fit a continuous loop of one or all of the videos in a browser window or full-screen.
    *First televised in 1966 by New York's WPIX-TV to provide its audience with some pleasant, noncommercial viewing on the holiday (and most of the broadcast crew some time off)
    posted by oneswellfoop at 3:05 AM PST - 13 comments

    Math with Bad Drawings

    Headlines from a Mathematically Literate World [more inside]
    posted by Blasdelb at 2:28 AM PST - 32 comments

    Play and playability

    It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a MMO to play Mr Darcy in. Ever Jane, the massive multiplayer Jane Austen game has been funded and the prototype game can now be downloaded from the Kickstarter page.
    posted by MartinWisse at 1:29 AM PST - 46 comments

    December 3

    Paul Crouch is Dead.

    TBN head Paul Crouch died Saturday, November 30 at 79. Under Crouch, TBN grew to “84 satellite channels and over 18,000 television and cable affiliates around the world.” But he was a controversial figure, even among televangelists. (Previously on Metafilter, [via Slacktivist])
    posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 10:09 PM PST - 35 comments

    The achilles heel of the Occupy movement: Special Snowflake-ness?

    RAWStory.com reports on a study published by Psychology Today that claims the reason the OWS movement has not gained more traction within the Democratic Party (as compared to the rapid growth of the Tea Party on the other side) is that liberally-minded people see themselves more as a unique collection of beliefs that happen to be joining with other individuals, where conservatives see themselves more as part of a homogenous group of people with similar beliefs.
    posted by softlord at 9:43 PM PST - 70 comments

    Krampus: Saint Nicholas' Dark Companion

    While Saint Nicholas may bring gifts to good boys and girls, ancient folklore in Europe's Alpine region also tells of Krampus, a frightening beast-like creature who emerges during the Yule season, looking for naughty children to punish in horrible ways -- or possibly to drag back to his lair in a sack. [more inside]
    posted by JujuB at 9:08 PM PST - 43 comments

    Optigain

    The Optigan (previously) was a home organ introduced by Mattel in the 70's which enjoyed modest success as a home organ and proved popular with musicians for its easily tweaked sound (which came on pre-recorded optical such as those used for theatrical movies) and as a cheap alternative to the Mellotron. [more inside]
    posted by mediocre at 8:38 PM PST - 9 comments

    Ida Maria performs 69 through a peephole.

    Ida Maria performs 69 through a peephole. Previously.
    posted by Rory Marinich at 8:13 PM PST - 11 comments

    I’ve Created a Muenster

    The Bob's Burgers Experiment is a blog that documents one guy's ongoing attempt to devise recipes for and cook every pun-laden Burger of the Day featured on the show.
    posted by schmod at 7:05 PM PST - 55 comments

    INDOCAREISA

    PA HUL ZA - INDOCAREISA (possibly NSFW). Is it the next Gangnam Style? Does anyone really care? INDOCAREISA
    posted by planetesimal at 6:52 PM PST - 18 comments

    Papyralysis

    Are paper books becoming obsolete in the digital age, or poised to lead a new cultural renaissance? [more inside]
    posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:49 PM PST - 31 comments

    "Abysmally poor judges of their true incapacitation from sleep loss"

    Taming the Hidden Drowsiness Epidemic
    posted by IvoShandor at 6:30 PM PST - 31 comments

    Black hi hats

    Drummer Dave Black was a long time educator in drum set education. Here he shows that a drummer can express himself completely only using one instrument, in this case the the hi hat.
    posted by Quonab at 6:26 PM PST - 9 comments

    It's time for another Santastic release

    It's not the holidays until DJBC releases another Santastic mash-up compilation. Yes, we have covered these compilations in the past.
    posted by Runes at 6:19 PM PST - 5 comments

    Check, please

    There’s nothing better than spending a night out to dinner at one of your favorite restaurants, reveling in the food and the service, and those quality after-dinner mints in the little wrappers. Until you run into one of these people: The 44 Worst People in Every Restaurant
    posted by bayani at 6:14 PM PST - 112 comments

    tipsforjesus- Doing the Lord's work, one tip at a time.

    A bit more than the standard 20% A group of "football fans" have been spreading a bit of joy... (with Notre Dame playing the Grinch)
    posted by HuronBob at 5:31 PM PST - 19 comments

    Kinanaskomitin

    Combining the voices of many struggles, peoples and nations, from LA to Chicago, Detroit to New Brunswick, Germany to Palestine, Phoenix to Greece, Nəxʷsƛ̕áy̕əm̕ , Tsalagi and Six Nations, to Anishinaabe and Mi’kmaq, and everywhere in between, the #NationHood Mixtape brings together an amazing array of hip-hop, spoken word, beats, ideas and sounds from artists across the world. [more inside]
    posted by mannequito at 4:48 PM PST - 5 comments

    Print What You Like and Print Friendly: optimize websites for printing

    Print What You Like and Print Friendly are two similar free web services that address the same desire: remove unwanted elements from webpages before you print them or save them as a PDF. Additionally, both sites include bookmarklets, as well as extensions/addons (PWYL: Chrome; PF: Chrome, Firefox). [more inside]
    posted by filthy light thief at 4:10 PM PST - 16 comments

    Westeros and beyond

    Jonathan Roberts is a fantasy mapmaker, who produced the maps for the official Game of Thrones atlas. He talks about mapmaking to Wired here. He also has a website with lots of nifty maps, as well as tips on making your own.
    posted by Chrysostom at 3:46 PM PST - 22 comments

    Temporary Secretary

    In 1961, when Brian Epstein began negotiating a management contract with the Beatles, he employed Freda Kelly as his secretary. She remained within the group's inner circle until their breakup and beyond. The breakup of the Beatles was publicly acknowledged by McCartney in a 1969 interview. Kelly, who by this stage had a husband and was expecting her first child, was relieved. She felt ready to move on with her life. But although she stopped working for the band officially in 1972, she continued to reply to fans' letters for another three years every night at home after dinner, until each one had been answered. "You can't just close a fanclub overnight," she says. Good Ol' Freda: The Beatles' secretary tells her story
    posted by paleyellowwithorange at 3:07 PM PST - 18 comments

    What 100 years of dog breeding looks like

    Just how much have dog breeds changed in the past hundred years? A lot (and for the worst). [more inside]
    posted by Foci for Analysis at 2:49 PM PST - 178 comments

    El Empleo / The Employment

    El Empleo / The Employment by Santiago 'Bou' Grasso
    posted by jeffburdges at 2:07 PM PST - 5 comments

    I don't know French. What about Hebrew?

    Can you tell us in 25 seconds a synopsis of your new picture?
    –Uh, in 25 seconds? Yes, it's a picture, it's a drama about um human emotion in the United States, it deals with the tragedy of divorce as it relates to the child and those who have to suffer continually from the effects of an unhappy home.
    –Sounds like a very serious picture.
    –Yes. It is.
    –There's no comedy in it whatsoever?
    –No, I try and keep as much comedy out of my films as possible.

    A 40-minute Woody Allen from 1971 promoting Bananas. He does not answer a single question truthfully. via
    posted by timshel at 1:55 PM PST - 20 comments

    Let Me Live That Fantasy

    It's December which means it's that time of the year; DJ Earworm Mashup - United State of Pop 2013 (Living the Fantasy) is up. [more inside]
    posted by Talez at 1:51 PM PST - 41 comments

    full stop

    When did our plainest punctuation mark become so aggressive? (New Republic) “In the world of texting and IMing … the default is to end just by stopping, with no punctuation mark at all,” Liberman wrote me. “In that situation, choosing to add a period also adds meaning because the reader(s) need to figure out why you did it. And what they infer, plausibly enough, is something like ‘This is final, this is the end of the discussion or at least the end of what I have to contribute to it.’”
    posted by salix at 12:22 PM PST - 149 comments

    Bias for Action

    I am working at the new Amazon fulfillment center in Haslet, Texas as a seasonal, part-time picker.  It is winter. We aren’t workers here: we are associates. It is a job that I can do hung-over and high and I can make just enough money here to technically have my own apartment, a place to store all my empty beer cans and all my crumpled Taco Cabana wrappers and all my stacks of shitty sci-fi novels. - Fulfillment
    posted by Artw at 11:55 AM PST - 87 comments

    We just can't roast enough chickens fast enough

    Judy Rodgers, whose deceptively simple and extraordinarily delicious roast chicken made San Francisco's Zuni Cafe famous, has died. She was 57 and had been suffering from cancer for more than a year. [more inside]
    posted by purpleclover at 11:04 AM PST - 28 comments

    Look up to the sky and say it

    There Will Be Numbers [more inside]
    posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:56 AM PST - 12 comments

    Subway: Let that bread smell soak into your clothes

    Honest Slogans is graphic designer Clif Dickens' take on popular brands and what their slogans really should be. Highlights: Sperry ("You probably haven't even been on a boat"), Web MD ("Convince yourself that you have a terminal illness"), Netflix ("Spend more time searching than actually watching"), and Ticketmaster ("Yeah ... we're going to charge you whatever we want").
    posted by jbickers at 10:27 AM PST - 39 comments

    Last month, Roger Moore sold his luxury caravan in Malta.

    As the Jimmy Saville abuse scandal surfaced, an old internet rumour resurfaced with it in the form of a transcript (NB very NSFW text) purporting to be an out-take from a 1999 episode of Have I Got News For You in which Saville featured. But who was behind it and why did it endure? (previously) [more inside]
    posted by mippy at 10:23 AM PST - 22 comments

    Where No One Has Tugged Before

    The Picard Maneuver, in all its glory. [more inside]
    posted by Cash4Lead at 10:22 AM PST - 46 comments

    The New Statesmen Moustache the question.

    Why Movember isn't all it's cracked up to be "One of the Movember mantras is: “Real men, growing real moustaches, talking about real issues”. The slogan is as misguided as its campaign: Movember is divisive, gender normative, racist and ineffective against some very real health issues." [more inside]
    posted by MisantropicPainforest at 9:06 AM PST - 410 comments

    Bad sex, or good sex written badly? With added cheese.

    In the UK Guardian: Eight passages of raunchy prose are in contention for Literary Review's bad sex in fiction award. [some passages are ikky to read] [more inside]
    posted by Wordshore at 9:00 AM PST - 40 comments

    High-speed rail in unlikely places

    High-speed rail projects may be struggling in California and facing increased opposition in the UK, but they have gotten a boost in two unlikely countries. In Iceland, a country which currently has no working railways, a plan to build a high-speed rail line from Keflavík airport to downtown Reykjavík, using either conventional HSR or maglev technology, is being explored. Meanwhile in Australia, the conservative federal government has committed to safeguarding a corridor for a Melbourne-Canberra-Sydney-Brisbane high-speed rail network, a project commenced by the previous Labor minority government after pressure from the Greens. [more inside]
    posted by acb at 8:20 AM PST - 31 comments

    Repent Replenish Repeat

    dan le sac vs Scroobius Pip : Stunner - You Will See Me - Gold Teeth (nsfw)
    posted by nadawi at 7:27 AM PST - 17 comments

    "‘The gene does not lead,’ she says. ‘It follows.’"

    The selfish gene is one of the most successful science metaphors ever invented. Unfortunately, it’s wrong.
    posted by overeducated_alligator at 7:13 AM PST - 79 comments

    Get Busy

    Sofles - Limitless, Graffiti + Timelapse (SLYT) previous
    posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:11 AM PST - 5 comments

    “Storm from a clear sky”

    Researchers have located a sunken World War II Imperial Japanese submarine on the ocean floor off the coast of Hawaii. [more inside]
    posted by bryon at 3:08 AM PST - 33 comments

    Great selfie. Not a trace of duckface

    Eagle steals a camera that was set up to film crocodiles, flies off with it and transports it over 100 kilometers. The motion-sensitive camera was triggered three times, so we get to see the young sea-eagle fly away with it, setting it down and pecking at it. The camera was found and recovered through sheer luck. The footage is worth seeing.
    posted by Too-Ticky at 1:18 AM PST - 17 comments

    Gravity Visualized

    Dan Burns explains his space-time warping demo at a PTSOS workshop at Los Gatos High School, on March 10, 2012. [more inside]
    posted by Blasdelb at 1:06 AM PST - 27 comments

    R.I.P. Junior Murvin

    The gentle genius behind Police And Thieves. So often delivered live by The Clash. "You should hear Junior Murvin singing this song... He can sign it as high as the roof!" A sweet, sweet voice, now quiet.
    posted by shoesfullofdust at 12:26 AM PST - 35 comments

    December 2

    They don't like it up them

    But the wrath is not solely reserved for Needham; his employer now inspires plenty of disgust among conservatives, too. Increasingly in Washington, “Heritage” has come to denote not the foundation or the think tank, but Heritage Action, Needham’s sharp-elbowed operation. Instead of fleshing out conservative positions, says one Republican Senate staffer, “now they’re running around trying to get Republicans voted out of office. It’s a purely ideological crusade that’s utterly divorced from the research side.” (“If Nancy Pelosi could write an anonymous check to Heritage Action,” adds the House aide bitterly, “she would.”) -- Julia Ioffe on how the Heritage Foundation's new leadership is tearing the think tank apart. [more inside]
    posted by MartinWisse at 11:49 PM PST - 47 comments

    Ask a North Korean

    Ask a North Korean, a periodic special feature from nknews.org (about) in which North Korean expatriates discuss their experiences living in the most oppressive nation on Earth. [more inside]
    posted by JHarris at 9:32 PM PST - 27 comments

    From the photo archives of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    For over a year, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has been digitizing old photos from its far-reaching library and putting them on a Tumblr called The Digs. [more inside]
    posted by mcoo at 8:00 PM PST - 9 comments

    “ a natural, obvious connection between the Arctic and outer space"

    Declassified Spy Outpost Lurks on the Dark Side of the Earth
    Canadian Forces Station Alert is "the most northerly, permanently inhabited location in the world, located only 817 kilometres from the geographic North Pole."
    On Assignment At CFS Alert. CFS Alert (Part 1). [more inside]
    posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:42 PM PST - 14 comments

    Muad'pug

    Scenes from David Lynch's Dune featuring the House Atreides pug. (SLYT with wrong aspect ratio)
    posted by griphus at 6:30 PM PST - 83 comments

    Life Hack!

    How To Toothpaste. Vi Hart previously on Metafilter.
    posted by maryr at 6:25 PM PST - 38 comments

    Suck it, Amazon and your stupid drones!

    Waterstones announces their Ornithological Waterstones Landing Service, a brand new way to receive your favourite books. Per the FAQ: Q. Isn’t this just what they did in Harry Potter? A: Yes, this is exactly what they did in Harry Potter. You’re asking that as if this is a bad thing
    posted by scolbath at 6:07 PM PST - 27 comments

    The Future of Obedience

    OBEY is a glitchy, psychedelic look at the rise of the corporate state and the future of obedience in a world of unfettered capitalism, inequality, and climate change, based on Chris Hedges' Death of the Liberal Class.
    posted by anemone of the state at 6:01 PM PST - 12 comments

    Camera Obscura by the Numbers

    Tim's Vermeer - how a Texas inventor might have reconstructed the methods used by Dutch baroque painter Johannes Vermeer. [more inside]
    posted by planetesimal at 3:49 PM PST - 44 comments

    Turn the lights out and say Benadryl Cumbia three times in front of a

    A Linguist Explains the Rules of Summoning Benedict Cumberbatch. The same linguist elaborates.
    posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:14 PM PST - 333 comments

    "Are these the shadows of the things that will be?"

    Sponsored by Xerox and the United Nations, directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, scripted by Rod Serling, scored by Henry Mancini, starring Sterling Hayden, Eva Marie Saint, and Robert Shaw, and featuring Peter Sellers as a post-apocalyptic pseudo-Randian cult leader in a spangly hat—it's A Carol for Another Christmas, the rare 1964 television special in which three ghosts teach a melancholy industrialist a Christmas lesson about the virtues of multilateral peacekeeping!
    posted by Iridic at 2:40 PM PST - 12 comments

    Morgan Freeman: 285,000 brush strokes later

    Morgan Freeman, finger-painted on an iPad. (via) [more inside]
    posted by phaedon at 1:58 PM PST - 65 comments

    Anyone Who Wouldn't Buy "Frolik Navidad" Should Leave Immediately

    How much do hockey players love Christmas? A lot. They love trying and failing to name Santa's reindeer. They love trying to define what is and is not a carol versus a song. They love reading 'Twas the Night Before Christmas to small children. They even love singing original Christmas songs that rhyme "take for granted" with "less-advantaged" (or at least holding signs while Igor Larionov's daughters sing).

    However, what they love more than anything is singing a whole album's worth of hockey-themed Christmas carols like the 2011 Chicago Blackhawks.
    posted by Copronymus at 1:47 PM PST - 26 comments

    "Caje, take the point"

    TV's longest-running World War II drama, Combat! aired on ABC between 1962 and 1967. "It was really a collection of complex 50-minute movies. Salted with battle sequences, they follow [US Army King Company's travails during the invasion of France, starting with the landing at Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944 -- D-Day. It's] a gritty, ground-eye view of infantrymen trying to salvage their humanity and survive." [more inside]
    posted by zarq at 1:29 PM PST - 33 comments

    “We will not lie, steal or cheat, nor tolerate among us anyone who does"

    Honor and deception: A secretive Air Force program recruits academy students to inform on fellow cadets and disavows them afterward.
    posted by no regrets, coyote at 1:13 PM PST - 33 comments

    Ares Magazine: sci-fi and fantasy gaming in the 80s (free games inside)

    Ares was a science-fiction and fantasy-oriented game magazine that only lasted for 17 issues and two special editions in the early 1980s. Each issue included a short story, game reviews and designer's notes, plus a complete game. The magazine was first published by Simulations Publications, Inc. (SPI), then TSR when they acquired SPI. TSR folded Ares into Dragon magazine, and finally killed off the line all-together. Recently, One Small Step Games has been talking about resurrecting Ares, but until then, Archive.org can take you back to the '80s, with scans of those issues to view and download. [more inside]
    posted by filthy light thief at 11:43 AM PST - 16 comments

    We Gather Together to Hear Cheesy Music

    Long before she started Regretsy, April Winchell was seriously curating the Best of the Worst: with her background in radio, that usually meant bad music (previously, with deadlink). So, of course, she has a fine collection of Bad Holiday Music (Christmas and Hanukkah) available for streaming or download in mp3 format. [more inside]
    posted by oneswellfoop at 11:10 AM PST - 50 comments

    What’s it like to be a contestant on The Biggest Loser?

    The AV Club interviews Nicole Michalik about her experience as a fourth season contestant on NBC's weight-loss reality show The Biggest Loser [more inside]
    posted by figurant at 10:36 AM PST - 30 comments

    "So I guess there won't be a sequel."

    Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston read through the final scripted moments of Breaking Bad for the first time. SLYT
    posted by mediocre at 10:21 AM PST - 36 comments

    Hail & Farewell

    Publisher André Schiffrin died Sunday at the age of 78. As editor-in-chief of Pantheon Books, he published books by Studs Turkel (previously), Günter Grass (previously), Simone de Beauvoir (previously), Jean-Paul Sartre (previously), and many, many other literary giants of the 20th century. The NYT obit doesn't do Schiffrin justice, however; for that, you'll have to read Dennis Johnson's appreciation: No one did so much, in fact, to define the term independent publisher coming into the twenty-first century.
    posted by Cash4Lead at 10:00 AM PST - 8 comments

    Life's smoke-filled voids: Falling in and out of a cigarette habit

    I smoked for years. I would quit for a few weeks at a time occasionally, but I always went back. For me, smoking cured everything; it could be anything I needed it to be. I could celebrate, mourn, fume, and daydream. It was proof that I existed: I was interacting with my environment and leaving evidence, all the while putting forth pretty much the least amount of physical effort possible. It was an excuse to sit and look at things. I could sit and stare into the middle distance and think to myself all I wanted because I was still doing something: I was smoking.
    posted by rcraniac at 9:56 AM PST - 100 comments

    Coolest Music in the World

    Siberian Ice Drumming. 'I felt like we were playing on the drums that Nature has left out for us, alone under the sun on the frozen waters of the world's most magnificent lake.'
    posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:27 AM PST - 4 comments

    smashing kids brains against their skull, maybe not so bad after all?

    America’s Newest Culture War: Football Daniel Flynn is a conservative activist and author whose newest book argues that there is a War on Football, with the real victims not being Junior Seau and his brain damage, but America. [more inside]
    posted by MisantropicPainforest at 8:02 AM PST - 213 comments

    More pictures of cats. Big cats.

    Strap a camera to a 4 wheel drive remote control car and let it loose among a pride of Botswana lions. Curiosity and cuteness and some pretty amazing pictures ensue. SLYT
    posted by mygothlaundry at 8:00 AM PST - 29 comments

    “Our goal isn’t to look for blame. Our goal is to correct injustice.”

    The teenagers’ experience demonstrates how poor work by detectives at the initial stages can start a sequence of events that snowballs through the system, seemingly unstoppably, until two possibly innocent men have spent decades in prison. The detective in the case was Louis Scarcella. The Brooklyn DA's Conviction Integrity Unit will reopen every murder case that resulted in a guilty verdict after being investigated by Detective Louis Scarcella, a flashy officer who handled some of Brooklyn’s most notorious crimes during the crack epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s.
    posted by sio42 at 7:43 AM PST - 82 comments

    That's amazing. I've got the same combination on my luggage.

    During the height of the Cold War, the US military put such an emphasis on a rapid response to an attack on American soil, that to minimize any foreseeable delay in launching a nuclear missile, for nearly two decades they intentionally set the launch codes at every silo in the US to 8 zeroes.
    posted by Chrysostom at 6:11 AM PST - 68 comments

    Boxing gloves and folders

    How to be a feminist according to stock photography
    posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:24 AM PST - 90 comments

    December 1

    The values of the wealthy elite became the rules

    "In one generation, working for free for people who can pay you went from something laughable, to something wealthy people were doing in a few fields, to something everyone was recommended to do, to something almost everyone has to do. Entry-level jobs were replaced with unpaid internships. That same monopoly on opportunity reshaped lower-skill labor. Jobs that once offered on-site training now require college degrees. In response, universities ramp up tuition, knowing that students have little choice but to pay to compete. Instead of options, there is one path to professional success — one exorbitantly expensive path." -- At PolicyMic, Sarah Kendzior explains why you should never ever take an unpaid internship (but you will nonetheless because you have no choice).
    posted by MartinWisse at 11:27 PM PST - 116 comments

    The Séralini affair

    Controversial Seralini GMO-rats paper to be retracted [more inside]
    posted by anotherpanacea at 10:41 PM PST - 78 comments

    Does bitcoin have a future?

    Joe Weisenthal at Business Insider gives one of the most fair minded assessments on the internet: "First of all, it's wrong to say that Bitcoin has no value. There's prima facie evidence that this is untrue. If you want to buy weed on the Internet, Bitcoin serves a useful purpose.... Two other arguments against Bitcoin, which I've stated in the past, are that the currency is too volatile to be a useful medium of exchange. And that it's also deflationary in the sense that if you assume the price is going to keep going up, then you have no incentive to ever spend your bitcoins, thus preventing the Bitcoin economy from becoming a vibrant thing. But both of these counter-arguments have flaws." Also: Tyler Cowen discusses how China's tight capital controls have increased the value of bitcoin, and the Economist gives a good overview of the history of the cryptocurrency to date and a discussion of technical challenges regarding the increasing size of the blockchain, ensuring security and anonymity, and the computational arms race to mine bitcoins.
    posted by bookman117 at 8:54 PM PST - 177 comments

    "Everything completely changed when Disney entered the picture."

    Joe Jonas of the now-defunct Jonas Brothers talks My Life as a Jonas Brother.
    posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:05 PM PST - 59 comments

    Indian Photographing Tourist Photographing Indian

    The Tourist Gaze and the competitive jockeying to get the perfect photograph of the exotic other is a familiar sight, with Native Americans a common subject.
    The reverse gaze is less common. Photographing photographers photographing a pow wow. Mayan women in traditional dress behind the camera instead of in front of the camera. [more inside]
    posted by spamandkimchi at 7:19 PM PST - 33 comments

    Repulsors Revived

    Long on speed but short on style, Luke Skywalker's X-34 Land Speeder has been handsomely improved by subsequent generations — more in the Air Drive gallery by photographer Renaud Marion.
    posted by cenoxo at 7:01 PM PST - 20 comments

    Fossil of the Day

    What would you do with an extra $550 a week? Australia is set to become the first government to repeal laws that put a price on carbon, and will instead begin directly paying polluters to stop, polluting. Called "Direct Action", Australia's freshly minted conservative government claims the scheme "will reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions and deliver improvements to our environment" Others think not The government also claims that the world is moving away from market based schemes to direct action schemes, but this claim seems uncertain. The government has also moved to close the Climate Change Authority as well as The Clean Energy Finance Corporation What is Direct Action and how does it differ from an emissions trading scheme? Australia's new Prime Minister has had varying points of view on the science of climate change, and the nations recent attendance at the recent climate change talks in Poland offer a glimpse.
    posted by mattoxic at 6:54 PM PST - 31 comments

    Austerity: Still Bad?

    Paul Krugman: Monetary and Fiscal Implications of Secular Stagnation
    Crooked Timber: If this is “secular stagnation”, I want my old job back
    The Global Bezzle – whence it came, where it went and why it matters (repost from 2011) [more inside]
    posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:36 PM PST - 28 comments

    It’s a symphony of robots now.

    Amazon Prime Air. Like Amazon Prime, but with robots. 60 Minutes reports.
    posted by un petit cadeau at 6:03 PM PST - 188 comments

    REⱭЯUM

    Perhaps you watched the documentary Room 237 and were intrigued by the version screened by Brooklyn's Spectacle Theater simultaneously superimposing The Shining played forwards and backwards. Here's a 13-minute excerpt from the middle and a tumblr with numerous screenshots throughout the film. [more inside]
    posted by mannequito at 5:50 PM PST - 32 comments

    L'eau de rien

    Looking for a holiday gift for the designer who has everything? Drench them in Helvetica The Perfume. Twitter feed. Via.
    posted by sutt at 4:33 PM PST - 48 comments

    War Pig

    It was 1942 and pork was one of several commodities to be rationed by the U.S. government. Navy recruiter Don C. Lingle made a deal with a farmer friend for chops. What he received instead was a piglet which would go on to become an American hero: King Neptune, a stocky red-and-white Hereford hog who served as a mascot for the Navy's war bond effort, and who raised over $19 million (more, even, than did Betty Grable). [more inside]
    posted by MonkeyToes at 4:24 PM PST - 9 comments

    binding the andat

    Closing in on the twin prime conjecture (Quanta) - "Just months after Zhang announced his result, Maynard has presented an independent proof that pushes the gap down to 600. A new Polymath project is in the planning stages, to try to combine the collaboration's techniques with Maynard's approach to push this bound even lower." [more inside]
    posted by kliuless at 4:19 PM PST - 16 comments

    Specifically, cunnilingus

    Why is Hollywood so afraid of oral sex? Why is oral sex hard for Hollywood? Evan Rachel Wood slams MPAA for censoring sex scene in her new film.
    posted by crossoverman at 2:12 PM PST - 82 comments

    LET THE MACHINE LIVE YOUR FANTASY

    FETISCHPRO: UR DESIRES R NOW MET (Blinky, NSFW) [more inside]
    posted by griphus at 12:46 PM PST - 20 comments

    YouTube Comment Reconstruction

    On October 4th 2013 YouTubers 'Sophie Sanze' & 'JilianLovesTheBiebs' had a conversation on the video 'One Direction: What Makes You Beautiful'. The following is a reconstruction. [NSFW language]
    posted by Evilspork at 12:42 PM PST - 19 comments

    Love is Love

    Coming Out as a Modern Family by Maria Bello [SLNYT]
    posted by nadawi at 12:16 PM PST - 22 comments

    Charlie Brooker's How Video Games Changed the World

    Following on from Gameswipe (part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5) and a less than successful attempt to teach Jon Snow about Videogames. Charlie Brooker explains how videogames changed the world.
    posted by Z303 at 12:00 PM PST - 35 comments

    The Red Virgin of Montmartre

    Born in 1830, Louise Michel was a school teacher and Anarchist heavily involved with the Paris Commune of 1871. After the supression of the Commune, she refused to renounce any of her actions and told the court “Since it seems that every heart that beats for freedom has no right to anything but a little slug of lead, I demand my share. If you let me live, I shall never cease to cry for vengeance.” [more inside]
    posted by GenjiandProust at 11:49 AM PST - 4 comments

    The First Time His Body Did Not Feel Wrong

    Daniel Friedman makes men's suits cut for the bodies of trans* men and women. What is the meaning of a man’s suit? Every day men disappear into them, as into uniforms. In wool and creased flannel, the suits tell a story of power and belonging. When Ms. Tutera approached Mr. Friedman, she offered a new twist on that story. “We started looking at these weddings from Maine, because it had legalized gay marriage,” he said. “And these women who were getting married in these tuxedos looked ridiculous. They looked awful. The suits were giant. And I can only imagine these people going into a Brooks Brothers in Maine and saying, ‘I want a men’s suit that’s going to fit me,’ and I can imagine how uncomfortable it was for both sides.”
    posted by Apropos of Something at 11:36 AM PST - 52 comments

    Christmas Movies - If you can't escape them, embrace them

    There are a lot of Christmas movie plots out there; hard to believe some of them haven’t been filmed. Yet. I can't list Brazil as a Christmas movie no matter how great a movie it is. Watch it in January. Some Christmas movies resonate differently for grownups. The Polar Express didn’t make my list because you should read the book aloud every year on Christmas Eve. Highest-grossing Christmas movies, for those so inclined. Inside, my countdown of Christmas movies, one a day from here to Christmas. [more inside]
    posted by theora55 at 10:58 AM PST - 86 comments

    Your TV doesn't love you, but I do, I do

    Carson Mell is an author and filmmaker/animator with a voice somewhere between Allen Ginsberg and Brad Neely. [more inside]
    posted by Drexen at 10:07 AM PST - 2 comments

    Ideas are not digital.

    The iconic Bubble series was created by fashion photographer Melvin Sokolsky for the Harper’s Bazaar 1963 Spring Collection.
    Haunted by a particular image from Hieronymous Bosch, Sokolsky experienced a re-occurring dream in which he saw himself floating inside a bubble across exotic landscapes. Here are some more and a Flikr set.
    Simone d'Aillencourt was one of his favourite models. (Tumblr). There is more of Sokolsky's work on his website.
    posted by adamvasco at 9:40 AM PST - 5 comments

    I Just Hope Grapes Comes Through This Okay

    In a deal worth $5.2-billion, Canadian media conglomerate Rogers has obtained broadcasting rights to NHL games across Canada for the next 12 years. While the NHL and its players appear to come out winners, the deal is a blow to Canada's other media conglomerate Bell, whose sports network TSN has lost all national NHL programming just five years after winning the rights to the iconic Hockey Night in Canada theme song from public broadcaster CBC, home to HNIC for over 60 years. As for the CBC, they will retain rights to broadcast games for four years in what president Hubert Lacroix described as a "partnership" where they will pay nothing, make nothing, and have no control over content. Considering HNIC is the only CBC English-language programming that consistently places in Canada's top 25 English TV shows and allegedly brings in up to 50% of its ad revenue and 30% of its audience, speculation regarding the future of a hockey-free CBC, last brought up during last year's NHL lock-up, abounds, with many characterizing it as a crisitunity for a clueless and complacent corporation.
    posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:35 AM PST - 56 comments

    Cotton, Machines, People, Boxes, and You

    Planet Money Makes a T-Shirt
    posted by psoas at 8:16 AM PST - 39 comments

    One hundred years ago today, a Broadway star was born

    And it wasn't Carrie Underwood [more inside]
    posted by still_wears_a_hat at 7:30 AM PST - 5 comments

    1963 at 50

    Now that we've gotten past the 50th anniversaries of the JFK Assassination and Doctor Who, it's worthwhile to look at some OTHER important things that happened near the end of 1963, like the creation of the first "smiley face", the publication of Maurice Sendak's "Where the Wild Things Are", and a paper by Kenneth J. Arrow, professor of economics at Stanford University, which "founded the field of health care economics" (coming to a conclusion that well-funded Economists still deny today). From one of the best time-capsule blogs on the web: The '60s At 50. [more inside]
    posted by oneswellfoop at 5:03 AM PST - 35 comments

    It's strange how Eraserhead is

    David Lynch: Eraserhead Stories (SLYT)
    posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:17 AM PST - 6 comments