December 2014 Archives

December 31

An Open Letter To The Girl Scouts

Girl Scout cookies go on sale tomorrow and I have serious reservations [more inside]
posted by bq at 8:28 PM PST - 82 comments

Tonight I'm going to party like it's 1949.

Why ring out 2014, when you can celebrate the end of 1976 with Donny & Marie (along with Tina Turner, Rip Taylor, and Billy Preston). Or try 1961 with Dinah Shore and Nat King Cole. But if television is too modern for you, you can always just sit back and listen to a old-time NYE Radio Show.
posted by fings at 8:13 PM PST - 11 comments

A Sword Among Lions

"We all appreciate what you're doing"
"But?"
"But you're LOUD and you say uncomfortable things and it is Victorian times"
"So what makes people uncomfortable in Victorian times?"
"I don't know, being alive?" [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:22 PM PST - 12 comments

Terminal Bar: Porters, Bouncers, and Bartenders

Porters, Bouncers, and Bartenders, third installment of the amazing Terminal Bar film series. For ten years, Sheldon Nadelman took thousands of black and white photographs while bartending at the Terminal Bar, Times Square's most notorious watering hole of the 1970s. Murray Goldman, the bar's owner since 1957 was Sheldon's father-in-law as well as the filmmaker's grandfather. The Terminal Bar was featured in Martin Scorsese's film Taxi Driver. [more inside]
posted by Thor's Hammer at 7:15 PM PST - 11 comments

How we came to know the first dwarf planet

So if you had been reading about all this 200 years ago, there would have been at least two important differences from now. One is that your Internet connection would have been considerably slower. The other is that you might have learned in school or elsewhere that Ceres was a planet.
As the Dawn probe is only months away from reaching Ceres, chief engineer and mission director Marc Rayman provides a brief history of the discovery and study of Ceres. Bonus: The maths behind the discovery of Ceres
posted by MartinWisse at 4:34 PM PST - 15 comments

Huts with Open Fire Pits and No Chimneys

Preserving the Gassho Style (SLYT) The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama [more inside]
posted by Michele in California at 4:18 PM PST - 10 comments

Shake off that winter chill with some URSULA 1000!

Rid yourself of those winter blues with Ursula 1000's Winter (Mega)Mixes, which are not focused on winter music, but rather an upbeat mix of deep, funky, sleazy, acid tinged delights, as Alex Gimeno, the Brooklyn-based retro-futuristic producer/DJ/multi-instrumentalist labeled his latest mix. Read on for more sampladelic easy listening breakbeat tracks in a style similar to continental popsters from Pizzicato Five to Dimitri from Paris, plus some fuzzy garage rock-influenced tunes! [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 3:33 PM PST - 15 comments

Chicago’s Last Tannery

The Distance has a pretty fascinating read about Chicago's Horween Leather Company [wiki], the city's last tannery and "one of the world’s last remaining producers of shell cordovan, a durable leather derived from horse rumps" as well as a near-exclusive provider of leather for Chicago-based Wilson Sporting Goods Co., which, since 1941, has been the manufacturer of the NFL's official ball ("The Duke"). [more inside]
posted by orthicon halo at 2:40 PM PST - 18 comments

Cut The Flan

Cut The Flan #01 [more inside]
posted by oceanjesse at 2:33 PM PST - 38 comments

The sword may need to be drawn.

10 Best Places To Raise A Family (SLOnion)
posted by standardasparagus at 2:08 PM PST - 40 comments

R.I.P. Edward Herrmann

Tony and Emmy winning actor Edward Herrmann, who is perhaps best known for his role as Lorelai's father in "Gilmore Girls", has passed away from brain cancer at the age of 71. His recent role as the voice of Franklin Roosevelt in Ken Burns' documentary "The Roosevelts" ironically brought him full circle to his breakout portrayal of FDR in the miniseries "Eleanor and Franklin" nearly forty years ago.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 1:47 PM PST - 57 comments

"We're also thankful for Mississippi"

50 Americans Summarize Their Home State In One Perfectly Sarcastic Sentence [SLCB]
posted by Jacqueline at 1:17 PM PST - 90 comments

Throwing Caution to the Wind

In 2004, GrooveLily ("just your typical violin/piano/drums power-pop trio") debuted Striking 12, a musical set on New Year's Eve. The story weaves between the performers putting on the show; a modern-day grumpy guy who doesn't want to go out on New Year's Eve; and "The Little Match Girl," by Hans Christian Andersen. You can listen to the entire thing on Bandcamp. [more inside]
posted by Shmuel510 at 12:57 PM PST - 4 comments

A head full of hot air

The Utsunomiya Museum of Art museum in Japan recently created a gigantic balloon shaped like middle-aged man's head and launched it into the sky as part of an effort to bring art into public spaces. You can view the project's website here and see more pictures of the project here.
posted by codacorolla at 12:05 PM PST - 14 comments

"Radio as Music"

Glenn Gould's North is an essay about the radio documentaries composed by Canadian classical pianist Glenn Gould. The most famous are the three "contrapuntal" documentaries which comprise The Solitude Trilogy [available on Spotify and can be purchased on iTunes]. What is contrapuntal radio? The Glenn Gould Foundation explained in series of short podcasts, and a glimpse of Gould's scripts and diagrams may aid understanding, as well as quotes by Gould and others about The Solitude Trilogy. Many have responded to The Solitude Trilogy, from the perspectives of a hermit, mennonite, and a collage artist, whose collage series can be seen here. As the title suggests, The Solitude Trilogy deals with isolation, quietude, loneliness, seclusion and solitude in modern life, but Gould also made documentaries on a variety of musical subjects, such as Richard Strauss and sixties pop singer Petula Clark. Most of his documentaries, including The Solitude Trilogy, are available for listening on the website of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Links below. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus at 11:28 AM PST - 9 comments

Plain White Rapper

White men were rapping LONG before Eminem came on the scene!
posted by Quasimike at 11:04 AM PST - 42 comments

This is the time. And this is the record of the time.

Over 30 years since it was finally presented in full as a two-night, seven-and-a-half hour multimedia opera only a handful of times in only three cities, Laurie Anderson is revisiting her seminal work United States with United States V. Produced by pomegranate arts, who recently brought back Philip Glass' Einstein On The Beach. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 10:50 AM PST - 34 comments

Gordon Freeman - it is you, isn't it?

In 2007, Ross Scott began a new video series, Freeman's Mind. "Basically the premise is that in the Half-Life series, the protagonist Gordon Freeman is entirely silent the whole time. So what this series aims to do is fill in the silence with his thoughts." Seven years and 68 episodes later, the project is complete. [more inside]
posted by Frayed Knot at 10:35 AM PST - 31 comments

✱ | ✱ : Rx in Peace

RxRy ("Rex Ray" / Matthew J. Sage) is an electronic musician who was active from 2010 to 2012. (According to Sage's dreamy goodbye, the persona has "turned to ash.") RxRy specialized in staticky bedroom ambient and rough beats paired with gentle melodies. While it received some acclaim on music blogs (Stadiums & Shrines 2010 albums of the year, No Genre Music 2010 albums of the year, Q&A with Gimme Tinnitus), the project never penetrated the mainstream and has been largely forgotten.
.

Fortunately, on the Internet very little ever really goes away! Within, find links to stream and download RxRy's entire discography (six albums, three EPs, two remix EPs, four singles, and one DJ Mix) for a blissful New Year's Eve afternoon. [more inside]
posted by Going To Maine at 10:26 AM PST - 9 comments

The ten most popular installments of "Ask Smithsonian" in 2014

Here are the ten most popular installments of "Ask Smithsonian" in 2014. Ask Smithsonian video host Eric Schulze takes questions from readers and answers them weekly in a series of one-minute videos. In 2014, they investigated everything from "What's up with willpower and why don't I have it?" to "Can cats really make rats into zombies?" Here are the answers to the Most Burning Questions of 2014.
posted by gudrun at 9:22 AM PST - 3 comments

Ferrets IN Groundhogs OUT

43 ways NYC changed under Mayor de Blaiso (nymag.com)
posted by The Whelk at 9:14 AM PST - 38 comments

Next time I’ll be asking where your lap goes when when you stand up.

In Praise of Philomena Cunk. The funniest moments from the funniest person on Charlie Brooker’s Weekly Wipe.
posted by Nevin at 9:06 AM PST - 15 comments

The End of (some) Webcomics

K.C. Green's "Gunshow" has just ended. Christopher Baldwin's second sci-fi tale, "One Way" completed its one-year run today. Dale Mettam and Courtney Huddleston have just completed their tale of a little girl and her guardian angelsdemons, "Lucy Phir's Imps". Ryan Sohmer/Blind Ferret's 'metacomic' about the comic book biz "Gutters" has finished with a fantasy ending. It's been almost a year since David Willis pre-announced that "Shortpacked", the last ongoing tale in his original 'Walkyverse', 'will end on its tenth birthday' (which is next month). Christopher Bird and Davinder Brar's five-year fantasy epic "Al'Rashad: City of Myths" will publish its last page next Monday. And now, Danielle Corsetto has announced she'll be ending "Girls With Slingshots" 'in the next couple months'. It feels like everybody's calling it quits, right? [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:15 AM PST - 49 comments

Gordon’s Makes Us Very Very Drunk

Gilbert & George, "Gordon’s Makes Us Drunk" (Tate Modern Video installation, 12 min, 1972). [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 7:37 AM PST - 13 comments

Unfair Competition?

A flight from Baltimore to Cleveland via Atlanta is $83. A flight from Baltimore to Atlanta directly is $112. So if you want to save money, you can buy the ticket to Cleveland, and just not get on the connecting flight. This is called a 'hidden city' fare, a trick used by frequent flyers and travel agents for years. Skiplagged.com lets you search for them. They're being sued by Orbitz and American Airlines.
posted by empath at 7:25 AM PST - 99 comments

Work with rocks and cement like John Dunsworth, or drink like Mr. Lahey

You may be searching for some worthwhile New Year's resolutions. Here are two very different ideas from one man. John Dunsworth suggests that you work with rocks and cement and build a lasting legacy. If that sounds like too much work, his alter ego, Mr. Jim Lahey of the Trailer Park Boys, has some drinking suggestions [dlyt].
posted by clawsoon at 7:06 AM PST - 10 comments

Gateways

The Art Of The Title's Top 10 Title Sequences of 2014
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:36 AM PST - 13 comments

Some nice music

The Üçtelli is a small Turkish string instrument that produces a lovely, delicate, chiming sound. Here is an utterly captivating duo performance by Osman Kirca and Ali Ulutaş. Here is another one. Here is a solo by Ali Ulutaş, and a solo by Osman Kirca. Here is a double neck version, played splendidly by Necati Arslan. And finally, one more solo performance from Ali Ulutaş featuring some very closeup camera work on his fingers as he plays his Üçtelli. Enjoy!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:44 AM PST - 9 comments

Chilling

Today I Learned Something about My Boyfriend That No Girl Should Ever Have to Discover
posted by josher71 at 4:13 AM PST - 150 comments

Cars: How do they work?

You wonder how your car works, you say? Let the wisdom of the ancients guide you. Start with springs and shock absorbers (1938). [more inside]
posted by Harald74 at 2:24 AM PST - 41 comments

December 30

Partisans

The Partisan Review, a critical magazine founded by William Phillips and Philip Rahv (and Kenneth Fearing) and originally created as an arm of the American Communist Party was 'more a literary event than a literary magazine,' that lost its purpose after perestroika: The Death of a Literary Magazine. But even in death, the archives are not 'down the memory hole', but rather digitized and available online. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:03 PM PST - 3 comments

46 Times Vox Fucked Up a Story

Deadspin takes on Vox's inaccuracy problem It appears that pace of the Internet, hubris, or the specific kind of "new journalism" (or "data journalism") - in some combination has created a monster of inaccuracy over at Vox.com (SLTDeadspin)
posted by jlittlew at 6:25 PM PST - 70 comments

If the Auto Has No Tune, Does It Make a Sound?

John Cage 4' 33" Fed Through an Autotune (SLYT)
posted by jonp72 at 6:07 PM PST - 38 comments

Good videos of live performances of weird musics.

URSSS May I recommend: IOIOI, Rashad Becker, Cut Hands, But there is much to explore and discover. [more inside]
posted by idiopath at 6:04 PM PST - 4 comments

The Mountain Dulcimer

From the mountains of Western Maryland and West Virginia comes a series of short films about Appalachian traditions in our changing world. This one is about the Appalachian dulcimer.
posted by winna at 5:39 PM PST - 21 comments

Gone Girl, gun violence, and the media's focus on the media

The New Yorker's "Most-Read" Blog Posts of 2014. The New Yorker's most-read blog posts and magazine stories of 2013. And for the one most-important article in each issue of the magazine (according to one San Franciscan), there's The New Yorkerest. [more inside]
posted by psoas at 5:07 PM PST - 2 comments

I need to know my place

Just because there’s been more successful white rappers, you cannot disregard where this culture came from and our place in it as white people.
In the wake of Azealia Banks' controversial interview on Hot 97, in which she called out Iggy Azalea and the "smudging out of black music," Macklemore appeared on the same show, Ebro in the Morning on Monday and spoke thoughtfully and at length about white privilege and cultural appropriation in hip hop. [more inside]
posted by DirtyOldTown at 4:45 PM PST - 96 comments

Looking ahead to 2015 in civil liberties

"some of these prognostications may seem a wee bit hyperbolic, a bit paranoid, maybe even a little nutty" What will American civil liberties look like in 2015? If things take a turn for the worse, they might look a little familiar. Slate also explored this terrain today, but not at such length. [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 4:41 PM PST - 17 comments

"why should black and African writers listen to Ben Okri?"

Point: The black and African writer is expected to write about certain things, and if they don’t they are seen as irrelevant. This gives their literature weight, but dooms it with monotony. Who wants to constantly read a literature of suffering, of heaviness? Those living through it certainly don’t; the success of much lighter fare among the reading public in Africa proves this point. Maybe it is those in the west, whose lives are untouched by such suffering, who find occasional spice and flirtation with such a literature. But this tyranny of subject may well lead to distortion and limitation.

Counterpoint: Black and African writing does need freedom. It needs freedom from the repetition of tired complaints and the issuing of dusty and ineffective prescriptions. After all, as Okri begins his essay, “Living as we do in troubling times, we look to writers to reflect the temper of the age” – and that is precisely what black and African writers are doing. Our literature doesn’t need better writers; it needs better readers.
Ben Okri and Sofia Samatar argue about the role of the African writer in The Grauniad. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse at 3:29 PM PST - 8 comments

Are you a cognitive miser?

A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost? Many people give the first response that comes to mind—10 cents. But if they thought a little harder, they would realize that this cannot be right. Keith E. Stanovich writes in Scientific American about “dysrationalia” and how having a high IQ doesn't guarantee that your brain won't take shortcuts when it can.
posted by jzed at 2:42 PM PST - 165 comments

Luise Rainer dies at 104

Luise Rainer dies at 104. Luise Rainer left Nazi Germany and appeared in many notable films, including The Great Ziegfeld and The Good Earth. Here are 20 things you didn't know about the legendary actress.
posted by Melismata at 2:11 PM PST - 10 comments

Dave Barry's 2014 Year In Review

There's Just No Explaining 2014. "There was even some good news in 2014, mostly in the form of things that did not happen. A number of GM cars — the final total could be as high as four — were not recalled. There were several whole days during which no statements had to be issued by the U.S. Department of Explaining What the Vice President Meant to Say. And for the fifth consecutive year, the Yankees failed to even play in the World Series." [more inside]
posted by Shmuel510 at 12:47 PM PST - 94 comments

The Game Within the Sugar Game

Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, and the Battle of College Football’s Recruiting Kingpins
posted by artsandsci at 12:26 PM PST - 17 comments

"Indescribably Alarming"

The Back to the Future trilogy predicts the John F. Kennedy assassination and the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. The messages are hidden in plain sight. [some graphic imagery of JFK | absurd-conspiracy-filter]
posted by quin at 11:29 AM PST - 56 comments

RIP Christine Cavanaugh

Deceased is Christine Cavanaugh at age 52. She was an accomplished voice performer, familiar for roles such as Marty (full episode ~22m) from The Critic, Dexter from Dexter's Laboratory, and Babe the pig.
posted by JHarris at 10:30 AM PST - 55 comments

Nyeah nargh eeah fwa fwa 2: Corncob Boogaloo

IT IS SO YUMMY  (Christmas Edition) (PREVIOUSLY)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:30 AM PST - 14 comments

2014 Games Writing

This Year in Videogame Blogging: 2014. Critical Distance provides a roundup of some of the best articles about games this year. [more inside]
posted by kmz at 10:23 AM PST - 19 comments

"I wanted to leave a monument to the Roman plebe."

Giuseppe Gioachino Belli was a 19th Century poet who lived in Rome and wrote sonnets in the Romanesco dialect spoken by the poor of his native city. An accountant by trade, he wrote from the perspective of working class Romans living in the theocratic Papal States, and has been referred to as the voice of Rome. Translating his work has caused translators some difficulty, with many opting for equivalent dialects, such as Peter Dale who used working class speech of his native Melbourne as a model. Anthony Burgess made his Belli Mancunian, while Mike Stocks rendered Belli into something closer to standard English. Collections of translated sonnets by Belli can be read on Andrea Pollett's Virtual Roma website and on Maurizio Mosetti's site about Belli.
posted by Kattullus at 9:29 AM PST - 4 comments

My death needs to mean something.

17 year old Leelah Alcorn died last weekend when she was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer on I-71; her suicide note (tw: suicide, transphobia) has been shared tens of thousands of times in the wake of her death, as part of her wish that her be counted in the number of transgender people who commit suicide this year. "I want someone to look at that number and say “that’s fucked up” and fix it. Fix society. Please." [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:28 AM PST - 290 comments

Looking for someone to hold onto, as we walk into the unknown future

Alya and Gael of Cirque Du Soleil demonstrate why trust is worth it. (SLYT)
posted by lharmon at 9:17 AM PST - 9 comments

The Benefits of Being Cold

The notion that thermal environments influence human metabolism dates back to studies conducted in the late 18th century by the French chemist Antoine Lavoisier, but only in the past century has it really become relevant to daily life. Cronise believes that our thinking about the modern plagues of obesity and metabolic disease (like diabetes) has not addressed the fact that most people are rarely cold today. Many of us live almost constantly, year-round, in 70-something-degree environments. And when we are caught somewhere colder than that, most of us quickly put on a sweater or turn up the thermostat.
posted by Librarypt at 6:43 AM PST - 70 comments

Who Speaks for the Subaltern?

When Subalternist theorists put up this gigantic wall separating East from West, and when they insist that Western agents are not driven by the same kinds of concerns as Eastern agents, what they’re doing is endorsing the kind of essentialism that colonial authorities used to justify their depredations in the nineteenth century. It’s the same kind of essentialism that American military apologists used when they were bombing Vietnam or when they were going into the Middle East. Nobody on the Left can be at ease with these sorts of arguments.
Vivek Chibber (Professor of Sociology, New York University) discusses the pitfalls of postcolonialism in the wake of his controversial book Postcolonial Theory and the Specter of Capital. [more inside]
posted by Sonny Jim at 5:36 AM PST - 61 comments

Why 2015 Won't Suck

Matter's list of 39 bit-sized items of texts and graphics why 2015 won't suck includes such gems as an comic "On Optimisim" and other reasons "why 2015 will be less terrible than 2014, which was garbage."
posted by KMB at 5:02 AM PST - 28 comments

Master of Men In Suits

King Kong vs Godzilla vs Metallica (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:58 AM PST - 3 comments

Finding freedom in a harsh wilderness

The Underground Railroad was the route that allowed Southern slaves to escape North, but some slaves found freedom by hiding closer to home, in the vast wilderness area of North Carolina and Virginia known as the Great Dismal Swamp. Research suggests that thousands of maroons, as the escaped or freed slaves were called, lived there between 1700 and the 1860s. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:23 AM PST - 8 comments

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun, and I say it's all right

Whether you're welcoming a new day or a new year, you might enjoy some music to welcome the sun. For your enjoyment, 80 minutes of upbeat dance music set to abstract visuals in a live sunrise set from DSK CHK, a slightly more downbeat live mix from Mija & Skrillex at Bonaroo, and bliss out as the sun rises with Tycho at Burning Man, one of a handful of sets available to stream and download from this summer's burn. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 4:05 AM PST - 6 comments

December 29

Bad Memories

Bad Memories is a supernatural horror radio play by Julian Simpson. It was first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 07 January 2011, as an installment of the Friday Play. The play won a 2011 BBC Audio Drama Award in the category of Best Use of Sound in an Audio Drama. [more inside]
posted by mykescipark at 11:38 PM PST - 6 comments

Operation Just Cause, December 20, 1989

Twenty-five years ago this month, early on the morning of December 20, 1989, President George H.W. Bush launched Operation Just Cause, sending tens of thousands of troops and hundreds of aircraft into Panama to execute a warrant of arrest against its leader, Manuel Noriega, on charges of drug trafficking. Those troops quickly secured all important strategic installations, including the main airport in Panama City, various military bases, and ports. Noriega went into hiding before surrendering on January 3rd and was then officially extradited to the United States to stand trial. Soon after, most of the U.S. invaders withdrew from the country. [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 8:34 PM PST - 50 comments

水尻自子

Animator Yoriko Mizushiri makes some sushi. (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by theodolite at 6:35 PM PST - 16 comments

My Book, The Movie

They would ask me what actors I saw in the roles. I would tell them, and they’d say “Oh that’s interesting.” And that would be the end of it. --Elmore Leonard, in 2000, on the extent of his input for Hollywood's adaptation of his novels
For authorial input on film adaptation, try My Book The Movie, by Marshall Zeringue, also of The Campaign for the American Reader, the page 69 test (previously), and the page 99 test. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:32 PM PST - 6 comments

Chickenhawk nation

The American public and its political leadership will do anything for the military except take it seriously. The result is a chickenhawk nation in which careless spending and strategic folly combine to lure America into endless wars it can’t win.
James Fallows on the Tragedy of the American Military: "honoured" but not taken seriously.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:38 PM PST - 71 comments

The Boy In The Dress

At 6.55pm on December 26th the BBC screened an adaptation of David Walliam's children's novel "The Boy In The Dress." Reaction on Twitter was mixed, but the reviews were more positive. 13 year old actor Billy Kennedy who starred in the programme has written a blog post about working with all the famous people in it, and the Radio Times asks its online readers what they thought of it.
posted by marienbad at 1:43 PM PST - 8 comments

Privilege doesn't mean you don't suffer

On Nerd Entitlement: an essay by Laurie Penny in the New Statesman, responding to a discussion on Scott Aaronson's blog about sexism in STEM fields and nerd culture.
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:39 PM PST - 670 comments

All these Yahoo Directory listings will be lost, like tears in the rain

Search Engine Land (December 27, 2014): "The Yahoo Directory, the core part of how Yahoo itself began in 1994, officially closed today, five days ahead of when Yahoo had said the end would come." The Internet Archive save of Yahoo for October 1996. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore at 12:34 PM PST - 75 comments

Brands Saying Bae

It's cool when a corporation tweets like a teenager. It makes me want to buy the corporation's products. Brands Saying Bae.
posted by naju at 11:08 AM PST - 139 comments

"Science is when you think a lot."

Two enjoyable chapters [PDF, 33 pages] from the book Math from Three to Seven: The Story of a Mathematical Circle for Preschoolers. "This book does not purport to show you how to create precocious high achievers. It is just one person's story about things he tried with a half-dozen young children."
posted by Wolfdog at 10:43 AM PST - 11 comments

The Class Struggle in the North Pole

What’s behind Santa’s bloody rise? Three leading elven labor activists offer a class analysis of the North Pole “gift economy.”
posted by supermassive at 10:33 AM PST - 9 comments

Something About Bridges, Trolls, etc...

In an effort to not favor any of its member countries over the others, the European Central Bank decided to feature fictional bridges on a series of banknotes. So the Dutch built the bridges.
posted by exit at 10:19 AM PST - 47 comments

"It was just a combination of tragedy and fun I guess you might say"

Southern filmmakers and the Southern Foodways Alliance have partnered to create Counter Histories, a series of shorts documenting the struggle to desegregate Southern restaurants.
posted by Maaik at 9:53 AM PST - 3 comments

Smuggling Lego is the new Smuggling Diamonds

Teeny, tiny, blockity, sellaby, black markety. A new underground currency has hit the market. Lego and Lego sets. Unrelated, go head, suffer a Lego firewalk. I dare you.
posted by headspace at 9:36 AM PST - 34 comments

Virginia's Express Lanes Are Operational

10 years of planning and several years (and almost $1 billion) of construction have come to end on I-95 south of Washington DC as the controversial "Express Lanes" are fully operational today. [more inside]
posted by COD at 9:31 AM PST - 66 comments

Kim Kardashian doesn't visit Versailles. She is Versailles.

"The work speaks volumes: She is her own best creation, a businesswoman, a brand, a socialite, a TV star, a wife, a mother, and the essential member of a sprawling family who are all getting rich under the umbrella of her fame. But most important, Kim Kardashian works full-time as professional metaphor. " - Rachel Syme on why Kim Kardashian's Hollywood was the most important game of 2014
posted by The Whelk at 9:10 AM PST - 292 comments

2014 has taught us that a critical mass of people want to talk feminism

"From a seven-year-old who took on a supermarket to the girls who stood up to authority against violence, racism and inequality, these girls make the future look bright." Laura Bates looks back at a year of young feminist action in the Guardian piece, "2014: a year of brave, inspiring, young feminists". More feminism year-in-reviews below the fold. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 8:58 AM PST - 18 comments

There is a season, churn, churn, churn.

There are many, many black days. The most famous, probably, is Black Tuesday, the Wall Street crash of 1929 that is commonly held as the start of the Great Depression. Its polar opposite? Black Friday, the day after the US Thanksgiving Holiday, where buying is the thing. George Soros, amongst others, broke the UK Pound and the government of John Major on Black Wednesday, and the peak of the 1988 Yellowstone Wildfires happened on Black Saturday. But there's another black day -- a day that happens every year. A day that is today. Black Monday. [more inside]
posted by eriko at 8:48 AM PST - 32 comments

“What the hell am I going to do at home?”

Len Berk, 84 years young, is The Last Jewish Lox Slicer at Zabar's.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:55 AM PST - 24 comments

She described Yair as “a total sweety”.

President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'. [more inside]
posted by andoatnp at 7:31 AM PST - 48 comments

Working together——but not at exactly the same time

"69 demands that we take our unique physical forms, our torsos of varying lengths, our genitals of all sizes and sensitivities, and, instead of bending the position to accommodate them, bend our bodies to the will of the pangeniticon, of the pleasuring machine, of the system that is 69."
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:08 AM PST - 85 comments

An undeniable 85-song sampler of the year in hip-hop

The best hip-hop tracks of 2014 from the Kernel, the Daily Dot's digital Sunday magazine.
posted by ellieBOA at 6:28 AM PST - 16 comments

SEASONS GREETINGS

The Guardian - Best photographs of 2014 (NSFW) [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:51 AM PST - 34 comments

Urge Overkill “Stalker” discusses her antics

In the early 1990’s Urge Overkill went from hometown band to national stars, despite the attempts by two local women to stop them. If you frequented the North Side during that time, you may have seen two women dressed similarly to the band, passing out an anti-Urge Overkill newsletter preaching about the “evils” of the band with a megaphone.
posted by josher71 at 1:37 AM PST - 124 comments

Quake on an oscilloscope

We've seen Doom on a printer (previously). Now it is time to render Quake on an oscilloscope.
posted by tykky at 12:08 AM PST - 29 comments

December 28

QZ8501

A major search is underway to find AirAsia Indonesia Flight QZ8501 after it lost contact with Indonesian air traffic control while enroute from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore yesterday without a distress signal. Its parent company, the Malaysia-owned budget airline AirAsia (no connection to Malaysia Airlines) has had a clean safety record; AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes considers this his "worst nightmare". There were initial reports of a plane crashing in East Belitung Island, which are yet to be verified, but the multi-national search is still under way after a break due to darkness and bad weather. Indeed, powerful storms were in QZ8501's flight path, prompting the pilot to request an "unusual" route. There were 162 people on board, primarily Indonesians (including one of the pilots), as well as three South Koreans, one Singaporean, one Malaysian, one French, and one British citizen. There is currently some strong media attention on a family that missed the flight by minutes, who were told by airport officials while negotiating a replacement flight that "This must have been the best Christmas gift your family ever received". [more inside]
posted by divabat at 9:13 PM PST - 127 comments

♪♫♪ I Want To Break Free ♪♫♪

How to Remove Your Mustache [more inside]
posted by Confess, Fletch at 7:30 PM PST - 23 comments

Margaret: A scrapbook found in the bottom of a garbage bin

It began over 20 years ago when Chicken John Rinaldi (one time San Francisco mayoral candidate and GG Allin Guitarist) found a scrapbook in the bottom of a San Francisco dumpster detailing the strange and tragic life of Margaret Rucker, poet and daughter of early Everett, WA pioneer Bethel Rucker. It wasn't until last year, though, that Chicken's friend Jason Webley (previously: 1, 2, 3) mentioned in passing that he's from Everett, and they looked at what remains of the scrapbook together. [more inside]
posted by Myca at 6:59 PM PST - 22 comments

Sweet dreams

Lucid Dreams of Gabriel SLYT
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:35 PM PST - 1 comment

Meet Portia

Portia is a jumping spider that eats other spiders, through complex layers[PDF] of visual recognition and planned, trial-and-error[PDF, html] movement, even losing sight of it's target. How does a hunter get to be smarter than the prey, while having the same number of neurons, not even as many as a honeybee? Well, that's the interesting part ... [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:18 PM PST - 7 comments

Phenomenally.

Maya Angelou's posthumous hip hop project Caged Bird Songs, has a new music video for Harlem Hopscotch.
posted by ChuraChura at 6:04 PM PST - 2 comments

NASA knows that excitement means mistakes

5200 Days in Space. From The Atlantic.
posted by pjern at 5:50 PM PST - 18 comments

Best crime reporting 2014

Longreads Best Crime Reporting of 2014 [more inside]
posted by triggerfinger at 5:28 PM PST - 6 comments

over their charred ashes / scattered on the horizon

The great Iraqi poet Badr Shakir al-Sayyab died fifty years ago today, on December 24, 1964. [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus at 4:55 PM PST - 2 comments

“They were actually commenting on the choices I’d made in my life.”

Amazon’s disruption of the traditional publishing model is well-documented. Self-published authors on Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited are seeing their incomes plummet by as much as 75%. Citizen-reviewers have wrested the reins of criticism from established newspaper and magazine critics, much to authors’ dismay. But one writer found online reviewing a way to reclaim her identity as a writer—even if she was reviewing a crappy mattress purchase on Amazon. How A Bad Amazon Review Totally Changed My Career. [more inside]
posted by pipti at 4:36 PM PST - 30 comments

My life as a fake Internet “War on Christmas” meme

Mr. Levy: I want to personally thank you for having the courage to share this with the world. Outstanding commentary and so true. You hit it right on the money. . . I thank Jesus every day for my life. Thank you again. We need more loving and thoughtful people in this world such as you.
Every year around the holidays, Steven Levy gets appreciative email about his "deranged rant" about the "war on Christmas". There's only one problem: he didn't write it.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:55 PM PST - 46 comments

Getting back to design basics with Aaron Draplin

Aaron Draplin of Draplin Design Co. (previously, twice, thrice) takes on a logo design challenge, describing how he goes about creating enduring designs. If you enjoyed Aaron and his style (bigger image), you can take a tour of his well-organized junk and join him as he scours an estate sale for more inspiration, and continue with him as he discusses the art of the side hustle, specifically Field Notes (previously; history). Or if you'd prefer design tips, Aaron talks about workflow, moving efficiently, and how to make a laurel. But wait, there's more! Aaron also presented at TEDxPortland, discussing work ethics and giving back, and extends on some of those topics in this 22 minute interview. Getting back to the art of things, Aaron talks on logo design the Draplin way, and Aaron Draplin's favorite signs. Warning: obscene language abounds, may not be workplace appropriate.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:50 PM PST - 16 comments

Playing the bones, Soviet style

In the days before tape recorders and magnitizdat (previously), vinyl was a state-controlled resource in the Soviet Union. So how were dissidents and bootleggers to meet the demand for forbidden music? Write it "on the bone". [more inside]
posted by EvaDestruction at 12:58 PM PST - 16 comments

Les Parapluies de Cherbourg

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg turned 50 this year. The movie in full. Or here: Part 1 Part 2. (These are not tears. There's a draft in the room making my eyes water.) Reviews: Songs in the Key of Everyday Life/Jonathan Rosenbaum/Chicago Reader, Slant, Ebert. [more inside]
posted by cwest at 10:03 AM PST - 15 comments

That evergreen feminist cautionary fable: The Handmaid's Tale

Does The Handmaid's Tale hold up? , Adi Robertson for The Verge:
"A few weeks ago, I mentioned to a friend that I was in the middle of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. 'It’s like 1984 for feminists, right?' he asked. Sort of, I said. But it's a lot scarier. It's about how you'll lose every right you have, and none of the men you know will care. Then I said he would probably betray me if they froze all women's bank accounts. That was the peak of my paranoia, but it held on for several more days, as I read on the subway while half-consciously figuring out how I might theoretically escape to Canada. 1984 was for lightweights."
[more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 8:53 AM PST - 185 comments

Bubbles and lava lamps

Three visualizations of CO2 emissions: Here’s a cool way to visualize carbon emissions. New York's carbon emissions - in real time. NASA found a way to visualize the most important process behind global warming.
posted by stbalbach at 6:59 AM PST - 5 comments

Laffer's Napkin

In December 1974, Arthur Laffer scribbled a supply-side economic model on a cloth napkin at the Two Continents restaurant in Washington. His dining companions, Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, took the idea to their boss, President Gerald Ford. And by the time Ronald Reagan was elected president, the first major challenge to Keynesian economics had gained a foothold in the White House. [more inside]
posted by BaffledWaffle at 6:53 AM PST - 101 comments

My identity is my creation

Sleaford Mods are an English Hip hop/Post-punk duo based in Nottingham. This year the NME asked them to record a Christmas Message (NSFW swearing) [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:38 AM PST - 5 comments

December 27

How to Draw (expert mode)

Model Sheets is a Twitter feed where someone is collecting model sheets from all kinds of cartoons, including South Park, classic Warner Bros. and Disney, Don Bluth, cable cartoons, old saturday morning stuff, and anime.
posted by JHarris at 9:02 PM PST - 12 comments

'Happy People' before Herzog

Werner Herzog's 'Happy People' is less a film made by Werner Herzog than a film sculpted by Werner Herzog, as he selected and subsequently narrated ninety-four minutes of material taken from Dmitry Vasyukov's four-hour documentary of the same name. Vasyukov's four episodes, by season: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter. (SLYTs)
posted by mr. digits at 7:46 PM PST - 11 comments

Kids Only Please. No Rough Ridin'

Rise and Fall of the American Kiddie Ride - Coin-operated kiddie rides used to be ubiquitous outside grocery stores and shopping centers throughout America. In the age of the iPad, what happens to them, and do kids even care any more? [more inside]
posted by litlnemo at 6:57 PM PST - 52 comments

Founding Fathers of Hip Hop

The Founding Fathers [1hr25min] "unsung DJ's who contributed to the foundational principals of the music known today as Hip Hop. This documentary transports you to a journey back to the early underground disco days of the streets and parks throughout New York City." Narrated by Chuck D, with plenty of primary interviews and slammin' beats.
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 2:54 PM PST - 3 comments

Does not apply to Google, Apple, or Facebook.

It looks like "Do Not Track" is in trouble.
posted by pjern at 2:48 PM PST - 79 comments

I'll admit my brains started leaking out of my ears around mashup #5.

2014 is coming to a close. Likely you've seen the previous post about DJ Earworm's 2014 mashup, in which 25 songs (and their videos) were compressed into a 4 minute and 11 second mix. But while the United State of Pop is the oldest game in town, it's far from the only one. Here a half-dozen other takes. [more inside]
posted by Shmuel510 at 2:31 PM PST - 6 comments

Synthetix.FM Ultimix 2014

Rick Shithouse and Synthetix.FM's 2014 year end synthstraviganza [more inside]
posted by rebent at 2:15 PM PST - 13 comments

Turn away. Our creative lives are limited.

  • The correct definition of ‘game’
  • Narrative vs Mechanics
  • Randomness vs Skill
  • The importance of realism
  • Casual vs Hardcore
Daniel Cook: the top 5 game design debates I ignored in 2014
posted by MartinWisse at 12:13 PM PST - 73 comments

The Sounds of Things to Come

Sound of Cinema - British Sci-Fi from the BFI Days of Fear and Wonder - BBC Radio 3 talks to film composer Stephen Price about The Shape of Things to Come, Alien, Gravity, and other science fiction soundtracks.
posted by Artw at 12:09 PM PST - 7 comments

How about those airplane seats?

JetBlue is adding luggage charges and packing more seats on its planes, and customers are freaking out. Is contemporary airline service so bad because the airlines are colluding to make you suffer, as Tim Wu writes in the New Yorker? Or because low-price, a la carte service is what fliers actually want, as Alison Griswold writes in Slate? For a data-rich deep dive into what passengers really hate about air travel, see "The Unfriendly Skies" (.pdf), a report on five years worth of air travelers' complaints to the US Department of Transportation.
posted by escabeche at 11:04 AM PST - 176 comments

"Oh my god, I got it."

On Christmas Eve, 7 year old Evan set up a camera to catch a glimpse of Santa Claus. (SLYT)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:08 AM PST - 58 comments

"Whatever the orientation, fans are passionate about their ships"

"Perhaps shipping also reflects the yearning for a small moment of control in a chaotic world. Children often react to their inherent powerlessness by retreating to the wide-open spaces of their imagination. They make their dolls kiss (or fight), and feel a sense of control that they lack in the real world. As fans, people may not be the author of the fictional worlds they love to inhabit, but when they ship, they can momentarily grab the wheel in the most exhilarating of ways — envisioning and championing relationships that demonstrate their own mastery of a created universe, and their true feelings about how love should exist in that world, if not indeed in their own." [via mefi projects; single-page format]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 8:02 AM PST - 90 comments

Comes the beer refreshing

Never Better is The Awl’s goodbye to 2014. The most recent one is Last Year's Punch by Dan Nosowitz. Another notable one is Good Things of 2014, a complete list. Including: [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:44 AM PST - 7 comments

“Those buildings were taken down not long after I took that picture.”

"Demolished: the end of Chicago's Public Housing" A look back at Chicago's 20th-century public housing high-rises, and how they were taken down. Also an interesting form of web presentation. (SLNPR)
posted by doctornemo at 6:11 AM PST - 8 comments

Make them go, "Oh, oh, oh" As you shoot across the sky

A somewhat impressive firework display (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:34 AM PST - 40 comments

December 26

Jerry Lee Lewis: still alive and making music, at 79

The Killer at Peace: Jerry Lee Lewis's Golden Years
In the living room, directly above Lewis' chair, is a framed photo from the day in December 1956 when Lewis, Cash, Carl Perkins and Presley – a.k.a. "the Million-Dollar Quartet" – hung out and recorded at Sun. Elvis is at the piano, looking upward, eyes fixed on Lewis. Above the bar is a photo from the sessions for the Class of '55 LP, a 1985 reunion of Lewis, Perkins, Cash and Roy Orbison. "All of them, really good friends," he says quietly. "All gone." Lewis took his survival as a point of pride by naming his 2006 comeback LP Last Man Standing. "A lot of people didn't like it when I said that. But they had to accept it."
Jerry Lee Lewis is still alive and rocking, having just released his third album in the 2000s, titled Rock & Roll Time, though his most raucous days are behind him.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:31 PM PST - 41 comments

Tony Bennett/Bill Evans, Village Vanguard Reissue, Complete Riverside

The Concord Music Group (the Group's labels) is due to release on vinyl The Complete Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Recordings in January 2015. This past November 2014, the Concord Music Group released the vinyl reissue, on the Riverside label, of The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings, 1961/The Bill Evans Trio. Also due up, is the vinyl reissue of The Complete Riverside Recordings/Bill Evans sometime in early 2015. (The pertinent info about the future releases is at the bottom of the page just linked.) [more inside]
posted by cwest at 9:36 PM PST - 14 comments

"Well kiddo, in real life, that doesn't matter at all."

Chiara Bautista makes art about love and loss.
posted by dephlogisticated at 7:11 PM PST - 10 comments

Sights from Zelda games that will probably never be released again

It's Zelda Day! Presented for your consideration: BS-Zelda, the satellite radio-based Zelda games that never got released outside of Japan.
The first BS Zelda game was an update/modification of the original Legend of Zelda. It was intended to be played over four weeks, an hour at a time, with different areas of the overworld unveiled each week. Here is video, with broadcasts included: 1 (YT 1h) - 2 (YT 58m) - 3 (YT 58m) - 4 (YT 1h2m) Each takes several minutes to get started, which mirrors the time delay before the game started when broadcast.
The second game was called Ancient Stone Tablets, and it used the Link To The Past engine, and much of its map. YouTube playlist (YT 12 items, 3h50m)
More information and emulator files hacked to be playable are at: The BS-Zelda Homepage. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 4:15 PM PST - 11 comments

It's a White Industry

It's a white industry, writes Chris Rock on show biz, from the lowliest focus-group testing gig to being a film executive. [more inside]
posted by aydeejones at 3:32 PM PST - 220 comments

I want to feel what he feels

A Sunni-Shia Love Story Imperiled by al Qaeda (by Ruth Michaelson).
Sabrine and her soldier husband managed to marry against all odds, including her family’s wrath. Now, their love story faces an even bigger threat—his abduction by the Nusra Front.
posted by Golden Eternity at 2:24 PM PST - 3 comments

"No army has accomplished more than printed textbooks have"

Many are worried about what [e-book] technology means for books, with big bookshops closing, new devices spreading, novice authors flooding the market and an online behemoth known as Amazon growing ever more powerful. Their anxieties cannot simply be written off as predictable technophobia. The digital transition may well change the way books are written, sold and read more than any development in their history, and that will not be to everyone’s advantage. Veterans and revolutionaries alike may go bust; Gutenberg died almost penniless, having lost control of his press to Fust and other creditors. But to see technology purely as a threat to books risks missing a key point. Books are not just “tree flakes encased in dead cow”, as a scholar once wryly put it. They are a technology in their own right, one developed and used for the refinement and advancement of thought. And this technology is a powerful, long-lived and adaptable one.
From Papyrus to Pixels is a long essay in The Economist about the changing form of books, presented both as a traditional web-scroll, as an e-book and in audio form.
posted by Kattullus at 2:12 PM PST - 33 comments

The gift that keeps on giving (information to the NSA)

They see you when your sleeping, they know when you're awake. They know if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake!
posted by HMSSM at 1:07 PM PST - 24 comments

"...perhaps even purchased at an alien trade show."

How to make a cool glowing table using the natural holes in Pecky Cypress and photoluminescent resin.
posted by quin at 12:36 PM PST - 15 comments

"confessions of a one-time religious right icon"

Frank Schaeffer: "You can’t understand why the GOP was so successful in winning back both houses of Congress in 2014, and wrecking most of what Obama has tried to do, unless you understand what we did back then." [more inside]
posted by flex at 11:38 AM PST - 66 comments

A LOVELY J.R.R. TOLKIEN DOCUMENTARY FROM 1968

An entertaining half hour spent with a man who initiated many of us into realms of magic, shifting our consciousness away from the mundane into the mystic.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:52 AM PST - 10 comments

Clearly someone was eating it, but doing so was a hidden pleasure.

The Booty-Eating Renaissance
Anilingus is having a moment.
posted by davidstandaford at 9:12 AM PST - 116 comments

The Top Nerdy

Yes, there are a LOT of Year-End Best Of Lists (some people say too many - at the same time they make up consensus lists).
But sometimes it just helps to give a 'Best Of' list a different angle, like THE TOP 20 NERDY THINGS OF 2014, which includes two appearances by Neil deGrasse Tyson (#14 and #6) and two "G.I.Joe-related" items (#16 and #8). [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:43 AM PST - 15 comments

Instagram+Twitter+Tinder = Plague

Plague is a new social networking app that spreads information like a contagious disease. You see a post from someone who is geographically close to you. Swipe up to spread it to the users nearest to you, swipe down to not share it. The more fun part is posting your own content and watching it travel around globe. These articles explain with more detail.
posted by Fig at 8:30 AM PST - 21 comments

Chatty checkout! Try to escape this conversation...

NES My Life "Mundane everyday challenges (such as finding a job, dealing with ultra conservative relatives, or deleting unwanted dick pics on a dating site) envisioned as classic black box retro 8bit Nintendo games." [via mefi projects]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 7:47 AM PST - 5 comments

38,686 Civil Engineers

"This subreddit is exclusively for pictures of infrastructure. Paved roads and other public transit, agriculture, freight, waste management, and water systems are all things we could live without but we really don't want to (and they look cool too)" [more inside]
posted by growabrain at 7:40 AM PST - 16 comments

The Tsunami: 10 Years Later

Today is the 10th anniversary of the tsunami that changed life in South and South East Asia. Aceh bore the heaviest losses and the ASEAN remembers the toll of destruction. This event changed the way global agencies coordinate large scale disaster relief. Many lessons were learnt. Other regions which felt the impact hold memorial services too.
posted by infini at 3:15 AM PST - 24 comments

December 25

Every breath you take

The Creepy Surveillance of Elf on a Shelf. How does the ubiquitous holiday tattletale work its behavioral magic? By teaching kids to expect that there's always someone watching.
posted by gottabefunky at 11:13 PM PST - 93 comments

Algorithms are essentially thoughtless.

Inadvertent Algorithmic Cruelty: Author and Web design consultant Eric Meyer lost his daughter Rebecca to a brain tumor earlier this year, as mentioned previously on the Blue--or in this case the Purple. At the year's end, Facebook's Year in Review app has been sending him ghastly reminders of this recent history with an auto-populated, cheerily decorated slideshow featuring pictures of his dead daughter. Mediating on the influence of such algorithms in our lives, he writes: To call a person “thoughtless” is usually considered a slight, or an outright insult; and yet, we unleash so many literally thoughtless processes on our users, on our lives, on ourselves.
posted by Cash4Lead at 9:46 PM PST - 83 comments

Santa-styled silk-specks' slithering sped to sixteen seconds

Silkworms in Santa Hats [SLYT]
posted by gray17 at 6:50 PM PST - 6 comments

Yeah, the streets are deserted, and that's big news.

Christmastime for the Jews! In a hysterical claymation-style animated short about Jews having free reign over the country on Christmas, Darlene Love [previously] sings about the many benefits of not celebrating the holiday. [more inside]
posted by Servo5678 at 6:38 PM PST - 19 comments

It's beginning to smell a lot like Mongolian beef

io9 tells us that Chinese food on Christmas is no longer just a Jewish tradition and digs up an ethnographic article examining the birth of the customary meal: Chinese food is unkosher and therefore non-Jewish. But because of the specific ways that Chinese food is prepared and served, immigrant Jews and their children found Chinese food to be more attractive and less threatening than other non-Jewish or treyf food. Chinese food was what we term "safe treyf." [more inside]
posted by bq at 5:48 PM PST - 34 comments

Band Aid: Secrets and Stories From the Star-Studded Session

Sting, Boy George, Bob Geldof, Midge Ure and Simon Le Bon on the 1984 "Do They Know It's Christmas?" session.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 5:35 PM PST - 18 comments

A recipe for an Icelandic song

Take one part saw (1:15 in). Add one part glockenspiel and one part fiðla. Then, a dash of harmonium and some drum brushes. Accentuate with a cello, then layer with keyboards. Finally, add some piano and ensure there are two parts harp. Very carefully blend and Gleðileg jól! Amiina (previously) have bakaðar you a song.
posted by Wordshore at 3:03 PM PST - 6 comments

The Most Surreal Season

In 1959, iconic Surrealist painter Salvador Dalí agreed to design several holiday greeting cards for Hallmark, "with several stipulations. He asked for $15,000 [$122,200 in 2014 dollars] in cash in advance for 10 greeting card designs, with no suggestions from Hallmark for the subject or medium, no deadline and no royalties." [more inside]
posted by escape from the potato planet at 2:39 PM PST - 32 comments

Amazon One-hour Delivery

Amazon has worked diligently on improving its product delivery process. Same-day delivery is pretty standard now in parts of the country where they have closer distribution centers. They have also implemented lockers for pickup and have been working on developing a delivery method by remote control. In Manhattan, they have now implemented a one-hour delivery service for $7.99 (and two-hour delivery is free). Coming soon to a city near you. [more inside]
posted by SpacemanStix at 11:26 AM PST - 74 comments

You know what you can't screw up, though.

Red Letter Media drunkenly reviews the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special as part of their Best of the Worst series. [more inside]
posted by clarknova at 11:13 AM PST - 35 comments

More Weird New Christmas Music than you can shake a Christmas Tree at

Christmas music permeates America between Thanksgiving and New Year's, but so much of it is tired covers of covers of songs we have all heard hundreds of times. Isn't there anyone, out there, who is making original and possibly weird Christmas music? Is most of it free and freely streaming on Bandcamp?
Well, yes.
Let's start with John Hughes-ian Xmas Movie Soundtrack and move on from there. Like any Christmas present, there's lots [more inside]
posted by sleeping bear at 10:38 AM PST - 9 comments

How close are you willing to get?

2014: The Year in Pictures. [SLNYT]
posted by skycrashesdown at 9:02 AM PST - 24 comments

Is this the place where I ask questions I can't get answers to?

The New York Public Library's Instagram feed (as discussed previously for its #ReviewsOnTues feature) is now serializing the librarians' latest find:
We found an old recipe box while cleaning out a desk, and it was labeled "Interesting Reference Questions," the contents of which ranged from total stumpers to funny mispronunciations.
[more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 7:34 AM PST - 43 comments

Merry Dunkmas

There will be several NBA games on TV this Christmas day. But they just don't make the basketball like they used to, do they? Perhaps you would be more interested in that Old Timey Basketball instead. For that we have the NBA On Youtube Google Doc. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:10 AM PST - 31 comments

The timelapse video that rules them all

A 6-minute video of Earth from space, featuring aurora borealis, cities at night, storms, and other wonders , created by ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst from 12,500 images taken during his ISS Blue Dot mission.
posted by elgilito at 3:01 AM PST - 9 comments

"Returning to Earth, that was the challenging part"

Forty-five years ago, Buzz Aldrin became the second man to walk on the moon. It made him one of the most famous people in the world. And it has haunted the rest of his life.
posted by cozenedindigo at 1:04 AM PST - 45 comments

December 24

Jan Terri for the holidays

Chicago's own Jan Terri offers up her version of "Ave Maria" paired with an interpretive video for your Xmastime enjoyment [more inside]
posted by flex at 7:22 PM PST - 5 comments

In Honour of the One Day A Year This Changes

Only one day a year does this suggest anything but negativity... and in recognition of the change, I'd like to throw up one of my favourite retrospectives BetaMaxmas! Every year the posters and paneling changes, every year the programming advances a year, and every year I come back to vaguely remembered commercials and specials.
posted by LD Feral at 7:16 PM PST - 10 comments

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

Morgan Freeman reads 'Twas the Night Before Christmas My new Christmas Eve tradition. [SLRYOT link]
posted by QuakerMel at 4:37 PM PST - 12 comments

Plastic Jesus [MLYT]

I don't care if it rains or freezes
as long as I got my plastic Jesus
ridin' on the dash board of my car
comes in colors pink and pleasant
glows in the dark cause it's iridescent
take it with you when you travel far [more inside]
posted by peeedro at 4:03 PM PST - 17 comments

Hallelujah, Holy Shit! Where's the Tylenol?

Xmas or Bust: The Untold Story of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. The modern holiday classic and third installment in National Lampoon's Vacation series turns 25 this year! Join hapless patriarch Clark Griswold as he struggles to maintain his sanity in a Christmas season full of eccentric relatives, mounting workplace stress, and increasingly outlandish domestic disasters. Full video - Scenes: Eat My Rubber - The Griswold Family Christmas Tree - Bend Over and I'll Show You - Gift-shopping - Decorating - Christmas Lights - Cousin Eddie - Let 'Er Rip, Hang Ten! - MERRY CHRISTMAS, SHITTER WAS FULL - Home Movies - Aunt Bethany - Turkey Dinner - The Cat - Clark Breaks Down - SQUIRREL - Hostages - The National Anthem - More: Quotes from IMDb - PDF Transcript - What's the Damage?
posted by Rhaomi at 2:56 PM PST - 30 comments

Sleep Well Tonight, Crosswalk Stripes Have Been Banned

As poverty moves to the suburbs, criminalization of walking intensifies. "Jaywalking" was the reason Michael Brown was first accosted, it is the offense that nearly sent a mother to jail for vehicular homicide when a drunk driver killed her child.
posted by blankdawn at 11:57 AM PST - 121 comments

"So, yes, this is Bride of Frankenstein with Christmas characters."

"Rankin/Bass made 18 specials, of varying length and ambition, between 1964 and 1985. Nearly all of these films revolve around the performance of some Christmas song or another. Nearly all of them deal with the crippling scars of childhood shame. And nearly all of them are completely off the rails insane." Vox's Todd VanDerWerff watches, and ranks, all 18 Rankin/Bass Christmas Specials.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:22 AM PST - 31 comments

"Puck, I've scaled the Vegas Fir for a better view."

The Breaking Cat News Christmas Special: Part One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight. (Previously.)
posted by bakerina at 10:52 AM PST - 31 comments

Christmas Card from Top Gun

The legendary Christmas Card from Top Gun (NSFW)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:32 AM PST - 14 comments

"In the name of all Shelled Ones, I banish thee!"

Tortoise dislikes cat (SLYT)
posted by overeducated_alligator at 8:37 AM PST - 24 comments

45 Seconds from Broadway

This past Sunday, Café Edison, affectionately known as the Polish Tea Room, served its last bowl of matzos ball soup and shuttered. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:14 AM PST - 19 comments

A Brand New World In Which Men Ruled

The New York Times looks back at the Stanford Class of 1994 and what they are all up to today.
posted by reenum at 8:01 AM PST - 27 comments

"It was the Yuletide, that men call Christmas"

David Wong, Cracked: The True Meaning of Christmas (That Everyone Forgets) [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:59 AM PST - 47 comments

Never Mind the Baubles

Anarchy in Huddersfield: the day the Sex Pistols played Santa [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:30 AM PST - 6 comments

Investing in Genius

James Stewart of the New York Times has written of the current investment boom in art. `For better or worse, fine art is now firmly planted alongside equities, bonds, commodities and real estate as an asset class. ... `A lot of contemporary art is aggressively ugly,' Professor Galenson said. `That doesn’t matter in terms of its value.'” Felix Salmon believes it is Pre-industrialist capitalist waste. While James Kwak believes it is by definition a bubble, but one where fortunately, "you can pass off your downside risk to the government — which makes this bubble a lot less risky for `investors.'”
posted by TheProudAardvark at 6:14 AM PST - 19 comments

Chess is much purer than art in its social position.

Marcel Duchamp loved (Image NSW) playing Chess.
In 1918 whilest in Buenos Aires he designed and made his own Art Deco Chess pieces which you can now print for yourself.
These were created by Scott Kildall who also created Playing Duchamp a computer chess program.
Duchamp's Chess history.
The wonderful Marcel Duchamp Studies online journal Re-evaluates the Art & Chess of Marcel Duchamp.
For Chess afficionados there is this hypothosis of Beckett and Duchamp and Chess in the 1930's.
posted by adamvasco at 6:03 AM PST - 21 comments

Ball don't lie (about cake)

This was a triumph. I'm making a note here: Huge Success.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:46 AM PST - 14 comments

Another Toothpick

A black teenager two miles outside Ferguson, Mo. has been shot by police and subsequently died. [more inside]
posted by SinisterPurpose at 2:57 AM PST - 550 comments

every generation has an action hero that’s actually a villain

El-P: What you have to understand is that Steven Seagal isn’t about being a good action hero. He’s always about being a complete fucking asshole. That’s, like, his duty. The thing about Out For Justice—also the first Steven Seagal movie where he’s just clearly getting fat, which I love because he didn’t wear sleeves the entire time, so he just had flabby arms and kind of a pot belly? The most classic shit about that movie was—and I actually wrote a piece of fan fiction about this.
Killer Mike and El-P off off hip-hop duo Run the Jewels discuss the enduring appeal of scumbag Steven Seagal. Somewhat sweary.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:53 AM PST - 40 comments

Top Gun: "We", Sesame Street: "Love", Empire Strikes Back: "You!"

CRUMBLES is a webapp that combines one-word clips from various movies/tv/webvideos into a video mishmash that 'says' whatever you type into the input box. Yes, whatever. Obviously, it doesn't have EVERY word in its wordlist (it does have a couple that are totally NSFW), but for anything not there, it mixes a video snippet with a computerized voice. Or you can improvise and get close. BONUS: Instead of the standard word list, you can use an all-Homer Simpson or all-Bee and Puppycat list. Not perfect or ultra-flexible (yet), but what do you expect from a free webapp?
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:43 AM PST - 16 comments

December 23

"After all how difficult can it be to make a ball and put a map on it?"

Looking for a job change in 2015? Have you considered apprenticing as a globemaker? [more inside]
posted by Megami at 11:49 PM PST - 10 comments

Baseball cards: a cultural history

Over 100 years, small images of athletes went from tobacco companies' marketing materials to overhyped investments favored by nostalgic grown men. Now, they're worth virtually nothing. A Cultural History of the Baseball Card.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 10:10 PM PST - 16 comments

I am getting my information from NASA

Susan Miller writes 40,000 words a month at Astrologyzone.com, perhaps the world's most popular horoscope website. She also writes for Elle, TIME, the Washington Post and various stars and CEOs. Recent delays have led to fan Twitter storms discussed in the Atlantic (Dude, Where's My Horoscope?), Jezebel (Susan Miller's Illness has Astrology Fans Losing Their Goddamn Minds), the NY Post (Groupies of famed astrologer Susan Miller can’t cope without her), the latest episode of the podcastTL;DR , and, of course, there's reddit.
posted by bq at 9:58 PM PST - 49 comments

The ho ho horror, the ho ho horror

in which Patton Oswalt finds the common ground between Rudolph the well known reindeer and Apocalypse Now. [more inside]
posted by philip-random at 9:19 PM PST - 12 comments

Get the right tool(box) for the job

Guys in Tyrolean hats and lederhosen playing drumline-style rhythms on toolboxes? Sure, why not?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:53 PM PST - 11 comments

"It revels in reminding you of the confined space you're in."

"[Director John] Moore is taking on what is, from a creative perspective, an awfully daunting task. What makes the Die Hard franchise practically tragic is that it's become so stupefyingly ordinary after bowing in 1988 as a remarkably taut, funny, exquisitely crafted action film that — but for the appearance of late-'80s computer and phone technology — has not aged a day. As explosively entertaining as it was the first time I saw it on the big screen 23 years ago, it was just as good two weeks ago..." MetaFilter's own Linda Holmes analyzes the original Die Hard movie, and the failure of a film franchise, on NPR's pop-culture and entertainment blog, Monkey See: Take THIS Under Advisement: Hey, 'Die Hard 5,' Don't Drag Down A Classic. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 8:19 PM PST - 39 comments

The Merry Is Strong With This One

There are holiday displays, and then there's Tom BetGeorge's holiday display. Mr. BetGeorge, of Newark, California, has created a 100,000 light extravaganza celebrating Christmas and his favorite music from Star Wars. It has to be seen to be believed.
posted by jason's_planet at 7:08 PM PST - 27 comments

So many questions to ask about it.

A revolutionary communications platform for the connected and powerful.
posted by Cash4Lead at 6:44 PM PST - 41 comments

Fluent in Flu

"What surface is the most friendly to the flu virus? Where’s the best place to stand when you’re talking to a sick person? And how are Australians curbing germs in schools? To find out these answers and more, take the Well flu quiz.(SLNYT)"
posted by storybored at 6:25 PM PST - 10 comments

Paging Ms. Frizzle, paging Ms. Frizzle

Why should Oscar nominees have all the fun? May Britt Moser was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine this year (along with her husband, Edvard Moser, and colleague John O’Keefe) for "for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain". Her bio and list of publications can be found here. Designer Matthew Hubble was inspired by the attention paid to movie stars and their clothing to create a custom dress for Britt Moser that combines leather, silk, and beads to illustrate neurons in a very new way.
“We used a mixture of sequins and beads for the cyton, and created the beautiful synapses similarly, but the myelin sheath on the axons we just couldn’t make look beautiful and so decided a splash of artistic license is allowed after all.”
[more inside]
posted by jetlagaddict at 6:16 PM PST - 13 comments

We wish you a Merry Christmas

What makes for a merry Christmas? According to a study [PDF] published in 2002 in The Journal of Happiness Studies, having positive experiences with your family and buying environmentally conscious gifts helps - as does being older and male. [more inside]
posted by sockermom at 5:52 PM PST - 6 comments

"You just blew [our minds], little dude!"

Princess Bride: An Adorable Little Kid Just Came Up With The Best Fan Theory Ever OMG! The Princess Bride is one of those childhood classics that, no matter how many times you see it, you notice something new almost every viewing. Fan theories grow and thrive with these types of movies, and no matter if they're right or wrong, there's always going to be someone trying to justify or nullify the existence of these theories. Which brings us to a fan theory of just where The Princess Bride is going with its charmingly cryptic ending. Larry Young, co-founder of comic company AiT/Planet Lar and author of Astronauts In Trouble: Live From The Moon, shared his son's insightful speculation on the real story behind The Princess Bride. And all we're saying is, this kid is on to something. Larry Young broke the story himself on Facebook. [more inside]
posted by spock at 5:44 PM PST - 78 comments

Lots of People Named Their Swords

Game of Clicks
posted by oceanjesse at 2:11 PM PST - 49 comments

US Gay/MSM Blood Donation Ban To Be Eased

The FDA has announced it is lifting the lifetime ban on blood donation by men who have sex with men (Reuters), and will allow donation by men who have not had sex with other men in the previous twelve months (NYT). [more inside]
posted by Small Dollar at 2:04 PM PST - 55 comments

"Because you are a superhero."

"How One Man's Trip to Toys 'R' Us Brought Mobility to Hundreds of Disabled Kids". Dr. Cole Galloway started the Go Baby Go project to provide inexpensive mobility to special needs children, offering them a fantastic new way to get around. [more inside]
posted by quin at 1:59 PM PST - 10 comments

Millions of people in the UK were in germ war tests

Guardian: The Ministry of Defence turned large parts of the country into a giant laboratory to conduct a series of secret germ warfare tests on the public. A government report just released provides for the first time a comprehensive official history of Britain's biological weapons trials between 1940 and 1979. (This is an old article but didn't show up on preview.)
posted by marienbad at 1:37 PM PST - 17 comments

Kreezus - Local Business Comedy

If Kanye West decided to make a Christmas album where he believed he is Santa Claus, it would be this
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:23 PM PST - 11 comments

The six-minute ‘True Detective’ tracking shot, and the night TV changed

"Over the course of eight episodes, Fukunaga essentially rewrote the visual language of a televised cop show. Gone were the traditional establishing exterior shot of a police department, leading to an establishing shot of an office, a two-shot of the players, and a series of reaction shots between them as a conversation takes place. Here we had a director who seemed to take every frame, every movement, every bit of shadow, and every movement of the camera as seriously as the story."
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:09 PM PST - 33 comments

The Internet in Real Time

"By the time you finish reading this sentence, there will have been 219,000 new Facebook posts, 22,800 new tweets, 7,000 apps downloaded, and about $9,000 worth of items sold on Amazon… depending on your reading speed, of course. Now that the Internet is widely available, just one second of global online activity is jam-packed full of events, from communication with others to data storage to entertainment options galore."
posted by SpacemanStix at 12:06 PM PST - 22 comments

Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb?

Toby McGaskey at IGN on how "Dragon Age: Inquisition" (previously) deals with a normally unexplored fantasy trope: the Question of People Born as Walking Bombs.
posted by Ipsifendus at 11:53 AM PST - 60 comments

Good evening boys and girls and welcome to Largo.

LARGO is a 2008 documentary about the iconoclastic Los Angeles club, which opened in its original incarnation on Fairfax Ave. in 1989. [more inside]
posted by mykescipark at 10:43 AM PST - 14 comments

King William's College General Knowledge Quiz 2014-2015

King William's College General knowledge quiz 2014-2015 [more inside]
posted by BigCalm at 9:58 AM PST - 112 comments

"flashy newcomers such as Excel from Microsoft"

Raymond Chen posts an HTML recreation of The Softsel Hot List for the week of December 22, 1986. [more inside]
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 9:32 AM PST - 48 comments

The Pintupi Nine

In the 1950s, to clear an area for missle testing, the Australian government forcibly resettled a number of nomadic Aboriginal families. One was overlooked --- continuing to roam the desert without contact with any other humans, until 1984.
posted by Diablevert at 9:08 AM PST - 13 comments

The strangely enduring power of kitsch

The kitsch object encourages you to think, ‘Look at me feeling this—how nice I am and how lovable.’
posted by carrioncomfort at 7:40 AM PST - 50 comments

Yes, they did the thing

Legend of Korra: Ending was what you thought, deal with it. (Warning - Massive Spoilers!) [more inside]
posted by Katemonkey at 7:40 AM PST - 63 comments

Are You Ready for Some Snookball?

If you built a $7,000 pool table big enough to walk around on and replaced the balls with soccer balls, you'd be playing Snookball. The sport was invented by two French entrepreneurs and there are 10 tables in that country so far. "We know this game will be popular when beer is involved," one told Sport Bible.
posted by rcade at 7:01 AM PST - 23 comments

Cards Against the Darkness

Cards Against Humanity + Sunlight Foundation team up, give the gift of financial disclosure.
posted by curious nu at 6:53 AM PST - 24 comments

We have joy, We have fun, We have X-rays in the Sun

The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), an X-ray telescope designed to observe deep space, has been used to capture images of X-rays streaming off the Sun for the first time. [more inside]
posted by Rob Rockets at 6:39 AM PST - 11 comments

Everyone is a foreigner, almost everywhere

Der Spiegel asks if cultural tolerance is coming to an end in Germany as Pegida (“Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the Occident”) keeps growing. 17,500 people gathered in the opera square in Dresden yesterday to protest against immigration and what they perceive as the “Islamisation” of Europe, an increase of 2,500 compared to last Monday—in a state with a Muslim population of less than 1 %. The organisers had planned to sing traditional Christmas carols in the light of the opera house. But the building stayed dark in response, and white flags were hoisted by the management, reading “Open your hearts. Open the doors. Human dignity is inviolable,” the latter a quote from the first paragraph of the German constitution. [more inside]
posted by wachhundfisch at 6:29 AM PST - 96 comments

Ho-Ho-Who?

The NORAD Santa tracker began with a typo.
posted by pjern at 6:13 AM PST - 21 comments

What 2,000 Calories look like NYT Photo article

Ever wondered what a days worth of calories looks like in fast food form? Well wonder no more! Here, we show you what roughly 2,000 calories looks like at some large chains. (Depending on age and gender, most adults should eat between 1,600 and 2,400 calories a day.) Researchers have long understood that people are more likely to finish what’s on their plate than to stop eating because they’ve consumed a given amount of food. It’s “the completion compulsion,” a phrase coined in the 1950s by the psychologist Paul S. Siegel. [more inside]
posted by Faintdreams at 4:33 AM PST - 128 comments

Priests Are Like Aeroplanes

The 15 ailments of the Vatican Curia, according to Pope Francis
posted by chavenet at 4:12 AM PST - 49 comments

December 22

dum da dum dum da da da da da da da da da da dum da da da da dum

How do you sing "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy"? This is how.
posted by divabat at 11:35 PM PST - 32 comments

Technically it should be "each of the minutes"

The Twitter account @alltheminutes marks each minute with a message from someone, somewhere, referencing the current time. Via an essay in Slate: The Twitter Account That Unravels Time
posted by Joe in Australia at 10:50 PM PST - 9 comments

The slippery slope of shale oil

Oil is getting cheaper. The price of a barrel of Brent crude is approaching $60, down from around $140 in 2008. The price drop is largely attributed to American shale oil, also called tight oil, production of which has increased from a few thousand barrels/day a decade ago to over 5 million barrels/day today, mainly coming from the Bakken, Permian and Eagle Ford shales. By the end of 2013, American tight oil accounted for 4.1% of global crude oil production. The International Energy Agency calls it a "supply shock", and according to the World Energy Council, the notion of "peak oil" has almost been forgotten [PDF, page 24]. While speculation continues over the motives behind OPEC's refusal to curb production, others worry that the drop in oil prices distorts economic and political decision making, discourages the development of renewable energy sources [may require registration], and may induce deflation. The BBC tallies up the winners and losers.
posted by dmh at 9:47 PM PST - 84 comments

That was three years ago. No one knows when the film will be released.

The Never-Ending Film. Heaven's Gate, Cleopatra, Apocalypse Now. They all have one thing in common: Runaway film productions. Never-ending shoots, directors cracking under pressure. But none of them hold a candle to Dau.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:06 PM PST - 20 comments

"I think you're really well meaning and nice but no one wants a satchel"

I AM INTO THIS. Who are the Cambridge Satchel Company and why should we care? The company started in 2008, and they sell old-style 1950s/60s era British school satchels. Originally meant for kids (the founder states, "I honestly thought that it would be schoolchildren and parents buying my bags!"), the satchels have become a more modest and budget-friendly alternative to designer bags. As a small startup company, they relied on enthusiastic word-of-mouth from the internet to bolster their profits; Deane states,"I think online was the only way that we could really engage and get traction really quickly" (warning: autoplaying video). This is the perfect storm of internet obsession: you click the link, and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 8:01 PM PST - 36 comments

Art Authenticity

Part 1: This Is Not a Vermeer™ "Can anyone own a masterpiece? Five very dissimilar people share a common desire: To own a Vermeer." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:51 PM PST - 7 comments

Warren G and Nate Dogg, 'Regulate': Oral History

Two decades ago, Warren Griffin III and Nathaniel "Nate Dogg" Hale stormed the pop charts with "Regulate," a back-and-forth tale about an attempted car-jacking that goes down on a clear black night in L.A.'s Long Beach. Recorded in Warren G's apartment, the smooth, Michael McDonald-sampling quiet storm peaked at Number Two on the Billboard singles chart and became one of the defining songs of the 1990s. Rolling Stone talked to Warren G and his collaborators about the song that put West Coast hip-hop on a whole new level.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 7:04 PM PST - 20 comments

Also includes casting notes on the 2015 remake

Die Hard has been previously established as the most Christmasy film ever (shut up, Buzzfeed), now you can join in the festive fun with this specially recorded War Rocket Ajax Die Hard commentary track featuring Matt Fraction, Matt D Wilson and Chris Sims. Cue up the Vintage VHS tape (or modern alternative, scheisse dem fenster, and enjoy!
posted by Artw at 6:54 PM PST - 42 comments

Steam tunnels of New York

105 miles of steam pipes (NYT video) run beneath the streets of New York, delivering steam to 2,000 buildings for heating, cooling, and other purposes. The system is maintained by Con Edison (1 2 3). [more inside]
posted by carter at 5:47 PM PST - 31 comments

funniest webcomics: a subjective annual roundup

Pleated-Jeans lists the 50 funniest webcomics of 2014 (via Liz Climo) [more inside]
posted by flex at 3:06 PM PST - 50 comments

When Santa got stuck in the chimney...

"Eventually I got my phone up and called 999. “Ambulance, fire brigade or police?” they asked. “I’m stuck in a chimney,” I replied, and they repeated the question with more urgency. “I don’t know, I’ve never been here before,” I said, then decided on fire brigade."
posted by EndsOfInvention at 12:49 PM PST - 42 comments

Follow That Dog!

The adventures of Maya , an English bulldog with a flair for the dramatic.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:38 PM PST - 7 comments

The Humane Representation of Thought

Bret Victor talks about media, abstraction, and the richness (and neglect) of human experience (slvimeo) [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator at 12:36 PM PST - 6 comments

How to knock over a 100 pound domino using a teeny tiny domino

If you had to knock over a 100 pound domino with a domino that is 5mm high and 1mm thick (and weighs a few ounces), how would you do it? Give it some thought, perhaps discuss it over a beer, and then enjoy an interesting physics demonstration here.
posted by SpacemanStix at 11:32 AM PST - 57 comments

He was "simply unique"

Singer Joe Cocker has died at age 70, according to the BBC. Here's his iconic performance of "With a Little Help from my Friends".
posted by Gelatin at 11:22 AM PST - 124 comments

Birth in a Northern Nation

The majority of Nunavut’s children are born thousands of kilometres away from home. The territory is working to reverse that trend. Longform journalism by Katie May.
posted by Banknote of the year at 10:58 AM PST - 10 comments

Less Talk, More Monkey

Mendelssohn Concerto for Violin Four-Hands - a piece that violinists apparently like to monkey with
posted by a lungful of dragon at 9:23 AM PST - 10 comments

I want to rock and roll all night, and I don't have time to brew coffee.

In 2000, Kiss frontman Paul Stanley (sans makeup) filmed a commercial for Folger's Instant Coffee. It never aired. Now you know why. [SLYT]
posted by Room 641-A at 9:20 AM PST - 105 comments

America loved Russert.

How David Gregory Lost His Job (SL longform)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:06 AM PST - 46 comments

A "distressed & unfriendly" seal has been rescued from a British field.

Experts believe the grey juvenile seal may have swam from a colony in Hilbre Island, in the Dee Estuary, and got lost.
A Merseyside Police spokesman said: "A report came in from dog walker at 9:39 AM of the animal on a farmers' field off Winwick Road in Newton-le-Willows."
The seal was put into the container and taken to a seal sanctuary, where it will be checked over before being returned to the sea.
Rachael Fraser, from [British Divers Marine Life Rescue Service], said: "It's very unusual."
posted by Going To Maine at 8:57 AM PST - 36 comments

Looking out the window, returning to Earth

This is what it's like to plummet through the atmosphere from space.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:47 AM PST - 13 comments

Not all doom and gloom

Ramez Naam says that 2014 Was a Good Year: Better Than You Remember.
posted by MartinWisse at 8:45 AM PST - 24 comments

We ran into a data set and there we got upshot

Flowing Data's kind-of annual entry into the "best of" season: Their picks for best data visualisations of 2014. [more inside]
posted by frimble at 8:38 AM PST - 2 comments

Prosecute Torturers and Their Bosses

“Mr. Obama has said multiple times that 'we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards,' as though the two were incompatible. They are not. The nation cannot move forward in any meaningful way without coming to terms, legally and morally, with the abhorrent acts that were authorized, given a false patina of legality, and committed by American men and women from the highest levels of government on down.” The New York Times Editorial Board calls for a criminal investigation into the Bush administration's architects of torture. (SLNYT)
posted by Anyamatopoeia at 8:34 AM PST - 78 comments

Fanny at Christmas

Fanny Cradock makes Mincemeat out of an Omelette [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:09 AM PST - 20 comments

We're BRATS, and we like it that way.

A couple of years ago a mother / daughter author team wrote a book for dependent kids with parents in the military, in which they decided to replace the traditional "Military Brat" identifier with "CHAMPS" ( Child Heroes Attached to Military Personnel). The book spawned a non-profit called Operation Champs, which provided support services to military dependents and their families. [more inside]
posted by COD at 8:05 AM PST - 50 comments

10 years of podcasting and it still sucks

Mathowie discusses what could be better about podcasting.
posted by garlic at 6:46 AM PST - 163 comments

So you're tired of sugar cookies for the Holidays, eh?

Step One: Go watch forty seconds of this sketch from the MST3k episode "The Mole People". Step Two: Go below the fold. [more inside]
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 5:49 AM PST - 33 comments

December 21

Writing "Good Omens"

Neil Gaiman talks about writing "Good Omens" - "Terry Pratchett and I met in February 1985, in a Chinese restaurant. I was a young journalist. He was a former journalist and Electricity Board PR, and a writer who had just published his second Discworld novel. I was the first journalist who had ever interviewed him."
posted by marienbad at 11:54 PM PST - 51 comments

YOU COME ACROSS A CANDIED VIOLET

inflorescence.city is a generative text/art project by Katie Rose Pipkin and Loren Schmidt
a bit more info about it here [more inside]
posted by juv3nal at 11:38 PM PST - 4 comments

50 years of beeping

At 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving, James Galdo and his 22-year-old son made their annual trip to a Hess (HES) gas station on New York’s Long Island to buy the oil company’s latest holiday toy truck. It marked the end of an era for Galdo, who owns each retail toy truck Hess has produced since 1964, and the end of an almost 50-year family tradition. Come next year, the ritual of heading to a local Hess station will be replaced with a visit to Hess’s website. Hess’s toy truck business is moving online following the sale last spring of the New York-based energy company’s stations. [more inside]
posted by bq at 10:24 PM PST - 29 comments

In the arms of a stranger

In an emergency, would you hand your baby over to a stranger you had just met? This is the story of a mother who did just that.
posted by Admira at 8:36 PM PST - 48 comments

"it might warrant discussion from others."

Small Talk [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:04 PM PST - 16 comments

Freedom is the right of all sentient beings

An Argentina court has recognised an Orangutang as 'non-human person': “This opens the way not only for other Great Apes, but also for other sentient beings which are unfairly and arbitrarily deprived of their liberty in zoos, circuses, water parks and scientific laboratories.” - A similar case regarding a chimpanzee in New York was recently thrown out of court.
posted by Artw at 6:52 PM PST - 71 comments

Redditor does the research behind the Sony Pictures hacking scandal.

Redditor CSMastermind composes an epic timeline of the Sony information breach. Well sourced, and in laymans terms. [more inside]
posted by butterstick at 5:55 PM PST - 100 comments

CCR, 'Born on the Bayou', live at Woodstock

Creedence Clearwater Revival performing 'Born on the Bayou' at Woodstock, 1969. Frontman John Fogerty, dissatisfied with the group's performance, famously prevented it from being included in the subsequent film or soundtrack album. But this, the opening number of their set, is an electrifying performance. Fogerty, bassist Stu Cook and drummer Doug Clifford perform as if they are plugged in to the electricity supply.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 5:34 PM PST - 54 comments

"She placed an order on the spot – and not a conservative one."

"Though there were manufacturers in several parts of the United States, the great preponderance of commercially-made aluminum trees were created by the Aluminum Specialty Company of Manitowoc, Wisconsin. When their 'Evergleam' line debuted in 1959, many embraced the shiny trees as an expression of the new Atomic Age. The trees appealed to a Jetsons-style notion of modern living where life was clean, automated and easy; with an aluminum tree, needles never fell, it could be stored compactly and re-used every year, with none of the fuss of a real tree." Etsy: History Lesson: The Aluminum Christmas Tree, by Jeni Sandberg. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 5:21 PM PST - 43 comments

Litigation Value in The Office: priceless (That's What She Said)

"That's what she said" is not only a much-used catchphrase in The Office (US edition), but also a blog about episodes of the US edition of the show from the point of view of HR litigation, starting with season 3.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:09 PM PST - 12 comments

“Colour is too noisy; the eye doesn’t know where to rest"

Bye Bye Jane; RIP
Jane Bown died today aged 89. Her portrait of Beckett is legendary.
The Observer ( Guardian on Sunday )editor, John Mulholland, called her "part of the Observer’s DNA”.
Obituaries: Guardian and Telegraph.
A brief look at her life in photography.
She gave her archive to he Guardian where she worked for 65 years.
Known mainly for her portraits of the great and the good here is the unseen Jane Bown
For over 40 years she used an Olympus OM 1 released in 1973.
Earlier this year a BioPic was released 'Looking for Light: Jane Bown'
posted by adamvasco at 3:37 PM PST - 13 comments

No one had the slightest suspicion of what beautiful things she had seen

Jean Renoir's "The Little Match Girl" ("La petite marchande d'allumettes") with Catherine Hessling. 1928 (31 Minutes) Silent movie with music and translated intertitles. Original Hans Christian Andersen story included under the video.
posted by The Whelk at 12:01 PM PST - 16 comments

2D, 3D, Whatever

Glass - Apple - Res Illusio - Squirrel - and more from artist Alessandro Diddi. [more inside]
posted by Wolfdog at 11:42 AM PST - 5 comments

Panoply - Animating the Ancient World

What the Greek vasemakers would have done if they had had the technology [more inside]
posted by BWA at 11:40 AM PST - 6 comments

I'd just want to escape and keep wearing that.

5 YEAR OLD GIRL DISCUSSES PRINCESS LEIA'S SLAVE OUTFIT WITH DAD
posted by hippybear at 10:44 AM PST - 94 comments

Execution

For the first time since 2011, two NYPD officers have been killed in the line of duty; PO Wenjian Liu and PO Rafael Ramos were shot, execution style, while sitting in their patrol car yesterday afternoon in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. The suspect, who shot himself at a subway station nearby, had allegedly shot his girlfriend in Maryland yesterday morning, before posting on social media that he was going to kill cops in retaliation for the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. Pat Lynch, the president of the largest police union in New York City — the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, has blamed Mayor de Blasio for the murders, and the New York City police officers, already angry with the mayor for his comments about police violence, last night turned their backs on the mayor as he entered the police press conference to address the shooting deaths of two officers in Brooklyn.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:03 AM PST - 469 comments

D-Day to Germany, 1944 color home movies

D-Day to Germany, 1944. Color home movies by Allied pool reporter Jack Lieb. There is little to no combat, it's all behind the lines offering a different perspective from total war. Some famous actors and writers appear. The best part is the narrator, Jack, who is giving a viewing in 1976. His spontaneous narration and smooth style is enchanting.
posted by stbalbach at 8:11 AM PST - 9 comments

"Beany" Burger - 20¢

Spend 8 minutes in the '50s, at Beany's Drive-in (and thru).
posted by HuronBob at 6:57 AM PST - 28 comments

Power of Art

Simon Schama's Power of Art is available in full. Part 1 Caravaggio. Part 2 Bernini. Part 3 Rembrandt. Part 4 David. Part 5 Turner. Part 6 Van Gogh. Part 7 Picasso. Part 8 Rothko. [more inside]
posted by cwest at 4:46 AM PST - 11 comments

The Legend of the Free Labour Market

The Legend of the Free Labour Market . From the excellent HR/Economics blog Flip Chart Fairy Tales.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 4:26 AM PST - 8 comments

“I know who they are. You don’t need to.”

I was surprised when I saw this photograph in a colour supplement a few days after the demonstration. It was captioned “A West End shopper argues with a protester”, but that’s not what happened at all: I was trying to calm him down. I wrote to tell them truth, and to my astonishment they published my letter.
The truth behind one of the more famous photos taken during the 1990 London Poll Tax Riot. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse at 4:18 AM PST - 15 comments

Christmas gifs

Christmas themed gifs by contemporary artists. Jake and Dinos Chapman, Judy Chicago, Jeremy Deller, Tony Oursler, Marc Quinn, Anri Sala (NSFW, strobe imagery)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:07 AM PST - 2 comments

What my dog does when I leave

So, my buddy got a GoPro. We decided to put it on my dog to see what he does when we leave.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 2:28 AM PST - 49 comments

The excess moisture will fly off when the platter starts to spin

How to fix a Samsung external m3 hard drive in under 5 minutes
posted by elgilito at 2:01 AM PST - 24 comments

December 20

It takes him five beers.

Poynter's List of the Best (and Worst) Corrections, Retractions and Apologies in Media in 2014 Previously. Previouslier.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:01 PM PST - 26 comments

Khuleg Baatar

Mongolian. Throat singing. Rap. [slyt]
posted by cthuljew at 7:03 PM PST - 31 comments

Albert Finney in a musical version of Scrooge - and it works.

"My next favorite film version of 'A Christmas Carol,' right after the Alastair Sim movie, is this one from 1970. Finney received the 1970 Golden Globe Award for best actor in musical or comedy. The film was also nominated for Academy Awards for art direction/ set decoration, costume designer, best song ('Thank You Very Much') and best song score/ adaptation. A musical retelling with memorable songs and dances, (the song 'December the 25th' is a favorite) and a lively cast, this film ranks high on my list of 'must watch' DVDs during the holiday season. Filmed in such a way as to suggest that the only light is ambient sources on the set, it adds a look to the production that is simultaneously realistic and dream-like." An affectionate look at director Ronald Neame's musical adaptation, Scrooge. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 4:54 PM PST - 33 comments

Inherent Vice and the Evolution of Stoner Noir

Stoner noir certainly replaces the unflappable, sardonic hero of the hardboiled detective novel with a type of fool– the pothead being an ideal modern archetype of the fool, a figure whose fraught relationship with the hardships and nuisances of everyday life we can all identity with to some extent. The Dude, as the Stranger observes, takes it easy for all us sinners – all us perhaps greater fools who are guilty of the sin of actually trying to stay up on the bucking bronco of life, rather than just kicking back and hoping its severer mood swings will just pass us by.
posted by batfish at 4:12 PM PST - 20 comments

Young Frankenstein at 40: not so young, but still Brooks' finest film

Director Mel Brooks spent a lot of money on white handkerchiefs while making his 1974 tour de farce, Young Frankenstein. "I gave everybody in the crew a white handkerchief," said the 88-year-old comedy legend during a recent phone interview. "I said, 'When you feel like laughing, put this in your mouth.' Every once in a while, I'd turn around and see a sea of white handkerchiefs, and I said, 'I got a hit.'"

Young Frankenstein was more than a hit. It is a comic masterpiece.
An interview with Mel Brooks on the 40th anniversary of Young Frankenstein, with an overview of the events that lead to what Mel Brooks calls 'by far the best movie I ever made.' [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 4:05 PM PST - 78 comments

I'm luvin' it

MacSabbath, the "kings of drive-thru metal" perform "Frying Pan" in full costume.
posted by mathowie at 3:17 PM PST - 10 comments

A Different View of Iran (18 Photos)

"20 years of news and photos from Iran have been fairly uniform: a woman in a burqa, public executions, demonstrations with burning flags and rumors of nuclear weapons. However, the reality of everyday life in this ancient country is more complex and diverse." A Different View of Iran: photos from award winning photographer Hossein Fatemi.
posted by DarlingBri at 10:03 AM PST - 35 comments

The Barbarous Years

The Shocking Savagery of America's Early History, a look at historian Bernard Bailyn's book.
Bailyn has not painted a pretty picture. Little wonder he calls it The Barbarous Years and spares us no details of the terror, desperation, degradation and widespread torture—do you really know what being “flayed alive” means? (The skin is torn from the face and head and the prisoner is disemboweled while still alive.) And yet somehow amid the merciless massacres were elements that gave birth to the rudiments of civilization—or in Bailyn’s evocative phrase, the fragile “integument of civility”—that would evolve 100 years later into a virtual Renaissance culture, a bustling string of self-governing, self-sufficient, defiantly expansionist colonies alive with an increasingly sophisticated and literate political and intellectual culture that would coalesce into the rationale for the birth of American independence. All the while shaping, and sometimes misshaping, the American character. It’s a grand drama in which the glimmers of enlightenment barely survive the savagery, what Yeats called “the blood-dimmed tide,” the brutal establishment of slavery, the race wars with the original inhabitants that Bailyn is not afraid to call “genocidal,” the full, horrifying details of which have virtually been erased.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:45 AM PST - 42 comments

NASA emails spanner to the ISS Space Station

"Astronauts on the International Space Station have used their 3-D printer to make a wrench from instructions sent up in an email. It is the first time hardware has been "emailed" to space. Nasa was responding to a request by ISS commander Barry Wilmore for a ratcheting socket wrench."
posted by marienbad at 9:41 AM PST - 52 comments

Miami, Miami, you've got style....

On August 21, a federal judge in Florida ruled that that the state's ban on same sex marriage was unconstitutional, but the ruling was stayed until January 5. Although the state Attorney General appealed the ruling and asked for a further stay, both the 11th circuit, and os of last night the Supreme Court have denied the appeal, and Florida will become the 36th marriage equality state on January 6th. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:16 AM PST - 36 comments

The Queen of Torture

"She dropped the ball when the C.I.A. was given information that might very well have prevented the 9/11 attacks; she gleefully participated in torture sessions afterward; she misinterpreted intelligence in such a way that it sent the C.I.A. on an absurd chase for Al Qaeda sleeper cells in Montana. And then she falsely told congressional overseers that the torture worked." "But instead of being sanctioned, she was promoted."
posted by 445supermag at 7:12 AM PST - 63 comments

In geologic terms it's imminent. In biologic, maybe within a lifetime.

Earth's Magnetic Field May Be About to Flip [summary] - "Earth's last magnetic reversal took place 786,000 years ago and happened very quickly, in less than 100 years -- roughly a human lifetime. The rapid flip, much faster than the thousands of years most geologists thought, comes as new measurements show the planet's magnetic field is weakening 10 times faster than normal and could drop to zero in a few thousand years." (via)
posted by kliuless at 6:09 AM PST - 35 comments

#Gad hi fynd, Gad hi fynd

A year on, y'all may be sick to death of Frozen and new versions of Let it Go, but surely there's room for the Welsh version as translated and sung by the 14 year old Rebekah West? Bonus: sing along version with lyrics.
posted by MartinWisse at 3:19 AM PST - 24 comments

December 19

US drone strikes: data analysis

41 men targeted, but 1,147 people killed: New analysis of data conducted by the human rights group Reprieve raises questions about the accuracy of intelligence guiding 'precise' drone strikes.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 9:29 PM PST - 84 comments

2 bassists, 2 clarinets, 1 cellist, 1 tape-delay technician, 1 pianist

Bing & Ruth is a modern classical ensemble that plays minimalist, piano-driven music. Several videos from Tomorrow Was The Golden Age (RVNG Intl.), their 2014 album, are on Youtube: Warble, TWTGA, Police Police Police Police Police, The Towns We Love Is Our Town (Alternate), and Reflector. Their first album, City Lake, can be streamed on Soundcloud. The Bing & Ruth and Kenitle Floors EPs can be streamed on Bandcamp.
B&R is the project of David Moore, who also leads (parodic?) bluegrass band The Piledrivers and country band Pepper Johnson, and is member of experimental electronic group Emar Diem and blues rockers Langhorne Slim & The Law. In October, Will Stephenson interviewed Moore for BOMB. In 2010, Le Blogotheque released a short film of Moore set to his music.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:09 PM PST - 8 comments

At 20 a little coquette, at 40 not married yet, at 50 a suffragette!

The Turn of the Century Posters that Warned against the Horrors of a World with Women’s Rights
posted by Alexandra Michelle at 7:04 PM PST - 74 comments

Couples

Snapshots of LGBT life in Midcentury America Coursey of the ONE national gay and lesbian archives at the University of southern California libraries.
posted by The Whelk at 3:51 PM PST - 12 comments

Insight into Military Flight Simulation

Ars Technica's Lee Hutchinson reviews a military grade F-18 flight simulator.
posted by juiceCake at 3:51 PM PST - 26 comments

Friday Fun... with a twist

It's finally Friday, and I feel like celebrating with a smooth grooving' twist... and a little mashed potato and a little... [more inside]
posted by ecorrocio at 3:00 PM PST - 6 comments

California's whooping cough crisis, Latinos affected disproportionately

"'It really speaks to the lack of access to health insurance that's particularly predominant within the Latino community,' says Sarah de Guia, executive director of the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, an advocacy group. Latinos make up 62 percent of the uninsured, she says, either because they can't afford to pay for health insurance, or because they're afraid that signing up for coverage will expose family members who aren't lawfully present in the U.S." California Whooping Cough Infections Run High Among Latino Babies, NPR. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 2:37 PM PST - 15 comments

How Surface Texture Affects Blood Stain Patterns video

hello, i'm new to metafilter. happy to be here. this is a cool video of how surface texture affects blood stain patterns. happy friday!
posted by minhrootloop at 2:32 PM PST - 31 comments

Reading is hard…It takes time…tl;dr;lit attempts to address this problem

This bot takes works of literature and algorithmically summarizes them, a chapter at a time, to 1% of their original length. These are then read aloud by the lovely voice of Fiona, a Scottish speech synth, and posted at on Twitter at convenient 3 hour intervals. This way entire works of literature can be consumed in bite-sized algo-chunks, giving you the gist of the book, without any troublesome cause to actually ‘read’ or ‘understand’ it at all…
posted by nebulawindphone at 1:53 PM PST - 23 comments

Everything You Need To Know About The Dangerous Teen Trend ‘Wodehousing’

Everything You Need To Know About The Dangerous Teen Trend ‘Wodehousing’
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 1:41 PM PST - 39 comments

It's a great day for America, everybody!

Tonight Craig Ferguson will host The Late Late Show for the last time and wrap up with an interview with Jay Leno. If you can't stay up late enough to watch it live, you can stream it tomorrow (at least in the USA.) [more inside]
posted by pwb503 at 1:40 PM PST - 36 comments

Why does it matter that you're female?

3 female computer scientists held a Reddit AMA. You can totally guess what happened next.
posted by bq at 1:18 PM PST - 138 comments

"Californy is the place you ought to be"

So Notch loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly. Hills, that is. Swimmin' pools, movie stars. [more inside]
posted by cwest at 12:18 PM PST - 147 comments

Not everyone needs a hug.

What ethnic groups are generally uncomfortable with hugging? How do you say "hug" in French? Why Asians don't always hug. Should I hug my Japanese friend? More hugs please, we're Chinese [NYT]. Do you know how to give an "American hug"? Ahmadinejad criticized for hugging. Ebola's cultural casualty: hugging in Liberia [NYT]. Kiss, hug, or shake hands? How to give a man a hug.
posted by psoas at 10:43 AM PST - 105 comments

Chesty Morgan: A life more than skin deep

Chesty Morgan: A life more than skin deep [more inside]
posted by Nevin at 10:04 AM PST - 20 comments

1964 Chevy Malibu

The Weirdest Things You Never Knew About The Making Of Repo Man
posted by Artw at 9:47 AM PST - 70 comments

The bloom is off the Wildrose

In what will no doubt live on as one of the most stunning political moves in Canadian political history, Alberta Wildrose Party (and official opposition leader) Danielle Smith, along with 8 other Wildrose MLAs, crossed the floor of the legislature to join the ruling Progressive Conservatives, under the leadership of Premier Jim Prentice. She also proposed that the Wildrose party formally merge with the PCs, which the Wildrose administration and members reject. While floor-crossings are not uncommon in Canadian politics, there has never before been a complete capitulation of an official opposition party to the governing party before. [more inside]
posted by Kurichina at 9:06 AM PST - 41 comments

Chasing Paper

An investigation for Scientific American by MeFi's own cgs06 uncovers evidence of widespread fraud in scientific publishing's peer review system. Alarming signs point to the Chinese government as a source of institutional support and funding for questionable papers and fake peer reviewers. [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator at 9:01 AM PST - 26 comments

With the jawbone of an ass

Modern Farmer describes centuries of military love for the humble donkey. Though the U. S. Army officially ended its pack mule program in the 1950s, current soldiers and Marines-- along with the Afghan Army itself -- have trained again to use donkeys and mules in mountainous terrain. [more inside]
posted by Hypatia at 8:39 AM PST - 8 comments

Birdies, prunes, cheese and whiskey: smiling (or not) for the camera

... in the Victorian era (1837-1901), a small, tightly controlled mouth was considered beautiful. They took their cues from much of Europe's fine-art portraiture. Some say photographers even suggested those posing say "prunes" to heighten the effect. Smiling was something captured on children, peasants and drunkards, hardly something you'd want for your family legacy.

Then, there was the matter of oral hygiene.
Advances in dental care and ubiquitous technology: why people started smiling for the camera, and why we say cheese, with a whistling bird, some whiskey, and a little flash game thrown in for good measure. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 8:37 AM PST - 10 comments

Ruff-ruff-ruff-ruff mew-mew-mew-mew ...

This is probably the cutest thing you'll see this Christmas. By far the best Christmas TV advert in the UK at the moment, even cuter than the John Lewis penguin (previously), and on a par with my all-time favourite, the Country Life ad.
posted by essexjan at 8:26 AM PST - 30 comments

Lose yourself

Dérive is a smartphone app inspired by the Situationists that encourages you to wander your city. You can use the general deck, use one for Abu Dhabi, Biella, Ithaca, Johannesburg, Kampala, New York City, Paris or San Francisco, or make your own
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:17 AM PST - 16 comments

No Joke Is Too Obvious Too Miss

Pretending to be ghost on Tinder is a mildly funny idea. But less (or more?) funny is how much determination men will bring to bear in their effort to miss the joke.
posted by Ipsifendus at 8:13 AM PST - 57 comments

"I also like getting a good night’s sleep."

Me: I’d like to get a little more physically active.
Them: You should come run a marathon on the weekend!
Why I don’t like hackathons, by Alex Bayley aged 39 1/2.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:59 AM PST - 73 comments

December 18

For your holiday listening and/or karaoke pleasure...

Here's the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band: Instrumental Complete and Vocal Complete. Nice, eh? Well, there's more: Abbey Road Instrumental Complete and Vocal Complete.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:32 PM PST - 42 comments

It's red, white, and hypnotic all over

Decking the halls just wouldn't be the same without the mysteriously stripy hooks of sugar and cavities we call candy canes. But from whence did these delicate, tongue-spearing delights come from? The answer is still shrouded in mystery. (Includes a link to The Complete Confectioner, Pastry-cook, and Baker's striped candy recipe from 1844, for the old-school DIY types.) Hat tip to Gizmodo for the video. [more inside]
posted by jetlagaddict at 11:15 PM PST - 8 comments

Trolljägarna

Swedish journalist Robert Aschberg, the television show Troll Hunter, Research Group and the ethics of exposing trolls.
The goal of Troll Hunter is not to rid the Internet of every troll. “The agenda is to raise hell about all the hate on the Net,” he says. “To start a discussion.” Back at the Troll Hunter office, a whiteboard organized Aschberg’s agenda. Dossiers on other trolls were tacked up in two rows: a pair of teens who anonymously slander their high school classmates on Instagram, a politician who runs a racist website, a male law student who stole the identity of a young woman to entice another man into an online relationship. In a sign of the issue’s resonance in Sweden, a pithy neologism has been coined to encompass all these forms of online nastiness: näthat (“Net hate”). Troll Hunter, which has become a minor hit for its brash tackling of näthat, is currently filming its second season.
posted by frimble at 10:56 PM PST - 25 comments

It ain't all bad

Bill Gates: Good News You May Have Missed in 2014
posted by gwint at 9:59 PM PST - 49 comments

The Year in Great Sentences (SLBrooklynMagazine)

“My past is littered with the bones of men who were foolish enough to think I was someone they could sleep on.”
posted by mr. digits at 8:28 PM PST - 11 comments

The Trouble with Teaching Rape

"Imagine a medical student who is training to be a surgeon but who fears that he’ll become distressed if he sees or handles blood. What should his instructors do?" -"Criminal-law teachers face a similar question with law students who are afraid to study rape law." The author worries about "a growing rape exceptionalism, which allows fears of inflicting or re-inflicting trauma to justify foregoing usual procedures and practices of truth-seeking."
posted by anewnadir at 8:27 PM PST - 57 comments

"Stephen Colbert": Great host? Or *the greatest* host?

Tonight! He's "a well-meaning, poorly informed, high-status idiot." An it-getter. A knight. A doctor (of fine arts). A Real American Hero. And after tonight, his arched eyebrow of justice will never again grace American television screens in quite the same way. "Stephen Colbert": a brief retrospective. Truthiness - The White House Correspondents' Dinner - Better Know a District - Formidable Opponent - Tek Jansen - Papa Bear - I Am America (And So Can You!) - Americone Dream - The ThreatDown - Late Night Fight! - Testifying to Congress - The Rally to Restore Sanity - Colbert Super PAC - Maurice Sendak - Wheat Thins - Lorna Colbert - Tolkien-off - Ask a Grown Man - The Decree. So much more inside. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi at 8:15 PM PST - 133 comments

Another step into the future for cybernetics

Colorado shoulder-level double-amputee Les Baugh successfully controls two robot arms by thought alone, allowing him to put cups on shelves and perhaps buy a soda from a machine. BusinessInsider has more details. [more inside]
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:58 PM PST - 8 comments

"Does this mask smell like nitrous oxide to you?"

Dalhousie Dental School is embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal. A group of about a dozen seniors known as the DDS 2015 Gentlemen's Club have been posting crude jokes about sexual violence and female subjugation in a closed Facebook group, targeting female students and including jokes about using dental anesthetic as a rape drug. The administrations choice to go with a restorative justice approach has not been met with much approval. Dalhousie is still trying to recover from it's last sexual violence scandal not that long ago.
posted by thelaze at 7:54 PM PST - 58 comments

"[A] bit contemplative & a bit misty-eyed"

Interactive-fiction-game makers Simogo have coded up a free, five-minute long story as a a gift to fans: The Sensational December Machine. (Download required, but worth it.)
posted by Going To Maine at 7:49 PM PST - 1 comment

Hot pictures of naked bikes

The 2014 Cycle EXIF Top Ten - it was a great year for absurdly pretty bikes.
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 5:46 PM PST - 24 comments

Steve Jobs: interview about buying music online

In April 2003, the day after Steve Jobs announced the iTunes store, Esquire's Andy Langer interviewed Jobs at Apple. Although Jobs cut the interview short after less than twenty minutes, it's nevertheless an interesting read, as is Langer's more recent recollection of the interview.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 5:01 PM PST - 15 comments

A cat is objectively valuable

Ayn Rand reviews children's movies. By Mallory Ortberg.
posted by Mchelly at 2:28 PM PST - 49 comments

It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it: chip reviews

"To be frank, these chips taste exactly like they are named. Simply, nothing more, and nothing less. The relatively spicy Tapatío hot sauce burns, while the acidic, and citrusy lime flavor shocks the tongue. The classic combination of chile and lime is once again revealed, and executed. Probably the only thing we find a bit unsuspecting about these chips is that there is no cheese flavor at all. Each, and every one of the other Tapatío-FritoLay snacks, seemed to have an underlying cheese flavor among them. For good, or for bad, the cheese flavor was there in all the other; but with these, they simply delivered spicy hot chile and lime." Chip Review takes a look at Lay's "Tapatío and Lime" flavor. More reviews in the Tapatio category of chips. Lime/Limón reviews; salt-and-vinegar. These are general reviews, for their 2014 countdown, see below the fold. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 2:10 PM PST - 56 comments

What do we talk about when we talk about podcasting?

Nick Quah of Hot Pod briefly interviews Jesse Thorn about how the rest of the media world reports on podcasting. "The recent boom in podcast coverage that we’ve been seeing over the past few weeks, while wonderful, has also tended to gravitate around a few shows: Serial, Radiolab, Marc Maron, Comedy Bang Bang, etc. That coverage has also exhibited a tendency to frame podcasting as experiencing something of a renaissance, or revival. [But] this isn’t the case. Podcasts have been steadily and quietly growing for the past decade [...] So why has the revival narrative stuck?"
posted by ocherdraco at 1:30 PM PST - 68 comments

Fair and impartial justice for all Americans

The Department of Justice issued a memo today (pdf) stating that the litigation concerning gender identity employment discrimination regarding transgender Americans working in the federal government will be covered under the sex discrimination prohibition in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:07 PM PST - 28 comments

drowning in corn, buried in grain

drowning in corn - the story of one teenager's near-death experience inside the grain bin that killed his friends

npr has a series on grain entrapment (wiki): Buried in Grain alongside a database of grain entrapment deaths including teenagers as young as 13.

posted by and they trembled before her fury at 11:13 AM PST - 88 comments

When earworms attack!

Ever had a song stuck in your head?* Investigations into earworms, musical hallucination and memory are shedding some light on the link between music and memory. [more inside]
posted by asok at 11:13 AM PST - 54 comments

"...we are in the realm of beyond stupid with this."

"Now we get to the part that moves from jokes and silliness to serious, which is: This is not just now a case study in how not to react to cyber threats and a case study in how to not defend your networks, it's now also a case study in how not to respond to terrorism threats." Cybersecurity expert Peter W. Singer discusses the Sony's reaction to the "Guardians of Peace" hack. [more inside]
posted by quin at 11:05 AM PST - 187 comments

It's like eating with a bunch of animals

Sometimes getting together with family for the holidays feels like the entire event has gone to the dogs (and cat).
posted by hippybear at 10:38 AM PST - 10 comments

The Maccabees would approve of this Jurassic Menorah

Make your own dinosaur menorah.
posted by stoneweaver at 10:13 AM PST - 28 comments

This kind of thing could take up your whole day.

"From righteous fury to faux indignation, everything we got mad about in 2014—and how outrage has taken over our lives." The Year of Outrage (SLSlate)
posted by naju at 9:13 AM PST - 99 comments

Recommended for 6–12 (with time reduced for good behavior)

Conveniently, LEGO® vines growing on the outside of the museum provide handgrips the thieves can use in climbing up to the skylight.
[more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 9:12 AM PST - 22 comments

A makers gotta make, make, make, make, make

"It’s all about burn rate / Bout burn rate / slow spending" -- This years holiday video from First Round Capital, the venture capital firm that convinces dozens of its entrepreneurs to participate in parodies of the past year’s most popular songs.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:11 AM PST - 5 comments

Oh dearie me.

10 football (soccer) experiments that were doomed to failure.
posted by josher71 at 8:50 AM PST - 27 comments

#notall"pregnant"men

Although doctors have noticed that fathers-to-be can experience weight gain, morning vomiting, heartburn, and restlessness, as well as more random symptoms like toothaches and leg cramps, there hasn't been any agreement as to what causes it. Say hello to Couvade Syndrome aka 'Male Sympathetic Pregnancy'. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:46 AM PST - 22 comments

A sweary blog about swearing

Strong Language is a new blog about profanity, cusswords, vulgar fuckin' language. Started just a week ago by James Harbeck and (MeFi's own) Stan Carey after discovering their shared frustration at not having a place to talk (swearily) about swearing, it already has ten posts by various authors covering such topics as the phonology of cusswords, whether shit is a contronym, the effectiveness of swearing in John Carpenter's The Thing, and a post reviving the cult classic linguistics article "English sentences without overt grammatical subjects" (previously).
posted by narain at 8:29 AM PST - 38 comments

It's the 'Dark Side of the Moon’ of holiday favorites

Why you love the Charlie Brown Christmas special
posted by pjern at 7:20 AM PST - 69 comments

No single-payer healthcare for Vermont

Governor Shumlin announced he would not pursue single-payer healthcare for his state. Reasons include high costs, high complexity, and Shumlin barely eking out reelection.
posted by doctornemo at 7:03 AM PST - 55 comments

Deputizing the Hive Mind

In Serial withdrawal? Well, perhaps you can help the Toronto police out. Inspired by the success of the Serial podcast, Toronto police are tweeting out clues in the unsolved murder of Mike Pimentel.
posted by Mrs. Rattery at 6:48 AM PST - 24 comments

"A superhero can do anything to change that world."

India's New Comic Book Hero Fights Rape, Rides On The Back Of A Tiger
She's a not a superhero in the comic book tradition. Her power is the power of persuasion and the power of an idea. She's riding the tiger all over India and creating a movement [to] deal with sexual violence.
posted by Librarypt at 5:49 AM PST - 7 comments

Run Derby Run!

Derby was born with very deformed front legs... With the aid of 3-D printing, the world is moving a lot faster for him. (article here)
posted by HuronBob at 3:09 AM PST - 20 comments

The Timber Joke

There was a lumberjack who chopped trees all day and would yell "TIMBER" just before each tree would fall… There are plenty of versions of the “Timber” joke on YouTube, many done as part of a beginning ASL course. Most of these retellings seem identical to on another. For a refreshing take on the joke, check out this over-the-top version in Pidgin Signed English. [more inside]
posted by Deathalicious at 2:50 AM PST - 8 comments

Writers can now afford butter with their Toast

Contributors to The Toast are paid a flat, one-time fee of $50 on publication. No further compensation is due, even if The Toast re-publishes the contribution. The Toast also reserves the right to edit at will.
These aren't ideal provisions, but they're not uncommon. What is uncommon: contributors must hand over copyright and waive all moral rights (including the right of attribution).
MeFi favourite The Toast came under fire on Tuesday, as according to Writer Beware, it turned out they paid their contributors a flat $50 fee for all rights in perpetuity. This is not surprising behaviour for an internet content farm, but what may be surprising was the resolution. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse at 2:00 AM PST - 98 comments

"As such, Helen herself has a beauty rating of 1.186 helens"

in the iliad helen speaks the last lament for hector. the only man in troy who showed her kindness is slain—and now, helen says, πάντες δέ με πεφρίκασιν, all men shudder at me. she doesn't speak in the iliad again. homer isn’t cruel to helen; her story is cruel enough.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:33 AM PST - 28 comments

December 17

The Enduring Art of the Lowcountry Basket

Grass Roots: The Enduring Art of the Lowcountry Basket (video 27:21). Sweetgrass Baskets: "This basket-making tradition came to South Carolina in the 17th century by way of West African slaves who were brought to America to work on plantations." The Sweetgrass Basket Tradition: "Sweetgrass basketmaking has been part of the Charleston and Mt. Pleasant communities for more than 300 years." Sweetgrass Baskets: A History (pdf): "Coiled basketry, one of the oldest African crafts in America, appeared in South Carolina during the late 17th century." The South Carolina Lowcountry. Sweetgrass (Muhlenbergia filipes). [more inside]
posted by cwest at 11:38 PM PST - 8 comments

The rise of Bolivia's Aymara people, as seen in architecture and fashion

Bolivia has undergone a significant change under the three terms of President Evo Morales, the first president to come from the country's indigenous majority. Members of that majority have found prosperity, increasing the prestige of indigenous design and style, as seen in this seven minute segment on the new buildings and minor twists on old fashions adopted by Bolivia's indigenous bourgeoisie, from Financial Times' coverage of the displays of the Aymara people's new-found wealth. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:41 PM PST - 18 comments

PEOPLE! LEMME HEAR YUH! LET'S SEE SOME HANDS! LET'S MAKE SOME NOISE!!!!!

The Best of Paul Stanley's Epic Stage Raps - the video companion piece to "People, Let Me Get This Off My Chest" [previously]
posted by not_on_display at 9:21 PM PST - 15 comments

Spoiler: Schadenfreude

What happened When Marissa Mayer Tried to Be Steve Jobs
posted by sonic meat machine at 7:02 PM PST - 181 comments

Love before War

There's all this talk about a manned trip to Mars. But there's another planet to consider visiting before a trip to Mars - NASA is now studying how to send people to Venus.
posted by ShooBoo at 5:41 PM PST - 48 comments

Twitter Bots for My Real Friends, Real Bots for My Twitter Friends

Darius Kazemi, aka @tinysubversions, is a bot-maker extrordinaire. Known for his inspiring talk on creativity and the lottery at XOXO last year, Kazemi has founded NaNoGenMo and the Bot Summit, created such wonderful Twitter Bots as Olivia Taters, (actually by @robdubbin) For My Real Friends, Miraculous Pictures and Two Headlines. Today he posted about his process in creating Content Forever, a writeup which covers many angles in creating readable bot writing, including escaping phenomena as the Wikipedia philosophy phenomenon.
posted by dame at 3:03 PM PST - 15 comments

Behind the scenes at the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens

Are you interested in plants? The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew aren’t just a tourist attraction -- they also run one of the world's leading botanical research institutes. To show off how important and fascinating modern plant science can be, they've commissioned a series of snazzy short videos to showcase their work. Start with the award-winning Forgotten Home of Coffee (6:00) (based on this worrying Kew study from 2012), then come back for the rest. [more inside]
posted by rollick at 2:49 PM PST - 12 comments

((n - (r - 1)) ÷ n) × w

Best Ever Albums aggregates 17,000 "greatest album" charts to establish a statistical consensus on popular music rankings. [more inside]
posted by Iridic at 2:46 PM PST - 73 comments

Changing climates of history

Neither Thucydides, Gibbon, von Ranke, nor Braudel ever cited a paper appearing in Geophysical Research Letters. They did not worry themselves about fluctuations in the Siberian High or the Southern Oscillation. The vast majority of more recent historians also remained untroubled by such concerns. However, in the past five years, a handful of highly distinguished historians have come out with new books that put climate at the center of historical explanation. What on Earth is going on? [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus at 2:07 PM PST - 18 comments

Black people don't have that luxury to be able to tap out...

"Too often, when I'm using my fiber-optic space to share, vent, rant, and process the realities of being Black in America, I'm faced with White people responding with comments and private messages that I'm attacking, disappointing, angering, or hurting them. Or, they use patronizing language like, 'Stacey, you're much smarter than this,' or 'I thought you were a more reasonable person.'

"How do I let them know that when I say things like 'White supremacy needs to be destroyed,' that I'm not talking about personally destroying them? How do I not become frustrated at those who jump in to debate and discredit what Black people are experiencing, in our own threads?" White Women, Please Don't Expect Me to Wipe Away Your Tears, by Stacey Patton at Dame Magazine. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 2:06 PM PST - 74 comments

Ceiling cat is watching you lift the table

ⓂⒺⓂⒺ ⒷⒶⓁⓁ - the Internet meme-themed pinball machine
posted by a lungful of dragon at 12:46 PM PST - 27 comments

The Year Before

A fascinating BBC Radio Seven Four xtra audio documentary about life and events in the UK in the run up to World War One. Written and narrated by Michael Portillo, but don't let this put you off. Starts with "The long summer." If you are not in the UK, you may need to spoof your IP address to listen to them.
posted by marienbad at 12:35 PM PST - 4 comments

AMC testing subscription service for movie theaters

Alamo Drafthouse aside, not many movie theater chains have reported increased attendance in the past few years. Large chains have propped up revenues with ticket price hikes, premium concessions and drinks, but the specter of Netflix and other home viewing platforms looms ominously over the industry. Annual ticket sales in the U.S. have declined to 1995 levels from their high in 2002 (although revenues have grown 3.6% annually over the same period, well outpacing inflation). This January, AMC Theaters will begin testing a new business model in partnership with MoviePass, beginning in Denver and Boston. Subscribers can pay $30-45 a month for a membership good for one film per day at any AMC location. The move echoes a 2013 effort to reopen an independent theater in Oakhurst, CA using a member subscription model. Will it be enough to get more film aficionados off their couches and into a theater seat? The jury's still out.
posted by deludingmyself at 11:55 AM PST - 101 comments

2015: Flashpoints Abound

A Pessimist's Guide to the World in 2015. Skirmishes in the South China Sea lead to full-scale naval confrontation. Israel bombs Iran, setting off an escalation of violence across the Middle East. Nigeria crumbles as oil prices fall and radicals gain strength. Bloomberg News asked foreign policy analysts, military experts, economists and investors to identify the possible worst-case scenarios, based on current global conflicts, that concern them most heading into 2015. [Bleah interface; interesting content.]
posted by ZenMasterThis at 11:41 AM PST - 33 comments

Inside Beijing's Airpocalypse

"If all the other schools have a dome, then we’ve got to have a dome." Inside Beijing's airpocalypse, a city made 'almost uninhabitable' by pollution
posted by gottabefunky at 10:47 AM PST - 61 comments

Congress ends federal government ban on medical marijuana

Congress quietly ends federal government's ban on medical marijuana Tucked deep inside the 1,603-page federal spending measure is a provision that effectively ends the federal government's prohibition on medical marijuana and signals a major shift in drug policy. Under the provision, states where medical pot is legal would no longer need to worry about federal drug agents raiding retail operations. Agents would be prohibited from doing so.
posted by joedan at 10:14 AM PST - 64 comments

"a new aesthetic of digital decay has started to emerge"

But if you look at a Shitpic, you can instantly tell the level of virality by how worn it looks, how legible its text is, how many watermarks adorn it. You can count them much like you would rings on a tree. A pristine-looking meme engenders skepticism—“This can’t be that funny, it hasn’t been imperfectly replicated enough.”
The Awl on the rise of the shitpic.
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:05 AM PST - 60 comments

And you thought your apartment was nice

Inside Seguine Mansion, Staten Island's Eccentric Historic Home Burke lives in the Seguine Mansion on the southern tip of Staten Island, and unlike most [Historic Home caretakers] he has full access to the mansion, which is filled with his own collection of antique art and furniture. He throws three lavish parties each year: an all-white Spring garden party, a period-costume Fall BBQ, and a black tie Christmas party. His best friend, a doberman named Rusty, can sit on any piece of furniture he wants, from a 19th century French wingback sofa to the Chippendale dining set. Why can Burke do all that? The short answer: it’s his house. Or at least, it kind of is.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:44 AM PST - 14 comments

2014: The Year in Garbage

THIS YEAR STUNK. It’s possible all years are this bad, but we don’t think so. 2014 was simply a trashpile of world events and sewer people. The slop started piling up at the start and never slowed down. It reeks in here. Did anything good even happen? We can’t say with certainty.
posted by almostmanda at 9:08 AM PST - 89 comments

Master of Fear

Although he has already created several notable soundtracks for his films John Carpenter has just released his debut album Lost Themes. Interview.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:21 AM PST - 11 comments

U.S. and Cuba to Start Talks on Normalizing Relations

In an unexpected move, Alan Gross is being exchanged with the (remaining) Cuban Five and the US and Cuba plan to start talks on normalizing relations. [more inside]
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 8:11 AM PST - 204 comments

Sealioning Explained by The Last Psychiatrist and Louie

When Was The Last Time You Got Your Ass Kicked? The viral Wondermark sealion strip confounds many by casting its villain as polite with ostensibly reasonable demands, but four years prior, Alone thoroughly explains the tenets summed up in the strip, and the mechanics of bullying in general, with some help from a scene from Louie. [more inside]
posted by deathmaven at 7:24 AM PST - 149 comments

Yuletide Whambience!

This is what happens when you slow Wham's "Last Christmas" down by a factor of 8.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 7:06 AM PST - 33 comments

The Lost World of British Tape Recording Clubs

A few years ago radio producer Mark Vernon bought a hoard of old reel-to-reel audio tapes in a car boot sale in Derby, as a job lot with an elderly and very heavy tape recorder. Coaxing the old machine back to life, he realised he had rescued the jettisoned archive of the Derby Tape Club—a group of amateurs who made, played and swapped recordings in the 1960s and 70s, when domestic tape-recording was in its infancy and before the audio cassette had conquered the world. A radiophonic elegy to an anonymous group of people and their forgotten enthusiasm: domestic tape recording and amateur radio in the 1960s and '70s.
Over the years, Vernon has acquired other archives and put together radio shows, oral histories, and a compilation CD. Listen to the lost sound-scapes of The Leicester tape recording club; the Nottingham Cooperative tape recording club; and the London tape recording club [Breakdown here]. [more inside]
posted by Sonny Jim at 7:05 AM PST - 6 comments

"In some respects, the wedding doesn't differ from most others."

The BBC's Ouch blog tells the story behind a 1940 Pathé newsreel showing a Deaf couple's wedding. [more inside]
posted by Catseye at 4:44 AM PST - 10 comments

Jackie chan gets hurt. A lot.

1. Start with a DISADVANTAGE
2. Use the ENVIRONMENT
3. Be CLEAR in your shots
4. Action & Reaction in the SAME frame
5. Do as many TAKES as necessary
6. Let the audience feel the RHYTHM
7. In editing, TWO good hits = ONE great hit
8. PAIN is humanizing
9. Earn your FINISH
The 9 Principles of Action Comedy: what makes Jackie Chan's action scenes work, by Tony Zhou. (Previously.)
posted by MartinWisse at 1:38 AM PST - 81 comments

December 16

"Walking around a city will never be the same"

We want our tools to sing of not just productivity but of our love of curiosity, the joy of wonderment, and the freshness of the unknown. —Eric Paulos, “Manifesto of Open Disruption and Participation
In his essay “Walking in the City,” the French scholar Michel de Certeau talks about the “invisible identities of the visible.” He is talking specifically about the memories and personal narratives associated with a location. Until recently, this information was only accessible one-to-one—that is, by talking to people who had knowledge of a place. But what if that data became one-to-many, or even many-to-many, and easily accessible via some sort of street-level interface that could be accessed manually, or wirelessly using a smartphone?
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:20 PM PST - 28 comments

There must be something ghostly in the air of Christmas

It was Christmas Eve. I begin this way because it is the proper, orthodox, respectable way to begin, and I have been brought up in a proper, orthodox, respectable way, and taught to always do the proper, orthodox, respectable thing; and the habit clings to me. Of course, as a mere matter of information it is quite unnecessary to mention the date at all. The experienced reader knows it was Christmas Eve ... It always is Christmas Eve, in a ghost story.
In Told After Supper (1891), Jerome K. Jerome parodied the tradition of telling Christmas ghost stories, but it's plain to see that he had fun writing them. And horror writer Ramsey Campbell, himself the author of a number of Christmas stories, recently dropped by /r/WeirdLit to list off a few places to find more. [more inside]
posted by Monsieur Caution at 10:06 PM PST - 12 comments

What does man seek? Whatever it is, it may have died in the Salton Sea.

KQED has been posting its Truly CA documentary videos on YouTube, including Plagues & Pleasures on the Salton Sea, a touching look at the rise and fall of the accidental ocean that is less than 100 years old in its current form, narrated by John Waters and featuring interviews from residents who have seen its better times. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:30 PM PST - 13 comments

It's All About That Neis (...and those Latkes)

Here are cool Jewish acapella songs about Hanukkah: Chanukah (Shake it Off) and All About That Neis [more inside]
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 7:30 PM PST - 8 comments

We Call It N'awlins

Let Me Tell You About New York City [SL Toast]
posted by KernalM at 7:28 PM PST - 29 comments

Judging a Book by Its... Well, You Know

Do you like books for more than just the words inside? Here, thanks to MeFi's own Jason Kottke, are four and a half lists of the best book covers of 2014.
posted by Etrigan at 5:32 PM PST - 8 comments

Unedited Footage of a Bear *

"This is unedited raw footage of a bear I filmed with my cell phone. I'm not sure what kind of bear this is." (NSFW, intense flashing at 9min mark)

* Sponsored by Claridryl—"Take life in your hands"
[more inside]
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:04 PM PST - 104 comments

Mandatory condoms for porn shot in Los Angeles County

9th Circuit upholds Los Angeles County law mandating the use of condoms in porn shoots. Decision here. Will this force the porn industry out of Los Angeles? [more inside]
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:47 PM PST - 53 comments

Happy Birthday Hero

Chelsea Manning turns 27 this week and some people have written to her.
Joe Sacco, Alan Moore, Birgitta Jónsdóttir, Terry Gilliam, Edward Snowden among others. It will be her 4th birthday in prison.
posted by adamvasco at 4:29 PM PST - 22 comments

Ulf is content.

Meet Ulf. He lives north of the Arctic Circle and makes boat. He swims daily (brief male buttock shot), does household chores, and relaxes. Ulf is content. [10 minutes, Vimeo]
posted by Wordshore at 3:47 PM PST - 26 comments

Tiny desk make big sound (NPR)

"Truth be told, you should really set aside a weekend and watch all 83 sets back-to-back. But until then, here's a cross-section of favorites, from pop to opera, hip-hop, jazz, rock, country and whatever genre is broad enough to contain the Sun Ra Arkestra." 2014: The Year In Tiny Desk Concerts (here's the full list ).
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 2:02 PM PST - 31 comments

Pilots of Instagram:

beautiful views from the cockpit, violating rules of the air [more inside]
posted by So You're Saying These Are Pants? at 1:06 PM PST - 66 comments

The snow's coming down

This Friday, Darlene Love will perform "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" on David Letterman's show for the 28th and last time. She's performed it every year since 1986, on both Late Night with David Letterman and the Late Show with David Letterman. Here's a supercut compilation of her performances. [more inside]
posted by Shmuel510 at 12:57 PM PST - 21 comments

Seattle’s unbelievable transportation megaproject fustercluck

Seattle's unbelievable transportation megaproject fustercluck — "In short: There is no plan to resolve the dispute over cost overruns, which are ubiquitous on projects like this; at $4.2 billion, it's the most expensive transportation project in state history. The tunnel will have no exits - no ingress or egress - throughout the entire downtown core (which makes the support of downtown businesses all the more mystifying). It won't allow transit, only cars. It will be tolled, highly enough, by the state's own estimates, to drive nearly half its traffic onto the aforementioned side streets. It will be a precarious engineering feat, the widest deep-bore tunnel in history, digging right between a) Puget Sound and b) the oldest part of Seattle, with vulnerable buildings and God-knows-what buried infrastructure. Also: Pollution. Climate change. It's the 21st f'ing century. On and on. People said all this and more, in real time, to no avail." [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu at 12:34 PM PST - 166 comments

Null Pointers for All

Dr Dobbs, one of the oldest programming publications announces the end.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:23 PM PST - 39 comments

"Witness 40": Exposing A Fraud In Ferguson

Report: Darren Wilson's Key Witness Lied About Everything: A summation of the findings of The Smoking Gun's investigation into Sandra McElroy also known as "Witness 40", a key witness for Officer Darren Wilson which may have been instrumental in preventing an indictment for the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson. [previously]
posted by quin at 12:18 PM PST - 131 comments

Babelfish Not Required

On Dec 15, 2014, Microsoft announced the first public beta preview for new Skype Translate, a service which will (eventually) work as a go-between to help break down language barriers during voice calls. The initial trial is Spanish <> English only, [2m marketing video] but that's only the beginning. How, though, does it work? And the even bigger question, DOES it work? (The answer appears to be yes.)
posted by hippybear at 11:17 AM PST - 53 comments

Everyone is poised to attack anyone. But it's all a joke.

How Chan-Style Anonymous Culture Shapes #gamergate Twitter user A Man In Black attempts to untangle the gamergater mindset using identity -- any identity as vice, and lack of identity as a chief virtue.
posted by boo_radley at 9:31 AM PST - 212 comments

Taliban attacks Pakistani military-run school

Tuesday’s attack killed 141 including many children in grisly battle lasting several hours. The Pakistan military has launched massive air strikes in its remote border region against the Taliban in retaliation for the massacre in a Peshawar school on Tuesday morning that left at least 141 dead, 132 of them children. [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus at 9:24 AM PST - 141 comments

This was not planned.

What's the best way to make sure that your politically divided children behave around the Christmas dinner table? Call in while they are appearing on C-Span.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:44 AM PST - 36 comments

The Hollywood Franchise: Now with 100% More Yawning Abyss!

I did not begin 2014 by imagining that the most resonant movie moment of the 12 months to come would be a quiet, resigned stare-down in a bathroom. But it has been that kind of year. "What the movie industry is about, in 2014, is creating a sense of anticipation in its target audience that is so heightened, so nurtured, and so constant that moviegoers are effectively distracted from how infrequently their expectations are actually satisfied."
posted by Tevin at 8:27 AM PST - 89 comments

Endless Jingling

Endless Jingling [via mefi projects] cortex made this. how do we stop him. why would he do this. mods please delete cortex
posted by Greg Nog at 8:17 AM PST - 184 comments

Bulletproof Nutrition

Maybe you've heard of Bulletproof Coffee, the revolutionary fad that advocates mixing in butter and oil into your coffee? Well, Dan Norman's here to tell you about the Bulletproof Sandwich (YT) (here's the original Bulletproof Coffee promo video, for reference).
posted by shivohum at 7:49 AM PST - 77 comments

A very BMJ Christmas

It’s that time of year again: the British Medical Journal‘s Christmas Edition is out, featuring some of the most hilarious research published since… well, since forever! All this week, Discover's Seriously, Science? will be featuring the best of this and past years’ BMJ Christmas Research Articles to get you in the holiday spirit. First up: Sword swallowing and its side effects [more inside]
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:54 AM PST - 8 comments

A dark reimagining of a Hollywood list

The 2014 Black List Has been announced - the top unproduced scripts of the year, according to Hollywood insiders. Excited film buffs will be scouring the list for overlooked gems and masterpieces that might have been, but why not go a different route? The Ten Worst Sounding Black List Scripts.
posted by Artw at 6:43 AM PST - 136 comments

The Essential Ghostface Killah Collection

The 50 best Ghostface Killah tracks (via Complex)
posted by Renoroc at 5:13 AM PST - 14 comments

December 15

I Have Created 50 Games This Year

Kenta Cho of ABA Games has released 50 minigames this year. They are all free to play on his site, with source. [more inside]
posted by 23 at 10:43 PM PST - 25 comments

"How can they possibly believe this shit?"

Piety and Plenty: The Buying and Selling of Christmas
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:41 PM PST - 55 comments

Once took a Texan to a wedding

The Brave Little Toaster's "Worthless" (Slower, Sadder, With Lyrics) (SLYT)
posted by theodolite at 8:32 PM PST - 14 comments

"one of the best interviews you’ll ever hear, providing genuine insight"

Slate's "25 Best Podcast Episodes Ever" Podcasts are nothing new to the Blue, and roundup lists are a dime a dozen towards the end of the year, but it's always interesting to listen to a curated list of favorites. Most of the episodes they chose are from the last 5 years, featuring an eclectic mix of stories about love, popular culture, personal success, and public failure; there are deconstructions of the what seems mundane at first glance, and tragedy that is difficult to process.
posted by Political Funny Man at 8:06 PM PST - 56 comments

Mother nature can be great but I prefer to take control of my appearance

If you saw her catwalking like no one was watching, you'd see she was a model. But if you've seen the Channel 4 advert/short, you have seen Viktoria Modesta as a Prototype. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 7:57 PM PST - 23 comments

"I'm not the only one who could be blackmailed for this album"

The Star Wars Christmas TV special is well known around these parts. But last week the CBC posted the first ever oral history of Christmas in the Stars: The Star Wars Christmas Album featuring interviews with producer Tony Bongiovi, composer Maury Yeston and C-3PO actor Anthony Daniels.
posted by salishsea at 5:42 PM PST - 17 comments

Two women from South Korea making music their own way

무키무키만만수 (Mukimukimanmansu) is a South Korean indie band that's gone mildly viral thanks to a thirty second clip from a television performance of their song Andromeda. The acoustic guitar and janggu drum duo released their first album 2012 in the eponymous year, and they played other songs off that album on television, which have been gathered into a handy playlist by YouTube user HachikoTanuki. Here are a few other videos: Studio versions of 내가 고백을 하면 깜짝 놀랄거야, 2008년 석관동, 너의 선물; television performances of 방화범 (with guests) and 투쟁과 다이어트; music video maker Vio Kim has recorded them many times, including up close at a concert last year (1, 2, 3, 4, 5); here they are performing with a jazz band earlier this year. And finally, here are demos they made in 2011.
posted by Kattullus at 3:45 PM PST - 19 comments

We eat bacon and pastries and are happy. Oh, and the North Pole is ours.

In 2012, the UN said that Denmark was the happiest place on earth. This year, Denmark returned to the UN with some nice Danish pastries, and a territorial claim to the North Pole based on its relationship with Greenland, a Danish autonomous territory. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore at 3:44 PM PST - 59 comments

Lennon or McCartney

A 30-minute Youtube video of 550 artists (musicians and actors) asked a simple question: Lennon or McCartney?
posted by dry white toast at 3:21 PM PST - 183 comments

Deliver Us

Ridley Scott's new film Exodus: Gods and Kings recasts the myth of Moses in typically grimdark swords-and-sandals fashion. It... ain't so good. Want something more artful? Look no further than The Prince of Egypt [alt], an underrated masterpiece of DreamWorks' traditional animation era. Directed by Brenda Chapman (a first for women in animation), scored to spectacular effect by Hans Zimmer and Stephen Schwartz, and voiced by, among others, Voldemort, Batman, and Professor X, the ambitious film features gorgeous, striking visuals and tastefully integrated CGI in nearly every scene. It also manages the improbable feat of maturing beyond cartoon clichés while humanizing the prophet's journey from carefree scion to noble (and remorseful) liberator without offending half the planet -- while still being quite a fun ride. Already seen it? Catch the making-of documentary, or click inside for more. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi at 3:03 PM PST - 86 comments

Pretty sure NROL-38 is a Pokemon

Sultry witches. World-devouring cephalopods. Adorable teddy bears. Smithsonian Magazine takes a look at the fantastical mission patches of the National Reconnaissance Office (via)
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:18 PM PST - 18 comments

Highway to the danger zone.

1 in 6 Americans become sick from foodborne illness each year, and like a norovirus infection, the blame is easy to spread around. Where does foodborne illness happen, and does it matter? Doug Powell of Barfblog (previously) notes that peer reviewed studies claim in-home food safety failures account for anywhere from 15 to 90% of food poisoning cases, which is enough variance to make anyone shrug. But what do we really know when it comes to foodborne illness? Read on for a stomach-turning romp through what food safety research tells us about a question as old as Ask Metafilter. [more inside]
posted by deludingmyself at 12:51 PM PST - 110 comments

A print can last for thousands of years, emulating the age of the trees.

Beth Moon photographs trees, Ancient Trees.
A few more from the gallery "portraits of time" which has links to further galleries.
In her methodology and in an interview by Lenscratch about her collection "Between Earth and Sky" she explains her photos as a Noble Process in a digital age.
posted by adamvasco at 11:46 AM PST - 5 comments

The Turbolift Mark I?

"German company ThyssenKrupp is proposing a self-propelled lift that can travel both horizontally and vertically through large buildings and skyscrapers." Includes short animated video demonstration.
posted by marienbad at 11:40 AM PST - 61 comments

It's not an insult; it's local slang for the Washington Monument

The District of Columbia has many speakers of American Sign Language, given the presence of Gallaudet University and a large Deaf community. Here are a smattering of local signs.
posted by ocherdraco at 11:38 AM PST - 17 comments

Where form follows data.

Amsterdam City Dashboard: a City as Urban Statistics
posted by infini at 9:42 AM PST - 8 comments

Powdered sugar is obviously so last year.

Chanukkah begins tomorrow night and the traditional foods are fried in oil. Latkes (potato pancakes) are established Hanukkah treats but the other treat most common in Israel are doughnuts. Ashkenazi Jews eat sufganiyot, which have their origins in Germany and are traditionally filled with strawberry jam. In North Africa the doughnuts are called sfenj (pronounced shfinz) and generally are traced to Morocco. Sfenj are drizzled with honey or date syrup. [more inside]
posted by Sophie1 at 8:07 AM PST - 45 comments

"This is the fairy-land; O spite of spites!"

British photographer Kirsty Mitchell's hauntingly beautiful photographs of a stylized fairy wonderland.
posted by Kitteh at 7:57 AM PST - 9 comments

César Aira

“I‘ve realized that the perfect length for what I do is 100 pages. In my brevity there may be an element of insecurity. I wouldn‘t dare give a 1,000-page novel to a reader […] My novels became shorter as I became more renowned. People now allow me to do whatever I want. At any rate, publishers prefer thick books. But with books, the thicker they are, the less literature they have.””—César Aira [more inside]
posted by misteraitch at 7:51 AM PST - 24 comments

Heien vs. North Carolina

This morning, the Supreme Court released an opinion (pdf) in Heien vs. North Carolina, finding that because the Fourth Amendment requires government officials to act reasonably, not perfectly, and gives those officials “fair leeway for enforcing the law,” an officer in North Carolina did not act unconstitutionally when they stopped and searched a car driving with a broken brake light, even though North Carolina law requires only one vehicle brake light to be working. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:42 AM PST - 127 comments

Running empires requires lots of meetings

this is what happens when you read a super-sci-fi-y story about spaceships, aliens, and AI, then switch to a classically fantasy story with goblins and elves, and find out they’re actually fascinatingly similar books with a lot to say about power, empire, and administration.
Alix E. Harrow talks about administrating imaginary empires and the similiarities between Ancillary Sword and The Goblin Emperor.
posted by MartinWisse at 6:22 AM PST - 41 comments

I picked my spot in the glass and called it my target

Shonda Rhimes received the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award at The Hollywood Reporter's Women in Entertainment breakfast, and made an extraordinary speech. Video. Text.
posted by pjern at 6:19 AM PST - 17 comments

When no gender fits: A quest to be seen as just a person

Which box do you check when you don’t belong in any box? How do you navigate the world when the world is built on identifying with one group or another group, male or female, and the place that feels most right to you is neither? [more inside]
posted by moody cow at 5:49 AM PST - 158 comments

Snap, Crackle and Pop!

In an area of London that already boasts a cat cafe and a 3d printer cafe, two bearded twin brothers have opened the Cereal Killer Cafe that serves only breakfast cereal. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:32 AM PST - 75 comments

December 14

After 5437 days, it better be worth it

After nearly 15 years of waiting, neo-soul artist D'Angelo released Black Messiah, a follow up to his 2000 release Voodoo. [more inside]
posted by elmer benson at 10:53 PM PST - 45 comments

The Office: Middle Earth

On this week's Saturday Night Live, writers decided to play to host Martin Freeman's strengths by combining two of his best known roles: Tim Canterbury from BBC's The Office and Bilbo Baggins of The Hobbit. The Office: Middle Earth. (Video may be restricted in your part of the world. Here's a YouTube link instead.)
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 10:31 PM PST - 35 comments

Money in the Harry Potter Universe

While there has been speculation and answers about how money works in the Harry Potter universe, no one has ever written about how the witches and wizards in the books might manage their personal finances after the end of the series. Until now.
posted by Hactar at 10:17 PM PST - 34 comments

Potato Chip Cookies with Raisins "country style"

"Okay out there in radio land, it's time to listen up, I've got something good to tell you and we gonna make some potato chip cookies" [SLYT]. I can't put my finger on what makes this video so enjoyable. Maybe it's the cavalier attitude towards recipe measurements, his assurance that "it might be good for you with them raisins in there" and all the non sequiturs. I can't speak for the cookies themselves but I guarantee you that this video is "gunna be good."
posted by Deathalicious at 8:31 PM PST - 37 comments

Whisper it quietly...

The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again.” -- Robert Jordan [more inside]
posted by SpacemanStix at 8:22 PM PST - 28 comments

The art of making a book, in various forms

The art of making a book (original video on Facebook, without added music) takes you through the traditional manual process of bookbinding, from selecting and setting the individual letters to finally binding the book in leather and adding finishing touches. If you'd like to try your hand at something similar but with some modern flourishes, there are plenty of tutorials and guides, linked below. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 7:28 PM PST - 18 comments

CURSE YOU AND YOUR DOGGY SPEED!!

Baby Elephant gets Frustrated Chasing a Dog. [slyt | cute]
posted by quin at 6:59 PM PST - 14 comments

'smile regimes'

Incorruptible Teeth, or, the French Smile Revolution
In 1787, Madame Vigée-Lebrun, painter to France’s royal and aristocratic elite, displayed a canvas at the Paris Salon. It was a self-portrait depicting the artist in an affectionate embrace with her daughter. Vigée-Lebrun is smiling—a sweet, broad smile revealing white teeth. There is little about this pose that seems in any way exceptional, yet exception was furiously taken. “An affectation which artists, art-lovers and persons of taste have been united in condemning,” wrote an anonymous commentator, “and which finds no precedent amongst the Ancients, is that in smiling she shows her teeth. This affectation is particularly out of place in a mother.”

How the smile came to Paris (briefly), aka Grin City. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:40 PM PST - 21 comments

Situation in Sydney

Global news sources are reporting a what appears to be a hostage taking at the Lindt Chocolate Café in Martin Place, Sydney, also home to the Reserve Bank of Australia. [more inside]
posted by Dreadnought at 5:39 PM PST - 329 comments

Wait a sec. Do two make a row? Just curious.

Animals sing "Jolly Old Saint Nicholas" SLYT. What it says on the Xmas tin.
posted by kinnakeet at 5:19 PM PST - 3 comments

Lindsay Lohan Loves Living in London.

A story of redemption.
posted by vac2003 at 4:50 PM PST - 17 comments

Given the time stamp, I was likely extremely drunk

Why We Don’t Know The Size Of The Transgender Population In 2001, Kerith Conron was working on LGBT issues in Boston’s health department. She discovered that homeless transgender people were sleeping on benches because the shelters, which were segregated by gender, didn’t know what to do with them. As a result, transgender people weren’t included in the city’s assessment of who needed shelter.
posted by Michele in California at 4:14 PM PST - 14 comments

Angela Davis on police violence

‘There is an unbroken line of police violence in the United States that takes us all the way back to the days of slavery, the aftermath of slavery, the development of the Ku Klux Klan,” says Angela Davis. “There is so much history of this racist violence that simply to bring one person to justice is not going to disturb the whole racist edifice.”
posted by standardasparagus at 3:52 PM PST - 17 comments

20 Best New Beers of 2014

"Here’s an understatement for you: 2014 was a great year for beer. Seriously, it’s hard to put into words just how awesome American craft beer was this year. IPAs got sessionable, then they got fresh-hopped, breweries collaborated like hip hop moguls, older (let’s call them classic?) breweries reinvented themselves with ambitious experiments while young breweries helped push the envelope of style and taste…there were hundreds, probably thousands of new beers hitting the shelves and taps all year long, challenging our palates and expectations day after day. It’s an exciting time to be alive."
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 12:57 PM PST - 111 comments

“If you’re a crook, then I’m a crook."

The Minister Who Went to Jail for Financial-Aid Fraud
Ozel Clifford Brazil was a respected clergyman who helped thousands of African American teens get into college. What drove him to break the law?

Misguided Altruism Trailer
posted by andoatnp at 10:30 AM PST - 23 comments

Pilot-wave theory “seems to me so natural and simple..."

This idea that nature is inherently probabilistic — that particles have no hard properties, only likelihoods, until they are observed — is directly implied by the standard equations of quantum mechanics. But now a set of surprising experiments with fluids has revived old skepticism about that worldview. The bizarre results are fueling interest in an almost forgotten version of quantum mechanics, one that never gave up the idea of a single, concrete reality.

The experiments involve an oil droplet that bounces along the surface of a liquid. The droplet gently sloshes the liquid with every bounce. At the same time, ripples from past bounces affect its course. The droplet’s interaction with its own ripples, which form what’s known as a pilot wave, causes it to exhibit behaviors previously thought to be peculiar to elementary particles — including behaviors seen as evidence that these particles are spread through space like waves, without any specific location, until they are measured.

Particles at the quantum scale seem to do things that human-scale objects do not do. They can tunnel through barriers, spontaneously arise or annihilate, and occupy discrete energy levels. This new body of research reveals that oil droplets, when guided by pilot waves, also exhibit these quantum-like features.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 6:26 AM PST - 103 comments

To the mom I used to be.

"What They Left Behind" is a 35 minute documentary produced by Sandy Hook Promise. Today, the families and community of Newtown, Connecticut honor the lives of the twenty first graders and six adult helpers who lost their lives in that school shooting. No public events will take place today in Newtown. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:24 AM PST - 54 comments

"in Gary, racism clearly trumped democracy"

Yeah. Indiana’s got a constitution, which says you can’t pass special laws for one city, one town, etc. But they got around that, because instead of saying, “We want to eliminate the buffer zone around Gary,” they said, “We want to eliminate the buffer zone around a city that has a river that runs through it, and that has a steel mill…” and by the time you got down to it, there was only one city in the state that fit that description.
Gary, Indiana: the city that split in two.
posted by MartinWisse at 5:13 AM PST - 38 comments

Nu scylun hergan Gehyrst Hlaf

I am irrationally pleased by God-night, Rune and The Cat in the Hwæt, two Old English translations by Cassandra Rasmussen.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:36 AM PST - 38 comments

December 13

Library cats

Edinburgh University give library card to a cat. Library cats on Wikipedia. More and more library cats.
posted by yoHighness at 5:49 PM PST - 41 comments

Merry Christmas from the "Sesame Street" Family, 1975

Song for an old-fashioned Christmas: "'Twas the night before Christmas on Sesame Street/And the people were sleeping, ‘cause the people were beat/The snow had been falling for most of the day/And it lay over everything, sooty and grey..." -- as performed by Sesame's own David (lyrics) for the 1975 album "Merry Christmas from Sesame Street" (cover; inside artwork; back cover). Please join me (and Bert and Ernie and Oscar and Big Bird and others) in revisiting a holiday classic. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:43 PM PST - 23 comments

Nobel lecture by Patrick Modiano

Writing is a strange and solitary activity. There are dispiriting times when you start working on the first few pages of a novel. Every day, you have the feeling you are on the wrong track. This creates a strong urge to go back and follow a different path. It is important not to give in to this urge, but to keep going. It is a little like driving a car at night, in winter, on ice, with zero visibility. You have no choice, you cannot go into reverse, you must keep going forward while telling yourself that all will be well when the road becomes more stable and the fog lifts.
—From Patrick Modiano's lecture when receiving the Nobel Prize in Literature [Original French, Swedish and video] which is about cities, old telephone directories but mostly about writing, how to do it and what it's like.
posted by Kattullus at 3:32 PM PST - 27 comments

Radio Raheem Is a Broken Record

Do the Right Thing wasn’t ahead of its time. It was behind its time, and it’s ahead of ours. It came out in the summer of 1989, six months before Driving Miss Daisy, but if you can imagine it without hip-hop, it could have come out in 1939 alongside Gone with the Wind; without color, in 1929 with The Jazz Singer; without sound, 1915 and The Birth of a Nation. If you updated the soundtrack and the fashion a bit and released it next week, critics would praise its timeliness and how its depiction of police brutality and racial tension captures the angry zeitgeist surrounding the recent killings of unarmed black civilians by police officers. Some might even predict that it would ultimately end up feeling dated, as some did 25 years ago. If only. - Lessons from Do the Right Thing on Its 25th Anniversary
posted by Artw at 2:53 PM PST - 34 comments

“Is the School House the Proper Place to Teach Raw Sex?" Phrasing!!

"Today, most American adults can call up some memory of sex ed in their school, whether it was watching corny menstruation movies or seeing their school nurse demonstrate putting a condom on a banana. The movies, in particular, tend to stick in our minds. Screening films at school to teach kids how babies are made has always been a touchy issue, particularly for people who fear such knowledge will steer their children toward sexual behavior. But sex education actually has its roots in moralizing: American sex-ed films emerged from concerns that social morals and the family structure were breaking down." — Slut-Shaming, Eugenics, and Donald Duck: The Scandalous History of Sex-Ed Movies
posted by Room 641-A at 2:36 PM PST - 44 comments

Let's Get Together and Feel All Right

Bob Marley's One Love - The Official Fan-Made Video [more inside]
posted by quin at 2:06 PM PST - 8 comments

72 Hours in Detroit; on the decline and rebirth of (musical) Motor City

Electronic Beats interviews five Detroit residents (Michael Stone-Richards, a professor in the Department of Liberal Arts at CCS in Detroit; Mike Huckaby, an internationally successful DJ and longtime producer of Detroit techno; Cornelius Harris, aka "The Unknown Writer", the label manager and occasional MC for Underground Resistance Records; Walter Wasacz; a journalist and writer based in Hamtramck, an enclave in the center of Detroit; Mark Ernestus, the Berlin-based producer, DJ and co-owner of Hard Wax record store; Mike Banks of Underground Resistance [UR]; George Clinton, the founder and leader of Parliament Funkadelic; and Samantha Corbit, who has over a decade of involvement with multiple Detroit record labels) on the past and future of Detroit, and it's (electronic) (musical) history. 72 Hours in Detroit
posted by filthy light thief at 1:34 PM PST - 4 comments

Sit on my face and tell me that this parliamentary legislation is wrong

Why were people sitting on other people's faces outside the UK parliament recently? A variety of specific sexual acts were banned from UK-filmed online porn videos under the 2014 Audiovisual Media Services Regulation, which came into effect this month. Protesters say some acts that show women enjoying sex are now banned while similar restrictions do not apply to men. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore at 12:40 PM PST - 72 comments

The first rule of Art Club? Don’t talk about how you run Art Club

Art is a business – and, yes, artists have to make difficult, honest business decisions - Amanda Palmer
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:26 PM PST - 81 comments

An eternity with Tootie

Tor.com presents "As Good As New" a short story by Charlie Jane Anders about a girl, the apocalypse, and making sure those three wishes count.
posted by The Whelk at 12:01 PM PST - 3 comments

"I made it so she wanted to sleep with me, which was totally a lie..."

She came from Greece she had a thirst for knowledge
She studied sculpture at Saint Martin's College, that's where I caught her eye.
She told me that her Dad was loaded
I said in that case I'll have a rum and coke-cola.
She said fine, and in thirty seconds time she said,
I want to live like common people I want to do whatever common people do,
I want to sleep with common people I want to sleep with common people like you.
Well what else could I do – I said I'll see what I can do. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 11:50 AM PST - 53 comments

I will fight you with a bat'leth to defend the episode “Spock's Brain”

Playboy's Every Episode of Every "Star Trek" Series, Ever, Ranked (all 695 of them). io9's The Top 100 Star Trek Episodes Of All Time!
posted by ShooBoo at 11:43 AM PST - 55 comments

Storytime with Thomas Sanders

Thomas Sanders has been doing Vines in which he narrates people's lives for them, often surprising the subjects with what is actually happening. A 2m30s compilation gives you a taste of what he does.
posted by hippybear at 10:53 AM PST - 12 comments

"Be brave but never take chances"

Jackson Lears is interviewd by Public Books on The Confidence Economy
Absolutely, the confidence games take the form of their setting. In capitalist settings, it’s multivalent. Not only does one need confidence to trust the merchant who’s selling you an item, but the merchant needs confidence to start his own business, he needs it to invest, and the market needs it to be propelled forward. Of course we’re sitting here talking about this in the shadow of the banking crisis and recession! The cultural feature we’re talking about may be common to human interaction, no matter the specific setting, but those specific settings—a Mississippi River steamboat in the the mid-nineteenth century, or Catholic Italy a half millennium before—give form to its expression.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:26 AM PST - 3 comments

What Happened to the ‘Future Leaders’ of the 1990s?

In its December 5, 1994 issue, Time Magazine picked 50 people who would be leaders in the future. They decided to revisit what happened to each person on the 20th anniversary of their predictions.
posted by reenum at 9:44 AM PST - 26 comments

The most bombastic Christmas No 1 since Mr Blobby?

Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars's 'Uptown Funk' takes over the UK. "Uptown Funk apparently took seven months to write and 82 takes before they hit pop gold. At one point Ronson – overwhelmed with anxiety – vomited."
posted by colie at 9:11 AM PST - 40 comments

The Hobbit: How the 'clomping foot of nerdism' destroyed Tolkien's dream

It's one of the great literary tragedies of our age that Lord of the Rings, not its sprightlier prequel, served as the blueprint for modern fantasy. Returning to The Hobbit is like visiting a lost world, one which 20th century fantasy left behind. It’s almost surprising in how much fun it is compared to the exhausting trudges that followed. So with the third and final Hobbit film now upon us, it’s worth asking: why was it Lord of the Rings, not this sprightlier prequel, which served as the blueprint for modern high fantasy?
posted by standardasparagus at 9:07 AM PST - 177 comments

1. Regis

"How do Letterman’s writers start a list, and how do they end one? What kind of jokes work best in the Top Ten format? What kind of jokes don’t work at all? Which political figures have found their way onto the list most often? And what’s with all the Regis references? To answer these questions, I performed a statistical analysis of every Top Ten List ever read on the air by Letterman."
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 8:22 AM PST - 34 comments

Nothing new under the sun

So how did medieval readers locate books, especially when they owned a lot of them? The answer lies in a neat trick that resembles our modern GPS : a book was tagged with a unique identifier (a shelfmark) that was entered into a searchable database (a library catalogue), which could subsequently be consulted with a handheld device (a portable version of the catalogue). Here is how to plot the route to a specific book in the medieval library.
[more inside]
posted by infini at 8:18 AM PST - 18 comments

"Did you know that the champagne coupe is modeled after..."

"Myth Busts: The Enduring Legacy of Breast-Shaped Glassware" On champagne, breast milk, and the enduring fascination with some women's bodies.
posted by apricot at 7:23 AM PST - 16 comments

"East bound and down, loaded up and truckin'..."

Have you ever wanted to quit your job and head out on the open road? Perhaps long distance trucking might suit you? Yes? No? No worries. We can go on a trip right here and see what the life of a long distance trucker is really like. Being an over-the-road driver has the reputation of being tough and hazardous. Why do they do it? Schneider National 11 Western Regional. Cincinnati, OH to Toledo, OH. Jeffersonville, IN to East Chicago, IN. What truck driving is all about. A Truckers View. An Office With a View. The long haul - OTR truck driving. This trip will be North American-centric, because it's what I'm familiar with. So with that proviso in mind, let's ride. We've got a long way to go and a short time to get there. [more inside]
posted by cwest at 5:00 AM PST - 43 comments

It's A Licensed Character Christmas

For use spreading misery and pain during this holiday season, have a heaping shovelful of bad bad 80s Chrismas cartoon specials. Hail Grinch!
He-Man & She-Ra's Christmas Special (YouTube 44m)
Christmas Comes To Pac-Land (Dailymotion 23m)
The Wacky 12 Days of Christmas (YouTube 24m) (with Phil Hartman)
And the one that inspired this post, the amazing Deck the Halls with Wacky Walls (YouTube 23m) That is to say, the Wacky Wallwalker Christmas Special. Written by Mark Evanier!
After the break... TWENTY-ONE MORE OF THESE THINGS. You're welcome! [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 4:39 AM PST - 60 comments

The Fall of THQ

At its peak in 2007, the company owned more than 15 game studios, most of which were part of the well-oiled licensed games machine. It had $500 million cash in the bank and revenue exceeding a billion dollars. It was printing cash. By 2013, its shares had plummeted to 11 cents each.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 4:20 AM PST - 25 comments

December 12

Triumphantly Superfluous

Ever Say Never Again: On the History and Future of James Bond , by Brian Philiips [previously]
posted by beijingbrown at 9:57 PM PST - 33 comments

Radio Soulwax: The Final Mix and its Twenty-Three Predecessors

Seven months ago Steven and David Dewaele, better known as Belgian electronic duo and mashup kings Soulwax / 2manyDJs, put the finishing touches on their "Radio Soulwax" Project. In addition to being the band's nom-de-tour, RS has existed for the past several years as a series of mixes-and-music-videos. For this last hurrah, the Dewaeles released a video for the complete 2002 album that made them famous, As Heard On Radio Soulwax, Part Two. The film GIF- and Terry Gilliam-ifies hundreds of album covers, and can be seen here [NSFW in spots]. Inside, find a complete list of the RS mixes with the band's comments on each one. [more inside]
posted by Going To Maine at 9:34 PM PST - 4 comments

He loves Christmas songs and smells.

Unveiling the Birdbox Christmas card. [slyt]
posted by Glinn at 7:47 PM PST - 13 comments

Sprouting feathers and lost teeth

"A remarkable international effort to map out the avian tree of life has revealed how birds evolved after the mass extinction that wiped out the dinosaurs into more than 10,000 species alive today. More than 200 scientists in 20 countries joined forces to create the evolutionary tree, which reveals how birds gained their colourful feathers, lost their teeth, and learned to sing songs." Via iO9.
posted by brundlefly at 5:11 PM PST - 29 comments

Catan Junior

Wil Wheaton has a Youtube channel called "Tabletop" where he posts videos of himself with three guests playing various board games. Originally he thought the audience was going to be exclusively adults, but it turned out that a lot of people were watching the show with their kids. So in this week's episode, the game is Catan Junior, a cut-down version of Settlers of Catan intended for kids, and Wheaton's three guests are all 9 years old. Please enjoy Catan Junior.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 4:35 PM PST - 40 comments

Secretary of the Nerds

Ashton B. Carter, President Obama's new nominee for secretary of defence has the kind of epic nerd biography that makes you look twice:

"At Yale I ended up pursuing two entirely different majors – physics and medieval history. There was no relationship between them in my mind except that both fascinated me. I liked dusty archives, learning to decipher manuscripts in medieval script, and learning all the languages necessary to read the primary and secondary historical literature, especially Latin. I wrote a senior thesis on the use of Latin by contemporary monastic writers to describe the vibrant world of 12th century Flanders in which they lived. I also enjoyed English legal history and the foundations of the Common Law as established in the 11th through 13th centuries. I also did a lot of work on the hagiography of Saint Denis, patron saint of the French monarchy during its formative period in the 9th century. [more inside]
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 4:04 PM PST - 35 comments

Grim Never Sleeps

The Grim Sleeper is the name given to a serial killer by the reporter who exposed his existence in 2008. He stalked South Central Los Angeles for 25 years. A new documentary questions the complacency of the police who knew there was a serial killer but didn't warn the community. [more inside]
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 3:21 PM PST - 7 comments

Starman

Seeing ‘the Man Who Fell To Earth’ Was One Of The Greatest Experiences Of Philip K. Dick’s Life - The time PKD got really into David Bowie.
posted by Artw at 2:36 PM PST - 23 comments

I paint both invasive species and native wild plants

Weeds:
This is a series of paintings of weeds, some of them on-site animations, created as a tribute to the resilience of all those beings who no one made room for, were not part of the plan, and yet keep coming back, pushing through and rising up.
A project by Mona Caron
posted by frimble at 2:12 PM PST - 5 comments

Why "Marsala"? Because we thought it sounded better than "Scab".

Pantone has announced that 18-1438 aka Marsala, is the color of the year for 2015. Here's how they decided, although not everyone approves. Fast Company offers some alternate names.

Pantone Color of the year, previously – 2014: Radiant Orchid, Pantone Color Forecasting
posted by Room 641-A at 1:59 PM PST - 55 comments

A Single Conversation

Doorstep visits change attitudes on gay marriage. 'A single conversation with a gay or lesbian door-to-door canvasser had the ability to change attitudes on same-sex marriage in neighborhoods that overwhelmingly opposed such unions, according to new research. In a study conducted in Los Angeles County and published Thursday in the journal Science, researchers found that when openly gay canvassers lobbied a household resident about same-sex marriage, the resident was more likely to form a lasting and favorable opinion of gay marriage than if the canvasser was heterosexual.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 1:47 PM PST - 18 comments

How Fun Works (3rd edition, revised)

Noted boardgaming blog Shut Up & Sit Down (previously) has been publishing its "Top 25 Games Ever!" all week long. Now that the series is complete, let the arguing begin: 25-21, 20-16, 15-11, 10-6, 5-1.
posted by jbickers at 1:45 PM PST - 35 comments

I wasn’t sure if getting laid was worth losing some dignity.

I'm trans and on Tinder, but I am not a fetish for your sexual bucket list [more inside]
posted by and they trembled before her fury at 11:25 AM PST - 87 comments

Songs We Love

NPR Music has put together a massive playlist of their best of 2014, Songs We Love.

That link above launches the groovy in-browser app, which lets you listen on shuffle, choose a genre, and gives you artist info, as well as other functionality. You can view the entire list here if you are more eye-curious than ear-curious.
posted by hippybear at 10:44 AM PST - 40 comments

sucking the wheel

The excellent Copenhagenize blog presents a short glossary of idioms, in Danish and a few other languages, that are semantically derived from cycling terminology.
posted by threeants at 10:35 AM PST - 11 comments

The Place for Royalty and The Right Sort of Young

When Mark Birley died at the age of 77 he left behind a legacy of London nightclubs for the aristocratic set ...and a highly contested $200 million dollar estate with last second will changes, phony ex-girlfriends, and feuding children. Maureen Orth explores the family life of the nightlife king.
posted by The Whelk at 10:29 AM PST - 10 comments

The Lurker

How A Virus Hid In Our Genome For Six Million Years. Carl Zimmer writes for Phenomena [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:08 AM PST - 14 comments

linking those behind bars to the outside world

The act of pen-palling mirrors the mindset shift that will be necessary to rethink how our society "does justice" on a much larger scale. My conversations, correspondences, and relationships with prison-torn families have taught me that separation breeds more separation, that the coldness and isolation of prison breed the coldness and isolation of violence. And I think about how the one-on-one relationship, in which the prisoner emerges as a person (with thoughts, a personality, a history, hopes, dreams, nightmares), might serve as a model for the beginnings of a person-based, connection-based justice system.
The Radical Power of a Prison Pen Pal, a longform essay by Maya Schenwar, Editor-in-Chief of Truthout and author of Locked Down, Locked Out: Why Prison Doesn't Work and How We Can Do Better. [more inside]
posted by divined by radio at 10:01 AM PST - 4 comments

"Reject – More holes than my grandad’s string vest!"

Shit My Reviewers Say (SLTumblr)
posted by capricorn at 9:50 AM PST - 20 comments

Nele would probably settle for some subscribers

Ever think you can dance when you get drunk? Regret your evening of drinking? Feel your talents were underappreciated by romantic interests? Wish to make soup from said romantic interest's current flame? Made peace with yourself just in time for love to flower? Decide to keep looking even when things were pretty good? And all that in just one album? You probably need a holiday, too.
posted by pulposus at 9:43 AM PST - 2 comments

Toronto: A City of Permanent Renters Unless You're Really Lucky

“It’s all we think about every day — that if we had just bought a house back when we first started looking, we would have overpaid, but at least we would have been in a house." [more inside]
posted by Kitteh at 9:18 AM PST - 129 comments

Just staaaaaaahp!

39 Renaissance Babies Who Can't Even (NSFW), lovingly curated from Ugly Renaissance Babies (maybe also NSFW). (Previously)
posted by SkylitDrawl at 8:50 AM PST - 24 comments

Lennon Lacy

The FBI announced today that they will open an investigation into the death of 17 year old Lennon Lacy. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:36 AM PST - 39 comments

Joyeaux Noel, Y'all

Via fivethirtyeight.com, the explanation for why I can't go 24 hours without hearing 'Feliz Navidad' between Thanksgiving and New Year's. Goddamnit.
posted by Ipsifendus at 8:21 AM PST - 91 comments

“We all feel sad, Big Bird”

To usher in the discussion of Mr. Hooper’s death, Big Bird gives out pictures that he’s drawn (done by Spinney himself) to his friends on the block. Big Bird already knows about Mr. Hooper’s death but he does not understand that death is for forever. “Big Bird, don’t you remember, we told you. Mr. Hooper died. He is dead,” Maria says. “Oh, yeah. I remember. Well, I’ll give it to him when he comes back,” Big Bird replies. There’s no philosophical explanation from the other characters as to why Mr. Hooper won’t return, no afterlife, no complications of spirituality. He’s just dead. It’s blunt, but it’s true.
That time on Sesame Street when they taught Big Bird about death.
posted by MartinWisse at 8:01 AM PST - 53 comments

Bitcoin Bowl Brings Virtual Currency to St. Pete

The first Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl will be played on December 26 at Tropicana Field between N.C. State and UCF. The bitcoin processor BitPay bought the naming rights, paying for the deal in the virtual currency, and the event has grown beyond the game. A nearby town in a "Bitcoin Beach" initiative convinced 65 percent of its businesses to accept the currency, touting no transacation fees or chargebacks as incentive. Five bitcoin ATMs will be installed at the game and concessions will take it as payment. A sign that this isn't all bitvana, from the Tampa Tribune: "A downside to the coin is that its value fluctuates. But BitPay has offered area merchants the opportunity to accept it from customers and then receive the exact dollar amount of the transaction back into their bank accounts."
posted by rcade at 6:57 AM PST - 61 comments

Mother of the Sea

Every year in Uto, a remote town at the Southern tip of Japan, a festival is held to celebrate a woman known locally as the Mother of the Sea. Dr Kathleen Mary Drew-Baker died without knowing her research would save the Japanese seaweed industry and lead to a world multi-billion dollar obsession with sushi. The story of nori in Japan.
posted by infini at 5:16 AM PST - 20 comments

Beautiful Forest

Bangladesh is struggling to clean up an oil spill that threatens environmental damage in the Sundarbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest and home to rare Bengal tigers and river dolphins. [more inside]
posted by Ziggy500 at 4:50 AM PST - 8 comments

Teeth like swords, claws like spears

Stephen Colbert interviews Smaug. Literally. [SLYT]
posted by Pyrogenesis at 2:46 AM PST - 56 comments

December 11

Greenpeace Apologizes for Nazca Lines Stunt

"The Nazca Lines are a set of giant images of plants and animals, such as a monkey, a spider and a hummingbird, excavated in the soil some 1,500 years ago. " This week, as a message to the climate change summit it Lima, Greenpeace activists entered a restricted area near one of the sets of lines and placed a message in the sand: TIME FOR CHANGE: THE FUTURE IS RENEWABLE Of course, the problem is that the lines are located in a fragile desert. "You walk there and the footprint is going to last hundreds or thousands of years," said Deputy Culture Minister Luis Castillo. Peru is attempting to bar the activists involved in the Greenpeace stunt from leaving the country while asking prosecuters to file charges against them for "attacking archelogical monuments". [more inside]
posted by theweasel at 10:37 PM PST - 154 comments

It's a Long Way Down, Baby.

The Descent of the Barnacle Goose, a gosling makes a long freefall and bouncy trip down a cliff-face to leave the nest. It is all sorts of wrong, and unexpectedly cute. [via]
posted by quin at 9:20 PM PST - 31 comments

We are not animals, are we?

Where do you stand on the use of the Oxford comma? Celebrities respond.
posted by blue_beetle at 9:12 PM PST - 142 comments

hmmm​mmmmm​mmmmmmmmmmmmm

The Hum can only be heard by 2% of the population. It has been called a conspiracy theory, but scientists have identified "Vibroacoustic Disease" which causes depression, lesions, and strokes. The Hum has been documented extensively in Taos, Kokomo, and Windsor, Canada. There is even a worldwide Hum map, and you can update their database if you are hearing it. But what is causing the hum, and does it really exist? [more inside]
posted by geryon at 8:51 PM PST - 69 comments

To me, my cosplay!

This drawing of the Silver Surfer isn't really a drawing at all- it's a photo of an incredible bodypaint job based on a classic comic cover by Hollywood makeup artist Cris Alex.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:30 PM PST - 21 comments

Find eyes within, look for the door into the unknown country

The life of Pamela Coleman Smith: actor, illustrator, set designer, hermetic occultist, possibly-queer black woman, synesthete, suffragist, and unsung designer of the famous Rider-Waite tarot deck. [more inside]
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:22 PM PST - 13 comments

Of Balls and Short Australian Men: A Nuanced Guide to AC/DC

"For the uninitiated, I have set about distinguishing AC/DC albums. My hope is that you'll never hear these same-sounding records the same way again."
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 7:15 PM PST - 64 comments

What's In Your Bag?

Do you know your purse history? Would you like to visit a museum of purses? Did you know the world's largest handbag was sewn by a group called The Pickles? Do you have $200,000 for the world's most expensive handbag? Maybe your purse doesn't contain what's in Qyeen Elizabeth's handbag, but that doesn't mean it can't contain the world's largest wallet. If you do love handbags and purses, maybe just take a trip through a set of lovely examples of the craft.
posted by xingcat at 6:50 PM PST - 12 comments

Digital Cookies

Back in 2006, 235w103 asked "...is there some sort of online thing where it'll find me a girl-scout to purchase from? Because I don't know any". There is now. Starting December 12, customers can order cookies from scouts online; and have the boxes shipped directly to their homes. There is also a new app that will point you to booth sales in your area.
posted by unliteral at 6:45 PM PST - 26 comments

Worse than a Defeat

The British army is back in Warminster and its other bases around the country. Its eight-year venture in southern Afghanistan is over. The extent of the military and political catastrophe it represents is hard to overstate. It was doomed to fail before it began, and fail it did, at a terrible cost in lives and money. How bad was it? In a way it was worse than a defeat, because to be defeated, an army and its masters must understand the nature of the conflict they are fighting. Britain never did understand, and now we would rather not think about it. (SLLRB)
posted by Jakey at 2:35 PM PST - 47 comments

Coco Chan, the corn eating golden retriever from Japan, has died.

COCO: February 17, 2003 - September 11, 2014. Coco's happy life was well documented by her owners, who lovingly recorded their beloved pet in over a hundred videos on her YouTube channel. She can be seen as a puppy in a fuzzy white cape, learning basic commands. As she grew older, she ate tons of fruit and vegetables, and became famous for eating corn on the cob adorably and efficiently. She patiently watches as her owner mashes potatoes and sculpts them into a mini sculpture of a Golden Retriever. She finishes off half a melon and at the end of this video, beautifully models two versions of melon rind hats. She jumps for noodles in this overhead perspective slow motion video entitled A dog such as the Jaws. Coco gets a good brushing before being transformed into GOLDEN LION, and she sweetly wears a tiara of flowers in DANDELION DOG. Dog Pez begins as an unpacking video of an interesting toy and then displays the owner's developing mastery of shooting treats at his dog and her obliging retrieval of them, finally catching one treat shot out of the dispenser directly into her mouth. She lies calmly and patiently as COCO's claw has increased. And she performs adorably again, although not completely accurately, in this shell game called Which one? The darling Coco touched the hearts of many internet viewers and she will be greatly missed.
posted by danabanana at 2:34 PM PST - 11 comments

Suing A Goodfriend in Budapest

The Head of the Hungarian Tax authority, Ildiko Vida, is suing the Charge d’Affaires at the United States embassy in Budapest, M. André Goodfriend, for defamation after it emerged that Ms Vida was one of six Hungarian officials banned from entering the United States over alleged corruption. This followed the Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, saying that Ms Vida sould be relieved of her role if she did not undertake legal proceedings. US-Hungary relations have been strained for some time over the banning and were recently exacerbated by Senator John McCain's description of Hungary as "a nation that’s on the verge of ceding its sovereignty to a neo-fascist dictator". While Budapest awaits the arrival of the recently confirmed US Ambassador, Colleen Bell,(former producer of the The Bold and the Beautiful and fund raiser for President Obama) FIDESZ's popularity has fallen dramatically in recent months. A large protest march is planned (link in Hungarian) for this Sunday. . This follows large scale protests in October when the Hungarian government announced an Internet tax.
posted by vac2003 at 2:28 PM PST - 17 comments

For you little gardener and lover of trees

It's wintertime in the northern hemisphere, and the seasonal chill is taking hold. With the year's harvests complete and the earth freezing or frozen, now is the perfect time to plan next year's garden. [more inside]
posted by cellar door at 1:07 PM PST - 13 comments

Hanukkah balls

10 Funniest Workplace Holiday Disasters. (2013)(2012)
posted by stoneweaver at 12:23 PM PST - 85 comments

Hennessy Youngman/Art Thoughtz

It's been over two years since Hennessy Youngman's made an Art Thoughtz video, but that doesn't change the relevance of what he's posted and the deeper meaning behind them all. (NSFW SLYT) [more inside]
posted by ourt at 12:16 PM PST - 12 comments

"Abandon. Cultural immunity. I had a self."

"Rap music wasn’t just the black CNN: it was the black Psychic Friends Network. In fact, the history of rap music could be viewed as a litany of complaints about the police that seems to have predicted this current state of unrest."
A pair of articles: one tracing the evolution of rap's relationship with police, from Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five and Public Enemy, to Lil' Wayne and Run The Jewels (previously) and a more personal look at how RUN-DMC and Parliament allowed a writer to embrace his African-American heritage. [more inside]
posted by raihan_ at 12:15 PM PST - 19 comments

Play Your Ukulele

Do you play the ukulele? Do you like strum-alongs? Ukulele Play Along is there! The site offers YouTube videos of songs synced with displays of their chords and lyrics, and fretboard displays for each song that comes up, in the three most common ukulele tunings (C6, D6, G6). (Hat tip: Molly Lewis, who has also made the world's shortest ukulele tutorial.) [more inside]
posted by Shmuel510 at 12:07 PM PST - 23 comments

Gotham Central

Ed Brubaker looking back on writing Batman, Catwoman and Gotham Central - an epic three part interview from Comics Alliance: 1, 2, 3

A previous interview with fellow Gotham Central writer Greg Rucka: 1, 2 3
posted by Artw at 11:19 AM PST - 23 comments

Beauty is cheap if you point a camera at a grand phenomenon of nature

The world's most expensive photograph sold for $6.5 million. But is it art?
posted by monospace at 10:54 AM PST - 133 comments

Elevenses

People are obsessed with top tens. But what about things that are ALMOST as good but as-yet undiscovered due to their not-quite-top-ten-ness? What about ... Eleven? [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:53 AM PST - 41 comments

Women don’t just have a voice, they are forcing institutions to listen.

Top Feminist Hashtags of 2014, and the accompanying infographic; Time Magazine's overview of Feminism on social media (trigger warning for domestic abuse). An alternative view: The trouble with Twitter Feminism. Bonus link: Wikipedia entry on Networked Feminism and examples.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 10:12 AM PST - 25 comments

ADVENTURE: I absolutely loathe adventurers

Werner Herzog Inspirational Posters [SLTumblr] (brief but perfect)
posted by Going To Maine at 9:45 AM PST - 30 comments

Sam Cooke

50 years ago today, on December 11, 1964, Sam Cooke died at the age of 33. [more inside]
posted by John Cohen at 9:37 AM PST - 24 comments

Do you have any idea how many phone calls we'll get?

Seasoned news photographer John Harte is telling stories, naming names, and even sharing unpublished pictures from his 28-year stint at The Bakersfield Californian at a new blog, You can't have my job, but I'll tell you a story: My three decades of photojournalism in one hell of a news town. Be warned that some of these photos may be disturbing. (They include images of dead children — notably the famous, award-winning, and highly controversial Hart Park drowning photo, which generated 500 calls of protest and a bomb threat against the newspaper.) Less-upsetting highlights include the stories in these individual entries: Meet the sheriff! My first arrest, We can't upset our readers!, and The greatest sports photo in history.
posted by Mothlight at 8:58 AM PST - 25 comments

it's like waking up to the same nightmare every single day

what it's like to be a 58-year-old virgin [more inside]
posted by and they trembled before her fury at 8:49 AM PST - 44 comments

Brothas and sistas, there's an App for THAT

Worried about being pulled over for Driving while black? No worries, there's an App for that coming, checkout the official site with video demo.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:37 AM PST - 13 comments

Coke and Peanuts

This treasured custom is, to us Southerners born before LBJ took office, what the tea ceremony is to the Japanese. Carol Penn-Romine pens an ode to a very Southern culinary peculiarity.
posted by Kitteh at 8:34 AM PST - 58 comments

The viewer is hit with a ten-thousand-ton wave of sheer joy.

We Never Have to Be Alone is a blog post by Will Sheff of the band Okkervil River about Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show: Live, a 10-dollar import DVD of a live-for-German-TV performance sometime in 1974. [more inside]
posted by ND¢ at 8:33 AM PST - 17 comments

The Comic-Book Guys Quivering in Fear of Cosplay

Noah Berlatsky in The Atlantic discusses how the backlash against cosplay in the comic book community is an illustration of the community's struggles with the gendering of their fandom. [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 7:32 AM PST - 116 comments

This is Rita, your new landlord

One Year Lease is an 11 minute film that was featured at the Tribeca Film Festival documenting almost entirely through voice mail messages, One Year Lease documents the travails of Brian, Thomas, and Casper as they endure a year-long sentence with Rita, the cat-loving landlady. "
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:30 AM PST - 9 comments

You never knew you needed it, until now.

Stephen Colbert, dressed as Legolas. (note: animated GIFs)
posted by tocts at 7:30 AM PST - 26 comments

The Caterpillar Defense

"Let’s say you’re a baby bird. You can’t fly. You can only wait for your parents to bring you food. You are, in other words, easy pickings. So what might you do to avoid getting snatched up by a predator? If you’re a cinereous mourner, ... you grow brilliant orange plumage. You make yourself absurdly easy to see."
posted by dhruva at 7:08 AM PST - 17 comments

"Just a Fairy Tale"

"The engineers weren’t all boys with crewcuts, short sleeve oxford shirts, and narrow black ties. That’s just a fairy tale they told for a while." A short Medium post about a great picture of Margaret Hamilton, lead software engineer in the Apollo Program, standing next to a taller-than-her stack of her code. [more inside]
posted by seyirci at 6:52 AM PST - 31 comments

"...like taking a Polaroid but on glass."

Photographer Jonathan Keys is taking a step back from modern techniques and using a Collodion camera (previously) that dates back to the 1880's and uses a wet plate process. Here's his Flickr gallery.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 6:34 AM PST - 5 comments

Let it snow P3s

All snowflakes are special, but they are classified into just 8 general, 29 intermediate and 121 elementary categories.
posted by hat_eater at 6:28 AM PST - 9 comments

Speech Synthesis Choir

Speech Synthesis Choir.
posted by ClanvidHorse at 5:28 AM PST - 13 comments

December 10

When I get to the bottom I go back to the top

Balls on an escalator
posted by frimble at 11:34 PM PST - 61 comments

The River of Money

MapLight is a database that "looks at big industries and big interests, their elected beneficiaries and their votes." They also run Voter's Edge for personalized election information. Check out the contributions by vote on Net Neutrality and the Keystone XL pipeline. Maplight also contributes to the national law review. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:40 PM PST - 2 comments

I am a big bright shining star.

Livin’ Thing: An Oral History of ‘Boogie Nights’
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 8:19 PM PST - 16 comments

Paging through history

Parchment as a reservoir of ancient DNA for next generation sequencing
posted by Confess, Fletch at 8:14 PM PST - 9 comments

"The masturbatory call is a wank I have no time for"

The upside of the recent Sony hack is that we get to learn about how the Steve Jobs movie isn't getting made 1 ("You better shut Angie down before she makes it very hard for David (Fincher) to do Jobs"), how Kevin Hart would like to be paid extra for his social media savvy ("I'm not saying he's a whore, but he's a whore.") [more inside]
posted by FreezBoy at 7:33 PM PST - 184 comments

Stormageddon 2014: The Reckoning

Drought-stricken California is bracing for the strongest storm it has experienced in five years, with school districts preemptively canceling Thursday classes. The storm is the result of an "atmospheric river," a weather phenomenon that has only recently been identified/defined, but which is now suspected of being the cause of other major historical weather events.
posted by mudpuppie at 6:58 PM PST - 229 comments

Consumer culture, sort of

PES makes an unconventional submarine sandwich.
posted by gilrain at 5:24 PM PST - 14 comments

England, England

BBC Land "Popular BBC shows such as Doctor Who, Sherlock and Top Gear could be turned into theme-park attractions as part of a development deal involving the Hollywood studio behind Mission Impossible and Star Trek." [more inside]
posted by betweenthebars at 4:41 PM PST - 109 comments

"Run, runner!"

The movie Logan's Run is available in its entirety on Dailymotion. First half. Second half. Also available are all 14 episodes of the TV show Logan's Run. Logan's Run pilot Part 1 and Part 2. Episode 2 The Collectors. Episode 3 Capture. Episode 4 The Innocent. Episode 5 Man Out of Time. Episode 6 Half Life. Episode 7 The Crypt. Episode 8 Fear Factor. Episode 9 The Judas Goat. Episode 10 Futurepast. Episode 11 Carousel. Episode 12 Night Visitors. Episode 13 Turnabout. Episode 14 Stargate. [more inside]
posted by cwest at 2:46 PM PST - 75 comments

One step closer to Ng's "wheelchair" from Snow Crash

The Ripchair 3.0; a powerful vehicle which provides extreme mobility and utility to the wheelchair bound.
posted by quin at 2:40 PM PST - 21 comments

I am be angerous now

Children of Batman - BATFACE (SLYT) NSFW
posted by Michele in California at 2:38 PM PST - 4 comments

It's as if he were the wind or weather itself.

Vyacheslav Korotki is a man of extreme solitude. He is a trained polyarnik, a specialist in the polar north, a meteorologist.
posted by ChuraChura at 2:34 PM PST - 7 comments

Just the Dogs

New York vs. Los Angeles. As the two American population and media centers on opposing coasts, New York City and Los Angeles are prone to endless imperfect comparison. [more inside]
posted by lola at 2:06 PM PST - 36 comments

Nine Kisses

The New York Times celebrates the movie kiss, in nine short films.
posted by Diablevert at 2:02 PM PST - 6 comments

Lighthouses are more helpful than churches, to misquote Ben Franklin

Do you like lighthouses? They're pretty cool, aren't they? They can be short or tall, urban or rural. They come in a variety of styles and conditions. [more inside]
posted by suelac at 1:34 PM PST - 18 comments

"I was totally detached. I was outside myself."

The Babies in the Freezer
Women who kill their newborns usually claim to have been in denial about their pregnancies. Can you carry a child to term without realizing it? And if you do, how responsible are you for your actions?
posted by andoatnp at 1:30 PM PST - 61 comments

Eat the Pear!

The problem with the pear is the same problem that afflicts the apricot and the cantaloupe. When ripe, and fresh, and of good quality, it is spectacular, but it is a low-percentage fruit, its ripeness difficult to divine and often misjudged. I would wager there are literally millions of pear-eaters who have never had a good pear.
posted by almostmanda at 12:31 PM PST - 72 comments

Ludum Dare: exciting tiny games, made fast

Ludum Dare is a 48-hour game design contest run several times a year, with each contest having its own theme. There are often thousands of participants, and the winners are almost always worth a couple minutes of your time. Many have turned into "real" games. The current theme is "The Entire Game in One Screen" and one of the entries will make your head explode. Inside, the playable winners of the last dozen or so contests.... [more inside]
posted by blahblahblah at 12:15 PM PST - 15 comments

Electric Literature's 25 Best Novels of 2014

"Year-end lists are always subjective and incomplete, but they are especially tricky for books. A dedicated film critic can watch every wide release film and a theater critic can go to most every play, but the book critic is faced with an insurmountable mountain of books each year. The sheer number of books is inspiring as a reader, but it can make 'best of' lists laughably subjective when the critic has only read a fraction of the hundreds of thousands of novels published each year. With that in mind, I decided to crowd source Electric Literature’s year-end lists. First up: novels."
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 9:55 AM PST - 31 comments

My name is Cybele May and I love candy.

Candy Blog. Mentioned in passing in a couple previous FPPs, this incredibly in-depth and long-running site deserves a closer look. Candy obsessive Cybele May has ranked thousands of candies since 2005 on a ten-point scale from 'superb' to 'inedible'; taken an in-depth look at candy purveyors from from Just Born to Trader Joe's to See's; brought back news of the yearly All Candy Expo; and of course, compiled The 110 Essential Candies for Candivores. And as if all that weren't enough, there is now a podcast, Candyology, with the first three episodes devoted to Halloween candy, peanut butter candy, and chewing gum.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:38 AM PST - 38 comments

This changes everything

How to wrap Christmas (or whatever) presents in under 30 seconds. a/k/a You've Been Doing it Wrong the Whole Time (slyt)
posted by Curious Artificer at 9:33 AM PST - 121 comments

AD/BC: A Rock Opera

Just in time for Christmas, the internet has rediscovered the 1978 recording of a rock opera detailing the little-known story of the innkeeper at the nativity. You may recognize some familiar faces and voices. (slyt)
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:53 AM PST - 18 comments

On the tin

Is this band emo? A website that answers your biggest question. Try some names like Journey, Fugazi, or Fallout Boy.
posted by josher71 at 8:46 AM PST - 71 comments

Santa as you may never have seen him before

A disturbing collection of late nineteenth to early twentieth century Christmas cards. "He knows if you've been bad or good. For his part, he's been exclusively bad."
posted by orange swan at 7:59 AM PST - 30 comments

Pirates hide treasure in Swedish Mines of Moria, doesn't work.

BBC: Pirate Bay goes offline after Stockholm police raid. "Paul Pinter from Stockholm County Police, told the BBC that an investigation that had lasted 'for years' led them to the location of the servers containing material related to the The Pirate Bay. As well as servers being removed from the data centre for examination, he said several people were now being interviewed by police." [more inside]
posted by Wordshore at 7:51 AM PST - 119 comments

2014: a lot of people on the internet said a lot of things about comics

The Best Comics Commentary of 2014
posted by Artw at 7:36 AM PST - 36 comments

There Will Be Tracking Shots

Given that Paul Thomas Anderson's "Inherent Vice" opens in two days, what a great time to explore... "The Career of Paul Thomas Anderson in Five Shots"
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 6:03 AM PST - 36 comments

A Galaxy of Information

Wiki Galaxy is a Wikipedia represented as a galaxy. You can see links between articles, fly around, orbit an article and see other users zooming around whilst you do it.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 5:40 AM PST - 14 comments

Time 2014 Person of the Year

"They risked and persisted, sacrificed and saved." The Ebola Fighters are TIME Magazine's 2014 Person of the Year. [more inside]
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:56 AM PST - 65 comments

Turn Down For 2014

We're three weeks away from the end of 2014, but YouTube have put together their Rewind video for the year already: YouTube Rewind: Turn Down For 2014. [more inside]
posted by MattWPBS at 4:56 AM PST - 26 comments

Mom and me

An elderly Pennsylvania Dutch woman and her adopted daughter in the kitchen, making quesadillas and talking about life. (SLYT)
posted by Harald74 at 1:42 AM PST - 16 comments

Didn't we just do this for 2013?

It's turned December, we can no longer pretend 2014 isn't almost over and of course that means it's time for NPR's best books of 2014, which you can filter according to taste. Into science fiction & fantasy or rather realistic fiction? Wanting a long or a book or perhaps just a short, seriously great book about sex? NPR has got you covered.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:52 AM PST - 31 comments

December 9

Former Ghosts: catharsis through dark, noisy synthpop

If you enjoy dark electronic/dance-type music, and you're interested in "dry, haunted synthpop jam(s)" that "sound like what might've happened to Joy Division if Ian Curtis had bought a Casio and a four-track and fired the rest of the band," you might enjoy Former Ghosts, who consist of Freddy Ruppert (This Song Is A Mess But So Am I) with Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart, plus Nika Danilova (Zola Jesus), and Yasmine Kittles of Tearist. Former Ghosts only have two albums to their name, Fleurs (2009 - official video: Hold On; fan vid - Mother) and New Love (2010 - official videos: Taurean Nature, New Orleans). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:14 PM PST - 7 comments

Album covers with people living in hair

Album Covers Featuring Tiny People Living In The Artist's Or Cover Model's Hair.
posted by escabeche at 7:53 PM PST - 9 comments

These lights fantastic would be worth the trip!

By now, we've all seen those houses where the Christmas lights are synced to music, usually to 'Wizards In Winter' by the Trans-Siberia-Orchestra' (but not always.) Now, however, the bar has been raised considerably higher...
posted by Quasimike at 5:51 PM PST - 43 comments

Girls Fight Out

Back at the gym that first day, they were filled with the wholesome optimism with which we like to imbue athletes. This was before things fell to shit. This was before you could see how a group of women, put together in a house to be pioneers of a thing, examples, were capable of systematically destroying one another, of bringing one another to their knees, which, as it turns out, takes only six weeks. (Warning: Pictures of bloody women). Girls Fight Out.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 5:46 PM PST - 11 comments

Book-selling on Mutanabbi Street: texts from vital sidewalks

Al-Mutanabbi is an open book, bearing symbols that are deeply etched into the body of today’s Baghdad. The street has no endpoint. [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus at 5:41 PM PST - 4 comments

Marie Tharp's map

How One Woman's Discovery Shook the Foundations of Geology "She crunched and re-crunched the numbers for weeks on end, double- and triple-checking her data. As she did, she became more convinced that the impossible was true: She was looking at evidence of a rift valley, a place where magma emerged from inside the earth, forming new crust and thrusting the land apart. If her calculations were right, the geosciences would never be the same."
posted by dhruva at 5:12 PM PST - 25 comments

academic podcasts

The Backdoor Broadcasting Company is a 'mobile audio recording and webcasting service,' based in the UK. They focus on recording academic events, like David Webb – From Mathematics to Ethics in the Work of Michel Foucault, Journalism, Whistleblowing and the Security State, Sally Davies – The Drugs Don’t Work: A Global Threat and have previously been linked on MetaFilter with recordings of Slavoj Žižek. The archives are here.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:58 PM PST - 7 comments

The Death of Mid-Budget Cinema

"Something happened that nobody can make a movie between $500,000 and $80 million. That can’t be possible.”
In 2003, 455 films were released. 275 of those were independent, 180 were studio films. Last year 677 films were released. So you’re not imagining things, there are a lot of movies that open every weekend. 549 of those were independent, 128 were studio films. So, a 100% increase in independent films, and a 28% drop in studio films, and yet, ten years ago: Studio market share 69%, last year 76%. You’ve got fewer studio movies now taking up a bigger piece of the pie and you’ve got twice as many independent films scrambling for a smaller piece of the pie.
posted by octothorpe at 3:39 PM PST - 43 comments

Oh and the food? “It was delicious.”

I want my two four dollars! , or what happens when a professor (and lawyer) gets charged more than the prices quoted on a website.
posted by FreezBoy at 3:32 PM PST - 215 comments

It’s about ethics in video game parenting

What happens when a 21st-century kid plays through video game history in chronological order?
posted by nadawi at 3:20 PM PST - 41 comments

"We just made a bubble ring without the bubble!"

Crazy pool vortex! Dianna, a science outreach coordinator for UCSD, has a video demonstrating and explaining cool vortex behavior in a swimming pool. She has other videos linked from her website physicsgirl.org. (vortices, previously)
posted by rmd1023 at 1:54 PM PST - 12 comments

“Camels are extremely popular right now.”

Coyote Booms, Bear Attacks And How Climate Change Is Wreaking Havoc On The Animal Kingdom. "'The long-term drought impacts on vegetation that affect the prey of the animals that predators feed on is also a reason for encroachment,' said Crabtree. He said he thinks all large carnivores have this problem, especially the ones that depredate, or plunder — such as coyotes, bears, mountain lions and wolves. 'The drought decreases natural forage for herbivores like deer,' said Crabtree. 'There will be a relatively higher density of deer in urban areas where there are lawns.'" [more inside]
posted by quiet earth at 1:46 PM PST - 15 comments

It's the most wonderful time of the year

Drew Magary brings us this year's edition of The Hater's Guide to the Williams-Sonoma Catalog. [more inside]
posted by sparklemotion at 1:21 PM PST - 89 comments

I like soft things. I like being near water.

Four Christmases. A comic by Leslie Stein.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 1:13 PM PST - 6 comments

The world is becoming even more suburban, and better for it.

A planet of suburbs
posted by garlic at 12:40 PM PST - 36 comments

They should have sent a poet

CINEMA SPACE TRIBUTE SLVimeo - A beautiful montage of space scenes in big budget movies. Set to Hans Zimmer music (from Interstellar), with Anthony Hopkins reciting Dylan Thomas.
posted by DigDoug at 12:39 PM PST - 4 comments

Greetings from the South Pole

James O. Thach has an amazing array of life experiences, as proven through remarkable Amazon reviews. Here he is proving his conservative bona fides as he pronounces Ann Coulter's newest book "a steaming cauldron of truth"; waxing rhapsodic on cardamom, "nectar of the gods, breath of the immortals"; and researching penguins with only a Justin Bieber Singing Toothbrush for company.
posted by shivohum at 11:28 AM PST - 16 comments

Dollree Mapp, 1923-2014: "The Rosa Parks of the Fourth Amendment"

In 1961, one dogged black woman took a stand against illegal police tactics. Today the fine folks at The Marshall Project profile one very important American you probably know almost nothing about. [more inside]
posted by deludingmyself at 11:21 AM PST - 8 comments

NSFAcrophobics

Cody Townsend is ignorant of gravity or physiology. That is the only possible explanation for why he would subject his body to this insane ski run, dubbed Best Line of the year by Powder magazine. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 11:20 AM PST - 36 comments

Vaccine-Preventable Disease Outbreaks Around the World

Vaccine-Preventable Disease Outbreaks Around the World/Data Visualization. The video was based on an interactive map created by the Council on Foreign Relations. The short article linked in the video.
posted by cwest at 11:18 AM PST - 23 comments

Christmas in L.A.

Funky-ass Vulfpeck (previously, previously, previously) drops your new funky-ass Christmas jam: Christmas in L.A.
posted by wemayfreeze at 10:58 AM PST - 3 comments

Killing the Magic

When a grown woman and her seventy-something mother engage in yearly debates about the existence of Santa, I think we can agree: there’s a problem. Of course, my mother believes the problem is mine, while I tag her as the source of the annual angst. But who’s telling this story?
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 10:37 AM PST - 17 comments

There's a tear in my beer because of bad legislation in Ontario, dear

A 2000 report leaked to the Toronto Star details how the Harris government struck a sweetheart deal to ensure major brewers a stranglehold on Ontario beer retail. Long suspected but never before proven, the report details how the LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) was forced to submit to a subsidiary role in beer retail in the province; the then-LCBO head has confirmed that Harris forced the deal onto the province. Martin Cohn reports in the Toronto Star.
posted by Shepherd at 10:15 AM PST - 57 comments

CIA Torture Report Released

The Senate intelligence committee's report on CIA torture has been released. [more inside]
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 9:43 AM PST - 854 comments

The Australian answer to the latte: the flat white

“I was in London on business in the fall of 2013 when an Australian colleague brought me to a coffee place at Canary Wharf,” says Jason Fox, the global head of product, technology, and program management at Reuters News Agency. “She ordered something called a ‘flat white,’ and I had no idea what it was, but she raved about it, and I got one too. I was hooked.” ("Meet the Flat White, the Coffee Drink Taking the U.S. by Storm", Bon Appétit)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 9:24 AM PST - 144 comments

33 Million Things

Shelf Life is the first episode in a new video blog from the American Museum of Natural History, in which scientists, curators, and collection specialists take you behind-the-scenes at the Museum. Bonus interview: Atlas Obscura.
posted by carter at 8:49 AM PST - 3 comments

Ubiquitous Sandstorm

How Darude's "Sandstorm" Became the EDM Track Everyone on the Web Knows
posted by josher71 at 8:37 AM PST - 109 comments

Norway is pretty

The land of fjords, trolls and vikings is a nation of 5 million people, and snow. Photographers like it, as do jumpers and skateboarders. Norway is pretty and has a long coastline due to the lovely crinkly edges, making it nice to sail in. There are islands such as the Lofoten archipelago, long train journeys, steep train journeys, the Northern Lights, ferry journeys that last 134 hours, road tunnels, cathedrals, more Aurora Borealis, mountains, lights, some skiing, sunrises and sunsets, cosy hotels, long walks and whales. And the Aurora. Their tourist board has an unfair advantage. Camping is nice, either with other people or on your own. Svalbard is quite north. Did we mention the scenery and Aurora?
posted by Wordshore at 7:24 AM PST - 25 comments

Ralph Baer Has Passed Away

The father of video games has passed away. Console inventor Ralph Baer is dead at 92. Wikipedia. [more inside]
posted by cjorgensen at 6:25 AM PST - 36 comments

A pod of whales on the wing (SLYT)

If the Red Arrows flew 250-ton widebody airliners instead of fast jet trainers their display might look something like this. [more inside]
posted by cstross at 6:14 AM PST - 37 comments

"I don't understand the attitude of not playing your hit, or whatever"

Bose has made a three video series in which musicians talk about making one of their signature songs:
posted by Going To Maine at 6:13 AM PST - 16 comments

Joy From The World

December is a month of darkness across the Northern Hemisphere, where 90 percent of the global population lives. We battle it with candles and song, and above all with parties and food.
posted by ellieBOA at 4:38 AM PST - 24 comments

Hullooooo, It's Scott Manley!

Space enthusiast, astrophysicist, programmer, and retired club DJ, Scott Manley, a Scotsman living in San Francisco, is one of a great number of "Let's Play" youtube video creators. Among the players of Kerbal Space Program, however, he's somewhere between rockstar and deity. Now, he is on the cusp of a new level of achievement: Faster Than Light. [more inside]
posted by Sunburnt at 12:30 AM PST - 37 comments

Still Combining Numbers On A Grid To Get Bigger Numbers, But Different

Get 10 is a new browser game from veewo, creators of 1024.
posted by Rinku at 12:12 AM PST - 31 comments

December 8

No Gloves, No Rounds, Plenty of Blood

Of all the forms of fighting known to man, one name strikes fear further into the hearts of those who hear it: Bare Knuckle. For hundreds of years, the men of Britain have rammed their unprotected fists into each others bodies to decide who was the hardest of them all. [more inside]
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 11:40 PM PST - 30 comments

The Lord of the Rings: A New English Translation.

How I Defeated the Tolkien Estate. [The Toast]
posted by fings at 7:53 PM PST - 82 comments

From symbol of black self-sufficiency to symbol of ridicule

How Watermelons Became a Racist Trope
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:12 PM PST - 42 comments

Metalfilter

On December 8, a great musical artist’s life tragically ended when he was not yet 40 years old, shot by a murderer who’s euphemistically referred to as "a crazed fan." The world lost one of the giants of heavy metal 10 years ago today. [more inside]
posted by John Cohen at 6:56 PM PST - 26 comments

"The contrast between the treatment of produce and of people is stark."

Product of Mexico: Hardship on Mexico's farms, a bounty for U.S. tables — the first in a series of four Los Angeles Times long-form stories about labor conditions discovered during an 18-month investigation of Mexican vegetable farms that supply produce to the United States. [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu at 5:45 PM PST - 38 comments

Hey! My paper got accepted by the Jour--D'oh!

ABSTRACT: The Ethernet must work. In this paper, we confirm the improvement of e-commerce. WEKAU, our new methodology for forward-error correction, is the solution to all of these challenges.

A scientific paper by Maggie Simpson and Edna Krabappel was accepted by two scientific journals. Of course, none of these fictional characters actually wrote the paper, titled "Fuzzy, Homogeneous Configurations" [PDF], Rather, it's a nonsensical text, submitted by engineer Alex Smolyanitsky in an effort to expose a pair of scientific journals — the Journal of Computational Intelligence and Electronic Systems and the comic sans-loving Aperito Journal of NanoScience Technology.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:10 PM PST - 51 comments

One flushes and bucks

Rodeo bulls, like the boys who dream of riding them, are unpredictable creatures. They can start out shy and skittish, then suddenly turn ornery. They’ll lie down in the chute one day and try to gore you the next. The most dangerous bull ever ridden, by some accounts, began as a scrawny yellow calf in 1988.
The Ride of Their Lives: Children prepare for the world’s most dangerous organized sport.
– A longform article from The New Yorker
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:00 PM PST - 7 comments

Do not send anymore cats, we have enough cats

The popular and venerable Twitter account Tweets Of Old continues its seasonal tradition of posting late 19th century /early 20th century children's letters to Santa.
posted by The Whelk at 3:30 PM PST - 59 comments

Kanye the Confident

Presenting: The Kanye West Self-Compliment Generator. Give me more Kanye-fidence. [more inside]
posted by ourt at 3:16 PM PST - 86 comments

What is the Boonsburg Egg?

From a series of secret, more secret and even more secret locations, really very secret inventor/eccentric fencing-mask-clad 'eb' presents to the world The Boonsburg Egg. A geometric device that he claims is at the heart of the Universe(yt), the Pyramids, Stonehenge and the Earth's plasma fields(yt), he's built one big enough to move a car. But how do you fund such work while getting the knowledge out? Cue William Shatner, Nancy Reagan, Werner Von Braun, and Charlton Heston... [more inside]
posted by Devonian at 3:15 PM PST - 14 comments

Stand Tall

Nico Vega is a Los Angeles-based alt rock band with 'unstoppable hooks.' [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:25 PM PST - 6 comments

Last Saturday was St. Nicholas's day. To some of us that means...

It's KRAMPUS time! Krampus's stylization changes from region to region. Some Krampuses have many horns and many have no horns (but these may just not be mature). [more inside]
posted by boilermonster at 1:14 PM PST - 10 comments

Eat your vegs

POINT: To drop a novel after a few chapters is, then, to disregard what makes it a formal work of art rather than a heap of papers that reside in a desk drawer. Today, books and authors need all the help they can get; if you care about literature as an artistic endeavor and the people who create it, then you should do so fully. If you consider yourself a literary person, you shouldn't just embrace the intellectual cachet that starting books gives you. Starting, but not finishing, books is one step above saying, "Oh yeah, I've heard of that author."

COUNTERPOINT: So if we are considering whether or not it “hurts literature” for us to finish or not finish books, we can mark this down as a “hurting literature” moment. Because if Nabokov is a super important author that we should read…I am not going to read him. Forcing myself to finish the book cost me that.
Juliet Lapidos says you should finish every book you start. Peter Damien disagrees.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:25 PM PST - 237 comments

Longreads Best of 2014

A list of every story that was chosen as No. 1 in Longreads's weekly Top 5 email. [more inside]
posted by AceRock at 12:16 PM PST - 17 comments

The Wallkill Mighty Mites

After their first home game, in which they were victorious, the ferocious Mighty Mites celebrate by running through a banner. Well, attempting to run through a banner. The Mighty Mites get a redo.
posted by cwest at 10:49 AM PST - 14 comments

LOST CAUSE: Dems, It’s Time to Dump Dixie

"With Mary Landrieu’s ignominious exit, the Democrats will have lost their last senator in the Deep South. And that’s a good thing. They should write it off—because they don’t need it." Michael Tomasky's 12.08.2014 column provoked a storm of controversy, outraging many, particularly conservative commentators. Meanwhile, white flight from southern Democrats doomed Landrieu in the Deep South, where the parties are nearly completely divided by race. 'Democrats have been worried about the African-American vote in Louisiana for months. But what really doomed Sen. Mary Landrieu's reelection bid was the near-monolithic white vote against her.' Tomasky is calling for the death of Dean's 50 state strategy. [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 9:30 AM PST - 266 comments

Parable of the Polygons

A playable blog post about triangles, squares, bias, and society from Vi Hart and Nicky Case.
posted by cthuljew at 9:13 AM PST - 22 comments

It's too early on a Monday morning for this hot math nonsense, come on

Numberphile demonstrates that the digit three is in almost all integers.
posted by boo_radley at 9:12 AM PST - 84 comments

Cooking isn't fun, but you should do it anyway.

" When the stories we tell about cooking say that it is only ever fun and rewarding—instead of copping to the fact that it can also be annoying, time consuming, and risky—we alienate the people who don’t have the luxury of choice, and we unwittingly reinforce the impression that cooking is a specialty hobby instead of a basic life skill." [more inside]
posted by Kitteh at 8:36 AM PST - 294 comments

Experience WWI, week-by-week, as it happened exactly 100 years ago.

This podcast, called "The First World War in 261 weeks," began in June and will run for five years, recounting every week's main events.

Links to the podcast:
Podbean
iTunes
Stitcher [more inside]
posted by artsandsci at 8:27 AM PST - 8 comments

anxieties about lurid voyeurism, unwholesome interest: In Cold Blood

"Much has been said about the storytelling techniques of 'Serial,' which comes out in weekly installments even as the show’s host, Sarah Koenig, reinvestigates the conviction of a Baltimore-area teenager for the murder of his ex-girlfriend. The serialized approach teases its audience with cliffhangers, prompts its listeners to construct their own theories and invites outsiders to glimpse the tricky winnowing process of reporting. But 'Serial' also testifies to how much the criminal justice system itself is founded on storytelling." (Laura Miller, Salon: The new "In Cold Blood" revisionism: Why it doesn't matter if Capote’s classic wasn't fully true) [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 7:53 AM PST - 31 comments

Decision by Moonlight

'Hilda has never learned not to play with fire,' he said sullenly as he got to his feet, spitting out rubber. 'It must end.' (via Ulli's Roy Orbison In Clingfilm Website)
posted by flabdablet at 7:29 AM PST - 17 comments

One and sadly done

12 excellent features from directors who never made another feature
posted by Artw at 7:28 AM PST - 38 comments

What are you doing here? ... Physician, heal thyself.

The first 15 mins of all the episodes of classic Doctor Who at the same time. (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:49 AM PST - 12 comments

The best new Strong Female Characters are the weak ones

The freedom to let characters expose themselves without judgment, in ways that feed a story’s drama. It’s important to remember that “Strong Female Character” doesn’t necessarily refer to someone with an impressive bench-press stat—the “strong” refers to the quality of character development and plot importance, whether a given character has an inner life of her own, and a story worth telling. By Tasha Robinson (previously).
posted by valkane at 5:20 AM PST - 17 comments

Smokescreen

How a world-famous cigarette brand got around India’s restrictions on tobacco advertising.
posted by ellieBOA at 3:42 AM PST - 18 comments

Lead a rich and messy life

Writer, comedian, and disability activist, Stella Young has died, age 32. [more inside]
posted by misfish at 2:03 AM PST - 20 comments

December 7

Why Poor People Stay Poor

Saving money costs money. Period.
posted by beukeboom at 6:41 PM PST - 179 comments

The Blue Hole in Santa Rosa, New Mexico, whose end is still unknown

If you find yourself (virtually) touring along Interstate 40 in the US, you might think it odd to find Santa Rosa, New Mexico calls itself "the City of Natural Lakes." Look around the town and you'll see a number of small lakes in a dry desert landscape (Google maps). Look more closely, and you'll see a rather small dark spot labeled "Blue Hole" (Google maps).The name or term may sound familiar, as it's a general name for an inland cave or underwater sinkhole, with other blue holes of varying scale and renown. This particular blue hole is one of three diving sites in New Mexico, which is a mere 60 feet across but 81 feet deep. What's on the bottom? The short answer is: a grate. The long answer: we're still not really sure, because the passageway beyond the grate is full of debris and large rocks.
posted by filthy light thief at 6:29 PM PST - 46 comments

Relentless Rabbit

Bunny really, really wants to be petted.
posted by The Whelk at 2:36 PM PST - 57 comments

Being out of the mainstream financial system not easy even for utopias

Communes still thrive decades after the '60s, but economy is a bummer, man Communes or intentional communities, as their proponents prefer are still going strong but even utopias are struggling to face dystopian economies previous post about international communities in general
posted by 2manyusernames at 2:07 PM PST - 35 comments

"Trash has given us an appetite for art."

Pauline Kael (1919-2001) was a remarkable movie critic, the best ever (and certainly the most perceptive and exciting).
Trash, Art and the Movies
Marlon Brando: An American Hero
Raising Kane
Final Cut: Dreams and Disaster in the Making of “Heaven’s Gate” [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:48 PM PST - 20 comments

For Lack of a Better World

Have you ever felt avenoir, the desire that memory could flow backwards? Or maybe you've worried that everything has already been done, every photograph has already been taken, every poem you can think to write already written. The word vemödalen is here for you. Or maybe you're frustrated at being stuck in one body, in one place, unable to explore more of the world. John Koenig has a word for that too: onism. [more inside]
posted by yasaman at 12:30 PM PST - 20 comments

"because stories breathe here"

Science fiction is still very new in Nigeria, but while we could barely find 10 people to contribute to the anthology in 2010, there are now hundreds of writers who will readily try their hand at the genre. Just as I did, more writers are recognising that we have a copious amount of material for speculative fiction here in Nigeria. That means we need platforms where these stories can be anchored. To help this along, Chinelo Onwualu and I present Omenana, a bimonthly speculative fiction e-publication.
The new, Nigerian speculative fiction magazine Omenana launched this month. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse at 12:16 PM PST - 7 comments

What if we could just *draw* the code?

Over the years, there have been many visual programming languages, where code is represented in images. Perhaps the most successful, with estimates of over 200,000 licenses, is the engineering and scientific language LabVIEW (an acronym for Laboratory Virtual Instrument Engineering Workbench). Originally released by National Instruments in 1986 for the Macintosh, LabVIEW features dataflow programming, real-time, embedded, FPGA, multi-platform and even LEGO targets, an LLVM compiler, automated multithreading, and the extensive ecosystem one expects from a nearly 30 year old language.

One of LabVIEW's most distinguishing features, though, is how much people hate it. [more inside]
posted by underflow at 11:39 AM PST - 74 comments

Wes Anderson at 79°S

Welcome to Union Glacier, Antarctica. "There is no great achievement or record broken, nor any real challenge to overcome. Instead [this documentary] concerns minor details; the everyday tasks of the staff that were made more special by the environment surrounding them. And in fact, I think that's what attracted me to make this film — the delightful trivialities of an average life, working in Antarctica." [Vimeo; 53 minutes; you can dip in and out of it]
posted by matthewr at 10:29 AM PST - 28 comments

"With gratitude."

M. tells her friends. Marlo, aka gendermom, over a series of blog posts, talks about her first grade daughter's decision to tell her friends that she is transgender. (Trans Youth 101)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:29 AM PST - 42 comments

Eugene V. Debts

Columbia University may become the second private university in the country with unionized graduate students. [more inside]
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 8:56 AM PST - 49 comments

Genius and Sacrifice in Early 20th Century Chemistry

"Although radiation’s connection to cancer was known and the lab’s own employees had clearly suffered, the Curies made few adjustments to protocol." The descendent of a chemist in the Curies' lab recounts her great-great aunt's discovery of francium, followed shortly thereafter by a long, painful battle with cancer due to radiation exposure. In learning more about Marguerite Perey's life and untimely death a dark question emerges that complicates the cheery family folklore about a scientific hero: why did the Curies' take so few precautions for the health and safety of those who worked in their lab?
posted by thelaze at 7:46 AM PST - 20 comments

Give me a data plate and I'll build you an airplane.

The Supermarine Spitfire is probably the most iconic of all fighter planes. Watch the re-creation of a crashed Spit left on a French beach after the battle of Dunkirk in 1940 in Guy Martin Builds a Spitfire. [1 hr 12 min YouTube]
posted by pjern at 7:29 AM PST - 24 comments

"I cannot even remember a day when I didn't want to be Peter Pan."

"One day early in 1954, Mary Martin and her husband, Richard Halliday, were driving on the Merritt Parkway, near their home in Norwalk, Connecticut. On the car radio came Frank Sinatra’s new hit, “Young at Heart.” It was perfect! That is, the song had the exact sentiment and feel they wanted for the pet project they’d long been planning, a musical version of J.M. Barrie’s 1904 play Peter Pan (original subtitle: “The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up”). Right on the spot, they decided they’d hire whoever had written the song to compose the score for their production." [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 7:10 AM PST - 10 comments

Face Control - A Moscow Travelogue

Face Control - A Moscow Travelogue [via mefi projects] Krish Raghav wrote this beautiful minicomic about his observations on a trip to Moscow: the people, the city, the history. [more inside]
posted by daisyk at 6:19 AM PST - 17 comments

OSI: The Internet That Wasn’t

What happened to the “beautiful dream”? While the Internet’s triumphant story has been well documented by its designers and the historians they have worked with, OSI has been forgotten by all but a handful of veterans of the Internet-OSI standards wars. To understand why, we need to dive into the early history of computer networking, a time when the vexing problems of digital convergence and global interconnection were very much on the minds of computer scientists, telecom engineers, policymakers, and industry executives. And to appreciate that history, you’ll have to set aside for a few minutes what you already know about the Internet. Try to imagine, if you can, that the Internet never existed.
posted by jenkinsEar at 6:12 AM PST - 59 comments

America's Worst College... Or Is It?

Jon Ronson (previously) visits Shimer College, recently named by the Washington Monthly's Ben Miller, to the chagrin of students, faculty, and even Miller himself, as the worst college in America (previously).
posted by Cash4Lead at 6:11 AM PST - 74 comments

Good restrooms, merry gentlemen!

"It all began with an idea to do something other than an old, tired, traditional card to wish our customers a happy holiday. It seemed rather fitting to do something more light-heartened and entertaining...an idea that revolved around music and holiday lighting...oh, and porta potties of course." [more inside]
posted by GrammarMoses at 5:58 AM PST - 9 comments

December 6

Did it just knock the bullet off course?

Detcord burns extremely quickly. One of the finest applications of high speed photography I've ever seen. Merry Christmas! [more inside]
posted by butterstick at 5:58 PM PST - 23 comments

Oslo gets a long winter, a decent summer, and a short spring and autumn

In years past, Eirik Solheim has been interested in capturing the passing of a year, as seen in his wooded yard in Oslo. In 2010, he set up his camera to take an image every half hour, and from that, he selected 3888 photos to serve as single pixel-wide samples in a photo collage of the year. He also selected 3500 shots for a timelapse video of the year, with and without zoom. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 4:48 PM PST - 20 comments

There are only 18 shopping days left until Christmas

And no doubt you need to find gifts for people you dislike. Ideally gifts that are plausibly considerate, thoughtful gifts but aren't. [more inside]
posted by jeather at 3:52 PM PST - 101 comments

In which Andrew WK explains exactly why love is essential

"Hey, Andrew.
I dig your music and what you stand for, but I'm kind of getting sick of all the hippy-dippy love stuff lately. Please don't take this the wrong way, I just think your whole message has kinda gotten corny. Maybe I'm out of line, but I don't see how all this cheesy lovey-dovey stuff makes sense in the real world. You're naive. Sometimes love just doesn't work. Sometimes people need to experience a bunch of bad shit in order to wake them up and see the truth. You have to admit that sometimes violence is the only way to make real change and get people's attention. Love isn't always the answer, man."
posted by hippybear at 3:28 PM PST - 84 comments

RIP, Frank and Louie

Frank and Louie, the world's oldest Janus, or two-faced cat, has passed away in Worcester, Mass at the age of 15. Since the normal lifespan for such a cat is one to three days, it is safe to say that he (they?) more than beat the odds. There's another video in the Boston Globe article.
posted by Curious Artificer at 2:44 PM PST - 32 comments

(Canine) Guardians of the Corpse Ways

Guardians of the Corpse Ways is a thorough one-stop resource for all of your canine Underworld mythological needs. Why did countless cultures associate dogs with the realm of the dead? Here's a tiny sample: "The essence of the hellhound is his intermediary position - at the border of this world and next, between life and death, hope and fear, and also (given its pairing with the dog of life) between good and evil. For this role, the dog is perfectly suited, being the domestic species par excellence, the tamed carnivore who stands midway between animal and human, savagery and civilization, nature and culture [26]. 'The growl of the hellhound is yet another expression of this liminal position, for the growl is a halfway station between articulate speech and silence. It is a speech filled with emotion and power, but utterly lacking in reason. Like death itself, the hellhound speaks, but does not listen; acts, but never reflects or reconsiders. Driven by hunger and greed, he is insatiable and his growl is eternal in duration. In the last analysis, the hellhound is the moment of death, the great crossing over, the ultimate turning point.' [27]" [more inside]
posted by quiet earth at 2:00 PM PST - 8 comments

The true history of the Paisley design

How Ambi became Paisley: "It began as a teardrop in Babylon. Where the sunlight came from Astarte, shameless goddess of the fecund feminine. The boteh. Stylized rendition of the date palm shoot, tree of life, fertility symbol. It danced through Celtic art, until the heavy feet of Roman legionaries tramped over the Alps. Then it fled the wrath of Mars and Jupiter, dove underground as Empire rose ." From Shailja Patel's Migritude. Here's a short film about the Migritude project (book on Amazon).
posted by dhruva at 1:02 PM PST - 6 comments

"Mostly dead is still slightly alive"

"Re-Do Studio is a design studio founded by two friends Gaspard Tine-Beres and Tristan Kopp. They are dedicated to investigating alternative ways of production with the aim of shortening the cycle between the final consumer and the manufacturer." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:21 PM PST - 6 comments

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

What I've Learned from Two Years Collecting Data on Police Killings. D. Brian Burghart, editor of the Reno News and Review, has spent two years compiling Fatal Encounters, a croudsourced national database of police violence and publishing stories with his findings.
posted by qi at 11:27 AM PST - 21 comments

25 Years After the Montreal Massacre

For 45 minutes on Dec. 6, 1989 an enraged gunman roamed the corridors of Montreal's École Polytechnique and killed 14 women. Marc Lepine, 25, separated the men from the women and before opening fire on the classroom of female engineering students he screamed, "I hate feminists." Almost immediately, the Montreal Massacre became a galvanizing moment in which mourning turned into outrage about all violence against women. December 6th is now commemorated in Canada as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. Twenty-five years after the Montreal Massacre, the Montreal Gazette interviews four of the survivors: Jocelyne Dallaire Légaré, Heidi Rathjen, Nathalie Provost and Michèle Thibodeau-DeGuire. [more inside]
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:11 AM PST - 33 comments

One Does Not Simply Assume Sean Bean Always Dies

Does Sean Bean really die more than other actors?
posted by Sara C. at 10:48 AM PST - 44 comments

Red Cup Nation

The student is lying on a public bench, at the end of a trail of vomit. He is unconscious; his front pocket gapes, a wallet falling partway out. An officer shakes him, and again, finally rousing him. “How much,” the officer demands, “have you had to drink?”

This week the Chronicle of Higher Education published a multi-part series about drinking at college:
A River of Booze: Inside one college town's uneasy embrace of drinking
6 Campuses and the Liquor Surrounding Them
Protecting the Party: With focus on sexual assault, students look out for one another while drinking just as much
Why Colleges Haven’t Stopped Binge Drinking: Decades of attention without much difference
On Camera, Alcohol Is Central to College Experience
4 Campuses Respond to Risky Drinking
posted by Horace Rumpole at 10:37 AM PST - 45 comments

Brave New Middle Market.

The Boy Who Grew Up by Christopher Barzak is a Peter Pan story featured in the first issue of Uncanny Magazine, a kickstarter funded SF/F magazine co-edited by Hugo Award-winner Lynne M. Thomas and Hugo Award-nominee Michael Damian Thomas. Issue One contains fiction by Kat Howard and Max Gladstone (Gladstone previously) as well as non-fiction essays including "The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Short Films On The Web".
posted by The Whelk at 10:01 AM PST - 3 comments

Dance of the Christmas Jumpers

An amateur dance group of five dads break out their Christmas sweaters and best dance moves to the beat of a remixed "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy". (SLYT)
posted by orange swan at 10:01 AM PST - 9 comments

Andy, why are you making these films? It's easier to do than painting.

The Making of an Underground Film , originally broadcast on CBS News with Walter Cronkite on New Years' Eve 1965, begins with reporter Dave Dugan saying, "Not everyone digs underground movies, but those who do can dig 'em here." in front of the Bridge Theatre in New York City's Greenwich Village. An interview with avant-garde filmmaker and exhibitor Jonas Mekas then segues into footage of the making of Dirt by filmmaker/poet Piero Heliczer, as a pre-Nico incarnation of the Velvet Underground (with both Maureen Tucker and original percussionist Angus MacLise) plays silently in costume in the background. Other highlights include interviews with Andy Warhol and Edie Sedgwick, plus the uninterrupted airing of a Stan Brakhage film in tribute to poet Michael McClure.
posted by jonp72 at 9:21 AM PST - 2 comments

Out of the Past (and Present)

Eric Rosenberg is a graphic designer that got his start twenty years ago helping to create the distinctive look of The Hudsucker Proxy. His website features some of his work over the years on films including Fight Club, The Truman Show, Almost Famous, Dreamgirls and a whole lot more.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 7:36 AM PST - 6 comments

"We are all proud to have brought Krem to life in the game"

In the investigate hub where you can ask Krem about his past in Tevinter, the first draft had him deserting after fighting off someone who discovered his secret and tried to assault him. My friends noted that this played directly into the sad “attacked trans person” cliché, and while it was plausible, it was an ugly event that could well trigger trans people who have experienced harassment in real life. The goal was for Krem to be a positive character who was living his life happily now, and I revised his departure from Tevinter accordingly.
Despite lead Dragon Age writer David Gaider being worried about opportunities to include trans characters in any but minor roles in AAA games only a year ago, Bioware did do just that with the inclusion of Cremisius “Krem” Aclassi, a trans man voiced by Jennifer Hale. In a blog post his writer, Patrick Weekes, talks about the challenges in creating his character.
posted by MartinWisse at 4:18 AM PST - 74 comments

December 5

The crash team entering the delivery room was the first sign

The specialists began to use terms such as "quality of life" to describe all the things she was likely to be without. My husband, Michael, realized it was going to be nearly impossible to pry me away from her bedside. He asked what he could bring me from home: a change of clothes, sweater, food, or something to read? I asked him to bring me anything by Anne McCaffrey.
"Changes Without Notice" is one reader's personal essay about discovering a book at just the right moment. An afterword in Dragonwriter says a little more about how things turned out. [Via and previously.]
posted by Monsieur Caution at 10:47 PM PST - 12 comments

Gritty, not glossy: 70s films

"Why were American movies so much better in the 1970s than in the decades since — and most of the decades before? Simple. Our movies then were not as inhibited by censorship (self-imposed) as they were prior to the '60s.

"And they were not as obsessed with huge box office grosses and commercial values as they became afterward — following the stunning financial success of those two '70s superhits, 'Jaws' (1975) and 'Star Wars' (1977). Instead, during most of the '60s and '70s — liberated both by the collapse of the old studio system strictures and by the greater acceptance of film as art from critics and audiences — American filmmakers of all generations, from Martin Scorsese ('Mean Streets') and Hal Ashby ('Harold and Maude') to Sidney Lumet ('Dog Day Afternoon') and Mike Nichols ('Carnal Knowledge') to Alfred Hitchcock ('Frenzy') and Billy Wilder ('Avanti'), tried things they wouldn't have dared in the decades past. More often than not, they succeeded." (Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune) [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 6:29 PM PST - 285 comments

Cat elevators

The most common form of cat elevator is a bucket or basket. A compilation of YT videos, with a twist. [more inside]
posted by automatic cabinet at 5:13 PM PST - 41 comments

Tales from Failed Anatomies

The Thing In The Pit
Drowning in Sand
Intelligences
Philosophy

The Unspeakable Oath presents audio versions of several Dennis Detwiller stories following the successfull Kickstarting of the Delta Green fiction anthology Tales from Failed Anatomies.
posted by Artw at 4:15 PM PST - 38 comments

I don't believe in evolution I believe in Jibbers Crabst

I don't believe in evolution I believe in Jibbers Crabst. Matt Inman gives the keynote address for BAHFest (previously) West, and explains why Darwin is wrong and why we are all the creation of a fire breathing lobster.
posted by ilama at 3:26 PM PST - 35 comments

Indigo Girls - Backstage At The Greek

In July 2014, Indigo Girls did a show at the Greek Theater in LA with Joan Baez. They filmed a series of videos backstage discussing their songs and their songwriting process. In Part 1, they discuss and perform Amy Ray's song Devotion. (album version, lyrics) [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 3:21 PM PST - 8 comments

I used to pedal my bike up Snake Road and trap muskrats in the salt pond

Following Hook Creek past ghost towns and discarded highways to the lost waterways of New York City. - By Nathan Kensinger
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:58 PM PST - 2 comments

Being proud of weird kids

Having parents who go the extra mile to show their support can make a big difference. German Ad Doesn't Need Words To Speak Volumes About Supporting Your Kids (Huffington Post) and original ad on Youtube, Sag es mit deinem Projekt (Hornbach). [more inside]
posted by Margalo Epps at 2:40 PM PST - 57 comments

Friday Night Music

Mr. Krugman’s musical reawakening came sometime in early 2011 when Arcade Fire won the Grammy for Album of the Year. Up until that point, as is true with many baby-boomers, he believed that “the great age of modern music ended sometime in the 70s.” Arcade Fire convinced him “that the wonder goes on.” Indeed. [more inside]
posted by jbickers at 1:32 PM PST - 46 comments

I might as well do this one too

The 2014 Grammy nominations -- save for album of the year, which will be announced tonight on a CBS "Very Grammy Christmas" special -- were announced today. Familiar names are in all the top spots, including Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Iggy Azalea and Pharrell Williams. Best new artist nominees are Azalea, Sam Smith, Haim, Bastille and Brandy Clark. [more inside]
posted by Clustercuss at 1:04 PM PST - 24 comments

Into the indestructible realm of mystery and dream

Steven Millhauser is an American Pulitzer Prize-winning fiction author known for his erudite, witty and surreal writing style that blends the magical and the real. Enjoy the full text of Eisenheim The Illusionist (pdf, 20 pages), the story that inspired the 2006 film The Illusionist. [more inside]
posted by quiet earth at 1:00 PM PST - 5 comments

How Al-qaeda is like boy scouts

"His breakthrough insight was that the best terror cells work a lot like a big nonprofit group. Like the Boy Scouts of America." From studying the scouts, he determined the best way to stop terrorists is to target their bureaucrats – not top leaders. “The reason I like the Boy Scouts,” Atkins said in an interview, “is they face a lot of the same management challenges that al-Qaeda does.” [more inside]
posted by TheLittlePrince at 12:30 PM PST - 44 comments

The Mesmerizing Architecture of Mosques

The Mesmerizing Architecture of Mosques "Iranian photographer Mohammad Reza Domiri gives us an opportunity to see the entirety of these incredible spaces all at once. His fully panoramic, expansive photographs of centuries-old mosques reveal the genius of their geometries and complexity. The effect is dizzying in a different way, like some kind of fractalized religious hallucination."
posted by dhruva at 11:59 AM PST - 15 comments

zugzwang

The Mysterious Disappearance of Peter Winston: How does one of the world’s top chess prodigies just vanish from a New York street? - by Sarah Weinman [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:45 AM PST - 15 comments

The Secret History of the Toll House Cookie

The entire creation story of the Toll House Cookie™ is full of half-truths and outright misinformation. It’s time we knew the truth about the history of chocolate chip cookies. (sl, the Toast.) [more inside]
posted by pie ninja at 11:32 AM PST - 44 comments

Veteran Art Project

The Veteran Art Project is a visual experiment by 27-year-old photographer Devin Mitchell "who is exploring a part of the veteran’s experience that is sometimes difficult to articulate." [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:29 AM PST - 2 comments

I Really Love My University, Which Is Why I'm Going on Strike

For the first time in its 39-year history, the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation of the University of Oregon is on strike, and here's why . [more inside]
posted by bassooner at 9:34 AM PST - 32 comments

Against detoxing

"it’s the marketing equivalent of drawing go-faster stripes on your car." The Guardian slams the detoxing craze. (SLG)
posted by doctornemo at 9:27 AM PST - 265 comments

That Letter Will Go On Your Permanent Record

If you ever wrote a letter to Neil Armstrong it's probably now archived at Purdue University. The first man on the moon saved over 70,000 pieces of personal correspondence, and that probably includes that letter you wrote in late July 1969 when you were in the 2nd grade.
posted by COD at 9:17 AM PST - 10 comments

The Worst Idea of All Time

Guy Montgomery and Tim Batt have a podcast. A podcast with the very appropriate title The Worst Idea of All Time. It's a bad movie review podcast, but with a horrible, hideous twist: the hosts review the same bad movie, Grown Ups 2, every week. For a year.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:47 AM PST - 41 comments

Digital Einstein

The Princeton University Press has made publicly available 5,000 documents from the Einstein Paper Project, with more volumes to come.
posted by MoonOrb at 8:42 AM PST - 2 comments

I'm going to punch Cardassia out of orbit. Hold my calls.

Shamus Young reviews Star Trek. (Almost) all of it. [more inside]
posted by lharmon at 8:19 AM PST - 32 comments

"It allows you, at any time you want, to shoot fireballs at will."

Pyro fireshooter lets you shoot fireballs from your hand. It is hard to imagine a social or work situation this would not improve, from job interviews to meetings to dates. Make sure to watch the insane (in many ways) video.
posted by blahblahblah at 6:53 AM PST - 98 comments

Everything is Problematic

2012 was the year I hit peak radicalism... [more inside]
posted by modernnomad at 6:27 AM PST - 106 comments

Gender equality in Architecture

If women built cities, what would our urban landscape look like?
In february the architectural review asked Why do women really leave Architecture?
posted by adamvasco at 6:16 AM PST - 20 comments

100 Years of Beauty in 1 Minute

A timelapse video showing ten decades of hair and makeup styles [slyt].
posted by ellieBOA at 4:26 AM PST - 25 comments

December 4

UK's Premier Foods accused over 'pay and stay' practice

Premier Foods , one of the UK's biggest manufacturers, has been asking its suppliers for payments to continue doing business with the firm.
posted by marienbad at 11:34 PM PST - 20 comments

Strange Fruit

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

Pastoral scene of the gallant South
The bulgin' eyes and the twisted mouth
Scent of magnolias sweet and fresh
Then the sudden smell of burnin' flesh

Here is a fruit for the crows to pluck
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck
For the sun to rot, for the tree to drop
Here is a strange and bitter crop
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:23 PM PST - 51 comments

i like the way / you know / that i / like / how you look

"Every Night" by Hannah Diamond is a perfect piece of 21st Century Twee. The song is the first official, find-it-in-shops single from PC Music (previously, previouslier and thoroughlier), and an ideal example of the sound. Diamond is a key member of the (small) music collective and a designer for LOGO Magazine. She has previously dropped two tracks: Attachment and Pink and Blue, and was featured featured on label founder A.G. Cook's Keri Baby ). All four songs are delicious. [more inside]
posted by Going To Maine at 9:33 PM PST - 18 comments

JokeFilter

What's the one joke you always tell when someone says "Tell me a joke." (SLReddit)
posted by storybored at 8:59 PM PST - 373 comments

Hillary, Voldemort 2016! You know it makes sense!

It is definitely not US election season, which means only one thing - Unauthorised superPAC ads for Hillary Clinton 2016!!! (Are you excited? I am excited!) Leading off this year - StandWithHillary - a SuperPAC targeting white men in rural swing states. But can it beat 2008's "as seen on metafilter" classic Hillary4U&Me [more inside]
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 6:10 PM PST - 36 comments

Useless Toilet Paper Machine

"But you can't use toilet paper if it's still attached, so I made this cutting blade here, which I securely attached..." (SLYT)
posted by rebent at 5:05 PM PST - 47 comments

The Fall of The New Republic?

Today, The New Republic's editor-in-chief Franklin Foer and literary editor (and thirty-year veteran of the magazine) Leon Wieseltier both resigned in a shake-up that also includes moving the magazine to New York from Washington and reducing its number of print issues from 20 to 10 per year. Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker reports that "the top editors are gone & mass resignations are imminent." The impetus for the resignations, according to Jonathan Chait of New York Magazine, is apparently that Chris Hughes, a Facebook co-founder who purchased the magazine in 2012 at age 28, and Guy Vidra, its new CEO, "are afflicted with the belief that they can copy the formula that transformed the Huffington Post and BuzzFeed into economic successes, which is probably wrong, and that this formula can be applied to The New Republic, which is certainly wrong." [more inside]
posted by sallybrown at 4:12 PM PST - 143 comments

Residents here decline emailed requests: Kensington Palace Gardens

"The signs on the doors are excessively polite, and use outmoded words such as 'kindly' and 'residing'. 'Kindly do not deliver items for Mr and Mrs [...] to this address as they are no longer residing here.' But it is the doorbell etiquette that is most enraging, and instructions that 'for all collections and deliveries please press the housekeeper's button only' incite a sudden surge of anarchic rage and a desire to ring all the other bells simultaneously – summoning the chef/kitchen, the residence and the caretaker." [SLTheGuardian]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 2:01 PM PST - 43 comments

Canadian government continues valiant fight in the war against science

"It’s absurd to be forced to make an argument in 2014 about why a country needs to invest in long term basic science" [more inside]
posted by randomnity at 1:47 PM PST - 48 comments

How big is space? Interactive views of the universe in varying scales

We know space is big, but trying to understand how big is tricky. Say you stare up at the sky and identify stars and constellations in a virtual planetarium, you can't quite fathom how far away all those stars are (previously, twice). Even if you could change your point of view and zoom around in space to really see 100,000 nearby stars (autoplaying ambient music, and there are actually 119,617 stars mapped in 3D space), it's still difficult to get a sense of scale. There's this static image of various items mapped on a log scale from XKCD (previously), and an interactive horizontal journey down from the sun to the heliosphere with OMG Space (previously). You can get a bit more dynamic with this interactive Scale of the Universe webpage (also available in with some variants, if you want the sequel [ previously, twice], the swirly, gravity-optional version that takes some time to load, and the wrong version [previously]), but that's just for the scale of objects, not of space itself. If you want to get spaced out, imagine if If the Moon Were Only 1 Pixel, and travel from there (previously). This past March, BBC Future put out a really big infographic, which also takes a moment to load, but then you can see all sorts of things, from the surface of Earth out to the edge of our solar system.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:35 PM PST - 31 comments

Fancy while it lasted

Cat Fancy & Dog Fancy Magazine going to the big food bowl up in the sky The print magazines will be replaced by Dogster and Catster, which until recently were only digital publications. [more inside]
posted by St. Peepsburg at 1:28 PM PST - 39 comments

Kevin, Portrait of a Serial Killer

Did Kevin from Home Alone grow up to be Jigsaw?
posted by Toubab at 12:29 PM PST - 34 comments

all women's bodies weren't created equal

this is what "One Size Fits All" actually looks like on all body types
posted by and they trembled before her fury at 11:46 AM PST - 126 comments

Irish Glass Guitars

The Dublin Guitar Quartet performs 4 Philip Glass string quartets (in their own original arrangements) at an NPR Tiny Desk Concert. [11m45s] Brilliant!
posted by hippybear at 11:30 AM PST - 18 comments

Real Valor

"Today is the best day I've had, probably, in my entire life." [more inside]
posted by CincyBlues at 10:38 AM PST - 9 comments

"Not all anxiety is created equal."

9 things I wish people understood about anxiety. [more inside]
posted by ourt at 10:06 AM PST - 59 comments

Paddington’s story is that of the modern migrant.

Paddington stows away and deliberately avoids the immigration authorities on arrival. He is in formal legal terms an illegal entrant and as such commits a criminal offence under section 24 of the Immigration Act 1971. It is an offence punishable by up to six months in prison. If or when detected by the authorities it is more likely he would simply be removed back to Peru than that he would be prosecuted, though. To avoid that fate he would need to make out a legal basis to stay.
An immigrant lawyer reviews the case of Paddington Bear.
posted by MartinWisse at 9:53 AM PST - 9 comments

What Would Sam Fucking Adams Say

The death of Eric Garner is a rare subject that conservatives and liberals seem to agree on. Since the decision not to indict , the conservative blogosphere has been filling with outrage– not at protesting hippies, but at the police. The right-wing site Hot Air described it as a moment that "unites left and right" and collected angry tweets from conservatives, some comparing Garner to the Founding Fathers. National Review, which was unsupportive of the Michael Brown protests, is now running pieces by multiple conservative pundits suggesting an "Enough!" moment. Even torture apologist Andrew McCarthy has ventured to suggest that "I thus cannot in good conscience say there was insufficient probable cause to indict Officer Pantaleo for involuntary manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide." Libertarians have long been active and highly effective critics of police violence, but Reason magazine's support for a federal investigation is unusual.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 9:44 AM PST - 311 comments

Hunting Task Wabbits

"(Please, let’s stop calling it the “sharing economy”: Sharing doesn’t involve money.)" (slMedium)
posted by Kitteh at 8:54 AM PST - 64 comments

Neither Lost Nor Found: On the Trail of an Elusive Icon’s Rarest Film

"Screening rats and bootleg-swappers always have a holy grail. It sits at the top of a list of titles, on a folded sheet of notebook paper or in a Word document, bolded, underlined, or marked with a little squiggly star. ... These lists never get smaller; they only grow more obscure until they are filled with titles the list-maker has only a slim chance of ever seeing." Ignatiy Vishnevetsky [previously, previously] on rare movies, Jean-Luc Godard, and the life of the obsessive film fan.
posted by alexoscar at 7:38 AM PST - 17 comments

Never Get Comfortable

“Just two months ago, Detroit native Dej Loaf was a janitor at a Chrysler plant in the suburbs. She often tackled dirty bathrooms, floors and overflowing trash cans. Now she's slaying tracks as one of the rap game's rising stars.” Interview with a local newspaper, plus YouTube link to one of her videos.
posted by saintjoe at 7:23 AM PST - 17 comments

There are no legitimate authorities anywhere.

Meet the most frightening author of the twentieth century. And I don't mean Stephen King or Clive Barker. Who needs Pennywise the Clown or Mamoulian when all you have to do is look in the mirror and realize that under the right circumstances, you'd make a good Nazi? All you need is an authority you trust to give you the right orders. [more inside]
posted by starbreaker at 7:18 AM PST - 28 comments

Rarer than hitting for the cycle...

Here's a list of baseball players who have stolen second, third and home in the same inning. [more inside]
posted by artsandsci at 7:07 AM PST - 30 comments

Aesop Waits - Tom Shall Pass

Tom Shall Pass - Tom Waits x Aesop Rock. Someone using the name Aesop Waits released Tom Shall Pass this year, with remixed Tom Waits music beds underpinning vocal tracks from rapper Aesop Rock’s acclaimed 2007 album None Shall Pass, and I’ll be damned if it ain’t half bad at all. Since Waits’ old-timey rhythms and timbres don’t easily lend themselves to hip-hop treatment, the DJ here had to go to some effort to make this combination work, and to my reckoning, he (she?) did a good bit better than 50/50—the demented circus-falling-down-a-flight-of-stairs stylings of Waits’ music complements Aesop’s complex and impressionistic lyrics better than I’d have guessed. [more inside]
posted by Ufez Jones at 6:42 AM PST - 16 comments

Humankind has been stagnant for 40 years.

Michael Hanlon on the lack of true invention like what we saw between 1945 and 1971. Technology is booming, but it seems we are basically just making smaller and faster versions of things that were already invented 40 years ago. Most of what is happening in medicine, technology, civil rights, etc. seems to be expansion rather than innovation.
posted by Enchanting Grasshopper at 6:19 AM PST - 98 comments

The Truly Final Countdown

Britain's Co-Operative Funeralcare keeps records of their clients' requests and occasionally reports on “what's popular” at UK funerals. And their latest survey of “most requested music” (based on over 30,000 funerals) has a few surprises, starting with the song at #1: Eric Idle/Monty Python's “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”, beating out Psalm 23 and “Abide With Me”. Also in the top ten: Frank Sinatra's “My Way” (although it may include the Elvis and Sid Vicious versions) and the theme from “Match of the Day”. There are also breakdowns by musical genre/style including Hymns, Classical, Film/TV, Sports and 'Humor', a category that includes the Python song as well as “Another One Bites the Dust” and “Don't Worry Be Happy”. [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:54 AM PST - 47 comments

High Frame Rate movies

HFR (High Frame Rate) movies: why do they look fake?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 12:43 AM PST - 69 comments

Walter Benjamin for Children

Walter Benjamin presented "True Dog Stories" on September 27, 1930, as part of Radio Berlin's youth programming. Thoughtful but sometimes oblique commentaries on human society, Benjamin's radio shows have been called "Enlightenment for Children" and "NPR for weirdos," but an interview with the editor of their recent translations into English gives much greater context. Some essays have been re-recorded in German (including the dog episode, track 16), and Börne's original poodle letter is also online.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 12:38 AM PST - 4 comments

Dürer's polyhedron: 5 theories that explain Melencolia's crazy cube

Dürer's polyhedron: 5 theories that explain Melencolia's crazy cube
The distinctive three-dimensional shape in Albrecht Dürer’s 1514 engraving Melencolia I has been the subject of innumerous analyses and still no one is sure what it is or what it means. On the occasion of its 500th birthday, mathematician Günter M Ziegler looks again at art history’s most infamous truncated triangular trapezohedron
posted by ob1quixote at 12:03 AM PST - 23 comments

December 3

Get Lost! And found.

John Huth's 'The Lost Art of Finding Our Way': An odd and very enjoyable book [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:20 PM PST - 24 comments

The Queen's English

One Woman, 17 British Accents: Have you ever wondered about the locations of accents used by British celebrities such as Maggie Thompson, Richard Burton, and Sean Bean? As part of the Anglophenia series, actress and comedian Siobhan Thompson takes us on a one-woman tour of regional accents of the British Islands.
posted by happyroach at 9:39 PM PST - 68 comments

Orange Julius and a Hotdog

1989: America's malls. The places where nothing — and everything — has changed. In 1989, Michael Galinsky, then a 20-year-old student, took a month to traverse the U.S. Everywhere he went, he documented the same place: the shopping mall. The results are now an archive of a vanished world, simultaneously familiar and foreign, trivial and full of meaning.
posted by standardasparagus at 4:32 PM PST - 163 comments

'Ecological differentiation is the necessary condition for coexistence'

The Ecological Society of America will mark its 100th anniversary in 2015, and to celebrate, the ESA is asking people to weigh in with their ideas about the biggest ecological innovations over the past century. Brian McGill at Dynamic Ecology presents a thoughtful summary of the most important concepts and methods over 100 years of ecological research, and many other ecologists are weighing in as well. [more inside]
posted by dialetheia at 4:13 PM PST - 18 comments

CS301: Intro to V--

This particular solution to the Fizz Buzz problem is entertaining enough. Further reflection shows that it's actually an example of the Vogon programming language V--.
posted by Fezboy! at 3:39 PM PST - 140 comments

If Klein had even just read the entry on Wikipedia

‘Can Climate Change Cure Capitalism?’: An Exchange Naomi Klein, reply by Elizabeth Kolbert
posted by Nevin at 3:14 PM PST - 63 comments

"Religious freedom applies to all"

The Satanic Temple is a controversial religious organization whose main purpose is not to worship Satan, but to bring awareness to the varieties of religious freedom in the United States. [more inside]
posted by Librarypt at 3:07 PM PST - 46 comments

"What was the fittest you ever were?" / "Ah, day of birth, I think."

Peter Cook interview from 1967: Part 1 [YouTube]. Cook talks about the writing process, creating Bedazzled, taxes, Beyond The Fringe, stage-work, and more in this unguarded interview. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 1:51 PM PST - 13 comments

Alright, let's light this candle and head back into space

NASA’s new Orion spacecraft will soon blast off on its maiden voyage into space. It’ll be a quick and unmanned flight to test the craft, particularly its innovative heat shield, which will protect Iron man, Captain Kirk, Slimey the Worm and a unnamed Tyrannosaurus Rex from the white hot temperatures as Orion returns to Earth. Watch the launch on NASA TV (Audio only stream) on Thursday, December 4th, at 7:05am EST (1205 GMT) i.e. tomorrow morning for most of the Western world. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:50 PM PST - 160 comments

The history of chairs: translating social authority into furniture

Chairs, they're everywhere these days. They seem simple enough, and they are indeed ancient in general existence. But it was the chest, the bench and the stool that were the ordinary seats used in everyday living, and the number of chairs which have survived from an earlier date is exceedingly limited. In China, chairs brought about a change in posture and display of hierarchy, and into the 17th century England, the chairs in a household reflected the social hierarchy for family and guests. Even into the 1970s, chairs served to mark hierarchy in the workplace, and it took an examination of workplace injuries, turn-overs and general productivity to re-evaluate how chairs were selected for office workers. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:19 PM PST - 20 comments

i carry your dick pic with me (i carry it in my heart)

Classic Poems, Updated For the Internet Age from The Hairpin.
posted by maryr at 1:01 PM PST - 17 comments

The Beast of Turin

100 years ago bigger was better in search for speed and this is the biggest of them all. The beast of Turin [more inside]
posted by alfanut at 12:42 PM PST - 26 comments

the Ukips

“I don’t mind causing offence when I intend to, but I don’t like causing it accidentally” Interview with comedian Stewart Lee
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:36 PM PST - 28 comments

Is Loon flying?

Google's balloon-based internet seems to be working. After some hiccups, one bad demo, and lots of redesign, Google's Project Loon (previously) is bringing some internet to some people in the developing world.
Fluffier socks play a crucial role. (SLS)
posted by doctornemo at 11:50 AM PST - 25 comments

[x][x][x][_][x][x]

Instant logic puzzles of customizable difficulty. [more inside]
posted by Iridic at 11:31 AM PST - 50 comments

Gävlebocken 2014 - Long Live The Goat!

Sweden's annual Straw Christmas Goat was revealed on November 30. A regular target for arson, 2013's incarnation survived nearly until Christmas Day. This year, steps are being taken that are hoped to keep the goat in place until the end of the holiday season. The Goat has an oddly encouraging (yet still a bit existential) twitter account you can follow, and also a webcam so you can keep watch no matter where you are. (Previously)
posted by hippybear at 11:12 AM PST - 69 comments

Do What You Wanna Do

It's the end of the year, which means it's time for DJ Earworm's annual United State of Pop mashup. This year's offering: Do What You Wanna Do [more inside]
posted by hades at 11:07 AM PST - 44 comments

Shooting the hand that feeds the fire

After nearly a decade, it was time. The old fire was still burning, sure, but technological advances meant the flame could be brighter, the sparks a little sparklier. And so in the driving rain, exactly seven weeks before Christmas, a crew of four (plus one mysterious cast member) descended on a rustic homestead on Vancouver’s North Shore, to build – and record – a fire.

“We all said, ‘Can we be the hand that just pokes the fire?’”
The answer was no.
[more inside]
posted by Kabanos at 10:40 AM PST - 6 comments

Celebrating a notable artist... who also happens to be "special."

Fiber artist Judith Scott's style of assemblage sculpture may not be your cup of tea, but even her critics are impressed with the complexity and originality of her found object bundles. The Brooklyn Museum of Art is running the first US survey of her works through March. Her work is every bit on par with more famous assemblage artists like Robert Rauschenberg, made more remarkable by the fact that she was not only a mostly untrained "oustider artist," but Ms. Scott was born with Down's Syndrome and was almost completely deaf and mute.
posted by cross_impact at 10:39 AM PST - 10 comments

"This tale begins and ends with a fellow named Bob Colesberry."

David Simon on HBO's release of The Wire in high-definition 16:9 [more inside]
posted by alby at 10:12 AM PST - 68 comments

Out at Home

"I am extremely grateful that Major League Baseball has always judged me on my work and nothing else"
In a "very quiet and understated way", 29-year veteran MLB umpire Dale Scott has become the first active official in any of the major US sports to come out as gay.
posted by The Gooch at 9:49 AM PST - 33 comments

People are still having sex and nothing seems to stop them

The Odd History of the First Erotic Computer Game -- Released in 1981, Softporn was controversial, cheesy, and earnest to a fault. It also presaged today's ongoing debates about who computers and games are for.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:45 AM PST - 30 comments

A Federal Cab Marshal Service

Blake Ross details the ways in which the Nevada Taxicab Authority is fighting back against unscrupulous taxi drivers and out-innovating Uber & Lyft in the process.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 8:31 AM PST - 61 comments

Ninetyfive live spectators, three million views on Youtube

"It is an unbelievable goal. Both feet, over her shoulder. It is totally instinctive. The technique and contact required to volley a ball that is coming over your head is amazing. If Wayne Rooney or Ronaldo had done something like that you would be talking about it for years. It is the best of the three."
And the nominees for the FIFA goal of the year are James Rodriguez, Robin van Persie and Stephanie Roche, the first woman football player to ever have been a finalist for the Puskas Award, beating out people like Diego Costa and Zlatan Ibrahimović.
posted by MartinWisse at 8:27 AM PST - 50 comments

Jean Béliveau, 1931-2014

Last night, Jean Béliveau ("le Gros Bill"), former Montreal Canadiens captain and winner of 10 Stanley Cups, passed away at age 83. Noted for both his skill on the ice and his gentlemanly conduct off it, he had 507 goals and 712 assists over a 20 year career, all with Montreal. Rare is the talent so great that a sports franchise would buy an entire league to secure his services. Jean Béliveau of the Montreal Canadiens was such a talent. [more inside]
posted by nubs at 8:13 AM PST - 19 comments

A hundred death whistles marching

Ancient musical reconstruction has led to the discovery of the sounds made by Aztec "death whistles".

[more inside]
posted by quiet earth at 7:41 AM PST - 63 comments

Walking and talking while Deaf

"Unlike hearing people, the deaf have to keep sightlines in order to maintain conversations. So when deaf people walk and talk, they’ll lock into a kind of dance. Going through a doorway, one person will spin in place and walk backwards to keep talking. Walking past a column, two deaf people in conversation will move in tandem to avoid collision." The podcast 99% Invisible interviews a designer of a building at Gallaudet University designed for the way deaf people move and talk. [full transcript]
posted by desjardins at 7:27 AM PST - 20 comments

Stolen Valor

How viral videos became the way veterans combat ‘stolen valor’. Stolen valor are military wannabes, dressing up in uniform and presenting in public as military veterans (and getting store discounts etc). The 1998 self-published book led to the 'Stolen Valor Act' of 2005 and 2013. The 'Guardian of Valor' website has a Hall of Shame for those caught faking. The latest viral video involves a man at the Mall claiming to be an Army Ranger who is confronted. Regarding this video, the Guardian of Valor site owner says civilians don't understand why faking military service is looked at so negatively by the troops and veterans. “They don’t understand the anger he felt because he had lost friends wearing that uniform, had friends wounded in combat,” Anderson said. “So they want to watch because they are trying to figure out why it makes Veterans so angry.” [more inside]
posted by stbalbach at 5:01 AM PST - 114 comments

The Original San Francisco Eccentric

A nineteenth century gold rusher built a fortune, lost it all, then declared himself Emperor of the United States — and got all of San Francisco to play along.
posted by ellieBOA at 4:14 AM PST - 34 comments

Of Chinese Censorship, Punning and Braising

"China’s Web Doorkeeper", Lu Wei, may be the most powerful man on the Internet (NYT), and he has "ratcheted up restrictions in what is already the world’s most sophisticated system of online censorship." He addressed the 7th China-US Internet Industry Forum yesterday and everybody was listening (SCMP). But there is one big question: Will he joining the country’s print and broadcast watchdog's new campaign to “crack down on the irregular and inaccurate use of the Chinese language," specifically puns and wordplay (Grauniad)? If so, he may have issues with Google searches that match up his name with a new category of take-away food in Taiwan called "lu-wei" (“lu” means braised and “wei,” flavors) (Inquirer).
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:34 AM PST - 19 comments

December 2

Mole Day: Deeper'N'Ever Pie, Deeper'N'Ever Squats

On the heels of President Obama’s recent purchase of the first three Redwall books, the Toast brings you the Redwall diet. [more inside]
posted by skycrashesdown at 10:05 PM PST - 25 comments

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the basket ...

The Tsarina Of Tsocks (mefi's own) thinks you're gonna need a bigger foot! [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:46 PM PST - 13 comments

"Today, both families hope to do what’s best for Karen."

The Limits of Jurisdiction: in Guernica, Erin Siegal McIntyre writes about her six-year investigation into corruption and crime in international adoptions from Guatemala, as exposed through the story of one little girl. "For the past six years, the child known as Karen has lived in Missouri with her adoptive parents, Timothy and Jennifer Monahan. But Loyda Rodríguez and Dayner Hernández, a young Guatemalan couple, are convinced the child is their daughter, Anyelí, who was kidnapped in November 2006. Although a Guatemalan judge ruled that Karen should be returned to Guatemala in 2011, the Monahans have kept her." [more inside]
posted by nicebookrack at 8:05 PM PST - 46 comments

In which the EU unintentionally declares war on knitting designers

Starting on January 1st, 2015, the European Union will require sellers of digital content to collect VAT taxes based on the location of the buyer, not the seller. The new policy, known as VAT MOSS, requires sellers to register for VAT in an EU country, sign up for a "mini one-stop shop" (MOSS) account, collect three pieces of non-contradictory evidence proving the location of buyers, store that evidence for ten years and follow onerous EU privacy rules dictating how the data is stored, and then calculate and pay VAT to every EU member state. These rules apply to anyone selling digital content to the EU, regardless of where the seller is located. EU officials claim that these requirements will not harm small businesses, because they assume most small businesses sell through platforms like Amazon and iTunes which will be responsible for complying with the regulations. Knitting designers, independent e-publishers, and handbag-pattern publishers disagree, claiming that the new regulations will put independent sellers out of business or force them to sell their products through the very huge multinational corporations whose tax-dodging practices the law was apparently meant to target. [more inside]
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:45 PM PST - 68 comments

Urban coyotes in Chicago.

Crittercams have given researchers an unprecedented window into an urban coyote's lifestyle, with 91 video clips of the animals hunting, eating, and avoiding people. Among other behavioral adaptations, urban coyotes in Chicago are nocturnal, have learned how to cross busy roads, are rarely hit by cars, maintain larger (if more fragmented) territories, and even successfully raise pups in secret dens. [more inside]
posted by automatic cabinet at 7:09 PM PST - 48 comments

OBSIDIOTS: Live From District 11

The sheer brilliance that was Medieval Land Fun-Time World (previously) is hard to top, but the guys at Bad Lip Reading have soldiered on. They recently released a treatment of “Catching Fire”, and if you skip past to near the end, you’ll hear Katniss and Peeta contemplate forming a pop group and then… well, the inevitable.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 6:11 PM PST - 16 comments

Y2GangnamStyle

PSY's 'Gangnam Style' has more views than YouTube can count
posted by mysticreferee at 5:14 PM PST - 80 comments

Video: The Sun in space

Over two weeks in October, James Tyrwhitt-Drake of the Solar Dynamics Observatory took 17,000 images of the Sun as a sunspot known as Active Region 2192 crossed its face. This is the outcome: an extraordinary timelapse video.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 5:07 PM PST - 33 comments

R.I.P. Bobby Keys 1943-2014

Legendary saxophone player Bobby Keys has passed away at the age of 70. Best known for his work with the Rolling Stones, with whom he played and toured for over 45 years, his resume is a who's who of classic rock royalty. Keys has appeared on albums by George Harrison, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, BB King, Eric Clapton, Dr. John, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Marvin Gaye, Warren Zevon, and many many more. [more inside]
posted by rocket88 at 4:46 PM PST - 27 comments

Face the face

"Facebook actually makes masks out of everyone’s faces." Artist Sterling Crispin creates DATA-MASKS as a way to physically present the abstract data structures that Facebook and biometric surveillance systems use to pull a face from a crowd.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 4:28 PM PST - 10 comments

ISIS: What the US Doesn’t Understand

Over the last few days, as the United States has stepped up its bombing campaign against ISIS in Syria, it has been hard to escape another reality: the US is still looking for a coherent strategy against the Islamic State. [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus at 4:21 PM PST - 98 comments

Dave's Killer Bread

"We see the good in everyone, and we believe in offering jobs to felons who have shown a commitment to turning their lives around. Our goal is to serve as an example to other employers that being a convicted felon should not be a deterrent to finding gainful employment. Our success with this practice shows that there is a largely untapped pool of loyal and hardworking people who simply have made bad decisions in their past. Currently about one-third of our workforce are felons. "
posted by Juliet Banana at 4:18 PM PST - 22 comments

Only in Hebocon would the champion feel ashamed.

"Hebocon is a robot contest for the technically ungifted. Entrants will need compromise and surrender, instead of ideas and technical skill. Robots are penalized for having high-tech features."
posted by ardgedee at 3:38 PM PST - 26 comments

Mashed Holiday Redux

In what's a much-anticipated holiday tradition, DJ BC has released Santastic 9. [more inside]
posted by Runes at 3:01 PM PST - 3 comments

ARISE, SIR NEWS.

Anarchic comedy provocateur Chris Morris (The Day Today, Brass Eye, Jam and Four Lions) was recently the subject of a retrospective on BBC's Raw meat Radio [more inside]
posted by AzzaMcKazza at 2:51 PM PST - 26 comments

Animagraffs

We’re continually surrounded by masterful works of art that we hardly notice – objects created with fine craftsmanship on par with the work of any famous dead artist. No need to battle tourist crowds at the Louvre. Just crack open your dead cell phone and geek out! [more inside]
posted by jenkinsEar at 2:38 PM PST - 7 comments

Meet incredible engineers and learn about their achievements

#TechTuesday – 5 Amazing Female Engineers That Time Forgot - "There have always been extraordinary women in STEM… it just wasn’t called that in the 1800s." [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 1:36 PM PST - 13 comments

Half of all marriages - oh, wait

"It is no longer true that the divorce rate is rising, or that half of all marriages end in divorce. It has not been for some time. Despite hand-wringing about the institution of marriage, marriages in this country are stronger today than they have been in a long time. The divorce rate peaked in the 1970s and early 1980s and has been declining for the three decades since." [more inside]
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:23 PM PST - 95 comments

Unicorn Blood

"The young have the best and sweetest flesh." [more inside]
posted by Librarypt at 1:08 PM PST - 9 comments

sweating metaphorical bullets daily in front of my Hermes 2000

William Gibson: how I wrote Neuromancer
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:28 AM PST - 74 comments

I want to strangle each and every one of you with my hair ribbon.

Botticelli’s Venus Wants You to Go Away and other humor pieces by Kate Hahn
posted by The Whelk at 11:05 AM PST - 8 comments

All About The Bass (No Treble Hooks)

In the spring of 1984, Davis caught an 8.7-pound bass in the KYKX Big Bass Classic. It wasn’t big enough to stuff and mount on the wall, but it was big enough to qualify for the $105,000 first prize. Winning two major bass fishing tournaments in less than a year? He was lucky. He was ecstatic. He was in deep shit. The Weight of Guilt.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 10:55 AM PST - 30 comments

You know who else disliked cyclists?

Roads Were Not Built for Cars - an Atlantic Citylab interview with Carlton Reid, author of the ebook and blog titled Roads Were Not Built for Cars, on institutionalized classism and historical revisionism that drove the design of car-centric infrastructure. [more inside]
posted by lonefrontranger at 10:06 AM PST - 32 comments

The only certain fact is that he "disappeared" in or around 1958.

His family – met in Dresden in 1989 and since deceased – described him as “crazy”.
Full Biography: Karl Waldmann was born in Germany.
The only certain fact about his life is that he "disappeared in or around 1958 in a Russian labour camp.
Exhibitions until 1958: unknown.
It was not until after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 that his work became known.
Some will speak about an ENIGMA in connection with Karl Waldmann. We will speak rather about a NOVEL structured like an essay on the madness of the 20th century.
1,200 images. (Some images NSFW)
posted by adamvasco at 10:01 AM PST - 4 comments

"I fast-forward through the cockroach episode & I don't like 'Humbug'."

Metafilter's favourite The X-Files writer, Darin Morgan, is interviewed on the most recent episode of Kumail Nanjiani's The X-Files Files podcast. [more inside]
posted by alby at 9:54 AM PST - 63 comments

"Would you want your town policed by these men?"

How Police Unions and Arbitrators Keep Abusive Cops on the Street
Officers fired for misconduct often appeal the decision and get reinstated by obscure judges in secretive proceedings.
posted by andoatnp at 9:22 AM PST - 124 comments

Behind the music

20 years ago, Paul Oakenfold created the goa mix, which was perhaps the first dj mix that gained wide recognition for dj mixing as an artform on its own and introduced the UK to trance music. For the 20th anniversery of theEssential Mix, BBC asked him to record a dvd-style commentary track on the thought process behind its creation.
posted by empath at 8:45 AM PST - 56 comments

Stranded in Space

Time Trap: a short comedy about time travel.
posted by frimble at 8:40 AM PST - 9 comments

Bazongle

What if instead of just being the catchphrase that Sheldon says several times a week on the Big Bang Theory, Bazinga was everything? [more inside]
posted by codacorolla at 8:32 AM PST - 19 comments

1970S, CITY, FUTURA, HELVETICA

Typography in Alien. (Also, Moon and 2001: A Space Odyssey.)
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 8:04 AM PST - 35 comments

Generation Gaps

It's no longer just teenagers and students who seem to be running away from real life, it's people in their twenties and thirties, too. People who should really know better, but don't seem to know how to do much else. Fully grown, semi-functioning adults who are unwilling to surrender those endless nights spent staring at their own harrowed reflections in club toilet cisterns, and can't find much reason to give them up, either. People like me. This is my generation; the generation who have no real incentive to grow up. No kids to feel guilty about, no mortgages to pay off, decent enough healthcare to keep them alive, jobs that let them ​scrape the money they need to feed, house and wash themselves, and only the screams of their bosses and the worried phone calls of their families to tear them away from the noble pursuit of getting on one. An army of first-world wasters trapped in an Escher maze of immaturity.
posted by josher71 at 6:44 AM PST - 160 comments

Kanye West + Sam Smith = Golden Mashup

There are many mashups out there, but there is something quite special about this blend of Sam Smith's "I'm Not The Only One" and Kanye West's "Can't Tell Me Nothing" by Carlos Serrano: “Tell Me I’m the Only One”. [more inside]
posted by beisny at 6:13 AM PST - 5 comments

Kosciuszko, Van Wyck, and Spuyten Duyvil

How to Pronounce New York (and Northern New Jersey)
posted by Navelgazer at 6:00 AM PST - 85 comments

“If you can read you can cook. You can always feed yourselves..."

Kent Haruf, ‘a great writer and a great man’, dies aged 71 [The Guardian]
"Pan Macmillan, Haruf’s UK publisher, said that the novelist died on Sunday 30 November, praising his “beautifully restrained, profoundly felt novels” which it said “reflected a man of integrity, honesty and deep thoughtfulness”."
posted by Fizz at 5:39 AM PST - 5 comments

The Top 10 of the 1%

Here's a list of 10 of the "most offensively decadent homes in the world", ranging from "The World's First Billion-Dollar Home", in Mumbai, India, to Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch. A collection of wretched excess at its most excessive. (Interestingly, the list is hosted at the website for Chadwicks Building Materials in Ireland, pretty much ensuring they won't get any business building the biggest mansions in the Emerald Isle.)
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:18 AM PST - 85 comments

December 1

Nature will make its articles back to 1869 free to share online

Nature makes all articles free to view, read, and annotate online. [more inside]
posted by k8lin at 10:41 PM PST - 32 comments

Tjipetir mystery

Why are rubber-like blocks washing up on beaches? For the past few years, 100-year-old rubber-like blocks from Indonesia have been mysteriously washing up on beaches in the UK and northern Europe. The Titanic has been suggested as one of the possible sources - but now a beachcomber says she may have solved the puzzle of the Tjipetir blocks.
posted by Long Way To Go at 9:13 PM PST - 30 comments

Beware the Yoko Bono bird, and shun / the frumious Putintin

Venture through the strange masquerade of Buffalo Bill Gates, but be warned: it is impossible to un-see the dreaded Putintin.
posted by oulipian at 8:40 PM PST - 23 comments

3 Quarks Daily Philosophy Prize Finalists 2014

3QD's 2014 finalists for best blog posts on philosophical topics: Should animal products have ethical warning labels? Why is scientific uncertainty a moral responsibility [see last 4 mins.]? Should people choose probabilistically among competing moral theories? What are some bad ways of arguing about free will? Are most of us just not good enough to be utilitarians? Are volunteer soldiers morally responsible for unjust wars? Do P2P networks provide a model for something to do with consciousness, reality, and, yep, quantum mechanics? When are delusions good for us (see also)? What's up with philosophical systems that knock themselves down, e.g. Nāgārjuna's, Nietzsche's, and Rorty's? There's also an archive page for older prizes and other categories (previously).
posted by Monsieur Caution at 8:15 PM PST - 35 comments

Boom! "Shriek" Flames *Death metal plays* "Oishi desho?" (SLGV)

If you're only going to watch one three second video on how to cook shrimp, make it this one.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 7:38 PM PST - 38 comments

Finally Single!!!

What's On Your Mind? No one is as happy as they present themselves on Facebook (because everyone lies). Counterpoint: That's okay.
posted by quin at 7:26 PM PST - 33 comments

It's Genetic

It's Genetic was a short series of one-panels comics by Kyle Baker (more) that ran in Marvel Age. via.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:56 PM PST - 15 comments

Gentrification and badly dressed white people

Vidal Reyna is a waiter at El Arco Iris, one of Highland Park’s oldest Mexican restaurants, owned by his wife’s family. He grew up here. He says the moment he understood that his neighborhood was becoming a different place happened on a drive with his father. Reyna recalls, 'He turns around and tells me in Spanish, ‘Hay muchos gueros mal vestidos por aqui.’” Loosely translated, that means “around here, there are a lot of badly dressed white people.” In August Marketplace's Wealth & Poverty Desk opened an office in Highland Park, Los Angeles, to get a view of gentrification from their new neighbours.
posted by Bella Donna at 6:56 PM PST - 51 comments

"Sunday"

On April 9th, 1961, eighteen year old Dan Drasin exited his apartment on MacDougal street and headed to Washington Square Park. He and hundreds of others went to speak out against a recent ban on the performance of music there on Sundays. The NYC Police showed up as well, and the peaceful protest (which the press inexplicably called “The Beatnik Riot”) was captured by Drasin’s camera. He later turned it into the seventeen minute documentary “Sunday”, which can be viewed in its entirety on YouTube. Drasin was recently interviewed and asked to share his thoughts on the protest some fifty years later.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 6:03 PM PST - 9 comments

scribble scribble *CLICK* scribble scribble *CLICK* scribble *CLICK*

Do you need to get the lead out? Are you having trouble getting to the point? Maybe this post all about the joys of mechanical pencils will help!
  • Dave's Mechanical Pencils is probably the gold lead standard, with reviews and links about everything related to mechanical pencils, leads, erasers, and pencil-related ephemera.
  • Vittorio Villani's Drafting and Mechanical Pencils takes more of an individual collector's approach, with many beauty shots along with the reviews.
  • All jammed up: The Old Geezer offers advice on how to clear a lead jam.
  • Leadhead's Pencil Blog focusses on antique and vintage mechanical pencils. They are works of art themselves, and blogger Jon Veley has even set up an online museum.
  • Leadholder Drafting Pencil Museum hasn't been updated in a while but is an exhaustive collection of lead-related material, including a section on the mechanics of different types of mechanical pencils.
  • If you've only seen one mechanical pencil, it was probably a Scripto.
  • The Pencil Pages is a treasure trove of pencil information and links.
  • Finally, Pencil Revolution (previously) does not limit itself to mechanical pencils but the entire pencil lifestyle. After all, a great pencil needs great paper. (Warning: the links will take you down a time-sucking, pencil, paper, and office-supply rabbit hole.)

posted by Room 641-A at 4:50 PM PST - 39 comments

"I really would love to own a Hockney"

"No one really wants to admit I exist," says co-discoverer of the DNA molecule, James Watson, who after years of shunning over controversial statements is auctioning his 1962 Nobel Prize medal this Thursday to help pay bills and buy some artwork. Online bidding is an option.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 4:12 PM PST - 60 comments

Very very small numbers

Do you have good eyesight and a steady hand? How about a grown-up dot-to-dot picture to pass the time? Thomas Pavitte is the author of not only the 1000 Dot to Dot Portrait book but the 1000 Dot to Dot Cities Book (video), the 1000 Dot to Dot Animals Book (video), and various others including the Mona Lisa. (free download)
posted by bq at 1:48 PM PST - 11 comments

Spoiler alert: U2 is number one

Rolling Stone has announced its 50 best albums of 2014.
posted by Clustercuss at 1:19 PM PST - 211 comments

Conduits Gone Wild

Are you an admirer of pulchritudinous pipes, tubes, ducts, conduits and cables? Then head on over to reddit's Conduit Porn community, and its sister subreddit, Cable Porn (SFW)
posted by dontjumplarry at 1:01 PM PST - 25 comments

The Saddest Thing I Know about the Integers

The integers are a unique factorization domain, so we can’t tune pianos. That is the saddest thing I know about the integers. [more inside]
posted by jenkinsEar at 12:52 PM PST - 94 comments

Artisanal Nut Milks.

"For science, I ordered a raw kale salad with radish, fennel, almonds, and a creamy avocado dressing, which requires the digestive powers of a ruminant to power through; the barely edible analogue to a graffiti blaster to the guts." Mike Sula of the Chicago Reader reviews Owen+Alchemy, a "sleek set piece from Portlandia" that offers cold-pressed juice and "artisanal nut milks on tap" in the heavily gentrified Logan Square neighborhood.
posted by Juliet Banana at 12:17 PM PST - 191 comments

But who is watching the watchers?

Nearly two years after the Numbered Air Force Commander overturned the court-martial conviction of a fighter pilot for sexual assault, the Chief Prosecutor for the Air Force has retired and joined the advocacy group devoted to changing the way the military prosecutes these crimes. His decision to retire was based, in part, on continuing clashes with senior Air Force judge advocates regarding his positions on how the military treats survivors of sexual assault and a downgraded performance review (denied by the Air Force) as a result of his conversations with members of Congress about how the military prosecutes these kinds of crimes. In the meantime, the Commander who overturned the court-martial conviction has retired (minus one of his stars) and the Inspector General who went on social media to express his "bitterness" with the situation and whose own handling of sexual assault cases has come under fire is still in his position overseeing military discipline.
posted by youdontmakefriendswithsalad at 11:02 AM PST - 11 comments

Flat Eric five bucks

Mr. Oizo - 'Ham' directed by Eric Wareheim (SLvimeo) (Possibly NSFWorSanity)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:42 AM PST - 35 comments

"I knew nothing of love between fathers and sons."

Shin Dong-Hyuk , the only person born in a North Korean political prison camp known to have escaped, discusses the shock and guilt he feels upon learning that his elderly father, also a political prisoner, is still alive and is being used by the North Korean government to spread misinformation about Shin Dong-Hyuk. [more inside]
posted by Librarypt at 10:12 AM PST - 10 comments

Mean Boys

A study of Georgia high schools "found that, at every grade level, boys engaged in relationally aggressive behavior more often than girls." Commenting on the study, the lead researcher said,
"We have books, websites and conferences aimed at stopping girls from being aggressive, as well as a lot of qualitative research on why girls are relationally aggressive," Orpinas said. "But oddly enough, we don't have enough research on why boys would be relationally aggressive because people have assumed it's a girl behavior."
posted by clawsoon at 9:21 AM PST - 45 comments

Who here likes languages? I do! A lot!

Minna Sundberg, creator of Stand Still, Stay Silent (previously, twice) and A Redtail's Dream (previously), drew up some Nordic language cats to compare Icelandic, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish as a way to describe how some characters in SS,SS can communicate even though they don't share a common language. Then she went beyond, and created some gorgeous language trees, based on the extensive Ethnologue (previously: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10).
posted by filthy light thief at 8:50 AM PST - 49 comments

Migration of Honey Buzzards

Migration of Honey Buzzards "Based on real data (latitude, longitude and height) from the University of Amsterdam the animation initially shows the tracks of 12 birds, but then concentrates on a pair - male and female, as they migrate south in Autumn 2010 from the Veluwe forest in the Netherlands to warmer weather on the African coast "
posted by dhruva at 7:39 AM PST - 4 comments

“Wow. Let’s drive to another town. We should not sleep here.”

Chris Rock, in conversation with Frank Rich
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:38 AM PST - 107 comments

Make sure the underlying muscles are intact

The 2nd episode of the new podcast Reply All is about the "unsettling" Instagram for Doctors app "Figure One". [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:32 AM PST - 20 comments

"a question of human dignity", said the archbishop

On Friday Finland's parliament narrowly approved a law for marriage equality. The Foreign Policy blog takes a look at why it took so long to do so compared to its neighbours.
posted by MartinWisse at 5:56 AM PST - 10 comments

Doxxing Defense

A list of resources on how to scrub a lot of personal information off of the internet
posted by Renoroc at 4:49 AM PST - 35 comments

Look at the flowers, AMC

This past Sunday night was the mid-season finale of the popular AMC series, The Walking Dead, and there was much speculation that a character would die. Things took a bizarre turn when AMC posted a graphic to Facebook after the eastern time zone airing that confirmed what happened, effectively spoiling the storyline for viewers in other time zones. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:14 AM PST - 70 comments

The Anak Merdeka - Indonesia's radical punk rockers

Indonesia is home to one of the biggest underground punk scenes in the world - a place of chaotic, frenzied moshpits filled with screaming 10-year-old punks and collective punk communities that make art and teach street kids how to busk with their ukuleles. An hour-long radio documentary written and produced by Karli Munn, from queer feminist punk group Scum System Kill [more inside]
posted by beijingbrown at 4:02 AM PST - 6 comments

MuppeTED

Kermit the Frog (Steve Whitmire) does a TEDTalk at the TEDx in Jackson, Mississippi. A last-minute add to the program (the video starts with Sir Ken Robinson talking the famous frog out of cancelling), it's 20 minutes on Creativity and how to unleash it, with quotes from Jim Henson (obviously), Sir Ken, Salvador Dali and others, plus a few Muppet-centric jokes.*
Not the first Muppet contribution to TED: Scooter of The Muppet Show (David Rudman) had previously briefly covered the conflict between Tactile and CG characters (he's obviously very pro-tactile). And Sesame Street's Cookie Monster (also Rudman) 'helped' ultramarathon champion Scott Jurek talk about healthy foods and exercise at TEDMED. [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:35 AM PST - 3 comments

"Managing to serve the perfect drink and stay upright (mostly)"

1920s – 1930s: The ice-skating waiters of Switzerland. Enough said.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 12:03 AM PST - 8 comments