February 2010 Archives

February 28

Comics artist Philip Bond draws female astronauts.
posted by Artw at 11:32 PM PST - 32 comments

Bluegrass, it's said was invented by Bill Monroe,(yt) but where would bluegrass have been without the banjo style of Earl Scruggs?(yt) Together they created a sound that has become known as Bluegrass. In 1945 George Elam Scruggs joined up with Monroe's Blue Grass Boys, two years later Scruggs left to form a group with Lester Flatt(yt), but not before gifting Monroe with the amalgam that was and is Bluegrass. Other players like Chubby Wise born 1915, Lake City, Florida(yt), and bassist Howard Watts became known as the "Original Bluegrass Band". [more inside]
posted by nola at 8:21 PM PST - 19 comments

Have you checked out Crackle lately? If not, you may want to go ahead and check out a couple of these goodies; The Bannen Way, Angel of Death starring Zoë Bell, or Star-ving with David Faustino and Corin Nemec. [more inside]
posted by P.o.B. at 6:46 PM PST - 19 comments

About a hundred years ago, public health took a visual turn. In an era of devastating epidemic and endemic infectious disease, health professionals began to organize coordinated campaigns that sought to mobilize public action through eye-catching wall posters, illustrated pamphlets, motion pictures, and glass slide projections. An Iconography of Contagion.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 6:05 PM PST - 18 comments

The Shattuck Crack Squad (be sure to turn on your sound) started in 1882 as the "Far Famed Fancy Drill Squad" at Shattuck School, a military prep school in Faribault, Minnesota. It has included famous members, such as Marlon Brando. Based on a drill manual developed by John J. Pershing, the squad marches using the "Zouave" step at 250 steps a minute and uses Springfield 45-70 breech-loading rifles from the Civil War era (pdf). They have won many drill competitions, and their performance is thrilling and fascinating. It even has its own Facebook page. [more inside]
posted by Mental Wimp at 5:31 PM PST - 18 comments

Veteran Australian pop satirist New Waver, best known for covers of pop songs rewritten from a pessimistically neo-Darwinian point of view, has a new album out. Titled Bohemian Suburb Rhapsody, it looks at the subjects of gentrification, the explosion of revivalist styles in "hip" music, contemporary white-collar culture, the ideology of the "creative class" in the post-industrial age and the resulting oversupply of cultural products, through the medium of cover songs and musical montage. The album is free for dowloading from New Waver's web site; there is a more detailed explanation here, and a video for the song "Hey Dude" (which explains the dynamics of gentrification through the medium of a Beatles cover) here.
posted by acb at 5:21 PM PST - 14 comments

A Survey of Western Painting with Song Attached (SLYT)
posted by tigrefacile at 3:40 PM PST - 16 comments

Kabaddi is an ancient team sport, originating in South Asia, that requires nothing but an open area and a bunch of people [wikipedia]. It combines the skills of tag and wrestling with the ability to hold your breath while doing so: raid your opponents' side of the court, tag as many of the defenders as you can, and then run back to your side, avoiding the defensive tackler--all in one breath, while chanting "kabaddi-kabaddi-kabaddi". [extended rules].
Footage: [ 2006 World Cup (with music) • 2005 World Cup 1 2 320049 minutes of footage from a Tauranga, NZ tournament • From the USA 1 2 ]
"Kabaddi Kabaddi" by Babbu Mann from the film HasharAnother song
The British Army uses Kabaddi as a recruiting tool.Representing Team MeFi
posted by not_on_display at 3:24 PM PST - 35 comments

AFOL A Blocumentary. Passion combines with creativity in this documentary that features a selection of AFOLs (Adult Fans Of LEGO) from the Pacific NorthWest. [30 minutes, Vimeo, via Kempa.com]
posted by soundofsuburbia at 2:19 PM PST - 14 comments


Online SR-71A Flight Manual. Included in sr-71.org's excellent Blackbird Archive is a scanned copy of the actual "Dash-1" flight manual for the famous SR-71A reconnaissance plane. [more inside]
posted by FishBike at 12:52 PM PST - 65 comments


"We only smash stuff outside." A SLYT illustrating the perils of mixing art and Judge Judy.
posted by roger ackroyd at 12:29 PM PST - 28 comments

According to one estimate, mankind created 150 exabytes (billion gigabytes) of data in 2005. This year, it will create 1,200 exabytes. Data data everywhere and possibly too much to drink?
posted by Glibpaxman at 12:28 PM PST - 21 comments


You might mistake her for the kind of young person whose vote powered President Obama to the White House. You probably would not think of her as a Tea Party type. But leaders of the Tea Party movement credit her with being the first. “She’s not your typical conservative,”, “She’s an actress. She’s got a nose ring. I think it’s the thing that’s so amazing about our movement.” Her fiancé, Conor McNassar, urged her to channel her complaints into a blog, which she called Liberty Belle. It was not enough. She's been profiled by NPR. Some of her articles can be found in American Thinker. [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 10:58 AM PST - 226 comments

Five imaginary movies about your favorite childhood games. In reaction to Ridley Scott's Monopoly and Peter Berg's Battleship (each a real-life film in development), io9 posits about the as-yet-imaginary movies-to-come, once the "board game movie" craze takes off, of Darren Aronofsky's Pac-Man, J.J. Abrams' Candy Land, Werner Herzog's Tic-Tac-Toe, Paul Verhoeven's Snakes and Ladders, and Joss Whedon's POGs. [more inside]
posted by WCityMike at 9:50 AM PST - 96 comments

Dating back to 6 Centuries before Common Era; Sana'a ( some photo links borked ) in Yemen will become the World's First modern Capital City to Run Out of Water. Apart from drought Yemen's lack of water is a direct result of growing the stimulant Qat. (wiki ). Yemen is well on its way to becoming the world's next failed state.
( History and Qat related.
posted by adamvasco at 9:01 AM PST - 31 comments

An all white-girl Arkansas sorority's win in an Atlanta step competition has started a fiery debate over whether or not white girls should be allowed to win in a traditionally black step competition. Sprite, the sponsor of the show, ended up having to award two first place winners, claiming there was a scoring discrepancy.
posted by mad_little_monkey at 8:12 AM PST - 166 comments

The Patriot Act was originally signed into law by Bush in 2001, following 9/11. This bill gives law enforcement agencies the power to search your email, telephone records, medical records, record your telephone conversations, without your consent. It's allowance of indefinite detention of immigrants has been a major point of criticism from opponents. Today, President Obama, who previously promised to protect our civil liberties, has quietly extended the bill for another year.
posted by Malice at 7:50 AM PST - 108 comments

Debunking the myth of Lady Jane Grey. And it's not just that Guildford was never as beautiful as Cary Elwes. [more inside]
posted by jb at 7:31 AM PST - 16 comments

33 billion dollars worth of useless aerospace machinery. High-res Google Earth photo (1600x1471)
posted by Clementines4ever at 4:14 AM PST - 87 comments

Tomorrow, in Auckland, mellow jazz docents Pavement will play their first live show in a decade. A week later, Matador Records will release the band's first-ever best-of collection, Quarantine the Past. But what about all the B-sides, live takes, and rarities that didn't make the cut? An extensive selection follows, but you can start with these superb live recordings from their last tour: Gold Soundz, Range Life, Here. (Previously.) [more inside]
posted by cirripede at 2:36 AM PST - 36 comments

Asia Snapshots "is a blog that examines topics in Asia through the perspectives of interesting people interviewed by a group of bloggers in Mainland China, Vietnam, Taiwan, and more." Meet Gao Qingrong and family, who along with seven other households are part of an organic farm co-op in Anlong Village, Sichuan. Or there's the tale of how one of the bloggers met Jun Jun, a male prostitute in Beijing; an encounter with Silang Laji, a road maintenance worker in Kham, a Tibetan region of China; and Gege, an enterprising journalist in Chengdu.Via
posted by Abiezer at 1:21 AM PST - 4 comments

February 27

Thanks to a lot of what I've read on Metafilter, I've found some amazing websites (many of these have been posted before), and I've built up kind of a Sunday routine that starts at Post Secret, then continues toTXComics, where I check the weeks updates on Kukuburi and The Abominable Charles Christopher, all the while hoping that Sin Tutulo will be back soon (Feb 28th, they say). From there I check out A Softer World, and every once in a while, go back to check on comics that seem to have stopped, like We The Robots and Simulated Comic Product (which seems to have undergone some changes. The key? I usually finish with Bob the Angry Flower, whose recommendations are always worth a shot. Therefore, I give you Infectonator! [more inside]
posted by Ghidorah at 10:57 PM PST - 30 comments

Did you miss SF Beer Week?
With 347 days until the next one, Wet Your Whistles has got you covered with a list of 50+ beer-loving spots along the Caltrain line, no designated driver needed.
Not near Caltrain? Beer By Bart covers the rest of the Bay.
posted by madajb at 10:01 PM PST - 8 comments

A BBC Documentary on Hank Williams ( incomplete) 1 2 4 5, The History Of Country Music 1 2 3 4 [more inside]
posted by nola at 7:52 PM PST - 17 comments

Star-studded Haiti disaster relief singles probably won't get any better than this: Shane McGowan, Nick Cave and friends with I Put a Spell On You.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:32 PM PST - 60 comments

Portfolios of the Poor: How the World's Poor Live on $2 a Day A new book by Daryl Collins of Bankable Frontier Associates; Jonathan Morduch of NYU's Financial Access Initiative; Stuart Rutherford, author of The Poor and Their Money and founder of SafeSave; and Orlanda Ruthven of Impactt investigates the question of how over a billion people make ends meet on only $2 a day. "The authors report on the yearlong "financial diaries" of villagers and slum dwellers in Bangladesh, India, and South Africa--records that track penny by penny how specific households manage their money." The strategies adopted by the households of Hamed & Khadeja (pdf) from Bangladesh, Thembi (pdf) from South Africa, Feizal (pdf) from India and others may surprise you.
posted by HE Amb. T. S. L. DuVal at 7:09 PM PST - 10 comments

Danny Glover in Dances With Predators
posted by brundlefly at 4:58 PM PST - 32 comments

The Ancient Theatre Archive: A Virtual Reality Tour of Greek and Roman Theatre Architecture offers photos, panoramas, detailed descriptions, and, in several instances, virtual tours of classical theatre sites across Europe. (Tours require Quicktime to view.) The Met offers a basic overview of the differences between Greek and Roman theatrical architecture. For more theatres and related theatrical imagery, visit John Porter's one-stop catalog of online visual resources, Skenotheke.
posted by thomas j wise at 3:26 PM PST - 6 comments

Atul Gawande offers a way for health care to be improved through experimentation and pilot programs, much as agriculture was in 20th century
posted by reenum at 3:25 PM PST - 24 comments

Before he became a household name for "possibly gay figure skater," Johnny Weir skated to Lady Gaga, making him a totally AWESOME figure skater.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 12:59 PM PST - 116 comments

According to legend, back in the bad old days of the 10th C, Bishop Hatto (actually Archbishop of Mainz), decided to deal with excess mouths during a famine by burning said people alive. In retribution, he was eaten alive by a horde of angry mice, supposedly in the Mausturm near Bingen. The story ended up in Baring-Gould's Curious Myths of the Middle Ages (print wiki) and has been widely celebrated in poetry, much of it awful. It probably was an influence on Lovecraft's story "The Rats in the Walls." [more inside]
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:55 PM PST - 9 comments

Solar power continues to become more economical with every passing month. The price of standard monocrystalline/polycrystalline 210W to 300W modules has halved, from above $3/watt to below $1.70/watt in the past 12 months. The Canadian province of Ontario has become the first location in North America to offer an aggressive feed-in tariff comparable to the feed-in tariffs in Germany and Spain, paying above 80 cents/kWh for power generated by small rooftop photovoltaic installations. The US federal government is also offering massive tax breaks for solar installations as part of the 2009 ARRA act. [more inside]
posted by thewalrus at 12:24 PM PST - 50 comments

The Pleasure of Flinching. "In the viral video realm, amateur Iraq war footage ranks just behind pornography, celebrities’ drunken exploits, and shark attacks. Do these videos represent what Sontag called our 'right to view,' or are they a porn medium made from leftovers of a world filming its self-destruction?" [Via]
posted by homunculus at 10:08 AM PST - 40 comments


If you're in London these days and are serious about your coffee, then you'll know what a Flat White is. It is part of the emerging coffee scene in London, host of 2010's World Barista Championship and home of last year's winner - Gwilym Davies. Here's a guide and map from London's TimeOut to the city's best coffee shops, many of them staffed by antipodean baristas.

Predictably, Starbucks in the UK wants a piece of the action.
posted by vacapinta at 6:48 AM PST - 123 comments

Johnny Cash (who would've been 78 yesterday) performs on Sesame Street. Nasty Dan, Five Feet High and Rising, Don't Take Your Ones To Town, Tall Tale and also spoofed as Ronnie Trash. [more inside]
posted by at the crossroads at 2:53 AM PST - 20 comments

RadioLabour "presents 'The Solidarity Report', a half hour audiocast of international union news every Sunday morning." Main mover and presenter Marc Bélanger describes the journalistic and educational goals of the new service.
posted by Abiezer at 1:10 AM PST - 4 comments

A magnitude 8.8 earthquake struck Chile at 0634 UTC (3:34 am Chilean time) tonight -- the strongest since the 1960 earthquake which sent a tsunami across the Pacific, yet just short of the 9.3 figure recorded in the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. Tsunami warnings are now up for Hawaii for Saturday.
posted by crapmatic at 12:15 AM PST - 143 comments

February 26

Four days after cows broke into her home, a woman in Murfreesboro, Ark., says she's still in shock.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 8:06 PM PST - 107 comments


Who's the man behind the sounds you hear, every time you startup and use your Mac? Jim Reekes (via)
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:50 PM PST - 27 comments

Hi, I'm Instant Billy Mays! You may remember me from such front-page posts as Instant Rimshot and Sad Trombone. Well, if you liked them, then you're gonna love what we have for you tonight! Does your joke need a little humor enhancement? Try Instant Ed McMahon for all your sidekick needs! Did your joke go over like a lead rock? Use Instant Crickets or a good ol'-fashioned Instant Nelson! [more inside]
posted by WCityMike at 7:37 PM PST - 30 comments

The David Foster Wallace Audio Project, a still-growing collection of interviews, radio profiles, and readings (including staged ones of Brief Interviews with Hideous Men).
posted by auralcoral at 6:15 PM PST - 21 comments


Alice in Wonderland (1903), directed by Cecil Hepworth and Percy Stow
posted by brundlefly at 4:09 PM PST - 32 comments

A letter by Rene Descartes, stolen in 1840s, recovered in 2010 by online detective work. The letter was stolen by Guglielmo Libri, inspector general of the libraries of France, who stole thousands of valuable documents and fled to England in 1848. Since 1902 it's been in the collection of Haverford College, its contents unknown to scholars, and nobody there realized that it was an unknown letter. But because they had catalogued it and recently put their catalogue on line, Dutch philosopher Erik-Jan Bos found it "during a late-night session browsing the Internet". (A Haverford undergraduate thirty years ago had translated it and written a paper on it, in which he recognized that the letter was unknown -- but nobody followed up and the letter had sat in the library since then until it was listed online.) The letter includes some last-minute edits to the Meditations, and some thoughts on God as causa sui. Haverford, whose president was a philosophy major, is returning the letter to the Institut de France.
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:47 PM PST - 21 comments

Here you are on the computer when you could be making all kinds of your own traffic circle art in your neighborhood. You could even give a performance on your traffic circle! [more inside]
posted by cashman at 2:35 PM PST - 41 comments

The Perimeter Institute is a center for theoretical physics in Waterloo, Canada. Among other outreach activities, they host a series of public lectures on a variety of physics related topics. [more inside]
posted by empath at 2:26 PM PST - 11 comments

Festive Friday fun: three parties. Coffee, tea or weed?
posted by GrammarMoses at 12:05 PM PST - 33 comments

A playable version of Eschaton! Inspired of course by the beloved game of the students of the Enfield Tennis Academy in Infinite Jest. [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by Lutoslawski at 11:39 AM PST - 52 comments


President Gaddafi Calls for Jihad Against Switzerland SLYT "Let us wage jihad against Switzerland, Zionism and foreign aggression. Any Muslim in any part of the world who works with Switzerland is an apostate, is against Muhammad, God and the Koran." Previously
posted by fiestapais at 10:35 AM PST - 88 comments

Building Codes for the US by state.
posted by Mitheral at 10:11 AM PST - 38 comments

Craig Ferguson talks to Stephen Fry. In five parts, without an audience.
posted by Harry at 9:54 AM PST - 89 comments

Strange and peculiar electicity. Electrotherapy, Furby stress test, pre-Edison electric lights. Historic pictures of powerlines, and the men that made it possible.
posted by Kilovolt at 9:51 AM PST - 7 comments


Long out of print, Maitland McDonagh's Broken Mirrors/Broken Minds: The Dark Dreams of Dario Argento, is finally being republished by the University of Minnesota Press in a new edition that incorporates studies on the director's work from 1995's The Stendhal Syndrome to last year's Giallo. [more inside]
posted by Toby Dammit X at 8:44 AM PST - 8 comments

Last spring Young Jean Lee, an American playwright and director, spoke plainly on the state of American theatre to the Nation. She described it as "our most backward art form."
posted by Tlery at 8:23 AM PST - 34 comments

The Google/China hacking case, or "How many news outlets do the original reporting on a big story?"
posted by flatluigi at 8:06 AM PST - 20 comments

Searching for Saddam : how the U.S. military used social networking to capture the Iraqi dictator
posted by Gyan at 8:04 AM PST - 8 comments

Actor Andrew J. Koenig was found dead in Vancouver yesterday. Andrew, who changed his name from Josh Koenig midway through his acting career, was best known for his role as Richard "Boner" Stabone on Growing Pains. [more inside]
posted by SassHat at 8:03 AM PST - 115 comments

Flash Physics Friday Fun: My Solar System is a fun little physics toy that will do 2-, 3-, and 4-body 2D gravity simulations. [more inside]
posted by BeerFilter at 7:47 AM PST - 31 comments


Blue Hippy Cat reviews Avatar (SLYT) Not sure who made this, came to me via ILM alumni list, it's a genius piece of MOCAP, humor, and check out the D song in the background! Too much fun for this snowy Friday.
posted by dbiedny at 7:18 AM PST - 15 comments

Spread the Word to End the Word

Plus a message from Dr. Cox (SLYT)
posted by MustardTent at 6:57 AM PST - 130 comments

Physics shorts: odd & weird
posted by DU at 6:42 AM PST - 15 comments

Use the Internets the way God intended, on a VT100 oscilloscope.
posted by pashdown at 6:42 AM PST - 13 comments

FantasySCOTUS. For the Tenth Justice in all of us.
posted by OmieWise at 4:58 AM PST - 15 comments

Extremely bleak, frequently poignant, always hilarious: Hulu is now offering the UK version of The Office in its entirety. That includes two series of six episodes each and the two-part Christmas Special. [more inside]
posted by Rory Marinich at 4:56 AM PST - 73 comments

What are your pop-culture rules? That is, the up-front guidelines that will prevent you from seeing/reading/listening to something, or that will guarantee that you’ll see/read/listen to it even if reviews or word of mouth or past experience with the creators have been negative?

'If it features superheroes, I’m generally there', “The Robins Williams Rule”, 'I just cannot bring myself to purchase new hardcover books', 'anything with a trailer that utilizes the record-scratching sound', 'I will see or read literally anything featuring dinosaurs'. The AV Club writers & readers hold forth. I'm sure nobody on Metafilter would live by such restrictions...
posted by i_cola at 4:38 AM PST - 317 comments

The Daily Bunny
posted by nthdegx at 3:31 AM PST - 39 comments

Yelp facing class-action lawsuit over extortive ad sales. "The victims tend to be small businesses, such as our client, who often have no choice but to pay Yelp exorbitant sums in order to prevent further harm to their livelihoods." First reported a year ago in the East Bay Express, "Several business owners likened Yelp to the Mafia, and one said she feared its retaliation."
posted by Afroblanco at 1:07 AM PST - 64 comments

February 25


'Cellar Door' is a beautiful phrase, and not only to Donnie's teacher. J.R.R Tolkien, Dorothy Parker, C.S. Lewis, among other authors were and are fans of this esoteric little gem of linguistic history.
posted by Taft at 10:48 PM PST - 59 comments

As if being rich and trashy weren't already enough work, now there's vajazzling, too. (NSFW)
posted by Jon_Evil at 9:54 PM PST - 141 comments

"He surely had an indispensable role in the morphing of suburbia into disturbia in the cultural imagination, the real conception underlying the pretend-naïveté about the Sheppertons of the city and the mind--not only in the simple and tediously scandalous fact of his living there but in the power of his depicted suburbs too." China Mieville reviews J. G. Ballard's posthumous collection of short fiction.
posted by bardic at 8:49 PM PST - 23 comments

Defaced Presidents [more inside]
posted by ardgedee at 7:05 PM PST - 25 comments

Recumbent cyclist David Cambon shares with us a breathtaking, scary and wry photo diary of his 3224 km (~2000 mile) bike trip from Vancouver, BC to Inuvik, Northwest Territories, with portions along the famous Dempster Highway. [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:54 PM PST - 29 comments

The charges and retaliations seem reminiscent of so much cold war bluster, and indeed this encounter could be the first great clash of the 21st century’s two emergent superpowers—Google and China.
posted by Joe Beese at 6:19 PM PST - 30 comments


Looking for something to read? Check out the best journalism Conor Friedersdorf encountered in 2009. And in 2008. He also updates a twitter feed with pieces he comes across that he either missed or that might make onto a 2010 list.
posted by AceRock at 3:31 PM PST - 16 comments

Olympic Pictograms Through the Ages In this four minute video, designer Steven Heller traces the evolution of the tiny symbols for each Olympic sport since their appearance in 1936. [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco at 2:42 PM PST - 25 comments

Jim Corbett's Man Eaters Of Kumaon (1944) is a collection of true stories about the hunt for man-eating tigers and leopards in India. One of Corbett's most notable kills, the Champawat Tiger, was alleged to have killed some 436 people in Nepal and India. Similarly, the Leopard of Panar possibly killed some 400 people in northern India before she was hunted down herself. [more inside]
posted by SpringAquifer at 2:00 PM PST - 26 comments

New Orleans detective pleads guilty to major coverup of police shootings in aftermath of Katrina. Among other things, Lohman has admitted involvement in planting a handgun at the scene, drafting fake police reports, and lying to federal agents as part of a conspiracy to cover up the truth about a shooting incident in which six unarmed civilians were shot by New Orleans' police. With news of Lohman's guilty plea announcement coming amid a renewed DOJ push to investigate allegations of police abuse in New Orleans, some are wondering who'll be next in front of a jury. (Via TPM.)
posted by saulgoodman at 2:00 PM PST - 113 comments

The 31st Annual Eelpout Festival wrapped up in Walker, Minnesota, last weekend. The eelpout is an large, ugly, slimy freshwater cod. [more inside]
posted by mudpuppie at 12:59 PM PST - 16 comments

Chickam 2010. Chickens are hatching right now! Related SomethingAwful thread with chick names listed.
posted by chiababe at 12:36 PM PST - 37 comments

Due to a serious form of tu­ber­cu­lo­sis which he contracted on a trip to South America Christiaan Van Vuuren (aka Fully Sick Rapper) has been quarantined in a Australian hospital room since January 18th. "This is starting to take it's toll on my mental stability, and this song is about the impact (or lack thereof) it has had so far." [more inside]
posted by ericb at 12:33 PM PST - 16 comments

Why I'm Funny. By Joel Johnson. [Warning: About molestation.]
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 11:28 AM PST - 92 comments

The International Intellectual Property Alliance, an umbrella group for organisations including the MPAA and RIAA, has requested with the US Trade Representative to consider countries like Indonesia, Brazil and India for its “Special 301 watchlist” because they use open source software. (also here) [more inside]
posted by knz at 11:25 AM PST - 61 comments

Conan O'Brien joins Twitter. His first tweet gave him six times Jay Leno's entire Twitter following.
posted by misha at 10:31 AM PST - 108 comments

John Mayer gets some really bitchin’ typography. House Industries (last MeFi mention: 1999!) designs a limited-edition tour poster for the crooner who constantly steals the show on TMZ. “[U]ntil they come up with a JPEG format that makes metallics shimmer like a Solid Gold dancer’s outfit, there just isn’t a substitute for physically walking around a serigraph and watching the light bouncing off metallic and fluorescent inks.” [more inside]
posted by joeclark at 10:11 AM PST - 35 comments

Kelly Kulick just won the PBA Tournament (warning automatic video starts with this link). She is one of the first female professional athletes to ever win a prominent national sporting event against the best males in the sport. Interesting article questioning why she isn't being given more national recognition.
posted by bove at 9:51 AM PST - 71 comments

Sayaka Ganz creates amazing sculptures from reclaimed objects and scrap metal.
posted by HumanComplex at 9:49 AM PST - 3 comments

"In 1980, when Jimmy Carter created the 19 million acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, only six families of white settlers were allowed to keep cabins there. Heimo Korth and his wife, Edna, are the only ones left." [more inside]
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 9:31 AM PST - 22 comments

Baseball might not allow you to love it by playing it for all your time on Earth, but it can guide you to a love that can last that long. (NYTimes). As Spring Training begins, Doug Glanville, former MLB outfielder and UPenn graduate, offers an interesting and insightful look at how baseball can affect relationships and love. [more inside]
posted by arm426 at 9:00 AM PST - 28 comments


Deep from within the bellows, the great Earth monster awakens... to destroy your shoddily constructed city.
posted by Tlery at 8:06 AM PST - 21 comments

Changes to Orphan Works copyright legislation in the US began to crumble in 2008 when the NPPA and a grassroots initiative finally gained momentum. Still, the ASMP has a FAQ outlining their position on the 2008 Orphan Works bill stating that it is inevitable legislation and they should take advantage of a favourable congress to retain as positive a position for photographers as possible.

It seems that new laws are close to coming into effect in the UK government seemingly nationalising orphan works and in a separate action (same article) banning non-consentual photography making street photography essentially impossible. [via]

Previously
posted by michswiss at 7:18 AM PST - 18 comments

The Vault - Fascinating photography from the storerooms at various NZ museums, archives and libraries, by Neil Pardington. Including mammals, birds and card catalogues. [more inside]
posted by patricio at 6:28 AM PST - 8 comments



February 24

A two-dimensional piece of paper takes on a third dimension in recent works by paper cutting artists. Fairytales. Maps and fairies. Forests. Journeying through a book. (Previously) [more inside]
posted by emilyd22222 at 10:14 PM PST - 10 comments

Climate change could be accelerated by 'methane time bomb' Atmospheric methane levels began rising in 2007, when an Arctic heatwave caused sea ice to shrink significantly. Now new preliminary results suggest levels have continued to rise through 2008 and 2009. The new figures [were] disclosed [earlier this week] at the start of a two-day conference on greenhouse gases at the Royal Society in London. (more here; via).
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 8:45 PM PST - 47 comments

Gundam in Excel [SLYT]
posted by at the crossroads at 8:44 PM PST - 47 comments


The Teenager Audio Test "Clicking the play button below will produce a tone that is generally only heard by people under the age of 25. It has been used as a deterrent device to keep teenagers from loitering in malls and shops, and sounds similar to a buzzing mosquito. The elderly and people with hearing damage often cannot hear the sound." SLTO (Single Link The Oatmeal post) [more inside]
posted by sid at 8:29 PM PST - 201 comments

"Where Brooklyn At?!" by Adolf Hitler. [SLYT]
posted by phaedon at 8:12 PM PST - 46 comments

"Using the legal standard of "reckless behavior" all a district attorney needs to show is that a woman behaved in a manner that is thought to cause miscarriage, even if she didn't intend to lose the pregnancy. Drink too much alcohol and have a miscarriage? Under the new law such actions could be cause for prosecution." A new Utah law now makes intentional behavior leading to miscarriage or "reckless" behavior leading to miscarriage a crime punishable by life in prison.
posted by Avenger at 7:53 PM PST - 88 comments


The kids are calling it Two teachers one chair (SLYT). The news says that simulating a lap dance during a high school prep rally is going a little too far. What does in loco parentis mean these days? What's a teacher gotta do to be good these days?
posted by kneecapped at 6:49 PM PST - 66 comments

Power corrupts. Powerpoint corrupts absolutely. There are many online alternatives to Powerpoint (like 280 Slides, Google Docs and Sliderocket), but nothing breaks the mold quite like Prezi. [more inside]
posted by Hildegarde at 6:21 PM PST - 66 comments

Dig out the flannel from the attic--there's another grunge movement a-comin'! According to a new study from the Pew Research Center, the millennial generation (18-29 year olds) are becoming one of the most educated generations ever, but many of them are still unemployed. This research revealed another very scary statistic. They said the college students who graduate during a bad economy typically suffer long term consequences that can affect their careers and earnings for as long as 15 years (Gen-Xers everywhere wince). [more inside]
posted by njbradburn at 5:51 PM PST - 85 comments

Washington Post editor Marcus Brauchli confirms that Sally Quinn's column, "The Party," will no longer be featured in the print edition of the newspaper, after Quinn used her precious ink to inexplicably air a conflict she had with a family member who scheduled their daughters wedding to conflict with her son's own wedding. [more inside]
posted by mpbx at 5:45 PM PST - 48 comments

Laying bare the gratuitous assumptions of the patriarchal historical narrative. A weblog entry from the Aristasian Empire, of which a history and some kinnies [NSFW]. • Gobekli Tepe [previously] • Aristasia [previously]
posted by tellurian at 5:00 PM PST - 31 comments

A French association for non-smokers' rights has launched a new ad campaign [all links potentially NSFW] that visually equates smoking with oral sex, using the tagline: "To smoke is to be a slave to tobacco." The pictures show adolescents, young men and women, and the act looks submissive, even forced. Uproar ensues. The Minister for Families vows to ban the images. Commentators join in. French slang helps explain: "Faire un pipe" and "Fumer le cigare" are both common-enough terms for the act that most people who see the images would get the double-entendre. [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 3:46 PM PST - 70 comments

Students at the University of Mississippi voted yesterday to help select a new mascot. The previous mascot, Colonel Reb, a white-bearded old man with a cane and wide-brimmed hat, was removed from sporting events in 2003. There is now a student-led effort to select "Star Wars" character Admiral Ackbar (video of Ackbar saying "It's a trap!" here) as the new mascot. This effort includes a Facebook group and twitter account. The slogan is, "This time it's not a trap." Officials at the University say "No chance." Meanwhile, the "Save Colonel Reb Foundation" has sponsored a series of radio ads, including this one.
posted by bguest at 3:26 PM PST - 41 comments

Heavy Metal Curling! Gothenburg band, Hammerfall joins forces with the Swedish Women's Curling Team for a power metal promo. Meanwhile, Americans get shafted with the godawful AT&T Team USA Soundtrack. Curling owns the 2010 Olympics.
posted by snottydick at 3:12 PM PST - 30 comments


Killing Time. Daniela Edburg's (previously) series of photographs about compulsive knitting and death.
posted by Emanuel at 2:48 PM PST - 10 comments

I have been working on and off for about 2 years building our "D&D ROOM" to hold most of our collection and give us a cool place to play...
posted by Joe Beese at 2:44 PM PST - 61 comments

The Vermont state legislature voted today to close Vermont Yankee, the Green Mountain State's own nuclear power plant.
posted by vortex genie 2 at 2:26 PM PST - 26 comments

There are many exciting chemicals. These are the ones that Derek Lowe won't work with. Derek Lowe authors the "In The Pipeline" blog on Corante, and writes primarily about the pharmaceutical industry. However, the subset of entries marked "Things I Won't Work With" delves entertainingly into the realm of substances like dioxygen difluoride (tl;dr: it explodes. A lot.)
posted by scrump at 2:16 PM PST - 46 comments

Be forewarned that somewhere, sometime, someplace, some enterprising young man who seems to know ten times what you do about computers is going to try to convince you that his program will make a jug of cider jump off the table and turn ducks' eggs into solid gold. Look this man straight in the eye and ask him for names of people who are successfully using his program. DO NOT, under any circumstances, bet him that he can't do it. There's no telling what someone might be able to make a computer do.

A journey through the whimsical computer manuals of the Franklin Ace.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:17 PM PST - 8 comments


NSFWord: Effing Typeface.
posted by yellowbinder at 1:08 PM PST - 15 comments

The Kitchen Garden Planner allows you to create a customized plan for a Square Foot Garden. They also have designs for pre-planned square foot kitchen gardens, such as the high-yield garden and the salsa garden.
posted by mudpuppie at 12:53 PM PST - 17 comments

In 2006 some Italian teenagers filmed themselves assaulting a youth with Down Syndrome and uploaded the video to Google Video Italia. It was pulled from the site within hours, but that did not satisfy the Italian Down Syndrome support group named Vivi Down, who filed a complaint that resulted in a two-year investigation. That lead to charges and indictment of four Google executives, who were never aware of the video until after it had been removed, for violating Italy’s privacy code. Today the Italian court ruled that three of the four - chief legal officer David Drummond, global privacy counsel Peter Fleischer and former CFO George Reyes - are guilty, and sentenced them to 6 months to a year of jail-time. The fourth, Arvind Desikan, former head of Google Video in London, was acquitted. [more inside]
posted by BeerFilter at 12:22 PM PST - 78 comments

Rumor has it Hooters is for sale and could fetch up to $250 million. After the death of the chairman Robert H. Brooks about four years ago the company has been run by his son Coby who recently was on an episode of Undercover Boss. A legal battle erupted over Coby's widower step-mom claiming for a larger share of the inhertance under South Carolina's elective share law forcing the company to take on outside investors. Now the company looks to raise cash quick with a defunct airline, casino in default, and countless lawsuits plaguing its profitable salad dressing manufacturing, credit card, and franchise operations.
posted by wcfields at 11:14 AM PST - 169 comments

Yesterday Night Dawn: The Unpublished Poetry of Townes Van Zandt by David Broza was released. I heard it last night and have ordered my copy. [more inside]
posted by bjgeiger at 10:37 AM PST - 15 comments

Vanitas, the 17th-century Dutch still-life genre emphasizing transience and mortality, is reborn through the lens of photographer Justine Reyes using everyday objects that belonged to her grandmother. Reyes is not the first contemporary artist to reinterpret this genre.
posted by Rarebit Fiend at 9:35 AM PST - 11 comments

Oprah interviews Vietnamese peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh. The results may surprise you. [more inside]
posted by shii at 8:37 AM PST - 69 comments

What drives somebody to hunger strike? The hunger strike as a method of protest has been employed for a very long time indeed. The first thing I think of when the words "hunger strike" are mentioned is the story of Bobby Sands, despite the fact I was too young to know what was going on at the time. Is it fitting that the bizarre actions of a huge food company has inspired another hunger strike? [more inside]
posted by Homemade Interossiter at 8:27 AM PST - 15 comments

Margaret Cho's "My Lil' Wayne" (SLYT). A folksy song about fightin' the man, making a break for the border, and living large. Cakes, strippers, and hairbraiding!
posted by yeloson at 8:20 AM PST - 11 comments

“This is hard work and these are tough decisions, but students only have one chance for an education,” Education Secretary Duncan said, “and when schools continue to struggle we have a collective obligation to take action.” In response to a new federal mandate to fix under-performing schools, every teacher will be fired at Central Falls High School in Rhode Island.
posted by lunit at 7:29 AM PST - 229 comments

Unrelated Captions. (via the A.V. Club Blog)
posted by Johnny Assay at 7:23 AM PST - 28 comments


Why autism is different for girls: "We may think it only affects boys. But the female variant is often much harder to spot – and that means thousands of girls may be going undiagnosed."
posted by Len at 6:14 AM PST - 100 comments

"Generously sized, the Star Legacy's Regal Wide Body has extended dimensions width combined with an adjustable bed. Exceptional quality, sleek design and squared corners add to its contoured look. The hand-tailored white crepe interior and hand-painted, high gloss antique gunmetal finish is complemented with classically designed hardware and premium swing bars. it is the perfect match for the person who lived life to its fullest." Yep, Walmart now does caskets.
posted by unSane at 6:12 AM PST - 72 comments

Medieval funerary effigies and brasses provide a valuable and fascinating look at the fashion, heraldry, and armor of the Middle Ages. [more inside]
posted by Shohn at 6:05 AM PST - 5 comments

The G-Cans (warning: mind-blowing photos inside) water collecting system in Kasukabe City, Japan is a massive underground silo network (more photos) in the greater Tokyo area designed to control flooding (note: this site is in Japanese with English tour link) from typhoons. [more inside]
posted by bwg at 5:08 AM PST - 40 comments

February 23




A graphic code uncovered by researchers at the University of Victoria suggests that written communication may have started 30,000 years ago. At least 19 of the symbols were used frequently in far-flung caves over thousands of years, which suggests they represent abstract ideas such as life, love, higher power and death. It also suggests that Ice Age humans – who fall in the range of modern humans – agreed on some common meaning for the code. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu at 7:35 PM PST - 32 comments

About 8 years ago, U.S. Representative James Traficant (D-Ohio) was sentenced to 8 years in jail for kickbacks, fraud, bribery, and racketeering. He was tightly connected with the Youngstown Ohio Mafia. At the time, he was only the second Congressman since the Civil War to be expelled by his peers from the institution in a vote of 420:1. The fascinating story of the Youngstown Mafia - and Traficant's rise and fall - is told by David Grann (of Lost City of Z and The New Yorker) in a 2000 article called "Crimetown, U.S.A.". Traficant was released from prison on September 2, 2009 to a hometown hero welcome. On February 23, 2010, Traficant announced he will running for Congress as an Independent.
posted by stbalbach at 7:20 PM PST - 44 comments

From the bloody civil wars in Africa to the rag-tag insurgencies in Southeast Asia, 33 conflicts are raging around the world today, and it’s often innocent civilians who suffer the most. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 6:53 PM PST - 14 comments

Ten Word Wiki is an Encyclopedia for the ADD generation.
We describe everything in ten words exactly. Here's the Index.
posted by finite at 6:38 PM PST - 38 comments

The house where Elian Gonzales stayed in Florida is now a shrine. [more inside]
posted by Omon Ra at 6:14 PM PST - 15 comments

Though President Obama has signed no laws since taking office that prohibit gun purchases and ownership, that hasn't stopped permit applications and weapons sales in the United States from rising through the roof and worried state legislators from passing laws they wouldn't otherwise pass, which greatly ease access and allow carrying weapons in, among other public areas, city, state and national parks. Schools may have to get their kids prepared.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:14 PM PST - 102 comments

In the UK, a government-lead evidence check by the Science and Technology Select Committee has lead to MPs calling for a end to funding of homeopathic remedies on the NHS. [more inside]
posted by vodkaboots at 3:11 PM PST - 71 comments

Currently gearing up for their first new album in 20 years (previously), Devo are making their new single "Fresh" available for free download for the next 24 hours. [more inside]
posted by anazgnos at 2:52 PM PST - 61 comments

One spring afternoon more than 70 years ago, an East Texas teacher turned on an electric sander. The subsequent explosion caused the New London School to lift into the air and then smash into the ground, ultimately leaving some 300 students and teachers dead in the rubble. It remains the worst school disaster in American history. [more inside]
posted by SpringAquifer at 2:49 PM PST - 21 comments

Apartment Therapy, the multi-city shelter blog, generally seems to have an audience that's more Martha Stewart Living than Make. But their Home Hacks 2010 collects lots of little HOWTOs that are totally geek friendly, from "How to Build an Indoor Fort" and "How to Deduct Your Electronic Gear from Your Taxes" to "How to Clean Your Jeans Without Water." (Sure, that last one is meant for designer jeans, but who says you can't use it for your Levi's?)
posted by ocherdraco at 2:27 PM PST - 28 comments

Art by Riccardo Arena Ok so the site navigation is a bit of a pain, but this guy's stuff is IMHO worthy of any 'talent deserving of wider recognition' gong that might be going begging...
posted by peterkins at 1:55 PM PST - 2 comments

Bjørn Lomborg is well known as the author of Cool It and The Skeptical Environmentalist, books which challenge the scientific consensus on climate change and global warming. Howard Friel, previously known for his book The Record of the Paper, a critical look at the New York Times' coverage of American foreign policy, has a book coming out in March which asserts that Lomborg's Cool It lies constantly, citing sources which contradict or are irrelevant to his points. Lomborg, in response, has posted a rebuttal to Friel (PDF).
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:51 PM PST - 52 comments


It's true! IHOP is serving FREE PANCAKES TODAY to celebrate International Pancake Day. But wait... aren't they a week late? Who cares - I'll be glad to celebrate this day twice. [Previously: 2009 2008 2007 2006 . . . MetaFilter loves pancakes amirite?]
posted by not_on_display at 1:26 PM PST - 32 comments

Auto-Tune the News #10. The Auto-Tune folks come out with their next tune, and, like most of their ouevre so far, darn if they don't make Congress sound catchy. Sing about that turtle fence, Hoekstra baby!
posted by WCityMike at 12:41 PM PST - 36 comments

"What if the boy didn’t stop? Would you spank him forever, or would you stop when it bordered on abuse, in which case the child would win?" On February 6, seven-year-old Lydia Schatz was murdered by her parents. Her eleven-year-old sister Zariah was hospitalized for kidney failure, among other injuries. Both girls had repeatedly been beaten with quarter-inch plastic plumbing supply line, a punishment instrument recommended by Michael and Debi Pearl of No Greater Joy ministries. [more inside]
posted by cereselle at 12:32 PM PST - 316 comments


"Forget everything you did today. Clear your schedule and spend the next half hour watching this video. It’s a presentation by Jesse Schell, founder of Schell Games and former creative director of the Disney Imagineering Virtual Reality Studio. A veteran game designer, he is also on the faculty of the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University. In a talk at the DICE 2010 conference held last week in Las Vegas, he gave a presentation called Design Outside the Box. It is the most mind-blowing thing I’ve seen in a long, long time. And while this presentation was about the future of games, Schell could very well be talking about the future of technology."
posted by erikvan at 12:00 PM PST - 65 comments

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that a corporation's principal place of business is where the executive's work (HQ), not where the company does business. The practical effect of this ruling is that it will be harder to sue corporations in state courts, which are often more plaintiff-friendly than federal courts. For example, in this case Hertz employees sued the company in California, where they worked, for unpaid overtime and vacation wages. The company tried to move the case to federal court, but it was returned to state court on the basis that most of the company's business was done in California. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed. Justice Breyer, writing for the court, reversed. The Court's decision (pdf format) essentially holds that a company's headquarters is where it is located. [more inside]
posted by bearwife at 11:45 AM PST - 45 comments

Girls Night Out [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:05 AM PST - 22 comments

In 1902, Francisco Tárrega wrote a very nice waltz. Little did he realize that 91 years later, a few bars in the middle would be plucked from obscurity to become the most-frequently heard tune in the world. And now, the beguilingly irksome Nokia Tune has begotten its own subgenre of pieces - some silly, some lovely - that take its theme as a starting point. Fugues! Improvisations! Orchestrations! Parodies! And perhaps my favourite: A whole new waltz. [more inside]
posted by bicyclefish at 10:50 AM PST - 23 comments

Obsessed with xkcd's Movie Narrative Charts? (previously) So was Vadim Ogievetsky. For his final project in a Data Visualization course at Stanford, he developed a tool to generate his own, including the Star Wars Original Trilogy and Pulp Fiction. Now he offers the webapp online for you to take a stab at it. [more inside]
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 9:42 AM PST - 70 comments

Toyota executives are currently testifying before Congress about the safety issues that have led to the recall of millions of vehicles. They insist that "We are confident that no problems exist with the electronic throttle control system in our vehicles." Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) says "I would not consider... of value" their report in support of this claim.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:04 AM PST - 142 comments

Saw on Gizmodo today a DIY 3D Printer, based on an open source design, that prints ceramic structures ready for firing. 3D printing has been around for years, but the low-end of this technology fascinates me. Once these machines get more widely into the hands of non-engineers, how many Bathsheba Grossmans out there will emerge with ready-to-print designs for craftsmen around the world to tweak and innovate? Twinkling of a peer-to-peer manufacturing revolution?
posted by cross_impact at 8:36 AM PST - 30 comments


8 Ways to Make Beatles Rock Band More Appealing to 14 Year Old Boys Quick recommendations to make the next edition of Beatles Rock Band more appealing to fourteen year old boys, based on the findings of my investigation.
posted by will wait 4 tanjents at 5:50 AM PST - 87 comments

How to explain video games to a medievalist, or at least, the sub-set of medievalists who are not also video game geeks (who I think are a larger group than Got Medieval does).
posted by jb at 5:23 AM PST - 62 comments

There are many ways to eat your own head. You could start from the inside out, then maybe wrap your face around your neck. Or you could try a more convoluted approach with an elaborate use of the tongue. You could eat your own head one piece at a time. Whether or not you have a natural talent for self-cannibalism, do your very best with your face.
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:45 AM PST - 17 comments

Ladies and Gentlemen, the amazing voice of Luc Arbogast. Here's another video of his impressive singing, if you can manage to ignore the dodgy camera work and annoying tourists. [more inside]
posted by bwg at 4:38 AM PST - 13 comments

Yummy avocados. So delicious...so contentious...and at times...so expensive. Why have prices in the U.S., particularly California, been so high? And why have they dropped? Weather and a bad crop? Or are the causes often more insidious? A one act play sums up one perspective on the situation. [more inside]
posted by thisperon at 1:43 AM PST - 70 comments

February 22

“Wrap with care, save the polar bear.” Endangered species condoms: exactly what it says on the tin. Use them to prevent human overpopulation and leave some room on the planet for everything else!
posted by spitefulcrow at 10:37 PM PST - 45 comments

BEHOLD: The Grand Orbital Table (single link pretty picture)
posted by water bear at 10:27 PM PST - 31 comments

Ever wanted to know how you would do on the SAT verbal? Feel like showing off at cocktail parties that you know the capitals of Africa and the Middle East? Now you can! [more inside]
posted by the_royal_we at 10:15 PM PST - 23 comments

Kevin O'Neil, classic 2000ad artist, co-creator of Marshall Law, frequent colaborator with Alan Moore and the only artist ever to be outright banned by the Comics code Authority ("there’s nothing you can change — the style is unsuitable!”) talks at length in an epic interview at the comics journal: Part one, part two, part three, part four, part five.
posted by Artw at 9:37 PM PST - 23 comments


File this under terrible, but in just the right way: Say hello to teen Christian rockers Final Placement! They want to share their joy with the world, actual tunes be damned. (via A.V. Club) [more inside]
posted by The Devil Tesla at 8:05 PM PST - 65 comments

In this day of twitters, emails, and SMS messages, there is something suddenly strangely fascinating about reviewing written personal correspondence. For example, consider this this letter from artist Winston Smith to a young fan named Austin Kleon. On the other side of the "inspiration coin" is this letter in which San Francisco's Harvey Milk defends cult leader Jim Jones. But perhaps the most bizarre correspondence to hit the Internet of late is this letter from Supreme Court Justice Scalia to an aspiring screenwriter, in which Justice Scalia declares that the concept of secession is not something he can help the writer understand.
posted by crazyray at 7:46 PM PST - 18 comments

"I only listen to cassettes," Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore told CBC radio last summer: an article on the merits [or otherwise] of releasing new music on cassette. [more inside]
posted by meech at 7:31 PM PST - 91 comments


Soon there will be a sword for every man, woman, and child in the city. But come on, it's not like they're dangerous. OR ARE THEY? In six episodes of Cautionary Tales of Swords, Trip Fisk makes the case for the danger of nature's hell sticks and while they'll fucking slice a baby in half.
posted by pokermonk at 5:40 PM PST - 38 comments

A copy of Action Comics #1, featuring the first appearance of Superman, has sold for $1,000,000.
posted by the bricabrac man at 5:01 PM PST - 79 comments

The Legacy of Billy Tauzin: Paul Blumenthal of the Sunlight Foundation details the complicated set of meetings that allowed the now retiring head of prescription drug lobby group PhRMA (derided in a popular Obama campaign spot) to secure influence on the health care bill in exchange for their endorsement. The White House officially announced its health care plan today. [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 4:33 PM PST - 19 comments

Each day, we are surrounded by seemingly insignificant objects, taking them from one place to the other, or leaving them on a table for weeks, without paying any attention to them. We ignore or forget them, using things only when we need to, making sure they don’t interfere or inhabit our space. But what if they were not so stable and subservient? What if they could swivel, bounce or even fly? And what if they did so all at the same time? This experiment is about re-discovering our daily surroundings. Each object is assigned to a letter on the keyboard, and can be activated or deactivated at any time. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 3:39 PM PST - 19 comments

Online booster drafts at Le Bestiaire Here you can draft (the) Magic the Gathering game by selecting the editions of the virtual boosters you want to open. This Magic Draft website simulates other players of the draft which allows you to play against 'bots'. From rarities like Arabian Nights to Worldwake, The Bestiary's monsters are not merely beautiful paper tigers but gamepieces guided by gestalt player logic into a compelling simulation of the Magic booster draft game. With over 15 years of cards to admire and miser over, in French, English, Chinese, German, and more. Have fun drafting Ali from Cairo.
posted by kid ichorous at 2:29 PM PST - 25 comments

IE6 Funeral [via mefi projects]
posted by kbrower3 at 2:19 PM PST - 90 comments

Today, Gemfields, operator of the Kagem mine in Zambia has announced the discovery of "Insofu". Coming in at 6225 carats, Insofu is one of the largest (currently uncut) emeralds ever discovered (behind the 7025 carat Colombian emerald Emilia, and the very poor quality 1182 lb. Madagascar emerald). Insofu means elephant in the language of the Bemba people who are indigenous to the area, and was named because of both its amazing size and in honor of the World Land Trust's "Wild Lands Elephant Corridor Project" in India which Gemfields participates in. [more inside]
posted by strixus at 12:48 PM PST - 29 comments


Let Me Show You Vermont. Sketches and other imagery of small-town Vermont from Susan Abbott.
posted by Nothing... and like it at 12:29 PM PST - 23 comments



In My Arms: a site about unconscious women carried in the arms of monsters, bad guys and other creepy individuals. [Google Cache]
posted by brundlefly at 12:15 PM PST - 24 comments

Why Americans Love the Dalai Lama : an insightful piece from CNN preceding his appearance tonight at 9PM EST on Larry King Live. [more inside]
posted by grapefruitmoon at 11:15 AM PST - 107 comments

ChurchRater - like Yelp!, but for churches.
posted by jtron at 11:12 AM PST - 33 comments

We may soon be able to clone Neanderthals. But should we? An essay from Archaeology Magazine examines the ethical, scientific and legal ramifications. (Via Heather Pringle's Time Machine blog, where essay author Zach Zorich posted a reply and elicited a response.) [more inside]
posted by zarq at 9:48 AM PST - 207 comments


Many are familiar with Operation Paperclip - the secret U.S. program that brought Nazi scientists to our shores in order to develop the American space program. However, the details surrounding the Nazi V-2 program has always been a little murky in the eyes of the American people - it turns out that more people were killed building V-2 rockets than from actual V-2 rocket attacks. A new photography exhibit called Dora and the V-2: Slave Labor in the Space Age aims to transform perceptions in one of the American communities most affected by the influx of Nazi scientists... [more inside]
posted by cinemafiend at 8:42 AM PST - 56 comments


Ann Weber makes curvy, bulbous, towering organic forms, some as tall as sixteen feet, entirely from carboard. Beautiful. One week left to catch her exhibit in San Francisco.
posted by cross_impact at 7:32 AM PST - 7 comments

In the 1880s at a time when most Europeans were denied access to the Japanese interior an Italian photographer managed to capture many images of Old Japan. These were then beautifully and realistically hand painted and serve as a remarkable record of a world long since disappeared. Victorian-era photos of Japan.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:30 AM PST - 28 comments

A runway that intersects with a major road. A short runway that begins and ends with cliffs over the ocean. All in all, the most ridiculous runways you will ever touch down on. [more inside]
posted by emilyd22222 at 7:10 AM PST - 47 comments


The Observer publish an excerpt of Andrew Rawnsley's new book, in which he alleges that Gordon Brown has been aggressive and volatile in power. Immediately up pops a representative of an organisation called the National Bullying Helpline, which says it has received calls from "inside Downing Street", garnering TV news appearances. However, is the NBH all that it seems? [more inside]
posted by Grangousier at 1:18 AM PST - 40 comments

"The reality is that the post-bailout era in which Goldman [Sachs] thrived has turned out to be a chaotic frenzy of high-stakes con-artistry, with taxpayers and clients bilked out of billions using a dizzying array of old-school hustles that, but for their ponderous complexity, would have fit well in slick grifter movies like The Sting and Matchstick Men. There's even a term in con-man lingo for what some of the banks are doing right now, with all their cosmetic gestures of scaling back bonuses and giving to charities. In the grifter world, calming down a mark so he doesn't call the cops is known as the "Cool Off.""
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:23 AM PST - 50 comments

February 21

Nearly a third of Texans believe humans and dinosaurs roamed the earth at the same time, according to a University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll. Meet the Flinstones.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:30 PM PST - 177 comments

ZDNet(!) reports on a strange case of technology journalism malfeasance. It turns out that journalist Randall C. Kennedy has been posing as the CTO of Devil Mountain Software, purveyor of Windows performance data.
posted by whir at 9:12 PM PST - 45 comments

Andrew Koenig is missing. Koening is best known for his role as Boner on the 80s sitcom Growing Pains. He is the son of Star Trek actor Walter Koenig. He was last seen in Vancouver at the Winter Olympics but his family hasn't heard from him since Valentines Day. [more inside]
posted by Bonzai at 8:35 PM PST - 119 comments

Been on the internet a while? Think you've seen it all? Time to make sure:

You Should Have Seen This.com and You Should Have Also Seen This.com
posted by flatluigi at 7:34 PM PST - 61 comments


Teresa Nielsen Hayden dismantles the latest claims of plagarism leveled at JK Rowling's Harry Potter series.
posted by Artw at 6:26 PM PST - 110 comments

One of the longest-running and most-revered Samurai series of Japan, Zatoichi, The Blind Swordsman, played by actor Shintaro Katsu, produced 25 films and 112 episodes of a popular television series. It was a popular favorite, and concerned the titular character Zatoichi, a poor blind mendicant masseur who carried with him a deadly secret: a hidden cane sword and complete mastery of swordsmanship, despite his blindness. Zatoichi was by far the great antihero of classic samurai cinema. Often low-budget, sometimes schlocky, always thrilling, the Zatoichi series has slowly become more well-known outside Japan in later years. Criterion has just debuted a Hulu channel offering six of the greatest feature-length Zatoichi classics – the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh – completely free of charge: The Tale Of Zatoichi Continues [1962]; New Tale of Zatoichi [1963]; The Fugitive [1963]; On the Road [1963]; and Zatoichi and the Chest of Gold [1964].
posted by koeselitz at 5:56 PM PST - 40 comments


In the US, for the past thirty years, new laws have been stripping judges of any discretion whatsoever in ensuring sentencing and other consequences of criminal activity are fair. Enter Qing Wong Hu, a Chinese immigrant who arrived in the US when he was 5, and now faces deportation for a string of muggings he committed in New York City in 1996, when he was still a juvenile. This, despite his successfully turning his life around and becoming a hard working, productive member of society.
posted by wierdo at 5:08 PM PST - 19 comments

Vancouver has long struggled with a reputation as a "No Fun City", largely due to draconian BC liquor laws. Many prohibition-era laws were not repealed until 1999 or later. The struggle to bring fun to the city culminated in the 2010 Olympics; but on Saturday, the fun proved too much for city officials, and police ordered all downtown liquor stores to close at 7pm. [more inside]
posted by mek at 5:05 PM PST - 69 comments

Scott Salyer transformed the family business into one of the largest providers of processed tomatoes in the US. Apparent business success descended into family infighting, scandal, and bankruptcy. Earlier this month he was arrested and charged after a federal investigation charged him with orchestrating a massive price fixing conspiracy as CEO of SK Foods [more inside]
posted by humanfont at 4:44 PM PST - 7 comments

Breastfeeding has a variety of health benefits for both the mother and the infant. The World Heath Organization has a global strategy to encourage it, and Salma Hayek famously breastfed a baby in Africa. When mothers New York City have trouble with this sometimes difficult task, they bring in Frenda Rosenfeld, a certified lactation consultant.
posted by elder18 at 3:49 PM PST - 84 comments

New York Public Library is crowdsourcing the rectification of maps in their digital gallery. Help match rare maps of NYC to more precise current maps, browse rectified maps, or lend a hand rectifying maps of Haiti to help relief efforts.
posted by exesforeyes at 3:42 PM PST - 9 comments

Folk America: Excellent BBC 3-part documentary tracing folk music from the '20s to the folk revival of the '60s, encompassing the depression and the civil rights era. part 1: Birth of a Nation (59.21) part 2: This Land is Your Land (59:30) part 3: Blowin' in the Wind (58:49) [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive at 10:42 AM PST - 13 comments

"Since their birth early in the century, comic books had been regarded as a kind of junior magazine and allowed to occupy space on the shelves or spinner racks of newsstands, grocery stores, drugstores, dime stores, and sometimes even bookstores. They caught on quickly and, initially, more than earned their place in those venues, but after the 1940s, the comics industry experienced more downs than ups. The Marvel-led resurgence of the 1960s had foundered by the 1970s to the point where extinction seemed like a real possibility. Comics retailer (and former distributor) Steve Schanes put it succinctly: 'Comics were on their last breath. They couldn’t have lasted another four years.'"

Part One: Fine Young Cannibals: How Phil Seuling and a Generation of Teenage Entrepreneurs Created the Direct Market and Changed the Face of Comics [more inside]
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:03 AM PST - 51 comments

65_RedRoses is Eva Markvoort’s online handle—chosen because red is her favourite colour, and because when she was little, 65 Roses was how she said Cystic Fibrosis, the genetic disease she’s battled her whole life. Her wait for a double lung transplant, and her online friendship with two other young women battling CF are documented in the award-winning film 65_RedRoses.

After receiving her lung transplant two years, Eva has since had to battle with chronic rejection. Eva made an video on Feb 11th, announcing that things have taken a turn for the worse. As friends and family wait with her, every extra day becomes a gift and brings new hope.
posted by stray at 9:56 AM PST - 14 comments


"Modes and Motors was a publication produced by General Motors Styling Section in 1938. It is reproduced here in its entirety because its message of what automobile and product design is supposed to represent is lost on today’s world. Modes and Motors is a snapshot into the way designers used to think about their profession."
So then Dean's Garage would be the fat album of classic automobile styling and design from which it came, documenting a long, beautifully chromed age of optimism.
posted by carsonb at 9:00 AM PST - 7 comments

When Yitta Schwartz died last month at 93, she left behind 15 children, more than 200 grandchildren and so many great- and great-great-grandchildren that, by her family’s count, she could claim perhaps 2,000 living descendants.
posted by R. Mutt at 6:52 AM PST - 130 comments

February 20

An eloquently spoken and helpful jerk has been appearing on Chatroulette. His interactions with strangers must be seen.
posted by Arthur Phillips Jones Jr at 11:30 PM PST - 87 comments

Asaekkiga a comic by Yang Young Soon
posted by MetaMonkey at 10:44 PM PST - 26 comments

Chasing Ghosts is a terrific documentary that follows the fates of the winners of the 1982 arcade world championships and the short lived era when coin operated Video Arcades boomed and then busted coming to a crashing end shortly after 1984. It focuses primarily on the first player to play a perfect game of Pac Man, meaning going 256 levels, on one man and eating four ghosts on every powerpellet (in the first 19 screens after that the ghosts don't turn) and ending up on the kill screen and finding all the hidden dots there. (Warning lots of Youtube.)
posted by ExitPursuedByBear at 6:44 PM PST - 50 comments

Musician and actor Phil Collins has a passion for the Alamo.
posted by theperfectcrime at 6:36 PM PST - 74 comments

He was... "...the meanest, toughest, most ambitious S.O.B. I ever knew but he'll be a hell of a secretary of state." -- Richard Nixon
Alexander Meigs Haig, Jr.,, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, who served US Presidents Nixon (as a military adviser, deputy assistant for national-security affairs, and chief of staff), Ford (chief of staff), and Reagan (secretary of state), has died at the age of 85. Haig commanded a batallion during the Vietnam War (where he was seriously wounded), managed the White House during the Watergate scandal that brought down President Nixon, and was himself a former Presidential candidate. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 6:34 PM PST - 40 comments

Luna Commons is a database of sixteen free digital image collections built using Luna Imaging's Insight software. And there's a lot of cool stuff, well over a hundred thousand images all available for download in good resolution. Here are some of the collections featured: Pratt Institute Fashion Plate Collection, The Farber Gravestones Collection, Maps of Africa, Cornell Political Americana Collection and the The Estate Collection of art by HIV+ artists. The advanced search allows you to search across all collection, for example seeing everything across all collections about animals or New York or your birthyear. Whatever you look for, it's gonna bring up a boatload of interesting images.
posted by Kattullus at 5:57 PM PST - 4 comments


His bank was threatening forclosure on his $350,000 home, so one Iowa man takes the next logical step: he bulldozes it to a pile of rubble. [embedded local news video]
posted by zardoz at 4:31 PM PST - 99 comments

The Land of Underwater Birds - a novelist looks at the art of choosing a title for your novel.
posted by empath at 4:07 PM PST - 34 comments

When Alan Cooper was in the second grade, his teacher introduced him to "homonyms," those words, like "caret" and "carrot" that are pronounced the same, but are spelled differently, and that have different meanings. The concept intrigued him, and over the years he has maintained an ever-growing list. Alan Cooper's Homonyms. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 3:59 PM PST - 54 comments

Feel like having some Uncanny X-Pasta (PDF) or an Incredible Hulk Burger for dinner tonight? Sadly, you'll have to time-travel back to 1998 to visit Marvel Mania, the short-lived Marvel Comics theme restaurant (PDFs) that briefly graced Universal Studios.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 3:55 PM PST - 14 comments

Pat Graham takes photographs, mostly of Modest Mouse and other musicians but also of other stuff.
posted by mygothlaundry at 3:52 PM PST - 2 comments

"My brother had an MC Hammer album that was riddled with silent patches because my mom had erased the dirty bits from the cassette. I really don’t know how she did it — that might be a lost art — but she had it mastered." Harpist Joanna Newsom talks to The Times Online about her lackadaisical approach to paying the cable bill, last year's experience with vocal cord nodes and her new triple LP Have One On Me.
posted by porn in the woods at 3:21 PM PST - 34 comments

Prose and Motion is an anagram game with built in physics. [more inside]
posted by krakedhalo at 2:51 PM PST - 14 comments

You have reached 1-800-I Feel OK.(mp3) To leave your own OK Soda Related Coincidence, Press 1. To listen to Coincidences, press 2. To respond to the OK Soda Personality Inventory, Press 3. To hear other fascinating options press [more inside]. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:47 PM PST - 25 comments

The investigation into the 2001 anthrax attacks (dubbed "Amerithrax" by the FBI) is now closed. Yesterday, the Department of Justice released a 92-page summary [pdf] of their investigation. Their conclusion -- that USAMRIID scientist Bruce Ivins was the culprit -- was backed by an impressive amount of evidence, including microbiological detective work (p. 23 ff). But some of the investigation was downright bizarre.... [more inside]
posted by cgs06 at 1:00 PM PST - 46 comments


Sick of the Tea Party? Then try The Cocktail Party! (no, not that Cocktail Party). With a platform that includes nationalizing the banks, abolishing marriage, establishing national healthcare, and opening national borders, the Cocktail Party is for "left wing urban homosexuals and the people who love us." Is America ready for this self-proclaimed "motley crew of miscegenated sex crazed lushes who read Marx and Fanon, seeking to support our lifestyles by taking resources from the rich and powerful and redistributing them with abandon"? Or perhaps a more important question: will they make a difference?
posted by Saxon Kane at 11:04 AM PST - 89 comments

Speculations have been made about Van Gogh, Julius Caesar, Dostoyevsky, Napoleon, and many others. A case has been made to add Emily Dickinson to their ranks.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:21 AM PST - 59 comments

Inspired by Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing, other authors give their own lists of personal dos and don'ts (Part 1, Part 2).
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:10 AM PST - 139 comments

“We are not moving concrete or water but we are delivering situational awareness.” Mobilizing immediately after earthquake, professional (fb) and volunteer emergency mappers (aided by instantly released satellite imagery and the structure of the OpenStreetMap project); came together in impromptu “Crisis Camps” rushed to meet the need for information on missing persons, roads, emergencies calls, existing infrastructure, damage, and now internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps. [more inside]
posted by stratastar at 1:35 AM PST - 17 comments

In 1979, British artist Kit Williams buried a golden hare in the UK countryside and published a book of painted clues detailing, for those clever enough to solve the riddle, the hare's whereabouts. Mefi's own Paul Slade shares the entire intriguing saga on his website, PlanetSlade. [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by maxwelton at 1:22 AM PST - 35 comments

February 19

Health and safety issues at an 'investment casting' (AKA 'lost wax') factory near Ningbo. Seventh in a series of photo essays (1 2 3 4 5 6) by Hong Kong-based independent photographer Alex Hofford, looking at life and work in the factories of southern China where the world's stuff gets made.
posted by Abiezer at 8:47 PM PST - 36 comments

Star Trek’s Warp Speed would kill According to a recent presentation and paper by William A. Edelstein, Ph.D., it would nearly impossible for humans to travel at near light speed (warp speed) due to intense radiation. So intense, it would kill humans and render electronic equipment useless in seconds. Some Star Trek fans are not happy... [more inside]
posted by purephase at 7:07 PM PST - 147 comments

Sex@MIT [more inside]
posted by SpecialK at 6:41 PM PST - 50 comments

Due to a rewording of the rules Science Fiction podcast StarShipSofa (previously, previously, previously) could be eligible for a Hugo award. Meanwhile the current episode features The Gambler (text version here), a story by Paolo Bacigalupi - best known as the author of The Windup Girl, one of TIME Magazine's ten books of the year ("Not just science fiction, mind, but fiction, generally") and almost certainly a favorite for the Hugo's best novel category.
posted by Artw at 3:49 PM PST - 32 comments


At first, it seemed the Azeris would win the Olympic Pants War handily, but then Norway, with its argyle advantage (in crazy and crazier varieties), seemed to have taken the lead. Now, US snowboard cross racer Nate Holland (competing, of course, in this wonderful outfit) is stepping in to set the pants rules for his own sport. But in the end, no matter what country they're competing for, it's the figure skaters who have won. As history has shown us, they always have the best pants of them all.
posted by ocherdraco at 1:20 PM PST - 73 comments

So you own a hotel and think it's a good idea to woo the US curling community. So you borrow some regulation size stones, lay down some synthetic ice sheets in the ballroom, and... (wait. what? synthetic ice? Cool!) Anyway free curling expo starting tonight at the Hilton Garden Inn in downtown DC.
posted by cross_impact at 11:17 AM PST - 51 comments

Scott Walker's BBC TV program, simply titled Scott, ran for just six weeks in 1969. While footage has yet to surface (the 2006 Walker documentary 30 Century Man was unable to unearth anything), the audio portion of the two half-hour pilot episodes from 1968 has been made available [ep1-Aug 6] [ep2-Dec. 30], along with a thoughtful article. Scott performs some fine covers, including Jacques Brel's "Matilda" and "If You Go Away" in the August episode. (guest star: Kiki Dee)
posted by porn in the woods at 11:15 AM PST - 16 comments

“For me, augmented reality has to be the future for 2020, together with it's close cousin the internet of things... It will become commonplace to be able to overlay reviews of a product simply by pointing a screen at it, or check the weather forecast by pointing your phone at the sky.” The Pew Research Center releases its The Future of the Internet IV report, an online survey of 895 technology stakeholders’ and critics’ expectations of social, political and economic change by 2020. [more inside]
posted by cashman at 11:15 AM PST - 34 comments

Will marry for health insurance. "They're not going to pass health-care reform, so what are my options? Friends and I were joking, and one friend said,'Well, you could always marry some guy who has a good policy.' And I thought, You know what. That's crazy. That's unbelievable, but it's my only option." [more inside]
posted by velvet winter at 10:20 AM PST - 179 comments

See the trailer for Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields, a documentary ten years in the making that's debuting at SXSW next month. Watch Merritt write a song. Listen to a one-hour concert of songs from 69 Love Songs. Read Merritt's thoughts on writing love songs.
posted by carrienation at 9:37 AM PST - 57 comments

Argentine folklore composer, pianist and director Ariel Ramírez died last night after a long illness. Those who know of him abroad probably do so for his Misa Criolla. This is just the (deservedly famous) tip of a giant iceberg of Argentine music, as he was teacher to many, collaborator to a lot more, cataloguer and promoter of traditional folk music and dances, and defender of local composers rights since his early years of fame. [more inside]
posted by Iosephus at 9:16 AM PST - 6 comments

JAZARI! How it works.
posted by bigmusic at 9:08 AM PST - 28 comments

As Dieter Zimmer’s online exhibit "Covering Lolita" shows, it started with a plain green jacket. [Note: Some links include images which may be NSFW.] [more inside]
posted by bunnycup at 9:06 AM PST - 40 comments

Friday Flash Fun: Did you enjoy Cyclomaniacs? Enjoying the Winter Olympics? You might enjoy Ski Maniacs! Ski Maniacs uses similar controls and physics. Do tricks and complete timetrials to complete the game and unlock additional characters.
posted by schyler523 at 7:38 AM PST - 8 comments

Star Wars Urban Photography Click "Work" then "The Dark Lens (Star Wars)" (It's a flash gallery, non-flash view of artist's photos) via)
posted by zarq at 7:21 AM PST - 63 comments

Old car horns sound off (via)
posted by nitsuj at 6:52 AM PST - 21 comments

Trending Now: Bus Thievery On The rise.
posted by Xurando at 6:03 AM PST - 42 comments

If MetaFilter took a shower, this is what it would sing. [via] [more inside]
posted by robcorr at 12:35 AM PST - 56 comments

February 18

Gorgeous new covers for Around the World in 80 Days, Journey to the Center of the Earth, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and From the Earth to the Moon by design student Jim Tierney.
posted by Omon Ra at 9:03 PM PST - 29 comments

pups & order. MLYT. Various dogs sing along with the opening theme of television show Law & Order. [more inside]
posted by ovvl at 8:50 PM PST - 45 comments


Jesus Beer
posted by cjorgensen at 6:35 PM PST - 57 comments

The moving finger writes and having writ, moves on. From the Globe and Mail website: "John Babcock, Canada’s last known First World War veteran, has died, the Prime Minister’s Office said Thursday. Mr. Babcock was 109. In a statement, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he is deeply saddened to learn of Mr. Babcock’s death. He said that because Mr. Babcock was Canada’s last living link to the First World War, it marks the end of an era. Mr. Babcock joined the military at the age of 16, but because of his age he wasn’t allowed on the frontlines." I could link to bazillions of relevancies but really, so can you. It's all over Canadian news websites. But perhaps just this. Gone west. Rest in Peace, sir. Lest We Forget.
posted by Mike D at 5:45 PM PST - 42 comments

CyArk is a non-profit which makes three-dimensional scans of archaeological sites with lasers in effort to digitally preserve them. It currently has 27 projects, including Chichén Itzá, Angkor Wat, Anasazi Pueblos in Mesa Verde, Thebes, Rapa Nui and the Royal Tombs at Kasubi. There's quite a lot of material about Cyark online, including profiles Wired Science, a lecture by founder Ben Kacyra at Google as well as an article in Archaeology and an article by two CyArk employees in Professional Surveyor describing how they work.
posted by Kattullus at 5:32 PM PST - 12 comments

More Wilfred Sätty than you had before. The artist was posted about here previously about a decade ago, but there was a very limited amount of his work available at the time. Ephemera Assemblyman has, predictably, found quite a lot since then. His psychedelic collages are well worth a look.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 4:58 PM PST - 4 comments

Photoshop Cookies [SLV]
posted by Taft at 4:15 PM PST - 21 comments

Clavilux 2000 - Interactive instrument for generative music visualization. The music visualization consists of a digital piano with 88 keys and midi output, a computer running a vvvv patch and a vertical projection above the keyboard. How it works. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 4:08 PM PST - 19 comments



Babies with laser eyes.
posted by boo_radley at 2:47 PM PST - 36 comments

Remembering the pleasures I enjoyed, I renew them, and I laugh at the pains which I have endured and which I no longer feel. Of Giacomo Girolamo Casanova de Seingalt ‘s Histoire de ma vie, Kenneth Rexroth wrote: Purity, simplicity, definition, impact — these qualities of Homer are those of Casanova too. … He has equals but no superiors in the art of direct factual narrative. ... Time and its ruining passage color all the book. His sense of his own imminent death lurks in the dark background of every brilliantly lit lusty and bawdy tableau. After an unusually colorful history, the manuscript has been donated to France's National Library. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese at 2:10 PM PST - 6 comments

A worrisome set of posts from Princeton University's 'Freedom to Tinker" Blog:
In many situations, it may be far easier to unmask apparently anonymous online speakers than they, I, or many others in the policy community have appreciated. Today, I'll tell a story that helps explain what I mean. Second post: what BoingBoing knows about John Doe. Third, and most concerning post: The traceability of an online anonymous comment. Related post: a well researched review of the privacy concerns around the roll-out of, and push-back against, Google Buzz.
posted by Rumple at 1:05 PM PST - 41 comments

It started up once more following Canada's record-breaking 18-0 win over Slovakia -- that is, the debate over the validity of women's hockey as an Olympic event. Despite a riveting Canada-U.S. rivalry in the sport, there remains a wide gap between these two powers and the rest of the world. This all comes in the wake of the IOC's decision to delist baseball and softball as Olympic sports. [more inside]
posted by hiteleven at 12:58 PM PST - 147 comments

Miss those knee-slapper Bushisms? The same technology that will give cancer-stricken Roger Ebert back his voice can be used to generate the voice of Dubya through the magic of Bush-o-matic.
posted by jefficator at 12:39 PM PST - 64 comments

Sleep problems? There are a slew of new products out there that purport to help people improve the quality of their sleep by tracking things like brainwaves and movement. Thomas Goetz (who seems to have written the book on these types of things), offers a glimpse into a handful of the more well known offerings.
posted by erikvan at 12:16 PM PST - 19 comments

In 2008, Gabe Delahaye, senior editor of Videogum (previously), began the Hunt for the Worst Movie of All Time. From A.I. to Zardoz, over 70 films have so far been surveyed, including Crash, Caligula (nsfw), Kangaroo Jack, Gigli, The Notebook, and Closer. [more inside]
posted by rollick at 11:54 AM PST - 140 comments


Past solutions for The Vagrancy Problem focused on labour houses and farm colonies to strip the highways of "the homeless and confirmed idlers."[pdf] But times have changed and society has progressed. [more inside]
posted by chococat at 11:37 AM PST - 8 comments

Talking About Energy at TED "Bill Gates unveils his vision for the world's energy future, describing the need for 'miracles' to avoid planetary catastrophe and explaining why he's backing a dramatically different type of nuclear reactor. The necessary goal? Zero carbon emissions globally by 2050." Others, however, reckon no breakthroughs are needed.
posted by kliuless at 11:00 AM PST - 31 comments

This morning, in Austin, Texas, a Piper Cherokee single-engine plane [was] crashed into an office building partially occupied by the IRS. It appears to be the work of an individual, but the story keeps getting weirder. The suspected person may have also burned his house down this morning.
posted by fiercecupcake at 10:53 AM PST - 236 comments

The Miami-Dade County Justice Department presents the 1988 Miami-Dade County Sex Offender Registry performing "The Sex Offender Shuffle".
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:52 AM PST - 29 comments

A lawsuit alleges that the Lower Merion School District has been spying on students through webcams on school issued laptops. According to the complaint no indication was giving to the parents or students that this activity was possible. The spying program was only revealed when a student was informed by the school that they had witnessed improper behavior through the webcam and saved photographic evidence.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:16 AM PST - 273 comments

So here's a spray bottle that will replace every cleaner in your home. The Ionator. "You charge it, fill it with tap water (and only tap water), which takes on an electric charge, transforming it into negative and positive nano-bubbles that attract dirt. Then you spray and use a clean cloth to wipe away the dirt from your floors, windows, mirrors, cars, bird cages, dishes, coffee makers, refrigerators, tile and clothes..." Really? Sounds like a crakpot scam. Well, Bill Nye The Science Guy himself explains the science. And Bill's my man.
posted by cross_impact at 9:43 AM PST - 86 comments

Florida's Republican US Senate hopeful and self-identified "Conservative Outsider" Mark Rubio delivered a populist speech in defense of American exceptionalism and full of hope and change at today's CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) event, while also taking the occasion to share a good chuckle over the subject of waterboarding terrorists with fellow conference attendees. Political rival, current Florida Governor Charlie Crist, offers a response in the form of a slightly different speech Rubio might have given. [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman at 9:36 AM PST - 24 comments

Bored of your couplesnuggie? Try pajamajeans! Via
posted by unSane at 9:33 AM PST - 52 comments

'You could wind up with a page only about porn, executions, and Sarah Palin every day.' A New Republic profile of no-longer-bowtied Tucker Carlson as he launches The Daily Caller, a 'right-leaning Huffington Post.'

It may be hard to remember now, staring back through the thick haze of cable-news smackdowns, but, before Carlson embarked on a TV career--and, at various points, even during that TV career--he was a great writer and reporter. His 1999 profile* of George W. Bush for Tina Brown’s short-lived Talk painted a portrait of the then-Texas governor--stubborn, profane, callow--that should have told voters everything they needed to know about why he would be such a terrible president. The piece he wrote for Esquire about traveling to Africa with Sharpton, Cornel West, and other civil rights activists was at once viciously hilarious and bracingly humane, like David Foster Wallace’s or Michael Lewis’s best reportage. At The Weekly Standard, where he worked for much of the 1990s, he was one of the rare writers less consumed with scoring political points than producing quality journalism. [more inside]
posted by shakespeherian at 8:31 AM PST - 72 comments


A Common Misunderstanding of the Lyrics of Jay-Z's "Empire State of Mind: The intricacies of rap lingo dissected by the intelligentsia, with predictable results. [more inside]
posted by reenum at 7:33 AM PST - 45 comments

Scotland's finest satirical website The Daily Mash reports on the Winter Olympics
posted by MajorDundee at 6:55 AM PST - 19 comments

As music taste becomes increasingly homogeneous (previously) where can you turn for real independent music? The Rock Catala movement of the late 80s/early 90s was a reaction against the supression and banning of the Catalan language by Franco, but government sponsored culture can sound a bit, er, dodgy. Now a growing movement of bands spearheaded by La Brigada, Manel and Mishima are making music "En Catala" a cool place to hang out [more inside]
posted by RegMcF at 6:51 AM PST - 14 comments

Amanda Palmer (discussed previously) has been dropping hints about a new project called Evelyn Evelyn. After Spin let the two-headed cat out of the bag last week, she fessed up to the back story - a woe-filled tale of childlike conjoined twins with a history of abuse at the hands of a circus and the child porn industry. [more inside]
posted by missrachael at 6:18 AM PST - 63 comments


For the first time since closing its dedicated UFO desk in December, the Ministry of Defence today released online records of all recorded UK UFO sightings between 1994 and 2000. It should be noted that the MOD itself remains sceptical at best, despite frequent recorded sightings of a mysterious blue police box.
posted by fight or flight at 3:40 AM PST - 5 comments

Swansea Love Story [Flash video, six parts, occasional NSFW, shows drug use], a documentary in VBS’ Rule Britannia series, follows young heroin users in the South Wales city, looking at their family life, daily routines and some of the changes in the community around them. Interview with film-maker Andy Capper; something on director Leo Leigh; brief write-up here, slightly longer review here.
posted by Abiezer at 3:39 AM PST - 7 comments

February 17


Science Fiction writers Alastair Reynolds, Vernor Vinge, Karl Schroeder and MeFi's own Charles Stross discuss the Singularity - which, Stross cheekily points out, has been around the corner for a good 20 years.
posted by Artw at 10:47 PM PST - 27 comments

The Seafarers (1953): (1) (2) (3). A documentary for the Seafarers International Union by Stanley Kubrick. [NSFW]
posted by jjray at 10:43 PM PST - 3 comments

A powerful poet of the people died Saturday. Lucille Clifton. [more inside]
posted by kozad at 7:58 PM PST - 16 comments

what do the other 66% of women think about everyday..? [more inside]
posted by pwedza at 7:31 PM PST - 102 comments

In August 1990, when Spin magazine was still an edgier cousin to Rolling Stone, it published a list of the 35 Greatest Moments in Rock 'n' Roll Television. [more inside]
posted by jonp72 at 7:01 PM PST - 49 comments

We were supposed to really actually forget about that lifestyle. But it'd come back to me in song.
Ruby Hunter, award winning songwriter, has died.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 5:10 PM PST - 7 comments

News Dots: The Day's Events as a Social Network. Six degrees of news separation.
posted by fixedgear at 4:54 PM PST - 12 comments


"Half a million dirty Britons wash their bed sheets only three times a year, a survey discloses laying bare the disgusting bedroom habits of the nation. One in six people also admitted waiting at least a month before washing their bed sheets." "Londoners have the dirtiest bed sheets in the country." [more inside]
posted by ericb at 3:29 PM PST - 238 comments


Since 1980, Nikoli^ has been in the business of creating many different variations of logic puzzles (such as the very popular Sudoku and Kakuro). Unfortunately, as they're stationed in Tokyo, their magazine is unavailable to most Americans.

Luckily, over the decades they've inspired quite a few people to make their own puzzles and variants, including:
posted by flatluigi at 2:37 PM PST - 12 comments

F*** YOU I DRIVE A VOLVO.
posted by iviken at 2:21 PM PST - 62 comments

Scottish brewery Brewdog announce the world's strongest beer, Sink The Bismarck, at a staggering 41%.
posted by Miss Otis' Egrets at 2:19 PM PST - 88 comments

Viktoriya Yermolyeva plays Metallica's "Master of Puppets", Motorhead's "Ace of Spades", and Slayer's "Seasons in the Abyss" the way they were meant to be heard - on the piano.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:46 PM PST - 59 comments

The HotDocs Festival, North America's largest documentary film festival, has placed an enormous amount of content online.
posted by modernnomad at 1:05 PM PST - 10 comments

An Olympic Tent Village has opened in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, on an empty lot currently being leased by the Vancouver Olympic Committee, in response to increasing homelessness in "Canada's most livable city", in spite of spending more than $6 billion on the 2010 Olympic Games. Mayor Gregor Robertson has stated that they won't be evicted - for now. [more inside]
posted by dinsdale at 12:53 PM PST - 42 comments

"The great Trans Siberian Railway, the pride of Russia, goes across two continents, 12 regions and 87 cities. The joint project of Google and the Russian Railways lets you take a trip along the famous route and see Baikal, Khekhtsirsky range, Barguzin mountains, Yenisei river and many other picturesque places of Russia without leaving your house." [more inside]
posted by dhammond at 11:32 AM PST - 18 comments

Some of you may remember the Game Neverending (previously). But have you heard about Glitch? [more inside]
posted by routergirl at 9:42 AM PST - 26 comments

PleaseRobMe.com tells you when people on Twitter are advertising that they are not at home. [more inside]
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:24 AM PST - 84 comments

When we reach these, the bleakest and coldest days of winter, my mind inevitably turns towards the warm days of summer and one of America’s favorite pastimes: Barbeque. [more inside]
posted by shiu mai baby at 8:23 AM PST - 74 comments

LARP (Live Avatar Role Playing) (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:12 AM PST - 60 comments

Ate Up With Motor provides well-reaserched articles on automotive topics. [more inside]
posted by 1f2frfbf at 5:51 AM PST - 9 comments

Hackerspaces.org. Hackerspaces are community-operated physical places, where people can meet and work on their projects.
posted by vostok at 5:45 AM PST - 48 comments

Lost: The Sitcom. Season 1, season 2, season 3.
posted by jbickers at 3:26 AM PST - 66 comments

2008's "Glory at Sea" [.mov] [vimeo] [youtube] is an extaordinary 25-minute short film in which a group of mourners and a man spat from the depths of Hades build a boat from the debris of New Orleans to rescue their lost loved ones trapped beneath the sea. [more inside]
posted by churl at 3:14 AM PST - 13 comments

It feels best at 220 volts. But with the provided replacement plugs, the Vilcus can also be used at 110 volts. Makes a great gift for those special friends. (from the people who brought you the LCD keyboard)
posted by klausness at 2:54 AM PST - 54 comments

February 16

Spy and Pyro (a flash animation about TF2 in the style of John Kricfalusi) (faster loading youtube version)
posted by empath at 11:26 PM PST - 24 comments

Ghost shift ghost chips. A tale about a Chumby hardware developer with a keen investigative eye noticing some oddities about microSD FLASH cards from supposedly reputable suppliers.
posted by loquacious at 10:28 PM PST - 65 comments

An Australian politician who opposes the lifting of a censorship ban on adults-only computer games has said he feels more threatened by gamers than outlawed motorcycle gangs. Talking about motorcycle gangs, and just for fun, and because it is almost Mardi Gras in Sydney,The DOB ladies.
posted by ginky at 10:15 PM PST - 48 comments

Uncoiling the spiral: Maths and hallucinations So common are these geometric hallucinations, that in the last century scientists began asking themselves if they couldn't tell us something fundamental about how our brains are wired up. And it seems that they can. (via MAPS)
posted by kaspen at 10:07 PM PST - 31 comments


"Older women are awesome."
posted by Groovytimes at 6:07 PM PST - 465 comments

Robot a Day
posted by not_on_display at 6:00 PM PST - 9 comments


The theatrical release of White Dog (directed by Samuel Fuller) was supressed by Paramount in 1981 over concerns that the film would be interpreted as racist, although Fuller intended the movie as a denunciation of racism. It was only released in 2008 by The Criterion Collection on DVD. The film features Kristy McNichol, Burl Ives, and Paul Winfield as the black trainer determined to reform the killer dog. The score by Ennio Morricone (improbably released as a double album with Morricone's score for the 1981 designer jeans comedy So Fine) is unsettling yet sublime.
posted by benzenedream at 4:45 PM PST - 22 comments

Many thought the secrets of the universe would be revealed by the LHC in Switzerland, but the lower powered Brookhaven Collider briefly violated the laws of physics recently.
posted by ExitPursuedByBear at 3:17 PM PST - 74 comments


Lucky people generate good fortune via four basic principles. They are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities, make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition, create self-fulfilling prophesies via positive expectations, and adopt a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good Those who think they're unlucky should change their outlook and discover how to generate good fortune, says Richard Wiseman (Via Lisa Hoover at Lifehacker) [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu at 1:24 PM PST - 130 comments


Abbey Road the famous recording studios are up for sale! After losing their headline acts Radiohead and The Rolling Stones the troubled record company has posted losses of £1.75bn Former bond-trader Guy Hands has been running EMI since 2007
posted by Lanark at 12:23 PM PST - 29 comments

'It's optional if you want to remain anonymous, but what's the point anymore?' A new generation doesn't mind sharing every detail of their lives online. So familiar online companies increasingly don't bother letting you control privacy options from the start, and make it difficult to detach. Are the privacy-concerned folks mostly older individuals who don't see the benefits of connectedness? Or are the people who share just about everything lined up with a pro-corporate culture pushed by marketers? [more inside]
posted by cashman at 12:05 PM PST - 128 comments

Recently, a postgraduate researcher in journalism attended a talk about the challenges of Australia's aging population, given by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. Afterwards, when a member of the group she was in introduced her to Rudd and mentioning the PhD she was completing, Rudd rolled his eyes and remarked that that is the "excuse" that "all" young women are using nowadays to avoid starting families.
posted by acb at 11:47 AM PST - 121 comments

Worst. Movie. Ever. (of the week) A sampling: Legion, Daybreakers, 2012
posted by gwint at 10:54 AM PST - 64 comments

In honor of Senator Evan Bayh, son of former Senator Birch Bayh, not seeking re-election, Talking Points Memo provides a slideshow of sitting congresspeople whose familial connections may (or may not) have helped them get where they are today. Everybody knows about the Bushes and the Kennedys, but family political dynasties are even more common than most people realize, with most U.S. presidents being related and hundreds of local, state and national offices currently or previously held by children, grandchildren, cousins, etc. of the original politicians.
posted by shaun uh at 10:27 AM PST - 49 comments

Roger Ebert, his writing, and his battle with cancer are hardly foreign topics here, but this in-depth interview/profile from Esquire about Ebert's illness, loss of speech, and late career burst of creativity is worth a read.
posted by anazgnos at 10:09 AM PST - 63 comments

Music For Real Airports is a multimedia art project collaboration between interactive artists Human and musicians The Black Dog. With the project set to launch April 24, 2010 at the Sensoria festival of music and film, the project recalls Brian Eno's 1978 work, Ambient 1: Music for Airports. [more inside]
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 9:08 AM PST - 19 comments

Is There Life in Health Care Reform? Elizabeth Drew analyzes the current prospects for US health care reform, in the New York Review of Books. Logically, there should still be a way to get a bill passed. But logic went out the window on January 19. The situation was as much psychodrama as legislative stalemate. The perfectly reasonable argument was made to Democrats in Congress, mainly by the administration, that, having voted for the bill already, it would be worse for them to fail to pass it than to pass it, but this seemed not to be heard.
posted by russilwvong at 8:03 AM PST - 213 comments

"And maybe this is the time to share a secret that I've kept for quite a long time. I killed someone, once..." So begins BBC journalist Ray Gosling's televised confession in which he briefly describes the time he smothered his lover who was dying of AIDS. Police are now investigating.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 6:58 AM PST - 106 comments

TweetCatcha visualizes the tweets resulting from the latest news articles that appeared during the last 24 hours on the New York Times website. Pretty amazing for student work. See TweetCatcha in action (warning: it takes a bit of time to load). While it's loading, here is the creator's blog post describing it.
posted by like_neon at 5:43 AM PST - 10 comments

Weird Al makes up interviews with some of the finest artists in the recording industry. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Micheal Stipe, Eminem, Celine Dion, Avril Lavigne, and even a rare interview with Kevin Federline.
posted by WhackyparseThis at 5:40 AM PST - 15 comments

On January 19th, 2010, Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was murdered in Dubai. A senior Hamas military commander, al-Mabhouh was reportedly in the city to arrange a shipment of arms to Gaza. While Dubai is no stranger to nefarious dealings and political assassinations, this one has an added layer of intrigue: arrested Palestinians and 11 mysterious agents traveling on a hotchpotch of European passports. [more inside]
posted by MuffinMan at 5:13 AM PST - 75 comments

There’s a new ally in the fight against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and misinformation about sex: the Middlesex-London Sex Squad. The team of cartoon superheroes is part of Adventures in Sex City, a new online game launched today by the Middlesex-London Health Unit. (NSFW) [more inside]
posted by slimepuppy at 5:05 AM PST - 13 comments

The Village Voice recently released their 2009 Pazz and Jop poll. Several critics on the I Love Music message boards noticed its similarity to Pitchfork's 2009 poll. Pitchfork's Editor-in-Chief Scott Plagenhoef steps in and over the course of fifty posts defends the apparent "Pitchforkification of music."
posted by minifigs at 1:25 AM PST - 157 comments

February 15

The Ward Warren Film. Gary Mack, Curator at The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, is calling it "the best home movie I have seen of the Kennedy arrival in Dallas on November 22, 1963." For the first time, color film of President and Mrs. Kennedy arriving on Air Force One that fateful day is being released for public viewing. [more inside]
posted by jjray at 11:02 PM PST - 13 comments

Paul Watson's Sea Shepard Crew is at again. On the 6th Jan 2010, the Ady Gill, a $2M dollar high speed catameran was sunk after a collision (video + story) with a Japanese whaling ship in the antartic. Now, the former captain of the Ady Gill is being detained (video+story) on the exact same whaling ship after using a jet ski and cover of darkness to climb aboard and present the Japanese with a civilian arrest warrant and $2M dollar demand for damages. Diplomatic crisis builds as governments are unsure what will happen to Mr. Bethune. He may face piracy charges in Japan.
posted by Funmonkey1 at 10:25 PM PST - 131 comments

At first I thought it was a teaparty rap, but no, it's much much better. (SLYT) Previously.
posted by treeshar at 8:47 PM PST - 40 comments

The future of web publishing, part seventeen million and six. Elizabeth Bear (guest posting for MetaFilter's own Charles Stross) writes about her experiences with the hyperfiction work Shadow Unit.
posted by brundlefly at 8:11 PM PST - 18 comments

Fly-based art.
posted by kenko at 7:20 PM PST - 14 comments

The Bolt Who Screwed Christmas is the last movie narrated by Jonathan Harris (Lost in Space). A short animated parody of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas". Voices also include Marta Kristen, Angela Cartwright and Bill Mumy, also from Lost in Space. Nominated for a number of awards at the L.A. Reel Film Festival. Posted here at Meta because this is the only movie trailer you'll ever watch with what seems to be a naked woman (at 24 secs in this link) in a relationship with a bolt. A unique wtf moment in movie making!
posted by HuronBob at 6:54 PM PST - 8 comments

"I couldn't let these Klansmen get away with murder..." Investigative reporter Jerry Mitchell has started a blog focusing on cold case murders of civil rights workers. In this Moth Podcast, Mitchell discusses some of his investigations, the death threats he received, and the stunning redemption and forgiveness he witnessed. For his work Mitchell was recently awarded a MacArthur "Genius" grant. [more inside]
posted by bguest at 5:43 PM PST - 18 comments

Some guys in a Minneapolis basement, 1984. Rehearsing "When Doves Cry", "Irresistible Bitch", "Erotic City".... [more inside]
posted by gleuschk at 4:48 PM PST - 65 comments

R is quickly becoming the programming language for data analysis and statistics. R (an implementation of S) is free, open-source, and has hundreds of packages available. You can use it on the command-line, through a GUI, or in your favorite text editor. Use it with Python, Perl, or Java. Sweave R code into LaTeX documents for reproducible research. [more inside]
posted by parudox at 4:07 PM PST - 114 comments

In 1989, Hollywood heavy metal band Rock Sugar was stranded on a desert island. For the last twenty years, the only music they had to listen to was the 80's pop CD collection of a 13 year old girl. And now, Rock Sugar has come home. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 4:05 PM PST - 46 comments

Christina Hendricks, a perennial Metafilter favorite, shows off her curves on the cover of New York Magazine. Often described as voluptuous, Hendricks is a far cry from the waifs fashion magazines regularly showcase. So when this fashion blogger slammed her appearance at the Golden Globes, is it any wonder her husband--and over a hundred comments--came to her defense?
posted by misha at 2:58 PM PST - 246 comments

A favorite of John Cage and Gyorgy Ligeti, the latter describing his music as "so utterly original, enjoyable, perfectly constructed but at the same time emotional...the best of any composer living today," Conlon Nancarrow's musical ideas were nevertheless too complex and technically demanding for human performers, and his political ideas too radical and leftist for McCarthy-era America. Expatriated to Mexico, the Texarkana-born avant-gardeist lived most of his life in isolation, in a cluttered, dusty studio surrounded by records, piles of books, empty Vodka bottles, newspapers, cigarette cartons, and the tools of his trade: 2 old player pianos and a custom-built piano roll press. [more inside]
posted by swift at 2:55 PM PST - 16 comments

"Is beauty informed by contemporary culture? By history? Or is it defined by the surgeon’s hand?" [Some links NSFW]
posted by william_boot at 2:31 PM PST - 64 comments

The Birth Survey is a comprehensive survey of women who have given birth within the last three years. The first of its kind, it allows women to answer questions regarding their experiences with every aspect of their maternity care from the prenatal care to the birth to perinatal and post-partum care. Examples of questions include how long of wait there was between arranging the first prenatal appointment and having it, how long of wait there was for prenatal appointments after arriving at the office, what equipment was available during labor (birth ball, birthing stool, shower, tub, etc.), and if discussions regarding post-partum mood disorders took place during post-partum care. [more inside]
posted by zizzle at 1:51 PM PST - 53 comments

Speech impediments mostly afflict boys. Often with pushy fathers. Social media is giving them a voice.
posted by bobbyelliott at 1:39 PM PST - 24 comments

Space rock contains organic molecular feast Scientists believe the Murchison meteorite could have originated before the Sun was formed, 4.65 billion years ago. The researchers say it probably passed through primordial clouds in the early Solar System, picking up organic chemicals. [more inside]
posted by longsleeves at 1:28 PM PST - 19 comments

Frank O'Hara was a New York poet, even though he lived less than half of his 40 years in the city. He grew up in Grafton, MA, was a sonarman in WWII and roomed with Edward Gorey at Harvard before moving to the city he would forever be associated with. Naturally, there was am article on him in The New Yorker a couple of years ago. We're lucky enough to have a number of videos of O'Hara, including a reading of the lovely "Having a Coke with You. There's also quite a bit of audio of him, and I can't but recommend this mp3 of John Ashbery, Alfred Leslie, Bill Berkson and Michelle Elligott reminiscing about O'Hara at the MOMA, where he worked. And there are quite a few of his poems available online, as well as five of the poem-paintings he did with Norman Bluhm. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus at 12:26 PM PST - 16 comments


The Lobbying-Media Complex. The Nation explores the pervasive influence of paid lobbyists on the media landscape. [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman at 11:59 AM PST - 21 comments

Music and the Brain The Library of Congress' Music and the Brain podcasts offer lectures and conversations about new research at the intersection of cognitive neuroscience and music. Sufi rituals, Wednesday is Indigo Blue (synaesthesia), Your Brain on Jazz, The Music of Language and the Language of Music, and more.
posted by carter at 11:43 AM PST - 13 comments

Broadway, block by block, 1899. (SLNYPL) "A 19th century version of Google's Street View, allowing us to flip through the images block by block, passing parks, churches, novelty stores, furriers, glaziers, and other businesses of the city's past."
posted by GrammarMoses at 10:07 AM PST - 19 comments

Giant anteater. Skiing Batmen. Knight stirring his his cappuccino. Red devils. Snow falling on the beards of face painted gourd toting evil spirit rebukers. CARNIVAL!
posted by cashman at 9:57 AM PST - 27 comments

The New Microsoft Smartphone. Microsoft has revealed their latest Windows Mobile Smartphone, today, dubbed the Windows Phone 7 Series. Videos from the conference. They've announced the new phone will be available on most of the major carriers. [more inside]
posted by shmegegge at 9:26 AM PST - 217 comments

Doug Fieger lead singer of The Knack has died. The band's # 1 hit, My Sharona from 1979, created a critical backlash (a.k.a the Knacklash) which has softened in recent years.
posted by jeffen at 7:46 AM PST - 103 comments

Picture Book Report is an extended love-song to books. Fifteen illustrators will reach out to their favorite books and create wonderful pieces of art in response to the text that has moved them, shaped them, or excited them. From sci-fi to children’s books to fantasy to serious novels, we’ll cover them all. For three weeks out of every month there will be a new illustration every day from one of us along with our thoughts, process, anything we can come up with. Together we will try to excite readers both new and old and capture some of that magic of storytelling.. [more inside]
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 5:29 AM PST - 12 comments

BBC Interview with Phil Jones, victim of the Climategate Scandal.
posted by diwolf at 4:33 AM PST - 64 comments

B-Rhymes is a rhyming dictionary that compares words based on their sounds, making it ideal for finding near-rhymes.
posted by archagon at 2:19 AM PST - 28 comments

Due to the threat of legal action the British National Party has amended its membership policy to be open to all races. It's first non-white member, a Sikh, will soon be handed his membership card personally by BNP leader Nick Griffin. Explains Griffin:
Anyone can be a member of this party. We are happy to accept anyone as a member providing they agree with us that this country should remain fundamentally British
posted by PenDevil at 2:10 AM PST - 45 comments

SNPedia is a wiki-based database of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Here are SNPedia's Top 10 SNPs of the Year.

SNPedia runs on Semantic Mediawiki, an extension to Mediawiki, the same software that runs Wikipedia. [more inside]
posted by vostok at 1:21 AM PST - 9 comments

February 14

Presenting the hexacopter fantatsic miniature helicopter with multiple rotors. boy this thing can fly. has camera and gps. single link, wimp.com
posted by marienbad at 9:45 PM PST - 113 comments

Turkey buzzard mistakes helicopter pilot for Santa Claus. No birds or pilots were harmed in the filming of the incident. Too bad about the windshield. (via)
posted by maudlin at 8:54 PM PST - 15 comments

Despite my absolute fidelity to Sade's text, I have however introduced an absolutely new element: the action instead of taking place in eighteenth-century France, takes place practically in our own time, in Salò, around 1944, to be exact. (some links extremely NSFW)
posted by Joe Beese at 8:23 PM PST - 95 comments

Meet Erin McKittrick and Bretwood Higman, and their son Katmai. They decided they could live without running water, shower, bath or a working toilet, but they had to have broadband Internet access. They live deep in the Alaskan wilderness, in a yurt.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:58 PM PST - 117 comments


Born on Halloween in 1920, died on Valentine's day 2010, Dick Francis wrote many, many, many great mysteries most of which centered on a world he knew well, with the racetrack at its omphalos. [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 3:19 PM PST - 46 comments

Filmmaker Kevin Smith was booted off a Southwest Airlines flight last night for being too fat. Oops, sorry, for some sort of nebulous "safety risk". Needless to say, Southwest is rapidly discovering what happens when you mistreat a customer with 1.6 million Twitter followers and a lot of spare time (not to mention a movie coming out).
posted by Bluecoat93 at 3:09 PM PST - 375 comments

One among many interesting pieces of Great Lakes freighter history: This ship is also this ship. The explanation - and everything else you ever wanted to know about the massive, but largely unknown freighters of the Great Lakes - is on Boatnerd. [more inside]
posted by bicyclefish at 2:55 PM PST - 20 comments

Anglophone Montrealers open and close lights, fall pregnant, get a coffee, go to vernissages, eat on the terrasse, and get cash at the guichet. Francophone Montreals, if they are lucky, have un chum or une blonde who is not only smooth but also le fun. Basically English (and its three main 'ethnolects' here, British, Jewish, and Italian) and French get all interestingly mixed up. [more inside]
posted by Salamandrous at 2:23 PM PST - 55 comments

I've never really had a clear understanding of how mechanical computing worked, until today when I watched these US Navy training films from 1953. Part 1 focuses on shafts, gears, cams and differentials. Part 2 explains mechanical component solvers, integrators and multipliers. More information about ship gun fire-control systems here.
posted by drmanhattan at 2:04 PM PST - 28 comments


Last night at the Gaylord National hotel across the Potomac from Washington, DC, a strange confluence of events occurred. [more inside]
posted by Shotgun Shakespeare at 11:06 AM PST - 57 comments

No one is drunk or under any narcotic influence, and yet all three men are moments away from what Fitzpatrick will later describe as "a mindfuck". A year on, Gibson concurs. "It left me with the sense that one of my basic anchors on reality had been ripped loose," he recalls. Wales still talks about the all-nighter with reverent awe:"It was amazing. It was a work of art. It was a thing of beauty."
It was, more specifically, a parlour game.
posted by empath at 10:44 AM PST - 85 comments



Valentines from E.B. White, Mark Twain, Katharine Hepburn, E. E. Cummings, Alexander Hamilton, and Zero Mostel. From libraries and archives around NYC, via the NYT (more info here).
posted by Miko at 8:20 AM PST - 11 comments

Truckin' My Blues Away is an hour long audio documentary on older Southern blues singers featuring Little Freddie King, Captain Luke, and others. It promotes the work of the Music Maker Relief Foundation which supports traditional musicians (previously). There is an accompanying slide show and the producers are working on another documentary, Still Singing the Blues.
posted by maurice at 5:20 AM PST - 3 comments


'A site dedicated to songs about London. The only rules are that the songs must be brilliant and that the blindingly obvious numbers are excluded.' The London Nobody Sings takes you on a musical tour of the capital, by bus, train and tube, via Camden Town, Parliament Hill, Portobello Road, Shepherd's Bush, Southall, Tottenham and Tooting Broadway. And if it's too late to take the Underground? Don't worry, the trams may have gone, but you can always catch the Nightbus home.
posted by verstegan at 3:37 AM PST - 14 comments

In an attempt to stay sober for the year beginning January 01, 2010, Jed Collins is posting a comic a day. Here's his page.
posted by sredefer at 12:05 AM PST - 75 comments

February 13

Mid-Level Seats at your average NBA game: $40 ea. Eight Watery Beers: $60. Hot Dog: $4. Cheerleader Snack? Om Nom Nom
posted by xorry at 6:45 PM PST - 129 comments

How many oranges does it take to charge an Apple? (A SLYT post, via)
posted by zarq at 6:22 PM PST - 46 comments

Haiku + IKEA
posted by punkbitch at 5:31 PM PST - 46 comments

The Insects' Christmas is a short stop-motion animation from 1913. (SLYT)
posted by snsranch at 4:18 PM PST - 13 comments

For quite some time, I’d wanted to make a screwball comedy. A fast-talking, wildly acclerating ensemble comedy that gets stupider and stupider. I never imagined it would be about a war, and inspired by a very recent war at that. But Simon, Jesse, Tony and I all felt that the more we found out about the dysfunction in Washington and the naivety in London leading up to the Iraq invasion, the more obvious it was that the only way to deal accurately and fairly with this topic was as a screwball comedy. - The Oscar nominated script for In The Loop, with an introduction by writer Armando Iannucci.
posted by Artw at 3:51 PM PST - 33 comments

London's transport system has a visual identity instantly recognised (and often imitated) around the world, of which a key part is Edward Johnston's typeface, originally designed for the London Underground. (Previously.) However, this may not be the case for much longer; the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has revealed plans to give all official London bodies a unified identity, based on that of the Visit London tourism campaign. There is already a Facebook group protesting the proposal.
posted by acb at 3:45 PM PST - 36 comments


Meet Barbie the Computer Engineer... Barbie, the favorite of little girls everywhere, has been a teenage fashion model, concert pianist, astronaut and even a Miss America. But now there’s a new Barbie, with glasses and a Bluetooth earpiece, and boasting of being a computer engineer. Oh... and five things to make her more realistic.
posted by the_very_hungry_caterpillar at 2:04 PM PST - 53 comments

We Are the World 25 for Haiti reprises the original on its 25-year anniversary, with an 81-member chorus including Pink, Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Nick Jonas, LL Cool J, Robin Thicke, Celine Dion... [more inside]
posted by swift at 11:49 AM PST - 104 comments


The huge tanker smashed into the Princess Taiping at 20 knots, violently heaving the vessel out of the water, cleaving it in two. It did not stop to aid the 12 crew members it had thrown overboard and scattered across the night. Most of the crew, injured and in shock, clung to the partially submerged stern, praying for rescue. Masao Kinjo, a Japanese sailboat racer, found himself alone, far from his shipmates. The resolute mariner rigged the broken foremast on the front half of the ship and set sail for home. [more inside]
posted by Cobalt at 7:35 AM PST - 51 comments

Fifty-one Elliott Smith cover songs.
posted by holdkris99 at 3:47 AM PST - 31 comments

At the American Farm School historical records they have a large collection of postcards. In amongst them are these small sketches of local traders.
posted by tellurian at 2:43 AM PST - 16 comments

This game uses only one button (your mouse button). It's up to you to work out what it'll do.
posted by Effigy2000 at 2:23 AM PST - 43 comments

Lego trains! "What you say?" Lego trains! "Say it again!" Lego trains! "I can't hear you!" Lego trains! "That's what I'm talkin' about!"
posted by e-man at 12:07 AM PST - 26 comments

February 12


"..when a victorious chief minister openly admits that he himself approached the leading newspaper of his state with money for “positive stories” after learning that the newspaper had signed a “package deal” with his rivals to print negative stories, you had better sit up and take urgent notice"
posted by Gyan at 9:54 PM PST - 4 comments

Animals often fail at games. [more inside]
posted by Cold Lurkey at 9:42 PM PST - 21 comments


Avatar goes to the West Bank. What better way to express your peoples' long-standing grievances against military occupation than a little James Cameron inspired role playing? [more inside]
posted by cal71 at 5:12 PM PST - 29 comments

Diving game. Odd control scheme, but intuitive once you get used to it.
posted by nostrich at 4:44 PM PST - 21 comments

Producer/engineer Iain Burgess played a vital role in defining the Chicago punk sound in the 80's with his work with Naked Raygun, Big Black, and the Effigies. Burgess passed away on Thursday from a pulmonary embolism, a complication of the pancreatic and liver cancers he'd recently been diagnosed with. Although British, he is best known for his years in Chicago, where he helped create a distinctive large sound with a live-centered recording style and served as a mentor to Steve Albini. He also worked with Didjits, Ministry, Mega City Four, the Cows, Pegboy, Shellac, Jawbox and many others.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 3:54 PM PST - 36 comments

So what is an enterprising cocaine cartel to do when tight airport and border security threaten to cause one to miss out on a massive boom in european cocaine use? Well, for starters one sets up shop on Africa's west coast where the police often aren't paid for months and the 4 cars of some country's police force can mostly sit idle due to a lack of gas money. Oh, and in Guinea Bissau - no coast guard! In addition to bringing even more corruption and violence to Africa, the status of being the transhipment point of about 3/4 of all cocaine heading to Europe brings a Miami-style economic stimulus. And as colombian cartels are generally more concerned with getting cocaine out of Colombia at a profit than getting it all the way to its destination, we're probably only a few years away from a senegalese Scarface.
posted by jake1 at 2:28 PM PST - 26 comments

17 year old prodigy Helene Hegemann admits that her bestseller "Axolotl Roadkill" is not as original as previously assumed. "The publication last month of her novel about a 16-year-old exploring Berlin’s drug and club scene after the death of her mother, called “Axolotl Roadkill,” was heralded far and wide in German newspapers and magazines as a tremendous debut, particularly for such a young author. The book shot to No. 5 this week on the magazine Spiegel’s hardcover best-seller list", writes the New York Times. Unfortunately, parts of it were lifted. "It's not plagiarism", says the author. [more inside]
posted by Omnomnom at 2:27 PM PST - 111 comments

Messages of love emptiness, fear and emotional hunger from the Earth-Pig Born... Cerebus Valentines. (some drawings slightly risque but not quite NSFW) [more inside]
posted by FatherDagon at 1:29 PM PST - 37 comments

Style Guide for the Sorority Girl Cornell sorority members have been playing fashion police. A set of "style guidelines," roughly 6 pages long, was recently leaked onto the web. It insisted members consistently get manicured, pedicured, cut, colored and waxed and boasted austere fashion and beauty rules. [more inside]
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:05 PM PST - 269 comments

Olympian killed in luge accident Nodar Kumaritashvili of Georgia was killed when he wrecked on the luge course in Vancouver. This is the second crash today.
posted by greensweater at 1:04 PM PST - 230 comments

Life imitates art. Boeing's Airborne Laser Testbed succeeds in shooting down a ballistic missile. No word on if popcorn was involved.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 11:54 AM PST - 77 comments

Micropayment incarnates once more, this time through the offices of one of ThePirateBay's creators. In the Flattr tip-jar system, rather than making individual credit card transactions, one makes a lump sum payment, and then all those sites whose "Flattr" buttons you have chosen to press receive a fraction of your "Flattr" Tax for that month.
posted by darth_tedious at 11:48 AM PST - 38 comments

Great Dungeon in the Sky Is a pixelly gotta-catch-'em-all flash platformer built using flixel. There are 400 characters to unlock. Each character can have up to 3 abilities controlled by the z, x, & c keys (arrow keys to move). [more inside]
posted by juv3nal at 10:51 AM PST - 62 comments

Featuring contributions from John Porcellino (King-Cat Comics), Sammy Harkham (Kramer's Ergot), Ted May, Steve "Ribs" Weissman (Yikes!), and Jordan Crane (Uptight), What Things Do "is a web­site for comics. There will be fre­quent updates. That’s all we’re going to say about it right now." [more inside]
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:14 AM PST - 4 comments

Studies in Crap
posted by Joe Beese at 10:03 AM PST - 26 comments

Jo Guldi writes a fascinating entry about social engineering and geography in the 1970's. "The geographers located answers in American zones of isolation and hopelessness. Bill Bunge organized his fellow professors into the Detroit Geographical Expedition, leading frequent trips to document the slums of Detroit and later Toronto. Their findings were equally provocative. In 1968, the Society published a map entitled “Where Commuters Run Over Black Children on the Pointes-Downtown Track.” Life and death, they argued, were not merely the commodities available to any hard-working American, but hung upon the thread of a special kind of privilege, the privilege of safe territory." Guldi is a historian at the Harvard Society of Fellows. [more inside]
posted by cashman at 9:23 AM PST - 10 comments

H.R. Giger Wedding Cake
posted by Artw at 8:55 AM PST - 65 comments

The swell is forecast at 17 feet at 16 seconds, but it's on Saturday. As the end of the seasonal window for big surf at Mavericks in Half Moon Bay, California approaches, the Sony Ericsson and Barracuda Networks "Mavericks Surf Contest®" will be available on FLO TV, Facebook, and on the big screen at AT&T park. But Jeff Clark, the founder, has been squeezed out of the event he founded. It's all about the money. And as of a few weeks ago, the lawsuit... [more inside]
posted by lothar at 8:45 AM PST - 21 comments

The Buenos Aires restoration of Metropolis streams today. (French|German) It's said that nearly an hour of footage, long thought to be lost, has been added.
posted by stoneweaver at 7:13 AM PST - 48 comments


Crash blossoms are funny despite later analysis, confusion, or web sites.
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:53 AM PST - 49 comments

February 11

Stephen Colbert and Shepard Fairey create a Vancouver 2010 Olympic Poster. [pdf link]. And Stephen suggests to the Colbert Nation that they download, print, and post it all over for the games. (see sidebar.)
posted by hippybear at 9:42 PM PST - 53 comments


Google has invented the Holodeck. Well, not really, but for the moment it's probably the next best thing. Google's Liquid Galaxy Project, a virtual glass elevator that lets you fly around the world, makes for a stunning presentation. Developed as part of Google’s “20 per cent time” initiative, which sees its engineers encouraged to pursue their own projects on company time, Liquid Galaxy allows users to fly through the Grand Canyon, leap into low-Earth orbit and back down into the oceans and even perch oneself on the Great Pyramid of Giza, all without even breaking a sweat. Check out the amazing video here.
posted by Effigy2000 at 9:01 PM PST - 61 comments


The Big Picture: Olympic Torch Relay Canada's goofy-assed torch relay. Half the pictures are WTF moments — where is she going? Why is it in a swimming pool? Is that a T-Rex? Where's he going after he climbs to the top? [more inside]
posted by five fresh fish at 8:28 PM PST - 97 comments

We found that comic-book reading was a distinct influencing factor in the case of every single delinquent or disturbed child we studied.

Six years before publishing Seduction of the Innocent, Dr. Fredric Wertham was featured in a 1948 Collier's article, "Horror in the Nursery," complete with staged depictions of what happens when the influence of comics goes too far. (Previously)
posted by starman at 7:43 PM PST - 42 comments

Mercenary Epidemiology: Data Reanalysis and Reinterpretation for Sponsors With Financial Interest in the Outcome. (.pdf link) When should scientists be required to release their raw data for (potentially hostile) re-analysis? A letter to the editors of Annals of Epidemiology from David Michaels, Ph.D., MPH, public health blogger, author of the book Doubt Is Their Product, and, as of December 2009, the Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA, unanimously confirmed by the Senate despite the dismay of some. Michaels interviewed at Science Progress about Doubt Is Their Product (podcast, with transcript.)
posted by escabeche at 7:36 PM PST - 9 comments


Although best known as an actor, Bill Paxton's extracurricular dabbling has been previously discussed on the blue, however... [more inside]
posted by geckoinpdx at 5:23 PM PST - 67 comments


Well ladies, just when you thought you had all of your cosmetic needs taken care of, they come up with something new. Although I'm not entirely sold on this being essential for your kit, it sure is novel. (And surprisingly not NSFW) [more inside]
posted by empatterson at 4:48 PM PST - 95 comments

You may have seen Newt Gingrich this past Tuesday on The Daily Show describing Obama's decision to try the Underpants Bomber in the courts as "radical." He pointed out an incident in 1942 when Franklin Roosevelt suspended habeus corpus for Nazi saboteurs dropped off on Long Island by submarine to wreak havoc on Ameica. While "Nazi Terrorists" might be almost comic book class villains, Newt probably would prefer people not to recall the true story and villains of Operation Pastorius.
posted by justkevin at 4:21 PM PST - 43 comments

Other Yeats Links from The W.B. Yeats Society of New York. Which leads to collections of poems by and scholarly analysis of the poems of William Butler Yeats. And what have you--links to Yeats in translation in Italian, Spanish and Esperanto as well as a movie of He Wishes For the Cloths of Heaven, among other things. I was thinking of the thread here, where the Geocities site of the Collected Poems of William Butler Yeats is long gone. And these above were among what I found when I went looking for a replacement. But Poemhunter does have 427 poems of Yeats arranged in alphabetical order, so there is that. [more inside]
posted by y2karl at 3:30 PM PST - 4 comments

Greg Knauss (once a contributor to Suck.com): "What would the bright-eyed, long-haired, involuntarily celibate version of myself from two decades ago think?" Answer: "Calm down? Calm down? You’re fat! And bald! I’m going to be fat and bald!"
posted by WCityMike at 2:04 PM PST - 55 comments

Some bike messengers last month took justice into their own hands when they caught two suspected thieves, teenage boys who attended a local Catholic high school. According to police, the messengers stripped down the teens to their boxer shorts before taking their cellphones, backpacks and clothes. But there have been countless other incidents, of real and desired vengeance [more inside]
posted by Danf at 2:00 PM PST - 129 comments

How a New Jobless Era Will Transform America
The Great Recession may be over, but this era of high joblessness is probably just beginning. Before it ends, it will likely change the life course and character of a generation of young adults. It will leave an indelible imprint on many blue-collar men. It could cripple marriage as an institution in many communities. It may already be plunging many inner cities into a despair not seen for decades. Ultimately, it is likely to warp our politics, our culture, and the character of our society for years to come. (via rw)
posted by kliuless at 1:49 PM PST - 84 comments

Some Hindi music directors take a lot of er, inspiration from popular western songs, lifting music and even lyrics. The results range from awful to inspired. [more inside]
posted by signalnine at 1:48 PM PST - 17 comments


Have you ever been watching TV or a movie and pointed to the screen and said, "Hey! It's That Guy!"? Well, here is where you'll find him. This page is dedicated to the character actors collectively known as "That Guy".
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 12:59 PM PST - 96 comments



Scientists at the University of Copenhagen have become the first to reconstruct the nuclear genome of an extinct human being. The reconstruction serves as blueprint that scientists can use to give a description of how the pre-historic Greenlander, Inuk, looked - including his tendency to baldness, dry earwax, brown eyes, dark skin, the blood type A+, shovel-shaped front teeth, and that he was genetically adapted to cold temperatures, and to what extend he was predisposed to certain illnesses.
posted by three blind mice at 11:40 AM PST - 31 comments

The iconic photograph of the Soviets hoisting the hammer and sickle over the Reichstag in April 1945 by Yevgeny Khaldei is awe inspiring and makes one wonder how this could be missed by anyone over the age of thirty. Staged? Oh yeah! But it still ranks up there with Joe Rosenthal's Iwo Jima shot and Robert Capa's Falling Soldier during the Spanish Civil War. And it's loads cooler than our most recent entry.
posted by jake1 at 11:25 AM PST - 22 comments

Yesterday, ReadWriteWeb, which "provides analysis of Web products and trends to an intelligent audience of engaged technology decision makers, Web enthusiasts and innovators" posted an article titled "Facebook Wants to Be Your One True Login." What happened in the post's comments taught them a lesson about users who aren't in their target demographic: internet users browse by search, because they think browsers are search engines. [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco at 11:05 AM PST - 190 comments

Former US Congressman Charlie Wilson, popularized in the book and movie "Charlie Wilson's War", died at 76. [more inside]
posted by Burhanistan at 11:00 AM PST - 24 comments

Watch the Oscar-nominated animated film Logorama in its (glorious 16 minute, corporate-logo assaulting, nsfw maniacal Ronald McDonald flaming queen Mr. Clean) entirety on Facebook.
posted by WolfDaddy at 10:54 AM PST - 22 comments

The New Orleans B!ngo Show is a must see if you are into jazz, 30's gangster movies, the theramin, burlesque, and scary clowns. And of course, bingo. Look behind Door #1 for [more inside]
posted by domo at 10:54 AM PST - 6 comments

An American student learning Arabic was detained for hours by the TSA and questioned because he carried basic Arabic flash cards. The ACLU has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Nick George a physics student at Pomona College who was detained and aggressively interrogated by Transportation Security Administration authorities, by the FBI and by Pennsylvania police when he tried to board a plane carrying Arabic language flash cards.
posted by sierray at 10:36 AM PST - 145 comments

Death Bear [more inside]
posted by SixteenTons at 10:35 AM PST - 18 comments

Todd Alcott has written in-depth analyses of Inglourious Basterds (Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) and Death Proof (1, 2, 3) that are pretty nifty. [more inside]
posted by Toby Dammit X at 10:32 AM PST - 102 comments

Google shuts down music blogs without warning for "violating terms of service". In what critics are calling "musicblogocide 2010", Google has deleted at least six popular music blogs that it claims violated copyright law. These sites, hosted by Google's Blogger and Blogspot services, received notices only after their sites – and years of archives – were wiped from the internet.
posted by meadowlark lime at 9:52 AM PST - 96 comments

An igloo has been built near Capitol Hill. Someone having a bit of fun in the snow? No, it's a symbol of climate change skepticism, built by the family of a Republican Senator. Sen. Jim DeMint also recently twittered that "It's going to keep snowing in DC until Al Gore cries 'uncle'". These are all examples of the politicization of Washington's lousy weather.
posted by hiteleven at 8:09 AM PST - 168 comments

Kyokushin karate champion, master's degree in chemical engineering, awarded a Fulbright scholarship to MIT, speaker of several languages, former lover of Grace Jones [NSFW], Master of the Universe--you already know who I'm talking about, don't you? It's Dolph Lundgren's world; try not to get in his way. [more inside]
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:50 AM PST - 41 comments

Alexander McQueen has died at the age of 40. He will be remembered for his beautiful and haunting style (and his gravity-defying hoof shoes). Friend to Isabella Blow, Philip Treacy, and many more; inspiration to countless. He will be missed.
posted by fiercecupcake at 7:40 AM PST - 93 comments

Twenty years ago, on this day, Nelson Mandela, walked out of prison. While Mandela would go on to end Aparthied and revolutionize South African fashion, the island where he spent eighteen of his twenty-seven years in prison would go on to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The lack of regular habitation, however, has brought a new problem to island, a plague of rabbits.
posted by Panjandrum at 7:29 AM PST - 18 comments

Wieden+Kennedy is an international advertising agency with a reputation for clever, unexpected advertisements. Their most famous work is Nike's Just Do It campaign; they were also responsible for the breathtaking Honda Cog, which took six hundred takes to get right. Recently they launched the Leroy Smith campaign, starring Charlie Murphy (a campaign that included this delightful game), and some marvelous commercials for Old Spice. [more inside]
posted by Rory Marinich at 7:18 AM PST - 45 comments

Animator Nick Cross is a Spumco veteran who's made a couple of cartoons that are adorably anti-corporatist and anti-imperialist in flavour. (prev). His latest personal project is called "Pig Farmer" and now you can buy yourself an Executive Producer's credit (or at least a "thanks").
posted by bonobothegreat at 7:14 AM PST - 6 comments

Augmented Reality, You, Your Kitchen, and the Excellent Products You Will Buy Today. An architecture student films a Gibsonesque, banal-yet-vivid-and-colorful vision of the AR future; his half-dozen videos extend into different realms.
posted by darth_tedious at 12:28 AM PST - 49 comments

February 10

Optimal Waist-to-Hip Ratios in Women Activate Neural Reward Centers in Men by Steven M. Platek and Devendra Singh.
posted by jjray at 9:45 PM PST - 177 comments

Sticky Moments is a series of punning Post-It note cartoons
posted by Confess, Fletch at 9:09 PM PST - 16 comments

Horrible Histories is a sketch comedy show made by the BBC for children. It's subject is history. Here are twenty-five sketches, including the stupid death of Edmund II, the pirate's rulebook, witchfinders direct, the song about Henry VIII's wives, Christians vs. Lions and crazy Caligula. [via Kate Beaton's twitterfeed]
posted by Kattullus at 8:34 PM PST - 26 comments

"The Cheyenne River Reservation located in the State of South Dakota , homeland of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, is currently facing an emergency situation due to an ice storm that crippled the electrical and water infrastructure. Though the ice storm has passed, the water and power system remains challenged and several Reservation communities have been without power for over ten (10) days. Moreover, a bitterly cold weather system is expected to come in by Sunday evening." [more inside]
posted by FunkyHelix at 6:53 PM PST - 11 comments

1 gig per second.... drooling yet?
posted by HuronBob at 6:47 PM PST - 153 comments

Presidents as Poets, a virtual exhibit from the Library of Congress, examines the lyrical efforts of eight American presidents, including Barack Obama's "Pop," Abraham Lincoln's "The Bear Hunt," and John Quincy Adams' Dermot MacMorrogh or the Conquest of Ireland: An Historical Tale of the Twelfth Century in Four Cantos. [more inside]
posted by Iridic at 4:28 PM PST - 22 comments

Although it is not necessary for us to categorise the treatment reported, it could readily be contended to be at the very least cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment by the United States authorities. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese at 3:25 PM PST - 41 comments

Moth trails. Long exposure shots of moths at night, twirling around lights. Elsewhere, in video form.
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:41 PM PST - 29 comments

"Whatever your life's work is, do it well. A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead, and the unborn could do it no better." -- Martin Luther King, Jr. Motivational poster for Black History Month
posted by jefficator at 2:25 PM PST - 39 comments

Some of the only known aerial photos, taken by a police helicopter, the only aircraft allowed in the Manhattan airspace during the attacks, of September the 11th have been released. [more inside]
posted by Lutoslawski at 2:24 PM PST - 95 comments

Popular: Every UK #1 single since 1952, reviewed in chronological order by Tom Ewing. He's up to 1987.
posted by staggernation at 2:10 PM PST - 20 comments

3D is all the rage these (warning: video opens with story) days, but will 3D TV ever take off in the home? CNN thinks so, so does Sky Broadcasting in the UK. It's been touted for a while and (as ever) the porn industry is leading the way. But maybe we should just stop and think about things first.......
posted by micklaw at 2:00 PM PST - 69 comments


Quantum processes involved in photosynthesis? "[A]lgae and bacteria may have been performing quantum calculations at life-friendly temperatures for billions of years. The evidence comes from a study of how energy travels across the light-harvesting molecules involved in photosynthesis. The work has culminated this week in the extraordinary announcement that these molecules in a marine alga may exploit quantum processes at room temperature to transfer energy without loss. Physicists had previously ruled out quantum processes, arguing that they could not persist for long enough at such temperatures to achieve anything useful." (via mr)
posted by kliuless at 1:11 PM PST - 43 comments


"Race & Gender of Judges Make Enormous Differences in Rulings, Studies Find," is the headline of a February 6 ABA Journal article. The article refers to two studies reported in law reviews, linked here in pdf format, on the effect of gender and race on decisionmaking in harassment and discrimination cases.
posted by bearwife at 1:01 PM PST - 31 comments

56 Cover Songs By The Decemberists as collected by Matt at You Ain't No Picasso.
posted by boo_radley at 1:01 PM PST - 41 comments

A fourth music video clip has appeared on iamamiwhoami, a YouTube channel set up in December, complete with cryptic title and enigmatic imagery. The quality of the music as well as the apparent high budget of the videos has people guessing as to who's behind it. Is it Poe? The Knife? Goldfrapp? Is it Margaret Berger? Lady Gaga? It's not Christina Aguilera, is it?
posted by creeky at 12:32 PM PST - 71 comments


Miss me yet? A mysterious billboard has cropped up on I-35 in Wyoming. Nobody knows who paid for it, and the media has picked up the story. [more inside]
posted by mecran01 at 11:57 AM PST - 99 comments

Ilkka Pyysiäinen and Marc Hauser have a new paper in the journal "Trends in Cognitive Sciences". The origins of religion : evolved adaptation or by-product? (via) [more inside]
posted by lholladay at 11:00 AM PST - 28 comments

Captain America takes a swing at the Tea partiers... or does he? Marvel editor Joe Quesada on how teabag-gate went down.
posted by Artw at 10:44 AM PST - 128 comments

Where is home plate from Seals Stadium now? (Aisle 6.)
posted by serazin at 10:35 AM PST - 21 comments


Top Videos from MTV's First Day. Most people know that The Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star" was the first video ever played on MTV, on August 1, 1981. The Top 13 picks the top 13 videos that aired that day. [more inside]
posted by kirkaracha at 10:08 AM PST - 57 comments



Nobody told Donnie to arrange his toys in geometric patterns. Or to juxtapose them "socially". He just does it. Oh yeah, Donnie is a dog.
posted by orthogonality at 8:07 AM PST - 89 comments

Joe Pastry doesn't do cake porn, but he's very fond of cake history and baking science. Recently, Joe wrote a heavily critical review of home-baking folk hero Rose Levy Beranbaum's latest book. Her response was to call him up and smooth things over herself. Also, Rose on cookbook photography/publishing and on writing technical, encyclopedic books for an amateur niche audience. [more inside]
posted by Evstar at 6:51 AM PST - 15 comments


Whisk Kid is the place to be if you like your cake porn with a beautiful twist of bruised melancholy.
posted by Jofus at 4:22 AM PST - 29 comments

Geek Heroes sing "We Love xkcd" As a follow up to this animation of the original strip Neil Gaiman, Cory Doctorow, Wil Wheaton, Hank Green and a cast of dozens sing of love and geekiness.
posted by mikoroshi at 12:11 AM PST - 92 comments

"It's going to be okay. I was raised by a single mom, and I turned out just fine." A young doctor in NYC writes a moving post about her observations in the neonatal intensive care unit.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 12:09 AM PST - 77 comments

February 9

Bolivia has a new softdrink that puts the Coca back in the cola... It shares a key ingredient with the original Coke and this new cola beverage seems to have the backing of the Bolivian government.
posted by brando_calrissian at 10:21 PM PST - 42 comments

Vintage dinosaur books. Those of a certain age likely discovered dinosaurs in the pages of one of these books in their grade-school library. I'm almost sure that this one was my first (but I remember the cover being black instead of red), and that this was my second. Does anybody remember this one? Or this?
posted by e-man at 10:00 PM PST - 41 comments

Captain Phil Harris of the Cornelia Marie, a crab boat featured on Deadliest Catch has passed away. [more inside]
posted by Ruki at 9:45 PM PST - 61 comments

Hey, remember the webtoon Space Tree from about 5 years back? If you don't, or (more likely) if you never became familiar with the series in the first place, check it out. It hasn't been updated in a few years, but the creator said on his twitter feed that new episodes are coming soon.
posted by LSK at 9:35 PM PST - 5 comments


At midnight tonight, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) released a proposed draft of the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). [more inside]
posted by emilyd22222 at 9:12 PM PST - 58 comments

As They Say is a 20+ minute musical composition by Icelander Ólöf Arnalds, where she plays and sings all the parts herself in nine-fold splitscreen. She created the piece from interviews with 17 New Yorkers, each of a different nationality, and she sings in all 17 languages. Other Ólöf Arnalds videos: 11 minute documentary, 4 songs live on KEXP, covering That Lucky Old Sun, original song that morphs into Springsteen's I'm on Fire live, new song, an interview broken up into 17 chunks and a 10 minute documentary. The interview, the first of the documentaries and some songs are in English. [Ólöf Arnalds previously on MeFi]
posted by Kattullus at 8:12 PM PST - 4 comments

National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair told representatives that American citizens can be assassinated by the US government when they are oveseas. Blair said the comments were intended to “reassure” Americans that there was a “set of defined policy and legal procedures” in place... (via antiwar.com) [more inside]
posted by 445supermag at 7:46 PM PST - 104 comments

Hanna Is Not A Boy's Name is a 'sugarcoated horror' webcomic that's wonderfully illustrated and typeset.
posted by flatluigi at 7:10 PM PST - 19 comments

The logistics and beauty of snowplowing or snowblowing by train (not always successful). [more inside]
posted by jessamyn at 6:37 PM PST - 33 comments

Perhaps it seemed like a good idea at the time, but a combination of naïveté, ignorance, and blind faith led to ten Americans stuck in a Haitian prison for trying to take children out of the country without paperwork (see earlier discussion on the blue on this topic in regards to international adoptions). It seems that they were warned not to do it by a Dominican official, and now the Americans are starting to turn on each other. (And speaking of being warned, the US passport itself contains the warning "Remember, while in a foreign country, you are subject to its laws...") The tragedy is that legitimate rescue groups are now unable or unwilling to risk airlifting critically ill children to hospitals in the US for fear of similar kidnapping charges. Has any supposed mission of mercy had such devastatingly tragic consequences? The latest twist is that the Americans are now complaining that the US government isn't doing enough, although the State Department points out that it's doing exactly what it is supposed to. [more inside]
posted by math at 5:45 PM PST - 142 comments

Deep Grief: Creating Meaning From Mourning (Article from NPR.) How some parents have channeled their grief over the loss of their children into memorial efforts that provide for others. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 5:21 PM PST - 7 comments

SpineTV is investigating all forms of life from around the world through films like Neon Men, or music like New York Street Songs. Their Stolen Moments are informative interviews with some really great creatives like Michael Marriott. Lots to explore in the video realm.
posted by netbros at 3:35 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Dissonance is a biweekly show on D.C. micropower FM station Radio CPR featuring interviews and guest DJ sets from longtime local punk musicians, artists, and activists. [more inside]
posted by ryanshepard at 2:45 PM PST - 9 comments

The William Benton Museum of Art is displaying pulp illustrations from the collection of Robert Lesser. They have also posted close to 500 pictures to Photobucket. Would that they were larger! Via io9. [more inside]
posted by brundlefly at 2:13 PM PST - 4 comments

HORROR MOVIE RULE #1: Don't look in the mirror. SLYT | 04:11.(via.)
posted by ericb at 2:12 PM PST - 101 comments


A Few Billion Lines of Code Later: Using Static Analysis to Find Bugs in the Real World. A frank account of the technical, social and commercial challenges encountered while turning an academic research tool into a business.
posted by ltl at 2:05 PM PST - 43 comments

Neuroscience explained using LOLcats (SLLJ). You're-a-kitty filter. That is all. [more inside]
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:56 PM PST - 26 comments


Stevie Nicks backstage singing Wild Heart (SLYT)
posted by generalist at 12:45 PM PST - 44 comments

Google has had mixed successes with social networks before. Orkut never caught on in the United States; a much-hyped demo of something called SocialStream was never realized. Today, Google begins rolling out Buzz, a social network that lives entirely inside Gmail.
posted by Rory Marinich at 12:13 PM PST - 190 comments





Perhaps you like Canabalt. Perhaps you miss Lisa Frank. Or perhaps you just dream... dream of a robot unicorn leaping through stars with rainbow power. The music doesn't have to stop when the game does.
posted by prefpara at 10:04 AM PST - 27 comments

The Jain's Death. A sci-fi webcomic by Patrick Farley.
posted by hermitosis at 9:38 AM PST - 36 comments

The 2010 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue (all links may be NSFW) was published today with cover model Brooklyn Decker. 82% of readers agree that the issue is presented in a classy and elegant manner. An intellectual history. The value of the models' autographs. And hegemonic masculinity. (previously)
posted by Joe Beese at 9:21 AM PST - 90 comments

Ugly Furniture (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:39 AM PST - 26 comments


Perhaps you were there in 1991 when someone spun We Are i.e. for the first time. Maybe you were a suburban rebel in the mid 1990s, listening to British pirate radio and taping the broadcasts. Or you kept it legit and heard Fabio and Grooverider on Kiss FM or BBC Radio 1. Perhaps you only caught wind of it when Goldie was on BBC's Maestro (prev). You might spend your time figuring out which breaks were used, from the well-known Amen, Brother sample (prev), to Both Eyes Open by Lucille Brown & Billy Clark. Or maybe you don't know the difference between clownstep and liquid funk, but it sounds like something you want to know more about. Step inside, junglist, and embrace the bass. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 7:28 AM PST - 70 comments

SF classic series Gaean Trilogy anatomy visualized, art collected, partly mapped (more here) and more.
posted by DU at 7:26 AM PST - 18 comments

Parental age increases risk of autism - a study published in Autism Research shows a significant increase in the risk of autism based on age of either the mother or father, and in relationship to each other.
posted by Argyle at 7:05 AM PST - 68 comments

"I don’t want my unborn grandchildren to listen to the story of how Taylor Swift won a Grammy she hadn’t earned. I want them to set pianos on fire." [more inside]
posted by rollick at 5:44 AM PST - 333 comments

"Ben Turnbull is fascinated by the global dominance of American culture, and his works unsettling effects result from re-presenting the toys of our innocent youth in symbolic forms that reveal the shocking truths about war, death and guns in the world’s most powerful country." [more inside]
posted by bwg at 2:19 AM PST - 55 comments

Comedian and activist, Mark Thomas, has been touring the UK over the past year, compiling a set of policies that his audiences want to see implemented in Britain. As part of the publicity for the resulting book, The People's Manifesto, his publishers are offering to pay one lucky applicant's £500 deposit and campaign expenses to stand for public office at the upcoming general election, on the condition that they will base their campaign on the policies gathered in the book. [more inside]
posted by idiomatika at 1:48 AM PST - 35 comments

Colonel Russell Williams is an elite pilot. He has flown the aircraft carrying the Prime Minister and the Governor General of Canada on both domestic and overseas flights. He commands CFB Trenton, Canada's largest air force base and home of much of the nation's aviation might. Colonel Williams has been "a shining bright star" of Canada's military. He has hobnobbed with top brass, both political and military.

He is also accused of being a serial rapist, home invader, and murderer..
posted by Justinian at 1:40 AM PST - 90 comments

February 8

The Rhode Island School of Design has a set of beautiful designs for dazzle ship camouflage. Dazzle Camouflage was a way to confuse submarine operators as to the heading and speed of warships, so that they could not effectively fire torpedoes to sink them. Certainly a lot more colorful than today's camo! (previously)
posted by that girl at 10:28 PM PST - 35 comments

Compare and Contrast: Dougal Wilson's video for Goldfrapp's "Happiness" vs. Norman McLaren's "Neighbours." (previously) [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco at 10:01 PM PST - 27 comments

Earlier today, the first Viet Nam veteran ever elected to congress, died. John Murtha (as of this past Saturday, Pennsylvania’s longest serving congressman) was the 19 term representative of Pennsylvania’s 12th district, most notably the home of Johnstown, and which for most of his service included Shanksville. He was a hawkish, conservative Democrat, infamous for his involvement in the Abscam controversy, and most recently the FBI’s inquiry into the lobbying firm PMA. He could be said to have been very representative, and certainly very supportive of his blue collar district—Pro-gun, anti-abortion, and at first a supporter of the invasion of Iraq, but eventually one of its greatest critics. But that criticism came at a price. John Murtha was 77. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan at 8:20 PM PST - 35 comments

Health Care: Who Knows 'Best'? "...comparative research on effectiveness is only part of the strategy to improve care. A second science has captured the imagination of policymakers in the White House: behavioral economics. This field attempts to explain pitfalls in reasoning and judgment that cause people to make apparently wrong decisions; its adherents believe in policies that protect against unsound clinical choices. But there is a schism between presidential advisers in their thinking over whether legislation should be coercive, aggressively pushing doctors and patients to do what the government defines as best, or whether it should be respectful of their own autonomy in making decisions. The President and Congress appear to be of two minds. How this difference is resolved will profoundly shape the culture of health care in America." Interesting NY Review of Books article by Jerome Groopman.
posted by cog_nate at 7:08 PM PST - 29 comments


He was an enigma, a man looking for a home, producing writing that was cryptic and full of longing.... the McSweeneys insisted that the use of the name was acceptable, even appropriate, given Timothy's background as an artist and search for connection and meaning through the written word.
The real Timothy McSweeney, after whom Dave Eggers' website was named, has died. (hattip: Kottke)
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:29 PM PST - 12 comments

The singer Pink's recent performance at the Grammy's evoked this reaction from comedian Joe Rogan: Her performance was like Jimi Hendrix doing the star spangled banner while Michael Jackson moon walked and Susan Boyle sang back up. The song, "Glitter in the Air," is from Pink's 2008 album "Funhouse." Much of that album was Pink's reflections on the breakup of her marriage to motocross star Carey Hart. But the story between Pink and Hart doesn't end there... [more inside]
posted by bguest at 4:48 PM PST - 157 comments

"What Would You Change About the NYC Taxi Cab?" is one response to The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission's call for a new taxi cab design. [more inside]
posted by R. Mutt at 4:10 PM PST - 52 comments

The United States and Australia have long shared a peaceful alliance, but it was not always so. In 1942, U.S servicemen and Australian soldiers fought openly and violently in what is known today as The Battle of Brisbane. [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000 at 3:56 PM PST - 51 comments

"Imagine, amid the grey serge of wartime France, a tribe of youngsters with all the colourful decadence of punks or teddy boys. Wearing zoot suits cut off at the knee (the better to show off their brightly coloured socks), with hair sculpted into grand quiffs, and shoes with triple-height soles - looking like glam-rock footwear 30 years early - these were the kids who would lay the foundations of nightclubbing. Ladies and gentlemen, les Zazous." [more inside]
posted by Paragon at 3:50 PM PST - 15 comments

Found Functions. An elegant demonstration of beauty in mathematics (and landscape). Nikki Graziano is a math and photography student at Rochester Institute of Technology; some of her photographs were recently featured in Wired. Graziano "overlays graphs and their corresponding equations onto her carefully composed photos. ... Graziano doesn’t go out looking for a specific function but lets one find her instead. Once she’s got an image she likes, Graziano whips up the numbers and tweaks the function until the graph it describes aligns perfectly with the photograph."
posted by jokeefe at 3:49 PM PST - 32 comments

This Is a Test Product and Nothing Will Be Sent to You. Also available new and used but with the dust-cover missing from Mythic Pictograms who presumably think that it's a "no prize" [via].
posted by feelinglistless at 3:47 PM PST - 15 comments

The strangely sexist ads of Super Bowl XLIV, beginning with the woman hating Dodge Charger ad that broke my mind. (via The A.V. Club's Super Bowl Ads roundup) [more inside]
posted by The Devil Tesla at 3:39 PM PST - 272 comments

"...one of the most famous of all vaudeville tramps at the beginning of the 20th century was Nat Wills. He appeared on stage with a toothless grin, scruffy face, rough clothes, and oversized shoes, but he spoke like a gentleman and delighted audiences with his topical humor and observations on modern life. Released in 1909, his monologue, 'No News, or What Killed the Dog' took off like a wildfire and became one of the early recording industry's all-time biggest smash hits." // Collected Works of Nat M. Wills.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 2:38 PM PST - 10 comments

The screen test offers a disorienting angle on 'behind the scenes' footage—straight through the camera. [more inside]
posted by carsonb at 2:03 PM PST - 21 comments

'As part of its budget for the next year [pdf], DARPA is investing $6 million into a project called BioDesign, with the goal of eliminating "the randomness of natural evolutionary advancement."' Via Futurismic [more inside]
posted by brundlefly at 2:03 PM PST - 35 comments

Came across this video today and thought I'd share. The original track of Darth Vader's voice as performed by the British actor that played him, David Prowse. Imagine how different Star Wars would have been if they had left it like this. From the 2004 documentary Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy.
posted by WhoseVoice at 1:18 PM PST - 56 comments

Hi, I'm Vincent "Vinny" Van Gogh...artist, mad man, dead guy. I live with James T Kirk and Jesus in the City of Industry--where we pretty much just watch TV all day. This is my blog about it.
posted by Lutoslawski at 10:32 AM PST - 28 comments

Originally developed for military tasks, amphibious buses have found a niche running tourist services in various cities around the world. But now, Scotland is about to get the first timetabled amphibious bus passenger service, replacing a ferry route in Glasgow and extending it inland to a nearby town and a shopping centre. [more inside]
posted by acb at 10:26 AM PST - 49 comments

Internet Archaeology is archiving the early graphics of the Internet. There are still graphics, animated ones, and complete websites. They also have a blog featuring select images. (via) Some images NSFW.
posted by Korou at 9:44 AM PST - 30 comments

Crescat Graffiti, Vita Excolatur. Being a Statistical Analysis of Graffiti Found at the University of Chicago Library. [more inside]
posted by GodricVT at 9:33 AM PST - 11 comments

The Qanat; a water management system from C7th BC still in use today;is one of the wonders of the world, and keeps the desert alive. This fascinating 17 min video from UNESCO is a good introduction to the subject.
Cooling provided by Qanat’s is still in use in Yazd, Iran.
Modern warfare scores a gigantic fail in the battle for hearts and minds. (wiki)
posted by adamvasco at 7:11 AM PST - 21 comments

Slacker is a unique film written and directed by Richard Linklater that follows the life of various characters in a Austin, Texas. Mind-numbingly boring or oddly captivating, Slacker provided an inspiration to other independent movies of the era and helped established the image of slacker as we see it today. Quoting Ebert, "We don't get a story, but we do get a feeling. " A Salon retrospective.
posted by mikepaco at 5:45 AM PST - 86 comments

Do not be alarmed! Salt substitute is radioactive, but it's ok to eat. It also helps keep the earth's core warm.
posted by bigmusic at 4:47 AM PST - 42 comments

Jeff Koons joins other modern artists Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Frank Stella in treating BMW cars as a canvas for art. [more inside]
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:52 AM PST - 34 comments

You dig this Canto para Shango? Well then, you might want to peruse more of the Cuban folkloric and popular music and dance on offer at Boogalu Productions. Check out the top video on their YouTube channel for a dizzying display of the varieties of musical expression emanating from today's Cuba.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:17 AM PST - 10 comments

Either they are high as a kite, or tired and giddy from a long day of interviewing, but either way -- Jason Segal and Paul Rudd can barely hold it together in this promotional interview for "I Love You, Man."
posted by empath at 12:10 AM PST - 79 comments

February 7

Prophetic Pictures from Menominie, Wisconsin. In 1905, high school senior Albert Hansen took photogaphs of his graduating classmates at Menominie HS. Not as they were -- but as they believed, or hoped, or feared they would be in the decades to come. Dorothy M. Jesse was going to be a mathematician, and Fred Quilling a pharmacist. Alice M. Tilleson would be a prominent socialite, whose "eccentric ideas with reference to danger, force her to cling to that old fashioned vehicle, the automobile, instead of the new wheel-less aerial motor car." William C. Klatt, a future physician, would operate on disembodied heads. And Hansen himself was destined for the hobo's life. The Wisconsin Historical Society has the whole collection available online, together with the text from the yearbook and the truth, as best the Society could learn, of how the graduates' actual future compared with prophecy. (Spoiler: Fred Quilling really did become a pharmacist.) Just one of the many remarkable collections at Wisconsin Historical Images.
posted by escabeche at 11:44 PM PST - 25 comments

The Who Dat nation is composed of long-suffering, widespread, well-dressed, ballsy, divinely inspired (?), stubborn, parading, boundary-crossing, musical, and - as of tonight - very happy citizens. What's the deal with "Who Dat," anyway?
posted by honeydew at 10:39 PM PST - 87 comments

Sea urchins do not have eyes, yet appear to be able to see where they are going. One posible answer: they may use the entire surface of their bodies as a compound eye.
posted by Artw at 10:36 PM PST - 31 comments

"Your responsibility is to defend Yertle. You may argue that Yertle is the king and, as protector of the realm, has a right to order his subjects to do whatever he thinks is necessary. He thought it was necessary to see what was beyond his pond and pressed other turtles into service so that he could see that far. They were hurt in the line of duty, so he wasn't personally liable for Sadie's injury. He did not realize how young she was, or he wouldn't have ordered her to join the stack of turtles." Turtle on Trial, a lesson from the ABA for Law Day, May 1.
posted by ocherdraco at 9:34 PM PST - 17 comments

Massive media conglomerate Comcast will be changing its name to Xfinity, as part of a larger rebranding effort on the heels of their proposed absorption of NBC Universal . (So yes, this means you will be able to watch SyFy on Xfinity, and experience a double dose of dubious rebranding).

The merger part of this whole business has a number of people concerned about monopolizing via vertical integration, the future of hulu, and potential changes to the Universal theme park properties, including Democratic senator Al Franken, who worries that NBC won't be entirely truthful.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 9:31 PM PST - 71 comments


The Interview is a programme from the BBC World Service. Each episode is a 30 minute in-depth question and answer session between the journalist – usually Carrie Gracie or Owen Bennett-Jones – and the subject. Over the past few years it has covered everything from literature – for example, Martin Amis and Seamus Heaney – to the nexus between neurology and music, with Oliver Sacks, and what it's like to be a sprinter with no feet. [more inside]
posted by Len at 5:46 PM PST - 7 comments

You may be active in social media on your own account. That’s good. But please remember that whether you are on your own time or company time, you’re still a member of our team. And the judgment you exercise on your own time reflects on the judgment you exercise at work. There’s only one you – at play and at work.
posted by h0p3y at 5:40 PM PST - 75 comments



A Polish newspaper ran a picture of what they thought were the cartoon mascots of the Vancouver Winter Olympics. One of the five is decidedly odd.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 1:57 PM PST - 66 comments

A white kid adopted by a Japanese-American couple, he grew up hearing stories of his grandmother raising his dad in an internment camp while his grandfather fought in Italy, and didn't eat a baked potato until he was eight. He went to UC Berkeley. He's vocal in his support for marriage equality. Scott Fujita is a linebacker for the New Orleans Saints.
posted by rtha at 1:28 PM PST - 57 comments

"If I thought, had any idea, that I’d ever be a slave again, I’d take a gun and just end it all right away." Audio recordings from interviews with former slaves, conducted by WPA folklorists and others, including the Lomaxes and Zora Neale Hurston. Only these twenty-six audio recordings of people formerly enslaved in the antebellum American South have ever been found.
posted by Miko at 1:25 PM PST - 16 comments

"After a day of barbering, Rodolfo Gregorio went to his neighborhood karaoke bar still smelling of talcum powder. Putting aside his glass of Red Horse Extra Strong beer, he grasped a microphone with a habitué’s self-assuredness and [...] belted out crowd-pleasers by Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck. But Mr. Gregorio, 63, a witness to countless fistfights and occasional stabbings erupting from disputes over karaoke singing, did not dare choose one beloved classic: Frank Sinatra’s version of “My Way.” “I used to like ‘My Way,’ but after all the trouble, I stopped singing it,” he said. “You can get killed." [more inside]
posted by applemeat at 12:02 PM PST - 55 comments

As part of his Masters project at Ohio University, Francis Gardler created a series of ten video clips about photographer and teacher Dave LaBelle. In clip 5, Dave talks about the empathy and compassion needed to photograph other human beings. The title of the first clip: “Connecting The Eye With The Heart” sums up the series perfectly. [via] [more inside]
posted by netbros at 7:55 AM PST - 2 comments

In Texas, two nurses anonymously reported a doctor to the Texas Medical Board for what they considered to be malpractice. The doctor complained of harrassment and local law enforcement found out who filed the complaint. Now one nurse is being prosecuted for reporting. The charges against the other nurse were dropped due to prosecutor's discretion. The medical board has warned of a dangerous chilling effect if the charges are pursued. But, the sheriff and the DA are convinced that the case is valid. Regardless of the outcome, a civil suit has already been filed against the hospital, the doctor, the sheriff and the DA's office on behalf of at least one of the nurses alleging violations of her First Amendment rights, among other things. Is it a case of prosecutorial misconduct or a vindictive nurse trying to get a doctor ousted? Trial begins Feb. 8.
posted by Leezie at 7:14 AM PST - 55 comments

Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams (no stranger to Metafilter) has travelled to an unspecified location in the United States to have heart surgery. [more inside]
posted by Hiker at 6:29 AM PST - 59 comments

The Wolffs At The Door An interesting story about a couple of elderly grifters in Massachusetts. The Boston Sunday Globe published a follow-up article today. [more inside]
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:39 AM PST - 14 comments

  • You are always in my prayers
  • He/She would be very happy to know that you loved him/her so much

  • For a Friendly Neighbor
  • For a Wife

  • Nevermind why you'd give condolences to "a wife..." let's hope she's not YOURS... obituarieshelp.org will help you fake like you are nice and caring, not just when writing the obit, but at any sorrowful time, big or small. And so much more than just condolence letters you can copy. [more inside]
    posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:34 AM PST - 35 comments

    Today is the centenary of the Dreadnought Hoax, when a group of pranksters paid a ceremonial visit to the Royal Navy's flagship, HMS Dreadnought, pretending to be the Emperor of Abyssinia and his retinue. The organiser of the hoax was Horace de Vere Cole, an inveterate practical joker whose favourite trick was to 'walk with a cow's udder protruding from his flies and then cut it off with scissors before aghast bystanders'. But one of the other hoaxers went on to become famous for other reasons. Her name? Virginia Woolf.
    posted by verstegan at 12:07 AM PST - 21 comments

    February 6

    Artist Ray Troll (previously 1, 2) and paleontologist Kirk Johnson, the self-described "paleo-nerd duo", have been working as a team ever since they took a road trip across the American West in search of fossils. In 2007, the pair published the book Cruisin' the Fossil Freeway based on those travels. Most recently, they have collaborated with Dr. Elizabeth Nesbitt at the Burke Museum (previously) in Seattle to produce a traveling exhibit by the same name. [more inside]
    posted by shoesfullofdust at 9:48 PM PST - 10 comments


    "Coming two weeks after his company began recalling cars by the millions, the short, formal dip, head cast down, suggested regret for causing so much trouble for his customers. But Akio Toyoda, grandson of the founder of the Japanese automaker now battling to save its global image from the stain of safety problems, did not deliver the deeper, longer bow that some expected."
    posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 5:28 PM PST - 79 comments

    In Toulon, France, there stands a memorial for 1,297 French sailors, who were killed in July of 1940 when their ships were shelled and sunk in one of the earliest sea battles of World War II. The ships were fired upon by a British task force led by the HMS Hood, and it was no accident: Churchill himself sent the order: Send the French to the ocean floor. [more inside]
    posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 4:28 PM PST - 49 comments

    J. J. Cale is one of those artists* who has been more influential among other musicians than well-known to the public. Here are some live performances of J. J. and band playing Clyde, Cajun Moon, After Midnight, Magnolia, Drifter's Wife, Birds' Song, and Tijuana. Today's Nilsson posting made me think that fondness for these characters is one of the things that binds me to the MetaFilter community. [more inside]
    posted by dylanjames at 4:22 PM PST - 21 comments

    "The first time I entered ChatRoulette — a new website that brings you face-to-face, via webcam, with an endless stream of random strangers all over the world — I was primed for a full-on Walt Whitman experience: an ecstatic surrender to the miraculous variety and abundance of humankind. [...] The first eighteen people who saw me disconnected immediately." [more inside]
    posted by Afroblanco at 3:14 PM PST - 124 comments

    "Wow, a talking fish!" is a cheerfully deranged bit of animation based on an Armenian fairy-tale, starring a poor old fisherman, a talking fish, and probably the most psychedelic wizard ever committed to film.
    posted by wanderingmind at 2:19 PM PST - 32 comments


    The Knickerbocker Theater was an old-fashioned movie palace in Washington, DC designed by Reginald W. Geare for local theatre mogul, Harry Crandall. On January 28, 1922, while patrons were watching Jimmy Durante's film debut in the comedy Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford, 28 inches of snow caused the Knickerboof's roof to collapse, killing 98 people, in an event still known as the Knickerbocker snowstorm of 1922. [more inside]
    posted by jonp72 at 10:44 AM PST - 23 comments

    I'm from Barcelona is making the 27 songs from their new album--one from each member of the band, one per day--available for free download, starting last Jan. 27th.
    posted by brenton at 9:32 AM PST - 21 comments

    Once upon a time in the town of Point, everything - all the buildings, trees, and even the people were pointed. Except for one little round-headed kid named Oblio. "I was on acid and I looked at the trees and I realized that they all came to points, and the little branches came to points, and the houses came to point. I thought, 'Oh! Everything has a point, and if it doesn't, then there's a point to it.'" – Harry Nilsson" [more inside]
    posted by ExitPursuedByBear at 9:19 AM PST - 44 comments

    For the past 21 years, across the limitless expanse of the North Pacific, a lonely whale has been singing, calling for a response. There has been none, and there never will. [more inside]
    posted by Cobalt at 9:11 AM PST - 88 comments

    Phil Gyford (mefi's own!) realized last year that after he and his friends spent much of their professional lives freelancing, they were missing out on a key part of business life: Office Culture. So he invented his own, launching a synergizing solutioneering company site called Pretend Office complete with stock art. The key component that made the ruse complete was the inter-office @everyone mailing list, which is also online. Through the mailing list, they create the story of the most painful fictitious office on earth. A personal favorite of mine was the Christmas Dinner thread, do step through the conversation.
    posted by mathowie at 9:10 AM PST - 20 comments

    February 5

    If you happen to be the sort of person who doesn't watch Fox News Channel—as if!—you may have missed Jon Stewart's appearance on The O'Reilly Factor. [more inside]
    posted by Sys Rq at 10:33 PM PST - 130 comments

    A hexapod robot is a mechanical vehicle that walks on six legs. Since a robot can be statically stable on three or more legs, a hexapod robot has a great deal of flexibility in how it can move. And how it can move!
    posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:28 PM PST - 38 comments

    The New York Times called it "a great work of art" (NYT login required). Martin Amis called it "a waterlogged corpse at the stage of maximal bloat". You can judge for yourself by reading an annotated, hyperlinked edition. This timeline and this geography might help. (For extra credit, here are texts mentioned in the story.)
    posted by Joe Beese at 5:43 PM PST - 29 comments


    Since late January of 2010, the International Space Station was able to access the Internet for personal use, leading to the first tweet from space. The previous tweets were e-mailed to the ground where support personnel posted them to the astronaut's Twitter account. Currently there are 17 active NASA astronauts and 6 internatual'nauts tweeting from on high. If their words aren't enough, they're also posting pictures, primarily from Soichi Noguchi (@Astro_Soichi) and José Hernández (@Astro_Jose, whose socio-political messages were covered previously). [more inside]
    posted by filthy light thief at 2:44 PM PST - 28 comments

    What do you mean by the "trauma myth"?
    The title refers to the fact that although sexual abuse is usually portrayed by professionals and the media as a traumatic experience for the victims when it happens — meaning frightening, overwhelming, painful — it rarely is. Most victims do not understand they are being victimized, because they are too young to understand sex, the perpetrators are almost always people they know and trust, and violence or penetration rarely occurs. "Confusion" is the most frequently reported word when victims are asked to describe what the experience was like. Confusion is a far cry from trauma.

    NYTimes: "Abusing Not Only Children, but Also Science"
    posted by andoatnp at 1:56 PM PST - 140 comments

    2010 Top Ten "Dubious Polling" Awards from StinkyJournalism.org of the Art Science Research Laboratory's Media Ethics Project. Highlighting "the most risible and outrageous pronouncements by polling organizations". Fuzzy Math Award goes to Fox News Network, and the Fox in Sheep's Clothing Award to Scott Rasmussen ("Fox News’ favorite pollster"). Stonewalling/Coverup Award winners are Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Gilbert Burnham, over the Lancet 2006 survey of Iraqi deaths.
    posted by internationalfeel at 11:41 AM PST - 33 comments

    “Being willing to sit in a boring classroom for 12 years, and then sign up for four more years and then sign up for three or more years after that—well, that’s a pretty good measure of your willingness to essentially do what you’re told,” - The Santa Fe Reporter talks to Economist Samuel Bowles about New Mexico's income gap, welfare, social mobility, and a radical way to help. (Via)
    posted by The Whelk at 11:37 AM PST - 47 comments

    Macro Kingdom — things that can be done with today's DSLRs and editing software by even you and me.
    posted by netbros at 11:30 AM PST - 27 comments

    Coloring the Kingdom: the story of the all-female “finishing school” of hand-drawn animation that worked behind the scenes to create the first animated full-length Disney feature, Snow White. (via.)
    posted by 1f2frfbf at 11:08 AM PST - 8 comments

    On February 1, a new 24-hour internet-only reality show was launched by the same folks who brought us Apollo 13. Live Feed. Main site. Catch the action (from a distance). How the "set" was built. Cast interview (video). Official press release.
    posted by zarq at 10:58 AM PST - 15 comments

    Demand Question Time is a cross-partisan attempt in the US to make sessions like the remarkable give and take between President Obama and House Republicans of January 29th, which DQT calls "riveting and educational... substantive, civil and candid" a regular feature of American political discourse, like its parliamentary counterpart. As the petition's profile grows, signer David Corn explains "Why Question Time Is Right for Obama, House GOPers and Washington," and Peggy Noonan counters that "Question Time Isn't the Answer."
    posted by ocherdraco at 10:36 AM PST - 50 comments

    While Pablo Picasso’s Tête de femme (Jacqueline) is clearly no L’Homme qui marche I, Tête de femme was recently sold to an anonymous telephone bidder for £8,105,250. Let's go to the videotape (5:53). And oh, for staying on top of things while jet-setting, there is indeed an app for that.
    posted by R. Mutt at 10:33 AM PST - 8 comments

    Amateur video footage of the Challenger explosion previously unknown, has now been found and, of course, posted to YouTube. A retired man named Jack Moss was taping the launch from his front yard when the explosion occurred moments into the launch. The tape was relegated to his basement and forgotten, and Moss died late last year. His pastor remembered a conversation about the video and found it among other old Betamax videotapes from the same period. It is believed to be the only amateur footage of the event.
    posted by briank at 10:25 AM PST - 121 comments

    Anders Loves Maria, the funny, dramatic, romantic and quite NSFW webcomic, with its distinctive visuals, often frustrating characters and very Swedish attitude, has concluded after 3 years and 3 months (ending with a difficult delivery in more ways than one; the last 3 months were an excruciating wait for the last two extended chapters). A tale of semi-fidelity, baby birds, hitting the wrong hole and grown-up responsibility forced upon those who never grew up, A♥M was a favorite among other webcomic creators from day one, and, hey, they ought to know! If you never got into AndersMania, you can start at the beginning of the 250+ updates here.
    posted by oneswellfoop at 10:09 AM PST - 30 comments

    My Life With Death : is the personal blog of a funeral home "first responder." It occurred to me this morning as I sat before my employer being lectured about my "availability" on my days off, that my life is singularly joyless. I have effectively traded in my own life for other people's deaths.
    posted by grapefruitmoon at 10:09 AM PST - 32 comments

    "The last speaker of an ancient language in India's Andaman Islands has died at the age of about 85." Boa Sr was the last person to speak the Bo language (or Aka-Bo), a part of the Great Andamanese language family, which is nearly extinct. For more on Andamanese languages here is Niclas Burenhult's paper Deep Linguistic Prehistory, with particular reference to Andamanese and Anvita Abbi's phenomenal Vanishing Voices of the Great Andamanese. Both Vanishing Voices and the BBC report have recordings of the Bo language.
    posted by Kattullus at 9:41 AM PST - 17 comments

    Nearly 3,000 pages of e-mails that Todd Palin exchanged with Alaskan officials, which were released to msnbc.com and NBC News by the state under its public records law, draw a picture of a Palin administration where the governor's husband was intimately involved in governmental affairs. The 'Shadow Governor' (as some called him in Juneau) "got involved [among other state business] in a judicial appointment, monitored contract negotiations with public employee unions, received background checks on a corporate CEO, added his approval or disapproval to state board appointments and passed financial information marked 'confidential' from his oil company employer to a state attorney." [more inside]
    posted by ericb at 8:12 AM PST - 147 comments

    In the 1980s, the creative team of Jim Henson and Brian Froud, together with Frank Oz and George Lucas, collaborated on two ambitious film projects: The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. While Labyrinth (incredibly exhaustive fan site here) was more lively and featured actors as well as puppets, The Dark Crystal embodied a darker vision and featured only puppets. Rumors have circulated in the last few years that a sequel to The Dark Crystal, entitled The Power of the Dark Crytal, is in production. While the status of the film is still up in the air, there is a blog for the project that contains a video of new concept art. [more inside]
    posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 8:04 AM PST - 79 comments

    Much has been made of the ethics of bloggers who receive compensation -- usually in the form of demo units and trial versions of products -- in exchange for reviewing those products, often with the implicit understanding that the review is a positive one. These questions prompted an FTC investigation, and last fall the agency revised their formal guidelines governing endorsements and testimonials to include bloggers or other "word-of-mouth" marketers. The Interactive Agency Bureau maintains that the guidelines are unconstitutional, and is calling for the FTC to rescind the rules as they apply to bloggers and other online outlets. The latest casualty? An intern at TechCrunch asked for a MacBook Air in exchange for a post. In the wake of this revelation, TechCrunch fired the intern and issued a formal apology. To his credit, the intern has posted his own mea culpa.
    posted by shiu mai baby at 8:02 AM PST - 69 comments

    The strange and wonderful paintings of Moki [more inside]
    posted by le morte de bea arthur at 7:58 AM PST - 11 comments

    In 2000, the Library of Congress celebrated its 200th birthday by inviting representatives and members of the public from each of the 50 American states to nominate folk traditions, local customs, and special places to a "century's-end time capsule" called the Local Legacies Project. A nice little introductory catalog to points of local pride, like Fountain Green, Utah's Lamb Day, Oakland, CA's Black Cowboy Parade, Kentucky's Bourbon tradition, and Binghamton, NY's Spiedie Fest, and plenty more. [more inside]
    posted by Miko at 6:54 AM PST - 7 comments

    London Underground vs Toronto Transit typefaces
    posted by mippy at 6:36 AM PST - 18 comments

    February 4

    38 years of Super Bowl Commercials. We now have 38 out of the 44 super bowl years, making this the worlds largest collection of super bowl ads. You're welcome!
    posted by dead cousin ted at 11:58 PM PST - 24 comments

    Life imitates Python: The Life of Brian's unfortunately-named Roman has a real-life counterpart, and he's been denied ambassadorship to Saudi Arabia due to the fact that his name means "biggest dick" in Arabic.
    posted by Jon_Evil at 11:55 PM PST - 91 comments

    As a reaction towards the financial crisis the Real-World Economics Review will award the Dynamite Prize in Economics to the three economists who contributed most to blowing up the global economy. The Real-World Economic Review is the central organ of the movement for Post-Autistic Economics which is critical about the current mainstream in economics — in particular microeconomics and neoclassical theorists. [more inside]
    posted by jfricke at 10:09 PM PST - 52 comments

    Blood and Milk is the blog of international development worker and writer Alanna Shaikh, who consults on global health development and writes for publications such as the UN Dispatch. Her views, based both on her work in the field and her study & understanding of sociology, international relations, and other such subjects, tend to be contrary to most other opinions on international development: voluntourism isn't helpful, development work is mired in a culture of nice, don't bother starting an NGO (or, if you will anyway, here's how to succeed), global health doesn't need innovation, and microfinance is a disappointment. Also, here's how to tell if your health project is doomed, and Haiti doesn't need your shoes (some people vehemently disagree). Educated well-researched iconoclast, or pessimistic Mary Contrary?
    posted by divabat at 9:47 PM PST - 20 comments

    King's College London is planning to eliminate 22 positions in Arts and Humanities, including the elimination of the entire Palaeography department. [more inside]
    posted by hiteleven at 8:36 PM PST - 82 comments

    "The Staff Room" is a series of short satiric youtube videos that give a glimpse of what really goes on in high school staff rooms everywhere. [more inside]
    posted by mock at 8:25 PM PST - 18 comments

    Go Superego is pretty funny. [Warning: bad words and adult concepts. Warning: no guarantee is made that you will personally find this funny. Warning: it's a podcast.] [more inside]
    posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:42 PM PST - 19 comments

    The Fan History Project documents the history of science fiction fandom. The site covers it all: local histories, professional art, fan art, fanzines, and photos. Yes, the photos. Lots more inside. [more inside]
    posted by marxchivist at 4:19 PM PST - 20 comments

    "Financial crisis
    Stalled too many customers
    CEO no more."


    Sun Microsystems chief executive Jonathan Schwartz resigns via twitter haiku.
    posted by Artw at 3:33 PM PST - 62 comments


    "'Repent, Harlequin,' Said the Ticktockman." An illustrated version of Harlan Ellison's short story of the same name. [more inside]
    posted by John of Michigan at 2:55 PM PST - 31 comments

    EEG brainwave signals are used as biofeedback controllers for a video mixer built in Max/MSP/Jitter software. When the participant’s brain waves change, the video changes in realtime, creating a biofeedback loop. This is Carrie Gates' Psychic Armchair TV. [more inside]
    posted by cashman at 2:42 PM PST - 11 comments

    The first natonal Tea Party convention began today, although main events start tomorrow, amid some controversy over the price of admission. Sarah Palin is the keynote speaker, reportedly at a price of $100,000. Her speech and other events are to be televised. Two prominent Republican representatives, one of whom is Michele Bachman, have dropped out over their reported concerns about how receipts from the convention will be used. The convention appears to be aimed at establishing a direction for the group. Six hundred "delegates" are attending.
    posted by bearwife at 2:06 PM PST - 230 comments

    One person’s helpful mood improver, though, is another’s worryingly effective stimulant. "The drink is 15 percent alcohol by volume, a bit stronger than most wines. Also, each 750 milliliter bottle contains as much caffeine as eight cans of Coke." Scottish authorities are trying to reduce alcoholism in the country, but consumers still love their Buckfast, which has been linked to violent behavior by some, and dismissed as merely a scapegoat by others. [more inside]
    posted by snottydick at 1:18 PM PST - 97 comments

    West of Austin, in the Texas Hill Country, a vacuum salesman turned fried chicken magnate turned rancher has spent the last 40 years turning the worst land he could find into a model of habitat restoration. [more inside]
    posted by kmz at 12:39 PM PST - 27 comments

    They sleep in fits and starts throughout the day, but are not so somnolent as previously thought. They can be vicious. Each one has its own personality. They are anything but slow when they need to be. [more inside]
    posted by Hardcore Poser at 12:02 PM PST - 56 comments

    Where We Remain is a procedurally generated exploration game set on a deserted island. It's better to discover what's going on for yourself, but if you need it the developer offers some hints. [more inside]
    posted by The Devil Tesla at 12:01 PM PST - 16 comments

    Nine bands enter, only one emerges sober • Timelapsed, three college-age kids play the Theme to Tetris around a table on beer bottles • The Magic Blow_ob Ensemble plays Shostakovich's "Jazz Suite #2" on beer bottles • Two Polish Buskers play Greig's "In the Hall of the Mountain King" on beer bottles • The Bottle Band (also from Poland) performs "The Entertainer" on beer bottles • The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra plays the Victoria Bitter beer jingle on Victoria Bitter beer bottles • St. Luke's Bottle Band plays Tchaikovsky's "Dance of the Reed Flutes" on beer and other bottles • The Bowen Beer Bottle Band [previously] performs "Do You Hear What I Hear?" on beer bottles • An ensemble wearing matching clothing plays "Mamma Mia" by ABBA on beer bottles • The J2O Bottle Blowing Choir performs "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" (they are too young for beer) • [more inside]
    posted by not_on_display at 11:42 AM PST - 10 comments

    Does international adoption benefit adopted children? Serve to satisfy prospective parents? Is it a helpful situation for everyone involved? The current situation of ten American Baptists charged with child trafficking in Haiti is again opening up the conversation about the complexities, benefits and drawbacks of international adoptions arranged between Western and third-world countries. [more inside]
    posted by jeanmari at 10:14 AM PST - 77 comments

    Charles Vance Millar was a Canadian lawyer and financier with a love of pranks and practical jokes. His greatest and final prank was his last will and testament. [more inside]
    posted by signalnine at 10:14 AM PST - 24 comments

    Retro gamers are rejoicing today as Sega revealed that its flagship character Sonic will finally be returning to his 2-D roots after languishing for years in GameStop cheapo bins everywhere. Following the releases of such new old-school titles as New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Mega Man 9, A Boy and His Blob and Adventure Island, Sonic 4 will be a downloadable title for PS3/Wii/X-Box 360 this summer.
    posted by Otis at 9:25 AM PST - 68 comments

    Microsoft's Creative Destruction is an Op Ed in the New York Times by former Microsoft VP, Dick Brass. [more inside]
    posted by shmegegge at 9:22 AM PST - 102 comments

    You guys know about BBC Radio 4's In Our Time, right? Each week, the broadcaster Melvyn Bragg hosts a 45-minute discussion on some aspect of culture, history, philosophy, religion or science. His guests are always three academics with expert knowledge of the chosen subject, and the tone is serious and detailed but never inaccessible. By respecting his audience's intelligence, Bragg delivers a programme of unrivaled interest, depth and educational value. The topics covered this year alone include The Frankfurt School, The Glencoe Massacre, Silas Marner and Ibn Khaldun. Eclectic, yes, but never less than fascinating. The good news is that the programme has just redesigned its website, making all 440 episodes to date available for your listening pleasure in its eminently browsable archive. In the dumbed-down 21st Century, it's a miracle that a programme like this still exists, so let's all make the most of it while we can.
    posted by Paul Slade at 9:19 AM PST - 59 comments

    "Kcymaerxthaere is the name of a parallel universe that shares, to some degree, our physical planet." Its historical markers can be found on the sea floor off Scotland, in Berlin, or all over America; historical sites include Embassy Row in Paris, Illinois, Krblin Jihn Kabin at Joshua Tree in California, and the Rock Wall of Stoan Orange Glef in Spain. A blog chronicles new installations. (via "The Believer") [more inside]
    posted by Zed at 9:13 AM PST - 22 comments

    "To really write for children, you have to think like a child. And to read a children’s book, you probably have to let go of grown-up reasoning. These thoughts occurred to me as I read two newly-translated books about Tintin and his creator, Georges Remi, better known to the world as Hergé. (The pen name is composed of Remi’s initials backwards, pronounced as in French.) There is much to be learned from these studies and others by “Tintinologists”—about Hergé, about the “world” of Tintin, even about twentieth-century politics. But as I read Pierre Assouline’s well-written biography of Hergé and Jean-Marie Apostolidès’s erudite study of the Tintin books, a version of the question we Jews love to ask kept coming to mind: Are they good for Tintin?" A review of The Metamorphoses of Tintin or Tintin for Adults by Jean-Marie Apostolides and Herge: The Man Who Created Tintin by Pierre Assouline at The New Republic.
    posted by ocherdraco at 8:45 AM PST - 17 comments

    As mentioned previously, two pandas are flying from the US back to China. Or rather, are being shipped by FedEx. Which explains why FedEx has its own Panda shipping website, complete with Panda tracker. And a link to other unusual FedEx shipments.
    posted by jermsplan at 8:06 AM PST - 37 comments

    By day Peggy Wilkins runs Unix servers at the U. of C. By night she tends her apartment-size collection of Playboys (mildly NSFW), moderates the Playboy Mailing List, builds Playmate databases, and even sends free advice to Hef (via)
    posted by Joe Beese at 8:05 AM PST - 35 comments

    Announcing: The Art of Akira Exhibit Its stunningly fluid and detailed animation often required as many as nine separate cel layers. The 125 minute feature was comprised of over 160,000 cels and almost as many backgrounds, each one completely hand–drawn and hand-painted. Purists recognize Akira as the last completely hand-created animated feature.

    Joe the Peacock, in collaboration with Toonseum, presents a project to 'expose as many people as possible to the brilliance' of Akira.

    Akira previously: 1 2 3
    posted by shakespeherian at 6:15 AM PST - 76 comments

    Patrick Sauriol's Corona Coming Attractions, the comprehensive insider film news site of the late-'90s (resurrected in December 2008), presents the top unproduced screenplays for 2009 as selected by film professionals (Part 1 | Part 2). "Over 300 film professionals were asked to submit the titles of up to ten of their favorite screenplays. The only condition for the picks were that the projects would not be released in theaters this year." Some sound fascinating, others cringe-inducingly tired.
    posted by AugieAugustus at 5:32 AM PST - 21 comments

    "Then the prisoner came into the dock. A little man. Pale now, and looking insignficant as he stood there with four warders grouped around him. It seemed hard at that moment to associate with that figure the sardonic venom that once sneered from stations Hamburg and Bremen." [more inside]
    posted by tiny crocodile at 4:00 AM PST - 28 comments

    February 3

    Record Tripping is a lovely little game about wheels, records, and rabbitholes. [more inside]
    posted by Scattercat at 11:12 PM PST - 17 comments

    What Republicans believe - a poll of 2000 self-identified republicans by DailyKos/Research2000. With a little elucidation of some of the polling numbers by Nate of FiveThirtyEight. And also picked up by O'Reilly.
    posted by wilful at 10:29 PM PST - 198 comments

    African land reform, plot by plot, may be the foundation for solving so much else – from famine to poverty to genocide.
    posted by lullaby at 9:15 PM PST - 6 comments

    The Buffalo Beast has finally posted its list of the 50 Most Loathsome Americans of 2009. [more inside]
    posted by JHarris at 8:15 PM PST - 85 comments

    Nuit Blanche. "Nuit Blanche explores a fleeting moment between two strangers, revealing their brief connection in a hyper real fantasy." [Via]
    posted by homunculus at 8:00 PM PST - 21 comments

    In its January 13, 2010 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the public broadcast of Perry v. Schwarzenegger, a U.S. District Court case challenging the constitutional validity of California's Proposition 8, despite the ruling of Judge Vaughn Walker. Working directly from court transcripts and first-hand accounts from bloggers who have been present at the trial, marriagetrial.com is re-enacting the trial, to provide a "non-biased, objective presentation" of the case for public benefit.
    posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:45 PM PST - 37 comments

    Carly Fiorina, perhaps best known as the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, is attempting to become the Republican candidate for Barbara Boxer's long-time Senate seat. But her nomination isn't sewed up yet; her potential GOP challenger is former Congressman and Stanford Law professor Tom Campbell. So earlier today, Fiorina's campaign released this political attack ad against Campbell. It features her newly-minted acronym "FCINO", it's about six times longer than most political ads, it makes copious use of stock photography, and it stars demon sheep with red glowing eyes. Wait, what?
    posted by Asparagirl at 6:11 PM PST - 155 comments

    Double Full Full Full, annotated (NYT video, reg REq'd) U.S. Olympic Team aerial skier Ryan St. Onge and a science reporter describe via video the physics going on as he executes a triple backflip with four twists. Also, the snowboard halfpipe. (Don't ask me why a triple backflip with four twists is called a "double full full full")
    posted by planetkyoto at 5:57 PM PST - 16 comments

    Embrace Life: A lovely road safety PSA from the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership. (SLYT) [more inside]
    posted by castlebravo at 5:25 PM PST - 18 comments

    The Victoria and Albert Museum is using crowdsourcing to determine the best images, crops and enlargements of items in its online database. [more inside]
    posted by paduasoy at 5:15 PM PST - 11 comments

    Glasgow's Mitchell Library, designed by William B. Whitie, is the largest reference library in Western Europe. Over the past decade, it has been digitising its collection of photographs, which has resulted in the Virtual Mitchell, an unrivalled collection of photographs of Glasgow which covers the last 150-odd years of the city's history. The photographs can be searched by area, street or subject, all of which provide a fascinating insight into life in Glasgow over the past century and a half. Some examples: Charing Cross, 1950s; 1975; The Mitchell Library, 1910; Meadowside Shipyard, circa 1930; New Astoria Cinema, Possilpark; Royal Exchange Square, 1868; Alexander "Greek" Thompson's church on Caledonia Road; East End children in class in 1916
    posted by Len at 4:13 PM PST - 14 comments

    If you've got a live animal that you want to eat, you will need to kill it. Here's some people sharing ways to get the task done. Killing and dressing a chicken. Shooting and butchering a pig. A goat is slaughtered. Time.com on killing and roasting a goat.
    posted by longsleeves at 3:51 PM PST - 72 comments

    "Our research indicates that excessive internet use is associated with depression,but what we don't know is which comes first - are depressed people drawn to the internet or does the internet cause depression?"
    posted by Elmore at 3:51 PM PST - 48 comments

    Amy's uncle started abusing her when she was four years old. Depictions of her abuse are "one of the most popular and readily available kiddie porn videos on the Internet." Her lawyer has a novel - and apparently successful - strategy for recovering compensation: use the theory of joint liability to sue everyone with a copy of the video.
    posted by Joe in Australia at 3:48 PM PST - 96 comments

    Vegetated State conversations: To find out whether a simple conversation was possible, the researchers selected one of the four - a 29-year-old man who had been in a car crash. They asked him to imagine playing tennis if he wanted to answer yes to questions such as: Do you have any sisters? Is your father's name Thomas? Is your father's name Alexander? And if the answer to a question was no, he had to imagine moving round his home.
    posted by bigmusic at 3:27 PM PST - 22 comments

    "Back in 1993 I was tutoring my sister in algebra. Her quizzes and tests were always made of word problems with a running storyline involving many recurring places and characters. I tied the fate of the main characters to how well she did on the previous quiz, so a good performance brought them good fortune. Unfortunately, one test she completely bombed, and, well, this is a transcription of the quiz she got next." [more inside]
    posted by Iridic at 3:05 PM PST - 40 comments

    Last December, the government of North Korea unexpectedly revalued its internal currency, the North Korean won, at a rate of 100-to-1 and capped the amounts that residents could exchange old currency at 300,000 won (approx. $90 U.S. on the black market). This effectively wiped out many peoples' savings and killed the nascent market economy that had begun to emerge after a series of economic reforms starting in July, 2002. Professor Rüdiger Frank of the University of Vienna argues that while it represents a temporary victory for the North Korean government, this move may ultimately lead to the end of North Korean socialism. [Recently here]
    posted by albrecht at 3:03 PM PST - 23 comments


    Need some new moves in your dating arsenal? You could get low and funky, like an ostrich. Or even funkier, like a horned pheasant. [more inside]
    posted by mudpuppie at 2:49 PM PST - 8 comments

    As the G7 finance ministers meet in northern Canada this week, a statement will be made about a matter dear to the hearts, and stomachs, of many northerners: seal. The ministers will be served seal meat, while sitting on seal-skin chairs and be given seal-fur gloves and vests as gifts, all to raise awareness of the importance of the seal hunt to the North -- even as Inuit groups in Canada and Greenland are suing in a European court to try to overturn the EU's ban on importing seal products. CBC's FAQ on the Canadian Seal Hunt. [more inside]
    posted by jb at 2:22 PM PST - 49 comments


    Unicode? There’s an app for that. Need to enter a few characters in a script you only kind of understand? Got a string of characters you can’t figure out? The W3C’s Richard Ishida can help. Ishida’s vast set of browser-based character pickers and troubleshooters let you assemble phonetics, peruse and search Unicode characters, or just paste in a string of characters and get a nice list of every single character in the string. [more inside]
    posted by joeclark at 1:46 PM PST - 11 comments

    Last November, Ballardian.com [previously] announced a Microfiction Competition in order to promote a series of interviews concerning Savoy Books. They have now announced the winners.
    posted by brundlefly at 1:31 PM PST - 5 comments

    Strangers is a very short (~5 minutes to complete) Windows platform game, "which has an interesting twist that you may or may not see coming." Download and forum here, with an admonition to "play this song while playing." [more inside]
    posted by jbickers at 1:04 PM PST - 19 comments

    More Beatles remix/mashup delirium. Hell! (website, zipped download). Hate (website, multiupload link). Mutation (website). The Beastles & Let It Beast (website, multiupload links). The Act You've Known For All These Years (website). And the granddaddy of them all, The Grey Album. (overview, multiupload link) [more inside]
    posted by hippybear at 12:44 PM PST - 25 comments

    “Well, it seems to be happening a lot sooner than I thought. I understand now that this [is] considered a pet project of Dan DiDio, SVP-Executive Editor. That he is determined to impress new bosses by building on DC’s biggest selling comic book of all time with multiple prequel comic miniseries and spinoff ongoing projects.” [more inside]
    posted by kipmanley at 12:41 PM PST - 78 comments

    A new study of middle schoolers found for the first time that abstinence-only education can help to delay [the students'] sexual initiation. While the evaluation adds important new information to the question of “what works” in sex education, the evaluated program was not a rigid "abstinence-only-until-marriage" program of the type that, until this year, received significant federal funding, leaving intact existing evidence that abstinence-only-until-marriage programming that met previous federal guidelines is ineffective.
    posted by lunit at 11:19 AM PST - 55 comments

    The Smalls, a website about short films, has created The Smalls Street Sounds, a site where folks can upload sounds unique to their city and see them mapped (USAcentric). They have set a goal of having 5,000 sounds uploaded by March. via. My favorite.
    posted by agatha_magatha at 9:58 AM PST - 10 comments

    Spray-On Glass! Immaculate clothing and easy house-cleaning for all! A German company, Nanopool (may need to run through google translator), has developed some sort of mad science/flying car future-style fluid suspension of SiO2 that can be applied to apparently any surface with startling applications. I am entertained by the idea that wax fruit may be replaced by glass fruit... as it were. Additional details, but no real specs here.
    posted by LD Feral at 9:56 AM PST - 53 comments

    He invented or popularized a startling array of the fundamental elements of film: the dissolve, the fade-in and fade-out, slow motion, fast motion, stop motion, double exposures and multiple exposures, miniatures, the in-camera matte, time-lapse photography, color film (albeit hand-painted), artificial film lighting, production sketches and storyboards, and the whole idea of narrative film.
    By 1897, in a studio of his own design and construction – the first complete movie studio – his hand forged virtually everything on his screen. Norman McLaren writes, "He was not only his own producer, ideas man, script writer, but he was his own set-builder, scene painter, choreographer, deviser of mechanical contrivances, special effects man, costume designer, model maker, actor, multiple actor, editor and distributor." Also, his own cinematographer, and the inventor of cameras to suit his special conceptions. Not even auteur directors such as Charles Chaplin, Orson Welles, John Cassavetes, and Stanley Kubrick would personally author so many aspects of their films."
    Inside: 57 films by Georges Méliès, the Grandfather of Visual Effects. [more inside]
    posted by Paragon at 9:47 AM PST - 31 comments

    Industrial Strength Fungus. At an organic farm just outside Monterey, Calif., a super-eco building material is growing in dozens of darkened shipping containers. The farm is named Far West Fungi, and its rusting containers are full of all sorts of mushrooms--shiitake, reishi and pom-pom, to name a few. This new application of mushrooms is sometimes referred to as "mycotecture", but the idea of mycorestoration [TED talk: "6 ways mushrooms can save the world"] is not new. [more inside]
    posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 9:23 AM PST - 21 comments

    The iPad, which you may have heard of, has brought HTML5 into the consciousness of many. Here Gizmodo explains what HTML5 is and why it wont save the internet. Previously.
    posted by shothotbot at 9:13 AM PST - 95 comments

    Benjamin Koellmann paid $215,000 for his apartment in Miami Beach in 2006, but now units are selling in foreclosure for $90,000. “There is no financial sense in staying,” he said.
    posted by four panels at 7:29 AM PST - 167 comments

    Mass Affect will offer a plethora of engaging side-quests, including bike messenger assignments, competitive coffee-brand disparagement, horrible-dancing competitions, and an interactive café-posturing minigame that involves using motion controls to keep the cover of your barely-skimmed copy of Dostoevsky's "The Idiot" within eyeshot of as many cute girls as possible.
    posted by griphus at 6:34 AM PST - 70 comments

    Where does my tax money go? From USA Today, a calculator and graph that lets you enter your salary and shows you how your tax dollars are spent. You can also change the year shown, so that you can compare now and then.
    posted by OmieWise at 6:01 AM PST - 39 comments

    The U.S. National Archives' Flickr Photostream. Includes collections of historical photographs and documents | Civil War photos by Mathew Brady | and the Documerica Project by the EPA in the 1970s. There is also a nice set of Ansel Adams landscape photographs.
    posted by netbros at 4:53 AM PST - 7 comments

    Neil Blomkamp’s TED Talk starts with the question of does he feel his aliens in his film District 9 are a realistic depiction of what extraterrestrial life might actually be like... (SLYT)
    posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:37 AM PST - 27 comments

    "Papers that are scientifically flawed or comprise only modest technical increments often attract undue profile. At the same time publication of truly original findings may be delayed or rejected." In an open letter addressed to Senior Editors of peer-review journals, Professor Austin Smith (publications) and another 13 stem cell researchers from around the world have expressed their concerns over the current peer review process employed by the journals publishing in the field of stem cell biology. [more inside]
    posted by kisch mokusch at 2:16 AM PST - 25 comments


    February 2

    1978 はごろも缶詰 シーチキン (SLYT) disco star wars & tuna fish
    posted by KokuRyu at 11:23 PM PST - 35 comments

    Tango With Cows is an exhibition by the Getty Museum of the book art of the Russian avant-garde from 1910 to 1917, which included a performance of sound poetry, all captured on video, both of Futurist poems, other historical sound poems, and contemporary works. Among performers are Christian Bök and Steve McCaffery. The exhibition takes its name from the book of ferro-concrete poems, one of 21 books can be downloaded as PDFs, most are by Alexei Kruchenykh but there are also works by Roman Jakobson, Vladimir Mayakovsky, David Burliuk, Andrei Kravtsov, Vasily Kamensky and Velimir Khlebnikov. These were all Futurists. [more inside]
    posted by Kattullus at 11:02 PM PST - 12 comments

    Slaughterhouse 90210, where erudite literary quotes meet TV screencaps. [more inside]
    posted by aerotive at 10:30 PM PST - 33 comments

    Do you want to go to IIT for engineering? Or maybe Yale? Open classes are everywhere now.
    posted by pelham at 10:25 PM PST - 22 comments

    A Good Man. A struggling Australian sheep farmer and his quadriplegic wife open a brothel.
    posted by Extopalopaketle at 10:04 PM PST - 15 comments

    War and Peace is a simplified version of the Civilization games. How simple? One button switches your civilization's focus between war and peace. That's it. (PC only)
    posted by CrunchyFrog at 9:23 PM PST - 36 comments

    The Magisterial Goal. YouTube/Essay on the great British sports announcer Ray Hudson and his literary metaphoric style. “Look at him, so languid, look at him walking. He’s like a big, beautiful zombie, Riquelme. He just strolls around…like smoke off a cigarette.” [more inside]
    posted by stbalbach at 6:25 PM PST - 15 comments

    Amelia's Magazine: A sprawling and slightly garish collaborative London-based blog, which grew out of the now defunct high-end print magazine of the same name. An eccentric mix of art, fashion, photography, design, illustration, underground music and eco-activism.
    posted by criticalbill at 6:21 PM PST - 2 comments



    Henrietta Lacks "was diagnosed with terminal cervical cancer. She was treated at Johns Hopkins University, where a doctor named George Gey snipped cells from her cervix without telling her. Gey discovered that Lacks' cells could not only be kept alive, but would also grow indefinitely. For the past 60 years Lacks' cells have been cultured and used in experiments ranging from determining the long-term effects of radiation to testing the live polio vaccine." [more inside]
    posted by HuronBob at 5:08 PM PST - 69 comments

    The Cotton Patch Gospel is a bluegrass adaptation of the life of Jesus, set in Georgia. [more inside]
    posted by whimsicalnymph at 4:22 PM PST - 15 comments

    "This was national scripture, a piece of our Constitution's history," she said of her find in November. "It was difficult to keep my hands from trembling."
    posted by Joe Beese at 3:34 PM PST - 40 comments

    Is this the first ever LEGO/Nokia Rubik's Cube solver?
    posted by nam3d at 2:18 PM PST - 16 comments

    In Manchester, LadyGaGa pwns, but in New York Radiohead has her slightly beat. Does Cleveland still rock? Not so much, but Bursa, Turkey definitely does. International musical dick-waving at My City vs. Your City [more inside]
    posted by spicynuts at 12:17 PM PST - 60 comments

    SciFiGuy.ca explores the infinite wonder and beauty of the Urban fantasy book cover (youtube, bad music) (via).
    posted by Artw at 12:17 PM PST - 64 comments

    Live feed of a bald eagle nest! Over the past month a nest was built and the eagles are currently sitting on some eggs. A different pair, featured here last year, are in the process of constructing a new nest. [more inside]
    posted by cubby at 12:15 PM PST - 28 comments

    Much-missed acoustic guitarist Isaac Guillory thrilled audiences around the UK, accumulating die-hard fans wherever he went. For those who never had the chance to see him perform, this extremely rare broadcast-quality footage of a classic 1991 concert (made available on YouTube by one of the cameramen who filmed it), is the next best thing. [more inside]
    posted by tomcooke at 11:58 AM PST - 6 comments

    "What started out as an exercise in model building and photography, ended up as a dream-like reconstruction of the town I grew up in." [more inside]
    posted by brundlefly at 11:42 AM PST - 37 comments

    How much life could you find in one cubic foot? With a 12-inch green metal-framed cube, photographer David Liittschwager (of the Endangered Species Project) surveyed biodiversity in land, water, tropical and temperate environments around the globe for National Geographic. At each locale he set down the cube and started watching, counting, and photographing with the help of his assistant and many biologists. The goal: to represent the creatures that lived in or moved through that space. The team then sorted through their habitat cubes and tallied every inhabitant, down to a size of about a millimeter. [more inside]
    posted by zarq at 10:57 AM PST - 25 comments

    "The symbiotic relationship between the press and the power elite worked for nearly a century. It worked as long as our power elite, no matter how ruthless or insensitive, was competent. But once our power elite became incompetent and morally bankrupt, the press, along with the power elite, lost its final vestige of credibility." "The Creed of Objectivity Killed the News" by Chris Hedges.
    posted by AugieAugustus at 10:43 AM PST - 51 comments

    Hitch reads up on North Korea: "I have recently donned the bifocals provided by B.R. Myers in his electrifying new book The Cleanest Race: How North Koreans See Themselves and Why It Matters, and I understand now that I got the picture either upside down or inside out. The whole idea of communism is dead in North Korea, and its most recent "Constitution," "ratified" last April, has dropped all mention of the word. The analogies to Confucianism are glib, and such parallels with it as can be drawn are intended by the regime only for the consumption of outsiders. Myers makes a persuasive case that we should instead regard the Kim Jong-il system as a phenomenon of the very extreme and pathological right. It is based on totalitarian "military first" mobilization, is maintained by slave labor, and instills an ideology of the most unapologetic racism and xenophobia." Read the first chapter here.
    posted by ocherdraco at 10:23 AM PST - 59 comments

    Interview with Berkeley Breathed on the occasion of a new five-volume compilation (review) of every Bloom County strip.
    posted by kirkaracha at 10:02 AM PST - 150 comments


    Ice House Detroit is an architectural installation and social change project wherein photographer Gregory Holm and architect Matthew Radune have spent weeks spraying water on an empty Detroit home. [more inside]
    posted by nevercalm at 9:21 AM PST - 8 comments

    The Oscar nominees are in... and Avatar seems to be up for practically everything, except for anything having to do with great acting. But let's focus where the MeFi fun is... animated short films! Sneak a SLYT peek at "Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty", "French Roast", "The Lady & The Reaper", "Logorama", and Nick Park's latest Wallace & Gromit, A Matter of Loaf & Death".
    posted by markkraft at 9:10 AM PST - 101 comments

    Fans know him as Tonéx. His eccentric style and vertiginous high notes helped make him one of the most acclaimed praise singers of the past decade, and, for a time, one of the most successful. ... This past September, the television host known as Lexi broadcast an interview [Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3] with Tonéx on the Word Network, a gospel channel, in which he made his clearest public statements about his sexual orientation. He is, within the church world, the first high-profile gospel singer in history to come out of the closet. Within hours, he started to realize what he had done. His relationship with the mainstream gospel industry was effectively over.
    From a fascinating article in the most recent New Yorker [abstract only]. This podcast [freely accessible] with the author of the article, Kelefah Sanneh, delves into the rarely discussed "secret" in the black church that many gospel musicians have been and are gay. Sanneh touches on the stories of both James Cleveland, the creator of the modern gospel sound who died of AIDS in 1991, and one of his backup singers, Carl Bean, who became famous for the 70s disco hit "I Was Born This Way." One contemporary preacher and gospel singer that Sanneh discusses in relation to Tonéx is Donnie McClurkin, a man made infamous during the Obama campaign for railing against homosexuals in Southern Black churches. McClurkin has admitted to engaging in homosexual acts for 20 years but does not identify as gay and believes a strong Christian faith can deliver a person from the "sin" of homosexuality. He recently delivered a sermon directed at young black homosexuals in the church, specifically calling out Tonéx. [McClurkin sermon Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3]
    posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 8:17 AM PST - 44 comments

    Insite, operated by Vancouver Coastal Health, operates North America’s first legal supervised injection site. Slate writer offers harrowing illustrations of the people who go there and the neighborhood they live in.
    posted by elder18 at 8:14 AM PST - 38 comments


    An official military investigation into abandoning Don't Ask Don't Tell will begin today, lead by Defense Secretary Robert Gates. [more inside]
    posted by grapefruitmoon at 7:12 AM PST - 121 comments

    If adventure had a hat, it would be produced by Adventurebilt Hat Company, the company founded by a man who wanted his own fedora (just like Junior's) and ended up supplying his hero's movie studio.
    posted by GatorDavid at 7:00 AM PST - 40 comments

    The OpenLuna Foundation seeks to return mankind to the lunar surface, first through robotic missions, followed by manned exploration, culminating in an eight person permanent outpost, and to do all of this in a way that it is accessible to everyone. Our research and technology will be open-source, we are privately funded, and one of our specific goals is to reach out to the community and educational systems to spread interest, enthusiasm, and involvement.
    posted by DU at 5:10 AM PST - 42 comments

    Jon Ronson On "Each week in a series of interviews, short location reports, scripted monologues, phone calls etc, Jon Ronson delves into a world of personal stories surrounding the central theme which all shed light on the human condition." You can download all the episodes here.
    posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:49 AM PST - 15 comments

    February 1

    After a ballot measure to raise property taxes in Colorado Springs was overwhelmingly defeated, tax opponents called for the city to shrink the government. The City of Colorado Springs now plans to make deep cuts to basic services, including parks, police, and even the street lights.
    posted by chrchr at 11:18 PM PST - 332 comments

    Button du Jour. A charming semi-daily imaginary vignette featuring food, fashion, music, and an exotic location -- all inspired by a beautiful button.
    posted by ottereroticist at 9:51 PM PST - 6 comments


    The web has evolved in the last ten years, from simple text pages to rich, interactive applications including video and voice. Unfortunately, very old browsers cannot run many of these new features effectively. So to help ensure your business can use the latest, most advanced web apps, we encourage you to update your browsers as soon as possible. There are many choices: IE6 is not among them [more inside]
    posted by h0p3y at 7:23 PM PST - 78 comments

    nonsenselit.org is dedicated to literary matters nonsensical. There's a lot of Edward Lear, limericks, songs, nonsense botany, diaries, picture stories and much, much more. Did I mention there was more? Because there's also a section on the lesser known but quite great early 20th Century cartoonist Peter Newell, there's a lot of awesome but let me point you to The Hole Book and Topsys and Turvys. Nonsense in Early Comics features the brilliant Gustave Verbeek, the wonderful John Benson and Helen Stillwell. Don't forget to check out the gallery of over 600 nonsense-related images. Finally, the site proprietor, Marco Graziosi has a blog with various nonsense lit related posts.
    posted by Kattullus at 7:00 PM PST - 5 comments

    Maneggs. is a web comic that is occasionally NSFW.
    posted by sciurus at 6:26 PM PST - 48 comments

    "Trance music" is not a new phenomenon.  The ability for music to drive dancers into ecstatic frenzies has been known at least since Euripides.  The Shakers got their name from the ecstatic behavior they exhibited when dancing to their simple, repetitive hymns.  Voodoo rituals are built around complex, trance-inducing rhythms.  It was well known that trance-dancing can produce ecstastic states, but until the later part of the 20th century, and the invention of the 'extended dance remix', it was rare for commercial music to reach for it. [more inside]
    posted by empath at 5:22 PM PST - 86 comments

    Pain Pack — Ze Frank posted a phone number and asked that anyone experiencing emotional pain leave him a message. He received a number of very distraught messages. From those, DJs and musicians created 138 samples for him—and those samples have since been made into songs—and the collaborative process continues.
    posted by netbros at 3:31 PM PST - 26 comments

    The New York Times visualizes the proposed $3.83 trillion budget for 2011.
    posted by Joe Beese at 3:22 PM PST - 61 comments

    Ted Taylor, physicist, nuclear scientist, and designer of the deceptively tiny Davy Crockett nuclear recoilless rifle, is not quite as famous as one of his other projects: nuclear spacecraft propulsion. Project Orion was intended as an interplanetary (and eventually interstellar) vehicle which could achieve Earth orbit with a series of 800 nuclear explosions, each detonated about a second after the other below the spacecraft. It would propel itself through space in a similar fashion, carrying many orders of magnitude more mass than chemical rockets such as the Saturn which would ultimately take men to the moon. Taylor and others intended a mission to Mars by 1965, but the Partial Test Ban Treaty of 1963 destroyed all hope to see Orion take flight. For the interested, "The Curve of Binding Energy" goes into much more detail, including the U.S. Air Force's plan to turn Orion into a nuclear space battleship (!). A youtube video of an Orion concept test using conventional explosives is here (flight footage begins around 0:23).
    posted by edguardo at 2:34 PM PST - 56 comments

    From The Wild Hunt:
    A case coming before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals could end up having major legal ramifications for all religious minorities in the United States. Wiccan chaplain Patrick McCollum has been fighting for years to overturn the State of California’s “five faiths policy”, which limits the hiring of paid chaplains to Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, and Native American adherents. While McCollum has suffered setbacks in his quest, with a California federal district court ruling in early 2009 that he had no standing to bring his suit, he recently gained support on appeal from several civil and religious rights groups who argue that his case should be heard.
    [more inside]
    posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 2:19 PM PST - 43 comments

    “I don’t want anyone on my team that doesn’t play to win.” Red Klotz, 88, has been head coach of the Washington Generals since the early 1950s, and played for the team himself until the age of 62. In the linked story, he provides Kansas City sportswriter Joe Posnanski with the greatest quote of all time (that wasn't it up there) and recounts his two glorious victories over the Harlem Globetrotters (against 13,000-some losses.) Now Klotz may have a secret weapon against his long-time rivals: after 50 years as straight men, the Generals are trying to become the wackiest team on the court.
    posted by escabeche at 2:18 PM PST - 28 comments

    With Sword and Pen is an interesting and well-done blog that celebrates "First Edition, Rare, Small Press, and Collectible Books Pertaining to the American Civil War." [more inside]
    posted by marxchivist at 12:17 PM PST - 2 comments

    Those who knew the artist—some of them his friends—described him variously as “devil,” “whore,” “one of the world’s leading alcoholics,” “bilious ogre,” “sacred monster,” and “a drunken, faded sodomite swaying nocturnally through the lowest dives and gambling dens of Soho.” Was Francis Bacon really the greatest painter of the twentieth century, or just a fascinating mess?
    posted by seliopou at 12:16 PM PST - 65 comments

    Ever wonder how to get a book on the NY Times best seller list? Step one: Set up a PAC. ABCNews and others reporting on the recent revelation that Sarah Palin funneled upwards of sixty grand to a PAC she established to buy thousands of copies of her own recent "best-selling" book.
    posted by saulgoodman at 11:58 AM PST - 126 comments

    "These data revealed a surprisingly consistent pattern of decomposition throughout time. This pattern shows that as these modern fish decayed, their most recently evolved features -- those characters that are most informative because they distinguish closely related animals within the same lineage -- rotted first. The last features to disappear were more ancient; those that are shared by all vertebrates, such the notochord."
    posted by brundlefly at 11:37 AM PST - 11 comments

    Soft drinks have become ubiquitous around the world. Everywhere you go, you are more likely than not going to see them being sold at stores, food carts and roadside stands. [more inside]
    posted by reenum at 11:32 AM PST - 109 comments

    Fifty years ago today four black students, Joseph A. McNeil, Franklin E. McCain, David L. Richmond and Ezell A. Blair Jr., asked to be served lunch at the Woolworth lunch counter and so began an extended nonviolent sit-in which energized the civil rights movement. Monday the International Civil Rights Center and Museum will open in that loacation.
    posted by caddis at 11:30 AM PST - 19 comments

    Choice of the Dragon is a web-based cyoa/adventure gamebook thingy by choiceofgames (blog, including links to their free ChoiceScript documentation/interpretor). Awesome.
    posted by juv3nal at 11:28 AM PST - 15 comments

    Bill Watterson, the reclusive creator of Calvin & Hobbes, gives what is believed to be his first interview since 1989.
    posted by Effigy2000 at 11:07 AM PST - 89 comments

    Everybody Loves That HADACOL~!
    posted by jtron at 10:24 AM PST - 16 comments


    In the last two weeks, [NYT] more than 100 mostly tiny earthquakes a day, on average, have rattled a remote area of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, putting scientists who monitor the park’s strange and volatile geology on alert. The quake zone, about 10 miles northwest of the Old Faithful geyser, has shown little indication of building toward a larger event, like a volcanic eruption of the type that last ravaged the Yellowstone region tens of thousands of years ago. Don't rest too easily, though: new studies of the plumbing that feeds the Yellowstone supervolcano shows the plume and the magma chamber under the volcano are larger than first thought and contradicts claims that only shallow hot rock exists. For more info, check out this exhaustive site that tracks Yellowstone tectonic activity and details a possible supervolcano event. [previously]
    posted by billysumday at 8:05 AM PST - 109 comments

    Precursor to Google Maps? Overhead photos of NYC circa 1924. (Click the camera icon and slide to 1924)
    posted by jefficator at 8:01 AM PST - 35 comments

    The truth about the gunshot that changed Germany. On June 2, 1967, a West Berlin police officer named Karl-Heinz Kurras killed a leftist protester named Benno Ohnesorg. This killing galvanized the West German student movement, and led to a decade of protesting and actual armed conflict (notably by the Red Army Faction, aka the Baader-Meinhof gang [previously]). It turns out that the police officer was a member of the Stasi, the infamous East German secret police. [more inside]
    posted by norm at 7:46 AM PST - 22 comments

    "Surgically, things have gotten so much better in the last 24 hours." Direct view into the daily challenges on the frontlines of the medical situation in Haiti, via the Hershey Medical Center Team and Operation Smile. Written by the surgeons on the ground. [more inside]
    posted by spicynuts at 7:01 AM PST - 4 comments

    America's Secret Afghan Prisons. Meanwhile Vice Admiral Robert Harward states: There are no black-jail secret prisons.
    The Washington Independent reports that Vice Admirals Robert Howard and William McRaven (commander of the Joint Special Operations Command) both have deep ties to Gen. Stanley McChrystal and influential with Jim Jones, Obama’s national security adviser.
    posted by adamvasco at 5:45 AM PST - 53 comments

    The Urban Bird Sounds Project and podcast. The students of Codman Academy Charter Public School have developed a free CD to help you learn to "recognize bird sounds in the city." [more inside]
    posted by OmieWise at 5:19 AM PST - 20 comments


    Imogen Heap (Previously: 1 2) was nominated for two Grammys this year, and won for Best Engineering for a Non-Classical Album. To share the occasion of her first Grammy nominations with her fans, she designed a dress and handbag onto which they could tweet pictures and messages of support by including the #twitdress hashtag or sending pictures to a Twitpic account. Video of the Twitdress in action - note that her name does NOT actually rhyme with "toboggan".
    posted by DecemberBoy at 12:26 AM PST - 29 comments

    Die Antwoord is a "next-level rap-rave krew" from South Africa. Their incredible video, Enter the Ninja, is probably the best introduction to the group. The group consists of a white MC named Ninja, his mulleted wife Yo-Landi Vi$$er, and DJ Hi-Tek (aka Leon Botha), a painter who at 24 one of the oldest living sufferers of progeria syndrome. Further viewing: Zef Side. [more inside]
    posted by meadowlark lime at 12:15 AM PST - 68 comments