February 2011 Archives

February 28

Around the Coast Mountains The first part of my trip in 2010 was a kayak journey up the Inside Passage from Richmond, BC to Prince Rupert, BC... I only made it halfway in 2010, which was still quite a trip though! Next summer I plan to continue the kayak expedition and maybe start the bike ride back down the other side. MarkBC started his trip in Vancouver, British Columbia in June 2010, and ended his trip that August at Port Hardy, on the northern tip of Vancouver Island, after traveling along the Inside Passage. He traveled by inflatable kayak, and took plenty of interesting photos of wildlife along the way. He camped on the beach most of the way. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu at 9:37 PM PST - 16 comments

Nice Jewish Girl is an unmarried orthodox Jew. She started a blog six years ago. She wrote about being Shomer Negiah (not allowing herself physical contact with men other than relatives or a husband) and being a woman in her mid-thirties that has never kissed a man. Over the run of the blog, she decided to stop being Shomer Negiah while still looking for an Orthodox husband, kissed a man, and then broke up with him. For the last three years, she has been silent. Recently, she has returned to discuss the effect of Jewish law on her view of sex.
posted by ignignokt at 8:03 PM PST - 154 comments

Mutually exclusive exclusive realms. Until now. The hipsterscience hashtag on twitter is trending with abundant hipster science wankery. Two great tastes that taste blucky together for you! You disdainful hipster scientist you. A compilation of exclusivity here. [more inside]
posted by Cold Lurkey at 7:52 PM PST - 26 comments

For me, this was a first experience of seeing India play at home, and of Sachin Tendulkar playing in front of his own people. I chose a good game with which to start. I can think of few, if any, experiences in sport to match watching Tendulkar succeed in a home game. Roger Federer may occupy a similar status of universally-acknowledged greatness within tennis, but I think it is fair to say that Switzerland is not quite as passionate about tennis as India is about cricket. If Federer were to simultaneously play tennis whilst hoarding gold and providing banking facilities for dubious dictators, perhaps the fervour of his support would match that for Sachin. But the Swiss population is unlikely ever to top the one billion mark.
Don't know a thing about cricket? Wouldn't know a wicket from a googly? Don't worry, you won't have to know a thing to enjoy Andy Zaltzman's World Cup Blog. He is traveling around Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka attending various games. Zaltzman is best known to the world for the fabulous podcast The Bugle which he does with John Oliver. Therefore it should come as no surprise that he also does a cricket podcast. And he tweets about cricket too.
posted by Kattullus at 7:34 PM PST - 19 comments

Squatters on the Skyline: "Facing a mounting housing shortage, squatters have transformed an abandoned skyscraper in downtown Caracas into a makeshift home for more than 2,500 people." [SLNYTVP]
posted by bayani at 7:07 PM PST - 27 comments

Humans, Version 3.0. "The next giant leap in human evolution may not come from new fields like genetic engineering or artificial intelligence, but rather from appreciating our ancient brains." [Via] [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 6:56 PM PST - 15 comments

On Friday night in Porto Alegre, Brazil, a banker named Ricardo Neis was driving behind a group of about 150 Critical Mass cyclist/activists who were riding en masse to promote inner-city cycling. Neis claims he felt threatened: his response to this feeling was to literally plow through the cyclists at full speed (incident begins at about 50 seconds into video). Miraculously, none of the cyclists were killed. Witnesses to the incident were shocked. Neis eventually abandoned his VW Golf before his involvement was discovered. Local cyclists doubt he will be charged with a crime.
posted by mightygodking at 6:49 PM PST - 202 comments

England cricketer Steven Davies has come out in an interview with the Daily Telegraph, having come out to the England squad prior to the Ashes, making him the first openly gay professional cricketer. The Guardian tries to work out what this says about cricket
posted by hoyland at 6:23 PM PST - 55 comments

A short film about that moment when you emerge from the subway and find yourself in a new and sometimes unexpected world. [SLVimeo]
posted by Rickalicioso at 5:46 PM PST - 28 comments

Jane Russell, Sex Symbol of the 1940's and 50's has passed on today; the stars shine a little dimmer today. Here she is in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
posted by Jaymzifer at 5:34 PM PST - 45 comments



"Completed in 1954, the 33 11-story buildings of the Pruitt-Igoe housing development was built as an attempt to address the housing crisis the poor faced in St Louis, Missouri. Only twenty years later, at 3pm on the 16th of March, 1972, the buildings were leveled, declared unfit for habitation because of unsafe and unsanitary conditions, coupled with rampant crime. The story of Pruitt-Igoe is a tragic urban fable, a complicated and loaded story of ambition, hubris and failure." (src)
"The Pruitt-Igoe Myth" is a documentary directed by Chad Freidrichs that dives into the complex history of the famed housing project (YouTube or Vimeo trailer). RustWire has an interesting interview with the documentary's creator. More information from Architizer, Homo Ludens, and Magical Urbanism. Be sure to check out the collection of pictures from the area and from the documentary in the creators' Flickr stream. [via Archinect and Mefi Projects] [more inside]
posted by spiderskull at 3:47 PM PST - 29 comments



Will shareholders want to invest in companies that don't have a laser-like focus on profit?" "In one US state, they've just brought in a new law which protects companies who put social responsibility before making money [companies referred to as "benefit corporations"]. . . . Shareholders can't [sue] if the company takes decisions to, for example, protect the environment or buy locally, even if that hurts the bottom line" [7:30 BBC audio report]. One way for entrepreneurs to walk the socially responsible walk is to get certification from B Lab, a non-profit that issues trust marks [the "B Corporation" label] for entire companies, not just individual products: "The B Corporation legal framework bakes your values into the DNA of the company so they can better survive new management, new investors or even new ownership." [more inside]
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 2:58 PM PST - 37 comments

UK respite and foster parents may no longer be homophobic, even when it is due to religious belief. An English Christian couple acting as foster parents have been banned from further placements due to their statement that they could not tell children that homosexual relationships were of equal value, with judges stating that their claims that adoption should still be allowed as a "a travesty of reality". Reaction from the UK religious right (such as it is) is venomous. [more inside]
posted by jaduncan at 2:48 PM PST - 59 comments

The U.S. governmental Commission on Wartime Contracting held hearings today regarding the corruption, mismanagement, massive financial waste and lack of oversight among private defense contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan. [more inside]
posted by The Emperor of Ice Cream at 1:30 PM PST - 47 comments

Revealing the man behind @MayorEmanuel. The Atlantic talks to Dan Sinker, who just outed himself as the voice of the brilliant @MayorEmanuel twitter feed (RIP).
posted by shiu mai baby at 1:14 PM PST - 46 comments

Google Demo Slam is a knockout competition between 84 different demonstrations of Google Tech. The "Slampionship" is down to the last four entries, but if you haven't seen them, you can check out all previous demos. My favourites : Rushmore and Chubby Bunny. (previously on metafilter)
posted by seanyboy at 1:00 PM PST - 17 comments

"The Australian Lyre-bird (Menura superba), the Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos) and the Sky Lark (Alauda arvensis) remain among the most inventive song birds in the natural fauna. The former is known to perform a ritual in which it clears a small circle in the forest and mimics all the other song birds in its’ region. Furthermore, it also interpolates imitations of human-related activities such as snapping photo-apparatuses, growling chain-saws and falling trees. In many respects, the Lyre bird resembles the famous CASIO SK-1 6 bit sampler, but it is not as circuit-bendable." -- this is the introduction to one of the adventures in field research by Hemmelig Tempo. The Norwegian group may be considered to be an experimental musical improvisation trio, but they prefer the title of "research group." If this all sounds a bit chaotic, check out an earlier sound from 1/3 of the trio: DJ Barabass (more noise inside). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 12:53 PM PST - 14 comments

The manager of Girardi's Frozen Yogurt wants to make sure his employees understand what the corkboard in the back is for...in a monologue entitled: Girardi's Frozen Yogurt ( via ) [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:39 AM PST - 52 comments

'Poets don’t draw,' Jean Cocteau said. 'They unravel their handwriting and then tie it up again, but differently.' An ode to the Pilot Precise V5 Extra Fine.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:59 AM PST - 68 comments

BRUCE ROSENBAUM and his wife, Melanie, cook their food on what looks like a cast-iron Victorian stove. But the stove, like many items in the Rosenbaums' kitchen, has been gutted and repurposed. There's a modern appliance inside that antique shell, a theme that repeats itself from the fridge to their water heater. "We created this romantic Victorian feel to it," Bruce Rosenbaum said. "But everything works." The Massachusetts couple have steampunked their kitchen. [more inside]
posted by fixedgear at 10:08 AM PST - 113 comments


Adorable amigurumi toys look on as a new friend crochets itself. [SLYT]
posted by The demon that lives in the air at 9:54 AM PST - 14 comments

Smithsonian Wild is a collection of over 200,000 pictures of animals taken by "camera traps", automated cameras with motion sensors. Each species is linked to its article in the Encyclopedia of Life, and the entire set of photos is also available on Flickr.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 9:54 AM PST - 13 comments

Don't worry, writing a thesis [pdf] on the virtues of civil society and democratization won't disqualify you from threatening your own people with genocide and murder. [more inside]
posted by quodlibet at 9:53 AM PST - 11 comments

The Madoff Tapes "One evening, my home phone rang. “You have a collect call from Bernard Madoff, an inmate at a federal prison,” a recording announced. And there he was." [more inside]
posted by zarq at 9:43 AM PST - 30 comments

Via Secrecy News:
Millions of feet of film of historical imagery from intelligence satellites may be declassified this year, the U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) said. "The NGA is anticipating the potential declassification of significant amounts of film-based imagery... in 2011," according to an NGA announcement that solicited contractor interest in converting the declassified film into digital format. It was published in Federal Business Opportunities on February 14, 2011. A copy is posted here (pdf).
[more inside]
posted by HLD at 9:15 AM PST - 13 comments

Rapper 50 Cent stashes $2,000,000 in the front trunk of his Lamborghini. (SLYT)
posted by growabrain at 8:57 AM PST - 110 comments

"Measuring quality is difficult; measuring quantity is as easy as counting. The more apps a college receives, and rejects, the more impressive it seems." Eric Hoover in the Chronicle of Higher Ed takes on the arms race in college admissions offices. Hoover blogs about admissions issues at Head Count. Sadly, not everyone can write an essay like Hugh Gallagher.
posted by escabeche at 8:17 AM PST - 20 comments

Security-in-a-Box. A complete guide to digital security for advocates and human rights defenders (and for you too!). It includes all the info and tools you'll need for anything related to personal digital security.
Mobiles in-a-box: Tools and tactics for mobile advocacy.
Message in-a-box: Everything you need to make and distribute your own media.
NGO-in-a-box: Set up you NGO using free and open-source software.
[more inside]
posted by lemuring at 7:59 AM PST - 14 comments

Trust, Coordination Technology* & The Experience Economy - "It could be that the nature of technological change isn't causing the slowdown** but a shift in values.*** It could be that in an industrial economy people develop a materialist mind-set and believe that improving their income is the same thing as improving their quality of life. But in an affluent information-driven world, people embrace the postmaterialist mind-set. They realize they can improve their quality of life without actually producing more wealth." (via mr) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 7:28 AM PST - 46 comments

Fifth Wheel Driving! [SLYT]
posted by Fizz at 6:07 AM PST - 20 comments

Harold is the keeper of local dump. Most days will find Harold with a tie on, helping those who have a problem getting their garbage into the dumpsters, or their recyclables into the bin. He often has a guitar strung across his back.
posted by SuzySmith at 2:33 AM PST - 17 comments

Can you speak Scots? As part of this year's census people in Scotland will be asked to say if they can understand speak, read and / or write Scots. [more inside]
posted by Lezzles at 1:58 AM PST - 101 comments

When the sun goes down, it's time to hit the streets. Dusty is a cat burglar.
posted by XhaustedProphet at 1:27 AM PST - 28 comments

R.I.P., Frank Buckles, last American World War I veteran, who just passed away at 110 years old. Previously.
posted by bwg at 12:21 AM PST - 51 comments

February 27

A sedate-sounding Bill Murray opens up about Ghostbusters 3, Saturday Night Live, depression, his beef with Ron Howard, not having an agent, and the rumors surrounding the roles he's turned down in a 50 minute interview on the Howard Stern Show. [more inside]
posted by item at 10:35 PM PST - 45 comments

"Not a sun rise, but a galaxy rise. A morning filled with 400 billion suns. The rising of the Milky Way." Beautiful time-lapse of the Milky Way over Lake Tahoe.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 10:12 PM PST - 38 comments

Edwin Donald "Duke" Snider , also known as "The Silver Fox," has passed away at the age of 84. Snider played for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers for the bulk of his career, in which he hit 40 or more home runs in 5 consecutive seasons and hit the last home run in Ebbets Field. Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1980, Snider was the least-known of the famed trio of New York center fielders from the 1950s, but enjoyed a resurgence in popularity after his induction and the release of "Willie, Mickey, & the Duke" in 1981. Mickey Mantle died in 1995, but Willie Mays is still going strong.
posted by waitingtoderail at 8:35 PM PST - 14 comments

In a world much like our own, mouse society is imperiled by a wave of organized cat crime. A top special agent is coaxed out of retirement to transport the blueprints for a top secret weapon that is the last hope of the civilized mouse nations. Macskafogó ("Cat Trap") is a feature-length Hungarian animated film. Released in 1986, it's also available in a dubbed English version titled Cat City. [more inside]
posted by Nomyte at 8:32 PM PST - 4 comments

Paul Bowles - "novelist, composer, poet and quintessential outsider of American literature".
posted by Joe Beese at 8:32 PM PST - 14 comments

It’s increasingly rare for musicians to come into a radio station for anything more than a concert or album promo, but you can still find live performances from the booth if you know where to tune in: WNRN, an independent radio station in Virginia, has regular live acoustic performances of touring musicians, and records them in HD: The Punch Brothers covering Reptilia and Rye Whiskey; Locust in the Willow and Sometimes in This Country from Crooked Still. (much more)

Stevie Wonder and Eric Benet improvising on “You and I” at Stevie’s own radio station, KJLH.

Eminem freestyling on BBC Radio 1. BBC Live Lounge.

Howard Stern has supported live acoustic acts for a long time: Elton John, “Why Isn’t Howard Stern On TV?”; Dave Grohl, Everlong, My Hero; Counting Crows. A few public radio stations have dedicated performance spaces used for live shows : WNYC’s Greene Space and the BBC’s Maida Vale. [more inside]
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 8:25 PM PST - 37 comments

The benshi of Japan were live narrators of silent films. "To many 'silent' cinema fans in Japan, benshi were a major attraction. It was usually the film that drew people to the theater, but it was often the benshi which determined which theater a person would attend. Benshi were huge cultural stars of the time, with benshi earning as much, if not more, than many actors." [more inside]
posted by Paragon at 4:17 PM PST - 17 comments

This Isn't Happiness — what we remember weblogs to be a decade ago, like MeFi, it's all about the links. It features art and photography, music and books, even occasional politics. But it never fails to be beautiful. [occasional nsfw image]
posted by netbros at 3:59 PM PST - 33 comments

Tim DeChristopher goes on trial in a Salt Lake City District Court today [Case No. 2:09-CR-183], facing a ten year sentence and/or $750 000 fines. His crime? Intentionally making false bids on fossil fuel leases. His supporters include Dr James Hansen and Bill McKibben. (previously)
posted by wilful at 3:29 PM PST - 26 comments

Suze Rotolo, artist, muse and covergirl has died, aged 67. She was Bob Dylan's lover and muse meeting him soon after he moved from Minnesota to New York in 1961. An artist in her own right, Suze explored the idea of books as artefacts, focusing on their appearance rather than their contents. She also published a memoir of early 1960's Greenwich Village. Ironically for an artist concerned with paratext she will most likely be remembered as the girl from the cover of Freewheelin', Dylan's early masterpiece. The image of Rotolo and Dylan strolling along a frosty Jones Street has fixed itself in the popular consciousness and is one that Tom Cruise will take to his death.
posted by tigrefacile at 3:02 PM PST - 17 comments

February 25, 2011: Vogue calls her "a rose in the desert": "Asma al-Assad is glamorous, young, and very chic—the freshest and most magnetic of first ladies." (Wikipedia about her husband: "He has been criticized for his disregard for human rights, economic lapses, sponsorship of terrorism, and corruption.") [more inside]
posted by iviken at 3:01 PM PST - 25 comments

No matter what you do, no matter where you go, Watson will find you.
posted by Lord_Pall at 11:11 AM PST - 27 comments

There is some debate as to why he torched it. But here he is in all his glory, at the location where some the most innovative sounds the world has ever heard were recorded. Lee Scratch at Black Ark. (first post...good to be here)
posted by Jibuzaemon at 11:07 AM PST - 10 comments

RIP Jay Landesman founder and editor of Neurotica; publisher of Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Marshall McLuhan.
A St Louis native he founded the Gaslight Square's Crystal Palace played by Woody Allen, Alan Arkin, Phyllis Diller, Barbra Streisand, the Smothers Brothers, Lenny Bruce, Mike Nichols and Elaine May and where the Beat Musical The Nervous Set written with his wife Fran, was first produced.
In the sixties he and Fran moved to London and he became artistic director at an failing nightclub which later went on to became the famed Middle Earth (after his departure).
He then became the salesman for Macrobiotic wholesalers Good afternoon, this is Stan Stunning of Harmony Foods, have you heard of us, no?, well, tell me, do you get young people coming into your shop asking for things like miso, tamari, brown rice and aduki beans?
In the Seventies he started Polytantra Press publishing Elizabeth Smart and Hancocks last half hour.
Obituaries: Guardian and NYT.
posted by adamvasco at 10:51 AM PST - 10 comments

National Firearms Museum credits "parlor trick" for American exploration success. Apparently the 1804-1806 Lewis and Clark expedition carried a single Girandoni air rifle, giving routine demonstrations to the awe and amazement of hostile tribes the entire way. [more inside]
posted by Brian B. at 10:43 AM PST - 46 comments

As Libya's Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi fights to keep power, author Hisham Matar remembers some very emotional childhood experiences.
posted by beisny at 9:39 AM PST - 9 comments

WSJ bravely criticizes the "excessive power of collective bargaining." Robert M. Costrell of wsj.com explains how the governor's proposal to restrict collective bargaining...seems entirely reasonable. via twitter.com/ftrain
posted by fartknocker at 9:29 AM PST - 139 comments

Shoot First is a fast paced top down shooter with randomly generated levels, a kickin soundtrack, and a Spelunky style sense of humor. (via Pixel Prospector)
posted by The Devil Tesla at 9:25 AM PST - 15 comments

'The studios have won' Interview with Alex Cox, director of Sid And Nancy, Repo Man and more recently Repo Chick.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:16 AM PST - 23 comments

University of Redwood sounds a lot like Reed College, down to faculty and building names. And apparently it doesn't exist. [more inside]
posted by klausness at 9:00 AM PST - 47 comments

Good morning. I know that every second of weekend freedom is precious to you so I won’t waste your time with superfluous verbiage. Or superfluous links, for that matter. So here goes: Leo Justi is a DJ from Rio De Janeiro. He has quite a few tracks on his Soundcloud page but the three that come highly recommended are: "Dunno Riddim (Kid Conga Remix Instrumental)", "Floor Crank 3.3" and (mildly NSFW language)"Blacqstar – Go Get My Gun (Leo Justi Remix of Carli’s Remix)".
posted by jason's_planet at 8:41 AM PST - 8 comments

Marilyn by Larry McMurtry.
posted by xowie at 7:21 AM PST - 8 comments

Historical currents in American pop music, where nonsense syllables have always held a special place: Blind Blake, in 1929, recorded Diddie Wa Diddie, which Ry Cooder covered in 1974, and which Leon Redbone also covered in 1977. Now, folks, that tune is not to be confused with Bo Diddley's 1956 recording Diddy Wah Diddy, which a young Captain Beefheart covered in 1966, and which was also covered by Aussie garage rockers the Missing Links. Likewise, that tune is not to be confused with a little ditty recorded in 1963 by the Exciters, called Do Wah Diddy Diddy, which was covered with great commercial success in 1964 by British band Manfred Mann. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:09 AM PST - 38 comments

Vincent Callebaut has been pursuing visionary architectural projects; Coral Reef housing in Haiti, Urban Jungles in Hong Kong, high-flying Algae Airships for the South China sea, and Lilypads for global warming.
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:38 AM PST - 18 comments

How would your life be different if your daddy loved to dance like this? SLYT
posted by growabrain at 12:11 AM PST - 92 comments

February 26

HR Giger (pronounced "geeger", not "geiger") -- The Official Home Page [more inside]
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 11:16 PM PST - 25 comments

Sasha Volokh shows that some people are satire proof.
posted by kmz at 11:09 PM PST - 83 comments

Return To Oz: The Joy That Got Away A documentary about the making of the unofficial 1985 sequel to the iconic movie version of The Wizard of Oz. [more inside]
posted by Cyrano at 8:08 PM PST - 89 comments

…But a few rare people will point out the stuff that they like, call you out on some of the dumb shit that you’re writing, and gently but forcefully suggest ways to make your dumb shit better. Treasure these people. Learn to recognize them. These people are your only hope. [...] You’re going to find them, and you’re going to hang out with these people as much as possible. You’re going to go drink coffee with them at 2am in shitty diners; you’re going to become new best friends with them; you’re going to call them at all hours on the phone.

How to be a writer, by Oliver Miller.
posted by Taft at 6:36 PM PST - 48 comments

A 'Mirky' legal battle for J.R.R. Tolkien Estate. Texas case will contest the right of Tolkien's literary estate to block fictional use of the Lord of the Rings author's name. The estate of JRR Tolkien is embroiled in a fierce legal battle over an American novel that uses the author of The Lord of the Rings as a central character. The J.R.R. Tolkien's Estate has been involved with other legal battles in the past.
posted by Fizz at 5:56 PM PST - 36 comments

Anonymous announces action against Koch brothers. Anonymous, apparently decided to stand up for something. They have announced their intention to use their internet powers for "good" and to "spread the word of the Koch brothers' political manipulation, their single-minded intent and the insidious truth of their actions in Wisconsin, for all to witness." I for one, welcome our new anonymous rulers. (via Reddit)
posted by daq at 4:07 PM PST - 176 comments

Waterlife — No matter where we live, the Great Lakes affect us all. And as species of fish disappear and rates of birth defects and cancer rise, it seems one thing is clear: the Great Lakes are changing and something's not quite right with the water. An interactive documentary film from the National Film Board of Canada. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 3:21 PM PST - 20 comments

"Meanwhile, Important Politician stretches out in his business class seat and listens to his wife talk about the pearls! And the silk scarves! And the amazing food! And IP thinks back to that Foreign Service Officer he just met. And he thinks: what a great life that guy has! He goes to parties at the President's mansion. He drinks fancy wine. He drives around in air conditioned motorcades, with people saluting him as he walks into government buildings. He goes hiking - in the middle of a work day, even! - on the Great Wall. What a cushy life he leads, thinks Important Politician." A proposed pay cut is not going down well with some Foreign Service Officers.
posted by vidur at 3:03 PM PST - 13 comments

John Grisley's The Trial. Starring the Swedish comedy troupe, Grotesco
posted by empath at 1:52 PM PST - 14 comments

ISRO scientists think they have found a horizontal uncollapsed lava tube on the moon, 1.7 km long, 360 m wide, and 120 m high (roughly 1 mile x 1200 ft x 400 ft) which could be used as a lunar base by astronauts for inter-planetary missions. [more inside]
posted by BeerFilter at 12:54 PM PST - 82 comments

Colby Bohannan and a group of student friends at Texas State University in San Marcos, TX have formed the non-profit organization Former Majority Association for Equality which intends to offer college scholarships solely to white men." "'I felt excluded,' he said. 'If everyone else can find scholarships, why are we left out?'" "'To qualify for the group's scholarship, applicants have to be able to prove that they are at least 25 percent Caucasian ... We're not looking for blond-haired, blue-eyed, stereotypical white males,' he said. 'My feeling is that if you can say you're 25 percent Caucasian, you're Caucasian enough for us.'" "Bohannan, the group's president, said the name comes from the idea that 'if you're not a male, and if you're not white, you're called a minority.' However, he said, 'I'm not sure white males are the majority anymore.'"* [more inside]
posted by ericb at 12:22 PM PST - 84 comments

How We Know. An essay about information theory in the New York Review of Books by Freeman Dyson, building off a review of James Gleick's The Information. [more inside]
posted by The Michael The at 11:22 AM PST - 42 comments

On October 26th 2010 64 year old Aleksander Doba of Police, Poland set out from Dakar in his custom 23' kayak OLO paddling into the Atlantic. After 99 days and 3352 miles alone at sea Aleksander made landfall on February 2, 2011 in Acaraú, Brazil becoming the fourth person to cross the Atlantic via kayak and joining the exclusive Trans Ocean Kayak Club. Throughout the voyage Doba updated his progress using gps, twitter and his own website. [more inside]
posted by the_artificer at 10:57 AM PST - 17 comments

SEIU past leader speaks on Wisconsin The battle is for the future our our country, the middle class, and public ownership of public goods
posted by KathyBraid at 10:52 AM PST - 32 comments


Adam Buxton (of that Adam & Joe) has a victory song for a bad winner.
posted by Katemonkey at 8:32 AM PST - 10 comments

Coverme (previously) tackles Elliott Smith's Either/Or in their Full Albums features. [more inside]
posted by holdkris99 at 7:54 AM PST - 22 comments

He's been dead for 5,300 years and exactly how he died is a matter of debate, but Otzi the Iceman has a new face, thanks to 2 Dutch artists, Alfons and Adrie Kennis.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:59 AM PST - 49 comments

The destiny of this pageant lies in the Kingdom of Oil: "our satraps are falling, and the people we paid them to control are making their own history – our right to meddle in their affairs (which we will, of course, continue to exercise) has been diminished for ever."
posted by SueDenim at 6:37 AM PST - 27 comments

Moviebarcode
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:17 AM PST - 56 comments

Silent Strawberries. The Muppets' tribute to Ingmar Bergman, with translation by Sam the Eagle. That is all. [SLYT]
posted by .kobayashi. at 5:20 AM PST - 19 comments

Harper Collins is putting a cap on the number of times their books can be loaned out from libraries. From a letter to customers from Overdrive CEO, Steve Potash:
[W]e have been required to accept and accommodate new terms for eBook lending as established by certain publishers. Next week, OverDrive will communicate a licensing change from a publisher that, while still operating under the one-copy/one-user model, will include a checkout limit for each eBook licensed. Under this publisher's requirement, for every new eBook licensed, the library (and the OverDrive platform) will make the eBook available to one customer at a time until the total number of permitted checkouts is reached.
posted by snwod at 4:09 AM PST - 143 comments

February 25




1 on 1 B-Boy Battle - close up and slow mo on some impressive moves captured at the 2010 BOTY in Paris. And for for some raw fun, the crowd-pleasing backstage battles of Morris vs Lilou part1 and part 2. [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive at 7:01 PM PST - 22 comments

Xaasaa Cheege Ts'eniin is a very special toddler. Approximately 11,500 years ago, the child spent at least one summer with family at a seasonal base camp in the Tanana Valley, located in what we now know as Alaska. Earlier this week, archaeologists announced their discovery of the child's cremated remains in ancient fire pit amidst an excavation of a circular semi-subterranean home. DNA testing of the remains could reveal genetic connections to the modern Athabascans. In addition, the find could yield new insight into the Paleo-Indians who traveled the Bering Strait, and the migration patterns of some of the indigenous people of North America. While little Xaaxaa only lived about three years, the toddler's remains, now the earliest human remains ever discovered in the North American arctic, ensure little Xaaxaa will be remembered for years to come.
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:57 PM PST - 27 comments

As you can see below, Ras enjoys smoking pot. He lives in Canada and according to his YouTube profile, his occupation is ‘Smoking’. His interests include smoking, and for music he likes Reggae. In ‘09 he smoked 40 bowls in 11 minutes, for an event called Tokecity’s Gauntlet, for which he was disqualified (because he exceeded the 4-minute smoke limit). Last year he only smoked 36 bowls, ‘about half of his collection’. Maybe he’s getting a bit behind. “Good luck to all the submissions.” (From 4-20 tumblr)
posted by growabrain at 6:37 PM PST - 61 comments



One seemingly innocuous video, briefly ruminating on the potential story behind a curious gravestone, leads fans of the VlogBrothers on an impromptu genealogy adventure. [more inside]
posted by litnerd at 5:07 PM PST - 12 comments

Patrick Acton has made a model of Minas Tirith from Lord of the Rings... out of 420,000 matchsticks.
posted by torisaur at 4:42 PM PST - 27 comments

Sex Is Cheap: Why young men have the upper hand in bed, even when they're failing in life. Remember this thread from last weekend? Here is another interesting take on the dynamics of modern heterosexual relationships.
posted by fernabelle at 4:35 PM PST - 138 comments

"The Waiting Is the Hardest Part: Delayed Gratification in the Happiest Place on Earth" is a photo essay by graphic designer Arin Fishkin, depicting bored kids waiting in line at Disneyland. Want to avoid the "Cattle Yard?" Here are some tips.
posted by bayani at 3:03 PM PST - 26 comments

Pete Eckert is a photographer who is also blind. His process is briefly hinted at here.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:51 PM PST - 5 comments

Canadian horror flick Pontypool (trailer) is a modern zombie tale quite unlike any other. Loosely based on a dense, complicated novel by Tony Burgess and inspired by Orson Welles' War of the Worlds, it tells the story of Grant Mazzy, a grumbling yet likable radio host (played by veteran character actor Stephen McHattie) whose penchant for philosophical ramblings gets him booted from Toronto to the sleepy winter pastures of Pontypool, Ontario. One bleak morning, as the outspoken Mazzy chafes against no-nonsense producer Sydney Briar, disturbing news begins rolling in of a series of bizarre and violent incidents sweeping the town. Trapped in their church basement broadcasting booth, Mazzy, Briar, and intern Laurel-Ann Drummond struggle to understand the odd nature of the crisis and warn the wider world before it's too late. But this is no ordinary virus, and they find their efforts may be causing far more harm than good. You can watch the film on YouTube horror channel Dead By Dawn (1 2 3 4 5 6 7), but if you're pressed for time you can also experience it in its more logical form: as a one-hour BBC radio drama voiced by the original cast. And after the credits, make sure not to miss the film's playful non-sequitur coda.
posted by Rhaomi at 2:47 PM PST - 49 comments

The Someone You're Not: "Our packed prisons are starting to disgorge hundreds of mostly African-American men who, over the last few decades, we wrongly convicted of violent crimes. This is what it's like to spend nearly thirty years in prison for something you didn't do. This is what it's like to spend nearly thirty years as someone you aren't. And for Ray Towler, this is what it's like to be free." Via. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 1:54 PM PST - 18 comments

The stories and pictures of the Wild West commonly feature white men, with little notion of the diversity present in the later half of the 19th century beyond the various regiments of "buffalo soldiers". In reality, black cowboys made up a large portion of the cowhand population, possibly a quarter of all cowboys. Estimations range from 5,000 to 15,000 cowboys being of African heritage. Many have been forgotten in the passing of time, but some of their stories live on. For instance, the cowboy Nat Love, the outlaw Cherokee Bill, and (all sorts of awesome) "Stagecoach" Mary Fields. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:50 PM PST - 21 comments



Riverdale. Over 100 Craig's List Volunteers from Vancouver create a "gritty" fan film trailer featuring Archie and the gang.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:46 PM PST - 33 comments

Virginia Tech geography Professor John Boyer has already enjoyed local notoriety for his comic book styled super hero alter-ego The Plaid Avenger. His 2006 text book raised controversy for including cocktail recipes along with a bombastic writing style and caricatures of world leaders illustrated by Klaus Shmidheiser, an alumi. This week their collaborative effort received the ultimate compliment— Libyan protestors have used Klaus' image of Gadhafi in signs and effigies. Here's a video interview.
posted by fontophilic at 12:36 PM PST - 9 comments

"The Watchers' Council of Great Britain prides itself on being the oldest known human organisation in existence. It has changed its name several times, been all but destroyed and then re-founded at least twice, and many of its older records are long lost and crumbled to dust; but it can still trace a continuous thread of existence back over eight thousand years. There are, of course, demon cults and secret societies which are older - in some cases, a billion years older - but as far as humans go, the Council holds the laurel. This is their story." [more inside]
posted by Zed at 12:30 PM PST - 51 comments

Jerry Weist - comic and sf/f collector, retailer, author, and all around nerd - has died. Besides founding The Million Year Picnic, one of the first comics specialty stores in the US and almost certainly the first in New England, he had a long association with Sotheby's auction house for comics-related auctions. He also created Squa Tront, a fanzine dedicated to EC Comics. His book about Ray Bradbury, Bradbury: An Illustrated Life" was nominated for the 2003 Hugo award for "Best Related Work".
posted by rmd1023 at 12:28 PM PST - 13 comments

Threads (1984). (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13) Testament (1983). (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese at 12:12 PM PST - 66 comments


Interlocked - You know those puzzles consisting of wooden blocks that are impossible take apart? Then you know Interlocked. Each level, you’re given a unique 3D puzzle consisting of blocks that hold each other together. Take it apart and you'll feel ten times as smart! (SLFFF)
posted by yeoz at 11:38 AM PST - 15 comments

"A Series of Statistical Charts, Illustrating The Condition of the Descendants of Former African Slaves Now Resident In the United States of America." (HQ Library of Congress links.) W.E.B. DuBois : "I wanted to set down its aim and method in some outstanding way which would bring my work to the notice of the thinking world. The great World's Fair at Paris was being planned and I thought I might put my findings into plans, charts and figures, so one might see what we were trying to accomplish." [more inside]
posted by stratastar at 11:17 AM PST - 8 comments


Microsoft’s Former CTO Takes On Modernist Cuisine. [more inside]
posted by AceRock at 10:38 AM PST - 62 comments

Gulf Coast Dolphin Death Toll Rising. Scientists clamor to figure out why 12 times the normal rate of dolphin deaths are being observed along the Gulf States. Results from an examination of 89 dead dolphins that washed up immediately after the Gulf oil spill have not been publicly released, but scientists concluded those dolphins "died from something environmental during the last year." Despite a steady drumbeat of stories in the media claiming that the Gulf has already been mostly cleaned up thanks to "teeny little janitors," getting far less media and public traction are more recent reports finding that the Gulf's sea floor is in fact still very much oily and dead. [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman at 10:32 AM PST - 39 comments

John Jerome O'Connor produces infographics of a different sort. Subjects include; obesity and binge drinking by US state; cultural differences regarding personal space; the lottery; earthquakes and wars; offensive words on TV; differences between predicted and actual temperatures; and itches. (via) [more inside]
posted by mrgrimm at 10:17 AM PST - 14 comments

'Volcano of Rage.' Arab rulers had grown too isolated, too inflated with pretense and hypocrisy, and too complacently confident in the power of their police. Their overwhelmingly youthful populations suffered perpetual humiliation at the hands of government officials, faced dim work prospects, and had little means of influencing politics. They felt, in the famous words of the Syrian playwright Saadallah Wannous, that they were "sentenced to hope." More sophisticated and exposed to the world than the generation that ruled them, they had lost faith in the whole patriarchal construct that seemed to hem in their lives. Max Rodenbeck writes about the overthrow of the Tunisian and Egyptian governments.
posted by russilwvong at 9:22 AM PST - 8 comments

Fed up with anti-smoker sentiments and taxation of cigarettes, Audrey Silk decided to plant her own tobacco at her home in Brooklyn.
posted by reenum at 9:08 AM PST - 149 comments

The Internet Wishlist. Amrit Richmond has launched The Internet Wishlist, a collection of ideas for apps and websites people are wishing for, that she calls “a suggestion box for the future of technology”. To share your idea, just post on Twitter about an app or website that you would like to see built and include #theiwl in your tweet. Via: Laughing Squid.
posted by nickyskye at 8:59 AM PST - 31 comments


lulinternet is a ladyperson who elevates the animated gif to the level of Pizza, I mean Art. (NSFW, blinky) [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:30 AM PST - 56 comments

Malibu's Most Wanted: one might sensibly assume Mel Gibson is the worst person in his neighborhood. One would be wrong. Come on down, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue.
posted by yerfatma at 7:02 AM PST - 20 comments

Yesterday Paula Aboud, a State Senate Democrat from Tucson, proposed the secession of Pima County from the rest of the state as an amendment to the State Senate Bill 1433. Aboud's move was something of a middle finger to the state legislature, as SB 1433 was the bill that recently gained a good deal of notoriety on its own as the law that would allow Arizona legislature to override any Federal laws. Aboud's amendment was unsuccessful, but it would appear that the discussion is far from over. A group of citizens in Tucson, Arizona have started a movement to promote similar push for secession, believing that Pima County should be the 51st state in the union. The Facebook page for the Start Our State movement is seeing a lot of comments, both positive and negative.
posted by shiu mai baby at 6:57 AM PST - 69 comments

During a speech at George Washington University by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in which she condemned governments that arrest protesters and don’t allow free speech, former CIA analyst Ray McGovern was arrested and beaten by security for standing silently with his back turned during her remarks.
posted by - at 6:57 AM PST - 117 comments

How do you feel about your investment in USA Inc.? Imagine for a moment that the United States government is a public corporation. Imagine that its management structure, fiscal performance, and budget are all up for review. Now imagine that you're a shareholder in USA Inc. [more inside]
posted by nickrussell at 5:02 AM PST - 127 comments

I Love Charts
posted by backseatpilot at 4:32 AM PST - 15 comments

Graphic designer Beto Janz took old beat-up skateboards and turned them into badass skull art for a skate shop in Brazil. Flash interface; mouse hover to the right side of the browser and click to advance the six images in sequence; skull decks are the final two images. Change the minus sign at page top to plus to view more images.
posted by bwg at 3:20 AM PST - 8 comments

IFC News presents film's 50 Greatest Opening Title Sequences of All Time - Start here, or all 50 on one page
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:26 AM PST - 41 comments

February 24


A number of the 2011 Oscar nominated screenplays are here as PDFs. The site also has a archives of Coen Brothers and Charlie Kaufman scripts.
posted by dobbs at 10:38 PM PST - 4 comments

“Rac Shade was born on Meta, an other-dimensional world that is linked to Earth by several junctures known on Meta as the “Unseen Ways”. Metan priests and doctors decided that young Shade was overly emotional and had him subjected to the Metan “confirmation” process, wherein a “holy surgeon” operated on Shade’s brain with the “sacred laser”.” (I'm surprised they didn't use a Cat-Scan or a Markov Chain.) An entry from "DC Who's Who", a tumblr blog of scans from the 1990-1992 "Who's Who in the DC Universe" and NOT including any influential American bureaucrats or lobbyists (NOT THAT DC) or any Scottish Australian rockers (NOT THAT AC/DC). More on "Shade the Changing Man" and other characters from his book: Kathy George and American Scream.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:36 PM PST - 36 comments

Mortal Kombat has been banned in Australia. In the highest profile censorship incident since last year's butchering of Left 4 Dead 2, the new Mortal Kombat game has been "refused classification by the Australian Classification Board and will not release in Australia". This should galvanize efforts to implement an R18 rating for Australian games, though so far progress has been slow.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:05 PM PST - 144 comments


The Australian Government has committed to a price on carbon from 1 July 2012, prior to a likely full emissions trading scheme within three to five years. The Opposition are outraged, predicting a people's revolt. This should clearly define the next election.
posted by wilful at 6:17 PM PST - 102 comments


"Gerhard and I spoke to each other over the course of a few hours on Boxing Day, December 26th, 2010. On each end of our respective phone lines we both had an intimidating stack of books — the almost five thousand pages that Sim and Gerhard created together over the course of those 20 years. We flipped through the books chronologically, with the idea of discussing the evolution of Gerhard’s process and techniques, focusing on his development as an artist and a craftsman."
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:40 PM PST - 36 comments

Charlie Sheen shows why he's better than you. In his recent ongoing series of rants, Charlie Sheen finally lets out the big dogs. [more inside]
posted by bigskyguy at 3:29 PM PST - 413 comments

On February 18th, Ugandans held Presidential and Parliamentary elections. While the final results are still being tabulated, it appears Yoweri “Sevo” Museveni has maintained his position. Museveni, who has held power in Uganda for the past 25 years, is accused of using intimidation and corruption in the electoral campaign, and opposition leaders are already calling for protests and fresh elections. The official line, however, is that Museveni’s off-the-cuff rap won over the youth vote after it was it was remixed and started getting airplay on the radio, in clubs, and as a ringtone. [more inside]
posted by Panjandrum at 3:05 PM PST - 6 comments

Share your Wiimote, share your wife. Ars Technica presents Ubisoft game "We Dare" as a "WTF". Joystiq declares it will "ruin parties for PS3/Wii owners". But North American Puritans need not fear:
As far as we can tell, We Dare is a European exclusive, so American partygoers are safe for the time being.
See the trailer to decide for yourself. Oh, and cue the jokes about vibrating controllers.
posted by anarch at 2:11 PM PST - 97 comments

STS 133 Space Shuttle Discovery (Single Link Space shuttle Launch)
posted by HLD at 1:47 PM PST - 62 comments

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) recently announced the rollout of a searchable map, which also offers a nation-wide view of internet service providers with filters for various technologies. The map is based on information collected from broadband providers or other data sources. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:45 PM PST - 7 comments



Disaster movies are as old as cinema itself. But their golden age began in 1970 with Airport - which, despite being an Academy Award nominee for Best Picture, is now remembered chiefly for the parody it inspired. Earthquake - exhibited in Sensurround - set a record for the number of stunt performers used. But the Master of Disaster was Lost in Space producer Irwin Allen. His The Poseidon Adventure grossed the equivalent of $450 million in today's money. And The Towering Inferno - the filming of which destroyed all but 8 of its 57 sets - is still unsurpassed.
posted by Joe Beese at 11:50 AM PST - 66 comments

"‘Churnalism’ is a news article that is published as journalism, but is essentially a press release without much added." Churnalism.com is a site created by the British charity Media Standards Trust, which lets you input the text of a press release to compare it with the text of news articles in the British media. [more inside]
posted by DanCall at 11:39 AM PST - 15 comments

At the behest of Sony, German police have raided the home of Linux developer graf_chokolo, a prominent member of the PS3 scene. In response, graf_chokolo has released what's being called the PS3 Hypervisor Bible. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges at 11:16 AM PST - 73 comments

Shuffler.fm makes radio stations sorted by genre by playing MP3s posted on music blogs. Think stumbleupon with autoplay.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 11:12 AM PST - 28 comments


A Stanley Kubrick Odyssey - A Video Tribute (NSFW) (If you want to bypass the Youtube adult content screen, the embedded version here should work, as well as possibly the inline Metafilter player.) [more inside]
posted by kmz at 10:17 AM PST - 15 comments

"The blind teaching the reader." An interesting interview that looks at how the blind read from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books blogger SB Sarah.
posted by Fizz at 9:37 AM PST - 7 comments

"So, handicap bathroom crying fits are just this thing I do now I guess." A woman with a graduate degree and a self-professed aversion to touching people goes to beauty school, finds she fits in, likes it.
posted by kittyprecious at 9:27 AM PST - 78 comments

Ted Serios and Psychic Projections Thoughtographs-- "Psychic Projections/Photographic Impressions: Paranormal Photographs from the Jule Eisenbud Collection on Ted Serios" features a series of images produced by Theodore Judd Serios (1918-2006), a bellhop from Chicago who appeared to possess a genuinely uncanny ability. By holding a Polaroid camera and focusing on the lens very intently, he was able to produce dreamlike pictures of his thoughts on the film; he referred to these images as "thoughtographs," and many striking examples are on display in the exhibition. The Chronicle commenters aren't convinced of this guy's ability. Nile Root claims to have seen him in action.
posted by Ideefixe at 8:47 AM PST - 38 comments

Indiana Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Cox has lost his job after urging National Guardsmen to use live ammunition during their potential clash with Wisconsin union members and protesters.
posted by FatherDagon at 7:51 AM PST - 166 comments

What really happens at a London Fashion Week show. (via Vicestyle) (Sidebar contains ladies' bosoms, may be NSFW) [more inside]
posted by mippy at 7:26 AM PST - 20 comments


February is Gay Black History Month. [SLYT]
posted by Rykey at 7:01 AM PST - 10 comments

Oscar The Grouch picks the Oscars. (1m28s)
posted by hippybear at 6:48 AM PST - 5 comments

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is generally regarded as the worst video game of all time. So bad that Atari eventually had to bury over 5 million copies in a landfill.* One of the reasons may have been that Atari rushed to have it available in time for Christmas. But how bad was it really? Let's Play E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial! [more inside]
posted by Deathalicious at 6:05 AM PST - 175 comments

On July 25th 1997, Davor Jordas and a group friends turned up at Raspadalica to take part in the first ever Croation powered paragliding competition. The day was fine, with warm sunshine and scattered puffy clouds. The only sign of what was to come was a dark cloud over the beautiful mountains of Ucka. But it was twenty miles away, and downwind, so the paragliders took to the air. To put it mildly, that turned out to be a mistake. [more inside]
posted by unSane at 5:12 AM PST - 10 comments


The number of young people taking drugs has fallen by 30% in 15 years How the British fell out of love with drugs
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:07 AM PST - 44 comments

The Caltech men's basketball team beat Occidental College today 46-45, winning its first conference game in 26 years and snapping a 310-game losing streak. The court was subsequently stormed. More photos and videos from the Caltech athletics department. [more inside]
posted by Upton O'Good at 12:01 AM PST - 27 comments

February 23

It’s not simple, and there’s a lot of hand waiving involved, but an IBM researcher has published a guide to building your own "Watson Jr." using only commodity hardware and open source software. [Previously 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5] [via]
posted by Jasper Friendly Bear at 11:04 PM PST - 29 comments

(Metafilter's own) science fiction author John Scalzi potentially has a movie coming out. It's to be based on his work Old Man's War. Wolfgang Petersen is apparently set to direct. [more inside]
posted by converge at 10:59 PM PST - 40 comments

The NYTimes profiles the "Queen of the Mommy Bloggers" Who is it? Why, Dooce, of course! The article also gives shoutouts to Nie Nie, Mama Pundit, Pioneer Woman, Selfish Mom, and Because I Said So, among others. [more inside]
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:31 PM PST - 72 comments

"On February 2, 2011, Harper’s Magazine and New York University’s Creative Writing Program held a discussion between Harper’s New Books columnist Zadie Smith and Reviews editor Gemma Sieff. The following is a transcript of their conversation, which covered such topics as the influence of motherhood on female novelists throughout history, the peculiar pitfalls faced by authors who write both fiction and criticism, and the place of Eminem in the hip-hop canon. Smith’s first New Books column for Harper’s appears in the March 2011 issue, now available on newsstands and to subscribers on harpers.org."
posted by chunking express at 8:08 PM PST - 6 comments

David Wu will cut you, with his claws. Representative David Wu (D-OR) sends out pictures of himself in a tiger costume, his staffers wonder about his mental state; he denies any issues claiming he feels GRRRRREAT! (scroll down on the MSNBC page for tigery picture goodness). [more inside]
posted by aloiv2 at 7:59 PM PST - 62 comments

In the early to mid 90s there was a trend in video games to use newfound CD processing capabilities to make interactive movies. These were called Full Motion Video Games (wiki), and they are cataloged by the site FMV World. In addition to a blog, it also has writings about FMV games, systems that play the games, some recorded play-throughs, and a list of games from 1991 to present. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla at 7:42 PM PST - 23 comments

The Most Shocking/Depressing/Enraging Interactive Infographic You Will See Today unless you've been in the "top 10%" since 1969. Move the sliders for other interesting/surprising/sad perspectives into parts of the past century.
Disclaimer: "Income Growth" is just one data point of many regarding economic well-being in the USofA, some of which appear elsewhere in non-interactive form elsewhere on the site. Your personal mileage may vary. Remember, if you've done well despite not being in the "top 10%", then somebody else has done worse.
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:49 PM PST - 176 comments

BS Zelda Retrospective (SLYT). In honor of Zelda's 25th anniversary this month, this is an interesting look at the live-broadcast Satellaview games in the Zelda series, which had some compelling and strange tweaks to the Zelda formula. The beginning is an introduction to the service, and the fun bit begins at 8:50.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 6:29 PM PST - 13 comments

In Character: Actors Acting is a series of photos featuring Jeff Goldblum, Jane Lynch, Laurence Fishburne, Geoffrey Rush and 26 other actors reacting to short character prompts from photographer Howard Schatz.
posted by Captain Cardanthian! at 6:23 PM PST - 35 comments

"The purpose of this video is to show the importance of spotting, no matter where you jump but in particular in the mountains. The group was the 2nd to exit, the drop was at the wrong place (not a pilot error though) and nobody noticed until it was almost too late. It was pure coincidence and only the quick reaction by the skydivers involved prevented injuries or worse." SLYT; 1.35 [more inside]
posted by bwg at 5:34 PM PST - 28 comments

Selene is a hip hop EP inspired by Duncan Jones' fine science fiction film Moon. The beats, which heavily sample Clint Mansell's score for the movie, were created by Max Tannone, best known for mashup album Jaydiohead, Doublecheck Your Head and Mos Dub/Dub Kweli. The MC is Brooklyn rapper Richard Rich.
posted by Kattullus at 5:23 PM PST - 21 comments

In 1979, gaming company Avalon Hill (since bought by Hasbro) released a board game based on the popular science fiction novel Dune. Regarded by many as a masterpiece of the form, it is an asymmetrical wargame designed by Bill Eberle, Jack Kittredge and Peter Olotka, the people who created Cosmic Encounter. Six different factions vie for control of the desert planet Arrakis. As WickerNipple notes in his Everything node on the game, “Instead of giving subtle differences to the various factions like most games, Dune gives huge differences and advantages, that don't over-balance things only because every faction receives them.” The thing is, each player has special rules that give them very different options and abilities compared to the other sides, and yet the game remains balanced (especially when played by a full six players). The game has been long out of print due to the Frank Herbert estate refusing to re-license. Fantasy Flight Games is rumored to be working on a release of the game without the Dune license. Importantly, all the necessary files are available on the game's BoardGameGeek page to construct a copy of the game. (Homebrew game board - Rules, cards, counters and extras - Windows freeware game client and server) [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 5:20 PM PST - 58 comments

Forty years of incredible programming from Ontario's public broadcaster now viewable on the Web at The TVO Public Archive. Samples include: Imprint 1993: Leonard Cohen talks about his poetry and music. The Education of Mike McManus 1977: Timothy Leary talks about what freedoms the drug culture wrought and reflects on his own role in bringing about these changes. Talking Film 1980: The Cinema Of John Huston offers anecdotes about Orson Welles, Humphrey Bogart, and Truman Capote. Allan Gregg in Conversation 2007: Carol Off/Alvin Toffler, authors of Bitter Chocolate and Future Shock. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 4:25 PM PST - 17 comments

Exactly 50 years ago today, composer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist Oliver Nelson recorded his seminal album The Blues and the Abstract Truth. Featuring Eric Dolphy, Bill Evans, Paul Chambers, Roy Haynes, and Freddie Hubbard, the Impulse album is often cited as among the great recordings in early 1960s jazz, and the tune Stolen Moments in particular has become a standard.
posted by The Emperor of Ice Cream at 3:59 PM PST - 27 comments

Nicholas Gurewitch, the insane genius behind the surreal webcomic The Perry Bible Fellowship, is now the co-creator of a new online live-action series, an Adult Swim-ish psychedelic-comedy Western: Trails of Tarnation. The first episode is up...NOW. [more inside]
posted by Strange Interlude at 3:48 PM PST - 37 comments

Salon.com's "Real Families" section features personal essays about modern family life submitted by their readers. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 2:37 PM PST - 15 comments

An ongoing trial in Tel Aviv is set to determine who will have stewardship of several boxes of Kafka’s original writings, including primary drafts of his published works, currently stored in Zurich and Tel Aviv.
posted by Joe Beese at 11:40 AM PST - 41 comments

Tommy Douglas: Greatest Canadian. Famous as a Saskatchewan NDP leader, and for creating Canadian medicare.

In an affidavit filed in Federal Court, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service argued that full disclosure of the file on Douglas could endanger the lives of confidential informants and jeopardize the agency’s ability to conduct secret surveillance. [more inside]
posted by Stagger Lee at 10:27 AM PST - 25 comments

Obama Justice Department Finds DOMA Unconstitutional, Will Not Defend in Court The Justice Department just today sent a letter to John Boehner and other house leaders informing them of the decision. Here is the DOJ's official statement on the decision.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:59 AM PST - 340 comments


ET Sequel: "ET-X" [SLYT] .
posted by Fizz at 8:55 AM PST - 37 comments

Roadrunner 3D -- Wile E. Coyote (Genius) discovers bungie cord.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:14 AM PST - 64 comments

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is refusing to talk to Senate Democrats in (or rather currently not in) his state. He is, however, apparently willing to talk to David Koch, because that's who The Buffalo Beast's Ian Murphy pretended to be when he got on the phone with Walker and recorded a 20-minute conversation about breaking unions, tricking the Democrats into coming back to pass legislation, the hotness of Mika Brzezinski, and how Walker would love to be "shown a good time" next time he visits Koch in California. [more inside]
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:03 AM PST - 913 comments

Google's Doodle-4-Google program, where kids can design a variation of the company's homepage logo, is creating a bit of stir this year with the requirement of the child's social security number. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:24 AM PST - 37 comments

Teddy Wayne and the art of "random similarities." In 2007 Teddy wrote a parody article for Radar about a "clandestine party for students at the Upper East Side private school Dalton called "Sindergarten" ... the attendees act like kindergarteners—some girls sing "Ring-Around-the-Rosie," other teens finger-paint and play children’s games, they all receive gold stars on their foreheads at the end of each party—thanks to a the club drug foxy…a hallucinogen similar to Ecstasy said to facilitate a childlike sense of wonder with the world." In 2008, CSI: NY had a story arc where, "prep schoolers act like little children ... Girls sing “Ring-around-the-Rosie,” teens finger-paint and play other children’s games, Bryce affixes a gold star to the forehead of each attendee at the end of each party, and a lab scientist describes foxy to the detectives as "methoxy diisopropyltryptamine… also known as foxy… makes Ecstasy look like aspirin, and users claim it induces this childlike wonder." But, according to CBS lawyers, these are all "random similarities."
posted by geoff. at 6:37 AM PST - 52 comments

Using Storify Tim Carmody at Snarkmarket gathered this tale of a Chicago election.
posted by cgc373 at 6:10 AM PST - 25 comments


February 22

Beginning To End. This amazing one-man show was a collaboration between Jack MacGowran and Samuel Beckett. It was recorded for RTÉ Television in 1966.
posted by homunculus at 9:52 PM PST - 8 comments

In 1968, Richard Proenneke retired to the desolate Twin Lakes region of Alaska. Alone, he built himself a log cabin, filming the endeavor with a 16mm camera. He lived there for 30 years. Dick passed away in 1999, at age 82, but the cabin is still there, and you can visit it.
posted by valkane at 8:49 PM PST - 36 comments

Inception in C
posted by scalefree at 8:44 PM PST - 57 comments

Food Mourn: the opposite of food porn.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:10 PM PST - 52 comments

Are we born gay? And if we were, how would we know it? Sociologist Lisa Wade asks the question in response to the blog Born This Way, a collection of images of LGBT adults as children. Perusing the photographs tells an interesting story: being gay — that is, being sexually or romantically attracted to members of the same sex — is conflated with being gender non-conformist — adopting the mannerisms and interests of the other sex. (Previously)
posted by threeturtles at 7:59 PM PST - 87 comments

Subway Submarines - a photo essay by and interview with industrial art photographer Stephen Mallon on NYC subway cars repurposed into underwater reefs. (via @stevesilberman) [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive at 7:57 PM PST - 11 comments

So you're me and you're in math class and you're learning about graph theory, a subject too interesting to be included in most grade school's curricula so maybe you're in some special program or maybe you're in college and were somehow not scarred for life by your grade school math teachers. [more inside]
posted by achmorrison at 7:35 PM PST - 32 comments


3 Men vs. 15 Lions [SLYT] [more inside]
posted by jnnla at 7:15 PM PST - 34 comments

Bid 'Em In. An animated video to accompany the late, great Oscar Brown Jr.'s song "Bid 'Em In." via [more inside]
posted by marxchivist at 6:58 PM PST - 2 comments




Egypt's women face growing sexual harassment. 'Some women in Egypt say they suffer catcalls, groping and other sexual harassment daily. For a time it seemed the Tahrir Square protests might point to progress, but the attack on TV reporter Lara Logan and others showed otherwise.' 'In 2008 the Egyptian Center for Women's Rights, a nongovernmental group that campaigns against such abuse group polled 2,020 Egyptians and 109 non-Egyptian women. The results: 83% of Egyptian women and 98% of foreign women surveyed said they had suffered sexual harassment. About half the women said they were harassed every day. The research showed that more than two-thirds of the women reporting abuse wore traditional Muslim head scarves or robes. Some even wore a flowing body-length black burka, with veil and gloves. Fewer than a third of the women wore Western attire.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 5:24 PM PST - 64 comments

Award-winning NBA writing [more inside]
posted by AceRock at 4:25 PM PST - 14 comments

Out of Sync: "A man departs his house, only to realize what he leaves behind. By separating sound from visuals, Out of Sync paints a uniquely involving portrait of a marriage at breaking point. Is there still time to save the relationship?" [more inside]
posted by bwg at 4:18 PM PST - 7 comments

Do you like video games? Have you ever wanted to comprehensively reenact the daily life of a double-decker bus driver in 1985 West Berlin? Your prayers have finally been answered. Aerosoft's impressive Omnibus Driving Simulator allows you to take command of the venerable 1980s-vintage MAN SD200 and SD202 double-decker buses (in 20 authentic 1980s advertising liveries) along West Berlin's Omnibus Route 92, complete with an accurate simulation of all four production-runs of the SD200's transmission, drivetrain, climate control, and passenger information systems. If the SD202 doesn't cut it for you, or you want to escape the clutches of West Berlin, there's a comprehensive map editor and scripting engine at your disposal. (via) [more inside]
posted by schmod at 4:11 PM PST - 46 comments

Container ships are the backbone of today's globalized world. Many people seem to be unaware of the invisible but pivotal role that they and their Merchant Navy staff play in our daily lives. One reporter spends five weeks at sea, and the resulting piece is an enlightening surprise.
posted by beisny at 2:37 PM PST - 42 comments

Dwayne McDuffie has died. If you recognize the name, odds are you already know his resume, but here goes: founder of Milestone Media, creator of Static, executive producer of Justice League Unlimited, writer of many comics and perhaps the most visible advocate of minority engagement in comic books. Details are non-existent at this point, but McDuffie was said to appear healthy and happy within the last week at appearances for the just-released All-Star Superman DVD.
posted by Etrigan at 2:28 PM PST - 62 comments

John Mullan in The Guardian compiles a list of the top ten fictional poets from literature. The article's comments thread has already reminded him of a couple he neglected: "Ka" (Kerim Alakusoglu) from Orhan Pamuk's Snow, and William Ashbless from Tim Powers' The Anubis Gates. Others might include Kid from Samuel Delany's Dhalgren; Cesárea Tinajero, Arturo Belano and Ulises Lima of Roberto Bolaño's The Savage Detectives (really, the character lists for many of Bolaño's novels would provide multiple fictional minor poets of course); Adam Dalgleish from P.D. James' mysteries; Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago; Saul Bellow's Von Humboldt Fleisher. Other links to discussions of fictional poets.
posted by aught at 2:19 PM PST - 48 comments

In Capitalism for the Long Term Managing Director of McKinsey & Company Dominic Barton sums up his prescriptions for the future of corporate governance for the Harvard Business Review. [more inside]
posted by ob1quixote at 2:17 PM PST - 42 comments

"Unlike the link ... likes are arguably easier to create. Moreover, they are explicit endorsements rather than implicit ones. Therefore, they carry more weight once they are pulled through the lens of our friends. More so than links, this new network of signals allows content to find you, rather than you having to go find it. The rise of likes, just as links before it, will create all kinds of new businesses. And we're just getting started." Are likes poised to replace links as the Web's primary signal? Then again, it just might be getting out of hand.
posted by bayani at 2:13 PM PST - 47 comments

Binyavanga Wainaina remembers one night in the Kenyan countryside as a young man, an excerpt from his soon to be published memoir One Day I Will Write About This Place. [more inside]
posted by infini at 12:50 PM PST - 4 comments

Over the weekend, critically-acclaimed musician Neko Case started a discussion with her twitter followers: "To answer your question, no, ladies in bands don't get ANY action... Back me up ladies. no one believes this." The resulting conversation lasted the rest of the night and had women musicians like Amy Millan, Miranda Brown and Michelle Branch agreeing and chiming in. So, why don't female rock stars have groupies? [more inside]
posted by naju at 12:47 PM PST - 131 comments

Five seconds of every No. 1 song from about 1956 to 1993.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:13 PM PST - 42 comments

Rarely does building a treehouse require welding, grinding, painting, riveting, bending, crimping, plumbing, brazing, laser cutting, sound design, printed circuit board fabrication, thousands of lines of C code, distributed network protocols, sewing and embroidery. Ours did. [more inside]
posted by BZArcher at 11:53 AM PST - 51 comments

... the International Music Score Library Project, has trod in the footsteps of Google Books and Project Gutenberg and grown to be one of the largest sources of scores anywhere. It claims to have 85,000 scores, or parts for nearly 35,000 works, with several thousand being added every month. That is a worrisome pace for traditional music publishers, whose bread and butter comes from renting and selling scores in expensive editions backed by the latest scholarship. More than a business threat, the site has raised messy copyright issues and drawn the ire of established publishers. (previously)
posted by Joe Beese at 11:35 AM PST - 23 comments

Learning from YouTube. Ms. Juhasz, a professor of media studies, felt that her students needed to participate in this new medium in order to critique it. The same was true of her work: Academic writing on YouTube demands videos, not just words. That idea got a major boost this month when the MIT Press released Learning From YouTube, a free "video book" that was written by Ms. Juhasz and grew out of her class. It's the first time the press has published an online-only book, and it helped developers build a new platform for authorship that they hope will be used for more such works. It's also a test of academic waters: Will similar publications, backed by established presses, count toward tenure?
posted by Horace Rumpole at 9:57 AM PST - 19 comments

The anchovies are restless. Margaret Atwood, grand dame of Canadian letters, addresses the future of publishing. [more inside]
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 9:49 AM PST - 44 comments

The Lost Thing animated, 15 mins. Nominated for and Oscar for Best Animated Short Film. Based on a book by Shaun Tan. [more inside]
posted by crunchland at 9:27 AM PST - 29 comments

Amazon's Prime Streaming service has gone live. The online retailer is adding this to its free 2-day shipping service gratis.
posted by boo_radley at 8:13 AM PST - 118 comments

The real challenge for Internet freedom? US hypocrisy. And there's no app for that.
posted by - at 8:07 AM PST - 53 comments

Joe Simonetti is a 57-year-old psychotherapist who lives with his wife in Pound Ridge, New York. His commute takes him from the northern reaches of exurban Westchester County to his office just south of Central Park. It's about three and a half hours each way. By bike. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 7:52 AM PST - 72 comments

The Boy Who Stole Half-Life 2 - How (and more importantly why) Axel Gembe, a young German hacker, stole and leaked the source code to Valve's highly anticipated Half-Life 2 game in 2003. (via Rock, Paper, Shotgun) [more inside]
posted by slimepuppy at 5:13 AM PST - 68 comments

A gorgeous series of still, high-resolution panoramic photographs of the City of Light, its landmarks and environs, including Shakespeare and Company, by Arnaud Friche.

If you wish to travel further afield: stunning, super-wide-format photographs of the Alberta Badlands, the Great Wall of China, the floating torii at Miyajima, Bryce Canyon, Burning Man, Burney Falls, BC and much more taken by Brad Templeton, an EFF board member. [more inside]
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 12:38 AM PST - 19 comments

February 21

Only 60,000,000 citizens killed?! Success!!! A 1950s Air Force film on what might happen in the event of a U.S.-Soviet nuclear conflict has been declassified and is available in full, online, from the National Security Archive of George Washington University.
posted by markkraft at 11:31 PM PST - 54 comments

Organizing the Bookcase to the music of Rodrigo y Gabriela, by Sean Ohlenkamp. His version of The end of Movember. Portfolio inside.
posted by growabrain at 11:20 PM PST - 11 comments

With the success of the Kindle and iPad e-book piracy accelerates.
posted by stbalbach at 10:26 PM PST - 178 comments

On February 14 NASA's Stardust-NExT mission revisited the comet Tempel 1. Tempel 1 was first visited by NASA's Deep Impact, which smashed into the comet back in July 2005. [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor at 9:31 PM PST - 16 comments


Corinne Vionnet sifted through online searches of the world's most recognizable tourist attractions in order to carefully layer 100's of photos of each on top of one anther until she created her desired result. Her site contains a few smaller ones which aren't available in the blog post, as well as some more information on the project. [more inside]
posted by gman at 7:10 PM PST - 41 comments

The author of the "Forecast Center" column from Weatherwise magazine to place Forecast Center articles online. So if you want to sharpen your analysis skills, there's a mountain of Forecast Center installments going back to 2001 in full resolution. There is a permanent embargo on all articles newer than 12 months old, so the first issue of 2010 is as far forward as the articles go, but they go back as far as July/August 2001. For example, Hone your hand analysis skills and get your forecast on for the upcoming severe storm season on the Plains.
posted by spock at 6:50 PM PST - 6 comments

Pinball retailer Jersey Jack Guarnieri has started a new pinball company to challenge Stern. Stern is currently the only major manufacturer of pinball tables. However, their recent Avatar table has been criticized for its simple rules and lack of mechanical toys. Jack is already accepting pre-orders for his official Wizard of Oz pinball table. But will he be able to take on Stern and return competition to the industry?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 6:09 PM PST - 74 comments

A massive quake ripped through the Canterbury area of the south island of New Zealand this morning.
posted by ironbob at 5:39 PM PST - 229 comments

The EDSA People Power Revolution began in the Philippines 25 years ago on this day. On February 22, 1986, tiring of a thieving, murderous dictator, Filipinos flocked to a Manila highway to willingly serve as human shields to two high-level defectors from the government. Faced with wavering loyalist troops and crowds numbering in the hundreds of thousands, President Ferdinand Marcos fled the Philippines for Hawaii on February 25, where he died three years later. Was it happily ever after for the Philippines? Not a chance. [more inside]
posted by micketymoc at 4:08 PM PST - 11 comments

Since Weird Al seems to be a MeFi favourite, I thought I'd share this interview... [more inside]
posted by sardonyx at 3:48 PM PST - 8 comments

Today is the 25th anniversary of the release of The Legend of Zelda. Celebrate by learning about some of its oddities or watching some commercials!
posted by Deflagro at 3:48 PM PST - 52 comments

The Tatara Project: Learn how to make your own Japanese tanto knives from homemade steel; just follow these explicit directions and 125 photos.
posted by bwg at 3:35 PM PST - 19 comments

When the legal department of Warner Bros. were notified of a forthcoming feature-length Casablanca spoof in 1945 - A Night in Casablanca, featuring a lead character named 'Humphrey Bogus' - they were naturally curious as to the specifics, and so innocently requested more information from the movie's creators, the Marx Brothers. Very quickly Groucho, sensing the opportunity for free publicity, fabricated a lawsuit from the studio and a crowd-pleasing defense... [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 2:59 PM PST - 14 comments

Nina Simone at Montreux 1976 - How It Feels To Be Free
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:43 PM PST - 25 comments

Playable Angry Birds birthday cake [SLYT]
posted by chavenet at 2:41 PM PST - 36 comments

Pump Up The Volume - The History Of House Music was a three part documentary (1 Time To Jack, 2 Can You Feel It, 3 From Hardcore To Handbag) first shown in the UK in 2001, telling of House’s origins in the Chicago underground, it’s crossing over the Atlantic and evolving into illegal Acid raves before entering into the mainstream in Britain. (Some NSFW language) [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:12 PM PST - 46 comments

Bullestorm is a rather silly FPS from People Can Fly, focusing irreverance, violence, points for ridiculous achievments and fun fun. It's marketing campaign has included the meta-game "Duty Calls", which savagly skewers it's equally violent but far more self-serious competition such as Call of Duty: Black Ops. Naturally, Fox news has freaked out and started a campaign against it, including a claim that it will cause rape. Rock, Paper Shotgun responds. FOX responds to the response. RPS responds to the response to the response, with a summary of the debacle so far.
posted by Artw at 1:09 PM PST - 119 comments

Psykopaint is really fun, visually interesting and free. It is a rich internet application in which you can turn your pictures into paintings by grabbing one of the 6 brushes provided and start painting while the colors are selected automatically for you. Created by Mathieu Gosselin.
posted by nickyskye at 12:39 PM PST - 16 comments

Security reporter Brian Krebs [previously] visits Russian illicit online prescription baron Pavel Vrublevsky.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 11:18 AM PST - 3 comments

“The prevailing attitude seems to be that issues of politics and morality—the sort of issues that most people can perceive clearly in connection with, say, corporate glass ceilings or the patronage of lunch counters—are suddenly off limits where music is concerned.” [more inside]
posted by kipmanley at 10:30 AM PST - 110 comments

Reviving a Masterpiece of 16th-Century Type Design. The Polyglot Bible published by Christopher Plantin form 1569-1572 was the one of the greatest typographical achievements of the 16th century, and features a Hebrew typeface specially designed for the work by Guillaume Le Bé. More than 300 years later, type designers Scott-Martin Kosofsky and Matthew Carter have recreated Le Bé's design for use in a new ebook of the poems of Yehuda Halevi.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 9:20 AM PST - 11 comments

Bill Cosby: "A lot of people think we oughta wash white, but we aint gonna, you see." "People think that we Afro-Americans started with nothing but little grass skirts like the kids in the Tarzan movies....but uh, we had something before we left Africa." "Now if you want to look history right straight in the eye... you're going to get a black eye. Because it isn't important whether a few black heroes got lost or stolen or strayed in American history textbooks. What's important is why they got left out." Black History: Lost, Stolen, or Strayed. (Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) [more inside]
posted by cashman at 9:01 AM PST - 16 comments

American basketball icon Charles Barkley turned 48 yesterday to a certain amount of televised fanfare. For those who have followed the ups and downs of the round mound of rebound over the past 25 years, his staying power has been impressive. The author of four books has even recently launched his own website. From a quixotic attempt at a political career to a golf reality show to his current role as an NBA analyst, Barkley’s on-camera life has been far from boring. And while many of his Dream Team peers are fading into middle age, Barkley’s image and popularity have continued to improve, despite his best efforts off-camera to the contrary. From a shout out by the President to a serenade by Stevie Wonder, does everybody now love Sir Charles?
posted by unintelligentlydesigned at 8:01 AM PST - 41 comments

10 years ago Metafilter discussed William Beaty's Traffic Wave theories about why traffic jams happen. Since then he's conducted some experiments that he says prove regular drivers can help stop them from happening. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:54 AM PST - 105 comments

Dear M. Night Shyamalan, Sincerely, Omer Mozaffar.
posted by Fizz at 6:11 AM PST - 95 comments

What if the egyptian protesters were democrats? "In short, if the Egyptian protesters were Democrats, they would have undertaken no revolution. The Democratic Party represents the pervasiveness of elite corporate power; its liberal supporters represent the appropriation of oppositional politics into the neoliberal economies of electoral hegemony; the Egyptian protesters represent a determined, collective will to social justice and legitimate freedom. If those protesters were American liberals, they would have sided with the state while professing support for the people."
posted by Duug at 5:55 AM PST - 106 comments

Posemaniacs is a site offering 3D, rotatable figures in a variety of poses for drawing. It has a program that chooses random poses and gives you a time limit to draw them and a perspective editor that makes guidelines for one-point perspective. [more inside]
posted by NoraReed at 4:53 AM PST - 7 comments

Worse than Iraq: 253 days without a working goverment - a new world record, and no solution in sight. [more inside]
posted by iviken at 4:43 AM PST - 49 comments

Various ways of killing porcelain vases.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:41 AM PST - 11 comments

February 20

Malaysian cyclist Azizulhasni Awang is recovering in hospital after a 9-inch splinter went through his lower left leg after crashing his track bike at the cycling world cup in Manchester, England. But he still managed to finish the race in bronze medal position after remounting his bike and staggering over the finish line. [Linked pictures and video very very NSF the squeamish]. [more inside]
posted by KirkpatrickMac at 11:57 PM PST - 23 comments

"You Can Shine" is a video advertisement from Thailand for Pantene Chrysalis shampoo, which tells the story of a deaf and mute girl who longs to play the violin. Via
posted by zarq at 9:57 PM PST - 52 comments

The superintendent of tiny Perrin-Whitt school district in Texas recently sent this letter to state legislators who are threatening to slash funding for public schools. Modeled after the famous letter from the Alamo by William Barret Travis, Superintendent Kuhn appeals to Texas legislators to make education a priority.
posted by tamitang at 9:25 PM PST - 25 comments

Home Kinks, part 1 and part 2 - for years, Popular Mechanics Press published a series of tips, many from readers, in a special edition format they called "Household Kinks." Scanning Around With Gene has posted a collection from 1940s and '50s editions.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:07 PM PST - 40 comments

Ola Belle Reed came down from the mountains and carried that old-timey sound with her. Her voice and her banjo took her from family sing-alongs to rubbing elbows with some of America's best-known country and bluegrass musicians. Radio stations played her work, and with a little help from friends like Marty Stuart and Del McCoury, her musical legacy lives. Or, as Reed herself sang, "I've worked for the rich, I've lived with the poor; Lord, I've seen many a heartache, there'll be many more; I've lived, loved and sorrowed, been to success's door; I've endured, I've endured." [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:56 PM PST - 7 comments

Democrats help radical conservatives by accepting the deficit frame and arguing about what to cut. Even arguing against specific "cuts" is working within the conservative frame. What is the alternative? Pointing out what conservatives really want. Point out that there is plenty of money in America, and in Wisconsin. It is at the top. George Lakoff, professor of linguistics at UC, Berkeley, analyzes the metaphors conservatives use to frame issues and exposes what they really want. (Previously), (previously), (more previously), etc.
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:51 PM PST - 125 comments

Basics of effective FPS encounter design (via F.E.A.R. and F.E.A.R. 2) is a detailed analysis of how to create engaging encounters in first person shooters.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:48 PM PST - 21 comments

Australia, already a leader in tobacco sales restrictions, is seeking plain packaging for all cigarette packaging, forcing a fight with Big Tobacco. Other governments around the world watch interestedly, as arguments revolve around intellectual property rights and spill-over effects. An astro-turf group has been formed to protest "on behalf of retailers". Meanwhile, the Federal Opposition maintains it's links to the tobacco industry. (previously)
posted by wilful at 5:31 PM PST - 66 comments

Happy belated 39th birthday, Amon Adonai Santos de Araújo Tobin, or as most folks call you, simply Amon Tobin. The Brazilian-born producer first released music as Cujo, and has since moved on to his own name, with five albums and a slew of EPs and singles released since 1997, plus two video game soundtracks, and a film soundtrack. He also has an EP of collaborations, side projects with Joe "Doubleclick" Chapman as 60hz and Two Fingers. And that's the overview ... (music samples a-plenty inside, or you could skip the chatter and listen to much of Amon Tobin's discography streaming on his website). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 5:31 PM PST - 29 comments

In his analysis The REAL Death of the Music Industry, BI author Michael DeGusta denounces inaccuracies in a recently circulating chart (source). A further analysis of the situation is provided: the music industry is actually doing much worse than the Bain chart implies. [more inside]
posted by knz at 3:31 PM PST - 79 comments

In 1941, Pete Seeger, Lee Hayes, Josh White and Millard Lampell [otherwise known as the Almanac Singers] recorded an album of union songs. (Pete Seeger discusses The Almanac Singers with Tim Robbins.[13m45s]) The six songs they chose were a mix of original compositions and legacy songs, all aimed at helping bolster organized labor. The album, Talking Union and Other Union Songs, would be re-released 14 years later in an expanded version on Smithsonian Folkways. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 2:55 PM PST - 29 comments

2210 GMT: Libya's 2nd Secretary in its Embassy in China, Hussein Sadiq Al Misrati, has just quit in an on-air interview with Al Jazeera, saying he is not honored to represent a regime that kills its own people. Al Misrati asked other diplomats to follow his action and called on the army not to attack protesters. And the diplomat claimed that Muammar Qaddafi's son Saif Al Islam, who was supposed to speak on State TV tonight, will not do so --- he was shot by his brother Mutasam in a fight for control. Libya is spinning out of control and appears to be on the verge of either collapse or civil war. Here is a relatively comprehensive (but by no means exhaustive) link to the unrest of the past week. Unlike Egypt, which saw the downfall of a regime played out on television and the internet, communication in and out of Libya is extremely restrictive, making it very difficult for the media and outside observers to understand just what, exactly, is going on in the country. Hundreds of protesters have so far died (many in the second-largest city of Benghazi), and rumors abound that some in the military have decided to turn against the regime.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 2:44 PM PST - 1138 comments



Plastic fantastic? An unpublished United Kingdom Environment Agency research report apparently shows that plastic bags, which are banned in more than 25% of the world may actually be less harmful than those made of cotton or paper. [more inside]
posted by jonesor at 12:53 PM PST - 68 comments

Bluegrass covers of popular songs, by The Cleverlys: The Bangles' Walk Like an Egyptian, Beyoncé's Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It), Shaggy's Angel, The Black Eyed Peas' I Gotta Feeling, Yes' Owner of a Lonely Heart, Fergie's Clumsy, Stevie Wonder's Superstition, Katy Perry's I Kissed a Girl
posted by finite at 12:28 PM PST - 33 comments

The North Face of the Eiger has claimed the lives of at least 64 climbers attempting it since 1935. The first succesful attempt in 1938 took a team of four 3 and a half days. The first succesful solo climb in 1963 took 18 hours. In 2008, Swiss Climber Ueli Steck broke his own record by 1hr7, soloing the face in 2hr47.33. Watch him.
posted by protorp at 12:19 PM PST - 46 comments

Chris Jordan’s “Running The Numbers” series and its sequel, along with “Intolerable Beauty”, places collections of objects in arrays and forms to visualize consumer consumption and its effects: a globular cluster of lightbulbs showing electrical waste in the United States; a landscape of empty plastic bottles (two million, the number used every five minutes), an array of tiny Barbies graphing breast augmentations; Pollockesque designs of contrails and handguns representing flights and deaths. More information at Jordan’s TED presentation; he’s also noted for his post-Katrina photographs of New Orleans.

Related: Todd McLellan (Flash) photographs disassembled vintage objects, some in patterns, others caught mid-explosion. [more inside]
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 11:35 AM PST - 7 comments

This past week, in an open letter to Fred Phelps and his controversial Westboro Baptist Church, the hacker activist group Anonymous issued an ultimatum: "... we give you a warning: Cease & desist your protest campaign in the year 2011, return to your homes in Kansas, & close your public Web sites. Should you ignore this warning, you will meet with the vicious retaliatory arm of ANONYMOUS." Yesterday, the Westboro Baptist Church took up the gauntlet, telling Anonymous, "Bring It!" [flyer]. [more inside]
posted by ericb at 10:01 AM PST - 252 comments



"Danny and Annie Perasa tell the story of their twenty-seven-year romance. From their first date to Danny’s final days with terminal cancer, this is an intimate and heartbreaking look at true love."
posted by SkylitDrawl at 9:03 AM PST - 19 comments

Michael Winner spent most of last week thinking about my breasts. If I were posting this on Twitter, I would add the hashtag #SentencesINeverExpectedToWrite. - Victoria Coren on her Twitter battle with Michael Winner.
posted by Artw at 9:01 AM PST - 49 comments

Why watch a movie when you can just watch the titles? Browse title sequences by designer and read interesting backstory and discussion on the art of making a title sequence.
posted by The Whelk at 8:46 AM PST - 6 comments

Anne Hays wrote an open letter to The New Yorker, and posted it on Facebook, complaining about the gender imbalance in bylines. The Village Voice and two bloggers respond. The CBC spent an hour on it this morning.
posted by kneecapped at 7:56 AM PST - 54 comments

So here's what's on tap two summers from now: an adaptation of a comic book. A reboot of an adaptation of a comic book. A sequel to a sequel to an adaptation of a comic book. A sequel to a reboot of an adaptation of a TV show. A sequel to a sequel to a reboot of an adaptation of a comic book. A sequel to a cartoon. A sequel to a sequel to a cartoon. A sequel to a sequel to a sequel to a cartoon. A sequel to a sequel to a sequel to a sequel to a movie based on a young-adult novel. And soon after: Stretch Armstrong. How did Hollywood get here? There's no overarching theory, no readily identifiable villain, no single moment to which the current combination of caution, despair, and underachievement that defines studio thinking can be traced. But let's pick one anyway: Top Gun.

The Day the Movies Died. (via)
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:22 AM PST - 146 comments

Violinist plays the music and sound effects of NES games. Donkey Kong. Dragon Quest III. Super Mario Bros 3. [more inside]
posted by ersatz at 5:13 AM PST - 14 comments

Peep jousting is a game in which two marshmallow Peeps armed with toothpicks face each other in microwave combat. Its much more deadly variation, Peep fighting, involves a toaster oven. Molly Lewis (previously 1, 2) wrote a metal song called PEEP FIGHT. Smithsonian Magazine checked if stale or fresh peeps made better jousters. Creepy off-brand Peeps are also effective knights.
posted by NoraReed at 4:19 AM PST - 12 comments

Philly Homeowner Declares He's 'Foreclosed' on Wells Fargo, and how he has their full attention. [more inside]
posted by bwg at 3:42 AM PST - 34 comments

We have previously explored Bouvet Island, an ideal location for your evil-supergenius lair (especially if you're a masochist and enjoy the company of elephant seals). But let us ponder how a lifeboat, devoid of markings, was discovered there in 1964 with no trace of crew beyond a pair of oars, a 44-gallon drum and flattened buoyancy tank.
posted by maxwelton at 12:03 AM PST - 19 comments

February 19

The Blues Accordin’ to Lightnin’ Hopkins A 1967 Les Blank film of Lightnin Hopkins visiting his hometown of Centerville, TX "…a gorgeous 31-minute poem of a movie, a series of snapshots from his life as well as a look at an era fast disappearing…Watching the film is something of a revelation, at least if you ever had a doubt where the blues came from." [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive at 7:51 PM PST - 16 comments

Endnotes: David Foster Wallace. Professor Geoff Ward discusses David Foster Wallace. [more inside]
posted by sixo33 at 7:20 PM PST - 15 comments

Seibertron is billed as the Ultimate Transformers Resource. [more inside]
posted by chmmr at 7:01 PM PST - 8 comments

To Madison, WI, to the Wisconsin State Assembly, where the Republican majority attempted to move newly-elected Republican Governor Scott Walker's controversial budget repair bill towards final passage, before the Democrat minority had even entered the assembly. The minority leader then proceeds to rip the majority a new one. The cheering of tens of thousands of protesters, composed of public-sector employees and their supporters, can be heard permeating the walls of the assembly chamber. A minority assemblyman responds to the tactic. [more inside]
posted by g.i.r. at 5:46 PM PST - 539 comments

Politicians who live in glass houses, etc. ... The Canadian House of Commons is in need of repair, and while it's being done, a dome will cover the elected gabbers. It might cost as "little" as $42 million or as much as $1 billion. The pre-construction vacuuming has already begun.
posted by anothermug at 5:41 PM PST - 29 comments

The lunch concerts in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw used to be (possibly still are) often public general rehearsals for the big evening series. Here we can see the mental transformation of pianist Maria Joao Pires, who expects another Mozart concerto than conductor Riccardo Chailly begins to conduct. [more inside]
posted by Namlit at 5:33 PM PST - 17 comments

Roz Kaveney's Zombie Sonnets. livejournal They start at Feb 3rd.
posted by Fizz at 5:02 PM PST - 8 comments

The Rumpus speculates on how books might be in bed. You don't fuck The Fountainhead, The Fountainhead fucks you.
posted by mippy at 1:20 PM PST - 124 comments

Bikram yoga, popularized in the USA by Bikram Choudhury, is criticized for being overly sexual and as subverting the traditional aims of yoga. The bacchanalian atmosphere at the training clinics held by Choudhury seem to confirm this view.
posted by reenum at 1:13 PM PST - 67 comments

Tired of the hype around MTV's (and before that, the BBC's) modern teen drama Skins? Miss the 90s? Try Orange Juice in Bishops Garden, a web series, detailing the lives of a group of teenagers as they navigate high school in the year 1994. The show is set and shot in the greater metropolitan Washington DC area and is created by the DC-area filmmaker, Otessa Ghadar. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:26 PM PST - 14 comments

This will be the story of a gnome who leaves the garden and moves to New York City. The gnome's journey is difficult and lonely but he remains hopeful and even ferocious as he takes life by the horns. [Main page / Archive]
posted by naomi at 11:18 AM PST - 15 comments

A video plotting the movement of Hilda and Trojan asteroids that are locked in a resonance with the orbit of Jupiter. Best watched in HD. Previously
posted by bonobothegreat at 11:17 AM PST - 25 comments

Kate Beaton of Hark! A Vagrant has never seen Doctor Who, so she drew this.
posted by Artw at 8:03 AM PST - 128 comments

Why do we enjoy prodigies? Barney Ronay asks in reference to the latest footballing wünderkid, Raheem Sterling while Gary Kasporov reflects back on the life of perhaps chess' most interesting one, Bobby Fischer.
posted by yerfatma at 7:05 AM PST - 29 comments

The International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge 2010 - "Researchers are generating mind-boggling volumes of data at exponentially increasing rates. The ability to process that information and display it in ways that enhance understanding is an increasingly important aspect of the way scientists communicate with each other and—especially—with students and the general public. That's why, for the past 8 years, Science and the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) have co-sponsored annual challenges to promote cutting-edge efforts to visualize scientific data, principles, and ideas. This year's awardees span scales from nanoparticles to colliding galaxies, and from microseconds to millennia."
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:26 AM PST - 9 comments

"As any performer can attest, it's not always a glamourous life. There are a million stories of hardship, regret, mistakes and mishaps that can make up the landscape of life as a touring musician. The Worst Gig is a collection of those stories from some of the most influential musicians of our time, told in their own words for your entertainment." [more inside]
posted by soundofsuburbia at 5:31 AM PST - 46 comments

The Royal Society has a great video that animates one of Steven Pinker’s lectures on ‘Language as a Window into Human Nature’. View the full lecture at the RSA. (via Mindhacks)
posted by Lezzles at 2:09 AM PST - 10 comments

February 18

Yogscast is already well known for their gaming related podcasts and video blogging, but have really come into their own with their Minecraft story-telling saga of THE SHADOW OF ISRAPHEL... [more inside]
posted by loquacious at 11:04 PM PST - 22 comments

Beware the birds and the wolf: Ramona Falls' I Say Fever. Featuring a great narrative, clever and intricate animation, and nice touches of fuzz bass. (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by Existential Dread at 8:35 PM PST - 14 comments

Meet Larry, the newest incumbent to the office of Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Bo was unavailable for comment, but was heard to utter "woof" at the news. [more inside]
posted by eriko at 8:27 PM PST - 39 comments

In 1919, "Father" William Riker founded a utopian commune of sorts in Holy City, California. Holy City was
[a] cross between a tourist trap and a Christian haven, the commune in its heyday in the twenties and thirties boasted such unconventional luxuries as alcoholic soda pop, peep shows, an ornately decorated gas station, a radio station and a zoo, all to lure passing motorists to the commune.
Riker called his philosophy the Perfect Christian Divine Way. Claiming to offer the world's perfect government, he ran for governor of California four times on a white supremacist platform. [more inside]
posted by hoyland at 7:24 PM PST - 25 comments

Muzzle Man: I have no idea how these horse men got these trays smacked into their muzzles, or why. Tram. Kitchen. Tram II. Flea Market. [more inside]
posted by cortex at 6:51 PM PST - 45 comments

Tonight I'm Frakking you
posted by garlic at 6:39 PM PST - 70 comments

Enjoying your Friday night? Be careful out there. In between other things, including voting for huge cuts to the EPA's budget and regulating power, the U.S. House of Representatives just voted to eliminate Title X, originally signed into law 40 years ago by Republican President Richard Nixon, which provides funding for Planned Parenthood. [more inside]
posted by limeonaire at 5:45 PM PST - 130 comments

The Saga of Biôrn: Biôrn, an old Viking, is determined to reach Valhalla, the warrior's afterlife full of excessive drinking and debauchery. To gain entry he has to die honorably in battle, but he discovers that the right death isn't so easy. SLVimeo.
posted by bwg at 4:02 PM PST - 18 comments

"You might have forgotten about Carla Bozulich -- or never even heard of her, depending on your age -- but she hasn't forgotten L.A." - Carla Bozulich of Evangelista ponders her history with L.A. on the eve of her show with Godspeed You! Black Emperor. (previously) [more inside]
posted by mrgrimm at 3:59 PM PST - 15 comments

How 'OK' took over the world. 'It crops up in our speech dozens of times every day, although it apparently means little. So how did the word "OK" conquer the world, asks Allan Metcalf', author of OK: The Improbable Story of America's Greatest Word. 'On 23 March 1839, OK was introduced to the world on the second page of the Boston Morning Post, in the midst of a long paragraph, as "o.k. (all correct)". How this weak joke survived at all, instead of vanishing like its counterparts, is a matter of lucky coincidence involving the American presidential election of 1840.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 3:59 PM PST - 69 comments

Caravaggio's crimes exposed in Rome's police files: "Four hundred years after his death, Caravaggio is a 21st Century superstar among old master painters. His stark, dramatically lit, super-realistic paintings strike a modern chord - but his police record is more shocking than any modern bad boy rock star's. An exhibition of documents at Rome's State Archives throws vivid light on his tumultuous life here at the end of the 16th and the beginning of the 17th centuries." [Via] [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 3:55 PM PST - 50 comments

Yangsky's cognitive vision solutions cover the spectrum from applications that allow end users to use webcams for visual tasks such as flame detection, bar code reading, home security, and allow enterprisers to use industrial video cameras for visual tasks such as traffic monitoring, fire alarm, and visual tracking. [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 3:52 PM PST - 6 comments

Locus, the Magazine of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Field, is the paper of record in the science fiction community. Every year the editors and reviewers at Locus publish a recommended reading list which includes novels, YA novels, first novels, anthologies and collections, related non-fiction, art books, and three types of shorter work (novellas, novelettes, and short stories). If you are at all interested in the current state of the SF&F genre you can't do better than Locus' yearly effort. The list for 2010 appears in the February issue. [more inside]
posted by Justinian at 3:33 PM PST - 25 comments

Geekosystem documents the developing Bill O'Reilly 'Can't explain that!' sort-of-meme. Instigated by O'Reilly in this Youtube.
posted by nj_subgenius at 3:28 PM PST - 47 comments


On March 14th, the 26th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will add 5 new performers to the growing list of well-known musicians. As previously discussed, the 2011 inductees are Alice Cooper, Neil Diamond, Dr. John, Tom Waits and Darlene Love. Though the last name may not be as famous as the four fellows, the chances are you know her voice, from Monster Mash, Rockin' Robbin, or Da Doo Ron Ron. Except her name wasn't credited first on any of those recordings, if it was mentioned at all. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 2:21 PM PST - 23 comments

"I have been collecting for more than thirty years, and my collecting wanders around the theme of visual entertainment, and almost all of the collection dates from before 1900. Over time you will find magic lanterns, peepshows, shadows, transparencies, thaumatropes, phenakistascopes and a variety of other optical toys. You may find things that seem odd in this collection, however, always remember that collecting is a very personal thing and these items may stretch the boundaries of visual entertainment but nevertheless have found a place in my collection." Via @CarinBerger.
posted by brundlefly at 2:10 PM PST - 2 comments

Eat Everything Smaller Than You! Tasty Planet. Friday Flash Fun!
posted by at the crossroads at 2:04 PM PST - 16 comments


The biggest mistake people make when talking about the outsourcing of U.S. jobs by U.S. companies is to treat it as a moral issue. Sure, it's immoral to abandon your loyal American workers in search of cheap labor overseas. But the real problem with outsourcing, if you don't think it through, is that it can wreck your business and cost you a bundle.
Case in point: Boeing Co. and its 787 Dreamliner. Boeing can't say it wasn't warned. As early as 2001, L.J. Hart-Smith, a Boeing senior technical fellow, produced a prescient analysis projecting that excessive outsourcing would raise Boeing's costs and steer profits to its subcontractors. [previously]
posted by ennui.bz at 1:28 PM PST - 58 comments

One of the girls from the coverart of Smashing Pumpkins' 1993 Siamese Dream is now in the band. [more inside]
posted by jpdoane at 11:36 AM PST - 122 comments

Friday Flash Fun: Burrito Bison, a launching game where you crush gummy bears for points. [more inside]
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:33 AM PST - 20 comments

How does an artist portray life in a secretive intelligence service? James Hart Dyke peeks into the U.K's Secret Intelligence Service (aka MI6), while Jill Magid shares her experience preparing pieces for the Dutch secret service AIVD.
posted by MILNEWSca at 11:18 AM PST - 7 comments

The National Book Foundation has launched an essay series dedicated to the 57 winners of the National Book Award for Poetry. First up: William Carlos Williams, Wallace Stevens, Marianne Moore, Archibald MacLeish, and Conrad Aiken.
posted by Iridic at 10:59 AM PST - 12 comments


Laser cat bowling.
posted by hippybear at 10:16 AM PST - 37 comments

How do you split the rent when one room is tiny and has no closet while the other is large and has great windows? Based on a not really scientific survey, Jonathan Bittner has come up with a decisive way to answer those 'who should pay how much' questions when it comes to apartment sharing.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:53 AM PST - 30 comments



The Boston Marathon has made it harder to qualify, by lowering times by 5:00 minutes across the board, and also by eliminating the 59 second grace period. [more inside]
posted by I am the Walrus at 9:27 AM PST - 40 comments

In this episode of Al-Jazeera's 101 East, Lynn Lee and James Leong become the first foreigners to film inside Pyongyang's University of Cinematic and Dramatic Arts. [more inside]
posted by WalterMitty at 9:15 AM PST - 12 comments

When her son refused to do his school work, his mom had him stand out on a busy street corner with a sandwich board trumpeting his 1.22 GPA. [more inside]
posted by reenum at 9:09 AM PST - 128 comments

In 1982, the young Barack Obama published two poems in a literary magazine while an undergraduate at Occidental College. Many years later, political and literary commentators looking for insight into the leader's inner workings unearthed the poems: The New Yorker gave readers Harold Bloom's mixed reaction, Ian McMillan assessed the juvenile work in The Guardian, the Times (UK) tried to place the poems within the context of American presidents who published poems, and even Huffington Post took a crack at figuring what the poems tell us about the politician. A little later, the Blue Rose Arts Collective used the text of the poem "Underground" in a short video piece. Obama maintains his interest in poetry: also in 2008 the president was photographed holding a copy of Nobel Prize-winning poet Derek Walcott's Collected Poems. (U.S. Presidents and poetry more generally, previously.)
posted by aught at 9:08 AM PST - 26 comments

What it's like to ride an ostrich. As compared to what it's like to ride a horse.
posted by gusandrews at 8:46 AM PST - 30 comments


This is a pretty amazing video of a Chinese magician doing magic tricks with goldfish on the BBC spanish website. Extended video and discussion (along with possible spoilers) can be found on youtube. It's been picked up by some English-language sites (here and here). Real controversy, or just hype to drum up publicity? Either way, the magician is refusing to divulge his secrets (but insists that no fish were harmed in the trick).
posted by math at 8:12 AM PST - 59 comments

The power of three letters "N - O - T". Canada's "International Cooperation Minister Bev Oda on Monday admitted she was behind the mysterious “not” that was handwritten on a government document that ended funding for church-backed aid organization KAIROS and its international relief work. Reversing her earlier testimony at a Commons committee — where she had claimed not to know who penned the extra word — Oda revealed she had, in fact, directed an unnamed official to add the word “not.” “The funding decision was mine. The ‘not' was inserted at my direction,” Oda said in a surprise statement in the Commons." Opposition parties claim that Oda is shielding the PM's office.
posted by Fizz at 6:27 AM PST - 53 comments


Ever wondered what happens to an elephant's body after it dies in the wild? Now you know. [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura at 6:18 AM PST - 34 comments

A Daily Kos diarist dredging through leaked HB Gary emails has found concerning evidence that the company has been selling advanced "persona management" software to manage large numbers of fake online identities. Meet one of the buyers: the US military [more inside]
posted by crayz at 5:13 AM PST - 85 comments

Homelessness: Cutting out the middle men (Economist) "The most efficient way to spend money on the homeless might be to give it to them". [more inside]
posted by asymptotic at 5:11 AM PST - 64 comments

So maybe you've played and liked Gemcraft or Gemcraft Chapter 0 (previously 1, 2)? Game In A Bottle are back with Gemcraft Labyrinth
posted by juv3nal at 12:03 AM PST - 27 comments

February 17

Previously, On The X-Files... Using nine seasons of dialogue, some Markov chains, and an image generator, cortex created a site that creates somewhat thematic dialogues between X-Files characters. This results in some pretty funny dialogue. I want to believe. [via mefi projects]
posted by flibbertigibbet at 10:55 PM PST - 53 comments

For me, Bertrand Russell's remarks seem prescient and as relevant today as they did in 1959. Lessons from BR's life in summary: 1) Be unremittingly evidence-based. 2) Embrace love. 3) Reject hatred. 4) Tolerate difference. I came across an edited version of this clip in BBC4's The Culture Show. Available on iPlayer from UK DNS addresses and likely to turn up on UK Nova sooner or later if you live elsewhere. [more inside]
posted by Neil Hunt at 10:32 PM PST - 25 comments

The Last Minecart (SLYT, pixelated violence)
posted by loquacious at 8:19 PM PST - 63 comments

Nerf gun props. Seven-year-old you just pooped a little. You're welcome.
posted by therewolf at 7:52 PM PST - 40 comments

How to Hack the Dictatorship. "Gene Sharp is an American intellectual whose ideas can be fatal to the world's despots. For decades, Mr. Sharp's practical writings on nonviolent revolution — most notably “From Dictatorship to Democracy,” a 93-page guide to toppling autocrats, available for download in 24 languages — have inspired dissidents around the world, including in Burma, Bosnia, Estonia and Zimbabwe, and now Tunisia and Egypt." His fame is spreading.
posted by storybored at 7:11 PM PST - 21 comments

I Am Here is an ultra-low budget sci-fi/religious film directed by real estate agent Neil Breen. It's already drawing comparisons to cult classic The Room and has the same no-money style as Birdemic and the films of Damon Packard. Is I Am Here set to follow Larry Clark's God Told Me To in the pantheon of alien-Jesus films?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:02 PM PST - 19 comments

A female has won a match for the first time at the prestigious Iowa State Wrestling Tournament . . . by default. Her opponent stated, “I have a tremendous amount of respect for Cassy and Megan (Black, the tournament’s other female entrant) and their accomplishments. However, wrestling is a combat sport and it can get violent at times. As a matter of conscience and my faith, I do not believe that it is appropriate for a boy to engage a girl in this manner. It is unfortunate that I have been placed in a situation not seen in most of the high school sports in Iowa.” [more inside]
posted by Muddler at 5:49 PM PST - 448 comments

TV writer (!) and memoirist Tracy McMillan breaks it down for the single ladies: Why You're Not Married. And in a particularly cruel twist, it runs the day before Valentine's Day. Some folks don't appreciate her advice; others mind it a lot less than they expected to. Oddly, Jezebel apparently has nothing to say on the matter.
posted by GrammarMoses at 5:46 PM PST - 79 comments

Firefly is back...ish. The Science Channel has secured the rights to our sly cult favourite, putting the cast and crew back into Serenity and High Definition beginning March 6. Shiny! [more inside]
posted by thatbrunette at 4:13 PM PST - 217 comments

Having shot to fame as the star of OK Go's video "End Love" (previously), Maria the Goose now faces possible eviction from Echo Park Lake.
posted by oneirodynia at 3:48 PM PST - 11 comments


Brooklyn natives Atomic Tom cover "Don't You Want Me" in a video filled with celeb cameos and '80's references: Vimeo / Youtube (from the Take Me Home Tonight soundtrack.)
posted by zarq at 3:00 PM PST - 30 comments

On October 8, 2010, art student Emilie Gossiaux was struck by a semi-truck while riding her bike in Brooklyn. Left functionally blind, deaf, unable to communicate, and showing few signs of cognitive activity, Emilie was judged to be too mentally impaired to undergo rehabilitation. Then her boyfriend, Alan Lundgard, found a way to reach her. [more inside]
posted by Spinneret at 12:46 PM PST - 66 comments

Studio Gainax, most famous in the USA for Neon Genesis Evangelion (previously) has produced anime in a wide variety of genres. It is responsible for serious science fiction, both classic and deconstructed giant robots, slice of life comedy and drama, and productions that exist for little reason but sexual innuendo and obsessively animated jiggling breasts. With the last sometimes randomly appearing in otherwise serious productions. [more inside]
posted by sotonohito at 12:37 PM PST - 34 comments

Before the Infocom text parser allowed computer games to understand complex sentences, and long before Watson was coded to parse and comprehend natural language, adventure gamers had to solve every problem presented to them with just two words: a verb followed by a noun. The father of the text adventure game was Scott Adams (no, not that one), and his games, which were published by his company Adventure International, are freely playable on a number of different sites and devices - and many of them are fiendishly challenging to this day.
posted by jbickers at 12:21 PM PST - 38 comments


After Nokia announced its strategic partnership with Microsoft (here), howls of protest came from various directions, with the one getting the most attention being 'nine young investors' proposing a 'Plan B'. But wait... [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:35 AM PST - 42 comments

The men at this St. Paul 'wet house' don't want your help, or your hope. And they won't get better. It's a place where the most hopeless of alcoholics can drink away their final days at less risk and cost to the public. [via] [more inside]
posted by Burhanistan at 11:28 AM PST - 116 comments

This week Al Jazeera's excellent roundtable series Empire tackles the issue of social networks and the blogosphere after Egypt. (SLYT) Featuring guests Amy Goodman, Clay Shirky, and Carl Bernstein (of Woodward and Bernstein fame), among others. Previously. [more inside]
posted by macross city flaneur at 10:47 AM PST - 9 comments

The American Festivals Project takes you along on two guys' National Geographic-funded 2008 tour of the "small, hidden, and bizarre" festivals celebrated all over the United States. Through photos, video, and a blog, discover Rattlesnake Roundup, Okie noodling, an American Fasnacht, the Idiotarod, and plenty more. [more inside]
posted by Miko at 10:11 AM PST - 23 comments

"Dom DeLuise,the comedian, was implicated in the following unseemly acts in my mind’s eye: He hocked a fat globule of spittle on Albert Einstein’s thick white mane and delivered a devastating karate kick to the groin of Pope Benedict XVI. Michael Jackson engaged in behavior bizarre even for him. He defecated on a salmon burger and captured his flatulence in a balloon." How Joshua Foer trained his brain and became a world-class memory athlete. [more inside]
posted by tractorfeed at 9:51 AM PST - 18 comments

Protests have erupted in Madison, Wisconsin where the Republican-controlled state legislature seems poised to pass a bill championed by the newly elected Governor Scott Walker that would strip collective bargaining rights (that is, unions) from public employees in order to combat the state's 137 million dollar budget deficit. [more inside]
posted by GameDesignerBen at 9:30 AM PST - 803 comments

Today in 1966, Brian Wilson starting laying down instrumental tracks for "#1 Untitled." Eight months, 90 hours of tape, and $50,000 later, he released his "pocket symphony." [more inside]
posted by timsteil at 9:18 AM PST - 54 comments

This man really likes eating hamburgers. So much so that the hamburgers felt they had to stage an uprising. Or Olympic games. It all becomes a little confusing. (Music video for Rotten Sound's "Hollow")
posted by DanielZKlein at 9:05 AM PST - 15 comments

Imagine Van Lennon. [SLYT]
posted by Rykey at 9:04 AM PST - 21 comments

Lee County, Alabama officials arrested Harvey Updike, a retired State Trooper, in connection with the poisioning of historic 130 year old oak trees in Auburn's Toomer's Corner. How did they know that the trees were poisoned? Someone named "Al" from Dadeville called in to Paul Finebaum's Sports radio show and bragged about doing just that - ending the call with "Roll Tide". Is Harvey the "Al" from the show? Is "AL" in an AL jail? There's a live announcement at 10:30 CST today. Or you can watch Toomers Corner live.
posted by carlodio at 8:10 AM PST - 77 comments


Something going right in California? Yes! Gov. Brown has adopted a First Dog! [more inside]
posted by Leezie at 6:32 AM PST - 56 comments

Logical fallacies: 1, 2, 4, 7, 9, 16.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:15 AM PST - 51 comments


February 16

Over drinks at a bar on a dreary, snowy night in Washington this past month, a former Senate investigator laughed as he polished off his beer. "Everything's fucked up, and nobody goes to jail," he said. "That's your whole story right there. Hell, you don't even have to write the rest of it. Just write that." I put down my notebook. "Just that?" "That's right," he said, signaling to the waitress for the check. "Everything's fucked up, and nobody goes to jail. You can end the piece right there."
posted by vidur at 11:11 PM PST - 126 comments

Why Gawker Nick Denton is a genius - he can smell the page views!. The redesign he's championed (previously) is a convoluted nightmare which breaks the web and left blog posts unindexed Google. Page views are in the toilet. He may loose that bet. It doesn't matter, Nick Denton is a genius. Look, pictures of a naked man!
posted by Artw at 11:04 PM PST - 148 comments

Fusing the energy of hardcore with the wall of sound of Detroit hard rock, Denver's The Fluid was the first non-Seattle band signed to Sub Pop Records. Particularly acclaimed for their live shows, Keith Morris of the Circle Jerks compared a performance of the five-piece to seeing the Stooges in their heyday. After breaking up in 1993, they reunited in 2008. Fluid guitarist Rick Kulwicki (who was also a founding member of Denver’s groundbreaking hardcore band the Frantix) died this week at 49. [more inside]
posted by scody at 11:02 PM PST - 20 comments

Caspar Babypants is Chris Ballew. Described by Weird Al Yankovic as "one of the few children's recording artists I can listen to without wanting to stab myself in the eyes," you don't have to have kids to appreciate the silly subject matter and exquisitely crafted pop sensibility, but it probably helps. It should come as no surprise that, as front man for The Presidents of the United States, the man who wrote songs like Kitty, Boll Weevil, and Dune Buggy grew up to write offbeat children's music. I would especially like to call your attention to these wonderful and clever low tech videos, including several worthy fan videos. [more inside]
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:46 PM PST - 87 comments

As a follow-up to a recent post regarding the majesty that was Face Value on its 30th anniversary, a parade celebrating Phil Collins occurred yesterday in Brooklyn, featuring a marching band playing--yep, you guessed it.
posted by stannate at 7:45 PM PST - 53 comments

Emily Short is an interactive fiction writer and general cool customer who has been featured numerous times before on the blue. She also writes the biweekly Homer in Silicon column at GameSetWatch, where she examines games as stories, looking at what they say as much as how they play. She is particularly fascinated by life simulation games and the often bizarre models of human experience that underly them. To date she has delved into the disturbing worlds of Kudos, Life Quest, and My Life Story.
posted by theodolite at 7:11 PM PST - 15 comments

Japan has suspended its whale hunt after pressure from world governments and harassment by eco-vigilante group Sea Shepherd. Previously.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 6:55 PM PST - 132 comments


Google Books has digitized all issues of SPY, the 80s New York satirical magazine that combined humor with investigative reporting. Half the issues are now available; the other half will be released soon.
posted by catlet at 5:35 PM PST - 106 comments

Gocta Falls, Peru In 2005 Stefan Ziemendorff came across a waterfall in Northern Peru that didn't appear on any map, despite a village of 200 people being at its base. He returned the following year to measure its height. At 2,350 feet tall, Gocta Falls are now known to be the 3rd highest in the world. [more inside]
posted by jontyjago at 4:45 PM PST - 17 comments

Pixelfari - 8-bit browsing for the aliased among us [via] [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:20 PM PST - 21 comments


Locked in a Vegas hotel room with a Phantom Flex high speed cinema camera (1080p, 2564fps). Tom Guilmette had some fun.
posted by yiftach at 3:15 PM PST - 49 comments


The Urban Homestead®: Where sustainable urban living and intellectual property collide. Previously on mefi we learned about some urban homesteaders in Pasadena, CA calling themselves the Dervaes Institute. According to the OC Weekly Blog Stick a Fork in It: "In October of last year, the Dervaeses successfully registered the terms "Urban Homestead" and "Urban Homesteading" with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. But only in the past couple of weeks have they been sending cease-and-desist letters to organizations and blogs using the terms without their permission, successfully asking Facebook to shut down groups using those terms as their name." [more inside]
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 2:52 PM PST - 54 comments


Blue-Tongue Films are an Australian collective of film makers. They’ve produced a couple of features including Animal Kingdom, for which Jacki Weaver has been nominated for this year's Best Supporting Actress Oscar. You can find a number of their shorts and other works on their Youtube Channel. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:19 PM PST - 5 comments

The NYT coverage of the Westminster Dog Show. [more inside]
posted by anya32 at 1:04 PM PST - 109 comments

The Bollards of London (Hat tip to @UnlikelyWorlds and @greatdismal)
posted by boo_radley at 12:54 PM PST - 30 comments

Mark Kempton s a chopper pilot. On Monday January 10, 2011 while flood waters rose in Grantham, Queensland, Mark and his Emergency Management Queensland helicopter crew from Archerfield winched 28 people to safety over a period of 2 1/2 hours. [more inside]
posted by gomichild at 12:43 PM PST - 13 comments


As Political Protests spread across the Arab world the BBC has a quick go to page for some facts.
The Guardian and BBC among others have live updates. Al Jazeera Bahrein - live and Eye on Algeria
Demographics of Arab Protests and further background from CFR.
posted by adamvasco at 11:27 AM PST - 33 comments

"An optimistic history professor and a Jewish organic farmer form a punk rock band in a UN refugee camp." -- "Three starry-eyed karaoke performers and a gay warlord start a girl's school in a Baltic village." -- "A starry-eyed high school journalism teacher and a mustachioed HAM radio operator follow their dreams on a leaky cabin cruiser." All this and more at the FALSE/FALSE FILM FEST. [more inside]
posted by philip-random at 10:41 AM PST - 30 comments

Progressive bluegrass takes the original “melting pot of American music” and infuses it with strains of punk and rock, often giving rise to performances of intense musicianship. Some of the tunes might be familiar to you, such as Crooked Still’s cover of Johnny Cash’s Ain’t No Grave, featured on the True Blood soundtrack, or their aching, gender-twisting rendition of Robert Johnson’s Come On In My Kitchen. Some might be entirely new, such as Seven Story Mountain, by Railroad Earth, or Codeine, from Trampled By Turtles. [more inside]
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 9:52 AM PST - 29 comments



According to my calculations the equivalent of at least $50,000.00 USD was obliterated in a single fleet engagement on February 14. The location was the Uemon system, which is located in everyone's favorite space sandbox - Eve Online. This fleet engagement has been dubbed the Valentine's Day Massacre by EveNews 24. Here(NSFW) is a typical Eve Online propaganda video, which also contains an example of endgame fleet warfare. (note: the fraps capture is sped up) If you want to skip the propaganda go to the 8:00 mark. Here is another example of fleet warfare. [more inside]
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 9:09 AM PST - 164 comments

Borders filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this morning, announcing it would close about 200 of its 650 or so remaining stores.
posted by stbalbach at 8:49 AM PST - 212 comments

Fileteado Porteño: whimsical, colorful, vernacular decorative graphics from Buenos Aires, Argentina. [more inside]
posted by Tom-B at 8:37 AM PST - 4 comments

"I don’t particularly care for fantasy per se. What I actually cherish is something far more rare: the elevated prose poetry, mythopoeic subcreation, and thematic richness that only the best fantasy achieves, and that echoes in important particulars the myths and fables of old. This realization eliminates, at a stroke, virtually everything written under the banner of fantasy today."
posted by never used baby shoes at 8:19 AM PST - 203 comments

In 2009, the question was asked: Can a comic book change the Middle East? [more inside]
posted by cereselle at 8:02 AM PST - 5 comments

52 Cups of Coffee: one girl's year-long experiment with caffeine and conversation. "Each week for a year, I’m having coffee with someone I don’t know and writing about what I learn along the way."
posted by chunking express at 7:12 AM PST - 94 comments

In February 2006, a group of criminals pulled off the biggest cash heist in the history of the UK, making off with £53 million pounds. To date, only £23 million of the money has been recovered. Police are understandably upset about the dead ends in the case.
posted by reenum at 6:53 AM PST - 12 comments

A perpetual motion machine based on the improbable physics of Escher's Waterfall.
posted by logicpunk at 5:25 AM PST - 72 comments

Jet Sprint: Jetsprint racing is a small V8-powered jet boat with a crew of two (a driver and a navigator) who must negotiate a set course through slough channels 12-15 feet wide and 3 feet deep at speeds up to 80 mph. The winners are those with the fastest times; the losers often don't even finish. [more inside]
posted by bwg at 5:04 AM PST - 8 comments

To be on a raft at sea is to be on a snooker table whose frame rests on a bouncy castle. Anthony Smith, age 84, is crossing the Atlantic on his raft, the An-Tiki.
posted by grounded at 12:06 AM PST - 18 comments

February 15


Can a Single Pill Change Your Life? Oprah Magazine examines recent studies on the use of MDMA (the main ingredient in Ecstasy) to combat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
posted by mannequito at 9:53 PM PST - 104 comments



Scene-by-scene summaries of Red Dawn (1, 2, 3), The Fountainhead (1, 2, 3), Left Behind (1, 2, 3), Battle In Seattle (1, 2, 3), Rambo III (1, 2, 3, 4) and This Revolution (1, 2, 3). [more inside]
posted by Theta States at 6:47 PM PST - 41 comments

Neovella lets you write collaborative stories with friends (or strangers) online. Via the Something Awful Forums
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 6:39 PM PST - 32 comments


Living Room is the latest 3D projection mapping project by Dutch group Mr. Beam, achieved with only two projectors. Many of their other projects have been on a larger scale. [previously]
posted by Partial Law at 6:04 PM PST - 4 comments

People who have been married more than fifty years kissing.
posted by twoleftfeet at 5:16 PM PST - 43 comments


Arduino plus programming plus children's electronic toy equals adorable Enigma machine! You can even make your own Enigma machine in an electronic toy body. Bonus Arduino Enigma fun: midi "enigma" machine hack, but no instructions. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 5:10 PM PST - 6 comments

... history is written by the winners. That's the philosophy behind "The Last Ringbearer," a novel set during and after the end of the War of the Ring... and told from the point of view of the losers. ... In Yeskov's retelling, the wizard Gandalf is a war-monger intent on crushing the scientific and technological initiative of Mordor and its southern allies because science "destroys the harmony of the world and dries up the souls of men!"
posted by Joe Beese at 4:42 PM PST - 90 comments


Vimeo pros and seasoned amateurs are developing the ongoing and rapidly growing project Quick Tüts, short video tutorials that usually focus on one specific skill or technique and last no more than a minute. Oftentimes Quick Tüts show you how to use readily available items in lieu of more expensive equipment, so for video creators operating on a low budget, they are especially useful. A good way to think of them is as little tricks of the trade.
posted by netbros at 3:55 PM PST - 6 comments

You have to wonder why a red-blooded American male in his prime would walk away from fame and fortune as an NFL quarterback to play handball and hang with his family and his dogs. Don't you? A profile of Jake "The Snake" Plummer.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 3:46 PM PST - 28 comments



One Day in the life of Ivan Denisovich Part 1 of 10 (youtube full movie), Ivan Denisovich is one of my favourite books and the 1970 movie is very faithful to the source. [more inside]
posted by selton at 3:02 PM PST - 7 comments

TAL says it's got Coca Cola's top-secret recipe. The radio show This American Life found a 1979 newspaper photo of a hand-written copy of John Pemberton's top-secret original Coke recipe. Presto: the secret ingredients of 7X. Coke says no way. [more inside]
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:57 PM PST - 192 comments

The Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Celexa, Effexor, Valium, Klonopin, Ativan, Restoril, Xanax, Adderall, Ritalin, Haldol, Risperdal, Seroquel, Ambien, Lunesta, Elavil, Trazodone War New York Magazine's Jennifer Senior writes on prescription drug (ab)use among soldiers and veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 11:30 AM PST - 50 comments

"During the competition, each of four judges will type a conversation with one of us for five minutes, then the other, and then will have 10 minutes to reflect and decide which one is the human. Judges will also rank all the contestants—this is used in part as a tiebreaking measure. The computer program receiving the most votes and highest ranking from the judges (regardless of whether it passes the Turing Test by fooling 30 percent of them) is awarded the title of the Most Human Computer. It is this title that the research teams are all gunning for, the one with the cash prize (usually $3,000), the one with which most everyone involved in the contest is principally concerned. But there is also, intriguingly, another title, one given to the confederate who is most convincing: the Most Human Human award." [more inside]
posted by jng at 11:16 AM PST - 36 comments

Large audio archive of Wallace Stevens reading from his poems. Other Stevens links: several poem texts with annotation; many more of the poems; his letters on Google Books (full view).
posted by Paquda at 11:11 AM PST - 8 comments

Scientists confirm what many New Yorkers already know. Sidewalk rage is real.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:23 AM PST - 309 comments

Wind and Water: Puzzle Battles is a charming puzzle game developed in Costa Rica that pays homage to games like Puzzle Fighters, Super Mario World and Bejeweled. Available for free on PC (Windows & Linux). (via DIYGamer)
posted by Memo at 10:11 AM PST - 16 comments

Ken Robinson: Changing Education Paradigms "In this talk from RSA Animate, Sir Ken Robinson lays out the link between 3 troubling trends: rising drop-out rates, schools' dwindling stake in the arts, and ADHD."
posted by pick_the_flowers at 10:06 AM PST - 14 comments

Apple has launched App Store subscriptions for digital content, something that should please magazine publishers looking for a non-print business model. However there is a sting in the tail - publishers must go through Apple, paying the 30% "Apple tax".
posted by Artw at 9:30 AM PST - 394 comments

SPENT is a flash game (or an immersive online experience depending on who you ask) that challenges players to survive poverty and see first-hand that homelessness is just a shortfall away. Created in partnership with Urban Ministries of Durham and containing scenarios commonly faced (pdf) by the working poor, it may not tell people anything they don't already know, but is a creative use of gaming and social media to raise awareness and bring in donors.
posted by ND¢ at 9:26 AM PST - 47 comments

The Patriot Act lives! The US House of Representatives has agreed to extend some of surveillance powers granted by the 2001 Patriot Act after the 9/11 attacks. In a 275-144 vote, the chamber voted to extend until December provisions on wiretaps, access to business records and surveillance of terror suspects.
posted by Philipschall at 9:24 AM PST - 39 comments


After the first night, IBM's Watson has only played a single round of Jeopardy, and could be doing better. Stephen Baker (who wrote the book on this) and David Ferrucci (the project's chief scientist) analyze some of his mistakes. After his career as a game show contestant is over, will Watson be up for a role on House?
posted by jacquilynne at 9:15 AM PST - 97 comments

In 1969, a psychedelic rock group from around Scranton, PA released an album featuring lyrics by Edgar Allan Poe. [more inside]
posted by Gordafarin at 7:58 AM PST - 6 comments

Photographer Irna Werning's project, 'Back to the Future' recreates classic childhood snapshots 20-40 years later, using the same settings, subjects, and clothing. Zefrank's Young Me Now Me (previously) is a much more extensive crowdsourced version of the same concept. (via BB. One photo very slightly NSFW)
posted by schmod at 7:25 AM PST - 15 comments


PC Gamer: Do you still think social games are “evil” then?
Jonathan Blow: Yes. Absolutely. [T]he general definition of evil in the real world, where there isn’t like the villain in the mountain fortress, is selfishness to the detriment of others or to the detriment of the world. And that’s exactly what [most of these games are].
posted by Rory Marinich at 6:55 AM PST - 133 comments

Despite the recent outrage over Congressional attempts to "redefine rape" for the purpose of abortion funding, South Dakota's legislature has stepped the controversy up even further: a party-line panel has sent to the floor for a full vote HB 1171 - "An Act to expand the definition of justifiable homicide to provide for the protection of certain unborn children." Mother Jones considers the legal potential: "This could make it legal to kill doctors who perform abortions."
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:00 AM PST - 279 comments

Protests erupt in Bahrain. [more inside]
posted by asymptotic at 5:47 AM PST - 54 comments

And the winner of the Good Sex Award is... "...recognizing the best sex writing in fiction from the past year. We've [salon.com] convened a panel of literary star judges -- Walter Kirn, Maud Newton, Louis Bayard and Salon's own Laura Miller -- to reward the best-written, most interesting and most convincing piece of sex writing published in a novel in 2010." No 2., No. 3, No. 4, No.5, No. 6, No. 7, No. 8. The 2010 Bad Sex Award Winner.
posted by Fizz at 4:28 AM PST - 15 comments

Estranged Sex, by photographer Sandra Torralba (extremely NSFW). "With a broad and holistic understanding of sexuality and sex and after years of honest and stark introspection and reflection upon existence and society begins “Estranged Sex”: a work about a sexuality that is both strange and estranged, natural and alienated." [more inside]
posted by bwg at 3:15 AM PST - 45 comments

Emily Carroll (previously and previouslier) has released a sweet new comic for Valentine's Day: Anu-Anulan & Yir's Daughter.
posted by overglow at 12:35 AM PST - 12 comments

February 14

Perhaps you remember him as the esteemed author of sure-fire flop Springtime for Hitler, or as an inspector with an artificial arm in Young Frankenstein, or maybe even for his impersonation of Henry Kissinger singing Bachman-Turner Overdrive's Takin' Care of Business ( I must hear this. I must.) Maybe you don't remember him at all, as he was a prolific voice actor and character actor. A That Guy. But if you do remember him, you probably remember him making you laugh really, really hard, which is a wonderful thing to be remembered for. I am sad to report that Kenneth Mars passed away on Saturday, February 12th, from pancreatic cancer.
posted by louche mustachio at 10:56 PM PST - 45 comments


Symmetry: Photographer Julian Wolkenstein offers an app for bisecting your image and producing two symmetrical images of each distinct half. The resulting images may be uploaded to his website. It has been suggested that bodily symmetry in humans correlates to intelligence, orgasmic elicitation, and perceived sexual attractiveness. Other tools exist for playing with this particular quality: Symmetry.
posted by darth_tedious at 9:29 PM PST - 18 comments

You may have seen the Chrysler commercial during the Super Bowl that featured a hip hop act, with the narrator going on about how outsiders didn't know anything about a certain city in Michigan? But we're not talking about that Detroit City, we're talking about this Detroit CYDI. Yeah Bitch. [more inside]
posted by cashman at 8:45 PM PST - 19 comments

In my younger and more vulnerable years I might have really enjoyed playing The Great Gatsby on the Nintendo Entertainment System. If you think you have what it takes to fight gangsters and advertisements and hobos, you might, too.
posted by synecdoche at 7:39 PM PST - 46 comments

Our solar system may have a ninth planet -- or a tenth, if you're a Pluto sentimentalist. Tyche, which astronomers suspect lurks in the Oort cloud, fifteen thousand times farther away from the sun than the Earth, is thought to be a gas giant four times the size of Jupiter. We may know for sure in April.
posted by eugenen at 6:30 PM PST - 99 comments

"Welcome to the Zion Archive. You have selected Historical File #12-1: The Second Renaissance." So begins the short film of the same name by Mahiro Maeda [Flash: 1 2 - QuickTime: 1 2] -- a devastating yet beautiful work of animation. Originally produced to explain the backstory behind the Matrix trilogy, Maeda's project ended up telling a story far darker and more affecting than any blockbuster. Using a blend of faux documentary footage and visual metaphor, his serene Instructor relates in biblical tones the saga of Man and Machine, how age-old cruelty and hatred birthed a horrifying, apocalyptic struggle that consumed the world. Packed with striking imagery and historical allusions galore, this dark allegory easily transcends the films it was made for. But while "The Second Renaissance" is arguably the best work to come from the Matrix franchise, it's hardly alone -- it's just one of the projects made for The Animatrix, a collection of nine superb anime films in a wide variety of styles designed to explore the universe and broaden its scope beyond the usual sci-fi action of the movies. Click inside for a guide to these films with links to where they can be watched online, along with a look at The Matrix Comics, a free series of comics, art, and short fiction created for the same purpose by some of the best talent in the business. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi at 5:40 PM PST - 54 comments


Sunspot 1158 is acting up. It looks like one of the more active sunspots in the current cycle has erupted with a series of (relatively) rapid-fire solar flares, pointing directly at the Earth. It looks like this evening/tomorrow morning will be prime-time for looking north if you are as far south as, oh maybe Wisconsin or so. You can hear the flares, too.
posted by pjern at 5:32 PM PST - 30 comments

eMusic has a collection of more than 50 artists reflecting on love songs, from Andreya Triana (Coldplay's "Yellow" reminds of her first love and heartbreak), to Yuki Chikudate (from Asobi Seksu) (Debbie Gibson's "Lost in Your Eyes" brings back the innocent early-elementary school crushes), and Dan Deacon (who heard Yo La Tengo's "Shadows" after a sucky breakup). All songs mentioned are linked below the break. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 5:09 PM PST - 5 comments

"In 2006 I was invited to take part in one of the great adventures of modern broadcasting – conquering the booming Russian television market." Peter Pomerantsev remembers his time in the Russian television industry. [more inside]
posted by vidur at 5:00 PM PST - 14 comments


This is a short history and background of the Macintosh research project on the eve of its becoming a product.
posted by Joe Beese at 4:19 PM PST - 12 comments

"The result is almost unprecedented in film studies, I think: an effort to test a critic’s analysis against measurable effects of a movie." - Watching You Watch There Will Be Blood [more inside]
posted by brundlefly at 3:22 PM PST - 41 comments

superharmony.com... where Love is Super
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:51 PM PST - 12 comments

The Content Farm is a not-very-subtle satire of The New Web Journalism (currently accepting submissions*) which got a surprising bit of (not good?) publicity by being used as an 'example' in Google's announcement of its Content Farm Blocking Chrome Extension. Why did it get singled out? Why not this Content Farm? [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:36 PM PST - 43 comments

A newfound chemical drives male squid berserk, and the molecule appears similar to ones seen in humans, scientists now say. (Previously)
posted by ActingTheGoat at 1:34 PM PST - 79 comments

Composer Samson Young leads an impromptu iPhone orchestra in one of his pattern sequencer compositions at the 2009 Hong Kong Biennale, and once more here at the Hong Kong Art Fair 2010.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:10 PM PST - 2 comments

LOST Magazine covers things abandoned, displaced, and lost, with many issues covering a particular theme: food, money, sounds, print, lost in space, at sea. Other issues are collections of journalism, memoir, poetry, photography, and fiction: first-person accounts of lost memories, diary entries, crime scenes, ruins, languages, relics and lost species, among many others. [more inside]
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 12:34 PM PST - 7 comments



The new Egyptian régime blows its chance to legitimately use the Papyrus font. The Egyptian president’s official site (for standardistas: HTML 3.2 with no language declared!) squanders a chance at typographic symbolism, Typophile explains: “Unfortunately, they had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to legitimately use Papyrus and they blew it. Instead it’s Algerian.” (Type specimens: Papyrus; Algerian. Cf. Papyrus Watch [previously].)
posted by joeclark at 10:56 AM PST - 71 comments

Jazz piano great Sir George Shearing has died at 91. [more inside]
posted by Bromius at 10:39 AM PST - 27 comments

The landmark Blackstone Hotel in downtown Chicago, which has hosted 12 U.S. presidents, opened in 2008 after a two-year, $116 million renovation. Inside the Beaux Arts structure, built in 1910, buffed marble staircases greet guests spending up to $699 a night for rooms with views of Lake Michigan. What’s surprising isn’t the opulent makeover: It’s how the project was financed. The work was subsidized by a federal development program intended to help poor communities.
posted by hippybear at 10:24 AM PST - 35 comments

Chase Britton was born without a cerebellum. And doctors are stunned by his ability to live a relatively normal life for a three year old. Chase was born prematurely and is also legally blind.
posted by zizzle at 10:14 AM PST - 63 comments

GLOBALTIMOTO - one man, on a motorcycle, around the world, in a quest for gameplay.
posted by jtron at 10:13 AM PST - 1 comments

Last February work was completed on the South Pole Station. Curious how all that material gets to the bottom of the world? Not enough time to sit through YouTube goodness? Catch up on the latest research or just get a dose of cuteness. (my first post here...go easy on me!)
posted by ironbob at 10:06 AM PST - 20 comments

Reelizer is a curated collection of re-imagined movie posters.
posted by Memo at 9:25 AM PST - 15 comments

Introducing the Nautilus-X MMSEV, a manned deep space craft proposed by a team at NASA's Johnson Space Centre.
posted by Artw at 9:25 AM PST - 34 comments

Rejoice! Bradford Cox (of Atlas Sound) has released not one, but four albums for free download.
Bedroom Databank vol 1 + Bedroom Databank vol 2 + Bedroom Databank vol 3 + Bedroom Databank vol 4
posted by dunkadunc at 9:00 AM PST - 16 comments

Imagine your hometown never changed. That no one ever grew old or moved on. Part book, part film, part family photo album, Welcome to Pine Point unearths a place frozen in time and discovers what happens when an entire community is erased from the map. [Autoplaying music/film in links] [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:14 AM PST - 26 comments

Short Film: The Secret Life of a Suitcase. [SL]
posted by rageagainsttherobots at 7:34 AM PST - 9 comments

“This house believes that the global elite serve the masses.” The Economist’s latest online debate questions the role of the global elite in western society.
posted by londonmark at 7:23 AM PST - 43 comments

A list of warning signs that your opinions function more to signal loyalty and ability than to estimate truth. (Previously)
posted by anotherpanacea at 6:21 AM PST - 100 comments

By day, Phideaux Xavier directs soap operas such as General Hospital and Days of Our Lives. By night, alongside singer Valerie Gracious, sax player Johnny Unicorn, the rest of his 10-piece band, and accompanied by his "pesky orchestra", Phideaux creates funny, serious, doomy, derivative, innovative, pretentious, goth-tinged space folk "prog" rock. Witness — Part 1: Micro Softdeathstar. Part 2: Microdeath Softstar
posted by Khalad at 4:56 AM PST - 9 comments

Once again, Radiohead give the music industry a monkey rub by announcing today that their next record - 'The King of Limbs' - is complete and will be available for download in less than 1 week's time. This time with Prix Fixe pre-order.
posted by robself at 4:30 AM PST - 253 comments

The opening of a hotel doesn't normally excite me like this. But anyone who has passed near Kings Cross/St Pancras, London will quite likely share my intrigue with this extraordinary building that has been closed to the public for a generation. [more inside]
posted by Neil Hunt at 3:51 AM PST - 30 comments

NintendoFilter: Remi Kart: Mario Kart in the streets and grocery stores of France (via). The Legend of Zelda as a 1980s teen movie (via).
posted by NoraReed at 1:32 AM PST - 17 comments

February 13

Recreate a part of history in High Tea, a game where you trade Indian opium in China to supply tea to England. Part of the High Society exhibit at Wellcome Collection. [more inside]
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:20 PM PST - 39 comments

Baba Yetu, the much-loved theme song from Civilization IV, has won a Grammy - making it the first piece written for a video game ever to get the nod. [more inside]
posted by bicyclefish at 6:45 PM PST - 85 comments

Exactly ninety years ago today jazz saxophonist Wardell Gray was born. While never a household name, among enthusiasts Gray is remembered as a gifted bebop soloist with a relaxed style and warm tone. Here he is playing Taking a Chance on Love (1952), Blue Lou (1948?), A Sinner Kissed An Angel (1950), One for Prez (1946), The Squirrel, & w/Dexter Gordon on The Chase (1952; Gray takes the 2nd solo). [more inside]
posted by The Emperor of Ice Cream at 6:05 PM PST - 11 comments

Interactive map of direct grants by U.S. grantmakers to non-U.S. recipients. Sort by country, grant organization, year, number of recipients, dollars and other ways. 2003-2011.
posted by cashman at 5:54 PM PST - 28 comments

Is this the future in personal assistants? "The remarkable thing is that not only did the Anybot make it all the way to the coffee shop on its own [sic] but the Anybot was actually given service!" Could further development, crossed with visual interfaces such as Kinect lead us to the Bruce Willis' Surrogates and isolate us or is it the beginning of the uprising?
posted by deemer at 4:52 PM PST - 57 comments

Shot with a Canon 5D MarkII at high shutter speeds, this video of a bassist's hand movements show a frequency that results in amazing string wobble (Vimeo; 1.11).
posted by bwg at 4:33 PM PST - 70 comments

Mathematical logician Asaaf Peretz discusses his new "Social Thinking" site THINQon. [more inside]
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:38 PM PST - 20 comments

Have you heard about face yoga? [odd SLYT]
posted by defenestration at 3:22 PM PST - 35 comments

(Warning: several-hour documentaries ahead)
Peter Joseph, the creator of the 2007 hit conspiracy documentary Zeitgeist, has come a long way from pleading 9/11 truth, attacking the foundations of Christianity, and warning of one-world governments. In his 2009 sequel, Zeitgeist: Addendum, Joseph steers away from the "man behind the curtain" theme and centers the film around a radically different thesis: money is obsolete, technology is our future, and society must be redesigned. Addendum has enjoyed a dose of mainstream discussion, but Peter ain't done.
Now it's 2011, and Joseph's third and completing installment, Zeitgeist: Moving Forward, opened with 314 screenings world wide, and the film bears even less resemblance to its grandparent. Who is this Peter Joseph guy, anyway? [more inside]
posted by Taft at 3:10 PM PST - 89 comments

The IceCube Neutrino Observatory has been completed in Antarctica. What is a Neutrino anyway? Here is an informative video, which seems to draw at least some inspiration from this(NSFW), that explains what neutrinos are and how we can detect them.(via) [more inside]
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 2:24 PM PST - 32 comments

200 romantic songs for a Valentine's Day themed playlist on YouTube, as suggested by readers of The J-Walk blog. 12 hours worth of many obvious choices, combined with just as many sweet surprises
posted by growabrain at 12:41 PM PST - 24 comments

A brief survey of remarkable grottos: some, like the Nottingham Limestone Caves, have been expanded over time by human habitation and digitally surveyed in high resolution. Some have been turned into temples or castles. Sometimes they are at the bottom of the world, beneath Mount Erebus.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 12:09 PM PST - 22 comments

As California goes, so goes the country, they used to say. Well, yikes. Golden State, an n+1 piece by Nikil Saval, presents a bleak picture of paralysis and conflicted interests that has rendered "The Bellwether State" all but inoperable. (via Arts & Letters Daily)
posted by Trochanter at 11:35 AM PST - 97 comments

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker says the National Guard is prepared to respond to unrest among state workers: "Gov. Scott Walker says the Wisconsin National Guard is prepared to respond if there is any unrest among state employees in the wake of his announcement that he wants to take away nearly all collective bargaining rights." NY Times offers more reporting on Walker's proposals here. Notably, Walker is reportedly refusing even to negotiate with the public employee unions. Though Walker's carefully worded announcement avoided any specific commitments about how guard troops might be used much beyond noting the Wisconsin Governor's concern that "some union leaders will try to incite their members," a look back at the history of the labor movement in the US reveals that this wouldn't be the first time in US history the National Guard has been called upon to respond to labor unrest, and that the results haven't always been pretty. [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman at 11:25 AM PST - 222 comments

Wake Forest University's slogan for their baseball team in 2011 is 'What are you willing to sacrifice to help make this team better?' "Head coach Tom Walter's intent was to have his players thinking about sacrifice bunts, moving runners over, and giving up personal glory to help the Demon Deacons improve as a team. But what Walter chose to sacrifice is greater than simply hanging in on a curve ball and taking one for the team. Walter gave up a kidney." [more inside]
posted by zarq at 11:23 AM PST - 6 comments


If you've ever been grateful for the abundance of delicious beer that's popped up in the last few decades, raise a glass to Don Younger today at three. [more inside]
posted by twjordan at 10:19 AM PST - 28 comments


The lemurs are hungry, a new food blog "in search of deliciousness from Malaysia to Mexico", features some great writing and photography, but more shockingly manages to obtain good Mexican food in the UK, something that has been previously hard to find or outright horrible, despite attempts to claim 'the Julia Child of Mexican Cuisine' as a Brit.
posted by Artw at 8:46 AM PST - 51 comments

Geert Chatrou is a whistling maestro. Mozart's Queen of the Night | Czardas Monti. Other amazing whistling and whistlers inside. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 7:58 AM PST - 11 comments

"I am someone who has never taken an art class in my life...I didn't think I had an artistic bone in my body and never thought of myself as creative." Neat book art made with folds and an exacto knife from Isaac Salazar, who, according to his Flickr bio, is an accountant in New Mexico. [Via boingboing and Core77] [more inside]
posted by mediareport at 7:32 AM PST - 17 comments

The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, or The GOASTT to its friends, is a band consisting of musical and romantic partners Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl. Their music is melancholy and slightly off-kilter. While their stage act has tended toward layered electronic effects, they got back to their roots with their (nearly) full-length album, The Acoustic Sessions. The name of the band is taken from a story that Muhl wrote as a child. [more inside]
posted by adamrice at 7:18 AM PST - 11 comments

Winston Burdett, one of the original Murrow's Boys, was a reporter for CBS Radio. He covered World War II, the invasion of Norway, the Axis retreat in North Africa (mp3), the invasion of Sicily (mp3), the invasion of Italy (mp3) and the capture of Rome (mp3). But from 1940 - 1942 Winston Burdett was also a spy for the Soviet Union. [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor at 3:37 AM PST - 3 comments


"What's Your English?" - A Youtube rhyme-off between the British Professor Elemental and the Canadian Baba Brinkman regarding the commonalities and differences between variations on the English language, courtesy of the Macmillan Dictionary. (Previous Brinkman, Previous Elemental)
posted by Katemonkey at 12:36 AM PST - 24 comments

That's Life -- The aftermath of a night out. (VERY NOT SAFE FOR WORK!!! or lunch)
posted by empath at 12:20 AM PST - 50 comments

February 12

In 1993, after aid worker Bill Carter told them about the situation in Sarajevo, U2 wanted to play a concert there, but realized it would be impractical and dangerous for both the band and the people of Sarajevo. But Bono promised that U2 would play the city one day. (He also set up a satellite link to Sarajevo in the middle of Zooropa concerts.) On September 23, 1997, a year after the official end of the siege, U2 kept that promise. [more inside]
posted by kmz at 10:25 PM PST - 49 comments

Sabermetrician in Exile. Voros McCracken's radical idea -- that pitchers have very little ability to induce batters to hit into outs, and succeed mostly insofar as they can strike out a lot of hitters and give up few home runs and walks -- has changed the way baseball teams are constructed. (Heard of BABIP? That's him.) Every major league team has employees who rely on McCracken's insights. McCracken, struggling to make his rent in suburban Phoenix, isn't one of them.
posted by escabeche at 8:01 PM PST - 20 comments

Starship Schematics Database: dedicated to the sole purpose of archiving every single starship design ever conceived in the Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Babylon 5, and Space Battleship Yamato (A.K.A. Star Blazers in the USA) Universes, both official and unofficial, interesting and mediocre.
posted by Joe Beese at 7:17 PM PST - 35 comments

A reader asks Rumpus columnist Sugar, "what would you tell your 20-something self if you could talk to her now?" "Tiny Beautiful Things," column number 64, answers that question.
posted by liketitanic at 7:03 PM PST - 79 comments

Forever Alone? No one to talk to? Not anymore! Cleverbot is chatbot AI that learns from people and provides a surprisingly realistic simulation of inane chatter. It's also a Beatles fan. [more inside]
posted by The Whelk at 5:05 PM PST - 124 comments

Hello, I am fat. This is my body (over there—see it?). I have lived in this body my whole life. I have wanted to change this body my whole life. I have never wanted anything as much as I have wanted a new body. I am aware every day that other people find my body disgusting. I always thought that some day—when I finally stop failing—I will become smaller, and when I become smaller literally everything will get better (I've heard It Gets Better)! My life can begin!
posted by fernabelle at 5:01 PM PST - 580 comments


Psychedelic painting done just a bit differently: Tall Painting | Time Lapses | Paint Montage. All available in 1080p HD by Holton Rower.
posted by netbros at 4:48 PM PST - 10 comments

The largest model railway layout in the world, Hamburg's Miniatur Wunderland has been featured here before. Featuring areas modelled on real life attractions, it also is home to the fictional town of Knuffingen where the 200,000 mini-inhabitants are very much looking forward to the opening of their new airport. [more inside]
posted by jontyjago at 4:20 PM PST - 15 comments

An Urban Teacher's Education is a intelligent, touching and very personal blog about the challenges that a high school teacher faces in the Bronx. [via]
posted by Foci for Analysis at 2:03 PM PST - 14 comments

In November, the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency accepted a bid from Kennerly Architecture and Planning for an affordable housing complex at Sixth Street and Howard. The plans for the new building (PDF) are striking, but fans of public art will notice that a few things are missing. [more inside]
posted by roll truck roll at 1:52 PM PST - 17 comments

How Small, Mostly Conservative Towns Have Found the Trick to Defeating Corporations. 'As the Right pushes privatization as a solution to the economic collapse, one organization is teaching communities how to defeat corporations.''For the past 30 years, there has been a deliberate effort to deregulate industry and to choke off federal support for public services and public spaces, paving the way for greater corporate control.''The goal is the same as it's been for decades: "The elimination of the public sphere, total liberation for corporations and skeletal social spending," 'One of the places where this strategy can be most detrimental is the corporate takeover of public water sources and infrastructure, which is elemental to our survival.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 1:05 PM PST - 60 comments

There is No Such Thing as a Girl Gamer, says Hellchick, a veteran game developer that happens to be of the girl gender. There are no "girl gamers," she says, but there are gamers that happen to be girls, and anyway, it shouldn't matter either way. "It’s not my responsibility to wear some kind of online burka because you lack the maturity to handle the mere presence of a woman in your game."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:11 PM PST - 79 comments


Face Research (previously) averaged faces of women from 41 countries to create the "average" face in each country. [more inside]
posted by quiet coyote at 9:34 AM PST - 57 comments

Modern mainstream video games tend to be about framerates and millions of polygons per second. But it is possible to play games that have hardly any graphics at all: audio-only games like Papa Sangre, designed for iOS devices, being the most recent example of the genre (and with binaural audio, probably the most ambitious). There are others: In The Pit for Xbox 360 (or a PC with a 360 wired controller) [previously], the (sadly incomplete) Cadet 277 for PC and Mac, and SoundVoyager, released in 2006 for the Nintendo. More at the Experimental Gameplay Project.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 8:08 AM PST - 14 comments

Dan Harmon is the creator of the brilliant NBC comedy Community. He recorded a bunch of videos promoting the show on this brilliant promotional site (playing Patrick Isakson, Dean of Admissions). He was not happy when Community moved to 8PM Thursdays. (He talks to himself a lot.) Community's Dungeons and Dragons episode last week (warning: Hulu link) was pretty great, but did you know that Harmon was a member of the Dead Alewives, and wrote and voiced characters in this classic D&D sketch? Here's that sketch's lesser-known second part.
posted by Rory Marinich at 7:42 AM PST - 97 comments


I’m Jonathan Klinger and I’m spending one full year driving a 1930 Model A everywhere I go. (Starting October 13, 2010) Why? Because not everything a person owns should contain a computer. 365 days of A
posted by fixedgear at 7:00 AM PST - 38 comments

Andy Carvin hasn't slept much for the last 19 days. Curation of news, social media, and rumor: is this the future of journalism? The story of @acarvin. [more inside]
posted by k8t at 6:04 AM PST - 22 comments

Build Robocop in Detroit! Part man, part machine, all crowd funded!
posted by Fizz at 5:44 AM PST - 35 comments

Attorney-General, John Hatzistergos, backs a NSW law that allows private schools to expel gay students simply for being gay. "But the churches are now divided. The Anglican bishop of South Sydney, Robert Forsyth, told the Herald: 'I don't think our schools would want to use it.'"
posted by rodgerd at 2:51 AM PST - 40 comments

Reality Touch Theatre at the University of Groningen: "... we turned our existing 3D theatre with a big cylindrical screen into one that can detect 100+ simultaneous touches." [more inside]
posted by bwg at 12:53 AM PST - 4 comments

Smart Pretty and Awkward is a daily blog in which Molly Ford shares advice on how to be smarter, prettier, and (less) awkward.
posted by jouir at 12:00 AM PST - 25 comments

February 11



Should you date an illiterate girl or should you date a girl who reads?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 6:24 PM PST - 160 comments


Amazon.com's state sales tax fight took a dramatic turn as plans were announced to close the online retailer's Irving, Texas distribution center by April 12. Amazon would not confirm the total number of employees who worked at the fulfillment center, but did announce plans to offer positions in other states to employees willing to relocate. Amazon blames the closure on Texas' "unfavorable regulatory climate." [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus at 2:25 PM PST - 218 comments

Tickets went on sale this morning for LCD Soundsytems purported last show at Madison Square Garden. The show sold out within seconds, and interestingly enough, few fans got tickets. Not to worry, because there are now endless tickets on StubHub, and if you hurry, it won't set you back more than $10,000 a ticket for general admission pit tickets. James Murphy isn't amused.
posted by rtimmel at 12:07 PM PST - 142 comments

Cheating, Incorporated: The Infidelity Economy. "Looking to sneak around on your spouse? Got a little cash to spend? The CEO of Ashley Madison, a website whose own backers don't even want to be associated with, is happy to take your money." (Previously on MeFi) [more inside]
posted by zarq at 11:20 AM PST - 69 comments

The External World. (nsfw)
posted by naju at 10:43 AM PST - 26 comments

Thirty years ago this week the song that arguably defined the eighties' drum sound was released. Phil Collins' debut solo album Face Value, released February 9, 1981, contained the opening track In The Air Tonight. [more inside]
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:19 AM PST - 156 comments

Gaku Nakagawa was born in the temple Zuisenji, Kyoto in 1966. He studied Buddhist art at university and worked as a copywriter after graduation. He is also a monk of the Jyodousyu sect. Since 1996 he has worked as an illustrator, producing images that are described as informal yet truly sophisticated, if similar to some 1950's illustration. His work appears in Monocle's animated 50 Things to Improve the Way You Live (Flash interface), at the Welsh Assembly website: Your Assembly (6mb pdf), and elsewhere like the outside of Heartwood Cafe. He also illustrated a children's book, Ice Cream Once a Year. You can get some of his illustrations in a zip file.
posted by cashman at 10:08 AM PST - 10 comments

Donnie Moore was the California Angels' relief ace in 1986. After he gave up a home run that began the Angels' collapse in the ALCS, Moore's life and psyche steadily deteriorated, until he committed suicide in 1989. Steve Hofstetter wrote about Moore and the divergent paths taken by other athletes in similar situations.
posted by reenum at 8:23 AM PST - 17 comments

Richard Sullivan has posted the 16mm color footage his father shot of the "spontaneous celebrations that broke out upon first hearing news of the Japanese surrender" on Kalakaua Ave in Waikiki on August 14th, 1945.
posted by zzazazz at 8:04 AM PST - 44 comments

Wetten Dass..? (Wanna Bet..?) is a long running German language television show where ordinary people are challenged to perform incredible stunts. While a celebrity panel looks on, someone might climb up a tower using a back-hoe. Or maybe someone could carve a pumpkin into a boat and paddle it across a lake. Many of the challenges involve people identifying things in strange ways. This girl identifies Lego Star Wars minifigs using only her mouth. This guy identifies varieties of canned sausage by tasting the juice. Other tasks show off unique physical talents, like this guy, who changes his clothes while running backwards on a treadmill, or these amazing people, who change a tire on a motorcycle while popping a wheelie on the SAME motorcycle. They don't always succeed, but it's almost always entertaining, and thanks to the official Wetten Dass..? YouTube channel you can see even more people doing crazy stuff. 63 more clips under the fold. [more inside]
posted by arcolz at 7:42 AM PST - 43 comments

The Gospel According to Floyd
posted by JeffL at 7:28 AM PST - 27 comments

It's cold outside... So where's the global warming? Should Donald Trump Run For President? [more inside]
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:55 AM PST - 102 comments

Failure Magazine – no, not this – is a constantly updated gallery of articles focused on failure: of conceptions of history, eschatology, morality, acoustics and urban planning, among many other topics. [more inside]
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 6:20 AM PST - 4 comments

Martin Amis hates children, ok, not children but children's literature. "People ask me if I ever thought of writing a children's book," Amis said, in a sideways excursion from a chat about John Self, the antihero of his 1984 novel Money. "I say, 'If I had a serious brain injury I might well write a children's book', but otherwise the idea of being conscious of who you're directing the story to is anathema to me, because, in my view, fiction is freedom and any restraints on that are intolerable." Remarks about children's books made by Martin Amis on the BBC's new book programme Faulks on Fiction, broadcast this week, have caused anger and offence among children's writers.
posted by Fizz at 5:13 AM PST - 111 comments

Hipsters! Feeling less unique now everyone has a fixie? Don't worry, $27,000 will guarantee you peace of mind. (via @lancearmstrong).
posted by KirkpatrickMac at 3:40 AM PST - 93 comments

Nokia and Microsoft Corp announce a strategic partnership which will see Windows Mobile becoming the system of choice on all Nokia smartphones. While not entirely unexpected, this move appears to smack of desperation. Is it a clever marriage of convenience, or a shotgun wedding doomed to failure? Comments on the Nokia Developer's Forum suggest the latter.
posted by Duug at 2:34 AM PST - 183 comments

What the Chinese Guy Said. Jia Wei is currently doing a six-month internship at Dawn, one of Pakistan's leading English dailies. This is his blog.
posted by bardophile at 1:24 AM PST - 21 comments

February 10


Rod Hilton has been "editing" and abridging movie scripts since 1998 (first script: Godzilla). In all this time, he has given 5 stars to only six movies: Saving Private Ryan; The Matrix; Being John Malkovich; Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back; The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King; and Inception. (Previously)
posted by vidur at 10:41 PM PST - 23 comments

Wall scratching as an art form. Alexandre Farto (aka Vhils) is a Portuguese street artist living in London. This is his art project called “Walls – Scratching the surface”. He makes impressive portraits by scratching the surface of old walls in Moscow, Rome, London, New York and Portugal. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 10:15 PM PST - 8 comments

The Economist Intelligence Unit recently presented a 6 minute animated infographic summary of their global Women’s Economic Opportunity Index as designed by data visualisation agency JESS3. [more inside]
posted by jzed at 8:42 PM PST - 9 comments

The OPOC engine reignites internal combustion. A new engine company from the Detroit area, Ecomotors, has developed a smaller, cooler, quieter, lighter, stronger, and more efficient power plant for the vehicle of your choice, military or civilian. Bill Gates has $23 million invested. [more inside]
posted by Brian B. at 7:56 PM PST - 59 comments

Sou Ootsuki has recently posted a new version of his wildly popular video* for Nujabes'* "Luv(sic) Pt.2". This time, rather than the streets of Japan, he filmed it in the villages of Cambodia. The result is similar, yet very, very different.
posted by Toekneesan at 7:11 PM PST - 7 comments

One of the surprise stories of the NBA season has been the effective play of New York Knicks rookie Landry Fields. After four years at Stanford, his draft selection was at the time mocked, booed, and met with skepticism, but now he has Spike Lee sporting his jersey at nearly every Knicks game.

Non-sports fans may be more interested to know that he appears to be a World of Warcraft fan. [more inside]
posted by jng at 6:26 PM PST - 42 comments

"Ramen Music hand-picks the best new tracks from independent & underground artists, simmers on low, and delivers beautiful online issues every 2 months." Issue #1 is free, available as a sample.
posted by Memo at 5:47 PM PST - 13 comments

Christian Hubert designs beautiful residential spaces, like this fantastic 10,000 square foot home, and chic commercial projects. He design aesthetics are sensitive to the relation between art and architecture, and he has worked on some wonderful galleries and exhibition spaces. His practice is informed by a thorough knowledge of philosophy, and his site includes a comprehensive and accessibly written encyclopedia on important concepts in art, aesthetics, and critical theory.
posted by Saxon Kane at 5:32 PM PST - 15 comments

The CBC Radio 3 Digital Magazine ran from November 2002 until March 2005, garnering numerous accolades in Canada and abroad with its unique blend of music, journalism, literature and photography. Here is the complete archive of 105 issues. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 3:07 PM PST - 13 comments

Geeks Trading Punches, Captured on Film: Oft-publicized Gentleman's Fight Club endures, and is now captured in a ten-minute film. Previously on MeFi.
posted by darth_tedious at 3:01 PM PST - 56 comments

Book Shrink tries to pick out the sentences of an input text that are most representative of the text as a whole; that is to say, find the essence of a text. [more inside]
posted by Foci for Analysis at 2:47 PM PST - 39 comments

Weezer has recorded a full-length cover version of Barry Manilow's "like a good neighbor" State Farm insurance jingle. [more inside]
posted by mintcake! at 2:02 PM PST - 84 comments

The Complete Oral History of Party Down (printable/single page) [more inside]
posted by AceRock at 1:43 PM PST - 58 comments

Nicaraguan Sign Language is a unique language, created by school children in the late 1970s and early 1980s, who previously had minimal success at being taught to lip-read and speak Spanish. This community has been studied as an example of the birth of a language from its beginning (PDF). A recent study has investigated the ability for those who speak Nicaraguan Sign Language to express exact, large numbers. Unlike the Pirahã people of the Amazon (previously) who may not have the need for specificity in large numbers, the deaf in Nicaragua are surrounded by a culture that interacts in specific numbers, yet it appears they lack accuracy with numbers higher than three or four. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 12:41 PM PST - 21 comments

“Is it possible to talk you out of doing a live action movie adaptation? Would you consider doing a traditionally animated adaptation? In my heart I think the musical needs the medium, and I think the medium needs your musical. I just love them both so much and hopefully that shows through in the story reel.” [more inside]
posted by kipmanley at 12:01 PM PST - 50 comments

CCTV footage released of 'polite robber' hold up A so called 'polite robber', has been filmed on CCTV holding up a petrol station in Seattle. The robber, who appears to be armed with a gun, asks the cashier, "Could you do me a favour? Empty the till for me please and put it right here. I am robbing you sir."
posted by Felex at 10:52 AM PST - 57 comments

What does the future of electricity hold? Microbial Fuel Cells? How about a carnivorous clock?
posted by The Whelk at 10:46 AM PST - 19 comments

A look back at 1971's "Albert Brooks' Famous School for Comedians," a founding document for a generation of humorists. [more inside]
posted by Iridic at 10:38 AM PST - 14 comments

What distinguishes great entrepreneurs? "Discussions of entrepreneurial psychology typically focus on creativity, tolerance for risk, and the desire for achievement—enviable traits that, unfortunately, are not very teachable." So Professor Saras D. Sarasvathy (Caution, autoplaying video) of the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business created a case study to try to determine how they think, "with the goal of transferring that knowledge to aspiring founders." [more inside]
posted by zarq at 10:29 AM PST - 10 comments

"In Chicago, we think such racial segregation is normal, but it's not." Why segregation isn't an issue in the mayoral contest in one of the most segregated cities in the US. [more inside]
posted by enn at 10:04 AM PST - 64 comments

A proposal for U.S. defense contractors HBGary Federal, Palantir Technologies, and Berico Technologies to discredit Wikileaks which was pitched to Bank of America on December 3rd has been leaked. Assange had perviously stated that Wikileaks' next mega-leak will "expose an ecosystem of corruption" in a major American bank, which many believe to be Bank of America. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges at 9:11 AM PST - 218 comments

Crime movie blog Where Danger Lives ranks the 100 greatest film noir posters. (Posts in countdown order inside.) [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole at 8:54 AM PST - 12 comments

360-degree video panorama of the world's largest dodgeball game. (Best viewed in fullscreen.) How it was filmed. [Both links via Coudal]
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 8:47 AM PST - 17 comments

Apollo 14, with Alan Shepard, American's first man in space, as the Commander, Stuart Roosa, Command Module Pilot and Edgar Mitchell, lunar module pilot, splashed down forty years ago today. It was flight of the rookies (total previous time in space was 15 minutes, all by Shepard). There were several odd things about the flight, but no need to worry, the moon trees are doing just fine.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:26 AM PST - 11 comments

Report: Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak is to step down this evening. Vice President Omar Suleiman will take over. He's likely to address the nation tonight.
posted by ericb at 7:54 AM PST - 1419 comments

Epic Meal Time (previously) a little too epic for you? Why not relax with Regular Ordinary Swedish Meal Time. Watch as they prepare the perennial favorite Swedish Meatballs. Yum! (N.B.: you may want to turn down your speakers) [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus at 7:52 AM PST - 20 comments

Looking for the perfect Valentine's Day gift for that special someone? Nothing says love like a hissing cockroach! [more inside]
posted by troika at 7:36 AM PST - 11 comments

House Rep Christopher Lee (R-NY) has suddenly announced his resignation after it broke that the married congressman had been trolling Craigslist for hookups, as well as sending out topless pictures of himself, all while using his real name.
posted by FatherDagon at 7:36 AM PST - 156 comments

Fifteen years after we broke up, my ex-boyfriend published a book of poetry. ... For months, the slim book sat on my shelf like an awkward houseguest. Then, one quiet night, something nudged me out of my inertia, or dread, and I settled into bed with his book. And there I was.
posted by Joe Beese at 7:30 AM PST - 41 comments

"... it seems to me that something of the Edo era shimmers just below the surface of modern Japan," Henry Tricks on Japan's return to an increasingly insular society. "Fewer young Japanese are travelling abroad, fewer are studying English (this year, the main English-language school went bust), and fewer are taking places at leading academic institutions overseas such as Harvard Business School. Bosses at Japan’s legendary export businesses complain they cannot find youngsters who are prepared to work abroad."
posted by geoff. at 6:57 AM PST - 33 comments

Photographer William Rugen took pictures of everything he ate in 2010. Then he made Consumed, which you can browse by date or by tag, or you can search. His manifesto states "It is just pictures of everything I eat. Really, there is no subtext except what you want to take away from it." [more inside]
posted by itsjustanalias at 4:56 AM PST - 35 comments

Yowayowa Camera Women Diary. An enjoyable photoblog: lots of jumping and rubber rain boots.
posted by chunking express at 4:52 AM PST - 20 comments

The Baseball Club is a game by MetaFilter favorite Taro Ito, best known for Dice Wars. In The Baseball Club you take control of a high school baseball team and attemp to lead them to victory in The World Baseball Tournament. You keep each player for three seasons and train them in batting practice. Warning: Absurdly addictive.
posted by Kattullus at 4:07 AM PST - 35 comments

Jer Thorp is the New York Times' current Data Artist in Residence. He creates information-rich animations, most recently of the latest Kepler candidate extrasolar planets [previously]; also a global render of people's uses of Twitter.

Lee Byron is a designer, artist, and biker: his work includes visualisations of Facebook breakups over the course of a year and Hollywood box office revenues, 1986 - 2008.

David McCandless is an "information journalist"; his blog, InformationisBeautiful.net, has been linked to plenty of times on the blue, but you might enjoy this overview of his work and others at TED. Similarly, Hans Rosling, also mentioned previously. [more inside]
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 2:56 AM PST - 6 comments

The Mindful Eye is a photography community: "We are here to help and inspire each other in the pursuit of our passions, happiness and the unlimited potential of our dreams as photographers and as human beings. We believe that the simple act of sharing your joy with your camera can change the world for the better." It developed from its previous incarnation as Radiant Vista into a fuller, richer site including useful teaching tools such as the Daily Critique, Photo of the Week, Digital Darkroom, Foundation Concepts, and much more. I visit the site daily for new content and recommend it to all my photography students as a positive support system as they develop their skills. [more inside]
posted by bwg at 2:52 AM PST - 2 comments

February 9

A New Yorker profile of consummate dealmaker Irving 'Swifty' Lazar. [more inside]
posted by reenum at 6:52 PM PST - 9 comments


Dear Girls Above Me ,
posted by Fizz at 5:57 PM PST - 196 comments

The expanding pro-democracy protests in Egypt, which now include a popular labor movement, are (allegedly) inspiring anti-government demonstrations in Iraq.
posted by clarknova at 5:30 PM PST - 56 comments

Do you remember who shot J.R.? Rumored since last year a pilot is confirmed for a Dallas sequel series to reunite Larry Hagman and Patrick Duffy once again. [more inside]
posted by mikoroshi at 3:58 PM PST - 67 comments

Ten years ago today, Cartoon Network aired a very special episode of The Powerpuff Girls. Though nominally a harmless kids series about three adorable kindergarten superheroes, creator Craig McCracken attracted an unexpectedly diverse audience (50% male, 25% adult) by sneaking in a surprising amount of violence and adult in-jokes -- and on that last point, this particular episode was king. Broadcast on the 37th anniversary of their debut on the Ed Sullivan Show, "Meet the Beat-Alls" was an extended and sophisticated metaphor for the rise and fall of The Beatles, cramming more than forty song references and dozens of visual jokes into only ten minutes of animated allegory. Catch the original episode here or read the transcript, but for the full effect, watch this remarkable YouTube mash-up that splices the referenced song clips directly into the audio track and plasters the screen with helpful annotations. Want more PPG goodness? You can start with the special "Powerpuff Girls Rule!!!" (part 2), a sly, hyperkinetic celebration of the show's tenth anniversary directed by McCracken himself that features every character (and totally subverts an important one). But as far as weirdness goes, it's hard to top Powerpuff Girls Doujinshi, a long-running fan-made webcomic which stars the trio alongside Dexter, Samurai Jack, Invader Zim, and tons of other network icons in an unusually dark manga adventure. Oh, and don't forget your plate of beans.
posted by Rhaomi at 3:45 PM PST - 82 comments

People fall in love with physical objects. For some reason, this feels more surprising than it should after 54 years of observational experience. Who knew? “A marketer needs to be careful not to judge these people as being weird," says the lead author.
posted by sneebler at 3:31 PM PST - 62 comments

Inspired by the Seven Roads Gallery (which is no longer being updated), this Flickr group contains over 900 images of book trade labels, also known as bookseller labels.
posted by brundlefly at 2:34 PM PST - 1 comments

Johnny Mac - Trick Shot Quarterback — University of Connecticut quarterback Johnny McEntee and his "trick shot" passing abilities. [4:50 SLYT] [more inside]
posted by netbros at 2:33 PM PST - 51 comments


"Imagine a parallel universe where the Great Crash of 2008 was followed by a Tea Party of a very different kind.... The name of this parallel universe is Britain." The UK's Progressive Tea Party.
posted by wittgenstein at 2:09 PM PST - 25 comments

Trash cans, landfills, and incinerators. Erasure, deletion, and obsolescence. These words could describe what has happened to the various building blocks of the video game industry in countries around the world. These building blocks consist of video game source code, the actual computer hardware used to create a particular video game, level layout diagrams, character designs, production documents, marketing material, and more.

These are just some elements of game creation that are gone -- never to be seen again. These elements make up the home console, handheld, PC and arcade games we've played. The only remnant of a particular game may be its name, or its final published version, since the possibility exists that no other physical copy of its creation remains.

As a community of video game developers, publishers, and players, we must begin asking ourselves some difficult but inevitable questions. Some believe there is no point in preserving a video game, arguing that games are short-term entertainment, while others disagree with this statement entirely, believing the industry is in a preservation crisis.

Where Games Go To Sleep: The Game Preservation Crisis [more inside]
posted by timshel at 2:04 PM PST - 44 comments

"In a letter last May, Pope Benedict XVI urged priests to help people see the face of Christ on the Web, through blogs, Web sites and videos; priests could give the Web a 'soul,' he said, by preaching theology through new technology." Well ... it was only a matter of time. Are you a sinner? There's an app for that. "Confession: A Roman Catholic App" isn't supposed to replace the actual confessional booth, but instead offers "a personal examination of conscience." Sounds great, but the Vatican would like to remind you that you'll still need to drop by an actual church to make it count.
posted by bayani at 1:32 PM PST - 48 comments

Over the course of 45 years in the film business, Francis Ford Coppola has refined a singular code of ethics that govern his filmmaking. There are three rules: 1) Write and direct original screenplays, 2) make them with the most modern technology available, and 3) self-finance them. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:20 PM PST - 21 comments

The Central Intelligence Agency launched several enhancements to CIA.gov, attempting to make a more public-friendly internet presence. Their outreach efforts also include Flickr and YouTube accounts, where you can watch CIA Director Panetta deliver his keynote address at a foreign language summit, if you have an hour to kill. Or marvel at a silver dollar that is actually a hollow container! They even have a few pictures of a dragonfly and a fake fish. Wait, what? That dragonfly is a tiny gas-powered machine that actually flew in the 1970s, and that fake fish is a functional Unmanned Underwater Vehicle. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 12:06 PM PST - 37 comments

How Tech Tools Transformed New York's Sex Trade is an article by Sudhir Venkatesh demonstrating the results from a survey of 290 sex workers in New York about financial matters. Venkatesh and Stephen Leavitt did a similar study in Chicago, posted to Metafilter previously. More information about Venkatesh's research on sex work on his website.
posted by lunit at 11:51 AM PST - 37 comments

The Time Hack: A web-based effort to challenge one person's perception of time through new and unusual experiences.
posted by parudox at 10:44 AM PST - 28 comments


An animated map of Auckland’s public transport network. Chris MacDowall has used Auckland Transport's Google Transit Feed data to produce this awesome animation of Auckland's bus, train and ferry services.
posted by Miss Otis' Egrets at 10:38 AM PST - 13 comments

"I have never done a story in a shopping mall because, even if I'm not drawing it myself, I don't want to see somebody draw a shopping mall." Mike Mignola talks to BLDGBLOG about the influence architecture has on his work. Also includes a link to a USA Today exclusive Hellboy story that appeared previously on these pages.
posted by yerfatma at 10:24 AM PST - 15 comments

Do you hate touching public washroom door handles? The Toepener is a pedal designed to open a public washroom’s door with one’s foot rather than having to touch the door handle. [more inside]
posted by chococat at 10:17 AM PST - 131 comments

"The "chitlin' circuit" sounds like something that's gone, and with good reason. After all, the name itself derives from the "soul food" of chitterlings (fried pig intestines) that was a staple at early performances. But from CC Blues Club on Thomas Street to the Cannon Center downtown, thousands of Memphis music fans flock to hear stars like Marvin Sease and Bobby Rush sing what's too risqué for radio play, and to watch dancers shake what's too big for TV. That's both the beauty of the chitlin' circuit and the reason for its survival. While its roots run back to racial segregation, it thrives today because performers give audiences what they can't get through mainstream media. It's called "grown folks music," and it's all in the name of the blues."
Soul-blues singer Marvin Sease has died at age 64. Here's a comprehensive playlist of his (sexually-explicit/NSFW) songs on YouTube, including the one that never received any radio airplay but whose title the former gospel singer took as his professional nickname: Candy Licker [more inside]
posted by zarq at 10:11 AM PST - 15 comments

In 1972, with two outs in the bottom of the 9th inning in the last game the Washington Senators played before moving to Texas, the crowd flooded onto the field, ruining a thrilling late-game comeback over the Yankees. In 1974, the Cleveland Indians tripled attendance by offering Ten Cent Beer Night, but ended up wielding bats against their own fans to protect the visiting Rangers. In 1979, the plan to blow up disco records on the field between the two games of a double-header in Chicago led to riots and fires. And Rusty Torres was on the field all three times.
posted by Plutor at 9:56 AM PST - 19 comments

The sea was just TOO MAINSTREAM (SLtumblr)
posted by The Devil Tesla at 9:06 AM PST - 79 comments

Time Out's 100 best British films, as chosen by the film industry
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:35 AM PST - 64 comments


We've spoken about it before and now the reviews are in for Spiderman: Turn off the dark. If you haven't got time to leaf through them all, there's a handy animated collection of quotes. To say the reviews weren't all that great would be an understatement, some even calling it "one of the worst things, if not the worst, I've ever seen on Broadway". Julie Taymor, the director, has had hits and misses in her career, but this appears to trump them all. Could we be witnessing another Sgt Pepper?
posted by ciderwoman at 7:43 AM PST - 150 comments

Artist Paul Jackson posts to Flickr using the ART NAHPRO account. [more inside]
posted by scrump at 7:34 AM PST - 2 comments

Welcome to the International Catalogue of Superheroes. The purpose of this site is to build up a database of information about various superhero characters from around the world. For decades American comics, and especially those from two prolific publishing houses, have dominated if not the market, then certainly the public's perception of it. There are few people in the world who would not recognise Superman, Batman, Spider-Man or the X-Men, and there are hundreds of websites devoted to those characters. That is not the focus of this site. [more inside]
posted by Deathalicious at 7:29 AM PST - 10 comments

"I've always loved the music from the Saturday matinee serial, and I figured a short that was animated to this music could be a really cool piece. I designed the character mixing all the traits from my favorite Superman actors from the past, and then looked at the work of Hugh Ferriss for inspiration on the background design." - Superman Classic (yt) - A Superman fan film by disney animator by Disney animator Robert Pratt.
posted by Artw at 7:26 AM PST - 7 comments


The Best Questions For A First Date. What questions are easy to bring up, yet correlate to the deeper, unspeakable, issues people actually care about?
posted by Tom-B at 6:58 AM PST - 106 comments

Some Social Scientists Claim Pervasive Bias in the Academe Discrimination is always high on the agenda at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology’s conference, where psychologists discuss their research on racial prejudice, homophobia, sexism, stereotype threat and unconscious bias against minorities. But the most talked-about speech at this year’s meeting, which ended Jan. 30, involved a new “outgroup.”
posted by modernnomad at 6:26 AM PST - 180 comments

A History of the Future in 100 Objects is a Kickstarter project from Six to Start co-founder (and Mefi's own) Adrian Hon inspired by the Radio 4 series A History of the World in 100 Objects.
posted by alby at 5:39 AM PST - 10 comments

Dogtooth is an Oscar nominated Greek film directed by Yorgos Lanthimos. Reviews have noted its uncomfortable blend of family, insanity, sex, and power. In interviews, the director touches on his thoughts behind the film and its creation. (1, 2, 3)
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:55 AM PST - 45 comments

"Sometimes the hardest part of a story is getting there. Sometimes it is getting around. Sometimes it is obstructive intelligence agencies and soldiers. Sometimes it is lawlessness, sometimes overattentive law enforcement. Sometimes it is lack of transport, poor communications, power blackouts, accreditation difficulties or a hostile local population." In Cairo it's been all of the above. Stephen Farrell learns to pack a smaller camera kit: New York Times lens blog
posted by Mister Bijou at 3:39 AM PST - 3 comments

February 8

The X-47B made its maiden flight a few days ago at Edwards Air Force base. What's the X-47B? Just an autonomous, artificially intelligent, fully armed jet fighter. At the same time, automated, cannon-mounted human-seeking robots are patrolling the Korean DMZ. Previously
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 8:11 PM PST - 114 comments



Current TV has been pretty low on the media radar since it's founding by a forward-thinking former Vice President. As a network based around documentary-style journalism and viewer-generated content, Current has struggled to find both an audience and a solid direction, with it's largest headlines generated by a run-in with North Korea. This may change with the announcement that former MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann (previously) has been hired as Chief News Officer and host of a new prime-time news program.
posted by billypilgrim at 6:22 PM PST - 36 comments



The mystery of American Raymond A. Davis, currently imprisoned in the custody of local police in Lahore, Pakistan and charged with the Jan. 27 murder of two young men, whom he allegedly shot eight times with pinpoint accuracy through his car windshield, is growing increasingly murky. Also growing is the anger among Pakistanis that the US is trying to spring him from a Punjab jail by claiming diplomatic immunity. from The Deepening Mystery of Raymond Davis and Two Slain Pakistani Motorcyclists [more inside]
posted by The Emperor of Ice Cream at 4:03 PM PST - 107 comments

Eugenio Arango, better known as Totico, a Cuban-born percussionist and singer who was one of the most celebrated figures in the drumming, dancing and singing culture of New York rumba, died on Jan. 21 in the Bronx, where he lived. He was 76.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:01 PM PST - 4 comments

The U.S. Department of Transportation released results from the joint National Highway Traffic Safety Administration/NASA study on sudden vehicle acceleration in Toyota cars requested Spring 2010 by Congress. Short version: NASA engineers found no electronic flaws in Toyota vehicles capable of producing the large throttle openings required to create dangerous high-speed unintended acceleration incidents. [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus at 4:00 PM PST - 69 comments

Rediscovering WWII's female "computers". While researching a documentary in Philadelphia, filmmaker LeAnn Erickson came across two women with a story she'd never heard before: thousands of women with advanced mathematical skills employed as "computers", working day and night during WWII to supply soldiers in the field with precise ballistics algorithms. Some of those women also went on to program ENIAC, the first general-purpose computer (previously). Erickson turned their stories into Top Secret Rosies, a documentary released to theaters last year and to DVD this month. One of those programmers, Betty Jean Jennings Bartik, spoke at length to the Computing History Museum in 2008. [youtube, 1:07:19] [via]
posted by Errant at 3:55 PM PST - 32 comments

Come for the Homicide, Stay for the Top Secret Beam-Weaponry Research: The daughter of a man killed along with two others in a slaying some link to the murder of Octopus researcher Danny Casolaro digs into the Web's conspiracy subculture; creates an elaborate online persona; succeeds, nearly thirty years after the murder, in tracking down a suspect via the Web; and then gets him arrested, put in orange jumpers, and hauled into court. Then, on the day of the hearing, Something Happens...
posted by darth_tedious at 2:23 PM PST - 72 comments

The Kingston Lounge is a photoblog about "guerrilla preservation and urban archaeology". Via How to be a Retronaut, which drew my attention to their excellent photoessay about North Brother Island.
posted by brundlefly at 2:22 PM PST - 7 comments

Evolving English: The British Library's Evolving English exhibition runs until 3rd April but if you can't make it to London you can view the English language timeline, map your voice, or try this quiz on the website.
posted by Lezzles at 2:10 PM PST - 12 comments


Is Jennifer Goodwin White really dead? The Alaska State Troopers say she is. Facebook says different. [more inside]
posted by Diablevert at 1:44 PM PST - 58 comments

This Valentine's Day make love, not war... An Alabama sex shop is offering a handgun- for-sex-toy promotion for Valentine's Day. [more inside]
posted by anya32 at 1:37 PM PST - 38 comments

Generate the next Malcolm Gladwell book. Perhaps soothing if one is annoyed at Gladwell's piece in the New Yorker last week regarding the nonimportance of twitter in Egypt's turmoil.
posted by angrycat at 1:26 PM PST - 46 comments

Skiier and Waterman Chuck Patterson takes on Hawaii's famous Pe'ahi break on skis! [more inside]
posted by empatterson at 12:23 PM PST - 34 comments

The Baseball Prospectus' Wezen-Ball blog solves a riddle in Ferris Bueller's Day Off at Wrigley Field, explaining exactly which Cubs game Ferris and his friends attended during that fateful day off.
posted by gemmy at 11:49 AM PST - 41 comments

Social news site Reddit recently held their "Best of Reddit 2010" awards honoring key players in the site over the last year, including the progenitor of the Rally to Restore Sanity, the clever drive-by cartoonist Sure_Ill_Draw_That, unofficial image host Imgur, and feel-good story of the year "Today you, tomorrow me." But perhaps most interesting was the winner for Best Big Community: FFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUU! Originally inspired by 4chan's popular Rage Guy meme, F7U12 (for short) is a clearinghouse for user-made web comics, slice-of-life affairs that tell a story or share a common frustration using a small collection of crudely drawn yet highly evocative facial expressions. Several have become small memes in their own right -- the wily Trolldad, the doormat Okay, the prideful Fuck Yea, the melodramatic Gasp. And one comic, inspired by the warped text randomly generated by reCAPTCHAs (previously), has given us Lord Inglip -- god of a dark religion now rivaling FSM whose cryptic commands marshal loyal armies of gropagas, falcows, Sellicks, and... canary into exploits both monstrous and inconvenient (timeline, wiki). Obey him -- or else! More fun with F7U12: rage face origins, rage faces in real life, Twitter feed, search comics, create your own (alternate).
posted by Rhaomi at 11:07 AM PST - 168 comments

Filed under strangely fascinating: Popin' Cookin', powdered miniature sushi that one makes oneself and eats as a candy. Wait for the salmon roe at the end. There is a type of sweet in Japan that’s sold under the category of "intellectual education candy". These are sweets you must make yourself using the ingredients contained in the box. This way, children can enjoy the process of making candy, which allows them to develop their creativity. The non-edible version, Konapun. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 10:51 AM PST - 38 comments

Stanley Kubrick liked things just so. Including cardboard boxes. (2:05 .wmv)
posted by Joe Beese at 10:46 AM PST - 16 comments

"Kenneth Olsen, the computer industry pioneer who co-founded and led minicomputer king Digital Equipment Corp. for 35 years, died at the age of 84 on Sunday in Indianapolis." [more inside]
posted by jessamyn at 10:39 AM PST - 28 comments


The Coolest Locksmith Shop in New York City "From a distance, it looks like a bunch of golden squiggles and spirals have been added, snaking whimsically across the facade. But get a little closer and you’ll find the real magic… The new design is made up entirely of keys, literally thousands, and thousands, and thousands of keys, twisting into wonderful assortment of swoops and twirls."
posted by ocherdraco at 9:51 AM PST - 45 comments


Research on RNA interference is losing steam. Biotech companies are giving the chop to RNAi, a gene-silencing mechanism once thought to have great promise for human medicine. [more inside]
posted by vortex genie 2 at 8:41 AM PST - 22 comments

For a number of years now work has been proceding in order to bring to the crudely conceived idea of a transmission that would not only supply inverse reactive current for use in unilateral phase detractors, but would also be capable of automaticaly synchronizing cardinal grammeters. Such an instrument is the turbo encabulator. [more inside]
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 7:40 AM PST - 65 comments


Just what it says on the tin: KITTEN IN SLOW MOTION!!!
posted by Lord_Pall at 6:52 AM PST - 87 comments


The 100th Berliner Sechstagerennen (Six Day Race) ran from Jan 27 to Feb 1 2011, continuing the local tradition started in 1909.
posted by KirkpatrickMac at 5:10 AM PST - 3 comments

February 7

Heartbeat. Sung by Sano Motoharu. SLYT [more inside]
posted by growabrain at 11:22 PM PST - 28 comments

"We are under obligation to A. S. Partridge of Depeyster, who obtained the following incidents last summer from N. F. Swain, his neighbor. Mr. Swain is now upwards of ninety years old, and his memory of what transpired in his younger days is especially good, and the incidents, together with the dates, places and names were so impressed on his mind that they may be relied upon as authentic."
From the History of Hammond, New York, one of about 1500 Town Histories, courtesy of Ray's Place. [more inside]
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:10 PM PST - 12 comments

"I never was one to like to be intimidated. So I just take it off the table. If it's not on the table they can't use it." Charlie, not a man for small gestures, took his secret off the table and put it on the front page of the Houston Post, whose October 7, 1988, edition carried the headline "Transvestite Now Claims Probe Linked to Lifestyle" and a color photograph of McGuire in full drag. [more inside]
posted by rtha at 8:36 PM PST - 24 comments

The last Japanese man remaining in Kazakhstan: A Kafkian tale of the plight of a Japanese POW in the Soviet Union. This is the story of Tetsuro Ahiko, a Japanese national who was living on Sakhalin Island during WWII, and was sent to gulags after the war instead of being repatriated to Japan. Ahiko has turned down multiple offers to be resettled in Japan and has spent 60+ years in Kazakhstan (what was then the Soviet Union.)
posted by gen at 6:43 PM PST - 38 comments

Isaac Kehimkar's entire Flickr photostream is devoted to butterflies, because he's an "ardent butterfly lover".
posted by bwg at 5:24 PM PST - 20 comments

Since last fall central Arkansas has experienced a mysterious swarm of earthquakes. It's clear that Arkansas has shaken in the past. But the sheer numbers are largely unprecedented and have been dubbed an earthquake swarm by the USGS. The Arkansas Geological Survey says that the quakes have nothing to do with hydraulic fracturing of the Fayetteville Shale. So do energy companies. Not everyone is convinced. [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor at 5:02 PM PST - 52 comments

Egypt is about to enter its third consecutive week of mass protests. Why hasn’t Tahrir Square turned into Tiananmen? Why isn’t this man this man? Why do the Egyptian public and the army appear so close, and why hasn’t the military turned its arms on the protestors, nor pushed Mubarak out? One possible reason has been largely ignored by the media: it is bad business to kill your own customers. An inside report from NPR’s Planet Money, aided by this Wikileak diplomatic cable and an insightful piece by Robert Springborg.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 4:39 PM PST - 42 comments

'Analysis: Texas vs California: A tale of two budget deficits'. 'Texas Governor Rick Perry treated guests to a barbecue lunch paid for by a wealthy businessman. Supporters of California Governor Jerry Brown munched on hot dogs at a union-sponsored picnic. The stark contrast in inaugural menus last month highlights the different approaches the two most populous U.S. states are taking to deal with massive budget deficits. Perry, a Republican, campaigned on the strength of the Texas economy and made political hay of the fact the Lone Star state had avoided California's massive deficit, pegged at $25.4 billion through the upcoming budget year. Now Texas faces a budget deficit estimated as high as $27 billion for the upcoming two-year cycle of 2012-2013. To close the gap, state legislators have proposed steep cuts in funding to education and welfare programs.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 3:29 PM PST - 74 comments

Brad Bird accepts the prestigous Winsor McCay Award from the 2011 Annie Awards at an undisclosed location where he's directing the not-animated "Mission: Impossible IV". A Brad Bird career retrospective immediately preceded. (Double Link Single You Tube)
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:28 PM PST - 28 comments

Neon Genesis Evangelion was an anime series created by Hideaki Anno, a rather mysterious and reclusive director who has declined most interviews and has been likened to Alan Moore in his attempt to up-end a major genre. Where Moore doesn't want to work on anything Watchmen-related, Anno has returned to NGE in a very major way with Rebuild of Evangelion, a tetralogy of films to re-tell the original story and present a new ending (again). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:50 PM PST - 110 comments

“No, no,” J.D. Salinger said. “Please don’t go. Please stay and have another drink. Don’t go now.” He was shaking his head... Salinger began walking, then running, alongside, still asking us to change our minds. He hit the cab—with his fist, I supposed—and the driver braked. Joe said, “Drive on!” Salinger was looking in through the window beside me. “Stop. Please come back!” He was shouting now in the quiet street. The cab moved and got through the intersection. Joe said angrily, “He’s absolutely crazy.”
posted by Scoop at 1:17 PM PST - 51 comments


Nas & Damian Marley (Distant Relatives): Patience. We sure have come a long way since Graffiti Rock.
posted by cashman at 11:46 AM PST - 10 comments

Aaron Barr, of security company HBGary, claimed in the Financial Times to have infiltrated Anonymous and to be collecting information on members of the group. Predictably, Anonymous responded by hacking HBGary's website and replacing its front page, as well as by stealing Barr's research documents on Anonymous (and social networking accounts) and releasing them to the public, along with thousands of internal HBGary emails.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:40 AM PST - 199 comments

Brian Jacques, author of many children's books about heroic small furry creatures, has died. Jacques, who grew up in Liverpool, England, was 71. [more inside]
posted by gusandrews at 11:11 AM PST - 133 comments

George Bush cancels a trip to Switzerland citing “threat of demonstrations” . However two victims of torture in U.S. detention have prepared a criminal complaint against Bush backed by a coalition of international human rights groups, two former United Nations rapporteurs, and two Nobel Peace Prize laureates. His legacy continues with the death in Guantanamo of Abdul Gul held without trial for 9 years. The official cause of Mr Gul's death is "Heart attack during exercise". The Obama administration has decided to continue to imprison without trial nearly 50 detainees at Guantanamo.
posted by adamvasco at 11:01 AM PST - 85 comments

Evolution Made Us All
posted by brundlefly at 10:48 AM PST - 52 comments

How 'The Fridge' lost his way. A profile of William 'The Refrigerator' Perry.
posted by zarq at 9:48 AM PST - 37 comments

Several months ago, Bill Rankin of Radical Cartography (previously and previouslier) created an astronomical calendar of events for New Haven, Connecticut, where he lives, featuring all of the inexorable rhythms of the Solar System in one handy PNG file. Now you can create such a calendar for any location on the planet, with information as basic as the hours of daylight or as esoteric as the tilt of Saturn's rings, all lovingly rendered in soothing translucent pastels. [more inside]
posted by theodolite at 9:40 AM PST - 18 comments

Rising food prices and a shortage of critical crops is fueling political instability in numerous regions worldwide. Food prices hit a record high in January, for the seventh consecutive month, the food price index was up 3.4% from December to the highest level since the UN started measuring food prices in 1990. In response some countries are stockpiling ("hoarding") making the problem worse. "If people don't have enough to eat they only have three options: they can revolt, they can migrate or they can die."
posted by stbalbach at 9:35 AM PST - 49 comments


That sure was a pretty OK game last night! When will the next NFL games be? Let's talk about the impending NFL lockout. The CBA expires in 2013 but the owners have exercised their right to opt out of the agreement two years early. The National Football League Players Association and the owners haven't agreed to a new one, and neither side is very optimistic about the chances for a deal to be reached before March 2011. Among many other terms, the two sides cannot agree on the number of games in a season to be played or the amount of revenue to be shared. Players have been mentioning the impending lockout during interviews. What's at stake? The NFL is very big business.
posted by Michael Pemulis at 7:37 AM PST - 156 comments

Like the GPS features of your smartphone? Like your high speed wireless internet connection? You may not be able to have both. A company called Lightsquared has proposed a service to provide high speed internet using satellite feeds. However, some tests show that the the signal from Lightsquared's system may interfere with GPS. The FCC has granted a waiver allowing Lightsquared to proceed, with the caution that issues with GPS must be resolved. The GPS world is concerned.
posted by cptspalding at 7:37 AM PST - 42 comments

The Mutato Archive is a collection of non-standard fruits, roots and vegetables, displaying a dazzling variety of forms, colours and textures, that only reveal themselves when lawfully enforced standards cease to exist.
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:18 AM PST - 38 comments


A mixtape of tracks by North African hip hop artists from Algeria, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, music which reflects the current zeitgeist in the region. To listen and/or download (zip): enoughgaddafi.com
posted by Mister Bijou at 3:18 AM PST - 15 comments

American academic Frances Fox Piven has been heavily criticised by Glenn Beck as a threat to the American way of life. She is not for turning.
posted by Grinder at 12:50 AM PST - 154 comments

February 6

AOL has agreed to acquire the Huffington Post for $315 million. The combined entity will be known as the Huffington Post Media Group and will have Arianna Huffington as president and editor-in-chief. We recently heard from AOL when they posted a rather disappointing quarterly result for the end of 2010, and again when their latest master business plan (read: SEO, SEO, and more SEO) was leaked by Business Insider.
posted by spitefulcrow at 9:53 PM PST - 136 comments

Paul Haggis Vs. the Church of Scientology. Haggis' defection was discussed previously on the blue, as were allegations of abusive practices in Scientology's Sea Org. This week's New Yorker includes a massive investigative piece by Lawrence Wright, part of an upcoming book by Wright that has already been the subject of some speculation.
posted by availablelight at 9:43 PM PST - 68 comments

Groupon's Superbowl Ads were controversial - The social networks were full of discussion on the ads. Groupon's blog entry about the ads. First takes by the Wall Street Journal, PaidContent, and CNN
posted by Argyle at 8:48 PM PST - 180 comments

"CIA OFFICER PELEG: Your mission, Ishmael, is to travel up the Nung river and find Colonel Moby. When you find him... you are to retire Colonel Moby. ISHMAEL: You mean... harpoon Moby. CIA OFFICER PELEG: Harpoon... with extreme prejudice." Yes, it's the script for Apocalypse Moby, described by Bruce Sterling as "a very deft piece of writing".
posted by storybored at 7:36 PM PST - 25 comments

FOX, Fox News, and The White House all used the ginormous television audience that comes with the Super Bowl to their advantage today when a 15 minute interview with the President by Bill O'Reilly was aired as part of the pre-game show. Full video here.
posted by hippybear at 7:30 PM PST - 80 comments

"Uniforms have been stolen in the past for this kind of thing." An update on the investigation into the Mumbai terrorist attacks of November 2008. (Previously)
posted by vidur at 7:25 PM PST - 4 comments

Macho Chinese men need purses. To hold their fat wads of cash, of course.
posted by binturong at 6:13 PM PST - 51 comments

Happy belated birthday, William S. Burroughs! Here are 97 Things You [probably] Didn't Know About Him. (Via MeFi Projects)
posted by beagle at 5:58 PM PST - 33 comments

Drag Me To Hell As Remembered By Bunny and Coco Armed with the actual props and actual locations and actual stand-ins, Mefi's own Max Sparber (Astro Zombie) recreates Sam Raimi's spook-machine Drag Me To Hell from memory. [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by The Whelk at 5:52 PM PST - 28 comments


Apparently the NFL was looking for a record crowd at Cowboys Stadium, and tried to add temporary seating. 2 hours before kickoff, workers were still installing that seating. That status later changed to 400 fans being denied entry and instead being offered 3 times the face value of their tickets. Fans are not happy, and the screw-up is news, both locally, and in Pittsburgh and Green Bay.
posted by booksherpa at 3:11 PM PST - 209 comments

Tura Satana, the actress whose authoritative presence, exotic looks and buxom frame commanded the attention of viewers of Russ Meyer’s 1965 cult movie “Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!”, died on Friday evening in Reno, Nev. [Previously.]
posted by chavenet at 2:32 PM PST - 44 comments

The show Empire on Al Jazeera collects experts on various subjects and holds a roundtable discussion. This week was Obama 2.0, on the President's first two years, with focus on foreign policy. Guests this week are Ralph Nader, Roger Hodge, Stefan Halper, and As'ad Abu Khalil. Earlier weeks include: [more inside]
posted by Glibpaxman at 12:57 PM PST - 20 comments

Large elk antler arches in Jackson Hole & Afton, WY. (Btw, it seems that that antlers fall off naturally, so most of them are collected by Boy Scouts, not shot by hunters) [more inside]
posted by growabrain at 12:17 PM PST - 20 comments

Introducing The Real Reagan. "There is much to appreciate and even like about America's 40th president, and his two terms in office were not without significant achievements. But Ronald Reagan and his presidency are also badly misunderstood. To mark the 100th anniversary of his birth, we are offering what we hope will be a respite from the hagiography that has taken hold elsewhere -- a critical, but fair and respectful, exploration of the real Ronald Reagan." [Via]
posted by homunculus at 11:31 AM PST - 149 comments

Guitarist Gary Moore, former member of Thin Lizzy and accomplished solo artist, passed away today at the age of 58. [more inside]
posted by Askiba at 11:21 AM PST - 37 comments

Experience the art of Jerry Pinkney [Artists webpage], a master of the American picturebook whose unforgettable visual narratives reflect deeply felt personal and cultural themes, bearing witness to the African-American experience, the wonders of classic literature, and the wisdom in well-loved folk tales. A belief in the ability of images to speak about and to humanity is at this legendary artist’s core. His artworks celebrating life’s small but extraordinary moments and significant historical events reflect the power of visual storytelling in our lives, “becoming the voice that others may not have had.” His commissioned work, and illustrations are an incredible body of work, but also don't miss his independent creations either. [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation at 11:05 AM PST - 2 comments

A spectacular 24-hour photographic exposure of the sky transforms the Greek Church of Saint John into an island floating in space.  A technical explanation of the shot. Crescent moon and Poseidon Temple, by the same photographer, Chris Kotsiopoulos. Much more at greeksky.gr and Earth Science Picture of the Day. [more inside]
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 10:17 AM PST - 7 comments

Do you only have one turntable and a microphone? Do you have a few thousand to drop on a turntable unlike any other? Well, Mike Disher and Joel Scilley are your men. But that's not the only way to get a one-of-a-kind turntable. This one was made from motorcycle parts. Stell Moebel has one that's wall mounted and one that's a functional coffee table (beware of the audio, click mobeldesign). If you can really afford to go all out, pick from one of the world's most expensive turntables.
posted by quiet coyote at 7:38 AM PST - 28 comments

"We've had revolution in Tunisia, Egypt's Mubarak is teetering; in Yemen, Jordan and Syria suddenly protests have appeared. In Ireland young techno-savvy professionals are agitating for a "Second Republic"; in France the youth from banlieues battled police on the streets to defend the retirement rights of 60-year olds; in Greece striking and rioting have become a national pastime. And in Britain we've had riots and student occupations that changed the political mood. What's going on? What's the wider social dynamic?"
posted by doobiedoo at 6:44 AM PST - 111 comments

I've never known of a single colleague who has been tortured, or who lives with the threat of death and persecution for their work, in such a confused state of mind that they believe that working in the defence of individual and collective freedoms is an act of heroism. We know full well that it is nothing more than an exercise in survival and shared dignity. [more inside]
posted by Ahab at 5:54 AM PST - 10 comments


The former head of the US Embassy in Bangkok describes an extraordinary dinner at which Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn's poodle dressed in formal evening attire complete with paw mitts ... jumped up on to the head table and began lapping from the guests’ water glasses. Apparently the poodle, Foo Foo, holds the rank of Air Chief Marshall. [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:37 AM PST - 39 comments

February 5

The Story Beyond the Still began with a film by Pulitzer Prize winner Vincent Laforet who was given a still image to interpret into a short film shot with the Canon 7D. This film became the first chapter in the Story Beyond The Still contest which also ended on a still photograph for contest goers to interpret into the next chapter of the story. This pattern continued for another six user-generated chapters with each chapter winner continuing the story by interpreting the previous chapter's ending still image. Now, a year and over 275 submissions later, the contest has come to a close and the final chapter is complete and premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.
posted by netbros at 8:25 PM PST - 8 comments

He began his musical career as Georgia Tom, playing barrelhouse piano in one of Al Capone’s Chicago speakeasies... [more inside]
posted by magstheaxe at 8:17 PM PST - 4 comments

Sitting Dance. Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor. [more inside]
posted by kmz at 7:48 PM PST - 33 comments

Elis Regina was perhaps the biggest Brazilian popstar of her time. The clip in the first link is a single song from a TV special she did in 1973, at the height of her powers, and which has been put online in its entirety. The song, Águas de Março, was a Tom Jobim composition, which they sang together on the album Elis & Tom, which also featured such gems as Corcovado, Inútil paisagem and Triste. Over her career Elis Regina worked with a who's who of Brazilian popular music, and there's quite a lot of material out there. The best places I've found are YouTube channels elisetom1974, Eurachel and, though the Elis Regina material is mixed in with other stuff, jordaoqualquer is a treasure trove. Elis Regina died from an alcohol and cocaine overdose in 1982, 36 years of age. Last year NPR had a short appreciation of her as part of its 50 Great Voices series.
posted by Kattullus at 6:12 PM PST - 26 comments

Does your fixed-gear bicycle have too many moving parts? Well, have I got the solution for you!
posted by schmod at 6:00 PM PST - 89 comments

Single Link Saturday Night Dance Party: The neon-dripped hallucinatory candy-pop world ofBrite Futures' - Sideways Pony Tail [more inside]
posted by The Whelk at 5:51 PM PST - 24 comments

In 2006, YouTube user iamaphoney began posting a series of videos exploring the mysterious 1966 death of Paul McCartney. After eighty installments, they have released a documentary summarizing the findings. [more inside]
posted by battleshipkropotkin at 4:24 PM PST - 67 comments

Geneva Jacuzzi's music is described as "quasi-occult mystery, flippant wit and quizzical torch, enshrined in the unsuspecting and jazzy veneer of sundry electronic music styles that range from darkwave goth-lounge to tropicalia." With Ariel Pink and TRS-80
posted by puny human at 4:00 PM PST - 8 comments


A conversation with Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. A long interview with Spivak, one of the foremost literary and philosophical thinkers of her generation, published today in the Hindu Times. Topics covered include her arrival in America as a 19 year old grad student, translating Derrida, falling out with Kristeva, her family, feminism, the complexity of her critical language, and the future of Marxism, among others.
posted by jokeefe at 3:19 PM PST - 74 comments


Galaxy Quest: The Documentary. Before the movie, there was the tv series, which, oddly enough, appears never to have been syndicated or given a proper IMdB entry, which leads many people to claim that the show never existed. Oh, yeah? Then by Grabthar's Hammer, explain why we have this wonderful little reunion show with the entire cast. Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. (via) [more inside]
posted by maudlin at 1:17 PM PST - 105 comments

Princesse Ghislaine de Polignac , who has died aged 92, was the former wife of Prince Edmond de Polignac, and more than once survived crises that would have consigned a less determined person to social ostracism. Here's a sketch of her as a younger woman.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 12:54 PM PST - 30 comments

How it Should Have Ended: Terminator / Star Trek / Aliens / The Empire Strikes Back and more.... Links contain spoilers
posted by zarq at 12:34 PM PST - 33 comments


The Washington Redskins, with a 6-10 record this season, may not be anywhere near the Super Bowl, but they're still getting media attention this week thanks to unpopular owner Dan Snyder. In November, the Washington City Paper published an A-to-Z guide of Snyder's perceived sins, including bankrupting little old ladies, running scammy fan events, cashing in on 9/11, and selling expired peanuts. The piece was accompanied by a photo of Snyder with scribbled-on devil horns and goatee -- a depiction Snyder decried as anti-Semitic. Snyder also denies several of the claims made in the A-to-Z piece and threatens legal action in letters to Washington City Paper (republished here, along with WCP's shrugging response). Above the Law expresses doubts about Snyder's claims and notes that it's the first time the owner of the unfortunately-named Redksins has ever seemed to care about ethnic slurs. Meanwhile on Twitter, #snyderlibel commences some serious Snyder-mocking.
posted by naoko at 11:23 AM PST - 45 comments

Los Angeles Plays Itself is a dazzling cinematic essay by the filmmaker Thom Andersen about how the city of Los Angeles is portrayed in films. Watch it now on YouTube: Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 [more inside]
posted by jonp72 at 10:53 AM PST - 36 comments

Tired of waiting for that Arrested Development movie? Make your own with these Arrested Development paper dolls (courtesy of Kyle Hilton).
posted by Katemonkey at 10:35 AM PST - 34 comments

There are over 20,000 species of edible plants in the world yet fewer than 20 species now provide 90% of our food. Over ten years ago, Ken Fern began compiling a database, which currently consists of approximately 7000 species of plants.
In Plants for a Future are listed ( among others) The edibles; and a plant Top 20 as well as the Top Rated Medicinal Plants.
There is also a documentary and a book which is reviewed here.
posted by adamvasco at 9:26 AM PST - 20 comments

LOST Answers. Damon Lindelof tweeted about it. Now you can get answers to all of those unanswered burning LOST questions. From a "Scientist" no less.
posted by morganannie at 9:09 AM PST - 48 comments

99% Invisible is a quick hit public radio show about design by producer Roman Mars. The show recently kicked off its second season with a look at the periodic table (the "infographic apotheosis"), but season one includes episodes on maps, designing human habitats in space, city flags, semi-private public space, blind architect Chris Downey and more. [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 7:46 AM PST - 8 comments


Cover clones are examples of books using the same cover art or stock photos. See also: Copycat Covers, Reusable Cover Art, and The Dangers of Stock Photography. (via)
posted by blue_beetle at 5:55 AM PST - 13 comments

Not too excited about the upcoming Black Eyed Peas Super Bowl halftime show? Take heart, it probably won't be the worst one ever.
posted by Midnight Rambler at 5:00 AM PST - 75 comments

Light Skeletons by artist Janne Parviainen
posted by Ardiril at 4:07 AM PST - 3 comments

Star Wars Begins. Fan documentarian Jambe Davdar has completed has completed his third documentary about the original Star Wars trilogy. He's re-cut all three films, editing in alternate takes, deleted scenes, original audio, with quotes from various interviews and commentaries and recordings playing over the footage like the ultimate DVD commentary. [via] [more inside]
posted by crossoverman at 1:13 AM PST - 53 comments

In March of 2009, the Japan Sumo Association won a lawsuit against Kodansha, a large Japanese publishing house. Kodansha had alleged that match fixing was rampant in Sumo, even at the highest levels. However, in the last week, police have discovered text messages between wrestlers showing proof of fixing, including negotiation over compensation. [more inside]
posted by Ghidorah at 12:17 AM PST - 24 comments

A great English icon visited an Aussie one when Stephen Fry came to the Sydney Opera House to discuss travel, language, the three W's (Wilde, Waugh and Wodehouse) and everything in between, in a 90 minute talk-fest. The night involved a cracking 45 minute chat by Fry and then a 45 minute Q&A with First Tuesday Book Club's Jennifer Byrne. Parts 1 2 3 4 5
posted by lazaruslong at 12:04 AM PST - 21 comments

February 4


Let's head down to the sunny Hawaii of the 1930s and pay Sol K. Bright a visit, shall we? His charming vocal work and masterfully playful guitar wizardry are sure to please! Hawaiian Cowboy - Honolulu How Do You Do? - Tomi Tomi - La Rosita. Aloha!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:58 PM PST - 11 comments

The Bay Area’s smartest diners, chefs, and purveyors now know (and care) where every cut of grass-fed beef and stalk of pesticide-free produce comes from. Yet nearly all look the other way when fish is on the plate. What will it take to stop the eco-fibbing?
posted by Joe Beese at 9:31 PM PST - 47 comments

An examination of the cover design for the published works of J.G. Ballard, spanning five decades. [more inside]
posted by dvorak_beats_qwerty at 9:29 PM PST - 10 comments

FFF: Quadrus
posted by cthuljew at 8:46 PM PST - 4 comments

Knights in the snow. Western martial artists Theresa Wendland and Davis Vader, of the Chicago Swordplay Guild, duel with longswords in the bitter cold of February in Chicago's Pulaski Park. Here's another video of her trouncing larger and stronger opponents indoors.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:12 PM PST - 39 comments


It's been BAT-WEEK at tor.com (the people who brought you the 12 Doctors of Christmas - previously here), with essays on all aspects of the World's Greatest Detective, Caped Crusader and Dark (or not-so-dark) Knight, analysis of the Bat's entire big screen history, plus The Joker and other characters, bat-music, his wardrobe (what?) and Batman all over the Internet (the Web is not just for Spider-Man). Plus links to tor.com's previously published bat-content. So go batty!
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:19 PM PST - 16 comments

Don't say I didn't warn you. Here is the game. It's about naked men pretending to be cars. [more inside]
posted by motty at 6:08 PM PST - 20 comments

"A profit-driven recovery plan, devised and carried out by outsiders, can not reconstruct my country" says democratically elected (and overthrown by the us) Haitian President, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. A reminder of the situation.
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:42 PM PST - 4 comments


Stephen Biesty is an award-winning British illustrator famous for his bestselling "Incredible" series of engineering art books: Incredible Cross-Sections, Incredible Explosions, Incredible Body, and many more. A master draftsman, Biesty does not use computers or even rulers in composing his intricate and imaginative drawings, relying on nothing more than pen and ink, watercolor, and a steady hand. Over the years, he's adapted his work to many other mediums, including pop-up books, educational games (video), interactive history sites, and animation. You can view much of his work in the zoomable galleries on his professional page, or click inside for a full listing of direct links to high-resolution, desktop-quality copies from his and other sites, including several with written commentary from collaborator Richard Platt [site, .mp3 chat]. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi at 4:40 PM PST - 24 comments

Amazing footage of an uncontacted tribe in Brazil. These tribes are threatened by the encroachment of illegal logging activites. "I know this footage is the only way to convince the rest of the world they are here."
posted by stp123 at 3:35 PM PST - 60 comments

Why I call myself a socialist, by Wallace Shawn.
posted by serazin at 2:53 PM PST - 103 comments


How To Make Anything Signify Anything "By the time he retired from the National Security Agency in 1955, Friedman had served for more than thirty years as his government’s chief cryptographer, and—as leader of the team that broke the Japanese PURPLE code in World War II, co-inventor of the US Army’s best cipher machine, author of the papers that gave the field its mathematical foundations, and coiner of the very term cryptanalysis—he had arguably become the most important code-breaker in modern history."
posted by puny human at 1:51 PM PST - 10 comments

Hot wax, cold water and marble dust, bags of authentic newsroom trash, and left-over sets burned to the ground, all parts of the old movie magic. Designs on Film is a book that highlights the design behind films, from the ice palace in Doctor Zhivago, to the highly detailed recreation of the offices of The Washington Post on a soundstage in Burbank, CA (related: docu. in parts on YT: 1, 2, 3) for All the President's Men, and burning Atlanta scene in Gone with the Wind. The book also covers the styles and fashion made in movies and used from real locations, such as Cameron Diaz's Wallace Neff house that was featured in The Holiday. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:21 PM PST - 8 comments

Cute Boys With Cats. It does pretty much what it says on the tin. Cute-porn sites like Cute Overload have been publishing images of obscenely cute animals for years. From early on, Cute Overload had a human-animal series called Cats 'n' Racks [NSFWarning: kitty-stuffed cleavage] which, despite one exception, was restricted to women (and their racks). Cute Boys With Cats is here to rectify this gender-imbalance with cute and furry specimens of both species.
posted by LMGM at 10:27 AM PST - 83 comments

Physiological Impacts of Homophobia. 'New research from Concordia University suggests that the stress of being rejected or victimized because of sexual orientation may disrupt hormonal responses in lesbians, gays and bisexuals. ''Compared to their heterosexual peers, suicide rates are up to 14 times higher among lesbian, gay and bisexual high school and college students''Michael Benibgui, who led this investigation says abnormal cortisol activity in LGB youth, combined with the vicious cycle of stress, could be further influenced by a complex set of biological, psychological and social factors. “This study shows a clear relation between abnormal cortisol levels and environmental stressors related to homophobia,” he says.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 10:24 AM PST - 44 comments

Twitshift is a service that lets you follow yourself on Twitter...a year ago. "We’ll store your old posts on our server and repost them to a second account of your choosing on the same day you posted them last year."
posted by cashman at 10:22 AM PST - 22 comments

For Black History Month, Craig Ferguson (previously) devotes almost an entire show to discussing black history and the meaning of humanity with Dr. Cornel West: (Intro) Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 (George Clinton performance, Outro with George Clinton and Cornel West). [more inside]
posted by kmz at 10:02 AM PST - 40 comments



In 1995, the European Court of Justice famously intervened in the world of sports when it ruled on the Bosman Case, rendering transfer fees for out-of-contract football players illegal, changing the economics of the sport completely. 2011 will see the ECJ make a landmark decision on the future of sports broadcasting that "could ruin the economic model that has made Premier League clubs among the richest in world football." [more inside]
posted by Jakey at 9:09 AM PST - 17 comments

Modernist Cuisine, a 2400-page, 6-volume lavishly-illustrated and highly-anticipated $625 list price set (available for pre-order) by authors Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Young, and Maxime Bilet, expounds a deeply scientific and avant-garde take on cooking techniques and been praised as the most important cookbook of the last 10 years. Its burger recipe. Its kitchen.
posted by shivohum at 8:59 AM PST - 156 comments

Deacon Dodge has a couple of posts (here and here) about religion, freedom and democracy amid the turmoil of Egypt. [more inside]
posted by KMH at 8:55 AM PST - 4 comments

Stanford's Visualization Group has produced a data cleanup web app called Wrangler that works like straight up magic.
posted by chunking express at 8:18 AM PST - 32 comments

Perhaps doing a live to camera from Andy Murray's local pub on the day he loses the Australian Open was not such a great idea. Especially since said pub had been open since 8am. (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:01 AM PST - 21 comments

For 140 years rare manuscripts that record the private thoughts and opinions of David Livingstone, the Victorian explorer and missionary, were hidden from the public eye due to their fragile condition and frequently indecipherable text. Today a trans-Atlantic academic and scientific team, launches a major project with the publication of Livingstone's Letter from Bambarre – a spectrally-imaged 'lost' letter from Livingstone's final African expedition, written to his friend and future biographer Horace Waller.
posted by notsnot at 7:51 AM PST - 4 comments

What if filmmakers directed the Super Bowl? As the big game approaches, Slate V imagines what it might look like if Quentin Tarantino, David Lynch, Wes Anderson, Jean-Luc Godard and Werner Herzog were allowed to direct the telecast.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:27 AM PST - 79 comments

Poet Publishes 10,000-Page Poem. David Morice wrote one 100-page poem every day for 100 days–producing a 10,000-page poem. How the book was bound and printed. Opening lines of the epic poem: "Today the sky above Iowa City / is cloudy with tiny droplets / gently blowing in the wind / and tapping my laptop with dots. / In front of the University/ Main Library, Gordon sits / on a marble wall, camera / posed to video the beginning / of this poetry marathon." Image of the massive book.
posted by Fizz at 7:11 AM PST - 68 comments

Someone once rejected Gertrude Stein. In a fabulously absurd way.
posted by litnerd at 7:04 AM PST - 37 comments

Affirmations for the New Year. Repeat daily for optimal results! [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:40 AM PST - 7 comments

'The writing is extremely weak, the plotting haphazard and often preposterous, the characterizations shallow and sometimes incoherent; its attitude toward the past is glib and its self-positioning in the present is unattractively smug; the acting is, almost without exception, bland and sometimes amateurish.' Daniel Mendelsohn dislikes Mad Men.
posted by verstegan at 6:03 AM PST - 152 comments

Snow is a short film directed by Geoffrey Jones (1931-2005) and shot by Wolfgang Suschitzky [imdb], simultaneously spectacle and social-commentary it can be viewed online (YouTube). Snow was made under the aegis of British Transport Films (wiki) and nominated for an Oscar in 1965; unable to afford to licence his choice of soundtrack—“Teen Beat” by Sandy Nelson—Jones enlisted Johnny Hawksworth to rerecord “Teen Beat” with an altered tempo and effects by Daphne Oram [wiki, BBC]. The result is a masterpiece of sound and image.
posted by nfg at 4:23 AM PST - 11 comments

Swimming around in a mixture of language and matter, humans occupy a particular evolutionary niche mediated by something we call 'consciousness'. To Professor Nicholas Humphrey we're made up of "soul dust": "a kind of theatre... an entertainment which we put on for ourselves inside our own heads." But just as that theatre is directed by the relationship between language and matter, it is also undermined by it. It all depends how you think it.
posted by 0bvious at 2:46 AM PST - 17 comments

"Casey Plett is a twenty-something dude who has dressed in women's clothes with gently increasing frequency over the last six years. He is taking estrogen and testosterone-suppressers, and will probably transition to being a woman in the next year or so. Barring unforeseen circumstances, we're going to put about a 90% probability on this one. Casey's genitalia is not the focus of Balls Out, but it does perennially show up uninvited and eat all the Nutella."
posted by jnaps at 1:17 AM PST - 33 comments

The Hold Steady is a band that tends to write songs that are stories about drugs and sex and Jesus. There is a wiki that keeps track of all of their reused characters, locations, and self references, among other things.. Because of their songwriting style, the NPR annotated versions of "The Swish" and "The Cattle and the Creeping Things" as well as their TVTropes entry are also worth a look. You can listen to their latest album on the Guardian website.
posted by NoraReed at 12:28 AM PST - 59 comments


Don't Make Me Steal - a Digital Media Consumption Manifesto.
posted by Artw at 12:05 AM PST - 107 comments

February 3

White People Rapping Poorly is a tumblr blog that, in the words of the site's creator, collects a lot of videos of white people trying to rap and just failing miserably. [more inside]
posted by chrchr at 11:15 PM PST - 44 comments

"Let's do those drive-in totals. We have: Nineteen dead bodies (plus fragments). Ten breasts (shame on you, TNT censors). Two zombie breasts. One-hundred twenty-five zombies. Mummy dogs. One-half zombie dog. Ten gallons blood. Brain-eating. Gratuitous embalming. Zombie fu. Nekkid punk-rocker fondue. Gratuitous midget zombie. Torso S&M. One motor vehicle chase (totalled by zombies). Pool cue fu. No aardvarking. Heads roll. Brains roll. Arms roll. Hands roll. Joe Bob says, Check It Out." Only on MonsterVision. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 9:59 PM PST - 31 comments

Getting your music out of an Ipad. A fairly thorough overview of connecting an Ipad to external gear, covering input and output, as well as midi and audio.
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 9:30 PM PST - 14 comments

SLYT Old Spice Super Mario Remix Post - SUPER SPICE BROS 64
posted by The Whelk at 9:00 PM PST - 21 comments

In these hard economic times, the work of the Seattle Solidarity Network (SeaSol) has been very inspiring to me. SeaSol is "a volunteer network of working people who believe in standing up for our rights. Our goal is to support our fellow workers' strikes and struggles, build solidarity, and organize to deal with specific job, housing, and other problems caused by the greed of the rich and powerful." Or, in other words, SeaSol makes scumbag bosses and slimy landlords' lives miserable until they pay people what they owe! A few recent victories of note: winning $22,000 for an unjustly fired employee of a major developer, winning relocation money for tenants in a low-income housing building, inspiring these violent (but entertaining) actions of a local restaurant owner and a few months later, putting him out of business. [more inside]
posted by Repression Jones at 8:45 PM PST - 36 comments

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal is an opinionated and sometimes very strange webcomic. (several times previously) The National Organization for Marriage is an organization that lobbies to protect heterosexual-only marriage rights. Today's SMBC is about the future! The NOM does not like this future. The NOM blog hotlinks this comic. Wait, that's not the same picture, is it... [more inside]
posted by gracedissolved at 7:27 PM PST - 61 comments

Foster Care: Extreme Edition Pioneered by a 23-person St. Louis — based agency called the Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition, Extreme Recruitment seeks out the foster children who are the hardest to find homes for. Via the You Gotta Believe! Adopting Teens and Tweens radio forum.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:50 PM PST - 3 comments

Shaken-Baby Syndrome Faces New Questions in Court. Earlier this month, the UK Crown Prosecution Service issued a guidance on "shaken baby" allegations. Emily Bazelon looks at the medical and legal gray areas in US prosecutions in this week's New York Times Magazine. An editorial last fall by law professor Deborah Turkheimer here touched on her own research into the issue [PDF], which she calls "the next Innocence Project;" it was met with some controversy by medical professionals.
posted by availablelight at 5:20 PM PST - 24 comments

The passing of someone who invented the gas-turbine-powered helicopter, or a wildly-popular new type of guitar, or even a guide dog school with over 1,300 graduates would be notable. Charles H. Kaman did all three. [more inside]
posted by Halloween Jack at 4:04 PM PST - 15 comments

"Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak unleashed an unprecedented and systematic attack on international media today as his supporters assaulted reporters in the streets while security forces began obstructing and detaining journalists covering the unrest that threatens to topple his government." [more inside]
posted by anya32 at 1:55 PM PST - 196 comments


Awkward Embraces: a charming, funny, female-produced series about geek girls in LA, written by Jessica Mills. Season 2 trailer on YouTube, dialogue probably NSFW
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 12:59 PM PST - 23 comments

Barney Wilen, the rest of your life : "The life and times of Barney Wilen, the legendary jazz musician who at age 18 was already playing with Miles Davis, and whom many called the “greatest European saxophonist.” Exiled to Zanzibar in the 70s, hero of Loustal's cult comic strip, The Blue Note, Wilen was as famous for his brilliant appearances as for his inexplicable disappearances. This film essay reconstitutes his rich, mysterious life even as it attempts to distinguish the man from the myth." (French, subtitled, 54 min) Barney Wilen & Bud Powell - Autumn In New York :: Cannes Film Festival 1958 :: The Shadow of Your Smile :: Recado :: Mary Moor - Pretty Day
posted by puny human at 12:53 PM PST - 3 comments


Ivan Illich was an Austrian philosopher, Roman Catholic priest and critic of the institutions of contemporary western culture and their effects on the provenance and practice of education, medicine, work, energy use, and economic development.
posted by Joe Beese at 11:37 AM PST - 20 comments


When Irish Eyes Are Crying - an article on Irish economic woes by Michael Lewis in Vanity Fair.
posted by exogenous at 10:44 AM PST - 67 comments

The NWOBHM produced many influential bands, but perhaps the most overlooked were Bad News - this hard hitting documentary shows their early - days
posted by sgt.serenity at 10:17 AM PST - 25 comments

'The ever-increasing cost of education is not sustainable.' 'Higher education in America, historically the envy of the world, is rapidly growing out of reach. For the past quarter-century, the cost of higher education has grown 440%, according to the National Center for Public Policy and Education, nearly four times the rate of inflation and double the rate of health care cost increases. ''In June of last year student loan debt reached $830 billion, surpassing credit card debt in America.''All this happened while total federal student aid more than doubled, in constant dollars, from $60 billion ten years ago to $120 billion today. Sadly, more federal student aid simply fuels the rising costs. The cost of education tracks with the growth in federal aid; the transaction cost for students is not lowered. The federal money effectively flows directly to the operating expenses of the Universities-which seem to rise in direct proportion to the flow of federal funds.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 9:51 AM PST - 150 comments

First there was the 'Splosion Man ripoff MaXplosion (and Capcom's non-response). Then there was a The Blocks Cometh clone (eventually taken down after the uproar). Now comes Lugaru, a wholesale copy of code, data, and name. (Android developers, you're not safe either.)
posted by kmz at 9:13 AM PST - 23 comments


A profile of legendary Black comedian Pigmeat Markham by Kliph Nesteroff (prev prev) [more inside]
posted by jtron at 8:21 AM PST - 12 comments

Snowdecahedron. When life hands you a blizzard, make a Platonic solid. "Temporary public art" from Dan Sternof Beyer.
posted by escabeche at 8:03 AM PST - 58 comments



"In a small, remote village in the Udmurt Republic of Russia, photographer Lucia Ganieva discovered a wonderful anomaly in home decoration — the interiors of practically every home in the village feature room-size photographic murals of 'exotic' scenes, which symbolize the distant places that the home-dwellers will never visit, except in their dreams." Via wood s lot.
posted by languagehat at 7:11 AM PST - 33 comments


Dr. Jörg C. Gerlach has developed a new device for applying a regenerative skin and stem cell slurry onto burn victims in an airbrush-like spray - providing astounding results in mere days. (Warning - mildly graphic images of severe burns being remedied with SCIENCE!)
posted by FatherDagon at 6:30 AM PST - 30 comments



Watch the 93 minute documentary on the making of The Social Network for free on IMDB - How Did They Ever Make a Movie of Facebook? (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4) (via)
posted by slimepuppy at 1:27 AM PST - 29 comments

February 2


Space Stasis - What the strange persistence of rockets can teach us about innovation. By Neal Stephenson.
posted by 00dimitri00 at 11:56 PM PST - 38 comments

Robo-rainbow. SLV. That is all.
posted by Ahab at 10:37 PM PST - 23 comments

I imagine she put two and two together after her immigration-officer husband stopped answering his phone. "An immigration officer who worked for the UK Border Agency managed to get his wife out of his hair for three years by putting her name on the no-fly list while she was visiting the in-laws overseas [...] Airline and immigration authorities refused to explain to her why she was not being allowed to travel"
posted by rodgerd at 10:29 PM PST - 29 comments

McBain: The Movie. McBain, an fictional action hero played by fictional movie star Ranier Wolfcastle (probably a parody of somebody famous), has had his movie played in snippets throughout the course of the Simpsons television show since the second season. Somebody took the time to paste these all together into a single 4 minute movie, which ends up having a plot about as good as any action movie you may have watched in the 80's.
posted by jabberjaw at 6:00 PM PST - 88 comments

19-year-old's testimony goes viral. 19-year-old Zach Wahls talks about his family at the Iowa gay marriage hearing. He's well-spoken, polite and compelling. Iowa passed a resolution that will let voters decide. I have something in my eye.
posted by Kitteh at 5:18 PM PST - 53 comments

City of New York extends full smoking ban to public parks, beaches, and public concourses like Times Square. (slnyt). A surprisingly metafilteresque flamewar can be observed in the comments of the huffington post re-reportage.
posted by tehloki at 5:18 PM PST - 211 comments


Marc Maron — comedian, former Air America host, and now podcaster of WTF fame — attempts and fails(?) to interview prop-comedy bête noire Gallagher. Total batshit insanity ensues. (Interview starts just after the 20-minute mark; WTF podcast is of course NSFW.) [more inside]
posted by Strange Interlude at 3:58 PM PST - 58 comments

Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond call the Mexican sportscar Mastretta the "tortilla car" and say that since cars reflect national characteristics, a mexican car will probably be "a lazy, feckless, flatulent oaf with a moustache, leaning against a fence asleep, looking at a cactus with a blanket with a hole in the middle on as a coat". The Mexican ambassador in London complained to the BBC about the comments and demanded a public apology from the presenters. Meanwhile, [person who is pretty clearly not] James May continues to attack Mexicans over on his Twitter page.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 3:12 PM PST - 161 comments

Mickey Mantle's outstanding event at Yankee Stadium. [NSFW text] Fact-checked by Snopes. And this from a man who did a lot of outstanding things in Yankee Stadium. Letters Of Note previously.
posted by chavenet at 3:08 PM PST - 25 comments

Code Rush Code Rush: the fall of Netscape. [more inside]
posted by asymptotic at 3:06 PM PST - 17 comments



Today a California appeals court ruled that free online porn is not unfair competition to pay sites.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:22 PM PST - 73 comments

With newspapers going broke everywhere, what replaces them? How about an electronic newspaper? Introducing The Daily, a 100-page non-paper newspaper delivered fresh daily to your iPad for just $40 per year. [more inside]
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 1:17 PM PST - 57 comments

The White Stripes have broken up. Let's watch some videos. [more inside]
posted by Weebot at 1:03 PM PST - 125 comments

Ultramarines, in the grim future there is only b-graded adaptions with plotholes you can drive several trucks through. In light of Dan Abnetts salient work on the Horus Heresy books, and other canon, what went wrong here?
posted by xcasex at 12:20 PM PST - 44 comments

Today is National Signing Day, the first day a high school senior can sign a letter of intent and commit to a collegiate football program. Sports Illustrated is liveblogging announcements throughout the day. Get some background with a list of Players to Watch, or just enjoy the adorable friend accompanying Isaiah Crowell. But some say it has become too much of a circus to be good for the young players. And others want to recognize the real unsung heroes of the day.
posted by troika at 11:22 AM PST - 45 comments

Radio comedy call-in powerhouse The Best Show on WFMU is available in delicious bite sized jems.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 11:16 AM PST - 20 comments

The anchor of the printing plant is a custom-built 121-ton web press. ... It prints at a rate of 55,000 pages per hour. ... The mailing system is fully automated and is capable of addressing 150,000 pieces every eight hours. The entire shipping line is capable of shipping better than 500,000 boxes and individual items each week. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese at 11:15 AM PST - 30 comments


This morning, Match.Com and OKCupid tied the knot, after Match paid OKCupid $50 million in cash. OKCupid have been longstanding and outspoken critics of Match and eHarmony's business models, going as far as to call both sites deceptive scams on their corporate blog. Naturally, those criticisms silently disappeared from OKCupid's blog within minutes of the acquisition being announced.
posted by schmod at 9:46 AM PST - 147 comments

Fans of weatherman Tom Skilling's Facebook Page are posting some terrific personal photos of the blizzard's aftermath. This one is my favorite so far.
posted by Short Attention Sp at 9:31 AM PST - 58 comments



Everything is a Remix Part 2: Movies Mind-blowing cuts of how previous films influenced pretty much all of Hollywood's output today. Previously this series examined music in much the same way.
posted by mathowie at 8:45 AM PST - 46 comments

August 2010: Popular gamer web comic makes ill-considered joke. People are offended. October 2010: Joke becomes shirt. More people are offended. January 2011: Shirts are pulled. Apology, at best, goes badly. Debacle results. Moral: always respect Wheaton's Law.
posted by dvorak_beats_qwerty at 6:18 AM PST - 1328 comments

Why Mubarak is Out by Jadaliyya, an independent Ezine produced by ASI (Arab Studies Institute) — Many international media commentators are having a hard time understanding the complexity of forces driving and responding to these momentous events. This confusion is driven by the binary “good guys versus bad guys” lenses most use to view this uprising. Such perspectives obscure more than they illuminate. There are three prominent binary models out there and each one carries its own baggage: (1) People versus Dictatorship: This perspective leads to liberal naïveté and confusion about the active role of military and elites in this uprising. (2) Seculars versus Islamists: This model leads to a 1980s-style call for “stability” and Islamophobic fears about the containment of the supposedly extremist “Arab street.” (3) Old Guard versus Frustrated Youth: This lens imposes a 1960s-style romance on the protests but cannot begin to explain the structural and institutional dynamics driving the uprising, nor account for the key roles played by many 70-year-old Nasser-era figures. [more inside]
posted by heatherann at 6:15 AM PST - 78 comments

February 1

The King's Speech is an extremely well-made film with a seductive human interest plot, very prettily calculated to appeal to the smarter filmgoer and the latent Anglophile. But it perpetrates a gross falsification of history. - Christopher Hitchens on the historical revisionism of The King's Speech. The LA times suggests that this, along with the History Channel digging up footage of King George VI not really stuttering all that badly at all, might be the beginning of a backlash against the film, which has been gaining Oscar momentum since it's SAG Award wins. With The Social Network, 127 Hours and The Fighter also having a basis in reality, is today's film making too hung up on the "true" story?
posted by Artw at 10:59 PM PST - 127 comments

Random and Useless Skills Part One - Part Two - Part Three
posted by wayofthedodo at 9:49 PM PST - 21 comments

"For the last 18 years I have photographed Julie Baird’s complex story of multiple homes, AIDS, drug abuse, abusive relationships, poverty, births, deaths, loss and reunion. Following Julie from the backstreets of San Francisco to the backwoods of Alaska."
posted by dobbs at 8:33 PM PST - 86 comments

“I’m going to divide the universe into Planck-sized regions, and put a monkey in each one. You will ask what the monkey is made of, when nothing can be smaller than the Planck scale, and I will say that it is not made of anything – it is a single, fundamental monkey particle. One in every Planck sized region of space. These regions are very small - there will be nearly as many monkeys inside the space occupied by a single atom as there are atoms in the universe. And there will be monkeys in the spaces not occupied by atoms too. And they will type faster. How fast can a thing happen? Just as there is a shortest possible distance, there is a shortest possible time, and it’s called the Planck time." A look at the idea of an infinite number of monkeys at an infinite number of typewriters. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla at 7:10 PM PST - 74 comments

On Friday, Bitch Magazine shared its list of 100 Young Adult Books for the Feminist Reader. This afternoon, the magazine announced three books had been removed: "A couple of us at the office read and re-read Sisters Red, Tender Morsels and Living Dead Girl this weekend. We've decided to remove these books from the list -- Sisters Red because of the victim-blaming scene that was discussed earlier in this post, Tender Morsels because of the way that the book validates (by failing to critique or discuss) characters who use rape as an act of vengeance, and Living Dead Girl because of its triggering nature. We still feel that these books have merit and would not hesitate to recommend them in certain instances, but we don't feel comfortable keeping them on this particular list." [more inside]
posted by changeling at 7:02 PM PST - 75 comments

Australia is copping another pounding from natural disasters. After the floods across Brisbane (previously) in South-east Queensland, North Queensland is in the firing line for a Category 5 cyclone called Yasi. The official warning: THIS IMPACT IS LIKELY TO BE MORE LIFE THREATENING THAN ANY EXPERIENCED DURING RECENT GENERATIONS. [more inside]
posted by bystander at 6:31 PM PST - 183 comments

IPv6, a newer version of the Internet Protocol that most of the net will convert to during the next few years due to "address exhaustion" with the current IPv4, (previously, previously) has a variety of advanced security features in it. Once IPv6 is fully rolled out and all the technical people are familiar with it, computers connected to the internet will be much safer from some kinds of hacking - but until then we may be in for a bumpy ride.
posted by XMLicious at 4:59 PM PST - 60 comments

TLC: [SLYT] The Learning Channel.
posted by Fizz at 4:30 PM PST - 69 comments


Kevin Kelly, writer and founding executive editor of Wired magazine, made the bold statement: "I say there is no species of technology that have ever gone globally extinct on this planet." The challenge was laid, including a search through the agricultural tools section of an 1895 Montgomery Ward & Co. Catalogue. Every item listed in that section was still made, somewhere in the world (and found online, to boot). Additional challengers were found, from the 8-Track (still being made [previously]), anvils (plenty), astrolabes (pick one [listed under Astrolabe Reproductions]). Button hooks? Check. Shoe X-Ray Machine? Probably extinct (via). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:46 PM PST - 176 comments

"Over the last few years, I've been collecting examples of metagames — not the strategy of metagaming, but playable games about videogames. Most of these, like Desert Bus or Quest for the Crown, are one-joke games for a quick laugh. Others, like Cow Clicker and Upgrade Complete, are playable critiques of game mechanics. Some are even (gasp!) fun."
posted by brundlefly at 12:56 PM PST - 44 comments

KeygenJukebox is ready to serve up a nice stream of chiptunes pulled from serial key generators, program crackers, trainers and so on. A large part of their library comes from the formidable collection at Keygenmusic, which carries the music in its original format and is organized by cracking group. Get nostalgic! Energize the workplace! Please note that no actual key generators or cracking information of any kind can be found on these sites.
posted by Monster_Zero at 12:06 PM PST - 19 comments

The Economist asks a few economists from around the world: a) Which economists were most influential over the past decade? b) Which economists were doing the most to shape post-crisis thinking? The leading nominees: Ben Bernanke and Raghuram Rajan, respectively. In case the second name is unfamiliar, read a recent interview of him in The New Yorker or take a look at his blog. [more inside]
posted by jng at 11:00 AM PST - 12 comments

Cracking the Scratchie. With cheating and money laundering and statistics, this story seems like it should be about something more exciting than scratch-off lottery tickets. But it isn't.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:40 AM PST - 92 comments

Boobs in Bangkok: "Wayward Betty" tells the story of her Thai plastic surgery vacation. (Via The Hairpin, whose excerpt is eye-friendlier.)
posted by hermitosis at 10:35 AM PST - 61 comments

It's Ratfist! (story started here, 17 updates ago) The webcomics world is semi-agog about this new daily entry by previous-master-of-other-media Doug TenNapel. Did somebody say "who?"? Just the well-warped mind behind landmark video games Earthworm Jim and The Neverhood, and unjustly forgotten toons Project GeeKeR and Catscratch, among other stuff.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:17 AM PST - 19 comments

Google set up a sting operation to prove that rival Microsoft search engine Bing is cheating, using Internet Explorer to track users' Google search results and mining that data to improve Bing. Here's the proof.
posted by 2bucksplus at 10:15 AM PST - 166 comments

South Dakota Rep. Hal Wick (R-Sioux Falls), is sponsoring a bill [text] which would require all citizens to buy a firearm “sufficient to provide for their ordinary self-defense” within six months of turning age 21. Rep. Wick said he is introducing the bill to prove a point that the federal health care reform mandate passed last year is unconstitutional. [previously] [more inside]
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:05 AM PST - 146 comments


On the heels of the Comcast/NBC merger, NBCUniversal have unveiled their new logo. Astute viewers will note that there's something missing from it.
posted by schmod at 8:47 AM PST - 71 comments


Art Project, powered by Google: explore museums and galleries from around the world in the same way you explore cities with Street View and click on a painting (or select one from the list) to view a high quality scan. [more inside]
posted by mahershalal at 3:38 AM PST - 29 comments

Iain Banks interviewed by the Open University (45min). Compare and contrast with Iain Banks interviewed on STV (25min) back in 1989. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:27 AM PST - 44 comments

"The hypocrisy of western liberals is breathtaking: they publicly supported democracy, and now, when the people revolt against the tyrants on behalf of secular freedom and justice, not on behalf of religion, they are all deeply concerned. Why concern, why not joy that freedom is given a chance?" Slavoj Žižek on the revolts in Egypt and Tunisia.
posted by klue at 3:24 AM PST - 118 comments

We Chinese - street portraits and interviews about China and its future [via mefi projects] "In 2010, I traveled to major urban centers in eastern China stopping people on the street to ask the same two questions about their country and their future." [more inside]
posted by smoke at 3:17 AM PST - 8 comments

Crime maps have formally reached England and Wales, says The Spectator. Launched today, the crime map shows two mild anti-social orders for our sleepy UK villige. What's your crime level?
posted by Schroder at 2:22 AM PST - 39 comments