February 2012 Archives

February 29

Two brothers and two awesome courses in one awesome channel: John Green teaches you world history and Hank Green teaches you biology. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb at 10:03 PM PST - 19 comments

I catch a lot of flak over my description of the years 1974 to 1983 as the Golden Age of roleplaying games, much of it based on a misunderstanding of my original point, namely that, after this period, tabletop RPGs would never again command the same degree of broad cultural significance that they did during this time. A good illustration of my point is this odd product, from wargames publisher SPI: Dallas: The Television Role-Playing Game. Published in 1980, the same year as the company's more well known foray into roleplaying, DragonQuest, Dallas was designed by none other than James F. Dunnigan, famous as (among many things) the designer of the classic wargames Jutland and PanzerBlitz. [more inside]
posted by Trurl at 8:43 PM PST - 26 comments

"What's that buzzing sound?" Foreign Policy's third annual War Issue focuses on what it calls "Barack Obama's Secret Wars," including My Drone War, in which a Pakistani journalist for Newsday and the NYT describes what drone warfare looks and sounds like from the ground; The Obama Doctrine, which argues drone warfare is a failing strategy in both Yemen and Pakistan; The Evolution of Drone Warfare: A Photo History, 1917-2010, and more. The package also includes two takes on cyberwar - Cyberwar is still more hype than hazard and Cyberwar Is Already Upon Us - along with a lot of interesting links.
posted by mediareport at 7:41 PM PST - 99 comments


EFF's HTTPS Everywhere v2 adds support for Chrome and adds Decentralized SSL Observatory to the FireFox version, [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges at 7:32 PM PST - 20 comments

"Smart talk has never been such a valuable commodity. It’s spawned conferences like TED, Davos, and now a slew of upstart competitors. It has made the eighteen‑minute TED lecture a viral online phenomenon. But are we running out of things to say?"
posted by vidur at 7:11 PM PST - 47 comments

Pages from Beckett's wartime manuscripts - from Watt, written in ink and colored crayons between 1940 and 1945, numbers 945 pages in six notebooks and loose sheets. More from Watt, part of a larger 2006 Samuel Beckett Centenary Exhibition, Fathoms from Anywhere.
posted by madamjujujive at 6:30 PM PST - 8 comments

In January, 16 scientists and/or engineers wrote an opinion piece in the WSJ. This is the response of one of the academics cited in their piece: William Nordhaus. According to the 16 scientists/engineers, Nordhaus recommended no action on climate change for 50 years. But he didn't. The opinion piece has generated controversy among climate scientists as well.
posted by blueberry sushi at 6:13 PM PST - 19 comments

Bully is an unflinching new documentary about teenagers and bullying. Controversially the MPAA is giving it an R for "language", preventing it's subjects from seeing it, and refusing to change that rating. In response Harvey Weinstein is considering a leave of absence from the MPAA, 75,000 people signed an online petition urging the rating be overturned and now in retaliation the National Association of Theatre Owners is now threatening to give all Weinstein Company films an automatic NC-17 rating in future.
posted by Artw at 3:33 PM PST - 140 comments

Animated shorts made by California prisoners in the early 90s. [more inside]
posted by latkes at 2:52 PM PST - 6 comments

When Len Kendall decided to propose to his girlfriend Katie Holland, he turned to Buzzfeed for an assist. His proposal quickly went viral. [more inside]
posted by SisterHavana at 2:39 PM PST - 51 comments

Depressed/frightened/disheartened about the GOP primary race? Here's Bad Lip Reading doing Rick Santorum and the rest of the GOP roster: Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain, Rick Perry. [more inside]
posted by LMGM at 2:14 PM PST - 33 comments


If Britain were Greece... (audio slideshow)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:11 PM PST - 39 comments

Verisign today seized control of a .com domain belonging to a Canadian online gambling business operating in Canada (inasmuch as an online business can be said to be operating in Canada), on behalf of Federal Authorities. [more inside]
posted by gauche at 12:52 PM PST - 36 comments

Last night Chadwick Matlin, Reuters Opinion editor, live-tweeted a monthly member meeting of the Park Slope Food Coop. The topic this evening was whether to ban plastic bags. [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus at 12:48 PM PST - 35 comments

An oral history of one of the NBA's most infamous moments - The Malice in The Palace
posted by thecjm at 12:27 PM PST - 37 comments

Jack Hargreaves the presenter of Out of Town and the author of The Old Country explains the finer points of dog training; ratting sticks, coppicing, and wattle hurdles; and rabbiting. [more inside]
posted by lemuring at 12:07 PM PST - 14 comments

The Artistifier makes YouTube videos classy, with a title screen, caption screens, a lively soundtrack, all set in black and white. For example, The Slacker trailer turns into this. It's like the Benny Hillifier (previously), but with style. (via)
posted by filthy light thief at 12:01 PM PST - 2 comments


Earth Faces 12% Chance of "Catastrophic Solar Megastorm" by 2020 The last gigantic solar storm, known as the Carrington Event, occurred more than 150 years ago and was the most powerful such event in recorded history. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad at 11:48 AM PST - 75 comments

My Favourite Childhood Nightmares: Marcel Meyer creates haunting cinemagraphs. [more inside]
posted by quin at 11:34 AM PST - 7 comments


Curious about windows 8? ISO images for the 'consumer preview' version are available from Microsoft. Typically these previews expire at a certain date, but the previously released developer preview won't expire until January 15th, 2013. You can use the Open Source Virtual Box to run the OS in a virtual machine (instructions for installing windows 8) Previously: 1, 2, [more inside]
posted by delmoi at 10:48 AM PST - 119 comments

The International Space Station is a complex place, with loads of gear packed into its 916 cubic meters of pressurized volume. SpaceRef has an assortment of detailed technical documents describing everything from basic operations to emergency procedures. For a general overview, see the excellent NASA ISS Reference Guide (pdf).
posted by bitmage at 10:25 AM PST - 12 comments

Something For Nothing.(1940)
Cartoonist Rube Goldberg discusses the perpetual motion device, celebrates America's inexhaustible supply of fossil fuels, and mocks hydroelectric power and other whacky inventions. (A 1930s Jam Handy/GM production.) Previously.
posted by Stagger Lee at 9:40 AM PST - 14 comments


"The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) ... have made air travel the most difficult means of mass transit in the United States, at the same time failing to make air travel any more secure." Steve Moore has been an FBI Special Agent, head of the Los Angeles Joint Terrorism Task Force's Al Qaeda and extra-territorial squads, a SWAT agent trained to interdict airplane hijackings, and a pilot. His father literally wrote the book on airline security. And he has come to the conclusion that "TSA is one of the worst-run, ineffective and most unnecessarily intrusive agencies in the United States government." [more inside]
posted by Zozo at 9:07 AM PST - 170 comments

The Baldur's Gate series of games is considered legendary amongst CRPG fans. They are routinely considered amongst the greatest of all time, and was recently voted the best series in the history of video games by a panel of 1,000 game devs. Today, the Baldur's Gate web site was updated with a new product teaser. [more inside]
posted by WinnipegDragon at 9:05 AM PST - 156 comments

Adam Curtis on The legacy of the Colonels Coup - "What is forgotten is that from 1967 to 1974 the Greek people lived under a harsh and violent dictatorship that tortured and murdered thousands of ordinary people. The Colonels also corrupted the society by handing out vast loans to individuals in towns and villages across the country - to buy their loyalty. At the same time the repression and torture bred a powerful resistance that finally burst out in incredible bravery in 1973." [more inside]
posted by marienbad at 8:50 AM PST - 12 comments


Mired in debt, the small town of Rasquera, in Spain, is considering an unorthodox source of funding: growing marijuana. [more inside]
posted by Skeptic at 8:08 AM PST - 8 comments

Queen is looking for very special twenty-five year old. On August 9, 1986, Queen played their what would end up being their very last concert with Freddy Mercury at Knebworth House in Hertfordshire, England. It marked the end of an era for the band, but the beginning of a new one for a rock-and-roll baby born at the show. [more inside]
posted by kimdog at 7:04 AM PST - 65 comments

"The thing that is unique about [Britta Perry] is that she is never the subject of slut shaming. Like, she’s one of the only female characters that doesn’t ever get punished for having an active sex life." The Daily Beast interviews the female stars of Community (and one of its female writers).
posted by Rory Marinich at 6:35 AM PST - 42 comments

11-year old Emily Mueller wanted nothing more than to see the Krewe of Muses during Mardi Gras.. But when a drunken man blocking Emily's view and after spilling beer on her referred to Emily, who is autistic, as a "retard," Emily asked her mother to take her home. AJ Mueller, Emily's mother, blogged about the encounter, and when she woke up the next morning, the page had over 30,00 views. One of the first comments on the page is from an area DJ offering to send Emily gifts from their stash of prizes. And the Krewe of Muses -- the act Emily so wanted to see --- opened their den for Emily Gras.
posted by zizzle at 6:20 AM PST - 75 comments


Unf**k Your Habitat. Billed as "Terrifying motivation for lazy people with messy homes", it's more a place to go if you're desperately untidy, you like GIFs, and you want to hang out with people who are averse to tidying. There are challenges and tips. If, like me, the confusion of being a Tumblr and a community is too much, then the about page may be a good place to start.
posted by zoo at 5:12 AM PST - 59 comments

Raspberry Pi the £22 ($35) computer was launched today and sold out immediately. It is intended to encourage children to develop a better understanding of computers and get involved in programming. The design is based on a Broadcom BCM2835 SoC with no keyboard or other frills; it's meant to run Linux.
posted by Segundus at 4:40 AM PST - 128 comments

The tendency of existing research to treat the Roma as having first entered European political history with the Nazi genocide disregards a unique six-hundred-year history. It is indeed the case that the Roma, who over long periods of time lived nomadically and possessed no written culture of their own, have left almost no historical accounts of themselves. The heritage and documents therefore do not permit a history of the Roma comparable to that, for example, of the persecuted and expelled French Huguenots. What is available to us, however, is evidence – in the form of literature and art – of the way in which the settled, feudally organized European population experienced a way of life that it perceived as threatening. Despite consisting solely of stories and images that are defensive "distortions", this evidence provides a far from unfavourable basis for an examination of the six-hundred-year history of the European Roma, insofar as it is a history of cultural appropriation characterized by segregation. We encounter the traces of the reality experienced by the Roma almost exclusively through depictions by outsiders, and must use these to imagine those parts considered impossible to represent. The extraneous cultural depictions of the Roma – variously referred to as gypsies, zigeuner, tatern, cigány, çingeneler, and so on – have created heterogeneous units of "erased" identity and cultural attributes. The "invention" of the Gypsy is the underside of the European cultural subject's invention of itself as the agent of civilising progress in the world.

Europe invents the Gypsies: the dark side of modernity
posted by timshel at 2:44 AM PST - 33 comments

February 28




Top 10 Unusual (yet tasty) Food Combinations. And after trying those, savor 10 Desserts with Unexpected Ingredients. Or check out the ask.
posted by storybored at 9:34 PM PST - 140 comments

In 2007, the Madison (WI) Police Department hired their first civilian Public Information Officer: former reporter Joel DeSpain. Over the last five years, Mr. DeSpain has reportedly combined "humor, a flair for the dramatic and sense of the absurd", and turned the mundane Madison Police Blotter into an "art form and a thing of joy." So Why Has Madison Wisconsin Has Become the Weird News Capitol of the Midwest? Meet the United States’ most whimsical police reporter. (Last one's a gawker link. If you dislike their site / interface, have no fear: all reports in that article (plus four extras) can be found after the jump.) [more inside]
posted by zarq at 8:57 PM PST - 19 comments

Australia hosts secret trade agreement negotiations this week in Melbourne This Thursday, behind closed doors in Melbourne, representatives from nine countries will take up discussions once again on an ambitious, comprehensive trade agreement for the Asia-Pacific region. Negotiators from Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Vietnam, Malaysia, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Peru and Singapore will pore over draft treaty text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, an agreement to cover all aspects of commercial relations between the countries, from competition and customs to e-commerce, rules of origin and labor, from textiles and apparel to telecommunications and intellectual property. The intellectual property chapter for the TPP will lay out lengthy, highly detailed, coverage of all aspects of IP enforcement and protection between the nine countries.
posted by wilful at 8:42 PM PST - 11 comments

Welcome, artists and aficionados alike, to the brand new home of The Museum of Forgotten Art Supplies, where tools of the trade that have died or have just about died a slow death are cheerfully exhibited...
posted by Confess, Fletch at 7:59 PM PST - 33 comments

Rail cars, gantry cranes, and cruise ships hooray! Time-lapse awesomeness. (SLV) Watch for the rail cars, freighters and cruise ships, and check out the giant cranes at Port Metro Vancouver. Shot from the 33rd floor of the Woodward's building in the DTES. These were photos taken at 5-second intervals over 22 hours. [more inside]
posted by moneyjane at 7:41 PM PST - 13 comments

The Navy has spent seven years testing out the components of a way-futuristic weapon: a shipboard cannon that blasts bullets over vast distances at hypersonic speeds using bursts of electricity. ... The Navy released video of the first tests, viewable above, on Tuesday. The dramatic mini-inferno in the wake of the slug fired from the railgun is the result of “1 million amps flowing through” the gun, said test chief Tom Boucher, the hypersonic speed of the shot, and the actual aluminum of the bullet — “reactive in the atmosphere” — burning off.
posted by Trurl at 6:22 PM PST - 143 comments

In the Netherlands, bikes abound. And now, they even take kids to school. Behold, the bicycle school bus.
posted by Blasdelb at 6:13 PM PST - 53 comments

New Zealand artist Peter Donnelly's art hangs in no galleries. His medium is sand, and each work lasts only as long as the incoming tide.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 5:37 PM PST - 8 comments

In 1976, American students put their Tricentennial imaginings to paper. Some larger versions of the drawings are available over at Buzzfeed.
posted by gman at 4:18 PM PST - 6 comments

A short conversation on the cultural and biological origins of war.
posted by latkes at 2:42 PM PST - 20 comments

On April 1, the American Mustache Institute hopes to organize a Million Mustache March on Washington DC, in support of the proposed STACHE act (Stimulus to Allow for Critical Hair Expenses). “The Stache Act (Stimulus to Allow for Critical Hair Expenses) aims to earn a well-deserved $250 annual tax deduction for every Mustached American for expenditures on mustache grooming supplies." [more inside]
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 2:40 PM PST - 43 comments

Last week, small press distributor Independent Publishers Group (IPG) announced that Amazon has decided to stop selling Kindle editions for the publishers IPG represents. The decision impacts over 500 small publishers and almost 5,000 Kindle titles. Neither party has offered much in the way of specifics, but other publishers have been reporting that Amazon has been pressuring them to offer higher discounts and/or pay a “co-op” fee of an additional 3%-4% on all sales to cover the cost of offering “automation and personalization” services (i.e. Customers who bought x also bought y). Authors and publishers have been reacting to the development.
posted by Toekneesan at 1:43 PM PST - 51 comments


"Historians have long debated what could have been done differently to prevent that tragedy, and what still could be done to keep such a tragedy from repeating on future expeditions. In 1913, a Swiss inventor proposed a solution to the problem. Naturally, it involved giant mechanical mosquitoes." [more inside]
posted by brundlefly at 1:13 PM PST - 19 comments


The Martin Luther Insult Generator. That is all.
posted by LarryC at 1:06 PM PST - 75 comments

Adm. Grace Hopper, inventor of the first compiler, explains how big a nanosecond is
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:58 PM PST - 40 comments

Beavis and Butthead in Real Life. [SLBuzzFeed]
posted by unSane at 12:38 PM PST - 26 comments

The Bible & Terminator 2: Heteroglossic discourse and poetic authority.
posted by cortex at 12:26 PM PST - 21 comments

Just three minutes a week of exercise can help make you fit. That's 180 seconds out of 604,800. 'This apparently outrageous claim is supported by many years of research'. 'A few relatively short bursts of intense exercise, amounting to only a few minutes a week, can deliver many of the health and fitness benefits of hours of conventional exercise, according to new research.''But how much benefit you get from either may well depend on your genes.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 12:24 PM PST - 53 comments

Nearly four years into a global economic crisis that has withstood many attempted solutions, MMT theorists are trying to edge themselves into mainstream discourse. After an extended Dylan Matthews article in the Washington Post and a large Italian MMT Summit this weekend, some are claiming victory. But what is MMT? [more inside]
posted by crayz at 11:56 AM PST - 13 comments

The beginning of the end of "he said, she said" journalism? NPR decides to be "Fair to the Truth" instead of simply reporting both sides of an issue.
posted by asavage at 11:50 AM PST - 68 comments

A two-foot piece of wood or plastic mounted on wheels, it yields to the skillful user the excitements of skiing or surfing. To the unskilled it gives the effect of having stepped on a banana peel while dashing down the back stairs. It is also a menace to live and even limb. Life magazine article on skateboarding in New York City, from the May 14, 1965 issue. Pictures from that article are now online in larger form (one-page view on another site). See also: The New York Skate Movie trailer on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 11:43 AM PST - 15 comments

"Experience the roadlessness, the bandits, the breakdowns, the yaks, and the camels, without ever having to figure out how to steer and shift a right-driving mini-car through some of the remotest land on the planet. And see it out the windshield just like we did." Drive across Mongolia in four minutes. [via]
posted by quin at 11:15 AM PST - 6 comments

Between February 27th and March 30th, PBS will be running the PBS Online Film Festival. The first four short films, in the Real Stories category, are now online. [more inside]
posted by fings at 10:57 AM PST - 2 comments

...Many Republicans are already looking past 2012. If either Romney or Santorum gains the nomination and then falls before Obama, flubbing an election that just months ago seemed eminently winnable, it will unleash a GOP apocalypse on November 7—followed by an epic struggle between the regulars and red-hots to refashion the party. And make no mistake: A loss is what the GOP’s political class now expects. “Six months before this thing got going, every Republican I know was saying, ‘We’re gonna win, we’re gonna beat Obama,’ ” says former Reagan strategist Ed Rollins. “Now even those who’ve endorsed Romney say, ‘My God, what a fucking mess.’ ”
John Heilemann in New York Magazine on "The Lost Party", part one of a series on the modern Republican party in light of the 2012 presidential election. [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus at 10:11 AM PST - 246 comments

"You’ll be happy with him. He’ll protect you like a stone wall." First time, only for <3. [more inside]
posted by Mister Fabulous at 9:36 AM PST - 31 comments

Vintage Posters from the Golden Age of Travel 1910-1959 BrainPickings' page of vintage poster art pertaining to travel.
posted by ifjuly at 9:01 AM PST - 31 comments

The Big Egg Hunt around the streets of London 209 big fibreglass eggs distributed around different areas of London, in an attempt to break the world record for the largest Easter Egg hunt. The eggs appeared overnight on Tuesday 21st February (Shrove Tuesday) and will be on the streets until Easter Sunday. [more inside]
posted by MykReeve at 8:57 AM PST - 7 comments

Paypal is coming down hard on online erotica retailers. The service has sent demands to such ebook self-publishing sites as Smashwords, AllRomanceEbooks and Bookstrand, demanding that they remove all titles containing bestiality, rape-for-titillation, and incest- including the popular 'pseudo-incest' category of stepparent or stepsibling sex. [more inside]
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:36 AM PST - 56 comments


A whole new batch of rejected Star Wars toys (Previously)
posted by griphus at 6:52 AM PST - 47 comments

Bach's Mass in B Minor: Four lectures and an interactive manuscript (which starts playing automatically) tied to the lectures.
posted by Wolfdog at 6:07 AM PST - 13 comments

In [the USA], buying a good over-the-counter nasal decongestant requires picking a card from an empty spot on the shelf, taking it to the pharmacist, handing over your driver's license, and getting it from behind the counter. Only the larger drug stores bother. Meth, on the other hand, is apparently easier to come by. So here (PDF), from the the wonderfully named Journal of Apocryphal Chemistry, is a paper on how to make Sudafed® from Meth.
posted by TheNewWazoo at 4:37 AM PST - 58 comments


Machinery Scans a showcase for some of the most detailed advertisement engravings produced. During the later part of the 19th century most machinery and equipment makers spent large sums of money to have their tool or piece of machinery converted into an engraving for advertising. The scans are of engravings produced from the 1850s-1890s.
posted by Mitheral at 2:17 AM PST - 27 comments

Tit Thinks it's People [NSFW]
posted by finite at 1:49 AM PST - 44 comments

...this particular technicolour trench coat is stitched together from black leather, and fastened with a lot of safety pins and zippers: its sinister sounds are both haunted by the past, and haunting us toward the something-to-be-done. Like the saying goes: the darkest hour is just before the dawn. Our traumatized collective unconscious - the victim of social, political, cultural, and environmental shocks - is not a blank slate, but rather a pile of rubble that requires considerable rebuilding. There is much work yet to carry out. And really, why be blank when you can be bleak?

The New Bleak: Trauma, Haunting And The Cultural Obsession With Darkness
posted by timshel at 12:58 AM PST - 21 comments

February 27

The human form in chains. Bicycle chains.
posted by rtha at 8:59 PM PST - 24 comments

"I Was a Warehouse Wage Slave: My brief, backbreaking, rage-inducing, low-paying, dildo-packing time inside the online-shipping machine"
posted by vidur at 8:47 PM PST - 242 comments

Temporal Distortion "What you see is real, but you can't see it this way with the naked eye. It is the result of thousands of 20-30 second exposures, edited together to produce the time lapse. This allows you to see the Milky Way, Aurora and other Phenomena, in a way you wouldn't normally see them." More info here.
posted by HuronBob at 7:31 PM PST - 18 comments

Academic publisher Elsevier backs down. Reed Elsevier withdraws its support for the controversial Research Works Act. Not without some whining, of course. Reps. Issa and Maloney have apparently said they won't be moving the bill forward.
posted by pantarei70 at 7:23 PM PST - 45 comments

As you can see, the [Chinese] typewriter is extremely complicated and cumbersome. The main tray — which is like a typesetter's font of lead type — has about two thousand of the most frequent characters. Two thousand characters are not nearly enough for literary and scholarly purposes, so there are also a number of supplementary trays from which less frequent characters may be retrieved when necessary. What is even more intimidating about a Chinese typewriter is that the characters as seen by the typist are backwards and upside down! [more inside]
posted by Trurl at 6:12 PM PST - 43 comments

Youtube comments are famously bad, and nearly universally maligned. All the same,Youtube Reacts is giving them a voice (NSFW due to a great deal of cursing). [more inside]
posted by codacorolla at 5:56 PM PST - 22 comments

An archival photo from The New York Times shows news pictures being sorted in the newspaper’s photo “morgue,” which houses millions of images. Here they are — several each week — for you to see. Welcome to The Lively Morgue. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 5:24 PM PST - 7 comments


The Red Ball in Abu Dhabi. The Red Ball in Chicago. The Giant Red Ball at a concert hall in Portland. The Red Ball blocked a tunnel in Barcelona. It's a big Red Ball. [more inside]
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:56 PM PST - 19 comments


obsessedwithshoes is just that, including a brief history of designer shoes. Shoerazzi is another.
If these are too modern you can always check out Footwear of the Middle Ages.
posted by adamvasco at 3:27 PM PST - 6 comments

Daily deals sites have sprung up all over, with even Microsoft and Australia's Channel 9 TV operating one called CUDO. Last Thursday's bargain (still on sale) is an ebook reader complete with 4000 books. The listing originally included a link to the 4000 titles, which has since been removed. The title list includes many best seller books from authors such as J.K. Rowling, Douglas Adams, Stephen King, Bill Bryson and Jack Kerouac amongst others. The list originally had the heading: 4001_ibooks_for_iphone_and_ipad_epub. 5832264.TPB.torrent Which corresponds to files on the Pirate Bay, and other torrent sites. [more inside]
posted by bystander at 3:05 PM PST - 31 comments

The making of Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em, and Part II. [more inside]
posted by latkes at 2:40 PM PST - 22 comments

Jan Berenstain, Co-Creator Of Berenstain Bears, Dies [NPR.ORG] Jan Berenstain, who with her husband, Stan, wrote and illustrated the Berenstain Bears books that have charmed preschoolers and their parents for 50 years, has died. She was 88.
posted by Fizz at 1:48 PM PST - 83 comments

France has passed a law that all cars must carry a road safety kit that includes a breathalyzer, .. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges at 12:36 PM PST - 78 comments

The Battle of the Java Sea happened exactly seventy years ago today. Austrialian, British, Dutch and American ships set sail to stop the Japanese invasion fleet steaming towards Java. It didn't end well. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse at 12:34 PM PST - 19 comments

Make Your Thing: Metafilter's own Jesse Thorn's "12 Point Program for Absolutely, Positively 1000% No-Fail Guaranteed Success" [google cache]
posted by drezdn at 12:06 PM PST - 243 comments

Pennsylvania judge Mark W. Martin dismissed assault charges against a man who attacked an atheist dressed as a zombie Mohammed in a Halloween parade, calling the victim a 'doofus.'
posted by Laminda at 11:26 AM PST - 303 comments

I Love Photography. A rant by Allen Murabayashi. [more inside]
posted by quin at 11:06 AM PST - 27 comments

"Rhyece O’Neill is an intense young man. A polemical folk singer, a producer of bass-heavy dance music, a protester, and a digital media worker for a major record label. He’s unlike anyone else in Australia’s dubstep landscape." Cyclic Defrost interviews O'Neill, aka electronic/dub/dubstep producer Westernsynthetics, and head of the Sub Continental Dub label. You can skip the rest and hear two streaming mixes from Westernsynthetics, 19 tracks from the Sub Continental Dub label, plus the label's first three singles, or continue inside for background, context, and even more music. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 10:58 AM PST - 9 comments

Craftsmen and women, some of them the last of their breed, making their art by hand and profiled in beautiful short-form videos: Knifemaker. Ornamental glass artist (previously). Master printer . Swordguard maker (previously). Beekeeper and honey maker. Stone lettercarvers. Carmaker. More, and related, at This Is Made By Hand, FolkStreams.net and (less related, but still wonderful) eGarage.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 10:45 AM PST - 19 comments

With Saturday's Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (results), the Belgian professional bicycle racing season has begun. Races are contested in the capricious spring weather, on devastatingly steep hills called hellingen, winding roads, and the cobbles known as pavé. Only cycling's true hardmen win these Spring Classics. [more inside]
posted by entropone at 10:43 AM PST - 9 comments

Bored by the ho-hum nostalgic Oscars last night? Enjoy Seth Rogen's edgy/funny 15 minute opener to the previous night's Film Independent Spirit Awards.
posted by mathowie at 10:30 AM PST - 87 comments

This week Image Comics celebrated 20 years of producing independent comics with the Image Comics Expo, taking a look back at the past whilst announcing a raft of new titles for the future, including some Grant Morrison projects and the long awaited return of Kieron Gillen and James McKelvie's Phonogram. One strange Image comic that embraces both the past and the future is Prophet - which picks up at issue #21 of an forgotten Liefeld story and turns it into "future space Conan".
posted by Artw at 10:24 AM PST - 38 comments

Stephen Leacock once wrote a story about a single pill that could replace a full Christmas dinner. Jimmy Kimmel offers you a similar pill to replace your upcoming year of movie-going. Movie: The Movie. Warning: Contains multiple movie stars. Do not take with water.
posted by maudlin at 9:07 AM PST - 24 comments

Yunus Bakhsh a Trade-Unionist Whistleblower at Northumbria Tyne and Wear NHS Trust was fired after a letter was circulated to the management stating that he "had bullied and intimidated other workers. " [Warning: most links are to the Socialist Worker website] [more inside]
posted by marienbad at 9:01 AM PST - 27 comments

Weird Al performs Eat It in Japan. Stay for the giant lobster man. [more inside]
posted by Think_Long at 8:23 AM PST - 11 comments

Bruce Lee vs. Ironman
posted by Jesse Hughson at 8:04 AM PST - 14 comments

The 5 Most Ridiculously Sexist Superhero Costumes. The 8 Stupidest Defenses Against Accusations of Sexism stemming from The 5 Most Ridiculously Sexist Superhero Costumes. What If Male Superheroes’ Costumes Were Designed Like Female Superheroes’ Costumes? The Avengers Poster Gets Gender Swapped. "American superhero comics, and the sexual objectification of their heroines, reflect the conditions of their production and consumption: they are made almost exclusively by and for men." On average, women account for less than 10 percent of the production staff credited in the production of the new DC and Marvel superhero comics, and are concentrated in less prestigious roles.
posted by kyrademon at 7:16 AM PST - 118 comments

Je suis Winnie l'Ourson (I am Winnie the Pooh). Pictures of superheroes and icons living their other lives.
posted by OmieWise at 5:56 AM PST - 27 comments

The Face of Gujarat 2002 "And when I saw the military van pass by, I thought, 'This is our last chance'. I began shouting Sahib! Sahib! to the soldiers and folded my hands, and when I did that they looked back and returned. [...] My life went into a tailspin. The picture followed me wherever I went. It haunted me, and drove me out of my job, and my state". Twelve years after the defining image of the Gujarat carnage. Previously. (Explanation of the title)
posted by the cydonian at 4:19 AM PST - 13 comments

The Link Between Adult Obesity and Childhood Trauma (Time magazine article) Felitti wondered if there was something similar barring weight loss in other patients — or causing obesity itself. In the late '80s, he began a systematic study of 286 obese people, and discovered that 50% had been sexually abused as children. That rate is more than 50% higher than the rate normally reported by women, and more than triple the average rate in men....
posted by The ____ of Justice at 3:13 AM PST - 111 comments

February 26

Got 12 minutes to spare? Then feel free to brush up on the evolution of the last 400 years of Classical music by enjoying this video of Paul Drayton's "Masterpiece".
posted by MattMangels at 11:51 PM PST - 9 comments

"As such, the film offers an interesting mix of, on the one hand, the surreal impossibility of reasoning with the state and its hired representatives (similar, say, to the writings of Franz Kafka); and, on the other, what seems to be a particularly American breed of libertarianism, one in which even parking meters can be interpreted as 'just a lot of guys laying down a lot of rules and regulations,' where all instances of authority are meant to be, if not resisted, than at least publicly mocked and undercut."--BLDGBLOG weighs in on the classic American film Cool Hand Luke (theatrical trailer). Part of a series entitled "Breaking Out & Breaking In"
posted by bardic at 11:12 PM PST - 15 comments

The Victorian Kitchen Garden is a 13-part TV series that aired in 1987 on BBC2. It follows the month-by-month restoration of the Victorian walled kitchen garden at the Chilton Foliat estate in Wiltshire, England. Almost all the episodes are available to watch online. (via hark, a vagrant) It had three sequels - The Victorian Kitchen, The Victorian Flower Garden, and The Wartime Kitchen and Garden - and inspired more recent historical reconstruction programs: Tales From the Green Valley, A Tudor Feast at Christmas, Victorian Farm, Victorian Farm Christmas, Victorian Pharmacy, and Edwardian Farm. (Victorian Farm and Edwardian Farm previously.) [more inside]
posted by flex at 9:17 PM PST - 29 comments



RIP Maurice André [more inside]
posted by plinth at 7:32 PM PST - 13 comments

According to a report by Democracy Corps, the Republican "brand" in US politics is collapsing.
posted by reenum at 7:19 PM PST - 149 comments

Phil Ochs: There But for Fortune - excellent 90-minute documentary of the trenchant folk performer who chronicled civil rights, politics, and the Viet Nam War until death by his own hand in 1976. Although he never achieved widespread popular acclaim, many found him to be the true voice of his generation - with themes that are sadly still relevant today. Just a musical taste to whet your appetite: Love Me, I'm a Liberal. [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive at 7:04 PM PST - 34 comments

Flight of the Bumblebee on Boomwhackers. That is all. (SLYT)
posted by Flannery Culp at 5:33 PM PST - 14 comments



Recently, the World Health Organisation anounced that India has officially broken the chain of Polio transmission, with no new cases reported in the last year. Following independent checks of the reporting laboratories, Indian Health Minister announced that WHO "has taken India's name off the list of polio endemic countries". [more inside]
posted by metaBugs at 3:46 PM PST - 21 comments

In Search of Haruki Murakami, Japan’s Great Postmodernist Novelist, a 50 minute documentary exploring Murakami's Japan and culture. via.
posted by timshel at 2:47 PM PST - 28 comments

Fuck Yeah Aerial Photography. That is all.
posted by outlandishmarxist at 12:33 PM PST - 11 comments

"Fast Company’s four-hour interview with [Martin Scorsese] for their December-January cover story: How to Lead A Creative Life, was ostensibly about his career, and how he had been able to stay so creative through years of battling studios. But the Hugo director punctuated everything he said with references to movies: 85 of them, in fact." Welcome to Martin Scorsese’s Film School: The 85 Films You Need To See To Know Anything About Film [more inside]
posted by zarq at 12:22 PM PST - 37 comments


Since 1983, Chicago's R.S. Owens & Company has been making one of the world’s most famous awards: The Oscar.
posted by quin at 11:01 AM PST - 7 comments

INSPIRATIONS A new movie by Cristóbal Vila. (previously)
posted by bleary at 10:09 AM PST - 2 comments


Fake War Stories "Whenever a group of gamers get together, there's always a period of swapping crazy gaming stories. Role-playing (tabletop or LARP), war gaming, FPS--everyone has a funny story to tell. We've already gotten a number of pretty funny ones." [via mefi projects]
posted by Blasdelb at 9:02 AM PST - 72 comments

FBI General Counsel reveals that around 3,000 warrantless GPS trackers were removed after the ruling in U.S v. Jones clarified their illegality (judgement PDF) (previous FPP). The ruling that a mosaic of surveillance technologies may form an issue when considered individually and the FBI's view of likely future judgements on the matter is particularly interesting in the light of the forthcoming cert/standing findings regarding warrantless eavesdropping.
posted by jaduncan at 8:42 AM PST - 20 comments

Choosing good passwords - a straightforward real-world guide for the average user, by AusCERT. Also includes links out to a fun and informative piece on The Top 500 Worst Passwords of All Time, and more in-depth material aimed at the tech and security savvy, like this enjoyable conference talk: Security As If Your Life Depended On It (because it might!). So we can avoid becoming xkcd cartoons.
posted by philipy at 8:38 AM PST - 71 comments

Mos Eisley Performance Hall. You will never find a more wretched hive of burlesque, theatre & entertainment. We should be cautious.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:00 AM PST - 13 comments

Rare full-color photos of celebrities of the 1930s and 40s as they appeared in the New York Daily News, taken by staff photographer Harry Warnecke. Warnecke is less renowned than other photographers of the period, but was one of the very first to make use of the challenging tri-color carbro process for these celebrity photos. His work is drawing attention in advance of the opening of a show of his portraits at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC, which opens next week. [more inside]
posted by briank at 6:55 AM PST - 37 comments

Charles Forsman (previously) has created another Spielberg/funny pages mashup: E.T. + Garfield [more inside]
posted by dubold at 6:48 AM PST - 1 comments

Closer to Van Eyck is an ultra-high-resolution look at one of the greatest masterpieces of Flemish painting, the Ghent Altarpiece (previously) an astounding 100 billion pixels in size. Stolen, with permission, from peacay's Twitter stream.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:41 AM PST - 16 comments

Circuli is a generative musical instrument based on circles (by the maker of Otomata)
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:35 AM PST - 6 comments

""The moon is actually expanding or stretching and being pulled apart in some small areas and by a little bit," [CBC.ca] New evidence suggests that the moon, once thought to be geologically cold and dead, is still stretching and contracting on its surface.
posted by Fizz at 4:36 AM PST - 27 comments

The City of Samba—Tilt shift of the Carnaval party in Rio de Janeiro.
posted by atomicmedia at 4:13 AM PST - 19 comments

Cormac McCarthy Pictionary (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:23 AM PST - 9 comments

What it feels like to have your spouse die. This left me speechless.
posted by rahulrg at 1:58 AM PST - 52 comments

February 25

"In a sense, living alone represents the self let loose. In the absence of . . . “surveilling eyes,” the solo dweller is free to indulge his or her odder habits — what is sometimes referred to as Secret Single Behavior. Feel like standing naked in your kitchen at 2 a.m., eating peanut butter from the jar? Who’s to know? . . . What emerges over time, for those who live alone, is an at-home self that is markedly different — in ways big and small — from the self they present to the world. We all have private selves, of course, but people who live alone spend a good deal more time exploring them."
posted by Jasper Friendly Bear at 10:17 PM PST - 100 comments

No musician of Bud Powell’s era had such capacity for improvisatory excellence and was so ready to unleash it, instantly, in such concentrated form onstage. [more inside]
posted by Trurl at 8:50 PM PST - 8 comments


Paint your own nebula
posted by rebent at 8:05 PM PST - 24 comments


Stephanie Coontz: The M.R.S. and the Ph.D. "Is this really the fate facing educated heterosexual women: either no marriage at all or a marriage with more housework and less sex? Nonsense. That may have been the case in the past, but no longer. For a woman seeking a satisfying relationship as well as a secure economic future, there has never been a better time to be or become highly educated... The most important predictor of marital happiness for a woman is not how much she looks up to her husband but how sensitive he is to her emotional cues and how willing he is to share the housework and child-care. And those traits are often easier to find in a low-key guy than a powerhouse." [more inside]
posted by flex at 7:14 PM PST - 50 comments

ILU-486, a chilling short story by Amanda Ching, in the vein of dystopian classics like The Handmaid's Tale and inspired by recent events in Virginia, has been sweeping the blogsphere. [more inside]
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 6:40 PM PST - 66 comments

A new study shows that the nature of a person's Facebook profile can help predict the person's performance as an employee.
posted by reenum at 5:56 PM PST - 50 comments

Music billboards on the Sunset Strip from 1974-75. (SLFlickr, but oh what a Flickr!) An amazing series of photos scanned from 35mm slides and negatives of music-related billboards on the fabled Sunset Strip from 75-75. A beautiful collection of artwork incorporating more than just promotional flats and album blow-ups. I believe some of these are even painted by hand. Enjoy!
posted by Senor Cardgage at 4:31 PM PST - 38 comments


Dixie Square Mall , Chicagoland's rotting eyesore, urban archaeology mecca. and site of a Blues Brothers chase scene, is finally being demolished. For real this time. It sat vacant and rotting since closing in 1979, slowly becoming the grim epitome of dead malls. (Previously)
posted by Yakuman at 3:24 PM PST - 36 comments


Teller Reveals His Secrets
posted by Meatbomb at 12:55 PM PST - 57 comments

Wonderful photos of cars being reclaimed by Nature | the photographer is Peter Lippmann, his website has other alluring and intriguing images of impermanence | historical women with anachronistic fashion accessories [nsfw] and other things. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 12:36 PM PST - 15 comments

Metafilter likes cats and Downton Abbey, right? I present Downton Tabby (SLYT)
posted by lizjohn at 12:11 PM PST - 21 comments

Theramin Badger Doesn't Give A Ooo-Eeee-Ooooo
from gadgetmaker/musician David Cranmer, aka Nervous Squirrel whose other projects include Brian the Penguin and the Programmable Musical Pig, seen in performance with the band Nine Owls in a Baguette. Because... well, why the owl not?
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:09 PM PST - 13 comments

Deep in the heart of Texas, a decrepit German POW camp is reconstructed. [more inside]
posted by Burhanistan at 11:39 AM PST - 22 comments

Reaction shots of losing (and winning) an Academy Award. In .gif form.
posted by graventy at 11:15 AM PST - 40 comments


Dergin Tokmak contracted polio as a child and lost much of the use of his legs. This did nothing to stop him from becoming an astonishing dancer.
posted by quin at 10:57 AM PST - 13 comments



Hey remember Lindsay Ellis' The Nostalgia Chick (previously) and her reviews of all things nostalgic and girly? She's done a lot more since then - Cruel Intentions- Jem! - The Craft - Mulan - and the Ne Plus Ultra of wish fulfillment Meg Ryan movies Kate & Leopold.
posted by The Whelk at 9:18 AM PST - 27 comments


Almost immediately upon my arrival in my first teaching job, I became the go-to guy for the Holocaust. Of course, this was partly due to my dissertation, but in larger part, I suspect, because of my Jewishness. This was fine with me for a number of reasons. First, as a junior faculty member, this identification, though merely professional, could only help in my quest for tenure. An expert on the Holocaust carried infinitely greater weight, I thought, than an expert on ministerial instability during the French Third Republic.

Dissolution: My life as an accidental Holocaust expert—and why I decided to quit
posted by timshel at 8:50 AM PST - 13 comments


Faux Philosophy News remixes stories from Leiter Reports and New APPS in the Horatian style popularized by the Onion.
posted by anotherpanacea at 8:04 AM PST - 9 comments

I present to you a page by page review of the novelisation of the movie Back to the Future. The review is being undertaken by Ryan North, who also creates the very funny webcomic Dinosaur Comics.
posted by Effigy2000 at 4:38 AM PST - 26 comments

British sf tabletop miniature wargame Warhammer 40,000 is 25 years old today, British sf anthology comic 2000AD is 35 years old tomorrow [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:11 AM PST - 85 comments

February 24

The legendary Dick Dale covers Amazing Grace, 12/09 in a Studio Session on NPR's KEXP. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 9:50 PM PST - 22 comments


"I can tell you that the days of of white, wealthy, upper-class [Smith] students from prep schools in cashmere coats and pearls who marry Amherst men are over. This is unfortunate because it is this demographic that puts their name on buildings, donates great art and subsidizes scholarships." Anne Spurzem, Smith College '84, reacts to news about the increase in diversity at her alma mater during President Carol Christ's tenure while Christ prepares to step down in 2013. Unsurprisingly, Spurzem's comments have caused an uproar among students and alumnae, leading to the creation of the Pearls and Cashmere Tumblr, which celebrates the diversity feared by Spurzem. Meanwhile, President Christ has responded to Spurzem's allegations in an open letter to to the Smith community.
posted by peripathetic at 7:17 PM PST - 146 comments

1. Find 5 very cute children.
2. Teach them how to play the guitar, and play it well.
3. Find a catchy little song for them to play.
5. Profit Nightmare.
posted by HuronBob at 6:44 PM PST - 66 comments

African-American fiddler Joe Thompson, probably the last living link to the black string band tradition of the 19th century, has died at the grand old age of 93. Hear Joe and his cousin, banjoist Odell (who passed on back in 1994) offer some reminiscences on the origins of their music, and a spirited rendition of Cindy Gal. Here's the short but sweet and deliciously ragged Old Corn Liquor. Hear Joe and Odell in concert in 1988, part one and part two, and this little ditty from a living room in 1987. And there's... [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:33 PM PST - 9 comments

"So why do all the girls have to buy pink stuff and all the boys have to buy different color stuff?"
Little Girl Getting Pissed Off At Gender-Specific Toy Colors (via)
posted by dunkadunc at 6:06 PM PST - 76 comments

Jenny Johnson, of Twitter fame, now writes a column for Grantland.com. In it, she pontificates on weighty issues, such as gingers, Derek Jeter's dating life, and the reason why she hates Valentine's Day flower deliveries at the office.
posted by reenum at 5:26 PM PST - 54 comments




KLM introduces Meet & Seat. Choose your seat-mate with Facebook!
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 4:00 PM PST - 37 comments

150 things to read, watch and listen to, so you don’t die of boredom this summer... according to Sassy Magazine, July 1990.
posted by mippy at 3:50 PM PST - 87 comments

"Elections Canada has traced fraudulent phone calls made during the federal election to an Edmonton voice-broadcast company that worked for the Conservative Party across the country." --National Post
posted by seanmpuckett at 2:55 PM PST - 68 comments


David Pogue weighed in yesterday about the Nightline piece on the terrible working conditions in Apple's subcontractor factories in China. Mike Daisey has been trying to engage with Mr. Pogue, but it hasn't gone well. Here's his final response to Mr. Pogue's story.
posted by garlic at 1:33 PM PST - 150 comments

Rap legend Too Short has made a career in rap documenting the business of prostitution. In the wake of criticism over a video interview on XXL in which he gave advice on committing sexual assault, he sat down with critic Dream Hampton for a frank discussion that he calls "a wake up call" (possible triggers).
posted by chrchr at 1:31 PM PST - 77 comments

Train announcements can be boring and routine. A couple of NY Times bloggers decided to let their readers suggest some alternatives and then had the voice of NY's subway system, Bernie Wagenblast, record several. (I read Bernie's Transportation Communications Newsletter, but don't know him personally).
posted by agatha_magatha at 1:18 PM PST - 17 comments

A full-length feature film has been made based on the infamous "WANTED: Somebody to go back in time with me." meme. The film, Safety Not Guaranteed [IMDB], will screen at SXSW. (Previously.)
posted by patr1ck at 1:06 PM PST - 20 comments

"Over eighty percent of silent films are lost. I’ve always considered a lost film as a narrative with no known final resting place... It’s eventually occurred to me that the best way to see them would to make contact with their miserable spirits and invite them to possess me." Filmmaker Guy Maddin is summoning the ghosts of lost silents at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, with a cast including Udo Kier and Charlotte Rampling -- and streaming the results live on the web. [more inside]
posted by muckster at 12:34 PM PST - 6 comments

The International Atomic Energy Agency says that Iran has tripled its production of >20% enriched uranium in the past three months, while adding 2,600 new uranium centrifuges to its main enrichment facility in Natanz. The agency has not received a "satisfactory explanation" of how 20kg of uranium metal went missing from an Iranian research laboratory. Iran has been blocking IAEA inspections, and the agency "is unable to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities". In recent years, Russia and China have chosen to limit UN sanctions against Iran, whose government denies it aims to make atomic weapons.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:54 AM PST - 220 comments


Transparency Life Sciences is a startup drug development company trying to design clinical trials via an open source approach. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges at 11:04 AM PST - 11 comments

Dr. Seuss' The Lorax [previously] has been licensed to advertise an SUV.
posted by finite at 11:02 AM PST - 139 comments

Starring the Computer is a website dedicated to the use of computers in film and television. Each appearance is catalogued and rated on its importance (ie. how important it is to the plot), realism (how close its appearance and capabilities are to the real thing) and visibility (how good a look does one get of it). Fictional computers don't count (unless they are built out of bits of real computer), so no HAL9000 - sorry. (See also: computers in fiction)
posted by filthy light thief at 10:54 AM PST - 22 comments

This is What a Librarian Looks Like (SLT)
posted by mrgrimm at 10:41 AM PST - 37 comments

The BBC has produced a fabulous infographic showing the ocean zones: Sunlight, Twilight, Midnight, Lower Midnight, and The Trenches. The page also includes videos showing: what happens to material at 100, 1000, and 10,000 meters down; the animals living in the Abyssal Plains (described in a lovely Scottish accent); and the story of Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh going down to the Mariana Trench in 1960. No one has been back there since, but director James Cameron and Richard Branson are among the contenders who are going to make a go of it. (Rumour has it that Cameron intends to be the sole person in the sub, while Branson is just financing a team.) Meanwhile, the Doer team (backed by Eric Schmidt of Google), says it's all about the science and not just being first in this century's race. And there's even a yellow submarine for the rest of us, if by "rest of us" one means "has $250,000 to spare for a single trip". Don't forget to click the links at the top of the infographic page to see everything.
posted by maudlin at 10:35 AM PST - 17 comments

Happy birthday to Nancy Bea Hefley, the LA Dodgers stadium organist since 1988!
posted by hermitosis at 10:17 AM PST - 5 comments


Planning of Municipal Bus Line 11A Three Weeks Into the First Ron Paul Administration. "Stop 3: Union Street to Walk Hill Street – It depends on your definition of “impassible.” Since the Postal Service was disbanded and PCP was legalized on the same day, roving bands of rival mail carriers seem to behead each other a lot in this area. I guess I’m saying it depends on any given driver’s tolerance for driving around severed heads." [more inside]
posted by mreleganza at 10:13 AM PST - 17 comments

Last week, Kraftwerk announced eight concerts of eight full albums in eight days at the Museum of Modern Art. Each individual would be allotted a maximum of two tickets for one night. On Wednesday, tickets went on Sale at noon and due to the incredible demand, things went downhill immediately. ShowClix, the ticket retailer attributed it to server stress and at 1:21 PM announced that all eight shows had sold out. Many unhappy customers vented on ShowClix Facebook page. Today, Showclix CEO Joshua Dziabiak issued an apology for the "hours [you spent] in front of your computer watching a spinning wheel." Meanwhile, scalpers are peddling tickets for up to over $42,000, although some less expensive tickets may be available.
posted by griphus at 10:03 AM PST - 32 comments

Not Guilty! Not exactly innocent... Ryan Braun, the left fielder for the Milwaukee Brewers, won the Most Valuable Player award in 2011. Through a test report that was leaked to the New York Times, it was learned that Braun had tested positive for performance enhancing drugs. He has repeated that he is innocent and rumors have swirled around what supplement he was taking that could have lead to a false positive. His suspension was overturned today because of a technicality. "There was improper protocol followed in the collection of Braun's urine, the persons said, noting the collection was stored and refrigerated at the home of one of the drug administers, but not sent immediately to the drug testing lab." The reaction to this is mixed.
posted by zerobyproxy at 9:51 AM PST - 88 comments

The Public Domain Review is one year old as of Jan 1, 2012. It's like a mashup of New York/London Review of Books, Project Gutenberg and Internet Archive. Contributors. Previously.
posted by stbalbach at 9:43 AM PST - 10 comments


At Ross Nanotechnology, we have developed a super hydrophobic coating that completely repels water and heavy oils. Any object coated with our NeverWet™ coating literally cannot be touched by liquid. Any liquid placed on this coating is repelled and simply rolls off without touching the underlying surface. Not only is this amazing to see, but it solves a myriad of problems.
posted by leigh1 at 8:51 AM PST - 85 comments

During Bob Dylan’s tour for his third LP, The Times They Are a-Changin’, released in January 1964, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation offered him a half-hour special in which to promote the album. More info.
posted by timshel at 8:27 AM PST - 20 comments

If you use Americanisms just to show you know them, people may find you a tad tiresome, so be discriminating.
You may have to think harder if you are not to use jargon, but you can still be precise.
Use all metaphors, dead or alive, sparingly, otherwise you will make trouble for yourself.
Some words add nothing but length to your prose.

(Notes from The Economist's style guide.)
posted by Joey Bagels at 7:47 AM PST - 126 comments

This is a collection of the smaller details of art works. Imagine using macro lenses on a Van der Weyden or Van Gogh. It's another way of looking at (of seeing) well-known pieces: hemlines, hands, veins, the curve of a shoulder. Also: texture and facial expressions. [more inside]
posted by pleasebekind at 7:40 AM PST - 4 comments



8-Bit Daft Punk
posted by empath at 6:45 AM PST - 29 comments

The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled yesterday [.pdf] that a citizen's refusal to decrypt encrypted drives is protected by the Fifth Amendment, at least under some circumstances. In doing so it reversed the district court's contempt order entered against a John Doe defendant after he refused to decrypt his laptop hard drive and five external hard drives in response to a subpoena. This decision arguably conflicts with an earlier decision in which a district court in Vermont required a defendant to provide the password to his encrypted drives. The Eleventh Circuit distinguishes the earlier case on the basis that the government in that case knew of the existence of the files and simply couldn't access them, while in the recent case the government did not know the names of files or even whether or not files actually existed on the encrypted drives.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 6:20 AM PST - 89 comments


Z: I have a house in Farnborough
Z: help me get home
Z: help me escape
Z: help me escape
Z: help me escape
Z: help me escape

YOU EVIL DEMON! OPEN THIS TANK! GIVE ME MY LIFE BACK! I NEVER SHOULD HAVE AGREED TO HELP YOU; I NEVER SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN INTO THIS DAMN TANK. YOU TOLD ME YOU’D LET ME OUT!!! [more inside]
posted by Foci for Analysis at 5:41 AM PST - 54 comments

Axel Braun has released Star Wars XXX. [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 2:31 AM PST - 110 comments



February 23

"You are invited to the fantastically flamboyant final performance of The Fabulous Screech and His Trained Humans." A whimsical, surreal, and surprisingly touching little point-and-click game from the maker of The Book of Living Magic and Infinite Ocean (previously and previouslier).
posted by Dojie at 10:42 PM PST - 5 comments

"Still, I'm willing to bet that future generations will look back on the period between 2006 and 2008 as the real turning point. Here was the moment when what remained of the American Century ran out of steam and ground to a halt. More specifically, when Bush gave up on victory in Iraq (thereby abandoning expectations of U.S. military power transforming the Greater Middle East) and when the Great Recession brought the U.S. economy to its knees (the consequences of habitual profligacy coming home to roost), Luce's formulation lost any resemblance to reality."--Andrew Bacevich on how "The American Century Is Over—Good Riddance"
posted by bardic at 9:44 PM PST - 76 comments


Sessions at West 54th aired for a few years on American public television in the late 1990s, featuring live sets and interviews with musicians. The February 1999 show featured Tori Amos as the guest, performing both solo and with a band. David Byrne, who had himself previously performed, both hosted and interviewed Tori about her music, her life, and her work as co-founder of RAINN. Full setlists from both performances and David Byrne's sartorial wonders inside. [more inside]
posted by Panjandrum at 6:24 PM PST - 22 comments


Piotr Czerski sets out a Polish manifesto demanding respect for the internet generation (translated from the original Polish) that is reminiscent of a Eastern European addition to previous internet manifestos. Poland is somewhere this has definite roots however, with a recent anti-ACTA protest of over 10,000 people and legislators wear anon masks in parliament.
posted by jaduncan at 6:01 PM PST - 11 comments


It was this post about clockwork paper jewelry that lead me to the blog, Strictly Paper. But there are so many amazing things here.
posted by jacquilynne at 4:40 PM PST - 8 comments

Two whole stand-up performances by comedian Daniel Kitson can be downloaded on a pay-what-you-want basis (even if you want to pay nothing). These are the 2004 and 2005 Edinburgh performances (2004 performance previously on MeFi). Kitson has also recorded a story album with musician Gavin Osborn, selling for ₤2.50, and the first three tracks, of eleven, can be streamed online. [via The Bugle]
posted by Kattullus at 4:35 PM PST - 11 comments

Funny that I'm linking to Huffington Post (uffington horse?) and not the other way around... But this blog post about the last members of the Maijuna tribe in the Amazon is amazing.
posted by punkbitch at 4:27 PM PST - 10 comments


the previously discussed horse_ebooks twitter spambot/oracle creator has been tracked down by gawker
posted by Pants! at 3:44 PM PST - 37 comments

A walk through Białowieża Forest. Białowieża Forest is a primeval (old-growth) forest on the border of Poland and Belarus, first set aside as a preserve for wisent (European bison) in 1638. [more inside]
posted by zabuni at 3:09 PM PST - 27 comments

In 2010 from the deck of a cruise ship along the coast of Brazil, amateur photographer and retired geologist Bob Hulse snapped some high-resolution photographs of something unusual leaping from the sea: what appears to be dozens of squid propelling themselves through the air and at incredible speeds. Quite possibly the first time the impressive display had ever been caught on film. Researchers had suspected for sometime that squid can sometimes leave the water's surface. A 2004 study by University of Miami researchers collect six such sightings, but because the paper included no photographs or video clips its evidence was largely anecdotal. Documented instances of flying squid remained frustratingly rare. [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus at 2:08 PM PST - 51 comments

Have you ever wanted to read a famous correspondence between famous poets? No doubt you have heard of Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning and their secret correspondence and marriage, which led directly to Elizabeth Barrett being disinherited. Now you can read those letters, released digitally on February 14, 2012. [more inside]
posted by bearwife at 1:35 PM PST - 9 comments

"The Obama Administration today unveiled a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights as part of a comprehensive blueprint to protect individual privacy rights and give users more control over how their information is handled." Full 62-page PDF - Consumer Data Privacy in a Networked World: A Framework for Protecting Privacy and Promoting Innovation in the Global Digital Economy. "In addition, advertising networks announced that leading Internet companies and online advertising networks are committing to act on Do Not Track technology in most major web browsers to make it easier for users to control online tracking. Companies that represent the delivery of nearly 90 percent of online behavioral advertisements, including Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, and AOL have agreed to comply when consumers choose to control online tracking. Companies that make this commitment will be subject to FTC enforcement." [more inside]
posted by cashman at 12:49 PM PST - 30 comments


The Catlin Seaview Survey is using panoramic cameras to take interactive photographic journeys of the world's most spectacular (and endangered) oceanic environments, starting with Australia's Great Barrier Reef. [more inside]
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 11:36 AM PST - 5 comments

RIP Frank Carson, an Irish comedian of the old school.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:08 AM PST - 21 comments

Never Too Early Movie Predictions: "Quite possibly the earliest Oscar predictions on the web. Predictions are currently being made through 2017!"
posted by Iridic at 11:03 AM PST - 15 comments


Assembling the Millennium Falcon in Lego, using stop motion animated by 3d software took Francisco Prieto three years to complete, but the results are amazing.
posted by quin at 10:48 AM PST - 63 comments

After almost 20 years of print publication, six bound collections and two animated series, Tony Millionaire announced today that MAAKIES -- the surreal pen-and-ink adventures of Drinky Crow & Uncle Gabby -- has been cancelled. [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator at 10:45 AM PST - 58 comments

The Shanty of Escape Games - Starting with Escape From The Smoking Room in November 2010, the Shanty Of Escape Games has published escape-the-room style short puzzle games with astonishing regularity, releasing at least two per month. Test your wits and escape from the Room with Baumkuchen, the Mansion with Traps, or the Mid-sized Banquet Hall! [more inside]
posted by rivenwanderer at 9:50 AM PST - 14 comments

The Prize - a two minute clip/trailer from Pixar’s Brave. You can also see some lovely production art and sculptures here.
posted by Artw at 9:49 AM PST - 90 comments


Three startup companies led by prominent scientists are working on new technologies to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. These scientists have launched start-up companies and attracted well-to-do investors — most notably Bill Gates — along with venture capital and, most recently, the attention of Wall Street. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach at 8:32 AM PST - 53 comments

Stripe, a company that processes credit cards for web apps, decided to play a security wargame called Capture the Flag where you are given a logiin and password for a server and are invited to use your hacking abilities to gain access to accounts with increasing access and authorization. People who beat the server and "capture the flag" at /home/the-flag/.password are invited to contact the company for bragging rights and a T-shirt. Just one problem: the hacking game has been hacked, with something called a fork bomb. [more inside]
posted by Deathalicious at 7:59 AM PST - 60 comments

How Woody Allen Discovered Ingmar Bergman, and How You Can Too. part 1, part 2, source
posted by timshel at 7:14 AM PST - 15 comments

Adobe has partnered with Google to develop PPAPI, codename "Pepper", a modern API for browser plugins. New versions of Adobe Flash will be released only as part of Google Chrome for the Linux platform. The last version of the Flash plugin for mobile browsers will be 11.1, according to the newest Flash roadmap, released today.
posted by helicomatic at 7:03 AM PST - 49 comments

The Control Revolution And Its Discontents - "the long process of algorithmisation over the last 150 years has also, wherever possible, replaced implicit rules/contracts and principal-agent relationships with explicit processes and rules."
posted by kliuless at 6:54 AM PST - 25 comments

"So I'm literally walking around and talking to people, "Is there a black-owned restaurant, or a black-owned dry cleaner?" and folks are looking at me like I'm insane. And if I didn't know this, I'm sure that folks outside the black community don't have this as part of their reality or part of their picture for black America. When we talk about black people, the black situation, problems in the black community, you know, we start with, "Black kids are least likely to graduate from school; black unemployment is four times higher than the national average," all these numbers. But why can't we include that over 90 percent of businesses in the black community are not owned by black people or local residents? If we were to add that to the conversation, maybe folks would say, "Oh, well no wonder things are so bad there," and start thinking about things in a different way instead of allowing those awful numbers to be a reflection of our propensities. Why is it that my people are just supposed to be the perpetual consumer class, and everyone else is supposed to benefit from our money?"
posted by empath at 6:20 AM PST - 174 comments

Adults needing 8 consecutive hours of sleep every night is a common, generally unquestioned bit of medical wisdom that we are all familiar with. Is it really true?
posted by COD at 6:00 AM PST - 98 comments



Grounded. Jeb Corliss pays the price. [more inside]
posted by Manjusri at 12:45 AM PST - 38 comments

February 22

Coffee & The Newspaper is a menswear tumblr with no product links, no best of lists and no reports from fashion week - just post after post pairing a picture of menswear with a picture of food. Without the Pepsi Blue, it's a fascinating study of color, texture and structure in clothes.
posted by Apropos of Something at 10:48 PM PST - 39 comments

Swindler! A new game by nitrome! You play as a booger theif, not a thief who steals boogers but a booger who is a thief. Also by nitrome: Rainbogeddon, a crazy take on Pacman.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 8:35 PM PST - 9 comments

"There's No Tomorrow" is a half-hour animated documentary that deals with resource depletion, energy, and growth. [more inside]
posted by Trurl at 7:47 PM PST - 14 comments

Americans love Hawaii and hate California. A new PPP poll asks respondents which states they like and dislike, resulting in favorability ratings for all 50 states. Full results, including crosstabs, here. (.pdf) Sorry, Illinois! Nice work, Colorado!
posted by escabeche at 7:31 PM PST - 200 comments

In Bolivia's jungles and steep cliffs the Yungas people do not walk. They fly. On ropes. Like birds. Faster than astronauts.
posted by lemuring at 7:22 PM PST - 37 comments

"Off the Wall"* is an electro-pop ditty by French artiste Yuksek** with a video that uses a mirror effect*** for maximum delightfulness. Bonus fun: a 'Making Of' video that just replays the whole thing without the mirror.**** [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:57 PM PST - 14 comments

Le Club des Croquers du Chocolat (The Chocolate Cruncher's Club) is an exclusive private association of 150 connoisseurs who gather four times a year to sample and judge the best in French chocolate. Clotilde Dusoilier, the blogger behind the well-known Paris-based food blog Chocolate and Zucchini, gives her readers a peek inside its workings. [more inside]
posted by Diablevert at 6:25 PM PST - 12 comments

Shit Cancer Patients Say is a video filmed by five-time cancer survivor Woody Roseland at Presbyterian St Luke's Hospital.
posted by gman at 6:22 PM PST - 19 comments

Tevis Thompson writes about Nintendo's video game series The Legend of Zelda. Specifically about how it's gone downhill since Ocarina of Time. (via Kotaku) [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 5:42 PM PST - 113 comments


A Cephalic Infusion
Take dry Peacocks dung (the white part) 4 ounces; Millepedes alive bruised 1 ounce; black Cherry water, white Wine, each 1 pint and half; let them stand cold 24 hours, then having clarify'd it, by often passing it through a Flannel bag; add Langius's Antepileptic water 3 ounces; Spirit of Lavender compound 1 dram and half; Oil of Nutmeg 3 drops; Syrup of Piony compound 6 ounces, mix.
It cleanses out the Meatus of the Brain, when choak'd up and grown unpassable, by reason of muddy Feculencies, roborates its Tone when flaccid and suck, and defecates the Animal Spirits, when clog'd and incens'd with an heterogeneous Copula, refreshes and invigorates them when feeble and fainting; discusses the Mists and Clouds of the Head, and procures Serenity and Sun shine. Therefore we employ it with happy Success in an Idiopathic Head-ach, Vertigo, Scotomy, &c. giving a quarter of a pint Nights and Mornings.
800 medicines from Thomas Fuller's Pharmacopeia Extemporanea, 168 from William Buchan's Domestic Medicine and 11 from The Reverend Twigge's Notebook - indexed and fully searchable.
posted by unliteral at 4:48 PM PST - 30 comments

Scott Ritter's Other War SL NYTMagazine
posted by lalochezia at 2:51 PM PST - 76 comments

Edison's footage of the Princeton v. Yale (1903) football contest. [more inside]
posted by absalom at 2:50 PM PST - 27 comments

Are you bothered by the LDS practice of "baptism for the dead"? Well, take heart, because now, All Dead Mormons Are Now Gay.
posted by jbickers at 2:02 PM PST - 232 comments

How to Remove Your Google Search History Before Google's New Privacy Policy Takes Effect on 1 March If you want to keep Google from combining your Web History with the data they have gathered about you in their other products, such as YouTube or Google Plus, you may want to remove all items from your Web History and stop your Web History from being recorded in the future.
posted by Sebmojo at 1:56 PM PST - 76 comments

Dementia be Damned [via mefi projects] With dementia and brain related links, personal stories about good and trying times, and information about the latest research, it's a fascinating read about a woman with lots of personality and her amazing Mom. [more inside]
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 1:35 PM PST - 10 comments

Did you try unplugging it and plugging it back in? Last year's faster-than-light neutrino observation may be explained by a loose connection between a GPS unit and a computer. [more inside]
posted by 0xFCAF at 1:07 PM PST - 64 comments

Cassetteboy vs The News [SLYT, maybe NSFW]. A seamless mashup of fifteen BBC News episodes.
posted by springload at 12:29 PM PST - 22 comments

"We want to eat, not be eaten by our food, right?"[TED]. Artist/MIT graduate Jae Rhim Lee's current project explores the possibility of, and interest in ecologically responsible interment. She is currently cultivating personalized Infinity Mushrooms, which in combination with the Mushroom Death Suit will promote postmortem mycological growth, and more importantly intimacy with and acceptance of the physical realities of decomposition as vehicles toward death acceptance. [more inside]
posted by obscurator at 12:27 PM PST - 18 comments

"Whether writing as herself, or through one of the many voices she heard in her head, Previn's sinister riverboat chansons revealed the pain, games, lies and loneliness behind the L.A. free love myth. 1971's Mythical Kings And Iguanas was, perhaps, the peak point of Previn's eerily confessional style containing the searingly honest Lemon Haired Ladies and The Lady With The Braid, both of which recount encounters between young men and single older women in chilling detail. Her third album, Reflections In A Mud Puddle was a concept album based upon her life with her father, and contained the astonishing Doppelganger, a Weillian Sympathy For The Devil in which the world's evils are found to lurk in all of us. " Singer-Songwriter Dory Previn has died. (previously on Metafilter).
posted by The Whelk at 11:56 AM PST - 13 comments

The Great American Novel -- will there ever be another? ...even if a new Melville or Twain, Faulkner or Fitzgerald were to appear in our midst, his work would fail to achieve the critical traction and existential weight of those earlier masters. We lack the requisite community of readers, and the ambient shared cultural assumptions...The diffusion or dispersion of culture brings with it a diffusion of manners and erosion of shared moral assumptions. Whatever we think of that process—love it as a sign of social liberation or loathe it as a token of cultural breakdown—it has robbed the novel, and the novel’s audience, of a primary resource: an authoritative tradition to react against.
posted by shivohum at 11:47 AM PST - 126 comments

STUFF I WISH I’D NEVER BOUGHT. 'When I wrote about stuff I would buy with my own money it got me thinking about all of the buyer’s remorse I’ve had over the years, both with personal gear I’ve bought, and with things I’ve bought for Lensrentals. I’m a gearhead, so this isn’t about “things that weren’t profitable”.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 11:45 AM PST - 70 comments


Dr Grordbort Presents: The Deadliest Game, which follows a Victorian big game hunter on a distant planet. [more inside]
posted by quin at 10:46 AM PST - 11 comments

Rothko Everywhere
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:22 AM PST - 68 comments

Marie Colvin, an American journalist working for The Sunday Times of London, and French photographer, Rémi Ochlik were killed this morning in the city of Homs, Syria. The two Western journalists were among 20 people killed in a makeshift media center, raising suspicions that Syrian security forces targeted their location by tracing satellite signals. Their deaths follow 19 days of shelling that activists say killed hundreds of trapped civilians in one of the deadliest campaigns in nearly a year of violent repression by the government of President Bashar al-Assad. [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus at 9:16 AM PST - 104 comments

Barney Rosset, former owner of the influential Grove Press and Evergreen Review, boundary-shattering publisher of Tropic of Cancer, Waiting for Godot, and Naked Lunch, and U.S. distributor of I Am Curious (Yellow), died yesterday at the age of 90.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 8:27 AM PST - 30 comments

Tom & Lorenzo: "A show in 2012 with a large teen audience and a proportionately large gay audience will find itself dealing with the issue of gay teenagers generally and anti-gay bullying specifically at some point. We would have expected no less from Glee and we support the show’s efforts to consider the lives of young gays and help educate other people as to what those lives are really like. But... there comes a point when the urge to educate and be respectful of a group of disenfranchised people tips over into inadvertently redefining them in a new way: victim." (warning: spoilers for last night's episode of Glee)
posted by flex at 8:12 AM PST - 71 comments


Rihanna's 'Birthday Cake': Reasons to listen (Ann Powers, NPR) "I'm choosing to do something else, though — to wrestle with the material at hand. As a music critic and, on a personal level, as someone who's long considered pop to be a crucial avenue for understanding the intricacies of the human heart and soul, I'm committed to engaging with the music that makes us sit up and take notice. I'm willing to try, even if those songs expose or even encourage aspects of behaviors that aren't so savory. I don't think "Turn Up the Music" tells us much; "Birthday Cake" is a different matter. So I'll continue trying to grasp what's happening in a song that makes many — but not all — of us want to turn away." (Potentially triggering all round.) [more inside]
posted by carbide at 7:30 AM PST - 74 comments

"This amazing photograph of sailor Alex Thomson walking on the keel of an 8-ton yacht was created with courage rather than Photoshop. It was an ad for fashion house HUGO BOSS, which has sponsored Alex Thomson Racing since 2003. The conditions for the shot had to be just right, and the skipper had to carefully keep the yacht at a 45-degree angle for up to a minute to avoid crushing Thomson and the jet ski driver. Here’s a behind-the-scenes glimpse at how the image was made."
posted by SpacemanStix at 7:15 AM PST - 67 comments

$40,000 is what you'll pay to have the battery replaced if you leave your Tesla Roadster, a $100K electric car, unplugged long enough that the battery discharges completely. Reportedly, the problem will also plague the upcoming Model S coupe, a $50K downmarket model. Owners cannot insure against this loss, it is not covered by warranty, and the car cannot be driven, recharged, or easily towed if so "bricked".
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:44 AM PST - 173 comments


We study techniques for identifying an anonymous author via linguistic stylometry, i.e., comparing the writing style against a corpus of texts of known authorship. We experimentally demonstrate the effectiveness of our techniques with as many as 100,000 candidate authors. [...] In over 20% of cases, our classifiers can correctly identify an anonymous author given a corpus of texts from 100,000 authors; in about 35% of cases the correct author is one of the top 20 guesses.
On the Feasibility of Internet-Scale Author Identification[pdf] is a draft of a paper for the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy. [more inside]
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:33 AM PST - 22 comments

Lucha: VAVOOM! [more inside]
posted by ShutterBun at 2:48 AM PST - 4 comments

If PHP Were British. (via an Ars comment.)
posted by veedubya at 2:24 AM PST - 95 comments

"Nadia Boulanger was a French composer, conductor and teacher who taught many composers and performers of the 20th century." She is particularly well-known for her American composition students, including Aaron Copland (you remember this, don't you?), Elliott Carter, and David Conte (who has uploaded to YouTube an excerpt of a lecture he gave reflecting on what he learned from Nadia).
posted by MattMangels at 12:24 AM PST - 8 comments

February 21

Get yer lunch kits and table legs folk, it's time for sonic fascination! Jon Free of London, England makes wee tin box and table leg guitars. If you like little guitars and Canadian punk you might like to watch Vancouver's Little Guitar Army play little electric guitars.
posted by moneyjane at 11:26 PM PST - 6 comments

"The thing that distinguishes brainstorming from other types of group activity is the absence of criticism and negative feedback. If people were worried that their ideas might be ridiculed by the group, the process would fail." According to the technique's originator, Alex Osborn, "“Creativity is so delicate a flower that praise tends to make it bloom while discouragement often nips it in the bud.'" Brainstorming seems like a marvellous, feel-good way of creative problem-solving. But it doesn’t work. [more inside]
posted by storybored at 10:00 PM PST - 63 comments

A recent paper* documents a previously undocumented strategy, fraught with human psychological parallels, of a potentially adaptive mechanism against parasitism: self-medication via alcohol intoxication. [more inside]
posted by Cold Lurkey at 9:10 PM PST - 37 comments

No one ever listens to Worf. Worf gets DENIED again and again on Star Trek TNG.
posted by sweetkid at 8:12 PM PST - 83 comments

Noel Perrin, "The Best American Novel about World War II": Guard of Honor is a classic (I think), but it is a hard one to put in an American literature course. Why? Because [James Gould] Cozzens was not a romantic. ... Its rightful place is as one of the greatest social novels ever written in America. [more inside]
posted by Trurl at 7:44 PM PST - 15 comments

Newt Gingrich said in a political campaign speech that one could not put a gun rack in a Chevy Volt, speaking against President Obama's to raise subsidies for electric cars. One Georgia engineer took that challenge to heart and showed that you can put a gunrack in a Volt, showing that even in the Deep South, there are innovative, forward thinking people (who like to hunt).
posted by patheral at 7:39 PM PST - 86 comments

Polltopia (625 kb zip file) "It's a treasure trove for researchers that I'm sure is unmatched in the world of modern polling: [Daily Kos has] assembled all the raw data for every single Daily Kos/SEIU poll conducted in 2011 into a single file. That's 46 polls, including questionnaires ... in a nifty 623 KB package. No one else releases information this granular, so if you've ever wanted to take a deep, deep dive into raw polling data, this is your chance."
posted by crunchland at 7:01 PM PST - 22 comments

"Food on my dog" Exactly what it says on the tin.
posted by HuronBob at 4:55 PM PST - 42 comments


My Little Pony’s Lauren Faust on how Super Best Friends Forever will make you love Batgirl and Supergirl all over again. The short animations will be part of Cartoon Networks DC Nation block, alongside Beware The Batman, the replacement for the late lamented Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
posted by Artw at 3:37 PM PST - 28 comments

Gary Webster is the general manager for the Toronto Transit Commission. Last year, Mayor Rob Ford (previously), after cancelling the Transit City light rail expansion in favour of a subway into Toronto's east end (also previously), asked Webster to prepare a report on the viability of such a subway line. Webster did so, and gave his honest opinion, which was that the Sheppard subway was not economically viable. Ford buried the report, and after the Toronto Star discovered its existence, Ford then requested that Webster speak to City Council about the pros and cons of subways and light rail. Webster advised against subways as City Council overruled Ford and reinstated a light rail-based transit plan. Ford's allies on the Toronto Transit Commission then petitioned for a special meeting to fire Webster (despite severance clauses that could cost the city more than a million dollars). They voted 5-4 to fire Gary Webster this afternoon. (Torontoist's liveblog of the meeting.)
posted by mightygodking at 3:20 PM PST - 89 comments

AIDS Quilt - 25 Years Later: Yesterday marked the end of the "largest showing of the AIDS Memorial Quilt in [San Francisco] since the NAMES Project Foundation -- the quilt's caretaker -- closed its original Market Street location in 1999 and relocated to Atlanta the following year." What started 25 years ago "as a single 3-foot-by-6-foot fabric panel has grown to a more than 54-ton tapestry with more than 47,000 panels remembering the [90,000] names of those lost to HIV/AIDS."
posted by ericb at 3:07 PM PST - 16 comments

This Is My Home.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:45 PM PST - 19 comments


"This is an attempt at recovery. This Essay hopes to call attention to then-Professor Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s 1972 merits brief in Struck v. Secretary of Defense. The brief has been underappreciated in part because the Supreme Court of the United States eventually declined to decide the case.” On the 40th anniversary of the brief's submission, read Reva Siegel's compelling essay [pdf] on this overlooked brief in which “Ginsburg and the women’s movement talked about pregnancy discrimination in a way that ties together pregnancy discrimination and women’s equality, and women’s equality and reproductive freedom, before the Court split them apart,” and imagine what might have been had the Supreme Court decided Struck v. Secretary of Defense in 1972.
posted by ocherdraco at 2:34 PM PST - 3 comments

Yesterday, the Ohio Dep't of Transportation blew up the Fort Steuben bridge between Steubenville, OH, and Weirton, WV. The bridge was 84 years old. [more inside]
posted by wikipedia brown boy detective at 2:28 PM PST - 26 comments

Josh Ritter's video for his new song, "Love is Making It's Way Back Home," was made from 12,000 construction paper cutouts, with zero post-production. A touch of making-of info here.
posted by switchsonic at 2:01 PM PST - 19 comments


If you’ve spent much time in museums—or even leafing through art books—you’ve probably come across something that leaves you scratching your head. You’re not alone. The very funny, if occasionally puerile blog WTF Art History was created, according to the anonymous art historian who writes it, for “everyone who loves art history but has a sense of humor to know that even great masters create things that leave us asking, WTF?” [via] [prev]
posted by netbros at 1:16 PM PST - 24 comments

Canonical's Ubuntu for Android offers a full Ubuntu Linux distribution running on a dual core Android smartphone when placed in a docking station. (photos) [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges at 1:03 PM PST - 100 comments

In February each year, Ludhiana becomes the destination fro hundreds of sports enthusiasts, including foreigners. They come to Kila Raipur to see the special breed of bullocks, camels, dogs, mules and other animals competing in highly professional events. It is to be seen to be believed. In 1946, Mr. Bakhsish Singh was instrumental in getting the most popular event of the Games – the Bullock Cart Race – introduced. This is the annual Kila Raipur Sports Festival, commonly called The Rural Olympics. This years games are over, but photos of various events are being posted online. For one last taste, here's a 10 minute video from the 2007 events.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:51 PM PST - 3 comments

Chris Arnade is a forex trader with an odd pasttime: taking pictures of New York addicts in a series he calls Faces of Addiction.
posted by chundo at 12:03 PM PST - 134 comments

How do we get to a future of abundant, clean energy? Last year at the Euqinox Summit the Waterloo Global Science Initiative brought together a group of scientists and other thinkers to try to answer that question. The result of thier work is the Equinox Blueprint: Energy 2030 [pdf]. The report lays out five key areas for advancement: battery storage, enhanced geothermal, advanced nuclear, off-grid power (using flexible solar cells) and smart urbanization. [more inside]
posted by Dasein at 11:35 AM PST - 36 comments

"Rescue Pet" a comic about the effects of horrible mutating mimic blobs on a strained romantic relationship.
posted by The Whelk at 11:27 AM PST - 14 comments


"One of the deep, dark secrets of America's past has finally come to light. Starting in the early 1900s, hundreds of thousands of American children were warehoused in institutions by state governments." An early part of the American experiment with Eugenics, the Walter E. Fernald State School inspired scores of similar institutions across the country, and more recently, one of the definitive histories of the era. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb at 10:57 AM PST - 37 comments

Maddie the coonhound and her owner travel around, she stands on things, he takes pictures. The result is wonderful.
posted by quin at 10:42 AM PST - 43 comments

With 14,952 backers pledging a total of $1,254,120.00, the Order of the Stick Reprint Drive has become only the second project in Kickstarter's history to finish with over a million dollars in funding. [more inside]
posted by tocts at 10:38 AM PST - 36 comments

Lembit Opik MP lost his seat at the last election. Already a colourful figure, (not least because of his past relationships with a weather girl, Cheeky Girl, and underwear model*) has since taken an interesting subsequent career route via stand-up comedy to recently entering the music business himself by starring in a video for a new indie band) (*Relationship may only be for PR purposes, allegedly)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:52 AM PST - 11 comments

46 Things to Read and See for David Foster Wallace's 50th Birthday. The writer described as The Best Mind of His Generation would have turned 50 years old today. [more inside]
posted by mattbucher at 9:50 AM PST - 26 comments

Barack Obama has had an alien lizard implanted in the back of his head , with your tax dollars. You might think this sounds like some big pile of conspiracy tinfoil hat crap. Please read on and consider all the evidence before you jump to conclusions. [more inside]
posted by Meatbomb at 9:39 AM PST - 188 comments

Your pal Microsoft wants to warn you against the Googlighting Stranger.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 9:39 AM PST - 61 comments

John Michael Greer, blogging at The Archdruid Report, has recently been rounding off his entries with stories of end-of-the-world predictions that did not come true. [more inside]
posted by Ipsifendus at 9:12 AM PST - 8 comments

The Boy who Played with Fusion. At age four, [Taylor Wilson] donned a fluorescent orange vest and hard hat and stood in front of the house, directing traffic. For his fifth birthday, he said, he wanted a crane. But when his parents brought him to a toy store, the boy saw it as an act of provocation. “No,” he yelled, stomping his foot. “I want a real one.” [more inside]
posted by obscurator at 8:37 AM PST - 18 comments

Why Mass Effect is the most important science fiction universe of our generation (Contains SPOILERS for Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2)
posted by BitterOldPunk at 8:15 AM PST - 193 comments

"Birdcloud met in Murfreesboro and immediately didn’t like eachother. At a party in 2009 they had some whiskeys and became friends and started dicking around on guitar, writing their first song, a song about going down on your best friend, now lost to the sands of time. Despite a lukewarm reception at Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe, they have been sitting on eachother’s faces ever since, showing eachother their bruises and generally doing whatever they want when it works out that way." Songs on the inside NSFW if you can't tell. [more inside]
posted by cmoj at 8:10 AM PST - 14 comments

Once Upon a Time in Bombay "It is said that Bombay is the Alexandria of India. Its geographical position and commercial relations bear evidently some resemblance to the great eastern entrepot of the Mediterranean. As the swampy Rhakotis, a mere fishing village which Alexander the Great transformed into the splendid city of Alexandria, the desolate islet of the Bombay Koli fishermen was changed into the present capital of Western India." -- J. Gershon da Cunha in Origin of Bombay (google book) [more inside]
posted by bluefly at 7:11 AM PST - 8 comments

Fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000 may remember Racket Girls as a sleazy little Poverty Row crime drama featuring wooden lady-wrestler acting and inexplicable overdubbed audience shrieking. You may not be aware, however, that Racket Girls was one of three movies starring Timothy Farrell as the oily Umberto Scalli, and that Dance Hall Racket (1953) was written by, and costars, Lenny Bruce. [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:41 AM PST - 7 comments

...this stubborn idea he had about maintaining his sanity took a couple of hard hits when: 1. He presented the shoes that government agents had supposedly melted...which simply looked like worn out running shoes. 2. The government's psychologist and one of Friedman's choosing both concurred that he was totally schizophrenic. Still, Friedman pressed on, demanding better counsel for himself and filing a second Freedom of Information Act (he was not satisfied with the first) for:
"all documents pertaining to the microwave auditory effect, microwave hearing effect, Frey effect, artificial telepathy, and/or any device/weapon which uses and/or causes such effect; and any covert or undisclosed use of hypnosis"
This FOIA request, however, was much more successful. The document (which was verified by wired.com in 2008 through the US Army Intelligence And Security Command Freedom Of Information/Privacy Office), contained quite a bit of interesting/terrifying information...

posted by Slap*Happy at 6:03 AM PST - 91 comments

"A staggering 49 per cent of Pakistanis said that it did not matter to them whether the government was democratic or not. Even more surprisingly, 21 per cent of Indian respondents also said that it did not matter to people such as themselves whether the government was democratic or dictatorial. Added to the fact that a third of respondents offered no response at all, many people in countries with substantial experience of democracy or with significant experience of both democracy and dictatorship appear to share the Libyans’ ambivalence about democracy as the preferred form of governance."
posted by artof.mulata at 4:14 AM PST - 83 comments

Surfing took a baby step or the first dip at the first India Surf Festival in Puri this month. Indian surfers, from states along India's long coastline, came together for the first time, in one place. From fishermen's sons to professional surfing instructors, they do not fit the classic, global image of surfers we have. They are uniquely Indian.

Meet the first generation of Indian Surfers.
posted by timshel at 12:58 AM PST - 26 comments


February 20


"Most of the filmmakers surveyed...were not aware of the perishable nature of digital content or how short its unmanaged lifespan is." After the Motion Picture Academy's release last month of "The Digital Dilemma 2," a warning aimed at independent filmmakers and nonprofit archives, cinematographer John Bailey talks with one of the report's authors about the perils of data migration ("It’s not unreasonable to say that the term "digital preservation" is an oxymoron") and the need to educate filmmakers who are so "enamored with the perceived benefits of digital image capture and workflow" that they fail to realize preservation concerns start to appear almost immediately after their work is completed. Film professor David Bordwell covers the report in a detailed post about preserving "born-digital" films, sixth in his "Pandora's Digital Box" series about the worldwide conversion to digital projection, with lots of good links at the bottom.
posted by mediareport at 8:38 PM PST - 87 comments




On Saturday, March 1, 1947, at the Hi-De-Ho nightclub in Los Angeles, in a booth near the bandstand, Dean Benedetti switched on a Wells-Gardner disc cutter - starting what would become the most legendary jazz recordings in history. (400 KB PDF) [more inside]
posted by Trurl at 7:00 PM PST - 16 comments

Are the X-Men Human? The US government says yes, these people are no different from you or I, but Marvel claims their strange mutations and powerful augmentations move them beyond humanity into the realm of monsters, angels and devils. This Radiolab short explains why Marvel Toys argued in the US Court of International Trade that Wolverine, Professor X and Storm are inhuman. [more inside]
posted by justkevin at 6:50 PM PST - 51 comments

To do something well you have to like it. That idea is not exactly novel. We've got it down to four words: "Do what you love." But it's not enough just to tell people that. Doing what you love is complicated. From How to do what you love, by essayist (and programmer, and entrepreneur) Paul Graham.
posted by shivohum at 6:42 PM PST - 39 comments

It's a crazy ol' world: All Presidents (but one) are related; via King John, the foe of Robin Hood. And they said irony was dead.
posted by dejah420 at 6:02 PM PST - 79 comments

Mr. George said in a telephone interview that his goal for “The Announcement” was not only to tell the inside story of Mr. Johnson’s personal deliberations but also to “make people aware this thing hasn’t disappeared.” He added: “People are still dying of the virus. People are living very tough lives because of it. It’s falling off the national agenda, I believe, and this in some way helps us reintroduce it.”*
On March 11, 2012 at 9pm Eastern, ESPN will air the documentary The Announcement, about Magic Johnson's diagnosis with HIV and his decision to go public with his diagnosis. The film is directed by Nelson George, a award-winning author and noted filmmaker whose sister is Andrea Williams, an HIV+ activist for AIDS causes in Brooklyn (and who inspired George's HBO movie Life Support, which won Queen Latifah several awards for her role as a fictionalized version of Williams).
posted by hippybear at 5:46 PM PST - 14 comments

The Mahogany Blog (based in London) features a diverse range of (often indie and/or upcoming) music: through streaming singles, guest mixes and video posts, sharing others' mixes, and brief interviews with artists. Their YouTube channel hosts The Mahogany Sessions - acoustic musical performances exclusive to and filmed by the blog.
posted by flex at 5:42 PM PST - 2 comments

250 years ago newspapers like The Derby Mercury featured breathless reports on the Cock Lane ghost. Fanny Lynes wouldn't rest until her husband was hanged for having poisoned her, and the story, supported by a Clergyman, led to crowds paying to visit the house. The street outside was sometimes impassable due to the large number of spectators present at the séances until the Lord Mayor of London had to intervene, and he duly appointed a commission to look into the matter. Notables such as Dr Johnson spent a fruitless night next to a coffin before it was revealed that the truth of the matter was more mundane. [more inside]
posted by ersatz at 5:38 PM PST - 3 comments



You've been there (well, if you've ever had any fun you've been there). It's the morning after, and you've got to get back home from wherever you ended up after a night of debauchery... otherwise known as "The Walk of Shame." Need a lift?
posted by HuronBob at 4:53 PM PST - 40 comments

M.I.A. has released a new single called Bad Girls. The music video, another collaboration with Romain Gavras (previously on Metafilter), features a Middle Eastern style of drifting called hagwalah and a see-through glow-in-the-dark car inspired by Prabhu Deva dancing on a see-through bus in the Tamil film Kadhalan. Some believe M.I.A. is making a statement against the Saudi Arabian law banning women from driving, others see it as a relatively positive view of today's Middle East, and still others fear M.I.A. is misappropriating stereotypes for the sake of creating controversy. But maybe you'd just like some more lighthearted information on the making of the video. M.I.A. herself delivers. (More M.I.A. on Metafilter: 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, most recently)
posted by sigmagalator at 4:39 PM PST - 90 comments

Film Crit Hulk presents us with 22 SHORT THOUGHTS ABOUT MARGARET, the film which Kenneth Longeran (You Can Count On Me) directed in 2005 and which was finally released last year.
posted by Rory Marinich at 4:22 PM PST - 26 comments




Cat_Lanta: Interactive Street Art One street artist in Atlanta has set out to create an interactive art project. He paints small, one-of-a-kind Cats and leaves them hidden all over Atlanta. He tweets pictures with very little context and his Atlanta followers will run to find them and be part of his on-going story.
posted by achpea at 12:19 PM PST - 12 comments

The ‘Cyrus the Great Cylinder’, is an artifact of the Persian Empire from the 6th century BCE inscribed in Babylonian (Akkadian) cuneiform on a clay cylinder, which has been widely, falsely claimed as the first known recorded declaration of human rights, issued by the emperor Cyrus the Great. (Translation of the text.) A recent TED talk by Neil MacGregor (Director of the British Museum and host of the BBC's History of the World in 100 Objects, previously) discusses the Cylinder, and places it into historical perspective: 2600 Years of History in One Object. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 11:53 AM PST - 11 comments

Andrew Bacevich on the war: "So what tentative judgments can we offer regarding the ongoing [war formerly known as the global war on terrorism]? Operationally, a war launched by the conventionally minded has progressively fallen under the purview of those who inhabit what Dick Cheney once called “the dark side,” with implications that few seem willing to explore. Strategically, a war informed at the outset by utopian expectations continues today with no concretely stated expectations whatsoever, the forward momentum of events displacing serious consideration of purpose. Politically, a war that once occupied center stage in national politics has now slipped to the periphery, the American people moving on to other concerns and entertainments, with legal and moral questions raised by the war left dangling in midair."
posted by crayz at 11:22 AM PST - 20 comments


Real Life Goldeneye 64; a walkthrough which shows that rescuing Natalya is a pain even when playing an extremely realistic fan mod. [SLYT]
posted by quin at 10:13 AM PST - 87 comments

It seemed an unsolvable mystery, but recently we have learned what color some dinosaurs were. Of course, dinosaur art has been around since the 1850s, but, as a paleontologist entertainingly explains, most depictions contained many errors. Prior to the Dinosaur Renaissance of the 1960s, dinosaurs were famously depicted as slow reptiles. While this vision persists in horrible roadside statues, dinosaur art has evolved rapidly to cover the new understanding of feathered dinosaurs. You can see the best scientific art among the winners of the Landzerdorf Prize, or you can see how this revolution in dinosaur illustration has played out in comics. And of course you can (really!) see some dinosaurs in your backyard.
posted by blahblahblah at 9:16 AM PST - 22 comments

For the first few minutes I'm not even sure this interview should be taking place at all. The greeting is an awkward shuffle of hunched shoulders and downcast eyes; he can't look at me, and I can't hear him. His gaze averted, hands stuffed into pockets, he mumbles in haltingly reluctant whispers, as if words can cause him physical pain. The man should be talking to a doctor, I worry, not a nosy journalist. We try some small talk, but it's almost impossible to make out what he's saying – until I ask what he prefers to be called. "Adam," he says firmly, glancing up for the first time. "Adam Ant."
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:12 AM PST - 49 comments

Fifty years ago today, John Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth. In an recent interview, he lamented the decline of the manned US space program: "It's unseemly to me that here we are, supposedly the world's greatest space-faring nation, and we don't even have a way to get back and forth to our own International Space Station." [more inside]
posted by dsfan at 8:40 AM PST - 80 comments

Unmanned -- A day in the life of a drone pilot, by Molleindustria
posted by empath at 7:42 AM PST - 14 comments

"Canada exists for no natural reason. ... [This] is not to say that no significant differences exist between Canadians and Americans — just that our shared national border, unlike those of Europe, was not shaped by linguistic and ethnic variations. The War of 1812 made all the difference here. A complicated and unpleasant struggle, mostly forgotten, sundered our two countries. And that struggle is now 200 years old, which makes this as good a time as any to start remembering."
posted by Johnny Assay at 7:37 AM PST - 119 comments

The Comedians, The Mob and the American Supperclub, all about the years when mobsters controlled not just Las Vegas but most of the clubs where singers and comedians performed all across the U.S. (many old-timers say they preferred the mob-ownership to the modern corporate-ownership), and the sad story of one mobbed-up comic, Allen Drake.

By Kliph Nesteroff, who also wrote the semi-related Why Shecky Greeene isn't just another 'Shecky' (plus a two-part interview from his blog) [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:27 AM PST - 22 comments

February 19





Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz is the longest-running cultural program on National Public Radio - having been hosted by Ms. McPartland from June 4, 1978 through November 10, 2011. Her guests included Eubie Blake, Carla Bley, JoAnne Brackeen, Ray Charles, Alice Coltrane, Chick Corea, Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock, Andrew Hill, Dick Hyman, Ahmad Jamal, Keith Jarrett, Hank Jones, Oscar Peterson, Michel Petrucciani, Marcus Roberts, and McCoy Tyner.
posted by Trurl at 5:34 PM PST - 25 comments


In the 1930s in Chicago, it started pouring heavily, and ex-forestry ranger Steve Kordek ran into a building to get out of the rain. The company was Genco, and Steve was hired to work there at 26, which began a long, long career in pinball. Designer of over 100 games, he worked at Genco, Bally and finally Williams, retiring along with Williams' exit from Pinball with the ignoble shutdown of the Pinball 2000 project, a story told in the documentary Tilt (which has extensive interviews with Kordek). Here's a video of Steve in 1994. This week, Steve Kordek passed on, having celebrated his 100th birthday last month. Here's video of his 100th birthday party, with heartfelt tributes from friends and colleagues, and a few words from Steve himself.
posted by jscott at 5:18 PM PST - 23 comments

“Losing” the World (Part 1) & The Imperial Way (Part 2): American Decline in Perspective by N. Chomsky. [more inside]
posted by knz at 4:42 PM PST - 45 comments

The lack of Corporate and Governmental transparency has been a topic of much controversy in recent years, yet our only tool for encouraging greater openness is the slow, tedious process of policy reform.
Solution? The Transparency Grenade.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 4:22 PM PST - 26 comments

He-Gassen - aka The Japanese Fart Scrolls. More at the Waseda University Library. (Alert: some ribald artsy nudity within)
posted by madamjujujive at 3:40 PM PST - 39 comments

Michael Davis, bass player for the bands MC5 and Destroy All Monsters, passed away at 68 on February 17, 2012 from liver failure.
posted by Smart Dalek at 3:08 PM PST - 28 comments

A relatively new twist in the sad saga of Little Albert is challenging the traditional understanding of the already troublingly unethical classical experiment. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb at 1:59 PM PST - 28 comments

After the release of The Jazz Singer in 1927, all bets were off for live musicians who played in movie theaters. Thanks to synchronized sound, the use of live musicians was unnecessary — and perhaps a larger sin, old-fashioned. In 1930 the American Federation of Musicians formed a new organization called the Music Defense League and launched a scathing ad campaign to fight the advance of this terrible menace known as recorded sound.

The evil face of that campaign was the dastardly, maniacal robot.

posted by troll at 1:35 PM PST - 43 comments

Paul Cornell, noted genre author and TV writer, recently announced that he seeks convention panel parity and will take personal action to that end:
If I'm on, at any convention this year, a panel that doesn't have a 50/50 gender split (I'll settle for two out of five), I'll hop off that panel, and find a woman to take my place.
This leads to the general question at Tor.com, The Cornell Ratio: Should SFF Convention Panels Be 50/50 Male and Female?
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:11 AM PST - 168 comments

The existing data... suggest that states and indigenous pro-democracy groups should be cautious about using economic sanctions as a tool in their struggles against authoritarian regimes. The data not only show that dictatorships faced with sanctions tend to enhance their grip on power, but also that successful cases of democratization have overwhelmingly occurred in the absence of broad economic sanctions. Sanctions Don’t Promote Democratic Change.
posted by latkes at 10:39 AM PST - 37 comments


From June 2, 1957, CBS Radio Workshop presents Epitaphs, [online listening link, higher quality mp3 link click to listen, right-click to download] a half-hour of readings from 1915's Spoon River Anthology, a collection of poems by Clarence Darrow's former law partner which depict the inhabitants of a graveyard in a fictional small town in Illinois. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 9:34 AM PST - 30 comments


THE OYO EMPIRE by Prof George Ayittey As you read this keep these pertinent modern questions in mind: Whether or not military dictatorship existed in the empire, rule of law was absent, there were no accountability or checks and balances, and whether the rulers can be removed.
posted by infini at 8:39 AM PST - 4 comments

Farksolia: The nephew of Barbara Follett, the child-prodigy novelist who mysteriously disappeared in 1939, has created a Web site for his aunt’s life and works. [Previously] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 8:34 AM PST - 13 comments

Longtime New Yorker Bob Egan's PopSpots tracks down the original New York City locations where famous images were shot, then superimposes the original picture over the present-day location. Did you know the iconic The Kids are Alright album-cover shot of The Who, asleep and wrapped by the Union Jack, was staged just east of Columbia University? Ever wonder where, exactly, the shot of the Central Park "pretzle" guy from Steely Dan's Pretzel Logic was taken? Or curious whether it would be possible to figure out the exact spot in Greenwich Village where the solarized cover photo of Neil Young's After the Gold Rush was snapped? The exact fire escape where Paul Simon was photographed for Still Crazy After All These Years? Egan reveals all, then shows you how he figured it out. [more inside]
posted by Joey Bagels at 8:02 AM PST - 17 comments

NYPD monitored Muslim students all over the Northeast, reading their blogs, even sending an agent on a City College rafting trip. A 'secret' police report is here.
posted by xowie at 6:16 AM PST - 61 comments

The forgetting pill: Can it erase painful memories forever? What about politically inconvenient memories? Will the act of remembering will become a choice?
posted by Obscure Reference at 6:15 AM PST - 50 comments

DogTV, a cable network for dogs, launched in San Diego this past Monday aimed at stay-at-home canines and their workaday owners who want to feel better about time apart. [more inside]
posted by ga4ry at 6:12 AM PST - 34 comments

"A big promise has been broken. You can't have a United States if you are telling some folks that they can't get on the train. There is a cracking point where a society collapses. You can't have a civilisation where something is factionalised like this." Bruce Springsteen on his new album Wrecking Ball.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:39 AM PST - 176 comments

“I’m Scott Sternberg. And I make clothes.” Scott Sternberg designs for Band of Outsiders, which shares a name with a 1964 French New Wave film. Based in Los Angeles Sternberg worked previously as a Hollywood agent. Debra Scherer’s The Little Squares created a short film about Sternberg called Being There. [more inside]
posted by knile at 4:12 AM PST - 14 comments

In the summer of 2007 on the campaign trail Barack Obama took a clear stance on the controversial subject of medical marijuana. “I would not have the Justice Department prosecuting and raiding medical marijuana users. It’s not a good use of our resources.” As President in 2009 he took action to follow through on this promise by instructing federal prosecutors to “not focus federal resources in [their] States on individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana.” The memo cited the “efficient and rational use” of the U.S. Department of Justice’s “limited investigative and prosecutorial resources,” as a motivating factor in the decision." In the winter of 2012 Rolling Stone magazine takes a look back on this subject and the record is surprising. "With more than 100 raids on pot dispensaries during his first three years, Obama is now on pace to exceed Bush's record for medical-marijuana busts. "There's no question that Obama's the worst president on medical marijuana," says Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project. "He's gone from first to worst." [more inside]
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:07 AM PST - 128 comments

February 18

The Top 100 Children's Books. Last week Scholastic's Parent & Child released a list of what they thought were the best children's books. The top three: Charlotte's Web, Goodnight Moon and a Wrinkle in Time. Also listed were special awards for: — Best Read-Aloud: Mo Willems’ Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (#28). Most Beautifully Illustrated: Jerry Pinkney’s The Lion and the Mouse (#61). Most Relatable Character: Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid (#38). Most Side-Splitting Hilarious: Dav Pilkey’s The Adventures of Captain Underpants (#97).... [more inside]
posted by storybored at 9:40 PM PST - 89 comments

Take a stroll down Memorex Lane and relive those golden days of yore at Project C-90: An Ultimate Audiotape Guide. Peruse their insanely exhaustive galleries of the Compact Cassettes you used to listen to your Hall and Oates or your Led Zeppelin or your hip hop mixes on, the Microcassettes you once played back to catch that all-important message from your mother, your girlfriend, boyfriend or ex, and the Minicassettes, which you probably never used at all.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:05 PM PST - 55 comments

"What we are talking about here are models that reproduce real guns in details. These are acting mechanisms and real copies of guns decreased 4-4.5 times. They could fire if real bullets were used."
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:53 PM PST - 12 comments


In March 2010, a pair of health inspectors responding to multiple tips paid a three-day visit to the factory headquarters of the Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) company, a leading international maker of breast implants. On their second day, the inspectors found something odd: six discarded plastic containers of Silopren, a liquid silicone designed for industrial, not medical use, lined up along the outside wall of the production site. The lead inspector estimated they had contained nearly 9 tons of liquid silicone. It now appears as if between 300,000 and 400,000 women throughout the world may have received potentially toxic, faulty breast implants containing ingredients never clinically tested on humans, manufactured and distributed by a company that knowingly deceived regulators, suppliers, distributors, medical professionals and ultimately, patients. Reuters photographer's Blog: Operating on an implant scandal. (Last link NSFW, graphic images that contain nudity.) [more inside]
posted by zarq at 7:19 PM PST - 58 comments

Fred Clark, previously in the blue for his excellent deconstruction of the Left Behind series and much more, has written a short history lesson on the Evangelical movement's surprisingly recent about-face on the subject of conception, abortion and the human soul. As he notes, "At some point between 1968 and 2012, the Bible began to say something different. That’s interesting."
posted by mhoye at 6:31 PM PST - 100 comments

Early performances of well-known comedians, collected by mikl-em on Laughing Squid: Louis C.K. (also see The Evolution of Louis C.K., a YouTube edit of his tribute to George Carlin - previously - intercut with clips throughout his career); Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno, and Steven Wright; Sarah Silverman; David Letterman; Steve Martin; Robin Williams; and "What They Did Before 30 Rock". Also see posts on George Carlin, Lenny Bruce, Father Guido Sarducci, and Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara.
posted by flex at 4:54 PM PST - 23 comments

With a tough economy and less money to go around, gang members in New York City are resorting to sharing guns hidden in easily accessible places.
posted by reenum at 1:39 PM PST - 53 comments

Taking the idea of a 'laptop computer' to its logical-but-absurd extreme, a pair of Dutch designer dorks have come up with a pair of jeans with a built-in wireless computer keyboard. Enjoy.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:21 PM PST - 37 comments

The Love Competition: Can one person experience love more deeply than another? That’s what The Stanford Center for Cognitive and Neurobiological Imaging and filmmaker Brent Hoff set out to understand when they hosted the 1st Annual Love Competition. Seven contestants, ranging from 10 to 75 years of age, took part. They each spent five minutes in an fMRI machine, thinking deeply about love and allowing the imaging technology to measure activity in their dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin/vasopressin pathways. [via]
posted by hincandenza at 12:37 PM PST - 44 comments

Diamanda Galas sings "Gloomy Sunday" [more inside]
posted by Trurl at 11:21 AM PST - 18 comments


"This is an intriguing little video summarizing the hypothesis of a new study by Vamsi Vakulabharanam. It looks at the puzzle of why China and India are exceptions to the Kuznets curve, that economic development at first increases income inequality but then starts to produce less disparity. But that did not occur in India and China. Vakulabharanam argues that the difference lies in changes in institutional arrangements, and the inflection point was roughly 1980."
posted by marienbad at 10:20 AM PST - 3 comments

Alfred Hitchcock takes us inside his creative process in this fascinating 1964 program from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. “A Talk with Alfred Hitchcock” is part interview, part master class in the craft of telling stories on film. (via Open Culture) [more inside]
posted by nosila at 10:10 AM PST - 6 comments



Arizona's Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, a Republican border-security hawk and a leading candidate for Congress has been accused, along with his attorney, of threatening to deport a Mexican former lover when the man refused to agree to not disclose the relationship. [more inside]
posted by darkstar at 8:48 AM PST - 337 comments



Marriage is a luxury good [NYT] After steadily rising for five decades, the share of children born to unmarried women has crossed a threshold: more than half of births to American women under 30 occur outside marriage. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad at 8:16 AM PST - 66 comments

The Oglala Sioux tribe of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation have just filed a lawsuit against Anheuser-Busch, InBev, SABMiller, Molson Coors, MillerCoors and Pabst, along with the four off-licences in Whiteclay, seeking $500m (£310m) in damages for their alleged encouragement of the "illegal sale and trade in alcohol" to members of the tribe. Touched upon briefly in early comments, Whiteclay (pop. 11) has been long known for its disproportionate volume of liquor sales, with over 5 million cans of beer sold each year, while Pine Ridge, who outlawed drink on its property, and has a population of 20,000, suffers from a disproportionate percentage of families with at least one alcohol dependent adult member (no less than 85%).
posted by infini at 7:39 AM PST - 77 comments

After he beat out some popular dance music favorites to win a Best New Artist Grammy last week, many asked Who Is Bon Iver? Some, confused further, asked Who Is Bonnie Bear? Parents everywhere answered: Um, THIS is Bonnie Bear. Fortunately, all this confusion has had a charming result. All the while, Bon Iver has blithely been making music. Yesterday Justin Vernon released a live video of him and frequent BI contributor Sean Carey rocking two minimalist pianos on some old favorites and a brand new cover of Bonnie Rait's "I Can't Make You Love Me". [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:31 AM PST - 35 comments

World Press Photo Contest Winners (some images NSFW)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:05 AM PST - 11 comments


February 17



A brief video of a tornado on the surface of the sun posted by NPR, as seen by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (links to various sizes and qualities of downloads here). The tornado is larger than Earth itself and has gusts up to 300,000 miles per hour.
posted by briank at 7:21 PM PST - 52 comments

Gov. Chris Christie vetoes New Jersey bill granting marriage equality. Meanwhile, the Maryland House narrowly passes such a bill. The MD Senate passed a similar bill last year, and no senators have announced any plans to change their votes, and Gov. Martin O'Malley has promised to sign it.
posted by Navelgazer at 4:03 PM PST - 160 comments

DJ Greg Wilson has photos of the Haçienda DJ Booth (no, not the one you're thinking of). DJ Hewan Clarke who played every night for the first four years talks about what it was like in the early days of the Haçienda: What I used to do when I was playing the records… I always had to go out, run onto the stage, stand in the middle of the stage and listen to how it sounded in the club, went back in and readjust it on the mixer and I was constantly doing that because there was no feedback from what was going on outside, you just had to look through that gap. [more inside]
posted by oneirodynia at 3:42 PM PST - 12 comments

16-year-old Spanish photographer Cristina Otero has created a new series of self-portraits inspired by fruit.
posted by WaspEnterprises at 3:33 PM PST - 44 comments

les Artistes du Web curated by Tanguy Mignot
posted by adamvasco at 3:03 PM PST - 2 comments



Kirby Ferguson's fourth and final installment of Everything is a Remix: System Failure has been released. (Also on YouTube.) It covers intellectual property rights, the derivative nature of creativity, patents and copyright. Transcript. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 2:49 PM PST - 5 comments


Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie is out now on your TV. It may be at your local cineplex March 2. [more inside]
posted by kittensofthenight at 2:19 PM PST - 32 comments

Philadelphia's Fox 29 News does an undercover investigation on the possible terrorist threat posed by unguarded chemicals in labs. Mistakes are made.
posted by sciencegeek at 2:13 PM PST - 83 comments

It's only been about 12 years since Jamie Woon picked up a guitar and started writing songs, but he's progressed from his days of being a fan of Brit-pop, and his current work has been classified as sobstep, dubpop, and lovestep, or simply "the new pop music." "At the heart of what I do is R&B, it's groove-based vocal-led music, and I try to sing about things that are close to my heart and that matter to me," says Woon. His sound has garnered a lot of praise, including placing 4th in The Sound of 2011, the annual British music industry poll. More of Woon's background and music inside. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:46 PM PST - 19 comments


Skeletons Having Sex on a Tin Roof. A music video.
posted by Hartham's Hugging Robots at 12:55 PM PST - 38 comments

Meet Mitt Romney's national campaign finance co-chair and the LGBT journalist that's standing up to him. Glenn Greenwald documents Idaho billionaire James VanderSloot's record of using his deep pockets to silence his critics.
posted by jabo at 12:40 PM PST - 44 comments

John Carter, previously John Carter of Mars, previously A Princess of Mars, could be the biggest movie write-off of all time.
posted by Artw at 12:33 PM PST - 382 comments

Shit Burqueños Say (and part two) are twin odes to New Mexican idiosyncrasies. The videos (created by ABQ's own Blackout Theatre troupe) went viral and made the front page of the Albuquerque Journal this week, to the general amusement of most, though they're not entirely free of controversy. Watch and you too may exclaim eeeeee, this is all funny!
posted by vorfeed at 12:28 PM PST - 46 comments

The Slap of Love A 1995 article from Open City, On House Xtravaganza and the life and death of its house mother Angie Xtravaganza, one of the stars of the documentary Paris is Burning, which brought vogueing and New York City’s transgendered ball culture into the spotlight. [via] [more inside]
posted by mlis at 12:24 PM PST - 3 comments

"Inception Park" (SLVimeo) where roller coasters and other amusement park rides, without their tracks or frames, move excited riders around downtown Buenos Aires.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:02 PM PST - 20 comments

Tira o pé do chão! A non-samba mixtape for Carnaval 2012. [more inside]
posted by Tom-B at 11:30 AM PST - 21 comments

There goes the last DJ, who plays what he wants to play, and says what he wants to say - Long time fixture on Los Angeles radio, freeform disc jockey Jim Ladd surfaces once again on satellite radio after been unceremoniously booted off terrestrial radio. Ladd, the inspiration of Tom Petty's Last DJ album, is one of the few remaining DJs allowed choose what to play and not follow a playlist from a program manager. (via blogging.la)
posted by Argyle at 11:04 AM PST - 57 comments


This is apparently a real advertisement [gore warning] for the Central Institute of Technology in Australia. Mind blown. TV in America sucks.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:50 AM PST - 130 comments

With the growing popularity of backyard chickens, some people are raising the art of the coop to a new level.
posted by ambrosia at 10:45 AM PST - 62 comments

An independent Pakistani musician, Asfandyar Khan, writes up the indie scene in Pakistan.
posted by bardophile at 10:26 AM PST - 6 comments

BBBBbbbaaassseeeettttt HHHHhhhhooooouuuunnnnddddd (SSSLLLYYYTTTT)
posted by griphus at 10:16 AM PST - 43 comments



Hitler's French son.
posted by Meatbomb at 9:15 AM PST - 79 comments

Freddie Mercury, Anthony Perkins, Rock Hudson, and other people with AIDS on stamps
posted by incomple at 8:47 AM PST - 24 comments


Martin Klimas, an artist best known for his work in the medium of "temporary sculptures" [previously], is now trying to illustrate what music looks like. [more inside]
posted by quin at 8:04 AM PST - 2 comments

Gina Rinehart AKA "The Iron Lady"- Australia's richest woman expresses her politics in rhyming couplet. She even carved it on a rock. [more inside]
posted by JPD at 5:56 AM PST - 35 comments

Samurai meets Minesweeper! Defeat the Seven Daimyos and their Shogun, and restore peace to the land! As the Samurai, you will have to choose your battles carefully to overcome the enemies' forces... [more inside]
posted by smcg at 5:47 AM PST - 8 comments

Hard decision as to what link to provide, but Gary Carter, the Hall of Fame catcher whose single for the New York Mets in the 1986 World Series touched off one of the most improbable rallies in postseason history, died Thursday. He was 57. You'll be remembered, Kid.
posted by Man with Lantern at 5:09 AM PST - 45 comments

Apple has released a developer preview of the next version of OS X, named Mountain Lion. A key new feature is Gatekeeper, a security system that will allow users to decide what type of applications can be installed or launched on their personal computers. While some security experts think its a good idea, others worry about it being subtly used to discourage users from installing non-App Store applications. Macworld has coverage of the entire update, while Daring Fireball recounts a personal demonstration.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:14 AM PST - 273 comments


Files have been released showing that the MI5 investigated Charlie Chaplin's origins at the request of the FBI, attempting to check claims that besides being a communist, he might be Jewish, and/or French. His life story by his own account has him born in London, but no birth certificate has been found and last year evidence emerged that he might in fact have been born in a gypsy camp.
posted by Segundus at 1:31 AM PST - 34 comments

With Amazon slowly taking over the publishing world and bookstores closing left and right, things can sometimes seem a little grim for the brick and mortar booksellers of the world. Before they go completely, here's a list of the 20 most beautiful bookshops in the world.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:05 AM PST - 30 comments

February 16


Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Anthony Shadid has died on assignment. (NYTimes) Shadid, 43, died of an asthma attack while reporting in Syria. His colleague, photographer Tyler Hicks, carried his body over the border into Turkey. [more inside]
posted by Madamina at 9:21 PM PST - 50 comments

A retired grandfather receives his medical marijuana card. He's never smoked before, and is trying it because he feels he is taking too many pills to control his back pain, anxiety, rage, and more. His exploration of the logistics (especially the pipe lighting techniques) is really quite charming.
posted by punocchio at 8:57 PM PST - 49 comments

The Los Angeles band named X. The one that performed "Los Angeles" , "Your Phone's Off The Hook But You're Not", "Johnny Hit and Run Paulene", "We're Desperate", "White Girl", and "Breathless". The one with John Doe, Exene Cervenka, Billy Zoom, and D.J. Bonebrake in it. [more inside]
posted by Trurl at 8:33 PM PST - 64 comments

The 100 Best Nicholas Cage Quotes (NSFW-language). Makes Andy Samberg's SNL impersonation seem even more authentic.
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 6:58 PM PST - 77 comments

Hey New York, take your Central Park and shove it! (via) [more inside]
posted by rosswald at 6:40 PM PST - 41 comments

Dahlia Lithwick: This week, the Virginia state Legislature passed a bill that would require women to have an ultrasound before they may have an abortion. Because the great majority of abortions occur during the first 12 weeks, that means most women will be forced to have a transvaginal procedure, in which a probe is inserted into the vagina, and then moved around until an ultrasound image is produced. Since a proposed amendment to the bill—a provision that would have had the patient consent to this bodily intrusion or allowed the physician to opt not to do the vaginal ultrasound—failed on 64-34 vote, the law provides that women seeking an abortion in Virginia will be forcibly penetrated for no medical reason. I am not the first person to note that under any other set of facts, that would constitute rape under state law. [more inside]
posted by gerryblog at 5:24 PM PST - 331 comments

One Minnesota union's tongue-in-cheek response to a proposal to make Minnesota a so-called "Right to Work" State. [more inside]
posted by univac at 4:59 PM PST - 73 comments

"First Kill is a war documentary that explores the dark side of man and the psychology of soldiers at war. Vietnam veterans are interviewed about their experiences and what war does to the human mind and soul." [1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8]
posted by gman at 4:59 PM PST - 9 comments

Do you like water? Do you like tug-of-war? Can you do a Canadian accent? Then we might have found the man for you.
posted by ironjelly at 3:08 PM PST - 44 comments

City of the Wildcats 1 2:
A documentary about the urban kitties of Rome narrated by Sir David Attenborough.
posted by lemuring at 2:47 PM PST - 20 comments

Although many fine divas stamped their mark on early recording, it was the tenor voice of Caruso which was the defining voice of the early twentieth century. His reputation was due to the fact that people could not only hear him in their own homes, but that his success could actually be measured in record sales; he was the first global superstar of the gramophone era. Enrico Caruso was the first recording artist with a million-selling record ("Vesti la Giubba," from Pagliacci), and his recordings of 10 songs 'made the gramophone' in 1902. He went on to make about commercial 490 recordings, and there is even more unreleased material. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:36 PM PST - 14 comments

The International Man: "My mission is very simple: To find the 'Rolls-Royces' of every category listed on this website on the Internet to help you avoid wasting your time and make it your useful and indispensable lifestyle and luxury resource." [more inside]
posted by whimsicalnymph at 1:33 PM PST - 91 comments

There was a time when we were one of the worst, if not THE worst prison systems in the country. How we got there was simple. It was money. “When I first drove up to the gate in the summer of 1971, my dog was with me in the car. I drove up to a little shack with a guard. The guard was wearing a pistol and I realized he was a prisoner. The only people I saw carrying guns were convicts.” - Photographer Bruce Jackson
posted by thisisdrew at 12:15 PM PST - 14 comments

"Rosetta Code is a programming chrestomathy site." Each page describes a programming concept or task, then lists how it's implemented in dozens of programming languages. Useful for learning a new programming language, especially if you're already familiar with how to do it in another language.
posted by Deathalicious at 12:09 PM PST - 13 comments


The Angel Problem. The Angel and the Devil play a game on an infinite chess board...
posted by Wolfdog at 11:43 AM PST - 37 comments

The 'Piggyback Bandit': SI.com What they were dealing with the night of Feb. 4 was the Piggyback Bandit - Sherwin Shayegan of Bothell, Wash., a 28-year-old man who ingratiates himself with high school sports teams, then hoists his 5-foot-8, 240-pound frame onto the backs of the student athletes.
posted by Fizz at 11:32 AM PST - 33 comments

The true name of the man most famously known as Lord George Gordon Gordon will likely never be known. His name, though false, will nevertheless live in history for pulling one of the great advance-fee cons of all time, swindling in 1872 over a million dollars out of Jay Gould, most unscrupulous of all the robber barons and no stranger himself to a long con. Gould's quest for revenge would nearly lead to a military invasion of Manitoba by the Minnesota state militia. [more inside]
posted by strangely stunted trees at 11:27 AM PST - 10 comments

Booktype is an open source platform to write and publish print and digital books. [more inside]
posted by dgran at 11:11 AM PST - 17 comments


Last Sunday, Comic Book Men premiered on AMC, sliding right into the time slot right after the comic book-based Walking Dead series. It's a reality show masterminded by filmmaker and occasional comic book writer Kevin Smith that follows four employees at his New Jersey comic book shop, the Secret Stash, as they deal with the world of comics retail. If the intent is to show comic shop employees as anything other than obnoxious walking sterotypes, it's a complete failure. If, however, it's meant to be the most compelling argument I've ever seen for never setting foot in a comic book store, I have to admit that it's a smashing success. - Chris Sims reviews Comic Book Men. Remember, no chicks allowed.
posted by Artw at 11:06 AM PST - 112 comments

The Help: The Musical (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:39 AM PST - 19 comments

"rip lnu". So ends 13 months of the greatest pirate ebook site the world has ever known. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach at 10:32 AM PST - 102 comments

Stereo Skifcha [SVL] by Denis Borisovich
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 10:14 AM PST - 4 comments

L.E.D. Surfer
William Hughes snowboards through darkness in a suit made with thousands of L.E.D. lights in a short film by Jacob Sutton.
posted by clearly at 10:05 AM PST - 18 comments

2QWOP. Your favorite running game now supports two players. Extra keyboard support is included, or play on the same one for maximum fun.
posted by kmz at 8:34 AM PST - 50 comments

Bent Objects is the creation of Terry Border, a photographer and sculptor with a flair for visual puns created using every day objects, clever lighting and twisted wire. [more inside]
posted by quin at 7:52 AM PST - 12 comments

"Readers who demand verifiable truth in nonfiction—who were upset about James Frey, for example—are unsophisticated and ignorant, D’Agata said, and he wants to change that." Dan Kois reviews The Lifespan of a Fact, the transcript of the editorial battle between author and fact-checker on John D'agata's piece in the Believer (excerpt; full article requires payment) on the suicide of Levi Presley, who killed himself by jumping off the observation deck of the Stratosphere in Las Vegas in 2002.
posted by shivohum at 7:42 AM PST - 107 comments

Virtual Legos: Now Actual Legos. You can now pre-order the Minecraft Lego set.
posted by empath at 7:08 AM PST - 66 comments

A fascinating look inside a disowned and ultra-rare early book by Martin Amis: a guide to video games.
posted by WPW at 5:28 AM PST - 48 comments

Artist and film-maker, Hito Steyerl, asks us to stand shoulder to shoulder with our digital equivalents. Digital images are Things (like you and me) - a plethora of compressed, corrupted representations pushed and pulled through increasingly policed and capitalised information networks. If 80% of all internet traffic* is SPAM - a liberated excess withdrawn** from accepted channels of communication - perhaps it is in The Poor Image we find our closest kin? [more inside]
posted by 0bvious at 5:13 AM PST - 5 comments

Social apps 'harvest smartphone contacts'. While this may not come as a surprise to many, the fact that apps such as Twitter and Instagram will take the addresses from your contacts list and store them, sometimes unencrypted, has become enough of a story that two members of the US congress have sent a letter to Apple about its apps and how they access personal data. [more inside]
posted by Megami at 1:06 AM PST - 125 comments

February 15

"I always knew that Sugar was Cheryl, and that the anonymity was just a temporary experience, and it wasn’t going to be really who Sugar was in the end. I revealed myself to you. I only withheld one piece of pretty meaningless information: my name. But I showed myself to you." Dear Sugar of The Rumpus is revealed to be author Cheryl Strayed. [more inside]
posted by mokin at 11:38 PM PST - 17 comments

Hu's on First - an update of the classic Abbott and Costello routine, using names of (real) modern baseball players. [more inside]
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:51 PM PST - 24 comments

Tetris plus Minesweeper = Tetrisweeper. A moves left, D moves right, W and E rotate, S drops. Click to uncover, shift-click to flag. (SLFlash)
posted by spitefulcrow at 9:58 PM PST - 39 comments

Janet Flanner began her career at The New Yorker composing evocative and cogent dispatches from Europe, writing nearly seven hundred Letters from Paris under the nom de plume Genêt, from 1925 to 1975. In between these, she contributed Profiles, Reporter at Large dispatches, and other Letters from around the globe. In a Postscript published after she died, in 1978, editor-in-chief William Shawn wrote of his prolific correspondent: "Her eye never became jaded, her ardor for what was new and alive never diminished, and her language remained restless. She was a stylist who devoted her style, bedazzling and heady in itself, to the subtle task of conveying the spirit of a subtle people." [more inside]
posted by Trurl at 8:31 PM PST - 7 comments

Towards the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s the Madchester sound swept the UK. Spearheaded by The Stone Roses and the Happy Mondays Manchester became the dominant force in English music. One notable exception to this Northern domination were the boys from London's Camden Town known as Flowered Up. [more inside]
posted by jontyjago at 6:34 PM PST - 25 comments

Between April 16th, 2006 and April 15th, 2007, Paleo, also known as David Strackany, wrote a song every day for a year and posted them on his website. These include a weekly 'Sunday Prayer,' featuring new lyrics sung to the same tune on the day of relative rest. At the end of the year, he received a letter of congratulations from Vice President Dick Cheney, who was in the midst of a (failed) campaign to convince the American people that he was not a robot alien overlord. Paleo kept up the site, with all the song-diary entries, and still posts occasional lyrics and a weekly Sunday Prayer. Here's a song I particularly like: The World's Tiniest Violin.
posted by kaibutsu at 5:59 PM PST - 19 comments

Do you like cats? Do you like fonts? Do you like cats... and fonts?
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:29 PM PST - 50 comments


Dear Esther was (re)released today. An 'interactive ghost story', Dear Esther began as a Source engine mod for Half-Life 2. (previously) It was given a wide-ranging graphical upgrade and commercially released today on Steam. PC game blog Rockpapershotgun has opinions here and here.
posted by Sebmojo at 3:34 PM PST - 17 comments

How to Feed and Grow Your Health Care System. A landmark study has established that patient satisfaction is correlated with mortality - in the wrong way. The more satisfied, the greater mortality. What accounts for this dynamic? And what are the implications for healthcare costs and available political options? 'One of the primary findings itself raises concern—a 26% mortality excess among the most satisfied patients, an effect size that far exceeds that for all other, more immediate, study outcomes (eg, a 12% excess in hospitalizations).' Brenda E. Sirovich, MD, MS wrote a response to the study. [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 2:02 PM PST - 20 comments

Vaccinate, or begone. Some pediatricians are refusing to see children whose parents refuse to allow vaccination.
posted by bitmage at 1:53 PM PST - 344 comments

Bret Victor (previously, previouslier) shows off some mindblowing tools he's created to demonstrate not only great insights in user experience, but also his philosophy: "Inventing on Principle"
posted by Mr. Anthropomorphism at 1:43 PM PST - 15 comments

Super Mario World Minimal Score Run (half-hour SLYT, NES version previously) [more inside]
posted by radwolf76 at 1:32 PM PST - 26 comments


It turns out that apes really enjoy looking in a mirror. Combine this with an iphone and you get a pretty entertaining video [more inside]
posted by Lame_username at 12:47 PM PST - 26 comments

The number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the number of people on Earth by the end of 2012. (Never mind the phone chargers.) By 2016, there will be 1.4 mobile devices per capita.
posted by wensink at 12:45 PM PST - 26 comments

Confessions of a middle-aged Ecstasy eater. I believe that my coming to Ecstasy goes further than mere thrill-seeking. I believe it goes to the centre of my life at the time. It was a period of personal devastation. It began with my only child, a son - he was then my best friend, from time to time still is - and I did not see it coming and it culminated in Ecstasy, and to that I see no end. He was beautiful and sensitive and extraordinarily talented, talented enough that at 13 his poetry had won the notice of university professors and New York book editors alike. So when he undertook to destroy himself, he took his mother and father with him. That was not, nor is it, his fault.
posted by gottabefunky at 12:37 PM PST - 60 comments

About 13 km (8 miles) north of the US/Canada border is Spotted Lake (Google Maps/streetview), a endorheic basin, or terminal lake. In wetter times, the lake is full, but spots are visible. During the summer months, the water level drops, leaving spots of mineral-rich water. The waters have long been considered therapeutic, and one story cites a truce in a battle to allow both warring tribes to tend to their wounded in the lake. Though a sacred medicine lake of the Okanagan People, the lake and the land around it were privately owned for 40 years. Mineral-rich salts were harvested during World War I for munitions, and decades later, the land owners were looking to mine the mud to sell for use in therapeutic spas. In 2001, the land was finally purchased by the The Indian Affairs Department and the Okanagan Nation Alliance. kłlil'xw is property of the Okanagan Nation once more. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 12:31 PM PST - 8 comments

Playfic is a community for writing, sharing, and playing interactive fiction games (aka “text adventures”) entirely from your browser. [more inside]
posted by muckster at 12:31 PM PST - 15 comments


A tragic fire in Honduras has claimed the lives of hundreds of inmates as a "hellish scene" unfolded as hundreds of inmates were caught up in a prison fire in Comayagua. [more inside]
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:08 PM PST - 12 comments

Canada's attempts to alter its Copyright bills over the past 7 years have all failed, often dying when an election is called. Attempts at implementing so called "Lawful Access" legislation have also previously died in the House of Commons. Yesterday, Bill c-30, "the Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act" was introduced by Vic Toews, Minster of Public Safety, accompanied by one of the harbringer states of the "Four Horsemen of the Infopocolypse", "[one] can either stand with us or with the child pornographers.". The interent has a history of responding poorly to politicians trying to limit online freedoms and didn't respond to nicely to Vic Toews wanting to know more about your life. Meet @Vikileaks30, a twitter account exposing portions of Vic Toews acrimonious divorce proceedings, adultery, and public accounts bills. [more inside]
posted by aidanwhiteley at 11:13 AM PST - 124 comments


Who Will Run the Frog Hospital World Bank? Robert Zoellick has announced that he will step down from his role as World Bank President on June 30, at the end of his five-year term. Though the president has traditionally been selected by the President of the United States through an informal agreement with European powers, emerging powers including Brazil and India have argued for a change in policy. [more inside]
posted by psoas at 11:07 AM PST - 18 comments

Is Webkit, the web browser engine used by Safari and Chrome, turning into IE6? Concern is growing that reliance on proprietry CSS features marked by vendor prefixes could be breaking the web.
posted by Artw at 11:01 AM PST - 57 comments

Errant Signal is one man's blog about games, wherein he plumbs the nuances of game mechanics, bemoans the state of game journalism, and also offers incredibly insightful reviews of games. He tackles the intrinsic flaws of Deus Ex: Invisible War, broaches heresy by critiquing the Half-Life series, and combats cynicism by gushing about Bastion.
posted by Panjandrum at 10:57 AM PST - 54 comments


Animals Doing People Things
posted by griphus at 10:32 AM PST - 39 comments




Carrying you blissfully through hump day, here's Dustin Wong, formerly of Ecstatic Sunshine and Ponytail, serving up two live hour-long assaults of unrestrained guitar-pedal rapture that loops, and loops, and loops...
posted by theodolite at 8:35 AM PST - 6 comments

Women have known for years that the dress size on the label doesn't necessarily mean that the garment will be the same size as another shop's size X , nor that your modern size 14 will be the same as the size 14 you bought there in the past (Some blame vanity sizing.) What Size Am I allows you to input your measurements and see how you measure up to high-street stores' individual sizing charts. [more inside]
posted by mippy at 8:33 AM PST - 64 comments

Born without legs, Vinod Thakur has excelled at breakdance and performed on India's Got Talent. [more inside]
posted by gman at 8:28 AM PST - 3 comments

Open Source for You, or "Your Day Job Sucks, Make Programming Fun Again". Stephen McDonald, creator of Mezzanine, shares his experience of "what it's like contributing to open source".
posted by philipy at 8:26 AM PST - 18 comments

Golden Goal is a Norwegian sports talkshow, and in one of their segments, they play football in unusual ways. With three teams. On a hill. On the beach. Blindfolded. Not difficult enough for you? How about three-legged soccer? On hoppy balls? With binoculars? Inside plastic bubbles? Electroshock style?
posted by specialagentwebb at 8:04 AM PST - 17 comments

Reported in Discover Magazine online, The Heartland Institute — a self-described "think tank" that actually serves in part as a way for climate change denialism to get funded — has a potentially embarrassing situation on their hands. Someone going by the handle "Heartland Insider" has anonymously released quite a few of what are claimed to be internal documents from Heartland, revealing the Institute’s strategies, funds, and much more. [more inside]
posted by Man with Lantern at 7:56 AM PST - 86 comments


Peter Sellers enjoyed doing spoken word covers of songs by The Beatles as performed by different characters. These included “A Hard Day’s Night” done as Laurence Olivier’s Richard III, and “She Loves You” as an Irishman (mildly NSFW), a cockney, an upper class British twit, a possibly particular German, and most wonderfully; Dr Strangelove. [via]
posted by quin at 7:39 AM PST - 22 comments

140byt.es JavaScript games and programs, all written in 140 bytes (characters) or less. Example games include Snake, Tetris (very basic), Minesweeper (again, very basic). Note that the license for most of these is NSFW.
posted by Deathalicious at 7:34 AM PST - 10 comments

MI6 intends to use the 1994 Intelligence Services Act to deny all application of UK law to extraordinary rendition. The case in question revolves around the forcible extradition of several Libyan dissidents back to Gaddafi's Libya and entirely predictable torture, including a pregnant woman. s.7 of the Act states that any intelligence agency action authorised on foreign soil by a Secretary of State is automatically exempt from legal action in any UK court. This could be said to conflict in some ways with the Human Rights Act 1998 and international law, especially since the HRA may be held to have implicitly repealed s.7 of the 1994 Act. [more inside]
posted by jaduncan at 6:45 AM PST - 26 comments

The Death of the Cyberflâneur "While not deliberately concealing his identity, the flâneur preferred to stroll incognito. “The art that the flâneur masters is that of seeing without being caught looking,” the Polish sociologist Zygmunt Bauman once remarked. The flâneur was not asocial — he needed the crowds to thrive — but he did not blend in, preferring to savor his solitude. And he had all the time in the world: there were reports of flâneurs taking turtles for a walk." [more inside]
posted by byanyothername at 5:17 AM PST - 50 comments


February 14

An upstate NY man claims he has "decoded music". Using a decoder ring. And music authorities seem to agree. *Eastman School of Music, at 1:55 in the video
posted by Jesse Hughson at 10:50 PM PST - 89 comments


Last year, the day was commemorated by a parade through the Greenpoint neighborhood in Brooklyn. This year, the affair will be more intimate, as you will get to unburden "your own loves, heartbreaks, obsessions and degradations" in a confessional booth on Freeman Street. Yes, tomorrow is the sixth(!) anniversary of Phil Collins Day in Brooklyn.
posted by stannate at 9:39 PM PST - 57 comments



Marika Rökk - Mir ist so langweilig - 1958 - this video has everything, I tell you. Monkeys. Volcanoes. Spaceflight. Sequins.(via World of Wonder)
posted by madamjujujive at 7:42 PM PST - 30 comments

You can make jiaozi. But you can't make it like this. [more inside]
posted by Trurl at 7:28 PM PST - 29 comments

French artist Jacques Carelman created the Catalogue d’Objets Introuvables, in his words, "a criticism of our consumer society, to ridicule the necessity of the inhabitants of the big and rich western cities to buy things and shortly after to get rid of them again and so continue consuming." The collection was exhibited in Bilbao, Spain in September 2011 as part of International Art with Humor Week and has traveled around the world. Bilingual interview with Carelman, Q&A in French and English. Now, Carelman's objects, starting with the famous "Coffeepot for Masochists", are for sale.
posted by gladly at 7:24 PM PST - 4 comments

Dwarf Fortress 2012 has been released! After DF2010 [mefi], Toady One had planned to keep up a regular schedule of smaller releases. But while adding 300+ animals from a fundraising drive, the feature set spiralled beyond expectation. [more inside]
posted by free hugs at 7:13 PM PST - 66 comments

The Yukon Quest is a 1000 mile dog sled race that stretches from Fairbanks, Alaksa, to Whitehorse, Yukon. The 2012 race had the closest finish ever: the first and second place winners were separated by just 26 seconds. [more inside]
posted by leahwrenn at 7:03 PM PST - 4 comments

Your Brain in Love and Lust - This Valentine's Day, Scientific American traces the flow of chemicals in the brain during different phases of romance and describes surprising insights from the science of attraction.
posted by nickyskye at 6:54 PM PST - 1 comments



Taking their position of status and responsibility into account, Germany's Constitutional Court has ruled that German university professors are underpaid. [more inside]
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 3:58 PM PST - 46 comments


She is gone. A Valentines story of love and loss.
posted by ColdChef at 1:34 PM PST - 28 comments

Legendary comic book artist John Severin has died. He was ninety years old. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse at 1:13 PM PST - 43 comments

Today's Google doodle is quite cute. [more inside]
posted by CrazyLemonade at 12:19 PM PST - 49 comments

Dance With Leroy (SLYT)
posted by The Discredited Ape at 12:09 PM PST - 13 comments

170 years ago, a gala ball was held in his honor on Valentine's Day. Flattered by New York City's elites, the author considered the occasion the finest moment of his life, particularly since he felt the United States was an ideal example of how Britain's class-bound society should live. But in the following weeks, when besieged by fawning groupies and actually meeting directly with the less than well-heeled folk of the New World, that his disposition turned sour. [more inside]
posted by Smart Dalek at 11:42 AM PST - 16 comments


Today, across Canada, thousands of women March. The February 14th Annual Women’s Memorial March is held on Valentine’s Day each year to honour the memory of women from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside who have died due to the violence of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual abuse. [more inside]
posted by what's her name at 11:23 AM PST - 57 comments

"Lots of people write storytelling songs about trains and set it to acoustic music and do pretty harmonies, but First Aid Kit transcends that cliché. Their songs sound like they’ve gone away and seen too much and come back tired but still alive. Their music kind of has its own way of breathing: filled with tension for a little while until it goes over the edge and exhales while the instrumental parts just seem to grow. This part of every few songs of theirs is most thrilling in concert, when Klara plays guitar so intensely you’d think it’s her only way of communicating, while Johanna stands perfectly still and lets her voice carry out so that it seems kind of infinite, or like it’s been waiting to come out for forever, and I kind of can’t help imagining that it comes from under the ground up through her mouth, or that a little part of the sky exists in her diaphragm or something. They can sound like freaking angels, or like women demanding life’s answers and who can make Patti Smith cry." Tavi interviews First Aid Kit on Rookie [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 11:01 AM PST - 14 comments

A DTMFA decision-tree
posted by jacquilynne at 10:55 AM PST - 81 comments

Aereo is a new venture that is about to start streaming live, over-the-air TV signals in NYC to your computer, tablet or smart phone for $12 per month. How, you might ask, can they do this legally??? They have developed a ultra small TV antenna and they'll be deploying many thousands of them around NYC. Each subscriber then get's their own personal antenna, and they are therefore -- at least in theory -- protected by the 2008 ruling allowing Cablevision to offer DVR services from their head end. It's good they have Barry Diller behind them to cover their legal bills! Here's another article about this in today's NYT.
posted by Dean358 at 10:39 AM PST - 34 comments


Yosimar Reyes, a champion slam poet has collaborated with artist Julio Salgado, who is "out and proud" as gay and undocumented, on a new set of works called "Five Tips for Queer Boys" (#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, and extra). [more inside]
posted by anya32 at 10:22 AM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Historian Michael Kazin says that we are witnessing the end of the Religious Right's influence in American politics. Peter Montgomery of Alternet says not to declare the Christian Right dead quite yet.
posted by reenum at 9:49 AM PST - 128 comments


To expose a bookshelf is to compose a self. The Paris Review towards a history of bookshelves.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:24 AM PST - 19 comments

Hit men, click whores, and paid apologists: Welcome to the Silicon Cesspool, by Dan Lyons (aka Fake Steve Jobs) digs into the lying, collusion, and rotten dealings that surround tech journalism in the Valley. [more inside]
posted by smitt at 9:16 AM PST - 55 comments

Winifred Gallagher argues that neophilia has always been the quintessential human survival skill, whether adapting to climate change on the ancestral African savanna or coping with the latest digital toy from Silicon Valley. “Nothing reveals your personality more succinctly than your characteristic emotional reaction to novelty and change over time and across many situations; [i]t’s also the most important behavioral difference among individuals.”[NYT] [more inside]
posted by obscurator at 8:36 AM PST - 39 comments

Rhodri Marsden, journalist and erstwhile member of Scritti Politti, decided to ask Twitter about their worst Valentine's Days. This was the result.
posted by mippy at 8:27 AM PST - 31 comments

Love Will Tear Us Apart
posted by philip-random at 8:15 AM PST - 49 comments

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the Gregory Brothers and the ACLU have teamed up to bring attention to the issue photographer’s rights in public spaces, with an animated musical piece featuring the ghost of Benjamin Franklin. [via]
posted by quin at 7:36 AM PST - 20 comments

The trailer for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter has been released.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:04 AM PST - 154 comments

A two part look back on Jim Jinkins' cartoon Doug.
posted by griphus at 6:54 AM PST - 29 comments

Originality is a relative concept in literature. As writers from T. S. Eliot to Harold Bloom have pointed out, ideas are doomed to be rehashed. This wasn’t always regarded as a problem [more inside]
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:35 AM PST - 37 comments

NEW DELUXE TRANSIENT ROOMS WITH FREE ADULT MOVIES ... that's what the three-story-tall painted sign promised. It's faded and peeling now, but the sign's still there, though the Viceroy Hotel has been closed for nearly a decade. [more inside]
posted by orthicon halo at 2:46 AM PST - 34 comments

February 13

So many (free, online) ways to celebrate (or not) Valentine's Day: a declaration of romantic intent - 14 ways an economist says "I love you" - [more inside]
posted by flex at 11:38 PM PST - 28 comments

Nevermore? The crows in Rochester, NY are being evicted. The City is attempting to scare off the local roost of over 20,000 birds using pyrotechnics, amplified distress calls, and laser shows. Other cities in the region are taking even more drastic measures.
posted by Jesse Hughson at 10:12 PM PST - 87 comments

He leaves his cellphone and laptop at home and instead brings "loaner" devices, which he erases before he leaves the US and wipes clean the minute he returns . In China, he disables Bluetooth and Wi-Fi , never lets his phone out of his sight and, in meetings, not only turns off his phone but also removes the battery , for fear his microphone could be turned on remotely. He connects to the Internet only through an encrypted, password-protected channel, and copies and pastes his password from a USB thumb drive. He never types in a password directly, because, he said, "Chinese are very good at installing key-logging software on your laptop." - Travel precautions in the age of digital espionage.
posted by Artw at 9:06 PM PST - 125 comments

In Praise of Older Women was condemned by some as some as pornography. In spite or perhaps because of that, it was a phenomenal seller. There is nothing pornographic about it. It is a beautiful and tender book, the semi-autobiographical tale of the amorous adventures of a young man who learns much, not only in matters of sex, from older women. It is a primer for men on the threshold of adulthood and a paean of elegant praise for older women. Unlike many male writers who write about women, there is no fear or hatred. In Praise of Older Women is warm and wise.*
posted by Trurl at 7:25 PM PST - 34 comments

Человек с киноаппаратом ("Man with a Movie Camera") is a classic experimental documentary film that was released in 1929. Directed by pioneer Soviet filmmaker Dziga Vertov, this classic, silent documentary film has no story and no actors, and is actually three documentaries in one. Ostensibly it documents 24 hours of life in a single city in the Soviet Union. But it is also a documentary of the filming of that documentary and a depiction of an audience watching that documentary and their responses. "We see the cameraman and the editing of the film, but what we don't see is any of the film itself." [more inside]
posted by zarq at 7:18 PM PST - 26 comments

Since the Spring of 1997, Joe and the Lil' Giants Construction Company have been excavating his basement, one truck load at a time. Joe uses Wedico, Tamiya and Stahl RC trucks, bulldozers, excavators and a dirt lump crusher to build, remove, repair and sculpt his basement. You can follow Joe and his progress here and on his youtube channel.
posted by lilkeith07 at 7:03 PM PST - 36 comments

So a Persian writer, an Arab artist and a Jewish editor walk into a room…
Zahra's Paradise is a webcomic inspired by the work of the late Zahra Kazemi (previously) and based on reports by Iranian bloggers. The author and publisher describe their experiences here.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:22 PM PST - 6 comments

Poet and Educational Consultant Mark Grist - Girls who read.
posted by lazaruslong at 6:10 PM PST - 20 comments

Every workday morning Johnny Barnes has greeted Bermudians just to let them know how much he loved them. And after many years they love him right back. It's a simple story about the power one man has to make other people happy. Meet Mr. Happy Man. (Vimeo Link.)
posted by elwoodwiles at 2:51 PM PST - 19 comments

A whale of a tale. On Sunday, a jet-ski activist of Paul Watson's Sea Shepard gang (Eco-Pirate: The Story of Paul Watson Documentary) was water-cannoned into the Antartic by a Japanese scouter boat during filming of Whale Wars. The ICR presents a different side to Paul Watson as evidenced by their regular press releases. Greenpeace believes Paul Watson is an extremist.
posted by Funmonkey1 at 2:37 PM PST - 199 comments

Looking for Don Cherry's playlist, you say? No problem, eh. The Mother Corporation's brand new digital audio service has been launched by the CBC today, and is available here.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 2:07 PM PST - 37 comments


Tea Partiers and Occupiers meet over beer. There's been much discussion about what the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street many, or may not, have in common. At CPAC (the Conservative Political Action Conference) a CPAC attendee interrupts an argument between another CPAC attendee and an Occupier to tell the CPACer how much they have in common. He then invites some Occupiers to join him at a local pub, where they have been talking for hours. This video shows some of that meeting. [more inside]
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 1:40 PM PST - 46 comments

The makers of Downton Abbey take great care to recreate the look and feel of the period in which it is set. But occasionally anachronisms in the dialogue slip through.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 11:31 AM PST - 123 comments

The "visible web" is what you can find using general web search engines. It's also what you see in almost all subject directories. The "invisible web" is what you cannot find using these types of tools. It's the internet that Google doesn't show us; some of it dull, some of it private, some of it deliberately hidden.

More beneath the surface. [more inside]
posted by Stagger Lee at 11:07 AM PST - 71 comments

On Flickr, vieilles_annonces posts scans from her "rather large magazine collection of Ebony, Jet and similar magazines from the 1910s on." [more inside]
posted by EvaDestruction at 11:04 AM PST - 3 comments

Grossinger's Hotel used to be one of the most popular resorts in the Catskill region of New York State. The resort served as a playing ground for the famous stars of the time like Elizabeth Taylor and Jackie Robinson. But, like most things, its popularity faded and by 1986 it closed its doors forever. It has remained abandoned ever since. (Buzzfeed, Now and Then photos)
posted by The Whelk at 10:16 AM PST - 30 comments


Does Football have a Future?: Football players are anywhere from five to nineteen times more likely than a member of the general population to suffer from a dementia-like illness. This is likely a result of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (picture), neurodegeneration caused by receiving multiple concussions or even subconcussions that are not detectable around time of impact. CTE has been linked to other mood and behavior changes, including suicidal depression (a great review of the medical literature generally), and has been found in football players as young as 21. And, of course, there is the sometimes debilitating physical disability (either acutely or later in life) from playing a hard-contact sport. The NFL has a long history of adjusting safety standards in bits and pieces (e.g., legalization of the forward pass) to meet public concern over potential injury and disability from playing the sport, though still to some degree publicly denies a connection between football and brain damage. New Yorker writer Ben McGrath talks to football players (past and present), their families (often left behind by untimely death or dementia-twilight), franchise heads, and doctors to explore this history, the crushing legacy of sports injuries, and the question of whether it is possible to reform the rules to minimize the risk of concussion and thus the risk of CTE (if any such risk is acceptable). Would it still be football if such changes were to tone down the violence? (Yes, No [from iconoclast Buzz Bissinger]) And, uncomfortably: is the sport of football unethical for its players, even if entered into on their own volition? (previously in the New Yorker; previously on MetaFilter 1, 2, 3) [more inside]
posted by Keter at 9:52 AM PST - 117 comments

RETRONTARIO: Yours To Rediscover. "RETRONTARIO was created to celebrate the neglected corners of Ontario’s rich televisual history; to put back into circulation material which rightly or wrongly had fallen into a black hole and was for all intents and purposes, lost."
posted by chunking express at 8:31 AM PST - 23 comments

LearnLiberty: a libertarian Khan Academy. [more inside]
posted by edguardo at 7:46 AM PST - 183 comments


LACMA is currently hosting "In Wonderland", a retrospective of Surrealist art by female artists from Mexico and the United States.  This is a great chance to check out some under-appreciated artists, who were often overshadowed by their male counterparts. [more inside]
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 7:36 AM PST - 5 comments

Paper flowers are lovely, but if you are feeling crafty and want to make your loved one something a bit different this Valentine's Day, why not make them some Realistic Duct-Tape Roses? [via]
posted by quin at 7:34 AM PST - 15 comments

The committee took the unprecedented step of recommending that some details of these biological studies [be] kept from the public, so that no one could use them as recipes for new bioweapons. [more inside]
posted by gauche at 7:26 AM PST - 30 comments

On the advent of deceased author William S. Burroughs' first gallery showing in England, equally deceased author Kathy Acker sat down to interview him. Collected by weirdo website 'The End Of Being' in 3 filmed parts. [more inside]
posted by artof.mulata at 6:42 AM PST - 6 comments

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a Harvard man through and through.
"From 1900-1904, young Franklin Delano Roosevelt, with his Groton chum Lathrop Brown, rented rooms in Westmorly Court, (now B-17 of Adams House) the newest and most luxurious building on Harvard's Gold Coast. Equipped with all the latest innovations – central heat, electricity, a modern "hygienic" bathroom – the suite contained over 600 sq. feet of living space spread over 4 rooms, with 14' ceilings, French doors, and a working fireplace. These spacious quarters, which were originally decorated in high Victorian style by FDR and his mother Sara have been recently restored to their pristine Gilded Age condition... [more inside]
posted by vacapinta at 5:11 AM PST - 13 comments

In 1956 a 12-year-old Jim Berger exchanged letters with Frank Lloyd Wright. The result was a Wright designed doghouse.
posted by IvoShandor at 2:31 AM PST - 24 comments

It towers 51 feet high, extending a further 36 feet below ground. It weighs approximately 16 million pounds. And it's capable of delivering 50,000 metric tons of compressive force. "The Fifty" is the largest hydraulic closed-die forging press in the world. Chances are, you've interacted with something built in part by The Fifty: every flying manned U.S. military aircraft (and every aircraft built by Boeing and Airbus) uses parts forged by it. Built in 1955, the press has recently completed a $100 million refurb, and is now back online in Alcoa's Cleveland Works facility. [more inside]
posted by disillusioned at 1:09 AM PST - 79 comments

February 12

Let's tickle the ivories There is an old proverb that goes “Play the piano daily and stay sane.” For me, the main word of this proverb is daily. Playing the piano daily means inevitable accomplishment, and, without a sense of accomplishment, life is an impoverished journey.
posted by Wolof at 11:35 PM PST - 46 comments

"To get something like that, something that belongs to you," Jones says of that monthly pension, "it makes a big difference in your life." And for that, the 84-year-old Jones has an accomplice to thank. For he would not have had evidence of the extent of his Negro League service time and his pension eligibility if the Center for Negro League Baseball Research's best gumshoe hadn't been assigned to the case.
posted by Snyder at 10:57 PM PST - 8 comments

"We’re not going to say, 'Give it to me and let my grandchildren suffer.' I think they underestimate seniors when they think that way." But 71-year-old Barbara Sullivan cannot imagine asking people to pay higher taxes. And as she considered making do with less, she started to cry." (slnyt) [more inside]
posted by Snarl Furillo at 9:52 PM PST - 131 comments

At reddit we care deeply about not imposing ours or anyone elses’ opinions on how people use the reddit platform. We are adamant about not limiting the ability to use the reddit platform even when we do not ourselves agree with or condone a specific use. We have very few rules here on reddit; no spamming, no cheating, no personal info, nothing illegal, and no interfering the site's functions. Today we are adding another rule: No suggestive or sexual content featuring minors. - After much complaint, Reddit gets rid of /r/jailbait and selected subreddits with similar content.
posted by Artw at 8:50 PM PST - 413 comments

Within Minecraft’s blocky world, he has spent about 100 hours so far on a re-creation of Azeroth, the enormous setting of Blizzard’s massively multiplayer game, World of Warcraft (WoW). His name is Ramses. Here's an interview he did with Games Beat. You can see his forum posts here. And there are pictures. [more inside]
posted by hot_monster at 7:04 PM PST - 34 comments


Star Wars. 2001: A Space Odyssey. Star Trek: The Next Generation. Battlestar Galactica (1978), Superman: The Movie. What do all of these iconic scifi music themes have in common? Bear McCeary discusses the physics behind them. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 5:25 PM PST - 36 comments

"The British Library holds one of the world's most important collections of Hebrew manuscripts, of which about 300 have some decoration. All of the illuminated manuscripts and those with significant decoration are now in our Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts." [more inside]
posted by Eekacat at 4:49 PM PST - 3 comments

At 300 feet, the pressure is so extreme that your lungs shrink to the size of oranges and your heart beats at less than half its normal rate to conserve oxygen. You lose some motor control. Most of the blood in your arms and legs has flooded to your body’s core as the vessels in your extremities constrict. Vessels in your lungs swell to several times their normal size so they won’t be crushed by the incredible pressure. Then comes the really hard part. [Open Your Mouth and You're Dead]
posted by vidur at 4:23 PM PST - 76 comments

Meryl Streep won the BAFTA Best Actress Award for The Iron Lady. Colin Firth retrieved the slipper she lost on the way up the steps and MC Stephen Fry referred to them as Prince Charming and Cinderella.
posted by Anitanola at 4:00 PM PST - 49 comments

While most couples celebrate Valentine's Day with flowers, chocolates and candlelit dinners, archivists have unearthed evidence that a less savoury romantic gesture was practised historically - bestowing a severed head on a loved one.
posted by boygeorge at 2:53 PM PST - 34 comments

JavaScript InfoVis Toolkit (JIT) - providing tools for creating interactive data visualizations for the web
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:31 PM PST - 14 comments

For a time in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it was erroneously believed that there were canals on Mars.
Maps of the Martian canals. List of Martian Canals. Historical Globes of the Red Planet.
A modern perspective. The Planet Mars: A History of Observation and Discovery .
posted by timshel at 2:22 PM PST - 26 comments

Principles of an Indie Game Bottom Feeder Jeff Vogel makes videogames. The oldest of old-school videogames. In this Gamasutra article he argues that there's never been a better time to be an indie developer. [more inside]
posted by Sebmojo at 2:18 PM PST - 13 comments

Here is the footage from Todd Howard's keynote address at DICE 2012. This was from the Bethesda Game Jam after the game shipped in 2011, and it describess potentially new downloadable content for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
posted by crunchland at 2:05 PM PST - 31 comments

"Each of us remains a staunch Republican conservative, but our perspectives on the death penalty have changed.... Each of us, independently, has concluded that the death penalty isn't working for California." The authors of California's Death Penalty Act of 1978, which expanded use of the death penalty in the state, have publicly endorsed the SAFE Initiative to abolish capital punishment in California. (Previously)
posted by scody at 2:02 PM PST - 26 comments

On February 22, [2011], 13 [bus passengers] were crushed by an unreinforced brick building at 603-13 Colombo St. I broke half a dozen bones or so, severed a tendon, spent two months in hospital and six months off work. And I was lucky. Twelve people died. I did not know them, but they forever travel with me.
Just after midday, North Carolina native and political scientist Ann Brower boarded the no. 3 bus to Canterbury University. Shortly afterwards, falling masonry from the 2011 Christchurch earthquake trapped her and the other passengers in the bus. She was the sole survivor. Now, nearly a year later, she describes her rescue and her recovery. [more inside]
posted by Sonny Jim at 1:50 PM PST - 7 comments

Tasked with monitoring 160,000 square kilometers of north and northeast Greenland, the Slædepatruljen Sirius - or Sirius Sled Patrol - is the only military dog sled patrol in the world. [more inside]
posted by mlo at 1:27 PM PST - 10 comments

Saudi journalist Hamza Kashgari was arrested in Kuala Lumpur and deported to Saudi Arabia for at the behest of Interpol. Mr. Kashgari faces the death penalty in Saudi Arabia for a series of tweets insulting the prophet Muhammad, including 'I have loved things about you and I have hated things about you and there is a lot I don't understand about you I will not pray for you.' (BBC, Al Jazeera) [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges at 11:55 AM PST - 59 comments


Hannah Hart (previously) sings a love song, "Oh, Internet". (via)
posted by The Whelk at 9:14 AM PST - 22 comments

The Mystery of the Millionaire Metaphysician "In June 2000, the philosopher Dean Zimmerman moved from the University of Notre Dame to Syracuse University with his wife and three kids, only to see their new house catch fire the day they moved in." Months later, he received the second hopeful fortune cookie since the fire, which told him "A way out of a financial mess is discovered as if by magic!"; the next day, magic arrived in a letter offering Zimmerman a generous sum of money, which he later learned was $12,000, to review a sixty-page work of metaphysics titled "Coming to Understanding." [more inside]
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:50 AM PST - 45 comments

Super Mario Bros. Crossover 2.0 is out! An expansion on the original game, which let you play as various NES characters transplanted into Super Mario Bros., but using the rules and abilities of those characters from their original games, version 2 offers more special abilities, more characters, and your choice of audiovisual "skins" based on four Mario games from the NES, SNES, and Gameboy, along with one based on Demon Returns. There's even instructions for playing with a gamepad! For more information, see the Super Mario Bros. Crossover Wiki or watch the exciting Super Mario Bros. Crossover trailer! [Previously]
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:16 AM PST - 15 comments

Life Without Lights Energy Poverty Photography.
posted by infini at 7:06 AM PST - 28 comments


California rejects top rate tax increase, removes all state funding for CA libraries. Funding cut for "literacy programs, InterLibrary Loans, and miscellaneous expenses such as librarian training programs and books." Library Journal goes into more of the technicalities.
posted by jaduncan at 3:08 AM PST - 266 comments

February 11

Constitutions of Classic Cocktails - A single image that charts the ingredients of many well loved drinks.
posted by quin at 9:15 PM PST - 61 comments

Five senior journalists and editors at the News International tabloid the Sun were arrested on Saturday along with three public officials as Operation Elveden, the British investigation into bribery of police by News International papers, broadened to include corruption of officials in the armed forces and Ministry of Defence as well. The Guardian reports that the new arrests escalate the stakes of the ongoing US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation of News Corporation, which carries potential penalties of millions of dollars of fines and prison sentences for senior executives. [more inside]
posted by strangely stunted trees at 6:32 PM PST - 93 comments

Kevin Zelnio is a science writer with a degree in marine biology. He is the father of two children. And, like many in this country, he has no insurance. Earlier this week, his 6 year-old developed pneumonia.This is his account of what happened.
posted by Laminda at 6:28 PM PST - 201 comments


Often referred to as the 'Queen of Pop' or, simply 'The Voice,' singer, actress, producer and a former model, Whitney Houston has died at the age of 48 y.o. Her self-titled debut album, released in 1985, sold 25 million copies worldwide. "In recent years, she struggled with drug abuse. She is survived by daughter Bobbi Kristina and ex-husband Bobby Brown."* [more inside]
posted by ericb at 5:21 PM PST - 399 comments

Arkitypo — Using the 26 letters of the alphabet as the starting point, the curators selected a specific typeface that began with each respective letter to develop a 3d alphabet of alphabets. After thoroughly researching the history of each letter, they set out to represent each individual character graphically with elements of its history serving as the foundation. Arkitypo: letter rotations on Vimeo.
posted by netbros at 5:06 PM PST - 3 comments

Woody Allen: A Documentary (Part One, Part Two), a film by Robert Weide and part of the American Masters series on PBS, is now online. [more inside]
posted by bluefly at 3:52 PM PST - 23 comments

Chipotle is Apple. "The burrito chain is revolutionizing food. Why doesn't it get more respect?"
posted by box at 3:32 PM PST - 226 comments

I find that speakers of languages with little to no grammatical distinction between the present and future (weak-FTR ["Future Time Reference"] language speakers) engage in much more future-oriented behavior. Weak-FTR speakers are 30% more likely to have saved in any given year, and have accumulated an additional 170 thousand Euros by retirement. I also examine non-monetary measures such as health behaviors and long-run health. I find that by retirement, weak-FTR speakers are in better health by numerous measures: they are 24% less likely to have smoked heavily, are 29% more likely to be physically active, and are 13% less likely to be medically obese. [more inside]
posted by gauche at 1:44 PM PST - 70 comments


Nanoscale electrodes separate salt from seawater. It uses special electrodes: ... "It first draws ions from seawater into a pair of electrodes. As the researchers pass current through the electrodes, electrochemical reactions drive chloride ions into a silver electrode and sodium ions to an electrode made from manganese oxide nanorods. Next, the researchers remove the desalinated water and release the trapped ions into a separate stream of waste seawater by reversing the direction of the electrical current." And at this point the salt in the water is only reduced by about 50%.
posted by aleph at 12:14 PM PST - 29 comments

"If we can get the playoff games, believe me, it would be the greatest achievement we've ever done." -- Richard Nixon. The 37th President loved him his football (and I mean, he really loved him his football), and a previously unreported tape recording revealed that Nixon attempted (and failed) to broker a change in the NFL blackout policy, which at the time specified that NFL games would not be broadcasted in their hometowns, regardless of a sellout, and this included playoff games. Why does it matter? Well, Nixon's deal would have screwed fans just so he could get a Redskins playoff game on TV. There are antitrust implications that are still being argued today. And the president still travels with a football.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:05 PM PST - 24 comments

Tired of histrionic American climbing videos? Here's a rather British version for you instead. [more inside]
posted by Megami at 11:18 AM PST - 14 comments


Adam Adamowicz, concept artist behind the hugely popular video games Fallout 3 and The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, passed away this week after a long struggle with cancer.
posted by restless_nomad at 10:59 AM PST - 37 comments

Behold the psychedelic musings of Seattle's Wild Orchid Children: Ahead Of Us The Secret. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 10:43 AM PST - 17 comments

A "smartpill" is a type of endoscopic capsule camera that creates a video of the digestive process from entrance to exit. For Stefani Bardin's "M2A Project" film for TEDxManhattan, two subjects swallowed a smartpill capsule. One subject ate a meal of Top Ramen and Haribo Goldbears, together with a drink of blue Gatorade. The other subject ate a meal of homemade chicken noodle soup, together with naturally flavored and colored gummy bears and a hibiscus drink. The camera followed. [NSFLunch. Wired article for a quick overview.] [more inside]
posted by Countess Elena at 9:53 AM PST - 43 comments

Remember the janitorial space opera Space Quest? Well, so do a lot of other people. Starting with The Sarien Encounter, hapless janitor Roger Wilco was thrust into more and more absurd adventures, which came to an abrupt end with Space Quest 6. For years, Roger has been left hanging with no resolution to his story, and no new adventures, but all that has changed with the release of two fan made sequels; Vohaul Strikes Back and Space Quest: Incinerations. And for those of you who just can't get enough Wilco related hilarity there is a fan made VGA remake of the famously punishing Space Quest II. (Previously) Remember to put the gem in your mouth. All of these fan made games are pretty good, but you don't have to take my word for it.
posted by dortmunder at 9:30 AM PST - 24 comments

Here's a stunning gallery of failures and book oddities in Google Books. You can see camera-sensor moire, content detection algorithm failures, condom-covered fingers, failed dewarping, "dewarped" images, failed dithering, pages blurred by turning, and the scanning environment itself, with binder clips to hold book covers and checked rules for absolute scale. My personal favorite: A shot showing the Google page-turning mechanism (employed when they're not using a guillotine and ADF/sheet-feeder). A project by Kristina Wilson.
posted by fake at 9:13 AM PST - 19 comments

Belbury is an English market town with a picturesque 11th century church, and some notable modernist architecture, including the Polytechnic College. None of which exist except in the constructed world of the Ghost Box record label, whose founder Jim Jupp records under the name Belbury Poly, and publishes the Belbury Parish Magazine. [more inside]
posted by reynir at 8:57 AM PST - 5 comments

Gardening Facepalm Their hearts are in the right place, but this is not how you do it.
posted by swooz at 8:52 AM PST - 36 comments

Author and Wall Street Journal writer Jeff Zaslow died in a car accident yesterday. [more inside]
posted by get off of my cloud at 8:19 AM PST - 17 comments


Since its last* appearance in the blue, yWriter has been updated to version 5. Designed specifically for novels, this freeware "contains no adverts, unwanted web toolbars, desktop search programs or other cruft".
posted by Trurl at 7:11 AM PST - 56 comments

Van Gogh's famous painting The Starry Night, rendered as a moving image.
posted by flyingsquirrel at 6:37 AM PST - 25 comments

Comic book writer and artist Matt Seneca critiques panel design and layout in comics over at Your Wednesday Sequence.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:33 AM PST - 6 comments


Why Borgen's all the buzz at Westminster A moody, Danish political drama, complete with subtitles, prolonged pauses and superficially consensual continental politics would not seem the sort of programme to become the hot topic in the coffee bars and corridors of the Commons. Even more improbably the central character in Borgen is such an unlikely figure when viewed from the staid, male dominated world of Westminster. Birgitte Nyborg is an attractive, well-intentioned, left-leaning, green-tinged female prime minister who's worried about her weight and leads a party called "The Moderates".
posted by infini at 5:14 AM PST - 16 comments

After the rumoured murder of John Paul I and the attempts on the life of John Paul II, and following an old, old tradition, an Italian daily has now published a restricted document purporting to warn Benedict XVI of a plot to kill him before the end of this year.
posted by aqsakal at 3:47 AM PST - 36 comments


In a fascinating discussion on PBS News Hour, Zbigniew Brzezinski, (US National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981) promoting his new book, Strategic Vision: America and the Crisis of Global Power, criticizes the American public's understanding of world affairs as the least-informed of the developed countries of the world.

We see the consequences of an American public's ignorance of world affairs in America's foreign policy. How did this happen and what can be done to turn the tide? To enable real understanding of world affairs by the American public? [more inside]
posted by gen at 12:34 AM PST - 171 comments

Tollemache, Ralph William Lyonel Tollemache- (1826–1895), Church of England clergyman and bestower of eccentric names.
posted by BungaDunga at 12:15 AM PST - 11 comments

February 10

Apparently Moby has started a blog about architecture in Los Angeles.
posted by mikesch at 10:48 PM PST - 16 comments

Later this year, the Vatican will canonize Káteri Tekahkwí:the, a/k/a Catherine Tekakwitha, a/k/a "Lily of the Mohawks." Born in 1656 to a Mohawk father and Algonquin mother, some are celebrating the canonization of the first North American indigenous saint. For others, the news is bittersweet, inciting mixed reactions derived from complex emotions, especially to those of American and Canadian Native ancestry, for whom the news represents a painful reminder of the dark history of European colonization of North America. The compelling survival story of Tekakwitha (or "the Clumsy One") has long been cherished as a religious conversion story by non-Natives of European descent, particularly Catholics, who claimed her as one of their own and held her out to the world as a model of piety and Christian values. In her classic 1890 biography of Kateri, The Life and Times of Kateri Tekakwitha, The Lily of the Mohawks, 1656-1680, Ellen Walworth documents Kateri's ascetic lifestyle - which included self-flagellation, frequent fasting and even sleeping on a bed of thorns - in vivid detail. Describing her interest in Tekakwitha as sparked by "the thought of a mere Indian girl reared in the forest among barbarians," Walworth's spin on Kateri's tragic life seems to echo the pro-Indian assimilation line which was typical of the Assimilation era of federal Indian policy. However, in more recent years, some authors have attempted to reclaim her story by digging deeper into her dark history from more diverse secular and non-secular perspectives. For example, Mohawk author and biographer Darren Bonaparte argues for painting a more complex portrait of a future saint which more fully incorporates and appreciates her Mohawk roots.
posted by Dr. Zira at 9:52 PM PST - 39 comments

Why not avoid the commercial Hallmark Holiday trappings by making your Valentine a personalized art-piece this year? Over at The Technique Zone, Sam gives simple sequenced photo tutorials on how to make an acrylic paint transfer on card or canvas, beeswax frontispieces, a slide mount box, sooty stamped cards.
posted by honey-barbara at 9:12 PM PST - 5 comments

Keep it TIGHT, BRIGHT, & SEXY! This Vancouverite strutting his stuff in Australia is a shining example of young Canadian manhood. [more inside]
posted by Devika at 8:57 PM PST - 37 comments


Japan Tsunami Pictures - Before and After See how Japan has rebuilt in the 11 months since the earthquake and tsunami
posted by KokuRyu at 8:31 PM PST - 21 comments

14 years of US weather in 33 minutes. go ahead, admit it, some of you weather geeks are going to watch the whole 33 minutes!
posted by HuronBob at 7:58 PM PST - 20 comments


"The Fraley plaintiffs sued Facebook, alleging that its 'Sponsored Stories' feature, which displays ads on Facebook containing the names and pictures of users who have 'Liked' a product, violated California’s Right of Publicity statute. The statute forbids the commercial use of an individual’s name or likeness without consent. Integral to the plaintiffs’ claim was the assertion they had been injured because they were “celebrities” to their Facebook friends, such that their endorsements of the products in the Sponsored Stories held economic value—economic value that they were deprived of when Facebook published their Stories without their consent." - Famous for Fifteen People (Stanford Law Review): Celebrity, Newsworthiness, and Fraley v. Facebook (Citizen Media Law Project)
posted by wikipedia brown boy detective at 6:57 PM PST - 10 comments

We're All State Capitalists Now 'No, according to some commentators, the contest between the two Asian superpowers is also fundamentally a contest between economic models: market capitalism vs. state capitalism.' [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:32 PM PST - 29 comments

Raise the crime rate: an argument for the abolition of prison.
posted by latkes at 6:11 PM PST - 62 comments


JFK, Monster? [more inside]
posted by grobstein at 3:30 PM PST - 114 comments

The last 24 hours at Kickstarter has demonstrated that the site has become a major player. At 12:45pm Thursday, NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn announced that the city work work with Kickstarter to spotlight community projects and businesses in need of funding in those same areas. Just over an hour later, at 2:08pm, Elevation Dock becomes the first Kickstarter project to reach $1M in pledges. Four hours later, at 6:42pm, Double Fine hits the $1M mark after being on Kickstarter for just under 22 hours. By the end of the day on Thursday, Kickstarter has seen its largest day of pledges, with $1,605,981 put towards projects. As VC Fred Wilson tweeted, "they don't come very often, but days like this are why startups are exhilarating."
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 3:27 PM PST - 45 comments

Here are some old New Jersey maps, available online. Take a look at this map of southern New Jersey made by Dutch settlers in 1669. The Dutch labeled Cape May "Cabo May." Take a look at Delaware Bay. The Dutch called it Godyn's Bay. This 1709 map shows a division between east and west New Jersey. Probably most interesting of all is this map from 1795. Here, you can see archaic names of towns. What is now Pennington was once called "Pennytown." Lawrenceville was once called "Maidenhead." What is today called Hightstown was once called "Hiatstown." How about that little island off the southwestern New Jersey coast, Egg Island? Is that even there anymore?
posted by candasartan at 3:18 PM PST - 26 comments

Kerry Callen brings classic comic book covers to life.
posted by smoke at 2:48 PM PST - 25 comments

Towards the end of the 1800s, there were three primary American groups competing to invent technology to record and play back audio. Alexander Graham Bell worked with with Charles Sumner Tainter and Chichester Bell in at their Volta Laboratory in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., while Thomas A. Edison worked from his Menlo Park facilities, and Emile Berliner worked in his independent laboratory in his home. To secure the rights to their inventions, the three groups sent samples of their work to the Smithsonian. These recordings became part of the permanent collections, now consisting of 400 of the earliest audio recordings ever made. But knowledge of their contents was limited to old, short descriptions, as the rubber, beeswax, glass, tin foil and brass recording media are fragile, and playback devices might damage the recordings, if such working devices are even available. That is, until a collaborative project with the Library of Congress and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory came together to make 2D and 3D optical scanners, capable of visually recording the patterns marked on discs and cylinders, respectively. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 2:35 PM PST - 21 comments

Food blog Edible Geography reveals the history of the New York food cart. You know, the ones that look like reverse rickshaws with big boxes full of ice cream or hot dogs up front. In a related post they cover a scandalous controversy involving cart substitutions, stolen holograms, a criminal bureaucracy, and the olde 19th century rent-a-vet licensing scam.
posted by artof.mulata at 2:25 PM PST - 2 comments

"Guardian 24/7 combines best-in-breed technology with protocols designed to serve the President of the United States, offering unprecedented medical attention to a demanding audience. Thanks to Guardian, your medical care can finally look like the rest of your life[...]. Our innovative ReadyRoom™ strategy places essential equipment, medications and supplies where you live, move and work. Yet everything is hidden away until needed. [...]Before Guardian, this kind of medical protection was only available to one person. But now, presidential-level care can be yours — on your schedule and your terms." Don't miss the embedded video. This appears to be in earnest.
posted by nobody at 1:33 PM PST - 41 comments

First Person was a TV series that ran during 2000 and 2001 featuring interviews conducted by documentary filmmaker Errol Morris using his (patent pending) Interrotron. Episodes included an exploration of the mind of an expert on cattle slaughter techniques, the story of a parrot who may have witnessed a murder, a professional high school student, a serial killer groupie, and other strange and eccentric people. (Previously: The smartest man in the world.)
posted by twoleftfeet at 1:25 PM PST - 14 comments

A student group has a novel idea to reduce college costs: pay nothing up front, instead paying out 5% of their income to the UC system for 20 years after graduation.
posted by reenum at 12:47 PM PST - 123 comments

There were ways to find the tangent to a curve, and the area under one, in an ad hoc manner before the birth of calculus. It was even known that these two were inverses of each other.
posted by Obscure Reference at 12:10 PM PST - 17 comments

Bodie Bailey Flickr A rare and fascinating bit of family and national history captured in B&W photographs. Bodie Bailey's Flickr shares family photos collected by his Aunt Ida- an actress during the turn-of-the-century and active in the founding of California. Through the photos of this young actress, we are able to get a glimpse of early Hollywood, Mission Plays and intimate family moments.
posted by muchalucha at 11:43 AM PST - 1 comments

On Tuesday, February 7th, twenty students forced their way into an administrative building at McGill University. Since then, they have been occupying the 6th floor of the building, despite power being cut and washroom facilities shut down. Their demands? Stable funding for two on-campus groups, and the resignation of Mort Mendelson, McGill's deputy provost for student life and learning. Not all students agree with their tactics.
posted by Premeditated Symmetry Breaking at 11:25 AM PST - 42 comments

The Rhesus Macaque that settled in St. Petersburg, Florida (previously) has apparently found his niche. [more inside]
posted by lordrunningclam at 11:19 AM PST - 14 comments

The Scale of The Universe 2 (give it a minute to load)
posted by backseatpilot at 11:01 AM PST - 27 comments


Two months ago, writer/humorist/TV personality/podcast judge/deranged millionaire John Hodgman was inspired to commission a work of art from the internet. On January 20th, 2012 Hodgman's impossible dream became reality: Presenting Dana Gould as Doctor Zaius as Hal Holbrook as Mark Twain.
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:57 AM PST - 26 comments

The Seventh Art is an independently produced video magazine about cinema with three sections: a profile on an interesting group/company/organization in the industry, a video essay and a long-form interview with a filmmaker.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 10:55 AM PST - 1 comments

After much protestation from religious communities, the Obama administration has compromised on its controversial contraceptive law. Non-profit organizations (such as hospitals) that are affiliated with religious institutions will not be required to provide contraceptives--but insurance companies will. But some Catholics still aren't satisfied.
posted by kethonna at 10:21 AM PST - 225 comments

"I think a lot of women around you have experienced pain in various ways, through your words and actions. Have you ever considered: ‘I was the source of some of that. They are hurting, not just because of them and their own issues, but also because I contributed to their pain’?”
Tucker Max Gives Up the Game and offers a surprisingly insightful interview on self-loathing, entering psychoanalysis and trying to grow up.
posted by griphus at 9:34 AM PST - 125 comments

George Lucas sits down with The Hollywood Reporter: "The controversy over who shot first, Greedo or Han Solo, in Episode IV, what I did was try to clean up the confusion, but obviously it upset people because they wanted Solo [who seemed to be the one who shot first in the original] to be a cold-blooded killer, but he actually isn’t. It had been done in all close-ups and it was confusing about who did what to whom. I put a little wider shot in there that made it clear that Greedo is the one who shot first, but everyone wanted to think that Han shot first, because they wanted to think that he actually just gunned him down." [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus at 9:29 AM PST - 259 comments


"My daughter thought it would be funny/rebellious/cool to post on her Facebook wall just how upset she was and how unfair her life here is; how we work her too hard with chores, never pay her for chores, and just in general make her life difficult. She chose to share this with the entire world on Facebook and block her parents from seeing it. Well, umm... she failed. As of the end of this video, she won't have to worry anymore about posting inappropriate things on Facebook..." (youtube video, contains cursing) Background. Original thread on Facebook.
posted by zarq at 9:04 AM PST - 278 comments

Drinking the FREE STRAWBERRY POP!!! Eatin' the FREE SODA CRACKERS!!!! performed by Pete Seeger. Animated in cold-war era Czechoslovakia.
posted by thermonuclear.jive.turkey at 8:59 AM PST - 7 comments

The various subspecies of Asian carp are considered an invasive species in North America, and the governments of the US and Canada are working frantically to keep them from traveling up the Mississippi to the Great Lakes (previously). Unfortunately, they have circumvented sophisticated barriers designed to stop them, and as filter-feeders they are "difficult to catch using normal angling methods". But we're Americans, are we going to take this lying down? The Peoria Carp Hunters answer for us all, with a resounding, bro-ful "Hell, no!" (Warning, loud music.) [more inside]
posted by richyoung at 8:59 AM PST - 31 comments


www.breadedcats.com is one of the strangest sites I've seen in some time. I have no idea how these people got their cats wedged into their bread, or why.
posted by radwolf76 at 7:44 AM PST - 55 comments

The United States of 2012 : Esquire Magazine pulls together five maps that they believe reflect the zeitgeist of the current era. Of special interest is the "Where's Waldo"-like fourth map, which illustrates how minorities and the poor are either included in or excluded from American communities. (2805 x 1813 px version) Also, the aforementioned Eric Fischer's Flickr photostream is excellent collection of his maps.
posted by desjardins at 7:36 AM PST - 12 comments

V for Validation
posted by 256 at 7:25 AM PST - 11 comments

Five years ago, I flew to England to see the grand opening of something improbable: an attraction called Dickens World. It promised to be an “authentic” re-creation of the London of Charles Dickens’s novels, complete with soot, pickpockets, cobblestones, gas lamps, animatronic Dickens characters and strategically placed chemical “smell pots” that would, when heated, emit odors of offal and rotting cabbage. ... Today Dickens World survives largely as a landlord, collecting rent from the Odeon movie theater next door and the restaurants (Pizza Hut, Subway, Chimichanga) that surround it. (previously)
posted by Trurl at 7:02 AM PST - 41 comments

London art space The Mosaic Rooms have mounted a tribute (PDF brochure) to 81 year old Syrian poet, essayist, and now artist Adonis (born Ali Ahmad Said Asbar). The poet's relevance in the era of the Arab Spring has been questioned, but many still considered Adonis a top candidate to win a Nobel in poetry (Tomas Tranströmer edged him out last year).
posted by aught at 6:31 AM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Could it have been something else ?
It can be anything
Do I love everything ?
Unfortunately not, but all things can be loved by different people at different times: enemies, devils, gods and chocolate candies.

-Sigurdur Gudmundsson
posted by beshtya at 5:27 AM PST - 8 comments

The Geek Social Fallacies of Sex. (Probably SFW in itself, depending on your W - no naughty images - but links out may go to NSFW content) Holly Pervocracy (previously), a feminist sex blogger, revisits Michael Suileabhain-Wilson's classic but contentious Geek Social Fallacies (previously).
posted by running order squabble fest at 4:58 AM PST - 74 comments

The SCAR Project is a series of large-scale portraits of young breast cancer survivors shot by fashion photographer David Jay. (NSFW)
posted by gman at 4:16 AM PST - 20 comments

February 9

Seattle is only one of five cities in the United States with a trackless electric trolley bus system. King County Metro operates 159 trolley buses on 14 routes that ply over 70 miles of trolley wire, and travel 2,906,297 miles annually. Last year, Metro found that operating new electric trolleys offered a superior financial scenario to new diesel buses. This is even before considering how much better a trolley performs on Seattle's steep hills, or how much less pollution it creates, being supplied by hydroelectric power. If you want to know a little more about how the system works, see some of the photos posted by a King County bus operator known as VeloBusDriver. Some of these photo sets explain the controls of an ETB, the innards of an ETB—so much cleaner than a diesel but so much more dangerous to poke around in—and aspects of how the trolley wire itself works, including the "special work" necessary for tasks such switching routes or traversing a drawbridge.
posted by grouse at 9:46 PM PST - 41 comments

Peyton Manning is known as one of the best NFL quarterbacks of all time. He holds many NFL all time records and led his team to victory in Super Bowl XLI. Manning has lost significant playing time due to a serious neck injury and it is not clear if he will return to the Colts next season, or to football at all. If he does decide to return to the gridiron to try and win another championship (to catch up with his little brother on that score) there is no clear consensus on what team he could possibly end up joining. With that speculation in the mind of every NFL fan this offseason, artist David Rappoccio has begun to visualize what it might look like if Peyton joined your local team.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:07 PM PST - 128 comments

Not for the first time, a paper-mache rhino terrorizes Ueno Zoo. Previously: ape, polar bear, tiger, zebra.
posted by Winnemac at 8:52 PM PST - 19 comments

Recent news about free online education.
1, Khan Academy: Google's first employee, Craig Silverstein, is leaving Google and joining Khan Academy. [more inside]
posted by -jf- at 7:01 PM PST - 39 comments

Yes, this will make your cheeks hurt! (SLYTHABV) [single link youtube husky and baby video]
posted by HuronBob at 6:20 PM PST - 37 comments

Rachel Flowers plays some of rock's toughest compositions on keyboard. Oh, and jazz and classics too. Impressive, for an eighteen-year-old. Who is blind.
posted by Doohickie at 5:50 PM PST - 17 comments

The New Scientist writes about the attempts of scientists to induce an artificial state of being in the zone (also referred to as "flow") through electrical manipulation of the brain. As a bonus, they also include a forum link to homemade attempts to achieve the same thing. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla at 4:31 PM PST - 43 comments

Dogs under water!
posted by thinkpiece at 4:01 PM PST - 39 comments

Hiya Freddie baby, give me a dozen...my life's blood, without bagels what is a day? Yah make it a dozen assorted. Dat's it, give me the garlic, the sesame, the onion, give me them all baby, that's it! They're still handmade eh? Hot Bagels! Wait a second let me PAY yah! Here you are, kid. Thank you. Have a good day.
posted by timshel at 3:27 PM PST - 71 comments

"In one corner of Manoj Bhargava’s office is a cemetery of sorts. It’s a Formica bookcase, its shelves lined with hundreds of garishly colored screw-top plastic bottles not much taller than shot glasses. Front and center is a Cadillac-red bottle of 5-Hour Energy, the two-ounce caffeine and vitamin elixir that purports to keep you alert without crashing. In eight years 5-Hour has gone from nowhere to $1 billion in retail sales. Truckers swear by it. So do the traders in Oliver Stone’s 2010 sequel to Wall Street. So do hungover ­students. It’s $3 a bottle, and it has made Bhargava a fortune."
posted by vidur at 3:26 PM PST - 59 comments

Can't get enough horse_ebooks? Try horse_ebookmarklet.
posted by functionequalsform at 2:16 PM PST - 39 comments


Cartoon images of "worshiping cats" on the Chinese 100 yuan RMB banknotes, "the equivalent of the 'Eye of Providence' on the US dollar," probably weren't designed as cartoon cats. A coin expert noted that there were no cat's whiskers on the bank note, as shown on the "clarified" image. But if you're looking for hidden images in Chinese currency, World War II era Chinese currency has many cases of hidden messages and over-printed propaganda (part 2 of a series on WWII Allied banknote propaganda).
posted by filthy light thief at 12:26 PM PST - 13 comments


There are more than a few websites that take electronic products and document their disassembly. What makes Mike Harrison's YouTube videos stand out is that while doing a teardown he attempts to identify the components and subsystems of a product and explain why a product was made the way it was made. From something as simple as a CD stereo system to a Jumbotron panel. Mike's website has been discussed previously. [more inside]
posted by toftflin at 12:10 PM PST - 12 comments

Republican state rep. Maureen Walsh (WA, 16th District) gives a heartbreakingly earnest speech on behalf of marriage equality.
posted by hermitosis at 11:13 AM PST - 107 comments

What does a nebula sound like? "Astronomer Paul Francis from the Australian National University has used [recording from spectrographs] and converted them into sound by reducing their frequency 1.75 trillion times to make them audible, as the original frequencies are too high to be heard by the human ear." His projects so far include a comet, quasar, and the life of a sunlike star. His explanation of the "Celestial Orchestra" is worth a listen.
posted by Made of Star Stuff at 10:49 AM PST - 21 comments

The Man Who Lived on his Bike is a 3 minute short by Canadian filmmaker Guillaume Blanchet, who spent 382 days riding his bicycle through the streets of Montreal in order to explore what life would be like if he actually lived on a bicycle.
posted by Obscure Reference at 10:28 AM PST - 10 comments

If people thought Apple's voice assistant Siri was conservative, then Iris, a similar feature for Android (which uses the search engine ChaCha), will blow their mind.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:08 AM PST - 84 comments

Tumbleweeds (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:49 AM PST - 29 comments


T-Rex Trying...
posted by lullaby at 9:30 AM PST - 25 comments

"Viewer’s movement and expressions are mimicked by an animal’s head which is overlaid on the viewer’s reflection."
posted by griphus at 9:26 AM PST - 20 comments

It's not news that Noam Chomsky's views on foreign policy are controversial. Paul Bogdanor's The Chomsky Hoax collects links to articles critiquing those views, including the Top 200 Chomsky Lies (pdf) and economist J. Bradford Delong's My Very, Very Allergic Reaction to Noam Chomsky. Other prominent critiques include Noam Chomsky: A Critical Review (by MeFi's own Russil Wvong), George Shadriou's Dissecting Chomsky and Anti-Americanism, and David Horowitz's series of articles on Chomsky in Frontpage Magazine (Part I, Part II, response to rebuttals).
posted by shivohum at 9:09 AM PST - 284 comments

Please be advised that the FBI’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) release regarding (STEVEN PAUL JOBS) is now available.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:28 AM PST - 50 comments


“The words of the 1611 King James Bible ring out today in books, poems, popular songs, speeches, and sermons. But who translated it, and what made this particular translation so influential? Inspired by the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, Manifold Greatness tells the story of one of the most widely read books in the English language, through online content, exhibitions, and more.” Previously on Metafilter: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7.
posted by found missing at 8:07 AM PST - 8 comments


How the zebra came by his stripes. "Why zebras evolved their characteristic black-and-white stripes has been the subject of decades of debate among scientists. Now researchers from Hungary and Sweden claim to have solved the mystery."
posted by estherhaza at 7:22 AM PST - 35 comments

In 1962, the Mansfield (Ohio) Police Department stationed officers armed with a movie camera behind a two-way mirror in a public restroom known for its "cruisy" atmosphere. With the help of the footage shot, dozens of men were arrested, prosecuted, and convicted on sodomy charges, which at the time carried mandatory minimum sentences of a year in prison. In 2007, the original surveillance footage was obtained by filmmaker William E. Jones. He's screened the unedited 56 minute film as Tearoom at festivals and museums the world over, providing a clandestine look at the scrutiny small-town Midwestern gay men faced in the 1960's. [warning: explicit, NSFW material lies beyond most links] [more inside]
posted by item at 6:51 AM PST - 82 comments


Louis Virtel is an editor over at AfterElton.com and an avid twitterer. For the last few months he has been making an hilarious web series called Verbal Vogueing in which he rants about celebrities and pop culture. Still ongoing, there are currently ten installments; here is episode one: "The Immaculate Conniption".(NSFW audio) [more inside]
posted by aldurtregi at 5:36 AM PST - 2 comments

The Laberinto of Andrea Ghisi is a 17th-century magic trick in book form. Pick an image from the 60 arrayed in front of you, and tell the magician only which quadrant it appears in. Repeat the process twice on different pages, and he can tell you what image you chose. You can see the trick performed at around 2:20 in this video, play a simulation, or see the book digitized in its entirety.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:05 AM PST - 13 comments

"I learnt this song in Grimsby over in England about 1987. It was during the Thatcher era. There was all kinds of things happening, over in England. But I'll say one thing about Thatcher, some fantastic songs were written during her reign." Christy Moore -- Ballad of an Ordinary Man (SYLT)
posted by Mister Bijou at 3:54 AM PST - 31 comments

February 8

Normally, when you buy stolen goods, you don't legally own them. The person they were stolen from still does. Unless: Until 1995, if you bought them in Bermondsey Market, London, between the hours of sunrise and sunset, they would then belong to you, even if clearly stolen.
posted by Zarkonnen at 10:43 PM PST - 32 comments

The Clock is a film that is also a clock. It runs for 24 consecutive hours, and is made of thousands of samples, some lasting only seconds, others minutes, from hundreds of films and videos. All of it edited into a seamless whole by video artist Christian Marclay. When it is shown, it is synchronized to the real time, so if it's 2:15 on a clock shown on-screen, it's 2:15 in real time. Harrison Ford is in it. So is John Cusack, Humphrey Bogart, Michelle Pfeiffer, Lon Chaney, Roger Moore(and all the other James Bonds), John Cleese, Peter Sellers, Orson Welles, the Beatles, Jody Foster, Gregory Peck, Nicole Kidman, Nick Cage and a few hundred others. You'll see The Simpsons and The Office. You'll see The Avengers. You'll see stuff you have no clue about. Here's what it feels like to watch all twenty four hours of it in one sitting. [more inside]
posted by storybored at 9:49 PM PST - 58 comments

You probably already know that mascots wearing over-sized caricature foam heads of the four Mount Rushmore presidents race around the bases during home games for the Washington Nationals. You also probably know that Teddy has never officially won a single race.

Did you know that if you are over 18, 5'7" to 6'6", can run from center field to home plate in 40 seconds, dig the costume, and are available for 35 home games in Washington, DC, that you can become one of them? [more inside]
posted by juliplease at 8:42 PM PST - 35 comments

Railfans love it. Model Railroaders adore it. Economics people study it. The Tropicana Corporation runs between 10 and 12 30-to-50-car trains of it every week. Behold, 5000 tons of Orange Juice on the move. [more inside]
posted by pjern at 8:40 PM PST - 31 comments



Björk explains her interactive touch screen album to Stephen Colbert. The longtime boundary-pushing, Icelandic musician (and ever-fascinating fashionista) released Biophilia in October. It is the first album created entirely on touch screens and subsequently released as an album for touch screens with interactive apps for each song. Her interview (and performance in an inflatable dress) support her desire to educate kids about science through the album and its apps. Is this the future of music?
posted by achpea at 8:04 PM PST - 38 comments


Kristina Killgrove, a biological anthropologist, has started a series of blog posts titled A Brief History of Bioarcheology. Part 1: America Part 2: Italy
posted by Cloud King at 7:54 PM PST - 4 comments

Fortune favors the bold. In 2005, then Facebook's president Sean Parker asked David Choe, an LA-based graffiti artist, to paint the walls of his Palo Alto office. Choe - who had just finished a prison stint in Japan - says Facebook offered him stock options or $60,000 cash. For some reason, he chose stock options. Seven years later, that stock is said to be worth around $500 million. [more inside]
posted by phaedon at 7:37 PM PST - 39 comments

Google is quietly launching a new program called Screenwise aimed at collected more data from users than is possible from monitoring activity across Google-owned sites. The program comes in two flavors: a browser-based extension that will share with Google the sites you visit and how you use them, and a Cisco-made, Knowledge Networks-managed "black box" installed on your home network to measure Internet use. The first program pays users up to $25 in Amazon gift cards, the second pays $100 for signing up, and an additional $20 every month the device is installed up to a maximum of one year. To be eligible for the programs users must have a Google account, install and use Chrome, and be 13 or older. Ars Technica has excerpts from leaked sign up process documents:
According to legal agreements displayed during signup, Google will share the aggregated data with third parties, including "academic institutions, advertisers, publishers, and programming networks." The agreement notes that the data collected will be personally identifiable, with some exceptions: https addresses and private browsing windows of people using the router will not be tracked. The browser extension, however, will track private or incognito browsing, though the data will not be personally identifiable. For all other collected data, Google will "attempt" to remove that identifiable info before sharing it—no guarantees, though.
[more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus at 6:05 PM PST - 84 comments


Felix Salmon muses on why art prices keep rising. On the way, he discusses why some art becomes super-popular:

"Fine art has become the billionaire’s-club equivalent of a Louis Vuitton bag, slathered in logos. It’s not connoisseurship which drives values, so much as recognizability. Which in turn helps to explain why the most prolific artists (Picasso, Warhol, Hirst) are also the most expensive: the more of their work there is, the more exposed to it people become, the more they’ll recognize it, and therefore the more desirable it is."
posted by benbenson at 4:55 PM PST - 23 comments


"Risk" is a free podcast for storytelling junkies, hosted by Kevin Allison (formerly of the State). In episodes 229 and 230 (obviously NSFW), the host himself shares an unusual tale of being a gay man at a hetero "kink" camp.
posted by The ____ of Justice at 3:25 PM PST - 14 comments

Alan Turing, British code-breaker during WWII, imminent computer scientist, and much else has been denied a posthumous pardon from the British government for his 1952 conviction on charges of "Gross Indecency" because of his homosexuality. [more inside]
posted by clavier at 3:09 PM PST - 92 comments

"Portia Simpson Miller, the former and newly re-elected Prime Minister of Jamaica and representative of the People's National Party, recently took an historically significant position by openly supporting GLBT legal protection in Jamaica, a country internationally notorious for a "culture of homophobia." Miller's statements come at a time of great cultural change in both Jamaica and dancehall music. This is for her." This is a mixtape of dancehall music and some of it is NSFW.
posted by Kattullus at 3:04 PM PST - 8 comments

In placing before my readers in the following pages the results of my twenty-five years’ experience of Rat-catching, Ferreting, etc., I may say that I have always done my best to accomplish every task that I have undertaken, and I have in consequence received excellent testimonials from many corporations, railway companies, and merchants. I have not only made it my study to discover the different and the best methods of catching Rats, but I have also taken great interest in watching their ways and habits, and I come to the conclusion that there is no sure way of completely exterminating the Rodents, especially in large towns. If I have in this work referred more particularly to Rat-catching in Manchester that is only because my experience, although extending over a much wider area, has been chiefly in that city, but the methods I describe are equally applicable to all large towns.

Yours truly,

IKE MATTHEWS.

PROFESSIONAL RAT-CATCHER,
PENDLETON,
MANCHESTER.

posted by timshel at 3:02 PM PST - 33 comments

Hipster girl? Hipster boy? Superhero? Mii? A modern Mucha? Regency hero or heroine? Tudors? Steampunk (one, two)? Here's more.
How about pop culture? True Blood. Mad Men (Joan S1, S2, S3). Marty McFly (by Derek Eads). Jonathan Coulton. Lady GaGa. Kyle Hilton (previously: Arrested Development) also has Parks and Recreation, Breaking Bad, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and various films. (previously: a blog - manly - PONIES)
posted by flex at 2:45 PM PST - 20 comments

Nello Ferrara, chairman of Ferrara Pan Candy Co (previously), died Friday at his home in River Forest at age 93. The Chicago Sun Times has an excellent obituary profiling his rather interesting life.
posted by hippybear at 2:20 PM PST - 30 comments

Is The Shining really about the gold standard? Using unpublished info from the Stanley Kubrick Archives as a key source, Kubrick's Gold Story [part 1 of 4] is a film analysis that uncovers economic themes encoded in The Shining with regard to gold vs fiat monetary systems. Written, narrated and edited by Rob Ager [Previously].
posted by albrecht at 12:47 PM PST - 75 comments

After years of work, New Zealand scholar Sally-Ann Lambert just released volume 2 of her 9-volume linguistics series. “Hlingit Word Encyclopedia: The Origin of Copper” is a 630-page encyclopedia of the SE Alaskan native language Tlingit. She traveled to Sitka for a mid-January book release and found one little problem: none of the Tlingit native speakers or scholars there recognized the language in it. [more inside]
posted by msalt at 12:36 PM PST - 97 comments

If you'd like to know a bit about medieval life in Europe, History on the Net has some information on life in medieval times, prepared as educational summaries for students. If you'd like to know more, Medieval Life And Times has a broader scope, and the surface links often have a number of subsequent links to even more information on sub-topics. If you want even more specifics, here is a list of medieval occupations, some information on buying, selling and bartering in medieval times, and a history of horses in Europe. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 12:02 PM PST - 19 comments




Founded in 1857, The Atlantic is one of the oldest publications still being produced in the US. They have created a commemorative issue for the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War that includes articles published in the magazine over a century ago, an extensive gallery of images, as well as a few essays and analyses by modern writers, including President Obama. Editor's note. (Via: James Fallows' Reddit AMA) [more inside]
posted by zarq at 10:34 AM PST - 22 comments

The WALL-E Builders Club formed in October 2007 as an offshoot of the R2 (yes that one) builders club, to create their own WALL-E replica. This is their current progress on the project.
posted by mrzarquon at 9:49 AM PST - 17 comments

Next weekend, February 17-20, is the 2012 Great Backyard Bird Count, sponsored by the National Audubon Society, the Cornell Lab for Ornithology, and Bird Studies Canada. [more inside]
posted by elsietheeel at 9:10 AM PST - 17 comments


Canada's Exclaim magazine former cartoonist Fiona Symth's new art. CHEEZ was originally a monthly comic/drawing published in Canada's Exclaim Magazine over a ten year period from 1992 to 2002. There were no editorial restrictions on the work apart from the monthly deadline and the colour restrictions of the paper (the art work had to be black and white). Each strip was created shortly before the deadline and numbered in chronological order. This CHEEZ will be drawn weekly and will continue with the same numbering sequence and restrictive palette. A collection of the first one hundred strips was published as CHEEZ 100 by Pedlar Press in 2001.
posted by Ark_Light at 9:02 AM PST - 9 comments

"The idea that a species domesticated itself is a bit crazy, but there are some species that outcompeted others by becoming nicer." Wired examines the phenomena of self-domestication. [more inside]
posted by quin at 8:59 AM PST - 38 comments

There are several groups trying to pass bills in different states to ban the application of foreign laws in a US court, especially Sharia law. These groups are almost all using model legislation drafted by anti-Muslim activist David Yerushalmi.
posted by reenum at 8:36 AM PST - 97 comments

Tom Murphy is an Anchor/Reporter/Producer and Weather Man on Channel 11 in Alpena, Michigan. [more inside]
posted by cashman at 7:50 AM PST - 31 comments

"Lin is saving the Knicks with super-human play, but he's dispelling myths about Asian America by being otherwise hyper-normal and I thank him. He doesn't have a duty to embrace Asian America, speak for Asian America, or represent Asian America because right now he IS Asian America." -- Eddie Huang on Yao Ming, Jeremy Lin, and being Asian in America. [more inside]
posted by mathowie at 7:38 AM PST - 67 comments

John Williams turned 80 today! The American composer is best known for the themes from Star Wars, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Indiana Jones, but starting with the score adaptation for Valley of the Dolls, he's racked up 47 Oscar nominations in a 44-year span, including 5 wins. [more inside]
posted by troika at 7:26 AM PST - 52 comments


Nicole Cliff has been reviewing Classic Trash fiction for The Awl, with a recent exposition on Clan of the Cave Bear. Jeffrey Sconce reviewed 100 obscure and largely unloved books last year on Consumed and Judged, and shows no sign of slowing down. Pop Sensation profiles the cover of one, generally trashy, paperback, three times a week, (and includes a seemingly random quote from the book).
posted by latkes at 6:48 AM PST - 19 comments

"Muslim-American Terrorism in the Decade Since 9/11" (PDF) is a report by Professor Charles Kurzman of the University of North Carolina, published by the Triangle Center for Terrorism and Homeland Security. The TCFTHS is a collection of experts in the "Research Triangle" of North Carolina, associated with Duke, UNC and NC State and RTI, the independent research institute dedicated to aggregating and marketing the research resources of these three institutions. [more inside]
posted by running order squabble fest at 6:44 AM PST - 23 comments

Civilisation: A Personal View by Kenneth Clark is a 13-part documentary produced by the BBC that was first aired on in 1969. It is considered to be a landmark in British Television's broadcasting of the visual arts. Here's the entire series (13 one-hour episodes) on YouTube. This is a treat for those of you who like History of Art, especially so if you haven't yet got around to seeing it. [more inside]
posted by baejoseph at 5:16 AM PST - 24 comments

How do people read menus? [More] Apparently we read them top-to-bottom and left-to-right, just like books! For your reading pleasure, here's a selection of menu items from the New York Public Library, the University of Washington, the CIA, Derrick Bostrom, Rusty Thomas, Johnson & Wales, Mark, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Colorado, Italy, and other places... [more inside]
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:29 AM PST - 24 comments

February 7

The Supreme Court of the United States has held only one criminal trial in its history: United States v. Shipp. [more inside]
posted by jedicus at 9:52 PM PST - 30 comments

THE HISTORY (AND MYSTERY!) behind Action 52 and Cheetahmen, FINALLY REVEALED! And, if you have five hundred bucks to spare, NES cartridges of the newly unearthed(?) CHEETAHMEN: THE CREATION is available for sale! VINCE PERRI AT HIS DESIGN BEST, the web site proclaims, though it's unclear what this is expected to mean to us!
posted by DoctorFedora at 9:32 PM PST - 15 comments



Rick Santorum predicted winner in Minnesota & Missouri. Mr. Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator best known for his feud (and subsequent google-bombing) with Dan Savage over his comparison of homosexuality with bestiality, is the predicted winner of Republican primaries in Minnesota and Missouri, and is currently leading in the third, Colorado.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:46 PM PST - 510 comments

Argentina will take Falklands claim to the UN Cristina Kirchner warns of 'grave risks to international security' and states intention to prevent war over natural resources. (Argentina) has mobilised much of South America and the Caribbean in a diplomatic and commercial squeeze. Ships flying the Falklands flag are barred from the region's ports, depriving the islands of bananas and other fresh fruit. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu at 7:27 PM PST - 124 comments

Florence Green, the last know WWI veteran, passed away today. She was two weeks away from her 111th birthday. [more inside]
posted by piratebowling at 6:37 PM PST - 45 comments

With Sonic Youth on indefinite hiatus, the band members are keeping themselves busy with other projects. Thurston Moore is playing solo shows centered around his latest solo album, the Beck-produced Demolished Thoughts, with a band he jokingly(?) referred to this past Friday night as "Dush Krew" in honor of his crush on actress Eliza Dushku. Kim Gordon recently designed clothes for French brand Surface to Air, is currently playing shows with Bill Nace as part of the noise improvisation duo Body/Head, and was kind enough recently to share her favorite taco recipe. Lee Ranaldo is poised to release his first song-oriented solo album on Matador Records; he debuted the music video for the first single ("Off the Wall") today on his website. Steve Shelley played drums on Lee's new album, recently collaborated with Pete Nolan of Magik Markers (Sonic Youth's most interesting protégés) on Nolan's side-project Spectre Folk, and is currently drumming for Chicago's Disappears whose new album is out via Kranky records in March. Meanwhile, Jim O'Rourke is preparing to curate the All Tomorrow's Parties I'll Be Your Mirror Festival in Tokyo this April, where he will also perform his 1999 album Eureka in full with a 12-piece band.
posted by Houyhnhnm at 6:23 PM PST - 53 comments

How do robots see the world? This is an experiment in found machine-vision footage, exploring the aesthetics of the robot eye. [SLVimeo]
posted by jivadravya at 5:06 PM PST - 14 comments

Did you find Heidi Klum's Halloween costume hot? Then these muscle leggings are right up your alley.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:50 PM PST - 44 comments

Woman, 83, Has World’s First Lower Jaw Replacement – In 3D [abc.com] In what has been called the first operation of its kind, an 83-year-old woman in the Netherlands has been fitted with a custom-made artificial jaw that was created by a 3D printer. The titanium implant, which weighs less than 4 ounces, was created by taking a CT scan of the woman’s lower jaw and duplicating it with a 3D printer that lays down titanium powder instead of ink. The printer followed the pattern of the woman’s jaw bone layer by layer, fusing the titanium powder in place with heat. In just a couple hours, the 3D replica was ready.
posted by Fizz at 3:27 PM PST - 43 comments


Chill to the re-created chirrups of Jurassic crickets.
posted by Laminda at 3:05 PM PST - 15 comments

How to go from fit to fat in 5 hours. Yes, that's from fit to fat.
posted by desjardins at 2:37 PM PST - 31 comments

The Winter's Tale [SLYT] A splendid one-person (+dog+sockpuppet) rendition of Shakespeare's play. [more inside]
posted by odinsdream at 2:26 PM PST - 15 comments

A documentary by Ariel Nasr, "The Boxing Girls of Kabul" (National Film Board of Canada trailer), profiles a group of young Afghan women training to compete in women's boxing in the 2012 Olympics (which will feature boxing for the first time as a women's event). Radio Netherlands interviews 18 year old Shabnam Rahimi, and the Toronto Star has a photo album on the athletes. If all that inspires you, petition President Hamid Karzai's government to support the team, via this petition page. (Nasr is also known for his documentary, "Good Morning Kandahar".)
posted by aught at 1:54 PM PST - 3 comments

Lynyrd Skynyrd and Neil Young is a long and link-heavy examination of the relationship between Neil Young's "Southern Man" and Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama." If you'd prefer a briefer, much more rocking version of the story, try the song "Ronnie and Neil" by the Drive-By Truckers.
posted by Bookhouse at 1:16 PM PST - 39 comments

If Nicholas Carr is right, and consuming words on a screen is a "more primitive way of reading," then the iPad is a little bit Neanderthal and a little bit Prometheus. Its potential for creative ways to interact with literature makes it more than just an e-reader. And while it took more than a year and a half since the iPad's launch, some publishers are beginning to experiment with that potential. Last year saw several forays into innovative literature apps, most notably T.S. Elliot's The Waste Land; Atlas Shrugged and On The Road also received the "enhanced" app treatment.
Laura Miller (Salon.com co-founder, NY Times Book Review columnist, author) and Maud Newton (writer and critic for The NY Times Book Review, Granta, The Awl) have both written extensively about digital reading and publishing and they've launched The Chimerist, tagline: Two iPad lovers at the intersection of art, stories, and technology. Newton writes: [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 12:34 PM PST - 20 comments

Google's answer to TED talks has gone live. Solve For X, a "forum to encourage and amplify technology-based moonshot thinking and teamwork," currently contains links to YouTube videos from the likes of Neal Stephenson, Rob McGinnis, and Privahini Bradoo. Videos range from 10 to 20 minutes in length. [more inside]
posted by sutt at 12:26 PM PST - 28 comments

Shortly after a small Iranian toy company "returned" (a pink plastic replica of) the captured RQ-170 unmanned drone, Mohammad H. Farjoo, Iran's Secretary for Policy-making at the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults in Tehran (IIDCYA) has decreed an import ban on all toy Simpsons figurines. [more inside]
posted by obscurator at 12:00 PM PST - 31 comments

With the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, produce could travel all over the United States with ease. To stand out from competitors, farmers shifted from stencil-marked crates to vivid crate labels, which were largely replaced by lower-cost cardboard boxes in the 1950s and 60s, allowing images to be printed right onto the boxes. These vivid bits of history are now bought, sold, and traded by collectors (related gallery). Blue Sky Search and California Bountiful have articles on the rise and fall of produce labels, and the subsequent collection of these art pieces. Boston Public Library has a high-quality, larger format Flickr gallery, but the collection is limited. Pat Jacob's Fruit Crate Labels has a collection of small images and a lot of information for collectors, and Crate Label Museum has an extensive collection, though the images are smaller than those in the Boston Public Library's collection.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:52 AM PST - 19 comments



Atomic Bread Making At Home is an in-depth article covering the ingredients, manufacture, and chemistry of; market research into; and social impact of the 1950's-era USDA No.1 white pan loaf.
posted by TheDonF at 10:16 AM PST - 23 comments

Three years after California voters approved a ban on gay marriage in California, a Ninth Circuit court has ruled (in the appeal case of Perry v. Schwarzenegger) that Judge Vaughn Walker's previous decision is valid, maintaining that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional and in violation of California's due process and equal protection rights. The decision came down to a 2-1 vote in favor of Judge Walker's decision. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 10:14 AM PST - 269 comments

Indigenous groups in Panama have shut down parts of the Pan American Highway in an increasingly violent protest. The root of the conflict is the Martinelli government’s refusal to enact environmental protection that was promised for the Ngöbe-Buglé Comarca from both Hydro-Electric and mining exploitation. Outside press is being denied entry to cover the conflict. This is not the first time this has happened. Ongoing updates in English can be found here.
posted by white_devil at 9:15 AM PST - 6 comments

Neil Young isn't happy about the current state of music consumption. A 30 minute panel discussion from D: Dive into Media. Whether you agree or disagree with him, it's hard to deny the man still cares.
posted by davebush at 9:06 AM PST - 119 comments

A lovely time-lapse of the Aurora Australis - The striking red color is the result of charged particles from the sun exciting oxygen atoms high in the atmosphere. [more inside]
posted by quin at 8:56 AM PST - 15 comments

Bobcat Goldthwait, ex-comedian and purveyor of such how-did-that-ever-get-made entertainments as Shakes The Clown and World's Greatest Dad, presents his newest film, God Bless America, a nasty piece of wish fulfillment.
posted by fungible at 8:30 AM PST - 75 comments

On the other side of the flimsy fence separating them from his neighbor Terry Thompson's property, Kopchak noticed that Thompson's horses seemed even more agitated. They were circling, and in the center of their troubled orbit there was some kind of dark shape. Only when the shape broke out of the circle could Kopchak see that it was a black bear.

Yesterday, Esquire and GQ each published lengthy pieces on the suicide of Terry Thompson and the crisis at his exotic animal zoo in Zanesville, OH. (Previously) [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:48 AM PST - 35 comments

And now, ladies and gentlemen, OK Go will play 1000 instruments with a car.
posted by swift at 7:47 AM PST - 59 comments

Ichi! Ni! San! Shi! Come on, everybody! Train kara-tee! SLYT '80s karate-promoting rap video.
posted by ignignokt at 6:29 AM PST - 26 comments

Discover Europe's television heritage. EUscreen offers free online access to videos, stills, texts and audio from European broadcasters and audiovisual archives. Explore selected content from early 1900s until today. [more inside]
posted by Lezzles at 6:00 AM PST - 3 comments

Is online dating destroying love? We are doomed, perhaps, to be unsatisfied creatures, whose desires are fulfilled only momentarily before we go on the hunt for new objects to scratch new itches. Which suggests that online dating sites will be filling us with hopes – and disappointments – for a good while yet. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad at 5:59 AM PST - 124 comments


One of the last surviving members of the Edelweiss Pirates, a group of rebellious teenagers from western Germany who formed a resistance network against the Nazis, has died aged 82: Jean Jülich [more inside]
posted by Mister Bijou at 12:42 AM PST - 19 comments


February 6

A lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army describes his latest deployment to Afghanistan in an article titled: Truth, lies and Afghanistan.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 11:41 PM PST - 57 comments


'In life, “no two people regard the world in exactly the same way,” as J. W. von Goethe says. Everyone sees and reacts to things in different ways. Even though they may see the world in similar ways, no two people’s views will ever be exactly the same. This statement is true since everyone sees things through different viewpoints.'
posted by crayz at 10:28 PM PST - 8 comments

... it’s no exaggeration to say that LIFEFORCE tosses everything in but the kitchen in an attempt to entertain you. Actually, scratch that, it tosses everything including the kitchen sink. By the time the movie is complete, you may have to watch it again just to verify that you actually saw what you just saw. The movie is a mess of enormous proportions which I absolutely loved.* (previously) [more inside]
posted by Trurl at 9:49 PM PST - 59 comments

Left and to the Back is a blog exploring the dark and dusty world of flop singles and albums, the kind you may find lingering near the stock room of your local second hand record store (if you still have one), or perhaps going for extortionate sums on ebay. [Found whilst trying to answer this AskMe].
posted by unliteral at 8:33 PM PST - 4 comments

The New Inquiry launched a new web-based magazine this weekend with a host of smart bloggers and cultural critique. Work on the site is released under a creative commons license. Subscriptions are gently requested though not required. [more inside]
posted by latkes at 6:38 PM PST - 8 comments

According to this substantial study recently published in Psychological Science, "lower general intelligence (g) in childhood predicts greater racism in adulthood, and this effect was largely mediated via conservative ideology.". As the Daily Mail summarises, right-wingers are less intelligent than left wingers. [more inside]
posted by wilful at 5:39 PM PST - 119 comments

"I say, Philip, let's order a pizza and watch a movie with the corgis!" Queen Elizabeth celebrates 60 years on the throne.
posted by anothermug at 5:27 PM PST - 63 comments

The End of Wall Street As They Knew It
After surprisingly successful financial reform, public vilification, and politics that have turned against them, the Masters of the Universe are masters no longer.
posted by clearly at 5:18 PM PST - 73 comments

Meet Mayawati, India's multi-millionaire lower-caste power broker and politician (and don't miss the slide show). [more inside]
posted by vidur at 5:04 PM PST - 7 comments

Clint Eastwood: "'This country can’t be knocked out with one punch. We get right back up again, and when we do the world is going to hear the roar of our engines.' The [Super Bowl] commercial, 'Halftime in America,' didn’t reveal its sponsor until the final seconds, when Chrysler logos appeared briefly, but it has already become a classic, and perhaps inevitably in this election year, a political football.* [more inside]
posted by ericb at 3:22 PM PST - 184 comments


The new weblog Collecting Candy hits it out of the park with their first post Big League Chew – Retrospective of an American Original.
posted by MegoSteve at 1:58 PM PST - 40 comments

Israeli New Wave? Yes! May I introduce The Clique. Here is their song Incubator. Here is another song called Don't Light A Candle For Me. Here are the lyrics to the second song in Hebrew and English. [more inside]
posted by wittgenstein at 1:01 PM PST - 7 comments

Los Angeles County jails don't post lists to bail bondsmen. You cannot make collect calls to cell phones. Many people don't even have land lines. That combination kept one man in jail for five days. via the hairpin.
posted by insectosaurus at 12:22 PM PST - 138 comments

A fascinating collection of over 150 shrines, mostly made by teenagers. Readers and staffers of Rookie contributed these photos of mostly homemade shrines, featuring subjects as diverse as Frida Kahlo, Britney Spears, Japan, nail polish, and Grandma.
posted by Nibbly Fang at 11:26 AM PST - 28 comments

"I said before the film has historical importance (and it does), but it's relevance was more recognized in 1978 than the present day. The YouTube generation will be unable to comprehend what purpose the film served thirty years ago, and thus it's difficult to ignore how hopelessly dated Faces Of Death really is." It's relevance may have faded, but the intrigue remains. Deadspin recently interviewed the writer and producer of four compilations of death and gore, John Alan Schwartz. And of course, they discuss the fake gore in the monkey scene (interview clip with special make-up effects creators Allan Apone and Douglas White, with the memorable scene). And what is Schwarts up to today? He and his wife post videos of their movie reviews on YouTube (Tumblr, YouTube profile page, their website).
posted by filthy light thief at 11:06 AM PST - 53 comments

It's pretty darn cold in Europe this winter, with over 300 dead as a result sadly.
posted by yeoz at 9:56 AM PST - 137 comments

Samuel Youd, who wrote under the name John Christopher, has passed away. [more inside]
posted by Chrysostom at 9:27 AM PST - 53 comments

OneSwarm is a privacy preserving BitTorrent client that offers  permissions for restricting access to shared content  and  sharing without attribution, with the anonymity being provided by fellow OneSwarm peers routing transfers. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges at 9:23 AM PST - 13 comments

Artistic decline through Alzheimer's - William Utermohlen was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 1995 yet he continued drawing. His last self portraits painted between 1995 and 2001 tell a unique tale of an implacable disease encroaching on to his mind and senses. [more inside]
posted by quin at 8:50 AM PST - 39 comments


The Virgin Father 'Trent Arsenault is 36 years old and has never had sex, but he’s the father of fifteen children — and counting.' [more inside]
posted by zarq at 7:56 AM PST - 90 comments

Will Self on the 2012 London Olympics .
posted by numberstation at 7:27 AM PST - 54 comments


Oíche Mhaith (Good Night) is a game by IGF Festival Finalists Stephen (increpare) Lavelle and Terry Cavanaugh about families, bereavement and resurrection. With some potentially NSFW language and content, the game represents a collaboration between two well-known players in the field of micro and art games. Lavelle has more than 100 games on his website. Cavanagh is less prolific, although he has just released the first of five planned "small games", ChatChat, a simple graphical MUD/chatroom in which the players are all cats (previously). [more inside]
posted by running order squabble fest at 7:17 AM PST - 15 comments

February 5

GloZell does the Cinnamon Challenge. "What's the Cinnamon Challenge?" This. (Can the Cinnamon Challenge kill you?? Unlikely.)
posted by hermitosis at 9:50 PM PST - 77 comments

The Super Bowl 2012 Half Time show, in which the lich queen Madonna declares supreme victory over all who fall before her. There were also some adverts and a sporting event of some kind.
posted by Artw at 9:50 PM PST - 313 comments

Best known for the (exaggerated) tales of her miserliness, Hetty Green was arguably the greatest female investor in history. During the 1907 Bankers' Panic, her loan of $1.1 million helped keep New York City solvent. Her estate - greater than that of J.P. Morgan's - was valued at more than $2 billion in today's money. [more inside]
posted by Trurl at 9:46 PM PST - 18 comments

An amazing piece of statistical analysis produced this zoomable (down to the block level) map of energy consumption for New York City, based on Spatial distribution of urban building energy consumption by end use. [via]
posted by unliteral at 8:30 PM PST - 30 comments


The Male Mystique of Henry Miller by Jeanette Winterson.
posted by latkes at 3:54 PM PST - 33 comments



Two years before The Name of the Rose, Dutch academic Helene Nolthenius published the first of three detective novels featuring the medieval Tuscan cleric Lapo Mosca. She died in 2000. Her own story is sadly affecting. (Via the Dartmouth History blog. [more inside]
posted by IndigoJones at 2:34 PM PST - 5 comments


Tarquin Blake photographs the abandoned castles, houses, forts and mines of Ireland. I'm fairly sure I've come across Rhincrew Abbey and the Lost Mines once or twice in my travels in Skyrim ...
posted by GallonOfAlan at 12:33 PM PST - 7 comments



The Lonely Planet has come up with a list of thirty travel terms that aren't in the dictionary.
posted by gman at 9:32 AM PST - 70 comments


Festivids is a holiday fanvid exchange that, much in the spirit of Yuletide, focuses on less popular vidding fandoms. Subjects include Mythbuster's Buster, Mad Men's Peggy Olson, and Maru. The full masterlist is here. [more inside]
posted by dinty_moore at 8:19 AM PST - 7 comments

India tells Britain: We don't want your aid According to a leaked memo, the foreign minister, Nirupama Rao, proposed “not to avail [of] any further DFID [British] assistance with effect from 1st April 2011,” because of the “negative publicity of Indian poverty promoted by DFID”. But officials at DFID, Britain’s Department for International Development, told the Indians that cancelling the programme would cause “grave political embarrassment” to Britain, according to sources in Delhi. Further embarressment ensues. Emma Boon, campaign director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “It is incredible that ministers have defended the aid we send to India, insisting it is vital, when now we learn that even the Indian government doesn’t want it.”
posted by infini at 8:04 AM PST - 34 comments

Like a lot of people, I'd always assumed, in a sort of cut-rate Hobbesian way, that the center of the brain, if you could ever find it, would inevitably be a pretty dark place, that whatever is good or beautiful about being human is a result of our struggles against everything innate, against physical nature. My brother changed my mind about all that.
posted by unSane at 6:57 AM PST - 42 comments

So, you want to know the secret history of Dublin? Well, Come Here To Me, boy, and I’ll tell it ya. League of Ireland fanatics and music fans they may be but above all else, former UCD students Jay, D Fallon and hXci are history buffs, and on their blog they uncover much that is obscure and fascinating in this history of their native city, starting with The Dublin cinema manager who became the only Irish prisoner of Dachau and including.... [more inside]
posted by Diablevert at 3:16 AM PST - 12 comments

Marco Arnaudo reviews wargames on YouTube [more inside]
posted by stbalbach at 12:51 AM PST - 16 comments

February 4


It's 1912 and you are kerpuffling down Main in your new Stutz Bearcat, the envy of all who witness your ride. The "dog house" hood, open bucket seats, a tiny "monocle" windscreen in front of the driver, and a cylindrical fuel tank on a short rear deck are attracting stares from passersby. [more inside]
posted by ecorrocio at 8:35 PM PST - 64 comments

PhyloPic is an open database of life form silhouettes. All images are available for reuse under a Public Domain or Creative Commons license. [more inside]
posted by brundlefly at 7:47 PM PST - 20 comments




Carla Bley Big Band, Jazzfest Berlin, 1995: On Stage In Cages [13m52s], Setting Calvin's Waltz: Parts (a, b, & c) [27m45s], Who Will Rescue You? [8m] [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 4:00 PM PST - 8 comments



Hey! Do you like books? (Yeah...) Do you like free books? (Yeah!) Do you like giving books to friends and strangers and whomever? (Hell yeah!) Are you American? (I just said "hell yeah" didn't I?) Then sign up here! (Then what happens?) You can select from one of thirty books. (And?) They'll send you a box with twenty copies of one book which you can give to friends, strangers or enemies. (What's the catch?) There's no catch, it's World Book Night. [British edition previously on MeFi]
posted by Kattullus at 1:28 PM PST - 39 comments

Last year it was Amy Chua, Tiger Mother (previously on mefi). This year, Paula Druckerman has written Bringing Up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting, inspired by a trip to a coastal town when her daughter had temper tantrums and French parents didn't. French kids eat the same food as their parents, and aren't constantly snacking. And "when French friends visited [...] the grownups had coffee and the children played happily by themselves." It's about patience -- let the kids cry it out a bit, let them learn how to play alone instead of hovering. And perhaps obsess a little less -- the French don't even obsessively buy books about how to parent. Wall Street Journal article, and video interview by WSJ's Gary Rosen.
posted by madcaptenor at 1:28 PM PST - 128 comments

"I saw bodies of women and children lying on roads, beheaded." At least 260 people were killed last night in a government assault on Homs, the epicenter of the Syrian uprising. This came right before a key UN vote to support the Arab League's plan to have President Bashar al-Assad hand over power to the vice president and hold early elections for a national unity government, which failed this morning with 13 in favor and a double veto by China and Russia. [more inside]
posted by lullaby at 11:44 AM PST - 252 comments

Through a Glass, Smartly Larry Sherk is one of the world's foremost brewerianists, a collector of beer stuff who over 40 years has amassed the country's second-largest private collection of beer labels (about 3,000), many of which date to the late 1800s. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad at 11:03 AM PST - 4 comments

10 Misconceptions Rundown is an entertaining, fast-paced debunking of a number of commonly held beliefs. [SLYT]
posted by quin at 10:32 AM PST - 82 comments


Kids, don't ever challenge your English professor to a rap battle.
posted by timsteil at 8:23 AM PST - 75 comments

In Girl on Guy #30, Aisha Tyler talks to Margaret Cho about polymaths, San Francisco, and being a woman of color in comedy.
posted by psoas at 6:41 AM PST - 18 comments



"I'm banned," he says. "By whom?" I ask. "My landlord," he says. "And the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority." Jon Ronson on DIY science.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:06 AM PST - 33 comments

February 3


This is the perfect recipe for those of you who like to enjoy a big bowl of macaroni and cheese for dinner and absolutely nothing else. It’s beautifully flavored, creamy, cheesy, and with the smokey bite of crisp salty bacon on top?? Oh man, you guys are in for a treat — I’m not even kidding. It’s amazing. (previously)
posted by Trurl at 7:48 PM PST - 111 comments

Woody Harrelson has been critically acclaimed for his leading role in the upcoming film Rampart. Harrelson has just recently begun an AMA (ask me anything) post on reddit to promote the film. But because he only wanted to discuss and promote the film (and has avoided some rather embarrassing questions), the reactions have been less than great. [more inside]
posted by zardoz at 6:03 PM PST - 81 comments

It's On The Ceiling! Roll d12:
1. d100 Swords of Damocles
2. City of the Intellectual Bats
3. Manhole-like trap door to maintenance level
4. Tapestry of webs depicting events in spider history
5. Stalactite pueblo dwellers: evil dungeon fairies
6. Adventurers impaled on barbed spikes
7. The furniture: nailed up by prankster
8. Alarming amount of dripping water and muddy seepage
9. Pulsating illumination from strange glass tubes in metal fixtures
10. Shriekers!
11. Eyes (d1000)
12. Hand-chiseled diagram of dungeon level
This and many other useful tables for DM improvisation at The Dungeon Dozen. New table every day!
posted by JHarris at 5:46 PM PST - 22 comments

Robot psychics of India
posted by latkes at 5:39 PM PST - 15 comments

When it comes to hand tools, many woodworkers will tell you that they just don't make 'em like they used to. Unfortunately, making sense of the myriad versions and model numbers of antique hand tools can be a daunting task. Fortunately there's Patrick's Blood and Gore for Stanley hand planes, the Disstonian Institute for Disston saws, Old Tool Heaven for just about everything ever made by Millers Falls, and HyperKitten, which includes pages on Metal Routers, Stanley Bench Planes, and Harvey W. Peace saws. [more inside]
posted by jedicus at 4:30 PM PST - 16 comments

In 1993, Lifetime released Men Don't Tell, a landmark film exploring female on male domestic violence. [more inside]
posted by reenum at 3:36 PM PST - 91 comments

Mountain Dew, Gamma World - and cake! GeekDad's Ethan Gilsdorf uncovers a long-lost pile of loot - silent Super 8 footage of a 1981 Friday night D&D session. JJ Abrams couldn't have faked it this good. (SLYT-sorta)
posted by obiwanwasabi at 3:17 PM PST - 35 comments


North Korean Accordion quintet covers "Take On Me." (SLYT) Part of a project by Morten Traavik, a Norwegian theatre and film director, (previously featured on Metafilter). [more inside]
posted by dismas at 1:38 PM PST - 51 comments


Ever spill water on your iPhone? Well, now there's an app for that. Liquipel has a process by which it creates a barrier against water, coating even the internal electronic components, of your phone. They've demonstrated it by also coating a tissue paper through the same technology and the tissue paper was submerged and came out completely dry. [more inside]
posted by rich at 1:01 PM PST - 67 comments

Hacker group Anonymous joined the FBI - Scotland Yard conference call coordinating their strategy against Anonymous. Call recording is now on YouTube with some suspect names bleeped.
posted by zeikka at 11:05 AM PST - 166 comments

It's the weekend according to UNIQLO CALENDAR, portraying the four seasons and forty-seven prefectures of Tiltshift Timelapse Japan. Music by Fantastic Plastic Machine who did internet classic UNIQLOCK. [Previous]
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:34 AM PST - 24 comments

"They stuck me at P.S.A. 7 in the South Bronx," he said, referring to Police Service Area No. 7 in the department’s housing bureau. "They cover all the housing projects in that area." It was dangerous work, performing vertical patrols — marching up and down staircases — watching for drug deals, responding to violent fights and domestic brawls, and worse. Two years passed, and Officer Bolfo brought something else to work, along with his radio and his gun. A camera.
posted by swift at 9:30 AM PST - 34 comments

"At my then-boyfriend’s house I opened a drawer to borrow a T-shirt. All the T-shirts were perfectly folded, as if ironed. I knew right then and there that I must run for my life." And other tales of romantic dead ends. capturing the exact moment you realize a relationship is doomed, doomed, doomed.
posted by unSane at 9:24 AM PST - 687 comments

Super Bowl commercial breaks have become the most expensive and arguably most coveted advertising timeslots on television. NBC is charging $3.5 million for each 30 second slot -- $116,667 per second of airtime. But this year, many companies have released their commercials online in advance of this Sunday's broadcast. Entertainment Weekly and Adland are compiling them -- the latter on their 40 Years of Super Bowl Commercials page. (Previously) [more inside]
posted by zarq at 9:02 AM PST - 44 comments

Do tigers, lions, leopards and other species of big cats purr like domestic cats? - Big Cat Rescue takes a look at this surprisingly complicated question.
posted by quin at 9:00 AM PST - 18 comments

LADIES
When in need of legal
or confidential advice
why not confer with
one of your own sex?

A concise history of Miss Cora M. Strayer's Private Detective Agency.
posted by griphus at 8:39 AM PST - 21 comments

How the Brain Reveals Why We Buy. "Most of us know that branding palpably influences our choices and shopping habits, but researchers suspect that branding can also fundamentally change the way we comprehend sense impressions. At least that is the obvious conclusion to be drawn from the only (so far) classic study in neuromarketing, a fascinating study of what can be called the Pepsi paradox. " [more inside]
posted by marienbad at 8:35 AM PST - 23 comments


In Anoka, Minnesota, nearly ten students have committed suicide in the past year and a half. Anoka is part of the congressional district of Congresswoman Michele Bachman, and it had a policy of neutrality with regards to GLBTQ discussions in its public schools that "The Rolling Stone" reports as having now been replaced. [more inside]
posted by zizzle at 8:12 AM PST - 53 comments

Sometimes, adding bandwidth can actually hurt rather than help. Most people have no idea what they can do about bufferbloat.
posted by DU at 8:09 AM PST - 25 comments

Competitive eater, Takeru Kobayashi, set a new record today, devouring 337 wings in a scant thirty minutes, at Wing Bowl XX (wiki).
Every wonder how he prepares for these events?
Kobi thought it was right for his body to eat at least 200 wings every day he's been in Philly for the entire week leading up to the big competition on February 3rd -- aside from today, when he’ll eat like a “normal person” to rest his throat for tomorrow. You do the math and Kobi will have eaten well over 1,000 wings this week. That's before the competition even starts.
[more inside]
posted by yeoz at 8:08 AM PST - 49 comments

The Blue Marble is a famous photograph of Earth, taken by the crew of Apollo 17 on December 7th 1972, as they traveled to the moon. On January 23th, 2012, the Suomi NPP satellite snapped a similar, high definition photo, called Blue Marble 2012. By sure to check out the other side of the Marble, how the photos were taken and a PDF that describes the NPP project.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:59 AM PST - 22 comments

Out for a walk in the snow with 34 Saint Bernards. Or if that's not enough slobbery puppy for you: 42 more.
posted by fight or flight at 7:34 AM PST - 26 comments

"The (Minneapolis - St.Paul) Metro Transit system has turned on great composers in hope of turning off loiterers, vagrants and other troublemakers (YT) attracted to the station.' Eighteen- to 25-year-olds are generally the folks who are committing the most crime on our transit system,' Scruggs said. 'As a group, they tend to not like classical music (YT).'"
posted by obscurator at 6:51 AM PST - 59 comments

On February 6th, the infamous Westboro Baptist Church is planning a protest at Clayton High School in St Louis because of their support of the LGBT student body. The counter protest, however, has taken the form of a fund raising opportunity. [more inside]
posted by deanklear at 6:36 AM PST - 42 comments

Flickr link to 5 decades/1600+ scans from Vogue magazine. [more inside]
posted by Sailormom at 6:21 AM PST - 9 comments


If you've been procrastinating on cleaning your monitor or laptop screen, the game Where's the Pixel just might be the encouragement you've been waiting for.
posted by Deathalicious at 4:57 AM PST - 33 comments

Frank Zappa documentary: Part One; Part Two; Part Three; Part Four; Part Five.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:20 AM PST - 21 comments

Anti-ACTA protests have begun around Europe after the secret treaty was signed in Tokyo last Friday. Activists have planned larger protests for Saturday 11 February. The European Parliament will formally consider ACTA in June. (previously) [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges at 2:18 AM PST - 40 comments

Someone in the Vermont prison system has been hiding a pig in the decals that inmates make for the state’s police cars. After only a few years, the cops just caught on. [YouTube].
posted by LeLiLo at 1:34 AM PST - 62 comments

February 2

"If I pee, or break this shit, just go with it." MeFi's own asavage plays and sings The Long Winters' "The Commander Thinks Aloud" at W00tstock SF. (SLYT)
posted by Mister Moofoo at 11:50 PM PST - 14 comments


Burning Man sold out for the first time in its history last year, marking another painful evolutionary event and, in the process, attracting scammers and scalpers who violated the dearly-held Burner tradition of selling tickets for no greater than face value. In an effort to thwart scammers and scalpers this year, The Burning Man Project replaced the event's long-standing first-come-first-served web-based ticketing system with a controversial new lottery system to distribute the first 43,000 tickets at random. Prior to ticket registration, the system required entrants to fill out the Burning Man 2012 Tickets Main Sale Participant Survey, which asked, among other things, how many years the respondent had attended Burning Man. "(Don't worry, your answers will in NO WAY affect your likelihood of receiving tickets.)" When stalwart mega-camps like Deathguild, Disorient and Opulent Temple came to realize that a disproportionately small number of their members were awarded tickets, one Burner smelled a rat and created an informal survey to test his hypothesis that the survey did indeed affect one's likelihood of receiving tickets. His survey is beginning to show an inversely proportional relationship between those who have previously attended the event and those who were awarded tickets. This, combined with the description of this year's theme, Fertility 2.0, is leading some Burners to wonder whether these are indications that Larry Harvey has tipped his hat to his most insidious prank yet: "killing off" Burning Man's faithful and its intelligentsia, like the love child of Jim Jones and Joseph Stalin, to make room for an all-new Burning Man populated by wide-eyed Virgins. [more inside]
posted by eatyourlunch at 10:54 PM PST - 111 comments

The Earthbound Journal is the Mother of all fan projects; a labour of love that took journalist Armand Kossayan over 150 hours to complete. And it's amazing. Armand describes it as "a retelling of the game’s plot from the point of view of primarily Paula and Jeff, with some smaller parts from Ness and Poo." Did I mention it's free. Go get it!
posted by Effigy2000 at 10:46 PM PST - 12 comments

The 50 best David Lynch characters. And David Lynch films - from worst to best. And David Lynch's best music moments. Craziest David Lynch moments.
posted by crossoverman at 10:23 PM PST - 55 comments

Inside the creepy and controling world of Seattle's Mars Hill Church, home of "real marriage".
posted by Artw at 9:24 PM PST - 81 comments

For ages humankind has struggled with the definitive question of existence. To wit, "Can An Intelligent Person Like Phish?" A writer for Parks and Recreation says yes, but upon further field investigation involving large quantities of booze, psychedelics, pot, and "moonrocks" (Earwolf podcast) the answer is, obviously, no.
posted by bardic at 8:28 PM PST - 68 comments

Too much internet may not be a good thing. This Errors video is totally having a "marmite-like effect". Warning SLYT and Long.
posted by bquarters at 7:26 PM PST - 5 comments

Technology/sex columnist Violet Blue (previously) has been reporting from this year's Macworld trade fair for ZDNet; among her reportage was a photograph of a woman sitting in a booth, labelled as "The Saddest Booth Babe In The World". Later it emerged that the woman in question was not, in fact, a booth babe (i.e., a model hired to smile, hand out flyers and appeal to the heterosexual male gaze) but rather an iOS developer presenting her products, hence her less-than-effervescent demeanour. Blue's response was somewhat evasive, suggesting that her (and, in her opinion, the average attendee's) expectation upon seeing a woman at a booth at a technology event would be that she would be there for decorative purposes.
posted by acb at 7:23 PM PST - 160 comments

If you have a taste for a certain flavor of North American, 20th century rebelliousness, you may enjoy a photo blog called The Acid Sweat Lodge. Contains some NSFW images. And lots of bad-assery.
posted by BoringPostcards at 7:20 PM PST - 20 comments

During a recent visit to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., I was reeducated in the power of branding — especially as applied to poster design — at the special exhibition, State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda, which demonstrates how the Nazi party used carefully crafted messages, advertising and design techniques, and then-new technologies (radio, television, film) to sway millions with its vision for a new Germany. (related)
posted by Trurl at 6:33 PM PST - 28 comments


A major element of serious chess play is the study of openings* -- of known series of moves from the starting position whose effects to the later stages of the game are well established through previous games and through manual and computer analysis. Chess960 a.k.a. Fischer Random Chess was introduced in 1996 by chess genius (and reclusive paranoid anti-semite) Bobby Fischer as an alternative that aims to remove the emphasis on this laborious element while keeping other central aspects of the game intact. The tagline of one blog dedicated to the game calls it 'a return to the pleasure of the first move in a vast unexplored wilderness'. Some of this wilderness is being explored with new theory, linked below the fold among other things. [more inside]
posted by Anything at 5:56 PM PST - 34 comments

In 2000, the anime industry was on the brink of what looked like a global takeover, and was pushing live action movies to the side. However, trouble began to take hold just a few years later, when labour issues involving long hours and low pay, along with a sharp drop in anime DVD sales, began to cause serious trouble for the industry. Although some government officials pinned their hopes in beefing up exports in order to breathe life into the economy, to industry insiders the situation looked bleak and possibly unresolvable using traditional models. However, other avenues - such as the internet, and even internet piracy - were studied for their economic effects. The results? [more inside]
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:09 PM PST - 32 comments

Inside Romney's Tax Returns: A Reading Guide. From ProPublica.
posted by russilwvong at 4:17 PM PST - 76 comments

Shit Scientists Say (SLYT) via
posted by Danf at 4:05 PM PST - 44 comments

Muslim America moves away from the minaret. 'In post 9/11 America the construction of new mosques in the US has sometimes sparked controversy and even confrontation.' Now there appears to be an increasing trend to build new mosques in the US without some of the architectural features most commonly associated with the traditional Muslim houses of worship. '"It's a bad time for Islamic architecture," says Mr Ahmed, former Pakistani ambassador to the UK. But the Islamic Center of America in Michigan features imposing traditional domes and minarets "If there was some visionary with money who wanted to build the Taj Mahal in the US, he'd be attacked as a stealth Jihadist."' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 4:00 PM PST - 36 comments

Darkness "Sometimes you meet people like that, they have one adjective that fits them like a glove. They could be that word's picture in the dictionary..."
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:29 PM PST - 49 comments

Social TV is coming and the Super Bowl is its debutante ball. Will 2012 be the year that Social TV goes mainstream? Lost Remote has you covered, for all the latest news about Social TV and the otherwise decline of Western civilization.
posted by I've wasted my life at 2:56 PM PST - 20 comments

Former romance writer & city girl Suzanne McMinn blogs at Chickens in the Road, a non-fancy, non-Martha Stewartish, realistic look into the simple, often vanishing, life of rural America in the country outside one tiny town in the Appalachian foothills. She posts daily, chronicling her photography, stories, recipes, crafts, and sentimental thoughts on the history, people, life, and beauty of rural Appalachia. Her stated goal: to connect people with their food again--hands on, hands in, the old-fashioned way. (And she even managed to get financial compensation when a photo she took of her goats was used in a print publication without attribution.)
posted by BlahLaLa at 2:13 PM PST - 7 comments

WAT. - A lightning talk by Gary Bernhardt from CodeMash 2012, on the peculiarities of some popular scripting languages. (Single video link, around 4 minutes in length.)
posted by Slap*Happy at 2:12 PM PST - 37 comments

A Fashion Eye for the G.I. Joe Guy ComicsAlliance critiques G.I. Joe and Cobra uniforms.
posted by drezdn at 2:03 PM PST - 10 comments

Bad Rave Flyers
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:56 PM PST - 43 comments


Tea Party Jesus
posted by OverlappingElvis at 1:08 PM PST - 65 comments

The Prado Museum in Madrid has what they had considered to be an inferior late-era replica of the Mona Lisa, a portrait surrounded by black. But when conservators compared infrared images of their copy with images taken in 2004 from the Leonardo's masterpiece, they found that the Prado replica closely resembled early under-drawings covered by the Mona Lisa everyone sees. Yesterday, Prado held a news conference to announce that their restoration efforts are nearly done and displayed the work in progress. The comparison is striking, showing details that might have been visible when the Mona Lisa was fresh, 500 years ago. The Guardian has more details and a high-detail portion of the apprentice's painting, believed to be by Francesco Melzi. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 12:54 PM PST - 21 comments

What might help defeat Muslim extremists in Pakistan for good? Bollywood!
posted by reenum at 12:54 PM PST - 11 comments

Brian Lam, from the excellent resource the wirecutter, drops some knowledge about what it's like to live a bit more meaningfully. "I owe my livelihood to technology and I love the raw capability it offers us as a tool, but I fear it a bit more than most people do. It's a tool, but it's not quite a hammer, because a hammer doesn't seduce you into sitting around lonely in your underwear for 6 hours at a stretch clicking on youtube videos and refreshing Twitter.
posted by pwally at 12:35 PM PST - 15 comments

Psychonaut by The Cosmic Dead is free psych rock. Going Up, Coming Down by Sudden Death of Stars is free French psych with sitars. Kosmonaut 1 by Kosmonaut is free Tangerine Dream-style space rock. Sedan by Sedan is free hypnotic piano and drums. Ouroborus by Hypatia Lake is free stoner rock. Watch Your Back by Butchers is free slacker noise psych. Tumbleweeds by Across Tundras is free prairie rock. Concrete Light by Luger is free neo-kraut in a Stereolab vein. Born to Deal in Magic: 1952-1976 by Shooting Guns is free instrumental stoner doom. You Can't Win by The Runnies is free female-fronted organ trio psych. War of the Giants by Axxicorn is free stoner metal. [more inside]
posted by klangklangston at 12:29 PM PST - 17 comments

Remember me? I'm the kid who had a report due on space neat blog about growing up Freberg. [more inside]
posted by infinitewindow at 11:27 AM PST - 16 comments

Push-up contest - Ellen Degeneres Vs Michelle Obama. [more inside]
posted by cashman at 10:05 AM PST - 111 comments

NSFW Lucien Clergue is a French Photographer from Arles, and renowned for his Nu zébré.
He was a friend of Picasso and Jean Cocteau.
He still gives the occasional talk: Ansel said to me "I have been here for 40 years and I have never seen what you see."
Clergue: " I am Mediterranean by birth. What you see, I don't see. I look at the details."
posted by adamvasco at 9:46 AM PST - 5 comments

Times might be hard, but romance can still thrive. [more inside]
posted by mippy at 8:10 AM PST - 52 comments

Qualcomm and the X Prize Foundation have launched a new contest: Envision and build the equivalent of Star Trek's medical tricorder, a portable health monitoring device that can remotely diagnose patients. The winner will receive $10 million. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 7:27 AM PST - 85 comments

Top five regrets of the dying. A palliative nurse who has counselled the dying in their last days has revealed the most common regrets we have at the end of our lives.
posted by ClanvidHorse at 5:41 AM PST - 196 comments

The Onion's AV Club has noticed that Amazon buyers love this creepy horse mask, and they're posting the customer images to prove it.
posted by Laminda at 4:59 AM PST - 112 comments

Analogue: A Hate Story is a mystery featuring transhumanism, traditional marriage, loneliness, and cosplay told through interaction with the AI and logs of a derelict colony ship, lost thousands of years ago. It is the latest visual novel from Christine Love (previously 1, 2, 3) The full thing is not free, but there is a demo.
posted by juv3nal at 12:46 AM PST - 18 comments

The Washington State Senate has approved SB 6239, a bill granting marriage equality, in a 28-21 vote. It now moves on to the House, where its passage is all but assured, then to the desk of Governor Gregoire, who started the process earlier this year and has promised to sign it.

But, then what? As in 2009, when citizens voted 53-47 in favor of Referendum 71 to reject overturning the legislature's domestic partnership bill, the bill will likely be subject to a citizen referendum, rendering it temporarily inactive until approved by popular vote. A recent poll found that 55% of voters would approve that measure. If that holds true, same-sex marriages could begin in Washington State starting December 7th, 2012.
posted by 0xFCAF at 12:27 AM PST - 70 comments


February 1

Chaim Levin appeared in a video as part of the It Gets Better project (previously). A staff reporter for the Jewish Press criticised Chaim (referred to as "Dovid") in an op-ed; Chaim's response led to threats against the paper, which has now supported Chaim and declared that it "won't be silenced". [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:03 PM PST - 34 comments

Mike Kelley, Artist and Writer, has died in Los Angeles. Mike Kelley, Los Angeles Artist and student of John Baldessari worked in most mediums available, including drawings, paintings, video, photography and installations, most notably featuring sock monkeys and other stuffed animals. His best known work may be for the cover of Sonic Youth's . Dirty. [more inside]
posted by PinkMoose at 9:00 PM PST - 23 comments

Saxophonist Colin Stetson performs a stunning live version of his song "Judges", then shows us how it's done.
posted by rollick at 7:13 PM PST - 48 comments

Wisława Szymborska is dead.
posted by R. Schlock at 6:41 PM PST - 60 comments

An ever increasing accumulation of film stills from Sergei Bondarchuk's 8-hour long epic film adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace [more inside]
posted by Trurl at 6:31 PM PST - 20 comments

At the instruction of House Republicans, US Capitol Police arrested Josh Fox for filming a public hearing—a meeting of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment. Josh directed Gasland (previously), a documentary on the potential dangers of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a process used by energy companies which has been linked to causing earthquakes in Arkansas and other side effects. [more inside]
posted by disillusioned at 6:21 PM PST - 96 comments

Now later than ever: The Buffalo Beast's 50 Most Loathsome Americans of 2011.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:00 PM PST - 80 comments


Google has altered the architecture of Blogger to allow censoring blogs on a country by country basis.
posted by jfuller at 5:43 PM PST - 41 comments


In The Studio: Steve Aoki on "Wonderland" his new album. Steve Aoki just kicked off ... Dim Macks 2012 North American DeadMeat Tour (video here) with Artist such as Datsik 1 2 3, Alvin Risk 1 2, Andy's Ill 1 2 3, Angger Dimas 1 2 3, AutoErotique 1 2 3, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike 1 2 3, Dirty Phonics 1 2, Mustard Pimp 1 2 3, Terravita 1 2 3 [more inside]
posted by MechEng at 5:15 PM PST - 4 comments

Facebook has submitted its S-1 Form to the SEC, beginning its road to an IPO. LinkedIn, Groupon and Zynga made their first stock available 3-6 months after filing their S-1 forms. The time is spent by regulators evaluating the statements made in the form, and the banks underwriting the issue finding buyers for the stock - which is unlikely to be difficult. [more inside]
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:03 PM PST - 29 comments

"Round here, we say 'mate' a lot. Do yourself a favour, and learn to figure out when a bloke is about to buy you a drink, and when he's ready to put the boot in. He'll say mate either way, but how will he say it? Use our handy guide to MATE, know what your mates are on about!"
posted by vidur at 4:46 PM PST - 35 comments

Here is a lovely acoustic version of "The Dragonborn Comes" courtesy of blogger Makulah.
posted by Ipsifendus at 4:35 PM PST - 10 comments

A Month of Letters is a challenge with two parts: mail something (anything!) every day the post runs in February and respond to every letter you get.
posted by naturalog at 3:38 PM PST - 23 comments

Europe's lost generation: how it feels to be young and struggling in the EU. 'Maybe being young is never easy. But being a twentysomething young European has rarely been more stressful.' Here are some of their stories. [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 3:02 PM PST - 74 comments

Anatomical quilling: paper cross sections of the body - a showcase of artist Lisa Nilsson's tissue series
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:51 PM PST - 12 comments

Last month Wired published a lengthy profile of game designer and digital media professor Ian Bogost, best known for his anti-game cum Zynga critique, Cow Clicker (previously: 1, 2). Slashdot recently did an insightful Q&A with Bogost covering, amongst other things, his polemic thoughts on gamification, the rhetorical advantage of referring to it as exploitationware and what it's like to play with shit crayons.
posted by I've wasted my life at 2:37 PM PST - 34 comments

In 2007 former CIA Agent John Kiriakou went public with his involvement with waterbording Al-Quaeda Detainees. At the time he felt that it worked. And, he only belived it had happened once with Abu Zubaydah. By 2010 he'd learned that Zubaydah had been waterboared 83 times, and that information was not good. Now, he's being prosecuted under the espionage act, for allegedly helping to identify CIA operatives that Guantánamo defense lawyers who might be able to testify about abusive treatment. [more inside]
posted by delmoi at 2:09 PM PST - 58 comments

More than ten years after it began, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has announced a "mid-2013" end to combat operations in the Afghan War, the longest in US history. [more inside]
posted by theodolite at 2:09 PM PST - 51 comments

Space Stallions! A 2012 bachelor film project from The Animation Workshop. More epic than epic. More 80s than the 80s ever were. (slyt)
posted by jazon at 2:07 PM PST - 36 comments

Children today reach puberty earlier and adulthood later. The result: A lot of teenage weirdness. Adolescence has always been troubled, but for reasons that are somewhat mysterious, puberty is now kicking in at an earlier and earlier age. At the same time, first with the industrial revolution and then even more dramatically with the information revolution, children have come to take on adult roles later and later.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:17 PM PST - 79 comments

A story about a marriage challenged by sudden tragedy with an unconventional ending [more inside]
posted by mlo at 1:12 PM PST - 24 comments

Game Change trailer. [SLYT, possible trigger warning for anyone who was alive in 2008]
posted by unSane at 12:38 PM PST - 87 comments



Of six-pack abs and real girl bellies: thoughts after viewing xoJane's "Real Girl Belly Project" ("Show Us Your Bellies!", photo gallery part one, photo gallery part two).
posted by flex at 10:35 AM PST - 146 comments

“I feel sorry for people who need to ask us: Is it real?” Ninja told me. Changing identities is the point — the more total, the better.
The New York Times interviews Die Antwoord's Ninja about their new upcoming (and self-released) album TEN$ION. Watch and listen to the first two NSFW singles: Fok Julle Naaiers and I Fink U Freeky.
posted by griphus at 10:30 AM PST - 115 comments

A study in Public Health Nutrition which compiles data relating to Americans' food-related time use over the past 30 years reveals some interesting trends: Eating as a primary activity declined in the past 30 years. On the other hand, eating as a secondary activity rose dramatically in the past 30 years. We now do almost 50 percent of our eating while concentrating on something else.
From the introduction to photographer Miho Aikawa's project Dinner In NY, a series of portraits of New Yorkers eating dinner -- and often doing something else besides.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:29 AM PST - 40 comments



After a long personal hiatus, pithy history blog Got Medieval recently returned (previously: 1, 2). It comes back with a new project, an ongoing series of posts [Intro, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] on the author’s dissertation topic, the role of Uther in the story of King Arthur as told in the less-than-accurate 12th century Historia Regum Brittanae by Geoffrey of Monmouth. If you want more, the saints feasts calendar commentaries may be completed now, but don’t worry, the marginalia posts continue (e.g. sketches of naked men in a nun’s devotional book).
posted by Schismatic at 8:39 AM PST - 14 comments

The Beatles and the Bolsheviks. An excellent essay on the decline of the college student. How much of the professor's frustration can be linked to selective memory?
posted by TreeRooster at 7:45 AM PST - 96 comments

We are the priests. That is all ...
posted by onesidys at 7:44 AM PST - 20 comments

Wittner Fabrice uses light stencils to create photographs which look unreal and occasionally unsettling. [more inside]
posted by quin at 7:37 AM PST - 8 comments

Over its amazing 35 year run, Soul Train provided American television viewers with an incredible panorama, a veritable cornucopia of black popular music, and of course, entertained everyone with their legendary line dance segments. The man who created and hosted the show from its beginnings up until 1993, Mr. Don Cornelius, was on Wednesday found dead in his home, an apparent suicide.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:28 AM PST - 79 comments


The European Far-Right took part in the Vienna Ball season with the Vienna Student Ball, which has had Right-wing ties since the 50s. There were bomb threats and some violence, but the Ball proceeded, even the the face of condemnation from UNESCO. All of which took place on Holocaust Remembrance Day
posted by NiteMayr at 6:55 AM PST - 19 comments

"The more people 'pirate' a book, the better." [Guardian.co.uk] Multimillion-selling author, Paulo Coelho links with Pirate Bay.
posted by Fizz at 6:42 AM PST - 67 comments


Today the US celebrates Digital Learning Day. A free webcast on digital learning techniques (schedule) begins at 9:00 AM EST. There are also a variety of toolkits and resources for teachers and parents. [more inside]
posted by Deathalicious at 5:56 AM PST - 2 comments


From lettersofnote.com : In July of 1931, author and philosopher Will Durant wrote to a number of notable figures and asked, essentially, "What is the meaning of life?" His letter concluded: Spare me a moment to tell me what meaning life has for you, what keeps you going, what help—if any—religion gives you, what are the sources of your inspiration and your energy, what is the goal or motive-force of your toil, where you find your consolations and your happiness, where, in the last resort, your treasure lies. Write briefly if you must; write at length and at leisure if you possibly can; for every word from you will be precious to me. Durant received many replies, a selection of which were compiled in the book, "On the Meaning of Life." By far the greatest response, in my opinion, came from the great H. L. Mencken. It can, and should, be read below. (Description above taken straight from the linked post, as it summed it up pretty well)
posted by datter at 5:42 AM PST - 30 comments


Joe Hills is a Minecraft player from Nashville, Tennessee, who's probably best known for his Let's Play videos of adventure map designer Vechs's Super Hostile maps such as Nightmare Realm and Spellbound Caves (he was also the inspiration for Vechs's "Super Docile" map, Hills of Moo, where nothing evil happens and everything is peaceful). But lately he's embarked on a new Minecraft adventure, Minecraft Morning Musings, where he sails perpetually eastward while talking about the Dao de Jing. In each episode, he reads and discusses several translations of a chapter of the Dao. Sometimes, though, things get radical.
posted by mothershock at 4:37 AM PST - 15 comments


When the commentariat attacks!: 14 entertaining cases of collective Internet satire. As evidenced in the recent Star Wars Uncut project (previously), crowdsourced satire can produce hilarity of mind-boggling magnitude, far beyond what any one mind could muster. The AV Club has collected a few remarkable and side-splitting examples.
posted by Silky Slim at 1:26 AM PST - 25 comments