February 2009 Archives

February 28

American customers “demand soft and comfortable, recycled fiber cannot do it.” [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor at 11:52 PM PST - 72 comments

A recent study [PDF] conducted by Benjamin Edelman (Harvard Business School) found that conservative and religious states consume the most online porn. "The biggest consumer, Utah, averaged 5.47 adult content subscriptions per 1,000 home broadband users....Eight of the top 10 pornography consuming states gave their electoral votes to John McCain in last year's presidential election..." [more inside]
posted by ericb at 9:42 PM PST - 68 comments

Meta-efficiency is the analysis of efficiency at a more comprehensive level. Metaefficient Review assesses products considering not only their energy efficiency but also the embodied energy, toxicity, affordability, and usability. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 9:01 PM PST - 4 comments

Sufficiently usable read/write platforms will attract porn and activists. If there's no porn, the tool doesn't work. If there's no activists, it doesn't work well.
Some interesting commentary from an early employee of Tripod. Systems designed for the sharing of cute cats and other banal user-generated content will inevitably attract political activists, provided they work well enough.
posted by CrunchyFrog at 8:09 PM PST - 18 comments

What if you were one of the Rohingya people, and you faced death in trying to escape, or were expelled from your Homeland. Would you wait for others to help, or would you try and do it yourself...
posted by hadjiboy at 7:18 PM PST - 6 comments

The Armadillo (with audio) by Elizabeth Bishop + Lantern Festival"... between the kite sticks of the Southern Cross, receding, dwindling, solemnly and steadily forsaking us, or, in the downdraft from a peak, suddenly turning dangerous. Last night another big one fell. It splattered like an egg of fire against the cliff behind the house. The flame ran down. We saw the pair of owls who nest there flying up and up, their whirling black-and-white stained bright pink underneath, until they shrieked up out of sight. The ancient owls' nest must have burned. Hastily, all alone, a glistening armadillo left the scene, rose-flecked, head down, tail down, and then a baby rabbit jumped out, short-eared, to our surprise. So soft!—a handful of intangible ash with fixed, ignited eyes. Too pretty, dreamlike mimicry! O falling fire and piercing cry and panic, and a weak mailed fist clenched ignorant against the sky!"
posted by vronsky at 6:02 PM PST - 9 comments

Paul Harvey 1918 - 2009. At 7:30 PM the Paul Harvey site looked like this. Now if looks like this. (via) [more inside]
posted by cjorgensen at 5:48 PM PST - 103 comments

15 year old girl in holding cell beaten by Seattle Cop Caught on Camera. 15 year old girl in holding cell beaten by Seattle Cop. Not surprisingly the cop's lawyer didn't want this video published.
posted by ginky at 4:16 PM PST - 157 comments

Urban legend has it that the province of Saskatchewan, Canada appeared in red in some 1950's American social studies textbooks, along with other "communist" countries such as Russia, China and Cuba. It is true that Saskatchewan's "natural governing party", the socialistic New Democratic Party have held power in the province for 47 of the last 65 years. And it's true that the NDP's most famous leader (and Canada's Greatest Canadian), Tommy Douglas, brought universal healthcare to the province, an achievement which paved the way for it to come to the rest of Canada. But now, after suffering their worst defeat in 20 years, Saskatchewan's New Democratic Party is searching for a new leader... [more inside]
posted by Jaybo at 4:13 PM PST - 20 comments


Egg Timer. Instructions here, not that you need any.
posted by william_boot at 3:27 PM PST - 42 comments

His name is Ugly Bat Boy, and no, there's nothing wrong with him. He's perfectly normal.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 1:55 PM PST - 47 comments

Scans_daily is was a LiveJournal community specializing in posting scans of comic books, both older and current ones. On Friday night, however, the community got suspended, allegedly because comics author Peter David complained that one of his books was posted to it (David denies this in the linked blog post.) Regulars at scans_daily are outraged that the community has been shut down, claiming that the ability for people to "try before they buy" encouraged readers to buy more comics. Other comics fans are not so kind and cite that, for better or worse, the community was knowingly violating copyright. The community has resurfaced and is at least discussing what changes should be made to avoid this "unpleasantness" in the future and make the community more "copyright friendly". We've seen these issues come up with movies, games, and music; now it's comic books' turn to try to figure out what to do about the internet and digital technology.
posted by Legomancer at 1:55 PM PST - 49 comments

Herod's Temple, originally an expansion on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. Now a retired farmer has spent 30 years building a scale model of it
posted by Deflagro at 1:29 PM PST - 34 comments

The MacTutor History of Mathematics archive is an astounding collection of historical material on mathematics, especially biographies. (Previously: 1 2 3 4.)
posted by parudox at 12:47 PM PST - 5 comments

China hits back at US criticism on human rights After the US needles China with human rights criticism, China responds with Human Rights Record of United States in 2008. From its preface: "As in previous years, the [United States'] reports are full of accusations of the human rights situation in more than 190 countries and regions, including China, but mention nothing of the widespread human rights abuses on its own territory."
posted by shetterly at 11:31 AM PST - 76 comments

It seems that there is a large DDoS attack targeting Time Warner's DNS servers in Southern California. JeffTWC's latest statement. A solution for those affected? [more inside]
posted by wayofthedodo at 9:42 AM PST - 46 comments

Hate Group Numbers Up By 54% Since 2000 according to Southern Poverty Law Center. Glen Beck thoughtfully wonders about the coming civil unrest (that he'll be stoking from the sidelines) And Sean Hannity takes down a poll on his forum about "What kind of revolution appeals most to you?" [more inside]
posted by nola at 9:23 AM PST - 75 comments

In a recent report for the Abell Foundation, University of Maryland Criminologist Peter Reuter asks whether, in light of the evidence from Switzerland, The Netherlands and elsewhere, Baltimore might not be the best place to try the first US heroin maintenance programme?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:14 AM PST - 17 comments

The OMB has a blog (feed) -- Peter Orszag started one at CBO (still going under Douglas Elmendorf née Bob Sunshine) and carried blogging over to the White House. The Atlanta Fed has one too (not to be confused with Macro Man). David Altig unofficially began it as an economist at the Cleveland Fed and then, when he became research director in Atlanta, made it official (altho still hosted on TypePad). Are there any other (federal/state/local/non-US) worthwhile government blogs (wikis sure) out there from our shiny new iPod gov't? cf. DoD live (check out the other service blogs, e.g.)/air force live & USAgov on twitter
posted by kliuless at 8:32 AM PST - 5 comments

February 27

Newly jobless and homeless former members of the Japanese upper or upper-middle class are turning to a distinctly 21st century version of the flophouse, the net room: a tiny cubicle, rented by the day, with that all-important feature... an internet connection and a computer. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:54 PM PST - 41 comments

Jim the Realtor makes sardonic videos documenting his work . . . [more inside]
posted by troy at 10:40 PM PST - 47 comments

Circuits are flipping on in the nation's attic. A couple of weeks ago, 31 "digerati" -- like Clay Shirky, Chris Anderson, and George Oates -- dropped in to the Smithsonian Institution for the invitation-only conference "Smithsonian 2.0: A Gathering to Re-imagine the Smithsonian in the Digital Age". Dan Cohen of the Center for History and New Media provides a great summary (and continues to pose provocative questions) on his own blog. Those whose invitations were somehow lost in the mail can play fly-on-the-wall by watching the keynotes, paging through the Flickr pool of envymaking glimpses of their behind-the-scenes lab and collections tours, reading the blog (where Bruce Wyman of the Denver Art Museum lays out a succinct road map for museums using social media), and poking around in the SI's website gallery. Want to cheer on the USA's favorite 163-year-old "Establishment for the increase & diffusion of knowledge" without taking the trip to DC? Thanks to their recent efforts, you can now follow the SI on Twitter, listen to its podcasts, watch its YouTube channel, visit the Latino Virtual Museum in Second Life, or use the FaceBook gifts page to send your best friends their very own pair of Dorothy's ruby slippers, Hope diamond, Negro Leagues baseball, or coelocanth.
posted by Miko at 9:09 PM PST - 13 comments

That Voodoo That Scientists Do. "When findings are debated online, as with a yet to be released paper (PDF) that calls out the field of social neuroscience, who wins?"
posted by homunculus at 8:31 PM PST - 53 comments

Speaking of Edward Tufte (see below), sparklines are a type of information graphics characterized by their small size and data density named by Tufte. Sparklines were used by sites reporting the 2008 election and were first introduced on MeFi in 2005. There are now several ways to put sparklines on your own web site including: a simple jQuery plugin, a downloadable PHP library, a dynamic generator using a Python CGI program, and even a library for Ruby on Rails.
posted by netbros at 8:25 PM PST - 8 comments

QWERTY rock. [more inside]
posted by dhammond at 6:58 PM PST - 25 comments

You used to be able to ask Edward Tufte questions on his website. He disabled the new questions part a few years ago so only a topic or two a month comes out now. But the old topics form years long conversations running to tens of thousands of words, generally polite and insightful. Here are some excellent threads: recommendations for graphing software, Book design: advice and examples, Medical information exchange: The patient, doctor, computer triangle, Evidence and assumptions in tree diagrams, Airport maps, Lists, Advice for effective analytical reasoning, a celebration of Megan Jaegerman's news graphics, Design of causal diagrams, the merits of ISO paper sizes.
posted by shothotbot at 6:34 PM PST - 10 comments


Lone Star Beer. Immortalized in song, it bills itself as the National Beer of Texas. Once brewed in what is now known as the historic San Antonio Pearl Brewery, it's still brewed in Texas, though Texas anti-hipsters will be chagrined to know that Lone Star's latest owner (since 1999) is Milwaukee-based Pabst. Still, it's the cheapest beer in Texas, and the bottles have an extra perk: a rebusnot this guy on the inside of the cap. (A good bartender or waitperson'll bring you that with yer longnecknot this one.) This guy has collected nearly all (he's missing TWO!) of the 400+ puzzles and their answers. Metafilter, it's beer-fifteen.
posted by fiercecupcake at 4:17 PM PST - 62 comments

Erotic expression in printed form is an art that has been around since the days of Christ but surprisingly has never seemed to go away. This post aims to take a cursory survey of some of the more important works of erotic literature that have been published over the last few hundred years, and to examine the current state of erotic writing. [more inside]
posted by Ziggy Zaga at 3:52 PM PST - 33 comments

Weee! Book scramble! (Single link Daily Mail article.)
posted by serazin at 3:37 PM PST - 14 comments

Nina Paley's animated film, Sita Sings the Blues, has been mentioned here several times before. It's a retelling of the classic Indian epic Ramayana, featuring the 1920s jazz recordings of singer Annette Hanshaw, interspersed with the story of Nina's own troubled marriage-- and despite critical accolades, it's been languishing due to copyright issues surrounding the 80-year-old Hanshaw songs. But things seem to be finally looking up for Ms. Paley: she has worked out a distribution plan, the movie will be broadcast on New York PBS station WNET on March 7, and the whole thing is finally available online, at thirteen.org. [more inside]
posted by bookish at 1:49 PM PST - 30 comments

Linez! Friday Flash Fun presents this stupidly addicting and wonderfully frustrating puzzle game.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 1:48 PM PST - 12 comments


On Wednesday night, the chef at Jax Fish House in Boulder, Colorado became the most disliked culinary professional in the United States. (read the comments) [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese at 12:00 PM PST - 122 comments

The Secret Lives of Comic Store Employees presented by Wired. [more inside]
posted by gman at 11:36 AM PST - 77 comments

Newspaper says goodbye via Vimeo. The Rocky Mountain News published its final edition today, after 149 years, 311 days in circulation.
posted by yiftach at 10:49 AM PST - 82 comments


Another relic of the cheesy, horny, big-haired 1980s (well, besides your yearbook picture)... Chippendales guys were more than just photographs! If you only click one link though, it really should be this one. (NSFW - butts, crotches, and Judy Landers in lingerie for the dudes) [more inside]
posted by miss lynnster at 10:28 AM PST - 30 comments

A man whose bravery and fame is matched only by his commitment to truth, the great Baron Münchhausen has permeated all artistic mediums of any worth: books (on-line and off), films (old and new), cartoons (french, english), an animated short film, an online graphic novel, even a game of role-playing -- if you are so despicable a person as to, for no other reason than the amusement of yourself and your fellows, slander the Baron's name with lies of your own invention. Though a similarly-named syndrome would falsely imply otherwise, he is an entirely honest man who exaggerates as little as he boasts, and as to the latter I have assurances from no less a personage than the Baron himself that his humility is without equal in the 7 earth continents, and 2 out of 3 of the moon's.
posted by TimeTravelSpeed at 10:22 AM PST - 22 comments

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is signalling that marijuana policy will now be considered a matter of state jurisdiction. For obvious reasons, medical marijuana champions are celebrating the administration's committment to depart from the Bush and Clinton eras' previous policies of conducting frequent DEA Raids on medical marijuana dispensaries in California. But with recent signs of a U.S. economy in even more rapid decline than anyone anticipated, and with California being particularly hard hit, some California politicians are suggesting the time has finally arrived to end the prohibition and put full legalization of marijuana on the table, pointing to potential windfalls in the range of a billion dollars in new tax revenue annually. [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman at 10:16 AM PST - 124 comments

The Job.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 9:56 AM PST - 32 comments


Wikileaks cracks NATO's Master Narrative for Afghanistan
Wikileaks has cracked the encryption to a key document relating to the war in Afghanistan. The document, titled "NATO in Afghanistan: Master Narrative", details the "story" NATO representatives are to give to, and to avoid giving to, journalists. [more inside]
posted by Mwongozi at 9:14 AM PST - 36 comments


"What were arcades like?"
posted by bardic at 6:10 AM PST - 166 comments

Tango în limba româna. Treat your ears to the lost art of the Romanian tango, refurbished well by Oana Cătălina Chiţu.
posted by kldickson at 4:44 AM PST - 10 comments

"Do you like fiction and mathematics? Are you interested in what our society thinks about mathematicians?" [more inside]
posted by Minus215Cee at 3:07 AM PST - 15 comments

February 26

Louis C.K. gives us all a little dose of perspective.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:52 PM PST - 75 comments

Itching to start a new career? You might want to think about opening your own Flea Circus. [more inside]
posted by Bernt Pancreas at 9:33 PM PST - 15 comments

A Visitor's Guide to Hell - A translation of the Chinese version of what happens to the human soul after death [with some illustrations]. [more inside]
posted by tellurian at 9:22 PM PST - 34 comments

Octopus chaos. The Santa Monica Pier Aquarium's gregarious and curious two-spotted octopus plays with tank filter resulting in the release of hundreds of gallons of seawater flooding the facility. FLICK pix here.
posted by azul at 9:07 PM PST - 72 comments

Ladies and Gentlemen, your prayers have been answered. Tucker Carlson is no longer a character in his own life and he has returned to being a huckster for regional Republican sideshows.
posted by parmanparman at 8:46 PM PST - 77 comments

Scraping Bottom: The Canadian Oil Boom. "Once considered too expensive, as well as too damaging to the land, exploitation of Alberta's oil sands is now a gamble worth billions."
posted by homunculus at 8:18 PM PST - 41 comments

Blind Justice..... Sir John Fielding, 1721-1780, brother of novelist/playwrite Henry Fielding (Tom Jones), was a blind magistrate at the Bow Street court (known as the "Blind Beak of Bow Street"), home of London's first professional police force, the Bow Street Runners. [more inside]
posted by ecorrocio at 8:08 PM PST - 6 comments

Looking for some new head gear for your next party? While many reach for a cap to cover up those bad hair days, Spanish designer Kepa Rasmussen would rather sculpt a mask. Crafting highly innovative facial sculptures under his label Aardvark K Mask, Rasmussen's conceptual pieces are hand-crafted expressly to make heads turn.
posted by netbros at 8:04 PM PST - 4 comments

A Jonas Brothers Guide for Adults . "If you're expecting them to fade away...think again." Tweens unite! "It's full scream ahead!" Ohhhh, myyyyy! [more inside]
posted by ericb at 7:41 PM PST - 53 comments

FXcuisine: spectacular recipes and memorable food experiences. This blog is a feast for the eyes. [more inside]
posted by parudox at 7:33 PM PST - 10 comments

Pylon guitarist and co-founder Randall Bewley died yesterday of a heart attack at age 53. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 6:41 PM PST - 31 comments

Minnesota poet and essayist Bill Holm died on Wednesday. Bill Holm passed away less than a year after receiving some of the recognition he deserved when he was named the 2008 McKnight Distinguished Artist of the Year. He was 65. [more inside]
posted by nanojath at 4:36 PM PST - 14 comments

Dance (with echoes) from 1968 It has a slow build but is worth watching through until the end. Filmed by Norman McLaren. Site Previously Noted 13 minute video.
posted by Sparx at 4:24 PM PST - 3 comments

Cardboard furniture: cheap and convenient. Or astounding. [more inside]
posted by clavicle at 4:00 PM PST - 24 comments


The Unabomber was right. Kevin Kelly explains.
posted by telstar at 3:32 PM PST - 76 comments

Craig Grant spends 14 hours a day, seven days a week, caring for over 500 cats. They live at Caboodle Ranch, a town he built himself on a 30 acre lot with $100,000 of his own money.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 3:15 PM PST - 42 comments

Torsten Solin's Dolls [NSFW]
posted by dydecker at 12:06 PM PST - 69 comments

Christian Faur uses crayons to create art. [more inside]
posted by gman at 11:19 AM PST - 40 comments


Bob Boorstin, Google's Director of Policy Communications, wrote a letter to the Rose Foundation, suggesting that the foundation stop funding Consumer Watchdog, an outspoken Google critic. [more inside]
posted by univac at 10:57 AM PST - 49 comments



Electric Box is a puzzle game with the goal of getting power from point A to point B. To accomplish this there are solar panels, refrigerators, lasers, kettles, electromagnets, and other doodads. It's Friday somewhere, right? [more inside]
posted by Korou at 8:45 AM PST - 23 comments

Designer Babies: For a mere $18,400 you could have your very own sex-screened child. Don't care about the sex? How about screened for hair color, eye color, or cancer tendencies? (via (via)) [more inside]
posted by tybeet at 7:36 AM PST - 70 comments

Speaking in Tongues is a terrific piece of writing by Zadie Smith. It's a little bit about Barack Obama. Mostly, though, it's about "world"-traveling and polyvocality. (pdf)
The first stage in the evolution is contingent and cannot be contrived. In this first stage, the voice, by no fault of its own, finds itself trapped between two poles, two competing belief systems. And so this first stage necessitates the second: the voice learns to be flexible between these two fixed points, even to the point of equivocation. Then the third stage: this native flexibility leads to a sense of being able to "see a thing from both sides." And then the final stage, which I think of as the mark of a certain kind of genius: the voice relinquishes ownership of itself, develops a creative sense of disassociation in which the claims that are particular to it seem no stronger than anyone else's. There it is, my little theory—I'd rather call it a story. It is a story about a wonderful voice, occasionally used by citizens, rarely by men of power.
posted by anotherpanacea at 7:09 AM PST - 16 comments

Amy DePaul writes about the unlikely intersection of breast cancer and breast augmentation. A piece from The Morning News. Warning: article photographic illustration is most likely NSFW.
posted by shadytrees at 6:04 AM PST - 30 comments

Paul Graham recently wrote an essay. And saved all his edits, so you can replay it in entirety just as he wrote it.* It's quite fascinating to see if you ever wondered how he (or other writers) went about their job. And here's the Hacker News thread he initiated. This can be a very useful tool to watch and understand your own writing process, or understand and help your students write. Like cvs/svn mirror for long form writing. [more inside]
posted by forwebsites at 5:08 AM PST - 54 comments

There's the fascinating autistic musical savant Blind Tom Wiggins. There are musical clowns and minstrels, and poignant images of child musicians. There are tantalizing and truly exotic images of musicians from far-flung corners of the world: India, Persia, China, Japan... all this and more at the Vintage Musicians Flickr group. Oh, and who's that critter with the banjo? Why, that may just be the ORIGINAL LOL CAT.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:32 AM PST - 11 comments

February 25



Unskippable is The Escapist Magazine's new weekly video feature. Those tedious cut scenes from video games like The Bouncer and Dead Rising are much more tolerable when they've been given the MST3K treatment.
posted by CrunchyFrog at 8:02 PM PST - 32 comments

Functional Neurons Induced From Adult Stem Cells. Meanwhile, stem cells may be better than bone marrow for certain cancers, and have the potential to revolutionize the supply of blood. Anecdotal success stories continue to pile up.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 5:56 PM PST - 21 comments



Portuguese Water Dogs of the world, rejoice! The Obama clan has finally decided on the new breed of dog that will be roaming the halls of the White House soon. [more inside]
posted by Drainage! at 4:41 PM PST - 58 comments


Percy Harrison Fawcett disappeared in the Amazon in 1925 whilst searching for the City of Z. Some believe that he is alive and well and living in a subterranean world with Extra-/Intra-Terrestrials.
posted by tellurian at 3:51 PM PST - 28 comments

Whether you're a casual cultivator or gardening guru, PlantCare.com has a wealth of information about the care and feeding of indoor and outdoor plants. You can search the extensive plant database to find information on thousands of house plants, participate in and discuss your favorite gardening topics in the plant forum, and expand your plant knowledge with hundreds of gardening tips and guides.
posted by netbros at 3:38 PM PST - 10 comments

Want to play a swashbuckling pirate, space opera hero, or monster-fighting Victorian dandy? How about a supervillain fighting against alien invaders? Or a mutant snack cake? Welcome to Savage Worlds. [more inside]
posted by MrVisible at 1:46 PM PST - 56 comments

While the world may be abuzz with talk of President Obama's first (sorta kinda but not really) State of the Union Address last night, others are comparing Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal -- who, in his response (part 1, part 2) scoffed at high-speed rail and suggested that monitoring volcanoes is somehow a bad thing -- to, um... well, just check it out for yourself. [more inside]
posted by hifiparasol at 12:27 PM PST - 274 comments

Remember the stink a few weeks back that caused Wells Fargo to cancel their Las Vegas party? Well, it appears that last week Northern Trust, a bank that received $1.6 billion dollars in federal money, held a series of lavish parties in L.A., complete with performances by Sheryl Crow, Earth-Wind-and-Fire, and others (more here and here). [more inside]
posted by ornate insect at 11:47 AM PST - 96 comments

Prepare to feel old: Quake III Arena came out nearly ten years ago. Prepare to feel young again: Quake Live can be played in your browser for free. The long-anticipated beta opened to the public yesterday. John Carmack says that they hope to be improving and polishing the game for the next decade. [more inside]
posted by Plutor at 11:07 AM PST - 50 comments

Only 325 days until Broadway's Hilton Theater hosts the first preview of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, a $40 million musical directed by Juliet Taymor with music and lyrics by Bono and The Edge of U2. Investors hope it will fare better than another big-budget pulp adaptation.
posted by Joe Beese at 11:04 AM PST - 35 comments

Anyone remember the game Pass The Pigs? [more inside]
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 10:55 AM PST - 42 comments

Flash Fuh-Wednesday: Mirror's Edge 2D- a flash platformer celebrating the release of console game Mirror's Edge, the 2D version is great for anyone lacking a console. [more inside]
posted by 235w103 at 10:34 AM PST - 17 comments

Pioneering science fiction writer Philip Jose Farmer, who won a Hugo in 1953 for Most Promising New Talent for his disturbing story, The Lovers, died today at age 91. [more inside]
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 8:40 AM PST - 103 comments

"He was sentenced to death after the military coup in 1980, a few months later he was pardoned but put under house arrest. While under arrest, he began to write a collection of poems; the aim of which was to create portraits of all the people he had ever met in his life" [Maninbo, or Ten Thousand Lives]. To date, 26 volumes from the ongoing collection have been published. Meet Ko Un. Ex-Buddhist Monk and one of South Korea's greatest poets.
posted by vacapinta at 8:17 AM PST - 6 comments

For your listening pleasure... the soothing sounds of Crank Sturgeon. [more inside]
posted by geos at 7:48 AM PST - 38 comments

User El_Greco of the SkyscaperCity Forum presents "Lost London", an absolutely stunning photographic thread of old London architecture.
posted by 6am at 6:59 AM PST - 21 comments

Ex-Masturbator "Yeah we said it….Nobody talks about it, but most people have done it or are still doing it. It's seems to be a rite of passage for both girls and guys into the world of sex. Some say masturbation is not a sin, some say that it is. But is it really okay in the eyes of God?"
posted by various at 6:51 AM PST - 219 comments

Mitch Haile's office requires some explanation.
posted by odinsdream at 5:37 AM PST - 29 comments

For your viewing pleasure, a rat staring contest.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:57 AM PST - 29 comments

"Take 20" of the Beatles'"Revolution 1" has found its way online. Although the authenticity of the online leak is still to be officially confirmed, the 10 minute recording has been previously documented by Beatles expert Mark Lewisohn and appears to be the gap between the White Album's "Revolution 1" and "Revolution 9".
posted by gfrobe at 4:16 AM PST - 56 comments


February 24

Whereever you go, there you are: One step closer to a Holodeck (SLYT)
posted by slater at 11:21 PM PST - 46 comments

Today sees the 100th birthday of August Derleth, the man who founded Arkham House and saved the works of HP Lovecraft from falling out of print. Much of the Cthulhu Mythos cosmology we know today was actually the invention of Derleth, such as the distinction between Elder Gods and Outer Gods, and aligning the various Mythos deities along elemental grounds - something not entirely without controversy in Lovecraftian circles, as were Derleth's posthumous collaborations and Arkham's ownership of Lovecraft's work. Regardless opinions on his work, his impact is indisputable, and his home state of Wisconsin has honoured him by making Febuary 24th August Derleth Day.
posted by Artw at 9:49 PM PST - 83 comments

Imagine 19th Century America. Say you were out on the Oregon Trail, but instead of dying of dysentery, you ate some ergot-tainted bread and stared at the sun until you went blind? Or perhaps you were enchanted by the dulcet tones of a wonderful singing bull? Probably not the vision of 1800's America that readily springs to mind, unless you are familiar with the singular work of a group that has gone by many names since its founding in 1982, but currently rejoices in Caroliner Rainbow Blumbeigh Treason of the Abyss.. [more inside]
posted by louche mustachio at 9:27 PM PST - 34 comments

Software startup 280 North today announced Atlas: a rich, web-based environment for developing Mac-like web applications. [more inside]
posted by Mr. Anthropomorphism at 9:19 PM PST - 34 comments

After 20 years in development, Watchmen has finally had it's premiere. The reviews--both geek and mainstream--have begun to trickle in. Is it a masterpiece or a disaster? Dave Gibbons likes what he's seen. Alan Moore still won't comment (well, about the movie, but he does go on.)
posted by empath at 7:41 PM PST - 192 comments

Three police officers were sentenced today for killing 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston in a paramilitary-style raid. The officers shot Ms Johnson five or six times and then handcuffed her while they planted drugs in her basement. She bled to death on the floor of her own home. The Agitator covers the story through a single headline headline. The officers will receive Federal sentences of between five and ten years each as well as - a nice touch - being forced to pay for her funeral.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:38 PM PST - 64 comments

The San Francisco Chronicle to suffer deep cuts and possibly closure. Noting an acceleration of long-standing losses, Hearst is taking drastic steps with the Chronicle, without (in its announcement, at least) any of the brave promises of perseverance which often accompany such news. Sale or (failing that) closure will ensue if the cuts don't work fast enough. Fallen into bankruptcy in the past two months have been publishers of four major newspapers (LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer and Minneapolis Star-Tribune) -- but so far none of those papers appears in any risk of folding.
posted by MattD at 6:21 PM PST - 44 comments

Lafayette Gilchrist is one of my favorite piano players. Featured on a Down Beat cover a few months ago (with Vijay Iyer and Jason Moran), he has released a half-dozen or so albums with his group, New Volcanoes, and he's the regular piano player in saxophonist David Murray's quartet. His playing and composition styles are informed by funk, go-go and hip-hop. And he's from Baltimore. Of course, you might also know him from his appearance on the soundtrack to The Wire.
posted by box at 6:06 PM PST - 8 comments

"Once every 48 years, forests of the bamboo known as Melocanna baccifera go into exuberant flower in parts of northeast India [a process called Mautam]. And then, like clockwork, the event is invariably followed by a plague of black rats that spring from nowhere to spread destruction and famine in their wake. For the first time on film, NOVA and National Geographic capture this massive rat population explosion in the kind of vivid detail not possible in 1959, when the last invasion occurred." Airing tonight at 8PM on your local PBS station, or catch it online here beginning tomorrow.
posted by billysumday at 4:11 PM PST - 47 comments

Due to “credible death and kidnapping threats”, T-Pain has cancelled a concert in Guyana for Mashramani, the festival that marks the anniversary of Guyana’s independence from Great Britain. Last years, celebration was soured by a killing spree perpetrated by a heavily armed gang led by man known as “Fine Man”. Because the 23 victims were mainly of East Indian descent, the massacre was a powder keg issue for the tiny South American nation. With a population of 44% East Indian and 30% African ancestries, Guyana tends to be socially and politically divided along ethnic identity lines. [more inside]
posted by Stu-Pendous at 3:45 PM PST - 12 comments

Fantasy writer George R. R. Martin responds to fans impatient for the latest installment of his series A Song of Fire and Ice: "Okay, I've got the message. " [more inside]
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 2:56 PM PST - 158 comments

Snacks and Shit - The premise is simple: A single hip-hop lyric, taken out of context, with bonus commentary.
posted by toxic at 2:24 PM PST - 110 comments

A single nutrient may have turned early humans into civilized man. Has stripping it from our diet given rise to cancer, diabetes, and other civilized diseases? "There has been a thousandfold increase in the consumption of soybean oil over the past hundred years. The result is an unplanned experiment in brain and heart chemistry, one whose subject is the entire population of the developed world." A series of epidemiological studies showed that populations that consume high levels of omega-3s in the form of seafood are the least afflicted by the major diseases associated with the Western diet. (via) [more inside]
posted by netbros at 2:03 PM PST - 66 comments

Poaching – not pears, not birds, but plants. In the feed-me-Seymour vein of green and growing things, these are the plants that eat things – too bad they aren’t able to defend themselves from people and habitat loss. But wait! There’s help on the way. [more inside]
posted by mightshould at 1:03 PM PST - 9 comments

29 year old Hiromi Uehara first mesmerized the jazz community with her 2003 Telarc debut, Another Mind. 4 albums later she continues to astonish and inspire. On February 3rd, she released the album Duet, a collaboration with Chick Corea, having first played with Corea at age 17. A graduate of the Berklee School of Music, Hiromi tours relentlessly with her crack band. I defy your jaw not to drop at their performances here, here, and here. [more inside]
posted by Roach at 11:49 AM PST - 85 comments

See-through Species! Some quick links to a lovely, transparent fish courtesy of Born Animal and Pharyngula [more inside]
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 11:37 AM PST - 30 comments

New Yorker Films, the only US distributor of many of the films of Jean-Luc Godard, Ousmane Sèmbene, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, and many others closed operations yesterday. Many of the films they distributed remain unavailable on DVD, and thus completely unavailable to Americans for the foreseeable future. Coming on the heels of the eviction of Film-Maker's Co-Op, New York's venerable distributor and archive of avant-garde film, New Yorker's closing raises questions not only about the symbiotic importance of repertory film exhibition for film preservation efforts, but about the future of film culture and the possible role of the arts in the future economy.
posted by bubukaba at 10:54 AM PST - 32 comments

Remember Cursor 10? There's a new version. (Flash)
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:31 AM PST - 31 comments

It is one of the abiding images of the 1984 coal strike - Guardian photographer Don McPhee's picture of a picketing miner facing up to an officer. But what happened to the two protagonists?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:08 AM PST - 14 comments

"... many critics and editors, especially male ones, make a fetish of "ambition," by which they mean the contemporary equivalent of novels about men in boats ("Moby-Dick," "Huckleberry Finn") rather than women in houses ("House of Mirth"), and that as a result big novels by male writers get treated as major events while slender but equally accomplished books by women tend to make a smaller splash." [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 10:05 AM PST - 95 comments

It's Pancake Day! Also known as Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras, the day before Lent is celebrated in the UK by events such as football matches, races, and the consumption of mountains of pancakes. Perhaps you celebrated by running a pancake race, like the famous one in Ripon? Or, perhaps, you made some lovely pancakes of your own?
posted by Grrlscout at 9:42 AM PST - 48 comments

When Resul Pookutty won the Oscar for Sound Mixing last weekend, it's probably the first time an Oscar acceptance speech, or really any U.S. network television broadcast, has mentioned the "primordial syllable," Om, which is very important to Hindus, Jains, and Buddhists.
posted by aught at 9:37 AM PST - 16 comments

Meet the new star of street art - 10yr old Solveig. She's painted the Berlin Wall, designed tattoos, and even has her own little female possee, the All Girl Crew.
posted by mippy at 9:17 AM PST - 39 comments


Well they finally found it. The one person to blame for the entire financial crisis. The man who made it easy to create and rate CDOs. David X. Li - The inventor of the Gaussian Copula
posted by JPD at 8:02 AM PST - 93 comments

"Iran is dying. The collapse of Iran's birth rate during the past 20 years is the fastest recorded in any country, ever. Demographers have sought in vain to explain Iran's population implosion through family planning policies, or through social factors such as the rise of female literacy. But quantifiable factors do not explain the sudden collapse of fertility. It seems that a spiritual decay has overcome Iran, despite best efforts of a totalitarian theocracy. Second, according to a recent report from the US Council on Foreign Relations, "Iran serves as the major transport hub for opiates produced by [Afghanistan], and the UN Office of Drugs and Crime estimates that Iran has as many as 1.7 million opiate addicts." That is, 5% of Iran's adult, non-elderly population of 35 million is addicted to opiates. That is an astonishing number, unseen since the peak of Chinese addiction during the 19th century." [more inside]
posted by 445supermag at 6:18 AM PST - 72 comments

On British TV last night, Gail Trimble, a Classics scholar at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, singlehandedly trounced the opposing team in University Challenge. To some a smug, bluestocking know-it-all, to others a role model. Cue the fightback and lots of questions about whether we, as a society, actually like really clever people and specifically, clever women?.
posted by MuffinMan at 5:44 AM PST - 166 comments

Photographs of The Great Depression of the 1930's to 1940's (previously), and an interview with a survivor growing up during those hard times... posted before on Mefi, here.
posted by hadjiboy at 4:34 AM PST - 7 comments

February 23


You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs, and you can’t buy eggs without winding up with egg cartons. What will you do with the empty cartons? Well, you could make a string of flower lights, lamps, or a pendant light. If you refrained from drinking too much egg nog over the holidays, you might be lightweight enough to make use of a egg carton seat. This company makes footstools out of egg cartons. [more inside]
posted by orange swan at 9:11 PM PST - 15 comments


Meet Frostie the dancing cockatoo. When I say he loves to dance, I mean he really loves to dance.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 6:30 PM PST - 36 comments

Vocalist Sayuri Anpo is far from well known, even in her native Japan, despite an extensive discography, the ability to cross multiple genres and an amazing voice. But you can listen to a number of her works online: she does rock both here and here, something gentler here, and something closer to dance here (video image slightly NSFW). She recently teamed up with other musicians to form a light jazz group, with demos available for free download here (alternate link to demo files here for those who can't open .lzh files).
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:50 PM PST - 5 comments

Cincinnati's Union Terminal has been named one of the top 50 architecturally significant buildings in America by the AIA. It was a major train station, abandoned, turned into a shopping mall, and now it currently houses the city's Museum Center. One problem, it's falling apart.
posted by Mick at 5:35 PM PST - 24 comments


Maybe I'm crazy, but this seems to be a very cool effort by a sign language interpreter to include the hearing-impaired in the Gnarls Barkley lyrics experience. [more inside]
posted by prefpara at 4:47 PM PST - 42 comments

First person video of Gabriel flying his model plane around Rio and landing it through the balcony of his 10th story apartment. Here's a greatest moments compilation that includes him launching and retrieving the plane from a boat, a moving train, through tunnels and around high rises. Here he is flying a plane with no engine, using only his car's windshield to generate lift. Also, RC Groups' "What to Buy For Video Piloting." Oh and Brazil is very pretty.
posted by geoff. at 4:01 PM PST - 50 comments

Most Spaniards over 35 remember exactly where they were in the evening of February 23, 1981, best remembered as "23-F". It was the day of the last big stress test of Spain's then young democracy, when a group of conspirators tried to seize power by force. When armed policemen assaulted Parliament, and started shooting their machineguns to intimidate the lawmakers, on the benches, only three very different men refused to take cover. [more inside]
posted by Skeptic at 3:40 PM PST - 20 comments

A car insurer admitted it refuses to cover musicians despite featuring Iggy Pop in its advertisements. (via The Morning News)
posted by Stephen Elliott at 3:38 PM PST - 47 comments

Even the cheesiest novelist wouldn't dare write this one: Greece's most notorious criminal, kidnapper Vassilis Paleokostas, breaks out of a maximum security prison by grabbing onto a rope ladder dangling from an accomplice's hijacked helicopter, as guards open fire and a woman shoots back from the chopper. This happens as he's being transported to a hearing to face charges related to breaking out of jail in 2006 by grabbing onto a rope ladder being dangled from a helicopter hijacked by his brother, bank robber Nikos Paleokostas, hailed by some poor Greeks as a modern day Robin Hood. There are already half a dozen Facebook fan clubs. Sadly dull video of the departing chopper here. The pilot, found tied up, and four prison guards have been arrested.
posted by CunningLinguist at 2:56 PM PST - 50 comments

He Saw, She Saw. According to a study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, beauty may affect men's and women's brains in different ways.
posted by sarabeth at 2:46 PM PST - 33 comments


They sold out Shea Stadium faster than The Beatles. They played benefit concerts for Bosnia. And they're about to embark upon their 40th anniversary tour. To prepare, here's everything you always wanted to know about Grand Funk Railroad. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese at 2:18 PM PST - 51 comments

Guitar Noise is a free guitar lesson website with hundreds of articles, tips and reviews for students of this versatile instrument. Whether you are a beginner, a lefty, a bass player or a singer, Guitar Noise has lessons on nearly everything and anything to do with the guitar. There are many talented musicians out there. The artist profiles section includes interviews with dozens. The forums, blog and podcasts help you keep up with this thriving community.
posted by netbros at 1:36 PM PST - 11 comments

Got some dry ice? Got a swimming pool? Well, what are you waiting for? Inquisitive dogs will be confused! Start with a small chunk. Next, take a 60-pound block of dry ice and kick it into the jacuzzi. Okay, so you're looking for more of a thrill? Try a dry ice depth charge! (If you don't have a pool, a frozen lake will do.)
posted by not_on_display at 12:31 PM PST - 68 comments

Inventor of the Döner has died. As anybody who has been drunk at 2 a.m. in Germany knows, the Döner is a staple of German fast-food cuisine. Although similar dishes have been around for a while, the modern version is believed to be invented in 1971 in West Berlin by Mahmut Aygün. From there it spread to many other cities and countries in Europe and beyond. Mahmut Aygün died at the age of 87 last month in Berlin. [more inside]
posted by chillmost at 10:44 AM PST - 121 comments

The Gaza Doctor. Dr. Ezzeldeen Abu al-Aish is a Palestinian doctor, trained in Israel, educated at Harvard and King's College. He worked at Palestinian and Israeli hospitals, and gave commentary on Israeli TV about the medical crises facing Gazans. His life changed just days before withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Gaza strip.

Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) concluded its investigations of the incident, admitted responsibility, and in part, ascribes blame to Hamas. The University of Toronto has offered Abu al-Aish a teaching position. He remains uncertain about his future .
posted by terranova at 10:31 AM PST - 42 comments

Estranged father and son Chucho and Bebo Valdés, both pioneers of Cuban jazz, sat down and immediately played a duet after years of being apart. This recording of their reunion beautifully captures the range of emotions that could only be expressed without words.
posted by roaring beast at 9:27 AM PST - 13 comments

The magic of beadcraft and jewelry-making, brought to you in four parts by Dr. Laura Schlessinger. The results can be purchased from her website, with all the proceeds going to Operation Family Fund, a charity which has raised over $1,700,000 for families of soldiers wounded or killed in the Global War On Terrorism. The series is notable for its complete lack of moralizing or comments on a relevant family controversy-- seriously, this is really just about beads, people!
posted by hermitosis at 7:45 AM PST - 44 comments

China prepares to buy up foreign oil and gas companies with its huge currency reserves.
posted by Smaaz at 7:28 AM PST - 41 comments

The consumerist takes a look at Facebook's attempts at a new Terms of Service. Normally I would go straight to the article from a blog like this. But The Consumerist has good comments and in order to see anything on the Facebook side you need to be logged in.
posted by theichibun at 6:30 AM PST - 38 comments

Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News file for Bankruptcy, this happens 3 years after Will Bunch of the Daily News starts a cross discipline conversation about the future of news organizations culminating in a conference where Jeff Jarvis hailed as the moment when 'the war ends' between bloggers and journalists. [more inside]
posted by kmartino at 3:32 AM PST - 22 comments

February 22

If you're interested in the bands playing at SXSW this year, you have more to draw on than the blurbs in the schedule. First, the 2009 collection of mp3s from showcased bands is up - like last year, as unofficial fanmade torrents - offering samples of a thousand bands in five gigabytes. Second, there's Paul's SXSW Artist Catalog, an excellent catalog of artists. It provides links to Last.fm & Youtube for each artist, & many tags to follow sounds you like. (Previously: my 2008 post, & 2007.)
posted by Pronoiac at 10:44 PM PST - 22 comments

Buddhism's allure is fading for many young Tibetans. At the same time, growing numbers of middle-class ethnic Han Chinese are turning to Tibetan Buddhism. [Via]
posted by homunculus at 10:00 PM PST - 34 comments

Have you been talking to God but get frustrated by the lack of feedback? Perfect for anyone who needs instant feedback from their Lord on which ever question they may have or someone who wants to shoot the divine breeze.
posted by Man_in_staysis at 9:59 PM PST - 64 comments

Once again, Stephen Colbert predicted the winners in all of major Academy Award categories ten days in advance, using an unconventional methodology. Well kinda... there was one category where he waffled.
posted by twoleftfeet at 9:14 PM PST - 63 comments

"These are like cool Magic Cards!" - the sometimes disturbing (and sometimes NSFW) art of Alfred Kubin.
posted by Artw at 8:05 PM PST - 8 comments

Global warming quick fixes roundup, featuring the new water spray cooling method. There's also biochar carbon sequestration for the soil, or perhaps growing reflective crops, or growing crops with seawater in barren deserts. For the oceans, we have iron fed green algae management, and crop waste dumping too. In the skies, there's sunshading to reflect the problem rays, or perhaps a volcano simulation by filling the atmosphere with sulphur. Finally, there's an idea for a three-mile high superchimney that does it all.
posted by Brian B. at 7:04 PM PST - 57 comments

"The Philoctetes Center for the Multidisciplinary Study of Imagination was established to promote an integrated, interdisciplinary approach to the understanding of creativity and the imaginative process." To this end they hold regular roundtable discussions, streaming videos of which are available online. Some past highlights include: [more inside]
posted by jrb223 at 3:35 PM PST - 6 comments

Obsessed with Jews is a hilariously delightful documentary short about Jewish memorabilia collector, Neil Keller. Keller speaks effusively about Jews in basketball ("Ossie Schechtman, great story. Ossie Schechtman scored the first basket in NBA history.") and Jews in hockey ("The first Jew in hockey was Samuel Rothschild."), although contrary to the Chanukah Song, Keller provides a letter where Rod Carew explains he's not Jewish. The documentary is by Jeff Krulik, that mensch responsible for Heavy Metal Parking Lot. For more Jeff Krulik documentary shorts and a great article on Krulik's days in cable access TV, check the multimedia article here. (Click through the pages. It's worth it!)
posted by jonp72 at 1:55 PM PST - 24 comments

Binyam Mohamed will shortly be released from Guantanamo, where hunger strikes and beatings still continue.
TPM attempts to assesses the level of President Obama's apparent commitment to transparency, accountability for Bush administration officials who may have committed crimes, and adhering to the rule of law. It highlights Glenn Greenwald's recent article:
There is simply no way to argue that our leaders should be immunized from criminal investigations for torture and other war crimes without believing that (a) the U.S. is and should be immune from the principles we've long demanded other nations obey and (b) we are free to ignore our treaty obligations any time it suits us.
posted by adamvasco at 1:09 PM PST - 43 comments

Waldemar Januszczak shows us how to cook a steak ala Toulouse-Lautrec. Or maybe how not to cook a steak, you be the judge.
posted by nola at 12:45 PM PST - 33 comments

A Real Doll "doctor" gives an interview, describing the art of patching up the dolls and questioning their treatment by their owners.
posted by Grrlscout at 11:10 AM PST - 158 comments


The Drunken Boat publishes poetry from around the world, translations of poetry, reviews of poetry collections and anthologies, and interviews with well-known poets. The current issue features Cave Canem poets, home for the many voices of African-American poetry and committed to cultivating the artistic and professional growth of African-American poets.
posted by netbros at 9:33 AM PST - 3 comments

The wall street brain drain defense. Executive pay has been capped at 500k a year for companies bailed out by the government. Some argue it will lead to a brain drain on wall street. Some say it won't matter. In any event, can the bankers even live on 500k a year?.
posted by jourman2 at 9:20 AM PST - 120 comments

Stylish Gent: Thedaniel provides men with an easy to use shopping blog for fashion with a retroish flair. [via mefi projects]
posted by The Whelk at 9:04 AM PST - 14 comments

What's wrong with Summer Stiers? "She has suffered retinal bleeding, seizures, bone death and kidney failure. But no one knows what’s really wrong. Now a team of medical experts is trying a new way to diagnose what ails her — and others who are suffering from mysterious diseases." New York Times Magazine article about The Undiagnosed Diseases Program at the National Institue of Health.
posted by billysumday at 8:43 AM PST - 28 comments



"We all put our pants on one leg at a time." Well, not these guys.
posted by desjardins at 6:56 AM PST - 30 comments

"Republican politicians on Thursday called for a sweeping new federal law that would require all Internet providers and operators of millions of Wi-Fi access points, even hotels, local coffee shops, and home users, to keep records about users for two years to aid police investigations." To be fair, it's not just Republicans who like this idea.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:45 AM PST - 60 comments

Where India is the new Home of all Dreams! No matter what your orientation is, if you have the money (and are willing to be good parents) and take care of the child, then we have a place for you.
posted by hadjiboy at 4:05 AM PST - 4 comments


The bumping off of a famous person is the sort of oyster that any detective delights to open, so you can just bet the family jewels that I was pretty much elated when my Chief, the late Thomas Lee Woolwine, District Attorney of Los Angeles County, called me into his private office on the morning of February 3rd, 1922, and assigned me to represent his office in the investigation of this greatest of all murder mysteries. -- Excerpted from an article archived at Taylorology, a site exploring the life and death of William Desmond Taylor, a silent movie actor and director whose unsolved murder was among the earliest Hollywood true crime scandals. Researcher Bruce Long first published his accumulated information about the case as a small fanzine which evolved into a monthly electronic newsletter and is now a vast archive of articles and interviews, official documents, photos, and more. Although the Taylor case is the main focus, there's also a wealth of supplemental information about the silent film industry and its stars. [more inside]
posted by amyms at 1:58 AM PST - 7 comments

February 21

Jimmy Page's lost soundtrack for Kenneth Anger's Lucifer Rising is worth checking out on a Saturday night (scroll down to the middle of the page to hear it). Droning and dark, it might have fit the completed film (NSFW) quite well if Anger hadn't fired Page before he finished the tracks. Anger, the legendary avant garde filmmaker and gossip, replaced Page with former Charles Manson associate and convicted killer Bobby Beausolei, who recorded the official soundtrack with a group of fellow prisoners called The Freedom Orchestra.
posted by Bookhouse at 11:54 PM PST - 24 comments

New Scientist:
What if we could rid the world of AIDS? The notion might sound like fantasy: HIV infection has no cure and no vaccine, after all. Yet there is a way to completely wipe it out - at least in theory. What's more, it would take only existing medical technology to do the job.
[more inside]
posted by andoatnp at 11:40 PM PST - 49 comments

The Axis of Upheaval: A special report on the coming age of instability.
posted by homunculus at 9:49 PM PST - 61 comments

Jimmy Smith Park. Breadcrumbs so you can find your way back: Jimmy Smith Park -> About -> Rivers Park -> Dreams about Drunks -> The evolution of previously.
posted by xorry at 9:26 PM PST - 11 comments

From the 70s version of a bad hair day to disco chart-toppers leaping out of cassette tape boxes to three-legged celebrities who are currently in jail to... well, you just gotta see this one, the Advertising Sillyness from the Seventies flickr group has the groovy images you'll recall (or may want to forget) if you were around in those halcyon days. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:22 PM PST - 37 comments

Unknown Family. 15 years ago, he found a box of 44 negatives at a garage sale in Aiken, SC, and after wondering about them for a long time, posted them to Flickr in October 2008 in hopes of learning who the family is. There are a few clues, but the search seems to have gone cold. [more inside]
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:49 PM PST - 58 comments

I don't know if you like reading stories about construction workers bringing smiles to the faces of kids with cancer. If you like that kind of stuff, here's a story like that. You might tear up.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 3:30 PM PST - 24 comments

Mapping with Isotype: A collection of examples of Otto Neurath, Gerd Arntz, and Marie Reidemeister’s cartographic language, isotype. (Still influential today).
posted by Jeff_Larson at 3:28 PM PST - 13 comments

Moving beyond no means no. The anthology Yes Means Yes brings together writers, male and female, to explore the power of enthusiastic consent and to promote female desire free of coercion. The book has spawned a series of readings, live chats, and some interesting blog responses. [more inside]
posted by emjaybee at 1:37 PM PST - 220 comments

John Pfaff. Five Myths about Prison Growth.
posted by wittgenstein at 11:35 AM PST - 36 comments

A "singular creature, whose secluded life and remarkable eccentricities have long made her an object of peculiar interest” is described in the 1876 A guide to Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. This woman, Nancy Luce (c 1814 to 1890), published books of poems and information about her chickens. Her first book was Poor Little Hearts and her second was A complete edition of the works of Nancy Luce ... containing God's words--Sickness--Poor little hearts--Milk--No comfort--Prayers--Our Savior's golden rule--Hen's names, etc. Here’s part of Poor Little Hearts and here’s Lines composed by Nancy Luce about poor little Ada Queetie and poor little Beauty Linna, both deceased ... . A sad poem – “I hope I never shall have a hen, to set so much by again ... “ is quoted in this account of a visit to her grave. She put up a gravestone (NYT, 1873) to one of her hens, Tweedle Dedel Bebbee Pinky. [more inside]
posted by paduasoy at 10:56 AM PST - 12 comments

After appearing last month on the ABC reality television show 'Wife Swap,' "San Francisco resident Stephen Fowler was forced to resign from the boards of two nonprofits, allegedly received e-mailed death threats and stood on the sidelines as his wife, Renee Stephens, issued a public statement condemning his behavior and asking him to get 'professional help.'...Thanks to online TV and easy access to private information, Fowler's 15 minutes of fame have snowballed beyond his control." "What has generated such wrath is Fowler's condescending treatment of Gayla Long, a mother of four from rural Missouri....In wince-producing remarks, Fowler, who is British, wrote off middle America with such pronouncements as 'Your two languages seem to be bad English and redneck.'" Video highlights - 1, 2. [more inside]
posted by ericb at 10:52 AM PST - 168 comments

March Madness is less than a month away, and sports fans are snapping up tickets to watch men’s and women’s NCAA basketball teams battle their way to the Final Four. Projected brackets are going online, with speculation about likely picks and the prospects of finding a Cinderella team in the field this year. Cheerleaders get their moment on screen before commercial breaks, but should these student athletes be considered members of a sports team, too? On court fashion generates debate, and mascots range from the obvious to the really odd. PETA continues its crusade against the use of live animals, but one overriding question remains: “What the hell is a Saluki?”
posted by woodway at 10:44 AM PST - 18 comments

The Letter People started as a collection of vaguely trippy drawings by illustrator Elizabeth Callen in the early 70s, but viewers of Midwestern PBS in the 70s and 80s might have learned to read from the Letter People puppet show produced by PBS station KETC in St. Louis. Set in the black void of "Letter People Land", the show allowed each character to introduce him or herself with a song, from the laid back, Carole King vibe in Miss A's song, to the bizarre sound collage of Mr. X (audio with fan-made video). And of course cashing in on the nostalgia craze, the new and improved letter people without references to junk food or the pesky marital status of the vowels. [more inside]
posted by Thin Lizzy at 9:29 AM PST - 34 comments

Explore the History of the Ancient Greek World from the Neolithic to the Classical Period. Covering important topics, such as Art and Architecture, Mythology, Wars, Culture and Society, Poetry, Olympics, History Periods, Philosophy, Playwrights, Kings and Rulers of Ancient Greece.
posted by netbros at 9:24 AM PST - 3 comments

The Transition Handbook should be helpful to you if you are a proponent of planned energy descent and independence from fossil fuels and would like to start a Transition Town of your own. [more inside]
posted by sciurus at 9:12 AM PST - 9 comments

BABIES’ skulls dashed against rocks; attempts to twist off the heads of toddlers. Girls, their mothers and grandmothers (and sometimes male relatives too) raped at knife- or gunpoint, the weapons then used to inflict mutilation. Women hauled off to camps or just tied to trees and gang-raped. Thousands of children, some as young as nine, snatched or recruited by armed gangs (or regular forces) and made into drug-crazed killers, the girls among them often serially abused or taken by commanders as “wives”. Such are the horrors reported from some recent conflict zones... [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 8:28 AM PST - 41 comments

The Innocence Mission [web | wiki] performs I Remember Me [US TV debut]. Also: Black Sheep Wall | Bright As Yellow | Brotherhood of Man | My Sisters Return from Ireland.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 8:11 AM PST - 24 comments


From sugary-sweet Cannelle et Vanille to Southern comfort-style Homesick Texan, the Times Online highlights 50 of the world's best food blogs. (Link goes to print version -- multi-page regular version here. See also the Food Blog Search.)
posted by milquetoast at 1:37 AM PST - 9 comments

60+ One-Of-A-Kind Robots From Science Fiction. "You'd think a major advantage of robots is you can mass-produce them. They're just metal-and-circuit bodies. But science fiction is full of one-of-a-kind bots. Here are all the bots for whom they broke the mold."
posted by taz at 1:36 AM PST - 40 comments

Jim, The Wonder Dog. During the height of the Great Depression, a "plain black and white setter" entertained and mystified the citizens of Missouri with his "extraordinary cleverness" and his seemingly inexplicable ability to foretell the future. [more inside]
posted by amyms at 12:41 AM PST - 5 comments

February 20

Sparks of Life. "That the electric 'spark of life' figured prominently in debates over the nature of life in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries is well known. Less well known is the fact that prior to this period, gunpowder was often identified with the substances that were necessary to life, if not as a vitalistic spirit, then as an essential element in the animation of the body. The idea of a spark of life went back to ancient times, likening living beings to the glowing embers of a fire. In the Old Testament, for example, the wise woman of Tekoah begs for the life of her son, pleading 'they will stamp out my last live ember.' But from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, this vital flame was often equated with gunpowder. There was fire in the blood: not electric, but pyrotechnic fire."
posted by homunculus at 9:38 PM PST - 11 comments

The Stuckists are a loosely affiliated group of artists - mainly painters - with some strong opinions, helpfully spelled out in a manifesto. [more inside]
posted by shothotbot at 9:35 PM PST - 46 comments

Into the black. At nearly five miles, it's the longest transportation tunnel east of the Rockies. Built in 1874, its construction took 200 lives, nearly bankrupted the state of Massachusetts, and served as a crucible for modern engineering. Journey into the Hoosac Tunnel, urban exploration destination and the most haunted place in New England.
posted by billypilgrim at 9:21 PM PST - 18 comments



Frontline: Inside The Meltdown. Synopsis here. [more inside]
posted by gman at 2:21 PM PST - 47 comments

What to do if it gets 'bigger'? The problems associated with intra-operative erections are discussed. Present theory is reviewed to allow a better understanding of the available treatment options.
posted by Bravocharlie at 2:13 PM PST - 52 comments

Two examples of community weblogs that revolve around DIY-comix-by-flash-template: Toonlet, where the comments are in comic form, too; and Pixton, which allows for a bit more creative control (but no comix-comments).
posted by not_on_display at 2:04 PM PST - 5 comments

Friday 3MB-Mac-and-PC-download fun: Jumpman. [more inside]
posted by Rinku at 1:15 PM PST - 29 comments


Not all of us need, or want, $10,000 worth of Adobe and Microsoft software to be creative. So, here's some alternatives, each available on every major platform:

GIMP, for all your drawing and photo-editing needs. (Windows and OSX.)
Inkscape, for vector graphics creation.
Scribus, for incredibly powerful document creation.
FontForge, if you want to make your own fonts.
OpenOffice, the old standby for word processing, spreadsheets, and all those other office needs. [more inside]
posted by cthuljew at 10:03 AM PST - 189 comments

'If you value nothing, then nothing you value can be taken from you.' William Donaldson, the author of the infamous Henry Root Letters led a life more colourful than any of his literary inventions. [more inside]
posted by ob at 9:24 AM PST - 12 comments

The Slim Suit helps you shed pounds by merely wearing it. [SLYT]
posted by rageagainsttherobots at 8:38 AM PST - 48 comments

This is a metaphor for something.
posted by pianomover at 8:38 AM PST - 71 comments

Josh Freese shows all how to promote an album in 2009. [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin at 7:28 AM PST - 48 comments

Two high school basketball teams unite in grieving a player's recent loss. Johntel Franklin, senior basketball captain for Milwaukee Madison, lost his mother to cervical cancer on the day of a game with friendly rivals from DeKalb. In a beautiful act of sportsmanship, both teams decide to forgo points in order to help Johntel deal with his grief.
posted by Four-Eyed Girl at 6:47 AM PST - 76 comments

Miniature Gettysburg is "photographed on a 250 square foot diorama accurately representing portions of the terrain of the Gettysburg Battlefield as it appeared on July 2, 1863." The portfolio section has some very intriguing looking photos, unfortunately they cannot be viewed large. Some info on the artist's techniques here. [via] [more inside]
posted by marxchivist at 6:46 AM PST - 15 comments

Several months ago, poker player Tom "durrrr" Dwan issued an unprecedented challange. In effect, he is offering 3:1 odds—his $1.5 million to the challengers $500,000—that, playing high-stakes heads-up (one on one) online poker, he will be winning after 50,000 hands. The challenge is open to anyone except for durrrr's good friend Phil Galfond; three players have reportedly accepted, and play in the first match began yesterday. The results are being tracked in real time here and here; you can brave the inanity of twoplustwo (previously) and read the ongoing match thread here.
posted by cmyr at 4:15 AM PST - 27 comments

Last week when I checked my mailbox, I found that my new neighbour had left me a note stating that he was having a party and to let him know if the noise was too loud. The problem I have with the note is not that he was having a party and didn't invite me, it was that he selected a vibrant background of balloons, effectively stating that his party was going to be vibrant and possibly have balloons and that I couldn't come. [more inside]
posted by Ljubljana at 2:30 AM PST - 108 comments

February 19

Jared Tarbell is a computer artist whose Gallery of Computation has been previously featured on Metafilter . Several years ago he began working with the Epilog Mini 24 laser cutter, cutting out flat cardboard pieces and assembling them into complex geometric shapes. His Flickr set “lased” documents his work. Recently he made the transition to a more traditional artistic medium; oiled walnut , for his stunning piece 2222 holes.
posted by Tube at 11:31 PM PST - 23 comments

Looking to boost your mad Photoshop skillz? Here's a trio of sites that offer the latest in PS tips and tricks. Best Photoshop Tutorials has vectors, icons, and free brushes. PShero works with effects and shapes, and Photoshop Girl features photograph enhancement. That should get you started.
posted by netbros at 10:00 PM PST - 15 comments

Combat Outpost. "As US and the UK forces struggle for a way forward in Afghanistan, John D McHugh's unique film from one of the US military's most dangerous outposts shows just how western forces are losing ground to the Taliban." Where are Afghanistan's missing millions? "Clancy Chassay hears charges of corruption levelled against the UN and aid agencies after millions earmarked for a Kabul hospital disappear."
posted by homunculus at 9:25 PM PST - 21 comments


"President" replacing the N-Word (SLYT).
posted by alms at 9:15 PM PST - 62 comments

Australian auto website offers anatomy of a crash-- a point by point account of what happens during an accident, up to and including the moment you realize it's happening. [more inside]
posted by puckish at 9:01 PM PST - 15 comments

The Congressional Oversight Panel, headed by Harvard Law professor Elizabeth Warren, notes in its third monthly report that for every $100 Treasury spent on its ten largest TARP deals, it received back only $66 worth of assets -- significantly less than for roughly comparable private parties.
posted by shivohum at 8:40 PM PST - 23 comments

Cinemaware produced games with one goal: a "strong commitment to movie-like quality." A laudable goal, and their tools were measured in bytes rather than megabytes. They made these games in the 80s. This one intro used an entire 880KB floppy disk! A number of Cinemaware's games are available for download as ROMs, and there's even a flash version of Defender of the Crown. Some of the original artists behind the games are still creating art and music. [more inside]
posted by sleslie at 8:24 PM PST - 17 comments


The Pac-Man Dossier is an extremely detailed description of the game logic of arcade Pac-Man. It explains why, once in a while, monsters will harmlessly pass through Pac-Man. It explains why they won't go up through the tunnels above the monster box. It explains why occasionally, after losing a life, monsters will refuse to leave the box. It explains when and why Blinky becomes Cruise Elroy, and why sometimes Pinky gets confused and loses track of Pac-Man. It even explains, as far as the player can continue to play, what to do on the kill screen. It is awesome. Previously....
posted by JHarris at 5:15 PM PST - 35 comments

In other news: prominent Iraq war supporter and atheist writer Christopher Hitchens caught in street brawl with Syrian nazis in Beirut, Lebanon, after defacing the group's poster with "No, no, Fuck You". The assault occurred on the eve of a lecture held by Mr. Hitchens at the American University of Beirut, on the subject of "Who are the revolutionaries in today's Middle East".
posted by Anything at 5:05 PM PST - 99 comments

Do you still have some leftovers from Christmas hiding in the back of your fridge? Are you wondering if you should eat it? This is a site dedicated to that very important question. [more inside]
posted by ArgentCorvid at 4:59 PM PST - 27 comments


The Crisis of Credit by graduate design student Jonathan Jarvis is a thorough and visually appealing animation which explains the current credit crisis in clear terms. From the ever helpful NPR Planet Money.
posted by phyrewerx at 3:40 PM PST - 28 comments

With all the excitement in the air about Watchmen, let's take time to celebrate another team of heroes, a band of outcasts with unusual powers, brought together by a man in a wheelchair. Yes, of course, I'm talking about the Doom Patrol. [more inside]
posted by jbickers at 3:36 PM PST - 64 comments

Feeling the pinch? Ninety-something Clara Cannucciari can teach you how to survive the lean times. In a series of YouTube videos directed by her great grandson, Clara reminisces about the Great Depression ("I had to quit high school because I couldn't afford socks!"), and provides cooking tips on such Depression-era fare as Pasta with Peas (6:32), Egg Drop Soup (6:52), Poorman's Meal (6:50), Peppers and Eggs (Part 1, 5:41; Part 2, 5:47), Bread (4:08), and Depression Breakfast (6:13). [more inside]
posted by mudpuppie at 3:04 PM PST - 26 comments

Despite being a tobacco state, Virginia lawmakers passed a smoking ban today. Their ban covers most restaurants and bars, but permits smoking in private clubs and in establishments that construct separately ventilated enclosed smoking rooms for patrons. You can follow the journey of the bill here.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 2:49 PM PST - 54 comments

Radley Balko (mefi’s own), a journalist for reason magazine and writer of theagitator.com blog, published a startling story at reason online today (warning: disturbing photos and video) that convincingly suggests that the embattled doctors Steven Hayne and Michael West may have engaged in criminal evidence tampering that supported a capital murder conviction in the death of a 23 month old girl in Louisiana. Jimmie Duncan, the defendant, currently sits on death row. [more inside]
posted by AgentRocket at 2:45 PM PST - 29 comments

Cute Overload is so yesterday. Go see Zooborns.
posted by GrammarMoses at 2:37 PM PST - 29 comments

via whedonesque.com: Vote for the name of node 3 of the ISS. Apparently Joss needs our help. "After Serenity made it to space last year, NASA want to know what to name part of the space station, and Serenity is on the list." [more inside]
posted by valentinepig at 1:43 PM PST - 41 comments

It's time for a new tea party, and this time derivatives securities are getting the soak. CNBC's Rick Santelli, reporting from the Chicago trading floor, wants to know if you're willing to pay for your neighbour's mortgage. He suggests a national referendum to let Americans vote on the $275 billion dollar foreclosure prevention plan. The markets have already cast their vote.
posted by Maxor at 1:38 PM PST - 85 comments

In 1989 Rob Pike, Penn & Teller, and Dennis Ritchie (one of the creators of UNIX), prank Arno Penzias, with a funky speech recognition demo.
posted by oonh at 1:06 PM PST - 6 comments

An editorial cartoon in the New York Post gets reactions from around the world about its possible racial depictions. [more inside]
posted by happyroach at 11:44 AM PST - 301 comments

While the clubs of London are rocking to Lady Gaga and Paul Van Dyk, the dancefloor sounds of the capital are shunned in the north-west of England. Why? Because a whole generation of dance music fans are putting a donk on it. This documentary aims to find out why this genre of fast MC-led hardcore is so popular in one corner of the country whilst being completely unknown in others. [more inside]
posted by mippy at 10:21 AM PST - 91 comments

Be a hero on your own time (VIDEO) When McDonald's employee Nigel Haskett interceded to stop a man who was beating a woman in the restaurant, the assailant went outside, retrieved a gun from his car and shot Haskett – “multiple times,” as the employee stood at the door to keep the assailant from re-entering the restaurant. $300,000 in medical bills later, McDonald's insurance says no dice: "we have denied this claim in its entirety as it is our opinion that Mr. Haskett's injuries did not arise out of or within the course and scope of his employment."
posted by thisisdrew at 10:05 AM PST - 104 comments

Street Fighter II. It basically created the 2d-beat-em-up, and invented the combo, the special move, a wide roster of diverse, playable characters who people grew to love, and all the other things that gamers have taken for granted for years. It spawned a whole series, none of which ever quite captured the original's charm or had the same influence. This was a game that people obsessed over - bands were named after its special moves, rappers cited it in their lyrics, and even Premier League footballers weren't immune to its charms. Poor Raul Julia's final film was this masterpiece, and a new version's headed straight to DVD very soon. Now, 17 years later, Street Fighter 4 is about to be released in Europe and the nostalgia machine is going into overdrive. The game's producer's been talking about its links to Street Fighter II, reviewers are getting misty-eyed , and even musicians are getting in on the act with Akira the Don making his very own Street Fighter-themed track. Apparently it's pretty good. Hadouken!
posted by muggsy1079 at 9:56 AM PST - 79 comments

Racism in Austria is a problem that has been well documented for quite some time. With the recent rise of the far right political parties, however, things seem to be getting worse. The recent case involving an African American teacher who was mistaken for a drug dealer and beaten by the police however has the potential to bring some changes to the country.
posted by Slash_fan at 9:35 AM PST - 31 comments

Boxee is a free media-center program (currently only for Mac and Linux), that, in addition to playing most multimedia formats, provides a portal for many popular internet streaming channels. Its interface enabled folks who used Apple Tv, or who had connected their computer to their television, to browse and watch this content much like they would a regular television broadcast. But yesterday, NBC's popular (in the US) Hulu announced that it would be pulling its programs from Boxee at the request of its content providers. While the move puzzled and angered many Boxee users, who pointed out that they still saw the same advertisements that they would see on Hulu's site, some speculate that the large media companies saw Boxee as a threat to the cable delivery system. In other words, Hulu is for laptops, not for televisions, an auxiliary instead of an alternative to traditional tv.
posted by bibliowench at 9:24 AM PST - 77 comments


He predicted a losing season for the White Sox in 2007 and foresaw that the Tampa Bay Rays would be the best team in the American League in 2008, although he wrongly predicted that the Rays would win the World Series. He also predicted Obama's 6-point victory over McCain. Now the stats guru Nate Silver is picking the Oscar winners and predicting an upset win for Taraji P. Henson in the Best Supporting Actress category.
posted by jonp72 at 8:34 AM PST - 30 comments

Tiny Art Director Bill Zeman’s daughter is the Tiny Art Director. She tells him what to draw and then tells him just exactly how much she hates it. Bill has been recording her comments and posting them with his art since she was two and a half. via
posted by various at 7:46 AM PST - 57 comments

The Commodore 64 In Pictures. Tom's Hardware, a respected authority on all that is cutting-edge in modern PC components, takes a break from reviewing the latest video cards to bring us a lovely trip down (8-bit) memory lane. If this well-annotated slide show isn't enough to satiate your nostalgic appetite, there's more to remember at rival fansites Lemon 64 and C64.com. [more inside]
posted by grabbingsand at 6:50 AM PST - 66 comments

You Say You Want a Revolution -- "Despite some bravado, I myself was a cautious person looking to break the shackles of bourgeois detachment. I felt real relief in seemingly giving my all. But at the same time, I was terrified. Such existential 'acting out' does not ordinarily lead to political good sense. The importance of demonstrating revolutionary credentials or moral purity gets in the way of clear thinking about how to strengthen the movement or take advantage of political opportunities." Howard Machtinger, a founding member of the Weather Underground, provides a contemporary critique of his group's actions. [via]
posted by billysumday at 6:35 AM PST - 19 comments

Is the police blotter dying? Not so. In other parts of the world, the blotters are a little weird and violent. (nsfw)
posted by Xurando at 5:12 AM PST - 36 comments

February 18

If you don't see any patterns in your data, yet day-to-day fluctuations persist, he is reacting to something you aren't tracking. Look elsewhere. A heartrending (and long) online log of one father's 10-year struggle to make sense of his child's ADHD and find a way to treat it without medication.
posted by Deathalicious at 11:35 PM PST - 60 comments

100 days. 100 places. 100 dances.
posted by heeeraldo at 11:10 PM PST - 26 comments

This may be one of the worst (or best) investments, per dollar, of all time: Meet BrisConnections, a toll road development corporation based in Brisbane, Australia. Normally a toll road is a very nice sort of investment, it being basically the government making people give you money, for something people have to do. Some say it's likely to return 28% or more. So why is it trading for $0.001 per share? [more inside]
posted by aeschenkarnos at 10:30 PM PST - 32 comments

There is a remarkable collection of books partially exhibited online at the Richter Library at the University of Miami. The library's physical exhibit includes a sample display of books on spiritual photography, clairvoyance, and a nice run of FATE Magazine. The collection contains over 1700 books and there is a full bibliography. You might ask, what's so special about this collection? Well, the books are all From the Library of Jackie Gleason. [more inside]
posted by cinemafiend at 10:12 PM PST - 13 comments

World of Science contains budding encyclopedias of astronomy, scientific biography, chemistry, and physics. This resource has been assembled over more than a decade by internet encyclopedist Eric Weisstein with assistance from the internet community. MeFi visited Weisstein's Mathworld a couple years ago.
posted by netbros at 9:39 PM PST - 6 comments

Juan Enriquez: Tech evolution will eclipse the financial crisis. "Even as mega-banks topple, Juan Enriquez says the big reboot is yet to come. But don't look for it on your ballot -- or in the stock exchange. It'll come from science labs, and it promises keener bodies and minds. Our kids are going to be ... different."
posted by homunculus at 9:15 PM PST - 41 comments

In the name of transparency, all the Fed’s stimulus-spending data will be posted at a new government site, Recovery.gov - more than a minor victory for the democracy, it could be a stimulus in and of itself - databases released in machine-readable formats - like RSS, XML, and KML—spawn new business and grease the wheels of the economy.
posted by stbalbach at 9:08 PM PST - 12 comments

The Signtific Lab invites people to develop cutting-edge ideas through experiments of imagination and discussion. Experiment One: what would happen if outer space becomes as accessible as the Web today?
posted by divabat at 9:03 PM PST - 12 comments

Chimpanzees don't make good pets. Really, they can be aggressive. Even Save the Chimps says so. [more inside]
posted by raider at 8:28 PM PST - 86 comments

The complete works of Peter Paul Rubens. [warning: site contains lots of breasts] [via Plep]
posted by mediareport at 8:10 PM PST - 30 comments

SIGNS A very cute "simple short film about communication". (SLYT)
posted by Memo at 7:59 PM PST - 12 comments




With orders for new aircraft down, the private jet industry is launching a PR onslaught and a website to counter all the bad press surrounding greedy executives flying private jets. Lo and behold, two financial columnists expressed strikingly similar views on the subject. Members of Congress, who love to catch a ride home on a contributor's private plane, are helping out too.
posted by up in the old hotel at 4:44 PM PST - 48 comments


Snooks Eaglin has died. One of New Orleans' most authentic and underrated guitar players won't be making his jazz fest gig this year. Next time you have some red beans & rice, take a moment to remember the guy who some called the human jukebox.
posted by msconduct at 4:15 PM PST - 23 comments

What is the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO)? It is a private company, financed by UK taxpayers, immune from freedom of information requests. It dictates police operations and sells police national computer data. It may also be engaged in covert domestic surveillance of what it deems as extremists: antiwar protesters, strikers, and others. According to an ACPO spokesperson ""there doesn't seem to be a single, commonly agreed definition."
posted by terranova at 2:59 PM PST - 22 comments


Just how often has Morrissey gone unclothed? [Note: naked Morrissey.]
posted by joeclark at 2:28 PM PST - 46 comments

The Essential Parallel Between Science and Democracy. "[T]he restorative steps Obama has taken vis-à-vis science are praiseworthy not so much because they respect science as because they respect the grand institutions of democracy. This is no accident, because the very virtues that make democracy work are also those that make science work: a commitment to reason and transparency, an openness to critical scrutiny, a skepticism toward claims that too neatly support reigning values, a willingness to listen to countervailing opinions, a readiness to admit uncertainty and ignorance, and a respect for evidence gathered according to the sanctioned best practices of the moment."
posted by sarabeth at 1:58 PM PST - 28 comments

North Dakota's House of Reps has passed a bill granting personhood to fetuses, making abortion murder and creating a challenge to Roe vs. Wade.
posted by FunkyHelix at 1:41 PM PST - 354 comments

The Morning Glory might be the coolest cloud on the planet. [more inside]
posted by rtha at 1:17 PM PST - 25 comments


There's a growing sense that the current system of college grading is broken beyond repair. With grade inflation and student entitlement running rampant, is it time to explore some creative alternatives? Or is grade inflation just a myth?
posted by you just lost the game at 12:15 PM PST - 108 comments

An erupting stratovolcano poses numerous hazards for nearby habitation, but none nearly so terrifying and deadly as the pyroclastic flow. Pyroclastic flows, comprised of tons of superheated sulfuric gases, particulate rock materials and ash, can reach temperatures of 1,830 °F and travel at alarming speeds up to 450mph. Convection of materials within the clouds causes them to become a suspension, fluidizing and thundering noxiously across the surrounding landscape for miles, in some cases even uphill or across open water. Wherever these clouds come in contact with humans the result is catastrophe, as the residents of Herculaneum and St. Pierre, Martinique learned within minutes of the eruptions of Vesuvius in 79AD and Pelee in 1902-- both towns were overwhelmed by pyroclastic clouds, igniting all flammable materials and incinerating and suffocating the inhabitants. None survived Herculaneum, while just two of St. Pierre's 26,000 survived, one of whom was a prisoner condemned to death and awaiting his execution in a dungeon cell. Despite their incredible capacity for violence, pyroclastic flows are also capable of producing mesmerizing, awe-inspiring beauty.
posted by baphomet at 11:53 AM PST - 18 comments

19th century American landscape artist George Inness. [more inside]
posted by ecorrocio at 11:37 AM PST - 7 comments


The Visual Telling of Stories
A lyrical encyclopedia of visual propositions;
a visually orientated taxonomy of the ways in which pictures are used to tell stories.
[more inside]
posted by carsonb at 10:53 AM PST - 5 comments

Funny Or Die seemed to be one of those start-up websites that might not have legs; a flash in the pan. Heck, it was started by two actual stars (will ferrell and adam mckay) and sometimes that spells "lack of creative interest" doom in regards to their participation. Today it's one of the best launching platforms for young comics looking to make a distinction from the dysfunctionally democratic haze of youtube(s). It's success is also noted by hollywood. What might be most encouraging it that it has become home to a litany of non-obvious tone projects and... well... some strange, interesting stuff. Witness: the surprisingly absorbing trailer for The Uncler.
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 10:19 AM PST - 47 comments

Part 1 of a What's On documentary by Granada TV about the Buzzcocks and Magazine (Howard Devoto and Pete Shelley), broadcast on July 27, 1978 and presented by Tony Wilson. 2 l 3 l 4 l 5 l Permafrost
posted by vronsky at 9:38 AM PST - 15 comments

One night, very late, I was browsing the internet, using my current computer, Shalosh B. Ekhad, III. I was searching for "Ekhad". All of a sudden, to my amazement, I chanced on a website whose last update was Sept. 30, 2050, and found this little Elementary Geometry textbook. This text may seem a bit strange to 2001 humans. It appears that there are no proofs, only statements, in Maple, using English-based names for the definitions and theorems. But THE STATEMENT IS THE PROOF, ready to be run on Maple, that will output "true" if the proof-statement is correct, and "false" otherwise. [more inside]
posted by orthogonality at 9:32 AM PST - 42 comments

Not only do villains get the best lines, they get the best interior design too.
posted by spicynuts at 8:56 AM PST - 11 comments

Drunk History: Reenactments of scenes from American history as told by very drunk people. 1 2 2.5 4
posted by freshwater_pr0n at 8:10 AM PST - 39 comments

Accidents on Long Island, a photogallery.
posted by R. Mutt at 7:03 AM PST - 68 comments

Detroit's abandoned Belle Isle Zoo, beautiful disaster. [more inside]
posted by punkbitch at 5:15 AM PST - 68 comments

Russian animators are making the most out of Flash, with some pretty amazing results. [more inside]
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:37 AM PST - 30 comments

Build your own low-cost Virtual Reality system with only two Wiimotes and a bunch of LEDs. This article on Coding4Fun shows you how. And no, this is not another Johnny Chung Lee post.
posted by namagomi at 4:12 AM PST - 10 comments

They call this “Sanctuary Wood” – for me it fulfils a dream. I’m sorry I trespass but if I had my dream somewhere like this would be my home and sanctuary. An urban-explorer and his girlfriend come across an abandoned caravan in the woods of Essex, then find they are not the only visitors... [more inside]
posted by mippy at 1:46 AM PST - 34 comments

Home of the Underdogs is no more. Although in decline since 2006 or so, it was once *the* place for abandonware. HotU hosted 5000+ game reviews (by contrast, the "next-best-thing-still-around", abandonia has around 1000), the majority of them with the games available for download, including some titles that are now incredibly difficult to find. [more inside]
posted by juv3nal at 1:37 AM PST - 77 comments

February 17

It's a tough life as a media tie-in writer. Vonda N. McIntyre, early pioneer in the field and author of the Star Trek film novelisations, blogs about how she started the Star Trek novel franchise with The Entropy Effect, despite suggestions that maybe she do something more respectable like be a waitress instead. [via io9]
posted by Artw at 11:12 PM PST - 31 comments

Dinosaurs fucking robots.
posted by loquacious at 10:41 PM PST - 74 comments

Star Viewer ― merging Google Earth (Sky) with Hubblecast videos to learn more about what you're seeing in the night sky. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 9:20 PM PST - 4 comments


"The Boyle Family are a family of collaborative artists based in London. Their best known work, however, continues to be their Journey to the Surface of the Earth. Begun in 1964, this work encompasses many different series. Each of these series has involved various random selection techniques to isolate a rectangle of the Earth's surface. In the case of the World Series 1000 random selections were made from a giant map of the world by blindfolded visitors. Once the random selection has been made, they recreate the site in a fixed and permanent form as a painted fibreglass relief. They recognise that each work is, in a sense, a failure. They know the selections can never be truly random and that it is impossible to eliminate themselves and their own subjective influences."
posted by dhruva at 8:23 PM PST - 3 comments

For those who haven't already heard, Facebook has recently changed their terms of service. Some people are uneasy about this, others want to lodge a federal complaint. But should we really be worried?
posted by lizbunny at 7:34 PM PST - 97 comments

A photographic pilgrimage via Flickr to the Monasteries of Mount Athos. (previously)
posted by Xurando at 7:00 PM PST - 8 comments


Another massive Ponzi scheme uncovered. Meet Sir Allen Stanford and his bank. Sir Allen stands accused of running an $8 billion fraud. Read the SEC filings here.
posted by up in the old hotel at 3:48 PM PST - 74 comments

Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl is an Icelandic poet. He translates Icelandic poetry into English (I particularly like his versions of Sigfús Daðason), and he has an interesting interview on Icelandic poetry ("Curiously enough, back in the days the nationalists would sometimes write in danish. And writing in a foreign language was more or less seen as the only alternative to literature being a mere hobby until Halldór Laxness came along"). But really this is an elaborate excuse to post a link to Höpöhöpö Böks: Köld öld Böks mjög örg, Ölböl örlög Böks! (Warning: My wife thought the linked video sounded like vomiting.) Via wood s lot. This one goes out to my man Kattullus; hope you can stick around! [more inside]
posted by languagehat at 3:40 PM PST - 12 comments

A detailed history of miniature golf, from it's genesis in the Ladies' Putting Club of St. Andrew's to the creative and extravagant future.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:37 PM PST - 43 comments

"A wildly flamboyant funk diva with few equals even three decades after her debut, Betty Davis combined the gritty emotional realism of Tina Turner, the futurist fashion sense of David Bowie, and the trendsetting flair of Miles Davis, her husband for a year. ... she turned Miles on to Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone (providing the spark that led to his musical reinvention on In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew), then proved her own talents with a trio of sizzling mid-'70s solo LPs." - All Music Guide (many links nsfw-ish)
posted by Joe Beese at 3:31 PM PST - 22 comments

The year is 1932. Hitler is rising in power. Harold Urey announces the discovery of deuterium, a hydrogen isotope. James Chadwick discovers the neutron. Heisenberg receives the Nobel Prize for his work in Quantum physics. It is a miracle year in Physics, matched only by Einstein's advances in 1905. A few of the most brilliant physicists in the world decide to convene in Copenhagen and ... write a play! Written on the 100th anniversary of the death of Goethe, The Blegdamsvej Faust is a remarkable document from a turning point in Physics. [more inside]
posted by vacapinta at 2:31 PM PST - 10 comments

The wandering days and bunk-bed nights of Fashion Week’s handsome (male) rookies. "Financially speaking, male modeling is not unlike being a straight-male porn star: The men have always made less than the women, and very few become big names. For most magazine work, models are paid less than $250. Twenty percent of that goes to the agency, which also bills models for their board and expenses. 'Sometimes you get charged for things you never thought of,' says Petey, 'like $30 a month to be on the website.'"
posted by geoff. at 2:03 PM PST - 53 comments

Madeleine Brand and Alex Cohen, co-hosts of NPR’s Day to Day discuss being laid off (VIDEO) as part of $23 million in budget cuts at NPR
posted by The Gooch at 1:45 PM PST - 75 comments

Want to live in a cave? Here's your chance.
posted by slogger at 12:53 PM PST - 43 comments

In a strangely compelling interview with Fox New's Greta Van Susteren, Bristol Palin weighs in on teen pregnancy, abstinence, tabloid news and at 18 years old who gets to make the decisions. From the Huffington Post.
posted by pianomover at 11:35 AM PST - 91 comments

Where have the TARP funds gone? Apparently, manipulating elections. Lobbying against consumers, and $530/night retreats for CEOs.
posted by expriest at 11:30 AM PST - 65 comments

6x4x2 wheel configuration with Ackermann steering and hybrid live-axle suspension. Telescoping boom. Impressive 1kg lifting capacity.

Jennifer Clark builds amazing things with lego.
posted by 7segment at 10:57 AM PST - 13 comments

Troma Entertainment presents Poultrygeist:Night of the Chicken Dead! Troma, of course, being responsible for such fine films as The Toxic Avenger and Cannibal! The Musical has achieved in creating a PETA supported, gore-fest sure to offend. If you like that sort of thing and you can stomach this absolutely NSFW trailer then run out and rent this movie ASAP, but don't lay an egg over it's content and then say I didn't warn you.
posted by anoirmarie at 10:29 AM PST - 35 comments

Recent research has found that living in a city may be bad for your brain. Compared with natural settings, cities over-stimulate us and impair our memory and cognitive functions.
posted by jon_hansen at 9:33 AM PST - 84 comments

As the days get longer and warmer, and winter turns to spring, Americans of all stripes dream of only one thing: playing some Cornhole in their backyard. Previously discussed on the blue, Cornhole has become even more popular in recent years, with the American Cornhole Organization (ACO) endeavoring to give away more than $1,000,000 in prize money in the coming years. Keep training, Cornholers, and one day you could claim the crown as King of Cornhole (seriously). For inspiration, watch The Cornhole Song. And if that's enough Cornhole for you, be sure to check out the upcoming scripted mockumentary "Cornhole: the Movie."
posted by billysumday at 8:22 AM PST - 53 comments

Did Hampshire College Become the First to Divest from Israel? It is being reported that Hampshire has divested from 6 corporations that provide Israel with military equipment and services in the Occupied West Bank and Gaza. Students for Justice in Palestine claim success. But the University claims that the decision had "nothing to do with Israel." This move is being hailed as a landmark victory by the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign which calls on "people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era."
posted by lunit at 8:12 AM PST - 45 comments

An homage to the director and soundtrack composer John Carpenter: ZOMBIE ZOMBIE [more inside]
posted by P.o.B. at 7:58 AM PST - 16 comments

"He is responsible for the online lives of 5 million monthly ... visitors -- the hackers, slackers and potty-mouthed geeks. They come ... when they should be doing calc homework. Now -- in debt, out of work, another example of the Internet's intangibility -- [he] just needs to figure out how to make that matter." The Washington Post profiles Christopher Poole, founder of 4chan. (Previously, minus the current economic realities)
posted by mkultra at 7:35 AM PST - 64 comments

Anthony Bourdain finally goes to the Philippines. Filipino blogger MarketMan was one of Bourdain's guides and made sure he had the celebrated lechon, which Bourdain now claims is the best whole roast pig he's ever had. Here is: MarketMan behind the scenes on the show. MM's top 30 Filipino dishes. Top 20 Filipino Desserts.
posted by AceRock at 5:20 AM PST - 34 comments

The death of the news.
What is really threatened by the decline of newspapers and the related rise of online media is reporting -- on-the-ground reporting by trained journalists who know the subject, have developed sources on all sides, strive for objectivity and are working with editors who check their facts, steer them in the right direction and are a further check against unwarranted assumptions, sloppy thinking and reporting, and conscious or unconscious bias.
posted by adamvasco at 5:16 AM PST - 94 comments

As the bankers retreat to their bunkers, a video commentary by an insider.
posted by iffley at 3:17 AM PST - 11 comments

February 16

Somewhere between 538 and xkcd, Ask Doctor Math is an advice column for practical math questions. [more inside]
posted by piers at 9:22 PM PST - 25 comments

What Invasive Species Are Trying to Tell Us. "Walking snakeheads, carnivorous snails, and the superpredator from the reef: The invasion has begun." [Via]
posted by homunculus at 9:05 PM PST - 46 comments

The Skycycle (google translated) at Washuzan Highland Park (warning: noisy) in Okayama, Japan is (not) a pedal-powered roller coaster. Video, photos. Other things called a skybike: skybike, sky-bike, skybike, skybike, skybike.
posted by jessamyn at 9:01 PM PST - 18 comments

Who's best at voice-actived gaming? That's right, parrots!
posted by slater at 8:22 PM PST - 10 comments

After 20 years and 429 episodes, The Simpsons has updated its opening title sequence. Here it is. [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000 at 7:33 PM PST - 216 comments

The male psyche's unspoken telepathy in practice in Osaka, Japan. (though it works on some women, too)
posted by spec80 at 6:50 PM PST - 26 comments

In which Georgia gives you the McNuggetini.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 3:32 PM PST - 87 comments

kittens inspired by kittens [Warning: SLYT, high-pitched child, potentially scripted non sequiturs]
posted by defenestration at 2:38 PM PST - 40 comments

Lull : music video for Andrew Bird by Lisa Barcy. Featuring giant squid. [SLYT]
posted by grapefruitmoon at 2:32 PM PST - 15 comments

In the background behind attention-grabbing headlines about famous (and wannabe-famous) cancer patients, a quiet revolution may be on the brink of changing oncology. [more inside]
posted by bunnycup at 2:27 PM PST - 42 comments

The Socially Conscious Gamer is just the most recent example of growing discussions about how gamer culture and problems with silencing and pushing women out, wallowing in racist stereotypes, self-fulfilling cycles of exclusion, and why these conversations are hard, if not impossible to have. Still, if rational discussions can be had about games dealing with slavery, perhaps there is still hope. Personally, I can't wait for escapism to be for all of us, and not about escaping FROM us.
posted by yeloson at 1:46 PM PST - 159 comments

Among the body of conspirators in the July 20th plot to assassinate Hitler and seize the German government, few were as ambivalent as Count Wolf Heinrich von Helldorf, head of the Berlin police. Although sympathetically (if briefly) portrayed in a recent film about the plot, von Helldorf was a definitely more enigmatic figure. [more inside]
posted by Skeptic at 12:35 PM PST - 12 comments

Classic Poetry Aloud: free recordings of 427 public domain poems.
posted by Iridic at 10:39 AM PST - 8 comments


Today was Day 1 of The Pirate Bay trial.
posted by tybeet at 9:21 AM PST - 181 comments

The Folkways Collection is a downloadable, 24-part podcast series that "explores the remarkable collection of music, spoken word, and sound recordings that make up Folkways Records (now at the Smithsonian as Smithsonian Folkways Recordings)."
posted by Miko at 9:06 AM PST - 27 comments

The Space Game -- Friday U.S. Federal Holiday Flash Fun. This Flash game combines the resource gathering and management of a standard strategy game with the tower-defendiness of a tower defense game. Build a network of mining stations and solar collectors, and protect them from pirate raiders with repair stations and missile and laser turrets.
posted by CrunchyFrog at 9:06 AM PST - 22 comments


Danish photographer Simon Høgsberg has made several updates since we last visited, including Faces of New York and The Low Fat Diaries. Digital Photography School interviews Høgsberg about his latest project We're All Gonna Die - 100 Meters of Existence.
posted by netbros at 8:24 AM PST - 6 comments

The NY Times Article Skimmer. A little more information. (still a prototype, but very nice way to browse)
posted by device55 at 8:24 AM PST - 12 comments

In an attempt (flash) to provide Muslim and Arab youth with homegrown heroes, The 99 puts out comics and builds theme parks with a twist. [more inside]
posted by gman at 7:27 AM PST - 12 comments

One year ago this week Lawrence King an openly gay middle-schooler in Oxnard, CA was murdered by a fellow student. In the midst of discussion of the legacy of this tragedy and remembrances of Larry his parents have filed a wrongful death suit. The lawsuit names several defendants including, Casa Pacifica, a youth shelter Larry where lived at the time of his death, the Ventura Rainbow Coalition, and the school in which the shooting occurred. The lawsuit's main contention is that each of these groups are responsible for Larry's death because they "failed to urge the effeminate teen to tone down flamboyant behavior."
posted by Bango Skank at 3:21 AM PST - 99 comments

Sounds of American English details each of the consonants and vowels of American English with a real-time Flash animated articulatory diagram of each sound; video and audio of the sound spoken in context and an interactive diagram of the articulatory anatomy.
posted by Lezzles at 3:10 AM PST - 15 comments

That was too close. RAF Tornado comes within 30ft of mid-air collision.
posted by nthdegx at 2:54 AM PST - 50 comments

"Ransom kidnapping is a rare crime in America. Most cops go their entire careers without handling one. These days, most kidnappings involve a husband taking a child from an estranged wife. That's how things were in Phoenix until a few years ago." via 2blowhards.com
posted by cgc373 at 12:48 AM PST - 26 comments

Scintillation
a short film by Xavier Chassaing.
posted by carsonb at 12:00 AM PST - 8 comments

February 15

What does happiness sound like? Maybe Anna knows. Charles Spearin explores. Mrs. Morris - Vanessa [more inside]
posted by bigmusic at 11:02 PM PST - 3 comments

Despite being a kid's show on PBS, Marc Brown's Arthur series is still the favorite of many older viewers for its elaborate parodies and references to things like the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Law and Order, Harry Potter, and even South Park.

Wicho262 is busy posting episodes on Youtube, while some misguided fans attempt to create an Arthur of their own...
posted by mmmleaf at 10:50 PM PST - 17 comments

Leo Baxendale, Hunt Emerson Neil Gaiman, Melinda Gebbie, Brendan McCarthy, Pat Mills, Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Posy Simmonds, Bryan Talbot - Paul Gravett's Heroes of UK Comics
posted by Artw at 10:40 PM PST - 25 comments

In April, an extraordinary auction will provide an unprecedented look into the private world of Michael Jackson. More than 2,000 items, ranging from personal effects and costumes to pieces from Jackson's private art collection as well as fittings and furnishings from his Neverland ranch, will be up for sale. The auction is so extensive, a six-volume book was printed just to detail every lot. [more inside]
posted by Ugh at 10:20 PM PST - 36 comments

Boris Indrikov Gallery. [Via musecrack]
posted by homunculus at 8:55 PM PST - 1 comments

Early images of Egypt (via)
posted by dhruva at 8:21 PM PST - 6 comments

"The crisis is an opportunity to sweep away the rotten postwar settlement of British politics. Labour is moribund. But David Cameron has a chance to develop a "red Tory" communitarianism, socially conservative but sceptical of neoliberal economics" [more inside]
posted by doobiedoo at 7:31 PM PST - 22 comments

Journalist Jill Homer writes about and takes media of snow cycling Up in Alaska. Now deputy managing editor of the Juneau Empire, she has written for NPR about being a snow cyclist. From the first cycle tour she went on in 2002 to recently when Jill said "If I don't die or worse, I'm gonna need a nap.", there is no shortage of pictures and video and accounts of scenic places encountered via cycle along the way, all over the country. There are a wealth of stories to read and pictures to look at while you sit out Winter in your home. [more inside]
posted by cashman at 6:31 PM PST - 10 comments

In 2000, the Spanish Pyrenean Ibex (a type of mountain goat) went extinct. In early 2009 it was brought back to life, the first time an extinct species has been "successfully" cloned. The newborn bucardo died of respiratory failure minutes after birth, setting a second extinction record.
posted by stbalbach at 6:04 PM PST - 34 comments

Awakening on a mattress atop a wooden slab, the bare walls of your 7' x 12' cell come into focus, illuminated by the constant glare of an overhead light. Through the narrow window in the back of your cell, you can peer out into the prison yard. In the window in the reinforced steel door, you can catch an occasional glimpse of a prison guard as they bring your meals, usually the only interruption of the silence and isolation that pervade your living conditions. Those walls are the boundaries of your world for 23 hours a day in the Departmental Disciplinary Unit-- the supermax prison maintained in Walpole, Massachusetts, one of dozens of such institutions currently operated in the United States, in spite of growing outcry based on human rights violations. [more inside]
posted by Law Talkin' Guy at 4:54 PM PST - 94 comments

After ten years of legal battles, three federal judges rejected the theory that the MMR vaccine causes autism. "Petitioners' theories of causation were speculative and unpersuasive," wrote Special Master Denise Vowell in the case of Colten Snyder v. HHS. "To conclude that Colten's condition was the result of his MMR vaccine, an objective observer would have to emulate Lewis Carroll's White Queen and be able to believe six impossible (or at least highly improbable) things before breakfast." [more inside]
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:51 PM PST - 244 comments


“Mamase mamasa mamamakusa” or “Mamaku mamasa makumakusa”? Michael Jackson is sued for copyright infringement – again – by Cameroonian singer Manu Dibango (Flash homepage with autoplaying audio). Dibango’s Duala-language original phrase mutated into something else (Swahili?) in “Wanna Be Starting Somethin’.” They settled out of court – but then Jackson licensed that phrase to Rihanna, a right that Dibango claims Jackson never had. [more inside]
posted by joeclark at 2:08 PM PST - 40 comments

Super Robot Red Baron : Opening : The HQ : YOR! : Matsubara Mari
posted by vronsky at 1:53 PM PST - 8 comments

As the national debt is monetized we may revive that phrase "you needed a wheelbarrow of cash to buy a loaf of bread." Notgeld, German for "Emergency Money" or "necessity money." 896 beautiful examples.
posted by wallstreet1929 at 12:39 PM PST - 22 comments

Wrestling Stars
posted by william_boot at 12:11 PM PST - 23 comments

What is the future of capitalism?
a) 3.0
b) Canada* ([1],[2])
c) 'smart growth' (viz.)
d) none of the above** [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 9:41 AM PST - 86 comments

The Gramophone Archive is a (free) searchable database containing every issue of Gramophone from April 1923 to the latest issue.
posted by Gyan at 8:55 AM PST - 4 comments


" ... the recession, particularly if it turns out to be as long and deep as many now fear, will accelerate the rise and fall of specific places within the U.S.—and reverse the fortunes of other cities and regions." From The Atlantic Online - How the Crash Will Reshape America
posted by Afroblanco at 8:35 AM PST - 69 comments

Joanne Warfield's innovative work in Polaroid emulsion and image transfers, time/zero manipulation and corrosion. (previously on MeFi)
posted by netbros at 8:06 AM PST - 5 comments

"American air superiority has been so complete for so long that we take it for granted. For more than half a century, we’ve made only rare use of the aerial-combat skills of a man like Cesar Rodriguez, who retired two years ago with more air-to-air kills than any other active-duty fighter pilot. But our technological edge is eroding. ... Now we have a choice. We can stock the Air Force with the expensive, cutting-edge F‑22—maintaining our technological superiority at great expense to our Treasury. Or we can go back to a time when the cost of air supremacy was paid in the blood of men like Rodriguez." - The Last Ace, a feature article in this month's The Atlantic by author Mark Bowden.
posted by billysumday at 7:36 AM PST - 63 comments

Beyond Chris Brown and Rihanna. By now you've probably heard about Chris Brown and Rhianna. Jay Smooth of Ill Doctrine asked Elizabeth Mendez Berry, author of Vibe Magazine's 2005 feature Love Hurts (pdf) about "domestic violence within (and without) hiphop", for her thoughts. [more inside]
posted by lunit at 1:50 AM PST - 50 comments

February 14

In 1998, a journalist at The New Republic named Stephen Glass wrote a compelling piece in the influential magazine entitled 'Hack Heaven'. It told the story of how Glass witnessed a 15 year old hacker named Ian Restil being hired by a large Californian computer company named Jukt Micronics at a hacker convention as a security analyst after Restil hacked Jukt's website. But the entire story was, in fact, entirely fictional. [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000 at 9:03 PM PST - 46 comments


BBOY JOKER (single link interactive youtube game) - Patrick Boivin (from visual wizards Phylactère Cola [wiki]) strikes again with a new stop animation game following his success with YouTube Street Fighter.
posted by zenzizi at 8:04 PM PST - 4 comments

Belated Flash Friday | Funny Viking strategery game. It makes me so happy I finished the levels and go back to do better... [more inside]
posted by maggieb at 7:26 PM PST - 24 comments

Chicago-based video game developer Midway Games has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. [more inside]
posted by 40 Watt at 6:54 PM PST - 43 comments

Stupid Flash Fun! Shopping Car Hero. For all your shopping cart jumping needs.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:53 PM PST - 12 comments

You are interested in the unknown... the mysterious. The unexplainable. That is why you are here. And now, for the first time, we are bringing to you, the full story of what happened on that fateful day. We are bringing you all the evidence, based only on the secret testimony, of the miserable souls, who survived this terrifying ordeal. The incidents, the places. My friend, we cannot keep this a secret any longer. Let us punish the guilty. Let us reward the innocent. My friend, can your heart stand the shocking facts of a flickr collection of old snapshots?
posted by gamera at 6:45 PM PST - 18 comments

Kraftwerk and the Electronic Music Revolution. (amazon) A 3 hour long documentary detailing Kraftwerk's influences and career. [more inside]
posted by empath at 6:11 PM PST - 33 comments

You forgot all about Valentine’s Day and now must come up with an extra special momento to pacify your beloved. Or you are sitting home alone with no way to celebrate V-day. In either case, it’s crafting time! You can recycle things you probably already have to make Valentine’s Day trinkets. You can start by making a card with scrap yarn, or from wrapping paper. You can make gift bows or a heart-shaped candy basket from recycled magazines, and a gift bag from a newspaper. You can make a love letter box from an old box. The kids or the artist in your life might like to get heart-shaped crayons, made from stubby old crayons. [more inside]
posted by orange swan at 5:51 PM PST - 5 comments


30 years ago, the sixteenth and final issue of Pizzazz magazine was published by Marvel Comics at a retail price of 75 cents. In addition to cover stories like "Linda Ronstadt: Rock's Superwoman" and "Is Meat Loaf the Cutest Cultural Development Since the Pickle?", Pizzazz published what is arguably the very first addition to the Star Wars Expanded Universe - a serialized comic titled "The Keeper's World". Appearing in October 1977, only 5 months after the theatrical release of what was not yet known as Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, it comfortably pre-dates Alan Dean Foster's Splinter of the Mind's Eye (March 1978) and even Marvel's own Star Wars #7 comic (January 1978). (previously)
posted by Joe Beese at 2:16 PM PST - 15 comments


Free Will versus the Programmed Brain. Shaun Nichols discusses some recent experiments relating belief in free will to moral behavior. [more inside]
posted by voltairemodern at 1:30 PM PST - 42 comments


A collection of early Valentine cards, and, A Treatise on Courtly Love .
posted by hortense at 12:12 PM PST - 10 comments

"WGN-TV weekend anchors Robert Jordan and Jackie Bange do a little dance number each Saturday and Sunday night during their telecast's first commercial break. Word is that it started out as a short 10-second dance, but now they have choreographed it into the full 2:40 of the break. "
posted by Knappster at 11:53 AM PST - 45 comments

Foodies, gourmands, and gluttons! Courtesy of those muckrakers at the New York Times, consider this recent op-ed piece. For those still pissed about the Times cheerleading us into Iraq, skip it and just dig this handbook from your federal watchdogs to determine just how much rat shit may have been in those beanie-weenies you enjoyed cold from the can last night at 1:34a.m. Handy alphabetization makes finding your favorite processed foods easy as pie.
posted by barrett caulk at 11:50 AM PST - 23 comments

Journalism may be going through a painful period but thanks to the web the once lowly information graphic is finally growing up to be all it never could on paper. Especially the New York Times seems to currently stand out in how frequently and quickly they build amazingly detailed and insightful interactive features. Consider the tracking of US Airways Flight 1549 or the piece on raising its engine from the Hudson. Other recent highlights: 9,955,441 parking tickets issues in NYC mapped by street, The Ebb and Flow of Movies: Box Office Receipts 1986 — 2008, Ansel Adams's Yosemite, the view from the 10-meter platform explained, A look at the language of presidential inaugural addresses 1789 to the Present, A Map of the number of medals that countries won in summer Olympic Games, Going to the End of the Line, The 44 Places to go in 2009, an explanation of how the Pentagon responded to criticism of then-Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, The Soyuz Spacecraft, How the Towers Stood and Fell and many, many, more. [more inside]
posted by krautland at 11:50 AM PST - 16 comments

Wilfred Sätty; 1939 - 1982 Illustrator and Collagist extraordinaire; like many talented people of that era hung out at Vesuvio.
" There is a time in the span of civilizations when creative energy and the human spirit are wholly, if briefly focused. When this occurs culture in all its manifestations reaches its zenith. The moment passes; civilizations decline, only to be replaced by others. This process of life appears cyclic. Communities become tribes, turn into nations and become empires which, like suns, radiate their energy to the limits of their power, then decay and finally vanish, leaving behind only traces. This cycle, which may continue until our sun--or our planet--fails us..... "
When you want to know about someone's life you either ask the person yourself or you ask friends ... Sätty is Dead [more inside]
posted by adamvasco at 11:33 AM PST - 4 comments


Today is the 20th anniversary of the permanent fatwa pronounced by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini against the life of Salman Rushdie for writing his novel The Satanic Verses. Said the Ayatollah: "Even if Salman Rushdie repents and becomes the most pious man of all time, it is incumbent on every Muslim to employ everything he has got, his life and wealth, to send him to Hell."
posted by rdone at 9:41 AM PST - 41 comments

Ellen Degeneres speaks on the telephone with 88 year-old Gladys Hardy of Austin, Texas. [more inside]
posted by ericb at 9:27 AM PST - 23 comments

The selfless NBA stats geek, by Michael Lewis. Michael Lewis previously on mefi [more inside]
posted by jourman2 at 9:20 AM PST - 32 comments

Simon Johnson on Bill Moyers [1] (and, prolifically, making the public media rounds on npr [2]) tackling the bailout of the American Oligarchs, a.k.a. banksters... [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 9:19 AM PST - 16 comments

Scene 360 is an online film and arts magazine, profiling and interviewing artists & web designers, filmmakers and writers.
posted by netbros at 7:43 AM PST - 2 comments

To celebrate both St. Valentine's Day and Presidents Day, the Smithsonian American Art Museum invited artist/baker Zilly Rosen to create a duo portrait of Barack Obama and Abraham Lincoln in cupcakes in the museum. [more inside]
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 5:16 AM PST - 15 comments

February 13

The Gawain Project is an ongoing translation of the late 14th century anonymous poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (originally written in Middle English) into Modern English, for the amusement of Arthurians and anyone who likes a good story. [via mefi projects]
posted by Effigy2000 at 8:18 PM PST - 18 comments

Foxes playing on trampolines.
posted by quin at 5:43 PM PST - 64 comments

Huzzah!, a new round robin/exquisite corpse style comic from the creators of Who Killed Round Robin. See the story so far here. (Via the blog of D'Israeli)
posted by Artw at 4:48 PM PST - 3 comments

Add-Art is a free FireFox add-on which replaces advertising on websites with curated art images. The art shows are updated every two weeks and feature contemporary artists and curators.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 2:01 PM PST - 29 comments

Microsoft announced today, it will open a small number of stores to compete directly against Apple. Some think it's a dubious idea. "In a statement, Microsoft said the first priority of Mr. Porter, who is also a 25-year veteran of Wal-Mart, will be to define where to place the Microsoft stores and when to open them."
posted by Xurando at 2:00 PM PST - 115 comments

Will the Dark Knight Project win an Oscar for best school documentary? [Scroll down for video]
posted by growli at 1:50 PM PST - 19 comments

"Crazy Eric" writes: You are here probably because you've read or heard something about the man who carries 1300 items in his clothes...
posted by Joe Beese at 1:05 PM PST - 68 comments

Alison Des Forges, American historian of Africa, MacArthur genius and top human-rights advocate, was an impassioned observer of the Rwandan genocide, lobbying the United States and United Nations to intervene in the killings, saving some Rwandans from certain death, and later writing one of the definitive histories of the events, "Leave none to tell the story". She testified at hundreds of trials and inquiries resulting from the genocide. Last night, she perished aboard Flight 3407. "Her death is a devastating blow," said the president of Human Rights Watch, where she worked as an advisor. "She epitomized the human rights activist — principled, dispassionate, committed to the truth and to using that truth to protect ordinary people."
posted by docgonzo at 12:53 PM PST - 24 comments


It's Bad Movie Club night! You have until 9 GMT / 4 ET to procure #1: a Twitter account and #2: a copy of M. Night Shyamalan's critically misunderstood masterpiece, The Happening. Good luck!

Graham Linehan, of Father Ted and IT Crowd fame, will be your master of ceremonies, and there will be a second screening at midnight GMT / 7 ET, hosted by Phill Jupitus. But remember kids, piracy is stealing.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:44 AM PST - 32 comments

Think you've been places? Retired scientist Galen Frysinger has visted 172 countries and 91 dependencies. His photos have been linked in quite a few comments on MeFi, but near as I can tell... never the subject of a post.
posted by ecorrocio at 11:28 AM PST - 8 comments

Flash Friday RPG Fun: Hands of War. Set in a kingdom in the midst of a civil war, choose the factions you support while re-assembling the Heartstone.
posted by never used baby shoes at 10:37 AM PST - 18 comments

Why music? Music is a human universal, but why did we evolve a desire to create, perform, and enjoy it? From a biological standpoint, does it contribute to survival or, more likely, mate selection and reproduction?
posted by rocket88 at 10:15 AM PST - 51 comments

Soviet Army dance ensemble + Run DMC = the invention of breakdancing in the mid-1900s. (slyt, via kottke)
posted by swift at 9:48 AM PST - 36 comments

Denise Long, the first woman to be drafted by the NBA. [more inside]
posted by jwakawaka at 9:37 AM PST - 26 comments

Despite lukewarm reviews Ethan Nichols' iPhone game iShoot has earned him enough money to allow him to quit his day job. A recent article makes iPhone software development sound like something anyone can do, and software developers as young as nine-years-old have Apple approved games in Apple's App Store. [more inside]
posted by Bango Skank at 9:28 AM PST - 49 comments

"Collected during my time working from Bangalore, these matchboxes are the tangible memories of my various travels and experiences through India." via (with interview)
posted by gman at 8:29 AM PST - 26 comments

Escape from City 17 - Live action short film (episode 1) Here's episode 1 of "Escape from City 17", a live action series set in the Half Life universe. Phenomenally well done, and completely worth the dreaded SLYT.
posted by datter at 8:06 AM PST - 48 comments

Lille Mand - Eight year old Mathis writes an essay for school entitled, "How to Understand Women." (via Neatorama) (It will be slow to load. Also, there is brief shower nudity so NSFW)
posted by caddis at 8:05 AM PST - 14 comments


Friday Flash Fun: "'Make My Head Grow' is a two player battle game. Each player control a small angry guy trying to push the other guys box over the edge. As everyone knows smacking your head into the ground makes your head grow - maybe even enough to make your box move..." [more inside]
posted by Rinku at 7:40 AM PST - 14 comments

Bullied, teased, and in need of a refuge? Photographer Jenny Wicks' new project, Root Ginger, asks the question: Is gingerism one of the last acceptable prejudices?
posted by Grrlscout at 12:43 AM PST - 129 comments

February 12

Flight No. 3407 crashes in Buffalo, New York. This, after the flight that landed in the Hudson, and all the people were saved. The Plane crash on YouTube as of now.
posted by hadjiboy at 10:22 PM PST - 111 comments

Ecstasy's long-term effects revealed. "Enough time has finally elapsed to start asking if ecstasy damages health in the long term. According to the biggest review ever undertaken, it causes slight memory difficulties and mild depression, but these rarely translate into problems in the real world. While smaller studies show that some individuals have bigger problems, including weakened immunity and larger memory deficits, so far, for most people, ecstasy seems to be nowhere near as harmful over time as you may have been led to believe." [Via]
posted by homunculus at 10:13 PM PST - 94 comments

"This is a regular Russian school biology textbook owned by some Russian school. He has modified some illustrations so now it’s hard to say sometimes what was there originally and what has appeared as a result of his imagination."
posted by squalor at 9:16 PM PST - 24 comments


Powhatan's Mantle was the emblem of kingship worn by Wahunsenacawh, also known as Chief Powhatan, father of Pocahontas. A deerskin cloak ornamented with shell beadwork, it may at first appear to be only clothing but in fact it is also a map of the Powhatan Confederacy, which ruled most of eastern Virginia when the English first settled there. The mantle was acquired by one of the John Tradescants whose collection was the foundation of Oxford University's Ashmolean Collection and the mantle resides there still today. The first linked article is a fascination article about the mantle as well as a gallery of images of and related to Powhatan's Mantle.
posted by Kattullus at 8:36 PM PST - 5 comments

Backstage at the American Museum of Natural History: an essay and a slideshow.
posted by serazin at 7:12 PM PST - 6 comments

In 1939, a 13-year-old boy discovered New Zealand's most significant archaeological site—the remains of a 700-year-old Māori village on the Wairau Bar, Marlborough ... [more inside]
posted by Sonny Jim at 6:50 PM PST - 8 comments



Meet Kingsford the piglet. He runs, he swims, and he's even litter trained! [more inside]
posted by MaryDellamorte at 4:24 PM PST - 33 comments


Wikitrivia.net makes trivia questions out of Wikipedia pages. It's a bit rough around the edges, but it does pretty well for not having a magic AI that understands English. Hit reload if you get a question you don't like, or grab the source code if you think you can make it better.
posted by tss at 3:05 PM PST - 14 comments

Welcome to Black Thursday, a day quickly becoming known among the legal community as the date where major law firms across the world announced major layoffs of both staff and attorneys. The short list includes such well known firms as DLA Piper, Cadwalader, Epstein Becker, Faegre & Benson, Holland & Knight, Goodwin Procter, Bryan Cave, and Dechert. Dozens more, such as Nixon Peabody, Luce Forward, Paul Hastings, and Merchant and Gould announced layoffs in recent weeks, and more confirmations from yet other firms are likely on lucky Friday the 13th. This was predictable. Harrison Barnes of BCG Attorney Search, a headhunter firm, has some interesting and seemingly altruistic advice (as he sits seaside in the shade) - if you are a part of the layoffs, don't use headhunters. Good luck, folks.
posted by Muddler at 2:44 PM PST - 95 comments

Rafaël Rozendaal is a Dutch/Brazilian artist, author of cold void, big long now, paper toilet and many others.
posted by - at 1:57 PM PST - 13 comments

someonestolemybike.com Videos of folks who have had bikes stolen. Kristy chased the thief down and got hers back.
posted by fixedgear at 1:48 PM PST - 30 comments

Just some food porn. But exceptional food porn. (for the real money shot, click on "All Sizes" above the picture and then "Original" size)
posted by Joe Beese at 1:01 PM PST - 61 comments

We are in the midst of a Ferris wheel craze. In 2009. "This year, Germany will unveil the Great Berlin Wheel. Upon its completion, the wheel will be 606 feet high — as high as two football fields are long, as high as three Niagara Falls. It will be taller than what’s currently the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, the Singapore Flyer, a soon-to-be-disappointing 541 feet high. This year, China also plans to unveil the Beijing Great Wheel. At an awesome 682 feet high, it will be taller than both the Great Berlin Wheel and the Singapore Flyer (which only debuted as the world’s tallest Ferris wheel last year) ... China has, in fact, built wheels in six cities since the start of the new millennium."
posted by geoff. at 12:25 PM PST - 52 comments

Showcase of finalist designs from the 2009 Michelin Challenge Design (not Design Challenge, for some reason). Among the expected uber-cool entries by big automakers, several interesting concepts from independent designers, including a stackable "metro cell" vehicle (Korea), solar-cell semi (Hungary), and a luxury-cruising buggy (USA).
posted by adamms222 at 10:55 AM PST - 10 comments

In 2005, graphic artist Kentaro Nagai was struck by the play on words between peace and piece in relation to global politics. This concept was expanded in an exhibition entitled Twelve Animals, where Nagai rearranged outlines of the world's landmasses into shapes respective of the aspects of the Chinese Zodiac. [via]
posted by Smart Dalek at 10:32 AM PST - 11 comments

If you, like me, find it sometimes difficult to parse the intricacies of great opera, this modernized and localized translation of O Fortuna might be of use. Some men, apparently, like cheese.
posted by Shepherd at 10:08 AM PST - 20 comments

His beard can lift random objects… and the human spirit. Every Friday, MeFi's own eamondaly will use his facial hair to lift things for charity. He'll add one pound per hundred dollars raised until he hits $5K (or his beard gives up the ghost). [via mefi projects]
posted by Damn That Television at 9:46 AM PST - 25 comments

Today marks the 200th Anniversary of the birth of President Abraham Lincoln. Let's party like it's 1809! [more inside]
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:37 AM PST - 31 comments

Amazon's Kindle 2 was debuted on Monday at the Morgan Library (as speculated), where Stephen King read (and read) from his kindle-exclusive story. If you couldn't be there, read some live-blogging accounts. The interface and refresh rate is improved, now features text-to-speach (which upse the Author's Guild, who claim this feature is "an audio right, which is derivative under copyright law.") But Kindle isn't the only the only e-book device. Going farther from the more book-shaped e-readers, you can read ebooks on iPhones or iPods (the latter has a DIY option), Gameboy Advances, or even the Mattel's Juice Box.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:13 AM PST - 87 comments

30 years ago the BBC celebrated the anniversary of Charles Darwin with the drama series The Voyage of Charles Darwin depicting his life. The whole thing is now on Youtube. ) [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:43 AM PST - 7 comments

Khomeini and the revolution A photo-essay. "I have a 30-year-old book of photographs of the revolution by a photographer named Hatami. I thought it would be interesting to reproduce them for the 30th anniversary of the revolution. I paid my nephew Nico $20 to scan the entire book."
posted by Abiezer at 8:33 AM PST - 17 comments

Addiction: thousands of studies have been done claiming that it is a disease, often using rats in isolated cages with a bar-press system of delivery, showing they will repeatedly get high even if it means starving to death. Bruce Alexander was a skeptic, questioning the ecological validity of all such results: "They were said to prove that these kinds of dope are irresistible, and that’s it, that’s the end of the addiction story right there," and after delivering one particularly fruitless seminar in 1976, he decided to build Rat Park to conduct his own studies... [more inside]
posted by tybeet at 8:21 AM PST - 47 comments


An utterly bizarre Joaquin Phoenix was on Dave Letterman last night to promote his new movie Two Lovers. The bizarre exchange has left many wondering what happened? The interview ended with Letterman quipping "Joaquin, I'm sorry you couldn't be here tonight." [more inside]
posted by namewithhe1d at 7:37 AM PST - 122 comments

16 Mindf**k Movies. There’s a certain brand of movie that I most enjoy. Some people call them “Puzzle Movies.” Others call them “Brain Burners.” Each has, at some point or another, been referred to as “that flick I watched while I was baked out of my mind.”
posted by billysumday at 7:14 AM PST - 132 comments

Thought For The World is an alternative to the BBC's much mocked Thought For The Day. [more inside]
posted by ninebelow at 6:53 AM PST - 4 comments


Metafilter's Own Sean Tevis ran for the Kansas State Legislature using the web as his main fund raising tool. His fund raising was spectacularly successful, raising in excess of $100,000 -- over 70% of which was in amounts lower than $50.00. The Republicans criticized this tactics, and he lost. Although he took no PAC or Lobbyist contributions, some in Kansas politics feel that he's not been transparent enough about who gave to him, so Republican Scott Schwab has introduced LD 2244 (.pdf) - informally known as the Sean Tevis Bill. [more inside]
posted by anastasiav at 5:40 AM PST - 59 comments

Batman gets pwned. [more inside]
posted by P.o.B. at 2:49 AM PST - 57 comments


February 11

The Consortium of Pub-going, Loose and Forward Women of India want to celebrate Valentine's Day by sending pink chaddis (underwear) to the right-wing Hindu group Sri Ram Sena. The group says it is "not acceptable" for women to go to bars in India, and members attacked a group of women at a bar last month. They have also threatened to attack couples who publicly celebrate Valentine's Day. [Via]
posted by homunculus at 10:00 PM PST - 34 comments

Peter Wallison, an economist who arguably predicted the housing crash and bailout in 1999 explains his current views on the crash: "Other players...played a part" but "...government policy over many years--particularly the use of the Community Reinvestment Act and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to distort the housing credit system-- underlies the current crisis."
posted by shivohum at 9:37 PM PST - 98 comments

Chairlift - Evident Utensil (SLYT) Trippy music video made by messing with video compression keyframes.
posted by fungible at 8:44 PM PST - 52 comments


So you'll be ready the next time MeFi goes away for awhile, Keep Busy. This is a site with thousands of games and that'll leave a mark type videos for the kid in you.
posted by netbros at 8:03 PM PST - 8 comments

Nicholle, Amy, Melanie, and Jenny are "in no way affiliated with, endorsed by or sponsored by the products reviewed , its partners, or subsidiaries."
posted by MrChowWow at 6:43 PM PST - 66 comments

Watching Conan the Barbarian with Arnold - DVD commentary track highlights (SLYT)
posted by sloe at 6:29 PM PST - 50 comments


How to Argue With Zompist: Or Social-Skills 101 A helpful guide for online discussion and debate written by Mark Rosenfelder with some help from notmydesk and others.
posted by The Whelk at 6:00 PM PST - 31 comments

"Let them arrest me". Vehemently anti-Islamic Dutch MP Geert Wilders was scheduled to travel to London tomorrow to attend a screening of his controversial short film Fitna (wiki, mefi). Yesterday however, the UK's Home Secretary notified Wilders that his presence in the UK would pose a "serious threat to [...] public security" (PDF), presumably intending to refuse his entry into UK. Wilders plans to board the flight anyway, daring British authorities to arrest him. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:22 PM PST - 83 comments

The American Song-Poem Music Archives dropped its song-poem mp3s in 2004, but Lee Rosevere "managed to collect all the tunes from the site and squirreled them away." Today he presents the first volume of the Song-Poem Archived Music series at WFMU's Beware of the Blog. (previously)
posted by Knappster at 4:51 PM PST - 6 comments


World's Mightiest Ship Was Lost Without a Trace in 1744 "In July 1744, she set sail to rescue a Mediterranean convoy blockaded by the French Brest fleet in the River Tagus at Lisbon. After victoriously chasing the French fleet away, she escorted the convoy into the Mediterranean Sea as far as Gibraltar, then set sail to return to her home port in England. During the course of the voyage, her fleet captured a number of valuable prizes, and she was also reported to have taken on board a consignment of 400,000 pounds sterling for Dutch merchants. On her return trip to England, HMS Victory was lost with all hands in a violent storm on October 5, 1744." [pdf] [more inside]
posted by tellurian at 3:59 PM PST - 11 comments

"They ran into each other. Nothing has the right of way up there. We don't have an air traffic controller in space. There is no universal way of knowing what's coming in your direction." An unprecedented collision of two orbiting satellites yesterday highlights the increasing threat of space junk.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot at 3:48 PM PST - 51 comments

On January 26th. two Pennsylvania judges were charged with taking $2.6 million in kickbacks to send teenagers to youth detention centers run by PA Child Care and Western PA Child Care. The judges are scheduled to plead guilty to fraud tomorrow in federal court."Youngsters were brought before judges without a lawyer, given hearings that lasted only a minute or two, and then sent off to juvenile prison for months for minor offenses." The judges are also accussed of helping the two firms "attain nearly $30 million in county contracts." A preliminary audit [PDF] of the companies has also turned up questionable expenses billed to the state. College basketball tickets, fishing trips and a $3,500 suit are among $1.26 million in expenses under scrutiny. [more inside]
posted by ericb at 2:48 PM PST - 56 comments


Cruella de Ville, the band, were formed by fraternal twins (with identical voices) Philomena and Colum Muinzer. They were probably best known for their single, "Those Two Dreadful Children", which appeared on Dr. Demento's show a number of times. CdV were only around for a short time (1982-1984) before dropping off the map [citation needed], but thanks to the internets and youtubeses, we can revisit their tiny catalogue: pop nuggets in a manic, cheeky, theatrical punk vein. But just when you thought you'd pegged their sound...
posted by not_on_display at 2:02 PM PST - 14 comments

Valentine's day sucks. After you learn how to survive it alone, count your blessings that at least you aren't on a bad date like Lynn. Hey, once you've cheered up a little, why not send a card to a special someone and maybe add some candy hearts to the mix. Then again, just boycotting the whole damn thing might be best idea yet.
posted by idiotfactory at 1:39 PM PST - 39 comments

How Could 9,000 Business Reporters Blow It? A former Wall Street Journal writer dissects why business reporters bought the bull—and missed the biggest story on their beat. [more inside]
posted by ornate insect at 1:25 PM PST - 47 comments

They are murderers, rapists, torturers, and enslavers, and they have no right to be part of our social and political life. The best that I can offer the Cylon is neutrality; we return to the state of disengagement that existed prior to the breaking of the peace. The Cylon can go there way in peace, and we can go ours.
-- From "Why Tom Zarek Was Right", a Letter to the Editor from "Concerned Colonial Citizen". If you are not up-to-date on the saga, the above will contain massive spoilers (as will this thread). Fortunately, hulu.com not only has all the as-yet aired Season 4.5 episodes, but also each episode Enhanced with series executive producer Ronald Moore's revealing audio commentary.
posted by orthogonality at 1:16 PM PST - 185 comments

A fascinating talk about the composition of the universe [Youtube, approx 1 hour], presented by Sean Carroll, theoretical physicist at CIT. [via] [more inside]
posted by knave at 11:19 AM PST - 29 comments

Jennifer Figge a 56 year old mother turned adventurer is the first woman to swim across the frigid Atlantic Ocean!. Or so they thought...
posted by Mastercheddaar at 11:04 AM PST - 36 comments

The Amish Hackers - How the Amish modify modern technology to meet their needs, and the motivation behind those needs.
posted by SpecialK at 9:37 AM PST - 72 comments

Say goodbye to Blockbuster, Sbarro's, Rite Aid, Krispy Kreme and Chrysler. 15 US companies that probably won't make it through 2009.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:53 AM PST - 228 comments

A mysterious internet forum poster named Reinhardt has the financial conspiracy theorists abuzz this week ahead of a predicted "event" coming this Friday. He first surfaced last July by predicting to the day the bad week in September kicked off by the Lehman Brothers collapse on the 15th. [more inside]
posted by ewagoner at 8:51 AM PST - 47 comments

MAD Magazine is another victim of the crappy economy. It's scaling back publication to four times a year... [more inside]
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 8:10 AM PST - 57 comments

The cult of fashion; the fashion of cults.
posted by fiercecupcake at 7:10 AM PST - 41 comments


How Indian Cinema has changed.
posted by hadjiboy at 6:51 AM PST - 17 comments

Can you say Hero? The Life and Times of Mr. Fred Rogers One of the most influential people ever to grace television, Mr. Rogers was a neighbor to millions of children across the US. His legacy has left a long lasting impression on the fabric of society. With today's children being force fed Hanna Montana, and Joey 101, wouldn't it be nice if we could go to the kingdom of make believe, just one more time?
posted by Heliochrome85 at 6:09 AM PST - 57 comments

Phrases you are likely to need in Borneo, to judge from a phrasebook distributed in 1966 by the Borneo Literature Bureau. Enjoy your stay!
posted by jim in austin at 5:58 AM PST - 37 comments

BeOS is back! Immortalised by Neal Stephenson as the Batmobile of operating systems, it's been reincarnated as Haiku :P
posted by kliuless at 4:20 AM PST - 57 comments

The kidnapping of Philip Rizk; later they tried to get his father as well. Philip has now been freed.
The detention of protesters highlights Middle East governments' ambivalent attitudes towards support for the Palestinians.
Here it is worth noting of course that Philip is not alone in his arrest. Another blogger Diaa Eddin Gad has also been arrested as have several people attending a Muslim Brotherhood demonstration. A strong, collective message was sent last February when Egypt and Saudi Arabia introduced a pan-Arab regulatory framework for satellite television stations. The document, titled "Principles for Organizing Satellite Radio and TV Broadcasting in the Arab Region," clearly targets independent and privately owned stations that have been airing criticism of Arab governments.
This has helped trigger a Revolution, Facebook-Style. [more inside]
posted by adamvasco at 3:27 AM PST - 5 comments

February 10

Surprising stories behind 20 Muppet characters. Example: "Miss Piggy is apparently from Iowa".
posted by sarabeth at 11:23 PM PST - 55 comments


"It doubtless seems highly paradoxical to assert that Time is unreal, and that all statements which involve its reality are erroneous. ... I believe that time is unreal. But I do so for reasons which are not, I think, employed by any of the philosophers whom I have mentioned, and I propose to explain my reasons in this paper." ~McTaggart, The Unreality of Time, 1908. (Bonus: The Kant Song.)
posted by voltairemodern at 6:44 PM PST - 96 comments

The Vimy Ridge Memorial is a common destination for Canadian travellers in France. As previous visitors have discovered, however, it is not the easiest place to reach once you get off the train. Thankfully, there's been help in the form of the Welcome Man (Windows Media embedded video --clip starts at 11:30). Over the last 13 years Georges Devloo has met the train at Vimy every day, where he offers free transportation to the memorial to confused and lost Canadians seeking to pay their respects. In this time, it's been estimated that M. Devloo has given rides other assistance to over 1,200 Canadians. Today, we said au-revoir to "le grand-père de Vimy".
posted by aclevername at 6:32 PM PST - 25 comments

A $10.00 scratch ticket + 2 buddies = $5,000,000.00 (minus lawyer fees). Day one in court. Day two.
posted by davebush at 6:25 PM PST - 70 comments

The Virginia Quarterly Review — "A National Journal of Literature and Discussion" — just made public every article, essay, book review etc. published in its pages between 1975 and 2003. Search the archives here or check out this blog post for some greatest hits.
posted by Bizurke at 5:58 PM PST - 9 comments

Cursebird is a real-time feed of people cursing on Twitter.
posted by chuckdarwin at 4:55 PM PST - 44 comments

Billy Joel performs "Only The Good Die Young" as it was meant to be heard: a reggae number.
posted by Joe Beese at 4:07 PM PST - 53 comments

The day will come when the words of Shakespeare are no longer known. Roger Ebert looks back on a long career and waxes philosophical.
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:35 PM PST - 60 comments


Canada is a desired location for Guantanamo Bay detainees. The Canadian Council for Refugees has profiles (pdf) up for some of the people they are helping.
posted by gman at 3:09 PM PST - 26 comments

I'm On a Boat, Featuring T-pain (NSFWork or Landlubbers) [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:01 PM PST - 56 comments

A giant horse, by Turner Prize-winner Mark Wallinger, will soon tower over part of southern England. Previously.
posted by WPW at 2:56 PM PST - 30 comments

The Invasion From Outer Space: Steven Millhauser gives The New Yorker a short, unsettling sci-fi story.
posted by The Whelk at 2:10 PM PST - 111 comments

"You take the gatekeeper and you confuse his mind. You threaten him and you throw him in the middle of nowhere. Then nobody knows where the gate is. As soon as you lose the whereabouts of the gate, then you have a culture going downhill. What keeps a village together is a handful of "gays and lesbians," as they call them in the modern world. In my village, lesbians are called witches, and gay men are known as the gatekeepers." The Dagara people of Burkina Faso. [more inside]
posted by pinothefrog at 11:21 AM PST - 49 comments

Tragedy of the anti-commons is the opposite of tragedy of the commons - it's when too many owners create grid-lock, nothing can get accomplished. It exists everywhere from copyright law, tech patents, music industry, airport runway expansion, medicine, etc.. it is pervasive across all aspects of modern capitalist societies. The concept was coined by Professor Michael Heller who published a book in 2008 called The Gridlock Economy: How Too Much Ownership Wrecks Markets, Stops Innovation, and Costs Lives. In an excellent Authors@Google video, Michael Heller explains what it is and how it undermines capitalism, in particular over the past 30 years with increased privatization.
posted by stbalbach at 8:27 AM PST - 55 comments

Amidst The Ghosts Of Its Fallen Figures: With the 20th anniversary of the Seattle scene's insurgence fast approaching, Exclaim! follows the timeline of Mark Lanegan, the scene's poetic misfit. [more inside]
posted by mannequito at 7:37 AM PST - 21 comments

Feel like listening to a concert tonight? Something classical? Or maybe folk is a bit more your style? World? Jazz? Nearly every day, two or three more live concert recordings are added to CBC Radio2's 'Concerts on Demand' library, with nearly 900 concerts now in the list. Each concert is given just as presented live, and you can either stream the whole thing, or choose track by track. Timings are given for all the music, and photo galleries and full descriptions and credits round it all off. All in all, it's a fabulous presentation, and there is more music here than you will ever be able to keep up with!
posted by woodblock100 at 7:32 AM PST - 22 comments


A tale of two countries Some time ago, the french & German tv channel Arte had created an internet extension devoted to audio only, Arteradio. This website contains hours of audio creations. This is the place where you can listen to The first radio drama /la première fiction radio /in two languages and one version /en deux langues et une seule version /a BBC-ARTE Radio coproduction /enregistrée à Paris et London /recorded on location /diffusée en hertzien /broadcasted on BBC Radio 4 on February, 4th, 2009 /online on arteradio.com. You can also listen to McKenzie Wark, or to the moment of silence created on September the eleventh 2002, to Steve, to English pupils in Paris, to Susan George, to Dean Hurley commenting his work, and then dive into the complete unknown, and pure French sounds, like these testimonies about masturbation, or about la chanson, like a Paris postcard, or even a street snapshot.
posted by nicolin at 7:05 AM PST - 3 comments

Back in 2006 on her parent's property in Galveston, a girl went outside to switch on a tripped breaker. She was wearing tight shorts. She was 12-years-old. Dymond Milburn got the living daylights beaten out of her and was hospitalized by 3 plain-clothes policemen on the mistaken pretense that she was a hooker. "You're a prostitute. You're coming with me." The final arguments of the trial were heard yesterday and it was declared a mistrial. The Milburns have launched a Federal suit against the officers.
posted by RockCorpse at 6:41 AM PST - 238 comments

1234567890
posted by swift at 5:43 AM PST - 51 comments

Evolution of the household 1950s to today, with values adjusted for inflation. (via Geek Press)
posted by caddis at 4:38 AM PST - 49 comments

At about 9:00PM last night, the nearly completed 40 story Mandarin Oriental Beijing caught fire. By midnight the entire building was engulfed in flames. The hotel was situated next to the CCTV Building, a new Beijing landmark known to locals as "The Big Underpants". Early reports suggest that illegal fireworks launched for the Lantern Festival, the last night of the Chinese New Year holiday, were the cause.
posted by hawkeye at 4:32 AM PST - 32 comments

February 9



"This was a symbolic killing," Adkisson wrote. "Who I wanted to kill was every Democrat in the Senate and House, the 100 people in Bernard Goldberg's book. I'd like to kill everyone in the mainstream media. But I knew these people were inaccessible to me. [more inside]
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:07 PM PST - 80 comments

HotBits is an Internet resource that brings genuine random numbers, generated by a process fundamentally governed by the inherent uncertainty in the quantum mechanical laws of nature, directly to your computer in a variety of forms. HotBits are generated by timing successive pairs of radioactive decays detected by a Geiger-Müller tube interfaced to a computer. (Warning: random sounds.)
posted by parudox at 7:46 PM PST - 41 comments

Every Swear Word from The Sopranos there is nothing left to be said, other than NSFW...
posted by HuronBob at 6:08 PM PST - 69 comments

Behold the mundane wonders of the space age. NASA offers a four-part hi-def tour of the International Space Station. [via] Cynical-C [more inside]
posted by awenner at 5:36 PM PST - 11 comments


And you thought Pepsi's redesign was just crappy. Well no. According to this ridiculous internal document (6MB, PDF), apparently leaked from their ad agency, the sugar-water's rebranding was 5,000 years in the making, and molded by the same elemental forces that shape the very cosmos.
Warning: Hilariously meaningless corporate drivel inside. [via]
posted by Silky Slim at 4:49 PM PST - 179 comments

Holy Cow! (SLYT)
posted by cjorgensen at 4:29 PM PST - 46 comments

This is Why You're Fat.
posted by empath at 4:29 PM PST - 111 comments


Sign language bunnies. Does exactly what it says. It's bunnies. Teaching you sign language. [more inside]
posted by essexjan at 2:22 PM PST - 21 comments

Joe Sedelmaier showed us where the beef is, and in doing so, revolutionized television advertising (aside from spawning a Clara Peller 7" and influencing the 1984 US elections). Here are some of Sedelmaier's greatest moments: Wendy's: Soviet Fashion Show | "Parts is Parts" • FedEx: "You can't count on anything these days!" | The Classic Speed Talker (John Moschitta, previously) • Pearson's Salted Nut Roll (with Godwin effect) • Fibreglas Pink (Canada) • Kaypro ComputersAlaska Airlines • Clara Peller in Jartran Truck RentalHayworth Furniture SystemsGMAC FinancingAnd for those missing individually, Youtuber jerry7242 has posted a reel of 30 minutes' worth of Joe Sedelmaier's commercials in four parts: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 (#4 includes an interview with Joe Sedelmaier) Enjoy! [more inside]
posted by not_on_display at 2:14 PM PST - 8 comments

Trump Entertainment is about to run out of the third extension of its debt payments. Station Casinos is offering its investors as little as 10 cents on the dollar in a pre-packaged bankruptcy. Wynn Resorts is cutting staff hours and bonuses to avoid layoffs. MGM Mirage may see a default rate of 30% on its City Center condominiums. Harrah's long-term debt has doubled. There are no more traffic jams on the Strip. Oh... and the Borgata Hotel in Atlantic City had to settle a $70 million sexual harassment lawsuit brought by its beverage servers. In short: times are tough.
posted by Joe Beese at 12:53 PM PST - 61 comments

I like watching videos of people riding fixed gear bikes in the city: Empire, MashSF, Macaframa, Fast Friday, Bootleg Sessions, Lucas Brunelle's crazy vids (linked on MeFi before). Don't like videos? Try Fixed Gear Magazine (pdf of vol 1 and vol 2) or CogMag (dead tree mag, but excerpts from each issue are on their site).
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 12:51 PM PST - 54 comments

This is the real line-a-day diary of a young farmgirl in 1937. [more inside]
posted by cashman at 12:35 PM PST - 32 comments

Alec Duffy won all rights to Sufjan Stevens' song "Lonely Man of Winter" in a contest (traded for the rights to his winning song). Rather than sell or blog it, he's having private listening parties with a handful of guests each Wednesday night in Brooklyn through Feb. 25th. Here's why. You can hear his winning entry, the vaguely Magnetic-Fieldsy Every Day Is Christmas, but so far, he has kept Stevens' song offline. Some people are angry about these "little asshat tea parties." The closest most of us can get are listener descriptions from Annie Scott ("lovely"), and Jessica Suarez ("gorgeous"). [more inside]
posted by msalt at 12:09 PM PST - 94 comments

"For [Improv Everywhere's] latest mission, Agent Lathan gave out 2,000 high fives by standing next to a subway escalator during the morning rush. Five additional agents spread out along the adjacent stairs, holding signs that prepared commuters for the upcoming high five fun. Enjoy the video first and then check out the mission report and photos."
posted by sarabeth at 11:39 AM PST - 67 comments

Picture a three-guy trading floor. They would call a carrier,... [and] manually move trunks in and out of route by issuing SQL commands against the Veraz's Oracle database.... Let me write that out for you: One ass-hat residential customer with a 20yo telephone with four extra buttons did thirty million dollars in damages in less than one night. Anyways, that's how the company went bankrupt... and about 6000 or so people ... all got laid off.
posted by orthogonality at 9:21 AM PST - 97 comments

Steve Brill has a crazy idea that just might work. Would you pay a modest annual fee (about the cost of a magazine subscription) to read the New York Times online, if it means the survival of the world's greatest newspaper, er, news-gathering organization? It's an interesting idea.
posted by nance at 8:24 AM PST - 172 comments

Remember Mrs. Wall? You may enjoy this recent documentary about objectum-sexuals.
posted by prefpara at 7:31 AM PST - 30 comments

The Woz: Alpha geek, Apple cofounder, business leader, ballroom dancer. [more inside]
posted by ardgedee at 6:55 AM PST - 25 comments


How to raise money for the Shirley Jackson Awards? Why, a Lottery, natch. The Shirley Jackson Awards, established in 2007 to reward "outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror and the dark fantastic" is holding an online lottery beginning today and continuing through February 23 to raise funds for the program. Participants can buy $1 digital lottery tickets for any of 51 donated prizes from authors, editors, artists, and agents. Which prize will draw the most interest? Perhaps an autographed computer keyboard from Neil Gaiman? Or the chance to be Tuckerized in an upcoming work? [Tuckerization explained] Or ... star in a porn role? [more inside]
posted by taz at 4:58 AM PST - 32 comments

February 8

According to legend, Einstein was eating chocolate when he came upon the theory of relativity. These sites are all about chocolate and candy in general. Chocolate Obsession. Hyperbole? Maybe. Just a little. Ok, a lot. Chocolate does have a lot to offer, though. It is a one of a kind food characterized by a truly unique and intense flavor. The idea of Jim's Chocolate Mission came after a discussion with friends about the greatest chocolate bar. Was is the Wispa? Galaxy? Clark? The Chocolate Review is most likely to review English chocolate because that's where they're from, but they also do imports. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 9:28 PM PST - 39 comments


Darwin the abolitionist. "The theory of evolution is regarded as a triumph of disinterested scientific reason. Yet, on the 150th anniversary of On the Origin of Species, new research reveals that Darwin was driven to the idea of common descent by a great moral cause." [Via]
posted by homunculus at 8:31 PM PST - 24 comments

Radical Graphics you can use in your flyers against the system.
posted by - at 7:45 PM PST - 29 comments

American jazz singer Blossom Dearie dead at age 82. American jazz singer Blossom Dearie died Friday in her Greenwich Village home after a long illness. For most, an acquired taste. Her voice and phrasing had a way of drawing you in, taken aback by how soft and gentle she sounded. I think it was New Yorker critic Whitney Balliet who said her voice wouldn't reach the second story of a doll house. [more inside]
posted by paddbear at 2:27 PM PST - 66 comments

Forgiving student loan debt to stimulate the economy is an idea that seems to be gaining some ground recently. There's a petition, at least two facebook groups, and call to contact your senators and representatives.
posted by sero_venientibus_ossa at 12:15 PM PST - 322 comments


Where We Do What We Do is a gallery of the places where we work.
posted by jon_hansen at 10:06 AM PST - 33 comments

Henry's Turkey Service is a Texas-based company that for 34 years has employed dozens of mentally disabled men to work in an Iowa turkey processing plant. The state fire marshall shut down the mens residence over the weekend due to "deplorable" conditions. Now the investigation continues into civil rights and other violations. [more inside]
posted by justlisa at 9:22 AM PST - 24 comments

Hard up for cash? Roll your own :P [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 8:32 AM PST - 36 comments

Braddock, Pennsylvania has been classified as a "distressed municipality." This may be an understatement: From a high of around 20,000, its population has dwindled to below 3000, many of those people unemployed. Braddock's is a landscape so grim ("a mix of boarded-up storefronts, houses in advanced stages of collapse and vacant lots") that it was selected to serve as a backdrop for the film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's post-apocalyptic novel, The Road. Its mayor, John Fetterman, considers Braddock “a laboratory for solutions to all these maladies starting to knock on the door of every community.” [more inside]
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:06 AM PST - 88 comments

February 7

Many places in Victoria are on fire. Victoria's Bushfires can help you keep track of the current situation around Melbourne. [more inside]
posted by mosessis at 11:41 PM PST - 209 comments

He couldn't sing, dance, or tell jokes, but he was television's greatest impresario. He was a stone-faced puritan -- America's arbiter of status quo -- but had a sly sense of humor , and in the segregation-tainted 1950's, welcomed blacks to his stage, and in the 1960's showcased rock n' roll's most anti-establishment acts. His show, the longest-running variety show in history, ran from 1948 to 1971. [more inside]
posted by terranova at 10:49 PM PST - 46 comments

The Motel in America. In a different America, where the novelty of driving cross-country and the charm of the highway strip drew droves of tourists--and their automobiles--from coast to coast in the name of exploration and recreation, motels provided a home away from home for weary travelers. While many of the great motels of the mid-twentieth century have disappeared from the national landscape, the linen postcards left behind in the Motel Morgue can give us a glimpse into what this era of American tourism and leisure looked like.
posted by sarabeth at 10:18 PM PST - 24 comments

Suit alleges that her partner of 18 years and her children were denied access to dying woman in Florida hospital. Due to her organ donation, however, Lisa Marie Pond’s heart survives.
posted by Morrigan at 8:54 PM PST - 38 comments

Nestled amid the red buttes of Papago Park in Phoenix, the Desert Botanical Garden hosts one of the world’s finest collections of desert plants. Home to 139 rare, threatened and endangered plant species from around the world, the Garden offers interesting and inspiring experiences, while their website offers gardening help including good growing guides. The Desert Botanical Garden has educational programming and research for children as well as adults. The internationally acclaimed living collection of over 20,000 desert plants, with particular emphasis on those inhabiting the Sonoran Desert, continues to serve the public and scientific community. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 7:40 PM PST - 13 comments


Do you have what it takes to be an officer in the Swedish Armed Forces? ["Headphones required", new window pops]
posted by zardoz at 6:52 PM PST - 21 comments



In 2003, Major League Baseball ran a testing survey to see if they had a steroid problem. They did, but the names of the 104 players testing positive were kept secret. Today, one of the names was revealed: Alex Rodriguez.
posted by Stylus Happenstance at 3:49 PM PST - 115 comments

The title says it all: Pets Who Want To Kill Themselves.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:37 PM PST - 32 comments

German-born Kim Petras may be the world's youngest transsexual. Wanting to be a woman since the age of 2, she began taking female hormones at 12 and had gender reassignment surgery at 16. She's also an aspiring pop singer.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 2:38 PM PST - 129 comments

The first female White House chef, a naturalized Philippina named Cristeta Comerford, was appointed by George W. Bush - who told Philippine President Gloria Arroyo, "I am reminded of the great talent of our Philippine Americans when I eat dinner at the White House." Despite the urging of American food icon Alice Waters, President Obama has left Comerford in charge of the White House kitchens - though he's keeping quiet about it. But on the basis of the wines served at Obama's Inauguration Day lunch, oenophiles are still hoping for change. (more First Food posts here and here )
posted by Joe Beese at 12:59 PM PST - 56 comments

Politics, the Press, and the Public. Bill Moyers speaks with Glenn Greenwald and Jay Rosen about the role of the establishment press in America’s dysfunctional political system.
posted by homunculus at 12:23 PM PST - 18 comments

Last-minute diplomacy: Less than a week before it left office, the Bush administration tripled the import duty rate on roquefort cheese to 300%, a move which the US hopes will "shut down trade" in the sheep's milk product by making it prohibitively expensive. [more inside]
posted by puckish at 11:22 AM PST - 98 comments

Carnival is home again.
The small Caribbean island of Trinidad has one of world's most lively Carnivals. An historical overview and explanation.
Lets start with the mas(querade); and Peter "see the music, hear the dance" Minshall without doubt the greatest ever carnival costume designer.
The music's inside. [more inside]
posted by adamvasco at 11:08 AM PST - 6 comments

"As part of Liverpool's Capital of Culture year, the French group La Machine were commissioned to create a large piece of street theatre, on the scale of their earlier work, the Sultan's Elephant. Many were expecting to see something using the iconic Liverbirds, the symbol of the city but instead we got a spider." We also got some amazing photographs from Peter Carr of the gorgeously monstrous 37-ton, 50-foot arachnid.
posted by storybored at 10:24 AM PST - 30 comments

“With this road, safety comes first all the time, and Ice Road Truckers just made a mockery of everything we do.” One journalist’s experience on the frozen road in the Northwest Territories. Made famous by a TV show, the road now sees less use in part due to a decline in demand for the NWT’s non-blood diamonds.
posted by joeclark at 9:53 AM PST - 20 comments

It is said that the Amazons were tribes of women warriors in the East of Ukraine, in the Donesk area. They are back nowadays in the Carpathian mountains. (via)
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:40 AM PST - 58 comments

Via Amazon, you can read the first few chapters[PDF] of Carol Lay's new graphic novel-cum-diet book The Big Skinny. Blogger and fellow cartoonist Ampersand/Barry Deutsch doesn't object to the weight loss she documents, he just isn't convinced that it's actually all that healthy. [more inside]
posted by Acheman at 5:08 AM PST - 78 comments

"Habsburg! A vile being, heir to an illustrious name, born to a fortune, to honours, to soldiers, to prestige, and who finished as the lowest of Montmartre pimps, living from the money of a poor and unstable girl whom he sent to commit his foul deeds in his place!"
That was after this Polish scion of the most famous family in Europe and commander of a soi disant "Ukrainian Legion" failed to finagle the crown as a Socialist king of The Ukraine, and became instead a patron of the rent boys of Paris who "handled women by necessity and men for pleasure". And all that before he turned successively a Nazi sympathizer, a British spy, and finally came, for the first and last time, to Ukraine's capital Kiev as a victim of Stalin and the Twentieth Century.
posted by orthogonality at 4:05 AM PST - 24 comments

February 6

On the Militant Trail [Most recent of four articles with links to preceding pieces] Renowned Asia Times correspondent Syed Saleem Shahzad visits Peshawar, capital of Pakistan's North West Frontier Province and takes a journey with the Taliban through the Swat valley. His four-part series of articles examines the differing natures and strategies of various Taliban groups, describes a government counter-insurgency campaign gone seriously awry and finds indications that "a major battle will be fought in Pakistan before the annual spring offensive even begins in Afghanistan this year."
posted by Abiezer at 11:31 PM PST - 15 comments

The Lecture System in Teaching Science "Meanwhile, back at the classroom, the lecture is drawing to a close. Just as the bell rings, the lecturer, if he's a really smooth operator, comes to the end of a sentence, a paragraph, a nice neat unit. He lays down his last piece of chalk — he knows exactly how many pieces the lecture will take — picks up his precious lecture notes, and goes out. The students, tired but happy, rise up and follow after him. Their heads are empty, but their notebooks are full. Their necks are a little tired; it's been like a sort of vertical tennis match: board, notebook, board, notebook. But other than that, everything is all right. Any student will tell you, "I never had any trouble with the course until the first examination."" [via]
posted by dhruva at 7:34 PM PST - 63 comments

"Today we destroyed BoB." The giant sandbox-galaxy of EVE-Online (previously) was rocked this week by a defection from Band of Brothers, the largest alliance in the game (and no stranger to controversy), to the Something Awful-related alliance Goonswarm. The Mittani, the goon spymaster, explains what happened, after all of BoB's assets were given over, the alliance disbanded, and the name reincorporated by goons. Via [more inside]
posted by waraw at 6:25 PM PST - 207 comments


Yet another study says the middle class are fleeing New York City. What happened to the previous studies and solutions? Bloomberg to Middle Class, "Get Out."
posted by Xurando at 4:38 PM PST - 78 comments

Paper cutout animation is repetitive, time consuming work. Results, however, can be well worth it. (SLYT)
posted by seagull.apollo at 2:52 PM PST - 19 comments

How We Kill Geniuses. "[Elizabeth Gilbert recalls] a story that musician Tom Waits told her years ago. One day he was driving on a Los Angeles freeway when a fragment of a melody popped into his head. He looked around for something to capture the tune -- a pencil or pen -- but had nothing to record it. He started to panic that he'd lose the melody and be haunted by it forever and his talent would be gone. In the midst of this anxiety attack, he suddenly stopped, looked at the sky, and said to whatever force it was that was trying to create itself through the melody, 'Excuse me. Can you not see I'm driving? Do I look like I can write down a song right now? If you really want to exist, come back at a more opportune moment ... otherwise go bother somebody else today. Go bother Leonard Cohen.'" Gilbert explores the idea that we might stifle genius by demanding that creative people be somehow larger than life and something more than human.
posted by sarabeth at 2:41 PM PST - 175 comments

Roto-Spheres were dramatic animated neon signs, with 16 spikes projecting from a central ball; the left and right hemispheres rotated in opposite directions, and the whole thing rotated as well. Only 234 were made, and not many are still working, but despite their rarity, they are somehow instantly recognizable as the ultimate signs of the atomic age.
posted by adamrice at 1:53 PM PST - 32 comments

IBM solves the outsourcing problem by firing American employees then offering to re-hire them in India. "The pitch to employees who might consider shifting to IBM's operations in developing economies seems to be the low cost of living, warmer climate and variety in cuisine and exotic places."
posted by billysumday at 1:38 PM PST - 86 comments

Obama reverses Bush administration on mercury pollution standards. With all the focus understandably being on the global financial crisis lately, it can be easy to forget that President Obama has other problems to contend with. But then, as other's are quick to point out, the unfortunate thing is it's all interrelated. (Newsfilter) [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman at 1:27 PM PST - 13 comments

Everyone and his or her uncle has griped about the mediocre official inaugural poems heralding recent new U.S. presidencies. Meanwhile, poets Arielle Greenberg & Rachel Zucker have put together a blog, STARTING TODAY, commissioning a poem a day from many of those they consider the best contemporary poets writing today, documenting in verse life under the new ruling paradigm.
posted by aught at 1:15 PM PST - 16 comments

"To make off with hubby's fortune, yea, I think I heard of that happenin' once or twice around L.A. And… you want me to do what exactly?" He found the paper bag he'd brought his supper home in and got busy pretending to scribble notes on it, because straight-chick uniform, makeup supposed to look like no makeup or whatever, here came that old well-known hard-on Shasta was always good for sooner or later. Does it ever end, he wondered. Of course it does. It did. Thomas Pynchon's next novel, the 416-page Inherent Vice, is described by Penguin Press as "part noir, part psychedelic romp, all Thomas Pynchon — private eye Doc Sportello comes, occasionally, out of a marijuana haze to watch the end of an era as free love slips away and paranoia creeps in with the L.A. fog." While we wait for its August 4 publication, we can read an essay on the dystopian musical he co-wrote at Cornell or watch a clip of that movie they made of Gravity's Rainbow. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese at 11:43 AM PST - 76 comments

Science & technology funding has an enormous long term impact on the economy, a fact that has not escaped China. Yet, Senators Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Susan Collins (R-ME) have proposed cutting all National Science Foundation and Department of Energy Office of Science funding from the Senate American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, along with almost all other proposed funding of the sciences and technological development, as a part of a $77.9B reduction effort. Why? Well, you'll notice that Nebraska & Maine don't contribute much to science & technology in the United States, nor win many grants, and hence no bacon for Nelson and Collins. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges at 11:42 AM PST - 86 comments


Following panic about a now-discredited study on the MMR vaccine, measles cases in the UK are on the rise. Radio host Jeni Barnett hosted a phone-in about it (transcript), defending parents' rights to choose not to vaccinate their children. Bad Science blogger Ben Goldacre had a thing or two to say about Barnett's argument. When the broadcaster of the radio show threatened legal action, bloggers of bad science responded...
posted by creeky at 11:28 AM PST - 117 comments

DeweyMusic makes browsing archive.org's Live Music Archive super easy.
posted by Korou at 9:49 AM PST - 17 comments

New Extreme Sports. Mega ramp skateboarding, ostrich racing, underwater golfing, pole dancing and pillow fighting are just a few of the innovative new sports you may see in future X Games. (via SpoFi)
posted by netbros at 8:27 AM PST - 32 comments

overclockblocked , by Sumit Dan. short story told in speculative chippy dialect. Fucken AIbrid think he so fucking cool with he retrofleshy stylen. Like you don’t already know he dealin double-helix, not just some two-bit qubit.
posted by mwhybark at 7:54 AM PST - 61 comments

"The Beydanes, also known as White Moors, are the ruling caste in Mauritania. They are Arab Berber tribesmen whose ancestors established control in the seventeenth century. The Haratin, also known as Black Moors, are the descendants of black West Africans conquered and enslaved by the Beydanes centuries ago." from the New Yorker story, A Slave in New York, about a former slave who escaped in 1978, came to live in America and now works with the American Anti-Slavery Group. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 5:34 AM PST - 25 comments

Five Dials is a free, downloadable literary magazine published by Hamish Hamilton (UK publisher of McSweeney's) and featuring so far texts by writers and artists, old and new, including Noam Chomsky, Alain de Botton, Gustave Flaubert, Bob and Roberta Smith, Iain Sinclair, Jean Paul Sartre, Roger Deakin, Raymond Chandler and Jonathan Safran Foer.
posted by lucia__is__dada at 4:21 AM PST - 7 comments

The player auctions and trades for the Indian Premier League are underway, with some players signing contracts for record sums. This is the first year that ECB-registered players can play in the IPL, and the ECB and county cricket clubs are watching the auctions closely. Tensions between players on the England team and county clubs with IPL players have been noted. With the growth of Twenty20 and concerns about its impact on playing style, the injection of so much money and spectacle, it might be fair to ask is this cricket?
posted by Grrlscout at 12:31 AM PST - 31 comments

February 5

In 1966, NBC broadcast a GE College Bowl match between a team from Princeton University (all male, of course—Princeton wouldn't go co-ed until three years later) and a team from Agnes Scott College, a small women's college in Decatur, Georgia. In one of the most exciting upsets in the history of the program, after trailing early, Agnes Scott came from behind to win, pushed over the edge by Karen Gearreald's final answer, with only one second left on the clock. "That young lady, by the way, was the only person in the theater who could not see the clock," the program's host, Robert Earle, later wrote. "She is blind." [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco at 8:47 PM PST - 57 comments

Shit's gettin' way too complicated for me 1. Barack Obama puts some salty language (in quotations attributed to others) in his memoir Dreams of My Father. 2. Obama reads the audiobook himself. 3. Obama gets elected President. 4. Blogger posts remix-ready clips of POTUS profanity online. I can't wait to see what teh intertubes make of this.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 7:21 PM PST - 79 comments


The Gay Alphabet. "This is an art project that explores what a recruitment campaign might look like..." [more inside]
posted by terranova at 2:12 PM PST - 52 comments

CollegeHumor, which peddles fraternity pranks and workplace stunts to an online audience of millions, is making the move to television this Sunday. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:09 PM PST - 47 comments

The savings and loan’s decision not to settle the lawsuit made no economic sense for a solvent institution, but it made perfect sense if their principle objective was to maintain the false appearance of solvency for as long as possible. The savings and loan was undoubtedly inflating all of their assets, including my homely little lawsuit, to postpone the inevitable.
What reminded me of that incident from my late, unlamented law practice was the persistent failure of financial institutions to modify mortgages voluntarily. It makes perfect economic sense for a safe and sound institution to avoid the ruinous costs of foreclosure by agreeing to reduce the principal and monthly payment for homeowners who can pay a mortgage, but not the one they’ve got. But according to the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, fewer than ten percent of mortgage modifications in November reduced the principal. About half added late payments and penalties to the principal, and either increased monthly payments or added payments at the back end of the mortgage. If a borrower was in default already, what’s the chance the borrower can make a higher monthly payment?
Brad Miller, US Congressman for the Thirteenth District of North Carolina advances a possible motivation for the apparently illogical behavior of US banks.
posted by orthogonality at 11:25 AM PST - 75 comments

Infrastructurist. Although the blog is only a few days old, they've already debunked some of the myths of 24, interviewed Michael Dukakis, and grappled with Amtrak economics.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 10:34 AM PST - 27 comments

In 2007, Dubya wrote an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal. Obama has followed suit with an op-ed article in the Washington Post. Both sites mention that The writer "is the president of the United States." Have we entered a new era of the bully pulpit?
posted by JVA at 9:45 AM PST - 48 comments

Dr. Aribert Heim known to his friends as Dr. Death was the "Most Wanted" Nazi War Criminal whose whereabouts were unknown. He has been found, having lived in Cairo, and died there in 1992 after converting to Islam. Previously, he had been thought to be living in Chile. The long hunt for Heim and previous misinformation had led to some doubts from experts that the case is indeed, finally, closed.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:42 AM PST - 27 comments

Manhattan maple syrup smell mystery solved, finally.
posted by Lutoslawski at 9:33 AM PST - 87 comments

A high school teacher's account of an LSD trip he didn't mean to take.
posted by gman at 8:46 AM PST - 201 comments

If you got an email from a stranger who said they'd donate $200 to a charity of your choice if you would invite him and a friend over to your place for dinner, would you say yes? Toronto artist Franke James did, and now she now thinks it might be an interesting idea for fundraising.
posted by Staggering Jack at 8:37 AM PST - 35 comments

2 very moving stories about high school kids with heart.
posted by theora55 at 8:28 AM PST - 12 comments


Diplo (Wesly Pentz) has a short interview/bio on The Guardian, including a guide to his best collaborations, spanning from Never Scared as Hollertronix (Diplo + Low Budget), to M.I.A.'s mixtape "Piracy Funds Terrorism" (it's true!), up to his forthcoming work with Switch as Major Lazer. But Diplo doesn't just spend his time with recording artists. He's sharing his style-mixing skills with kids in Australia, while a friend of his does the same in India.... [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 8:00 AM PST - 16 comments

A false etymology is "an assumed or postulated etymology that current consensus among scholars of historical linguistics holds to be incorrect." The internet has provided a platform for the rapid spread of some false etymologies - Snopes has posts debunking Picnic / Handicap / Buck / Crowbar. On the other hand, a folk etymology can mean "the process by which a word or phrase, usually one of seemingly opaque formation, is arbitrarily reshaped so as to yield a form which is considered to be more transparent." Other interesting anomalies of etymology: backronyms and eggcorns.
posted by billysumday at 7:56 AM PST - 27 comments

"Unlike virtually every other feather color, no pigment turns feathers blue. We've known that for decades. Instead, it's long been thought that a layer of cells on blue birds' feathers reflected light at blue wavelengths, similar to the phenomenon that makes the sky blue." Now, however, scientists have another explanation. [more inside]
posted by metastability at 7:52 AM PST - 13 comments

AP alleges copyright infringement of Obama image. Related. Also, see previously [1] [2] [3].
posted by humannaire at 7:51 AM PST - 75 comments

RGB Garden is a purely design based web design gallery and web designers community featuring beautiful CSS and Flash based websites. They also feature design related articles and downloads. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 7:27 AM PST - 1 comments

The Small Science Collective creates mini-zines about SCIENCE. Each zine downloads as a PDF. Learn about DNA computing, rediscover cephalopods, or host a bot fly. More information is available on the collective's accompanying blog. (via)
posted by Korou at 7:22 AM PST - 6 comments

Amazing Archaeological Discovery! Hair-metal fans said to be stunned.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 6:07 AM PST - 44 comments

"A striking feature of the New Wall Street System business model was its relentless drive to expand balance sheets, maximizing the asset and liabilities sides. The investment banks used their leverage ratio as the target to be achieved at all times rather than as an outer limit of risk to be reduced where possible by holding surplus capital ... One explanation is that they were doing this in line with the wishes of their shareholders (once they had turned themselves into limited liability companies) ... But there is also another possible explanation for borrowing to the leverage limit: the struggle for market share and for maximum pricing power in trading activities," Against mainstream accounts, Peter Gowan argues that the origins of the global financial crisis lie in the dynamics of the New Wall Street System that has emerged since the 1980s. Contours of the Atlantic model, and implications—geopolitical, ideological, economic—of its blow-out.
posted by geoff. at 5:28 AM PST - 21 comments


As Orwell said, "another English characteristic which is so much a part of us that we barely notice it,... is the addiction to hobbies and spare-time occupations". Of those, trainspotting must be the most misunderstood. But now you can try it yourself with the online trainspotting simulator and join in the fun!
posted by lucia__is__dada at 3:17 AM PST - 29 comments

February 4

Concept art for the Alien 3 that never was - Before the Walter Hill version was shot, entirely in brown, by David Fincher there were many iterations of the Alien 3 script. One of the more exotic ones was the Vincent Ward & John Fasano "monks in space" script, illustrated here. [via io9]
posted by Artw at 11:30 PM PST - 46 comments


"The avionics system in the F-22 Raptor, the current U.S. Air Force frontline jet fighter, consists of about 1.7 million lines of software code. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter...about 5.7 million lines of code...Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner...about 6.5 million lines of software code. These are impressive amounts of software, yet if you bought a premium-class automobile recently, it probably contains close to 100 million lines of software code."
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 9:11 PM PST - 64 comments





Police do it to the British public 24/7/365. It has become pervasive in the UK and shows little sign of changing. Apparently, however, Joe Blogs may find that his rights may be greatly compromised when photographing Police or even criminals. [more inside]
posted by Don't_deceive_with_belief at 4:44 PM PST - 48 comments

Forbes magazine runs an article promoting Crowdspring, the "design crowdsourcing" website, and calls professional design "snooty". Professional designers go absolutely crazy.
posted by WPW at 4:16 PM PST - 109 comments

Digital Research Tools (DiRT) is a wiki created by Lisa Spiro, director of Rice University's Digital Media Center. Tons of "snapshot reviews of software that can help researchers" are categorized by what you're trying to accomplish ("Analyze Statistics," "Network With Other Researchers," "Search Visually"), as well as by general topic ("Authoring," "Linguistic Tools," "Text Analysis"). Via
posted by Rykey at 3:45 PM PST - 5 comments

"What are the new liberal arts?", asks SnarkMarket, inspired by Jason Kottke's tagline and Edge. The blog post has turned into a pitch for a new collaborative book, with spirited discussions and over 100 suggestions including photography, design, relationships, mythology, intuitive thinking, synthesis, knowledge mastery, search, archiving, play, and home economics.
posted by divabat at 3:44 PM PST - 44 comments

Here is an interesting critique of evolutionary psychology by philosopher of science David Buller. Clark Barrett and Edouard Machery published a critique of Buller's book (pdf). Anthropologist James Holland Jones has been following the debate and is compelled by arguments on both sides. [more inside]
posted by AceRock at 3:21 PM PST - 42 comments

Academic Earth collects lectures on a wide variety of subjects from UC Berkely, Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Stanford and Yale that the universities have released under Creative Commons. The site is still in beta so it doesn't quite have the thousands of lectures its frontpage promises. It has many full courses, for example Benjamin Polak teaching game theory, Amy Hungerford on the American novel since 1945, Charles Bailyn's introduction to astrophysics, John Merriman on the history of France since 1871, Shelly Kagan on death and Oussama Khatib's introduction to robotics.
posted by Kattullus at 2:59 PM PST - 10 comments

Iraq: "A woman suspected of recruiting more than 80 female suicide bombers has confessed to organising their rapes so she could later convince them that martyrdom was the only way to escape the shame."
Algeria: "Evil al-Qaeda chiefs are raping young male converts to shame them into becoming suicide bombers, it emerged yesterday. "
posted by davidstandaford at 1:49 PM PST - 140 comments

Objective measurements of RAW images are an essential basis for any analysis of digital cameras, but such measurements were neither possible nor available until now. DxO Labs has developed a new scale for digital camera image quality performance, called DxOMark Sensor, to serve as an additional tool to help photographers rank and compare digital cameras. This scale is based on three underlying metrics, Color Depth, Dynamic Range and Low-Light ISO, each one tied to a real-life photographic scenario: landscape, studio & portrait, and photojournalism & sport. (This application requires Flash™ as it uses FusionCharts.) Hours of fun sorting the data by the various metrics, including $$$. [more inside]
posted by spock at 12:07 PM PST - 39 comments

Chuck Schumer. Barney Frank. A closer look at two of Washington's most powerful men.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 11:55 AM PST - 21 comments

A History of the Bench Press, by Sean Katterle (includes a list of 600+ pound classic bench presses)
All three variations of the press on back – prone floor press, belly toss and bench press – persisted relatively unchanged through the 1940s, but a hierarchy among them quickly developed. For bodybuilders the bench version gained dominance, and by the 1950s it was the king of upper-body movements
posted by jason's_planet at 10:37 AM PST - 44 comments


Kyrgyzstan is to close a key US military airbase which is a key staging post for coalition troops into Afghanistan. This is probably a question of money, as Kyrgyzstan is facing a looming energy crisis.
As predicted the "great game" continues, with Russia playing a tricky game.
First soften up your 'mark' with a cyber attack.
As a result Afghan supply routes now face setbacks.
posted by adamvasco at 10:17 AM PST - 18 comments

Is it Friday yet? "Tag: The Power of Paint is a free, first-person puzzle platformer which focuses on the players’ ability to modify their environment as they see fit, simply by painting it." (Windows)
posted by jbickers at 10:11 AM PST - 20 comments

uniCornify the Web! That's right. Unicorns and rainbows when you feel the web is icky or frustrating. Here's what Metafilter could look like. If you want you can add their java snippet to your browser bar and cornify anything!
posted by filmgeek at 10:02 AM PST - 23 comments


"Arguably...given their limited obligation and inclination to report to external audiences about operational or performance matters, foundations are the least accountable institutions in our society."
Some are pointing to the rise of a non-profit industrial complex (echoing Eisenhower's famous warning of a military industrial complex and the phrase's later application to the prison industry). What does it mean for the left if the revolution will not be funded?
posted by lunit at 9:29 AM PST - 27 comments

How Old Are You? Guess people's ages based on submitted photos. (via)
posted by The Whelk at 9:15 AM PST - 57 comments


The Tax Gap - "The Guardian will examine the extent of tax avoidance by big business, day-by-day over two weeks. We are naming more than 20 major British companies, and analysing their secretive tax strategies to ask: are they paying their fair share?".
posted by Gyan at 7:23 AM PST - 34 comments

It is the Mountain that Eats Men, and it killed millions of people, and is still killing them today. It built and then destroyed the Spanish Empire, brought low the Ottomans, and helped lead to Dutch power. Its mint-mark may be the source of the dollar sign (the mint mark is by the date). It is the highest city in the world, and it holds on to its traditions, like ritual fighting and respect for El Tio, the Lord of the Underworld. It is Potosi, the Silver Mountain.
posted by blahblahblah at 7:23 AM PST - 15 comments

FreelanceSwitch covers many of the topics freelancers need to know about with their daily articles and tips. They run a freelance job board and have regular podcasts so you can learn a little something while you work or commute. Check out the FreelanceSwitch forums for support and advice from other freelancers, or check out their resources section. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 7:19 AM PST - 4 comments



February 3


Twitter Chatter During the Super Bowl An interactive link from the New York Times.
posted by jokeefe at 9:12 PM PST - 23 comments

"In a dimly lit corner of a Paris bar a delighted young divorcée describes in a soft voice how she spent the day throwing snowballs for the first time in her life. That is not remarkable. This is: Nujood Ali is just 10 years old."
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 8:00 PM PST - 36 comments

In the months leading up to the 2008 US presidential elections, quite a few pro-obama songs made the rounds of Youtube. Reggae great Cocoa Tea gives us the sorely-needed reggae perspective.
posted by dr_dank at 7:30 PM PST - 15 comments


Hans Beck, the inventor of Playmobil has died. The guy who made a toy that so many people had so much fun with is gone.
posted by sien at 6:52 PM PST - 26 comments


"Turkey is emerging as the crucial power in the Muslim world." But after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's recent walkout from a Davos panel discussion and his confrontational words to Israeli leader Shimon Peres, some wonder whether Turkey is forfeiting its role as a peace-broker, attempting to smoke-screen its own oppressive actions against press, intellectuals, and ex-military, and possibly hurting its chances for full EU membership.
posted by terranova at 3:33 PM PST - 32 comments

The founder of an international nonprofit group has passed away.
posted by JoKeR at 3:32 PM PST - 19 comments

Former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating provides some observations on the GFC, including suggestions that the USA could become a defaulter, and identifying a need for a new international settlement to replace Bretton Woods. [more inside]
posted by wilful at 3:28 PM PST - 30 comments

Father takes a video of his 7 year old son after he had his tooth removed. SLYT
posted by gman at 3:22 PM PST - 109 comments


"The biggest problem with the metal bikini, was that it wasn’t metal. ——Not that metal would’ve been an improvement over what it was actually made of, which was kind of a hard plastic. Whatever it was, it didn’t adhere to one’s skin. MY skin. My young, soon to be popular, unlucky skin. SO, when I was relaxing leisurely against Jabba the Hutt’s gigantic, albiet grotesque stomach, my hard, plastic bikini bottom……….well, it had the tendency to make my now not so private privates quite public. Especially for the actor standing behind Jabba playing Bobba Fett—–I believe his name was Jeremy—–from where Bobba/Jeremy stood, so straight and tall and severe behind his mask——to put it simply and weirdly, Jeremy could see beyond my yawning, plastic bikini bottoms all the way to Florida."

- Carrie Fisher goes from writing the occasional book to daily blogging, from substance abuse to abusing punctuation
posted by crossoverman at 2:44 PM PST - 66 comments

Passport RFIDs cloned wholesale by $250 eBay auction spree. "Using inexpensive off-the-shelf components, an information security expert has built a mobile platform that can clone large numbers of the unique electronic identifiers used in US passport cards and next generation drivers licenses. The $250 proof-of-concept device - which researcher Chris Paget built in his spare time - operates out of his vehicle and contains everything needed to sniff and then clone RFID, or radio frequency identification, tags. During a recent 20-minute drive in downtown San Francisco, it successfully copied the RFID tags of two passport cards without the knowledge of their owners." [Via]
posted by homunculus at 2:32 PM PST - 24 comments

Some gals like gay (male) porn [mildly NSFW]. But there's not much agreement on how or why. [more inside]
posted by LMGM at 2:01 PM PST - 83 comments

Playboy has hired Duff McKagan to write a weekly finance column. His mission? 1) To educate. 2) To bring down The Man. [via Fimoculous]
posted by not_on_display at 1:46 PM PST - 32 comments


The New Road. A photo essay by Rob Amberg on the building of I-26 through Madison County in the mountains of North Carolina. via
posted by 1f2frfbf at 11:58 AM PST - 10 comments

So, you may have heard about Christian Bale freaking out on Director of Photography Shane Hurlbut on the set of Terminator: Salvation. But have you heard the dance mix? None of this is even remotely safe for work.
posted by hifiparasol at 10:48 AM PST - 259 comments

Monumental projection projects video onto 3D architecture, incorporating the form and volume of the physical structure into a dynamic art presentation. Other notable examples include Pablo Valbuena's The Hague City Hall projection and AntiVJ's Nuit Blanche Bruxelles projection. [more inside]
posted by gruchall at 10:31 AM PST - 3 comments

I don't know if this is more troubling than any of the other anti-immigrant movements that have been cropping up in Europe, or whether it's just that Italy has Silvio Berlusconi (previously on MeFi), but with the fingerprinting of Roma, including their children, the destruction of Roma camps and the blase attitude towards two Roma girls found dead on an Italian beach, one wonders whether comparisons to the 1930's may become justified. Now, in an act that, while not violent, is perhaps even more indicative of the country's views on race the city of Lucca and the region of Lombardy have banned the opening of new "foreign" restaurants, as, one newspaper put it "a new Lombard Crusade against the Saracens." [more inside]
posted by Hactar at 10:00 AM PST - 48 comments

Introversy - 2 Many DJs (Soulwax) mixes the intros of 420 songs in 60 minutes. Ad-tastic direct mp3 download link.
posted by empath at 9:29 AM PST - 31 comments

Let's Talk About Sex. Challenging the convention that Americans are reluctant to have sexual health issues taught in school, the surveys show that most parents, along with educators and students themselves, would expand sexual education courses and curriculum. In the meantime, some churches are offering their own curriculum, based on guidelines developed by the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States.
posted by lunit at 9:19 AM PST - 29 comments


In Chinese, Shanzhai (山寨) literally means "mountain stronghold" and connotes a place with limited accessibility -- i.e. beyond the reach of authorities. In the past couple of years, it has come to refer to the manufacture of illicit tech gadgets by unauthorized factories: show us your shan zhai ji! But shanzhai can be used more broadly to describe knockoff culture, cheeky brand subversion, grassroots industrial creativity, and a certain DIY ethos. The latter may be best exemplified in these videos of a "Shanzhai Glider" in action. Apologies if the Chinese sites are slow-loading or unreachable for Western audiences. Mouse over links for descriptions, if so inclined.
posted by milquetoast at 6:03 AM PST - 32 comments

Hints to Travellers served as the Royal Geographical Societies unofficial bible, used by late 19th and early 20th century British explorers such as Shackleton, Scott, Richard Burton, Col. Perry Fawcett and other legends who carried it into the field as a practical state of the art manual of gentlemanly exploration. Indiana Jones no doubt has his own copy too. Don't leave home without it! [more inside]
posted by stbalbach at 5:51 AM PST - 19 comments


Paul's Boutique, Remastered for Your Pleasure (20th Anniversary)
posted by chuckdarwin at 3:51 AM PST - 59 comments

F*** My Life. Grouphug for the Twitter generation.
posted by nasreddin at 12:27 AM PST - 69 comments

February 2

The Canadian Journalism Project (CJP) and its websites, J-Source.ca (English) and ProjetJ.ca (French), provides a source for news, research, commentary, advice, discussion and resources about the achievement of, and challenges to, excellence in Canadian journalism.
posted by netbros at 11:40 PM PST - 5 comments



Forget your Buffies, your Wonder and Bionic Women. The first weekly American live-action television series starring a female superhero was The Secrets of Isis. (previously) [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese at 6:10 PM PST - 35 comments

The internet has concluded its broadcast day. Thank you for tuning in. Please join us again tomorrow when the internet resumes it's regularly scheduled programming. (via)
posted by Meatbomb at 5:17 PM PST - 46 comments

Rich Jones has been told that he talks in his sleep quite a bit. The next logical step, of course, was to record his sleep talk and post it on the web.
posted by damn dirty ape at 5:11 PM PST - 36 comments

Make your handwriting into a font with Yourfonts. Download the PDF, draw your alphabet, scan and upload, then download the finished result. Examples. Via Drawn!
posted by Rinku at 4:26 PM PST - 31 comments

LayoffDaily.com -- thoroughly cataloging each day's depressing layoff news, from the very small companies to the very large, and updated several times a day. (But there's also a small section of the site devoted to news of companies and government org's that are hiring.)
posted by Asparagirl at 3:46 PM PST - 42 comments

When welfare benefits the rich, and starves the poor: Despite soaring unemployment and the worst economic crisis in decades, 18 states cut their welfare rolls last year, and nationally the number of people receiving cash assistance remained at or near the lowest in more than 40 years. [more inside]
posted by dejah420 at 2:39 PM PST - 68 comments


"I’ll get right to the good stuff: for the entire month of February, 2009, I, Michael J. Nelson will eat nothing but bacon. Nothing, my friends, but bacon." [prev. mefi+bacon]
posted by billysumday at 2:17 PM PST - 112 comments

Your moment of schadenfreude: This past Friday Eric Bauman, creator of the controversial Ebaum's World, got the boot along with the rest of his staff. Commence the shedding of crocodile tears.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 2:08 PM PST - 75 comments

Your alarm goes off, you get up to attend to your morning ritual, have a coffee, take a shower, head off to work, get on to Metafilter, and there you discover the wonders of the Free Sound Project! (previously)
posted by leotrotsky at 12:49 PM PST - 17 comments


Perennial MeFi favorite novel "Cloud Atlas" by David Mitchell is being made into a film. The Wachowski brothers are involved.
posted by jbickers at 12:00 PM PST - 72 comments

Tommy Tutone's famous number is for sale on eBay. [more inside]
posted by sjuhawk31 at 11:17 AM PST - 39 comments

Gingerbread Houses are the embodiment of Caribbean architecture, though many are now threatened. Enjoy this wonderful photoset from Roseau, capital of the tiny island of Dominica; and this exquisite set of Boissiere House in Port of Spain, Trinidad. Then there is this little gem in Martinique.
posted by adamvasco at 11:12 AM PST - 4 comments


"Your article is ranking very well for term 'Cash4Gold'. Is it worth a few thousand to take it down?" [more inside]
posted by christonabike at 10:02 AM PST - 74 comments

There's been quite a stir in Finland about the world's biggest cell phone maker, Nokia, after it was alleged yesterday that politicians had been pressured by the company in order for a law on electronic surveillance of its employees would to be passed. The company denies threats to leave the country if email monitoring laws are not introduced. Electric Frontier Finland is considering taking the case into the ECHR.
posted by keijo at 9:41 AM PST - 17 comments

Can you learn guitar in 10 minutes (pt. 1, pt. 2)? [more inside]
posted by 445supermag at 9:11 AM PST - 49 comments

Shrinking the United States Postal Service: What happens to Netflix? [more inside]
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:41 AM PST - 117 comments

Will the White House have its own farmer? Back in October, Michael Pollan called upon the president-elect to rip up a 5-acre section of the White House's south-facing lawns and hire a farmer to cultivate it. Over 55,000 Americans have nominated Claire Strader to be that farmer, if the Obamas decide to take up a new Victory Garden initiative. The question now is will they? [more inside]
posted by Stewriffic at 6:17 AM PST - 92 comments

London's Charing Cross Road was once a renowned as destination for bibliophiles. However this has changed as a number of bookshops have closed, the crime specialist Murder One being the latest. The Guardian looks how the street has changed between 1940 and now (flash). [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:26 AM PST - 30 comments


Robert Pinter, a 52-year-old gay man who was arrested for prostitution at the Blue Door in the East Village on Oct. 10, spoke at the town hall meeting. He said a young man ... cruised him in the store. He was "charming and persistent, and we agreed to go home for consensual sex, but as we were leaving he said, 'I want to pay you $50 [to have sex].' I didn't respond, but I thought it was strange," Pinter recounted. As the men left the store, Pinter said, a group of men who did not show police identification pushed him against the wall. "I thought I'd been set up by a gang," he said. "I asked them why they were doing this to me. I was totally clueless. They handcuffed me and said, 'Why the f--- do you think we're arresting you — loitering for the purpose of prostitution.'"
Reminiscent of the criminalizing of consensual gay sex in the Stonewall era, New York City cops are using questionable tactics to target, entrap, and falsely arrest gay men.
posted by orthogonality at 4:01 AM PST - 63 comments

Fire up your NES emulator and get ready to ROCK, chiptune-style. 4 whole songs! It's D-Pad Hero. [more inside]
posted by tehloki at 12:51 AM PST - 14 comments

The Right to Walk Away Has panarchist thinking finally come of age in 2009? With world leaders of big governments failing to find any new solutions to old problems, should we have the right to walk away from those governments?
posted by stuffedspacedog at 12:49 AM PST - 35 comments

February 1

A faux war made in America. A real war Made in America. The cost of war. The Art of War. War games. War games. War Games.
posted by cashman at 8:56 PM PST - 16 comments

Seed Salon Short conversations (video/transcription) hosted by Seed Magazine. For example: Albert-László Barabási + James Fowler | Will Self + Spencer Wells | Paola Antonelli + Benoit Mandelbrot | David Byrne + Daniel Levitin.
posted by carter at 7:46 PM PST - 6 comments

For the last few years across Melbourne a mysterious, box like man has been appearing. He is known as crate man. He has appeared sitting atop factories, climbing into the city, on cranes, in the city and again, taking a smoke, being crucified, on factories, climbing around and occasionally just having a hard time. Currently he is just hanging out in Yarraville having a brew Via Melbourne in photos and The Wooster collective
posted by sien at 6:52 PM PST - 22 comments

"I am Russian so, obviously, I like this film. It has typical Russian humor, it is a farce, so do not look for higher meanings in the jokes, it makes fun of the social standards of the Soviet regime as well as the people who served it so well. It features some of the best Russian actors that we love seeing and acting; they sing in the movie and it is lovely as well. If you are a tough judge of movies, then please make sure you know Soviet history a bit and understand that the humor differs from what you see in American movies before you call it crap." [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 6:47 PM PST - 18 comments

Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir became today Iceland's, and the world's, first openly lesbian prime minister.
posted by Morrigan at 6:45 PM PST - 49 comments

Lawrence Schiller: Photographer, author, producer, director captured the sixties and Marilyn Monroe. (Some Marilyn Monroe, NSFW)
posted by terranova at 6:23 PM PST - 7 comments


Rev. Ed Young challenged husbands and wives among his flock of 20,000 to strengthen their unions through Seven Days of Sex (perhaps FF to 2:15 on either video). Their site has a comment section.

He was recently on The Colbert Report (Canadian version). [more inside]
posted by gman at 5:13 PM PST - 42 comments

Throwing a rock and making it skip on water is more than something you do when you're bored and sitting at the edge of a lake or river. There's an art and a method to rock skipping (also known as Stone Skimming), and to some people it's a sport. The current record stands at 65m (the record is based on distance, not skips) although Guiness World Records has the most number of skips at 51 (see it being done here). Check out more rock skipping videos here and learn how to do it yourself here. Can't get to a body of water right now to try out your new rock skipping skills? Then try out this simple online rock skipping game instead.
posted by Effigy2000 at 5:09 PM PST - 24 comments

Race With The Devil "This novel fusion of car-chase film and spooky horror became a surprise box-office hit in 1975. The story begins with car enthusiasts Frank (Warren Oates) and Roger (Peter Fonda) taking their wives, Kelly (Lara Parker) and Alice (Loretta Swit), on a vacation in a recreational vehicle. Their camping trip goes horribly awry when Frank and Roger accidentally stumble upon a group of hooded Satanists committing a human sacrifice. The cultists give chase..." 1::2::3::4::5::6::7::8::9
posted by vronsky at 4:09 PM PST - 34 comments

A sampling from John Moschitta Jr.'s oeuvre: Minute RiceNorthern Exposure Series RecapThe Theory of Evolution in One Minute • As "Blurr" on Transformers • As Supersonic Seymour on Garfield and Friends • On Sesame Street: 1 2 • As the Micro Machines guy: 1 2 • And the role that catapulted him to fame
posted by not_on_display at 4:08 PM PST - 10 comments

Painting with Ketchup and Fries. Sketching Elvis with Cheetos. Artist Jason Baalman specializes in painting in unusual mediums and then posting the results to YouTube. Painting with ribs. Or just the BBQ sauce. Or chocolate syrup. Branching out from food, he also paints with mascara, lipstick and vegemite. He says he can teach you to draw too. His Mona Lisa in MS Paint has previously been posted here.
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:21 PM PST - 13 comments

The Virtues of Godlessness. "It is not the most religious nations in our world today, but rather the most secular, that have been able to create the most civil, just, safe, equitable, humane, and prosperous societies."
posted by plexi at 12:59 PM PST - 108 comments

Previously discussed last fall, ABC has officially greenlit a pilot for its reworking of "V." [more inside]
posted by Afroblanco at 11:11 AM PST - 108 comments

"The Journal of Urban Typography is dedicated to the documentation and study of signs, word fragments, and typography created with utilitarian intent in urban environments." [more inside]
posted by camcgee at 10:38 AM PST - 16 comments



Wade Mainer played a two-finger style of banjo, between old timey and bluegrass. Here is an interview he did with David Holt at the age of 97. Part 2. Part 3. Still playing strong!
posted by RussHy at 6:01 AM PST - 9 comments

British jobs for British workers? Workers at a Total refinery in north Lincolnshire walked out in protest over an Italian firm importing Italian and Portuguese workers to complete an expansion. Since Wednesday, the walk out at the Lindsey refinery has snowballed into a mass industrial action across the UK. The majority of the strikes and protests have been by energy workers, though some in other sectors (steel) hit by closures and vulnerable to job offshoring have joined the action in solidarity. Brown's government is trying to respond, without much success.
posted by Grrlscout at 3:32 AM PST - 112 comments

Human fat was supposed to alleviate rheumatism and arthritis, while a paste made from corpses was believed to help against contusions.... For some Protestants,... , it served as a sort of substitute for the Eucharist, or the tasting of the body of Christ in Holy Communion. Some monks even cooked "a marmalade of sorts" from the blood of the dead.
. . . . The assumption was that all organisms have a predetermined life span. If a body died in an unnatural way, the remainder of that person's life could be harvested, as it were -- hence the preference for the executed.... In 1492, when Pope Innocent VIII was on his deathbed, his doctors bled three boys and had the pope drink their blood. The boys died, and so did the pope.
When we read about Burundians and Tanzanians murdering albinos to make "medicine" of their victims, we should not forget that European Medical Cannabalism was an accepted practice as late as the 18th Century.
posted by orthogonality at 3:08 AM PST - 51 comments

Feeling Good by Nina Simone with a video by mrfnk l Feeling Good by Gilbert Price, age 23, who sang it first as a spiritual. More info on joannao's blogspot l Feeling Good by Muse l Feeling Good by My Brightest Diamond.
posted by nickyskye at 12:28 AM PST - 19 comments

Worktown Between 1937 and 1938 Humphrey Spender took over 900 pictures of Bolton as part of the Mass Observation [Previously] project. Spender's "Worktown" photographs offer a fascinating insight into the lives of ordinary people living and working in a British pre-War industrial town.
posted by Abiezer at 12:06 AM PST - 16 comments