April 2008 Archives

April 30

An extraordinary piece of magazine writing by Chris Jones. Jones tells the story of how the body of Sergeant Joe Montgomery makes its way from a Baghdad suburb to its final resting place in a grave in Indiana. It's one of the finest pieces of journalism that I've read in years. It’s extremely moving without being saccharine or twee. It’s a military story, but utterly without jingoism or indictment. And it’s wonderfully observed. If I taught a first-year creative writing course, I'd make this required reading.
posted by dbarefoot at 9:57 PM PST - 87 comments

The performer Reggie Watts(wiki) is truly sui generis: comedian, musician, stream-of-consciousness performance artist, he rolls his talents and laid-back, slightly stoner persona together into something quite unlike anything you've seen or heard before (that's a long-ish video, but well worth it, BTW). Imagine Spalding Gray mixed with Andy Kaufman, channeling a hiphop Sly Stone while reading Gertrude Stein on LSD, and you still won't get what it is that makes Watts so great. [more inside]
posted by ornate insect at 9:42 PM PST - 31 comments

Being Raymond Carver Often referred to as the American Chekhov, Raymond Carver was a master of the American short story. [more inside]
posted by timsteil at 8:20 PM PST - 30 comments

Amber Hawk Swanson was lonely. So, like lonely singles everywhere, she contracted RealDoll.com, "Home of the World's Finest Love Doll," to provide her with some companionship. But she had one special request - that the doll be made to look exactly like her. Nine months later, Amber Doll was born, and the two were married the next day in a Las Vegas ceremony. Amber documents the wedding, and explores the relationship between fantasy and reality, in her film To Have, To Hold, and To Violate, Amber and Doll (5-minute compilation.). (most links nsfw) [more inside]
posted by granted at 8:10 PM PST - 52 comments

"How about if we say we met on an oil rig and we were lovers for 50 years!" What if real life was like Facebook? [YouTube, 2 mins.] From Idiots of Ants. Via.
posted by amyms at 8:04 PM PST - 21 comments

Social Class in the US and UK Lynne Murphy, a linguist from the US living in the UK, looks at the differences in class distinctions through the lens of the language we use to talk about them.
posted by mosessis at 7:38 PM PST - 51 comments


The Sound of 78s Roger Wilmut's podcasts of 78 rpm records from his collection. [more inside]
posted by carter at 3:53 PM PST - 12 comments

Frédéric Madre's BOARD is a "diptych joining quotidian poetry and collages of terms issuing from web nomenclature, which is to say all the expressions which one reads without seeing". (via, and source of quoted description)
posted by No-sword at 3:44 PM PST - 5 comments


Need an apartment? MapsKrieg is a mashup of Google Maps and Craigslist real estate listings that can show you just how close to the Tenderloin you'll be.
posted by plexi at 2:34 PM PST - 9 comments

Google to map the oceans.
posted by Artw at 2:20 PM PST - 18 comments

The Chrysler Building: 77 floors, 319.5m (1048 feet) high, 29961 tons of steel, 3,826,000 bricks, near 5000 windows of total Art Deco coolness. [more inside]
posted by three blind mice at 2:16 PM PST - 34 comments

Ways of Seeing, the BBC documentary written and hosted by novelist and art critic John Berger, is back up on YouTube. (scroll down for direct links to all four half-hour episodes) "I actually find it rather disturbing that -- despite our claims to be a culture that's increasing freedom of choice all the time -- we haven't come up with anything quite as astute, subversive or beautiful as Ways of Seeing since. Not on the BBC, and not even -- especially not -- on the internet. Download it while you still can."
posted by vronsky at 2:06 PM PST - 32 comments


In 1940, Nana Milagro Hoyos paid a visit to Carl Tanzler von Cosel's home to confront him about a salacious rumor. What she found confirmed her fears. 63-year-old Tanzler had been sleeping with her young sister Elena. And storing her, held together by wax and chicken wire, in his bed for years since her death by tuberculosis.
posted by katillathehun at 1:47 PM PST - 79 comments

If you find yourself in Finland on the evening of April 30th or on May 1st, you must be aware of the following information. Today is Vappu. Also known as Walpurgis Night, Vappu is a traditional holiday in Finland, and there are a number of unique social customs and dress you must be aware of in order to avoid embarrassment and ridicule. [more inside]
posted by Lord_Pall at 1:04 PM PST - 12 comments

This is a story [audio] about how much I love you [audio]. [more inside]
posted by Airhen at 12:25 PM PST - 2 comments

Homer Simpson in CSS "...I stayed with the idea in mind that more complex designs could be made using the Verdana font and absolute positioning in CSS, thus generating vector drawings directly embedded in the code html." [via]
posted by mewithoutyou at 12:15 PM PST - 52 comments

Refacing government tender It's not all about making George Washington smoke pot.
Some notables: The Anti-Lincoln.
Peanut butter washington
THIS IS JACKSONNNNN
posted by boo_radley at 12:12 PM PST - 23 comments

Want a highway-speed in-production electric car right now and can't afford a Tesla Roadster? The now defunct Corbin Sparrow has been re-born as the NmG ("No More Gas") from Myers Motors. It uses 12 lead-acid batteries (1-4yr life), 70+mph, 30 mile range, about $50k. It's not for everybody but - in the US - it's currently the only other pure EV option available (that's not a conversion or low-speed). However if you can wait a couple years more EV's are in development.
posted by stbalbach at 11:11 AM PST - 32 comments

Isuma.tv is an amazing video sharing site for indigenous filmmakers. Isuma is perhaps best known for their incredible work on films set in arctic Canada (Atarnarjuat, Journals of Knud Rasmussen and the upcoming Before Tomorrow). Isuma.tv is a fantastic place to work by all sorts of First Nations film makers and is a much needed voice for the generally ignored indigenous artists.

Isuma was last discussed on Metafilter in 2002.
posted by dogbusonline at 10:23 AM PST - 3 comments

Well, that's one less Carolina flying squirrel, but having it for dinner might actually help keep them around. A list of endangered American species once common on the dinner table has become a book, its author, Gary Paul Nabham, encouraging the reader to keep disappearing local culinary traditions alive. Endangered Dinners.
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 9:45 AM PST - 26 comments

Ars Technica has a fascinating account of the IT "planning" which lead to the loss of 5 million+ emails. Via /.
posted by butterstick at 9:35 AM PST - 45 comments

DARPA has announced the contractors for their "Vulture" UAV system. The plan is to build an aircraft that can stay aloft, uninterrupted, for five years. [more inside]
posted by backseatpilot at 9:06 AM PST - 28 comments

Fugu, derived from fuku (to blow), is one of the more infamous meals you can order, celebrated in haiku and pop culture. It's popular enough, however, that there are "farms" raising 10,000 tons of blowfish the Japanese consume each year. Adam Platt, the latest American to document the dish, dines out on fugu six ways: fugu sashimi, fried fugu ribs, hot fugu porridge, smoked fugu fins, and two variations of "white babies". [more inside]
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 8:08 AM PST - 46 comments

Comedian Julie Klausner (of "Hot Jewish Girls want to talk to you!!") has obsessions. So do her friends. As you do, she hosts a comedy night in New York where people can confess and explain (sometimes via powerpoint) the things that drive their compulsions. [more inside]
posted by Queen of Spreadable Fats at 7:11 AM PST - 12 comments


"And I Refuse To Forget," the three-minute sci-fi thriller from 21-year-old director Nuru Rimington-Mkali, has won the grand prize in the Filmaka feature film competition. Judges include Werner Herzog, Wim Wenders, Neil Labute and many others. For his efforts, Rimington-Mkali wins the director's chair of his first feature film, to be produced by Filmaka. (Lots of other great stuff on Filmaka, too.)
posted by jbickers at 4:38 AM PST - 24 comments

April 29

If you were doing research in the 60s, You might've heard of Polywater, A form of water that exhibited wide variety of interesting characteristics and existed under identical conditions to that of normal water. Eventually debunked, none the less is a fascinating story. Naturally one draws parallels to Vonnegut's ice nine, but did you know there actually is an ice nine? In fact, there's twelve to sixteen types of ice, depending on your opinion. More recently, computer simulations have indicated water may structure itself into icosahedra, which, incredibly, is the platonic solid (described over 2000 years ago!) representing the element water! And if you don't know what an icosahedron is, I bet you've used one before. One of the most ubiquitous, and arguably most important, substances in our lives, our understanding of water is far from complete.
posted by Large Marge at 10:34 PM PST - 38 comments

The F117A Swan Song, the Fall of the Belgrade Embassy...and China Rising China Matters blog offers a fascinating take on "the role that the Belgrade bombing seems to play as the creation myth of the birth of the 21st Chinese strategic military doctrine, founded on the assumption that the U.S. will unscrupulously use its military, diplomatic, and propaganda advantages not only to contain China but even to attack it when need, desire, and circumstances permit."
posted by Abiezer at 7:42 PM PST - 41 comments

Best Beatles cover ever.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:28 PM PST - 127 comments

Bemoaning the state of music today? Might you try a little bit of NaNuchKa, a Brooklyn-Based, Isreali-born rock trio well outside of the fray. Start things out light with Red, before moving on to some experimentalism with Oh Yeah, Says Who. And if you really want an emotional punch, try Mediterranean, "a song about Isreal." Enjoy!
posted by Navelgazer at 7:06 PM PST - 24 comments

In the late '90s, pop-culture historian Bill Geerhart had a little too much time on his hands and a surfeit of stamps. So, for his own entertainment, the then-unemployed thirtysomething launched a letter-writing campaign to some of the most powerful and infamous figures in the country, posing as a curious 10-year-old named Billy.
posted by snsranch at 6:07 PM PST - 21 comments

Albert Hofmann, the inventor/discoverer of LSD, has died at the age of 102. Wiki. The Albert Hofmann Foundation. Erowid entry on LSD. Hofmann's often-cited essay, "LSD, My Problem Child." Late in his life, he questioned his own invention. A conversation with Dr. Hoffman. [more inside]
posted by CitizenD at 3:26 PM PST - 176 comments

In 1963 Willard Scott pulled on a pair of striped yellow pants, put a food tray on his head, and became one of the world's most recognizable clowns. [more inside]
posted by JDHarper at 2:24 PM PST - 32 comments

Charles Darwin's blog "Well there I was minding my own business in the Cafe of the Natural History Museum…"
posted by feelinglistless at 2:18 PM PST - 13 comments

The Ultimate Act of Sports(wo)manship "It kept everything in perspective and the fact that we're never bigger than the game. ... It was such a lesson that we learned—that it's not all about winning. And we forget that, because as coaches, we're always trying to get to the top. We forget that. But I will never, ever forget this moment. It's changed me, and I'm sure it's changed my players." [via SportsFilter]
posted by terrapin at 1:49 PM PST - 42 comments

The Laughter of Babies. That is all. [Via]
posted by homunculus at 12:38 PM PST - 49 comments

Next time you thump an animal on the highway, don't just drive on like nothing happened. Stop, get out of your car, and measure the carcass for entry into the Roadkill Record Book Club. [more inside]
posted by Kibbutz at 12:10 PM PST - 22 comments

Twenty-five years ago today, after a 1-0 loss to the Dodgers, Chicago Cubs manager Lee Elia held a press conference. (SLYT/NSFW)
posted by timsteil at 10:18 AM PST - 61 comments

Remember the FAIL boat (also prev)? Now Mazda's in the midst of trying to efficiently dispose of approximately $100 million worth of factory-new automobiles.
posted by allkindsoftime at 9:31 AM PST - 87 comments

We've seen a number of Rube Goldberg machines in advertising before, but here's the first one I've seen that actually uses the controlled chaos of one to describe what their product actually does. Or doesn't, really. If you've ever worked in a print shop, you've probably seen something like this happen. Usually once or twice a day.
posted by loquacious at 9:06 AM PST - 45 comments

The blood substitute PolyHeme has been previously discussed on MetaFilter, but new evidence shows that PolyHeme actually raises the chances of death by nearly 30%. PolyHeme was notable mostly for the reaction to its clinical trials, which, controversially, did not require patient consent.
posted by scrump at 8:54 AM PST - 19 comments

The dramatic collapse of a Danish wind turbine was captured on video. Someone thoughtfully made a slow motion version. Apparently, there were two such collapses within a week.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 7:38 AM PST - 93 comments

Kennan Ward Nature-Wildlife Photography -- “Being a nature-wildlife photographer is a demanding job … but all the hardship is forgotten when I make eye-to-eye contact with a wild animal, or experience the moment when a window in the clouds opens up, highlighting a landscape … I feel honored to be able to bring the inspiring beauty of nature to others.” [more inside]
posted by netbros at 7:35 AM PST - 4 comments

Jim Abernathy will take you out on a boat into the open Atlantic, to some spot he knows is frequented by great hammerhead and tiger sharks. He'll then chum the water and send you overboard -- all for a reasonable fee. (Diving equipment rental is extra, as is Nitrox.) Some folks are sympathetic to his enterprise. Others are not. But so far, only one person has died.
posted by owhydididoit at 12:47 AM PST - 54 comments

April 28

Here's a wonderful, brief clip of the great tenor saxophonist Ben Webster (wiki) and the great drummer Papa Jo Jones (wiki). Both men were marvels: here's a little illustration from 1957 of what made Jones so great, and here's Ben (accompanied by pianist Teddy Wilson[wiki]) late in life, milking the ballad "Old Folks" for so much feeling that one literally sees tears running down his face. [more inside]
posted by ornate insect at 9:58 PM PST - 15 comments

Pax Corleone Americana? "Can any of the candidates vying to become the next president of the United States match Michael’s cool, dispassionate courage in the face of epochal change? Will they avoid living in the comforting embrace of the past, from which both Tom and Sonny ultimately could not escape? Or will they emulate Michael’s flexibility—to preserve America’s position in a dangerous world?" The Godfather as metaphor.
posted by amyms at 8:28 PM PST - 36 comments

Edgard Varèse : Ionisation. Iannis Xenakis : Rebonds. György Ligeti : Artikulation and Poème Symphonique For 100 Metronomes. [NOTE: see hoverovers for link descriptions] [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:23 PM PST - 46 comments

Mix up a batch of luminol...or let bioluminescence take care of the work for you! A Glowing Compendium. via
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 7:03 PM PST - 15 comments

Tetsuya Ishida 1973-2005. The art of Tetsuya Ishida. [more inside]
posted by misozaki at 6:28 PM PST - 15 comments

The Southern Foodways Alliance is one weighed-down church-supper table, full of oral history/blog projects like The Tamale Trail, the Boudin Trail, interviews and recipes from the Bartenders of New Orleans, photo essay/interviews from Birmingham's Greek-Americans, a mess o'homemade films, and a passel of event and BBQ-shack photos on Flickr, all smothered in the tangy-sweet academic goodness of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at Ole Miss. These folks get my vote for most flavorful, funkiest food-loving folklorists in the lower forty-eight. [more inside]
posted by Miko at 6:07 PM PST - 15 comments

"One of the biggest examples of the planned obsolescence of modern American capitalism...is the razor. The two blade razor, then the three blade razor, then the five blade razor. Um, these things are okay but...mostly not good. You've gotta go counterintuitive..." [more inside]
posted by 6am at 5:57 PM PST - 115 comments


Rack 'em, then pocket them all asfastasyoucan. Now you're playing Speed Pool. Think you can beat the Ginger Wizard? Luc Salvas did. [more inside]
posted by not_on_display at 5:26 PM PST - 7 comments

Viktor Schreckengost who died last year at the grand age of 101, was regarded by some as the father of industrial design. Every adult in America has ridden in, ridden on, drunk out of, stored their things in, eaten off of, been costumed in, etc… and there is no going past his gorgeous pedal cars. Some of his work can also be seen online at The Cleveland Museum of Art.
posted by tellurian at 5:02 PM PST - 9 comments

Akon Call T-Pain
posted by jne1813 at 4:01 PM PST - 56 comments


"Hey-ay pony, that's the wrong noise you're making..." A vintage MadTV performance of Corky and the Juice Pigs ^ parodying REM, back when they were ripe for it. Some prefer The Only Gay Eskimo. More on Corky. [more inside]
posted by tula at 1:13 PM PST - 41 comments

Charting the Uncanny Valley [2 3 4 5 6 7] is a thorough explanation of Masahiro Mori's hypothesis. Of course, if you're short on time, there's always 30 Rock. [more inside]
posted by PM at 1:02 PM PST - 44 comments

Steve Gisselbrecht writes about his experiments taking chocolate from beans to bars at home. [more inside]
posted by rmd1023 at 12:26 PM PST - 17 comments

Influenced by the Modernist documentarian André Kertész, with references to the hard-edged, black-and-white works of Weegee and Diane Arbus, this self-taught photographer captured raw and intimate images, and transformed urban scenes into theatrical dramas. More photos at jillfreedman.com.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 12:16 PM PST - 10 comments

523 years after his original drawing, DaVinci's parachute design is proven to actually work. There was an earlier attempt, but apparently the wooden frame specified by DaVinci likely would have seriously maimed the jumper. Perhaps not entirely coincidentally, the 2008 jump was made from a helicopter - another one of DaVinci's concepts.
posted by webhund at 11:49 AM PST - 15 comments

How far away from work do you live? How much of your pay gets used up to get you to and from work, get you around town, and pay for where you live? As gas and food prices continue to rise, "affordability" has become a more critical notion for everyday Americans. The Center for Neighborhood Technology developed their Housing + Transportation Affordability Index, which aims to help better inform renters and owners about the relationship of transportation options to where one lives.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:04 AM PST - 85 comments


The Financial Crisis: An Interview with George Soros. "We are in the midst of a financial crisis the likes of which we haven't seen since the Great Depression." (video, April 4)
posted by stbalbach at 10:09 AM PST - 56 comments

Paracord is a perennial survival kit favorite, but why carry a boring ol' hank of it when you can get crafty? Parachute cord lanyards, bracelets, watchbands, belts, and other braided items are surprisingly easy and fun to make by following some simple instructions. But they're just the beginning! From water bottle carriers and camera tripods to knife handles, Khukri conversions, flashlight & stick wraps, pace beads, magazine pulls, rifle wraps and rifle slings, there are tons of useful things you can make out of paracord! [more inside]
posted by vorfeed at 10:03 AM PST - 21 comments

The Modernist Journals Project collects literary arts journals from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including both issues of Wyndham Lewis' Vorticist manifesto Blast, the first ten years of Poetry magazine (with Amy Lowell, T.S. Eliot, G.K. Chesterton and foreign correspondent Ezra Pound), topical essays, the Virginia Woolf-inspired December 1910 Project, the amazing proto-dada zine Le Petit Journal des Réfusées and a searchable biographical database of famous and not so famous artists and writers.
posted by mediareport at 9:50 AM PST - 10 comments

Ubuntu 8.04's Hardy Heron has recently perched on millions of desktops worldwide, but what does the future look like for the darling of the open source world? Now entering a new 2-year art developent cycle, Ubuntu's continuing quest for "pure, unadulterated, raw, visceral, lustful, shallow, skin deep beauty" has begun again in earnest. Bleeding edge desktop effects [youtube, music] are already creeping into the official distribution and the community is eagerly awaiting the new graphical look, promised as a ground-up re-imagination in the next release, Intrepid Ibex. Watch this space.
posted by cowbellemoo at 9:47 AM PST - 86 comments

Helsinki is home to a new baby camel, Snufkin. He is the son of 13 year old Voodoo and his partner, Selma. [more inside]
posted by Lord_Pall at 9:44 AM PST - 15 comments

Dan Dare, pilot of the future, scourge of the Venusian Mekon menace, and modernist architectural inspiration?
posted by Artw at 9:39 AM PST - 12 comments

"The KeeLoq [Wikipedia] encryption algorithm is widely used for security relevant applications in the form of passive Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) transponders for physical access control systems, e.g., for garage door opening or building access. We present the first successful DPA (Differential Power Analysis) attacks on numerous commercially available products employing KeeLoq." The paper.
posted by Wolfdog at 9:32 AM PST - 6 comments

In the Matter of Daniel Smoote v. Frank & Jesse James As bank robberies go, the 1869 heist pulled off by legendary outlaws Jesse and Frank James in Daviess County, Mo., wasn’t much of a success: They may have left with no money, they probably shot the wrong man, and Jesse James lost his horse. Perhaps even more frustrating for the outlaw duo, they ended up getting sued by a local farmer and his ambitious young lawyer—the first and only successful civil action against the former Confederate guerrillas-turned-outlaws. [more inside]
posted by caddis at 8:44 AM PST - 8 comments

"The whole country must ask itself just what is really, fundamentally going wrong." An Austrian pensioner has admitted holding his daughter captive in a basement for 24 years, during which time he fathered seven children with her. [more inside]
posted by essexjan at 8:24 AM PST - 133 comments

The Online Encyclopedia of Mass Violence is a scholarly database of case studies focusing on massacres and genocides of the 20th century, both transnational and national. It also includes theoretical papers. [more inside]
posted by elgilito at 8:19 AM PST - 6 comments

Arizona Then and Now -- When paired with vintage images of the 19th and 20th centuries, Arizona photographers Allen Dutton and Paul Scharbach's modern-day images reveal the changes that have shaped the state's landscape during the past 100-plus years. They searched the state to locate the precise spots from which to rephotograph the scenes captured by their predecessors, endeavoring to achieve the same angles, perspectives, and lighting as in the early photographs.
posted by netbros at 6:12 AM PST - 17 comments

Tohoku University's Kano Collection is an unparalleled collection of japanese books from the Edo period. The beautiful and grizzly Kaibou zonshinzu anatomical chart has been making the blogrounds lately but that's only one of the countless treasures the Kano Collection has to offer. Stumbling around near-blindly, like a non-Japanese reader such as myself, with only minimal help from the site, I have come across an amazing variety of beautiful objects, such as this picture book, a scroll with images of animals, city map, map of Japan, battle map, another picture book, the Kaitai shouzu anatomical chart and this picture scroll which has my favorite little scene I've come across in the collection. Whole days could be spent just surfing idly through the Kano Collection.
posted by Kattullus at 4:06 AM PST - 9 comments

April 27

Craig ("Who?") Ferguson at the White House Correspondents Dinner: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. (it's a Three-Link YouTube Post!) Not as pointed as Colbert but lots of funny and acouple moments of OMG. SOME JOKE SPOILERS WITHIN... [more inside]
posted by wendell at 10:47 PM PST - 33 comments

The real secret to producing superheroes (bollywood or otherwise) is to start them young, really YOUNG. (Link to single video)
posted by sk381 at 8:33 PM PST - 48 comments

Matt Taibbi goes undercover in one of pastor John Hagee's "Encounter" weekends. Yes, the Hagee who recently endorsed John McCain. Published in Rolling Stone, and a part of Taibbi's forthcoming book The Great Derangement.
posted by JHarris at 6:52 PM PST - 133 comments

Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni - Colossal Squid (caught here in MetaFilter most recently....). Another one, caught about a year ago off Antarctica, was put on ice.... It is being thawed and scheduled to be examined along with a Squidcam! [more inside]
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 6:43 PM PST - 37 comments

Two reporters, Stephen Bevan of The Sunday Telegraph and Barry Bearak of the New York Times, tell of their ordeal in Zimbabwe. They were arrested for the crime of “committing journalism,” imprisoned, and subsequently released.
posted by found missing at 5:28 PM PST - 20 comments

New Jersey high school student Matthew LaClair has been at the center of controversy before, challenging his U.S. History teacher for proselytizing in class. He's in the news again, bringing attention to conservative bias in his American history textbook. [more inside]
posted by LooseFilter at 2:51 PM PST - 123 comments

"Carrier is not the story of a ship, it’s the story of shipmates." The 10-part documentary series, filmed by 17 filmmakers, focuses on eighteen people during a six-month deployment overseas on the aircraft carrier, the USS Nimitz. The series premieres tonight on PBS. Opening of Episode One [6:02] || Preview of The Series [26:47]. Crew interviews and other clips. [more inside]
posted by ericb at 11:47 AM PST - 62 comments

Many European cities have instituted bicycle sharing programs, with mixed success (Amsterdam, Lyon, Cambridge, Paris). Now that many of them have worked out the kinks (including vandalism and outright theft), cities in the US are taking notice. San Francisco (previously on MeFi), Portland, and New York are among the cities with plans in the works, but it looks like Washington D.C. will be the first when 120 red three-speed bicycles become available next month for members who pay an annual fee.
posted by tractorfeed at 11:30 AM PST - 73 comments

"Attention regulation and monitoring in meditation" (PDF). A recent article in Trends in Cognitive Sciences on the neuroscience of meditation, focusing on how meditation alters and sharpens the brain's attention systems. The research is being done at the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior (previously), who have also recently published research on the "Regulation of the neural circuitry of emotion by compassion meditation" (PDF), which describes how meditation can cultivate compassion by physically affecting brain regions that play a role in empathy. They shared this research with the Dalai Lama at the recent Seeds of Compassion forum.
posted by homunculus at 10:12 AM PST - 13 comments

The Sunday Times have published the 2008 edition of their annual Rich List. The full list of the 1000 wealthiest people in Britain is not online yet but they have published a list of the top 150 (pdf). So now you're richer than Croesus what do you spend your wealth on? [more inside]
posted by electricinca at 9:48 AM PST - 28 comments

Two visions of the ideal city rise in the Persian Gulf: "Waterfront City will probably be where a lot of Middle Eastern investors will put their money—and where international architectural stars will build their putative landmarks—but if little Masdar develops successfully, it may hold much more important lessons for us all."
posted by Non Prosequitur at 9:16 AM PST - 23 comments

The Proceedings of the Old Bailey has been posted (and double-posted) here before, but it's just been given a major upgrade that effectively turns it into a new site, with the addition of 100,000 new trial reports covering the period 1834 to 1913, and the full text of the Newgate Ordinary's Accounts reporting the confessions and last dying speeches of criminals sentenced to death. The thousands of human tragedies recorded in the trial reports (some famous, others forgotten) are fascinating and often deeply moving.
posted by verstegan at 6:06 AM PST - 9 comments

The Saluda Grade is the steepest standard-gauge mainline railway grade in the United States. Built by the Southern Railway, the Saluda Grade consists of a three-mile section of track that rises over 600 feet in elevation with a grade of 4.7% between the towns of Melrose and Saluda, North Carolina. Take a virtual flyover of the terrain with Google Earth, then ride along on the adjacent Hwy 176 in an Audi A3. When you get to the top, don't miss Coon Dog Day.
posted by netbros at 6:00 AM PST - 9 comments


Awaydays Kevin Sampson is the manager of the band the Farm his first novel described as 'Catcher In The Rye' with Stanley knives is finally being transferred to celluloid sneek +
posted by motownoni at 3:19 AM PST - 10 comments

To Catch A Thief. How a Civil War buff's chance discovery led to a sting, a raid and a victory against traffickers in stolen historical documents. Related article: Pay Dirt in Montana. And photo gallery.
posted by amyms at 12:27 AM PST - 20 comments

Traditional pyrographic, or “woodburning” tools use electricity to heat a stylus or wire. Solar pyrography uses sunlight focused through a magnifying glass to burn an image on wood. Artists who have mastered this technique include Bud Hnetka and Jonathan Beartusk. Videos demonstrating the process include the creation of an Art Blakey image, and the unusual “Durfsun”.
posted by Tube at 12:18 AM PST - 16 comments

April 26

Decker isn't quite a roguelike about hacking in the world of Shadowrun with Windows 3.1-era graphics, but it's as close as you're ever gonna come.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:09 PM PST - 16 comments

Gin, Television, and Social Surplus — Clay Shirky on post-broadcast societal outlets.
posted by blasdelf at 8:33 PM PST - 40 comments

Vint Cerf on age, marriage, technology, jokes, and a three piece suit.
posted by Toekneesan at 7:48 PM PST - 11 comments

Meet Freddie: He looks up at me and the bargaining begins. "If I eat two peas is that enough?" I am used to him starting the bids low. "Now Fred there are only seven peas on your plate, can't you just eat them? ". He then starts to turn pale. He slumps down into his chair and fiddles with his cutlery, accidentally on purpose knocking them onto the floor to create a diversion. Can one determined woman turn Freddie into a vegetable lover?
posted by bigmusic at 7:43 PM PST - 66 comments

Gravity Defying Homes Image gallery of some pretty funky homes. {via Daily Dose of Architecture}
posted by doug3505 at 7:33 PM PST - 19 comments

Willie Nelson "Superman" featuring Snoop, Snoop Dogg "My Medicine" featuring Willie Nelson, live at Melkweg.
posted by 445supermag at 7:18 PM PST - 11 comments

Hated: GG Allin and the Murder Junkies (on Pitchfork.TV for one week, until 5/2/08). Very, very NSFW. [more inside]
posted by msalt at 4:51 PM PST - 105 comments

Interactive Architecture is for both geeks and design freaks. Lots of interesting and WTF stuff here, like SandScapes, Funky Forests, Swarming Structures, Colour Responsive Chairs, and Jelly Architecture. Not to mention the amazing Touch, a tower with 4200 windows equipped with RGB color LEDs that can be controlled by passersby.
posted by desjardins at 3:32 PM PST - 2 comments

You're an Author? Me too! The trend of increasing authorship and decreasing readership.
posted by stbalbach at 3:26 PM PST - 61 comments

A new study in Science claims that teaching math is better done by teaching the abstract concepts rather than using concrete examples. From an article by the study authors in Science Mag (requires subscription): If a goal of teaching mathematics is to produce knowledge that students can apply to multiple situations, then presenting mathematical concepts through generic instantiations, such as traditional symbolic notation, may be more effective than a series of "good examples." This is not to say that educational design should not incorporate contextualized examples. What we are suggesting is that grounding mathematics deeply in concrete contexts can potentially limit its applicability. Students might be better able to generalize mathematical concepts to various situations if the concepts have been introduced with the use of generic instantiations.
posted by peacheater at 3:24 PM PST - 27 comments

The Straylight release of Nexus War, a browser based PvP MMO in the vein of Urban Dead (thought significantly more complex) and Kingdom of Loathing (thought significantly more serious in tone), occurred today. It brings with it a host of changes, new skills, upgrades, and expansions, shaking things up for the old player base and making it an ideal time for new players to join, both because the status quo is being rewritten and because of a vastly expanded in game help menu. [more inside]
posted by Caduceus at 2:32 PM PST - 22 comments

Listen my children and you shall hear, Of the midnight ride of Sybil Ludington - While most Americans have heard of Paul Revere, many have not heard of Sybil Ludington and her midnight ride. 231 years ago today, she rode 40 miles at night to warn the colonial militia that the British were burning Danbury, Connecticut.
posted by Argyle at 1:57 PM PST - 15 comments

Whole Lotta Shakin' - a PRI documentary series on the history of rockabilly, hosted by Rosie Flores.
posted by Miko at 1:24 PM PST - 14 comments


State Secrets: A government misstep in a wiretapping case. A New Yorker article on the Kafkaesque case of Al Haramain v. Bush. [Via Threat Level.] [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 9:35 AM PST - 20 comments

In the seas and in the air...the minions of our Alien Overlords are preparing the way....via
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 8:23 AM PST - 8 comments

50 best cult books from The Telegraph.
posted by Artw at 7:17 AM PST - 85 comments

“People like you are not holding up the Constitution ..." Or so said Major Freddy Welborn, Specialist Jeremy Hall's commanding officer in Tikrit. "Last month, Specialist Hall and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, an advocacy group, filed suit in federal court in Kansas, alleging that Specialist Hall’s right to be free from state endorsement of religion under the First Amendment had been violated and that he had faced retaliation for his views. In November, he was sent home early from Iraq because of threats from fellow soldiers." (NY Times)
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:59 AM PST - 123 comments

“We try to follow the footsteps of our elders, who cleared the way for us with their clean minds, hearts, and bodies. They walked in clean land, drank clean water, breathed clean air, and ate clean food provided by Mother Earth. This is the Red Road.” The powwow is an integral part of Native American life, offering the opportunity for peoples to gather and celebrate their spiritual connections to their ancestors, the earth, community, and traditions through drum, song, and dance. The photography of Ben Marra.
posted by netbros at 5:34 AM PST - 12 comments

The other day I happened to come upon a music video that is just so grooving, so human and so real, that, well, it moved me, darling. Just check it out. After watching the clip, I learned that these guys are mostly disabled by polio (that's why several of them are in those rather unusual wheelchairs) and that they were living on the grounds of the Kinshasa zoo, which is where the clip was filmed. Then I learned that last year they were seeking to bring a lawsuit against the UN. Then I found some other clips. And now I am a major fan of Staff Benda Bilili. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:30 AM PST - 47 comments

April 25

You are seated amongst thousands of your compatriots waiting for the spectacle to begin. Inside, two bodies prepare for the inevitable fight to the death, for your pleasure. They know it won't be easy, but they are prepared to pay the price. Some are condemned to die, others are slaves fighting for their freedom, and yet others (Christians and Jews) branded as heretics; deserters who have fled the field of battle; and some who are even of noble blood are amongst the many who find themselves in the arena. But, there is one more addition yet, and it has been the subject of much controversy. [more inside]
posted by hadjiboy at 10:03 PM PST - 41 comments

Positive Exposure is a beautiful photographic portrayal (pdf)of people with genetic disorders. via [more inside]
posted by hortense at 9:53 PM PST - 7 comments

Ever wondered what life is like on the International Space Station? Wonder no more. [more inside]
posted by oxford blue at 8:59 PM PST - 25 comments

How to Lawfully Reset Your Credit History. A fascinating true story of how Max successfully deleted thousands of dollars of debt from his credit history. The follow-up, Why Max Won, has some interesting insight into removing emotion from the credit equation. (Previous Make Your Nut appearances on MetaFilter here and here.)
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 8:06 PM PST - 23 comments

Multi-instrumentalist on the reeds, arranger for Woody Herman's band, pioneer of chamber jazz and free jazz, musician and teacher, Jimmy Giuffre (wiki) died yesterday at the age of 86 (NYT obit). [more inside]
posted by ornate insect at 4:48 PM PST - 18 comments

After the president of Mexico introduced his bill, legislators stormed and barricaded the podium in the House; Senators began fasting in protest. The occupation continues after 2 weeks, with opponents camping out and padlocking the doors of Congress, aiming to run out the clock until adjournment on April 30th. Mexico's top electoral body ordered a TV ad (comparing opposition leader Lopez Obrador to Hitler) off the air. Here in the U.S., little notice: the WSJ calls this "heated debate." [more inside]
posted by msalt at 4:42 PM PST - 18 comments



Humphrey Lyttelton has died. Musician, cartoonist, journalist and chairman of I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue
posted by verisimilitude at 3:45 PM PST - 33 comments

Beer & Books: Authors pair their work with the appropriate beverage.
posted by carsonb at 2:47 PM PST - 19 comments


Blake's Back! British science fiction classic Blakes 7 is getting the Battlestar Galactica treatment. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:09 PM PST - 45 comments

Songwriter and producer Bob Crewe is one of those behind the scenes guys who was seemingly everywhere during the rock era. Records written and/or produced by Crewe charted over a twenty year period, including My Eyes Adored You and Lady Marmalade, both in 1975. [more inside]
posted by Herodios at 1:56 PM PST - 12 comments


A Preview Of Tomorrow’s Olympic Torch Relay. Japan Probe has posted a few computer-generated examples of what the relay should look like, and links to a news report that states 10,000 Chinese will be in Nagano (location) (cuddly mascots) tomorrow to watch the torch relay. Japan had already canceled plans to stage the start of the torch run at Zenkoji Temple in the city; the temple was then mysteriously defaced. Previously on Japan Probe I II. Meanwhile, a tulip vandal who has been terrorizing Japan has been caught on tape. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu at 12:18 PM PST - 14 comments

Terminator Kama Sutra
posted by joe defroster at 12:05 PM PST - 31 comments

What happens if you put three professional musicians in a recording studio and have them watch porn movies? You get porno soundtracks, of course. [NSFW] [more inside]
posted by dhammond at 12:02 PM PST - 23 comments

Koro, previously, has gripped the streets of Kinshasa, Congo. Unlike the 1967 Koro Epidemic in Singapore, which was blamed on tainted pork, the afflicted men in Kinshasa have blamed the psychosomatic penile shrinkage on witchcraft by a rival sect, and responded with attempted lynchings. In order to prevent bloodshed of the kind seen in Ghana a decade ago, police have responded by apprehending the alleged sorcerers. [more inside]
posted by Navelgazer at 10:51 AM PST - 36 comments

Some advice for Mefites who want to run for Congress: It is probably not a good idea to give a speech at a birthday celebration for Hitler. It is also generally considered tacky to discuss segregation in a positive light. Also, posting anti-Semitic comments, links to David Duke's website, and other scary but interesting articles to your official campaign website is probably not a good idea, even if you actually seem to be a reasonably competent lawyer.
posted by cerebus19 at 10:04 AM PST - 126 comments

Britain's Maunsell Sea Forts [wiki] were built during WWII as part of the coastal defense system. They were decommissioned in the 1950's, but many of them remain in use for non-military purposes (this is arguably the most famous). Some great photos here. [previously on metafilter]
posted by dersins at 10:04 AM PST - 13 comments

Silver Bookmarks is a collection of images of over 1000 antique silver bookmarks. They can be browsed by category (e.g. shape, origin, style) all of which are divided into myriad sub-categories (e.g. Art Deco, cat, Shakespeare, Iceland, Tunbridgeware, knife). Stevengraphs has pictures of the famed bookmarks made by the firm of silk weaver Thomas Stevens as well as other products. Among my favorite Stevengraphs are Ye Faire Ladie Godiva and Peeping Tom, The Apostle of Free Trade, John Bright, MP, Assassinated at Washington 14 April 1865 - The Late Lamented Lincoln, Speed Well Remember Me and for cheap laughs there is the glorious duo of Ride the Cock Horse and I Love Little Pussy.
posted by Kattullus at 10:01 AM PST - 2 comments

It's official, Del Torro is on board for the new Hobbit move and it's...um..sequel. Anyway, he seems to be adamant in keeping the as much as the original creative team on board which is a encouraging sign, roll on 2010?
posted by Mintyblonde at 8:35 AM PST - 91 comments

Steve Carrell on how to act brilliant:
I've learned to appear scintillatingly intellectual by asking people questions ("Do you like pizza?"). Then I just look at them, nodding and saying "Hmmm" and "Um hmmm" every few seconds. Try and keep one or two things in your head to regurgitate later. After all, what is knowledge, really, but high-resolution regurgitation?
posted by beaucoupkevin at 8:29 AM PST - 64 comments

North Brother Island has cool birdsand old buildings. It used to be a quarantine zone for victims of infectious disease. [more inside]
posted by owhydididoit at 8:10 AM PST - 14 comments

The Office of Government Commerce has an unfortunate new logo, but it looks like Dinosaur Comics beat them to the punch.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 7:38 AM PST - 37 comments

With the grounds it was built on having hosted the first demonstration of airplane flight in 1909, Tempelhof International Airport, the world's second-oldest working commercial airport, was officially opened in 1923. Also known as City Airport, it takes its official name from the Tempelhof neighborhood of Berlin, itself named for the Knights Templar who owned its land in the Middle Ages. [more inside]
posted by Your Time Machine Sucks at 5:12 AM PST - 36 comments

April 24

Today is ANZAC day in Australia and New Zealand, the commemorating the abortive Gallipoli landings of 1915. It is a solemn day, marked by a dawn service and parade in every town across the two countries. [more inside]
posted by mattoxic at 10:10 PM PST - 70 comments

Ancient Buddhist Paintings From Bamiyan Were Made Of Oil, Hundreds Of Years Before Technique Was 'Invented' In Europe. [Via MonkeyFilter.] [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 9:20 PM PST - 23 comments

In Vestimentis Ursum. Designer Matt Kirkland peels off the fur of mechanized stuffed animals to take a look at the robots lurking within.
posted by hydrophonic at 8:39 PM PST - 25 comments

Sometimes, when you've had your fill of people basking in the golden light of their self-righteous indignation, you just wanna hear a song about somebody telling those holier-than-thou-ers where to get off. Something like, say, Harper Valley PTA. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:29 PM PST - 39 comments

School bully arrested for spiking allergic classmate's lunchbox with peanut butter cookie crumbs
posted by ericbop at 6:13 PM PST - 127 comments

" It looks as if our Milky Way will be subsumed into its giant neighbour, the Andromeda galaxy...." A (not so) little trove of images of galactic collisions has been released to mark the 18th anniversary of the Hubble telescope's launch. Gravitic Mayhem. (via)
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 6:04 PM PST - 21 comments

"As a great architect once said, 'Buildings should look like what they are'." John Jessop became so frustrated with the red tape required for his company to get permission to build a farm shed, he submitted a sarcastic application . Read his full "Planning Application for Erection of Agricultural Implement Shed" here [pdf, 3 pages]. No word yet on whether the shed was approved. Via.
posted by amyms at 5:55 PM PST - 27 comments


Senate lawmakers in Florida move to ban fake testicles on vehicles. NSFW(?)
posted by mrducts at 4:47 PM PST - 88 comments

Fritz Langs M as adapted by comicbook artist Jon J Muth.
posted by Artw at 3:42 PM PST - 34 comments


@mateurdart is a French-language blog on erotic art in a wide variety of eras and styles. (NSFW)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:29 PM PST - 17 comments

"The women's tennis team at Grand Canyon University in Arizona has an unusual player this year — a 60-year-old named Sheila Johnson. She played for three years at Arizona State in the '60s, but still had one year of eligibility left." NPR story. Newspaper Article. Sports Illustrated Article. Picture of the team and Stats. [more inside]
posted by wittgenstein at 2:10 PM PST - 14 comments

Car of the Future , NOVA's latest episode, is fully online and includes a slew of extras including CC-licensed content, a brief historical overview of "innovative" automobiles, Amory Lovins flogging his Hypercar concept, the Car Talk guys making nuisances of themselves, and much more. (It's no Design for Dreaming, but really, what could be?)
posted by cog_nate at 1:22 PM PST - 21 comments

At least it will sound like I'm furiously busy as I fritter away the rest of the afternoon racing. TypeRacing!
posted by BoatMeme at 12:51 PM PST - 90 comments

Massimo Vignelli’s 1972 NYC subway map is back Yours for the low, low price of 299 bucks for one copy of the limited edition of 500. (Previous MeFi comments on the famed design, which the New York MTA eventually shitcanned. [Via.])
posted by joeclark at 12:42 PM PST - 30 comments

A new round of genetic tests has confirmed it: The 'big lizards' of our childhood fantasies were more likely 'big birds.' In fact, they probably even had feathers, and looked more like this than this. Mind blowing, I know, but I guess this demonstrates that, despite what some may think, science really doesn't have a problem admitting that it got something wrong when new evidence comes to light.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:24 PM PST - 75 comments

Are golf courses bad or good for the environment? Chances are the answer you give depends on whether you are actively involved with the game. Representing anti-golf we have the Organic Consumers Association, the Journal of Pesticide Reform (pdf), and the Global Anti-Golf Movement. Speaking on behalf of golf course management the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews (pdf) and the United States Golf Association. A group of leading golf and environmental organizations have jointly developed Environmental Principles for Golf Courses in the United States.
posted by netbros at 11:48 AM PST - 38 comments



I recently posed the following statement to my fellow, walled-off employees:
"True or False: Cubicles reduce office sociability by 100%"
I received no answer.
[more inside]
posted by yoyoceramic at 11:14 AM PST - 52 comments

On Having A Black Name "I am a white woman, a blond, blue-eyed white woman, and I have a first name strongly associated with black women. My mother, a southerner by birth, never stopped telling me she made the name up. The fact that she truly could not remember ever hearing the name before, is a testament to the strength of southern segregation. It is likely she heard it once or twice, and simply forgot it until later. And so, even at 50 years old, I have a name that makes people do a double-take. "You're _____?" is something I have heard all my life. "Yes, that would be me," is what I say, as they look confused. I have upset the social order. Names, I have learned, are a big, big part of it."
posted by nooneyouknow at 9:06 AM PST - 257 comments

The Retroist is a veritable treasure trove of 80's (and 70's) goodness. TV commercials, catalogs, and of course the poetry of Mr. Leonard Nimoy. The Youtube channel alone is worth the price of admission-- Tobor! Diet Rite! Candyland!
posted by dersins at 8:49 AM PST - 15 comments

Arthur Mole first developed his technique of collective portraiture in a religious context, photographing fellow church members gathered together in the shape of religious symbols. When the United States entered World War I, Mole and his colleague John Thomas turned to patriotic themes. They choreographed thousands of soldiers into formations such as the Liberty Bell and the Statue of Liberty. Their largest production was the U.S. Human Shield, photographed at Camp Custer, Battle Creek, Michigan, which comprised 30,000 men. Wiki. [more inside]
posted by ColdChef at 7:51 AM PST - 10 comments

Awaiting autopsy, the newly deceased lies supine, naked, on a metal table. The head is positioned as if the closed eyes were looking straight up. The arms are at the side. The knees and elbows are straight. The ankles are bent forward, not to the side, at an angle of about 45 degrees. I have seen the bodies this way of persons I had known, persons I had spoken with the previous day. And sometimes a live patient, consulting me for a physical examination, will lie the same way on the examination table, naked, looking up, arms at his side; and my thoughts turn to the autopsy suite. I wonder if I will someday see him too lying this way, recently cold, and I wonder about the complicated awful predicament of the physician.
Short essays by Charles Bardes, M.D. on the practice of medicine. An appreciation of Charles Bardes by Sven Birkerts.
posted by Kattullus at 7:29 AM PST - 15 comments

Dream-like "redneck mansion" is (disappointingly) actually a theatre set, but still a great bit of architecture.
posted by kmennie at 7:25 AM PST - 23 comments

Disclosing victim status could mean being denied that housing is even available. Women strong enough to flee their homes and their abusive situations were more likely to be denied housing outright, something that did not happen to people not disclosing.
posted by jacobw at 6:06 AM PST - 29 comments

Metafilter Zombified A service of Bottlecap Labs, you too can infest any website with zombies using ZombieUrl.
posted by jeremias at 4:23 AM PST - 40 comments

Horror photography by artist Joshua Hoffine. NSFW, via The Horror Blog
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:11 AM PST - 41 comments

Kip Macy is a well-known developer and mentor in the community focused on the FreeBSD operating system. He is also having some major legal problems. [more inside]
posted by metasonix at 2:07 AM PST - 46 comments

Maybe it's time to give up. Last year's failed clinical trial for Merck's HIV vaccine (which once appeared so promising) led many to claim that AIDS vaccine research is in crisis. According to an unprecedented poll conducted by The Independent most scientists involved in AIDS research believe that a vaccine against HIV is further away than ever and some have admitted that effective immunisation against the virus may never be possible. [more inside]
posted by three blind mice at 1:58 AM PST - 59 comments

April 23

Pitching Ziggy the Movie "Maybe the complaints department is part of the conspiracy to keep Ziggy down..."
posted by Del Far at 9:44 PM PST - 31 comments


The barefoot beekeeper is Phil Chandler's blog about small-scale organic beekeeping. It offers videos and a forum, as well as a photo tutorial, How to Build a Top Bar Hive. [more inside]
posted by owhydididoit at 6:14 PM PST - 16 comments

Thomas Friedman pied in the face on Earth day by the Greenwash Guerillas at Brown.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 4:04 PM PST - 153 comments

The financial turmoil of 2007-?: a preliminary assessment and some policy considerations (pdf) "All episodes of financial distress of a systemic nature, with potentially significant implications for the real economy, arguably have at their root an overextension in risk-taking and in balance sheets in good times, masked by the veneer of a vibrant economy. This overextension generates financial vulnerabilities that are clearly revealed only once the economic environment becomes less benign, in turn contributing to its further deterioration." A scholarly, sane, relatively brief, accessible-to-the-layperson, and mostly apolitical look at the current turmoil.
posted by Kwantsar at 3:31 PM PST - 36 comments


This must be the creepiest tv host ever (possibly NSFW). Perhaps it's a joke, perhaps the guy is sozzled? That is all. [more inside]
posted by krautland at 2:20 PM PST - 105 comments

With spring here, fishing seasons are opening across the country. Want to learn how to fly fish or get better at it? Tom Rosenbauer, author of many a book on the subject, now offers a weekly podcast.
posted by james_cpi at 1:58 PM PST - 6 comments

Previously on the blue, Photographer Taryn Simon's award winning book collects photographs taken from her latest exhibition of realities of which most of us are completely oblivious. [more inside]
posted by Large Marge at 1:24 PM PST - 22 comments

In the spirit of those who have patented living organisms, the State of Oregon Legislative Counsel Committee is demanding $30,000 from Justia.com for the right to publish Oregon Revised Statutes -- the laws of Oregon -- on their website for two years. [more inside]
posted by msalt at 1:05 PM PST - 36 comments

The World's Scariest Runways. I'm sure I've seen St. Maarten highlighted on the blue before, but some of the other airport runways listed in the above article also look a little too hair-raising for my liking. At the top of the list is landing in Bhutan, but in my humble opinion, the most alarming one (albeit not used for commercial airliners), is the Matekane Airstrip in Lesotho.
posted by idiomatika at 12:36 PM PST - 43 comments

This has not been a good week for woman of color blogging. About two weeks ago, Black Femi Power, a well-read woman of color blogger, resigned her blog in protest to an incident wherein Amanda Marcotte, a notable white feminist blogger, was accused of appropriating BFP's ideas. On the heels of the controversy that had reverberations in the feminist blogosphere which are far from forgotten, Marcotte is releasing and promoting a new book, with a new cover to replace the old one after outcries that it was racist.
posted by lunit at 10:07 AM PST - 140 comments

There’s more than a few valve’s worth of pressurized love for steampunk on MeFi [previously 1 2 3]. Naturally, we’ve also had to replace many a sump filter due to the vitriol sluicing from the very same. Regardless how you may feel about it, Steampunk Magazine seeks to accompany the genre along its transmogrification from a form of fiction into fashion, music, and ‘misapplied technology’. [more inside]
posted by cosmonik at 8:43 AM PST - 47 comments

Otto Preminger died on this day 22 years ago at 79 years old, and was buried at Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, NY. [more inside]
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 7:03 AM PST - 20 comments

The Olympic Boom is shaping a new Beijing. These fancy new venues and skyscrapers are being built largely by migrant workers facing a harsh reality. The non-stop construction has also threatened to make these "green games" brown. The city may be smoggy and mistreated migrant workery now, but don't you worry, a series of measures will be taken to curb the pollution for the events.
posted by clearly at 6:51 AM PST - 54 comments

Once upon a time in the postwar, before the advent of EPA and OSHA and the Consumer Products Safety Commission and weenies in bike helmets and multilingual warning stickers on stepladders, crazy people walked this earth. Good, fun-loving Americans who knew that "instructions" were something you threw in the trash along with the empty Falstaff bottles. A halcyon era filled with manly men who savored the wholesome virtues of a rugged game of un-seatbelted automotive chicken. One of these men was Gene Middlebrooks, who founded Turbonique. [more inside]
posted by dg at 5:43 AM PST - 50 comments

In celebration of my antipodean homesickness I've spent the morning catching up with some great Australian and New Zealand musical comedy acts I've been to. You've already met Flight of the Conchords previously on mefi. Now come and meet some... [more inside]
posted by steerpike at 5:40 AM PST - 15 comments

The Open Source Boob Project. At Penguicon, we had buttons to give away. There were two small buttons, one for each camp: A green button that said, "YES, you may" and a red button that said "NO, you may not." And anyone who had those buttons on, whether you knew them or not, was someone you could approach and ask: "Excuse me, but may I touch your breasts?" Once taken online, the grand flurry of reactions have been decidedly mixed. [more inside]
posted by Hildegarde at 5:25 AM PST - 247 comments

How to catch and eat a rat. Really. This is for if the bartending or the blacksmithing don't work out. [more inside]
posted by Rich Smorgasbord at 12:42 AM PST - 24 comments

    The wolf
    Is shaved so neat and trim
    Red Riding Hood
    Is chasing him
    BURMA-SHAVE
[more inside]
posted by hadjiboy at 12:21 AM PST - 33 comments

April 22

The folks at Purgatory Iron Works are making a series of 10-minute how-to videos for beginning blacksmiths. Current introductory topics include anvils, building a forge (part 2), and making charcoal (part 2); if there are topics you'd particularly like to see, the host is taking requests.
posted by Upton O'Good at 11:00 PM PST - 18 comments

The new face of hunger -- “World agriculture has entered a new, unsustainable and politically risky period” says the International Food Policy Research Institute. Food riots have erupted in countries all along the equator because of soaring food commodity prices. So, where does the world get more food? If the extra supplies are to come mainly from large farmers in America and Europe, then they may be trapped in a farm subsidy Catch-22. Increase production per acre? We just learned about the myth of GM crops (previously of MeFi). All of this is why some are just sitting out Earth Day.
posted by netbros at 9:23 PM PST - 114 comments

Two blogposts from Smashing Magazine: Breathtaking Typographic Posters and Typography in Motion. Some notables: Retro Artist Feature, Linocut Print of London, It's the Outsideness Flavour of It, Zeitgeist, Hier Vorne, 80 of 500 Handdrawn Posters and music video for Ya no sé qué hacer conmigo by Uruguayan band Cuarteto de Nos.
posted by Kattullus at 9:04 PM PST - 7 comments

You Walk Wrong. "It took 4 million years of evolution to perfect the human foot. But we’re wrecking it with every step we take." [Via]
posted by homunculus at 8:50 PM PST - 102 comments

The Daiquiri is a drink which was much beloved by Ernest Hemingway. [more inside]
posted by winna at 8:10 PM PST - 32 comments

ascii....the original images! We don't need no stinkin' img tag! [more inside]
posted by HuronBob at 8:00 PM PST - 37 comments

Alabama - Alabama Bound - Stars Fell On Alabama - Alabama Song - Alabama Jubilee - Alabama and, as if you could leave it out of this post... Sweet Home Alabama. Oh, and by the way, I'm told that other states occasionally appear in songs as well. You can verify that here. [NOTE: see hoverovers for link descriptions]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:54 PM PST - 43 comments


Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu doesn't speak much, but when he takes up his guitar, he sings, literally and figuratively. He sings of growing up in an Aboriginal community on a remote island off the north coast of Australia; he sings of coming to terms with being born blind; and he sings the creation stories of his Yolngu people.
posted by dhruva at 4:34 PM PST - 19 comments

The Brooklyn Elite Checkers Club [flash] is just one of the stories on the recently released site, City of Memory - 'a public map that generates social interaction, personal expression, and collaborative storytelling'. [more inside]
posted by tellurian at 4:30 PM PST - 3 comments

Joseph Herscher spent 6 months creating his "Monster Marble Machine," an entrant in Cadbury's "Unleash The Goo" competition. While just a runner-up, he's gaining attention for his Rube Goldberg inspired solution.
posted by ericb at 4:13 PM PST - 30 comments

From Aircraft to Zodiac, from Tricks to Trucks, the Zippo Gallery has something for everyone. (Well, everyone who likes Zippos, anyway.)
posted by dersins at 2:31 PM PST - 5 comments

Modelling Human Memory. Or, really, predicting the point of forgetting.
posted by weston at 2:03 PM PST - 26 comments


The CIA's Odd Man Out: CIA station chief Bob Lady coordinated the secret kidnapping of Islamic militant Abu Omar in Milan and Omar's "extreme rendition" to Egypt where he was tortured. Italy indicted various CIA agents; Lady is on the run in Central America, abandoned by the agency. The twist: Lady opposed the mission all along. And Abu Omar will probably end up with Lady's home in the foothills of the Alps. [more inside]
posted by msalt at 11:26 AM PST - 38 comments

Joshua Allen Harris makes inflatable sculptures out of found trash bags: bear, creatures, monster. via wooster collective.
posted by serazin at 9:30 AM PST - 19 comments

I want you to want me is the latest project from Jon Harris and Sep Kamvar. It's an interactive touch-screen installation at MoMA, part of the current exhibit called Design and the Elastic Mind. The installation culls dating profiles from the Internet and visualizes trends and statistics. Each person is represented as a floating balloon. If you're in NYC, check the exhibit out before it closes on May 12. Otherwise, here's a video.
posted by spigoat at 9:07 AM PST - 10 comments

Unscrew America!! Flash 9 Activism designed to promote interest/activity in replacing regular old incandescent lightbulbs with energy-efficient CFL and LED bulbs.
posted by psmealey at 8:50 AM PST - 69 comments

Exposed: The great GM crops myth. A new study shows some genetically engineered crops (soy, cotton) produce less than equvilent conventional crops. Meanwhile the IAASTD - sort of the IPCC of agriculture composed of 400 experts from around the world - has concluded in a major report that GM crops are not the answer to world hunger and there must be a "paradigm shift" (IAASTD report summary). They predict global demand for food will double in the next 25-50 years, but with the current food crises, some GM crops are already less taboo, but PETA is banking on vat grown meat.
posted by stbalbach at 8:49 AM PST - 112 comments

Talk about plastic accumulating in the North Pacific gyre has popped up on and off for quite a while now. Vice is running a series on the state of the gyre, as part of their "Toxic Series". Given the fact that most plastics are not biodegradable, we need to start looking more carefully at how much damage we are doing to ourselves through our use of plastic, and what we can do about it. [more inside]
posted by TheyCallItPeace at 8:15 AM PST - 36 comments

This story from NPR's morning edition discusses a program in a Georgia middle and high school that pays students $8 per day to go to after school study sessions twice a week. Jackie Cushman is the originator of the project. She is also Newt Gingrich's daughter. [more inside]
posted by wittgenstein at 6:01 AM PST - 100 comments

The Lighthouse Directory. An information portal for over 9000 lighthouses, and sites of former lighthouses, all around the world. Photos, histories, technical specifications, etc. Most of the links are very thorough, with some including excerpts from keepers' logs. The site also includes links to current news stories and general historical articles related to lighthouses.
posted by amyms at 1:33 AM PST - 28 comments

April 21

Why do we spend so many precious hours of our lives watching films? What is it about cinema that it should occupy a place of such prominence in our lives? And why do we even need movies? It is as though we are trying to fill a gap in our lives - a void, an emptiness within ourselves. So to even begin on the path of our Truth Quest, we have to see the broader picture of how film correlates to life, and life to film. To find this higher perspective, it is helpful to look towards the other arts, as well as philosophy.
Cinema Seekers: Searching for truth in cinema and in life. [more inside]
posted by carsonb at 11:49 PM PST - 26 comments

Tul Karem’s refugee camp, the time, if I remember correctly, Chanukah 2003, it was to execute there about 9 people. Sorry, I don’t remember the pretense we were given for the mission.
From Shovrim Shtika or Breaking the Silence where Israeli soldiers confess the horror they have visited on Hebron
posted by adamvasco at 11:45 PM PST - 13 comments

Max/MSP is a graphical programming environment primarily used for music, video and multimedia. Max/MSP has sometimes been described as a digital erector set. David Tinapple describes Max in this way: "it's like you're drawing a diagram of what you want the program to do, and then when you're done drawing the diagram you've also sort of accidentally programmed it". [more inside]
posted by Crumpled Farm at 11:43 PM PST - 27 comments

Poor localization causes a simple, if slightly inflammatory, text message to go awry.
posted by adamdschneider at 10:04 PM PST - 21 comments

"Charlie Rose" by Samuel Beckett. [SLYT post]. Strangely compelling.
posted by LarryC at 9:04 PM PST - 23 comments

Biomaterial charges against N.Y. art professor dismissed. A judge has thrown out the charges against Steve Kurtz. Finally. Kurtz's case was previously discussed here and here. [Via]
posted by homunculus at 8:45 PM PST - 29 comments

In 1987, the Caltech biomagnetist and paleomagnetist Joe Kirschvink gave undergraduate Dawn Sumner a rock sample [from South Australia] to study for her senior thesis. The apparent glacial origin of this rock lead directly to the theory that periodically the Earth has been thoroughly glaciated from the poles to the Equator: the so-called Snowball Earth events. A website dedicated to this theory includes detailed teaching slides, a FAQ, and many other resources on this interesting period in Earth's history.
posted by Rumple at 7:29 PM PST - 7 comments

The Replacements on KFAI FM Minneapolis 1983.
posted by vronsky at 6:15 PM PST - 25 comments

Former 'poster boy for Scientology,' Jason Beghe, OTV, Class V auditor, and seasoned character actor speaks out in a two hour interview about his experience as a celebrity in the CoS. [more inside]
posted by brain cloud at 5:35 PM PST - 37 comments


Arthur de Pins. Cheeky French illustrations and animations. Some mildly NSFW.
posted by klangklangston at 4:43 PM PST - 11 comments

"So I hit up a garage sale over the weekend and bought a genuine, working-condition Atari 2600, with a huge stack of games nearly mint in their boxes, for a song. I thought I’d scan the box covers and give you all a look back into the fun of yesteryear."
posted by sveskemus at 3:19 PM PST - 74 comments

The self-proclaimed "most trusted name in news", CNN, has launched its beta t-shirt store. Finally, for $15 plus shipping and tax you can buy direct from CNN branded t-shirts with such wonderful headlines as: "Dad mistakes son for prey, shoots" and "Free prom dresses honor girl's memory." If that's not enough, yes, you can share your new purchase on Facebook, and grab your 15 minutes of fame by posting pictures of yourself in your newly acquired apparel on CNN's quasi-news ireport system (link not yet live, but I'm waiting with much anticipation). [more inside]
posted by Muddler at 12:45 PM PST - 71 comments

Performance Artist Killed on Peace Trip. Pippa Bacca, performance artist, and friend wearing white wedding dresses, planned to hitchhike from Italy to the Balkans to the Middle East to send a message of peace and “marriage between different peoples and nations.” After three weeks on the road, Pippa Bacca was killed by a driver who offered her a ride. Her naked body was found and local authorities said Ms. Bacca had been raped and strangled.
posted by semmi at 12:25 PM PST - 106 comments

Ennio Marchetto : Italian quick-change papercraft drag queen does musical medley. [more inside]
posted by Dave Faris at 12:16 PM PST - 5 comments

New England's best metal site has now gone national.

Thrash out!
posted by auralcoral at 12:14 PM PST - 75 comments

Kids-in-mind "provides parents and other adults with objective and complete information about a film's content so that they can decide, based on their own value system, whether they should watch a movie with or without their kids." Informative AND unintentionally hilarious! From the somewhat kid-friendly Ratatouille (A rat smokes a mushroom over a chimney, and with another rat they are struck by lightning, thrown from the roof and to the ground (they have electrified fur but are otherwise OK).) to more decidedly non-kid-friendly fare, and everything in between. [more inside]
posted by (bb|[^b]{2}) at 12:02 PM PST - 81 comments



Soviet Museum has some great retro photography, industrial, postcards, propaganda, "Soviet Union" magazine, aspects of moscow, red army, etc [did I mention erotic too?]. It even has 'Vladimir Putin Favourite Places' (which as far as I can tell, is one place). Set aside some time if this sort of thing interests you.
posted by tellurian at 10:10 AM PST - 20 comments

The hills of other earths might not be green...The Color(s) Out of Space. [more inside]
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 7:54 AM PST - 23 comments


Cello Hero? Have a go at bowing Saint-Saëns' The Swan.
posted by Wolfdog at 7:18 AM PST - 20 comments


Jack London wrote about it before the 20th century, then it was Austin Powers, and even more recently Eric Cartman. But because most portrayals of cryonics are used in the sci-fi or humor genres, we often forget that the practice is very real, and has some very real consequences.
posted by aheckler at 6:53 AM PST - 28 comments

High-Tech Noon. What makes a classic Western even more classic? Blasters and force-fields, that's what. (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:17 AM PST - 25 comments

It hasn't been updated in a few months, but the Cocteau Twins Podcast is a treasure trove of rare and never-before-heard recordings. [more inside]
posted by jbickers at 4:17 AM PST - 17 comments

The Video Nasty Project seeks to watch and review all 74 "video nasties" effectively banned in the UK in the 1980s in a moral panic over the subversive new video cassette technology. 39 videos were successfully prosecuted, initally under the Obscene Publications Act 1959, then the Video Recordings Act 1984.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 2:38 AM PST - 56 comments

A Rage In Dalston [BBC Radio 4 documentary, 1hr, streaming RealMedia] "For four years after 1945, London and the South East witnessed vicious confrontations between the remnants of Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists and Jewish ex-servicemen organised in the 43 Group." Interviewees include Vidal Sassoon, by day mild-mannered teenage hairdresser of talent, by night militant anti-fascist. Documentary maker Alan Dein was unable to get any surviving Moseleyites to talk for the programme but there's contributions from Trevor Grundy, author of Memoir of a Fascist Childhood.
posted by Abiezer at 1:17 AM PST - 34 comments

"When I get the time when I'm not raking, whenever I'm near water, I'll beach comb for bits of wood, feather or anything else that appeals and make some boats."
posted by nthdegx at 1:14 AM PST - 13 comments

April 20

Cheap Corn Makes Your Life Short
posted by thisisdrew at 10:45 PM PST - 41 comments


Nationwide matzo shortage! Competing theories offer possible explanations. If you get desperate, make your own. (Gratuitous youtube matzo themed video.)
posted by serazin at 10:04 PM PST - 15 comments

Facial hair font
posted by ericbop at 9:41 PM PST - 22 comments


The Worst Flop in Broadway History? First staged in 1983 for only one night, Moose Murders (wiki) is legendary as the flop-of-flops in Broadway history--and is now being revived for its kitsch value. [more inside]
posted by ornate insect at 9:17 PM PST - 15 comments

Bookmarks Magazine has long been one of my favorite book review periodicals because it aggregates and summarizes reviews from many sources, for example: The Children of Húrin. Recently they have opened up the back-issue archive to non-subscribers. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach at 8:07 PM PST - 6 comments

Thirty-six years after the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse recommended that "simple possession" of pot be decriminalised, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) has introduced a bill, co-sponsored by Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), to remove federal criminal penalties for possession of up to 100 grams (about three-and-a-half ounces) of marijuana and the not-for-profit transfer of up to one ounce (28.3 grams). Drug reform advocates lit up hailed the legislation as "an important step toward bringing federal law into line with scientific fact, practical reality and public opinion." Is America, at long last, having a collective moment of sanity?
posted by kliuless at 7:40 PM PST - 76 comments

Danica Patrick has become the first woman ever to win an Indy Racing League event at the Twin Rings Motegi in Motegi, Japan. Tear-jerking youtube video.
posted by patr1ck at 7:14 PM PST - 83 comments

Wayne Miller's compelling B&W photos of Chicago 1946-1948 set to Muddy Water's "I feel like going home." (flash alert; via bifurcated rivets)
posted by madamjujujive at 5:09 PM PST - 16 comments

Ben Stein's Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, a pro-Intelligent Design, anti-evolution polemic, arrived in theaters Friday to overwhelmingly negative reviews and anemic ticket sales. In response to the claims made in the film comes Expelled Exposed, a website which seeks to "show you why this movie is not a documentary at all, but anti-science propaganda aimed at creating the appearance of controversy where there is none."
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:57 PM PST - 359 comments

Smooth Jazz, also sometimes referred to as new adult contemporary music or instrumental pop, is generally described as a genre that utilizes instruments and improvisation traditionally associated with jazz and stylistic influences drawn from mostly R&B, but also funk and pop. Since the late 1980s and into the 1990s, it has become successful as a radio format. [source wikipedia] [more inside]
posted by netbros at 1:35 PM PST - 251 comments

From Radio 4's Broadcasting House: The Donald Rumsfeld Soundbites of the Decade. A collection of statements we do now know we know.
posted by forallmankind at 1:33 PM PST - 17 comments

slappity-slappity-BOOM!-slappity-slap-slap-slap-BOOM!... Slap dancing from opposite ends of the earth! In Samoa, it’s called the Fa'ataupati; it’s said to have originated out of the need to swat insects away. And in the Tyrolean Alps, it’s called the Schuhplattler, supposedly the oldest surviving dance in Europe. And on MetaTalk, it goes like this, amirite? [more inside]
posted by not_on_display at 11:28 AM PST - 16 comments

Stop Boris Johnson? [more inside]
posted by bwerdmuller at 8:18 AM PST - 58 comments

Lost Ray Harryhausen footage? No, it's a real bird that keeps itself fully plucked due to an unfortunate malady. Sort of cuddly in a leathery, scuttling way, don't you think?
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 8:01 AM PST - 22 comments

Given the history of the country and the fact that a huge number of South Africa's black citizens still live in conditions of desperate hardship, a film seeking to draw attention to white poverty in that nation might understandably raise some eyebrows or some suspicions. But Poor Whites - South Africa is worth a view. Perhaps things aren't always quite as, er, black and white as this South African TV spot would indicate. Meanwhile, ANC president Jacob Zuma, visiting poor whites at a shantytown yesterday expressed surprise at the level of poverty among white people. "You have shown me that it exists", he said to Solidarity officials who had invited him. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:24 AM PST - 16 comments

from ACT I SCENE 4

J: Your pardon; did I break thy concentration?
Continue! Ah, but now thy tongue is still.
Allow me then to offer a response.
Describe Marsellus Wallace to me, pray. [more inside]
posted by 2or3whiskeysodas at 6:48 AM PST - 170 comments

Natural Orifice Transluminal Endoscopic Surgery (or NOTES) became a reality for humans when in 2006, Rao and Reddy 9 of the Asian Institute of Gastroenterology, Hyderabad, India, stunned the medical fraternity when they presented 7 cases of successful transoral, transgastric appendicectomies.” [more inside]
posted by Wilder at 6:07 AM PST - 19 comments

"Stench of manure engulfs London." When I saw this headline, my first thought was: what, again?

The "Great Stink" of 1858 was a particularly intense manifestation of London's ancient drainage problems. The Thames had always reeked, but that summer, the stench was so horrendous that the windows of Parliament were covered with curtains soaked in cleaning solution so that business could continue. [more inside]
posted by Countess Elena at 6:01 AM PST - 19 comments

Robbins Barstow's 1956 home movie. Take a trip back to 1956 with Robbins Barstow, his wife, and three kids. After winning a 3M (Scotch Tape) contest, the family won a trip to Disneyland! For those of you who, like me, lived through the 50's, this will transport you back... for the rest of you, find out what life was like for your Parents and Grandparents. via [more inside]
posted by HuronBob at 5:11 AM PST - 16 comments

Downtown Miami seems like a lot more fun when its filled with foam. That is all.
posted by allkindsoftime at 4:12 AM PST - 30 comments

April 19

Are you batshitinsane? Viruses and/or bacteria may be the cause.
posted by amyms at 11:05 PM PST - 17 comments

Why bother? "That really is the big question facing us as individuals hoping to do something about climate change," by Michael Pollan.
posted by stbalbach at 7:48 PM PST - 69 comments


Television military analysts are wooed, courted, and privileged by the Pentagon. An in-depth investigative report by the New York Times uncovers logrolling, shilling, touting, back-scratching, and just plain bias on the part of the experts that television networks put on the air to talk about the war. Some of them appear to be as good as owned by the Defense Department. "The effort, which began with the buildup to the Iraq war and continues to this day, has sought to exploit ideological and military allegiances, and also a powerful financial dynamic: Most of the analysts have ties to military contractors vested in the very war policies they are asked to assess on air. Those business relationships are hardly ever disclosed to the viewers, and sometimes not even to the networks themselves."
posted by Mo Nickels at 6:32 PM PST - 37 comments

Today is Record Store Day!
What is it about music? It is Love and Passion channeled through a medium that cuts across and through actual definition straight to your soul whether you love Blues, Reggae, Country, Punk Rock, or Quawwali music, your favorite artists take you places you could otherwise never go - and that place is often a place of love and inspiration. - Marc Weinstein [more inside]
posted by carsonb at 5:58 PM PST - 38 comments


Illustrators up in arms. Darren De Lieto, owner of Little Chimp Society, recently received word that his work and the work of 93 other illustrators has been used without permission in a dubious 350-page book entitled Colorful Illustrations 93ºC, being sold online and in bookstores for $100. With the rise of copyright-shaky China and the revitialization of the Orphan Works Act, are artists rights becoming more precarious? (Via Drawn!)
posted by billypilgrim at 2:45 PM PST - 30 comments


Brother from Another Planet (Pts. 2, 3, and 4) is a documentary about Sun Ra and his Arkestra(s) on YT. It features interviews with Archie Shepp, Amiri Baraka, John Sinclair, and several members of the Arkestra as well as several live clips and scenes from the 1974 movie Space is the Place. (previously) [more inside]
posted by sleepy pete at 12:23 PM PST - 18 comments

"We Nathaniel Mulliken, Philip Russell, [and 32 other men], All of lawful age, and inhabitants of Lexington, in the County of Middlesex...do testify and declare, that on the nineteenth [of April] in the morning, being informed that...a body of regulars were marching from Boston towards Concord...and soon found that a large body of troops were marching towards us...whilst our backs were turned on the troops, we were fired on by them, and a number of our men were instantly killed and wounded..."* Thus "the shot heard around the world" [video | 10:01] led American colonialists (eventually with the help of the French) on the path to founding a new nation [video | 54:04].
posted by ericb at 11:41 AM PST - 42 comments


The 50 Best Cookie Recipes on the Internet -- for me, the best food on the planet is an oatmeal raisin cookie. My palate just goes ooohhh! Everything else just fills the hole. For many, it's the good ol' chocolate chip. There's bound to be some cookie gourmet's in the MeFi universe. So tell us, what is your favorite cookie?
posted by netbros at 9:31 AM PST - 40 comments

"I mean he quite literally -- and in no way do I exaggerate when I say -- [Paul Simon] stole the songs from us." [more inside]
posted by Sys Rq at 9:28 AM PST - 75 comments

Light makes a comeback. “New technologies — more sophisticated imaging techniques, fluorescent molecules that act as beacons of light in the cell, and the computing power to gather and stitch together multiple images and create videos from high-powered microscopes — make it possible to harness one of light’s key advantages: gentleness. Unlike higher-resolution techniques, light microscopes can image biological structures without killing them or chemically fixing them. At Harvard, the resurgence of light microscopy is making it possible to see structures and events that have never before been seen in the context of living cells and organisms.” Also don't miss the video samples of “in vivo” imagining.
posted by Frankieist at 8:02 AM PST - 12 comments

Cymatics: A Study of Wave Phenomena & Vibration
posted by acro at 7:19 AM PST - 5 comments

Ever since I first heard mbira from Zimbabwe almost 30 years ago (via this record), I've been a lover of that enchanting, delicate and intricate music. It's only recently, however, that many of us who aren't actually players of the mbira could see just how the instrument is played: Holding the mbira, and scales - Lesson One - Two - Three - Four, and more and more. And here are some recommended mbira players and groups with MySpace Music pages worth checking out: Spirit Talk Mbira - Mbira Oracle - Kunzawa Mbira Group - Joel Laviolette. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:18 AM PST - 18 comments

Autopsy: Emergency Room. The three-part Channel 4 series Autopsy: Emergency Room takes you on a unique and fascinating journey through the human body to see what happens when our bodies are damaged or injured. Previously: Autopsy: Life & Death and an a brief article on Dr. Von Hagens.
posted by elpapacito at 6:01 AM PST - 3 comments



The "sacred flame" winds its way towards Beijing, creating new flashpoints like a car bumper scraping sparks from the pavement.

The chinese public's anger at CNN now has a wildly popular theme song. "You can't turn lies into the truth by repeating them a thousand times"

Chinese nationalism and an American backlash are both growing. Where is all this leading to? And even if we can't understand how China sees Tibet, or know whether the Shanghai Princesses will really give up their Chanel, can we at least assure the Chinese that we don't like Jack Cafferty either?
posted by Tlogmer at 5:05 AM PST - 100 comments

April 18

Mole Man to pay £300,000 for burrowing under home. A retired engineer nicknamed “Mole Man”, because of his fondness for burrowing tunnels under his home (video), has been ordered to pay almost £300,000 to the local council (he lives in London) after his hobby nearly caused his house to collapse (article with a few photos). William Lyttle, 77, spent 40 years excavating a maze of tunnels beneath his 20-room Victorian property in Hackney, East London, before the council intervened. "I often used to joke that I expect him to come tunnelling up through the kitchen floor," said Marc Beishon, who lives a few yards from William Lyttle's house, in 2006, when the Mole Man was first ordered to stop. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu at 10:33 PM PST - 31 comments

Who really invented the telephone? Was it this guy?, or did he just win a foot race to the patent office with this guy or was it really... [more inside]
posted by Rafaelloello at 10:06 PM PST - 5 comments


The 2008 Pulitzer Prize winners were recently announced. Some winners worth noting include the article in the Washington Post about violin virtuoso Joshua Bell busking in the Washington D.C. Metro station, which won the award for Feature Writing. The Washington Post also won the International Reporting award for a disturbing series about modern day mercenaries. This article about Blackwater operating beyond the reach of any law was part of the series. The Washington Post Pulitzer page has more information on their winners and finalists. [more inside]
posted by McGuillicuddy at 6:19 PM PST - 15 comments

Suspending Life. "If almost every species on Earth was killed some 250 million years ago, how did our ancient ancestors survive and evolve into us?"
posted by homunculus at 6:10 PM PST - 31 comments


An interactive audiovisual tour [flash, audio] of the student protests in Paris in May 1968. Part of a larger look at 1968. [Previously]
posted by djgh at 4:37 PM PST - 4 comments

"We badly underestimated the degree of damages and the risks of climate change," said Lord Stern in a speech in London yesterday. "All of the links in the chain are on average worse than we thought (pdf) a couple of years ago." [more inside]
posted by [expletive deleted] at 4:02 PM PST - 56 comments

Animal Pharm
posted by joe defroster at 3:50 PM PST - 15 comments

Flash Friday Doeo Simple, amusing, addictive.
posted by mikoroshi at 2:56 PM PST - 15 comments


Recently, Psystar Corporation announced the Open Mac, now renamed "Open Computer," a $399.99 Mac clone. Besides violating Apple's EULA, and the license for the emulator that allows Leopard to run on commodity hardware, apparently the company itself seems a bit... shady. Metafilter's own Woz, on the other hand, says he might get one.
posted by MythMaker at 2:21 PM PST - 42 comments

BBC Sound Index -- an excellent way to confirm your worst fears about the music Internet users are listening to.
posted by feelinglistless at 2:13 PM PST - 27 comments

My Beautiful Mommy is a children's book for children whose mothers suddenly come home from the doctor with giant hooters, or significant amounts of fat suddenly missing. A bold new market in childrens publishing awaits.
posted by jonson at 9:17 AM PST - 66 comments

Stephen King has described The Dark Tower as his "Jupiter." The epic series, inspired in part by Robert Browning's poem, "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came", has spanned 22 years, 7 books and nearly 4000 pages. The first book in the series, The Gunslinger, begins with a simple, memorable declaration, "The Man in Black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed." [more inside]
posted by kbanas at 8:56 AM PST - 160 comments

Since 1999, The Language of Lagomorphs has been the foremost resource on the web for information about the body language of domestic rabbits. "It's been pretty amazing to see how many people, even those who live with rabbits, are outright shocked at just how communicative they really are once you learn to notice. The contrast between this reality and the popular misconception that rabbits 'just sit there' could not be greater." [more inside]
posted by clavicle at 8:45 AM PST - 27 comments

A leaflet on alternative medicine produced by the Prince's Foundation for Integrated Health has been condemned by Britain's first Professor of Complementary Medicine. [more inside]
posted by Phanx at 8:22 AM PST - 29 comments

What’s for Dinner? The Pollster Wants to Know
"If there’s butter and white wine in your refrigerator and Fig Newtons in the cookie jar, you’re likely to vote for Hillary Clinton. Prefer olive oil, Bear Naked granola and a latte to go? You probably like Barack Obama, too. And if you’re leaning toward John McCain, it’s all about kicking back with a bourbon and a stuffed crust pizza while you watch the Democrats fight it out next week in Pennsylvania." [more inside]
posted by ericb at 8:10 AM PST - 74 comments

The Story of a Comet Hunter (see also his web page which contains a link to the story of his discover of Comet Seki-Lines in 1962). Visual comet hunting has a long and intriguing history. Today visual hunters are adapting their ways to make visual discoveries in an age of automated searches. The amateur can still win. Now, ANYONE can discover a comet(?) Or perhaps 1000. A Guide for SOHO Comet Hunters. More SOHO and Sungrazing Comet Links. [Previously]
posted by spock at 7:10 AM PST - 2 comments

For your weekend aural edification, courtesy of Internet Archive, a sampling of Old-Time and country blues gems: Buell Kazee's The Dying Soldier (1928), B.F. Shelton's Pretty Polly (1927), Geeshie Wiley's Last Kind Words (1930), Dock Boggs' Danville Girl, Kelly Harrel's Rovin' Gambler (1925), Clarence Ashley's My Sweet Farm Girl (1931), Charlie Poole's Don't Let Your Deal Go Down Blues (1925) and the Memphis Jug Band's A Black Woman is Like a Black Snake (1928).
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:10 AM PST - 13 comments

New Books In History. Historian Marshall Poe talks with other historians about their newly published books. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach at 7:09 AM PST - 5 comments

"Open Source Living is a community-driven dynamic archive of Open Source software spanning all major platforms."
posted by Abiezer at 7:03 AM PST - 7 comments


The Carry On films have been a much-loved part of British life for the last 50 years, and they may even be making a new one. This give a quick feel of what you might of missed (slightly NSFW) And though it does have its knockers, one person liked them so much he made a religion out of them, literally.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:32 AM PST - 31 comments

April 18, 1980: Rhodesia is renamed Zimbabwe after it is granted black majority rule. [more inside]
posted by allkindsoftime at 5:23 AM PST - 60 comments

101 Great Mostly Pretty Good and Hopefully Correctly Attributed Quotes About Computers and Programming. But Wait There's More! Yep, 101 More Quotes plus an extra extra added bonus for a limited time, the second list as originally published in Spanish, because it's fun to read Isaac Asimov and Emo Philips in another language, and Lou Dobbs will get so pissed off. [more inside]
posted by wendell at 3:47 AM PST - 18 comments

The Serenader. Roberto’s long moon-shadow stretches absurdly across the walls of the house as he plucks prettily at his guitar while his drunk client swaggers like a cat... Like many men in San Cristóbal, Roberto holds two jobs. At night he plays and sings the love songs that men use to woo women; in the day he teaches guitar to young men who may someday be his competition. Of the two jobs, serenading is far more lucrative.
posted by amyms at 2:49 AM PST - 3 comments

April 17

YOUNGME - NOWME. Amusing recreations of childhood photos.
posted by zardoz at 11:40 PM PST - 23 comments

Keyboardist Danny Federici, founding member of Bruce Springsteen's E-Street Band, has died.
posted by digaman at 10:26 PM PST - 44 comments

A few years ago when I was visiting Alaska, one of the more interesting portions of the trip was the 45-minute drive from Anchorage to Girdwood along the Turnagain Arm of Cook Inlet. This is one of the world's rare bodies of water that features bore tides, an amazing scene. The highway is one of only 15 roads in the United States that have been designated an "All-American Road." What about some of the world's greatest highways? [more inside]
posted by netbros at 9:00 PM PST - 17 comments

Superstar Scottish comics writer Grant Morrison is about to tear the DC Universe apart again with Final Crisis, the latest in a series of apocalypses and world ending events he's inflicted on various comics worlds over the years. But there was a time before fame when he wrote the tie-in comic for ZOIDS, the robot dinosaur children's toy. So what did he do? Ushered in the apocalypse, in the form of THE BLACK ZOID.
posted by Artw at 8:53 PM PST - 74 comments

Miguel Tejada lied about his age. It's not the first time a public figure has lied about his age. Gary Hart, Ann Coulter, Tom, the list goes on. But should we hold someone in contempt for lying and wanting to get ahead?
posted by parmanparman at 8:22 PM PST - 27 comments

Pond scum saves the planet? In the beginning, there were algae, but there was no oil. Then, from algae came oil. Now, the algae are still there, but oil is fast depleting. In future, there will be no oil, but there will still be algae. ^ Power your ride with pond scum. In some iterations you don't even need light. (we have talked about this before and the fact that CO2 powers the algae production is not insignificant) More details here.
posted by caddis at 8:04 PM PST - 28 comments


If you don't know who Jason Molina is, get to know his music. [more inside]
posted by auralcoral at 6:17 PM PST - 7 comments

Hundreds of hours of classical music from the Indian subcontinent (realplayer files). Bonus youtube videos of Ashwini Bhide Deshpande , an extraordinary North Indian classical vocalist. Finally, one of the most ancient styles, dhrupad, by Ustad Wassifuddin Dagar
posted by ferdydurke at 4:42 PM PST - 8 comments


Canadian-born New Yorkers Adam Gopnik and Malcolm Gladwell have an eloquent conversation (MP3) about the nature of our eternally under-confident country. Gladwell quips early on that "those of you who are familiar with my writing will know that this practice of talking about X by discussing Y is my only rhetorical move." Text (though not an exact transcript) is also available, as is a report.
posted by dbarefoot at 2:08 PM PST - 27 comments



The Grace Lee Project Inspired by the Jennifer 8. Lee post, here goes Grace Lee. She's a filmmaker who made a documentary about women named Grace Lee.
posted by fixedgear at 12:23 PM PST - 16 comments

Labour, which had started the disasters of Cyprus by denying it any decolonisation after 1945, had now completed them, abandoning it to trucidation [by doing nothing when Turkey invaded Cyprus in 1974]. London was quite prepared to yield Cyprus to Greece in 1915, in exchange for Greek entry into the war on its side. Had it done so, all subsequent suffering might have been avoided. It is enough to compare the fate of Rhodes, still closer to Turkey and with a comparable Turkish minority, which in 1945 peacefully reverted to Greece, because it was an Italian not a British colony. In the modern history of the Empire, the peculiar malignity of the British record in Cyprus stands apart.
The Divisions of Cyprus, an article in The London Review of Books by historian Perry Anderson, is an excellent history of Cyprus from 1878 to the modern day as well as a polemic against the way that outside powers have treated the island. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus at 11:59 AM PST - 17 comments

Will States Respond to the Foreclosure Crisis? Their headline is that 1 in 33 homeowners are projected to face foreclosure in the next two years. But I found the stat that neighboring homes will lose $356 billion in value a rather staggering number to swallow for those not facing the threat of foreclosure.
posted by jacobw at 11:30 AM PST - 65 comments

Route 79 is a blog by a second generation Indian living in London. [more inside]
posted by ozomatli at 11:20 AM PST - 5 comments

Get all your underground urban Kellogg's-branded gear from Under the Hood.
posted by slogger at 11:12 AM PST - 79 comments

Born in Ontario in 1934, they were the first set of identical quintuplets to survive infancy. The girls were an instant sensation. Citing fears of exploitation, they were separated from their parents and named wards of the crown. Despite this, they became one of the largest tourist attractions in Canada, made millions in endorsements and starred in multiple films. In 1943 their parents finally regained custody. Though reunited with their family, they found a new kind of isolation. Adulthood turned sour for the quints: death, family alienation, and divorce marred their later years. They were the Dionne Quintuplets. [more inside]
posted by Alison at 9:07 AM PST - 14 comments

Horror movie or pasta sauce commercials? (The company web site is a little odd, too.) [via]
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:01 AM PST - 14 comments

Abortion as Art To quote: "she artificially inseminated herself “as often as possible” while periodically taking abortifacient drugs to induce miscarriages. Her exhibition will feature video recordings of these forced miscarriages as well as preserved collections of the blood from the process."
posted by GuyZero at 8:41 AM PST - 500 comments

Los Angeles libraries offer video games to kids - Yes, they play Guitar Hero in the library these days. Over half of the LA public libraries are offering video game nights to encourage kids to visit libraries. Also, this Friday is 'gaming @ the library day', part of the effort to get children more comfortable at the library.
posted by Argyle at 7:57 AM PST - 69 comments

Soviet Lemonade Labels
posted by interrobang at 7:56 AM PST - 15 comments

"As American as Apple Pie" is an oft-repeated remark on the innate "Americaness" of the dish - but when was the last time you actually had apple pie? When was the last time you had General Tso's Chicken?

Jennifer 8. Lee gives an interesting talk on the cultural phenomenon of Chinese Food.
posted by plexi at 7:38 AM PST - 91 comments

Happysad is a 2 year old web cartoon from Belgium (in English) by Jeroen. [more inside]
posted by derMax at 6:51 AM PST - 8 comments

  • "Please don't beat me. I'm having my period." ~ Mama Wangari
  • "It is being both black and gay [which is problematic]." ~ Zanele Muholi (Nehanda Nyakasikana) [NSFW]
  • "Sisters at heart, these women are: from Kibera to Loresho." ~ WM
  • "My vagina wants an Uzi" ~ Larissa Klazinga (Amanda Atwood)
  • "You are from Kenya? So are you Kikuyu or Luo?" ~ Wangui
Blogs of women from Africa. That is all.
posted by hadjiboy at 6:29 AM PST - 25 comments

Advertising in the clouds using repurposed snow machines. [more inside]
posted by JDHarper at 6:00 AM PST - 25 comments

cb.vu is a javascript virtual terminal which opens up full window in your browser and lets you fiddle with some UNIX goodness without being connected to a server, or affecting anything in The Real World whatsoever. Try creating, copying and reading files (and, particularly, read the about.txt), or playing one of the games provided. It even has an implementation of vi! [more inside]
posted by benzo8 at 5:18 AM PST - 18 comments

According to ComScore, Google takes 59.8% of search traffic in the US, leaving Yahoo, MSN and smaller players to fight for the scraps. Pretty pie-chart here. Slightly different numbers are available from Compete and Hitwise, but Google still rules the roost.
posted by SharQ at 3:52 AM PST - 25 comments

The Drug Addiction Paradox "The plants should never have developed toxins that reward animals for eating them, and humans should never have developed a reward mechanism for toxic plants"... De-evolution or Idiotic Design? [more inside]
posted by wendell at 3:30 AM PST - 65 comments

KayakPaddling.net These animated sea kayak paddling tutorials, created by a single student as a final work, just won Finnish eLearning award over national broadcasting company and other big name publishers. Try melontaopas.fi for other languages.
posted by Free word order! at 2:46 AM PST - 8 comments

Flowers are losing their smell. The discovery could be one of several factors in the "colony collapse disorder" that is wiping out honey bees around the world. Even a brief glance at the titles of the news articles on Wiki reads a bit frighteningly, as do the previous mentions here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
posted by allkindsoftime at 1:33 AM PST - 22 comments

Swim away, Fugu fish, swim away! The epic sequel to the original classic, Charlie the Unicorn. Chaaaaaaaaarrrrlllllliieeeeeeeeeee! (Previously. I'm not even sorry. YouTube links.)
posted by disillusioned at 1:23 AM PST - 19 comments

April 16

Monsieur, you vill not speak disrespectfully of a member of ze family! It is a boon travelling companion, without which I do not function, I cannot operate. It has been with me for 21 years, zis thing, this chair!
Glenn Gould performed for 21 years seated in a folding card chair modified by his father to be height adjustable. That one chair accompanied him around the world in support of each of his recordings and performances, and now resides on a pedestal at the National Library of Canada. Luckily, exact replicas of the skeletal, cushion-less chair are available for only €990. [more inside]
posted by carsonb at 10:00 PM PST - 20 comments

With the eyes of the other. A Flash exhibit by Clarissa Borges, one of many photographers at zonezero (Previously 1 2 3 4 5).
posted by owhydididoit at 9:32 PM PST - 7 comments

The 257-foot Delphine was a 1921 steam-powered yacht designed by and for the Dodge brothers (of Dodge Motors). Today, "of all the large American-built steam yachts built between 1893 and 1930, the Delphine is the only one left in her original condition with her original steam engines still in service." Forbes has a fascinating history and cool pictures of the fully restored 1921 lush decor. But probably forget about chartering it (unless you have 40-60k euros a day).
posted by stbalbach at 8:05 PM PST - 7 comments

Haven't got your fill of awkward rap? Well there's Bill Cosby's upcoming rap CD and a new dance joint about a beat down. Or you can reminisce and revel in 13 awkward rap commercials of old. Not enough? Okay fine, how about a freestyle battle. [more inside]
posted by cashman at 7:27 PM PST - 37 comments


Street Boners is Gavin Mcinnes', (co-founder and author of Vice magazine's DOs and DON'Ts) current project after splitting with Vice.
posted by Count at 5:48 PM PST - 31 comments

The town of Valdez, Alaska is located in south central Alaska on the northeast tip of Prince William Sound. Incorporated since 1901, the community’s first century has been marked by a number of significant events the most notable of which are the 1964 Alaska Earthquake, being chosen as the terminus of the trans-Alaska Pipeline and the tragic 1989 Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 5:47 PM PST - 4 comments

Eviction Slip :"In the spring of 2003 about 8,000 tribal people and low-caste farmers living in the Kuno area of Madhya Pradesh, India, were summarily uprooted from the rich farmlands they had cultivated for generations and moved to 24 villages on scrub land outside the borders of a sanctuary created for a pride of six imported Asiatic lions."[via]
posted by dhruva at 5:46 PM PST - 4 comments

"Bruce Springsteen" sings the glories of Vista SP1. I wouldn't be surprised if the real Springsteen leads a strike force into Microsoft headquarters when he sees his duplicate (complete with faux Courtney Cox in the audience) singing "See what's on employees' desktops / with AIS and M-DOP".
posted by WCityMike at 5:10 PM PST - 67 comments

Goat Mountain appeared on my radar screen last September.
posted by quonsar at 4:38 PM PST - 29 comments

Dramatic footage of golden eagles hunting mountain goats. (alerts: rather gruesome; voiceover in Spanish)
posted by madamjujujive at 4:29 PM PST - 46 comments

The Mountain Goats' newest video is a dizzying, typographical romp. (SLYT)
posted by auralcoral at 3:36 PM PST - 34 comments

NPR article on World Where's Waldo Link to the website A Canadian woman made a giant waldo and put it on top of her house and is waiting for the google earth satellites to pick him up.
posted by majikstreet at 3:30 PM PST - 14 comments

The Pentagon's $1 Trillion Problem. Even as the Defense Department prepares to send Congress its $481.4B FY2008 budget request, it also prepares to admit -- for the 18th year in a row -- that its finances are in such poor shape that it is effectively impossible to audit or account for over a trillion dollars in past expenses. [more inside]
posted by Kadin2048 at 2:49 PM PST - 38 comments

"Bitter" harvest The week started off in classic campaign form: a report of remarks made by Obama percolated through the media and came to dominate the news cycle. In typically circular fashion, the exhaustive coverage came to provide its own justification, as journalists covered the controversy that they had largely created... [more inside]
posted by psmealey at 2:39 PM PST - 282 comments

Who Are We? Coming of Age on Antidepressants. [Via Mind Hacks.] [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 2:15 PM PST - 49 comments


Where's Lionel Hutz, Attorney at Law, when you need him? Circumcision is sexual abuse. CIA is Brainwashing. Don't wait, choose your class action today!
posted by yoyoceramic at 1:41 PM PST - 33 comments

Chinese papercuts are an art form with a long history. Traditional subjects are popular, but more contemporary ones are also available. Who makes them? This man, and all the people listed on this page, and many more. If you find some you like, you may be surprised at the price.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 11:27 AM PST - 21 comments

Divorce can make people do things they might regret. (SLYT)
posted by msalt at 11:20 AM PST - 96 comments

FamilyTales started out as an online archive of letters from a few families but has since expanded to contain letters from many historic figures. [more inside]
posted by ozomatli at 11:03 AM PST - 2 comments

Finally available on CD is the Original Cast Recording of Sondheim's Evening Primrose. Although other recordings of the score have been made available, this is the first time that the original cast will be heard on a publically released recording. [more inside]
posted by bookwo3107 at 11:02 AM PST - 7 comments

It's the hat. The German ad agency serviceplan uses the iconic image of Der Führer to create an ad for selling hats. Thomas Weber of the Bonn hat retailer, Hut-weber, was "a bit reluctant at first, but won over fast by the rather cunning idea and the craftiness carrying the simple, straightforward message that 'hats make people'."
posted by three blind mice at 10:50 AM PST - 61 comments

Smartie Art by Prudence Emma Straite; who previously has made works of Dali (and whole rooms) from chocolate and the Pope (and the Coliseum) from pizza. (Radio 4 doc - real audio) (PS. The blue Smartie is back)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:12 AM PST - 12 comments

Those big, wonderful book blogs like Paper Cuts, Guardian Books, and Poetry Foundation haven't totally satisfied your book blog bloodlust? [more inside]
posted by NolanRyanHatesMatches at 8:12 AM PST - 14 comments

Sock Puppet Portraits by Marty Allen. Past works include Sock Puppet Presidents, and the Super Speculex Bros. The puppets are featured in a sock puppet rock band called Uncle Monsterface.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:20 AM PST - 19 comments

Gormenghast, that is, the main massing of the original stone, taken by itself would have displayed a certain ponderous architectural quality were it possible to have ignored the circumfusion of those mean dwellings that swarmed like an epidemic around its outer walls. [more inside]
posted by steerpike at 5:19 AM PST - 57 comments

Enough bad news, enough gloom and doom. You remember that Asteroid 99942 Apophis that we were afraid might hit Earth in 2029? Ain't gonna happen. But it will get close enough for Earth's gravity to alter its orbit and there's a chance it could hit the next time around in 2036. But only a tiny chance: "less than 1 in 45,000 using standard dynamical models". according to NASA. Oh wait... NASA just got skooled by a 13-year-old German Astronomy Geek who says the chances are more like 1 in 450. Still a tiny chance, and the official numbers were only off by a factor of 100. Oh yeah, we're doomed.
posted by wendell at 12:55 AM PST - 60 comments

April 15

OK, so here's Living On A Prayer played by an 11-year-old Korean kid. He has more.
posted by jimmythefish at 11:55 PM PST - 44 comments

Statistics compiled by State Senator Eliot Shapleigh in the state's annual ranking, entitled "Texas on the Brink" report dreary news in just about all categories used to characterize standards of living, from education to health to enfranchisement. [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:53 PM PST - 15 comments

Some of the world's biggest grain exporters barred their farmers from selling in global markets yesterday, exacerbating the food price crisis for poorer nations that import their food and highlighting the failure of governments to nurture stronger rules for agricultural trade. Google news on restrictions on grain exports... Previously on MetaFilter. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu at 10:27 PM PST - 105 comments

... I served my time I can speak on it. Fuck this War. American soldiers' latrine graffiti in Kuwait and Afghanistan. A photo essay. [Note: most text and one drawing NSFW]
posted by amyms at 9:48 PM PST - 30 comments

tiny ghosts "is not supposed to be funny. It isn't a comic. It's about what it feels like to be a monster/ghost/robot/toy/etc. but not the scary kind."
posted by owhydididoit at 9:00 PM PST - 11 comments

Oscillating beads ... now with damping, tension, and loose or fixed ends!
posted by Dave Faris at 8:31 PM PST - 33 comments

Sick Around the World, the newest documentary piece produced by PBS's Frontline asks: "Can the U.S. learn anything from the rest of the world about how to run a health care system?" Having previously shared a Pulitzer Prize with The New York Times, and produced such quality programs as Bush's War, this should be well worth a mere hour of your time.
posted by aheckler at 8:16 PM PST - 144 comments

The Confederacy of Dunces. The Village Voice's comprehensive election-season guide to right-wing political bloggers, by Roy Edroso of alicublog.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:34 PM PST - 54 comments

Studies show that injecting neurtoxins into your face is actually a bad idea.
posted by Citizen Premier at 5:31 PM PST - 79 comments


One nation under God. The "bold conservative" GOP Congressman Paul Broun from Georgia is intent upon removing a vexing comma from that phrase in the Pledge of Allegiance, which was amended in 1954 when President Eisenhower was moved by a sermon by one Reverend George M. Docherty on the need to defend America from the "militantly atheistic communism that has already enslaved 800 million of the peoples of the earth, and now menaces the rest of the free world."
posted by digaman at 1:32 PM PST - 147 comments

Dear Monster Lawyers, Let me begin by stating, without equivocation, that I have no interest whatsoever in infringing upon any intellectual property belonging to Monster Cable. Indeed, the less my customers think my products resemble Monster's, in form or in function, the better.
posted by veedubya at 12:49 PM PST - 87 comments


Guillermo Habacuc Vargas, Bienarte, Maltratador de Animales. Costa Rican artist Guillermo Habacuc Vargas' exhibit El Perrito Vive has drawn a number of criticisms from concerned animal rights activists after he allegedly starved and deprived a dog named Natividad as an installation piece. [more inside]
posted by scabrous at 11:05 AM PST - 27 comments

What happens when a US President declares war on a concept? In 1964, Canadian photojournalist Hugh O'Connor traveled to eastern Kentucky to document the battlefields of Lyndon Johnson's war on poverty and was shot for trespassing. The incident is the subject of a wonderful documentary, Stranger with a Camera by filmmaker Elizabeth Barrett, produced by Appalshop, a non-profit organization in Whitesburg, Kentucky, that works with local artists to promote self-representation in media and the expediency of culture to counteract a stagnating local economy. Makes you think twice about nostalgic representations of poor Appalachian coal miners plucking their banjo strings in the hollers, doesn't it?
posted by billtron at 11:02 AM PST - 14 comments

Birthday Girl is a catchy song/video from The Roots and Patrick Stump which stars Sasha Grey, an adult film star. It is an amusing literal portrayal of the relationship between internet pervs and weirdos everywhere and the online personalities that humor them.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:57 AM PST - 47 comments

After breaking the ice with his video message to all Americans, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Washington, D.C. this afternoon for the initial part of his first Papal visit to the United States of America. Watch it all live. [more inside]
posted by resurrexit at 10:28 AM PST - 36 comments

Whatever the market will bear. Did you know that Amazon.com charges you different prices for the same goods depending on who you are (and what your browser cookie shows?) This was news to me, but the WaPo and CNN reported it in 2005. [more inside]
posted by ikkyu2 at 8:55 AM PST - 72 comments

Riffing on the 1970s as the "Me Generation," Esquire Magazine once referred to the 1980s as the "Re Generation," making the case that all of our popular music, fashion, etc was being recycled from previous decades. They had no idea. Since then, the flood of entertainment has deposited many more sedimentary layers of pop culture. Today, musicians and music videos mine these condensed strata of modern media as raw materials, producing works of hyper-compressed cultural references. Case in point: The Scissor Sisters' "Comfortably Numb", Justice's "DVNO", and The Darkness' "I Believe in a Thing Called Love." [more inside]
posted by adamrice at 7:54 AM PST - 99 comments


The Kanzius Machine: A Cancer Cure? 60 minutes (12:38) investigates an amateurs garage technology that some are saying "in 20 years of research this is the most exciting thing that I’ve encountered" and one Nobel Prize winner said it "will change medicine forever." The nanotechnology-based cancer therapy without side effects is nearing trials.
posted by stbalbach at 6:32 AM PST - 36 comments

The stark, modal banjo and achingly poignant, weathered voice of the great Dock Boggs [previous] are the perfect aural accompaniment to a slideshow of William Gedney's [previous] powerfully intimate photographs: Kentucky, 1964. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:14 AM PST - 11 comments

The last of Disney's Nine Old Men, Ollie Johnston, has passed away at the age of 95. His work at Disney on several classic features and his books with Frank Thomas (The Illusion of Life in particular), have long been inspiring to animators like myself. He was one of the great ones, and will be missed.
posted by May Kasahara at 6:07 AM PST - 23 comments

Nicholas White was trapped in an elevator for 41 hours. Then things started to go downhill.
posted by dmd at 5:56 AM PST - 124 comments

April 14

28 Hours in Jyväskylä Filmed at locations in and around Jyväskylä, a city in Central Finland. The idea was to show city life in a way that no-one normally experiences it - in time-lapse, often shot from roofs and masts. [Shorter version on youtube]
posted by gomichild at 11:12 PM PST - 27 comments

Cool. Cooler. Awesome! Using Lego bricks as a medium to design chess sets seems absolutely logical to anybody that grew up playing with them. Fans have gone low-tech, the inevitable Star Wars, and a few more. Lego offers a virtual cowboys-and-indians version as well. [more inside]
posted by jabberjaw at 11:08 PM PST - 11 comments

An Airdancer is an advertising gimmick that consists of a fabric tube inflated by a high power fan. Airdancers come in a huge variety of shapes and styles, and lend themselves to parody. Taking the concept more seriously though is the Tubie, and innovative ironing system whose website includes unique instructional videos.
posted by Tube at 9:38 PM PST - 33 comments

New Security Blanket, Stat! What do you do if you're a parent and your darling child's favorite toy has been worn down to nothing? Or perhaps you're thinking ahead and want a "backup binky?" You start a "Lost Lovies" thread, of course. Think of it as a hive mind for real desperate housewives looking for something better than a creative explanation as to why Sprinkles the Cow is suddenly MIA.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:27 PM PST - 20 comments

In 1963, General Dynamics Astronautics asked politicians, scientists, and military commanders to speculate on the potential state of the world in 2063, recording all these speculations in a book, and sealing it in a time capsule that was lost during the demolition of the General Dynamics Astronautics building. Thankfully, the entirety of the book is available as a download thanks to the fine folks at Paleo-Future. Found Via.
posted by jonson at 9:24 PM PST - 10 comments

London Cross: "If you walk across a great city such as London in two straight lines, south to north and east to west - a cross-section - what do you find?"
posted by Falconetti at 9:10 PM PST - 34 comments

Hurstwic is a loosely affiliated group based in New England with an interest in the societies and peoples who lived in Northern Europe during the Viking age. While no longer formally organized, they still have events, frequently at the Higgins Armory Museum in Worcester MA. [more inside]
posted by owhydididoit at 8:22 PM PST - 12 comments

Duke University has three image collections of old U.S. and Canadian advertisements. Ad*Access a database of over 7000 print ads from 1911 to 1956. Emergence of Advertising in America has 9000 images of ads from 1850-1920. Medicine and Madison Avenue has 600 medical ads and documents from 1911 to 1958. You can browse the collections by product, company, subject, year and categories or you can use the search function. Here are some of my favorites: Miss Clairol, They're Both in the Swim Today, Fancy Goods and Toy Bazaar, Sky Blue Pink, SAS Makes Airline History, A Montgomery Ward Hat that Becomes Nearly Every Woman, Radiant Peony and Hitler's Death Warrant.
posted by Kattullus at 7:57 PM PST - 11 comments

Imagine living in a town, total population 182, further imagine that you and just about all of your neighbors live in just one building. [more inside]
posted by Rafaelloello at 7:06 PM PST - 24 comments

96 years ago today, the RMS Titanic collided with an iceberg and sank to the bottom of the northern Atlantic, taking 1,500 souls with her. Now, they're blaming the rivets.
posted by Dave Faris at 5:45 PM PST - 53 comments

4008, 4009, 4010 ... ah, bugger, I lost count! Seal protesters' bail paid in coins . [more inside]
posted by Megami at 5:45 PM PST - 26 comments



Richard Posner, Gary Becker and Cass Sunstein debate "Libertarian Paternalism", a fancy and ugly term used to describe how some behavior economists think recent findings about human fallibility might bear on law and public policy. (previously)
posted by AceRock at 3:33 PM PST - 30 comments


The wonders of technology! Browse the web, access your email, telephone your clients - all with the aid of a 7 inch touch screen. It's the iPhone!
posted by Neiltupper at 2:25 PM PST - 24 comments

If it's too good to be true, it probably is. McCain Girls revealed to be a hoax by 23/6.com. [Previously]
posted by patr1ck at 2:21 PM PST - 39 comments


An Untitled Story. (apologies, pc download only). An action-platformer by Matt Thorson in the tradition of Seiklus, Knytt (previously 1 2), & Metroid It is full of awesome. [more inside]
posted by juv3nal at 12:53 PM PST - 14 comments

By 2020, Mars may have monkeys, adding to the impressive roster of primates in space.
posted by myopicman at 12:50 PM PST - 24 comments

A Guide To Armageddon: 1, 2, 3 (YouTube) This 1982 documentary morbidly simulates the effects of a nuclear attack on a city the size of London. [more inside]
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 12:47 PM PST - 28 comments

Portishead in Portishead (your favorite band sucks), but after 10 years, fans are a little excited.
posted by hypersloth at 11:55 AM PST - 71 comments

Running a marathon a day for the next 100 days, across Africa. [more inside]
posted by joelf at 11:47 AM PST - 22 comments

Remember Philip M. Parker, the much-reviled "author" whose system churns out ultra-long-tail books on ultra-niche topics? Well, here's video of his software, in action. (Via)
posted by jbickers at 11:09 AM PST - 37 comments

"A lot of people have lumped us in with punk, but I've never aligned myself with it. I didn't want to be part of a scene, never have. And I knew it wasn't going to last. Once that quick statement was over, most of the main players couldn't handle the fall-out: they were like a bunch of shell-shocked army majors stuck in time, endlessly repeating their once-successful war cries. When you're dealing in slogans like the Clash and the Pistols, it's hard to keep that shit fresh." An extract from Mark E. Smith's new autobiography. Bonus: long, rambling, exceedingly pointless 4-part interview with Ian Svenonius (Nation of Ulysses).(previously)
posted by nasreddin at 11:05 AM PST - 29 comments

The Warholizer Your picture. Warholed.
posted by konolia at 11:05 AM PST - 18 comments


Scientists have discovered that "endometrial regenerative cells" (ERC's) -- in other words, human menstrual blood -- contains stem cells. ERC-derived stem cells seem to have a number of superior traits to both bone marrow derived and umbilical cord derived stem cells, the previous gold standards: they can give rise to a variety of different cell lines without differentiation, they multiply more quickly than other stem cells, they are able to replicate more times without adversely mutating, and they apparently do not need to be closely genetically matched to the recipient. Now some women have even begun banking their menstrual blood to preserve their stem cells through a company called "C'Elle: Your Monthly Miracle" -- check out their FAQ and online video. This follows last May's announcement that menstrual blood derived cells can pretty much cure Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in mice, a disease for which there is no current therapeutic treatment available.
posted by Asparagirl at 9:32 AM PST - 59 comments

13-year-old Andrew Johnston, bullied at school for his singing and taste in music, brings audience members and a judge to tears with his rendition of Pie Jesu [video | 4:43] at his first audition for Britain's Got Talent. [more inside]
posted by ericb at 8:15 AM PST - 82 comments

Who said anything about a recession? Sometime between the government bailout of Bear Stearns and the Bureau of Labor Statistics report that America lost 80,000 jobs in March, Lee Tachman, a Wall Street banker, spent roughly $50,000 last month on a four-day jaunt to Miami for himself and three close friends.

“It was just all out — it was insane,” said Mr. Tachman. “I’m not afraid to spend money like that.”
posted by The Jesse Helms at 7:37 AM PST - 259 comments

A Saudi national has made a short film intended to illustrate how all religions can be depicted as preaching violence. The Daily Telegraph reports that "Schism" is Raed al-Saeed's answer to Geert Wilder's "Fitna".
posted by Flackjack47 at 7:04 AM PST - 102 comments

The Rather Difficult Font Quiz Do you know your Birch from your Bembo from your Bauer Bodini (Hey! Where's Bookman?) At the moment, 34 fonts to identify with more coming soon. A fun way to spend 2-3 minutes and learn just how much a font nerd you really are. (I only got 25 out of 34? I'm ashamed!) [more inside]
posted by wendell at 5:09 AM PST - 39 comments

A couple years ago, The Inquirer noticed that the same college student was endorsing competitors Dell and Gateway. Readers started mailing examples of her selling UPS, Hewlett-Packard, Siemens, Ford, Siemens, CNN, Greyhound, and quite a few others. After being dubbed The Dell Girl, she was promoted to The Everywhere Girl. People critized her shallow commitments to the universities she endorsed. Nonstop appearances across most of the western world must have been fatiguing. She's even in high demand among Christian and textbook publishers. [more inside]
posted by ardgedee at 4:00 AM PST - 33 comments

Absolutely horrifying, not for the squeamish, you've been warned Canadian public service announcements. Also, the only slightly less gory German educational film "Forklift driver Klaus". An unaired and disturbingly violent Canadian PSA on domestic violence. Graphically violent Irish PSAs warning against speeding, terrorism and Harry Chapin. A French Canadian worker slowly and gruesomely loses his arm. An Australian PSA featuring a blood-covered baby. Finally, an essay (with linked video examples) by a marketing consultant on "Turn-off Tactics" in public service advertisements.
posted by orthogonality at 2:05 AM PST - 65 comments

April 13

R.I.P. John Wheeler , theoretical physicist. Famous for the Wheeler-Feynman equations and the term "black hole," which he coined to describe a singular point mass, he has died at age 96. The NYT usually gives pretty good obituary but they outdid themselves this time. [more inside]
posted by ikkyu2 at 10:22 PM PST - 64 comments

Dear God is a global project for people around the world to share their innermost hopes - and fears - through prayer. Some photos NSFW.
posted by ColdChef at 9:25 PM PST - 39 comments

The best-known version of that joyful ode to getting smashed, Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee, would surely be the Jerry Lee Lewis rendition, and Memphis rockabilly singer Johnny Burnette recorded a hopping little version of the tune as well. But the song was written and originally recorded by Stick (aka "Sticks") McGhee, who adapted it from a chant he learned during his stint in the Army. And yes, "spo-dee-o-dee" was a substitute for another word, which, though fine for the Army, wasn't exactly radio friendly. Stick wrote a few other tunes in celebration of the alcoholic beverage, including "Six To Eight" and "Jungle Juice". And as has been pointed out previously, the song title was likely the inspiration for the alcoholic concoction known as the "spodi". Drink up!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:46 PM PST - 8 comments

Quentin Bryce has been chosen as Australia's new head of state from next month. As the first Australian female in the role she joins a growing list (currently 48) of international national leaders. Bryce previously served as the Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner and director of the Queensland Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission prior to her role as Queensland governor. Replacing a highly decorated ex-soldier, who cut a low profile, who had himself replaced a controversial clergyman, Bryce has the opportunity make a significant mark on the country. She will join the list of first holders of political offices, and bring us closer to to a situation where the appointment of women to positions of power is no longer remarkable.
posted by bystander at 8:20 PM PST - 30 comments

Then and Now presents works from 8 South African documentary photographers - each contributes 10 photos taken during apartheid and 10 made since the democratic elections of 1994. (On display at Duke University through July 27.) [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive at 6:24 PM PST - 12 comments


Identity crisis in scientific publishing :"Chinese authors are publishing more and more papers, but are they receiving due credit and recognition for their work? Not if their names get confused along the way."
posted by dhruva at 5:22 PM PST - 40 comments

Young@Heart. What started as a 2006 British television documentary and became an audience favorite at the Los Angeles and Sundance film festivals in 2007 and 2008 opens across the United States this weekand will soon open in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Japan and Australia. The opening sequence showing Eileen Hall , then 92 , singing the 1982 hit from punk-rock group The Clash provided the inspiration for director Stephen Walker when he first saw the group on stage in London in 2005. Besides giving new meaning to lyrics from popular hits, the film is comedic and poignant as it explores friendship, old age and death.
posted by mrducts at 3:21 PM PST - 24 comments

The War Relocation Authority Photographs of Japanese-American Evacuation and Resettlement, 1942-1945 collection is a searchable online archive which "contains approximately 7000 photographs and 317 Kodachrome slides which have been arranged into 18 series" (quoted from the Scope and Content page). Links to photo series are under the Container Listing header. Alternatively, you can just browse through them all. [more inside]
posted by cog_nate at 3:19 PM PST - 9 comments

Aryan Outfitters - a photo and audio essay from Mother Jones magazine about a day in the life of a 58-year old seamstress who caters to the Ku Klux Klan.
posted by ooga_booga at 1:16 PM PST - 105 comments

In his effort to shed light on medical marijuana use, comedian Doug Benson documents not smoking pot for 30 days and then smoking pot for 30 days in a row in Super High Me.
posted by gman at 12:50 PM PST - 86 comments

"What Have We Learned, If Anything?" Historian Tony Judt in the NYRB wonders if we have forgotten the lessons of the 20th century.
posted by stbalbach at 12:25 PM PST - 82 comments

As a solo performer, Martin Dosh isn't your typical one man band. Watch him construct densely, beautifully layered songs via live looping. [more inside]
posted by 2or3whiskeysodas at 12:20 PM PST - 17 comments


It's the 1981 Atari product catalog!
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:09 PM PST - 39 comments



If you've ever been to Bangkok you might've run into one of them and not even known it. They are a ubiquitous fixture on the bar scene and can be found in the Nana Plaza area. If you're asking yourself the same question that I was then this maybe your answer. Although they enjoy a certain amount of acceptance, they still have a long way to go to be recognized as full citizens with equal rights. Of course, this hasn't stopped them from staking their claim to the spotlight, and trying to become as much of the mainstream as they can. But, if you thought that they were pushovers, well then, think again. [previously mentioned here]
posted by hadjiboy at 6:47 AM PST - 21 comments

The National Odd Shoe Exchange is a non-profit organization that is a source of footwear for those requiring single shoes or pairs of differing sizes. Many have this need due to injury, disease or genetic disorders. [more inside]
posted by paulsc at 4:18 AM PST - 11 comments


An Engineers Guide to Cats (youTube)
posted by Lanark at 2:12 AM PST - 49 comments

If you love the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain (and who in their right mind doesn't?) and enjoyed the Japanese version of Smoke on the Water, you might just barely tolerate this. Warning: contains five minutes of repackaged progressivepretentious rock and images of cello-based dorkiness. I gave it 98/100.
posted by wendell at 1:46 AM PST - 26 comments

The Congo Cookbook is a collection of recipes from Africa. (Easiest to view them all here.)
posted by Upton O'Good at 12:38 AM PST - 17 comments

April 12

Enjoy 10 variously attributed* vintage Monkey Cartoons and more courtesy STWALLSKULL and BOOM!
Also available for your viewing pleasure, an itemized list with embeddable links: [more inside]
posted by carsonb at 11:49 PM PST - 3 comments

You missed your chance to bid on the very last Sky Commuter Prototype in existence. The auction ended in January, but the eBay auction page is still up, with plenty of photos and info. (Final price: $131,700.)
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 9:48 PM PST - 8 comments

FontStruct lets you quickly and easily create fonts constructed out of geometrical shapes, which are arranged in a grid pattern, like tiles or bricks. Once you're done building, FontStruct generates high-quality TrueType fonts, ready to use in any Mac or Windows application.
posted by Dave Faris at 9:43 PM PST - 21 comments


Prior to 1990, over a hundred illegal immigrants died attempting to cross the I-5 in Southern California. The answer? Put up a sign, of course. The sign has been seen as racist, and sometimes as a joke. The L.A. Times profiles the man who designed the sign, a Vietnam veteran who grew up on a Navajo reservation. The sign in question has become iconic in the debate on immigration policies, and a copy of it now sits in the Smithsonian. Via Strongly Worded Letter.
posted by jabberjaw at 8:33 PM PST - 51 comments

Carlos Castaneda And The Shaman. A BBC documentary on the anthropologist, best-selling author, con-artist, drug guru and cult leader: Carlos Castaneda. (google video, 1 hour)
posted by empath at 7:38 PM PST - 59 comments

Ever wondered what the number one song was on your birthday? Anniversary? the day John Lennon was shot?, the attack on Pearl Harbor? (last two links can open iTunes directly).

Well, wonder no more. (via reddit)
posted by purephase at 7:29 PM PST - 80 comments

Nearly 20 years later, after several major delays, Seattle Chinese Garden is nearing a milestone: the completion of the Knowing The Spring Courtyard. Free guided tours are offered at 10AM on the second Saturday of each month until October. According to the tour guide, 22 artisans from Chongqing, Seattle's sister city, are working on the project, which will open on August 8th. (To be clear, there is also a construction company involved.) If you can't make it in person, you can pay a virtual visit anytime (PST daylight recommended). [more inside]
posted by owhydididoit at 6:42 PM PST - 5 comments

Sierpinski Cookies. Also: Fimo Fractals.
posted by signal at 6:21 PM PST - 8 comments

Cantaloupe, garlic, ginger, habenero, kiwi, nutmeg, pineapple, spearmint, watermelon and many other vodka infusion experiments by the crack alconomics team of Waylan and Brendan.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:17 PM PST - 25 comments

Give Us Today Our Daily Terror is an exact copy of Hitchcock’s 1963 film The Birds from which all the birds have been removed. Video: 1-2-3 Stills
posted by vronsky at 4:58 PM PST - 47 comments

Osu! is a Tatakae! Ouendan/Elite Beat Agents simulator which strives to maintain the feeling of the games and add a wide range of online features. See also: Stepmania for Dance Dance Revolution, Frets on Fire/Guitar Zero for Guitar Hero and UltraStar Deluxe for Singstar (Karaoke). Maybe they are not the original games but they allow PC users to enjoy a genre that until now had been tied to its console roots. [partly inspired by]
posted by Memo at 3:39 PM PST - 13 comments

SafetyTat- Temporary tattoos designed designed to be used as identification devices for children. Includes several designs for non-verbal and autistic children. Via That's Fit.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:52 PM PST - 48 comments

Commando Performance: (Toy) Guns on Campus Post-Virginia Tech - A fun game of tag for campus geeks? Or a celebration of immaturity and glorification of war and violence? Playing Humans v. Zombies after the Virginia Tech Massacre. [more inside]
posted by longdaysjourney at 10:47 AM PST - 31 comments

Russell Higgs has been adorning his face and head with various objects and posting photographic portraits online since July 2006. Dutch artist Levi van Veluw also likes to modify his face by putting things on it and photographing the results.
posted by madamjujujive at 10:42 AM PST - 11 comments

Isolation Studies are just some of the things found at Chuck Jones' personal site. {via waxy}
posted by dobbs at 6:41 AM PST - 23 comments

The most challenging scenario(video) of communion distribution in the upper deck of Yankee Stadium. See the Pope on 5th Avenue or vote for your favorite papal skateboard design. Other activities. Itinerary. Security. Via.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 6:29 AM PST - 15 comments

"Ten Thousand Cents" is a digital artwork that creates a representation of a $100 bill. Using a custom drawing tool, thousands of individuals working in isolation from one another painted a tiny part of the bill without knowledge of the overall task. [more inside]
posted by sveskemus at 6:24 AM PST - 35 comments

MITOpenCourseWare offers an online high-school course on Douglas Hofstadter's much-loved 1980 Pulitzer-winning exploration of maths, patterns, music, art, recursion, and computability, Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid. Previously, some here had indicated an interest in such a course. [more inside]
posted by orthogonality at 3:00 AM PST - 28 comments

No doubt about it, that old midnight hour has long served as a potent muse for songwriters, as this sampling of live performances will attest: In The Midnight Hour ---- Walking After Midnight ---- Midnight Rambler ---- Midnight Rider ---- Midnight Special ---- Midnight Train To Georgia ---- Midnight Confessions ---- Midnight At The Oasis --- 'Round Midnight ---- [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:12 AM PST - 70 comments

"Curse Tablets are small sheets of lead, inscribed with messages from individuals seeking to make gods and spirits act on their behalf and influence the behaviour of others against their will. The motives are usually malign and their expression violent, for example to wreck an opponent’s chariot in the circus, to compel a person to submit to sex or to take revenge on a thief. Letters and lines written back to front, magical ‘gibberish’ and arcane words and symbols often lend the texts additional power to persuade. In places where supernatural agents could be contacted, thrown into sacred pools at temples, interred with the dead or hidden by the turning post at the circus, these tablets have survived to be found by archaeologists."
posted by amyms at 12:47 AM PST - 20 comments

April 11

Facial CG Animation is getting better. 1, 2 <<warning : noisy!!, 3, 4, 5, 6. [more inside]
posted by Dave Faris at 9:18 PM PST - 33 comments


An introduction to the works of Alberto Breccia, 'often referred to as "The master of black and white."' A brilliant comic artist little known in the english-speaking world, his works have mostly been published in italian, french and spanish. In the '70s he and writer Norberto Buscaglia adapted nine H.P. Lovecraft stories, available here in ebook form (in spanish, but the art speaks for itself).
posted by aldurtregi at 6:44 PM PST - 4 comments

The Cosby Conservatism Conundrum Proving that the new "dialogue" on race has five, six, maybe seven sides. No more pudding pops for you...
posted by wendell at 6:23 PM PST - 26 comments

This whole "money" thing got you down? Two artists in their late twenties moved to NYC for a few years and freaked out by the cost of living, so they decide creating an American kibbutz, minus the dining hall wiener schnitzels, up state is the way to go.
posted by bondgirl53001 at 4:33 PM PST - 34 comments

Friday Free Game Download: If you were presented with the concept of a lesbian BDSM video game, the first word that leapt to your mind would probably not be "adorable." But that is exactly what Mighty Jill Off is. [more inside]
posted by Countess Elena at 4:15 PM PST - 15 comments

John Oliver's "The Meter Is Running" is a loving* look back at the history of FOX News. [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin at 3:27 PM PST - 34 comments

Folk/acoustic Friday: braving infatuation, heartbreak, pregnancy, Thatcherism, corporate drudgery and bad 90s hair, these artists come bearing gifts. [more inside]
posted by aihal at 3:15 PM PST - 2 comments

Dancing lessons!
posted by flotson at 3:03 PM PST - 12 comments

The pop music industry has sadly come to depend on “heritage acts” – wrinkled, dyed-hair, aging stars – to pack houses and make money.

“Whatever a future superstar act will be, it won’t be as ubiquitous as the acts from the ’60s because we were all listening to Top 40 radio.”
posted by The Jesse Helms at 2:18 PM PST - 54 comments

Lolgrues
posted by nebulawindphone at 1:16 PM PST - 52 comments

So anyway, here's a walrus dancing to Smooth Criminal.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:48 PM PST - 59 comments

Hands Behind Your Back. Do the Indie Kid (SLYT).
posted by jontyjago at 11:40 AM PST - 49 comments

The Daily [Batman / Superman / Wolverine] [more inside]
posted by brownpau at 11:23 AM PST - 34 comments

Tim Harrod is a writer for Conan O'Brien. He spends quite a bit of time at Freddy's bar in Brooklyn. There he uses the napkins to create his own Bar-Toons.
posted by josher71 at 11:01 AM PST - 17 comments

Room 26 Cabinet of Curiosities features strange and surprising things from the rare book and manuscript collections of the Beinecke Library in Yale, including death masks, the philosophy of origami, the real adventures of Tintin, famous people and their pets, and American transvestite magazines from the 1960s.
posted by verstegan at 10:40 AM PST - 12 comments

In 1958, Ezra Pound, after being released from a mental hospital, became a foreign correspondent for the Richmond News Leader. All but one of his dispatches were deemed unprintable by the editor and the one that was printed ran as a letter to the editor. The Virginia Quarterly Review has put scans of the dispatches up on their site. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus at 9:45 AM PST - 44 comments

No curve Flash Friday: Click Maze
posted by Mblue at 9:10 AM PST - 14 comments

Do you find relaxing very taxing? Are you tense? anxious? worried? Always tired but can't fall asleep? Are you afraid you're losing your grip? You may not know it, but that's good. Yes, good! Because this video can help you. Yes, it can! No matter who you are, you will feel better—and live better!—when you learn to relax. You can start right now by watching The Relaxed Wife (in two parts). Go ahead, watch! [more inside]
posted by carsonb at 9:09 AM PST - 7 comments

Do you remember those days when mom and dad used to pack you up in the back of the station wagon and drive you to grandma's and grandpa's? Or when you were a dreamer with nothing else on your mind but to escape from the one street town to the big city? Have you ever dreamed of going back, maybe to settle down, get in touch with your roots, and start a new life for yourself. Well, here's your chance. Why not just get up and do it this time. Sure, it's not going to be easy, but maybe it's the change you've been looking for. On the other hand, maybe not, so be advised. But whatever you decide, it sure does look like a way of life that does hold a lot of potential. [more inside]
posted by hadjiboy at 8:40 AM PST - 42 comments

Decaying memorial photos at the Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow.
posted by parudox at 12:48 AM PST - 14 comments

April 10


In 2003, Jordan Morris was bored. So, he did what any normal college graduate would do to entertain himself -- he made up a complicated and absurd story in order to prank a prank show, MTV's Burned. Particularly enjoyable: Jordan's absurd flopping about when the "burn" is "revealed." Jordan Morris is the co-host of Jordan, Jesse, GO! and friend-of-MetaFilter The Sound of Young America (previously here, and elsewhere.)
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 10:00 PM PST - 72 comments

I want to put winter behind me like any other right-thinking Midwesterner, but these trees are too cool to ignore. [more inside]
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 9:56 PM PST - 19 comments

Yamaha's tenorion gets unveiled in Montreal this week. Going head-to-head with the Beamz music-maker linked here earlier, this baby has lights!
posted by binturong at 8:48 PM PST - 13 comments

See Saturn this Saturday April 12 is the second annual International Sidewalk Astronomy Night, a worldwide event coordinated by the Sidewalk Astronomers. The group, founded in 1968 by John Dobson (subject of this documentary), is dedicated to a sort of guerrilla astronomy -- experienced stargeeks bringing their really good telescopes out to places where people are. So even on your way to the bars, the shows, and the honky-tonk you can see stuff like this and this - like these people did.
posted by Miko at 7:36 PM PST - 16 comments


David A. Wilson, descendant of slaves, traced his family tree back to North Carolina, where he met David B. Wilson, descendant of the slave owners. "Meeting David Wilson" is the documentary that resulted. [more inside]
posted by Pater Aletheias at 6:40 PM PST - 19 comments

The antidote to LOLbushsuxx0rs. Over the course of the past week, Slate ran a ten (10!)-piece series, "Fixin' It", in which various writers postulated how the course of various aspects of the United States' military, culture, and policies could be redirected for the better. Although the articles are not entirely devoid of Bush criticism, there's mostly a fairly rare focus on the positive actions to be taken from here onward by the next President (whether it be McCain or Obama or Clinton).
posted by WCityMike at 5:54 PM PST - 33 comments

Yesterday marked the release of Perfumes: The Guide a "ravishingly entertaining" collection of over 1200 perfume reviews by Emperor of Scent Luca Turin and his bride, Tania Sanchez. [more inside]
posted by ottereroticist at 4:33 PM PST - 10 comments

Timothy Klein gets art. I mean, he really gets it. And he likes cars. So when he decided to become an artist, he covered a 1967 Chrysler Imperial Crown luxury car with yarn. Correct, yarn. Then, Tim didn't just show his car off to the local cruzers at the Dairy Queen. No. Tim took it to Artscape at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore in 2002, where he met other famous automotive artists like Harrod Blank and Chris Hubbard. He took it to the Outsider Art Fair in New York in 2003. Wherever he takes the Yarn Car, he documents the trips on his site. He got featured in Reader's Digest and "made Diane Sawyer giggle". Tim will be in Houston on May 10 for the 2008 Art Car Parade. Don't miss the yarn phone in the car.
posted by beagle at 3:26 PM PST - 17 comments

Bobby Egan: Restaurateur and Amateur Diplomat. [more inside]
posted by absalom at 3:15 PM PST - 7 comments

"Moralistic, prejudiced, racist, misogynist, manipulative, sexist, daring, exciting, critical, sarcastic and passionate - these are just a few adjectives that commonly describe Mexico's most widely-read publication: the historieta." [more inside]
posted by jbickers at 2:35 PM PST - 4 comments

Elephant Polo. Alf Leif Erickson is the Captain of the American Screw Tuskers Elephant Polo team . Alf is a retired attorney and former law professor from Florida. This alone doesn't make much of a post, but, you guessed it, there more, sometimes NSFW, inside..... [more inside]
posted by HuronBob at 2:15 PM PST - 19 comments

In 1943, over Allied bomb ravaged Germany, US pilot Charlie Brown's B-17 was badly damaged and straying further from friendly territory. Luftwaffe ace fighter pilot Franz Stigler pursued the bomber intending to shoot it down, but refrained when he saw the extent of the damage and directed Brown and his crew out of harm's way. The two pilots were reunited 46 years later. [via] [more inside]
posted by Burhanistan at 1:56 PM PST - 71 comments

Tevis Howard, a 2007 Brown University graduate and recent recipient of the Draper Richards Fellowship and the Rainer Arnhold Fellowship, is the 2005 Founder and Executive Director of KOMAZA, a non-profit community-based organization in Kenya. KOMAZA's mission is to "end chronic poverty in Kenya by promoting health, economic growth, education, and infrastructure development" through a tree farming social enterprise. Partnering with the Tree Biotechnology Project, KOMAZA plants fast-growning, drought-tolerant Eucalyptus trees as a cash crop for rural, substinance farming communities. [more inside]
posted by lunit at 1:22 PM PST - 7 comments

Remember Me. A multimedia documentary about one family's struggle to deal with the loss of a parent. This series is the 2008 Pulitzer winner for feature photography. [more inside]
posted by chunking express at 1:18 PM PST - 27 comments


A Million Voices. Staff members of the University Archives at Virginia Tech are working to catalog and make available the more than 87,000 letters, poems, posters and artifacts that arrived at the school in the wake of the April 16 shootings. Dubbed The Prevail Archives, the website has a database with images of some of the items. [more inside]
posted by marxchivist at 12:38 PM PST - 11 comments

A while ago, Slate did an article on “The Race For The Thousand Pound Bench Press.” That milestone has been reached but not without controversy, mainly due to the use of the bench shirt, a super-tight supportive shirt without which those Herculean weights could not be lifted. The bench shirt has its defenders but many argue that it amounts to nothing more than cheating. By way of example, here is a video of the current unassisted (or “raw”) bench press record and here is a video of the current assisted bench press record. [more inside]
posted by jason's_planet at 12:30 PM PST - 79 comments

Mortified is a group in various cities that allows people to "share their own adolescent journals, letters, poems, lyrics, home movies, stories and more." It's embarrassing, to be sure, but it's frequently also hilarious (NSFW). Recently they've set up a page to share videos of live performances, and the latest is my favorite so far. "500 Miles To Hollywood" features Elijah Wood, James Denton (Desperate Housewives), Busy Phillips (Freaks & Geeks), Kevin McDonald (Kids in the Hall) and Curtis Armstrong (Revenge of the Nerds) "helping Jason Smith fulfill his dream and bring a 2-decade-old screenplay to life."
posted by ktoad at 9:44 AM PST - 20 comments

Nintendo Wee
posted by jonson at 9:10 AM PST - 51 comments

The Smithsonian's Jules Verne Centennial site has a collection of a large number of high quality scans of original, engraved illustrations from Verne's works. From the fantastic (interior of space vehicle, flying ship, spacewalking) and mundane (two dogs, a nice meal, elephant trying to break free from a hot-air balloon). And don't forget to check out the portrait of Jules Verne and his many technological prophecies. For information about the publishing history of Jules Verne read this scholarly article by Terry Harpold about illustrations of Jules Verne stories, focusing on Le Superbe Orénoque. It also includes a wealth of illustrations. Finally, as a bonus, here's a picture of the National Air and Space Museum's scale model of the spacecraft Verne came up with for his De la Terre à la Lune.
posted by Kattullus at 8:39 AM PST - 14 comments

The fifty greatest comedy sketches of all time from Nerve and IFC. All with video. Some highlights: SNL's consumer probe & word association; Mr. Show's pretaped call-in show, Upright Citizens Brigade's ass pennies, The State's porcupine racetrack, lots of Monty Python, some classics, and the inevitable winning sketch.
posted by blahblahblah at 8:20 AM PST - 119 comments

Jemima Packington a Worcester fortune-teller claims she can tell people's futures by using asparagus. Ms Packington, who calls herself Britain's only "asparamancer", showed off her technique at the British Trade and Travel Fair at Birmingham's NEC. Actor Tony Robinson, Baldrick in the comedy series Blackadder, also happened to be there and had his asparagus read by her. [more inside]
posted by electricinca at 8:09 AM PST - 22 comments

Baby Loves Hip-Hop? Kids albums are designed to amuse wee tots at the expense of parental sanity, right? Maybe not. What if you asked one of rap's finest producers to form a supergroup of some of the brightest names in the genre, all to create an album to introduce little minds to the world of hip-hop? You'd end up with Dino 5, a dinosaur-themed collection of tracks featuring Scratch (from The Roots), Ladybug (from Digable Planets), Wordsworth (from eMC) and Chali 2na (of Jurassic 5), all under the direction of the one and only Prince Paul. (Props to Ivan at Hip-Hop Is Read)
posted by grabbingsand at 8:03 AM PST - 17 comments


Wendell Berry is an agrarian writer, poet, and Mad Farmer. Perhaps most famous for his decision not to buy a computer, which stirred some controversy, Berry is an anti-war, anti-state, anti-capitalist, conservationist conservative. [more inside]
posted by anotherpanacea at 7:09 AM PST - 34 comments

Melrose Place, Governor Napolitano, and Freshly Baked Chocolate Chips: social entrepreneurship to combat meth and sell art. Is Belleza Gallery, wholly owned nonprofit gallery of Renaissance House, the coolest little pocket of altrusim-meets-art that almost no one has ever heard of? [more inside]
posted by yellowcandy at 1:11 AM PST - 3 comments

Paradise: The Gardens of Tokyo. A collection of amazing photographs of Japanese gardens as taken by Tim Porter. [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000 at 12:54 AM PST - 6 comments

Learn (or teach) fundamentals of computer science, without a computer. Provided as hands-on exercises suitable for children, or even CS-illiterate adults. (If this is too basic for you, go here.)
posted by orthogonality at 12:12 AM PST - 13 comments

April 9

The Mexican kitchen's Islamic connection :"When Mexico’s leading writer, Nobel Prize laureate Octavio Paz, arrived in New Delhi in 1962 to take up his post as ambassador to India, he quickly ran across a culinary puzzle. Although Mexico and India were on opposite sides of the globe, the brown, spicy, aromatic curries that he was offered in India sparked memories of Mexico’s national dish, mole (pronounced MO-lay). Is mole, he wondered, “an ingenious Mexican version of curry, or is curry a Hindu adaptation of a Mexican sauce ?” How could this seeming coincidence of “gastronomic geography” be explained ?"
posted by dhruva at 11:18 PM PST - 53 comments

Meet Larry Perrier, the Flip Flop Man.
posted by jimmythefish at 10:47 PM PST - 12 comments

Greening the Ghetto. A TED talk (also on YouTube) on environmental justice and urban renewal by Majora Carter, the founder of Sustainable South Bronx organization. She spoke recently at the Aspen Environment Forum. [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 10:04 PM PST - 11 comments

Tilting at Windmills: The Outrageous Fortune of Terry Gilliam [more inside]
posted by carsonb at 9:57 PM PST - 31 comments

Architecture, Restoration, and Imaging of the Maya Cities of Uxmal, Kabah, Sayil, and Labná - a new extensive exhibition site from Reed College (with nice large images available). See: Contents. The site includes "19th and early 20th century drawings, prints, and photographs, showing the appearance of these four cities before the extensive restoration campaigns of the twentieth century [..and..] over 1000 recent photographs."
posted by peacay at 9:11 PM PST - 4 comments

Just the other day I was thinking about World War 2-era propaganda songs, so of course I gave a listen to Smoke On the Water. Say what? You didn't know it was about kickin' Hitler's ass? Or Hirohito's? Guess you weren't listening well enough when ol' Red Foley sang: "...there'll be nothing left but vultures to inhabit all that land, when our modern ships and bombers make a graveyard of Japan..." I tell you, they just don't write songs like that anymore, friends. Anyway, by 1951 Red was looking forward to Peace in the Valley. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:15 PM PST - 20 comments

"I love reading your letters—I do. But I couldn't get into it. I just don't have a column in me this week." A sweet, sad eulogy from columnist Dan Savage.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:02 PM PST - 73 comments

The Turtle Man [more inside]
posted by PhatLobley at 7:15 PM PST - 33 comments

The individualism-collectivism split between Eastern and Western cultures is well known but it's origin somewhat of a mystery. Now a team of researchers has come up with a surprising explanation: disease-causing microbes.
posted by stbalbach at 7:00 PM PST - 46 comments

Everyone's favorite fictional band (no, not that one) plays an awesome live show - including such hits as Because, It's Midnite and Trogdor.
posted by LSK at 6:41 PM PST - 15 comments

Sneaky subterfuge! At the "last minute," the torch is re-routed miles away from the tens of thousands of people waiting to see it. Mayor comes 'under fire" for lying to the people.
posted by aacheson at 6:29 PM PST - 97 comments

Italy produced and sold at least 70 million litres of cheap wine containing acid, manure and fertiliser, Italian weekly L'Espresso said on Friday largely blaming organised crime in the south. [more inside]
posted by preparat at 5:10 PM PST - 54 comments

Food insecurity may not be as sexy a cause as climate change, refugees or terrorism, (or bird flu for that matter) but for many people around the world, rising food prices are driving them to riot . [more inside]
posted by Megami at 4:33 PM PST - 44 comments


Building on the ideas of Microsoft's Photosynth, flickr's geotagging, and Google's Panoramio, Viewfinder aims to organize photographs spatially in 3D worlds such as Google Earth. See it in action.
posted by mullingitover at 3:42 PM PST - 9 comments

Wearing an old-fashioned diving suit, William "Diver Bill" Walker worked in 14 feet of murky water beneath Winchester Cathedral, digging out the old timber and peat foundations and replacing them with bags of concrete cement and concrete blocks. Staying underwater six hours per day for five years (1906-1911), Diver Bill moved 25,800 bags of concrete and laid 114,900 concrete blocks, saving the Norman building from certain collapse. [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin at 2:40 PM PST - 38 comments

Old Photos of Japan - a daily photoblog featuring images of Japan between the 1860s and 1930s.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:50 PM PST - 21 comments

The intersect of data visualization and aural phenomena is a fascinating space, from simple chartings of the history of sampling to mapping the entire world of music (or even just electronica). Pop songs become sketches, iTunes libraries become twisted geometric forms, and last.fm listening behaviors form coloured orbs and waves. The collaborative networks of comtemporary rappers, jazz musicians, and classical composers are revealing of specific and meaningful community structures. Explore the algorithmic music of Stephan Wolfram's computational universe, listen to pi or e or the Mona Lisa or the weather or the temperature in New York City, discover the shape of sound, or just, you know, see music. Use the Echo Nest to visualize your own music (example), tag your music collection with colours, or just wade through the plethora of ways to map connections between artists and genres. (several previously)
posted by youarenothere at 1:50 PM PST - 12 comments

Limited nuclear war would damage ozone layer. Apart from the human devastation, a small-scale nuclear war between India and Pakistan would destroy much of the ozone layer, leaving the DNA of humans and other organisms at risk of damage from the Sun's rays, say researchers at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. Michael Mills at the LASP and his colleagues used computer models to study how 100 Hiroshima-sized bombs would affect the atmosphere. They say that their scenario – in which each country launches 50 devices of 15 kilotons – is realistic, given the countries' nuclear arsenals. "The figure of 100 Hiroshima-sized bombs compares pretty accurately to the approximately 110 warheads that both states reportedly possess between them," agrees Wyn Bowen, professor of non-proliferation and international security in the War Studies Group at King's College, UK. Here is an earlier 2006 report by Michael Mills about the devastating effect even a limited nuclear war would have on the ozone layer.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:23 PM PST - 55 comments

Stephen King weighs in on the videogame debate.
posted by P.o.B. at 12:00 PM PST - 116 comments

Putting up a sentry! Commercially available paintball sentry guns. Optional extras include a VR heads up display. If $1399 is too much you could build your own. Watch out for spies! Previously (and slightly more lethally)
posted by Artw at 11:30 AM PST - 21 comments


For 30 years, retail juggernaut Walmart used a small video production company to capture footage of its top executives -- sometimes in unguarded moments. Two years ago, they stopped using the company. But Walmart never signed a contract with the company...and now the material is "proving irresistible to everyone from business historians and documentary filmmakers to plaintiffs lawyers and union organizers."
posted by VicNebulous at 9:59 AM PST - 46 comments

Waiterless restaurants: Over a hundred years ago, you could get the food yourself. Now your meal can come to you, riding down little rollercoasters at 's Baggers
posted by jaimev at 9:53 AM PST - 24 comments

Sadly, Mister Rogers only lives on in our hearts and minds. But Speedy Delivery is alive, well, and the subject of a new documentary film made by a 26 year-old fan (previously).
posted by Kibbutz at 9:25 AM PST - 10 comments

So, you're planning to take a trip around the world, are you? Well, in that case--you'll need to know a couple of things before you leave (in order not to offend the sensibilities of the local population). Let's see--suppose you're making your way through Azerbaijan for example, and your host happens to be a businessman who is about to embark on a journey to the city: what would you do to give him the appropriate send off? Would you:
  • a) Bid him farewell and shake his hand.
  • b) Dance in front of him and do a traditional jig that everyone else is doing in order to ward off evil spirits.
  • c) Throw a bowl of water in his wake.
Don't know, well, that's okay. [more inside]
posted by hadjiboy at 9:17 AM PST - 25 comments

Narcoleptic cat. (via Flickr Video)
posted by loquacious at 7:52 AM PST - 75 comments


What's one of the best ways to break into UK radio? Hospital Radio of course! There are over 408 radio stations in the UK that originate from hospitals. Fully staffed and loaded with volunteers, they are a lifeline to patients and produce modern, original programming. Who got their start on hospital radio? Hundreds of legends in the UK radio industry! Including Chris Moyles, Scott Mills, Jacqui Oatley, and Heena Tailor.
posted by parmanparman at 7:17 AM PST - 16 comments

Although Larry Summers drew fire for rather inappropriate comments illustrating differences between Men and Women, we all know they exist. [more inside]
posted by Mutant at 7:12 AM PST - 62 comments

Today is the 202nd birthday of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, one of the world's greatest engineers and a personal hero. I gaped at the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol when the shock of recognition dawned on my jetlagged brain. This was the man that laid the foundation for Britain's global economic might, built the first underwater tunnel, Paddington Station and inspired engineers everywhere. His legacy lives on in his works, a university, a museum or two among others.
posted by infini at 5:44 AM PST - 34 comments

Riding The Tiger; Muqtada al-Sadr and the American Dilemma in Iraq is the final chapter of Patrick Cockburn's new book. Seymour Hersh has called Cockburn, who writes for the British paper, The Independent, "quite simply, the best Western journalist at work in Iraq today." Meanwhile al - Sadr has called off his million man march for now. Juan Cole asks: What if the US military presence is juvenilizing the Iraqis and prolonging the civil war?
posted by adamvasco at 3:50 AM PST - 29 comments

"It's ethnic cleansing happening." Fully ten days after elections that most are speculating were indeed won by the opposition party (Movement for Democratic Change), Robert Mugabe still clings to power in Zimbabwe. The voting results have still not been released, and 5 election officials have been arrested, "accused of tampering with the vote to the detriment of Mugabe's tally." Its been a tense time for Zim, and now the violence and land seizures have started again. [more inside]
posted by allkindsoftime at 12:30 AM PST - 67 comments

April 8

As a result of the Dutch film Fitna, Indonesia has blocked several websites including MySpace and YouTube. This follows hot on the heels of a new bill which could see people face six years of jail time or a 1 billion rupiah fine for being caught sending out porn, “false news” or racial or religious slurs on the Web. The Indonesian government will start censoring the Internet next month with specialised software. Very disappointing for a country which had a reasonably free press.
posted by BobsterLobster at 9:39 PM PST - 43 comments

The Opening Shots Project on Jim Emerson's scanners blog is a collection of reader-contributed dissections of, you guessed it, opening shots of movies.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 9:39 PM PST - 11 comments

Having trouble connecting to a site? It may be you and many others got too close to a network event horizon and the packets ...disappeared.... The internets has black holes, too. via
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 8:46 PM PST - 13 comments

Video on Flickr! Paying members of the popular community photo sharing website are now able to upload videos up to 90 seconds in length or 150MB in size. At first critical of the length limitation, some think it's a good decision. Check out the FAQ for details on what is/isn't accepted and why, and watch some videos in the first video group pool.
posted by patr1ck at 8:00 PM PST - 67 comments

22 years after letting a ball roll through his legs in extra innings to lose game six of the 1986 World Series, Bill Buckner returned to Fenway Park to throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day. Here's a post on the Curse of the Bambino and the 2004 World Series [more inside]
posted by Corduroy at 7:44 PM PST - 39 comments

The dangers of being a TV news reporter. A guaranteed context-free three-minute montage of television field reports gone awry.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:31 PM PST - 63 comments

Will the end of the marathon inquest into the death of Princess Diana leave you bereft, with no further purpose in life? Me neither. But if you still need some of the Lady Di magic in your life, perhaps you need the Lady Diana talking action figure! It "...captures all of the exquisiteness and beauty of Diana - only $129.95".
posted by idiomatika at 7:27 PM PST - 14 comments

Helen Keller speaks. As an elementary school student of the 60's, I was schooled in Helen Keller's amazing accomplishments. I had no idea that there were video records and great stills. I am humbled. At least for today. Anne Sullivan rocks, she should have been the first woman president.
posted by Rafaelloello at 6:27 PM PST - 34 comments

The Monty Hall Problem has struck again, and this time it’s not merely embarrassing mathematicians. If the calculations of a Yale economist are correct, there’s a sneaky logical fallacy in some of the most famous experiments in psychology." The NY Times' John Tierney reports on new research into cognitive dissonance as examined through the famous Monty Hall Problem. [A previous MetaFilter thread about the Monty Hall Problem: Let's Make A Deal!]
posted by amyms at 6:10 PM PST - 119 comments

Max Koch is a writer/actor who does a few impressions, the most notable being an uncanny Tony Soprano. Also worth seeing: Gary Busey, Jack Nicholson and Al Pacino. Audio NSFW.
posted by davebush at 4:52 PM PST - 33 comments


Cities at Night, an Orbital Tour Around the World was made when astronauts added stabilizers to the cameras on the orbital space station, allowing them to get sharp, crisp nighttime images.
posted by Dave Faris at 3:55 PM PST - 39 comments

Illustrated Quixote is a Brown University Library digital project--one of many inspired by the 400th anniversary of Don Quixote in 2005--that allows you to search/browse and view illustrations of Don Q produced between 1725 and 1884. There are a number of other excellent sites devoted to illustrations and paintings of the novels, as well as to the publishing history of the novel itself, notably The Cervantes Project, OSU's Digitized Historical Editions of Don Quixote, Georgetown U's Tilting at Windmills, and the Don Quixote de la Mancha digital exhibit.
posted by thomas j wise at 3:51 PM PST - 8 comments

It's a little heavy on the movie Easter Eggs but if you ever wanted to find some interesting stuff in your favorite software -- this is a good place to start.
posted by socalsamba at 3:49 PM PST - 15 comments

n+1: Is this your actual office? It’s so small.
HFM: Yes. I don’t actually spend much time in here, I have a desk out on the trading floor so this is just for, you know, meetings or phone calls I can’t take out of the desk, or interviews with literary magazines that I do every Wednesday at 4pm. [more inside]
posted by 235w103 at 3:19 PM PST - 19 comments

What are those circular disc things that you rotate to look up information? Volvelles. [more inside]
posted by aeschenkarnos at 3:15 PM PST - 12 comments

What the IFPI tries to conceal about its origins in fascist Italy IFPI is the global version of the RIAA
posted by mr.marx at 2:47 PM PST - 7 comments

At TED this past March, Al Gore once again presented the Mother of all Power Point Shows. This time around, there is a renewed sense of urgency, with updated slides about Arctic sea ice loss, among other things. More so than in the past, Gore specifically focuses on the necessity for laws to change, and how before that can happen, politics, especially American politics, must change as well. Another theme of Gore's latest TED appearance is how climate change is also a tremendous opportunity for a new heroic generation, to be remembered as the ones who solved the greatest crisis of human civilization.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 2:43 PM PST - 30 comments

Frank Newsome leads the congregation at the Little David Church in Hayside, Va. Old Regular Baptists, they sing the way people sang when they first came to the American colonies: without instruments or notation, and following their leader line by line. It's called lined-out hymnody, and people outside the southern Appalachian Mountains rarely hear it. One of the songs Newsome sings at services is a hymn about longing for heaven, called "Beulah Land."
posted by The Jesse Helms at 2:04 PM PST - 30 comments

Paul Theroux reviews Patrick French's frank, full, authorized (!) biography of Nobel Prize-winning author V.S. Naipaul. Sir Vidiadhar is not, in Theroux's estimation, a very nice man. He tortures his wife emotionally, his mistress physically, and he treats people of all races with narcissistic condescension. But can he write? [more inside]
posted by sy at 1:41 PM PST - 18 comments

Knuckle tattoos
posted by phoque at 12:56 PM PST - 67 comments

The One Man Band has evolved. No longer will the one man band be burdened by the weight and bulk of backpack drum kits, guitars, or accordions - or knowing what notes to play. Behold! Beamz by The Sharper Image. Give your nearest buddy a high-five and catch a glimpse into the future of music performance and one of the most hilarious promotional videos you might ever see.
posted by hellslinger at 12:40 PM PST - 60 comments

Sacred Steel is a pedal-steel guitar style that evolved in the African-American Pentecostal denomination The House of God, Which Is the Church of the Living God, the Pillar and Ground of the Truth. Brothers and lap steel players Willie and Truman Eason, inspired by the electric blues and Hawaiian steel guitar of the 1920s and 30s, brought the sound to two branches of the church, the Keith and Jewell dominions. Its hallmark: "talking guitar," in which the sliding steel emphasizes and mimics the words of preachers and singers. In the 1970s, a new "Motor City" tradition began, featuring the more complicated pedal steel guitar. This body of music was known mainly in church circles until two things happened: first, folklorist Robert Stone became interested in the music and relased several CD collections. And then, church player Robert Randolph (and his Family Band) began taking Sunday morning's music out onSaturday night. [more inside]
posted by Miko at 12:10 PM PST - 19 comments

Although its App Engine rollout is getting the bulk of the headlines today, Google rolled out another small product: an expansion of its Google Transit website. [more inside]
posted by WCityMike at 11:37 AM PST - 47 comments

Procrastination is... [QT, via]
posted by Armitage Shanks at 11:19 AM PST - 28 comments

Chemical Salvation? The history of LSD as a Chick tract. [Via]
posted by homunculus at 10:55 AM PST - 41 comments

Wired, which famously included the Tesla Roadster in its annual roundup of vaporware, takes on another electric car firm. Over the years, ZAP has taken millions from investors and dealers eager to see the company's line of green cars hit the road. But that line has never materialized. Of nearly a dozen groundbreaking eco-vehicles ZAP has promised in public announcements and on its Web site, only the Xebra and its sibling, a truck version, have ever made it to market. [more inside]
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 10:34 AM PST - 27 comments

Music is good. Free is good. So free music must be double good. With over 1000 albums listed from netlabels and other sources, Free Albums Galore (mentioned a while ago) is a well-curated collection of links to some of the best free full-length releases on the 'net. Of course, there are a lot more netlabel resources out there. [more inside]
posted by Shepherd at 9:35 AM PST - 9 comments

Multiple SIDosis is nine minutes and seven seconds of pure joy. [more inside]
posted by UKnowForKids at 9:34 AM PST - 29 comments

The Maria Theresa Thaler (or MTT), a coin first minted in 1741 and continuously to this day, remained legal tender in parts of the Arabian peninsula as late as 1970, where it was much prized both as a coin and for jewelry [magazine article] Incredibly important for trade between Europe and the Middle East, the MTT had a great impact on history. For more information turn to Maria Theresa's Thaler: A case of international money an indepth article about the MTT by Adrian Tschoegl.
posted by Kattullus at 9:05 AM PST - 10 comments


110 Best Books. 'The perfect library' - According to the Torygraph... at least there's a 'Sci-fi' section among the usual suspects (And one or two bizarre choices - Pelzer! What the heck!)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:09 AM PST - 78 comments


Carl Zimmer's Science Tattoo Emporium - "Underneath their sober lab coats and flannel shirts, scientists hide images of their scientific passions. Here they are revealed to all." From the science journalist and writer responsible for The Loom and numerous other published works.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:06 AM PST - 33 comments

The Museum of Broken Relationships. We've all been there. What else are you supposed to do with the garden gnome you lobbed at his car, or the axe you used to chop her furniture into tiny bits. Or the box, made of matches, that somehow helped to make it all alright?
posted by From Bklyn at 2:05 AM PST - 15 comments

World's worst tattoo? World's worst tattoo.
posted by jonson at 1:32 AM PST - 120 comments

April 7

Edo Photo Generator. Use this ancient photo generator (in JP, but a cinch to use) to give your photos that certain Edo look. Via C. Buddha's Hasty Musings
posted by KokuRyu at 9:32 PM PST - 36 comments


Total Annihilation, released over ten years ago by the now defunct Cavedog Entertainment, was one of the most popular RTS games of its day. And it is still being played today, partly due to the mod community who have been working on keeping it alive through the release of patches, units and maps, a list of which you'll find inside. [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000 at 8:55 PM PST - 30 comments

IDE the Shanty One is the front man for the Creative Juices crew out of NYC. He raps and produces. His 2007 production Force Fed is a great listen for fans of hard, New York rap artists like F.T. and Wu-Tang Clan. IDE is interviewed about how the crew formed. Listen to any of 148 solo tracks from him or 55 from Creative Juices. Already a fan? He just announced his new album Snapped. [more inside]
posted by cashman at 8:47 PM PST - 6 comments

Six Masai warriors will face cultural challenges when they run in the Flora London Marathon to raise money for clean water for their village. Meet the runners (video clip) Think about making a small donation in their time of trouble because when we had problems here in the US, they were most generous to us. [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive at 7:40 PM PST - 25 comments

New maps show US fossil fuel emissions aren't where we thought they were. The Vulcan Project collects more accurate data at a higher resolution than previous studies. Explanatory video. via [more inside]
posted by desjardins at 7:03 PM PST - 28 comments

Uwe Boll has said if this online petition gets a million signatures he'll stop making movies. Previously
posted by Caduceus at 6:45 PM PST - 84 comments

Ikiki has a home. The mysterious game developer's strange, difficult, and interesting creations are all collected on one page (Japanese), and his art style - such as it is - displayed in fine form by these mesmerizing animated gifs.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 6:09 PM PST - 8 comments

Last month, Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals: you cannot sue Craigslist for housing ads that violate the Fair Housing Act. Full decision (PDF); summary and analysis. This week, Ninth Circuit: you can sue Roommate.com for housing ads that violate the Fair Housing Act. Full decision (PDF); summary and analysis. The difference? Roommate.com facilitates the violations with its insidious check-boxes. It all hinges on how the courts interpret a section of the Communications Decency Act, a question that the Supreme Court may have to settle.
posted by goatdog at 5:22 PM PST - 17 comments

Storm chase from your desk. This link will not be interesting after a bit, but the technology is impressive. Storm chasers can now stream video of their chases, LIVE. This could be a good show between now and sundown. [more inside]
posted by spock at 4:03 PM PST - 19 comments

Sure, it's old news when Britney lip-synchs, but I reckon nobody really expected Pavarotti to lip-synch his his very last performance.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:41 PM PST - 33 comments

Tokyo By Night - Just one of the posts on ArkiBlog, a blog about architecture and design. {via}
posted by dobbs at 2:40 PM PST - 8 comments

The Makhmalbafs are an Iranian family of filmmakers, although Samira tends to get the most press. [more inside]
posted by sciurus at 1:58 PM PST - 13 comments


Graphjam: Pop Culture for People in Cubicles.
posted by saladin at 12:40 PM PST - 23 comments

Pay to play. The children of big-donor Harvard alums are systematically given preference over legacy offspring of lesser means. Additionally David Karen, now a professor at Bryn Mawr, concluded that alumni children at Harvard lose most of their admissions advantage if they apply for financial aid.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 12:02 PM PST - 95 comments

The things they teach kids in school today. Details in the pdf. From science to history to law, evidence of increasing political bias in education.
posted by binturong at 11:44 AM PST - 51 comments

Generative Creativity is a course offered by the University of Sussex through their Informatics department. The lecture series discusses tools and techniques for generating graphics, music, jokes and riddles, and more.
posted by weston at 10:31 AM PST - 7 comments

Bioculture critiques Cultural Critique Until literature departments take into account that humans are not just cultural or textual phenomena but something more complex, English and related disciplines will continue to be the laughingstock of the academic world that they have been for years because of their obscurantist dogmatism and their coddled and preening pseudo-radicalism. Until they listen to searching criticism of their doctrine, rather than dismissing it as the language of the devil, literature will continue to be betrayed in academe, and academic literary departments will continue to lose students and to isolate themselves from the intellectual advances of our time.
posted by jason's_planet at 10:26 AM PST - 107 comments

Audience of One. Documenting one man's God-given mission to create the ultimate sci-fi religious epic, Gravity: The Shadow Of Joseph.
posted by veedubya at 8:37 AM PST - 16 comments

French Theory. "This is drivel about drivel — “metadrivel” as some stucturalist, post-structuralist or deconstructionist might say."
posted by Xurando at 8:25 AM PST - 132 comments

Inflation in Zimbabwe recently reached 160,000%. Get in on the ground floor now by purchasing a $50,000,000 bill (currently selling for 20,000x its value). Dare to become a millionaire!
posted by splatta at 8:24 AM PST - 93 comments

Stuff Nobody Likes. A short list is provided for your convenience. [via mefi projects]
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:07 AM PST - 101 comments

Growing up in 70s and 80s Britain you were exposed to some rather disturbing Public Information Films on the television. But that was nothing... [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:47 AM PST - 33 comments

Interesting article in New Scientist describing how a Canadian artist created this representation of Ravel's Bolero whilst she unknowingly had the very same progressive aphasia that Ravel had when he composed the music. [more inside]
posted by leibniz at 7:38 AM PST - 15 comments


Ever wonder about the sign language used amongst stock market traders? Wonder no more, with this handy visual guide (NYT link) to the hand signals used by traders on the floor.
posted by zardoz at 4:56 AM PST - 22 comments

So, um, Pitchfork.tv launches today. [more inside]
posted by brevator at 4:29 AM PST - 80 comments

Self-Illustrating Phenomena. Slides from a 2005 talk by Pat Hanrahan. Scroll down his page for more talks.
posted by Taksi Putra at 1:54 AM PST - 12 comments


April 6

I know a man who once went to Sioux City, not one of the world’s leading destinations, precisely because he had never been there before. More than a decade later he still talks about the experience, from the Sergeant Floyd obelisk to the dog track of North Sioux and the meat packing plant converted to a shopping mall. The same impulse explains a non-specialist’s reading a history of Byzantine iconography or a survey of Australian wildlife. Both offer a break in daily life and an enlargement of our sense of wonder and possibility. That awareness can provide a sense of transcendence, and connection, or even the spark of divine discontent that leads people to change their lives.
Reading as Vacation, an essay by J. D. Smith and Subway Reader, pictures of people who read while using public transportation.
posted by Kattullus at 10:44 PM PST - 17 comments

Blogging May Cost You Your Life NY Times discusses the possible "death by blogging" of two prominent Tech Bloggers, Russell Shaw and Marc Orchant, Blognation. A third, Om Malik of gigaom.com, 41, survived a heart attack in December. I am thinking twice about my late night posts.
posted by doug3505 at 10:03 PM PST - 56 comments

274 Atolls. [more inside]
posted by bigmusic at 9:47 PM PST - 20 comments

The most dangerous path in the world. NSFA (acrophobics)
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 8:06 PM PST - 172 comments

Online Crayon Physics Flash version of stuff from here and here. No download needed (vs. prior posts) and totally addicting.
posted by filmgeek at 7:41 PM PST - 38 comments

Many planets have been found circling other stars, but the prevailing search techniques turn up results encouraging but bizarre. (encouraging, previously) Gravitational micro-lensing has made it possible to OGLE a solar system much like our own.... You're not alone.
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 6:39 PM PST - 9 comments

The Big Bang in musical form.
posted by dhruva at 6:20 PM PST - 5 comments

Located in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, tiny Sable Island has a population of about 15 humans, assorted marine birds and seals, and more than 300 wild horses. The island is a bastion of purity, wildness and beauty unmatched in the world. [more inside]
posted by loiseau at 6:19 PM PST - 27 comments

Australian dock workers will stop work for a minute today to remember the Patrick stevedores dispute, an industrial dispute that involved the stevedoring corporation Patricks, the Howard government and the Maritime Union of Australia. A landmark event in Australian political and legal history, the dispute saw dock workers stand "in the first line against the Howard government and the Patrick corporation that was seeking to remove their legal rights, their right to go to work [and] the right to collective bargaining." In its wake, the event generated debate about the role of unions in Australia, an alleged conspiracy between Patricks and the former Howard Government and even spawned a controversial TV mini-series, Bastard Boys. For more history and analysis of the dispute, you can read about it from the view of the MUA or this account but for the definitive analysis see here.
posted by Effigy2000 at 4:56 PM PST - 12 comments

"Principals make hundreds of decisions everyday based on our best judgment. And in that time, smelling that marker, I felt like, 'Wow, that's a very serious marker,'" Benisch said. Despite the medical evidence, Benisch promised to draw an even clearer line on markers. "We've purged every permanent marker there is in this building," he said.
posted by tehloki at 3:53 PM PST - 71 comments

"If feminism is about social change, white feminism -- a feminism of assimilation, of gentle reform and/or strengthening of institutions that are instrumental to economic exploitation and white supremacy, of ignorance and/or appropriation of the work of feminists of color -- is an oxymoron. And it is not a thing of some bygone era before everyone read bell hooks in college. It is happening now; you might be part of it."
posted by nasreddin at 3:52 PM PST - 182 comments

"The sweet aroma of sap permeating the air, still harkens the arrival of Spring"* in New England, Canada and other U.S. states. The Eastern Woodland Indians discovered that maple sap cooked over an open fire produces a sweet sugar [video], resulting in maple syrup. Many associate the syrup with Quebec (which produces most of the world's supply) and Vermont where about "one of every four trees...is a maple."* Vermont even has a "maple cop." He enforces "Vermont's maple regulations for the state Agency of Agriculture, which strictly regulates how Vermont's most famous export is made, marketed and sold."* [more inside]
posted by ericb at 3:50 PM PST - 36 comments

New York City is the greenest city in America. Eighty-two per cent of Manhattan residents travel to work by public transit, by bicycle, or on foot. That's ten times the rate for Americans in general, and eight times the rate for residents of Los Angeles County. New York City is more populous than all but eleven states; if it were granted statehood, it would rank 51st in per-capita energy use.... But this is not necessarily something people want to hear: In a conversation with a Sierra Club representative involved in Challenge to Sprawl, I said that the organization's anti-sprawl suggestions and the modified streetscapes in the slide show shared many significant features with Manhattan-whose most salient characteristics include wide sidewalks, narrow streets, mixed uses, densely packed buildings, and an extensive network of subways and buses. The representative hesitated, then said that I was essentially correct, although he would prefer that the program not be described in such terms, since emulating New York City would not be considered an appealing goal by most of the people whom the Sierra Club is trying to persuade
posted by storybored at 2:56 PM PST - 61 comments

Henry Miller Bathroom Monologues, part 2, part 3, and follow on - Miller takes us on a tour of the art in his bathroom. And a few years later, we have Dinner with Henry, 1979 . [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive at 12:24 PM PST - 13 comments

I don't know about you, but I've always thought West Side Story needed a little extra something. Like Cher doing all the parts. (Part two).
posted by adrober at 11:57 AM PST - 9 comments

Whip it out and dance don't be afraid (NSFW?). Yes! It is that time of the year again : today Japanese people celebrate Kanamara Matsuri (金まら祭り), the annual Kawasaki Fertility Festival (previously on Hōnen Matsuri (豊年祭)
posted by elpapacito at 11:17 AM PST - 14 comments

Compulse - Drop the different blocks on the stage to affect the direction of the ball. Try to use as few as possible, but you may use as many as you want.
posted by sveskemus at 5:20 AM PST - 32 comments

I'm baffled why these science fiction tv pilots never made it to series... especially Leonard Nimoy's Baffled!.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:56 AM PST - 30 comments

D.W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation [previously] is now viewable in its entirety at YouTube. Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. Or at Internet Archive, if you prefer.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:53 AM PST - 25 comments

April 5


The Boneyard. I’ve come to bear witness to American folly, to rest my eyes on the flying machines that flattened the forests of Southeast Asia, poisoned its people, and changed my life. A personal essay about the long-reaching effects of Agent Orange. [more inside]
posted by amyms at 7:35 PM PST - 14 comments

James Brown was known as the hardest working man in show business. Most people concentrate on his musical legacy while others see him as a central figure in the civil rights movement. And while there are many who view Mr. Brown as a "moral conscience for black people" those inside his his private world seem to have viewed him as a drug fueled maniac who grew up in a whore house and had little regard for women. via
posted by aburd at 4:27 PM PST - 46 comments

After just eleven months of operation, Skybus has ceased operations and declared bankruptcy. It's the third American airline to do so in the past week. That, plus the fact that the FAA is coming under fire for its failure to spot missed inspections, makes this a pretty ugly week in American aviation.
posted by showbiz_liz at 3:05 PM PST - 71 comments

Free Speculative Fiction Online is a database of free science fiction and fantasy stories online by published authors (no fan-fiction or stories by unpublished writers). Among the authors that FSFO links to are Paul Di Filippo (14 stories), James Tiptree, Jr. (4 stories), Connie Willis (3 stories), Eleanor Arnason (3 stories), Bruce Sterling (5 stories), Robert Heinlein (7 stories), Ursula K. LeGuin (3 stories), Jonathan Lethem (5 stories), Michael Moorcock (6 stories), Chine Miéville (2 stories), Samuel R. Delany (3 stories), Robert Sheckley (8 stories), MeFite Charles Stross (33 stories) and hundreds of other authors. If you don't know where to start, there's a list of recommended stories.
posted by Kattullus at 1:52 PM PST - 34 comments

For those of you who are celebrating Tartan Day on April 6, a little primer on tartans. Tartans began in Scotland as woven wool patterns used as district identifiers, created using locally popular patterns and, originally, different natural wool colors. The word tartan originally just meant the style of weaving -- take the yarn over two cross strands, then under two, then repeat. Eventually the meaning changed to what we now accept, the patterns of colors in the weave, also called the sett. [more inside]
posted by Shotgun Shakespeare at 12:56 PM PST - 31 comments

Behold Claude, the Kung-Fu Bear. [Via]
posted by homunculus at 11:15 AM PST - 40 comments

The show Sin Cities hosted by Ashley Hames is NSFW or most other places.
Episodes include:

Human Furniture
Pig Man Fetish
and
Puppy Play Fetish
posted by gman at 11:10 AM PST - 20 comments

Social Watch monitors the progress of efforts, articulated in numerous international agreements (1 2 3), to end poverty and increase equality worldwide. By coordinating the reports of a network of citizens' organizations, Social Watch aims to keep tabs on progress toward specific initiatives in each country, lobbying national governments as appropriate. Search by country for a snapshot of social and economic progress. Browse various measures of stability and meaningful development. Lots more, including meaty, well-documented reports and statistics, and holy crapola, nice graphics.
posted by Rykey at 11:05 AM PST - 6 comments

Land turned to biofuels in the US alone in the last two years would have fed nearly 250 million people with average grain needs. Prices of all staple food has risen 80% in three years. 33 countries face unrest because of these price rises. Subsidiziation of Biofuel is driving the poor to starvation. In Bangladesh Biofuel production hits food security. Half of Pakistan population at the risk of food insecurity, warns WFP. Cost of food increases hunger in Nepal. wiki
posted by adamvasco at 9:19 AM PST - 81 comments

How many times have you heard this before. Who else can you imagine voicing that line except for the indomitable Ruth Elizabeth Davis. A screen icon for more than six decades, Miss Davis (as she preferred to be called) was in a league all by herself. The first woman recipient of the American Film Institutes Life Time Achievement Award, she minced no words and inspired the next generation of actresses to come. (If you'd like, you can tune into TCM and watch some of her most memorable performances that are being telecast this month, or if you're lucky enough to be in Britain, you can probably catch it at a cinema near you.) Until then, here's the immortal Bette Davis Eyes sung by Kim Carnes, which Bette Davis herself was a fan of, and a clip of the Academy Awards Radio Broadcast featuring Miss Davis for her role in Jezebel. In the end, she did do it the hard way.
posted by hadjiboy at 3:57 AM PST - 16 comments

The Goon Show was a popular and influential radio comedy produced by the BBC from 1951 - 1960, starring Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan and Harry Secombe. Here, you can listen to it whenever you like. [more inside]
posted by louche mustachio at 3:04 AM PST - 37 comments

The Olympic torch is being welcomed this weekend in the UK as a symbol of the sporting spirit, uniting people around the world in peaceful competition. But the idea of lighting the torch at the ancient Olympian site in Greece and then running it through different countries has much darker origins. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:24 AM PST - 37 comments

Need money? Have a blog? Well, your troubles may be over: "Hiring a block of bloggers to verbally attack a specific person or promote a specific message may be worth considering." Of course, if you don't want to play along, there are other ways to make your blog useful:
Hacking the site and subtly changing the messages and data—merely a few words or phrases—may be sufficient to begin destroying the blogger’s credibility with the audience.... If the messages are subtly tweaked and the data corrupted in the right way, the enemy may reason that the blogger in question has betrayed them and... take down the site (and the blogger) themselves....
Who might you be interested in "clandestinely recruiting or hiring prominent bloggers"? Oh, the US military.
posted by orthogonality at 2:19 AM PST - 20 comments

April 4

Bacteriophages ("phages" for short) were the only effective treatment against infectious diseases until antibiotics came along during WWII.

Phages are the most ubiquitous organism on Earth. They are naturally occurring viruses that infect bacteria and bacteria only. We live in a sea of phages. Our bodies are more phage than human. There approximately 10 to the 32 power of them around us. That's 10 with 32 zeros behind it.

Antibiotics cannot keep up with evolving infections, while phages naturally co-evolve with the bacteria.

Currently we are in a growing antibiotic crisis and phage therapy is getting a serious look again. Here's a fascinating discussion from National Public Radio.
posted by wsg at 10:42 PM PST - 37 comments

American Drug War - The Last White Hope (in case you missed it on Showtime) Includes footage of and interviews with gang members, narcs, prisoners (like Tommy Chong), and other folks on the front lines of the drug war including Freeway Ricky Ross (infamous for starting the crack epidemic) and DEA Agent Celerino Castillo who both wound up working for the CIA. [more inside]
posted by Smedleyman at 10:42 PM PST - 10 comments

"Some Florida teens believe drinking Mountain Dew or smoking marijuana will prevent pregnancy and that swallowing a capful of bleach will prevent HIV/AIDS."* As a result, lawmakers are pushing "for an overhaul of sex education in the state. State lawmakers said the myths are spreading because of Florida's abstinence-only sex education"* "On Tuesday, a bill that would 'require a more comprehensive approach' to sex education narrowly won approval from a state Senate committee."*
posted by ericb at 9:34 PM PST - 61 comments

Hillary and Bill Clinton's tax returns 2000 - 2007
posted by blue_beetle at 8:53 PM PST - 157 comments

Kraftwerk have been around for nigh on forty years. They take a bit of getting used to if you are new to them, but the rewards are great. Even if you are a cynic. [more inside]
posted by Frasermoo at 8:28 PM PST - 31 comments

Rickroll everybody! Rickroll everything! rickroll.it!
posted by ardgedee at 7:59 PM PST - 27 comments

There seems to be a resurgence of interest in Charles Manson, the notorious lifelong convict who is currently serving a life sentence for masterminding the 1969 Tate/LaBianca murders, as of late. You may have heard about the search for bodies buried at the group's final hideout at Barker Ranch, Death Valley, using specially trained cadaver dogs. Besides that, Lindsey Lohan has signed on to star as Manson follower Nancy "Brenda" Pitman in a new film entitled Manson Girls. Also, documentary filmmaker Robert Hendrickson has finally given his classic 1973 film MANSON a proper DVD release, and has also released a new film entitled The Manson Gang, consisting of leftover original footage from his first film. There are even rumors that ol' Charlie might receive a new trial. So why all the sudden interest? [more inside]
posted by DecemberBoy at 7:25 PM PST - 52 comments

Three columns on technology and eduction by Robert Cringely: the clash between those who grew up with computers and those who didn't in War of the Worlds, Amish Paradise looks for learning models in unexpected places and Ozzy knows best talks about how important digital games, not video games, could be to education. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:53 PM PST - 7 comments

There's been alot written about Battlestar Galactica. Here's your chance to catch up.
posted by bigmusic at 5:32 PM PST - 66 comments

Snoop Dogg performs "Sensual Seduction" (A.K.A. Sexual Eruption) on The View [more inside]
posted by [son] QUAALUDE at 5:30 PM PST - 25 comments


The Every Child Matters Education Fund, a non-profit organization that lobbies for better education and services for children, released a report (audio accompanies link text) this week that reveals that geography is as important as race and class in determining which children succeed, and which fail. The five highest ranking states, based on such factors as child poverty, infant mortality rates, juvenile incarceration rates and the like, were all in New England, with Vermont on top. The bottom five were all in the central South, with Louisiana coming in last... States with a high tax burden did a far better job of minimizing childhood poverty than low-taxing states. Via John Ibbitson in the Globe and Mail [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu at 3:18 PM PST - 26 comments

Fruit Mystery. It is a flash game. (via waxy)
posted by pantsrobot at 3:03 PM PST - 43 comments

Platform racing.
posted by Citizen Premier at 2:49 PM PST - 7 comments

"My name is Mike Wallace. The cigarette is Philip Morris." Before there was 60 Minutes, there was The Mike Wallace Interview. Thirty minutes with Steve Allen, Frank Lloyd Wright, Kirk Douglas, Pearl Buck, and Salvador Dali, to name just a few.
posted by steef at 1:27 PM PST - 16 comments

Taaz is a fun, easy-to-use website that gives women the opportunity to “try on” the hottest makeup and hairstyle looks from the convenience of their homes. From creating the perfect smoky eye to painting on a dramatic ruby-red lip for a night out on the town, taaz.com allows women to become their very own makeup artist and create the perfect look for any occasion. [more inside]
posted by Dave Faris at 1:20 PM PST - 22 comments

Attention drummers! Want to take all the attention away from the rest of the band... then just watch this masterclass. (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:38 PM PST - 37 comments

H.P. Papercraft (SLYT) "I knew putting internet in the basement was a bad idea!" [more inside]
posted by Del Far at 12:02 PM PST - 15 comments

'Is there any chance there would be some Brain Death left?' Brain Death was the creation of two homebrewers and certified beer judges, both brewers of whom are highly respected in their hobby. (For reasons that will become apparent, they wish to remain anonymous.) A potent barleywine (OG 1,100), Brain Death contained an extra ingredient that one of the euphemistically calls "special hops".
posted by mrblack at 11:57 AM PST - 30 comments

Warhol~v~ Calder~v~ Stella~v~ Lichtenstein~v~ Rauschenberg~v~ Hockney~v~ Art Car~v~
posted by vronsky at 11:57 AM PST - 15 comments

Fun Flash Friday: Throw Me - throw the little guy as far as you can. Avoid the thunderclouds. Use the wrecking balls and colored clouds for an extra boost. Simple as that.
posted by champthom at 11:13 AM PST - 20 comments

Washington's Other Monuments is a photoblog by photographer Lloyd Wolf chronicling "the many sad memorials erected by friends & family to honor murder and other violence victims in the Washington DC area. These spontaneous, homemade, heartfelt creations are found on streets throughout the region. They are often the only physical tribute to the many slaying victims." Washington Post article. [via Eddie Campbell]
posted by Kattullus at 10:39 AM PST - 18 comments

The problem with pennies.
posted by veedubya at 10:33 AM PST - 98 comments

Get Lost Friday Flash Fun in convenient Choose-Your-Own-Adventure format.
posted by boo_radley at 9:57 AM PST - 22 comments

Kathleen is the owner of neurodiversity.com, one of the most comprehensive resources online in the topic of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Neurodiversity is just one person with a domain name and a computer, not a corporation, or a money-making enterprise, but apparently having good research skills and a willingness to share what you know is becoming legally problematic. Last week, Kathleen has received a subpoena commanding her to appear for deposition and document production in Rev. Lisa Sykes and Seth Sykes’ $20,000,000 personal injury lawsuit, Sykes v. Bayer. [more inside]
posted by kristin at 9:37 AM PST - 26 comments

303, 909, FX, MIXER = ACID VARSITY. In other words, two virtual 303s, a 909, effects and a mixer running for free right in your browser.
posted by 6am at 9:16 AM PST - 41 comments

Where has all the pubic hair gone? After sweating through the [eight-year-old girl's] eyebrow wax, Engle [...] was directed to give her pint-size client a … bikini wax. “But … there’s nothing there, right?” I ask Engle. “I mean, at eight? Am I forgetting something?” “Nope,” she says. “There’s not. Doesn’t matter. That’s when the mothers are starting them these days.”
posted by desjardins at 9:05 AM PST - 207 comments



Remember Tang? The news from England is that the 2006 terrorists were going to use it to create an in-flight bomb. [more inside]
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 7:34 AM PST - 43 comments


How to Make Love to the Dough Instructional video on bread and love making. Portions NSFW.
posted by ghastlyfop at 7:06 AM PST - 19 comments

Interesting photos and film (mpg | avi) on a site that doesn't give context.
posted by dobbs at 6:33 AM PST - 12 comments

Who is this Ken Lee that you speak of? SLYT Bulgarian Idol.
posted by parmanparman at 5:10 AM PST - 26 comments

Beyond the Lanes is a website devoted to using old bowling balls for art. Paul Livert is an artist who likes to add metal to old bowling balls. Giant Rosaries made of bowling balls. Bowling balls can be used to demonstrate scientific principles, as in this huge Newton’s Cradle. Nowata, Oklahoma boasts a bowling ball fence. Bowling balls also make useful cannon balls, as well as durable dog toys. (YouTube)
posted by Tube at 12:37 AM PST - 14 comments

April 3

NBC offers Way Back Wednesdays where you can watch full vintage episodes online of Rod Serling's Night Gallery, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Emergency, Battlestar Galactica, The A-Team, Buck Rogers, and Miami Vice.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 9:25 PM PST - 24 comments

Super Epic Video Game News. Several Channel 101 alumni are bringing their own distinctive style to game and tech journalism. Perfect for those who love video games, but hate the people that play them. The YouTube comments are an even split between impotent rage and people who get the joke. [more inside]
posted by BartFargo at 8:44 PM PST - 14 comments

“For more than 50 years, the National Prayer Breakfast has been a Washington institution. Every president has attended the breakfast since Eisenhower, elbow-to-elbow with Democrats and Republicans alike.”* The event is sponsored by a secretive Capitol Hill group known as “The Fellowship,” (aka The Family)*For 15 years, Hillary Clinton has been part of [this] secretive religious group that seeks to bring Jesus back to Capitol Hill.” An exposé of the group 'The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power,' by Jeff Sharlet will be published in May. [NBC video]. [more inside]
posted by ericb at 8:25 PM PST - 89 comments

The Sterner Capo Museum For anyone who has found themselves reduced to the pencil and rubber band.
posted by Miko at 7:55 PM PST - 29 comments

David Garrick (1717-1779) revolutionized acting technique in the eighteenth century. One of England's most influential actor-managers, he operated the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and exerted a profound influence on Shakespearean texts and performances alike; in fact, Garrick's Jubilee Celebration of 1769 is the ancestor of the modern Shakespeare festival (and inspired some fakery as well). [more inside]
posted by thomas j wise at 7:27 PM PST - 8 comments

Native Names Projects by the Coeur d'Alene Tribe GIS Program and the Hawaii Board on Geographic Names are adding audio pronunciation guides to geospatial place-name datasets in several on-line mapping formats. [more inside]
posted by mmahaffie at 6:23 PM PST - 5 comments

Ross Ching is a time-lapse photographer. Ross traveled across the US, Argentina, and Chile to shoot Eclectic 2.0 (480p Quicktime) with a DSLR mounted on a telescope tripod. Here's some production stills. See how it was made here and here. View a flash version at the website of The Ghost Orchid, who provided the music.
posted by Sfving at 5:21 PM PST - 17 comments

Off Planet Films makes stuff with cardboard. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi at 4:57 PM PST - 2 comments

Apa Tani bleeding tubes filmed by Christoph von Fürer-Haimendorf and Paro, Bhutan in 1936 from Frederick Williamson, are just two of the extraordinary offerings from the Digital Himalaya Project.
posted by tellurian at 4:37 PM PST - 8 comments

In an alternate universe, the golden mean is found, moderation is possible, and everyone on MeFi will hear their counterparts point of view first.
posted by phyrewerx at 3:58 PM PST - 56 comments

Some paintings by Abraham Brewster. (not this one) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Current work on this page.
posted by wittgenstein at 2:47 PM PST - 11 comments

360 Cities contains over 6,000 fantastically shot virtual reality panoramas of 50+ cities worldwide. It's also accessible through Google Earth and Google Maps. Too immersive for you? Well, check out VeniVidiWiki to discover points of interest with videos, nature areas and parks, restaurants, hotels, and other travel-related stuff.
posted by cog_nate at 2:07 PM PST - 9 comments

Amazon.com dropped a bombshell on the publishing industry with the announcement on Friday that they will no longer allow print on demand books printed by vendors other than Amazon, to be sold directly by Amazon. In other words, use our print services or lose your listing on our site. This decision effects over half a million books listed on their site and could be a defining moment for both publishing and the future of online retailing. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan at 1:59 PM PST - 43 comments

James Clapper , undersecretary of defense for intelligence, has just recommended closing the Counterintelligence Field Activity program, a 1,000-man agency (mostly contractors with a secret budget) set up shortly after 9/11 to fight foreign terroristson U.S. soil, whose contracts are based on congressional earmarks (and administration insiders) were under investigation by the Pentagon and federal prosecutors (for domestic spying, the use of/deletion of data from the TALON (.pdf file) program (managed by the CIFA as JPEN ) [more inside]
posted by Smedleyman at 1:13 PM PST - 14 comments

Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear. "Monsanto already dominates America’s food chain with its genetically modified seeds. Now it has targeted milk production. Just as frightening as the corporation’s tactics–ruthless legal battles against small farmers–is its decades-long history of toxic contamination."
posted by homunculus at 1:00 PM PST - 77 comments

After nearly 21 months of hiatus, whimsical politics blog Fafblog is back! And it's redesigned, too! Right now I would ordinarily include a link to best posts of the past, but I would have to include all of them.
posted by JHarris at 11:58 AM PST - 49 comments

Britain's National Health Service has unveiled a plan that would allow citizens to choose where they are treated. I found that I had to refer to the NHS wiki page to refresh my understanding of the British system. The Telegraph has also published an interview with the Health Secretary and is inviting reader response. [more inside]
posted by prefpara at 11:50 AM PST - 8 comments


Disc golf- like it's ball-and-club cousin- challenges the player to navigate the obstacles of a pre-designed course from tee to basket, with progress being marked by the distance of your throw. It's my favorite way to enjoy the outdoors- and most courses are free to play! The sport is easy and fun to get into, yet provides an exhilarating challenge to players of all skill levels. You can play to relax, socialize, or win, depending on your style. What is disc golf, and where did it come from? With over 1000 courses in the US alone, you should have no problems finding a course in your area. Pick out some discs, grab a few friends, and go get throwing! Here are some tips for new players. [more inside]
posted by baphomet at 11:04 AM PST - 53 comments


Welcome to the decade of space robotics. Jules Verne, Europe's shiny new automated transport vehicle, docked with the International Space Station today, where Canada's Dextre is flexing her circuits after moving in last month. Meanwhile, the Cadillac of Mars rovers, JPL's humbly named Mars Science Laboratory, is prepping for a fall 2009 journey to the red planet. Are we witnessing the beginning of the symbiotic relationship between robots and humans in space?
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot at 10:18 AM PST - 26 comments



“You could almost see their dicks getting hard as they got new ideas." A Vanity Fair reporter investigates the chain of command that tossed out the Geneva Conventions and instituted coercive interrogation techniques -- some might call them torture or even war crimes -- in Bush's Global War on Terror. UC Berkeley law professor John Yoo's now-obsolete 81-page memo to the Pentagon in 2003 [available as PDFs here and here] was crucial, offering a broad range of legal justifications and deniability for disregarding international law in the name of "self-defense." Others say that Yoo was just making "a clear point about the limits of Congress to intrude on the executive branch in its exercise of duties as Commander in Chief." [previously here and here.]
posted by digaman at 7:53 AM PST - 76 comments

Throwing bones in the air as 2001 turns 40. Stanley Kubrick's film, 2001: A Space Odyssey turned 40 yesterday and Movie City Indie collated a good selection of links about the film and its maker to commemorate the occasion. [more inside]
posted by slimepuppy at 7:40 AM PST - 39 comments


Brijit is sort of like a MeFi for magazine articles, but each post is 100-words and you get $5-$8 for each post (if you can write a good summary of the article). It is part of a "new" wave in non-algorithmic human-powered filtering of the net.
posted by stbalbach at 7:14 AM PST - 37 comments

Steam locomotives are dead, right? Awe-inspiring though they might be, labor issues and diesel fuel at 4 cents a gallon killed them in the 1950's and 60's, and they survive only in isolated pockets around the world and on tourist railways. [more inside]
posted by pjern at 6:56 AM PST - 51 comments

The Muppets perform "Fuck The Police" (NSFW, obviously). That is all.
posted by EarBucket at 6:47 AM PST - 39 comments


Texan judge rules $5 "pole tax" violates First Amendment rights. Further, Judge Scott Jenkins found no evidence to justify the purpose of HB 1751 (PDF), finding the anecdotal link of the patronage of strip clubs with a lack of health insurance and increased sexual assault rates for dancers insufficient, and ordered the state to pay the plaintiffs' legal fees. Activists are already looking to appeal Jenkins' ruling and reenact the tax. (Previously on Metafilter.)
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:17 AM PST - 9 comments


Hammer quiz. Identify the intended use of speciality (mostly vintage) hammers. A sister site of Puzzle Photos (previously). [more inside]
posted by Mitheral at 12:09 AM PST - 28 comments

April 2

No-small-news-filter: House Votes to Continue and Expand President's Global Effort Against AIDS. [more inside]
posted by allkindsoftime at 10:56 PM PST - 14 comments

"1 Crunchwrap Supreme + 1 OCTO-MAC + 20 or so Taco Bell Fire Sauce packets + Taco Bell Cheese Sauce + Bacos + Garfield's Macaroni & Beef + A splash of Jim Beam + Approximately 2 cups of salsa = GODKILLER, for why else would it exist but to kill God?" [more inside]
posted by Del Far at 9:28 PM PST - 64 comments

Global Warming Video, From Still Images Twenty days. Twenty thousand still images. A single message. Toronto Star photographer Lucas Oleniuk captures the issue of global warming in a video created entirely by using still images.
posted by doug3505 at 9:13 PM PST - 18 comments

Looking for a gift for someone special? Got everything you thought you'd ever need? Why not treat yourself to the blood of innocents?
posted by crossoverman at 7:44 PM PST - 28 comments

An Artist's view from her tent. Listen to the view. Yes, listen. Katie Paterson via mobile phone and underwater mike at a glacier lake in Iceland, captures underwater sounds of melting and cracking Jökulsárlón Glacier. Hear it piddling away. Call to listen what the seals are talking about, if they're nearby. [more inside]
posted by alicesshoe at 5:53 PM PST - 9 comments

Alpha Beta Gaga
posted by vronsky at 5:30 PM PST - 16 comments

Actually, you don't have to rock and roll all night ... Latest research shows that the optimal time for sexual intercourse is 3 to 13 minutes. [more inside]
posted by Megami at 5:11 PM PST - 104 comments

Are you sick and tired of telling those darn kids to "get off your lawn" because their "favorite band sucks?" Next time, instead of handing out snark, hand them a brochure for the Paul Green School of Rock Music! Before you know it, you'll be wishing that you had a bigger lawn. [more inside]
posted by not_on_display at 5:07 PM PST - 22 comments

From 1987 until 1992 Britain's Austin-Rover Group exported the Rover 800 to America and called it the Sterling. Jointly developed with Honda, the Sterling was a bit of a flop in contrast to Honda's Acura Legend. Of course, every car has its fans. One more thing, if you need a part for your Sterling, you better call this guy.
posted by punkfloyd at 4:55 PM PST - 10 comments

No, not Pugsly. If you are watching the miniseries on HBO but still haven't gotten your fill of the Adams Family, consider reading John Quincy Adams' brilliant diaries. You can browse selected topics and read, in his own handwriting, J.Q. Adams' insights ranging from slavery, to the Monroe Doctrine (which he formulated), to becoming Secretary of State, to his reaction to the news of his father's death. [more inside]
posted by A Long and Troublesome Lameness at 11:51 AM PST - 25 comments

Owl Cam. Physics professor sees Great Horned Owl nesting outside window & sets up webcam. [more inside]
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:11 AM PST - 116 comments

Klaus Dinger, drummer and co-founder of Krautrock titans Neu! (with Michael Rother) and drummer on the first Kraftwerk LP, has passed away at age 61. A sad day for motorik fans. Great post from February about the KraftNeu! collaboration.
posted by porn in the woods at 11:08 AM PST - 30 comments

Home taping downloading is killing music authorship. The Society of Authors warns that authors will simply stop writing if they aren't compensated for piracy of their work (as unlikely as that seems). Perhaps they should follow the example of Jim Griffin, newly hired at Warner Music to persuade broadband providers to attach a $5 per month surcharge for the benefit of the major labels, in exchange for halting the lawsuits that have thus far been their mainstay weapon against piracy.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 9:47 AM PST - 88 comments

If you hadn't heard of Jim Crow before, this is where you can find a brief history on the subject (along with a radio broadcast of some of the people who were involved). Bayard Rustin's Journey of Reconciliation: America's First Freedom Ride (You Don't Have To Ride "Jim Crow") was a precursor [audio and video] to the Civil Rights Movement of the 50's and 60's. (Also, a look at the Jim Crow Museum and a walk down Jim Crow Road today.) [previously*]
posted by hadjiboy at 8:39 AM PST - 24 comments

Sounds of America is a new monthly streaming audio program, a collaboration between the National Museum of American History and Smithsonian Global Sound. Up now are 3 episodes: African-American music in New Orleans, Women in American Music, and Freedom Songs of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement.
posted by Miko at 7:54 AM PST - 12 comments

A very special 'This American Life' about an administration with the endemic belief that laws only apply to the little people, and a limitless refusal to concede on even petty issues, no matter the costs. The highlight is about immigrant widows of US citizens (30:50). The program also discusses the constitutional beliefs of the presidential candidates. [more inside]
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:45 AM PST - 43 comments

Toys - 59,237 of them. This group is about collecting photographic evidence that toys get up to things when people are not around. Well, not just that - It is also simply a space to collect good images of toys for everyone to enjoy. (via dorian) [more inside]
posted by caddis at 7:09 AM PST - 4 comments

The Royal Mint revealed their newly designed currency today. Looks pretty sharp. [more inside]
posted by zeoslap at 6:55 AM PST - 95 comments

The Christian with Four Aces. Bill Sizemore writes about the infamous televangelist Pat Robertson.
posted by chunking express at 6:55 AM PST - 52 comments

Pedro Zaragoza Orts the former mayor of Benidorm who died yesterday aged 85, transformed this small fishing village into a centre for package tourists. Much loved by some as the resort where Tattoos meet Tapas.
posted by adamvasco at 5:33 AM PST - 12 comments

Roger Ebert to return to writing movie reviews. Love him, hate him, disagree with him, worship him, whatever, but Pulitzer Prize winning movie critic Roger Ebert, after several operations that have left him without the power of speech, will return to writing movie reviews shortly after his 10th Annual movie festival, Ebertfest. Me, personally, I'm happy as heck about this.
posted by willmize at 4:49 AM PST - 56 comments

When snow threatened the Cleveland Indians 2007 opening game, the stadium grounds crew was there to save the day. Watch them battle the forces of nature in this time-lapse video. Think you can handle this monumental task yourself? Play the game and find out.
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:56 AM PST - 18 comments

More business innovation from Radiohead Radiohead, iTunes and GarageBand are giving you the opportunity to remix the band's new single "Nude". To make remixing easy, the separate 'stems'* from the song are available to purchase from iTunes _here_. The 'stems' available are bass, voice, guitar, strings/fx and drums. You can mix them in any way you like, either by adding your own beats and instrumentation, or just remixing the original parts.
posted by psmealey at 3:39 AM PST - 69 comments


April 1

The End Of The World As We Know It. If you want to imagine the catastrophe - how you would cope, what would you do to save yourself and your family - where do you turn for advice?... The idea of dying together, all of us, in some ways seems less appalling than the thought of going alone. Via.
posted by amyms at 11:32 PM PST - 29 comments

Porn for the Blind is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to producing audio descriptions of sample movie clips from adult web sites. This service is provided free of charge. [NSFW]
posted by basicchannel at 11:09 PM PST - 32 comments



Gravelter Skelter [video, WTF content].
posted by digaman at 9:50 PM PST - 20 comments

A cool map of lightning frequency over time across the globe. And a live version for the U.S. Heck, a zoomed-in version on the Northeast for the past 60 minutes. It turns out that you can even buy a small Lightning Detector to map local lightning strikes on your PC. It listens for the signature static crashes from lightning, sometimes called sferics (short for atmospheric noise), much like you can hear on an AM radio during a storm. You can even listen to streaming audio from NASA's (Alabama) VLF receiver.
posted by fogster at 8:55 PM PST - 22 comments


The little windows in the walls of time amber provides aren't always open. Opaque amber is common and, until now, has hidden away many fossil creatures. 100,000,000 years.... via bbc [more inside]
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 8:34 PM PST - 7 comments

Hot For Words - a youtube classroom series on etymology taught by Marina, a... hot Russian philologist. Mildly NSFW. [more inside]
posted by Navelgazer at 7:42 PM PST - 34 comments

An ancient tradition or despicable exploitation? As in ancient Greece and Shakespeare's theatre, boys dress as women to entertain men. A hint of Afghan homosexuality was included in the movie The Kite Runner. An Uzbekistan theatre group is presenting two plays on this theme in Seattle this month. The homosexual element of Afghan culture has waxed and waned depending on who is invading their country at the time.
posted by binturong at 4:22 PM PST - 109 comments

Biomimetics: Design by Nature. "Burs on a dog's coat led to the invention of Velcro. That's an example of biomimetics—the young science of adapting designs from nature to solve modern problems. Now it may be coming of age."
posted by homunculus at 4:15 PM PST - 10 comments


According to the English language edition of the Asahi Shimbun, an Israeli airstrike against Syria last September targeted a nuclear-related facility that was under construction with technical assistance from North Korea, according to Israel's prime minister...It is apparently the first time that the intended target had been disclosed to the head of a foreign government. Original Japanese link here. Via the wonderful Marmot's Hole. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu at 3:09 PM PST - 14 comments

Mario Paint Composer emulates and extends the composer function from Mario Paint for the SNES. It has been used extensively to cover classic game music, popular hits both old and new, some of the greatest songs on earth, and even the occasional classical piece
posted by grandsham at 3:05 PM PST - 9 comments

Facial Expression Simulator Apparently it's useful for helping autistics learn facial expressions, among other things. Related.
posted by shivohum at 2:03 PM PST - 33 comments

How To Speak Hip with Del Close and John Brent
posted by Del Far at 1:24 PM PST - 27 comments

Max Mosley, controversial president of the FIA (the governing board of F1 and other international motorsports), made headline news this past weekend for a "sick nazi orgy with 5 hookers" that was caught on tape (posted, but has since been pulled down). He has apologized, but does not plan to leave his position, despite many who feel his vices may detract from motor racing.
posted by jaimev at 1:22 PM PST - 87 comments


The hippest of today's French youth can't get enough of Tecktonik--a dance (YT), cultural movement and apparent marketing ploy (in French), Tecktonic is a style of dance characterized by its lack of footwork and embrace of various ridiculous arm gestures. Coupled with a strong fashion sense (in French) involving copious amounts of neon, pseudo (or full-on) mullet haircuts and jeans that could be painted on, Tecktonik is a dance craze that, since its birth in 2000 at a Parisian nightclub, has only increased in popularity. [more inside]
posted by nonmerci at 10:51 AM PST - 84 comments

"In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the stakes at issue—that is why academic politics are so bitter." The Michigan Federation of College Republicans deals with back-biting, bribery, barratry and small stakes. [more inside]
posted by klangklangston at 10:27 AM PST - 33 comments


Who is Janek Makowski? One man, in a struggle against the trolls and spammers of the internet. One man, spreading the friendliness across untold forums. One man, Janek Makowski. [more inside]
posted by klik99 at 9:36 AM PST - 37 comments


Life Before Death - (from the site) "This sombre series of portraits taken of people before and after they had died is a challenging and poignant study. The work by German photographer Walter Schels and his partner Beate Lakotta, who recorded interviews with the subjects in their final days, reveals much about dying - and living."
posted by blue_beetle at 8:41 AM PST - 67 comments

Lords of the Blog is a collaborative blog written by Members of the House of Lords for the purposes of public engagement - a pilot project. [more inside]
posted by Phanx at 8:11 AM PST - 17 comments

The New Kids on the Block are getting back together according to the Boston Globe. It wouldn't be the first time the Globe played an April Fool's Day prank on its readers. But it's also in RollingStone. Countdown to the reunion. NKOTB myspazz.
posted by brooklynexperiment at 8:10 AM PST - 45 comments

Record levels of immigration have had "little or no impact" on the economic well-being of Britons says a report (pdf) from an influential House of Lords committee. Initial reactions from the various parties, institutes and publications have been largely predictable. Coming so closely on the back of the BBC's recent "White" series on white working-class Britain, it looks likely to provoke some debate on British attitudes to immigration (pdf). [more inside]
posted by Jakey at 7:54 AM PST - 27 comments

Finnish band Leningrad Cowboys perform "Sweet Home Alabama" backed by the Red Army Choir.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:40 AM PST - 37 comments


Excavation Starts at Stonehenge - "The two-week dig will try to establish, once and for all, some precise dating for the creation of the monument." [more inside]
posted by Burhanistan at 6:37 AM PST - 27 comments

"Google and Virgin Group today announced the launch of Virgle Inc., a jointly owned and operated venture dedicated to the establishment of a human settlement on Mars." Virgle - with their 100 year mission to boldly go where no tycoons have gone before - to Mars! Why not join their startup civilization (apply here folks), become a pioneer and live in Virgle City! But for all of you potential astronauts out there - don't look here!
posted by the_very_hungry_caterpillar at 3:01 AM PST - 37 comments

3D map of Shanghai. Double Click a building and get a pic of the building My Chinese isn't up to it but if you double click a building you seem to get a pic of the building and nearby flats for rent. The links on the lower left seem to take you the nearest McDonalds, Hospital, and KFC. You start in the new area of Pudong, go west of the river (direction left) to find the older sites. The cranes on building sites is a nice touch. If you want to see Shanghai from ground level try here: City8
posted by priorpark17 at 2:33 AM PST - 13 comments

This page intentionally left blank. Black. Blue. White. Orange. Gray. What, you expected something else?
posted by Kickstart70 at 12:05 AM PST - 45 comments