May 2009 Archives

May 31

The Roman Empire's Lost Highway: French amateur archaeologist Bruno Tassan fights to preserve a neglected 2,000-year-old ancient interstate in southern Provence.
posted by homunculus at 11:00 PM PST - 23 comments

Baraka (previously) alternate soundtracks on youtube: Clint Mansell, Omni Trio, the Beatles, Chris Clark, and Buraka Som Sistema (warning: contains M.I.A., nudity). [more inside]
posted by plant at 10:35 PM PST - 14 comments

Tweeting Too Hard
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:02 PM PST - 96 comments

Christian Privilege: Breaking a Sacred Taboo discusses the dominance of Christianity in America, including a privilege checklist, and a longer standalone list was previously linked. More writing focuses on secular college campuses. In American jurisprudence, such as in the case of Sheri Klouda, fired as a language instructor from a Baptist seminary when a new president decided she should not be teaching men, religious freedom often supersedes other rights. Moving away from the specific case of Christianity, some articles from a British secularist viewpoint criticize the special consideration given to religious views and practices. When the last article was reprinted by Kolkata newspaper The Statesman, there were riots and the editor was arrested under a law against "deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings."
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 9:50 PM PST - 148 comments


Heroes and Gay Nazis is a german documentary by Rosa von Praunheim that looks at gay men with hard-core right wing views. Part One. [more inside]
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:51 PM PST - 42 comments

Millvina Dean, last survivor of the RMS Titanic, died today. And so, arguably, the greatest disaster of the early 20th century passes from living memory.
posted by pjern at 5:30 PM PST - 37 comments


LEGO Minifig Agitprop! Also, LEGO literature, mythology, history, men-o-war and a hell of a lot more in this amazing custom minifig collection by Dunechaser of The Brothers Brick. [more inside]
posted by EatTheWeak at 3:14 PM PST - 28 comments

Before Mr. A, The Question, Dr. Strange, Spider-Man, or, well, anything, there was Steve Ditko's 1953 debut, Paper Romance in Daring Love #1. It was soon followed by creepier fare such as Ditko's first professional work, 1954's Stretching Things, A Hole in His Head, and Buried Alive! Shortly after, Ditko illustrated the cover for Space Adventures #10 and the story Homecoming, which began (Or didn't, depending on who you believe) a decades-long association with Charlton Comics that would soon yield Von Mohl Vs. The Ants, If Looks Could Kill, You Are the Jury, Doom in the Air, The Worm Turns, Day of Reckoning, and Car Show, a rare humour piece for Charlton's MAD clone From Here To Insanity. All these, and many more, courtesy of the Steve Ditko Comics Weblog's It Stalks the Public Domain!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 2:14 PM PST - 17 comments

A creative New York couple and their wonderful, vintage photographs: pioneering filmmaker, Morris Engel, and award-winning photojournalist, Ruth Orkin, who is renowned for her iconic American Girl in Italy. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 12:14 PM PST - 5 comments

The Seasteading Institute (previously) is the brain-child of former Google engineer Patri Friedman , and seeks to set up independent governments in international waters. In April 2009, the institute received $500,000 of seed funding from PayPal founder Peter Thiel. After reading it's revised manifesto, Brad Reed (of Sadly, No) remains unimpressed. [more inside]
posted by The Whelk at 11:30 AM PST - 98 comments

Urban Omnibus is an online project of the Architectural League that explores the relationship between design and New York City's physical environment. They are featuring Making Policy Public, a program of The Center for Urban Pedagogy, through their articles about Vendor Power and Predatory Equity. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 11:14 AM PST - 3 comments

George Tiller, whose Wichita, KS clinic specializes in late-term abortions, was shot to death this morning on his way to church. Tiller was previously shot and wounded in 1995. (previously on MeFi)
posted by mkultra at 10:40 AM PST - 698 comments

Gyrations atop a giant Rubik’s cube? Check. Uber groiny, hardbodied ballet dancers in metallic bowler shoes? Check. Intimated BJ three-way with male Moschino models? Check. Glittering Mickey Mouse butt cleavage? OKAY NOW THAT’S JUST GOING TOO FAR. Coilhouse is awesome.
posted by cgc373 at 8:59 AM PST - 49 comments

Mary Kay Letourneau Fualaau, the former teacher convicted of second-degree statutory rape in 1997 for conducting a sexual relationship with the 12-year-old student whose children she bore and whom she married after her release from jail, is now hosting a "Hot for Teacher" night at the Seattle club where her husband and former student is DJ'ing (illegible MySpace page) as "DJ Headline." [more inside]
posted by the sobsister at 8:34 AM PST - 76 comments

“This confrontation is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase his people’s enemies before a New Age begins”. Chirac is said to have been stupefied and disturbed by Bush’s invocation of Biblical prophesy to justify the war in Iraq and “wondered how someone could be so superficial and fanatical in their beliefs” according to Jean-Claude Maurice in his book Si vous le répétez, je démentirai... published by Plon [more inside]
posted by rough ashlar at 6:21 AM PST - 133 comments

May 30

camel vs. bin
posted by Del Far at 10:38 PM PST - 61 comments

Tony Scott has confirmed that a prequel to Alien is in the works, with commercial director Carl Rinsch at the helm. Of course, his brother Ridley was no stranger to advertising. Meanwhile Dark Horse is celebrating 30 years of the franchise by releasing a new series of Aliens comics.
posted by Artw at 10:15 PM PST - 188 comments


Breaking from established educational models, the American Indian Public Charter school has created a back-to-the-books, minority-focused, and no-excuses academic system-- and has been wildly successful. [more inside]
posted by gushn at 9:27 PM PST - 43 comments

She did it again. The Orlando Magic took no chances as they extended their undefeated record at home in the playoffs. The Magic remain undefeated when Gina Marie Incandela sings the national anthem(YT). Since first singing the national anthem for them in February, the team has won every game she sings at. Five years ago she was diagnosed with PDD-NOS autism and she now is a poster child for early intervention(YT). Not to get in a rut singing only the national anthem, Gina has released a CD single.
posted by geekyguy at 9:01 PM PST - 30 comments

On the Street and On Facebook: The Homeless Stay Wired. "Like most San Franciscans, Charles Pitts is wired. Mr. Pitts, who is 37 years old, has accounts on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. He runs an Internet forum on Yahoo, reads news online and keeps in touch with friends via email. The tough part is managing this digital lifestyle from his residence under a highway bridge. 'You don't need a TV. You don't need a radio. You don't even need a newspaper,' says Mr. Pitts, an aspiring poet in a purple cap and yellow fleece jacket, who says he has been homeless for two years. 'But you need the Internet.'"
posted by homunculus at 8:40 PM PST - 47 comments

Three years after the failure of his recklessly ambitious Marxist epic 1900, Bernardo Bertolucci returned to directing with La Luna - a story of opera and incest featuring a Golden Globe-nominated performance by Jill Clayburgh, then at the height of her late 70s fame. [Also appearing in small roles were Fred Gwynne and an up-and-coming Roberto Benigni.] Writing in The New York Times, Vincent Canby described it as "one of the most sublimely foolish movies ever made by a director of Mr. Bertolucci's acknowledged talents." Roger Ebert wrote, "Bertolucci has sprung his gourd this time." [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese at 8:13 PM PST - 4 comments

Your favorite web comic sucks, but this one has bunnies. Super cute bunny goodness can be found on Zack Rabbit's twitpic and flickr stream (some image overlap). And don't miss the youtubery: "Still Alive," "Bumble Ball" (NSFW if you're a stuffed animal), and "Yoga for Stuffed Animals" among others. @ZackRabbit's on twitter too.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:30 PM PST - 14 comments

At the Toronto Humane Society, veterinarians say animals die suffering unnecessarily in their cages while pleas to euthanize them are dismissed. Dozens of staff, volunteers and veterinarians have quit in protest. ... A note written by a staff member or volunteer on the medical chart of a cat, animal ID A127495, admitted last fall, reads: "Died Oct 19 3:15 am. Gasped and jerked and cried last breaths, because there was no one in shelter to euthanize or treat. This is not humane." ... [THS president] Mr. Trow says he strives to keep euthanasia rates low for ethical reasons. “How can anyone suggest that, because he might be here longer than anyone would want, that it's better to put [a dog] down?” Mr. Trow asked. “I think that's a strange suggestion, don't you? You live here as long as you can.” Images (yes, they're disturbing.) Video of a puppy adopted out with a broken leg. The THS web site. [more inside]
posted by maudlin at 2:38 PM PST - 63 comments

"I want our type to jump, scream, whisper and dance..." Ebon Heath and His Visual Poetry. "When I close my eyes I can see the words of great poets like Rakem or Tupac flying thru the air and dancing with the same physicality my body instinctually feels. My mobiles attempt to create a visual sense of rhythm and flow that is alive, not contained." This interview with Heath breaks down his Stereo.type and Purge projects. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 10:55 AM PST - 8 comments

Just imagine if your legs continued growing long after the rest of your body stopped. [more inside]
posted by miss lynnster at 7:58 AM PST - 47 comments

What does randomness look like? Random Walk asks this question and presents experiments in mathematics and physics, showing the mysterious interaction of chaos and order in randomness. via Information Aethetics, obviously.
posted by signal at 7:44 AM PST - 21 comments

Researchers long ago rejected the theory that vaccines cause autism, yet many parents don't believe them. Can scientists bridge the gap between evidence and doubt? A five-thousand-word article, via Danny Yee.
posted by cgc373 at 4:20 AM PST - 282 comments

Wiwa vs. Shell. 14 years ago, Ken Saro-Wiwa (prev) was hung with his counterparts for speaking out against Shell and the atrocities they were committing upon the Ogoni people of the Nigerian River Delta. [more inside]
posted by allkindsoftime at 1:24 AM PST - 23 comments

In a case reminiscent of Bernard Goetz, pharmacist Jerome Ersland was held up by two gun-wielding men, shot one of them in the head, and then, when the other had left, shot the prone man several more times, killing him (store security video). Now he's being charged with first-degree murder, and is the center of intense controversy about whether he engaged in legitimate self-defense by making absolutely sure his attacker was incapacitated or in an unjustifiable vigilante-style execution. Complicating matters is the fact that Jerome is white and the robbers black.
posted by shivohum at 12:29 AM PST - 178 comments

May 29

Elizabeth Wurtzel writes: Because I need to make a point, I’m just going to be immodestly candid: I was a remarkably adorable child, the kind with such rosily expressive cheeks that grown-ups couldn’t resist pinching them. So when I became a teenager and then an adult, I was what you would call a hot number or something like that—at any rate, they put me half-dressed on the covers of my books to sell them, so draw what you will from that. Now that I’m in my forties, people say, I think kindly, She still looks good. This is to be followed by a phase of …for her age, which is hot on the trail of handsome, and then—then who knows? I think it deteriorates from there, enough so that the vain among us start to look forward to death, or at least stop resisting its horrific pull. (via)
posted by Joe Beese at 8:04 PM PST - 175 comments

Hey, you got your 2CV in my F355! Oh, yeah? You got your F355 in my 2CV!
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 7:40 PM PST - 29 comments


Garfunkel & Oates Experience the joy of potty-mouth songs played on the ukulele. [more inside]
posted by ColdChef at 5:31 PM PST - 32 comments

Tales of the New Frontier - Adventures in a mythical 1960's Kennedy administration. Comics by Todd Ramsell.
posted by Ufez Jones at 4:11 PM PST - 7 comments

Lady GaGa's "Paparazzi" music video has been leaked. This mini-movie, in which a disabled GaGa patiently exacts revenge against the boyfriend (True Blood's Alexander Skarsgård) who betrayed her, is directed by Jonas Åkerlund and was intended to debut on UK TV on June 4th. GaGa goes on the record as being unimpressed.
posted by hermitosis at 4:03 PM PST - 104 comments

As a belated tribute (of sorts) to Victoria Day, may you find interest in a variety of Victorina era literature, short and long. In the short category, there is Chit-Chat of Humor, Wit, and Anecdote (Edited by Pierce Pungent; New York: Stringer & Townsend (1857), who has written quite a bit of such work) [via mefi projects], and Conundrums New and Old (Collected by John Ray Frederick; J. Drake & Company Publishers Chicago, 1902) [via mefi projects] This publishing house also published The Art of Characturing, copyright 1941. If you prefer your antiquated humor with a twist, take a gander at bizarro version of Conundrums New and Old [via mefi projects]. In the category of longer works, behold the The Lost Novels of Victorian New Zealand [via an older mefi projects]. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:32 PM PST - 4 comments

Ruined Endings... because you fell asleep during the last part of that movie and you just want to know what happened, this site exists.
posted by not_on_display at 12:30 PM PST - 39 comments

Hollywood Bloopers: 1936-1947 A couple of the years won't load for me, but the ones I can watch are fun.
posted by grumblebee at 12:21 PM PST - 14 comments

Wikipedia will now no longer accept any changes originating from Scientology owned or controlled address space. [more inside]
posted by Antidisestablishmentarianist at 11:42 AM PST - 122 comments


In 1997, reclusive Neutral Milk Hotel mastermind Jeff Mangum performed a now-legendary set at Athens, Ga. coffee shop Jittery Joe's. One week only on Pitchfork.tv Previously 1 2 3 [more inside]
posted by msalt at 11:23 AM PST - 19 comments

The Young Conservative Anthem. Meet Stiltz & Serious C, Dartmouth rappers.
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:06 AM PST - 46 comments

"It's true that McD's hiring process and training is essentially getting you to breathe on a mirror, and, if it fogs up, you're in... but that doesn't mean we're all bad. Just that we're a mixed bag. A lot of the time, McDonalds is the only place that will hire teenagers or immigrants, regardless of their skills, especially in todays climate." McDonald's Talk [more inside]
posted by netbros at 10:43 AM PST - 92 comments

"Do you love me? Will you answer this all absorbing question the next time we meet? Will you utter that winsome "Yes" fraught with all the golden dreams of heavenly realms, or will you pronounce the dread "No" and consign my soul to darkness and despair?" Advertising for Love, a collection of funny, strange, poignant and bizarre personal ads from nineteenth-century American newspapers.
posted by verstegan at 9:03 AM PST - 10 comments

In the wake of recent news that a woman has come forward claiming her father was the Zodiac Killer, author Michael O' Hare tells his tale: In the early 80s, he began receiving cryptic postcards and letters using symbols he later discovered were also used by the Zodiac Killer. He naturally alerted the authorities. The result? "The [FBI] agent then explained that the mail was from an amateur sleuth in California named Gareth Penn, who had been trying for some time to interest the police in the idea that I was the Zodiac killer."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:33 AM PST - 41 comments


The threat of nuclear war is bigger than you think. (via)
posted by kliuless at 7:34 AM PST - 43 comments

The Other Global Warming. Waste heat (second law of thermodynamics) over the next 300 years could add 3 degrees of warming.
posted by stbalbach at 6:51 AM PST - 41 comments

1939 Chrysler Animation (SLYT)
posted by mhjb at 6:30 AM PST - 9 comments

The Legend Of The 7 Golden Vampires combined the tail end of Hammer film's Dracula series with, the then, burgeoning martial arts craze to create "The First Kung Fu Horror Spectacular!" [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:19 AM PST - 11 comments

ABC News After four years researching for the documentary, Azam told "Good Morning America" that oral sex is as common as kissing for teens and that casual prostitution -- being paid at parties to strip, give sexual favors or have sex -- is far more commonplace than once believed.
posted by eiro0701 at 2:41 AM PST - 127 comments

May 28

You may remember him from the old Portal of Evil and Fat Chicks in Party Hats days. Perhaps his article on homemade fireworks or his extensive collection of Hostess comic book ads taught you to laugh about love again. After a long absence from the internet, Seanbaby is back with, among other things, The Torture Debate As a Batman Comic. [more inside]
posted by rifflesby at 11:43 PM PST - 39 comments

Zombie Animals [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu at 10:48 PM PST - 28 comments


Former South Korean president Roh Moo-hyun committed suicide on May 23. The former president jumped from a cliff in his hometown, where he had retired to. A country mourns (video and articles 1, 2), and clashes (more, WSJ), over the legacy of the former human rights attorney who fought for the rights of student protesters and against the corrupt presidencies of the 80s, had his presidency saved by protests and activism in the electronic age, and at the end of his life found himself being investigated for bribery. [more inside]
posted by kkokkodalk at 9:19 PM PST - 25 comments

It’s only natural that if you wish to present yourself as a well-read person, a certain degree of complete bullshit is required. There’s no shame in lying about what you’ve read. There’s only shame in getting caught. Then you look like a doofus, and an illiterate one at that... How to lie about books.
posted by Artw at 9:06 PM PST - 73 comments

100 Best Movie Lines in 200 Seconds (SLYT)
posted by Cobalt at 8:21 PM PST - 69 comments

At least one picture shows an American soldier apparently raping a female prisoner while another is said to show a male translator raping a male detainee. Further photographs are said to depict sexual assaults on prisoners with objects [graphic images] including a truncheon, wire and a phosphorescent tube. Another apparently shows a female prisoner having her clothing forcibly removed to expose her breasts. Detail of the content emerged from Major General Antonio Taguba, the former army officer who conducted an inquiry into the Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese at 7:58 PM PST - 186 comments

Although a cellphone is about as close to a Star Trek communicator as you can get, something more practical has come along to make you feel like you're finally living in the future. The Standoff Patient Triage Tool (SPTT) is nearly a Starfleet medical tricorder: it can detect pulse, body temperature, and respiration from an injured person at a distance of forty feet, allowing first responders to identify the injured before setting foot into a dangerous situation.
posted by AzraelBrown at 7:09 PM PST - 26 comments

Dear Esther is a Halflife 2 mod. It could be viewed as an enigmatic, emblematic simulated afterlife, a Hebridean theme park or just a very slow shooter with with a laudable lack of any guns or enemies. Whichever you pick it's hard to deny that this interactive ghost story is Art. Or is it? [more inside]
posted by Sebmojo at 6:19 PM PST - 67 comments

For this generation of teens hugging [video | 02:35] seems to be all the rage at high schools around the U.S. “A measure of how rapidly the ritual is spreading is that some students complain of peer pressure to hug to fit in.” And in some schools hugging has banned. “Touching and physical contact is very dangerous territory,” said Noreen Hajinlian, the principal at a junior high school in Hillsdale, N.J., where hugging has been banned for two years.
posted by ericb at 4:37 PM PST - 115 comments


Car companies were facing a variety of efficiency and emission standards throughout the United States, from the Department of Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency, On May 19th, and then an even stricter emission standard from California and 13 other states (plus DC). On May 19th, President Obama announced nation-wide new vehicle fuel efficiency standards for new cars and trucks through 2016. The goal is to rapidly increase fuel efficiency,without compromising safety, by an average of 5, culminating in 39 MPG for cars and 30 MPG for light trucks. Currently, no auto makers are meet the final standards, though some are closer than others. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:31 PM PST - 85 comments

Photos of 1940s New York City.
posted by Miko at 1:26 PM PST - 28 comments

Too Lazy to Masturbate. One blogger's ranty critique of another blogger's snarky review of a new book entitiled "Thanks for Coming: One Young Woman’s Quest for an Orgasm". [more inside]
posted by Liver at 1:19 PM PST - 83 comments

You are Medeco, one of the world's premier lock companies. And you think your super-secure locks are tight. Until, that is, some upstart troublemaker comes along, reverse engineers them and shows the world (via Wired magazine--with video, natch) showing just how (supposedly) insecure they are. Then this same troublemaker releases a book giving all your secrets away. [more inside]
posted by ostranenie at 12:22 PM PST - 75 comments



We will speak to the Mouse. FoxP2, a forkhead box transcription factor has long been thought to be the "language gene", as all animals that have it can communicate verbally. Without it, songbirds don't learn their songs, humans can't speak properly and mice can't make their sweet ultrasonic sounds. Human Foxp2 has been claimed to be a site of recent, strong selection in the human genome, with several alterations in sequence from our most closely related ancestors. So the question: Is the human version of FoxP2 itself a determinant for our ability to speak in ways our chimp cousins cannot? [more inside]
posted by Cold Lurkey at 10:40 AM PST - 56 comments

The Vendor-Client Relationship in real life situations (SLYT).
posted by educatedslacker at 10:35 AM PST - 31 comments

Bizarre and Unusual [NSF Weak Stomachs] is a section of Imagine China, a Chinese stock photography site. It includes images of China's first face transplant, for a rabbit, a one-horned man, how to wash 4.2 meter long hair, and many, many images of tumors and growth. Aside from the unusual, it has sections on Current Events and News, sports, and other topics. [via APhotoEditor
posted by michswiss at 9:26 AM PST - 41 comments


Distinguished Professor of Law and the director of the Center for Terrorism Law at St. Mary’s University School of Law, Jeffrey Addicott, tells The Jurist: "Even the worst of the CIA techniques that were authorized – waterboarding - would not constitute torture."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:16 AM PST - 112 comments



Intel’s fabrication plants can churn out hundreds of thousands of processor chips a day. But what does it take to handcraft a single 8-bit CPU and a computer? Give or take 18 months, about $1,000 and 1,253 pieces of wire.
posted by jim in austin at 5:51 AM PST - 50 comments

Prey helps you find your stolen laptop by sending timed reports to your email with a bunch of information of its whereabouts. [more inside]
posted by signal at 5:32 AM PST - 47 comments

The extraordinary T-Bone Walker was born this day in 1910. Previously
posted by chuckdarwin at 5:09 AM PST - 7 comments

May 27


Seaworld Orlando has some brand new baby otters. [more inside]
posted by zerokey at 9:35 PM PST - 56 comments

Spenser and the Tradition: English Poetry 1579-1830 is a mammoth database of English poetry and other writings that traces the influence of the great 16th-Century poet Edmund Spenser on English poetry across 250 years. There are roughly 25000 different texts on the site, over 6000 poems from famous classics to obscure ephemera, and further thousands of biographies and commentaries. Since it would take years to read all the material I am happy to say that there is a guide to navigating the database, an overview of its contents, a statistical summary and an essay on tradition and innovation. The immense database, which started life as a pile of index cards, was compiled largely by Virginia Tech Professor David Hill Radcliffe over the course of 17 years.
posted by Kattullus at 8:54 PM PST - 11 comments

Archie Proposes! First he got a new look, now he's locking it down in a six-part series. What next -- with Riverdale's romantic redhead officially off the market, will "confirmed bachelor" Jughead be forced to start dating women again?
posted by hermitosis at 8:12 PM PST - 78 comments

In 1978, William Peter Blatty published The Ninth Configuration - his first novel since the blockbuster success of The Exorcist. A reworking of his earlier Twinkle, Twinkle, "Killer" Kane, it told the story of a Marine psychiatrist providing unorthodox treatment to mentally wounded Vietnam veterans at a facility located in a castle in the Pacific Northwest. Two years later, Blatty's film adaptation received Golden Globe nominations for Best Drama and Screenplay - winning the latter. Critic Mark Kermode described it as "a breathtaking cocktail of philosophy, eye-popping visuals, jaw-dropping pretentiousness, rib-tickling humour and heart-stopping action. ... Blatty directs like a man with no understanding of, or interest in, the supposed limits of mainstream movie-making. The result is a work of matchless madness which divides audiences as spectacularly as the waves of the Red Sea, a cult classic that continues to provoke either apostolic devotion or baffled dismissal." (previously)
posted by Joe Beese at 7:49 PM PST - 20 comments

Graduel à l'usage de Saint-Dié digitizes a French gradual (choir music for the Mass) created in the late fifteenth or early sixteenth century. For more information about what's what, see the handy definitions offered by the British Library or Celebrating the Liturgy's Books. [more inside]
posted by thomas j wise at 7:26 PM PST - 5 comments

Photos of various insects mating.
posted by gman at 7:09 PM PST - 21 comments

In this issue: The floating head of Jon Postel endows four lucky grad students with superpowers. They form Team ARIN to promote the Internet way. Together, they facilitate transparent development processes, battle misinformation about IPv4 number space depletion, and help us all transition to IPv6!
posted by ardgedee at 7:02 PM PST - 18 comments

Prince Marcus Von Anhalt (painting with nudity, nudity in picture galleries), also on MySpace (autoloads his very own gangster rap song), might have you believe that he is of royal blood. Wikipedia would disagree, revealing that he bought his royal title from ZsaZsa Gabor's husband. Incidentally, he owns over 20 brothels, a chain of exotic dancing establishments, and wrecks cars. To ice the cake, he has been dubbed the worlds richest asshole by Jared Paul Stern (Other pages on this blog contain partial nudity.)
posted by Antidisestablishmentarianist at 6:54 PM PST - 19 comments

"May God close your horable museum." Because I can't believe this has never been the subject of a full post here before, although it keeps popping up in comments: The Museum of Menstruation and Women's Health. The inimitable Harry Finley has assembled a dizzying and oddly comprehensive site. It may be a bit much to take in one go (dilute, dilute, OK?), but you might dip in at: menstrual slapping; patent medicines; facts of life booklets; the Little Doozee; pre-twentieth century menstrual products and practices; Lysol douching, yay and nay; or the tour of the museum inside Harry's house (now closed). Also: cats, because Harry likes cats.
posted by maudlin at 4:54 PM PST - 27 comments

On Sunday New York City closed two of the busiest sections of perhaps the most famous street in the U.S. to traffic and created pedestrian plazas in the "Crossroads of the World" (and also in Herald Square) [brief plan / NYCDOT detailed plan]. [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus at 4:18 PM PST - 59 comments


The Incredible Hulk, as told by Koike Kazuo, of Lone Wolf and Cub fame, and Yoshihiro Morifuji. More scans here.
posted by Artw at 2:26 PM PST - 16 comments

The aircraft carrier, a majestic and grand symbol of American naval might... susceptible to swarming small-boat assault and weak against ballistic missiles, nevermind an anti-ship ballistic missile. Is it time to reevaluate the role of the aircraft carrier in a modern naval strategy?
posted by Keter at 1:46 PM PST - 58 comments

The small, unassuming town of Coatesville, Pennsylvania, has suffered 50 fires in 15 months, making it the site of the country's worst arson epidemic in decades, and providing a frightening case study in how the crime of fire-setting can turn self-perpetuating. [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 12:49 PM PST - 26 comments


German country music. You may remember Texas Lightning from Eurovision 2006, but the rabbit hole goes much deeper than that. Oh yes. [more inside]
posted by jedicus at 11:45 AM PST - 47 comments

"When masses of people who own the means of production work toward a common goal and share their products in common, when they contribute labor without wages and enjoy the fruits free of charge, it's not unreasonable to call that socialism."The New Socialism: Global Collectivist Society Is Coming Online, a provocative article in the new Wired magazine, examines the effects of the growing influence of online collectivism. I thought this might make for an interesting read and discussion by members of an online community.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 11:24 AM PST - 63 comments

When the Baltic dry index seems run of the mill, analysts look for more unconventional global market indicators. Some suggest adultery sites and the prices sex-worker charges and as an economic metric. [via] [more inside]
posted by phyrewerx at 11:02 AM PST - 7 comments

Museum archivist, exploring Henry Ford's office records, stumbles into the interesting world of commercial telegraphic code.
posted by Miko at 10:25 AM PST - 15 comments

Hypothetical Wes Anderson Film Festival materials. (via coudal partners)
posted by lucia__is__dada at 10:07 AM PST - 51 comments

BOOTYCLIPSE. YouTube booty-shaking videos, but without the booty-shaking. A strange project.
posted by chunking express at 9:44 AM PST - 47 comments

Marvel think that not enough of their readers are female. So they decided to hook them in in a way that girls understand.
posted by mippy at 9:22 AM PST - 160 comments

National Fist Bump Day Introducing America's newest holiday: National Fist Bump Day. [more inside]
posted by Cochise at 8:53 AM PST - 43 comments

"Yes, I have four children. Four children with whom I spend a good part of every day: bathing them, combing their hair, sitting with them while they do their homework, holding them while they weep their tragic tears. But I'm not in love with any of them. I am in love with my husband."
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:38 AM PST - 182 comments

"Web professionals are often expected to be “always on”—always working, absorbing information, and honing new skills. Unless our work and personal lives are carefully balanced, however, the physical and mental effects of an "always on" life can be debilitating." Burnout: Running On Empty [more inside]
posted by netbros at 7:52 AM PST - 56 comments

Meme Scenery - Only someone familiar with the original memes would sense something's amiss, like the set of a play waiting for the actors to stumble into history.
posted by sambosambo at 4:36 AM PST - 120 comments

Neal's Yard Remedies gets a less-than-gentle reception from readers in a Guardian Q and A.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 4:25 AM PST - 77 comments

May 26

Moments in Time 1989/1990 - The Fall of the Wall and reunification. Films and photos from private collections. With woodpeckers.
posted by tellurian at 10:43 PM PST - 8 comments

North Korea announces it will no longer abide by the ceasefire that ended the Korean war. Previously. [more inside]
posted by NoraReed at 10:19 PM PST - 139 comments

London’s Royal Court Theatre has made this spring a Wallace Shawn season. In addition to showing Shawn’s cult movies “My Dinner with Andre” (1981) and “Vanya on 42nd Street” (1994), the theatre has staged his 1990 one-man show, “The Fever” (with the estimable Clare Higgins taking on Shawn’s role), his 1985 play “Aunt Dan and Lemon,” and Shawn’s first new play in more than a decade, “Grasses of a Thousand Colors,” in which the pug-nosed provocateur himself performs the central part. This is a big deal. (previously) [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese at 7:13 PM PST - 29 comments

No reset button here, kiddo. What happens when you decide to drop a novice into the middle of the 24-hour race in your Nissan 350Z race car...? Gran Turismo game designer Kazunori Yamauchi decided to find out.
posted by lonefrontranger at 6:22 PM PST - 42 comments

Remember that cool house from Ferris Bueller's Day Off? Yeah...well it's for sale. Great house as long as you don't have a frustrated teenager and a Ferrari.
posted by punkfloyd at 4:21 PM PST - 76 comments


Standard & Poor’s changed the UK's credit outlook from stable to negative a few days ago, and warned that there is a chance the UK could lose its AAA rating. Meanwhile, Moodys, another of the big 3 rating agencies, has warned that the US might also eventually lose its AAA rating. The UK announcement caused sterling to drop by 1% and the FTSE by 2%. However, many blame the same rating agencies for their part in triggering the subprime crisis. The irony of this is not lost on the Wall Street Journal, who note that "After all, those governments are jacking up spending, in part, to bail out the financial firms who gobbled up those 'AAA' asset backed securities duly blessed by the credit ratings firms." [more inside]
posted by memebake at 3:11 PM PST - 38 comments

Nearly 2.4 million displaced; mostly in refugee camps where it's about 45 degrees Celsius with no wind. Their economy is devastated."The numbers of people who have moved in that last three and half weeks is the highest rate of movement we have seen for more than 20 years anywhere in the world."
Your tax dollars at work?
posted by adamvasco at 2:21 PM PST - 65 comments

It's Finished is a witty and erudite essay by MeFi lurker John Lanchester in The London Review of Books on how completely and utterly screwed the British economy is. In the process of laying out his case Lanchester touches on varied issues, such Scottish banknotes, why Alan Hollinghurst's phrase "tremendous, Basil Fawltyish lengths" is applicable to the reaction by the US and UK governments to the banking meltdown, the value destruction of corporate mergers, the invention of modern accounting, and why no one really knows how large a share of the failed banks is owned by governments.
posted by Kattullus at 1:10 PM PST - 35 comments

Computer music is relatively old, going back to the very early 1950s. In the following decades, people have been creative with programmable technology, leading to "She'll Be Comin' 'Round the Mountain" being played on an IBM chain printer back in 1966, and in more recent years, HP ScanJet 5100c included an Easter Egg. The HP ScanJet 4c's SCL (Scanner Control Language) unofficial PLAY TUNE command lead to these fine little ditties. Now over a decade ago, the duo known as [The User] enlisted three specialists to operate a computer program via a server that synchronized the dot-matrix printers and read complex ASCII text files in order to create musical compositions. The result was a techno-sounding piece that was performed by the administrators of the system, rather than one that was simply being played. Like a symphony of car horns, the coordination of these printers became Symphony #1 and #2 for Dot Matrix Printers (samples of Symphony #2, Symphony #2 Slashdot thread). [More computer music exploration inside] [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 12:48 PM PST - 27 comments


You've probably seen (and heard) his version of Alice in Wonderland, but have you seen The King and I, Harry Potter, The Sword in the Stone, or Mary Poppins?
posted by flatluigi at 11:54 AM PST - 32 comments

In 1978, Dan Bricklin came up with the idea for an interactive "visual calculator". Thirty years ago this month, Software Arts published an ad in the preeminent computer magazine of the time and demoed VisiCalc at the West Coast Computer Faire.

Originally conceived for the DEC, Bricklin was convinced to write it instead for the Apple II. A relative memory hog at the time at 27k, it managed to propel the 32k Apple II into a giant hit as a business machine.

Happy Birthday, VisiCalc. More info available on Dan Bricklin's site, including a freely downloadable executable.
posted by mkultra at 11:20 AM PST - 20 comments

Proposition 8 Upheld by CA Supreme Court. In crushing blow to marriage equality, the California Supreme Court has affirmed the validity of Proposition 8 today's ruling (PDF). [more inside]
posted by CaptApollo at 10:07 AM PST - 419 comments

Running since late 2006 under a Creative Commons license, Erfworld has now reached the end of book 1 in 150 pages of layered, fantasy roleplaying game ruled, pop-culture fuelled writing and consistently good, disarmingly cute artwork. [more inside]
posted by Molesome at 9:38 AM PST - 45 comments


"It is by turns aloof and affectionate, serene and savage, endearing and exasperating." The origins of the house cat, when and how it was domesticated, have been matters of scientific debate. However, according to this article, it looks like we didn't adopt them; they adopted us, and a lot earlier in our history than has been supposed.
posted by angiep at 9:26 AM PST - 49 comments

Well, she's already been rebooted once, died twice and come back as a comic book. I'm sure she'll survive a feature relaunch.
posted by permafrost at 9:19 AM PST - 72 comments

"Field Middle School student Max Timander, 12, has taken blogging's egalitarian spirit to a new height, despite his lack thereof. He runs areyourockin.com, a reviewer-centric rock blog covering a smart mix of hot albums (the new Green Day "is so addicting," he says) and "retro" discs -- by early-'00s acts such as the White Stripes and David Gray." [more inside]
posted by mippy at 9:09 AM PST - 36 comments

Truly random numbers are hard to come by. Mathematical functions can give you pseudorandom numbers... [more inside]
posted by bitmage at 8:04 AM PST - 37 comments

Tokyo Camera Style "People who shoot film simply do because they choose to, and the Photo Culture of Tokyo is full of film camera users. When I meet them out on the streets I ask to photograph their camera, and usually post it here the same day"
posted by chunking express at 7:49 AM PST - 19 comments

Howcast shows engaging, useful how-to videos and wiki guides. A few examples include: How to Do Polyphasic Sleeping, How to Make a Fried Onion Blossom, or How to Do a Frontside 180 Ollie. Founded by veterans of Google and Youtube.
posted by netbros at 7:25 AM PST - 7 comments

The New York Times is reporting that President Obama will nominate Judge Sonia Sotomayor as Justice David Souter's replacement on the Supreme Court. Sotomayer, currently a judge in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, will (if confirmed by the Senate) be only the third female and the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice. Tom Goldstein of SCOTUSblog predicted Sotomayer as one of Obama's three most likely candidates back in January.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:59 AM PST - 153 comments

Thought-provoking NY Mag essay on the consequences of living in an age of perpetual distraction. Been thinking about this one a lot, in the context of MeFi and other addictions.
posted by jcruelty at 12:19 AM PST - 52 comments

May 25

Every child believes he's special. But when you are number ten of twenty, with three "sister- mothers" - two of whom are full- blooded sisters-and a grandfather whom thousands of people believe speaks directly to God, it can be hard to figure out what "special" really means. All told, I have roughly sixty-five aunts and uncles on my dad's side and twenty- two on my mom's-with probably thousands of cousins. In families as large as mine, even keeping track of your own siblings-let alone cousins and aunts and uncles-is difficult.... My family had what our church called "royal blood." We were direct descendants of our prophet through my father's line. My mother, too, is the child of a prophet,... When I was little, my family was favored, in the church's elite. I was assured that there was a place for me in the highest realms of heaven... I would one day become a god, ruling over my own spinning world.
Brent Jeffs, the grandson of Rulon Jeffs (and nephew of Warren Jeffs), explains growing up a Lost Boy in the FLDS, in an audio interview on NPR.
posted by orthogonality at 10:51 PM PST - 39 comments


Top Six Ways To Kill Piper. Apparently unaware of how controversial and high-profile cyber-bullying has become, the possibility of consequences, regardless of age, and a strong local preference against lists of arbitrary length, middle school girls make instructional video about how to kill classmate. No charges are filed. (via Huffington Post)
posted by ActingTheGoat at 9:53 PM PST - 60 comments

"Whoever said the early bird gets the worm could have been talking about me, only I’m a person, not a bird, and I’m not interested in getting worms, more like getting things done. But I do get up early." The secret to success in the wired age, according to Andy Borowitz [previously, 2].
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 9:22 PM PST - 16 comments



What went wrong with Terminator Salvation? Devin Faraci outlines the movie's doomed-from-conception original script in detail, and theorizes as to how Salvation ended up being "rewritten, piecemeal, on the set." (Spoilers, natch.)
posted by hermitosis at 7:06 PM PST - 106 comments

Let's slide over to KCRW for an interview with Sly Stone, who, happily, is continuing his gradual reemergence into the public eye. Then howsabout we rewind to 1974, just a few months after the incredible Fresh was released, for another (albeit odd and somewhat awkward) interview on the Mike Douglas Show. And yeah, Sly Stone, we definitely want you to stay. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:27 PM PST - 19 comments

The Smoke Filtration Systems are a series of sculptures that are also working marijuana water pipes. The mechanics of each pipe are thoroughly tested, but the actual sculptures are presented in clean, unused condition.
posted by Joe Beese at 5:44 PM PST - 31 comments

Courtesy of the BBC, an award-winning mystery masquerading as a language education program. [more inside]
posted by skoosh at 4:32 PM PST - 15 comments

“Until the recent Great Rebellion, the Jedi Bendu were the most feared warriors in the universe. For one hundred thousand years, generations of Jedi perfected their art as the personal bodyguards of the emperor. They were the chief architects of the invincible Imperial Space Force which expanded the Empire across the galaxy, from the celestial equator to the farthest reaches of the Great Rift. Now these legendary warriors are all but extinct. One by one they have been hunted down and destroyed as enemies of the New Empire by a ferocious and sinister rival warrior sect, the Knights of Sith.” - The first draft of Star Wars... was awful.
posted by Artw at 2:39 PM PST - 149 comments

Damien Walters combines fantastic gymnastic ability with innovative parkour techniques. His ShowReel 2009 impressed me. He and the Derby City Gym Lads just "messing around" amazed me. But he and his incredibly talented kids horsing around made me a fan and made my day. [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong at 1:03 PM PST - 48 comments

"In fact, while transactional credit provision is a perfectly good business, it might be reasonable for the state to offer basic transactional credit as a public good." Blogger Steve Randy Waldman has an idea that's so crazy it might work. He buried it in a nice wonky, obscure post about transactional and revolving credit, but now has been linked by Ezra Klein at his new WaPo blog. Will Metafilter heads explode?
posted by emjaybee at 12:48 PM PST - 27 comments

Happy Towel Day. [more inside]
posted by kldickson at 10:30 AM PST - 25 comments

In these hard economic times, everyone's feeling the pinch. Some farmers have started downsizing to miniature cows.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 10:10 AM PST - 35 comments

Green Lantern Movie Trailer (fan made)
posted by blue_beetle at 10:01 AM PST - 47 comments


Varg is free! But, will all the glitter girls go for black metal? [more inside]
posted by geos at 8:36 AM PST - 30 comments


Pop-sci author Mary Roach shares 10 entertaining facts about the orgasm.
posted by dgaicun at 7:01 AM PST - 57 comments

TotLol is a video website designed specifically for children. It is community moderated Youtube. The videos are submitted, screened and rated by parents. Some samples include: Bassett Hound Beat Box, Guitar Tips for Kids, and a Children's Book on India. Educational and fun.
posted by netbros at 6:16 AM PST - 10 comments

Ad hominem attacks, discreditation and the increasingly shrill attempts to gather support against the rapid popularity of Dambisa Moyo's book "Dead Aid" [recently] are raising the question: Has the time come for 'aging western academics and rock stars' to retire gracefully from the scene? [more inside]
posted by infini at 3:37 AM PST - 57 comments

Ex-Wilco member Jay Bennett has died. [more inside]
posted by Rangeboy at 12:33 AM PST - 67 comments

Atheistic Materialism in Ancient India. Interesting piece on the ancient Indian philosophical school of Carvaka.
posted by homunculus at 12:18 AM PST - 12 comments

May 24

North Korea has confirmed that it has performed another nuclear test. Soth Korea measurements say it was magnitude 4.5, compared to 3.6 for the last one. USGS says 4.7 this time. Last year, Joe Biden said that within months of his inauguration, hostile foreign powers would attempt to test Obama. Looks like he was right.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:46 PM PST - 102 comments

Last Thursday, USF & UCONN's baseball teams were stuck in a 5 & 1/2 hour rain delay during the Big East semifinals. What to do. What to do. BASEBALL DANCE-OFF! (12:16 video) [more inside]
posted by cashman at 6:53 PM PST - 24 comments

I will always have been back. The precise nature of time travel in the Terminator universe has been the subject of griping from philosophy-trained bloggers and whole anthologies by academic philosophers. Despite valiant attempts, including this thorough assessment from M. Joseph Young's exhaustive Temporal Anomalies in Time Travel Movies , there has never been a truly satisfying unraveling of the twisted Terminator continuity. The knot has now been cut.
posted by escabeche at 4:45 PM PST - 62 comments

Donald H. Kirkey, Jr., The Baltimore Sun theater critic interviews H. L. Mencken, part 1 of 8. [more inside]
posted by readery at 4:02 PM PST - 4 comments


Your household probably gets something like 800 pieces of junk mail per year. Other than sighing and tossing the junk into your recycling bin, what are your options? Of course, I’d urge you to support any one of the numerous current anti-junk mail campaigns (do be aware of any possible conflicts of interest), but until those measures take effect, there is always crafting. [more inside]
posted by orange swan at 2:52 PM PST - 29 comments

May Spawned a Monster Moz turned 50 (or forty ten, as he put it) last Friday. Whether you think he's a light that never goes out, a charming man, the last of the famous international playboys... heck, even if you think he's evil and he should die, raise a glass to one of the most influential UK artists of the past three decades. I, for one, will be taking the opportunity to further indoctrinate my children to the glory that is Louder than Bombs.
posted by bpm140 at 1:49 PM PST - 51 comments


"For decades, hundreds of people worldwide have been plagued by an elusive buzzing noise known as "the Hum". "
posted by Aetius Romulous at 12:30 PM PST - 52 comments

Lai Jiansheng was fed up with a suicide jumper in the Chinese provence of Guangzhou that was blocking traffic, so he climbed up to where Chen Fuchao was and gave him a push onto an air mattress. [more inside]
posted by The Devil Tesla at 10:12 AM PST - 63 comments

Square Foot Gardening is the practice of planning small but intensively planted gardens. The phrase "square foot gardening" was popularized by Mel Bartholomew in a 1981 Rodale Press book and subsequent PBS television series. The practice combines concepts from other organic gardening methods, including a strong focus on compost, closely planted raised beds and biointensive attention to a small, clearly defined area. - Wikipedia (previously)
posted by Joe Beese at 9:14 AM PST - 42 comments

Pilgrim Productions Presents: Voices Across America, an archive of gospel music in a variety of genres, submitted for free play and download by church groups and folk and traditional groups across the country and beyond. Style, age, and quality vary greatly, but fans of noncommercial music will enjoy hunting for the gems of blues, Cajun, bluegrass, choral, shapenote, country, vintage, and mountain gospel and more.
posted by Miko at 5:55 AM PST - 15 comments

Shmoop is study guides and teacher resources that help us understand how literature and history and poetry are relevant today. Take for example Shakespeare's Sonnet 130. Get a technical analysis of it's literary devices, explanations of the themes, and audio/video readings of the sonnet.
posted by netbros at 4:02 AM PST - 10 comments

The Problem With Young People Today Is... Self-described "crabby old fart" Donald Mills has some colorful opinions about "God damned teenagers." Via.
posted by amyms at 1:29 AM PST - 70 comments

May 23

Insect Lab -- is real insects remodeled to add clockwork, as if they were from the age of steam and brass. For instance, a Rhino beetle, a Tarantula, a dragon fly, and a mantis. NOT SAFE FOR PEOPLE WITH INSECT PHOBIAS!!!
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:44 PM PST - 24 comments

So You Think You Can Dance, the American dance-based reality show with a very high viewership (and more than 10 country-specific spin-offs) has a minor controversy brewing in their fifth season: one of the judges, Nigel Lythgoe, commented "I think you'd probably alienate a lot of our audience" after watching a straight/gay male ballroom dancing couple. The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) issued a call to action to contact FOX and Lythgoe. Lythgoe tweeted more of his thoughts, but then went on to apologise for all his comments. Additionally, FOX issued a comment on how auditioners and contestants are reviewed. But none of this addresses the role of gender in dancing, though Lythgoe has clarified his thoughts before: that men "need to be very strong. Dancing is role-playing most of the time. And you need to be strong and lift girls. You need to look stronger than the girl you’re dancing with." Specific roles are assigned by gender in many styles of dance, including Square dancing, Tango, Poi, Haka, and many others. But there are opportunities for gender-role free dancing, as with the Lavender Country and Folk Dancers and other such groups.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:21 PM PST - 56 comments

Over at Comics Should Be Good! Greg Hatcher outlines the history of Green Lantern to show how changes in a storytelling property eventually requires a "reboot" and why that occurs. [more inside]
posted by GavinR at 7:51 PM PST - 64 comments

RCA Victor's record manufacturing process in 1942: Part one - Part two.
posted by loquacious at 7:35 PM PST - 16 comments

The site Omniglot has grown somewhat since its previous mention on the blue. Creator Simon Ager has added glossaries of useful phrases, tips on learning a foreign language, assorted "useful phrases" from other sources he's found amusing (an Esperanto book he quotes shows you how to say "there is a frog in my bidet", for instance) and even more writing systems. Plus -- a page telling you how to say "My hovercraft is full of eels" in 79 different languages.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:43 PM PST - 14 comments

The Loss of Nameless Things chronicles the rise and literal fall of the playwright Oakley "Tad" Hall III. Many who knew him - including his father Oakley Hall (previously) and the avant-garde group of actors that formed around him at the Lexington Conservatory Theatre (now Capital Repertory) - were convinced he was destined to be a great American playwright. However, his ascent was cut short when a mysterious plunge from a bridge left him unable to write for years. [more inside]
posted by vorpal bunny at 6:30 PM PST - 3 comments

Chk Chk BOOM! 'Clare the Kings Cross bogan' gets her 15 minutes of internet fame from an unintentionally hilarious eyewitness account of a shooting in Sydney's red light district. [more inside]
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:55 PM PST - 155 comments

Published speculation first appeared in 1911, although others point to 1945 for its first modern phrasing. It originally looked like a flashlight on Star Trek. In Star Wars, it walked, talked, and was fluent "in over six million forms of communication." Many narratives have just abandoned the idea entirely.
Previous iterations have been quite limited in scope, but now it appears that the first learning, dynamic universal translator has finally arrived. And its futuristic aesthetic has been relegated to fiction in favor of a much more familiar object. [more inside]
posted by hpliferaft at 3:42 PM PST - 30 comments

If you're in a hurry or just don't care much for opera, here's Richard Wagner's "Ring der Nibelungen" in 45 seconds (SYTL). Also a good chance to brush up on your German.
posted by jim in austin at 2:45 PM PST - 16 comments

Remember the M&M's Dark Movies game from 2006? Empire Magazine has a new movies-hidden-in-a-painting-vaganza, called The Cryptic Canvas.
posted by starzero at 2:36 PM PST - 16 comments

Why men should pee standing up. There's no arguing with science.
posted by chorltonmeateater at 2:11 PM PST - 136 comments

While the President is under The Pressure of an Expanding War; appointing Stanley McChrystal; the general from the dark side; some vets ask about Afghanistan "What was I fighting for?" suggesting that the $94.2 billion supplemental war-funding bill "will be a complete waste of taxpayer dollars, as we continue to pursue a military solution for a political problem"; and that America should Rethink Afghanistan. ( previously: all three videos are up now ). Last October British commander Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith warned that the war in Afghanistan cannot be won. ( related )
posted by adamvasco at 1:53 PM PST - 26 comments


Apparently last.fm's parent company CBS did recently hand over last.fm user data to the RIAA. Most likely last.fm did not know until after the fact. Previously.
posted by Antidisestablishmentarianist at 11:40 AM PST - 58 comments

'We Three Cats' -- "telling tales, of walking in wild places, of painting, of sleeping in warm places and of mice and other things," as chronicled by children's book illustrator and artist Jackie Morris.
posted by ericb at 10:54 AM PST - 15 comments

Chances are, if you live in a cosmopolitan urban centre, you'll have noticed how young muslimahs are growing ever more adventurous in their fashion choices. But taking the veil is no simple matter: the aspiring hijabi will need tips on how to tie her headscarf, as well as ideas on how to stay covered up and stylish all year round. Modesty is clearly no barrier to urban cool, as Elenany's see-them-want-them graphic-print dresses prove, although this year, certain trends are off limits. (previously)
posted by Elizabeth the Thirteenth at 10:48 AM PST - 95 comments

According to Amazon, this is the "essence" of Ulysses: matrimonial gift, quaker librarian, charming soubrette, editor cried, retrospective arrangement, pike hoses, pensive bosom, seaside girls, absentminded beggar. At least, according to their SIP algorithm. Too obscure? How about: barn cellar, famous pig, grey spider, old sheep, egg sac. Pretty easy, right? Now consider: shock shop, seclusion room, least black boy, bull goose loony, big black boys, wicker bag, ward policy, tub room, drug room, red capsules, dorm door, two black boys. Catching on? Now try the quiz.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 10:35 AM PST - 10 comments

To Hear Your Banjo Play is a documentary by Alan Lomax from 1947. It is narrated by Pete Seeger and features Woody Guthrie, Sonny Terry, and Brownie McGhee among others.
posted by RussHy at 9:57 AM PST - 15 comments

A new stadium, paid for with public money, that is far too expensive (even after prices were slashed) for most members of the public to visit, especially during a recession. Bomber Bucks. $5 bottles of water and $48 for a lousy steak. Have the New York Yankees finally pushed their fans too far?
posted by Stonewall Jackson at 8:44 AM PST - 99 comments

Rod and Joann Mainhood, from Oregon City, on guitar and accordion, performing "When I Was Hungry Lord You Fed Me". Rod's yodeling in the home stretch is not to be missed.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:47 AM PST - 36 comments

May 22

every hour my watch emits a chime. this is my signal to become mindful, document the moment, and decide what to do with the next hour. this site is an archive of such moments. The site's named after the terrorist-abetting Casio F91W wristwatch. Apparently they now come with a free Thesaurus. "Somehow managed to destroy my lovingly sculpted firefox profile of all its passwords and add-ons. Am now bereft, unbelieving, angry." [more inside]
posted by leotrotsky at 10:25 PM PST - 25 comments


Dai Vernon chased down card cheats and swindlers to make him a better magician. It paid off. One of the best magicians of the twentieth century, Dai first made his name in 1919 when he became The Man Who Fooled Houdini. Watch his version of the classic routines the cups and balls and the linking rings. Vernon also mentored many magicians throughout his life, including Ricky Jay. Vernon died at the age of 98 after years as the Magician in Residence at Hollywood's Magic Castle.
posted by Bookhouse at 7:43 PM PST - 25 comments

David Brooks is very excited about the results reported by the Harlem Children's Zone. But do the statistics back up his excitement?
posted by wittgenstein at 5:57 PM PST - 48 comments

Imogen Heap (previously video) has been having loads of fun recording her newest record, Ellipse. She's putting up half hour long sessions of her playing piano, having album art contests, and losing her keys. Oh and beatboxing.
posted by cashman at 5:51 PM PST - 17 comments

Del The Funky Homosapien has two song packs available for free download. His newest album, Funk Man (the stimulus package), is available for the price of your email. All available at Bandcamp.
posted by P.o.B. at 5:37 PM PST - 22 comments

Lens is the new photojournalism blog of The New York Times, presenting visual and multimedia reporting — photographs, videos and slide shows. A showcase for Times photographers, it will draw on The Times' own pictorial archive, numbering in the millions of images and going back to the early 20th century. Features in their first week include: Essay: Slow Photography in an Instantaneous Age, about what it means to shoot on large-format film in the digital age; Showcase: A Prom Divided, a multimedia feature about a segregated prom in 2009 south-central Georgia.
posted by netbros at 5:29 PM PST - 9 comments

Now preparing for departure: PetAirways, an airline exclusively for animals that begins service to five US cities in mid July. Entrepreneurs Dan Wiesel and Alysa Binder came up with the idea of catering to the in-flight comfort of your four-legged friend, using specially modified cabins with pet attendants. Will it take off? The most recent APPA National Pet Owners Survey estimates that US pet owners spent $45.4 B on their animals in 2009.
posted by woodway at 5:16 PM PST - 42 comments

Gather round the microphone, friends, put your headphones over one ear, and wave your hands in the air like you do care, very deeply. It's time to celebrate the benefit song. [MLYT] [more inside]
posted by DiscourseMarker at 4:53 PM PST - 36 comments

Travels of a Boy Reporter - Track Tintin's travels across the globe. Click on the map to find out more about the locations or books they appear in.
posted by Artw at 4:19 PM PST - 23 comments

“This is better than a family. No one around here asks me for my damn bone marrow.” Everything Tracy Jordan said in season 3 of 30 Rock. (Via A Special Thing.)
posted by The Deej at 3:16 PM PST - 84 comments

Les Animaux tel qu'ils sont is a delightful 1920s French art instruction book, showing one how to draw various animals, from the previously discussed Agence Eureka.
posted by fings at 2:40 PM PST - 7 comments

In 1997 Steve Albini produced a re-recording of Cheap Trick's (warning: may automatically start playing awesome music) In Color album. It is suspected that it was released by a disgruntled employee. It contains an awesome version of Lennon's I Want You to Want Me even though Yoko didn't approve
posted by Elmore at 2:39 PM PST - 48 comments

Mix one part music from indie-pop band, one part hand-drawn animation, and one part found 8mm film footage (mostly reels randomly bought off eBay without knowing the contents). Result: "Sunlight" music video (hosted on vimeo), inspired by said track from the band Harlem Shakes. [via mefi projects]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:53 PM PST - 6 comments

Christopher Handley has pleaded guilty to Possessing Obscene Visual Representations of the Sexual Abuse of Children. He faces a maximum of 15 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and a three-year term of supervised release. What Handey was arrested for was not child pornography, however, but Japanese Manga. Previously on MetaFilter. [more inside]
posted by Shepherd at 1:52 PM PST - 79 comments

The Red House sells black and white people furniture (youtube). (via bookofjoe)
posted by alms at 1:12 PM PST - 29 comments

How a Civil War Amputation Was Performed NSFS [not safe for the squeamish]
posted by marxchivist at 11:52 AM PST - 22 comments

Pascal Boyer explores the field of crackpottery in his article How I found glaring errors in Einstein's calculations. "For some time now, I have been an avid reader and collector of webpages created by crackpot physicists, those marginal self-styled scientists whose foundational, generally revolutionary work is sadly ignored by most established scientists. These are the great heroes, at least in their own eyes, of alternative science." [more inside]
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:16 AM PST - 46 comments

The hour record is one of the greatest challenges in bicycling, with seemingly the simplest rules: Ride as fast as you can for exactly sixty minutes, zero seconds. If you go farther than anybody else, you hold the record. In 1993, Graeme Obree held that record for one day. Fifteen years later, at the age of 44, Graeme Obree will fly again. [more inside]
posted by ardgedee at 10:05 AM PST - 34 comments


The Case for Working With Your Hands.
In the boardrooms of Wall Street and the corridors of Pennsylvania Avenue, I don’t think you’ll see a yellow sign that says “Think Safety!” as you do on job sites and in many repair shops, no doubt because those who sit on the swivel chairs tend to live remote from the consequences of the decisions they make. Why not encourage gifted students to learn a trade, if only in the summers, so that their fingers will be crushed once or twice before they go on to run the country?
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot at 9:46 AM PST - 88 comments

Meet the IRF A Thug Squad is still Brutalizing Prisoners at Guantanamo.
posted by adamvasco at 9:01 AM PST - 40 comments


The Pope is now on Facebook.
posted by HumanComplex at 8:13 AM PST - 31 comments

Marguerite Young - whom Kurt Vonnegut called "unquestionably a genius" - first achieved success with a study of the utopian commune at New Harmony, Indiana called Angel in the Forest. She then spent 18 years writing Miss Macintosh, My Darling - a 1,198 page novel that William Goyen praised in The New York Times Book Review as "a masterwork". She spent the last 30 years of her life writing an unfinished biography of Eugene V. Debs that was posthumously published, in heavily edited form, as Harp Song for a Radical. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese at 8:08 AM PST - 4 comments

Swimming in sewage.
posted by erikvan at 7:36 AM PST - 54 comments

The Portugal experiment. On July 1, 2001, a nationwide law in Portugal took effect that decriminalized all drugs, including cocaine and heroin. Under the new legal framework, all drugs were “decriminalized,” not “legalized.” Thus, drug possession for personal use and drug usage itself are still legally prohibited, but violations of those prohibitions are deemed to be exclusively administrative violations and are removed completely from the criminal realm.... The data show that, judged by virtually every metric, the Portuguese decriminalization framework has been a resounding success. Within this success lie self-evident lessons that should guide drug policy debates around the world. (pdf of complete paper) [more inside]
posted by caddis at 6:35 AM PST - 94 comments

Lots of video game cross stitch designs.
posted by mippy at 4:11 AM PST - 9 comments

Sorry I'm late: whimsical, enjoyable stop-animation. The making of is also great.
posted by Saddo at 3:21 AM PST - 18 comments

May 21

Jeff Macke Jeff Macke clears up any confusion you may have had about the markets.
posted by kingzog at 11:41 PM PST - 43 comments

Every movie has a few scenes in there somewhere that aren't crucial to the plot. Every movie has a few minutes you can miss and not be lost when you sit back down. Now you can go see a movie and get that extra large soda without worrying about missing anything important. No more guessing when to run and pee!
posted by rhapsodie at 9:40 PM PST - 64 comments

Data.gov is live! [more inside]
posted by gingerbeer at 7:46 PM PST - 39 comments


The Irish Comission to Inquire into Child Abuse published their full report documenting systematic abuses by Catholic-run industrial schools and schools for the disabled. Collecting data from over 1,500 witnesses, including survivors, government officials, and school staff, the report includes more than 70 years of incidents. It also documents the history of the laws that supported the schools. The executive summary damns both Church organizations and government for the abuse, but gives no names and falls short of recommending criminal proceedings. [more inside]
posted by KirkJobSluder at 6:03 PM PST - 78 comments

NEA Jazz in the Schools takes a step-by-step journey through the history of jazz, integrating that story with the sweep of American social, economic, and political developments. This multi-media curriculum is designed to be as useful to high school history and social studies teachers as it is to music teachers. Start with the introductory video to get a feel for the place. The education outline contains five lessons. If you just want to listen, all the music samples are on one page. Perhaps you're more interested in individual artist biographies, or a jazz history timeline. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 5:06 PM PST - 11 comments

"The special moment when the Kohanim blessed the assembly moved me deeply, for it possessed a great sense of magic and theatricality... I had heard that this indwelling Spirit of God was too powerful, too beautiful, too awesome for any mortal to look upon and survive, and so I obediently covered my face with my hands. But of course, I had to peek."--Leonard Nimoy, I Am Spock

Leonard Nimoy discusses his inspiration for the Vulcan "live long and prosper" hand gesture. Rabbi Yonassan Gershom explains its Jewish origins, and discusses Jewish themes in Star Trek. Via Laughing Squid.
posted by mattdidthat at 5:03 PM PST - 47 comments

Prelude to Federation - Like a neocolonial SEZ (or TAZ) Paul Romer, not to be confused with David, posits "less developed countries contract with capitalist nations to set up Hong Kong's for them... that we rethink sovereignty (respect borders, but maybe import administrative control); rethink citizenship (support residency, but maybe import voice in political affairs); and rethink scale (instead of focusing on nations, focus on cities—on city states like Hong Kong and Singapore)." cf. neocameralism [1, 2, 3] [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 4:44 PM PST - 16 comments

"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved" .... and mad enough to play fantasy baseball. In the new book Kerouac at Bat: Fantasy Sports and the King of the Beats, a NY Public Library archivist considers documents revealing the author's detailed obsession with the imaginary exploits of players like Pictorial Review Jackson and teams like the "Pontiacs, Nashes, and cellar-dwelling LaSalles" in his finely grained, fictional Summer League.
posted by Miko at 3:50 PM PST - 22 comments

"Zipf's Law (pdf) states that if you tabulate the biggest cities in a given country and rank them according to their populations, the largest city is always about twice as big as the second largest, and three times as big as the third largest, and so on. In other words, the population of a city is, to a good approximation, inversely proportional to its rank." [more inside]
posted by AceRock at 3:35 PM PST - 31 comments

Portraits painted on potatoes by Lebanese artist Ginou Choueir.
posted by gman at 3:00 PM PST - 13 comments

Infinite Summer - "The Challenge: Read Infinite Jest over the summer of 2009" [more inside]
posted by mattbucher at 2:46 PM PST - 118 comments

Ellen DeGeneres' damn funny Commencement Speech at Tulane University.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 2:43 PM PST - 27 comments

"ICE does not keep records on cases in which detainees claim to be US citizens. If larger trends are consistent with the pattern in Hartzler's caseload, since 2004 ICE has held between 3,500 and 10,000 US citizens in detention facilities and deported about half. US citizens are a small percentage of ICE detentions for this period, which totaled around 1 million, but in absolute terms the figure is staggering. "
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:37 PM PST - 101 comments

Though film is not generally Andy Warhol's field of greatest fame, some see his long and storied history in film as "where Warhol's supreme achievement lies". And then there are the two horror films from 1973: Andy Warhol's Frankenstein (or Flesh for Frankenstein) and Andy Warhol's Dracula (or Blood for Dracula). The two films were filmed quickly and inexpensively in the Spring of 1973, using the Roger Corman method of filming two movies at one location using the same actors to decrease costs. Frankenstein was filmed first, using Space-Vision 3-D. But filming 3D footage was too expensive and time-consuming, so Dracula was shot in standard 35mm film. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:22 PM PST - 23 comments

The Woman Who Fought Back: "[Stieg] Larsson’s novels - the bestselling Millennium trilogy, which starts with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo — have sold 12 million copies worldwide... [Eva] Gabrielsson [link to Swedish video], now 54, lived with Stieg Larsson from 1974 until his death in 2004. Yet, due to Swedish inheritance laws, she was not entitled to a single krona...'It’s like the plot of a Larsson novel,' said [Jan] Moburg. 'He wrote about how women are abused by men and about how they sometimes fight back. That was one of the messages of the books - to fight back. That’s what we’re trying to help her do.'"
posted by ocherdraco at 1:00 PM PST - 20 comments

Inspiration to do something with your holiday weekend: Steven K. Roberts is an interesting guy with a bit of a hobby problem. In 1983 his recumbent bike sported "only" a security system, lights, a CB radio and a state-of-the-art TRS80/100 laptop. Winnebikeo would eventually evolve into BEHEMOTH, the "Big Electronic Human-Energized Machine... Only Too Heavy". BEHEMOTH incorporated (amongst other things) HUD, cooling system, small Sun SPARCstation, HAM Radio, credit card verifier, bubblejet printer, hydraulic disk brakes... [more inside]
posted by Ogre Lawless at 12:45 PM PST - 28 comments

Eric de la Cruz needs a heart transplant. He has a pre-existing medical condition (over and above that), which prevents him from having medical insurance. His sister, former CNN.com reporter Veronica de la Cruz wrote to Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, asking for his help. Last night, Trent posted a plea for donations and an offer to fans to attend a show, hang out with the band, backstage, etc. As of a few minutes ago, over $260,000 in donations have been accepted by NIN on Eric's behalf since last night.
posted by Bluecoat93 at 11:53 AM PST - 94 comments

When President Obama says he's looking for a judge with the "quality of empathy" to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter, is it code for a female judge? In the two decades since Bertha Wilson famously asked Will Women Judges Really Make A Difference? (mms), the answer has come back as a resounding yes (studies: 1 (pdf), 2) -- and no (studies: 1 (pdf), 2). But either way, is choosing judges based on supposed gender qualities ever a good idea?
posted by hayvac at 11:32 AM PST - 64 comments

Are you what you eat? Mark Menjivar's pictures of people's refrigerators. Keep an eye out for...unconventional...food items. From Good magazine.
posted by genmonster at 11:15 AM PST - 49 comments

Test My Brain was set up by Harvard's Vision Lab and Social Neuroscience and Psychopathology Lab. There are five tests online at the time of this post; take one and maybe you'll learn something about yourself that you may not have known (other than your special ability to slack off on MetaFilter when you should be working). At the same time, you'll be helping researchers collect data from a wide range of subjects. One of the collaborators, Professor Ken Nakayama, is also responsible for creating these online tests for faceblindness. [previously] [more inside]
posted by not_on_display at 10:53 AM PST - 69 comments


The FCC investigated a pirate radio station in Boulder, Colorado earlier this month and left a copy of their official inspection policy asserting that they have the authority to perform warrantless searches of private property if there is any FCC-licensed equipment on the property, including cordless phones, cell phones, wireless routers, intercom systems, and baby monitors. [more inside]
posted by notashroom at 10:42 AM PST - 36 comments

NASA recently released a series of photographs documenting the loss of the Aral Sea over the past ten years. The Aral Sea could be the poster child for human damage to the ecosystem. In a mere four decades, it has gone from a surface area of 68000 km^2 to less that a quarter of that, with a 10x drop in water volume. As its Wikipedia article points out, this is the equivalent of completely draining two of the five Great Lakes. [more inside]
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 10:30 AM PST - 14 comments

In his latest national security speech, President Obama unequivocally reaffirms his commitment to closing GITMO. President Obama's strong statements reaffirming his administration's commitment to cleaning up the legal and ethical mess the Bush administration left behind comes just after congressional Democrats recently saw fit to capitulate to the Republican minority by defunding President Obama's efforts to close GITMO, ostensibly to ensure that President Obama proceeds prudently and avoids setting the terrorists loose on America's strip malls. But others interpret these latest maneuvers from the "weak-kneed" congressional Dems as reflecting a sudden acute case of the political jitters, pointing out that, despite all the fearful talk of the imminent dangers of possible terrorists being held and tried on American soil, it's not as though we haven't done it before. [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman at 9:58 AM PST - 176 comments

We previously discussed the similarities, or lack thereof, between Emily the Strange and Rosamond from Nate the Great. Apparently, Nate the Great's writer (Marjorie Sharmat) and illustrator (Marc Simont) started making noise about the situation, though they have yet to file suit. Now Cosmic Debris, creator of the Emily empire, have beaten them to the punch by going to the U.S. District Court in California seeking a declaratory judgment (.pdf) that Emily does not infringe. (via) [more inside]
posted by schoolgirl report at 8:35 AM PST - 33 comments

Dubfx and Flower Fairy play an amazing 40 minute set ( Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4), at the Wedding of Mathew* and Jes Bevans. [more inside]
posted by Lord_Pall at 8:22 AM PST - 8 comments


Dennis Skillicorn was sentenced to die in 1996 for the murder of businessman/good Samaritan Richard Drummond and two other deaths in connection with a 1994 crime spree. Yesterday morning, local news outlet Missourinet, with a slight time delay, tweeted his execution. Elyria, Ohio's Chronicle Telegram is discussing plans to tweet an upcoming execution, but they are not sure if they should.
posted by cashman at 7:18 AM PST - 42 comments


Draw to the music. I have no idea what this is about, but it's kind of pretty. (Music starts instantly once main page loads.)
posted by MrMustard at 5:42 AM PST - 14 comments

Mountain air, clear as wine
And the scent of pines
Brought by the twilight breeze
With the sound of bells
Shortly before the Six Day War of 1967 an amateur singer performed [YT] an elegy for the then-divided city of Jerusalem "locked in a dream ... with a wall in its heart". [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:23 AM PST - 8 comments

Bill Peet (born Bill Peed) 1915-2002, was a Disney animator and children's book author. His work defined the Disney style, served as an inspiration for the movie Cars, and has amazed readers with the depth and expression of its characters. An exhibit of his work is running at the Art Institute of Chicago through May 24, 2009 (this Sunday). [more inside]
posted by null terminated at 12:52 AM PST - 22 comments


May 20

An opinion piece in the Age states that the Northern Territory Government "plans to, in effect, close down indigenous outstations". [more inside]
posted by ginky at 9:54 PM PST - 12 comments

Make your own pinball machine. The art of pinball machines is in decline, but some folks endeavor to keep it alive. From the basic, to the the full blown experience, these guys do it their way. DIY pinball goodness.
posted by caddis at 7:27 PM PST - 28 comments

Lost At E Minor is an online publication of inspiring art, illustration, photography, music, fashion, film — basically contemporary pop culture.
posted by netbros at 4:37 PM PST - 23 comments


When does making fun of yourself make you more attractive? Suppose, in an initial conversation, you say:
I hate this “to be continued” on TV. I was watching this show with a friend of mine the other day and I felt it was coming. We were into the story and when there was 5 minutes left you realize they can’t make it! There is no way to wrap it up in 5 minutes. The whole reason to watch a TV show is because it ends. If I wanted a long, boring story with no point to it, I got my life.
Would this make you seem more attractive? [more inside]
posted by AceRock at 2:41 PM PST - 67 comments


Bob Barr and Ralph Nader support the Right to Repair Act of 2009 -- to protect the rights of consumers to diagnose, service, maintain, and repair their motor vehicles. [more inside]
posted by puckish at 1:17 PM PST - 271 comments


MIT has completed the most comprehensive computer climate model to date to project how much warming will occur in the 21st century. The biggest unknown is not nature, but human actions to address the problem. To illustrate the results of 400 simulations they use a roulette wheel display - which wheel is spun and where the ball stops no one knows. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach at 10:35 AM PST - 31 comments

Grabarz & Partner's website looks oddly familiar... A German ad agency, apparently they couldn't be bothered of thinking of something original so they ripped off an existing concept.
posted by GuyZero at 10:17 AM PST - 62 comments

"Some American consumers believe sriracha (properly pronounced SIR-rotch-ah) to be a Thai sauce. Others think it is Vietnamese. The truth is that sriracha, as manufactured by Huy Fong Foods, may be best understood as an American sauce, a polyglot purée with roots in different places and peoples." A Chili Sauce to Crow About.
posted by dersins at 10:12 AM PST - 102 comments


Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum now available in Lego.
posted by pashdown at 9:27 AM PST - 42 comments

Crowd surf, crowd sourcing, crowd funding? Like being supported by an ocean of people, or collaboration from around the world, crowd funding gets projects financial backing from the people. It's not new, as it has been the method for funding charities and political campaigns for a very long time, but it is a novel attempt at getting funds for other projects. Some people have placed their hopes in crowdfunding as a way to save journalism, while other companies are looking to get micropayment-scale public investments in fashion by offering investors the potential for a cut of future profits. The more typical return is physical goods, like getting the t-shirt you help sponsor [via mefi projects], or a limited edition version of the album. There's another site long these lines, but more free-form in structure: Kickstarter, crowdfunding for people who make stuff. [via mefi projects] The fundees can set a fundraising goal, deadline, and a set of rewards for backers. If the goal's reached by the deadline, then everyone's charged and backers get their goodies. If not, nobody's charged. The previously discussed 8-bit tribute to Miles Davis' Kind of Blue, Kind of Bloop was funded this way.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:55 AM PST - 7 comments

Root magazine analyzes "Blipsters" (with photo examples). In an era when Hip-hop is on the presidential I-pod (Atlantic Roundtable on Hip Hop) while more and more multiracial rock, hip-hop, and crossover acts are appearing on the scene, is mainstream culture ready to move beyond racial fashion dichotomies? [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:51 AM PST - 79 comments

“Let’s get real here. Let’s get Dr. Phil-real here. These new fall shows? We’re going to cancel about 90 percent of them. Maybe more.” At ABC's annual Upfront meeting with advertisers and press, late night host Jimmy Kimmel had a breakdown/"Jerry Maguire" moment/opportunity to use blackmail photos, and rips into the whole practice. Via (the predictibly gleeful) Gawker.
posted by waraw at 7:48 AM PST - 103 comments

400 years ago today, Thomas Thorpe entered into the Stationers' Register a book titled "Shake-Speares Sonnets". However, Clinton Heylin argues that - like Bob Dylan's Basement Tapes - the Sonnets were never intended for a wide audience. "In both cases, they were killing time and at the same time dealing with huge personal issues in a private way, which they never conceived of coming out publicly."
posted by Joe Beese at 6:59 AM PST - 37 comments

What with all the changes lately, sometimes I'm not sure where my right to marry whomever I want to has been ensured. Can I Marry Gay? is a handy reference with state by state information, and keeps me up to date. Worried about recent state Supreme Court decisions forcing you to join teh gay? Must I Marry Gay? is for you. [via mefi projects]
posted by ocherdraco at 4:50 AM PST - 48 comments

Solar activity normally follows an 11-year cycle. The new cycle was originally predicted to start in early 2008, but despite a few sunspots appearing last year, the Sun still features a remarkable lack of activity - the deepest minimum since 1913. However, NASA's STEREO mission has seen indications that activity is increasing again, in the form of a coronal mass ejection (video [.mov, 3.3 Mb]), with an accompanying radio burst.

[Previously]
posted by Electric Dragon at 4:48 AM PST - 16 comments

Joshua's Alphabet Dominoes: ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
posted by twoleftfeet at 12:50 AM PST - 41 comments

May 19

Heads in the Sand. "The so-called Sunni Awakening, in which American forces formed tactical alliances with local sheikhs, has been credited with dampening the insurgency in much of Iraq. But new evidence suggests that the Sunnis were offering the same deal as early as 2004—one that was eagerly embraced by commanders on the ground, but rejected out of hand at the highest levels of the Bush administration."
posted by homunculus at 8:08 PM PST - 35 comments

The London Review of Books, the most politically radical of the high-end literary review magazines, now has a blog. It is being updated two or three times a day with pretty substantial posts by the LRB's regular stable of swanky essayists: Diski on the parliamentary expenses scandal, O'Hagan on Michael Savage, and lots and lots from Thomas Jones, who seems to be in charge.
posted by stammer at 5:09 PM PST - 31 comments

Velupillai Prabhakaran, the elusive and ruthless leader (timeline, short bio) of the violent separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has been reportedly killed in battle by the Sri Lankan Army (self-loading video) [more inside]
posted by shoebox at 4:56 PM PST - 57 comments

It's a bit difficult to give context to Fathom without ruining the fun of the game, but I daresay it's worth your time. A bit more here, and the comments there seem to offer a few useful hints if you're getting too frustrated.
posted by WCityMike at 4:38 PM PST - 44 comments

Today FINA, swimming's international body, released a list of approved suits. And with that, swimming took its first step towards sanity or towards ruin, depending on where you stand. Since the approval of Speedo's LZR Racer before the Olympics and concomitant widespread destruction of world records, the swim community has been riven by the suits: Are they too much aid or are they just a technical improvement, like when tennis moved beyond the wooden racket? The debate is best catalyzed by the case of Fred Bousquet, first man under 19s in 50 yards and under 21s in 50 meters. Attacked by anti-suit zealot Craig Lord of SwimNews, Bousquet's coach fires back in a blog whose comments themselves do a great job of demonstrating the divide. (Lord responds.) [more inside]
posted by dame at 4:35 PM PST - 59 comments

Man saves ducklings from ledge (video begins after short ad)
posted by Anything at 2:58 PM PST - 60 comments

Triptrop NYC: Subway Time Maps — Plug in an address in New York City, and Triptrop generates a super slick looking map of how long it takes to get anywhere on the subway. And maybe you're moving? Then plug not one but two addresses into the comparison version and see which one gets you where you want to go. [via mefi projects]
posted by netbros at 2:31 PM PST - 15 comments

Three Wolf Moon T-Shirt, Available in Various Sizes
She told me she liked the wolves on my shirt, I told her I wanted to howl at her moon. She offered me a swig from her mountain dew, and I drove my scooter, with her shuffling along side out the door and into the rest of our lives. Thank you wolf shirt ... There is one thing, though, and that is that whenever I wear the wolf shirt I have a lot less issues with involuntary urination ... You are the wolf pack leader ... If you like it then you better put a wolf shirt on ... If you are planning on spending exactly $9.14 on yourself this year, this better be the purchase ... Unfortunately I already had this exact picture tattooed on my chest, but this shirt is very useful in colder weather.
posted by swift at 2:08 PM PST - 64 comments

A time lapse video of the night sky as it passes over the 2009 Texas Star Party in Fort Davis, Texas. The galactic core of the Milky Way is brightly displayed.
posted by Effigy2000 at 1:32 PM PST - 67 comments

An art student project slags the art school administration. (SLYT) An art student at the San Francisco Art Institute snuck a short film into the MFA show at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art that raised cheers from the packed audience. A black and white film, hand processed in Coca Cola, that portrayed the Art Institute as a ghost town and shamed the administration by name in calling attention to the fact that they are gutting the faculty and stealing valuable resources from students.
posted by njohnson23 at 1:30 PM PST - 65 comments

Dreams With Sharp Teeth – clips from a Sundance Channel documentary on science fiction writer (and somewhat litigious colourful character) Harlan Ellison. Harlan says pay the writer. (via)
posted by Artw at 12:18 PM PST - 101 comments

Meet Ida, the missing link. "Ida is the most complete early primate fossil ever found, and scientists believe that she could be one of our earliest ancestors. She is a remarkable link between the first primates and modern humans and despite having lived 47 million years ago, her features show striking similarities to our own."
posted by HumanComplex at 12:01 PM PST - 51 comments

The Brazen Android by William Douglas O'Connor, is a 19th century science fiction story based on the myth of the Brazen Head, a steam-powered head that told fortunes. It's available as an audio book from the Internet Archives. (Via)
posted by The Whelk at 11:41 AM PST - 18 comments

Jumping on the Star Trek bandwagon with both feet and wearing a tiara, Sophos has just released their Klingon Anti-Virus product. It is available in either native Klingon or English for wimps.

This software has compatibility issues with the version of msxml4.dll used by cloaking devices on Romulan-modded D7-class battle cruisers. Installing this software on such vessels is punishable by ordeal of Ginst'a'Ed.
posted by jim in austin at 9:45 AM PST - 35 comments

Tweet your movements. - The cycle is complete. [via]
posted by Burhanistan at 9:23 AM PST - 51 comments

The High Cost of Poverty : The Washington Post explores why the cost of living is proportionately higher in poor areas. Double Jeopardy: Why the Poor Pay More (pdf): a report on payday loans, the cost of homeownership, medical debt, and banking in poor communities.
posted by desjardins at 8:38 AM PST - 230 comments

Sunscreen's a pain, but sunburn is worse. UV-protective clothing is expensive and not to everyone's taste. Instead, treat your own cotton, rayon, or silk clothing to make it sun-protective. Some clothing is inherently protective, but you can easily burn right through a new shirt, especially if it gets wet. A couple of boxes of either of two different brands of a wash-in UVA/UVB blocker will invisibly increase the SPF of a whole washer-load of clothing from 5 to 30 (repeat for an SPF of 50). The stuff wears off after a season's worth of launderings, so use a permanent marker to note the year of treatment inside the collars.
posted by Ery at 8:20 AM PST - 52 comments

Hip hop is made of four elements: Deejaying and turntablism, Emceeing (rapping and freestyling), Breaking (more previously), and Graffiti. And don't forget beatboxing (more), which blends turntablism and emceeing. But what if you can't make the wikka-wikka sounds with your mouth? You could learn from others, or you could dust off your flute with Nathan Lee, or bust out your sousaphone with Nat McIntosh (formerly with Youngblood Brass Band (interviewed on NPR), now with Dallas Brass).
posted by filthy light thief at 7:54 AM PST - 19 comments

The Department of Veterans Affairs has reported that military scientists tested hundreds of chemical and biological substances on them, including VX, tabun, soman, sarin, cyanide, LSD, PCP, and World War I-era blister agents like phosgene and mustard. The full scope of the tests, however, may never be known. As a CIA official explained to the GAO, referring to the agency's infamous MKULTRA mind-control experiments, "The names of those involved in the tests are not available because names were not recorded or the records were subsequently destroyed." Besides, said the official, some of the tests involving LSD and other psychochemical drugs "were administered to an undetermined number of people without their knowledge."
posted by Joe Beese at 6:52 AM PST - 42 comments

Colin is a new British horror film told from a Zombie's point of view. It was made for £45 and apparently it went down well at Cannes . Peter Jackson's first film Bad Taste did a similar thing. This documentary features Jackson's parents talking about taking the film to France.
posted by debord at 1:47 AM PST - 90 comments

"In Massachusetts, a young woman makes genetically modified E. coli in a closet she converted into a home lab. A part-time DJ in Berkeley, Calif., works in his attic to cultivate viruses extracted from sewage. In Seattle, a grad-school dropout wants to breed algae in a personal biology lab. These hobbyists represent a growing strain of geekdom known as biohacking, in which do-it-yourselfers tinker with the building blocks of life in the comfort of their own homes." They might be discovering cures for diseases or developing new biofuels, but are their experiments too risky? Via. [more inside]
posted by amyms at 12:23 AM PST - 101 comments

May 18

"How did the contact with Keane come about? / Completely randomly. A friend of the band's, bought one of my prints from a mutual friend's shop. The band saw the print in his house and said 'this is the person we have to work with on our next album artwork'." Sanna Annukka (previously on MeFi) discusses how she came to illustrate Keane's album, Under the Iron Sea, and singles, the artwork of which is playful, lonely, and folklore-like in feel. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 7:51 PM PST - 20 comments

Artist and animator Cory Godbee has started Terrible Yellow Eyes, a blog tribute to Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. [more inside]
posted by smoke at 4:22 PM PST - 13 comments

A 28-acre plot of unspoiled Sierra foothill forest is bequeathed to the Auburn (CA) Recreation District. The bequeath came with one condition: That the park be named "Nobel Laureate William B. Shockley And His Wife Emmy L. Shockley Memorial Park." [more inside]
posted by mudpuppie at 2:51 PM PST - 89 comments

Timepieces! Ancient calendars, ancient clocks, beautiful clocks, atomic clocks and the clocks built into your brain that determine how you perceive time and form memories. All the good stuff is inside: [more inside]
posted by metaBugs at 2:45 PM PST - 16 comments

AJ has come forward. Last year ericb told us about Hyperthymesia, a condition where the affected individual has a superior autobiographical memory. AJ is Jill Price, author of The Woman Who Can't Forget: The Extraordinary Story of Living with the Most Remarkable Memory Known to Science—A Memoir.
posted by netbros at 2:16 PM PST - 26 comments

SF author and mefite Charlie Stross speaks about video games in 20 years. [more inside]
posted by nushustu at 1:24 PM PST - 80 comments

You may have already noticed some of the visual tricks in these logos. Or maybe not. (I never saw the b--- in the T-------- logo before.) Or maybe you just think these are too obvious for words and there are much better examples out there. (via)
posted by maudlin at 11:26 AM PST - 119 comments

Rev. George Whitefield, an 18th century preacher much admired by Benjamin Franklin, was an astonishing orator. According to a contemporary source, he "could make his audiences weep or tremble merely by varying his pronunciation of the word Mesopotamia. Garrick once said, 'I would give a hundred guineas if I could only say 'O!' like Mr. Whitefield.'"
posted by lolichka at 10:58 AM PST - 32 comments

Ship to Shore. Much of downtown San Francisco, including everything in this photo, is built on landfill based on sunken ships that were abandoned during the Gold Rush (see the map linked at the bottom of the page). [more inside]
posted by kirkaracha at 10:25 AM PST - 26 comments

"The BNP represents Britain's workers? They don't even represent basic British craftsmanship" - a response to the recent political broadcast by the UKs far right extremists the BNP, who are currently trying to exploit expenses scandals hiting the larger parties. Weirdly despite demanding British jobs for British workers their advertising uses American models.
posted by Artw at 9:57 AM PST - 83 comments

Print, cut out, fold, and enjoy papercraft versions of Graham Linehan, Michael Palin, two versions of the Magus of Northampton himself, Alan Moore, and many several more, courtesy of Mustard Comedy Magazine!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:45 AM PST - 8 comments

Jake Fogelnest, VH1, Sirius, MTV, SNL writer, puts his phone number on the Internet.
posted by rageagainsttherobots at 8:42 AM PST - 34 comments

...many artists say their absurdist sports are an outgrowth of the contemporary art-world trend toward participatory art, which is intended to break down walls between artist and audience. But beyond the high-mindedness, the skinny-armed aesthetes also seem to be on a personal mission to reclaim sports from the bull-necked athletes of their youth. The NYT Fashion & Style section examines the trend of "art-sports," high concept games that are gaining in popularity amongst a demographic not typically know for their athletic endeavors. Some practitioners have dubbed these games "aesthletics" and have established an Institute of Aesthlectics for their promotion. [more inside]
posted by Bango Skank at 8:20 AM PST - 42 comments

Excerpt 1: More and more the timeline is raising the question of why, if the torture was to prevent terrorist attacks, it seemed to happen mainly during the period when we were looking for what was essentially political information to justify the invasion of Iraq. Excerpt 2: More and more the timeline is raising the question of why, if the torture was to prevent terrorist attacks, it seemed to happen mainly during the period when the Bush crowd was looking for what was essentially political information to justify the invasion of Iraq. Can you tell which is Josh Marshall writing on Talking Points Memo on May 14 and which is Maureen Dowd writing in The New York Times on May 16?
posted by Joe Beese at 6:41 AM PST - 138 comments


Throughout history children have been involved in witchcraft accusations. But in the modern age, this could be considered a form of abuse against children. It may be wrong to starve or torment or kill a child witch. Some video: 1, 2, 3.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:27 AM PST - 54 comments

The Parsis of India: Their Photo Collection, a brief History and more. [more inside]
posted by hadjiboy at 2:25 AM PST - 13 comments

May 17

We Are Smug is the side project of former Savage Garden frontman turned electropop showman Darren Hayes and collaborator and fellow electronic musician Robert Conley. Hayes and Conley had been working on this project secretly for about two years before releasing it online for free on Hayes's birthday. There are no current plans to tour or sell this album, aside from the free download, but there are already official music videos. (Warning: last link potentially triggering.)
posted by divabat at 11:31 PM PST - 14 comments

Q: You like chocolate? You are a person who likes the chocolate finger that we are currently testing?
A: Yes! I am! I like chocolate!
Q: You like chocolate! In fact, you are a person who likes chocolate as much as a company likes money!
A: YES I LIKE CHOCOLATE AS IF IT WERE MY PROFESSION!! TELL ME MORE ABOUT IT!
Q: YOU ENJOY THIS FLING YOU SEXY CONSUMER. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:05 PM PST - 90 comments

In 1980 you begin one of the great unsung pre-grunge punk bands of all time; you dress in drag, run for president, and appear on Jerry Springer; The Bangles write a song about you in 1984; you get married to Courtney Love in 1989 (pre-Kurt) and produce Hole's first record; in 1987 your band releases a sloppy seminal masterpiece with a memorable title, and the label (SST) has a display contest for stores; you write for the LA Weekly; you're Falling James Moreland of the Leaving Trains, legend of the L.A. underground music scene.
posted by ornate insect at 8:59 PM PST - 20 comments

Recent research has shown Neanderthals were sophisticated and fearless hunters, successfully killing a large variety of dangerous game. But as far as humans were concerned, Neanderthals may have possibly been tasty main courses themselves, perhaps one reason for their, uh, "disappearance". Yet humans didn't always sit atop the food pyramid - the oldest human hair has been discovered - inside fossilized 200,000 year old hyena dung.
posted by stbalbach at 2:31 PM PST - 67 comments

Nasty nets is an internet surfing club, online since 1996. [more inside]
posted by - at 2:11 PM PST - 29 comments


Pianist, producer, and songwriter Gonzales (real name Jason Charles Beck) is currently attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the longest solo concert. He's aiming for 27 hours, and at time of writing has around six hours left to go. You can follow the attempt live online. [more inside]
posted by tapeguy at 1:08 PM PST - 19 comments

Sid Laverents dead at 100. Indie filmmaking original, prolific mad genius. previously
posted by fungible at 11:29 AM PST - 13 comments

The Alzheimer's Project. HBO is streaming online a four-part documentary on Alzheimer's Disease. The Memory Loss Tapes focuses on the experience of people who have the disease themselves, Grandpa, Do You Know Who I Am? tells the stories of children whose grandparents have the disease, Momentum in Science looks at the state of research into the disease and advances in treatment, and Caregivers follows the sacrifices and joys of those who care for people with Alzheimer's. [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco at 10:57 AM PST - 14 comments

Perpetual Motions — for emerging filmmakers to make short calling-card films and for more experienced creators to explore the limits of animation on the web. From the National Film Board of Canada.
posted by netbros at 10:26 AM PST - 1 comments



"In the days surrounding the invasion of Iraq, cover sheets...began adorning top-secret intelligence briefings produced by [former defense secretary] Donald Rumsfeld's Pentagon. The sheets juxtaposed war images with inspirational Bible quotes and were delivered by Rumsfeld himself to the White House, where they were read by the man who, after September 11, referred to America's war on terror as a 'crusade.'" [more inside]
posted by ericb at 9:13 AM PST - 82 comments


If you had to pinpoint today's problem that had no name, what would it be? In answer to that question, Linda Hirshman launches an attack on tabloid feminism prompted by last summer's spirited appearance on Lizz Winstead's show, Thinking and Drinking by Jezebel contributors Tracie Egan, a.k.a. Slut Machine (second link possibly NSFW) and Moe Tkacik. Jezebel's Megan Carpentier responds. Is this the future of feminism?
posted by Elizabeth the Thirteenth at 9:02 AM PST - 38 comments

The End of Plenty: Our hot and hungry world could face a perpetual food crisis. From National Geographic Magazine. [more inside]
posted by dgaicun at 8:59 AM PST - 36 comments

A message from baby Emily. Most popular baby names + Medicare advice + awful Elvis impersonation = EPIC FAIL. A single link video post from the Social Security Administration. You will laugh. Until you remember we (USians) paid for this. (via Andrew Sullivan)
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:59 AM PST - 309 comments

Metaplace Raph Koster's customisable, isometric, browser-based 3d environment has now entered open beta. caveats: Registration required, some Beta flakiness (previously)
posted by Sparx at 12:44 AM PST - 16 comments

May 16

Originally a coronation ode for Edward VIII, both sides of the Atlantic can't seem to get enough Pomp and Circumstance each May. [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 7:57 PM PST - 29 comments


Wayfarer is a 3D rogue-like developed using processing by Ben Hemmendinger. [more inside]
posted by juv3nal at 6:13 PM PST - 37 comments

Cuba's Undersea Oil Could Help Thaw Trade With U.S. [WAPO bugmenot] - Deep in the Gulf of Mexico, an end to the 1962 U.S. trade embargo against Cuba may be lying untapped, buried under layers of rock, seawater and bitter relations. [more inside]
posted by Burhanistan at 5:34 PM PST - 29 comments

Appetite for China - a food blog whose motto is "1.3 billion people must be eating something right". Today: Dried Fugu and Durian Pudding
posted by Joe Beese at 4:55 PM PST - 29 comments

Full Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse album Dark Night of the Soul is streaming right now on NPR. Info about album dispute here.
posted by forallmankind at 1:41 PM PST - 50 comments

Kindle seems to be on the way to marginalizing books. In memoriam, 19th and 20th century Bookplates from the Pratt Libraries Bookplate Collection.
posted by wallstreet1929 at 12:25 PM PST - 67 comments

Muscle March is a game coming out on WiiWare in Japan in the coming weeks. Combining some of the elements of Pose Mii on Wii Play, weightlifting, footba...oh really forget it. No description can adequately prep you for this. [SLYT]
posted by cashman at 12:21 PM PST - 52 comments

Artificial Owl is a blog about about decommissioned/abandoned modern structures, from beautiful shipwrecks to abandoned factories that look like they're straight out of a Miyazaki movie. Each post even has the Google Maps location of the site, so you can plan your journey to your favorite site of modern decay.
posted by TheRoach at 11:52 AM PST - 24 comments

Rachel Maddow recently interviewed former head of the Iraq Survey Group Charles Duelfer - who claims that Washington suggested using stronger interrogation techniques against an Iraqi official who was already cooperating - and former NBC News investigative producer Robert Windrem who says two sources confirmed to him that the suggestion from Washington was to use waterboarding, that the purpose was to find a link between Al-Qaida and Iraq, and that it came from the Vice President's office. [more inside]
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:03 AM PST - 90 comments

Travel writer Sophia Dembling's essay Confessions of an Introverted Traveler on Worldhum received so much feedback that she's followed up with Six Tips for Introverted Travelers. I am now absolved for reading Jasper Fforde on the Champs-Élysées.
posted by kimdog at 9:54 AM PST - 37 comments

Moshcam is similar to the sadly missed fabchannel. It is nowhere near as good, yet, but it is growing all the time and it already has some good stuff on there. It records gigs played around Sydney and then sticks them on the net. For free. That's all. As you were.
posted by Fat Buddha at 7:56 AM PST - 6 comments

Get Your Kid Off Your Facebook Page by Katie Roiphe You click on a friend's name and what comes into focus is not a photograph of her face, but a sleeping blond four-year-old, or a sun-hatted baby running on the beach. Here, harmlessly embedded in one of our favorite methods of procrastination, is a potent symbol for the new century. Where have all of these women gone? What, some future historian may very well ask, do all of these babies on our Facebook pages say about the construction of women’s identity at this particular moment in time?
posted by Locative at 7:42 AM PST - 205 comments

The David Lynch Interview Project. A 121-part documentary series featuring 3-5 minute portraits of ordinary (and sometimes extraordinary) Americans from all over the country starts on June 1. Here's a Preview.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:29 AM PST - 15 comments

Blanka is a collection of original, vintage, and limited edition posters and prints.
posted by netbros at 5:33 AM PST - 9 comments

Dell have recently opened a new sub-site called "Della" aimed at women in the most offensive way possible. Bereft of any technical information about their hardware, or indeed any information at all, the site instead includes "Tech Tips" about keeping track of your weight... [more inside]
posted by Zarkonnen at 5:29 AM PST - 114 comments

Parrot in touch with a cat. Cat in a sleeve; in a suitcase; in a vase; in shock; in sleeping positions; in tune; in history (origin of the Keyboard Cat meme).
posted by nickyskye at 12:37 AM PST - 27 comments

May 15

"How do black women fight crime? They have abortions." "How do you stop a poofter from drowning? You take your foot off his head." These and other 'jokes' featured in an advertisement on The Gruen Transfer, an Australian television program focusing on advertising. The ad, part of a segment called 'The Pitch' which usually produces humorous ads, was banned by the ABC, but the national broadcaster has still allowed it to be viewed online, and hundreds have now seen it. The ad was designed to sell "fat pride", with creator Adam Hunt explaining his motivation behind the ad being to say "if you discriminate against somebody on the basis of their shape then you are no different to someone who is racist, homophobic or anti-Semitic." Debate has raged online if the ad is offensive and discriminatory, as the ABC has declared, and whether or not it was effective. Watch the ad and judge for yourself.
posted by Effigy2000 at 6:42 PM PST - 157 comments

Time magazine reports on a viral video in Guatemala: "When Rodrigo Rosenberg turned up dead on Mother's Day in an upscale neighborhood in Guatemala City, his murder was seen as little more than another execution-style shooting in one of Latin America's most dangerous countries. Now, after a video emerged in which Rosenberg accused Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom of orchestrating the murder, the killing has sparked civic unrest that threatens to topple the President of this fledgling democracy."
posted by shothotbot at 6:39 PM PST - 24 comments

Today was a troubling day for environmentalists. First, the Obama administration announced its decision to nominate a Superfund polluter lawyer to run the DOJ Environment Division, sparking serious concern among environmentalists, and then its was announced that the EPA has confirmed 42 of 48 permits for mountaintop removal in the coal country of Appalachia, sparking criticism from environmental groups.
posted by ornate insect at 6:07 PM PST - 85 comments

Wolfram Alpha is about to go live. Wolfram Alpha is an answer engine which may just change the way we think about search results.
posted by rollbiz at 5:49 PM PST - 133 comments

Meet Stephen Strasburg. He throws 103 miles per hour. He has a devastating slider, curve, and change-up. He is the sure first #1 draft pick going to the Washington Nationals. Why is this soooooo significant? Scouts peg him as joining the rotation immediately and thus completely skipping the minors. Unreal. [more inside]
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 5:43 PM PST - 40 comments

Game developers are unconstrained in their designs for the enemy. Such designers will be punished with poor sales, not death in the gulag, if their designs for the overlord are unpopular. They could go anywhere with the homes of evildoers: halls of electric fluorescence, palaces carved from corduroy, suburban back yards. And yet, in spite of this freedom, most videogame designers choose to make a definite connection to familiar – or real-world – architecture ...
posted by jim in austin at 5:39 PM PST - 11 comments

Light Art Performance Photography Long exposure photographs mixed with performance art. [via]
posted by dhruva at 5:01 PM PST - 3 comments


Atlantis. Hubble. And a big, yellow friend. Astrophotographer Thierry Legault managed to get amazing shots of Space Shuttle Atlantis approaching the Hubble Space Telescope during a transit of the sun. [more inside]
posted by dhartung at 3:01 PM PST - 46 comments

Is Doctor Who too scary for kids? Parents surveyed by TheBabyWebsite seem to think so. But is being scared a good thing? (via io9)
posted by Artw at 1:30 PM PST - 120 comments


Revisit the Beanie Baby Bubble with Les & Sue Fox's 1998 bestseller The Beanie Baby Handbook. [via]
posted by Horace Rumpole at 11:00 AM PST - 55 comments

Pixel City is a procedurally generated cityscape by Shamus Young. Procedurally generated graphics have a long history of producing attractive results with extremely small amounts of code, like Elevated, which was generated by just 4K of code, automatically generated video game content (also, Spore) or the generation of realistic water flows. Note the last demo reel may have been the test for a new film mentioned previously.
posted by GuyZero at 10:58 AM PST - 44 comments

"Be Prepared" A Scout understands there is strength in being gentle. He treats others as he wants to be treated. He does not hurt or kill harmless things without reason.
posted by bitmage at 9:54 AM PST - 105 comments

Line of Beauty and Grace: A documentary about Jock Sturges (both links NSFW)
posted by Joe Beese at 9:42 AM PST - 20 comments

Wayman Tisdale is dead at age 44. The 2nd pick in the 1985 NBA draft, he played for the Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings, and the Phoenix Suns. His first love was always music, retiring in 1997 to focus on a successful career as a jazz bassist. He released eight albums and was well sought out as a studio musician. [more inside]
posted by uaudio at 9:31 AM PST - 16 comments

PDX History is a veritable treasure trove of information about (and pictures and postcards of) the history of Portland (Oregon). Department stores, streetcars, long-dead amusement parks (yes, Jantzen Beach was once much more than a dying mall surrounded by big-box stores) and more. The web design leaves a bit to be desired, but the site is wonderful nonetheless.
posted by dersins at 9:18 AM PST - 15 comments

“Oil is not a commodity,” Eronat said. “It’s a political weapon.”

Enter the world of the oil fixer, one of expensive dinners and third world leaders.
posted by plexi at 8:04 AM PST - 21 comments

Since the mid 1990s, Don Hertzfeldt has been making animated shorts by hand. To date, his 8 primary films have an apprioximate runtime of 75 minutes, and in total have won 117 awards, all shot on 16 or 35 milimeter film. (There is another 8 minutes or so that was part of the Animation Show (previously).) His recent films have been shot on the same camera rig that recorded It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966), as he noted in a 2007 interview (part of a Scene Unseen Podcast (direct link to the MP3)). Hertzfeltd is currently two thirds of the way through his most ambitious project to date, a trilogy of films which have been called "the closest thing on film yet to Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey." (Video links inside) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 7:58 AM PST - 31 comments

Pipelineistan Goes Af-Pak, the second article from Pepe Escobar; Asia Times reporter after his Postcard from Pipelineistan - Liquid War.
Energy Wars for the 21st Century as recently indicated by Moscow. ( previous ).
posted by adamvasco at 3:48 AM PST - 11 comments

University of Iowa Creative Writing professor Robin Hemley on Guggenheim Fellowship in the Philippines first broke the news through a McSweeney's dispatch that the Bureau of Customs in the Philippines has begun to tax imported books, in direct violation of the Florence agreement. Concerned netizens rally against the government by spreading the news, causing #bookblockade to get trended on twitter. Neil Gaiman's tweet. More and more updates. An update from Robin Hemley. [more inside]
posted by drea at 2:54 AM PST - 22 comments

It's Eurovision week, everyone! The last of the semi-finals was last night, and the twenty-five entries are now set for this Saturday's extravaganza in Moscow, the most expensive and flashy yet. After last year's controversy over votes motivated by regional politics and entries that detracted from the, er, dignity of the event, the Eurovision voting mechanism has changed. Western countries in particular have brought in the heavy musical muscle, with Andrew Lloyd Webber writing the UK song, the amazing Patricia Kaas singing for France, and Dita von Teese performing on stage with the German entry. You can't vote from outside of Europe, and you might struggle to watch the contest live from outside Europe. But you can have your very own Mefi Eurovision experience right here! Get some snacks and lots of booze, settle in, view the twenty-five entries here, and decide for yourselves. (MLYT warning) [more inside]
posted by Grrlscout at 1:27 AM PST - 106 comments

May 14

If you've ever heard the song Aquarela do Brasil (often called simply "Brazil" -- here's my favourite cover), then you'll probably enjoy this classic 1942 animation which first made it famous. The clip is the finale from the feature Saludos Amigos (hello friends), created during a US government-funded goodwill tour of South America aimed at strengthening Pan-American relations, which some argue may have helped bring South America onto the side of the Allies in World War II. [more inside]
posted by PercussivePaul at 10:25 PM PST - 25 comments


Andrew Gelman recently posted this strange trend in baby naming originally posted on Laura Wattenberg's blog in 2007. Why do so many boys' names now end with the letter "n"?
posted by srs at 10:01 PM PST - 156 comments

Back in 2002, 4 interns pulled off an unusual heist: they stole a quarter tonne of moon rocks under NASA's nose, which reads like a surreal pulp. [via jwz] [more inside]
posted by myopicman at 9:15 PM PST - 24 comments

The Internet as Imagined in 1969. A cute video replete with sexist overtones.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 9:06 PM PST - 50 comments

My Personal Credit Crisis. By Edmund Andrews, economics reporter for the New York Times. I felt foolish, ashamed and angry.... Why had I been trying to live a lifestyle that I couldn’t afford? Why had I tried to keep up the image of a conventional suburban family man, when nothing about my situation was conventional? How could I have glossed over the fact that we had been spending about $3,000 more than we were earning, month after month after month? How could a person who wrote about economics for a living fall into the kind of credit-card trap that consumer groups had warned about for years? Via Brad DeLong.
posted by russilwvong at 6:03 PM PST - 203 comments

Some revolutions are about hate. Others are about revenge. But there was at least one that was about hope and music. The Singing Revolution is the story of how hope and music saved a nation. [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000 at 5:16 PM PST - 7 comments

If you have been charged with multiple crimes and not convicted on all charges, the judge may increase your sentence based on 'acquitted conduct', the crimes for which you were not convicted. This policy is beginning to get a lot more attention due to Jim Caron, writing to a U.S. District Court judge as 'Juror No. 6' and recently highlighted by articles in the Washington Post and the Washington Times. His offense at the idea that his work as a juror had been nullified by this policy has opened a can of worms with all sorts of people who view this "in terms of defendant's rights versus government interests." Too late for Mr. Caron, a distinguished agricultural economist with the USDA, who died suddenly last year.
posted by Appropriate Username at 4:25 PM PST - 32 comments

Go to Spain, breathe, get high Scientists have recently discovered that there is a small amount of cocaine and LSD in the air of the Spanish cities Madrid and Barcelona.
posted by CaptKyle at 4:18 PM PST - 42 comments

No reaction allowed is the rule in Mr. Rubin's forensic science class at New Rochelle High School. Many high schools around the country are offering forensics science, including Eagle High, which will be starting next year. John F. Kennedy High School's forensic science class has their own blog.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 4:18 PM PST - 7 comments

From 1895 to 1982 the Penrose Annual showcased typography and graphic design.
posted by the cuban at 4:15 PM PST - 5 comments



The Five Families were established by Charlie "Lucky" Luciano in the wake of the Castellammarese War (1929 - September 10, 1931), a gang war in New York between partisans of Joe "The Boss" Masseria and those of Salvatore Maranzano. The arrangement, under the administration of The Commission, was created to divide the city among the gangs with mutual interests, and prevent the continuous grab for more territory. Of course, the arrangement has been anything but peaceful, and the Five Families have all gone through periods of prosperity and decline. So who are they, and how are they doing now? [more inside]
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:51 PM PST - 68 comments

Acting on criticisms and pressure from law enforcement, Craigslist has announced it will shut down its "erotic services" category in the U.S. Reaction is mixed and some are suggesting that online prostitution will simply find a new name.
posted by stinkycheese at 12:18 PM PST - 61 comments

Darkseid tries to join the Legion of Superheroes, Batman wrestles the serpent in the garden of Eden, Clarke Kent shoots Abraham (Brainiac) Lincoln... Hall of Silver Age Elseworlds first pages - from DC Silver Age Elseworld stories that never happened, from the Elseworlds 80-Page Giant collection, which was pulped after controversy surrounding Letitia Lerner, Superman's Babysitter - which later became the only story in the collection to see print again.
posted by Artw at 12:01 PM PST - 21 comments

This is Bridget . Three things happened to Bridget in February : 1. She got an agent for her young adult novel. 2. She got married. 3. She found out she has Stage Four colon cancer. [more inside]
posted by starfyr at 12:01 PM PST - 10 comments

Mapping sound at the British Library. The British Library has organized several of its archival sound collections on Google Maps. The results include Accents and Dialects, wildlife and soundscape recordings from Britain, music from India and Uganda, and a whole mess of noisy frogs. [more inside]
posted by LarryC at 11:44 AM PST - 8 comments

Mrs. Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese (Myanmar) activist and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, was arrested after her home was invaded by Vietnam War veteran and Mormon evangelist. John William Yettaw swam to her compound May 3 and was arrested two days later on his way back. Suu Kyi has spent 13 of the last 20 years under house arrest, and she was supposed to finally be freed May 27. She will go on trial for the illegal visitor on Monday; if convicted, she could face up to five years in prison.
posted by dejah420 at 11:18 AM PST - 50 comments

Without much fanfare, the Global War on Terror has ended. The new name for these military interventions is the Overseas Contingency Operation. Press Q&A. Some Republican representatives discuss. (SPOILER: They are not pleased.) Military blogs discuss. Similarly, the War on Drugs also looks to be on the way out, though no new name for the project has been announced at this time.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 11:10 AM PST - 53 comments

John Banville's most recent essay on Samuel Beckett: The Word-Stormer. Banville has previously written insightful essays thinly disguised as book reviews on The Painful Comedy of Samuel Beckett, the influence of painting on Beckett's writing, and Beckett on the couch.
posted by HumanComplex at 11:07 AM PST - 5 comments


I was never able to relate to FML, but I recently found a website that is much more accessible for the average person. It's decent, I guess. MLIA.
posted by bjork24 at 10:12 AM PST - 59 comments

Rules for Time Travelers [Spoiler? alert.]
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:07 AM PST - 82 comments

The 9/11 Commission suspected that critical information it used in its landmark report was the product of harsh interrogations of al-Qaida operatives - interrogations that many critics have labeled torture. Yet, commission staffers never questioned the agency about the interrogation techniques and in fact ordered a second round of interrogations specifically to ask additional questions of the same operative... [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese at 9:37 AM PST - 317 comments

TC Electronic Voice Live Vocal Effects FX Processor Pure cheese? or a genius tool for modern day sports bar minstrels? :49 See girl sound like all the Dixie Chicks 3:58 See Girl do cute Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonation
posted by celerystick at 8:42 AM PST - 42 comments

Shuttlecock burqas to fetish wear. Some snapshots of Pakistan's struggles with its sexual identities. [more inside]
posted by tavegyl at 8:36 AM PST - 10 comments

Spam by Elliott Burford. An ongoing project illustrating the titles of emails found in your spam/junk box.
posted by chunking express at 8:30 AM PST - 19 comments

NPR Backstory is an automated Twitter feed providing helpful links to news items from the past 14 years that might be relevant to current events. For example, when masses of people started googling medical information after a news item about 200,000 patients' medical histories being accidentally exposed, NPRbackstory linked to an April 2008 analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of storing patient records online. [more inside]
posted by ardgedee at 8:24 AM PST - 7 comments

When you were 12 or 13, did you like to draw scary monsters? Well, so did Michelangelo. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:54 AM PST - 61 comments

The National Film Board of Canada's 5th annual online short film competition "Internet votes will decide the best film, and the winner will be announced at Cannes on May 21." NFB previously. [via Drawn!]
posted by mediareport at 5:59 AM PST - 6 comments

Tonight in Tempe, a forgiving, but not quite forgetful, President Obama gave the commencement address at Arizona State University. [more inside]
posted by inconsequentialist at 3:18 AM PST - 132 comments

May 13

LOST Parodies using toys. [warning: stupid]
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 [more inside]
posted by Burhanistan at 10:18 PM PST - 31 comments

"On Jan. 15, 2009, a few Canadian geese with bad timing became snarge, a steely pilot became a hero, and the world became fascinated with images of a jet splashing into the Hudson River and then floating calmly as passengers crowded its wings.

But until now, few people have seen the equally surprising pictures of the second half of this story: when a salvage team used the biggest floating crane on the East Coast to pluck the ill-fated Airbus A320 from the frigid water."
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 7:10 PM PST - 51 comments

17 year old Julia Dales, from Canada, winner of the first Beatbox Battle Online World Championship. Her amazing wild card audition, "two minutes of DJ noises, a good bass line, a full drum kit, a remix of Justin Timberlake, Fergie and Nelly Furtado, some rewinds, a car starting, and an arsenal of other noises".The contest site.
posted by nickyskye at 6:47 PM PST - 77 comments

Kind of Bloop an 8-bit tribute to Kind of Blue, which will be celebrating its 50th anniversary this August 17. (Don't get too excited just yet, it's not going to be released until the actual anniversary). [more inside]
posted by azarbayejani at 5:21 PM PST - 29 comments


Wilco has just started streaming their new album, Wilco (The Album) The band has done this since Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and is asking those who download the entire thing to donate some cash to The Inspiration Corporation charity in Chicago.
posted by TheDonF at 2:31 PM PST - 84 comments

We've covered hobo culture before, both historic and modern, but as the story of Smashley and Stogie reveals, the lifestyle of the railway traveler still exists not only for weekend adventurers but as a means of escape for troubled souls. (via)
posted by infinitywaltz at 1:58 PM PST - 23 comments

“He’s courageous, he’s optimistic, he’s representing everything that Mickey Mouse should have represented but never did. There’s even something Jesus-like about him—a 9-year-old Jesus after 15 packets of Junior Mints.” SpongeBob SquarePants at ten years old.
posted by ColdChef at 1:58 PM PST - 61 comments

Luke, I am your father. FTFY. Some of the most beloved lines quoted from the movies are not as they originally appeared, and movie rental site LOVEFiLM.com surveyed its members for the most memorable misquotes. Darth Vader's number one, with The Wicked Queen, Dirty Harry and Captain Kirk among the top ten. filmsite.org made a more comprehensive list, with .wavs to back them up. [more inside]
posted by wendell at 1:37 PM PST - 51 comments

President Obama has announced he will seek broad new authority to regulate the financial derivatives markets. As has been discussed many times previously here on the blue, the massive unregulated financial derivatives markets (estimated to be in excess of hundreds of trillions of dollars in overall scale) have been one of the major contributing and complicating factors in the current global financial crisis. [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman at 1:16 PM PST - 43 comments

What's wrong with anti-racism? A Unitarian-Universalist answer: Why Anti-Racism Will Fail by Thandeka. A socialist answer: Race, class, and "whiteness theory" by Sharon Smith. A conservative answer: The Lightness of Critical Race Theory by Winkfield F. Twyman, Jr. For background and more criticisms, see the Wikipedia entries for Whiteness studies and Critical race theory.
posted by shetterly at 12:54 PM PST - 134 comments

Need to settle a dispute with a friend, but don't want to flip a coin? Try Diabetting, a new way to settle decisions using the most-recently-updated blood sugar readings of a Type I diabetic web developer.
posted by Asparagirl at 11:20 AM PST - 32 comments

There's been more and more rumblings lately about the inclusiveness (or lack thereof) of diversity in the circles of sci-fi and fantasy. Pam Nole's classic Shame essay hits a lot of points and while the Carl Brandon Society has been fighting the good fight for some time, more and more people are gathering their own projects, such as Transcriptase or Verb Noire to create spaces and publishing arenas less biased. Are these even necessary? It seems the fans think so.
posted by yeloson at 11:06 AM PST - 91 comments


A couple of months ago venture capital firm Union Square Ventures got together a bunch of smart folks to spend a day talking about how the education establishment in the US can be changed to make it more relevant and useful to many more kids. The results, as evidenced by the transcript, and the summaries by Union Square partners Brad Burnham and Fred Wilson indicate that there is no shortage of interesting ideas for how to do a better job preparing our kids for the future. The unanswered question is how to put any of this into action on a scale that will make a difference. A charter school here, charter school there, and a couple of million homeschoolers are changing the system at a glacial pace, at best.
posted by COD at 11:02 AM PST - 43 comments



Kurt Vonnegut's perennial 1961 story "Harrison Bergeron" has been given a new film adaptation. (via)
posted by Joe Beese at 9:25 AM PST - 68 comments

Consensual Living is an experiment in family democracy, where all family members are equally worthy of respect and participate equally in every decision. "When your child is unwilling to share her toy, instead of forcing, choose to listen and understand her point of view. Facilitate her need for playing with that toy, while helping the other child find something just as interesting. When your child skips dinner but is hungry before bed, instead of being frustrated, you can choose to share a quiet bowl of cereal and chat about the day. In each situation and the other unlimited examples out there, you always have the ability to choose joy and connection." Some are not impressed.
posted by Xurando at 6:06 AM PST - 161 comments

Love Carol Channing? The Hollywood magazine Daeida has done The Carol Channing Issue - available online.
posted by greekphilosophy at 5:46 AM PST - 20 comments

The Bulls vs. Bears? The incessant back and forth between equity market longs and shorts is well known to most retail investors via a variety of distribution channels; financial television, the print media, online news. But the really big market battle, one with the potential to impact the entire US economy, happens, as is usual in finance, just out of sight of retail eyes ... [more inside]
posted by Mutant at 1:16 AM PST - 24 comments

May 12

From the greats of the silent era to the modern masterpieces of the 21st century, the medium of film has never truly achieved artistic perfection. Until today.
posted by Lord_Pall at 10:14 PM PST - 90 comments

"What lies beneath the surface of New York Harbor? For starters, a 350-foot steamship, 1,600 bars of silver, a freight train, and four-foot-long cement-eating worms. "
posted by cashman at 9:25 PM PST - 48 comments

From deep within your worst nightmare (or the latest B movie): Zombie Fire Ants!
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:05 PM PST - 25 comments

10cc's I'm Not In Love and the story behind it.
posted by klangklangston at 9:03 PM PST - 56 comments

NRW 1946—2006. Short articles chronicling North Rhine-Westphalia. The site has one rather large shortcoming though, the video clips cannot be accessed (only available on VHS within the State!).
posted by tellurian at 7:08 PM PST - 10 comments

The Baseball Card Movie is a short documentary set in a baseball card shop frequented by collectors. Showcases the customers' different styles of collecting and the strange ways the card manufactures mange to sell packs for $100+. It's not for kids anymore, but it's not all bad. (Via)
posted by The Devil Tesla at 5:39 PM PST - 32 comments

Thinking of relocating in these troubled economic times? You might want to consider checking out Forbes' list of The Most Overpriced Cities in America. The Top 5: Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, New York, and... Providence?
posted by grapefruitmoon at 4:41 PM PST - 56 comments

2D artwork created by 'simply' folding paper. [more inside]
posted by gman at 4:40 PM PST - 28 comments

Sites matching images to pregiven text have been done before, but the texts are seldom as good as those used at zweiterblick's sudelbild: the pictures are matched to (randomly selected?) aphorisms of scientist and all-around Enlightened fellow GC Lichtenberg (about whom more). The relation is sometimes fairly literal, sometimes fairly opaque, but it's worth it for the idiosyncratic selection of aphorisms in any case.
posted by kenko at 4:25 PM PST - 7 comments

Been to your local cineplex lately and seen IMAX Digital on the menu? Been tempted to pay the extra $5 or so for the expected 7-story screen and mammoth sound? [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 3:47 PM PST - 85 comments

The Obama administration has repeatedly threatened to conceal future information of terrorist threats from the British government, unless the British government disobeys the High Court ruling requiring them to release information about the US government's acknowledged torture program. This may be a breach of the Convention Against Torture. Glenn Greenwald has new evidence. Previously.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:58 AM PST - 282 comments

The Medea Hypothesis: Is Life on Earth Ultimately Self-Destructive? In the view of paleontologist Peter Ward life on Earth is intrinsically poisonous. [more inside]
posted by thatwhichfalls at 11:35 AM PST - 50 comments

Mental illness and doughnuts do not mix. Psycho Donuts in Campbell, California takes donuts "to the next demented level." Mental health advocates are not enthusiastic. The store itself comes with nurses, a padded cell and "group therapy" area. offerings include the Massive Head Trauma, a jelly donut with red filling oozing from the side and the Bipolar, half nuts and half coconut topping. The shop's owners respond to the controversy.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 10:29 AM PST - 143 comments

John Michell, who has died aged 76, was an old Etonian who became the standard bearer for the romantic hippy mysticism with his 1969 book The View Over Atlantis, This posited the then original theory of a prehistorical global civilisation linked by leylines, and became extraordinarily popular and influential. [more inside]
posted by criticalbill at 10:17 AM PST - 6 comments

My, how the tables have turned: Many of the same daily newspaper correspondents that not too long ago turned up their noses at us online journalism pioneers, claiming we weren't "real" journalists, now fill my email box daily with their resumes, looking to me and others like me to provide them with work. ... Memo to my remaining daily print colleagues and their nostalgia club: Get over it and get over yourselves. It’s not that the Internet is Mr. Wonderful. Much of it mimics the same bad qualities that drove the public away from daily newspapers. You lost the public to us because - there's no nice or sugar-coated way to say it - you guys really suck at what you do. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese at 9:21 AM PST - 95 comments

Charles Pierce, author of the 2005 essay "Greetings from Idiot America" decrying the rise of faith-based anti-intellectualism, has expanded his rant into a full length book: Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free. (via) [more inside]
posted by zarq at 9:20 AM PST - 65 comments

One Friday afternoon at practice, fire alarm tests were being conducted. What to do? Why jam, of course!
posted by tybeet at 9:14 AM PST - 21 comments

Mogadishu: A City Under Siege. Photos from inside the city taken in November 2008.
posted by lullaby at 8:54 AM PST - 14 comments

Is there a formula—some mix of love, work, and psychological adaptation—for a good life? For 72 years, researchers at Harvard have been examining this question, following 268 men who entered college in the late 1930s through war, career, marriage and divorce, parenthood and grandparenthood, and old age. Here, for the first time, a journalist gains access to the archive of one of the most comprehensive longitudinal studies in history. What Makes Us Happy?
posted by allkindsoftime at 8:23 AM PST - 57 comments


A few weeks from now, English will have it's millionth word. Or will it? [more inside]
posted by Dumsnill at 7:58 AM PST - 54 comments

Life as a female Tamil Tiger guerilla relived by one of first female soldiers. In 1987, aged 17, Niromi de Soyza shocked her middle-class Sri Lankan family by joining the Tamil Tigers. One of the rebels' first female soldiers, equipped with rifle and cyanide capsule, she was engaged in fierce combat.
posted by chunking express at 7:31 AM PST - 9 comments



In Bb 2.0
posted by loquacious at 7:00 AM PST - 60 comments

We know how fancy business cards can be. We know how seriously some people take business cards. But all of these cards have one fatal flaw: they are not made out of meat.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:32 AM PST - 43 comments

Food is just part of the regional culture that's getting neutralized. The national highway system, chain restaurants, and frozen food may have decimated regional delicacies such as Kentucky burgoo, South Carolina perloo, and Wisconsin hoppel poppel but... [more inside]
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:40 AM PST - 70 comments

In last night's Sony Radio Awards - the UK's radio equivalent of the Oscars - Electric Radio Brixton won four prizes, including 2 gold awards. The kicker? It is broadcast for and by inmates in Brixton Prison 24 hours a day, part of an ambitious project by the Prison Radio Association. Some background here. [more inside]
posted by MuffinMan at 1:02 AM PST - 25 comments

May 11

Though written in the 1930s, it was not until Nat "King" Cole recorded it in 1949 that it became well known: Lush Life is Billy Strayhorn's signature song (well, one of his signature songs). A haunting ballad with surprisingly dark lyrics, its definitive treatment is probably the famous 1963 recording by Johnny Hartman & John Coltrane (Hartman sang it again for TV in 1983), but it has been done countless times by many artists: by pianists Phineas Newborn, Jr. and Oscar Peterson; by saxophonists Joe Henderson and Stan Getz; even by Linda Ronstadt and Queen Latifah.
posted by ornate insect at 11:44 PM PST - 21 comments

The World According to Monsanto - A full documentary on the agricultural giant. All sorts of previously. [more inside]
posted by aniola at 8:14 PM PST - 79 comments

Calligraphy Qalam An introduction to Arabic, Ottoman and Persian Calligraphy. See a gallery, a timeline of scripts and styles, a blog with entries such as how to design your own square kufic calligraphy, and much more.
posted by dhruva at 8:05 PM PST - 8 comments

Tigers and leopards and pumpkins, oh my! (Metacafe video, will autoplay on page load). So your little kittycat loves cantaloupe, eh? Then you should see how these rescued big cats descend upon the leftover Halloween pumpkins and assorted gourds distributed to them each year. (via)
posted by maudlin at 6:05 PM PST - 42 comments

AronRa has done some really nice YouTube vids on science (previously). In this latest vlog An Archaeological Moment in Time, he take(s) a look at how different societies are advancing at different rates on the same date in the distant past.
posted by nola at 5:53 PM PST - 10 comments

Venetia Phair, who named Pluto as a child, dies at 90. [more inside]
posted by Morrigan at 4:02 PM PST - 54 comments

At least one of these things is true, and possibly both: (a) This was the most tense game of baseball ever played; or (b) relations between Jews and the Klan have deteriorated dramatically since 1926. Bill Francis, a research librarian at the Baseball Hall of Fame, unearths a tantalizing newspaper clipping. [more inside]
posted by kosem at 3:59 PM PST - 44 comments

Tom Friend's retrospective of Chauncey Billup's career is as fine a profile of leadership, tenacity, and redemption as comes along in American sportswriting. [more inside]
posted by Roach at 3:28 PM PST - 22 comments

Last night, BBC Radio 3 broadcast a semi-staged production of Shakespere's A Midsummer Night's Dream with Mendelsohn's incidental music. Now they've put a video of the performance up on their website. [more inside]
posted by feelinglistless at 2:42 PM PST - 17 comments

The maker of popular plugin Adblock Plus has issued a proposal for a solution that would allow publishers to unblock their ads in certain circumstances. [more inside]
posted by jbickers at 2:20 PM PST - 193 comments


Joshi (a slideshow).
High in the Hindu Kush, north of troubled Swat and just South of Chitral are three valleys where the last of the Kalasha people live, and the legend of Alexander is strong. No census has been performed since 1998, but most experts put the current Kalasha population at about 3,000. ( wiki ).
posted by adamvasco at 11:23 AM PST - 7 comments

The U.S. replaces the top General in Afghanistan after he'd held his post for less than a year. General McKiernan is being replaced by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, who came under some criticism in the past for the treatment of detainees by his Special Operations forces under his command. He is credited with the death of Al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab Zarqawi in 2006, and the Obama administrations hopes he will bring unconventional thinking to the use of force in Afghanistan. He is already working on some new ideas in military civilian collaboration, but does he play poker? Will he embrace the population-centered warfare approach? Will this General, a prominent figure in Bush's war on terror, be an effective tool in the use of Smart Power, or just make matters worse?
posted by cal71 at 11:08 AM PST - 61 comments

Even among "monster games", it stands alone. A 7-foot mapsheet. 1,800 counters. 1,500 hours to play. It is SPI's The Campaign for North Africa.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:12 AM PST - 89 comments

Writer Dan Baum is twittering the epic saga of being hired at the New Yorker, after 17 years of trying, and then let go. It's an eye-opening and engaging tale for any writer. Baum, who wrote on a myriad of subjects, is perhaps best known for his post-Katrina New Orleans coverage. Told (annoyingly, if innovatively) in 140-character spurts, his tale takes you into the New Yorker offices ("like being in a hospital room where somebody is dying,") reveals that writers at the august mag get $70k and no benefits, and outlines the cumbersome process of story pitches to mercurial editors. In a rare inside look at the biz, he links to the pitches that worked, and those that didn't, on his website.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:57 AM PST - 145 comments

What is the best way to respond to your son's drug addiction?
Write a book? No!
Write two books? Yes?

Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction
Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines [more inside]
posted by andoatnp at 7:49 AM PST - 35 comments

The Reas' previous house was destroyed in a winter storm - such are the perils of living on Unst - most northerly of the Shetland isles. On re-building the pensioner couple have constructed what they claim is the world's first occupied zero carbon emission house - using off the shelf materials. Here is a video interview with them and a few more details about the house. [more inside]
posted by rongorongo at 7:44 AM PST - 8 comments


"Is this Channel 4? You have been accusing my soldiers of raping civilians? Your visa is cancelled, you will be deported. You can report what you like about this country, but from your own country, not from here." -- Nick Paton Walsh tells the story of how he was ordered to leave Sri Lanka by Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
posted by chunking express at 6:49 AM PST - 32 comments

Jonah Lehrer in The New Yorker profiles Walter Mischel, whose recent research indicates a child's ability to delay gratification can predict the child's academic success. Mischel was previously mentioned in a thread on behavorial economics. He is best known for the marshmallow experiment in the 1960s. (via)
posted by shadytrees at 6:37 AM PST - 25 comments


Snatch Wars (Snatch vs. Star Wars) (SLYT, NSFW due to very bad language). [more inside]
posted by slimepuppy at 3:38 AM PST - 14 comments

Cult western classic One-Eyed Jacks (1961) is the only film ever directed by Marlon Brando, who happened to replace the original director, none other than Stanley Kubrick.
posted by ageispolis at 12:32 AM PST - 15 comments

May 10

The Temple Gallery in London has more than 200 items of Eastern Orthodox religious art, principally icons, on its website, both from the current exhibit as well as older pieces. Icons have been a part of Orthodox Christianity for centuries and they are loaded with meaning. The theology is elaborated upon in this essay on the history, principles and function of icons by iconographer Dr. George Kordis. One of the subjects of the essay is the Byzantine iconoclasm, a central event of which was the Seventh Ecumenical Council, depicted here in an icon. Here are some other icons I like: The Forty Martyrs of Sebasteia, St. Alypius the Stylite, Synaxis of the Archangels, Dormition of the Virgin and Presentation of Christ in the Temple. [Click on any image for a larger view]
posted by Kattullus at 10:47 PM PST - 9 comments

Firefighting with an Air Tractor (SLYT with unflattering music).
posted by exogenous at 9:25 PM PST - 23 comments

Artist John Heartfield was one of those who recognized the threat of Nazism early on. Remarkably, he created his anti-fascist art inside Germany, until 1933 when Hitler came to power. He continued to pointedly satirize the Reich (and those who made it possible, as his bitter image of the League of Nations illustrates) from exile in Czechoslovakia. The nature of his work makes it very clear that Hitler's goals and intentions were obvious well before the war. (via)
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 9:11 PM PST - 30 comments

Omega-3 fats are considered highly beneficial for the body. It may be important to take supplements because our bodies don't create it naturally. A nurse however, recently discovered that some supplements can make holes on Styrofoam cups.
posted by Lucubrator at 8:31 PM PST - 46 comments

Star Trek Lives. You may have heard - a new Star Trek film has opened to critical acclaim and box office bofo; Variety writes it "beamed up $76.5 million"). How are Kirk and Spock fans coping with this reboot/reimaging/alternate universe? And how are Kirk/Spock slash writers holding up? [more inside]
posted by crossoverman at 8:18 PM PST - 203 comments

"I photograph people who skirt the edges of things; people whose connection to the broader flow is murky or obscured. Mistaken as more, less or different than they are; they aren’t really seen and don’t really belong. That’s everyone sometimes; but some more often. I try to establish a line for a moment. I hope to connect. And I see the most beautiful and the most heartbreaking things."
posted by parudox at 7:38 PM PST - 34 comments

Today marks the first National Famine Memorial Day in Skibbereen, Co. Cork. Actually the first day in a week of activities (.pdf), Skibbereen was one of many areas in western Ireland hard-hit by the famine (or Great Hunger). [more inside]
posted by dbmcd at 7:05 PM PST - 3 comments

Lost Vegas is a documentary that follows Laura Ling as she tours the wreckage of Sin City, from unemployed strippers and half-built, abandoned casino projects, to hospitals turning away cancer patients and ambulances, to one of the few remaining boom industries--evicting people. [more inside]
posted by P.o.B. at 6:42 PM PST - 42 comments

What to do with an abandoned water treatment plant while deciding what to do with it? In 1940, Raleigh NC opened a new water treatment plant to meet its needs. It's one of the very few art-deco style buildings in Raleigh, & is now on the historic property register & owned by Empire Properties. Empire has renovated a number of older buildings in the spirit of preserving the character of Raleigh. [more inside]
posted by yoga at 6:15 PM PST - 10 comments

Daft Punk revealed in bootleg video at the 1996 Even Further festival. [more inside]
posted by loquacious at 6:07 PM PST - 31 comments

Last years New York City Waterfalls were mentioned previously. But what was not mentioned was a music video made last fall about the artist that created the Waterfalls. This is that video: Olafur Eliasson. SLYT
posted by gabecal at 5:16 PM PST - 6 comments

Awkward Questions about Jesus SLYT
posted by nola at 4:27 PM PST - 46 comments

Edwin "Bud" Shrake - journalist, novelist, playwright, and screenwriter - died early Friday in Austin. [more inside]
posted by Ranucci at 2:00 PM PST - 12 comments

Our project is a fart intensity detector which ranks fart magnitude on a scale from 0-9 according to sound, temperature, and gas concentrations. Two Cornell EE students built a Fart Intensity Detection Station as a final project for Introduction to Microcontroller Programming. [more inside]
posted by clavicle at 11:06 AM PST - 57 comments

He's Behind You, He's Got Swine Flu. New video from The Streets: stupid fun, or smart commentary on social panic?
posted by jon_hansen at 9:41 AM PST - 49 comments

The Toronto Star tested people's honesty by leaving 20 wallets in various places around the city. How many of them were returned? [more inside]
posted by russilwvong at 9:34 AM PST - 114 comments

Headbanging while making fire. SLYT
posted by mr.marx at 7:43 AM PST - 57 comments

International Adoption may not necessarily be helping the disadvantaged in Third World countries as advertised. In some countries, like Guatemala and India, children are simply stolen from their families. The Hague Convention governs the rules for International Adoptions, but like all rules, they aren't always followed. Many adoptive parents believe that their children have been given up, but in some countries, "orphanage" doesn't mean what you think it means. [more inside]
posted by grapefruitmoon at 7:43 AM PST - 18 comments


The writers for the Late Show with David Letterman have recently had some trouble coming up with jokes about Obama. Perhaps they should take a lesson from the master of Obama jokes, the President himself. President Obama brought down the house at last night's White House Correspondents' Dinner, poking fun at himself, his administration, and everyone else within shouting distance. Host Wanda Sykes followed Obama's show stealing performance with a few choice jabs of her own. Unfortunately, it seems that Dick Cheney's prediction has come true since no one is safe when the Comedian-in-Chief steps up to the mic.
posted by inconsequentialist at 3:45 AM PST - 143 comments

With Rupert Murdoch planning to start charging for access to some of the content of his newspaper's websites is this the end of the age of free? But will it rescue the newspaper industry? Or is the Kindle or other ebook reader the answer? And if free news on the web is unsustainable from advertising what about YouTube, Twitter and Facebook?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:18 AM PST - 31 comments

Five galleries of candid and behind-the-scenes production photos of the Star Trek cast, crew, sets, and soundstages in and around Los Angeles, circa late 1960s. I particularly like this one. And this one.
posted by mattdidthat at 1:53 AM PST - 30 comments

cat stole my heart.
posted by marlys at 12:28 AM PST - 43 comments

May 9

Paintings of trains. I like the energy of this one, but there are enough for everyone to have a favorite. [more inside]
posted by winna at 11:20 PM PST - 14 comments

Cooks around the world deserve a simple place to find any recipe. Enter RecipeBridge. Have an ingredient you don't know what to do with? Enter it into RecipeBridge for recipe ideas returned from more than 200 cooking sites. C'est magnifique.
posted by netbros at 9:36 PM PST - 5 comments


Simon Singh, author of Fermat's Last Theorem and The Code Book, was sued for libel by The British Chiropractic Association for comments he wrote in a column in The Guardian: [more inside]
posted by Dumsnill at 6:01 PM PST - 62 comments


Ball Passing is grounded in the basic act of passing a ball from one person to the next. Teams of participants, organized in groups divisible by three, stand in rows on bleachers and pass brightly-colored 4” nerf balls, creating complex visual and temporal patterns. The action of passing a ball is extremely simple, yet the organization of the work—the rhythmic patterns and physical configurations—is exceedingly complex.
posted by starkeffect at 10:34 AM PST - 64 comments

Mortal Engine (highlights; interview) and Glow (interview) combine dancing and projected video to stunning effect. The secret? The dancers aren't following the light — the light is following the dancers. [more inside]
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:02 AM PST - 24 comments

John Masefield would probably have enjoyed these videos.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:33 AM PST - 11 comments

May 8

An Artist's Guide to Human Types "If I needed to draw someone from [a] specific part of the world, what would I need to know about his or her physical characteristics?" The author, a well-traveled Lebanese artist, also has a graphic novel online.
posted by desjardins at 9:21 PM PST - 70 comments

Martin and Lewis Just, wow. I had no idea. [more inside]
posted by five fresh fish at 9:16 PM PST - 81 comments

Flash Friday: Remember Sonny? Well, the sequel, Sonny 2, is out. [more inside]
posted by schyler523 at 6:30 PM PST - 2 comments

Watch porn. (sfw) [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese at 6:14 PM PST - 57 comments

Khanzir is the only pig in Afghanistan. An already lonely existence has been made sadder as fears of swine-flu have caused zoo officials to place him in quarantine, depriving him of contact with his best friend - a nearby goat.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 5:56 PM PST - 40 comments

FrugalWeekendFunFilter: Zombie In My Pocket is a free print-and-play solitaire boardgame that only uses three sheets of paper. Elegantly designed and well balanced, it has inspired a bunch of alternate versions, from Wolfenstein in my Pocket to the classic-dungeon-crawl-inspired Dungeonquest in my Pocket to Star Wars in my Pocket. (Complete list of variants and user-created scenarios - all are free.) There's also a cellphone version, if paper-and-ink isn't your thing.
posted by jbickers at 5:54 PM PST - 10 comments


Greg. Fred. Sam. Bill. Eleanor. Included because it made me smile.
posted by Mblue at 3:07 PM PST - 8 comments

Twenty-five years later, the main cast of The Goonies reunite for Empire Magazine.
posted by Rhomboid at 3:04 PM PST - 84 comments

Welcome to Your Quarterlife Crisis Unrelenting indecision, isolation, confusion and anxiety about working, relationships and direction is reported by people in their mid-twenties to early thirties who are usually urban, middle class and well-educated; those who should be able to capitalize on their youth, unparalleled freedom and free-for-all individuation. They can’t make any decisions, because they don’t know what they want, and they don’t know what they want because they don’t know who they are, and they don’t know who they are because they’re allowed to be anyone they want.
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 2:43 PM PST - 109 comments

Chris "Disco" Hayes is a relief pitcher at the AA level in the Kansas City Royals organization. As a submarine pitcher, his unorthodox delivery is easy to spot. He's developed quite the following-as much for his blogging as his pitching. It all started when he was selected as a blogger in the Arizona Fall League, and blogged an 'interview' with Uber-Prospect Matt Wieters.
posted by HighTechUnderpants at 1:49 PM PST - 18 comments

Asheville, NC and Portland, OR have tied in the contest for Best Beer City in the USA. It was a heated contest (scroll down for the comments) done in conjunction with Craft Beer Week, an event we can all support. Asheville is a beer city, it is true and clearly, so is Portland.
posted by mygothlaundry at 1:45 PM PST - 57 comments

The Swat Valley In NW Pakistan has been inhabited for over 2,500 years. Alexander the Great defeated Persia, thenceforth, he entered Swat via Kunar in 326 BC. In those days it was Buddhist. Described by many as Heaven on Earth; and as a land of story tellers it is now rapidly heading towards Hell on Earth. The Northern Areas of Pakistan must rate among some of the most beautiful in the world
posted by adamvasco at 12:41 PM PST - 36 comments

People have been trying to make the appearance of three-dimensional movement almost as far back as the first movie cameras. The very first efforts used stereoscopy (more pre-vious-ly), which wasn't functional for theater-settings. In 1915, the first public test of 3D film was deemed unsuccessful, as images presented with green/red lenses detracted from the plot, but that didn't stop people from trying to make 3D films. Polarized glasses are another inexpensive method of simulated 3D, while shutterglasses are a more costly method. Up to 1998 or so, there were approximately 187 3D movies made, not counting porn, cartoons and shorts (which bring the 1998 total to 263). 2009 is supposedly the year that 3D movies really take off, as it has been reported that 3D films are expected to gross over $1bn (£700m) at the box office next year, a five-fold increase on their $200m haul in 2008. There are some really big titles coming, including the "3D drug trip" that is Avatar, and all of the announced future Pixar releases will get the Digital Disney 3-D treatment. But 3D isn't limited to the big screen and big companies. The next format war could be over 3D TV. And now the independent production company MeniThings has released the feature-length movie, Battle for Terra. [via mefi projects, and a bit more on the movie after the jump] [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 11:24 AM PST - 56 comments

Plants vs. Zombies is out. (Mac also). Demo available. $10 on Steam. Adorable promo music video. [more inside]
posted by juv3nal at 11:21 AM PST - 69 comments

The Carolina Photojournalism Workshop was founded in 2004. Each year a small group of UNC multimedia students travel to a different part of the state to produce a web documentary. 2008: Cape Fear to Down Here, 2007: Smoky Mountain Stories, 2006: Stories from the Crystal Coast, 2005: Highlands, NC, 2004: Changing Wetlands Changing Ways.
posted by netbros at 10:48 AM PST - 3 comments

Everyone has been in bad family photos, but sometimes a photo goes beyond bad and becomes awkward.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 10:30 AM PST - 77 comments

Inane Like 24 hour TV news tv, this would be a great tool, except you have it's tuned to OMG, LOLS and what the president had for lunch
posted by fistynuts at 9:57 AM PST - 19 comments

Ladies, you need to know how to flirtext. -- The authors of flirtexting give "the 411" to the hipsters at CNN on how to text your way to a man's heart.
posted by empath at 8:23 AM PST - 174 comments

"After his wife left him, Tony Alleyne set out to create the ultimate bachelor pad, painstakingly turning his flat into a Star Trek set... The 500-square-foot apartment features voice-activated lighting, LED lighting, running lights, air-conditioning—but no bed... A few years ago Mr Alleyne suffered from sciatica and was advised by his GP to sleep on the floor. 'It cured the sciatica and gave me the opportunity to convert the bed area into the Transporter area,' he says. 'Bed space is overrated...' His wife—who owns the flat—put it up for sale, but it fell through.
posted by grouse at 8:02 AM PST - 109 comments


Poets Ranked by Beard Weight. Excerpted and abridged from The Language of the Beard, originally circulated by The Torchbearer Society, London, 1913. Commentary by Gilbert Alter-Gilbert. [more inside]
posted by Sailormom at 7:39 AM PST - 9 comments

The Meat Ship Ingredients: ~20 sausages ~48 rashers of bacon 1.2kg of sausage meat 1kg of pork mince 10 franks 1kg of pastry (not 100% meat this time) 1 onion 1 mushroom 2 packets of chipolata sausages various food colourings sage Sequel to the Meat House. Previously.
posted by daHIFI at 7:31 AM PST - 40 comments

"The StringStation introduces a fresh and inventive playing surface allowing one musician to play in real time on an instrument that offers thunderous bass, compelling rhythm, 3-D orchestration and melody. It uses new ways to approach groups of strings that find amazing intertwined performance techniques. It opens and lays out new paths to evolve tactile music composition skills." It's the baby of engineer/inventor Jim Bartz, who is on a mission to bring his invention into the musical mainstream. Start your exploration of what the StringStation can do with this video of Bartz playing his prototype model (actual performance comes in at 2:25). [more inside]
posted by woodblock100 at 6:34 AM PST - 28 comments

Aakash Nihalani decorates NYC with 3D lookin' boxes made of florescent tape.
posted by dgaicun at 4:32 AM PST - 30 comments

May 7

Lie to Me is a fairly new US drama series based on the work of Paul Ekman (previously) who studied facial movements and what they reveal about the emotional state of a person (see Malcolm Gladwell's "The Naked Face", also previously, for more background). No doubt inspired by the show, Gisela, a sixth grader at Mesa Grande Elementary School, decided for her science project to see whether she could tell if a person was lying based on their facial expressions. Here is the result: part 1, part 2 (youtube videos). [more inside]
posted by Deathalicious at 11:13 PM PST - 56 comments

Twenty years old this year, fifteen-minute long Australian television programme Media Watch criticises television and print journalism. (Previously).
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 10:59 PM PST - 17 comments

Sick of all that socialism? Come to Somalia! Who needs health care, the rule of law or a central government? It seems to be a pretty minimal state, some Libertarians are eying it with interest and others think it's doing very well for itself. (via Fipi Lele)
posted by bshort at 10:09 PM PST - 98 comments

FONT FIGHT! the long-awaited (by me and other fontaholics) follow-up to Font Conference. Better than the first IMO, but I'm sure we can still take issue with some of the 'characters'. [more inside]
posted by wendell at 8:55 PM PST - 37 comments

The Art of Penguin Science Fiction is a historical guide to the design of book jackets in the Penguin SF line by James Pardey. But before reading the essay I recommend looking at some of the wonderful cover designs, for example We, Deathworld, Rork!, The Drowned World, Star Maker, The Evolution Man, Fifth Planet and Alternating Currents. They certainly don't make SF book jackets like they used to. All hundred plus covers can also be browsed alphabetically by author. [via The Guardian Books Blog]
posted by Kattullus at 7:22 PM PST - 25 comments

Carlos Montoya can play the blues/jazz too. youtube X 2. The second link is a still with great audio. Guitarists and music lovers enjoy!
posted by snsranch at 7:15 PM PST - 5 comments

Behind Chinese medicine, feng shui, acupuncture, diet, music and cosmology itself is the concept of Wu Xing. [more inside]
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:04 PM PST - 15 comments

Dr. John Rudoff is a cardiologist in Oregon, but before he entered medical school, he was the staff photographer at The Main Point, a coffeehouse in Bryn Mawr, PA associated with the early 1960s folk revival in the Philadelphia area. His photographs of the Philadelphia folk scene include unidentified local folkies, but also touring folk singers such as Dave van Ronk and John Hammond. Eventually, Rudoff got a press pass to the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, where he took photos of Mary Travers sharing a moment with Mimi and Dick Fariña and Joan Baez with a pre-psychedelicized Chambers Brothers, but the most amazing discovery of all are the photos of when Bob Dylan "went electric." And now you can see Rudoff's whole collection, thanks to the magic of Flickr.
posted by jonp72 at 6:53 PM PST - 13 comments

Hot Sauce Blog (previously)
posted by Joe Beese at 6:08 PM PST - 31 comments

A video of 2000 Symbols set to the Cool Kids via Matchstic.
posted by cashman at 6:00 PM PST - 7 comments

Ok, stop me if you’ve heard this one: an ex-cop accused of killing his fourth wife gets engaged a fifth time and tries to get a job in a brothel on a reality t.v. show (video), but before he can, he's arrested today for killing his third wife. [more inside]
posted by Smedleyman at 5:02 PM PST - 40 comments

Project GREAT: General Relativity Einstein/Essen Anniversary Test
Clocks, Kids, and General Relativity on Mt Rainier
Think your dad was a nerd? A mad genius? Was he a Clark Griswold-esque cheerleader for outdoor family vacations? You ain't seen nothin' yet.
posted by zardoz at 4:57 PM PST - 51 comments

Outrage is the new flick by Kirby Dick which outs gay politicians in Washington who dedicate their careers to reducing rights for gay people. [more inside]
posted by gman at 3:35 PM PST - 179 comments

Images from The Complete Book of Space Travel illustrated by Virgil Finlay, including an analysis of the space-crew candidate.
posted by Artw at 3:05 PM PST - 30 comments

The Obama administration has reversed the past administration's plan for retaliatory import tarriffs on various luxury commodities, such as Rocquefort cheese and gourmet Spanish hams. The tarriffs were a response to the EU's ban on imports of hormone treated beef from the US.
posted by longsleeves at 2:34 PM PST - 59 comments


chimurenga is an art and culture journal out of africa. they do internet radio, too. it's called the Pan African Space Station. and it bumps.
posted by artof.mulata at 12:57 PM PST - 8 comments

Manny Ramirez, arguably one of baseball's most talented and fascinating figures was suspended 50 games earlier this morning for violating MLB's drug policy. In an intriguing, late-breaking twist (and one completely indicative of Manny's bizarre career thus far) the banned substance in question seems to be a sexual enhancer. [more inside]
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 12:53 PM PST - 126 comments

You Can't Please Everyone is a collection of one-star reviews of classic movies, music, and literature on Amazon. It contains reviews of The Odyssey and many others. From Cynical-C [via]
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 12:45 PM PST - 47 comments

Mistress Krista says: Only YOU can stop gym dorkery! Stumptuous, one of AskMe's favourite fitness sites, has both a spiffy new design and a bunch of new content (Why your excuses are crap; Lies in the gym; Things you should not lift if you want to look like Madonna). Beginners will find plenty of smart and blunt information about eating, starting and refining a training program, avoiding and recovering from injuries, and developing a home gym one way or another. But Stumptuous has also extended its domain to YouTube. Part of the original Dork to Diva web series on correct technique is now up at YT (deadlifts; biceps curl) thanks to the support of The Prevention of Gym Idiocy Society (Ladies' Auxiliary), but you can also find some more unorthodox exercise ideas.
posted by maudlin at 12:36 PM PST - 21 comments


Mia Farrow has been vlogging her 11 day (and counting) hunger strike.
posted by hermitosis at 9:41 AM PST - 97 comments

Konami Code Sites
posted by sciurus at 9:18 AM PST - 74 comments

The Wave Motors of California. "Still embedded somewhere in the shores of California, buried by more than a century of sand, are lost hydroelectric machines." Further reading.
posted by dersins at 9:12 AM PST - 26 comments

Aerial Virtual Tour of New York City -- navigate with your arrow keys (or the embedded controls). Change views on the lower left. [via Gothamist]
posted by ericb at 9:10 AM PST - 22 comments


In June of 2004, fifty-eight friends and acquaintances joined in a collaborative labor project that lasted for eight days. They were instrumental in organizing the Prelinger Library in San Francisco, CA. One month from today will be the little library's fifth anniversary celebration. The library project/ public art project/ art installation/ archive/ part information center is an appropriation-friendly collection of books, periodicals, zines, and print ephemera. The library isn't organized by the Dewy Decimal system, but sorted by Megan Prelinger into four constant threads: landscape and geography; media and representation; historical consciousness; and political narratives from beyond the mainstream. The library is the less-known work of Rick Prelinger, and his wife, Megan. Rick is most commonly known for his video collection, which is the primary source of ephemera films on archive.org. (All things Prelinger previously)
posted by filthy light thief at 7:45 AM PST - 7 comments

The 1961 interview begins, "About four days ago, a plane landed at Idyllewild airport. The plane came from the Middle East bearing a man who claims to be 2000 years old. He's spent the last six days at the Mayo Clinic." The interviewer then goes on to pick the brain of the world's oldest man. [part 2, part 3, animated in 1975] This is considered by many to be one of the funniest comedy routines of all time -- Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks performing The 2000 Year Old Man. [ A 1961 TV clip of 2KYOMAnotherSimilar, only it's an accountant instead of an old manOrigins of the words "cheese" and "egg"Interview with Reiner & Brooks, late 1990's; Part 2Similar, only with Charlie Rose as the interviewer ]
posted by not_on_display at 5:45 AM PST - 16 comments

For millions of years man and rats had been natural enemies. But now for the first time - suddenly, shockingly, horribly - the balance of power had shifted. The Rats by James Herbert. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:27 AM PST - 33 comments

Pakistan is complicated as Nicholas Schmidle explains. (His take on Zadari). Fatima Bhutto describes her late Aunt's widower as Obama's murderous guest and has previously called for the West to Stop Funding My Failing State. Of course one aim of the US-Afghan-Pakistani summit is a parade for aid. Another Pakistani politician, Imran Khan gives his views on how to clear the mess. The author Ahmed Rashid states Pakistan is on the brink of chaos. A note to foreign journalists.
posted by adamvasco at 4:51 AM PST - 34 comments

It was announced on April 28th, 1997. The plan was to use the cutting edge Quake 2 engine. Its gameplay trailer was shown in 1998. The plan was to use the cutting edge Unreal engine. Its gameplay trailer was shown in 2001. The plan was to use the cutting edge Meqon physics engine. The plan was to a use custom, cutting edge engine. The plan was not to use the cutting edge Doom 3 engine. The plan was to use a heavily-modified Unreal engine. Its gameplay trailer was shown in 2007. The plans didn't pan out. But some other stuff happened on the way.
posted by duende at 3:17 AM PST - 94 comments

May 6

Single-payer health care advocates arrested at Senate hearing. On May 5, 2009 advocates of a U.S. national health care program disrupted a Senate Finance Committee event to call for single-payer healthcare to be part of the discussion. The eight protesters were subsequently arrested. The protesters included representatives of Physicians for a National Health Program, which favors the The United States National Health Care Act, H.R. 676. Committee Chair Max Baucus (D - Montana), who has received more money in contributions from health insurance companies than any other member of Congress, favors requiring Americans to purchase private health insurance from those companies. Baucus, who has previously said that single-payer is "off the table," responded to the doctors and their fellow activists with, “I want you to know I care deeply about your views," and then, "we need more police [to eject protesters]."
posted by univac at 11:01 PM PST - 146 comments

Artist Momoyo Torimitsu: sculptor, performer, illustrator, installation artist. Not interested in being cute. (Discovered via The Rumpus.)
posted by serazin at 10:58 PM PST - 10 comments

Be glad you don't live in Bowen, Queensland. The town is being overrun by giant bird-eating spiders, which are venomous and as big as a man's hand. They're the biggest spiders in Australia, a land known for monstrous creepy crawlies.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:16 PM PST - 135 comments

100 Best Icelandic Pop & Rock Albums all streamable in full for free. Icelandic state broadcaster RÚV and Icelandic subscription music website tónlist.is have published what they, their team of experts and the Icelandic public consider to be the 100 best Icelandic rock and pop albums of all time. Björk, Sigur Rós, Múm and The Sugarcubes don't need much introduction but below the cut there are short description of the other artists. [via RÚV] [more inside]
posted by Kattullus at 7:14 PM PST - 47 comments

How to (and how not to) write poetry -- "selections from columns originally published in the Polish newspaper Literary Life. In these columns, famed poet Wislawa Szymborska answered letters from ordinary people who wanted to write poetry. Translated by Clare Cavanagh." Here is her Nobel acceptance speech, where she charmingly imagines a dialogue between herself and Ecclesiastes.
posted by vronsky at 6:00 PM PST - 25 comments

Over a thousand photos from Fallsburg High School, 1974-1978. Bonus: non-annoying interface. (via)
posted by nasreddin at 4:43 PM PST - 38 comments

Steve Coll [pdf], Marissa Mayer [pdf], and Arianna Huffington [pdf] testified today at the Senate Commerce Commitee's hearing on The Future of Journalism, but clearly the main attraction was David Simon [pdf].
posted by Jeff_Larson at 4:21 PM PST - 22 comments

It looks like the Auto Warranty phone scammers who keep calling your cell phone may finally be getting their comeuppance, right about ... now.
posted by milovoo at 4:19 PM PST - 95 comments

Connie Culp, left without the middle section of her face after her husband shot her in 2004, is the recipient of the first US face transplant. This is her first time appearing before the media. There have been partial transplants in the past, but this is the world's first near-total facial transplant. [more inside]
posted by MaryDellamorte at 4:03 PM PST - 39 comments

I Want To GOP To There. 30 Rock has a weird conservative streak. Or does it?
posted by you just lost the game at 3:55 PM PST - 71 comments

Yooouuutuuube does something interesting with youtube videos [more inside]
posted by MetaMonkey at 3:14 PM PST - 113 comments

As I read Incest, I realized that something which I had always taken to be unique, the voice of Myra Breckinridge, was actually that of Anaïs in all the flowing megalomania of the diaries. - Gore Vidal, Palimpsest - pg. 108 [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese at 3:06 PM PST - 12 comments

The SF Signal Mind Meld feature poses science fiction related questions to a number of SF luminaries and the scientist, science writer or blogger. Subjects have included the best women writers in SF, taboo topics in SF, underated authors and the most controversial SF novels of the past and present. The also cover lighter topics, such the role of media tie-ins, how Battlestar Galactica could have ended better (bonus Geoff Ryman) and the realistic (or otherwise) use of science on TV SF shows.
posted by Artw at 3:01 PM PST - 17 comments

Linux kernel hacker Jon Masters has begun recording a daily podcast summarizing the events of the Linux Kernel Mailing List. [more inside]
posted by mkb at 2:28 PM PST - 11 comments

There has been a lot of speculation lately about NASA's future plans for manned spaceflight, especially in light of the Obama government's review of Project Constellation, the Apollo-esque Orion capsule, and the effectiveness (or not) of the Ares rockets. More about this here, here, and here. [more inside]
posted by futureisunwritten at 1:50 PM PST - 49 comments


Readernaut. Share your reading experience by writing notes, tracking progress, and engaging in meaningful discussions with friends.
posted by chunking express at 11:58 AM PST - 23 comments

Brian Valentine takes 3D macro images of flowers and insects. (How do I view them?) He discusses his macro methods here; a more general guide for making your own (not necessarily macro) 3D images can be found here. More 3D goodness at the Flickr Stereophotography (and stereovideography!) pools. Via EMRJKC'94. [more inside]
posted by Upton O'Good at 11:27 AM PST - 32 comments

Prepare for the Return of the Spook-A-Blast... After 17 years, Sam Raimi has returned to the genre that made him a cult legend with a new, low(ish) budget film; get ready for DRAG ME TO HELL [more inside]
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 10:11 AM PST - 51 comments

Teh gay can be cured. So declared the most influential sexologists of the late 20th century, William Masters and Virginia Johnson, in 1979, providing much-publicized scientific backing for the "conversion" theory, and dozens of right-wing efforts to prove that homosexuality is a psychological aberration that can be fixed. Or were those case studies fabricated? In his new biography of the couple who helped spark the sexual revolution, Thomas Maier uncovers the truth and the cover-up.
posted by digaman at 8:43 AM PST - 108 comments


Metafilter's own Sean Tevis made history with his run for Kansas House of Representatives in 2008. Read more here, here, and here. Sean is back and ready to commence 'Option 4', once again changing the way politics is done in Kansas. From his website "Sean Tevis is visiting more than 50 politicians who can make open government a reality. He wears a different shirt with each politician. Eash shirt is unique and displays the names of 100 people like you. These shirts also have messages on them, which are Twitter-sized: 140 characters or less. The politician receives a copy of this shirt, too, for meeting with Sean. You get an account of this visit."
posted by jlowen at 8:24 AM PST - 25 comments

William Kentridge creates animation by working into charcoal drawings; drawing, erasing, redrawing, layering, to create stories that frequently link the intensely intimate with the politics of his native South Africa. Johannesburgh -1989 introduces characters that recur through many of his films. [more inside]
posted by louche mustachio at 8:22 AM PST - 5 comments

Just play this, I think you'll love it. [more inside]
posted by WolfDaddy at 7:53 AM PST - 23 comments

Spewer, a vomit-based platformer, is Edmund McMillen's latest game. [more inside]
posted by Rinku at 7:48 AM PST - 16 comments

Expiration Notice is an on-line magazine dedicated to work by emerging photographers over 35. An interesting counterpoint to the usual hyping of "young and emerging artists." (via)
posted by klausness at 7:46 AM PST - 4 comments

A brief primer on the joys of pre-DragonForce power metal, starting with Blind Guardian - Imaginations From The Other Side. [more inside]
posted by jbickers at 7:35 AM PST - 16 comments

Just watch this, I think you'll love it. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:32 AM PST - 107 comments

Today I Die New click/drag somewhat puzzle-y game from Ludomancy/Daniel Benmergui. [Ludomancy previously] [more inside]
posted by juv3nal at 3:26 AM PST - 25 comments

Bono's poem Elvis: American David, annotated by professor John Sutherland
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:40 AM PST - 57 comments

Pop up shops have been popping up, well, pretty much everywhere. And pop up restaurants. And pop up art galleries. While the trend started long before the current retail downturn, and looks set to continue as companies strive to create interest in their products and services, will creative spontaneity start to look a little bit too planned and evolve into a mainstream retail channel?
posted by MuffinMan at 1:06 AM PST - 10 comments

May 5

Kevin Roose leaves Brown for Falwell's Liberty U, for one semester - to take a "term abroad" in an alternate America. [more inside]
posted by mdn at 9:49 PM PST - 36 comments

What leads cultural tastes and practices to be abandoned? (.pdf) A new PNAS paper by marketing professor Jonah Berger and organizational psychologist Gael Le Mens argues that the faster a trend rises, the faster it's likely to fall, at least as regards longitudinal data of first names given to American children. (Via the Baby Names Blog.) Berger has written before on the drive to non-conform; a 2007 joint paper with Emily Pronin and Sarah Molouki (.pdf) shows that "people see others as more conforming than themselves.... placing more weight on introspective evidence of conformity (relative to behavioral evidence) when judging their own susceptibility to social influence as opposed to someone else's."
posted by escabeche at 8:54 PM PST - 42 comments

The universal grammar of birdsong is genetically encoded. "A new study, published online in the journal Nature, shows that the songs of isolated zebra finches evolve over multiple generations to resemble those of birds in natural colonies. These findings show that song learning in birds is not purely the product of nurture, but has a strong genetic basis, and suggest that bird song has a universal grammar, or an intrinsic structure which is present at birth."
posted by homunculus at 8:24 PM PST - 23 comments

The Star Trek Failure Generator pokes fun at the technobabble the franchise is so famous for. Click the button to get a random Star Trek style problem ("The polarized subinterlink is unstable!") and its corresponding fix ("Trim the gravitational psi-wave with terminium warp control!"). Great for finding out what to do when your beresium impeller is collapsing, as well as just having a bit of a chuckle.
posted by Effigy2000 at 6:31 PM PST - 67 comments

Raptiva, an immunosuppressant used to treat severe plaque psoriasis, caught the attention of the FDA as triggering the activation of the John Cunningham virus. Present in 70% to 90% of human beings, the virus, once activated, inflames the white matter of the brain - a condition known as progressive multifocal leukoencephalitis (PML) - which has no cure and is almost always fatal. Although the FDA recognized the link between Raptiva and PML last autumn, it wasn't until last month that Genentech, the manufacturers of the drug, issued a voluntary withdrawal, and even then, are still allowing people who use Raptiva to continue to get refills until June 8.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:26 PM PST - 37 comments

Why is the penis shaped like that? [T]he human penis is actually an impressive “tool” in the truest sense of the word, one manufactured by nature over hundreds of thousands of years of human evolution. You may be surprised to discover just how highly specialized a tool it is. Furthermore, you’d be amazed at what its appearance can tell us about the nature of our sexuality.
posted by hippybear at 4:33 PM PST - 156 comments


Sixto Rodriguez aka Rod Riguez was a platinum-selling urban-poet folk-funk singer in South Africa, a hit across Australia and New Zealand -- and had no idea. He was working on a construction site in his home town of Detroit until his daughter Eva Alicia found a fansite called "The Great Rodriguez Hunt". [more inside]
posted by msalt at 4:00 PM PST - 22 comments

"An internal Justice Department inquiry into the conduct of Bush administration lawyers who wrote secret memorandums authorizing brutal interrogations has concluded that the authors committed serious lapses of judgment but should not be criminally prosecuted... The report by the Office of Professional Responsibility, an internal ethics unit within the Justice Department, is also likely to ask that state bar associations consider possible disciplinary action, including reprimands or even disbarment, for some of the lawyers involved in writing the legal opinions..." Meanwhile, "former Bush administration officials are launching a behind-the-scenes lobbying campaign to urge Justice Department leaders to soften" the report.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:42 PM PST - 51 comments

Maine House votes in favor of marriage equality, 89-57. In the process, Rep. Sheryl Briggs reveals that she cannot vote for the bill, despite the fact that her daughter is a lesbian. No word yet as to whether Governor John Baldacci will sign the legislation, but a campaign for a People's Veto is already underway.
posted by hermitosis at 1:56 PM PST - 175 comments


The one, the only, the brilliantly funny Dom DeLuise has passed away.
posted by cerebus19 at 10:56 AM PST - 121 comments


Quimby The Mouse. That is all. I have been a Chris Ware fan since 1990. More specifically, I have been a Quimby Mouse fan since 1990. This is a video Chris put together for This American Life for their spring 2009 event. The music is by Andrew Bird.
posted by PuppyCat at 8:49 AM PST - 40 comments

This is your biology textbook. This is your biology textbook on drugs. Any questions?
posted by jonp72 at 7:07 AM PST - 37 comments

"Few Victorian inventions have the grace and charm of the Ictíneo, the series of two wooden submarines built by Narcís Monturiol i Estarrol in the second half of the nineteenth century ... The thinking at the time was that it was almost impossible to run a steam engine underwater because it would use up all the oxygen and convert the inside of the ship into an oven. To overcome this, Monturiol invented a chemical furnace based on a reaction between potassium chlorate, zinc and manganese dioxide - a process that produced enough heat to boil water to run the steam engine. To complement this ingenuity, the reaction gave off oxygen as a by-product ... While his competitors devised submarines for military purposes, Monturiol had alternative ambitions. The man was a communist, a revolutionary and a utopian who regarded his invention as a way of improving the life of the working class ... "
posted by jim in austin at 5:23 AM PST - 23 comments

A baby star on Earth. The NIF (National Ignition Facility) is about to fire up lasers to demonstrate the real world possibility of nuclear fusion with a positive energy gain. BBC link with promo video narrated by Samuel L. Jackson. Also: previously.
posted by NekulturnY at 4:07 AM PST - 76 comments

Haven't you always secretly wondered what would happen if a ninja accidentally stumbled into, say, Bill and Ted's time traveling Phone Booth and ended up somewhere around 7th century BC, only to come face-to-face with a feisty Spartan? Have you not pondered what would happen if you locked up an Apache with a Gladiator inside some sort of 21st century battle dome? Are you frustrated because you feel like there's nobody doing proper scientific studies to see what would happen when you pit two historically violent warriors that could have never actually met in real life? Worry no more people - I present to you Spike TV's newest offering - Deadliest Warrior! [more inside]
posted by Bageena at 3:09 AM PST - 110 comments

"When Google Earth added historical maps of Japan to its online collection last year, the search giant didn't expect a backlash..." [more inside]
posted by zardoz at 2:25 AM PST - 117 comments

What the final hours of a Mount Everest climb are like, as written by a Canadian medical team last year (photographs enlarge nicely if opened in a new window). The month of May is the only safe window for climbing Sagarmatha, and this week Sherpas are desperately trying to get the route prepped. Journal entries from the mountain during the past day show excited teams awaiting the big push: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. The Discovery film crew got some nice shots last week, too. The climb is not without immense danger -- about 6 die on the mountain every year, and in 2006 David Sharp died right on the trail, raising a firestorm of debate.
posted by crapmatic at 1:23 AM PST - 56 comments

Today, May 5th, we celebrate the 100th birthday of Miklós Radnóti , the great Hungarian poet and a great poet of the Holocaust. His last poem, in which he predicts his imminent death, Razglednicák ('Picture Postcards' in Serbo-Croat), written while on a death-march, is one of the true Holocaust poems. Remarkably it was discovered sewn into his clothing and discovered on him nearly two years after his murder in 1944. He is a major focus of any study on Holocaust literature. Yet He wrote some of the most sensous poems in any language, my favourite being Bájoló (The Charm), beatifully sung (in Hungarian) by the another icon of Hungarian culture, Koncz Zsuzsa (YouTube link). There is the inevitable Wikipedia article on him, not to mention at least two Facebook groups. He has been the subject of several excellent films. Hungarian readers have the ever reliable Hungarian Electronic Library to access his poetry, English readers should head for their favourite bookshop, electronic or otherwise, and purchase Foamy Sky, a bi-lingual edition of his major poems. We can also turn to Lóránt Czigány's epic A History Of Hungarian Literature for deeper understanding of Radnóti's genius. [more inside]
posted by vac2003 at 1:03 AM PST - 6 comments

Coasteering is a sport that involves throwing yourself into a wave as it hits a cliff. [more inside]
posted by twoleftfeet at 12:42 AM PST - 35 comments

May 4


Did Gauguin Cut Off van Gogh's Ear? According to a new book by two German art historians, van Gogh did not slice off his left ear in a fit of madness and drunkenness in Arles in December 1888. His ear was severed by a sword wielded by his friend, the painter, Paul Gauguin, in a drunken row over a woman called Rachel and the true nature of art.
posted by ornate insect at 11:46 PM PST - 38 comments

Animator Giles Timms is doing interesting work (that has apparently already been discovered by laughing squid and boing boing but is still worth checking out.)
posted by serazin at 10:57 PM PST - 2 comments

It has lately been popular to make stuff. But few have made an airplane. A great variety of homebuilt/amateur experimental aircraft can be made, some speedy, some aerobatic, some quite popular. Some folks have even made a blimp. [more inside]
posted by exogenous at 8:58 PM PST - 24 comments

The flu craze might be reason to stay inside, but it's not stopping Mexicans from going out in style. It might even be the next fad north of the border, thanks to radio morning show DJs in cities such as Chicago. If you act now, you can submit your own design here just in time for Cinco de Mayo. But what do you know, some fashion designers already had the new fad planned out. But they can't ultimately claim the credit, for the Japanese have been putting their masks on for a long time.
posted by inkyroom at 8:11 PM PST - 34 comments

On April 25th, 2009, over 50 artists and 26 whitewashers spread out over lower Manhattan as part Jordan Seiler's "New York Street Advertising Takeover". Over 120 illegal billboards were whitewashed, then turned into "personal pieces of art." One person was arrested. More pictures. via
posted by logicpunk at 8:06 PM PST - 15 comments



Effing Hail: A bit of a different flash game. Laptop users with short screens may need to go full screen for this one. Break like the wind!
posted by Ogre Lawless at 7:09 PM PST - 22 comments

Under Our Skin: A "dramatic tale of microbes, medicine & money", Under Our Skin looks at the medical, political, and personal controversies surrounding Lyme disease. [more inside]
posted by rollbiz at 6:29 PM PST - 17 comments

What lingering doubts anyone might have about the case for war in Iraq took another body blow today, as the former deputy director of MI6, claimed Britain had been "dragged into" the war. [more inside]
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 5:08 PM PST - 28 comments

Recently, Fmr. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was asked some pointed torture questions by two Stanford students after an informal reception in a dorm building (transcript). Did she unwittingly confess to a role in a criminal conspiracy? Signs point to yes. [more inside]
posted by Hat Maui at 2:53 PM PST - 89 comments

This weekend, at a pizza restaurant in the liberal suburb of Arlington, Virginia, more than 50 people attended the first event held by the National Council for a New America - which is intended to "be a dynamic, forward-looking organization that will amplify the common-sense and wisdom of our fellow citizens through a grassroots dialogue with Republican leaders." The speakers included former presidential candidate Mitt Romney and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, who said, "This is not about messaging, this is not about branding. This is about trying to foster some discussion, because what's going on in Washington right now is not reflective of the mainstream of this country." [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese at 1:32 PM PST - 136 comments

Seattle-based German artist Trimpin makes sculptural musical instruments. He was profiled in a mini-documentary by Washington public TV station KBTC a couple of years ago. Here are videos of some other works of art he's created, Fire Organ, Liquid Percussion, Cello, Sensors and Record Players, Contraption at Seattle-Tacoma Airport, MIDI-controlled Player Piano and Sheng High. Kyle Gann wrote an essay by that placed Trimpin in the tradition of John Cage, Harry Partch and other avant-garde American musical inventors. The audio of a nearly hour and a half long 1990 interview with Trimpin by Charles Amirkhanian can be downloaded from the Internet Archive. Another, more light-hearted interview in connection to his show at this year's SXSW, where a documentary about him premiered (trailer).
posted by Kattullus at 1:32 PM PST - 5 comments

The SNARC Effect is a fascinating phenomenon.
posted by preparat at 1:29 PM PST - 18 comments

Recently, the Mozilla FireFox community encountered a bit of a hacking showdown between two of the more popular extensions, AdBlock Plus and NoScript. In a series of escalating updates, the two software packages fought a battle over the ability to display ads by default on NoScript developer Giorgio Maone's homepages for users who have installed the EasyList blacklist filters for AdBlock Plus. [more inside]
posted by onalark at 1:10 PM PST - 37 comments

Bizarro fiction isn't really a new genre. Just a new term. The current crop of bizarro authors are generally young and new to being published, with Carlton Mellick III as "both the Johnny Appleseed and the Johnny Rotten" of the newly dubbed genre, who started printing his stories under the header of Eraserhead Press. But what is Bizarro Fiction? A battle between the real William Shatner vs all the film versions of himself, resulting from a failed terrorist attack by Campbellians; bizarro-noir novellas, set in a world of murderers, drugs made from squid parts, deformed war veterans, and a mischievous apocalyptic donkey; or just a nice children's book about two Vampires who compete in a mustache competition to prove who is the faggiest of all. (via a local paper, though I didn't see the article isn't online) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 12:51 PM PST - 22 comments

From 1832 to 1834, the phenakistoscope was the way to get your moving picture fix. (previously) [more inside]
posted by fcummins at 12:45 PM PST - 6 comments

Live Hope Love — Living and Loving with HIV in Jamaica.
posted by netbros at 11:57 AM PST - 5 comments

You, like me, have probably often wondered where exactly Wolverine fits in the grand continuum of comic-book hair. Wonder no more. [more inside]
posted by Shepherd at 10:50 AM PST - 36 comments

Real time Dracula "Experience Bram Stoker's Dracula in a new way -- in real time. Dracula is an epistolary novel (a novel written as a series of letters or diary entries,)" Whitney Sorrow is posting each entry in real time starting on May 3rd the date of the first diary entry. [via]
posted by Mitheral at 10:31 AM PST - 27 comments

"He reportedly came to consider Solaris his least successful project, owing to what he saw as its inability to break the shackles of its genre ... Solaris, like a less malevolent version of its title element, takes one's own mind and reflects it right back, becoming whatever one believes it to be. The skill necessary to pull this magic off is common to Tarkovsky's body of work, but the openness isn't." Colin Marshall breaks down Solaris on 3quarksdaily, "Though even those few Tarkovsky aficionados who inexplicably have yet to make it to this film will be startled by just how effective its famed moment of zero-gravity really is."
posted by geoff. at 10:23 AM PST - 84 comments

Wu Note Records. Covers of Wu-Tang Clan (group and solo) LPs done Blue Note-style by graphic designer Logan Walters. A few more here.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:57 AM PST - 22 comments


"Xtreme Bowling is more than just showing up at your local alley and bowling in the dark to loud music, food, and alcohol. Oh, it's so much more than that..." [previously] [more inside]
posted by pts at 9:38 AM PST - 18 comments

Stuck in the dark without a flashlight and want to impress your friends? Make your own torch! [more inside]
posted by quin at 8:44 AM PST - 34 comments

[E]ven if you are unemployed you still receive a base amount of [vacation money] from the government, the reasoning being that if you can’t go on vacation, you’ll get depressed and despondent and you’ll never get a job.
[...]
But does the cartoon image of [the Dutch system] — encapsulated in the dread slur "socialism," which is being lobbed in American political circles like a bomb — match reality? Is there, maybe, a significant upside that is worth exploring? [...] I think it’s worth pondering how the best bits might fit.
After a year and a half of living in the Netherlands, American writer Russell Shorto compares the Dutch "welfare state" to the tax, health care and social security systems of the United States.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:20 AM PST - 119 comments

Theory versus Statistics, Financial Economics Edition. "You can almost here the lament of this quant that the real math theory has been dead since 1980, and that it has all been applied and statistics ever since. It’s like Fischer Black was Kool Herc and Myron Scholes was Afrika Bambaataa, and they’d all go plug in their computers into lamp posts and do martingale representations in the streets and at house parties. And, of course, it was all ruined in 1979 when it went commercial." A response to The Last Temptation of Risk by Barry Eichengreen.
posted by chunking express at 7:14 AM PST - 8 comments

Where are you in the movie? If we started a movie on the day you were born, and stretched it over your lifespan, this is where you’d be in that movie.
posted by 40 Watt at 7:11 AM PST - 83 comments

A few years ago, Russell Crowe, star of the breakaway Ridley Scott hit Gladiator, ran into fellow Australian Nick Cave and managed to convince the exotic dancer and sometime screenwriter to consider writing a sequel of the Roman period piece for him. The resulting script included the reincarnation of Maximus as the eternal warrior, the betrayal of Hephaestus, the sickness unto death of the Roman gods, the martyrdoms of St. Irenaeus of Lyon and St. Cassian of Imola, the persecution of Emperor Decius, the Crusades, and the Vietnam war; it ended in the men's bathroom at the Pentagon. Here is a review and detailed synopsis of that script, which was unfortunately (though not too surprisingly) rejected by the studios. [more inside]
posted by koeselitz at 6:34 AM PST - 44 comments

You all know what a flute looks like; no need to link to any images. And most of you probably know what a Japanese shakuhachi looks like, although in case your memory needs a jog, it's this one. But what you probably haven't seen before is the hybrid of the two - the Shakulute. And it's no joke; it's catching on; plenty of people are now playing it. Curious about the sound? There are a number of mp3s for listening here.
posted by woodblock100 at 3:22 AM PST - 27 comments

May 3

Gallipoli: The First Day [flash] An ABC documentary site about the WW1 ANZAC landing at Gallipoli, on 25 April 1915.
posted by tellurian at 11:21 PM PST - 12 comments


Frank Soltesz was a master of fascinating cutaway illustrations depicting "modern businesses" in the '40s and '50s - from hotels and hospitals to breweries, grocery stores, and more. (via Telstar Logistics Blog) [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive at 5:55 PM PST - 50 comments

F/lthy Gorgeous Th/ngs "aims to cultivate innovative content that stimulates us sexually and intellectually." [Not Safe For Work/Prudes]
posted by mhjb at 4:34 PM PST - 80 comments

Newsarama posts a massive six part interview with Alan Moore looking at The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Century: 1910 - part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6.
posted by Artw at 3:45 PM PST - 22 comments


The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology has put 675 reels of archival 16 mm film online via the Internet Archive. Most of the film is unedited, and stems either from Museum research, or was donated by interested amateurs. Much of it is silent, reflecting the technology of the day. One highlight are the four surviving reels of the long-running TV show 'What in the World" (look for the episode starring Vincent Price), but the archive is full of other hidden gems, such as the 1950s archaeological expedition to Tikal, a 1940 film "A 1000 Mile Road Trip Across America", and Glimpses of Life Among the Catawba and Cherokee Indians of the Carolinas (1927). The films are downloadable in various formats, including MPEG2, Ogg Video, and 512Kb MPEG4. Happy browsing! via.
posted by Rumple at 1:28 PM PST - 12 comments

Of all the pretenders to the throne of "British Elvis" in the pre-Beatles UK music scene, none had the swagger or moves quite like Vince Taylor. [more inside]
posted by fire&wings at 12:53 PM PST - 15 comments

The most important article you'll ever read about the Jonas Brothers which smartly breaks down the extreme disconnect between their message, their medium, and how hot foam spray guns figure into the conservative culture wars.
posted by mathowie at 12:21 PM PST - 208 comments

NYC Public School's PS22 Chorus belts out catchy tunes like Viva La Vida, Eye of The Tiger and Everybody's Changing. These Fifth Graders have also have worked with Tori Amos and Passion Pit among others. Make sure to check out their website.
posted by pwally at 10:55 AM PST - 26 comments

Maybe Apple had never actually listened to the song Closer before approving the Nine Inch Nails iphone app, but Trent Reznor Twitted today that Apple pulled the NIN application from the store due to objectionable content. The objectionable content referenced is "The Downward Spiral." [more inside]
posted by njbradburn at 7:15 AM PST - 104 comments

How Lehman Brothers Got Its Real Estate Fix. A great article in the NYTimes describes some of the details of commercial real estate lending in its heyday, with a focus on one of Lehman's biggest dealmakers.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 6:15 AM PST - 7 comments

Limited Purpose Banking -- for lending, investing, etc. -- Turn all financial firms into mutual funds: "All mutual funds would break the buck with one exception: cash mutual funds. These funds would strictly hold cash and be valued at $1 per share. Owners of these funds would write checks against their balances and never have to worry about a bank run. Fractional reserve banking and the FDIC would be history." [previously] [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 6:03 AM PST - 15 comments

May 2

Start your engines. Megan Culbert, age 8, was in her first year of racing.... her best time so far was an 11.30 in the 1/8 mile. Vroom.
posted by caddis at 9:34 PM PST - 40 comments

"Look at the surrealist moustache on the Mona Lisa. Just a silly joke? Consider where this joke can lead. I had been working with Malcolm Mc Neill for five years on an illustrated book entitled Ah Pook Is Here, and we used the same idea: Hieronymous Bosch as the background for scenes and characters taken from the Mayan codices and transformed into modern counterparts. That face in the Mayan Dresden Codex will be the barmaid in this scene, and we can use the Vulture God over here. Bosch, Michelangelo, Renoir, Monet, Picasso — steal anything in sight. You want a certain light on your scene? Lift it from Monet. You want a 1930s backdrop? Use Hopper." -- William S. Burroughs, Les Voleurs [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 8:41 PM PST - 29 comments

Jack Kemp, Buffalo Bills quarterback, Bob Dole's running mate, and New York congressman, is dead at 73.
posted by william_boot at 7:33 PM PST - 51 comments

Reinier van der Ende, an x-ray technician at the largest hospital in the northern part of the Netherlands, decided to combine his work with one of his hobbies and proceeded to x-ray his collection of video game consoles, peripherals and game cartridges. Here are the fruits of his labour. [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000 at 6:28 PM PST - 20 comments


Japanese Balloon Bombs — "In 1944, during World War II, Japan launched a top secret project, nearly two years in the making, to send thousands of "balloon bombs" (called Fu-Go Weapons) to the United States. The goal of the attack was to create panic, forest fires, and show the United States that it could be attacked from afar. Each of the more than 9,000 balloon bombs launched towards the United States, over the course of several months, carried a 15 kilogram bomb that would detach from the balloon and explode on impact with the ground." On a Wind and a Prayer. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 1:49 PM PST - 39 comments

The rise and fall of a physics fraudster. In the spring of 2002, the world’s most productive young scientist was a 31-year-old physicist at Bell Labs in New Jersey in the US. With eight papers published in Nature and Science in 2001 alone, Jan Hendrik Schön was emerging with breathtaking speed as a star researcher in physics, materials science and nanotechnology...But in September 2002, managers at Bell Labs released a report [pdf] that...made clear that much of Schön’s data were fake. His discoveries were lies. Many of his devices had probably never existed...On the day of the report’s release, Schön was fired and fled the US to an unknown location. In all, 21 of Schon's papers were withdrawn from Nature, Science and Physical Review Journals.
posted by gottabefunky at 1:21 PM PST - 50 comments

Rap Chop. Some impressive sound editing from DJ Steve Porter. [more inside]
posted by fucker at 12:02 PM PST - 32 comments

The Luttrell Psalter is the definitive example of Marginalia; the term used to describe drawings and flourishes in medieval illuminated manuscripts. Explore pages similar to this and this up close. Here is a medieval blog which has more Marginalia, both amusing and medievally ribauld or both. For serious scholars Marginalia is the website of the Medieval Reading Group at the University of Cambridge which has a myriad of online resources.
posted by adamvasco at 11:52 AM PST - 11 comments

Infinite Monkey Comics! Create a three-panel comic from twitter posts and flickr images, based on the keyword of your choosing.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:41 AM PST - 54 comments

Geoengineering and the New Climate Denialism. "[S]ometimes the politics around an issue become so twisted that it's necessary to address the politics before we can have a real discussion about the problems and how to solve them. That's the case with geoengineering."
posted by homunculus at 11:27 AM PST - 70 comments

John King, likely the world’s only classical ukulele virtuoso, died last month at the age of 55. Here he is performing a Bach prelude, playing more Bach, and playing Chopsticks.
posted by ornate insect at 10:45 AM PST - 20 comments


It's Free Comic Book Day, so don't forget to pop down to your local comicbooks store and score some swag. In the mean time Warren Ellis suggests you enjoy this free online copy of Fell issue #1, with art by Ben Templesmith.
posted by Artw at 10:05 AM PST - 15 comments

Waterlines is a new online exhibit from the excellent Burke Museum at the University of Washington, Seattle. It tells the story of the land underlying Seattle, one of the United States' most geologically active city sites, and of the human attempts to engineer this landform. Closely related are the archaeology of West Point and Coast Salish Villages of Puget Sound (e.g., read the story of North Wind and Storm Wind).
posted by Rumple at 9:32 AM PST - 3 comments

If you follow the 210+ reasons why the Roman Empire "fell", you might be interested in this 60-min interview with author Adrian Goldsworthy about his recent book How Rome Fell. The interview includes a number of fascinating discussions about the nature of writing popular history, his theory on why Rome "fell", and why analogies between modern countries and Rome's fate have it all wrong. Goldsworthy also did introductions for the Rome series which can be watched here/here. ( via New Books in History)
posted by stbalbach at 7:39 AM PST - 75 comments

A few months ago I heard a song from the Côte d’Ivoire. Twelve minutes long, Champion DJ’s ‘Baako’ is built around a baby crying through Auto-Tune. The software bends the baby’s anguish into eerie musicality. The ear likes it. The mind isn’t so sure. ‘Baako’ is disturbing. The aestheticized cry no longer corresponds to any normal emotion. Before Auto-Tune, we had no melodious screams. dj/Rupture writes an essay about auto-tune.
posted by geos at 6:10 AM PST - 49 comments

Ben Walker, author of the Twitter song, webcast a gig in Oxford last night. Lo-fi posters were printed up and a Twitter stream was running on the back wall. You can also download some of the guitar tabs, see photos of rehearsals or download the songs.
posted by bwerdmuller at 4:11 AM PST - 11 comments

Get Songsmith, record a Cure cover, and send it to RobertSongsmith.
posted by Miss Otis' Egrets at 2:55 AM PST - 16 comments

Because there are so many birds around the world, and because they often look very similar, you likely need a field guide to help you figure out what bird is in your backyard. Well, just in time for spring, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has redesigned their wonderful All About Birds site and they can help you with building your skills. Don't forget to bring your checklist!
posted by shoesfullofdust at 2:18 AM PST - 18 comments


Question... What has killed more people than have died in the First World War... No, not another War, But a Pandemic, The Influenza Pandemic of 1918. [more inside]
posted by hadjiboy at 12:10 AM PST - 97 comments

May 1

There are times when having a fully developed brain can almost seem like an impediment. Are babies more aware of the world around them than adults are? Can "thinking like a baby" lead us to be more in tune with our creativity and our ability to learn? Scientists have taken a new look inside the baby mind, which is "unfocused, random, and extremely good at what it does."
posted by amyms at 11:47 PM PST - 38 comments


*Kimba*
posted by vronsky at 8:51 PM PST - 37 comments

It's on Facebook. It's also on MySpace. It even has a Twitter page. The White House is in the 21st century.
posted by pyramid termite at 8:23 PM PST - 32 comments

James Corbett, a California high-school educator of twenty years, has been found guilty of violating the establishment clause of the first amendment. The lawsuit (PDF) was brought to a U.S. District Court on December 12th, 2007 by student Chad Farnan and his parents with the aid of the legal group 'Advocates for Faith and Freedom' against Corbett and the Capistrano Unified School District as a result of comments made which were critical of Christianity. During the sixteen month legal battle, hundreds of students in support of the teacher demonstrated outside the school while the Farnan family appealed to opinion outlets like 'The O'Reilly Factor'. [more inside]
posted by cgomez at 8:17 PM PST - 122 comments

"Maybe, just maybe, we've found the next Mozart." Not just a six year old virtuoso, but a composer as well, Emily Bear seems likely to keep us listening longer than most precocious child pianists. As one tv talk show host has learned, as a composer Emily is both speedy and prolific.
posted by washburn at 7:58 PM PST - 52 comments

Karaoke Party. A web-based karaoke game that lets you pick a song, sing it with backing instrumental and vocals, track whether or not you're singing the right note at the right time, and gives you points if you do. [more inside]
posted by Hildegarde at 6:52 PM PST - 11 comments

After his ninth heart surgery, Mackie's doctors had him on 15 different medicines. But the side effects made life miserable. So one day he quit taking all 15 and decided to spend his final days doing something he always wanted to do. He used the money he would have spent on the prescriptions to give away 300 harmonicas, with lessons included. "I really thought it was the last thing I could ever do," he says. [more inside]
posted by 445supermag at 6:34 PM PST - 26 comments

Tag! You're It! The Brooklyn Museum is inviting its user community to tag its online collection.
posted by Miko at 3:19 PM PST - 26 comments

I came across this at youtube while looking for a visual to illustrate "strong teeth" in an e-mail. Just had to share: Woman crosses Time Square by her teeth, circa 1932.
posted by BoscosMom at 2:53 PM PST - 26 comments

Milk Information: Type a title at the top of the page, have a related Creative-Commons-licensed flickr photo and twitter text combined below. [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by Greg Nog at 2:21 PM PST - 61 comments

It's always great excitement to see a rainbow. If you're lucky enough to have your camera with you, even better. But there's more to it than just being in the right place at the right time. How to Photograph a Rainbow gives us some pointers so our pictures can look like these. As a last resort, if you have a great photo opportunity but no rainbow: Add A Realistic Rainbow To A Photo In Photoshop.
posted by netbros at 1:33 PM PST - 24 comments


Tracy White is a webcomics pioneer, having produced TRACED ("lived, written and drawn by me. guaranteed 95% true.") since 1996. There's also the docu-comic Babble Fish, about God revealing himself in the form of a fish to an upstate NY Hasidic community, and her contribution to For Real, a comic documenting the lives of immigrant teens in NYC. You can also follow her work on YouTube and Flickr, where she posts selections from her upcoming book.
posted by not_on_display at 12:07 PM PST - 2 comments

At the mostly abandoned Moffett Field in an abandoned McDonald's, digital archeologists attempt to restore, recover and archive abandoned high resolution imagery and data from previous manned Moon missions, using an abandoned Ampex 2" tape drive found in a chicken coop - the last working machine in the world, restored by the last man alive capable of rebuilding the heads. This is likely only part of their weird story.
posted by loquacious at 11:54 AM PST - 66 comments

Would you eat a stack of 16 sugar cubes? SugarStacks makes it clear how much food you're having with your sugar. The McDonald's chocolate shake is particularly disgusting.
posted by up in the old hotel at 11:02 AM PST - 100 comments

For those who might be unaware: One of the great basketball games concluded last night in thrilling fashion during triple overtime. It is only par for a series that has gone into overtime for the fourth time in games in six games (one of which was double OT, and last night's aforementioned triple OT). The heroic moments and failures of players are too numerous to count at this point, but five of the six games have been decided by 11 points... TOTAL. On Saturday 8PM EST, what is arguably one of the greatest series ever, will conclude with the final game 7. [more inside]
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 10:55 AM PST - 56 comments


A Japanese study finds a link between lower suicide rates and traces of lithium in the drinking water. While the study's findings are "intriguing", external relations director Sophie Corlett of Mind warns that lithium is toxic, and that further research is needed.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 10:31 AM PST - 17 comments

Flash Friday: Crush the Castle. Use a trebuchet to bust up various castles, squashing the regal inhabitants.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 10:19 AM PST - 40 comments

Everybodies favorite tower defense game has a major new release Desktop Tower Defense just released a Pro edition. It's got new graphics, new creeps and multiplayer. If it's Friday it must be fun and flash!
posted by Bonzai at 10:11 AM PST - 34 comments

Pick the perp.
posted by mudpuppie at 10:00 AM PST - 55 comments

The First of May Jonathan Coulton's ode to the 'coming' of spring (SLYT). NSFW language. Coulton's Last.fm page. More MP3s here. Coulton wrote the 'Still Alive' song from Portal and also works with John Hodgman. Jon on Twitter.
posted by daHIFI at 9:20 AM PST - 21 comments

A recent Nielsen study which has been circulating the web indicated that 60% of Twitter users quit the social networking site after just one month--music to many Mefite's ears. But as one reporter noted, the study didn't take into account any of the third-party applications, (like Tweetdeck) through which many users access their Twitter feeds. Just three days later, Nielsen responds with a revised study purportedly them into account.
posted by misha at 9:14 AM PST - 86 comments

William Eggleston ...an American(a) photographer takes intensly colorful photographs of junk, hotel rooms, road sides. Its been done by lots of photographers, and unintentional imitators, but he's made a real name for himself. So much depends upon a red wheel barrow glazed with rain water beside the white chickens.
posted by celerystick at 9:13 AM PST - 17 comments

Prostitution is legal in two states: Nevada and Rhode Island. Some legislators in Rhode Island have been trying to close the loophole for years, to no avail. Yesterday, for the first time, the bill took a huge step toward passage. [more inside]
posted by lunit at 8:02 AM PST - 65 comments

The PEW survey recently released; summarised by Andrew Sullivan reveals that evangelicals are most likely to approve of torture.
This survey coincides with Harpers May edition lead article ( presently behind a subscription firewall) extracted here. The article is by Jeff Sharlet - (previously: How the Christian right is reimagining U.S. history). The two are not unrelated. The division of the world into God's people and Satan's people enabled the Bush Administration to support the most devilish behavior imaginable, all in the name of righteousness, as shown by General Boykin then Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence.
posted by adamvasco at 7:39 AM PST - 181 comments

Stephen Wolfram discusses Wolfram|Alpha: Computational Knowledge Engine - at the same time Google Adds Search to Public Data, viz: "Nobody really paid attention to the two hour snorecast" -- like a cross between designing for big data and a glossary of game theory terms -- on Wolfram|Alpha (previously), yet the veil is being lifted nonetheless: "[on] a platonic search engine, unearthing eternal truths that may never have been written down before," cf. hunch & cyc (and in other startup news...) [via] [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 6:42 AM PST - 29 comments

Jack and Meg did it first. Audioslave did it poorly. The Hives tried to do it by rote. The Flaming Lips did it best while simultaneously Moving To Florida. It's been done in Mario Paint and on a ukulele. But the latest people to attempt it? Country legends The Oak Ridge Boys.
posted by namewithoutwords at 6:11 AM PST - 108 comments

Video for Matt and Kim's "Lessons Learned" [NSFW]
posted by bardic at 3:50 AM PST - 88 comments

On April 28, Clifford May, president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracy, was interviewed by Jon Stewart on the Daily Show. It was about torture. The interview lasted three times longer than what was eventually aired, but the full-length video is online and quite fascinating, if a bit shouty. Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. [more inside]
posted by Scattercat at 1:13 AM PST - 75 comments