May 2012 Archives

May 31

ITU Power-grab, or is something else brewing behind the scenes? C-SPAN Video coverage of fascinating proposal to give the United Nations more control over the Internet. The proposal, backed by China, Russia, Brazil and India, is being examined in depth. And some folks aren't liking what they see... [more inside]
posted by RoseyD at 11:16 PM PST - 18 comments

EcoAlberto Park in El Alberto, Mexico, offers a unique experience: participating in an illegal border crossing. VICE Magazine filmed the trip.
posted by mattdidthat at 7:18 PM PST - 9 comments

Bratabase is a crowdsourced "bra database" made to help women find the right bra (interview with the creator). According to many studies, over 80% of women aren't wearing the correct bra size: "there's a lot of misinformation about bras out there". For instance, D cups just aren't that big ("Clearly there are a whole lot more D+ cups out there than people assume") and not all D cups are the same size ("from left to right 30D, 32D, 34D, 36D, 38D. Five different band lengths, five different cup volumes. All D Cups"). Most of these links contain photos and therefore may be NSFWish for some. [more inside]
posted by flex at 6:44 PM PST - 124 comments

On March 8, 1971, James Brown performed at The Olympia in Paris. [more inside]
posted by Trurl at 6:38 PM PST - 25 comments

In a high profile gaffe President Barack Obama has recently caused anger in Poland by referring to a Nazi death camp as a "Polish death camp" during a ceremony honoring World War II hero Jan Karski with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. “The White House will apologize for this outrageous error,Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski tweeted. Sikorski said that Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk “will make a statement in the morning. It’s a pity that this important ceremony was upstaged by ignorance and incompetence.” [more inside]
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:14 PM PST - 160 comments


I've been dreading this day since I became manager in 1997," Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. This day, today, Detroit Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom retired from the game of professional hockey after 20 NHL seasons. Lidstrom is considered to be one of the best defenseman ever to play the game. [more inside]
posted by kbanas at 5:35 PM PST - 25 comments

Next Wednesday's Transit of Venus (prev.) may be astronomically important, but is also a chance to reflect on a lot of important 18th and 19th century science, discovery and politics.
posted by wilful at 5:28 PM PST - 14 comments


A very special South Korean version of "The Miracle Worker" (Part 1, Part 2), featuring music purloined from the shows Bat Boy and Legally Blonde.
posted by hermitosis at 2:51 PM PST - 12 comments

You're watching your favorite tv show. There's a song in the background that catches your ear, and suddenly you're desperate for a recording. Unfortunately, you don't recognize the voice of the singer. Or the sound of the band. And dammit, you can't make out enough of the lyrics to google them! Waiting for DVDs is usually no help, since they often can't use (read: afford the rights to) the original music, so you're stuck with illegal, fan-made DVDs at ridiculous prices, awful, meaningless replacement music, or a single missing song that destroys the essence of the episode (c.f. Quantum Leap episode "M.I.A." and "Georgia on my Mind;" Wiseguy episode "No One Gets out of Here Alive" and "Nights in White Satin"). What's a fan to do? [more inside]
posted by tzikeh at 2:51 PM PST - 72 comments

David Hoyle (born 1963) is an English performance artist, avant-garde cabaret artist, singer, actor, comedian and film director. In the 1990s he developed an extremely strange, extremely gay "anti-drag queen" character called The Divine David and produced two series for Channel 4, back when that channel was still unafraid of pushing the boundaries. These were:

The Divine David Presents (SLYT)
The Divine David Heals (SLYT)

He also appeared in the video for the last single released to date by Faith No More - I Started A Joke of course being a Bee Gees cover - which is unaccountably set in a northern English working men's club.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 2:26 PM PST - 10 comments

Vidz was a late-night video review show from the late 90s, presented by Nigel Buckland and Stef Gardner and shown on Channel 4 in the UK. It concentrated mostly on reviewing low-budget, cult and foreign films. Most of the episodes can be found on this youtube channel and there's an episode by episode guide here). After a break of 12 years or so, they're back, this time in podcast form.
posted by dng at 1:34 PM PST - 14 comments

Of the 17,808 players (and counting) who’ve run up the dugout steps and onto a Major League field, only 974 have had one-game careers. [...] The Cup of Coffee club is filled exclusively with people who do not want to be members.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:03 PM PST - 26 comments

Proteus is a beautiful game by Ed Key with no goals except admiring natural features and exploring a procedurally generated island [some spoilers in videos], modeled loosely after the open land near Key's parents' home in Cumbria. The game also features "reactively mixed" ambient electronic music (think 'chiptune Boards of Canada') composed by David Kanaga, which changes and shifts according to your physical context. Though only in v0.1, it has already won critical accolades, as well as an award for The Most Amazing Indie Game at A MAZE 2012.
posted by p3on at 11:58 AM PST - 50 comments




Edward Sharpe's new video for MAN ON FIRE goes to cheer gyms, double dutch practice spaces, and dance studios, focusing on both performers and observers, then takes the glorious action to the streets.
posted by roger ackroyd at 9:56 AM PST - 30 comments

The goons at Something Awful have a field day photoshopping downgraded and cut-rate literary classics. Part 2.
posted by The Whelk at 9:38 AM PST - 150 comments

Body parts suspect the focus of international manhunt. [cbc.ca] The search for Luka Rocco Magnotta, the 29-year-old suspect in the grisly slaying and dismemberment of a victim whose body parts were sent in the mail, has now spread beyond Canada. [thestar.com] Who is Luka Rocco Magnotta? Luka Rocco Magnotta dated Karla Homolka (Canadian serial killer), police confirm. [nationalpost.com]
posted by Fizz at 9:36 AM PST - 95 comments

Watch as some REALLY REALLY BIG PEOPLE crawl around and dance on the Sydney Opera House. Then it kinda changes colors, and then it, um... collapses.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:22 AM PST - 22 comments

Tove Jansson's short stories about artistic creation are often chillingly cold. The artists she portrays have become lost in their isolated solitude, their creativity, which shuts other people out. Portraits of such loneliness are drawn in three short stories in the collection Lyssnerskan ('The listener', 1971), 'Ekorren' ('The squirrel'), 'Svart & vitt' ('Black & white') and 'Vargen' ('The wolf’), which probably frightened many readers - particularly those who knew and loved her Moomin books - away from Jansson's work. In their cosmos, warmth is unknown; their landscapes are frozen, just like the people who seek expression for their artistic dreams. [more inside]
posted by smcg at 7:25 AM PST - 19 comments

Science off the Sphere is a video series by Don Pettit aboard the ISS showing off the neat things you can do in zero-gravity. [more inside]
posted by quin at 7:19 AM PST - 13 comments


NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proposed a ban on the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, movie theaters and street carts. Mr. Bloomberg’s proposal requires the approval of the Board of Health, a step that is considered likely because the members are all appointed by him, and the board’s chairman is the city’s health commissioner, who joined the mayor in supporting the measure on Wednesday.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:47 AM PST - 349 comments

Minus 40 degrees is the same temperature in both Celsius and Fahrenheit. It is also the temperature where skin freezes, and the point where water is completely frozen (and mercury too). Strangely, it's also the average temperature of the record lows for all 50 United States, though normal in Alaska.
posted by Brian B. at 6:42 AM PST - 54 comments

The 2012 Internet Problem Solving Contest will begin in a couple of days. Read the rules if you want to join in or perhaps just enjoy delving into the archive of past years' problems.
posted by Wolfdog at 5:52 AM PST - 14 comments

Kevin Roose's The Unlikely Disciple, in which Brown attends Jerry Falwell's evangelical Liberty University for a semester (excerpt), has been featured on MetaFilter previously, but it deserves to be looked at in more detail. What distinguishes the book is Roose's determination to look at the people behind the belief rather than just lampooning the belief itself; he writes about interviewing Falwell (and he was in fact the last person to interview Falwell before his death), and about his uneasiness about finding the likable, human elements that went alongside the fanaticism. After publication, Liberty University allowed the book in its bookstore, but inserted a three-paragraph disclaimer warning readers of inaccuracies and telling them to be skeptical; Roose rebuts the disclaimer. An English professor at Liberty University offers an interesting perspective. Meanwhile, Roose runs a blog series called Meet Jerry's Kids, in which he interviews LU students, and The Jonah Project, where he encourages people who disagree politically or religiously to have reasoned, yelling-free discussions about the novel.
posted by Rory Marinich at 5:49 AM PST - 43 comments

Starforge is a game of mining, building and survival. Sound familiar? Wait until you see the video. It's free to play, and the alpha/tech-demo is downloadable right now. (Forum, sub-reddit). Notch approves. [more inside]
posted by empath at 5:49 AM PST - 38 comments

Trees of Life: A Visual History of Evolution Trees of Life: A Visual History of Evolution catalogs 230 tree-like branching diagrams, culled from 450 years of mankind’s visual curiosity about the living world and our quest to understand the complex ecosystem we share with other organisms, from bacteria to birds, microbes to mammals. (More trees are visible at the Google Books site.)
posted by OmieWise at 5:48 AM PST - 4 comments

Stately Sandwiches: What sandwich should represent your state? [more inside]
posted by jacquilynne at 5:31 AM PST - 179 comments


May 30

Journey into Cryptography is a multipart video introduction to the subject for beginners, created by Brit Cruise and hosted by Khan Academy. There are several interactive tools to help explain some key concepts. Also, a recent lecture entitled "Principles of Security" was given by noted Javascript curmudgeon Douglas Crockford, focusing on security and the web, with a detour into Volapük.
posted by gwint at 9:40 PM PST - 11 comments

"It took years to lock them up. Hundreds of enemy fighters captured during some of the fiercest combat of the war. But then, one night last spring, as American troops surged into Taliban territory, all of those prisoners, all of that progress, disappeared. Prof. Luke Mogelson ventures down the rabbit hole to find them."
posted by vidur at 9:26 PM PST - 30 comments

In a Rolling Stone article published yesterday, Aaron Freeman, co-founder of the cult rock band Ween, declared he was "retiring Gene Ween. ... For me, it's a closed book." Today, Freeman posted on his Facebook page: "I've decided to end my musical relationship with Ween." [more inside]
posted by kjh at 9:07 PM PST - 59 comments

Tourette does not shorten life, limit mobility, or impair cognitive or emotional function ... While the genesis of TS is neurological, its most important symptom is semantic, the ongoing need to attach meaning to what are quite literally empty gestures.
Greg Downey talks about Tourette's Syndrome and Robert Lemelson’s documentary The Bird Dancer. [more inside]
posted by nangar at 8:29 PM PST - 4 comments


Julian Cope's "Album of the Month" series brims with personal, passionate, and often mind-expanding writing about records like James Brown's The Payback, Nico's The Marble Index, and a bunch of stuff you've never heard of. (previously) [more inside]
posted by Trurl at 6:24 PM PST - 25 comments

As they become more readily available to consumers, LEDs will undoubtedly replace CFLs as the primary light source for residential and commercial, inside and out, due to their dramatic efficiency gains. In an unexpected turn of events, however, MIT researchers have developed an LED with 230 percent efficiency. Previously [more inside]
posted by CynicalKnight at 6:00 PM PST - 70 comments

FDA Rules Corn Syrup Can't Change Its Name To Corn Sugar [more inside]
posted by TangerineGurl at 5:21 PM PST - 100 comments

Lawrence Lessig, erstwhile Free Culture advocate now given to fighting corruption on a larger scale, delivers a commencement address. "There is no one in the criminal justice system who believes that system works well. There is no one in housing law who believes this is what law was meant to be. In contracts, you read about disputes involving tens, maybe a hundred dollars. The disputes of ordinary people. These disputes are not for the courts any more. Or if they are, they are for courts that are an embarrassment to the ideals of justice from our tradition. The law of real people doesn’t work, even if the law of corporations does."
posted by the mad poster! at 4:48 PM PST - 24 comments

Snow White's Scary Adventures - A Retrospective [via mefi projects] The author can't post it here for obvious reasons, but I can. I think. Now to wipe these tears from my eyes...
Tomorrow, May 31st, will be the last day of operation for the ride Snow White's Scary Adventures at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. The ride has played a significant role in my family's life for the past decade (my son is autistic, and has ridden the ride more than 3,400 times), and I wrote a retrospective about the history of the ride. This is a subject that is too close for me to post on the Blue, but Matthowie and Jessamyn both suggested that I post about it here. The linked blog post itself contains links to a four part series about my son, and also a link in the footnotes to the single best reference site on the web for the ride in all its permutations. I know it's just a silly old fairy tale dark ride, and not on many people's "must-see" list when they come to Disney World, but I hope my article can help at least a few people understand why it really is an important piece of history.
posted by COD at 4:37 PM PST - 32 comments

Gymnast: In Motion — The elegant movements and athletic prowess of five twirling trampolinists are captured in photographer Steve Harries’ new short film. Performing up to 7.5 meters in the air—shot from a tall camera tower beneath a rig suspending the set, mirrors and lights from the ceiling—bodies were broken up into fragmented forms and motions by a bank of six mirrors. Contrast that with No Church in the Wild, the Jay Z & Kanye West collaboration filmed by Romain Gavras. A message of hope to anyone who feels society needs to change direction, or a furious extended urban battle scene?
posted by netbros at 3:40 PM PST - 9 comments

With just over one week to the UEFA Euro 2012 kickoff, a BBC Panorama special Stadiums of Hate uncovers widespread, systemic racism and far-right violence amongst sects of Polish and Ukranian Football fans.
posted by whyareyouatriangle at 3:31 PM PST - 42 comments

What if a deadly epidemic was burgeoning and almost nobody noticed? In the latest issue of PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, a distinguished group of virologists, epidemiologists and infectious-disease specialists say that’s not a hypothetical question. They argue that Chagas disease, a parasitic infection transmitted by blood-sucking insects, has become so widespread and serious — while remaining largely unrecognized — that it deserves to be considered a public health emergency. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb at 3:26 PM PST - 31 comments


Sometimes politicians say something stupid on Twitter, and then delete the tweet. Politwoops re-publishes those tweets.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:00 PM PST - 37 comments


The story of a wrestling bison in a world of crazed gummy bears was a story destined for a sequel. Burrito Bison Revenge has arrived.
posted by mikoroshi at 12:50 PM PST - 10 comments


Yesterday, Pop Chart Lab announced a new print, meant to be "the most comprehensive mapping of the breweries of the USA ever compiled." However, this epic infographic featured many notable omissions. In response to tweets, emails, and comments, the company stopped the presses and worked overnight to make corrections.
posted by kyleg at 12:12 PM PST - 41 comments

Beach-faring designers take note: Fashion Factory has created a line of official Pantone swimwear for men.
posted by hermitosis at 11:26 AM PST - 35 comments

After a two year process, the Sauber F1 Team have successfully sliced one of their cars in half. The result allows for a detailed look inside the technical workings of a modern F1 car.
posted by kfkcam at 10:34 AM PST - 56 comments


Venus Williams, learning to live with a chronic illness. [NYTimes.com] "Singing replaced swinging; karaoke became her way to cope. Williams said this Monday, in a quiet moment at the French Open, inside a windowless room beneath the courts. Since doctors told her she had Sjögren’s syndrome, an incurable autoimmune disease, last year at the United States Open, everything has changed. Williams says she wakes up each morning unsure of how she will feel."
posted by Fizz at 9:06 AM PST - 31 comments


Eric Wynalda, US Soccer Hall of Fame striker, and Fox Soccer Commentator, has been an outspoken opponent of many of the current practices of Major League Soccer (MLS) - all the while coveting an MLS coaching position. He has been described as one of the most polarizing figures in US soccer and and a " frickin twitter train wreck” by the owner of the Portland Timbers. Tonight the train wreck pays a visit to Portland. [more inside]
posted by incandissonance at 7:43 AM PST - 44 comments

A large selection geometric shapes, all created with just one HTML element & CSS. An interesting take on geometry. Includes Space Invader. [more inside]
posted by Deathalicious at 7:28 AM PST - 31 comments

The Royal Observatory, Greenwich has put together the fantastic short video Measuring the Universe which briefly describes the different techniques used to allow us to calculate the vast distances to stellar objects in space. [via]
posted by quin at 7:05 AM PST - 11 comments

Louisiana monks go to court to sell their caskets. “The number one thing you should do as a public interest litigator is to get monks as your clients in every single case.”
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 4:48 AM PST - 90 comments

"The question of whether or not Cobb's top falls doesn't really matter." Kyle Johnson, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, gives a detailed, multi-layered analysis of Inception as part of Authors@Google talks. Very insightful and interesting, even if you think he's dead wrong.
posted by litleozy at 2:38 AM PST - 85 comments

On the 30th May, 1593, playwright Christopher Marlowe was stabbed in a Deptford tavern. Except, it wasn't a tavern, and all present were known liars. His writing style was very similar to that of early William Shakespeare, whose name first appeared in print very shortly afterwards. [more inside]
posted by iotic at 2:24 AM PST - 214 comments

May 29

Earlier today, the Romney campaign released an app for showing support with pictures: "A Better Amercia. I'm with Mitt." (Note the typo.) There's now a Tumblr for people to show what Amercia means to them. Get the app and make your own!
posted by Pronoiac at 11:33 PM PST - 143 comments

Book illustrator Leo Dillon, who in partnership with his wife Diane Dillon, illustrated and did the covers for many of your favourite childrens' books, has passed away on May 26th. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse at 11:10 PM PST - 18 comments

Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman of the New York Court of Appeals announced that beginning next year, prospective lawyers must show that they have performed at least 50 hours of law-related pro bono service before being admitted to the New York state bar. [more inside]
posted by hypotheticole at 10:44 PM PST - 60 comments

It's unusual for a woman to be a leader in Afghanistan but Zarifa Qazizadah has become the country's only female village chief through force of personality and determination to get things done - even if that means cross-dressing, wearing a false moustache and driving around on a motorbike at night. "I tell the men of the village, all I want is your prayers," she says. "When you have a problem, I'll speak to the government on your behalf and whenever there is any disturbance at night-time, I'll pick up my gun and come to your house to see what's going on."
posted by barnacles at 8:14 PM PST - 6 comments


Matt Might, computer science professor, has a son with a new genetic condition. This is the story of how they figured this out. Matt Might, perhaps best known for the illustrated guide to a PhD, tells the wrenching tale of their son's terrible medical condition and how they've worked to figure out what is going on with him.
posted by k8t at 7:52 PM PST - 38 comments

Iconic bluegrass guitarist Doc Watson has died in a Winston-Salem, NC hospital. Arthel "Doc" Watson, 89 years old at the time of his death, was one of the greatest traditional, folk and bluegrass guitarists in history. He is credited with popularizing the flatpicking style of guitar, and his involvement with the concerts in New York City, Boston and Newport helped popularize traditional mountain music and bluegrass during the 1960s. [more inside]
posted by Shotgun Shakespeare at 6:37 PM PST - 106 comments

As a tribute to Frédéric Chopin, we take you to the home of Arthur Rubinstein - one of the most distinguished interpreters of his works. [more inside]
posted by Trurl at 6:18 PM PST - 17 comments

Merge your body with the powers of a Kinect controller to become Ultra Seven!
posted by ardgedee at 6:16 PM PST - 18 comments


In 2010, Rep. D.J. Bettencourt became the youngest majority leader in the history of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, as well as the youngest House majority leader of any state legislature in the U.S. On May 25, 2012, Bettencourt announced his resignation from the House, citing his upcoming wedding and his new job as executive director of the New Hampshire Legal Rights Foundation. Three days after his resignation, Bettencourt resigned again – this time with an apology for “misrepresenting [his] work.” [more inside]
posted by bakerina at 4:28 PM PST - 55 comments

"This gallery contains time lapse movies of fungi, molds, bacteria, slime molds and insects of interest to plant pathologists." Be sure and check out the peach and plum, Homer Simpson growing "hair", a rotting book and mushrooms growing and dying.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:16 PM PST - 22 comments

What kind of an Eeget are ya? Not sure what MeFi will make of this wry little monologue, or indeed what the World-Wide World will make of the chap's accent, but it has humour, and truth, and I know plenty of people who 'spake' just like that...
posted by ironjelly at 3:30 PM PST - 26 comments

Guidelines [pdf] recently published by a coalition of religious liberty and free speech organizations caution educators against violating student rights when trying to enforce anti-bullying policies. Other groups, however, worry that concern for free speech rights may keep educators from effectively addressing bullying. [more inside]
posted by audi alteram partem at 2:18 PM PST - 66 comments


The upcoming Worldwide Short Film Fest in Toronto has taken a few of the web's most viral videos and re-imagined them: Leeroy Jenkins, David After Dentist and Charlie Bit My Finger have all been updated for the big screen. (Some videos not for the faint of heart)
posted by krunk at 1:42 PM PST - 24 comments

Set on the stage of current book buying and reading habits, where bookbuyers browse local shops then buy online and universities move the books out of their libraries (prev), Tony Sanfilippo (MetaFilter's Toekneesan) imagines book stores of a different sort, part bookstore with new and used books, part lending library, part something more. (via) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:00 PM PST - 24 comments

Here he comes... Super Shark! (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:58 PM PST - 20 comments

To Profile or Not to Profile? A Debate between Sam Harris and Bruce Schneier.
posted by brundlefly at 12:56 PM PST - 150 comments

Hack The Cover "This is an essay for book lovers and designers curious about where the cover has been, where it's going, and what the ethos of covers means for digital book design."
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 12:08 PM PST - 11 comments


"when i went into cyberspace i went into it thinking that it was a place like any other place and that it would be a human interaction like any other human interaction. i was wrong when i thought that. it was a terrible mistake." Pandora's Vox: On Community in Cyberspace [more inside]
posted by codacorolla at 11:40 AM PST - 25 comments

Linda Holmes, NPR: "It probably speaks to the complexity of Mad Men that the same episode can be a highlight of the series for some and a lowlight for others. Sunday night's episode, "The Other Woman," instantly became a favorite of a lot of observers and writers, but for me, it was a rarity on Mad Men: a serious and profound misstep." (spoilers in links) [more inside]
posted by flex at 11:33 AM PST - 665 comments

You may have seen Replacements, Ltd.'s print ads in the back of PARADE magazine (of Howard Huge fame). Replacements, both a seller and a resource for china and glassware owners, was one of the few North Carolina businesses to publicly take a stand [NYT] against the state's vote to ban gay marriage. As an employer, Replacements is one of only nine companies in the country to receive a perfect score for ten years straight in the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index. But the company is also known for another surprisingly liberal policy: encouraging its 450 employees to bring their pets to work amidst millions of pieces of china and glassware. How many? A whole lot. [more inside]
posted by Madamina at 11:29 AM PST - 31 comments

David Letterman, Indianapolis native, racing fan and Indy Car team co-owner, sat down for an interview about the history of the Indianapolis 500, and its effect on him since childhood. No jokes, no snark, just a knowledgeable and passionate discussion about something he cares for tremendously. Parts one, two, three, and four.
posted by MarvinTheCat at 11:22 AM PST - 18 comments

Late last year Congress passed, and the President signed, the NDAA FY 2012. Many people and organizations protested claiming that some provisions in the NDAA could be interpreted in such a way as to allow for the indefinite detention of American citizens by the military. On January 13th a complaint was filed contesting the provisions. Now, Judge Katherine B. Forest has blocked enforcement of the controversial provisions. The government has filed a motion for reconsideration. [more inside]
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 10:39 AM PST - 68 comments

Jamie Summerlin is running across America. He started in Sunset Bay, OR on March 26th. He'll finish on July 4th in Annapolis, MD. Right now, he's somewhere in Missouri. If you're doing the math, it will take him 100 days to go from coast to coast. If you're still doing the math, you'll realize the former Marine is running more than a marathon a day for 100 straight days for Wounded Warriors. News coverage here, here and here.
posted by tallthinone at 10:26 AM PST - 25 comments


NASA's Image of the Day: Dragon on approach to the ISS (SIL) "This image of SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft as it approached the space station was taken NASA astronaut Don Pettit. The SpaceX Falcon 9 and its Dragon spacecraft launched on Tuesday, May 22, at 3:44 a.m. EDT."
posted by jquinby at 9:12 AM PST - 50 comments

The Opposite of Loneliness Graduating Yale senior Marina Keegan wrote a column for the commencement edition of the paper celebrating "tiny groups that make us feel loved and safe and part of something even on our loneliest nights when we stumble home to our computers — partner-less, tired, awake." She died in a car crash on Saturday. The column she wrote is a poignant eulogy.
posted by fedward at 8:52 AM PST - 53 comments

BeamNG, the team responsible for Rigs of Rods, show off their soft-body physics innovations in CryENGINE 3. The [via] [more inside]
posted by griphus at 7:37 AM PST - 48 comments

This article explores the history, from the lawyers' perspective [PDF; 41 pages], of a high-profile litigation of sixty years ago, the whirlwind of state and federal litigation that attended the 1948 runoff election battle between Congressman Lyndon B. Johnson and former Texas governor Coke Stevenson for the Texas Democratic Party nomination for the office of United States Senator. Johnson famously won this election by 87 votes [...] [more inside]
posted by smcg at 7:34 AM PST - 7 comments

Do SLR cameras confuse you? Then try the SLR Camera Simulator.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 7:33 AM PST - 48 comments

Drawing on money can elevate a humble bill to something a bit more entertaining. [via]
posted by quin at 6:59 AM PST - 25 comments

On Monday, the U.S.-based law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP filed for dissolution. While Dewey is not the first law firm to declare bankruptcy, it is the largest and is likely to be the most contentious. [more inside]
posted by hawkeye at 3:03 AM PST - 49 comments

May 28

Dumb, Drunk and Racist - Joe Hildebrand, writer for the Daily Telegraph in Sydney, has a new TV show coming up on Australian TV, called "Dumb, Drunk and Racist", which was the phrase famously used during a training session in an Indian call centre about Australians. The show features four Indians from varying backgrounds visiting Australia - looks like very uncomfortable viewing (if you're Australian). (Slightly NSFW because of drunken boob-showing).
posted by awfurby at 9:28 PM PST - 138 comments

Unglue.It (v. t.) 4. For an author or publisher to accept a one-time fixed amount of money, raised by the public, for the perpetual release of an ebook under a Creative Commons license. A crowd-funded project created by Eric Hellman and friends at Gluejar. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach at 7:43 PM PST - 11 comments

Pretty damn cute!
posted by HuronBob at 7:21 PM PST - 37 comments

"The fertile Wadi Hanifah valley running through part of Riyadh was for years a rubbish dump and a public health hazard, but now it's been transformed into a vast park, with lakes that attract cool breezes. It's an oasis so large it's hard to police - making it a place for Saudi citizens to relax, in more senses than one." [more inside]
posted by vidur at 7:14 PM PST - 12 comments


Living The Dream ... at AOL . For two months last fall, Eric Simons secretly took up residence inside the Internet giant's Palo Alto, Calif., campus, eating free food, enjoying gym access, and building a startup in the process.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 6:36 PM PST - 66 comments

Free online graph paper generators: variations of squares, triangle, rhombus, and hexagonal, circular and polar, for drawing, gaming, writing, note-taking and much more. Blank Sheet Music (Flash) for all arrangements (PDF). Create and edit your own grids, probability and logarithmic graphs, petri-dish inserts and storyboards. Also, multilingual  monthly and yearly calendars. Plus, more than you ever wanted to know about ISO paper dimensions and printable paper models of polyhedra. Prev-ious-ly.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 3:50 PM PST - 36 comments

Slo’ugh froze suddenly, gazing at his three new sets of gloves with an unblinking intensity. All that moved, for three long, silent minutes, was his eyes. They stared at first one pair of gloves, then the other pair, then the third, and then back to the first and then to second and then to the third and then to the first again and then to the second again and then to the third, and so it repeated. After a time, Slo’ugh shook himself out of his mysterious reverie and pulled the first pair of gloves onto his huge, meaty hands. He scowled, and immediately removed then. The second pair saw the honour of being donned by his heroic hands, but were similarly dispatched. On went the third, and then Slo’ugh froze again. Stared again. He grunted, and decided ultimately on the first pair.
-- The Saga of Slo'ugh - An Unofficial Diablo III novelization.
posted by empath at 3:21 PM PST - 56 comments

"The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government. It is bestowed by the President in the name of Congress, and is conferred only upon members of the United States Armed Forces who distinguish themselves through 'conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States.'" The U.S. Army Center of Military History lists every citation for a Medal of Honor award since they were first issued. Most are awarded posthumously, to those who "gave the last full measure of devotion", as Lincoln called it. It's Memorial Day in the U.S., and reflecting upon these is perhaps a reasonable way to spend a bit of it. [more inside]
posted by disillusioned at 2:15 PM PST - 59 comments

The Hemingway Papers: The legendary writer’s reporting from the Toronto Star archives, featuring historical annotations by William McGeary, a former editor who researched Hemingway’s columns extensively for the newspaper, along with new insight and analysis from the Star’s team of Hemingway experts.
posted by Fizz at 1:33 PM PST - 13 comments

KLF and K-Foundation Bill Drummond has stopped doing interviews and will only now answer 100 questions. Here are four of them.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:50 PM PST - 91 comments

Anno NTK: Every Edition of NTK, 15 Years Late.

Were you subscribed to NTK, but always felt that they were a bit too cutting-edge, too advanced, too futuristic for you? Never got their references? If you sign up for Anno NTK, you'll be able to relive those days, with each newsletter from #1 appearing smartly in your inbox 15 years late. Maybe this time around you'll get it!
posted by subbes at 12:31 PM PST - 56 comments

Disintermediation -- the movement of power out of the middle of the net -- is a crucial fact about 21st century political economy, says Eben Moglen in a passionate keynote address at the Freedom to Connect conference yesterday. The ability to hack software and hardware ensures that we retain our civil liberties and ability to innovate.
posted by xenophile at 12:14 PM PST - 38 comments

China's has just released its report, "Human Rights Record of United States in 2011". This annual report covers gun crimes, OWS, freedom of the press, unemployment, and more. via
posted by rebent at 11:28 AM PST - 140 comments


Build a Hovercraft With Your Kids — When Jamie Hyneman and MeFi's Own™ Adam Savage built hovercrafts for Mythbusters, he realized that these floating-on-air vehicles were easy to make, not too expensive, and fun. So he built one with his kids. More diy hovercraft fun.
posted by netbros at 10:34 AM PST - 47 comments

Take a holiday in Somaliland: journey to the state that isn’t. "Positioned on the upper haunch of the Somali dog-leg the Republic of Somaliland looks initially unpromising. It is mainly dry and rocky, there are few paved roads, and the population is small and generally dispersed. ... Whilst the economy may be on the up, Somaliland still feels extremely isolated. An employee of a big international NGO who I met in the lobby of my hotel, The Mansoor, looked at me with astonishment when I said I’d come to Hargeisa for fun. 'The biggest danger here,' he said 'is dying of boredom.'"
posted by mykescipark at 10:19 AM PST - 10 comments

"Usavich" (Season One video) is a series of 90-second CGI cartoons made for MTV Japan about two Russian rabbits. It begins in a Soviet-era prison where Kirenenko*, a mob boss sentenced to death is sharing a cell with Putin (yes, that's his name), a common worker imprisoned on a trumped-up charge and counting the days until his release. And then it gets weird. (contains extreme cartoon violence, scatological gags, Russian stereotypes, transvestite chickens and shoe fetishes) [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:08 AM PST - 10 comments


This weekend, TAL ran an episode on the massacre at Dos Erres. What they didn't mention was that this happened as part of the "Silent Holocaust" -- a "systematic campaign of genocide against the Mayan people." An estimated 83% of the massacred people were indigenous Maya. Throughout the period of the genocide, the USA continued to provide military support to the Guatemalan government, mainly in the form of arms and equipment, despite knowing that the Guatemala military was responsible for the killings. Horatio Castellanos Moya, an exiled Honduran writer, wrote Senselessness, his first book to be published in English, based on the testimonies taken by the Catholic Church's Recuperation of History project, which led to Bishop José Gerardi Conedera releasing the Guatemala: Never Again! report. Two days later, he was bludgeoned to death.
posted by Felicity Rilke at 8:53 AM PST - 21 comments

Minilmalist composer Steve Reich talks about Influences.
posted by Ardiril at 8:15 AM PST - 40 comments

Have you looked at the sky today? You probably should. She would have been a hundred today, she just might have had a bit to do with how we understand our universe.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 7:43 AM PST - 15 comments

On May 15, 1981, at The Ritz in New York City, Public Image Ltd. performed as a last-minute replacement for Bow Wow Wow. It didn't end well. (previously) [more inside]
posted by Trurl at 6:58 AM PST - 57 comments

The ternary calculating machine of Thomas Fowler. And electromechanical calculating machines from the 1960s.
posted by Wolfdog at 6:17 AM PST - 11 comments

A Saudi woman stands up to religious police. This video of a girl and a member of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice arguing over why she had manicured nails has gone viral and ignited a debate over the way commission members should deal with people in public places.
posted by three blind mice at 4:57 AM PST - 66 comments


Pip McCormack, the food editor of Sunday Times Style, gets sent more cookbooks than he knows what to do with. So why not see if they live up to the promising pictures and glamorous tablespreads? He aims to cook a meal from each book, comparing and contrasting the work of celebrities-turned-cooks, jailbirds and, in one caustic instance, TV shows which meld food and lifestyle.
posted by mippy at 3:48 AM PST - 42 comments

Vintage Ventriloquism (via neatorama)
posted by twoleftfeet at 12:11 AM PST - 15 comments

May 27

It is a brave new world… of Jello. [more inside]
posted by Scram at 10:28 PM PST - 31 comments

Stan's Report (a short story). Stan waited for me to ask him a question, hoping to tease some curiosity out of me, I suppose, though I don’t want to make assumptions about Stan’s intentions. Whatever his intent, I chose not to ask anything about it, not wanting to start my thinking down that road. It wouldn’t have been fair to B. to talk about him and what he said or meant since he wasn’t there to defend himself or to amend the tone or the full context. I preferred to turn my attention to my e-mail, but I didn’t want to ignore Stan or imply that I disapproved of his interest in sharing his news with me. He had a right to say whatever he wanted and it was up to me to choose how I’d deal with it.
posted by shivohum at 10:01 PM PST - 24 comments

Revolutionary hardware backdoor discovered in China-made military-grade FPGA chips. Claims were made by the intelligence agencies around the world, from MI5, NSA and IARPA, that silicon chips could be infected. We developed breakthrough silicon chip scanning technology to investigate these claims. We chose an American military chip that is highly secure with sophisticated encryption standard, manufactured in China. Our aim was to perform advanced code breaking and to see if there were any unexpected features on the chip. We scanned the silicon chip in an affordable time and found a previously unknown backdoor inserted by the manufacturer. This backdoor has a key, which we were able to extract. If you use this key you can disable the chip or reprogram it at will, even if locked by the user with their own key. This particular chip is prevalent in many systems from weapons, nuclear power plants to public transport. In other words, this backdoor access could be turned into an advanced Stuxnet weapon to attack potentially millions of systems. The scale and range of possible attacks has huge implications for National Security and public infrastructure.
posted by scalefree at 7:38 PM PST - 152 comments

Kansas passes Tax Act meaning that business owners are not taxed at all on income derived from business profits. "Who will still be paying Kansas income tax? Only three groups: 1) employees, 2) some retirees and 3) individuals whose investments are so modest that they cannot afford to create a trust or partnership to shelter their investment income." The $3.7bn pa cost of the tax cuts is said to create the risk of a $2.5bn pa deficit by 2018.
posted by jaduncan at 7:19 PM PST - 114 comments

The great Michael Haneke, director of disturbing gems such as Caché, Funny Games, and Funny Games, has won his second Palme d'Or at Cannes, for Amour.
posted by anothermug at 5:34 PM PST - 73 comments

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Organisation recently announced a two site approach, in Australia-NZ and Southern Africa, a move that was applauded by the Australian team. Once fully operational in 2024, SKA's one square kilometre collecting area should lead to major advances in astronomy. [more inside]
posted by wilful at 5:10 PM PST - 32 comments

Naghol (or land diving) is a ritual performed by the men of the villages of Loltafala on Pentecost Island in Vanuatu. The ritual entails jumping off 25 to 30-meters high tower with vines tied to the feet, skimming the soil with the crown of the head. It is dangerous but deaths are rare, though a man died in front of Queen Elizabeth II in 1974 when performing a land dive in her honor. You can watch a short National Geographic documentary on the Naghol here.
posted by Kattullus at 4:58 PM PST - 10 comments

"So when she studies the Greek balance sheet and demands measures she knows may mean women won't have access to a midwife when they give birth, and patients won't get life-saving drugs, and the elderly will die alone for lack of care – does she block all of that out and just look at the sums?" [more inside]
posted by marienbad at 3:34 PM PST - 85 comments

One year after the apocalypse. What happened to Harold Camping’s followers. [more inside]
posted by skilar at 1:31 PM PST - 148 comments

WHAT (AND HOW) TO EAT NAKED: Geoff Nicholson explains what to do if you should suddenly find yourself naked and insatiable…for food (what else?). PUBLISHED IN GOURMET LIVE 05.16.12
posted by Fizz at 1:28 PM PST - 25 comments


The latest match in North American soccer's Cascadia Cup was played yesterday between the Portland Timbers and the Vancouver Whitecaps, and the atmosphere was amazing. [more inside]
posted by salishsea at 11:45 AM PST - 19 comments

Canadian Ryder Hesjedal is cycling’s rising star Like many "rising stars" Ryder Hesjedal has been struggling for many years to attain this honour. Today his efforts are realized with his win of the Giro-Ditalia.
posted by smudgedlens at 10:43 AM PST - 33 comments

Spoiler.

The zombie apocalypse happened -- and we won.

But though society has recovered, the threat of infection is always there -- and Los Angeles coroner Tommy Rossman is the man they call when things go wrong.
posted by Drexen at 10:36 AM PST - 44 comments

Dominic Wilcox watch sculptures combine vintage timepieces with miniature figures to create unique animated scenes. [via]
posted by quin at 10:18 AM PST - 4 comments

"You want to be a pitchman for warlords? You want to carry the Devil's water in Washington? Go for it. But just don't tell me how to fucking talk" - Jon Lovett responds to Lanny Davis, in the aftermath of the Corey Booker's comments defending private equity
posted by crayz at 7:06 AM PST - 51 comments

The irony in a way is that Messiaen used this great romantic organ for his most modern experiments. For Messiaen, this was a great sort of sonic paintbox, if you like, and he would come here and experiment with the extraordinary sounds that he could conjure out of this amazing instrument. [more inside]
posted by Trurl at 6:54 AM PST - 10 comments

Good Chemistry. [SLYT]
posted by sharpener at 1:23 AM PST - 13 comments

May 26


"Who knew people were so interested in commas?" Ben Yagoda has written three NYT pieces on correct comma usage: Fanfare for the Comma Man, The Most Comma Mistakes, and Some Comma Questions.
posted by hypotheticole at 9:55 PM PST - 62 comments

For Memorial Day weekend, at TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors), Vice President Joe Biden talks about grief, and loss, and how "there will come a day, I promise you, and you parents, as well, when the thought of your son or daughter or your husband or wife brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye."
posted by Guy Smiley at 5:59 PM PST - 58 comments


Confessions of a Genius Art Forger — In one of Germany's greatest art scandals, former hippie and talented artist Wolfgang Beltracchi forged dozens of paintings over a period of 35 years, earning millions and fooling top collectors and museums. In a SPIEGEL interview, he reveals how he did it and why he eventually got caught. Photo Gallery. Background... [more inside]
posted by netbros at 4:42 PM PST - 20 comments

Coffees, a new short by actor/writer/director Alex Beh. The 2 main same characters appeared in a kind of a sequel, called Babe. [more inside]
posted by growabrain at 3:24 PM PST - 3 comments

At Clifton's Cafeteria, someone left a light on. For 77 years. A downtown Los Angeles landmark, the Clifton's Cafeteria, has a storied past. Recently sold, it was established during the Great Depression, with a mission to provide affordable coffee and food - a pledge that was honored for decades. While remodeling, the new owners made an astonishing discovery: hidden behind a partition, a neon lamp that was switched on during the Great Depression and it's been on, continuously for 77 years. The owner estimates it's generated more than $17,000 in electric bills. [LATimes - if asked to log in, turn on private browsing and you're good to go - on Safari at least]. [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 2:29 PM PST - 27 comments

NYTimes: The Glory and Pain of Pitching. Bobby Ojeda, starting pitcher for one of the greatest games in the history of Major League Baseball, takes us into the mind of the career athlete and his relationship with a constant companion -- pain.
posted by workingdankoch at 1:55 PM PST - 15 comments

"Louisiana is the world's prison capital. The state imprisons more of its people, per head, than any of its U.S. counterparts. First among Americans means first in the world. Louisiana's incarceration rate is nearly triple Iran's, seven times China's and 10 times Germany's. The hidden engine behind the state's well-oiled prison machine is cold, hard cash." Louisiana Incarcerated is a tour de force eight-part series on the Louisiana prison system. [more inside]
posted by painquale at 1:26 PM PST - 48 comments

Tempero Brasileiro (mp3) is a collection of rare Brazilian tracks originally issued on 7″ vinyl. Compiled by Edson Carvalho, one of the top São Paulo crate diggers. [more inside]
posted by Tom-B at 1:07 PM PST - 10 comments

Reggie Watts gives the Ultimate TED Talk which means deconstructive, meaning-free, musical and far more entertaining than most. [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:50 PM PST - 47 comments

On Sunday, April 13th, Tokyo illustrator Mao Sugiyama publicly seasoned and braised his own genitals on a portable gas cartridge burner and then served them to five eager diners who each paid about $250 for the meal. Sugiyama self-identifies as asexual and appears to fall into the gender classification of male-to-eunuchs called "smoothies". (Warning: Consider all links in this post to be NSFW) [more inside]
posted by hugandpint at 12:30 PM PST - 218 comments

While there were a few attempts at right-wing folk music during the 1960's, most notably The Goldwaters, Janet "anti-Baez" Greene was the darling of the conservative anti-communist right. Her songs include Fascist Threat, Commie Lies, and her most (in)famous, Poor Left Winger
"I'm just a poor left-winger, befuddled, bewildered, forlorn, duped by a bearded singer, peddling his communist corn. In the cafe, espresso, sounds of guitars could be heard, twanging a plaintive folksong, spreading the communist word..."
[more inside]
posted by stbalbach at 12:27 PM PST - 48 comments



The E-Book Wars: Amazon Versus the Rest. Publishers, distributors, booksellers, and authors weigh in on Amazon's ever-increasing presence and influence in the electronic publishing world. The author also takes a stab at forecasting the future for the major players in the e-book industry.
posted by Rykey at 10:55 AM PST - 32 comments

Yahoo! Axis redefines what it means to search and browse the Web. Yahoo! Axis offers a faster, smarter search with instant answers and visual search previews.
posted by Fizz at 10:54 AM PST - 53 comments

Every child comes equipped with
(Whether it's a boy or girl)
A big serving of explosives
Might be up to half a pound
They must be in constant motion
Push, and kick, and flail, and shout
If they can't, they just explode
Bang! Kaboom! Your luck's run out. [includes Soviet animation and baby monkeys] [more inside]
posted by Nomyte at 10:26 AM PST - 9 comments

Peter Brings the Shadow to Life is a video made by Joe Pease which cleverly inverts our perspective of a skateboarder.
posted by quin at 10:12 AM PST - 8 comments

...The cult of and luster for country blues among these record collectors came about because not only were recordings by Charley Patton, Son House, Skip James and Robert Johnson not successfully sold to African Americans, but other record collectors were not interested in them either. There were so many collectors of New Orleans jazz that not only did the recordings became too expensive to collect, they also didn't want them -- they wanted to find something that required more energy to uncover, and more energy to actually appreciate. Anyone who has ever listened to Charley Patton knows that you have to learn how to listen to him, you have to really struggle -- it is a work of archeology, really, to make out what he is saying. It is powerful, and I don't want to deny its power, but you have to learn how to hear that power, and African Americans, when these records came out, didn't necessarily hear that.
From an interview with Marybeth Hamilton, author of In Search of the Blues [more inside]
posted by y2karl at 9:31 AM PST - 13 comments

Future Self from the MADE group in Berlin, combines interactive light sculpture, movement and music. The effect is quite striking.
posted by Dr. Fetish at 7:32 AM PST - 4 comments


Yesterday, the Major League Soccer Players Union released salary information for the 2012 season. The statistics may surprise you.
posted by lobbyist at 6:31 AM PST - 59 comments


The myth of English as a global language One would have to say that English, far from being a pure maiden, looks like a woman who has appeared out of some distant fen, had more partners than Moll Flanders, learned a lot in the process, and is now running a house of negotiable affection near an international airport
posted by infini at 12:15 AM PST - 76 comments

May 25

Those of you who go in for gardening, specifically those with strawberry patches, may find this idea to be of benefit: strawberry rocks. Might just keep those birds away!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:50 PM PST - 37 comments

Vintage Car Crash Pictures from the Leslie Jones Collection at the Boston Public Library.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 8:21 PM PST - 48 comments


Excavations in Argentina have unearthed a new dinosaur with a short skull and tiny forearms: Eoabelisaurus mefi. [more inside]
posted by benito.strauss at 6:11 PM PST - 111 comments

Missing Foundation was an underground industrial band formed in Hamburg, Germany in 1984 and year later, in 1985, the band relocated to New York City. Formed by Pete Missing along with two members of KMFDM and Florian Langmaack they were known for their destructive shows. They were active in 1988 riot in Tompkins Square Park (attempting to start another one in 1993) and lighting the stage of CBGBs on fire and destroying their sound system. Other members include Vern Toulon, the father of kid-punk band Old Skull. One of the indelible and lasting marks of the group was their logo: inverted martini over a three pronged tally along with slogans such as "1988 - 1933" and "Your House Is Mine". The slogans were illusions to what founder Peter Missing described as society verge of collapse and that a police state was imminent. The years representative of the year the Nazi's overtook the Weimar Republic. The logo symbolized the bands personal slogan of "the party's over". Founder Peter Missing now lives in Berlin and his artwork has exhibited at The Whitney, The Getty, MOMA after riding out some tough times in the mid-aughts.
posted by wcfields at 5:04 PM PST - 19 comments

"Barry also had a knack for interceptions. When a joint was making the rounds, he often elbowed his way in, out of turn, shouted "Intercepted!," and took an extra hit. No one seemed to mind." A User's Guide To Smoking Pot With Barack Obama. [more inside]
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:27 PM PST - 171 comments

Dominick Carpenter builds and sells miniature cannons and mortars. Sometimes he fires them. [more inside]
posted by tigrefacile at 3:11 PM PST - 16 comments

Look at those baby cheetahs After a touch-and go birth, The National Zoo has some new baby cheetahs. [more inside]
posted by angrycat at 2:54 PM PST - 28 comments


Need a blast of pure joy to start your holiday weekend? Here's Isaac's live lip-dub proposal.
posted by roger ackroyd at 2:35 PM PST - 32 comments

Gamer Mom is a short piece of interactive fiction about a mom who plays games, and her family that doesn't. [more inside]
posted by empath at 12:03 PM PST - 70 comments

Roy Buchanan - ♪ Hey Joe ♪, a grandmaster of the Telecaster lays bare the instrument's unique spectrum of tone.
posted by Ardiril at 11:59 AM PST - 62 comments

American cities going dark. Detroit is the poster child, 40 percent of the 88,000 streetlights are already broken, but under a new plan half the city is going permanently dark in an effort to get citizens to move. “You have to identify those neighborhoods where you want to concentrate your population,” said Chris Brown, Detroit’s chief operating officer. “We’re not going to light distressed areas". Other U.S. cities have gone partially dark to save money, among them Colorado Springs; Santa Rosa, California; and Rockford, Illinois. Bonus: 360-degree photo tour of abandoned rail station in Detroit.
posted by stbalbach at 11:54 AM PST - 115 comments

Look at Azerbaijan! But look beyond the shiny Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) which will be held tomorrow in Baku. Look at the “Dirty Secrets” [SLYT, BBC Panorama, 30 min., English] and at independent film maker Liz Mermin’s film “Glanz und Schatten in Azerbaidschan” [SLYT, 30 min. German but more informative IMHO]. Locals that voted in the music contest for a country that was not in favor of the ruling family were investigated by the police. And then there is the story of two expensive donkeys (€42,000 each) and a comedic video that landed a young man in jail. Let’s not forget the story of a journalist who was blackmailed with secretly shot sex tapes. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch often report of restrictions on freedom of speech and freedom of the press in Azerbaijan. Shortly before the ESC young musician Jamal Ali fled the country. While US peace corps volunteers don’t feel like criticizing much and sing a song of their own [SLYT], we see more arrests in Baku today.
posted by travelwithcats at 11:31 AM PST - 13 comments

Kingdom of Loathing creator Jick and the rest of the Asymmetric crew have spent the last four years developing a new game. Next month, the beta for the game is coming out: Word Realms! Make sure to watch the video, it's full of hilarity. [more inside]
posted by Night_owl at 11:13 AM PST - 28 comments

Republican-sponsored New York State Assembly bill would ban anonymous online speech. "AN ACT to amend the civil rights law, in relation to protecting a person's right to know who is behind an anonymous internet posting..." S6779, introduced by Rep. O'Meara, is brief: it establishes "a person's right to know who is behind an anonymous internet posting" as a civil right, and requires that NY-based "Web site administrator[s]" remove any anonymous postings. The summary of the Assembly bill, A8688, whose text is identical, describes the bill as "a means for the victim of an anonymous posting on a website to request that such post be removed, unless the anonymous poster is willing to attach his or her name to it." [more inside]
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 11:10 AM PST - 90 comments

Fun With Models Friday: Fallout New Vegas Characters Just Love To Dance.
posted by The Whelk at 10:53 AM PST - 40 comments


Rockabilly Batman via
posted by macmac at 10:52 AM PST - 16 comments

The Pope's butler arrested following Vatileaks investigation. [telegraph.co.uk] Vatican police have arrested Pope Benedict XVI's personal butler following an investigation into the leaking of sensitive church documents.
posted by Fizz at 10:50 AM PST - 44 comments


What Should We Call Me? (a very silly tumblr for your Friday)
posted by lunasol at 8:52 AM PST - 39 comments

two dimensional blobs [SLCracked-Photoplasty] Cheer-up everybody! Cracked readers show us what they think video game background characters are thinking. [more inside]
posted by marienbad at 8:49 AM PST - 12 comments

Are you curious how the brand of a large suite of complementary products is developed? It's more interesting than you might think. Adobe describes the decisions that went into the new icons, splash screens, and other brand elements of Creative Suite 6.
posted by gilrain at 8:47 AM PST - 23 comments

Wesley Brown, the first black man to graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy, has died. He was 85 years old. [more inside]
posted by Rangeboy at 7:55 AM PST - 15 comments

The Pog A Day Blog. One man's quest to bring you a lot of pogs (although not quite every day). [more inside]
posted by codacorolla at 7:46 AM PST - 30 comments


Light and Matter has put together an excellent explanation of the Three Basics of Exposure and Photography using (mostly) eight bit graphics. [more inside]
posted by quin at 7:15 AM PST - 6 comments

Movie Simpsons is a tumblr that juxtaposes Simpsons movie homages with the original.
posted by zamboni at 6:49 AM PST - 36 comments

Fifty-one years ago today, our president proposed to put Man and his towel on the moon and return it safely to the earth by the end of the decade. [more inside]
posted by tilde at 6:21 AM PST - 40 comments


SSS is a 1988 experimental film featuring rapid-fire clips of dancers on the streets and junkyards of New York's East Village, "painstaking synched" to improvised music by Tom Cora (cello), Christian Marclay (turntables), and Zeena Parkins (harp). It's by filmmaker Henry Hills, whose official site is here. More collage films here, including Radio Adios, the quick cut-up KINO DA!, Money ("a manic collage film from the mid-80s when it still seemed that Reaganism of the soul could be defeated," with appearances by John Zorn, Fred Frith, Arto Lindsay, Ron Silliman among others), and Gotham, one of three films Hills made for Zorn's Naked City project.
posted by mediareport at 5:55 AM PST - 11 comments

She's Alive... Beautiful... Finite... Hurting... Worth Dying for is a beautiful non-commercial attempt from www.sanctuaryasia.com to "highlight the fact that world leaders, irresponsible corporates and mindless 'consumers' are combining to destroy life on earth. It is dedicated to all who died fighting for the planet and those whose lives are on the line today. The cut was put together by Vivek Chauhan, a young film maker, together with naturalists working with the Sanctuary Asia network." (Vimeo link). [more inside]
posted by Ahab at 3:45 AM PST - 36 comments

In 2002, Brian Banks was a sought-after high school football phenom until he was accused of kidnapping and raping a female student. On the advice of his lawyers, he pleaded no contest and served 6 years in prison. Then his accuser recanted. That's when the Innocence Project stepped in to help exonerate Brian Banks. CA Innocence Project filing here; informative if you skip right to the "Statement of Facts" part.
posted by lalex at 12:18 AM PST - 146 comments

May 24

Whales have a sensory organ unlike anything we’ve ever seen, reported originally in today's issue of Nature.
posted by latkes at 10:21 PM PST - 58 comments

No matter how you ate them... Sam J. Porcello, the originator of the creamy filling in the Oreo cookie has died.
posted by HuronBob at 10:18 PM PST - 41 comments

May 25, 1977 - 2012. Celebrate 35 years of Star Wars by getting your groove on with Meco's classic Star Wars and Other Galactic Funk. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 10:10 PM PST - 21 comments

Star Wars: The Radio Play - Seven top voice actors table read Star Wars (YouTube) at Emerald City Comicon. "Join voice actors Billy West, Tara Strong, Maurice LaMarche, John DiMaggio, Kevin Conroy, Jess Harnell, and Rob Paulsen as they re-create the magic of the Star Wars films, albeit in their own special way!" Characters include: Fry, Bender, Batman, Yakko, Wakko, Pinky, The Brain, Morbo, Bubbles, IronHide, Dr. Zoidberg, Jake the Dog, and many impressive celebrity impressions: Shatner as C3PO, Walken as R2D2, Tony Soprano as Greedo, Twilight Sparkle as Han Solo... (via reddit)
posted by flex at 9:00 PM PST - 44 comments

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) are a new service from U.S. weather service and FEMA. Starting in June, they will send a text message with a strange tone to your mobile device if you are in range of a Tornado Warning, Tsunami Warning or other major event (in the U.S. only). Major events include "Presidential Alerts." You do not need to sign up. Washington Post Capital Weather Gang has a few more details.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:33 PM PST - 62 comments

"The World's most popular game is also its most corrupt, with investigations into match fixing ongoing in more than 25 countries. Here's a mere sampling of events since the beginning of last year: Operation Last Bet rocked the Italian Football Federation, with 22 clubs and 52 players awaiting trial for fixing matches; the Zimbabwe Football Association banned 80 players from its national-team selection due to similar accusations; Lu Jun, the first Chinese referee of a World Cup match, was sentenced to five and a half years in prison for taking more than $128,000 in bribes to fix outcomes in the Chinese Super League; prosecutors charged 57 people with match fixing in the South Korean K-League, four of whom later died in suspected suicides; the team director of second-division Hungarian club REAC Budapest jumped off a building after six of his players were arrested for fixing games; and in an under-21 friendly, Turkmenistan reportedly beat Maldives 3-2 in a "ghost match" -- neither country knew about the contest because it never actually happened, yet bookmakers still took action and fixers still profited." [All the world is staged: Bribed players, fake games. Criminal syndicates can fix any match, anywhere.]
posted by vidur at 8:15 PM PST - 34 comments

"A day after the 44th nuclear test explosion in the U.S. rent the still Nevada air, observers cautiously inspected department store mannequins which were poised disheveled but still haughty on the sand in the homes of Yucca Flat."
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:05 PM PST - 29 comments

"Patient research work involving more than 5 thousand photographs resulted in a 1 minute film that AlmapBBDO created to advertise Getty Images, the world leading image database for creating and distributing visual contents. " [SLYT]
posted by ephemerista at 7:37 PM PST - 11 comments


A short wordless documentary on Chris Burden's (previously, previousylier) 2008 installation Beam Drop
posted by 1f2frfbf at 6:17 PM PST - 15 comments


A relatively small group of people from Appalachian, the dark-skinned Melungeons (previously) have been a source for speculation and conjecture for many years. Exactly who where their ancestors? Portuguese? Turks? Roma? Cherokee? A recent DNA study (108 page pdf) posted in the Journal of Genetic Genealogy (site link) says otherwise (WaPo article).
posted by edgeways at 3:12 PM PST - 95 comments

Robert Snow, now retired, was Captain of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, who in his career was in charge of the department of the Homicide and Robbery and the department of Organized Crime. He has written numerous articles and books on police work, and considered himself a skeptic of supposedly supernatural occurrences. But on a dare, he visited a past life regression therapist, and what he experiences made him doubt his beliefs. In an hour-long session, he seemed to recall memories of a cave dweller, an altar girl in Greece, but it was his views of the life of a 19th century painter were the most vivid. In that experience, Snow recalled a number of specific memories or events, but was certain they were fabricated memories from things he had seen or heard in his life in the 20th century. In an attempt to debunk his experiences, he ended up validating his past life memories of being James Carroll Beckwith, a painter most commonly remembered not for his art, but his friendship to more renown painters like John Singer Sargent. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 2:47 PM PST - 186 comments

"The national debate over private equity so far has hinged on the question of whether experience in the field qualifies Mitt Romney, the former Bain Capital executive, for the presidency. But a more vexing, and largely unanswered, question lies just beneath the surface: How is it, exactly, that an investment company can make millions even as the company it's ostensibly trying to turn around goes bust? For that answer, we turned to what may seem like a less-than-reliable source: Tony Soprano [NSFW: language]."
posted by ericb at 2:29 PM PST - 54 comments

"Here’s a paper we’re working on, which argues that we should (for some purposes at least), think of markets, hierarchy and democracy in terms of their capacity to solve complex collective problems [and] makes the case that democracy will on average do the job a lot better than the other two ways..." Henry Farrell and Cosma Shalizi on a cognitive approach to democracy (pdf). [via]
posted by daniel_charms at 1:39 PM PST - 12 comments

"When your dog gazes up at you adoringly, what does it see? A best friend? A pack leader? A can opener?" Gregory Berns of Emory University decided to put a couple canines in an MRI scanner to try and find out what goes on inside their heads (adorable news footage here). The results have recently been published in PLoS ONE.
posted by Panjandrum at 1:36 PM PST - 63 comments

He uttered a sound much like a bull dog swallowing a pork chop whose dimensions it has underestimated. Random P G Wodehouse quote generator. That is all.
posted by unSane at 12:45 PM PST - 109 comments

Khan
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:44 PM PST - 41 comments

Your Dekalb Farmer's Market is a favorite MeFi recommendation to Atlanta tourists. If you've ever been curious about the backstory to this local institution, Creative Loafing recently published a fascinating history of the store, with a photo slideshow covering 24 hours in the life of the market. This comes as a new phase of expansion is proposed.
posted by amelioration at 12:40 PM PST - 33 comments

Marvel Comics created a hearing-impaired superhero in honor of a hearing-impaired boy. Anthony Smith, a 4-year-old boy, told his mother he did not want to wear his hearing aid anymore because superheroes don't wear hearing aids. His mother e-mailed Marvel Comics and described her son's situation and hoped for help.
posted by Four-Eyed Girl at 11:54 AM PST - 48 comments

Though the recent excavation of a basement in SoHo did not turn up his remains [previously], today there may finally be some resolution. Pedro Hernandez confesses to having strangled Etan Patz.
posted by komara at 11:53 AM PST - 12 comments

30 beautiful song lyrics
posted by Hartster at 11:49 AM PST - 121 comments

Dear Jay Leno ... "First off, my intention is not to fight you on this. You have more cars than I have dollars, and so I know I don’t stand a chance legally ..." - "An Open Letter to Jay Leno About Stealing My Video and Then Getting It Removed From YouTube" [more inside]
posted by mrgrimm at 11:00 AM PST - 104 comments

Around 1992 Mondo 2000 magazine asked: "R.U A Cyperpunk?"
posted by The Whelk at 10:38 AM PST - 123 comments

"Pro-Choice" Americans at Record-Low 41% - Americans now tilt "pro-life" by nine-point margin, 50% to 41%. According to recent Gallup polling, 'the 41% of Americans who now identify themselves as "pro-choice" is down from 47% last July and is one percentage point below the previous record low in Gallup trends, recorded in May 2009. Fifty percent now call themselves "pro-life," one point shy of the record high, also from May 2009.' The decline in "Pro-Choice" views is seen across partisan groups, with Americans' self-identification as "pro-choice" drop across the three U.S. political groups. [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 10:05 AM PST - 322 comments

The Kinzua Bridge has been partly restored, and it has a glass-bottomed platform now. Once billed as the Eighth Wonder of the World, the Kinzua Viaduct held the record for tallest railroad bridge in the world for two years. Although long surpassed in height, the old bridge drew visitors long past the point where it was in active use by a railroad. [more inside]
posted by kinnakeet at 8:54 AM PST - 11 comments

The CARD Act of 2009, which has been much lauded for providing consumer protection hurts stay-at-home moms (and dad's). "This decision was meant to keep college students from going into credit card debt they could not afford to pay off but it also has the consequence of disenfranchising stay-at-home parents, 88% of whom are women. [...] In the worst case scenario, the Federal Reserve’s decision will play a role in financial abuse. Financial abuse is a factor in 98% of abusive relationships." 30,000 signatures have been delivered to the Financial Protection Bureu in Washington DC with "some petitioners dressed up as housewives from the 1950s -- complete with A-line skirts, pearls and tightly pulled back hair -- since the rule "feels like a flashback to the 1950s because of the way women aren't empowered financially."
posted by stoneweaver at 8:19 AM PST - 81 comments

For us children, our mother's nagging can be a frustrating, constant annoyance. However, when her presence is no longer felt, these words become our strongest source of comfort and affection. It is then that we learn to hold on tightly to these warm, faint traces of memories. From Singapore, a "tribute to all the mothers of the world". [SLYT]
posted by undue influence at 8:00 AM PST - 5 comments


Magic Meerkat Moments: In this clip from BBC's Planet Earth Live, we get to see meerkats, which have become so acclimated to film crews that they now view them as part of the landscape and use them for shade and as vantage points. [via]
posted by quin at 7:12 AM PST - 35 comments

Have you ever been frustrated because you can't get the last bit of ketchup out of the bottle? MIT has a solution for you.
posted by tocts at 6:38 AM PST - 64 comments

Lena Sutherland and Jules Mancuso run While the Men Watch, a website that offers "alternative commentary" for women during major sporting events. Now Hockey Night in Canada has joined forces by offering a special While the Men Watch broadcast during all Stanley Cup Final games. Some people are not impressed.
posted by barnoley at 6:37 AM PST - 51 comments

The diaries of Queen Victoria, totaling 47,000 pages and running from the age of 13 until her death, have been digitized. The site will be free to UK users, but open access for the rest of the world only runs through the end of June.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:25 AM PST - 33 comments

Stodgy design institution does animated supercut video. “The Forty Story” uses iconic snapshots from seemingly every client from Pentagram’s first 40 years to tell the life story of a boy brought into the world when Pentagram was.
posted by joeclark at 4:48 AM PST - 16 comments

May 23

Apocalypse Soon: Has Civilization Passed the Environmental Point of No Return? Four decades ago, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology computer model called World3 warned of such a possible course for human civilization in the 21st century. In Limits to Growth, a bitterly disputed 1972 book that explicated these findings, researchers argued that the global industrial system has so much inertia that it cannot readily correct course in response to signals of planetary stress. But unless economic growth skidded to a halt before reaching the edge, they warned, society was headed for overshoot—and a splat that could kill billions.
posted by j03 at 11:38 PM PST - 130 comments

Fans of the Nashville Predators Hockey team threw a live catfish onto the ice during Friday’s game. Since 1996, fans of Florida Panthers have been throwing fake rats onto the ice, after player Scott Mellanby discovered a huge rat circulating in his dressing room, split it open with his stick and then scored a couple decisive goals, inspiring the 'Rat Trick' tradition. And supporters of the Stockholm-based AIK ice hockey team threw rubber dildos, and waved giant inflatable penis, to remind player Jan Huokko, (‘Dildo-Jan’) of a leaked sex video of him with his girlfriend. Turns out this kind of thing is fairly common in the world of hockey fandom. (Via Everlasting Blort)
posted by growabrain at 10:46 PM PST - 53 comments

"I'm just looking for a second chance. Other people get second chances. Alcoholics. Drug addicts. Spousal beaters. Not gamblers, though. But, if you want to put something on my tombstone that was very important to me, it’s 1,972. That’s how many winning games I’ve played in. So that makes me the biggest winner in the history of sports. No one else can say that." Here, Now is a short documentary that looks at baseball legend Pete Rose, as he lives his life today. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 10:09 PM PST - 45 comments


A detailed history, explanation, and defense of the chorded keyboard.
posted by gilrain at 8:56 PM PST - 26 comments

Vintage meezers. NSFW.
posted by jjray at 8:14 PM PST - 32 comments

Architecture of Open Source Programs The Architecture of Open Source Programs is a guide into the functional implemenation of major opensource code bases. Notable Open Source Projects that are included: BASH, CMAKE, LLVM,GDB,Puppet and PyPy among others
posted by Rubbstone at 8:06 PM PST - 12 comments


Ektoplazm is now the world’s largest distributor of free (and legal) psytrance music specializing in high-quality Creative Commons-licensed content from netlabels and independent artists, all released in MP3 and lossless CD-quality FLAC and WAV formats.
posted by Trurl at 7:30 PM PST - 47 comments

(SLYT)An unusual substitution is made in Russian footballer Vadim Evseev's last game before retirement. [more inside]
posted by domnit at 7:23 PM PST - 17 comments


Paul Fussell, author of The Great War and Modern Memory and winner of the first National Critics Award for Criticism, but who is probably best known for writing Class: A Guide Through the American Status System, is dead. [more inside]
posted by postcommunism at 6:24 PM PST - 48 comments

What’s a Readlist? A group of web pages—articles, recipes, course materials, anything—bundled into an e-book you can send to your Kindle, iPad, or iPhone.
posted by netbros at 5:57 PM PST - 43 comments

Worlds was a 3D Internet chat program that was introduced in 1995. Seventeen years later, YouTube user and game streamer Vinesauce returns to find a small collection of users who take him on a tour of the deserted halls of their virtual land. NSFW due to confused swearing. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla at 5:48 PM PST - 22 comments


A 73 year old returned, making it seem easy, yet increased traffic left four people dead this weekend. Traffic jams at Mount Everest. [more inside]
posted by bquarters at 5:27 PM PST - 91 comments




Frenchman Xavier Chevrin is driving an electric car 3,000 miles through Africa, from Nairobi to Johannesburg. Finding outlets is a challenge, about 65 percent of Africans do not have access to electricity. The daily video logs are a joy not only for the beautiful scenery along a contemporary African road trip, but the excitement of many Africans who have never seen an electric vehicle. The vehicle is a souped-up version of cars used by the French postal service, a Citroen Berlingo powered by Venturi. This is Xavier's 2nd long distance electric car expedition, previously he did Shanghai to Paris, it set the record for the longest distance traveled in an electric vehicle.
posted by stbalbach at 4:03 PM PST - 9 comments

The Spear, a painting by South African artist Brett Murray is causing quite a stir. The painting is the subject of an attempted ban by the South African president, Jacob Zuma, according to the article and a general accusation of racism by the ANC leadership which has led at least one interesting response in the blogosphere.
posted by HopStopDon'tShop at 3:32 PM PST - 21 comments

You've probably already seen some impressive bicycle trials showmanship. Now it's time to see the cutest. [more inside]
posted by ardgedee at 3:31 PM PST - 8 comments

"TV is where writers get to tell interesting stories right now, because writers, for the most part, run television." Matthew Weiner of Mad Men, Vince Gilligan of Breaking Bad and David Milch of Deadwood talk to GQ about writing for television. Also: The New Rules of TV everything you need to know about the Golden Age of Television. Want to hear even more about the world of writing rooms, showrunners and screenwriting? Check out the Nerdist Writer's Panel Podcast.
posted by Artw at 2:59 PM PST - 10 comments

So The Avengers is a very successful movie. This has lead many comics fans to express their concern over the treatment of original creators in the industry, specifically of Jack Kirby. Creators' Rights controversy is nothing new, and there remains to this day ample reason to question the business dealings of The Big Two when it comes to how they compensate the men and women who work for/with them. Alan Moore has been and continues to be the victim of numerous shady deals at the hands of DC comics. But no one, with the possible exception of Seigel and Shuster, has suffered more than Jack "King" Kirby. [more inside]
posted by shmegegge at 2:33 PM PST - 106 comments

An Audience With Neil Armstrong is an hour long interview with Neil Armstrong about the moon landings from 2011, including a comparative view of footage from the Eagle's landing alongside Google Moon maps. [more inside]
posted by dng at 2:28 PM PST - 14 comments


I used to be a lifehacking addict [...] But sometime over the last couple years (around the time I turned 30, not coincidentally), it has begun to dawn on me: Maybe all the time I spend looking for better ways to do things is keeping me from, well, doing things.
Confessions of a recovering lifehacker
posted by Foci for Analysis at 1:18 PM PST - 64 comments

Sci-Fi-London put on another 48 hour film challenge this year, challenging film teams to make a short based around a given title, a snippet of dialogue, a short list of props, and an optional "scientific" theme. After two days in April, over 380 shorts had been made, and the winners have now been announced and and their short films posted on Sci-Fi-London's Vimeo account. 17 more shorts below the break. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:09 PM PST - 7 comments

The Eephus League presents: a web magazine about baseball.
posted by zamboni at 12:39 PM PST - 15 comments

Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter — tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther.... And one fine morning — So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:33 PM PST - 185 comments

Chromeography is a tumblr devoted to images of chrome: the lettering, logos, and ornaments adorning old automobiles (and bicycles and cameras and appliances).
posted by gamera at 11:52 AM PST - 8 comments

Prince v. Cariou, Round 2: Money Talks Prince v. Cariou oral arguments were heard today by a three Judge panel of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. In many ways, the future of appropriation art (and Google’s image search, possibly) rests on the outcome of this case. And if today’s arguments are any indication, neither side is going to go down without a fight. [more inside]
posted by snaparapans at 10:43 AM PST - 95 comments

Drawings of the elements of CMS detector, in the style of Leonardo da Vinci "Sergio Cittolin is first and foremost a physicist in search of answers to the mysteries of the universe. Yet he also has an artistic bent, and his talent for drawing has woven itself nicely into his 30 years of work at CERN. The result is a collection of Leonardo da Vinci-style illustrations that brighten CERN hallways, a book, and the covers of a number of technical documents." (via)
posted by dhruva at 10:27 AM PST - 10 comments

Dave Gardner scored his first Top 20 hit in 1957 with White Silver Sands, and while a fine singer (and drummer), it was the stories he told between songs that transformed him into "Brother" Dave Gardner.
posted by timsteil at 10:21 AM PST - 10 comments


SF author and Mefi's Own Charles Stross talks about the future of "big idea" Science Fiction: If SF's core message (to the extent that it ever had one) is obsolete, what do we do next?
posted by The Whelk at 10:01 AM PST - 71 comments

First (successful) Wingsuit Landing without a parachute. Stuntman Gary Connery lands his Wingsuit into a pile of cardboard boxes without deploying a parachute -- and walks away unharmed! (All of the boxes didn't fare quite as well). Him! Him! .........
posted by Dean358 at 10:00 AM PST - 59 comments

The Books were a two-piece band consisting of Nick Zammuto and Paul de Jong. Their albums (Thought For Food (2002), The Lemon of Pink (2003), Lost and Safe (2005), and The Way Out (2010)) consisted of a mixture of found audio, constructed sounds, languid vocals, and traditional instruments, but with a warm, solid feel to the proceedings despite the amount of audio manipulation. The band broke up earlier this year, but Nick Zammuto has released a new album from his new band, the self-titled Zammuto. (The music here definitely shares DNA with The Books, but there's a more electronic feel to them.) When The Books' final album, The Way Out, debuted, the band discussed the genesis of each track on their blog (discussed on MeFi), which was a fascinating look into the creative process. This look continues as, over on a new Tumblr blog, Nick Zammuto has begun telling the story of The Books from the beginning (part two, part three). If you're a fan of The Books, of music creation, or of just how art is inspired, the three parts to date are great reading, and promise more to come.
posted by Legomancer at 10:00 AM PST - 14 comments

Should more British people commentate on basketball? Yes. [SLYT] [more inside]
posted by MuffinMan at 9:02 AM PST - 53 comments

Gestus is a moving image processing framework that uses computer vision techniques to explore the artistic possibilities of the vector as a symbolic form.
posted by Dr. Fetish at 8:34 AM PST - 15 comments

Life in Life: Using something called an OTCA metapixel (Outer Totalistic Cellular Automata Meta-Pixel), which is a pattern in Conway’s Game of Life, someone has implemented the Game of Life inside of another Game of Life.
posted by Freen at 7:49 AM PST - 37 comments

Why Is Yawning Contagious? [SLYT] [more inside]
posted by quin at 7:11 AM PST - 22 comments

"If anyone describes this as a death-defying stunt comparable to the amazing feats of Blondin, Farini or even Jay Cochrane, they’ll be lying. It’s not even close now." [NFReview] Nik Wallenda 'King of the High Wire', the seventh generation of the legendary Great Wallendas will walk across Niagara Falls, unfortunately it won't be the "thrill" that most people were expecting and wanting. "Apparently, ABC is new to this whole ‘daredevil’ thing." Nik Wallenda knows this better than anyone – his great-grandfather died after falling off a tightrope in San Juan, Puerto Rico 34 years ago. The YouTube clip is horrifying to watch [NSFW], but Wallenda has never denied this is part of the family business. He knows the deal. [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 6:37 AM PST - 60 comments

Didier Drogba seems set to follow in the footsteps of his mate Nicolas Anelka and head to China when his contract at Chelsea ends at the end of the month, but how much do you know about grassroots Chinese football culture? [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse at 5:03 AM PST - 9 comments

May 22

Has there ever been any advance in retailing that didn't in turn create a new opportunity for fraud? Take barcodes, for example: You can go to the store, buy a cheap box of Legos, and take it home. Then you use your computer to create peel-and-stick stickers with that same barcode on it. Now you go back to the store, pick up expensive boxes of Legos, and put your own stickers over their barcodes. Voila! You can now buy them for low price, and resell for a profit. That is what Thomas Langenbach is accused of having done, and it seems that he made over $30,000 reselling them on eBay.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 11:16 PM PST - 127 comments

Isaac Butler’s excellent blog Parabasis (previously noted in MeFi conversations about Mike Daisey and Spidermusicals) usually centers on issues in the US nonprofit theater. Occasionally, he takes on a different topic in depth with a series of guests. This past week, he hosted the Fandom Issue: I am less interested personally in whether the Rise of the Fan is good or bad for our culture, and much more interested in what it means. This week, we assay the Fan from a number of different angles. Who are these fans? And what does it mean to be one? What happens to love when it becomes a communal activity? And what happens to it when the beloved cannot or will not respond? [more inside]
posted by HeroZero at 10:03 PM PST - 13 comments

Though the currently circulating version of the story may be somewhat apocryphal, the truth is that Frenchman Emile Leray did in fact take apart a busted Citroën 2CV and refashion it into a working motorcycle.
posted by 256 at 9:51 PM PST - 27 comments

On Why Soup Is So Bad for Diurnal Rhythms: “Certainly. Carrot soup mimetically resembles a carrot only in color.” John was worried by the mainstream diet of soup. Not only is frantic chewing part of the joy of feeding, but widespread and protracted ingestion with minimal effort could derail diurnal cycles. Originally food was partly invented for sustenance, and partly to pass time and to mark it, and so John, in any given day, would scrupulously observe all nine meals: an early breakfast on rising; a second breakfast, in the German tradition, as rumbling recurred around nine; brunch, closely followed by elevensies, or vice versa if you favor Bohr’s algorithm; lunch; tiffin at four, with the focus on small savory sandwiches rather than cake, to avoid a mid-afternoon sugar coma; dinner; supper, and, of course, a final midnight feast to salute the day as it retires. Each meal consists of one, two, or three courses, plus intercourses where appropriate, and the main cycle might be accessorized with any number of subcycles of casual snacking.
posted by shivohum at 9:34 PM PST - 33 comments

Shock of the New is a 1980 documentary television series by Robert Hughes produced by the BBC in association with Time-Life Films and RM Productions. ... It addressed the development of modern art since the Impressionists and was accompanied by a book of the same name; its combination of insight, wit and accessibility are still widely praised. - Wikipedia [more inside]
posted by Trurl at 7:28 PM PST - 18 comments

The Disappearing Double Chin Trick for Portrait Photography: "The key to looking good in photos? It's all about your jaw, as photographer Peter Hurley explains in this video." (YouTube, ~15 min.) Hurley's quick tips for better portraits in the NYT; Hurley's helpful headshot tips for actors. (~8 min.) Want more? FStoppers behind-the-scenes video (10 min.); an excerpt (from his DVD) of one headshot session (20 min.); a 2-hour seminar on "The Basic Headshot". An SLR Lounge interview with Hurley. (~40 min.) (main link via laughingsquid + lifehacker)
posted by flex at 6:23 PM PST - 46 comments


BBC's Essential Mix has been running two hour DJ sets for nearly 20 years, usually continuous mixes of current club tracks. Nicolas Jaar took things in a decidedly different direction this week, with an eclectic mix of sound track music, jazz, hip-hop, IDM and pop music with just a sprinkling of deep house here and there. Truly essential listening.
posted by empath at 2:39 PM PST - 60 comments

On May 20th, the fossil remains of a Tarbosaurus (aka, Tyrannosaurus bataar) were sold for $1,052,500. The auction was carried out despite objections from the President of Mongolia and a court order. The problem? The remains may have been poached.
posted by brundlefly at 2:15 PM PST - 20 comments

Once more into the breach! Shades of Neal Stephenson: a squadron of RAF Spifires has been unearthed in Burma and is on its way back to Old Blighty. One hopes they can be properly restored so the populace can witness the aircraft that saved England's bacon. At the very least, perhaps they'll appear in a Dr Who episode.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:06 PM PST - 67 comments

In February, author Deborah Feldman spoke with xoJane's (and Metafilter's own) hermitosis about the backlash she experienced from the Hasidic community in the days leading up the release of her tell-all memoir "Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of my Hasidic Roots." Today xoJane granted another Hasidic woman from the interview post her own rebuttal to the original article, "What Women's Media Needs to Know About Chassidic Women," in which she defends her religion against feminists and "poor Deborah Feldman" sympathizers. Metafilter's own hermitosis responds in the comments.
posted by Avenger at 1:52 PM PST - 214 comments

Strong Female Protagonist is a (currently 16-page, but ongoing) webcomic that "follows the adventures of a young middle-class American with super-strength, invincibility and a crippling sense of social injustice."
posted by davidjmcgee at 1:41 PM PST - 30 comments


Animation veteran Steve Moore recently posted a short from the archives of Disney TV Animation, written by Dan O’Shannon, narrated by Garrison Keillor, and voiced by Mia Farrow, Michael Richards, June Foray, and Adam West, all set to a jazz soundtrack. Take 15 minutes and watch Redux Riding Hood. Steve tells the story of the short on his blog. (Via Cartoon Brew)
posted by filthy light thief at 12:56 PM PST - 8 comments


Today marks the 100th day of student protests against tuition hikes in Quebec. [more inside]
posted by Cuke at 11:57 AM PST - 106 comments

Indigenous Tweets: Catalogue of Twitter users writing in minority or endangered languages. From that list, it is an easy couple of links to the inevitable Friday Night Lights recaps written in Breton. (Subsite: Indigenous Blogs.)
posted by joeclark at 11:45 AM PST - 9 comments

In 1929, John Galsworthy won a Guardian poll as the novelist most likely to still be read in 2029. Three years later, he won the Nobel Prize, and the prices of his first editions skyrocketed. His reputation has since been on a 80-year wane that shows no signs of abating. The New Yorker asks Why is Literary Fame So Unpredictable? And who will they be teaching in literature class a century from now?
posted by Horace Rumpole at 11:30 AM PST - 65 comments

Celebrating the memory of beloved synth pioneer Bob Moog and commemorating his birthday, Google's home page (currently in Australia, live in the US tomorrow) is a fully working, multi-trackable Moog synthesizer. Share your masterpiece!
posted by naju at 10:29 AM PST - 41 comments

This 18 minute short film (SLYT) travels to all the important locations from the movie Hoosiers. "Coach stays," and apparently everything else does too as very little has changed since they filmed the movie in 1986.
posted by COD at 9:51 AM PST - 18 comments

The line between a good story and a true story gets a closer examination at This American Life [more inside]
posted by FatRabbit at 9:29 AM PST - 80 comments

Fresno was a mistake from the beginning, a story by Michael Thomsen. Part of N+1 magazine City by City series.
posted by growabrain at 9:13 AM PST - 52 comments

Vengo the film entire.

A dramatic film by Tony Gatlif, creator of the far better known Latcho Drom, the famed wordless documentary about Gypsy music. [more inside]
posted by y2karl at 8:30 AM PST - 7 comments

A museum exhibit called Sex: A Tell-All Exhibition is drawing controversy. After running in Montreal and Regina with no complaints, the exhibit was criticised by the Heritage Minister when it came to Ottawa for being too lurid and being outside the mandate of the Science and Technology Museum. [more inside]
posted by frimble at 8:07 AM PST - 34 comments

It’s National Bike to Work Day today [in some cities], and maybe you noticed a lot of cyclists on your commute this morning. If you didn’t—and you’re a driver—that’s cause for concern. A plea for safety from cyclists to motorists. How to Not Kill a Cyclist [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb at 7:45 AM PST - 156 comments

Transgender at Five - "Tyler was born a girl, but at the age of 2 he began insisting that he was a boy."
posted by desjardins at 7:27 AM PST - 99 comments


RCMP eyed philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre during tense Quebec political upheaval. [theglobeandmail.com] Canadian spies closely eyed existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, tracking his planned trip to Quebec in support of people arrested during a crackdown on separatist threats, newly released documents show. The declassified Royal Canadian Mounted Police dossier on Mr. Sartre also reveals that Mountie intelligence officers pored over translations of the French writer’s pronouncements, monitored his links to the peace movement and noted the academic rebel’s brushes with the law.
posted by Fizz at 6:14 AM PST - 55 comments

One year ago today, a tornado devastated Joplin, Missouri. Photographer Robert X. Fogarty's "Dear World" project commemorates the survivors of that day with two galleries of portraits. Each survivor has a short message written on his or her skin: "I survived Joplin's EF-5." "Together these work miracles." "Survived."
posted by BoringPostcards at 5:15 AM PST - 10 comments

Just imagine: a few musicologists know that there are 320 18th century sonatas lying somewhere in a Dutch archive. Half of them are by great masters such as Vivaldi and Telemann. The other half consists of works written by lesser-known but nonetheless interesting composers. Yet no one performs them or even shows any interest in them. Three hundred and twenty sonatas! Unthinkable, improbable. [more inside]
posted by mahershalal at 4:07 AM PST - 23 comments

As a flag-waving Britain prepares for the Jubilee/Olympics (or in the words of the comedy Twenty Twelve, 'Jubilympics'), the nation seems divided between the wildly enthusiastic and those suffering from Patriotism Fatigue(link may be NSFW). James Ward (of Boring fame) does a round-up of spurious Jubilympic themed products, after consumption of which you may require a sick bag.
posted by mippy at 3:36 AM PST - 69 comments


SpaceX's Falcon9 rocket carrying Dragon capsule to dock with the ISS, has launched successfully. [more inside]
posted by egor83 at 12:51 AM PST - 67 comments

Have you ever bought one of those cheapo generic Tetris games? From an article on Understanding Japanese Comedy.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:29 AM PST - 24 comments


May 21

New Google+ Study Reveals Minimal Social Activity, Weak User Engagement Fast Company summarizes a new study from RJMetrics that looks at public posts, +1s, replies and reshares on Google+. It concludes "the average post on Google+ has less than one +1, less than one reply, and less than one re-share." Google replies that public posts are a poor metric of user activity; Fast Company replies that "Google has refused to provide clear figures and metrics for its social network's active user base" and links to Danny Sullivan's "brilliant rundown of Google's lack of transparency on the subject" - If Google’s Really Proud Of Google+, It Should Share Some Real User Figures.
There was also Wil Wheaton's recent angry "Oh, go fuck yourself, Google" rant in response to a recent experiment replacing YouTube's "like" button with a Google+ button for a small number of users, thus requiring them to sign up for Google+ before they can 'like' a YouTube video. Is Google Forcing Google+ Down People’s Throats?
posted by mediareport at 7:53 PM PST - 205 comments

Wendy Carlos is best known for Switched-On Bach, the best-selling album that popularized the Moog synthesizer, and the soundtracks for A Clockwork Orange and Tron. But what she calls her "most important album" is the 1986 recording Beauty in the Beast, whose experiments with instrumentation, tonality, and scaling are described in these two PDF reproductions of contemporary articles from Keyboard magazine. [more inside]
posted by Trurl at 7:25 PM PST - 30 comments

On 27 May, UK protest group Take The Flour Back intends to destroy an open air GM wheat trial at Rothamsted Research, a public institution. A small attack was made on 20 May. Understandably, scientists involved in this research are concerned about the threat, launching a PR program to explain the research [original ACRE advice recommending the trial] and opening a petition against the protests.
posted by wilful at 6:56 PM PST - 128 comments

Scandanavia And The World: A web comic of outrageous national stereotypes bluntly portrayed by cute little cartoon bobbleheads, that will nonetheless help outsiders learn to differentiate among the Nordic countries. With explanatory text.
posted by Diablevert at 6:18 PM PST - 48 comments

Sneaking Into Pantone HQ: "While the Pantone meetings are traditionally secret, I was invited to the Summer 2013 meeting on the condition that I not reveal the colorists’ identities." (An older, brief interview on Pantone forecasts.) For Summer 2013: forecast overview - palette descriptions - palette colors. (via good.is: ...the Ethics of Color Forecasting)
posted by flex at 6:08 PM PST - 40 comments

“Old age isn’t a battle, it’s a massacre.” A son’s plea to let his mother go.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:28 PM PST - 63 comments

Putting a law degree to good use: a Deputy Attorney General of the State of Hawaii responds to a request for Barak Obama's birth certificate from the Secretary State of Arizona. (Scroll down for the actual correspondence.)
posted by alms at 4:25 PM PST - 149 comments


The art house review/criticism series Brows Held High decided to tackle Nicolas Roeg/David Bowie's 1976 The Man Who Fell To Earth by reviewing it as a karaoke medley of Bowie's greatest hits.
posted by The Whelk at 2:34 PM PST - 12 comments

One Hospital | Hundreds of Stories. A YouTube Playlist. Experience a day in the life of a public hospital (Highland Hospital) in Oakland, CA at a moment of profound change to the nation's economy and its healthcare system. [more inside]
posted by cashman at 2:29 PM PST - 6 comments

The Sunlight Foundation, an organization dedicated to transparency in government, has analyzed 17 years of Congressional speech (per the Congressional Record) and found that the Flesch-Kincaid grade level of speech on the floor of the House and Senate has dropped by nearly a full year in the last decade. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 2:02 PM PST - 39 comments


Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal published a comic entitled "Why Nikola Tesla was the greatest geek who ever lived.." Alex Knapp at Forbes responds with "Nikola Tesla Wasn't God And Thomas Edison Wasn't The Devil" Inman responds to the response very succinctly. (the oatmeal previously)
posted by rebent at 1:08 PM PST - 97 comments

Zamrock is a largely forgotten musical movement, born from a newly independence still trying to find stability. The sound is a mix of local sounds with heavy, bluesy and psychedelic rock, usually sung in English, the constitutional language for Zambia. Unfortunately, little of the history is written, and those who were there are fewer each year. Last year, Emmanuel Kangwa “Jagari” Chanda, the co-founder and lead singer for WITCH (We Intend To Cause Havoc), was interviewed for two hours (Vimeo; transcript; source) and recorded a radio show with 14 Zamrock tracks. The South African newspaper Mail & Guardian have an article with more history and interview snippets with Jagari, whose stage name is an Africanisation of Mick Jagger's name. (via) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 12:04 PM PST - 16 comments

Being deaf. A young programmer's personal account of being the only deaf employee at a startup.
posted by bitmage at 11:33 AM PST - 70 comments

Anti-JFK coloring book from the early 1960s. Talking Point Memo has posted photos of the New Frontier Coloring Book, a conservative satire of the Kennedy administration, discovered by a TPM reader. [more inside]
posted by Cash4Lead at 9:54 AM PST - 42 comments

Following the announcement of plans to replace the Disability Living Allowance, eliminating benefits to 500,000 people via new criteria and the already-controversial Work Capability Assessments, and concerns that the change will undermine the legacy of the Paralypmic Games, public transit access to the Olympics for wheelchair users is put to the test (autostart video). For reference, the TfL suggests form Trafalgar Square to Stratford takes 35-40 minutes without accessibility considerations and approximately 50 minutes using wheelchair accessible routes. [more inside]
posted by hoyland at 9:47 AM PST - 29 comments

On what would have been his 40th birthday, Ego Trip posts 10 Notorious B.I.G. Videos You Must See.
posted by box at 9:46 AM PST - 23 comments

Al Rose Promotions is proud to present our Encore Presentation.....
A teaser trailer for PT Anderson's forthcoming The Master.
posted by timshel at 9:26 AM PST - 44 comments

Mysterious Universe is more than just the site hosting a weekly podcast that covers the weird and unexplained. From UFOs and Men in Black to Bigfoot and Mothman (with the Shadow People and Black Eyed Children lurking somewhere inbetween), the Mysterious Universe website sifts through the news and personal accounts that crop up on sites such as Crytomundo, Phantoms and Monsters, and Your Ghost Stories so you don't have to. Though the podcast was almost brought down by the menance that is the Dibbuk Box, it is now in its seventh season and, like the site itself, shows no signs of slowing down. [more inside]
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:20 AM PST - 16 comments

California Resale Royalty Act declared unconstitutional. The only Droit De Suite Law in the U.S. is now defunct. It was signed into being by Gov. Jerry Brown in 1976..... previously [more inside]
posted by snaparapans at 9:17 AM PST - 52 comments


The fish pendant , on Philip K. Dick’s account, began to emit a golden ray of light, and Dick suddenly experienced what he called anamnesis: the direct perception by the mind of a metaphysical reality.
posted by xammerboy at 8:10 AM PST - 109 comments

The Eurovision Song Contest 2012's first semi-final begins tomorrow at 3 PM EST (12 PM PST). Watch it online, and listen to the songs (below the jump). [more inside]
posted by LSK at 7:31 AM PST - 204 comments


The teaser trailer for the twenty-third James Bond feature, Skyfall has arrived. [more inside]
posted by beaucoupkevin at 6:24 AM PST - 130 comments

Joyce Banda, who was recently sworn in as Malawi's first ever female president has announced plans to repeal her country's laws against homosexuality in her first state of nation address. She said: "Some laws which were duly passed by the august house... will be repealed as a matter of urgency... these include the provisions regarding indecent practices and unnatural acts." More than two-thirds of African countries have laws criminalising homosexual acts with imprisionment, abuse and even murder being served as punishment to generally widespread public support. This, coupled with Malawi hosting the African summit in July makes Banda's move all the more laudable.
posted by jamiemch at 6:08 AM PST - 25 comments

Robin Gibb, CBE, has died at 62 of colorectal cancer. The Guardian pays tribute in words and music. [more inside]
posted by lwb at 4:36 AM PST - 63 comments


May 20

Ramblin' Jack Elliott at Old City Hall, Redding California, 1988
This is Ramblin' Jack in his prime. [more inside]
posted by y2karl at 9:01 PM PST - 7 comments

Mythbusters' Tested Blog recently posted a special feature from the Toy Story 2 DVD, in which Pixar's Oren Jacob and Galyn Susman recounted how the files for the movie (just 10gb of data!) were almost lost due to both an erroneous Linux command and a bad backup. The folks at The Next Web: Media followed up with Mr. Jacob, and learned that the movie was actually tossed out and reworked from scratch again nine months prior to a release date that was set in stone, not by the computers, but by the filmmakers themselves: How Pixar’s Toy Story 2 was deleted twice, once by technology and again for its own good.
posted by zarq at 8:49 PM PST - 63 comments

"In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: the police, who investigate crime; and the district attorneys, who prosecute the offenders." This is them eating lunch. Single link tumblr.
posted by sweetkid at 8:17 PM PST - 45 comments

And so I descend once more into the mysterious depths of 3 Women, a film that was imagined in a dream. Robert Altman's 1977 masterpiece tells the story of three women whose identities blur, shift and merge until finally, in an enigmatic last scene, they have formed a family, or perhaps have become one person. I have seen it many times, been through it twice in shot-by-shot analysis, and yet it always seems to be happening as I watch it. - Roger Ebert [more inside]
posted by Trurl at 7:04 PM PST - 21 comments

Last night, Saturday Night Live said good bye to Kristen Wiig. It did so after an opening featuring Kristin’s small-handed character, Dooneese Maharelle and Jon Hamm. The guest was 70ish Mick Jagger performing with Arcade Fire, Foo Fighters, and Jeff Beck. The show ended with a last dance.
posted by Toekneesan at 6:28 PM PST - 81 comments

Can using different types of models benefit brands? Ben Barry discusses his Ph.D. research in Elle Canada, making a business case for diversity in fashion: women increased their purchase intentions when they saw models who reflected their size, age, and race. Jezebel summarizes, "Barry's research... casts doubt on the age-old theory that people buy things because advertising stokes their insecurities, creating a need that can only be filled by the advertised product. It suggests that advertising can work by inducing in the consumer feelings of affinity for and identification with the people shown in the ad."
posted by flex at 3:59 PM PST - 44 comments

OpenLeaks has come into focus as a platform where leakers submit material specifying participating media organizations to receive early access as well as a later date for a full non-exclusive release. In principle, OpenLeaks cannot access the leaked documents themselves until this later release date. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges at 3:13 PM PST - 48 comments

The New York Times' "Vows" column is turning 20. Lois Smith Brady revisits some of the first couples covered in the column which she has written since its inception (alone for the first decade, and as one of several writers in its second). A companion article describes how the column came about and how it (and the couples it covers) have changed over the years. [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco at 2:44 PM PST - 16 comments

“I say God bless ‘em, man, go make another ‘RoboCop.’ … I don’t know, you can throw a lot of CGI at it and so forth. The morality that’s endemic to the movie that you just watched is hard to replicate. It makes you laugh and cry and moves you, and it’s hysterical and horrible and all those unbelievable things at once.” - Former cyborg and Italian Italian Renaissance Scholar Peter Weller talks to the Hero Complex Film Festival about the Robocop Remake and other things in the run-up to the films 25th anniversary.
posted by Artw at 12:01 PM PST - 93 comments

Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, Convicted in 1988 Lockerbie Bombing, Dies at 60. [NYTimes.com] Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, the only person convicted in the 1988 bombing of an American jetliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, has died in Libya, family members told news agencies on Sunday, nearly three years after Scotland released him on humanitarian grounds, citing evidence that he was near death with metastatic prostate cancer. He was 60.
posted by Fizz at 10:53 AM PST - 44 comments

The Canadian oil sand mines refused us access, so we rented this plane to see what they were up to: A slideshow of oil extraction from above Alberta's tar sands fields. (Warning: surreally-coloured pools of water inside) [more inside]
posted by nickrussell at 9:33 AM PST - 129 comments

The Take is a 2004 film [~90m] by Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis about the reclaimed factory movement (worker-managed co-operatives) in Argentina. It's presented here in 9 parts: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9. Also in a convenient playlist for easy viewing. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 9:10 AM PST - 11 comments

How Corporations and Local Governments Use the Poor As Piggy Banks . Barbara Ehrenreich (previously) talks about how the cycle of poverty is perpetuated by wage theft, municipal/criminal fines, and debtors prisons.
posted by desjardins at 7:51 AM PST - 85 comments


AVENGERS IS JOSS WHEDON MOVIE. Film Crit Hulk counts the ways.
posted by Sebmojo at 5:04 AM PST - 244 comments

The Costs of Capitalism's Crisis: Who Will Pay? Economics professor Richard Wolff gives some context to the latest economic crisis and suggests a solution to prevent this from happening again.
posted by mhjb at 3:43 AM PST - 58 comments

Yaoi, man-on-man relationship comics aimed at female readers and typically produced by female authors. And now the phenomenon is moving West. An article from Comics Alliance discusses three webcomics that have gained considerable popularity despite what some would call their niche appeal. [more inside]
posted by The ____ of Justice at 3:24 AM PST - 75 comments

Who's the fool in the Facebook IPO?
Anthropologist and journalist Joris Luyendijk speaks to a former investment banker about stress, disillusionment and the strategies behind the Facebook flotation.
The former MD compares it to insurance fraud: "It seems victimless while in reality everyone's premium goes slightly up."
That's the system, he says: a cartel "skimming off everyone's pensions and savings".
posted by adamvasco at 3:15 AM PST - 51 comments

"Skywalking" Russky Island Bridge. Three Russian teenagers climb up the 300 meter Bridge to Russky Island without any safety equipment. Apparently this is part of a trend calling 'skywalking'. WARNING: Sweaty palms may damage computer.
posted by Corduroy at 1:32 AM PST - 39 comments


May 19

"Don't ever forget that you're a citizen of this world, and there are things you can do to lift the human spirit, things that are easy, things that are free, things that you can do every day. Civility, respect, kindness, character. You're too good for schadenfreude, you're too good for gossip and snark, you're too good for intolerance—and since you're walking into the middle of a presidential election, it's worth mentioning that you're too good to think people who disagree with you are your enemy.... Don't ever forget that a small group of thoughtful people can change the world. It's the only thing that ever has."
On May 13th, Aaron Sorkin gave the commencement address to the graduating class at Syracuse University, a speech that has been mildly criticized for recycling some lines from his shows West Wing and Sports Night. Video. (Via.)
posted by zarq at 8:20 PM PST - 50 comments


If we look at how fast they metabolize, it would take them a thousand years just to reproduce themselves. They may be much older than this. There’s no way of knowing.

Microbes found deep under the North Pacific Gyre in 86-million-year-old red clay, potentially millions of years old, force us to rethink the timescales, ranges, and conditions that life can attain. (The main text of the paper is unfortunately paywalled.)
posted by jjray at 7:38 PM PST - 34 comments

The Rev. Charlie Jackson of Louisiana (1932–2006) was a purveyor of some of the rawest, grittiest blues music about Jesus that you've ever heard. In a TV variety show appearance on his one and only concert tour of Europe, the Reverend maintained a warm and friendly manner through a somewhat condescending interview, and went on to perform Wrapped Up, Tangled Up in Jesus with some backing vocal help from the legendary El Dorados.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:14 PM PST - 11 comments

I got an e-mail from a friend asking if I wanted to attend a screening on the Fox lot of Peter Bogdanovich's original cut of At Long Last Love. And the answer in a case like should always be yes. [more inside]
posted by Trurl at 7:02 PM PST - 17 comments

"The NAACP has opposed and will continue to oppose any national, state, local policy or legislative initiative that seeks to codify discrimination or hatred into the law or to remove the Constitutional rights of LGBT citizens. We support marriage equality consistent with equal protection under the law provided under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution." Today, the NAACP passed a resolution endorsing same sex marriage.
posted by cashman at 5:42 PM PST - 98 comments

One of the side effects of being a 5-day, live show was that the Gothic soap opera Dark Shadows featured regular technical and acting flubs. Many, many, many flubs [more inside]
posted by The Whelk at 4:43 PM PST - 25 comments

Creating the Windows 8 user experience — an inside look from the Windows engineering team, with a brief history of the Windows user interface.
posted by cenoxo at 4:03 PM PST - 98 comments


Webwandern. Hike the Swiss Alps but don't bother getting out of your chair. Site is in German, but easy to navigate.
posted by zardoz at 2:27 PM PST - 13 comments



Tree poaching: 800-year-old red cedar stolen from a provincial park is in the news today, but tree poaching is an ongoing problem in the province. Valuable decorative wood such as curly maple is sought after and stolen eg in 2009 from Burnaby Mountain Conservation area. Another curly maple. To identify which trees to steal, many others may be damaged. Here's a Picture of damage in a discussion where guitar-lovers feel accusations are unjust.
posted by Listener at 12:10 PM PST - 38 comments

Since 2007 (or 1997) Dmitry Samarov has been writing and drawing the highs and lows (mostly lows) of driving a cab in Chicago.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:13 AM PST - 21 comments


WFNX is D-E-D, dead. The last remaining Boston indie major market radio station, WFNX, has been sold to Clear Channel Communications. 17 full- and part-time staffers, including almost all the current radio personalities, have been laid off. The station will continue to operate for a few months with a skeleton crew until the FCC approval and changeover. [more inside]
posted by clone boulevard at 9:54 AM PST - 72 comments

Norman Rides Again! [SLYT]
posted by Fizz at 9:29 AM PST - 39 comments


Dan Harmon out as showrunner of Community. He responds
posted by whitneyarner at 7:13 AM PST - 275 comments


Turkey Dupstep
posted by rebent at 6:14 AM PST - 15 comments



So-called jazz compositions may contain at most 10% syncopation; the remainder must consist of a natural legato movement devoid of the hysterical rhythmic reverses characteristic of the barbarian races and conductive to dark instincts alien to the German people (so-called riffs)
The story of Nazi jazz. [Previously.] [more inside]
posted by Sonny Jim at 2:28 AM PST - 42 comments

If you are very lucky you may see a fire rainbow once or twice in your life.
posted by Wolfdog at 2:18 AM PST - 39 comments


May 18


"Are you still doing that hand thing?" Creepy SLYT.
posted by Deathalicious at 8:54 PM PST - 68 comments

simply read Finnegans Wake. Since it is said to make more sense when recited aloud, you could start with this recording of James Joyce performing a passage from the "Anna Livia Plurabelle" section - which has been described as "one of the most beautiful prose-poems in English". [more inside]
posted by Trurl at 6:58 PM PST - 40 comments

The letter of the day at the Savage Love blog tells a story of cruel abandonment, and provokes an outpouring of love in response.
posted by Ipsifendus at 5:47 PM PST - 48 comments

“I believe I owe the gay community an apology.” -- Dr. Robert L. Spitzer, considered by some to be the father of modern psychiatry, recants a poorly conceived 2003 investigation that supported the use of so-called reparative therapy to “cure” homosexuality for people strongly motivated to change.
posted by slater at 5:22 PM PST - 29 comments

Unicode’s sad lack of intellectual smileys | And, really, wouldn't this be a better world if we had a rhetorical question mark?
posted by titus-g at 4:49 PM PST - 27 comments


Why Teaching Equality Hurts Men: "It hurts them by making them unconsciously perpetrate biases they’ve been actively taught to despise. It hurts them by making them complicit in the distress of others. It hurts them by shoehorning them into a restrictive definition masculinity from which any and all deviation is harshly punished... It hurts them through a process of indoctrination so subtle and pervasive that they never even knew it was happening, and when you’ve been raised to hate inequality, discovering that you’ve actually been its primary beneficiary is horrifying – like learning that the family fortune comes from blood money." (via nooneyouknow)
posted by flex at 3:28 PM PST - 134 comments

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Dragon cargo capsule is scheduled to launch at 8:55 am UTC on Saturday, May 19, 2012 - a little less than 12 hours from now. [more inside]
posted by egor83 at 2:38 PM PST - 52 comments


Baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau has died (NYTimes). “Providence gives to some singers a beautiful voice, to some musical artistry, to some (let us face it) neither, but to Fischer-Dieskau Providence has given both. The result is a miracle and that is just about all there is to be said about it.” (John Amis) [more inside]
posted by Madamina at 1:41 PM PST - 26 comments



RPG [more inside]
posted by DU at 10:56 AM PST - 88 comments

Evoke - a game of creating symmetry by identifying differences. [more inside]
posted by quin at 10:21 AM PST - 15 comments

Thank you Facebook! A song in celebration of the largest tech IPO in history.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:31 AM PST - 220 comments

In other positive criminal justice news, the US Department of Justice has issued long overdue rules for combating sexual assault of prisoners in federal, state, and local penitentiaries. [more inside]
posted by Cash4Lead at 9:22 AM PST - 31 comments

Why I Wrote Solidarity Forever. "In the pantheon of American labor history there is a very special place for Ralph Chaplin, the man and his work. As the poet laureate of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), he is probably remembered best for giving organized labor its fighting them song, Solidarity Forever." [more inside]
posted by Stagger Lee at 9:00 AM PST - 27 comments

Curt Schilling, a former Major League Baseball pitcher, retired with an eye toward making games. His 38 Studios bought Big Huge Games, some big-name talent, and got started with Kingdoms of Amalur... with the help of a $75 million guaranteed loan from the state of Rhode Island (not without controversy). The game was good but not great and sales were likewise good but not great. Not great enough to cover the payments on a $75 million loan, anyway, not to mention payroll, and Rhode Island is likely on the hook.
posted by gilrain at 8:00 AM PST - 169 comments

Originally published in 1983, Les Amies de Place Blanche [slightly NSFW] focuses on the transsexual community living around the Place Blanche district of Paris in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

More photos by Christer Strömholm

Review in The Guardian
posted by BEE-EATING CAT-EATER at 7:45 AM PST - 11 comments

Weak men pay this boxing coach to tell them they are terrible. Eric Kelly was a 2 time New York Golden Gloves Champion, 4 time National Champion, 2000 Olympic alternate, and 3 time Milwaukee Golden Gloves before an eye injury prevented him from competing. Today, he's a trainer at Church Street Boxing Gym in New York, coaching Wall Street bankers how to box.
posted by reformedjerk at 7:22 AM PST - 64 comments


As police departments around the country are increasingly caught up in tussles with members of the public who record their activities, the U.S. Justice Department has come out with a strong statement supporting the First Amendment right of individuals to record police officers in the public discharge of their duties.
In a surprising letter sent on Monday to attorneys for the Baltimore Police Department, the Justice Department also strongly asserted that officers who seize and destroy such recordings without a warrant or without due process are in strict violation of the individual’s Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
posted by veedubya at 2:42 AM PST - 100 comments

Scientists investigate the use of psychedelic drugs in end of life therapy "Grob and his colleagues are part of a resurgence of scientific interest in the healing power of psychedelics. Michael Mithoefer, for instance, has shown that MDMA is an effective treatment for severe P.T.S.D. Halpern has examined case studies of people with cluster headaches who took LSD and reported their symptoms greatly diminished. And psychedelics have been recently examined as treatment for alcoholism and other addictions. "
posted by bookman117 at 12:11 AM PST - 57 comments

May 17

Each morning at 9am for the next two weeks, (Mefi's Own) scifi and fantasy author John Scalzi will be chatting with musician Jonathan Coulton about one of his science fiction songs -- a different song each morning, -- in a daily podcast over at Tor.com called Journey to Planet JoCo. Series index. On May 29th, they'll be premiering a brand new, previously unheard Coulton song.
posted by zarq at 11:29 PM PST - 3 comments

How Fast Do You Read? Compare yourself with national averages. Compare yourself with Anne Jones, a Champion Speed Reader who consumed the last Harry Potter book in 47 minutes, about 1 page every 3.75 seconds.
posted by stbalbach at 11:18 PM PST - 90 comments

Are gender-based safe spaces needed? Students at a Canadian university (SFU) want a men's centre, and though there is some controversy, it seems to be rolling towards approval. [more inside]
posted by Listener at 10:34 PM PST - 105 comments

Yo, Should I Dump This Asshole? From the creators of Yo, Is This Racist? (previously), a tumblr that gives succinct relationship advice. [more inside]
posted by medusa at 9:48 PM PST - 45 comments

Previously, WSJ asked if YA novels today are too dark- with abuse, violence and depravity. A YA writer took it literally and researched the color distribution and demographic of young adult novels.
posted by ichomp at 8:21 PM PST - 34 comments


When Captain America throws his mighty shield, all those who chose to oppose his shield must yield. Doc Bruce Banner, pelted by gamma rays, turns into The Hulk; ain't he unglamorous? Tony Stark makes you feel; he's a cool exec with a heart of steel. Cross the Rainbow Bridge of Asgard, where the booming heavens roar, you'll behold in breathless wonder the god of Thunder, mighty Thor. Stronger than a whale, he can swim anywhere; he can breathe underwater and go flying through the air. [more inside]
posted by Trurl at 6:04 PM PST - 61 comments

Where will you be on May 20th/21st? There will be an annular solar eclipse late afternoon that will be visible in the Western US: "On May 21, 2012, an annular solar eclipse begins over southeast China and passes over Japan. When the eclipse crosses the International Date Line, the local date becomes May 20. The eclipse then enters the California/Oregon border, passes in the late afternoon over Nevada, Utah, Arizona, a corner of Colorado, New Mexico, and ends at sunset in Texas." As a warning, please don't scorch your eyeballs! There are guidelines on safe viewing.
posted by dfm500 at 4:50 PM PST - 37 comments

Formerly Hasidic black rapper Y-Love has come out of the closet and is now probably the only person who could beat Sammy Davis Jr.'s famous quip.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:43 PM PST - 26 comments

In 1985, Don't Stand Me Down, the third studio album by Dexy's Midnight Runners was released. In a rare interview, front man Kevin Rowland and violinist Helen O'Hara talk about the making of what is now considered Dexy's lost masterpiece. The record was not an immediate success. [more inside]
posted by Elizabeth the Thirteenth at 4:24 PM PST - 30 comments

Ben Howard performing a cover of Call me Maybe by Carly Rae Jespen on BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge. [more inside]
posted by schmod at 1:40 PM PST - 23 comments

Britain is considering legislation to protect scientific publications in peer reviewed journals from libel lawsuits, such as the Chiropractic Association's lawsuit against Simon Singh. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges at 1:33 PM PST - 24 comments

A Brief History of John Baldessari The Godfather of conceptual art. Narrated by Tom Waits. (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:56 PM PST - 12 comments


Doug Dillard was a pioneer of country rock with his band The Dillards, with his brother Rodney, who were perhaps the first to plug bluegrass instruments into amplifiers back in the early sixties. He died today at the age of 75. [more inside]
posted by Fnarf at 12:27 PM PST - 18 comments


It's Nicholl Fellowship season again! This year, with a May 1st deadline, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences accepted a record 7,197 entries -- an estimated 647,730 to 863,640 pages that Academy Judges will have to read and evaluate by October. This is a record reflecting not only a high number of aspirant screenwriters, but over 1,000 submissions from outside the territorial United States. Previously, here and here. Does anybody here have any Nicholl Fellowship tales? Any wins? Any multi-decade efforts to get their story out there?
posted by vhsiv at 11:58 AM PST - 33 comments

Met Police to extract suspects' mobile phone data [BBC] The Metropolitan Police, covering Greater London, are set to expand their search powers by making it standard practice to swipe contact details, call logs, and texts off of the mobile phones of anyone in custody - and retain that data - regardless of whether the suspect ends up charged with a crime or not. Clearly not everyone is over the moon about this, seeing it as the latest sign of the steady erosion of communications privacy in the UK and a potential breach of human rights law.
posted by LondonYank at 11:42 AM PST - 43 comments

"Hello! I'm the Doctor Puppet! I travel to places with my companion who takes pictures of me." Doctor Who as a puppet, traveling around NYC, getting his photo taken.
posted by quin at 10:17 AM PST - 36 comments


Donna Summer, the queen of disco, dies at 63. Once upon a time there was a girl who loved to love you. Sometimes she was a bad girl, but she always worked hard for the money, and she was always hot stuff. Although once she left her cake out in the rain. Now it's time to dim all the lights, and have one last dance, for the queen has gone to the disco in the sky. [more inside]
posted by dnash at 9:24 AM PST - 179 comments

UCLA neuroscientists have reconstructed Phineas Gage's head injury and mapped out how his brain was affected by the tamping rod that went through it. You can read the full scientific article here. Phineas Gage has become one of the most famous cases in the history of science. A railroad worker who survived having an iron rod go through his brain with subsequent changes in personality. Malcolm McMillan of Deakin University, Australia, has the great Phineas Gage Information Page, which includes his story and a page on unanswered questions. [Phineas Gage previously on MeFi]
posted by Kattullus at 8:28 AM PST - 19 comments

These days, Steve Stajich is a columnist for the Santa Monica Mirror. He's done some standup, some theater, and some TV. In the Denver summer of 1978, he recorded an album.
posted by timsteil at 7:46 AM PST - 5 comments

The story of Ron Paul’s presidential candidacy as told by his supporters in Time Magazine's comments section. Extra-specially meta thanks to an update which posts comments from underneath the same post.
posted by feelinglistless at 7:38 AM PST - 103 comments

ReachOut Healthcare America, a dental management services company, “built its business model on the premise that low-income parents often don’t have time or transportation to take children to the dentist. So mobile teams pack equipment in large cases, load up a minivan, head to schools and set up in gyms, libraries or classrooms.” Services are billed to Medicaid. ReachOut and other dental management services companies are increasingly backed by private equity firms. What could possibly go wrong? [more inside]
posted by evilmomlady at 6:31 AM PST - 42 comments

Jean Craighead George has died. [more inside]
posted by Aizkolari at 6:11 AM PST - 52 comments



Bill Bollinger was an important post minimalist sculpture in the late 1960s and early 1970s. One of a generation of people who changed what sculpture meant. [more inside]
posted by PinkMoose at 12:59 AM PST - 7 comments

At Burning Man 2011, select participants were invited to an elaborate champagne dinner party, with food prepared by New York City chef Phil Winser of The Fat Radish. But who hosted the party, what was the reason for the dinner, and why were only certain participants invited? Well, the dinner was a marketing campaign for Krug. [more inside]
posted by mattdidthat at 12:55 AM PST - 95 comments

May 16

Who are the alt-acs? They are people with graduate education (mostly in the humanities and library science) who have decided to pursue alternative academic careers. They choose to skip the "dues-paying crap" often associated with pursuing a traditional tenure-track job, and avoid languishing in unrewarding adjunct assignments. They also tweet like mad. The results of a new (and, as of this writing, ongoing) #alt-ac census show alt-acs thriving in diverse positions; there's a strong contingent involved in the digital humanities, but also a historian at the U.S. Department of State, an exhibit developer at the National Constitution Center, and a self-employed "Editor, musicologist." [more inside]
posted by Orinda at 10:19 PM PST - 26 comments

According to the U.S. census bureau, from July 2010 to July 2011, more than half of all babies born were members of minority groups, a first for the United States. [more inside]
posted by cashman at 10:13 PM PST - 59 comments

"I can say with confidence that rich people don't create jobs, nor do businesses, large or small," said über-rich venture capitalist Nick Hanauer in a March 1st TEDx talk, which TED is refusing to put on its website. [more inside]
posted by blazingunicorn at 9:43 PM PST - 98 comments

For the first time since she was paralyzed by a stroke 15 years ago, a woman in the BrainGate2 clinical trial served herself a drink of coffee ... with a brain-controlled robot arm (with heartwarming video)
posted by crayz at 9:27 PM PST - 8 comments

Rethinking "Mother died today": Translating a work requires a surprising amount of thought to avoid leading readers into contextual pitfalls, and The Stranger is no exception. "Within the novel’s first sentence, two subtle and seemingly minor translation decisions have the power to change the way we read everything that follows."
posted by estlin at 9:19 PM PST - 47 comments


"A great ballclub, a beautiful demonstration of what talent can do when assembled with planning and guided by intelligence." - Bill James, on the 1986 New York Mets [more inside]
posted by Trurl at 5:59 PM PST - 36 comments

"Blow Job" is a series of portraits of people with gale-force winds blown directly into their faces. (SFW) [more inside]
posted by flyingsquirrel at 5:54 PM PST - 62 comments

A Grade 11 student, with a summary of Sean Dixon's novel The Last Days of the Lacuna Cabal due in two days, gets help from the author. It does not go particularly well.
posted by scruss at 4:39 PM PST - 138 comments

A famously reclusive writer, John Swartzwelder is responsible for many of The Simpson's iconic episodes. He stopped writing for the show in '04 and began to self-publish a series of increasingly absurd Sci-Fi Detective novels.
posted by The Whelk at 2:47 PM PST - 47 comments

The nuclear-disarmament group Global Zero just released a report proposing a ten-year plan for the United States and Russia to reduce their arsenals below 900 warheads each, well below the New START treaty limits of 1,550 deployed warheads each by 2018. Implementation is unlikely in an election year. [more inside]
posted by haltingproblemsolved at 2:24 PM PST - 17 comments



Not So Pure Michigan (youtube), a play on Michigan's "Pure Michigan" tourism campaign. (For more on Michigan's troubles with its neighbors see Mitten-gate.)
posted by found missing at 1:57 PM PST - 31 comments

‘You will never go wrong anticipating doom in my books, any more than you’ll go wrong in anticipating doom in ordinary life’—László Krasznahorkai. [more inside]
posted by misteraitch at 1:41 PM PST - 7 comments

Consequences, Choices, Children in Crisis, Challenges. HBO’s multi-part research documentary The Weight of the Nation examines obesity in America in four parts, marshaling leading doctors, epidemiologists, economists, researchers, and community leaders to understand and explain the individual costs and public solutions to a multi-faceted social and individual problem. The documentary both explores large picture statistics, while giving voice “to those that often too seek to be invisible: members of the nearly 70 percent of Americans currently diagnosed as overweight or obese. (AV Club Review)” [more inside]
posted by stratastar at 12:49 PM PST - 42 comments

"A Harvard MBA Pays Down $101K Of Debt." Two years after he graduated from Harvard with an MBA, Joe Mihalic, now manager of strategic alliances and business development at Dell, vowed to do “everything in my power–short of lying, cheating, and stealing–to pay down" his student loan debt, (then totaling 90K,) "in the next ten months.” After applying for a weekend delivery job, he also decided to chronicle the steps he was taking on a blog: "No More Harvard Debt." First page of posts is here. Penultimate post explains his process: "Mission Accomplished." [more inside]
posted by zarq at 11:53 AM PST - 194 comments


That the conventional wisdom of 3,500 calories less is what it takes to lose a pound of weight is wrong. The body changes as you lose. Interestingly, we also found that the fatter you get, the easier it is to gain weight. An extra 10 calories a day puts more weight onto an obese person than on a thinner one. [more inside]
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:31 AM PST - 125 comments

Did you know that the blind can see? And that's not even the most interesting part. [more inside]
posted by brenton at 11:19 AM PST - 24 comments

If you live in Toronto, you may have seen them busking in the street or in the parks. But if you were a stranded passenger on Air Canada flight AC 876, which was delayed for 20 minutes on the tarmac at Pearson Airport in Toronto en route to Romania, then you got to see the Lemon Bucket Orkestra play an impromptu 4 song performance. [more inside]
posted by chococat at 10:38 AM PST - 29 comments

Fourteen Ways To Spot A Bad Critic : Tarol Hunt, illustrator of the webcomic Goblins: Life Through Their Eyes [Previously], weighs in on hate mail sent by his readers.
posted by Smart Dalek at 10:16 AM PST - 57 comments


Irene Shubik started as a television script-writer, first writing for Encyclopædia Britannica Films (some videos on Archive.org) in the United States before moving back England, where she was hired on at Associated British Corporation. There, she worked as a story editor for the prolific TV producer Sydney Newman on the anthology series 'Armchair Theatre.' A long-time fan of science fiction, Shubik approached Newman about creating a science fiction version of 'Armchair Theatre,' and Newman agreed. The result was 'Out of This World,' which ran for a single season in 1962. Shubik followed Newman to BBC, where they continued the theme of 'Out of This World' with a new program, 'Out of the Unknown.' Between the two series, 63 episodes were made, though only 21 episodes survive in full, and audio and video clips survive from another 18 episodes. The videos and original short stories are linked below the break. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:43 AM PST - 4 comments

Disrupt Disruption: A Case Study in Brand Evangelism: The founders of LocalOffrly.Biz (like GroupOn + Living Social) discuss hypertargeted banner ads, sex dice, memes/virals, Klout scores, and "gamifying that which has refused to be gamified" ... at ROFLcon III. (via) (youtube playlist)
posted by mrgrimm at 9:21 AM PST - 15 comments

8-bitscapes : Artist Jamie Sneddon and photographer Kevin Rozario-Johnson take cityscapes and add in elements from classic videogames with delightful results. [more inside]
posted by quin at 8:50 AM PST - 21 comments

"This is the final victory of the censor: When people, even people who know they are routinely lied to, cease to be able to imagine what is really the case." Salman Rushdie, On Censorship.
posted by davidjmcgee at 7:48 AM PST - 48 comments

Morgan Freeman in 1971, [SLYT] wearing bell bottoms and teaching kids to read on “The Electric Company.”
posted by Fizz at 6:53 AM PST - 62 comments

The eight fingered Polish-Norwegian artist Andrej Nebb with his band, performing Bo jo cie kochom in Oslo in 1980. How he lost two fingers? Cutting his guitar with a chainsaw. That’s why he had to play bass instead. Basically he fled communism to live a rock ‘n’ roll life. Here he is back in Poland in 2002, at Przystanek Woodstock.
posted by nordlys at 6:42 AM PST - 9 comments

Last week was Teacher Appreciation Week. If you were too busy looking forward to have time to appreciate a teacher, it's still not too late to appreciate the teachers behind the students.
posted by twoleftfeet at 1:22 AM PST - 11 comments

May 15


How Cigars are Made at the La Aurora factory in the Dominican Republic.
posted by Scientist at 7:25 PM PST - 20 comments

Dalal al-Mutairi, the senior book censor for the Kuwaiti government, sits down for a chat about her job and what it entails.
posted by reenum at 7:08 PM PST - 38 comments

A woman opens an old steamer trunk and discovers tantalizing clues that a long-dead relative may actually have been a serial killer, stalking the streets of New York in the closing years of the nineteenth century. A beer enthusiast is presented by his neighbor with the original recipe for Brown's Ale, salvaged decades before from the wreckage of the old brewery--the very building where the Star-Spangled Banner was sewn in 1813. These stories have two things in common. They are tailor-made for viral success on the internet. And they are all lies.
posted by Sebmojo at 5:36 PM PST - 203 comments

Now I agree that to some people using half a kilo of chocolate to make 12 biscuits may seem excessive. But I can tell you I don't put a price on alleviating human suffering. - Nigella Lawson [more inside]
posted by Trurl at 5:33 PM PST - 128 comments

Small, Far Away - The World of Father Ted: Graham Linehan and Arthur Mathews revisit Craggy Island 15 years after the premiere of the classic Irish comedy, Father Ted.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 4:51 PM PST - 53 comments

Inside the Actors Studio's James Lipton offers advice to Mitt Romney.
posted by gman at 3:36 PM PST - 90 comments

First Gene Therapy Successful Against Aging-Associated Decline: Mouse Lifespan Extended Up to 24% With a Single Treatment A new study consisting of inducing cells to express telomerase, the enzyme which -- metaphorically -- slows down the biological clock -- was successful. The research provides a "proof-of-principle" that this "feasible and safe" approach can effectively "improve health span." [article]
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:46 PM PST - 97 comments


In a video uploaded by the BBC today, Karen Gillan, who recently wrapped up filming her final episodes of Doctor Who, asked the crew of Community to include her in an Inspector Spacetime episode.
posted by jbickers at 12:41 PM PST - 167 comments

Scott Widak, 47, has Down syndrome and is terminally ill with liver disease. To cope with his uncle's challenging situation, Widak’s nephew, Sean O’Connor, turned to the Reddit community to see if anyone would be interested in sending a letter to his uncle. O’Connor then included a link to a news article about Widak and his art, along with two photos of him and his mother, a P.O. box address and a few things he’s interested in, like Johnny Cash. Following the post, Widak received hundreds of letters from all over the world. From Mashable: a story of random acts of kindness.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:38 PM PST - 19 comments

A new world record for fuel efficiency has been set. John and Helen Taylor drove a a 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SE for 1,626.1 miles, averaging 84.1 miles per gallon, using hypermiling techniques. The EPA lists the vehicle at 31 mpg city and 43 highway. Meanwhile, youtube user "Fidallyb" is upset because the BlueMotion TDI Passat he rented while vacationing in Europe got over 78 mpg and yet isn't available in the United States. Here are five more fuel efficient cars you can't buy in the United States. [more inside]
posted by mecran01 at 11:44 AM PST - 133 comments

"Capitalism itself could crumble if companies don't start putting their long-term interests first, according to the Henry Jackson Initiative for Inclusive Capitalism. The group argues that companies' short-term profit-taking and disregard for income inequality are eroding popular support for the free-market system. "Capitalism is very much under siege," the group warns." [Complete Paper (PDF)] [Wording from SmartBrief on Leadership]
posted by stoneweaver at 11:42 AM PST - 39 comments

Many visitors to Boston assume that the Back Bay neighborhood is one of the city's oldest. It's actually one of the newest, reclaimed from Charles River marshland at the end of the 19th Century. Before the completion of this project, Beacon Street to Brookline was the top of a tidal dam. Today's Boston Proper is actually mostly fill: in 1630, Boston was 783 acres of land. By 1901, it was 1,904 acres. Filling in Back Bay was an enormous project, but some valuable lessons were learned decades earlier while filling in the South End.
posted by Mayor Curley at 11:41 AM PST - 43 comments

Please don't learn to code (Coding Horror). Please Don't Become Anything, Especially Not A Programmer. (Learn Code the Hard Way).
posted by desjardins at 11:40 AM PST - 123 comments

How Yahoo killed Flickr and Lost the Internet by Mat Honan of Gizmodo.
posted by Atreides at 11:18 AM PST - 110 comments

“To all unmarried ones who would like to spend their life by my side and within all the beauties of my home. Please look below at all the magic of my home that I have decorated with taste, perhaps just for YOU. Don Milisav Juan Gonzales Brzi, Contact: +33-#########″
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:12 AM PST - 59 comments

Jimmyjane (NSFW) makes luxury, design-oriented vibrators and other sex toys and accessories. ("Design inspired by Apple, not Hustler.") They'd like to change the way Americans think about them: instead of as 'dirty little secrets,' they're hoping for mainstream acceptance and to usher in an "Age of Great American Sex." (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq at 11:08 AM PST - 42 comments

Okay: In the role playing game known as The Real World, “Straight White Male” is the lowest difficulty setting there is...
As the game progresses, your goal is to gain points, apportion them wisely, and level up. If you start with fewer points and fewer of them in critical stat categories, or choose poorly regarding the skills you decide to level up on, then the game will still be difficult for you. But because you’re playing on the “Straight White Male” setting, gaining points and leveling up will still by default be easier, all other things being equal, than for another player using a higher difficulty setting.

Likewise, it’s certainly possible someone playing at a higher difficulty setting is progressing more quickly than you are, because they had more points initially given to them by the computer and/or their highest stats are wealth, intelligence and constitution and/or simply because they play the game better than you do. It doesn’t change the fact you are still playing on the lowest difficulty setting.


MeFi's own John Scalzi provides an excellent, relatable metaphor for explaining the realities of race and gender without invoking the dreaded word "privilege". [more inside]
posted by Jon_Evil at 11:04 AM PST - 368 comments

Computer security consultant Byron Sonne (previously, previously) has been acquitted of charges he plotted to attack the G20 summit in Toronto.
posted by unSane at 10:33 AM PST - 12 comments

Clayton Christensen is the most influential business thinker on the planet. He's been everywhere lately: On Charlie Rose, in the New Yorker (pay-walled), in the Steve Jobs biography (as the author of the only business book to have influenced Jobs). He has applied his ideas of Disruptive Innovation and Jobs-to-be-Done (pdf) to industries such as healthcare and higher education. Recently he has been trying to apply them to personal and career development. He's also a devout Mormon (and a generous Romney campaign contributor) and a cancer, stroke, and heart attack survivor.
posted by AceRock at 10:31 AM PST - 13 comments

Eveready Harton in Buried Treasure, from 1928, is considered to be one of the first pornographic cartoons. It is certainly one of the strangest (NSFW)
posted by The Whelk at 10:07 AM PST - 30 comments

Christopher Doyon, a.k.a. Commander X, is currently on the run from the U.S. government. In this interview with the National Post he talks about his work with Anonymous and what it means for the future of information: "Right now we have access to every classified database in the U.S. government. It’s a matter of when we leak the contents of those databases, not if. You know how we got access? We didn’t hack them. The access was given to us by the people who run the systems. The five-star general (and) the Secretary of Defence who sit in the cushy plush offices at the top of the Pentagon don’t run anything anymore. It’s the pimply-faced kid in the basement who controls the whole game, and Bradley Manning proved that. The fact he had the 250,000 cables that were released effectively cut the power of the U.S. State Department in half. The Afghan war diaries and the Iran war diaries effectively cut the political clout of the U.S. Department of Defence in half. All because of one guy who had enough balls to slip a CD in an envelope and mail it to somebody. Now people are leaking to Anonymous and they’re not coming to us with this document or that document or a CD, they’re coming to us with keys to the kingdom, they’re giving us the passwords and usernames to whole secure databases that we now have free reign over. … The world needs to be concerned."(via)
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 9:48 AM PST - 49 comments

The Invisible Hand is Invisible Because It Isn't There. Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz gives the keynote address at the launch of The Roosevelt Institute's new initiative: Rediscovering Government. Via the Next New Deal.
posted by Trochanter at 9:20 AM PST - 103 comments

"She lets go of the handle and goes into free fall. At the same time, she jerks the manual release on her cervical collar and goes into full Michelin Man mode as tiny gas cartridges detonate in several strategic locations around her bod. The biggest one goes off like an M-80 at the nape of her neck, unfurling the coverall's collar into a cylindrical gas bag that shoots straight up and encases her entire head. Other airbags go off around her torso and pelvis, paying lots of attention to that spinal column."
In his 1992 book Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson described a protective airbag technology for bikers and skateboarders. It's become a reality. [more inside]
posted by quin at 8:47 AM PST - 59 comments



"I’ve felt like my gender doesn’t match me for a very long time.” A Quiverfull mom describes her family's journey after her spouse comes out to her as transgender. (Excuse me, I have something in my eye.) (Via No Longer Quivering.)
posted by cereselle at 7:57 AM PST - 53 comments

Yesterday's Diane Rehm Show featured a conversation between Sherry Turkle (previously), Stephen Marche (previously) and Zeynep Tufekci. Tufekci has been critical of Turkle's and Marche's assertions that social media is making us lonely. A lively Twitter conversation and critique ensued.
posted by DiscourseMarker at 7:48 AM PST - 26 comments

Tipped off by an ancient poem, and supported by both historical and paleontological/geological research, Koji Minoura et al. found evidence of historic and prehistoric tsunamis[PDF] devastating north-east Japan just as that of March 2011 did -- and he had been saying for years that it could happen again. (via PRI's The World's science podcast)
posted by jb at 7:28 AM PST - 13 comments

Some British bus shelters are, implausibly, powered by the light of the sun, and some can see what you’re up to & tell you to stop doing it. Others smell like baked potatoes, or dispense free pieces of cake. Others still can get you high if you set them on fire. More often though, these are dreary, malodorous locales where one is increasingly less likely to see a bus, let alone three coming along at once. Photographer Steve Ellaway has embarked on a project to photograph the bus shelters of South Wales: an unpromising subject on the surface of it, but one that has yielded surprisingly rich and varied results.
posted by misteraitch at 7:20 AM PST - 22 comments

The emergence of a citation cartel. "Cell Transplantation is a medical journal published by the Cognizant Communication Corporation of Putnam Valley, New York. In recent years, its impact factor has been growing rapidly. In 2006, it was 3.482. In 2010, it had almost doubled to 6.204. When you look at which journals cite Cell Transplantation, two journals stand out noticeably: the Medical Science Monitor, and The Scientific World Journal. According to the JCR, neither of these journals cited Cell Transplantation until 2010. Then, in 2010, a review article was published in the Medical Science Monitor citing 490 articles, 445 of which were to papers published in Cell Transplantation. All 445 citations pointed to papers published in 2008 or 2009 — the citation window from which the journal’s 2010 impact factor was derived. Of the remaining 45 citations, 44 cited the Medical Science Monitor, again, to papers published in 2008 and 2009. Three of the four authors of this paper sit on the editorial board of Cell Transplantation. Two are associate editors, one is the founding editor. The fourth is the CEO of a medical communications company." (from Scholarly Kitchen, via Andrew Gelman.)
posted by escabeche at 7:17 AM PST - 26 comments

Money Unlimited How John Roberts Orchestrated the Citizens United decision. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad at 5:55 AM PST - 87 comments

Mid-century garage doors.
posted by box at 5:38 AM PST - 16 comments

What do Amy and Klara, Exxon Secrets, and MAICgregator have in common? They are all examples of Adversarial Design.
posted by jkolko at 4:59 AM PST - 15 comments

Biodegradation of Polyester Polyurethane by Endophytic Fungi [scientific paper]. Pestalotiopsis microspora lives in dark, damp and anaerobic conditions in the Amazon, is a candidate for introduction to landfills, can survive on only polyurethane, and may solve the plastic 100-400 year decomposition issue [non-technical summary].
posted by jaduncan at 2:55 AM PST - 40 comments


May 14

Los Tocayos Carlos - a comprehensive investigation by Columbia Law School Professor James Liebman and a team of students which uncovers evidence that Carlos DeLuna, a poor Hispanic man with childlike intelligence who was executed in Texas in 1989, was innocent. The issue of The Columbia Human Rights Law Review, entirely dedicated to this investigation, is available at this website.
posted by Gyan at 10:58 PM PST - 42 comments

This is How: Proven Aid in Overcoming Shyness, Molestation, Fatness, Spinsterhood, Grief, Disease, Lushery, Decrepitude & More. For Young and Old Alike. is Augusten Burroughs' new self-help book (reviews here, here, and here), one which scorns the genre cliches of goal-setting and affirmations in favor of a hard-nosed philosophy of self-honesty based on lessons learned from his own background of abuse, neglect, and rape. In an interview with CNN, he gives snippets of his views on subjects like the harm of people "clinging to a dream which maybe they don't actually have the talent to do", suicide ("it doesn't release you, it adds a new layer of horror") and the quest for thinness ("the brain is magnificent and to focus on your gastrointestinal track is a complete waste"). (previously)
posted by shivohum at 10:57 PM PST - 42 comments

As young as 18, I'd already written the application to join the party, but I was too embarrassed to turn it in to the party branch. I've studiously read the party constitution countless times - always felt I wasn't worthy of the party's requirements. Applying to Join the Chinese Communist Party : a music video (w/ English subtitles)
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:55 PM PST - 21 comments



She connected the discarded organ replacement machines together and had them 'breathe' in closed circuits. The machines of The Immortal keep each other alive through circulation of electrical impulses, oxygen and artificial blood.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:22 PM PST - 28 comments


Always backed by the 12th Street Rag, Marv Albert has brought us "wild and wacky moments in the world of sports (compiled by his crack staff and producer Dave Katz)" for just under thirty years. [Caveats: Some dates are approximate. Some of the more famous clips appear multiple times. Hockey violence, boxing referees getting hit, borked slides into third, etc.] And we start with the early 80's — 1984: a b1985 — 1985-86: a b c1986 (in review) — 1987: a b c d1988 (in review) — 1989: a bReview of the 80'sEarly 1990's1997 — 1999's Wild and Wacky Millenium2008200920102011first half of the 2011 NFL seasona 30-minute compilationanother compilationbaseball compilation
posted by not_on_display at 5:46 PM PST - 20 comments

Galleries of old photographs of camels in America, Australia, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, China, Mongolia and India, in war | camel breeds | How the Camel Got His Hump from Camel Tales, Folklore & Legends| baby camels and lots more at this one stop site all about Camels. Previously.
posted by nickyskye at 5:27 PM PST - 17 comments



10 years ago it was considered impossible to build a prosthetic for an elephant.
What do you do when an endangered elephant steps on a land mine? If you’re the Friends of the Asian Elephant Hospital, you make a prosthetic leg that can support 2000 pounds of moving pachyderm. [more inside]
posted by endless_forms at 1:26 PM PST - 25 comments

Taiyo Matsumoto's original five volume manga Ping Pong was one of the most surprising and gripping experiences I've had this year. But a huge reason for that is the artwork: he packs more kinetic energy into a single drawing of a shoe skidding across a floor than any real shoe has ever had. So it was with some trepidation that I saw posters for this adaptation going up in stores around Japan. Fumihiko Masuri is a first time director (not that you'd know it), with a background in computer effects. He seems to have directed this mainly because he's a really big fan of the manga too. On the film's website, they've placed images from the manga next to photographs of the actors in the film, so you can see how obsessive compulsive they were in matching faces. Not only faces, but movements, playing styles, and shot composition is all straight from the book, as if they'd used the manga in lieu of storyboards. Even the occasional surreal touch; a boy growing butterfly wings, a dragonfly landing on the net, is right out of the page onto the screen. -- Midnight Eye review; subtitled movie in 12 parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
posted by filthy light thief at 12:36 PM PST - 22 comments

The Dictator's practical internet guide to power retention. The Internet can be a real pain for a comfortable dictator. Here's how to turn it to your nefarious advantage.
posted by bitmage at 12:19 PM PST - 6 comments

Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin has renounced his U.S. citizenship ahead of the company's IPO so as to avoid paying capital gains taxes on his shares, which could be worth as much as $3.84 billion. [more inside]
posted by Cash4Lead at 12:17 PM PST - 299 comments

Mike Birbiglia's Fresh Air interview gets awkward. From last week's This American Life live episode.
posted by roll truck roll at 12:09 PM PST - 31 comments

I first came across Miss.Tic in Arles,
Since the 1980's Miss.Tic has located her art mainly in the streets of Paris. You can follow her work since 1985 through to 2011.(NSFW)
Not much is available in English but here is an Interview with subtitles, and a video Ethics of Love.
One of my favorites: - Poetry is an Extreme Sport which is part of a Flickr set.
posted by adamvasco at 11:46 AM PST - 3 comments

Patrice O’Neal (RIP previously) didn’t just want to be famous, he wanted to be as good as Richard Pryor. To hear his fellow comics tell it, he was—a brutal truth-teller who spared no one, starting with those closest to him. (Print friendly version)
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:17 AM PST - 62 comments

FatFonts creates numerical fonts where the amount of ink/pixels for each number is in direct proportion to its value.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:09 AM PST - 23 comments

The Triumph of the Passenger Ship is an online exhibition of highlights from the Norman H. Morse Ocean Liner Collection at the University of Southern Maine. (The cutaway illustrations are fascinating.)
posted by Horace Rumpole at 10:37 AM PST - 3 comments

"It is with great sadness that Skywalker Properties has decided to pull its application to build a studio facility on the old Grady Ranch." (PDF) George Lucas' neighbors don't want him building a movie studio on his Marin property; after fighting for years, he's working with the Marin Community Foundation to develop low-income housing.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:29 AM PST - 100 comments


Russell Mulcahy is best known for directing Highlander (as well as its...less-popular...sequel) and is currently doing a Teen Wolf series for MTV. But speaking of MTV, he got his start doing music videos. A lot of music videos. In fact, if you remember a video from the early days of MTV, it's probably one of Mulcahy's. [more inside]
posted by Legomancer at 9:02 AM PST - 33 comments

Cartoonist and Essayist Tim Kreider on the soothing effect of dangerous situations. (NYT)
posted by The Whelk at 8:46 AM PST - 15 comments

"Rouleur is to bike magazines what National Geographic is to nature photography." Wired takes a look at a British cycling publication that puts an emphasis on quality photojournalism.
posted by quin at 8:45 AM PST - 12 comments

Finland has always looked both west and east, notably the Loviisa nuclear power plant used Westinghouse instrumentation married to a Soviet design, earning the nickname 'Eastinghouse'. They hedged their bets on rather less safety-critical issues as well. Having little success in the Eurovision Song Contest (until they changed tack relatively recently), they also entered (and won) its Soviet counterpart: Intervision. [more inside]
posted by Talkie Toaster at 8:44 AM PST - 9 comments

One week ago, anonymous engineer "BTE Dan" put up a website called Build the Enterprise. He envisions a $1 trillion spaceship modeled on the USS Enterprise. There are highly detailed plans for constructing and funding it. It quickly spread all over the news to GizMag, DailyMail and other places. The BTE website is slow to load, while waiting why not Build the Starship Enterprise from useless office supplies.
posted by stbalbach at 8:39 AM PST - 35 comments

Here's a 4-minute TEDx talk that demonstrates the correct method for drying your hands with a single paper towel.
posted by schmod at 8:20 AM PST - 63 comments

Anarchy is Boring
posted by Artw at 7:37 AM PST - 120 comments

During WWII, nearly 6 million women joined the workforce. Metafilter's talked about "Rosie the Riveters" previously, but we've never heard from these women in their own words.
posted by ChuraChura at 7:28 AM PST - 9 comments

A wonderful, highly NSFW song about being Charls Barkly. From the incoherent, offensive, and brilliant gmcfosho, whose works include the classic Rifle Burs, Snacks, and IMDABES (previously), which is probably the best reason for the Internet's existing.
posted by Rory Marinich at 6:47 AM PST - 24 comments

The website of the Society for Irish Latin American Studies is full of information about Irish migration to Latin America. It's divided into four sections: The Homeland, about the origins of the settlers; The Journey, about how the Irish settlers traveled to Latin America, including the infamous Dresden affair; The Settlement, about the lives of the Irish in Latin America; Faces and Places, which has biographies of a wide variety of people, Mateo Banks, family murderer, Camila O'Gorman, executed lover of a priest, William Lamport, 17th Century revolutionary and Bernardo O'Higgins, Chilean independence leader, who gets a whole subsection to himself. There is also a list of Irish placenames and much else of interest to history nerds.
posted by Kattullus at 6:42 AM PST - 13 comments

To understand the reasoning behind the android and why this particular science fiction author, above others, was chosen... [more inside]
posted by dubold at 6:39 AM PST - 11 comments

Welcome To Life is a (very) short film by Tom Scott.
posted by motty at 6:38 AM PST - 12 comments

A cover of Michael Jackson's 'Human Nature' by Vindicatrix. [more inside]
posted by ennui.bz at 6:21 AM PST - 7 comments

"In the space of My Darkest Year, in no particular order, these things happened. My younger son died. My marriage ended. A rabbi and renowned jazz musician whom I’d only met once performed my son’s funeral. People applauded. I fell in love with a blond poet suffering from PTSD. It didn’t work out. My divorce was granted. The only Jewish funeral director in town admitted to me, unbidden, that her life’s passion is improv comedy. My ex-husband threatened my boyfriend’s balls via Facebook. I fled—and sold—my dream house. My older son lost his first tooth and entered kindergarten. I performed stand-up comedy. People applauded. I fell in love again. I realized I’m not afraid of anything." Michelle Mirsky's column No Fear of Flying: Kamikaze Missions in Sex, Death, and Comedy won the 2011 McSweeney's Column Contest. It's funny, aching, gutsy, and heartwrenching.
posted by sixswitch at 6:02 AM PST - 10 comments


The Angel of The Gap. For almost half a century, Don Ritchie would approach people contemplating suicide at the edge of The Gap, just 50 metres from his home in Watsons Bay, his palms facing up [...] he would smile and say: "Is there something I could do to help you?". RIP Don Ritchie, Australian Local Hero of the Year for 2011, and saviour of at least 160 would-be suicides at Sydney scenic cliff & suicide spot, The Gap.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:14 AM PST - 45 comments

May 13

Between their inscrutable lyrics and lead singer Liz Fraser's quicksilver voice (here she is singing with Massive Attack live in 2006), the Cocteau Twins are not an easy band to cover. A male "bedroom musician" might seem like a particularly unlikely choice. Nevertheless, Youtube artist Matt Gurley (aka fooberdoobs) has posted some understated but worthy takes on Know Who You Are At Every Age, Heaven or Las Vegas, and Serpentskirt. [more inside]
posted by en forme de poire at 11:01 PM PST - 11 comments

I'd always been fascinated by the trope of the doppelgänger and its long literary life, from Dostoyevsky to Nabokov to Spider-Man. Often, in books, these physical doubles represent the worst a character is capable of. Lately, though, perhaps because at age 41 I'd begun feeling less like the captain of my life and more like its deckhand, I'd started wondering if there was someone out there who embodies not your worst self, but your freest one—a person who encapsulates everything you've ever dreamed of becoming. Let's call him your Cooler Self. All those dreams that got lost along the way, the ones that were casualties of chance or duty or cowardice: There's a "you" out there—a mountain climber or war photographer or race-car driver—who brought them to fruition.

So I vowed to hunt down my
Cooler Self.
posted by AceRock at 8:54 PM PST - 64 comments

PornSFW - pictures of porn made "SFW". Probably mostly NSFW anyway.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:14 PM PST - 29 comments


On June 7th, the Disney XD channel will premiere a new, 10-part miniseries: Tron Uprising. The series, which will feature the voices of Elijah Wood, Lance Henriksen, Bruce Boxleitner (reprising his role as 'Tron',) Mandy Moore and Paul Reubens, will combine 2D and CGI animation styles, and is set between the events of the first and second Tron movies. Trailers: 1, 2. 2011 ComicCon Preview. Disney released a full-length "prelude episode" yesterday evening (US Only): Beck's Beginning. (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq at 7:08 PM PST - 38 comments

"Like his legendary Hogg, The Mad Man, and the million-seller Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany’s major new novel Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders—explicit, poetic, philosophical, and, yes, shocking—propels readers into a gay sexual culture unknown to most urban gay men and women, a network of rural gay relations—with the twist that this one is supported by the homophile Kyle Foundation, started in the early 1980s by a black multi-millionaire, Robert Kyle III, to improve the lives of black gay men." [more inside]
posted by kittensofthenight at 6:07 PM PST - 38 comments

Our planet is inhabited by two distinct kinds of intelligent beings — individual humans and corporate entities — whose natures and interests are intimately linked. To co-exist well, we need to find ways to define the rights and responsibilities of both individual humans and corporate entities, and to find ways to ensure that corporate entities behave as responsible members of society. (SLAX)(pdf warning)
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 3:33 PM PST - 88 comments

Want a bestseller? Write about Henry or Hitler… [Guardian.co.uk] From Tudor England to the Third Reich, history's megalomaniacs continue to make great literary fodder.
posted by Fizz at 2:57 PM PST - 12 comments

The Earth has less water than you might think. [via]
posted by cashman at 2:11 PM PST - 68 comments


Musician Noah does an amazing acoustic cover of LMFAO's Sexy and I Know It.
posted by quin at 8:44 AM PST - 44 comments

The deadly social web: Anelosimus eximius, also known as the South American Social Spider, are spiders that work together to repair webs and capture and kill prey much larger than any single spider.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:37 AM PST - 58 comments


Are bias and fraud damaging the existing public trust in scientific and medical research? (previously) [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges at 6:39 AM PST - 35 comments

Tchaikovsky Timelapse manually snapped frames in-between the frames the animator intended to use, in order to capture the animation process in action. Not sure if the actual time-lapse has been released, but more on the elaborate production of it is available here.
posted by gman at 6:03 AM PST - 14 comments

Millions may know him best from one of the only lines he delivered in the Blues Brothers movie: "We had a band powerful enough to turn goat piss into gasoline". Others who notice these things will remember him as the guy who also played the bass in the Blues Brothers band. And those for whom Stax records and the Memphis sound are important will know him as the four-string foundation of the great Booker T and the MGs, and the man who lent his solid, no-frills bass lines to many a tune by soul luminaries Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett and lots of other greats. Memphis-born bassman Donald "Duck" Dunn has died while on tour (along with fellow legend and bandmate Steve Cropper) in Tokyo. RIP, Duck Dunn, and if there's any goat piss in heaven, I know you're gonna turn it into gasoline up there, too.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:15 AM PST - 112 comments

Denny Fitch, one of 4 pilots who guided United 232 to a controlled crash landing in Sioux City, Iowa after a complete hydraulic fluid loss following an engine failure, has died of cancer. He was interviewed about the landing for Errol Morris' First Person series (YouTube) (previously). Denny's family also documented his journey with his incurable brain tumor on his website and blog.
posted by bluefly at 3:09 AM PST - 22 comments

May 12

Reuters photographer Jim Urquhart recently captured these scenes from a fading culture, as he followed Montana ranchers on their final horse drive, moving more than 300 horses down from their winter range. Every spring the Mantle family, along with with a group of wranglers, drives the herd north over 35 miles and three days, through the small town of Three Forks to their ranch. After decades of supplying and tending to horses, the Mantles, citing financial challenges, now plan to sell off their herd and shift to raising beef cattle. Take a moment to travel with the Mantle family through big sky country, on a journey once so familiar and iconic, now fading into memory with the rest of cowboy culture.
posted by Blasdelb at 7:38 PM PST - 31 comments

Disassembled (Warning: Contains spoiler-ish references to scenes from recent Marvel superhero movies, movies not yet made and movies we WISH would happen)
posted by evilmidnightbomberwhatbombsatmidnight at 7:35 PM PST - 27 comments

As The Polyphonic Spree embarks on Phase 3 of their You + Me tour, a fan made video features backstage and rehearsal footage and in-concert filming along with an interview with group founder Tim Delaughter about the creation of the band.
posted by hippybear at 6:24 PM PST - 20 comments

The Last Mother's Day
posted by ColdChef at 4:25 PM PST - 26 comments

The most recent cover of Time magazine is causing a lot of controversy. The issue explores attachment parenting and its rise in popularity. Some see attachment parents as selfish, while others swear by it. Either way, attachment parenting and extreme breastfeeding are now part of the national conversation
posted by reenum at 3:46 PM PST - 184 comments

Can You Call a 9-Year-Old a Psychopath? Charming but volatile, L. quickly found ways to play different boys off one another. “Some manipulation by girls is typical,” Waschbusch said as the kids trooped inside. “The amount she does it, and the precision with which she does it — that’s unprecedented.” She had, for example, smuggled a number of small toys into camp, Waschbusch told me, then doled them out as prizes to kids who misbehaved at her command.
posted by Rory Marinich at 3:13 PM PST - 194 comments

Russell Brand testifies to UK Parliament's Home Affairs Committee on drug policy. (SLYT; alternatively: mp3 audio link, starts at 5:55.) [via] [more inside]
posted by progosk at 2:33 PM PST - 26 comments

Before Leon Schlessinger produced the classic animation series Merrie Melodies, there was another series of shorts created to feature contemporary pop hits. Combining live-action musical performances with an art deco-influenced set design, only 6 episodes of Spooney Melodies were ever produced. Today, only one short remains – Crying for the Carolines, considered by many to be the first ever music video. [more inside]
posted by Think_Long at 1:55 PM PST - 8 comments


Andrew Sullivan's Daily Beast reports that Jan van Lohuizen, "highly respected Republican pollster", has advised his fellow conservatives to embrace GLBT civil rights. The text of the memo is reproduced in full at the link.
posted by Ipsifendus at 12:55 PM PST - 65 comments

Canadian food chain Swiss Chalet decided to buy an entire cable channel devoted to 24 hour coverage of rotisserie chicken. That's it. Oh and dancing dipping sauce containers.
posted by The Whelk at 11:25 AM PST - 55 comments

Metal: A Headbanger's Journey (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:46 AM PST - 19 comments



Epic Tea Time with Alan Rickman [SLYT]
posted by quin at 8:06 AM PST - 56 comments

#Popleveson: the Twitter meme from Court 73 Robert Jay QC, the lawyer at the heart of the UK's Leveson Enquiry into press standards has a particular way in which he asks questions which was yesterday applied on-line to top pop hits. The Guardian collects some of the best. [more inside]
posted by feelinglistless at 7:35 AM PST - 43 comments

On Wednesday, The House voted to eliminate the detailed surveys of America that have been conducted by the Census Bureau since the nation’s earliest days. The American Community Survey has data about flush toilets, but also about the languages Americans speak at home and the employment characteristics of families and facts about poverty. The survey was intended to serve the stated purpose of giving communities current information needed to plan investments and services.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:54 AM PST - 94 comments

May 11

25 extra minutes of Cave Johnson - taken Portal 2's Perpetual Testing Initiative DLC.
posted by Artw at 11:51 PM PST - 33 comments

Carroll Shelby - racing driver, winner of the 1959 Le Mans 24 Hour, legendary engineer and/or designer of the V8 AC/Shelby Cobra, the original Dodge Viper, the Oldsmobile Shelby Z, and the Shelby Series 1 - passed away on Thursday night, aged 89. [more inside]
posted by Pinback at 9:28 PM PST - 56 comments

In the state of West Virginia, the government has just purchased 1064 Cisco 3945 routers at a price of $22,600 each. These are being used to service small public libraries with as few as four PCs when a much smaller router such as the Cisco 1801 would be more appropriate. Local journalists have found out about this and are starting their own investigation. A consulting firm has been retained to audit what exactly happened. [more inside]
posted by thewalrus at 8:26 PM PST - 96 comments

Willie Nelson covering Pearl Jam's Just Breathe for his upcoming covers/collaboration album Heroes. [more inside]
posted by holdkris99 at 6:32 PM PST - 33 comments

Argentina passed a new gender identity law that gives people the right to legally designate a new gender regardless of whether they have taken hormones or undergone surgery. The law was drafted (and promoted) with help from the Argentine Transvestite, Transsexual and Transgender Association, which is led by Marcela Romero a transwoman who was recognized as "Woman of the Year" by the Argentine National Congress.
posted by martinX's bellbottoms at 6:18 PM PST - 50 comments

Spanning one-ninth of the earth's circumference across three continents, the Roman Empire ruled a quarter of humanity through complex networks of political power, military domination and economic exchange. These extensive connections were sustained by premodern transportation and communication technologies that relied on energy generated by human and animal bodies, winds, and currents. Conventional maps that represent this world as it appears from space signally fail to capture the severe environmental constraints that governed the flows of people, goods and information. Cost, rather than distance, is the principal determinant of connectivity. For the first time, ORBIS allows us to express Roman communication costs in terms of both time and expense. By simulating movement along the principal routes of the Roman road network, the main navigable rivers, and hundreds of sea routes in the Mediterranean, Black Sea and coastal Atlantic, this interactive model reconstructs the duration and financial cost of travel in antiquity.
posted by Blasdelb at 6:13 PM PST - 57 comments

Creamsicle is tumblr's newest OTP. In this little internet corner of endless fannish possibility, "where large fandoms become generational phenomenon, and unlikely smaller ones explode into supernovas of animated gifs, a full-fledged internet meme-turned-actual fandom [has been spawned] in less than 24 hours." [more inside]
posted by dustyasymptotes at 6:03 PM PST - 71 comments

"Nicolas Sarkozy did very little about fostering innovation — he didn’t have a clue. As for François Hollande, the strongest part of its electorate (largely composed of teachers and other public servants) opposes any rapprochement between private sector and public higher education. And let’s not mention the underlying “ideology” of venture capital, carried interest, IPO’s, flexible employment rules, etc. Hollande’s supporters will also oppose any removal of cobwebs from the 102-year-old labor code that greatly complicates the management of companies employing 50 or more people. As a result, France has 2.4 times more companies with 49 employees than with 50..." - Francois Hollande’s Start-down Nation
posted by beisny at 3:45 PM PST - 79 comments

Thermal, CA: home to the #1 song of the '80s. During the '70s and early'80s, the small, arid farming town of Thermal was home to Freedman Co., run by Mr. Steinberg and his son, Billy, who ran vineyard operations. Billy also made music, time permitting. After his demo was secretly given to a star, he went to L.A., and met his musical collaborator, but the farm pulled him back. He kept writing in Thermal, though.

"I remember writing the lyrics. . . while driving around in a red pickup truck that I owned and I was driving around my father’s dusty desert vineyards. I had been involved in a very emotionally difficult relationship that had finally ended I had met somebody new... I came up with the line, ‘I made it through the wilderness...I was beat, incomplete, I’d been had.’ All of the lyrics just poured out".

That was Steinberg & Kelly's first #1 hit... followed by four more, along with other hits you might not suspect.
posted by markkraft at 2:09 PM PST - 33 comments

Empire of the Bun: Today, burgers. Tomorrow, the world. The casual-dining revolution of Adam Fleischman and his Umami Group. 'In 2009, with $40,000 in his pocket from selling his stake in BottleRock, Fleischman decided to open a restaurant centered on the umami flavor. He knew that an umami-focused menu would attract a burgeoning breed of foodies who had been weaned on the Food Network and had developed a sort of teenybopper crush on the heady flavors of pork, organ meats, West Coast IPAs, and superripe cheeses.' [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:34 PM PST - 55 comments

"Instead of poking the fish with a screwdriver to find out whether they are ready to spawn, farms now can use a biopsy or ultrasound. Mr. Han said that after years of trial and error, his team has found a way to make that determination by feeling various parts of a fish." An entrepreneur in South Korea gets closer to perfecting sturgeon aquaculture. (SLNYT)
posted by Nomyte at 12:45 PM PST - 31 comments

Big oil companies make more than $300 million every day. "Why should Americans prop up these companies with tax dollars and have to pay ridiculous fuel prices?" Self-described 'Democratic socialist' Bernie Sanders (Vermont) introduces a bill to cut $113B of fossil fuel subsidies. [more inside]
posted by nickrussell at 11:58 AM PST - 146 comments

On the 11th May 1812, Spencer Perceval, Prime Minister of Great Britain was shot by a disgruntled (and possibly insane) merchant in the lobby of the house of commons. In that moment he became the only British Prime Minister ever to be assassinated. That's all that most people know about him, but the truth is he deserves far more attention than that... [more inside]
posted by garius at 11:44 AM PST - 17 comments

Biocaster is an ontology-based global health monitoring system that monitors and maps disease outbreaks through internet-based news aggregation and social media. [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura at 11:38 AM PST - 11 comments

Fungible: A treatise on fungibility, or, a framework for understanding the mess the news industry is in and the opportunities that lie ahead. The younger the person you ask, the less likely it is you’ll find that link between wanting to know what’s going on and grabbing a paper or opening up a news website. They use Pinterest to figure out what’s fashionable and Facebook to see if there’s anything fun going on next weekend. They use Facebook just the same to figure out whether there’s anything they need to be upset about and need to protest against.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:59 AM PST - 25 comments

Grant Hart talks to the Village Voice about his new double LP The Argument, recent hardships (losing his home in a fire), and the conditions for a Hüsker Dü reunion.
posted by porn in the woods at 10:33 AM PST - 46 comments

A well-illustrated guide to heraldry. Want more? There's England's College of Arms, or the heraldry of the US Army. Notre Dame has a heraldic dictionary, and the internet at large is happy to provide you with heraldry clip art from (electronic) ages past. (And then there's always wikipedia)
posted by curious nu at 10:18 AM PST - 22 comments



Consumer Reports May 2012: What to reject when you're expecting (10 procedures to think twice about during your pregnancy; 10 things you should do during your pregnancy; 5 things you should do before you become pregnant). Mentioned in particular is the conclusion found in a federal study: Babies Take Longer To Come Out Than They Did In Grandma's Day."One big implication: Today's obstetricians may be rushing to do cesarean sections too soon because they're using an out-of-date yardstick for how long a 'normal; labor should take... The definition of a 'normal' labor — the range of times when a woman in labor reaches certain milestones — was laid down in the 1950s. Contemporary obstetricians still use that 'labor curve.'"
posted by flex at 8:30 AM PST - 66 comments


Brazilian officials say they're determined to get revenge on Chevron after an oil spill at an offshore platform in November. Federal prosecutors are suing Chevron for $11 billion for alleged environmental costs, and some Chevron and Transocean executives could face prolonged jail sentences in connection with the incident. "I want to see the CEO of Chevron swim in that oil," says one state official.
posted by stoneweaver at 7:52 AM PST - 33 comments

The Smiling Madame Beudet made in 1922 is generally regarded by scholars and theorists as history's premier "feminist film".
Germaine Dulac (wiki) was a central figure in 1920's French avant-garde cinema, and its only woman director. A filmmaker with her own production company who worked in narrative, avant-garde, and documentary genres, Dulac was also an active feminist, critic, and a prolific writer who wrote some of the earliest treatises on avant-garde film.
Later she made what was considerered one of the first surrealist films: The Seashell and the Clergyman (1928) from an original scenario by Antonin Artaud who later denounced it.
This resulted in a letter to La Nouvelle Revue Française, because the journal had omitted to mention her as the “author” stating that the intellectuals and the filmmakers should develop a closer kinship to one another, for it is only nuances between words that irremediably keep them apart.
posted by adamvasco at 1:43 AM PST - 4 comments

May 10

In a recent episode of Mad Men titled "Lady Lazarus," Pete Campbell has an existential crisis when he sees a picture of the Earth from space, but were there color pictures of the whole Earth in October 1966? First some background... [more inside]
posted by quartzcity at 11:03 PM PST - 87 comments

New Scientist - Every issue from its launch in November 1956 through to December 1989. Well, confusingly, one issue with a cover date of November 1952 but with contents from 1959. [more inside]
posted by unliteral at 10:24 PM PST - 31 comments

Scamworld: in which the Verge investigates "a network of pitchmen who have used the internet and fear of a failing economy to play the ultimate long con."
posted by doublesix at 7:58 PM PST - 61 comments

Levitated Interaction Element Move, record and playback a ball along a path in a three-dimensional space.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 4:49 PM PST - 18 comments

In 1919, everyone wanted a copy of the deluxe edition of Edgar Allan Poe's Tales of Mystery and Imagination, but not because it was bound in vellum with real gold lettering. It was because of these grim and gorgeous illustrations by Harry Clarke, which added an extra dose of horror to Poe's already terrifying tales. Tales of Mystery and Imagination, which collects many of Poe's most enduring horror stories, including "The Masque Of The Red Death," "The Pit And The Pendulum," "The Telltale Heart," and "The Fall Of The House Of Usher," was actually first collected and published in 1908, nearly 60 years after Poe's death. This edition was published by George Harrap & Co., and included 24-full page illustrations by Clarke. Even though the volume cost five guineas (somewhere in the neighborhood of $300 US), it was much in demand and made Clarke's reputation as an illustrator. It's easy to see why, with these gorgeous renditions of often gruesome subjects. See all 24 illustrations here.
posted by Lou Stuells at 4:31 PM PST - 36 comments


Mixture.fm "gives access all the best DJ mixes from around the world. Including BBC Radio 1's famous Essential Mix." [via Hacker News]
posted by Memo at 2:24 PM PST - 28 comments

In the official video for "Get By" by Delta Heavy, animator Ian Robertson found new ways to 'play' with some familiar games (scroll down for entertaining Production Notes). Robertson's previous works include the stop-motion "Lyrical Spread" and "A Beard Film" and the live-action "The Phone Box".
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:15 PM PST - 5 comments

"It's the dirty little secret of higher education," says Mr. Williams of the New Faculty Majority. "Many administrators are not aware of the whole extent of the problem. But all it takes is for somebody to run the numbers to see that their faculty is eligible for welfare assistance." [more inside]
posted by Kitty Stardust at 1:29 PM PST - 590 comments

DeFRaG is a mod for Quake 3 that focuses on trickjumping and completing timed courses. One of the best defrag players in the world, w3sp, is the focus of two great defrag videos: w3sp strafes and f33l
posted by Cloud King at 1:21 PM PST - 28 comments

In March, a young, male driver crashed a Ferrari in snowy conditions, killing himself and wounding the two female passengers. The Beijing Evening News posted a short story, complete with a picture of the wrecked car, but deleted it a short time later. A new story was put up a short time later, apparently without the picture of the wrecked car, but terms related to the crash were blocked from the micro-blogging site Sina Weibo (blocking on Weibo, previously). The news of the crash, and the subsequent (partial) cover-up were further marks against the Rich2G, the second generation of China’s moneyed class. More recently, Ferrari held an event to celebrate twenty years of the luxury car maker in China, spending $12,670 to rent a section (and drive a special edition "Marco Polo Red" 458 Italia) on top of the City Wall of Nanjing. The driver was caught on film driving tight circles on the ancient wall, leaving tire marks and further souring the public against Ferrari in specific, and the wealthy at large. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:20 PM PST - 52 comments

“We are responsible for this. We never got organised or converted to another religion. Had we done it, we could have mentally discarded caste and made others understand we are humans.” A review of 'Jai Bhim Comdrade', a documentary about the Dalit ('untouchable') struggle for life and dignity that weaves through Indian politics, identity and modern history: The Revolution Will Be Sung.
posted by the mad poster! at 12:55 PM PST - 5 comments

If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try, try, try, try again: black Mississippi man tried six times for the same crime.
posted by Evilspork at 12:53 PM PST - 33 comments

Spoilers at every link and below the fold: What is really lurking underneath the film The Cabin in the Woods? [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:38 PM PST - 79 comments


"Lexcavator is an arcade/word game for Mac, PC, and Linux. The goal: guide your guy (@) deeper into an infinite of letters by clearing words from the board! Multiple game modes, detailed record-keeping, online global leaderboards—there's something here for everybody! Pay what you want (even $0, if you are so inclined)." [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by davidjmcgee at 12:18 PM PST - 13 comments

Hard Gay was a Japanese pro wrestler turned TV personality popular in the mid 2000s. Like Sacha Baron Cohen's Brüno, he is a cartoonish gay foreigner portrayed by a straight person, but has come under considerably greater scrutiny for his more minstrelsy than satyrical approach. The BBC has profiled Hard Gay as part of their series, Japanorama. [more inside]
posted by modernserf at 11:12 AM PST - 39 comments

x-ray delta one's flickr stream is filled with thousands of scans assembled by a one-man library named James Vaughan. The collected ephemera contains brochures, ads, and magazines from the world of air travel, cars, trains, and lots of other things. No matter where you dive in, there are always treasures.
posted by mathowie at 10:44 AM PST - 10 comments


A Dark Shadows crash course
posted by Artw at 9:55 AM PST - 49 comments

The Baffler has returned. Again. [more inside]
posted by zenon at 9:45 AM PST - 8 comments

Recursive drawing. Watch the video first. Via.
posted by unSane at 9:40 AM PST - 22 comments

"Had Tom and I had the right to marry, many things would have been different. Losing a loved one is devastating enough, but to then be rendered legally insignificant only makes the pain worse." [more inside]
posted by ericb at 9:36 AM PST - 36 comments

Bethesda marks the 20th Anniversary of Wolfenstein 3D -- the pioneer 3D first person shooter -- by releasing a free-to-play browser version of the game. Blow some Nazis away with the director's commentary from John Carmack running in the background, or go old-school and drench the walls in blood and gore. (Unless you live in Germany where the game is illegal.) Via. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 9:23 AM PST - 55 comments

Michele may have crazy eyes, she may say crazy things, but did you ever think she'd apply for dual citizenship with a European country with mandated health insurance? Former Presidential nominee and perpetual font of amusement, Michele Bachmann is now officially a Swiss citizen.
posted by dejah420 at 8:32 AM PST - 175 comments

On The Road, On The Screen: 'A large part of On The Road’s powerful and ongoing appeal undoubtedly stems from the lyricism of its language -- as opposed to its linearity, or even narrative coherence. Translating this to the screen could quite simply be impossible. Indeed, one suspects it is the reason that, up till now, so many screenwriters have failed in turning Kerouac’s text into visual form.'
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:15 AM PST - 20 comments

How To Survive A Robot Uprising. [slyt]
posted by quin at 8:01 AM PST - 21 comments

When the Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia in 1967 declared laws against interracial marriage unconstitutional, the last affected state in which a legal interracial marriage occurred was South Carolina in January, 1969, in the city where the Civil War started. What most people don't know is the bride was a transsexual. [more inside]
posted by 23 at 7:44 AM PST - 29 comments


If you're a DVD/BluRay viewer who is already annoyed by delaying, annoying animated menus or previews, get ready for 20 additional seconds of wait time. Yesterday the U.S. government announced an update to the old FBI copyright warning on home video, which will now appear in the form of two different anti-piracy warnings, each ten seconds long and both unskippable.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:30 AM PST - 83 comments

When same-sex marriage was a Christian rite. Contrary to myth, Christianity's concept of marriage has not been set in stone since the days of Christ, but has constantly evolved as a concept and ritual.
posted by Galaxor Nebulon at 7:05 AM PST - 44 comments

Prince Charles turns BBC Scotland weatherman "Who the hell wrote this script?"
posted by feelinglistless at 6:52 AM PST - 53 comments

"I draw to understand things." Artist David Macaulay, illustrator and author of "The Way We Work: Getting to Know the Amazing Human Body," "Mosque," "Cathedral," and "The New Way Things Work," among other books, talks about the creative process behind "Rome Antics," his look at the city that wasn't built in a day. His books may be for children, but they're fascinating for adults as well. Don't yet know Macaulay? Prepare to be amazed. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:46 AM PST - 18 comments

"To coincide with his new book, “Will Oldham on Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy,” Will Oldham is again releasing a new batch of his own oldies — a six-song EP called “Now Here’s My Plan,” made up of fresh versions of songs from the Prince Billy catalog. Among the recordings is an impossibly upbeat rendition of “I See a Darkness,” the beautifully bleak song off his 1999 album of the same name that was later covered by Johnny Cash." The video for the new version, shot in Glasgow Scotland, is now posted on the New York Times website. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:42 AM PST - 14 comments

Walt Disney's Taxi Driver.
posted by griphus at 6:36 AM PST - 11 comments

The Politics of Competitive Board Gaming Amongst Friends is a short documentary by Jay Cheel whose subject is summed up by its title. You can see other short films by Cheel at his website. The main protagonist of the doc, Gerry Eng, a.k.a. Reed Farrington, has been the subject of many Cheel films, such as Cooking with Gerry, Cooking with Gerry #2, Poutine, A Very Gerry X-Mas and Reed's House.
posted by Kattullus at 3:51 AM PST - 84 comments

Everett Lilly, founding member and mandolin player for the Lilly Brothers, has died. The Lilly Brothers & Don Stover (on banjo) had a longtime residence in Boston in the 1960s at the Hillbilly Ranch. Although the band disbanded and moved back to West Virginia following the death of Everett's son in an accident, their influence on the folk revival was substantial. Here is their classic rendition of "Sinner You Better Get Ready" from their 1961 Folkways album Bluegrass at the Roots. Everett's mandolin is upfront and sweet. RIP
posted by OmieWise at 3:47 AM PST - 7 comments

Bowling alleys in churches are disappearing, the USA Today headline notes -- but how did they get there in the first place? [more inside]
posted by orthicon halo at 1:37 AM PST - 37 comments

May 9

Pancakes - You have until Saturday, May 19, to make an ugly one.
posted by unliteral at 10:04 PM PST - 28 comments

Dick Tracy is a 1990 Walt Disney film directed by and starring Warren Beatty based on Chester Gould's 1930s comic strip about a detective fighting crime in a city inhabited by oddly deformed gangsters. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 9:08 PM PST - 98 comments

Nathaniel "Magnificent" Montague spent more than 50 years collecting rare artifacts of black history and culture. Facing bankruptcy, he lost it all, and now the priceless collection could be broken up and sold at auction. While working with his wife of 56 years, Rose Casalan, to archive and prepare the collection for sale, he took out a loan to help pay for the archiving, found himself overextended financially and declared bankruptcy. His collection was seized, and it is now in the hands of a trusteeship charged with selling it to satisfy his debts. [more inside]
posted by 445supermag at 8:19 PM PST - 12 comments

Get drunk, for a second. The “Wahh Quantum Sensations”, a gadget invented by David Edwards and designed by Philippe Starck, contains 21 sprays which pulverizes each 0.075 ml of alcohol in your mouth, the minimum amount to stimulate your brain. A single spray provides a very short feeling of intoxication.
posted by davebush at 7:25 PM PST - 80 comments

From 1990: A 12 year old, armed with an NES, video camera and VHS recorder, films a walk through on how to beat Mega Man. (SLYT)
posted by reenum at 7:12 PM PST - 16 comments

Around 4.30pm on April 26, 1937, a joint squadron of 23 German and Italian planes appeared in the skies over the historic, and undefended, Basque town of Gernika. Over the next five hours they would drop a total of 22 tons of high explosives and incendiary devices that would burn for days, destroying 70 percent of the town, and killing and wounding 1,600 people - around a third of the population. Following the attack, thousands of children were evacuated from the Basque country. [more inside]
posted by hoyland at 6:42 PM PST - 40 comments

Geometrically the irrationality of the square root of 2 means that there is no integer-by-integer square whose area is twice the area of another integer-by-integer square. A visual proof that the square root of 2 is irrational (not found in previous visual proof post.)
posted by Obscure Reference at 6:29 PM PST - 39 comments

On the evening of May 8th, exactly thirty-five years ago tonight, two remarkable things happened at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. A beautiful spring afternoon suddenly turned to dropping temperatures, and by nightfall a light snow was falling on the campus; meanwhile, in a campus auditorium, Barton Hall, one of the greatest improvisational rock bands in history was performing what would later come to be known as their greatest concert. [more inside]
posted by koeselitz at 6:20 PM PST - 96 comments

I went to the PUNCH Puppet Slam in NYC last month and saw several music videos that feature fancy puppetry. I wanted to share them with you: "I'll Forget You" by Lior; "Hallways" by Islands; "Small Hands" by Keaton Henson. [more inside]
posted by damehex at 6:01 PM PST - 6 comments

Legendary architect-philosopher Christopher Alexander delivers a fascinating lecture at Berkeley, in which he criticizes "modular" design and offers a radical new vision of architecture's relation to nature. Alexander is best known for A Pattern Language, which aimed to make buildings and towns more "alive" through a series of pleasing and comfortable patterns (five sample patterns can be found here). His most recent work, the four-part The Nature of Order, theorizes that life, whether organic or inorganic, emerges from a single simple process, which can be found on page 4 of Amazon's preview of the third volume. In the first volume Alexander lists fifteen properties that make a structure whole. Also worth reading: Alexander's classic essay A City is not a Tree.
posted by Rory Marinich at 4:46 PM PST - 28 comments

Filipaj worked as a custodian for 20 years to finance learning English, then Latin and Greek. He says he'll keep working at Columbia while continuing to study, rather than looking to move to a more lucrative job immediately.
posted by BibiRose at 4:38 PM PST - 25 comments

Vidal Sassoon has died at the age of 84. Sassoon, perhaps best known as a hairdresser who opened a chain of salons that spread worldwide and who created Mia Farrow's pixie cut for Rosemary's Baby, was also an anti-fascist in post-World War II London and fought as part of the Haganah in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. In 1982, he founded an organization devoted to the study of anti-Semitism, which is based at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Sassoon was named a CBE in 2004 "for services to the British hairdressing industry." He had been in treatment for leukemia for the past two years.
posted by catlet at 2:46 PM PST - 53 comments

Psychotherapist and Game Designer Nicolau Chaud talks to Kotaku about his RPG Polymorphous Perversity. He has chronicled his experiences creating the game on his blog He has given earlier interviews here and here. Chaud is also the designer behind the controversial Beautiful Escape: Dungeoneer. (All links NSFW).
posted by dortmunder at 2:43 PM PST - 23 comments

Are you a teen girl tired of looking for advice in fluffy magazines? Perhaps you should Ask A Grown Man! Watch Jon Hamm, Paul Rudd, Hannibal Buress, and other gents dole out advice on love, sex, and who farts (spoiler alert: everyone).
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:11 PM PST - 53 comments

"At a time when most old films were still protected by copyright and studios were urging the FBI to prosecute individuals owning copyrighted films, movie collecting was a largely underground and somewhat dangerous activity." In 1977, for example, a 20 year old film collector was visited by the FBI. The agents, posing as fellow collectors, entered his home and seized his collection. His case wasn't unique. Even the stars — most famously, Roddy McDowall — were subject to the legal wrath of the very studios they worked for. Still, some collectors got away with it (including one J. D. Salinger). [more inside]
posted by bubukaba at 1:02 PM PST - 16 comments

A remarkably diverse group of legendary musicians have graced the stage of Tulsa's Cain's Ballroom over the years: Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, the Sex Pistols (one of seven stops on their one and only 1978 U.S. tour…the hole in the drywall left by Sid Vicious’ fist is still backstage), the Ramones, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Blondie, The Talking Heads, U2, Ani DiFranco, Elvis Costello, Snoop Dogg, Morrissey, Beck, Wilco, to name a few. A documentary featuring Costello and several other artists who’ve played there is in the works, with proceeds supporting music education in Oklahoma and the upcoming Cain’s Ballroom Museum. Cain’s was recently named one of the top 10 live music venues in the U.S. From 1935 to 1942, Cain’s was home to Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys, who popularized western swing music with weekly dances and a national radio show.
posted by Kelly Tulsa at 12:39 PM PST - 12 comments

Dear Ayn, [McSweeney's Internet Tendency] Ayn Rand writes an advice column.
posted by Fizz at 12:36 PM PST - 51 comments


On Sunday, Vice President Joe Biden went on Meet The Press and expressed his support for same-sex marriage rights. This led to several days of press speculation that Biden had blundered and gone off-message from an Administration that had rather carefully refused to take a strong position on the issue, and the media began to pursue Democrats over the issue. In response to this, today President Obama said: "...for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married."
posted by mightygodking at 12:07 PM PST - 649 comments

SynthNet is a brain emulator. Unlike most modern software neural networks, it works at the electrochemical level. Each neural structure in it is generated from a genetic virtual machine that executes instructions in a genetic assembly language.
SynthNet is at an early stage, but right now, it can emulate a classic fear-conditioning experiment.
posted by ignignokt at 11:45 AM PST - 31 comments

We've seen musical video mashups before, but what happens when you cross the infectious, subliminal grooves of Meat Beat Manifesto with found video clips? You get THE FORGER. Check out these videos: Forgery! - Michael Jackson Bumbaclot Element - My Son The DJ The Forger - The Good The Bad And The Forger. Core Grooves/Breakdown - Another Breakdown - The Bumbaclot Upset - Musica Soul (Via Waxy and Dangerous Minds)
posted by Catblack at 11:16 AM PST - 8 comments

Manatees visit the beach in South Florida. Social visit or Family Guy Writer's Meeting? You decide.
posted by zachlipton at 11:07 AM PST - 33 comments

"From photography’s earliest days, enterprising practitioners realized they could take their services directly to the people. This lead to the horse-drawn wagons called “Daguerreotype Salons” and then to portable, darkroom tents that allowed wet-plate photographers to make pictures outside. As technology advanced, the tents morphed into a single apparatus that combined both camera and darkroom, which allowed photographers to work anywhere. Afghanistan is one of the last places where street vendor photographers still use such a hand-made, wooden camera called kamra-e-faoree or “instant camera.” Observing this practice lead photographer Lukas Birk & anthropologist Sean Foley to undertake the Afghan Box Camera Project." - Photo Technique Magazine introduction to an interview with Lukas Birk [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 10:51 AM PST - 4 comments

US Senate probes painkiller makers and their advocates. Improper relationships between pharmaceutical companies and organizations that promote their drugs helped usher in an epidemic that's killed 100,000 people through misuse of opioids. Sales of the powerful drugs have risen 300 percent since 1999 and opioids were involved in 14,800 overdose deaths in 2008, more than cocaine and heroin combined.
posted by binturong at 10:35 AM PST - 75 comments

Once upon a time in Dubai — Gallery of vintage photos showing Dubai as it once was
posted by Tom-B at 10:30 AM PST - 5 comments

Iain M. Banks talks about his favorite games.
posted by Artw at 9:54 AM PST - 72 comments

"Roger Babson fought a war on gravity. Today we briefly wonder — what if he had won it?" Entrepreneur Roger Babson was an MIT-educated engineer, respected statistician, and prolific author. He ran for President on the Prohibition ticket in 1940 and predicted the 1929 stock crash. He also waged a quixotic battle against gravity. [more inside]
posted by Tubalcain at 9:38 AM PST - 40 comments

Karel Teige was a major figure in the Czech avant-garde; a writer, designer, typographer and collagist.
He was a member of Devětsil and later joined the Prague Surrealist group with Toyen and Jindrich Styrsky.
Here are some of his Book Covers of the 1920- and 1930's and 1926 he made ABECEDA with each letter posed by the dancer Milca Mayerová. Here is a video reconstruction of the dance moves.
Teige died in 1951 of a heart attack, said to be a result of a ferocious Soviet press campaign against him as a 'Trotskyite degenerate,' his papers were destroyed by the secret police, and his published work was suppressed for decades. The Central European Review has some articles on his work.
posted by adamvasco at 8:33 AM PST - 5 comments

In 2007, Google project manager Dan Siroker took a leave of absence from Google, moved to Chicago, and joined up with Obama’s campaign as a digital adviser.
"At first he wasn’t sure how he could help. But he recalled something else Obama had said to the Googlers: “I am a big believer in reason and facts and evidence and science and feedback—everything that allows you to do what you do. That’s what we should be doing in our government.” And so Siroker decided he would introduce Obama’s campaign to a crucial technique—almost a governing ethos—that Google relies on in developing and refining its products. He showed them how to A/B test."
[more inside]
posted by Petrot at 8:28 AM PST - 82 comments

The Curse of Chief Wahoo. "Are we paying the price for embracing America's last acceptable racist symbol?".
posted by josher71 at 7:56 AM PST - 138 comments

Republicans, Get In My Vagina! - Kate Beckinsale, Judy Greer, and Andrea Savage spread the message that one thing women really want in their vaginas is the government.
posted by quin at 7:34 AM PST - 55 comments

He's responsible for the deliciously relaxed and understated guitar work you remember from Rainy Night in Georgia and the driving chukka chukka whipsnap that propelled Aretha Franklin's Rock Steady, as well as her version of Spanish Harlem. And he's lent his masterful musical sense to many, many other tunes from artists as diverse as Ringo Starr, Archie Shepp, Joe Cocker, Miles Davis and Paul Simon. Guitarist Cornell Dupree has died at age 68. Primarily a studio musician, Dupree was more often heard than seen, but you can catch some glimpses of his Southern-fried six-string artistry on this live version of King Curtis' Memphis Soul Stew.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:16 AM PST - 23 comments


Everything you know about buttermilk is wrong. [more inside]
posted by cross_impact at 5:18 AM PST - 119 comments

The EU might be tearing itself apart in the wake of the bankers' crisis, but that's no reason not to celebrate Europe Day, held each year on 9th May, the day on which Robert Schuman put forward his proposal for the creation of an unified Europe. And what better way to celebrate than with the official EU anthem, as done by the Muppets? [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse at 3:40 AM PST - 36 comments

Deepstaria Enigmatica, undulating, pulsating, mysterious. It fits in with the crazy-looking ones and is newly discovered. Not yet depicted in this fantastic Japanese illustrated gallery, Creatures of the Deep. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 1:31 AM PST - 34 comments

After Rush Limbaugh called Georgetown student Sandra Fluke a "slut", a campaign was launched to pressure companies to stop advertising on Rush's show. But how much did the boycott really cost Cumulus Media? Well, a lot. [more inside]
posted by mattdidthat at 12:09 AM PST - 84 comments

May 8

On May 22nd, 2011 at the Bowery Ballroom in New York, a number of bands put on a concert hosted by Eugene Mirman and Janeane Garofalo to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the publication of Michael Azerrad's Our Band Could Be Your Life. [more inside]
posted by SomaSoda at 9:42 PM PST - 18 comments

1944 - Apple's Internal Marketing Video dated 1984 with Steve Jobs as FDR - The backstory.
posted by unliteral at 8:32 PM PST - 22 comments


In the early 80’s, personal computers were a new innovation. Films like WarGames made it seem as if a kid with a keyboard could hack into anything: a school or corporate mainframe, NORAD, the US nuclear arsenal or your neighborhood bank. Hoping to capitalize on this, in 1983 CBS premiered a show which could have been considered WarGames’ intellectual successor. It featured a group of resourceful kids who solved crimes by hacking and cracking, led by Matthew Laborteaux, child star of Little House on the Prairie, and advised by a Gavilan SC-toting, mustachioed reporter played by Max Gail, formerly of the show Barney Miller. Whiz Kids lasted only a single season: 18 episodes, but all of them live on in cyberspace, on YouTube. Complete episode links contained within. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 7:25 PM PST - 41 comments

Blown Covers is a blog by New Yorker art editor Françoise Mouly and her daughter Nadja Spiegelman, who is an editor and comics creator herself. The blog focuses on The New Yorker but today has been Maurice Sendak themed with a short comic by Art Spiegelman and Sendak about a conversation they had, a Sendak New Yorker cover, a short Sendak comic called Cereal Baby Keller and an even shorter Sendak comic.
posted by Kattullus at 7:03 PM PST - 14 comments

The Eagleman Stag is the 2011 BAFTA award winning Royal College of Art thesis film of director/writer Mikey Please. It's mostly made out of some strange white stuff, found in the back of a stress cushion.
posted by netbros at 5:08 PM PST - 9 comments

"...Charles Marohn and his colleagues at the Minnesota-based nonprofit Strong Towns have made a very compelling case that suburban sprawl is basically a Ponzi scheme, in which municipalities expand infrastructure hoping to attract new taxpayers that can pay off the mounting costs associated with the last infrastructure expansion, over and over." Building resilient cities and towns with fiscal conservatism. [more inside]
posted by invitapriore at 5:03 PM PST - 46 comments

The power of the Reddit AMA: Forbes on the "interview revolution that has everyone talking." "Comedian Louis CK took a chance on a Reddit AMA by offering Redditors the chance to purchase his Live at Beacon Theater performance for $5 through his website. The result: over $1 million in sales in the first 10 days and a new distribution method. (previously) ... One New York Times bestselling author I spoke to saw their Amazon rank jump from 800 to 400 and stick, meaning a spike in hundreds and possibly thousands of books a day for more than a week." Just today, Kevin Smith and Steve Albini stopped by to chat with Redditors; other celebs who have done AMAs include Bob Odenkirk, Ken Jennings and Molly Ringwald. But it's not all about celebrities -- ordinary people with interesting stories do AMAs as well, including a former "Daily Show" intern and a couple who met through a Craig's List missed connections ad.
posted by Clustercuss at 3:52 PM PST - 74 comments

Since 1993, rapper and producer El-P of famed 90s hip hop trio Company Flow (also including Bigg Jus and Mr. Len) has been pushing the boundaries of rap music. Now, after linking up with unlikely collaborator Killer Mike, the two are preparing to release R.A.P. Music. [more inside]
posted by broadway bill at 3:28 PM PST - 47 comments

In 2008 the late Robert Fitch, author of "The Assassination of New York", was asked to foretell an Obama presidency before the Harlem Tenants Association:
If we examine more carefully the interests that Obama represents; if we look at his core financial supporters; as well as his inmost circle of advisors, we’ll see that they represent the primary activists in the demolition movement and the primary real estate beneficiaries of this transformation of public housing projects into condos and townhouses: the profitable creep of the Central Business District and elite residential neighborhoods southward; and the shifting of the pile of human misery about three miles further into the South Side and the south suburbs... Obama’s political base comes primarily from Chicago FIRE—the finance, insurance and real estate industry. And the wealthiest families—the Pritzkers, the Crowns and the Levins.
posted by ennui.bz at 2:36 PM PST - 41 comments

A recent post by conservative Naomi Schaefer Riley on the Chronicle of Higher Education's Brainstorm blog -- "The Most Persuasive Case for Eliminating Black Studies? Just Read the Dissertations" -- has caused quite a furor in the academic blogosphere. [more inside]
posted by artemisia at 1:40 PM PST - 137 comments

Following on the heels of the easy way to caramelize onions, there are lots of other ways to reuse common kitchen gadgets including waffle iron hash browns and crock pot souffle, cooking fish in your dishwasher, using your rice cooker for oatmeal (among many other uses), and making a cornish hen on your panini press (and more from the master of gadget reuse). And to find out what gadgets are just plain useless, you can of course ask Alton Brown.
posted by blahblahblah at 12:54 PM PST - 126 comments

Kitty Cat Sings the Blues (SLYT) "I woke up this morning...then I went back to sleep. Then I woke up this afternoon...and I went back to sleep..."
posted by jocelmeow at 12:52 PM PST - 15 comments

A preacher rebukes North Carolina media over asking the wrong questions about marriage. North Carolina votes today on Amendment 1, which states that, "Constitutional amendment to provide that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State." Here are some of the people who would be affected.
posted by klangklangston at 12:40 PM PST - 183 comments

The Avalanches are back are back with a new, ethereal lullaby "Sleepy Bedtime Mix For Young Ones", available streaming or as a free mp3 download. ( Maybe.)
posted by 2bucksplus at 12:04 PM PST - 42 comments

In the Warhol episode, Marion Ross (TV mom of Ron Howard in Happy Days) is a former Warhol superstar, married to stodgy Tom Bosley (TV dad of Ron Howard). Bosley doesn’t know about Ross’ past in underground film, and she’s afraid that they’ll run into Warhol, playing himself, aboard ship. Andy Warhol takes a pleasant cruise on The Love Boat.
posted by scody at 11:26 AM PST - 41 comments

The Up Series [previously] continues. This documentary series, begun in 1964, has revisited the lives of a select group of British citizens once every seven years of their life. 56 Up, which shows the group at age 56, will air sometime in mid-May on the BBC, but until then, have this great Guardian article about the impact of the films on the lives of the people featured in them.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:19 AM PST - 34 comments

Oblivion by Grimes, directed by Emily Kai Bock. (vimeo) "A lot of the power of this video comes from dropping these very dream-like sounds and images into unexpected, male-dominated spaces." A beautiful video shot by Emily Kai Bock. The band is Canadian Grimes. Interesting comments on the making of the video here. Free download of the song.
posted by Tarumba at 8:17 AM PST - 34 comments

The Center for Cartoon Studies (previously), in association with the National Cartoonists Society, has assembled The Cartoon Crier (pdf), a 36-page collection of comics being intentionally NOT comical, including newspaper strips old-school and new, alt-comics, webcomics and even a few editorial and magazine cartoons. Plus Shaenon K. Garrity writing about the saddest comics ever. Some will make you cry, others will make you go 'eh', some will make you chuckle very guiltily, but altogether an impressive collection. (Originally in dead-tree form handed out at MOCCA)
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:52 AM PST - 32 comments

Gaffe Dodger is a game by the Christian Science Monitor which tests basic political knowledge and reaction time, and will add new stages as the election progresses.
posted by oneironaut at 7:45 AM PST - 26 comments

Takeo Ischi yodels about chickens. [slyt] [more inside]
posted by quin at 7:33 AM PST - 15 comments

Flashmob of the Day: A flashmob invaded a Copenhagen, Denmark Metro train last month.
posted by infini at 7:17 AM PST - 25 comments

Maurice Sendak, Children’s Author Who Upended Tradition, Dies at 83 [NYTimes.com] "Maurice Sendak, widely considered the most important children’s book artist of the 20th century, who wrenched the picture book out of the safe, sanitized world of the nursery and plunged it into the dark, terrifying and hauntingly beautiful recesses of the human psyche, died on Tuesday in Danbury, Conn. He was 83 and lived in Ridgefield, Conn."
posted by Fizz at 5:41 AM PST - 290 comments

Delia Derbyshire, most famous for the original Doctor Who theme tune, would have been 75 years old last Saturday. In celebration of her pioneering work on electronic music, and her role at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, British remix artist Soundhog created an hour-long mix of Derbyshire's words and music, combined with more work from the Radiophonic Workshop and other electronic music pioneers of the time. (mp3 download) [more inside]
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:39 AM PST - 13 comments

The new Avengers movie is a hit with fans, critics and the box office. Hollywood is taking note.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:24 AM PST - 473 comments

Al Jazeera is closing its Chinese bureau after the authorities have refused to renew its reporters' press credentials and visas [NYT]. The Chinese government's reasons for this aren't clear, but Al Jazeera's recent coverage of China's "black jails" has been less than flattering.
posted by reductiondesign at 3:36 AM PST - 28 comments

May 7


Nichelle Gainer (whose Vintage Black Glamour blog was seen previously on MeFi) responds insightfully to a NY Times editorial by author Alice Randall called "Why Black Women Are Fat."
posted by hermitosis at 7:40 PM PST - 44 comments

Here’s the thing, ladies: I don’t want to have sex with you. Michael Ian Black discusses the cultural message of the male libido and how it differs from his experience.
posted by nadawi at 7:39 PM PST - 182 comments

The Story of My Man Boobs
posted by latkes at 7:27 PM PST - 30 comments

Grandpa Was A Baller The weird, wonderful tales of an early NBA player, who happens to be my grandfather.
posted by porn in the woods at 6:17 PM PST - 4 comments

Augusten Burroughs on How to Live Unhappily Ever After. [more inside]
posted by sweetkid at 6:17 PM PST - 30 comments

He considered himself an artist, but his work, while popular and incendiary, showed little talent or originality. Later in life he took up working with precious metals, and that would be the craft he’s remembered for, but earlier in his career he printed his own engravings, or his version of the work of others. Earlier this year at Brown University’s John Hay Library, something very rare was discovered. One of Paul Revere’s prints depicting the Baptism of Christ was found tucked in an old textbook. While not a particularly valuable work or great art, this rare print does tell us a bit about the man as an artist, and about his faith. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan at 6:04 PM PST - 6 comments


How ‘Mad Men’ Landed The Beatles. Apple Corps licenses a Beatles track to Lionsgate for use on last night's Mad Men. It's the first time a Beatles master recording has been licensed for use on a television show.
posted by crossoverman at 5:03 PM PST - 337 comments

In honor of this Saturday's Supermoon, a story from Italo Calvino about a time the moon was even closer. And a short film based on the story. (Hebrew w/ English subtitles)
posted by goingonit at 4:13 PM PST - 25 comments

“If anyone can move Afro-Cuban music into greater visibility, it’s [Pedrito] Martinez.” [more inside]
posted by LeLiLo at 2:20 PM PST - 8 comments


Noam Chomsky has released a new book -- Occupy -- through Zuccotti Park Press. In Occupy, Chomsky discusses how a real democracy would work, how we can separate money from politics, and why everyday Americans are deciding to protest.

AlterNet recently posted an extensive interview with Chomsky, who claims America and Europe are committing economic suicide. Chomsky's focus on the OWS movement comes at the same time as coverage on the alleged Cleveland bridge bombing conspirators' close association with Occupy Cleveland.
posted by GnomeChompsky at 12:45 PM PST - 245 comments

The female members of the Dada movement are not so well known.
Sophie Taeuber was into puppets as was Hannah Höch; 2 & 3 and Emmy Hennings. Taeuber and Hennings were both heavily involved in Cabaret Voltaire.
A brief history of Radical Puppetry (Hannah Höch previously).
posted by adamvasco at 12:38 PM PST - 15 comments

"Historical dramas have a lot in common with science fiction when you consider how alien/exotic the settings might seem to a contemporary audience. As a kind of squeakquel to the Arthur C. Clarke maxim; “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” I’d like to assert that any sufficiently different set of social mores in a historical context is indistinguishable from an alternate universe. Consider the following bizzaro dimension: limited electricity, paranoia related to class struggles, shifting loyalties, and rigid caste system. Could it be Battlestar Galactica? Yes, But it’s also Downton Abbey!" [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb at 11:57 AM PST - 50 comments

On Tiger Moms: "What the controversy surrounding Chua demonstrates, however inadvertently, is that parenting techniques are always grounded in basic assumptions about the way things are and what matters to us. And they are always guided by some answer to the most fundamental of ethical questions—how to live?" [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:50 AM PST - 52 comments

Slaughter Rico, perhaps best known for a gritty and inspired (but very-much slandered) manic YouTube performance [lyrics] is a low-key rapper from Philadelphia who has cranked out some pretty amazing contributions to the underground hip-hop community [freestyle video]. [more inside]
posted by lordaych at 11:47 AM PST - 10 comments

"As the Nazis approached Paris, the American Colony broke camp & abandoned the city like rats from a sinking ship. Behind them they left a frail, elderly, impoverished, homeless Irish-American who, as a young man, had been an heir to wealth, a close friend to Beardsley & Wilde, & the only important American in the 1890s Aesthetic movement of England & France. He was Vincent O'Sullivan, one of the world's great authors of horror fiction..." [more inside]
posted by Iridic at 11:29 AM PST - 9 comments

Hear how popular music has changed from 1940 to today with the Radio Time Machine. Choose a year and hear samples of songs from the top of the Billboard 100 (or full songs if you're logged in to Rdio).
posted by jocelmeow at 10:42 AM PST - 19 comments

4 (to 6) easy steps to viral fame through pop music: 1) write and record a catchy pop song, 2) get radio play for your song, and 3) get Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez to hear your song, so 4) they tweet about enjoying your song. Bonus steps to further fame: 5) make a video that has a twist ending, which 6) people (including Bieber and Gomez) cover and remake and share online for further fame and fortune. Thanks to all this, Carly Rae Jepsen's pop dance song has moved beyond Canada, and is charting all over the world. If that's not enough, NPR's Ann Powers has further thoughts on the pop hit and its video. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 10:02 AM PST - 48 comments

The lost layouts of Gil Kane.
posted by Artw at 9:59 AM PST - 18 comments

Telerama Concerts Privé, recorded live in Paris: Wilco - Bonnie Prince Billy - The Shins - Jonathan Wilson
posted by msalt at 9:23 AM PST - 8 comments

Undoubtedly, at some point in your life, a recipe has told you to brown or caramelize some onions for 5-10 minutes. As many frustrated cooks have found through experience, this step of the recipe is a damned lie. In fact, the now-ubiquitous suggestion of 5-10 minutes isn't even a remote approximation of the amount of time it takes to brown an onion; Alton Brown and Julia Child weigh in on the matter, suggesting that the task can take anywhere from 45 minute to an hour. [more inside]
posted by schmod at 7:51 AM PST - 202 comments

In 1962, Yorkshire man Brendon Grimshaw bought the island of Moyenne in the middle of the Indian Ocean for £8000. He has since dedicated his life to turning it into a tropical paradise; including planting over sixteen thousand trees, building nearly five kilometers for nature paths, and reintroducing over 100 land tortoises. It's now the world's smallest National Park. [more inside]
posted by quin at 7:31 AM PST - 27 comments


That politician got amnesia again. Kim Dotcom, of previously fame, has released a videoless youtube 'video' of a rap song he created with with Black Eyed Peas producer and songwriter Printz Board, about 'anonymous' donations he made to a local politician.
posted by Sparx at 4:25 AM PST - 24 comments


We Who Are About to Bug Out Salute You
Rutherford B. Hayes.... brought the troops home and ended Reconstruction, with the almost unanimous support of the nation’s liberal establishment. They too fought politically against slavery before the Civil War, risked their lives to emancipate its victims, and, too soon, couldn’t wait to bug out of the South.
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:53 AM PST - 73 comments

May 6

Blowdry hairstyles! Sequins! Self-effacing humor without irony! Amazing melodies and lyrics! It's The Barry Manilow Special [52m] shown on ABC in 1977, winner of the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy-Variety or Music Special. Featuring Penny Marshall! Guaranteed Copacabana-free! But this wouldn't be the only time Barry Manilow appeared in a television special... [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 10:31 PM PST - 42 comments

Fire Retardant Lobby Caught with Pants on Fire. "As evidence of health risks piled up, makers of flame retardants created a phony consumer watchdog that misled lawmakers and the public by stoking the fear of fire." Part one of a Chicago Tribune investigation has just been published, featuring a brilliant use of diff.
posted by honest knave at 9:22 PM PST - 48 comments

Pascal Ken, after taking several trips to Japan between 2007 and 2011, took some beautiful, dreamlike infrared photos of Tokyo.
posted by reenum at 7:44 PM PST - 14 comments

"Hi. Russia may well be associated with hard liquor like Водка, but in this video I will be talking about our traditional soft drinks and non-alcoholic beverages." Part 1 [mostly juices] and Part 2 [fizzy drinks]. [more inside]
posted by Deathalicious at 7:25 PM PST - 32 comments


The Seebühne of the Bregenz Festival In Austria. The stage sets are pretty amazing.
posted by HuronBob at 6:11 PM PST - 9 comments

Today marks the 75th anniversary of the German zeppelin Hindenburg bursting into flames as it attempted to dock at a US Naval Air Station in Lakehurst, NJ. The Hindenburg was inflated with hydrogen, due to the United States' practical monopoly on helium, and its fabric skin was coated with a mixture of iron oxide and aluminium--both elements have been linked to the rapid fire, but the ratio of responsibility continues to be debated to this day. The explosion of the zeppelin was documented by a film crew, and more famously, by WLS radio reporter Herb Morrison. Such documentation has allowed for the Hindenburg disaster to be a well-known event that has been referenced in popular culture over the years, from such disparate means as the famous "Turkeys Away" episode of WKRP In Cincinnati...to MeFi's own Spatch having a fever dream approximately 15 years ago that led to, well, just watch it for yourself.
posted by stannate at 5:54 PM PST - 64 comments

Brain Storm - "The smartest mouse in the world", runs through an intricate home-made agility course.
posted by The Whelk at 5:20 PM PST - 56 comments

Ernest Callenbach, author of the classic environmental novel Ecotopia among other works, died of cancer at 83 on April 16th, leaving behind this document on his computer.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:07 PM PST - 37 comments

Arizona leads with another ground-breaking move after their immigration bill. A bill that prevents "abortion providers like Planned Parenthood from receiving public funds" has passed into law, says CNN. (Planned Parenthood lists 14 health centers in Arizona.) [more inside]
posted by fragmede at 3:53 PM PST - 72 comments

France has a new president. With 51.9% of the second-round vote, François Hollande has beaten Nicolas Sarkozy to become the first Socialist president of France since 1995. In his victory speech, Hollande declared that "austerity is not inevitable," but international business interests have already started rumbling about Hollande's plans for higher taxes on the rich and large-scale public sector investment. The change in power is to be effected in next ten days, with Hollande scheduled to appear at the G8 and NATO summits on May 19 and 20.
posted by theodolite at 1:45 PM PST - 195 comments

Wanna go for a run? "The Trans-Zion is a 48-mile route across Zion National Park that wanders from the East Entrance to Lee Pass in the Kolob Canyons section of the park. The route links together many of Zion's most scenic trails and amasses more than 10,000 feet of total climbing."
posted by Xurando at 1:15 PM PST - 15 comments

"A maverick theater and industrial designer, Norman Bel Geddes is best remembered for creating the undisputed hit of the 1939 New York World’s Fair. Mounted in the midst of the Great Depression, the Fair focused on America’s promise of a utopian tomorrow. Geddes’s Futurama, a piece of “immersion theater,” took six hundred visitors at a time on a swooping, simulated airplane ride across America circa 1960." "The City of Tomorrow, a model of Manhattan that Geddes created, in 1937, to promote Shell Oil Company’s new “motor-digestible” gasoline, is often cited as [Futurama's inspiration.] But Futurama’s beginnings actually harken back much further, to the meticulous, insanely detailed private games he created in the 1920s and early ’30s for the amusement of his friends." [more inside]
posted by zamboni at 12:52 PM PST - 15 comments

Is liking a post on Facebook protected by the First Amendment? A US District Court says no. [more inside]
posted by notme at 12:28 PM PST - 61 comments

The frequent fliers who flew too much. American Airlines said that for a single payment of $350,000, you could fly with them anywhere, first class, for the rest of your life. Why were they so surprised when a few people... well... did?
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:13 PM PST - 103 comments

Little League is a Peanuts-esque webcomic about the Justice League (via Comics Worth Reading). The tone is alternately sweet, funny, and poignant. Because it's hosted on Tumblr it's a little awkward to work through the strips in chronological order. Start here.
posted by jedicus at 11:56 AM PST - 24 comments



Stefan Krappitz recently published the book Troll Culture: A Comprehensive Guide. The work positions internet provocateurs as contemporary satirists who may have sophisticated political and social critique informing their pranks. Discussion is centered on the lulz culture of 4chan but includes ill-mannered charmers like Ralph Pootawn (Second Life), bloodninja (AIM / IRC), Diogenes and Tracky Birthday. [more inside]
posted by mr.ersatz at 9:45 AM PST - 41 comments

Six years after the initial release of that tiny, hackable, beanbag-esque touchscreen piece of hardware, the doors are closing on the chumby. [more inside]
posted by subbes at 9:22 AM PST - 35 comments

Ben Zimmer, the alternate-weeks author of the Boston Globe's language column, The Word, has a column today ("Dude, this headline is so meta") about the drift in the meaning of the prefix "meta" over the past few decades, from “above or beyond” (the metaphysical realm is beyond the physical one) or “at a higher level of abstraction” (metalanguage is language used to describe other language) to “consciously self-referential” ... a perfect meta-commentary on the consciously self-referential age we live in. [more inside]
posted by beagle at 8:55 AM PST - 25 comments

There’s no nice way to say this, but it needs to be said: video games, with very few exceptions, are dumb. And they’re not just dumb in the gleeful, winking way that a big Hollywood movie is dumb; they’re dumb in the puerile, excruciatingly serious way that a grown man in latex elf ears reciting an epic poem about Gandalf is dumb. Aside from a handful of truly smart games, tentpole titles like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Call of Duty: Black Ops tend to be so silly and so poorly written that they make Michael Bay movies look like the Godfather series. Taylor Clark's Atlantic profile of Braid creator Jonathan Blow has prompted some strong reactions. Are videogames dumb? Is hard to make them not dumb? Are most things dumb anyway?
posted by Artw at 8:23 AM PST - 179 comments

Toronto FC has set a new record in Major League Soccer by opening the season with eight consecutive losses. This despite having earlier in the year gone all the way to the semifinals in the CONCACAF Champions League with the same lineup (the CONCACAF Champions League is the international championship for all North American, Central American, and Caribbean clubs).

The most recent loss came at the hands of a DC United side including Toronto native and former TFC captain Dwayne De Rosario. When asked to comment on TFC's dire predicament and the coaching of Aron Winter (who was responsible for trading De Rosario away from Toronto), the MLS MVP made an oblique reference to Psalm 118.
posted by 256 at 7:05 AM PST - 25 comments

There are comics, print and online, and then there are comics reporters and comics critics finding obscure yet remarkable manga and strips. High-Low offers reviews of comics from a Comics Journal critic. The Comics Reporter recently published a list of upcoming comics events. Comics212 founded the Toronto Comic Arts Festival which is going on today. Comics Worth Reading weeds out the chaff so you don't have to. Comic Book Resources is a news source with columns and reviews. The Beat take a look at comics culture. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 5:22 AM PST - 8 comments

Minecraft. In Minecraft.
posted by loquacious at 12:05 AM PST - 38 comments

May 5

What does the biggest donor to the 2012 campaign season really want? The operator. [print link]
posted by lalochezia at 10:02 PM PST - 24 comments

Team Fortress Classic was a multiplayer mod for Half-Life 1. It featured a very unique gameplay element called a concussion grenade that allowed players to fly across the map at high speeds (learn about the history of TFC movement here). During the time it was played competitively, The Catacombs community put together Plays of the Week (Youtube Playlist) Some other videos: Skillout; Last Dinosaur 2; Logistica
posted by Cloud King at 9:30 PM PST - 22 comments

Battleground is hulu's first exclusive scripted original series. A mockumentary drama/comedy depicting a Senatorial campaign in Wisconsin, the show has a run of 13 episodes this season, 12 of which are already available on hulu (the season finale will be released May 8). Happily, the first six episodes are also available on YouTube. 1: The Pilot, 2: Who Is Claire Villareal, 3: Hold The Whipped Cream, 4: The Comment, 5: They'll Burn Your Eyes, 6: Polls Close At Six [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 9:08 PM PST - 20 comments

The exacting, cerebral sounds of Massachusetts natives Math the Band invite intense attention and abstract appreciation. A live set from 2009 presents what is perhaps the best opportunity to sample their dense soundscapes: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 [more inside]
posted by Nomyte at 9:00 PM PST - 13 comments

Rejected Pitches. Back to the Future. E.T. Looking Who's Talking. The Shining. A web series about clueless studio executives rejecting classic movie scripts.
posted by crossoverman at 8:17 PM PST - 24 comments

TVAdSongs.com houses a library of 1,515 songs from TV and Radio ads, and that’s how my jingle earworm attached. Pretty soon I’d discovered that Barry Manilow used to include a bit he called "Our VSM" (short for our "Very Strange Medley" of songs he’s composed for commercials) in each of his concerts. (Weezer’s a big fan - previously). That’s where it struck me personally how insidously omnipresent these songs were (and are). Pretty soon, the earworm took over. So, I figure, what better way to get rid of a tune stuck in your head than to share it with the rest of the world? So, here goes — I am prepared for your curses. | "A" is for Apple, "J" is for JacksAnd They Call It... Charlie!Break Me Off a Piece of that Kit Kat Bar ... [more inside]
posted by not_on_display at 7:37 PM PST - 29 comments

Omes have a long history and describe general interactions of biological information objects in various omes. But not all omes are real omes. Some have a problem with omes as neologisms.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:37 PM PST - 31 comments

A catastrophic freeze has wiped out about 80 per cent of Ontario’s apple crop and has the province’s fruit industry looking at losses already estimated at more than $100 million. "Warm temperatures got fruit trees blooming early and when temperatures plummeted Sunday morning it damaged or wiped out much of the $60 million apple crop and 20 to 30 per cent of Ontario’s $48 million tender fruit crop which includes peaches, cherries, pears, plums and nectarines." Also see Michigan (tart & sweet cherries, apples, pears - "what sets this year apart is not just the severity of the damage but the variety of fruits affected") and western NY ("The erratic Rochester weather has taken its toll on local fruit crops... as much as 90 percent of apples, peaches, cherries, and raspberries in the area [are] destroyed").
posted by flex at 3:51 PM PST - 78 comments

Did P.T. Barnum keep live whales in his museum on Broadway? When were penguins stolen from the Coney Island Aquarium? How much horse manure was deposited on the streets of New York City before the automobile, and what happened to it? Answers to these question and more at the New York Historical Society Library's short video series When did the Statue of Liberty Turn Green? [more inside]
posted by jessamyn at 2:29 PM PST - 13 comments


For your enjoyment: The Ricksha Arts of Bangladesh
posted by reenum at 12:35 PM PST - 3 comments

Renaissance man of animated comedy and heavy metal music Brendon Small sits down with Gibson for a four part interview to discuss his writing process, the new season of Metalocalypse, working with Gibson to create the Gibson Dethklok Thunderhorse Explorer, and the release of his debut solo album Galaktikon, of which Small says, This album should be thought of as an audio comic book, an over acted chamber drama, a ridiculous premise that takes itself way too seriously all the way to the end.
posted by ob1quixote at 12:28 PM PST - 13 comments


Derek Sivers explains the fascinating Japanese addressing system.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 10:38 AM PST - 95 comments



I still call him Ratzinger. That fits him better. But that is just a personal bias ... The nuns that I talk to aren't really afraid, because they can't see or they can't imagine what he would do to change us. I mean, like, excommunication? That is a thing of the past. You can't excommunicate hundreds of nuns. Wouldn't that be kind of funny? Excommunicate the whole order! It is irrational. Sr. Brigid McDonald, of the Sisters of St. Joseph, speaks the truth to power (single link interview, but delightful).
posted by TheShadowKnows at 9:26 AM PST - 86 comments

Inspired by one of the English language's seminal works, 24 modern-day pilgrims undertake a full-scale re-enactment Chaucer's masterpiece, acting out the tales as they travelled on foot to Canterbury.
For those who prefer to play along at home the ELF Edition of the Canterbury Tales where you can read in Middle English; Modern English or both side by side.
Spark notes gives helpful introducions and analysis.
Digital Scriptorium now has some images of the Ellesmere Chaucer which can be viewed in glorious high resolution.
But to keep us thoroughly up to date Geoffrey Chaucer has a blog. (previously but all links dead)
posted by adamvasco at 9:19 AM PST - 9 comments

In 1990, right after the Berlin Wall fell, Stephen Koppelkamm ventured into East Berlin and photographed what he found. Ten years on, he revisited the same locations.
posted by pjern at 7:36 AM PST - 43 comments

Farting and f-bombing on the Moon - Apollo 16. [SLYT] Houston: "Okay John. We have a hot mike." Commander John Young: "How long we had that?"
posted by srboisvert at 4:36 AM PST - 54 comments

Rob Stenson plays clawhammer banjo. Jack Stratton plays a number of instruments. Together, they've built Funklet, a site where classic beats are transcribed and presented in a javascript drum machine (which only works in Chrome at the moment) for you to play with. Each page also has full audio of the beat in its native habitat. [more inside]
posted by hades at 12:20 AM PST - 18 comments

May 4


A very long interview with screenwriter Lem Dobbs. Single link to text on a page but it's a wonderful interview and those who love film, culture, the arts... will dig it I think.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 10:42 PM PST - 8 comments

Share a Story collects powerful personal stories from around the world. Some are inspiring, such as the story of a young woman with fibromyalgia, others are just intense such as a knife robbery in the streets of Dublin. [more inside]
posted by thebestsophist at 10:21 PM PST - 2 comments

Book Spine Poetry is poetry made from the words on the spines of books.
posted by roaring beast at 10:03 PM PST - 6 comments

The Mendenhall Glacier in Alaska moves less than a foot a day, but thanks to Extreme Ice Survey you can now watch three years of movement happen in just over a minute complete with a glacier expert explaining what you're seeing. You can also watch giant glacier pieces break into the water and many other non-glacial glacier videos. Finally, some info to make you more of a glacier expert yourself.
posted by Defenestrator at 9:07 PM PST - 5 comments

D&D co-creator Dave Arneson's lost personal collection of gaming material -- 114 boxes worth -- was found last year in an abandoned storage locker. Fortunate for geeks everywhere, everything was not just tossed into a dumpster. The collection is now scheduled to be auctioned off on eBay. (previously)
posted by fings at 7:38 PM PST - 42 comments

What if Edward Gorey illustrated Lovecraft? It'd look like John Kenn Mortensen's work, that's what. Except Mortensen makes his art in his spare time, on post-it notes. He has an art book.
posted by Lou Stuells at 2:35 PM PST - 39 comments

Type Connection is a game that helps you learn how to pair typefaces.
posted by lalex at 2:33 PM PST - 8 comments

The Sea Shadow is a prototype stealth ship built thirty years ago for the US Navy, and the only ship ever designed by the Lockheed Skunk Works. Like its airborne cousin, the F-117 Nighthawk, it is nearly invisible to radar. It is extremely stable in high seas, has no conventional rudder, and requires a minimum crew of only four to operate.
Despite the successful field trials and futuristic technology, the Navy passed on the program and the boat sat largely unused. At 5PM central time, the auction ends that will send the Sea Shadow to the scrapyard. Pictures will soon be all that is left, but check out this extensive virtual tour. [more inside]
posted by startled at 2:23 PM PST - 54 comments

RC Helicopter Kung Fu (Warning! Very silly music!)
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:18 PM PST - 12 comments

Peasant culture and Russian folklore in Soviet animation (~400 minutes whereof): Soviet animation abounds in fantasies about the natural, wholesome lives of honorable, strong-willed Russian peasants and folk heroes and their struggles against villainy and adversity. Decorated with splendid folk art motifs that verge on horror vacui, these cel-animated cartoons are excellent aids for learning about (popular conceptions of) Russian folk material culture: decoration, architecture, dress, weaponry, textiles, domestic culture, manners, and so on. [more inside]
posted by Nomyte at 2:15 PM PST - 13 comments

On April 20, Daniel Chong went to get high at his friend's place. Next morning the DEA raided the house. Chong was detained and placed in a 5x10' holding cell. He was left there with his hands cuffed behind his back for four days without food, water or human contact. He hallucinated, drank his own urine, and eventually, convinced he was going to die, he broke his eyeglasses and carved 'Sorry Mom' on his arm as a final message. When he was final released he was taken to hospital where he was treated for kidney failure, dehydration and a perforated esophagus. The DEA says it was an accident. NYT, AP, interview, interview.
posted by unSane at 2:01 PM PST - 140 comments

The Popularity of Draw Something crashes, just few weeks after being purchased by purchased by Zynga for $200 million, leading to one acrimonious resignation of a developer who didn't want to give up the rights to his personal project, a game called puzzle game called Connectrode (The ensuing twitter fight resulted in a callout of OMGPOP's CEO by Notch. This on the heals of Angry Birds maker Rovio turning down $2.25 billion to get bought out by them. ZNGA is down 43% since march 5th, and 12.3% since its IPO in December.
posted by delmoi at 1:45 PM PST - 89 comments

Despite his austere public image, director Stanley Kubrick was an avid lover of cats. He owned many cats and often brought them on set or into the editing room, where they were fed Evian water in Spode china bowls. Treating his pets with the same attention to detail that was his trademark as a director, Kubrick once handed his family 15 pages of instructions on how to care for his cats while he was away. [more inside]
posted by timsneezed at 1:15 PM PST - 35 comments

Did you know popcorn may be the perfect healthy snack food? Probably not so much once you pile on the toppings! If you'd like to try a uniquely Hawaiian snack (are you adventurous enough for crack seed?) then popcorn meets Hawaii in hurricane popcorn: a mix of buttered popcorn, furikake, and arare ("mochi crunch" - a rice cracker mix). (This re-invented version includes corn pops, dried pineapple, and bacon).
posted by flex at 11:16 AM PST - 61 comments



Star Maidens was an obscure and pretty much forgotten British/German low budget (they borrowed sets from Space 1999 ) science fiction televsion series from 1975... On the planet Medusa where the women (naturally all hot) rule over the men, two of the later inferior species escape (including Gareth 'Blake' Thomas!) to the 'paradise' of Earth [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:12 AM PST - 13 comments

Pandas on a Slide: 46 seconds of happiness. [SLYT]
posted by quin at 9:07 AM PST - 24 comments

A new commercial for the 2012 Paralympics, done in one continuous take without special effects, is "atmospheric, powerful and hugely inspirational, exploring one runner’s journey back to the track." (via)
posted by holdkris99 at 8:57 AM PST - 24 comments

"The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved" - Noted as one of Hunter S. Thompson's finest pieces of writing, it has recently been given the Paris Records treatment with a new album of Bill Frisell music, Hal Willner production, Tim Robbins as HST, and Ralph Steadman performing as himself. (Recent interview with Paris Records owner Michael Minzer)
posted by CNNInternational at 8:54 AM PST - 13 comments


"The world now has a very clear choice. We can choose to address the twin issues of population and consumption... Or we can choose to do nothing and to drift into a downward vortex of economic, socio-political and environmental ills, leading to a more unequal and inhospitable future." Sir John Sulston, Royal Society Fellow on the Society's recent report "People and the planet". [more inside]
posted by nowhere man at 7:48 AM PST - 63 comments

WET: The Magazine of Gourmet Bathing covered a range of cultural issues and was widely known for its innovative use of graphic art. Started as a simple one-man operation that included artwork and text solicited from friends and acquaintances, the production, team, and circulation of the magazine would grow over the years. Its content also evolved to cover a wider expanse of stories that captured a smart and artsy Los Angeles attitude that was emerging at the same time as punk, but with its own distinct aesthetic. The magazine’s energetic creativity and flair for the absurd would remain a constant. As design problems arose, solutions were often improvised on the spot, creating a quirky and prescient editorial sensibility that remains one of WET's most enduring legacies. Its layout and design helped to catalyze the graphic styles (NSFW) later known as New Wave and Postmodern.
posted by Trurl at 7:40 AM PST - 9 comments

Christopher Locke makes Analog Tele-Phonographers out of salvaged brass intruments and machine parts. It all began with the The Zurich (video)... [more inside]
posted by griphus at 7:36 AM PST - 13 comments



Foreal?
posted by Jesse Hughson at 5:59 AM PST - 64 comments

A report by the ABA shows that some law schools hire as many as 15% of new graduates in an effort to boost employment numbers.
posted by reenum at 3:50 AM PST - 78 comments


A little while ago a video by a young Greek actress appeared on the web, attempting to hit back at the blame and recriminations her country has suffered in the debt crisis. The video (which follows the style of a beer commercial) created all sorts of reactions in Greece, with some people responding with their own videos. Here is one, and here is another. There are more, but these have become quite popular. Enjoy!
posted by acrobat at 2:01 AM PST - 53 comments

May 3

George Wright, America's most elusive fugitive, ran for forty years. He ran from the cops after escaping from prison. He ran from the feds after the most brazen hijacking in history. He ran from the authorities on three continents, hiding out and blending in wherever he went. It was a historic run—and now that it's over, he might just pull off the greatest escape of all.
posted by vidur at 11:03 PM PST - 75 comments

Name a style of music you dislike and Reddit's hivemind will try to change your mind. Or most probably it'll confirm that your musical tastes are not that easy to change.
posted by usertm at 8:16 PM PST - 81 comments


Foster kitten cam.
posted by jeather at 7:38 PM PST - 42 comments

Fixation is a prequel to The Company Of Myself (previously). Smoking is a core game mechanic. [more inside]
posted by motty at 6:55 PM PST - 6 comments

The band/artist is called Kristmann Op, the song is called Hátt fjall,The video of the song is an autotuned alien disco futuristic dreamwave delight
posted by The Whelk at 6:40 PM PST - 25 comments

Why Noah Went to the Woods: He was a proud Marine who survived three ­brutal tours in Iraq and had plans to redeploy with the ­national guard. But when 30-year-old Noah Pippin ­vanished inside Montana’s remote Bob ­Marshall ­Wilderness, he left behind a trail of haunting secrets—and a mystery that may never be solved. "The Pippins were alarmed. Given their son’s strict adherence to his moral code, a scenario in which Noah had intentionally shirked his military duty was nearly inconceivable. After several calls to his phone went straight to voice mail, they began to investigate, discovering that they knew far less about their son than they had imagined."
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:13 PM PST - 46 comments

The superhero origin story of Joss Whedon goes like this: A GQ interview with Joss Whedon.
posted by Sebmojo at 5:29 PM PST - 68 comments

Friends Reimagined #theonewhere is a hashtag that is increasing in popularity and strangeness, used by twitizens to reminisce about Friends episodes which may or may not have actually happened.
posted by nímwunnan at 4:52 PM PST - 45 comments

"There are growing number of people who have decided to live light on the earth to not be a part of problem anymore. I spent the last few years with four of them striving for harmony with nature in the most pristine corners of United States." Photos by Eric Valli, but they don't have captions. Check out his other photo sets on the site.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:31 PM PST - 82 comments

In 2273, after having been thought lost in a black hole, Voyager 6 returned to Federation space as V'Ger, the massive and menacing spaceship at the heart of Star Trek: The Motion Picture... Designing the Living Machine - concept art for V'Ger, Redesigning the Walk to V’Ger, The Lighting and Photography of Star Trek's "V'ger", working on the interior of V'ger, V'ger External View, V'Ger - Spock Mindmeld Model Piece (scroll way down) (may contain Darth Vader and Miss Piggy), animating the "V'ger Probe", V'ger rear view.
posted by Artw at 4:09 PM PST - 41 comments


James William Buel was a journalist, author, and editor, who was born in 1849 in Golconda, Illinois, and died in 1920 in San Diego, California. In his life, he traveled the world, writing and illustrating adventure tales about the wilds of Africa and the American West, and other exciting parts of the world. Many of his books are on Archive.org, ranging from America's Wonderlands, as delineated by pen and camera and Mysteries and Miseries of America's Great Cities, embracing New York, Washington City, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, and New Orleans; to Russian Nihilism and Exile Life in Siberia, with over 200 splendid engravings, and Sea and Land [microform] : an illustrated history of the wonderful and curious things of nature existing before and since the deluge (including a great number of creatures who apparently found joy in terrorizing and devouring people).
posted by filthy light thief at 3:27 PM PST - 1 comments


Remember Kentucky v. King from last year? The mis-reported conclusion was that police could enter a home without a warrant to prevent destruction of evidence based on hearing movement after knocking. A week ago the supreme court of Kentucky published (pdf) its revisiting of the case given instructions from the US supreme court, and found in favor of King (via): [more inside]
posted by a robot made out of meat at 3:00 PM PST - 13 comments

In the wee morning hours of September 20th, 1961, Betty and Barney Hill drove down New Hampshire's Route 3, through the Franconia Notch, and into the UFO history books. Five years later, John G. Fuller's account of their story, The Interrupted Journey, became the most well known alien abduction case of all time. Fuller's book was adapted into a made-for-TV movie in 1975. The book and movie brought the "Greys" into the public consciousness as the quintessential UFO occupants, although it has been alleged by skeptics that the Greys themselves were inspired by an episode of the TV show The Outer Limits. Last year, the state of New Hampshire erected a historical marker at the site of the alleged abduction. Skeptics and believers have been debating the case for decades now. Interestingly, a UFO enthusiast named John Oswald published an account in 1980 that claimed "Mrs. Hill was unable to 'distinguish between a landed UFO and a streetlight'", which even included a photo of said streetlight. It was not until 2007 that a science fiction writer who lives in the area where the "abduction" took place published an article which reveals the real "UFO" and puts forward a plausible explanation. [more inside]
posted by smoothvirus at 2:48 PM PST - 32 comments

Cleopatra Loves The Acid and Roland's Jam is pretty wild. Acid music is still here...
posted by debord at 2:10 PM PST - 21 comments

Boston telegraph operator, (to Portland telegraph operator): "Please cut off your battery entirely from the line for fifteen minutes."
Portland operator: "Will do so. It is now disconnected."
Boston: "Mine is disconnected, and we are working with the auroral current. How do you receive my writing?"
Portland: "Better than with our batteries on. Current comes and goes gradually."
Boston: "My current is very strong at times, and we can work better without the batteries, as the Aurora seems to neutralize and augment our batteries alternately, making current too strong at times for our relay magnets. Suppose we work without batteries while we are affected by this trouble."
Portland: "Very well. Shall I go ahead with business?"
Boston: "Yes. Go ahead." — Ars Technica covers the story of the Great Auroral Storm of 1859, and the awe it inspired.
posted by Toekneesan at 1:46 PM PST - 23 comments

Tomorrow is remembrance day in the Netherlands, as the dead and victims of World War II and beyond are honoured. Each year at the national memorial service at the Dam square in Amsterdam a poem is read by the winner of the school competition organised by the remembrance committee. This year there was controversy as the winning poem was about a Dutch volunteer for the Waffen SS, which was not appreciated by the Auschwitz survivors organisation, which threated to boycott the procedings. In the end therefore the poem was scrapped, but it had already laid bare a sore spot in Dutch history. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse at 12:22 PM PST - 38 comments

On Sunday, April 29, 2012, composer Joel Goldsmith, son of famous film composer Jerry Goldsmith (Jerry's MeFi Obit Post from 2004), passed away at 54 of cancer. [more inside]
posted by Atreides at 11:55 AM PST - 6 comments

They talk about conquest and speak in militaristic jargon. They study propaganda and mind control. The Southern Poverty Law Center has linked their communities with hate groups. Who are they? Pickup Artists. [more inside]
posted by modernserf at 11:35 AM PST - 334 comments

The revival of Death of a Salesman starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman is taking Broadway by storm. It's directed by Mike Nichols and also stars Andrew Garfield. It's one of the theater's most respected works. But there's a bittersweet irony with this revival. "Tickets for the original run, in 1949, cost between $1.80 and $4.80; tickets for the 2012 run range from $111 to $840. After adjusting for inflation, that’s a 10-fold increase, well beyond the reach of today’s putative Willy Lomans." "Certainly few middle-class people, or at least anyone from any “middle class” that Loman would recognize, are among the audiences attending this production."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:33 AM PST - 89 comments

Hello, my name is Adair and I'm here to recruit you. Texas rapper Adair Lion's song bluntly calls out homophobia in hip hop. He explains the inspiration for the song: "But I thought NO... This needs to be dialoged... this has to be said... this should be accepted.... and they deserve for someone to let them know that they aren't wrong... I NEED TO SAY IT BLUNTLY. "
posted by desjardins at 11:33 AM PST - 19 comments

"He'd Zooey Deschaneled her, hard. He was a manic pixie dream guy." (Via Nerve.com, potentially NSFWish). Looks like the MPDG has some competition. Includes opinions from HelloGiggles, website of Alpha-MPDG Zooey Deschanel.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 11:28 AM PST - 86 comments

Hi! My name is Melvil Dewey! Nice to meetcha, how you doing? (SLYT). Meet the International Library Hip Hop Superstar and Library Journal Mover and Shaker (literally). 597.3 - SHARKS!
posted by carter at 10:03 AM PST - 5 comments

A fan-forced rocket stove with an inbuilt thermoelectric generator that can charge your GPS as you cook a meal using a few handfuls of twigs for fuel: the BioLite camp stove (via Blue Economy, via Big Ideas, via ABC Radio National)
posted by flabdablet at 9:58 AM PST - 82 comments


"In other words, credit has become America’s welfare policy," says Sheldon Garon, Princeton University professor and author of Beyond Our Means: Why America Spends While the World Saves. The US savings rate currently = 3.8%, while the Euro Area savings rate = 13.7%[pdf]. [more inside]
posted by airing nerdy laundry at 9:17 AM PST - 106 comments

Don't judge a book by the ad on its cover. [Guardian.co.uk] Chalk it up as another brilliant innovation – or a sign of the impending apocalypse – as China Daily reports that publishers are making space on the front covers of books for advertising. Apparently the "first book to carry an advertisement" is an account of the famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma, written by his mother, which was published in March adorned with "the logo of a well-known Chinese textile manufacturer".
posted by Fizz at 8:43 AM PST - 40 comments

"The report indicates that police patrol downtown Minneapolis looking for impaired people, then drive them to a testing facility in Richfield for examination of their capabilities while intoxicated. But in some cases where no previously impaired people could be found, police seduced prospective participants with drugs. The study has been ongoing since early last month." [more inside]
posted by punishinglemur at 8:41 AM PST - 23 comments

Kellog Brown & Root are bidding for a £1.5bn contract to run key policing services in the (UK) West Midlands and Surrey. [more inside]
posted by marienbad at 8:13 AM PST - 47 comments

"I've put together a small collection of this preproduction art, along with a few of Judith's models, to illustrate a little of what [David Cronenberg's] Total Recall might have been..."
posted by griphus at 7:32 AM PST - 50 comments

"Experimental adaptation of an influenza H5 HA confers respiratory droplet transmission to a reassortant H5 HA/H1N1 virus in ferrets." After an extensive, months-long debate, one of two controversial papers showing ways the H5N1 "avian" influenza virus could potentially become transmissible in mammals with only 3 or 4 mutations was published in Nature today. The journal included an editorial on the merits and drawbacks of "publishing risky research" with regard to biosafety. The debate included an unprecedented recommendation by The US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) to block publication -- a decision they later reversed. (Via: 1, 2) Nature's special report has additional articles, including interviews with the teams behind both papers.
posted by zarq at 7:25 AM PST - 37 comments


The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point has released its analysis of 17 de-classified documents captured during the Abbottabad raid where Osama Bin Laden was killed. They also released the documents themselves, available in the original Arabic as well as in English translation. A Pastebin version of the English translations has been posted for easy searching.
posted by gemmy at 6:58 AM PST - 12 comments

Take the day off, it's National Day of Reason! [more inside]
posted by Windigo at 6:47 AM PST - 25 comments

The British Council Film Collection "is an archive of over 120 short documentary films made by the British Council during the 1940s designed to show the world how Britain lived, worked and played. Preserved by the BFI National Film Archive and digitised by means of a generous donation by Google, the films are now yours to view, to download and to play with for the first time." A couple of essays and case studies also already up, with more to come.
posted by Abiezer at 6:34 AM PST - 7 comments

The art market entered a new phase on Wednesday evening when “The Scream”, a pastel drawn in 1895 by Edvard Munch, was sold for $119.92 million at Sotheby’s auction of Impressionist and modern art. The winning bid, which came by telephone, set a world record for any work of art offered at auction. [more inside]
posted by Trurl at 5:37 AM PST - 61 comments

Years after his first (albeit veiled) public cry for help Kermit once again uses song to deliver a poignant message. [via mefi projects]
posted by samworm at 2:58 AM PST - 27 comments

Fabrice Muamba returns to Bolton Wanders. Six weeks after suffering a cardiac arrest in the middle of a football game against Spurs (which left him 'clinically dead for 78 minutes'), Bolton Wanderer's Fabrice Muamba walks out in front of his home crowd before last night's game against Spurs. BBC Sport have the video... and I think I have something in my eye.
posted by ewan at 1:37 AM PST - 55 comments

May 2

Earl Sweatshirt is back. He was gone. He is in Odd Future. They have a Tumblr. Prev 1 2
posted by msalt at 10:39 PM PST - 49 comments



Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman will not tour with the band this summer as he continues treatment for necrotizing fasciitis contracted from a spider bite in 2011. Hanneman was bitten on his right arm, and picks with his right hand. The band's official statement describes Hanneman's long recovery, which includes a medically induced coma and an extensive series of skin grafts.
posted by catlet at 8:02 PM PST - 51 comments


Burke & Wills is a 1985 movie depicting the ill-fated 1860 expedition by Robert O'Hara Burke and William John Wills across the interior of Australia from Melbourne to the Gulf of Carpentaria, a distance of 2000 miles. To date, it has never been released on DVD and is currently out of print. In 14 parts [140m]: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 7:15 PM PST - 18 comments


I shot the Serif (in-browser game)
posted by TangerineGurl at 6:19 PM PST - 12 comments


"That's Cheezies with a Z." The inventor of the beloved snack product has died.
posted by anothermug at 4:14 PM PST - 25 comments

Felix Salmon, the Reuters finance blogger, has raised a skeptical eyebrow at some of the latest success stories at Kickstarter (one, two). In a post yesterday pivoting off Kickstarter founder Yancey Strickler's appearance at the Wired con, he wonders: Is Kickstarter ripe for a big scam? [more inside]
posted by Diablevert at 4:03 PM PST - 47 comments

McDonald's, a sponsor of the Olympics since 1968, will open a two-story cathedral-like restaurant that seats 1,500 customers, at London's Olympic Park. A group of British doctors say that the mega-McDonald’s sends the wrong message about obesity.
posted by ichomp at 3:20 PM PST - 45 comments


FlyRights is a smartphone app designed to provide a quick and easy way to report complaints of air travel harassment, profiling, and discrimination. Within the first ten hours of its launch, FlyRights had fielded two complaints of harassment and profiling. By contrast, the DHS's report to Congress on civil rights and civil liberties listed only 11 complaints in the first six months of 2011. FlyRights was designed by the Sikh Coalition, the nation's largest Sikh civil rights organization.
posted by mattdidthat at 2:36 PM PST - 38 comments

Harvard and MIT today announced a new partnership for offering free online courses, called edX. [more inside]
posted by -jf- at 2:19 PM PST - 37 comments

Robot hair washer has twenty-four fingers [via].
posted by feelinglistless at 2:07 PM PST - 30 comments

President Obama is cool. [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:22 PM PST - 134 comments

We are the artistically creative authors of the truths we live by. We must then, if we are honest, live more tentatively in relation to the security and consistency we achieve through language. The effect of this conclusion, at least for me, at least most of the time, is bracing.

It is not bracing for everyone.


Scott Abbott examines the violent, funny, and philosophically distressing fictions of Brian Evenson, one of our most accomplished dark fantasists and genre-bending authors. [more inside]
posted by Idler King at 1:16 PM PST - 6 comments

NFL great Junior Seau, who spent the majority of his career with the San Diego Chargers, with additional runs with the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots, was found dead today of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. [more inside]
posted by The Gooch at 12:32 PM PST - 110 comments

There's a little black spot on the sun today.... Venus transits the sun in June - it's a once-in-a-lifetime event for most of us. (Bonus song lyric links here and youtube here)
posted by Lynsey at 11:02 AM PST - 45 comments

Roy Choi, co-founder and head chef of Kogi Korean BBQ, the Los Angeles food truck that became famous (and much imitated) for its innovative Korean-Mexican fusion tacos and its use of social networking (previously), has announced on his weblog that he's no longer eating meat. Choi is considering leaving cooking altogether.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 10:48 AM PST - 69 comments

Zen Pencils is a blog with a pretty simple premise: take inspirational quotes and set them to comics. It's only a few months old but there are already a bunch of greats within: Neil deGrasse Tyson, Carl Sagan, Albert Einstein, and more in the archives.
posted by mathowie at 10:46 AM PST - 33 comments

Ikuo Yokoyama lost his home and three family members in the Japanese tsunami last year. Among the losses was a Harley-Davidson motorcycle he had bought five years ago and keeping in the back of a cube van... which floated across the Pacific Ocean and was found by Peter Mark, a resident of British Columbia, on an beach on Graham Island (it's the big one up the B.C. coast, near Alaska). Aside from some rust, the motorcycle seems to be in decent condition, and Harley-Davidson plans to restore it and ship it back to Yokoyama.
posted by Etrigan at 10:41 AM PST - 21 comments


It's animation student film season, and once again, Cal Arts does not disappoint. Eusong Lee's "Will" is not only a gorgeous piece of art, it will also touch your heart.
posted by sprezzy at 10:11 AM PST - 12 comments


Solar Islands: A new concept for low-cost solar energy at very large scale.
A reduced-scale prototype is under construction.
posted by flabdablet at 9:40 AM PST - 19 comments



"“It saves a fraction of a penny on every can,” he said. “There are a lot of soda cans in the world. That means the economy can produce more cans with the same amount of resources. It makes every American who buys a soda can a little bit richer because their paycheck buys more.”" The New York Times interviews Edward Conard (of Bain Capital fame) about his new book, "Unintended Consequences: Why Everything You’ve Been Told About the Economy is Wrong".
posted by spitefulcrow at 9:05 AM PST - 102 comments

Ten desirable skills you can teach yourself is a nice round-up of terrific guides to teaching yourself new tricks including basic repair skills, learning a language (the Foreign Services Institute has a chart of how hard various languages are to learn), teaching yourself to code, building electronics (starting with soldering), getting yourself up to speed in photography, learning an instrument, developing a basic sense of design, the inevitable cooking tips, and even some starter self-defense moves. Also, a very nicely organized list of free online college courses.
posted by blahblahblah at 8:55 AM PST - 30 comments

Fez is an independently developed game available on Xbox Live Arcade. It's available for 800 Microsoft funbucks ($10 USD real world currency). [more inside]
posted by sparkletone at 8:49 AM PST - 35 comments

According to an FBI press release and various news sources, five "self-proclaimed anarchists" were arrested in connection with an alleged plot to blow up an Ohio bridge. [more inside]
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:10 AM PST - 152 comments

What Pizza Hut's Crown Crust Pizza Says About Global Fast Food Marketing. [Food Porn] [Pizza Hut-blue?] Perhaps you've heard by now of the Crown Crust pizza, the pizza-cheeseburger hybrid recently unveiled by some of Pizza Hut's international franchisees. Available only at Pizza Hut Middle East, this fast food chimera features a vaguely crown-shaped crust studded with "cheeseburger gems," topped with lettuce and tomato, and drizzled with "special sauce." Many foodies have decried it as a "culinary abomination," "a sign of the apocalypse," or proof that America is finally losing its monopoly on gluttony. A reviewer at Serious Eats, who tried the Crown Crust in Dubai, wrote: "There seems to be no rational explanation as to why this pizza was created." [Via: NPR.org]
posted by Fizz at 8:09 AM PST - 83 comments

David Graeber in conversation with Rebecca Solnit. From Guernica. Previously.
posted by chavenet at 8:06 AM PST - 5 comments

The Boundaries of Life and Death is a lovely short animation inspired by the Edgar Allan Poe quotation;
"The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?"
[more inside]
posted by quin at 7:05 AM PST - 3 comments


Chilling amateur home video of the Challenger disaster "Obviously a major malfunction." Those words have always haunted me, but to hear them here, echoing across a PA system as shocked onlookers come to terms with what they have just seen, they carry even more power than they did when they were just an anonymous voiceover on a TV shot.
posted by LondonYank at 2:41 AM PST - 107 comments


May 1


"It's a Good Life" is a 1953 story by Jerome Bixby, who also wrote It! The Terror From Beyond Space, said to be the inspiration for Alien, and the Star Trek episode "Mirror, Mirror" (the one with evil bearded Spock.) It was made into a famous Twilight Zone episode, and is generally considered among the greatest SF stories ever written. Is "It's a Good Life" about God? Communism? 1950s suburban conformity? Or just about the horror of the self-contained world it creates in its few pages and the terrible realization that it would be possible to survive inside it, for a while?
posted by escabeche at 8:46 PM PST - 106 comments

They have carefully chosen their clothes and they have spent time in front of mirrors trimming hair from nostrils and tonight is about sex and status and supply and demand and have and have not. . . . The celebrities and the athletes and the tycoons are the ones for whom this world is zealously designed. A rung below . . . are the money guys . . . guys like that one over there in a Boss suit and John Lobb shoes, standing beside the table that cost him $3,000. Standing very close to it, like a Little Leaguer who wants to steal second but has never done it before. This gentleman’s not dancing, but he’s thinking about it. Soon Beyoncé will call all the single ladies to action and they will channel toward him in a centripetal swoosh.

Bottle girls, half-hookers, Tiger Woods, Rachel Uchitel, and the 21st-century courtesan economy. New York magazine takes a look at how America's elite nightclubs operate.
posted by Jasper Friendly Bear at 8:21 PM PST - 168 comments


Hipster Branding. Via
posted by beisny at 7:04 PM PST - 64 comments


On the basis of the facts and evidence before the committee, we conclude that if at all relevant times Rupert Murdoch did not take steps to become fully informed about phone hacking, he turned a blind eye and exhibited wilful blindness to what was going on in his companies and publications. This culture, we consider, permeated from the top throughout the organisation and speaks volumes about the lack of effective corporate governance at News Corporation and News International. We conclude, therefore, that Rupert Murdoch is not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company. [more inside]
posted by Trurl at 6:40 PM PST - 27 comments

On a desktop computer, which is faster: sending an IP packet 3,000 miles across the Atlantic ocean, or sending a pixel a couple of feet to your monitor? According to Johh Carmack, the IP packet arrives first. [more inside]
posted by Frayed Knot at 5:34 PM PST - 53 comments

"I never go looking for a sucker. I look for a Champion and make a sucker of of him." - Thomas Austin Preston Jr, aka Amarillo Slim, poker's first celebrity, has died at age 83. [more inside]
posted by mosk at 3:52 PM PST - 19 comments

You're walking through the woods. There's no one around and your phone is dead. Out of the corner of your eye, you spot him: Shia LeBoeuf
posted by sarastro at 3:46 PM PST - 35 comments

Is ESPN columnist Sarah Phillips scamming people on the internet? Eight months ago, a writer who specializes in sports-betting was hired by ESPN, sight-unseen. Fast-forward six months and accusations are swirling that she is either not who she says she is, or she is using her platform to grift internet gamblers and content creators. A story that's about fifty percent JT Leroy and fifty percent Nigerian prince.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 3:43 PM PST - 98 comments

So, would a search engine be more useful if it just didn't include the Most Popular websites? How about the ONE MILLION most popular websites?
Fortunately, it lets you adjust the filter to exclude the top 100,000, 10,000, thousand, hundred or ten. MetaFilter reappears under the 'thousand' setting.
Via WaxyLinks and HackerNews

posted by oneswellfoop at 3:30 PM PST - 12 comments

Weavrs are a species of new autonomous, emotive, social bots. They feed off of social API streams, wandering around the real world looking at things, posting recipes and dreaming. They can be used for what some might consider evil and what some might consider good. You can extend them with your own code or create a hero's journey for them to experience. If the New Aesthetic was a movie, Weavrs would be the extras.
posted by jeffkramer at 3:28 PM PST - 26 comments

What's inside your filet minion could kill you. -- Well, it probably won't, but would you order that $15 steak if you knew it was restructured out of glued-together stew meat?
posted by empath at 3:07 PM PST - 85 comments

Google is famous for it's many "doodles", some of which are nation-specific, and some are global. For International Worker's Day (aka May Day), Google has created an appropriate doodle, though it is not shown to visitors from the U.S.
posted by modernnomad at 2:36 PM PST - 51 comments

Bolivian President Evo Morales celebrated the first of May by nationalizing the electrical grid. While the move was not entirely unexpected, the blow to the Spanish-owned power company Repsol YPF is undeniable, especially in the wake of the recent call by the Argentine government to do the same.
posted by msali at 12:49 PM PST - 91 comments



A chronic public health disaster. Complex trauma and toxic stress puts children into a state of reflexive fight, flight, or freeze responses to a perpetually threatening world. The traditional authoritative response only serves to reinforce those behaviours and, perhaps worse, has long-term health consequences:
With an ACE score of 4 or more, things start getting serious. The likelihood of chronic pulmonary lung disease increases 390 percent; hepatitis, 240 percent; depression 460 percent; suicide, 1,220 percent.
One doctor describes it as “a chronic public health disaster”. Remediating this problem is going to require listening, kindness, and parachutes.
posted by davidpriest.ca at 11:39 AM PST - 53 comments

5 Ways to Spot a B.S. Political Story in Under 10 Seconds: David Wong on manipulative, inflammatory media reporting and how to weed through "pointless click-bait filler".
posted by flex at 10:36 AM PST - 75 comments

The game that you fell in love with as a child will seem lost; a thump on the floorboard of your new Mercedes, swerved at high speeds to avoid a shadow in the night. The sights and sounds and smells of football, sensual memories that stir the passions in the soul, will be reconceived and recategorized, buried behind newer, odorless versions.

Former Bronco Nate Jackson offers wisdom on the trappings of stardom to two young draftees.
posted by swift at 10:35 AM PST - 18 comments


Barnes and Noble is spinning off Nook into a subsidiary business after a $300M deal with Microsoft which gives the Redmond company a 17% stake, bringing an end to a patent dispute between the two companies and sending shares skyrocketing. Commentary from John Scalzi and Tobias Buckell. Meanwhile the Kindle Fire, Amazon's competitor to the Nook tablet, has grabbed over 50% of the Android tablet market.
posted by Artw at 9:57 AM PST - 91 comments

"I started this blog so that anyone wanting to build their own 8-bit computer could learn from my own experience and mistakes."
posted by griphus at 9:56 AM PST - 22 comments

"We had no idea we were creating an entirely new form of protest, a 'from bed activism' or an entirely different, radical new way of working for sick and disabled people. We had no idea because we could barely get through each day." For Blogging Against Disablism Day, "Benefit Scrounging Scum" reflects on her experiences fighting both the disability benefit cuts and how people with disabilities are portrayed. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse at 9:12 AM PST - 21 comments

OkayAfrica keeps up to date with pop culture and news from across the continent. Africa In Your Earbuds gives DJs and musicians from across the diaspora the chance to curate a playlist or mixtape of their favorite African and African diaspora music. Chief Boima of Dutty Artz starts off Africa In Your Earbuds. [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura at 9:05 AM PST - 8 comments

Midway between the spring equinox and the summer solstice is Belatane, when the dark half of the year ends and the light half begins. Some celebrate the spiritual. Some the social. For some Beltane stirs more earthy observations.
posted by BadMiker at 9:03 AM PST - 22 comments


“We have attempted to have a sensitive conversation, one that addresses your mortality, at the D.M.V.,” Dr. [Andrew] Cameron said. “Now we move the conversation into your own home or office with 120 of your closest friends on Facebook.” [NYT]
posted by obscurator at 8:32 AM PST - 35 comments

Welcome to the Anthropocene: A 3-minute journey through the last 250 years of our history, from the start of the Industrial Revolution to the Rio+20 Summit. The film charts the growth of humanity into a global force on an equivalent scale to major geological processes. [more inside]
posted by quin at 7:03 AM PST - 12 comments

John Peel's Record Collection "Online interactive digital museum" The Space has begun the mammoth task of digitising DJ John Peel's record collection. Now, nearly 8 years after his death, the first 100 albums under the letter A are ready, with a new letter to be released every week. With bonus content such as photos, Peel Sessions and samples of radio shows (Spotify may be required for some audio), it's a fascinating look inside the great man's never-ending enthusiasm for music.
posted by jontyjago at 6:43 AM PST - 31 comments

Machine Politics. George Hotz, Sony, and the Anonymous hacker wars.
posted by xowie at 6:33 AM PST - 21 comments

200,000 Clay Figures: British sculptor Antony Gormley is well-known for his life-size sculptures that creatively mimic the human body, but the figurative clay mounds from his series titled Field, though not as accurate in depicting mankind's form, holds deeper value for the artist. Gormley says of this project, "I wanted to work with people and to make a work about our collective future and our responsibility for it. I wanted the art to look back at us, its makers (and later viewers), as if we were responsible - responsible for the world that it [FIELD] and we were in." [Previously] [Previously]
posted by Fizz at 6:15 AM PST - 14 comments


Imagine you've been diagnosed with an incurable genetic disease and you are told you will not only lose your ability to walk and move your arms, but you will die between now and the next 18 months. What would you do? My name is Avery Lynn Canahuati, I'm almost 5 months old, and this has become my reality. [more inside]
posted by zizzle at 6:10 AM PST - 133 comments

Eva Air has introduced the Hello Kitty Jet! Check in at the Hello Kitty terminals and have a Hello Kitty themed meal. Get out of my way, I need to get a ticket!
posted by Yellow at 5:11 AM PST - 33 comments

The learning paradox is at the heart of “productive failure." While the model adopted by many teachers and employers when introducing others to new knowledge — providing lots of structure and guidance early on, until the students or workers show that they can do it on their own — makes intuitive sense, it may not be the best way to promote learning. [more inside]
posted by unSane at 5:10 AM PST - 29 comments

Zach Walls would like some of us to host a dinner. [more inside]
posted by phrits at 4:25 AM PST - 15 comments

Carl Sagan wrote, “We began as wanderers, and we are wanderers still. We have lingered long enough on the shores of the cosmic ocean. We are ready at last to set sail for the stars.” But how will humans or our machine representatives fly to the stars? [more inside]
posted by audi alteram partem at 4:14 AM PST - 42 comments


Tor developers Arturo Filasto and Jacob Appelbaum's OONI project seeks to provide "an accurate representation of network interference" such as website blocking, surveillance, and selective bandwidth slowdowns on the Filternet, aka the internet. Their OONI-probe software tool has already exposed T-Mobile USA's "Web Guard" mobile internet censorship program and Palestinian Authority's censorship of opposition websites, leading to the resignation of the MP overseeing the project. (main git repo) [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges at 12:14 AM PST - 8 comments

"I'd like my work to be found in a skip, in Southgate or somewhere, in forty years' time". Nick Papadimitriou walks and looks and writes and thinks, as he ventures around London and its fringes. He eschews the term 'psychogeography', preferring the notion of 'deep topography' to describe what he does. The London Perambulator, a short documentary about his work, was released in 2009 and features Will Self, Iain Sinclair, and Russell Brand talking about his impact on their work. His first book, Scarp, will be released by Sceptre this summer.
posted by hydatius at 12:13 AM PST - 7 comments