June 2007 Archives

June 30

Of the many Halls of Fame, try these: Beyond Zamfir, People who blow Giant Bubble Gum, Highest honor awarded to individuals in the insurance industry, Antique Whiskey Bottles, Fruit jars, and other antique bottles Hall of Fame, The Cheap-Ass Cereal Hall of Fame, Heroes of the American YO-YO Association, the 2007 Ukulele Hall of Fame Inductees, Interviews from the Official Jewish Mothers' Hall of Fame, "Bagism" Hall of Fame (people who have achieved eternal fame by answering at least 300 quiz questions about Lennon correctly), National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum, Fostering the inventive spirit in all of us, Toy Halls, Bookstores, Etc. The Hall of Fame Hall of Fame & the traditional list from wikipedia
posted by growabrain at 9:11 PM PST - 8 comments

You Choose the Cliff (NYT). In Emmy-winning Satacracy 88, as in other films by itsallinyourhands, viewers' votes determine the next episode. Other films invite more personal interaction. In Mystery at Mansfield Manor viewers interview suspects. In the BBC's Wannabes (produced by Illumina), characters seek viewers' advice. [More Inside]
posted by honest knave at 7:13 PM PST - 6 comments

Mike Essl and Greg Rivera are kinda obsessed* with Mr. T. *(polite understatement)
posted by miss lynnster at 7:07 PM PST - 30 comments

Fans of the modern classic shooter Warning Forever will be pleased with the latest game from Cactus Software, Fractal Fighter. Also try Cactus' last game, Clean Asia, a truly unique shooter that's so hard you'll cry like a baby. Via the excellent Shoot the Core, where you can also get that Thunderforce shirt you've been wanting.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 6:12 PM PST - 14 comments

The astonishing story of Japanese American artist Jimmy Mirikitani, imprisoned in an internment camp after Pearl Harbor, homeless in NYC on 9/11, taken in by documentary film maker Linda Hattendorf. Article in Bomb Magazine.
posted by Alec at 5:05 PM PST - 3 comments

Quicktime panoramas of Kyoto
posted by carter at 5:05 PM PST - 12 comments

"Dear Continental Airlines" Disgruntled airline passenger writes to customer service. Complete with hand-drawn diagrams.
posted by thatweirdguy2 at 1:50 PM PST - 113 comments

The Vegetarian Lunchbox seems like a good resource. Hadn't heard of a strawberry and cucumber sandwich before.
posted by ontic at 1:45 PM PST - 39 comments

In the early seventies, Northern Soul was divided between two great cathedrals. Wigan Casino got most of the attention, but the Blackpool Mecca attracted the purists, due to DJ Ian Levine's enormous collection of rare records. During the 80's, Levine went on to DJ at some of the major gay venues and became a notable Hi-Energy producer, but he always maintained his first love. Over the years, he has recorded and filmed many of the Northern icons, people who were ignored in their home country, but deeply loved in soul circles. These included Bob Brady, Frank Wilson, Tobi Lark, Bobby Paris, Lou Johnston, Tobi Legend and many, many more.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:43 PM PST - 12 comments


After Kwai Chung Caine and the Phantom - The Sadhu - the story of one man's choice between his spiritual oath and his human instincts. Brought to you by Virgin Comics. PDF of first issue.
posted by infini at 8:38 AM PST - 34 comments

Inversion [more pics] [text] "This house has many hearts."
posted by moonbird at 7:39 AM PST - 31 comments

Longboat! The Sea Stallion, a reconstruction of a ship scuttled off Roskilde will sail from Denmark to Dublin, where tests on timbers from the wreck show the original was built in the mid-eleventh century. (Pillaged from a centre of Irish learning)
posted by Abiezer at 6:23 AM PST - 23 comments

World Clock SWF application showing the time of day expressed in actual time, the number of species passed into extinction, barrels of oil produced, the temperature of the earth, prison population, world population, and deaths by various causes. Because, y'know, you weren't depressed enough already. Site also offers a number of free games, calculators and applications for your own site.
posted by psmealey at 4:33 AM PST - 36 comments


"We think what happened is that cats sort of domesticated themselves." A Washington Post article about new research into why our cats want to hang around with us. Also, a transcript of an online chat with research scientist Carlos A. Driscoll and an additional article about the ancient roots of domestic cats.
posted by amyms at 12:07 AM PST - 48 comments

June 29

Roger Ebert remembers Joel Siegel (1943-2007) - "A Brave Man and a Hell of a Nice Guy."
posted by Guy Smiley at 10:35 PM PST - 21 comments

Destroying a perfectly good cellphone. The inner workings and guts of the biggest new toy this year. Is it more reliable then an iPod? How many screws does it have? Is it powered by nerds wishes and dreams? The answers to these questions are maybe, 16, and you bet your sweet ass.
posted by Derek at 10:28 PM PST - 53 comments

Talking Moose lives.
posted by rxrfrx at 7:23 PM PST - 27 comments

For four months, the Kuykendalls, the Prices and the McKays say they’ve been harassed and threatened by mysterious cell phone stalkers who track their every move and occasionally lurk by their homes late at night, screaming and banging on walls. Police can’t seem to stop them. The late-night visitors vanish before officers arrive. The families say investigators have a hard time believing the stalkers can control cell phones without touching them and suspect an elaborate hoax. Complaints to their phone companies do no good – the families say they’ve been told what the stalkers are doing is impossible.
posted by daninnj at 7:06 PM PST - 99 comments

I love my friends...My friends love me...We're just as friendly...As friends can be...And just because...We really care... Whatever we get, we share.
posted by jfuller at 7:00 PM PST - 24 comments

Personal safety? Or accidents waiting to happen? (Warning, last link has immediate audio.)
posted by The Deej at 6:38 PM PST - 25 comments

The Order of Canada, Canada's highest civilian honour, is forty years old this year. Some of its Members, Officers, and Companions include people like John Kenneth Galbraith, Dan Aykroyd, Leonard Cohen, Margaret Atwood, Jean Chrétien, Northrop Frye, Pierre Trudeau, Bryan Adams, Roberta Bondar, Bruce Cockburn, Wayne Gretzky, Mary Pratt, David Cronenberg, and current Governor General Michaëlle Jean, who is not only haute, but hawt.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 5:04 PM PST - 33 comments

The Database of Mid-Victorian Wood-engraved Illustration (Centre for Editorial and Intertextual Research, Cardiff University) hosts well over eight hundred images from Victorian texts; you can browse the site by iconographic themes and features (tools, religion, etc.) or conduct more specific searches by author, publisher, and the like. For more overviews of Victorian book illustration, visit Bob Speel's nineteenth-century art website, which features a number of pages devoted to various topics in book illustration, and the Victorian Web. Illuminated Books features a small collection of digitized illustrated works, many of them Victorian; there's a larger collection at Children's Books Online. The Victorian novelist we most closely associate with book illustration is Charles Dickens, and David Perdue has brief biographical sketches of his various illustrators, with examples of their work. Famous illustrators with their own websites include Sir John Tenniel, Arthur Rackham, and Randolph Caldecott. (Main link via VICTORIA.)
posted by thomas j wise at 4:51 PM PST - 14 comments

The late great Post-Punk Junk was once the smartest, best curated music blog on the net. Then it disappeared. Now it has been reborn as a cable access style tv show. Anyone interested in what was happening with music during the years 1979-1985 (roughly) should definitely check this out. Yaheardme? Episodes collected here and here. Check out a spooky looking Nico and Cabaret Voltaire and PIL and Gang of Four and Yellow Magic Orchestra.
posted by vronsky at 4:43 PM PST - 9 comments

Totally rad Frontline video about Hero Rats who sniff out unexploded land mines in rural Tanzania. Not only a great idea, but this story had me on the edge of my seat: are the rats on a suicide mission or not?
posted by dydecker at 4:15 PM PST - 17 comments

All This and World War II [trailer; IMDB] is a 1976 musical documentary that mixes World War II newsreels and movie clips with Beatles covers. Looks like Hitler disapproved. [lots more inside]
posted by kirkaracha at 3:46 PM PST - 6 comments

The Etch-A-Sketchist draws pictures on a travel etch-a-sketch. Examples: Street Fighter II, Chewbacca and Han Solo, Iwo Jima, Optimus Prime, & MegaMan.
posted by puke & cry at 2:57 PM PST - 16 comments

Here is Uncle John Scruggs singing and playing Little Log Cabin Round the Lane in RealAudio Dial Up and DSL format. The dancing is great and I do like the walk-on kitten part, myself.

That's from the Center For Southern African-American Music Video Link Page. Their audio link page is a wonder, too with individual artists galore. But, for the real deal, check out the Various Artist compilation album pages. Those may be 20 second of so mp3 clips but, still, those Yazoo, Document and Folkways albums are the bomb and there you get a taste of what they offer. And anywhere you can hear, for example, even a few bars of Blind Alfred Reed's How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live ? or Estil C. Ball and Lacey Richardson's Trials, Troubles, Tribulations rules in my world.
posted by y2karl at 2:13 PM PST - 9 comments

Before the iPhone there were devices known as telephones.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:16 PM PST - 60 comments

There's been much talk about the Supreme's decisions on desegregation and free speech, but another ruling with broad consumer impact has gone relatively unnoticed. In a 5-4 decision [PDF], the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a 96-year-old ban on minimum pricing agreements between manufacturers and retailers. Dissenting opinion believes that this ruling will hurt consumers, raise prices and keep new retailers out of the marketplace. The 1911 ruling that was overturned was Dr. Miles Medical Co. vs. John D. Park & Sons which decided that it is always illegal for a supplier to dictate minimum prices to a retailer.
posted by dejah420 at 12:13 PM PST - 47 comments

Rock and Roll, Baby! (video)
posted by empath at 12:09 PM PST - 23 comments

This weekend marks the 10th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong to the mainland Chinese after 155 years of colonial British rule. Memories of the day are still online, showing the fear that the promised "One Country, Two Systems" policy was a trojan horse. Ten years later, the promise seems intact. Though universal suffrage seems a distant dream, religious and political freedoms are almost on par with Western standards and the economy has survived shipping its industry north. People are marking the day in different ways, while some just want to offer advice.
posted by trinarian at 11:56 AM PST - 12 comments

This next Monday, watch for the first race of Il Palio Di Siena. For several weeks before the race the streets are filled with parading, feasting, practice races in the afternoons and lots of hyped up Italians. Each neighborhood of the city trains a horse to represent it and is much rivalry that stems back to medieval times. A riderless horse can win, unless the feather on top of the bridle is knocked off, there are no rules once the race begins, may the Madonna let the best horse win.
posted by Viomeda at 11:55 AM PST - 16 comments

Need a new desktop wallpaper? Here's a gorgeous collection from Germany. Bridges, clouds, refineries, spiders, architecture, wildlife ... many of them with truly excellent color. My favorite. (And this one's begging for a drop-shadowed caption.)
posted by jbickers at 11:48 AM PST - 21 comments

The Florida Memory Project has a great audio section. In addition to podcasts and lots of individual files, they've compiled three mix cds of their offerings (Music from the Florida Folklife Collection, More Music, and Shall We Gather at the River). The real gem of the collection, though, may be the WPA recordings Zora Neale Hurston made while she was collecting folk tales in Florida. (Previous y2karl omnibus folklife post)
posted by OmieWise at 11:09 AM PST - 7 comments

That dream home isn't shaping up the way you'd hoped? Build one from scratch! You could start with a lovely thatched hut. Here's some more. Here's an African one. No vegetation up there where you live, above the Arctic Circle? You can build an igloo. For somewhat warmer areas, a yurt. No Asian import for you? There's the tipi. Need more space? A longhouse is just the thing. For more substance, a sod house. Even better - adobe. Have a look at these "Cave" houses. More ambitious? Build a castle. Whatever you put up, you'll probably need an outhouse. Unless you live on a boat.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 11:07 AM PST - 18 comments

A few cool shelves: a skull shelf and another, made of books by Jim Rosenau, invisible shelf, secret stash shelf, accordion shelf by Thut Möbel, maze shelf and broken shelves.
posted by nickyskye at 10:46 AM PST - 27 comments

MusicMoose wants "to provide the world with free, useful music lessons, and a community based site to help back it all up." The site contains hundreds of free video music lessons (often containing notation and/or tablature) with a distinct focus on acoustic and bluegrass music, all taught by some pretty badass pickers (including the astonishingly good mandolin shredder Anthony Hannigan). There are also obligatory but very useful forums. Takeaway: the whole thing is free and you don't have to register to watch the lessons.
posted by kosem at 9:51 AM PST - 15 comments

GIANT PENGUINS! The discovery in 2005 of fossils in Peru is challenging previous views about the evolution of penguins. They were tall, fast, and enjoyed being smacked by cavemen*.

* may not be true
posted by Stynxno at 9:09 AM PST - 31 comments

Crayon Physics, the delightful latest game from independent game developer Petri Purho at Kloonigames, a sort of finnish Ferry Halim. Draw objects with your crayon to get the ball to the star. The site is also home to other made-in-a-week games such as Cacodemon, which is as frustrating as it is addictive. If Crayon Physics seems too short, check out the small level pack or hack the xml to make your own. Windows only, works in Wine too
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 8:14 AM PST - 20 comments

FFF via Phit. Yeah, it's stolen from Digg, but that's a good thing. I read Digg so you don't have to.
posted by humblepigeon at 6:49 AM PST - 28 comments

Planet Earth, the new Prince album, to be given away for free as a newspaper insert. Music industry bigwigs splutter, fume.
posted by hermitosis at 6:46 AM PST - 82 comments

The Splasher: Caught? (bugmenot) The Splasher(s?) has defaced graffiti in NYC for the last seven months, focussing on graffiti artists who have found commercial success often posting pieces of a growing Manifesto. The Manifesto calls for a new radicalism in graffiti and art in general, apparently inspired by Jeanette Winterson, Guy Debord, and Sixties anarchists. Is Cooper the Splasher? Now that he's caught, is this the end, or is there more yet to come?
posted by rottytooth at 5:14 AM PST - 30 comments

Learn the 5 basic survival skills Planning that hike through the Northwest Territories this summer? You will need survival skills. Learning survival skills is an ongoing process that will last for your entire life. There is always more to learn and experience, which is part of the fun of being a survivor. And as your expertise grows the knowledge and abilities you gain is often useful in other areas. For example survivors prepare ahead of time, and they are experts in the art of ingenuity and inventiveness. Need more? Well try the survival blog for helpful answers to such questions as "How Long can I survive without food or water?" or "How can I maintain water discipline?"
posted by psmealey at 4:25 AM PST - 47 comments

Whole Foods takes London. This South Kensington flagship store is the "quasi-messianic" company's biggest ever, comprising 80,000 square feet spread out over three floors offering 10,000 grocery items. In true American style, shoppers can choose from 1,000 different wines, 425 cheeses, 40 types of sausage, 55 in-store chefs, a pub called The Bramley, a sushi bar, a champagne and oyster bar and a DJ-booth to play music for late-night shoppers. The locals seem overwhelmed by it all.
posted by chuckdarwin at 3:06 AM PST - 86 comments

June 28

While some people like their Kottkes all modern & full of links, I'll take mine old skool. Ladies & gentlemen, the greatest 12 string slide guitarist that ever lived.
posted by jonson at 9:27 PM PST - 47 comments


Mary Shelly's (awful/wonderful) Frankenstein rap. They read the book, eh?
posted by Mblue at 9:03 PM PST - 12 comments


Jetpack! Get yours for $250K.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:50 PM PST - 25 comments


Dr. Craig Venter, known for his role as a pioneer in the human genome project, has taken a major step towards creating life from scratch: transplanting the entire genome from one bacterium cell to another. Commence the ethics wars.
posted by charmston at 5:28 PM PST - 32 comments

Fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000 rejoice! Three of MST3K's writer/characters — Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett, and Kevin Murphy — have started a new venture: The Film Crew.
posted by Dave Faris at 4:47 PM PST - 48 comments

Stephen Colbert's Tek Jansen: The Comic Book is coming to newsstands in two weeks, but you can see an entire 7-page Tek story at Entertainment Weakly Weekly's EWW EW.com. A little promotionally fluffy info. Of course, there has already been Tek Jansen fan fiction, but this is, like, authorized and pre-read by Stephen Himself.
posted by wendell at 4:06 PM PST - 29 comments

Chema Madoz -- photos
posted by amberglow at 1:21 PM PST - 29 comments



"Should we ever hear the space-phone ringing, for God's sake let us not answer". First we are told Space Colonisation is a stupid and expensive idea. Then that contact with space aliens is inadvisable. Maybe David Bowie was right, the government would just ruin it anyway. That's why we can't have nice things.
posted by takeyourmedicine at 10:32 AM PST - 92 comments

The Brain That Wouldn't Die is the best public domain movie I've seen all week. Abe Baker's spooky original jazz score is a staple in sci-fi B movies. The monster is played by Eddie Carmel, subject of Diane Arbus' A Jewish giant at home with his parents in the Bronx, N.Y. 1970, in his first screen appearance. And I can't overlook the feminist take on this postwar gorefest. See for yourself.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot at 10:23 AM PST - 23 comments

Essential tones of music rooted in human speech. Original Duke University paper by Deborah Ross, Jonathan Choi and Dale Purves [pdf].
posted by nickyskye at 10:14 AM PST - 49 comments

In late March the body of Lindsay Ann Hawker was found in a bathtub on the balcony of a Chiba apartment. This week, with the help of UK officers, the Hawker family has returned to Tokyo, to seek help to find the main suspect Tatsuya Ichihashi, who has been missing since the discovery of the body.
posted by gomichild at 9:49 AM PST - 48 comments

HelpMyBabyLive.com It comes down to this. If we can't raise the $50,000 in the next 3 months, we'll have to choose abortion. And you thought Save Karyn was bad. Via
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:55 AM PST - 176 comments

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip ends tonight, and Aaron Sorkin will be leaving television production for a while. His current project is Charlie Wilson's War, a movie starring Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and Philip Seymour Hoffman, based on the late George Crile's excellent, funny nonfic book of the same name. The movie will trace "party animal" Congressman Charles "Good Time Charlie" Wilson's (D, TX) rise from a scandal (he was caught in "a hot tub tryst with two cocaine-sniffing showgirls in Las Vegas",) to his role in the 1980's covertly funding Afghanistan guerrillas so they could expand their war with the Soviet Union. Wilson's actions would eventually help collapse the Afghan PDPA government, a power vacuum which would be filled by the Taliban. Who would have thought ending the Cold War would be so easy?
posted by zarq at 8:04 AM PST - 60 comments

German Geek website reports that the The Iphone-Killer (the Iphone for geeks), OpenMoko, starts shipphing July. Unlike Apples Iphone, OpenMoke is not closed platform. The German Website reports further that OpenMokos 2nd hardware revision will provide WiFi, 3D acceleration and 256 MB Flash (shipping starts October 2007).

Forgive me, if the post is better suited for /.
posted by yoyo_nyc at 7:31 AM PST - 76 comments

On June 13th Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., issued subpoenas to two former White House officials compelling them to provide testimony and related information as part of ongoing congressional investigations into the mass firings of well-performing federal prosecutors and the politicization of hiring and firing within the Department of Justice. Today is the deadline for handing over the requested information and the Whitehouse has stated that it will not be complying with the request.
posted by Mr_Zero at 7:18 AM PST - 105 comments

"PLASMA PONG is a variation of PONG that utilizes real-time fluid dynamics to drive the game environment. ... In the game you can inject plasma fluid into the environment, create a vacuum from your paddle, and blast shockwaves into the playing area."
posted by jbickers at 7:10 AM PST - 13 comments

Not without some controversy, the advertising industry collectively patted itself on the back again while competing for lions at the Cannes Advertising Festival last week. All the winning commercials are now viewable on-line. The Cannes Fringe provided more insight, while others attempted to distill the festival's essence via text-mining; meantime, Cannes't had its ears to the ground. One of the few alternative events: The Coney Island Advertising Festival (which could presumably feature the best illegal advertising). My personal short-list among the winning films (all .mov's): Epuron - The Power of Wind ; Pot Noodle - Intro, Italy/Wales ; Altoids - Banana Hands Allen ; Axe 3 - Crashes ; Vaseline - Sea of Skin ; Big Yellow Storage - Tide ; Discovery Channel - In A Man's Life ; as well as the Grand Prix winner Dove - Evolution.
posted by progosk at 6:33 AM PST - 18 comments

'Graffiti' even a grandma could love. (flickr flash slide show link). (Same flickr set, regular view.) Even if it isn't Pablo Picasso, my own flashlight 'drawings' never came out this well.
posted by From Bklyn at 2:18 AM PST - 25 comments

The Best Laid Plans: The Story of How the Government Ignored Its Own Gulf Coast Hurricane Plans. A new report from CREW describes FEMA's plan to respond to a hurricane of Katrina’s magnitude and its subsequent failure to implement that plan. [Via C&L.]
posted by homunculus at 12:52 AM PST - 33 comments

June 27

Surprisingly sensitive alien sex. Skip the first four unfortunate images to get to the good stuff: sweetly erotic alien sex porn. Going gray never looked so hot. [nsfw, duh] [via Nerve's Scanner]
posted by mediareport at 8:09 PM PST - 105 comments


Mika Brzezinski of MSNBC channels the popular outrage over Paris Hilton oversaturation during a time when mainstream media has grown bored with the war.
posted by hermitosis at 7:20 PM PST - 77 comments

Bigfoot? Meh. Real Pseudoscientists hunt the MONGOLIAN DEATH WORM! Watch out for its acid spit! And the electricity it shoots out of its eyeballs. Now, see Richard Freeman's tireless search for this mighty beast in "The Lair of the Red Worm". (Part 1)(Part 2) Flee for your lives!
posted by unreason at 6:39 PM PST - 12 comments

Fanboifilter: Bad Brains have a new album out balled Build a Nation. Some people like it, some people kind of like it. The Onion link has one song up, their myspace page has four more, along with a pic of smiling album producer Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys (interview).
posted by bardic at 6:15 PM PST - 28 comments

AHHHH!!! An unintentional disruption pre-empted morning radio and television throughout Illinois this week when a FEMA contractor mistakenly sent the highest level of alert codes (Presidential) through the Emergency Alert System during the installation of an upgrade. (A year to the day after the upgrades were ordered) It's not the first time false warnings have been sent. Apparently (before the upgrades) the EAS data headers had no authentication and someone could have hacked a t.v. or radio station using a Mr. Microphone. The old Emergency Broadcast System had an authenticator word list, like the tone, and the voice, the words themselves were slightly unsettling. I know the old EBS tests used to scare the hell out of me. The 1971 false alarm was initiated with the code word: HATEFULNESS.
posted by Smedleyman at 5:16 PM PST - 31 comments


Go skateboarding Day didn't end well for a bunch of teenagers in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Youtube Video. Unreasonable/Excessive force by the police? You decide.
posted by blaneyphoto at 2:53 PM PST - 175 comments

Brian Dewan, "The Vice Principal of Rock," sings a selection of campaign songs... because zither is the last word in rock this campaign season. Hearken! (previously)
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:51 PM PST - 9 comments

Broadway's original Effie White, Jennifer Holliday, has been very open about how haunted and snubbed she felt during the production of the Dreamgirls movie. In particular she was hurt when, without permission, her own singing voice was used in a theatrical trailer to promote the production that had completely shut her out. Yesterday at the BET Awards she was finally given some overdue recognition and invited to join Jennifer Hudson onstage for a duet of the song she made famous. You may have heard the song a hundred times, but try to make it 101. 'Cuz seriously, the girls can sing. Previously.
posted by miss lynnster at 1:00 PM PST - 46 comments

/UBU Editions--Third Series. New, handsome, pdf editions of eleven out-of-print books, including ones by Maurice Blanchot, Claude Simon, Monique Wittig, and Rosemarie Waldrop. Be sure to also look at the first two series of /ubu editions. Previous ubuweb.
posted by OmieWise at 12:36 PM PST - 9 comments

China expands its influence in Latin America. Last time we looked, China had become a major investor and player in Africa. But in the last four years, the rise of Chinese-Latin American trade, investment and influence has been nothing short of explosive. And with not just the usual suspects, but many nations, and including sensitive arms deals to Bolivia. A good thing? Opinions differ. The rise of the softer superpower continues. Well, when the world's #1 has other priorities, they're bound to neglect their own back yard...
posted by Bletch at 10:41 AM PST - 37 comments

How Many Ways Can You Spell V1@gra? Building on previous research (Cockerham, 2004), Brian Hayes attempts to find the limits of Viagra-spammer ingenuity.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 10:06 AM PST - 17 comments

Why yes, I WOULD like to ride a rocket into space, then jump out of it and free-float to an Earth re-entry. Columbia widower Jonathan Clark and X Prize launcher Rick Tumlinson want to redefine re-entry. Whether for fun or for survival, the two want to make it possible for you or me to survive the 150 mile, 18,000 MPH, 8.2G, 3,000°F fall back to Earth in the worlds first orbital life vest. [via]
posted by daHIFI at 9:27 AM PST - 49 comments

Busted! In one of the biggest counterfeit busts in years, a 19-month investigation reached its climax on Tuesday as federal officials conducted early-morning raids throughout the NY metropolitan area, arresting 29 people, seizing more than $230 million in merchandise and ultimately dismantling three operations believed to have imported more than $700 million in fake products over the last 24 months.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:47 AM PST - 147 comments

..."imagine a painter who could, like Vermeer, capture the quality of light that a camera can, but with the color of paints...scanned with an ordinary office scanner"....Katinka Matson is cofounder of the brilliant and very readable ezine, Edge. Her digital art is featured there. Thumbnails of her 40 flowers. 12 flowers. Five flowers. Red anemone.
posted by nickyskye at 7:30 AM PST - 44 comments

Comic Wonder is a new joke telling and rating site. With jokes as audio, would-be comics are able to capture the timing and tone that make many jokes funny.
posted by scottreynen at 6:59 AM PST - 8 comments

The 10 Strangest Weapons Through History. Be amazed by the antics of the Goliath! Marvel at the small size (and poor firing ability) of the General Motors FP-45! Be shredded to tiny tiny bits by the Urumi! (And wonder why the Trebuchet made the list!)
posted by 40 Watt at 6:45 AM PST - 68 comments

The Algalita Marine Research Foundation's video Synthetic Sea is pretty shocking. "All we can do is stop polluting and hope the system will clean itself up in hundreds of years." So, what will be the fate of the plastic bag until the inevitable ban comes? Should they be Taxed? Should they be Banned ? Should stores charge extra for them? We don't really have a lot of time to argue about it.
posted by chuckdarwin at 6:39 AM PST - 36 comments

Monty Python video wall. Bunny! Hedgehog! Kitten! Puppy! Metafilter! FERROFLUID! (Or go nuts, make your own) From the previously mentioned makers of such amusing things as the amazing subdomain interface synonym finder, serving all your kitten, underwear and silhouette-related needs. And there's more.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:55 AM PST - 23 comments

Life at Google - The Microsoftie Perspective Microsoft Employee writes: "The following has been making the rounds on just about every internal email list I belong to in Microsoft. Here it is to share a little insight with the rest of the world. Microsoft is an amazingly transparent company. Google is not. Any peek is a good peek." Let the metavalanche begin.
posted by psmealey at 5:45 AM PST - 66 comments

Granular and Disordered Media. Condensed Matter Physics. Balloon jump. Balloon burst.
posted by three blind mice at 3:01 AM PST - 9 comments

The New Zealand media knows when something is funny[youtube], but seems parliament lacks a sense of humor. Parliament is moving to restrict publication of footage of MPs misbehaving. Oh well. No more of this then. Censorship of satire? What Next?
posted by chrisbucks at 1:39 AM PST - 12 comments


June 26

Bugaboo Daytrips is a gorgeous site featuring 22 strollable daytrips in major cities worldwide (not just US Only), all laid out on beautiful artistic (yet still helpful) maps with downloadable PDFs for taking with you on your wanderings. For those terrified of being marketed to, it should be noted that Bugaboo is a baby stroller company, although the site is by no means of restricted interest to parents only, and bugbaoo's presence on the site seems confined to the URL. Also note that unfortunately for those alergic to it, the site is designed entirely in Flash. On the other hand, the maps & art are really awesome, so you should do yourself a favor & get over it this time. Via.
posted by jonson at 10:55 PM PST - 16 comments

Ana Voog is spending the week nude online (NSFW, duh). Former leader of the long-standing Minneapolis Pop-Rock band The Blue Up? Rachel Olson reinvented herself as Ana Voog and became one of the first to put herself under near constant home surveillance online with her Anacam (wacky flash, NSFW). This August will mark her tenth anniversary online, making hers (by her own reckoning) the longest running home cam on the internet. To celebrate she's spending the week naked. Did I mention she's 35 weeks pregnant and planning to give birth online?
posted by nanojath at 10:15 PM PST - 59 comments

Anyone who has spent time browsing through Deviant Art has almost certainly run into the cartoons of a young Australian woman named Gemma Wilson. She is fond of Harry Potter, snakepeople and (occasionally) torture and hermaprodites. She has a fan club. And she has detractors. Make of this what you will.
posted by metasonix at 9:57 PM PST - 29 comments

Social Class Calculator From the NYT series on social class. What is social class in America? Little has changed in fifty years, or has it?
posted by caddis at 9:49 PM PST - 65 comments

Matthias Wandel's astounding wooding calculatory enigma. A woodworker turns his talents to binary mathematics via a cunning series of cats-eyes, clinkers and rounders. Plus many other marbled wonders. [this might be marbles]
posted by boo_radley at 5:36 PM PST - 40 comments

MIT researchers can reverse some symptoms of autism and mental retardation in mice by suppressing a specific enzyme. The research, conducted at the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, is due to be posted on PNAS Online some time this week. Here is the MIT article. The specific symptoms reversed included hyperactivity, purposeless/repetitive movements, attention deficits and learning/memory challenges. The research was funded by the FRAXA Foundation, the Simons Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, and the National Institutes of Health. According to the CDC, the genetic causes treated by this particular technique (called FXS) affects one in 4,000 males and one in 6,000 females of all races and ethnic groups. I would be interested in hearing about reactions that might be taking place in the various autism-related communities.
posted by christopherious at 5:03 PM PST - 25 comments

Puzzability is a puzzle writing company created by three former editors of Games Magazine. Start with their puzzle sampler and come back for a set of regularly updated games. Puzzability is also responsible for creating the New York Times' intricately crafted Op-Ed Puzzles. Unlike the Times' daily crosswords, these wonderfully elaborate puzzles are available in a free archive.
posted by lalex at 2:22 PM PST - 8 comments

Better Off Dead Camaro. Finding and fixing the 1967 Camaro SS-350 from Better Off Dead.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:50 PM PST - 74 comments

Introducing rPhone - Industry insiders at PiratePalooza have the specs on the first iPhone killer.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:16 PM PST - 43 comments

Peak Suburbia.
posted by chunking express at 1:13 PM PST - 82 comments

Photography: Young talent and older talent. The artistic photo journalist, this project is rare.
posted by Viomeda at 12:50 PM PST - 13 comments


Robert Watt, Canada's Chief Herald is retiring. He has held the office since its inception in 1988 and has developed an international reputation for practicing an old world art in a new world context. Among his more interesting designs are those for the municipality of Delta, British Columbia, an Ottawa synagogue and the personal coat of arms for our Haitian-born Governor-General, Michaëlle Jean.
posted by salishsea at 12:10 PM PST - 6 comments

Suspension is the act of hanging one’s body from hooks inserted into the flesh. It has its origins in Hindu and Native American rituals, but it’s more recently been adopted by the body modification community, in part thanks to Fakir Mustafar, a leading figure in the movement. Motivations for suspending range from thrill-seeking to spiritual enlightenment, and the possible suspension positions are similarly varied. People have suspended their bodies from electrical towers, luggage carts, and from other people; over waterfalls in the nude (nsfw); even while getting married. Read about how it’s done, or go learn for yourself.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:56 AM PST - 81 comments


Fifty years ago, I suspect that along with Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, and Sandy Koufax, most Americans could have named, at the very least, Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg, Arthur Miller, Thornton Wilder, Georgia O'Keeffe, Leonard Bernstein, Leontyne Price, and Frank Lloyd Wright. Not to mention scientists and thinkers like Linus Pauling, Jonas Salk, Rachel Carson, Margaret Mead, and especially Dr. Alfred Kinsey.
The prepared text of the speech delivered by Dana Gioia at Stanford University Commencement on June 17, 2007.
posted by cgc373 at 10:38 AM PST - 153 comments

In 1973 CIA director James Schlesinger asked "employees to report activities they thought might be inconsistent with the Agency’s charter." You know, illegal stuff, black ops, the works. The resulting top secret documents are called the "Family Jewels." Today they were released. Press release with link to documents.
posted by MarshallPoe at 10:20 AM PST - 34 comments

"In this film, director Shanker wanted to change Rajini's wheatish complexion to a white European complexion. It has taken 25 dedicated CG technicians almost a year to achieve this 6 ½ min. feat."
posted by tighttrousers at 10:06 AM PST - 42 comments

Classic Car Restorations - I was particularly taken by the Model A and the parade ground car of Stalin.
posted by Wolfdog at 8:38 AM PST - 24 comments

LOOK UP! (or down, if you happen to be reading from one of these. The annual "Amazing Roswell UFO Festival" happens this weekend, and it looks like people - er, visitors - are coming from all over! Who knew back in 1947 that this little incident would be the start of an entire sub-culture? Well, for me the fascination started with two of the the greatest UFO movies ever. For my grandparents, it started with one of the greatest radio broadcasts ever. But hey, there's no need to rely on fiction when we have one of the most insanely great UFO videos of all time provided by none other than the Mexican Government! Seen anything strange in the sky yourself lately? If so, you'd better report it here.
posted by janetplanet at 8:22 AM PST - 18 comments

Perfect Stars is pretty damn beautiful
posted by es_de_bah at 8:08 AM PST - 15 comments

The Record Industry's Decline. "The record companies have created this situation themselves," says Simon Wright, CEO of Virgin Entertainment Group, which operates Virgin Megastores. Rosen and others see that 2001-03 period as disastrous for the business. "That's when we lost the users," Rosen says. "Peer-to-peer took hold. That's when we went from music having real value in people's minds to music having no economic value, just emotional value."
posted by geoff. at 6:47 AM PST - 279 comments

Bored of her (award-nominated) years as the glamourpuss of "Family Affairs", thanks to a chance encounter with Rat Scabies, Ebony's found her new calling as the Grace Jones of nu clash, a figurehead for blavers, M.I.A.-meets-Lil Kim-meets-Peaches, "Harry Potter with a vagina". For all those reared on Esg, Bow Wow Wow, Nina Hagen and Delta 5 who weren't able to catch her headlining the Flaming Love Palace at Glastonbury this past weekend: have a read, a look and a listen to the as-yet unsigned Ebony Bones (no, not these). Personal favorites: Don't Fart On My Heart (video) - I'm Ur Future X Wife remix - No Blacks, No Irish, No Dogs at 3:08 of Don't Dance So Fast.
posted by progosk at 6:45 AM PST - 31 comments

Oh mah tailbone! Classic episodes of Deputy Dawg. Hen House Hassle; Seize You Later, Alligator; Dog-Gone Catfish; and Aig Plant. Oh, mah cotton-pickin' tailbone!
posted by John of Michigan at 5:08 AM PST - 12 comments

Who was Garry Owens? That’s right, he's an American radio announcer, but kids all over the world grew up with his distinctive voice He probably better known for his work as the voice of this great American cold war warrior, and grist to this gratuitous youtube post. Roger Ramjet and his Eagles Fighting for our freedom
posted by mattoxic at 4:15 AM PST - 25 comments

Sellaband launched in August of 2006. You get the chance to buy $10 shares in a band and when they reach $50,000 they get to record an album - it was met with cynicism in some quarters. Ten months later six bands have reached the $50,000 mark and the first two albums are available [Dutch nu-metallers Nemesea & Hawaiian singer-songwriter Cubworld] with four other artists about to enter the studio - Second Person from the UK, Clemence from France, Lily from the US and Maitreya from New Zealand.
posted by meech at 3:24 AM PST - 10 comments

Möbius Transformations Revealed [yöutube alert] See also: Stereographic Projection Demo.
posted by chuckdarwin at 2:13 AM PST - 17 comments

June 25

Your webcomic is bad and you should feel bad. Many of the most popular comics on the Internet aren't just weird, they're terrible. And creepy. Like Dominic Deegan, which justifies rape in a storyline. Also, Girly's creator critiques the art of several webcomics, both good and bad.
posted by clockworkjoe at 11:13 PM PST - 114 comments




Coming weeks after the fake (and illegal?) "death" of WWE supremo Vince McMahon, police have confirmed the deaths of Canadian pro wrestler Chris "Wild Pegasus"/"The Dyname Kid" Benoit, his wife and son. Gone too soon. Relive his greatest hits through the just-posted tributes on YouTube: [1] [2] [3] [4] .
posted by docgonzo at 7:48 PM PST - 74 comments

This fellow reads up on electricity generating machines in old books and then builds them.
posted by tellurian at 6:31 PM PST - 14 comments

Essentalist explanations. Maintained by John Cowan, this list boils down dozens of languages, real, invented, and imaginary, to their pithy essences. "Japanese is essentially 16th-century Chinese, 17th-century Portuguese, 18th-century Dutch, 19th-century French and 20th-century English with an abhorrence of consonant clusters." "Esperanto is essentially Spanish with extra 'x's and 'k's." "Klingon is essentially Arabic spoken through a set of bulky false teeth." "English is essentially a half dozen other languages locked in a small room. They fight."
posted by escabeche at 5:43 PM PST - 37 comments

You've heard about MS-13. But did you expect that members of “The World's Most Dangerous Gang” would now be testifying for the prosecution? Other witnesses would be envious. The saga of The Butterfly and the Knife is in a new chapter. (Previously)
posted by Robert Angelo at 5:23 PM PST - 6 comments

The glass flowers of Leopold Blaschka were created to provide enduring botanical teaching models. During his lifetime 4,000 models were created; a selection of 17 specimens are currently on display at the Corning Museum of Glass. MeFi has previously been treated to the splendor of the Blaschka marine invertebrates.
posted by donovan at 5:20 PM PST - 12 comments

When people think of Old Time Radio, they usually think of the standards: Amos 'n Andy, Burns and Allen, Dragnet, etc. etc. I won't link to them because they are all over the 'net, and you can find them easily. But you almost certainly don't know about Vic and Sade ... and you should.

Read the good Wikipedia article first, to whet your appetite even more, then go listen! [more inside]
posted by woodblock100 at 4:15 PM PST - 25 comments

Vertigo got you spinning? The answers to your problems and more are available at the Hitchcock DVD Wiki.
posted by felix at 4:08 PM PST - 5 comments

I'm rubbish at political comedy, so I'll leave it up to Tim Ireland to properly say Goodbye, Tony Blair. (via)
posted by anonaccount at 3:50 PM PST - 17 comments

Peter B. Kaplan is a New York Photographer who made his name by climbing to high locations and taking amazing super-wide angle shots since the 70's -- most notably, the Statue of Liberty restoration project. He recently had to stop after 40 years because he started suffering from vertigo. After laying off ginkgo biloba, Kaplan’s vertigo and fear of heights has apparently disappeared.
posted by Dave Faris at 3:41 PM PST - 4 comments

The top 10 dead (or dying) computer skills. "Obsolescence is a relative -- not absolute -- term in the world of technology."
posted by caddis at 3:40 PM PST - 66 comments

Amazing photo sequence from the Philadelphia Inquirer on the ironworkers building the top floors (45 - 55) of the Comcast Center. Not safe for those with Vertigo. Via.
posted by jonson at 3:21 PM PST - 29 comments


The Private Life of a Cat, 1944, (GoogleVideo, 22 minutes), is a gem of a silent film by Alexander Hammid, about a mother cat giving birth, her relationship with her kittens and mate.
posted by nickyskye at 10:51 AM PST - 29 comments

A very big day for the District of Columbia Superior Court. In Pearson v. Soo Chung (pdf of opinion), Judge Judith Bartnoff ruled that Custom Cleaners is not liable to Roy L. Pearson for "various calculations of damages that go as high as $67 million" over "a pair of allegedly missing pants." The other shoe is yet to drop. Judge Bartnoff ruled that Pearson must pay the defendants' court costs and will consider forcing Pearson to pay the defendants' attorneys' fees. ( previously.)
posted by Slap Factory at 10:50 AM PST - 55 comments

A very big day for the Supreme Court. In Morse v. Fredrick, the Court ruled that a school could suspend a child for holding up a "Bong HiTs for Jesus" banner. (Previous post here). In Hein v. Freedom from Religion, the Court held that taxpayers lacked standing to challenged Faith Based Initiatives (previous discussions). In Wilke v. Robbins, the Court held that land owners do not have Bivens claims if the federal government harasses landowners for easements. In FEC v. Wisconsin Right to Life, the Court held that the portion of the campaign finance law which had blackout periods before elections on issue advocacy advertising was an unconstitutional restriction of speech (other). This Thursday, the Justices will deliver their last opinions of the term, including a death penalty case and the school assignment cases. (Opinions are .pdfs)
posted by dios at 10:15 AM PST - 224 comments

Brides get trashed
posted by nuclear_soup at 9:57 AM PST - 40 comments

BYT: A lot of our readers at Brightest Young Things are young women. Is there a main thrust of Vagina Power that you want to communicate directly to them? It was just this morning, on the prompting of a friend, that I found myself examining Alexyss Tylor's Vagina Power again, including our home grown transcript of her vagina power philosophy. Maybe it's just a coincidence, but when I tuned into my favorite website about the D.C. social scene this morning, I fell off my chair. [nsfw]
posted by awesomebrad at 9:29 AM PST - 40 comments

A lovely free online text on the Fundamentals of Piano Practice. (Tuning, too.)
posted by Wolfdog at 7:36 AM PST - 18 comments

The Problem of Nuclear Waste, for kids: Imagine what your house would be like if no one EVER took out the garbage. Not only would your home be dirty and stinky, but it would also be a very unhealthy place to live. See Yucca Mountain Johnny while you can, because it looks like he won't be around much longer.
posted by cerebus19 at 6:04 AM PST - 41 comments

Viewing American class divisions through Facebook and MySpace: "Hegemonic American teens (i.e. middle/upper class, college bound teens from upwards mobile or well off families) are all on or switching to Facebook. Marginalized teens, teens from poorer or less educated backgrounds, subculturally-identified teens, and other non-hegemonic teens continue to be drawn to MySpace. A class division has emerged and it is playing out in the aesthetics, the kinds of advertising, and the policy decisions being made." (Related blog post)
posted by heatherann at 5:19 AM PST - 143 comments

Simulated jet colliding with the World Trade Center: Researchers at Purdue University have created a simulation to study in detail what likely happened when a commercial airliner crashed into the World Trade Center's North Tower on Sept. 11, 2001. Youtube link.
posted by DreamerFi at 4:50 AM PST - 90 comments

The human network is the paradigm and the infrastructure which supports social software.
posted by zippy at 4:47 AM PST - 16 comments

Lost Art is the fascinating site of Brazilian Mefite Ignacio Aronovich and Louise Chin. It's a deep vein of adventurous, quirky, and kinky photo essays from around the globe. Scroll down on the main page to see a text menu or browse the visual index. Much content is NSFW but - stick with "adventure" and "travel" if that's a concern - or view the SFW slide show Our Year in Pictures 2006 (with sound) or without sound.
posted by madamjujujive at 4:39 AM PST - 5 comments

Birmingham’s iconic, 200 foot high Selfridge’s building has been scaled by an anonymous teenage equivalent of Alain Robert (previously). A friend filmed the feat and posted it to YouTube, although local (text) news (YouTube) claims it has now been removed. But has it?
posted by MrMustard at 1:32 AM PST - 43 comments

SciTalks - from the press release [19 June]: "The site launches today with over 1,000 lectures online, and more are being added daily. Segments range from a series of hour-long lectures by the late Richard Feynman, to a short, hilarious Ali G interview with Noam Chomsky, and a fascinating talk on designing a semiconductor-based brain, by up-and-coming Stanford researcher Kwabena Boahen." [via]
posted by peacay at 1:06 AM PST - 7 comments

June 24

The play R.U.R. (or Rossum's Universal Robots) and the novel The War with the Newts, both by the redoubtable Karel Čapek.
posted by Iridic at 7:28 PM PST - 8 comments

Only four percent of Mexican households have cable TV and 19 percent of the population uses the Internet.
posted by Yakuman at 7:23 PM PST - 32 comments

Judge bans the word "rape" from a rape trial. Jeffre Cheuvront, a Nebraska judge, "granted a motion by defense attorneys barring the use of the words rape, sexual assault, victim, assailant, and sexual assault kit from the trial of Pamir Safi—accused of raping Tory Bowen in October 2004." This move follows some tightening of language during trials meant to avoid unnecessarily swaying jury members. But has it gone too far this time?
posted by cmgonzalez at 7:11 PM PST - 112 comments


I who have nothing.
posted by vronsky at 6:40 PM PST - 60 comments

Earthlings (1 hr 35 min Google video) is "a feature length documentary about humanity's absolute dependence on animals (for pets, food, clothing, entertainment, and scientific research) but also illustrates our complete disrespect for these so-called 'non-human providers.'" Also in three parts on YouTube.
posted by homunculus at 4:00 PM PST - 71 comments

Forget the film, watch the titles is a collection of high quality streaming video versions of graphically well-designed title sequences from a number of movies, both famous & less well known, with the only prerequisite being amazing design. My favorite from the collection is this one, which is very similar to my favorite title sequence ever. For rabid Title Sequence enthusiasts with 20 minutes to spare, these YouTube clips contained edits of the top 25 best title sequences ever, (as chosen by the guy who put the clips together).
posted by jonson at 3:16 PM PST - 47 comments

'A Different Understanding With the President' The first of four chapters in this week's Washington Post on how Dick Cheney became the most influential and powerful man ever to hold the office of vice president. This series examines Cheney's largely hidden and little-understood role in crafting policies for the War on Terror, the economy and the environment. By Barton Gellman and Jo Becker.
posted by psmealey at 3:06 PM PST - 83 comments

Nearly all movie trailers shown in theaters, and on the web, come with a so-called green tag, saying they are approved for all audiences, or a red tag, saying they are approved for only restricted audiences. Since 2000, many theaters will not run red tag trailers; Warner Brothers will not make red tag trailers, and Universal Pictures has not ran one in theaters since "American Pie" in 1999. Wishing to show audiences more "edgy" previews, the producers are looking to the internet.

Rob Zombie’s “Halloween” remake became the first to display a new yellow tag, signaling that the movie was rated PG-13 or above, and the preview was “approved only for age-appropriate Internet users” — mandatd by the MPAA as visitors to sites either frequented mainly by grown-ups (as determined by Nielsen's Web Demographic reports) or accessible only between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m.

This August’s “Superbad” (autoplay music...) has an R-rated, red tag internet trailer, which MPAA regulations require a viewer to pass an age-verification test, in which the viewer 17 and older has to match their name, birthday and ZIP code against public government records on file." [via nytimes.com]
posted by pwb503 at 2:07 PM PST - 67 comments

Boy's Hug Lands Him in Trouble At School With "No Touching" Policy. 7th grader Hal Beaulieu "hopped up from his lunch table one day a few months ago, sat next to his girlfriend and slipped his arm around her shoulder. That landed him a trip to the school office." Handshakes could be gang signs, and officials note, "in a culturally diverse school...families might have different views of what is appropriate." The PTA President remarks: ""Even high-fives can get out of hand ... someone can get bonked in the head." (CNN News Video)
posted by shivohum at 12:02 PM PST - 108 comments

The Etruscan civilization flourished in central Italy around the 6th century BC before the rise of the Roman Empire. Known for high art and high living, some say the Etruscans were influential in molding Roman and western civilization, however it has always been an enigma on where the Etruscans originally came from. DNA evidence has probably solved the mystery, confirming what Greek historian Herodotus first said over 2,500 years ago.
posted by stbalbach at 10:53 AM PST - 33 comments

Danger in Tow - Driving with rented risks. U-Haul International is the nation's largest provider of rental trailers. A Los Angeles Times investigation finds the company's practices raise the risk of accidents on the road.

This in-depth article is the first in a 3 part series. "Times reporters Alan C. Miller and Myron Levin reviewed thousands of pages of court records, police reports and other documents on U-Haul operations and accidents. They interviewed more than 200 people, including about 60 current and former U-Haul employees and dealers. They spoke at length with senior U-Haul executives and toured company facilities in Phoenix." (About this series.)
posted by The Deej at 9:30 AM PST - 49 comments

The folks from Japanese public TV's excellent children's show "Pythagora Switch" have for several years been creating some of the most delightful and inventive Rube Goldberg-esque contraptions you're likely to ever see. Here's a 9 minute clip featuring lots of these little kinetic masterpieces, guaranteed to entertain.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:20 AM PST - 43 comments

June 23

Is the USA the Saudi Arabia of Coal? Not so fast! It appears that US coal reserves have been grossly overstated. (See also this report in PDF format.) Does this mean we've already hit peak coal in the lower 48? How does this change the plans of those who want to use CTL to ease our dependence on foreign oil.
posted by Crotalus at 10:40 PM PST - 28 comments


HELLO KITTY HELL
posted by loquacious at 8:37 PM PST - 35 comments

Apoteket Orkestern.
posted by hama7 at 7:56 PM PST - 23 comments

In 2003, the Flying Karamazov Brothers workshopped a piece with The Bobs entitled "The Comedy of Eras". In 1992, they performed a show about Le Pétomane billed as "A Comedy of Airs". And in 1983, they started the cycle by creating a vaudeville adaptation of Shakespeare's "The Comedy of Errors". When they brought this adaptation back to the stage in 1987, PBS aired a performance live from Lincoln Center. Tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of that broadcast, and if you enjoy good juggling or bad Shakespeare, you can celebrate by watching it online: part 1, part 2. (Last two links are Google Video, about an hour each.)
posted by hades at 4:46 PM PST - 18 comments

Philosophy of History is what the page is called; it's by a philosophy professor, Kelley L. Ross, Ph.D., who's a libertarian and obsessed with Leonard Nelson and the Friesian School, whatever the hell that is. Never mind all that. If you scroll down past the essays and the Military History section and the calendars and the book reviews, you get to the Reference Resources. As he says, "Not all of history may be covered here, but a very extensive fragment of it certainly is." Take, as one tiny example, Margraves & Counts of Flanders. There's a longish introduction and a colored map, then there are lists of rulers and detailed genealogies accompanied by more text, then similarly for the Counts of Artois, the Kings & Dukes of Brittany, the Counts of Anjou, the Dukes of Normandy, the Counts of Blois & Champagne, the Counts of Toulouse, the Dukes of Aquitaine and Dukes of Gascony, the Lords & Counts of Foix, the Kings and Lords of Man, the Dukes of Marlborough and Earls of Spencer (including a detailed list of the Vanderbilts), the Dukes of Buccleuch, Grafton, & St. Albans, and the Dukes of Berwick & Fitzjames. That's one page. There are dozens and dozens of them. The Prime Ministers of the Dominions, the Kings of Bohemia, Hungary, and Poland, the Islâmic Rulers of North Africa, the Emperors of India, China, & Japan, all the way down to the Mangïts of Bukhara, 1747-1920. If you have any interest in history, This Site's For You.
posted by languagehat at 3:31 PM PST - 48 comments

Chippewa Lake Park is a former amusement park in Ohio; opened in 1878, it closed in 1978 due to lack of attendance. During the decades since then, the ballroom, roller coasters & other rides have lain abandoned as the surrounding forest reclaims them.
posted by jonson at 2:55 PM PST - 40 comments

"Even the best-endowed regimes need help navigating the shoals of Washington, and it is their great fortune that, for the right price, countless lobbyists are willing to steer even the foulest of ships." Journalist Ken Silverstein poses as a representative of the government of Turkmenistan to see if Washington lobbying firms will take on the job of making a country with a considerably less-than-stellar human rights record more palatable. The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials calls Silverstein's work disingenuous; others disagree.
posted by hifiparasol at 2:13 PM PST - 14 comments

Boulder High School involved in a controversy. Here's some background. And here's the smackdown. Here's what some other students think. My favorite moment isn't even anything that's said - it's about 2:46 into the smackdown video when the other student on the panel, Andrew, realizes things are getting ready to kick-off. These are all YouTube links BTW.
posted by philad at 2:06 PM PST - 68 comments

The National Media Museum in Bradford is currently running an Autochrome exhibition to mark 100 years of colour photography. Similar to this, the Autochrome method of photography is both stunningly surreal and hauntingly reminiscent of pre-raphaelite art. Unfortunately, the art of making Autochrome plates seems to have been lost, but you can create your own using Photoshop.
posted by cardamine at 1:07 PM PST - 5 comments

Bloxors. (Game, flash.)
posted by empath at 12:27 PM PST - 53 comments

"Silobreaker is a groundbreaking, web-based current awareness service designed for executives, desktop researchers, and other light information professionals who are seeking contextual insights and actionable answers."

Sounds interesting enough. How about taking the system for a test drive?
(Open-Source Intelligence resource courtesy of InteLink)
posted by mystyk at 11:11 AM PST - 23 comments



Vincent Black Lightning 1952
posted by vronsky at 7:35 AM PST - 45 comments

Coping: A Survival Guide for People with Asperger Syndrome. A short, to-the-point guide to the unwritten rules of life.
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 6:27 AM PST - 47 comments

12 of the Best Music Social Networks Internet radio may be facing uncertain times, but many musical social networks continue to thrive. This article surveys Flotones, Mercora Radio 2.0, Mog, the popular Last fm, iLike, JamNow, Haystack, five others as well as some additional sites, like Kompoz, mentioned in the comments.
posted by psmealey at 5:49 AM PST - 17 comments

Eight of the craziest cults evar. An honorable mention is being considered for the Taiwanese chicken cult.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:17 AM PST - 49 comments


Daft Hands*, deft hands, or both? You decide. *YouTube; safe for work.
posted by bwg at 2:16 AM PST - 23 comments

Northerners aren't overly represented on t'internet. Our kid reckoned the late Bernard Manning would make a comeback using MySpace, but that didn't 'appen. But hold onto t'whippet because The Lancashire Hotpots are filling the entertainment vacuum (I recommend Chippy Tea from the playlist). 30% Peter Kay, 30% George Formby, 39% Mike Harding (circa his Rochdale Cowboy phase), and 1% the UOGB, they're postmodern northerners for the 21st century (comparisons to Chas & Dave are inevitable and will be ignored).
posted by humblepigeon at 1:10 AM PST - 34 comments

June 22

There is no dog God.
posted by rob511 at 10:13 PM PST - 36 comments

The Simpsons Movie website just went live. In 12 languages, apparently (including non-American English).
posted by miss lynnster at 9:36 PM PST - 67 comments

[Video] Ready-Set-Bumbo. Ready-Set-Bumbo II. "No babies or dogs were hurt in the making of this film."
posted by starman at 8:33 PM PST - 14 comments

Flashback to some '80s punk scene shit.In true punk demeanor this is just an excuse to post some (mike watt) U-Tube.
posted by snsranch at 8:28 PM PST - 12 comments

There are a lot of special people out there making special music videos for their favorite songs. This tribute to Don't Fear the Reaper is particularly... moving. Marvel at the mid-90's VCR-edited version of Toto's Africa. There are some great Star Trek slash music videos out there. (1st link possibly NSFW). Then you have these guys, breathing new life into classics with some serious lip-synching skills.
posted by TheGoldenOne at 7:40 PM PST - 22 comments


Mefites love cover versions. But are we ready for The Legion of Rockstars? To wit: "1) A bunch of people put on noise-canceling headphones. 2) They all listen to the same song and play along. 3)The results are recorded and set to the original music video. 4) Hilarity ensues" (myspace, via).
posted by bardic at 4:56 PM PST - 22 comments

Significant Others by Zach Galifianakis (Includes NSFW fashion, non sequitur fashion shoot. [more inside])
posted by ijoshua at 4:56 PM PST - 11 comments

Public Domain Photos [via mefi projects]. An extraordinarily rich resource for free stock photography.
posted by melissa may at 4:56 PM PST - 10 comments


Rudy Autio, the Matisse of the ceramics world, has passed away at age 70. Born in 1926 to a Finnish family in ethnically diverse and bustling Butte, Montana, Rudy went on to study ceramics with Frances Senska at MSU. There he met future ceramics titan, Peter Voulkos, and became founding residents of the Archie Bray Foundation. Because of their revolutionary work, the 2 of them helped bring recognition to a field that had previously only been considered craft. Autio's giant torso-shaped vessels are often decorated with post-impressionistic horses and dancing women, but he also ventured into printmaking, tapestry design and murals. According to Ken Little, "If the ceramics world had a Mount Rushmore, it would be Peter Voulkos, Rudy, Paul Soldner and Don Reitz."
posted by ikahime at 12:29 PM PST - 8 comments

The Times reports: Lily-livered milquetoasts trying to suffocate the British insult. In case you illiterate turkey-buggering colonials have comprehension troubles, consult this handy glossary and usage guide.
posted by nasreddin at 9:49 AM PST - 41 comments

"The business is definitely an art, the men are craftsmen..."(YT) NYC's rooftop water tanks are a unique and often overlooked part of the city. Watch as one goes up (its worth the 10 minutes for the money shot at the end): "New York, is water tanks, yes."(YT) "New York, which has thousands of cylindrical wooden rooftop water tanks with conical roofs, couldn't exist without them." Its the only city with its own section under Wiki's water tower page.
posted by allkindsoftime at 9:12 AM PST - 44 comments

It takes something truly exceptional to be both impressive and completely useless, simultaneously : Let's face it, smoke rings are cool and sometimes mysterious. (Maybe just not 5 min. and 31 seconds worth of cool and mystererious). Amaze the kids and without lighting up! (zerotoys.com YouTube video) Naturally occuring vortex rings are even cooler. The inventor in the first link, (Aussie Peter Terren of the previously mentioned tesladownunder.com) shows more on vortex ring launchers) and has also recently discovered both YouTube and MeFi. Keep up with his latest geekiness on his What's New page.
posted by spock at 9:07 AM PST - 14 comments

A Month of Sundays. Seattle's The Stranger sends 31 writers to 31 houses of worship.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:03 AM PST - 98 comments

Scans from Jack Kirby's comic book adaptation of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Here are some scans of his sketches as well. You can read more about the adaptation here and here. (via)
posted by fallenposters at 8:31 AM PST - 52 comments

Lawrence Lessig moves on Lessig has spent the last 10 years fighting for IP reform and open culture, He's decided to focus on fighting what he calls "corruption" (with quotes)... the pernicious effect that moneyed interests have in crafting and controlling public policy.
Finally, I am not (as one friend wrote) "leaving the movement." "The movement" has my loyalty as much today as ever. But I have come to believe that until a more fundamental problem is fixed, "the movement" can't succeed either. Compare: Imagine someone devoted to free culture coming to believe that until free software supports free culture, free culture can't succeed. So he devotes himself to building software. I am someone who believes that a free society -- free of the "corruption" that defines our current society -- is necessary for free culture, and much more. For that reason, I turn my energy elsewhere for now.
posted by delmoi at 8:23 AM PST - 61 comments

June 21

15 year old Indian boy performs a Caesarean Section on pregnant woman in presence of his Doctor parents. Father stands by his son—and says he did nothing wrong.
posted by hadjiboy at 11:46 PM PST - 58 comments

It's been nearly 50 years since the beginning of the International Geophysical Year (IGY), an 18-month period of scientific activities and discoveries that ran from July 1, 1957, to December 31, 1958. Both the US and the USSR launched the world's first artificial satellites during the IGY (Sputnik 1 and Explorer 1). Other achievements of the IGY included the discovery of the Van Allen radiation belts and the mapping of mid-ocean ridges. The IGY also inspired at least one artistic endeavor: Steely Dan's Donald Fagen wrote his 1982 solo song "I.G.Y. (International Geophysical Year)" [YouTube] as an homage to 50s optimism.
posted by amyms at 11:20 PM PST - 14 comments

A games and economic theory argument against intellectual property. Watt's on first in academic paper.
posted by klangklangston at 10:09 PM PST - 42 comments

Two words: Hip Hop and Theremin. Turns out the weird, spooky sci-fi noise machine plays all sorts of good music: Video Killed the Radio Star, The Legend of Zelda and sometimes, in the right hands, it speaks of a man's love of White Castle.
posted by generic230 at 9:46 PM PST - 27 comments

The American Film Institute decided the need for more money an update to their 1998 list of the 100 Greatest Movies was so pressing that they made a new list. Ebert (and friends) ask where's Fargo?. The IHT wonders why the past decade has only spawned four new, worthy movies. And, generally, no one seems super excited about it. (some links go to wikipedia to avoid registration on AFI's site).
posted by ztdavis at 9:30 PM PST - 88 comments

The concept of alphabetization was invented at the Great Library of Alexandria in the third century BC, with words grouped by first letter. It wasn't until 1053, in the Elementarium doctrinae erudimentum that recursive alphabetization (where "Aab" comes before "Aac" and after "Aaa") appeared in rudimentary form. You'd think that by now we'd have the process down, but controversies still rage. Does "sea foam" come before "seaborne"? Does "Michael Jackson" come before "Nick Cave"? Throw in international characters and an occasional foray into ASCIIbetical order and it's no wonder the alphabet can be so frustrating.
posted by L. Fitzgerald Sjoberg at 6:50 PM PST - 62 comments

Powernap MP3s.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:19 PM PST - 16 comments

Incarcerex
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 6:19 PM PST - 30 comments

Australian Prime Minister John Howard has declared that the sexual abuse of Aboriginal children in the Northern Territory is a national emergency. He has announced a sweeping takeover of powers from the Territory Government in response to the crisis outlined in the Little Children are Sacred” report [6mb PDF] Some say knee-jerk and ill thought through, some say return to the bad old days of white paternalism, yet say there are many other issues confronting Aboriginal people. Why act now after 10 years in power, and a host of similar reports? Could it be an approaching federal election?
posted by mattoxic at 5:14 PM PST - 72 comments

Spoiling Harry Potter: Hacker claims to have spoiled the last Harry Potter book with a technique called spear phishing. "We make this spoiler to make reading of the upcoming book useless and boring ... It's amazing to see how much people inside the company have copies and drafts of this book." Let's see if we can discuss spoilers and spear phishing without actually spoiling anything here. Warning: The Wired link is safe, but it contains a link to the purported spoiler.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:55 PM PST - 82 comments

William Shatner hawked Commodores. IBM tried the cast of M*A*S*H, but without Alan Alda, who played Atari. Bill Cosby was a Texas Instruments man. Compaq gave us some funny ones with John Cleese. Bill Bixby pushed Tandy with a straight face. Buzz Aldrin, The Pointer Sisters, Tommy LaSorta, and Tip O'Neil pitched the Amiga. I guess I should include George Plimpton's Intellivision spots. Apple's covered by everyone else. Who did I miss?
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot at 3:35 PM PST - 41 comments

Life sadly imitates art in Austin, Texas. Followup. [Sorry, initial link may require free registration.]
posted by ubiquity at 3:27 PM PST - 40 comments

A gay boy wished for a planet full of unicorns, Planet Unicorn, Unicorn Planet! Episode: two, three.
posted by milarepa at 1:27 PM PST - 52 comments

"His dream is to produce a full-length gay, disco tribute to Canadian Rock legends, Rush." It certainly wouldn't be the first question-mark-in-the-air-above-the-head-inducing tribute album - that's a pretty long list, and includes the hip-hop tribute to Phil Collins, the bluegrass take on Metallica (so good they had to make two of them), the lounge tribute to Eminem, the hillbilly tribute to AC/DC, a hairmetal tribute to the Beatles, a goth tribute to David Bowie, um, a string quartet tribute to Clay Aiken, and more Dylan cover albums than you can shake a rolling stone at.
posted by jbickers at 11:34 AM PST - 46 comments

Mefite Fans of rock concert posters are probably familiar with gigposters.com, but here's an interesting list of over 20 other individual designers concert posters sites with tons of designy goodness.
posted by jonson at 11:14 AM PST - 21 comments

Man fired for saving life. Follow-up here.
posted by Snyder at 10:51 AM PST - 410 comments

"I'm all outta dollars, you got any Berkshares?" Several Great Barrington, Massachusetts businesses have developed a local currency to promote local business.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:46 AM PST - 34 comments

Sure, reading is great, but books are fun to look at, too
posted by nuclear_soup at 8:17 AM PST - 37 comments

Mississippi Delta folks talking about tamales.
posted by Wolfdog at 7:00 AM PST - 34 comments

Norilsk is a big city in northern Siberia. On the permafrost. It was built by slave labor in the 1930s. Norilsk Nickle, a very profitable company, wants you to invest there. Some think it's a hell hole. Others think it was the downfall of the Soviet economy.
posted by MarshallPoe at 5:34 AM PST - 30 comments

Applications for UK visas are being denied for ridiculous reasons, says an independent monitor report. Among the reasons: never having been on holiday before, "failing to complete pivotal areas of Section 6", and "plan[ning] a holiday for no particular purpose other than sightseeing. BBC readers contribute their stories - from potential bridesmaids being told that they were only going to marry English men like their sister was doing, to not having good enough German.
posted by divabat at 1:11 AM PST - 61 comments


June 20

Koujou Moe. Photographs of factories from a blog, Koujou-moe na hibi (Factory-Loving Days) (Japanese). Also available in book form. See also, Deep Inside by Joe Nishizawa.
posted by misozaki at 9:33 PM PST - 11 comments

Ten years ago, video editing (especially nonlinear editing) was the realm of professionals [youtube]. An Avid System cost close to a $100k or you could rent an editing suite by the hour. i-Movie, and mini-dv camcorders lowered the price barrier quite considerably. Times have changed. By 2007, all you need to cut video is flash. Will Youtube's new video editing application stir things up? Maybe Walter Murch ought to have a look.
posted by sswiller at 9:26 PM PST - 30 comments

The Indian Martial Arts.
posted by hadjiboy at 9:05 PM PST - 12 comments

Tastier tofu courtesy of Shiok Food, a fantastic Thai cooking blog run by chef and restauranteur madman.
posted by klangklangston at 8:52 PM PST - 29 comments

The best five-second video on the Internet. Safe for work; watch speaker volume.
posted by bwg at 6:50 PM PST - 85 comments


Buuuuuy snaaaack fooooood...! Ooooooooooooooooooooo! *rattles chains* [via]
posted by brundlefly at 3:20 PM PST - 16 comments

The Flow, by Paul Myerscough
That image gives way, quickly and successively, to a series of others: a young black woman smoking, smiling at the camera through a reinforced glass window; three teenage girls in a car, laughing, filmed through the windscreen; a whip-pan to the American flag, pierced by sunlight, drifting in the breeze; a DIY programme on a pixellated TV screen; a ride-along shot of a family in an oversized golf buggy; two different angles of a man alone in a lecture theatre; two more of traffic at night; a woman, suspicious of the camera, wearing a polka-dot dress and partly obscured by glassy reflections; a blurry shot of a long windowless corridor; a man wearing shades in a crowded street; a woman pursued down the cosmetics aisle of a supermarket; and, as Curtis comes to the end of his three short sentences, a woman seen jogging in the wing-mirror of a moving car. The entire sequence takes 26 seconds. There’s too much to take in. Or, you don’t know what you’ve taken in, and how deep the impression has been.
posted by acro at 3:18 PM PST - 18 comments

Monster By Mail Get yours today! (What? You expected to get Pepsi?)
posted by Wulfgar! at 2:32 PM PST - 14 comments

"Honor Your Process," read some of the signs held by protesters in a recent school board meeting here in sunny Madison, Wisconsin. They were protesting naming a new elementary school after General Vang Pao, Secret Army fighter during the Vietnam war, and ex-patriot of Laos after the Communist government took over in 1975. Amidst local Hmong leaders' charges of racism against the Hmong community (Wisconsin is no stranger to these charges, as Mefi featured here), protesters pointed to the recent arrest of Pao in California, charged with weapons trafficking to support a revolution against the government of Laos. The school board ended up agreeing with the protesters, and have returned to their original list of finalists for the elementary school's name.
posted by thanotopsis at 2:26 PM PST - 27 comments


TED does it again. See you in Monterey. What happens when the war machine goes improv?
posted by MapGuy at 1:42 PM PST - 49 comments

Garbage + illumination = art? Various artists carefully pile rubbish on a gallery floor, or meticulously assemble a collection of ordinary items, plug in a light source, and create incredibly detailed and surprising shadows on the wall. Meanwhile, blog commenters cry "Fake!" and "Photoshop!". I guess they didn't see any of the Quicktime movies of Shigeo Fukuda linked here.
posted by maudlin at 1:41 PM PST - 14 comments


On the heal of her husbands fairly recent op-ed in WSJ, Laura Bush writes her own op-ed (subscription possibly required) about the whole Burma situation (or Myanmar) of all topics. Why did she do it? The Huffington Post speculates.
posted by jourman2 at 12:41 PM PST - 23 comments


The X Finger a prosthetic for digital amputees.
posted by phrontist at 12:06 PM PST - 23 comments

The Library Of Unified Information Sources (LOUIS) is a beta-release project of the previously mentioned Sunlight Foundation, the goal of which is "to create a comprehensive, completely indexed and cross-referenced depository of federal documents from the executive and legislative branches of government." LOUIS currently contains searchable full text documents of Congressional Reports, the Congressional Record, Congressional Hearings, Presidential Documents, the Federal Register, GAO Reports and Bills & Resolutions, going back to 2001. Other interesting Sunlight Foundation projects include Visualizing Earmarks, 3 (non-satirical) Modest Proposals, The Congressional Family Business Project, and Congresspedia.
posted by cog_nate at 12:01 PM PST - 2 comments

Return to Crothersville: Aaron Hall probably wasn't gay, but his murder in April has become an argument for passage of the Matthew Shepard Act, which would add attacks based on a victim's perceived sexual orientation to the list of federal hate crimes. The men accused of Aaron's murder are invoking the "gay panic" defense. A citizen journalist at the Bloomington Alternative has published a fascinating article on her investigation of the circumstances of the crime and of Aaron's life, and why uncovering the truth in a place like Crothersville, where the social network is so tight-knit and there's no local hate crimes law, requires an outside (federal) investigation.
posted by thirteenkiller at 10:45 AM PST - 168 comments

The Science of Gaydar. "That’s what we mean by gaydar—not the skill of the viewer so much as the telltale signs most gay people project, the set of traits that make us unmistakably one....A small constellation of researchers is specifically analyzing the traits and characteristics that, though more pronounced in some than in others, not only make us gay but also make us appear gay."
posted by jtajta at 10:27 AM PST - 133 comments

“What is fitness?”(large PDF) is an essay by the leaders of the CrossFit movement. The ideal they propose is an athlete who is “equal parts gymnast, Olympic weightlifter, and multi-modal sprinter or ‘sprintathlete.’ Develop the capacity of a novice 800-meter track athlete, gymnast, and weightlifter and you’ll be fitter than any world-class runner, gymnast, or weightlifter.”
posted by jason's_planet at 8:46 AM PST - 51 comments

"A smart story often does contain new facts," Bennett explains. "But just as often it takes facts that are lying in plain sight and synthesizes them, or arranges them in a way — sometimes in a narrative — that really exposes some new meaning on an important subject. And I think that's a conceptual scoop." (via ATC)
posted by photoslob at 8:29 AM PST - 14 comments

"Sense your customer's eyes from up to ten metres." Xuuk's eyebox is a long-range an eye-counting video camera. The device "simply shines a beam of IR light and counts how many times it sees redeye in the ensuing images, indicating that the subject was looking right at the camera". "We decided not to incorporate iris scanning," says inventor Roel Vertegaal. "We don't need to know the identity of the people looking at the ad. That's for other companies to do. And when that happens, we're happy to tag along, but we're not interested in moving in that direction if it's not necessary." Note: Some sites imply that Google is partnering with Xuuk, but that is a mistake. The device simply mimics Google's highly successful business model.
posted by chuckdarwin at 8:26 AM PST - 54 comments

An Earth Without People. An interesting (and I am sure it will be debatable) article in the current issue of Scientific American. Personally, I have always liked Douglas Coupland's version too
posted by ShawnString at 8:24 AM PST - 42 comments

Learn the Truth is an excellent (Flash) presentation on the years after Stalin's death in Poland and Hungary. There's also a plain HTML version.
posted by Wolfdog at 6:52 AM PST - 6 comments

The Definitive 1000 Songs Of All Time 1955 to 2005. They are up to 601 at the moment
posted by wheelieman at 6:29 AM PST - 64 comments

Bloomberg running for prez as an independent? You'd almost have to give it low odds but, as an outside possibility, I find it intriguing.
posted by kliuless at 4:07 AM PST - 159 comments

Humraz is an auction site with a twist. Pay to bid, then once enough fees have been received, the lowest unmatched bid wins. Shall we play for £500? Or a house?
posted by imperium at 3:53 AM PST - 21 comments

June 19

A Field Guide to Chess Tactics. Chess tactics explained in plain English, with hundreds of examples. A great site for beginning to mid-level players. Includes a large library of positional problems, organized thematically, with the solutions explained and discussed. For example, learn about knight forks, then quiz yourself on the same topic.
posted by Rumple at 9:53 PM PST - 76 comments

Parting the Veil of Faery: The Colmore Fatagravures, said to date from the 1890s. "A Scottish adventurer, inventor, and photographer named Neville Colmore claimed to have constructed a device capable of '...parting the veil of Faery...' The device, which he called the Spectobarathrum, along with all of the images he claimed to have made were believed destroyed in a fire. I believe some of these images and related artefacts may have survived." [via Apothecary's Drawer]
posted by mediareport at 9:43 PM PST - 16 comments

Google went solar yesterday! Google's PV solar system went live yesterday (or at least the stats page did.) Also, they converted 100 Priuses to plug-in electric vehicles, to be recharged by the PV solar panels. Pictures.
posted by joeblough at 9:32 PM PST - 25 comments

Bane of My Existence is a very observant and well done record of idiocy for future historians by illustrator Rod Filbrandt. You of course, are nothing like these drawings. The rest of his blog is pretty good to poke around too. (via Drawn)
posted by Stan Chin at 8:06 PM PST - 48 comments

Everyone knows about Fabio, but he's just one in a large stable of studs used as romance novel cover models. Ladies, meet 'Sicilian sweetheart' Anthony Catanzaro (warning: music), a paperback cover model and so, so much more. Of course, even he wouldn't be where he is today without the illustrators of those bodice-ripping covers.
posted by chowflap at 8:04 PM PST - 23 comments


Turns out that Golden Globe-winning actress Natalie Portman (formerly known as Natalie Hershlag) is quite an accomplished scholar. In addition to being a Harvard psychology student, she worked in Dr. Abigail Baird's research lab and was the co-author of a peer-reviewed journal article investigating the neuroscience underlying the development of object permanence in infants. Quite impressive, in an age where Lindsay Lohans and Paris Hiltons dominate the headlines.
posted by charmston at 5:10 PM PST - 101 comments

'You Can't See Why on an fMRI.' Brian Doherty explores the vagaries of the insanity defense, centering on the sad cases of Andrea Yates and Eric Clark.
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:06 PM PST - 7 comments

Captain Beefheart's 10 rules for guitarists are also useful life rules for anyone: " Never Point Your Guitar At Anyone: Your instrument has more power than lightning. Just hit a big chord, then run outside to hear it. But make sure you are not standing in an open field.."
posted by tombola at 4:50 PM PST - 34 comments

Paul Jay of the self-styled "Real News" plays Twenty Questions with himself... "We have a full time staff now of fourteen. We have raised about five million dollars over the last three years, and we still have most of it..." That's how television producer and filmmaker Paul Jay starts off, and like an energizer bunny, he just keeps on going. He makes a compelling argument.. or does he? Guess that's entirely up to you. mentioned previously on MeFi about two years ago. [more inside]
posted by ZachsMind at 3:01 PM PST - 16 comments

Sopranos Yard Sale! Bring your goomah.
posted by miss lynnster at 1:39 PM PST - 28 comments

Positive self-deception is a normal In 1988, psychologists Shelly Taylor and Jonathon Brown published an article making the somewhat disturbing claim that positive self-deception is a normal and beneficial part of most people’s everyday outlook.
posted by punkfloyd at 1:02 PM PST - 71 comments

The cavity magnetron is the secret weapon that saved Britain in World War II. In 1946, Dr. Percy Spencer stood too close to a magneton and invented the microwave oven.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot at 12:15 PM PST - 22 comments

Cooking Master Boy (中華一番) is food-related TV that you might enjoy. There is more information about the show on Wikipedia.
posted by rxrfrx at 11:34 AM PST - 31 comments



The city of Sao Paulo passed an ordinance last year banning outdoor advertising; photographer Tony de Marco has been documenting the skeletal remains of the advertising infrastructure throughout the city; the impact looks like the aftermath of a new type of atomic weapon that targets marketing but leaves buildings & people unscathed.
posted by jonson at 10:11 AM PST - 84 comments

The Interrogation Documents - a collection of available records relating to U.S. interrogation policies. (via) (previously)
posted by puddleglum at 10:10 AM PST - 9 comments

Fat is Genetic, from NY Times science writer (and sister of Judi Bari) Gina Kolata.
posted by serazin at 10:02 AM PST - 126 comments

These women are supposed to disgust you into buying low-fat yogurt.
posted by brittney at 9:43 AM PST - 106 comments

John Hodgman [fantastic youtubed interview], author, expert, oathster and yes, electronics impersonator, blogs jury duty. Amusement ensues.
posted by doift at 9:04 AM PST - 26 comments

Speedminton, a hyped-up version of Badminton has spawned a Tron-inspired offspring: Blackminton
posted by GuyZero at 8:52 AM PST - 14 comments

"Is any jury going to convict Jack Bauer? I don't think so. So the question is really whether we believe in these absolutes. And ought we believe in these absolutes. ... I don't care about holding people. I really don't." Justice Scalia on 24 and torture. 24 and torture previously.
posted by ibmcginty at 8:41 AM PST - 94 comments


Reviews of Dating Tips...? Comic book review blog Hoopla! takes a break from the funny books and instead reviews internet dating tips. Much hilarity ensues.
posted by Outlawyr at 8:20 AM PST - 27 comments

Measuring global temperature is all about location, location.
posted by tadellin at 8:19 AM PST - 22 comments


The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has refused to rate Manhunt 2, Rockstar Games' latest controversial offering, effectively banning it from sale in the United Kingdom. This surprising decision comes only weeks before the game's July 10th release date. The last game to be blocked from sale in the UK was the 1997 classic Carmageddon. Appeal remains a possibility for Rockstar, “although it sometimes takes up to two months to get this happening.”
posted by mek at 7:25 AM PST - 72 comments

Todd Alcott, a screenwriter and Livejournaller, just sat down and watched every Bond film from Dr No to Die Another Day.
posted by ninebelow at 7:09 AM PST - 32 comments


“Thirty-six characters from different stages of life - representations of different times - interact in one room, moving in loops, observed by a static camera. I had to draw and paint about 16.000 cell-mattes, and make several hundred thousand exposures on an optical printer. It took a full seven months, sixteen hours per day, to make the piece”[ source]: Zbig Rybczynski on the making of his award winning (and much imitated) animation "Tango "(YT, mildly NSFW).
posted by rongorongo at 6:10 AM PST - 27 comments

Vieuphoria -- released in 1994 by the Smashing Pumpkins, this VHS video documents Billy Corgan and company just as they were on the verge of becoming megastars. Some clips from youtube: The Pumpkins in therapy and performing Mayonaisse, Disarm, Quiet, Soma , Cherub Rock, Today , Geek City USA, and the epic Silverfuck. And a bonus classic Pumpkins performance -- Drown
posted by empath at 6:00 AM PST - 54 comments

Sir Salman Rushdie versus the Republic of Pakistan. Rushdie is not one to shy from confrontation (previously) - he's a grand master of the fine art* of the literary feud, sparring with notables including Germaine Greer, John Updike, John Le Carre and (briefly) Martin Amis.
posted by WPW at 5:07 AM PST - 62 comments

The Failed States Index 2007. Iraq is now ranked as the world's second most unstable country, behind Sudan. [Via Newshoggers.]
posted by homunculus at 12:15 AM PST - 53 comments

June 18

Classic trading card scans from 1930-1980. Okay, I confess, I had some of the Sgt. Pepper's (movie, not album) cards. What young 70s girl didn't swoon over Peter Frampton as Billy Shears (sigh)? A boy down the street from me had most of the Star Wars cards, but I would never trade my Charlies Angels or my Six Million Dollar Man cards with him, although he really wanted Farrah.
posted by amyms at 11:10 PM PST - 19 comments

More nightmares in Iraq: Abuse in an orphanage, Baghdad has turned a “war zone”, photographers don’t want to go back, 4MM displaced
posted by growabrain at 10:39 PM PST - 24 comments

The story of the strange language of the Pirahã is just as much a story about the state of the field of linguistics. Professor Dan Everett of Illinois State University, who lived for decades with the Pirahã, first as a missionary, then as a linguist, believes Pirahã casts serious doubt upon Chomsky's theory of universal grammar. Chomskyites have started to fight back with a reassessment of Everett's famous paper on the Pirahã, where he claimed that the Pirahã "have no numbers, no fixed color terms, no perfect tense, no deep memory, no tradition of art or drawing, and no words for “all,” “each,” “every,” “most,” or “few”—terms of quantification believed by some linguists to be among the common building blocks of human cognition." He also claims that it doesn't have recursion, a feature of language Chomsky recently claimed was the defining feature of human speech. Dan Everett has rebutted the Chomskyite reassessment of his work. Video interview with Professor Everett. [Pirahã previously covered on MetaFilter in 2004 and 2006]
posted by Kattullus at 9:10 PM PST - 60 comments

On 29 November last year an Australian Army Blackhawk helicopter crashed while attempting a landing in strong winds on the HMAS Kanimbla. Two soldiers died in the accident, with the airframe and the corpse of one Trooper later being recovered from the seabed 3 km down. The Board of Inquiry opened today, releasing graphic video footage.
posted by wilful at 8:57 PM PST - 35 comments

Ready for '90s nostalgia yet? Well, throw some flannel on your Furby and get ready for that decade's most migrane-tastic fad, the autostereogram, or Magic Eye. Of course, the Web can't leave anything alone, so you can watch a moving autostereogram, play a little wall-eyed Tetris or Pong, and create your own image to delight and annoy your friends.
posted by L. Fitzgerald Sjoberg at 6:56 PM PST - 69 comments

In the Fall of 1991, MTV's 120 Minutes released two compilations (Amazon: one, two) of songs from the show. (Youtube: one, two)
posted by nervousfritz at 6:05 PM PST - 45 comments

Grass rings, lace rings, rock rings, bunny rings...The Carrotbox has month after month of posts about odd and unusual rings. Alice is allergic to metal so focuses in her own collection on "glass, lucite, resin, plastic, jade, wood, bakelite and even stone — anything, as long as it's not metal!" She even provides a timeline of plastic history. [via FunForever]
posted by mediareport at 5:54 PM PST - 19 comments

Interesting film site/blog via woods lot
posted by hortense at 5:51 PM PST - 7 comments

Ashley Revell bet his life's savings on one spin of roulette. Watch the video to find out what happened. The young Englishman sold everything he owned -- including rights to his name -- and put the entire proceeds on red (which he decided at the last minute, originally having fixed on black). After you've watched the video, read an interview about the aftermath and about how Vegas almost didn't take the bet. His wager topped Inside Poker magazine's list of "Top 25 Most Outrageous Gambles."
posted by jeffmshaw at 4:49 PM PST - 39 comments

Gun crime on the streets of London? It's not new. Here's a tale of robbery, murder, revolution, and Churchill in a topper. First, the Tottenham Outrage, a factory robbery resulting in two murders, 27 injuries, and a bizarre chase. The villains are Latvian anarchists, a group who are trying to finance their revolutionary aims through crime. The next year, a plan to tunnel into a jewelers is botched, and attempted burglary becomes the Houndsditch Murders . The police investigate, and on locating the gang, The Siege of Sidney Street begins. The army is called in, and the Home Secretary pops by and assumes control. After much shooting, a fire breaks out, and two men burn to death. But neither of them is the mysterious gang leader, Peter the Painter, and the five later tried are all acquitted. Churchill, however, is guilty of showing off a bit.
posted by liquidindian at 4:25 PM PST - 19 comments

Can't Stop The Serenity. "By their very nature, science fiction fans want to improve their world." Joss Whedon's birthday is this weekend (June 23). In honor of the event, fans of Firefly and Serenity are organizing Serenity screenings around the world with the proceeds to benefit his favorite charity, Equality Now. "Equality Now works to end violence and discrimination against women and girls around the world through the mobilization of public pressure." It's a fitting charity for a writer whose favorite subjects include "amazing, kick-ass adolescent heroines" and strong women in general. Last year's event earned almost $66,000 USD for the organization, and this year's event aims to raise $100,000 USD.
posted by Tehanu at 2:43 PM PST - 101 comments

Kelly returns. Ward Sutton (aka "Kelly") and his wonderfully sublime editorial cartoons are back in the Onion. Sutton's website. Sutton is so dead-on that his Kelly cartoons leave many confused. Interview of Mark and Ward Sutton at Mother Jones.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:14 PM PST - 52 comments

"I have had two accidents in my life - the streetcar crash and Diego Rivera." To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Frida Kahlo's birth, the largest ever exhibition of her work is taking place. Frida has been the subject of or inspiration for movies (most recently, this lovely one, although not without some controversy), books (this biography is quite good), a postage stamp, and a brand of tequila (more controversy). People have been interested in her socialist politics and possible victim status. There is an online fan club. She was also featured in Smithsonian Magazine. If anything, Frida was always outspoken.

posted by lilywing13 at 12:53 PM PST - 12 comments


Congress has never acted to codify the state secrets privilege. It considered doing so in the 1970s but specifically chose not to include the privilege in the federal rules of evidence. Nonetheless, dating from its application in the Reynolds case, the state secrets privilege has been repeatedly invoked, often with disturbing results. This is why we, in cooperation with the Constitution Project, have joined with a bipartisan coalition of policy experts, legal scholars and former government officials in calling on Congress to limit the privilege's use PDF. (WaPo)
Case Studies in State Secrets from Federation of American Scientists
Dangerous Discretion: State Secrets and the El-Masri Rendition Case
posted by anotherpanacea at 10:53 AM PST - 12 comments

Last week, a woman at DC's Reagan Airport was detained because of water in her son's sippy cup. In an unusual step, the TSA has posted their own Mythbusters site where they show the security footage and the official incident report. Here is BoingBoing's take on the video. And a security/security technology blogger posts about the larger lesson that people readily side against the TSA "because there's no accountability or transparency in the DHS."
posted by spec80 at 10:23 AM PST - 253 comments

China faces slavery and human trafficking.
posted by pwedza at 9:35 AM PST - 24 comments

Peer to Patent goes live. First mentioned on MetaFilter almost two years ago, this project allows open review of patent applications, so that members of the public can better inform patent examiners of prior art. Discussed more on the project blog. This experimental system is part of efforts to improve patent application review. (thanks to ubiquity)
posted by grouse at 9:08 AM PST - 10 comments

Armpits! Strange curiosity of the human body. Sometimes smelly, sometimes stainy, sometimes the origin of things truly weird, sometimes celebrity gossip fodder, and sometimes just the brunt of nasty jokes They're also linked to controversy and danger, but fear not - there are greener (reder?) and safer, natural ways to take care of them.
posted by janetplanet at 8:47 AM PST - 25 comments

The face of Jesus in historic paintings was replaced by that of David Blaine by New Genre Arts professor Ben Bloch. The resulting images were shown to Art History students at Whitman College during the course of a class on Entertainment Violence. The students were not alerted to the fact that the images were doctored, nor did they notice on their own. Stupid students!
posted by ba at 8:25 AM PST - 70 comments

Lawyer rating site Avvo is getting sued by - well, lawyers. Hopefully nobody at Avvo is surprised by this! The lawsuit alleges that Avvo's rating system is unfair and results in bad ratings for some lawyers.
posted by etoile at 8:13 AM PST - 23 comments

The Iranian Flickr group celebrates the 1 year anniversary of their first meetup. This is kind of impressive because Flickr is banned in Iran. I love how resourceful people can be.
posted by chunking express at 7:36 AM PST - 6 comments

AskDrWiki
posted by konolia at 6:27 AM PST - 18 comments

The hypnotic beauty of the average face. When you average out peoples facial features, the result is strangely beautiful. Which is odd. This captivating website lets you play with facial averaging and design your own people. You can upload your own face and nudge it towards the dark-eyed loveliness that we seem programmed to desire. There are also links to theories suggesting why average people, instead of being bland, are hot. Facial averaging has been discussed before. More on facial beauty from Germany and St Andrews.
posted by grahamwell at 5:04 AM PST - 43 comments

Apparently, The Secret Service's code name for Barack Obama is "Renegade". Former agents told the Washington Post that military officials chose the code names without particular reference to the characteristics of the politician. Sadly, Bush's code name isn't "The Decider" but rather "Tumbler" and, later, (shockingly) "Trailblazer". If you're feeling left out, you budding Junior Secret Service Agents can make up your own.
posted by chuckdarwin at 4:42 AM PST - 30 comments


June 17

Not a Journey fan? This tool over at Stereogum allows you to re-score the final scene of The Sopranos with any MP3 you can either find online or host online yourself.
posted by jonson at 10:59 PM PST - 45 comments

"In January 2005, Mark E. Smith and The Fall (described as 'one of the most enigmatic, idiosyncratic and chaotic garage bands of the last 30 years') were the subject of a BBC 4 TV documentary, The Fall: The Wonderful and Frightening World of Mark E. Smith." parts 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
posted by item at 10:32 PM PST - 22 comments

Looking Backward: From 2000 to 1887, a Utopian novel by Edward Bellamy. A classic 19th century socialist vision of the future.
posted by nasreddin at 7:24 PM PST - 12 comments

Excellent instructions for building many different types of paper planes. All use one sheet of A4 8.5x11 paper. Some of these are quite advanced! Plus: tips from champion folders. With help from origami.me.uk.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 6:07 PM PST - 14 comments


"What is love?" by Anthony Quinn. [via]
posted by miss lynnster at 5:22 PM PST - 8 comments

"If it were a plot of a John Grisham novel it would be considered to be perhaps too contrived." An NYT transcript of the comments of state ethics panel chairman F. Lane Williamson, discussing why "there’s no discipline short of disbarment that would be appropriate" for Duke lacrosse case prosecutor Mike Nifong. In related news, Durham police investigator Linwood Wilson, hired by Nifong and criticized for manipulating witnesses in that case and others, is still employed.
posted by mediareport at 4:46 PM PST - 60 comments

ComicsFilter: I really wanted to make this post just about Anders Nilsen (Please at least just look at his catalogue and click a preview or two, read this and think about this), the egregiously underappreciated comicker (much like Gipi). But then I found The Holy Consumption, which takes his power and multiplies it by four times through the collaboration of Jeffery Brown, John Hankiewicz and Paul Hornschmemeier and culminates in the Sunday Services. Don’t miss the blog either.
posted by OrangeDrink at 3:17 PM PST - 12 comments

According to a new study in Biology Letters (Royal Society journal), plants respond competitively when forced to share their pot with strangers of the same species, but when placed in a pot with their siblings are more accomodating. PDF, HTML.
posted by christopherious at 2:53 PM PST - 41 comments

In an attempt to curb the production of crystal meth, more than 30 states have now outlawed or require registration for common lab equipment. In Texas, you need to register the purchase of Erlenmeyer flasks or three-necked beakers. The same state where I do not have to register a handgun, forces me to register a glass beaker.
America's War on Science: Chemistry sets and model rockets, the staples of any geeky childhood, have essentially become a thing of the past.Wired has more on how a security obsessed society is robbing both children and adults of the opportunity to discover science for themelves.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 1:53 PM PST - 68 comments

Leopard seals, by Paul Nicklen. Leopard Seals are the second largest species of seal in the Antarctic, and are near the top of the Antarctic food chain. Paul Nicklen won first prize in the Nature Stories category of the prestigious World Press Photo contest for his photographs of Leopard Seals. The first known human fatality was in 2003 when a Leopard Seal dragged Kirsty Brown, a snorkeling biologist, underwater to her death.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:41 PM PST - 14 comments

Find an old bottle? I've found them at garage sales, buried in the garden, in basements and attics. I always thought it would be cool to know what they contained and how old they were. Now I can.
posted by Tablecrumbs at 12:12 PM PST - 14 comments

Confessions of A Long Distance Sailor - I had been sitting in dark rooms, punching computer keys, for years. I had always wanted to learn SCUBA diving, hike around in the tropics, so I booked a flight to Hawaii. But a month later I was in — are you ready? — a traffic jam on Maui. I understand now, from the moment I touched that sailboat's dock lines, I was doomed to sail.
posted by phrontist at 12:11 PM PST - 12 comments

M.U.G.E.N [wikipedia] is a 2D fighting game engine, originally developed by Elecbyte and released in 1999. The engine is highly customizable; characters, backgrounds, and sound files -- whether from existing games or original works -- can be easily integrated. Some examples of the engine in action [youtube]: Homer Simpson vs. Peter Griffin, Ryu vs Popeye, Green Power Ranger vs Osama Bin Laden, Fat Albert vs Juggernaut, Marvin the Martian vs. Duck Dodgers. Also, game crossovers: Homer in NES Land, Thunder Force III vs. Duck Hunt. [mi] WARNING: some of the videos are very loud.
posted by milquetoast at 11:34 AM PST - 10 comments

Fingerjig is a six minute typing game that pulls random words from a large dictionary (and during one section, random letters). I like it because it plays cool percussion hits when you make a mistake, and because sections of it test your left hand and right hand separately. (via)
posted by Kwine at 11:02 AM PST - 50 comments


Born in Bohemia, Wenceslas (Vaclav) Hollar (wikipedia; illustrated chronology of his life; essay on Hollar) was one of the leading etchers and illustrators of the middle 17th Century, working primarily in England and Belgium. The University of Toronto has placed almost his entire works online, including more than 4,000 images and some complete illustrated books. Some favorites: the man himself; simple, powerful Illustrations of Genesis; The Pack of Knaves; Elephants and Flowers; Shells; Fitting out a Hull; and Muffs (sfw). Most images are zoomable, and you can create marked lists and compare images side by side.
posted by Rumple at 9:44 AM PST - 8 comments

"The definitive list of single-player games." Here's another. And if your Paypal account balance means eBay isn't an option, here's a whole mess of stuff to do by yourself with a basic deck of cards.
posted by jbickers at 9:38 AM PST - 3 comments

Jónas Hallgrímsson (1807-45) was an Icelandic Romantic poet and natural scientist. Dick Ringler, a professor at The University of Wisconsin, has a site that contains 50 poems and prose texts by Jónas in parallel English/Icelandic versions. Also on the site, a guide to traditional Icelandic verse, a biographical sketch of the poet and a map of Iceland with places Jónas wrote about marked. Here's his short Above the Ford: The cliffs on life's swift current/are cleft by shallow valleys./Masses have queued to cross there ---/crowds of billy-goat milkers./We'll go upstream, God willing,/to walk the hawk-high ridges/and pitch ourselves --- impetuous ---/plumb in the roaring torrent! [Today is Iceland's Independence Day]
posted by Kattullus at 9:13 AM PST - 13 comments


You're never too old to rock 'n' roll The classic American midlife crisis has found a new outlet: garage-band rock ’n’ roll. Baby boomers across the country — mostly middle-aged dads who never quite outgrew an obsession with the music of their youth — are cranking up their amps and living their rock ’n’ roll fantasies.
posted by Flem Snopes at 6:36 AM PST - 119 comments

Icon War!! [flash site] via
posted by psmealey at 5:40 AM PST - 14 comments

June 16


Things Look Like Things is an interesting photoblog concept; the author spends his flickr-browsing hours finding visual similarities between images & creating themed sets, usually with a small amount of accompanying text. I'm doing a terrible job of selling it, but the results can be really compelling. Via.
posted by jonson at 9:21 PM PST - 28 comments

Bloggers Beware? A UC Berkeley college student/blogger, Yaman Salahi was sued in small claims court for "business interference" by Lee Kaplan, a contributing writer for FrontPageMag.com. (From Seeing the Forest, via redditt)
posted by jaronson at 5:35 PM PST - 64 comments

Harlem Variety Revue. Pre-rock & roll TV show featuring swing from Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, Cab Calloway, and Sarah Vaughan. Rhythm & blues from Amos Milburn, Ruth Brown, Joe Turner, Martha Davis and Larry Darnell. Jazz & calypso from Nat Cole. Ballad by Dinah Washington. Doo wop from The Clovers. Harmony from the Larks and the Delta Rhythm Boys (complete with exciting choreography). Comedy provided by Nipsey Russell & Mantan Moreland, tapdancing by Coles & Atkins and Bill Bailey (check out that 1955 Moonwalk at the end!) Hosted by Willie Bryant.
posted by andihazelwood at 4:50 PM PST - 12 comments

Ratmaze 2 is a flash game by PixelJam. You are a RAT. Start ACTING LIKE ONE. You noble mission: to EAT ALL CHEESE. Your universe consists of an ATARI MAZE. Your soundtrack is COOL PCM MUSIC. Eating cheese awards MORE TIME. DON'T FORGET THE CRUMBS! Eating FRUIT speeds you up. Eat LETTERS for SECRET BONUS. Some walls are FAKE. Get ALL THE CHEESE for AWESOME BONUS ROUND. Solve bonus round for COSMIC CHEESE BONUS.
PixelJam also made Gamma Bros., previously seen. This post brought to you by the Committee for the Preservation of Williams-style Arcade Instruction Screens.
posted by JHarris at 3:27 PM PST - 35 comments

How General Antonio Taguba, who investigated the Abu Ghraib scandal, became one of its casualties. Whether the President was told about Abu Ghraib in January (when e-mails informed the Pentagon of the seriousness of the abuses and of the existence of photographs) or in March (when Taguba filed his report), Bush made no known effort to forcefully address the treatment of prisoners before the scandal became public, or to reëvaluate the training of military police and interrogators, or the practices of the task forces that he had authorized. Instead, Bush acquiesced in the prosecution of a few lower-level soldiers. The President’s failure to act decisively resonated through the military chain of command: aggressive prosecution of crimes against detainees was not conducive to a successful career. In January of 2006, Taguba received a telephone call from General Richard Cody, the Army’s Vice-Chief of Staff. “This is your Vice,” he told Taguba. “I need you to retire by January of 2007.” No pleasantries were exchanged, although the two generals had known each other for years, and, Taguba said, “He offered no reason.” (A spokesperson for Cody said, “Conversations regarding general officer management are considered private personnel discussions. General Cody has great respect for Major General Taguba as an officer, leader, and American patriot.”) “They always shoot the messenger,” Taguba told me. “To be accused of being overzealous and disloyal—that cuts deep into me. I was being ostracized for doing what I was asked to do.”
posted by caddis at 3:01 PM PST - 44 comments


Ride the hound. Greyhound Lines has always been the travel choice for Americas' poor. Visit the Greyhound Museum. Hear some stories. Take the Greyhound trivia challenge.
posted by Xurando at 1:51 PM PST - 26 comments

Rude at Bonnaroo --eventblogging as mock ethnographic survey of sorts, in the proud tradition of Margaret Mead -- and Body Ritual Among the Nacirema. (from the ever Rude Pundit, who's also performing there) ; >
posted by amberglow at 1:46 PM PST - 9 comments

Happy Bloomsday! James Joyce's Ulysses, named the number one novel of the century by the Modern Library, took place 103 years ago today. Can't make the reenactment in Dublin? Listen online right now to a live onstage reading at Symphony Space in New York. (previously)
posted by danb at 12:19 PM PST - 58 comments

singlelinkmusicvideofilter: Boyz!
posted by geos at 9:54 AM PST - 40 comments

Slime molds may control our future computers and robots, and fungi may protect us in outer space.
posted by bad grammar at 9:04 AM PST - 25 comments

Mourning Roundup
posted by wallstreet1929 at 7:33 AM PST - 21 comments

Penguins. Famed for their romantic bonding (? & ?), their defiance of stereotypes, their passion, and their parenting skills, they're now helping us out with our love lifes. (previously 1, 2, 3 etc)
posted by imperium at 3:40 AM PST - 11 comments

The Unicorn In The Garden by James Thurber, a Columbia Pictures short from 1953. [YouTube, approx. 7 mins.] Original text here. Read all about the life and times of James Thurber at the Thurber House. More information here and here.
posted by amyms at 2:49 AM PST - 19 comments


"The time is right, and the time is now! The Lord has spoken to you. He has commanded you to create the New Jerusalem, to prepare for His arrival, to gather the flock, bring together the faithful, spread the Word. Blinded like Paul on his way to Damascus, you are now set to follow His Way. But how do you start such an ambitious project?" Dr. Emeril Lazarus has all the answers.
posted by Kattullus at 2:19 AM PST - 16 comments

June 15

A salute to my Dad and all the good Daddies out there for all the sacrifices you made for us; for making us laugh; for letting us come to work with you to help drive the bus; for looking after us and teaching us things; for never being a phony; for all the awesome things you were and for all the awful things you weren't, well for all that, we have a few words we'd like to say to you.
posted by madamjujujive at 11:43 PM PST - 50 comments



If it's the 3rd Saturday in June, it must be time for the National Hollerin Contest in Spivey's Corner, NC. Ever since the contest's earliest days, it tends to make the media's ears perk up. Hear and watch the many kinds of hollers, see last year's winner or buy a CD (featuring hollerin' legend O.B. Jackson.) Pr"eef"iously.
posted by DonnieSticks at 10:20 PM PST - 9 comments


Sue Carpenter is a photo journalist from the United Kingdom. She has been working with abused and neglected girls in Nepal teaching them photography skills in an effort to give them an expressive voice. Here are 12 examples that will be included in an upcoming exhibit. Related to this, on a wider scope is the notion that the overwhelming majority of photos from developing countries are taken by outsiders, i.e. Americans and Europeans. Dubbed development pornography (SFW) this is perhaps to be somewhat expected because of the levels of income differences. However, there are emerging efforts to address this disparity. Included globally is Majority World and Kijijivision. Regionally - Pathshala, South Asia. Specifically - Out of Focus, Bangladesh.
posted by edgeways at 9:26 PM PST - 11 comments

When Karen Lodrick turned away from ordering her latte at the Starbucks at Church and Market streets, there it was, slung over the arm of the woman behind her... a "beaucoup expensive" light-brown suede coat with faux fur trim at the collar, cuffs and down the middle. The only other time Lodrick had seen that particular coat was on a security camera photo that her bank, Wells Fargo, showed her of the woman who had stolen her identity. The photo was taken as the thief was looting Lodrick's checking account. And thus a foot chase towards justice began. (via the Consumerist)
posted by daninnj at 7:32 PM PST - 56 comments

JP Nicholas Reilly is a theatre (that's "thee-AY-ter") artist who takes himself very, very seriously. Most of his knowledge of the world comes from Hollywood blockbusters. Although his previous plays have sucked big fat hairy sweaty donkey balls, his latest production - about Hitler in college - promises to be his magnum opus.

And if that doesn't convince you, there's the wikification of the world, a phone call from Ira Glass, a Wii swapped for a Super Nintendo, and the Holy Fucking Grail. Watch.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:26 PM PST - 12 comments

"Why (For) Pat Carroll wasn't actually Disney's first choice to voice Ursula in 'The Little Mermaid'? The casting story of one of Disney's most delightful demons.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:43 PM PST - 18 comments

'Sup y'all! This week, we gonna peep inside the dope pad of your favorite French experimental filmmaker, Michel Gondry! (one-link super-deluxe flash video post. pardonnez-moi.)
posted by progosk at 2:07 PM PST - 21 comments

The LED Museum has long been the Internet's premier source of absolutely obsessive LED and Laser analysis. Going strong since 1999, Craig Johnson's amassed quite a range of test equipment. Recently, he acquired a Playstation 3 Blu-Ray Laser Module. Did he mod it? Oh yes he did. (Warning: NSFC64)
posted by effugas at 1:54 PM PST - 20 comments

On the cusp of DEVO's first tour of Europe since 1990 , it's become clear that, though largely cast aside after their 1980 hit "Whip It", DEVO's influence is finally being felt on modern audiences, around the world. DEVO has inspired tribute bands, some traditional, some not. They've also spawned new bands, domestic [MySpace link], and Foreign like Japan's POLYSICS [YouTube], and Germany's Mutate Now [YouTube]. With musical inspiration like this, can't we forgive such missteps as Devo 2.0?
posted by SansPoint at 1:13 PM PST - 55 comments

A Nashville blogger decided to tackle to the project of consuming and reviewing all 51 sandwiches on the Which Wich menu. The local Which Wich caught on, and despite some negative critiques, decided to promote the blogger's URL on every sandwich bag leaving their store.
posted by brittney at 12:18 PM PST - 20 comments


Prisons of the World | Interesting locations, harsh conditions and little known facts, includes images and video.
posted by deern the headlice at 10:23 AM PST - 12 comments

Beauty is more than skin deep.
posted by mediocrates at 10:02 AM PST - 28 comments

Do you want to fly? Really fly? Not at the controls of a cockpit simulation, but just you ... flying ... your motion through space controlled by the gentlest of nudges of your mouse. Tranquility. Not a game; but an environment in which to 'travel'. View a short QT video clip of a typical Tranquility level. Download the 'game browser' (versions for all common computers) in which the game operates, work through the short training levels, and prepare to lose yourself in flight. (Don't be put off by the 'Buy the Game' links on the website; Tranquility is perfectly functional in demo mode, with the demo landscape changing daily. I've been playing it that way for more than five years.)
posted by woodblock100 at 9:16 AM PST - 29 comments

There goes an a**hole. Brooklyn neighborhood security camera set to music.
posted by eddydamascene at 9:07 AM PST - 34 comments

Scientists will use perfect silicon spheres to determine how many silicon atoms make up a kilogram, and this will be used as the new international prototype — bringing the kilogram into line with other base units such as the meter. The current international prototype, a lump of platinum and iridium, is securely tucked away inside a French vault.
posted by nevercalm at 8:56 AM PST - 45 comments

McDonald's UK goes Web 2.0 with a site answering user's questions. Apparently, all of them.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:31 AM PST - 141 comments

Personally, I always thought the whole global warming thing was a little bit overblown. Got to admit this guy makes a very compelling argument without debating any details. (via)
posted by Industrial PhD at 7:52 AM PST - 76 comments

Sing along. Street Evangelist Robert Breaud has a special message for you.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 7:44 AM PST - 31 comments

Sri Lanka's Scars Trace Lines of War Without End. This article in the New York Times does a pretty good job of covering the state of the conflict in Sri Lanka up till today.
posted by chunking express at 7:16 AM PST - 10 comments

"I'm not sure the sight of Obama Girl jiggling her junk in pink panties emblazoned with the letters OBAMA across the back is going to move voters in New Hampshire ... but damn, nobody's jiggling for Giuliani, that's for sure." via, also ...
posted by chinese_fashion at 6:40 AM PST - 78 comments

The great-grandfather could walk six miles to go fishing; the grandfather could walk a mile to go to the woods; the son can't go more than 300 yards from his house. How children lost the right to roam, including a map illustrating the point.
posted by JDHarper at 6:28 AM PST - 95 comments

The Third View project is a fascinating presentation of "rephotographs" of over 100 historic landscape sites in the American West that presents original 19th-century survey photographs, photographed again in the 1970s, then once again in the '90s - from the original vantage points, under similar lighting conditions, at (roughly) the same time of day and year. [Flash, and you'll probably need to allow pop-ups; a little more info inside...]
posted by taz at 6:15 AM PST - 13 comments

Former Senator and current Presidential candidate Mike Gravel (D-AK) wants you to rock the vote ... or something.
posted by pruner at 2:27 AM PST - 40 comments

Saul Steinberg, artist-in-residence of the nation's attic. 1967 S. Dillon Ripley, the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution at the time, invited Saul Steinberg to come be their artist-in-residence. He lasted four months. A gallery of the works he made while there is included in the article. Previous Saul Steinberg.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:33 AM PST - 6 comments

Crazy Mammoths is the finest single-button, mammoths-encased-in-blocks-of-ice racing game. [friday flash fun]
posted by Kattullus at 12:20 AM PST - 26 comments

June 14

In 1965, Peter Watkins produced a fictional documentary called The War Game in which the aftermath of thermo-nuclear attacks in Britain was depicted. The BBC declared that it was "too horrifying for the medium of broadcasting" and was not aired until 1985. Watch it here (warning: graphic depictions of effects of radiation). Related, When the Wind Blows (parts 1 , 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8), a sober animated tale of a British couple who try and survive nuclear holocaust based on the civil defense manual "Protect and Survive." (Previously).
posted by champthom at 10:32 PM PST - 74 comments

vivoleum ExxonMobil has hit upon a novel and renewable source of fuel "Attendees paid 50 dollars a head to hear a speech from the National Petroleum Council, a group that also advises the White House on oil and gas matters. It was rumoured a new joint energy policy from the Canadian and American governments was coming."
posted by nihlton at 9:53 PM PST - 27 comments


Wikipedia claims it has an accuracy rate similar to that of Encyclopedia Britannica. But are Wikipedia articles accurate enough to be relied on? The media frequently cite to the free encyclopedia despite a chance the information might be wildly inaccurate. In an effort to improve the accuracy and quality of articles, Wikipedia's internal editorial team has assessed and graded the content of 300,000 articles (out of 1.8 million articles in English alone.) One obvious way to improve accuracy is to reveal editor names, such as on the Citizendium (as previously posted on MeFi.) A simpler idea, however, might rely on a color scheme to automatically alert users to the accuracy of the article (or lack thereof).
posted by Happydaz at 7:15 PM PST - 60 comments

Massachusetts will retain gay marriage. For now. The initiative petition which sought to amend the Massachusetts constitution to ban gay marriage (thereby revoking the decision of the Supreme Judicial Court in Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health) will not appear on the ballot. The petition needed the votes of fifty legislators in two consecutive constitutional conventions to proceed; my representative was one of the nine house members who changed their votes from the last time. Thank you, Jim.
posted by yhbc at 6:38 PM PST - 102 comments

The Hamas-Fatah civil war seems to be winding down in Gaza. Meanwhile, Palestinian and Israeli bloggers discuss the idea that the West Bank will go into confederation with Jordan; leaving Gaza to the Egyptians.
posted by humanfont at 6:26 PM PST - 30 comments

An interesting set of videos demonstrating the state of liquid and particle systems simulation for use in movies, games, etc. It's the work of Ron Fedkiw, a computational physicist and consultant for ILM^ , who worked with his students to create all sorts of other interesting CG creations.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 6:06 PM PST - 10 comments

No trip to San Diego's Historic Balboa Park would be complete without witnessing some awesome street performers.
posted by snsranch at 5:25 PM PST - 10 comments

Introducing Nunatak They are an indie-folk fusion band, but you've probably never heard of them unless you've been to Rothera Research Station in Antarctica. Their first live gig will be broadcast 07/07/07 to hundreds of millions of people on more than 120 networks around the world. Al Gore invited them to play Live Earth because the runway at Rothera is too small for major rock stars. And he promised concerts on all 7 continents. They will have a gorgeous stage, performing outside on the ice if the weather is nice, say minus 15F or so.
posted by culberjo at 5:13 PM PST - 7 comments

Many Mefi members have wondered about how they should get from their private island to friends' private islands. Finally, SeaFalcon provides an answer. They have a built a wonderful vehicle that exploits ground effects to provide a rapid, efficient way to island hop. via
posted by sien at 4:44 PM PST - 39 comments

I'm officially jealous of the people who get to work in this office workspace custom designed to look like Captain Nemo's Nautilus, from 20,000 Leagues. Via.
posted by jonson at 4:20 PM PST - 30 comments

McSweeney's is holding a big sale and auction to make up for $130,000 lost in a distributor bankruptcy. Soon we'll be adding one-of-a-kind pieces from Michael Chabon, Sarah Vowell, and Marcel Dzama—and every single thing we've got is on sale, cheap.
posted by KokuRyu at 3:04 PM PST - 38 comments


greenmuseum.org in a non-profit, online museum profiling environmental artists like Chris Booth, Seung-hyun Ko, Yolanda Gutierrez, Aviva Rahmani, and others.
posted by serazin at 2:11 PM PST - 3 comments

"I just like to have the hottest of the hottest. Whatever's hot at the time" In the spring of 2007, Lauren Greenfield conducted interviews with Los Angeles teenagers on the subject of money and how it affects their lives. The link is a 15-minute selection of those interviews.
posted by revmitcz at 1:17 PM PST - 60 comments

Poor Sean Clifton, age 6, doesn't know the difference between a cartoon and an ad. "They just, um, taste so fruity to me." "They taste fruity, the Fruit Loops? What about real fruit? How do you like real fruit?" "Mm... I don't really like it." Kellogg agrees to major changes in the marketing of foods that are considered of "poor nutritional quality". Executive Director of CSPI Michael Jacobson explains.
posted by phaedon at 12:55 PM PST - 79 comments

Relive the glory days of being the only male flutist in the middle school band. Fløjte Hero. [warning: danish flash sound]
posted by Stynxno at 12:51 PM PST - 10 comments

If you missed Elvis Perkins on Late Night with David Letterman making their national television debut, at least now you can say you knew about these guys before they really hit the big time (check out "Acoustic Slip Away"). I first heard about them on Lex and Terry. Warning, may be NSFW, youtube and audio links. Click at your own risk.
posted by misha at 12:34 PM PST - 32 comments

The Wang Freestyle (warning: Google Video; part one of video). A curious footnote in the history of computing that took the desktop metaphor to new levels back in 1988. Featured sampled sound, high-res graphics, and the ability to stack documents on top of each other, the last of which is due in a certain big cat operating system later this year. Watch for how slow the system is, and the subsequent magician-like distraction techniques used by the presenter to avoid people noticing.
posted by humblepigeon at 12:30 PM PST - 26 comments

On this day in 1737, 38 guineas was stolen from under a lump of butter, having been hidden there during a journey from Bedfordshire to London. The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, London 1674 to 1834.
posted by markdj at 11:50 AM PST - 31 comments

Self-Diagnosis: Five anonymous doctors frankly discuss their patients, other doctors, American healthcare, and the inevitable mistakes doctors make, including mistakes they've personally made that jeopardized their patients' lives.
posted by hermitosis at 11:39 AM PST - 50 comments

HBO: Flight of the Conchords follows the trials and tribulations of a two man, digi-folk band from New Zealand as they try to make a name for themselves in their adopted home of New York City. The band is made up of Bret McKenzie on guitar and vocals, and Jemaine Clement on guitar and vocals. Episode 1 is available free online. [flash video]
posted by srboisvert at 10:37 AM PST - 27 comments

Decorate a bus with paint, stencils, and other graffiti. (Click the big red button, and then the paint bucket to get started. You'll figure out the drawing controls. Click the "All-around view" icon in the upper right to return from drawing and OK! to save it, if you like - give it a name, and you'll get a linkable URL.) Here's a gallery of designs.
posted by Wolfdog at 9:38 AM PST - 7 comments

The Easy-Glider is everything the Segway is, but cheaper. Electric engine, 16-25 kilometers (10-15 miles) on a charge. Looks like fun [8mb qt] for only less than EU1000 ($1300 US). (Currently not available in the US.)
posted by Dave Faris at 9:17 AM PST - 42 comments

Safari: innocuous browser alternative or sneaky way for Apple to build its homegrown platform on top of Windows? Through suggestions and bundling Apple is installing more on your PC than just a browser.
posted by clevershark at 9:14 AM PST - 44 comments

Sniff, Swig, Puff and your cares are temporarily gone. [youtube]
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:44 AM PST - 20 comments


Here's the background of one of the nastiest divorce/custody/dead baby stories you're ever likely to run across. Alan Rodgers is a horror writer. This is his wikipedia entry, and this is his blog/forum at sff.net. He was originally married to Amy Stout, and together they had three children, two girls and a boy. After he tried to kill Amy Stout, she left him and married -- Me, Dan Moran. I'm the handsome dude in the eyepatch, if you click through to my profile. Together Alan and Amy #2 had a baby: Anthony Rodgers. Who died under interesting circumstances. A tragedy, I believe Alan Rodgers has called it, and by "tragedy" I suspect he means, "Thank God I wasn't prosecuted for negligent homicide." Or worse.
posted by thanotopsis at 7:15 AM PST - 44 comments

Australian TV show The Chaser recently went to New York and asked some American citizens what date the September 11 attacks occurred on. Here are some of their answers.
posted by Effigy2000 at 12:05 AM PST - 134 comments

June 13

A bowhead whale was recently killed off the coast of Alaska. When its hunters carved it up, they discovered someone else had attempted to kill it- more than a century earlier.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 11:19 PM PST - 83 comments

Recursion and Human Thought - Why the Piraha don't have numbers
posted by Gyan at 11:00 PM PST - 47 comments

Edward Gorey is coming to the big screen! You may know him from his animations on PBS. You may even be familiar with his poem on child mortality. And if you’re a particularly avid fan, you may have purchased his raccoon fur coat.
posted by gueneverey at 10:22 PM PST - 30 comments

The sounds of the old New York Times, (By David Dunlap), now that the paper is moving into a new building
posted by growabrain at 9:59 PM PST - 5 comments

An "order of magnitude older than the dinosaurs," even older than clams, bugs, vertebrates, are jellyfish. At almost 600 million years old, jellyfish are some of the oldest animals on the earth that have survived the test of time. Dr. Lisa-ann Gershwin, (yes, of that Gershwin family) is a scientist studying jellyfish in Queensland, Australia and was recently interviewed by the ABC. I was particularly disturbed by her gripping description of the tiny Irukandji jellyfish and how the venom affects humans. This summer, swim at your own risk.
posted by gen at 9:58 PM PST - 27 comments

Iron Butterfly Line Dancing. That is all.
posted by miss lynnster at 9:46 PM PST - 16 comments

I have been called a voluptuary, a sybarite, a hedonist, a creep. .. George Meyer's silly rhapsody on conferences, symposia, seminars, etc.: "The OFF-SITE is a born provocateur. She blends the dirty fun of a PowerPoint presentation with the raw danger of a Kaffeeklatsch. One minute she’s showing you charts and graphs, then up pops a “Far Side” cartoon. It’s high-stakes poker, and everything’s wild." from the New Yorker , May 2007.
posted by celerystick at 9:28 PM PST - 10 comments

Previously on MetaFilter, you remember the Plymouth Belvedere that was buried in a downtown Tulsa time capsule 50 years ago? The Tulsarama! folks were going to unveil it on Friday, but on opening the vault today they discovered it's full of standing water. Someone (or his/her descendant) will win this fine car impending environmental disaster if they correctly guessed Tulsa's 2007 population in 1957.
posted by dw at 9:20 PM PST - 28 comments

Breathing strange utterances and mouthing a creed which it would seem no sane mortal could understand, the newest religious sect has started in Los Angeles. Meetings are held in a tumble-down shack on Azusa Street, near San Pedro Street, and devotees of the weird doctrine practice the most fanatical rites, preach the wildest theories and work themselves into a state of mad excitement in their peculiar zeal. [mi]
posted by bigmusic at 8:21 PM PST - 38 comments

The most popular blog on Myspace isn't about sex, drugs, or white girl gang signs. It is the tale of 5-month old Kaleb Schwabe, who suffered serious injuries believed to be caused by abuse at the hands of a caregiver. 21-year-old mom Kristy details Kaleb's recovery with doses of faith, sadness, and hope, and MySpace users have rallied in a big way.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:47 PM PST - 18 comments

“There has never been a massively successful consumer device based solely on a touch screen” ...designers and marketers of electronic devices centers are having a spirited debate about whether consumers will have the patience to overcome the hurdle that will be required to type without the familiar tactile feedback offered by conventional keyboards. Any significant number of returns of the iPhone could conceivably undermine what until now has been a remarkable promotional blitzkrieg that culminates in the phone’s release June 29.
posted by wfc123 at 7:02 PM PST - 52 comments

Australia is home to the biggest worm in the world, the Giant Gippsland Earthworm - Megascolides australis. The next biggest is the Giant Palouse Earthworm - Driloleirus americanus from Oregon. Both [Gippsland, Palouse] are only classed as vulnerable in the threatened category of the IUCN Red List, simply because they are hard to count. This is despite the extreme measures taken to save some and to try and just find a live specimen of others.
posted by tellurian at 6:57 PM PST - 25 comments

Iran: This musician is revolutionizng the music scene (Video) Mohsen Namjoo and her superstar
posted by hoder at 5:08 PM PST - 19 comments

From the Makers of Desktop TD and Flash Circle TD, comes the all new, all-addictive Vector Tower Defense! Goodbye productivity.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 4:45 PM PST - 52 comments

"The Blessings-of-Civilization Trust, wisely and cautiously administered, is a Daisy. There is more money in it, more territory, more sovereignty, and other kinds of emolument, than there is in any other game that is played. But Christendom has been playing it badly of late years, and must certainly suffer by it, in my opinion. She has been so eager to get every stake that appeared on the green cloth, that the People who Sit in Darkness have noticed it – they have noticed it, and have begun to show alarm. They have become suspicious of the Blessings of Civilization."
posted by homunculus at 3:15 PM PST - 13 comments

Fritz Kahn was a German writer & illustrator in the 1920s who specialized in illustrating the physical processes of human bodies as though they were machine powered. Perhaps it's easier to show than describe.
posted by jonson at 2:49 PM PST - 18 comments

We've all seen the multitouch interfaces of Jeff Han, Apple, Tactiva, and Microsoft. Now, fellow mefite you brings us the ultimate guerrilla hack - the $2 multitouch pad. [via mefi projects]
posted by Pastabagel at 1:47 PM PST - 28 comments

In 2008 Elect “Independent” Don Cordell For President, of the “United States of America” our, “America the Beautiful” OR, You “will be” “Citizens” of The: UNITED NATION’S, “NEW WORLD ORDER”
posted by brett at 1:44 PM PST - 57 comments

Meet JANO, the beautiful bicyle built out of wood. This hybrid bike is the thesis project of Roland Kaufmann and is designed for both the very active and every day cyclist.
posted by inconsequentialist at 1:02 PM PST - 33 comments

Not at all satisfied with the "Maxim Hot 100," the editors over at AfterEllen decided to ask their readers to assemble their own lesbian and bisexual-oriented Hot 100.
posted by nevercalm at 11:40 AM PST - 104 comments

The gals at Jezebel.com recently completed a short series about vaginal plastic surgery, called Pimp My Vag.
posted by serazin at 11:31 AM PST - 53 comments

"What You Need, You Know I Got It!" The Detroit Free Press celebrates 40 years of Aretha Franklin's "Respect" in grand style.
posted by grabbingsand at 10:45 AM PST - 11 comments


The Soviet Union’s answer to Saturn V, the massive, complex, and top-secret N1 rocket, failed win the moon race after four disastrous launch explosions between 1969 and 1972. In 2004, Polecat Aerospace had much better luck launching their 1/16 N1 scale model.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot at 8:56 AM PST - 17 comments


Charles Evans (1850-1935) created his American Bibliography as a labor of love. Evans, an orphan whose education ended at age fifteen, was fifty-one and unemployed when he began singlehandedly cataloging every printed document published in America between 1639 and 1820. At the time of his death thirty-four years later, he had set down 35,854 entries through 1799, twelve volumes totaling over 5,500 pages. It took two decades (1950-1968) for a team of bibliographers to transfer the pamphlets he cited onto microfilm, and three more years (2002-2005) to digitize them. The result, Evans Digital Edition, is a full-text searchable collection of 2.3 million pages of pamphlets. Some see it as a revolutionary innovation that will democratize the historical profession, but others are not so sure--the original cost $25 a volume, but Evans Digital Edition costs $20,000-$100,000 to subscribe.
posted by nasreddin at 8:14 AM PST - 11 comments

Red State Update with Jackie and Dunlap. Comic good ol' boys shooting the sh*t and having a few hundred beers, while using satire and dead pan humor on the politics of the day.
posted by nola at 8:01 AM PST - 14 comments

100 words every high school graduate should know (according to the editors of the American Heritage Dictionaries).
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:49 AM PST - 159 comments


How secure is your password? If you're like some people, it's probably not secure enough. When did you last change yours?
posted by chuckdarwin at 6:45 AM PST - 66 comments

Unexpectedly, thousands of mammals were spotted during their migration in the Southern Sudan surprising scientists who had given up thinking that wildlife might still exist [video link] in this war torn region of the world.
posted by infini at 4:54 AM PST - 11 comments

Can you name all the books of the bible? How about all fifty U.S. states? Every U.S. president? All the Academy Awards Best Picture winners since 1927? And can you do it in under two minutes? embedded Google video
posted by zardoz at 4:04 AM PST - 25 comments

Sam Mendes is currently directing an adaptation of Richard Yates's 1961 novel Revolutionary Road. Ignored for much of Yates's lifetime the 2000 edition, championed by Richard Ford, received renewed critical acclaim and the book went on to make Time's all-time 100 novels list. For those re-discovering it John Mullen offers a four part reading guide: imaginary dialogue, the epigraph, comic dialogue, the ending.
posted by ninebelow at 1:48 AM PST - 13 comments

June 12

Felice Frankel's photography "When people call Felice Frankel an artist, she winces. In the first place, the photographs she makes don't sell. In the second place, her images are not full of emotion or ideology or any other kind of message. As she says, "My stuff is about phenomena." [via]
posted by dhruva at 9:43 PM PST - 29 comments

During the infamous anti road protests at Newbury, England in the mid 1990s, Mark Carroll made a short film called 'The Wild Horses of Newbury' .
posted by Sailormom at 9:30 PM PST - 14 comments

Antioch College announces that it is suspending operations, effective July 1, 2008. Founded in 1852, enrollment at the school had been declining for the past several years. Loren Pope included it in a list of life-changing schools. The school was notable for its strong tradition of student governance, advocacy of co-education, the integration of co-op work experience with the academic curriculum, narrative evaluations in place of letter grades, and the sexual offense prevention policy. Coretta Scott King, Stephen Jay Gould, Rod Serling, and Eleanor Holmes Norton graduated from Antioch, among other noteworthy alumni. Four satellite campuses will remain open.
posted by metabrilliant at 9:16 PM PST - 98 comments

A new agony aunt for you. He beat me after I cheated... can I fix this or should I leave? More examples inside.
posted by bigmusic at 8:13 PM PST - 35 comments

Nessun Dorma : Potts vs. Pavarotti - While Pavarotti's version is generally thought to be one of the best (though some might claim that honor for Corelli) this unassuming mobile phone salesman from South Wales pulls off an amazing performance.
posted by Liosliath at 7:54 PM PST - 74 comments

The Armageddon flowchart: Just how will the end times play out?
posted by edgeways at 7:22 PM PST - 12 comments


Jim Davis' other strip was U.S. Acres, with Orson the Pig, Roy the Rooster, chick and egg Booker and Sheldon, sheep Bo and Lanolyn, and... a dog named Cody and a cat named Blue? Everyone who grew up from that time remembers the long-running Saturday morning show, but no one remembers the strip, which ended a couple of years before the cartoon did and evolved on a different track. Platypus Comix brings us highlights from the strip's surprisingly good, yet neglected, newspaper run.
posted by JHarris at 7:06 PM PST - 29 comments

How to Grow Your Own Mushrooms : Techniques that work for all kinds of spore-bearing fruiting bodies of fungi ...Instructional videos 1, 2, 3, 4, or skip ahead to the advanced techniques using the Laundry basket / Straw Log methods.
posted by Dave Faris at 7:04 PM PST - 20 comments

The site French New-Wave isn't what you think it is. Neither dedicated to the film movement nor the band Nouvelle Vague it instead catalogs French new wave music from the 1980's. It has interviews and much other information, but the real treasure is the media section which includes a photo gallery, streaming radio and, most importantly, links to sites where you can listen to French new wave songs (unfortunately, some of the links don't work).
posted by Kattullus at 6:28 PM PST - 10 comments

$50 Paint Job I figured since the Corvair is not in line to be professionally painted, I'd give it a try.
posted by Ufez Jones at 4:26 PM PST - 70 comments

On June 4th, 2007, New Haven became the first city to pass a law offering Municipal IDs for all citizens of the city, including illegal immigrants giving them better access to city services and making it possible for them to obtain a library card or open a bank account. Some people think it's a good idea. Some people don't, saying, among other things, that the program will cause illegal immigrants from other cities to rush to New Haven. The federal government may have made their opinion known on June 6th, when 31 illegal immigrants were arrested in what officials say was a routine raid, not in any way influenced by what had occurred two days previous. However, the mayor of New Haven, John DeStefano Jr has called it "an act of intimidation." Yesterday, in nearby North Haven, 3 more illegal immigrants were arrested.
posted by eunoia at 4:17 PM PST - 75 comments

RIP Don Herbert Better known as Mr. Wizard, you taught several generations basic science and a love of experimentation. You will be missed. Sorry for the one-link ObitFilter
posted by JMOZ at 4:16 PM PST - 103 comments


How is a filmmaker to fund, market, and distribute his or her project in the digital age? Well, the duo behind a new film called Four Eyed Monsters posted the entire 71 minute film on youtube. In conjuction, Spout.com, a social networking/film discussion website, will donate one dollar to the filmmakers' debt fund for every new person that registers with the site. The film was posted on Friday, and as of this posting, the filmmakers have raised $16,378. The film is also for sale courtesy of B-side a pretty cool site itself that non-exclusively distributes indpenedent films by DRM-free download, or with an "uprade", by DVD.
posted by ChestnutMonkey at 3:26 PM PST - 10 comments

"Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix." Thankfully, the Supreme Court disagreed, on June 12, 1967. Happy Loving Day.
posted by caddis at 3:08 PM PST - 68 comments

Alexander Pavlovich Lobanov was a Russian deaf-mute confined to psychiatric institutions for over 50 years. He liked to draw pictures of himself with guns. Lots of guns.
posted by hydrophonic at 2:27 PM PST - 12 comments

MMORPG maker to create oversight committee of elected players -- The makers of Eve Online, are taking a bold step in combating charges (previously discussed here) of favoritism towards one of the dominant in-game groups: holding elections for player ombudsman who will be flown to Iceland to audit the company's practices and report back to the game's subscribers.
posted by uri at 2:24 PM PST - 21 comments

Chime.TV -- it's a new video hyper-aggregator (like VodPod) by MeFite chime that I've been using since it was in development. It's Wii-compatible and tested and can turn your fave sites into channels (including but not limited to MeFi,Boing Boing, Digg, or Fark). You can automatically watch any YouTube channel as well, or just watch your favorites. I'm personally going to suggest you try out the Net100 channel, which is an aggregate of everbody's top 10 videos. Flash player required
posted by taumeson at 1:46 PM PST - 26 comments

The UK media is like a "Feral Beast", and is undermining Britain, says Tony Blair. Simon Kelner, editor of The Independent, responds. Some reasons why Blair might not be too keen on the press.
posted by Artw at 1:19 PM PST - 21 comments


Dachshund in Kiddie Pool. Also see Rusty.
posted by brownpau at 11:49 AM PST - 72 comments


Automotive journalist, cartoonist and architect Earl Ma passed away this week after a three year battle with cancer. But you would never have known it from how he lived his life. Last month, he refused to let his partial paralysis keep him away from the Indianapolis 500 (though fellow Hawaiian Jim Nabors was too ill to attend), and with the help of friends covered the race from his wheelchair. His boundless energy, generosity and wide range of talents earned him many friends and admirers, and he is already greatly missed.
posted by Scram at 11:43 AM PST - 2 comments

The most awesomest jambox ever. It has to be seen to be understood, so I won't try to explain it for you. Best to let it's creator do that. And don't forget to check out the making-of feature as well.
posted by ninjew at 10:36 AM PST - 43 comments

The Naxalites of India
posted by hadjiboy at 10:15 AM PST - 8 comments


Artifacts, people, and traditions of Alaska and Northeast Siberia.
posted by Wolfdog at 9:20 AM PST - 6 comments

Has some strange man been having orgasms inside your wife or daughter? Sure, you may think not, but can you be sure?? You can now, thanks to the revolutionary new CheckMate (get it) Semen Detection Kit that is not, in fact, a joke despite how absolutely creepy it seems.
posted by jonson at 9:16 AM PST - 66 comments

"You are the first person to sit right next to me." What does that tell you? "That you're smart." Marilyn Manson isn't doing industrial howls anymore, but still has all the melancholy you could ask for. Fun interview by Polly Vernon.
posted by Firas at 8:30 AM PST - 69 comments

This might make you smile.
posted by brittney at 7:50 AM PST - 137 comments

Japanese onsen are now offering fish pedicures, where little flesh eating fishes nibble your toes. It's very youtube-genic, but there's a longer video report here.
posted by tombola at 7:48 AM PST - 21 comments


GMod meets Jackass, meets MTV, meets Nintendo, meets celebrity gossip, meets LOTR.
(single-link, youtube, loud music, flashing graphics, 8minutes 30, epic awesomeness), [via b3ta]
posted by NinjaTadpole at 3:52 AM PST - 37 comments

Don't let them do that to you! (youtube) A punky Bjork boosts the cause for Faroese independence and gives the first mainstream showcase for the (aforementioned) ReacTable. 45,000 Faroe islanders are sitting on in the middle of an oil field worth a potential $84 billion; Denmark is reluctant to loose them.
posted by rongorongo at 3:16 AM PST - 48 comments

President Bush received a hero's welcome on a recent trip to Albania. This has been the first time a serving U.S. President has visited the country, and it's probably the first time a president has had his wristwatch stolen while shaking hands.
posted by hafetysazard at 1:11 AM PST - 80 comments

June 11


Bag Ladies and Gentlemen.... Yes, you conscientiously refuse plastic shopping bags and use enviro bags as often as you can, but still the plastic bags manage to breed like roaches. How many plastic bags do you have stuffed in (naturally!) a large plastic bag somewhere in your home? And do you despair of ever using them up? Fear not! If you have more bags than home furnishings and décor items, you could make a chair, a few throw rugs, cushions, a chandelier, or a Christmas wreath. If you’d like a stylish yet waterproof wardrobe, you could make a cape, a raincoat, or a bra. It would be less utilitarian but equally cool to make your own menagerie: chickens, a zebra, more chickens, sea creatures, and still more chickens. [more inside]
posted by orange swan at 8:47 PM PST - 35 comments

Don't waste your hard earned money on a pet psychic. That would be foolish! Especially since your baby has so much to say.
posted by The Deej at 8:23 PM PST - 12 comments

Investigating the Dim Mak Death Touch - "The old Kung Fu master touched his assailant, with no apparent effect. Days later, the assailant died a sudden and mysterious death. He was a victim of the legendary dim mak, the touch of death." [previously]
posted by Burhanistan at 7:45 PM PST - 71 comments

A pedophile among us. Jack McClellan told us he's mapping out Southland events where little girls attend then posting them on his website. "Is that part of what drew you here to Los Angeles [...] the number of children?" "Yes." McClellan recently moved here from Washington state, having run a site called Seattle-Tacoma-Everett Girl Love for years, which offered tips on how to track children down and how to avoid getting caught by the police. He has never been arrested for a sex crime, so he is free to attend public events with children present, and live next to a school. It is currently not illegal to post a minor's personal information online. "I can understand the fear," he added. "I hope that what I'm doing is setting myself up as an example that it is possible to have these attractions and not be out of control." His site is hosted by the Canadian ISP Epifora. Here it is. [more inside]
posted by phaedon at 7:06 PM PST - 148 comments

Sub $1000 UAV. Wired editor, author and blogger Chris Anderson[wiki] built a sub $1000 UAV from a model airplane and a Lego mindstorms robotics kit. The drone flies itself, all you do is punch in a direction (and eventually, GPS coordinates). I don't know if it's technically Open Source, but you can definitely download instructions and code.
posted by delmoi at 6:59 PM PST - 14 comments

Northwestern University hosts a fine collection of historic East African photographs, viewable as sample sets or in their original photo-albums (requires flash). But the real prize is their wonderful collection of 113 historic maps of Africa, which are zoomable to incredible detail, also 1, 2, 3. via
posted by Rumple at 6:26 PM PST - 11 comments

Koichiro Tsujikawa : self-taught surrealist filmmaker. Mostly music videos : Like a Rolling Stone .. Eyes [hi-fi, making of] .. Untitled .. Fit Song.. Breezin' .. Tone Twilight Zone .. Wonder Word .. Gakaxy in the Groove .. I Hate Hate
posted by Dave Faris at 6:16 PM PST - 5 comments


St. Nicholas Magazine.
posted by hama7 at 3:27 PM PST - 10 comments

Papiroflexia (Spanish for “Origami”) is the animated tale of Fred, a skillful paper folder who could shape the world with his hands. The creator gives his methods here (third post). His website Pixel Nitrate has several other animations.
posted by frobozz at 2:15 PM PST - 5 comments

Genarlow Wilson, now 19, had his sentence reversed today and is expected to leave prison shortly. He served two years of his ten-year-sentence for engaging in consensual sex acts with a fellow teenager. Previously discussed here.
posted by macrowave at 1:52 PM PST - 52 comments

Dr. Brady Barr wears a "croc suit" to crawl up to basking wild crocs, close enough to attach a scientific device. His disguise, created by National Geographic engineers, is a prosthetic head attached to the front of a protective metal cage covered with canvas and a generous plastering of hippo dung to mask his human scent. Sez he: My heart raced and I held my breath expecting the worst, all the while wondering if my little croc suit could withstand an attack from a half ton reptilian giant. Also, an experiment monitoring crocs with a web cam and an RC racer.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:38 PM PST - 24 comments

Rome Reborn is a digital model of ancient Rome as it might have appeared on June 21, 320 AD, including the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. More info.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:34 PM PST - 22 comments

Ousmane Sembene, Senegalese writer and filmmaker, has died.
posted by RogerB at 1:30 PM PST - 16 comments

Dutty Wine - the new dance craze that's sweeping the nation, or "a demon sen' from de pit a hell dat is taking the lives of the youth even before dem have time to repent?"
posted by ikkyu2 at 1:23 PM PST - 63 comments

Weird Tales: The Strange Life of HP Lovecraft is a 45-minute BBC radio documentary: "Geoff Ward examines the strange life and terrifying world of the man hailed as America's greatest horror writer since Poe. During his life, Lovecraft's work was confined to lurid pulp magazines and he died in penury in 1937. Today, however, his writings are considered modern classics and published in prestigious editions. How did such a weird, wild and ungodly writer get canonised? Among the writers considering his legacy are Neil Gaiman, ST Joshi, Kelly Link, Peter Straub and China Mieville." ST Joshi, a biographer of Lovecraft, has an essay up on The Scriptorium. Wikisource has an extensive collection of his writings, including not only his most famous novels and short stories, but also essays, letters, poetry and legal documents. He is buried in the city of his birth, Providence, Rhode Island, where he does eternal lie, even though someone made an unsuccessful attempt to exhume him in 1997.
posted by Kattullus at 12:33 PM PST - 43 comments

Death to IE? If Firefox wasn't enough to ween you off Internet Explorer on Windows, perhaps Safari for Windows will be.
posted by aletheia at 12:01 PM PST - 172 comments

"50,000 Years of Resilience May Not Save Tribe." A deal to provide a member of the UAE royal family with a personal Tanzanian playground may be the final nail in the coffin for the remaining 1,500 members of the ancient Hadzabe people and their unique language. Read a Westerner's account of living among the Hadzabe here.
posted by lalex at 11:28 AM PST - 18 comments

Senator Lieberman advocates military strike on Iran Newsfilter: Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) on CBS's Face the Nation yesterday morning laid out a case for the US taking military action against Iran. Glenn Greenwald says that while neocon true believers are becoming harder to find in the GOP ranks, Holy Joe embodies one in its purest form. The Salem-News simply calls his demands cowardly, and others wonder if he has a point.
posted by psmealey at 10:11 AM PST - 106 comments

Consumer Reports has videos of over 150 different models of cars and trucks in crash tests. If you drive something much larger, learn about train crash tests, or, much more dramatically, watch crash tests of trains carrying nuclear flasks and airplanes. After you have seen it done, try to achieve the most dangerous crashes yourself with the Truck Dismount freeware game. [previously on truck dismount and airplanes]
posted by blahblahblah at 9:17 AM PST - 19 comments

SimCity 2008, Scenario: Beijing. Prepare your city for the 2008 Olympics. Raze slums, build luxury hotels, and stadiums. Make the nation, and the world, proud!
posted by SansPoint at 7:41 AM PST - 38 comments

Explore a thousand years of classical music in 30 fifteen-minute programmes on BBC Radio 4.
posted by Aloysius Bear at 12:50 AM PST - 20 comments

James Burke does Youtube. A very conscientious fan has begun creating a wonderful collection of two of James Burke's shows on youtube. There are many episodes up and more to come of both Connections and The Day The Universe Changed. Catch them while you can.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 12:29 AM PST - 45 comments


June 10

Marvin Schneider, New York City's Official Clock Master is responsible for keeping the giant public clocks of the five boroughs running smoothly; the beautiful photo essay with an accompanying interview is not to be missed for fans of giant gears & sprockets.
posted by jonson at 11:03 PM PST - 18 comments

Mars and Beyond - 50 years ago, this animated episode of Tomorrowland aired on Disneyland a few months after the launch of Sputnik - an entertaining melange of astronomy, sci-fi, pop culture, science, speculation, and surreality. Walt himself and Wernher von Braun make guest appearances and clip 5 is particularly trippy. (Parts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
posted by madamjujujive at 10:22 PM PST - 9 comments

Google v Microsoft: Fight!
posted by taosbat at 9:41 PM PST - 26 comments

An interesting and in-depth article at The Economist about the state of recycling. It discusses the past and future of recycling as well as the flow of materials, energy and monetary costs, and technology involved. Info on local programs and other related stuff can be found at the EPA's recycling site.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 8:43 PM PST - 26 comments

The Prelinger Library is a small privately owned "public library" in San Francisco with the unique philosophy that browsing library stacks can reveal new knowledge, if the books are arranged for browsing. This is counter to most public libraries who rely on computer terminal searching, databases and the Dewey Decimal system to atomize books and subjects, with stack browsing a sort of random after effect, and in some places--like the Library of Congress--normally not even allowed. Now a (real) public library in Arizona has joined the revolution and claims to be the first public library in the nation to drop the Dewey Decimal system. Instead, books will be shelved by topic, similar to the way bookstores arrange books. The demise of the century-old Dewey Decimal system is overdue, county librarians say: "People think of books by subject. Very few people say, 'Oh, I know Dewey by heart.' "
posted by stbalbach at 8:13 PM PST - 84 comments

Organic chickens more likely to make you seriously ill. Of course, just thinking about the conditions factory-raised chickens live in can make you ill as well, but Campylobacter can kill you.
posted by Kickstart70 at 7:35 PM PST - 40 comments

Apparently, Metafilter is 73.78 % mainstream. How mainstream are you?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:53 PM PST - 62 comments

Clark and Michael stars Michael Cera, who you may have seen in Arrested Development, the Tim and Eric Show, and this previous post, but probably not in the movie Knocked Up.
posted by buriednexttoyou at 4:58 PM PST - 26 comments



PrashArt
posted by greatgefilte at 2:15 PM PST - 9 comments

Between the resounding reception of Knocked Up and the anticipation of Superbad (NSFW), this is looking to be the summer of Judd Apatow. So in celebration, I present to you Ms. Allison Jones, the casting genius behind not just those two movies, but Arrested Development, Freaks and Geeks, and The Office as well. (Also, Family Ties, the Golden Girls...) We thank you, Allison, for Pam-and-Jim (Spoiler alert), for George-Michael Bluth, and for Bill Haverchuck. Oh yeah, and she cast Borat, too.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:53 AM PST - 37 comments

What does the Wii's success mean for traditional hard-core gamers? The brother of the Gears of War designer has a few thoughts about the Wii's potential dominance in the coming years. Personally, I agree with his analysis but I think it's a good thing, whereas he's a little concerned.
posted by jragon at 10:18 AM PST - 84 comments

Painter and comic artist Jun-Pierre Shiozawa visited the Tokyo National Museum recently to view da Vinci's Annunciata which created protests in Italy when the Uffizi Gallery lent this artwork to Japan. Shiozawa then created a fantastic "manga review" of the experience for Tokyo Art Beat's TABlog. You can see the steps Shiozawa made to create his manga review on Shiozawa's Flickr account or blog.
posted by gen at 9:20 AM PST - 9 comments

Singer Miho Hatori from Cibo Matto and artist Masaru Ishiura from TGB design have teamed up to create this gem.
posted by puddnhead at 8:27 AM PST - 15 comments

"Oh, boy, sleep! That's where I'm a viking!" From the Simpsons episode "Lisa the Vegetarian," one small Ralph Wiggum line that's sparked some big debate on the internet. Does Ralph use "Viking" to mean "One who excels"? Or does Ralph dream of being a Scandinavian warrior? Not content to keep it online, people are calling radio shows (June 5th's episode, around the 49 minute mark) to gain support for their opinion. Perhaps only the show's writer, David Cohen, can settle this.
posted by Greg Nog at 7:06 AM PST - 467 comments

June 9

AWGTHTGTTA? FYI, NALOPKT. Alas, TMIKTLIU. (Previously)
posted by Krrrlson at 11:47 PM PST - 58 comments


The Cagliari Contemporary Arts Centre is a work in progress: "The vital metaphor governing the museum becomes clear within the phasing plans: as with living organisms, the growth of the museum will be self-regulated. It will happen naturally when the conditions of a mature balance between the economic atmosphere and philanthropic and cultural environment are reached." More from architect Zaha Hadid.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:02 PM PST - 10 comments

Make love not war? The Pentagon confirms that it was researching the possibility of a "gay bomb" that could "turn enemy soldiers into homosexuals and make them more interested in sex than fighting." BBC discusses this and other unorthodox U.S. weapons proposals.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:01 PM PST - 86 comments

Before he was the lead singer of popular* Australian rock band Thirsty Merc, which has produced songs such as 20 Good Reasons and Someday Someday, Rai Thistlethwayte had a short, unsuccessful career as a solo pop artist. The result was the song Give A Smile To The World.**

* Warning: Your-favorite-band-sucks-filter.
**Warning: Whether you love Thirsty Merc or not, this song is awful in countless ways.

posted by Second Account For Making Jokey Comments at 6:40 PM PST - 18 comments

Bad album covers: Volume 1 and Volume 2, (NSFW content!). Two flickr sets of album covers to make you laugh. cry, scream in terror, or just quietly go WTF? In addition is the related site of Strange records, which includes a page of mp3s. previous related post [via] [via]
posted by edgeways at 6:03 PM PST - 36 comments


Torrent Raiders is a dynamic network visualization realized through the idioms and aesthetics of arcade-style video games. Driven in real-time by the activity of bit torrent swarms, Torrent Raiders takes place on the ad-hoc networks created by bit torrent users.
posted by Dave Faris at 3:18 PM PST - 13 comments


Mick Jagger joins his little brother Chris onstage in a pub. It's safe to say the 40-odd people in attendance at the The Bull's Head pub in southwest London were more than a little surprised to see the pair performing "Dead Flowers."
posted by dhammond at 2:27 PM PST - 76 comments


Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey is Chuck Palahniuk's eighth novel. It takes the form of an oral history of one Buster 'Rant' Casey, in which an assortment of friends, enemies, admirers, detractors and relations have their say on this (in Chuck Palahniuk's words) 'evil, gender-conflicted Forrest Gump character'. His work is controversial, but I imagine a few Palahniuk fans who read The Blue might have missed the fact that he has a new book out. [ Previously ]
posted by chuckdarwin at 1:40 PM PST - 24 comments

Telephone Central Office Histories - A fascinating collection of personal anecdotes and histories about telephony from the US and around the world, from The Telephone Exchange Name Project. Coral Cache links -1- -2- (via)
posted by loquacious at 1:03 PM PST - 8 comments

This morning in Vancouver, volunteers handed out hundreds of disposable cameras, available free to any low-income resident of the city's Downtown Eastside (DTES) neighbourhood. Pictures in the returned cameras will be entered in this year's "Hope in Shadows" competition, with winners getting prizes and one of 12 spots in next year's calendar. (It will be sold by specially-trained low-income folks, who keep half their profits.) Run by Pivot, a local legal activism group, "Hope in Shadows" is a succesful and "innovative empowerment through art" project and a chance for the residents of the DTES to define their community -- one most often defined by its poverty, addictions, violence and disease.
Previous winners: 2004, 2005 [1] [2], 2006
posted by docgonzo at 12:28 PM PST - 13 comments

Back To The Future, Hill Valley is a "from the ground up" conversion of the videogame Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, with the goal being to re-set the game in the world of Doc Brown, Marty McFly & Biff Tannen. Sample videos of the progress so far. Please note that Hoverboards don't work on water. Via.
posted by jonson at 11:56 AM PST - 25 comments

On December 18, 2004, Ascension Alverez-Tejeda and his girlfriend were stopped at a traffic light near La Pine Oregon, and when the light turned green, the car in front of them stalled. Alverez-Tejeda stopped in time but a pickup truck behind him rear-ended him. When he got out to look at his bumper, the police showed up and arrested the truck driver for drinking and driving. The cops then convinced Alverez-Tejeda and his girlfriend to go to a nearby parking lot, ordered them out of their car and into in the back of the cop car for 'processing.' While they were in the cruiser, a person jumped in their car and took off. The cops ordered the pair out and set off in full pursuit up the road.

But it was all a set up worthy of David Mamet. DEA agents were tracking a drug gang and. . .decided to stage something, perhaps even a carjacking, in order to seize the drugs without tipping off the conspirators. They never consulted a judge, but every person in the story, other than Alverez-Tejeda and his girlfriend, was a cop of some sort.
posted by EarBucket at 10:53 AM PST - 71 comments

Anger Management
posted by Tommy Gnosis at 10:31 AM PST - 41 comments

Regina Spektor is a Russian-born American singer-songwriter and pianist associated with the anti-folk scene centered on New York City's East Village. Incorporating "piano riffs and integrating moans, nonsense words, groans, gurglings, or warblings," Spektor has a pretty unique voice (Seattle P-I: "an instrument with the agility of an athlete and the flexibility of a yogi") and style which incorporates "beatbox-style flourishes in the middle of ballads, or the use of a drum stick to tap rhythms on the body of the piano or chair" (wiki). She's got a pretty unique voice and "Fidelity" is a very unusual and rather enjoyable music video. Someone to keep an eye on (although Mefites already had been doing so).
posted by WCityMike at 10:00 AM PST - 68 comments

17 years since the Tiananmen Square Massacre: The Tank Man [Video Link] Long, but worth it.
posted by Flem Snopes at 9:59 AM PST - 31 comments

Even the Vatican now affirms that Galileo was right, even if it did take them more than three centuries to admit it. The latest General Social Survey has been released, and nearly twenty percent of Americans haven't yet gotten the clue. Is it the crazification factor at work? More commentary here, here, and here.
posted by bcveen at 9:49 AM PST - 48 comments

Stunning morph sequence from the PBS documentary The Face: Jesus in Art. "Perhaps no religious figure has been more often depicted in art than Jesus. But Gospel accounts of Jesus' life give no clues about his actual physical appearance. THE FACE: JESUS IN ART, a new PBS documentary, examines the ways that artists over the centuries have imagined the man Christians call "the Son of God." Beginning with Roman mosaics from the third century and moving on to masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance and modern paintings from Europe and the Americas, THE FACE looks at 17 centuries of artistic renderings of Jesus from around the world -- including unfamiliar depictions such as a Japanese Christ and a three-headed Trinity from India." Also Program Open and Behind the Scenes.
posted by vronsky at 9:43 AM PST - 24 comments

Farewell to the Sopranos [NPR Audio link] Jerry Capeci, who runs the organized crime website GangLandNews.com, tells Madeleine Brand how he thinks the series will end.
posted by psmealey at 9:37 AM PST - 72 comments

FBI 101 -- "Essentials for Writers," an "exciting and informative" interactive workshop for writers being offered to members of my union -- the Writers Guild of America, East - by the FBI Office of Public Affairs and FBI New York. ... -- Very interesting account of a workshop the FBI puts on for writers in NY. What's in it for the FBI? ...The only question we have for you is 'Will it show us in a good light?'" ...
posted by amberglow at 9:15 AM PST - 13 comments

Mint Lifestyle is the most exclusive "lifestyle management" service in the US - bored with luxury options, the wealthy are seeking unique and exclusive authentic life experiences. Want to meet Nelson Mandela? Shut down the San Francisco Zoo for a private tour? Watch a shuttle launch from a private NASA lounge? Tour Berlin with a former German Spy? Mint Lifestyle extends the hotel concierge concept to provide clients with an authentic life.
posted by stbalbach at 9:05 AM PST - 17 comments

The Dance, historic illustrations of dancing from 3300 B.C. to 1911 A.D. A Project Gutenberg ebook. Brief, illustrated history of dance in India. Vintage belly dance YouTube videos.
posted by nickyskye at 8:47 AM PST - 20 comments

The Heiligendamm G8 summit just ended. While some stuck to alcohol-free beer, fresh French President Nicolas Sarkozy clearly had something a bit stronger before his press conference.
posted by Skeptic at 5:27 AM PST - 49 comments

Lately I've been grooving to Hmong karaoke videos. Maybe it's the lovely, understated singing style, or those charming young ladies doing backup dance, smiling so beatifically as they do their minimal, bouncy step. Maybe it's the slinky pentatonic sax riffs, or those percussive, insistent strings plucking away over the hypnotically loping beats. Maybe it's the hats. Maybe it's the way some of them incorporate traditional instruments and costumes. Or maybe it's the sheer unlikeliness of lyrics like "tuaj nriav tus neeg zoo nraug" or "yuav mus nrog koj nyob." Everybody, sing along!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:57 AM PST - 40 comments

June 8


"For the quarter-century following World War II, a special kind of classroom film received wide circulation. These "mental hygiene" films thrived in a confused and nervous America. The rebellious behavior of young people challenging the social norms struck fear into the hearts of parents and educators, who saw dark futures for the teens who broke the rules and refused to fit in with society. These concerned adults embraced the metal hygiene film as a new means of delivering social guidance." Program One: Manners, Menstruation and The American Way; Program Two: Dating, Deliquency and Diversity; Program Three: Conformity, Safety and The Bomb

Special Bonus: Amy Sedaris, Paul Dinello, Mitch Rouse & Steven Colbert re-enact How To Be Popular (from Program Two).
posted by miss lynnster at 10:06 PM PST - 28 comments

Heck of an edge, brownie! The perfect tool for making sure all your brownies have edges.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:48 PM PST - 69 comments

Boy is this cool. Mostly useless, completely awesome. Try flying.
posted by sneakin at 7:42 PM PST - 68 comments

Oh bother. Oh bother. A one-link YouTube post to a Winnie the Pooh parody of Apocalypse Now.
posted by John of Michigan at 7:31 PM PST - 14 comments

Public Art was never this hypnotic. (U-TB)
posted by kozad at 7:24 PM PST - 15 comments

Lest we think the London Olympics are unique in their remarkable bad taste, oddee.com brings us some of the most unfortunate logos ever.
posted by alms at 6:56 PM PST - 13 comments

Where the South Really Begins [Flash] Forget the Mason-Dixon Line. The South really starts at the Sweet Tea Line. [more inside]
posted by kirkaracha at 4:03 PM PST - 98 comments

"... straight out of Down-Under, explosive stuntman-editor-producer-writer-actor-director Nash Edgerton delivers his latest effort, "Spider", a 9-minute action-thriller that gives an all-new meaning to old Peugeots, stunning blondes and love-jokes."
posted by bwg at 3:44 PM PST - 35 comments

Last July, activists from the SPEAK animal rights group were arrested while holding a protest outside Oxford University's Encaenia ceremony. Almost a year later, they have all walked free after audiotapes emerged which appear to record Thames Valley Police declaring their intent to conspire with the university and frame the protesters.
posted by stammer at 2:51 PM PST - 18 comments

Han Solo's Axe is a Gibson 335 with covered humbuckers. Jar Jar on Banjo, of course. Perhaps you'd rather have Yoda on your beast instead of in your band. Maybe when you rock out you just need a little extra force in your pick, knob, or guitar case . Just remember, Darth Maul throws the horns 24/7.
posted by Muddler at 2:05 PM PST - 33 comments

TV actress and hotel heiress Paris Hilton, infamous for her inadvertent comedic stylings on reality show "The Simple Life", was ordered to return to serve her incarceration sentence today. The order comes fast on the heels of an evacuation from her correctional facility in Lynwood due to supposed health problems(nsfw).
posted by Stynxno at 12:43 PM PST - 294 comments

Satya Magazine's final issue is online. They're closing down after 13 years. Some articles from their back issues are also online.
posted by homunculus at 12:15 PM PST - 5 comments

The Real Life Simpsons -- A creepy depiction of how The Simpsons would look if they were real. (via)
posted by fallenposters at 11:59 AM PST - 32 comments

The Sancho Plan "create live audiovisual performances and installations for your listening and viewing pleasure." Spacequatica, recently performed at Martyn Ware's Future of Sound event, is an intriguing mix of live sound and animations triggered by electronic drums -- worth a few minutes on a Friday.
posted by diastematic at 11:16 AM PST - 5 comments

If you wanted a fish condo but couldn't afford to drop hundreds of dollars on your beta buddy, I have good news for you: Fish Bowl 2.0 is here to revolutionize the lives of your fish.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 11:16 AM PST - 12 comments

Drew Marshall [previously] is paying 2 people to go to church. The participants have already been to their first church and blog about their experiences here and here.
posted by xmattxfx at 11:15 AM PST - 19 comments

CRUD CRUD, brief reviews from a thrift store record collection. Also, Gibble Gabble, spoken-word record reviews, from the same collector.
posted by serazin at 11:03 AM PST - 6 comments

Friday Flash Fun: Kongregate has a variety of games, including my current fave Castlewars, a card based game where you win by building up your own castle, or utterly destroying your opponent's castle. You may also enjoy luminara, which I can only describe as the dance version of Asteroids. Or, you could just have a monkey fire at balloons with darts.
posted by booksherpa at 10:43 AM PST - 10 comments

Paul Krassner's The Realist. Four issues of the seminal humor magazine to be uploaded per month, starting...now.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:09 AM PST - 11 comments

MySpaceMP3.org allows anyone to download any MP3 on MySpace for free. In many cases, these are the same MP3s bands are trying to sell via MySpace's relatively new Snocap service. Trouble for MySpace?
posted by scottreynen at 8:37 AM PST - 28 comments

This happens a lot. I mean a lot. All over the place. All these stories are within the last five weeks. Inexcusable, some say. If they break in and cause damage, they have to pay, though, right? Not according to the U.S. Supreme Court, which says if your address is on the warrant, you get to pay, even if it's a mistake.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:42 AM PST - 149 comments

Submachine (Future Loop Foundation) You are trapped in your cube a padded cell, and you need to escape. Another fine Submachine game from Mateusz Skutnik. You can probably escape well before lunch and still have time to push some of that paper out of your cell cube. (Flash Friday)
posted by caddis at 7:37 AM PST - 11 comments

Can I Borrow Your Fucking Pen? A fucking single link fucking YouTube post about some motherfucking viral ad for some really shitty beer. Swearing encouraged - let's get fucking drunk today.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:47 AM PST - 72 comments

Scientists are testing a new diet pill that expands to the size of a tennis ball in your stomach. When taken with two glasses of water, the slow-growing 'gelatinous blob' gives one the feeling of having eaten a plate of food. Although it's no replacement for diet and exercise, it could help some people control their urges.
posted by chuckdarwin at 6:28 AM PST - 66 comments

Philosophy (digested). Julian Baggini reads philosophy classics, so you don't have to. Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hume, Ayer (“Sex is empirically verifiable, it’s only love that ain’t”). OK, its a rip-off of John Crace (prev) but at least these are books you should have read.
posted by criticalbill at 2:29 AM PST - 7 comments

June 7

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you combined In the Navy with the Numa Numa song? The crew of the USS Enterprise has the answer.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 11:24 PM PST - 51 comments

Evan M. O'Dorney, a 13-year-old speller from Danville, Calif., won the 2007 Scripps National Spelling Bee, with the final word "serrefine". Here is an interesting interview with the winner. Did you say my name wrong?
posted by exlotuseater at 10:01 PM PST - 112 comments

Fujiya & Miyagi's "Ankle Injuries" bests The White Stripes "Fell In Love With a Girl" in the "If Seurat Had Made Music Video's" competition. (only for the video though, the Stripes tune still kicks the other one's ass)
posted by hwestiii at 9:35 PM PST - 29 comments


The wild risks, unexpected niches, and day-in-day-out grind behind making a dollar in New York...for everyone from a drug dealer to Goldman Sachs. The Profit Calculator, New York Magazine article.
posted by nickyskye at 9:09 PM PST - 14 comments

Wicked Crispy is the personal site of artist & animator Jeff Victor, who draws Star Wars characters (among other things) in adorable bobblehead style. Found via Drawn.
posted by jonson at 9:07 PM PST - 6 comments

Newsfilter, pretty sure this isn't meant to happen [via]
posted by mattoxic at 8:37 PM PST - 40 comments

50 Things You Need to Know by 50
By Kirk Douglas, Donald Trump, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar,
Suze Orman, Henry Winkler, Kathy Ireland, Al Roker,
Wolf Blitzer, Engelbert Humperdinck…and more

posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:24 PM PST - 66 comments


Hi, I'm a Marvel...and I'm a DC. A collection of videos on youtube targeting both the Mac/PC ads and comic book based movies. Ten videos so far, with more coming "Soon. I promise."
posted by CrunchyFrog at 7:06 PM PST - 24 comments

Donald K. Snedeker 3206 Victoria Park Ave Toronto, ON M4A 2M5 Email Address: Donald.K.Snedeker@pookmail.com Phone: 416-757-0023 Mother's maiden name: Stephens Birthday: December 6, 1961
posted by acro at 6:34 PM PST - 44 comments


Akamai's Internet Visualizations. Akamai is a major mirroring and caching service which serves up a large chunk of all internet traffic. They are now sharing some pretty visualizations based on their data which used to be customer only. News. Music. Retail. Real-time Web Monitor . Network Performance Comparison. Visualizing Akami.
posted by srboisvert at 3:20 PM PST - 19 comments

A nice set of photographic glass-plate transparencies depicting life in Japan ca. 1910. These "Yokohama photographs" were sold to foreign tourists between about 1868 and 1912. I found the Crafts and Trades section most interesting.
posted by Rumple at 2:43 PM PST - 18 comments

Librarians as Enemies of Books
via the delightfully uptight Steve Mauer at BookMine.
posted by carsonb at 1:27 PM PST - 66 comments

A new video by Jed Davis' Hanslick Rebellion. A meanspirited, though easy to identify with, piece about office small-talk. A feel good summer song for those of us tied to desks. Warning: Loud swearing.
posted by JBennett at 1:19 PM PST - 12 comments

New Trial in pop-up porn case for Julie Amero (Previously and also)
posted by puddleglum at 12:40 PM PST - 29 comments


Simple switch turns cells embryonic. "Researchers have finally hit the jackpot: Embryo-free embryonic stem-cells!"
posted by homunculus at 11:56 AM PST - 55 comments

"Full House" -- not funny. Things related to Full House -- hilarious! Both are vids, first link language nsfw.
posted by chinese_fashion at 10:50 AM PST - 17 comments

Come on down to Funtown Auto! (WARNING: NSFW Language) They'll finance anyone. Similar in style to, if not actually made by Tim and Eric. [Single Link FunnyOrDie]
posted by beaucoupkevin at 9:55 AM PST - 16 comments

Tactics 100 Live A flash game similar to Final Fantasy Tactics or Ogre Tactics. Spend 100 points to create an 8 unit army and battle it out on a 7x7 grid. Practice against an AI opponent, or face off in multiplayer combat.
posted by boo_radley at 9:53 AM PST - 21 comments

Uptick in Cold War-like rhetoric making you a little nostalgic for the era of parachute pants and Members Only jackets?
A cabal of Russki comrades at some pinko university have been going around collecting and resurrecting disused Soviet-era arcade games, which became instantly obsolete with the collapse of communism. Sea Wolf, Duck Hunt, Pole Position, Dogfight!
We begin bombing in five minutes.
posted by planetkyoto at 9:18 AM PST - 28 comments

Dicebox: A webcomic with amazing artwork by Jenn Manley Lee. (site's main page) A non traditional sci-fi serial comic, concerning the lives of migrant workers in the future. Fleen review
posted by edgeways at 9:04 AM PST - 9 comments

The website of the Erich Fromm Society hosts PDFs of a number of essays by Fromm, author of The Art of Loving (review) and The Sane Society. (Click on Download in the left-hand menu to get to them.) Works in English include Faith as a Character Trait (1942), The Psychology of Normalcy (1954), Love In America (1959), and a review from 1950 of a new book by L. Ron Hubbard called Dianetics.
posted by Prospero at 6:34 AM PST - 9 comments

I thought I'd seen pretty much every bit of performance footage (whether live or lip-synched) featuring the Beatles, but lately I discovered some clips on YouKnowWhere that I hadn't seen before, and I'd wager there's more than a few folks out in MefiLand who've also missed these: a proto-psychedelic promo clip for Rain, and another promo clip for Hey Bulldog, and finally, this rarity, an alternate take of the promo clip for Hello Goodbye. Just for good measure, here's the more familiar (but still somewhat obscure) version.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:27 AM PST - 43 comments

Strange, small wars throughout history. Some were border clashes named after the item that sparked the confrontation, like the British-American Pig War or the Missouri-Iowa Honey War. Some were bloodless, such as the Maine-New Brunswick Pork and Beans War and the Texas-Oklahoma Red River Bridge War. North Carolina's War of Regulation resulted in eighteen deaths and six later executions. [mi]
posted by marxchivist at 3:23 AM PST - 30 comments

Reclusive author Cormac McCarthy's television début yesterday was apparently a bit of a letdown. Watch it here. [Previously]
posted by chuckdarwin at 1:57 AM PST - 85 comments

June 6


If you could kiss yourself, would you? These photos make it happen, and the results are ... disturbing. Site is in French.
posted by bwg at 9:02 PM PST - 82 comments

Photosynth. Blaise Aguera y Arcas (second one down) does a live demo (with some subtle humor) of the product we've discussed previously. Via the wonderful Ted (mentioned a few times).
posted by allkindsoftime at 7:34 PM PST - 24 comments

63 years ago today, 20-year old German lance-corporal Hein Severloh was armed with a rifle, a machine gun and 16,000 rounds of ammo when American forces landed in the early morning hours off Omaha Beach on D-Day. During the next nine-hour "Longest Day", Severloh gunned down up to 3,000 Americans before running out of ammo, making him personally responsible for about three-quarters of all casualties at Omaha Beach, comparable in scale to 9/11 or the Iraq War. Nicknamed The Beast of Omaha, today he says "I never wanted to be in the war. I never wanted to be in France. I never wanted to be in that bunker firing a machine gun. Thinking about it makes me want to throw up."
posted by stbalbach at 6:54 PM PST - 127 comments

Bakumatsu - from this to this. Photographs from an exhibition at the University of Tokyo. [related]
posted by tellurian at 6:51 PM PST - 7 comments

TakeZer0 is a weekly videoblog by two young filmmakers aiming to be a free basic film school for anyone interested, with lessons so far on shot composition, lighting, camera stabilization & the overall process.
posted by jonson at 6:26 PM PST - 12 comments

DailyHub - "Social Content for Business Geeks". A Digg-esque aggregator that purports to be grown up.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:35 PM PST - 15 comments

Hearts and minds?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:04 PM PST - 34 comments

There are many picture blogs, but there is only one SidewaysPony. As one regular user so aptly put it, this ingeneously simple site is "the most repulsively, exquisitely, disastrously, wonderfully addictive little corner of the internet." [poss. nsfw]
posted by castironskillet at 2:16 PM PST - 24 comments

Beyond Bush: What the world needs is an open, confident America. An interesting article from Zakaria Fareed.
posted by chunking express at 2:02 PM PST - 42 comments

One Last Nazi Cumshot for the Road or Kissing Kate Winslet. there's more.
posted by geos at 1:05 PM PST - 35 comments

David Oluwale arrived in Britain in 1949, one of many African immigrants. By the close of 1969, he was dead. Two years later, two police officers were charged with his murder, although they got away almost scot-free despite a massive amount of evidence against them. Although it caused a national scandal at the time, more because of police malpractice than racism, Oluwale's sad story has been forgotten since (apart from a play, written by Jeremy Sandford, a few years later). However, it deserves to be remembered not just because of a tragic and unnecessary death, but because it was the first recorded death of a British black person as a result of police racism. A new book, Nationality: Wog, The Hounding of David Oluwale is helping bring Oluwale's plight back into public consciousness. Via the BBC's Thinking Allowed.
posted by humblepigeon at 12:26 PM PST - 8 comments

A Gallery of Rubik's Cube Mosaics. Here's the index as well. (via)
posted by fallenposters at 12:20 PM PST - 5 comments


do we click? any questions? ask mary. [possibly NSFW]
posted by gman at 10:09 AM PST - 84 comments


Pillow Fight
posted by kirkaracha at 9:30 AM PST - 47 comments



Anything you do as many times as a successful actor, you can't have one set of theories, you know. You can go for years saying “I'm gonna get this thing real”, because they really haven't seen it real, do you know? They just keep seeing one fashion of unreal after the other that passes as real and you, you know, you go mad with realism and then you come up against someone like Stanley who says, “Yeah, it’s real but it’s not interesting.”
posted by acro at 9:10 AM PST - 21 comments

Steam Trek: The Moving Picture - Absolutely charming Star Trek parody done in the silent movie style (YouTube). Previous Steam Trek goodness.
posted by seanmpuckett at 8:48 AM PST - 18 comments


onBeing: Videographies That Capture People. The Washington Post is running a fascinating series of videos, each of which is a little snapshot into someone's life, personality, and quirks. Here's one about Sunun Assavarunsrikul, a Thai waitress who feels she gives but just can't seem to get. Here's one about an "unconventional lawyer."
posted by shivohum at 8:04 AM PST - 8 comments

Tie a string to your finger so you don't forget that today is National Yo-Yo day!
For a toy that has been around for the past 2,500 years the yo-yo sure hasn't slowed down. New styles of play are becoming more popular and recently new additions to yo-yos have lead to entirely new tricks. If you are lucky you can even catch National Yo-Yo Master Steve Brown performing one of his artistic yo-yo demonstrations.

Pull out your yo-yo today and have some fun.
posted by DragonBoy at 7:11 AM PST - 11 comments


Anti-Cultural Relativism Wednesday: Ayaan Hirsi Ali is on tour these days. With this article in the LA Times and this legal problem in Malaysia, the tolerant of the tolerant, the problem of the Islamic East in peaceful coexistence with Secular West appears increasing less solvable. Examining the other side of the argument only seems to confirm this.
posted by ewkpates at 4:03 AM PST - 38 comments

Polar Clock Time and Date in a nifty roundabout of time.
posted by dhammond at 1:50 AM PST - 32 comments

A wonderfully told story about a guy's exciting find. C.A. Jewett's Patternmaking Chest. (Via)
posted by growabrain at 1:37 AM PST - 24 comments

June 5

Fun with Wikipedia. Try Catfishing, where you guess the article based on the often idiosyncratic Wikipedia categories to which it has been assigned. The related Wiki'd Game involves guessing a topic based on the first seven Wikipedia internal links to it. Or find the shortest path between two concepts (try using the fascinating Omipelagos, which does so automatically) or race to get from one topic to another. Most recently, Something Awful developed the concept of Wikigroaning. [A few challenges inside]
posted by blahblahblah at 10:41 PM PST - 31 comments

Cow piss heals (a guide)
posted by bigmusic at 10:27 PM PST - 29 comments

Pirate myths debunked. Slate's Explainer attacks your favorite pirate stereotypes: walking the plank, saying "arrr." Not a myth: pirate republics. Pirates formed egalitarian mini-states based upon utopian values, a prime reason for their brutal suppression by European authorities.
posted by nasreddin at 8:18 PM PST - 126 comments

Termites are Cockroaches.
posted by Citizen Premier at 8:09 PM PST - 31 comments

Better than blood? A man-made, pure-white compound called Oxycyte carries oxygen 50 times as effectively as our own blood. An interesting development for brain trauma patients, HIV in blood transfusions, and the artificial human.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 7:48 PM PST - 38 comments

The network is down you foolish IT Administrator and no one loves you ! [warning! Viral advert-video link that may or may not please or amuse you] [#]
posted by nola at 6:00 PM PST - 25 comments

The portrait of Maris, from Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, raises yet again the age-old question.
(img, without which this thread is useless, from llbbl.)
posted by jfuller at 5:45 PM PST - 62 comments


The San Francisco Municipal Transit Authority is reviewing and asking for your votes and comments on new designs for San Francisco's bus shelters, kiosks, and shared bicycles. SFGate story here.
posted by fandango_matt at 2:40 PM PST - 30 comments

Useless body parts. Nearly a century and a quarter after Darwin’s death, science still can’t offer a full explanation for why one outdated anatomic trait lingers in the gene pool and another goes. Modern genomics research has revealed that our DNA carries broken genes for things that seem as though they might be useful, like odor receptors for a bloodhound’s sense of smell or enzymes that once enabled us to make our own vitamin C. In a few million years, humans may very well have shed a few more odd features. So look now before they’re gone.
posted by psmealey at 2:35 PM PST - 113 comments


"I wasn't worried about freedom, I was worried about people turning into morons by TV." Ray Bradbury, author of Fahrenheit 451, recently interviewed by LA Weekly , says that the famed story of Guy Montag is not a forewarning of government censorship, but rather it is an inditement of television which is creating a society that focuses on memorizing facts and dates rather than studying literature . In interviews at his home (grainy quicktime video goodness) , especially (1), and (2) , Mr. Bradbury discusses his intentions, amongst other things, of Fahrenheit 451 and "laments the moronic influence of popular culture through local TV news." All Of Our teachers Were Wrong .
posted by fizzix at 1:03 PM PST - 117 comments

Did Win Butler (of Arcade Fire) steal some guy's basketball? Blogger says he did (with comments), Wil Butler (Win's brother) says he didn't. Drama!
posted by GuyZero at 12:51 PM PST - 71 comments

Molecule of the Month - a feature of biophysics weblog Biocurious. Don't neglect the more links under each entry.
posted by Wolfdog at 11:27 AM PST - 20 comments

What the World Eats A photo slide show of images taken of families around the world, and the food they consume in one week. The commentary also provides the amount of money they have to spend, and what their favorite meals are.
posted by Dave Faris at 11:03 AM PST - 117 comments

Arriving in London this past week was something of a shock to the system, a jolt of reality that was both delightful and disarming. The town seems to have gone carbon crazy, offering up a display of initiatives from both the public and private sectors that highlighted how far behind the U.S. has fallen. The consciousness about carbon here seems to be sky-high.
..by Joel Makower, producer of the mockumentary Climate Counts.
posted by stbalbach at 10:58 AM PST - 23 comments

Despite letters of support from the likes of Henry Kissinger, John Bolton, Paul Wolfowitz and James Carville, Lewis 'Scooter' Libby gets 30 months and a fine of $250,000. (Judge Walton apparently also got letters from regular folks). Arguments about whether Libby stays out on bail pending appeal will be heard next week.
posted by unSane at 9:55 AM PST - 120 comments

Forty years on. After a quick buildup, the Six Day War started 40 years ago today and reshaped the Middle East. At the time, Israel's quick win looked like a triumph, but after 40 years the war is still being fought and it looks like it may have been a pyrrhic victory.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:05 AM PST - 157 comments

"The number of violent crimes in the United States rose for a second straight year in 2006, marking the first sustained increase in homicides, robberies and other serious offenses since the early 1990s..." While violent crimes did increase by 1.3 percent total in 2006 [with robbery making a shocking 11.6 percent rise in the West and murder rising by 2.5 percent in the Northeast], property crimes actually decreased by 2.9 percent overall. The reason for this apparently strange state of affairs? Short answer: nobody knows for sure.
posted by Avenger at 6:41 AM PST - 70 comments

The Harveyville Project, located in Harveyville, Kansas, is a small town and getting smaller: There are only about 250 residents, and most are elderly. But after an artist bought an abandoned school to live in two years ago, there are some colorful new faces in town.
Conveniently located at the corner of No and Where. Nary a McDonalds nor Starbucks as far as the eye can see, but still a comfy drive from civilization. Housed in two mid-century school buildings on nine acres on the edge of a tiny rural town, the Harveyville Project offers a quiet, secluded, distraction-free environment to jumpstart your creative work.
Such a cool idea. If I was still single I'd move there in a second to soak up the creative vibe.
posted by Hugh2d2 at 6:18 AM PST - 71 comments

Two divas with tall, I mean tall platinum blond hair wigs at the height of their fame and vocal prowess sing the songs that made them legends. Ladies and gentlemen, blue-eyed soul queen Dusty Springfield, and the pride of Nashville, Tammy Wynette. And honorable mention to another top-heavy musical blond, purveyor of perky pedal-steel perfection Barbara Mandrell.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:24 AM PST - 32 comments

June 4

"Oh, someday, when I am Miss America, I'll tell the world to make things start when you're young. And what fun, it's gonna be, when Regis sings his song to me." In 2001, the Emmy-nominated HBO documentary Living Dolls captured child beauty pageants of the South in a post-Jon Benet world. Parts 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 [Update inside.]
posted by miss lynnster at 9:42 PM PST - 66 comments

Compelling (if somewhat brief) videoblog featuring an artist describing his job, crafting & painting glass eyes for folks in need of prosthetics.
posted by jonson at 9:38 PM PST - 15 comments

Binlang Xi Shi have become a part of Taiwan culture. From roadside booths they sell betelnut, cigarettes, and drinks to passing drivers. Competition between the booths drove the girls to wear skimpier outfits to attract more customers. A crackdown saw the introduction of a 3B's policy: no buttocks, no breasts and no belly-buttons. [the 'Binlang Box' page is NSFW] [more inside]
posted by tellurian at 8:33 PM PST - 25 comments

As seen on metafilter, the story of a woman exploited. Later the story of the story of another woman exploited. The interesting thing is that in the first case, Allen Stoke was acting as defense counsel for the exploiter. In the next, his own daughter was the victim.
posted by mulligan at 8:26 PM PST - 77 comments

NewsFilter: Sen. Craig Thomas (R-WY) has died. He had been receiving chemotherapy for acute myeloid leukemia. Wyoming's Democratic Governor will appoint a successor from one of three finalists chosen by the state Republican party.
posted by pruner at 8:03 PM PST - 55 comments

You've heard of Oskar Schindler. You've heard of Raoul Wallenberg. But you've probably never heard of Irena Sendler (or Sendlerowa). Sendler, who turned 97 in February, saved 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw ghetto during the Holocaust. She doesn't think she's a hero, but she's been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, largely due to the attention brought to her story by four girls from rural Kansas.
posted by cerebus19 at 7:51 PM PST - 36 comments


The natural rivalry between dolphins and unicorns has been well documented in scientific journals, and many know of the aggressive and vengeful nature of the so-called unicorn of the sea, the narwhal. But what happens when the twain meet?
posted by Krrrlson at 5:51 PM PST - 37 comments

You know what a "gifting suite" is, right?... It's a room or, in my case, an entire fucking house full of free shit they give away to celebrities.
posted by blasdelf at 5:15 PM PST - 72 comments


Introducing the world’s first aircraft eco-labelling. While there are certainly several instances of other airlines doing something to off-set the carbon footprint of commercial flying, it is interesting to note that (according to the ATA) flying is the greenest form of mass transportation and ground transportation generates seven times the amount of greenhouse gases as air travel.
posted by analogue at 1:15 PM PST - 20 comments

CycloneFilter : Super Cyclone Gonu prepares to slam into Oman. Cyclones this far north in the gulf are rare; doubly so for one so powerful. Latest readings have Gonu at Category 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale. Some are worried about what this will do to oil prices.
posted by suckerpunch at 1:07 PM PST - 25 comments

La-Mulana is a Japanese homebrew game, with English translation available, for Windows that exhaustively replicates the experience of playing on an MSX home computer, a machine not sold in the U.S. but was contemporary with the likes of the Commodore 64 and Amiga in other markets. (Fun fact: the "MS" in MSX stands for Microsoft!) Although it looks very much like retro warez, La-Mulana is freeware. It is also notoriously long and difficult, with a character who controls like old-school Castlevania, enemies that will frequently knock you around like a rag doll, puzzles of amazing deviousness, and traps that think nothing of walling up a player without escape, or forever restricting access to certain powerups.

That said, the game does have charm, and is basically a love letter to the MSX hardware. Those who want to see it without beating their hands bloody against the keyboard can watch a guy play through the whole game in 85 installments, cursing at it all along the way.
posted by JHarris at 1:05 PM PST - 14 comments

Hundreds of 'new' words in the new edition of the Collins English Dictionary (Reuters story), also via BBC, AP and the Fox Television Stations (headline with no story, surprising since its publisher is another Rupert Murdoch subsidiary... but I digress). Some are obvious: hoodie, wiki, POTUS, plasma screen; some reflect our times: Gitmo, Londonistan, extraordinary rendition, carbon footprint; some are absolutely slangy: celebutante, McMansion, muffin top, man bag, disemvowel, barbecue stopper, girlfriend experience... Also in the book: ho. And not the version Santa Claus says. The new dictionary is available "online, on mobiles, as a desktop application or integrated with Microsoft Word" - when you buy the deadtree edition.
posted by wendell at 1:04 PM PST - 22 comments

First hundreds of pets were killed by the poisonous food additive, melamine, from China. Then it turns out that this poison got into the human food chain leading to humans. Then there was the flap about cough syrup killing thousands of people. Then, there was that warning a couple days ago about imported monkfish actually being deadly puffer fish. And now the FDA has issued warnings that toothpaste imported from China has ethylene glycol in it. Yes, the same ethylene glycol that keeps your engine running in the winter. China responds to the warnings by saying "Hey, we printed the ingredients on most of the labels, it's not our fault if antifreeze kills you."
posted by dejah420 at 12:40 PM PST - 73 comments

The British Olympic Committee unveiled the logo and branding for London 2012 today, at a cost of £400,000 (USD796,000). Reaction has been swift - a petition to change the logo or go back to the old one has already reached 10,000 signatures.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:15 PM PST - 149 comments

Mentioned in the blue 5 years ago, new7wonders.com has been counting down until 07/07/07 when voting will close for the internet-and-phone-elected New Seven Wonders of the World. Check out the 21 finalists, see them on a [maptrot] map, or a goodlooking slideshow and vote. Only thirtyish days left! In the meantime, have a look at the old (latest: 140 BC) list, the American Society of Civil Engineering's list of the seven wonders of the modern world, or (for more obscurity) Wikipedia's list of Things Sometimes Labeled as the Eighth Wonder of the World. And if you want it all in one link, the complete listing of world wonders.
posted by milestogo at 11:31 AM PST - 38 comments

Slate's Doree Shafrir takes a look at the history of God's billboard, the church marquee. First started by storefront churches to stand out in urban settings, the marquee has become a mainstay of suburban congregations notable Baptist. Ranging from the campy and bizarre, to the political and outright inflammatory. God needs a copywriter.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 11:15 AM PST - 13 comments

"Future House Now is dedicated to exploring ideas about better living in family homes that are affordable, modern, efficient, healthy, environmentally responsible and available today."
posted by dobbs at 10:56 AM PST - 8 comments

Emile Hirsch plays the title character. Christina Ricci is Trixie. John Goodman is Pops, Susan Sarandon is Mom. And Matthew Fox plays Racer X. The Wachowski brothers are directing. Hollywood screws with yet another happy childhood memory.
posted by metasonix at 10:50 AM PST - 60 comments


5 students were barred from receiving copies of their diplomas (NYTimes Link) at the Galesburg High School graduation, after friends and family members cheered when their names were read. Good luck to future graduates to keep Nana and Aunt Bertha in check.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:16 AM PST - 122 comments

His dance style is the robot variation of popping. He appeared [YT] on the Atlanta auditions of So You Think You Can Dance. He's got scoliosis, and can't lift his arms above his head. But he shows no fear, and now he's got people talking.
posted by desjardins at 8:04 AM PST - 16 comments

Mark Harris, author of my favorite baseball book, which was later turned into my favorite baseball movie, died last Wednesday.
posted by qldaddy at 7:23 AM PST - 9 comments

June 3

The Coins and History of Asia contains information and scans of over 2500 coins from 600 BC to 1600 AD. Also on the same site, an article about Hephthalites, the so-called White Huns of Iran who had an empire in Central Asia before disappearing from historical record after a little bit more than a century.
posted by Kattullus at 10:40 PM PST - 10 comments

Went To Kansas: Being A Thrilling Account Of An Ill-Fated Expedition To That Fairy Land, And Its Sad Results. A personal account by Mrs. Miriam Davis Colt (based on her daily diaries) about her family's move from New York to Kansas in the 1850s, and the tragic story of the Vegetarian Settlement Company, which sold cheap land to settlers (if they signed an oath swearing they would never consume alcohol, tobacco or animal flesh) along with the promise of a prairie utopia.
posted by amyms at 9:37 PM PST - 26 comments

The Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test is a continuation of the standardized testing Texas has been doing for the past 15 years, a good bit of which George W. Bush pushed as a way to measure teacher aptitude and school performance. The company that administers the test claims that cheating is "extraordinarily rare" but the Dallas Morning news found about 50,000 cheating students in 1/3 of all Texas schools. The most prevalent was the 11th grade science exam, also known as the one you must pass to get a diploma. The article even has cool coverflow-like visualizations of what a cheating school exam looks like. [via the journalist's blog, which promises parts 2 and 3 in the next couple days]
posted by mathowie at 8:56 PM PST - 65 comments

Lushybakingfilter: why bother with that whole pesky drinking thing when you can try your favorite cocktail in dessert form? Mojitos, margaritas, screwdrivers, martinis, black russians, daiquiris, gin & tonics, piña coladas, mai tais and mint juleps. Mmmm.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:40 PM PST - 18 comments

For starters, it's not Chinese. It was probably inspired by a British fave called Hoppity, and its immediate forbearer, Halma was invented by a Bostonian professor/surgeon. There are a number of variants, but you're probably most familiar with the ubiquitous star-shaped version. Inevitably, some people take it too seriously. Wanna play? See also, DIY and stop motion Fergiliciousness. (Personally, I prefer Hex.)
posted by serazin at 8:24 PM PST - 9 comments

Cold War back on.
posted by reklaw at 6:46 PM PST - 159 comments

Sheets of kombu (kelp) covered with herring roe; big white sacs of octopus roe. Among a biochromatic wealth of mysterious mollusks and other sea invertebrates of unknown nature, I see the weirdest creature I've ever seen. Now, that's a fucking organism. Tom Asakawa looks at it awhile, too. Hoya, or sea pineapple. "Sea pineapple," he says. "Attaches to rocks in the ocean. Tastes something like iodine. Sendai people like it." It looks nothing like a pineapple. It looks like something that could exist only in a purely hallucinatory eco-system. It looks like, I don't know, maybe an otherworldly marital aid of inscrutable purpose for the brides of Satan. "I need to eat that," I say. "I'll see what I can do," Tom says.
Nick Tosches visits Tokyo's Tsukiji fish market for Vanity Fair. [previously on mefi]
posted by monju_bosatsu at 6:16 PM PST - 36 comments

The Top 10 Geekiest Yarn Creations If you've ever felt knitting was in danger of getting too sexy these days, the people at Threadbanger have provided an antidote. They've compiled a list of the ten geekiest projects on the net, which include an Atari 2600 system (on which you will never max your Pac-Man score), a knitted Hogwarts (though it appears to actually be crocheted and needlepointed), and a scrollbar scarf. And if anyone wants a crocheted yoda hat and matching light sabre, I am not taking orders.
posted by orange swan at 5:29 PM PST - 41 comments

Robyn, is bringing sexy back.
posted by vronsky at 4:52 PM PST - 104 comments

If you ever wanted to have an actual working M41-A Pulse Rifle (the preferred weapon of the Colonial Marines in the 1986 Documentary Aliens), then today is your lucky day. Many more sci-fi prop replica guides can be found here.
posted by jonson at 2:07 PM PST - 33 comments

rsspect and AfroSpear -- both bringing more Black voices of the blogosphere to our attention. Rsspect is a growing collection of feeds, and AfroSpear a group blog. The loss of Steve Gilliard of the NewsBlog this week has caused many to rightly question why more minority voices aren't as visible or prominent online.
posted by amberglow at 12:19 PM PST - 66 comments

While the first pioneering forays into atonality and free chromaticism were starting to occur in Western European music, the talents of Latin and South America were discovering the Romantic beauty of re-interpreting the past. [much, much more inside!]
posted by invitapriore at 11:37 AM PST - 6 comments

Viva Voodoo "Too Dumb to Die." [note: Flash, Scenes of Graphic Cartoon Violence, Suicide, and Sophomoric Humor]
posted by Dave Faris at 10:10 AM PST - 6 comments

CatCam is exactly what it sounds like. A crappy digital camera, Atmel Attiny13 and a little electronics skill are all it takes to get your cat photoblogging. The results are pretty great. via Hackaday and possibly also Baby_Balrog
posted by tracert at 10:01 AM PST - 90 comments


MeFi Trainspotting Dept.: While most music consumers long ago traded up their sonically dodgy, graphically threadbare, non-bonus-enhanced early CD pressings of their favorite albums, a subculture has naturally arisen to absorb their discarded digital detritus. Witness "Target CDs", a family which encompasses certain early West German and Japanese pressings on the Warner/Elektra/Atlantic (WEA) labels. So named for their distinctive label design, Target CDs - unlike, say, MFSL Gold CDs - make no particular claim to superior fidelity or longevity; in fact, due to their notorious "flat transfer" process from whatever version of the album happened to be lying around, it seems quite the opposite. (Further evidence for the purely nostalgic and/or aesthetic value of these discs can be seen in the "hypothetical Target CDs" threads.) Even so, as within any oddball subculture of collectordom, one can now expect to lay out serious bucks for certain of these shiny little period pieces.
posted by mykescipark at 9:45 AM PST - 6 comments

Family Guy does Star Wars A ten minute sneak preview of an upcoming special, shown at the recent Star Wars Celebration IV convention in Los Angeles.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 9:12 AM PST - 90 comments

The Happy Planet Index presents an alternative to GDP for measuring standard of living. It ranks countries by measuring life expectancy and self-reported life satisfaction against an "ecological footprint" needed to support that country's lifestyle. The press release claims that well-being is not based on high levels of consumption, but many don't agree. Full report in PDF here. Vanuatu tops the charts, while Zimbabwe and Swaziland lie at bottom. Critiques here, here, here, and here. A critique of happiness indices generally here.
posted by shivohum at 9:00 AM PST - 19 comments

Ready or Not. "South Africa is a great place to have a party, and people are incredibly generous of spirit. What we should be doing is trying to make the World Cup experience uniquely African: where the bus comes 10 minutes late but nobody gives a toss because they are having such a good time. Instead, the organisers seem to want to try to run the World Cup as efficiently as the Germans did. What a load of bull. The Germans could invade Poland in three days. We could not invade Swaziland in three months." Article in today's Observer about preparations in South Africa for the soccer World Cup in 2010.
posted by hydatius at 5:09 AM PST - 17 comments

The Bang on a Can Marathon is currently in progress at the World Financial Center in Manhattan. This annual Marathon has taken various forms over the years, with a range of lengths, locations and admission prices; this year's features 26 straight hours of music from around the world, with free admission. Bang on a Can is the 20-year-old new music presenting, producing and recording group co-founded by composers Julia Wolfe, David Lang and Michael Gordon.
posted by allterrainbrain at 3:49 AM PST - 12 comments

The bugmaker and his factory.
posted by dhruva at 3:34 AM PST - 9 comments

June 2

In the emergency room at Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital, Edith Isabel Rodriguez was seen as a complainer.
posted by bigmusic at 10:32 PM PST - 114 comments

The first 17 minute 'webisode' of the new science-fiction web-series Sanctuary, starring Stargate SG-1's Amanda Tapping (along with several other Stargate actors) can now be viewed online, for free, at Youtube. And although you can buy them here for US $1.99, uploading the video to Youtube or sharing it with your friends is all completely legit, as the producers have taken a very liberal approach to DRM; specifically, there is none. To quote creator Damian Kindler "These files are YOURS. You can do with them what you want. Drop them into iTunes. Convert them to DVD formats. Burn, rip, whatever. You bought 'em, you decide how to enjoy 'em." Nice.
posted by Effigy2000 at 9:19 PM PST - 29 comments

John Doerr: Seeking salvation and profit in greentech. This is a grim talk from a man who is well-connected with the tech industries best and brightest. He spent a year talking with scientists, experts, and politicians the world 'round about industry and the atmosphere. And as a result he has put a few hundred million dollars toward disruptive technologies... because he is scared -- scared shitless -- about what lies ahead. He also calls us to action.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:47 PM PST - 55 comments

Swim At Your Own Risk is "your daily dose of all things sharky" and other aquatic-creature-related news and pictures. [Note: some pics not safe for the squeamish]
posted by amyms at 8:42 PM PST - 11 comments

65-year-old Jan Grzebski, hit by a train in 1988, awoke recently from a 19 year coma to find that communism is no longer the order of the day in his native Poland. Oh, and he also found that during his little nap, his 4 children had given him 11 grandchildren. Now, Jan's wasn't the world's longest coma (apparently 37 years is the record) although that person, er, never woke up. Canadian Anne Shapiro, on the other hand, woke up after 30 years to find, well, a few things changed.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:41 PM PST - 20 comments

Mr. Woo, a chinese farmer, builds humaniform robots for fun and not much profit (to the consternation of his long suffering wife). [via, appropriately enough, William Gibson]
posted by Kattullus at 8:35 PM PST - 22 comments

Flash Sunday: Particle-based (explosive) sandbox - another fun toy to play with! Besides the classic earth, water, fire, and plants, this version has air pressure-based physics for wind effects. A mesmerizing tinker-toy. (requires java) (previously) (via)
posted by anthill at 6:54 PM PST - 21 comments

Dasher is text input informed by information theory. It's also trippy. David MacKay recently gave a talk in the Google TechTalks series. You can download a prototype at the official site. Plenty useful, but perhaps also a new metaphor for writing?
posted by ontic at 6:27 PM PST - 33 comments

Super French Web Sites.
posted by hama7 at 5:20 PM PST - 31 comments

Little matadors. Bullfighting now comes in all ages.
posted by dov3 at 5:00 PM PST - 12 comments

Quad line kites can be flown in precision by teams of flyers... The advent of precision sport kites has brought kite flying into the realm of adults. You can fly one almost anywhere. You can even fly three at once! Team iQuad , flying quad line kites, demonstrates. No, you don't have to run like Charley Brown, in fact you can even fly indoors.
posted by Gungho at 4:18 PM PST - 12 comments

Peter answers.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:55 PM PST - 54 comments

Renegade physicists! have published the book Endless Universe and talked to NPR's Tom Ashbrook about their alternative theories of the beginning of the universe: 'The Big Bang' is an unfortunate misnomer and was not the beginning of time, but rather the formation of a singularity in the universe. "And what we're seeing is that the Big Bang doesn't have to be the beginning of time. It's perfectly possible that the Big Bang was just a violent event in a pre-existing universe..."
posted by frobozz at 2:41 PM PST - 18 comments

Japanese Bicycle History Research Club With a nice gallery of photos, illustrations, and ukiyo-e of vintage bicycles in Japan.
posted by carter at 2:08 PM PST - 5 comments

Beneath the Neon is a book-length account of author Matt O'Brien's exploration of most of the 400+ miles of flood-control tunnels underneath the glitzy lights of Las Vegas. This excerpt contains an interview with one of the hundreds of people who manage to live in these tunnels, despite the lethal floodwaters that sometimes wash through. Here's another excerpt, and there's also a Flickr gallery of images from the book's photographer, including graffiti galleries, enterprising inhabitants, and rarely seen perspectives of the Strip.
posted by crazymonk at 12:33 PM PST - 10 comments

The Indian Wiggle (thanks to Hugh Janus)
posted by hadjiboy at 11:11 AM PST - 25 comments

La Cumparsita Reputedly the most famous tango in existence, La Cumparista isn't just elegant, exquisite and sublime, it also once raised significant copyright concerns, a debate to which this collection doesn't add anything at all. Been ninety years (Spanish) since the tango was written.
posted by the cydonian at 11:00 AM PST - 9 comments

How to Kiss Someone Passionately. A demonstration filled with skill and humor.
posted by Malad at 10:18 AM PST - 49 comments

Here are some beautifully rendered views of polytopes, and a few more. The rendering program, Jenn 3D, is free and downloadable, (OS X, Linux, Win) and includes some really dazzling fly-about and camera effects as well as tons of high-dimensional models to explore. There's also a mind-boggling possibility of playing Go on boards in projective space. Via the Math Paint blog, which leads to other interesting places...
posted by Wolfdog at 8:16 AM PST - 13 comments

Build your own ultra-lightweight kite, for zero-to-low wind conditions. (In action.)
posted by kaibutsu at 8:12 AM PST - 10 comments

Off The Grid: Life On The Mesa. A new documentary explores life in 15 square miles of northern New Mexico. With no cops, no official authority, and barely any understanding of who even owns the land, a special environment has arisen. Hippies, rednecks, and other assorted loners exist in either the last outpost of true American freedom or "the largest outdoor insane asylum" - and then they are tested by self-proclaimed revolutionaries with their own idea of how to run things. Check out the official MySpace page for the trailer and some clips.
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:00 AM PST - 54 comments

Some might find it difficult to believe that this was the video to a 1984 number one hit, although it's not surprising to learn that the video was banned (as was the song, leaving the BBC in the uncomfortable position of being unable to broadcast their country's biggest hit on any of its radio or television programs). The G rated version was directed by Brian De Palma and, oddly, appeared (in slightly altered form) in Body Double as a porno film within the movie. Although the band had other hits, notably Two Tribes which was rivaled only by Land of Confusion for most over-the-top Reagan representation in a music video, they have been beset with problems, primarily relating to who owns their name, but rest assured that lead singer Holly Johnson is doing well in his new calling as a painter. This astrological chart nicely (?) sums up his entire career. Incidentally, Katherine Hamnett, who designed the hugely popular Frankie Say Relax t-shirts (along with Wham's Choose Life tees which, ironically, birthed an anti-abortion moto) is still a successful designer, who continues to be active in environmental, HIV eradication, and anti-war efforts. Anyhow, check out the wacky Relax video. But beware of naked, shaving Roman Emperors.
posted by serazin at 1:29 AM PST - 91 comments

Fascinating feature on Blair's farewell tour by Martin Amis. Accompanying video essays. Highlights include a visit to the Green Zone in Baghdad (which "resembles the embassy district of a minor South American capital after a period of immiseration and collapse"), a comparison of Presidential vs. Prime Ministerial motorcades, and a few candid reflections from Blair.
posted by grubby at 1:20 AM PST - 15 comments

FunnyWhileItLastedFilter: Dave Chappelle, Mitch Hedberg, Jim Gaffigan, Dave Attell and Jon Stewart were just a few of the comedians who tried the patience of Dr Katz: Professional Therapist between 1995-1999. His secretary Laura and son Ben also got the best of him at times.
posted by pruner at 12:06 AM PST - 35 comments

June 1

Alex cf is a young British artist, fresh off of a series of extremely creepy visualizations of Alice in Wonderland characters. His current project is creating amazing looking HP Lovecraft inspired nightmares in specimen jars, which he is more than happy to build on commission.
posted by jonson at 11:43 PM PST - 9 comments

"Dictatorships are not hamstrung by the preferences of voters for, say, a pervasive welfare state," says Kevin Hassett of the American Enterprise Institute. Unless we abandon welfare programs, he suggests, the free world might be overwhelmed by the staggering efficiency of free-market totalitarianism. Is it just me, or have conservatives been waxing poetic about the benefits of dictatorship lately?
posted by verb at 10:54 PM PST - 94 comments

New Hampshire approves same-sex unions with bipartisan, if contentious support, recognizing both in- and out-of-state unions and marriages. While New York's Eliot Spitzer follows up on a campaign promise, higher courts in California and Connecticut may make decisions on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage later this year, deciding if a civil union is an adequate legal substitution for marriage.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:06 PM PST - 23 comments

Why are American voters reluctant to support free market policies when professional economists have achieved near-consensus? Bryan Caplan of the Cato Institute investigates. (pdf)
posted by stammer at 9:52 PM PST - 71 comments

You will call me Kompressor!
posted by vronsky at 9:20 PM PST - 24 comments

Meet 郑筱萸 (Zhèng Xiăoyú) [WIKI] Former head of the State Food and Drug Administration of China. Recently the quality of Chinese food and drugs has come under fire. You may have heard of tainted pet food from china killing cats and dogs. You might also have read about antifreeze in cough syrup made with impure Chinese glycerin killing people in other countries. Apparently someone in China cares about government accountability, because on May 29th Zheng Xiaoyu sentenced to death.
posted by delmoi at 9:11 PM PST - 24 comments

If the NYTs can publish a one-link "post" to a YouTube video, so can I.
posted by about_time at 8:26 PM PST - 34 comments

How the Other Half Lives :: Studies Among the Tenements of New York (1890)
posted by anastasiav at 7:39 PM PST - 14 comments

People of the Web --very well done short video profiles of interesting people online. Mike Rogers of blogactive is on the front page now. Links to previous profiles are on the right, including Kirk Cameron, Caleb Shikles, Sherman Austin, and Josh Wolf.
posted by amberglow at 5:55 PM PST - 3 comments

3 young Baltimore figurative painters Lillian Bayley (toyworld alienation) Rachel Bone (a saner, calmer Darger) Alyssa Dennis (bleak figures in a bleak world) [via New American Paintings]
posted by Kattullus at 4:25 PM PST - 12 comments

Diamond Encrusted Skull Filter. British Artist Damien Hirst has unveiled a diamond encrusted skull cast with a cool 50 million quid asking price. P Diddy expected to turn up with a bin bag full of readies any minute.
posted by ClanvidHorse at 3:32 PM PST - 84 comments

"I have $334,442 in 'bad debt' (I’m not counting even my student loans in that figure). It’s likely that this blog will not last long, because its more likely that I am not going to make it." The journey of the "Debt Kid," who ended up with more than $300,000 of personal debt from playing the stock market. He's 23 years old. "I don’t have a choice to succeed or not. I have to succeed. To have any chance of a 'normal' life (wife, kids, ect), my business has to succeed. I’ve promised to pay my mother back (I owe her over 100K). I have to succeed." Suddenly, paying off a few thousand dollars in debt doesn't seem so impossible.
posted by jbickers at 2:25 PM PST - 75 comments

"Wasting time gets a bad rap", says Lisa Belkin in today's NYTimes, who argues that time often considered "unproductive" or "wasted" in today's workaholic culture is actually time well spent- "Over the years I have come to see that the hours away from the writing are the time when the real work gets done." Readers seem to agree.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:01 PM PST - 25 comments

"OMON knows no mercy and forgives none. This is the way it is, was, and always will be." The Russian OMON (Otryad Militsii Osobovo Naznacheniya), or Special Purpose Police Squad, is one of the most elite police units in the world. Formed in the mid-1980s to combat urban riots, the 20,000-strong OMON now tackles terrorists, protesters, and soccer fans. What drives former soldiers to join the beefy brigade? "Risk," says Major Viktor Kommissarov, "Working in the OMON always involves the risk of death." (in Russian)
posted by nasreddin at 12:53 PM PST - 22 comments

Think those salads at McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King, and Taco Bell are a good idea if you want something lighter? Turns out you're actually better off getting a double cheeseburger instead. For more info on nutritional facts about fast food, CalorieKing has a good database.
posted by cerebus19 at 11:38 AM PST - 67 comments


A senator places a secret hold on a bill designed to counter secrecy in government. The Society of Professional Journalists, which supports the bill, smoked out Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) as the source of the hold, one of the more obscure parliamentary tactics possible in the Senate. The bill in question is the OPEN Government Act of 2007, which is an overhaul of the Freedom of Information Act. (See also.) Kyl claims the bill would force the release of "sensitive information." Kyl is also behind a measure that would criminalize the leaking of classified information.
posted by beagle at 9:39 AM PST - 47 comments

A Chicago DJ broke the Icky Thump silence and Jack White's heart in the process. Q101's Electra received a presumably illegal copy of the White Stripes' new album and aired the entire thing (a week after the first single's video hit the internet, weeks before the official June 19 release and well before the album had even become prominent on the shadow internet). According to Electra, Jack White called from Spain to sternly reprimand her. In an instant, hearts were crushed and pirates emboldened as the album's radio rip spread through the back channels of the web.
posted by pokermonk at 9:02 AM PST - 69 comments


Australian Rules football is a tough fast game (previously), and there is no tougher place to play than on the “Gravel”. The home ground of the Tasmanian Queenstown Crows has recently been inducted into Tasmania’s Football Hall of Fame for a very good reason. Y’see, unlike the lush manicured grounds of other clubs, the Crows have a distinct home ground advantage- their ground is covered in… gravel.
posted by mattoxic at 7:42 AM PST - 18 comments

Casey Serin (discussed on MeFi here), the world's most hated blogger according to CNET, has taken down his "I Am Facing Foreclosure" blog. Why? Speculation abounds among his fans and foes alike. Did the law catch up to him? Was it a result of a crayon-penned contract with his wife? The "real estate bubble's" poster boy has inspired others to create a Caseypedia, to write copious blog entries of their own, and even to host "talkcasts" that function a little like memorial services in the emptiness that follows the sure (?) demise of Serin's own Foreclosure Fridays call-in, chat-in sessions. There's even one tonight!
posted by houseofdanie at 7:28 AM PST - 49 comments

Today begins National Accordion Awareness Month. Check out some fun accordion facts, and make sure to polka! polka! polka!. (It was big in Sheboygan).
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:08 AM PST - 28 comments

SomeEcards : When you care enough to hit send.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:11 AM PST - 19 comments

Virginia Tech: A "Cho"ose Your Own Adventure. It's early on a Monday morning. You wake up and find you have your dorm room to yourself. The night before, your roommates had been talking about "hooking up" with some girls they met on Facebook while you were busy ignoring them and putting the finishing touches on your three page manifesto explaining why you decided to go on a shooting spree today...
posted by reklaw at 4:45 AM PST - 44 comments

In 2005 Howard Fineman of Newsweek proclaimed the coming conservative crackup to be at hand. In response, Phyllis Schlafly gazed into her crystal ball and saw the Harriet Miers nomination as the springboard to a revitalized conservative movement. Quoting Mark Twain she assured the conservative movement that "the report of its death is greatly exaggerated." Here in the Spring of 2007 the conservative crystal balls are proving Fineman was right. The New Yorker quotes Newt Gingrich as saying President Bush has presided over a Republican Party in “collapse”. Peggy Noonan, Ronald Reagan's speechwriter, opines in the Wall Street Journal that ""President Bush has torn the conservative coalition asunder." R. Emmett Tyrell, who predicted in 1992 that conservatives would be "laid low by too little imagination" in the face of "infantile liberal folly" never envisaged the crack-up would come instead from a volley of self-inflicted wounds.
posted by three blind mice at 3:04 AM PST - 81 comments


The fourth part of a trilogy of interviews with Douglas Adams before he got all famous. "I find the difference, for me, between having no money and having quite a bit is that the bills get bigger. And that's it. The lifestyle doesn't change." Well, he certainly didn't. And for that, much thanks.
posted by humuhumu at 1:33 AM PST - 11 comments

How I spent the war. German writer and Nobel Prize winner, Günter Grass tells the story of his tour of duty in the Waffen S.S. (previously )
posted by afu at 12:03 AM PST - 29 comments