August 2006 Archives

August 31

Executive Excess 2006: Defense and Oil Executives Cash in on Conflict (PDF). A new study from United for a Fair Economy and the Institute for Policy Studies looks at who is making a killing from the war on terror (or whatever they're calling it this week.) Looking ahead, I better review my portfolio. [Via C&L.]
posted by homunculus at 11:11 PM PST - 23 comments

Ever wonder if that DVD commentary might put you to sleep? Well, wonder no more. Learn about the first, the worst, and find out what other people think are the best. Vote for your favorites, and add your own reviews. "The definitive commentary track database" is at your service. Link courtesy of Whedonesque.
posted by ZachsMind at 7:48 PM PST - 60 comments

The Internet and our social and psychological well-being : This older study correlates Internet use with declining social relationships and isolation. A more recent study (PDF) shows that the Internet has changed and positively affects social relationships.
posted by lpctstr; at 7:40 PM PST - 6 comments

Still in the uncanny valley? - a great attempt at photorealism.
posted by Gyan at 6:21 PM PST - 50 comments

Chaos Theory is a simple but highly addictive Japanese flash game where 50 blue orbs get launched into the air, and you have a single explosion you can trigger by clicking anywhere on the screen. Each orb caught in the blast explodes itself, creating a chain reaction. The goal is to catch as many of the blue orbs before gravity pulls them back to the ground. Each game lasts 3 rounds, with a maximum score of 150 total points. Click the dark blue Kanji script to begin the first round.This game is old, but I've not seen it posted here before
posted by jonson at 3:53 PM PST - 58 comments

The Deadly Deseret Chemical Depot is one of the scariest places on Earth, if you believe Alien Dave, which most people probably don't. Seen anomalous wildlife in Utah? Alien Dave wants to know about it. Need deprogramming? Dave's got you covered. But as for the chemical depot, its days as one of the biggest concentrations of chemical WMDs on the planet are numbered.
posted by owhydididoit at 3:50 PM PST - 21 comments

After the Romans left Britain was divided into a number of Celtic kingdoms that fought with each other and, increasingly, with the Germanic invaders we know as "Anglo-Saxons." The most famous alleged defender of Celtic Britain, of course, is King Arthur, but he's more myth than history. What catches my imagination is The Gododdin (Welsh original, by Aneurin), an epic lament for the band of men who gathered at Eiddyn (Edinburgh, main town of Gododdin) around the year 600 and headed south for a last-ditch battle against the Saxons at Catraeth (probably Catterick in northern Yorkshire), where they were wiped out. One contingent was from Elmet (Elfed in the poem), a kingdom that had been holding the line against the invaders in what's now Yorkshire; once Elmet was conquered, there was no stopping them. And all of this history was basic to the poetry of David Jones, one of the best unknown poets of the previous century, and important to one of the best known, Ted Hughes (book with photos). "Men went to Catraeth, familiar with laughter. The old, the young, the strong, the weak."
posted by languagehat at 3:28 PM PST - 31 comments

Online videos of philosophical lectures. Chomsky, Pinker, Dennet, Hofstadter, Searle, the Churchlands...
posted by Wolfdog at 3:07 PM PST - 7 comments

Frank Lloyd Wright in Half Life 2 a machima walkthrough of the Falling Water / Kaufmann House. (youtube) (higher res version - 57mb) (slightly more information)
posted by crunchland at 2:55 PM PST - 37 comments

Can you patent learning? Blackboard Inc. is granted a wide-ranging patent for its learning management system and immediately sues their rival, Desire2Learn. Opponents and documentarians have taken to creating this Wikipedia entry on the history of virtual learning environments.
posted by mattbucher at 2:00 PM PST - 28 comments

A slush fund for Bush, courtesy of Canada? The proposed softwood lumber deal, which would end the longstanding dispute over Canadian exports to the US, is being criticised for giving the White House $450 million, to be spent without congressional oversight.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 1:38 PM PST - 36 comments

You Asked For It. So you want to learn to fight? Train wisely. Here is how you do it. And here is how you do not. (Some video footage may be NSFW due violent fight footage. No fatalities.)
posted by tkchrist at 1:04 PM PST - 71 comments

I don't want to get all fanboy about the upcoming Transformers movie. Even if they did get Peter Cullen to reprise his role as the vox of semi-truck-autobot-leader Optimus Prime. I mean Michael Bay is directing it, people. However, perhaps it's possible Stan Bush could revamp his famous 'You Got the Touch' anthem. Couldn't be as bad as Mark Wahlberg's version (or John C. Reilly's dancing).
posted by bivouac at 12:40 PM PST - 77 comments

Wired thinks it’s time to talk about how media consolidation affects freedom of the press in America. Al Gore seems to think it's a problem almost as serious as Global Warming (and in some ways, a closely related one). So just who does own the media these days? Maybe it’s time for a return to the days when we expected a little more fairness in our news coverage.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:29 PM PST - 73 comments

Right up there with the Darrin Syndrome, the Cousin Oliver Effect is one of the most ridiculed devices in Sitcom-land. Until today, though, I didn’t know that Robbie Rist is still going strong.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:02 PM PST - 38 comments

The Nedelin disaster remains the most fatal catastrophe in the history of rocketry. On October 26, 1960 an R-16 ICBM designed by Mikhail Yangel accidentally ignited killing over 100 within moments. The incident remained in strict secrecy for thirty years until it was unearthed by James Oberg. The true casualty rate remains a mystery and Kazakhstan still sees more than its fair share of rocket mishaps.
posted by Alison at 10:53 AM PST - 16 comments

GRACE is fine-tuning our understanding of Earth's gravity. It also shows that Greenland's ice is melting, how the recent Sumatra earthquake changed the earth, and provides information on the world's oceans and climate.
posted by evening at 10:16 AM PST - 7 comments

Tom Cruise's baby just took a healthy crap. Now you can buy a unique bronze cast of it. (One assumes the family kept the original.) Has celebrity worship finally gone too far? I say, "no!"
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 9:30 AM PST - 57 comments

"The Scream" has been recovered. (First discussed here)
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:27 AM PST - 29 comments

Kids, was your Mom or Dad sent to Iraq? Need some help coping with the separation anxiety? Never fear, it's the Maine National Guard to the rescue!
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:22 AM PST - 53 comments

On Aug 15 a three year old Cincinnati-area boy Marcus Fiesel, was reported missing. The truth has finally come out. On August 4th Marcus's arms were tied behind his back, wrapped in a blanket and bound with packing tape, and was locked into a closet by his foster parents. The boy was dead when they returned from thier two day long trip on August 6th. The foster dad then took the boys body to a rural location and burned it, several times, and reported him missing, over a week later. They claimed innoence even while they moved to a new house just days after he went missing. Then the until the police found the body, not far from a remote house of one foster mother's family members. no national outlet has reported it, it's largely been ignored due to the renewed media obsession with JonBenet Ramsey. Was it that Marcus was a boy? That he was dark haired? Or that he was poor and in foster care?
posted by Dome-O-Rama at 7:46 AM PST - 90 comments

Remember this picture? Arguably the most famous flag raised since this one was, and apparently its now gone missing. And now the three firefighters who didn't know they were being photographed won't talk to the press about a flag appraised to be worth over $500K.
posted by allkindsoftime at 7:12 AM PST - 49 comments


Once there was a redheaded man without eyes and without ears. He had no hair either, so that he was a redhead was just something they said. He could not speak, for he had no mouth. He had no nose either. He didn't even have arms or legs. He had no stomach either, and he had no back, and he had no spine, and no intestines of any kind. He didn't have anything at all. So it is hard to understand whom we are really talking about. So it is probably best not to talk about him any more. Note that the last two links are in Russian. [This is a copy of a post by Daniel Charms, at MetaChat.]
posted by misteraitch at 2:40 AM PST - 9 comments

He is the longest-serving Defense Secretary since Robert McNamara. He is a profound anti-nazi, anti-deadender, and anti-appeaser. He bends reality itself to his will. But do you know the secret Rumsfeld, poet, SCA laurel, and namesake of beetles?
posted by CCBC at 1:03 AM PST - 35 comments

Micorsoft has now opened up the xbox 360 to homebrew development via the XNA compatibility framework. Read the XNA "Team blog" for more.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 12:21 AM PST - 23 comments

August 30

Historical anatomy models were a marriage of art and science. From about the 13th to the 19th centuries, exquisite wax models were the state of the art. Florence's La Specola anatomical wax museum houses the works of master artists, such as Ercole Lelli, Anna Morandi, and Clemente Susini. The later years of wax models tended towards the grotesque: moulage and depictions of pathological conditions and physical anomalies. Due to the labor required and delicacy of wax models, papier-mâché became the favored production method in the 19th century, partly due to the ability to dissect the models. Over time, models became more stylized to protect the delicate sensibilities of the public. Today, models are again shocking the public with extreme realism.
posted by madamjujujive at 11:56 PM PST - 18 comments

Riding the rails in Russia And I thought my guitar took up some space on the bus...
posted by persona non grata at 11:01 PM PST - 17 comments

Is Canada ready for a gay prime minister? How about a hockey player? Or a former Harvard professor? After Paul Martin flamed out and took the Liberal Party with him, the Liberals have to choose a new party leader in December from a rather eccentric list of candidates. Place your bets, eh?
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 10:35 PM PST - 47 comments

Cathrine Chalmers creates photographs that explore our uneasy relationship with nature. Caterpillars devour a tomato. A praying mantis snacks upon one of those juicy worms, and then becomes a meal for a self-contented frog. Of course, praying mantises have their own curious cycle of life. Cockroaches masquerade as their more aesthetically pleasing cousins, or are sent to their deaths in grim mockeries of criminal executions. Short interview here. Not for the squeamish.
posted by hydrophonic at 10:30 PM PST - 8 comments

An open letter to John Warnock. "Please consider releasing eight to twelve core fonts into the public domain. The amount of revenue lost from a small core set of fonts surely can’t have a significant impact on Adobe’s bottom line."
posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:11 PM PST - 53 comments

Katrina: Money for Nothing? The United States received hundreds of millions in foreign aid last year, after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast. But what happened to the money?
posted by js003 at 9:38 PM PST - 28 comments

Some kids under the "protection" of DSHS in Washington state have been murdered. Others have been sexually abused. DSHS doesn't want you to know this, and if you do, they want you to know that it's not their fault.
posted by leftcoastbob at 7:38 PM PST - 23 comments

Musicast turns your iTunes (mac only) into a music sharing server that conveniently spits out a podcast feed for your friends to subscribe and download all your mp3s from. Download this quick before the RIAA kills the server something might happen to this wonderful app.
posted by mathowie at 6:23 PM PST - 37 comments

Mandership is mostly concerned with graphic and industrial design, interface engineering, typography, semiotics, and visualization, but it's more. Learn about how the Declaration of Independence wound up in the Ukraine (did it?) a short history of telephone numbers, book spines, and of course simplicity of design. From the same folks who brought you the Optimus keyboard. (previously)
posted by jessamyn at 5:35 PM PST - 7 comments

I know who brought Leonardo's greatest drawings to Britain. I may not be a Harvard professor of religious symbology or know much about the bloodline of the Magdalene, but I do enjoy a mystery and so I set out to solve this one. And I succeeded. Final proof is elusive, always, but in this case the circumstantial evidence is so overwhelming, I think I've got my man."
posted by Len at 3:59 PM PST - 6 comments

Look Around You is an insanely funny BBC parody of 1970's educational programs filled with pure nonsensical lies clothed as facts & pitch perfect mimicry of the style of governmental approved childrens education television. Each of the entire first season's worth of 8 10-minute episodes can be viewed here and is highly recommended.
posted by jonson at 3:48 PM PST - 66 comments

Meet The Bloggers. New BBC Radio Four series begins this week which interviews prominant bloggers about their craft. First up Anna of little.red.boat and Annie of Going Underground. Full first programme and unedited interviews here. I think this is the first time a major network has dedicated a whole series to the topic and treated it with such seriousness and intelligence -- I particularly like the moments in which the prose is sonically illustrated.
posted by feelinglistless at 2:49 PM PST - 12 comments

That's Punksploitation!! Can punk rock episodes of old TV shows kill? Check out punk episodes from Quincy, CHiPs (Part 1 and Part 2), 21 Jump Street (Part 1 and Part 2), as well as the appearance of the Dickies on the Don Rickles sitcom, CPO Sharkey. Other prime vintage examples of media cluelessness on punk rock include a fashion show and a scaremongering Time magazine article, although a recent cookie commercial may revive the punksploitation genre.
posted by jonp72 at 1:35 PM PST - 55 comments

"Life is wise to deceive us," he once wrote, "for had it told us from the start what it had in store for us, we would refuse to be born." --Naguib Mahfouz, RIP --and more from when he won the Nobel in 1988
posted by amberglow at 1:15 PM PST - 20 comments

My Boy Jack. A heart wrenching story: "For Rudyard Kipling, the most famous author of the age, the carnage at Loos on the Western Front in September 1915 plunged him into inner darkness. His only son, John, for whom he had written his best-loved poem, If, had been killed in the action just six weeks after his 18th birthday." [more inside]
posted by marxchivist at 1:14 PM PST - 18 comments

The new GOP buzzword: Fascism. President Bush in recent days has recast the global war on terror into a "war against Islamic fascism." Fascism, in fact, seems to be the new buzz word for Republicans in an election season dominated by an unpopular war in Iraq. Donald H. Rumsfeld in a speech to an American Legion convention in Salt Lake City said [of his critics, they are] trying to appease "a new type of fascism."

Before it was "cut and run", which was tested using a focus group. On the Senate floor, Sen Hagel earlier decried the tactic: "Focus Group-Tested Buzz Words…Like ‘Cut and Run’…Debase the Seriousness of War." What will they come up with next?
posted by ArunK at 1:00 PM PST - 138 comments

Lie by Lie. The first installment in Mother Jones' timeline of the Iraq War (Warning: big Flash file, with instructions).
posted by kirkaracha at 11:47 AM PST - 35 comments

Sunrise, sunset. A recent Political ad for Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman (CT-CTFL) includes a few stock video clips featuring a sunset. After it receives a fairly negative response, however, his campaign manager seeks to define the ad differently. "It's actually a sunrise," Gerstein said. "It's very much a sunrise."
posted by mr.curmudgeon at 11:43 AM PST - 50 comments

Chris Creamer's sportslogos.net is a vast archive of current and historical sports logos from leagues large and small, brand new or defunct. Some of my favorite retro logos involve mascots (often anthropomorphized) performing sports-related activities. Of course, some were retired for good reasons.
posted by kyleg at 11:37 AM PST - 14 comments

Weirdest Instructional Music Video Ever. He is the chicken-picking, pop-locking, nunchuking avant-garde guitarist that is part giant robot and part Michael Myers. In his 15-year recording career, he has released over forty albums with the likes of Bootsy Collins, Bill Laswell, Iggy Pop, and Viggo Mortensen. His work under a pseudonym inspired William Gibson. He toured with Guns 'n' Roses and was offered a job by Ozzy but refused to perform without the bucket. His best conventional work may have been with Praxis, but his solo work is not to be ignored. His real name is Brian, but you can call him Buckethead. For your consideration 1 2 3 4.
posted by Pastabagel at 11:35 AM PST - 28 comments


Two Formula One builders are teaming up to build what will no doubt be the fastest hybrid on the planet. I was saving for a Prius, but I think I'll hold out for this one!
posted by jacob hauser at 8:59 AM PST - 29 comments

Winky-Dink and You is considered to be the world's first interactive television show. Originally broadcast from 1953 to 1957, show watchers drew items directly on the TV screen to help Winky-Dink out of jams. The show also introduced us to Mr. Bungle (but not this Mr. Bungle, who gave us this Mr. Bungle).
posted by Otis at 8:51 AM PST - 9 comments

Heck of a Job, Tommy! State Department investigators have found that Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, chairman of the State Department office that oversees foreign broadcasts misused his office for personal and political gain. Mr. Tomlinson’s position at the broadcasting board makes him one of the administration’s top officials overseeing public diplomacy and puts him in charge of the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe. The more things change, the more they remain the same.
posted by dejah420 at 8:24 AM PST - 21 comments

"'It's metallic and bright gold, with whatever that conjures up.'" Louis Menand on the mercurial nature of Bob Dylan's interviews.
"Dylan's sound [is] 'very much like a dog with his leg caught in barbed wire.'" Nat Hentoff's profile of Dylan for the New Yorker from 1964.
posted by OmieWise at 7:27 AM PST - 32 comments

Forgotten vocabulary. Words and phrases from an earlier era, the early Nineteenth century. Some slang too. (via the Presurfer)
posted by caddis at 7:16 AM PST - 41 comments

There's a big storm in the pacific. They're calling it a Super Typhoon. It has winds of 160-185 miles per hour, and it's expected to completely submerge Wake Island. Happy Katrinaversary.
posted by 1-2punch at 7:15 AM PST - 38 comments

Now we're faced with a supposedly democratic Russia where the opposition parties are established, crushed, united, their leadership changed, all at the behest of the president. China, now clearly a capitalist state, albeit one without the democratic trimmings, still calls itself communist. Vietnam has gone much the same way.

Some things remain the same, though. America's still meddling in Latin America, just like it did during the Cold War. The US Army is also fighting a guerilla resistance in Iraq, its leaders apparently ignorant of the lessons of history, yet accusing others of exactly that. It's just like the 60s, when it was just as obvious who had learnt lessons and who hadn't.
posted by imperium at 2:00 AM PST - 48 comments

The Sole SurvivorAllen Boyd [Real Player interview] is the sixth and last surviving member of his family: the other five committed suicide. Is suicide genetic?
posted by cenoxo at 1:00 AM PST - 30 comments

Some folks really like it sweet. Some will start a six-year campaign to get it. Some blame Canada and France for not getting it, when it was perhaps better to blame the Swiss. Some want it healthy while others want the romance back. Some make it part of higher education, while others just want to get higher. Even vegans want in on the gooey action.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:49 AM PST - 20 comments

Doctor Larry Brilliant (mentioned before) spoke at TED this year, calling himself the "luckiest man in the world." He played witness to the last case of Smallpox, and played a significant role in making it the last case. Inspiring/terrifying video here, long, with some graphic images of smallpox.

Back in 1974, Brilliant's technique for early detection in India was to take graphic photos door to door, asking if anyone inside looks like this. Now, as head of Google's philanthropic efforts, he's advocating systems for "early detection, early response." Unsurprisingly, Google, etc, are an important piece of that system: can we detect what's happening before it can spread?

One of the first responses to Brilliant is up already, a means for doctors to immediately text epidemiological information straight into a global spatial database. It's a rough and promising start, and its fascinating that it's coming from the bottom up, instead of NGOs like the Red Cross.
posted by cloudscratcher at 12:24 AM PST - 17 comments

Humans are educated stupid because they are really dumb and cannot even comprehend the Gamecube programming code when our god Miyamoto explains it to them. $1,000.00 to one disproving the Gamecube. $100.00 for 1 MIT student found not playing Gamecube Cube. $500.00 for 1 MIT professor eating Gamecube. To be awarded after dessert.
posted by Effigy2000 at 12:07 AM PST - 34 comments

August 29

Newsfilter? [via] Former deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage admits to spilling the Plame beans. This comes on the heels of an article in Newsweek outing Armitage as Novak's primary source. Wind up the echo chamber.... [more inside]
posted by Mr Stickfigure at 11:48 PM PST - 28 comments


Write your name in Tengwar, the Elvish language/alphabet created by JRR Tolkien. You can work with Tengwar fonts based on Middle Earth languages and runes and see many examples of the script via a Google Image search. According to Tolkien, "there is quite a bit of linguistic wisdom in it." There are certainly websites devoted to his languages and thier history. And It took some thought and work to make the speech sound right in the movies.
posted by persona non grata at 10:18 PM PST - 27 comments

Inspired by a convention in 1999, First Day covers, and his grandfather's autograph collection, Jeremy Adolphson sends off 4x6 index cards to various artists with return postage, hoping for a doodle. 5 years on, he has sixty-five galleries (some NSFW) worth of art to share.
posted by divabat at 10:10 PM PST - 9 comments

Colour Player: at last, you can organize your music by its color.
posted by signal at 9:43 PM PST - 12 comments

Starship Dimensions: A Museum of Speculative Fiction inspired Spaceships - Click in the different zoom levels to compare starships.
posted by bob sarabia at 9:42 PM PST - 30 comments

Google is now offering PDFs of public domain books. Okay, this is a direct lift from Boing Boing but I figured it was too juicy for Metafilter to miss. On my first search I found An Historical Account of the Discovery and Education of a Savage Man, E. M. Itard's account (translated) of his experiences with Victor, the Wild Boy of Aveyron. What else is there, MeFiers?
posted by unSane at 9:40 PM PST - 55 comments

We've all got one... Almost everyone's got a song with a story - a song that's been ruined by something awful associated with it. This site is the place to share your story...
posted by blaneyphoto at 9:12 PM PST - 43 comments

"A Hydrogen Atom is only about a ten millionth of a millimeter in diameter, but the proton in the middle is a hundred thousand times smaller, and the electron whizzing around the outside is a thousand times smaller than THAT. The rest of the atom is empty. I tried to picture it, and I couldn't. So I put together this page - and I still can't picture it." Awesome illustration on perspective and particles - *warning* very wide page, may be dangerous to your browser. Also, the relative size of planets (via the always interesting 37signals blog.)
posted by rsanheim at 8:52 PM PST - 26 comments

Oakland's Taco Trucks: cool site featuring their menus, art, reviews, and locations!
posted by fandango_matt at 8:44 PM PST - 11 comments

Grigory Perelman, awarded the Fields Medal for his work on the Poincare Conjecture, talks to the New Yorker.
posted by Gyan at 8:36 PM PST - 17 comments

Ancient walls built as a defence against marauders provide a rich source of pickings for relic hunters (a photo essay).
posted by tellurian at 6:19 PM PST - 11 comments


Most wanted polygamist captured. The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints^ split from the mainstream Mormon church when the latter banned polygamy early last century. Their leader has been on the FBI top ten most wanted list for alleged sexual conduct with a minor, and has been captured outside of Sin City. On Meta previously the whole thing never the less makes for some interesting reading.
posted by bystander at 5:53 PM PST - 57 comments

JuggleThis.net. Soooo many video clips of people juggling. My favorite so far: lots and lots of footage of casual backstage juggling from some convention (45Mb .mpg file).
posted by staggernation at 5:25 PM PST - 8 comments

If you love gourds but can't stand their gourdly shapes, then Dan Ladd is the artist for you. By snatching young gourds from their parents & stuffing them into unyielding molds, Dan ends up with remarkable natural shapes, organically grown sculptures that bear amazing details.
posted by jonson at 3:44 PM PST - 27 comments

What Would Jerry Do? German neighborhood evicts family for praying too loud. The U.S. State Department is critical of the level of religious freedom in Germany. But would a land nearly free of Scientologists and intolerant of overt displays really be so bad?
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:02 PM PST - 40 comments

The New York Times doesn't want people in Britain to read this article (try to access it from a British IP address and you'll get an error message). Of course, this is the web, stupid (scroll down to read it).
posted by reklaw at 2:02 PM PST - 42 comments

In less than a month the cabaret, which at first had welcomed all modern tendencies in the arts and hoped to entertain and educate the customer, had turned into a theater of the absurd. That was the intention. "What we are celebrating," Ball wrote in his diary, "is both buffoonery and a requiem mass."The scandal spread. Lenin, who played chess with Tzara, wanted to know what Dada was all about. (Previously 1, 2, 3)
posted by anotherpanacea at 1:05 PM PST - 10 comments

Leonard Nimoy ...photographer. (Many images may not be safe for work.)
posted by loquacious at 12:48 PM PST - 42 comments

1,100 Apple II games you can play online. If you are too overwhelmed by your memories to know what to play, some playable classics: Oregon Trail*, Ultima IV*, Archon*, Captain Goodnight and the Islands of Fear*, Drol*, Wings of Fury*, Choplifter *, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?* and Taipan*. Or you can play the first game mod in history: Castle Smurfenstein, a modification of the 1983 original Castle Wolfenstein. What did I miss? [Young whippersnappers can click the asterisks to find out why the game was important. Use the left and right alt keys for joystick buttons, the other instructions are on the site. Emulator only works with IE, sorry. See also this.]
posted by blahblahblah at 12:17 PM PST - 98 comments

Keep your distance. Avoid eye contact. And even if it looks cute, never hug a Swiss cow. With helpful warning poster (PDF).
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:47 AM PST - 41 comments


Don Nelson, the second-winningest coach in NBA history, is back to coach the Golden State Warriors again. Excecutive VP, Chris Mullen who played under Nelson at Golden State re-hired him after parting ways with former Stanford coach, Mike Montgomery who was their ninth coach in the past 12 seasons since Nelson's departure.
posted by pwb503 at 11:43 AM PST - 15 comments

How Much is a Seat on the Security Council Worth? Foreign Aid and Bribery at the United Nations. A paper from a doctoral student at the Harvard Business School, and an employee of the National Bureau of Economic Research has found a correlation between serving on the United Nations Security Council, and the amount of aid received from the United States and the UN. The paper will be printed in an upcoming edition of the Journal of Political Economy. From the abstract: "Ten of the fifteen seats on the U.N. Security Council are held by rotating members serving two-year terms. We find that a country’s U.S. aid increases by 59 percent and its U.N. aid by 8 percent when it rotates onto the council. This effect increases during years in which key diplomatic events take place (when members’ votes should be especially valuable) and the timing of the effect closely tracks a country’s election to, and exit from, the council. Finally, the U.N. results appear to be driven by UNICEF, an organization over which the United States has historically exerted great control." The Harvard Business School working paper can be found here. Commentary from Steven Levitt (the co-author of Freakonomics) can be found here.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 10:24 AM PST - 17 comments

Did he laugh?
posted by dov3 at 10:08 AM PST - 56 comments

The Ecology of Magic is the abbreviated first chapter of David Abram's Spell of the Sensuous. Abram explores the intersection of phenomenology, synesthesia and linguistics to discover the magic of the alphabet, the sacred winds, and ultimately, the root of animism. Abram finds the locus of these superstitions not in an imagined metaphysical sphere, but rooted in our sensuous experience of the world around us. He attributes much of our cavalier attitude towards our environment to our separation from our own experience, and ultimately, our loss of magic. "The fate of the earth depends on a return to our senses."
posted by jefgodesky at 9:44 AM PST - 21 comments

Oh God, please never let the NYT review of my latest novel never start like this: Every few years, as a reviewer, one encounters a novel whose ineptitudes are so many in number, and so thoroughgoing, that to explain them fully would produce a text that exceeded the novel itself in both length and interest. Lately it seems the book reviewers at the NYT--including Michiko Kakutani, on Jonathan Franzen's latest ("Just why anyone would be interested in pages and pages about this unhappy relationship or the self-important and self-promoting contents of Mr. Franzen’s mind remains something of a mystery")--have been pulling out all the stops. Poor Irvine Welsh (?).
posted by gottabefunky at 9:21 AM PST - 61 comments

However interesting your life is, it probably pales in comparison to Moondog. A homeless, blind composer who transcribed in braille, he went from a career as a street corner musician in New York, to sitting in Carnegie Hall for rehersals at the invitation of Artur Rodzinski, he was invited to Germany and wrote a symphony for four conductors: "The Overtone Tree", he was covered by Janis Joplin and worked with Julie Andrews. (mi)
posted by 1f2frfbf at 9:14 AM PST - 13 comments

Warren Ellis quoting someone else's blog: "What with the Washington State Supreme Court handing down its anti-gay-marriage decision several weeks ago and the ever-hearing more about attacks on reproductive rights down south, I’m feeling that the States is tripping a bit too merrily down the Handmaid’s path. This week, I found a way to strike back".
posted by Shanachie at 8:08 AM PST - 132 comments

Whistleblower uses YouTube to out key coup co-conspirator, Lockheed Martin, contracted to prepare coast a guard fleet to be easily compromised by...who knows? Terrorists? Is this glaring, bumbling private-sector incompetance, or very competant, efficient planning for a fall back to such an explanation should something occur? Either way, pretty clear who's in cahoots and not a ringing endorsement for the virtues of the private sector. Let's see if some government oversight can do something about it (not holding my breath) now that the whistleblower's statement is on you tube. Washington Post:On YouTube, Charges of Security Flaws
posted by Unregistered User at 7:36 AM PST - 59 comments

Design Times Square: The Urban Forest Project "brings 185 banners created by the world’s most celebrated designers, artists, photographers and illustrators to New York’s Times Square. Each banner uses the form of the tree, or a metaphor for the tree, to make a powerful visual statement. Together they create a forest of thought-provoking images at one of the world’s busiest, most energetic, and emphatically urban intersections." Including work by Milton Glaser, the Walker Art Center, and many, many others. Via Speak Up.
posted by tpl1212 at 5:58 AM PST - 9 comments


Hey, Chinabounder ... There's 14,608,512 guys outside wanna have a chat with you! A self-described Western scoundrel in Shanghai [racey text] seems to be creating the biggest backlash against foreign devils since the Boxer Rebellion. Said to be an expat English tutor, he's been seducing women and writing up lurid accounts on his blog and shocking the indignant and conservative populace. Now there's a growing effort to track him down as the drama unfolds.
posted by RavinDave at 5:04 AM PST - 53 comments

Oops: Impostor scams Louisiana officials Burned by the yes men. A prankster poses as a HUD honcho and promises NOT to destroy perfectly good housing projects slated for demolition. later, the prankster explained: The New Orleans projects are sturdily constructed brick buildings that, nevertheless, are slated for demolition, he said. "Basically, the real reason, of course, is they want to develop New Orleans into something pleasing to tourists -- even more pleasing." Video here. Wikipedia has info on more of their exploits. My favorite was the bhopal fiasco.
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 4:39 AM PST - 19 comments

August 28

The Skeptiseum displays nine exhibits featuring over a hundred specimens. It is supported by the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, the group responsible for Skeptical Inquirer magazine. The John Zaffis Museum of the Paranormal, on the other hand, is a creepy little collection with plenty of provocative pieces. John Zaffis, the curator, also runs the Paranormal Research Society of New England, where he offers his services as a ghostbuster, as well as handy tips for the DIY crowd. So, who's got more cred?
posted by owhydididoit at 11:02 PM PST - 9 comments

HornMassive.
posted by bigmusic at 8:38 PM PST - 26 comments

My Secret Elephant is my favourite work by Japanese-Canadian artist Yuka Yamaguchi. She has a way of making flayed flesh disturbingly cute. [mildly nsfw]
posted by Dag Maggot at 6:22 PM PST - 36 comments

Scrotoss - It's Nuts! (SFW) Inspired by a game played by the women of the Cree tribe, Scrotoss is the unofficial name of a game involving tossing and catching a beanbag shaped like a pair of testicles with a stick. The game has developed an enthusiast in Bob the Angry Flower creator Stephen Notely, who has begun blogging with a handful of friends their exploits in attempting to spread the love of the sport.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:14 PM PST - 17 comments

Young Folks in the city playing kids' games with expensive toys. Or you can get budget version, for those who just prefer to whack each other. Who exactly does this sort of thing? It's getting more popular.
posted by ®@ at 6:08 PM PST - 13 comments

Wizbang sez that the levy in New Orleans that broke during Katrina was going to break even without a hurricane, and that the Corps of Engineers knew it and suppressed evidence of it until just recently.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 4:56 PM PST - 72 comments

Amazing photoseries of 70 foot storm waves crushing the surface of a large tanker in the North Pacific. More on the post-storm damage here.
posted by jonson at 3:40 PM PST - 36 comments

Half of IT managers admit to hating their users... a lot. - But it's ok, because the users hate IT too. No, they really hate IT. Perhaps IT isn't meeting customer demands. And it isn't like either side's attitudes have changed much over time (July 2001).
In the long term, it simply may never work out between IT and the users. After all, IT support is just like any other customer service job. And we all know customers suck enough for people to start web pages about it... again and again.
posted by smallerdemon at 3:33 PM PST - 60 comments


United States authorities have dropped all charges against the man accused of murdering child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey after a DNA test showed his DNA does not match that found on JonBenet's body.
posted by Second Account For Making Jokey Comments at 3:14 PM PST - 90 comments

Please pick a random number between 1 and 100 (Explanation follows after filling out a short form.)
posted by kika at 3:08 PM PST - 146 comments

Your daily dose of perception-bending. Stare at the center of this video (wmv or flash) for a minute or two then look away from the screen at your surroundings. You'll experience an interesting and somewhat disconcerting effect. Not appropriate for anyone prone to headaches or seizures.
posted by brain_drain at 1:31 PM PST - 51 comments

Software Pop Idol If you're a software developer, what happens when you run out of ideas? You ask the community of course! Then you sort, rate and have the ideas voted on. Make it a contest and give away prizes. And that's exactly what the Mac Programmers behind My Dream App have done. Entries are due by Sept 1st. Rules here. Idea Submission form here.
posted by filmgeek at 12:52 PM PST - 19 comments

Calvin and Hobbes rarities, including some comic panels Watterson drew of himself with Calvin. From Platypus Comix which also has a nice Bloom County lost strips page. Perhaps the most thorough Calvin museum comes from our own ktoad. Find speeches and articles and a root source for most of Watterson's rare art.
posted by caddis at 12:03 PM PST - 50 comments

It's the Privacy International Stupid Security Competition 2006. Human rights group Privacy International (who also hand out annual Big Brother awards have launched the 2006 Stupid Security Competition. Following on from 2003's awards (also here) where everyone from T Mobile UK, the Australian Government to Philadelphia International Airport won with displays of idiocy, what will the results of the past three years of press and government hyperbole and lies, amongst many other things bring?
posted by TheDonF at 11:34 AM PST - 7 comments

The Philosophy of Liberty. Briefly cited here, this simple yet powerful Flash animation is one of the most elegant, expressive, and dramatic political statements I have ever seen.
posted by By The Grace of God at 11:33 AM PST - 87 comments

Benjamin B. Ferencz, a chief prosecutor in the Nuremberg war crimes trials, believes that President Bush should be put on trial. Mr. Ferencz previously discussed the War On Terror shortly after 9/11.
posted by EarBucket at 11:32 AM PST - 20 comments


The Wizard of Oil Some well-done Photoshop fun to start the week - "Somewhere under the radar, way down low. There's a land that I heard of once, where the oil still flows. Somewhere under the radar, folks are screwed. And the schemes that you dare to scheme really do come through. One day I wrecked the family car, and daddy and my mummy Bar remind me, Of my troubles taking acid drops, the night they had to call the cops, And then they fined me. Somewhere under the radar, I'll get high. Drink Rye under the radar, Try, oh yes I'll still try Why, why must I be dry?
posted by jackspace at 10:36 AM PST - 12 comments

Anyone interested in climate change or is still wondering about it's potential effects and possible solutions should check out this must-read Special Issue of Scientific American. Here is a freebie article they have posted online called A Climate Repair Manual.
posted by jacob hauser at 10:33 AM PST - 11 comments

Gay Gamers! A videogame site for the rest of us. Don't miss the top 20 gayest videogame characters of all time. (Though cross-dressing, hot tubbing-with-all-the-boys Cloud from FF7 should be in there somewhere, I'm thinking).Possibly NSFW in a pixel-y sort of way.
posted by WolfDaddy at 10:14 AM PST - 37 comments

“Snow-bo:” The heartwarming story of a young child and his wintry friend. One of its creators, Vera Brosgol, also authored a brilliant--but, sadly, incomplete--webcomic called Return To Sender.
posted by Iridic at 10:10 AM PST - 4 comments

Two U.S. (not dual) citizens refused entry into their own country. Backhanded attempt at removing citizenship, or just another foolish way to remove oversight from potential terrorists?
posted by Kickstart70 at 9:58 AM PST - 46 comments

From the guy who brought you the Whitewater scandal and the impeachment of President Clinton for lying about oval antics in the Oral Office, a legal push to make the Supreme Court just say no to "Bong Hits 4 Jesus." Ken Starr's petition to the Court [PDF] makes clear that Starr believes this is no laughing matter, but a chance for the Court to make a landmark ruling that will give school adminstrators the power to limit student speech: "This case presents the Court with a much-needed opportunity to resolve a sharp conflict among federal courts (and to eliminate confusion on the part of school boards, administrators, teachers, and students) over whether the First Amendment permits regulation of student speech when such speech is advocating or making light of illegal substances."
posted by digaman at 9:46 AM PST - 131 comments

There's a new site, just up and running, that aims to be the YouTube of How-To. Not exactly overflowing with clips just yet, but it could perhaps become a handy web resource, if people really start uploading stuff, and if the folks running it keep pumping out the in-house productions that so far comprise the majority of the site's content. Anyway, it's already the place to go if you want a tutorial on how to make a California roll, or how to hang a door. And if nothing else, some of these clips are just screaming for a mashup treatment. They're calling it VideoJug.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:12 AM PST - 52 comments


Loathe as I am to add to the centennial ubiquity of the late laureate, I can't help but wonder: who is the Betjemaniac prankster Mme de Harben? And why does she think that biographer AN Wilson is a shit?
posted by jack_mo at 7:06 AM PST - 10 comments

Sewers of Canada Many pictures of Great Canadian Drains.
posted by GuyZero at 6:29 AM PST - 13 comments

"It’s a cliché among hikers that there are as many ways to hike the trail as there are people who hike it. Most start at Springer Mountain in Georgia and end at Katahdin in Maine; a few start in Maine and head south. Purists walk every 2,167.1 miles of the trail marked by white rectangular blazes painted on the trees. Blue blazers take short cuts on side trails marked with blue. Yellow blazers hitchhike ahead along roads. And then there are the pink blazers. Pink blazers pursue women."
posted by jessamyn at 6:14 AM PST - 155 comments

Little Citadels. "Dine, shop, live, work, and be entertained in a unique and alluring environment," says the Time Warner Center website - all without ever stepping outside your gleaming Manhattan skyscraper. San Jose's Santana Row, which at first glance seemed no more than a Beverly Center you can live in, is now being compared favorably to urban European living. And MGM-Mirage's new, mysterious and costly ($7 billion!) Project CityCenter brings the trend to Las Vegas - with gambling, of course. They're not Arcosantis - and they don't, as yet, require an Oath of Fealty - but by all accounts they're thriving. What do they have in common? Wealthy tenants, megacorporate sponsors, and a shared desire to integrate efficient, conspicuous consumption into every aspect of civic life. Paolo Soleri may have been right after all - maybe he just forgot to account for the effects of capitalism.
posted by ikkyu2 at 5:43 AM PST - 24 comments

Eject! Eject! Eject! Whether used in the air, on land, at sea (and under it), or on the way to the Moon, ejection seats and capsules have saved thousands of aviators worldwide. The basic concept was first tested in 1912, developed by the Germans in WWII, and became standard safety equipment in high-speed, high-altitude jet and rocket aircraft. (Although ejection seats were in Gemini spacecraft, they were only in early Space Shuttle flights.) Much happens very quickly during ejection, and harrowing accidents and pilot deaths still occur. The decision not to eject right away may be heroic, but even pilots who wait may live while innocent bystanders^ die. However, the efforts of dedicated researchers and rocket sled testing by seat manufacturers keep adding new members to the unique club of men and women who survive to fly again.
posted by cenoxo at 12:45 AM PST - 21 comments

Canon Short Courses: Learn how to wave goodbye, chew gum, pickup a hammer, and perhaps most challenging, use a doorbell. Because Canon cares.
posted by oxford blue at 12:01 AM PST - 19 comments

August 27

The number of communicating alien civilizations = R* x fp x ne x fl x fi x fc x L. The formula is the Drake Equation, and modern estimates range from several thousand to none but us. You can solve it yourself. What is your estimate of the number of alien civilizations out there?
posted by blahblahblah at 10:11 PM PST - 88 comments

"Over the years, I've tried various sorts of infusions, with vodka and other liquors. Fruit and herb-infused are the best known, and are often wonderful. But what I like is meat. Where's the infusion for people like me? I felt disenfranchised, and alone, especially after some research on the interwebs revealed a real lack of meat-based liqueurs. It would be up to me to blaze the trail."
posted by the duck by the oboe at 9:50 PM PST - 44 comments

Medical maggots are available only by prescription in the US and the UK. Eclipsed by the discovery of penicillin, maggots now may turn out to be effective when anitbiotics stop working. Although the FDA hasn't yet decided exactly how to classify maggots, they are generally considered to be medical devices. The BTER Foundation (BioTherapeutics Education and Research) offers maggot therapy workshops, but no special certification is currently required to use them. As beneficial as they are, their use is not always indicated. And when they showed up on their own in a subacute care facility in Chicago, the patient sued for "at least $50,000".
posted by owhydididoit at 9:30 PM PST - 10 comments

The dangers of Jiffy Lube in which the average customer pays for services never rendered. (.asx video)
posted by The Jesse Helms at 9:22 PM PST - 45 comments

One of the most famous characters on youtube is lonelygirl15 (this link being the most comprehensive summary of her story I've seen). Virginia Hefferton of the NY Times is one of the countless people trying to unravel the mystery of whether her video blogs are the ramblings of a cute homeschooled girl and her nerdy crush, or part of a larger marketing campaign.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:20 PM PST - 90 comments

Ayten Ahmet is a 16 year old girl who wants to win the Miss Teen Australia Beauty pageant [some links here possibly NSFW]. The problem is some of Australia's Muslim leaders, such as Melbourne cleric Sheik Mohammed Omran, have branded her entry into the competition as a "slur on Islam". Ayten doesn't know what all the fuss is about, saying "As long as you present yourself well, respect yourself and respect others, that's what's important. Religion's not an issue." [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000 at 3:22 PM PST - 39 comments

From this collection of framed art made only from the wings of African butterflies to Jan Fabre's beetle shell encrusted sculptures, the centuries-long war between artists their tiny insect enemies continues unabated. But never have I seen a more massive salvo for the artist community than "Terrible Beauty", an installation by Jennifer Angus. Featuring over fifteen thousand insects from the artist's personal collection (!), the exhibit features a series of rooms with textile geometric patterns on the wall created entirely by pinned insects of various forms, hues & sizes. All info on the amazing war between artists & insects found via the amazing Museum of Dust
posted by jonson at 2:49 PM PST - 7 comments

"Ever since I got certified to perform euthanasias I have been having crazy dreams where basically I'm just killing everything. I don't really know how to deal with it." Tales of your Local Animal Shelter. Of particular interest is the four phases of rescue.
posted by hindmost at 1:26 PM PST - 14 comments


That's the Sound of the Man Working on the Chain Gang Among all genres of American folk music, prison songs may be the most viscerally compelling. They evolved from plantation songs and field hollers of slaves in the American South before the civil war (whose origins can in turn be traced to patterns found in the music of West Africa) but their tone and content is quite different. Limitless in length, bitter and pained, offering little hope of freedom or redemption, these songs were first heard during Reconstruction. Harsh and unevenly enforced laws incarcerated legions of black American men, consigning them to long sentences of labor for minor offenses like insult, fistfighting, and shoplifting. To shore up a tanking Southern economy, prisons leased convict labor to plantation owners as a low-cost replacement for slave labor. When reform efforts brought that to an end, state governments became the contractors. Sweetheart deals awarded lucrative contracts to prisons to provide labor for rebuilding the railroads and highways of the war-destroyed South. Slavery in all but name, these work conditions gave rise to a body of music that is one of the most significant antecedents of the blues. In hundreds of variants, cadenced to axe-fall, hoe stroke, or the drop of a maul, the songs set a working pace a man could sustain from dawn to dusk, while remaining fast enough to satisfy an armed 'Captain' on horseback.
posted by Miko at 11:21 AM PST - 33 comments

Enzyme reactions use quantum tunneling. British scientists have apparently solved the question of how enzymes speed up atomic reactions -- through a quantum tunneling effect at the reaction site. Just when you thought biology couldn't get any cooler. [via]
posted by spiderwire at 10:12 AM PST - 23 comments

Raves not dead! The British subculture the government tried so hard to kill is alive and well in Cornwall and Essex.
posted by Artw at 7:29 AM PST - 74 comments

Dub Selector - a flash based dub...sampler toy thingie. 9 tracks to play with.
posted by Bugbread at 5:44 AM PST - 19 comments

August 26

Randi Rhodes is the MC at the mainstage at 4:20 Seattle Hemp Fest 2006 I knew you were cool Randi! Also, Dr.Bob Melameda explains why humans need marijuana to fuction properly.
posted by augustweed at 11:15 PM PST - 75 comments

Jesus would run Ubuntu So all I have to do is take a copy of Ubuntu, add in a couple apps, and I too can start peddling mugs, tshirts, ballcaps, etc. using their trademarks? I guess so. I must be getting too used to Apple putting the smack-down on everyone lately, or something...
posted by jimjam at 10:54 PM PST - 32 comments

YaleShmale "Graduating from an Ivy League university doesn't necessarily mean you're smart." The pitch certainly proves the point.
posted by Dome-O-Rama at 10:33 PM PST - 29 comments

Some online journals, such as Ecology and Society, operate independently. Others are hosted collectively by interests like Copernicus Publications. Online peer review is becoming popular.
posted by owhydididoit at 9:16 PM PST - 7 comments

The Bushi-Nenge of French Guiana and Surinam (Bush Negroes or Maroons) are a unique, and little-known group of peoples (Boni or Aluku, Saramaca, Ndyuka) who escaped from Dutch plantations in the early 1700's, who battled for independence which was recognized through various treaties -- notably by the Treaty of Albina which France and the Netherlands signed in 1860 (I can't find any info on the net), and who still live an African-type life largely based around the Maroni River between French Guiana and Suriname, as citizens of either one country or the other. Their language is Sranan Tongo (a mixture of African Languages, English, Dutch, Portuguese and Hebrew -- also known as Taki-Taki -- click for a listen). Historical and scholarly works are scarce, but they exist (In English but mostly in Dutch or French). Some pictures of typical houses. Symbolic Woodwork. More art. Images of the people of French Guyana. Images of various canoes in French Guiana. More photos of the Maroni River. Amazonie Francaise.
posted by pwedza at 9:16 PM PST - 11 comments

Psychiatry by Prescription - Do psychotropic drugs blur the boundaries between illness and health?
posted by Gyan at 7:54 PM PST - 39 comments

American Coup D'Etat. Will the most powerful and well-funded institution on the planet remain under civilian command indefinitely? As the domestic spying saga unfolds and militarism rises, Harper's brought four experts - both academics and brass - to discuss the possibilities.
"To subdue America entirely, the only route remaining would be to seize the machinery of state itself, to steer it toward malign ends—to carry out, that is, a coup d'état."
(See also The Origins of the Military Coup of 2012 [previous])
posted by trinarian at 7:37 PM PST - 29 comments

We shall not be trilled , "The voice of the unusual bird is heard, In the pipe of the breathing floor:" , did you know victor the budgie (previous meta thread) has started his own church ?
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:57 PM PST - 15 comments

Liberals 'Crush Dissent' because they are sinful, and shouldn't be elected because they would legislate sin. Is this type of insanity due to the ever more depressing polls for the Republicans, or are we at the start of a larger, longer cultural war in this country?
posted by UseyurBrain at 5:56 PM PST - 69 comments

We Shall Not Be Moved: Some joined the US military as a patriotic duty, some to better themselves, but the horrors of serving in Iraq, including Abu Ghraib, changed everything. Deserters tell Gary Younge why they had to quit.
posted by jack_mo at 4:25 PM PST - 32 comments

Sherri Finkbine --as reported by BBC News, on this day in 1962 (video clip too)--her travails and travels, the law, publicity, and what happened afterwards. (more here from American Prospect in 05: ...A Gallup Poll taken that year showed that the majority of Americans supported Finkbine, and her case was a turning point ...)
posted by amberglow at 2:46 PM PST - 16 comments

Cane Hill^ is an abandoned state run lunatic asylum (link contains tons of photographs) in South London. Built in 1882, the hospital for years housed Charlie Chaplin's mother (before he became wealthy enough to rescue her). Shuttered since 1990, the locations' inherent creepiness continues to fascinate urban explorers. Inside Out has a series of interesting pieces on the location, including music & paintings inspired by Cane Hill, an essay on the location, detailed floorplans and further photographs.
posted by jonson at 2:44 PM PST - 18 comments


Scientists in Mongolia have found the mummy of a Scythian warrior. This article about the find contains an excellent photo gallery of what exactly they dug up. Other things people have dug up in the past include the famous Mr. Ötzi (only twice as old as the others) and Ms. Altai Princess, who has lately been causing some trouble.
posted by thirteenkiller at 10:58 AM PST - 13 comments

"Treasuremytext allows you to store SMS Messages (text messages) from your mobile phone online [...] generates a realtime RSS stream of saved messages for viewing by others.: "You gotta realise what u want from me, i ain't here for you to walk on, i'm happy the way things r goin but don't really know where i stand." [Incidentally much of the text here is NSFW.]
posted by feelinglistless at 10:01 AM PST - 13 comments

Flight Patterns (watch the overview video) is a cool visualization based on FAA flight records for one day. You can see the overnight lull, then the morning sweep across the country in a series of short videos. It's like cabspotting, but on a much larger scale. This is from the same guy behind The Sheep Market.
posted by mathowie at 9:08 AM PST - 23 comments

Are you a recently deceased motorcycle enthusiast desiring of a dignified final ride? You can have it! Want to be carted off to your final resting place in rugged style, in a 4x4 Land Rover like the one you used to tear around in when you were among the living? No problem! But if you've just kicked the bucket in China's Jiangsu Province and you'd been hoping to wow the mourners at your big send-off with some strippers, sorry, but you can't do that. Just want to learn a little more about funeral practices around the world? You can go here.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:39 AM PST - 11 comments

August 25

Umpire offers to quit for cash payment. Cricket has been gripped by a scandal that started at The Oval cricket ground last Sunday. It started with an accusation of ball tampering by one of the match umpires, Darryl Hair, during a match between Pakistan and England. Hair awarded England 5 runs and changed the ball, which is the sanction in the laws. Pakistan then refused to play, forfeiting the match. Ball tampering is an emotive issue for Pakistan, as is Darryl Hair who has previously been accused of bias against teams from the Indian subcontinent (i.e. racism). In a bizarre twist, Hair has now offered to resign as an umpire, in return for a massive cash payment. It shows the regard in which he is held, that his bosses decided to publicise this. It seems unlikely he will ever stand in a test match again.
posted by winjer at 11:04 PM PST - 21 comments

Photographing Squirrels with Cameras No really, taking pictures of real wild squirrels next to real vintage cameras. No computer editing, he swears. Some are completely odd and others entirely cute as hell. Hours of time well spent!
posted by Dome-O-Rama at 7:14 PM PST - 23 comments

" We are the Mods, We are the Mods , We are , We are , We are the Mods."
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:08 PM PST - 26 comments


On Sept. 11, CNN will replay its coverage from 2001 in real time, online. They will make their little-noticed Pipeline service free for the day.
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:32 PM PST - 124 comments

For murder ballads, here's your Mississippi John Hurt's Louis Collins and your Grayson & Whitter's Ommie Wise. Then, for some early white blues bottleneck guitar, here's your Frank Hutchison's K. C. Blues. Not to mention Charley Patton's Screamin' And Hollerin' The Blues. All courtesy the Internet Archives 78 RPM tag. where there is way more--like Bix Beiderbecke's first record, Davenport Blues, Louis Armstrong's Ain't Misbehavin' and Geeshie Wiley's Last Kind Words, among many others. Then, for more, Nugrape Records has an mp3 page. The standout there, at least for me, is Gus Cannon's Poor Boy Long Ways From Home. As for their namesake, the Nugrape Twins, well, the Archive has the mp3 of I've Got Your Ice Cold Nugrape. And don't let me omit mentioning PublicDomain4U. They have Mississippi John Hurt's Frankie, for one. Tyrone's Record and Phonograph Links will lead you to more 78 RPM goodness. And don't forget the inestimable and erudite vacapinta first directed us to Dismuke's Virtual Talking Machine.
posted by y2karl at 2:20 PM PST - 48 comments

Beautiful Subways --worldwide--from palatial to postmodern, folksy to brutalist (pee smells not included--and don't miss Tehran's)
posted by amberglow at 2:19 PM PST - 48 comments

Troitsky Church in St.Petersburg is on fire. Terrible pictures
posted by growabrain at 2:01 PM PST - 34 comments

Martha C. Nussbaum reviews Harvey C. Mansfield's book Manliness for The New Republic, and she hands him his own ass.
posted by cgc373 at 1:27 PM PST - 40 comments

Blemph-O! Gymnasium - tHE oFFICIAL pAUL nw pROCH wEBSITE?! More on pAUL pROCH, here, here and here. Warning: this site is so not web 2.0...
posted by mds35 at 12:20 PM PST - 7 comments

Friday Flash Fun Chill out with lasers and mirrors this afternoon. (Apparently similar to this one.)
posted by knave at 11:43 AM PST - 16 comments

Just Imagine Stan Lee's Watchmen! Back in 2002, DC Comics extended an olive branch of comics industry peace to Stan "Excelsior!" Lee, the founder of rival Marvel Comics. The result was the Just Imagine line, wherein we find several DCU heroes reimagined in one-shot comics as only Stan Lee could. Some titles were good. Some were okay. Most were just so. But never in a million issues would DC have let him take on Watchmen -- perhaps the most critically-acclaimed and analyzed series this side of Maus. So since Stan couldn't or wouldn't, Kevin Church has.
posted by grabbingsand at 11:40 AM PST - 41 comments

Santorum on Gorilla Action Friday Fun - A giant gorilla is chasing around Rick Santorum
posted by cjoh at 11:39 AM PST - 11 comments

The downside of being a nerd with your desktop set to a super-hi resolution is that you can rarely find cool wallpapers to use. This massive collection (in a wide variety of resolutions) should help.
posted by jonson at 11:26 AM PST - 26 comments

"I would have your wife right in front of you. I would smoke the last of your glaucoma medication. Then I will surely drink your liquor cabinet dry. However, know this my friend. I will never break an oath to uphold the public trust. My affidavit will be signed in my own blood. A Pirates crimson mark, with real binding effects into my after life. Laugh if you will then ask yourself if you could do it." James Hill is running for congress in Iowa's first district. He accepts no money from anybody.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:01 AM PST - 54 comments

Patricia Todd won a tight Democratic party runoff in District 54 in Alabama. Patricia Todd is also gay and would be the first gay representative in Alabama's history. Gaynell Hendricks doesn't understand why she lost, but maybe it has to do with the race baiting . Hendricks' mother-in-law contests the election for numerous reasons including "illegal votes were given to Todd" and said that "I want this controversy settled.This is happening like when Bush and Gore were running for president. I don't like it." Unsurprisingly, "Hendricks said she is pleased that someone challenged the results. " Weeks go by and the results don't get certified. A five member committee is appointed and bickers. Eventually the committee refrerences an old by law that has apparently not been enforced since 1988 to disqualify Todd. Although it does not seem quite over, it should be by tommorrow. Interestingly enough, Todd said she believes the challenge has nothing to do with the fact she is gay, but is about the fact that she is white and won in a majority black district.
posted by dig_duggler at 10:46 AM PST - 38 comments

What the world creates by hand. The sons of a Peace Corps member, Roberto and Andy Milk had a lifelong interest in artisans in developing countries. They teamed up with Armenia Nercessian, a UN human-rights officer, to create Novica.com, an online marketplace that sells the work of more than 10,000 craftspeople. While Novica operates chiefly in association with National Geographic, NPR also helps to promote them.
posted by owhydididoit at 10:23 AM PST - 14 comments

The Trailer Mash is the spot for movie trailer recuts and mashups. We've done the subject before, but now the subject has its own blog. Current new favorites: Garden State as a murder thriller and School of Rock as a kidnap film. [via mefi projects]
posted by mathowie at 9:56 AM PST - 13 comments

Porn Up, Rape Down
posted by caddis at 9:44 AM PST - 54 comments

wealthymen.com Not covered in previous "dating sites" thread. I just heard the ad on the radio. Wish I could post that, too. It's even better than the site.
posted by wfc123 at 9:43 AM PST - 20 comments

When cloning goes wrong Some funny photoshop creations. Nothing more, nothing less.
posted by namagomi at 9:37 AM PST - 22 comments

Some vintage photographs of ladies trying out for dancing jobs at a South California club. They were taken from the late 1960s through to the early 1970s, and are part of a larger set of 400 or so Polaroids. There are some cool photos here. (No nudity, but it's probably not safe for work.)
posted by chunking express at 9:26 AM PST - 24 comments

I promise to try not to smoke, or drink too much, or eat too much, or be lazy. If I fail, you can cut my benefits. Sign here please. West Virginia recently approved a controversial change to its Medicaid program: a Member Agreement [NB: links to .pdf] that adds several "personal responsibilities" including attempting to avoid smoking, (illegal) drugs, heavy drinking and sloth (not sloths). It also includes clauses on compliance with doctors recommendations, keeping appointments, reading the written materials that doctors provide, and minimizing emergency department visits. Patients who don't uphold their end of the bargain will have some benefits reduced or eliminated (that'll learn them). Lube up the slippery slope arguments. Will it work? Is it fair? Want to hear more? And more (from NPR)?.
(Article .pdfs archived here and here. Interview .mp3 archived here if you can't access them through above links).
posted by scblackman at 8:41 AM PST - 87 comments


Helen Kane. (Wikipedia bio.) They based Betty Boop on her. MP3 files. WAV files. Podcast.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:55 AM PST - 11 comments

Feds Bust Guy Pitching Hezbollah TV. Censorship, or reasonable use of the Patriot Act?
posted by MarshallPoe at 7:28 AM PST - 53 comments

Elijah Page to be executed in South Dakota. On March 12, 2000, Page and two other brutally tortured and killed Chester Poage near Spearfish, SD.(very graphic description of events). It took Page, Briley Piper, and Darrell Hoadley nearly 3 hours to finally kill Poage. This will be the first execution in South Dakota in 59 years. (more inside)
posted by killThisKid at 7:14 AM PST - 77 comments

Babe-a-lizer! Friday Flash Fun - hotties galore (including pics of the Mercury Girl and the Queen of All Media (warning: music autostart, provocative photos, possibly NSFW) - gotta love the panic button!
posted by GoshND at 6:12 AM PST - 22 comments

SAVE PLUTO
posted by thirteenkiller at 5:24 AM PST - 91 comments

We're Schleswig-Holsteins, darling. (Ah, from the Low Countries.) Cows have accents. Some other animals with accents: birds, otters, frogs, monkeys.
posted by pracowity at 5:19 AM PST - 13 comments

Some tributes to Syd Barrett are good, some bad. But man, what a trip. Still, there was no reason to stalk him.
posted by punkfloyd at 4:56 AM PST - 11 comments

If you're sick of random, crude, sloppy , incredibly NSFW cartoons featuring juvenile humor, you'll love Sick Animation!
posted by Citizen Premier at 1:38 AM PST - 10 comments

Strange Bedfellows: Radical Leftists for Bush Among the German far-left, one subgroup called the anti-Germans holds some contradictory views. Most call themselves communists, yet loudly proclaim their support for Israel and George W. Bush.
posted by telstar at 12:20 AM PST - 29 comments

August 24

Here's a dot . an octave and a half above high C for the legendary jazz trumpeter Maynard Ferguson, who has passed away at 78. Building on the experimental wanderings of Miles Davis, Ferguson fused jazz and rock in creating what is quite probably the signature big band sound of the psychadelic and disco eras. (See, e.g., "Rocky" (.wav).) He was well-known for astounding technical proficiency and his tight-lipped embochure created one of the largest ranges of any trumpeter. (Here's Ferguson playing and conducting "Round Midnight" in a very early clip [youtube]). But legions of former high school trumpet geeks full disclosure: I am one will remember him best for his commitment to signing promising young players for his tours and his reaching out, with tireless touring at tiny venues, to high school and college bandies and drum corps-types who at one time or another came across his repertoire.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 11:00 PM PST - 32 comments

Not Fooling Anybody. You know that new Chinese Restaurant that still looks like the Pizza Hut that shut down last year? How about that sandwich shop that still has a Taco Bell-shaped sign in front of it? Ever feel like a family-sized bucket of back repair? Find all of these, plus a guide to identifying them in your own home town.
posted by CrunchyFrog at 9:15 PM PST - 44 comments

Neutral Moresnet - a wedged-shaped, almost Esperanto speaking, janiformed currency using, one-step anthem playing, created because of a zinc mine, mini-state, that is now nothing more than some border markers. [more inside]
posted by tellurian at 9:00 PM PST - 25 comments

In a small-town jail in the upper Midwest sits a once highly-paid informant the U.S. government would probably rather you not know about. Guillermo Ramirez-Peyro, AKA Lalo, sits in prison without being charged. He's a former Mexican Highway Police Officer that found himself incahoots with the drug trade on the Juarez-El Paso border, but then received more than $200K from the U.S. Federal Government for information. The same U.S. agency that paid him, however, now wants to deport him back to Mexico and an almost certain death.
posted by Ufez Jones at 8:38 PM PST - 8 comments

Book. For thirty-six weeks, a sketchbook was sent in random order between four artists: two in Brooklyn, two in Belfast. Every Wednesday, one participant would receive book. In order to maintain schedule, it was sent out the following Monday, giving each artist five days to complete a spread in response to the one that preceded it. A small portion of each entry extends on to the following page. Beyond this, there was no communication between the artists concerning the content of book during its making. Book's first trip across the Atlantic was on 2 June, 2003. Its final trip was on 2 February, 2004. By the time it was completed, book had travelled over sixty thousand miles.
posted by amro at 8:12 PM PST - 12 comments

Shortly before his cancer diagnosis, Peter Jennings started work on a one-hour documentary devoted solely to the issue of AIDS in Black America. ABC News has now finished his work in a one-hour Special Edition of "Primetime," reported by Terry Moran. "In America today, AIDS is virtually a black disease, by any measure," says Phill Wilson, executive director of The Black AIDS Institute in Los Angeles. Black Americans make up 13 percent of the U.S. population but account for over 50 percent of all new cases of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. That infection rate is eight times the rate of whites. Among women, the numbers are even more shocking—- almost 70 percent of all newly diagnosed HIV-positive women in the United States are black women. Black women are 23 times more likely to be diagnosed with AIDS than white women, with heterosexual contact being the overwhelming method of infection in black America.
posted by jennababy at 7:49 PM PST - 50 comments

Hydrogen fuel has been discussed many times on MeFi, but I wasn't able to find a previous link to this video clip (Google Video warning) showing Jack Nicholson, circa 1978, showing off his hydrogen powered car. The accents of the broadcasters, in case you're wondering, are east coast Canadian, possibly Newfoundland.
posted by Zinger at 7:21 PM PST - 21 comments

Will Vinyl Survive? Is vinyl on its last legs? Or like Gloria Gaynor, will it survive? Most home listeners chucked out their turntables years ago, but are DJs finally giving in and following suit? DJs face off in a pair of articles discussing the merits of vinyl vs. digital...
posted by bunglin jones at 6:00 PM PST - 68 comments

Roof Sex (amazing stop-motion animation: NSFW??? - sound warning: definitely NSFW!) Also a must-see: The Making of Roof Sex.
posted by spock at 5:00 PM PST - 31 comments

Every issue of the New Yorker on a portable hard drive. For $299 you get an 80GB hard drive loaded with every article, poem, short story, advertisement and lame cartoon that has appeared in the over 4,000 issues of The New Yorker Magazine since February, 1925. The vintage ads alone MIGHT be worth it (depending on res/format) but does anyone really WANT every one of those unfunny cartoons? Does anyone outside NYC even care that this magazine is still being published?
posted by Dome-O-Rama at 3:34 PM PST - 108 comments

C86: Side A and Side B.
posted by jack_mo at 3:06 PM PST - 29 comments

Long .pdf paper on the state of mainstream "analytic" philosophy. In a recent thread, we discussed the current state of philosophy departments in English-speaking countries. Philosophers are often asked why we don't take Ayn Rand seriously as a philosopher, or why we aren't up on literary Theory or deconstruction, etc. The short answer is that most academic philosophers in universities in the English-speaking world are engaged in a broad consensus (about how to do philosophy, what counts as a good question, etc) that's called "analytic philosophy" for short. Here is a long, informative encyclopedia entry by Scott Soames describing the history and current state of play in analytic philosophy. If you want to understand the background of the currently dominant school of philosophy in the US, UK, Canada and Australia, this will explain it. Link goes directly to a 44-page .pdf file.

Here are a few bonus bits: Jerry Fodor on Why no one reads analytic philosophy. One of the Philosophy talk podcasts from the Stanford philosophy department, on The Future of Philosophy. Some answers at askphilosophers.org -- a site where you can ask questions directly of professional philosophers -- that say the distinction between analytic and continental philosophy should be retired. (In a way, I agree, but the terms are used so widely that it's useful to get a sense of what they're meant to describe.) The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy on what different philosophers have meant by "analysis".
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:33 PM PST - 56 comments

Anti-terror. A great little common sense article from Bruce Schneier. via
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 2:01 PM PST - 45 comments

Pull My Finger
posted by y2karl at 1:41 PM PST - 34 comments

News of stupidity in the fight against terrorism: Up to three years in jail for not loudly enunciating, in front of his mom, that he had a penis pump. If you do not know that you are an American citizen, it's your fault and you may be deported as an illegal alien. Manhattan train stopped because of some woman's bottle of iced tea? BC Ferry delayed 3 hours because of a forgotten briefcase (my coworker lives next to the terminal and has learned that this was an RCMP officer's briefcase, though that detail has not made the media). There are so many of these stories...we really need one place to group them all together.
posted by Kickstart70 at 12:04 PM PST - 87 comments

Salon Convention is not geared towards any one particular subset of people, but anyone who is interested in pursuing salons and leisure activities typically associated with the Victorian time period.
posted by Squid Voltaire at 11:22 AM PST - 7 comments

Reposted to Forbes.com after a massive backlash from bloggers and writers, this article by executive editor Michael Noer has now been given a counterpoint article by one of the sites' women writers. In the original article, Noer urged men not to marry "career girls," lest they leave you for greener pastures, and other misogynistic nonsense. Slate chimes in with a painfully adolescent rebuttal while Salon lets him have it with juicy quotes from women execs and more.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 10:33 AM PST - 95 comments

Craig Mullins is a commercial photoshop artist & videogame fan. In the mid 90s, after a couple amateur pieces of fan art he created for the game Marathon made their way to the folks at Bungie, he was hired to create a series of Halo themed art for the company. His full portfolio of commercial & personal work is interesting.
posted by jonson at 10:30 AM PST - 14 comments

A previously unheard of group, The Sufi Muslim Council, claims to speak for the silent majority of Muslims. Others see it as an attempt to co-opt Sufi-ism to push neoconservative ideals. One of the main authors, Zeyno Baran has even authored a report for the conservative think tank, The Nixon Center, suggesting just that. Other think tanks have also made similar suggestions [pdf] in their publications. ( via Craig Murray )
posted by mulligan at 9:55 AM PST - 19 comments

2006-2007 Doomsday Calendar. Plenty of Neocons went to bed on the 21st, anxiously awoke on the 22nd, and stayed awake through the 23rd, disappointed that their ongoing vision of the New American Century had been spoiled - Iran had not triggered the Apocalypse as some had hinted, breaking the sixth seal, making the 12th Iman ride across the skies, testing their first nukular weapon, etc. No, they wanted to talk. Fortunately, others are picking up the slack, since the prophesies for 5/25/06, 6/6/06, and 8/22/06 have not been fulfilled. Next date up to the plate for a vengeful God? BoingBoing reports that Yisrayl Hawkings says 9/12/2006 (youtube). The Doomsday Google Calendar is available here (XML/iCAL/HTML).
posted by rzklkng at 9:13 AM PST - 28 comments

Make me one with everything One man and his attempt to eat a GINORMOUS FULLY LOADED 5 pound burger with 54 toppings......in under 30 minutes.
posted by ColdChef at 8:59 AM PST - 60 comments

Slo-Mo Home Depot. Improv Everywhere got 250 people to wander around a Home Depot in slow motion. [via]
posted by chunking express at 8:44 AM PST - 77 comments

[NewsFilter] A partial victory for public health over politics. Amazingly, the FDA has finally, after 3 years of wrangling, approved over-the-counter sale of Plan B, an emergency contraceptive pill. The victory is partial because you need to be 18 or older to purchase it without a doctor's note. If you're under 18, you need to still have documentation from your physician (or nurse practitioner). The politics behind the approval process were laid bare in this (sincerely) fascinating GAO report [note: links to .pdf file]. I also hope that OTC approval will avoid this.

Plan B previously discussed on MeFi here.
posted by scblackman at 7:49 AM PST - 65 comments

Taking a cue from the most famous example of (accidental) movie/album synchronization, Dark Side of the Cop is the first in a planned three-disc series of an (intentional) alternate soundtrack to Beverly Hills Cop.
posted by Dr-Baa at 7:35 AM PST - 7 comments

Modern times... suck? Bob Dylan has heavily criticised the sound of modern music recordings, claiming that, There’s no definition of nothing, no vocal, no nothing, just like — static, and that, CDs are small.

Not to exclude himself, he's included his own new album in this criticism, saying that, Even these songs probably sounded ten times better in the studio when we recorded ‘em. Maybe he's just being a curmudgeon, or maybe he actually has a point about modern music production. It's not like he's opposed to all things modern: after all, he seems OK with file-sharing and iTunes. And, umm, Alicia Keys...
posted by chorltonmeateater at 7:34 AM PST - 68 comments

We recently saw people playing at being zombies, which is fun and all, but wouldn't you rather kill zombies than be one? I sure as hell would, so there's [more inside]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:54 AM PST - 27 comments

My very elegant mother just sat upon ninjas ... the textbooks, mnemonic devices and more will have to be changed today. Pluto has been demoted from its status as planet to a dwarf planet. We now have 8 in our solar system. The debate is not at all new, and its apparent resolution may not matter to our everyday lives, but it's just a little weird to think of all of the things that will have to be retroactively edited or amended as a result.
posted by twiggy at 6:47 AM PST - 96 comments

Frank Collin. Just your average everyday half-Jewish Neo-Nazi pederast occult author. Former leader of the Neo-Nazi group that marched through the predominantly Jewish Chicago suburb of Skokie in 1977, triggering protests and court battles. Collin himself was half-Jewish, strangely. He later went to jail for child molestation and seems to have turned to writing books about witchcraft since his release. A truly strange story.
posted by jonmc at 6:26 AM PST - 14 comments

There goes the afternoon... Board Dots is an annoyingly simple flash game. Just cover each space on the board with your dot. It's not as easy as it looks.
posted by salmacis at 5:58 AM PST - 17 comments

Gigantic yellow jacket nests perplex experts
posted by madamjujujive at 5:15 AM PST - 71 comments

Multiple orgasms trap benefit cheat is one Times headline that I wish I had written myself. The story is so far as I can tell quite true; The Daily Mail has it too, under a much duller headline. On the other hand, it does have readers grumbling at the end: "The more benefit cheats they find - the better. I have two slipped discs, have to sleep sitting up and am entitled to, yes, you've guessed - nothing." writes one, as if Ms Byron were being subsidised for her orgasms.
posted by alloneword at 4:35 AM PST - 17 comments

Playing cards and tarot cards. An amazing resource about cards with hundreds of scanned decks, and an illustrated timeline of cards through the ages. Cards started in China, but the link to the West was the gorgeous decks of the Marmeluks [Coral cache],which used 52 cards (though the suites were polo sticks, coins, swords, and cups), from there, they spread to Europe and evolved into the tarot and playing cards. Through their history, cards remained art there are many beautiful decks in the past, and 20th century artists like Dali and Hockney created their own decks [coral cache].
posted by blahblahblah at 12:31 AM PST - 14 comments

Have fun with your food! You may never look at fair foods the same way again thanks to this year's ad campaign for the Utah State Fair. (Warning: videos auto-start)
posted by Orb at 12:31 AM PST - 6 comments

August 23

Rockabye Baby "transforms timeless rock songs into beautiful instrumental lullabies." It's never too early to introduce your little one to the angsty minor chords of Radiohead, Pink Floyd, The Cure, Metallica, or Nirvana, among others. Reminiscent of the previously posted Nippaz with Attitude, but with less piano and more glockenspiel. The Coldplay songs seem especially well done. via dooce
posted by onlyconnect at 10:52 PM PST - 32 comments

Most 18-year-old students entering the class of 2010 this fall were born in 1988. For them: Billy Carter, Lucille Ball, Gilda Radner, Billy Martin, Andy Gibb, and Secretariat have always been dead. They have known only two presidents. Ringo Starr has always been clean and sober. Paul Newman has always made salad dressing. Gas has always been unleaded and Don Imus has always been offending someone in his national audience. Wisconsin's Beloit College has published its sixth annual Mindset List. [2003 list previously discussed]
posted by ericb at 9:07 PM PST - 80 comments

Flurb - issue #1, from Rudy Rucker.
posted by tellurian at 7:35 PM PST - 10 comments

Ask Dominique - an advice column for gang members. (via Salon Broadsheet)
posted by Melinika at 7:34 PM PST - 15 comments

Free Your Imagination : from the furry "Yeti crab" to the almiqui, animals discovered and rediscovered this millenium.
posted by anjamu at 7:30 PM PST - 17 comments


Say what you will. The new Land Rover Defender is rad.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 6:42 PM PST - 66 comments

"Psycho killer raccoons terrorize Olympia." What else is there to say, really.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 6:20 PM PST - 55 comments

Survivor: Cook Islands' 20 castaways will be grouped by race, with competitors divided into four tribes consisting of whites, blacks, Asians and Hispanics. If your reaction is "oof," you are not alone. But host Jeff Probst says, "I found it to be one of the freshest ideas we’ve had going back to the beginning of this show."
posted by amro at 4:33 PM PST - 102 comments

Fetus in fetu is a very rare condition, but it happens. It's when you have a parasitic twin inside you.
posted by snofoam at 2:57 PM PST - 49 comments

New Orleans City Ordinance #26031 --...those who have not been able to make the necessary repairs to their battered homes by August 29th risk having their property seized and bulldozed by the city.... Bush says today: Katrina Repair Will Take Time, but time's up for many New Orleans residents. (more here from ACORN, who has been trying to help save homes there)
posted by amberglow at 2:48 PM PST - 62 comments

Calling it quits. Just two weeks after posting his first video (viewed over 1.7 million times since), Peter, the surprise star of YouTube, has posted his "Reluctant Farewell". [previously]
posted by Silky Slim at 2:27 PM PST - 21 comments

Pregnant Pause
posted by kirkaracha at 2:21 PM PST - 51 comments

Back in the dark days of World War II, the man who would become Dr. Seuss was in the business of military propaganda . One of the characters he created was Private Snafu. Private Snafu was an animated depiction of a bumbling soldier in military training films, whose voice sounded suspiciously close to Bugs Bunny's. Warner Bros. animation studios produced the cartoons with the talents of Mel Blanc, Chuck Jones, and Bob Clampett. Private Snafu has been discussed here previously but now you can watch some of the original cartoons on youtube and download them here! (unfortunately, I am still unable to locate the awesomely-titled "Private Snafu vs. Malaria Mike")
posted by elr at 2:07 PM PST - 9 comments


Buchanan Argues For Immigration Moratorium To Preserve White Dominance His new book also explains that western civilization is dependant on white people's "genetic endowments". Could explain why John Gibson famously called for "more white babies" a couple months ago. Is blatant racism becoming less taboo?
posted by delmoi at 12:50 PM PST - 161 comments

Snap Shirts will create a word cloud from the most-frequently-used words on a web page and then you can order it printed on a t-shirt. (via iwilldare)
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:26 PM PST - 22 comments

Iran's influence in Iraq has superseded that of the US, and it is increasingly rivalling the US as the main actor at the crossroads between the Middle East and Asia... As a result, the US-driven agenda for confronting Iran is severely compromised by the confident ease with which Iran sits in its region... The report also looks into the ideology of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and unpicks Iran’s complicated power structure. It claims that despite his popularity, Ahmadinejad neither holds an insurmountable position within Iran nor commands universal support for his outspoken foreign policy positions... On hostility with the US, the report argues that while the US may have the upper hand in ‘hard’ power projection, Iran has proved far more effective through its use of ‘soft' power. The report also holds a cautious view of the Iran-Israel relationship. It outlines four future scenarios for the relationship between the two states, one of which is the creation of a ‘cold-war’ style nuclear stand-off should Iran achieve nuclear capability.
Iran, its Neighbours and the Regional Crises
(full report in pdf)
See also Iran now the key power in Iraq, says UK think-tank
See also Iran 'boosted by war on terror'
posted by y2karl at 11:31 AM PST - 21 comments

10 greatest beat-making videos ever* "*Or, you know, today." A Music thing thing.
posted by nthdegx at 11:09 AM PST - 14 comments

I know it's YouTube. But Spike Jones^ must be seen as well as heard.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:51 AM PST - 42 comments

Oakland has hyphie, Atlanta has crunk. Detroit has The Jit (more, more). Beginning in Detroit as the Jitterbug back in the '20s, the dance grew up through Detroit's Black Bottom, and was adopted by gangs like the Erroll Flynns into a battle dance with the rise of hip hop (similar to pop-locking or breaking). Similar dances have sprung up elsewhere (Chicken Noodle Soup in Harlem, B-More Club in Baltimore, Toe Wop in NY, Footwork in Chicago), but Detroit is still the best. There's even a movie in the works.
posted by klangklangston at 10:33 AM PST - 16 comments

It’s not too hard to create an eye-explodingly ugly site on MySpace. It’s rather more difficult to elicit beauty (or at least good taste) from the MySpace beast. But coder Mike Davidson has succeeded. You can find out he did it--and how to do it yourself--here.
posted by Iridic at 10:09 AM PST - 67 comments

PepsiBlue! PerpetualKid! Get your consumer on! Linked to by some guys, I started digging around the treasure trove that is PerpetualKid. Sure, they've got a lot of that Spencer's Gifts type crap but its more fun than that. Trebuchet? Meat pencil toppers? Chew by numbers? I'm sure you'll have seen some of these products before but others, maybe not so much. Bonus links: gummy steak, strawberry-flavored "bacon" (also gummy), and ring8 bananaphone.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 10:09 AM PST - 7 comments

When your horoscope isn't enough.
Ever wonder how sophisticated New Yorkers can afford to live well in such an expensive city?
They have a system.
posted by hexatron at 10:00 AM PST - 29 comments

It's on the Internet, so it must be true. Are hundreds of Muslims in the East Village infuriated by a topless poster of Kate Moss across the street? See what happens when one blog says so, and various media around the world (1, 2, 3... you get the idea) take the meme and run with it. Trouble is, it didn't really happen.
posted by laz-e-boy at 9:34 AM PST - 24 comments


I'm Coming Home (video/sound warning)
posted by spock at 9:01 AM PST - 27 comments

Would you love to own that house down the block, but are inconvenienced by the fact that it's not for sale? Don't fret. "Every Home in America is Up for Sale!" Of course, one should always be wary of unsolicited offers.
posted by Blue Buddha at 8:55 AM PST - 14 comments

"I ask, what is his real agenda? What is he trying to do? Is this how you treat artists? If I were another actor or filmmaker, would I work at a studio that takes one of their greatest assets and publicly does this?"
posted by wfc123 at 8:22 AM PST - 39 comments

In Soviet Russia, Flag Flies You! [Google Cache] Just as in election years past, the American flag has once again become a political football. Apparently, flying the flag upside down, a traditional indication of "distress" - (Section 8a. "The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property") - has displeased some patriots as well. Fortunately, the Marines are there [Google cache]... [via digg][Original digg-effected link here].
posted by rzklkng at 6:59 AM PST - 146 comments

DAMMIT, DOSED AGAIN! Well, once again I got a cup of full-strength this morning which she swore was decaf, and I'm jittery as a chimp on crack. But soon I won't have to worry; chemists at Washington University School of Medicine are working on a caffeine test strip.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:51 AM PST - 28 comments

HumanCar (note: 6.7mb WMV) row, row, row your car... but it's telling that they show it going downhill, but not up. And will you need 3 friends whenever you need to run to the store? More videos, and information here.
posted by crunchland at 3:05 AM PST - 12 comments

The makers of N (previously here, here and here) have been working on a new game - known thus far as TNG (that would be 'the new game'). They've been rather tight lipped about details - untill last month when they revealed a few juicy bits of what we can expect.
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 2:56 AM PST - 13 comments

Mexico City post-election protests, which began on July 30th at the instigation of López Obrador, former mayor and alleged "loser" of the July 2 federal election, now cover a 12-kilometer (7.5 - mile) stretch of Paseo de la Reforma, one of the main arteries of one of the world's largest cities. Some see it as a party, others see it as ridiculous. In any case, a crisis of legitimacy is at hand, as all eyes await the announcement, due by Sept. 6 from "Trife", the Electoral Tribunal of the Federal Judiciary, which will either decide the winner, or annul the result and call for new elections. With partisans of Obrador already claiming that the results of the recent partial recount suggest systematic fraud, it's unlikely that a smooth resolution is going to come any time soon.
posted by dinsdale at 1:15 AM PST - 22 comments

How can I use a Barney Fife Impersonator at my next event? Do vasectomies prevent abductions? Where is the least painful spot? All these (and many more) questions answered at UsedFaqs, a round-up of the more bizarre frequently asked questions from all around the series of tubes.
posted by jonson at 12:20 AM PST - 12 comments

August 22

Some call FEMA's administration of federal flood insurance and disaster relief illogical and illegal, although you won't find that in FEMA's recent summary of Katrina, which reveals that $15.3 billion dollars in federal flood insurance claims have been paid. That's quite a bit more than the National Flood Insurance Fund's budget, and you may recall that payouts didn't go smoothly. Still, having federal flood insurance, as opposed to relying on disaster relief, has proven its worth during the rebuilding process. Certainly Katrina was an extraordinary phenomenon, unlikely to be repeated any time soon. Perhaps that's why the annual disaster relief budget is smaller this year.
posted by owhydididoit at 10:52 PM PST - 11 comments

Pablo Lobato is an Argentinian graphic artist who uses color and geometric shape to create witty portraits and caricatures. More works are available at his website (sound & flash alert). His site's select links to other caricaturists are great, including David Cowles who he names as an influence and the brilliant Hannoch Piven.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:41 PM PST - 15 comments

Keep driving your Hummer guilt free, thanks to BP BP announced today a new program that will allow drivers to maintain carbon-neutral without changing their driving habits or make of car. The program, called "Target Neutral" is a web-initiative that allows drivers to cancel out their carbon emissions by funding renewable energy and green technology ventures out of their own pockets -- carbon credit offsets in their simplest form. Interesting to note that BP's big announcement is on the heels of news reports out of Washington yesterday that the Environmental Protection Agency along with two other federal departments will be involved in an investigation into BP's Alaskan operations and it's Aug.9th oil pipe leak.
posted by jacob hauser at 9:12 PM PST - 35 comments

"Don't Download This Song." A free, and rather hilarious, download from "Weird Al" Yankovic done in the 'charity gospel' "We are the World" style, including a few gems in the lyrics like "even Lars Ulrich knows it's wrong." Direct MP3 link. Music video evidently coming shortly.
posted by WCityMike at 7:59 PM PST - 35 comments

Cardoso? Cardoso?
Loronix: Ultimate Bossanova Blog.
posted by hama7 at 6:58 PM PST - 12 comments

Being a little overweight can kill you.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 3:28 PM PST - 89 comments

Nancy , the best comic strip ever? Close but no cigar. Pogo? Peanuts? Calvin? Good choices all, but still wrong. Krazy Kat you say? Again I shake my head sadly, friend. For Mr. Dave Astor has finally stepped forward to settle this debate once and for all. The greatest comic strip ever appearing on newsprint? Why, it's For Better or For Worse of course. Let the debate begin.
posted by ktoad at 3:02 PM PST - 202 comments

Toribash is a turn-based fighting game where, during a turn, you set-up, articulate, and execute fighting moves with rag-doll characters. Looks like a pretty cool idea. Windows based executable, Linux based server software. I've been doing this for hours, and hours now. I... I... can't stop. Via (and description courtesy of )Negatendo
posted by boo_radley at 2:49 PM PST - 9 comments

This was bound to happen.
posted by allkindsoftime at 2:28 PM PST - 38 comments

We've discussed the omnipresent nature of Hello Kitty before. She has aliens for allies, her own MMORPG, and even a banking empire. But what about the havoc that can be wreaked when fandoms collide? If Sanrio-meets-Star-Wars doesn't make your brain hurt, how about the thought of packing some Hello Kitty heat? Or maybe...maybe you're a fan. Maybe visiting Puroland--Hello Kitty's theme park--appeals to you. Oh, it does? Then you'll be happy to hear that Puroland does weddings, too[Youtube].
posted by Vervain at 1:44 PM PST - 31 comments

Silly name, but fun all the same ... Free web (2.0, natch) chat site that allows users to search for chat rooms based on tags or to set up their own room(s) that are either public or private.
posted by terrapin at 1:32 PM PST - 21 comments

Confronting the New Misanthropy. "The big question is not whether humans will survive this century, but whether our faith in humanity will survive it"
posted by stbalbach at 1:03 PM PST - 51 comments

Ten thousand reasons the world is doomed.
posted by keswick at 12:33 PM PST - 51 comments

The International Networks Archive is an effort by a group of sociologists to understand 2,000 years of globalization through mapping the network of transactions that link the world, rather than geography. The project is still ongoing, but you can see some of the results: an interactive map that uses travel time to visualize the world; a graphic of the growth of Starbucks and McDonalds; the distribution of government jobs (apparently the 3,412 postal inspectors can carry firearms); the cashflows of movies and tobacco; and, of course, the world at night. There is also access to a lot of detailed data, as well as more maps and information at the Mapping Globalization wiki.
posted by blahblahblah at 12:12 PM PST - 5 comments

Dirty Car Art
posted by mattbucher at 11:57 AM PST - 28 comments

La Compania Rebelde: Understanding American Apparel A long and detailed look at American Apparel. [via mefi projects]
posted by chunking express at 11:45 AM PST - 24 comments

Homestar Runner is 10 years old. (flash)
posted by Ufez Jones at 11:37 AM PST - 28 comments

2 heads are better than 1 Ever heard of diphallus? Well, now you have. See here as well
posted by bmpetow at 11:14 AM PST - 31 comments

New airline security regulations in the UK have taken their toll on the touring musicians who used to be able to take their delicate and/or rare instruments as carry-on luggage. Many are forced to either take their chances in the cargo hold or take ferries to countries with less restrictive security guidelines. Others contemplate staying home from touring completely. (via BBC)
posted by dr_dank at 11:12 AM PST - 40 comments

Color of My Sound. Choose a color of a sound or song and see how others have voted with their comments. Add your own audio files. (more)
posted by nickyskye at 10:33 AM PST - 7 comments

Keep Bush away from the press. Joe Scarborough (in the news lately for asking rude questions about the President's intelligence) opines that "If George Bush has lost his ability to give a commanding presser, then stage manage him differently. Play to his strengths... Show him only in settings where he is in control." Curiously, while Bush's press conferences have become unsetllingly less coherent in recent days -- even for him -- the so-called liberal media and even the blogosphere have barely mentioned it (perhaps in the spirit of preserving the dignity of the office, like FDR's wheelchair?) Example: watch this video -- what happens at 1:34 or so, right before the President abruptly terminates the questioning? Will Bush in his twilight years, as Foxborough advises, become like Ronald Reagan, protected from public humiliation by his faithful staff?
posted by digaman at 10:10 AM PST - 156 comments

17 year old kid gets 2 years for selling 20 dollars of pot, enough for 1 joint. The entire town is basically a "No Drug Zone" so they used federal law to give the kid the mandatory 2 years. The Drug Policy Alliance has put together a video that really hits home on the war against the American people.
posted by IronWolve at 9:05 AM PST - 234 comments

The life and times of the British seaside holiday. The BBC explore the Victorian beginings of this British cultural export, its history and heyday, and the slow decline into genteel decay - and not so genteel - decay.Perhaps buoyed by nostalgia for childhood memories of lemonade ice lollies, sticky gobs of tar underfoot, and sand sandwiches, there's a move to promote regeneration and reinvention. Especially now that the beaches are cleaner than ever, although some still occasionally subject to unpleasant bobbing objects.

Although any regeneration might play on icons like the piers, beach huts, grand hotels, architecture, and classic cafes, it's perhaps less likely to feature traditional and dubious delights like Punch and Judy, end of the pier shows, fearsome landladies and holiday camps. The builders of new sandcastles have grander plans, whether that be the Las Vegas of the northwest, the artist's paradise of St Ives, the surfer's paradise of Newquay, or Hove's multi-coloured pleasure dome. Anyway, would you like this open or wrapped?
posted by reynir at 8:57 AM PST - 6 comments

One small german army and a train. (large pageload of photographs). Also: a flash slideshow of the same army (parent site) [via]
posted by peacay at 8:52 AM PST - 18 comments

Federal Court to FBI: Learn To Use Google A federal court ordered the FBI to use Google. Apparently they didn't already know about it.
posted by expriest at 8:26 AM PST - 24 comments

Red-Hot and Filthy Library Smut. Scanned photos of the insides of some of the world's hottest, youngest and dirtiest libraries. Some of the best from the book by Candida Hofer.
posted by geoff. at 7:50 AM PST - 40 comments

4-Block World: simple diagrams about life, &c. The full list. via information aesthetics
posted by signal at 6:19 AM PST - 16 comments


Grigory Perelman becomes first to reject Fields Medal: "I do not think anything that I say can be of the slightest public interest. I have published all my calculations. This is what I can offer the public." Perelman was to be awarded the medal due to his solution of the Poincaré Conjecture. More on the other winners. Via.
posted by Captaintripps at 5:13 AM PST - 31 comments

Observed Trials is arguably the most skilful and spectacular of all motorcycle sports, but party due to the outdoor, occasionally remote locations of most competitions, remains very much out of the public eye. Historically it has been dominated by European riders and although the US had a world champion in 1979, international success has eluded American riders in recent years.Recently, trials has become somewhat fragmented with indoor events becoming increasingly popular with non-afficionado spectators and extreme (NSFW soundtrack) freeriding taking off, particuarly in France although to purists real trials only take place "in the wild".
posted by NeonSurge at 4:52 AM PST - 13 comments

Okay, here it is in all it's glory: googlyeyesoncock.com is once again filled with googly-eyed cock. (seriously NSFW!)
posted by TheCoug at 1:58 AM PST - 55 comments

If you've ever felt that yet another vacation in other beachfront paradise would be a waste of your precious leisure time, the Unusual Hotels of the World website is for you. From Treehouse Hotels to mountain Inns carved directly into (out of?) the rock face to Ice Hotels to Undersea lodgings, there's no shortage of vacation spots worldwide that you'll remember far longer than the traditional spa/swim up bar combo.
posted by jonson at 12:19 AM PST - 12 comments

Second of two pieces. Scary. For real? Do pedophiles really wear special jewelry?
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 12:06 AM PST - 47 comments

August 21

Fred Astaire said this five-minute sequence from Stormy Weather was the finest piece of tap dancing ever filmed. via
posted by cgc373 at 10:09 PM PST - 75 comments

Summer seems the perfect time for eating weeds and wildfoods. Granted, no one wants to grow their own, but is it better to forage or to buy them?
posted by owhydididoit at 9:51 PM PST - 9 comments

Armor of God: now in child pajama form. Via
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:52 PM PST - 38 comments

George Orwell Eric Arthur Blair is probably best known to readers for his eerily prescient novels 1984 and Animal Farm. This comprehensive Orwell site betrays an erudite, complex, fascinating personality who wrote about a variety of subjects, from an exposition on British class relations affecting the art and practice of murder, to the complex moral compromises of Gandhi's practice of non-violent resistance, to the doublespeak-laden corruption of the English language as a telling reflection of a corrupt, brutal, post-WWII culture — and much, much more. This site also includes Russian translations of much of Orwell's work.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:52 PM PST - 21 comments

What’s the best way to dispose of an accumulated fortune? Conventional wisdom tells us that you can’t take it with you. The inevitability of death has inspired otherwise ruthless men to contribute to the larger community with the goal of establishing a posthumous legacy. Carnegie built libraries. Bill Gates is working on global health initiatives. But the conventional wisdom on this matter could be wrong. And with that in mind, some wealthy men are choosing to turn themselves into cryonic popsicles and put their wealth in trust funds in the hope that at some point in the future, Science will be able to revive them.
posted by jason's_planet at 7:33 PM PST - 52 comments

The design challenge. After some work on genetic algorithms was accused of having 'frontloaded' solutions, Dave Thomas issued the challenge - human design vs his mutating code to find Steiner Trees^. If the answer is frontloaded, it should be derivable. And now the results are in.
posted by Sparx at 6:39 PM PST - 7 comments

Wrestling for Jesus. Not entirely without precedent, I guess.
posted by Urban Hermit at 5:07 PM PST - 19 comments

If... Drugs Were Legal [1 hr Google video]. Last January, BBC Two produced a drama-documentary showing a future where drugs have been legalised. I missed the whole series, but if they're as good as this, they're worth watching out for.
posted by iffley at 4:32 PM PST - 64 comments

5ives : merlinmann's Lists of Five Things.
posted by kaytwo at 4:26 PM PST - 11 comments

Under appreciated, once almost-famous comedian Chris Elliot is, in a word, odd. His start as a runner/page on the early days of Late Night with David Letterman led to his recurring roles as "the guy under the stairs" and "Marlon Brando". Soon after he landed a sit-com called "Get a Life" on a fledgling Fox network, which can only be described as surreal. From there he created his first (and last) feature length star vehicle "Cabin Boy" (which features a hilarious cameo with Letterman in his only movie role). These days he is more known as a character actor in comedic roles. But a few books and a look back at his work makes you wonder why he might be the only celebrity on the internet with no apparent fan site.
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 3:56 PM PST - 61 comments


The poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins set to music. Demo list here. It's a pity they haven't adapted my favourite poem, Spring and Fall, although it's pretty exciting to hear Hopkins's poetry which I studied at school, presented in this format, especially since he was already trying to create a kind of music using the rhythms of the words. On a random note, featuring the vocal talents of Belinda Evans who was recently voted off the BBC's Saturday night tv extravaganza, How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?. Her blog is here. [via]
posted by feelinglistless at 2:37 PM PST - 17 comments

Raed Jarrar was coming home from Jordan wearing a T-shirt with the phrase "We will not be silent" in Arabic script and English. Other JetBlue passengers who could not read the Arabic were "offended" and she was apprehended by security and asked to replace it. She also had her seat changed to the back of the plane. Variations on T-shirt airline censorship have happened before, but, taken to extremes, the fear of foreign language has spawned some unpleasant nights. Where is the line drawn? And where is the path to multicultural reconciliation?
posted by ed at 2:21 PM PST - 70 comments


This iGallop, it vibrates? While at National Airport this weekend, I noticed several women enjoying an odd-looking exercise device at Brookstone. Apparently, I'm not the first to imagine what else it could be used for (Google search).
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:17 PM PST - 25 comments

Skatefall. It's what happens when you jam a copy of Thrasher Magazine into an Atari 2600. via
posted by Smart Dalek at 1:36 PM PST - 12 comments

You may have your own set of acquired tastes, but what of acquired F.E.A.R.? The multiplayer component of Monolith's latest LithTek powered franchise has been overhauled and released into the wild - without a price tag in sight. If you've been known to enjoy a bit of the old simulated ultra violence you'll feel right at home among the frenetic emergence of automatic weapon fire and the spectre of the unarmed takedown.
posted by prostyle at 1:20 PM PST - 14 comments

"If this program is unlawful, federal law expressly makes the ordering of surveillance under the program a federal felony. That would mean that the president could be guilty of no fewer than 30 felonies in office." George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley on what's missing in the latest debate over the NSA program. [Bugmenot, Via Glenn Greenwald.]
posted by homunculus at 1:14 PM PST - 33 comments

People don't write manifestos like they used to... Whatever happened to the Surrealist Manifesto? How about the the Italian Futurist Manifesto (and its many spinoffs)? There's also First and Second OuLiPo Manifestos, Humanist (I, II, & III) as well as Post-Humanist Manifestos, not to mention Donna Haraway's Cyborg Manifesto: "...an ironic political myth faithful to feminism, socialism, and materialism...."
posted by anotherpanacea at 1:10 PM PST - 43 comments

Why did I annoy that black squirrel in Council Bluffs? I hope they don't put me in their special haunted jail.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:49 PM PST - 15 comments

Human Rights Watch, Watched "Who will guard the guardians?" asked Roman satirist Juvenal. Now we must ask, who is watching Human Rights Watch, one of the world's best-financed and most influential human rights organizations? It turns out that they cook the books about facts, cheat on interviews, and put out pre-determined conclusions that are driven more by their ideology than by evidence. These are serious accusations, and they are demonstrably true.
posted by Postroad at 12:00 PM PST - 62 comments

The debate is over: By any definition, Iraq is in a state of civil war. Indeed, the only thing standing between Iraq and a descent into total Bosnia-like devastation is 135,000 U.S. troops -- and even they are merely slowing the fall... The consequences of an all-out civil war in Iraq could be dire. Considering the experiences of recent such conflicts, hundreds of thousands of people may die. Refugees and displaced people could number in the millions. And with Iraqi insurgents, militias and organized crime rings wreaking havoc on Iraq's oil infrastructure, a full-scale civil war could send global oil prices soaring even higher... Welcome to the new "new Middle East" -- a region where civil wars could follow one after another, like so many Cold War dominoes. And unlike communism, these dominoes may actually fall.
What Next?
See also Mindless in Iraq
And note that, as of tomorrow, Tuesday, August 22nd, 2006, the war in Iraq will have lasted one full week longer than US involvement in World War II.
posted by y2karl at 11:49 AM PST - 52 comments

Saudi Aramco is the state-owned oil production company in Saudi Arabia. It's also the largest oil company in the world. Its headquarters are in Dhahran (wiki), a city owned by Saudi Aramco (other cities being Abqaiq, Ras Tanura, and Udailiyah), which houses numerous expats and native Saudis. You might have heard about Dhahran recently as they just fielded a Little League World Series team (featuring a 6'8", 256 lb. first baseman...
posted by mckenney at 11:34 AM PST - 22 comments

Remember the comic book version of the 9/11 Commission Report mentioned earlier this month? Slate have put it online.
posted by cillit bang at 10:50 AM PST - 50 comments

Google's word processor (re)launches. Formerly known as Writely, the online application, with all kinds of nifty collaborative features, joins a wide range of free online word processors, including the decent Zoho (you can see reviews of many online word processors here). Want to do presentations instead? Check out Thumbstacks or ThinkFree (with 1 GB of storage). If drawing is your thing, try Litha-Paint, or use SnipShot to crop pictures and save them to Flickr or your computer. Even GE's gotten into the free web application act with their no-registration-required collaborative whiteboard. And the number of free web applications just keeps growing...
posted by blahblahblah at 9:54 AM PST - 52 comments

Buying a plane ticket? Farecast, which went nationwide today, can help (even though it's still in beta). Just tell it where and when you want to go and it'll try to predict the cheapest time to buy. "When looking across all airfare predictions in all markets, Farecast has on average around a 75% accuracy level. And, yes, the percentage of the time we are right continues to improve."
posted by camcgee at 9:30 AM PST - 22 comments

Furor over Fuhrer Food But it's not the only Hitler-themed restaurant. Taipei had the Prison restaurant with Concentration Camp murals, and Korea had the infamous 1939 Hitler Bar.

Not that the U.S. was spared. Colorado had a Mao-themed eatery.
posted by FeldBum at 8:38 AM PST - 69 comments

Echolocation : bats use it. So do whales and dolphins. And humans? The 14-year-old profiled here and here is using it. Learn more about how blind people are employing perception and processing of the auditory environment: where words like flash and tags have an altogether different meaning.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:25 AM PST - 28 comments

Book22 is named after the 22nd book of the Bible, Song of Solomon. Apparently, it's also a great place for married couples to pick up their intimate items. And, also an opportunity to share the gospel. Note that these are links to an online sex toy shop, NSFW, though safer than most online sex toy shops.
posted by Roger Dodger at 8:23 AM PST - 22 comments

Joe Rosenthal, 1911-2006. He once took a photo that may seem familiar to you. That image is so iconic that it lent itself to a later memorial and was echoed in the aftermath of another famous incident.
posted by pax digita at 8:13 AM PST - 29 comments

Trying to forget the past? Not digging the bad sequels and schlock-horror spinoffs? The house that Freddy built's first commercial success is now back in theatres, but only for a limited time. Get your funny glove love on, order tickets, and see A Nightmare on Elm Street on the big screen once again.
posted by onedarkride at 8:12 AM PST - 4 comments

Would YOU lie to save your life? The Doctor said that I needed a keyhole operation called a coronary angioplasty to clear the blockages, but the waiting list on the NHS was nine months. I couldn’t believe my ears. I knew that I would struggle to survive the next nine days, so nine months seemed an impossibility. What the doctor had just handed me was a virtual death sentence. He must have seen the look of horror. He said that if I paid for the operation, he could fit me in for the angioplasty within the week. The cost privately, he told me, would be around £8,500. I looked at him, my head a whirl as I tried to make sense of what he was telling me. As far as I could see, the choice was clear — if I paid I would live, if I didn’t I would probably die. I’m a pensioner living on £150 a week. And no bank would have given me a loan. But in that split second my survival instinct kicked in and I realised I had to convince the doctor that I had the money. ‘Well, you can’t take it with you,’ I said cheerily. ‘I’ll go private.’ The following morning, I gave the administrator the cheque before I was discharged from the hospital. Some people would say this was fraud, because I knew it would bounce. But there was nothing else I could do — I wanted to live.
posted by Izzmeister at 5:44 AM PST - 163 comments

In the 1930's, Henry Ford transplanted a tiny piece of America—complete with picket fences, fire hydrants, poetry readings, square-dancing, and English-language sing-alongs—into the Amazon rain forest. Fordlândia was to be the largest rubber tree plantation on the planet (over 70 million rubber tree seedlings) providing material for the millions of tires Ford Motor Company needed. It flopped. So he tried again, downriver a bit, with Belterra. It flopped, too. By 1945, Ford threw in the towel having lost over $20 million, or roughly $200 million in modern dollars.
posted by CodeBaloo at 5:38 AM PST - 10 comments

Residents try to ban child abuse victims from their neighborhood. A bunch of Taichung residents decide that their community is too nice for a home for victims of child abuse. From the article: "a committee formed by residents of the community passed a 'resolution' in June to prohibit the teenagers from moving in under the pretext of maintaining the "high quality" of the neighborhood."
posted by Poagao at 3:04 AM PST - 99 comments

The Match World Virtual Museum is dedicated to showcasing the best artwork from the ~25,000 matchbooks in the collection of the Japanese Match Manufacturers Association, including Foreign Matchbooks, Advertising on Matchbooks and various matchbook companies, all with decent, sized images available if you click on the thumbnail versions. Some really attractive stuff in here. Previously on Metafilter
posted by jonson at 12:14 AM PST - 8 comments

August 20

Asian Beat.An introduction to the music scene which flourished in Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore in 1964-1969. From Tofu Magazine.
posted by onkelchrispy at 11:54 PM PST - 8 comments

The Smithsonian Photography Initiative provides access to "1,800 digital images, the work of 100 photographers, who used 50 different processes." It's the first online batch of the Smithsonian's 13 million photographs. (More info here and here). The Enter the Frame feature lets you save your own photo sequences.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:40 PM PST - 4 comments

Federal Appeals Court opinion "We respectfully disagree and reach a different conclusion... Possession of a large sum of cash is 'strong evidence' of a connection to drug activity." Even if no evidence of a drug related crime is provided, you are guilty until proven innocent. BTW, they wont return the money.
posted by IronWolve at 10:37 PM PST - 103 comments

Scott Petersen, aka "reptileman", opens his Serpentarium to visitors 365 days a year. Have a look at some of his snakes, lizards, invertebrates, crocodilians, and turtles, and kids blythely handling them. reptileman recommends that you also visit Zach's Lizard Land, where you can meet Jerky, Buddy, and Cola, all of whom are lizards.
posted by owhydididoit at 9:49 PM PST - 8 comments

Is Dr. Gregory House, a gleefully misanthropic diagnostician of infectious diseases (played by the endlessly brilliant Hugh Laurie), the modern-day counterpart of Sherlock Holmes? There's plenty of connections* to read into, starting most obviously with the play on words: Holmes is a homonym of "homes", which is a plural synonym of "house".
posted by Lush at 9:36 PM PST - 45 comments

Next step: English Video helping kids learn roman script
posted by kozad at 8:43 PM PST - 5 comments

Heard of Girls Gone Wild? Of course you have, but what about Girls Gone Wild - Baghdad? or Black Girls Gone Wild? How about Golden Girls Gone Wild (contains partial blurred puppet nudity)? Into fetishes? what about Blind Chicks Gone Wild? Of course no GGW link compendium would be complete without the GGW segment from The Daily Show which aired a while back. (yes, it's YouTube. They all are.)
posted by clevershark at 8:19 PM PST - 9 comments


Deadwood: Ok, ok it's a youtube link, but it's funny and it's Deadwood for chrissakes!
posted by Neiltupper at 7:27 PM PST - 44 comments

Pope Benedict XVI makes his usual Sunday address during Italy's National August Holiday and about two-thirds in points out that "excessive activity" can lead to "hardness of heart", specifically recommending taking time out for prayer. It becomes the highlight of the speech, gets picked up all over, by Reuters and AP, and suddenly he's the Patron Saint of Slackers. Huh? Maybe that's why it's called The Protestant Work Ethic. Meanwhile, Americans are 'giving up' on vacations (voluntarily?) and in parts of Turkey a Muslim Protestant Work Ethic is emerging. And whatever happened to the Hacker Ethic?
posted by wendell at 7:14 PM PST - 22 comments

What's your water situation, America? Real-time and historical ground and surface water data.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:32 PM PST - 18 comments

Crummy Church Signs
posted by konolia at 4:10 PM PST - 59 comments

Google mislays Tibet. Tech news site The Register uses Google Earth to do a virtual flyover of Tibet Tibet Autonomous Region. They see lots of neat stuff, including railways, bridges, and the (former) Northwest Nuclear Weapons Research & Design Academy. Among other things.
posted by Drunken_munky at 12:56 PM PST - 23 comments

Proofs and Pictures: The Role of Visualization in Mathematical and Scientific Reasoning [video] "The picture is a telescope for looking into Plato's heaven." -- James Brown [cached]
posted by Chuckles at 12:08 PM PST - 27 comments

Mobile saunas from around the world (that is, "Finland and a few other places".) I was particularly taken with the Saab conversion.
posted by Wolfdog at 11:18 AM PST - 12 comments

Federer as Religious Experience by David Foster Wallace.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 11:01 AM PST - 93 comments

Maybe you heard the song Living Next Door to Alice long ago and never gave it another thought. But crappy glam rock band Smokie is still making the world rock, they have been milking that song ever since, and are quite popular in a lot of non-English speaking parts of the world - "We said Smokie first, puppet show second."
posted by Meatbomb at 10:24 AM PST - 16 comments

The Fart Heard Round the World. An extraordinary performer, who farted for his living for 20 years, Le Pétomane (YouTube) was the highest paid stage artist of his time in 1897 France. He farted songs, impressions of people, the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and farm animals, among other things. The management of Moulin Rouge had to hire nurses to help members of the audience who passed out laughing so hard. He was pusued for many years by an obsessed doctor. Two movies were made about his life in English, the 1979 short film (33 minutes) of Le Pétomane (Google video) and in 2005 Parti Avec Le Vent, which translates as Gone With the Wind. [more]
posted by nickyskye at 9:00 AM PST - 39 comments

Dan Glickman, president of the MPAA, and John Perry Barlow, Greatful Dead lyricist and co-founder of the EFF, debate movie piracy in this interview (RealVideo) on the BBC's "Click".
posted by Mwongozi at 8:59 AM PST - 17 comments

Mandolux - photographic desktop wallpapers. Just keep hittin' previous.
posted by nthdegx at 3:04 AM PST - 23 comments

"The Lutherans had Davey & Goliath and I wondered what we Baptists could do for children's television," remembers Dr Paul M. Stevens. Stevens, then president of the Southern Baptist Radio & Television Commission contracted Byers and Perry to develop JOT THE DOT into a children's television show with the purpose to reach children with moral messages on their level." What they created are also a series of modernist gems. via
posted by maryh at 3:03 AM PST - 19 comments

Lonely? Online? Unwilling to fuck people that aren't exactly like you? Good news! The PeopleMeet Empire has a dating website custom designed specifically to fit your needs, whether you're Italian, Jewish, Divorced, Marriage Minded, Asian (nonspecific), Asian (specific), Old, Really Old, Christian (Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Pentacostal, Born Again, Mormon or Other), Republican, Democrat, Midget, Fit, Fat, the Outdoor type, the Indoor type, a Pet lover, Professional, some kooky Black variation of the earlier types, or even (gasp!) Californian.
posted by jonson at 12:12 AM PST - 64 comments

August 19

A Message from Iran was distributed on August 6 by the editors of MAHA, the clandestine gay ‘zine in Iran. MAHA means “we” or “us” in Persian. Originally begun in 2004 as a newspaper after a crackdown on Iranian gay Web sites by the Tehran regime, MAHA is now distributed in PDF format to its subscribers. Iran has been censoring the Internet in earnest since 2003, and homosexuals are only a small part of that story. Likewise, Internet censorship is merely an element of the systematic persecution of gay men and boys in Iran. [more inside]
posted by owhydididoit at 9:37 PM PST - 17 comments


It's that time of year again. Zombies. San Francisco. Vancouver. And in case you missed the big one last year, Vancouver 2005.
All this right on the heels of another, and bigger, Skytrain Party, celebrating robots and the new station.
When you live in No-Fun City, you gotta make your own.
posted by Extopalopaketle at 8:05 PM PST - 21 comments

Lightweight data exploration: simple, sparkline-esque graphs in Excel.via infosthetics.
posted by signal at 6:58 PM PST - 15 comments

Urinal Sculpture - beautiful targets. (I think this site stands on its own. However, if you are in dire need and one of these lovelies is just too fare to run, here is a guide to your local loo, or even better yet your loo on the run. For the true loooligist this compendium is sure to satisfy.)
posted by caddis at 6:28 PM PST - 30 comments

In the early 1900's, Sicilian immigrant Baldasare Forestiere moved from New York the San Joaquin valley, California. Working alone during his spare time and using only hand tools, he spent 40 years sculpting an underground home and garden [Real] that's a work of art and architectural engineering known today as the Forestiere Underground Gardens. [Gimages]
posted by CodeBaloo at 5:36 PM PST - 11 comments

The cruiser Emden was launched in 1910. When World War One broke out, she was under the command of Korvettenkapitän Karl Friedrich Max von Müller, with Kapitänleutnant Hellmuth von Mücke as executive officer, who "was as extroverted as his commander was modest." When Graf von Spee, commander of the East Asiatic Squadron, decided to keep it united and head for Chile to coal up, Müller said he'd rather go off on his own and harass British shipping. Spee agreed, and the Emden embarked on a spree of destruction that made him a hero not only to the Germans but even to the British; when it was over, the Telegraph said: "It is almost in our hearts to regret that the Emden has been captured and destroyed.... There is not a survivor who does not speak well of this young German, the officers under him and the crew obedient to his orders. The war on the sea will lose some of its piquancy, its humour and its interest now that the Emden has gone."
posted by languagehat at 4:05 PM PST - 35 comments

Unicorns, unicorns, unicorns, unicorns, unicorns, unicorns, unicorns (last three NSFW)
posted by fatbobsmith at 3:11 PM PST - 23 comments

Free Energy? Family Guy viewers already know that Ireland's top scientists once discovered how to turn their population into pure energy, but have they now discovered the key to perpetual motion? The Law of Conservation of Energy would seem to suggest otherwise, but these fellas (Google video) would seem to claim otherwise. Steorn, an Irish "technology development" company, claims that they have discovered a means to free energy, and have issued a challenge to the scientific community.
posted by chudmonkey at 2:00 PM PST - 70 comments

In a small town in Central Serbia called Guca, the "Festival of Brass Music" takes place since 1961. The main event is an epic trumpet competition which Boban Markovic has won 5 times. (You might have heard his playing in several films by Emir Kusturica, most notably The Underground.) Now there is also a film about the festival , which begins this year on the 30th of August.

The festival is an insane mixture of Oktoberfest, Carnival of Rio and folklore show with a Serbian twist.

Some examples of the music to be heard on the festival. And if you like those, you'd better check out Fanfare Ciocarlia and Taraf de Haidouks too.
posted by hoskala at 9:39 AM PST - 16 comments


"Inthewrongplaceness" is a live art installation whereupon a naked woman cradles a dead pig.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 9:06 AM PST - 49 comments

From Abadan to Zurvanism, The Encyclopaedia of the Orient is your one-stop shopping mecca for bite-sized info-bits on North Africa and the Middle East.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:59 AM PST - 8 comments

Iraqi peacekeepers sent to the Scottish border... 1600 years ago. The Notitia Dignitatum, the Roman equivalent of an organisation chart for the imperial bureaucracy in the fifth century, contains a reference to soldiers from the Tigris stationed at Hadrian's Wall. More on the Notitia here; more on Hadrian's Wall here, including a 3D tour of a fort near the Wall, and tablets discovered at another fort (including a request by a commanding officer for "more beer").
posted by greycap at 6:05 AM PST - 8 comments



August 18

Acoustic OutKast cover by a Tempe, AZ musician named Mat Weedle from local band Obadiah Parker.
posted by cgc373 at 10:14 PM PST - 79 comments

Green by Necessity : Armenia is blazing a trail in the move to cleaner fuels -- but not by choice.
posted by Afroblanco at 9:55 PM PST - 11 comments

The Berlutis have been making shoes for four generations. Often at Maison Berluti relationships are formed around the language of shoes. Men gather for shoe-polishing sessions, where champagne flows.
posted by owhydididoit at 9:30 PM PST - 11 comments

Suicide Bombing: Just Say No. Hollywood-style anti-suicide bombing PSA now in heavy rotation on Iraqi TV. Previously discussed here before the spot was finished.
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:09 PM PST - 57 comments

Is this the most valuable PEZ dispenser in the world? Collectors know of only two examples of this 1982 World’s Fair astronaut design PEZ dispenser - each in a different color scheme. Between 06:29:59 PDT and 06:30:12 PDT, the eBay bid for the green stem example from the Headley-Du Vall PEZ Collection exceeded the current world record of $6,000 for a single dispenser. (More inside).
posted by nanojath at 8:37 PM PST - 30 comments

The strange saga of Harvey Matusow, "most hated man in America". Said to be the most notorious of the paid perjurious snitches for the Communist witch-hunters, married 12 times, gave LSD to Robert F. Kennedy, tangled with Roy Cohn, was prison buddies with Wilhelm Reich, recorded a psychedelic Jews Harp record, started the rumor that smoking dried banana peels gets you high (as an act of revenge against Chiquita Banana), wrote one of the first how-to books on computer hacking. [via]
posted by nickyskye at 7:32 PM PST - 20 comments


Street Cents, a staple on The CBC for 17 years, has been canceled. The Emmy award-winning show focused on consumer and media awareness for teens and pre-teens.

Street Cents is filmed in Halifax, NS and airs without commercial interruption in order to avoid potential conflict with advertisers who were regularly taken to task on the show. The last episode will air on October 1st, 2006.
posted by purephase at 6:26 PM PST - 33 comments

Twice the budget, more stars vs. an Oscar-winning film a year old. The release of the Infamous trailer begs the question: is there really that big a market for Truman Capote-inspired films? Especially since both revolve round In Cold Blood? On the other hand, Infamous might at least still make a profit.
posted by starman at 6:13 PM PST - 14 comments

From WalMart's latest PR campaign: "I think they've ripped off our communities enough. First it was Jews, then it was Koreans and now it's Arabs..." The author? Former MLK lieut, Andrew Young.
posted by mischief at 6:02 PM PST - 46 comments


Confused by "The Case of the Speluncean Explorers"? Here's a timeline. Perhaps you need a different perspective? How about a real-life analogy?
posted by anotherpanacea at 3:24 PM PST - 4 comments

Japanese leftists seize plane with samurai swords. AWOL Marine sets record by hijacking plane from Fresno to Rome. Female Palestinian hijacker becomes radical chic pin-up. D.B. Cooper parachutes from 727 with $200,000 in unmarked bills. Have airplane bombings made us nostalgic for old-school skyjackers who just wanted money or a trip to Cuba? Academic papers analyze skyjacking in the 60s & 70s according to contagion and rational choice models. Check out a prescient pre-9/11 documentary on the subject with great archival clips.
posted by jonp72 at 2:39 PM PST - 21 comments


This is the Fish calling from Microsoft Support Santro. No, not that fish.
posted by GernBlandston at 1:00 PM PST - 28 comments


HI Ladies, It’s your Knight in Shining Armor! The interweb has revolutionized the time-honored tradition of prison pen-pals. Meet a soulmate. A lover. A fighter. An artist. OMG a girl!!! Be still my heart -- someone to spoon with. Really, there's someone for everyone.
posted by turducken at 12:43 PM PST - 37 comments

After breakfast we elected a man by the name of Walker, from Detroit, for supper. "Cannibalism in the Cars," by Mark Twain.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:29 PM PST - 15 comments

Worker falls into chocolate vat. His quick-thinking co-workers understand the chemistry of of confection.
posted by Kibbutz at 12:18 PM PST - 40 comments

Beauty in bitmaps- Some artists work in watercolors, some oils, and some with clay. The 'artists' at tacoholic express themselves in the universally accessible medium of really bad MS Paint drawings. Its public so you can submit your own masterworks.
posted by AVandalay at 11:33 AM PST - 7 comments

FFF: Pac Xon is like Qix, only with graphics from Pac Man, and the red ghosts eat your territory, and the popsicles freeze the ghosts. So maybe it's not so much like Qix, but it's similarly addictive. [via]
posted by scottreynen at 10:52 AM PST - 17 comments

The active component of marijuana, 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), competitively inhibits the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE) as well as prevents AChE-induced amyloid -peptide (A) aggregation, the key pathological marker of Alzheimer's disease.
posted by Mr_Zero at 10:49 AM PST - 49 comments

Tehching Hsieh – Life Performance Never one to back down from performance art, Tehching Hsieh, a Chinese emigre to the US, has done some pretty impressive things: - A year in a cage in his loft without talking; -Punching a time clock every hour of every day for a year (and missing tons of REM sleep and making a film in the process;) -Spending a year outside, never entering a single building or roofed structure until he was arrested in a scuffle; Tied together with artist Linda Montano with a 8-foot piece of rope. Does Tehching Hsieh deserve to be called America's Greatest Performance Artist?
posted by parmanparman at 10:29 AM PST - 27 comments

McKinley Assassination Ink: "The goal [...]: to gather the largest possible selection of full-text primary source documents relating to the assassination of William McKinley and the immediate aftermath of that event, including the succession of Theodore Roosevelt to the presidency and the incarceration, trial, and execution of [anarchist] assassin Leon Czolgosz."
posted by OmieWise at 10:11 AM PST - 9 comments

200 liters of condensed liquid nitrogen (LN2) were delivered to Berkeley’s Condensed Matter Lab this past Monday. Sent to retrieve the 400lb dewar from the loading dock but faced with a non-working elevator, an enterprising young lab student decided to carry it down the stairs. Gravity is a harsh mistress.

If things had turned out differently, they could have been scraping his remains off the walls with a spatula. At Texas A&M in January a lab was badly damaged when someone ignored the Ideal Gas Law, removed the pressure valve and rupture disk off an old (LN2) tank and filled the remaining holes with metal plugs. "How to Tell a True Lab Story" talks about a similar incident. LN2 is good for more than just blowing up a school (or, um a watermelon), though: Spanish Chef Ferran Adrià uses it to create dishes at his restaurant. Previously on MeFI: How to make LN2 ice cream (careful!) and unwise science experiments.
posted by zarq at 9:20 AM PST - 27 comments

First they came for the atheists - Arkansas state constitution says: "Atheists disqualified from holding office or testifying as witness:- No person who denies the being of a God shall hold any office in the civil departments of this State, nor be competent to testify as a witness in any Court" Link to pdf, pg 74 in pdf(via reddit).
posted by forwebsites at 9:04 AM PST - 102 comments

Esposing Earmarks: networked journalism's first assignment. Today marks a key moment in the evolution of the Web as a reporting medium. The first left-right-center coalition of bloggers, activists, non-profits, citizens and journalists to investigate a story of national import: Congressional earmarks and those who sponsor and benefit from them. Join the hunt!
posted by scalefree at 8:50 AM PST - 9 comments

"Sometimes our stomachs would hurt, because we would go up to 15 days without eating." Three Mexican fisherman were found alive after drifting in the Pacific for nearly a year. They were found in their 27-foot boat, 5500 miles from where they started.
posted by cerebus19 at 8:42 AM PST - 56 comments

Whether or not you generally enjoy testosterone-ridden activities, watching Greg Gasson jump from one plane to another is pretty cool. Also: a longer video of a second such jump, plus lots of annoying commentary. Registration required.
posted by louigi at 7:31 AM PST - 21 comments

New Line drops the SOAP today. After months of gags, comments, and speculation, the most-talked-about movie of the year, and one of the largest epidemics of viral marketing in film history, opens in theatres. So is the movie actually good? AICN says so. Rotten Tomatoes says so. And Samuel L. Jackson... let's let him speak for himself. And if you don't like it, go make your own.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:14 AM PST - 98 comments

Collection of Divine Messages, vol. 1. In 1926, Vietnamese intellectuals tried to unify the religions of the world. After a year of intensive seance, here's what they came up with: Spiritist mediumship, Taoist cosmology, Christian rhetoric, Catholic structure, Buddhist/Confucian morality, .....Masonic imagery? Their take on vegetarianism: "An impure physical body will create an impure spiritual body, which cannot conduct electricity well. As a result, it will then be struck by lightning and be destroyed in the atmosphere. Even if the impure spiritual body is wise and remains on the earth to avoid the lightning, it will remain an Immortal and never proceed to Buddhahood. This is why I recommend the practice of complete vegetarianism before attempting meditation." More via Sydney Centre for Studies in Caodaism.
posted by Laugh_track at 6:33 AM PST - 9 comments

Ronald McHummer. "This month McDonald's is giving away toy Hummers — 42 million of them, in eight models and colors — with every Happy Meal or Mighty Kids Meal. That's right: The fast-food chain that helped make our kids the fattest on Earth is now selling future car buyers on the fun of driving a supersized, smog-spewing, gas-guzzling SUV.."
posted by stbalbach at 5:19 AM PST - 117 comments

Anna and Laura Tirocchi ran a dressmaking shop for the elite of Providence, Rhode Island between 1915 and 1947. In 1989 the building, which had been shut for 42 years, was found to contain a time capsule of the development of early 20th century fashion - from fabric and dresses to photographs and sewing machines and associated ephemera. The A&L Tirocchi Dressmakers Project website showcases the collection (after 12 years of research by RISD) through: the 514 project (with an image archive), essays, databases and exhibition sections. [via Intute]
posted by peacay at 4:04 AM PST - 12 comments

CensusScope. US Census 2000 data displayed through maps, rankings, and charts. [more inside] Warning: some pages render funny, but usable, under Firefox 1.5.0.4.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 4:01 AM PST - 7 comments

Google Video + Google Maps + Rendezvous = Awesome Its been posted previously, but now with a map illustrating the route taken in real-time.
posted by lemonfridge at 1:43 AM PST - 26 comments

Friday Flash Fun: Dolphin Edition. It takes a little practice, and you probably should read the directions first.
WARNING: May lead to a drop in productivity, sensation of lost time, or feelings of isolation.
posted by kyleg at 1:03 AM PST - 16 comments

Gir, it's time for PANCAKES! youtube
posted by jonson at 12:08 AM PST - 64 comments

Phisick - Beautifully presented historical medical instruments. Check out the French Nasal Rectificateur. Take a look these ear trumpets too: 1, 2, 3, 4. [Click on the images in the top strip for alternate views and close-ups]
posted by tellurian at 12:08 AM PST - 19 comments

Ilha Das Flores video "A tomato is planted, harvested and sold at a supermarket, but it rots and ends up in the trash. The end? No. ISLAND OF FLOWERS follows it up until its real end, among animals, trash, women and children. And then the difference between tomatoes, pigs and human beings becomes clear." A remarkable and devastating 12 minute film from director Jorge Furtado.
posted by maryh at 12:06 AM PST - 15 comments

August 17

Strangers - a visual record of one-night stands that never actually happened. Futoshi Miyagi in a series of photos of himself in the homes of other men. "To be naked with someone without having intercourse is weird." [Flash, nsfw]
posted by mediareport at 11:16 PM PST - 14 comments

Google Web Toolkit + Texas Holdem Poker = gpokr.com. I should probably be embarrassed about how much time I've spent in the last few weeks playing poker online for pretend money. As the site operator mentions in his development blog, it seems to be the small things that make the site so sticky: elegant ajax design, players' rankings displayed and updated right next to their names at the table, a slew of player statistics presented on the main ranking page, even more statistics and graphs on each user page. (Oh, and out of 5000 or so current players, I seem to be #1).
posted by nobody at 9:57 PM PST - 35 comments

Advance Australia Fair, written by a Scotsman and performed at the inauguration of the Commonwealth, has never been a hugely popular anthem. The ARU have been boosting Waltzing Matilda (a paean to a thief who got caught, which was considered as an anthem in the 70s but rejected) as a national song for Rugby internationals, while Men At Work's backpacker anthem Land Down Under can be heard almost constantly in bars from Ko Pha Ngan to Earl's Court, and the Chisels' song Khe Sahn gets a better pagerank than the battle it is named for.

But I think Adam Hills may have returned the anthem to relevance with this rendition.
posted by pompomtom at 9:37 PM PST - 34 comments

DHS's CyberStorm-- --Recognizing the imminent threat hippies and assorted leftists obviously pose to us all, a massive cyber terror simulation (international and involving 115 organizations) recently came to light: ...The attack scenario detailed in the presentation is a meticulously plotted parade of cyber horribles led by a "well financed" band of leftist radicals who object to U.S. imperialism, aided by sympathetic independent actors. At the top of the pyramid is the Worldwide Anti-Globalization Alliance, which sets things off by calling for cyber sit-ins and denial-of-service attacks against U.S. interests. WAGA's radical arm, the villainous Black Hood Society, ratchets up the tension on day one by probing SCADA computerized control systems and military networks ...
posted by amberglow at 9:20 PM PST - 28 comments

Wish you could have bought shares of Pearl Jam before they were famous? Fans sponsor bands in $10 'parts'. Once 5000 parts have been pledged, the band gets a proper studio recording. Tracks are made available free. CD's are sold. Money goes to the band and to the 'believers' who sponsored them. Might work. Probably better than this model.
posted by gregor-e at 8:57 PM PST - 30 comments


The internet nerdocracy has inadvertently spawned a DDoS attack against a Hungarian government website set up to name a new bridge. Why? Because Stephen Colbert asked "the heroes" to march, and they obeyed. (We've heard from this guy before.) Next on their sights: The Saginaw Spirit team mascot. [more inside]
posted by absalom at 8:30 PM PST - 23 comments

Mah num ah num (Google Video) - The Muppets debut their first music video in 1976.
posted by persona non grata at 7:33 PM PST - 70 comments

Motion Mountain - "The project aims to produce a simple, vivid and up-to-date introduction to modern physics, with emphasis on the fundamental ideas of motion. 'Simple' means that concepts are stressed more than formalism; 'vivid' means that the reader is continuously challenged; 'up-to-date' means that modern research and ideas about unification are included."
posted by Gyan at 7:26 PM PST - 4 comments


Jason Toney at Negro Please says, "This is officially the whitest thing I have ever posted." I didn't know what Metal School was, and I still don't know.
posted by cgc373 at 5:19 PM PST - 55 comments

Diigo (Digest of Internet Information, Groups and Other stuff) is a new "social annotation" bookmarking site with the standard save-and-share, tags, etc., and also sharable Web page annotations.
posted by davcoo at 5:00 PM PST - 6 comments


Bring Me the Head of Charlie Brown "Charlie Brown is on the run from the Peanuts Gang after the Great Pumpkin puts a bounty on his head." (Google Video)
posted by kirkaracha at 4:41 PM PST - 20 comments

In the Hollywood version of the Kwame James story, he becomes an NBA All-Star, helps achieve world peace and, of course, lives blissfully ever after. While the real-life plot hasn't followed quite that arc, perhaps it's headed toward a happy ending. (via SpoFi)
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:54 PM PST - 7 comments

Holy Madness! (Flash interface.) The Rubin Museum of Art in New York City has launched a website that allows you to pore over and compare Tibetan Buddhist artwork from their exhibits. Use the "Decode" feature to pick paintings apart and learn about their intricate components.

See also: their ambitious calendar of events.
posted by hermitosis at 12:12 PM PST - 18 comments

Indexed: life lessons in chart and graph form.
posted by hydrophonic at 12:03 PM PST - 21 comments


Nintendo music. Download some of their music. Go see them touring now. Enjoy the 8-bit goodness. Previously discussed nintendo music.
posted by ninjew at 11:03 AM PST - 17 comments

U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor has ruled that warrantless wiretapping by the Bush Administration's National Security Agency is unconstitutional, saying it violates rights to free speech and privacy. Judge Taylor, a veteran of the civil rights movement and the first black female federal district judge in the U.S. 6th Circuit, was appointed to the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan by President Carter. Legal experts expect the decision to be overturned by the 6th Circuit sitting en banc. Background on the case by Glenn Greenwald: "The theory of the lawsuit -- [is that warrantless wiretapping's] mere existence deters citizens from freely exercising their free speech rights".
posted by orthogonality at 9:48 AM PST - 91 comments

[ConspiracyFilter] Was the alleged "binary liquid explosives" plot actually plausible, in the sense of being capable of producing "mass murder on an unimaginable scale?"
posted by ijoshua at 8:32 AM PST - 138 comments


genggong, khomus, guimbarde, trumpi... Not ringing a bell? How about Jew's Harp? Though neither a harp nor associated with Jewish tradition, that's the name that stuck in the New World. Call it what you will, this ingenious little instrument is played all over the planet. It's the focus of at least one yearly festival, and there's no shortage of great players out there twanging and boinging away. The instrument has a looong history stretching from antiquity to house music. In certain parts of the world its playing is the province of women only, and yes, they've been known to make the camels cry. Unsurprisingly, they've found their way onto the beloved YouTube in extreme close-up glory. BOINNNNGGG!! (Note: some links go direct to bwaaaang-y audio or video)
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:16 AM PST - 21 comments

"Photojojo scours the internets, rips pages out of magazines, ransacks their friends' closets, and goes through dumpsters to find the very best Photo tips, DIY projects, and Gear." Subscribe and get it by email or RSS. Some archives here.
posted by dobbs at 8:12 AM PST - 10 comments

Bending a soccer ball - mathematically. Found via Ivars Peterson's short exposition on Braungardt and Kotschick's The Classification of Football Patterns [pdf, technical].
posted by Wolfdog at 7:31 AM PST - 18 comments

The University of Washington CSE Colloquium features accessible talks by leading computer scientists and computer engineers from the University of Washington, the region, the nation, and the world, most of which are available as MP3 audio and/or Real/Windows Media video online for free. Personal favorites include talks on quantum computing, de novo protein design, and in silico biology as a smarter way to learn how our genes work.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:57 AM PST - 7 comments

The Domesday Book is online. This book is "a great land survey from 1086, commissioned by William the Conqueror to assess the extent of the land and resources being owned in England at the time, and the extent of the taxes he could raise. The information collected was recorded by hand in two huge books, in the space of around a year." You can browse it here. The site also has some background info both on England at the time and the book itself.
posted by marxchivist at 6:02 AM PST - 20 comments

In Wales, signs are bilingual. Sometimes, they get it very wrong
posted by handee at 5:36 AM PST - 50 comments

FSI Language Courses
posted by anjamu at 1:35 AM PST - 36 comments

If you ride a subway in North America, you've probably seen the pictures: standing before that always red background, stylish urbanites look over their shoulders, giving each other flirtatious looks. And even if you're not in the dating market, you may have taken interest in the posters' energetic style, in the way their intricate linework confidently mixes caricature and fashion illustration influences, and wondered what the artist gets up to when he's not tempting singles towards Lavalife. The artist is Marcos Chin.
posted by TimTypeZed at 12:48 AM PST - 38 comments

For nearly two years now, Ben T Steckler has been reviewing, posting album covers, and making full albums available for download from his seemingly inexhaustible collection of out-of-print, spoken word, sound effect, educational & other kooky recorded ephemera. If you're a fan of album titles like How To Buy Meat, What Smoking Has Done For Me, or The Catholic Marriage Manual, this site will provide you with endless hours of reading/downloading/listening pleasure.
posted by jonson at 12:08 AM PST - 15 comments

Casper the Friendly Ghost video One of the oddest animated characters still popular since the 1940's, Casper the Emotionally Needy Dead Boy continues to elicit uneasiness and distress in viewers. On the other hand, his catchy theme song* has inspired some*. *warning: sound
posted by maryh at 12:01 AM PST - 37 comments

Zap Reader. Browser-based reader that takes selected text and flashes them one (or two, or three) at a time on the screen for super-fast speed reading. Scroll down for the tutorial video. Convenient or headache-inducing? You be the judge.
posted by zardoz at 12:00 AM PST - 23 comments

August 16

Dancing droplets begets Water figures. The full set.
posted by tellurian at 10:16 PM PST - 8 comments

Spelling with zombies.
posted by EarBucket at 8:14 PM PST - 35 comments

Good evidence that dark matter is for real.
posted by kliuless at 7:46 PM PST - 57 comments

A coyote raised on Moxie and Allen's. Maine's chupacabra dead at 25. Finally done in by a bondo covered El Camino SS (poster speculation on car type and quality).
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:45 PM PST - 24 comments


Why are political extremists so interested in UFOs? The Nation of Islam has its “Great Mother Wheels.” Their melanin-challenged brethren in the Neo-Nazi movement have the myth of Neu Schwabenland, an Antarctic redoubt where the remnants of the Third Reich fled after the war, with the U.S. military in hot pursuit. There, hidden among the ice and the Emperor Penguins, the frostbitten Aryans plotted to reconquer the world. To that end, they created a fleet of UFOs, using top-secret Nazi technology that They don’t want you to know about. Nizkor has recreated pamphlets published by the Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel on this topic, one of which includes a helpful list of German phrases to be used during an encounter of the Third Kind. (This myth is also covered in the eighth chapter of this book.)
posted by jason's_planet at 6:30 PM PST - 21 comments

Extremists are trying to kill our beloved Caps Lock! Mefites unite! CAPS LOCK DAY IS UNDER ATTACK! (via)
posted by spiderwire at 4:55 PM PST - 74 comments


Bees on a Plane! It's the Killer Bees again. No, not that one.
posted by owhydididoit at 2:31 PM PST - 18 comments

Newsfilter: Arrest Made In JonBenét Ramsey Case:
With the arrest today of a suspect in the 1996 murder case of JonBenét Ramsey (previously discussed), we should expect the resurrection of discussions and reporting related to early suspicions of the involvement of a family member (father: John; mother: Patsy; brother: Burke), as well as to childhood beauty pageants.
posted by ericb at 2:07 PM PST - 217 comments

Magician David Copperfield has succeeded where Alexander the Great and Ponce De Leon failed--he's discovered the fabled Fountain of Youth. As it turns out, it's conveniently located on his posh resort in the Exuma Chain, Bahama Islands.
posted by Iridic at 1:38 PM PST - 34 comments

For those days when you need to be reminded just how wonderful you are. Sit back and enjoy the positive affirmations and heroic music of You Are Mighty.
posted by Orb at 12:47 PM PST - 26 comments

Artist trading cards (ATC's) have three rules they shouldn't be sold, they are to measure exactly 2.5" by 3.5", and on the back they must have the artist's name, contact information, title of the ATC and it's number in the series. Since M. Vanci Stirnemann started this hobby in 1997 it has spread the world over. [previously on metafilter]
posted by bigmusic at 11:12 AM PST - 13 comments


Rainbow in the dark: Gays in Metal From the best metal magazine around, Decibel.
posted by klangklangston at 10:30 AM PST - 52 comments

Jessica Simpson's latest single (YouTube link) came on as I was flicking around the teevee, and I was immediately struck by how much it sounded like 'Holiday' by Madonna. Stealing from yourself is one thing, but admitting to stealing from someone else is quite another. Isn't it?
posted by jimmythefish at 10:28 AM PST - 101 comments

Dude, like, what did you do during the war? Young Israeli activists fight the war on terra in their own little way. Similar criticisms have been used before, usually to political advantages. Others call it yet another hysterical conflation.
posted by yonation at 10:16 AM PST - 9 comments

Media That Matters Film Festival. Short indie films on important social topics. One of this year's entries is A Girl Like Me by Kiri Davis. It recreates the doll experiment from the 1950's in which African American girls found white dolls prettier than black dolls. Also, Asparagus! (A Stalk-umentary).
posted by caddis at 10:01 AM PST - 9 comments

Whales are ridiculous, thanks to their evolutionary origins as coyote-like mammals moved into the water about 45 million years ago and became more and more adapted to the marine life.
posted by chorltonmeateater at 9:54 AM PST - 32 comments

Macon, Georgia, the 1840's. African-American Alabama Vest brings his design for a musical instrument to German clockmaker Thaddeus von Clegg. The modern KAZOO is born. It sees its golden age during the Jug Band era. Later it rears its buzzy head on songs by Hendrix, Queen, Red Hot Chili Peppers and many others. Originally made of metal, these days they're mostly plastic. And I, for one, agree that the humble kazoo is the ideal choice for designation as The National Instrument.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:57 AM PST - 23 comments

Ceres, Charon, and 2003 UB313 (a.k.a. Xena) may join the 9 planets we already know (and strive to remember) if a resolution by the International Astronomical Union is passed next week. So what makes a planet, according to the IAU? Having sufficient mass to achieve hydrostatic equilibrium (i.e. be round enough...welcome former asteroid Ceres) and being in orbit around a star without being a star itself or a satellite of another planet (apparently Charon and Pluto are actually a double planet.) Mike Brown, discoverer of "10th planet" Sedna and alleged "Pluto-hater", doesn't really like the idea.
posted by nekton at 6:58 AM PST - 75 comments

Piddle Around Slovenia. The country's tourist board has released this online game, allowing players to virtually wander around the tiny Alpine country, visiting popular sites while chatting with others.
posted by Ljubljana at 12:51 AM PST - 26 comments

In the South of France you'll find the fortified city of Carcassonne, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and a classic example of the medieval fortified city. Built upon the ruins of forts that predate Christianity, Carcassonne is one of the most photogenic places I've ever seen, never more so than on Bastille Day, when the city sets the night sky ablaze. A full gallery of Carcassonne fireworks can be found here.
posted by jonson at 12:07 AM PST - 35 comments

August 15

Do you feel that science has gone mad? Do you yearn for a time when adventurers were unfailingly courteous and infallibly polite? Well look no further than the adventures of Othar Tryggvassen, Gentleman Adventurer--now available weekly on the radio! Episodes [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]. In case this makes little sense, some background is available here.
posted by vernondalhart at 11:49 PM PST - 5 comments

Multiphonic chanting of the Gyuto Tantric University monks. [more]
posted by nickyskye at 11:30 PM PST - 22 comments

Sprinkle Brigade is brilliant, gross, and kinda NSFW. A comparable project was previously mentioned on MeFi. It would be too funny if certain comments had spurred this new development.
posted by mano at 10:00 PM PST - 31 comments

An experiment recently performed by the AET RaDAL group shows that the gravitomagnetic field produced by a rapidly-spinning superconductor can cause a 1.117 times increase over the Earth's gravity. Gravitomagnetism, a phenomenon predicted by General Relativity, is a poorly understood but promising topic in modern physics. Speculation about harnessing the bizarre, space-warping and gravity-altering effects of gravitomagnetism has already begun. Reactionless space propulsion [PDF] is the most apparent use (previously discussed), with the potential applications far-reaching and nearly inconcievable. The earlier experiment by the European Space Agency involving another rapidly-spinning superconductor earlier this year found a massive increase in strength over the predicted values, but still miniscule by our standards. Things could become very interesting if the results from this latest experiment pan out.
posted by nervestaple at 9:20 PM PST - 47 comments

Obscene anti-Bush folk song. Direct link to very NSFW mp3. Funny? Probably depends on your politics. Another song from Eric Schwartz, discussed previously. This isn't Erik Schwartz the suburbanhomeboy, matzah! rap guy, by the way.
posted by tula at 8:59 PM PST - 28 comments



Tensor, said the Tensor asks and answers the question: "Who's Steven?"
posted by cgc373 at 8:00 PM PST - 7 comments

Thailand video blogs
posted by konolia at 6:58 PM PST - 7 comments


Grisha Perelman, where are you? Perelman has quite possibly solved one of mathematics biggest mysteries, Poincaré’s conjecture, but has since disappeared.
posted by kliuless at 6:54 PM PST - 32 comments

Hummer Ad strikes all the wrong notes. Tofu-eater feels insecure upon seeing an unrepentant meat-muncher, goes buys a Hummer to 'Restore the balance' (previous tagline: 'Restore your manhood'.) Somehow the ad agency forgot that you're supposed to get the message of "Feeling Down on Yourself? Buy Our Product, Show it Off, You'll Feel Better!" across subtly, not explicitly.
posted by Firas at 3:13 PM PST - 107 comments


Who needs boots when you can have steel-toed tabi? An overview of Japanese worker clothing.
posted by oneirodynia at 2:58 PM PST - 29 comments


When Library and Archives Canada placed online images of the 1901, 1906 and 1911 census, Automated Genealogy provided opportunity for volunteers to transcribe names into a database. Now the two early documents (1901, 1906) and most of the 1911 are fully indexed and searchable with links to the original image pages. Further projects are underway to link names between the documents and to other online sources, such as The Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance and the British Home Children.
posted by TimTypeZed at 1:22 PM PST - 8 comments

An online version of The Chicago Manual of Style is scheduled for release in September 2006. A test drive will be available next month; there's a Quick Tour [PDF] with screenshots and more info.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:09 PM PST - 51 comments

Bored with that same old business meeting? Why not try a dinner in the sky? But if it's a view you're after, you could probably take a few of your clients here for the same price. (flash & sound alert; film clip on main site is slow to load)
posted by madamjujujive at 11:51 AM PST - 14 comments

Spider web construction gallery is a collection of diagrams of the path a spider takes when constructing it's web. The diagrams are colour coded by construction phase. [VIA MoFi's very first post.]
posted by Mitheral at 11:10 AM PST - 24 comments

Hopefully this will put an end to the interminable AskMe questions: Adam Cadre has written a complete retrospective and review of William Sleator’s young adult science fiction.
posted by Iridic at 10:56 AM PST - 16 comments

Are you a Winning Writer? Although the site is largely geared toward entering writing contests, there's quite a bit of po ems and short stories that have won various contests. You can also have your poetry critiqued or visit one of the websites for poets and writers. Some services, such as the poetry critique, are only available if you subscribe to their free newsletter.
posted by owhydididoit at 10:35 AM PST - 43 comments

Due to recent fires, Dell is recalling over four million laptop batteries manufactured by Sony and sold worldwide in the past two years. Pictures of computers on fire (as well as their charred remains) circulated widely online, not allowing the company to easily dismiss the problem as an isolated incident. Other companies claim their products aren't affected by the same issues, but the nightmare might not be limited to Dell. The future of laptops on airplanes is not looking so good.
posted by kyleg at 10:30 AM PST - 50 comments

Patches The Horse enjoys getting beers from the fridge, watching television, and riding in convertibles to the McDonald's drive-thru.
posted by fandango_matt at 9:35 AM PST - 29 comments

Digital Maoism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism. An essay by Jaron Lanier.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:55 AM PST - 70 comments

The Toronto Globe and Mail on climate-change denial in Canada. Includes a description of how donations from oil companies to anti-Kyoto groups like Friends of Science are laundered through the Calgary Foundation and the University of Calgary's Science Education Fund. Previously.
posted by russilwvong at 7:52 AM PST - 67 comments

Ernest and Bertram --short film, formerly one of the best films you can't see after debuting at Sundance in 2002, with Sesame's lawyers then cracking down and forcing it to be pulled--now on youtube.
posted by amberglow at 6:49 AM PST - 27 comments

What If ... 9/11 Never Happened? "The broader culture would have gone its own way, 9/11 or no 9/11—progressing effortlessly from the obsessions of Gary Condit and Survivor in summer ’01 to Brangelina and American Idol in ’06. The Oliver Stone project of August ’06, however, would not be World Trade Center, but, with exquisite timing, Fidel."

One possibility from many in a collection of "could've-beens" compiled by New York Magazine. Other contributions of note: Tom Wolfe, Fareed Zakaria, an alternate-future blog by Andrew Sullivan, and perhaps best of all, a simple sketch from Ex Machina's Brian K. Vaughan.
posted by grabbingsand at 4:59 AM PST - 118 comments

Lists of the best places in the United States assume their expert can choose the absolute best place to live, or to work, or to raise a family—for everyone. Wouldn't a better way to find great places to live in America be based on your unique priorities and preferences?
posted by CodeBaloo at 3:51 AM PST - 42 comments

Congratulations! Pepsi-Cola's first woman CEO is anointed on the eve of her country of birth's Independence Day. As the US warns India not to ban Pepsi-Cola implying it may impede future economic progress, and India celebrates Independence from the British under heightened security alerts, one wonders how Indra Nooyi will navigate this press relations nightmare?
posted by infini at 1:52 AM PST - 38 comments

Romance 2.0 : Jan-M. Studt's writing/directing debut. "Businesswoman Sarah Townsend looked back on a successful day when a promising, unknown man called on her 3D-holophone. Too bad the holophone technique isn't very advanced yet. And men are not what they used to be..." (German with English subtitles.)
posted by Orb at 1:13 AM PST - 14 comments

The INA is a project out of Princeton's Sociology dept, focused in part on gathering data sets regarding globalization & making the information more publically digestable. Towards that end, these seven amazing infographics are provided covering the following topics: the Global Arms Trade, the US goverment as Employer, Transportation, The Coming Water Wars, The International Tobacco Industry, The Movie Business, and the prevalance & impact of McDonalds & Starbucks.
posted by lilbrudder at 12:11 AM PST - 19 comments

August 14

Hey, that drum set looks like it's melting! Acid starting to kick in? No! It's a TRIXON drum set! Trixon is exciting! Incontrovertible evidence that when it came to funny looking drum kits, the Germans had it down. Well, maybe with the exception of these.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:42 PM PST - 14 comments

Mona Lisa and other classics in clay animation. Joan C. Gratz is the talented artist behind this and other projects. This particular short film won an academy award for best animated short film in 1992. I am surprised to have never viewed it before today. Wikipedia has next to nothing on Gratz or her works.
posted by jkafka at 11:31 PM PST - 6 comments

Matsushita Shuji writes about the latest effort to prop up the Hanko system in Japan.
posted by tellurian at 11:06 PM PST - 23 comments

Nimian Hunter ~ Ride your horse, lasso the creatures, and feed your demon. (note: flash)
posted by crunchland at 9:58 PM PST - 17 comments



Sock Wars: Assassination by sock - a much more productive way to find out who is really the world's fastest knitter.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:46 PM PST - 18 comments

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi defies opposition, makes annual controversial trip to Yasukuni Shrine. Naturally, China and Korea are not amused. Adding to the drama and sparking debate amongst the Japanese is a recently discovered private journal of former Emperor Hirohito that reveals Hirohito stopped visiting the shrine in the 1970's when he learned that 14 class A war criminals had been secretly interred. Those 14 Class A war criminals are the focus of the controversy, and many Japanese are discussing having the remains of those men removed from Yasukuni.
posted by zardoz at 5:15 PM PST - 45 comments

Can you see me now? is a chase game played online and on the streets. Players are dropped at random locations into a virtual map of the Banff Centre. Tracked by satellites, Blast Theory's runners appear online next to your player. The runners use handheld computers showing the positions of online players to guide them in the chase. From the good folks at Blast Theory and the Mixed Reality Lab.
posted by greatgefilte at 4:11 PM PST - 8 comments

Where do you find the U.S. in this 2006 CIA World Factbook list? Yep. It's ok... things are cool because of all those lucrative foreign investments like T-bills. Trouble is, oil and euros are looking a lot better. Is this a recipe for a collapse?
posted by chef_boyardee at 3:12 PM PST - 42 comments

Temari have been a hand-crafted tradition for centuries in China and Japan. Also known as kishu-temari, edo-temari, etc., these intricate woven balls were originally toys for children and later became gifts symbolizing friendship and loyalty. Though they used to be constructed from scraps of old kimonos, over the years they have evolved into elaborate geometric designs using silk as well as other, less expensive materials. People outside Japan have been making their own recently and a homemade temari makes a beautiful gift indeed.
posted by ktoad at 3:02 PM PST - 11 comments

Alan Abel is a self-described "professional hoaxer" active since 1959. His classic hoaxes include the Society for Indecency to Naked Animals, the 1964 presidential campaign of Jewish housewife Yetta Bronstein, a topless string quartet (slightly NSFW), and the wedding of Idi Amin. He also released two mockumentaries long before Spinal Tap was a gleam in Christopher Guest's eye. Now Abel's daughter Jenny has released a documentary tribute to her father, Abel Raises Cain, which has some great You Tube clips, including 1970s talk show staple, Omar's School for Beggars. (some clips may be NSFW)
posted by jonp72 at 2:30 PM PST - 15 comments

"Let's give a welcome to Macaca here."
posted by EarBucket at 2:16 PM PST - 72 comments

Bicycle Coffee Systems reviews products essential to the "joys of bicycling and drinking good coffee, at the same time" and is written by "The Earth's Leading Authority on Conveying Coffee by Bicycle".
posted by turbodog at 1:50 PM PST - 8 comments

Dynamic 3D with CSS and the DOM Brothercake describes how to generate 3D mazes using nothing but CSS, the DOM and cunning. If you're not interested in the explanation, jump right to the example.
posted by boo_radley at 1:01 PM PST - 22 comments

The decade between 1922 & 1932 was not a good one for Frank Lloyd Wright; his star had faded in the US upon his return from Japan, and even though his most prolific years were still ahead of him, he had trouble finding work, and was evicited, his fabled home siezed by creditors. The Library of Congress hosts a fantastic collection of 5 projects he undertook during this era, none of which ever came to fruition. All that's left are his extensive blueprints, perspective drawings, and scale models carved specifically for the exhibit.
posted by jonson at 12:58 PM PST - 15 comments

I've long felt that the U.S. of A. "jumped the shark" as a country when we rejected the Metric System. The price of gasoline would still be under a dollar (per liter). Yet, we'd drive less because a short 20 mile trip would become a long 32 km trip. Then there's the most important measurement of all [maybe NSFW animated graph], providing us with the joy of 12.9(!) while we try to ignore that Japan is .1 ahead of us and France is .1 more than South Africa. (And is that Korean average North or South?)
posted by wendell at 11:43 AM PST - 65 comments

NPAA Best of 2006 Photojournalism from around the world: Escuintla Guatemala, Tahrir Baghdad, Odobesti, Naples Fla, New Orleans, Kashmir, Odessa, Immokalee Fla, Utica, Detroit
A project of the National Press Photographers Association.
posted by Lanark at 11:27 AM PST - 14 comments

Tonight is the world premiere, at the Edinburgh film festival, of "The Flying Scotsman", a biopic of Graeme Obree, the Scottish cyclist who broke the world hour record on a bike famously made from washing machine parts. Obree has faced many problems in his life, and the film has too, many of the participants haven't been paid yet. Of course, you could just buy the book.
posted by aisforal at 11:14 AM PST - 3 comments

Piet is a programming language in which programs look like abstract paintings. You can view some sample programs, or if you just like Mondrian, why not make your own with the Mondrian Machine? Or maybe you don't like Mondrian but you do like programming, in which case you can check out other strange languages, such as Petrovich, where you can punish or reward your PC. Finally, if you don't like programming OR Mondrian, have a look at a silly gif of a kitten.
posted by Orange Goblin at 10:55 AM PST - 11 comments

IBM raises lowers the bar. Apparently 1.5 nanometers is all that is needed for a 0 or a 1. This advance in data storage technology is a ways off from making an impact in chip construction, but allows for storage that is 1/8 the size of CMOS's wildest dreams. Neat. via ZDNet
posted by Addiction at 10:47 AM PST - 14 comments

Sex in prehispanic times. Cuba Chronicles. The arrow of time. Brazilian homosexual culture. The sword and the cross. Very similar. Bestiarium. Mini-descriptions of the many varied exhibits. Essays in English and Spanish by the artists with their images from ZoneZero.
posted by nickyskye at 10:42 AM PST - 7 comments

Nutpicking : It's a new and long overdue slur to describe the increasingly common practice on the right (and yes, on the left, too) of cherry-picking random comments or hate emails to smear your entire opposition as raving nuts. The worst so far: this execrable WSJ op-ed by Lieberman adviser Lanny Davis. Can the new term (which is modeled on the success of Godwin's Law) succeed in shaming the nutpickers? Either way, the practice is likely to become more common, especially if the "netroots" actually win some races this November.
posted by TheWash at 9:58 AM PST - 61 comments

So we all have our favourite question site. And we all know the big-brand takes on the space. But now there's the Web 2.0 Q&A sites: Wondir (Wondr?), Oyogi (in beta, of course) and the latest, Yedda. [via TechCrunch]
posted by GuyZero at 9:40 AM PST - 30 comments

Learn how to floss on Dental Movies dot com! Or learn more about what could go wrong with your teeth if you don't. Lots of fine dental info, with amusing animated gifs. Do you have bad breath? It's too bad they've had to temporarily shut down their offer for free simulated dental makeovers.
posted by owhydididoit at 9:17 AM PST - 6 comments

Al Jazeera have the scoop on the new name for OLPC's $100 $140 dollar laptop.<via olpcnews.com>
posted by davehat at 8:32 AM PST - 32 comments

NewsFilter: Castro Alive and kickin' it old school. The Cuban media has released some pictures of Castro alive and well. This is actually the first time I've ever seen him not wearing military garb.
posted by delmoi at 8:16 AM PST - 32 comments

We’ve detected background radiation from the Big Bang. We’ve sent explorers to the bottom of the ocean and the moon above us. We have images of the individual atoms of which our world is made. But we cannot have direct access to the sensory experiences of another human being. Language can help to bridge the gap but it is an imperfect tool. The closest we have come is Brain Fingerprinting and even that only indicates recognition of a scene or object; it does not capture the actual visual memory of the scene or object. This may soon change. Several years ago, researchers at Berkeley wired a cat’s neurons to a computer and were able to obtain videos of what the cat was seeing.
posted by jason's_planet at 7:51 AM PST - 50 comments

Chicken Noodle Soup! It's a dance. Some people wonder, "Is the Chicken Noodle Soup dance racist?"
posted by chunking express at 7:11 AM PST - 54 comments

Too Wong Foo: There's Mixed-Up Surf Nazis Invading A Plane! In honor of Snakes On A Plane slithering into theaters this coming weekend, Boston.com offers eleven perfectly descriptive, or overly cryptic, but all memorable movie titles. How would you retitle your favorite movie to be as descriptive as Snakes On A Plane? For example, The Bus That Couldn't Slow Down?
posted by Lord Kinbote at 7:10 AM PST - 119 comments

Hostage: The Jill Carroll Story. Jill Carroll, a reporter for the Christian Science Monitor, was ambushed along with her Iraqi translator, Alan Enwiyah, on January 7, 2006. He was shot and killed, but she was held captive until her release on March 30, 2006. She tells her story in an ongoing 11-part series.
posted by initapplette at 6:49 AM PST - 9 comments

OTR Network.. Free archives of over 11,000 old radio shows, get your Jack Benny fix here ! Yeah, they use RealPlayer, but it's still pretty cool.
posted by lobstah at 6:09 AM PST - 12 comments

The 50 coolest websites : according to Time Magazine, at least. Who cares if they changed the world or not: as long as they're cool, that's all that really matters! Unsurprisingly, Digg's in there, as is MySpace (!), but they somehow seem to have neglected Metafilter, deciding that Cute Overload is way more hip instead. And no, Flickr's not in this one either.
posted by chorltonmeateater at 5:40 AM PST - 40 comments

OutsideIn Korea - brought to the world by our own stavrosthewonderchicken. He asked what you would like to see on the site here. Now sit back while he brings it to you. Or not. Probably not, now I think about it. In any case, the man writes like a demon on crack (except twice as interesting) and, whether or not you have the slightest interest in Korea, you will be entertained by the stories. If you follow his personal site, you know what to expect. If you have never read his writings before, strap in, you're in for a bumpy ride.
posted by dg at 4:38 AM PST - 19 comments

Beethoven stretches out and relaxes. Gorillas belch to let others know where they are. Fish sing the body electric (.mov, 12 MB) for food and safety. How has your own perception shaped your worldview?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:18 AM PST - 4 comments

August 13

60 Minutes interview with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Some have described Iran's president as just another middle eastern wacko along the lines of Saddam and Bin Laden. After viewing the 60 Minutes interview, what is your take on things?
posted by mk1gti at 10:45 PM PST - 118 comments

CBC Blogging Manifesto Tired of waiting for CBC, Canada’s national public broadcaster, to come up with a blogging policy, CBC bloggers – including the infamous pseudonymous blogger A. Ouimet – charge ahead and write one themselves.
posted by joeclark at 10:18 PM PST - 12 comments

Every year the The Burryman makes his appearance at the Ferry Fair Festival. It has now been revealed how he copes with all that whisky.
posted by tellurian at 10:00 PM PST - 13 comments

Crossover comics create some bizarre, BIZARRE, teamups; not at all separating reality and fiction. It's been happening for a long time and continues to this day.
posted by Kickstart70 at 7:59 PM PST - 32 comments

Your band name sucks: 50 of the Inexcusably Worst. (via Fark)
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:40 PM PST - 97 comments

The Evolution of the Desktop 1984-2007
My oh my, how far we've come.
posted by fenriq at 7:01 PM PST - 60 comments

In the days after Hezbollah crossed from Lebanon into Israel, on July 12th, to kidnap two soldiers, triggering an Israeli air attack on Lebanon and a full-scale war, the Bush Administration seemed strangely passive... The Bush Administration, however, was closely involved in the planning of Israel’s retaliatory attacks. President Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney were convinced, current and former intelligence and diplomatic officials told me, that a successful Israeli Air Force bombing campaign against Hezbollah’s heavily fortified underground-missile and command-and-control complexes in Lebanon could ease Israel’s security concerns and also serve as a prelude to a potential American preëmptive attack to destroy Iran’s nuclear installations, some of which are also buried deep underground.
Test Case
posted by y2karl at 6:06 PM PST - 78 comments

Autism is growing, especially in the Silicon Valley. We’ve talked of this twice before, but what are we missing about the connection between autism, geekhood, and the Silicon Valley? Let’s talk about this more [inside].
posted by Milkman Dan at 5:09 PM PST - 80 comments


Arthur Grace has a distinguished career as a photojournalist who works in black and white. Although not limited to U.S. work, he excels in Americana. His portfolios are fun to surf - here's a sampling that I liked: window washer, the Hatt family of Maine, Cheer Squad, and Prisoner, Adelaide Jail. Oh, and whatever you do - don't miss the Show Dogs, heh. [more]
posted by madamjujujive at 3:58 PM PST - 9 comments

There's no need for you to record short videos (youtube) of yourself singing impossibly cheesy songs about astological signs whilst a woman does interpretive dance in the background, because Harvey Sid Fisher has already done it for you.
Thanks to Ryan at FFFF for bringing this to my attention
posted by Afroblanco at 3:55 PM PST - 16 comments

TERRA! Men With 1,000 Prepaid Cellphones Planned To Attack Mackinac Bridge. Or sell them in Texas. Or, you know, something.
posted by quonsar at 3:26 PM PST - 123 comments

Can microbes make us fat? Of the trillions and trillions of cells in a typical human body — at least 10 times as many cells in a single individual as there are stars in the Milky Way — only about 1 in 10 is human. The other 90 percent are microbial. These microbes — a term that encompasses all forms of microscopic organisms, including bacteria, fungi, protozoa and a form of life called archaea — exist everywhere. New evidence suggests microbes in our bodies can determine how efficiently we process food and affect our hunger centers.
posted by caddis at 2:35 PM PST - 29 comments

"I actually felt sick, just sick, about wasting so much studio money and being such a stinky, stinky junket whore." Freelance writer Eric D. Snider took up an offer to attend Paramount Studios' World Trade Center press junket, "being a whore just once to see what it was like." After he spoke unkindly of the practice—taking issue with how studios trade luxurious treatment for positive media coverage—the studio had him blacklisted from all further Paramount screenings, and those of a few other studios.
posted by Zozo at 2:22 PM PST - 47 comments

Websites that changed the world? Bestest best of the web? What have you done for me today, sugar? Aug 13, 2006 — TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's president [Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] has launched a Web log, using his first entry to recount his poor upbringing and ask visitors to the site if they think the United States and Israel want to start a new world war. "Do you think that the US and Israeli intention and goal by attacking Lebanon is pulling the trigger for another word war" ...word war?
posted by taosbat at 12:18 PM PST - 40 comments

3000 feet up in the mountains of Eastern Myanmar (Burma) lies Inle Lake^, a giant freshwater lake that is populated by 70,000 people living in four separate cities on top of the lake. They dwell, fish, farm, worship and celebrate upon the surface of Lake Inle, living a unique lifestyle that seems wholly unto itself, untouched by the world outside. All pictures found using the amazing FlickrStorm tool.
posted by jonson at 12:07 PM PST - 25 comments

Yury Gitman and his students make electronic toys: Pululus; Mr. Spoon Man; even a Katamari! Learn how they make them, inside and out. More about Yury at we make money not art and his own website.
posted by jessamyn at 10:40 AM PST - 3 comments

Websites that changed the world? This Observer piece lists fifteen websites that aught to be considered the best of the web. It's a bold claim and although the potted histories are excellent, I'm wondering the extent to which it mostly includes website that have broken the public recognition barrier in the uk rather than changing the world. How many are simply pioneers in their field? Where for example is flickr?
posted by feelinglistless at 9:07 AM PST - 69 comments

Moomins! The Moomins, created in 1945 by artist and writer Tove Jansson in this story, went on to become a series of books beloved by children in the 60s and 70s and then a British TV show in the early 80s. The Moomins’ fame is so all pervading in Finland that they have their own amusement park and museum but they somehow have never gained as much of a foothold in the US. Why are the Moomins so popular? Some of the books are surprisingly philosophical and even dark and some of the characters are downright seditious; the Moomins, for all their humor and love, are often a little bleak. Tove Jansson, who modeled many of her characters on people in her life, was as talented an artist as she was a writer; here, for your delectation, are her illustrations for The Hobbit. Previously on Metafilter.
posted by mygothlaundry at 7:58 AM PST - 36 comments


Clell Tickle: Indie Marketing Guru (YouTube)
posted by runkelfinker at 3:20 AM PST - 22 comments

Panel Suggests Using Inmates in Drug Trials PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 7 An influential federal panel of medical advisers has recommended that the government loosen regulations that severely limit the testing of pharmaceuticals on prison inmates, a practice that was all but stopped three decades ago after revelations of abuse. Cruel and unusual punishment?
posted by Unregistered User at 2:46 AM PST - 43 comments

Nauru was once a lovely place. Despite its small size and isolation, Nauru's story is one of monumental dimensions. Things have gotten pretty grim. But it looks like Naurans may get a reprieve of sorts. Will it be pretty?
posted by owhydididoit at 12:27 AM PST - 17 comments

August 12

"... Everyone needs an escape. It just amazes me that for 1,200 people this involves sitting in darkened rooms listening to presentations on Harry Potter and the Sanctity of Everyday Life: JK Rowling's Complex Treatment of the Trope of Normalcy." Carole Cadwalladr covers Lumos 2006 for the Guardian. [via]
posted by anjamu at 10:24 PM PST - 27 comments

POD-dy Mouth - a blog reviewing the best of print-on-demand (self-published) books: "finding needles, discarding hay". Also with commentary on the industry itself, and great snark (1, 2). Take her quiz: can you spot the POD excerpts from the traditionally published? (Answers here.)
posted by Melinika at 8:56 PM PST - 9 comments

Are smart people grumpier?
posted by footnote at 8:54 PM PST - 48 comments


Homophobia, bad 'fan' art and childish humor abound at Craig Not Bond, which is campaigning for a boycott of the new Bond film Casino Royale. Why? Because Bond is clearly not a sissy blonde fag who can't drive a stick. A painful excursion down to the innermost (and utterly painful) depths of pissed off fandom.
posted by Effigy2000 at 8:46 PM PST - 83 comments

I found a site with hundreds of old TV theme songs. It’s not much to look at, and the audio ain’t the best, but it’s free (and apparently maintained by a patriotic american, thank you, sir). Spending some hours there reminded me that composers and musicians used to take the craft seriously. You can find just about anything. Good? The Avengers, Barney Miller, Green Hornet, Hawaii Five-O, Rockford Files, Room 222. Feelgood? The Courtship of Eddie’s Father. Cheese? Dynasty, Three’s Company, Flo. 80s schlock? Hardcastle & McCormick, Hunter. Check out the mess that is the theme for The Bionic Woman. Did you remember that Jose Feliciano did Chico and the Man? I bet you didn't know...well...WTF: The Associates. I wondered where the tradition went, but, then, after MTV, I guess all the media became one and ‘TV’ ‘Theme’ ‘Music’ became something like this. My favorite theme? I had to go elsewhere to find it: it’s my own.
posted by toma at 8:37 PM PST - 58 comments

This is what we all hoped the internet would be about. When we discovered the internet, most of us saw it as a way to connect to other people. Peter has only been on youtube for a week. His first video has been viewed nearly 300,000 times, and there isn't a single idiot teenager within range of the camera. Do you have a few minutes to spare? Spend them with Peter. Six videos, and hopefully, more to come.
posted by HuronBob at 6:13 PM PST - 86 comments

Moldovan wine was famous throughout the former Soviet Union. The centerpiece of its industry was (and is) a huge network of caverns known as Cricova where Stalin supposedly stored the remnants of Goering’s wine collection. The collapse of the Soviet Union brought extreme economic hardship to Moldova. In the midst of this hardship, the Russian Government imposed a ban on Moldovan (and Georgian) wines and cut off access to their largest export market. You might want to consider their plight if you visit the liquor store this weekend.
posted by jason's_planet at 5:39 PM PST - 11 comments

Fascination with ground and figure carries on in various fields after The Rubin vase / face Illusion, M.C. Escher, and Marshall McLuhan. Besides being extremely important in the fields of photography and poetry, the figure/ground relationship is important to physicist Paul Davies, who says "the true miracle of nature is to be found in the ingenious and unswerving lawfulness of the cosmos, a lawfulness that permits complex order to emerge from chaos, life to emerge from inanimate matter, and consciousness to emerge from life." Also, Peter Grundy and Yiang Yan discuss how contextual ground relates to linguistic figure in Bill Clinton's famous apology, Andrew Graydon plays with the distinction between sound as environment and sound as music, and W.C. Richardson creates paintings in which "positive and negative spaces seem unstable; figure becomes ground, ground becomes figure."
posted by Aghast. at 5:33 PM PST - 3 comments

Darth Vader Owns his Wife (You Tube)
posted by Turtles all the way down at 3:39 PM PST - 64 comments


Media-opoly from Saturday Night Live's TV Funhouse skit created by Robert Smigel broadcast in 1998 on NBC, a subsidiary of GE. Not broadcast since, apparently.
posted by riotgrrl69 at 2:35 PM PST - 25 comments

Eat your vegetables, they are good for you. the goal ... it seemed so ambitious at the time! ... was to cook a vegetable, with new recipes and new vegetables, every single day for an entire month. (Why? Because our diets need more vegetables. Because vegetables are too often an after-thought. And because it's easy to get stuck in a veggie rut.) But after a month, it felt like I was just getting started ... and the asparagus was calling. And then ... 365 days of new vegetables and new recipes.
posted by caddis at 1:49 PM PST - 13 comments

To work around the proprietary whims of digital audio software developers and laptop processor limitations during the mid- and late-1990s, a small band of technically-minded people, including the electronic musician Blitter, pulled together in the late 1990s to engineer the open-source OPEN DSP EZ-Kit platform, a 16-bit computer designed entirely with a focus on low cost and extensible control and DSP arithmetic capabilities. While this project and similar commercial offerings never seemed to gain the critical mass needed to sustain long-term interest, perhaps the new Arduino hardware project from MIT's Processing hardware group may gain a foothold with Processing and Pure Data audio software hobbyists and artists alike, allowing the creative community to extend, enhance and share inventive uses of new technology. Arduino's use has already begun in fascinating museum installations around the world, and has become a part of this year's SONAR and Ars Electronica festivals.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:06 PM PST - 10 comments

The annual Perseid meteor shower will peak in intensity tonight. The product of Earth intersecting with the debris trail from Comet Swift-Tuttle, the shower should be most dramatic shortly before dawn. More information on the shower can be found in various places.

Those living far away from cities will have the best view, but there are lots of good photos from past showers online for those immersed in city light, or blanketed under cloud.
posted by sindark at 12:59 PM PST - 18 comments

American Journal of Cardiology reports that extensive use of marijuana doesn't hurt your cardiovascular system. Remember it also doesn't increase your risk of lung cancer. Previous MeFi
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 12:18 PM PST - 69 comments

The tabla is the most popular and widely used drum of North India. Origins (embedded sound and mp3) of the tabla and tabla bols, the fascinating spoken sounds of the percussive beat. [more]
posted by nickyskye at 11:55 AM PST - 19 comments

Truth In Advertising - Hilarious video.
posted by forwebsites at 10:52 AM PST - 30 comments


Journal of Mythic Arts - an online journal for the exploration of myth, folklore, and fairy tales, and their use in contemporary art. A smattering from the archives: Shape-Shifters; Old Wives' Tales; Wolf's Heart.
posted by Wolfdog at 8:05 AM PST - 10 comments

Medical Illustrations.
posted by econous at 7:05 AM PST - 15 comments

Friday flash fun, a day late. The National Gallery of Art has some awesome Flash apps intended for kids, but lots of fun for adults. My favorites: Flow, PixelFace, Mobile.
posted by cerebus19 at 6:19 AM PST - 8 comments

Winner of the 1999 Nobel Prize for Literature, a peace activist who opposed reunification for fear Germany might once again war against its neighbors, ghost-writer of Willy Brandt's speeches, author of the great fabulist history of World War II and postwar Germany, The Tin Drum, and of My Century, a novel of one hundred chapters, one for each year of the last century, a man considered part of the artistic movement known in German as "Vergangenheitsbewaeltigung" or "coming to terms with the past", Günter Grass belatedly admits the history he expunged from his personal narrative: his service as a member of the 10th SS Panzer Division Frundsberg of the Waffen-SS. In an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Grass explained his service would stain him forever, but that only after the war did he feel ashamed of having been in the Waffen-SS:
for me, because I am sure of my recollection, the Waffen SS was nothing frightful, but rather an elite unit that they sent where things were hot, and which, as people said about it, had the heaviest losses.
posted by orthogonality at 5:46 AM PST - 46 comments

Abdul Mati Klarwein is the the thoughtful guy who painted the wonderous gatefold sleeves of Miles Davis' Bitches Brew, and Santana's Santana's Abraxas. It's all the more inspiring to be listening to either musician's music of the period while viewing. Just don't stare too long. [ last two YouTube]
posted by eegphalanges at 5:10 AM PST - 12 comments

You are the stock of the corporation known as the U.S.A. Following the recent discussion of a Jordan Maxwell video, colourfully dismissed as "new age sewage", I thought Mefites would like (and/or rather, I would like Mefites) to apply their knowledge and insight to a far more topical example of Mr. Maxwell's work. A jumping off point: The law administered in the courts is maritime law. (Google video @ 1 Hr)
posted by Tarn at 3:10 AM PST - 15 comments

Richard Holbrooke delivers an analysis and forecast of how the current situation could trigger a chain reaction that would lead to world war. He refers to Barbara Tuchmans Guns of August, apparently a political science classic, that has been mentioned here on mefi. Here's the article in dutch with an appropriate picture of the murder of archduke Franz Ferdinand.
posted by jouke at 2:39 AM PST - 22 comments

John Murtari hunger strike protest. John Murtari has been on a hunger strike after being jailed without a jury trail. A PHD in aeronautics, Murtari lost his job and took a lower paying job at an ISP. Unable to pay the extremely high child support payment, he asked the courts to re-adjust his payment. The court denied him. The judge offered him probation or 6 months jail time. Murtari chose jail time with protest. Murtari stated Even Terrorists get a trail by jury. He is finally on a feeding tube, forced down his nose, after loosing 28 lbs. Update with protest photos and his comments on the protest.
posted by IronWolve at 12:46 AM PST - 60 comments

Fans of the BBC version of The Office take note: in 2006, Microsoft hired Ricky Gervais & Stephen Merchant to make a pair of faux training videos for the UK Microsoft headquarters, with Gervais reprising his David Brent role. Both videos are now up on iFilm, and are pretty damn funny (if you're amused by the Brent schtick, which I am).
posted by lilbrudder at 12:12 AM PST - 15 comments

August 11

What is a hobo? Hoboes is a name coined for men and women, but almost exclusive men that travel as migrant workers or left their friends and family in the depression or after wars when there was no work for them in their home cities. What do hoboes do nowadays? Apparently, they travel. And blog about it.
posted by owhydididoit at 11:31 PM PST - 18 comments

True stories, told in one sentence [via Projects]. More single sentence stories (and such) at Scrine [truthiness not guaranteed]. They have a kind of lame contest on right now, but check out some of the older entries: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
posted by Urban Hermit at 8:43 PM PST - 10 comments

For most musicians, it's difficult to pinpoint a particular event that forever sullied their image and destroyed their popularity. For 80's rocker Billy Squier, however, the reason is clear. [YouTube]
posted by starkeffect at 8:41 PM PST - 79 comments

Not just another news blip; UN Security Council passes Lebanon cease-fire resolution. The resolution calls for a "full cessation of hostilities" and tells Hezbollah to stop all attacks immediately and Israel to end "all offensive operations". Let's hope this brings about an end to all the madness.
posted by Second Account For Making Jokey Comments at 6:06 PM PST - 77 comments

icdiss.org looks, at first glance, like your run-of-the-mill think tank website. Two recent articles, one in The Economist and another on economist.com, say that the International Council for Democratic Institutions and State Sovereignty is, in reality, geopolitical astroturf for the Kremlin and the rulers of Transdniestria. Both of these articles are by journalist Edward Lucas (his blog).

The organization even has a wikipedia entry. The entry has a fascinating talk page, with Edward Lucas contributing additional research he's done since the articles were published.

So... want to become a member? Before deciding, maybe you want to read an interview with the program director. It's in the Transdniestrian English-language publication The Tiraspol Times & Weekly Review (slogans: "daily news, independent and objective" and "Get the Facts!").
posted by Kattullus at 5:06 PM PST - 10 comments

The Interweb Medley!! What happens when you mix up some of the more well-known Internet memes around? Madness.
posted by divabat at 4:33 PM PST - 25 comments

2 years ago I FPP'd FlavorPill, a company that sends out permission-based emails for books (Boldtype), music (Earplug), and fashion (the JC Report). They've since added ArtKrush (it's art, stupid! - nsfw) and Activate (world events) to their aresenal. In addition to the topic-specific mailing lists, they offer city-specific lists for London, New York, SF, LA, and Chicago. Sample issues are archived on the site.
posted by dobbs at 4:21 PM PST - 6 comments

Why I helped my wife kill herself. When Michael Graham's wife Elizabeth was diagnosed with motor neurone disease, she made up her mind to die before she became completely immobile. Michael knew he would have to help her - even though it could land him in jail. (note: unless you're unlucky, this is quite likely the saddest story you'll read today)
posted by jonson at 4:09 PM PST - 32 comments

Artist Dan Bergeron likes to muck around with billboard adverts. His recent doctoring of a billboard featuring Bush in Toronto has earned him some press in the Globe and Mail.
posted by chunking express at 1:55 PM PST - 43 comments

Government Releases Detailed Information on 9/11 Crashes Complete Air-Ground Transcripts of Hijacked 9/11 Flight Recordings Declassified Washington, DC - August 11, 2006 - The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) this week released full transcripts of the air traffic control recordings from the four flights hijacked on September 11, 2001, and meticulous Flight Path Studies for three of the flights, in response to a Freedom of Information request by the National Security Archive. The studies provide the most detailed technical information available to date related to the hijackings, and the transcripts of the aircraft-to-ground communications are the first complete government disclosure of each flight's air traffic control recordings.
posted by Unregistered User at 1:51 PM PST - 59 comments

"Animals are on the run. Plants are migrating too. The Earth's creatures, save for one species, do not have thermostats in their living rooms that they can adjust for an optimum environment. Animals and plants are adapted to specific climate zones, and they can survive only when they are in those zones...Gardeners and bird watchers are well aware of this, and their handbooks contain maps of the zones in which a tree or flower can survive and the range of each bird species. Those maps will have to be redrawn." Jim Hansen on the global impact of global warming. Meanwhile, the National Association of manufacturers is happy to tell you everything you really need to know on the subject. (More from NAM here.)
posted by alms at 1:47 PM PST - 12 comments

Blue Pill Red Pill This site just launched recently, by the looks of it. It bills itself as a "national database of all news critical, independent, and investigative this side of the galaxy." Seems to be a way of introducing people to verified and rated independent media sources, rather than aggregating content or providing articles itself. I haven't seen much like it out there.
posted by tb0n3 at 12:39 PM PST - 26 comments

Mike Douglas dead.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 12:31 PM PST - 42 comments

Here's a cute dress that doesn't need a pattern, has only one seam, can be worn in about a bzillion different ways, looks great on various body types, and takes only an hour to make.
posted by ottereroticist at 11:47 AM PST - 38 comments

"I heard the hammer cock," John said. Let's say somebody breaks into your apartment at gunpoint. Let's say that they seem likely to kill you or your roommate. Let's say you happen to have a samurai sword on hand. Here's what it looks like when you're done. (Caution: Blood pretty much everywhere.)
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:28 AM PST - 70 comments

Lifestraw: From surface water to drinking water.
posted by davehat at 9:53 AM PST - 24 comments

The art film at the bike shop: praise is building for Roam, a 16mm film shot by Vancouver area filmmakers, the Collective. Roam and the Collective's eponymous first film are credited for taking bike films to a wider more mature audience. Sophisticated camera work, a compelling narrative and an appropriate soundtrack take the place of the gnar factor and loud hip-hop/metal soundtrack that are the defining factors of most bike films. Comparisons are already being made to the 1966 surf film Endless Summer.
Google Video clip of ROAM
posted by [expletive deleted] at 9:39 AM PST - 38 comments

BULLSHIT! Penn & Teller present their rational, libertarian bent views on diverse subjects, now available for free download on Google Video ::: profanity; creationism; alien abductions; conspiracy theories; recycling; gun control; endangered species; religion; the bible; family values; the apocalypse; signs from heaven; the occult; 12-step recovery programs; exercise v. genetics; environmentalism; hypnosis; ghosts; the war on drugs; feng shui / bottled water; college; PETA; and abstinence.
posted by crunchland at 9:22 AM PST - 114 comments

Need to know the future? Try a little haruspicy. Full details, including a script in Greek, here (don't worry, they use an egg). For the animal rights activist, there's a cruelty-free method.
posted by JanetLand at 8:17 AM PST - 16 comments

Thanks to Peace Moonbeam's weblog, I now truly understand my liberal friends. And for those willing to reciprocate, Shelley the Republican is a similar blog from the opposite end of the spectrum.
posted by CodeBaloo at 4:52 AM PST - 77 comments

Wikiwords is a collaborative project to create a dictionary of all terms in all languages.
posted by anjamu at 1:18 AM PST - 18 comments

I've always lumped musician Eugene Chadbourne in with the likes of Wesley Willis and Daniel Johnston, but I may have been mistaken. While his songs are often absurd, experimental, and silly, he's much less eccentric than I'd always thought. In addition to having an incredible output (full discography with notes here and in-depth review here), he has worked with everyone from John Zorn to Jello Biafra, even fronting the band Camper Van Beethoven as Camper Van Chadbourne. He has also been a writer for MaximumRocknRoll and AMG and is the inventor of the electric rake (a musical instrument that would certainly annoy your neighbors). YouTube has two awesome Chadbourne finds: THIS is a 19-minute documentary about him and THIS is a cable access show he appeared on called I'm Going to Make a Drug with My Mind (if you like cable access television, this is awesome, but please note that this video is 31-minutes long, including 60 seconds of color bars. Eugene comes on a little after the 17-minute mark). [WARNING: YouTube. A lot of YouTube in this post]
posted by elr at 12:28 AM PST - 34 comments

A virtual tour of Alcazaba, Nasrid Palaces and Generalife. [flash]
posted by tellurian at 12:23 AM PST - 10 comments

August 10

Openly Gay Soulforce Activists in Minnesota, U.S., attempt to enlist in the Minnesota National Guard because they wish to serve, but are rejected or have their applications put on hold. Here are some local news reports (beware possible sound-enabled ads). Should the U.S. policy change?
posted by taursir at 11:25 PM PST - 43 comments

Falling Man: the many faces of a 9/11 riddle chronicles the attempts of Tom Junod to identify the "falling man" photographed by Richard Drew on September 11, 2001. Junod wrote an Esquire article about the Falling Man in September 2003 (August 2003 NPR interview) that inspired a documentary. The Falling Man may have been Jonathan Briley.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:56 PM PST - 58 comments

More gloomy news on the whole climate change thing. It seems that Greenland's ice caps are melting three times as fast as previously measured (ultimately, in a thousand years or so, leading to a 6.5m sea level rise). While at the other end of the planet, it's not snowing as much as we hoped to limit sea level rises. But hey, we can still laugh about it, right?
posted by wilful at 9:43 PM PST - 29 comments

"It is not easy to pass the test that qualifies a girl for membership in a Ziegfeld production..." Hundreds of photos of Zeigfeld Girls (including many large and high-resolution scans), collected and displayed for your viewing pleasure. Sumptuous . Sensual. Dazzling. [The last three links are work safe. The first two and the site itself are not. Some background on Ziegfeld and his Follies here for those not familiar.]
posted by LeeJay at 9:19 PM PST - 38 comments

Bottom half of the final inning, Red Sox batting, Yankees ahead by a run. Runner on third and 2 outs. Up at bat is the Red Sox's star hitter, followed by the weakest hitter in the lineup. Do you pitch to the star, or intentionally walk him? The choice is obvious in the majors, but not so much in the PONY leagues. Or is it? Complicating matters - the weak hitter is a cancer survivor with ongoing health issues. Not surprisingly, there's been a story in the local weekly. Then it got picked up by a major local paper, a radio station, and now Sports Illustrated. A lot of attention for a kid who was last in the paper 6 months ago when he got his Make-A-Wish granted.
posted by booksherpa at 9:00 PM PST - 53 comments

Stress building in New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina anniversary could spark more problems Like many other New Orleanians nearly a year after Hurricane Katrina, John McCusker was experiencing the overwhelming stress of rebuilding his life. McCusker, a photographer who was part of The Times-Picayune's 2006 Pulitzer Prize-winning staff(reg. required, but worth it. Trust me.), was seen driving wildly through the city Tuesday, attracting the attention of police. He eventually was arrested, but not before he was subdued with a Taser and an officer fired twice at his vehicle. During the melee, he begged police to kill him. For some, it's still Katrina every day.
posted by ColdChef at 4:46 PM PST - 141 comments

This Saturday, an aid convoy of internationals and civilians plans to make a political statement by risking their own lives to deliver desperately needed aid from Beirut to the south of Lebanon in defiance of the Israeli military. Israeli threats to bomb any moving traffic have put a halt to aid convoys through traditional channels and curtailed the ability of journalists to cover the conflict. But the activists are hoping extensive media coverage of their "non-violent direct action" generates political pressure to protect them as they head for the "no-drive" zone without any guarantee of safety from the Israeli government.
posted by mano at 4:44 PM PST - 54 comments

From organically-farming Zen centers to celebrity-cultivating Scientology centresTM, California is a seedbed of the most earnest (and most frivolous or worse) branches of spiritual inquiry. What's in the water in the Golden State that has made it The Visionary State? In an interview with editor Geoff Manaugh of the excellent BLDGBLOG, author Erik Davis -- whose published passions have ranged from an analysis of Philip K. Dick's "divine invasions" to erudite musings on Led Zeppelin's fourth album to an ode to the joys of being a teenage bongeur -- talks about the formerly chic devil-worshipper Anton LaVey, Beat Zen, Aldous Huxley, the Watts Towers, and beyond, with great photos by Michael Rauner, who collaborated with Davis on the new book.
posted by digaman at 2:14 PM PST - 30 comments

They'll never piggyback on your wireless again Your router makes the computer look funny. (via MeTa)
posted by klangklangston at 2:09 PM PST - 62 comments


Recipients of "Leaks" May Be Prosecuted, Court Rules In a momentous expansion of the government's authority to regulate public disclosure of national security information, a federal court ruled that even private citizens who do not hold security clearances can be prosecuted for unauthorized receipt and disclosure of classified information. The ruling by Judge T.S. Ellis, III, denied a motion to dismiss the case of two former employees of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) who were charged under the Espionage Act with illegally receiving and transmitting classified information. The decision is a major interpretation of the Espionage Act with implications that extend far beyond this particular case. The Judge ruled that any First Amendment concerns regarding freedom of speech involving national defense information can be superseded by national security considerations.
posted by Unregistered User at 11:11 AM PST - 28 comments

For those who worry that the concrete pillars around U.S. Federal buildings aren't strong enough to stop a motivated car bomber in an 18 wheeler, this video should comfort you. Similarly, for those of you who are worried that the concrete shielding around our weapons bunkers is not thick enough, this video should put you at ease. And finally, for those of you that worry that dogs & monkeys are putting aside their differences to team up against mankind, this video should lay that myth to rest.
posted by jonson at 11:10 AM PST - 38 comments

Roboclaw - Flash game in which you try to pick up and move a blue ball to a target using a robotic claw. Starts easy enough...
posted by shawnj at 9:33 AM PST - 26 comments


Esfahan is home to the Blue Mosque and other buildings with their unique blue tiles which are beautifully shown in photographs by flickr's horizon. Esfahan is a world heritage site and is home to many examples of traditional Persian Architecture which is made up of eight traditional forms which taken together form the foundation on which it was based in the same way that music was once based on a finite number of notes.
posted by adamvasco at 7:15 AM PST - 19 comments


[Newsfilter] Terror plot disrupted. Scotland Yard has arrested about 18 potential terrorists who were planning to blow up UK to USA flights mid-air. The UK threat level is now critical - "an attack is expected imminently". And there's chaos at the airports where hand luggage has been banned from all flights.
posted by featherboa at 12:03 AM PST - 506 comments

August 9

Large scans of plates, largely for Robert Plot’s Natural History of Staffordshire (1686). You can view more of Burghers work here.
posted by tellurian at 11:49 PM PST - 6 comments


ShakeMovie The Near Real Time Simulation of Southern California Seismic Events Portal. Earthquake animations from Caltech.
"These movies are the results of simulations carried out on a large computer cluster. Earthquake movies will be available for download approximately 45 mins after the occurrence of a quake of magnitude 3.5 or greater."
posted by thatwhichfalls at 10:50 PM PST - 2 comments

John Powers: Analog recursion. via dataisnature.
posted by signal at 10:19 PM PST - 13 comments

David Rice Atchison is claimed by some to have been President for one day, Sunday, March 4, 1849, since the incoming president, Zachary Taylor, was a religious man who refused to take the Oath of Office on the Sabbath. Even the inscribers of his gravestone thought so. The truth, however, is somewhat more subtle.
posted by starkeffect at 10:06 PM PST - 11 comments

We are ready now for a period of relaxation.... [requires real player]
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 9:00 PM PST - 13 comments

The Homeless World Cup: "Yes, there is a World Cup for homeless people, made possible with help from corporate sponsors such as Nike, Adidas, Coca-Cola and Bank of America."
posted by kliuless at 8:42 PM PST - 8 comments


The Music Notation Modernization Association ... or possible ways to simplify reading chromatic music (as opposed to diatonic music). Of course, Arnold Schoenberg beat them to it.
posted by persona non grata at 5:52 PM PST - 20 comments

Have extreme sports have reached their pinnacle yet? Apparently not. Travis Pastrana shows how motocross just got a bit more impressive. What's next? Apparently, stupidity and 720's. Watch at about 1:41, and just press mute. Both links: YouTube)
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 4:31 PM PST - 22 comments


Project Evil - Number stations appear on VoIP and it just seems very mysterious. Slashdot picks up the story. Now all is revealed.
posted by caddis at 4:22 PM PST - 19 comments


James Van Allen the discoverer of the Van Allen Radiation Belts died today, aged 91.
posted by hardcode at 3:48 PM PST - 20 comments

Forbes' Best Cities for Singles 2006. Apparently you have better chances of meeting your mate at Sox game than at a Yankees' game. But as a New Yorker I still find it hard to believe my chances would be better were I a Rockies fan. Although, I might meet a good Christian woman.
posted by allkindsoftime at 3:40 PM PST - 27 comments

Framing Canada is an online exhibit of early Canadian photography. Some images are quintessentially Canadian; others range from the sublime to the ridiculous. One picture just might settle a contentious debate once and for all. Most of the collection is organized into topical photo essays. [More inside]
posted by Urban Hermit at 1:59 PM PST - 13 comments

Ketamine has been found to "significantly" improve symptoms of depression by influencing glutamate levels in the brain. A Forbes article notes that 70% of patients say improvement, and up to 29% were "nearly symptom free within one day". However, research into the effects of ketamine on depression is not exactly new.
posted by casconed at 1:20 PM PST - 62 comments

The practical future of the country formerly known as Iraq. [NewsFilter, but a significant acknowledgement of something long-in-coming.]
posted by digaman at 12:01 PM PST - 63 comments

Official New Labour Blogs The US has got used to the political bloggers, but the Uk's Labour party is now accepting applications from bloggers to be an official blogger at their Annual Conference. They're offering access to all the key speeches and events at Conference and you’ll be blogging from the floor about your experiences and 'special access'. Would a blogger be compromised by this?
posted by quarsan at 11:08 AM PST - 13 comments

In 1899, the core of downtown Seattle burned to the ground. While the shops quickly rebuilt & re-opened, the city itself took the opportunity to rebuild the streets some 36 feet higher than they previously had been (ostensibly to combat water pressure/sea level issues), meaning that pedestrians climbed ladders to go between street level and building entrances. Eventually, the city laid down sidewalks up on the new street level, and the underground city was all but forgotten. Today, via a building in Pioneer Square, you can still tour what remains of the abandoned underground, looking up at the people above through the opaque glass sidewalk.
posted by jonson at 10:54 AM PST - 45 comments

Right-wing bloggers accuse photojournalists of photoshopping, posing bodies, and engaging in fraud. Warning: Not for the sqeamish. I think my favorite is the guy who poses as being dead. Or perhaps the photoshop skills of Adnan Hajj. Also, this video shows Hezbollah fighters driving around in UN ambulances. Feels alot like Rather-gate around here.
posted by the ghost of Ken Lay at 10:41 AM PST - 123 comments

NWTF | 2 DAGOS | JOHN316 | C9H13N | RDRAGE | XONSUX | UDINK | SHTHPNS | GOTMILF | HMFIC | TRY4FUN | LTRS
posted by Otis at 10:09 AM PST - 99 comments

How much does your State Legislator earn for the privilege of serving the good citizens of your fair state? Last year, state lawmakers in Pennsylvania voted themselves a pay raise, but then, they changed their minds. Constituents were not happy, have not forgotten, and a "non-partisan grassroots organization" was "started as an effort to clean house".
posted by jaronson at 10:01 AM PST - 23 comments

The Kojo Nnamdi Show on WAMU 88.5FM in Washington DC is interviewing the outgoing and incoming presidents of Gallaudet University (previously) today. Gallaudet is a liberal arts college and graduate school for the deaf. Deaf and hearing-impaired persons will be able to fully participate in the conversation and 'listen' to the radio show live as the station is providing real-time captioning on-line and via HD-radio.
posted by pithy comment at 9:30 AM PST - 4 comments

Mountain Bike One. What it's like to hit the trails with the President: a little Zen, a few Band-aids.
posted by gottabefunky at 9:10 AM PST - 28 comments

"The K-Metal from Krypton" is one of the most important "lost" stories by the original creators of Superman, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Written and drawn in 1940, but never published, the story would have vastly altered much of the Superman mythos for the next 65 years. Aside from the early introduction of Kryptonite, the issue would have disclosed Superman's secret identity to Lois Lane, leading to a completely different relationship in which the two worked together as a team. Thanks to the work of readers and fans, including writer Mark Waid and artist Alex Ross, original art and scripts are slowly being recovered, and the entire issue is being reproduced online, with full color treatment and missing pages being replicated in Shuster's original drawing style.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:03 AM PST - 19 comments

The Contrarians is a CBC radio program about the things you can't say. Stream it live Tuesday mornings at 9:30 or Wednesday nights. Past topics include feminism, peace keeping, hip-hop and (caution: irony) copyright reform .
posted by Capn at 7:50 AM PST - 17 comments

Perhaps Wal-Mart isn't completely evil? In a move that I'm sure will stun environmentalists, Wal-Mart wants to introduce E85 (85% ethanol, 15% gasoline) to its gas stations (which could potentially more than double the national locations that offer E85 from 800 to almost 2150).
posted by SeizeTheDay at 5:05 AM PST - 114 comments

Mum's the word. Gina Ford threatens to close a website over comments in the sites forums. Most recent statements from both sides. Other cases.
posted by lloyder at 3:54 AM PST - 54 comments

Star Trek Inspirational Posters (page 2, zip file) available for download. And, of course, you knew you could make your own, right? (as seen on MetaChat)
posted by Eideteker at 12:53 AM PST - 21 comments

August 8

Payback is a B**** Someone played one too many practical jokes and/or pranks on some IT guys who had too much time on their hands. Impressive results ensue.
posted by FlamingBore at 9:55 PM PST - 52 comments

McKinney, Lieberman gone - just another news blip
posted by mischief at 8:37 PM PST - 151 comments

Text messaging for teenage girls is like an orgasm explains neuropsychiatrist Louann Brizendine. The doctor from Yale provides the science behind why male and female brains are different in architecture and chemical composition.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 5:56 PM PST - 82 comments

So my mum-in-law was visiting Dover Castle last week, when she spotted this 1940s replica postcard which she sent to me. It talks about how the stalwarts of the Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) supposedly took "bile beans" for things like nervous debility and "female complaints." This term always sounds (at least to me) so quaint and condescending; a search on it led me to the quackery of patent medicine, one of the prime purveyors of which was Lydia E. Pinkham (“Only a woman can understand a woman's ills.”). I'd feel smug and advanced about how far we've come if only it weren't for the resurgence of the term on herbal remedies sites. We may have come a long way baby, but we've still got some work to do in women's medicine, at home and abroad apparently.
posted by Zinger at 5:50 PM PST - 23 comments


This Iranian American Life "This blog is for an experimental documentary that I am working on this year, where I will be shooting video of my experiences in Iran and creating shorts, interactive installations, and/or videoblogs using the footage from my experiences and the experiences of others."

Iranian-American student Paris Marashi has gone back to Tehran with the goal of documenting her own experiences with family, friends, and about town. She's also giving inexpensive cameras to Iranians to help them document their own experiences. There are only a few posts up at the moment, but it should be stay interesting as time goes on.
posted by chasing at 4:07 PM PST - 15 comments

George Galloway is interviewed on Sky News about Lebanon.
posted by bobbyelliott at 11:50 AM PST - 80 comments

"From the first world war until the 30's air acoustics played an important role in the air defence. Air vehicles carrying a weapon could not be located from the ground e.g. at night time or under cloudy conditions. As radar was still to be discovered, vision had to be supplemented by hearing using the sound of the engines."
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:46 AM PST - 8 comments


Ned Lamont responds to accusations of hacking the Lieberman website. In response to a reported issue with the Lieberman campaign websites, Ned Lamont claims to have nothing to do with it. In Lamont's blog you'll notice, however, that someone has divulged the real reason behind the websites not being available: "Perhaps Joe should contact Diana Fassbender, fassbenderw (at) yahoo (dot) com, the billing contact for joe2006.com at “Friends of Joe Lieberman.” She can ask their host, www.theplanet.com, how to reconcile the account and restore service. It’s 1-800-377-6103—we’re here to help. It looks like a simple case of non-payment. Pretty sloppy by the Lieberman folks."
posted by thanotopsis at 11:18 AM PST - 376 comments

Oh, the huge manatee! Newsfilter/Manatee filter. A visitor to the Hudson River: "The manatee has been spotted at 23rd Street near Chelsea Piers, West 125th Street, and later in Westchester County. It appeared to be healthy." More here.
posted by jokeefe at 11:09 AM PST - 26 comments

Photography aficianado? Get lost in: AK47 — an online art photography magazine showcasing both fine arts and documentary photographers. BLIR — for emerging artists. Blueeyes — an online documentary photography magazine devoted to publishing new long-term project work. It is a labor of love created by a dedicated group of people who believe in the power of still photography. F-STOP — a photographymagazine. mooncruise* — featuring photography and music by international artists. Revolver — photojournalism, street & travel photography. seesaw — observation full and felt.
posted by spock at 10:54 AM PST - 13 comments

Stickam One might be tempted to dismiss it at first glance as just a video-enabled Myspace clone for emo teens with webcams; but looking past that you'll find a fairly robust and platform-independent Flash-based webcam broadcast and videoconferencing app. There's a profile page with an embedabble Flash viewer, a full screen personal conference popup with privacy options, group video chat rooms, and hosted galleries for photo, video and audio content. Is this the advent of Cam Whoring 2.0? (Oh, and see if you can catch the Pissed-Off Caveman online. It's a webcam pointed at a decked-out Robot Chimpanzee Head.)
posted by brownpau at 10:46 AM PST - 16 comments

The Edinburgh festival is the largest arts festival in the world. Some 1,867 shows will be perfomed during the month of August, ranging from well known names and faces that many of us Brits will know from the telly, through to puppet shows and people reading the phone book live on stage. Hundreds of other lesser-known shows are on in the smaller and weirder venues. Some performers are blogging, and of course there are other bloggers telling us what's what.
posted by handee at 10:12 AM PST - 21 comments

Anarchy Online is free until January! ...but is it worth it?
posted by ZachsMind at 8:00 AM PST - 64 comments

"The trick to education is to teach people in such a way that they don't realize they're learning until it's too late."
Fluorescein-dyed water appears suspended in midair, only to "flow" upwards moments later. The careful dance of a splashing drop is frozen and taken for granted, painstakingly analyzed in a brilliant defiance of how water should behave. Such is the wonder of what modder Nate True calls his Time Fountain (YouTube embedded & worth it)—a well-documented, DIY version of classic science center favorite, the Water Piddler. MIT's own Strobe Alley is lined with photos created using the same technology, pioneered by Harold Eugene Edgerton, a professor whose work you're almost certainly familiar with. Naturally, some beautiful pieces have followed under the same ideal, courtesy Martin Waugh.
posted by disillusioned at 7:57 AM PST - 14 comments

Do you know your close-up con games? Some classics: the Tip, the Jamaican Switch, the Wire (and its incredibly complicated cousin, the Rag), the Texas Twist, the Pigeon Drop, the Spanish Prisoner (or Nigerian Scam) and the ancient pig-in-a-poke. Also, learn the argot of the classic con artist, view some videos of card scam moves and discover some patter as well, or just see how the language of the con has been used in one of the more famous papers in sociology.
posted by blahblahblah at 7:23 AM PST - 23 comments

Around the world on a Dream Machine — 77 years ago, the giant German airship LZ-127 Graf Zeppelin left Lakehurst, NJ on an aerial world tour sponsored by American media mogul William Randolph Hearst. The airship's gondola carried 20 passengers in high-tech style, including: U.S. Navy observer Charles Rosendahl; English pilot, Zeppelin frequent flyer, and Hearst reporter Lady Grace Drummond-Hay; and Japanese naval aviator Ryunosuke Kusaka. The 41 crewmen were captained by Dr. Hugo Eckener, Zeppelin champion and the world's best airship pilot. The hydrogen-filled LZ-127 flew over the Atlantic to Germany, Siberia, Japan, over the Pacific to California, across the United States, and back to Lakehurst. The 20,500 mile, 21-day flight—with 12 flying days at ~80 mph top speed—defined airship travel's golden age. [More inside]
posted by cenoxo at 7:21 AM PST - 24 comments

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. A key documentary artifact of the uprising is Magyarország lángokban (Hungary in Flames) [embedded .wmv], partly composed of footage shot by two young film school students using whatever equipment they could find. Narrowly avoiding capture by the Communists, the duo smuggled 10,000 feet of film out of the country in spare tires and potato sacks; there's much more to the story, but better to hear Vilmos tell it in his own words. [.rm] Eventually, they made their way to America, where László Kovács, ASC (Five Easy Pieces, Ghost Busters, more) and Vilmos Zsigmund, ASC (Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Deliverance, more) became two of the most prolific cinematographers in Hollywood history. [more inside]
posted by milquetoast at 6:49 AM PST - 7 comments

A soldier in War. A letter home. Nobody will ever top Sullivan Ballou's. (Youtube Video) A week before the battle of Bull Run, Sullivan Ballou, a major in the 2nd Rhode Island Volunteers, wrote home to his wife in Smithfield. The actual letter begins @ 2:25 into the video. But it's far from a waste to watch the whole six minutes.
posted by thisisdrew at 6:18 AM PST - 16 comments

Hating America is the latest amazing post on what appears to be an incredibly compelling Livejournal, where wonderful posts have been made on topics that include Legal Temping, Being a Gentrifier, Fluency in Spanish, and Loving the NBA.
posted by blasdelf at 5:37 AM PST - 49 comments

My post-mortem to-do checklist, so far: 1. Study marine biology. 2. Accessorize my hot, wealthy widow. 3. Relay a few spooky telegrams to my spooky new friends. 4. Try to look as suspicious as possible. And that's even before rigor mortis sets in!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:51 AM PST - 37 comments

Tourists coming to Los Angeles usually visit the standard few spots; but there are some amazing urban ruins that even the locals are rarely aware of. From the original site of the Los Angeles zoo (abandonded cages & rock facades now) to the remains of the Sunken City, to the inexorably rusting hull of the 44 year old shipwrecked Greek freighter Dominator, L.A.'s forgotten places are tourist destinations for the intrepid, local & visitor alike. A PDF guide to how to find many of the best (including the Echo Mountain House & The Bridge To Nowhere) can be found here. Many links & inspiration via
posted by jonson at 12:14 AM PST - 11 comments

Sexy music study. A study based on telephone interviews of teenagers finds that sexy music causes sex. Explains the "construction" of the "impulse control center" in the brain. (Too bad they didn't link to a PET scan for greater science-y-ness.)
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 12:00 AM PST - 59 comments

August 7

Google earlier this year joined Harvard, Oxford, Consumer Reports, Sun Microsystems, and Lenovo to Stop Badware and will now begin warning searchers of dodgy websites. Badware means spyware, malware, and adware. If you got the Google warning too late, cleanup with AdAware and Spybot Search and Destroy.
posted by CCBC at 11:33 PM PST - 11 comments

That $30 you're trying to win might help you to buy a fake designer handbag, but don't! The profits from counterfeiting have been linked to funding organized crime, drug trafficking and even terrorist activities. For a breakdown of what's being counterfeited these days, how much it costs the US economy and which countries are the leaders in counterfeiting goods, you can find out here.
posted by Second Account For Making Jokey Comments at 10:31 PM PST - 29 comments

How the Wii will save the adventure game. Will the innovation of Nintendo's new console be able to turn this ailing genre around? Of course, as Next Generation points out, even consoles that fail can end up winning. Meanwhile, Nintendo faces litigation over the patent for the controller that brought it so much attention. Plus, what to do with your old Gamecube.
posted by magodesky at 9:10 PM PST - 32 comments

Aerial PhotographyInteriorsAir Conditioners of PhiladelphiaSpaces and other beautiful and, the word I would use would be formal Photography on file magazine. A flash interface, but not too annoying.
posted by delmoi at 6:57 PM PST - 5 comments

Prudhoe Bay oil production shut down. A large percentage of the largest major oil field in the US will be shut down, possibly for months, on news that the transfer pipelines which move the oil to the main Trans-Alaska Pipeline are badly corroded. [more inside...]
posted by zoogleplex at 6:51 PM PST - 39 comments

Photos by Ken Rosenthal. {via Apartment Therapy}
posted by dobbs at 5:11 PM PST - 11 comments

Flies! Yup, flies. New Jersey flies. Doesn't get any better than that! This is a super-cool photo gallery that also includes bees, butterflies and moths, ladybugs, spiders, and other little creatures. Other than the bugs, my faves are the psychedelic milk splashes and that pure Jersey water. All this and more, here.
posted by spilon at 3:44 PM PST - 9 comments

Whether you are looking for Soviet War Photos or some free monographs, this incredible collection of military history links should be your first stop.
posted by mattbucher at 3:32 PM PST - 23 comments

"Soon there would be no space left. But the cats kept coming. What could she do with them all? The solution turned out to be right outside Henriette's front door. If people could live on the houseboats which lined the canals, why not cats? And so came the idea to buy one for them." De Poezenboot.
posted by reklaw at 3:18 PM PST - 22 comments

What peace did Hezbollah Shatter? asks Anders Stringberg in the Christian Science Monitor, a paper that has won the Pulitzer seven times and is particularly well-known for its in-depth coverage of the Middle East. Relying on the most recent United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon (UNIFIL) report , Strindberg believes that Hezbollah's attacks stem from Israeli incursions into Lebanon. In the same publication, another commentator says that the latest Levantine crisis is a 'moment of opportunity' but only if the U.S. asks Israel the hard questions.
posted by Azaadistani at 11:38 AM PST - 162 comments

Dead Ringers: the Science Museum asks us the question "should we upgrade our mobile phone?" "No" and "no" say the Times and the Observer, but we still do: on average every 18 months. What's the problem? Well it isn't just the lead, arsenic, beryllium and brominated fire-retardant cases (pollutants all) disappearing into our land fills (which are not covered by the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive [WEEE] in Europe). Coltan also goes into our phones. It occurs mainly in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and as such our demand for upgrades has been contributing to a war (despite mobile phone companies' claims to the contrary, coltan is not regulated like timber). If we must upgrade, we can at least recycle or hack our old phones.
posted by nthdegx at 11:37 AM PST - 49 comments

Darwin Awards - The Movie! If it bombs, the reviews should be comedy gold.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:18 AM PST - 45 comments

[Login required] At Wikimania 2006, Founder Admits Wikipedia's Shortcomings and Announces New Projects At this past weekend's conference, Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia's founder, acknowledged that "[it] is not as good as [Encylopaedia] Britannica yet" and spurred contributors to "improve the quality of existing...articles instead of rushing to create new ones." Wales also announced a number of new initiatives involving One Laptop Per Child, Wikiversity, and the German version of the encylopedia. Stanford University professor Lawrence Lessig cheered Wikipedia for playing an important role in "democratizing knowledge" and spurring a new burst of individual creativity.
posted by NYCinephile at 9:16 AM PST - 52 comments

Meet Gary Tivoli, Staples' Storage Media Aisle Specialist. "It's strange -- this morning, when I get up, I'm on the floor, halfway stuck underneath the bed, on the wall, with the mattress stacked over me. I don't even know where I am for a minute..." Providence, RI musician/producer Gavin Castleton and poet Cyrus Leddy recorded Tivoli's ramblings and then transformed them into a narrative album, backing his erratic but engaging storytelling with plush beats. Think "A Grand Don't Come For Free", except compelling and with much better music. (Via NPR's Open Mic)
posted by Embryo at 8:59 AM PST - 23 comments

Bookmooch lets you give away your old books to a loving, caring home. Oh, and you can get used books for free too. Everyone wins! via
posted by ferociouskitty at 8:40 AM PST - 21 comments

The Importance of Punctuation. A single misplaced comma in a 14-page contact costs Rogers Cable a couple million dollars, and could have cost them tens of millions. Remember, folks, punctuation has meaning!
posted by five fresh fish at 8:37 AM PST - 56 comments

AOL releases 3-months of queries from 500k users. AOL, either fairly or unfairly, is sometimes considered the internet with training wheels. So while parsing this data, keep that in mind. Some of these queries seem like spam email subjects, don't they? Don't forget, this is the same demographic that brought you the September that didn't end. AOL tried to retract the data, but it's of no use - it's out there, on the web.
posted by rzklkng at 8:33 AM PST - 89 comments

The Bureau of International Expositions. Zaragoza, Spain has been gearing up for Expo 2008. These events showcase the nations of the world, their products, and to a smaller extent, their people. In 2005 it was in Aichi, Japan. There are other expositions: The Triennial of Milan, and the International Horticultural Exposition. Not to be confused with its imitators.
posted by parmanparman at 8:31 AM PST - 6 comments

Susan Butcher, pioneer in the previously male-dominated sport of sled dog racing, died on Aug. 5 from leukemia. Among her many accomplishments was winning the Iditarod race 4 times. She was 51.
posted by cass at 7:14 AM PST - 16 comments

Bought from a slave trader and put on display at the Bronx zoo: the strange, sad story of Ota Benga, a Pygmy with filed teeth brought from the Congo to America in 1906. Here are a couple of contemporary news accounts of the controversial exhibit. After the zoo, Benga tried to make a life in America, studying to be a missionary. "But what he really wanted to do was to tell everyone in this country that his people were dying, and why. I think he thought that eventually they'd listen. But they never did. That, to me, is the real tragedy." In 1916, at the age of 32, he built a ceremonial fire, chipped off the caps on his teeth, performed a final tribal dance, and shot himself with a stolen pistol. Creationists say the story illustrates "the racism of evolutionary theory" and "the horrors that evolutionary theory has brought to society."
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:16 AM PST - 35 comments


In 1999, to mark the centennial of Alfred Hitchock's birth in the Leytonstone district of London, 17 mosaics were installed in the entrance corridors of Leytonstone tube station. Each mosaic celebrates a different Hitchock masterpiece. True to form, Hitch makes several cameos among the mosaics.
posted by lilbrudder at 12:08 AM PST - 18 comments

Among his collected works, in the few, short years before mathematician Alan Turing was driven to suicide, he published "The Chemical Basis of Morphogenesis", theorizing how a standing wave-like distribution of "cannibal" and "missionary" chemicals might explain how plants and animals develop their shape and pigmentation. Blogger Jonathan Swinton focuses on this more obscure aspect of Turing's research, and reviews some of his posthumous and unpublished efforts — including one of the earliest known examples of digital computation applied to the field of biology.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:00 AM PST - 10 comments

August 6


Port Revel sits at the foot of the French Alps near Grenoble, France. Since 1967 [PDF], its landlocked harbor has been the place to go if you want to learn how to sail a fleet [PDF] of the world's largest ships.
posted by cenoxo at 10:29 PM PST - 6 comments

Real women. The gladiator - epitome of male combat, well, not always male. The gladiatrix (mNSFW) is no myth. The evidence exists.
posted by caddis at 6:37 PM PST - 14 comments

Pyramids with eyeballs on top notably absent. There was a time when one could ride into washington D.C. and turn paper into silver. NSFW if 19th century engravings of carelessly draped breasts might be hard to explain.
posted by longsleeves at 5:45 PM PST - 31 comments

Effective Against Elton John. Amazon starts selling groceries online. People start reviewing their products. Hilarity ensues.
posted by blue_beetle at 5:29 PM PST - 37 comments

The Real-Life Vesper Lynde. Known to history as Christine Granville, Krystyna Skarbek was first Polish nobility and later Churchill's favorite spy. Undaunted by weather, Christine skied over the Tatras from Hungary to Poland to gather intelligence and participated in the liberation of France. She was awarded the Croix de Guerre, but found herself ill-suited to normal employment, and worked as a saleswoman at Harrods and as a telephonist before becoming an oceanliner stewardess. Along the way, Christine met Ian Fleming, who may have based his first "Bond Girl" on the intrepid spy. Want to know more? Read her recently republished biography or order her file from the Briish National Archives.
posted by Medieval Maven at 4:56 PM PST - 6 comments

Secret agent Huub Lauwers was parachuted into occupied Holland in 1941 to relay intelligence back to London. His capture by the Germans marked the beginning of the Englandspiel, a deadly game of cat-and-mouse intelligence that cost the lives of over fifty agents. Lauwers frantically tried to inform the SOE that he had been caught, but the Baker Street Irregulars just didn't get it. Or did they? [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:46 PM PST - 16 comments

Use the badly named Tglo to call any phone in the USA for free, and to SMS anyone in the world (maybe) for free.
posted by riotgrrl69 at 3:43 PM PST - 18 comments

Sphincterine ass-tringent. Feel fresh all over. Even back there.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:25 PM PST - 13 comments

The more than 100 wineries of Virginia are varied and roam the entire state from the Chesapeake Bay to the mountains and back. You can even find wine on the lake created to be a nuclear plant cooler: Lake Anna. Virginia wines are even becoming competitive with California wines. My jaunt through winery links today, though, was inspired by Ingleside Winery, a small winery, right outside my hometown.
posted by SuzySmith at 3:09 PM PST - 20 comments

The complete Abu Ghraib Video and Photo Collection Updated. Salon completes it's archive comprising of 279 photos and 19 videos spread across ten galleries oringinally posted to Mefi on 16th Feb. Pictures and videos are disturbing and definitely NSFW. (may require log-in by watching a quick advert).
posted by Funmonkey1 at 3:04 PM PST - 31 comments

Half of America apparently still thinks so, a new poll finds, and experts see a raft of reasons why: a drumbeat of voices from talk radio to die-hard bloggers to the Oval Office, a surprise headline here or there, a rallying around a partisan flag, and a growing need for people, in their own minds, to justify the war in Iraq.

So much for Karl Rove's claim that it's wrong to think of U.S. voters as [uninformed and gullible.] Or "There are practitioners of politics who hold that voters are dumb, ill-informed and easily misled, that voters can be manipulated by a clever ad or smart line," Rove said. Previously discussed here. Thank you Fox News.

Remember the 2003 study (PDF) by the University of Maryland's Program on International Policy (PIPA)? It found that "Fox News viewers were "significantly more likely to have misperceptions" about the Iraq war than all other media consumers." Also the study found that "[t]hose who receive most of their news from Fox News are more likely than average to have misperceptions." For instance, of the "three key misperceptions" -- which the study listed as "the beliefs that ... links between Iraq and al-Qaeda have been found, that WMD have been found in Iraq and that world public opinion approved of the US going to war with Iraq."
posted by ArunK at 2:23 PM PST - 97 comments

Women who practice magic are usually accused of being a witch, which may or may not be true. Some are young girls and some are funny. One is all of these and more [NSFW].
posted by sluglicker at 1:28 PM PST - 10 comments

Touch this bunny to make it happy (slightly NSFW). Ubisoft developer Heather Kelley has an interesting Nintendo DS game concept meant to "improve actual sex in the world". I've always wanted to improve that.
posted by Drunken_munky at 1:19 PM PST - 15 comments

Patrick Dawes and Eugene Bazodis aka Patrick and Eugene. Mr Dawes is the sometime percussionist for Groove Armada, but the pair may be most familiar to Americans through that catchy little number heard on the Volkswagen rabbit commercial entitled The Birds and The Bees. (They apparantly did this earlier as an instrumental to push Gordon's Gin). They do have albums, most notably Summerisle , a mixture of jazz, ska, world, unlikely covers, and what have you. Possibly a little twee for many, but not without merit. A cartoon video of the great hit found here. So now you know.
posted by IndigoJones at 12:56 PM PST - 2 comments

The Golden Age of Piracy [video/audio] in the Atlantic peaked as the War of Spanish Succession ended. Piracy was a natural progression for the privateers [2] and buccaneers who had lost their sanctioned prey, and faced little resistance due to a lack of strong government in the majority of the American Colonies. Meanwhile captured naval seamen and slaves often willingly joined with pirates, or fled brutal treatment for the egalitarianism of piracy. This motley crew of motives were united in pirate democracy, laid down in a pirate code, preparing the way for democracy in the United States. But as the popularity of pirate life and pirate utopias grew strong, they became a pest to be mercilessly crushed by colonial opposition and the British navy.
posted by MetaMonkey at 12:42 PM PST - 11 comments

David Byrne blogs, including a recent post on Jesus Camp. (Via BoingBoing. Jesus Camp, previously on Metafilter
posted by nathan_teske at 11:40 AM PST - 24 comments

Amateur Hour. Internet journalism and the traditional media. Nicolas Lehmann in the New Yorker.
posted by semmi at 10:42 AM PST - 12 comments

The World's Most Photorealistic Vector Art Is it as impressive as we have already seen ? [first link mildly NSFW]
posted by The Radish at 10:42 AM PST - 34 comments

Fuzetsu Fire bullets by manuevering your pixel as close as possible to the shots fired by the enemy in the center. Requires Java Runtime Environment. (Since there's no sound, here's a sharity blog whose music would provide an excellent soundtrack: Curved Air.) Game via Jay and Good Experience.
posted by klangklangston at 9:43 AM PST - 12 comments


"Families of soldiers killed in Iraq launch party to challenge ministers". Reg Keys, father of a British serviceman killed in the Iraq War, stood directly against Tony Blair in his Sedgefield constituency as an independent candidate (see Wikipedia for a brief summary of independent movements in the UK, USA and Canada) in the 2005 UK election, taking 10% of the vote. A founder member of Military Families Against The War, he is also at the centre of a new political movement, Spectre, that aim to stand up to 70 members of bereaved families directly against pro-war government and cabinet members in the 2009 election, and each by-election before then. See also the Guardian's Guide to anti-war websites.
posted by nthdegx at 6:38 AM PST - 17 comments

Prolific Canadian Is King of Wikipedia Simon Pulsifer, posting as SimonP, is reported to be "the world's most prolific author on...Wikipedia,with 78,000 entries edited and 2,000 to 3,000 new articles to his name." Although highly regarded by his fellow Wikipedians, Pulsifer describes his 3- to 4-hour-a-day efforts as "an addiction".
posted by NYCinephile at 4:57 AM PST - 28 comments

More Bad News For Mel In the 24-hour news cycle, tomorrow's bad news for Mel Gibson hits today: according to tomorrow's Sunday Herald Sun Mel Gibson once had ties to the Australian League of Rights, a right-wing group well-known in Australia for anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and Holocaust denial. Says the Herald Sun: "The league claims the world is run by a secret society of Jews." (Who, presumably, are responsible for all the wars in the world"
posted by Postroad at 4:03 AM PST - 43 comments

SomethingAwful is trying to create another viral campaign via blogs, youtube and myspace and ytmd. It surrounds an especially freaky spinoff of a simpsons video made for reasons unknown. SA has been noted in the past for making the "popped collar" viral campaign as well. Expect animated gifs and crackpot references galore. Of course, be wary of attempts to mask this great scheme (nsfw). Of course, Team Barry is always one to expose.
posted by Dean Keaton at 1:07 AM PST - 50 comments

The inside of Farmer John's hog rendering plant in Vernon, California, is among the worst places on Earth if you happen to be a hog, which is why the outside of the building is such a case study in mural based irony. In 1957, perhaps as a trap to lure in unsuspecting piglets who had come to Los Angeles to make it in the movies, the folks at Farmer John's hired Hollywood set designer Les Grimes to begin painting a mural on the outside of the factory, a job that he continued until his death 11 years later. The result, entitled "Hog Heaven", depicts a pastoral wonderland, clearly a prime destination for any visiting out of town porcine rube. Surely one of the world's largest murals, the work stretches around the entire square cityblock worth of slaughterhouse, and (legend has it) is so large that not unlike the Golden Gate bridge, no sooner is it done being painted than the painter must begin touching it up all over again.
posted by jonson at 12:17 AM PST - 36 comments

The two kiloton hand-grenade and the dental x-ray machine. For several years, the military spent well over $30 million on a new kind of bomb, based on an isomer of hafnium that would have an explosive power just shy of a nuclear weapon, despite the fact that physicists said it was impossible. Sharon Weinberger (the author of the article in the main link) wrote a book about this project, with a related website. In response, the scientist behind the isomer bomb effort created an oddly childish parody website to mock her book. And, if that isn't strange enough, people have been arrested in the UK for attempting to obtain an imaginary substance, that may or may not be linked to the concept of the isomer bomb.
posted by blahblahblah at 12:13 AM PST - 28 comments

August 5

August 6, 1945 Hiroshima, Japan "... Father Siemes' account is now given below without any editing or modification. His eyewitness account is a priceless insight into this event, as are his thoughts on the implications of total war and its application."
posted by paulsc at 11:34 PM PST - 107 comments

Oceangram is billed as an "online message in a bottle website." Send an anonymous message and it floats to another user in the world. They will add to it and it floats to another and so on. You'll get a bottle sent to you and you can add to it. [mi]
posted by daninnj at 11:21 PM PST - 11 comments

Bikely makes use of the Google Maps API to make it easy to learn new bicycle paths. Select any path (example) and export its GPX path into your GPS tracker (e.g., cell phone or Palm) — or share your own favorite bike rides.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:59 PM PST - 15 comments

English tutors complain of Chinese abuse. As the Chinese economy keeps expanding, so does the number of foreigners in China. Like the people in the article some of them have had horrible experiences, others have had funny experiences and many have had sleazy experiences (NSFW text). And they all blog about it!
posted by afu at 7:45 PM PST - 36 comments

Garfield is dead...maybe. (Warning: Obnoxious music)
posted by onkelchrispy at 7:44 PM PST - 33 comments

Wikipedia Celebrates 750 Years Of American Independence. Founding Fathers, Patriots, Mr. T. Honored.
posted by Afroblanco at 6:50 PM PST - 60 comments

Good Experience games is a recent addition to my bookmarks. It's a blog of fun little flash games to play when you're bored.
posted by delmoi at 6:33 PM PST - 9 comments

In news, this week, are reports of high levels of pesticide found in soft drinks brands from manufacturers, Coca Cola and Pepsi Cola prompting the nickname 'pesti-cola' from some journalists. This is not a new story, with cola sales badly impacted by similar findings three years ago. Not satisfied with the research results, company executives requested more studies - now the amounts of pesticide are even Higher. Company officials also claim that India has no food safety regulations - does this mean a reputable global brand can poison their customers? Ask Union Carbide.
posted by infini at 5:45 PM PST - 11 comments

Does something in this picture look a little . . . off? At first glance, it's just a picture of smoke from damaged buildings from the conflict in the Mideast. At second glance, it's a fine example of how not to embellish news photos.
posted by Mikey-San at 5:15 PM PST - 100 comments

Holding up sprigs of parsley, Trujillo's men queried their prospective victims: What is this thing called? The terrified victim's fate lay in his pronunciation of the answer. Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo spearheaded an anti-Haitian massacre in which armed thugs killed every Creole speaker who couldn't pronounce the trilled R in the Spanish word for parsley. (Using pronunciation to make ethnic distinctions is called a shibboleth, a tactic often used in wars.) The murders inspired Edwige Danticat's The Farming of Bones and Mario Vargas Llosa's Feast of the Goat, as well as a poem recited for Bill Clinton by poet laureate Rita Dove. Ironically, Trujillo's desire to "whiten" Hispaniola not only led him to order the 1937 massacre, but to lobby in 1938 for the settlement of Jews fleeing Hitler.
posted by jonp72 at 5:13 PM PST - 9 comments

Journalism. There have been lots of complaints in the US about reporters not asking the tough questions, especially when they contradict the prevailing view, or the current administration's view. Here are some reporters who won't accept a weasel answer.
posted by caddis at 4:39 PM PST - 52 comments

American Football. A montage of rousing moments of football action, a heartfelt soundtrack, and gratuitous special effects combine to produce a surrealistic portrayal of America's greatest sport. Discovery sequence: Ronaldinho: Touch of Gold, Best soccer goals FIFA, Ronaldinho vs Zidane, hockey.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:35 PM PST - 16 comments

Pentagon to Soldiers: Don't Post those Trophy Videos Online ... another said it made him feel good to bring the gruesome reality of a soldier's life in Iraq to those living safely behind their "clean, white picket fences at home". ...the taking and posting of trophy video served as some kind of relief from the psychological stresses of serving as a soldier in such a violent and acutely dangerous place. ... and from PBS' Mediashift: Your Guide to Soldier Videos From Iraq
posted by amberglow at 4:31 PM PST - 13 comments

Ishu Patel’s created a number of animated short films. The Bead Game (YouTube), is a brief history of adversaries and energy. The tabla (YouTube) sound track by JP Ghosh.
posted by nickyskye at 4:23 PM PST - 6 comments

Games by Tony Pa. jayisgames just reviewed tony pa's new flash game, Geartaker. Geartaker has you leaping from cog to wheel to gear in a precise ballet of timing and angles, completed by an eclectic, interactive retro-synth soundtrack. After a good 30 minutes of that, I explored Tony's site more thoroughly, enjoying Trinks, Nelinurk (haunting soundtracks both), the othello like simplicity and complexity of Shooot. There's also the fiendish puzzler Gemsmith, the shocking anti-consumerist geometry of Save the Shoppers, and the fun is rounded out by the tiny retrolicious BoatRider. Unfortunately, there are no links straight to the games, and trying to link to them directly results in getting redirected to the home page. Suffer through the start page, and you'll be rewarded with a treasure trove of novel and engaging flash entertainment.
posted by boo_radley at 2:26 PM PST - 21 comments

Th-th-th-that's all, bitches. [YouTubeFilter] The Hunter gets his lyrical comeuppance from MC B. Rabbit in a freestyle bout on Robot Chicken, which is apparently a television show of some kind. Via Jaime Weinman, one of the half-dozen or so best TV/film writers on the Web, especially for fans of old cartoons.
posted by waxbanks at 1:42 PM PST - 6 comments

Joe Francis Gone Wild: Claire Hoffman, L.A. Times adult entertainment correspondent, rides along with Girls Gone Wild (Slate, SFW) producer Joe Francis on an expedition to a Chicago nightclub. Hoffman claims that over the course of the night, Francis pinned her against the hood of a car. A woman who agreed to be filmed in the crew's bus claims that Fancis had non-consensual sex with her. Reposted with safer language.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:34 PM PST - 57 comments

ook asked for a list of big things in America to go out and take photos of. We gave him a list, and he went out and shot it: Big Things in America. I love it when a plan comes together. [via mefi projects]
posted by mathowie at 10:36 AM PST - 19 comments

The Bush Quiz: The twentieth hundred days. Earlier versions are available on the article's sidebar.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:58 AM PST - 11 comments

Make mine Maakies Tony Millionaire (who also does related comic Sock Monkey) has all of his sea-faring katzenjammers online. No direct links (curse you, frames!) but you can browse from here. The later ones are better (especially in the 540 range), but all are fun.
posted by klangklangston at 8:29 AM PST - 20 comments

"Al Gore's Penguin Army" (YouTube) is an amateur movie making fun of Gore professional produced by an Exxon-funded PR firm.
posted by stbalbach at 8:10 AM PST - 69 comments



Nivbed's artwork
posted by nthdegx at 4:49 AM PST - 13 comments

Google Maps flight simulator. Well, not a simulator so much. But surprisingly good fun. Flash.
posted by Jimbob at 3:40 AM PST - 25 comments

"It is doubtful that the popular sport in Seattle can survive," wrote a Seattle sportswriter in 1966, after three of unlimited hydroplane racing's most popular drivers were killed in one horrific day in Washington, D.C. Forty years later, what was once the most popular sport in Seattle survives, if not thrives, and this weekend's Chevrolet Cup will feature boats with safety improvements that trace directly back to the events of "Black Sunday". But it's nothing like it used to be in the 60s and 70s, when "winning a hydro race was about the biggest thing a Seattle kid could do," and everyone in town, knew names like the boats Miss Bardahl, Miss Budweiser, and the drivers Bill Muncey, Chip Hanauer, and Dean Chenoweth -- and no one, but no one would miss the Seafair hydro races.
posted by litlnemo at 3:00 AM PST - 18 comments

The New York Times profiles Special English, a 1500-word language used by the Voice of America "to spread American news and cultural information to people outside the United States who have no knowledge of English or whose knowledge is limited." The article notes that the language has the potential to play a valuable role in the bilingual education of recent immigrants to the U.S.
posted by NYCinephile at 2:17 AM PST - 24 comments

Full films for legal download: Archive.org has a large number of movies with expired copyrights for download. My favorite is 1936's Things To Come. Other nifty things include classic feature films like Battleship Potemkin and His Girl Friday, and shorts such as Max Fleicher's Superman, Three Stooges and Buster Keaton.
posted by jiawen at 1:48 AM PST - 21 comments

Satan + YouTube = Divine Mashups: Jesus does Gloria Gaynor, Gunther does Samantha Fox, Gunther does Summer, Ru Paul does Martha Walsh, Dr Seuss does the Bible, and Rammstein does Amerika. Too bad the endless site text is pedantic/satanic/inannic. You may find the FAQ tolerable.
posted by efbrazil at 1:43 AM PST - 3 comments

Fantastic gallery of some really advanced looking crop circles, including hi-res versions for your desktop wallpapering pleasure.
posted by lilbrudder at 12:40 AM PST - 13 comments


August 4

What the f* were the parents of these kids thinking when they let them film these ads? (via Kotaku)
posted by phyrewerx at 10:46 PM PST - 45 comments

The Nickel Under The Foot is one of the most important songs in the history of the American theatre. The back story.
posted by tellurian at 9:17 PM PST - 7 comments


If you have a lot of time on your hands and a deep love for animation and LEDs, you might put together something like this. [via]
posted by absalom at 8:14 PM PST - 17 comments

A crash course in how to collect semen from your bull. You're probably going to want to start with a Breeding Soundness Examination [NSF anyone with eyes. Oh god.] Decide if you want to go with an artificial vagina or electroejaculation. Remember that "Successful electroejaculation of an animal demands skill. It is not simply a matter of punching buttons and turning knobs, but requires finesse in determining the proper timing and amplitude of pulses to apply to a given male. " Read the guidelines for making your artificial vagina and get more info on when to use the shocker. Then evaluate the semen for abnorabilities. Try not to lose any as it can be fairly valuable. For a good overview, consider attending this course.
posted by hindmost at 7:41 PM PST - 21 comments

Peter Callesen - Lately I have been working almost only with white paper in different objects, paper cut, installations and performances.
posted by bob sarabia at 5:30 PM PST - 12 comments

The Constitution in Crisis: "The Downing Street Minutes and Deception, Manipulation, Torture, Retribution, and Coverups in the Iraq War, and Illegal Domestic Surveillance." The 350-page Final Investigative Report of the House Judiciary Committee Democratic Staff "identifies 26 laws and regulations Bush Administration may have violated." [more inside]
posted by kirkaracha at 4:52 PM PST - 29 comments


Vox is the newest project by blog magnate Six Apart. It's currently in test mode and not yet open to the public, but a select group of people has been trying it our for the past few weeks, including MeFi's own #1. Vox looks like it wants to combine blogging and social networking, and aims to be compatible with different online services.
posted by easternblot at 3:41 PM PST - 76 comments

Dr. John Jeffries: Physician, Loyalist, Aeronaut is a typically delightful entry from historian J. N. Bell's blog Boston 1775.
posted by LarryC at 3:28 PM PST - 5 comments

Jason Rhoades, Los Angeles artist, died Tuesday. He was 41. Rhoades was included in the 1995 Whitney Biennial and showed frequently in the US and Europe. Some of his work: 1, 2, 3. Also here.
posted by R. Mutt at 2:45 PM PST - 18 comments

Grey Goo? The maximum rate of global ecophagy by biovorous self-replicating nanorobots is fundamentally restricted by the replicative strategy employed...
posted by Freen at 1:33 PM PST - 33 comments

Fokke & Sukke are a strange couple of birds. Having dominated the funnies in various Dutch print media for over a decade, their irreverent antics are now available in English, regrettably under the tamer monikers Duck & Birdie (click "previous" for more gags). [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 12:37 PM PST - 13 comments

Things in the CT-Senate race take a bizarre turn. yesterday several Lieberman supporters waited for Challenger Ned Lamont at a campaign stop. When he got there they all put on Joe Lieberman t-shirts and started harassing him and his supporters. It turns out one of the loudest hecklers was a professional lobbyist for a chemical and health supplies industry group. Today Lieberman announced that he was going to give up [2] on his ground game in order to save money for the general.
posted by delmoi at 12:10 PM PST - 100 comments

The tromba marina, also known as the marine trumpet or nun’s fiddle, is an obsolete, 4-7 foot tall, single-stringed instrument in the viol family. Played with a bow, the tromba marina sounds strangely trumpet-like (for mp3's, scroll down to the bottom of the first link), hence the name . Buy one here or make your own. You can also see one up-close in the Musical Instrument Gallery at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but they don’t bother putting an image on their webpage, and the gallery’s carpet smells intensely of mildew.
posted by unknowncommand at 11:24 AM PST - 5 comments

Graphic novels without words are the silent movies of the printed page. Now, the inestimable and erudite vacapinta first directed us to the father of the genre, one Frans Masereel.    Up to recently, the most notable of Masereel's successors was Lynd Ward, whose most famous work was God's Man, subtitled A Novel in Woodcuts. Here are some more plates from God's Man for sale. Yet more plates can be found, along with a bad midi, at the Texas based Woodcuts - Lynn Ward: Gods' Man. And here are some illustrations from Georgetwon University's Lauinger Library September 2001 exhibit Lvnd Ward as Illustrator. Here, also, is Graphic Witness: visual arts & social commentary - Lynd Ward. And here is his Madman's Drum in its entirety.  But now we have a contemporary working in the same vein--Eric Drooker.   More inside
posted by y2karl at 11:21 AM PST - 22 comments

Surreal, fantastic realist, psychedelic and visionary artists, sculptors and forum. Sites created by Jon Beinart.
posted by nickyskye at 11:18 AM PST - 8 comments

Parts of Sweden are overrun by caterpillars. Interesting photos of a caterpillar swarm, with pictures of trees, buildings and bicycles completely cocooned-over with visually stunning (if icky) results. Swarms aren't that unusual, but the term is more habitually used with flying insects like bees and locusts. Soon enough humans might be joining in the fun too, albeit via surrogates.
posted by clevershark at 10:25 AM PST - 45 comments

An official comic book adaptation of the 9/11 commission report is due to hit bookstores this month. The U.S. Army seeks an Arabic-speaking comic book creator. Meanwhile, an Israeli blogger suspects a Kuwaiti company of misusing Marvel and DC comics. These are just the latest incidents in a long-running history of using comic books for propaganda purposes, ranging from Mussolini and Hitler to Captain America vs. the Nazi-affiliated Red Skull to anticommunist comics for Catholic parochial schools to a phony Black Panther comic book created by COINTELPRO to a comic book of the American invasion of Grenada. However, my favorite site of comic book propaganda tends to focus on more innocuous domestic issues such as bicycle safety, USDA nutrition standards, and fighting crack cocaine. (OK, that last issue isn't so innocuous, but comic book propaganda about health & safety issues still generally blows.)
posted by jonp72 at 9:59 AM PST - 38 comments

Frets on Fire is a Guitar Hero clone that is so good that you will turn your keyboard upside down. It's one of many games you can download that were made for the Finnish computer festival, Assembly.
posted by euphorb at 9:57 AM PST - 8 comments

Joan of Arc Primary Sources posted online by the Historical Academy for Joan of Arc Studies. So far they have online [both are PDFs] Royal Financial Records Concerning Payments for Twenty-Seven Contingents in the Portion of Joan of Arc's Army Which Arrived At Orleans on 4 May 1429 and Primary Sources and Context Concerning Joan of Arc's Male Clothing. These documents are well annotated and very interesting. Particularly the whole male clothing issue, I didn't realize that was such a big deal and perhaps a justification for executing her.
posted by marxchivist at 9:54 AM PST - 8 comments

Who will volunteer to be our new Space Messiah? In these selfish times, maybe a little good old-fashioned self-sacrifice in the name of space exploration is just what the doctor ordered to restore humanity's faith in scientific truth and reason. On the other hand, could this bold proposal somehow be connected to recent revelations about the potential influence of mind-controlling parasites on human culture, as discussed in this MeFi thread on toxoplasmosis? Could it be that these little red guys from the sky are actually martian invaders who've been the secret puppet masters behind the world's recent troubles all along, as they carry out their fiendishly clever plot to drive humanity to the brink of self-destruction just so we'll be desperate enough to willingly offer up one of our own in a gesture of symbolic heroism? Will our new astronaut saviour ultimately end up as nothing more than a quick snack for the unnameable horror that awaits on the surface of the red planet?
posted by saulgoodman at 9:41 AM PST - 17 comments

Gbalf Xozmn Ram Rqzyk Wtacu Lkugc Aaxjx Owkyu Dkoxk Zamdg Bnuio Nmrxk Zmqyf Nqeog Ziqxf Gutxe Nkmxd Gzmqj Brqge Kxkfs Qqzui Nactg Djfnq Eenaa Xjnk
posted by justkevin at 8:41 AM PST - 68 comments

Sakupen is the online name of a musician/artist who made two of my favorite flash music animations (warning: first link goes to artist's myspace page w/audio). The first one, "Dad's Home" is a mayhem filled coffee buzz set to Cab Calloway's Reefer Man, and the second, "Walk, Smash, Walk" is about a robot whose job is to Walk and then Smash and then Walk some more. Wildly different styles, but both are captivating; large versions of both cartoons can be viewed here.
posted by jonson at 7:20 AM PST - 8 comments

Motor City Rock 1980-1990 A great archive of Detroit's most overlooked and ignoble musical era. Highlights include Bittersweet Alley, The Trash Brats, Vertical Pillows, The Dick the Bruiser Band, and many more. Great to listen to while you read the relauched (and vaguely sad) Creem.
posted by klangklangston at 7:14 AM PST - 12 comments

A new study by evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa suggests there are more beautiful women than handsome men, finding that attractive people are significantly more likely to have a daughter than a son. Previous Kanazawa research found big and tall parents, scientists, mathematicians, engineers, and violent men tend to have sons; while nurses, social workers and kindergarten teachers tend to have daughters. [Via]
posted by CodeBaloo at 3:43 AM PST - 57 comments


August 3

Yaoi is a form of Japanese erotica "written by women for women readers", focusing on aspects of male-to-male relationships which otherwise tend "to make real gay men snicker." Still, gay men can and do create a wide range of erotic art within and across the yaoi genre.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:41 PM PST - 61 comments

"Have entered industrial wasteland - unbelievable hell-hole. Clocked 4000miles! Border guards nicked our fizzy cola bottles! Gits! Roads r not good."

Two weeks ago 159 crap cars set off from London, England for Ulan Bataar, Mongolia. A journey spanning 8,000 miles, 2 deserts, 5 mountain ranges, on roads ranging from bad to non-existent. All this with no support crew and in a car you swapped for a bag of crisps. Stir in the odd party in far-flung parts of the globe, dodgy border crossings, and the occasional bribe and you have an inkling of the Mongol Rally.

Sound too safe for you? Maybe racing a rickshaw across the Indian subcontinent for a spot of tea is more your speed.
Two great charity events brought to you by the Institute of Adventure Research
posted by woj at 10:12 PM PST - 38 comments

R.I.P. Arthur Lee The enigmatic and volatile frontman from the '60s psych group Love, has reportedly passed away after a battle with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
posted by dhammond at 8:51 PM PST - 45 comments


Pat Robertson believes in global climate change. *brain explodes* Far from heat-induced delirium, Pat may simply be following his flock: evangelicals have embraced the issue of global warming in recent months. Significantly, the environment and immigration are two issues that are gradually opening a scism between the corporatist and religious wings of the Republican Party, one that Democrats can exploit.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 8:04 PM PST - 47 comments

'The Jitterbug' is a somewhat bizarre scene from the original The Wizard of Oz movie that cost $80,000 to produce and took five weeks to rehearse but was ultimately cut from the final film because, according to the studio, it would "date the film." However some say the scene represents Dorothy's loss of innocence and that this is the reason why it was cut. What makes it even more freaky is that the scene was shot by producer Harold Arlen on a home movie camera, making the whole thing look grainy and which casts the whole scene in a sort of pink-purple hue. Check out the scene for yourself over at Youtube.
posted by Effigy2000 at 7:54 PM PST - 43 comments

P!nk, aka Alecia Moore, aka the hip new face of copyright infringement. P!nk’s latest video, U + Ur Hand, [youtube] blatantly appropriates characters created by late New Zealand artist Martin Emond [possibly NSFW]. No permission was sought or granted, but Illicit Clothing, which manage’s Emond’s estate, do not feel they have sufficient resources to sue Sony BMG. Nevertheless, they and Emond’s fans are justifiably livid. It is highly unlikely that Emond, who took his own life in 2004, and whose musical tastes went in a very different direction, would have felt any different.
posted by Soulfather at 7:20 PM PST - 44 comments

Google Your Religion Profiling Religions with Google. (This will end well.)
posted by telstar at 6:51 PM PST - 40 comments

Three million fish committ suicide in the desert - A very large number of fish die in California's largest lake, the Salton Sea. These events are not unique to this lake; even large areas of the ocean experience them. The eutrophication of coastal regions, as well as land surrounding inland waters, is often to blame for the degraded water quality that leads to these deaths. For the record: the initial report of suicide by the fish can neither be confirmed or denied.
posted by Unique Metabolism at 6:36 PM PST - 19 comments

Ropeboarding. Just when you thought the kids down the street couldn't get any more insane.
posted by patr1ck at 6:13 PM PST - 57 comments

Tiki's mother takes him to see a pakeha township for the first time. One of many books available from the International Children's Digital Library.
posted by tellurian at 5:48 PM PST - 7 comments

Orgasm or excellent marinara? NSFW, if the first word didn't tip you off. [via]
posted by anjamu at 5:01 PM PST - 28 comments

Shout n Dodge Got a microphone? Then get ready to play Shout n Dodge, a simple flash game that uses the microphone for input. Shout (or speak, or sing, or ...) to steer your ship upwards, be quiet to go down. A perfect use for my lovely (yet out of practice) singing voice.
Tip: while the practice screen is up, right click on the game, and adjust the record volume until you can steer without losing your voice.
posted by CrunchyFrog at 4:19 PM PST - 4 comments


Hidden Exposures
posted by shoepal at 3:03 PM PST - 22 comments

PM of Malaysia: Those who spread untruths on the Net will be detained Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Prime Minister of Malaysia, warned all bloggers that "if information in blogs, websites and online portals were incorrect, bordered on slander, caused disturbance or compelled the public to lose faith in the nation’s economic policies, their authors would be detained for investigation". The Malaysian government is even considering adjusting the Printing Presses and Publications Act^ to include blogs and online media.

This comes hot on the heels of a government-ordered media blackout on Article 11, a coalition of NGOs dedicated to upholding the principles of Article 11 of the Malaysian constitution, about freedom of religion, after several protests claiming Article 11 to be anti-Muslim and confusing it with the now-defunct Interfaith Comission Initiative, which aimed to be a body of people of different faiths raising awareness about diversity of religion and working together on religious issues.

Minister of Energy, Water, and Communications Dr Lim Keng Yaik said that they will not censor the Internet (as promised when the Multimedia Super Corridor was launched), but after events such as prominent Malaysian political blogger Jeff Ooi being investigated over a supposedly offensive comment on his blog entry about Islam in 2005, and alternative news source MalaysiaKini's office raided after carrying a letter critical of the ruling party's policies in 2003, no one is really quite sure.
posted by divabat at 2:46 PM PST - 16 comments

The National Symphony Orchestra, celebrating its 75th anniversary, "will perform this Friday about two hours' worth of soundtracks from hit games -- your Marios, your Halos, your Sonic the Hedgehogs -- as game highlight clips play on Wolf Trap's large video screens" in Vienna, VA. "Play: A Video Game Symphony" is the latest offering in the "new mini-industry of video game music performance," competing with "Video Games Live" (previously discussed). "The two companies putting on these productions -- Jason Michael Paul Productions and Mystical Stone Entertainment -- pretty much hate each other and are engaging in a fair amount of trash talk as they fight for the same gigs....Each accuses the other of stealing a good idea and of confusing the market."
posted by ericb at 2:17 PM PST - 10 comments

TOO MUCH BLOOD IN MY STOOL! THIS COULD BE COLOGNE CANCER! (NSFW) Eddie Reedom's site, www.choppercarsfraud.com claims Josh "Chop" Towbin and Towbin Dodge (known for their silly infomercials and the A&E series King of Cars) defrauded him of $50m to $100m. Among the evidence is photos of his stool, and video of an unruly Australian Buddhist security guard who kicks Reedom's truck. While Reedom may seem a bit nuts, there are tens of millions of Americans with bad credit. If you're one of them, seek some good advice before signing up for any loan. Credit problems are enough to drive anyone insane.
posted by b_thinky at 2:02 PM PST - 25 comments

Queen Street: Thematic Preview - "Queen Street is one of Toronto's oldest, longest, and most varied routes. It began in 1793 as a line on a map, running dead straight for ten miles, in modern measure some 16 kilometres. It is the spine, the high street, the main street of many distinct, and quite different, neighbourhoods. The street's fine grain is a cavalcade of urban variety, where the grain is broken by parks, institutions, industry. Queen Street is a promenade of public life, one you can stroll for 16 kilometres. I have, all of it, often camera in hand: I wanted others to see it, to know something of its life. And its gifts — meant to be shared. Here I'll share with you some of what I have seen along, and just off, Queen Street."
posted by heatherann at 1:54 PM PST - 5 comments

Agency.com — best known for their work on... well not much really — recently had the opportunity to bid on the interactive account for Subway Restaurants. Their idea was to create a pitch video (embedded youtube) showing them brainstorming for ideas for the pitch video. They posted it online hoping to make it go viral, but the only viral thing about it really was that it used the word viral in it as many times as possible and tried to show how hip, edgy and cool they are.

Coudal Partners — best known for sponsoring matches of Photoshop Tennis... although the archives of past matches are currently down... they spawned legions of copycats, — decided to post their own Unsolicited Response video (embedded quicktime) which in turn is much funnier than the original.

So what makes a lame attempt at viral video actually GO viral? With so much discussion on advertising forums saying it isn't, all the attention it has been getting is ensuring that it is.
posted by skrike at 1:15 PM PST - 53 comments


Rangaku (literally "Dutch Learning") refers to the body of knowledge developed in Japan during the Sakoku period (1641-1853) during which the country was closed to foreigners. As the Dutch trading post at Dejima was effectively an enclave of the Netherlands, for 212 years it was just about Japan's only way to keep tabs on European scientific progress (pdf). Rangaku has influenced Japanese medicine, anatomy, engineering, meteorology, and chemistry, among other fields.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 12:32 PM PST - 18 comments

Star Trek XI: First there was the producer, J.J. Abrams from Lost and Alias. Then there was the poster, unveiled at this year's Comic Con. Throw in a little bit of controversy for good measure. Now comes word that Matt Damon has been cast to play a young Captain Kirk.What does Star Trek XI mean for the future of Trek?
posted by tozturk at 12:11 PM PST - 94 comments

Dancing Pipecleaner Man. Make him boogie! [flash]
posted by brain_drain at 11:53 AM PST - 14 comments

The demand side of sex trafficking In international policy circles, it is increasingly common to hear talk of the need to address “the demand-side of trafficking”, and a number of research studies on this phenomenon have recently been commissioned. Though the idea that “sex trafficking” is stimulated by the demand for commercial sexual services has a certain commonsense appeal, this paper argues that questions about the relationship between exploitative and abusive labour practices in the sex sector and the demand for commercial sexual services are rather more complicated than is allowed in dominant anti-trafficking discourse.
posted by halekon at 11:06 AM PST - 30 comments

laundryroom swapmeet "I live in an apartment building. We have a laundry room. The laundry room has a table. People put things on the table, and other people take those things away later. It's a laundry room swapmeet. I take pictures of the things and write about them. Hilarity more-or-less ensues." Awesome. [via mefi projects]
posted by mathowie at 10:58 AM PST - 28 comments

Rock Band OK Go's new video is a single-take masterpiece of amusing treadmill-dance choreography that left me smiling & humming the tune. These guys really like dancing in their videos
posted by lilbrudder at 10:52 AM PST - 38 comments

Robam Apsara: The dance of celestial nymphs, classical Khmer dance is the single greatest link between the ancient Angkor civilization and contemporary times. Reputed to follow the ancient percepts laid down in the Natya Sastra, Khmer dance is sensual but spiritual, time-less and yet, so very reconstructivist (all YouTube videos). It is such a delight to watch that a single performance will keep you enthralled for months. Extremely saddening, then, when you realize that it survived only by the barest of history's strands. more inside
posted by the cydonian at 10:05 AM PST - 10 comments

'Alien' art Artist Jonathon Keats has made abstract paintings from SHGb02+14a, a radio signal discovered by SETI@home in 2003, then dubbed their best candidate yet for an attempt at contact by intelligent aliens. Keats is also returning the favour, broadcasting his work into space from the Judah L. Magnes Museum using CB radio.
posted by jack_mo at 10:03 AM PST - 19 comments

Tintype Rebel. Time stands still for John Coffer. The wet plate and tintype photographer makes his home at Camp Tintype, a farm preserved from the 1860s. With no running water or electricity, Coffer travels the roads with his horse "Brownie" and an ox-drawn wagon to take his photographs. Coffer adopted the lifestyle of a Civil War-era itinerant photographer more than 20 years ago and was among the first to revive the wet plate process. He's created tintype stereoviews (that achieve a 3-D effect when viewed through a stereoviewer), the “world’s first” tintype movie [.mov], and a series of large format, 20” x 24” tintypes which may be the largest ever made. Lincoln would be proud.
posted by NationalKato at 9:56 AM PST - 16 comments

Ramsey Kearney was a teenage country music prodigy nicknamed the Dixie Farmboy, a rockabilly singer with the Jimmie Martin Combo, a songwriter for Brenda Lee, and a producer of the most cloying Elvis tribute single ever recorded. Kearney would have almost no connection to alternative music whatsoever until John Trubee, a notorious crank phone caller and sideman for Zoogz Rift, found an ad in the back of the Midnight Globe tabloid from Kearney's Nashco Records label, a song-poem company offering to put his words to music for a small fee. Trubee sent his own disturbing LSD-fueled lyrics to Nashco, but to his surprise, Nashco accepted the lyrics after taking a $79.95 fee from Trubee. Kearney tweaked the lyrics slightly in order to avoid a lawsuit from Stevie Wonder, but the end product was the cult classic novelty song, Blind Man's Penis. (more inside)
posted by jonp72 at 8:25 AM PST - 12 comments

Nikola Tesla lends his name to an electric car that can reach 60pmh in 4 seconds and travel 250 miles between charges. Early witnesses include Arnie and Wired. An old Tesla rumour is that he made his own back in the 1930s.
posted by rongorongo at 8:14 AM PST - 93 comments

Hans Reichel (previously) is a man of many talents. His own site (flash/sound) is fun (often funny) and chock full of agreeably wacky sounds, but can take some time to navigate. Reichel hasn't made it easy for you if you happen to be in a hurry. You may well get stuck somewhere and just give up. That'd be a shame, though, cause you'd miss getting acquainted with the guitars he makes and plays. Or how he designs fonts. The mixing board shenanigans are not to be missed (once you get past those curious little fellows in the brown hats), plus you can sorta kinda play his daxophone yourself. And of course conduct your own little ensemble of meercats when one of them finally comes out of hiding and says "Hallo! Play with me".
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:32 AM PST - 6 comments

The Zero Saga contains a great deal of information about the concept of zero, and its relation to other numbers and concepts in mathematics. It was linked in Good Math, Bad Math; which contains a variety of other informative articles on the numbers that capture our imaginations. (Note: You may want to skip past part 4 of the Zero Saga, as it contains replies to the site, and as such should probably be at the bottom of the page. But, to compensate, the comments on Good Math are better than most blogs I've read.)
posted by Eideteker at 6:39 AM PST - 11 comments

"If that's what's on, then that's what they watch. It's either that, or a cricket match between Scotland and Bermuda. Now, I am an educated man, Charlie, but when someone tries to explain cricket to me, all I want to do is hit him in the head with a teapot." Cricket Explained (An American Viewpoint) for those, following a recent cricket thread, that want to get it, but don't quite yet.
posted by nthdegx at 6:34 AM PST - 41 comments

Owen and Mzee (pdf). Also, Blog, Snopes, Wikipedia.
posted by seanyboy at 4:50 AM PST - 16 comments

Technological convenience or target identifier? In the most recent chapter in the RFID + US Passport story, LA-based security analysts Flexilis--those of the world record attempt RFID read at last year's DEFCON--noticed a security vulnerability in the RF shielding being proposed for the October release of the next generation US passport. And they made a hell of a proof of concept video showing a possible exploit of the vulnerability.
posted by quite unimportant at 4:42 AM PST - 24 comments

TED talks is a collection of presentations given at the most recent installment of the annual convention of leading technologists, entertainers, and designers (previously). From the $100 laptop to the eradication of smallpoxto new ways of visualizing data and a charming and humorous look at education, there's a lot to chew on and more to come. Inspired yet? here's some more reading material. via
posted by sixacross at 4:23 AM PST - 8 comments

August 2


Yes, it's another Snakes on a Plane promo but this one is different: it's fucking awesome. Drop in your friends name (hopefully it's semi-normal and they have it in the db), then fill out some info about your friend, then have it place a call to them. Watch friend freak out when Samuel L. Jackson calls them up and knows all sorts of shit about them. Trust me, it totally freaked me out when someone did it to me today.
posted by mathowie at 8:53 PM PST - 114 comments

Devoter ... "like Metafilter, only much more political." From our own jca.
posted by dobbs at 6:57 PM PST - 51 comments

It’s unfortunate that telegraphy is no longer with us. The telegram, however, lives on in one of the media that sealed its fate. And if you prefer to roll your own, there’s a site for that too (link to fonts at "telegram" at lower right).
posted by jason's_planet at 6:28 PM PST - 19 comments

Missed Opportunities ...Lawrence Wright tells, for the first time, the story of the F.B.I. agent who had the best chance of foiling the 9/11 plot. Here, with Amy Davidson, Wright talks about how turf wars with the C.I.A. got in the way. Wright’s book “The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11” will be published by Knopf in August.
posted by Postroad at 6:11 PM PST - 13 comments

Dice Wars is a flash game, similar to Risk. The goal is to conquer the entire board. Start easy, with just the two player version (play goes up to 7 players max). In order to "win" a square, the randomized total of your die roll must be higher than your opponent's total. Tie/Lose, and all your dice (but one) are removed from your square. After each turn, the number of dice you earned is randomly distributed among your conquered squares. Strategically, it's good to build a solid base of contiguous squares, and staff your front lines with more dice than your edge squares.
posted by jonson at 5:50 PM PST - 32 comments

Design Lab 2006 (flash and sound) Are you a college student with an eye toward design? Design a cool appliance and win 5,000 Euros. For the rest of us there are previous winners, such as this airwash waterless washing machine.
posted by caddis at 4:34 PM PST - 13 comments

Ahmad Nadalian's work can be found all over the world. He is an artist that carves symbols on rocks and then leaves them at the site where they were created (sometimes burying them).
posted by tellurian at 4:15 PM PST - 7 comments

The web moves in wonderful ways. Case in point, must see mashups WeatherBonk.com and SkiBonk.com . If you are ski freak or weather geek, you will really find these pages useful. There's even a golfbonk in beta, if you are into it!
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 3:40 PM PST - 5 comments

Saul Williams on camera: Black Stacey [.ram, .asx, or YouTube], List of Demands [.ram, .asx, or original version at YouTube], Coded Language with DJ Krust [.asx or YouTube], and a formidable 16-minute spoken word clinic [Google video]. [NSFW language.]
posted by milquetoast at 3:36 PM PST - 21 comments

Australia is well known for having more than it's share of dangerous wildlife. However only a few examples are well known outside of the continent. The funnelweb spider might be Australia's most infamous horror. But the redback (a relative of the American black widow) and mouse spider both deserve your respect as well. Long hyped as causing severe ulceration, the reputation of the white-tailed spider might not be as deserved but is still a spider of concern. (more inside...)
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 1:28 PM PST - 86 comments

Dance Dance Dance! Called Dance Dance Dance (DDD), demoed at SIGGRAPH 2006, is a lot like DDR, but judges how well the dancer can match a silhouette against a white screen. Watch a video demonstration (wmv format). Other possible uses for this sort of technology, once it's sufficiently advanced: sign-language translator, or practicing martial-arts or other activities requiring precise physical motions.
posted by canine epigram at 12:46 PM PST - 11 comments

YouTubular: Dance Machines (via) [more inside]
posted by c:\awesome at 12:18 PM PST - 33 comments

Brooks Stevens, the man who once said, "there is nothing more aerodynamic than a wiener," created the iconic Wienermobile , but was also responsible for many other innovations in industrial design. He put the first window in a clothes dryer, built a land-yacht and streamlined train, developed an important precursor to the SUV, and designed the wide-mouth peanut butter jar and an aerodynamic vacuum cleaner. More lastingly, he also created the idea of planned obsolescence, the "desire to own something a little newer, a little better, a little sooner than is necessary."
posted by blahblahblah at 11:59 AM PST - 31 comments

Work Friendly is the greatest website ever for people trying to get away with web browsing at work. You enter a URL, it launches a new window styled to resemble a Word Document window. It even includes a "Boss" key to convert the page to regular text. Check out MeFi in it. [via waxy]
posted by mathowie at 11:43 AM PST - 39 comments

Quality from the Himalayas. Amid continuing civil violence, Nepal has just made a big push to escape poverty through your local Starbucks. Working with Winrock International, Nepal's tea growers are finalizing a Code of Conduct that would eliminate pesticides banned by the EU and commit tea growers to replenishing the soil, using organic fertilizers whenever and wherever possible, and using fair labor and wage practices -- making Nepal Orthodox Tea more environmentally- and worker-friendly than its better-known rival Darjeeling. In the process, they hope to create a gourmet niche product (pdf; go to p. 8) that appeals to the taste and sensibilities of socially-conscious Westerners through a partnership with Tazo (Starbucks' main tea supplier), as well as to modernize the local industry to create greater international awareness of its products.
posted by occhiblu at 11:12 AM PST - 17 comments

Have you ever wanted to see an exploded view of a Formula One car? How about live and in person? via SpoFi
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:30 AM PST - 20 comments

"The real story is actually better than the one we told." A Vanity Fair recounting of NORAD's response to the September 11 attacks, based on "30 hours of never-before-released tapes from the control room," isn't quite the same as what the Pentagon told the 9/11 Commission. Commission staffers "thought that e-mails and other evidence provided enough probable cause to believe that military and aviation officials violated the law by making false statements to Congress and to the commission."
posted by kirkaracha at 9:51 AM PST - 126 comments

During a 1987 radio broadcast, Dutch comedian and writer Wim de Bie decided to take Ry Cooder up on his offer and give him a call. Hilarity ensued (RealAudio). Note: the song is played until about 1'55", phone conversation follows.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:37 AM PST - 27 comments

Looking for the Loch Ness monster, a new husband, Uranium, or bed sores? eBay can help (or so their adwords think).
posted by mattbucher at 9:34 AM PST - 14 comments

Men of Mortuaries: Because nothing is hotter than a man who handles corpses. See the local news story (wmv) and some promotion pics (both nsfw). Finally, I've found something to replace my Studmuffins of Science.
posted by Gamblor at 9:27 AM PST - 11 comments

Queen Ranavalona I , best known as a villainess in George Fraser's novel Flashman's Lady, ascended the throne of Madagascar in 1835. Known abroad as the Bloody Mary of Madagascar, the Queen's favourite methods of execution included half-boiling and tossing off of cliffs, and over a third of her population died under her reign. Although she and her court wore French dress, Ranavalona banned Christianity and drove Europeans off the island. Nevertheless, she united Madagascar and kept it free of French or British control at a time when other African nations were brought into the growing empires. [more inside]
posted by By The Grace of God at 7:46 AM PST - 22 comments

After a three year period of patriotic defiance that brought the culture and economy of France to its knees, french fries are back on the menu in congressional cafeterias.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:33 AM PST - 53 comments

Angry German Kid We all have out bad days (YouTube video, NSFW German cursing, hysterical screaming, extreme keyboard abuse)
posted by persona non grata at 7:14 AM PST - 55 comments

Surviving Sudoku. Matt Gaffney, a crossword puzzle designer, examines the crossword community's ambivalent relationship with the phenomenally successful number puzzle. Meanwhile, it's high time to resurrect Done in Pen: The Poems of New York Times Puzzle Editor Will Shortz.
posted by staggernation at 6:53 AM PST - 39 comments

Manhattan Timeformations. Mapping Manhattan's skyscraper districts through time. [more]
posted by nickyskye at 4:05 AM PST - 10 comments

Sonic Postcards - winner of the New Statesman New Media Award. Explore sound. Via the Sonic Arts Network, UK exponents of Electroacoustic music.
posted by nthdegx at 4:02 AM PST - 1 comments

It's Firefox Day!
posted by reklaw at 3:36 AM PST - 40 comments

A Thousand Faces Photographer Hal Satterthwaite photographed a thousand people in Walthamstow, which is in north-east London. It's a multi-racial, multi-cultural area, and the photographs reflect this beautifully. Related article from The Times.

I had intended to link to various pictures, but for me the delight was finding the faces I liked best by browsing the site. I even found a friend in there.
posted by essexjan at 3:11 AM PST - 15 comments

Would-be citizens sue for U.S. citizenship. Ten Middle Eastern and Asian immigrants sued the government Tuesday for allegedly letting their U.S. citizenship applications linger indefinitely by delaying background checks. What is the world coming to when foreign nationals try to sue the government and force it to give them U.S. citizenship?
posted by ArunK at 2:28 AM PST - 75 comments

Found lists Read what you will into this collection of wishes, aspirations and plans - each more intriguing than the one before (if you line them up that way).
posted by bunglin jones at 2:04 AM PST - 6 comments

August 1

China kills 50,000 dogs in rabies scare by bludgeoning them. Human rabies a big problem in China. Lack of animal vaccinations to blame. But will culling dogs really help, when effect rabies control includes creating a buffer of vaccinated domestic animals[pdf] between humans and wildlife? Meanwhile, some areas in the US and Canada are proactively vaccinating wildlife.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 10:16 PM PST - 29 comments

Chilling Out Mr. Radioactive
A group of scientists at Germany's Ruhr University may have a way of cutting down the time it takes for radioactive waste to decay to a safer state. Instead of 1600 years for Radium-226, Prof. Claus Rolfs theorizes that he can cut that down to a mere 100 years, by encasing the materials in metal and then freezing them to very, very low temps to accelerate the radioactive decay.
posted by fenriq at 10:03 PM PST - 28 comments

WSJ: Moguls of New Media Have nearly a million friends on MySpace and you get $5000 endorsements. Make a comedy podcast with cocktail recipes and you get endorsed by Steve Jobs and get interest from advertisers. Post seemingly impossible self-potraits on Flickr and you get hired by Toyota. The Wall Street Journal looks at these and many more "whos' who of new media". from BlogHer
posted by divabat at 9:06 PM PST - 22 comments

Altered Oceans: A Primeval Tide of Toxins The fireweed began each spring as tufts of hairy growth and spread across the seafloor fast enough to cover a football field in an hour. When fishermen touched it, their skin broke out in searing welts. Their lips blistered and peeled. Their eyes burned and swelled shut. Water that splashed from their nets spread the inflammation to their legs and torsos.
posted by MetaMonkey at 8:06 PM PST - 32 comments

Charts. This page contains many charts.
posted by Kwantsar at 7:09 PM PST - 22 comments

Awesome J-Pop Videos. For a genre few in the U.S. are familiar with, it certainly garners some very heated opinions (likely because of Morning Musume and the like.) Still, there are some who go above and beyond the fold. (largely youtube filter.)
posted by Navelgazer at 7:06 PM PST - 30 comments

Compromise any Windows XP machine (that you have physical access to) with one single line of code. Even if you're logged on as guest, this cmd line text will upgrade your account to root level on the fly, after which time you can do anything you wish to the machine, (even reformat the drive & install linux!). ACHTUNG: Link goes to video that, for inexplicable reasons, has Limp Bizkit for the soundtrack.
posted by jonson at 5:23 PM PST - 44 comments

Let's Paint and Exercise TV! Four videos of a public access TV show where a guy paints pictures of a fat naked dude and runs on a treadmill at the same time. Features four letter words and a fat naked guy, so may not be work - or mind - safe. Presented by artist John Kilduff and featuring musician Frozen Plastic and model Michael Q Schmidt, star of 'Huge Naked Guy'.
posted by tapeguy at 5:15 PM PST - 9 comments

Carnival of Mel: Moxie and Steve H are getting drunk and blogging it in real time. It's a controlled (ha!) experiment to see if it makes them anti-semitic, the way Mel Gibson says it does.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 4:51 PM PST - 29 comments

The Neon Philharmonic consisted of members of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, a producer of country & western records named Don Gant (who produced Jimmy Buffett's first hit), and a jazz pianist named Tupper Saussy. Strangely enough, this odd combination produced an unexpected Top 20 hit, Morning Girl. The group was briefly mentioned as an obscure music hipster reference in a devastating indie-rock takedown of current critical darling Sufjan Stevens, but such a throwaway reference to the Neon Philharmonic does not do justice to the bizarre life of its founder, Tupper Saussy.(more inside)
posted by jonp72 at 4:47 PM PST - 6 comments


I Humped Your Hummer. Sticking it to the gas guzzling Republicans one thrust at a time or just a bunch of dudes humping SUVs?
posted by JPowers at 4:36 PM PST - 42 comments

Most people know that Abraham Lincoln was elected in 1860. However, not many people know that a man named John J. Crittenden made a last-ditch effort to amend the Constitution, as a compromise between the north and south. How would have American history have progressed if this was the 13th Amendment as opposed to this?
posted by JoshTeeters at 3:41 PM PST - 39 comments

Worst Ever Security Flaw in Diebold Voting Machine A single switch is all that is required to cause the machine to boot an unverified external flash instead of the built-in, verified EEPROM."
posted by Unregistered User at 3:28 PM PST - 57 comments

"The Bible describes how to make ice on the desert. Please describe the procedure and explain how it fits your knowledge of heat transfer."

Your assignment: make ice in the desert. Without electricity. Without extra chemicals. Without extra gadgetry or imports. Oh, and the temperature is about 55 degrees (13C). It can be done, there is science behind it. And yet we seem to have forgotten something that everyone used to know.
posted by jessamyn at 3:04 PM PST - 43 comments

Wikiality: the reality that the majority of people agree upon. Stephen Colbert is at it again, provoking some chaos in his segment, "The Word," by asking viewers to change the Wikipedia entry on elephants to say that the population has tripled in the last three months. How can Wikipedia deal with the problem of vandalism? Here's an interesting article from the New Yorker about "the world’s most ambitious vanity press."
posted by farishta at 2:01 PM PST - 66 comments

OR-Live is a resource for live and on-demand medical webcasts. Upcoming today at 21:00 UTC, surgeons at St. Joseph's Hospital host a panel discussion on procedures for treating brain aneurysms, such as brain coiling and clipping. And if you just can't wait, there are plenty of other surgical videos on the web.
posted by milquetoast at 1:39 PM PST - 7 comments

Kerouac's essential On The Road is celebrating it's 50th year in publication next September. To commemorate, Viking Press plans to publish the raw, unedited "scroll version" that's been touring around the country. The hardcover -- due out somtime next year -- contains "some sections that had been cut from the novel because of references to sex or drugs" along with real names of characters, and "a different first sentence than the published novel, as well as a more abrupt ending."
posted by nitsuj at 12:23 PM PST - 20 comments

THEL (Tactical High Energy Laser) is an anti-missile weapon jointly developed by the US and Israel (at great expense) to track and destroy incoming Katyusha rockets. It had even been recently suggested to deploy it in Iraq. Unfortunately, it seems that the program was shelved in September 'cause it doesn't work. You know the rest
posted by Skeptic at 11:50 AM PST - 30 comments

Jack Shafer takes on the mothball epidemic that's sweeping through the United States. CNN
posted by geoff. at 10:42 AM PST - 42 comments

MTV turns 25 today. Music Television, otherwise known as MTV, was launched with its first broadcast on 1 August 1981, 25 years ago today. Famously, the first video broadcast was the Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star." Ironically, MTV evidently isn't going to acknowledge its anniversary on-air in any way, with a spokeswoman saying that "We made the decision when MTV was founded to always stay young and evolve with our audience. To do that, it has been important to serve our audience at that moment, not our audience of yesterday." This is about par for the course, though, since when was the last time that MTV actually broadcast music videos? A broader question: does anybody who wasn't weaned on MTV (or anybody who was, for that matter) care anymore?
posted by blucevalo at 10:41 AM PST - 121 comments

Get Rich Slowly, a personal finance web site (created by our jdroth), has been educational to someone who spent most of his life until now pretending financial matters don't exist. His blog is updated frequently, and contains insightful tips on living frugally, eliminating debt, saving and investing. Between his site, and another very educational site entitled I Will Teach You To Be Rich (start here), I've greatly expanded my knowledge about managing my money effectively. Perhaps most importantly, they're both consistently interesting and easy reads. [more inside]
posted by knave at 10:35 AM PST - 73 comments

96 Minutes... 40 years later. Texas Monthly has an article that, through eyewitness accounts, tells the tale of Charles Whitman. Forty years ago today--before 9/11, Columbine, Oklahoma City, "going postal"--Whitman perpetrated an act of public terror that impacted the national conscience. It all began when he killed his mother. Then he started typing a letter that, after he killed his wife, he finished hand-writing. Then he went to the Tower with a small arsenal and began the slaughter. Over 96 minutes he killed 13 more people and wounded 34 others until off-duty Officer Ray Martinez made it to the top of the tower and killed Whitman. (more inside)
posted by dios at 9:34 AM PST - 71 comments

One might think that in today's world of cell phones, text messaging and the Internet, you shouldn't write off ham radio just yet. Not only can Morse code be faster than text messaging, but when when you need it most, you can still communicate with the world [PDF]. If you're lucky, and the conditions are right, you might be able to chat with operators hundred of miles away thanks to tropospheric ducting. There's more to ham radio than just the old chatter, though: you can use the ham radio bands to operate radio-controlled planes, send and receive TV [PDF] (sort of), wirelessly connect to networks, or talk with astronauts.
posted by Godbert at 9:34 AM PST - 44 comments

Snakes on a Base! In the wake of today's announcement that Raul Castro will be 'temporarily' taking power in Cuba while Big Brother (did I say that?) has an operation for some GI bleeding, The Smoking Gun has published some declassified Spec Ops planning cover sheets from the 60s and 70, listing plans to destabilize Cuba. Operation Bingo, on page 3, is especially amusing.
posted by baylink at 9:16 AM PST - 15 comments

What's playing? What songs are playing on the radio right now and where, an interactive map. Less fun, but much more useful is the site's ability to look up a station and tell you what songs they recently played. (via J-Walk)
posted by caddis at 8:42 AM PST - 18 comments

Today is the first day of the month of August!

Did you remember to say "Rabbit, Rabbit" (or, "White Rabbit") upon waking this morning in order to insure yourself good luck for the remainder of the month? There are competing theories as to the origin of this superstition. It was a commonly held superstition in the 1920's in the United Kingdom. Many variations of the custom exist.
posted by ericb at 8:36 AM PST - 24 comments

Between 1912 and 1948, one could win an Olympic medal by excelling in creativity rather than athletics. Works contending in this "Pentathlon of the Muses" had to be sport-related, though: see for example this gold-winning drawing by Jean Jacoby. Perhaps the most famous Olympic artist is Oliver St. John Gogarty (Google cache), after whom Joyce's character of Buck Milligan was modelled. In later years, the tradition was incorporated into the concept of a Cultural Olympiad held alongside the main event.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:34 AM PST - 5 comments

Bush = Christ?! William Smatt is under the impression that Dubya is the returned Messiah. More here. On behalf of all Christians everywhere, I'm going to go vomit now.
posted by Doorstop at 8:32 AM PST - 53 comments

The Boston Wi-Fi Network may be constructed within the year by a non-profit corporation. An appointed task force has produced a report (pdf) which recommends building the network on the cheap and allowing providers to compete over the chance to provide service. It won't be free though. Can this possibly work?
posted by cubby at 8:03 AM PST - 15 comments

The blooms, the iced tea, and the gossip. This summer, NPR gives the front porch the credit it is due - although it’s not the first time.
While some are contemporary professionals of the porch, others simply accept that we have become a "back deck" society. Andrew Jackson Downing would surely prefer this view. If you find yourself in Washington D.C., be sure to visit him in front of the castle. Pictures of porches. Previous.
posted by RobertFrost at 7:46 AM PST - 16 comments

James Patten creates interactive works in diverse media with themes including performance and social commentary. Projects include Tactile Photography and, most impressive to me, The Audio Pad.
posted by dobbs at 7:29 AM PST - 4 comments

Muppet Wiki. It's like Wikipedia, except, y'know, about the Muppets.
posted by chrismear at 7:22 AM PST - 23 comments


The many lives of Jean-Jacques de Mesterton: A simple-minded hack for FOX News, a soldier of fortune, or perhaps something much, much more sinister?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:35 AM PST - 31 comments

"I may be an SOB, but I'm your SOB." Jim "the Hammer!" Shapiro, a personal injury lawyer, had some of the craziest commercials in Rochester NY, [despite living in Florida]. The best commercials are here [avi / youtube] and here [avi / youtube]. While he admitted he could not "rip out the hearts" or "hand you the severed heads" of those who hurt you, he promised to "hunt them down and settle the score." Shapiro & Shapiro were sued for malpractice in 2002 for $1.9 million, and their website has been "under construction" ever since. Web archive has a great glimpse from May 2000. You call. I hammer.
posted by yeti at 5:33 AM PST - 33 comments

GX Jupitter-Larsen - noise maker, video artist [some NSFW] and inventor of the TNU.
posted by tellurian at 12:32 AM PST - 9 comments