September 2007 Archives

September 30

Fifty years ago this week the heavens beeped (also, the beeps as recorded in Germany, Czechoslovakia, and Washington - though the accompanying light in the sky wasn't Sputnik after all). The launch of Sputnik started the Space Age causing a stir in the United States, and leading to the birth of NASA. The history and ongoing echoes of the Sputnik launch are wonderfully covered in a recent New York Times retrospective with interesting accompanying videos.
posted by blahblahblah at 9:50 PM PST - 26 comments

The Histogram As The Image. An interesting (but probably mostly useless) spin on steganography.
posted by melorama at 9:36 PM PST - 20 comments

Beatrice Coron is a paper cutting artist, who has a wonderful collection of paper cutting links, including images of her own work, the extraordinary cut paper art of Hina Aoyama, Kako Ueda, Masaaki Tatsumi, Virginia Rose Kane, Drew King, Rick Jones, Andrea Dezsö, Bette Burgoyne, Justine Smith and papercutting art from around the world. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 9:03 PM PST - 12 comments

A little over 30 years ago singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell had her limo driver conduct her to the humble home of bluesman Furry Lewis. Joni was out to cop a little inspiration, which she apparently did, as she subsequently named a song after him. At that point, the name of Furry Lewis was suddenly made known to millions of people who'd never heard of him before. Perhaps a few of those folks even sought out Lewis' recordings. Course, back then there were no CD reissues, no YouTube, no mp3s floating around in the ether. But you can check out Mister Furry Lewis now: no need to have your limousine take you to the ghetto! Oh, but as far as Joni's tune, well, Furry wasn't all that pleased about it.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:00 PM PST - 48 comments


The Adventures of Mark Twain. Some of you may remember this strange film from 1985 , this clip in particular.
posted by nola at 2:37 PM PST - 45 comments

Before there were videogames, growing up in England in the late 1960s though the 70's we had Action Transfers. The Letraset company branched off its division of hand set rub-on transfer fonts into full blown action scenes, with Cowboys & Indians, famous historical battles, Vikings, natural disasters & more. This collector has dozens of sets, scanned in high resolution & never used.
posted by jonson at 12:44 PM PST - 50 comments

Giraffe mating battles can be brutal but they are generally gentle giants. Man's fascination with these exotic creatures can be tracked from 9,000 year old rock art to the quest for exotics that brought them to the courts of Medici-era Florence, Restoration Paris, and Imperial China, spawning much curiosity and fanciful illustration. Today, giraffe-o-philes can get up close and personal in Kenya's Giraffe Manor. [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive at 12:14 PM PST - 32 comments

Seriously pissed? How about serious change? Decades from now, no one will accuse our generation of not protesting enough, but you'll probably be making excuses for how we did it. No offense to those who have protested this way- your heart's in the right place and you've probably given lots of time and money to doing the right thing- but what if you're not helping? What if hundreds of thousands of people turned out in their very best, most serious clothes, with no puppets, no "clever" home-made signs, and no instruments? It's worked before. As Matt Taibbi put it in AdBusters (previously on MeFi), "Next thing you know, you’ve got guys on stilts wearing mime makeup and Cat-in-the-Hat striped top-hats leading a half-million people at an anti-war rally. Why is that guy there? Because no one told him that war is a matter of life and death and that he should leave his fucking stilts at home." These things always start small, but who knows? This is serious- let's act like it. If you wouldn't bring it or wear it to your grandmother's funeral, leave it at home.
posted by paul_smatatoes at 11:10 AM PST - 168 comments

"Find Good Food Near You. Want fresh, locally grown food, but don't know where to find it? The LocalHarvest community level map makes it easy to find sustainable farmers, farmers markets and Community Supported Agriculture projects (CSAs) in your area."
posted by dersins at 10:02 AM PST - 21 comments

"I've hidden myself and covered myself for too long. Now I want to show myself fearlessly, even though I know my body arouses repugnance. I want to recover because I love life and the riches of the universe. I want to show young people how dangerous this illness is." French Comedienne Isabelle Caro, 27, an anorexic who weighs just 68 pounds, was displayed on Milan billboards (NSFW) for fashion designer Nolita as the city celebrated fashion week. The prevalence of eating disorders within the fashion industry have only recently been addressed officially, however Georgio Armani has complained that since Caro isn't a model herself it proves "even people who take no notice of fashion get anorexic."
posted by miss lynnster at 9:47 AM PST - 116 comments

"John Adams and Abigail Smith Adams exchanged over 1,100 letters, beginning during their courtship in 1762 and continuing throughout John's political career. These warm and informative letters include John's descriptions of the Continental Congress and his impressions of Europe while he served in various diplomatic roles, as well as Abigail's updates about their family, farm, and news of the Revolution's impact on the Boston area." The Adams Electronic Archive has transcripts [example] as well as high-resolution scans [example] of the letters. You may be familiar with some snippets of their correspondence from the movie musical "1776" ("Til Then" and "Yours, Yours, Yours" scenes on YouTube).
posted by amyms at 9:25 AM PST - 17 comments

The Living Room Candidate. A fascinating archive of presidential campaign commerials. (Yes, I saw in on the Colbert Report, and so did you.)
posted by The Deej at 8:47 AM PST - 11 comments

The Suan shu shu (筭數書) is an ancient Chinese collection of writings on mathematics discovered together with other texts [Chinese, incl. image of bamboo slips from same excavation] when in 1983 archaeologists opened a tomb at Zhangjiashan in Hubei believed closed in 186 BCE. Main link includes a downloadable full translation with commentary of this earliest extant Chinese work on mathematics by noted China scholar Dr Christopher Cullen.
posted by Abiezer at 7:38 AM PST - 9 comments

Be difficult. Be compelling. But above all—be contrary. A brand new debating site. Not a lot of content yet, but it seems to have potential.
posted by signal at 7:08 AM PST - 18 comments

No, I'm sorry, it does. There are some arguments that never end. John or Paul? "Another thing coming" or "Another think coming?" But none has the staying power of "Is 0.999999...., with the 9s repeating forever, equal to 1?" A high school math teacher takes on all doubters. Round 2. Round 3. Refutations of some popular "They're not equal" arguments. Refutations, round 2. You don't have to a mathematician to get in on the fun: .99999=1 discussed on a conspiracy theory website, an Ayn Rand website (where it is accused to violating the "law of identity"), and a World of Warcraft forum. But never, as far as I can tell, on MetaFilter.
posted by escabeche at 6:55 AM PST - 256 comments

Meet Uma Khurana, a government school teacher in Old Delhi, who was almost lynched after rumours that she had forced her students into prostitution started doing the rounds, was vindicated when it was discovered that the sting operation to frame her was a scam.
posted by hadjiboy at 3:59 AM PST - 4 comments

Left of Boom - The struggle to defeat roadside bombs. [washpo - flash & flash video]
posted by srboisvert at 2:08 AM PST - 22 comments

In 1995 a Japanese pop punk band called The Blue Hearts wrote a song called "Linda, Linda". In 2005 came the film Linda, Linda, Linda, about a group of Japanese schoolgirls (plus one Korean) who have to master the song in time for their school's rock festival. Do they perform it triumphantly in an awesome final scene? Not telling. [more inside]
posted by Bookhouse at 12:09 AM PST - 20 comments

September 29

The Trap. Are you a young, college educated liberal who can't afford health care or a place to live? In his new book, Daniel Brook says you are getting screwed by being forced to choose between a job that you would actually like or selling out so you can have a middle class lifestyle.
posted by afu at 10:08 PM PST - 114 comments


Here's a seemingly simple physics problem: an airplane taxis in one direction on a moving conveyor belt going the opposite direction. Can the plane take off? The debate rages on and on and on....
posted by zardoz at 9:47 PM PST - 248 comments

With a powerful, breathtakingly adorned voice that bore considerable influence on contemporary vocal icons such as Liz Fraser, Jeff Buckley, and Antony Hegarty, the late Sandy Denny packed a considerable body of work (and a seemingly equal number of untoward stories) into a decade-long career before her death at age 31 in 1978. [more inside]
posted by mykescipark at 8:10 PM PST - 7 comments

A previously unreleased documentary [Google video, 37 min.] of Modest Mouse shot during the recording sessions for their 1997 album The Lonesome Crowded West.
posted by Neilopolis at 6:06 PM PST - 19 comments

Pedants; or, you're doing it wrong. [more inside]
posted by frobozz at 5:10 PM PST - 77 comments

Benito Ross, Vince Hermance, and Kenny Belaey make the insurmountable look insignificant: watching bike trials will make your toes tingle.
posted by anotherpanacea at 3:28 PM PST - 16 comments

The ugly side of student politics More than three-quarters of a million dollars in student funds was misspent, a forensic audit of Vancouver's Kwantlen University College student association finances has found. "It's been a pretty long process because the financial records from 2006 were 'lost.' " The audit also revealed that $140,000 was paid to former executive members, including former student association chair Aaron Takhar. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu at 12:58 PM PST - 34 comments

“War Made Easy" is a documentary with Sean Penn narrating, and is based on a book by Norman Solomon . This is an award winning expose on how the American Public has been led into a 50-year pattern of government deception and spin, dragging the United States from one war into another. Remarkably this film exhumes archival footage of official distortion and exaggeration from LBJ to George W. Bush, revealing in stunning detail how the American news media have uncritically disseminated the pro-war messages of successive presidential administrations. Brutally persuasive this film presents disturbing examples of propaganda from those we want to believe in.
posted by Rancid Badger at 12:39 PM PST - 51 comments

"I was able to cut down on my coveting maybe 40 percent, but I was still a coveter." Interview with A.J. Jacobs about his new book, "The Year of Living Biblically," which describes his attempt to following all of the rules in the Bible for a year (he was able to stone an adulterer). "Also, the Bible tells you to build a hut. And since I couldn't get permission to build one on the sidewalks of New York, I built a hut in our apartment." [more inside]
posted by kirkaracha at 11:58 AM PST - 54 comments

Des Moines radio personality Van Harden had a bad lawnmower accident. After surgery, he couldn't stand the taste of bread. The Van Harden Cheese-Based Crust Pizza was born. Curious? He'll pack one in dry ice and ship it to you.
posted by TrialByMedia at 11:34 AM PST - 25 comments

Without participating in peacekeeping missions overseas, it is unlikely that Fiji's army would ever have become strong enough to seize power. So says the Economist: "When the British left Fiji in 1970, there were only around 200 serving military personnel. UN peacekeeping operations in Lebanon and Sinai generated a tenfold increase by 1986. The next year, Fiji witnessed its first military coup." The series of coups since then haven't stopped Fiji from continuing to participate in UN missions.
posted by jstruan at 10:32 AM PST - 12 comments

Photographs of American Cities from the middle of the 20th Century.
posted by jonson at 9:43 AM PST - 37 comments

Myers-Briggs personality types made relevant As you probably already know, the Myers-Briggs Personality Sorter is intended to be a general, universal personality ID that divides people into one of sixteen distinct personality types, along axes if introverted (I) or extroverted (E), Sensing (S) or Intuitive (N), Thinking (T) or Feeling (F), and Judging (J) or Perceiving (P). [more inside]
posted by psmealey at 5:43 AM PST - 161 comments

Basra Diary (Google Video)
"Last year, I completed my first tour of duty, in Basra, southern Iraq. I kept a video diary. This is the film I made, which details the experiences of both myself, and my colleagues, told in my own words."
posted by Mwongozi at 5:37 AM PST - 25 comments

Triumph of the Nerds is a 1996 three-part documentary recounting the rise of the personal computer, including interviews with Gates, Wozniak and Jobs, among others. It was originally produced for British television, and aired on PBS in the USA. Part One: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Part Two: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Part Three: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Transcripts here. After you watch, you can play the "Guess the Computer" game.
posted by amyms at 2:35 AM PST - 19 comments

When Conrad O. Johnson heard Otis Redding in concert in the year 1967, he was inspired to bring the kind of explosive energy he felt from that performance to the high school band he was charged with leading. He wanted to lead not only the best high school stage band in Texas, but the best high school stage band in the world. And with the Kashmere Stage Band, it's arguable that that's exactly what he did. Check out the Texas Thunder Soul.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:11 AM PST - 19 comments

September 28

... After take seventeen, Dylan heeds the producer Johnston’s advice to start with a harmonica swoop. Crescendos off of an extended fifth chord, led by Paul Griffin’s astonishingpiano swells (“half Gershwin, half gospel, all heart” an astute critic later wrote), climax in choruses dominated by piano, organ, and Bobby Gregg’s drum rolls; Robbie Robertson’s guitar hits its full strength at the finale. Intimations of the thin, wild mercury sound underpin rock & roll symphonics. Johnston delivers a pep talk before one last take—“keep that soul feel”—and Gregg snaps a quick click opener, and fewer than five minutes later, the keeper is in the can.
Mystic Nights - The Making of Blonde On Blonde In Nashville
An account of how the many strands of that thin, that wild mercury sound were woven. And the annotation goes on. Via email via St Urbain's Horseman
posted by y2karl at 10:15 PM PST - 36 comments

Build your dream home. Answer a page of questions and real fortune-tellers on a steady diet of tea leaves and tarot cards will show you the house of your dreams.
posted by Mitheral at 10:03 PM PST - 15 comments

Manson on Geraldo. Raw footage from Geraldo Rivera's 1987 interview with Charles Manson [1 2 3 4 5 6 7 YouTube NSFW language]. If the duration and the swearing are too much for you, try Bob Odenkirk's Manson and Ask Manson [both YouTube] from the Ben Stiller Show.
posted by McLir at 8:04 PM PST - 25 comments

[SeinfeldPlotSingleLinkVideoFilter]: Michigan wants its $50 million back.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 7:57 PM PST - 47 comments

38 versions of Kurt Weill's hauntingly beautiful September Song. [more inside]
posted by vronsky at 6:40 PM PST - 24 comments

When Pigs Fly: Jackie Chan and Ani DiFranco? The Fixx covering Nancy Sinatra? Devo sings "Ohio"? You won't believe your ears. The "back" button is directly below the album cover.
posted by St Urbain's Horseman at 6:26 PM PST - 26 comments

McHenry and his "roommates" -- GOP Rep Patrick McHenry (NC), co-owner of a DC home with Scott G. Stewart, former chair of the College Republican Nat'l Cttee (and bilker of many senior citizens), received a DC home-ownership reduction improperly. McHenry's actual home in North Carolina was apparently also home to quite a collection of young men: (convicted fraudulent voter) Michael Aaron Lay, Neil Everett Capano, Matthew Allen Hamilton, and (multiple violations, including "death by vehicle") Jason Jent Deans. Also, McHenry's 04 consultant Ralph Gonzales was one of the men involved in a recent FL murder/suicide, and links to Robert Drake, the killer (political work in NC and escort service connections), are still being documented. Stay tuned! [more inside]
posted by amberglow at 2:14 PM PST - 67 comments

A wiki cataloging common cliches in anime, tv shows, and webcomics, amoungst other things. Looking for a Wikipedia even more chock full of pop culture cruft? Ever wanted to know what the heck that thing that goes DOINK in an anime was? Wanna see a complete archetypal breakdown of Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Wish to better understand the sorting algorithm of evil? All these tropes and more can be found within!
posted by zabuni at 2:12 PM PST - 28 comments

Virgin v. Thomas, the first RIAA backed lawsuit to make it to a jury trial looks likely to proceed early in October in Duluth Mn. This comes after a motion for summary adjudication (.pdf), was turned down. The witness list(.pdf) includes the president of the RIAA himself. Plaintiff statement of case : Defendant statement of case. (.pdf both).
posted by edgeways at 1:48 PM PST - 45 comments

Irish Magic Comedian Jason Byrne expertly demonstrates a classic trick. (swearing) (lots of it).
posted by Turtles all the way down at 1:39 PM PST - 27 comments

The UK Highway Code for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians has just been updated and expanded by 50%. New advice and recommendations include: 'Never show off or try to compete with other drivers, particularly if they are driving badly' and 'Smoking while driving is now classed as a 'distraction.'
posted by Lanark at 1:00 PM PST - 22 comments

There are three nights left in the 2007 Major League Baseball season. The National League has seven teams within spitting distance of the four playoff spots (five of them could end up with exactly the same record), and we could conceivably see one-game tiebreakers through next Thursday. Those in charge of stadiums, planning TV schedules, managing local hotels, are dealing the best they can with the unclear schedule. Considering also the myriad noteable records set this year, it's hard not to call this the most exciting MLB season ever.
posted by Plutor at 12:38 PM PST - 102 comments

The death of the reader. As UK celebrity Jordan's "novel", Crystal, is outselling the entire Booker shortlist, it seems literature is becoming irrelevant.
posted by four panels at 12:12 PM PST - 97 comments

Bo Fo' Sho' [youtube] My name is bo fo sho, a born bostonian, aryan librarian at the WORDsmithsonian
posted by srboisvert at 11:15 AM PST - 16 comments

Friday Listening Fun! The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts sponsors some excellent concerts featuring members of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. They are kind enough to put recordings of some--with commentary--online, as well: Steve Reich, Different Trains and George Crumb, Black Angels; or how about John Cage, Credo in US. [more inside]
posted by LooseFilter at 10:15 AM PST - 8 comments


1897, Eastland, TX. A cornerstone was being laid in the foundation of the new county courthouse (to replace the old county courthouse, not to be confused with the original county courthouse). People put various items in the hollow space in the marble, time capsule style. Just before they sealed the box court clerk Ernest Wood (E.E. to his friends), acting on a whim, grabbed a horny toad that his son, Will Wood, had picked up on the way in to town and placed it in the box. Entombed forever. But...31 years later, 1928. Eastland, having decided it needed a NEW new courthouse, was about to demolish the old one. Someone recalled the time capsule, and the unfortunate horny toad, and 3,000 people showed up to see the poor dead lizard. "As a county official held up the dusty reptile, his leg twitched, and then his whole body came alive." [more inside]
posted by dirtdirt at 9:23 AM PST - 22 comments

In the Texas Legislature you can pass laws using persuasion...or just pressing other members' buttons before they come back from the washroom.
posted by reformedjerk at 8:40 AM PST - 138 comments

Well, THAT was certainly frustrating. More random cruelty to a cartoon cat, this time with a springy pole-vault thing. (like Cat with Bow Golf, previously on MeFi)
posted by yhbc at 8:10 AM PST - 21 comments


Shut In: A collection of escape-the-room games. Friday Flash Fun.
posted by saladin at 7:30 AM PST - 10 comments

We all had one in the womb. For most of us, that's as far as it goes. Now and again, it hangs around until birth, when the surgeon's natural instinct is to hack it off - although sometimes things aren't quite what they seem. Not everyone has the surgery. In some cases, the vestigial tail remains surprisingly active(video), And unsurprisingly in these bodymod furrified days, some who don't have tails would like one, although getting there and learning to use one will not be without its problems.
posted by Devonian at 7:05 AM PST - 29 comments

Ben Stein, actor, game show host, economist and White House speechwriter has embarked upon a heroic and, at times, shocking journey in the new documentary Expelled to confront the world’s top scientists, educators and philosophers, regarding their 'persecution' of the academics who support the non-science that is Intelligent Design. Richard Dawkins and PZ Myers amongst others claim they were duped into appearing in the film believing it to be a film that was to be titled Crossroads (no not that Crossroads, nor this one) that would be a debate about creationism versus Darwinism. No wonder Ferris took a day off from school with this guy as his teacher (NSFW).
posted by electricinca at 5:58 AM PST - 155 comments

Seachd (English title: The Inaccessible Pinnacle) [main movie site, incl. embedded video. Loads of resources on Gaeldom] is the first Scots Gaelic feature film to receive mainstream distribution. Despite good reviews, BAFTA won't be nominating it for a foreign-language Oscar. Not that they thought a different film was better, it seems they just couldn't be arsed.
posted by Abiezer at 5:42 AM PST - 16 comments

Shedding a little light on the subject The HiRise camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter provides a less mysterious look at pretty spooky place on the surface of Mars. Previously discussed in a May 25 post.
posted by cyclopz at 5:04 AM PST - 24 comments


The London Transport Museum's Poster Collection is now online. 5,000 posters and 700 original poster artworks, ranging from No need to ask a p'liceman!, the 1908 poster introducing the new underground map, to a stunning image by Man Ray, via Hans Unger's simple, beautiful Country Churches: How To Get There.
posted by jack_mo at 2:35 AM PST - 13 comments

Lies. Tania Head told a bunch of lies about 9/11. As a fiction editor for the NY Writers Coalition, she apparently knew her fiction. I guess it's nice to feel important.
posted by Eekacat at 12:40 AM PST - 57 comments

September 27

The Crooked House is a pub in the UK's West Midlands built on coal mining land. Severe subsidence over time caused a 15 degree shift from the left wall to the right. Faced with the choice of repairing the damage or abandoning the structure, the owners took a different tack - buttresses now hold the building in place, and it remains at a permanent slant. Higher resolution photos here. Via.
posted by jonson at 11:16 PM PST - 13 comments

RadioheadLP7.com [more inside]
posted by edverb at 10:12 PM PST - 55 comments

Abuse of creative commons. So Virgin has followed in the footsteps of Viacom by stealing a photo from a Creative Commons directory, and using it without proper attribution. Unfortunately the victim is suing Creative Commons instead of Virgin, claiming the license was deceptive.
posted by gandledorf at 9:45 PM PST - 76 comments


Rolling Stone's 25 most outrageous music videos. Outrageous apparently includes the sacrilegious, the dirty, the disturbing, and, um, Christopher Walken. Some videos may be not safe for work and one contains David Hasselhoff.
posted by blahblahblah at 8:18 PM PST - 59 comments

Dice Stacking. Yes, it is a thing. Yes, it is impressive. Yes, it is real. Yes, it is so impressive that you will doubt that it is real.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:06 PM PST - 47 comments

Free Achewood tattoos. (In Oregon, till the end of September)
posted by 31d1 at 5:55 PM PST - 32 comments


"My Star Wars Collection" A devoted fan made tiny pixel illustrations of his collection of over 500 Star Wars action figures. [via]
posted by kirkaracha at 4:00 PM PST - 16 comments

Buy n Large. (flash) "Because at Buy n Large, we want you to leave your life to us." [more inside]
posted by dersins at 3:38 PM PST - 13 comments

Billions over Baghdad. "Between April 2003 and June 2004, $12 billion in U.S. currency—much of it belonging to the Iraqi people—was shipped from the Federal Reserve to Baghdad, where it was dispensed by the Coalition Provisional Authority. Some of the cash went to pay for projects and keep ministries afloat, but, incredibly, at least $9 billion has gone missing, unaccounted for, in a frenzy of mismanagement and greed. Following a trail that leads from a safe in one of Saddam's palaces to a house near San Diego, to a P.O. box in the Bahamas, the authors discover just how little anyone cared about how the money was handled."
posted by homunculus at 3:15 PM PST - 50 comments

The V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft is going to combat. The aircraft cannot autorotate to safe landing if it loses power in helicopter mode, and has only a rearward facing gun. previously
posted by exogenous at 3:01 PM PST - 55 comments

Starbucks saved his life , and now Tom Hanks is saving his bank account. A story of a middle-aged man with a successful career in advertising, was fired from his high-paying job, was divorced by his wife, and was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and found himself getting back to basics working for $10.50/hour at Starbucks, finding himself, and loving it. How does he manage to deal with such a huge downgrade from his previously life? Well, turns out it doesn't matter too much, as it's soon to be a movie starring Tom Hanks.
posted by Tommy Gnosis at 2:50 PM PST - 77 comments

On December 8th, pretend to be a time traveller.
posted by divabat at 2:44 PM PST - 49 comments

Out of work? The Shooting Range is hiring. No, not the Firing Range. The Shooting Range.
posted by TrialByMedia at 2:25 PM PST - 4 comments

Want to teach the youngsters (or parents, or yourself) how to avoid phishing scams? Anti-Phishing Phil is an online-game that uses Phil the fish to teach just that. Apparently it's more successful than a tutorial with the same information.
posted by dr. moot at 2:04 PM PST - 8 comments

What is the monome? A sequencer? A trigger? A sampler? A trippy rave machine? A general-purpose turing device? Just a toy or the open-source future of digital music? [more inside]
posted by Tlogmer at 1:59 PM PST - 15 comments

On the Limits of Self-Improvement, wherein Christopher Hitchens delves into "an entire micro-economy based on the pursuit of betterment."
posted by nevercalm at 12:50 PM PST - 24 comments

The South Bank Show is the longest running arts show on television. Melvyn Bragg has presented an eclectic mix of televisual joy since 1978. SBS has presented in-depth portraits of many different types of artists during this time, covering a huge range of topics. From high art to low art, classical music to pop music, canonical literature to airport blockbusters it has offered some of the most insightful and enjoyable arts programming around. Much youtubery awaits inside [more inside]
posted by ClanvidHorse at 12:09 PM PST - 16 comments

Lieberman-Kyl’s Iran amendment passes. By a vote of 76-22, the Senate passed the Lieberman-Kyl amendment, which threatens to “combat, contain and [stop]” Iran via “military instruments.” Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) called the amendment “Cheney’s fondest pipe dream” and said it could “read as a backdoor method of gaining Congressional validation for military action.”
posted by psmealey at 12:00 PM PST - 111 comments

Worried about inaccuracies in Wikipedia? Try Scholarpedia, a peer-reviewed encyclopedia, with articles written by experts in their field. [more inside]
posted by Upton O'Good at 11:37 AM PST - 26 comments

On September 7, Brett Darrow drew national attention when he recorded video of an abusive police officer threatening to lock him up on "made-up" charges. The police officer was subsequently fired.

Now, the local police are staking out his home. [more inside]
posted by LordSludge at 11:32 AM PST - 144 comments

In 1934, the FE Dzerzhinsky labor commune in Kharkiv began manufacturing a rangefinder camera that copied the German Leica. Though production has long ceased, FED rangefinders are still widely used and collected today. But the FED and its manufacturer have a tarnished history - some of which is due to a work force comprised of children and criminals, and some owed to its namesake: Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky, the founder of the Soviet secret police (NSFW).
posted by katillathehun at 10:15 AM PST - 10 comments

Due in part to the success of TV shows like "Top Chef" and "Hell's Kitchen," chefs have become rock stars—but some rock stars have been known to put down the axe and pick up a chef’s knife as well: chef Sam Mason [note: autoplay music] makes Dinner With The Band; dishes are paired with DJs in NY clubs; and there's also a recently-published indie rock cook book [MySpace link]. Care for some dessert? Steve Albini has the final word on food.
posted by pfafflin at 9:43 AM PST - 12 comments

Daniel Clowes, creator of the seminal and controversial comic series Eightball, is currently producing the serial Mister Wonderful for the New York Times Magazine's The Funny Pages. The NYT also presents a slideshow exploring the medium of graphic novelscomics featuring Art Spiegelman, Joe Sacco, Chester Brown, and previous Funny Pages contributors Seth and Chris Ware. [more inside]
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:08 AM PST - 27 comments

Is Microsoft the latest victim of binary prefix confusion? [via TechAmok]
posted by Fezboy! at 7:59 AM PST - 26 comments

A Wicked Deception (youtube). A fun look at (multi) round-trip machine translation. Sadly, it is a simple fattening of Verbindungsyoutube. Of course, humans, as Jules Verne might tell you, can have problems with translations too. [more inside]
posted by skynxnex at 7:24 AM PST - 13 comments

Originally made by Native American tribes, applehead dolls are now considered a form of downhome Appalachian folk art. The late Mary Winsheimer won numerous awards for hers, which can still be purchased online from her son. You can easily learn to make them yourself; apparently one can even earn a living at it.
posted by GrammarMoses at 6:38 AM PST - 16 comments

Which came first: Cannonballs On or Cannonballs Off? Errol Morris asks a seemingly simple but perhaps unanswerable question about the nature of photographic evidence. (previously) [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:32 AM PST - 53 comments

Archbishop offers a view on HIV/AIDS in Africa. The Archbishop of Mozambique, Francisco Chimoio, posits a new theory about the high incidence of HIV/AIDS on the African continent. He won’t be specific about which companies he believes are poisoning the tips though. It remains to be seen whether this, along with the Church's current policy on abortion and Amnesty International, will contribute to the long-running debate over the politics of HIV/AIDS and healthcare. [more inside]
posted by Myeral at 6:25 AM PST - 33 comments


"I recieved and email telling me it was over. I didn't know how to answer." (pdf) The email closed with the phrase "Prenez soin de vous" ("take care of yourself"), so Sophie Calle went to 107 woman, chosen for their profession to analyze, translate, or reinterpret the email. The resulting collection of responses, and Calle's portraits of the women, filled the French pavillion at this year's Venice Biennale. [more inside]
posted by piratebowling at 5:44 AM PST - 31 comments

More than fifty selected articles from The Princeton Companion of Mathematics (username: Guest, password: PCM) — a thematically-organized compendium of mathematics and mathematicians from Fields Medal-winner Tim Gowers. [via, previously]
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:31 AM PST - 8 comments

How pencils are made. (Note: Link leads to a 55MB, 5.09min video, produced by Staedtler.)
posted by Effigy2000 at 4:29 AM PST - 43 comments

September 26

California Where the Rich do Fine While the Poor are Doing Time "Hell, you got to live with it, there's nothing else to live with except mendacity, is there?" Big Daddy, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof
posted by Rancid Badger at 10:55 PM PST - 37 comments

Sydney-Filter. Why does Sydney suck so much (particularly when compared to Melbourne)? The Australian Hotels Association labelled Melbourne "a land of skivvy-wearing, chardonnay-drinking book readers" and said Sydneysiders are fit outdoorsy types that don't like to sit in a hole in the wall. Clover thinks otherwise, and now you can join her. [more inside]
posted by strawberryviagra at 10:47 PM PST - 74 comments

Live Loud Acts: archives and playlists for The Pat Duncan Show on WFMU. Hour upon hour of expertly curated punk rock radio. Pat's Myspace page has more info. [more inside]
posted by milquetoast at 9:29 PM PST - 9 comments


Radioactive Baby Jebus is Radioactive and other food for thought, as you ponder whether or not the whole LOLcat thing is played out completely.
posted by CrunchyFrog at 8:21 PM PST - 65 comments

"Hotel Chevalier," the twelve-minute prequel short to Wes Anderson's The Darjeeling Limited, is available for download from iTunes.
posted by BackwardsCity at 8:11 PM PST - 50 comments

"First we kill the architects..." Photographer Danny Lyon [1, 2, 3, 4] offers ten suggestions for New York City. Suggestion #6: "Leave the World Trade Center excavation exactly as it is and use the space as a freshwater pond planted with pink, white, and yellow lilies..." His essay is only one of many from names you'll recognize in a book called Block by Block: Jane Jacobs and the Future of New York. An associated exhibition opened yesterday [museum, NYT review]. Is New York City moving in the right direction? Is your city? [via] [more inside]
posted by salvia at 7:26 PM PST - 19 comments

The Map of Humanity [large .jpg] created by illustrator James Turner is an effort to describe the human condition in an incredibly detailed map containing thousands of names from history and fiction arranged in a theoretical geography that encompasses islands of Abandonment and Wisdom and regions of Abomination and Courage.
posted by blahblahblah at 7:08 PM PST - 39 comments


Taking a cue from Doritos (Frito Lay) which sponsored a contest for a user-submitted video ad to be aired during Super Bowl XKL, Mitt Romney’s campaign decided to follow suit, challenging “…you to make his campaign’s new official TV advertisement...using images and materials supplied on the campaign website.” “An online vote will help determine the winner.” Folks create ads. Folks vote for their favorite ad. “Way! He'll Set America Straight[video] (produced by Bruce Reed) garners more votes than the other top nine finalists combined. “[T]he campaign promised 10 finalists, but today it posted only nine...” Guess which one is missing? [more inside]
posted by ericb at 6:51 PM PST - 16 comments

After several disagreements between the Texas cities of Dallas and Fort Worth, the Greater Fort Worth International Airport at Amon Carter Field opened on April 25th, 1953. [more inside]
posted by drstein at 5:59 PM PST - 10 comments

New York Stories with Martin Scorsese, Nick Nolte, ROSANNA Arquette, Richard Price, Steve Buscemi, Larry David, Coppolas, Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, Soho - 1989. And this beautiful aurora video.
posted by vronsky at 5:09 PM PST - 31 comments

Americans Not Making Time for Making Love according to Durex® [note: PR and attendant conflicts]. "Americans are having a lot less sex than just about everyone else in the world, and when they do, less than half are fully satisfied." Also from the 2007/2008 Durex® Sexual Wellbeing Global Survey: Where is sex safer?
posted by kliuless at 4:42 PM PST - 42 comments

The Sex Life of Robots. [NSFW, via Sex or not?]
posted by homunculus at 3:11 PM PST - 32 comments

Illustrator Rob Nance presents: The Do-It-Yourself Posable Paper David Hasselhoff and Pope Benedict.
posted by miss lynnster at 2:18 PM PST - 10 comments

Scratchboard artist Scott McKowen was a successful designer of theater posters when Marvel Comics hired him to create the covers for Neil Gaiman's 1602. He recently completed new covers and illustrations for old classics like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Surprisingly, he has no entry at Wikipedia.
posted by jstruan at 2:07 PM PST - 14 comments

Never in History Have Generals Revolted Against a War Like They are About IRAQ. "I (insert name), having been appointed a (insert rank) in the U.S. Army under the conditions indicated in this document, do accept such appointment and do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter, so help me God." Unlike the enlisted folks, officers only swear an allegiance to the Constitution.
posted by augustweed at 1:31 PM PST - 50 comments

Braving Alaska is a fantastic 1992 National Geographic special that may make you want to move to Alaska. Focusing on a handful of U.S. families who have moved from the cities in the lower 48 to handmade homes above the arctic circle and now receive their mail by bush pilot maybe 3 times a year, living hundreds of miles from their nearest neighbor, and exist entirely of their own capability, the documentary is a fascinating view of life WAY off the grid. Presented here in a YT playlist of six segments, there are more great moments (from sawing through the frozen fish to the enumeration of meals made from Moose) than I can list.
posted by jonson at 1:25 PM PST - 22 comments

How many planets do you need? NPR has a game to assess your impact on the Earth.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 11:34 AM PST - 89 comments

Dipnote. Official weblog of the U.S. State Department. [more inside]
posted by brownpau at 11:33 AM PST - 24 comments


With President Bush hoping to make Hillary the democratic nominee so the Republicans will be ensured a victory, recent Republican decisions in the face of a huge demographic shift may be suggesting an electorate which leans further left in some traditional Republican strongholds. Are Bush's actions a last ditch attempt in the face of long term shift in the Democrats' favor?
posted by gandledorf at 10:42 AM PST - 263 comments

An Unfortunate View From the Sky. The U.S. Navy has decided to spend as much as $600,000 for landscaping and architectural modifications to obscure the fact that one its building complexes looks like a swastika from the air.
posted by brain_drain at 10:24 AM PST - 70 comments

Whether it's the Shatner or Lithgow version of the story, it's not something you would want to try and re-enact in real life. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:20 AM PST - 27 comments

Avaaz.org was founded by moveon.org and getup.org.au alumni and brings a similar approach to global politics.
posted by flabdablet at 10:12 AM PST - 18 comments

Animation: Julia Pott just graduated from Kingston University on animation and illustration. She has made some short movies and two books. Charles Bukowski's "The Man With The Beautiful Eyes" is an inspiration among others.
posted by kudzu at 9:53 AM PST - 4 comments

Musicophilia. Metafilter's own digaman interviews Oliver Sacks on his forthcoming book and a lifetime's worth of loving music and studying its effects on the human mind. [more inside]
posted by melissa may at 8:51 AM PST - 52 comments

Record your bad (or good) raps, share them with the world and add to other people's raps at RapHappy. Via Projects.
posted by sveskemus at 8:19 AM PST - 7 comments

The MacArthur Foundation awarded its "genius" grants yesterday. Among the winners was Jonathan Shay, a a VA psychiatrist whose midlife discovery of the Homeric epics inspired him to use their depictions of soldier bonding and cohesion, leadership, trust and betrayal, and terror and rage to treat the psychological disorders and transition difficulties of combat veterans. NPR interview.
posted by Miko at 8:14 AM PST - 17 comments

Okay, first, take a look at this collection of 60's and 70's Asian Pop Record Covers. Cause they're just a helluvalotta of fun to look at. Now, if you find your musical appetite whetted, the same fellow who brought you those wonderful jackets has a Singapore and Asian 60's Pop Music MySpace page, where you can listen to his fabulous audio playlist, see video clips and more record jackets, and get more info on this very fertile period in Asian pop music history. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:20 AM PST - 17 comments

'These are a few of my least favorite things.' Melvin Jules Bukiet shares his thoughts on some contemporary writers, some of whom call the borough of Brooklyn home. Writers with names like Foer, Sebold and Eggers, among others. His thoughts are mostly negative. [via]
posted by From Bklyn at 2:22 AM PST - 123 comments

September 25

Legend has it that the world's biggest bible is the work of the Devil. The Codex Gigas (Giant Book), also known as the Devil's Bible, is the largest medieval manuscript in the world. Housed at the Swedish National Library since the 17th century, it recently returned to the Czech Republic (it originated in a monastery in Bohemia) for display. The book contains an entire pre-Vulgate version of the Latin bible, as well as various other texts and illustrations, including calendars, medical formulas and local records. You can browse the complete Codex Gigas in high resolution here.
posted by amyms at 11:53 PM PST - 32 comments

A chimpanzee plays Ms. Pac Man (WMV, some Japanese)
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:43 PM PST - 29 comments

"While we live, let us LIVE." A History of Social Dance in America, complete with vintage cheat sheets, a look at the perils of crinoline and lots of other period detail. Naturally, there were those who objected to this scandalous practice. See also the Library of Congress' An American Ballroom Companion: Dance Instruction Manuals 1490-1920, especially here and here. [via BibliOdyssey]
posted by mediareport at 11:03 PM PST - 6 comments

Nova eikaiwa is the biggest foreign language school in Japan, teaching predominantly English through a network of over 600 branches across the county and employing over 7,000 foreign nationals. After adverse rulings to a number of complaints regarding Nova's refund policy, the Japanese Government imposed a 6 month ban from July to prevent the company from selling large lesson packages to students. The company has experienced a severe downturn in cashflow as a result and there are reports of late payment to Japanese staff and suppliers in the last two months. Foreign teachers were unaffected until salary payments for the 15th September were paid late, and more senior teachers have not yet been paid. Despite not being paid, many staff face a tough decision: quit, or continue to show up to work in the knowledge that if the company goes bankrupt they are eligible for unemployment benefits. Despite this, CEO Nozomu Sahashi declared last Friday "The dark clouds that have been hanging heavily over us will be cast aside... I said previously 'the darkest time is before the dawn,' and finally the first light of dawn can be seen". Five days later and some teachers are still waiting to be paid.
posted by cwhitfcd at 10:05 PM PST - 20 comments

Through a Lens Darkly - on September 4, 1957, when 15-year-old Elizabeth Eckford tried to enter Little Rock Central High, she was blocked by the National Guard and surrounded by a screaming mob of 250: "Lynch her! Lynch her!" "No nigger bitch is going to get in our school! Get out of here!" "Go back to where you came from!" Looking for a friendly face, she turned to an old woman, who spat on her. Photos. Dramatic news footage. Ernest Green, another of the Little Rock 9 recalls the first day of school. [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive at 10:03 PM PST - 48 comments

Canada at scale: Exploration, colonization and development. And a pop-up menu. Go, eh!
posted by St Urbain's Horseman at 9:22 PM PST - 30 comments

The Magna Carta is up for sale. The document that established many of the rights we now take for granted (and had a secret history discussed earlier on MeFi) is slated to sell for 20-30 million. Interestingly enough, while it has been on display in the US national archives, it was actually owned by Ross Perot.
posted by TNLNYC at 8:34 PM PST - 49 comments

Bush and Aznar pre-Iraq Invasion-- Transcript of their private conversations in Crawford, Feb 22, 2003: "Quedan dos semanas. En dos semanas estaremos militarmente listos. Estaremos en Bagdad a finales de marzo", le dijo a Aznar. ("2 weeks. In 2 weeks we will be ready militarily. We'll be in Baghdad by the end of March", he told Aznar.) Consider this historical documentation. Full transcript here, and audio clips in first link. [more inside]
posted by amberglow at 7:50 PM PST - 46 comments

"What is so striking about the work is that EVERYONE is crossing a line: The couples who are engaged in sex in public, the Peeping Toms who trespass on that intimacy, the photographer who has betrayed his acquaintance's trust, and of course US -- so willing to look at what was not meant for us to see." See also: NYTimes slideshow Layers of Voyeurism (Via boingboing) SFW, IMHO
posted by spock at 6:45 PM PST - 20 comments

This anonymous rightie could be the nastiest wiffle ball pitcher you'll ever see. His buddy is not half bad either.
posted by edverb at 6:36 PM PST - 21 comments

"And I couldn’t get over the fact that there was no difference between [Harlem's famous] Sylvia’s restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City. I mean, it was exactly the same, even though it’s run by blacks, primarily black patronship....It was like going into an Italian restaurant in an all-white suburb in the sense of people were sitting there, and they were ordering and having fun...And there wasn’t any kind of craziness at all." 1968? Nope. Bill O'Reilly in 2007. [more inside]
posted by ericb at 6:20 PM PST - 95 comments

National Library Of New Zealand.
posted by hama7 at 5:57 PM PST - 8 comments

Zahra al-Azzo was murdered by her brother last January in a horrible, but all-too-common Syrian honor killing. Public outcry at her murder is growing.
posted by felix betachat at 5:06 PM PST - 22 comments


Thule Trail is a cute modern remake of The Oregon Trail.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 4:40 PM PST - 17 comments


Superfund365 is an online data visualization application by Brooke Singer. Each day for the next year, Superfund365 will visit one of the EPA’s Superfund sites and collect data on contaminants, corporate responsibility, photos of the sites, and stats on local inhabitants. In the end, it will have 365 visualizations of some of the worst toxic sites in the U.S. [Via The Underwire.]
posted by homunculus at 3:05 PM PST - 12 comments

Increase your pronunciation skills and your vocabulary by checking out 6000 English words recorded by a native speaker. Not enough for you? Then would you believe 20,000 English words recorded by a native speaker?
posted by Effigy2000 at 2:07 PM PST - 55 comments

The Benders were a family of German immigrants who opened a store and restaurant in the newly formed state of Kansas in the late 19th century. Led by the spiritualist Kate, they also were some of the United States first serial killers. [more inside]
posted by sleepy pete at 1:43 PM PST - 37 comments

Indiana's Sardina. The New Pornographers of the '90s, the Sardinas released two fantastic albums full of mixtape fodder. Now everything they've got, including some live gems, is up online.
posted by klangklangston at 1:43 PM PST - 21 comments

Berkshire Publishing has made available the full-text of some quality but little known reference works: Berkshire Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction (1-vol), Global Perspectives on the United States (1-vol), Berkshire Encyclopedia of World Sport (4-vol), Berkshire Encyclopedia of World History (5-vol), Berkshire Encyclopedia of Extreme Sports.
posted by stbalbach at 1:36 PM PST - 10 comments

Manifold is an amusing Flash game with a deceptively simple goal; get your character to the exit. There are obstacles, and there's a tool of sorts to help you surmount those obstacles. The tool is a gravity sphere that can be used to slow your character's descent off a steep drop, or propel you in the air over a chasm, etc.
posted by jonson at 1:01 PM PST - 28 comments

Right-Wing Rot: A Village In the Hands of Neo-Nazis Houses torched, pets killed and outsiders chased away: Such is life in the Eastern German town of Jamel. For years, it has been controlled by the neo-Nazis who live there. Even the mayor says he has given up. [more inside]
posted by jason's_planet at 12:55 PM PST - 46 comments

In 2006 scientists sent a container of salmonella to space and kept an identical container on Earth under similar temperature conditions. Bacteria from both strains were fed to mice, and the "space germs", having undergone 167 gene changes, were 3 times more likely to make the mice sick.
posted by reformedjerk at 11:43 AM PST - 48 comments

Greg Nog was a Host at the Olive Garden. He has also drawn several other cartoons, and made some other stuff which you may like as well. [more inside]
posted by yhbc at 10:10 AM PST - 99 comments



From Lorrie & Larry Collins - Mercy (1958)

HERSTORY is a YouTube playlist that details the history of women in Rock and Soul music over the course of 50 songs from 1958 to 1981.
To LiLiPUT - Eisiger (1981)
[more inside]
posted by carsonb at 8:38 AM PST - 16 comments

Lepus Animatus, Canis Latrans Animatus. More pictures of cartoon skeleton sculptures at Hyungkoo Lee's site. The drawings. An essay about the pieces at Lee's site. Previous cartoon skeleton thread with a busted link.(working link)
posted by OmieWise at 8:36 AM PST - 6 comments

Maybe you saw Minesweeper: The Movie. It's typical of Elephant Larry' s sweet, savvy sketch comedy. If you like the parody preview genre, don't miss out on Gummi Bears: The Movie. If you don't, try the short film "Baby, Fix That Fusebox!" or perhaps Tall Cop, Short Cop, which is directed by none other than John Landis. My personal favorites are WHIT Radio and the audio (and stage) sketch Francophone. And guess what? If you live in LA, you can see them for free tonight at the Comedy Central Stage.
posted by YoungAmerican at 8:05 AM PST - 11 comments

The Octopus in the Cathedral of Salt is an investigative essay by Phillip Robertson with pictures by photojournalist Carlos Villalon on the link between the Chiquita banana company and Colombian paramilitary organization AUC. Excerpt: We were drinking Aguilas and the night was winding down and I was half-listening to the conversation. Everyone else had gone downstairs. Carlos turned to me and said, “Is there anything you want to ask him before he goes home?” “I want to know if he heard anything about a shipment of guns that arrived at the Chiquita docks.” Years had passed, but it was worth a shot. “Sure,” Lorenzo said, “I was there. I supervised the unloading of the rifles.” [more inside]
posted by Kattullus at 8:02 AM PST - 8 comments

Amsterdam: a deal has been made that will shut down a third of the prostitute windows in the city's famed red light district [nsfw] and turn the buildings into shops or housing. Advocacy group De Rode Draad (The Red Thread) worries that a shortage of windows will push prostitutes away from the safe, monitored areas. [via QI] [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin at 7:07 AM PST - 45 comments

High Voltage Cable Inspection
posted by gwint at 6:39 AM PST - 56 comments

Sky Sails has a new take on an old idea to save on fuel for marine shipping: kite sails. The twist? No new ships required. [more inside]
posted by bonehead at 6:23 AM PST - 14 comments


Faces in Places : A photographic collection of faces found in everyday places. You can see more at the Faces in Places group photo pool at Flickr.
posted by Orb at 12:34 AM PST - 15 comments


September 24

Virtual Friendship and the New Narcissism. Examining the social rules and norms, as well as the pitfalls, of electronic "friending" (yes, it's a verb now - or is it a gerund?). Via.
posted by amyms at 11:06 PM PST - 54 comments

This is the full, 81 min (embedded small screen vid) speech given today at Columbia University by President Ahmadinejad of Iran. Columbia University President, Lee Bollinger sets the stage with some critical statements about the President of Iran.
posted by snsranch at 7:35 PM PST - 194 comments

Some amazing photos of the ongoing anti-government protests by Buddhist monks in Burma. Things are getting tense.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 6:58 PM PST - 62 comments


A Kurdish-controlled Iraq?
The goal of human society, ibn Khaldun thought, was the development of culture and the sciences.
For a variety of reasons, namely "geopolitical reality," it'd never work, but a poli-sci friend of mine did call it "philosophically interesting and compelling even."
posted by kliuless at 6:01 PM PST - 30 comments


Making $9.00/hour ("pennies thrown at my feet"), James Razsa leaves the trailer he shares with a roommate every morning to spend the day cleaning the pools of "the ignorant rich" in rural Maine. His most prominent clients -- former President George H.W. and Barbara Bush in Kennebunkport. "'If every American had to pool-boy for these people for a day, you'd have a revolution on your hands,' is how he sees things."
posted by ericb at 2:32 PM PST - 167 comments

GTA anime mod A video of a Grand Theft Auto mod with gun toting anime girls and deadly Pikachu/Doraemon attacks. Via the ever-wonderful Japan Probe.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:22 PM PST - 22 comments

The Cat Diaries. [Via The Underwire.]
posted by homunculus at 1:40 PM PST - 19 comments

Dr. Ben Goertzel is an interesting guy. Having previously tried to create an AI based on internet distribution he refined his approach. High level elaborations on his developing thinking here, here and here (arranged chronologically). He gave a talk to Google about it recently (video) (related text), while mentioning why he thought Google isn't in the AI business. Here's a (low quality, sorry) vid of his system's virtual learning in action. Research finances were always a problem - could this be a solution?
posted by Sparx at 1:32 PM PST - 11 comments

Matthew Ingram at Stylus pontificates various band logos, revealing some secret origins and offering some perspectives on consistency and cultural signifiers built into them.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 1:21 PM PST - 25 comments

LOLMICROSOFT!!!1!
posted by quonsar at 1:19 PM PST - 122 comments

Halo 3? Phooey! Sure, Bungie's latest title in greatest series for the Xbox is released tomorrow, but for some perspective, take a look at Marathon: Aleph One — the free, open source engine to Bungie's first achievement, the Marathon Trilogy. [more inside]
posted by Down10 at 12:50 PM PST - 57 comments

The destruction of Untitled #133 by Aeneas Wilder took place on Labor Day. He knocked down his latest piece at the San Francisco Exploratorium to cheers from the audience and applause. The giant wooden sphere took 10 days to make out of painstakingly stacked (never fastened) wooden planks. Is it an artistic expression of the impermanence of man? Another chapter in the ongoing discussion about the nature of art? Or just every little kid's ultimate building-blocks-meet-Godzilla fantasy?
posted by Brockstar at 12:24 PM PST - 16 comments

Bill MacEwen's laptop got stolen last week, but all might not be lost. Someone in possession of the laptop -- possibly the thief -- just posted a self-portrait to Flickr using the account stored in the laptop. If you know anything about the gentleman in the photo, please contact Bill through his blog. If you like to fantasize about committing "the perfect crime", add this boo-boo to your "DO NOT DO" list.
posted by AccordionGuy at 11:29 AM PST - 80 comments


For many kids, the space age made its TV debut years before Sputnik with 1950's TV space serials.
1950 - Space Patrol - The Hidden Treasure of Mars. (Part two)
1954 - Rocky Jones' Space, Space Ranger - Rocky's Odyssey. (Chapters two, three)
1954 - Flash Gordon - Deadline at Noon and Akim the Terrible. [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive at 11:20 AM PST - 5 comments

So, it seems like (almost) everyone is watching Heroes. But if you want more, Heroes doesn't have to just a hour of screen time a week. The weekly 'graphic novels' offer backstory [PDF] to familiar faces, fill in plot holes [PDF] and introduce* [PDF*] new characters, they've even continued during the haitus. But Heroes' impressive online presence encompasses more than just comics... Spoilers for S1 throughout, mild spoilers for S2 (casting, new characters, some plot), I've asterisked the most spoilery. [more inside]
posted by featherboa at 11:01 AM PST - 69 comments

I am a middle class 20 year old with hopes, dreams, fears, and a visa check-card.
posted by man vs sun at 8:14 AM PST - 117 comments

Mockumentaries based on myth are pretty popular. There's Max Brooks' World War Z, (zombie warning), being turned into a movie. Along the same lines is the favorite Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency. Animal Planet and Discovery got into the game with a wild potential future, dragons, and even a couple projected alien worlds based on work by Barlowe. [more inside]
posted by monkeymadness at 7:34 AM PST - 41 comments


Photographer Kim Keever takes incredible, otherwordly nature shots using a unique technique: she builds the subject by hand in a 100 gallon fishtank. Other galleries of her work here & here. Via, which was via.
posted by jonson at 7:11 AM PST - 37 comments

Ffffound is kind of like del.icio.us for images.
posted by gwint at 6:02 AM PST - 12 comments

Nicolas Chorier takes stunning photos of a wide range of subjects and themes using Kite Aerial Photography. Be sure to click on the India link on the editions button as well as Uzbekistan. Another Frenchman, Arthur Batut (click "Le cerf-volant) took the first Kite Aerial Photograph in 1888. Here are some resources should you wish to try this out.
posted by adamvasco at 4:53 AM PST - 7 comments


"Hey look at this shiny trinket, I think I'll pick it up and see what it---OH GOD MY FACE." A Pentagon group has encouraged some U.S. military snipers in Iraq to target suspected insurgents by scattering pieces of "bait," such as detonation cords, plastic explosives and ammunition, and then killing Iraqis who pick up the items, according to military court documents.
posted by null terminated at 12:29 AM PST - 77 comments

September 23

Copwatchers: New YouTube Page for Monitoring Oppression & Brutality
posted by nickyskye at 9:16 PM PST - 48 comments

General Strike. Garret Keizer has an idea. It's really not so outlandish. But of course it won't do any good.
posted by BackwardsCity at 8:10 PM PST - 95 comments

Their factory was shut down three months ago. After occupying it, and reorganizing along anarchist ideological lines, the workers of Bike Systems GmbH are attempting to resume production. Now's your chance to place an order for a bicycle from a militantly anarcho-syndicalist, worker-occupied, self-managed factory in Germany. (via)
posted by Arturus at 7:22 PM PST - 50 comments

I laughed, I cried, and I welcomed our new Pan-Homo Culture [more inside]
posted by svenvog at 4:07 PM PST - 58 comments



Should U.S. Muslims Carry a Special ID? Charles Firth of the Australian TV program Chasers War on Everything asks Americans whether Muslims should have to carry special ID cards, have "security numbers" tattooed on them, and be incarcerated for the rest of the war. (previously, previously)
posted by desjardins at 2:05 PM PST - 68 comments

In 1964, Mel Brooks won both the Oscar & BAFTA Best Short Film awards for The Critic. His first film, it revolves around an old man heckling abstract animation that he doesn't understand. Youtube (lower quality) | brettratner.com (higher quality)
posted by miss lynnster at 1:29 PM PST - 37 comments

Co-creator of Spider-Man, Steve Ditko is famous for weird, distinctive art, his 1966 departure from Marvel Comics, and granting very few interviews in the course of his decades-spanning career, preferring to let creations such as The Creeper, the Objectivism-inspired Mr. A, and Squirrel Girl speak for him.
Okay, Squirrel Girl not so much.
Jonathan Ross turns the spotlight on the artist in the BBC4 documentary, In Search of Steve Ditko. Did they find him? Well, that's The Question, isn't it?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:03 PM PST - 26 comments

It's Friday afternoon. 1981 - 1982ish. I just got home from high school and I want some MTV. Back then, MTV played these things called "music videos". But they didn't have a large catalog of them yet, so they tended to play everything they had. You really got to see some lesser known classics. For Example: Jan Hammer/Neal Schon Lies. The Hitmen Bates Motel. Utopia Feet Don't Fail Me Now. Landscape My Name is Norman Bates. Chilliwack My Girl. Ultravox Vienna. Snakefinger Man in the Dark Sedan. [more inside]
posted by wittgenstein at 10:46 AM PST - 128 comments

Eunice Norton (1908-2005) wiki, great-great-grandstudent of Beethoven, gives a detailed, analytical tour of Bach's Well Tempered Clavier #12 in F, Bk I (part 1, part 2, part 3) and #13 in F#, Bk I (part 1, part 2) in a 1989 video. [more inside]
posted by tss at 10:40 AM PST - 6 comments

Four parsley plants. Two creeping oregano. Two creeping thyme. Three basil. Two rosemarys. Thank god the sage died. Pesto. Pesto. Pesto. Pesto. Pesto. (previously)
posted by nax at 8:09 AM PST - 25 comments

The Crossing is a new FPS game where single-player and multiplayer modes meld in one. At any point, any Non-Player-Character might not be an NPC at all, but another Player. It is likely that, as in a game of tag, players will just take turns to be "it" like Agents in the Matrix, but... wouldn't it be great if we could all be "it" at the same time? Quantum Gaming might just be the way to model such a swarm of gamers. [more inside]
posted by kandinski at 7:15 AM PST - 30 comments

In an effort to deflect the inevitable onslaught of NewsFilter/ElectionFilter posts on our beloved Blue, I humbly recommend Wonkosphere, "designed for all political writers and bloggers, media people in newspaper, TV, and radio, political workers, activists, and political junkies who need to stay on top of the 2008 Presidential race but can't spend all day searching for the hottest and most relevant material."
posted by GrammarMoses at 5:56 AM PST - 26 comments

Marcel Marceau has died. Although he may have single-handedly been responsible for every terrible white-faced mime who sought to emulate him, the man himself was a master. [more inside]
posted by essexjan at 4:08 AM PST - 87 comments

September 22


Orphan Trains of Kansas. A collection of histories, personal stories, newspaper accounts, pictures and other references. Beginning in 1854, charitable institutions in New York City began sending orphans on trains to the west to find new families, feeling that the children would fare better out west than on the streets of New York. Orphan trains arrived in Kansas between 1867 and 1930, and some 5000-6000 children were placed in Kansas homes.
posted by amyms at 10:00 PM PST - 30 comments

How George Bush became the new Saddam. "Its strategies shattered, a desperate Washington is reaching out to the late dictator's henchmen." [Via Firedoglake.]
posted by homunculus at 9:31 PM PST - 54 comments

A collection of vintage British Comedy Clips. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 6:13 PM PST - 41 comments

John Cage's 4'33" has been discussed previously on MeFi, but you might've missed the full orchestral version. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:03 PM PST - 126 comments

NickCaveFilter: Fifty years ago this very day, Nicholas Edward Cave [previously] crawled from the womb and started to plot.  At 16 he formed his first band which evolved quickly into the Boys Next Door [Shivers].  This in turn mutated into the Birthday Party (1980) who terrorised the post-punk soundscape in Australia and the UK [Release the Bats | Nick the Stripper].  The Birthday Party relocated to England and in 1984 the band imploded in an orgy of drugs and booze.  Shortly after Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds were born [The Ship Song - video & solo live | The Mercy Seat - video & live | Where the Wild Roses Grow], and 23 years and 11 studio albums later (not to mention a best selling book, a great screenplay, some acting and several soundtrack projects) he is still going strong.  But, instead of sitting on his musical laurels he decided to get back to basics and, in 2006, grew a huge moustache and formed Grinderman – a four piece with a primeval hybrid Birthday Party/Bad Seeds sound [No Pussy Blues | Honey Bee].  Fellow Mefites, I ask you to raise a glass to Mr. Cave… And, especially if you are not familiar to his work, don’t forget to “look inside” for my primer on the enigma that is Nick Cave, one of the finest song-writers on the face of this miserable planet. [more inside]
posted by the_very_hungry_caterpillar at 4:59 PM PST - 98 comments

Hundred Years' War, Final Phase (1422-1453) is an old school website focusing on, you guessed it, the last decades of the somewhat accurately named Hundred Years' War. The site has an extensive timeline, a map, summaries of major battles (which include battlefield maps), short bios of major characters and their genealogies, information about the weapons of the time and a list of controversial issues concerning the Hundred Years' War. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus at 4:44 PM PST - 15 comments

Watch the K Foundation burn a million quid. Google Video link to the full documentary, skip to 13:30 for the "money shot". [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong at 3:17 PM PST - 40 comments

Satyajit Das was discussed earlier on Mefi. This interview with him is a great explanation of the financial skullduggery that we're knee-deep in.
posted by Lord_Pall at 3:13 PM PST - 10 comments

Lee Adams has some films. For example, Apocalypse Noddy. (NSFW) I wish they'd change the soundtrack though
posted by fcummins at 2:50 PM PST - 3 comments

The Mayor of San Diego has a change of heart. GOP Mayor Jerry Sanders of San Diego comes out in support of gay marriage.
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:58 PM PST - 118 comments

72 scenes from various episodes of The Simpsons, each one beside the movie scene to which they refer (By The Accordion Guy)
posted by growabrain at 1:42 PM PST - 76 comments


Featured last night on 20/20, Channing Moss was hit with an rocket propelled grenade while on patrol in Afghanistan. He was impaled through the abdomen by the RPG and an aluminum rod with one tail fin protruded from the left side of his torso. His fellow soldiers worried: Could he blow up and take them with him? For all anyone knew, the answer was yes. Still, over the course of the next couple of hours, his buddies, a helicopter crew and a medical team would risk their own lives to save his. Regardless of your feelings on the war, this is an amazing story of courage. More here and here.
posted by bluesky43 at 11:09 AM PST - 27 comments

The Catholic Church is traditionally not seen as a progressive institution, but when it comes to global warming, Vatican City is aiming to become the worlds first fully carbon-neutral state, and the Pope is expected to use his first address to the United Nations next April to deliver a powerful warning over climate change in a move to adopt protection of the environment as a "moral" cause for the Catholic Church and its billion-strong following.
posted by stbalbach at 8:53 AM PST - 81 comments

Today's Washington Post: "The U.S. government is collecting electronic records on the travel habits of millions of Americans who fly, drive or take cruises abroad, retaining data on the persons with whom they travel or plan to stay, the personal items they carry during their journeys, and even the books that travelers have carried, according to documents obtained by a group of civil liberties advocates and statements by government officials." [more inside]
posted by ibmcginty at 8:45 AM PST - 81 comments

Teacher Dude takes photos of Greek riot police who beat him up. Police say he wasn't allowed to photograph them without accreditation.
posted by Lezzles at 8:33 AM PST - 35 comments

"An open society must be prepared to listen to those who offer a critique of its conventional wisdom—and our conventional wisdom about drugs and addiction should be no exception."
posted by daksya at 8:23 AM PST - 50 comments

"I knew I didn't look like an ingenue... My nose was too long. I had crooked teeth. I wasn't blond. I knew I looked like a character actress. But I also knew I'd find a way." One of the most accomplished scene stealers in the history of TV comedy, character actress Alice Ghostley, is dead at 81. [more inside]
posted by miss lynnster at 7:40 AM PST - 16 comments


Internet Commenter Retirement Party! NSFW language, exploding captcha girl on girl action
posted by WolfDaddy at 4:55 AM PST - 53 comments


September 21

How big is your crockus? In cutting edge neuroscience news, a new part of the brain has recently been identifed by the enigmatic Dr. Crockus. Described as "the detailed section of the brain, a part of the frontal lope," the crockus is apparently four times larger in females than in males, which is why girls see the details of experiences while boys see the whole but not the details. [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 8:40 PM PST - 43 comments

It's only a paper moon - a charming vintage photo collection. (via recogedor)
posted by madamjujujive at 8:06 PM PST - 31 comments

Wanted to know where to buy smoke in Ketchikan, Alaska? Here is a community written travel site where the advice can be dramatic, "Traffiking=DEATH....Don't get caught!!!!!!," or oddly politically topical. Or just plain helpful. Bon Voyage!
posted by psmom at 7:03 PM PST - 18 comments

Animated via a cut-out stop-motion process creator/director John Korty dubbed lumage, the lewd and luminous Twice Upon a Time ran for two weeks in a single Westwood, CA theatre in August, 1983. Airing 12 times on HBO in 1984, the film wasn't seen again until a director-approved, bowdlerized VHS version was released in 1991.
Ward Jenkins discusses the film with writer Taylor Jenson, who commemorated TUaT's 20th anniversary in 2004, and presents a series of shorts Korty produced for Sesame Street in the 1970s.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 6:44 PM PST - 16 comments

Librarian Chick is a blogger who has put together a wiki of literally hundreds of online learning sources with over twenty categories for "students, educators & anyone else who's hip to learning." [more inside]
posted by jonson at 6:32 PM PST - 18 comments

Hello! It can be hard to say. [Previously] Apparently it is treatable.
posted by St Urbain's Horseman at 6:21 PM PST - 13 comments

Steal legal marijuana . . . . and they WILL call the police. Emerald Cross of Seattle: Arresting the pain . . . not the patients.
posted by augustweed at 1:58 PM PST - 32 comments

Fantoche is another real-world cel animation from the creator of Walking, blu. [blog, work]
His other (more traditional) animations are likewise imaginatively evolutionary.
posted by carsonb at 1:07 PM PST - 21 comments

Star Simpson, a MIT student, wears her art project to the airport. Fearing her to be some sort of bomber, she is arrested for having a fake bomb. It sure looks like a bomb to me. I call the Boston tag. [more inside]
posted by Bovine Love at 10:48 AM PST - 725 comments

GULAG: Soviet Forced Labor Camps and the Struggle for Freedom. An online exhibit which includes photographs of work in the gulag, women in the gulag, living in the camp, what were their crimes, Perm-36 Gulag Camp, the history of the gulag system, the inspiring stories of dissidents and what happened after the fall of the Soviet Union. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 10:39 AM PST - 16 comments



Like free music? Like Blogs? Try putting them together: To start, search Hype Machine and Elbo.ws to find music you like. Then start following the links and blog-rolls, and before you know it, you'll have dozens of blogs just begging to give you songs to download. If you like indy dance music like I do, here are some blogs to get you started: Digital Eargasm, Missing Toof, Palms Out Sounds, These Rocks Pop, Kiss Atlanta, Resonator Magazine, Fluo Kids, Discobelle, Disconap
posted by empath at 8:16 AM PST - 24 comments

Viñetas is a prolific blog from Spain focusing on illustration, vintage comics (sometimes wordless), advertising, humor magazines and other beautiful ephemera, curated by the editor-in-chief of a Spanish comics company. [via Journalista]
posted by mediareport at 7:59 AM PST - 8 comments

Watford's Mark Vidler, better known as Go Home Productions, has been taking other people's tracks and making new and alternately-great-and-disturbing tracks with them for the last five years or so. Within the community of people who make and follow this style of music, he's a giant. Now, however, Vidler's apparently done with the mashup scene for the time being and moving on to other things. As a parting gift, he's making every single mix he's ever released, and a couple of dozen more besides, available in a veritable avalanche of .rar archives.
posted by genghis at 6:57 AM PST - 39 comments

Astronaut Sunita Williams (more links to pictures on the bottom right hand corner) returns to her ancestral hometown of Ahmedabad, India, after breaking multiple records in Space, where she stayed for a duration of 194 days, ran the Boston Marathon, and Space Walked for 22 hours and 27 minutes.
posted by hadjiboy at 5:37 AM PST - 24 comments

Alex Beim's Zygote is a lightweight inflated ball that responds to pressure: Tap it or squeeze it and the internal LEDs react. The balls can act as input or output devices by being linked to a central computer, as Daniel van Tijn did here to make crowd-generated music. (See also: Dorkbot.)
posted by GrammarMoses at 5:34 AM PST - 14 comments

September 20

4 Brothers Beats. This is a tribute to all the original music that built hip-hop – the best beats in soul, funk & jazz collected by four brothers. An amazing collection of out-of-print releases from the 70s and 80s.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 10:59 PM PST - 18 comments

Sumerian is the first language for which we have written evidence and its literature the earliest known. The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature, a project of the University of Oxford, comprises a selection of nearly 400 translated literary compositions recorded on sources which come from ancient Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) and date to the late third and early second millennia BCE. Not enough for you? Why not impress your friends (and confuse your enemies) by translating some english words into Sumerian?
posted by Effigy2000 at 10:08 PM PST - 39 comments

COLOURlovers blog - science, design, art, culture, travel - you name it, they can relate it back to color. [more inside]
posted by bijou at 9:46 PM PST - 8 comments

Particle accelerator experiments show that the neutron has a negatively charged exterior, a positively charged middle, and a negative core. Abstract from Physical Review Letters.
posted by russilwvong at 8:23 PM PST - 44 comments

Even Astronauts Commit Suicide. Former Navy doctor, astronaut and Space Shuttle mission specialist, ham radio operator, and one time flight surgeon of The Blue Angels, Dr. Chuck Brady, was denied a hip replacement by the Navy shortly before he took his own life in July, 2006, and, according to his friend Dr. Ed Drum, this was a pivotal point in the depression that led Dr. Brady to apparently take his own life. [more inside]
posted by paulsc at 8:04 PM PST - 35 comments

"The grand finale was something out of a Matrix-style movie. A two-by-six piece of wood was placed on edge and the Bose car drove toward it at moderate speed and then leapt over the board as elegantly as a cat, touching down softly." Edmunds reviews the new Bose electromagnetic automobile suspension.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:54 PM PST - 91 comments

DJ Sara and DJ Ryusei. Sara is 8 years old. Ryusei is 5 years old. I reckon maybe those are papa's hands working the platter and fader in this clip? Also on the vinyl tip, and coming at ya outta Japan, the SOUNDWAGON.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:25 PM PST - 12 comments

Playboy. Cowboy. Mandom. The late Charles Bronson and his perfect chest, in one of his finest early pre-Death-Wish roles. And look out for Percy Helton. Here's a shorter version with more horse. Via here. [more inside]
posted by brownpau at 1:58 PM PST - 63 comments

The Greatest Interviews of the 20th Century according to The Guardian. The interviews are with Princess Diana, John Lennon, Marlon Brando, Dennis Potter, Francis Bacon, Marilyn Monroe, Sex Pistols, Malcolm X, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Margaret Thatcher and Fidel Castro. You know who else is interviewed? That's right, Nixon. Oh, and there's a Hitler interview, too. Apparently he likes tea. So do I. Funny ol' world. [via Neil Gaiman]
posted by Kattullus at 1:50 PM PST - 32 comments

Say It Ain't So, Floyd. Landis found guilty of doping, must surrender 2006 Tour de France title. previously on MeFi: the original thread about his apparently heroic stage comeback, and the first thread about the doping
posted by yhbc at 11:38 AM PST - 74 comments

The photography of Tony Ward: Erotic; Candid; Striking; Blunt; Intimate; Whimsical; Louche.

Galleries: Portraits; Alternative; Wasteland; Close-ups; Fashion; Tableaux Vivant.

some images NSFW
posted by klangklangston at 10:04 AM PST - 46 comments

Not ones for subtlety, the Death of Environmentalism guys (previously) are at it again with a Manifesto for a New Environmentalism. Their Apollo Alliance is getting early support from both Clinton and Obama. But it's not the only "new environmentalism" out there. There's this New Environmentalism, while others would include both market-based approaches among the the idols of old environmentalism.
posted by salvia at 9:50 AM PST - 22 comments

"Tammy Wynette was quite wrong when she sang 'Sometimes it's hard to be a woman'. It's not. It's always hard to be a woman. Especially if you're a man." Hard-hitting journalism from The Daily Mail. [more inside]
posted by miss lynnster at 9:48 AM PST - 55 comments

On Tuesday, the Federal Reserve cut interest rates by 0.5%. Wall Street aggressively demanded the cut to stop the sub-prime mortgage contagion from triggering a credit crisis among large US and foreign investment banks and the collapse of their over-leveraged hedge funds, which ultimately threatened to drag the US economy into recession. The market rallied this week in response to the Fed's move. But there is no free lunch. [more inside]
posted by Pastabagel at 9:41 AM PST - 99 comments

Parity - The Canadian Dollar is (almost) at equal value to the American Dollar for the first time since 1976.
posted by SansPoint at 9:39 AM PST - 80 comments

The Por-Bazhyn Fortress (meaning “clay house” in Tuvan) is believed to have been built in the 8th century CE at the behest of the Uighur kagan Mo-yen-çur. Its remains occupy a 3.5 ha location on a spectacular island location in Lake Tere-Khol in the south west part of the Republic of Tuva. This summer a project to excavate and ultimately preserve the site began [Embedded video] (attracting some notable visitors). Via
posted by Abiezer at 9:28 AM PST - 9 comments

Randall's Lost New York City Collection "documents the destruction of many of New York City's 19th century tenement and other buildings, so that we can mourn the lost [and] appreciate the endangered." Gallery 1, 2. [more inside]
posted by dersins at 9:05 AM PST - 31 comments

"It is a horrible device nonetheless, and you are forced to wonder what the world has come to when human ingenuity is pressed into service to make a thing like this." Raytheon says, "The system is available now and ready for action." [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 8:53 AM PST - 188 comments

Vietnam Then/Now. The enormously talented photographer courtneyutt traveled to Vietnam with her father, who served in 1970-1971. courtneyutt turned his Vietnam photo album into a rephotography project, revisiting pagodas, roundabouts, waterfalls, etc. etc. Ain't never been there, but I can tell you, Vietnam has really changed. Nothing warlike here -- she says, "my father was mostly interested in buildings! which makes sense, because after he returned from vietnam he became an architect." (See previous rephotography projects on mefi here and here. Nothing as personal as courtneyutt's.)
posted by dbrown at 8:52 AM PST - 8 comments


Randy Pausch is a pioneer in virtual reality, a computer science professor, a Disney Imagineer, an innovative teacher, and the co-founder of the best video game school in the world. One year ago he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and after a long and difficult fight he's been given just a few more months to live. This week he gave his powerful, funny, and life-affirming last lecture to a packed auditorium at Carnegie Mellon University, entitled "How to Live Your Childhood Dreams". The WSJ's summary, and a direct link to the complete video of the lecture (2 hours, and unfortunately streaming WMV). Warning: hilarious jokes about dying.
posted by xthlc at 8:13 AM PST - 30 comments

The National Journal opened its Political Stock Exchange site this week, creating a free, play-money version of the various political market sites. New users get $10,000 in virtual money to bid on real-life options, including all Senate races, the first round of primaries, potential VP selections, and the margin of Bush's approval rating by the end of the year.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:40 AM PST - 17 comments


Stephen Fry just started blogging. His first post? A post on the iPhone, the history of PDAs and the nature of technological innovation and desire, that's roughly the length of a medium-sized novella.
posted by flashboy at 4:21 AM PST - 127 comments


Lastgraph takes your username at Last.fm and generates a beautiful chart of your musical listening habits. [via] [more inside]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:18 AM PST - 27 comments

Lament of the Highborne (divx) A haunting machinima from Blizzard Entertainment. It tells the story of Sylvanas Windrunner, one of the last defenders of her civilization. She was killed and resurrected by Arthas, the Lich King. In his moment of weakness she rebelled, and now reigns as queen of the undead. [more inside]
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:57 AM PST - 11 comments

Mr. Spock's MUSIC FROM OUTER SPACE. The original sixties classic, "Mr. Spock's Music from Outer Space" is perhaps the most sought after Nimoy album. Like a piece of fine blue cheese, thirty years have added another dimension to this remarkable debut." "Can you believe that this record was created by the same label that brought you Pat Boone?" The complete collection.
posted by three blind mice at 1:52 AM PST - 19 comments

TED presentation: "Filmmaker Deborah Scranton talks about and shows clips from her documentary The War Tapes, which put cameras in the hands of Charlie Company, a unit of the National Guard, for one year in Iraq. The soldiers' raw footage and diary excerpts tell a powerful, unsettling story of modern war.
posted by McLir at 12:56 AM PST - 6 comments

Sweet mother of Christ that is a lot of mice. The Guiness Book of World Records' official record for worst mouse infestation ever (with video) will freak the shit out of you. Literally millions of meat-eating pig devouring Australian biblical plague mice!!
posted by jonson at 12:31 AM PST - 100 comments

September 19

"God is a concept by which we measure our pain. I'll say it again: God is a concept by which we measure our pain" - A production reel by animation house Amoeba Proteus. Another of their productions: The site for The Fountain. Song by Lennon. (Via)
posted by growabrain at 11:35 PM PST - 21 comments

Jose Mourinho, spectacular, talented, egotistical, handsome and immensely controversial manager of Chelsea FC has left "by mutual consent".
posted by winjer at 11:09 PM PST - 24 comments

every two weeks a language becomes extinct. there are ~7,000 human languages on earth, but that number is estimated to halve by the end of the century. swarthmore hosts extensive information about endangered languages, and the mission of the living tongues organization is to preserve and revitalize such languages.
posted by brooklynexperiment at 10:54 PM PST - 51 comments

Lazy-Ass Nation. "Somewhere along the way, we fell in love with the dream of the effort-free existence."
posted by amyms at 10:48 PM PST - 41 comments

The Waseda-Docomo face robot No. 2 is a 3D robotic model of a human face with 56 degrees of freedom. It can mimic any human face with an average accuracy of 3.5mm. Watching it in action is kind of creepy. [via Make]
posted by pombe at 9:36 PM PST - 19 comments

The Abyss. Oliver Sacks writes about Clive Wearing (recently discussed here). [Via MindHacks.] [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 9:19 PM PST - 30 comments

Recently an opinion writer for The Age, Catherine Deveny unleashed a firestorm of sorts when she wrote an article entitled 'Why Do Some Wives Still Change Their Names?'. The reaction to her article (from both men and women) was strong; so much so that in a recent follow up article entitled 'I Don't Give A Stuff What You Do. I'm Paid To Write What I Think' , she jokingly wrote that it had had the effect of reducing her readership to three. But when an article penned by a professional comedian employs such pointed rhetoric along the lines of "Insecure or conservative or stupid women are bowing to the wishes of their husbands", can she truly claim surprise at the level of vitriol her article generated or is this simply a case of an opinion writer trying to get opinions?
posted by Second Account For Making Jokey Comments at 9:01 PM PST - 98 comments

A selection of eyeglasses for $8. (That's including your lens prescription.) Or if that's not to your liking, there's $39.
posted by Arthur "Two Sheds" Jackson at 8:24 PM PST - 81 comments

Metaplace
"We modelled this on the web," said Mr Koster, "You can think about each world being a webpage and every object within in it is a link."
Raph Koster has unveiled Metaplace, an easy to use virtual world creator. The BBC reports: article, video of Raph demoing the app [youtube].
posted by MetaMonkey at 8:20 PM PST - 16 comments

The Flat Earth Society considers the notion of a round earth to be a conspiracy. Flat earthers turn to the Bible to support their claims. A map of the flat earth (oddly similar to the UN logo), where
N is the central open sea, I, the circular wall or barrier of ice, L, the masses of land tending southwards, W, the "waters of the great deep," surrounding the land, S, the southern boundary of ice, and D, the outer gloom and darkness, in which the material world is lost to human perception.
A 3D view of the Zetetic universe.
You know who else thought the earth was round?
posted by desjardins at 7:54 PM PST - 39 comments

You convert it.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:28 PM PST - 25 comments

In a lawsuit filed in Oregon, a local teacher with a permit to carry concealed is demanding the right to take her gun to school. The anonymous plaintiff's personal reasons claim a fear for her life from an abusive ex who works at the same school, however, as the argument takes a life of it's own, we can see echoes of Columbine(wikipedia link) and Virginia Tech. [more inside]
posted by softriver at 7:07 PM PST - 16 comments

This just isn't a good week for police. Video included. On the bright side (however dim), no taser was involved this time.
posted by Mach3avelli at 7:02 PM PST - 48 comments

"Sleeper":
Dr. Melik: This morning for breakfast he requested something called "wheat germ, organic honey and tiger's milk."
Dr. Aragon: [chuckling] Oh, yes. Those are the charmed substances that some years ago were thought to contain life-preserving properties.
Dr. Melik: You mean there was no deep fat? No steak or cream pies or... hot fudge?
Dr. Aragon: Those were thought to be unhealthy... precisely the opposite of what we now know to be true.
Dr. Melik: Incredible.
Has anything changed?
posted by caddis at 6:58 PM PST - 11 comments


lolsecretz --The meeting of two of the internet's most famous memes– the touching postsecret and the sublimely stupid LOLcats
posted by amberglow at 5:43 PM PST - 67 comments

The Garfield Variations [nsfw]
posted by Falconetti at 4:28 PM PST - 22 comments


The Velvet Underground you never got to hear. Born from the same experimental influences and art-pop sensibilities as VU, but based in 60s counter-cultural Sweden, and rife with name changes galore, Pärson Sound aka International Harvester aka Harvester aka Träd, Gräs och Stenar (Trees, Grass and Stones) brought the heavy, heavy drone sound as far back as 1967 and are still active today. [more inside]
posted by stinkycheese at 3:12 PM PST - 14 comments

Logo Study: Batman. "A lengthy look at the logos of Batman from his creation to the present." Part two, three, four, and five. [via]
posted by kirkaracha at 2:45 PM PST - 14 comments

He's the spiritual grandparent of both Cal Worthington (very recently) and Crazy Eddie (previously). He's Earl "MadMan" Muntz, more than a successful car salesman, he was a carmaker, a television pioneer (who coined the abreviation "TeeVee"), car stereo pioneer (for the pre-8-track 4-track tape ), a Verb in Electronic Engineering Lingo, hero of Free Enterprise Land and ad icon in Napolean hat and red longjohns. [more inside]
posted by wendell at 2:28 PM PST - 8 comments

Depicting Europe, an essay in The London Review of Books by UCLA history professor Perry Anderson, criticizes the European Union as a neo-liberal economist's wet dream and unthinking lackey of the United States. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus at 1:40 PM PST - 21 comments

On the same day that Sevilla's Antonio Puerta passed away in Spain, Clive Clarke, a defender on loan to Leicester City from Premiership side Sunderland, suffered a heart attack after collapsing in the dressing room during half-time of a League Cup match with Nottingham Forest, a series of events was set in motion that resulted in a truly great display of sportsmanship
posted by Deep Dish at 1:27 PM PST - 35 comments

"Imagine what it would feel like—or think back to what it felt like—when your body and mind are telling you you're an adult while the adults around you keep insisting you're a child." An interview with psychologist Robert Epstein, who argues that American teens are far more intelligent, capable, and moral than we give them credit for. His new book, The Case Against Adolescence, suggests that infantilization of teens leads to psychological problems. See also Epstein's article "The Myth of the Teen Brain" [PDF] from Scientific American Mind.
posted by 912 Greens at 1:05 PM PST - 61 comments

Multicultural toasting as an accoutrement for Gunther Anderson's guide to making liqueurs at home [ Principles | Science | Materials | Example recipe | and more... ]
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:48 PM PST - 10 comments

Bored with Talk Like A Pirate Day? Investigate the real thing in the Straits of Malacca with National Geographic.
posted by loquacious at 11:30 AM PST - 7 comments

You need organs, they need homes. "We are a domestic and international adoption agency where parents are free to adopt a child who is a perfect match (up to 18 yrs) for the transplant of one or more “non-essential” organs to be donated to one of the adopting parents or your own children. Your new son or daughter would give you their heart, if it was possible, but a lung, eye or three feet of intestine might be enough to prove that love." [more inside]
posted by mathowie at 11:16 AM PST - 73 comments

For the town of Hanover, NH, home to Dartmouth College, one could expect academic integrity to be a cornerstone. But a high school cheating scandal has shaken the town's foundations and divided the community. On an evening this past June a group of students at Hanover High School [video] used stolen keys to break into a teacher's filing cabinet, walking away with multiple mathematics exams. Five days later, another group stole chemistry finals. As many as 60 students may have had a role in the thefts, either helping to plan them or receiving answers from the stolen exams. Police investigated and a local prosecutor has filed criminal charges against nine students. "Parents of the accused are furious and frantically trying to reduce charges to violations that carry no criminal penalties, penalties they say could harm their children's chances of attending college or securing employment....some residents [are] laying blame squarely on the nine accused students - dubbed "the Notorious Nine" - while others have questioned whether the intense competitiveness of 750-student Hanover High forced students into positions of having to cheat."
posted by ericb at 11:06 AM PST - 77 comments

A gay Republican news story that you probably didn't read about in the paper: In late August, Ralph Gonzalez--Republican strategist, former Georgia GOP executive director, and "political powerhouse"--was murdered (along with his roommate, David Abrami, another Republican political consultant) by Gonzalez' "friend" and former Marine Jason Robert Drake. Characterized as the result of a "lovers' quarrel," it's a bizarre crime story that should've made at least a ripple in the national news, given some other recent incidents. But it never did. [more inside]
posted by cowboy_sally at 10:59 AM PST - 30 comments

If you feel like you're in a 20-man Battle Royale when it comes to your financial situation, maybe Ric Flair can help you out. Listen to the Nature Boy! Wooooooo!
posted by beaucoupkevin at 10:34 AM PST - 15 comments

As it turns out, the Sex Pistols' "Belsen was a Gas" isn't the sort of thing that mobile phone companies want associated with their products.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:13 AM PST - 46 comments

You know who else enjoyed Auschwitz? No, not them. That's right, them. [more inside]
posted by found missing at 9:54 AM PST - 59 comments

"The “Monuments Men” [wiki] were a group of ... men and women from thirteen nations who comprised the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives section during World War II....Together they worked to protect monuments and other cultural treasures from the destruction of World War II. ...They tracked, located, and ultimately returned more than 5 million artistic and cultural items stolen by Hitler and the Nazis. Their role in preserving cultural treasures was without precedent. "
posted by dersins at 9:02 AM PST - 6 comments


It's hard to think of any music that's any more fun than The Ventures, and here they are, live in Japan, 1965, at the top of their game. This footage is really good: Walk Don't Run. Wipe Out. Apache. House of the Rising Sun. Slaughter on Tenth Avenue. Flight of the Bumblebee. The Cruel Sea . . . But WAIT! Opening for the Ventures on that steamy summer night was homegrown Ventures cover band The M-Ventures! Straight outta Tokyo! Check out their versions of The Pink Panther Theme, Surf Rider and Yellowjacket. And in case you were wondering if the Ventures' influence is still being felt in Japan, well, check out 9-year-old guitarist Chicchi's versions of The Cruel Sea, Penetration, Walk Don't Run and Pipeline.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:27 AM PST - 36 comments

Star Wars: The Musical. Luke sings ("Uncle Owen I'm not like you. I can't just bury my dreams (in the sands of Tatooine)"). Vader sings ("Bring me the passengers - every child woman and man!"). C3PO sings ("I am a droid, so don't you mess with me."). And Han sings a ballad that starts off like "The Impossible Dream," then mutates into the bastard intergalactic cousin "Do You Hear The People Sing?" as it might be performed by Neil Diamond, Richard Burton and Peter Lorre. [more inside]
posted by grabbingsand at 6:09 AM PST - 33 comments

Meteorite landing confirmed in Peru. Some report illness. Could it be the arrival of the anti-Christ Mabus? Here's what one Doubting Thomas has to say about the whole thing. Some have found it funny.
posted by haunted by Leonard Cohen at 5:58 AM PST - 58 comments


Is the world flat? The great minds of The View explore the age old question. As we've recently and painfully learned, the children of America need maps. [more inside]
posted by allkindsoftime at 12:58 AM PST - 95 comments

Are you a fan of Faerie's Aire and Death Waltz? Then you will like this, (via here), as well as all of these! [more inside]
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 12:33 AM PST - 11 comments

Happy Birthday :-) 25 years ago, communications were changed forever. Story in Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette
posted by msacheson at 12:29 AM PST - 17 comments

They don't smoke marijuana in Muskogee, but my fellow Okies have given LSD to their elephants, all in the name of SCIENCE! — The Top 20 Most Bizarre Experiments of All Time [more inside]
posted by Brittanie at 12:05 AM PST - 42 comments

September 18

Despite ongoing legal issues, Robert Sylvester Kelly continues to reign as an icon of commercial rap/r&b. His 'direct' approach to lyrics - that behind the bizarre metaphors and often hilariously tasteless statements that have been the key to his longevity - also shines through in some of his biggest hits. Kelly's piece de resistance, Trapped In the Closet, which recently released 10 new 'chapters,' takes his penchant for crude storytelling to new heights. Featuring love-triangles, -pentagons, and -octagons, not to mention a well-endowed 'midget', the soap-like series is being credited with the creation of a new genre of music video. Not one to let the strange allure of his work speak for itself, Kelly describes TITC as "my alien."
posted by whahappen?! at 11:29 PM PST - 16 comments

Did anyone in the history of Used Car Dealerships ever go to greater lengths to get you to go see him than Cal Worthington and his Dog, Spot? Warning: video contains music that cannot be unlistened to & will haunt you to the grave. [more inside]
posted by jonson at 11:23 PM PST - 63 comments

Shift Option Rinse A charming video of a woman testing the keyboard-cleaning abilities of her dishwasher.
posted by milestogo at 11:12 PM PST - 11 comments

Sewer openings turned into street art by São Paolo duo 6emeia. [via FunForever]
posted by mediareport at 9:38 PM PST - 17 comments

Carleton has the book for you. Bonus portable breakdancing mat! Priceless '80s video from the soon-to-be sidekick to the Fresh Prince of Bel Air
posted by gforce414 at 9:02 PM PST - 25 comments

Djs in ihren Wohnzimmern: Erst. Zweitens. von
posted by klangklangston at 8:55 PM PST - 24 comments

Surveillance Society Clock. "It's six minutes before midnight as a surveillance society draws near within the United States." [Via Danger Room.]
posted by homunculus at 8:54 PM PST - 37 comments

The Cold War Files. Interpreting history through documents.
posted by Effigy2000 at 8:42 PM PST - 4 comments

The Cooperative Extension Service, founded in 1914 in the US by the Smith-Lever Act, was established in concert with the land-grant universities to develop practical applications of agricultural research, and spread them to farmers and others throughout the country. As part of this education program, the extension programs have produced and collected an extraordinary amount of practical advice, easily accessible to the layman... [more inside]
posted by Upton O'Good at 8:20 PM PST - 12 comments

Ian Buruma reviews World War IV: The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism, by senior neo-conservative Norman Podhoretz, in the New York Review of Books. The key to Podhoretz's politics seems to me to lie right there: the longing for power, for toughness, for the Shtarker [strong man] who doesn't give a damn about anyone or anything, and hatred of the contemptible, cowardly liberals with their pandering ways and their double standards. Since Podhoretz, himself a bookish man, can never be a Shtarker, his government must fill that role, and not give a damn about anyone or anything. [more inside]
posted by russilwvong at 5:37 PM PST - 51 comments

Screw cheezburgers. All the fun of "LOLcats," but with badass roller derby girls instead. Talk derby to me!
posted by CitizenD at 5:25 PM PST - 112 comments

Musical positions. Not safe for a music stand. And really, the triplet bracket belongs in the final measure.
posted by St Urbain's Horseman at 5:22 PM PST - 28 comments

Hatred and Profits: Getting Under the Hood of the Ku Klux Klan (50 page pdf). Steven Levitt, of freakonomics fame, along with Roland Fryer, has just released a new academic paper that assesses the rise and fall of the KKK from a variety of perspectives. From one of the authors ...It details the rise and fall of the Klan in the 1920s. Incredibly, the Klan had millions of members at that time, and most of them were reasonably well-educated. Based on a variety of data sources, we argue that, despite its size and education levels, the group nevertheless had little measurable impact on society or politics...
posted by jourman2 at 5:20 PM PST - 12 comments

When happy hour's over, and it's time to cruise back to trash someone's loungeroom, continue the tight-arse tradition with Boozle!
posted by pompomtom at 4:46 PM PST - 8 comments

The Horizon Simulation 70 billions particles : a new world record for a large scale simulation of the universe. [more inside]
posted by bru at 4:02 PM PST - 29 comments


Mare Tranquillitatis outside Flagstaff. "With high explosives, they terraformed a lunar surrogate right here on the surface of the earth." The excellent Pruned reports on the earth-bound moon model. USGS report.
posted by OmieWise at 10:54 AM PST - 16 comments

Zork - The Original Map. This was too awesome not to post! (via)
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 9:08 AM PST - 132 comments

His father was a minister in the Apostolic Church, but, after a series of arguments about his son's womanizing and heavy cocaine use he ended up shooting his own son down. The biggest of Motown's solo artists. Marvin Gaye often struggled with his brother-in-law, Berry Gordy over his desire to pursue different creative choices rather than following the tried and tested commercial formula. [more inside]
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:00 AM PST - 32 comments

Monsters! — Jennifer Strunge & Sarah Bourque
posted by sciurus at 8:09 AM PST - 21 comments

Hatsune Miku is the latest singing sensation to sweep Japan. No, she's not a new idol singer, she's Yamaha's Vocaloid2 software simulating the voice of vocalist Saki Fujita. Currently a #2 seller on Amazon, even at the cost of 15750 yen (about $137). But you don't need to buy the software to appreciate it. Check out Ievan Polka, Fly Me to the Moon, the theme from Princess Mononoke, and more!
posted by CrunchyFrog at 8:05 AM PST - 40 comments

Imagini Visual DNA. A ten-webpage survey supposed to profile your personality. [via Robot Wisdom]
posted by cgc373 at 7:52 AM PST - 41 comments


Last Wednesday, residents of the Ulyanovsk province of Russia took the day off work in celebration of their newest holiday, Sex Day.
posted by Afroblanco at 7:06 AM PST - 42 comments

From the same man who wrote poetry to the state treasurer and brought segregation back to Omaha Public Schools comes a new lawsuit... against God. Says Nebraska State Senator Ernie Chambers: "People might call it frivolous but if they read it they'll see there are very serious issues I have raised." PDF of suit alleging that God "has made and continues to make terroristic threats of grave harm to innumerable persons."
posted by dead_ at 6:32 AM PST - 30 comments


"Dr. Nalini Ghuman {is} . . . a citizen of the United Kingdom and a professor of music at Mills College in Oakland, California. In August 2006 Dr. Ghuman was detained upon her return to the United States." And nobody knows why. [more inside]
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:07 AM PST - 123 comments

Legendary tremolo guitar king Link Wray discovered him singing gospel with the Mighty Clouds of Joy, and figured he might be the kind of rock'n'roll screamer he was looking for. If he was gonna sing the devil's music, though, he'd need another name, so they came up with a rather unlikely moniker: Bunker Hill. Just listen. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:48 AM PST - 14 comments

September 17

Mark Ecko (previously) spent three-quarters of a million dollars for Barry Bonds' 756th career home-run ball, and is is going to let the people decide in an online vote what should be done with it.
posted by fandango_matt at 11:43 PM PST - 32 comments

Resolve.org is a site devoted to providing support, both emotional and practical, to people struggling with infertility issues. The immediately apparent benefits to visiting would be their informational documents and errata, but of at least equal value are the bulletin boards where you can talk with other people dealing with infertility, whether it's for the sake of venting, chatting or just to have someplace you can go where you don't have to hear the words "well, adoption isn't so bad..."
posted by shmegegge at 11:40 PM PST - 66 comments

...These findings come from a poll released today by ORB, the British polling agency that has been tracking public opinion in Iraq since 2005. In conjunction with their Iraqi fieldwork agency a representative sample of 1,499 adults aged 18+ answered the following question: How many members of your household, if any, have died as a result of the conflict in Iraq since 2003 (ie as a result of violence rather than a natural death such as old age)?
Answer: 1,220,580
Tables pdf
FinalDeadNumbersWEIGHTED.xls
See also Poll: Civilian toll in Iraq may top 1M
See also None Dare Call It Genocide
posted by y2karl at 11:20 PM PST - 131 comments

"Pet custody disputes have become an increasingly common fixture in divorce cases." Related: "Animal lawyers are careful to distinguish themselves from animal rights advocates... These lawyers are concerned primarily with getting the legal system to acknowledge that animals have an intrinsic value beyond mere property."
posted by amyms at 10:15 PM PST - 15 comments

Dostoyevsky's Crime & Punishment in comic book form. Batman comic book form, to be specific. Via.
posted by jonson at 10:10 PM PST - 15 comments

Hi, Dad, I'm in Jail. Earth to Doris.
Two brief videos made for Was(Not Was) by Christoph Simon, which aired on Liquid Television.
posted by klangklangston at 6:24 PM PST - 52 comments

The "paint with sound" concept has been done before though perhaps never so beautifully (IMO). I found it best with just piano and upright bass, but YMMV. Via Unusual Instruments' Music Videos blog, which doesn't have craploads of content, but I did find the array mbira video quite interesting. This whole concept reminds me of other unusual instruments I've seen on the internet, like this guy and his broccoli ocarina and these folks and their pipe hat and this guy playing what appears to be an electric tennis racket violin. Previous (a, b)
posted by Kickstart70 at 6:06 PM PST - 6 comments

Tasers are the new black. University of Florida student gets tasered while police try to restrain him for "disrupting a public event" at an open mic when he brazenly began dogging John Kerry about the state of the 2004 election, Bush's potential impeachment, and Kerry's affiliation with the Skull & Bones Society. Video of the incident here and here. Echoes from this incident a little less than year ago.
posted by Mach3avelli at 5:40 PM PST - 476 comments

As of September 18 at midnight, access to all of the New York Times website will be free. In addition to opening the entire site to all readers, The Times will also make available its archives from 1987 to the present without charge, as well as those from 1851 to 1922, which are in the public domain.
posted by russilwvong at 5:02 PM PST - 81 comments

Darren Aronofsky has posted a bootleg commentary for his film The Fountain (the one with Hugh Jackman in a bubble with a tree flying through space) since the film company decided the actual dvd itself didn't need one. The direct mp3 download is here (16mg) [via].
posted by feelinglistless at 4:30 PM PST - 72 comments

101 Things I Hate About Your House Advice on how to choose safe cleaning products for the home, create chocolate dessert recipes and book reviews. No, it's not Martha Stewart, but rather, helpful tips from interior designer James Swan.
posted by CameraObscura at 2:01 PM PST - 20 comments

Tips for expressing gender in Japanese. Or, how to avoid becoming a "gaijin peto". Plus: obligatory wikage.
posted by Laugh_track at 1:43 PM PST - 76 comments

Was 1997 the new 1967? Discuss. [via]
posted by bardic at 1:17 PM PST - 110 comments

Using a $20,000 CCD camera and some new software, ground-based telescopes can now get images as good as the Hubble Telescope in many situations [some images ]. By taking many high-quality pictures quickly and taking the best parts of each, Lucky imaging compensates for atmospheric effects to produce lovely images. You can do it too, using free software and any webcam.
posted by blahblahblah at 12:50 PM PST - 13 comments

Land of the free. So long as you don't wear unapproved pants. The racist angle kind of surprised me; I would think people would be outraged on the basic principle alone.
posted by Bovine Love at 12:50 PM PST - 88 comments

A run on the bank: Ever since the Bank of England announced that they were offering Northern Rock an emergency line of credit, people have been queueing to withdraw to withdraw their money in the first bank run in the UK for decades. [more inside]
posted by pharm at 12:21 PM PST - 44 comments

Fueled by Rice - Five recent grads from the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's Unviersity recently set off from Beijing to bike across Asia and Europe. The goal of their bike trip is to spread international good will on the local level and advocate reducing carbon emissions and living slower-paced, more enjoyable lives. Along the way they will bike through rural areas and play music in villages. As they travel, the group is posting photos, a blog, and will attempt to get a podcast up and running. They've even got the site up in Chinese, though the site seems to be blocked for most folks in China.
posted by pithy comment at 12:15 PM PST - 11 comments

Fantasy Stock Market Limit Break Go! A literal interpretation of fantasy stock market trading in Dungeons and Day Traders reg. req. Start with the rules and get trading in a week long mishmash of pyrolisks and porkbellies, mushrooms and margins, dragons and drawdowns...
posted by boo_radley at 10:59 AM PST - 9 comments



Incredibly expressive portraits of apes and monkeys by photographer Jill Greenberg whose pictures of crying babies raised heckles last year.
posted by Kattullus at 8:57 AM PST - 71 comments

The Face2face project. JR, an "undercover photographer", and Marco, a technology consultant, had 41 people - israelis and palestinians - mugging for the camera and plastered the huge, unavoidable pictures on both sides of the Israeli West Bank barrier, pair by pair : one israeli, one palestinian, both having similar jobs and posing in a similar fashion (+an imam, a rabbi and a christian priest). See also the trailer (YT, other videos available on the main site).
posted by elgilito at 8:56 AM PST - 15 comments

Socially conscious rap and hip hop may be making a comeback, but it seems to be doing so at the expense of stereotyping and bigotry. Videos like Read a Book (hilarious) and Serve Below Zero may be intended to send a “good” message to the black community, but it’s hard to ignore blatant racist undertones (or overtones) in the lyrics and images. [more inside]
posted by FeldBum at 8:05 AM PST - 63 comments

The first OzBus left London last night. A latter day Magic Bus, the new service will cover 15 000 miles in 12 weeks and cross 20 countries before reaching it's destination. Follow one pasenger's journey here.
posted by brautigan at 3:42 AM PST - 49 comments


An espalier is a plant trained to grow flat against a wall, fence, or trellis. Developed by the Romans, they were popular in Middle Age Europe as a source of fruit in castles and monasteries because they could be grown against the keep's stone walls leaving open space unencumbered. Now they are an excellent choice for apartment and condo dwellers with small yards. For larger yards espaliers can be used as a decorative feature, to provide shade or to increase the variety of trees under cultivation. University of Florida PDF detailing the technique.
posted by Mitheral at 1:52 AM PST - 16 comments

shock doctrine at work
Fisk documents the dismantling of Iraqi culture - Klein exposes the history behind the destruction.
posted by specialk420 at 12:22 AM PST - 40 comments

Leave Jesus Alone!
posted by homunculus at 12:05 AM PST - 72 comments

September 16

Tom Snyder interviews Charles Manson, ca. 1981. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7.
posted by fandango_matt at 11:34 PM PST - 7 comments


Ganapati Bappa Moraya!
posted by hadjiboy at 10:41 PM PST - 6 comments

Because water is a basic need for all life and good health, access to enough safe water, or water security, is defined as a human right by international law. [mostly pdfs]
posted by bigmusic at 8:58 PM PST - 16 comments


After a spell of listening to my usual morose and rustic alt. country, and classic rock, my daughther cheers me up today with the light-on-the-testosterone phenomemon that is Mika!. Happy happy joy joy. thumbs up here. Compare with the darker, and more underground low budget contemporary answer to David Bowie, Bobby Conn. Bound to get comments from pop star lovers.
posted by celerystick at 7:19 PM PST - 37 comments

Google launches a site dedicated to the upcoming Australian Federal Election with Youtube channels from each party, electoral boundaries integrated into Google Maps, a search engine to allow you to view what each candidate has said on a range of issues, from immigration to interest rates, news from your electorate, and graphs of media activity on candidates and issues. Australians have been lacking a comprehensive political resource like the UK's The Work For You, and Google has brought it one step closer. Unfortunately, many of the resources are in the form of gadgets you add to your iGoogle homepage, rather than standalone applications.
posted by Jimbob at 6:57 PM PST - 29 comments

12 medical specialty stereotypes by Dr. Michelle Au (in comic form!) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
posted by jourman2 at 6:38 PM PST - 24 comments

R.I.P. Robert Jordan (1948-2007). The author of the best-selling fantasy series The Wheel of Time succumbed to amyloidosis this afternoon.
posted by Pastabagel at 6:35 PM PST - 101 comments

"California has a decision to make. We either brace ourselves for long-term [water] cuts that threaten our economy and our very way of way of life, or we invest in a solution to fix the [San Francisco Bay] Delta and expand our water toolbox so we can meet future challenges head-on.” [more inside]
posted by salvia at 5:19 PM PST - 41 comments

Today marks 30 years since Marc Bolan died. In the five years since this post, YouTube has come along to offer us videos of a whole slew of T. Rex songs: 20th Century Boy, Telegram Sam, Jeepster, Hot Love, Children of the Revolution, Ride A White Swan, Solid Gold Easy Action, Metal Guru, and of course Bang A Gong (Get It On). Also, Born To Boogie, Ringo Starr's documentary about T. Rex, has gone from "hard to find" to available on DVD.
posted by kimota at 5:18 PM PST - 16 comments

David Dunlop is a landscape painter. This is the first episode of his new PBS show, Landscapes Through Time, on American Impressionism. (Parts 1, 2, 3) [more inside]
posted by anotherpanacea at 5:08 PM PST - 3 comments

Pat Condell is back. This time with a response to Osama Bin Laden's invitation for all westerners to adopt Islam to end the war in Iraq. He's trying to be teh funny, but makes a couple of good points. See more of his entertaining and sometimes enlightening (kinda) vids here.
posted by snsranch at 4:12 PM PST - 16 comments


Sunday Night, later named Michelob Presents Night Music, was an NBC late-night television show hosted by Jools Holland and David Sanborn which aired for two seasons between 1988 and 1990 as a showcase for jazz and eclectic musical artists. [YouTubeFilter, via] [more inside]
posted by carsonb at 10:22 AM PST - 32 comments

Fuck the Mayberry Away. In which Peaches shakes her skinny groove thing with Barney Fife an’ them.
posted by jason's_planet at 9:24 AM PST - 44 comments


What would make origami cool? Insects, of course! Click "写真の一覧" for thumbnails. [more inside]
posted by Citizen Premier at 7:46 AM PST - 12 comments


Picking Up Women 101, courtesy of the Internet. (warning: Youtube linkfest) Author Neil Strauss (The Game) introduces us to the concept. Celebrated PUA Mystery (of VH1's 'The Pick Up Artist' fame) shows us some of his moves and espouses. (Conan O'Brien makes light of it all.) Self-described 'nerd' Ross Jeffries (who claims to be this inspiration for this character) sells his line of Speed Seduction using a hypnosis-based strategy called NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) to get into girls' panties. You might want to check out a more straight-forward approach, highlighted by UK Channel 4's 'Speed School.' (parts 1 2 3 4 5). [more inside]
posted by Mach3avelli at 1:21 AM PST - 245 comments

European Stamps claims to have pictures of nearly 80% of all postage stamps issued in Europe. But if you're searching for an image of what is perhaps the world's most valuable stamp, often referred to as 'Philately's Greatest Error', you'd best look elsewhere. Like here, specifically.
posted by Effigy2000 at 1:00 AM PST - 9 comments

Let's pay a visit to Zimbabwe's Oliver Mtukudzi, or Tuku, as he's affectionately known to his fans. His voice has a touch of that sweet soul gravel reminiscent of Georgia's Otis Redding, or Jamaica's Toots Hibberts, but his mellow fingerpicking guitar style and relaxed, loping grooves are African all the way. His earlier stuff is certainly worth going back to as well! And, hey, it's unlikely you'll hear too many other pop stars who sing lines like "Call the mother of my childfren. I am hurt. I was injured while training the ox." [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:26 AM PST - 11 comments

September 15

"When youth culture becomes monopolized by big business, what are the youth to do? I think we should destroy the bogus capitalist process that is destroying youth culture...the first step to do is destroy the record companies." 1991: The Year Punk Broke
posted by TrialByMedia at 11:16 PM PST - 81 comments

DHTML Arkanoid One of my favorite arcade classics, and one of the slickest applications of DHTML I've ever seen.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 9:57 PM PST - 25 comments

Aerial building heat loss maps. Haringey Council has contracted with Hot Mapping and Horton Levi to put a searchable heat loss map online for every building in the London Borough of Haringey. The thermal images were collected using overflights with a military style imager. The council's hope is that residents with hot buildings will take steps to reduce the amount of energy being leaked to the environment.
posted by Mitheral at 9:31 PM PST - 19 comments

CBC Television's sitcom Little House on the Mosque, starring Carlo Rota of 24, has been mentioned before on the blue and grey. Reviews have actually been pretty positive, the ratings have been good, and now you can decide for yourself whether the "brou-ha-ha" was worth it (all 8 episodes linked inside). Don't think a sitcom can possibly capture Muslim life accurately? Well, maybe Morgan Spurlock's 30 Days can do a better job for you. It's pretty fascinating viewing, either way. [more inside]
posted by miss lynnster at 7:20 PM PST - 30 comments

Excerpts from Pissing in the Snow, a collection of ribald folk tales collected in the first half of the twentieth century around the Ozarks by Vance Randolph. (NSFW language) [more inside]
posted by Bookhouse at 7:05 PM PST - 21 comments


Unfortunately there is not much on the web about the greatest cabaret singer who ever lived, the wonderful Mabel Mercer. So I am adding this new animated Guinness commercial made for the Rugby World Cup to pad out this post. [more inside]
posted by vronsky at 5:15 PM PST - 6 comments


The Official Marvel Character Bios will clue you in on Marvel characters from the obscure to the world famous. To find out about the really, really obscure you have to visit The Appendix to The Handbook of the Marvel Universe, where you can learn about such characters as Glowworm (a.k.a. Race Killer), Thunderhoof (part of Force Four) and human/amoeba hybrid Half-Man.
posted by Kattullus at 3:50 PM PST - 57 comments

What do you get when you combine strange poisons, unusual wallpaper, and odd Napoleons? Why, the strange story of Napoleon’s wallpaper, of course. (bonus Mark Knopfler video)
posted by YamwotIam at 2:28 PM PST - 10 comments

Here Is Jazz Old Time Online
17,877 Real Audio streams of public domain jazz recordings, 17,147 of which are available as mp3 downloads for $5 for 3 months. Run a search on a favorite and see what they have. Man, all those Don Redman sides--I may just break down and get a Paypal account. Hate Realplayer ? Well, fight the power and use Real Alternative aka Media Player Classic instead.
posted by y2karl at 1:14 PM PST - 20 comments

Being Rachel Zoe (NYTimes) The life of a celebrity stylist. [more inside]
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:20 PM PST - 65 comments

Why do men pee standing up? To summarize, the author thinks there's too much messy splatter when you stand up. He makes this point by starting with an Adam and Eve story, then clarifies that he too used to pee standing up, then discusses possible reasons, then shares a messy personal story, then writes another paragraph, then another, then another ...
posted by jragon at 11:38 AM PST - 107 comments

Cinematic particles is an online applet that draws watercolor-like visualizations of movie dialogs, from Apocalypse Now to Zabriskie Point. See also: Spinal Rhythms, L-Garden, SpyCamp and other online toys by Austrian artist Eva Schindling.
posted by elgilito at 10:49 AM PST - 3 comments

Lake Biwa: David Attenborough's Satoyama on YouTube, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu at 9:42 AM PST - 16 comments

The New York Times has published its first video "letter to the editor", a 10-minute mini-documentary by Charles Ferguson on the decision by L. Paul Bremer to disband the Iraqi army shortly after the US occupation began. The video is posted as a rebuttal to a recent op-ed by Bremer that tried to redistribute some of the blame for that catastrophic blunder that in large part gave birth to the Sunni insurgency.
posted by stbalbach at 8:18 AM PST - 22 comments


"Final Fantasy VII: Voices of the Lifestream is an OverClocked ReMix Album featuring free fan arrangements from the soundtrack to Square's legendary Final Fantasy VII for the Sony Playstation."
posted by nthdegx at 5:53 AM PST - 18 comments

Don't call it hip hop. "The Rappist" by Schaffer the Darklord.
posted by stavrogin at 4:30 AM PST - 43 comments

More cuckoo than cuckoos: mate two salmon, get a... trout! Just give the parents a sperm transplant. And the sperm stem cells work in females too:
...Injecting the male cells into female salmon sometimes worked, too, prompting five female salmon to ovulate trout eggs.... The stem cells were still primitive enough to switch gears from sperm-producers to egg-producers when they wound up inside female organs....
posted by orthogonality at 1:57 AM PST - 10 comments

He said "From what I can see, there are basically two types of people who use the Internet regularly-- the ones who write blogs and participate in sites like Flickr and MySpace, and there are the ones who only lurk and read what others have written. The problems with the ones who 'participate' are too many of them think anything that happens in their lives will interest the world. What they had for dinner at the restaurant, what stores they visited when they went shopping yesterday, who they talked to on the phone. The Internet has in unexpected and important ways democratized the airwaves. But in doing that, it also opened the floodgates of superficial, uninteresting sludge that fills up most peoples' lives." I had written something similar to those sentiments a long time ago on this blog so it was interesting to hear similar conclusions coming from someone else. He also said one of the distressing things he realized via web surfing was how lonely middle class people are and how much need there is in them to download the trivia of their lives on someone. From the website of Jonathan Carroll.
posted by landis at 1:47 AM PST - 105 comments

September 14

Somewhere along your musical journeys you might've heard something by Mr. Josh White (1914-1969). He was a bluesman, but one with the kind of smooth and polished delivery (and some charming novelty tunes) that made him a favorite on the wider, national pop/folk scene. He was pretty sexy, too. He didn't shy away from political/racial themes, either. Unsurprisingly, he ran afoul of the infamous House Un-American Activities Committee during the Red Scare years, and his name was placed on their Commie blacklist. Some few decades later his image graced a US postage stamp. Thanks for the music, Josh White.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:22 PM PST - 24 comments

"He's a human. And all you Democrats want to do is knock him down." [more inside]
posted by brownpau at 9:09 PM PST - 41 comments

Re-Connections [1 2 3 4 5 6 7, YouTube]. Interviews with James Burke at the 25th anniversary of his landmark series Connections and The Day the Universe Changed. [Previously]
posted by McLir at 8:38 PM PST - 27 comments

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Throwdown have a message to impart. [One Link YouTube Post, NSFW Language.]
posted by beaucoupkevin at 7:14 PM PST - 18 comments

Flam, parradidle and ratamacue... (single link YouTube) brings to mind the late john Bohnham. Also Rich/Krupa. And Steve Gadd. Elvin Jones just passed away and did I mention Ed Shaughnessy? Black and white! Drummers can get tripped out or tripped in. Drummers read the Wikipedia and they will open up if you let them... I am sure every drummer here has a back beat. Drums have always been about physical comedy.
posted by St Urbain's Horseman at 6:50 PM PST - 60 comments

Ghetto Capitalists At once an outsider and a welcome participant in the ghetto economy, he found that he was suddenly part of “a vast, often invisible web” of economic exchange. That web supports the residents of Maquis Park and adds a strange sort of order to their existence, tempering chaos and adding predictability to the lives of Chicago’s poor. For the most part, the people he meets seem eager to trade. It’s just that much of what they’re trading isn’t going to meet with the approval of a law-and-order Republican or a bleeding-heart Great Society Democrat.
posted by jason's_planet at 6:36 PM PST - 29 comments

Struggling British biotech firm Vernalis reports "striking" weight loss among patients taking its new obesity drug, "V24343".
posted by chuckdarwin at 6:05 PM PST - 26 comments

100 years ago last July, young Chester Gillette took his pregnant girlfriend Grace Brown boating in a lake in the Adironakes. Out on the water he clubbed her unconscious using a tennis racket he had brought along for the purchase, and threw her body overboard, drowning her & his unborn child. 100 years ago next March, he was put to death for the crime, which went on to become the basis for a great American novel, two movie adaptations (some would say three) & as befits a good tragedy, an opera. It's arguable that the soft lens of history plus the addition of the bias of the book & film adaptations have positioned Gillette in a kinder light than he deserves; his crime itself has never fallen out of vogue, sad to say.
posted by jonson at 4:56 PM PST - 37 comments


The Smothers Brothers are a folk-singing comedy duo whose television show, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour featured music, comedy, and political satire. CBS abruptly canceled the show in 1969 due to continued arguments about censorship. [more inside]
posted by oneirodynia at 3:35 PM PST - 37 comments

Rents are up in San Francisco. CraigStatsSF can tell you by how much over the last year. (coming soon: NYC, Chicago, Toronto, Boston, and more. What neighborhoods are hot? (Heatmaps are cool). Firefox is your friend.
posted by rtha at 2:52 PM PST - 45 comments

Friday? Keep on Growing. (previously.)
posted by progosk at 2:48 PM PST - 16 comments

Someone call John Hughes! Two students at Central Kings Rural High School fought back against bullying recently, unleashing a sea of pink after a new student was harassed and threatened when he showed up wearing a pink shirt.
posted by Shanachie at 1:22 PM PST - 99 comments

DUI for NOT Driving while Drunk A New Jersey appellate court yesterday upheld the principle that convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) can be imposed on individuals who were not driving. This is not one of those kooky old laws on the books.
posted by CameraObscura at 12:31 PM PST - 99 comments

Oroboros. [sic] Friday flash. A new twist on "Snake."
posted by dersins at 11:48 AM PST - 9 comments

"The Scariest Thing I've Ever Seen." A psychiatrist sees Rob Zombie's remake of horror classic Halloween.
posted by Pastabagel at 9:57 AM PST - 203 comments

Brad Laidman critiques the findings from the Centre For Public Health at Liverpool John Moore University report [pdf] 'Elvis to Eminem: quantifying the price of fame through early mortality of European and North American rock and pop stars.' [more inside]
posted by tellurian at 8:32 AM PST - 25 comments

The Striking Viking Story Pirates craft and perform badass showtunes made from stories written by little kids.
posted by 23skidoo at 7:32 AM PST - 8 comments

Head Injury Theater presents: Dungeons and Dragons: Celebrating 30 Years of Very Stupid Monsters.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:18 AM PST - 69 comments

Child Beater. Part II. YouTubes, from onehitmaster.com. (No children were harmed during the making of these movies.) [more inside]
posted by BeerFilter at 6:35 AM PST - 28 comments


Travis A. Louie makes some really lush paintings of unlikely human oddities in the style of vintage black and white photo portraits. The frameset navigation is horrible, so here are some samples: Goblin in a Formal Dress circa 1893. Karl the Original Humanzee. Sir Reginald Whiskers McPherson. Emily. Archibald Langston circa 1897. Jack "Toothy" McPherson. Frank.

Mentioned in Projects. Via.
posted by jiiota at 5:29 AM PST - 11 comments

DAISY: The complete history of an infamous and iconic ad. [more inside]
posted by carsonb at 12:44 AM PST - 17 comments


September 13

NORTH POLE FULL METAL JACKET (lang. nsfw)
posted by vronsky at 9:31 PM PST - 26 comments

The Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay. What happens when you have more obsolete steamships than you can burn? You end up with one of the largest shipwreck fleets in the Western Hemisphere. [more inside]
posted by peeedro at 9:12 PM PST - 28 comments


Abandoned plane wrecks of the north. The Arctic North is a cruel environment for men and machine; for planes it is no different. The weather creates all sorts of hazards, the terrain offers its own variety of opportunities for disaster. (Warning: extreme comic sans.)
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 8:03 PM PST - 12 comments

Sexy Mormon Men -- "For the first time ever, twelve of the hottest and hunkiest former Mormon Missionaries have dared to pose bare-chested in the first-ever Mormons Exposed calendar." They're trying to "help get rid of stereotypes." Previously mentioned
posted by ericb at 6:56 PM PST - 82 comments

Step by Step How do you define private property? Apparently the city council of Belmont, CA has their own definition.
posted by brandz at 4:56 PM PST - 169 comments


Israel not talking. Syria says little. US silent. Syria claimed it chased away the Israeli plane. But since then Syria has said nothing. Nor has Israel. And this news item from BBC says that the intrusion into Syrian airspace is a mystery. But why would N. Korea, Syria, Israel and the US be so reticent to comment? Perhaps because Israel took out a nuke site
posted by Postroad at 4:03 PM PST - 83 comments

One should speak only when one may not remain silent; and then speak only of that which one has overcome—everything else is chatter, "literature," lack of breeding. My writings speak only of my overcomings: "I" am in them, together with everything that was hostile to me.
On January 3, 1889, Friedrich Nietzsche walked into the Piazza Carlo Alberto in Turin and saw a horse, fallen, beaten brutally by its master. Nietzsche embraced it, and thereafter never regained his reason. The story might be mythical, or borrowed. If so, it is hardly alone; myths about Nietzsche--his Nazism, his syphilis--seem to confirm his dictum that "truths are illusions which we have forgotten are illusions." But separating the man from the myth is impossible: Nietzsche was Zarathustra, he was Heraclitus. Like his ancient antecedents, he spoke in aphorisms and hymns, in fragments; like a bird, he fled south for the winter. "Only a fool, only a poet..."
posted by nasreddin at 1:27 PM PST - 74 comments

Glacier surfing. Filming in Alaska in 1995, photographer and surfer Ryan Casey looked at the huge waves kicked up by calving glaciers – up to 30 feet high, breaking on an ice shelf 18 inches deep, surrounded by tumbling chunks of ice as big as buildings – and thought, I bet you could surf that. A month ago, Hawaiian big-wave surfers Garrett McNamara and Keali’i Mamala did it. (YT)
posted by gottabefunky at 1:23 PM PST - 32 comments

Developers plan to build The VTP 200 - a proposed "landmark tower / vertical theme park" - in Birmingham's city centre.
posted by chuckdarwin at 12:47 PM PST - 33 comments

"Everyone I've talked to knows the exact date when they've been hit."
"Yeah. It's burned into your memory."
James Gandolfini interviews 10 wounded Iraq war veterans in Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq [review]. The documentary is viewable online. [more inside]
posted by kirkaracha at 12:14 PM PST - 27 comments


Avoiding Kids: How Men Cope With Being Cast as Predators These days, if Rian Romoli accidentally bumps into a child, he quickly raises his hands above his shoulders. "I don't want to give even the slightest indication that any inadvertent touching occurred," says Mr. Romoli, an economist in La Cañada Flintridge, Calif. Previous article by same author.
posted by agregoli at 10:40 AM PST - 247 comments


Marry Our Daughter
"Our 15 year old daughter Mary wasn’t very popular and did nothing but mope around the house bringing everybody down, so we decided to marry her off through your site. Now our house is a lot cheerier and we love our new swimming pool and Jaccuzi! We’ve told our youngest that when she turns 15 we’re going to marry her off too!"
posted by ozomatli at 10:09 AM PST - 75 comments

Some photo galleries (and youtube video) of Buran, the USSR's space shuttle program (previously) from the 1980's, long since abandoned. Bonus: A comparison between Buran and the US space shuttle. Double Bonus: More on Buran from russianspaceweb.com, which is awesome. Combo breaker: An official page with NASA's take on Buran, (and their photos), frozen in time a decade ago.
posted by dersins at 9:20 AM PST - 25 comments

Get Satisfaction has launched. It's crowd-sourced customer service -- or something like that. [more inside]
posted by chunking express at 9:12 AM PST - 25 comments

Things you can print. From a pinhole camera to a wifi antenna to a Sudoku generator.
posted by OmieWise at 7:58 AM PST - 21 comments

Old Magazine Articles Neat little database of .pdf copies of vintage magazine articles like Gilbert Seldes' 1922 review of Krazy Kat in Vanity Fair, a 1910 look at "Horse Versus Automobile," early nose jobs, an interview with James Joyce and more. [via ResearchBuzz]
posted by mediareport at 7:44 AM PST - 14 comments

There's a whole lotta Mefiers interested in the upcoming Led Zeppelin reunion, and it got me to thinking, let's pay a little visit to the Poet Laureate of the blues, Mr. Willie Dixon. After all, without him, there wouldn't have been a Whole Lotta Love, or a Bring It On Home, or... hell, there might not have been any Zep at all... His music has been interpreted and reinterpreted by an astonishing number of musicians. The man wrote a whole lotta songs. Oh, and, he played a little bit of bass, too. He was a whole lotta great.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:19 AM PST - 28 comments

Who is taller, Bin Laden or Bigfoot? Bernard Heuvelmans says: “A creature covered with long hair always looks bigger than it really is...” For that matter how big is Rambo? Or Arnold Schwartzenegger? (Play the game!) How tall are you?
posted by CCBC at 2:27 AM PST - 38 comments


The website of the ridiculously awesome Newseum has been revamped and relaunched in anticipation of its October reopening. Check out the redesigned Today's Front Pages and Analysis sections - and go here for frequent, fascinating evaluations of current front page graphic design (archive). Browse the downloadable front pages of notable dates in recent history (e.g. Katrina, 2004 tsunami, 9/11). Watch discussions of some of the most recognizable Pulitzer Prize winning photographs, and check out the interactive archives of past exhibits. You can also pay your respects at the online version of the Newseum's Journalists Memorial. (previously)
posted by lalex at 12:50 AM PST - 6 comments

September 12

Help! A Bear Is Eating Me! A podcast of Mykle Hansen's comic novel. One chapter a week, read by the author. A first person narrative, as told by an asshole, as he is eaten by a bear. [more inside]
posted by moonmilk at 8:56 PM PST - 16 comments


If it's got alcohol in it, someone, somewhere will drink it. But sometimes, it's surprising to note how many bizarre non-alcoholic drinks there are. Some have become beloved by not only their native countries, but by foreigners and even, sometimes, health nuts. [more inside]
posted by InnocentBystander at 6:30 PM PST - 23 comments


You can blow out a candle. But you can't blow out a fire. Steve Biko died 30 years ago today.
posted by Alec at 5:05 PM PST - 40 comments

Alfred Peet died last month; Is he the real father of Starbucks? Either way, cheers to some good java.
posted by bustmakeupleave at 4:14 PM PST - 15 comments

If you're itching to spend your hard-earned money on a Little Mermaid lollipop (or paddle ball), a Gene Simmons Plasma Light, an Emo Girls doll, a Caddy Shack gopher, Barbie's pooping dog, South Park's Mr. Hankey, an Insultinator, or other strange and silly products, check out Mike Mozart's collection of fun reviews first. [YouTube videos, approx. 2 to 3 mins. each]
posted by amyms at 3:35 PM PST - 14 comments

Well boys I reckon this is it. A B-52 loaded with six nuclear cruise missiles leaves North Dakota and arrives in Louisiana with five prompting the ACC to schedule (and announce) an Air Force wide standown on September 14, 2007. What's next Major Kong?
posted by augustweed at 3:34 PM PST - 141 comments


[PepsiBlue] Tired of your tea -- you know -- just lying there? Maybe you'd be interested in blooming tea...
posted by Ogre Lawless at 1:50 PM PST - 23 comments

How to write Consistently Boring Scientific Literature.
  1. Avoid Focus
    There are many exceptions in ecology. The author has summarized them in four books.
    -Jens Borum, ecologist

posted by four panels at 1:47 PM PST - 25 comments

No PC should be without MS DOS 5 - apparently because it has mouse support, a full-screen editor, and an utterly inexplicable music video. Guaranteed to save you at least 45K!!! of RAM, that is. [more inside]
posted by Afroblanco at 1:24 PM PST - 55 comments

The Seven Wonders of the IT World. Thrill at the camera closest to the North Pole! Consider the computer farthest from Earth! Goggle at the secret Google computing center! Tremble at the world's most powerful computer! Also, be slightly interested in large grid computers, Linux, and the OQO portable computer.
posted by blahblahblah at 12:02 PM PST - 17 comments

The Color of Top Grossing Movies. A movie’s theatrical poster is only a very small part of the larger marketing and hype machine that turns movies into spectacular blockbusters, but as part of a whole, they are fairly representative of the “image” of any given movie. So, as an exercise in color trends, and to see if any significant pattern emerged, I decided to break down the colors of 25 posters — the top 5 of each MPAA category.
posted by brain_drain at 11:44 AM PST - 35 comments


Movie stars. What have they got that you haven't got? A professional retoucher. (via YesbutNobutYes) [more inside]
posted by Dave Faris at 10:01 AM PST - 78 comments

Armless Hunters [more inside]
posted by dios at 9:24 AM PST - 47 comments

Jim Dupree, Coin Enthusiast. Also, Dog Enthusiast. Also, Sarah Polley Enthusiast. And stairs. And more.
posted by dersins at 9:18 AM PST - 9 comments

The bad news is that you're controlling a lone, unarmed tank against countless enemies, and your fuel is limited. The good news is that you're completely indestructible, and can destroy the bad guys by hurling your own tank into them. Play Indestructotank!
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:51 AM PST - 27 comments


Broken Faces [Flash site] During 2006, photographer Denis Rouvre travelled throughout France to cover a majority of the TOP 14 French (French national championship) rugby matches all the way to the finals. He was given locker room access to take these intimate and striking shots. via SpoFi. [more inside]
posted by psmealey at 8:02 AM PST - 29 comments

Think you're smart? Apply for a Prize Fellowship at Oxford's All Souls College. [via adrianhon]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:52 AM PST - 24 comments


“I’m a singer. I’m a performer.” Accused of taking part in a £1.75m armed robbery Brian Hibberd had an unorthodox defence. Apparently it worked. [more inside]
posted by ninebelow at 6:40 AM PST - 17 comments

I think....that unicorn love is a beautiful thing, and that if you find a spicy sexy unicorn stud muffin and want to let him fill you with his magical glittering seed, that is just fantastic. Probably NSFW.
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:18 AM PST - 89 comments

An obituary for Lord Michael Pratt a classic British toff. Despite his expertise on Central European country houses it seems he will be best remembered as: "one of the last Wodehouseian figures to inhabit London's clubland and...an unabashed snob and social interloper on a grand scale." Many more hilarious and unkind details about his schooling: "He was sent to Eton, having already acquired the rotund shape that would stay with him for the rest of his life.", and his boozing: "He was also a leading light in another Oxford club called the Snuff Committee, the sole purpose of which was to take snuff and drink port. Membership was by invitation only; the only stipulation was that one had to be the son of a landowner." Wags are already describing it as "the least hagiographic obit ever published".
posted by roofus at 4:30 AM PST - 51 comments

September 11

For almost thirty years, the female post-punk/neo-hip-hop all-sister band ESG from the South Bronx has been influencing your favorite music [mp3 direct link]. You've probably heard them sampled recently, and sampling credits don't pay the bills. After three decades of quietly making a big noise, they are hanging it up to enjoy their golden years. Long live ESG.
posted by moonbird at 9:57 PM PST - 21 comments


Street Survival: Learn to survive a knife attack, a blunt instrument attack, and a two on one attack in five minutes or less. Note: Don't miss the lively real life examples at the end of the videos.
posted by roaring beast at 8:28 PM PST - 47 comments

YouTube for an old generation, a new site by Rich Collier. [more inside]
posted by greatgefilte at 7:44 PM PST - 22 comments

Algorithm. JPEG compression explained.
posted by cgc373 at 6:35 PM PST - 32 comments

Homeland Insecurity. "What happened to the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, which Democratic leaders promised to make one of their top legislative priorities? What are the most deadly potential terrorist targets no one talks about—and who's lobbying against securing them? What's the one measure that could improve our chances of preventing an attack—without costing a penny? Why are the 2008 presidential candidates—Republicans and Democrats alike—nowhere on this issue? In this seven-part series Mother Jones' senior correspondent James Ridgeway examines how the government has let homeland security languish since September 11, 2001, with dire consequences."
posted by homunculus at 6:00 PM PST - 51 comments

Navarre now generates more than 50% of its energy needs by wind power: a profile of the small autonomous region in northern Spain that is leading the way in renewable energy. This is one of many free access articles in this special supplement on energy issues to the journal Nature.
posted by sergeant sandwich at 5:13 PM PST - 24 comments

"From a review of the anthropological and evolutionary literatures [Edge.org]... there were three best candidates for being additional psychological foundations of morality [embedded video], beyond harm/care and fairness/justice. These three we label as ingroup/loyalty (which may have evolved from the long history of cross-group or sub-group competition...); authority/respect (which may have evolved from the long history of primate hierarchy, modified by cultural limitations on power and bullying...), and purity/sanctity, which may be a much more recent system, growing out of the uniquely human emotion of disgust, which seems to give people feelings that some ways of living and acting are higher, more noble, and less carnal than others. [more inside]
posted by McLir at 5:06 PM PST - 19 comments

Back in 2001, amateur musicians seeking exposure on my.mp3.com responded spontaneously to the 9/11 attacks by posting their own heartfelt musical tributes to the event, which included the Wings cover Taliban on the Run, the anti-abortion ambient synth rock of Unborn Baby of Tower One, and the Christian numerology of Wayne and Liz's 9-11 Warning. More recent tributes can be found on YouTube and elsewhere, including the pro-Bush emo of 9 11 Vision of You, What Does Nine 11 Mean 2 U from "blog 'n' roller" Dr. B.L.T., and the Moby-ish The 9/11 Memorial Song. Meanwhile, YouTube has inspired somebody to ponder if you can make 9/11 look more "funny" by adding the Benny Hill theme song.
posted by jonp72 at 4:32 PM PST - 13 comments


You know it's a bad day when this man mugs you and then sucks your toes.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:09 PM PST - 33 comments

Dr Evermor's Art Park featuring the world's largest scrap metal sculpture, the Forevertron, is one of the most impressive metalwork collections I've ever seen. Great write up on the place over at Neatorama with tons of pix.
posted by jonson at 2:46 PM PST - 15 comments

The Superfantastics, a catchy, pop indie music band from Halifax, Nova Scotia, recently completed work on a music video, Tonight, Tonight. Innovative and cute!
posted by dflemingdotorg at 2:10 PM PST - 24 comments

The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art was to have been the home of Christoph Büchel's first major US installation, "Training Ground for Democracy". But disputes over budget overruns and missed deadlines led the museum to cancel the project. [NYT registration required] The incomplete installation is now tied up in litigation, and covered by tarp.
posted by silby at 1:51 PM PST - 11 comments

BeaterReview was formed to help the depreciation-averse enthusiast and automotive bottom-feeder alike find gold in them thar' mountains of rust.
posted by punkfloyd at 11:06 AM PST - 49 comments

The Theatre de la Mode exhibition featured scaled down haute couture designs from Paris's top designers on miniature mannequins, and was intended to help revive French fashion after WWII. If you're in the area, you can go see the exhibition where it ended up-- the Maryhill Museum, established by a rather unique guy named Sam Hill (who also built a full-scale poured-concrete replica of Stonehenge nearby) in a small town in south-central Washington state.Or you can just look at some flickr pictures (hey, look, it's "Metafilter's own" Harvey Girls!) Or get the viewmaster disk.
posted by dersins at 9:11 AM PST - 11 comments

Taliban Glamour Shots!(video)
posted by thirteenkiller at 9:04 AM PST - 19 comments

In an experiment reported in the journal Nature Neuroscience, scientists at NYU and UCLA demonstrate that political orientation is related to basic differences in cognition - how the brain processes information. Psychological studies in the past found conservatives tend to be more structured and persistent in their judgments while liberals are more "open to new experiences." The latest study finds these traits are not confined to political situations but also influence everyday decisions. [more inside]
posted by uaudio at 9:00 AM PST - 57 comments

The maiden, the boy, the girl of lightning: they were three Inca children, entombed on a bleak and frigid mountaintop 500 years ago as a religious sacrifice.
posted by timory at 7:52 AM PST - 30 comments

The Zephyr, a solar powered plane, has smashed the record for the longest duration un-manned flight, staying aloft with engines running for 54 hours. This was just a test run at the US military White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, according to the UK developers, "You ain't seen nothing yet". Meanwhile in Switzerland, development continues on the Solar Impulse, which has a goal of flying around the world, manned(!), by 2010.
posted by stbalbach at 6:53 AM PST - 11 comments

This might lead you to learn to play guitar, to write poems, to sing, or just to watch and listen more intently. Kelly joe Phelps, from washington state, is one of the most beautiful musicians I've ever seen. He's got a great way to play traditionals and his originals are mesmerizing.
posted by nicolin at 6:52 AM PST - 11 comments



A recent article in Reason magazine discusses a World Bank report that comes to some unexpected conclusions, not the least of which is that "human capital and the value of institutions (as measured by rule of law) constitute the largest share of wealth in virtually all countries." Worldwide, the study finds, "natural capital accounts for 5 percent of total wealth, produced capital for 18 percent, and intangible capital 77 percent." In other words, rich countries are not rich because they have cheap natural resources (or exploited those of other countries), they are rich because of their social institutions. [more inside]
posted by woodblock100 at 4:27 AM PST - 31 comments

The very great Joe Zawinul has passed at 75 Accordionist, proud Austrian, composer of Mercy, Mercy, In a Silent Way, and Birdland, associate of Miles, McLaughlin, Cannonball, Hancock, and Shorter, arguably the father of world music, Zawinul has left the building.
posted by Wolof at 4:22 AM PST - 43 comments

For the duration of three profanity-laden LPs in the 1970s, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore were two disgusting foul mouthed oafs named Derek And Clive. Listen to them here (real); here be transcripts.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:29 AM PST - 24 comments

The Millenium is approaching. In a little under two hours, the Millenium will dawn again - in Ethiopia. [more inside]
posted by Myeral at 2:02 AM PST - 23 comments

Adipositivity (nsfw)
posted by Brittanie at 12:07 AM PST - 113 comments

September 10

LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!
posted by loquacious at 11:42 PM PST - 115 comments

The strange and sad case of Carter Albrecht, formerly of Sorta and the New Bohemians.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:00 PM PST - 13 comments

In 1921 comic strip artist Windsor McCay lay claim to the illustrious title Inventor of Animated Drawing on the title cards of his hand-drawn moving versions of Dreams of the Rarebit Fiend. Here are three of the delightful and funny animations:
The Pet
The Flying House
Bug Vaudeville
[more inside]
posted by carsonb at 9:03 PM PST - 20 comments

Meet Lee Mercer. He wants to be the next U.S. president, and he's "solved every crime in America and the world for the last 15 years dating back to before Christ."
posted by rollbiz at 8:32 PM PST - 71 comments

"Self Control" is a song written by Giancarlo Bigazzi, Steve Piccolo, and Raffaele Riefoli in 1983; like many well-written pop songs, good musicians and production can make it better, but bad musicians have to work hard to destroy it. Without comment on which is which, here are five versions: RAF (1983, performed by one of the song's credited writers); Laura Branigan (1984); Soraya Arnelas (2006--this version reached #1 on the Spanish Hot 100); the Danish dance band Infernal (2006); and Caramelle featuring Nitro (2007, from a German label).
posted by Prospero at 8:05 PM PST - 23 comments

Danny Sanderson. Alon Olearchik. Gidi Gov. Yoni Rechter. Ephraim Shamir. Meir Fenigstein. Yitzhak Klapter. Together, they are probably Israel's most famous band Kaveret. What to hear their most famous song? Yo Ya. Want to know what it means? Here ya go. Want more Kaveret? Kol Hakavod. [more inside]
posted by wittgenstein at 7:58 PM PST - 9 comments

Paralysis likely for Bill Football player Kevin Everett. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery Reviews Injuries to the Cervical Spine in American Football Players a detailed study of 1300 cervical spine injuries resulting from tackle football. In Kevin Everett's favor is the speed in which the fracture(s) were reduced
posted by Rancid Badger at 7:40 PM PST - 29 comments

How a Gay Rights Leader became straight is a column by Michael Glatze, one-time editor of Young Gay America magazine. In the column, Glatze explains how be became gay ("I was already weak") and his eventual redemption ("Every time I was tempted to lust, I noticed it, caught it, dealt with it"). When he was still gay, Glatze seemed pretty in touch with gay youth. When interviewed for a Time cover story, he discussed gay teens' alienation saying that today's queer youth just want to be "normal kids." Apparently Glatze wanted to be a normal kid, too! Gay City News had its own take on the Glatze fiasco, quoting him as suggesting America "'examine whether homosexuality should be legal' or if gay sex should instead be punished by 'imprisonment.'" YGAmag responded to Glatze with an open letter. More archived Young Gay America issues here.
posted by sneakin at 5:41 PM PST - 83 comments

Falling Water a short computer graphic movie featuring the Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece
posted by vronsky at 4:52 PM PST - 47 comments

Indiana Jones and... the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls? Actor Shia LaBeouf announced the title of the new Indiana Jones movie at the MTV Video Music Awards. But what was George Lucas' inspiration? Where did these Crystal Skulls come from? These ancient objects have been referenced in many places, including an episode of StarGate SG-1, imaginatively titled "Crystal Skull". There is also a Festival and a not-for-profit Foundation dedicated to researching these artifacts.
posted by crossoverman at 4:49 PM PST - 67 comments

Not to judge an album by its cover or anything - see larger image! - but Animal Collective's latest, Strawberry Jam, looks to be as weirdly delicious as ever. Pitchfork gave it a glowing 9.3, but you can listen to two of their new songs and decide for yourself at the BBC's less enthusiastic (but still positive) review. You can also watch the video for the first single, "Fireworks", here. Panda Bear, one of the group's four members who released a widely-acclaimed solo album in March, was interviewed recently (also by Pitchfork) about the making of Strawberry Jam, as well as his thoughts on that cover... [more inside]
posted by Muffpub at 3:19 PM PST - 68 comments

Michael Dudok de Wit : Animator [more inside]
posted by kudzu at 3:07 PM PST - 8 comments

Darwin's Deadly Legacy illustrates how Charles Darwin caused the Holocaust. This documentary, from the late Dr. James Kennedy and his Coral Ridge Ministries, features not only rare, Bigfoot-esque glimpses of the notoriously camera-shy Ann Coulter, but also Francis Collins, the head of the Human Genome Project. Of course, Dr. Collins hates everything about the documentary and claims that his footage was simply spliced in under false pretenses, and even Michael Behe distances himself from the entire production, disagreeing as he does with its central tenets. Oh, and the ADL is pissed, but when aren't they? Anyway, not even arch-conservative websites with "We Need Alan Keyes For President" interstitial ads think the documentary is worth very much. And it seems that Hitler himself had a grand old time pimping out Christianity and denying that we came from apes. (More, more.) So watch the fucking trailer and learn yourself some history.
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:38 PM PST - 69 comments

Obitfilter: Anita Roddick (1942-2007). Anita Roddick, who founded the Body Shop in Brighton's North Laine in 1976, has died of a stroke at St. Richard's hospital in Chichester. The shop, in Kensington Gardens, has long since closed - it's now an optician - but stories about it are still recounted. Although Body Shop is still based in nearby Littlehampton, the controlling interest was sold last year to L'Oreal for the tidy sum of $1.3bn, allowing Ms Roddick to concentrate on her campaigning work.
posted by athenian at 1:58 PM PST - 31 comments

Drugs Banned, Many of World’s Poor Suffer in Pain "Millions of people die in pain because they cannot get morphine, which is legal for medical use in most nations." [Via TalkLeft.]
posted by homunculus at 1:15 PM PST - 47 comments

In The Night Garden [Danger - lots of Flash and YouTube] is your new favourite TV show (if you're under 4). Meet Igglepiggle, Makka Pakka, Upsy Daisy, The Pontipines, The Tombliboos, The Haahoos, The Ninky Nonk and The Pinky Ponk. Brought to you by the creators (previously) of the Teletubbies. Wikipedia link for the confused. Oh, and the great Sir Derek Jacobi narrates. [more inside]
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 1:02 PM PST - 19 comments

Oakland Crimespotting: If you hear sirens in your neighborhood, you should know why.
posted by fandango_matt at 12:58 PM PST - 41 comments

A brief history of lighght. via
posted by hototogisu at 12:53 PM PST - 27 comments

"I sleep fine." Donald Rumsfeld interviewed in GQ. Most of the things you want him to acknowledge? "I'm not going to get into that."
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:15 PM PST - 49 comments

Brigid Berlin makes today's hollywood train wrecks look lame. "In the early 70s, I went to Woolworth's and bought a jigger so I could have just one getting-dressed drink. By the time I left the house, I'd had 20. One time, I was in a hairdresser under the dryer getting bored. I went to the bar across the street in my rollers and had a glass of white wine. Then another glass of wine and another. I can't remember anything else until I woke up in a Howard Johnson near La Guardia Airport. And there were pancakes and maple syrup. There was a cute boy in the room watching Kids Are People Too. I think I thought that Andy would put him on the cover of Interview. He didn't."
posted by bustmakeupleave at 11:31 AM PST - 14 comments


Animals at Play: Stuart Brown, a physician and clinical researcher who founded the National Institute for Play, describes Norbert Rosing's striking images of a wild polar bear playing with sled dogs.
posted by nickyskye at 11:10 AM PST - 25 comments

The I AM University honors all religions, Spiritual teachers, Spiritual paths, Spiritual texts, gurus, yogis, Masters, Spiritual centers, schools of thought, mystery schools, channels, healers, prophets, saints, sages, Spiritual leaders, counselors, philosophies and psychologies, all of humanity, all Kingdoms, and all Light, Love and Power Workers around the world! The I AM University seeks to offer an integrated and balanced approach to Self and God Realization. If what has been given inflames within you a spark of inspiration and aspiration to dedicate your life to the evolution of consciousness, both personal and planetary, then it will have served its purpose and bear the fruit it was intended to. [more inside]
posted by ozomatli at 10:56 AM PST - 19 comments

Columbia Law grad is scammed, along with 78 other professionals, into working for free for weeks. Craigslist, some detective work, and the unusual motivation behind the scam all contribute to this interesting story of internets-related shenanigans.
posted by crunchywelch at 10:09 AM PST - 64 comments

The gaida is a bagpipe from Southeastern Europe. Gaida mp3s? Lots of 'em here. Gaida on the YouTubes? Why, yes. Yes, of course. Certainly. There's a bunch. Really. A lot. And electric ones? Yup. And here's a deflated one. But do any hippies play this thing? And dance to it? Sure! But the real question is: What is the problem with this gaida?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:00 AM PST - 11 comments

And the Emmy goes to... D*ck in a Box.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:13 AM PST - 68 comments

Alex, the African Gray parrot who "spoke" over 100 words, has passed away. y2karl introduced MetaFilter to Alex a few years ago. Alex had been the subject of Dr. Irene Pepperberg's research for nearly 20 years. His ability to communicate with people using an extensive English vocabulary demonstrated a level of intelligence previously unthought of in birds, but critics include no less than Noam Chomsky himself. Here's a 1999 NYT article about Alex if you have never heard of this incredible bird, and a video of another gray parrot demonstrating its own talents.
posted by briank at 5:59 AM PST - 55 comments


BIGMOUTH BIKES AGAIN! "Smiths fans are organising a 16 mile sponsored bike ride around Salford and Manchester to raise funds for Salford Lads & Girls Club whilst recreating the video for the song Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before. But will Morrissey be available to reprise his role 20 years on?" via
posted by Alec at 5:07 AM PST - 19 comments

For those of us who thought the BBC's mammoth self- marketing campaigns were one of the symptions of modern marketing excess, a trawl on the Internet has turned up this John Cleese-presented advertisment on What Have the BBC Ever Given Us?. And it being the BBC, Spitting Image have the right of rebuttal... [more inside]
posted by electriccynic at 3:14 AM PST - 28 comments

Some Futurists got it Wrong. Others simply got it awesome and awesomer.
posted by Lord_Pall at 2:52 AM PST - 41 comments

Some more great french guitar players. Nelson Veras first came to France to meet Pat Metheny (he was 14 then, it has been documented on video by Frank Cassenti) but upon meeting some other jazzmen , he decided to stay in France and to experiment in various settings. Robert Crumb isn't exactly a "great french guitar player", but his decision to move to France (his or his wife's decision) and later his responsability in the creation of Les Primitifs du Futur has played a part in the rebirth of ancient french styles ("musette") and the renewed interest in old jazz and blues forms. [more inside]
posted by nicolin at 2:35 AM PST - 9 comments

An Unholy Act. This is the story of when two Jews disagree. Nothing new there. But a violent confrontation at UCLA brings to light the emerging divide among American Jews in regards to the most contentious issue of modern Jewish identity: Israel.
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth at 1:18 AM PST - 60 comments

September 9

How To Cope With Death. Fun, short, animated film. If only we could do this with the tax collector.
posted by bwg at 11:45 PM PST - 18 comments

Here are some ways to shrink your unnatural water- and gas-guzzling lawn and plant something that is beautiful and requires no water usage, no mowing, and is more likely to attract more interesting wildlife. With this much lawn in the U.S., and incessant water shortages, and other water issues and wars in our present and looming in the future, why not go native? Naturally, there are objections, since local ordinances often don't allow for natural prairie lawns, and the neighborhood stick-up-butt committees are quick to remove things they consider eyesores. What is your lawn worth to you?
posted by taursir at 10:59 PM PST - 64 comments

Tonight's tribute concert for Red House Records was a glimpse of heaven for lovers of roots and folk music. More than fifteen recording artists of Red House Records put on an amazing show on September 9th at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul in tribute to Bob Feldman, founder of the label who died last year. Each musician sang or played two songs. They all appeared gratis, with the proceeds going to benefit the redwood forests. The vibe was by turns friendly, poignant and joyous. Eliza Gilkyson nearly stopped my heart - I couldn't breathe until I heard 'My love s/he's like some raven at my window with a broken wing.' [more inside]
posted by Rain Man at 10:01 PM PST - 4 comments

[Her] prayer group was part of the Fellowship (or "the Family"), a network of sex-segregated cells of political, business, and military leaders dedicated to "spiritual war" on behalf of Christ,... The Fellowship believes that the elite win power by the will of God, who uses them for his purposes. Its mission is to help the powerful understand their role in God's plan.
Whose prayer group? Hillary Clinton's.
posted by orthogonality at 9:07 PM PST - 122 comments

Writer's Links. Write better, or at the very least, more authentically, with this list of hundreds of resources for writers of all shades. For example, writing a jazz age screenplay? This guide to 1920's slang will be handy. Need help getting your procedural legal drama accurate? Try the Jurisdictionary. Enjoy tormenting your readers? This list of Tom Swifties will do the trick nicely. [more inside]
posted by jonson at 8:47 PM PST - 14 comments

Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood - "an homage to the women involved and immortalized by the works of the Pre-Raphaelites"
posted by Burhanistan at 8:06 PM PST - 9 comments


Struck out on those Streisand tickets? Sick of getting stuck with the once-a-year folding chairs at the back of the shul? Here's the auction you've been waiting for! 2 front row seats at Temple Emanu-El of South Beach, not only for this high holidays, but for you to pass on, in perpetuity, from generation to generation. Bidding starts at a paltry 1.8 million dollars.
posted by ericbop at 7:21 PM PST - 24 comments

Hans-Jürgen Massaquoi was born on 1926 in Hamburg and grew up in Nazi-Germany. He dreamed of joining the Hitler youth but besides best efforts was always rejected. But you can see him here wearing a swastika. [more inside]
posted by yoyo_nyc at 5:27 PM PST - 26 comments

The Final Cut. "I never thought the end would come like this -- with me holding the end of my life's passion in one hand and a foot-long Italian sub on wheat in the other." The side of the NFL you rarely see: former Redskins lineman Ross Tucker tells his story.
posted by bijou at 3:56 PM PST - 84 comments


If you've ever worked with advertising or marketing "professionals," you've probably encountered this guy. Or this guy. Or her. Or one of these three guys.
posted by dersins at 12:19 PM PST - 61 comments

The Oneida Community was a Christian commune. Their practices included free love - "complex marriage", eugenics - "stirpiculture", an interesting form of birth control only effective due to their unique social structures - "male continence", and "mutual criticism." They did all this for over 30 years in the middle of the 19th century. The site is now run as a museum / apartments / bed and breakfast, and was visited by a descendant writing for the NY Times. The silverware company Oneida Limited was formed to maintain their productive enterprises after the end of the communal experiment. A former member wrote "A Record of an Attempt to Carry Out the Principles of Christian Unselfishness and Scientific Race-Improvement."
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 11:35 AM PST - 64 comments

Arecibo Observatory, only facility on the planet able to track asteroids with enough precision to tell which ones might plow into Earth is losing funding. NSF has told them to find outside funding for half their budget. Part of the problem? They're in PR, so they have no state senators to fight budget cuts on their behalf. Also facing a crunch, the Very Long Baseline Array (Very Large Array seems ok, money-wise) which stretches from Hawaii to the Virgin Islands.
posted by korej at 10:55 AM PST - 22 comments

Ruttmann vs. Milant
Alexis Milant has composed scores for three experimental animations realised by Walter Ruttmann. The pleasure in watching and [listening to] this come from the reactivity in the same temporality between sound and picture. [more inside]
posted by carsonb at 10:11 AM PST - 8 comments

A heroic sculpture of explorer Christopher Newport recently unveiled at the university of the same name is drawing criticism because of the decision of the university and the sculptor to depict Newport with his right hand manfully resting on his unsheathed sword--even though he lost that arm two decades before the founding of Virginia. Sculptor Jon Hair ("AMERICA'S MOST HIGHLY COMMISSIONED MONUMENTAL SCULPTOR" according his website) isn't winning any friends with his explanation of the blunder. "I wouldn't show an important historical figure like this with his arm cut off . . . We don't show our heroes maimed." [more inside]
posted by LarryC at 9:55 AM PST - 61 comments


Basic Instructions - Your all inclusive guide to a life well-lived [more inside]
posted by MetaMonkey at 9:26 AM PST - 27 comments

A German consortium has announced its plan to build the world's largest structure - a 578m-high "Giant Pyramid" where for €700 anyone can get a burial spot.
posted by stbalbach at 8:51 AM PST - 35 comments


From hair styles and hotpants to bellbottoms and boots, this site has amassed a massive fashion photo collection of groovy celebrities and swingin' stars from the '60s and '70s.
posted by madamjujujive at 6:15 AM PST - 26 comments

The 100 Best TV Shows Of All Time, in alphabetical order, with embedded video clips of each show. Time Magazine critic James Poniewozik explains how he made his (admittedly US-centric) choices. [more inside]
posted by amyms at 2:03 AM PST - 126 comments

50 million computers are after your passwords, your money, and your processor time (single PDF link). No wonder William Gibson's new novel is set in the present: the world is fully caught up with any future we could make up. The business of spamming, carding and phishing supports and runs off a peculiar distributed platform: a market-allocated collection of ad-hoc peer-to-peer content delivery networks running on hijacked browsing appliances' stolen processor cycles. [via BoingBoing comment, previously on Metafilter].
posted by kandinski at 12:28 AM PST - 41 comments

September 8

Pre-1990s Sports Card Portraiture (Flickr slideshow) Images of pre-1990 sports cards which feature excellent photographic portraits, not action shots. I will delete stuff I don't think is good enough with abandon. [more inside]
posted by dhammond at 11:51 PM PST - 11 comments

"Over the last six years, hundreds of teenage boys have been expelled or felt compelled to leave the polygamous settlement that straddles Colorado City, Ariz., and Hildale, Utah..... 'So the parents kick him out because otherwise the father could have his wives and whole family taken away.'"
posted by orthogonality at 6:26 PM PST - 168 comments


While relaxing in my brown vibrating recliner, I wondered... Where does Naugahyde come from? No way. Seriously?
posted by louche mustachio at 5:44 PM PST - 42 comments

Arguments have ended in the murder trial of Phil Spector, renowned record producer and mastermind of the Wall of Sound. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:10 PM PST - 52 comments



Salvador Dali and Walt Disney collaborated in 1946 on the short animation Destino. Disney had concerns about some of the graphics and it was never released. Lost for 56 years, it was restored in 2003 and has not yet been released for wholesale distribution. Tommorrow is your last chance to see it at the Dali and Film exhibit at the Tate Gallery. Previously.
posted by Xurando at 1:43 PM PST - 26 comments

Don't you know that I'm toxic? Toxic has you controlling a clean-suit wearing bomberman across destructible platform mazes in search of glowing green canisters, powerups and enemies to bomb the living bejesus out of. The chiptune soundtrack is pretty nice, too.
posted by boo_radley at 12:40 PM PST - 30 comments

The Musical Intervals Tutor. I have always had a bitch of a time hearing the minor sixth. I'm not so sure having perfect pitch is a good thing, so I guess that I'm lucky that my pitch is relative [wiki]. There is a lot to be said for ear training if you want to be a musician, but sometimes maybe it is better to wing it.
posted by St Urbain's Horseman at 11:41 AM PST - 37 comments

Boys Don't Cry increased the visibility of female-to-male transsexuals with its shocking story of Brandon Teena. Previously a historical footnote, they've since used the Internet to come into their own, building communities (some geared towards TG youth and families of TGs | 2) and disseminating information, including practical resources such as how to pass as a man in public, standing to pee and shaving guides. Many have come out as transgender and lead successful lives as men. Personal stories include blogs and audio biographies. I can't fail to mention the first male porn star with a pussy, Buck Angel. (Wikipedia) Meanwhile, a debate rages in the lesbian community.
posted by desjardins at 9:27 AM PST - 66 comments


"When I finished The Shock Doctrine, I sent it to Alfonso Cuarón because I adore his films and felt that the future he created for Children of Men was very close to the present I was seeing in disaster zones. I was hoping he would send me a quote for the book jacket and instead he pulled together this amazing team of artists -- including Jonás Cuarón who directed and edited -- to make The Shock Doctrine short film [embedded YouTube]. It was one of those blessed projects where everything felt fated." - Naomi Klein (previously)
posted by mkultra at 8:43 AM PST - 43 comments

Laud Humphreys was studying to be an Episcopal priest in the mid-1950s when he learned, shortly after his father's death, that his father, Oklahoma State Representative Ira D. Humphreys, took trips to New Orleans to have sex with other men. After being dismissed as an Episcopal priest in the 1960s, Laud Humphreys then enrolled as a sociology grad student where he completed a dissertation about men who had sex with other men in public bathrooms in St. Louis, which Humphreys researched by agreeing to serve as a "watch queen", looking out for the police. After writing down the license plate numbers of the men having sex, Humphreys traced the men's addresses and contacted them in disguise, claiming to be collecting data for a public health survey. The research, which was condemned as unethical for its use of covert methods, was published in 1970 as Tearoom Trade: Impersonal Sex in Public Places. [more inside]
posted by jonp72 at 7:55 AM PST - 58 comments

Janmashtami: A celebration of Lord Krishna’s Birth.
posted by hadjiboy at 7:29 AM PST - 14 comments

On Wednesday Sept. 5th, German police stopped a major terrorist attack. The planned bomb consisted of 730 kilogramms of hydrogen peroxide to be mixed with other chemicals. The explosive power would have been equivalent to 550 kilogramms of TNT. The IHT reports the possible targets were the Ramstein US Air Force Air Base and Frankfurt International Airport. The suspects had been under observation for 10 months, the chemicals had been clandestinely rendered harmless by German authorities. What caused the final arrest? Two things: 1) they had just recieved a call from north Pakistan urgently ordering them to follow through within 14 days. 2) a local village policeman blew the surveillance cover by literally telling them at a routine road stop that they were on a watch-list. German intelligence immediately knew the policeman had blown their cover. How? They had bugged the car [Spiegel, rough translation]. [more inside]
posted by umop-apisdn at 7:20 AM PST - 45 comments

Ophelia Chong's beautiful collages: Slips of Paper, surreal cereal, moleskine et al, ReMade and more, all Flickr sets. Her likeable blog.
posted by nickyskye at 6:44 AM PST - 7 comments

"I had no idea how my open-handedness could be made to look, after the fact. At the time I bought the subprime portfolio I thought: This is sort of like my way of giving something back. I didn't expect a profile in Philanthropy Today or anything like that. I mean, I bought at a discount. But I thought people would admire the Wall Street big shot who found a way to help the little guy. Sort of like a money doctor helping a sick person. Then the little guy wheels around and gives me this financial enema. And I'm the one who gets crap in the papers!" -- Michael Lewis on the subprime meltdown
posted by GrammarMoses at 6:22 AM PST - 42 comments


September 7

Scott Ritter on Book TV: "Opposing this war is the easiest thing in the world to do, because it's the right thing to do. And yet, the anti-war movement can't get it's act together. That's why I wrote this book. The anti-war movement thinks that a strategy is holding a demonstration on a street corner, holding hands, lighting candles and singing Kumbia... No, that's not a strategy. That may qualify as a tactic. But a tactic divorced from strategy is just the 'noise before defeat.' ...That's why when I say, 'Waging Peace: The Art of War for the anti-war movement,' I use that terminology. I know there are some people in the anti-war movement that are against it. They say, 'There's no way we can support something like that.' Well then you will continue to get your butts kicked." [Previously]
posted by McLir at 11:23 PM PST - 95 comments

120 Minutes is a tumblr page put together by a fan of the long running MTV alt-rock show, with links to dozens (at least) of videos from the show's heyday. There's no search nor sort that I could find, but the site makes for fun browsing for fans of that particular musical era. [more inside]
posted by jonson at 10:22 PM PST - 17 comments

Wiki City Rome - "anyone with an Internet connection will be able to see a unique map of the Italian capital that shows the movements of crowds, event locations, the whereabouts of well-known Roman personalities, and the real-time position of city buses and trains."
posted by Gyan at 10:22 PM PST - 3 comments

John Mulford "Jack" Rebney, The World's Angriest RV Salesman. Circa 1989. [more inside]
posted by miss lynnster at 9:37 PM PST - 16 comments

But Is It War? A vigorous debate among three conservatives about the limits of post-9/11 executive power.
posted by brain_drain at 9:00 PM PST - 25 comments

Heretofore experimental, the Japanese have now marketed a battery that is urine-rechargeable.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:23 PM PST - 24 comments

I asked Naveh why Deleuze and Guattari were so popular with the Israeli military. He replied that ‘several of the concepts in A Thousand Plateaux became instrumental for us […] allowing us to explain contemporary situations in a way that we could not have otherwise. It problematized our own paradigms. -- The Art of War and Walking Through Walls by Eyal Weizman. via
posted by geos at 6:22 PM PST - 29 comments

Salvador and Mabel Mangano, the owners of St. Rita’s nursing home in St. Bernard Parish, where 35 patients drowned in Hurricane Katrina’s flood waters, were found not guilty of negligent homicide and cruelty to the infirm charges tonight by a six-member jury. Read their story and decide for yourself if they're guilty.
posted by ColdChef at 6:13 PM PST - 34 comments

Understanding the foodways of Texas' coastal natives by studying the written account of Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca's 7-year sojourn amongst the tribes of the Texas coastal plain. Shipwrecked on Galveston Island, and imprisoned by the natives, he amazingly survived a lengthy trek across Texas and Mexico [map -- lg. jpeg] and recorded his saga for posterity. Full Text.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:11 PM PST - 8 comments

"DrumPants are a set of pants that enable the wearer to produce drum sounds by hitting various parts of the pants with his hands. The wearer thusly becomes a cyborg musician, his body assuming the roles of both player and instrument, allowing for spontaneous electric hambone solos or even collaborations with other musicians in a band setting."
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:58 PM PST - 46 comments


This European filmmaker is in the midst of remaking one of his most controversial films for an American audience. Funny Games is a film that may be difficult to watch for many. Here is the trailer from the original 1997 version of the film. Micheael Haneke wants audiences to think about their own beliefs regarding violence (insightful spoilers inside). Can Haneke find success with an American audience with a "shot by shot" remake? Haneke discussed previously on mefi here and here. [more inside]
posted by zerobyproxy at 4:59 PM PST - 80 comments


Dr. John C. Lilly introduced the world to dolphin intelligence (previous post), floatation tanks, early concepts of bioinformatics, and alas, during his later experiments with Ketamine ("Special K"), introduced us to an alleged group of extraterrestrials. [more inside]
posted by janetplanet at 2:02 PM PST - 23 comments


"In an average August between 1979 and 2000, the Arctic Ocean was covered with about 3 million square miles of sea ice, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. By Labor Day this year, the total had shrunk to a little more than half that, shattering the previous record low set in 2005."
posted by [expletive deleted] at 1:21 PM PST - 77 comments

§7. Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.
Ludwig Wittgenstein is such a contradictory figure that there are, in professional philosophical usage, two of him. Wittgenstein I had solved every philosophical problem in his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1921); having nothing else to do, he went home to Austria and became, unsuccessfully, a schoolteacher. In 1929, Wittgenstein I returned to Cambridge, where he began his transformation into Wittgenstein II. He was no longer confident in the Tractatus, his certainty in any answers less firm. Wittgenstein II's great, posthumous, work was the Philosophical Investigations. But Wittgenstein the living man was one, not two: musician and architect, reader of mysteries and engineer. "If philosophy has anything to do with wisdom," he once wrote, "there's certainly not a grain of that in Mind, and quite often a grain in the detective stories."
posted by nasreddin at 1:10 PM PST - 52 comments

Making a Transformer out of KFC buckets and custard pie boxes. [more inside]
posted by of strange foe at 11:56 AM PST - 32 comments

"About five years ago I had the idea of doing hand-written interviews with cartoonists I loved. I took a shot and wrote the top guy I could think of - Robert Crumb! And he wrote back!" Also featuring Joe Matt, Jeffrey Brown, James Kochalka, and Adrian Tomine. [Via Drawn!]
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:47 AM PST - 10 comments

"Somewhere on the planet are ten-year-olds who, someday, will be the first people to set foot on Mars" 300 scientists and space-experts contributed to what's billed as "a realistic vision of the first Human Mission to Mars" -- Race to Mars. Discovery Channel Canada used Hollywood special effects, but for added realism rather than ray-guns and aliens. On the website, you can argue about whether they got it right. www.racetomars.ca
posted by richlach at 11:35 AM PST - 24 comments

ObitFilter: Madeleine L'Engle, Newberry-winning and banned author, died Thursday aged 89.
posted by dw at 11:03 AM PST - 147 comments

Variations on a theme , a short history of alligators biting and threatening people - mostly children, mostly African-American - a surprisingly popular motif of candy wrappers, sheet music, and post cards.
posted by ardgedee at 10:43 AM PST - 26 comments


The Hans Christian Andersen Digital Collections of the Odense City Museums includes his drawings, papercuts, picture books and collage screens as well as portraits of him and people he knew, manuscripts, pictures of his study and more. If you wish to read his fairytales might I suggest the illustrated Oxford Complete Edition Fairy Tales And Other Stories from 1914.
posted by Kattullus at 9:11 AM PST - 7 comments

IllegalSigns.ca tracks illegal billboards in Toronto. You can use their Google Maps mash-up to find illegal signs in your neighbourhood.
posted by chunking express at 7:10 AM PST - 39 comments

Friday Fun Time: Fight sequences are always fun to watch, but even more fun, I've learned, when they're animated. There are some great fights with some great characters like stick figures, monks and even fuzz-ball heads. Even the classic animator vs animation fights are pretty good (volume 1,2).

Look Ma! No YouTube links (thanks to aniBoom and MyTunes)
posted by FeldBum at 6:34 AM PST - 7 comments

"Being a typical guy, I have no clue what the colors Lavender and Mauve look like. You can show me Indigo and I won't know if it's more like Violet or Purple. So I made this little app, Name That Color, where you can create a color on the screen (or copy-paste CSS hex# color) and find out the name of the closest matching color." Innovated by MeFite chime.
posted by nickyskye at 5:29 AM PST - 68 comments


September 6


"A paper around her neck said she was Ida, but Ida said nothing at all." So tells the story of the saddest, unluckiest girl that ever lived. [more inside]
posted by ZachsMind at 10:54 PM PST - 17 comments

The Meaning of Life. "We create life, we search for it, we manipulate and revere it. Is it possible that we haven't yet defined the term (PDF)?" [Via The Loom.]
posted by homunculus at 10:40 PM PST - 43 comments



I was taking a shower and thinking about all of the music videos that include water/liquid in them. It is an overused theme according to this site, and I agree. I have included some painful ones to make my point. But wait, I stumbled upon this and was mildy turned-on in some strange way. God help me. Then my mind moved to a friend of mine who was obsessed with Johnny songs. There are quite a few of those too as you may well imagine... [more inside]
posted by haunted by Leonard Cohen at 9:17 PM PST - 23 comments

Canadian scientists heal spinal injuries with stem cells from skin (in rats). "Over the course of their research, the team found that skin-derived stem cells share characteristics with embryonic neural stem cells, which generate the nervous system. ... After 12 weeks, the rats were able to walk better, with more co-ordination." [more inside]
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 8:50 PM PST - 40 comments


Russians are planning a trip to Mars, but first they want to better understand the psychological and practical issues involved with long, isolated human travel. So the Russian Institute for Biomedical Problems will be locking volunteers into a small, closed system for ~500 days. The ESA is collaborating on the so-called Mars500 project. There is a current call out for volunteers which is open until the end of this month. [more inside]
posted by dkg at 8:00 PM PST - 33 comments

The 25 Best Pop Song Opening Lyrics, like EVER - a spinner.com 'hit list', complete with wry commentary and abruptly cut-off audio clips. Bonus: 25 more, suggested by people who don't work for the webside. [more inside]
posted by wendell at 7:30 PM PST - 254 comments


Riverbend resurfaces in Syria
posted by dinsdale at 4:35 PM PST - 36 comments

Primary Terminal: Foster + Partners chosen for Branson's [YouTube] spaceport.
posted by brautigan at 3:44 PM PST - 26 comments

Internet People An animated musical ode to all those crazy internet memes.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:15 PM PST - 53 comments

Krystian Bala has been convicted of murder in Wroclaw. Bala, the author of the grisly 2000 crime novel Amok, claimed to have taken his book's plot from news reports about the killing of a local businessman. Police were skeptical after learning that the novel contained details known only to the investigators and the killer himself. Bala was arrested in 2005, interrogated, and eventually released for lack of convincing evidence; he finally went on trial this past summer. His lawyer claims the case against him was circumstantial, but e-mail sent from Indonesia and South Korea gave Bala away.
posted by GrammarMoses at 2:29 PM PST - 25 comments

"I just turned on my little iMovie, and here I am!" This week, Hollywood Records announced a record deal with female vocalist and underground sensation Marié Digby. Over the past few months, she has over 2.3 million cumulative Youtube hits, and has become a veritable rags to riches story - a testament, if you will, to how the Internet is changing the world of entertainment. What the label failed to mention was that Digby had already been signed to Hollywood Records for almost two years, well before she became a hit. A case of manufactured networking, or simply a "major" misunderstanding?
posted by phaedon at 2:06 PM PST - 60 comments

Susie Bright comments on the recent NYT piece about Israeli Nazi-themed porn. Andrea Dworkin wrote about this genre almost 20 years ago. There's a new film on the topic, which is what inspired the NY Times article.
posted by serazin at 12:22 PM PST - 51 comments

'Osama bin Laden' motorcade with Canadian flags clears APEC checkpoints Members of The Chaser's War on Everything, an Australian TV comedy show, one dressed as Osama bin Laden, drove through two security checkpoints Thursday before being stopped near the Sydney hotel where U.S. President George W. Bush is staying. Examples of their 'expose' on terrorist security response. Example of a full show here. More about the APEC meet in Sydney.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:14 AM PST - 53 comments

D. James Kennedy , father of Christian Dominionism, has died.
posted by EarBucket at 10:15 AM PST - 88 comments

Want to live for free (sort of) in a historic home? Maryland, Delaware, and Massachusetts all have resident curatorship programs, in which you can live rent-free in a historic home, provided you spend your own time and money renovating it. Contact your state's historic preservation office to see if there's a program like this near you...
posted by dersins at 9:24 AM PST - 14 comments

Google Books has an interesting new feature called "Popular Passages" which shows how many future books have quoted passages from the present book - it's billed as a way to follow literary memes but would be equally helpful in sleuthing for old literary crimes. They've also added "Share and Enjoy" for clipping quotes from public domain books into a blog or notebook.
posted by stbalbach at 9:23 AM PST - 17 comments

Tank Limo! London only, kids
posted by Burhanistan at 8:50 AM PST - 28 comments

Anti-Socials - A brief piece on people living with one of Britain's eerily Orwellian "Anti-Social Behaviour Orders". [previously]
posted by tehloki at 8:48 AM PST - 129 comments

If piss were oil, 10 Midwood would be Saudi Arabia. It is a poorly managed, under-maintained, out of date, dirty, smelly bunker which makes the worst college dorm seem like the Governor's Mansion. [language and images may be nsfw]
posted by brain_drain at 8:25 AM PST - 43 comments

The Long War Journal. Regardless of your politics, the aggregation of info is useful, and the chief blogger doesn't seem to have been mentioned on MeFi before.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 8:09 AM PST - 4 comments

ADHD: Additives or Tonsillitis?
posted by ewkpates at 6:40 AM PST - 42 comments

September 5

40 Unusual Websites you should Bookmark. Entries include Yak4Ever - make free international calls from US, UK and Ireland to 50+ countries, ListenToaMovie, Nutsie - takes a copy of your iTunes library file and creates an online copy of your library etc.
posted by nickyskye at 11:04 PM PST - 30 comments

Persistence of Myths Could Alter Public Policy Approach. "The conventional response to myths and urban legends is to counter bad information with accurate information. But the new psychological studies (PDFs) show that denials and clarifications, for all their intuitive appeal, can paradoxically contribute to the resiliency of popular myths." [Via Firedoglake, more at MindHacks.]
posted by homunculus at 10:30 PM PST - 53 comments

Turandot will never be the same. Washington Post is reporting that Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti has died at his home in Modena.
posted by Cranberry at 10:13 PM PST - 86 comments


Apple has unveiled their new range of iPods, including the iTouch, a new iPod model best described as an iPhone without the phone. It's more of the same, sure, but no doubt they'll all sell by the truck load.
posted by Second Account For Making Jokey Comments at 9:35 PM PST - 190 comments

"Here is what makes the rise of supply-side ideology even more baffling. One might expect that a radical ideology that successfully passed itself off as a sophisticated new doctrine would at least have the benefit of smooth, reassuring, intellectual front men, men whose very bearing could attest to the new doctrine's eminent good sense and mainstream bona fides. Yet, if you look at its two most eminent authors, good sense is not the impression you get. Let me put this delicately. No, on second thought, let me put it straightforwardly: They are deranged." Feast of the Wingnuts - How economic crackpots devoured American politics, by Jonathan Chait. Counterlink: Arthur B. Laffer explains his curve.
posted by Kattullus at 9:31 PM PST - 41 comments


Yes, that is indeed Mick Jagger playing a Chinese emperor. And those are, in fact, Edward James Olmos, Bud Cort, and Barbara Hershey heading up the supporting cast of "The Nightingale," a particularly odd episode of Shelley Duvall's ludicrously star-studded Faerie Tale Theatre. Throughout its early '80s run, the show used dozens of prominent actors to perform the fairy tale standards, including Klaus Kinski and Susan Sarandon in a virtual remake of the Cocteau "Beauty and the Beast;" Paul Reubens, James Coburn, Carl Reiner, and Vincent Schiavelli in "Pinnochio;" Helen Mirren and Brian Dennehy in "The Little Mermaid;" and James Earl Jones and Leonard Nimoy in a Tim Burton-directed "Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp." The list goes on and on.
posted by Iridic at 7:13 PM PST - 34 comments

London prides itself on having the most highly trained cab drivers in the world. Black cab drivers (as opposed to their unlicensed minicab counterparts) must pass a gruelling test of local geography known as The Knowledge. Applicants take several years to master over 300 "runs" through London, and are often seen scouring the streets on mopeds with maps on clipboards as they prepare. Knowledge Boys (and Girls), as trainees are known, practise calling over the runs with "callover" partners (Forward, Orchard Street. Right Oxford Street. Comply Marble Arch...). Passing The Knowledge requires appearing before the Public Carriage Office multiple times before obtaining a license, and has been scientifically proven to grow the cabbies' brains, findings which could help those whose memories have been damaged by stroke or trauma. The Knowledge even forms the basis of a dystopian future religion in Will Self's The Book of Dave. Naturally, London's cabbies were incensed when the Immigration Minister recently referred to them as "low-skilled".
posted by szechuan at 6:54 PM PST - 58 comments

A.D. (After The Deluge) is a serialized webcomic about what it was like in the days leading up to, during & immediately after the Hurricane Katrina disaster in New Orleans. The story is true, all dialogue taken from direct quotes. An ongoing project with updates monthly (scheduled to run from Dec 06 - Dec 07), the most recent chapter takes place right at the end of the storm, prior to the collapse of the levees, but to get the full effect, read from the very beginning. For those who want to know more about the project, there's an FAQ.
posted by jonson at 5:25 PM PST - 20 comments

Satan Rides the Media is a documentary about the Norwegian black metal scene and the notorious Varg Vikernes, founder of the one-man band, Burzum. In 1993, Vikernes was convicted for a series of church burnings and the murder of Øystein Aarseth a.k.a. Euronymous of the band Mayhem. Varg's crimes inspired both copycat arsons and the book Lords of Chaos, which led one book reviewer to make the claim that neoconservatism is totally black metal. But if that doesn't quench your thirst for demoniac documentaries, you can always check out the grindhouse flick Satanis, Anton Lavey in a kiddie promo clip to sell Satanism, and Geraldo Exploring Satan's Underground (Parts 1 and 2).
posted by jonp72 at 5:24 PM PST - 34 comments

Epaksa. Or Dr. Lee (a.k.a "Sinbaram" Epaksa). Purveyor of "Techno Ponchak". It's a mixture of electronic music with "ponchak," a dismissive, onomatopoeic reference to a Korean musical style known as "teuroteu" (trot). [More inside.]
posted by kkokkodalk at 5:09 PM PST - 11 comments

ASCII goggles.
posted by delmoi at 5:09 PM PST - 29 comments

Go easy on the popcorn
posted by johnny7 at 4:15 PM PST - 79 comments

The Tenori-On is a new electronic musical instrument by Toshio Iwai [wikipedia], the creator of Electroplankton [previously]. It was just released commercially by Yamaha [flash site], to great excitement among those of us who get excited about such things. But what does it sound like? [more inside]
posted by moonmilk at 3:35 PM PST - 27 comments

Join the volunteers and become a virtual crewmember of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution by downloading the desktop pager. The pager can be set to monitor all stations in the UK and Ireland or just specific stations. If you had it running in 2006 it would have gone off 8377 times (PDF).
posted by TwoWordReview at 2:21 PM PST - 8 comments

The complete Pink Floyd 1994 North American Tour Production Manual - The extensive nuts and bolts of a two hour rock show. No detail left to chance - including the cleanliness of the catering crew's fingernails.
posted by davebush at 2:17 PM PST - 59 comments


Sick of beef jerky? "Trade it in" for a dark chocolate oatmeal cookie. Yes, it's a promo from Kashi, but at least their email is opt-in instead of opt-out. And they're mailing out free cookies, bless their souls.
posted by ericbop at 2:01 PM PST - 40 comments

We're drowning in quirk. It is the ruling sensibility of today’s Gen-X indie culture, defined territorially by the gentle ministrations of public radio’s This American Life; the strenuously odd (and now canceled) TV sitcom Arrested Development; the movies of Wes Anderson; Dave Eggers’s McSweeney’s Web site; the performance art, music, and writing of Miranda July; and the just-too-wacky-to-be-fully-believable memoirs of Augusten Burroughs. It’s been 20 years of beneficent, wide-eyed gazing upon the oddities of our fellow man. David Byrne probably birthed contemporary quirk around 1985— halfway between his “Psycho Killer” beginnings with the Talking Heads and his move to global pop—when he sang the song “Stay Up Late”: “Cute, cute, little baby / Little pee-pee, little toes.” (As it happens, Byrne appeared on July’s recent book tour.) Jon Cryer’s “Duckie” Dale in Pretty in Pink came a year later, and quirk was on its way.
posted by psmealey at 12:33 PM PST - 176 comments


What do James Stockdale, Drew Carey, Mike Wallace and Nadia Comaneci have in common? They, along with a long list of others, have all, at one time or other, believed suicide was the only answer to their various problems.
posted by Oriole Adams at 10:30 AM PST - 76 comments

What's It Gonna Be? NSFW language (Single link music video). On the website of Chicago's Schadenfreude comedy troupe.
posted by landis at 8:42 AM PST - 15 comments

We've discussed Simple English Wikipedia, and descriptions of other languages in English, but have you tried reading wikipedia in Scots? You asked if Scots is a language? How about any of the other 253 languages of Wikipedia?
posted by jacalata at 7:59 AM PST - 43 comments


Get to know the real Mitt Romney. "Every man has a natural, and, in our country, a constitutional right to be a false prophet, as well as a true prophet," said Joseph Smith, and Romney is hedging his bets. Today, the Massachusetts Democratic Party launched a site to help you get better perspective on Mitt.
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:57 AM PST - 183 comments

The Golden Record: Hear what the aliens will hear.
30 years ago today, a collection of images and sound recordings engraved on a record was launched toward the stars. The playlist covers an amazing collection of music, and has been called the Mix Tape of the Gods.
posted by Hadroed at 12:29 AM PST - 78 comments

September 4

Should I use blackface on my blog? A flowchart.
posted by klangklangston at 10:57 PM PST - 44 comments

Dangerous Knowledge, BBC. In this one-off documentary, David Malone looks at four brilliant mathematicians - Georg Cantor, Ludwig Boltzmann, Kurt Gödel and Alan Turing - whose genius has profoundly affected us, but which tragically drove them insane and eventually led to them all committing suicide.
posted by nickyskye at 10:46 PM PST - 39 comments

The killing of Jamie Dean. "Police in rural Maryland staged a military stakeout and shot a troubled Army vet. As his family plans to sue, they are asking how a soldier being treated for PTSD could be shipped to Iraq."
posted by homunculus at 10:25 PM PST - 27 comments

Mayor of Siberian town orders his bureaucrats to stop using expressions such as "I don't know", "I can't", "I'm having lunch", and "It's impossible". Not sure if "You have got to be fucking kidding me." or "What the fuck, man? are on his list.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:24 PM PST - 16 comments

Several recent classics of PC gaming have been released for free. The first few are ad supported, including first person shooters Far Cry (89% rating) and Ghost Recon (82% rating), the action-adventure game Prince of Persia Sands of Time (89% rating) and the minigame extravaganza Rayman Raving Rabbids (55% rating). To go a bit further back, EA has also released its 12-year-old classic Command and Conquer Gold for free. And more very recent top-flight games look like they will be appearing for free in the near future. [Ad-supported games are for the US only, and the ads aren't that bad - they appear during loading and on menus, not in the game]
posted by blahblahblah at 9:42 PM PST - 51 comments

I-75 project Norm Magnusson's signage as art/protest. other projects by the same fellow.
posted by edgeways at 9:28 PM PST - 10 comments

NewsFilterFilter: What Kind Of News Do People Really Want? A recent study by the Pew Research Center For The People & The Press analyzes 165 separate surveys of Americans' news preferences (conducted over a period of 20 years). One of the findings would have been obvious to most Mefites: "Polarizing social issues involving family, sexuality, patriotism and God engender the highest levels of attention." Crime, health and politics have consistently received mid-level attention. Tabloid and entertainment news (Paris and Britney, this means you), science and technology, and "foreign" news? Meh, not so much.
posted by amyms at 8:40 PM PST - 47 comments

ENDA House hearings start tomorrow --a record 94% of Fortune 500 companies now provide Sexual Orientation Discrimination Protection, and 89% of Americans polled believe Homosexuals should have equal rights in terms of job opportunities. Repeatedly introduced and then killed since 1994, the 2007 version--H.R. 2015--Employment Non-Discrimination Act (text of bill)--includes transgender protection for the very first time. The TVC is just one of many organizations fighting it. (there is a religious exemption, but groups like the TVC would be covered by it)
posted by amberglow at 6:17 PM PST - 58 comments


Steve Fossett has gone missing in Nevada. Fossett has broken many aviation records, including being the first person to fly solo around the world in a balloon and the first nonstop, solo airplane flight around the world. A list of all of his aviation records. He went missing during a recreational flight.
posted by backseatpilot at 6:07 PM PST - 36 comments

[SanrioFilter] Congratulations, Horlick and Jamie, on this auspicious occasion. (Single-link YouTube post.)
posted by beaucoupkevin at 5:26 PM PST - 30 comments

With a grand prize of $50,000, the Build a Better Burger Contest is the biggest hamburger recipe contest in the world; with the upcoming contest being judged on Sept 29th, you can take a moment to stroll through hamburger history, with recipes for all 17 years worth of prizewinners. Not enough burger for you? Then try making any of the 10 runner ups from 2005 & 2006. Still more, you demand? Peruse the database of over 5,000 contest entries broken out by category, even the most jaded burgermeister is sure to find something original & delicious to try.
posted by jonson at 4:28 PM PST - 77 comments

Coudal Partners is a Web / Media / Design studio in Chicago on which the following popped up: Steve Delahoyde's Regrets. Clicking through there were five others which are equally as funny as they are depressing: Boxes, Hobbies (regrets), Racism, Spoons, Kids.
posted by lonemantis at 3:16 PM PST - 24 comments

NSA@home is a fast FPGA-based SHA-1 and MD5 bruteforce cracker. Based on HDTV equipment from eBay, "It is capable of searching the full 8-character keyspace (from a 64-character set) in about a day in the current configuration for 800 hashes concurrently." Previous well-publicized brute-force attacks include the EFF breaking DES in 56 hours and 1.6TB of md5 hashes you can search online.
posted by Skorgu at 2:47 PM PST - 53 comments

In 1974, Martin Scorsese interviewed his parents on film, prompting them to discuss their life together as well as their Sicilian ancestry. The resultant documentary was entitled Italianamerican. Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. [Inspired by...]
posted by Neilopolis at 2:15 PM PST - 16 comments

Zenph Studios has developed a process (using high-resolution MIDI) which "re-performed" Glenn Gould's famous 1955 piano recordings of Bach's Goldberg Variations in hybrid multichannel SA-CD format.
posted by chuckdarwin at 1:10 PM PST - 48 comments

On Sept. 4th, 1957, a 15-year-old girl named Dorothy Counts took a walk that changed Charlotte. The photograph was taken by Don Sturkey. He took a lot of great pictures of North Carolina history.
posted by zzazazz at 12:23 PM PST - 42 comments

MorphThing combines two faces into one. It's fun, free, and no download is required!
posted by Dave Faris at 12:21 PM PST - 56 comments

50 forgotten and overlooked novels as chosen by 50 Anglophone writers, including Lionel Shriver, Hari Kunzru, Michael Chabon, Siri Hustvedt, A. S. Byatt and Philip Pullman (part two).
posted by Kattullus at 12:05 PM PST - 59 comments

British football players pay with credit card, American politicians still pay with checks. (First link slightly NSFW.)
posted by iviken at 11:27 AM PST - 26 comments

Since the revelation that the telecommunications companies assisted in illegal spying on domestic phone calls, a host of lawsuits have sprung up seeking damages for civil liberties violations. The Bush administration has responded by seeking the power to grant blanket immunity to criminal and civil action to the companies involved. The claim that the suits could bankrupt the companies indicates that the spying was even more widespread than previously believed; If Verizon is worth $120,000,000,000, then given the estimate of $1000 per violation, one hundred and twenty million calls were spied upon.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:15 AM PST - 43 comments

" . . . every second was the narrow gate, through which the Messiah could enter."
There is a lot we do not know about September 27, 1940. On that day, Walter Benjamin found out that he needed a visa to cross the border from France into Spain. By September 28, he was dead. Was it a suicide? Was he murdered by Stalin? He carried trunks with his last works. What was in them? These questions will never be answered, but Benjamin is not lost to us. He told us about the culture of print and photograph. He probed the metaphysics of hashish. Through fashion, feuilleton, and flânerie, he traced the lineaments of the modern city. His task, as he saw it, was one of reading and critique, the illumination of modernity.
posted by nasreddin at 11:01 AM PST - 17 comments

Flamenco clearly belongs to spain. But so many immigrants came to France to find work or escape from the civil war that there is a small community of guitarists in southern France who are playing it with original voices. Bernardo Sandoval was the subject of a post in mefi music some time ago. Antonio "kiko" ruiz is about to come to the United States with Renaud-Garcia-Fons : their work can be seen here. Serge Lopez is another great guitarist who puts some guitar parts on his website. Salvador Paterna adds to the traditional sound of flamenco both the 'oud and the violin. They are all from or nearby Toulouse.
posted by nicolin at 9:56 AM PST - 8 comments

Going After Gore "Al Gore couldn't believe his eyes: as the 2000 election heated up, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other top news outlets kept going after him, with misquotes ("I invented the Internet"), distortions (that he lied about being the inspiration for Love Story), and strangely off-the-mark needling, while pundits such as Maureen Dowd appeared to be charmed by his rival, George W. Bush. For the first time, Gore and his family talk about the effect of the press attacks on his campaign—and about his future plans—to the author, who finds that many in the media are re-assessing their 2000 coverage."
posted by chunking express at 9:13 AM PST - 168 comments

B. Traven, A Mystery Solved [Flash video, 1hr] Excellent documentary on the astounding life and mysterious identity of the author of Treasure of the Sierra Madre [Flash video, 50mins] and The Death Ship.
posted by Abiezer at 8:58 AM PST - 8 comments

Some amazing photos of the storm sewer system in Tokyo. (Further reading)
posted by dersins at 8:32 AM PST - 26 comments

Vernacular Web 2: Two years ago I wrote an article titled "A Vernacular Web", in which I tried to collect, classify and describe the most important elements of the early Web – visual as well as acoustic – and the habits of first Web users, their ideas of harmony and order. I’m talking about everything that became a subject of mockery by the end of the last century when professional designers arrived, everything that fell out of use and turns up every now and again as the elements of “retro” look in site design or in the works of artists exploring the theme of “digital folklore”: the “Under Construction” signs, outer space backgrounds, MIDI-files, collections of animated web graphics and so on.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 7:40 AM PST - 38 comments

From the Golden Age of TV commercial jingles, variations on a lyric theme: Wonderbra ads from 1968 (#1), 1968 (#2), 1969, 1974, 1975, and 1979, all served up in the groovy pop aesthetic of those fabulous decades! It's a wonderful thing. [lyrics inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:29 AM PST - 19 comments

"My general feeling about farmers is that they can go fuck themselves." The most recent essay published in the new online magazine 'The Smart Set', is a rather contrarian view of rural life, and poses an interesting question: just why does our society have a general consensus that rural=good and urban=bad?

"What do the farmers really believe, anyway? ... Don't they know that the mute indifference of nature is as terrifying and empty as the noisy scrambling of the metropolis?"
posted by woodblock100 at 4:25 AM PST - 153 comments

Viagra turns 15 today It nearly didn't make it as an angina drug, but a few chaps participating in its clinical trial in Merthyr Tydfil reported an unexpected and now very well known side-effect. The aptly named Albert Wood, and his colleague Peter Dunn, look to have missed the money shot though. Now, it seems the Blue Diamond can help with almost anything. Good to see us Brits making a positive contribution to human relations.
posted by Myeral at 2:40 AM PST - 25 comments

September 3

Radical Rodents: Chopsticks, Bunsen, Harry & Curly, surfing mice. An Australian man trained several mice on tiny surfboards. More surfing critters, a surfing dog and another one. Surfing parrot (video repeats in a couple of spots).
posted by nickyskye at 9:59 PM PST - 17 comments

An Israeli porn site is trying to promote peace through pornography, and has succeeded in getting surfers from Arab countries that normally block access to all Israeli sites. Specializing in pornography with political themes, Ratuv is part of an industry that features Jewish, Israeli Arab, and Druze actors and plenty of political tension. The most popular downloads from Arab countries is apparently an X-rated parody of the kidnapping of nuclear scientist Mordechai Vanunu, though pictures of women of the IDF are also popular. Salman Rushdie has noted the power of pornography in the Muslim world, arguing that pornography is vital to freedom in his essay, The East is Blue. [All links are worksafe to major mainstream news sources, except potentially the fourth link, which goes to Nerve].
posted by blahblahblah at 6:31 PM PST - 53 comments


Learn to Play Guitar! Justin, of JustinGuitar.com (not the dork with the TV camera strapped to his head) offers over 100 free video guitar lessons for absolute noobs & guitar enthusiasts, with lesson categories & written instrx as well. For people who want tablature to play along, the good people of Guitar Video Tabs provide full tab notation under videos hundreds of popular songs.
posted by jonson at 4:26 PM PST - 17 comments

Denver International Airport is one of the strangest places in the US. Built in the middle of nowhere and hosting some of the longest runways in the world, DIA has attracted attention not only for it's bizarre layout but for the artwork and masonic tie-ins. The place has been getting some attention again locally.
posted by shockingbluamp at 3:46 PM PST - 65 comments

Shaolin [Wiki] is having a difficult time lately. A combination of the silver screen and the small screen cemented the ancient school in most peoples' minds as a surefire way to kick ass most stylishly. Its introduction in the US has since been fraught with problems and complications, most notably in 1992 when a tour of Shaolin Fighting Monks returned to China minus one Shi Yan-Ming - who has since started the USA Shaolin Temple. Then the Chinese government tried starting their own Shaolin-approved schools. But various attempts haven't gone right either. What is the state of Shaolin now? Everyone's trying to make a buck in this game. You can buy anything from Shaolin Secrets in scroll form to the opportunity to "live the life of a warrior monk". Shaolin cachet is at a premium. Its name fame is such it's even ruining things back home. Immigration scams, ballet classes, Lollapalooza, the RZA? Can it get any worse? Now people are even saying one lone ninja can defeat a whole temples' worth of monks!
posted by stinkycheese at 3:40 PM PST - 33 comments

Automated Mario User-created levels from Super Mario World that play themselves. One more here.
posted by puke & cry at 1:48 PM PST - 40 comments

Cliff Stoll [Wiki] first became known [ram] as the astronomer who caught a spy/hacker. His book on this adventure, "The Cuckoo's Egg" [PDF] was featured on a 1990 Nova [1 2 3 4 5 6, YouTube, with most of the re-enactments performed by the real-life people.] Since the mid 90's he has been an outspoken critic of high-tech hype. 1996 C-Span presentation [GVid.] for "Silicon Snake Oil." 2004 audio interview [ram] for "High-Tech Heretic." Stoll has written Scientific American articles on the Curta calculator [PDF scans] and the slide rule. For several years, Stoll has also been making and selling hand-blown glass Klein bottles. (Calibrations available.) [Previously 1 2 3 4]
posted by McLir at 12:46 PM PST - 33 comments

National Geographic has a lot of cool webcams. Pete's Pond in Africa is my favorite. (previously) It's up and running again for its third season till mid-December, the end of the dry season. Best viewing times are 4-8 PM EST and 12-4 AM EST. Lots of highlights can be found at youtube, of course. NG also provides the Seal Cam from Año Nuevo, California, Bald Eagle Cam from Maine, the Kakadu Cam from Australia and and the Polar Bear Cam from Canada. There are a lot of grizzly bears fishing right now on the Bear Cam from Alaska, but the Crane Cam from Nebraska is down right now. To view these cams you have to sit through a short commercial at first, but after that it's all live wildlife goodness. There are also very active forums where people share their screencaps and vicarious adventures.
posted by wsg at 12:30 PM PST - 11 comments

Столбы (Stolby) Free soloing I climb. I've sky dived. But watching videos of people free soloing gives me vertigo. In the Krasnoyarsk region of Siberia, however, there is a community for whom this is their bread and butter. And now, cats.
posted by vernondalhart at 11:33 AM PST - 27 comments

In 1964, a clean-cut college student named Jim Morrison appeared in a promotional film for Florida State University. [previously] The following year, Jim moved to California and transferred to UCLA's film school. After earning his degree, Morrison got together with another talented young filmmaker named Ray Manzarek, and they started a little band called The Doors. Jim didn't return to Florida until 1969, by which time he'd become one of the biggest rock stars in the world. Then, in what VH1 would later call the 31st most shocking moment in rock & roll history, he exposed his private parts and simulated masturbation and copulation during a concert in Miami — in front of innocent children. A felony. [This was not the first or last run-in Jim (aka "Mr Mojo Risin", aka "The Lizard King") had with the police. But that's not to say he was all bad.] Despite the absence of any photographic evidence (audio only), when the case went to trial Morrison was found guilty of indecent exposure and public profanity, both misdemeanors. He was sentenced to 6 months in prison, but allowed to remain free on bail pending appeal. [His estranged father put in a good word for him with the Department of Probation.] At the time of Jim Morrison's death in a Parisian bath tub in 1971, his appeal had not yet been heard. [This is THE END.]
posted by Poolio at 11:06 AM PST - 84 comments

Please Columbia Don't Kill My Wife
posted by Rubbstone at 11:01 AM PST - 19 comments


From the frontline, Afghanistan. Vaughan Smith is spending time in the thick of it with his old regiment, the Grenadier Guards, on their tour of Helmand (he also looks in on other British Army units and the Afghan National Army they are mentoring). An old friend in Kabul is pessimistic about keeping the Taliban at bay permanently, but troops at a forward operating base are business-like or even cheerful despite regular contact with Taliban fighters.
posted by Abiezer at 8:23 AM PST - 4 comments

Witness trees teach us about presettlement landscapes, surveying methods and Native American art forms. Witness trees inspire us, hide in plain sight, have free parking, become forgotten and sometimes become tables. Witness trees are protected by law and sometimes by signs, but not protected from stupidity. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
posted by jessamyn at 8:10 AM PST - 19 comments

Valentino Rossi is a very successful, well-compensated motorcycle racer and winner of numerous Grand Prix World Championships. He is under investigation by Italian authorities for tax evasion, which The Doctor allegedly accomplished in part by relocating to London and possibly taking advantage of the Non-domicile classification [link to google cache to avoid registration] for tax purposes. According to UK authorities, in 2003, for instance, his declared income was £650. Even a priests is becoming vocally upset at Rossi and the public's reaction. On a far larger scale, the UK was earlier this year identified as an Offshore Financial Center in an IMF white paper [34 page PDF]and there are those who think the purported tax-haven monster should be confronted. The Norwegian government agrees and wants to "facilitate the recovery of assets illicitly stacked away in tax havens" by way of a global coalition, of which the UK is not part.
posted by preparat at 8:07 AM PST - 12 comments

Dr. Strangelove's Doomsday device may be more fact than fiction. We've had doomsday stories here before, but what if dead hand control of nuclear devices is real? Perhaps live-hand control is better. You could always try your hand at a nuclear apocalypse.
posted by craven_morhead at 7:32 AM PST - 25 comments

Texify is a pretty convenient web-based way to typeset LaTeX equations (and get a linkable image).
posted by Wolfdog at 6:49 AM PST - 10 comments

Top Two News Words (By Hour). "Top news sources are parsed by a computer every hour and the two most frequently used words are determined and printed out on a continuous sheet of paper." An art project by Rick Valentin, better known to late-80's & mid-90's indie-rock fans as the lead singer of the Poster Children. An updated-hourly RSS feed is also available.
posted by melorama at 6:31 AM PST - 14 comments

Ridley Scott is presenting Blade Runner: The Final Cut, a re-edited version of the cyber-punk classic, at the 2007 Venice Film Festival.
posted by chuckdarwin at 5:22 AM PST - 148 comments

The Comeback: I apologise for the single YouTube link, but after watching it, I don't think anyone will care, because Samuel L. Jackson rules ... the football field.
posted by bwg at 1:52 AM PST - 34 comments

meta-markets Online stock market for trading socially networked creative products.
posted by tellurian at 12:19 AM PST - 20 comments

September 2


BBC - The Conspiracy Files 911. A look at the conspiracy culture, internet movie makers, many unresolved questions and some politics. Finally the truth? [Google Video]
posted by homodigitalis at 6:26 PM PST - 59 comments

The nationalist Swiss People's Party (who garnered 26% of the vote in the last elections) is proposing a deportation policy reminiscent of Nazi-era practices. Under the plan, entire families would be expelled if their children are convicted of a violent crime, drug offense or benefits fraud. And get a load of their black sheep poster campaign, or their 2004 poster, with the dreaded black hand reaching for (gasp!) a Swiss passport. Yodel-odel-ay-eeeeeee-who?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:57 PM PST - 75 comments

DearLeaderFilter: We had Turkmenbashi and his enlightened laws , we heard Karl Rove cry of appreciation when watching the fantastic propaganda of the most precious dear leader Kim Jong Il and elder people will remember a 2 meters tall black dictator Idi Amin Dada as one of the weirdest and most paranoid. But did you know about Mswati III of Swaziland, the second of 210 sons of the elderly King Sobhuza II ? Every year he gets to check out 40000 bare breasted, machete wielding maidens and eventually pick a new wife.
posted by elpapacito at 4:34 PM PST - 26 comments

Nick Yee's Daedalus Project (touched on previously) is dedicated to the study of human behaviour in MMOs. His recent dissertation names "The Proteus Effect": a correlation between MMO characters' appearances, and their players' behaviors. "In the final study (pdf), I showed that the Proteus Effect persists outside of the virtual environment. Placing someone in a taller avatar changes how they consequently negotiate in a face-to-face setting." His archives cover a lot of ground, and current MMO players can help by taking the survey. For a little lighter reading, refer to his critique of Internet Addiction Disorder, a "condition" that started as a joke, but almost made it into the DSM-V.
posted by mek at 3:57 PM PST - 11 comments

The Big Shave (SLYT), an early Scorsese 6-minutes short, also known as Viet '67. Some have interpreted the film as a metaphor for the self-destructive involvement of the US in Vietnam. Background music Bunny Berigan's "I Can't Get Started". (Warning: Early Scorsese!) Previously
posted by growabrain at 3:42 PM PST - 12 comments

"Considering a war with Iran: A discussion paper on WMD in the Middle East" (PDF). A new study by two British scholars claims that the United States has the capacity for and may be prepared to launch a massive assault on Iran. This comes just in time for the post Labor Day product rollout. [Via Informed Comment.]
posted by homunculus at 3:30 PM PST - 81 comments

T.R.A.N.S.I.T. is, by a wide margin, my favorite animated short ever produced. Set in the art deco Europe of the 1920's and (and released in 1997) it tells the story of a journey throughout several major vacation destinations of a wealthy tycoon, his young wife with wandering eyes, and a murderous turn of events. The story is told in reverse, from the final stage of the "vacation" back through each prior stop, and the artwork for each segment is painted in the style of the luggage travel sticker for that stop.
posted by jonson at 2:35 PM PST - 14 comments

Meet the Crew: Dot, Gael, Jon, Spot, and Cap. They're border collies who live and work at Border Collie Rescue in North Yorkshire. The volunteers there rescue, train and find homes for these extraordinary dogs.
posted by Alec at 12:17 PM PST - 19 comments

Une Mission Ephemere
Animated by Piotr Kamler, featuring music by Bernard Parmegiani.
posted by carsonb at 9:03 AM PST - 5 comments


Two stunning minutes of MTV Though, you'll only see it in South America.
posted by parmanparman at 6:59 AM PST - 53 comments

In God we doubt.
This is not an intellectual game. Even if we know what is true – and we don’t – you cannot reduce life to a set of provable realities. Humanity is too complex for that. In the end, it comes down to whether the world would be a better place without religion; and that is a matter of judgment, not certainty.
posted by veedubya at 4:15 AM PST - 241 comments

The Midwest Teen Sex Show is a podcast for teens and adults covering the wonderful, awkward, stimulating, sticky world of sex.
posted by tehloki at 2:48 AM PST - 28 comments


September 1

News stories about washed up body parts are quite rare, which makes the latest case off Vancouver even more unusual.
posted by Neiltupper at 8:57 PM PST - 61 comments

John Lennon's Jukebox (BBC,Google vid,48min) wiki "In 1989, John Lennon's jukebox surfaced in an auction of Beatles memorabilia at Christie's, and was sold for £2,500 to Bristol-based music promoter John Midwinter. Lennon had apparently bought the jukebox – specifically a Swiss KB Discomatic – in 1965, and filled it with forty singles to take with him on tour. Midwinter spent several years restoring the box and researching the discs catalogued in Lennon's spidery handwriting. When Midwinter developed cancer, and his health began to deteriorate, his desire to see the player featured in some kind of documentary became all the more important." Guardian article,music.
posted by vronsky at 5:59 PM PST - 61 comments

Urban Scout. Sincere crusader for sustainable living or poseur hipster douchebag? [last link is google video]
posted by dersins at 5:03 PM PST - 214 comments

ZetaFlow. Blow up a few of his spaceships, then build your own to blow up. Some instructions inside.
posted by Citizen Premier at 4:47 PM PST - 33 comments

R.I.P Paul B. MacCready Paul MacCready, inventor of the Gossamer Condor, the first human powered heavier-than-air aircraft, and the Gossamer Albatross, the first human powered aircraft to cross the English Channel, has died, according to AeroVironment, the company he founded.
"You can do all kinds of things if you just plunge ahead," he said in an interview with Science in 1986. "It doesn't mean you're any good at them, but you can be good enough."
posted by paulsc at 4:36 PM PST - 13 comments

Patterson had run with the support of the Klu Klux Klan an organization Wallace had spoken against, while Wallace had been endorsed by the NAACP.After the election, aide Seymore Trammell recalled Wallace saying, "Seymore, you know why I lost that governor's race?... I was outniggered by John Patterson. And I'll tell you here and now, I will never be outniggered again." “In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”
posted by Huplescat at 4:33 PM PST - 24 comments

The story of Sgt Stubby of the 102nd Infantry, the most decorated dog of WWI, is an amazing tale. As a stray he wandered onto a troop barracks in the U.S. & was adopted by one of the young recruits. Barely a pup when he was smuggled aboard a troop transport to the front lines, he served in over 17 battles, providing morale boost up & down the trenches, early warning (through his enhanced sense of smell) for gas attacks, and even uncovering & capturing a german spy in the trenches. Though largely forgotten today, upon his return to the U.S., Stubby was met with a hero's welcome, and went on to become the original mascot for the Georgetown Hoyas. After his passing in 1926, his preserved remains were put on display by the Smithsonian, wearing the special coat he was given to hold the large number of medals & awards he received for his service in the Great War.
posted by jonson at 1:25 PM PST - 29 comments


Start Your Own News Web Site The Knight News Challenge is awarding up to $5 million for innovative news web site ideas that "transform community news." The contest is sponsored by the Knight Foundation, the folks originally behind Knight Ridder news.
posted by CameraObscura at 12:19 PM PST - 15 comments

another beautiful guitarist from louisiana Such a wise cat he even could replace t-bone walker in a minute. Well, so he said with his enthralling voice. He was such a beautiful singer. Unique violin player. He disappeared in the aftermath of hurricane katrina. Peace.
posted by nicolin at 12:15 PM PST - 15 comments

The Way of All Flesh Fascinating series of found photographs, all of the same woman, documenting 50 years of changes. Sort of like those before and after meth photos, but without the meth and without the sleaze. Sort of not like that at all, actually. Previously (that link at bit NSFW) Also, see photobooth.net (previously) and this link (very web 2.0, that fancy "press here, no HERE" link technique) to Betty Hines' show of found photobooth photos has lots of other similar sites linked.
posted by johngumbo at 11:17 AM PST - 25 comments

The Computer Virus Turns 25. "I guess if you had to pick between being known for this and not being known for anything, I'd rather be known for this. But it's an odd placeholder for (all that) I've done." In 1982, ninth-grade student Rich Skrenta decided to play a prank on his friends. He wrote the Elk Cloner virus that infected Apple II machines. It is thought to be the first computer virus to be unleashed "in the wild." Related: A History Of Viruses.
posted by amyms at 10:59 AM PST - 10 comments


The Google Flight Simulator -- an easter egg in Google Earth.
posted by empath at 9:05 AM PST - 37 comments

The Greatest Rock & Roll Show On Earth: Jethro Tull { Song For Jeffrey } The Who { A Quick One While He's Away } Taj Mahal { Checkin' Up On My Baby, Leaving Trunk, Corrina, Ain't That A Lot Of Love } Marianne Faithfull { Something Better } clowns The Dirty Mac John Lennon, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards & Mitch Mitchell { Yer Blues [2nd take] } Yoko Ono with Ivry Gitlis & The Dirty Mac { Whole Lotta Yoko } The Rolling Stones { Jumpin' Jack Flash, No Expectations, You Can't Always Get What You Want, Sympathy For The Devil [previously] } (1968)
posted by Poolio at 2:55 AM PST - 40 comments

Police overreact, and attack bikers with no provocation at Minneapolis Critical Mass. Responses from witnesses tell one picture of what happened, but local news says "nobody was hurt" despite squad cars knocking bicyclists from their bikes. What gives?
posted by taursir at 1:34 AM PST - 206 comments