January 20, 2008
Kin-dza-dza!
Kin-Dza-Dza! is a Soviet sci-fi cult classic that has managed to go largely unnoticed outside of Russia. Bizarre, funny, and at times surprisingly deep. Truly one of the unknown sci-fi greats. Part One. Part Two. [Google Video, with embedded English subtitles] [more inside]
posted by pravit at 11:43 PM PST - 14 comments

I'm teh uglee kid on teh internets
Study: Internet Not Dumbing Down Kids, Who Were Stupid Anyway. Full report! (warning: PDF) The information literacy of young people, has not improved with the widening access to technology: in fact, their apparent facility with computers disguises some worrying problems. Young people have unsophisticated mental maps of what the internet is, often failing to appreciate that it is a collection of networked resources from different providers. (Like tubes!)
posted by parmanparman at 11:28 PM PST - 43 comments

NatGeo Photo Tips
Like to faire une photo? You're not alone. The inimitable (but perhaps for not much longer) National Geographic magazine has advice for taking portraits, travel photography, landscapes, excitingly vague 'adventure' photos and even plan old digital photography. After you've created magic how about selling it or getting published? Sharing is so 2007.
posted by oxford blue at 11:09 PM PST - 15 comments

You can never please/any-boh-oh-dy/in, this, world!
In 1968, three sisters from Fremont, New Hampshire -- Dot, Helen, and Betty Wiggin -- started a band, under the encouragement, support, and management of their father, Austin. Dot recalls that the girls would rise late, practice for two hours, then work on their home-schooling. Then they did their calisthenics, rigidly prescribed by their father, and rehearsed two more hours in the evenings when Austin was home. Over the next 8 years, Austin would rent out the Fremont Town Hall many Saturday nights for a dance; the sisters, known collectively as "The Shaggs," would play their music, while their mother, Annie, would collect tickets and sell sodas (with help from more of the Wiggin siblings). In 1975, Austin Wiggins died; the sisters, without their father to spur them on, laid down their instruments and got on with the rest of their lives. [more inside]
posted by not_on_display at 9:22 PM PST - 79 comments

Urban Agriculture...it's in our backyard
City Farmer is a Vancouver-based organization that's been promoting urban agriculture since 1978. If you dig around their sprawling website, you can find everything from this feel-good news story, to a series of links leading to a nice deep free book. Alternatively, their new blog has cool pictures.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 9:21 PM PST - 4 comments

Amazing Birth
Amazing Birth (NSFW). One link youtube post, requires login for age verification, but it's worth it.
posted by alms at 8:50 PM PST - 136 comments

Protecting a Mountain Heritage
"It's like having a gun held on you with the hammer back and not knowing when the man's gonna pull the trigger," is the dramatic introduction to Appalachian Voices' coverage on mountaintop removal. The on-line journal is an environmental advocate for the Appalachian mountains, covering topics from air pollution to forest restoration, but also subjects like box turtles, coyotes, poison ivy and timber thieves. They also have a blog.
posted by Atreides at 8:17 PM PST - 8 comments

Ramblin' Jack Elliott on the YouTube and Online
In more or less chonological appearance, here are examples of one of our very own still extant national musical treasures:
Ramblin' Jack Elliott - Talking Merchant Marine
Ramblin' Jack Elliott - San Francisco Bay Blues
Ramblin' Jack Elliott - Salt Pork West Virginia
And here, from SXSW 2006, is Ramblin' Jack Elliott & Billy Bragg - The Ballad of Pretty Boy Floyd
Also from SXSW 2006, Jack Elliott & Marty Stuart - Engine 143
From last year, here is Ramblin' Jack Elliott - Old Shep
and Ramblin' Jack Elliott - South Coast
And from last week's Bill Graham's Birthday Bash, here is
Phil Lesh, Jackie Greene & Ramblin' Jack Elliott - Friend of The Devil [more inside]
posted by y2karl at 7:37 PM PST - 8 comments

Can Vick's dogfighting house be repurposed?
Before he went to prison for dogfighting, Michael Vick trained his pit bulls at a 4,600-sq-ft house on 15 acres in Surry, Virginia. Earlier this year, local tax rolls valued the property at $747,000, but Vick hurriedly sold the house to real estate developer Ray Todd on the cheap, to aid his mounting financial troubles. Todd had hoped to resell the house for $1M at a December auction, and dozens of rubberneckers toured the property -- to gawk at the syringes left on the ground, the twenty kennels "like prison cells", and the outbuildings where the dogs were fought. Naturally, no one was buying. Still, Todd wants to recoup his investment, so he’s turning to a conventional sale this month… and failing that, is considering building (unbelievably) a bed-and-breakfast where pets are welcome. Enter The Vick House project: a Dallas charity called Jalie’s Butterflies is hoping to raise enough money online to buy the house and convert it to a non-profit animal shelter, under guidance of the SPCA. [more inside]
posted by pineapple at 7:30 PM PST - 27 comments

R.I.P., Suzanne Pleshette
I remember her smoky-voiced laugh best. I can't believe I'm the first person to post about Suzanne Pleshette's untimely death. I came to MetaFilter after not having visited in many months to post a respectful '.' and there wasn't a link up yet. So I'm starting one.* As much as I loved her in Newhart, I remember her most from her appearances on talk shows, mostly her flirting with Johnny Carson. I was a little surprised when I read that she'd married Tom Poston, who also passed away recently. He seemed kinda square on The Newhart Show, and she seemed so hip. Apparently I confused their TV personae with their real ones. [more inside]
posted by jenii at 5:00 PM PST - 64 comments

The great Doc Watson.
Doc Watson: his warm and unprepossessing voice and rolling guitar stylings (both flatpicking and fingerpicking) are treasures of American music. The following video clips will be a treat for any Watson fan, but especially for guitar players: they feature closeup shots of Doc's left hand fretwork as well as insets of his right hand picking. So, without further ado: Deep River Blues, Blue Railroad Train, Black Mountain Rag and Bluebell. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:10 PM PST - 21 comments

Actual Videos of Icebear Babies
Polar bear babies make adorable video subjects.
posted by jonson at 3:56 PM PST - 40 comments

All you need's a hill, a tow rope and a warming hut. Liability Schmiability!
New England's Lost Ski Areas. The Northeast used to be littered with mom-and-pop-size ski areas, many of which have been consolidated into huge resorts, while others fell to development or just passed out of existence. This site serves as a repository for information, images, and reminiscinces. Links to other region's lost ski area sites, too. [more inside]
posted by Miko at 3:47 PM PST - 26 comments

it will grow again
The Shaved Bumblebee. His is the little story of the bumblebee Bernard who wanted to impress his friends with an experiment. It was one of these boring days and they were as usual looking for some nonsense to get involved in and succeeded in switching on an electric shaver. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 1:28 PM PST - 25 comments

Sonic the Dolphin
Dolphins create rings of air bubbles! [more inside]
posted by proj08 at 12:37 PM PST - 47 comments

spanning the world: beautiful bridges
18 stunning bridges from around the world. (via Mira y Calla) [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive at 9:55 AM PST - 95 comments

Book Scavenging in Manhatten
Book Scavenging. Hundreds of homeless people eke out a living scavenging books from dumpsters and sidewalk trash in Manhattan. Sidewalk is a book about the subculture of sidewalk book scavengers and vendors.
posted by stbalbach at 9:11 AM PST - 52 comments

Just for the funk of it
The Red Bull Music Academy is the best in music, past & present, from around the world, under one roof, getting down just for the funk of it. It is an event that travels the world, a yearly celebration of all the journeys and breakthroughs, all the dreams and intricacies that go into the music we love.
Here on the 'tubes the RBMA mainly consists of lectures, interactive features, and documentaries. [more inside]
posted by carsonb at 3:24 AM PST - 21 comments

It's that time of year - free games all around.
It seems that everyone wants to post their toplists for free game recommendations at the moment. First up is Gnomes' Lair with 100 excellent free games in bloom. Can't forget 1up with 101 Free Games 2008. And last but still well worth checking out is Indiegames' (formerly Indygamer) Best Freeware Arcade Games 2007 and Best Freeware Adventure Games 2007. If that isn't enough for you, also worth taking a gander at is Javet's Freeware Game of the Day thread on Tigsource.
posted by pancreas at 1:42 AM PST - 19 comments

Brrrrr-osaurus?
The Strange Lives of Polar Dinosaurs: How did they endure months of perpetual cold and dark? See also Taking A Dinosaur's Temperature: Polar species heat up one of paleontology's great debates. And Bones To Pick: Paleontologist William Hammer hunts dinosaur fossils in the Antarctic. From Smithsonian Magazine.
posted by amyms at 12:56 AM PST - 22 comments