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January 24, 2012
On mammograms
"I believe the time has come to realise that breast cancer screening programmes can no longer be justified ... I recommend women to do nothing apart from attending a doctor if they notice anything themselves." [more inside]
posted by latkes at 11:35 PM PST - 52 comments

What're the profit margins on a Trojan Horse?
A Swarthmore College student-reporter's questioning of whether it is moral to go into banking sparks NYT columnist Nick Kristof to not only assert the affirmative, but to argue (in part) that in fact more well-educated, liberally-mined people should go into "conservative" industries like banking in order to reform it from the inside. In effect, Kristof suggests, socialist-leaning, educationally-empowered students should hunker down, swallow their disdain, and apply their ideals to change finance. Said student responds (in Slate): elite, ostensibly liberal-leaning students don't seem to be particularly discouraged from capitalism or going into banking in this climate, and probably never have been.
posted by Keter at 10:04 PM PST - 55 comments

Raiders of the Lost Archetype
Often cited as a direct inspiration for Indiana Jones, Charlton Heston is Harry Steele. Steele is a treasure hunting gigolo hot on the trail of an ancient Incan artifact in Jerry Hopper's 1954 Secret of the Incas. The film opens with a song featuring the beautiful soprano of the illustrious Zoila Augusta Emperatriz Chávarri del Castillo, better known by her stage name of Yma Sumac(previously and previously). The song may be familiar to fans of The Big Lebowski. [more inside]
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 10:01 PM PST - 12 comments

Boy in China has eyes that glow in the dark, and night vision.
The transhumans are among us. Let's hope this guy outbreeds us all. [more inside]
posted by Meatbomb at 9:29 PM PST - 66 comments

there ain't no arsenic in them thar hills
A strange bacterium found in California’s Mono Lake cannot replace the phosphorus in its DNA with arsenic, according to researchers who have been trying to reproduce the results of a controversial report published in Science in 2010. (Via Bad Astronomy.) Previously.
posted by IvoShandor at 8:11 PM PST - 32 comments

The Caging of America
The scale and the brutality of our prisons are the moral scandal of American life. Every day, at least fifty thousand men—a full house at Yankee Stadium—wake in solitary confinement, often in “supermax” prisons or prison wings, in which men are locked in small cells, where they see no one, cannot freely read and write, and are allowed out just once a day for an hour’s solo “exercise.” (Lock yourself in your bathroom and then imagine you have to stay there for the next ten years, and you will have some sense of the experience.)
posted by Trurl at 7:58 PM PST - 109 comments

Wait, I don't think this is the right bridge.
Last Friday morning, two men managed to crash their pickup truck by attempting to drive 60 mph down the Sixth Street Railroad Bridge in Augusta, Georgia. Police believe alcohol was a contributing factor to the accident, but the fact that the railroad track in question is an active street-running line may have also played a part. [more inside]
posted by radwolf76 at 7:23 PM PST - 44 comments

A glimpse into the future.
Eight Net Generation norms. Some statistical fingerprinting. Digital natives in the workplace. Changing faith. Socialism loses its stigma. Adapting in the wake of the Great Recession.
posted by I've wasted my life at 6:00 PM PST - 25 comments

Ladies and Gentlemen and Mefites, The President of the United States
President Barack Obama will today give the annual State of the Union address. There will be at least three rebuttals in addition to a prebuttal that occurred this morning. The address will be streamed online at Whitehouse.gov. [more inside]
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:55 PM PST - 419 comments

On Becoming Infertile - by an Anonymous Feminist Philosopher
Let's Talk About Reproductive Norm Enforcement, Baby. An anonymous philoso-blogger recounts, in an honest, intelligent, compelling, and occasionally poignant way, the process of undergoing medically necessary surgery that would cause infertility. If you care about the reproductive expectations with which women are saddled by contemporary society, you should read this. You should also read this if you care about bioethics, medical decorum, feminism, women in academia, the ethical behavior of philosophers, or, you know, justice. If you care about those last four things, you should have been reading Feminist Philosophers already.
posted by MultiplyDrafted at 5:43 PM PST - 122 comments

Lesson number three: Always trust Centauri.
Greetings, Starfighter! You have been recruited by the Star League to defend the Frontier against Xur and the Ko-dan Armada. [more inside]
posted by curious nu at 5:42 PM PST - 40 comments

The Legal Stranger Project
The Legal Stranger Project "How do I explain to my child as it grows up that in our state, I am not your mom, that there are people out there who go out of their way to make sure our family cannot be complete? "
posted by chronkite at 4:40 PM PST - 51 comments

Pitchfork, 1995–present: What did we do to deserve Pitchfork?
In the last decade, no organ of music criticism has wielded as much influence as Pitchfork. It is the only publication, online or print, that can have a decisive effect on a musician or band’s career.... [W]hatever attracts people to Pitchfork, it isn’t the writing. Even writers who admire the site’s reviews almost always feel obliged to describe the prose as “uneven,” and that’s charitable. Pitchfork has a very specific scoring system that grades albums on a scale from 0.0 to 10.0, and that accounts for some of the site’s appeal, but it can’t just be the scores.... How has Pitchfork succeeded where so many other websites and magazines have not? And why is that success depressing? A lengthy history and review of Pitchfork [Media], from an inexpensive online alternative to a music zine, to "indie" music kingmaker, and thoughts on pop music (criticism). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 3:48 PM PST - 109 comments

Is your food spending normal?
Is Your Food Spending Normal? This interactive calculator from Mother Jones compares your spending with others in your location and income bracket.
posted by desjardins at 3:16 PM PST - 82 comments

Nostalgia embedded on a web page
A complete playable Nintendo Gameboy Color system, emulated in JavaScript and HTML5, with Super Mario Land, Zelda, Megaman, Final Fantasy, Tetris and more.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 2:35 PM PST - 39 comments

Come up to my loft, I'll show you my cartographs.
Maps! Maps are great. And Cartophile is a pretty great blog about maps, courtesy our own desjardins, via mefi projects.
posted by cortex at 2:35 PM PST - 20 comments

What They Know
Google announces privacy settings change across products; users can’t opt out.

But let's not single out Google:
Facebook already does it.
And let's not forget the "traditional" internet advertising companies.
Visa and MasterCard want to get in on the fun as well.
Children get tracked more than adults.
Here's a good Wall Street Journal page keeping track of the tracking: What They Know.
posted by benbenson at 2:21 PM PST - 146 comments

Stanley Cup-winning Boston Bruins goaltender and Free Citizen Tim Thomas skips White House dinner
One of only two American players on the 2010/2011 Boston Bruins team, goaltender Tim Thomas skipped a White House event to honor the team's Stanley Cup championship victory for political reasons. Reactions have been numerous and mixed.
posted by Hoopo at 2:12 PM PST - 58 comments

Concentration on hue and saturation
It's just another clever colour matching game. It seems to be getting trickier and trickier, but don't let that confuse you - it's all about matching the colours perfectly.
posted by hat_eater at 1:57 PM PST - 59 comments

"Your mother sells whelks by the hull"
"One in three teens has shared a password with a friend or significant other." [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges at 1:37 PM PST - 62 comments

There is no law in France, it turns out, against the improvement of clocks.
This stealthy undertaking was not an act of robbery or espionage but rather a crucial operation in what would become an association called UX, for “Urban eXperiment.” UX is sort of like an artist’s collective, but far from being avant-garde—confronting audiences by pushing the boundaries of the new—its only audience is itself. More surprising still, its work is often radically conservative, intemperate in its devotion to the old. Through meticulous infiltration, UX members have carried out shocking acts of cultural preservation and repair, with an ethos of “restoring those invisible parts of our patrimony that the government has abandoned or doesn’t have the means to maintain.” The group claims to have conducted 15 such covert restorations, often in centuries-old spaces, all over Paris. - Wired.com "The New French Hacker-Artist Underground"
posted by The Whelk at 1:06 PM PST - 20 comments

Ron Paul, Soothsayer-in-chief
On April 24 2002, Ron Paul made an address to the House on his predictions on the results of US domestic and foreign policies, ending with "I have no timetable for these predictions, but just in case, keep them around and look at them in five to ten years. Let's hope and pray I am wrong on all counts. If so, I will be very pleased." Spoiler: he is probably not pleased.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:27 PM PST - 164 comments

Deedl-ee-doo-doo, deedl-ee-doo-doo, doodl-ee-doo-dee dee.
What do you do when your viola recital gets interrupted by someone in the audience getting a call on their cellphone? Improvise.
posted by scalefree at 12:26 PM PST - 26 comments

Endangered Animal Photographer Joel Sartore's Biodiveristy Project
Stunning portraits of endangered zoo animals by National Geographic Photographer Joel Sartore. Part of The Biodiversity Project. Previously. (via)
posted by roaring beast at 11:58 AM PST - 17 comments

Happy Birthday Oppy
Having now traversed 34 kilometres (21 miles) across the surface of Mars and exceeding it's 90-day mission to explore Mars by 2,830 days, NASA's Opportunity rover turned 8 years old today. So what's the feisty martian robot been up to lately? It's now exploring the rim of the 14-mile-wide Endeavor crater, discovering "slam-dunk" evidence that water once flowed through underground fractures, and is being strategically positioned at a 15-degree angle for a long winter suntan.
posted by joinks at 11:50 AM PST - 29 comments

A California City Is Into Tweeting—Chirping, Actually—in a Big Way
Lancaster, CA employs an innovative method of crime fighting: bird noises.
posted by reenum at 11:48 AM PST - 20 comments

Now, the original Watchmen was groundbreaking and shocking by showing Dr. Manhattan’s blue dong. I propose that we outdo that in this fight scene by showing his anus as often as possible.
Chip Zdarksy spills the beans on the time DC asked him to write Watchmen 2. May not be safe... for people.
posted by Artw at 11:48 AM PST - 45 comments

You might just download a car
The Pirate Bay announced today a new category of torrents, Physibles:
We believe that the next step in copying will be made from digital form into physical form. It will be physical objects. Or as we decided to call them: Physibles. Data objects that are able (and feasible) to become physical. We believe that things like three dimensional printers, scanners and such are just the first step. We believe that in the nearby future you will print your spare sparts for your vehicles. You will download your sneakers within 20 years.
[more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus at 11:13 AM PST - 157 comments

Rise of the Glock
How the Glock Became America's Weapon of Choice The Glock was created in 1982 by a curtain rod manufacturer named Gaston Glock. Glock didn't like the handguns available on the market and decided to manufacture a new gun from scratch. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad at 10:51 AM PST - 123 comments

Step Four: DIE.
if i die: if i die is the first and only facebook application that enables you to create a video or a text message that will only be published after you die. [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 9:18 AM PST - 74 comments

A real page turner
The page turner is a wonderful complex yet compact Rube Goldberg machine. The NYT has a bit of background on the creator behind it.
posted by mathowie at 8:18 AM PST - 21 comments

"...I remember now"
Archetype is a seven minute sci-fi short by Aaron Sims, which despite being a no-budget project, features amazingly high quality special effects. [more inside]
posted by quin at 8:15 AM PST - 17 comments

Inside[r] baseball?
Pictures are making the rounds of a younger Ron Paul in the 1975-1979 Houston Astros "rainbow" uniform. Why, you might ask? "An 1889 editorial in the New York Sun advised 'all statesmen of any aspirations for the future to consider that if they have not yet recorded themselves as lovers of our national game [baseball] or some other sporting interest, they should do so immediately.'" This isn't lost on the 21st-century GOP hopefuls, either (you have to see the Rick Santorum video). Since not long after that editorial--1909 actually--the "two parties" in the U.S. Congress have faced off in the Annual Congressional Baseball Game. [more inside]
posted by resurrexit at 8:00 AM PST - 42 comments

42
What Happened Before the Big Bang? The New Philosophy of Cosmology
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:52 AM PST - 50 comments

5 things I learned today
5 things I learned today: five interesting links posted (almost) every day
posted by flex at 7:13 AM PST - 37 comments

Northern Lights
Today's Astronomy Picture Of The Day (previously, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) is utterly astonishing. [more inside]
posted by motty at 7:08 AM PST - 32 comments

The Turtle and the Shark
The Turtle and the Shark is one of Samoa's most cherished stories, and it has been animated beautifully by Ryan Woodward in the style of siapo, or Samoan tapa barkcloth. [more inside]
posted by barnacles at 4:52 AM PST - 7 comments

Dots like lines more than squiggles
The dot and the line is a romance in lower mathematics starring a dot and a line. It won the 1965 Academy Award for Animated Short Film.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:25 AM PST - 22 comments

Real Dead Ringer For Love
Is Necrophilia Wrong?
posted by veedubya at 3:21 AM PST - 249 comments

Shipping News
Play by play animation and description dissecting the Costa Concordia tragedy using available AIS data. Warning: distracting off camera 'thunking' noise throughout. Captain John Konrad also discusses the three fatal mistakes made by the ship's master that lead to the grounding.
posted by mattoxic at 1:24 AM PST - 42 comments