January 28, 2011
Choose Life.
It's Only Rape if They Say So House Republicans decide to fight abortion access by redefining rape.
posted by emjaybee at 9:24 PM PST - 171 comments

Monsanto alfalfa: coming soon to a field near you
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that the sale of Monsanto's Roundup Ready alfalfa will be fully deregulated: USDA factsheet [PDF]. Advocates of organic agriculture are outraged, while the biotechnology industry supports the decision. Monsanto is also pleased by the USDA's action. [more inside]
posted by catlet at 9:14 PM PST - 38 comments

Can we lower medical costs by giving the neediest patients better care?
The Hot Spotters examines the possibilities of a strange new approach to health care: to look for the most expensive patients in the system and then direct resources and brainpower toward helping them. — by Atul Gawande [more inside]
posted by netbros at 9:02 PM PST - 34 comments

TWO CARS! TWO CARS! TWO CARS!
Happy Birthday Taylor!
posted by boo_radley at 7:51 PM PST - 46 comments

Plan B
How to communicate if the government shuts down the Internet, according to: 1) Wired (wiki) 2) PC World
posted by msalt at 4:59 PM PST - 63 comments

My best is 802.3
Watch your computer design a 2 dimensional car. What happens when you give a computer, instead of a predefined function to run, a set of parameters, a goal, and the ability to mutate those parameters? You get a genetic algorithm. At its core, genetic algorithms can best be described as Darwinian evolution of computer functions. Is it better to use a streamlined, wide-wheel-base motorcycle to cross terrain, or something that looks like a cross between a fish and a tank? This simplistic simulation shows just what's going to cause the rise of Skynet.
posted by mark242 at 4:45 PM PST - 90 comments

So I can cuddle them in heaven!
God's Press Conference [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:17 PM PST - 38 comments

The car that goes woosh
Washington Post humor columnist Gene Weingarten somehow talked his way into reviewing a Chevy Volt (GM's new electric vehicle) for 7 hours over 4 days. That's about 6:30 more than most reviewers get to spend with the vehicle. What resulted is a auto review unlike any other you've read before.
Previously on Metafilter.
posted by COD at 4:00 PM PST - 130 comments

"Slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God."
Challenger . . . . go with throttle up. Twenty-five years ago today the U.S. Space Shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds into the 25th space shuttle flight. The reports (pdf) tell us of O-Ring failures. Today, we remember one of the most tragic days in the history of the U.S. manned spaceflight program. Today, January 28, 2011, we remember: Michael Smith, Dick Scobee, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe.
posted by IvoShandor at 1:39 PM PST - 101 comments

The Viral Me
The Viral Me - GQ article on some of the newer social media stuff coming down the pike by Devin Friedman who asks: What is the endgame of your revolution? And can you promise me it won't suck?
A more general thesis about the basic disappointment of the Internet: It ultimately evolves only where it meets human desire, which itself is geared for life circa 200 b.c. If the Internet ultimately disappoints, it's because it was made for humans. Give us instant connection to everyone and the ability to collaborate in vast seamless networks and we spend 99 percent of those resources telling everyone what kind of oatmeal we ate for breakfast and 1 percent of it building Wikipedia.
[more inside]
posted by marble at 1:27 PM PST - 21 comments

Today's status: Smokey Bear.
A little bit of security theater will shut down in April as the Department of Homeland Security will end the color coded Homeland Security Advisory System. The terror alert has not changed from yellow in over four years, unless you are on an international flight. The system has been criticized immensely since its introduction. And don't forget the jokes. [more inside]
posted by Mister Fabulous at 1:25 PM PST - 28 comments

The licensee must cease broadcasting on [February 12, 2011], by no later than the end of the broadcast day.
After over 18 months of infighting, including a seven-month lockout where it was "broadcasting without any community involvement or reflection, oversight or management, or apparent control", CKLN -- Toronto's first campus radio station -- has had its licence revoked by the CRTC, Canada's broadcast regulator. [more inside]
posted by Shepherd at 1:21 PM PST - 12 comments

Yes, Joe Biden has seen The Onion
Satirical periodical The Onion has long used Vice-President Joe Biden as a running gag for a series of articles depicting the VP as a tattooed party animal often at odds with the law. The articles have been among the most popular on the site. Today, the real Joe Biden responds, calling the series "hilarious" while also correcting The Onion; Joe has a '67 Corvette, not a Trans-Am.
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:18 PM PST - 22 comments

Mushroom, Mushroom...
Merit badges for nerds, mothers, and Etsy hipsters. [more inside]
posted by zamboni at 1:01 PM PST - 19 comments

Clever /monkey/human/robot/alien
'On the Hunt for Universal Intelligence' 'How do you use a scientific method to measure the intelligence of a human being, an animal, a machine or an extra-terrestrial? So far this has not been possible, but a team of Spanish and Australian researchers have taken a first step towards this by presenting the foundations to be used as a basis for this method in the journal Artificial Intelligence, and have also put forward a new intelligence test.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 12:45 PM PST - 11 comments

Lego urban decay in black and white
Mike Doyle is making a series of intricate decayed Lego buildings. With irregular arrangements of bricks and careful choice of texture the results approach photorealism in black and white. [more inside]
posted by Lorc at 12:45 PM PST - 15 comments

The Dead Weight of Debt
"The World", an ambitious real estate project conceived at the height of the real estate boom, is sinking back into the sea.
[more inside]
posted by reenum at 12:19 PM PST - 34 comments

Wiliam Finnegan
Playing Doc’s Games by William Finnegan (The New Yorker, 1992, long) is probably the best article on surfing ever written.
posted by puny human at 12:09 PM PST - 5 comments

Why are you taking a picture? It's forbidden here.
Art Lebedev visits North Korea, and provides a photo essay of rare quality.
posted by anigbrowl at 10:59 AM PST - 36 comments

Gatchaman!
"Five orphans with a spacecraft battle a lipsticked maniac from the Crab Nebula and his unlikely big flying robots. No one gets hurt."
In 1972, the anime action-adventure show Kagaku ninja tai Gatchaman (Science Ninja Team Gatchaman,) premiered on Japanese television. Featuring graphic violence, extensive profanity and a transgendered villain, it was one of the most popular animated series of its time. Envisioning similar success in the US, Sandy Frank Entertainment acquired the series in 1978 but deemed it too graphic and shocking for domestic audiences. So they hired two Hanna-Barbera vets to "re-version" totally bowdlerize the episodes with new scripts, voiceovers music and effects, animation, etc., at a cost of $5 million and turn it into a brand new show: Battle of the Planets. Here are the original 1978 Battle of the Planets feature film (in 7 parts,) and the first 19 episodes of the show, all available on Youtube. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 10:26 AM PST - 61 comments

The Fractal Nature of Beauty
National Geographic's "infinite photograph" series is an endless, fractal mosaic of beautiful images from around the world, each based on a different theme : US National Parks, the natural world, weather, or one day's contribution to the source for all the photographs used, the National Geographic My Shot site. (requires Flash). [more inside]
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 10:26 AM PST - 4 comments

Police Officer Shoots Self In the Foot
On January 19, 2011, a police officer was shot in front of El Camino High School in the LA Unified School District. First the school was locked down, then half the city, as police performed a car-by-car search for a white male in his 40's in a bomber jacket. Several people were detained. The intense manhunt lasted more than a day.

So, it turns out the police officer just kind of accidentally shot himself.
posted by jabberjaw at 10:13 AM PST - 62 comments

How to be 1990s.
How to be 1990s.
posted by naju at 10:00 AM PST - 118 comments

Greatest land predator ever didn't eat no stinking carrion
No Leftovers for Tyrannosaurus Rex: New Evidence That T. Rex Was Hunter, Not Scavenger [Full text] [more inside]
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:37 AM PST - 28 comments

They giggle and laugh, as they watch Project Popcorn
And now, the Russian version of Mystery Science Theater 3000: Project Popcorn [more inside]
posted by Servo5678 at 9:07 AM PST - 25 comments

A River Runs Under It
Over the River is the newest environmental art installation proposed by Christo and Jeanne-Claude. As usual, there is some opposition. Previously on MeFi, The Gates. Jeanne-Claude, the female half of this team, died in 2009.
posted by hermitosis at 8:17 AM PST - 76 comments

"Making Copyright Work Better Online"
Is Google willing to censor? After a December announcement, Google has quietly begun filtering piracy- and torrent-related terms from its Autocomplete and Instant services. While much of the content is arguably illegal, and results will still appear in Google's traditional search, one of the affected search terms is "ubuntu torrent."
posted by Tubalcain at 7:43 AM PST - 69 comments

"I just don't know what the limit is!" - Earl Scruggs
In 1969 banjo virtuoso and bluegrass innovator Earl Scruggs parted ways with his longtime musical partner Lester Flatt and the band they led to great popularity and acclaim, The Foggy Mountain Boys. Scruggs wanted to push his musical gifts as far as they could go. In 1970 he was the subject of a PBS documentary where he played with artists such as Bob Dylan, Doc Watson, The Morris Brothers, The Byrds, Charlie Daniels, Bill Monroe, Joan Baez, various friends and family members, and even records a track accompanying a Moog. You can watch the whole thing online: Earl Scruggs, His Family and Friends.
posted by Kattullus at 7:39 AM PST - 17 comments

SNOW DAY!
11th grader David Sukhin's Snow Day Calculator uses weather data, user judgment calls, and algorithms of his own devising to predict the chances of a snow day for any school in the US. And, so far, to his knowledge it has never been wrong.
posted by Miko at 6:57 AM PST - 32 comments

UConn booster separates after unsuccessful coaching launch.
After football head coach Randy Edsall left the University of Connecticut for the head coaching position at Maryland, the athletic director began the search for a new head coach. On January 13, Paul Pasqualoni was named the new UConn football head coach. In an unprecedentedly public manner, the largest athletics department donor at UConn sent a scathing six page letter to the athletics director demanding his money back for not being consulted prior to the hiring, while also listing his grievances against the UConn athletics director. [more inside]
posted by This Guy at 5:56 AM PST - 65 comments

radio k'bvh;b
radio k'bvh;b is on the air. A three day Internet radio experiment by Catalin Ilie and Letitia Calin, radio k'bvh;b presents field recordings, noise, experimental stuff, and live performances direct from Berlin. It only goes until Sunday midnight CET, so tune in to the odd noises while you still can.
posted by sixohsix at 5:35 AM PST - 17 comments

The Office/The Office crossover
Michael Scott meets David Brent. [more inside]
posted by crossoverman at 5:00 AM PST - 65 comments

We'll go where no one's gone before.
Star Trek Girl (WARNING: SLYT)
posted by valkane at 4:40 AM PST - 73 comments

Bohemian Rhapsody on Ukulele
Bohemian Rhapsody on Ukulele by Jake Shimabukuro [via NPR | 3QD]
posted by peacay at 3:13 AM PST - 33 comments