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January 30, 2012
Martian Chronicles
In Martian Chronicles, a young-adult novella by Cory Doctorow, colonists leave a bloated earth and head towards the economic promise land of Mars. There's a fascinating spin on this tale that isn't summarize-able so go listen to it. Part 1, 2, 3.
posted by Taft at 10:29 PM PST - 133 comments

Alan Lomax's Global Jukebox
A decade after the death of renowned folklorist Alan Lomax, his vision of a "global jukebox" is being realized: his vast archive — some 5,000 hours of sound recordings, 400,000 feet of film, 3,000 videotapes, 5,000 photographs and piles of manuscripts, much of it tucked away in forgotten or inaccessible corners — is being digitized so that the collection can be accessed online. About 17,000 music tracks will be available for free streaming by the end of February. NYT article here.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:16 PM PST - 41 comments

Diplomacy
Diplomacy isn't everyone's idea of fun. Time is one obstacle; a quick game can take six hours, and others can go on for 16 hours. More important, most of the action unfolds away from the table, in tense, furtive conversations among the seven players representing the once-great powers of Europe as they trade intelligence and plan joint maneuvers. The back-and-forth sounds like a David Mamet screenplay about the Triple Entente, especially because no promise is binding, no piece of information reliable. According to the rules (3 MB PDF), "players may say anything they wish." Eavesdropping, slander and betrayal -- back-stabbing, in Diplomacy parlance -- become arrows in your quiver, not the concealed weaponry of cheats and spoilsports.
posted by Trurl at 8:10 PM PST - 111 comments

Terrible Commercials (MLYT)
Trale Lewous advertises Skittles. Over and over again. Also M&Ms, Snickers, Twizzlers, and Butterfingers. [more inside]
posted by Ipsifendus at 7:50 PM PST - 17 comments

ALIEN age 11
ALIEN age 11 - an adaptation created by an underage artist based on the Alan Dean Foster novelization and a few stills, without having seen the actual film.
posted by Artw at 6:06 PM PST - 23 comments

prepared reading for curious readers
Syllabi provides context and collects informative links for a wide variety of timely topics. The posts cover material ranging from The Mystery of Whales to The Violinists vs. the Stradivarius to The Finnish Approach to Education Reform. There are also regular roundups of good reads from the previous week. [more inside]
posted by lalex at 5:52 PM PST - 10 comments

Project Unbreakable
In October, 2011, Grace Brown put up a tumblr where victims of sexual abuse can post a photo of themselves holding a quote from their attacker.
posted by gman at 5:28 PM PST - 113 comments

U.S. Press Freedom Rankings Plummet
“The United States [owes] its fall of 27 places [to 47th] to the many arrests of journalist covering Occupy Wall Street protests.” -Reporters Without Borders

Btw, Occupy Wall St. has begun heating up again for the spring with 400 arrested in Oakland yesterday. And a blooming Occupy K Street movement (DC, FB) [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges at 4:40 PM PST - 249 comments

of Spivs, Cosh boys & Creepers
Flick Knives, Dance Music and Edwardian Suits: Teddy Boys, Christmas Humphreys and the murder of John Beckley on Clapham Common in 1953.
posted by madamjujujive at 4:32 PM PST - 15 comments

Flying Books, just like it says on the tin.
The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore , was "Inspired, in equal measures, by Hurricane Katrina, Buster Keaton, The Wizard of Oz, and a love for books, “Morris Lessmore” is a story of people who devote their lives to books and books who return the favor." (SLV)
posted by HuronBob at 4:18 PM PST - 9 comments

Being a Maid
James McBride talks about The Help, Hattie McDaniel, why black women are still winning awards for playing maids, how black culture is appropriated and represented, and whether marginalized groups in America all serve the purpose of "cultural maids". [more inside]
posted by nakedmolerats at 3:39 PM PST - 59 comments

Eagles Are Turning People Into Horses
Eagles Are Turning People Into Horses
posted by davidjmcgee at 3:39 PM PST - 43 comments

Chrykutgh5764gvhtfvkigdrf678
"Note (January 26, 2012): Some people have complained that this site has been sending them texts. If you're one of them, then someone else might be playing a prank on you. This Cat Facts page does not gather people's emails or phone numbers and has no technology capable of sending out messages. Sorry, there is nothing we can do to help since we aren't the ones sending the messages."
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:12 PM PST - 48 comments

Visualizing economics
Visualizing Economics. Catherine Mulbrandon makes visualizations of economic data, including the variation of the top marginal tax rate over time and the high cost of buying a TV on credit.
posted by escabeche at 3:00 PM PST - 13 comments

War. War never changes.
January of last year, Wayside Creations - a YouTube troupe with a penchant for propmaking - released Nuka Break, a fan film based on Fallout: New Vegas. [more inside]
posted by absalom at 2:56 PM PST - 11 comments

The Automatic Diet Planner
Swole.me is a completely free automated diet planner that creates meals according to your goal calorie intake and how many meals you’d like to eat per day. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 2:40 PM PST - 51 comments

"Twitter Users Beware: Homeland Security Isn’t Laughing."
"Planning to make a joke on Twitter about bombing something? You might want to reconsider: According to a report from Britain, two tourists were detained and denied entry into the U.S. recently after they joked about destroying America and digging up Marilyn Monroe. That the Homeland Security Dept. and other authorities—including the FBI—are monitoring such social media as Twitter and Facebook isn’t surprising. That these authorities are willing to detain people based on what is clearly a harmless joke, however, raises questions about what the impact of all that monitoring will be."* [more inside]
posted by ericb at 2:38 PM PST - 101 comments

Mustache 2.0
Face detection has various applications. Easymustache.com is perhaps not one of the most practical ones. [more inside]
posted by tykky at 1:46 PM PST - 66 comments

Tack-o-rama: Retro resources for designers
Tack-o-rama : Retro resources for designers. (With associated Tumblr blog) [more inside]
posted by romakimmy at 1:37 PM PST - 4 comments

The palpable fear of what we experience daily without a second thought
Future Shock (2, 3, 4, 5) is a glimpse at society on the precipice of the information age, in this 1972 documentary based on the Alvin Toffler classic about the world gone mad, due to technology and computers. Narrated by Orson Welles. [more inside]
posted by crunchland at 1:26 PM PST - 22 comments

Fucking librarians.
The Paris Review on librarian porn (nsfw).
posted by twirlip at 12:41 PM PST - 53 comments

Unstoppable force for justice.
Gigi Gordon dies at 54; crusading criminal defense lawyer. 'Defense attorney Gigi Gordon, who was hailed as 'an unstoppable force for justice,' battled corrupt police and overzealous prosecutors to free dozens of prisoners who had been wrongfully convicted.''"She changed the way criminal law was practiced in this county," said her ex-husband, Andrew M. Stein, who also is a criminal defense lawyer. "People don't realize how many people she set free."' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 12:40 PM PST - 20 comments

All God's Children
The Beardslee, Shellrude and Darr families left North America for West Africa during the 1950s. They followed what they believed to be “God’s Calling” – to spread Christianity throughout the world. Their children however - starting at the age of 6 – were required to attend the boarding school in Mamou, Guinea, run by the Christian and Missionary Alliance. Cut off from their families for 9 months out of the year and without any reliable means of communication, the children quietly suffered emotional, spiritual, physical and/or sexual abuse at the hands of the all-missionary staff. All God’s Children tells the personal story of the first boarding school for children of missionaries to be investigated for abuse at the hands of the parents’ missionary colleagues. The survivors and parents share their journey of seeking justice, redemption and healing. [more inside]
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:40 PM PST - 9 comments

"I don't have a crystal ball."
Jonathon Franzen doesn't just hate ebooks - he thinks they are having a detrimental effect on the world. [more inside]
posted by Megami at 11:17 AM PST - 264 comments

John Carter of Mars, the 1935 test animation
The world of science fiction is filled with strange tales of alternate futures where one minor event reshaped the entire history of the world. In our world, one minor event in 1935 could have changed the world of animation and science fiction ushering in an era of adult animation. But, alas, that did not happen and is the topic of our sad story today. Though Bob Clampett is often remembered for his Warner Brothers cartoons, including some surreal shorts, he could have been known for bringing John Carter of Mars to life in animation. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 10:58 AM PST - 14 comments

FML Listings
FML Listings posts incredulous commentary about outrageously overpriced real estate listings in Toronto. Look at the run-down bungalows -- in North York! -- listed for a million dollars and despair. Canada's housing bubble, on full display. Via Maclean's.
posted by mcwetboy at 10:29 AM PST - 75 comments

Plonkers
The long running English sitcom Only Fools And Horses is going to be remade in the US…. The Guardians showbiz spies reveal the subtle tinkerings that have been made to the original formula. The funniest thing ever on television. Allegedly. (This is funnier)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:24 AM PST - 37 comments

“I would love to have like 3 close friends."
The Story of a Suicide: a fantastic array of updates about Tyler Clementi’s death (Previously on MeFi) and Dharun Ravi’s trial.
posted by hermitosis at 10:10 AM PST - 78 comments

An Epic Background, A Pun On The Name, Mix and Shake Well For Best Results
You may not know who the Costacos Brothers are. But if you were a sports fan in the US during the 1980's, chances are that you had one of their posters up in your room.
posted by reenum at 10:07 AM PST - 19 comments

Also: Lions, Tigers, and Even a Bear
Sharon Montrose does lovely, wonderful, and sometimes whimsical portrait photography of rescued baby animals. [more inside]
posted by quin at 10:00 AM PST - 14 comments

Air's new trip to the moon
“Even if you've never heard of Melies, you've probably seen the film's most famous shot: a moon with a human face, wincing at the spaceship that has just crashed into its eye.” A full-color restoration of Georges Melies’ Le Voyage Dans La Lune (A Trip to the Moon) debuted this year at Cannes, with a new soundtrack by Air. Full article and preview clip (NPR)
posted by spitefulcrow at 9:34 AM PST - 33 comments

The Muppets attack Fox News
Back in December, Fox News attacked the Muppets for the supposed "anti-coprorate" and "anti-capitalist" themes they saw in the movie The Muppets. Kermit and Miss Piggy are, finally, fighting back.
posted by cerebus19 at 9:22 AM PST - 61 comments

"...obituaries are about the juicy stuff of life..."
“Obituaries are not about death. They are a celebration of life." The Art of the Obituary [more inside]
posted by zarq at 9:10 AM PST - 14 comments

New JFK assassination tapes
US National Archives releases newly discovered JFK assassination tapes, of the communications of Air Force One personnel following the assassination. The digitized recording was uploaded to Wikimedia Commons at the same time as it was revealed on archives.gov
posted by stbalbach at 8:56 AM PST - 18 comments

Will we ever know what caused the Salem Witch Trials?
"I would point out to you that medical explanations are modern. That Americans today want medical explanations for things that in the 19th century would have been explained by hysteria, and in the 18th century would have been explained by religious conversion experiences in the context of the Great Awakening, when people were having these types of fits, and in the 17th century by witchcraft."
posted by empath at 8:22 AM PST - 54 comments

Are animal rescues doing animals a disservice?
No pet for you. Want to adopt a dog or cat? Prepare for an inquisition at the animal rescue.
posted by Dasein at 7:05 AM PST - 368 comments

Encarta Resurrected
"We are weak, writing is difficult, but for my own sake I do not regret this journey..." -from the final three Diaries Of Robert Falcon Scott (p. 166/167) which are now available scanned, transcribed, and narrated in fully searchable form by the British Library. [more inside]
posted by lemuring at 5:55 AM PST - 19 comments

Wall Trampoline!
Awesome weird gymnastic wall coolness! Neat article from the NYT on new quasi-sport, Wall Trampoline. Bonus points for mentioning the school in Quebec where Cirque du Soleil kids train. Enjoy!
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 4:05 AM PST - 25 comments

The Snowfield
The Snowfield You are a lone soldier wandering the aftermath of a great battle. It is the dead of winter and you won’t last long in the cold. But you are not alone. [more inside]
posted by GallonOfAlan at 2:24 AM PST - 25 comments