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February 1, 2010
Anti-Tax Voters Darken Colorado Springs
After a ballot measure to raise property taxes in Colorado Springs was overwhelmingly defeated, tax opponents called for the city to shrink the government. The City of Colorado Springs now plans to make deep cuts to basic services, including parks, police, and even the street lights.
posted by chrchr at 11:18 PM PST - 332 comments

Button du Jour
Button du Jour. A charming semi-daily imaginary vignette featuring food, fashion, music, and an exotic location -- all inspired by a beautiful button.
posted by ottereroticist at 9:51 PM PST - 6 comments

Atlas Shrugged in 1000 Words
"It is I, Francisco d'Anconia, of the oldest most wealthy copper fortune this side of the Atlantic, and don't I want you to know that I'm pissing it all away for a grand reason that I won't tell you!"

The condensed Atlas Shrugged.

posted by dunkadunc at 7:32 PM PST - 122 comments

​Modern browsers for modern applications
The web has evolved in the last ten years, from simple text pages to rich, interactive applications including video and voice. Unfortunately, very old browsers cannot run many of these new features effectively. So to help ensure your business can use the latest, most advanced web apps, we encourage you to update your browsers as soon as possible. There are many choices: IE6 is not among them [more inside]
posted by h0p3y at 7:23 PM PST - 78 comments

Literary Matters Nonsensical
nonsenselit.org is dedicated to literary matters nonsensical. There's a lot of Edward Lear, limericks, songs, nonsense botany, diaries, picture stories and much, much more. Did I mention there was more? Because there's also a section on the lesser known but quite great early 20th Century cartoonist Peter Newell, there's a lot of awesome but let me point you to The Hole Book and Topsys and Turvys. Nonsense in Early Comics features the brilliant Gustave Verbeek, the wonderful John Benson and Helen Stillwell. Don't forget to check out the gallery of over 600 nonsense-related images. Finally, the site proprietor, Marco Graziosi has a blog with various nonsense lit related posts.
posted by Kattullus at 7:00 PM PST - 5 comments

Maneggs
Maneggs. is a web comic that is occasionally NSFW.
posted by sciurus at 6:26 PM PST - 48 comments

"I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape.”
"Trance music" is not a new phenomenon.  The ability for music to drive dancers into ecstatic frenzies has been known at least since Euripides.  The Shakers got their name from the ecstatic behavior they exhibited when dancing to their simple, repetitive hymns.  Voodoo rituals are built around complex, trance-inducing rhythms.  It was well known that trance-dancing can produce ecstastic states, but until the later part of the 20th century, and the invention of the 'extended dance remix', it was rare for commercial music to reach for it. [more inside]
posted by empath at 5:22 PM PST - 86 comments

Tear It Apart and Put It Back Together
Pain Pack — Ze Frank posted a phone number and asked that anyone experiencing emotional pain leave him a message. He received a number of very distraught messages. From those, DJs and musicians created 138 samples for him—and those samples have since been made into songs—and the collaborative process continues.
posted by netbros at 3:31 PM PST - 26 comments

The 2011 United States Budget
The New York Times visualizes the proposed $3.83 trillion budget for 2011.
posted by Joe Beese at 3:22 PM PST - 61 comments

Project Orion: to Mars by 1965, in a spaceship propelled by nuclear bombs.
Ted Taylor, physicist, nuclear scientist, and designer of the deceptively tiny Davy Crockett nuclear recoilless rifle, is not quite as famous as one of his other projects: nuclear spacecraft propulsion. Project Orion was intended as an interplanetary (and eventually interstellar) vehicle which could achieve Earth orbit with a series of 800 nuclear explosions, each detonated about a second after the other below the spacecraft. It would propel itself through space in a similar fashion, carrying many orders of magnitude more mass than chemical rockets such as the Saturn which would ultimately take men to the moon. Taylor and others intended a mission to Mars by 1965, but the Partial Test Ban Treaty of 1963 destroyed all hope to see Orion take flight. For the interested, "The Curve of Binding Energy" goes into much more detail, including the U.S. Air Force's plan to turn Orion into a nuclear space battleship (!). A youtube video of an Orion concept test using conventional explosives is here (flight footage begins around 0:23).
posted by edguardo at 2:34 PM PST - 56 comments

Are Pagans in California Prisons Entitled to Religious Freedom?
From The Wild Hunt:
A case coming before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals could end up having major legal ramifications for all religious minorities in the United States. Wiccan chaplain Patrick McCollum has been fighting for years to overturn the State of California’s “five faiths policy”, which limits the hiring of paid chaplains to Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, and Native American adherents. While McCollum has suffered setbacks in his quest, with a California federal district court ruling in early 2009 that he had no standing to bring his suit, he recently gained support on appeal from several civil and religious rights groups who argue that his case should be heard.
[more inside]
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 2:19 PM PST - 43 comments

Generals
“I don’t want anyone on my team that doesn’t play to win.” Red Klotz, 88, has been head coach of the Washington Generals since the early 1950s, and played for the team himself until the age of 62. In the linked story, he provides Kansas City sportswriter Joe Posnanski with the greatest quote of all time (that wasn't it up there) and recounts his two glorious victories over the Harlem Globetrotters (against 13,000-some losses.) Now Klotz may have a secret weapon against his long-time rivals: after 50 years as straight men, the Generals are trying to become the wackiest team on the court.
posted by escabeche at 2:18 PM PST - 28 comments

The Gentle Madness and the Art of War
With Sword and Pen is an interesting and well-done blog that celebrates "First Edition, Rare, Small Press, and Collectible Books Pertaining to the American Civil War." [more inside]
posted by marxchivist at 12:17 PM PST - 2 comments

Sacred Monster
Those who knew the artist—some of them his friends—described him variously as “devil,” “whore,” “one of the world’s leading alcoholics,” “bilious ogre,” “sacred monster,” and “a drunken, faded sodomite swaying nocturnally through the lowest dives and gambling dens of Soho.” Was Francis Bacon really the greatest painter of the twentieth century, or just a fascinating mess?
posted by seliopou at 12:16 PM PST - 65 comments

Cause It's Hard to Say What's Real, When You Know the Way You Feel
Ever wonder how to get a book on the NY Times best seller list? Step one: Set up a PAC. ABCNews and others reporting on the recent revelation that Sarah Palin funneled upwards of sixty grand to a PAC she established to buy thousands of copies of her own recent "best-selling" book.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:58 AM PST - 128 comments

Fetid Fish Revise Understanding of Fossil Formation
"These data revealed a surprisingly consistent pattern of decomposition throughout time. This pattern shows that as these modern fish decayed, their most recently evolved features -- those characters that are most informative because they distinguish closely related animals within the same lineage -- rotted first. The last features to disappear were more ancient; those that are shared by all vertebrates, such the notochord."
posted by brundlefly at 11:37 AM PST - 11 comments

Soft Drinks Around the World
Soft drinks have become ubiquitous around the world. Everywhere you go, you are more likely than not going to see them being sold at stores, food carts and roadside stands. [more inside]
posted by reenum at 11:32 AM PST - 109 comments

Profile in courage
Fifty years ago today four black students, Joseph A. McNeil, Franklin E. McCain, David L. Richmond and Ezell A. Blair Jr., asked to be served lunch at the Woolworth lunch counter and so began an extended nonviolent sit-in which energized the civil rights movement. Monday the International Civil Rights Center and Museum will open in that loacation.
posted by caddis at 11:30 AM PST - 19 comments

Choice of the Dragon
Choice of the Dragon is a web-based cyoa/adventure gamebook thingy by choiceofgames (blog, including links to their free ChoiceScript documentation/interpretor). Awesome.
posted by juv3nal at 11:28 AM PST - 15 comments

Calvin and Hobbes, Eighth Wonder of the World
Bill Watterson, the reclusive creator of Calvin & Hobbes, gives what is believed to be his first interview since 1989.
posted by Effigy2000 at 11:07 AM PST - 89 comments

The 12% Solution
Everybody Loves That HADACOL~!
posted by jtron at 10:24 AM PST - 16 comments

Focus on the good news.
How to fall 35,000 feet.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:43 AM PST - 63 comments

Quake Swarm
In the last two weeks, [NYT] more than 100 mostly tiny earthquakes a day, on average, have rattled a remote area of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, putting scientists who monitor the park’s strange and volatile geology on alert. The quake zone, about 10 miles northwest of the Old Faithful geyser, has shown little indication of building toward a larger event, like a volcanic eruption of the type that last ravaged the Yellowstone region tens of thousands of years ago. Don't rest too easily, though: new studies of the plumbing that feeds the Yellowstone supervolcano shows the plume and the magma chamber under the volcano are larger than first thought and contradicts claims that only shallow hot rock exists. For more info, check out this exhaustive site that tracks Yellowstone tectonic activity and details a possible supervolcano event. [previously]
posted by billysumday at 8:05 AM PST - 109 comments

NYC circa 1924
Precursor to Google Maps? Overhead photos of NYC circa 1924. (Click the camera icon and slide to 1924)
posted by jefficator at 8:01 AM PST - 35 comments

Sorry about the Baader-Meinhof gang. And syndrome.
The truth about the gunshot that changed Germany. On June 2, 1967, a West Berlin police officer named Karl-Heinz Kurras killed a leftist protester named Benno Ohnesorg. This killing galvanized the West German student movement, and led to a decade of protesting and actual armed conflict (notably by the Red Army Faction, aka the Baader-Meinhof gang [previously]). It turns out that the police officer was a member of the Stasi, the infamous East German secret police. [more inside]
posted by norm at 7:46 AM PST - 22 comments

On the frontlines in Haiti
"Surgically, things have gotten so much better in the last 24 hours." Direct view into the daily challenges on the frontlines of the medical situation in Haiti, via the Hershey Medical Center Team and Operation Smile. Written by the surgeons on the ground. [more inside]
posted by spicynuts at 7:01 AM PST - 4 comments

Someone's not telling the truth.
America's Secret Afghan Prisons. Meanwhile Vice Admiral Robert Harward states: There are no black-jail secret prisons.
The Washington Independent reports that Vice Admirals Robert Howard and William McRaven (commander of the Joint Special Operations Command) both have deep ties to Gen. Stanley McChrystal and influential with Jim Jones, Obama’s national security adviser.
posted by adamvasco at 5:45 AM PST - 54 comments

Urban Bird Sounds Project
The Urban Bird Sounds Project and podcast. The students of Codman Academy Charter Public School have developed a free CD to help you learn to "recognize bird sounds in the city." [more inside]
posted by OmieWise at 5:19 AM PST - 20 comments

Weird, or just different?
Weird, or just different?
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:29 AM PST - 49 comments

Imogen Heap's Twitdress
Imogen Heap (Previously: 1 2) was nominated for two Grammys this year, and won for Best Engineering for a Non-Classical Album. To share the occasion of her first Grammy nominations with her fans, she designed a dress and handbag onto which they could tweet pictures and messages of support by including the #twitdress hashtag or sending pictures to a Twitpic account. Video of the Twitdress in action - note that her name does NOT actually rhyme with "toboggan".
posted by DecemberBoy at 12:26 AM PST - 29 comments

"I'm like all these different people fucked into one person."
Die Antwoord is a "next-level rap-rave krew" from South Africa. Their incredible video, Enter the Ninja, is probably the best introduction to the group. The group consists of a white MC named Ninja, his mulleted wife Yo-Landi Vi$$er, and DJ Hi-Tek (aka Leon Botha), a painter who at 24 one of the oldest living sufferers of progeria syndrome. Further viewing: Zef Side. [more inside]
posted by meadowlark lime at 12:15 AM PST - 68 comments

Terry Pratchett ready to be test case for suicide law
Sir Terry Pratchett, the popular comical fantasy author who in 2007 revealed that he had been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's, will present today his ideas about having a tribunal set up to help those with incurable diseases end their lives with help from doctors.
posted by Jeremy Banks at 12:10 AM PST - 39 comments