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February 9, 2011
The King of the Deal
A New Yorker profile of consummate dealmaker Irving 'Swifty' Lazar. [more inside]
posted by reenum at 6:52 PM PST - 9 comments

In Focus - a new news photo blog
In Focus - a new news photo blog [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by pwally at 6:28 PM PST - 19 comments

Love thy neighbor.
Dear Girls Above Me,
posted by Fizz at 5:57 PM PST - 197 comments

A rising tide?
The expanding pro-democracy protests in Egypt, which now include a popular labor movement, are (allegedly) inspiring anti-government demonstrations in Iraq.
posted by clarknova at 5:30 PM PST - 57 comments

"A conscience is like a boat or a car. If you feel you need one, rent it."
Do you remember who shot J.R.? Rumored since last year a pilot is confirmed for a Dallas sequel series to reunite Larry Hagman and Patrick Duffy once again. [more inside]
posted by mikoroshi at 3:58 PM PST - 67 comments

Meet the Beat-Alls
Ten years ago today, Cartoon Network aired a very special episode of The Powerpuff Girls. Though nominally a harmless kids series about three adorable kindergarten superheroes, creator Craig McCracken attracted an unexpectedly diverse audience (50% male, 25% adult) by sneaking in a surprising amount of violence and adult in-jokes -- and on that last point, this particular episode was king. Broadcast on the 37th anniversary of their debut on the Ed Sullivan Show, "Meet the Beat-Alls" was an extended and sophisticated metaphor for the rise and fall of The Beatles, cramming more than forty song references and dozens of visual jokes into only ten minutes of animated allegory. Catch the original episode here or read the transcript, but for the full effect, watch this remarkable YouTube mash-up that splices the referenced song clips directly into the audio track and plasters the screen with helpful annotations. Want more PPG goodness? You can start with the special "Powerpuff Girls Rule!!!" (part 2), a sly, hyperkinetic celebration of the show's tenth anniversary directed by McCracken himself that features every character (and totally subverts an important one). But as far as weirdness goes, it's hard to top Powerpuff Girls Doujinshi, a long-running fan-made webcomic which stars the trio alongside Dexter, Samurai Jack, Invader Zim, and tons of other network icons in an unusually dark manga adventure. Oh, and don't forget your plate of beans.
posted by Rhaomi at 3:45 PM PST - 82 comments

I Love the Internet
People fall in love with physical objects. For some reason, this feels more surprising than it should after 54 years of observational experience. Who knew? “A marketer needs to be careful not to judge these people as being weird," says the lead author.
posted by sneebler at 3:31 PM PST - 63 comments

Book Trade Labels
Inspired by the Seven Roads Gallery (which is no longer being updated), this Flickr group contains over 900 images of book trade labels, also known as bookseller labels.
posted by brundlefly at 2:34 PM PST - 1 comments

Why Can't This Guy Crack the Lineup?
Johnny Mac - Trick Shot Quarterback — University of Connecticut quarterback Johnny McEntee and his "trick shot" passing abilities. [4:50 SLYT] [more inside]
posted by netbros at 2:33 PM PST - 51 comments

Seattle's Valentines
Penguin, If I'm a bird, you're a bird and you always know how many lemons I want. I don't want anyone else to shovel my gravel. I looooove you. Pumpkin Butt. The Stranger shares reader Valentines Day notes (Ranging to from sweet, to nasty, to lovingly bizarre.)
posted by anya32 at 2:28 PM PST - 2 comments

A Progressivel Tea Party
"Imagine a parallel universe where the Great Crash of 2008 was followed by a Tea Party of a very different kind.... The name of this parallel universe is Britain." The UK's Progressive Tea Party.
posted by wittgenstein at 2:09 PM PST - 25 comments

The Game Preservation Crisis
Trash cans, landfills, and incinerators. Erasure, deletion, and obsolescence. These words could describe what has happened to the various building blocks of the video game industry in countries around the world. These building blocks consist of video game source code, the actual computer hardware used to create a particular video game, level layout diagrams, character designs, production documents, marketing material, and more.

These are just some elements of game creation that are gone -- never to be seen again. These elements make up the home console, handheld, PC and arcade games we've played. The only remnant of a particular game may be its name, or its final published version, since the possibility exists that no other physical copy of its creation remains.

As a community of video game developers, publishers, and players, we must begin asking ourselves some difficult but inevitable questions. Some believe there is no point in preserving a video game, arguing that games are short-term entertainment, while others disagree with this statement entirely, believing the industry is in a preservation crisis.

Where Games Go To Sleep: The Game Preservation Crisis [more inside]
posted by timshel at 2:04 PM PST - 44 comments

Probably Not As Fun As Angry Birds
"In a letter last May, Pope Benedict XVI urged priests to help people see the face of Christ on the Web, through blogs, Web sites and videos; priests could give the Web a 'soul,' he said, by preaching theology through new technology." Well ... it was only a matter of time. Are you a sinner? There's an app for that. "Confession: A Roman Catholic App" isn't supposed to replace the actual confessional booth, but instead offers "a personal examination of conscience." Sounds great, but the Vatican would like to remind you that you'll still need to drop by an actual church to make it count.
posted by bayani at 1:32 PM PST - 49 comments

I was so happy when this young person took from me
Over the course of 45 years in the film business, Francis Ford Coppola has refined a singular code of ethics that govern his filmmaking. There are three rules: 1) Write and direct original screenplays, 2) make them with the most modern technology available, and 3) self-finance them. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:20 PM PST - 21 comments

The CIA web presence, enhanced for the year 2011!
The Central Intelligence Agency launched several enhancements to CIA.gov, attempting to make a more public-friendly internet presence. Their outreach efforts also include Flickr and YouTube accounts, where you can watch CIA Director Panetta deliver his keynote address at a foreign language summit, if you have an hour to kill. Or marvel at a silver dollar that is actually a hollow container! They even have a few pictures of a dragonfly and a fake fish. Wait, what? That dragonfly is a tiny gas-powered machine that actually flew in the 1970s, and that fake fish is a functional Unmanned Underwater Vehicle. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 12:06 PM PST - 37 comments

“For a good blow job, a man will do just about anything. What can I do with that knowledge? I have no idea.”
How Tech Tools Transformed New York's Sex Trade is an article by Sudhir Venkatesh demonstrating the results from a survey of 290 sex workers in New York about financial matters. Venkatesh and Stephen Leavitt did a similar study in Chicago, posted to Metafilter previously. More information about Venkatesh's research on sex work on his website.
posted by lunit at 11:51 AM PST - 37 comments

The Time Hack
The Time Hack: A web-based effort to challenge one person's perception of time through new and unusual experiences.
posted by parudox at 10:44 AM PST - 28 comments

Stop Motion Live Transmission
Playmobil Joy Division Performs "Transmission" (SLYT)
posted by jivadravya at 10:42 AM PST - 37 comments

Animated Map of Auckland's Public Transport System
An animated map of Auckland’s public transport network. Chris MacDowall has used Auckland Transport's Google Transit Feed data to produce this awesome animation of Auckland's bus, train and ferry services.
posted by Miss Otis' Egrets at 10:38 AM PST - 13 comments

"It's the old houses in Rhode Island."
"I have never done a story in a shopping mall because, even if I'm not drawing it myself, I don't want to see somebody draw a shopping mall." Mike Mignola talks to BLDGBLOG about the influence architecture has on his work. Also includes a link to a USA Today exclusive Hellboy story that appeared previously on these pages.
posted by yerfatma at 10:24 AM PST - 15 comments

Next: The Toelet
Do you hate touching public washroom door handles? The Toepener is a pedal designed to open a public washroom’s door with one’s foot rather than having to touch the door handle. [more inside]
posted by chococat at 10:17 AM PST - 131 comments

RIP, Candy Licker
"The "chitlin' circuit" sounds like something that's gone, and with good reason. After all, the name itself derives from the "soul food" of chitterlings (fried pig intestines) that was a staple at early performances. But from CC Blues Club on Thomas Street to the Cannon Center downtown, thousands of Memphis music fans flock to hear stars like Marvin Sease and Bobby Rush sing what's too risqué for radio play, and to watch dancers shake what's too big for TV. That's both the beauty of the chitlin' circuit and the reason for its survival. While its roots run back to racial segregation, it thrives today because performers give audiences what they can't get through mainstream media. It's called "grown folks music," and it's all in the name of the blues."
Soul-blues singer Marvin Sease has died at age 64. Here's a comprehensive playlist of his (sexually-explicit/NSFW) songs on YouTube, including the one that never received any radio airplay but whose title the former gospel singer took as his professional nickname: Candy Licker [more inside]
posted by zarq at 10:11 AM PST - 15 comments

Rusty Torres Was At Three Baseball Riots
In 1972, with two outs in the bottom of the 9th inning in the last game the Washington Senators played before moving to Texas, the crowd flooded onto the field, ruining a thrilling late-game comeback over the Yankees. In 1974, the Cleveland Indians tripled attendance by offering Ten Cent Beer Night, but ended up wielding bats against their own fans to protect the visiting Rangers. In 1979, the plan to blow up disco records on the field between the two games of a double-header in Chicago led to riots and fires. And Rusty Torres was on the field all three times.
posted by Plutor at 9:56 AM PST - 19 comments

Hipster Mermaid
The sea was just TOO MAINSTREAM (SLtumblr)
posted by The Devil Tesla at 9:06 AM PST - 79 comments

The 100 best British films
Time Out's 100 best British films, as chosen by the film industry
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:35 AM PST - 64 comments

Patriot vs. PATRIOT
"House Republicans...fell seven votes short of extending provisions of the Patriot Act, a vote that served as the first small uprising of the party's tea-party bloc." This vote also defies the intention of the Obama administration to extend portions of the USA PATRIOT Act to the year 2013. (Previously) [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator at 8:30 AM PST - 95 comments

spiderman the musical reviews
We've spoken about it before and now the reviews are in for Spiderman: Turn off the dark. If you haven't got time to leaf through them all, there's a handy animated collection of quotes. To say the reviews weren't all that great would be an understatement, some even calling it "one of the worst things, if not the worst, I've ever seen on Broadway". Julie Taymor, the director, has had hits and misses in her career, but this appears to trump them all. Could we be witnessing another Sgt Pepper?
posted by ciderwoman at 7:43 AM PST - 150 comments

How Unknown Pretty Girl Got Her Name
Artist Paul Jackson posts to Flickr using the ART NAHPRO account. [more inside]
posted by scrump at 7:34 AM PST - 2 comments

Independent Heros from the USA
Welcome to the International Catalogue of Superheroes. The purpose of this site is to build up a database of information about various superhero characters from around the world. For decades American comics, and especially those from two prolific publishing houses, have dominated if not the market, then certainly the public's perception of it. There are few people in the world who would not recognise Superman, Batman, Spider-Man or the X-Men, and there are hundreds of websites devoted to those characters. That is not the focus of this site. [more inside]
posted by Deathalicious at 7:29 AM PST - 10 comments

Able to leap tall buildings
"I've always loved the music from the Saturday matinee serial, and I figured a short that was animated to this music could be a really cool piece. I designed the character mixing all the traits from my favorite Superman actors from the past, and then looked at the work of Hugh Ferriss for inspiration on the background design." - Superman Classic (yt) - A Superman fan film by disney animator by Disney animator Robert Pratt.
posted by Artw at 7:26 AM PST - 7 comments

The Sun is Still a Mass of Incandescent Gas
NASA has released the first STEREO images of the entire sun.
Previous. Previouser. Previousest.
posted by steambadger at 7:09 AM PST - 17 comments

The Best Questions For A First Date
The Best Questions For A First Date. What questions are easy to bring up, yet correlate to the deeper, unspeakable, issues people actually care about?
posted by Tom-B at 6:58 AM PST - 116 comments

Is the Academic World Biased Against Conservatives?
Some Social Scientists Claim Pervasive Bias in the Academe Discrimination is always high on the agenda at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology’s conference, where psychologists discuss their research on racial prejudice, homophobia, sexism, stereotype threat and unconscious bias against minorities. But the most talked-about speech at this year’s meeting, which ended Jan. 30, involved a new “outgroup.”
posted by modernnomad at 6:26 AM PST - 180 comments

A History of the Future in 100 Objects
A History of the Future in 100 Objects is a Kickstarter project from Six to Start co-founder (and Mefi's own) Adrian Hon inspired by the Radio 4 series A History of the World in 100 Objects.
posted by alby at 5:39 AM PST - 10 comments

The film Dogtooth
Dogtooth is an Oscar nominated Greek film directed by Yorgos Lanthimos. Reviews have noted its uncomfortable blend of family, insanity, sex, and power. In interviews, the director touches on his thoughts behind the film and its creation. (1, 2, 3)
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:55 AM PST - 45 comments

In Cairo, to pack or not to pack: that is the question
"Sometimes the hardest part of a story is getting there. Sometimes it is getting around. Sometimes it is obstructive intelligence agencies and soldiers. Sometimes it is lawlessness, sometimes overattentive law enforcement. Sometimes it is lack of transport, poor communications, power blackouts, accreditation difficulties or a hostile local population." In Cairo it's been all of the above. Stephen Farrell learns to pack a smaller camera kit: New York Times lens blog
posted by Mister Bijou at 3:39 AM PST - 3 comments