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April 1, 2010
The Easter Surprise
As ongoing investigations into the sexual abuse of children, cover-ups and avoidance of justice climb the hierarchy of the Catholic church to implicate Pope Benedict himself, the head of the Vatican's tribunal has taken the unprecedented step of publicly reinforcing the Pope's status not as father of the church but as a head of state - and thus immune from prosecution. [more inside]
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 9:24 PM PST - 324 comments

Synopsis Quest
Synopsis Quest is a flash collection of retro RPG-themed minigames. An amusing way to kill a half hour or so.
posted by CrunchyFrog at 9:16 PM PST - 18 comments

Economics and Physics Envy
"Take a little bad psychology, add a dash of bad philosophy and ethics, and liberal quantities of bad logic, and any economist can prove that the demand curve for a commodity is negatively inclined." MIT economist Andrew Lo and string theorist turned asset manager Mark Mueller on the "physics envy" that plagues economics, and how to stop worrying and love uncertainty.
posted by escabeche at 9:09 PM PST - 37 comments

"We know it's a little clichéd – but here's what we want to tell the census: We're here. We're queer. And we want you to ask us about it."
The 2010 United States Census will be able to count gay marriages and partnerships. George Takei and his husband tell you how. Even with the restrictions placed on that data by the Defense of Marriage Act, that's good news for the LGB part of the spectrum, but what about T? If you're transgender, despite what the Census might tell you, it's not so simple to be counted. (hat tip to nadawi) [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco at 8:36 PM PST - 44 comments

spacetime must organise itself in a way that maximises entropy
Gravity from Quantum Information
At the heart of their idea is the tricky question of what happens to information when it enters a black hole. Physicists have puzzled over this for decades with little consensus. But one thing they agree on is Landauer's principle: that erasing a bit of quantum information always increases the entropy of the Universe by a certain small amount and requires a specific amount of energy. (via mr)
posted by kliuless at 8:18 PM PST - 33 comments

That spy sappin' my sentry will finally pay.
Law Abiding Engineer: an action trailer starring the cast of Team Fortress 2.
posted by graventy at 8:11 PM PST - 30 comments

Violins and Violence
In 1960, Alfred Hitchcock created the most notorious sequence in the history of cinema - the shower sequence from Psycho. Thousands film students have studied it, dozens of books have been written on it) and...

One man became so obsessed with the sequence that he murdered The Girl In Hitchock's Shower. [more inside]
posted by cinemafiend at 7:26 PM PST - 10 comments

Catch the Wave
25 years ago this month, with a move similar to the recent Tonight Show switchfail - Coca Cola introduced a new version of their signature product. "New Coke" wasn't exactly what people were looking for, but it all worked out OK when the blunder gave birth to "Classic" Coke, which went away quietly last year.
posted by davebush at 5:43 PM PST - 112 comments

Meet the Chicago City Council
50 Aldermen/50 Artists. Chicago gallery Johalla Projects enlisted local artists to meet with the members of the city council and create a portrait of the person they found. "The goal is just to get people involved," says co-curator Jeremy Scheuch. "I think a lot of aldermen were (initially) afraid of what this might be about." More photos here.
posted by hydrophonic at 5:00 PM PST - 9 comments

Onomatopoeia Desu Yo!
Having trouble translating the Japanese sound effects written in your favorite manga? Try looking it up in the Japanese Onomatopoeia Guide.
posted by Babblesort at 4:13 PM PST - 17 comments

Drips and drabs
Nick Van Woert makes sculptures out of plastic, mostly. Pieces like Ghost are drippy, organic pieces of displacement and projection.
posted by klangklangston at 3:27 PM PST - 6 comments

Let’s try to hate this thing right, shall we?
The Semiotics of TiK ToK. An in-depth analysis of what makes Ke$ha's hit song work, stopping by Beyonce, Barthes, and the Beastie Boys on the way. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:05 PM PST - 148 comments

Still better than circus peanuts
How to make sushi out of Peeps.
posted by Afroblanco at 2:54 PM PST - 32 comments

Deal of the Century.
What might be the most profitable team in professional sports hasn't played a game since 1976. That summer, as the American Basketball Association was completing its merger with the NBA, only four of the six remaining teams were going to be able to join the league. It was the ABA's responsibility to figure out how to pay off the other 2 owners. One owner accepted $3 million, which he eventually used to buy the Boston Celtics. The other owners got a slightly better deal.
posted by empath at 2:41 PM PST - 23 comments

A Vile Force of Darkness Has Arrived!
Killer Carp. Magma. Fire-breathing Capital D's. A new version of the cult rougelike/fantasy world sim Dwarf Fortress was released today. It's a windows only download - there should be Mac and Linux versions out in a week or so. Here's what tvtropes has to say about the game. Previously on metafilter: 1 2 3 4
posted by gamera at 2:12 PM PST - 93 comments

The extraordinary follow up to Watchmen 2...
Top Shelf Announces "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: 1988''
posted by Artw at 2:02 PM PST - 119 comments

Did American conservationists in Africa go too far?
A fascinating piece by Jeffrey Goldberg in the New Yorker investigates the anti-poaching activities of Mark and Delia Owens in Zambia's North Luangwa National Park. Goldberg's essay focuses on the uncertain circumstances surrounding the killing of an alleged poacher by an unidentified member of Mark Owens' team of park scouts that was broadcast on national television in 1996. [more inside]
posted by jckll at 1:36 PM PST - 15 comments

Circles of Violence
Africa's Forever Wars - Why the continent's conflicts never end. There is a very simple reason why some of Africa's bloodiest, most brutal wars never seem to end: They are not really wars. Not in the traditional sense, at least. The combatants don't have much of an ideology; they don't have clear goals. Terror has become an end, not just a means. [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 12:49 PM PST - 57 comments

Ivan Král Vault
"I told her I only wear one sock." - Iggy Pop
Patti Smith + Lenny Kaye pondering poetry enroute to gig from airport.
Ramones CBGBs
All us musicians were broke and dreamed of getting a record deal. '75 New Year party, CBGBs
Iggy Pop on a playground turtle.
Plenty more backstage and party footage from Patti Smith group member and Iggy Pop bandmate (not to mention filmmaker and songwriter) Ivan Král in his Vault.
big thumbs up to Mr. Dante Fontana
posted by carsonb at 12:46 PM PST - 8 comments

8 Wonders of the Solar System
8 Wonders of the Solar System, Made Interactive. "What might future explorers of the solar system see? Find out by taking an interactive tour through the eyes of Hugo Award-winning artist Ron Miller. Text and narration by Ed Bell." [Via]
posted by homunculus at 11:53 AM PST - 16 comments

Que Bello Dia Maestro!
"Fabulas Panicas" (Panic Fables). Filmmaker and frequent Moebius collaborator Alexandro Jodorwsky, had his own trippy newspaper comic in the 60s .(previous Jodorwsky and Moebius).
posted by The Whelk at 11:15 AM PST - 5 comments

My voice is higher than your voice!
My voice is higher than your voice! - (single link wimp post) Dueling Carls. [more inside]
posted by frecklefaerie at 10:56 AM PST - 24 comments

Taxes and Ethics on C Street
When is paying $950/month for a bedroom in a boarding house potentially tax evasion and an ethics violation? When you're a congressman living at the C Street House in Washington D.C., where the going rates for similar accommodations is typically four times that amount. Citizens For Responsibility and Ethics In Washington (CREW) has filed official complaints with both houses of Congress. Rachel Maddow covers the scandal on her show. [Transcript here -- it's the lead story on this page.]
posted by hippybear at 10:30 AM PST - 89 comments

Kafka's castle is collapsing
The saying "We have been put on Earth to make Kafka come true" has been well known since Soviet times.
posted by 31d1 at 10:22 AM PST - 35 comments

Suicide Bombers: Religious fanatics, or simply resisting foregin military occupation?
Suicide bombers from Lebanon, the West Bank, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Chechnya have two things in common: they are Muslim and they live under occupation. University of Chicago Professor Dr. Robert A. Pape, who has assembled a comprehensive database of every (or nearly every) suicide bombing since 1980, has been the most prominent proponent of the view that it is occupation, not religion, that is the single most important motivating factor for suicide bombers... more than 95% of suicide bombers come from countries under occupation... Pape and his colleagues at the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism, ask What Makes Chechen Women So Dangerous? -Via The Washington Note
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 9:02 AM PST - 88 comments

Around and around and around it goes.
Exposing the money behind fake climate science Koch Industries, possibly the largest private industry you never knew about; is secretly funding the Climate Denial Machine; and also funds Americans for Prosperity, the organisation behind the Tea Party movement as well as the Cato Institute among others. The companies founder Fred Koch was a co founder of the John Birch Society. AFP invited the mad Lord Monckton to speak at Copenhagen where he called climate protestors “crazed Hitler youth” and “Nazis.” The Greenpeace story has been largely ignored by US main stream media; apart from HuffPo ; but covered in Europe. Koch Industries have also been involved in dubious studies about the viability of renewable energy.
posted by adamvasco at 8:37 AM PST - 74 comments

April Fools Shenanigans
April Fools 2010: The Definitive List from TechCrunch. Prank-pulling on this day has been around for more than 500 years. The earliest recorded association between April 1 and foolishness can be found in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (1392). In other parts of the world: it's poisson d’avril in France and Canada, only until noon in the Commonwealth countries, prima aprilis in Poland, was Hunt-the-Gowk Day in Scotland, Maj-kat in Denmark and on December 28th in Spain. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 8:16 AM PST - 33 comments

Amazonian tribe and maths
Does a group of indigenous South Americans hold the key to our relationship with maths? Still, I thought it odd that numbers larger than five did not crop up at all in Amazonian daily life. What if you ask a Munduruku with six children how many kids they have? "He will say, 'I don't know,'" Pica said. "It is impossible to express."
posted by selton at 7:45 AM PST - 63 comments

Mothership
"We were like children with toy train sets. And that was part of the problem. It was such fun. Computing was not supposed to be fun." Stephen Fry visits Apple headquarters to preview the iPad; the resulting article is a sprawl that touches on hero worship, product history, and Douglas Adams, "the first person in Britain to own a Macintosh computer." [more inside]
posted by Rory Marinich at 7:37 AM PST - 481 comments

Worst.Candy.Ever.
What's disgusting, looks like a peanut and tastes (vaguely) like a banana? A Circus Peanut! They are so reviled, they merit a page on bad-candy.com. Strangely, though, Circus Peanut sales are up, at least according to "USA Today" (most interesting link of this post). How can this be? I've never met anyone who likes them (except for one person -- see [more inside]). Margaret Husfelt of Houston, Texas is equally confused. SOMEBODY must like them. The little suckers have a Facebook fan page, and they are, perhaps, palatable in a Jello recipe (here's an alternate recipe) or dipped in chocolate. Heck, Jolene Sugarbaker likes them in her salad. And if you're really brave, you might want to try a Circus Peanut Margarita. But don't be surprised if you get ostracized. Some people will never understand. Where's the love? [more inside]
posted by grumblebee at 7:08 AM PST - 138 comments

Rocking the Middle East
Iraq gave us the heavy-metal band Acrassicauda (previously), who have recently relocated to the US and released their first EP. In Iran, indie-pop is a dangerously subversive underground phenomenon, with innocuous-sounding twee-pop bands hiding from persecution by the authorities. And now Afghanistan has Kabul Dreams, a duo who dress in skinny jeans and cardigans and write songs inspired by British guitar bands like Oasis, Radiohead and The Beatles.
posted by acb at 4:54 AM PST - 6 comments

Auto de-tuning. An idea whose time has come.
Anecdotal evidence shows that you, the Metafilter reader, have had it up to here with autotuned vocals in pop music. Well, the good people over at the Moog company feel your pain, and have introduced, as part of their popular Moogerfooger line, a piece of studio gear designed to counter the trend toward artificial pitch correction. Ladies and gentlemen, the MF-401 Auto De-tune. Although, any studio considering the MF-401 might want to look into the all-purpose Turd Polisher Pro instead... [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:27 AM PST - 21 comments

Simon Singh wins libel case on appeal
Simon Singh, a science writer sued by the British Chiropractic Association for describing their treatments as "bogus" has today won his appeal. Previously
posted by fatfrank at 2:47 AM PST - 34 comments

It's all their fault. But what can we do about it!
After possibly inspiring Nathan Barley with his Shoreditch Tw*t magazine, editing a semi-iconic lifestyle mag and then burning all his worldly branded goods, Neil Boorman has turned his brain to Baby Boomers and their relation to the current woes of the world. There's a website too...
posted by debord at 1:36 AM PST - 17 comments