April 30, 2008

The Things That Carried Him

An extraordinary piece of magazine writing by Chris Jones. Jones tells the story of how the body of Sergeant Joe Montgomery makes its way from a Baghdad suburb to its final resting place in a grave in Indiana. It's one of the finest pieces of journalism that I've read in years. It’s extremely moving without being saccharine or twee. It’s a military story, but utterly without jingoism or indictment. And it’s wonderfully observed. If I taught a first-year creative writing course, I'd make this required reading.
posted by dbarefoot at 9:57 PM PST - 87 comments

Reggie Watts

The performer Reggie Watts(wiki) is truly sui generis: comedian, musician, stream-of-consciousness performance artist, he rolls his talents and laid-back, slightly stoner persona together into something quite unlike anything you've seen or heard before (that's a long-ish video, but well worth it, BTW). Imagine Spalding Gray mixed with Andy Kaufman, channeling a hiphop Sly Stone while reading Gertrude Stein on LSD, and you still won't get what it is that makes Watts so great. [more inside]
posted by ornate insect at 9:42 PM PST - 31 comments

There is in the Soul, a Desire for Not Thinking

Being Raymond Carver Often referred to as the American Chekhov, Raymond Carver was a master of the American short story. [more inside]
posted by timsteil at 8:20 PM PST - 30 comments

Performance art...or love story?

Amber Hawk Swanson was lonely. So, like lonely singles everywhere, she contracted RealDoll.com, "Home of the World's Finest Love Doll," to provide her with some companionship. But she had one special request - that the doll be made to look exactly like her. Nine months later, Amber Doll was born, and the two were married the next day in a Las Vegas ceremony. Amber documents the wedding, and explores the relationship between fantasy and reality, in her film To Have, To Hold, and To Violate, Amber and Doll (5-minute compilation.). (most links nsfw) [more inside]
posted by granted at 8:10 PM PST - 53 comments

Pooooooooke!

"How about if we say we met on an oil rig and we were lovers for 50 years!" What if real life was like Facebook? [YouTube, 2 mins.] From Idiots of Ants. Via.
posted by amyms at 8:04 PM PST - 21 comments

Class distinctions in the US and UK

Social Class in the US and UK Lynne Murphy, a linguist from the US living in the UK, looks at the differences in class distinctions through the lens of the language we use to talk about them.
posted by mosessis at 7:38 PM PST - 51 comments

Bin Laden Determined To Strike In U.S. Part 2

"The United States Lacks a Comprehensive Plan to Destroy the Terrorist Threat and Close the Safe Haven in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas" (PDF). A recent GAO report claims that the Bush administration has failed to prevent Al Qaeda's reemergence in Pakistan, and that we're basically right back where we started in 2001.
posted by homunculus at 6:45 PM PST - 38 comments

The Sound of 78s

The Sound of 78s Roger Wilmut's podcasts of 78 rpm records from his collection. [more inside]
posted by carter at 3:53 PM PST - 12 comments

Why Log In?

Frédéric Madre's BOARD is a "diptych joining quotidian poetry and collages of terms issuing from web nomenclature, which is to say all the expressions which one reads without seeing". (via, and source of quoted description)
posted by No-sword at 3:44 PM PST - 5 comments

Big bladder heals. Vegetarians at an impasse.

Video of man regrowing finger. [more inside]
posted by Alex404 at 2:38 PM PST - 52 comments

I'm on Jones above the massage parlour

Need an apartment? MapsKrieg is a mashup of Google Maps and Craigslist real estate listings that can show you just how close to the Tenderloin you'll be.
posted by plexi at 2:34 PM PST - 9 comments

Mostly blue

Google to map the oceans.
posted by Artw at 2:20 PM PST - 18 comments

What should I see in NYC?

The Chrysler Building: 77 floors, 319.5m (1048 feet) high, 29961 tons of steel, 3,826,000 bricks, near 5000 windows of total Art Deco coolness. [more inside]
posted by three blind mice at 2:16 PM PST - 35 comments

Ways of Seeing

Ways of Seeing, the BBC documentary written and hosted by novelist and art critic John Berger, is back up on YouTube. (scroll down for direct links to all four half-hour episodes) "I actually find it rather disturbing that -- despite our claims to be a culture that's increasing freedom of choice all the time -- we haven't come up with anything quite as astute, subversive or beautiful as Ways of Seeing since. Not on the BBC, and not even -- especially not -- on the internet. Download it while you still can."
posted by vronsky at 2:06 PM PST - 32 comments

Computer languages and facial hair

Computer languages and facial hair
posted by finite at 1:49 PM PST - 22 comments

'cause what would they say if they ever knew?

In 1940, Nana Milagro Hoyos paid a visit to Carl Tanzler von Cosel's home to confront him about a salacious rumor. What she found confirmed her fears. 63-year-old Tanzler had been sleeping with her young sister Elena. And storing her, held together by wax and chicken wire, in his bed for years since her death by tuberculosis.
posted by katillathehun at 1:47 PM PST - 79 comments

Vappu - The more you know.

If you find yourself in Finland on the evening of April 30th or on May 1st, you must be aware of the following information. Today is Vappu. Also known as Walpurgis Night, Vappu is a traditional holiday in Finland, and there are a number of unique social customs and dress you must be aware of in order to avoid embarrassment and ridicule. [more inside]
posted by Lord_Pall at 1:04 PM PST - 12 comments

Love stories

This is a story [audio] about how much I love you [audio]. [more inside]
posted by Airhen at 12:25 PM PST - 2 comments

Oh, so they have internet on computers now!

Homer Simpson in CSS "...I stayed with the idea in mind that more complex designs could be made using the Verdana font and absolute positioning in CSS, thus generating vector drawings directly embedded in the code html." [via]
posted by mewithoutyou at 12:15 PM PST - 52 comments

Refacing government tender

Refacing government tender It's not all about making George Washington smoke pot.
Some notables: The Anti-Lincoln.
Peanut butter washington
THIS IS JACKSONNNNN
posted by boo_radley at 12:12 PM PST - 23 comments

Corbin Sparrow electric car re-born

Want a highway-speed in-production electric car right now and can't afford a Tesla Roadster? The now defunct Corbin Sparrow has been re-born as the NmG ("No More Gas") from Myers Motors. It uses 12 lead-acid batteries (1-4yr life), 70+mph, 30 mile range, about $50k. It's not for everybody but - in the US - it's currently the only other pure EV option available (that's not a conversion or low-speed). However if you can wait a couple years more EV's are in development.
posted by stbalbach at 11:11 AM PST - 32 comments

First People's Film Making

Isuma.tv is an amazing video sharing site for indigenous filmmakers. Isuma is perhaps best known for their incredible work on films set in arctic Canada (Atarnarjuat, Journals of Knud Rasmussen and the upcoming Before Tomorrow). Isuma.tv is a fantastic place to work by all sorts of First Nations film makers and is a much needed voice for the generally ignored indigenous artists.

Isuma was last discussed on Metafilter in 2002.
posted by dogbusonline at 10:23 AM PST - 4 comments

Mmmmm.....Endangered

Well, that's one less Carolina flying squirrel, but having it for dinner might actually help keep them around. A list of endangered American species once common on the dinner table has become a book, its author, Gary Paul Nabham, encouraging the reader to keep disappearing local culinary traditions alive. Endangered Dinners.
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 9:45 AM PST - 26 comments

The Bush White House "upgrades" the e-mail system.

Ars Technica has a fascinating account of the IT "planning" which lead to the loss of 5 million+ emails. Via /.
posted by butterstick at 9:35 AM PST - 45 comments

Vulture to circle for years

DARPA has announced the contractors for their "Vulture" UAV system. The plan is to build an aircraft that can stay aloft, uninterrupted, for five years. [more inside]
posted by backseatpilot at 9:06 AM PST - 29 comments

That's a nice sperm sac

Fugu, derived from fuku (to blow), is one of the more infamous meals you can order, celebrated in haiku and pop culture. It's popular enough, however, that there are "farms" raising 10,000 tons of blowfish the Japanese consume each year. Adam Platt, the latest American to document the dish, dines out on fugu six ways: fugu sashimi, fried fugu ribs, hot fugu porridge, smoked fugu fins, and two variations of "white babies". [more inside]
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 8:08 AM PST - 46 comments

Obsessed

Comedian Julie Klausner (of "Hot Jewish Girls want to talk to you!!") has obsessions. So do her friends. As you do, she hosts a comedy night in New York where people can confess and explain (sometimes via powerpoint) the things that drive their compulsions. [more inside]
posted by Queen of Spreadable Fats at 7:11 AM PST - 12 comments

Beats The Hell Out of The Neutron Dance

The Pointer Sisters rehearse. [more inside]
posted by StopMakingSense at 5:01 AM PST - 11 comments

And I Refuse To Forget

"And I Refuse To Forget," the three-minute sci-fi thriller from 21-year-old director Nuru Rimington-Mkali, has won the grand prize in the Filmaka feature film competition. Judges include Werner Herzog, Wim Wenders, Neil Labute and many others. For his efforts, Rimington-Mkali wins the director's chair of his first feature film, to be produced by Filmaka. (Lots of other great stuff on Filmaka, too.)
posted by jbickers at 4:38 AM PST - 24 comments