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June 17, 2010
Laser Nuclear Fusion in a few months
The "Laser Inertial Fusion Engine" (LIFE) is being developed at the National Ignition Facility. Stewart Brand blogs about its potential here and this video (.mov 128MB) is stunning. How LIFE works. Successful early test shots suggest that the NIF will achieve first nuclear fusion ignition within the next few months (+10 years to commercial).
posted by stbalbach at 11:20 PM PST - 44 comments

Songbird
She's been called "the greatest posthumous success story in music history." But when she died of melanoma at age 33, few people outside of the Washington DC-area had heard of Eva Marie Cassidy. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 9:55 PM PST - 62 comments

And you thought the X-Files was fiction
I don't usually learn strange and disturbing things from the mouth of dinosaurs, but there's always a first time for everything. The fact that it's true makes it even worse. [more inside]
posted by Cobalt at 9:24 PM PST - 58 comments

Burnt to a crisp, or bloody as hell?
A history of well-done meat in America. "I prefer my meat cooked through, gray, no trace of pink. Shoe leather? To me that signifies 'food safety.' Mine is the hockey-puck, the charcoal, the hunk of tuna that is still on the grill. Gourmands consider well-done timid, even cranky. It's the gradation of people who don't really like to eat."
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 8:19 PM PST - 162 comments

You're a disgrace. To the race.
DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! Liveblogging The Karate Kid Remake. Also, the Disgrasian Dictionary.
posted by crossoverman at 8:11 PM PST - 13 comments

Air India bombing final report
The final report of the bombing of Air India flight 182 from Canada in 1985 has been released. Turns out the Mounties, and others, are to blame.
posted by anothermug at 7:37 PM PST - 21 comments

Genital mutilation at Cornell
A doctor at Cornell and his research team have been performing clitoroplasties on female infants and little girls who show "gender ambiguity." This involves cutting away the shaft of the clitoris on girls whose clitorises are deemed too large . [more inside]
posted by ms.codex at 6:53 PM PST - 257 comments

Remember, the Dance of Doom always ends in tradgedy! This time it shall be YOURS!
The Dance of Doom! From this motherlode of comics goodness, found by Robot 6.
posted by Artw at 5:38 PM PST - 16 comments

"Mos Eisely Spaceport ... it's a fucking shithole."
50 Impressions in Two Minutes and Classic Movie Lines (neither of which are precisely what you think), followed by acting master classes with Kevin Spacey, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Caine, Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, and, last but certainly not least, Marlon Brando. All by Peter Serafinowicz, who you may know as Spaced's Duane Benzie or Shaun of the Dead's Pete. (Thanks, iridic!)
posted by WCityMike at 5:32 PM PST - 26 comments

Text 2.0
Using eye tracking software, text can respond to your gaze.
posted by phrontist at 4:55 PM PST - 18 comments

Julio Dives In Mexico City's Sewers
Good afternoon, my name is Julio and I’m a diver in the sewage here in Mexico City.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 4:49 PM PST - 24 comments

What If Assassins Are Chasing You And All You Have Is A Deck Of Cards?
Ricky Jay's legendary book, "Cards As Weapons," is out of print. Used copies are expensive. Luckily, you can read it here. (The book contains some NSFW content.) I've you're new to Ricky Jay, start here.
posted by grumblebee at 4:41 PM PST - 39 comments

Wheeeeeeeee!
It's well-known at this point that Valve Software hired the team of Digipen students who made Narbacular Drop to turn their student project into Portal. But even people who drooled over the new mechanics in the Portal 2 E3 videos may not be aware that Valve has hired another team out of Digipen for that. If you're looking for a preview, you should probably download and play Tag, the game the new mechanics are based on, in which you explore a grey, cell-shaded world by spraying paint on it.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:39 PM PST - 28 comments

You Burn Ma Mall
In May of this year political protests in Thailand turned violent. Somewhere around 100 people were killed, the streets burned, and the political stability of Thailand came into question. Additionally, Thailand's largest mall burned down. Thai teenagers, who may not care about politics, are not happy. [more inside]
posted by treeshar at 3:33 PM PST - 20 comments

The Italian Art of Living
Sit back and enjoy the many Italian recipes Great Chicago Italian Recipes.com has to offer. This site will provide you with a culinary adventure into the world of Italian food and wine. Choose from poultry, beef, vegetables, pasta, and sooo much more. Looking to finish off that perfect meal? Try Adriana's Italian Gourmet Cookies. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 2:25 PM PST - 15 comments

The prettiest things in life are useless
Stuff no one told me (but I learned anyways) [more inside]
posted by emilyd22222 at 1:34 PM PST - 56 comments

Serenading the Streets, or Because New York Isn't Noisy Enough
At 9am on Monday the 21st June, 60 pianos will be distributed and then unveiled across New York City by Sing for Hope. Located in public parks, streets and plazas the pianos will be available until 5th July for any member of the public to play and engage with.

Play Me, I’m Yours” is an artwork by British artist Luke Jerram. [Previously] You can get piano locations as well as upload videos, photos and stories of you and your friends tickling the public ivories on the official site. The project will be concurrently mounted in London.
posted by Lutoslawski at 1:24 PM PST - 25 comments

Andrew "bunnie" Huang: taking it apart and making it better, then telling others how it's done
Andrew Shane Huang is a 35 year old hardware hacker, known to some as bunnie, and others as that guy who hacked the Xbox and went on to write a book about it. Finding the hidden key to the Xbox was an enjoyable distraction while he worked on getting his PhD in Electrical Engineering from MIT as part of Project Aries. Since then, he has written for (and been written about) in Make Magazine, has giving talks on the strategy of hardware openness and manufacturing practices in China, as experienced with the development of the opensource ambient "internet-based TV" called Chumby. When he's not busy on such excursions, bunnie writes about hacking (and more specifically, Chumby hacking), technology in China, and even biology in exquisite detail on the bunnie studios blog (previously). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:11 PM PST - 36 comments

That Work Pager? Nope, Not Private.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled unanimously against a fourth amendment claim of a right against an employer search of texts on a work pager. The decision, City of Ontario v. Quon, rejected the claims, by the officer and by others who texted him on the device, that the employer city and the city's service provider violated their rights by reviewing transcripts of the text messages. Justice Kennedy's decision assumed the officer had a reasonable expectation of privacy. However, he said, the city’s search was not unduly intrusive. There was a “legitimate work-related purpose” for the audit, Justice Kennedy wrote. The city “had a legitimate interest in ensuring that employees were not being forced to pay out of their own pockets for work-related expenses, or on the other hand that the city was not paying for extensive personal communications.” Interestingly, the officer's direct supervisor had told him that he could use the pager for personal messages, as long as he paid their cost. Kennedy nonetheless opined for the Court that he likely only had a "limited privacy interest." The Court did not reach the question of whether there is an employee privacy interest in email on work servers, or conversations on work telephones.
posted by bearwife at 12:45 PM PST - 58 comments

Olivia raises 100,000 dollars for birds.
Olivia Bouler is making 500 original drawings of birds to send to donors who help save oil-soaked birds. AOL donated 25,000 and is hosting the 11 year-old's portfolio. [more inside]
posted by oneirodynia at 12:42 PM PST - 7 comments

INTERNET!
This is Why I'll Never be an Adult.
posted by homunculus at 12:40 PM PST - 124 comments

Straight, No Chaser
Wordpress.org launches Wordpress 3.0. The popular blogging platform and open source CMS continues to evolve with 3.0, “Thelonious” (wordpress versions are named after jazz musicians). The official Wordpress.org announcement has an excellent video tour and overview. Tune into some Monk and catch up on the new features (sixrevisions.com has a great overview). [more inside]
posted by oulipian at 12:31 PM PST - 32 comments

"Be there bears i' the town?"
Rosecrans Baldwin considers the literary place of the distant barking dog.
posted by Iridic at 12:19 PM PST - 32 comments

Sebastian Horsley found dead at London home
Underworld dandy: Sebastian Horsley dies, aged 47, of suspected overdose. Sebastian Horsley, the dandy, writer and artist who found fame by being nailed to a cross in the Philippines, has died at the age of 47. The colourful self-publicist was found dead at his flat in central London this morning, days after a play adapted from his memoirs – Dandy in the Underworld – opened at the Soho theatre.
posted by Fizz at 12:00 PM PST - 12 comments

Confused? Don't be, everything's going to be just fine.
Do the perils and vagaries of the modern world leave you bewildered? Do you miss elementary school, where short black and white films made it all easier to understand? Turn to Mister Sharp, whose animated shorts explain life concepts, such as The Magic of the Mobile Phone, Politics: The Global Language, and The Perils of Lesbianity.
posted by cereselle at 10:11 AM PST - 16 comments

Candy Teacher (1921)
"The most complete and up-to-date illustrated Candy Teacher that is out on the market, with complete instructions in the manufacture of all the different classes of candy made for the wholesale and retail trade." (Charles Apell, 1921) [more inside]
posted by gman at 9:25 AM PST - 19 comments

Vuvuzela Time!
Vuvuzela time! View any web site like you're at the South Africa World Cup!
posted by GuyZero at 9:07 AM PST - 114 comments

Old American Menus
Scans of early 20th-century American menus, courtesy of Colorado College's Tutt Library.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:24 AM PST - 46 comments

Something Dangerous is Happening in Honduras
Hillary Clinton has asked the Organization of America States to re-admit post coup Honduras, but many people with long memories are against it and wondering why this president, in particular, is doing it.
posted by history is a weapon at 7:21 AM PST - 15 comments

This is merely year one
Hojun Song wants to show you how to make a satellite. And then he'll help you build a robo-guitar. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:08 AM PST - 2 comments

I'm from Red River Land. And you?
The Atlas of True Names reveals the etymological roots, or original meanings, of the familiar terms on today's maps of the World, Europe, the British Isles and the United States. For example, Britain = Great Land of the Tattooed, New Jersey = New Island of Spears, and Chicago = Stink Onion. There's now an iPhone app. However, at least one linguistic historian takes issue with some of their methodology. Mefi's own languagehat responds.
posted by desjardins at 6:35 AM PST - 67 comments

What have musicians got against Octopii?
Our hula hooping friend (previously) is back and throwing an Octopus. What have musicians got against Octopii?
posted by RegMcF at 6:21 AM PST - 9 comments

Is there nothing Smurfing sacred anymore?
New CGI-live action movie about the Smurfs to be released in the summer of 2011. [more inside]
posted by rodmandirect at 6:20 AM PST - 162 comments

The other toxic energy spill
Coal Ash: the other energy spill. A five-part investigative series from the Institute for Southern Studies about the toxic residue left after coal is burned.
1. Coal's Dirty Secret Coal ash is "the second-largest industrial waste stream in the U.S." but is not regulated by the federal government
2. Disaster in East Tennessee Effects of the December 2008 rupture of a dike releasing "a billion gallons of muddy, gray coal ash loaded with arsenic, lead and other contaminants" are still being felt
3. Power Politics Coal ash was given a special exemption from hazardous waste regulation in 1980; attempts since then to tighten the exemption have failed
4. Dumpsites in Disguise Toxic coal ash is increasingly being recycled into building materials and other uses, again largely unregulated
5. What's Next for Coal Ash? The EPA has offered two proposals; one treats coal ash like hazardous waste, the other like "ordinary solid waste."
posted by mediareport at 5:20 AM PST - 29 comments

The Mocking Bird Song
Her name is Shawnee Jenkins... A brief fairy tale about a little girl and her parents. Who live in the basement... [more inside]
posted by Samizdata at 4:46 AM PST - 9 comments

Whole ton of free indie games. In 10 minutes. Twice.
235 Free Indie Games In 10 Minutes, plus 190 195 Free Indie Games currently in development. Watch the pretty colors, then look up the ones that look awesome.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 4:23 AM PST - 17 comments

Something old, something new, something Hollywood...
On Saturday the crown princess Victoria of Sweden will be married, and her father King Gustav of Sweden will walk her down the aisle. This goes against the Swedish church tradition, where the couple walk together. The arch bishop Anders Wejryd has issued a public statement expressing his disapproval , and some are calling it a sexist wedding. If you're going to break with tradition, why not add a new twist to the aisle-walk, or maybe the groom can pull some moves, perhaps bop down the aisle to Love Shack? P.S. don't forget to update your facebook status while you're at it.
posted by dabitch at 2:47 AM PST - 40 comments