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July 21, 2010
If Macedonio hadn't invented Borges, Borges would've invented him
In those years I imitated him, to the point of transcription, to the point of devoted and impassioned plagiarism. I felt: Macedonio is metaphysics, is literature. Whoever preceded him might shine in history, but they were all rough drafts of Macedonio, imperfect previous versions. To not imitate this canon would have represented incredible negligence.
From Jorge Luis Borges' eulogy for Macedonio Fernández. Borges' relationship with Macedonio was complicated, as recounted in The Man Who Invented Borges, a fine essay by Marcelo Ballvé. Macedonio's most famous work, the posthumous-by-design work (he believed literature should be aged like good whiskey) The Museum of Eterna's Novel has finally been translated and published in English translation, here is an excerpt from the novel (one of the ninety or so prologues). The introduction to the novel, written by its translator Margaret Schwartz, has been put online by the publisher (parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Schwartz also sat down for a short interview. You can download an mp3 of a great hour-long panel discussion on Macedonio and a master's thesis on Macedonio by Peter Loggie [pdf]
posted by Kattullus at 11:55 PM PST - 7 comments

"The planet . . . was scarcely any larger than a house!"
The Planetary Society's Emily Lakdawalla has prepared a scale image of every asteroid and comet ever visited by a spacecraft. [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor at 11:00 PM PST - 15 comments

wink bloop twitch tsch
Electric stimulus to face -test4 ( Daito Manabe 's friends ) [more inside]
posted by carsonb at 10:32 PM PST - 8 comments

Tempest in a census teapot
The Canadian Government created a stir recently by announcing plans to scrap the compulsory long form census and replacing it with a voluntary questionnaire. Today, the Chief Statistician from Statistics Canada resigned in protest. [more inside]
posted by phyrewerx at 10:24 PM PST - 47 comments

Long Division.
Black people are coming for you white people. Rachel Maddow argues that is the underlying theme of the four major Fox News-only stories of the Obama administration: Van Jones, ACORN, the New Black Panther Party, and now Shirley Sherrod. These stories are largely ignored by the mainstream media, but are being relentlessly pushed by Fox News in an effort to stoke white resentment towards the nation's first African American president.
posted by ND¢ at 8:43 PM PST - 160 comments

Iranian woman will not be stoned, but may be hanged
After an international campaign was launched by her children, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani will not be stoned to death. But she still faces death by hanging. Now she's been ordered to give the names of the people campaigning for her. She has also been advised to tell her children to remain silent, or they will be arrested. [more inside]
posted by lexicakes at 7:44 PM PST - 43 comments

Emotional Limbo
Playdead's Limbo released today, and the reviews are glowing. Following on the heels of a spate of well-received independent video game titles like Braid, World of Goo, and Machinarium, we may be seeing a major shift in the habits of video game reviewers. The trinity of duration (short games = bad games), sheer intensity (slow-paced, non-violent games = bad games), and graphical 'realism' (non-3D, non-photorealistic games = bad games) seems to be giving way (somewhat) to a recognition of the value of feel, expressivity, and game mechanics that fit within a holistic experience that integrates art direction, sound design, and storytelling elements. Previously. [more inside]
posted by macross city flaneur at 7:08 PM PST - 45 comments

A Neat Story of the Flight of an Odd Little UFO 6,000 Miles Across the Globe
A neat story of the flight of an odd little UFO 6,000 miles across the globe.
posted by WCityMike at 6:46 PM PST - 16 comments

Obama signs Wall Street reform bill
In a "Triumph of Policy Over Politics" President Obama today signed most sweeping Wall Street reform bill since Great Depression. Obamas remarks at the signing. A piece-by-piece guide to th financial overhaul law. Timeline of the laws effects. 10 Ways New Wall Street Reform Law Will Help You.
posted by Artw at 3:23 PM PST - 141 comments

1000 Oceans
Mau Piailug passed away last week at 78 years old. He was a Master Navigator from the tiny island of Satawal. In the seventies, he traveled to Hawaii to help the Polynesian Voyaging Society revive the wayfinder's art, navigating by the sun, moon, stars, animals, waves and clouds. In 1976, he steered the Hokule'a, a traditional sailing canoe, from Hawaii to Tahiti without even so much as a compass. He began teaching a new generation of navigators and helped launch a revival of Polynesian culture. To honor him, the Polynesian Voyaging Society is raising money to assist the people of Satawal, while also preparing for a world wide voyage on the Hokule'a, to use their ancient wisdom to help imagine a new relationship to the planet we share.
posted by cal71 at 3:16 PM PST - 18 comments

Dr Who Themes
Every Dr Who Opening Theme Every Dr Who Theme from 1963 to the present. [SLYT]
posted by marienbad at 2:29 PM PST - 94 comments

Ozzy!!!!1!
We Sold Our Souls For Rock 'N' Roll (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) - a documentary on the Ozzfest '99 tour (MLYT) (NSFW - mainly swearing and tits)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:55 PM PST - 47 comments

Anonymous Postcard
Ever want to tell the Beta 90 Computer company it was time for a name change? Or maybe you have it in for 2008 and thought that year sucked. A vegetarian Chick-fil-A sandwich request? Or you can submit your own claim and Tucker Nichols has you covered. He'll make a postcard, find the appropriate person, and send it.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:50 PM PST - 14 comments

Walking Under Ladders
While mentioned positively in comments, this artist has never had an FPP of her own. Here's a video from her latest release, some lyrics to other classics. These are just a few of my favorite songs by Joan Armatrading, MBE. [more inside]
posted by timsteil at 12:44 PM PST - 24 comments

Conservative Comic Strips
Hopefully people are familiar with the comic strip Doonesbury and the fact that it is sometimes kept on the editorial page rather than the with the rest of the funnies on the comics page. Doonesbury is also considered to be a fairly American left wing strip. Perhaps you'd be interested in seeing some comics with American right wing politics? The Gentleman from Lickskillet, Day by Day, Mallard Fillmore, and The Leftersons are here to help.
posted by josher71 at 12:42 PM PST - 204 comments

The Thinking Atheist
The Thinking Atheist Another atheism site on the internet, featuring a handy list of bible contradictions, a forum, etc. Most notably, they feature a series of slickly produced videos on various religious topics. [more inside]
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 11:52 AM PST - 218 comments

Twitter moods
US mood throughout the day inferred from Twitter. [more inside]
posted by enn at 11:46 AM PST - 57 comments

Look mom, no pedals!
Jackson Goldstone Rides to Kindergarten (SLV via Pinkbike.com)
posted by jimmythefish at 11:30 AM PST - 31 comments

Extended Classification Information is available for this work.
The British Board of Film Classification has updated its website, and as part of the remodel made the Extended Classification Information more visible. And oh the wisdom as the classifiers must justify their actions ... [via] [more inside]
posted by feelinglistless at 11:19 AM PST - 12 comments

""You can't forget there are people listening when you say you are going to do things, and I try not to overpromise."
This past March, former US President Bill Clinton acknowledged to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that tariff policies his administration championed in the mid-1990's helped destroy Haiti's rice production and contributed to the impoverished nation's inability to feed itself. But while most of the world has stopped paying attention to Haiti's woes, Mr. Clinton has become the de facto leader of the effort to rebuild it after the catastrophic earthquake this past January. Will his influence be enough? Reports from the UN Office of the Special Envoy to Haiti indicate that the reconstruction progress has been slow. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 10:18 AM PST - 35 comments

The World's Opposing Forces, Plus Giraffes
Where can you find the Sun, the Moon, nine giraffes, a lion and lamb lying together, the Archangel Michael holding a sword in one hand and the severed head of Satan in the other, all atop a giant crab which is itself standing on a double helix? Well, there is this one statue. [more inside]
posted by davidjmcgee at 9:04 AM PST - 50 comments

Crowded House, back on the road. Hallelujah.
A band of the 80's and 90's, that you've very probably listened to, is touring again. If you listened to the radio in 1986, you heard this. In 1991, you probably heard this. If you are a superfan, you've probably got a copy of their live farewell show in Sydney, 1996. If you're a zealot, you probably watched them live on the Jimmy Fallon Show last night. In my humble opinion, one of the most underrated composers and underrated bands around, still.
posted by legweak at 8:52 AM PST - 100 comments

The Sound of Muzik
Classical Music’s New Golden Age
posted by Gyan at 7:27 AM PST - 64 comments

Rape By Deception
Sabbar Kashur has been convicted of "rape by deception" after having consensual sex with an Israeli woman who believed he was a "Jewish bachelor looking for a long-term relationship." Reports from Jerusalem Post and Al Jazeera. Haaretz asks if this conviction sets a dangerous precedent for future cases. Al Jazeera's English-language Israel/Palestine blogger Sherine Tadros argues the 18-month conviction is racist.
posted by griphus at 7:09 AM PST - 226 comments

Nikki Araguz, widowed wife of Houston area firefighter, sued over gender.
Nikki Araguz, the widowed wife of a Houston area firefighter, is being taken to court on allegations that she is a "man" in a case that reflects the archaic conceptions that still exist regarding gender.
posted by flyinghamster at 6:57 AM PST - 93 comments

Car Salesman Finally Tells The Truth
Car Salesman Finally Tells The Truth; SLYT; *NSFW* [more inside]
posted by Meatbomb at 6:49 AM PST - 25 comments

you post this stuff on the blue
You Know You Have Been In Finland Too Long, When...
posted by infini at 6:44 AM PST - 50 comments

Details, details, book me a train and don't bother me with the details
From London to St. Petersburg with the Man in Seat 61. Actor Kenneth Cranham travels with Mark Smith, creator of worldwide non-air travel resource website without equal Seat61.com (previously). [more inside]
posted by Happy Dave at 4:03 AM PST - 24 comments

Point, Click, Poin-Point, Click...
Klikwerk - do as you are told! [Flash, Audio, MC Hammer] [more inside]
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 2:52 AM PST - 5 comments

Trees as far as the eye can see
Want a forest but don't have the space? Get a tree and four mirrors and make your own Unlimited Urban Woods
posted by Baldons at 1:13 AM PST - 58 comments