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August 20, 2010
The Fate of the Universe
Fate of Universe revealed by galactic lens [spoiler alert] [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese at 10:16 PM PST - 45 comments

Rock the Bells
The Rub have completed their Hip Hop History series, creating a mix for every year between 1979 and 2009. Most mixes are average two hours in length. For some golden age hip hop, try a mix from 1987, 1994 or 1996.
posted by mattgeeknz at 10:03 PM PST - 38 comments

Why yes, the wording & paperwork matter. A lot.
Over 62 million mortgages are now held in the name of MERS, an electronic recording system devised by and for the convenience of the mortgage industry. A California bankruptcy court, following landmark cases in other jurisdictions, recently held that this electronic shortcut makes it impossible for banks to establish their ownership of property titles--and therefore to foreclose on mortgaged properties. The logical result could be 62 million homes that are foreclosure-proof.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 9:46 PM PST - 54 comments

How does this make you feel?
"Earth From Above" is the result of the aerial photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand's five-year airborne odyssey across six continents.
posted by seagull.apollo at 9:32 PM PST - 20 comments

RIP, Mr. Horkheimer. We'll keep looking up!
Jack Horkheimer, host of "Star Gazer" (formerly known as "Star Hustler") has died. See this excellent post on Horkheimer's work.
posted by achmorrison at 6:20 PM PST - 106 comments

Friday Flash Fun on the slopes
Solipskier. Fri Flash Fun - Draw Snow, do tricks, ski fast don't crash and burn. Might want to mute the music.
posted by edgeways at 5:25 PM PST - 20 comments

I Guess He's an X-Box and I'm More Atari
Gnarls Barkley vocalist Cee-Lo Green has emerged as a music interview show host and a soloist with a distinctly funk style. His cover of Band of Horses' No One's Gonna Love You was featured on the Twilight soundtrack and his new single Georgia was featured in a recent episode of This American Life. His newest single is called Fuck You (lyrics NSFW, obviously).
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 4:32 PM PST - 86 comments

Gay Marriage: Not So Great?
Not all queer or LGBT people are for legalizing gay marriage. The Against Equality collective argues that legalizing marriage values one type of relationship over another (.pdf), doesn't do enough for queer people of colour, and plays into the larger class struggle. Beyond Marriage calls for "access to a flexible set of economic benefits and options regardless of sexual orientation, race, gender/gender identity, class, or citizenship status". Queer activists in Maine consider the marriage issue a "distraction from improving the lives of gay people", and Questioning Transphobia argues that "marriage by its very nature is an exclusive practice, its purpose is to ennoble some relationships and by default render other relationships to be less meaningful and less worthy of legal and social recognition". Mainstream queer women's website Autostraddle ponders all this and asks: does gay marriage make gays straight?
posted by divabat at 4:12 PM PST - 236 comments

Serving the Lifestyle
Friday food sites for your weekend feast. eatingRD — from a registered dietician · A Conscious Feast — features cooking for company · Steamy Kitchen — focusing on fast, fresh, and simple Asian · Veggie Belly — something for the vegetarians. If that isn't enough, try Project Foodie, a one-stop, independent recipe search site with over 100,000 recipes all in one place. All found because of this cute trailer for Baked Explorations.
posted by netbros at 3:05 PM PST - 4 comments

Facebook knows where you are.
Facebook Places is the latest creation of the Facebook team. Similar to Foursquare, it seeks to make it easier for people to share their location with their friends. Perhaps predictably, people are publicizing steps for how to disable it on your Facebook account. Over at Slate, writer Farhad Manjoo debates the impact Places might have on society. Ready, set, go!
posted by elder18 at 2:41 PM PST - 69 comments

Classrooms, Customized by Computer.
A Warm Hug from a Cold Algorithm: Ta-Nehisi Coates checks out an inner-city school where every student takes a diagnostic test daily, and then is assigned individual work and tutelage based on a computer's nightly re-assessment.
posted by darth_tedious at 1:52 PM PST - 29 comments

Spirit of the Game?
Ultimate Frisbee as a Business model? [PDF] - An interesting take on the latest corporate scandal - the Christian Science Monitor points out that Spirit Of The Game could/should apply to big business. It's long been part of the Tech Startup world (google Cache Only - sorry). [previous Ultimate Thread]
posted by Metheglen at 1:43 PM PST - 28 comments

I pay, you pay, we pay
How to be frugal and still be asked on dates Though saving and overall frugality are making a comeback in all areas of life, dating remains the one area where it is (probably) not acceptable to be cheap.
posted by The1andonly at 1:39 PM PST - 42 comments

Global Cities
Beyond City Limits: The age of nations is over. The new urban age has begun. "The 21st century will not be dominated by America or China, Brazil or India, but by the city. In an age that appears increasingly unmanageable, cities rather than states are becoming the islands of governance on which the future world order will be built. This new world is not -- and will not be -- one global village, so much as a network of different ones."
posted by homunculus at 1:10 PM PST - 31 comments

Stranger than a strange land
The online anthology of SciFi Strange.
posted by Artw at 12:08 PM PST - 17 comments

Beware the Electronic Automatic Sound-Spectrograph Computing Digit Translator Playback Recognizer Machine
Telephoneme: Even if your Alphabet Conspiracy succeeds and you destroy the books, machines have no minds of their own. They are easily confused by different voices and different accents. It is the brain of man that tells them what to do. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 11:14 AM PST - 10 comments

Does the Past Still Exist?
Is our present defined by decisions we make in the future? And maybe we don't know who killed JFK because the universe hasn't decided yet. A Huffington Post science blogger discusses the nature of history from a quantum perspective. To quote Stephen Hawking, "The histories of the universe depend on what is being measured, contrary to the usual idea that the universe has an objective observer-independent history." [more inside]
posted by GnomeChompsky at 10:35 AM PST - 95 comments

The Kid Who Sold Crack to the President
"This is crack cocaine," Bush solemnly announced, holding up a plastic bag filled with a white chunky substance in his Sept. 5 speech on drug policy. It was "seized a few days ago in a park across the street from the White House . . . . It could easily have been heroin or PCP." In 1989 the White House came up with the idea of having George H.W. Bush hold up a bag of crack on national television in order to illustrate how bad the US drug problem had gotten. They decided to have a drug buy set up in Lafayette Park, directly across the street from the White House, to obtain the props for his speech. They contacted a DEA agent who set up a drug buy with a Spingarn High School senior with no prior arrest record, but things didn't go as planned: [more inside]
posted by Challahtronix at 10:26 AM PST - 86 comments

LA Times publishing data on individual teacher performance
In coming months, The [Los Angeles] Times will publish a series of articles and a database analyzing individual teachers' effectiveness in the nation's second-largest school district — the first time, experts say, such information has been made public anywhere in the country. This article examines the performance of more than 6,000 third- through fifth-grade teachers for whom reliable data were available. [more inside]
posted by Anything at 9:59 AM PST - 61 comments

"Berlin is rather a part of the world than a city"
Postcards from Berlin is a call from a Berlin (Germany) design studio for virtual postcards from all of the places in the US named Berlin.
posted by mkb at 8:25 AM PST - 29 comments

in pursuit of mappiness
Mappiness is a free iPhone app that allows you to keep track of your happiness. It's also a research tool for London School of Economics scholars Susana Mourato and George MacKerron, who are using it to learn "how people's feelings are affected by features of their current environment—things like air pollution, noise, and green spaces." [more inside]
posted by By The Grace of God at 8:11 AM PST - 15 comments

Ketamine lifts depression, grows synapses, study says
More research into into the effects of ketamine on depression published today in the journal Science [abstract]. [more inside]
posted by yoHighness at 7:58 AM PST - 30 comments

P is for Privacy
MetaFilter users are
    55% male
    68% 18-49
    83% Caucasian
    54% >$60k/yr

How do I know? Perhaps a little zombie told me.
posted by DU at 7:48 AM PST - 94 comments

Tambal byuyun, no es fácil!
Linguistics Challenge Puzzles! (Difficulty ranging from green circles to double black diamonds...Friday fun for all!) [more inside]
posted by iamkimiam at 7:38 AM PST - 34 comments

Ballyhoo
A lot of old advertising, like the copy here, reads like literate AOL kids. They spell and capitalize and punctuate, but they're still hype machines stuck on exclamation marks and shouting and… boldface and underlines. Today, the fashion is for much shorter ad copy. If sound came along today, we'd come up with a catchphrase and call it a day. "Hear the difference." In 1929, if you didn’t have at least five catchphrases, some capitalized buzzwords, and several exclamation marks, you just weren't with it. [more inside]
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 7:38 AM PST - 6 comments

Steal this Gründerzeit!
"German authors during this period wrote ceaselessly. Around 14,000 new publications appeared in a single year in 1843. Measured against population numbers at the time, this reaches nearly today's level ... the majority of the works were academic papers. The situation in England was very different ... we see deplorable progress in Great Britain. Even more startling is the factor Höffner believes caused this development -- in his view, it was none other than copyright law, which was established early in Great Britain, in 1710, that crippled the world of knowledge in the United Kingdom." (Related, Hoffner's presentation)
posted by geoff. at 7:28 AM PST - 5 comments

We Are Running Out Of Helium and It's Worse Than You Think
Tyler Cowen wonders if there will be a helium crisis. Nobel Prize Winner Robert Richardson says Yes, because in 1996 Congress passed an act requiring that this strategic reserve, which represents half the Earth's helium stocks, be sold off by 2015. As a result, helium is far too cheap and is not treated as a precious resource. The problem has been around for years. Most helium is NOT used for balloons but rather in industry, and in the US most helium comes from a few natural gas fields in the mountain states.Only 15 commercial plants worldwide have the ability to separate helium from other gases and to purify it. [Previously, see also LHC Accident]
posted by Blake at 5:33 AM PST - 45 comments

Yes, I like eating junebugs/ No, I'm note very tall
brentalfloss is a comedian, musician, and gamer. He first gained notoriety when he added lyrics to the title theme from Mega Man 3 and created the "With Lyrics" series on his Youtube channel, though his most recent hit is Dr. Mario With Lyrics. [more inside]
posted by ShawnStruck at 12:44 AM PST - 17 comments

Celebrating the Over-celebrated
It's Pelé Week on The Run of Play. Following some public spats between Maradona and Pelé (previously) at the recently concluded World Cup, Brian Phillips of The Run of Play (previously featured) observed that "it's bizarrely hard to care about [Pelé]", despite his unquestioned legendariness and unimpeachable skill with a football. But why? He and other writers attempt to address that question. [more inside]
posted by WalterMitty at 12:19 AM PST - 9 comments