October 4, 2011

Phil Collins' solo efforts seem to be more commercial and therefore more satisfying in a narrower way, especially No Jacket Required and songs like "In the Air Tonight" and "Against All Odds"

"Patrick Bateman was me. I was Patrick Bateman…" - Bret Easton Ellis interviewed.
posted by Artw at 10:56 PM PST - 151 comments

Malignant Narcissism Or Middle-Aged White Dudes Constantly Boning Down?

An American writer hasn't won the Nobel Prize for Literature since 1993 (Toni Morrison). Slate's Alexander Nazaryan tells us why: "The rising generation of writers behind Oates, Roth and DeLillo are dominated by Great Male Narcissists — even the writers who aren’t male (or white)."
posted by bardic at 10:29 PM PST - 122 comments

Occupy Williamsburg AMIRITE?

Jeff Mangum performing at Occupy Wall Street (SL Livestream)
posted by stratastar at 8:12 PM PST - 87 comments

Even Witches Like To Go Out Dancing

There's a new crop of Australian bands that take inspiration from old blues, but twist the music in a strange fashion. The trend may have started with CW Stoneking (Jungle Blues, Love Me Or Die), who channeled the old bluesmen despite being a young man. Its continued on to Sydney's Snowdroppers, who started out as a house band for burlesque shows and kept that dirty sensibility up with songs like Rosemary , Do The Stomp, and their signature tune Good Drugs, Bad Women (lyrics NSW). Frequent Snowdroppers touring partners Gay Paris add a Southern horror twist (House Fire In the Origami District, My First Wife? She Was A Foxqueen! ) and an antic stage energy. Some of the bands relay on gimmicks, like Adelaide's The Beards, who sing about how you should consider having sex with a bearded man and point out that if your dad doesn't have a beard, you've got two moms. The Beards recently performed at the World Beard and Mustache Championships. Horror-country-rockers Graveyard Train have picked up the torch dropped when Sydney psychobilly masters Zombie Ghost Train (Graveyard Queen) disbanded. Graveyard Train tunes like Mummy, Ballad for Beelzebub , Tall Shadow and Dead Folk Dance combine cheerful Misfits horror theming with stompy country. Most of the singers from this loose scene are joining forces in Sydney this week to pay tribute to Tom Waits.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:25 PM PST - 32 comments

In a democracy, it's your vote that counts. On Sesame Street, it's your Count that votes. Ah-ah-ah!

The Best of #OccupySesameStreet. Since its launched two weeks ago, the #OccupyWallStreet movement has gone national, spawning copy-cat demonstrations in far-flung locales like Tulsa and Boise. Its members have serious concerns--about income inequality, the influence of large corporations in our political system, and their own financial futures. The #OccupySesameStreet movement? Not so much.
posted by sweetkid at 6:34 PM PST - 30 comments

Google collects data. A lot of it.

Google and its massive knowledge feedback loop.
posted by Weebot at 6:04 PM PST - 63 comments

RIP Bob

East Village photographer and all-around good guy Bob Arihood passed away last week. Bob chronicled the struggles and changes of the Tompkins Square Park neighborhood in photographs both online in his blogs, Neither More Nor Less, and Nadie Se Conoce , sold pictures and columns to the New York Times, and was often found on 7th St and Avenue A, in front of Ray's newstand, hanging out with a wide assortment of local characters. He documented the lives and experiences of the folks most people attempt to pass without making eye contact. He knew all their names and their stories. [more inside]
posted by mneekadon at 5:52 PM PST - 7 comments

Exploiting Fear

How Two Scammers Built an Empire Hawking Sketchy Software
posted by vidur at 5:45 PM PST - 24 comments

Hangin' Up The Ears

Leonard Nimoy made his final appearance at a Star Trek convention in Chicago this past weekend. Speaking for nearly an hour, Nimoy reminisced about his career and his involvement in the convention scene for many years. He thanked the fans for helping keep Star Trek alive during the "dark years" after its 1969 cancellation until its return a decade later with the first motion picture. Nimoy continues to work, and may or may not reprise his role in the next Star Trek movie, so it's not quite farewell to that green-blooded pointy-eared Vulcan half-breed, but now maybe he'll have more time to eat all that salsa, or maybe just not do anything at all.
posted by briank at 5:37 PM PST - 38 comments

C. Peter Wagner explains the New Apostolic Reformation

In a follow-up to her previous show on the New Apostolic Reformation (which we discussed previously on MetaFilter), Terry Gross interviews C. Peter Wagner for a full episode of Fresh Air. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 4:54 PM PST - 72 comments

Less data viz, more dinner viz.

Taste Buds is a visualization of complementary flavors, sourced from patterns found in lots and lots of recipes. For those of us not blessed with a chef's instincts.
posted by carsonb at 4:49 PM PST - 20 comments

After the Final Curtain

After the Final Curtain: Photographically documenting neglected and abandoned theaters throughout the United States. [via]
posted by brundlefly at 4:40 PM PST - 6 comments

On Monday, me and some dudes are gonna tailgate outside the Kellogg School of Management before the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel is announced.

"I remember back in the '90s, when I first heard about their discovery of cell receptors activated by pathogenic microorganisms. I was in this bar called Alumni Club on Clark Street in Chicago. It's gone now, which is fine because it was terrible. Doesn't matter, I guess, but me and my buddies had just polished off a mound of wings and, like, seven buckets of Corona when this dude comes in blabbing about the critical role dendritic cells play in adaptive immunity. I almost kicked the hell out of him on the spot, but I have to admit the slides he brought made me a believer." Dennis O'Toole uses the Nobel Prize to satirize sports commentary in hilarious fashion. (SLNPR)
posted by jbickers at 3:33 PM PST - 9 comments

Only a few weeks late

In 1987 Apple predicted a complex language voice assistant built into something called the Apple Knowledge Navigator, a tablet computer. With today's announcement of the refined (and integrated) version of Siri, it appears they were less than a month off.
posted by mrzarquon at 1:17 PM PST - 408 comments

The Manga of Miyazaki

If you recognize the name Hayao Miyazaki, it's most likely due to his anime films. But along with his involvement in animation, Miyazaki has produced some manga and illustrated story books. Part of the reason his work in still images is less known is lack of translation and distribution. That's where the fans come in, digging up and translating many Miyazaki works, back to his first published manga, which was a serious serialized work, in 1969-1970. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 12:21 PM PST - 33 comments

Inside the Russian Short Wave Enigma

UVB-76 is a Russian short wave station that has enthralled and mystified enthusiasts for decades.
posted by reenum at 12:20 PM PST - 60 comments

Reading this post will destroy your soul

The Motif of Harmful Sensation (or as TV Tropes calls it, the Brown Note) is a recurring idea in literature: physical or mental damage that a person suffers merely by experiencing what should normally be a benign sensation. The phenomenon appears in both traditional and modern stories. [more inside]
posted by modernserf at 10:57 AM PST - 87 comments

Bridge of Signs

Most people know that Venice has long been threatened by chronic flooding, but in recent years the Queen of the Adriatic has faced a rising tide of a different sort: advertising. From the Doge's Palace to St. Mark's Square to the bittersweet Bridge of Sighs -- named for the grief its splendid views once inspired in crossing death row prisoners -- immense billboards lit late into the night now mar the city's most treasured places. Allegedly built to cover the cost of restoration work in the face of government cutbacks, the ads have brought in around $600,000 per year since 2008 -- a fraction of the shortfall -- and show no sign of going away any time soon. Their presence prompted a consortium of the world's leading cultural experts led by the Venice in Peril Fund to air an open letter demanding the city government put a stop to the placards that "hit you in the eye and ruin your experience of one of the most beautiful creations of humankind." Mayor Giorgio Orsoni, for one, was not moved, saying last year "If people want to see the building they should go home and look at a picture of it in a book."
posted by Rhaomi at 10:39 AM PST - 60 comments

Ohhh Pretty Woman

Margaret "Peg" Hughes took to the stage in 1660, as Desdemona, in Shakespeare's Othello. Samuel Pepys thought her "a mighty pretty woman."
posted by treasure at 10:31 AM PST - 14 comments

In ur bookmarks, tagging ur fanfic

The restructuring of Delicious offended a large subset of its users- the slashfic fangirls. [more inside]
posted by cereselle at 9:23 AM PST - 68 comments

"You are all individuals!" "I'm not!"

You need a permit (PDF) to use amplified sound in New York City. Which the #OccupyWallStreet protesters haven't got. So they've come up with a unique solution for transmitting their message - the human microphone.
posted by scalefree at 9:05 AM PST - 112 comments

"They Shall Not Pass - No Pasaran!"

"As the sun rose on that fateful day, thousands of blackshirts gathered in the cool morning air, trading jokes and cigarettes. Their boots and belts were well-polished. Those with peaked caps wore them at no angle but the true. The Union’s flags hung limply on their poles, waiting to be unfurled and waved in the faces of the fearful public. Hundreds of policemen – also, in a technical sense, in black shirts, boots and belts – formed up alongside the Fascist column, determined to escort them on an errand that none thought wise or good but which no one had said was illegal.
The signal was given. The march began. It was October 4th, 1936"

It has been 75 years since the battle of Cable Street, when "people in the East End of London stopped Oswald Mosley and his British Union of Fascists marching through Cable Street, in Stepney, then a mainly Jewish area. A slogan from the Spanish Civil War, a popular anti-fascist cause of the time, was widely used: They Shall Not Pass - No Pasaran!" [more inside]
posted by Stagger Lee at 8:49 AM PST - 44 comments

The Search for a More Perfect Kilogram

The official SI definition of a kilogram is "equal to the mass of the international prototype," a cylinder of nine-tenths platinum and one-tenth iridium, forged in the 1880s. "Le Grand K," as the prototype is affectionately known, is the basis not only for the measurement of mass and volume, but of force, energy, and luminosity—and since the 1940s, Le Grand K has been losing weight. Now scientists are trying to redefine the kilogram in terms of fundamental constants—and in doing so, perhaps fulfill the 18th-century promise of a universal, fundamental system of measurement "for all people, for all time."
posted by Zozo at 8:12 AM PST - 58 comments

Folding was considered not unusual at all

The medium of choice during the Soviet Union's Great Patriotic War (1941-45): triangular letters [more inside]
posted by Mister Bijou at 7:43 AM PST - 15 comments

Dr Ralph Steinman, father of dendritic cells and first posthumous nobel prize winner since 1961

In 1973, while working as a young post-doc in Zanvil A. Cohn's laboratory in Rockefeller University, Ralph Steinman described a completely new immune cell within the lymphoid organs of mice (original paper can be read here). Based on it's distinctive shape, with it's many branched projections, he named the cell "dendritic cell" (derived from the Greek word for "tree"). Such began a prolific and illustrious career, devoted to the further understanding of these cells, which transformed the way the world understood how the immune system worked. Yesterday, Dr Steinman was awarded the The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2011 "for his discovery of the dendritic cell and its role in adaptive immunity". Tragically, he had died just three days earlier of pancreatic cancer, and never learned that he was to be awarded science’s top honour. [more inside]
posted by kisch mokusch at 6:35 AM PST - 25 comments

E.M. Cioran

Cioran's literary elitism is unparalleled in modern literature, and for that reason he often appears as a nuisance for modern and sentimental ears poised for the lullaby words of eternal earthly or spiritual bliss. Cioran's hatred of the present and the future, his disrespect for life, will certainly continue to antagonize the apostles of modernity who never tire of chanting vague promises about the "better here-and-now." ... If one could reduce the portrayal of Cioran to one short paragraph, then one must depict him as an author who sees in the modern veneration of the intellect a blueprint for spiritual gulags and the uglification of the world. Indeed, for Cioran, man's task is to wash himself in the school of existential futility, for futility is not hopelessness; futility is a reward for those wishing to rid themselves of the epidemic of life and the virus of hope. Probably, this picture best befits the man who describes himself as a fanatic without any convictions--a stranded accident in the cosmos who casts nostalgic looks towards his quick disappearance. - Tomislav Sunic [more inside]
posted by Trurl at 6:28 AM PST - 31 comments

Tacit racism and sexism

The Implicit Bias & Philosophy International Research Project brings together philosophers, psychologists, and policy professionals to study unconscious biases against members of stigmatized groups. The recommended reading page collects recent scholarly articles available for download. (Previously)
posted by painquale at 6:10 AM PST - 14 comments

Kicking Queen

Brianna Amat, 18, of Pinckney High School in Ann Arbor, kicked the game-winning field goal against rival Grand Blanc on the same night that she was crowned homecoming queen (SLNYT).
posted by dabug at 4:22 AM PST - 66 comments

Niall Ferguson: The 6 killer apps of prosperity

Over the past few centuries, Western cultures have been very good at creating general prosperity for themselves. Historian Niall Ferguson asks: Why the West, and less so the rest? He suggests half a dozen big ideas from Western culture -- call them the 6 killer apps -- that promote wealth, stability and innovation. And in this new century, he says, these apps are all shareable. [more inside]
posted by Foci for Analysis at 1:19 AM PST - 97 comments