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October 5, 2009
Golden silk from golden orb spiders
Producing the spider silk—the only example of its kind displayed anywhere in the world—involved the efforts of 70 people who collected spiders daily from webs on telephone wires, using long poles. A unique piece of golden yellow silk brocade cloth, woven from spiderwebs, is on display at the Museum of Natural History in New York. To harvest enough silk to make the cloth, more than a million female golden orb spiders were collected in Madagascar, "milked" for silk, and released back into the wild. The golden spider silk was woven by Malagasy artisans into lamba Akotifahana, a type of brocade that is traditionally reserved for the aristocracy; the entire process took 4 years. [more inside]
posted by Quietgal at 8:57 PM PST - 88 comments

Fear of Cycling
Fear of Cycling, an essay in five parts: introduction, constructing fear of cycling, helmet promotion campaigns, new cycling spaces, making cycling strange.
posted by parudox at 8:25 PM PST - 204 comments

Good mornin'!
Uncle Grandpa!
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 8:15 PM PST - 49 comments

Bio-luminescent Shrooms!
Bio-luminescent Shrooms! [more inside]
posted by Burhanistan at 7:59 PM PST - 23 comments

My Parents Were Awesome
My Parents Were Awesome Before the fanny packs and Andrea Bocelli concerts, your parents (and grandparents) were once free-wheeling, fashion-forward, and super awesome.
posted by xingcat at 5:51 PM PST - 128 comments

Mind Body Spirit Place
Appalachia Ohio is home to an eclectic mix of individuals united by a common sense of place. Through photography, video, audio, text and interactive graphics, Soul of Athens reveals the spirit of this unique community. Produced by students at Ohio University's School of Visual Communication. (2008, 2007)
posted by netbros at 4:34 PM PST - 9 comments

Without using the words “man” or “good,” can you please define what it means to be a good man?
War Dances: “I wanted to call my father and tell him that a white man thought my brain was beautiful”. Sherman Alexie doing his thing in The New Yorker, excerpted from his upcoming book (early review; interview 1, 2.)
posted by Non Prosequitur at 1:36 PM PST - 45 comments

Build iPhone Apps with upcoming Flash CS5
Upcoming Flash CS5 will allow you to publish iPhone Apps. Today at Adobe MAX, Adobe announced that the upcoming Flash CS5 will allow you to build and export Flash Content as an iPhone App. This is not the same as Flash coming to the iPhone, it just means that instead of writing apps in Objective-C, folks can use ActionScript 3. Designers everywhere are already buzzing:perhaps time to re-purpose all those old intro screens? Perhaps the real question is: Do consumers win or lose?
posted by jeremias at 12:29 PM PST - 169 comments

I'm eating up a baby bumblebee
Insects, spiders and other arthropods by Kimberly Hosey, co-starring her young son David. [more inside]
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:07 PM PST - 11 comments

The sleep of reason
"Common images are bearded, goblin-like demons laughing or whispering sinister speech, a faceless girl (usually covering her face with hair, moving around in bed moaning and feeling my body), hands appearing from the wall and attempting to strangle me. A hung man talking in the corner of the room, and some of the most bizarre experiences may include up to a dozen 'critter' entities (think Gremlins movie) laughing and talking about me. The environment tends to feel like a holographic dollhouse, the experience peaks and then the hallucinations mysteriously vanish when I regain control of my body."- The bizarre world of sleep paralysis, a form of hypnagogia and root of many folkloric figures such as succubi or incubi and the night hag.
posted by Artw at 12:07 PM PST - 80 comments

The Hunted
Mazen had had his pectoral muscles cut off. There were two drill holes in Namir’s left leg, below the knee. Both had been shot in the head, apparently from close range. “Two young men were killed on Thursday,” an unnamed Sadr City official told the Reuters news agency in a story published that same day. “They were sexual deviants. Their tribes killed them to restore their family honor.” How a few New Yorkers are trying to save the hunted gay men of Iraq.
posted by hermitosis at 11:38 AM PST - 62 comments

THIS IS WHY NO ONE LIKES YOU RICHARDS!!!
Super-Social Networking: Superhero Facebook Status Updates
posted by griphus at 11:36 AM PST - 25 comments

Because Even the Bible Has a Well-Known Liberal Bias
The Conservative Bible Project. Rod Dreher of Belief.net offers further analysis of a budding new Wiki project to rewrite the Holy Bible to eliminate what some young conservatives apparently now view as liberal bias in the scriptures (via Harpers).
posted by saulgoodman at 11:32 AM PST - 304 comments

Gardens By The Bay
The Gardens will put in place a pervasive garden ambience and quality living environment from which Singapore's downtown will rise, and steer Singapore to the forefront of the world's leading global cities. (via)
posted by Joe Beese at 10:29 AM PST - 11 comments

I tire of your analog attitude.
The Social Media Guru (SLYT)
posted by geekyguy at 10:12 AM PST - 19 comments

A Listener Like You
Listeners to NPR have probably heard the blurb: "Support for NPR comes from the estate of Richard Leroy Walters, whose life was enriched by NPR, and whose bequest seeks to encourage others to discover public radio." Nothing too out of the ordinary. Except Richard Leroy Walters was homeless.
posted by kmz at 9:11 AM PST - 54 comments

Internet Image Montage
"We present a system that composes a realistic picture from a simple freehand sketch annotated with text labels." PhotoSketch takes simple drawings and makes composite photos.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:00 AM PST - 46 comments

Wall Street's Version of Flip This House
Wall Street's Version of Flip This House. How private-equity ran Simmons to the ground.
posted by reformedjerk at 8:58 AM PST - 40 comments

Me Go Too Far! Me Am Play Gods!
Caveman Science Fiction. Me Go Too Far! Me Am Play Gods! [more inside]
posted by WCityMike at 8:55 AM PST - 25 comments

Philadelphia Underground
Native American Sites in the City of Philadelphia is a superbly illustrated exposition of the historical development of Philadelphia, with a focus on those few surviving Native American sites which lie under the urban fabric. Lots more excellent Public Archaeology is available from the Philadelphia Archaeological Forum. Bonus link: Philly's lost creeks and streams. [more inside]
posted by Rumple at 8:08 AM PST - 12 comments

We came, we saw and we kicked its ass...
'The Golden Age of Video' by Ricardo Autobahn (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:52 AM PST - 19 comments

What Does DHS Know About You?
What Does DHS Know About You? A lot. [more inside]
posted by chunking express at 7:07 AM PST - 50 comments

Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind?
"X or Y" Quizzes have been an Internet Mainstay since the first time a nerd noticed similarities between the names of sci-fi aliens and programming languages. While finding those earliest examples is beyond my Google-Fu skills (YOU try a search for 'x or y quiz'), here's a more recent example,"Web 2.0 or Star Wars?". MeFites who enjoyed the recent "Font or Cheese" quiz may have been unaware of the related "Band Name or Font" quiz. MentalFloss.com has frequently engaged in this kind of quizzery, either raising it to an art, or jumping it into the shark's mouth (Star Trek Character or Erectile Disfunction Pill, Harry Potter Character or Skin Disease, Moon-Landing Astronaut or Pro Golfer, Ben & Jerry's Flavor or Pottery Barn Paint Color) And just in case you thought this was a 'guy thing', try your luck at "New Perfume or Soap Opera Character?"

But the "x or y quiz to end all x or y quizzes" has just been put online by some terminally snarky t-shirt salesmen, with tongues in their cheeks and hands down their pants (obviously NSFW), it's "Pornstar Or Potato?"
posted by wendell at 5:18 AM PST - 51 comments