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October 9, 2008
Man can moonwalk straight to the 9th Circuit
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rap, by the Notorious B.O.A.L.T. (audio NSFW) [more inside]
posted by Navelgazer at 9:14 PM PST - 17 comments

Paranoia is a heightened state of awareness
The fringes of knowledge Amok publishers specializes in collecting the finest of esoterica. Back before the Internet had everything, people with deviant tastes would have to rely on mail order catalogs such as Amok. It has published a compendium of bizarre books known as Dispatches since the 80s. [more inside]
posted by bodywithoutorgans at 8:07 PM PST - 26 comments

Girls and Boys
Boys and Girls: A Short Book about Choosing If and When to Have Sex. (Narrated by a sweet sounding lassie.)
posted by snsranch at 7:54 PM PST - 33 comments

The Palin Mob
The Palin Mob "It's no wonder that the slightest incitement from Sarah Palin or John McCain will turn one of their rallies into a lynch mob. Just talk to the folks who attend.

My camera was rolling for literally seconds before people happily said to me, on camera, that Barack Obama is a terrorist. If I hadn’t spent most of my time at the event inside, waiting for the candidates to show up, I could have gotten dozens of these people on tape."

Via Blogger Interrupted
posted by 4midori at 6:28 PM PST - 494 comments

Take It Slow, Take It Easy on Me
Control time... A face gets punched, a face gets water-ballooned, and a dog laps water (with its face!) at your accelerative discretion. (If that's not enough... Previously on Metafilter.)
posted by pokermonk at 6:14 PM PST - 8 comments

OMG life is just an imitation of art amirite
xkcd had an idea to counter YouTube comment stupidity, and apparently someone at YouTube was paying attention. Not everyone is convinced however. (And there's always Comment Snob).
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:53 PM PST - 31 comments

I Am Not Tom's Friend
Will You Be My Friend [Flash]
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 4:04 PM PST - 12 comments

Donna Brazile Is Not Going to the Back of the Bus
Donna Brazile Is Not Going to the Back of the Bus. Stirring remarks from an October 4, 2008, New Yorker panel discussion, "If I Were Running This Campaign." [more inside]
posted by kirkaracha at 3:56 PM PST - 44 comments

Grzegorz Jonkajtys / Ark
Grzegorz Jonkajtys's short films include Mantis, Legacy, and the Best of Show winner at Siggraph 2007, Ark. (All movies are QuickTime.) More on the making of Ark here. [via]
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 3:48 PM PST - 3 comments

USGS Photo Library
U. S. Geological Survey Photographic Library [more inside]
posted by sleepy pete at 3:36 PM PST - 8 comments

neurobiology of trust
As the market plummets, it might be interesting to look at the neurological background in the breakdown of trust. The author, Jonah Lehrer, is a young brainiac writer for Seed and the excellent Frontal Cortex. l Scientists immediately discovered a strong neural signal that drove many of the investment decisions. The signal was fictive learning. l One way to think of the financial markets right now is that instead of being populated by rational agents, they're full of people with borderline personality disorder. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 2:25 PM PST - 32 comments

Geowanking
"We can have all the applications and Internet connectivity [...] but that still won't get at issues of lack of electricity and cartographic literacy and suppression of geospatial information by the state and their complicit corporations" reads a recent post on Geowanking, a mailing list for GIS nerds. [SLMLP] [more inside]
posted by finite at 2:17 PM PST - 13 comments

You Can't Do This To Me/Us, You Bastards
The New York Times reports that tens of thousands of voters from swing states have been illegally purged from voter registration lists using social security numbers. Unsure whether your vote will count? Check here.
posted by Xurando at 1:15 PM PST - 71 comments

Searching For Robert Johnson: Guitar expert spots new photograph on eBay auction
...As he pored over the mass of texts and thumbnail photos that the eBay search engine had pulled up on that day in 2005, one strangely worded listing caught Schein’s eye. It read, “Old Snapshot Blues Guitar B.B. King???” He clicked on the link, then took in the sepia-toned image that opened on his monitor. Two young black men stared back at Schein from what seemed to be another time. They stood against a plain backdrop wearing snazzy suits, hats, and self-conscious smiles. The man on the left held a guitar stiffly against his lean frame. Neither man looked like B. B. King, but as Schein studied the figure with the guitar, noticing in particular the extraordinary length of his fingers and the way his left eye seemed narrower and out of sync with his right, it occurred to him that he had stumbled across something significant and rare... the more convinced he became that it depicted one of the most mysterious and mythologized blues artists produced by the Delta: the guitarist, singer, and songwriter whom Eric Clapton once anointed “the most important blues musician who ever lived.” That’s not B. B. King, Schein said to himself. Because it’s Robert Johnson.
Searching for Robert Johnson reveals not only what may be the third picture of Robert Johnson but a Byzantine struggle over his legacy as well.
posted by y2karl at 12:26 PM PST - 29 comments

Beyond the Reach of God
Beyond the Reach of God. Thought experiments involving the God-universe and the Nature-universe, the Turing-complete Game of Life, and a lot of insightful back-and-forth in the comment section, to boot. One of the most interesting and thought-provoking essays I've read on the Internet in a very long time, by Eliezer Yudkowsky on his blog, Overcoming Bias (via).
posted by WCityMike at 12:25 PM PST - 64 comments

Skin Deep.
A beautification engine developed by computer scientists from Israel. Before and After shots.
posted by gman at 12:10 PM PST - 74 comments

Canary in the coal mine...
Iceland's last non state-owned bank is nationalised, with subsidiaries shut down in Finland, refusing to pay depositors in the UK and in adminstration in Luxemberg. Iceland has had to shut down trading on the stock market to stop panic dumping, and has become one of the most state run economies in the world. For everyone who wondered what true worst case is, this might be it (saving the Weimar scenario, but the US is too sane for that).
posted by jaduncan at 11:32 AM PST - 74 comments

Uncanny Carne?
Hot Dogs in Hot Love. Banksy is back with a gallery show in NYC featuring crazy robotic food. At least I hope these are robots.
posted by Paid In Full at 10:51 AM PST - 14 comments

A few words from a beloved U.S. President on the banking crisis
On the Oct. 7th Daily Show, Sarah Vowell mentioned that she is so desperate for Presidential leadership that she listened to FDR's Fireside Chats (from the Great Depression of the 1930s) and felt a little better. Beginning March 4th, 1933, and running through March 1st, 1945 FDR's fireside chats were a staple in American Homes. The news of the day, brought to you directly from the commander in chief himself. These are those broadcasts. (#2 is his first, on the banking crisis.)
posted by spock at 10:47 AM PST - 58 comments

China coal powerplant myths debunked
MIT report debunks China energy myth. A detailed analysis of powerplants in China by MIT researchers debunks the widespread notion that outmoded energy technology or the utter absence of government regulation is to blame for that country's notorious air-pollution problems. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach at 10:44 AM PST - 11 comments

That's so... the children's insult of choice!
AS OF 10/08/2008, THERE WERE OVER 80,100 PAGES ONLINE WITH THE PHRASE "That's so gay."

Hillary Duff is here to elevate teen discourse! And here's a handy printout.
How 'gay' became children's insult of choice.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:16 AM PST - 263 comments

NSA Has ‘Routinely’ Listened In On Americans’ Phone Calls, Passed Around ‘Salacious’ Bits
"Ever since President Bush confirmed the existence of a National Security Administration wiretapping program in late 2005, he has insisted it is aimed only at terrorists’ calls and protects Americans’ civil liberties ("This is a limited program designed to prevent attacks on the United States of America — and I repeat: limited.")....However, ABC News reports [text with embedded video] that the NSA frequently listened to and transcribed the private phone calls of Americans abroad....These conversations included those of American soldiers stationed in Iraq and American aid workers abroad, such as Doctors Without Borders."* [more inside]
posted by ericb at 9:51 AM PST - 75 comments

Nobel Prize Chemistry 2008: The notorious GFP
The 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to scientists who advanced the use of jellyfish green florescent protein, or GFP (previously), an indispensable tool in molecular biology. The man who discovered the GFP gene, however, is doing something quite different these days. [more inside]
posted by NikitaNikita at 9:38 AM PST - 13 comments

The other kind of free trade
Smuggler's Britain tells "the fascinating story of smuggling in 18th and 19th century Britain, when high taxes led to an dramatic increase in illegal imports. As the 'free trade'" grew, smugglers openly landed contraband in full view of the customs authorities: columns of heavily-armed thugs protected the cargoes." Includes a gazetteer with Google maps links so you can scope out some lonely cove to land contraband of your own in the footsteps of your forefathers and introduces you to famous smugglers like Isaac Gulliver, who never killed a man in a long career. Though of course, it was an enterprise where things often would turn ugly.
posted by Abiezer at 8:07 AM PST - 7 comments

5& 1/2 hour no-knead bread
Mark Bittman updates the no-knead bread recipe to make it faster, healthier. For the four of you that don't read Lifehacker or Mark Bittman's pieces in the New York Times, but who love baking bread. [more inside]
posted by mojohand at 6:21 AM PST - 61 comments

Zip code with a capital C O D E.
Return to sender: Artist puts Royal Mail to the test - "To put them to the test, Harriet Russell concealed the addresses of 130 letters to herself in a series of increasingly complex puzzles and ciphers. Among the disguises she employed were dot-to-dot drawings, anagrams and cartoons. The answer, it seems, was very far indeed. Amazingly, only 10 failed to complete their journey back to her." Be sure to click the "more pictures" link to the right for more samples. Via one.point.zero.
posted by nthdegx at 5:27 AM PST - 56 comments

Isn't it a long way down?
Ain't this cute: The US State Dept. has outsourced a Private military contractor to investigate Blackwater. There are still some questions in the air for U.S. Investigations Services (USIS) regarding Ted Westhusing. There is Controversy In The Military; Will Anything Change? Remember that Military Rules Don't Apply when Outsourcing Fear. ( Related 1, 2, 3 ).
posted by adamvasco at 4:32 AM PST - 41 comments

Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio Receives Nobel Prize in Literature
The Nobel Prize in Literature goes to French novelist Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio. Here's an old interview, a short video interview (in French) and a short story (in English).
posted by Kattullus at 4:21 AM PST - 34 comments

Paavo Haavikko (1931-2008)
Paavo Haavikko, one of Finland's (and Europe's) foremost poets, died earlier this week. As well as poetry, his seventy or so published works included essays, novels, plays for the stage, radio & TV, and opera libretti. (via) [more inside]
posted by misteraitch at 1:28 AM PST - 8 comments

How We Evolve
How We Evolve: "A growing number of scientists argue that human culture itself has become the foremost agent of biological change, making us — for the past 10,000 years or so — the inadvertent architects of our own future selves." [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 12:16 AM PST - 49 comments