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November 17, 2011
...so we need to move away from the tonsils paradigm of race discourse towards the dental hygiene paradigm of race discourse...
"How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Discussing Race". Recent talk from Jay Smooth presented at a local TED conference meet up at Hampshire College. Previously.
posted by catchingsignals at 11:06 PM PST - 28 comments

Muffin parade, it's a parade of muffins! Yum yum yum yum!
Good news, muffin fans! Amy Winfrey posted six new Muffin Films last year. They're in the smaller tin on the right. And there's still a few days left to enter her 2011 Muffin Art Contest!
[way previously]
posted by free hugs at 10:25 PM PST - 9 comments

The flattest place on earth
As the salar has no natural outflow, when it does rain the salar floods with an extremely thin layer of water (barely ankle deep even at its most extreme), creating what is essentially the world’s largest mirror.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:42 PM PST - 16 comments

Donald Crowhurst
Donald Crowhurst (1932–1969) was a British businessman and amateur sailor who died while competing in the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, a single-handed, round-the-world yacht race. Crowhurst had entered the race in hopes of winning a cash prize from The Sunday Times to aid his failing business. Instead, he encountered difficulty early in the voyage, and secretly abandoned the race while reporting false positions, in an attempt to appear to complete a circumnavigation without actually circling the world. Evidence found after his disappearance indicates that this attempt ended in insanity and suicide. (previously: 1, 2)
posted by Trurl at 9:14 PM PST - 11 comments

But won't you think of the koopas?
PETA's latest public target is Super Mario 3D Land, specifically Mario's use of the tanooki suit, which PETA claim signify the wearing of a tanuki skin. To raise awareness, PETA had a little flash game made: Mario Kills Tanooki (warning: cartoon blood and gore), in which you play a skinless Tanuki trying to get your skin back from Mario (YT, 1:19 - slightly stuttery gameplay video). But as this Kotaku article points out, PETA's outrage is "an epic culture misunderstanding," overlooking the long, cultural history of the shape-shifting trickster. Nintendo's quick response: "Mario often takes the appearance of certain animals and objects in his games," that are "lighthearted and whimsical transformations." PETA clarifies: the graphic little game was just a joke.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:56 PM PST - 68 comments

Womanspace
Nature, one of the most well known (and well cited) scientific journals, recently published a humor piece entitled Womanspace. A senior editor of Nature, Henry Gee, commented last month on the article: "I'm amazed we haven't had any outraged comments about this story." Well, the outraged comments have arrived. [more inside]
posted by demiurge at 7:18 PM PST - 89 comments

Even more recent events in Solar Power
Some interesting things have recently happened in the world of solar power: Evergreen and Solyndra have gone bankrupt, panel cost has gone sub $1.00/watt, and China has vastly increased production capacities. [more inside]
posted by thewalrus at 6:51 PM PST - 103 comments

Are you paying attention, boy?
He does not cook like you do. But I would like an invitation for dinner: Cajun Stuffed Pork Chops with Bacon [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan at 6:35 PM PST - 40 comments

Something best enjoyed while not alone
More than just Hello Kitty on acid (warning: disturbing imagery) [more inside]
posted by dubusadus at 6:22 PM PST - 23 comments

John: Quickly retrieve arms from drawer.
On 11/11/11, Homestuck entered Act 6 (of 7). This follows an explosive 13-minute finale to Act 5, which brought down its host Newgrounds on the day of its unveiling and was released with a fantastic companion soundtrack. In the two and a half years since it was created, Homestuck has become a full-blown epic, approaching the length of War and Peace, but with hours of accompanying animation, several interactive games, a loop machine, and a baffling 19 soundtrack albums, ranging from VG-inspired soundtrack to jazzy mood music to solo piano to parody kids TV show soundtrack. It also has an obsession with Nic Cage and Betty Crocker, and comes with a metawebcomic called Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff which is in and of itself pure gold. Intimidated? You probably should be! But it's hilarious, epic, and surprisingly addictive, so if you've got nothing else on your plate, you can either start from the beginning, or, if it seems too daunting, you can learn... [more inside]
posted by Rory Marinich at 6:11 PM PST - 66 comments

The Science of Sarcasm? Yeah, Right.
“Sarcasm detector? That’s a really useful invention.” How do humans separate sarcasm from sincerity? Research on the subject is leading to insights about how the mind works. Really. previously
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:01 PM PST - 27 comments

Whatcha reading, Muncie?
What Middletown Read.
Robert and Helen Lynd's immersive studies of early 20th century Muncie, Indiana, published as Middletown (1929) and Middletown in Transition (1937), are classics of American sociology. Ball State's Center for Middletown Studies has created a database of the circulation records from the Muncie Public Library from 1891-1902, providing a rare glimpse of the reading habits of turn-of-the-century middle America. Slate examines the project and what it reveals.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:03 PM PST - 7 comments

The amphibian plague
"There is a parallel between what amphibian taxonomists do these days and what homicide detectives do. Both arrive at scenes of mayhem. Maybe they solve the crime, but they are powerless to undo it." A fungal plague is killing the world's amphibians. Hundreds of species are already gone. There is no vaccine and no cure. There is, however, an ark.
posted by escabeche at 4:25 PM PST - 29 comments

James H Kunstler dissects suburbia.
Great TED Talk of Mr. Kunstler's take on suburbia (kinda NSFW).
posted by analogtom at 4:24 PM PST - 51 comments

Sturm und Drang
Google Music v iTunes Match v Amazon Cloud Player. Google has officially launched its (U.S. only) "Google Music" service, which aims to do for the Android market what iTunes and the recently unveiled (U.S. only) iTunes Match service does for Apple. All three services allow you to upload thousands of songs to the "Cloud". This music store showdown could revolutionise the way people collect, store and listen to music - or not.
posted by joannemullen at 3:45 PM PST - 85 comments

ahh that's the spot
Lovely Owls (SLYT)
posted by babbyʼ); Drop table users; -- at 2:50 PM PST - 47 comments

Back To The Future part deux
Irina Werning has once again recreated the scenes from old photographs in a similar fashion as last time. (slightly NSFW)
posted by gman at 2:13 PM PST - 44 comments

I think I saw both London and France, Rusty...
Rusty makes a turtleburger Watch it in 720p High Def if you can handle it. [more inside]
posted by heyho at 2:04 PM PST - 31 comments

An online course in (really) small engine repair
A tiny V-12. This video shows the machining, assembly, and running of a very, very small 12-cylinder engine.
posted by FishBike at 1:39 PM PST - 46 comments

A Very Young Dancer
In 1975, 10-year-old Stephanie was followed by photographer Jill Krementz as the subject of the book A Very Young Dancer (Stephanie was a student at the School of American Ballet, and was chosen by George Balanchine to play Marie in that year's production of the Nutcracker. Now, 34 years later, the New York Times has found her again.
posted by ChuraChura at 12:55 PM PST - 26 comments

Deeply Crazy
One's a spine-tingling howl of alienation gleaned from a spaghetti western. One's a bluesy transatlantic barnstormer that turned a young British singer into an icon of soul. Both feature powerful voices in unconventional styles mulling over intense feeling. And together, thanks to mash-up artist Divide & Kreate, they make for one of the best remixes out there [.mp3]. There's a similar mix with Cee Lo if you're so inclined, or check out the dueling cover by Upstart to hear the vocals beautifully intertwine. Mash-ups previously on MeFi.
posted by Rhaomi at 12:53 PM PST - 10 comments

“What if our kids really believed we wanted them to have great sex?”
Teaching Good Sex -- a profile of Philadelphia's Friends' Central School's Sexuality and Society course and its teacher Al Vernacchio, by Laurie Abraham, author of the book "The Husbands and Wives Club." (Descriptions in the first link may be NSFW.) [more inside]
posted by zarq at 12:26 PM PST - 38 comments

CA Supreme Court: Proponents have standing to defend Prop 8
This morning, the California Supreme Court announced that the proponents of Prop 8 have standing to defend it. The full decision is here (.pdf). [more inside]
posted by insectosaurus at 10:48 AM PST - 116 comments

Giving thanks with pumpkin juice and butterbeer.
Great food ideas for a fantasy and sci-fi themed Thanksgiving features recipes from Inn at the Crossroads (medieval recipes/Game of Thrones), Harry Potter Recipes, and The Geeky Chef ("a collection of recipes inspired by books, movies, and video games").
posted by flex at 10:35 AM PST - 34 comments

Leaping sundogs
Leaping Sundogs "...that little wisp suddenly snaps into a new shape, as if someone had stopped the video, waited for the cloud to change, then started up the video again." More here.
posted by dhruva at 9:54 AM PST - 11 comments

"Needs more cowbell!"
When the cows go marching in. [Part 1] [Part 2]
posted by Fizz at 7:52 AM PST - 27 comments

We hold these vegetables to be self-evident
Tomato: fruit or vegetable? In 1893, the US Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Nix v. Hedden that the tomato is legally a vegetable and not a fruit, botanical definitions be damned. In 2001, the European Union disagreed, saying that "tomatoes, the edible parts of rhubarb stalks, carrots, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, pumpkins, melons and water-melons are considered to be fruit". [more inside]
posted by davidjmcgee at 7:51 AM PST - 91 comments

Supreme court opinions successfully modeled as Facebook like button
Roger Guimera Manrique and Marta Sales-Pardo have shown that "U.S. Supreme Court justice votes are more predictable than one would expect from an ideal court composed of perfectly independent justices." [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges at 7:35 AM PST - 47 comments

RIP Ilya Zhitomirskiy
Ilya Zhitomirskiy, co-founder of Diaspora* died at 22 on Saturday. [more inside]
posted by facehugger at 7:23 AM PST - 32 comments

World Prematurity Day
A typical full term pregnancy is 40 weeks. Premature babies are those born before 37 weeks. Worldwide, 13 million babies are born premature. In the United States, 1 in 8 babies are born prematurely. Prematurity can lead to a host of lifelong cognitive, respiratory, vision, and digestive problems. November 17 is World Prematurity Day, devoted to raising awareness of the problems of as well as prevention of pre-term births. [more inside]
posted by jasonhong at 6:59 AM PST - 35 comments

The Longship
In Tonsberg, Norway, they are building a Viking Ship. By hand, using the same tools and processes the vikings used. [more inside]
posted by Chrischris at 6:34 AM PST - 49 comments

face to face
The UnFacebook World via
posted by infini at 6:26 AM PST - 57 comments

Mapping with time rather than distance.
Time Maps maps the Netherlands based on how long it takes to reach a given destination rather than how far away it is.
We can reach almost any destination by train easily and relatively quick. In our busy lives we now think in time rather than distance[...]From the perspective of Eindhoven, for instance, the Netherlands is relatively small because of the quick and easy connections to other cities. At the same time, seen from a more remote and small village such as Stavoren the Netherlands is much bigger[...]At night the map will expand because there are no night trains and in the morning it will shrink once trains will commence their schedules. Here is a video demonstration.
posted by OmieWise at 5:50 AM PST - 28 comments

Gabrielle Giffords, Broca's area and song therapy
"I miss Tucson. The Mountains. Blue Skies. Even the heat." ABC News has documented the recovery of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords from a gunshot wound sustained in January, in conjunction with the release of "Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope", written by Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly. [more inside]
posted by running order squabble fest at 4:21 AM PST - 17 comments

Seven Misunderstandings About Classical Architecture
Seven Misunderstandings About Classical Architecture
posted by nthdegx at 3:48 AM PST - 86 comments

A Brief History of Onanism
Me, Myself, and I: "Coprophagia wouldn’t have fazed them at all, sodomy wouldn’t have slowed them down, incest would have actively interested them—but masturbation: please, anything but that. " A review of Solitary Sex: A Cultural History of Masturbation, giving a short history of masturbation throgh moral, religious and cultural lenses. [more inside]
posted by marienbad at 3:20 AM PST - 27 comments

Being as complicated as the system you are pranking
Johannes Grenzfurthner on subverting subversion and on how subverting the system has become more difficult over the years as society has changed. Features imaginary artists saving Taiwan, Jackass and the far too banal blood sausage made from your own blood.
posted by DRMacIver at 3:13 AM PST - 5 comments

Occupy England
"Asked if he thought he should have been paid, he said: 'I reckon they should have paid me … I was basically doing what a normal member of staff does for Tesco. I had the uniform and I was in the staff canteen. I obviously got access to the food and drinks in the staff canteen … that's what they let you do … but I got nothing else apart from that.'" -- The Guardian on Britain's "Work Experience Programme," which provides thousands of free man-hours to some of the country's largest and most profitable private companies
posted by bardic at 1:44 AM PST - 69 comments