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November 20, 2009
The amazingly exciting intersection of construction materials and bacteria.
Self-healing bio-concrete.
posted by lazaruslong at 11:25 PM PST - 30 comments

Tell me of your homeworld, Usul
Chris Foss concept art for Dune, with bonus Nostromo. The images were produced for Alejandro Jodorowsky's 1974 attempt at filming the story, with other artists involved including Moebius and HR Giger. Though the project failed Jodorowsky collaborated further with Moebius to lay the groundwork for his own Dune-like comicbook universe (and a trailer for an animated version of it was even created). More visions of Arrakis can be seen on this page of Dune cover artwork through the ages, with bonus midi Toto.
posted by Artw at 10:03 PM PST - 97 comments

One powerful man's nothing is a hundred men's lives.
Lexington’s Mayor, Jim Newberry, bristled at critical questions about The Dame block, “Nothing of consequence ever happened on that block.” Richie Wireman begs to differ. [more inside]
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:51 PM PST - 8 comments

You got cooking in my typography.
You got typography in my cooking.
posted by idiopath at 7:48 PM PST - 23 comments

Too fat to pass.
25 students at Lincoln University may not graduate, because they failed -- to lose weight. The students are members of "the first graduating class required to either have a BMI below 30 or to take 'Fitness for Life,' a one semester class that mixes exercise, nutritional instruction and discussion of the risks of obesity" in order to graduate from Lincoln. [more inside]
posted by Ouisch at 7:37 PM PST - 105 comments

I Can Quit Anytime I Want!
Internet Vices: various Web 2.0 sites and services, recast as drugs and alcohol. [more inside]
posted by ShawnStruck at 6:57 PM PST - 29 comments

DIY Forge
DIY Forges: not forgery, but making your own smithy. There are plenty of variations available, but there's something special when a teenage boy builds his own forge and teaches himself black smithing.
posted by plinth at 6:15 PM PST - 31 comments

Kotel everybody?
A women's prayer group was expelled from the area of Jerusalem's Western Wall on Wednesday for wearing tallitot and reading from the Torah, in violation of an Israeli Supreme Court ruling that restricts these activities to men in the area directly in front of the wall. Meanwhile, in the U.S., the majority of non-Orthodox rabbinical students are female, with the Reform movement being the most female-dominated, leaving some communities struggling to revitalize men's participation in the religion.
posted by albrecht at 4:59 PM PST - 57 comments

Killer Clothes and Fine Cuisine
Luxirare is about killer clothes and fine cuisine. Recent features include: Thanksgiving Part I, creating a thanksgiving meal that is less about an abundance of leftovers and instead maximizing the visual appeal of “thanksgiving” symbols like the pumpkin, as a dessert; and Pie Pops, for those who want to eat pie, but don’t want a whole slice—who want to try multiple flavors, but for just a bite or two, then move onto another.
posted by netbros at 4:47 PM PST - 24 comments

"The cat... quickly got bored of it and meowed to be let out."
From Matthias Wandel, the inventor of the wooden marble calculator and the non-wooden eyeballing game, now comes the wooden Jenga pistol and its successor, as well as the wooden geodesic cat storage device and wooden wasp sucker.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:42 PM PST - 18 comments

Re-Meet Ricky Williams
In case you haven't, please meet Ricky Williams. He has had one of the most fascinating careers of any professional athlete: he was a high school phenom in Football, Baseball, Track, and Wrestling. He played FOUR YEARS of minor league baseball with the Philadelphia Phillies organization. He was a two time all American at Texas and winner of the Heisman Trophy. He translated that success into a great early start in the NFL. He also grew up in an abusive home. He has tested extremely high in both IQ and diagnostic tests. He is incredibly shy and has been diagnosed social anxiety disorder. Hating the effects of medications, he opted for Marijuana claiming that it had a much better effect. [more inside]
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 4:17 PM PST - 36 comments

Confessions of a Converted Lecturer
"I thought I was a good teacher until I discovered my students were just memorizing information rather than learning to understand the material. Who was to blame? The students? The material? I will explain how I came to the agonizing conclusion that the culprit was neither of these. It was my teaching that caused students to fail! I will show how I have adjusted my approach to teaching and how it has improved my students' performance significantly." Physics professor Eric Mazur explains the development and use of the "ConcepTest". [more inside]
posted by inkyroom at 4:15 PM PST - 17 comments

ClimateGate?
The University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit suffered a security breach this week. Hackers made off with thousands of email correspondences between some of the world's top climate scientists, and posted them to the Internet1.

Tony Hake has posted an article at The Examiner, highlighting what he feels are the most egregious examples of scientists manipulating and hiding data to support the established theories about Climate Change. Some of the scientists involved counter that the quotes are taken out of context, and that "People are using language used in science and interpreting it in a completely different way".

1 I'm not going to link to them, but the Examiner article mentions where to get them.
posted by Who_Am_I at 4:14 PM PST - 146 comments

The City of Angels
Photographer Matt Logue's empty L. A. shows the effect of the city being completely people-less.
posted by gman at 3:38 PM PST - 42 comments

This may well be the last post on MetaFilter
CERN has successfully circulated beams in the Large Hadron Collider. This news was announced via Twitter, where they will be accepting questions for an upcoming press conference; in the meantime, check out explanatory videos on their YouTube channel, some lively podcasts, or an overview of particle physics on their website. The home of the Web has done a pretty good job keeping up with technology. (previously)
posted by shii at 2:59 PM PST - 70 comments

How Tyler Cowen Would Fix the Current Healthcare Bill
What should we do instead of the Obama health reform bill?
posted by reenum at 2:06 PM PST - 99 comments

Ask the Editors @ Merriam-Webster's
Merriam-Webster's Ask the Editors blog is the centerpiece of the Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary site. It is an excellent source of sensible advice about English language and usage. Editor-at-large Peter Sokolowski also has a Twitter feed where he highlights various interesting things about words. Finally, Merriam-Webster has started producing Ask the Editor videos, four so far, where they've tackled the subjects of i before e, classical roots, affect vs. effect and how news stories affect what words people look up online, in this case focusing on the effect of the coverage of Michael Jackson's death. Incidentally, Merriam-Webster have released their top ten words of 2009 list, which is based on what words people looked up.
posted by Kattullus at 12:07 PM PST - 15 comments

Cormac McCarthy on The Road, fatherly love, the end of the world and lots of other things
In a soft voice, chuckling frequently and gazing intently with gray-green eyes, Mr. McCarthy talked about books vs. films, the apocalypse, fathers and sons, past and future projects, how he writes—and God. [more inside]
posted by jason's_planet at 11:35 AM PST - 47 comments

The Super Easy Way To Cook For Morons
The Awl wants you to stop being a wuss and bake a pie crust. See also How To Barbecue A Turkey–The Super Easy Way For Morons and Fundamentalist Macaroni and Cheese. Or you can just cook a fucking steak.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 11:34 AM PST - 63 comments

Very practical advice about life. And socks.
50 Practical tips to save you half a lifetime. Such as the indispensible: "If you think you might be about to be sick, you are about to be sick: run to the loo."
posted by grapefruitmoon at 10:53 AM PST - 150 comments

I blame... let's see...
Shifting Blame Is Socially Contagious. Merely observing someone publicly blame an individual in an organization for a problem -- even when the target is innocent -- greatly increases the odds that the practice of blaming others will spread with the tenacity of the H1N1 flu, according to new research. "When we see others protecting their egos, we become defensive too," says Fast, the study's lead author. "We then try to protect our own self-image by blaming others for our mistakes, which may feel good in the moment." He adds that in the long run, such behavior could hurt one's reputation and be destructive to an organization and further to our society as a whole. [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 10:50 AM PST - 29 comments

Google, all up in your grid
Google is rolling out free PowerMeter software that works with the TED 5000 smart meter to transmit near real time utility usage to Google servers. This data can then be securely displayed on your Android or iPhone. With stimulus money earmarked for smart meters they will eventually become ubiquitous as standards evolve from the current patchwork. [more inside]
posted by cedar at 10:19 AM PST - 29 comments

Dell Hymes, 1927-2009
Dell Hymes, a giant of sociolinguistic theory, has died. "He didn't have much patience for wasting your time in academic endeavors that wouldn't have a direct relevance for the world and for righting some of the inequalities in the world," [Dr. Nancy] Hornberger said. Or as Dr. Hymes himself put it, describing his approach to anthropology: "I am always interested in combating elitism and narrowness. . . . The justification for the existence of anthropology is to find out about the world, not produce third-rate philosophers." [more inside]
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:49 AM PST - 13 comments

Hypothetical Astronomy
How would the Earth look if it had a ring system like Saturn?
posted by DU at 8:44 AM PST - 123 comments

Life Magazine Camel Cigarette Ads from the 1930's.
With our modern fascination with "health" and "not dying of cancer" we've forgotten how cigarettes can "renew your flow of vim." Hey, would Lou Gehrig or "America's Aquatic Stars" steer you wrong? This Thanksgiving why not try smoking continously throughout the meal to help your digestion "run smoothly." For Digestion's Sake!
posted by BullaFoloney at 8:35 AM PST - 51 comments

Make Your Own Academic Sentence
Pootwattle the Virtual Academic(TM) says: The conceptual logic of millennial hedonism is often found in juxtaposition with, if not in direct opposition to, the sublimation of difference. [more inside]
posted by caddis at 8:27 AM PST - 12 comments

Ask Recipe Labs: a Q&A site for Cooking
Ask Recipe Labs is a cooking-related question and answer site, based off of the Stack Overflow structure (prev). Ask Recipe Lab is the newest part of collection of recipe-based sites, which includes Recipe Puppy (an ingredient based recipe search engine, prev. from MeFi Projects), Cook Thing (how to cook anything, by picking a dish and the ingredients you wish to use), and Recipe Labs (social recipe repository, allowing quick tweaks to existing recipes). [via mefi projects]
posted by filthy light thief at 7:17 AM PST - 4 comments

Road...Passive-Aggressiveness
Crafty driver tries to curb road rage. The result: the "Sorry" and "Thanks" blinkers.
posted by Taft at 6:54 AM PST - 111 comments

Oh Lord, what a videogame
Mass: We Pray is an exciting new project from Boston based game developer Prayer Works Interactive. Watch the trailer for examples of the 24 different services you and your family can participate in. Don't listen to the sites that claim this is a hoax. Preordering begins today!
posted by scrutiny at 4:44 AM PST - 45 comments

How will the jobless afford such a thing?
Lawmakers attempt to target elective cosmetic surgery to pay for health reform in the United States. Simply an inviting target? The idea isn't that new, it was shelved once before. Now it's back. There is opposition as botox sales have already been dropping off.
posted by IvoShandor at 3:57 AM PST - 31 comments

Cold Callees Revenge
"For a while now I've been dispatching for a legal messenger service in San Francisco. The following is recordings of a******s calling me at work." [more inside]
posted by vapidave at 2:37 AM PST - 126 comments

Herman! It's me, it's Cathy, I've come home, whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh, let me in at your position of Europe's first High Representative for Foreign Affairs.
Europe finally has a president. And a foreign policy chief. [more inside]
posted by creeky at 12:34 AM PST - 91 comments