December 2, 2007
Music and Muppets
The Muppet Show featuring performances: by Johnny Cash (and two more), Steve Martin on banjo, Elton John (and two more), Alice Cooper (also some skits), Debbie Harry (and another), Liza Manelli singing Copa Cabana, REM, Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy Rich vs. Animal, Rita Moreno vs. Animal, Harry Belafonte (vs. Animal), Julie Andrews and more, Mac Davis, Nureyev singing and tap dancing,Sandy Duncan, John Denver, Paul Simon (on lute!), and a somewhat freaky version of The Gambler. [more inside]
posted by blahblahblah at 11:56 PM PST - 49 comments

Cephalopods Galore
Like squid? What about the good ol' octopus? The cuttlefish and nautilus? If you answered yes to these questions Dr. James B. Wood's Cephalopod Page is your go-to site, with information on and pictures of 25+ species of cephalopods including the aptly named (I'm sure) vampire squid from hell. The site also hosts many articles. Not sure where you stand on the coolness of cephalopods? Why don't you start by watching this video of an octopus squeezing through a one inch hole (previously on MetaFilter).
posted by Kattullus at 11:18 PM PST - 25 comments

Silent Film
Enjoy some silent film this week: Battleship Potemkin. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. The General. The Immigrant. Haxan. Intolerance (1, 2, 3). Nosferatu.
posted by TrialByMedia at 8:33 PM PST - 28 comments

The 100 best mystery novels of all time
The 100 best mystery novels of all time. Here they are, with links... [more inside]
posted by jbickers at 8:16 PM PST - 141 comments

mermaid and prince, simultaneously
Part of your world, the Little Mermaid's song, sung amazingly by a man. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 6:25 PM PST - 73 comments

The New Games Journalism
"Mr. Gerstmann, we saw your 6.0 review of Kane & Lynch." After a less than stellar review of Kane & Lynch, 10 year veteran game reviewer Jeff Gerstmann seems to have been fired from his position at Gamespot due to pressure from Eidos, publisher of Kane & Lynch. This also has been confirmed by a freelancer for Gamespot. Reaction has been massive. K&L is now rated 2.0 by users on Gamespot. Many subscribers are cancelling and there's a move to boycott Gamespot advertisers, which seems to be having some effect. [more inside]
posted by ursus_comiter at 6:20 PM PST - 111 comments

Making Machinima Movies
Machinima (muh-shin-eh-mah or ma-shin-i-ma) is a hybrid filmmaking technique where people utilize game engines and environments to create videos. At first, it was little more than screengrabs and screencasts of in-game action, but it has now grown to include sophisticated storylines independent of game action. Shows and entire series have been made from The Sims, Halo, The Movies, Quake, Half-Life, Unreal Tournament and Second Life to name just a few. Actually, some Team Fortress 2 machinima was recently mentioned (October 9th). Over the years, there have been some really amazing productions, such as the now legendary 100-episode Red vs Blue series (also previously mentioned) which was created with Halo 2. A lot of machinima can be found and viewed for free on machinima.com. The Internet Archive also maintains a machinima section. The recently-released BloodSpell, a "punk fantasy" from Strange Company, is believed to be the first feature-length movie released using the Neverwinter Nights game engine. (watch online free, free divx download - 847 MB, free quicktime download - 903 MB). Two of the people behind BloodSpell, Hugh Hancock and Johnnie Ingram have co-written the just-published "Machinima for Dummies". [more inside]
posted by TrinityB5 at 5:26 PM PST - 32 comments

Excavation Ballet
       Pretty Big Dig
A dance film by Anne Troake that gently illustrates the assimilation of technology. QT video [more inside]
posted by carsonb at 5:01 PM PST - 8 comments

1898 baseball cursing policy, amply illustrated
"In terms of language, it is also the most offensive official Major League baseball document that we have ever seen." An auction house obtains a one page letter sent to baseball players in 1898, outlining the league's new anti-cursing policy. Includes lots of examples of the kind of language that is not allowed. Nervous auctioneers not sure how to exhibit it. Purely of historical interest, naturally. [more inside]
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:17 PM PST - 86 comments

Armoogeddon
MOO! The latest brain-spillage from Cyriak. [Embedded QuickTime.] [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 2:27 PM PST - 20 comments

Food Pairing
How to pair foods, if you've ever wondered whether oysters go with chocolate but didn't want to end up with an expensive mess
posted by sim.possible at 2:24 PM PST - 55 comments

Gar!
Gar are a carnivorous fish found in North and Central America and some parts of the Caribbean. The fish is closely related to its Jurassic ancestors, can live for twenty years, grow to be as big as ten feet or more, and live practically anywhere, breathing through their gills or assisted by their air bladders. Gar are considered a "trash" fish, but people have been catching (or not), cooking, and eating gar for centuries (use the whole fish!). Despite, or perhaps because of, their rows scary teeth, they make great pets.
posted by Pants! at 2:21 PM PST - 17 comments

Mr Paxman at the Cafe Royal
"You haven't seen true competition until you've watched editors of broadsheet newspapers, distinguished novelists and the controller of Radio 4 locked in furious argument about which was Frederick the Great's favourite musical instrument and what was the name of Jade Goody's range of perfumes." Jeremy Paxman, host of BBC's Newsnight, reviews the events of his week.
posted by parmanparman at 1:57 PM PST - 4 comments

Choices, constraints, and the 'mommy track.'
Insightful, sociological, bitter: A scholar reflects back on her entry into the academic 'mommy track.' An interesting blend of meditation-on-resentment and just-plain-resentment, worth a read both intentionally and un-. [via] [more inside]
posted by waxbanks at 1:34 PM PST - 71 comments

One Cold Hand
One Cold Hand seeks to reunite lost gloves with their owners.
posted by exogenous at 12:57 PM PST - 8 comments

Not in the turning into a cockroach type way
Independent Filmaking: Kafkaesque Nightmare? Tom DiCillo's new film Delirious stars Steve Buscemi, is currently rated at 85% at Rotten Tomatoes, and yet, it only made $200,000. DiCillo asks Roger Ebert why.
posted by zabuni at 12:20 PM PST - 45 comments

Move Over, Electronic Arts!
What happens when Vivendi buys a $9.8 Billion dollar stake in Activision? You get the largest pure-play online and console game publisher in the world.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 11:01 AM PST - 32 comments

Footprints in the Collective Unconscious?
Footprints in the Collective Unconscious? Brooklyn writer Rachel Aviv presents an interesting summary of the disputed 'facts' behind who it was exactly that God inspired to write those ubiquitous religious-themed and -memed "Footprints in the Sand" poem(s). [more inside]
posted by NetizenKen at 10:11 AM PST - 37 comments

Fade to black
"One Paramount veteran compared the studio's vault to a teenager's chaotic bedroom. In fact, a visitor accidentally stepped on the negative of "Rosemary's Baby," which was unspooled on the floor." [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole at 9:25 AM PST - 51 comments

Boy Howdy, what a mess
You'd think news of a Creem Magazine retrospective book would be greeted with cries of glee. You'd be wrong. Occasional staff shutterbug Bob Matheu licensed rights to use the name of the beloved, iconoclastic Detroit rock zine years after it ceased to be relevant, but despite occasional "Creem is back" announcements, only produced a website. [more inside]
posted by Scram at 8:12 AM PST - 12 comments

Just shoot ... and shake!
Polanoid "We are building the biggest Polaroid-picture-collection of the planet to celebrate the magic of instant photography." {stolen from notcot
posted by dobbs at 7:10 AM PST - 13 comments

Gossip of the Sewing Circle
Gossip of the Sewing Circle Profound cattiness from 1903. Learn to use such snarkily coded terms as embonpoint in everyday conversation. Need to shame a beautiful rival who hasn't produced an heir for her much older husband? Describe her in The Newsaper of Record as owning "an extremely clever parrot." PDF, link from the NYT Archives.
posted by maryh at 3:32 AM PST - 38 comments

Slip Sliding Away
The Mystery of the Sliding Rocks of Racetrack Playa. One of the most interesting mysteries of Death Valley National Park is the sliding rocks at Racetrack Playa (a playa is a dry lake bed). These rocks can be found on the floor of the playa with long trails behind them. Somehow these rocks slide across the playa, cutting a furrow in the sediment as they move. Some of these rocks weigh several hundred pounds. That makes the question: "How do they move?" a very challenging one. [Via]. For more in-depth information, including maps and additional pictures, see Paula Messina's website about the Sliding Rocks.
posted by amyms at 1:46 AM PST - 37 comments

HobbySpace
HobbySpace hosts an exhaustive collection of information and links about space-related hobbies, including amateur astronomy, satellite design, and rocketry for both beginners and experts.
posted by Upton O'Good at 12:22 AM PST - 3 comments