December 14, 2008

Fimoculous's List of Lists 2008

It's that meta-time again: Metafilter's own rex's still-growing Fimoculous List of Lists for 2008. Previously on Metafilter: 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:54 PM PST - 24 comments

Master the Art of the Quincy

HOME is out for the Playstation 3, and as Penny Arcade has observed, it really is "nothing more than a cumbersome menu, a rampart over which you must hoist yourself to accomplish the most basic tasks." But it's not a complete waste of time. Where else can you have the joy of observing someone being Quincyed? Here's a video of Quincying in action. Observe the quick change, the expedient retreat of the male suitors, the provocative pelvic motion. Here's how to master the art of the Quincy, should you be so inclined.
posted by Effigy2000 at 6:31 PM PST - 99 comments

Time Travel gives you a headache...

The new Star Trek movie is both canon and a (partial) reboot. Screenwriter Roberto Orci explains using canon examples - and a discussion of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics. [more inside]
posted by crossoverman at 5:30 PM PST - 107 comments

Machines Eating Machines

Iron Sky: In 1945 the Nazis fled to the moon. In 2018 they are coming back. This movie is part of the newest fad, DieselPunk (the next evolution of SteamPunk).
posted by blue_beetle at 4:47 PM PST - 86 comments

Most Likely to Succeed

The difference between good teachers and poor teachers turns out to be vast... But there’s a hitch: no one knows what a person with the potential to be a great teacher looks like. How do we hire when we can’t tell who’s right for the job?
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:44 PM PST - 72 comments

Folklore: Electronic Journal of Folklore publishes original academic studies in folklore studies, comparative mythological research, cultural anthropology and related fields.

Folklore: Electronic Journal of Folklore publishes original academic studies in folklore studies, comparative mythological research, cultural anthropology and related fields. Previously.
posted by pita at 3:15 PM PST - 4 comments

The Guqin Silk String Zither

Pronounced "chin" ("stringed instrument") or "goo chin" ("old stringed instrument"), the qin / guqin throughout its long history has been the musical instrument most prized by China's literati. They categorized it as one of their "four arts", collected it as an art object, praised its beautiful music, and built around it a complex ideology (compare its image in popular culture). No other instrument was described and illustrated in such detail, so often depicted in paintings, or so regularly mentioned in poetry. And its tablature documents the world's oldest detailed written instrumental music tradition, allowing both historically informed performance (requiring silk strings) of the many early melodies, and practical exploration of the relationship between Chinese music theory and music practice. The guqin silk string zither work of John Thompson. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 2:17 PM PST - 7 comments

Rubyfruit in Pixelvision

“The most revolutionary thing is to just love yourself and love what you do. You can't do anything more than that”

A Milwaukee tomboy got a $100 Fisher-Price Pixelvision as a Christmas gift from her dad at age 15. She left high school at age 16, under homophobic pressures, and came out as a lesbian at age 17. Sadie Benning used her kiddiecorder to tell this story, creating a series of intimate short films full of personality, desperation and fantastic hope, and founded on the intimacy of immediacy.

A New Year (1989) - Living Inside (1989) - Me and Rubyfruit (1990)
If Every Girl Had A Diary (1990) - It Wasn't Love 1, 2 (1992)
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:54 PM PST - 45 comments

Shoes thrown at President Bush in Iraq

Shoes thrown at President Bush in Iraq. As America prepares to give him the boot, President Bush was forced to do some atypical sole searching during a press conference in Iraq when an Iraqi television reporter flung both shoes at him. HuffP has MSNBC video without ads and adds: "In Iraqi culture, throwing shoes at someone is a sign of contempt. Iraqis whacked a statue of Saddam Hussein with their shoes after U.S. marines toppled it to the ground after the 2003 invasion." This is a "gross insult in the Arab world." Value added video.
posted by xorry at 1:07 PM PST - 287 comments

Treasures of the New York Public Library Video Series

Videos from the NYPL: watch curators and librarians "share their passion for the treasures of our remarkable collections." Take a tour through the extensive photos and prints collection, explore the archives of the 1939 New York World's Fair, do some menu and cookbook research with Lidia Bastianich, see original manuscripts from the Jack Kerouac Archive, and much more. "Travel the Spuyten Duyvil Creek in 1777, hear music recorded 100 years ago on wax cylinders, marvel at rare 1920s Japanese comics and other pop ephemera..." This is just one part of the extensive digital offerings made available by the library (disclaimer: some resources require an NYPL card). You can also subscribe to the video series via iTunes (link will open iTunes).
posted by tractorfeed at 1:02 PM PST - 4 comments

Fashion in the 10th dimension

German TV show Paris Aktuell's mesmerizing space-age futuristic fashion in 1970, in 1969 (2), and in 1968. [MLYT] [more inside]
posted by cashman at 11:58 AM PST - 18 comments

Songs and their muses

Guardian Journalist Dave Simpson went in search of people who inspired famous pop songs. We have, for example, Holly Woodlawn ('Walk on the Wild Side'), Dave Balfe ('Country House'), Melanie Coe ('She's Leaving Home'), Pattie Boyd ('Something', 'Layla' AND 'Wonderful Tonight') and Suzanne Verdal ('Suzanne' - previously)
posted by rongorongo at 11:55 AM PST - 39 comments

The formerly wondrous Colorado River delta

Behold the Colorado River delta. Home to 400 species of plants and wildlife, it once had beaches of clams, groves of native cottonwood and megatons of shrimp and commercial fish. The wetlands now cover an estimated 5% of its former swath and glory, barely surviving invasive plant species and the massive on-line reservoir fillings of the Hoover and Glen Canyon Dams. Recommendations include restoring this desert estuary that once claimed nearly 3000 square miles. Good luck to the little Vaquita porpoise, the smallest and most endangered cetacean.
posted by Brian B. at 11:45 AM PST - 14 comments

The making of an American shtetl

Menorahs glowed in almost every living room window during Hanukkah. Hasidic Jews streamed down the streets on Friday night and Saturday morning, walking to and from synagogue services. "There was total freedom," marvels Magda Brown, 81, who survived Auschwitz. But inside their homes, at night, the survivors—and their families—were roiled by their pasts. The rest of Skokie did not know the troubles that stirred behind the immaculate facades of the close-packed houses.
[more inside]
posted by scody at 11:41 AM PST - 5 comments

A Very Haeckel Christmas

Ernst Haeckel's 1904 "Kunstformen der Natur" [Artforms of Nature] is a classic of biological illustration. What is less generally known is that the artist started as a Christmas card designer. [previously here and here]
posted by jim in austin at 11:29 AM PST - 15 comments

The Natural History of Destruction

Seven years ago today, the German writer W.G. Sebald was involved in a fatal car accident near his home in Norwich, England. Sebald worked as an academic at The University of East Anglia, but some of his writings found a receptive wider readership. The works which brought him to public attention were four books, written originally in German, which seemed to blend memoir and fiction, photography and prose: Vertigo, The Emigrants, The Rings of Saturn, and Austerlitz. He also wrote poetry, and used some of those poems to collaborate with visual artists. In the main, his sad, erudite work revolves around themes of loss, destruction, landscape, and memory, and it continues to inspire exhibitions, stage plays, reflections, and tributes (not to mention blogs and videos). His voice is missed.
posted by hydatius at 10:37 AM PST - 8 comments

David Foster Wallace on Fatalism

Consider the Philosopher. The early metaphysical investigations of David Foster Wallace.
posted by homunculus at 9:05 AM PST - 84 comments

This is not a joke.

David Horvitz discovers several pages of his writing in this year's Dave Eggers-edited Best American Nonrequired Reading. He was not told that his work (pulled from his website) would be appearing in the book. Now he is peeved and has made several demands, "this is not a joke". (see the long Dec. 9 entry).via
posted by stbalbach at 8:45 AM PST - 64 comments

I is for Islamic. M is for Museum. Pei is for Pei.

Famous for his Western works, such as the Louvre Pyramid, Chinese architect I.M. Pei has capped off his long career with The Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar. The architecture of the museum is a blend of Islamic and modern elements, resulting in a sort of cubist sculpture. The collection, meant to be an overview of Islamic art throughout history, is extensive but not without a few flaws. [more inside]
posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:28 AM PST - 8 comments

Good luck not dancing

At Sammy's at 2016 Main, on September 8, a historic jam session occurred, an impromptu reunion of many of the city of New Orleans's finest musicians. Each player who walked in the door was much more than a mere musician that night -- they were an affirmation of life. Not only did their attendance indicate that they had survived the storm, but their collective presence also indicated that their music would survive, too.
The New Birth Brass Band (and friends) tears it the hell up in downtown Houston post-Katrina. The whole show is great, but if you're short on time, parts one and three are especially smoking.
posted by 2or3whiskeysodas at 7:02 AM PST - 3 comments

inky dreadfuls

Michael Mararian creates pen and ink drawings of mischievously macabre babies and children. Meet the dark and wicked little demons in his current exhibit or explore the world of childhood terrors in his phobias, foibles and fiends collection (scroll down a few) where humor and horror collide.
posted by madamjujujive at 5:39 AM PST - 12 comments

Flight to Huatulco Webmaster, Tom Penick, records his February 2008 flight from central Texas to Huatulco in a Piper Arrow.

Flight to Huatulco Webmaster, Tom Penick, records his February 2008 flight from central Texas to Huatulco in a Piper Arrow.
posted by whiterussian at 3:16 AM PST - 9 comments

"Those who desire to peruse works that tell about Heaven only, are urged to drop this book and run."

GUILTY! This word, so replete with sadness and sorrow, fell on my ear on that blackest of all black Fridays, October 14, 1887. And so begins John N. Reynolds' The Twin Hells: A Thrilling Narrative of Life in the Kansas and Missouri Penitentiaries, a very detailed and eventful memoir originally published in 1890, archived online in its entirety (including illustrations). [more inside]
posted by amyms at 12:56 AM PST - 11 comments