December 17, 2011
2011 In Music
It's December so it must be time to list the best songs of the year. Pitchfork's Top 100 Songs and Top 50 Albums, MTV's Top 10 Songs of 2011, Billboard's 20 Best Singles, Spin's 20 Best Songs and Top 50 Albums, AARP's Top 10 Albums For Grown Ups, The A/V Club's Best Music of 2011, Rolling Stone's 50 Best Singles and 50 Best Albums, NPR Music's 100 Favorite Songs of 2011, BET's 100 Best Songs of 2011, NME's Best Albums of 2011, MixMag's Tunes of The Year, Metacritic's Top 10 Albums of 2011, Pop Matters 75 Best Albums, Songs and more. [more inside]
posted by empath at 9:23 PM PST - 155 comments

"Caught between Recovery and the Coffin"
If I Die Young: Struggling with Addiction and Recovery. "Last year, 249 people died of prescription drug overdoses in Pinellas County, FL. Just about everybody who knew Stacy Nicholson figured she was next. Then an empathetic judge gave her a choice: recovery, or the coffin." [more inside]
posted by zarq at 9:06 PM PST - 86 comments

drumming is dancing, dancing is drumming
I'm willing to bet that even a lot of you who say "I don't like drum solos" will, well... like this one.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:46 PM PST - 103 comments

Eat Your Lunch, Control
Growing Up with Scientist Mom
posted by Knigel at 6:53 PM PST - 35 comments

Glenn Beck and the Sad Trombone
Here is "The B.S. of A. with Brain Sack," a show aired on Glenn Beck's TV channel that claims to be a "non-partisan" alternative to the Daily Show. How good is it? Better than the right's previous attempts at making a satire show, but uneven.... Judge for yourself: here's a monologue, in five parts: 1-2-3-4-5. Here's a few of the better bits: Kill Panel - Pilgrim Funnies - Isle of Skulls MLYT [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 6:38 PM PST - 88 comments

Oyster Wars
"A Maryland boat was sent to the bottom by the Virginian navy, and a long contest was the result..." Hostility between Maryland and Virginia began the moment Maryland was created in 1632. Virginia objected to the Catholic nature of the new colony, as well as the unusual border which gave Lord Baltimore's colony ownership of all the Potomac River. Disputed maritime borders lead to conflict over the prized oyster, and naval confrontation on the Chesapeake became common. Maryland eventually created an Oyster Navy, which was charged with bringing order to the Bay and enforcing harvesting laws against the oyster pirates. The "Oyster Wars" were frequently violent. [more inside]
posted by spaltavian at 6:22 PM PST - 20 comments

Natural Twenty
Offbeat Bride presents: How to make your own Dungeons & Dragons chocolate dice mold.
posted by griphus at 4:44 PM PST - 25 comments

Data Driven to Distraction
As Doctors Use More Devices, Potential for Distraction Grows — Do too many digital devices distract doctors from their daily rounds and endanger patients?
posted by cenoxo at 3:13 PM PST - 24 comments

Great, now it's pissed off, blind, and in a hole
We're all familiar with the various types of conflict: man vs. man, man vs. nature, man vs. society, and of course man vs. truculent concrete buffer. Redubbed, in case the narration isn't your cup of tea.
posted by codacorolla at 2:55 PM PST - 43 comments

Playable Pinball Projection
Urban Flipper As part of the Festival of Lights, CT Light Concept, created a giant interactive pinball game with 3D projection mapping on the facade of the Celestine Theater in Lyon. [more inside]
posted by Z303 at 2:30 PM PST - 6 comments

the Norwegian butter shortage
The Norwegian Butter Crisis: An absurd dairy shortage and its very valuable economic lessons.
posted by flex at 2:02 PM PST - 71 comments

Journalism is just a gun. Aim it right, and you can blow a kneecap off the world.
In this time of corrupt politics, police brutality, media dereliction, and increasingly vicious culture wars, there's perhaps no graphic novel more relevant today than the brilliant and blackly funny Transmetropolitan. Created by Warren Ellis back in 1997 and inspired by prescient sci fi novel Bug Jack Barron, the series covers the work of gonzo journalist, vulgar misanthrope, and all-around magnificent bastard Spider Jerusalem in a sprawling futuristic vision of New York so chaotically advanced that humans splice genes with alien refugees, matter decompilers are as common as microwaves, and a new religion is invented every hour. As a callous Nixonian thug nicknamed The Beast prepares for his re-election to the presidency, a primary battle heats up between a virulent racist and a charismatic senator whose rictus grin masks some disturbing realities. When Jerusalem delves into the machinations of the race, he breaks into a web of conspiracies that threaten the future of the country -- a problem only he, his "filthy assistants," and the power of intrepid journalism can defeat. More: Read the first issue (or three) - browse images from the new artbook - Tor's read-along blog (another) - Jerusalem's touching report on cryogenic "Revivals" - dozens of original sketches and sample pages - timeline - quotes
posted by Rhaomi at 1:48 PM PST - 56 comments

Chronicles of Narnia Narrated Podcast
If you enjoyed the Chronicles of Narnia, you may enjoy this series of 101 podcasts that narrates the entire seven-book series. It is read by Chrissi Hart, who grew up in England (in case you appreciate a bit of a British accent in your audio books), and it is available via stream or download. It is done with the permission of the C.S. Lewis estate.
posted by SpacemanStix at 1:17 PM PST - 11 comments

Monte Carlo
The year was 1945. Two earthshaking events took place: the successful test at Alamogordo and the building of the first electronic computer. Their combined impact was to modify qualitatively the nature of global interactions between Russia and the West. No less perturbative were the changes wrought in all of academic research and in applied science. On a less grand scale these events brought about a [renaissance] of a mathematical technique known to the old guard as statistical sampling; in its new surroundings and owing to its nature, there was no denying its new name of the Monte Carlo method (PDF). -N. Metropolis
Conceptually talked about on MeFi previously, some basic Monte Carlo methods include the Inverse Transform Method (PDF) mentioned in the quoted paper, Acceptance-Rejection Sampling (PDFs 1,2), and integration with and without importance sampling (PDF).
posted by JoeXIII007 at 1:15 PM PST - 13 comments

Never go with a cultist to a second location
Alan Moore talks about HP Lovecraft, The Courtyard and Neonomicon (audio)
posted by Artw at 12:54 PM PST - 39 comments

Sodade
Cesaria Evora once described the music of Cape Verde, known as Morna, as "a lot of things…Some say it’s like the blues, or jazz. Others says it’s like Brazilian or African music, but no one really knows. Not even the old ones."
Although Evora's singing voice had attracted attention even when she was a small girl, she did not gain recognition until later in life when she performed in Paris and the French newspaper Le Monde proclaimed that she "belongs to the world nobility of bar singers." Cesaria Evora, known as the Barefoot Diva for performing without shoes, passed away today at the age of 70 in her native Cape Verde.
You can listen to Evora performing Miss Perfumado and Sodade online.
posted by vacapinta at 12:36 PM PST - 35 comments

The stories behind the graphs
Graphic designer Amanda Cox (previously) talks about the crossroads of journalism, design, information, and illustration and how it all comes together in data visualizations for The New York Times.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:17 AM PST - 5 comments

YouTube, circa 1997
If Google+, YouTube, and Facebook were created in 1997. "Three important contemporary web sites, recreated with technology and spirit of late 1997, according to our memories. Best viewed with Netscape Navigator 4.03 and a screen resolution of 1024×768 pixels, running under Windows 95."
posted by stopgap at 9:25 AM PST - 81 comments

Arts & Architecture
Welcome to Arts & Architecture. In the case of some, maybe, welcome back...Old-timer. On this website you will find selected projects from issues of the magazine 1945 through 1967. [more inside]
posted by Think_Long at 9:06 AM PST - 5 comments

Selected Teachings Of Jesus Markoving Christ
cortex's Incoherent Savior says the most interesting and beautiful things. [more inside]
posted by Foci for Analysis at 8:26 AM PST - 55 comments

Christmas In Hollis: The Emoticon Version
Christmas In Hollis: The Emoticon Version [more inside]
posted by mathowie at 8:14 AM PST - 9 comments

Star Witnesses
Two high school students record a gorgeous version (youtube) of Neko Case’s Star Witness in their high school stairwell. The song is part of a protest to save Peterborough Collegiate and Vocational School from imminent closure. Will their beautiful protest work? Who knows. But they did break Neko Case’s heart. Maybe they’ll break yours too.
posted by Cuke at 7:14 AM PST - 62 comments

Ukelele street kid revolution!
Ukelele street kid revolution! The band is fantastic live, a lot of fun in the practice room, okay in the studio, but nothing compares to what they do with the children. Meanwhile, we all saw some Indonesian punks get shaved and scolded by the police, previously.
posted by snottydick at 7:13 AM PST - 9 comments

"They were new money, without a doubt: so new it shrieked. Their clothes looked as if they’d covered themselves in glue, then rolled around in hundred-dollar bills.” ~ Margaret Atwood
Note Worthy: [guardian.co.uk] Global economic meltdown, the euro crisis and Occupy protests – this year has been dominated by financial issues. But what is money anyway? We invited writers and artists including Jonathan Franzen, Margaret Atwood and Naomi Klein to invent new currencies and banknotes for a changed world.
posted by Fizz at 6:04 AM PST - 13 comments