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December 19, 2011
Rock Me, Falco
Johann (Hans) Hölzel was born in Vienna on February 19, 1957. He adopted a stage name taken from a ski jumper, played in a couple of bands, and then struck out on his own. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present for you, the only truly international Austrian pop, rock and rap star: Falco! [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 11:48 PM PST - 42 comments

Towers of blocks fall down
The best kapla destruction ever - speed building [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb at 10:31 PM PST - 25 comments

Rethinking the Idea of 'Christian Europe'
Rethinking the Idea of 'Christian Europe'. Kenan Malik's essay is awarded 3 Quarks Daily's Top Quark for politics & social science by judge Stephen M. Walt: "Soldiers in today’s culture wars believe 'European civilization' rests on a set of unchanging principles that are perennially under siege—from godless communism, secular humanism, and most recently, radical Islam. For many of these zealots, what makes the 'West' unique are its Judeo-Christian roots. In this calm and elegantly-written reflection on the past two millenia, Malik shows that Christianity is only one of the many sources of 'Western' culture, and that many of the ideas we now think of as 'bedrock' values were in fact borrowed from other cultures. This essay is a potent antidote to those who believe a 'clash of civilizations' is inevitable—if not already underway—and the moral in Malik’s account could not be clearer. Openness to outside influences has been the true source of European prominence; erecting ramparts against others will impoverish and endanger us all."
posted by homunculus at 10:20 PM PST - 90 comments

Will everyone on the internet go, “Pft! Are you kidding? Is that it? Your story?” Yes? Congratulations. Post it here.
Dull rock and roll anecdotes
posted by rollick at 8:08 PM PST - 435 comments

Dear Batman, Please send me a Batman button. The only button I have says vote for Goldwater.
Dear batman,
Your television program is keen. The greatest thing is the theme song. Could you please tell me which opera your theme song is from.
Yours truly, Barbara L., Long Beach. Calif.

So begins one of the many missives written to Batman and catalogued in Bill Adler's 1966 book, Funniest Fan Letters to Batman. Featured in this week's episode of WireTap (MP3 link) where you can hear some of the letters read (starting around 15:20).
posted by goingonit at 7:02 PM PST - 24 comments

How to Make Pickles
Here is how to make pickles, with video. And here is how to make different kinds of pickles. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 6:46 PM PST - 27 comments

Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government
How well do you really know old Arty? It all began with the Welsh: The The Annales Cabriae (inside) and parts of the Welsh oral tradition (later collected into the Mabinogion) give a very different picture of the popular King Arthur than contemporary readers are familiar with: no Lancelot, three or four different Guens, no love triangles or Holy Grails. A look at the vast scope of the Arthurian legend. [more inside]
posted by kittenmarlowe at 6:27 PM PST - 30 comments

Simone Weil
Some lives are exemplary, others not; and of exemplary lives, there are those which invite us to imitate them, and those which we regard from a distance with a mixture of revulsion, pity, and reverence. It is, roughly, the difference between the hero and the saint (if one may use the latter term in an aesthetic, rather than a religious sense). Such a life, absurd in its exaggerations and degree of self-mutilation — like Kleist’s, like Kierkegaard’s — was Simone Weil’s. - Susan Sontag [more inside]
posted by Trurl at 6:07 PM PST - 8 comments

Street Art Utopia
Street Art Utopia 106 of the most beloved Street Art Photos – Year 2011
posted by tomswift at 5:45 PM PST - 12 comments

Cressus stole the etrog, and other stories.
The Fine Rolls of Henry III may not be the most reader–friendly historical record, but the Fine of the Month series provides accessible short essays on England during Henry's long reign. Most recently, the stealing of the "Apple of Eve" from the synagogue of Winchester, and the king makes a funny. [more inside]
posted by Jehan at 4:32 PM PST - 12 comments

this is not a double post
How can we better understand the interplay of nature and nurture in determining our personalities, behavior, and vulnerability to disease? Perhaps we should be looking at identical twins. (National Geographic January 2012 cover story) [more inside]
posted by zarq at 4:28 PM PST - 89 comments

Deep Time
The Geology of the Mountains of Madness
posted by Artw at 4:21 PM PST - 19 comments

Vancouvria
The dream of the suburbs is alive... in Vancouver! (just across the river from Portland)
posted by mathowie at 4:11 PM PST - 84 comments

In your Face(book)
Israeli entrepreneur Rotem Guez just changed his name to Mark Zuckerberg and dared Facebook to sue him.
posted by Sebmojo at 3:01 PM PST - 31 comments

Great shot kid, that was one in a million
AT&T drops its bid to acquire T-Mobile. After wrangling with the justice department, AT&T ends it's attempt to take over T-Mobile. [via] [more inside]
posted by cashman at 2:48 PM PST - 45 comments

H@CK TH3 W@RDR0B3!
H@ckers ❤ Le@ther
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:22 PM PST - 95 comments

Beautiful maps of New York City, from the 1600s to present
The Streets of New York : a cartographical exploration. Part II - 19th Century Expansion and Part III - The Three Dimensional Maps (a must see for the last picture, a scale model with 895,000 structures). More amazing pictures of the Panorama of the City of New York
posted by desjardins at 2:06 PM PST - 8 comments

Iconic souvenir, Kokeshi dolls from Japan
Kokeshi Dolls originated in North-East Japan as wooden toys for children. They began being produced towards the end of the Edo period (1603~1868) by woodwork artisans, called Kiji-shi, who normally made bowls, trays and other tableware by using a lathe. They began to make small dolls in the winter to sell to visitors who came to bathe in the many hot springs near their villages, which was believed to be a cure for the demands of a strenuous agricultural lifestyle. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 1:32 PM PST - 20 comments

A few things we learned on the way to the Moon
39 years ago today, Apollo 17 splashed down in the South Pacific, marking the end to manned exploration of the Moon. What we learned from those 10 years of discovery was amazing. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:09 PM PST - 42 comments

There is a pulse
The Eye That Never Blinks -- Internet Obsession [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:48 PM PST - 16 comments

Disrupting The Period
When Arunachalam Muruganantham hit a wall in his research on creating a sanitary napkin for poor women, he decided to do what most men typically wouldn’t dream of. He wore one himself--for a whole week. [...] It resulted in endless derision and almost destroyed his family. But no one is laughing at him anymore, as the sanitary napkin-making machine he went on to create is transforming the lives of rural women across India.
An Indian Inventor Disrupts The Period Industry. [more inside]
posted by Foci for Analysis at 12:48 PM PST - 51 comments

The Complaint Department: an appreciation
This cat is presumptuous. Before Sockington, before Simon's Cat, before Maru, the Internet had the Complaint Department. [more inside]
posted by rdc at 12:44 PM PST - 6 comments

You got iced, I mean, 'cadoed!
#1 - Get an avocado, #2 - Sneak it into your peep's hood, #3 - Take a picture, #4 - 'CADOED!!
posted by yellowbinder at 12:43 PM PST - 70 comments

The Rhythm Wreckers with Whitey McPherson
Here is Whitey McPherson yodeling his heart out:

The Rhythm Wreckers - Never No Mo' Blues
The Rhythm Wreckers - Blue Yodel No 1 (T For Texas)
The Rhythm Wreckers - Brakeman Blues
The Rhythm Wreckers - Blue Yodel #2 (My Lovin' Gal Lucille)
The Rhythm Wreckers - St. Louis Blues
The Rhythm Wreckers - Old Fashioned Love In My Heart [more inside]
posted by y2karl at 12:35 PM PST - 6 comments

Sure, let's meet the meat
IBM is currently putting together database and barcode tracking to allow farmers and grocers in China to track your porkchop, from the pig to the plate. Using supply chain tracking (similar to what is done already in other industries), the goal is to limit and hopefully prevent disease outbreaks by tracking the health of the animal, including which other animals it has come into contact with. So the next time you sit down for some nice ham, you might be able to scan the barcode (or RFID tag) to see whom else on your block shares your own porcine six degrees of separation. [more inside]
posted by Old'n'Busted at 11:51 AM PST - 21 comments

Who voted for the tire from Rubber?
Christopher Plummer, playing a man who comes out of the closet in his 70s, might have won Best Supporting Performance, but at least four people voted for a dog. The results for the crazy free-for-all that is the Indiewire Annual Survey, which polled 168 critics this year, came out today. The Tree of Life swept Best Film and Best Director, but the choices that only got a handful of votes are often the most interesting, including three different cast members from The Three Musketeers for Best Supporting and a vote for Transformers: Dark of the Moon for Best Film. You can see the complete results and links to all of the critics ballots here. [more inside]
posted by alexoscar at 11:39 AM PST - 24 comments

Tummy Touch plus Bastard Jazz equals 25 years of music and one free remix album
2011 marks the 15th birthday of Tummy Touch Records (Discogs) and 10th birthday of Bastard Jazz Recordings (Discogs). To celebrate, the two record labels labels teamed up and are giving away a 10 track remix album, crossing artists from each label, resulting in a happy blend of diverse house music.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:37 AM PST - 6 comments

Miniature DPRKs in Siberia
Vice.com takes a ride on the Trans-Siberian Railway to visit remote North Korean labor camps.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:25 AM PST - 50 comments

In-Camera Trickery
Artist Li Wei does some amazing things in-camera. Rather than relying on heavy post processing with Photoshop, he prefers trickery with mirrors, acrobatic performers, wire-work, and a well timed camera shutter. [more inside]
posted by quin at 9:58 AM PST - 11 comments

Meat Stuffed in Dough
All across the world you'll find different varieties of dumplings. However, starting in Eastern Europe and spreading across central Asia and into northeast Asia, you'll find a remarkably similar variety featuring a thin skin and a meat filling. Variants can be found all the way from Poland (Pieorgies) to Korea (Mandu), a distance of nearly 5,000 miles (more than 7,500 km). [more inside]
posted by Deathalicious at 9:45 AM PST - 64 comments

Let it Snow
Google: "Let It Snow"
posted by MechEng at 9:40 AM PST - 31 comments

a hipster by any other name
Ceci n’est pas un hipster and Instant Hipster: Just add PBR (via Sociological Images) [more inside]
posted by flex at 9:39 AM PST - 126 comments

My sphincter has not yet unclenched.
Rding a bike must suck when your balls are this big. Via.
posted by unSane at 9:36 AM PST - 48 comments

The year in Lego pictures.
2011 in Lego Pictures. From the royal wedding to the death of Osama bin Laden, the English summer riots and the fall of Gaddafi, here are some of major news stories of the past 12 months captured in Lego by Flickr members.
posted by OmieWise at 8:46 AM PST - 13 comments

It is a gorgeous day in Austin, Texas
Gotta get amped [more inside]
posted by swift at 8:37 AM PST - 32 comments

Fighting for freedom over land and . . . more land
The War Nerd (previously) breaks tone somewhat to celebrate the life of Benjamin Grierson, who would go from being kicked in the head by a horse as a youth to leading, "the greatest cavalry raid of the whole war, riding from Tennessee 600 miles almost due south through enemy territory to land safe in Baton Rouge, LA, inflicting ten times the casualties he had himself—and then going on to be the one white officer who stood up for the black freedmen 'Buffalo Soldiers' in the far West, at a time when America was using white-vs-black to heal up the raw North-vs-South scars."
posted by Copronymus at 8:29 AM PST - 6 comments

"Furtive Movements"
Young, black, and frisked by the NYPD: a grim rite of passage for the city's black and Latino youths.
posted by hermitosis at 7:44 AM PST - 243 comments

The Best Train Song Ever Written
The train they call the City of New Orleans began operations in 1947 carrying passengers from Chicago to New Orleans daily. Although the train service remained popular through the 60's, by 1970 train travel was on the decline. That's when native Chicagoan Steve Goodman and his new bride, Nancy, rode the train down to visit her folks in New Orleans. That trip inspired Goodman to write The City of New Orleans and an American folk/country standard was born. The song would go on to earn Goodman a posthumous Grammy 14 years later. [more inside]
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:34 AM PST - 44 comments

Cat puts human to sleep.
Cat soothes crying baby It's a cat. Soothing a crying baby. It's practically designed to go viral.
posted by ironjelly at 7:14 AM PST - 83 comments

The Phantom Time Hypothesis
Did the Early Middle Ages Really Happen? Or are they an elaborate conspiracy? Is it, in fact, 1714?
posted by robself at 6:37 AM PST - 142 comments

Buddy Merrill, string wizard from the Lawrence Welk show
Never had a whole lotta use for the Lawrence Welk show, but man, when it came time for steel guitar wizard Buddy Merrill and his dazzlingly snazzy stringery to take center stage, the broadcast got a hella lot better, fast!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:39 AM PST - 24 comments

Is it a book? Is it a magazine? It's both.. and neither
The Blizzard is a quarterly football (soccer) journal that covers an eclectic range of subjects which don't usually receive much mainstream coverage. Issue 3 is out, and features, among other things, articles on the demise of Spartak Moscow, a World War One internment camp that shaped the development of the game in Europe, how nationalism shaped the rise and fall of Beitar Jerusalem and how Dawson's Creek explains modern football. It is edited by Jonathan Wilson, of "Inverting The Pyramid" fame, and it's writers include Tim Vickery, Barney Ronay and Gabriele Marcotti. [more inside]
posted by salmacis at 2:37 AM PST - 7 comments

Try to beat this "1-click", Amazon
When the world is going crazy and life is just awful, you can count on The Internet to MAKE EVERYTHING OK.
Service provided 'as is' with no warranty implied or suggested. Your perception of what's OK may vary, but that's YOUR problem.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:05 AM PST - 40 comments