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December 20, 2010
Labyrinthine
Labyrinths – not to be confused with mazes – are being rediscovered as tools for contemplation, meditation, reflection, and community well-being, as well as inspiration for architecture, music, dance, ritual, business, and visual art. [more inside]
posted by velvet winter at 11:34 PM PST - 19 comments

"I guess that makes me a part of history, Neocon Blunder #291280. It’s great to be so significant, but actually I’d rather have some of that sweet AUI-S vastly-overpaid money."
John Dolan remembers teaching at - and getting fired from - the American University of Iraq - Sulaimani, a conservative, English-language university in Iraq. Former Interim Provost and Chancellor of AUI-S John Agresto responds to Dolan's article. Dolan responds to Agresto. More on AUI-S from Counterpunch.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:12 PM PST - 40 comments

Holidays on Ice—or—Oh, Deer
Sure, it was cute when Bambi slipped all over the ice, but the story usually ends less adorably. Upon finding a deer stuck on the ice, you can chip away the ice and let it swim free, winch it off the ice by the leg, or even blow it off the ice with a helicopter, but it probably won't matter—the deer will die anyway, and you'll just end up getting in trouble. Just this week, eight tiny reindeer fell into a lake at a Christmas park. Their entombed bodies are protruding through its icy surface for all the visiting kids to see. (Maybe coyotes did it.) People have been rescuing deer from the ice every winter for decades and decades and decades. If you want things to end well, let the professionals handle it.
posted by waldo at 8:25 PM PST - 54 comments

Pay what they want, or don't play (flash games) at all
Everyone take a moment to enjoy the last night of the open internet
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:20 PM PST - 140 comments

Sex on Mars
"...it can be predicted that male and female astronauts will engage in sexual relations during a mission to Mars." And then there are the babies....Martian babies. Sex On Mars: Pregnancy, Fetal Development, and Sex In Outer Space
posted by wallstreet1929 at 7:12 PM PST - 58 comments

Primo
Legendary hip hop producer DJ Premier interviewed in the XXL Icon Interview and The Smoking Section. Remarkably candid conversations about his life in East Coast hip hop, with interesting stories about his work with Jay-Z, Biggie, Puff, Nas, Jeru the Damaga, Group Home, Suge Knight, Christina Aguilera and of course, Guru. On finding records to sample: "Well, there’s still diggin’ spots. If you’re in that world like I am, you know the spots, you see everybody—Just Blaze, Alchemist, Large Professor, Pete Rock—we still pop up in those spots. You got Big City records, you got Turntable Lab, you still have A1, you got Academy, you know. I’m not gonna tell you all the digging spots."
posted by the mad poster! at 5:56 PM PST - 11 comments

Warhol-like
Short vids by photographer Noah Kalina: Chinese Herb store, (A guy standing still in the midst of movement), Seltzer (wonderfully NSFW!), Space Rail, Earl, The Floss Boss (also NSFW, due to some pubic hair & candy floss combination), a cat. 30 more, there… From his blog: A fitting portrait of Julian Assange by Phillip Toledano, a Giant Sesame Bagel Admiring Its Own Beauty... [more inside]
posted by growabrain at 5:30 PM PST - 5 comments

Rebel Rebel Alpaca
Alpacas with (post-)punk hair [more inside]
posted by pompelmo at 5:15 PM PST - 13 comments

Put Your Camera to Work
Vimeo Video School is a fun place for anyone to learn how to make better videos. Start by browsing the Vimeo Lessons, or find specific video tutorials created by other members.
posted by netbros at 4:53 PM PST - 4 comments

Parachute skiing!
Awesome first person video of skiing in great conditions... with a parachute
posted by mathowie at 4:08 PM PST - 44 comments

He counted them all out...
BBC Correspondent Brian Hanrahan, who rose to fame during his coverage of the Falklands Conflict in 1982, has died at the age of 61. [more inside]
posted by penguin pie at 4:06 PM PST - 10 comments

Legal Low Power FM
Though it was eclipsed in press coverage by the repealing of DADT, congress congruently relaxed regulations on community based, Low Power FM radio stations. [more inside]
posted by furnace.heart at 2:45 PM PST - 46 comments

A BBC Correspondant Reflects on Three Years in the USA
A Foreigner's Guide to American Culture After De Tocqueville, just about every European sent to the United States has treated the posting as an invitation to help diagnose the country's faults and suggest ways in which they might be fixed.
posted by modernnomad at 1:40 PM PST - 162 comments

Short Stories
"We gathered our favorite cutting-edge content creators from across the internet and gave each of them a deceptively simple mission -- tell a short story in an innovative way." Showtime presents: Short Stories. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 1:38 PM PST - 4 comments

Less Is More
Minimalist logos on labels. I didn't realize this was possible, but I want to eat Nutella even more now.
posted by Leta at 1:27 PM PST - 61 comments

"There was no face, merely a gaunt human skull staring out from beneath the towel." Happy Holidays!
It's holiday time! Perhaps you'd like to add some DIY decoration to your gifts. Let's make some "Literary Leaf Gift Tags." Which book should you make them from? Oh, any old book will do—say, this one looks splendid. Et voila! Gift tags that are perfect for the literate aesthete, complete with mentions of "gaunt human skulls" and "slave labor camps." [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco at 12:57 PM PST - 8 comments

Life Flashes By
Life Flashes By (Mac, Windows installers, .slg file and SLUDGE engine for linux) is an introspective It's A Wonderful Life/Christmas Carol-like kickstarter funded interactive story by Deidra Kiai (reviews 1,2,3). [more inside]
posted by juv3nal at 12:50 PM PST - 3 comments

For Choir Directors everywhere....
Carol of the Bells is a well known, traditional handbell song. Carol of the Belts, not so much. (NSFW, SLYT). From Here Come the Mummies.
posted by SLC Mom at 12:45 PM PST - 17 comments

Stephen Harper appoints a priest and a former football comissioner to the canadian senate
Stephen Harper once referred to the Canadian Senate as a "dumping ground for liberal cronies". He has now appointed his 36th senator, more than double the number of appointments by his predecessor, Paul Martin. Of further interest is that while 5/17 of Martin's appointments were members of the opposition party all 36 of Stephen Harpers appointments were directly affiliated with the conservative party. His most recent appointments? A Priest and a former CFL Comissioner
posted by sarastro at 12:36 PM PST - 35 comments

Canadian Tire knows you want to exploit Charles Dickens' legacy this holiday season
If you lived in Canada in the 80s and 90s, then the holiday season meant one thing: Give like Santa, save like Scrooge.
posted by mightygodking at 11:25 AM PST - 42 comments

4 Gallons Per Minute At Full Chat
Some 10 minutes after driving Chris Williams's Packard-engined Behemoth my hands were still shaking, my voice was croaking and the cool autumn wind was chilling my sweaty overalls. My face was cherry red from the infernal heat of the engine and my eyebrows singed from its 24 flaming exhaust stubs. In my entire career I have never driven anything as visceral, as physical or as sheer bloody terrifying as Mavis, the 42-litre Packard-engined Bentley.
posted by veedubya at 11:03 AM PST - 47 comments

"Oo! Mushrooms!"
First Time to the Nether! (SLYT) If you like hearing people being endearingly excited and/or Minecraft, you'll like this.
posted by jragon at 10:43 AM PST - 56 comments

F—ing fly then you lunatic.
So what does the question "Why don't you believe in God?" really mean. I think when someone asks that they are really questioning their own belief. In a way they are asking "what makes you so special? How come you weren't brainwashed with the rest of us?"

Ricky Gervais explains why he's an atheist.
posted by swift at 10:40 AM PST - 309 comments

A Werner Herzog Christmas
Werner Herzog Reads Twas The Night Before Christmas. Previously in the series, Werner Herzog Reads Where's Waldo, Werner Herzog Reads Madeline, Werner Herzog Reads Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, and Werner Herzog Reads Curious George. Covered previously on Mefi: 1, 2, and 3. [more inside]
posted by kmz at 10:11 AM PST - 15 comments

The Daily Patdown: Your Daily Dose of Security Theater
The Daily Patdown - Your daily Dose of Security Theater. Some pictures of groping therein. [via mefi projects]
posted by Burhanistan at 9:33 AM PST - 52 comments

Call it poetic justice...
Oil-absorbing booms from the BP oil spill are being recycled into plastic parts for the (now in production and delivered to customers) extended-range EV Chevy Volt.
posted by SirOmega at 9:28 AM PST - 23 comments

Must Be Santa, over the years (now with more Dylan)
Must Be Santa was originally recorded (song on YT) in 1969 by Mitch Miller, with simple call-and-response lyrics that were a hit (song on YT) for Lorne Greene in 1966. The catchy song is amusing for small children, and cute when sung by groups of kids. With minor lyrical tweaks and a rowdy polka style (live clip), Brave Combo liven up the Christmas classic. Leave it to Bob Dylan to take it further. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:26 AM PST - 15 comments

A Not-So-Brief History of Pitching Injuries, Starring Nolan Ryan and the Texas Rangers
Jonah Keri looks at the unconventional methods being used by the Texas Rangers to improve the durability and effectiveness of their pitching staff.
posted by reenum at 8:58 AM PST - 13 comments

Total Lunar Eclipse Tonight!
Total Lunar Eclipse Tonight! "A rare event not seen in 372 years will occur early Tuesday morning, when a total lunar eclipse coincides with the winter solstice."
posted by xtian at 8:29 AM PST - 88 comments

Stoke them boilers, boys
Steambirds: Survival (flash) is a sequel to Steambirds, the steampunk turn-based shooter, and is as addictive as patent medicine.
posted by klangklangston at 8:25 AM PST - 9 comments

The State Budget Apocalypse
CBS investigates the next financial meltdown: The coming crisis with U.S. state budget shortfalls. [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus at 7:14 AM PST - 125 comments

They do remember when
Check out this 60 Mminutes segment about people with superior autobiographical memory, who can remember virtually every day of their life. [more inside]
posted by nomadicink at 7:13 AM PST - 40 comments

Domestic spying
... the United States is assembling a vast domestic intelligence apparatus to collect information about Americans, using the FBI, local police, state homeland security offices and military criminal investigators. The system, by far the largest and most technologically sophisticated in the nation's history, collects, stores and analyzes information about thousands of U.S. citizens and residents, many of whom have not been accused of any wrongdoing. (previously)
posted by Joe Beese at 6:26 AM PST - 81 comments

Cuz you know I'd have sex with a pile of manure
And now, the latest digital short from The Lonely Island- I Just Had Sex (Feat. Akon).
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:24 AM PST - 45 comments

Thinking hard
Meet the top 100 global thinkers of 2010.
posted by klue at 4:34 AM PST - 36 comments

Flush in Finland. Bin in Benin.
Various international toilet rules: Where do I put the paper?
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:14 AM PST - 44 comments

Maybe they could ban spam too while they're at it.
The British Government wants to ban porn from the internet. The move would force ISPs to block all pornographic content unless users had 'opted in' (providing a handy list of people who wish to view pornography) and is said to be motivated by a desire to combat the early sexualization of children. There is no word on how 'porn' is to be defined.
posted by unSane at 4:01 AM PST - 136 comments

Belles in hoop skirts
This evening in Charleston, SC, a Secession Ball! When they don their "period formal" hoop skirts tonight some ladies may rue the fact that have no slaves to pull their corsets tight. The ladies and their escorts, many of whom are members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans who would like us to believe that the Civil War was not about slavery. The NAACP, and others disagree. The NAACP has organized a peaceful protest.
posted by mareli at 3:44 AM PST - 116 comments

Custom Electronic Instruments
folktek do beautiful things with sound and sculpture that are so unique as to defy description
posted by mhjb at 1:18 AM PST - 10 comments

These astroturf libertarians are the real threat to internet democracy
Right Wing astroturfing A non-scientific analysis of the patterns in forum board discussions on a variety of topics. The gist: discussions of issues in which there's money at stake (like climate change, public health and corporate tax avoidance) are often characterised by amazing levels of abuse and disruption by rightwing libertarians who are pro-corporate, anti-tax, anti-regulation. Discussions of issues in which there's little money at stake tend to be a lot more civilised than debates about issues where companies stand to lose or gain billions.
posted by novenator at 12:14 AM PST - 86 comments