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December 20, 2011
Tsunami Drive-By
Yu Muroga was doing his job making deliveries when the 11 March 2011 earthquake hit in Japan. Unaware, like many people in the area, of how far inland the Tsunami would travel, he continued to drive and do his job. The HD camera mounted on his dashboard captured not only the earthquake, but also the moment he and several other drivers were suddenly engulfed in the Tsunami. He escaped from the vehicle seconds before it was crushed by other debris and sunk underwater.
posted by mannequito at 10:18 PM PST - 49 comments

CALL 1-719-26-OATES
Callin' Oates: 1-719-26-OATES [more inside]
posted by carsonb at 10:08 PM PST - 54 comments

Eat your heart out Forrest Gump
The top 10 table tennis shots of 2011. (SLYT)
posted by beepbeepboopboop at 10:01 PM PST - 40 comments

About Denver and football.
Are field goals easier in Denver? Wired's Rhett Allain uses physics to consider which factors might make a field goal "easier" in Denver. Includes a Lego recreation of this 59 yard field goal.
posted by sweetkid at 9:55 PM PST - 11 comments

A not so uplifting work...
David Brin on Atlas Shrugged, the book and movie
posted by Artw at 9:45 PM PST - 67 comments

PROTIP: Bacon goes with everything.
"Flavor networks and the principles of food pairing" analyzes the flavor compound relationships between ingredients, based on a broad collection of recipes mined from the Internet. It concludes that "..North American and Western European cuisines exhibit a statistically significant tendency towards recipes whose ingredients share flavor compounds. By contrast, East Asian and Southern European cuisines avoid recipes whose ingredients share flavor compounds." [ via | previously ]
posted by kanuck at 9:27 PM PST - 49 comments

For Atheists, this life is enough.
The challenge of life is to be present for it while it is happening, in this moment, to be aware of it in a way that is both wide in perspective and deep in understanding. If you pester priests to know about a second life after this one, I must ask if you are using this one. Whoever is spending this life walking back and forth from the computer to the refrigerator, it is worth wondering how many thousands of years of this would be enough. This life is enough, if you are here for it. The people worried about death are the ones not truly living. They are the ones who know in their hearts that they need more time. Jennifer Michael Hecht explains why For Atheists, this Life is Enough. And here, she talks about the history of doubt.
posted by storybored at 8:24 PM PST - 81 comments

Nethack over the Net
Here is the Nethack server at alt.org, Telnet link,  Java client, Flash client.  Here is a list of most of the ways to die in the game (dates back to 3.1.3).  And here are a lot of Nethack spoilers.
posted by JHarris at 8:19 PM PST - 38 comments

In 1870, the vampires started to get organized
Vampires in Havana (YT, 1:09:58, Spanish with English subtitles, also available on Netflix streaming) is an animated film by Cuban director Juan Padron about the battle between European and American vampires for control of Vampisol, a formula which allows vampires to go out in the sun.
posted by Daily Alice at 7:46 PM PST - 8 comments

The Hobbit - There in 1977 and Back Again in 2012
As the trailer for Peter Jackson's film adaptation of The Hobbit premieres online, it's worth remembering that this isn't the first take on the journey of one Bilbo Baggins. There was the 1977 animated version as well. Here's some screencaps and a trailer. Of course, if that's not enough for you, you could just watch it on Youtube (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). And before it was a film, it was something called... a book? Here's pictures of the cover of this 'book' thing from all over the world.
posted by Effigy2000 at 7:31 PM PST - 126 comments

DHS vs. NIH
The U.S. National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity has asked the journals Nature and Science to publish redacted versions of the studies by two research groups that reportedly created forms of the H5N1 avian flu that could easily jump between ferrets - animals whose response to influenza is similar to humans. [more inside]
posted by 445supermag at 6:30 PM PST - 103 comments

Spike Lee's "Do The Right Thing"
In Do the Right Thing, the subject is not simply a race riot, but the tragic dynamic of racism, racial tension, and miscommunication, seen in microcosm. The film is a virtuoso act of creation, a movie at once realistic and symbolic, lighthearted and tragic, funny and savage... I have written here more about Lee’s ideas than about his style. To an unusual degree, you could not have one without the other: style is the magician’s left hand, distracting and entertaining us while the right hand produces the rabbit from the hat. It’s not what Lee does that makes his film so devastating, but how he does it. Do the Right Thing is one of the best-directed, best-made films of our time, a film in which the technical credits, the acting, and Lee’s brazenly fresh visual style all work together to make a statement about race in America that is all the more powerful because it blindsides us. - Roger Ebert (SPOILER) [more inside]
posted by Trurl at 6:20 PM PST - 74 comments

Indeed.
Why Paint Cats? Why Cats Paint. Examples. Answers. [more inside]
posted by Diablevert at 5:11 PM PST - 20 comments

Hannah and Andrew
In 2006, Hannah Overton was charged with the death of her 4-year-old foster son, Andrew Burd. Media accounts at the time claimed that Overton had force-fed her misbehaving son a mixture of water and creole seasoning, leading to death by salt poisoning. Convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life without parole in 2008, Overton's case led angry bloggers to call her "the ultimate evil," part of a cult of "child abuse groupies," a murderer that "church cronies" are working to free.

This month's issue of Texas Monthly paints a fuller picture of the short life of Andrew Burd and the conviction of the mother who was working towards adopting him.
posted by mudpuppie at 3:46 PM PST - 80 comments

This is not a man.
Some games, in other words, have soul. They are soul, they’re about it. They are spiritually nourishing. A meditation by Matt Colville.
posted by Sebmojo at 3:42 PM PST - 51 comments

Meet the Blackadder's American cousin, 1775.
Black Adder American style (part 2). Perhaps not as good as we might have hoped.
posted by FatRabbit at 3:33 PM PST - 70 comments

the origins of Dinotopia
James Gurney answers "What inspired you really to create Dinotopia?".
"Myths and stories ARE real, I tried to tell her. And they're enduring. They're the one thing that lives on through the years as the physical monuments of old civilizations crumble into dust... The key to inventing Dinotopia was believing that it already existed beyond the confines of my own mind. Even if I couldn’t tell the the latitude and longitude, I believed it was out there somewhere beyond the reach of my senses. To engage readers with that reality I had to pay attention to the spaces between the paintings, the moments poised across the page turn, which each reader conjures anew." [more inside]
posted by flex at 3:33 PM PST - 11 comments

Just in time for Christmas
Hundreds of old cigar labels. Vintage lighters. Cigar bands from the "Golden Age" of cigar advertising (1890s - 1920s). Japanese Matchbox label & manufacturing. Depression Era Cigarette Packs. Cigarette Holders for the Ladies. The Victorian Gentleman's Smoking Cap (and jacket). The History of the Cigar Store Indians and Side Walk Figure Statues. Let’s not forget the ashtrays [more inside]
posted by growabrain at 3:29 PM PST - 8 comments

Les Rallizes Denudes
Although the ultra-mysterious and rumour-cloaked Les Rallizes Dénudés/Hadaka no Rallizes existed in various forms from November 1967 to their last gig in October 1996 they are practically unknown in - let alone out of - Japan. Their recorded output is incredibly rare and highly priced and interviews or articles in the music press virtually non-existent. Tie that in with links to radical left-wing politics, extreme sensory assault at live shows and a general revolutionary aura and you have what must be the ultimate cult group. [more inside]
posted by twirlip at 2:52 PM PST - 12 comments

Lists are the curse of the age.
Fifty things I've learned about the literary life
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:47 PM PST - 63 comments

Bananas like to ripen at the very very tropical Bronx refrigeration plant
Spaces of banana control. A visit to one of the four major artificial banana ripening facilities in New York City, for a research seminar on the "Artificial Cryosphere." [more inside]
posted by gusandrews at 2:47 PM PST - 16 comments

Way to go, Ronjohn.
Congrats, Peer Fish. And you too, Covington Stanwick. Inside Lacrosse announces the 2012 All-Name Lacrosse Men's and Women's teams. [more inside]
posted by mullacc at 2:46 PM PST - 10 comments

"Lacoste’s prejudice and censorship puts a major dent in the idea of corporate involvement in the arts."
Larissa Sansour was among the eight artists shortlisted for the 2011 prize. In December 2011, Lacoste demanded that her nomination be revoked. Lacoste stated their refusal to support Sansour’s work, labelling it ‘too pro-Palestinian’. [more inside]
posted by mikoroshi at 2:37 PM PST - 23 comments

Great Wall Of Dubstep
The Great Wall Of Dubstep ; Dubstep Previously On The Blue
posted by MechEng at 2:16 PM PST - 10 comments

underground laughter
On the subway in Berlin, one woman started chuckling at something on her cellphone and it snowballed. [slyt] [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 2:11 PM PST - 56 comments

Paper wins
Megan Brain makes whimisical paper sculptures, as both fine and commerical art. Check our her her blog and website for more, after reading the interview where she discusses the process of creating her designs.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:05 PM PST - 1 comments

¿Por que quebró McDonald’s en Bolivia?
Why did McDonald's fail in Bolivia?
posted by Tom-B at 1:58 PM PST - 38 comments

Republican Mississippi Mayor Greg Davis Outs Himself
"While I have performed my job as mayor, in my opinion, as a very conservative, progressive individual — and still continue to be a very conservative individual — I think that it is important that I discuss the struggles I have had over the last few years when I came to the realization that I am gay."
posted by 256 at 1:28 PM PST - 64 comments

Kim Jong Illin'
Kim Jong-il Dropping The Bass
posted by The Discredited Ape at 1:25 PM PST - 26 comments

I bungled things and couldn’t even fix a match
The Buddha tells the people he can fulfil only one of their wishes. Someone asks: "Could you lower the price of property in China so that people can afford it?" Seeing the Buddha frown in silence, the person makes another wish: "Could you make the Chinese football team qualify for a World Cup?" After a long sigh, the Buddha says: "Let's talk about property prices." [more inside]
posted by vidur at 12:55 PM PST - 20 comments

Right up there with Handel’s “Messiah.”
Santa answers a few pre-Christmas questions.
posted by rewil at 12:31 PM PST - 23 comments

"The first thing they say is, "The only thing you know about is fried chicken and collard greens.'"
Black Chefs' Struggle For The Top With the restaurant industry booming and chefs becoming celebrities and wealthy entrepreneurs, few blacks are sharing in that success, and as young black men and women enter the profession they are finding few mentors or peers. [more inside]
posted by magstheaxe at 11:47 AM PST - 21 comments

Best of the Oh God You're Scaring Me
Sarah M. (or Stalker Sarah, as the internet knows her) is a bit infamous for one thing: taking thousands upon thousands of photos with a variety of celebrities. [more inside]
posted by Askiba at 11:24 AM PST - 86 comments

Civil War Tokens: Value Me As You Please
During the US Civil War, metal monies were hoarded for their value, resulting in a shortage of available coins. The Union government issued official "paper coins" that weren't backed by by gold or silver. This "faith paper" lost value quickly, and for a short while, stamps were official currency. That didn't take, either, so enterprising individuals took it upon themselves to mint their own coinage. These are now known as Civil War Tokens (CTWs), and were made and used between late 1862 and mid 1864. On April 22, 1864, Congress set the weight of coins and set punishment for counterfeiting coins of up to one thousand dollars and imprisonment up to five years. Yet there are over ten thousand varieties of tokens, representing 22 states, 400 towns and about 1500 individual merchants. Melvin and his son Dr. George Fuld wrote key books in the CWT field, creating the rarity scale and composition key used by most numismatists. Given sheer number of CWTs, starting a collection might be daunting. Enter collector Ken Bauer, whose method breaks down the vast world into smaller collections, from anvils to watches and so much more.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:20 AM PST - 9 comments

LaeCharles and DJDave
Regift It, Secret Santa, and Grinchin are three holiday raps from LaeCharles aka Lovey Love The Plus Size Playa
via Berkeley Enough from DJDave of Whole Foods Parking Lot [previously, Berkeley Remix, see also: Yoga Girl]
posted by finite at 11:02 AM PST - 2 comments

An optimist lectures his children...
10 Things Our Kids Will Never Worry About Thanks to the Information Revolution. An optimist's take on how the lives of future generations will improve based on technology.
posted by downing street memo at 10:58 AM PST - 105 comments

Black Hole Sun
A collection of timelapse night photographs, beautifully edited to demonstrate light pollution, complete with Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun," ISS, the Milky Way and a lot of spendy Nikon cameras.
posted by Lynsey at 10:53 AM PST - 14 comments

"Could you not do that, please?"
Shit Girls Say, a humorous twitter account created by Graydon Sheppard and his partner Kyle Humphrey, now has two videos based on the joke [1,2]. Some women say "um, no thanks.".
posted by emilycardigan at 10:37 AM PST - 152 comments

Astor Place. Two blocks. Lots of history.
In 1783, John Jacob Astor set out for the United States with $25 and five flutes. Upon his death in 1848, he was the wealthiest person in the US, having amassed a fortune of at least $20,000,000, making him the third wealthiest person in American history (measuring wealth as a fraction of GDP). [more inside]
posted by davidjmcgee at 10:25 AM PST - 27 comments

This is not an uplifting post. You have been warned.
Well, to put it simply, The Big plan is the same as the immediate plan: they want you dead. It’s not that they want to kill opposition; they want to kill the opposition, literally. This country ain’t big enough for the both of you, and they have everything to lose. And they have guns. And the media. And all the keys of power. And you want to overthrow them. How do you think they will react to that? Give you cookies? - an on the ground report of what's going on in Egypt now from a blogger turned parliamentary candidate.
posted by The Whelk at 9:02 AM PST - 41 comments

Flying Home For the Holidays?
Inside Air Koryo official website The world's only 1 star airline. It's Air Koryo, and it's the only airline in the world deemed bad enough to earn a 1-star rating from leading airline reviewer SkyTrax. [more inside]
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:58 AM PST - 51 comments

A Christmas Google
Looking at the rest of the top search results for Christmas is like getting into a time machine that takes you back to a bizarro 2001 in which every single web surfer is a sucker. There are "Hot Links!" and "Fun Things to Do." What we see is the ad hoc, de facto social network formed by people who type Christmas into a search engine. And man, that network is like MySpace for your great aunt who has too many cats. [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole at 8:51 AM PST - 16 comments

"I can't stop acquiring books..."
The Library: [SLYT] A film by Sergey Stefanovich. A journey through Duncan Fallowell's library which has spilled over into every available space and become an art installation in its own right. With the writer talking.
posted by Fizz at 8:36 AM PST - 8 comments

Poverty and Race in America
Article suggests that we need to reassess our assumptions about the relationship between poverty and race. Following the article published in Forbes magazine dealing with poor black kids, this article brings up the question about poor whites and how invisible they have become.
posted by RedShrek at 8:29 AM PST - 38 comments

Uncanny!
X-Men with Googly Eyes.
posted by hermitosis at 7:47 AM PST - 29 comments

"A fraternity against the world"
Recently, a survey asking "If you could rape someone, who would it be?" was circulated among fraternity brothers at the University of Vermont chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon. Multiple investigations were launched, including one by the police that is still ongoing, and the chapter was closed indefinitely by the national organization. [more inside]
posted by lovermont at 7:46 AM PST - 229 comments

Test everything; hold fast to what is good.
Fred Clark posts at a blog called "Slacktivist", so he is often referred to by that name. But this left-wing Christian is far from a slacker. His blog is a powerful voice against the usual conservative Christian presence in America, and the best distillation of his strength is his series of posts analyzing the Left Behind novels of Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. Fred savages these books for their "bad writing and bad theology" but it's not the usual Internet snark; Fred has a larger mission here than just pointing and laughing. He just finished dissecting book two, Tribulation Force, so it's a great time to jump on if you already haven't. (He has promised that after a holiday break, he's going to do the Tribulation Force movie, and then on to book three.) [more inside]
posted by Legomancer at 7:01 AM PST - 183 comments

my baby left me, start'd me drinkin' on christmas day
When most folks think of "Christmas music" it's doubtful that their next thought will be "the blues", but along with "my baby" or "bad luck" or "leavin' in the morning", bluesmen have long included Christmas as lyric inspiration. Which bluesmen? Well... Sonny Boy Williamson, Freddie King, Blind Blake, John Lee Hooker, Lightnin' Hopkins, Little Milton, B.B. King, Smokey Hogg, Charley Jordan, and last but certainly not least, one of the most influential early bluesmen, Blind Lemon Jefferson.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:23 AM PST - 23 comments

Encrypted database queries
CryptDB executes database queries over encrypted data without ever decrypting it. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges at 2:08 AM PST - 37 comments