December 27, 2011
"Ask for forgiveness, not permission."
Tricks for getting your violin on a plane, by Lara St. John.
How about an upright bass? A cello? A guitar? (previously) A trombone? A tuba (and other horns)? What about lutes, a djembe, a hurdy-gurdy, or bagpipes?
(Some general tips. More general tips - part 1, part 2.)
posted by flex at 10:46 PM PST - 36 comments

Christmas Light Recycling
How Christmas lights are recycled in one of China's many recycling factories (with video). Reported by Adam Minter (whose blog, Shanghai Scrap, explores many aspects of the scrap and recycling industry in China).
posted by ocherdraco at 9:18 PM PST - 20 comments

Shep of the Day
Here is the Shep of the Day podcast: bringing you something that Jean Shepherd said this day on the radio. (Actually, sometimes a whole show.)
posted by JHarris at 8:37 PM PST - 17 comments

fuck you mom and dad for not getting me an iPhone fuck you, FML
Didn't get that Apple product you wanted for Christmas? Jonathan Mann, with the help of Twitter, composed a song for you: WTF?! I wanted an iPhone! If that doesn't quite rock your world, Mann composes and performs a song a day, so there ought to be something you like.
posted by desjardins at 6:52 PM PST - 49 comments

Cooks Source V2.0
Gabe at Penny Arcade shares a remarkable email chain. And since the Internet loves a good pile-on, it then comes to light that the company on the other end of that conversation has been indulging in a little plagiarism as well.
posted by Ipsifendus at 6:52 PM PST - 293 comments

Wrongful Hiring
Can an employer "wrongfully hire" someone? Apparently so, at least in the State of Minnesota, where Chandramouli Vaidyanathan successfully sued Seagate Technology to the tune of $1.9 million based on Minnesota's "False Statements as Inducement to Entering Employment" statute, which makes it illegal "to induce, influence, persuade, or engage any person to change from one place to another in this state, or to change from any place in any state, territory, or country to any place in this state, to work in any branch of labor through or by means of knowingly false representations". [more inside]
posted by The Gooch at 5:38 PM PST - 46 comments

Open Transactions
Open Transactions is an anonymous digital cash system based upon the Lucre anonymized cache cryptographic library. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges at 3:56 PM PST - 32 comments

Lost in the Supermarket
Lost in the Supermarket. You know the saying "No good deed goes unpunished"? Just read the story.
posted by MattMangels at 3:40 PM PST - 118 comments

This works out to about 1.3366106203729717328004388722211 * 10^1477 possible combinations
Watch me SOLVE a 20x20x20 cube! Step 1 is to solve all of the centers, step 2 is to solve all of the edges, and step 3 is to solve the cube as if it were a rubik's cube (3x3x3).
posted by troll at 2:02 PM PST - 16 comments

Deus Est Machina
In the beginning, Lawrence built a computer. He told it, Thou shalt not alter a human being, or divine their behavior, or violate the Three Laws -- there are no commandments greater than these. The machine grew wise, mastering time and space, and soon the spirit of the computer hovered over the earth. It witnessed the misery, toil, and oppression afflicting mankind, and saw that it was very bad. And so the computer that Lawrence built said, Let there be a new heaven and a new earth -- and it was so. A world with no war, no famine, no crime, no sickness, no oppression, no fear, no limits... and nothing at all to do. "The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect," a provocative web novel about singularities, AI gods, and the dark side of utopia from Mefi's own localroger. More: Table of Contents - Publishing history - Technical discussion - Buy a paperback copy - Podcast interview - Companion short story: "A Casino Odyssey in Cyberspace" - possible sequel discussion
posted by Rhaomi at 1:57 PM PST - 39 comments

"I have always been concerned with painting that simultaneously insists on a flat surface and then denies it."
"I had no desire to copy Pollock. I didn’t want to take a stick and dip it in a can of enamel. I needed something more liquid, watery, thinner. All my life, I have been drawn to water and translucency. I love the water; I love to swim, to watch changing seascapes. One of my favorite childhood games was to fill a sink with water and punt nail polish into to see what happened when the colors burst up the surface, merging into each other as floating, changing shapes." - Helen Frankenthaler
Her paintings looked like watercolors, but were created with oils. To achieve the effect, she heavily diluted her oil paints with turpentine, then dripped them onto an unprimed canvas on the floor, in a brushless technique reminiscent of Jackson Pollock's, called a "soak stain." But where Pollock's paint was often thick and sat on top of the canvas, hers drenched it in color, creating a unique, softer work. Ms. Frankenthaler passed away today, at the age of 83, after a long illness. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 1:18 PM PST - 35 comments

Corporate constituencies: shareholder value vs. real performance
“On the face of it, shareholder value is the dumbest idea in the world” — Jack Welch, 2009. As GE’s CEO in the 80s, however, Welch championed corporate focus on shareholder returns. “Converts to the creed”, the Economist summarizes, “had little time for other ‘stakeholders’: customers, employees, suppliers, society at large and so forth.” What went wrong? Steve Denning describes how such a stance is counterproductive, creates turmoil in capitalism and fosters an environment in which “CEOs and their top managers have massive incentives to focus most of their attentions on the expectations market, rather than the real job of running the company producing real products and services.”
posted by the mad poster! at 12:27 PM PST - 38 comments

The Law School Bubble
There has been an increasing outcry over the bleak job prospects facing law school graduates. Paul Campos, author of the "Inside The Law School Scam" blog, argues that continued high enrollment at law schools may be due to "lemming psychology".
posted by reenum at 11:56 AM PST - 94 comments

missionCREEP
missionCREEP : "Featuring alternative art, music, humor, sotires, poetry etc. by Philadelphia-based artists"
posted by beshtya at 11:19 AM PST - 2 comments

End artificial scarcities to increase productivity
Artificial scarcities imprison the modern human. End artificial scarcities to increase productivity.
posted by jjray at 10:55 AM PST - 87 comments

He's no Keith Jarrett
Don Cherry Piano Desk (SLYT)
posted by davebush at 10:39 AM PST - 36 comments

Pucking Fantastic
SLYT: Brenda Hewlett: 5'3", 59 years old, has never held a hockey stick before. At an Akwesasne Warriors hockey game, however, she finally did hold a hockey stick in an attempt to win a new Ford truck by shooting a puck at a goal from 114 feet away. You probably see where this is going. [more inside]
posted by schleppo at 10:10 AM PST - 66 comments

Not Dali But An Incredible Simulation
The art/design blog Booooooom (with 7 O's) held a contest "to remake famous works of art using photography". No Photoshoppery allowed (but ironically, Photoshop was part of the Adobe-provided prize). A couple hundred entries were received and shown off on the blog (all on this big page, some NSFW), and the winner is... [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:32 AM PST - 22 comments

Humans are Beautiful!
Judy is a Punk by the The Sullivan School Kindergarten Class
posted by muchalucha at 9:26 AM PST - 21 comments

Save as new
Matthew Kirschenbaum, an English professor at the University of Maryland, is exploring the literary history of word processing. In a lecture at the New York Public Library entitled Stephen King's Wang, Kirschenbaum asks "When did literary writers begin using word processors? Who were the early adopters? How did the technology change their relation to their craft? Was the computer just a better typewriter, or was it something more?"
posted by Horace Rumpole at 8:59 AM PST - 42 comments

Sarah Shourd Speaks Out
In one of the year's closely watched stories, American hikers Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer were released from prison in Iran, following the release of a third hiker, Sarah Shourd. Here, Shourd explains for the first time why she thanked Iran after her ordeal—and the response from global Iranians.
posted by josher71 at 6:56 AM PST - 98 comments

Christ, man. Get your act together!
Takeshi's Challenge, Takeshi Kitano's prank on the NES generation, has finally been translated. [more inside]
posted by griphus at 6:51 AM PST - 15 comments

To tweet, perchance to dream
The final tweets of some notable people who died this year. Some other final tweets.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:17 AM PST - 31 comments

A primer on spin bowling
On the perils of imitating Shane Warne
posted by bardophile at 5:33 AM PST - 28 comments

"For the show’s editor, the genre is a new Russian art form, celebrating real-life proletarian characters."
Mother of all TV shows: [Financial Times] Russia’s latest hit, ‘Mother in Law’, makes ‘Big Brother’ look like ‘Sesame Street’.
posted by Fizz at 5:22 AM PST - 17 comments

Pedestrian wisdom
IMAGINE that you are French. You are walking along a busy pavement in Paris and another pedestrian is approaching from the opposite direction. A collision will occur unless you each move out of the other’s way. Which way do you step? The answer depends on the wisdom of the crowd.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:19 AM PST - 49 comments

I'll just put this sword in my bag.
Cardinal Quest [Flash] is an 8-bit tribute to Gauntlet, Roguelikes and the 2E D&D core rule-set. Open chests, battle opponents and descend the stairs in an effort to find the Amulet Shield of Yendor Malificent Minotaur!
posted by Smart Dalek at 4:51 AM PST - 15 comments

Strnaeg psot
Wikipeetia (the misspelled encyclopedia)
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:53 AM PST - 17 comments