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December 30, 2011
This should keep you busy for a while. The year that was 2011.
The Best And Worst Of Everything In 2011: A Mega, Meta Mashup from Fast Company. An exhaustive and eclectic amalgam of year-end lists from various sources.
posted by zardoz at 9:39 PM PST - 13 comments

Asterisk-Eating Ball is cute!
Here are a variety of strange creatures, realized by the surreal Swiss mime troupe Mummenschanz: 1 2 3 4 5 Previously, and Muppetly. MLYT
posted by JHarris at 8:53 PM PST - 17 comments

Drink up, y'all!
New Year's Eve is fast approaching, and for lots of folks that means... drinking. Plenty of drinking. And since there's no shortage of singers and songwriters who've had a little something to say about that particular topic, maybe some of the following tunes can serve as an appropriate soundtrack to your own joyous (or not?) imbibing of spirits. For example, there's... Jimmy Liggins with his succinct rendition of Drunk, and there's... [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:24 PM PST - 67 comments

The Super Power Building
The purpose of the Super Power Building has been stated as providing a dedicated center for delivering the Super Power Rundown, a high-level Scientology training course that has not yet been released.
posted by Trurl at 7:47 PM PST - 79 comments

The Bitch, The Stud and The Prawn
"...the ghost of George Walker, his family, and his business practices have continued to haunt Britain in all sorts of odd ways." Filmmaker Adam Curtis blogs about the Walker brothers (Billy and George) on the BBC website. A story of boxers, gangsters, the British film industry, Dodi Fayed, Guy Hands and... hardcore mutant prawn. [more inside]
posted by prolific at 6:51 PM PST - 13 comments

"The scream is over the top here, but in your defense, it really conveys the sound of pride leaving the body."
The Ramsey Brothers present: Home Videos with DVD Commentary: There's A Bear / Chorophobia / Not Where You Saw [via]
posted by defenestration at 5:32 PM PST - 6 comments

Mathematics and the Great Pyramid
This is a radical statement about the Pyramid, especially on the internet because all web pages that I have been able to find that deal with the Pyramid, maintain that it was built and/or inspired by either God or space aliens. Most don't even consider that it could be a rational structure designed and built by normal people.
posted by troll at 5:29 PM PST - 42 comments

We got deals! Leases!
Car dealers have found a new way to profit from people with money trouble: leasing them hand-me-down vehicles. 'The deals are pitched to customers as the cheapest way to drive a used car off the lot, with the added benefit of an easy escape for those who can't keep up with the payments. Few customers are told about the advantages on the other side of the trade. Leases can allow dealerships to sidestep interest rate caps, and there are fewer financial disclosures rules than with a conventional car loan.' 'As with Buy Here Pay Here, the leasing business caters to the millions of Americans who have been forced by a sour economy to make do with less.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 5:20 PM PST - 50 comments

31 days has September, March, June and December
A new calendar: Every third month would have 31 days, the rest 30. A 7-day leap week called XTR every "five or six years". Christmas and New Year's eternally on Sundays. And Greenwich Mean Time for all. This is the promise of the Hanke-Henry Permanent calendar, proposed by Steve Hanke and Richard Henry, researcher professors at Johns Hopkins University. The world-wide adoption process is optimistically scheduled for January 1, 2012, with universal use coming just 5 years later. [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus at 5:00 PM PST - 53 comments

Flash game: 3 Slices
3 Slices -- For Flash Friday, your mission (should you choose to accept it) is to let the red stuff fall through the bottom of the window, by making 3 cuts through the red and white pieces.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 4:58 PM PST - 46 comments

The sky is 'Purest Blue'
Those of us who enjoy old-school chemical photography often need to calculate f-stop and exposure times. Of course you can use a ginormous table but there exists a solution from a more elegant age in which the sky can be purest blue above a very narrow old street. Marvel at Kaufmann's Posographe, a wonder of the analog age.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 3:42 PM PST - 22 comments

Empty London: Do you think he saw us this time?
Empty London on Christmas morning (full set). A couple of years ago I had the idea that it might be fun to take photos of London without humans – yes, I was motivated by that scene in Westminster from 28 Days Later. Unfortunately, not being a film director I was not really in the position to have half of London sealed off for photos – but realised that on Xmas morning there could be an opportunity. Past photos from 2010 and from 2008. [more inside]
posted by ersatz at 3:03 PM PST - 19 comments

As a banker, you have no lack of opportunities to look into the human soul
As the former head of Deutsche Bank, Hilmar Kopper was once the most powerful banker in Germany. In an interview with SPIEGEL, the 76-year-old takes stock of his career and the current crisis shaking Europe. The three main constants he has seen in the world, he says, are "money, avarice and greed."
posted by chavenet at 2:42 PM PST - 21 comments

The Bug Trainer
The best stop motion film ever? Or do you prefer The Night[mare] before Christmas?

Wladyslaw Starewicz' childhood passion for entomology led his career: he began producing short documentaries in Moscow around 1909-1910, beginning with a documentary about insects in Lithuania. In his spare time, he experimented with stop-action films using beetles, which he articulated by wiring the legs to the thorax with sealing wax! This, of course, led to his big breakthrough, released by the Van Kanjonkov Studio of Moscow: "The Battle of the Stag Beetles", the first puppet-animated film. [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation at 2:25 PM PST - 16 comments

"You kind of expect it to be quite so... WOW!!"
Chemical Reactions. Four minutes of the best moments of stuff burning, breaking, freezing, exploding, melting, and generally reacting in interesting ways. [more inside]
posted by quin at 1:48 PM PST - 15 comments

"The father is a medicine ball and the mother is a globe"
Boy Genius Report gets an extensive and informative tour of the Times Square New Year's Eve Ball and takes us along for a the highly-informative and photo-heavy ride.
posted by gilrain at 1:46 PM PST - 2 comments

‘Technically, we’re in the United States’
The Americans who live on the "Mexican" side of the border fence in Texas face unusual hardships.
posted by reenum at 1:38 PM PST - 64 comments

Gigographies
Did Poco play the Poconos? Did Roxy Music rock the Roxy? Did U2 go to The O2? [more inside]
posted by Knappster at 12:59 PM PST - 32 comments

Let's play a love game
Kieron Gillen on sex and The Sims
posted by Artw at 12:50 PM PST - 26 comments

Flowers for the lady
"Lavatory Lovestory" Something light and warm for holiday enjoyment. A short animated film from Russia about a middle aged woman and her secret admirer. (via that most wonderful of linkblogs: The Presurfer) [more inside]
posted by caddis at 12:29 PM PST - 2 comments

The Case For Enhancing People
Just as Dante found it easier to conjure the pains of Hell than to evoke the joys of Heaven, so too do bioethicists find it easier to concoct the possible perils of a biotech-nanotech-infotech future than to appreciate how enhancements will contribute to flourishing lives. One of the chief goals of this symposium is to think about the indispensable role that virtue plays in human life. The chief motivating concern seems to be the fear that biotechnologies and other human enhancement technologies will somehow undermine human virtue. As we will see, far from undermining virtue, biotech, nanotech, and infotech enhancements will tend to support virtue; that is, they will help enable people to be actually good.
posted by jason's_planet at 12:13 PM PST - 22 comments

Dance the fury boogie!
Ken Korda was probably the greatest British film director, and critic, of recent years producing the legendary Speeding On The Needlebliss back in the 90s and you can see his influence even now, such as in this year’s instant classic Kevin Curtis Is Dead (NSFW) [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:33 AM PST - 15 comments

A Different Kind of Documentary
The James Dean Story Directed by Robert Altman, Starring James Dean two years after his death "by means of a new technique... dynamic exploration of the still photograph".
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:32 AM PST - 9 comments

Larry Graham plays funk bass
Larry Graham plays funk bass. And part 2.
posted by joost de vries at 8:48 AM PST - 27 comments

Silicon City
The inside story of how The Cornell-Technion Partnership won the bid to bring applied sciences to New York City. Will it make NYC the next Silicon Valley? [more inside]
posted by rosswald at 8:24 AM PST - 42 comments

Scrabble word list changes: "WESPA hopes this North American isolationism will end one day, for the good of global Scrabble."
On January first the official club and tournament word list used by competitive Scrabble players outside of North America (SOWPODS or CSW or Collins) will change. The updated international word list contains 1532 additions and 145 deletions (pdf) of words of eight or fewer letters. There are no new two-letter words. New words of note: CLIT, CUMS, INBOX, MUNGE, QIN, SPLOG, VOIP, WIKI, XRAY No longer allowed: ACIDFREAK, FOOTROT, MOLEHUNT, PORNOMAG, VICTROLLA, WYSIWIG, YOS [more inside]
posted by jessamyn at 7:58 AM PST - 76 comments

Black Folk Don't
Black Folk Don't: "a web series... explor[ing] the notion of stereotypes about Black folks both without and within the African American community." [more inside]
posted by flex at 6:54 AM PST - 64 comments

Redefining the you that is you
You Are Not Your Name and Photo: A Call to Re-Imagine Identity.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:51 AM PST - 48 comments

Ben Breedlove
This is My Story: Part One, Part Two. (youtube videos) Ben Breedlove passed away on December 25, 2011. (Last link contains autoplaying video) [more inside]
posted by zarq at 5:08 AM PST - 10 comments

Accountability is something that is left when responsibility has been subtracted
The goal of the [education reform] program that Finland instituted was never excellence. It was equity. Excellence was merely a happy byproduct.
posted by DRMacIver at 3:50 AM PST - 52 comments

star light star bright meow
If you think about the top ten science blog posts of 2011 you pretty much have to agree on the #1. It's the glow in the dark kitty. But there are other animals that shine for Science.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:37 AM PST - 13 comments

Listenin' to the oldies.
Phonozoic, Patrick Feaster's website "dedicated to the history of the phonograph and related media," is an amazing collection of information about historic recordings. Not just early recordings, however, but also experimental "eduction projects": the "automatic 'playing' of primeval inscriptions of sound." [more inside]
posted by litlnemo at 3:24 AM PST - 1 comments

Social conservative senator polling well.
Santorum surges from behind in Iowa. With the countdown to the Iowa Caucuses entering its final hours the GOP race remains in a dead heat. Polls show the unlikely campaigns of social conservative Senator Rick Santorum and libertarian leaning Representative Ron Paul in surprisingly strong positions to challenge Governor Mitt Romney for the opening victory in the Republican primary season. Both Paul and Santorum have focused heavily on traditional retail politics in the Hawkeye State.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:40 AM PST - 366 comments