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December 31, 2011
"Somehow It Got Easy To Laugh Out Loud"
The AV Club has started a really cool feature called "One Track Mind." It takes one artist/group and one song, and asks them to talk about the inspiration or circumstances behind it. Then they perform it (warning: advertising, but worth it). [more inside]
posted by bardic at 10:26 PM PST - 14 comments

You got Atari in my geetar!
Behold the gAtari 2600. An Australian musician performing under the pseudonym cTrix specializes in creating chiptunes using a combination of games consoles from 1977 - 1992, including a Commodore 64, Amiga 500, a clear-cased Gameboy, and an Atari 2600. The latter is possibly the most striking setup, incorporating the Atari (running custom-written sequencing software) into an oversized guitar body, with a fretboard packed with Boss stompboxes and a great pun as a name — gAtari.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 9:50 PM PST - 40 comments

Space Quest II! Starring Sludge Vohaul (The Alien MORE Hideous than Your Aunt Hildegard)!
16-bit color schemes, in a classic retro VGA interface! New soundtracks and voiceovers! No typing required! Infamous Adventures resurrects and lovingly remakes Sierra Games from the 1980's: Space Quest II: Vohaul's Revenge and Kings Quest III. SQ2 was released yesterday after more than five years in production, and comes complete with a cheesy trailer. Available for download for PC and Mac, but be forewarned, the game is a total memory hog, and uses up a whole meg of RAM.
posted by zarq at 9:08 PM PST - 12 comments

Remember to flush your Famicom after playing
??? WHAT IS KUSOGE ??? From the Japanese for "shit", kuso, and "game." They're relentlessly terrible video games that in some cases have attracted a following because of their awfulness. Here are some of the most commonly recognized examples: [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 8:56 PM PST - 30 comments

A Longer Time Ago, Two Galaxies Crossed Paths...
Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author Robert J. Sawyer explains how Star Wars has dulled the edge that made science fiction such a pertinent film genre. A Galaxy Far, Far Away My Ass... Pt. Two, Pt. Three [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation at 8:27 PM PST - 43 comments

Todd Haynes' "Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story"
One of the more famous suppressed films of recent years is Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, an early work by writer/director Todd Haynes (Safe, Velvet Goldmine, Far from Heaven). Filmed in 1987, the short film -- which relates the rise and fall of Karen Carpenter with a cast of Barbie dolls -- barely got a year's worth of festival time in 1989 before the twin iron boots of A&M Records and Richard Carpenter came down on Haynes.* [more inside]
posted by Trurl at 7:51 PM PST - 29 comments

Welcome to Muppet Labs where the future is being made today!
Muppet Labs, where the future is being made today, is the site of scientific enquiry, technological breakthroughs, and sundry explosions on The Muppet Show. Headed by Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, the lab premiered in episode 108 and lasted all five seasons. During the first season, Bunsen worked alone. Beginning in season two, the good doctor acquired an assistant-cum-guinea pig, the hapless Beaker. An annotated list of every single televised appearance of the Muppet Labs is after the fold! [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb at 7:42 PM PST - 30 comments

Time keeps on slippin'
We've all seen variations on the personal time-lapse video -- a snapshot every day for six years, or a look at a young girl's first decade. But nobody's done it quite like Sam Klemke. For thirty-five years the itinerant freelance cartoonist has documented his life in short year-end reviews, a funny, weary, eccentric, and hopeful record dating all the way back to 1977. Recently optioned for documentary treatment by the government of Australia, you can skim Sam's opus in reverse in the striking video "35 Years Backwards Thru Time with Sam Klemke," an ever-evolving home movie montage that grows grainier and grainier as it tracks Sam "from a paunchy middle aged white bearded self deprecating schluby old fart, to a svelt, full haired, clean shaven, self-important but clueless 20 year old."
posted by Rhaomi at 7:05 PM PST - 7 comments

Carts Of Darkness
Murray Siple, a snowboarder and extreme sport filmmaker, suffered a debilitating injury in an auto accident which ended his career. Or so he thought. Years later, he came across a group of homeless men in Vancouver, BC who combine their livelihood of collecting bottles for recycling with their love of speeding down hills on shopping carts. He made a film about them which avoids easy clichés and provides a portrait of humanity and thrill-seeking that is joyous and enlightening. Carts Of Darkness [59m24s] can be viewed in full (even in HD) at the National Film Board of Canada website.
posted by hippybear at 6:16 PM PST - 15 comments

"The fallacy in this reasoning is glaring."
Progressives and the Ron Paul fallacies: Ron Paul’s candidacy is a mirror held up in front of the face of America’s Democratic Party and its progressive wing, and the image that is reflected is an ugly one; more to the point, it’s one they do not want to see because it so violently conflicts with their desired self-perception. [more inside]
posted by troll at 5:49 PM PST - 345 comments

Party like it's 1978, or 1993, or 2000, or maybe even 2011.
It's New Years Eve (or already the first day of the new year, depending on where you are), and you may be looking for something other than the radio to play for a countdown. Head backwards, then, to cruise into the 80s with the Grateful Dead for the closing of Winterland. Or join the Janglers to say goodby to 1993 and hello to 1994 at Peabody's Downunder. You can check out twelve hours of Essential Mixing and relive the transition from 2000 to 2001. Get closer to the present day with some big band and swing into 2010 in style. Say hello to 2011 with B.A.G.S. (Bullman, Ashworth, Guggino, Sipe), spend an hour and a half with Blu Mar Ten or six and a half hours with Mr Scruff. And if you're looking for something new for tonight, try some mixes from Redondo, Montreal Funk Monkeys, and a countdown minimix from DJ Raymix.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:19 PM PST - 21 comments

"Nothing compares to you, except maybe a banana, peeled or unpeeled, I don't care, though when they're unpeeled they can get awful messy"
Sinead O'Connor plays a concert in a church in Reykjavík at Iceland Airwaves last October. Icelandic state broadcaster, RÚV, recorded the concert and you can listen to it in full. There is some talking in Icelandic in the beginning, but the concert starts up at around three and a half minutes in. This concert was not long after her online jokes about her lack of companionship making her resort to bananas. She cracks many jokes about that and the fact that she's playing in a church. And she's in brilliant form as a performer and plays for almost two hours. As a bonus, here's not-very-high-quality video of that night's rendition of Nothing Compares to You, which includes a bit about bananas.
posted by Kattullus at 3:27 PM PST - 11 comments

Mineways
Minecraft was already pretty cool (previously: 1 2 3 4 5 6). Here's something that brings it closer to the real world: "With the Mineways program you can select from a Minecraft world map and render it, or send it to a 3D printer or 3D printing service such as Shapeways." Examples are within the link, and here are other real-life examples using the Mineways program. Here's something equally (if not more-so) impressive, using a somewhat different technique: an entire Minecraft village, rendered and printed in 3D on a Zprinter 650. [via reddit]
posted by SpacemanStix at 1:53 PM PST - 17 comments

Raiders of the Lost Archives
Shot-by-shot comparison of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" vs. scenes from 30 different adventure films made between 1919-1973
posted by Artw at 1:20 PM PST - 62 comments

HiHiHuHu! MiMaMO! KiKOOLOL! BLiBLU MAMAHU! HOP!
Boulet is a well-known cartoonist and illustrator in France, but I think he's pretty obscure in the English-speaking world. He's been posting a popular blog in comic form since 2004 (in French), but lately he's been going through the backlog and translating his comics into English, posting a new one every few days. He covers daily life, vacations, the work of a cartoonist, comics conventions, and random crap with cute illustrations and self-deprecating humor. Be sure to click the "REACT" or "Comments" link on each entry - he added a bonus comic to most of the entries at translation time. Happy New Year (2006)! [more inside]
posted by moonmilk at 1:11 PM PST - 6 comments

Jamel Shabazz
Jamel Shabazz has been documenting the ‘Urban Life’, most famously, 80s Brooklyn, for over 30 years. His work has been featured in the New York Times and a documentary film as well as in a recently expanded and re-relased book. An interview and a few snaps from the book.
posted by latkes at 1:09 PM PST - 8 comments

An Alternative to Dick Clark
The Beatles vs Joan Jett vs Cypress Hill vs House of Pain vs RATM - Mash Together

Johnny Cash vs Jackson 5 vs Steve Miller Band - Folsom Prison Robin

Franz Ferdinand vs Stealers Wheel vs Nirvana vs Michael Jackson vs Def Cut –Franz Tranz

Ramones vs Jet - Are You Gonna Be My Blitzkrieg Girl

The Beatles vs LCD Soundsystem vs The Kinks –The Brits Are Coming To My House

These mashups – and many more – are the creations of DJ Faroff of Brazil. Other projects of his worth mentioning here are a samba version of the Star Wars theme and a klezmer remix of Lady Gaga.
posted by jason's_planet at 12:23 PM PST - 24 comments

Late-deafened music lover rediscovers love of music via cochlear implant
Deaf guy goes shopping for high-end headphones and other tales of musical rediscovery from Lee Walker, a lifelong music-lover who lost most of his hearing in early adulthood. A cochlear implant restored usable but quite different hearing, which Walker put to use enjoying music by any means necessary – captioned music videos, giant DJ-quality cans worn over external implant hardware, plugging an iPod Touch directly into that hardware.
posted by joeclark at 11:27 AM PST - 4 comments

I had a sinking feeling...
2012 & The End Of The World (SLYT)
posted by rodmandirect at 10:57 AM PST - 68 comments

"The demand that I make of my reader is that he should devote his whole Life to reading my works."
EU copyright on Joyce works ends at midnight. From tomorrow, January 1st 2012, writings published during Joyce’s lifetime – Dubliners, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses and Finnegans Wake – are available for publication and quotation without reference or payment to the James Joyce estate.
posted by Fizz at 10:52 AM PST - 77 comments

insert humorous quip re: correlation & causation, with an extra side of beans
Relating SCIENCE! to everyday life, Ouch: A Year's Worth of Occasionally Disturbing Research on How to Get Ahead is comedic advice on how to excel in the new year (from the usually-more-serious Harvard Business Review's "The Daily Stat") - reminiscent of Barking Up The Wrong Tree, a blog of tongue-in-cheek nuggets of research by Eric Barker.
posted by flex at 10:41 AM PST - 1 comments

On the bathroom floor with a wombat is no way to go through life, Yo-Yo Ma!
Yo-Yo Ma on the floor of a bathroom with Brookfield Zoo’s Wilbur the Wombat. Photo by Peter Sagal host of Wait Wait...Don’t Tell Me! (gratuitous bean-plating XKCD.) On YouTube: Yo-Yo Ma, Peter Sagal & a wombat (HD) Sun Times story: Yo-Yo Ma and a wombat meet on a bathroom floor. Seriously Previously
posted by cjorgensen at 10:27 AM PST - 15 comments

CD-ROM [...] is the next step for savvy musicians on the cutting edge.
"It's 1993, I better wake up and be part of it. I'm sitting there, a 1977 punk watching Courtney Love talk about punk, watching Nirvana talk about punk, and this is my reply." [more inside]
posted by 256 at 9:20 AM PST - 89 comments

The Feds Were My Biggest Customer
On October 22, 2011 I was arrested by the DEA for cultivation and distribution of psilocybin mushrooms.
posted by telstar at 9:02 AM PST - 88 comments

An unusual coup d'etat
Today is the 30th anniversary of Flt. Lt. Jerry Rawling's coup d'etat catapulting him into the crowded ranks of military dictators in Africa. Yet, Ghana chooses to celebrate this date and Rawlings' speech on this historic occasion has been shared and published, his words hearkened to (albeit) and his global standing only embellished by his [role]* as the African Union's envoy to Somalia. What manner of military dictatorship was this and what changes did the coup accomplish in democratic Ghana, today considered the fastest growing and stable Sub Saharan economy expected to be elevated to middle income status in the near future? [more inside]
posted by infini at 8:45 AM PST - 7 comments

'...hullo.... I've had a helluva year'
Scotch and Wry, Scotland's greatest comedy. As the rest of the world celebrates New year's Eve and bringing in 2012, there's the little matter of Hogmanay. You might think it's just a fancy scottish word for the start of a three day party (which it is), but it's a special time of year. And for those of us who watched the new year come in on TV, it's the point of year where we all miss Rikki Fulton's Scotch and Wry - a TV ritual for over twenty years that has never been equalled. [more inside]
posted by ewan at 7:11 AM PST - 6 comments

Sendak.
5 minutes with Maurice Sendak.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:50 AM PST - 14 comments

Austraaaaalia
Austraaaaaalia, Melbourne, kangaroos, didgeridoo, Austraaaaaalia, Olivia Newton John, Paul Hogan, Mel Gibson.
posted by signal at 6:26 AM PST - 23 comments

Alan Moore offers Thought For The Day on BBC Radio's flagship news programme
This morning's edition of Today, BBC Radio 4's flagship news programme, was guest-edited by the comedian Stewart Lee. Highlights included Alan Moore's Glycon-inspired Thought For the Day (which comes at 1 hour and 22 minutes into the show) and a completely incomprehensible interview with The Fall's Mark E. Smith (at 1 hour 47 minutes in). All this plus an avant-garde trombonist too!
posted by Paul Slade at 5:28 AM PST - 16 comments

S'more primate fun
He was taught to use matches, a skill he picked up quickly. There’s something eerie about watching Kanzi strike a match. The way he then holds the flame — taking care not to burn himself — is remarkably human. (video)
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:27 AM PST - 42 comments

All apes love their apps
Orangutans playing with iPads! It is well-known that our ape cousins are highly intelligent. When they are in captivity, it is critical to give them ways to enrich and entertain themselves. As it turns out, Orangutans love using iPads. [more inside]
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 3:04 AM PST - 22 comments