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The lasting legacy of the "rocket girls" of JPL

California-based Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has been central to the US missile and rocket development and operations for decades, and from the beginning that technology's success rested on a corps of expert mathematicians, people known as computers. And from the beginning they were all women, in a time when such opportunities were few and far between. You can find pictures of them, but names have not been well-recorded ... until now. Nathalia Holt found many of those women and wrote about their experiences in her book, Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars.
posted to MetaFilter by filthy light thief at 9:11 AM on June 15, 2016 (21 comments)

"What if I pretended like I didn’t know what nails were?"

When the blogger/home renovator behind Manhattan Nest was hired to work on Olivebridge Cottage, it looked like a cute country bungalow in need of a little rearranging. Ten months later, he's almost viewing the experience as a post-modernist joke. (Blog entries appear in reverse chronological order; I recommend reading the entry at the top of the page, moving all the way down, and working up.)
posted to MetaFilter by Rush-That-Speaks at 11:42 PM on June 17, 2016 (97 comments)

What alternatives are surprisingly worth it?

What are some "alternatives" or substitutions to everyday products/tasks that you've found you liked better than the original? Relatedly, what have you stopped doing altogether that had unexpected positive benefits?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by amicamentis at 1:50 PM on June 15, 2016 (100 comments)

Mysteries with Character

I am looking for mysteries that don't focus just on a dead body, but whose plot is more puzzle like. More under the fold.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by azalea_chant at 3:11 PM on June 3, 2016 (37 comments)

“equally efficient in the visualisation of hidden medieval inks,”

X-Rays Reveal 1,300-Year-Old Writings Inside Later Bookbindings [The Guardian] The words of the 8th-century Saint Bede are among those that have been found by detecting iron, copper and zinc – constituents of medieval ink. Medieval manuscripts that have been hidden from view for centuries could reveal their secrets for the first time, thanks to new technology. Dutch scientists and other academics are using an x-ray technique to read fragments of manuscripts that have been reused as bookbindings and which cannot be deciphered with the naked eye. After the middle ages manuscripts were recycled, with pages pasted inside bindings to strengthen them. Those fragments may be the unique remains of certain works.
posted to MetaFilter by Fizz at 4:23 PM on June 5, 2016 (13 comments)

Where does technology exploit our minds weaknesses?

How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds — from a Magician and Google’s Design Ethicist (Medium, 12min) I learned to think this way when I was a magician. Magicians start by looking for blind spots, edges, vulnerabilities and limits of people’s perception, so they can influence what people do without them even realizing it. Once you know how to push people’s buttons, you can play them like a piano.
posted to MetaFilter by CrystalDave at 11:32 AM on May 20, 2016 (33 comments)

All Summer in a Frame

Jason Shulman takes single long-exposure photographs of entire films.
posted to MetaFilter by cortex at 8:00 AM on May 11, 2016 (39 comments)

40 or so studies about human perception in 25-30 minutes. Maybe 35.

Kennedy Elliott, graphics editor at The Washington Post presents a broad, graphics-filled overview of how humans perceive data graphics. [Links to Medium, not WaPo.]
posted to MetaFilter by Room 641-A at 10:27 AM on May 29, 2016 (9 comments)

Pop songs that were big hits across Europe but not in the US?

I'm looking for a list of songs that were large hits across multiple European countries but which never made significant inroads in the US. I'm thinking of songs like Stromae's "Papoutai" or Zara Larsson's "Uncover" here - which hit the top of the charts in multiple countries and made at least a moderate cultural impact.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by LSK at 2:13 PM on March 29, 2016 (54 comments)

Here Be Dragons... and existential despair.

Last year saw the release of Raven's Cry, an action-adventure pirate game that promised an immersive open world and historical accuracy. What people got was an incredibly buggy game with poor voice acting and glitches aplenty that would eventually earn a 1/10 "Abysmal" review on Gamespot. The creators addressed the concerns by attempting to fix all the bugs and re-releasing it in November of 2015 under the title Vendetta: Curse of Raven's Cry. Alas, it was eventually removed from Steam two months later after it received some very suspicious positive reviews. If you'd like to see what all the fuss is about, video game aficionado and YouTuber Jerma985 has some great examples of gameplay from both the original and the re-release. (Both NSFW audio)
posted to MetaFilter by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 5:14 AM on May 24, 2016 (24 comments)

tfw yr coffee game too strong

Lebanese coffee commercial. That's all I got.
posted to MetaFilter by drlith at 2:08 PM on May 24, 2016 (68 comments)


Mind Webs: semi-dramatized readings of classic science fiction stories by Le Guin, Ballard, Wolfe, Clarke, Dick, Bester, Bradbury, Sheckley, Lafferty, Leiber, Merril, Brunner, Russ, Davidson, Matheson, Vonnegut, deFord, Asimov, Counselman, Spinrad, Bloch, Niven, Clingerman, Harrison, Sturgeon, Aldiss, Knight, Saberhagen, Saxton, Pohl, Silverburg, Cheever, Zelazny, Farmer, Simak, Dybek, Dahl, Priest, and many others. Originally broadcast between the late 70s and early 90s by WHA (AM) of Madison, Wisconsin.
posted to MetaFilter by Iridic at 7:32 AM on May 20, 2016 (10 comments)

Have we hit peak mattress?

Need a new mattress? Come on down to Mattress Firm! Or try the one at the other end of the strip mall. And if that doesn't grab you, why not try the one at the end of the block? Maybe the one across the street from that one is more to your liking. Why are there so many mattress stores in the US?
posted to MetaFilter by DirtyOldTown at 10:59 AM on May 19, 2016 (117 comments)

The preferred term is "flotation" bed

What Ever Happened to Waterbeds?
posted to MetaFilter by Etrigan at 5:46 AM on May 19, 2016 (159 comments)

Oyasumi nasai (sleep well!, おやすみなさい!, お休みなさい!)

The history of the wafuton goes back to ancient times more than three centuries before the Common Era. Considered to be good for the health, yet convenient to roll, store, and air, the Japanese futon is rather a different beast from that more familiar convertible futon common in the West. William Brouwer is credited with the original concept and industrial design of the wooden structure, while in Japan, it is master craftsmen like Hisayoshi Nohara, Grand Champion of Futon Making, who are revered for their work. You can try one out in a ryokan.
posted to MetaFilter by infini at 12:48 PM on May 19, 2016 (36 comments)

Caramel sugar

Sugar can be caramelized without melting. It then substitutes for white sugar without otherwise changing recipes. SLSeriouseats
posted to MetaFilter by daisyace at 3:41 AM on May 17, 2016 (146 comments)

Odd and Satisfying

Oddly Satisfying Video Compilation
posted to MetaFilter by klausman at 6:18 PM on May 15, 2016 (35 comments)

Monstrous vasectomy bludgeon penis

Is there marketing potential for this game? It's difficult to say. (Sorry- a single link YouTube post.)
posted to MetaFilter by taff at 6:29 AM on May 16, 2016 (28 comments)

Hand cranked candy

A restored Victorian rolling machine for making drop candy. So that's why it's called drop candy. More machines.
posted to MetaFilter by carter at 12:47 PM on May 13, 2016 (116 comments)

"for some people, the trainwrecks are their favorite."

Dear favorites, today you are ten. Despite mathowie telling us to "Think of favorites as an internal bookmark system" we've decided you mean whatever we want you to mean. Happy birthday. [as promised]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 9:02 AM on May 10, 2016 (227 comments)

May Ten is Mad Ape Den Day!

It's May Ten, the day of Mad Ape Den: a fun way to gab on the Web (and off the Web, too, if you can). The one law of Mad Ape Den: "Say it in an abc-set of one, two, or one-and-two, or do not say it at all." You can see a vid or two of a Mad Ape Den ode (YT URL set). Mad Ape Den is not as big now as it was in the era of the Web of old, but now, on Mad Ape Den day, we can aim to not let it die. (Ere now.)
posted to MetaFilter by NMcCoy at 12:08 AM on May 10, 2016 (89 comments)

books with realistic female characters?

I am tired of novels that have an enigmatic woman at the center of the novel. Can you recommend some books to me where all of the female characters actually act like real people?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by colfax at 3:50 AM on March 30, 2014 (57 comments)

Ancient ink

Norwegian artist Esther van Hulsen draws a picture of an ancient octopus, using 95 million year old octopus ink (link to original article in Norwegian).
posted to MetaFilter by Harald74 at 11:20 PM on May 4, 2016 (13 comments)

In search of consumerism-neutral time-wasters

So, like many people, when I need a break at my desk I tend to look for something mindless on the Internet. I'm trying to get out of the habit of defaulting to fashion and beauty forums, which I like because they're low-effort, have pretty things to look at, and tend not to get me worked up about politics or whatever, but hate because I get the impulse to buy things I don't need. It's not causing a financial problem but I just don't want my time-wasters to lead to a shopping spree.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mama casserole at 7:53 AM on April 12, 2016 (27 comments)


Ostagram (github), uses neural networks to combine two images, styling the first (may be NSFW) as the second, with awesome and terrifying results.
posted to MetaFilter by dilaudid at 12:06 AM on April 2, 2016 (70 comments)


Fiction v nonfiction – English literature's made-up divide
posted to MetaFilter by beerperson at 5:24 AM on March 27, 2016 (71 comments)

The Re-Readables

What book(s) can you read over and over and over again?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mymbleth at 12:53 PM on March 21, 2016 (162 comments)

Good evening, Stockholm!

After a series of national selection processes, all 43 contestants for the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest are set. Two familiar faces (last year's winner, Måns Zelmerlöw, and 2013 host Petra Mede) will guide us through two semis and a Grand Final while hopefully also making sense of a new vote-counting system. Come for the camp, stay for the geopolitical intrigue.
posted to MetaFilter by zebra at 10:34 AM on March 21, 2016 (52 comments)

The next chapters in Monument Valley, or another similar game

I really, really loved playing Monument Valley. It was immersive and a delightful puzzle and visually excellent and there were no in-app purchases I didn't want. No intrusive ads or tricksy cheats or extras. I can't find a similar game to love, and I can't find current information on new chapters of MV. Help!
posted to Ask MetaFilter by witchen at 7:58 PM on March 19, 2016 (16 comments)

Many, many, manifestos.

I love manifestos of all type. Feminist manifestos. Communist manifestos. Murder manifestos. The more the merrier. Send me your most interesting manifestos.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Dressed to Kill at 10:33 AM on March 16, 2016 (59 comments)

Sim card or whatever for iPhone while travelling in US

This seems like an obvious question but the internet is being surprisingly non-informative and what information I can find seems to be several years old. I will be travelling for about 1 month. I have a totally unlocked iPhone 6s purchased in the UK. Can I walk into a store in the US when I arrive, buy a pre-paid nano sim with a data allowance, and stick it in my phone and use it?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by cilantro at 3:18 PM on March 16, 2016 (8 comments)

(He Talks in His Sleep)

“Oh, that doesn’t complete my collection at all! No! Oh no! Well let’s see, I have a dodo, and a rock, and a phoenix...oh dear! A pterodactyl, yes, the unicorn, the griffin, dear, oh yes, well a mermaid doesn’t count, she’s out in the pool! No... well, if she ever gets out I’m gonna mate her with the centaur! Yes! What do you think?! Certainly! Well, I don’t know. What do you think? Well, if you don’t mate them you know they’ll die off!”
The Dream World of Dion McGregor
posted to MetaFilter by KirkpatrickMac at 1:38 AM on March 16, 2016 (12 comments)

fun fantasy that's not.. bad.

Recommendations for fun fantasy with solid female leads? I've happily gone through all the wonderful recommendations in my last question (Books of friends saving the world) and finished A Discovery of Witches-- which almost destroyed my love for fun fantasy.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by inevitability at 2:57 PM on March 14, 2016 (51 comments)

Tired of vinaigrettes, looking for new salad dressings

I eat lots of salads and bowls. I'm getting tired of vinaigrettes and paying for overpriced bottled dressings. I'm looking for your best salad dressing recipes. More specifics after the jump.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by slogger at 6:16 AM on March 10, 2016 (36 comments)

Ocus Puzzle

Move pieces into dark area and form rectangle.
posted to MetaFilter by Confess, Fletch at 10:18 PM on March 8, 2016 (12 comments)

8,000 vintage Afropop songs, streaming online

An amazing treasure trove of 8,000 Afropop tracks. The British Library just released this archive as part of their first online sound project within their Endangered Archives Programme (EAP). The recordings are from the state-supported Syliphone label and were released between 1958 to 1984.
posted to MetaFilter by nickyskye at 2:30 PM on March 8, 2016 (24 comments)

New Looks for Old Books

Recovering the Classics is a crowdsourced collection of original covers for 100 great works in the public domain, designed to increase interest and access to classics in e-book format.
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 8:27 AM on March 6, 2016 (14 comments)

The Music Sounds Better With You

Back by moderately popular demand, it's the MetaFilterMusic podcast! Check out episode 2 on Soundcloud!
posted to MetaTalk by greenish at 2:29 AM on March 6, 2016 (27 comments)

Thinking Critically

What puzzles, games or new activities can I do to keep improving my critical thinking, analytical, and logical abilities? AKA "Continuing Ed" for liberal arts graduates who have a hard time with "2 + 2" (when they're intoxicated, anyway...).
posted to Ask MetaFilter by nightrecordings at 10:10 AM on February 28, 2016 (25 comments)

The invention of the shopping cart and how it changed shopping

This collection of six Saturday Evening Post from decades past depict a significant change in grocery shopping, from the time when grocers picked and weighed all items for the shopper, to the modern "self-service" stores we know today, including the now ubiquitous (to the point of invisibility) tool that lead to this change. The shopping cart (or shopping carriage, buggy or trolley, seen here in its original form) is far from glamorous, but when he invented the combination basket and carriage, Sylvan Goldman changed how people shopped: an Oklahoma Story.
posted to MetaFilter by filthy light thief at 12:07 PM on March 1, 2016 (32 comments)

Kilo for kilo, it is more costly than gold.

The scent from heaven; a tale of one of the world’s most expensive commodities from its end users in the Middle East to its source in the forests of Southeast Asia. Agarwood
This sweet woody fragrance is used in some of these better known commercial perfumes.
posted to MetaFilter by adamvasco at 4:33 PM on March 1, 2016 (5 comments)

Romertopf troubleshooting

I got a Romertopf clay pot over the holidays. It seems like 80% of the time, whatever I was cooking ends up way too dry, which is the opposite of how I understood clay pot cooking to work. Making matters worse, the Romertopf FAQs are poorly translated from the original German. Needless to say, my dishes do not remain sapful. What's your clay pot cooking process? What are some tips to ensure moisture remains in whatever you're cooking?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by palindromic at 6:15 PM on March 2, 2016 (9 comments)

Need lists of thoughtful lists, please...

I'm writing about lists and would like some examples...
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Tchad at 2:20 PM on February 27, 2016 (13 comments)
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