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What do you wish you had started doing sooner?
The world is awash in bullshit. Politicians are unconstrained by facts. Science is conducted by press release. So-called higher education often rewards bullshit over analytic thought. Two University of Washington lecturers have designed a course to teach students about Bullshit.
The Erasure of Islam from the Poetry of Rumi Rozina Ali revisits the cultural legacy of Rumi in the West: 'The erasure of Islam from Rumi’s poetry started long before Coldplay got involved. Omid Safi, a professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic studies at Duke University, says that it was in the Victorian period that readers in the West began to uncouple mystical poetry from its Islamic roots. Translators and theologians of the time could not reconcile their ideas about a “desert religion,” with its unusual moral and legal codes, and the work of poets like Rumi and Hafez. The explanation they settled on, Safi told me, was “that these people are mystical not because of Islam but in spite of it.” This was a time when Muslims were singled out for legal discrimination—a law from 1790 curtailed the number of Muslims who could come into the United States, and a century later the U.S. Supreme Court described the “intense hostility of the people of Moslem faith to all other sects, and particularly to Christians.” In 1898, in the introduction to his translation of the “Masnavi,” Sir James Redhouse wrote, “The Masnavi addresses those who leave the world, try to know and be with God, efface their selves and devote themselves to spiritual contemplation.” For those in the West, Rumi and Islam were separated.' [Rumi previously]
We live in a small apartment with no outdoor space and one available sill, and we also like cooking and eating green things. In an ideal world, I'd have a small kitchen garden to supply us with salads and herbs. Can you help us get a little bit closer to that?
It turns out this Koala covered in burrs just needed a hug. Or a very cautious brushing from a distance while wearing motorcycle gloves, anyway. Yes, there's video. (No, it's not in landscape orientation.)
Restaurant reviews are a dime a dozen on Youtube, but what the world still lacked was a guy going around London chicken shops rating them on wing crispiness, chip consistency, burger buildup and value for money (anything over two pounds fifty is stretching it). Fortunately, now there's Chicken Connoisseur's The Pengest Munch to fill the gap.
"The tail of a 99-million year old dinosaur has been found entombed in amber, an unprecedented discovery that has blown away scientists....The amber adds to fossil evidence that many dinosaurs sported feathers rather than scales. "
I have read that there is a near-universal tendency for people to speak to pets in the same kind of high-pitched voice they would use towards babies because it is an instinctive response to smallness, cuteness, innocence. And I know that "Who's a good boy/girl/dog? Are you a good boy/girl/dog? Yes you are." is an extremely common way for people to talk to dogs, their own or others...although what's behind this I can't guess. (Bonus points if you can.)
Amateur street photographer Chris Porsz wandered the streets of his native Peterborough for hours in the 70s and 80s, capturing brief portraits. After rediscovering his trove of photos, he was inspired to recreate some of the shots for his second book, Reunions (SLBuzzfeed).
Cocktails? Metatalktails? I don't know, come up with something cleverer. Belly on up to the metatalk bar and let's have some Friday chatter! Let's hear about your work, your family, your pets, let's talk about sports and TV and hilarious things you saw in the street, tell terrible jokes, and blow off some steam and be sociable!
Cats. In hats. Made from their own hair.
BBC Series Planet Earth II Will Be Unparalleled, Says Attenborough [The Guardian] “A lone eagle soars high above craggy mountain tops, the tips of its wings lifting lightly in the wind. A lemur leaps from tree to tree in a dense forest, the camera following the animal with every bound. An enormous grizzly bear wriggles his back against a tree, as if caught in an embarrassing dance. This is planet Earth, but not as you have ever seen it before. That’s because, more accurately, it is Planet Earth II [YouTube], the latest – and perhaps most spectacular – blockbuster nature series the BBC has ever made. Ten years after Sir David Attenborough narrated the channel’s groundbreaking epic Planet Earth, the 90-year-old broadcaster has returned for part two, a lavish six-part series that will screen on BBC1 from Sunday 6 November. Shot over three years in 117 filming trips to 40 countries, it is one of the first series to be fully filmed in the latest UHD and HDR formats, according to the BBC, and features countless sequences that could not have been achieved without new, ultra-lightweight cameras and drones.”
There's an incredible number of album covers in the mid-late 1970s where the (male) artists were shirtless - especially black artists. It was only for a few year period but was incredibly prevalent. It's also definitely not done in a 'sexy' way. It's often just a bunch of guys hanging out without shirts on. Is there a particular reason this came into vogue or was it just a quirk/fad of the era's fashion style?
Oppressed by weltschmerz in the light of recent events? Staring out at leaden November skies? Then why not listen to a string quartet? So much fine music has been written for the enduring and flexible line-up of 2 violins, viola & cello, much of it anguished, sombre & tormented! One might begin near the beginning in the relatively cheerful & sunlit world of Joseph Haydn’s Op. 20 quartets (1772): here’s no. 4 from that set. A tip-of-the-iceberg selection of others…
In 1999, two men with metal detectors unearthed one of the most significant finds of modern archaeology: the Nebra Sky Disc, a 30-cm bronze disc inlaid with gold depicting the sun, moon, stars (including the Pleiades), and arcs that apparently represent sunrise and sunset at the solstices at Mittelberg Hill in Germany, and a holy sun boat symbol, dating from 1600 BCE or earlier. Because the illicit finders sold the disc on the black market, skepticism about its authenticity abounded for several years before scientific investigations confirmed it was a legitimate find and possibly the oldest concrete depiction of astronomical phenomena ever found. (The looters were seized by police in a sting operation in a bar in Switzerland, sentenced to prison, appealed, and got longer sentences.)
A Database of Foods, Drugs, Dyes and Fibers of Native American Peoples, Derived from Plants.
Calvin Seibert builds modernist sand castles. "Nature will always be against you and time is always running out. Having to think fast and to bring it all together in the end is what I like about it. I rarely start with a plan, just a vague notion of trying to do something different each time. Once I begin building and forms take shape I can start to see where things are going and either follow that road or attempt to contradict it with something unexpected."
Two cats get the same idea and end up, well, you'll see [SLYT]
“Folk Music in America” is a series of 15 LP records published by the Library of Congress between 1976 and 1978 to celebrate the bicentennial of the American Revolution. It was curated by librarian/collector-cum-discographer Richard K. Spottswood, and funded by a grant by the National Endowment for the Arts. The music, pulled primarily from the Library of Congress Archive of Folk Song (now Archive of Folk Culture), spans nearly a century (1890-1976) and virtually every form that can be considered American music. This includes native American songs and instrumental music, music of immigrant cultures from all over the world, and uniquely American forms like blues, jazz and country.Folk Music in America
The mystery of the pulsating spider : "During my years in the field, I had recorded numerous instances of micro-movements in spider abdomens. While most are just really tiny unnoticeable movements on the spider's heart line, one particular spider stood out with swirling or pulsating movements in the abdomen and visible with the naked eye."
The album cover is a picture of two middle-aged black people, seated on folding chairs. The woman is in her late thirties, the man in his mid-fifties. She wears a plain print housedress and a wry expression; the man’s white socks are rolled at the ankles. A trumpet is on his lap, supporting his folded arms. There is no written information on the cover other than the name of the record label: “Verve,” it says. “A Panoramic True High Fidelity Record.” On the spine is the album’s title: "Ella and Louis.”
In recent (often election) threads, some MeFites have said they're not looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with their families. Others have offered up their homes for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Here's a MetaTalk thread to facilitate those holiday connections for support and good company.
This American Life hooked up musical theater composing teams with journalists to penetrate the inner thoughts of three public figures during this chaotic time: "A Better Way" (Paul Ryan) sung by Neil Patrick Harris, composed by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez (Frozen); "Party Guy" (Reince Priebus) sung by John Ellison Conlee, composed by Michael Friedman (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson); "Seriously" (Barak Obama) sung by Leslie Odom, Jr, composed by Sara Bareilles (Waitress).
June 2016; a small cardboard sign appears by the A456 Hagley Road, near Birmingham UK. It reads 'who put Bella in the wych elm'. A few new twists have recently been added to a 73 year old murder mystery, including a connection to the last man executed in the tower of London.
The magnificent, insane castles of Ludwig II of Bavaria are slowly decaying. (Come for the architecture, stay for the orgies and proposed bank robberies.) As the article notes, "Ludwig kept hundreds of upholsterers, wood carvers and gilders busy, along with engineers and Siemens technicians." He spent himself into debt for the sake of his castles, many of which were designed after inspirations from Wagner, and some of which may have been built specifically for Wagner performances.
Riddlewot is a website with riddles made by whoever correctly guesses the front page riddle. That's all. If you want to post a riddle, you gotta make an account.
I bought some preserved lemons. Now what?
I'm prepared to make borscht, I have ingredients, tools, desire, and an overabundance of options. Help me pick the best one.
Emma Watkins, best known as the current Yellow Wiggle, dances Justin Timberlake's Can't stop the Feeling for World Deaf Day (September 24.) (SLYT) (Emma is Australian and I believe she is using Auslan.)
No, not the scary kind of crocs. Spencer the Irish Bulldog gets stylish prosthetics—you won't BELIEVE what happens at the end!
Here's a video of Husky pups swarming through a door vent, which seems upbeat and fun thanks to the indie-pop instrumental score. See a video (.MP4, 7.4mb) closer (Daily Mail) to the source, and it seems a bit more menacing without any audio. Let's amp up the terror and set the scene to The Walking Dead's theme song. If you need a come-down, enjoy Wrigley at the movies, a man and his boss's dog re-enacting romantic movie moments.
Herman Melville was an obscurity when Carl Van Doren (with Raymond Weaver's help) started promoting his work in the 1920s. Domenico Scarlatti was a completely forgotten Baroque composer until Ralph Kirkpatrick wrote his biography and republished his sonatas, which are now part of the keyboard canon. Petrarch discovered Cicero's letters and supposedly kicked off the entire Renaissance. What are some other examples of famous artists, writers, historical figures, etc. whose reputations were revived by a single person?
The HMS Terror, the second ship of Franklin's doomed expedition to find the Northwest Passage, has been located. Today the Arctic Research Foundation announced that it has located what it believes to be the HMS Terror, one of two ships belonging to the 1845 expedition. Official confirmation will come from Parks Canada.
Quiet Pine Trees is a twitter based stream of haunting and provocative micro-fiction by T.R. Darling. "Being brief isn’t enough. You can boil down a story to a sentence or two, but often you need context. If you need to convey a setting, like a fascist dystopia, or characterization, like a reluctant soldier, suddenly one or two sentences won’t fit. I often must resist the temptation to omit punctuation or fall back on abbreviation, like some kind of barbarian." Full Interview.
When you woke up this morning, I'm confident your first thought was: "What is the most ridiculous antelope?" Well, obviously it's the Dik Dik. Whether they are squeaking, fighting, or just being beautiful weirdos, Dik Diks have few competitors. But what do researchers find strangest about the Dik Dik? Well, it's monogamous.