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Taibbi held a gun to my head, er, I mean...

Everything Is Rigged: The Biggest Price-Fixing Scandal Ever The Illuminati were amateurs. The second huge financial scandal of the year reveals the real international conspiracy: There's no price the big banks can't fix
posted to MetaFilter by infini at 9:17 AM on April 26, 2013 (127 comments)

Just how do you move a secret aircraft overland to a secret base?

How did Lockheed move the A-12 from the Skunk Works to Area 51 for flight testing without the vehicle being seen? Here's how.
posted to MetaFilter by Rob Rockets at 8:52 AM on April 25, 2013 (61 comments)

"The Logic Of Violence In Criminal War"

Criminal Cartels And The Rule Of Law In Mexico: Summary, PDF
The cartels have thousands of gunmen and have morphed into diversified crime groups that not only traffic drugs, but also conduct mass kidnappings, oversee extortion rackets and steal from the state oil industry. The military still fights them in much of the country on controversial missions too often ending in shooting rather than prosecutions. If Peña Nieto does not build an effective police and justice system, the violence may continue or worsen. But major institutional improvements and more efficient, comprehensive social programs could mean real hope for sustainable peace and justice.

posted to MetaFilter by the man of twists and turns at 6:41 AM on April 25, 2013 (20 comments)

Oh don't lean on me man, cause you can't afford the ticket

Chako Paul City is a women-only city in the north of Sweden, established in 1820 by a wealthy widow. It is "a place that is respectful of women's love, but with a rule that men cannot enter"; the few who have tried have found themselves beaten half to death by the formidable Amazonian sentries at its gates. It has a castle, and its main industry is forestry, with a sideline in lesbian tourism. Of the 25,000 women, from all over Europe, living in Chako Paul City, those wishing to seek male company are allowed to leave, but may only reenter after having bathed and undertaken several other measures to avoid negatively affecting the mental state of the other residents.
posted to MetaFilter by acb at 7:19 AM on April 24, 2013 (76 comments)

Cage Against The Machine

Hanksy, underground street fartist.
posted to MetaFilter by cthuljew at 7:37 PM on April 22, 2013 (16 comments)

NATO airstrikes kill 12 children in Kunar, Afghanistan

On April 7, an airstrike on a Taliban commander killed him and a total of 16 civilians, 12 of them children. Hamid Karzai condemns the attack and says that the CIA is carelessly planning these airstrikes that go awry far too often. Kunar district was the site of another airstrike that killed civilians in February.
posted to MetaFilter by Sleeper at 2:19 AM on April 22, 2013 (186 comments)

San Francisco 1955

San Francisco in 1955 in color "Shot by filmmaker Tullio Pellgrini, the 20-minute movie gives an up-close-and-personal tour of the city from Pellgrini's automobile. His narration is charmingly earnest in a way that's promotional of the city's virtues while never stepping over into being particularly phony or cloying."
posted to MetaFilter by Long Way To Go at 9:34 PM on April 20, 2013 (34 comments)

The Finances of a Successful Indie Game

"When we first started working on Dustforce, it was frustrating to not be able to find much data about whether indie game development is a realistic thing to do with your life." Hitbox Team helps remedy that for future designers in this article about the finances and sales of their game, Dustforce.
posted to MetaFilter by gilrain at 2:22 PM on April 16, 2013 (37 comments)

"Tell them what really happened, Sting."

A joint interview with the Police from April 2000. A career-spanning reminiscence rich with bickering, musical insights, and curse words.
posted to MetaFilter by escabeche at 2:35 PM on April 13, 2013 (37 comments)

Libraries: Not Just For Books

A seed library is a long-term lending institution, for plants. Seed Libraries Preserve Heirloom Varities
posted to MetaFilter by the man of twists and turns at 11:11 AM on March 25, 2013 (4 comments)

The game that puts you on a first-name basis with third-world dictators

"Now the trumpet summons us again—not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need; not as a call to battle, though embattled we are—but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle [...]"
- John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address

TWILIGHT STRUGGLE is a card-driven board game simulation of the Cold War. It has been called a game of crisis management; dealing with them yourself, creating them for your opponent, and their proper timing. There is a extensive blog about the game, Twilight Strategy. This is that site's article on starting out play. This page could help you decide if it's for you. ("Do you enjoy games that are extremely tense and nerve-wracking?") Here's a YouTube video on how to play it. And, although I suggest learning to play with a physical set, the online multiplayer wargaming client Warroom has a Java Twilight Struggle client/server program available. There is also a VASSAL module, but it currently doesn't work with VASSAL 3.2 or later. There's a lot more on the game after the break....
posted to MetaFilter by JHarris at 3:29 AM on March 24, 2013 (48 comments)

Godwin Orwelled

Ted Rall opines the looming war on crimethink
posted to MetaFilter by maggieb at 10:36 AM on March 8, 2013 (59 comments)

Breaking A Legacy of Silence

"An April 17, 1981, a CIA cable[pdf] described an army massacre at Cocob, near Nebaj in the Ixil Indian territory, because the population was believed to support leftist guerrillas. A CIA source reported that “the social population appeared to fully support the guerrillas” and “the soldiers were forced to fire at anything that moved.” The CIA cable added that “the Guatemalan authorities admitted that ‘many civilians’ were killed in Cocob, many of whom undoubtedly were non-combatants.” In May 1981, despite these ongoing atrocities, Reagan dispatched Walters to tell the Guatemalan leaders that the new U.S. administration wanted to lift the human rights embargoes on military equipment that former President Jimmy Carter and Congress had imposed."
The Guatemala Documentation Project, part of the National Security Archive, collects information about the decades long civil war in Guatemala, including State Department documents that point to Washington's complicity in massacres, assassinations and human rights violations.
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 8:14 PM on March 5, 2013 (21 comments)

Like a bell...

On this day in 1963, in a tragic plane crash, America lost one of its finest singers: Patsy Cline. While many are familiar with her acclaimed rendition of the Willie Nelson-penned Crazy, let's pay a visit to some lesser-known but nonetheless masterfully impressive vocal performances from that sublime, transcendent voice, shall we? Here's two live TV spots: Patsy in full cowgirl regalia with a delightful performance of the Hank Williams classic Lovesick Blues and the snazzy Walking After Midnight, one of the tunes that reminds us that Patsy could've just as easily been marketed as a pop/jazzy chanteuse as the *country* artist she was presented to the world as. And here's the gorgeously smooth studio renditions of She's Got You and I Fall To Pieces, and...
posted to MetaFilter by flapjax at midnite at 5:04 AM on March 5, 2013 (44 comments)

Rise of the Afropolitan

The stereotypes about Africa/Africans are too many to list here. They’re mostly negative, myopic depictions that focus on war, famine, abject poverty, disease, and corruption. In other oversimplifications, Africans are written up as model immigrants, overachieving geniuses, or displaced chiefs moonlighting as gas station attendants. Outside of these caricatures, many Africans are going to work and school, voting in their local elections, and spending way too much time on Facebook. And they’re over the ignorance that has collectively miscast them. In response, a swelling movement of young Africans are launching concerted efforts to wrest the image of Africa from entities and interests that don’t promote a balanced understanding of the continent.
posted to MetaFilter by infini at 12:25 AM on March 3, 2013 (69 comments)

Tiny, Blind, Swarming, Ruthless, Regimented Sisters

This is a sausage fly. As soon as he steps foot on the trail he is overtaken by the sisterhood.
posted to MetaFilter by Toekneesan at 7:52 PM on February 23, 2013 (35 comments)

"This is the Amazon as one imagines it as a child"

"Hi, my name is Paul Rosolie. I'm a naturalist based out of southern Peru and today I'm headed into the jungle to show you a place that very few people have gotten to see. I'm in the Madre de Dios region of Peru, this is the far western Amazon and some of the deepest jungle on earth."
posted to MetaFilter by stbalbach at 10:59 AM on February 20, 2013 (10 comments)

Abolished at last

18 years before slavery was finally abolished in Mississippi, T.V. Nation went and got themselves some slaves.
posted to MetaFilter by Cold Lurkey at 8:26 PM on February 18, 2013 (87 comments)

putting the high in high fantasy

FYI: Chivalry is now a game about knights in low gravity, screaming and screaming and screaming.
posted to MetaFilter by cortex at 10:05 AM on February 15, 2013 (22 comments)

A Hermit Over His Head

In the wake of Pope Benedict's resignation yesterday, the world has become re-aquainted with a more famous papal resignation; that of Celestine V, a hermit who proved wildly incompetent as pope and never wanted the job in the first place – but was canonized nevertheless, and received special acclaim from Pope Benedict just three years ago.
posted to MetaFilter by EmpressCallipygos at 11:34 AM on February 12, 2013 (44 comments)

How Nikon Makes its lenses

How Nikon Makes Its Lenses
posted to MetaFilter by dhruva at 7:27 PM on February 4, 2013 (60 comments)

Academic freedom under attack in NYC

The Political Science Department at Brooklyn College is co-sponsoring a panel discussion about the BDS Movement (boycott, divestment, sanctions) against Israel this Thursday Feburary 7th. The event features Omar Barghouti, BDS co-founder and Judith Butler, prominent philosopher. The college has come under widespread attack for its hosting of the event, with a coalition of New York City councillors threatening to defund the school.
posted to MetaFilter by mek at 5:42 PM on February 3, 2013 (142 comments)

A wanton wenche vppon a colde daye With Snowe balles prouoked me to play

Who knew so many awesome snowball fights were immortalized in medieval paintings?
posted to MetaFilter by Dr. Fetish at 4:05 PM on January 16, 2013 (23 comments)

A spiritual sequel to Planescape Torment

"Rumours have been swirling for years about a possible sequel to Black Isle’s legendary and powerful roleplaying game Planescape: Torment, but the closure of the original studio and the jealous guarding of the Planescape rights by owners Wizards of the Coast seemed to have put paid to any comeback. But with original Interplay boss Brian Fargo very much back in the RPG business with current studio inXile’s wildly successful Wasteland 2 crowdfunding, everything changes. He and his team have come up with a way to make a new Torment game: this is really happening."
posted to MetaFilter by Paragon at 2:55 PM on January 9, 2013 (17 comments)

Secret and Lies of the Bailout

Secret and Lies of the Bailout. "The federal rescue of Wall Street didn’t fix the economy – it created a permanent bailout state based on a Ponzi-like confidence scheme. And the worst may be yet to come." [Via]
posted to MetaFilter by homunculus at 11:11 AM on January 7, 2013 (77 comments)

Counterfeit Monkey

> examine mourning dress
A black vintage gown trimmed with much lace and dripping with jet beads.

> wave U-remover at mourning dress
There is a flash of psychedelic colors, and the mourning dress turns into a morning dress. An outfit of striped trousers and fancy coat, such as men sometimes wear to fancy weddings in the morning...

Counterfeit Monkey: a game of word manipulation.
posted to MetaFilter by Iridic at 8:51 AM on January 7, 2013 (53 comments)

"Victory as recorded on those screens made them feel like Masters of the Universe."

Eunuchs of the Universe: Tom Wolfe on Wall Street Today: [Daily Beast]
"As America teeters on a cliff, Tom Wolfe draws up a sterling indictment of our unscrupulous financial culture. Twenty-five years after Bonfire of the Vanities, the author returns to Wall Street to see what happened to the Masters of the Universe."

posted to MetaFilter by Fizz at 7:41 AM on January 4, 2013 (35 comments)

"All hands, prepare for MULTIBALL."

What is perhaps the best license ever applied to a pinball machine? Probably Star Trek: The Next Generation, which is surprisingly like playing an episode. Williams also released a special ROM of funny quotes from cast members that people can install into their machines.
posted to MetaFilter by JHarris at 8:01 PM on December 30, 2012 (62 comments)

Poverty in the UK during the 1930s

"Yet when I went before the Public Assistance Committee [to plead for more benefit] they asked me if the baby was being breast-fed and when I said yes, they reduced the allowance for a child.' [Daily Mail - Although not their usual fare].
posted to MetaFilter by marienbad at 3:21 PM on December 25, 2012 (12 comments)

"If I were to play nothing but Matteis all my life, I wouldn't mind at all."

The best classical performance you've never heard: the remarkable violinist Amandine Beyer plays the Diverse Bizzarrie Sopra La Vecchia Sarabanda Ò Pur Ciaccona, by 17th-century composer Nicola Matteis. Here she discusses trying to recreate Matteis's original violin technique, to understand why the Baroque composer, whose work pre-dates Johann Sebastian Bach, wrote his pieces the way he did. Previously, Beyer and her ensemble Gli Incogniti breathed life into one of classical music's most overplayed masterpieces, Antonio Vivaldi's Four Seasons.
posted to MetaFilter by Rory Marinich at 1:06 PM on December 14, 2012 (16 comments)

Exquisite Minecraftsmanship

A gallery of The Kingdom of Cipher: a breathtaking world in Minecraft miniature. [sl-imgur; Minecraft previously]
posted to MetaFilter by MimeticHaHa at 11:27 AM on December 9, 2012 (28 comments)

They deserve better

The poor in America: In need of help Some 15% of Americans (around 46.2m people) live below the poverty line, as Ms Hamilton does. You have to go back to the early 1960s—before Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society programmes—to find a significantly higher rate. Many more, like Ms Dunham, have incomes above the poverty line but nevertheless cannot meet their families’ basic monthly needs, and there are signs that their number is growing. Once upon a time the fates of these people weighed heavily on American politicians. Ronald Reagan boasted about helping the poor by freeing them from having to pay federal income tax. Jack Kemp, Bob Dole’s running-mate in 1996, sought to spearhead a “new war on poverty.” George W. Bush called “deep, persistent poverty…unworthy of our nation’s promise”. No longer. Budgets are tight and the safety net is expensive. Mitt Romney famously said he was not “concerned about the very poor” because they have a safety net to take care of them. Mr Obama’s second-term plan mentioned poverty once, and on the trail he spoke gingerly of “those aspiring to the middle class”. “Poor” is a four-letter word.
posted to MetaFilter by infini at 7:51 PM on November 8, 2012 (23 comments)

Art for your suffrage.

"Now, in 2012, it’s possible the women’s vote could effect the outcome the U.S. presidential election. You would think we’d also have moved beyond gender stereotypes depicted in these postcards, but they’re still strong." War on Women, Waged in Postcards: Memes From the Suffragist Era
posted to MetaFilter by sarastro at 4:40 PM on November 2, 2012 (59 comments)

Stephen Fry in America

Stephen Fry in America is a six part BBC television series of one hour shows in which Stephen Fry travels across the United States of America. He travels, mostly in a London cab, through all 50 U.S. states and offers his unique variety of insight as well as his infectious optimism and genuine love for many things American. New World, Deep South, Mississippi [US Edit], Mountains and Plains, True West, and Pacific.
posted to MetaFilter by Blasdelb at 1:47 PM on November 2, 2012 (95 comments)

The Permanent War

The Permanent War (video). "This project, based on interviews with dozens of current and former national security officials, intelligence analysts and others, examines evolving U.S. counterterrorism policies and the practice of targeted killing." Part 1: Plan for hunting terrorists signals U.S. intends to keep adding names to kill lists. Part 2: A CIA veteran transforms U.S. counterterrorism policy. Part 3: Remote U.S. base at core of secret operations.
posted to MetaFilter by homunculus at 8:35 PM on October 25, 2012 (68 comments)

On the importance of learning from past movements

Gideon Oliver spoke to me of the devastating effect this kind of surveillance has had on activists. “People fear that detectives are following them around. They panic. It’s a movement-dismantling tactic.” Most Occupy protesters are new to activism and are emotionally unprepared to deal with this kind of intimidation. Nor, so far as I have seen, are they inclined to seek the advice of older activists who were under surveillance in the 1960s and 1970s, before the protections of the original Handschu Decree, which prohibited political spying, were put in place. Those activists nevertheless found ways to continue their political work.
From an article on the NYPD's Intel Division.
posted to MetaFilter by eviemath at 10:35 AM on October 23, 2012 (34 comments)

Dark Engine 2.0?

Like Thief or System Shock 2 but have trouble running them on a modern computer?
A user over at the French-language Ariane Thief forums has uploaded a pair of unofficial patches that not only allow the games to run well on modern hardware, but also update the games' underlying Dark Engine to greatly improve graphics.
So far, Kotaku has a short write-up on the patch but otherwise this is still breaking news. Dedicated Thief fans at TTLG are currently putting the release through its paces to see what the updated engine is capable of.

Thief 2 v.1.19 patch (apparently also supports Thief 1) - Thief 2 HD Patched Demo
System Shock 2 patch - SS2 HD Patched Demo

(Thiefy stuff previously, previouslier.)
posted to MetaFilter by dunkadunc at 9:12 PM on September 25, 2012 (65 comments)

Life on Pluto - Details on Page 97.

What lives where in the Solar System. Fantastic Adventure covers from 1939/40 depicting the kind of lifeforms they think each planet can support.
posted to MetaFilter by marienbad at 5:53 AM on September 20, 2012 (63 comments)

3 cute videos from French graphics students

Three cute shorts from the Bellecour School of Art's 3D graphics program: Boringtown (3:38), about three youths who battle monsters; Monsterbox (7:38), about a little girl, her monsters, and a kind old garden shop keeper; and Destiny (5:26), about a fellow and his relationship with time.
posted to MetaFilter by filthy light thief at 9:22 PM on September 19, 2012 (4 comments)

Paid for by the cat.....

Proof that cats are better than dogs. Please do not allow your dog to watch this, it will depress the dog. Your cat, however, will just sit and nod it's head knowingly.
posted to MetaFilter by HuronBob at 11:39 AM on September 19, 2012 (62 comments)

An Open Letter to Wikipedia, from Philip Roth

Dear Wikipedia, I am Philip Roth. I had reason recently to read for the first time the Wikipedia entry discussing my novel “The Human Stain.” The entry contains a serious misstatement that I would like to ask to have removed.
posted to MetaFilter by KokuRyu at 11:08 AM on September 7, 2012 (113 comments)

Winstanley's Eddystone lighthouse

On 25 November 1703, despite a severe gale warning, Winstanley insisted on going out to the lighthouse again along with five men to carry out some necessary repairs. On the 26th, England was hit by an event still known as “The Great Storm”, even today the benchmark by which all storms in England are measured.
posted to MetaFilter by Chrysostom at 8:11 AM on September 5, 2012 (14 comments)

"UNIX is very simple, it just needs a genius to understand its simplicity."

The UNIX™ System: Making Computers More Productive. A video from 1982 featuring Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, Brian Kernighan, Alfred Aho, and Lorinda Cherry discussing key features of UNIX. One of many videos available from the AT&T Archives. Warning: contains beards. Lots of beards.
posted to MetaFilter by grouse at 7:41 PM on September 5, 2012 (56 comments)

High Weirdness By Mail

"I guess it started for me when, as a young sci-fi movie fan, I did a fanzine at age 12 to 15... that’s when I learned how relatively cheap and easy it was to self-publish, at least for a small circle of weirdos. Later, after comics went up to 50¢, I started collecting stuff equally weird but much cheaper than comic books: kook literature." - Rev. Ivan Stang

You may know of the Church of the SubGenius, that parody religion that worships the almighty "Bob" and was a fixture of MTV and Night Flights back in the day. But do you know of its SECRET ORIGINS? Co-founder Ivan Stang corresponded with hundreds of "mad prophets, crackpots, kooks & true visionaries," from sincere cults to winking charlatans to utter nutjobs to hate groups to independent artists and musicians, with some respected names thrown in, and synthesized them into a half-joking, half-serious celebration of the kook spirit. These days of course the forward-thinking crackpot looking for sheep goes directly to the internet. But while it lasted Stang and co-authors Mike Gunderloy, Waver Forest and Mark Johnston collaborated to document this vanished scene in the legendary book HIGH WEIRDNESS BY MAIL. (All links within may quickly lead someplace NSFW by the nature of the beast.)
posted to MetaFilter by JHarris at 3:05 PM on August 27, 2012 (133 comments)
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