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Caramel sugar

Sugar can be caramelized without melting. It then substitutes for white sugar without otherwise changing recipes. SLSeriouseats
posted by daisyace at 3:41 AM May 17 2016 - 144 comments [166 favorites]

Kate Compton introduces computational generative methods

This is a beginner-level advice essay for people just getting started with building generators. It’s also for practiced experts who want a way to organize their knowledge. The advice is meant for any kind of generators: humorous twitterbots, fanciful art-making bots, level generators, planet builders, makers of music, architecture, poetry, and cocktails. (edit: it turned out to be 4000 words long, so enjoy the ride!) [more inside]
posted by cgc373 at 3:05 PM May 18 2016 - 12 comments [104 favorites]

Radiohead's new album hits the web

Five years after Radiohead's last album, myriad hints from the band marked May 1st -- Dawn Chorus Day -- as the date something big was gonna happen. The band ateased the web with rumours_of songs new and old, cryptic artwork, ominous mailers. But after years of waiting, nothing came... literally. Optimistic fans trying to pick up every last crumb_were left climbing up the walls_as they were shown how to disappear completely, with the band's official site and social media fading out again, slowly dissolving little by little, one by one, before their very eyes. It all came back Tuesday, as mysterious chirps and inkblots ushered in the sinister claymation music video for long-awaited track "Burn the Witch" [prev.], followed days later by an arresting P.T. Anderson-directed film for the somber elegy "Daydreaming." While Radiohead's ninth album is not here now physically till June, it's available for download come 8th May_(today!) at 2 PM EDT on Radiohead.com. It's gonna be a glorious day. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi at 10:04 AM May 8 2016 - 78 comments [101 favorites]

Lisa Charlotte Rost Charts 12 Data Visualization Tools

In an effort to get to know as many options to visualize data as possible, Lisa Charlotte Rost took the same dataset and visualized it with 12 different tools and 12 different charting libraries. [more inside]
posted by cgc373 at 3:55 PM May 20 2016 - 19 comments [85 favorites]

The myth of the "Irish slave"

How the Myth of the "Irish slaves" Became a Favorite Meme of Racists Online [more inside]
posted by brundlefly at 2:10 PM Apr 26 2016 - 96 comments [78 favorites]

On thin ice

Every winter in Russia's east, the rivers that vein the enormous open spaces of siberia freeze solid. Photographer Amos Chappel joins one group of men who make a living on these frozen highways.
posted by smoke at 7:23 PM May 1 2016 - 38 comments [78 favorites]

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. [more inside]
posted by CrystalDave at 11:32 AM May 20 2016 - 33 comments [78 favorites]

" like arguing over who gets to fistfight a possum inside a dumpster"

an open letter to my nieces, who are currently fighting over a dude.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:43 AM May 24 2016 - 46 comments [78 favorites]

"There was no support system for this shit."

"The obscurity of this music, that someone had found, catalogued and championed it pre-Internet, boggled my mind. It was an esoteric document in the sense that it was full of obscure knowledge intended for a small number of people. But it was also esoteric in the sense that there seemed to be something mystical about it. A sort of musical Nag Hammadi Library of hidden music, rare artifacts, treasures reverently compiled, to be listened to in a ritual way." The story of the Nurse With Wound List.
posted by Len at 9:41 AM May 16 2016 - 35 comments [77 favorites]

"There's no point in writing it all down if nobody ever reads it."

One breezy afternoon in 2001, two friends of mine, Richard and Dido, were mooching around a building site in Cambridge when they came across a battered yellow skip. Inside were 148 handwritten notebooks. Some were crammed into an old bottle box that had jaunty green print on the side: "Ribena! 5d!" Most were scattered across the bricks exultantly. A few had royal emblems from George VI's time. Others were bright, bubblegum colours, tangerine and mushy-pea green. A chalky jotter that Dido picked up broke like chocolate. Inside, the rotted pages were filled with urgent handwriting. Running up one of the margins were the words, "Hope my diaries aren't blown up before people can read them – they have immortal value." There was no name or return address on the books. The diarist was simply "I" who had lived, and then died, and been pitched in a skip.
Diary of a somebody: could I solve the mystery of 148 lost notebooks? is an essay by Alexander Masters about the writing of his new book, A Life Discarded.
posted by Kattullus at 2:12 PM Apr 30 2016 - 36 comments [75 favorites]

Does Your Daughter Know It's Ok to be Angry?

"Bottling up anger is as harmful, if not more so, than anger exhibited in violent outbursts. How we think of “anger management” should more broadly include teaching girls that it is OK to feel angry. [...] The result [of sublimated anger], for many girls and women, long into old age, is a host of physical, psychological, and emotional damages. Anger impairs people’s immune systems, contributes to high blood pressure, heart damage, migraines, skin ailments, and chronic fatigue. Unresolved anger contributes to stress, tension, anxiety, depression, and excessive nervousness."Soraya L. Chemaly writes about how girls, taught to ignore their anger, become disassociated from themselves.
posted by stoneweaver at 10:11 PM May 10 2016 - 46 comments [75 favorites]

Want to combat Hollywood gender discrimination? Watch movies by women.

Here’s a list of 245 movies directed by women, on Netflix right now. The list is compiled by Film Fatales.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:04 PM May 12 2016 - 20 comments [73 favorites]

Dear Colleague Letter on Transgender Students

This morning, the Obama administration sent a letter (PDF) to all public schools in the United States, signed by the Department of Justice and and Department of Education, issuing guidance (PDF) that discrimination against transgender students’ rights violates schools’ legal obligations under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. All students must be allowed to use the restroom and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identity, and "schools are prohibited from publicly disclosing a transgender student's birth name or biological sex, and are required to change the gender on school records and directories when asked." [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:33 AM May 13 2016 - 197 comments [73 favorites]

Contact! Let's make contact!

"'Too many children think that scientists are all middle-aged white males in laboratory coats,' Edward Atkins, 3-2-1 Contact's director of content, told The New York Times in 1983." The Kids' Show That Taught Me to Ask "Why?", an ode to 3-2-1 Contact. [more inside]
posted by amnesia and magnets at 11:43 AM May 3 2016 - 42 comments [72 favorites]

Redefining Wealth and Prosperity in the 21st Century

Kennedy was right - "Much that is valuable is neither tangible nor tradable... Gross domestic product (GDP) is increasingly a poor measure of prosperity. It is not even a reliable gauge of production."* [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 1:01 AM May 11 2016 - 10 comments [70 favorites]

Hand cranked candy

A restored Victorian rolling machine for making drop candy. So that's why it's called drop candy. More machines. [more inside]
posted by carter at 12:47 PM May 13 2016 - 95 comments [68 favorites]

Encasement was certainly not something we were expecting

Reddit user _9MOTHER9HORSE9EYES9 is leaving long comments on various seemingly unrelated threads that link together into a very horrifying secret history of LSD, WWII, and the end of the world. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:31 AM Apr 26 2016 - 87 comments [87 favorites (67 in the past 30 days)]

Is This Rock Safe for Your Bush?

Is it safe to use a malachite stalactite as a dildo? The experts (no, seriously) weigh in.
posted by middleclasstool at 5:25 PM May 11 2016 - 73 comments [67 favorites]

tfw yr coffee game too strong

Lebanese coffee commercial. That's all I got.
posted by drlith at 2:08 PM May 24 2016 - 68 comments [67 favorites]

Open-plan offices are mandatory for all.

In 1944, the CIA’s predecessor created the Simple Sabotage Field Manual (previously), detailing subtle and hard-to-trace ways for a sympathetic insider to subvert an enemy’s total war effort, from industry to transportation to communication. Charlie Stross and contributors in his comments section have brought Simple Sabotage into the 21st century.
posted by reluctant early bird at 6:35 PM May 15 2016 - 63 comments [66 favorites]

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