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We Are Only One Menstrual Cycle in and There Is Blood in the Water

Here we go. Good afternoon, everyone. As you just saw, the President was honored to host a press conference just a short time ago. [more inside]
posted by Talez at 1:00 PM Feb 16 2017 - 2408 comments [124 favorites]

"Kellyanne, that makes no sense."

10 unanswered questions after Michael Flynn’s resignation: #1: What, if anything, did Trump authorize Flynn to tell the Russians before his inauguration? Today is day 26 of the Trump presidency; this morning, Matt Lauer eviscerated Kellyanne Conway on the Today show regarding the resignation of General Michael Flynn, which Paul Ryan is now claiming President Trump asked for. The AP is reporting that the North Korea leader's brother, Kim Jong Nam, was slain at airport in Malaysia, and Fox News is reporting that a Russian spy ship is patrolling off the East Coast of Delaware. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:46 AM Feb 14 2017 - 2859 comments [113 favorites]

The Russian Thread Reset

With the White House insisting that Air Force One won't be a prop, Trump pulled up to his airport hangar rally in Air Force One with the Air Force One theme playing in the background. [more inside]
posted by Talez at 3:00 PM Feb 19 2017 - 341 comments [78 favorites]

Allahu Akbar

The Meaning of Allahu Akbar, by Mehreen Kasana. "While sauntering through the woods during her daily walks in Virginia, my mother recorded a video of a deer with her youngling. They seemed calm looking at mama and continued enjoying the verdant surroundings. A few seconds into the video, you can hear my mother whisper 'Allahu Akbar' with love."
posted by Greg Nog at 7:59 AM Feb 13 2017 - 38 comments [72 favorites]

Tradition is based on religion; religion is based on tradition

How did Indonesia and Malaysia become majority-Muslim when they were once dominated by Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms? This extensive (with citations!) answer by PangeranDipanagara on r/AskHistorians is worth every gold star it received. [more inside]
posted by cendawanita at 12:27 AM Feb 15 2017 - 17 comments [72 favorites]

Where on earth has your Member of Congress gone?

In the past three months, the newly energized American left has been taking the advice to contact their local members of Congress with great gusto. Between phone campaigns that tie up phone lines and fill up voicemails, postcard campaigns, and most recently several Republican members of Congress who are outright refusing to hold town hall or public meetings, many angry constituents are meeting with a slightly unexpected problem. Elected officials who bravely claim to the media that the angry callers are paid provocateurs appear to have decided that actually facing local crowds is too intimidating. Consequently, the Indivisible Guide (previously) has published a helpful guide on what to do if your members of Congress appear to have gone into hiding rather than meet with you.
posted by sciatrix at 8:37 AM Feb 13 2017 - 91 comments [69 favorites]

What Do You Do After Surviving Your Own Lynching

On August 7, 1930, three black teenagers were lynched in Marion, Indiana. James Cameron was one of them. He lived.
Cameron, the only known survivor of an American lynching, lived to 92 and committed his life to antiracism work, including founding the American Black Holocaust Museum. (Cameron previously on MetaFilter.)
posted by Etrigan at 12:53 PM Feb 16 2017 - 7 comments [68 favorites]

4chan: The Skeleton Key to the Rise of Trump

In which Dale Beran traces the rise of 4chan and how a bunch of lulz-loving guys in their parents' basements seized on the loser-winner Trump as the ultimate prank on an outside world they had long abandoned. Long, but full of insights and well-worth the read. Ends with a challenge and note of hope for the left.
posted by criticalbill at 10:02 AM Feb 17 2017 - 70 comments [66 favorites]

This question of library handwriting is an exceedingly practical one

In September 1885, a group of librarians spent four days discussing major issues for libraries, including handwriting. Though typewriters had been commercially available for over a decade, librarians were still handwriting their catalog cards to catalog their expanding collections, but their writing was without consistency . Thomas Edison was cited for his described handwriting style for telegraph operators (paywalled source), and from this, Melvil Dewey and his crew of “a dozen catalogers and librarians” hashed out the rules of library hand, a precise, almost mechanical style. If you enjoy that summary, you may enjoy The (Lengthy) Context and History of Library Hand, with ample notes and references. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 11:43 AM Feb 17 2017 - 23 comments [55 favorites]

Tracking Congress in the Age of Trump

An updating tally of how often every member of the House and the Senate votes with or against the president. The "votes" tab, organized by bill/nomination, is particularly useful.
posted by materialgirl at 1:48 PM Feb 14 2017 - 35 comments [54 favorites]

Nothing would make us happier than going out of business

"As hard as polio is, malaria is harder. As hard as reproductive health is, nutrition is harder than that. As hard as it is to save children under five, saving newborns is the hardest test of all. Still, we’re optimistic. Polio will soon be history. In our lifetimes, malaria will end. No one will die from AIDS. Few people will get TB. Children everywhere will be well nourished. And the death of a child in the developing world will be just as rare as the death of a child in the rich world." Bill and Melinda Gates respond to Warren Buffet's request for an update on the work of the Gates Foundation, ten years after the biggest single gift anyone ever gave anybody for anything. Profusely illustrated and hand-annotated, a rare uplifting moment for your 2017.
posted by RedOrGreen at 9:36 AM Feb 16 2017 - 19 comments [52 favorites]

Revenge of the Lunch Lady

How an unassuming bureaucrat outsmarted Jamie Oliver and pulled off an honest-to-god miracle in one of America's unhealthiest cities. One West Virginia turns her school lunch program around; plus a brief history of school lunches in America featuring the National Frozen Pizza Institute.
posted by Hypatia at 11:06 AM Feb 13 2017 - 71 comments [51 favorites]

Good Good Goofs

The first episode (content warning: tarantulas) of the TV Show based on the podcast My Brother, My Brother And Me has dropped. What's MBMBAM, other than "an advice show for the modren era"? Well there's this long and very thoughtful meditation on the McElroy Brothers' brand of goofy kind humor. Or you could find out from the fans directly. Or just listen to some classic bits like Amelie, I Hate You, Ron, or Tim McGraw's Krav Maga. [more inside]
posted by kmz at 1:49 PM Feb 16 2017 - 70 comments [47 favorites]

Leave offerings - cream cheese packets or whipped cream vodka or butter

Coexisting With The Fair Folk Who Have Taken Up Residence In/Around/Beneath Your University: A How-To Guide. (slTumblrcomic)
posted by Kitteh at 7:50 AM Feb 16 2017 - 8 comments [45 favorites]

The Anton Chekhov-George Saunders Humanity Kit

A little over three years ago I asked George Saunders whether I could sit in on one of his MFA classes at Syracuse, and, flabbergastingly, he said okay. In an effort to transmit the benefits of the taking the class to readers more widely, Maria Bustillos put together the Chekhov–Saunders Humanity Kit.
posted by AceRock at 6:54 AM Feb 17 2017 - 9 comments [44 favorites]

"Al is unique. There’s nothing like him in the history of funny music."

WaPo: Was ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic the real star all along? After nearly 40 years of parodying celebrities, the accordion-playing nerd has become a legend in his own right.

"Pac-Man," a spoof of The Beatles' "Tax Man" from the new Weird Al box set, Squeeze Box.
posted by porn in the woods at 7:10 PM Feb 17 2017 - 71 comments [44 favorites]

Reflecting On One Very, Very Strange Year At Uber

Susan Fowler, a former site reliability engineer at Uber, recounts her year of employment at the company, including stories of sexual harassment, retaliation by managers, and a pattern of inaction or coverups by the human resources department. [more inside]
posted by bluecore at 5:26 PM Feb 19 2017 - 92 comments [39 favorites]

European Tree of the Year

"The purpose of the European Tree of the Year is to highlight the significance of old trees in the natural and cultural heritage that deserves our care and protection. Unlike other contests, the European Tree of the Year doesn't focus on beauty, size or age but rather on the tree's story and its connection to people. We are looking for trees that have become a part of the wider community."
Get your votes in now for the 2017 European Tree of the year!
The current leader is The Brimmon Oak of Wales, a beloved tree that has been in a family for generations - although a fierce contender is an 800-year old Lime tree that guards a Czech village. Past winners include an Oak tree that lives in the middle of a football field in Estonia and an old Lime tree in Hungary which is said to protect the forest with its magic power.
posted by vacapinta at 11:38 PM Feb 13 2017 - 17 comments [38 favorites]

“Without stories, we wouldn't be human beings at all.”

Philip Pullman Unveils Epic Fantasy Trilogy The Book of Dust [The Guardian] “The as-yet-untitled first volume of The Book of Dust [Amazon], due out on 19 October, will be set in London and Oxford, with the action running parallel to the His Dark Materials trilogy [wiki]. A global bestseller since the first volume, Northern Lights, was published in 1995, Pullman’s series has sold more than 17.5m copies and been translated into 40 languages. Pullman’s brave and outspoken heroine, Lyra Belacqua, will return in the first two volumes. Featuring two periods of her life – as a baby and 10 years after His Dark Materials ended – the series will include other characters familiar to existing readers, as well as creations such as alethiometers (a clock-like truth-telling device), daemons (animals that are physical manifestations of the human spirit) and the Magisterium, the church-like totalitarian authority that rules Lyra’s world.” [Previously.]
posted by Fizz at 2:48 PM Feb 17 2017 - 49 comments [38 favorites]

Giving the magic away

Many of Pixar's films can seem like magic, and while much of that relies on storytelling, the art of animation has many, many, many skills in it. Pixar has partnered with the Khan Academy to provide a free practical introduction to how the best-of-the-best do their job. Because who doesn't want to understand how you simulate hair?
posted by petrilli at 5:14 PM Feb 19 2017 - 2 comments [38 favorites]

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