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Ten years ago today saw the English launch of a quirky Japanese puzzler, a sleeper hit that would go down as one of the most endearing, original, and gleefully weird gaming stories of the 2000s: Katamari Damacy. Its fever-dream plot has the record-scratching, Freddie Mercury-esque King of All Cosmos destroy the stars in a drunken fugue, and you, the diminutive Prince, must restore them with the Katamari -- a magical sticky ball that snowballs through cluttered environments, rolling up paperclips, flowerpots, cows, buses, houses, skyscrapers, and continents into new constellations. It also boasts one of the most infectiously joyous soundtracks of all time -- an eccentric, richly produced, and incredibly catchy blend of funk, salsa, bossa nova, experimental electronica, J-Pop, swing, lounge, bamboo flute, hair metal, buoyant parade music, soaring children's choirs, Macintalk fanfares, and the finest theme song this side of Super Mario Bros. Called a consumerist critique by sculptor-turned-developer Keita Takahashi (who after one sequel moved on to Glitch, the supremely odd Noby Noby Boy, and playground design), the series has inspired much celebration and thought [2, 3] on its way from budget bin to MoMA exhibit. Look inside for essays, artwork, comics, lyrics, more music, hopes, dreams... my, the internet really is full of things. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi at 8:01 AM Sep 21 2014 - 51 comments [195 favorites]

Welcome to TextMechanic.com! A suite of simple, single task, browser based, text manipulation tools. [more inside]
posted by not_on_display at 10:36 PM Sep 17 2014 - 54 comments [112 favorites]

Polls will open in less than twelve hours for a referendum to end the 307-year Union between England and Scotland. With an unprecedented 97% voter registration, including hundreds of thousands of 16 and 17 year olds, there are predictions of turnout well over 80% across the country. [more inside]
posted by Happy Dave at 1:58 PM Sep 17 2014 - 1039 comments [91 favorites]

Al Jazeera has just finished running its series Rebel Architecture.
The six 25 min. films are now available online:
Guerrilla architect.
A traditional future.
The architecture of violence.
Working on water.
Greening the City
The pedreiro and the master planner.
posted by adamvasco at 5:50 PM Sep 19 2014 - 9 comments [85 favorites]

The importance of the culture-of-poverty approach is that it allows for recognition of the accumulated history of racism and inequality, but posits the ongoing effects of these as mediated through black cultural pathologies. It therefore permits American liberals to identify with opposition to racism while pushing them towards policy solutions geared towards the transformation of black people, and not American society.
With every crisis in Black America the same pathologies the Black community supposedly suffers from -- veneration of the criminal lifestyle, lack of proper family structures, abhorrence of education as acting white -- are trotted out as an explanation, by conservative commentators as that's just how those people are, by supposed liberals as the unfortunate end product of Black history in America. There's just one problem: they're lies. The culture of poverty does not exist.
posted by MartinWisse at 3:49 AM Sep 17 2014 - 86 comments [78 favorites]

Hyperreal numbers: infinities and infinitesimals - "In 1976, Jerome Keisler, a student of the famous logician Tarski, published this elementary textbook that teaches calculus using hyperreal numbers. Now it's free, with a Creative Commons copyright!" (pdf—25mb :) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 5:23 PM Sep 17 2014 - 28 comments [76 favorites]

How To Home Brew Beer in Your Kitchen, from Drink [Craft] Beer:
Brewing beer in your home can be as simple, or as complicated, as you want to make it. Here, we’re going to present the simple way. There is a lot of science you can get into, but we’re going to skip a lot of that as there are a lot of people who can tell you about it a lot better than we can. And they have books out (John Palmer’s How to Brew (online), and Charlie Papazian’s The Complete Joy of Homebrewing). We’d recommend reading these books at some point. You’ll learn a lot about why everything happens, how brewing really works and just a lot more in-depth information. If you want to make this a serious hobby, those are two can’t miss books.

In this article, though, we’re going to run through step-by-step how to brew in a small kitchen setting. We know many of you live in apartments (we do), and we’ve heard too many people say they can’t brew because of this. You can! We know this, because we do it. We’ll show you how to go about brewing your first batch. Plus, we’re including pictures to really show you how it’s done. So, let’s get brewing!
[more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 10:54 AM Sep 17 2014 - 64 comments [65 favorites]

The political economy of a universal basic income: "your view of what is feasible should not be backwards looking. The normalization of gay marriage and legalization of marijuana seemed utopian and politically impossible until very recently. Yet in fact those developments are happening, and their expansion is almost inevitable given the demographics of ideology... UBI — defined precisely as periodic transfers of identical fixed dollar amounts to all citizens of the polity — is by far the most probable and politically achievable among policies that might effectively address problems of inequality, socioeconomic fragmentation, and economic stagnation." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 3:45 PM Sep 19 2014 - 55 comments [65 favorites]

25 Famous Women on Childlessness
posted by stoneweaver at 11:03 AM Sep 16 2014 - 158 comments [64 favorites]

Having a rough day? Need something to make you feel better? May I present you with A DEN OF KITTENS, a video where the roar of their purring is punctuated by the occasional "Meep" as one after another pops up to discover the camera.
posted by quin at 9:11 PM Sep 16 2014 - 36 comments [63 favorites]

God bless Mike Brown and his family. This young man's murder has exposed corruption and evil and incompetence at every level in Missouri. Shaun King lays it all out on Ferguson. Previously, originally.
posted by Evilspork at 11:40 PM Sep 17 2014 - 85 comments [60 favorites]

BoJack Horseman Is the Funniest Show About Depression Ever
BoJack Horseman is a weird cartoon about a washed-up sitcom star (who's a horse), a snappy social criticism of the entertainment industry, and the kind of in-jokey cartoon designed to tickle the internet. It's also one of the most aggressive portraits of depression I think I've ever seen. Look past the anthropomorphic animal characters and the satire of toxic celebrity culture: This show is radically sad. I love it.
Netflix Original's animated series BoJack Horseman stars Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris, and Alison Brie. It co-stars Aaron Paul and Paul F. Tompkins and has a long and impressive list of guest stars. [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A at 7:03 PM Sep 18 2014 - 110 comments [59 favorites]

"Let’s note that I write this while experiencing psychosis, and that much of this has been written during a strain of psychosis known as Cotard’s delusion, in which the patient believes that she is dead. What the writer’s confused state means to either of us is not beside the point, because it is the point. The point is that I am in here, somewhere: cogito ergo sum." (via)
posted by hat_eater at 2:23 AM Sep 16 2014 - 19 comments [53 favorites]

♫ Are Video Games Sexist? ♫ Auto-Tune Rebuttal. Jonathan Mann responds to a recent video by Christina Hoff Sommers on sexism in video games. [Via]
posted by homunculus at 7:21 PM Sep 19 2014 - 64 comments [53 favorites]

This week, of course, provided a glorious example of how technology companies have normalized being indifferent to consent: Apple ‘gifting’ each user with a U2 album downloaded into iTunes. At least one of my friends reported that he had wireless synching of his phone disabled; Apple overrode his express preferences in order to add the album to his music collection. The expected 'surprise and delight' was really more like 'surprise and delete'. I suspect that the strong negative response (in some quarters, at least) had less to do with a dislike of U2 and everything to do with the album as a metonym for this widespread culture of nonconsensual behaviour in technology.
Deb Chachra talks about the age of non-consensual technology. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse at 3:34 AM Sep 16 2014 - 188 comments [52 favorites]

Can we talk about how much the gossipy young girls who cluster in the schoolyard must feel like children to her? And Susan has forgotten about being a child. She is the blessed, the chosen, the promised. Susan has decades on them, wars, loss and betrayal, victory and growing fields, the trust of her subjects. It was a visceral thing, to have all those lives under her protection and to know that her subjects slept safe, peacefully, on dark nights. Here, on this drab concrete, her people are untouchable, indefensible; her self is vanished, her kingdom gone; she can feel the loss like a wound. She has lost her power, but that trust, that responsibility remains. It circles her ankles, trips her in the school hallways.
Can we talk about Susan Pevensie for a moment? (A followup to this.)
posted by MartinWisse at 4:10 AM Sep 18 2014 - 52 comments [51 favorites]

"Okay, the old man in the tavern tells you, 'Many years ago the powerful sage known as Mefi's own Lore collected much wisdom about the sundry monsters of which the elders taught of us in the Monster Manual. Lore's annotations to the work came in the form of the comic series Speak With Monsters. They were once thought lost forever with the fall of Bad Gods and following the trail the mighty JHarris blazed previously four winters past will lead only to woe. But Lore has shared them again in the distant library of Google Plus for seekers after wisdom and gold.' He then falls over with a knife in his back. What do you do?" [more inside]
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:45 AM Sep 21 2014 - 16 comments [50 favorites]

"Why do so many poor people eat junk food, fail to budget properly, show no ambition? Linda Tirado knew exactly why… because she was one of them. [more inside]
posted by turbid dahlia at 6:39 PM Sep 21 2014 - 69 comments [49 favorites]

Raw Power - Fuck Authority, DOA - Fucked Up Ronnie, MDC- John Wayne was a Nazi, Red Kross- Annette's Got the Hits, Black Flag- Police Story, [more inside]
posted by PHINC at 9:10 AM Sep 19 2014 - 42 comments [48 favorites]

Women are called upon every day to prove our right to participate in music on the basis of our authenticity—or perceived lack thereof. Our credentials are constantly being checked—you say you like a band you've only heard a couple of times? Prepare to answer which guitarist played on a specific record and what year he left the band. But don't admit you haven't heard them, either, because they'll accuse you of only saying you like that genre to look cool. Then they'll ask you if you've ever heard of about five more bands, just to prove that you really know nothing. This happens so often that it feels like dudes meet in secret to work on a regimented series of tests they can use to determine whether or not we deserve to be here. The "fake geek girl" test is one, door guys stopping female musicians carrying gear to make sure they're actually in the band and not just somebody's girlfriend is another. Big rock magazines that interview male musicians about gear and female musicians about sexual harassment—that's up there too.
—Meredith Graves talks about musical authenticity and gender, taking Andrew WK and Lana Del Rey as her examples. Graves is in the noise rock band Perfect Pussy. Here's a video for their song "I", a live performance and a short segment where Graves and bandmate Ray McAndrew buy books.
posted by Kattullus at 4:37 PM Sep 15 2014 - 55 comments [47 favorites]

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