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Crows Show The Love

A little girl started feeding the crows accidentally, decided to make it a habit, and now receives gifts in return. Apparently, this is a crow thing.
posted by purplesludge at 4:35 AM Feb 26 2015 - 115 comments [117 favorites]

Observe. Orient. Decide. Act.

John Richard Boyd was a U.S. Air Force F-86 and F-100 pilot. Indeed, at the elite Fighter Weapons School he was arguably the best pilot and instructor in the world during his tenure. Boyd could make jet fighters do “impossible” things and simultaneously out-think adversaries. As a result Boyd gained the moniker “40 Second Boyd” because he quickly defeated all challengers in simulated aerial combat.
from a review of “Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War” by Robert Coram. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:38 PM Feb 24 2015 - 28 comments [102 favorites]

Chicago police detain Americans at abuse-laden 'black site'

The Chicago Police Department has been since "the late 1990s" operating a secret, off-the-books black site at Homan Square where prisoners can be disappeared to to be interrogated and tortured. [more inside]
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:42 AM Feb 24 2015 - 129 comments [79 favorites]

Brain breakage

What color is this dress? is a really strange phenomena currently seen taking over twitter, as people see a blue dress with black lace while others insist it is white with gold. So far, no one can tell why exactly it is happening, other than it is baffling for both sides.
posted by mathowie at 5:06 PM Feb 26 2015 - 888 comments [75 favorites]

All You Wanted To Know About Chinese Dumplings

A Detailed Explanation of The Varieties of Chinese Dumplings plus a recipe for Vegan Steamed Or Pan-Fried Chinese Dumplings.
posted by purplesludge at 9:27 AM Feb 28 2015 - 46 comments [67 favorites]

Gresham College lectures

Gresham College has provided free public talks within the City of London for over 400 years.’ ‘Since 2001, the college has been recording its lectures and releasing them online in what is now an archive of over 1,000’ of them. Some examples: Snails in Art and the Art of Snails; The History of the Bowler Hat; “Speaking Scars” - The Tattoo; Mother Green Tree Frog and her Children: How Folktales Contributed to the Confucianisation of Korea; The Psychology of Doing Nothing; Möbius and his Band; Harmony in the Lowest Home: The Guitar and the Labouring Poor. [more inside]
posted by misteraitch at 2:27 AM Feb 25 2015 - 3 comments [61 favorites]

Lived Long And Prospered

Poet, author, director, actor, cultural icon... Leonard Nimoy has passed away at age 83 from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Rest well, Spock, you will be missed.
posted by hippybear at 9:22 AM Feb 27 2015 - 589 comments [61 favorites]

"Gender, blah, blah, blah"

It’s happened to me several times at a literary event — sometimes one at which I’m reading or speaking — that a kindly, affable chap, after regaling me with a long account of his next book, smiles generously and asks me what I do at Penguin, or how long I’ve been working for the venue. When I say, Oh, actually I’m a writer, a spasm of embarrassment comes over his face. As it should. Not, of course, because of any career’s merit over another’s, but because he’s revealed his inability to see me as a writer. A flustered flash of insight has taken place.
Katherine Angel on the problems of gender representation in literature. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse at 1:47 AM Feb 27 2015 - 112 comments [57 favorites]

Rural poverty and librarian-ing for small wages

The Rocky J. Adkins Public Library in Elliott County, Kentucky recently posted a job advertisement for a new director. The wage? US$7.25 per hour -- in other words, minimum wage. This garnered some immediate expressions of dismmay from librarians on social media. For others, it also reminded them of where they grew up. [more inside]
posted by metaquarry at 6:49 PM Feb 25 2015 - 76 comments [56 favorites]

Quotas can work if you set them yourself

I wanted to do the same for people of colour. I feel as if my decision brought home just how white my reading world was. For whatever the reason and context, it took me until I was 30 years old to learn that Octavia E. Butler existed – how embarrassing! I’m not blaming anyone or anything for this travesty, and we all know late is better than never … but I think we can do better. I shouldn’t have needed to undertake a 12-month project to discover world class authors.
In 2014 Sunili Govinnage set herself the challenge to read only authors of colour for a year.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:17 AM Feb 23 2015 - 17 comments [53 favorites]

Music For Cats

The study, which has been accepted for publication in the journal Applied Animal Behavioral Science, adds to the growing body of evidence that many animals respond favorably to species-specific music. This is music that takes into account a particular animal's favorite sounds, hearing range, commonly used tones and other factors.
Introducing: Music For Cats [more inside]
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 8:13 AM Feb 27 2015 - 50 comments [53 favorites]

Just Checking In

For no particular reason we’ve started sending emails to see who can make the other person experience the most profound sense of dread and panic.
posted by Sokka shot first at 11:14 AM Feb 23 2015 - 121 comments [52 favorites]

Sacred Trash

The Holy Junk Heap: In 1896, a cache of manuscripts -- mostly fragments -- was discovered in the storeroom ("genizah") at the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Old Cairo. The collection outlines a 1,000-year continuum (870 CE to the 19th century) of Jewish Middle-Eastern and North African history and comprises the largest and most diverse collection of medieval manuscripts in the world, including Jewish religious texts such as Biblical, Talmudic and later Rabbinic works (some in the original hands of the authors), "letters, wills, bills of lading, prayers, marriage contracts and writs of divorce, Bibles, money orders, court depositions, business inventories, leases, magic charms and receipts" which give a detailed picture of the economic and cultural life of the North African and Eastern Mediterranean regions, especially during the 10th to 13th centuries. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 9:19 AM Feb 26 2015 - 16 comments [51 favorites]

The Slurpee Waves of Nantucket

Dang! Have you ever seen waves get so cold they turn to slurpee? Get seawater cool enough, but not too cold; keep it agitated, and you get some beautiful waves.
posted by peripatetron errant at 7:51 PM Feb 25 2015 - 38 comments [46 favorites]

"Forget any assumptions about what women are like."

Oh No, She Didn’t: The Strong Female Character, Deconstructed by Ilana C. Myer
posted by Fizz at 9:55 AM Feb 26 2015 - 83 comments [45 favorites]

Andrew B. Myers' Missives from the Wallpaper Dimension

Photographer Andrew B. Myers makes photographs that don't look like photographs so much as like clean-edged graphic design illustrations. Much of his work combines vibrant colors, flat, non-gradated lighting with crisp shadows, and a long-lens isometric composition to create tableaux that resemble old-school screensavers or wallpaper prints.
posted by cortex at 10:18 AM Feb 23 2015 - 7 comments [43 favorites]

Practicing Islam in short shorts

"There are many like me. We don't believe in a monolithic practice of Islam. We love Islam, and because we love it so much we refuse to reduce it to an inflexible and fossilized way of life. Yet we still don't fit anywhere."
posted by Ragini at 7:02 PM Feb 23 2015 - 56 comments [42 favorites]

Modeling the maze from Kubrick's film 'The Shining'

How Adam Savage became obsessed with building a scale model of the maze from Kubrick's film The Shining. The Making Of and The Making Of The Making Of (both SLYT). [more inside]
posted by carter at 9:24 AM Feb 27 2015 - 45 comments [42 favorites]

"Why Chopin?" and other questions

In 2010 Garrick Ohlsson, the first American to win The International Chopin Piano Competition (in 1970), delivered an insightful 80-minute lecture (plus Q&A) at UC Berkeley about what exactly makes Chopin's music so great. Highly recommended for anyone that likes seeing people who are really passionate about something explain their passion.
posted by MattMangels at 1:22 PM Feb 27 2015 - 8 comments [42 favorites]

small zeppelin

Kashmir + The Ocean performed by 50-plus percussive pre-teens. Straight outa Louisville. Note the seriousness of purpose.
posted by philip-random at 10:00 PM Feb 23 2015 - 39 comments [41 favorites]

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