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Jim Obergefell and John Arthur had been together nearly two decades when John was stricken by terminal ALS. With their union unconstitutional in Ohio, the couple turned to friends and family to fund a medical flight to Maryland, where they wed, tearfully, on the tarmac [prev.]. After John's death, however, Jim found himself embroiled in an ugly legal battle with his native state over the right to survivor status on John's death certificate -- a fight he eventually took all the way to the Supreme Court. And that's how this morning -- two years after U.S. v. Windsor, a dozen after Lawrence v. Texas, and at the crest of an unprecedented wave of social change -- the heartbreaking case of Obergefell v. Hodges has at long last rendered same-sex marriage legal nationwide in a 5-4 decision lead by Justice Anthony Kennedy. [more inside]
Giant 800-track alt/indie-focused 90's playlist in chronological order "This is a behemoth of a playlist I put together, focusing primarily (but not exclusively) on the alt/indie/college side of the 90's experience. It's 800+ tracks, about 55 hours, and features plenty of songs that tend to get overlooked in the "remember these 90's hits?" pieces that pop up from time to time. Not definitive by any means, and extremely subjective, but it's a decent chunk of curated history in one convenient place. Also it's a fully chronological playlist, on a week-by-week level. So a track released on May 7, 1994 will come before a track released on May 14, 1994. Time and research went into this. Think of it as the Boyhood of 90's playlists!" (From Mefi's own naju, via MetaFilter Projects.)
This morning a woman named Bree Newsome climbed the flagpole at the South Carolina State Capitol and took down the Confederate flag. [more inside]
While delivering the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, the South Carolina state senator and pastor who was among those killed at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston last week, Barack Obama sang Amazing Grace (C-Span). From in the congregation. [more inside]
The Lonely End. "Three months ago in an apartment on the outskirts of Osaka, Japan, Haruki Watanabe died alone. For weeks his body slowly decomposed, slouched in its own fluids and surrounded by fetid, fortnight-old food. He died of self-neglect, solitude, and a suspected heart problem. At 60, Watanabe, wasn’t old, nor was he especially poor. He had no friends, no job, no wife, and no concerned children. His son hadn’t spoken to him in years, nor did he want to again."
Summer Reading Guide [LA Times]
Another summer, another chance to draw up the perfect reading list to see you through those languid, sun-drenched days. Whether you’re stretched out by the pool or nestled in a coffee shop, clutching a hardcover, paperback or e-book, we’ve got more than enough titles to keep you reading through Labor Day.[more inside]
In June, 1994, a man goes missing. His wife makes a series of interviews with police. Those interviews form the basis of the recently released title Her Story, an FMV-style game that tasks the player with digging through hours of video to determine what happened, and how, and why. [more inside]
Last March, activist Asam Ahmad posted a critique of call-out culture, arguing that public call-outs for bad behavior on social media are an ineffective as well as toxic method of furthering social justice. Instead, he advocates Ngọc Loan Trần's concept of calling-in, which emphasizes compassion and kindness while holding people accountable for their actions. While call-out culture is often criticized based on its effects on more privileged people, it can also have negative consequences for marginalized groups. For example, language policing can stifle discussion about social injustice. [more inside]
The Gloria Swanson Saga: Part One
Gloria Swanson wasn’t here to make friends. She wasn’t “just like us.” She didn’t take out the garbage or “wear cotton” or go to the bathroom. Lady had a gold-plated bathtub. She married a Marquis. She was 4’11,” wore a 2 ½ in shoes, and had a waist approximately the size of my neck. She looked most beautiful when frowning. And for a period in the 1920s, she was the biggest star in the world. Swanson wasn’t evil, and she probably wasn’t even a bitch, but she just knew how to run that game. She was of a different set of stars — a different breed than Garbo, Dietrich, and other classic idols — that truly lived like demi-gods. And when Hollywood began to change the way it made and distributed films in the late ‘20s, she was one of dozens destined to remain a relic of an earlier time.[more inside]
California Gov. Jerry Brown signs new vaccination law, one of nation's toughest "The bill, one of the most controversial measures before the Legislature this year, was introduced because of concern about low vaccination rates in some communities and an outbreak of measles at Disneyland that ultimately infected more than 150 people." (LA Times) [more inside]
Hackers was a financial flop, but its hilariously over-the-top early CGI visuals, oddly prescient view on technology, and glam-cyberpunk aesthetic rendered it a cult classic. To honor its 20th anniversary—at a time dogged by newfound fears about what the future of technology holds—we thought it would be fitting to bring together a group of actual hackers to screen and discuss the film. - Hackers watch "Hackers"
"A selection of pages from an 18th-century demonology book comprised of more than 30 exquisite watercolours showing various demon figures, as well as magic and cabbalistic signs. The full Latin title of Compendium rarissimum totius Artis Magicae sistematisatae per celeberrimos Artis hujus Magistros, roughly translates to “A rare summary of the entire Magical Art by the most famous Masters of this Art”. With a title page adorned with skeletons and the warning of Noli me tangere (Do not touch me), one quickly gets a sense of the dark oddities lurking inside its pages." - The Public Domain Review presents illustrations from a 18th century guide to demons and demonology (NSFW illustrated nudity, snakes on bits.)
Watch a Large Scale Deep neural net hallucinate while onlookers supply topics in a chat room. Almost magically, after a few seconds the psychedelic representations of those suggestions begin creeping out of the woodwork into which you infinitely zoom. Jonas Degrave writes about how the thing came to be on his blog. Previously.
"The idea is that Hannibal is always eating people, regardless of what he’s feeding you. So I wanted it to look like something that could be lamb’s tongue but probably was a people tongue. Lambs’ tongues are so homely, and once you cook them they just look creepy and unappetizing, and what I want more than anything is for the food to look so delicious that you want to reach into the screen and try it, even though you know it’s people. It’s the personification of Hannibal. He’s the Devil. Why do you like him? Why do you want to get to know him? Why do you want to eat these tongues? They’re people!"How Hannibal's food stylist, Janice Poon, creates hypothetical human meat
Medical Fat Shaming Could Have Killed Me Sex educator Rebecca Hiles (Frisky Fairy) details the years of being told to lose weight to deal with her persistent cough before doctors finally diagnosed her with lung cancer. Part I of her cancer story.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Transgender Rights is your new go-to on transgender 101. (SLYouTube)
An interview with “America’s Test Kitchen” founder Christopher Kimball on how cooking is like woodworking, the business model behind “Cooks Illustrated,” and the awesome powers of baking soda and gelatin.
I am just about the biggest advocate for “representation matters” there is, but as a white woman I never really felt it applied to me all that much. Watching Fury Road, I realized how wrong I was. I’ve been this way my entire life and I’ve never felt “handicapped.” I’m disabled, yes – there’s shit I just can’t do, but an invalid I am not. For the most part I’ve always approached life with a “figure out how to do it and just get it done” attitude; I am loathe to admit I can’t do anything and I never give up without exhausting all the possibilities available to me. Watching Fury Road, I felt like I was watching my own struggle brought to life (albeit in a very fantastical setting), and I don’t think I ever realized how truly profound that could be for me.Laura Vaugh talks about her response to seeing a kick-ass woman with the same disability as her on the silver screen. [more inside]
The Exit Interview: I spent 12 Years in the Blue Man Group
"In our conversation with Issac Eddy, we found that he was far from silent about his experience as a Blue Man. From the struggles of learning drumming for the audition, to how the behavior of dogs informed his performance, to his portentous final show, Eddy let us in on just about every aspect of his time under the Blue, and why he decided to be a human again."This is the first in a new series from Atlas Obscura called Exit Interview, where people leaving interesting jobs talk about their work and what they're doing next.
"Child actor-turned-maligned-Star-Trek-character-turned-geek-icon Wil Wheaton has been fairly open about his struggles with mental illness and depression. But for those who haven’t heard about that side of his life before, Project UROK spoke with the actor/writer about the way his anxiety affects him and why he eventually chose to seek help. We’re debuting that interview exclusively here on The A.V. Club." By Caroline Siede; direct YouTube link. [more inside]