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free DIY furniture plans

Ana White shares hundreds of free furniture plans on her website, encouraging those who may have never built furniture before. Formerly known as "Knock Off Wood" since she had DIY versions of popular retail styles, she changed her name after receiving a cease-and-desist letter from Williams-Sonoma (owner of Pottery Barn and West Elm). An audio interview with Ms. White and a Flickr pool of completed projects. (via Balancing Everything)
posted by flex at 5:30 PM Feb 19 2012 - 24 comments [272 favorites]

I ♥ DULUTH, The Story of the Maria Bamford Show

About a year after her participation in the groundbreaking Comedy Central documentary series the Comedians of Comedy, Maria Bamford was on stage at the Friars Club in LA when a heckler began shouting at her. What happened after that isn’t entirely clear, other than Bamford had a breakdown, walked off stage, and disappeared. She was found three months later selling clock radios on the sidewalks of Detroit. A fellow homeless person, who was also a Comedy Central fan, recognized Bamford and eventually her parents were contacted. They brought her back home to Deluth, Minnesota and began to get her help. Maria decided to document her recovery in a series of short videos called The Maria Bamford Show, which were first posted to the TBS networks' now abandoned Super Deluxe Web site. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan at 4:41 PM Jan 26 2013 - 100 comments [272 favorites]

jeans (mostly women's fit and such)

On the proper fitting of jeans. More: Mom jeans and the dreaded "long butt" - "Lydia and I ran a completely scientific experiment to prove that, indeed, it’s all about the pocket. But, while doing so, also made many other notes for you to help you avoid a Mom Jeans catastrophe altogether"; the follow-up post - "Hypothesis: That the condition known as “long butt” and proven as simply a wardrobe mistake in previous works can also be replaced with much more flattering looks even for more mature Moms, and that proper dressage in appropriate jeans can be potentially life changing"; & even more: Gateway mom jeans - Gap and Old Navy? Links include photos of bums in jeans. (found via youlookfab) [more inside]
posted by flex at 5:37 PM Aug 2 2012 - 209 comments [268 favorites]

Escalating Tensions in Ferguson, Missouri

We are now entering day 10 of protests in Ferguson, MO, protesting the murder of unarmed teenager Michael Brown by local law enforcement officer Darren Wilson on August 9th. [more inside]
posted by Phire at 11:45 PM Aug 18 2014 - 3292 comments [267 favorites]

Literature of the Strange

The 10 Best Genre-Bending Books - PublishersWeekly
20 Strange and Wonderful Books - cartania.com
10 Ultra-Weird Science Fiction Novels that Became Required Reading - io9
10 Weirdest Science Fiction Novels That You've Never Read - also io9
China Miéville's top 10 weird fiction books - The Guardian
The Weird: An Introduction - Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, Weird Fiction Review
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 6:02 PM Nov 14 2015 - 53 comments [265 favorites]

A hundred things you should read

(About) 100 fantastic pieces of journalism from the editor of the Atlantic. Some stuff has been posted here before, but there is much that is new. So read about: The man who broke the Price is Right, horrifying Argentine ant invasions (warning: features description of ants in a California home that will creep you out for a long time to come), the ethics of cloning Neanderthals, the rise of the order of Assassins, why Holder can't close Gitmo, Hooter's opening in Japan, how a jailhouse lawyer sued himself out of prison, and the reflections of one of the best writers of nonfiction alive. And about 90 other articles, all available online.
posted by blahblahblah at 8:50 AM May 5 2011 - 17 comments [263 favorites]

He cried during the last “Lord of the Rings” movie.

"At my then-boyfriend’s house I opened a drawer to borrow a T-shirt. All the T-shirts were perfectly folded, as if ironed. I knew right then and there that I must run for my life." And other tales of romantic dead ends. capturing the exact moment you realize a relationship is doomed, doomed, doomed.
posted by unSane at 9:24 AM Feb 3 2012 - 687 comments [263 favorites]

Far beyond "every good boy does fine"

Music Theory for Musicians and Normal People Toby W. Rush's "Music Theory for Musicians and Normal People" covers a massive range of topics like pitch, rhythm, scales, intervals, and harmonics. The online book itself is arranged as a collection of about 50 PDFs that offer diagrams, notes, and tips for everything music theory related. [more inside]
posted by Lexica at 4:51 PM Oct 23 2014 - 26 comments [263 favorites]

"Stephen Colbert": Great host? Or *the greatest* host?

Tonight! He's "a well-meaning, poorly informed, high-status idiot." An it-getter. A knight. A doctor (of fine arts). A Real American Hero. And after tonight, his arched eyebrow of justice will never again grace American television screens in quite the same way. "Stephen Colbert": a brief retrospective. Truthiness - The White House Correspondents' Dinner - Better Know a District - Formidable Opponent - Tek Jansen - Papa Bear - I Am America (And So Can You!) - Americone Dream - The ThreatDown - Late Night Fight! - Testifying to Congress - The Rally to Restore Sanity - Colbert Super PAC - Maurice Sendak - Wheat Thins - Lorna Colbert - Tolkien-off - Ask a Grown Man - The Decree. So much more inside. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi at 8:15 PM Dec 18 2014 - 133 comments [263 favorites]

two Erics summarize SCIENCE! for life improvement & greater understanding

Barking Up The Wrong Tree distils scientific research, focused on its motto: "I want to understand why we do what we do and use the answers to be awesome at life." With a gradual shift to more digest posts packed with links to summaries & sources, a sampling of the past couple weeks includes: What are 10 things you should do every day to improve your life? - What are 10 things you should do every week to improve your life? - 25 research-based ways to increase your intelligence - What are 7 things that can make you happier in 7 seconds? - 7 steps to never procrastinating again. Another blog along the same lines but less glib & immediate is Peer-Reviewed By My Neurons; recently: How confusion facilitates learning - The science of coming on too strong - Want to be creative? Play Dungeons & Dragons [more inside]
posted by flex at 5:32 PM Aug 5 2012 - 39 comments [262 favorites]

listen to the wealthy scream

The return of "patrimonial capitalism": review of Thomas Piketty's Capital in the 21st century (pdf) - "Thomas Piketty's 'Capital in the 21st century' may be one of the most important recent economics books. It jointly treats theory of growth, functional distribution of income, and interpersonal income inequality. It envisages a future of relatively slow growth with the rising share of capital incomes, and widening income inequality. This tendency could be checked only by worldwide taxation of capital." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 8:11 PM Jan 12 2014 - 39 comments [261 favorites]

웃 i am not here and this is not really happening.

After the triumph of OK Computer, Radiohead fell into a creative tailspin -- and frontman Thom Yorke into a nervous breakdown. Exhausted from touring, hounded by press, and jaded by copycats, he escaped into the electronica scene pioneered by Kraftwerk and Warp Records -- fertile ground, the band discovered. Trading spacey rock for apocalyptic brooding, they teased their new sound not with singles or music videos but with innovative web streaming and cryptic, dreamlike "blips" -- winterlands, flocks of cubes, eyeballs, bears. After nearly breaking up over tracklist angst, they cut the kid in half. Thus fifteen years ago today, Kid A and (later) Amnesiac debuted, a confounding mix of electronic fugue, whalesong, pulsing IDM, drunken piano, and epic jazz funeral whose insights into anxiety, political dysfunction, and climate crisis would make it one of the most revered albums of the twenty-first century. See the documentary Reflections on Kid A for interviews and live cuts, or look inside for much more. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi at 11:45 AM Oct 2 2015 - 63 comments [259 favorites]

The Logic of Stupid Poor People

"If you are poor, why do you spend money on useless status symbols like handbags and belts and clothes and shoes and televisions and cars? One thing I’ve learned is that one person’s illogical belief is another person’s survival skill."
posted by parudox at 10:53 PM Oct 29 2013 - 393 comments [257 favorites]

Orange you glad you got your Nickelodeon?

Two and a half years ago, we explored the early history of Cartoon Network... but it wasn't the only player in the youth television game. As a matter of fact, Fred Seibert -- the man responsible for the most inventive projects discussed in that post -- first stretched his creative legs at the network's truly venerable forerunner: Nickelodeon. Founded as Pinwheel, a six-hour block on Warner Cable's innovative QUBE system, this humble channel struggled for years before Seibert's innovative branding work transformed it into a national icon and capstone of a media empire. Much has changed since then, from the mascots and game shows to the versatile orange "splat." But starting tonight in response to popular demand, the network is looking back with a summer programming block dedicated to the greatest hits of the 1990s, including Hey Arnold!, Rocko's Modern Life, The Adventures of Pete & Pete, The Ren & Stimpy Show, Double Dare, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Legends of the Hidden Temple, and All That. To celebrate, look inside for the complete story of the early days of the network that incensed the religious right, brought doo-wop to television, and slimed a million fans -- the golden age of Nickelodeon. (warning: monster post inside) [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi at 1:33 PM Jul 25 2011 - 116 comments [256 favorites]

JokeFilter

What's the one joke you always tell when someone says "Tell me a joke." (SLReddit)
posted by storybored at 8:59 PM Dec 4 2014 - 373 comments [255 favorites]

The Best Toy Maker

Kids know that the best toys are the ones you make from stuff that's lying around. Arvind Gupta's been doing this for three decades. Take a look at his Turbine bottle cap, Helicopter foam cup, Drinking straw flute, The CD hovercraft, Magic Paper Fan, Funny Fountain, Drinking Straw Centrifuge Pump, Climbing Butterfly. Or check out the rest of his 1000 videos(!). Go to his website and discover an armload of books and pamphlets describing more toys (some of them classic) along with science experiments, math activities and stories. A sample: The amazing Touching Slate, a drawing toy for blind children. Hands On - Science Sense, Hands On - Ideas and activities, Toy Joy, Little Science, The Toy Bag, Toy Treasures. Little Toys , Finally you can hear Arvind in person at TED.com giving career advice, showing off a dozen toy examples, demonstrating the structure of methane; telling a Large Hadron Collider joke and finishing with the wonderful "Captain's hat" story. [more inside]
posted by storybored at 10:09 PM May 15 2011 - 30 comments [254 favorites]

Anyone CAN Cook

Anyone CAN Cook [NY Times link] 101 incredibly simple 10-minute recipes from Mark Bittman.
posted by dersins at 9:09 AM Jul 18 2007 - 70 comments [253 favorites]

super quick kitchen tips

America's Test Kitchen Super Quick Video Tips: "Test Kitchen wisdom distilled into eminently watchable video clips" of no more than a minute or two long, including tips for meat (how to make the most perfect bacon ever - how to quickly defrost meat - how to dry-age steak at home) to coffee (how to make pour-over coffee - how to fake a latte at home) and wine (the fastest way to chill wine) to pizza (flattening dough and baking a perfect thin-crust pizza ) and general kitchen tips (is your knife sharp enough? - do you really need to buy regular olive oil? - how to quickly soften butter and soft cheese). And there's Ask the Test Kitchen quick video tips as well (what's the best way to peel eggs? - how do I store brown sugar?).
posted by flex at 7:57 PM May 23 2012 - 72 comments [253 favorites]

She might've called it Getyouracttogether.org, but she changed one word.

Get Your Shit Together helps you do what it says on the tin. After her husband died in a 2009 bike accident, Chanel Reynolds created the site as a step-by-step toolkit to help keep track of important life documents and tasks. Four days after its launch, the New York Times got in on the action. [more inside]
posted by Madamina at 12:10 PM Feb 6 2013 - 28 comments [248 favorites]

SLRP (R=reddit). PDF Paradise!

"Have any of you ever found a great PDF online?" [more inside]
posted by grumblebee at 9:01 AM Mar 26 2011 - 52 comments [247 favorites]

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