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The 2016 Iowa Caucuses

Amidst an increasingly unpredictable political season, tonight the Iowa caucuses will finally cast the first votes of the 2016 presidential campaign. It's an outsider vs. establishment war in both parties, as Republican leaders struggle to dislodge Donald Trump and Ted Cruz from the top while Hillary Clinton marshalls her endorsements and long résumé against the populist zeal of democratic socialist Bernie Sanders. The best guesses of FiveThirtyEight, BetFair, and Ann Selzer's gold-standard Des Moines Register poll all favor Trump and Clinton, but the race remains very close, and turnout in the demanding and complicated caucus events will be key. Vox provides a helpful video explainer on the process [previously]. Pass the time with FiveThirtyEight's 40-minute elections podcast, and keep an eye on the New York Times live blog of the caucuses for real-time updates once voting starts at 8:00 PM Eastern -- and don't forget to leave your two cents in the MeFi election prediction contest!
posted by Rhaomi on Feb 1 at 2:30 PM - 2460 comments

What is a dungeon?

WRITE YOUR OWN FANTASY GAME FOR YOUR MICROCOMPUTER (PDF) is a beautifully illustrated guide to programming (what else) fantasy roleplaying games on early personal computer hardware, along with its companion WRITE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE PROGRAMS (also PDF), covering text adventures. Hat tip to the game design Tumblr Put Games Here for the original link. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Feb 9 at 5:19 AM - 4 comments

That's what she [redacted]

That'swhatshesaid, a one-person play by Courtney Meaker and Erin Pike, consists entirely of lines and stage directions for female characters in the top 11 most-produced plays of the 2014-15 season. The play opened Thursday night for a four-night run at Seattle's Gay City Calamus Auditorium. An hour before curtain on the show's second night, the publisher of Joshua Harmon's play Bad Jews, which is featured in the production, served Gay City Arts a cease and desist order , and the publisher's VP left Pike a voicemail claiming they'd "go after" Gay City Arts if the show continued. Instead, That'swhatshesaid went on as planned--but with a few last-minute changes. Among them: every time a line from Bad Jews came up, Pike merely mimed the stage directions as someone offstage shouted, "Redacted!" Today, according to Meaker, another cease and desist has been delivered--for a play that was not included in That'swhatshesaid because it featured no women. [more inside]
posted by duffell on Feb 8 at 12:52 PM - 101 comments

A Questionable Business Plan

Buymeonce.com is a website that sells things you should only have to buy once, because they have a lifetime guarantee, lifetime repairs, or are just very well made.
posted by chesty_a_arthur on Feb 8 at 8:00 PM - 56 comments

An Emoji Tool to Support Victims of Cyberbullying.

Emojis are like modern-day cave paintings: simple, direct, visual. And because visual images are processed far faster than text, emojis can be among the quickest ways to send a message of support or concern. Anti-bullying advocate Monica Lewinsky has partnered with Vodafone on a new tool set for teens. [VanityFair]
posted by Sir Rinse on Feb 9 at 4:59 AM - 5 comments

Oregon Under Attack: And then there were four

The FBI negotiated further with four armed occupants at a remote federal wildlife refuge in Oregon on Saturday while the holdouts in a video posted online expressed their mistrust of the government and reluctance to leave. (Mega) Previous.
posted by valkane on Jan 30 at 5:44 PM - 989 comments

The unlikely and awesome rise of punk, anarchist, and hacker

Birgitta Jónsdóttir May Be Iceland's Next Prime Minister - "Poetry told Birgitta that she is alive. The internet taught her that she belongs in this world. The crisis showed her that she has a role to play, and politics showed her that everything needs to change." (Jónsdóttir, WikiLeaks & Iceland, previously) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Feb 7 at 1:49 PM - 36 comments

as government-funded science dwindles

Meet the "rented white coats" who defend toxic chemicals: How corporate-funded research corrupts America's courts and regulatory agencies. [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Feb 8 at 5:46 PM - 15 comments

"I am grateful."

Daniel Bryan is arguably the most beloved professional wrestler in the entire world; he is also widely considered to be one of the best professional wrestlers of all time. He has not wrestled a match since April of 2015, when injuries forced him out of action - after they had previously cost him much of 2014 as well. He spent 2015 training regularly and going to doctors hoping to learn that he could continue to be a professional wrestler, and finally, last week, learned conclusively that he could not. This is his retirement speech.
posted by mightygodking on Feb 8 at 9:28 PM - 5 comments

"I want actual change, not whack-a-mole with a grandiose troll."

Feminist Lindy West writes in The Guardian about how she's experienced years of extreme online harassment from a misogynist blogger and his minions, and about why she's not particularly happy to see them receive the same treatment.
posted by orange swan on Feb 7 at 8:58 AM - 92 comments

Wolverine, bring me a cheese pizza

Melbourne researchers develop a paper clip-sized mind control device that sits inside your brain.
posted by adept256 on Feb 8 at 9:15 PM - 5 comments

That sthmahts

The Slo Mo Guys film a tongue in a mousetrap at 2000fps
posted by Johnny Wallflower on Feb 8 at 10:36 PM - 10 comments

"...preferably under the wheels of an M103 bus."

"Ed Koch once said that "to be a New Yorker you have to live here for six months, and if at the end of the six months you find you walk faster, talk faster, think faster, you're a New Yorker." On the search to find the realest answer (is it "until you cry on the subway"?), we decided to hit the pavement to ask locals to finish the sentence for us. "
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Feb 8 at 12:24 PM - 49 comments

"The cognitive dissonance was wildly uncomfortable."

How 26 tweets broke my filter bubble -- B. J. May was just an ordinary Javascript developer from Middle America until a series of tweets by Marco Rogers helped him discover a wider world outside his whitebread bubble.
posted by MartinWisse on Feb 9 at 1:09 AM - 6 comments

"Skirt the rules but don’t break them."

People who move to New York always make the same mistake. They can’t see the place. This is true of Manhattan, but even the outer boroughs too. Whether Flushing Meadows in Queens or Red Hook in Brooklyn. They come looking for magic, whether evil or good, and nothing will convince them it isn’t here. This wasn’t all bad though. Some New Yorkers had learned how to make a living from this error in thinking. Charles Thomas Tester for one.
an excerpt, The Ballad of Black Tom, Victor LaValle
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 8 at 8:26 PM - 7 comments

More kids more math

"You wouldn’t see it in most classrooms, you wouldn’t know it by looking at slumping national test-score averages, but a cadre of American teenagers are reaching world-class heights in math—more of them, more regularly, than ever before." Peg Tyre in The Atlantic covers the new wave of deeper, faster, and hopefully broader math education. [more inside]
posted by escabeche on Feb 8 at 9:34 PM - 16 comments

“...we shed light on the scale of the role we play in killing...”

Hard Numbers Reveal Scale of America’s Trophy-Hunting Habit by Rachael Bale [National Geographic]
Sport hunters, those who kill animals for recreation rather than out of necessity, imported more than 1.26 million trophies to the U.S. in the decade from 2005 through 2014, according to a new analysis of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s import data by Humane Society International and the Humane Society of United States. That’s an average of 126,000 trophy imports a year, or 345 a day.
[more inside]
posted by Fizz on Feb 8 at 6:07 AM - 54 comments

Disrupt this!

It’s not Cyberspace anymore (from data & society, Medium). [more inside]
posted by redct on Feb 8 at 2:00 PM - 45 comments

Does what it says on the tin

After logging onto their computers today, staff here at the MERL were greeted by an unusual email from the Assistant Curator:
There appears to be a dead mouse in this mousetrap, it began, …which is not described as being there on the database.
155-year old mouse trap claims its latest victim
and
How a mouse died in our Victorian mouse trap [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia on Feb 8 at 7:34 PM - 16 comments

Murray Perahia on Bach

Murray Perahia on Bach - a 28 minute chat at the piano.
posted by Wolfdog on Feb 8 at 6:40 PM - 6 comments

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