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The National Portrait Gallery's exhibit American Cool is both an exhibition of portraits of 100 iconically cool Americans (pdf) and a meditation on what it means to be cool and how the concept has changed over time. Among those who made the cut are Bessie Smith, Joan Didion, and Benicio Del Toro. [more inside]
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious on Aug 21 at 6:04 AM - 13 comments

A Four-Year Old Reviews The French Laundry (with very cute photos.): "For our fifth installment, extreme fanciness edition, we took Lyla Hogan (favorite food: 'good ice cream in a hard cone') to what Anthony Bourdain has called 'the best restaurant in the world, period.' (It won that title officially in 2003 and 2004 and is still the #1 restaurant in California and #3 in the country). Lyla is the youngest person to eat a full tasting menu at the French Laundry."
posted by raihan_ on Aug 20 at 9:59 PM - 75 comments

Pitchfork recently released a list of what they consider the 200 best tracks of the decade so far (2010-14). [more inside]
posted by threeants on Aug 20 at 10:47 PM - 56 comments

Meghan Trainor - a primer: "How many of you have no idea what we're talking about? Follow-up question: How many of you have looked at the iTunes chart and felt old recently? Come, let's learn together about Trainor, 'All About That Bass,' and the problematic nature of this song."
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Aug 20 at 3:48 PM - 59 comments

A series of Pop Songs converted into Shakesperean-style sonnets. [more inside]
posted by EmpressCallipygos on Aug 20 at 7:06 AM - 28 comments

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 on Aug 18 at 11:45 PM - 1791 comments

What if Michael Bay Directed "UP"?
posted by Nevin on Aug 20 at 5:55 PM - 25 comments

Guy Fieri has made culinary TV into a viewer’s hell: "Unless I’m mistaken, you only had to give him one show." A thoughtful response from Allen Salkin, author From Scratch: Inside Food Network: "He isn’t the real problem at Food Network: The real problem is a loss of inventiveness at the company’s core." Leave Guy Fieri alone. [more inside]
posted by We had a deal, Kyle on Aug 20 at 7:42 PM - 58 comments

So if Thor is a woman now, and Marvel is a Disney subsidiary, does that make her a Disney Princess? For Tor.com, historian and geek Ada Palmer answers this joke question seriously and thoroughly while using it as a springboard to look at what makes a Disney Princess and what it says about us.
posted by MartinWisse on Aug 20 at 1:55 PM - 41 comments

Arms Identification With Wikipedia, Holiday Photographs, and Shoe Size Conversion Charts - from the recently launched bellin¿cat 'by and for citizen investigative journalist'. [previously] [more previously]
posted by unliteral on Aug 20 at 7:50 PM - 6 comments

Rónán Ó Snodaigh plays bodhrán, the Irish frame drum. For most traditional Irish musicians bodhrán's are the bane of their existence, often played poorly by people who can do nothing else, but in Rónán's hands, the bódhrán is a expressive instrument brought to life by a master who is willing to show you how to really play it. [more inside]
posted by salishsea on Aug 20 at 3:24 PM - 17 comments

Video has emerged showing the beheading of journalist James Foley. James Foley has been reportedly beheaded by Isis in retaliation for US airstrikes in Iraq. He was working in Syria when he was reported missing in 2012. [more inside]
posted by lpcxa0 on Aug 19 at 4:35 PM - 179 comments

The Victoria & Albert Museum is hosting Disobedient Objects, an exhibit on 'out-designing authority.' [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Aug 20 at 5:48 PM - 3 comments

This fall, the South Dakota Historical Society Press will publish Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography of Laura Ingalls Wilder - apparently full of "not-safe-for-children tales includ[ing] stark scenes of domestic abuse, love triangles gone awry and a man who lit himself on fire while drunk off whiskey" (or, more academically put, "full of the everyday sorts of things that we don't care to think about when we think about history"). They've been blogging the process of research, annotation, and publication at The Pioneer Girl Project, as well as stories about crabs, a new letter from Pa, really useful books, as well as photos and a series of interviews with the researchers involved via.
posted by ChuraChura on Aug 20 at 8:52 AM - 28 comments

A compilation of people fucking up the ice bucket challenge. (Mildly NSFW).
posted by empath on Aug 20 at 9:21 AM - 126 comments

It's about the lying.
When we engaged in some of these enhanced interrogation techniques – techniques that I believe, and I think any fair-minded person would believe were torture – we crossed a line” .
If the president really believes that, will he take legally required actions to respond to it?
As Juan Cole points out; America is Torture Central: From Prisons to ''Black Sites''
The Bush Administration promoted torture. They expanded its use, but they did not invent it, or introduce it into US foreign policy.
posted by adamvasco on Aug 2 at 6:59 AM - 65 comments

Delhi College of Linguistics presents How to Talk Australians. (YouTube playlist).
posted by hawthorne on Aug 18 at 6:18 AM - 64 comments

A scan for systems allowing remote desktop connections without passwords performed during a Defcon talk about the Masscan tool found a wide variety of system open for anyone with knowledge of the correct IP address, such as access to a hockey rink, a manufacturing plant for a Swedish condiment, hydroelectric plants and a lot more. [more inside]
posted by rpn on Aug 15 at 11:04 AM - 17 comments

A "secret" government proposal would no longer mean automatic citizenship to babies born to foreign parents on Canadian soil, despite this happening fewer than a few hundred times each year.
posted by MartinWisse on Aug 19 at 1:17 PM - 125 comments

British subtitles
posted by The Whelk on Aug 20 at 1:06 PM - 29 comments

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