Posts with Recent Comments

When Baby gets that first haircut, Mother saves the hair.

"Hair work mourning jewelry served as a sentimental and tangible memorial to the deceased. In the late 1700s, hair work started to become professionalized, but tradesmen were soon deemed untrustworthy. Customers would send the hair of a loved one by mail, expecting it to be returned worked into a piece of jewelry. Instead, some tradesmen returned pre-made pieces containing anonymous hair... Some makers even replaced human hair with sturdier horsehair—leaving the jewelry with none of the sentimental attachment Victorian women coveted." [more inside]
posted by jessamyn on Oct 22 at 5:01 PM - 15 comments

Really, really old dogs

"Photographer Pete Thorne has discovered that, just as photographing the elderly can make for powerful portraits, the same can be said for old dogs as well. His “Old Faithful” photo series takes a warm and intimate look at man’s best friends as they live out their golden years."
posted by Jacqueline on Oct 23 at 5:18 AM - 7 comments

Why Obama is "a historic success"

"Am I damning with faint praise? Not at all. This is what a successful presidency looks like. No president gets to do everything his supporters expected him to. FDR left behind a reformed nation, but one in which the wealthy retained a lot of power and privilege. On the other side, for all his anti-government rhetoric, Reagan left the core institutions of the New Deal and the Great Society in place. I don't care about the fact that Obama hasn't lived up to the golden dreams of 2008, and I care even less about his approval rating. I do care that he has, when all is said and done, achieved a lot. That is, as Joe Biden didn't quite say, a big deal." Paul Krugman (previously) writes "In Defense of Obama" for Rolling Stone.
posted by jbickers on Oct 8 at 1:08 PM - 302 comments

Detroit with a Boardwalk

"Wonder why Atlantic City is failing? The better question, the one asked by people who know the town: Why did anyone think it would ever succeed?"
posted by ActionPopulated on Oct 22 at 4:02 PM - 24 comments

the dangerous precision worship

Among a rising chorus of folks speaking out about problems caused by America's obsession with football at every level, author (and fan) Steve Almond's voice stands out the loudest. His new book Against Football argues that "our allegiance to football legitimizes and even fosters within us a tolerance for violence, greed, racism, and homophobia." In a nutshell "Fans should stop watching." Needless to say the book has provoked a strong reaction in fans (and defensive sportswriters), most notably in New York Mag, with Jonathan Chait's personal story of how football made him a better person: "In Defense of Male Aggression: What Liberals Get Wrong About Football". [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Oct 13 at 7:18 AM - 159 comments

The Kids At Duke Are Going To Love This

Over a period of 18 years, 3100 students at The University of North Carolina were afforded the opportunity to pad their GPA by taking classes that had no actual requirements, and never even met. Over 1/2 the students were athletes, who without the help presumably would not have stayed eligible to compete make money for the University.
posted by COD on Oct 22 at 3:56 PM - 52 comments

Dogs reenacting U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments

If there is any justice in the world, this will revolutionize the way you consume Supreme Court news. Fed up with the Supreme Court's refusal to allow cameras at oral arguments, John Oliver has proposed an alternative to existing television coverage that relies on artists' renderings of the justices. Oliver has released more than ten minutes of raw footage of dogs dressed up like the members of the Court, and has challenged news outlets to use the footage to create less-boring recreations of oral arguments. [more inside]
posted by heisenberg on Oct 22 at 5:09 PM - 20 comments

Nothing Lasts Forever

The official full-length trailer for Avengers 2: Age Of Ultron has landed
posted by The Whelk on Oct 22 at 4:40 PM - 167 comments

"I write as a reader, not knowing what the author will say next."

Russell Edson was a prose poet whose poetry had the "the sustained wackiness of old Warner Brothers cartoons." When he passed away this year Charles Simic wrote in appreciation of his work, as did J. Robert Lennon, whose article included two audio clips of Edson reading. In interviews, Edson spoke with the same mix of seriousness and humor as he did in his poetry. Here are two interviews, one with Peter Johnson [pdf] and another with Mark Tursi. But, of course, the important thing is his poetry, so here are a few examples: 1, 2, 3. And finally, here's a video of him reading (starts after the 9th minute). [Edson previously. I especially recommend reading the linked appreciation by Sarah Manguso.]
posted by Kattullus on Oct 23 at 2:53 AM - 7 comments

Sexagenarians

Playboy models from Miss March 1954 to Miss January 1979 on meeting the male gaze then—and now. (NSFW!) "There is, according to Playboy magazine’s official style guide, no such thing as a former Playmate." [more inside]
posted by GrammarMoses on Oct 22 at 5:40 PM - 6 comments

FTDI driver destroys devices

USB-to-serial chip manufacturer FTDI has deployed a new version of their Windows device driver, with a small bug: it doesn't work with many Arduinos and is damaging devices that used to work. Turns out that it isn't a bug -- FTDI's new driver is deliberately "bricking" devices if it thinks the chip is counterfeit (which is fairly easy to see). FTDI says it is in the license agreement and claims that they are "definitely not targeting end users", despite the fact that their actions are destroying end-user devices where the purchasers had no idea about the provence of the chips inside. Various communities respond and some question if the new driver is malware.
posted by autopilot on Oct 22 at 3:33 PM - 80 comments

\|/ \|/ \|/ \|/ practical (& fun) conservation in coppicing \|/ \|/ \|/

It is easy to think of woodlands as wild places, but in the UK and Europe, most have been carefully managed for centuries. If you visit an ancient woodland in Europe at this time of year, you may well see small areas where the trees are being cut down to the base, but the stumps left behind. This is likely to be part of a traditional woodland practice called coppicing. Until about 150 years ago, most deciduous woodlands in the UK were coppiced to produce wood for use in a variety of industries, but today coppicing is largely only practised for woodland conservation. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Oct 22 at 4:06 AM - 19 comments

Gunmen on loose in Downtown Ottawa

The Canadian Parliament and several blocks of Downtown Ottawa are unlocked down following shootings inside Parliament Hill and at the War Memorial a block away. A soldier at the memorial was shot. One shooter is dead inside Centre Block of Parliament Hill but at least one is still on the loose. Reports that shots have been fired inside the Chateau Laurier. University of Ottawa and large chunks of downtown Ottawa are on lockdown. Said one officer: "if you can see Parliament Hill, you're not safe." Live coverage from CFRA in Ottawa. Footage of exchange of gunfire inside Centre Block (Via Globe and Mail). This comes a day after another Canadian Forces officer was deliberately killed by a car that targeted him.
posted by dry white toast on Oct 22 at 8:42 AM - 339 comments

#Gamergate, as we know it now, is a hate group.

I do not say this to make the people of #Gamergate seem any more important, or effective, or powerful, or to give any sort of new credence to their ideas. Rather, this is just a structural designation: as immediately dismissible as their tactics and stances might be (at least to anyone who has not become victim to them), I believe it's important to note that group was formed like a hate group and functions like a hate group in every way.
Social researcher Jennifer Allaway examines the ways in which #GamerGate functions as a hate group, using a 2004 study by Linda Woolf and Michale Hulsizer called Hate Groups for Dummies: How to Build a Successful Hate Group as her framework. In it, she identifies four essential elements to any hate group:

  • the leadership which originally inspired the movement,
  • the recruitment strategy it uses to appeal to insecure and impressionable gamers,
  • the social-psychological techniques by which it spreads its message and enflames its members' beliefs,
  • and, finally, the process by which it dehumanizes its victims, and turns them into targets whose attacking earns group praise.
    posted by rorgy on Oct 13 at 8:42 PM - 1622 comments

    "Portraits carry a weight, they are seen as markers of respect"

    South African artist and activist Gabrielle Le Roux is in San Francisco for the first time to show the "Proudly African & Transgender" portrait and story series she co-created with trans* activists from Zimbabwe, Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Burundi, Uganda and Kenya in 2008, together with a selection of portraits from the "Proudly Trans* in Turkey" collaboration with eighteen trans* activists from across Turkey. The portraits and stories will show at the SF LGBT Center at the invitation of the Queer Cultural Center and SFSU Sociology Dept. Galería de La Raza will be showing the 18 part video installation of the Proudly Trans* in Turkey exhibition, through which trans* activists from across Turkey explore the issues they want to discuss on film. [more inside]
    posted by Lexica on Oct 22 at 2:08 PM - 3 comments

    Woof.

    A review of the uncomfortable, colonialist-islander RPG, Dog Eat Dog
    posted by michaelh on Oct 22 at 12:45 PM - 25 comments

    style blogger fashion babes

    Lydia is a black Canadian queer femme and in-betweeny who writes about fashion for Autostraddle.

    Rosariummm sews herself adorable crop tops and throws the cutest cat parties ever.

    Chelsea has a wicked sense of humor and gives dating advice.
    posted by Juliet Banana on Oct 22 at 9:10 AM - 7 comments

    "The straight line belongs to men, the curved one to God."

    Antonio Gaudi [YouTube] a 1984 Japanese documentary film by Hiroshi Teshigahara about the works of Antoni Gaudi. In the film the director visits the buildings including houses in Barcelona and the Sagrada Família. [more inside]
    posted by Fizz on Oct 22 at 4:11 PM - 7 comments

    Increase Your Trumpet Range With This One (Stupid) Trick

    Getting a double G on Trumpet (SLYT, stupid trick)
    posted by plinth on Oct 22 at 6:18 AM - 10 comments

    Help Joe Find the Best Shirt Ever

    Joe Archibold, 12, is hunting for a specific polo shirt. He has a little less than a year to find it, and he needs your help. It has blue, white and gray stripes and a blue collar, and it's pretty much the best shirt ever. Joe has the same shirt in size small and medium. He needs a large, to be able to keep intact his now five-year tradition. Joe has worn the same shirt for every school picture since second grade. (Related previously.)
    posted by aka burlap on Oct 22 at 9:14 AM - 19 comments

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