March 29

If you look after the sense, the sounds will look after themselves

A youngish Sir Ian McKellen describes, line by line, the images that are in his mind when he speaks Macbeth's "Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow" soliloquy. [SLYT]
posted by hoist with his own pet aardvark at 7:13 PM - 0 comments

^[U__*]^

FROLIC RPG: the world’s first procedurally generated emoticon adventure! by porpentine
posted by NoraReed at 7:07 PM - 0 comments

Why should authors not embrace the networked world?

"It’s hard not to hear cultural ruin, melodramatic as that may be, in every interrupting chirp and chime of a phone receiving a text or a call or blasting a video through its speakers on a packed subway train. The citizen in me, greedy for chances at quiet reflection and, frankly, to be left in peace from unwelcome noises, shudders and laments. But the artist in me, the writer, asks a more probing question, if not necessarily more optimistic: what might I do with all this?" Novelist Steve Himmer explores how to write about our increasingly interconnected world in "Reader, I Muted Him: The Narrative Possibilities of Networked Life."
posted by ocherdraco at 5:09 PM - 1 comment

Bad news for anyone born with a silver spoon in their mouth

How does your choice of spoon material impact your dining experience?
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 5:06 PM - 21 comments

Needs more dickbags, Anne

Anne Bronte: the last, but not least, of the Bronte sisters Thirty years before Nora Helmer famously slammed the door in her husband's face, Helen Huntingdon did the same. And, as an added bonus, Helen - by earning her own living as a painter - became an outlaw as well as a rebel. [more inside]
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 4:14 PM - 7 comments

If you can't see it, you can't be it

With WrestleMania 31 mere hours away, let's talk about representation in pro wrestling. And really, lessons that apply for any form of entertainment.
If you don’t use positive representation to speak to new fans who look different, who act different, who have new ideas, you’ll never have new fans at all.
If You Can't See It, You Can't Be It: The Importance of Representation in Modern Day Wrestling [more inside]
posted by misskaz at 2:06 PM - 6 comments

Every great story seems to begin with a snake.

Rattlesnakes inspire search-and-rescue robot design Rattlesnakes have provided the inspiration for the movements of a robot designed for entering dangerous environments. [more inside]
posted by Michele in California at 2:05 PM - 3 comments

Frankie and Johnny were lovers. My how that couple could love!

Paul Slade tackles the story behind the American blues/folk song Frankie and Johnny, tracing the lyrics back to an 1899 St. Louis murder, and exploring the history of the song, its subjects, and its variations. [more inside]
posted by julen at 1:40 PM - 12 comments

I was stumped. So of course, I asked Facebook.

"Let's talk about matter/anti-matter annihilation in the early Universe."
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 12:42 PM - 25 comments

What Women Want in Women Characters

Women Characters Redesigned by Women SFF Artists
As I said, I’m going to be discussing this at length in my next post. For now, I’m going to give you a flood of examples of women characters in fantasy art — many infamous for being depictions unwelcoming to women — that have been redesigned by the professional artists in the Women in Fantasy Illustration group. Each woman’s point of view is different, and the redesigns reveal what is most important to that woman, whether it’s realistic body armor, or it’s making sure the woman has a narrative and agency of her own. There is no one right way to depict a woman character, and it is not as simple as "cover her up more" because, as you'll see, some of these redesigns are sexier than the original. And I have found through my own work that you CAN absolutely have a single depiction of a character that is sexy and empowering to all genders. As I said, more on that next post.
[more inside]
posted by Lexica at 12:26 PM - 41 comments

Everything you need to know about Quebec’s latest student strike

What’s a student strike? Can the education minister cancel the semester? How many students are in the streets? Though it may have appeared spontaneous, the student strike of 2012 took a year and a half of preparation. Since last fall, Quebec students, along with other elements of civil society such as unions and NGOs, have been mobilizing against Liberal premier Philippe Couillard’s austerity policies, typified by deep cuts to public services. That mobilization led to this week’s strike. [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus at 11:03 AM - 13 comments

Lest you think Buzzfeed invented something new...

A Historic List of Historical Lists. Particularly amusing (or distressing, depending on how you feel about the marital travails of long dead, anonymous people) is list #12, 100 types of marriage, which Slate wrote about.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:46 AM - 17 comments

Stanley Pickle

Stanley Pickle is a short stopmotion/liveaction film directed by the illustrator and photographer Vicky Mather
posted by dng at 10:39 AM - 6 comments

Giant Monster of Pancake Goodness

Making Monster Pancakes in your rice cooker.
posted by storybored at 10:39 AM - 53 comments

You're an Asshole for Reading This

A short documentary video introduction to The Suckhole, the "super-secret facility" of The Sucklord and headquarters for Suckadelic Enterprises. Sucklord is the alter-ego of Morgan Phillips, a lifelong Star Wars fan and unrepentant toy geek who lived with his mother until he was 36. In recent years he has flipped the script by becoming a creator of "bootleg" action figures (and more) that fall into that broad, largely undefined category of Pop Art. Think: mash-up toys or reimagined figures. In 2011 a MUST READ Village Voice article called him "the designer-toy world's biggest jerkbag". A 2012 interview on the "Unofficial Suckadelic Fanclub" Galactic Jerkbags. Going back further, a 2008 formatmag.com interview . Hear also, Morgan Phillips' Stars Wars themed music mashups . Not to be missed are the Sucklord's Flickr pages and Suckadelic YouTube channel
posted by spock at 9:52 AM - 5 comments

White Women, Black Hairstyles

It almost sounds like the opening line to a joke: A young black woman takes a bunch of middle-aged white women who she doesn’t know in Woodstock, N.Y., to a black salon, gives them a new “black” hairdo, and then takes their portrait.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:52 AM - 21 comments

Bart and his flying dead zoo

Previously. Bart Jansen, the Dutch artist who charmed and disgusted the art world with his flying taxidermied cat Orville, has not been resting on his laurels since. After creating Orville, he went looking for bigger challenges... and found them. [more inside]
posted by Too-Ticky at 8:11 AM - 8 comments

Saturday Night Live's "Refreshing Drop of Acid"

One of the original Saturday Night Live's Not Ready for Prime-Time Players (can you name them all? Take the quiz here), Jane Curtin created characters such as Enid Loopner (mother to Gilda Radner's Lisa Loopner) and Pyrmaat the Conehead. She became Weekend Update's first female anchor after the departure of Chevy Chase in 1976, anchoring solo for Season 2 (making her the only woman to have anchored Weekend Update solo, to date). Although coming in a questionably low 47 on Rolling Stone's ranking of all 141 cast members, she is recognized for "bringing depth and gravity to sketches that might otherwise float away into trainwreck territory." Curtin has been vocal about the misogyny of the early SNL days, and the era itself - particularly the challenges of getting women-written sketches on the air.
posted by wheek wheek wheek at 8:03 AM - 22 comments

China vs GitHub

China's network infrastructure has been attacking open source hosting site GitHub for three days and counting. A primary source of the DDoS traffic was discovered by Insight Labs; Javascript injected into pages at Baidu. Baidu, one of the largest Chinese web properties, denies being involved. Chinese government officials have recently expressed a desire for new ways to censor the Internet. Experts speculate that the Javascript was injected by the Chinese network infrastructure, perhaps in retaliation for GitHub hosting the firewall circumvention projects GreatFire and cn-nytimes. GitHub has said little about the nature of the attack; its status pages document the ongoing, largely successful efforts to defend their business.
posted by Nelson at 7:13 AM - 36 comments

Cancer Quackery? There's An App for That!

Belle Gibson and the Pernicious Cult of 'Wellness.' Jenny McCartney writes in The Spectator about the unraveling business empire and reputation of Australian celebrity "wellness" blogger and "cancer survivor" Belle Gibson. [more inside]
posted by spitbull at 6:54 AM - 57 comments

Arendelle is the warmest place to hide

"A deleted scene from the Disney classic Frozen as directed by John Carpenter." (SLYT; colorful walls and language).
posted by khonostrov at 6:45 AM - 14 comments

ein abend eine stadt zwei künstler

Durch die Nacht mit Sibel Kekilli & George R.R. Martin/ Au coeur de la nuit: George R. R. Martin et Sibel Kekilli: an ARTE documentary taking George R. R. Martin & Sibel "Shae" Kekilli through Martin's hometown of Santa Fe, with your choice of German or French subtitles. (As you know Bob, ARTE is a German/French art orientated cable channel; "Durch die Nacht" is one of its regular documentary series.(previously))
posted by MartinWisse at 3:21 AM - 8 comments

March 28

"the actor who played Merrick would not wear makeup"

In 1980 David Bowie starred as John [Joseph] Merrick in the play The Elephant Man. Tim Rice interviews Bowie for Friday Night Saturday Morning [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:42 PM - 4 comments

"For example, we could transmit the contents of the Internet."

Seth Shostak, director of the Center for SETI Research at the SETI Institute, suggests in a NYT Op-Ed that we should "offer the aliens Big Data."
Such a large corpus — with its text, pictures, videos and sounds — would allow clever extraterrestrials to decipher much about our society, and even formulate questions that could be answered with the material in hand.
Previously, Stephen Hawking has disagreed.
posted by Little Dawn at 9:32 PM - 67 comments

At FedEx, we considered that problem for about three seconds

The FedEx Problem: In which the author uses Euclidean geometry to determine, based on the US Population, the idea location for FedEx's giant hub in Memphis (spoiler: It's about 315 miles off). Then, the guy who wrote the original scheduling software for FedEx shows up at Hacker News with the real story, and some war stories about the founding of FedEx: [more inside]
posted by joshwa at 7:45 PM - 33 comments

Aussies v. Black Caps

In a few short hours the final of the Cricket World Cup will be held at the 'G. With some games of the World Cup reaching a billion viewers globally, it has now come down to a dream final between co-hosts Australia, who have won the cup four times, and first time finalists New Zealand. [more inside]
posted by inflatablekiwi at 4:52 PM - 44 comments

This town is crooked!

Lavenham was a wool boomtown during the 15th and 16th centuries. It grew so fast that many of the houses were hastily built with green timber that proceeded to twist and warp.
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 4:17 PM - 37 comments

The creek the city loved to hate

Charlotte, NC is unusual in not being located on the coast of an ocean, lake, or major river. Instead, it has Little Sugar Creek: The creek the city loved to hate
posted by hydropsyche at 3:07 PM - 13 comments

“It’s Over!”

Amanda Knox Acquitted of 2007 Murder by Italy’s Highest Court [New York Times]
"ROME — Italy’s highest court overturned the murder convictions of Amanda Knox and her Italian former boyfriend on Friday, throwing out all charges and ending a long-running courtroom drama over the killing of a British student in 2007. The ruling in favor of Ms. Knox, a 27-year-old former exchange student from Seattle, and her co-defendant, Raffaele Sollecito, 31, was a shock in Italy, where the convictions had been expected to be upheld in the stabbing death of the British student, Meredith Kercher.
Previously. Previously. Previously. Previously.
posted by Fizz at 2:46 PM - 58 comments

Ingredients: The mumbled chantings of a certified tea shaman…

Steven Smith, teamaker, passed away last Monday. He was a co-founder of Stash teas, founder of Tazo tea, and most recently, founder of the eponymous Steven Smith lines of teas. [more inside]
posted by Secretariat at 1:32 PM - 27 comments

Lonely is the Night, Detroit 1983

This is simply a 1983 concert video of Billy Squier performing the single greatest cocaine fueled butt rock song ever made in all of its glory. [more inside]
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:01 PM - 70 comments

Time for Joy Division! Time for Joy Division! Time for Joy Division!

Teletubbies Joy Division Edit. Chris G. Brown has made a video mashup that may ruin, or redeem, your memories of the Teletubbies. The pairing was suggested in comments after Mark Holland tweeted this image, with the comment, "The Teletubbies are fucking terrifying in black and white." More background at Vanyaland.
posted by tula at 12:26 PM - 33 comments

Connecting the Dots

With all the upheaval in the skies and on the ground, here is one person's opinion on why the U.S. is fighting beside Iran in Iraq and against it in Yemen. Putin tells Iran that an immediate ceasefire is needed in Yemen. All the while...negotiators from six world powers (the P5+1) are attempting to strike a deal with Iran to restrict its nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief. As Iran nuclear talks 'enter endgame' in Switzerland...China and Russia say they will show up tomorrow. Keeping things cloaked in intrigue: the US accuses Israel of spying on nuclear talks with Iran and Putin says Western spies plot against Russia before polls, blurs the picture further.
posted by Emor at 12:15 PM - 36 comments

"There is something maddeningly attractive about the untranslatable"

Variations on the Right to Remain Silent is an essay by poet and classicist Anne Carson about translation, cliché, divine language and the way some words violently resist being explained. She touches on Homer, Sappho, Joan of Arc, Friedrich Hölderlin, and the painter Francis Bacon.
posted by Kattullus at 11:42 AM - 6 comments

Tired of the same old dystopias?

Randomized Dystopia suggests a right that your fictional tyranny could deny its citizens!
I was talking with a friend about trends in dystopian fiction, and we talked a little about the underappreciated rights that don't get as much airtime. So I created Randomized Dystopia. You can hit Reload on the main page to get a right from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, or use the Custom Terribleness page for the option of a specifically sexist or ageist dystopia.
[more inside]
posted by Lexica at 11:31 AM - 18 comments

"Can I look at it?" "No, no - you've seen enough of that one..."

Les Paul's 1954 Custom: The One & Only Original by Michael Molenda, Guitar Player. More on Les Paul, and his partnership with Mary Ford, at Gibson.com. YouTube: How High The Moon (1951). [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 11:10 AM - 12 comments

Five Biases Pushing Women out of STEM

By now, we’ve all heard about the low numbers of American women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). My own new research, co-authored with Kathrine W. Phillips and Erika V. Hall, indicates that bias, not pipeline issues or personal choices, pushes women out of science – and that bias plays out differently depending on a woman’s race or ethnicity.
posted by sciatrix at 10:43 AM - 16 comments

At first, many of the role players just ignored me.

The worlds of anime cybersex roleplay and Bar Rescue are rarely combined. [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:15 AM - 16 comments

This Charming House Includes a Warm Radioactive Glow in Every Room!

With interest rates at an all time low (and likely to increase later this year), the spring home selling season should see plenty of new real estate listings. Many of those listings will feature terrible real estate photos (which has been covered before). It's amazing how good photography can make the difference in selling a house in 8 days versus 8 months. But with the rise of photo apps comes the worst thing to happen to property listing photos: bad HDR real estate photography.
posted by jca at 9:23 AM - 23 comments

Amelia is an intrepid name

The biting cold of a March morning did little to dissuade fans of Amelia Edwards, founder of the Egypt Exploration Society, from turning out in force to watch the unveiling of her blue plaque at 19 Wharton Street in London this week. Edwards joins a small list of women writers including Elizabeth Gaskell, Mary Shelley and Agatha Christie, chosen to be celebrated by the scheme as its first female Egyptologist.
As one dives deeper into Amelia Edwards' contributions to Egyptology, one begins to wonder*, was it she who was the real Amelia Peabody, so well known to us through the words of Elizabeth Peters? [more inside]
posted by infini at 9:15 AM - 5 comments

Ellen Pao Loses Silicon Valley Bias Case Against Kleiner Perkins

"The plaintiff, Ellen Pao, had accused the firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, of discriminating against her in the course of her employment and eventual dismissal. The decision handed Kleiner a sweeping victory in a case that had mesmerized Silicon Valley with its salacious details while simultaneously amplifying concerns about the lack of diversity in the technology industry." Pao is now the CEO Reddit - Relevant Reddit thread.
posted by marienbad at 8:52 AM - 48 comments

Our protagonists, our characters, can be anyone.

Elsinore is an adventure game set in the world of Shakespeare's Hamlet - which places it, historically, in 16th century Denmark. Since we began work on the project a year or so ago, I've shown the playtest build to family, friends, and strangers alike. After they're done playing, intermingled with their feedback on gameplay, they often point to Ophelia and ask: Why is she black?
For Gamasutra, Katie Chironis, team lead and writer of Elsinore talks about why they made the protagonist black, the possibilities of black people living in Denmark in the 16th century and why history and "history" in games is so often whitewashed.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:05 AM - 106 comments

March 27

DDWIWDD (sent from a friend ;)

Dan Deacon "When I Was Done Dying" for Off The Air on Adult Swim - "Tapping nine unique and talented animators (whose work had all appeared previously on the show) to create a beautiful and seamless journey through the afterlife..." [previously!]
posted by kliuless at 11:42 PM - 23 comments

pay for review

Editor quits journal over pay-for-expedited peer-review offer "With a tweet yesterday, an editor of Scientific Reports, one of Nature Publishing Group’s open-access journals, has resigned in a very public protest of NPG’s recent decision to allow authors to pay money to expedite peer review of their submitted papers. "
posted by dhruva at 10:24 PM - 26 comments

Good evening, and welcome to SBS World News Australia. I'm...

Lee Lin Chin is an Australian television presenter best known for anchoring SBS World News for over a decade. She is also utterly hilarious, most recently attracting attention for her own take on a 'mean tweets' video. [more inside]
posted by Quilford at 9:25 PM - 14 comments

Leftist Concepts: Trust (x) vs. Agency (y)

Je ne suis pas liberal: Entering the quagmire of online leftism "Classifying leftist ideology in a framework of agency and trust, I find a buried contradiction at the heart of anti-oppressive activism, one in which practitioners pathologically self-position themselves in a space of chronic moral jeopardy."
posted by lalochezia at 8:16 PM - 104 comments

Pics or it didn't happen

How I taught my dog to text me selfies
posted by a lungful of dragon at 7:27 PM - 18 comments

Bitcoin Brawl

The Race to Replace Bitcoin
An epic battle between two bitcoin 2.0 contenders grips the crypto world
posted by andoatnp at 6:43 PM - 69 comments

Sparkly Vampires!

I want to give you a brief window into my life in this little corner of journalistic endeavor. Ready? Here goes. Today, the Verge newsroom got into a heated debate about whether or not vampires can poop. I'm not kidding.
This is the greatest Yahoo! Answer on whether vampires can poop
posted by jenkinsEar at 5:58 PM - 56 comments

Try not to get stuck!

Deep Cave in Edwards, Texas, has a regular entrance, and a ...rather more claustrophobic one.
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 4:17 PM - 53 comments

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