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January 25

SS Pieter Schelte

The "world's largest ship" is named after a Nazi war criminal. Unsurprisingly a few people have a problem with that.
posted by Artw at 5:33 PM - 4 comments

British Actors, American History

“I played a soldier confronting President Lincoln in the film Lincoln, and I say to him, in the winter of 1865, ‘When are we going to get the vote?’ and then there I am, 100 years later, depicting Dr. King, alongside the very same actor, Colman Domingo — we confronted President Lincoln together — we are now in a jail cell, asking for the vote again, in 1965,” Oyelowo said in an interview with BuzzFeed News. “I’ve played a preacher in The Help, I played a fighter pilot in Red Tails, I played someone who was in a sit in, was a Freedom Rider, was a Black Panther, then goes on to be a senator in The Butler. They’re all characters that took me on this journey through what it has been to be a black person for the last 150 years.”

Oyelowo stopped, paused, and corrected himself slightly here. In nearly every role he’s taken on since he arrived in the United States, he’s portrayed the sojourn for what it’s like to be a black American for the last 150 years. [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:26 PM - 1 comment

Money, privilege, luck, connections

“Sponsored” by my husband: Why it’s a problem that writers never talk about where their money comes from.
posted by naju at 4:27 PM - 55 comments

Straight Masterpiece

L. Young & Da Youngstaz get funky! An amazing a cappella version of the already amazing funktastic anthem Uptown Funk. [more inside]
posted by jammy at 1:28 PM - 21 comments

Anime Eyes

Anime Eyes with MAC- A how to.
posted by josher71 at 12:21 PM - 18 comments

Optical Illusion art of Robert Gonsalves

A massive gallery of Incredible Optical Illusion Art by Robert Gonsalves
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 12:14 PM - 10 comments

Some Girls Want Out: Spectacular Saintliness

Hilary Mantel on St. Gemma Galgani, St. Therese of Lisieux, and "holy" and secular anorexia, stigmata, and hysteria. "We can see, as ‘Catholic neurologists’ of the time did, that Gemma’s symptoms are a representational strategy. They are an art form and a highly successful one; they are also (possibly) the product of mental pain and distress turned into physical symptoms. . . . When we think of young adults in the West, driven by secular demons of unknown provenance to starve and purge themselves, and to pierce and slash their flesh, we wonder uneasily if she is our sister under the skin." (warning: gruesome) [more inside]
posted by sallybrown at 11:02 AM - 14 comments

10th Century Travels among the Norse, Bulgars, Khazars and Others

The Risala of Ahmad ibn Fadlan is a tenth century travel narrative of an emissary of the Caliph to the Iltäbär of the Volga Bulgars. He described his encounters with many peoples on his journey, but the Risala is most famous for his account of the Rus and their funeral rites, who probably were Norse people who had settled along the Volga. If these were indeed the Norse, ibn Fadlan gives one of the most detailed contemporary descriptions of the Norse before they started writing down their own stories some centuries later. He was not the only Muslim to have encounters with the Norse, as Judith Gabriel explains in Among the Norse Tribes. Another 10th Century description of the Norse was by the Jewish al-Tartushi from Al-Andalus. Michael Crichton used the Risala as the basis for his novel Eaters of the Dead, which later was made into the movie The 13th Warrior. Both book and film left something to be desired in terms of historical accuracy.
posted by Kattullus at 10:59 AM - 8 comments

"Mr. President, is you OK? Is you good? 'Cuz I wanted to know."

In addition to posting the State of the Union to Medium before the end of the press embargo, the Obama administration has delivered another sop to the young whippersnappers of today by having the president get interviewed by three stars of YouTube: comedian GloZell, designer Bethany Mota, and vlogbrother Hank Green.

You can watch the interviews, read takes on how they went from Hank Green himself, the WaPo, NPR, and the NYT, and enjoy some grousing from FOX and Bloomberg Politics's response to said grousing.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:25 AM - 16 comments

The Debt? (trigger warning)

"In an essay in the New York Times, psychiatrist Richard Friedman writes that the relationship of adults to their abusive parents 'gets little, if any, attention in standard textbooks or in the psychiatric literature.' But Rochelle is not alone. I have been hearing from people in her position for years, adult children weighing whether to reconnect with parents who nearly ruined their lives. Sometimes it's a letter writer such as 'Comfortably Numb' who has cut off contact with a parent but is now being pressured by family members, and even a spouse, to reconcile and forgive. Sometimes a correspondent, like 'Her Son,' has hung on to a thread of a relationship, but is now fearful of being further yoked emotionally or financially to a declining parent." [SLSlate] (Trigger warning for descriptions of abuse.)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 10:09 AM - 31 comments

“And all of a sudden, it’s a homicide.”

A Twist in the Murder of a 97-Year-Old Man: He Was Knifed 5 Decades Ago: [New York Times]
The New York medical examiner determined that an operation after a stabbing in the 1950s led to Antonio Ciccarello’s death in September at 97. The police have opened a murder investigation.
posted by Fizz at 9:48 AM - 22 comments

Bringing Boredom Back

Inspired by recent research on how boredom and mind-wandering contribute to creativity, public radio show New Tech City is launching a pro-boredom project. Bored and Brilliant invites participants to track how they use their phones to prevent moments of mental idleness, to try to reclaim free brain space and find oases of time, complete a week of creativity challenges, and contribute their responses to the conversation. BrainPickings' Maria Popova and artist Nina Katchadourian (who both joined the project's launch party to talk about how they"owe their careers" to boredom)and RadioLab's Jad Abumrad.
posted by Miko at 9:28 AM - 16 comments

"To change anything, start everywhere"

To Change Everything (tochangeeverything.com)
posted by jeffburdges at 7:24 AM - 27 comments

"that it ain’t no gun they can make that can kill my soul"

No other lyrics more perfectly captured the spirit bubbling under the surface of hip-hop in the latter half of 2014 than those sung in J. Cole’s cracking, raspy-voiced performance of “Be Free” on The Late Show on December 10. Clad in a “Fuck Money Spread Love” hoodie, and rocking the post-natural, 2014 version of the revolutionary ’fro, Cole used the venerable Ed Sullivan Theater as a pulpit, bringing attention to Ferguson and the #BlackLivesMatter movement. He provided an anthem for protests taking place just blocks away.
What’s Going On: Kendrick Lamar, D’Angelo, J. Cole, Kanye West, and the New Sound of Protest Music.
posted by MartinWisse at 5:49 AM - 26 comments

Fish and CHiPs all over the place

Maybe you've wondered what a Sig Alert is.
posted by bq at 5:48 AM - 22 comments

Know When To Run

Over Christmas engineering works on train lines into London failed. This is a review of the report into that failure. It's a fascinating read about cascading failure and errors in project planning. And, for once, read the comments.
posted by Gilgongo at 1:17 AM - 45 comments

Inside Amsterdam's efforts to become a smart city

Amsterdam wants to be smarter than you. And it’s well on its way. The Netherlands capital is on a mission to turn itself into the smartest city in the world. Through a collaboration with government officials, private companies including telecom giant KPN, and the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, the city is quickly becoming a futuristic tech hub.
posted by ellieBOA at 1:06 AM - 13 comments

January 24

Graffiti artist INSA made a massive animated GIF

A few days ago, Graffiti artist INSA made a massive animated painting in Rio de Janeiro. Over four days he painted an area of 154,774 square feet (14,379 square meters) with the help of 20 assistants. The painting states were captured by a satellite to create this GIF, the biggest ever.
posted by bobdow at 9:44 PM - 43 comments

The Household Mentoring Approach in Uganda

Household mentoring "is an innovative extension methodology used to work with poorer households. The specificity of this approach is that all adult members of a household, including both women and men farmers, are visited and assisted by a trained mentor selected from the local community. During these visits, men and women in a household learn how to better plan their livelihoods together, work together to improve their food security and income, and to share the benefits equally." [more inside]
posted by Sir Rinse at 9:02 PM - 9 comments

With fewer voices, Auschwitz survivors speak

The voices of Auschwitz. "The 70th anniversary of the liberation of the notorious Nazi concentration camp could mark the last major commemoration for many Holocaust survivors." [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 7:50 PM - 13 comments

"I don't want you to hate me, and I don't want you to disown me."

Oklahoma. This was a place where Kathryn's workplace had a cussing jar, a quarter per swear, and the words written on it, “Let Go and Let God.” Here, Christianity was the religion — Tracy and Kathryn were believers — and Oklahoma football was the religion — Tracy and Kathryn were believers — and people could be decent and kind and judgmental, sometimes all at once, which was why, when Tracy told some Rotary Club friends that she and Kathryn were getting married, she kept her eyes planted above their heads so she wouldn't have to look at their faces.
posted by Rhaomi at 7:03 PM - 66 comments

America's Angriest White Men

"A longtime feminist, Kimmel maintains a delicate balance when handling his sources. He wants to be sympathetic to the people he interviews and yet loyal to his academic principles. After a series of humbling recessions and other economic shifts, men like Rick feel emasculated and humiliated, he writes, 'betrayed by the country they love, discarded like trash on the side of the information superhighway.' Their sin, according to Kimmel, is a failure to adjust. These guys refuse to admit they’ve been handed privilege all these years by a world that puts white men on top. White men, he writes, 'have been running with the wind at our backs all these years,' and 'what we think of as ‘fairness’ to us has been built on the backs of others.' The New York Times reviews sociologist Michael Kimmel's 2013 book Angry White Men: American Masculinity at the End of an Era. [more inside]
posted by quiet earth at 6:53 PM - 65 comments

SCREAM CHOIR

I thought this was ridiculous......until I realized that Artaud might have loved it. So maybe it's great. (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by crazylegs at 6:05 PM - 16 comments

Who Owns the Copyright to Vivian Maier's Photographs?

John Maloof and Charlie Siskel’s Finding Vivian Maier is nominated for an Academy Award, Best Feature Documentary. Most people have read about the nanny who worked in complete obscurity, yet may be one of the greatest street photographers of the 20th Century. The filmmakers tell the story of her art and also track down people who knew this eccentric and perhaps troubled artist. Meanwhile, and problematically for Maloof and other owners of Maier’s work, it’s one thing to own the negatives and quite another to own copyright that allows for printing and publishing those negatives. Maloof thought he had that covered, but in 2013 that came into question. Finally and most recently (2015), perhaps sensing an opportunity for much-needed revenue, the State of Illinois has belatedly opened a file on the Maier Estate and notified owners and galleries to be prepared for legal inquiry. The documentary is streaming on the major distributors (Netflix, Amazon, GooglePlay).
posted by Short Attention Sp at 3:48 PM - 19 comments

He strives to impress his guest with a collection of blue gifts.

THE EROTIC AND SULTRY DANCE OF THE ADULT BOWERBIRD. (slyt)
posted by theodolite at 3:42 PM - 27 comments

Just how good is the flu vaccine?

Ontario's former Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Richard Schabas and infectious diseases specialist Dr. Neil Rau question the utility of mass, annual influenza vaccination: "Vaccines, in general, are perhaps the biggest success story of modern medicine. But in the league tables of vaccines, influenza vaccine hovers near the relegation zone."
posted by rhombus at 2:17 PM - 46 comments

An Unincorporated Historic Neighborhood Gets it Place on the Internet

Isla Vista LocalWiki From the description in mefi projects: Isla Vista has a lot of interesting characteristics that make it a good subject for a community writing project: it's an unusually walkable place with many local institutions and traditions, and it's an unincorporated quasi-town with a complex relationship with the university and the county. But one part that I find really appealing is that this is a relatively unexplored topic... [more inside]
posted by Michele in California at 2:13 PM - 9 comments

In short, in matters lexical, semantic, and homologous ...

I Am the Very Model of a Biblical Philologist. (h/t Language Log)
posted by benito.strauss at 12:27 PM - 11 comments

Token Sucking

The Kiss of Desperation: A Disgusting Practice Vanishes With the Token/A Lewis Grizzard take on the subject from 1991
posted by josher71 at 11:30 AM - 37 comments

A quick trip downtown and 30 years ago...

"All in all he "shot over 1,900 hours of tape over a period of seven years, capturing himself and his friends in the glossy façade of Manhattan's downtown life... He sought to tape all of New York's citizens, including its outcasts, striving to candidly capture their lives. He taped anything and everything that interested him—outrageous performances in bars and clubs, swinging house parties, chaotic gallery openings, park and street festivals, late-night ruminations of his friends, absurd conversations with taxi drivers, prosaic sunset walks with his dog on the then-still-existing west side piers." Sullivan died of a heart attack in 1989, just as he was preparing to produce his own cable television show." -- Nelson Sullivan's New York City.
posted by The Whelk at 11:00 AM - 10 comments

Genesis' The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway turned forty recently

The sixth Genesis studio album (and their last with Peter Gabriel), it's a two record, 94 minute conceptual monster which, "... tells of how a large black cloud descends into Time Square, straddles out across 42nd Street, turns into a wall and sucks in Manhattan Island. Our hero named Rael crawls out of the subways of New York and is sucked into the wall to regain consciousness underground." [more inside]
posted by philip-random at 10:52 AM - 34 comments

La Feria de la Alasita

Every January 24, Alasitas or La Feria de la Alasita, a fair specific to Bolivia and especially La Paz, commences. Though its origin is somewhat unclear (Spanish-language), for the next three weeks, the fair will draw Bolivians seeking material abundance ("Alasita" translates as "buy me" in Aymara) in the year ahead by buying miniatures at the fair of those things they want and giving them to Ekeko, the Aymara god of prosperity, represented by a small figurine (Spanish-language video) covered in all the goods the petitioner would like to receive. As with a number of cultural and culinary items of the region, there is some debate as to whether Alasitas is properly Bolivian or Peruvian (Google translation).
posted by the sobsister at 10:20 AM - 2 comments

Infamous. Thoughtless. Careless. Wikipedia and Gamergate. 💻

Infamous. Thoughtless. Careless. Mark Bernstein on recent editorial decisions at Wikipedia: "The infamous draft decision of Wikipedia’s Arbitration Committee (ArbCom) on Gamergate is worse than a crime. It’s a blunder that threatens to disgrace the internet." [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 9:50 AM - 202 comments

🎨💯👊

emoji.ink lets you draw with Apple emojis. [more inside]
posted by Chichibio at 8:56 AM - 16 comments

Why I Am Not a Maker

There’s a widespread idea that “People who make things are simply different [read: better] than those who don’t.” [...] It’s not, of course, that there’s anything wrong with making (although it’s not all that clear that the world needs more stuff). The problem is the idea that the alternative to making is usually not doing nothing—it’s almost always doing things for and with other people, from the barista to the Facebook community moderator to the social worker to the surgeon. Describing oneself as a maker—regardless of what one actually or mostly does—is a way of accruing to oneself the gendered, capitalist benefits of being a person who makes products. [more inside]
posted by haltingproblemsolved at 7:42 AM - 108 comments

Fishing with mosquito nets

Across Africa, from the mud flats of Nigeria to the coral reefs off Mozambique, mosquito-net fishing is a growing problem, an unintended consequence of one of the biggest and most celebrated public health campaigns in recent years. Unintended consequences and complicated trade-offs: Mosquito Nets for Malaria Spawn New Epidemic: Overfishing (SLNYT)
posted by Dip Flash at 6:35 AM - 24 comments

The Wolfpack

‘The Wolfpack’ Tells of One New York Apartment With Seven Children Locked Inside (NYT). Crystal Moselle's documentary "The Wolfpack," premieres this Sunday at the Sundance Film Festival. A video interview with Crystal Moselle. [more inside]
posted by cwest at 6:19 AM - 13 comments

In other words, this is janky and imperfect and totally a hack.

That’s Netscape 1.0n, released in December of 1994, running inside Windows 3.11, released in August of 1993, running inside of Google Chrome 39.0.2171.99 m, released about a week ago, on a Windows 7 PC, released in 2009.
Welcome to the Emularity: as tools and processes improves it's becoming easier and easier to emulate historical computer (programme)s within your browser. By Jason Scott.
posted by MartinWisse at 4:22 AM - 25 comments

January 23

Dealing with the transition to the information age

BIG and BOT Policy Proposals (transcript) - "Many of our current economic policies originated during times of scarcity. But now, says investor Albert Wenger, we live in an era of 'digital abundance', when creating new products costs virtually nothing. To adapt to the resulting economic upheavals, we won't need just more tech, says Wenger, but some strong policies. Here he explores two: basic income guarantee and the right to be represented by a bot." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 11:55 PM - 14 comments

Very Borgesian

A reflective view of the main core of The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale.
The building was designed by Gordon Bunshaft, of the firm of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, and completed in 1963. When visitors first enter the building they are faced by two large marble staircases that ascend up to the mezzanine level and a large glass tower that is the central core of the building. The mezzanine level allows for people to rotate around the glass tower which holds 180,000 volumes. [more inside]
posted by growabrain at 9:34 PM - 22 comments

what is a 'robot,' anyway?

The Random Darknet Shopper is an art piece by !MEDIENGRUPPE BITNIK for the exhibtion From Memes to Onionland. So the bot bought 10 pills of Ecstasy (among other things in the name of art and got 'arrested' by the Swiss police. So what happens when a bot gets 'arrested?' It seems robots are starting to break the law and nobody knows what to do about it. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:13 PM - 29 comments

Let's play two for Mr. Cub.

Hall of Fame shortstop Ernie Banks has died at 83. [more inside]
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:46 PM - 41 comments

Catherine the Great's Erotic Cabinet

Catherine the Great had a room decorated with penises and vaginas. The furniture has vanished, but some pictures (NSFW) remain
posted by dfm500 at 8:32 PM - 58 comments

River's Edge

“River’s Edge”: The darkest teen film of all time
posted by davebush at 7:59 PM - 47 comments

Chilling Effects

We Should All Step Back from Security Journalism. I’ll Go First. Quinn Norton (previously) responds to the sentencing of Barrett Brown (previously.) [Via]
posted by homunculus at 7:32 PM - 28 comments

All Sports Illustrated Staff Photographers Fired

Sports Illustrated director of photography Brad Smith confirmed the move this morning to News Photographer magazine. "It's true," Smith said. "There was a decision made through the company to restructure various departments, including at Sports Illustrated. Unfortunately economic circumstances are such that it has cut the six staff photographers."
posted by Quonab at 6:25 PM - 40 comments

Enchilada knife!

The TSA Blog has posted their 2014 year in review, including 2,212 confiscated firearms and a variety of other prohibited and suspicious items. FiveThirtyEight has a breakdown by airport of the confiscated firearms. [more inside]
posted by noneuclidean at 6:23 PM - 47 comments

reeeee~wind!!

"A good rewind is that rare thing in life: a product of the moment. If the timing is right, a rewind will bring excitement to the dancefloor, a celebration of the music being played, an energy charge for the place and the people." Laurent Fintoni goes deep on the history of pulling the record back across a variety of genres, from reggae and dub, to dubstep and hip-hop.
posted by raihan_ at 5:44 PM - 5 comments

WHAT ON EARTH WAS THOMAS FRIEDMAN TALKING ABOUT?

The Arab Spring is failing not for lack of bandwidth, but for lack of human understanding that can only be forged when someone is late for breakfast, and you say, "Thank you for being late."
...a lot of people have asked me whether it’s real, and, if so, what on earth Tom Friedman was saying. The answer to the first question is that yes, it is absolutely real. Tom Friedman really did say this, and it really did elicit a hearty round of applause from the assembled plutocrats. The answer to the second question is that I don’t honestly know what Tom Friedman was talking about. But at least I can give you a bit of context. ...
posted by Golden Eternity at 5:41 PM - 60 comments

Bread for Him, Bread for Her

You may have assumed that some products were immune from blatantly gendered advertising. Bread, say. But you'd be wrong. Stonemill Bakehouse has introduced Men's Wellbeing Barley & Rye Bread and Women's Wellbeing Hemp & Quinoa Bread. The label for the women's bread is, helpfully, pink.
posted by clawsoon at 4:22 PM - 118 comments

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