January 23

Jaki Liebezeit (1938-2017)

Jaki Liebezeit, drummer and founding member of the influential German band Can, has died from pneumonia at the age of 78. Some examples of his playing: Yoo Doo Right; Oh Yeah; Halleluwah; a drum solo. [more inside]
posted by misteraitch at 2:31 AM - 2 comments

Gravity Falls, just outside Saint Petersburg

2D Among Us (on Instagram, on VK Russian social network) is an Art Project by a group of Russian photoshoppers, originally to insert characters from 2D cartoons into real photos, from Woody Woodpecker and The Road Runner to Bambi and The Little Mermaid and The Iron Giant to Sprited Away and Evangeleon and Sailor Moon, to Adventure Time and Gravity Falls and (obviously) The Simpsons but quickly expanding into 3D animation like Big Hero 6 and Toy Story and Kung Fu Panda, not to mention characters from games, from Mortal Kombat to Portal. [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:22 AM - 1 comment

January 22

Make me.

Voting Should Be Mandatory "The evidence is mixed on whether compulsory voting favors parties of the right or the left and some studies suggest that most United States federal election results would be unchanged. But all that misses the point because it overlooks that compulsory voting changes more than the number of voters: It changes who runs for office and the policy proposals they support." - Waleed Aly, New York Times [more inside]
posted by Thella at 11:07 PM - 46 comments

Points of Inflection

Points of Inflection is a blog by John Roe, a math professor at Penn State who specializes in coarse geometry (one-sentence summary: what is geometry like if you can tell when points are getting farther and farther apart but not when points are getting closer and closer together?) He has terminal cancer and is teaching his last course this semester. He is a devout Christian who teaches about the mathematics of sustainability and who has strong words about the proposed new head of the EPA. He lost his trans* son last year. He climbs rocks.
posted by escabeche at 9:19 PM - 0 comments

Scenic Simpsons

An Instagram account dedicated to showcasing the most beautiful scenes, colours, sets and abstract compositions from The Simpsons.
posted by Going To Maine at 6:24 PM - 6 comments

“Perhaps Resident Evil 7 will be a similarly dramatic reinvention,”

The Resident Evil Games Ranked From Worst to Best [PC Gamer] “As the series that popularized the survival horror genre, Resident Evil has attempted to sustain its hold on the elusive zombie shooting crown since its inception in 1996. Suffice it to say, Resident Evil hasn’t maintained a keen, constant rule over the genre, blasting further off into bizarre, convoluted lore dumps and Matrix-worthy action sequences as the series grew in scope and ambition. Through reinvention after reinvention, Resident Evil games may not always be great, but they’ve always been fascinating, curious objects. And it’s because of that wild experimentation that Resident Evil still has a firm grip on us, redefining the genre and forcing the entirety of game design to respond—hell, Dead Space was going to be System Shock 3 before Resident Evil 4 came out. Now we’re just around the corner from another series reinvention in Resident Evil 7 [YouTube] [Trailer], a more grounded first-person return to survival horror, borrowing ideas from games that may have formerly looked to Resident Evil for inspiration. We’ve come full circle.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 5:55 PM - 16 comments

They Shut it Down

In 1971, the people didn't just march on Washington--they shut it down.
The most influential large-scale political action of the ’60s was actually in 1971, and you’ve never heard of it. It was called the Mayday action, and it provides invaluable lessons for today.
The largest and most audacious direct action in US history is also among the least remembered, a protest that has slipped into deep historical obscurity. It was a protest against the Vietnam War, but it wasn’t part of the storied sixties, having taken place in 1971, a year of nationwide but largely unchronicled ferment. To many, infighting, violence, and police repression had effectively destroyed “the movement” two years earlier in 1969.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 5:46 PM - 27 comments

Karl Hendricks. 1970 - 2017.

Guitarist and songwriter Karl Hendricks died yesterday after a three-year battle with oral cancer. He was at home in Pittsburgh with his wife and daughters (wearing a Funkadelic t-shirt). He was 46. [more inside]
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 5:39 PM - 6 comments

For Today, But Really Every Day, Hundreds of Women Sheila O'Malley Loves

Do you honestly feel like this is a FINAL list? Or that such a list could EVER be finalized?
posted by cgc373 at 9:49 AM - 3 comments

"Seriously?! It's like cutting your dick to prevent pregnancy!"

Mehdi Sadaghdar [painful attempt at singing] of ElectroBOOM devises a way to power your stuff when there's a power outage [zapping and beeping]. (Previously) [h/t Miss Cellania] [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:25 AM - 27 comments

Pictures From Women’s Marches on Every Continent

Crowds in hundreds of cities around the world gathered Satuday in conjunction with the Women’s March on Washington. New York Times compiles photos from a LOT of marches into a single page illustrating the vast numbers and global reach of the sea of pink hats. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 8:04 AM - 218 comments

That's just how you negotiate with a Nazi. Ask your grandfather.

On Friday a white man wearing black punched American white nationalist Richard Spencer in the face on camera. While discussions of ethics and history have been springing up, the Internet has also decided that this needed to be set to music. Tim & Eric have also composed a piano ballad about the events. [more inside]
posted by bile and syntax at 7:57 AM - 456 comments

How a dispute at Harvard led to a grad student’s forced mental exam...

At 1 a.m. on 4 June 2016, Gustavo German, a doctoral student in biomedicine at Harvard University, heard a knock at his door. It was three police officers. A doctoral student at Harvard is forced to take an in-patient psychiatric evaluation. Concern for the student or a reprisal for blowing the whistle on his advisor? "The judge issued an order that has created an extraordinary situation: Rubin must allow German to work in his laboratory, but stay at least 30.5 meters away from him, and have no direct or indirect contact. Rubin must also provide German with all of the lab resources he had before the problems began."
posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee at 2:48 AM - 30 comments

Maggie Roche (1951-2017)

Maggie Roche, co-founder of the idiosyncratic and influential sister trio The Roches, passed away on Saturday, January 21. Her sister and bandmate Suzzy Roche announced the death on Facebook and said the cause was breast cancer. NYT Obituary. [more inside]
posted by mykescipark at 1:15 AM - 56 comments

January 21

To the lighthouse!

Do you need to get away from it all? How about spending six months in Australia's southernmost lighthouse, ten kilometres off the southern coast of Tasmania, the country's southernmost state? Maatsuyker Island is looking for its next caretakers - although the light is automatic and no longer needs an actual lighthouse keeper, a pair of volunteers spends six months at a time on the isolated 0.72sq mi island, rising early for weather observations (it rains 250 days of the year), managing the land, and maintaining the lighthouse buildings and grounds. [more inside]
posted by Naanwhal at 9:57 PM - 31 comments

What is Probability?

The Trouble with Quantum Mechanics - "The introduction of probability into the principles of physics was disturbing to past physicists, but the trouble with quantum mechanics is not that it involves probabilities. We can live with that. The trouble is that in quantum mechanics the way that wave functions change with time is governed by an equation, the Schrödinger equation, that does not involve probabilities. It is just as deterministic as Newton's equations of motion and gravitation. That is, given the wave function at any moment, the Schrödinger equation will tell you precisely what the wave function will be at any future time. There is not even the possibility of chaos, the extreme sensitivity to initial conditions that is possible in Newtonian mechanics. So if we regard the whole process of measurement as being governed by the equations of quantum mechanics, and these equations are perfectly deterministic, how do probabilities get into quantum mechanics?" (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 9:41 PM - 30 comments

Eero Saarinen: The Architect Who Saw the Future

American Masters explores the work of Finnish/American architect Eero Saarinen (or here), who designed the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, the TWA Flight Center at JFK Airport, the main terminal at Dulles Airport, numerous buildings for iconic US corporations, and campus buildings for Yale, MIT, Vassar, and the University of Chicago. Previously: JFK's TWA terminal, Bell Labs, Michigan Modern. [more inside]
posted by kristi at 12:43 PM - 21 comments

Easy as falling off a log

The Humble Logarithm
posted by Michele in California at 12:26 PM - 19 comments


McDonald's in Canada adding nuts back to the menu. The move is a major departure from the company’s long-standing policy of serving nuts in sealed packages, which enabled people with peanut and tree-nut allergies to safely consume many items on the menu. In a statement posted on its website, McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Ltd. said that as of Tuesday, the company is adding nuts that are not individually packaged to the menu across the country.
posted by Kitteh at 12:14 PM - 33 comments

Little Things: The outsized pleasures of the very small

Lori DeBacker wears "+300 reading glasses and a ring on every finger, enjoys creating minuscule cakes — 'faux gâteaux' — and humorously altered, miniaturized versions of famous paintings. 'I love to spoof the masters,' she smirked, showing me a postage-stamp-size reproduction of The Scream in which the central figure was replaced with an extra-agonized ghost. Making miniatures focuses DeBacker. 'My mother always said this would drive her to drink,' she said, 'but I think it keeps me from it.'" [SL Harper's]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:40 AM - 15 comments


Squarepusher - one of the most important figures in braindance/IDM/whatever - is set to release a new album with his live band Shobaleader One which features full band versions of classic Squarepusher tracks. They've been playing these tracks at live shows recently and the results are impressive: [more inside]
posted by Frobenius Twist at 9:38 AM - 22 comments

30 Years (give or take) of Acid on Wax

2017 marks 30 years since acid was put on (commercial) wax, if* you're crediting Phuture's Acid Tracks as the first Acid (House) song/EP. BBC Radio 1 recently celebrated this history with the first Essential Mix of 2017 by DJ Pierre, one third of Phuture, the Chicago group that recorded an epic 12 minutes of Roland TB-303 knob-twiddling and spread the acid madness via Ron Hardy in The Music Box. For more acid in the mix, B. Traits preceded that set and played a 2 hour set acid, with a 3rd hour by Luke Vibert, who stated (via a track title) "I Love Acid." [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:38 AM - 14 comments

Grizabella sings Queen

Elaine Paige (Cats, Chess, a zillion other things) sings the songs Queen in a 1988 album titled simply The Queen Album. [YouTube playlist, so so sorry about the commercials]
posted by hippybear at 8:00 AM - 10 comments


Pigeons sing Under Pressure by Queen and David Bowie. A comic by ProfessorBees.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 2:15 AM - 16 comments

I reject your approval, in favor of my own self-assessment

Dear Hot Men Who Love My Body As It Is: IDGAF by Amanda Richards "Many aspects of beauty are tangled in a complicated nest of societal standards, including men's approval, so it's understandable that you might think your input is necessary — after all, as a hot, fit man, you've been groomed to believe that your opinion matters the most."
posted by wonton endangerment at 12:51 AM - 53 comments

January 20

Lesser known heroes of WWII

"Here are ten lesser-known heroes of WW2 who are a reminder to us all that even when it feels like it’s hopeless (or when it feels like the world is being run by a madman) that you are not powerless: there are always things you can do." [more inside]
posted by freethefeet at 11:05 PM - 9 comments

Loving Vincent

Six years, 62,450 oil paintings by 115 artists, 94 paintings (Colossal), 600 letters (Slate), 3,000 litres of oil paint (great overview), and one movie about the life of Vincent Van Gogh (trailer). Loving Vincent was first filmed (behind the scenes feature), then artists painted every scene in his style, to create a loving homage (BBC) to the artist's life and work. IMDB -- Loving Vincent's website.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:24 PM - 7 comments

The Terrifying, Horrifying, Super Gross Miracle of Life

Very, very few insects are viviparous, meaning they give live birth. Among them is the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach. Thankfully (?), the entire process -- gross, but also pretty cool -- can be seen on youtube.
posted by Rinku at 9:42 PM - 26 comments

Ruff day today

Even the dogs are sad.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:31 PM - 13 comments

The Twentieth Day of January

Now, I never paid any attention to this. I had no interest in reading an obscure spy novel just because Trump liked it. But then over Christmas after the election, I was visiting family in Bozeman, Montana. And there it was, in a used bookstore: The Twentieth Day of January. THEORY OF EVERYTHING: And? Is it good? “JOSH GLENN”: No, it’s terrible. The plot is ridiculous. [more inside]
posted by cgc373 at 2:54 PM - 60 comments

Spoiler: Siddhant Gets Kicked Out of a Government Office

Siddhant Adlakha, writing at "Birth. Movies. Death", recounts an extremely perplexing interview with the Chairman of India's Central Board of Film Certification, nearly a year after first writing about that Board's erratic censorship practices here.
posted by Ipsifendus at 12:27 PM - 14 comments

Memorizing the following logarithm values is a good place to start

Physicist Enrico Fermi famously arrived at the approximate strength of the Trinity test explosion by dropping pieces of paper and watching how far they drifted. Estimates with little or no data are now called Fermi problems, including the famous "How many piano tuners are there in Chicago?" and the Drake equation. Fermi Questions has been an event in the Science Olympiad, a competition in American K-12 schools, where competitors must estimate amounts such as the number of playing cards it would take to equal the mass of Betelgeuse (2x10^34, or twenty decillion). Practice your wild estimates at FermiQuestions.com (tutorial here).
posted by Etrigan at 9:43 AM - 47 comments

Billy Eichner Is Trying to Talk to You

You think he just runs around screaming, randomly shoving a microphone into peoples' faces? Think again. Now in its fifth official season on truTV, the unique Billy on the Street is still one of the strangest shows on television — a delightful alchemy of pop culture, celebrity, performance art, and social anthropology. [more inside]
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 9:39 AM - 26 comments

L-L-Lock the doors tight - dive, turn, work.

A kiki is a party, for calming all your nerves. We're spilling tea and dishing just desserts one may deserve.
posted by Evilspork at 8:29 AM - 21 comments

What are the young animals of America learning today?

The United States of America has a wide variety of biomes, and in all of them today there are baby animals learning how to be animals.
Forest: Bobcats have to learn a lot of things, to climb and play and survive in the wild* but they don't have to learn manners. *Note video includes images of bobcat eating prey. [more inside]
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 8:28 AM - 7 comments

Everyone needs a sea dragon

Ruby Sea Dragon filmed in the wild for the first time (film of sea dragon itself starts at 1:11) [more inside]
posted by Catseye at 5:08 AM - 17 comments

At the Foot of the Big Old Tree That Dreams

Browser game developers Marek and Marcin Rudowski, creators of the beautifully illustrated Trader of Stories fantasy adventure games Bell's Heart and A Grain of Truth, have decided to treat those games as side stories for a proper series, starting where it all began (at least, all the protagonist can remember) in Chapter One.
posted by BiggerJ at 4:56 AM - 2 comments

Struggle over the library of a monastery of the Order of St. Bridget

The struggle between an international band of medievalists and the Catholic Church over the fate of a mostly unknown Birgittine convent library established in 1491 has the outlines of a Dan Brownian thriller. Add in Vicar General Monseigneur Peter Beer, prioress Sister Apollonia Buchinger, musicologist Viveca Servatius, and exclamations like "Altomünster is the holy grail", and you would be forgiven for assuming you're reading fiction. But this is all to real. After an academic conference at the Altomünster Abbey (blogpost about it by Bevin Butler) in late 2015, the Münich Diocese forbade access to the library. Medieval Histories has more, and Anita Sauckel of Mittelalter interviewed Prof. Volker Schier about his campaign to gain access to the library and preserve it intact.
posted by Kattullus at 4:31 AM - 25 comments

The McFrizz Files: A Podcast Tale Of Addiction and Bank Robbery

Mike Frizzell surrendered himself voluntarily to police in 1993. He confessed and served his time and refound himself. In 2009, he was interviewed for a Seattle radio show, telling his story. Those interviews have been newly expanded over a series of 5 epic episodes that include questions from friends and internet strangers, and interviews with key figures in the life of Drew McFrizz. If you like long form podcast storytelling, you can begin with The McFrizz Files, Part One: How It All Began [1h32m] [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 4:23 AM - 3 comments

Mark Fisher, Theorist, 1968-2017

Mark Fisher, blogger, editor, and cultural theorist, Lecturer in Visual Cultures at Goldsmith's, University of London, and author of Capitalist Realism (2009) died suddenly on 13 January 2017. He was 48 and leaves a wife and young son. [more inside]
posted by Sonny Jim at 4:17 AM - 23 comments

The inauguration of the 45th President of the United States of America

Assuming no last-minute surprises, while the White House transitions the son of a Leòdhas emigrant will take the Oath and become the next POTUS in Washington D.C. today (security gates open at 6am, ceremony begins at 11:30am), as part of the 58th Presidential Inauguration (events began yesterday). Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the oath; the Lincoln Bible and a family bible will be used. Clarence Thomas will administer the Oath of Office to Vice President-elect Mike Pence. Many Democratic lawmakers are boycotting the inauguration; security is tight, and selfie sticks, drones and drums are not permitted. Some artists are performing at the inauguration and after events. The day after, the Women's March takes place in D.C. and many other cities and towns. Channels showing the inauguration, the 2009 and 2013 ceremonies, and Obama's 2008 victory speech.
posted by Wordshore at 3:01 AM - 2756 comments

It certainly a-pier-s to be the same

London-based blogger Diamond Geezer was astonished by a painting by Bob Dylan of a pier in Norfolk, Virginia. Mostly because it seemed to be based on a photograph that he'd taken of Blackpool Pier. [more inside]
posted by Stark at 2:24 AM - 13 comments

January 19

"...early retirement EARNED."

Dr. McNinja, the comedy/action webcomic created, written and mostly drawn by Christopher Hastings, has come to the end of its 12½ year saga (previously here, soon after it started). In his adventures he has defeated an Evil Fast Food Clown, Dracula, and a dimension-hopping King from the Radical Lands, with his allies including his McNinja family, the clone of Ben Franklin, a gorilla, a velociraptor and a 12-year-old boy with an awesome mustache. Hastings is now busy writing dead-tree comics, including the Adventure Time series, The Unbelievable Gwenpool and other Marvel projects. And he doesn't hire night janitors either.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:38 PM - 15 comments

My sign-in sheet is as empty as my soul right now.

"A bird lands outside my window. I invite him in to learn about algebra. He declines and flies away. I hope a cat eats him. #Classwatch2017" A moment in the sad, lonely school day of Adam Heath Avitable (‏@avitable).
posted by filthy light thief at 9:54 PM - 6 comments

This is why we can't have nice things

"The Kingdom of speech" is a literary Sharknado of error and self-satisfaction, with borderline racism and anti-Semitism mixed in. In which E.J. Spode reviews Tom Wolfe's latest book, with special guest appearances by George Lyell and Ali G. (via)
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 9:47 PM - 32 comments

Inverted Aquariums

It's like a fish penthouse where your fish can get above your pond waterline. Some others. The Romaurie effect.
posted by adept256 at 7:44 PM - 38 comments

Listening for the country

Dr. Zandria Robinson writes in memory of her father. The article, a finalist for the National Magazine award, is part of her memoir-in-progress. Listen to Dr. Robinson read part of the work here.
posted by Cuke at 7:00 PM - 3 comments

America's Best Security Blanket: Meet the Woobie

"There have been some amazing military innovations over the years: freeze-dried food for MREs, jet aircraft, rail guns, and the soul-sucking website, Army Knowledge Online. But none of these compare to the simplest, most wonderful invention known to mankind: the poncho liner, affectionately known by all those who have felt its life-giving warmth as the 'woobie.'" [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:28 PM - 38 comments

Character Actor Miguel Ferrer Has Died

"Ferrer was the son of top 1950s singer Rosemary Clooney and actor Jose Ferrer, and first cousin to George Clooney."
posted by guiseroom at 3:24 PM - 99 comments

The Complicated History of Headscarves

The headscarf has been banned, made mandatory, hailed as a symbol of religious virtue, accepted as a means of controlling female sexuality, and politicized by governments and colonizers across the world. Manipulated and misinterpreted, it is seen as both a sign of liberation and imprisonment, of progress and regression. It’s a source of friction both outside and inside the communities that wear it.
posted by insectosaurus at 1:44 PM - 21 comments

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