September 2

“Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time.”

Discworld tirade against Terry is a bit of a Pratchett job. [The Guardian]
“If a music critic were to announce that they’d never listened to any of, say, Taylor Swift’s output, but then dismissed it as being utter tripe anyway, decrying the general public’s lack of interest in 19th-century grand opera and vaguely insinuating that the general public were idiots for preferring Swift to Verdi, I have little doubt that this newspaper’s writers, including Jonathan Jones, would be quick to denounce the critic as an utter snob, and rightly so. Is literary criticism subject to different rules?”
In response to a recent article written by Jonathan Jones: 'Get real. Terry Pratchett is not a literary genius.' [The Guardian] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 9:57 AM - 0 comments

Grids within grids within grids within grids...

TreeSheets is an open-source "Free Form Data Organizer" for Windows, Mac, and Linux. It's an outliner! It's a spreadsheet! It's a mind-mapping tool!
posted by overeducated_alligator at 9:56 AM - 0 comments

I had summoned a very friendly Balrog.

It was like a mirror world to YouTube comments, where several dozen anonymous people had come together in love and harmony to write a complex, logically coherent document, based on a single tweet.
Fan is a tool using animal. Maciej Cegłowski on what happened when fandom was forced to migrate from Delicious to Pinboard and he asked what his site could do better.
posted by MartinWisse at 9:54 AM - 0 comments

Rim to River

Cartoonist Lucy Bellwood's comic about a whitewater rafting trip through the Grand Canyon. [more inside]
posted by Kitteh at 9:40 AM - 3 comments

How Depression Will Save Skype

Are Thinkpiece Twitter Bots Causing Mefites to Wear Skinny Jeans? and other important thinks and thoughts. [more inside]
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 9:20 AM - 25 comments

Uber for Quinoa

Faced with the prospect of $15 an hour wages for fast food workers, Silicon Valley is re-inventing the automat.
posted by Diablevert at 8:48 AM - 65 comments

I don't wanna be the President of America

Nicole Frýbortová refuses to ride her bicycle like a normal human being. (SLYT)
posted by swift at 7:40 AM - 22 comments

Cockatoo Peekaboo

"Peek Boo!" [slTumblrVideo]
posted by ellieBOA at 5:06 AM - 31 comments

The XKCD Survey

Introducing "The XKCD Survey" - a search for weird correlations
posted by gorcha at 4:39 AM - 225 comments

Kings County Penitentiary

The Luxury Brooklyn Apartment Complex at the Site of a Former Prison [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 4:12 AM - 18 comments

Archive Corps: Year One

Manuals Plus was going out of business. MeFi's own Jason Scott wanted to save its collection of 200,000 booklets before they were lost forever. He had three days.
Introducing the Archive Corps [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:35 AM - 20 comments

Cotton Mather and Mass Panic

Cotton Mather's career is defined by two episodes of mass panic. In 1721 he found himself the target of public anger in Boston when he advocated for small pox inoculation after inoculating his own children on the advice of his West African slave, Onesimus. Three decades earlier, in 1692, he was one of the instigators and defenders of the Salem Witch Trials. For more on the latter, visit the comprehensive Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive (previously).
posted by Kattullus at 3:08 AM - 13 comments

The epic story of 30 circles as they battle the squares, and themselves

Here's a collection of Sesame Street "30 Dots" shorts, from the show's classic days. They build in an entertaining way, but whatever they're supposed to teach beats the heck out of me.
posted by JHarris at 1:53 AM - 40 comments

Featuring a relative of LazyTown's Robbie Rotten! Because I mean COME ON

Herschell Gordon Lewis is best known for being a legend of gory schlock horror, but his resume also included two children's films. Of the two, the 'best worst' is the earlier by one year: Jimmy the Boy Wonder, featuring a low-budget Land-of-Oz-with-the-numbers-filed-off, a bizarre villain named Mr. Fig and a lengthy sequence of poorly-dubbed possibly-European animation. The other, The Magic Land of Mother Goose (aka Santa Visits the Magic Land of Mother Goose - guess who never appears in the film?), was the result of Lewis being hired to shoot a vehicle for a magician entirely on a high school stage. Both films are available for purchase from Something Weird Video (parts of site NSFW) as downloads and DVD-Rs.
posted by BiggerJ at 1:40 AM - 3 comments

September 1

Tricksy liquids

Youtuber brusspup (previously 1, 2) has some cool science tricks you can do with liquids. [more inside]
posted by Quietgal at 8:31 PM - 7 comments

Lochner? I hardly even know of that legal opinion

Barnett believes the Constitution exists to secure inalienable property and contract rights for individuals. This may sound like a bland and inconsequential opinion, but if widely adopted by our courts and political systems it would prohibit or call into question basic governmental protections—minimum wages, food-safety regulations, child-labor laws—that most of us take for granted. For nearly a century now, a legal counterculture has insisted that the whole New Deal project was a big, unconstitutional error, and Barnett is a big part of that movement today.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 7:58 PM - 59 comments

Are You Good Enough to Be a Tennis Line Judge?

Watch a series of shots at full speed and decide whether each was in or out.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 7:28 PM - 34 comments

This rock formation seems safe and stable, yet it is sensitive

We've seen some warped art from Google Earth's 3D rendering in Postcards from Google Earth (previously, twice), but what if you look for the best angles and enhance them? Your Earth Transforms is one such project, by Meike Nixdorf, with additional enhancements by Grit Hackenberg, who have previously worked together on the documentary video for a prior photography project by Meike, In the Orbit of El Teide. (Via Wired)
posted by filthy light thief at 7:11 PM - 1 comment

the river of blue fire

Reuben Wu walks the Ijen and Bromo Tengger Semeru volcanoes.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:55 PM - 6 comments

It’s about Burning Man.

Drunk History’s Derek Waters discusses Train's “Hey Soul Sister” with the AV Club.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 5:51 PM - 109 comments

At play in the waves

Playing Doc's Games: Part I, Part II.
posted by Lycaste at 4:39 PM - 4 comments

It's really hard to critique Disney, right?

Walidah Imarisha is a professor at Portland State University, where she teaches a class on race and Disney. This is her interview with Bitch Media on the racial politics of Disney animals.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:40 PM - 98 comments

RADIUM CONDOM

"The good people at Morphy Auctions gave me permission to show you these vintage (~1930s-50s) condom package designs." -- Cardhouse on historical condom packaging and design.
posted by The Whelk at 12:50 PM - 25 comments

like I'm the only person who ever mixed a margarita in a sailor's mouth!

How Many Men Did The Golden Girls Sleep With, Exactly?
Refinery 29 claims to have tallied up the numbers. (A quick summary courtesy of Jezebel.) [more inside]
posted by flex at 12:44 PM - 47 comments

*(F)old*

Slack Texas Hold 'Em Poker Bot [more inside]
posted by alby at 12:10 PM - 5 comments

Worms, meatballs and logos

In the '70s, NASA commissioned a redesign of their "meatball" logo. They wanted something to make it more modern and better designed, so eventually the "worm" logo was unveiled. Unfortunately a lot of NASA engineers hated it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:09 AM - 85 comments

Theories of Everything, Mapped

Explore the deepest mysteries at the frontier of fundamental physics, and the most promising ideas put forth to solve them. A map of the frontier of fundamental physics built by interactive developer Emily Fuhrman.
posted by one teak forest at 11:09 AM - 9 comments

It's a movement away from looking for one person to be your everything.

"Co-housing, and the many other informal variations of it I found, offer a measure of both autonomy and independence. In co-housing, there are separate houses like you would find anywhere else, but what's different is that they also have a shared common house where they get together sometimes, for meals or meetings or hobbies. They really want a genuine community, so they go ahead and create it." // Jessica Gross interviews Bella DePaulo about co-housing, being single by choice, and her new book, How We Live Now: Redefining Home and Family in the 21st Century, for Longreads: Breaking the Mold. [more inside]
posted by divined by radio at 10:53 AM - 29 comments

They’ve kept the professional white background

”Google’s new logo is its biggest update in 16 years“ (says Fast Company) “[I]t's now using a sans-serif typeface, making it look a lot more modern and playful. The colors are also softer than they used to be. The logo bears a bit more resemblance to the logo of Google's new parent company, Alphabet, as well.” (says Verge) The Google Blog has more. And, of course, there’s an introductory doodle.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:38 AM - 158 comments

Hello, this is Lenny

Phone bot keeps Canadian campaign volunteer on line for eleven minutes Lenny is a bit hard of hearing, has some meddlesome daughters (and ornery ducks), and is also not actually human. But perhaps he'd still take a Conservative campaign sign for his lawn?
posted by MACTdaddy at 10:37 AM - 48 comments

Google says it's the other drivers' fault

Since 2009, Google cars have been in 16 crashes, mostly fender-benders, and in every single case, the company says, a human was at fault. Researchers in the fledgling field of autonomous vehicles say that one of the biggest challenges facing automated cars is blending them into a world in which humans don’t behave by the book. These robots "have to learn to be aggressive in the right amount, and the right amount depends on the culture.” (SLNYT)
posted by RedOrGreen at 10:31 AM - 81 comments

A Hideo Kojima Game

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, As Told by Steam Reviews [Kotaku] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 9:29 AM - 48 comments

The 420 Games: Doping Encouraged

The 420 Games were established to show that cannabis users are not lazy, unmotivated or “stoners” and to de-stigmatize the millions who use cannabis in a healthy and responsible lifestyle.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 9:20 AM - 21 comments

We The People

On Sunday, a few hundred people rallied in Bainbridge, New York, a village of 3,300 between Binghamton and Oneonta, to promote the idea of upstate secession.
posted by griphus at 9:09 AM - 91 comments

Fútbol on the neutral ground

In the new New Orleans, an international soccer hero hides in plain sight. There are many Tony Laings in New Orleans. You can find them on weekends in City Park, playing in the Spanish-speaking leagues that have boomed since Katrina; professional stars who once played before big crowds back home. Now they work construction jobs in America’s south, speaking a language the rest of the city doesn’t understand, living in the open, but hidden all the same. [more inside]
posted by tofu_crouton at 8:46 AM - 3 comments

It's not all selfies on pristine beaches; it's also hard work.

Why We Quit Our Jobs in Advertising to Scrub Toilets. Chanel and Stevo are two young South African professionals who decided to forego their cushy life and opt to travel around the world, earning what they can doing low-paying work. [more inside]
posted by Kitteh at 8:23 AM - 89 comments

Carp, Congressman, is the main ingredient

The story behind the funniest e-mail Hillary Clinton has ever sent. Subject line: Gefilte fish.
posted by Mchelly at 7:54 AM - 58 comments

You Need to Go Door-to-Door to be Sure You've Got Your Election Rigged

Gerrymanders Miss One Person The City Council of Columbia Missouri recently created the Business Loop 70 Community Improvement District in the interest of raising taxes in that area to allow for improvement projects. The district boundaries were carefully created to exclude any actual residents of Columbia, giving the property owners the exclusive right to vote on property assessments. They almost got it. [more inside]
posted by JoeZydeco at 6:47 AM - 77 comments

“Please, may I cry?”

Martin Gardner, sprouts, the game of Life, and much more - John Conway's lifetime in games.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:18 AM - 4 comments

"Seriously, fuck it," explains the paper’s abstract.

Nuance is revered in higher education. That’s especially true in sociology, where scholars spend their lives digging into the fine grain of human social behavior, often finding even finer grain underneath. Which is why it came as such a surprise — and perhaps a relief — when Kieran Healy, an associate professor of sociology at Duke University, last week brought a blunt message to the American Sociological Association’s annual meeting: "Fuck Nuance."
[more inside]
posted by nebulawindphone at 5:33 AM - 46 comments

The Heart Of Football Beats In Aliquippa

Over five decades of economic decline and racial conflict, a Western Pennsylvania mill town has found unity and hope on the football field. "There is no drug dealing at the Pit, and rarely any violence," Walker says. "It really is sacred ground; it's like a miracle. You've got guys that, any other time of the day, they're going to try and rip each other's throats out, but they just walk past each other in the Pit. They're there to watch those kids play."
posted by ellieBOA at 4:41 AM - 5 comments

How to make Mario levels, by negative example

Here's a list of things not to do in your Mario levels, consider it advice for when Super Mario Maker comes out in a week and a half. Also, here's things not to do in your Mario overworld. They both come from the rom hacking community at SMWCentral.
posted by JHarris at 12:52 AM - 24 comments

August 31

Hey, watch it!

Someone misses all the quick time events in a Heavy Rain chase sequence. Benny Hill ensues. (SLYT)
posted by zixyer at 11:12 PM - 33 comments

Pregnancy is brutal

"It took me eighteen weeks to heal. I never did manage to breastfeed properly, either gross incompetence on my part or possibly my body deciding: what the fuck, man. My hair went grey. I didn’t try to ask for support, at least until I started showing PTSD symptoms and developed Postpartum Psychosis. The experience had taught us that I was essentially disposable, and I didn’t trust the hospital enough to return. I sought help from other services instead. I heard voices, ringing in empty rooms. I heard constant crying while the baby was asleep." [more inside]
posted by stoneweaver at 11:00 PM - 92 comments

Weirldy sexual henchman! Burn the village!

Every JRPG Ever.
posted by bswinburn at 9:48 PM - 41 comments

Satchmo

When author Stephen Mailtland-Lewis was 12 years old, he wrote a fan letter to Louis Armstrong, and to his surprise, a few weeks later, he received a 4 page response back from the trumpeter. "What happened next will touch you"... For the next 18 years, until his death, Louis kept corresponding with this fan (As he did with very many others).
posted by growabrain at 9:19 PM - 8 comments

“And now you’re you."

Once a Pariah, Now a Judge: The Early Transgender Journey of Phyllis Frye.
Useful resources for participating in the discussion: Ohio U's Trans 101* : Primer and Vocabulary guide; and GLAAD's Transgender Media Program [more inside]
posted by zarq at 8:50 PM - 5 comments

Literature and addiction

"Here are some books that will not only make you want to quit doing the thing that is killing you, but also offer an interesting narrative structure for writers because they flout the conventional hero journey template. Instead of a reluctant hero emerging from an ordinary world to delve into the tricky landscape of magic and tests, these heroes begin in chaos and emerge from the grungy ashes of last call and plunge into sober, or at least peaceful, life earned by one’s ability to overcome hurdles associated with addiction." (Antonia Crane at Electric Literature) [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 7:58 PM - 15 comments

ConspiraSea

Are you ready for the New Life and New Paradigm? Got $2278? If so, pack your bags and board the ConspiraSea Cruise, setting sail next January. Rub shoulders with anti-vaccine crusader Andrew Wakefield! Get up to speed on US politics with 2004 Libertarian presidential candidate Michael Badnarik! Hear Sharon Schloss explain how orgone energy can fight chemtrails, electromagnetic fields, and the California drought! [more inside]
posted by escabeche at 6:32 PM - 157 comments

the f-stop of the human eye

Differences between eye and camera: practical implications, Ming Thien [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:31 PM - 21 comments

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