June 23

The roles of beauty, aesthetics and signaling in evolutionary selection

What Duck Sex Reveals about Human Nature. An interview with Dr. Richard O. Prum, ornithologist and curator at the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale University. Possibly NSFW: article includes a drawing of an aroused duck. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 8:56 AM - 0 comments

Turn on the light, pwn your city.

"Suppose you could build a worm that jumps directly from one lamp to another using their ZigBee wireless connectivity and their physical proximity. If the install base of lamps in a city is sufficiently dense, you could take them all over in no time, with the worm spreading like a physical virus."
- IoT goes nuclear: creating a ZigBee chain reaction
posted by jenkinsEar at 7:09 AM - 19 comments

Cathartic for POC Audiences

“You don’t look Mexican!” they cheerfully state. Their tone implies it’s meant to be construed as a compliment – as though I should be proud not to have the indigenous features that come with “looking Mexican.” I never tell them how offensive this is, perhaps because I’m afraid. Afraid of being told, “Oh come on, I didn’t mean that, I love Mexicans,”
posted by sammyo at 6:31 AM - 6 comments

Hello Dear

A social enterprise is turning the hackers behind one of the internet’s longest-running scams into tech entrepreneurs
posted by infini at 6:20 AM - 6 comments

Swipe Left

"we designed a chatbot, a smart computer program that deployed an adaptable script. In the two days ahead of the election earlier this month, the chatbot struck up conversations with thousands of young people between 18 and 25 years old on Tinder. The chatbot talked about politics, with the aim of getting voters to help oust the Conservative government."
posted by roolya_boolya at 2:04 AM - 22 comments

The map devours the territory

"But what makes a Trump impersonation so fascinating is that Trump’s surface, carefully crafted, is all we have of the man. A superficial rendition of his gestures is as faithful a portrayal as any. Conversely, the challenge of playing Trump is that Trump has always been impersonating Trump." [SLGuardianLongRead]
posted by runcifex at 1:11 AM - 10 comments

"To increase and diffuse geographic knowledge"

All Over the Map is a neat blog from the folks at National Geographic. Some recent interesting posts: posted by Chrysostom at 12:57 AM - 4 comments

Manly Men

Guns and (Shea) Butter: An Oral History of 'Predator'
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:47 AM - 18 comments

June 22


Steam Calculator: Calculate the value of your Steam account.
posted by Fizz at 8:53 PM - 50 comments

A thread full of surprisingly interesting and varied love stories.

A question posed to the married men of Reddit: what moment with your future wife made you think "Yup, I'm asking this girl to marry me."? (SLReddit) Although the one-sidedness of the question is not ideal (how about "married women, when did you know you wanted to marry your husband"), there are some great stories in here, from the touching to the silly. [more inside]
posted by millipede at 3:52 PM - 64 comments

30. Attempt to tolerate meta-humour

The latest from exurb1a (previously) is a list of pithy Instructions for a Happy Life [voiceover, captions, loud music during credits].
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:42 AM - 21 comments

Once there was a girl much like any other....

The Heart and the Bottle. A Tender Illustrated Fable of What Happens When We Deny Our Difficult Emotions.
posted by storybored at 11:24 AM - 13 comments

Is there a problem?

When people ask this question, what they mean is, “YOU" are being a problem. Gyasi Ross on flying while “being a big Indian” and the powerlessness of being asked that question.
posted by shoesietart at 10:11 AM - 88 comments

Afghanistan and Ireland: welcome to the top table

By a unanimous vote, Afghanistan and Ireland join ten other countries in having full ICC membership and Test status. This allows the nations to play the longer (five days per match) form of cricket. Ireland, currently champions of the World Cricket League, are understandably happy, as are Afghanistan who have played international cricket for only 13 years. While their next International fixtures are some way off - Ireland vs The Netherlands in August and Afghanistan vs Hong Kong in October, it is hoped Test series against the top sides will now be arranged quickly (by cricketing standards). The trailer to the acclaimed documentary "Out Of The Ashes" about Afghanistan's cricket journey, and a related documentary. Ireland defeating Pakistan in 2007.
posted by Wordshore at 10:09 AM - 9 comments

Skydiving From the Edge of Space

How Alan Eustace, a Google engineer on the edge of retirement, broke the world record for high-altitude jumping. [more inside]
posted by Nelson at 10:07 AM - 7 comments

look, it says "floppy naked guy", I'm not going bother with a NSFW warni

*movie trailer voice* The floppy naked CGI guy is back, and this time...he's brought some friends.

time for sushi [more inside]
posted by cortex at 9:35 AM - 31 comments

They're back ....

Netflix has released the first trailer for "Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later," the sequel to the 2001 movie and the 2015 prequel series "Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp." Returning cast members include Amy Poehler, Chris Meloni, David Hyde Pierce, David Wain, Elizabeth Banks, H. Jon Benjamin, Janeane Garofalo, Jason Schwartzman, Joe Lo Truglio, Ken Marino, Kristen Wiig, Michael Ian Black, Michael Showalter, Molly Shannon and Paul Rudd; among the new cast members are Samm Levine, Marlo Thomas, Dax Shepard, Alyssa Milano​ and Adam Scott.
posted by Clustercuss at 9:32 AM - 39 comments

The Best Worst Movie of the Year

Finding Meaning in The Book of Henry, the Best Worst Movie of the Year. FULL SPOILERS WITHIN. Dave Holmes delightfully reviews/recaps Colin Trevorrow's bonkers project between Jurassic World and Star Wars Episode IX.
posted by kmz at 9:13 AM - 42 comments

Leia: "Dantooine. They're on Dantooine." Narrator: "They weren't."

Lord and Miller shot first, but Ron Howard shoots last. [more inside]
posted by entropicamericana at 9:13 AM - 50 comments

Encyclopedia Dad

The first time I consult Dad I’m eight. My mom’s dating this guy. He worked with Dad, and I guess he’s a nice enough. But I don’t like it. I go to the library. On the second to bottom shelf, they’re lined up. All twenty-eight volumes of him. He’s there so that at any age I can find him.
[more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 8:44 AM - 24 comments

The Plot to Disrupt the NCAA with a Pay-for-Play HBCU Basketball League

"The multibillion-dollar college sports industry exploits African-American athletes and has left historically black schools behind. Some people think there's a better way."
posted by goatdog at 8:20 AM - 20 comments

The most important traffic jam in the world

One third of all freight traffic in the US goes through Chicago, a train shipment spends an average of 30 hours traversing the Chicago region. To put that into context, freight often takes 48 hours to get from Los Angeles to Chicago.

If there was one bit of America’s infrastructure that you should choose to upgrade, this is it.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 7:27 AM - 34 comments

There exists a music of the visual world.

Today's web toy. Google celebrates animator and filmmaker Oskar Wilhelm Fischinger (1900-1967) with a front page doodle. [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 5:47 AM - 16 comments

June 21

Japanese Sumo Robots

ロボット相撲 (slyt) "It's like watching typewriters fight."
posted by Roger Dodger at 9:47 PM - 40 comments

Fashions of the Plain People

"Amish dress practices are slow to change because they are viewed as religious precepts. But change they do, and not only for utilitarian reasons. Amish fashion – change for the sake of change – exists, but it is subtle, slow, and miniscule. [...] Individual signs of rebellion or boundary testing include, for women, wearing prayer kapps that are smaller and thus expose more of the ear, kapps with untied strings, kapps with pronounced heart-shaped designs on the back, dresses in brighter colours, decorative pins on jacket lapels, and small frills and ruffles on sleeves." [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:24 PM - 31 comments

“Winston from Overwatch...because he's adorable.”

Which Video Game Character Would Make The Best Roommate? [YouTube] [via: Kotaku]
posted by Fizz at 2:51 PM - 100 comments

NYC divests pension fund from private prisons

Gothamist: New York City's pension fund is the first in the nation to fully divest from private prisons, according to Comptroller Scott Stringer. Trustees of the city's pension fund voted unanimously to divest in mid-May, and have since pulled $48 million of stocks and bonds from three companies: GEO Group, CoreCivic, and G4S. [more inside]
posted by jazzbaby at 2:41 PM - 17 comments

"It belies a mastery of the form."

You know what's kinda relaxing? Watching smart people give advice about their field of expertise. When they happen to also be talented comedic actors, it's even better. So please enjoy "Wood Support" with Nick Offerman and "Doc Support" with Ken Jeong (Part of Wired's "Tech Support" series).
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 2:25 PM - 9 comments

You're Perfect

Rainbow Gathering photographs by Kate Harnedy.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:01 PM - 26 comments

Reinventing the toilet

Traditional flush toilets aren’t an option in many parts of the world, but neither is leaving people with unsafe and unhygenic choices. Now, one company is piloting a new loo that's waterless, off-grid and able to charge your phone.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:47 PM - 16 comments

Aguas! aguas!

Freakishly fast dog runs around 2000 feet in Mexico city traffic, with a biker trying to catch up. They cross at least 5 big intersections. Amazingly, the dog gets caught and no one gets run over. (Warning: dog goes under a car at the beginning but seems to not get hit. ) (SLTwitter) [more inside]
posted by CrazyLemonade at 1:16 PM - 35 comments

Antique Mahjong Sets

Getting harder and harder to find, a foremost collector discusses these sets.
posted by MovableBookLady at 1:01 PM - 4 comments

The Old School 1%

High-end cocktails at 60km/ hr. Luxury trains are special trains designed specifically to offer an elegant train ride, and evoke a strong sense of association as in history, heritage and decadence of a leisurely ride.
Maharajas' Express
[more inside]
posted by shockingbluamp at 12:47 PM - 18 comments

Book of Biscuits #1: he's a dog, and a knight. Beware! Or be happy. Orf!

MeFite hanzoschmanzo made a comic about a dog. That dog is a knight. His name is Sir Biscuits, the Bone of Treat-Cadia, and as a warning, he might have an anger problem. If you like this, you can see more at Spencer Ranch (and on Wordpress), and Behance. [via mefi projects]
posted by filthy light thief at 11:14 AM - 6 comments

Eight days a week 🐙 🦑

In honor of eight-day-long Cephalopod Week, here are eight fantastic facts about octopuses and their ilk. For example: the Humboldt squid can turn itself blood-red and effectively become invisible in their usual depths, where they exhibit the behavior that earned them the nickname "red devils."
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:48 AM - 17 comments

“Covering America for the world, including Americans.”

How The Guardian Lost America (Steven Perlberg/Buzzfeed News) -
"The Guardian’s US newsroom didn’t become the voice of the Bernie left during the election. It didn’t break huge campaign scoops. Years after winning a Pulitzer for the Edward Snowden story, Guardian US has slashed costs, leaving employees stewing about mismanagement, infighting, a sexual harassment allegation, and unrealistic business expectations."
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:19 AM - 63 comments

It wasn’t about what we thought. It was about the young people.

When the Village People released their hit in 1978, the American branch of the Christian-centric organisation YMCA threatened to sue them. About 40 years later, the Australian YMCA has decided to embrace the song - partnering with Boy George to record a cover for their new youth-focused initiative Why Not? - highlighting marriage equality, youth unemployment, and mental health.
posted by divabat at 5:05 AM - 31 comments

This Ken would like you to know that he is a graphic designer.

On Tuesday, Mattel unveiled a new line of diverse Ken dolls to accompany the now diverse Barbie (previously). But who are all these Kens? R. Eric Thomas of ELLE Magazine describes All the Ken Dolls You Will Meet in Your Lifetime.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:32 AM - 118 comments

tick tock tock tock

Against The Clock is a YouTube series from British music portal FACT where electronic musicians of various predispositions lay down a track in their studios. Some use just Ableton or Logic on a laptop and a MIDI controller, others go full hardware and Eurorack, while some explain their process and others are silent throughout the video, but all of them have just 10 minutes to build that track from scratch. [more inside]
posted by lmfsilva at 2:53 AM - 15 comments

June 20

So THAT'S what it's like for two languages to be mutually comprehensible

Enjoy a fascinating lecture on the Scots language, given IN the Scots language (which it turns out you can understand just fine).
posted by DoctorFedora at 11:03 PM - 67 comments

From the Moonrise Kingdom library

Did you once love a kids' book that no one else remembers? Are you looking for something unique to read at bedtime? Readers of Atlas Obscura share their favorite obscure childhood treasures.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 9:40 PM - 134 comments

Ooh, shiny

Cat remains unimpressed as man sharpens rusty knife.
posted by Lexica at 8:45 PM - 41 comments

All Hail Rockass and Stargoon!

What happens when the Portland Guinea Pig Rescue asks Janelle Shane (previously 1, 2) the question, "Have you ever trained a neural network to generate guinea pig names?” (Bonus: What guinea pig sounds mean)
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 8:16 PM - 9 comments

In the Bering Sea, the orcas are winning

Alaska fishermen are losing the battle against hungry orcas.
posted by clawsoon at 6:53 PM - 31 comments

"No one is going to assume the big football player is gay."

Former tackle for the New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs Ryan O'Callaghan, who grew up believing there was absolutely no way he could live as an openly gay man, came out today in a feature article by OutSports. (tw: in-depth discussion of suicide) [more inside]
posted by Errant at 4:29 PM - 28 comments

Georgia on My Mind: All Bets are Ossoff

Tonight, the much anticipated results of the GA-06 Special Election will be known. Recent polling has shown Ossoff and Handel to be in a virtual statistical tie. Pro-Ossoff dinosaurs have been seen campaigning around the district and have made campaign signs into glitter bombs (Joan Walsh, The Nation! Here are 6 key things to watch for (Caitlin MacNeal, Talking Points Memo) as the results come in. Here are some resources (courtesy of Chrysostom) for following the results. [more inside]
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 3:54 PM - 1005 comments

Trouble afoot

The toe has gone missing before, after being swallowed by a patron, prompting the hotel to ask donors to step up (previously). But this time, Dawson City, Yukon's Downtown Hotel has reported that the key ingredient in its sourtoe cocktail (also previously) has been stolen. According to the Times Colonist: "Hotel manager Geri Colbourne says a couple came in late that night and requested the unique drink but the waitress was called away after pouring two shots. The toe was gone when she returned."
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 2:36 PM - 59 comments

Branch line

The Forgotten Trains of India, photo essay.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:44 PM - 6 comments

It embarrassed me. I wanted to be a normal kid.

Dr. Mary Austin is a pediatric surgeon in Texas who sometimes performs fetal surgery to correct a birth defect that she herself has.
posted by stillmoving at 1:10 PM - 13 comments

'Cause ain't no such thing as halfway crooks.

Rapper Prodigy of Mobb Deep was reported dead today at the age of 42 from complications of sickle-cell anemia.
posted by lkc at 12:24 PM - 35 comments

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