August 27

De Coubertin medal: 4th Olympic medal, True Spirit of Sportsmanship

68 years after the first modern Olympic Games, a fourth medal was added to recognize athletes who displayed exceptional sportsmanship. Awarded on rare occasions, the Pierre de Coubertin medal, also known as the True Spirit of Sportsmanship medal, was inaugurated at the 1964 Winter Olympics. It was there that Eugenio Monti's kind gestures lead to two gold medals, for the two- and four-man bobsled, but for the other teams. The medal has now been awarded 18 times, with the latest medal going to New Zealand's Nikki Hamblin and US's Abbey D’Agostino, after the pair tangled in their 5,000m race in the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics, but got up to complete the race together. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 2:52 PM - 0 comments

Hands–down the best game I've played in years.

else Heart.Break() (trailer) is simultaneously one of the most delightful, and most melancholy, games in recent memory. Welcome to Dorisberg, a town in which reality itself can be reprogrammed—using a variant of BASIC, no less!—and in which a group of aimless twentysomething rebels suffers under the watch of the all–seeing Ministry. The story is short, but the town is ridiculously complex, as hinted at by the sheer length and breadth of its soundtrack. There are secrets within secrets. And sadnesses within sadnesses, too. Users have been writing delightfully complex scripts, too, rewiring the entire city to suit their purposes. eH.B() was created by Erik Svedang, whose ultrashort Blueberry Garden has been one of my favorite games for close to a decade.
posted by rorgy at 2:25 PM - 4 comments

Saturday Cartoons - Election Year Edition

It's hard to believe America has never had a woman President, considering that in 1932, theaters across the country were showing the campaign film "Betty Boop for President", which contained many gags that seem just as relevant today. Then in 1948, the same animation studio recycled some of the content for the Popeye cartoon "Olive Oyl for President".
via Miss Cellania, who should have been elected Blog Queen years ago
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:23 PM - 0 comments

It's the pits

What toilets and sewers tell us about ancient Roman sanitation
posted by dinty_moore at 1:10 PM - 15 comments

"They didn't want people to become too happy with receiving food relief"

"Whatever [the ingredients] taste like together is not particularly relevant." Terry Gross interviews married culinary historians Jane Ziegelman and Andy Coe on the culinary history of the Great Depression and thier new book 'A Square Meal' (37:00 audio, transcribed sections)
posted by The Whelk at 11:07 AM - 13 comments

Out of student loans and treehouse homes we all would take the latter

Stressed Out is a song from Blurryface, the fourth studio album by Twenty One Pilots. Released in April 2015, the song reached #2 on the US Billboard Hot 100, #1 on Hot Rock Songs and Mainstream Top 40, and is certified 4x platinum The video features many relatives of the band, and was filmed mostly in the Ohio childhood home of the drummer. The lyrics, a recent NYT review of the band at Madison Square Garden and a New Yorker piece, and a previous mention in MetaFilter.
posted by Wordshore at 8:35 AM - 17 comments

Scared the hell out of me when I stumbled on them

The Dinosaurs of Crystal Palace: Among the Most Accurate Renditions of Prehistoric Life Ever Made - a longish read by Darren Naish of the tetrapod zoology blog in Scientific American.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 8:30 AM - 4 comments

"The annihilation of space and time"

“When I closed my eyes this sensation of flying was quite delightful, and strange beyond description.” British actress Fanny Kemble provides a spirited account of the first passenger railroad trip in 1830.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 7:36 AM - 12 comments

Fashion, faux-sophistication, youth culture, and 1700s gender panic

Why did Yankee Doodle put a feather in his hat and call it "macaroni?" As you've probably guessed, the song is not about noodles; macaroni refers to a fashion trend in high-society England of the late 1700s. NPR's All Things Considered looked into the history of the rhyme with librarian and author Chris Roberts. But what happened to the macaroni trend? Atlas Obscura tells a story of youth culture, old men yelling at clouds, and social panic over the erosion of gender norms. (Previously: The Etymological Evolution of Dude)
posted by duffell at 7:04 AM - 18 comments

The feel-good gospel of the pastor made famous by Kimye and Bieber​

Pastor Rich and the Ministry of Fun "We live in the age of hipster Christianity, a time of multiplying ministries with one-word names, such as Status, Mosaic, Reality, and, most famously, Hillsong, an Australian Pentecostal megachurch whose New York City branch is led by Rich's friend and fellow pastor to the stars Carl Lentz. Most leave untouched fundamentalism's core convictions—opposition to abortion and sex outside of marriage (which is between a man and a woman) and also to false gods (meaning all of them but their own)—but they rebrand the presentation. Rich is only the most mediagenic of whatComplex has described as this "new wave of stylish pastors," just as a young Billy Graham was before him and Billy Sunday before him, stripping away the Bible's subtler teachings to draw the masses. Rich is the latest avatar of a tradition common to Christianity and capitalism, the so-called new-and-improved. His new is burnished with vestiges of the artisanal; "vintage," Rich likes to say, meaning that which is artfully rendered to reference an idea of the old. It's like he's sampling from a song he's never actually heard."
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:26 AM - 28 comments

August 26

Are the kids alright?

Season six of American Horror Story premieres in the US on September 14th. Unlike previous seasons of the anthology, however, FX is keeping this season's theme under wraps, teasing the audience with no fewer than 19 promos, each depicting a different potential show (which themselves reference different horror movies.) [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A at 11:51 PM - 26 comments

Syria's worst case scenario is the current one.

Syria’s Paradox: Why the War Only Ever Seems to Get Worse. " The average [civil war] now lasts about a decade, twice as long as Syria’s so far. But there are a handful of factors that can make them longer, more violent and harder to stop. Virtually all are present in Syria." [more inside]
posted by storybored at 10:39 PM - 22 comments

Don't take this sitting down.

A brief history of chairs by architect and professor Witold Rybczynski covers the fascinating (really) history of chairs, the subject of his new book Now I Sit Me Down. He has also written about the lack of thoughtful design in airline seats and how architects have struggled to create the perfect chair (researching this article apparently inspired the book). Don't miss the photographs of the 7 chairs that changed the world.
posted by blahblahblah at 9:29 PM - 20 comments

Sorry to Bug Ya

Yesterday, "A crazed woman trying to sell crickets and worms on a D train suddenly threw them all over the crowded car, sending it into chaos during the evening commute." "The air conditioning shut off and the screaming passengers were all stuck inside the sweltering car with the woman, who then treated them to antics for half an hour as the crickets jumped on passengers. The worms just wriggled on the floor." Today, actress Zaida Pugh admits she staged the incident, calling it a "a performance art piece meant to highlight the way people with mental and emotional health issues are treated."
posted by sallybrown at 4:06 PM - 161 comments

Pretty Polly Parrot Portuguese

This Brazilian duo of guitar and parrot are pretty good, but birds and guitars are not unusual. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:54 PM - 4 comments

“an ahead-of-its-time innovation and an exactly-of-its-time decadence”

The Legend of the Choco Taco [Eater] “For just about everyone other than the French inventor of the Cronut, the Choco Taco [wiki] is the stuff of nostalgic summer sweet tooth obsession — the most beloved and innovative of all the American ice cream "novelties." Its acolytes are legion. Restaurant pastry chefs and boutique scoop shop owners regularly pay homage.”
posted by Fizz at 3:42 PM - 28 comments

"Everybody dies with loose ends"

Poet Max Ritvo has died at 25. His "Poem to my Litter" appeared in the New Yorker in June. His debut collection, Four Reincarnations will be published in October by Milkweed Editions.
posted by larrybob at 12:56 PM - 31 comments

“I grow old…I grow old…” [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus at 12:55 PM - 16 comments

Semi-Submersible Heavy Transport Vessels

Need to move a ship? Or several ships? Try a Float-In/Float-Off Heavy Transport Vessel.
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 11:31 AM - 20 comments

Is The Texas AG Leading A Nationwide War Against Transgender People?

Most of the media focus on Transgender rights up until now have been on "Bathroom Bills" that are being presented across the country, yet in doing so, we are, as Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney for the ACLU LGBT & HIV Project states, ...ceding the terms of this conversation to the people who want to expel trans people from public life and write us out of existence."

But is that really happening? Are there people who want to write trans people out of existence? [more inside]
posted by Annika Cicada at 10:51 AM - 67 comments

I Came From Nothing

Known as much for his flamboyant style as his prolific output, rapper, singer and weirdo Young Thug [prev] has released a new commercial mixtape (can we call commercial mixtapes albums already?). The project title No, My Name Is JEFFERY asserts a new identity, and the music continues to twist the Atlanta trap sound in new and strange directions. "I always had a Michael Jackson mentality…The message is to go back to who I really am. I really am Jeffery. That’s really my swag." Oh, and the cover art is wild.
posted by so fucking future at 10:26 AM - 11 comments

Anne Boleyn was a Pointy. Jane Seymour was a ROUND.

First, there was the extrovert/introvert binary. Then, came ask culture vs. guess culture. Now: are you round or pointy?
posted by katie at 10:09 AM - 143 comments

How Cuts to Public Universities Have Driven Students Out of State

NYT: "Declines in state support for public universities have helped reshape the geography of public college admissions, leading many students to attend universities far from home, where they pay higher, out-of-state tuition. An analysis of migration patterns among college freshmen shows the states students leave each year and where they go." How does your state measure up? [more inside]
posted by Existential Dread at 9:05 AM - 42 comments

Uber Risky

These days, everybody's betting on Uber. In the firm's seven years of existence, it has attracted nearly $15 billion dollars in funding via a nearly-unprecedented 14 rounds of investment. While Uber's management have made it intentionally difficult for small investors to own shares of the company, big investors are betting on Uber in droves. All this led Quartz's Steve LeVine to wonder — What if they're wrong? Can somebody make the opposite bet? Is it even possible to short Uber? [Spoiler: Basically, no.]. Earlier this year, Uber announced its expansion into subprime lending, and on Thursday, announced that it had lost $1.2 billion in the first half of 2016.
posted by schmod at 8:25 AM - 79 comments

Be a Reporter!

Up until last year, the Newseum in Washington, D.C. had a YouTube channel (preserved at NewseumArchives) that uploaded every video made by visitors who went the the museum's "Be a Reporter!" exhibit and recorded themselves doing a TV news segment. Or practicing their golf swing. Or saying hi to their moms. Or contemplating the abyss. Sage Boggs of Mic has been tweeting out some of the highlights.
posted by Cash4Lead at 8:03 AM - 9 comments

Clearly just an excuse for a cool URL

Time to Statham Punch is a helpful reference if you want to know how long it takes in a given movie for Jason Statham to punch someone, "ideally in the face". [more inside]
posted by Stark at 8:02 AM - 20 comments

Little People, Big Woes in Hollywood

The Hollywood Reporter takes a longform look at the history and current status of little people in Hollywood, from the 124 dwarfs (not dwarves) who played Munchkins in The Wizard of Oz to Peter Dinklage's Golden Globe speech where he called for viewers to google Martin Henderson, a little person who was paralyzed after being picked up and thrown to the ground by a drunk outside a bar. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 7:35 AM - 25 comments

How hot is too hot?

The Food Lab teams up with Adam Savage's (MeFi's own) Tested to find the perfect method for searing steaks.
posted by Harald74 at 6:58 AM - 18 comments

Philly train station's iconic flipping departures board will be replaced

Philadelphia's 30th Street Station is home to one of the few remaining "split-flap display" departure boards. The flipping, clicking board, which is managed on four desktop computers running Windows 95, will soon be replaced by a digital display. Other stations' split-flap display boards have been replaced by digital displays that try and mimic the look and sounds of the original. Aficionados and nostalgics, take note: the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg may be acquiring 30th Street's board. Interested in seeing a split-flap board in action before they're all gone? Wikipedia has a list of remaining boards around the world.
posted by duffell at 6:33 AM - 58 comments

Fart Touch

Fart Touch
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:32 AM - 14 comments

University of Chicago writes a letter to its incoming freshman

The University of Chicago does not condone the creation of intellectual 'safe spaces'. [more inside]
posted by heyho at 4:52 AM - 299 comments

Utah doom

Salt Lake City progressive doom band SubRosa play a three-song set at Hellfest 2014. [Fat of the Ram, 0.04; Ghosts of a Dead Empire, 15.40; The Usher, 27:50.] [more inside]
posted by Sonny Jim at 3:28 AM - 4 comments

August 25

iPhone security hack

A truly horrendous zero-day exploit has been revealed which targets the iPhone. Apple has issued an emergency update to correct it and advises all iPhone users to update immediately. The latest OS version, and only safe one, is 9.3.5. (More coverage)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:23 PM - 138 comments

How the Hunt Brothers Cornered the Silver Market and Then Lost it All

From a spot price of around $6 per ounce in early 1979, the price of silver shot up to $50.42 in January of 1980. In the same week, silver futures contracts were trading at $46.80. Film companies like Kodak saw costs go through the roof, while the British film producer, Ilford, was forced to lay off workers. Traditional bullion dealers, caught in a squeeze, cried foul to the commodity exchanges, and the New York jewelry house Tiffany & Co. took out a full page ad in the New York Times slamming the “unconscionable” Hunt brothers. They were right to single out the Hunts; in mid-January, they controlled 69% of all the silver futures contracts on the Commodity Exchange (COMEX) in New York.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:10 PM - 23 comments

El sueno americano

Tom Kiefer was named one of the 50 best emerging photographers for 2015 in the LensCulture Emerging Talent Awards based on his El Sueno Americano project, which emerged from his work as a janitor at the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. Over an 11-year period, he salvaged and cataloged hundreds of personal items thrown away in the facility. [more inside]
posted by drlith at 6:57 PM - 5 comments

Fingerwave Saint

“I wanted to create images that portray black women in a way that would inspire them not to be necessarily pretty, which is what most beauty stuff is about, but to kind of embody that and more within themselves,” Ms. Crowe said [NYT]. “Everything starts within you and how you feel about yourself. It’s just trying to glorify black women and make them imagine themselves beyond their wildest dreams.” [more inside]
posted by hilaryjade at 5:09 PM - 4 comments

Not just a menu item, but a way of lunch

The Slow & Sad Death of Seattle's Iconic Teriyaki Scene (Thrillist) But new Seattle -- with the locals priced out of the area, those that remain forgetting teriyaki exists, and newcomers ignoring it -- risks losing those real shops for good. Teriyaki could be heading the direction of deep-dish… just ask a Chicagoan about it and they’ll say, “Oh, that’s for tourists.” Teriyaki is from a different era, and it’s fading as fast as traffic-free days on I-5. Since teriyaki came to town, Seattle’s waved goodbye to the Kingdome, Kurt Cobain, and the Sonics. A signature stadium, a signature musician, a signature team -- and now, perhaps, a signature dish. [more inside]
posted by CrystalDave at 3:32 PM - 78 comments

Sail Away... Sail Away...

Because sometimes, when the stresses and hardships of earthly existence threaten to overwhelm, you just really need to see two Pokemon dancing to Orinoco Flow.
posted by garius at 3:31 PM - 38 comments

Una donna americana sta leggendo tutto il catalogo...

New York City's Karen Barbarossa is reading the Biblioteca Adelphi catalogue, in order, from 1965 through now. All of it. That's 653 titles, to date.
posted by adamgreenfield at 12:58 PM - 7 comments

Narrative stinginess in binge-worthy shows.

"Delay of audience gratification has been a staple of episodic storytelling for a long time, but no show advanced the practice more than the grandfather of plotblocking, Lost. No matter how well-written the various flashbacks often were, the writers knew that what kept us hooked was the mystery of the island — and that storyline was illiberally meted out like capfuls of water to a thirsty man. Just enough to keep us alive. I’ve actually found that the shows that are the most “binge-worthy” are the most narratively stingy. You start each new episode almost out of frustration, hoping it will deliver a morsel of satisfaction, an inch of forward progress." Writer-director Andrew Matthews on Stranger Things and his idea of "plotblocking".
posted by gucci mane at 12:43 PM - 86 comments

The worst of the worst.

Where the Death Penalty Still Lives. In the U.S., 20 states and the District of Columbia have abolished capital punishment and four others have imposed a moratorium on executions. Of the 26 states that remain, only 14 handed down death sentences last year for a total of 50 across the country — less than half the number six years before. California, which issued more than one-quarter of last year’s death sentences, hasn’t actually executed anyone since 2006. A new geography of capital punishment is taking shape, with just two percent of the nation’s counties now accounting for a majority of the people sitting on death row. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 12:33 PM - 18 comments

Edible uses of cheese

In Sweden, they dice it and pour coffee over it, while in Minnesota they dice it and smother in crushed seasoned tortilla chips (previously). Some people add a banana on the side, or perhaps some blackberries. Other people turn it into waffles, or put it inside vegetables. TV chefs bake it with paprika, or turn it into a pinwheel. In Florida, it is hidden in pie crusts, while others hide it inside bread, and others drizzle honey on their balls. But how do you eat yours? [more inside]
posted by Wordshore at 11:50 AM - 80 comments

Finger Lickin' Good

Ledington continues to leaf through the family scrapbook, pausing here and there to share a memory or an anecdote about his uncle [Harland Sanders]....But what I'm really interested in is the handwritten note on the back of the document. At the top of the page, in blue ink, it reads, "11 Spices — Mix With 2 Cups White Fl." That's followed by an enumerated list of herbs and spices. Eleven herbs and spices. And the measurements for each. [more inside]
posted by Shmuel510 at 11:43 AM - 58 comments

"I encourage ESPYs to…change the category to Best Adaptive Athlete"

Bethany Hamilton: surfing with only one arm isn't as hard as beating the stigma (Guardian)

In Bethany Hamilton’s mind, winning the ESPY award for best female athlete with a disability would have been like “rewinding back to square one”—square one being the fateful day 13 years ago when she was attacked by a 14ft tiger shark and lost her left arm.

Which is why, this year, she withdrew her name from consideration.
[more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:33 AM - 4 comments

Gene name errors are widespread in the scientific literature

Microsoft Excel blamed for gene study errors. [G]ene symbols such as SEPT2 (Septin 2) and MARCH1 [Membrane-Associated Ring Finger (C3HC4) 1, E3 Ubiquitin Protein Ligase] are converted by default to ‘2-Sep’ and ‘1-Mar’, respectively.
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 11:23 AM - 133 comments

All mixed up

What do we call people of multiple backgrounds? Leah Donnella writes about the complexities of naming yourself and being named by others. She also links to Evoking the Mulatto, a project to explore black mixed identity in the 21st century. [more inside]
posted by cubby at 11:23 AM - 10 comments

Come See the Softer Side of Sears

In the wake of Sears Holdings' reorganization of its assets, which included the liquidation of several of its brick-and-mortar outlets (including its former flagship store in Chicago), the Canadian arm of the retailer announced it was following in the stead of Yahoo! by revealing an in-house redesign of its logo as a reflection of the future, and its expected perseverance amid online competition.
posted by Smart Dalek at 10:29 AM - 24 comments

What's it like to be a woman in comedy? Oh, it's my favorite question.

"If you watch a lot of television and you don't know what could happen to lesbians if they don't die, this is a show about that. I promise you, no lesbians die in this show." Rhea Butcher and Cameron Esposito play a lightly fictionalized version of themselves -- a married couple who co-host a standup comedy show in Los Angeles -- in their new sitcom, Take My Wife. [more inside]
posted by amnesia and magnets at 9:52 AM - 13 comments

An actual crime, or just “suspicious activity”

How Nextdoor.com is Tackling Its Racism Problem [more inside]
posted by almostmanda at 9:40 AM - 62 comments

“Fear is a natural response,”

One Third of Parents Avoid Reading Children Scary Stories, Study Finds [The Guardian] “A survey of 1,003 UK parents by online bookseller The Book People found that 33% would steer clear of books for their children containing frightening characters. Asked about the fictional creations they found scariest as children, a fifth of parents cited the Wicked Witch of the West from L Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, with the Child Catcher from Ian Fleming’s Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang in second place. Third was the Big Bad Wolf, in his grandmother-swallowing Little Red Riding Hood incarnation, fourth the Grand High Witch from Roald Dahl’s The Witches, and fifth Cruella de Vil, from Dodie Smith’s The Hundred and One Dalmatians.”
posted by Fizz at 9:39 AM - 56 comments

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