October 22

Smartphones Are Killing Americans

In 2016 alone, more than 100 people died every day in or near vehicles in America, the first time the country has passed that grim toll in a decade. Regulators, meanwhile, still have no good idea why crash-related deaths are spiking. ... Collectively, we seemed to be speeding and drinking a little more, but not much more than usual. Together, experts say these upticks don’t explain the surge in road deaths. There are however three big clues, and they don’t rest along the highway. One, as you may have guessed, is the substantial increase in smartphone use by U.S. drivers as they drive. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 11:29 PM - 11 comments

An elegy for Odeon Panton Street

An elegy for Odeon Panton Street [via mefi projects]
posted by ellieBOA at 11:17 PM - 2 comments

It ain’t high art but it helps to be high

Wiley Wallace’s art is what you’d get if you tried to create a Spielbergian “kids in peril” classic on mescaline. Interestingly, Wallace says that he uses his own children as models for the characters in his paintings. A press release states that “at times realistic depictions deliquesce into abstract blurs of bright colors, while at others subtle apparitions make their way into otherwise unassuming everyday scenes.” Yeah, they “deliquesce”…
Website and Instagram
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:29 PM - 6 comments

Wer einen menschen rettet, rettet die ganze welt.

On this day in 1907, Emilie Pelzl was born in Alt-Moletein, a tiny Moravian village in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In 1928, at the age of 20, Emile married a traveling salesman from Zwittau. [more inside]
posted by Big Al 8000 at 8:09 PM - 5 comments

Lost Mothers

“The U.S. has the highest rate of maternal mortality in the developed world. Yet these deaths of women from causes related to pregnancy or childbirth are almost invisible.
We were struck by how many perished in the postpartum period, by the number of heart-related deaths, by the contributing role sometimes played by severe depression and mood disorders — and by the many missed opportunities to save lives.”
ProPublica and NPR have spent the last few months searching social media and other sources for mothers who died, trying to understand what happened to them and why.
posted by Grandysaur at 7:56 PM - 5 comments

The bloody rise and frightful fall of Fangoria

With no new print issues since 2015, most readers and contributors have concluded that classic horror movie magazine Fangoria will be an internet-only phenomenon going forward. EW delves into how Fangoria got to where it was, and what went wrong. [more inside]
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:46 PM - 4 comments

School’s out forever

Schools Without Rules: An Orlando Sentinel Investigation (Leslie Postal, Beth Kassab and Annie Martin, Orlando Sentinel): The Orlando Sentinel spent months reporting on Florida’s scholarship programs, which will send nearly $1 billion to private schools this year. The Sentinel also reviewed thousands of pages of Florida Department of Education documents, court records and other materials in addition to interviewing dozens of people, including parents, students, school operators and policy experts. [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A at 6:06 PM - 3 comments

Lick your own cat

As featured on Mashable, the successfully Kickstarter-funded LICKI Brush allows the cat owner to "realistically" simulate licking their cat.
posted by Wordshore at 4:39 PM - 33 comments

The Golden Age of Animation

Mild-Mannered Superman "A weekly project to make the best, most complete version of the classic 1941-1943 Fleischer Studios Superman short films possible."
[All 17 remastered episodes in a single playlist] [A short history of the cartoon] [Previously]
posted by Sibrax at 4:26 PM - 10 comments

They who are falling

The mechanics of history, one of a series of kinetic sculptures with acrobats by circus artist Yoann Bourgeois.
posted by Rumple at 2:33 PM - 4 comments

Here, Have a Skull or Two

Skull carving was his way of rehabilitating himself. Victor Seiche was a hard-core drug addict. He kicked all the drugs at once and to save his sanity, he taught himself how to carve skulls (animal, not human). The main link gives a lot of information about him and how he got started, with some photos. But here's his Instagram page Victor's Skulls which has a lot more skulls and an occasional price. He works to commission, too. I think they're beautiful.
posted by MovableBookLady at 2:29 PM - 5 comments

“For every joke that lands, another one makes me feel uncomfortable,”

'The Fractured But Whole' Has the Same Identity Crisis as Modern South Park [Waypoint] “Nostalgia and references were enough to propel me through The Stick of Truth, but while playing the sequel, The Fractured But Whole [YouTube][Trailer], rose-tinted glasses haven't been enough, my nervous chuckles replaced with sighs. This is a game where one of the main characters, Cartman, dresses up as a Racoon-themed superhero and calls himself The Coon. The joke, of course, is "coon" is also a racial slur for black people. Pretty funny stuff. It gets even better when one of the main missions has players invading the homes of innocent black people and helping the police arrest them. The punchline is that the police are racist! The Fractured But Whole, much like modern South Park, often feels like "well-meaning" people desperately holding onto an ability to laugh at shitty jokes made at the expense of people who don't deserve it, even though they know better.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 2:18 PM - 30 comments

“Do not take anything for granted. Not even words.”

In February, Toronto imam Ayman Elkasrawy was accused of hate-preaching against Jews. He was condemned by many, including members of his own faith. In the aftermath, he reached out to the local Jewish community to educate himself and learn from his mistakes. Still, a key question remained unanswered: did he really say what he was accused of saying?
posted by zarq at 2:07 PM - 17 comments


Caroline Orrr writes for Playboy: Why Do Women Point Fingers? The Rise of Victim-Blaming in a Country Under Assault
The tendency to blame women for men’s transgressions is nothing new, nor is the inclination to shift blame from the perpetrators of sexual assault to the victims of it. Many of the responses to other recent sexual assault scandals, like those involving Bill Cosby and President Donald Trump, mirror what we’ve seen over the past weeks in response to the allegations against Weinstein. And like we saw with those scandals, the tendency to blame victims of sexual assault and excuse or justify the behavior of the perpetrator is not limited to men. In fact, some of the most intense and vitriolic victim-blaming responses came from those most likely to be victimized themselves: women. At first glance, this seems entirely counterintuitive. Why would women attack other women who are victims of sexual violence, a crime that overwhelmingly affects women?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:05 PM - 9 comments

To complain is to be truly alive

Being a person is terrible. And complaining about it is the purest, most soothing form of protest there is. Complaining feels so good. (Samantha Irby on complaining, SL NYT)
posted by stillmoving at 1:04 PM - 18 comments

Brexit Decision Tree

Brexit: deals and no deals from Flip Chart Fairy Tales, the post has a picture of 3 yes/no questions and a description of the various consequences that may follow for the UK and the EU. Sometimes I need a picture and words that describe it.
posted by kingless at 12:57 PM - 18 comments

The World is Dead. Long Live the World!

Has the World Already Ended? Or Just History? [more inside]
posted by Glibpaxman at 12:36 PM - 14 comments

“You, along with DEVO, were guinea pigs for a really stupid idea..."

October 30th will mark the 35th anniversary of DEVO's tour Oh, No! Its DEVO tour, launched with a televised concert broadcast to college campuses and via Pay-Per-View. In 3-D. After a 30 minute opening set by Wall of Voodoo. DEVO showcased their new stage show, with synchronized video for the first seven songs, projected on a 12 foot high screen behind the band. The second act of the show would be the worlds first live, 3-D broadcast. Unfortunately, things went off the rails, and quick. [more inside]
posted by SansPoint at 10:02 AM - 18 comments


posted by kenko at 8:31 AM - 126 comments

An Argument is Not a Fight

EQUAL MEANS EQUAL et al. v. US Department of Education and Betsy DeVos is a lawsuit filed filed four weeks after Devos replaced Obama adminstration guidance for campus sexual assault or abuse investigations with new instructions that permit universities to require criminal standards of evidence in adjudicating civil rights complaints. The federal complaint is here. Plaintiffs argue facts of law that show Ms DeVos not only exceeded authorities vested in the DoE, the new instructions to university administrators violate MA and federal constitutional protections. [previously]
posted by marycatherine at 8:07 AM - 14 comments

Inflatable Hairy Bits

Recently posted on YouTube was a video of a Creatonotos Gangis moth from Southeast Asia. Consider it your Sunday morning dose of NOPE.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 6:45 AM - 19 comments

There was no toilet paper in the bathroom.

“Eater’s own list of essential Paris restaurants includes its vegetarian tasting menu as a when-in-Paris must. Earlier this year, the restaurant’s three-Michelin-star status was reaffirmed for the twentieth year in a row, an accolade that means its cuisine is "worth a special journey."

“I was in Paris for the briefest of vacations, and L’Arpège is where I wanted to spend one of my two fleeting afternoons. In exchange, at one of France’s best restaurants, I had one of my worst meals of the year.” Ryan Sutton for Eater.
posted by The Whelk at 4:24 AM - 53 comments

October 21

On today's episode of Long Attention Span Theatre: Essays on Directors

Cameron Beyl, creator of The Directors Series has developed an impressive and epic (yet accessable) ongoing series of video essays examing the careers of the Coen Brothers (3.5 hrs in 7 parts), Stanley Kubrick (3 hrs in 5 parts), David Fincher (4 hrs in 5 parts), Paul Thomas Anderson (2.5 hrs in 5 parts), and Christopher Nolan (3.5 hrs in 4 parts.) In addition to the video essays there are many (too many to count) short articles covering everything from Captain Eo to Rob Zombie's CSI: Miami episode, "L.A." (h/t Open Culture)
posted by Room 641-A at 5:40 PM - 13 comments

A Friendship Story

Sriracha is a rescue kitty with cerebellar hypoplasia. She soon met Batman, a rescue piglet who also lived at Rancho Relaxo [FB]. Batman comforted Sriracha during her occasional seizures. They became best friends. Unfortunately, Batman died from a congenital condition. Fortunately, Rancho Relaxo soon rescued Batman’s big brother Dragonlord. It was True Love. Sriracha was recently adopted [Instagram], but Dragonlord soon found another Best Feline Forever: Raisin. [via]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:00 PM - 13 comments

Some days you are the moose, some days you are the wolf

Northern Ontario Moose vs Wolf. It begins with a serene autumn scene of a Moose standing alone in a still Northern Lake.
posted by saucysault at 1:10 PM - 53 comments

You are nowhere

One night, early in the season, I asked Jamie how long he thought I could last. “Out there,” I said, gesturing toward the TV. “Alone.”
A short memoir by Emily Lackey.
posted by Rumple at 1:07 PM - 9 comments

Julian May (1931-2017)

Science fiction author Julian May has passed away at age 86: "In Memoriam: Julian May" from the SFWA; "May the Force Be With Her," a profile related to her First Fandom Hall of Fame Award; Chicon II / TASFIC entry at Fancyclopedia 3 ("Julian May was the first female chairman of a Worldcon"); "Julian May," her entry in The Encyclopedia of SF; her ISFDB entry; interviews with May from 1982 and 2015. Perhaps best known for her Saga of Pliocene Exile (a brief appreciation; B&N retrospective; TVTropes entry), May's first SF story sales are available online ("Dune Roller" Astounding, Dec. 1951, with illustrations by May; "Star of Wonder," Thrilling Wonder Stories, Feb. 1953) along with several letters to Astounding: 1, 2, and 3.
posted by Wobbuffet at 11:09 AM - 50 comments

“...closely tracking fundamental shifts in the marketplace.”

Big-budget, single-player gaming isn’t dead (yet) [Ars Technica] “Yesterday's news that EA is shutting down Visceral Games is bad news for fans of franchises like Dead Space and for the studio's unnamed Star Wars project. But the abrupt shutdown has also caused a bit of an existential crisis to creep into the game industry chatter regarding the future of big-budget, single-player, story-driven gaming in general. [...] Looking around at the most popular games these days, it's not hard to see the market shift Söderlund is talking about. From Hearthstone and Overwatch, to Playerunknown's Battlegrounds and Rocket League, to Dota 2 and League of Legends, to Clash of Clans and Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege, and on and on, the games getting the most player attention (and money) today tend to be never-ending online competitions.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 10:46 AM - 70 comments

Welcome to the Literature Club!

It's October, month of horror! Unrelatedly, Doki Doki Literature Club! (steam) is a cute (and free) Visual Novel, roughly 2-4 hours long, where you can join a Literature Club, write poetry and make new friends! Some tips: it's much better played blind, it has a somewhat slow start, and it's not over until you've seen the credits. Oh, and it's definitely not suitable for children or those who are easily disturbed.
posted by Memo at 8:56 AM - 14 comments

Midwestern Girl would very much like to be excluded from this narrative

A man travels from New York to Florida. There’s no reason for Midwestern Girl to be in this story, but there she is in Virginia at a rest stop, gas pump in her hand. Iowa, the man says, looking at her car’s tags. You’re a long way from home.
Am I? she wonders.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:46 AM - 57 comments

Doll's Eyes: Fatal if consumed by humans.

Cat Whitney posts a collection of photos and brief descriptions [twitter thread] of her favorite spooooooky plants and fungi.
posted by moonmilk at 7:43 AM - 18 comments

Sticky wicket

Cricket is rotting away. Everything worthwhile about it is being destroyed
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:48 AM - 52 comments

October 20

Life Is Peachy: Nü Metal And America

Invisible Oranges on the rise of nü metal and its reflection of the emptiness of Clinton-era suburbia.
So you have a mass a teens growing up in pointless “towns” with no discernable industry or economy in a nation that had declared itself to have reached the “end of history,” in which no big dreams ought be strived, run by parents dedicated to the fiction that life is a non-event bereft of hardship. Who wouldn’t be miserable? Who wouldn’t be angry?
posted by Existential Dread at 10:02 PM - 83 comments

You make me so happy it turns back to sad

Taylor has a new song out. I find it more appealing than LWYMMD. In fact, it's Gorgeous.
posted by hippybear at 7:56 PM - 86 comments

The whisper network

“[The] news has brought to the surface the private conversations women have been having — the warnings whispered to each other to avoid getting hurt. As women have written in the past few days, these whisper networks are a lifeline...
They have helped keep me safe. But a concern keeps gnawing at my conscience, and I don’t have an answer: What about the women who don’t get this information?
Relying on a whisper network isn’t enough; the current situation is unacceptable, and we need to think about what we can do to change it.”

It’s time to weaponize the "whisper network”
posted by Grandysaur at 7:39 PM - 89 comments

Fornasetti Small-Scale Archtecture

He's been called a surrealist but he seems more of a classicist with a touch of surrealism. Back in the 1950s Fornasetti, along with Gio Ponti, started making limited editions of architecturally interesting furniture. Most of them are in museums now but here's one went that went to auction, having once been owned by Henry Bernard, the French architect and Fornasetti's friend: Sinai & Sons Auction (be sure to click on "Read More") [more inside]
posted by MovableBookLady at 6:24 PM - 8 comments

A national seance

“I wanted the whole nation to be terrified,” he continues. “And yet they would be creating the very thing they’re terrified of. What if they wanted to see a ghost to the extent that they actually created it? What if they supernaturally held hands in the dark, millions of people all wanting the same thing to happen at the same time?” - 25 years later the cast and creators tell tell the story of Ghostwatch, the one of the BBC's most spooky and controversial shows. (Previously)
posted by Artw at 3:58 PM - 43 comments

Funny Girl

"There was an expectation that girls would be quieter. And wouldn't ruin their dresses and wouldn't be roughhousing and cracking jokes in church," she says. "And I was very often doing a lot of those things," thanks in part to her father's encouragement to let her be what she was: funny. Today we encourage our daughters to be ambitious and athletic, opinionated and outspoken. We want them focused on STEM and outfitted in T-shirts that read, "Who runs the world? Girls." But what if raising truly empowered girls also means raising funny ones? What if we teach our daughters that humor is their turf — just as much as any boy's? -- Want to raise an empowered girl? Then let her be funny. (By Ellen McCarthy, Washington Post)
posted by Room 641-A at 3:34 PM - 8 comments

The judge who codes

Profile by Sarah Jeong of U.S. District Court Judge for Northern California William Alsup, 72, the presiding judge in Oracle v. Google (about Android and Java APIs) and also will preside in Waymo v. Uber (previously.) Judge Alsup is a long-time ham radio operator and programs in BASIC.
posted by larrybob at 2:46 PM - 25 comments

Not your average felines

Adventure cats! They climb rock walls, they swim in the ocean (don't miss the instagram), they ride bicycles and motorcycles and skateboards and surfboards! But don't make them walk. [more inside]
posted by AFABulous at 2:16 PM - 13 comments

Beating on someone else’s drum is a big no-no. It’s a big dis …

An oral history of the 2002 movie Drumline. Nick Cannon's greatest gift to popular culture (and arguably the 'most sports movie ever' despite not featuring any actual sports) was inspired by superstar music producer Dallas Austin's years in his high school band, but it ended up becoming about the culture of halftime events at HBCUs. [more inside]
posted by Gin and Broadband at 1:56 PM - 18 comments

Am successfully passing as a cat. No one suspects a thing. Woof.

This is Nathan the Beach Cat, and she loves the beach. Video evidence [Facebook, cheery music]. Instagram
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:43 PM - 11 comments

A Mortician's Tale: “What would a mortician’s private emails look like?”

Video games have never really gotten death.... Death in games is a punishment, a roadblock, a temporary setback, an opportunity. It's not a real end; it's mechanical, never philosophical.... A Mortician's Tale ... takes death—the real thing, that universal human experience of being divorced from all sensation, from existence itself—and handles it in direct, even quotidian ways. It makes the end of life visible, and in doing so crafts one of the only meditations on death in videogames that feels authentic.
[more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:36 PM - 7 comments

The head of a fool on the neck of an ass

JP Koning presents a pictorial history of the Spanish dollar and its legacy around the world.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:06 PM - 6 comments

Playboy to Feature Its First Transgender Centerfold

When French model Ines Rau heard the news she would be centerfold, she cried from happiness. “It was a compliment like I’ve never had,” she said. (SL NYT)
posted by stillmoving at 12:20 PM - 27 comments

...where the reckoning of self happens.

What Miyazaki’s Heroines Taught Me About My Mixed-Race Identity, by writer and poet Nina Li Coomes. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 11:53 AM - 6 comments

Human Extinction

Kids? Just say no is an essay wherein the author propounds risk aversion, wrapped in a moral imperative to do no harm, or "anti-natalism". In Tropical Depressions the authors circumvent an idea of "human utilitarianism" in order to survey affective disorders and ecological expressions of morbidity. Bookmark this apocrypha between streams of "Electric Dreams" and Blade Runner 2049 in your First World Problems folder.
posted by marycatherine at 11:30 AM - 55 comments

Alternate histories and the "Mournful Dowry"

The Guns of the South and C.S.A. strike radically different tones, but both begin with the same ambitious objective: to venture an answer to the question of whether, given a change in historical course, America’s original sin might be redeemable. The black filmmaker answers a resounding “no,” while the white science-fiction writer a hopeful “maybe,” but they both exemplify the genre of alternate history at its best and most compelling: savvy, thoughtful, entertaining, and provocative. They do more than speculate about history as it might have been: they challenge their audience to think about history as it is, and history as it is told.
Renee de Groot examines some of the more than 150 American Civil War alternate histories which have been written since 1900.
posted by Rumple at 10:03 AM - 49 comments


If you hold one mental image of [mathematician] Andrew Wiles, he wants it to be this: not the triumphant scholar with the medal around his neck, but the child learning to glory in the state of being stuck. Wiles is famous for cracking Fermat's Last Theorem. He was asked by blogger Ben Orlin what themes he would like to share with a broad public audience. So he talked about being stuck. [more inside]
posted by storybored at 8:51 AM - 22 comments

“It’s so complicated,”

Rupi Kaur Is Kicking Down the Doors of Publishing [The New York Times] “In the three years since her blockbuster “Milk and Honey” was first self-published and later picked up by Andrews McMeel Publishing, she has dealt with all the issues other women face on Instagram and off: comparisons, aggression, bullying. But she has also built a community and an audience there in particular, with 1.6 million followers. Daunted by the tough stuff, she remained, because “it came back to the accessibility,” she said. “Instagram makes my work so accessible and I was able to build a readership,” Ms. Kaur said recently in a cafe in SoHo. “But then I always feel like within the literary world there’s of course downsides, because you have that label attached to your work and then, for some reason, that means you aren’t a credible literary source.”” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 8:35 AM - 20 comments

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