July 20

The Living and the Dead

In a film, on the news, you watch a war. While in a war, you mostly hear it. In October, Iraqi forces set out to retake Mosul, one of Iraq’s largest cities and ISIS’s biggest stronghold in the country. It would take them nine months and cost thousands of lives. [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus at 11:03 AM - 4 comments

c'mon baby, skew the locomotion

Cut & Shut is a short surreal animation of VWs, mostly Beetles, moving in strange ways. By designer Chris LaBrooy.
posted by cortex at 10:39 AM - 9 comments

Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth

It has been suggested that Stanley Kubrick, the truly gifted director who was responsible for such classics as 2001: A Space Odyssey, was hired to help fake the Apollo landings. Given Kubrick’s painstaking attention to detail, it is now well known that he was involved in this elaborate conspiracy. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:34 AM - 40 comments

What Do You Mean You Don't Speak My Language?

Why are there lots of languages over here and only a few languages over there?
posted by MovableBookLady at 10:34 AM - 19 comments

"I only think about the next mile"

"Terry Fox dipped his artificial leg into the ocean at St. John’s, Newfoundland on April 12, 1980, just before setting out to run across Canada, to raise money for cancer research. During those early days of his Marathon of Hope, as he covered the equivalent of a marathon a day, very few people knew of the 21-year-old from Port Coquitlam, B.C. But through the spring and summer of 1980, Fox captivated the nation with his display of will and strength." This is that story in the words of people who were there.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:01 AM - 17 comments

US senators seek to make boycott of Israel a felony

Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) is a way for people to non-violently protest the Israeli treatment of Palestinians in a manner similar to the boycott of apartheid South Africa in the 20th century. BDS is supported by such orgs as Black Lives Matter and Jewish Voice for Peace. US senators have recently proposed a bipartisan measure, the Israel Anti-Boycott Act (S. 720), that will make such boycott a felony with up to 20 years of imprisonment. The ACLU, while not supporting a boycott, has come out in opposition to this bill since it would "punish U.S. persons based solely on their expressed political beliefs". [more inside]
posted by splitpeasoup at 9:32 AM - 103 comments

Pancreas broken? Make your own.

Dana Lewis has Type-1 diabetes so, she went ahead and built something for that. She built and programmed a computer to monitor her blood sugar levels and adjust her insulin levels automatically. Then she founded Open APS to be a repository for her design, and to let other people use it. She has gotten plaudits from both the maker and the medical community. On her twitter account, Lewis often uses the hashtag #wearenotwaiting. Is she the first wave of a breaking trend?
posted by lumpenprole at 9:28 AM - 12 comments

The Medieval Spanish Chef

The Medieval Spanish Chef, written by Susan Lord-Williams, is a comprehensive and ongoing blog covering the cuisine of the Iberian peninsula primarily during the medieval period, with its mixture of Roman, Arabic, North African, and Sephardic Jewish influences. Each post is inspired by a word connected in some way to a recipe, providing some history and etymology to enjoy along with the delicious food. [more inside]
posted by jedicus at 9:03 AM - 10 comments

Great Grandpa: "anxious bubblegum grunge" from Seattle

The Seattle indie-rock band Great Grandpa doesn't ignore the gracelessness of youth. It embraces it. Dubbed "slacker rock" in that NPR review by Maria Sherman, and "anxious bubblegum grunge" in a Pitchfork review by Ian Cohen, with comparisons to Weezer and Speedy Ortiz (Bandcamp), you have a decent idea of what to expect. If not, the quartet has their debut album and earlier EP up on Bandcamp, and the label for their album, Double Double Whammy, posted the full album to YouTube. In support of that 2015 EP, they made a music video for Mostly Here, and for a few tastes of them live, here's Teen Challenge from their new album, plus, Mostly Here and Cheeto Lust from their EP, plus No Hair as a bonus cut.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:16 AM - 8 comments

When even the upside lets you down

Where is that protest music we were promised?
posted by yerfatma at 8:14 AM - 42 comments

88 Lines About The 45th President

Democratic lawmakers have filed a "no-confidence" resolution against Donald Trump, listing 88 reasons why he's not fit to be President. Speaking to the New York Times, Trump provides many additional reasons. And speaking of things that no one likes that refuse to go away, Senate Republicans are back to work on a putative health care bill.
posted by murphy slaw at 6:44 AM - 1639 comments

The South Will Rise Again On HBO

Alternate takes on the American Civil War have been a literary niche for a while now, covering angles from the survival of President Lincoln to the South winning the war. Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will continue that peculiar institution with a future HBO series titled Confederate.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:11 AM - 209 comments

There's no way I can justify my salary, but I'm learning to live with it

The BBC has disclosed the salaries of stars earning £150,000 or more. This has caused discussion about salary levels, transparency and the gender pay gap. [more inside]
posted by Stark at 4:50 AM - 32 comments

The first rule of Robotwars: Bring your own pen

Robot Wars: what it's like to be a roboteer on the show - The wobbly progress of Team Jellyfish.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:56 AM - 8 comments

Olivia Wilde and Tom Sturridge on their stage roles in visceral '1984'

Take 15 minutes to listen to john Horn talk to Olivia Wilde and Tom Sturridge about the stage adaptation of George Orwell's 1984. You can also read the interview highlights, but there's a lot more in the interview.
posted by hippybear at 2:27 AM - 6 comments

Earth Unplugged

BBC's Planet Earth II team has posted a series of HD "visual soundscapes" on YouTube, pieced together from leftover footage of some of the most beautiful and isolated places in the world. Ten hours of mountains; ten hours of jungle; ten hours of islands; ten hours of desert.
posted by Paragon at 2:11 AM - 8 comments

🎵A-li-ens / Crash landed, right on the planet🎵

Demi Adejuyigbe, aka @electrolemon, has scored a sneak-peak of Will Smith's new track for Disney's Aladdin! Check it out quick before Disney take it down. He's also been posting videos of Will Smith's lesser-known film soundtrack work for Arrival, Moonlight, and Hacksaw Ridge. (They're all end-credit tracks so contain some spoilers). [more inside]
posted by EndsOfInvention at 1:30 AM - 6 comments

July 19

Fill your nightmare tank: panoramic photo fail edition

But with that worldwide surge of panoramic photos being taken comes a secondary phenomenon that no one anticipated– the nightmarish mutants that appear in failed attempts. Let's just say that when a panoramic shot goes wrong, it really goes wrong. This collection of failed photos from around the internet will haunt your dreams forever. And if you're craving more bizarre fails, there's an entire subreddit dedicated to the nightmarish glitches. [Some photos look alarmingly NSFW but are not.]
posted by Room 641-A at 11:43 PM - 13 comments

"criminal versatility"

Valerie Aurora and Leigh Honeywell write of The Al Capone Theory Of Sexual Harassment
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:41 PM - 7 comments

Rocksteady

In 1966, on the island of Jamaica, it was time to slow down. But who figured it out first? There are four generally recognized candidates: Roy Shirley (previously) with Hold Them, Alton Ellis with Girl I've Got A Date, Hopeton Lewis with Take It Easy, and Derrick Morgan with Tougher Than Tough. On three of those four songs, the groove was set by keyboardist Gladstone Anderson. For the next two years - maybe three - before it was swept away by the political and social drive of Rastafari and reggae, the laid-back love songs of rocksteady dominated the Jamaican music scene.
posted by clawsoon at 7:56 PM - 8 comments

I AM THE DOOMGUY.

Doomguy's Identity by John Romero “Don Punchatz, the illustrator who created the DOOM logo and the famous front box cover art came over to id in mid-1993 with a male body model. Don brought a nice camera to take pictures. The model's job was to strike various poses for the marine who would be on the cover of the box. [...] The body model took his shirt off and started posing with our plasma gun toy. Don asked us for suggestions so I started telling him that the Marine was going to be attacked by an infinite amount of demons. It would be cool if he was on a hill and firing down into them. The model was holding the gun in various positions and none of them were interesting to me.”
posted by Fizz at 7:54 PM - 23 comments

The last of the Memphis Mafia..

Red West passes at 81 He was an American actor, film stuntman and songwriter. He was a close high school friend of rock and roll singer Elvis Presley. He is probably best known to American film audiences for his role as Red in Road House, alongside Patrick Swayze. He had a co-starring role in the TV series Ba Ba Black Sheep (later Black Sheep Squadron) in the late 1970s. [more inside]
posted by shockingbluamp at 7:29 PM - 8 comments

Unearthing the influence of Native Americans on rock 'n' roll

Stevie Salas's research has led to the documentary Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World, which traces the impact of Native people on America’s rich musical history.
posted by goatdog at 7:17 PM - 10 comments

We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason

Just trees. (From MeFi's Own Alan Taylor.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:16 PM - 24 comments

How Checkers Was Solved

From 1950 to 1990, Marion Tinsley had been the world champion of checkers whenever he wanted to be. He’d occasionally retire to work on mathematics or devote himself to religious study, but he’d eventually return, beat everyone and become champion again. In that 40-year span, he lost five total games and never once dropped a match. In 1994, he sat across a game board from a computer, dying.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:36 PM - 17 comments

Queen of Jamaican Culture

Miss Lou talks Jamaican proverbs and who is Miss Lou, you ask? She was Louise Bennett, poet, folklorist, television presenter, activist and all around Jamaican national treasure. Her archive is kept by McMaster University, and is especially rich in audio recordings, including interviews (e.g. with Sarah Ward on the BBC World Service), storytelling (e.g. her Anancy stories, part 1 and 2) and music (e.g. 1954 Folkways recording, parts 1 and 2). Her music can also be found on Spotify.
posted by Kattullus at 5:30 PM - 1 comment

'Analyzing the Gender Representation of 34,476 Comic Book Characters'

Female characters appear in superhero comics less often than males — but when they are included, how are they depicted?
posted by MrJM at 4:06 PM - 13 comments

HAL in Bell Bottoms

Deodato - Also Sprach Zarathustra (SLYT)
posted by WCityMike at 2:13 PM - 25 comments

This is the public face of startups. And it’s getting embarrassing.

I gotta ask, what's the absolute maximum number of dog collars you'd like to buy this year? Probably less than twelve? In a lighthearted column, Adam Ozimek turns a beady eye on the wave of start-up subscription services and what they may reveal about the state of tech investment world.
posted by Diablevert at 1:20 PM - 126 comments

Ways To Stay Motivated In This [*insert Expletive*] Era Of Epic Stupid

Author Chuck Wendig gives you a handy top 10 list article to help you Survive and keep creating Art, in this unfurling Age of Dumb "Everything is dumb right now. From nose to tail, we have become the dumbest, saddest pig at the county fair. Historians will not refer to this period as THE DARK AGES, but rather, THE DUMB AGES. The greatest question I get, right now, is how to simply persist creating art and staying motivated and creative in this epoch of syphilitic dipshittery, so I thought I’d bop in here and try my hand at answering that." - Chuck Wendig [more inside]
posted by Faintdreams at 12:38 PM - 15 comments

When You See a Red Toggle, That's Definitely the Toggle to Tug

British Airways safety video - director's cut [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 12:15 PM - 18 comments

Is it a rabbit? Is it a spider?

Metagryne bicolumnata, aka the Bunny Harvestman. Probably don't click this if you're a bit wobbly about spiders.
posted by auntie-matter at 12:07 PM - 30 comments

Relax, Don't Worry, Have a Homebrew

The AHA reached out to breweries from across the United States and today released its first compilation of 50 commercial clone recipes, scaled to homebrew-sized batches. Whether you want a legendary IPA, a crisp pilsner, or even a fruity mead, there's something for everybody. [more inside]
posted by uncleozzy at 11:37 AM - 29 comments

The Dish

Japanese Cheesecake. Chicken Gyros. Deep Dish Pizza. Giant Cookies and Vegan Cinnamon Buns. Every week, Megan Ogilvie of The Toronto Star writes The Dish, where she takes popular local eats to food scientists and dietitians to determine how good (or bad) they are for you. Readers provide suggestions and are often surprised by how many calories they're getting from their favourite food. And in the case of one popular 1.5 lbs roti, the people of Trinidad & Tabago were not amused by the recommendation that Ali's roti is meal for two.
posted by thecjm at 10:57 AM - 75 comments

Equal parts quixotic dreamer and accomplished visionary.

Frances Gabe, inventor of the self-cleaning house, has died. This NY Times obituary is a lengthy tribute to a remarkable woman and includes videos and diagrams of her remarkable invention. [Previously]
posted by jacquilynne at 9:29 AM - 11 comments

The Beginning of Urban Heavy Rescue

On July 17, 1981 a suspended walkway collapsed in The Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri, killing 114 people and injuring 216 others during a tea dance. At the time, it was the deadliest structural collapse in U.S. history. [more inside]
posted by misskaz at 8:50 AM - 41 comments

The philosophy behind the throne

Unfettered capitalism or democracy. You cannot have both.
Six months on and six ways Trump is 'dismantling' the US.
This is the playbook, as George Monbiot explains, of James McGill Buchanan - A despot in disguise: one man’s mission to rip up democracy.
Then there are are the men behind the cutain; Secretive Teams to Roll Back Regulations, Led by Hires With Deep Industry Ties.
What Is the Far Right’s Endgame? A Society That Suppresses the Majority.
posted by adamvasco at 8:36 AM - 41 comments

I'll wipe your scores clean, wipe, wipe, wipe

The great late-night show, @midnight, will air its last (and 600th) show August 4. No more "Points!," no more Hashtag Wars, no more providing a platform for mostly new and lesser-known standup comedians.
posted by anothermug at 8:12 AM - 24 comments

Whosoever shall squeeze thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other

Who's got squishy cheeks? YOU do! Yes you do! Yes you do! And so do all of you!

If that's not enough squee for Hump Day, then check out these Golden Retriever puppies. Awww.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:46 AM - 8 comments

Known Alias: How Stephen King Was Outed as Richard Bachman

In 1984, Richard Bachman's fifth novel, Thinner, came out. It was Bachman's first hardcover release, and the author thought he was on the verge of breaking out (especially since he had recently sold the film rights to The Running Man, his fourth novel). But a clerk at a Washington DC bookstore suspected that Bachman was not who he claimed to be: that "Richard Bachman" was actually Stephen King.
posted by Etrigan at 6:57 AM - 55 comments

You said this story was kind of like a fairy tale

Nicole Chung took her daughter to see an all-Asian-American production of The Winter's Tale. "There are so many different types of inheritances; one I still hope my children can somehow sidestep is the void, the frustration of desperately searching for yourself, or people like you, in a cultural landscape that does not seem to be for you. And what does it say about you, about your worth and your importance and the possibilities open to you, if you can’t find yourself at all?"
posted by ChuraChura at 5:16 AM - 6 comments

The tyranny of work

The American workplace is an unaccountable, near-dictatorial private govenment with sweeping powers over our lives. Why can't Americans see this? And what should be done about it? [SLVox] Philosopher Elizabeth Anderson makes this argument in her book Private Government: How Employers Rule Our Lives (and Why We Don't Talk about It), based on her 2015 Tanner Lectures in Human Values. She elaborates on these themes in an interview in Jacobin. But Miya Tokumitsu, writing in the New Republic, warns that "[i]n reality, the employment landscape is even more dire than Anderson outlines." (Related previously: F*ck Work!)
posted by informavore at 4:06 AM - 85 comments

Trainspotter TV

Maybe you’re thinking, “the best thing I could possibly do right now while I’m sitting at work is watch live video feeds of railroad crossings and hope that the occasional train passes by.” If so, then you might be surprised to know that there’s never been a better time in recorded history than right now! Start by checking what’s currently live on the YouTube accounts of Virtual Railfan, Railstream and Big Trains TV. Most videos in this post include ambient sound — even if traffic noise is quiet the trains will be loud. For more a whole lot more, see below. [more inside]
posted by ardgedee at 4:05 AM - 10 comments

Not a balloon

Détour — A very short film by Michel Gondry, shot on an iPhone. In French, with English subtitles. (via Alas, a Blog) [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:25 AM - 7 comments

So you guys aren't terrorists?

Basement Reels, a Canadian-based group making ~5min short films, both serious and silly, tailored to the Tamil diaspora community. (via tamilculture.com) [more inside]
posted by XMLicious at 12:19 AM - 2 comments

July 18

“...like a really fancy Cliff Notes version of Warcraft.”

WoW Lore TLDR: The first Warcraft lore tl;dr on the internet to use nesting. “Warcraft's lore is intimidatingly complex. It's a chronicle that spans millennia, from the dawn of time and to World of Warcraft's latest patch. Unless you've taken the time to read every book or sift through the wikis, it's not always easy to understand what's going on, who certain characters are, or why the hell it even matters. That's a shame because the lore, while intimidating, is one of the richer mythos in gaming. Fortunately, Reddit user SinanDira has a solution. WoW Lore TLDR is a website that takes the entire backstory of Warcraft and condenses it into digestible bullet points that you can quickly sift through.” [via: PC Gamer]
posted by Fizz at 7:39 PM - 14 comments

I only have 2 words for you (and the second one is "And")

Donald Trump Says Billions & Billions & Billions & Billions & Billions & Billions. (SLYT). From J-walk, who called it "Best video I've seen all day"
posted by growabrain at 6:47 PM - 42 comments

The lady is a designer

A Tribute to Indian Women Architects
posted by infini at 2:25 PM - 14 comments

Guys Experience Periods for the First Time

"I've never had a period before! And maybe, I don't know, maybe it'll make me a better man." "People who experience [periods], they always seem like super stressed about it, and just like it's the end of the world. I want to understand more, why or how it's so stressful." "I won't be the first man to ever have a period, because there are definitely trans men who do have periods." Three men who have never had a period try a menstruation simulator for three days.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:38 AM - 72 comments

The old goose was coming loose...

People who have driven the Trans-Canada Highway through Northwestern Ontario are more than likely acquainted with the Wawa Goose, a roadside attraction located in the town of Wawa. But recently, it became apparent that the steel goose - which replaced a plaster version in 1963 - was deteriorating. After a successful fundraising campaign to help pay for the fabrication of a replacement, the town unveiled its new goose on Canada Day. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:59 AM - 50 comments

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