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August 19

Three times she married, and all three times her husbands died. Her first husband, David Stegall, a young, talented dentist, shot himself to death in 1975. Her second husband, a popular hotelier and investor who conceived the luxurious Mansion Hotel on Turtle Creek, died of cancer in 1982. Her third husband, Alan Rehrig, a former college basketball star in Oklahoma who had come to Dallas to hit it rich in real estate, was found murdered in December 1985. [more inside]
posted by ellieBOA at 3:46 AM - 31 comments

Struggling UK indie developer PuppyGames' uncomfortable truths about selling indie games: Steam and bundles have destroyed the market for games, individual customers are now worthless, but everyone has to keep on smiling. Oh, and the demo is dead: 1, 2.
posted by Zarkonnen at 1:10 AM - 80 comments

August 18

We are now entering day 10 of protests in Ferguson, MO, protesting the murder of unarmed teenager Michael Brown by local law enforcement officer Darren Wilson on August 9th. [more inside]
posted by Phire at 11:45 PM - 1726 comments

Don Pardo, announcer for Saturday Night Live, The Price Is Right and Jeopardy!, has died. [more inside]
posted by kagredon at 11:44 PM - 67 comments

Somewhere on the internet Barbie, Elsa, and Anna are BFFs. Disneycartoys is a mashup of doll, action figure, and play-doh "unboxing" videos which often break out of the unboxing genre and evolve into full-on crossfic narratives, featuring Barbie, the Disney princesses, and occasionally an effeminate Spiderman.
posted by analogue at 10:58 PM - 7 comments

According to the Daptone Gold compilation liner notes (auto-playing music, click on "Biography"to read the notes), written by Pitchfork contributor Douglas Wolk, "the world capital of soul" has moved from the US ("between Memphis and Detroit, with occasional stopovers in New Orleans, Cincinnati and elsewhere") in the 1960, to Lagos in the 1970s, then it went into hiding, finally reappearing in Brooklyn, with Daptone Records. Let's go back - why Lagos in the 1970s? [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:00 PM - 10 comments

All of California remains in drought with over 80% in worst categories of 'extreme' or 'exceptional' drought. Reservoir levels are 50% below average. (previously) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 8:18 PM - 69 comments

I Know Times Are Changing: Anil Dash dives deep into Prince's Purple Rain.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 7:05 PM - 23 comments

Has your neighborhood become 'upscale'? Take a San Francisco gentrification quiz from 1985 and find out. In 1985, the San Francisco Chronicle ran a tongue-in-cheek quiz allowing readers to see if their neighborhood had turned upscale. It's interesting to see how many of these types of business no longer exist (travel agencies!) and to think about what some of the others have morphed into almost three decades later.
posted by Blue Meanie at 5:49 PM - 65 comments

10 Elaborate Floor Plans from Pre-World War I New York City Apartments
posted by nadawi at 4:58 PM - 35 comments

Amazing Russian dancing men in uniform Don't know much about this, but thought you'd like it.
posted by Listener at 4:49 PM - 18 comments

Lou Reed's New York LP hit the quarter-century mark earlier this year. "Meant to be listened to in one 58-minute sitting as though it were a book or a movie," New York couples an unusually accessible rock style with some of most topical lyrics of Lou's career. "Protesting, elegizing, carping, waxing sarcastic, forcing jokes, stating facts, garbling what he just read in the Times, free-associating to doomsday, Lou carries on a New York conversation--all that's missing is a disquisition on real estate." - Robert Christgau

Get caught between the twisted stars, the plotted lines, the faulty map that brought Columbus to New York. [more inside]
posted by porn in the woods at 3:01 PM - 38 comments

Ross and Carrie are "curious investigators who love asking questions about spirituality, fringe science, religion and the paranormal." They investigate by joining religions, attending events, trying out alternative treatments, and just generally participating in anything weird. [more inside]
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:08 PM - 28 comments

Director, writer, and producer Mick Garris releases videos of his interviews with people in the horror and sci-fi entertainment industry at his new website, Mick Garris Interviews. There is also a YouTube channel. An introduction can be found at the about page. According to The Nerdist, interviews will be released at the rate of one per week. Interviews already uploaded: a four-parter with Director John Carpenter (here's Part 1 YT), and one segment with John Badham, director of Dracula (1979) and, incidentally, Saturday Night Fever (1977).
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 12:01 PM - 2 comments

Please enjoy six minutes of Willie Nelson performing a card trick.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:49 AM - 25 comments

The 2014 Hugo Award Winners were announced at the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention, Loncon3. The Hugo Awards are "the premier awards in the Science Fiction field, given annually for over 50 years in over a dozen categories." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:49 AM - 96 comments

A Memoir Is Not a Status Update by Dani Shapiro [The New Yorker] "What would have become of me if I had come of age as a writer during these years of living out loud?"
posted by Fizz at 7:52 AM - 20 comments

I quit liking things on Facebook for two weeks. Here's how it changed my view of humanity [more inside]
posted by flex at 7:44 AM - 72 comments

They saw "birds entering the solar flux and igniting, consequently become a streamer," for the smoke plume that comes from birds that ignite in midair. BrightSource concentrated solar plant is a "mega-trap" for wildlife, with the bright light of the plant attracting insects, which in turn attract insect-eating birds that fly to their death in the intensely focused light rays. Estimates range as high as one streamer every two minutes at a single plant, though this is disputed. A Federal report (PDF) is "occasionally gruesome".
posted by stbalbach at 7:35 AM - 67 comments

34 Panoramic Shots which illustrate why leaving all the photography decisions to your phone software, is not always the best decision Do not click link if you don't want to see images which simulate bodyhorror. Think videodrome-esque. As per usual YMMV. [more inside]
posted by Faintdreams at 7:31 AM - 38 comments

Delhi College of Linguistics presents How to Talk Australians. (YouTube playlist).
posted by hawthorne at 6:18 AM - 63 comments

Speke latyn lyke a scoler!
“I am almoost beshytten”: A 16th Century English to Latin Textbook
Here is a direct link to the start of the phrasebook
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:12 AM - 25 comments

Your body is home to about 100 trillion bacteria and other microbes, collectively known as your microbiome. Naturalists first became aware of our invisible lodgers in the 1600s, but it wasn’t until the past few years that we’ve become really familiar with them. This recent research has given the microbiome a cuddly kind of fame. We’ve come to appreciate how beneficial our microbes are — breaking down our food, fighting off infections and nurturing our immune system. It’s a lovely, invisible garden we should be tending for our own well-being. But in the journal Bioessays, a team of scientists has raised a creepier possibility. Perhaps our menagerie of germs is also influencing our behavior in order to advance its own evolutionary success — giving us cravings for certain foods, for example.
Maybe the microbiome is our puppet master.
[more inside]
posted by Blasdelb at 4:48 AM - 55 comments

Evolving QWOP gaits is the first work that samples video from the QWOP game to drive the fitness function of a genetic algorithm, which allows a fully autonomous simulated runner to kind of slowly shuffle forward, effectively achieving human-like levels of performance.
posted by Jpfed at 4:38 AM - 12 comments

when my boyfriend proposed, I cried — more like panic tears. but I wasn't certain I should end it — until I met her
posted by yeoz at 3:45 AM - 115 comments

The Tim Tebow CFL Chronicles Jon Bois (previously) writes what Spencer Hall called "the world's first CFL-seaventure-GIFstory novella" covering Tim Tebow's future as a Toronto Argonaut and a whole lot more.
posted by creade at 1:35 AM - 47 comments

On 16 April 1746, the Jacobite forces of Charles Edward Stuart fought loyalist troops commanded by William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland near Inverness in the Scottish Highlands. In 1964, Peter Watkins wrote and produced a docudrama for the BBC, from the perspective of a documentary crew on the ground, depicting the battle and its aftermath: Culloden. [1:12:14]
posted by cthuljew at 12:39 AM - 13 comments

August 17

A guide for the perplexed. [more inside]
posted by whyareyouatriangle at 6:55 PM - 21 comments

Oh, this will surely go over real well.
posted by Curious Artificer at 6:38 PM - 49 comments

Kim Dotcom is working hard to keep himself out of jail. [more inside]
posted by dimejubes at 6:35 PM - 29 comments

The puppy is present.
posted by moonmilk at 5:43 PM - 33 comments

Amusing Surface Tension Experiment (SLYT) Mad science with a ball point pen, cup of water and a bit of liquid soap. [more inside]
posted by Michele in California at 4:03 PM - 25 comments

New analysis on Richard III's bones reveal the richer diet available to a king, as well as his drinking habits.
posted by PussKillian at 3:57 PM - 34 comments

Breathtaking Aerial Landscapes of Iceland by Sarah Martinet [via Colossal]
posted by capricorn at 3:43 PM - 5 comments

A company in Tennessee will, for a small fee, cover someone's lawn with pink flamingos for one day.
posted by The Whelk at 2:19 PM - 51 comments

So all of your friends have either just started playing Magic: the Gathering or have picked it up again or else admitted to having played it continually for twenty years now, and eyes are glazing over as they discuss bomb rares and 2-for-1s and mana flooding and drafting. You're not sure if you actually want to immerse yourself in this but you can't know for sure without, well, immersing yourself in it. We've all been there. Thankfully, Felicia Day's Geek & Sundry channel has a show for you - Spellslingers! [more inside]
posted by Navelgazer at 1:49 PM - 65 comments

(NSFW) Gay Men Read 50 Shades of Grey. Related: Straight Men React To Grindr - Gay Dating App
posted by the_bone at 12:18 PM - 36 comments

A hypnotic video merging every actor who's played Doctor Who into one average face. [SLYT] (Laughing Squid via)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 11:52 AM - 29 comments

"Friends tell me I’ll be remembered as the author of the definitive book on football [The Thinking Man's Guide to Pro Football]. Or as the writer who popularized weekly NFL picks. Or one of the early crossovers into 24-hour sports television. To me, none of that matters. Right now, I’m just a guy whose library went dark on November 22, 2008."[auto play video] - Paul Zimmerman, known as Dr. Z, collaborates with Ken Rodgers, the supervising producer for NFL Films, to tell his story. Thank you, Dr. Z. Yours truly, Everybody.
posted by nadawi at 9:51 AM - 6 comments

"A run-of-the-mill report on Kim Jong Un attending the test fire of a rocket showed a series of photos of the Supreme Leader enjoying himself far too much as he farts about with weapons of mass destruction. Oh-ho! Says an internet wag." #KimMischief
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 9:32 AM - 12 comments

Dr. Simon Park is Exploring the Invisible, the world of microbial art, with Physarum (writeup), A New Field Guide To The Wild Flowers Of The Crystal World, Designing Flowers For A Bee-Less World, Ghost. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:25 AM - 2 comments

"The posters are paragons of graphic design principle—but beneath their tidy exteriors are convulsions of pure lust and panic." From the Paris Review, Sam Sweet draws our eyes to Ryan Mungia's "Protect Yourself: Venereal Disease Posters of World War II." Brief interview with Mungia, plus a few more images, here.
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:36 AM - 27 comments

Tony Zhou (previously) has created another great video essay on filmmaking techniques: "A brief look at texting and the internet in film" (also previously).
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 6:07 AM - 26 comments

One of the great things about medieval art and architecture is that people just went in and did things. They didn’t build models and scale them up. Building great cathedrals and abbeys was a learning process as much as anything else. This means many of these apparently perfect aspirations to the Heavenly Jerusalem have some often quite comical mistakes, corrections and bodge-jobs that once you see, you can’t unnotice. Great Mistakes in English Medieval Architecture.
posted by verstegan at 3:59 AM - 44 comments

Hextris: A fast paced puzzle game [via mefi projects]
posted by kagredon at 3:10 AM - 30 comments

Kiesza's Hideaway video is a fantastic single-shot tribute to 1990s dance. (She even broke a rib shooting the video.) But check out what happens when Russian performance duo Bonia and Kuzmich (Mikhail Kuzmin and Julia Starikova) (Боня и Кузьмич) created a tribute video.
posted by k8t at 12:53 AM - 13 comments

August 16

L. W. De Laurence has been called "the incorrigible reprobate of twentieth century publishing" but his extensive and well-written catalog, and the books he offered on subjects ranging from mind-control to Hindoo magic, had an immense influence over American voodoo and hoodoo, as well as Jamaican obeah. The general hatred for De Laurence seems to stem primarily from his plagiarizing of magic-related texts by other famous authors. While this sort of act was frowned upon, at the time that he was operating it was all perfectly legal; the only thing he did that was not, was the actual selling of occult products by mail. Carolyn Morrow Long's book Spiritual Merchants contains excerpts from the trial. The lawsuit didn't seem to stop the De Laurence company, however. They continued going strong for many years, even outlasting the companies that manufactured most of their original perfumes and incenses. The De Laurence Company is still in business but no longer produces the fancy catalog and appears to have turned its 21st century focus toward jewelry making.
posted by Peregrine Pickle at 6:26 PM - 3 comments

Downtown Soulville, WFMU's weekly show for classic soul 45s, hit its 20th anniversary on Friday. The learned, laidback cratedigger Mr Fine Wine has played an estimated 20,000 old soul 45s since the show's launch. The full shows from the last six years are available on the WFMU website. Expect two-hour bursts of soul vinyl, early RnB and Detroit funk from Matt Weingarden.
posted by garlicsmack at 4:17 PM - 13 comments

With a combination of humor and fearlessness, Last Week Tonight has done an unlikely thing: spurred action. John Oliver’s segment on net neutrality this past June perfectly summed up what his HBO show Last Week Tonight is so good at: transcending apathy. It’s an ingenious formula that’s making a difference in the real world. “Making a difference” isn’t hyperbole. The FCC’s website actually crashed from overwhelming web traffic the day after Oliver’s segment originally aired. The Atlantic looks at How John Oliver Beats Apathy.
  • Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, previously
  • John Oliver on net neutrality, previously
  • Last Week Tonight with John Oliver on FanFare
posted by Room 641-A at 3:11 PM - 89 comments

But in addition to our retreat into wishfulness, something else was brewing: a sense that the past was not only better than the present, but that the past’s predictions for the future were also better than what had actually become the present. No longer content to live in (or through) our memories of the past, we also yearned to live in the past’s vision of the future. We were nostalgic for yesterday’s prognostications: You could say that we succumbed to prognostalgia. Living with our backs to the future, on the cultural fixation with past dreams of the future, on the 50th anniversary of Isaac Asimov's write-up on the 1964 World's Fair, which is still being reviewing to track Asimov's hits and misses [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 3:03 PM - 15 comments

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