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October 29

A Dispatch From The Future

Evgeny Morozov writes for the New Yorker: The Planning Machine, on Project Cybersyn (previously) and Big Data.
Greg Grandin in The Nation responds: The Anti-Socialist Origins of Big Data
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:29 PM - 43 comments

The new terror

Speaking of global memes... it started first in California, where a man dressed as a clown has been threatening people with an axe. And then it spread to France, where armed clowns have been assaulting people all over the country. Where will this horror strike next? (Me, I think they're space aliens.)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 1:13 PM - 49 comments

Needs More John Carpenter

FACT magazine runs down the 100 greatest horror soundtracks (that's a lot of horror soundtracks). Also, there's a companion streamable YouTube playlist.
posted by saintjoe at 1:07 PM - 23 comments

Cookies!

Just in time for the new season, it's The NBA Fan’s Guide to Talking Trash During Pickup Basketball
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:28 PM - 20 comments

You were't planning on sleeping this week, were you?

Lauren Davis rounds up webcomics to give you thrills and chills on io9, calling out 18 specifically, then listing additional titles in some of the descriptions. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 12:15 PM - 20 comments

Please read the form again.

How My Employer Put the “FML” in FMLA
posted by capnsue at 11:38 AM - 102 comments

a man's home is his castle, a woman's body has never been wholly her own

"Trust Women" is a popular motto in the pro-choice movement. It sounds a little sentimental, doesn't it? Part of that old sisterhood-is-powerful feminism it is fashionable to mock today. But "Trust Women" doesn't mean that every woman is wise or good or has magical intuitive powers. It means that no one else can make a better decision, because no one else is living her life, and since she will have to live with that decision—not you, and not the state legislature or the Supreme Court—chances are she is doing her best in a tight spot.
How Pro-Choicers Can Take Back the Moral High Ground: an excerpt from essayist and poet Katha Pollitt's latest book, Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights. [more inside]
posted by divined by radio at 11:23 AM - 37 comments

Goodbye

Galway Kinnell, poet, has died. He was 87. [more inside]
posted by Iridic at 10:13 AM - 34 comments

Putin on the ritz

Most people in the English-speaking parts of the world missed Putin's speech at the Valdai conference in Sochi a few days ago, and, chances are, those of you who have heard of the speech didn't get a chance to read it, and missed its importance. (For your convenience, I am pasting in the full transcript of his speech below.) Western media did their best to ignore it or to twist its meaning. Regardless of what you think or don't think of Putin (like the sun and the moon, he does not exist for you to cultivate an opinion) this is probably the most important political speech since Churchill's “Iron Curtain” speech of March 5, 1946.
Via includes tl;dr of top 10 points
posted by infini at 9:40 AM - 150 comments

Scroll through the horror movie memories

Why not just quit your job and spend all of your savings on a horror-themed road trip where you visit the real locations of some iconic scary movies. If that sounds like too much effort, well we've done a Google-based trip ourselves.
Here's what we found... [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 9:07 AM - 25 comments

"Didn't Lady Gaga just donate a million dollars to you guys?"

The Red Cross' Secret Disaster — ProPublica and NPR report on the American Red Cross' poor responses to Hurricanes Isaac and Sandy. [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu at 8:09 AM - 92 comments

Hollywood Ending

Hollywood Ending Near for Orson Welles's Last Film. The Other Side of the Wind due in theaters next year.
posted by goatdog at 7:22 AM - 26 comments

Joni Mitchell in colour

This isn’t the earliest TV footage that exists of Joni Mitchell, but it’s surely the earliest footage of her performing that’s in color. -- Joni Mitchell on Canadian television in 1966.
posted by MartinWisse at 6:30 AM - 9 comments

Verdingkinder

Switzerland's shame: The children used as cheap farm labour.
posted by misteraitch at 5:34 AM - 25 comments

"I bind you, Hollywood, from doing harm"

Halloween is almost here which to me means one thing: overanalyzing horror flicks for any feminist undertones! ... [N]o season has better metaphors for misogynistic fears and powerful female sexuality than the scary movies that permeate almost every channel and film festival throughout October.
At Autostraddle, Nina suggests nine horror films she likes in the "Blossoming-Teenage-Girl-Becoming-A-Woman" sub-genre. She is far from alone in her search for interesting feminist themes in horror cinema and literature. [more inside]
posted by Monsieur Caution at 12:06 AM - 38 comments

October 28

"TRUE! — nervous — very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am..."

The Tell-Tale Heart by Annette Jung Ed hates the disgusting eye of his father and so he made up his mind to take the life of the old man to rid himself of the eye forever. Based upon the short story "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe. [Previously]
posted by Fizz at 6:30 PM - 4 comments

Perhaps the 4 most intelligent things you can read about Ebola today.

The 4 most intelligent things you can read on Ebola today? 1) This week I received a "monograph" for review from an unlikely, politically removed scientist. It was plainly titled "Summary of Ebola Virus Disease," and written in exhaustive scientific detail. The author was Steven Hatfill. If the name rings a bell—I don’t want to dwell on this, but it's germane to the context of his perspective I'm sharing here—it’s because he was very publicly, very falsely accused of killing several people with anthrax in 2001... What he does know, at a depth that can rival any scientist’s knowledge, is Ebola. An interview, with Steven Hatfill and more: 21 Days. [more inside]
posted by spock at 5:51 PM - 75 comments

Photos of Veterans of the Napoleonic Wars, c. 1858

Photos of Veterans of the Napoleonic Wars, c. 1858
posted by Nevin at 5:30 PM - 42 comments

Antares rocket explodes at the Wallops Flight Facility

An Antares rocket with the Orbital Sciences Corporation Cygnus CRS Orb-3 spacecraft bound for the International Space Station exploded today shortly after liftoff from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. [more inside]
posted by Rob Rockets at 5:28 PM - 67 comments

Weapon of choice? 100% Cotton, poly-fill twin.

The Pillow Fight Prank demonstrates that many people are remarkably ready and more than happy to play suprise-pillow-fight. [slyt]
posted by quin at 5:00 PM - 19 comments

Crisis in Mexico: the government is killing students - again

Something happened the night of September 26th, 2014 near the town of Iguala, 100 miles from Acapulco, Mexico. According to The New Yorker: “Scores of uniformed municipal police and a handful of masked men dressed in black shot and killed six people, wounded more than twenty, and rounded up and detained forty-three students in a series of attacks carried out at multiple points and lasting more than three hours [...] The forty-three students taken into police custody are now ‘disappeared.” All 43 students, all young men who were studying to become rural teachers, are still missing, presumed dead. [more inside]
posted by omegar at 4:37 PM - 27 comments

From a Mefite, Announcing a Compendium of Letter Templates

The Art of Letter Writing investigates The New Century Standard Letter-Writer (1900), a collection of example letters for people to use as templates over the course of one's whole life," from A Clerk Apologizing to His Employers, and A Young Lady Desirous of Securing Farm-House Board, to A Gentleman to a Young Lady Friend of His about a Misunderstanding (from Wondermark)
posted by adrianhon at 3:12 PM - 16 comments

Of bells, harps, accordions, the kalimba and a saw: amiina

If you've encountered delicately uplifting chimes and bells or a singing saw, seen the contributions of a string quartet in a Sigur Rós video, heard the last recording by Lee Hazlewood and noticed the gentle singing and music, or listened to Yukihiro Takahashi consider words, then you've possibly encountered the Icelandic band amiina. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore at 2:41 PM - 7 comments

Haters Gonna... Eat at BK?

McDonalds' latest marketing push includes a variation on their ubuquitous "I'm Lovin' it" slogan. (WSJ link... if you prefer, AVClub)
"lovin' beats hatin'"
Article also covers the new "Our food, Your questions" campaign with an ex-Mythbuster. They hope to rebound from sagging same-store sales in the U.S. and the growing buzz for competitors like Chipotle (which, almost obviously, is mentioned in the article).
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:14 PM - 114 comments

10 hours of street harrassment, edited down to two minutes

10 hours of street harrassment, edited down to two minutes. From Hollaback.
posted by Greg Nog at 1:21 PM - 596 comments

That's regulatory capture!

LEMONADE WAR: a short film starring Patton Oswalt, Taylor Buck, Mo Collins and Werner Herzog. View more films here from We The Economy: 20 Short Films You Can’t Afford to Miss.
posted by brundlefly at 1:05 PM - 20 comments

√2N

At the Far Ends of a New Universal Law
The law appeared in full form two decades later, when the mathematicians Craig Tracy and Harold Widom proved that the critical point in the kind of model May used was the peak of a statistical distribution. Then, in 1999, Jinho Baik, Percy Deift and Kurt Johansson discovered that the same statistical distribution also describes variations in sequences of shuffled integers — a completely unrelated mathematical abstraction. Soon the distribution appeared in models of the wriggling perimeter of a bacterial colony and other kinds of random growth. Before long, it was showing up all over physics and mathematics. “The big question was why,” said Satya Majumdar, a statistical physicist at the University of Paris-Sud. “Why does it pop up everywhere?”
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:59 PM - 16 comments

Still No Howard the Duck

Marvel reveals yet more superhero-laden movies in the pipe for the next 5 years. "And let's acknowledge that between Marvel, DC, Sony and Fox there are now 29 comic book movies coming out between now and 2020" [more inside]
posted by saintjoe at 12:03 PM - 560 comments

An internet of firsts, some of them still online

The Webpage FX blog compiled a list of 13 internet "firsts," from the first email sent (1971) and the first spam, sent out to 400 people (1978), to the first photo posted online (1992) and much later, the first Instagram photo, (2010).
posted by filthy light thief at 11:41 AM - 20 comments

when your food label is bumpy, you must toss it

A WaPo profile of industrial design student Solveiga Pakštaitė and her latest invention, a bio-reactive food expiry label called Bump Mark: Landfills are overflowing with food. Here's a gelatin label that could limit the waste.
Misleading labels are one reason that consumers waste nearly 40 percent of the food they buy — and one of the inspirations behind Bump Mark, a new bio-based food label made with gelatin. As the food in a package starts to decay, so does the gelatin; when it finally expires, the gelatin reveals a layer of bumps. If the label is still smooth, a consumer finally knows unequivocally that food is still safe to eat... By changing the concentration of gelatin, the designer can match the label to specific foods. A weak concentration breaks down faster, and works for foods such as milk and meats that don't last as long. For any given food, the label can be adjusted to degrade at exactly the same rate.
[more inside]
posted by divined by radio at 11:00 AM - 42 comments

"Limitless wealth was a craft project."

The Great Paper Caper: Wells Tower (previously) reports on how one guy in Canada, Frank Bourassa, manufactured over $200 million in counterfeit U.S. twenty-dollar bills and more-or-less got away with it.
posted by Cash4Lead at 10:54 AM - 21 comments

Vintage Supercars Rotting away in a Forest

“Nature is stronger than technology, and that I will show here,” said Michael, who has no doubt succeeded in displaying the power of nature that triumphs over even some of the most revered examples of man-made machinery.
posted by philip-random at 10:45 AM - 30 comments

"It's something of a puzzle, this electoral politics thing."

The Persuadables
How strategists see the 2014 Senate battlefield, state by state, featuring exclusive voter data.
posted by davidstandaford at 10:44 AM - 3 comments

If? When? Why? What? How much have you got?

For their annual contribution to the AV Undercover series, GWAR has their way with Pet Shop Boys' "West End Girls". New singers Blothar and Vulvatron (the ass-kicking, blood-spewing-from-her-bosom new female face of GWAR!) then transition the song into a weirdly moving, personalized take on Jim Carroll's "People Who Died" in tribute to fallen comrade, Oderus Ungerus, aka founding member Dave Brockie. [more inside]
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:25 AM - 32 comments

Their stories, in their own words

The Undocumented Immigrants Who Rebuilt New York After Sandy SL Buzzfeed)
posted by josher71 at 9:42 AM - 5 comments

Sometimes when I'm with [the boys], I feel like I'm not a girl.

The Afghan Women's National Cycling Team trains six mornings a week in the quiet predawn streets of Kabul to futher their dream of one day qualifying for and participating in the Olympics. "In a country where girls have faced acid attacks just for going to school, the dangers of doing sport in public go beyond insults or the momentary impact of a well-aimed stone." [more inside]
posted by lonefrontranger at 9:39 AM - 7 comments

Could you patent the sun?

Today is Jonas Salk's 100th birthday. Salk, who reimagined the idea of a vaccine by suggesting that immunity could be established in the body by using inactivated viruses chose not to patent his polio vaccine, which he first tested on his own family. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:29 AM - 19 comments

The internal threats of Stephen King's books

The closest a film has ever come to adapting King’s internal-horror aesthetic is a film King himself has publicly lambasted: Kubrick’s version of The Shining. It’s the most artful, scary, and beautifully directed of the King adaptations, and even excludes some of the novel’s more overt (and potentially silly) visual elements, such as the hedge animals that come to life and stalk the family in the yard. Yet, the film never tackles the serious human horrors that infect Jack Torrance throughout the novel, specifically his alcoholism, along with the themes of cyclical abuse and mounting financial pressure. King’s criticism of the film is that Torrance, as played by Jack Nicholson, is portrayed as unhinged right from the start, whereas the novel slowly unravels the man’s sanity, the haunted house he occupies pushing him deeper into madness and violence. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 8:20 AM - 82 comments

Proper pastrami is a painstaking, labor-intensive process.

How NYC's iconic Katz's Deli stays in business
posted by The Whelk at 8:09 AM - 99 comments

The trouble with ignorance is that it feels so much like expertise

David Dunning, professor of psychology at Cornell, writes for the Pacific Magazine on how confidence and incompetence often go hand in hand: We Are All Confident Idiots
posted by tykky at 7:22 AM - 74 comments

poli sci is dirty business

Profs Bumble Into Big Legal Trouble After Election Experiment Goes Way Wrong Montana Secretary of State Linda McCulloch filed a complaint Friday alleging that Stanford University and Dartmouth College researchers broke four laws by sending 100,000 election mailers to voters that appeared to come from the state. Their peers in the field have ripped their social science experiment as a "misjudgment" or -- stronger still -- "malpractice." [more inside]
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 6:52 AM - 95 comments

Old Masters

After 80, some people don’t retire. They reign. A collection of portraits of and interviews with men and women of a certain age. Here there be wisdom.
posted by Optamystic at 6:41 AM - 20 comments

The plant crime of the century

In January, one of the last remaining specimens of a nearly extinct water lily was stolen from Kew Gardens. Collectors and nursery owners continued to beg Magdalena for the plant. “All the time,” he said. “All the time.” He sensed that people were willing to break the rules. “When there is no way of getting it, people grow sick and obsessed.” When the water lily was taken from the Princess of Wales Conservatory, Magdalena wasn’t shocked in the slightest. “What surprised me is that it took so long,” he said.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:38 AM - 24 comments

Pop art synth art

Modern art generator Suitable for framing! /via boing boing
posted by buzzman at 6:06 AM - 11 comments

Robert Wyatt's soundtrack of his life

When I’m not watching Russia Today, obviously, I’m watching pop TV. Even my son’s embarrassed by the infantilism of my tastes, but there’s some good stuff out there now. Pharrell Williams’s Happy– that’s absolutely fucking knockout. Williams is as good as any 60s soul singer and the song is brilliantly put together. It’s a great drum track, and there are only four chords or so, but they’re just enough. It’s really subtly done, absolutely spot-on. My granddaughter tells me I should totally disapprove of that other song he did, though. With someone else... something lines? Blurred Lines! That’s the one. Take it from me that I don’t like that one at all.
Robert Wyatt talks to the Grauniad about The Soundtrack of his Life. (Robert Wyatt previously) [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse at 3:51 AM - 14 comments

Gender-Based Prize Money Differences In Sport

A BBC Sport study into prize money found 30% of sports reward men more highly than women. The biggest disparities in prize money were found in football, cricket, golf, darts, snooker and squash. [more inside]
posted by marienbad at 1:46 AM - 29 comments

October 27

THUD

A baby rhino unaware he is not also a small lamb. (SLYT)
posted by griphus at 7:18 PM - 67 comments

Bringing back memories of the Windows OS that never was...

Experience Windows93, the OS that never was and never should be. Managing to sit somewhere between nostalgia for 1990s-era Windows (is that a thing?) and an OS from an alternate timeline, Windows93 is... something. Enjoy the CRT graphics, watch the entire ASCII version of Star Wars (mentioned on MeFi in 2000!), play Windows Solitaire, and use a full fledged browser. Also, watch out for viruses and amazing 1990s easter eggs. I don't think there is anything NSFW, but there is so much here, a it is hard to know...
posted by blahblahblah at 7:05 PM - 61 comments

“The desserts are over there,”

Supping At Sea: [The New Yorker] The ups and downs of cruise-ship cuisine.
posted by Fizz at 6:18 PM - 61 comments

Water, Air, Fire, and the Drop

Lindsey Stirling's [previously 1, 2] Elements: her violin interpretation of dubstep.
posted by quin at 4:05 PM - 79 comments

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