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August 15

PAPER BOYS: The Dark World of Debt Collection [New York Times] In the murky world of unpaid bills, a banker and an ex-con can make a fortune — if they don’t run into too many crooks.
posted by Fizz at 3:35 PM - 16 comments

Huntbnb is a new service that helps landlords and neighbors find Airbnb listings within their own buildings. While Airbnb does not list actual addresses for listings, HuntBnB matches user-entered exact addresses to Airbnb listings within close proximity. [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus at 3:14 PM - 45 comments

The Pipe Guy is a 10min medley of songs played on PVC pipes with flip-flops by a busker at a mall that is so good I can't stop playing it over and over.
posted by mathowie at 12:58 PM - 39 comments

Futurama 3D Test Shot (plus photos and making-of video).
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 12:13 PM - 37 comments

46 Photography eBooks to download for free. Among the free resources compiled by LS are National Geographic‘s “Ultimate Field Guide to Photography,” Strobist‘s “Lighting 101,” Adorama‘s “Guide to Lighting” and many many more.
posted by spock at 12:13 PM - 12 comments

A scan for systems allowing remote desktop connections without passwords performed during a Defcon talk about the Masscan tool found a wide variety of system open for anyone with knowledge of the correct IP address, such as access to a hockey rink, a manufacturing plant for a Swedish condiment, hydroelectric plants and a lot more. [more inside]
posted by rpn at 11:04 AM - 16 comments

Meet craft brewers, home brewing enthusiasts, bartenders in "Craft Beer – A Hopumentary", which focuses on California. [YT] [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 11:02 AM - 32 comments

The Cherry Cordial Revolution Do I help Grandma? Or do I follow the (eavesdropped) rules and refuse to buy Grandma her cherries?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:59 AM - 45 comments

I finally gave in and started reading Game of Thrones. When I got to the end of the first chapter, I texted a bunch of my nerd friends like, "Why do people think this is surprising? It is like super-obviously signposted!" From there, it turned into a project where I try to predict what will happen in Game of Thrones. Predicting Game of Thrones, a blog by Eyebrows McGee, with an accompanying predictions log. NOTE: this is full of spoilers for the first two books, and the first half of Book III (Storm of Swords) will be online soon. Plus any number of theories could come true in the later books. [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:30 AM - 92 comments

The most striking feature of the Direct PLUS Loan program is that it limits neither the amount that a school can charge for attendance nor the amount that can be borrowed in federal loans. "This is, for a private-equity firm, a remarkably attractive arrangement: the investors get their money up front, in the form of the tuition paid for by student loans. Meanwhile, any subsequent default on those loans is somebody else’s problem—in this case, the federal government’s." [more inside]
posted by TheLittlePrince at 9:13 AM - 64 comments

Last night was the third annual Internet Cat Video Film Festival in Minneapolis. (previously, previouslier) This year's fest was curated by 2012 Golden Kitty award winner, Will Braden, of Henri fame. [more inside]
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 9:07 AM - 9 comments

"This summer marks 20 years since Inside the Actors Studio debuted and so here are some of those appearances that both "won" and "lost" the show, those appearances which through the alchemical/semantic machinery of celebrity made their actors never less than or much too much."
posted by The Whelk at 9:01 AM - 16 comments

The Peg Solitaire Army is a problem spun off from a classic recreation, and yet another example of the golden ratio turning up where you least expect it. If you want to look at the game more deeply, George Bell's solitaire pages are the ne plus ultra: There's more about the solitaire army (and variants), ... [more inside]
posted by Wolfdog at 8:49 AM - 6 comments

I've no idea what this video is. It crawled out from some dark corner of my computer after evolving from the virtual maggots that feast on rotting film footage. The new thing by Cyriak Harris.
posted by louche mustachio at 8:26 AM - 45 comments

Metal Cat
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:18 AM - 27 comments

In Search at San Jose the R&D minds at IBM describe how they designed & built the world's first hard drive, the IBM 305 RAMAC (previously). First sold in 1956, it stored a whopping 5 million characters of information, all ready for immediate access to the user.
posted by scalefree at 7:32 AM - 25 comments

Love Drow? Love Copkiller? These two great tastes come together as Law & Order star Ice-T reads a tale of the Forgotten Realms' most misunderstood of dark elves, Drizzt Do’Urden. And it's free! And Ice is bringing all his celebrity friends: The Legend of Drizzt: The Collected Stories expands upon the epic legend of the dark elf with 12 tales performed by the all-star cast of Felicia Day, Dan Harmon, Greg Grunberg, Tom Felton, Danny Pudi, Sean Astin, Melissa Rauch, Ice-T, Wil Wheaton, Al Yankovic, Michael Chiklis, and David Duchovny! And there are behind the scenes glimpses.
posted by Mezentian at 5:32 AM - 45 comments

How to Be Polite
posted by keli at 3:49 AM - 160 comments

August 14

Six Fruits you are Eating (Preparing) Wrong. [slyt]
posted by quin at 9:34 PM - 110 comments

Wave instruments: San Francisco's gurgly Wave Organ; Blackpool's moaning High Tide Organ; Zadar's hypnotic Sea Organ. [more inside]
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 7:52 PM - 10 comments

Ok, this may be the most important email I send all year, so PLEASE RESPOND RIGHT AWAY. We need to figure out our summer weekend plans ASAP!!!! We’re closing in on our mid-twenties and I think this is gonna be the summer we all meet our potential first husbands, so location is EVERYTHING!!! Plus Sex and the City. Let’s take a vote! Creeping psychological horror, hilarious satire, or terribly accurate glimpse into the emails of a group of passive aggressive group of "friends" in their mid-late twenties? The Hey Ladies saga by Michelle Markowitz and Caroline Moss at The Toast chronicles the adventures of a group of friends who live in New York via their group emails as they plan various outings and events. [more inside]
posted by yasaman at 7:24 PM - 137 comments

About Colonial Indoor Lighting
Buttons In Colonial America
Colonial Meals Were Fattening
and more
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:16 PM - 10 comments

If I said to you, “Describe Anna Karenina,” perhaps you’d mention her beauty. If you were reading closely you’d mention her “thick lashes,” her weight, or maybe even her little downy mustache (yes—it’s there). Matthew Arnold remarks upon “Anna’s shoulders, and masses of hair, and half-shut eyes … ” But what does Anna Karenina look like? What do we see when we read?
posted by shivohum at 7:11 PM - 24 comments

Dads Respond to Disney's Frozen [SLYT]
posted by Jacqueline at 6:16 PM - 35 comments

In honor of the 10 year anniversary of Garden State, we explore some alternative soundtracks to that infamous "this song will change your life" scene, featuring the aforelinked Spin Doctors (#1) and Katy Perry (#2) as well as such musical luminaries as [more inside]
posted by ch1x0r at 4:28 PM - 69 comments

A video about skin and ultraviolet rays (slyt)
posted by curious nu at 3:14 PM - 23 comments

How extreme isolation warps the mind Among other things, extreme isolation can warp our perception of time, lead to both visual and auditory hallucinations, and impair our social functioning.
posted by Michele in California at 3:08 PM - 27 comments

On November 9, 1874, one of the worse incidents in New York history occurred when a polar bear, a panther, a Numidian lion, several hyenas, and a Bengal tiger, slipped their cages from the Central Park Zoo. "The animals, some of which had first attacked each other, then turned on nearby pedestrians who happened to be strolling through Central Park. People were trampled, mauled, dismembered—and worse." [more inside]
posted by stbalbach at 2:53 PM - 25 comments

...You Won't Believe What Happened Next
posted by neroli at 2:11 PM - 26 comments

Millennials Don't Stand A Chance. A terrific debate from Intelligence Squared: "...spotlight is shown on millennials and their use of revolutionary technology while growing up in a time of recession. Some think they are coddled, narcissistic and lazy. Have we let conventional wisdom blind us to the millennial's openness to change, innovation, and optimism in the face of uncertainty, which, in any generation, are qualities to be admired?" (running time ~50:00) [more inside]
posted by xtian at 2:07 PM - 49 comments

A New York Times interactive graphic feature charting how Americans have moved between states since 1900.
posted by MoonOrb at 1:26 PM - 28 comments

AdDetector is a browser extension that spots articles with corporate sponsors. It puts a big banner on top of any article that may appear unbiased at first glance, but is actually paid for by an advertiser. For example, it turns the small, light-grey-on-white "Sponsored" on this deadspin article into a giant red banner. "Native advertising" previously.
posted by Zarkonnen at 1:18 PM - 17 comments

"This fall, the long-running NBS sketch show Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip is set to enter its 29th season, and no one has been a larger part of the program's success than its head writer and executive producer Matt Albie, who has been a major creative force behind the show since he was first hired in 1997. I was fortunate to be granted a rare interview with Albie, who contacted me via his Twitter account to set things up during his summer break from S60."
posted by Snarl Furillo at 1:10 PM - 29 comments

Shedding light on collective beauty, a body project (nsfw)
posted by Marinara at 12:24 PM - 40 comments

Daniel Older explains why you shouldn't italicise Spanish words in English.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:56 AM - 69 comments

Infographic for the next time a cop pulls you over. (via Infographic Pics)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 10:52 AM - 125 comments

The Wiki Game is a collection of five browser-based games that challenge you to find things in Wikipedia. Play modes are Speed Race, Least Clicks, Six Degrees of Wikipedia, Five Clicks to Jesus, and No United States. Warning: VERY addictive.
posted by jbickers at 10:32 AM - 17 comments

"So I decided on a radical experiment. I would spend eight weeks each on six different plans representing the various options for would-be dieters, from popular fads to clinical studies: the Abs Diet, the Paleo Diet for Athletes, the Mediterranean Prescription, the Okinawa Program, the advice of a personal nutritionist, and the USDA's nutritional pyramid. [more inside]
posted by stoneweaver at 10:02 AM - 90 comments

How scheduling software is making being a working parent harder [NYT]
posted by Mchelly at 9:33 AM - 59 comments

Tables For One is a collection of restaurant reviews "from another New York City" by A. Ponitus and illustrated by Evan Johnson. The restaurants include Frito-Lay themed places, salt-obsessed aliens, a gelato cult, notable NPR personalities, and a cafe for heartbreak.
posted by The Whelk at 8:12 AM - 21 comments

New GM technique injects mosquitoes with a gene that results in mostly male offspring, eventually leading to a population crash. Previous efforts to tackle the disease, that kills more than 1 million people each year – most of whom are African children – have included bed nets to protect people and insecticides to kill the mosquito species most responsible for the transmission of malaria (Anopheles gambiae). The new technique by a team at Imperial College London involves injecting mosquitoes with a gene that causes the vast majority of their offspring to be male, leading to an eventual dramatic decline in population within six generations as females disappear. “You have a short-term benefit because males don’t bite humans [and transmit malaria],” Andrea Crisanti, one of the authors of the new research, which was published in the journal Nature Communications on Tuesday, told the Guardian. “But in the long term you will eventually eradicate or substantially reduce mosquitoes. This could make a substantial contribution to eradicating malaria, combined with other tools such as insecticides.”
These new mosquitoes are now set to be used in Brazil, having been approved for use by the Brazilian government with a factory for their production now opened.
[more inside]
posted by Blasdelb at 8:03 AM - 122 comments

Congratulations on winning our sweepstakes! We’re pleased to welcome you on a most-expenses-paid, open-ended trip to The Future, where you will enjoy fantastic technologies, abundant luxuries, exhilarating freedoms and opportunities, an inexhaustible supply of entertainment, and other truly ludicrous privileges. Offer may expire without notice. Please take advantage while supplies last. Prizes may not be exactly as described; some may be replaced with others for logistical reasons, but the approximate value remains the same. For example, instead of squirrels, you may receive additional birds. Bartering of prizes is allowed and encouraged.
posted by hapax_legomenon at 7:59 AM - 10 comments

As production of the fifth (of a probable seven) season of Games of Thrones proceeds, book author G.R.R. Martin admits that fans have accurately guessed major spoilers for the ending of the series. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:45 AM - 117 comments

Jenée Desmond-Harris, associate editor of features for The Root, answers a reader who wrote in wondering if his compliment of a stranger's Afro was out of line. Though acknowledging that some women won't want to hear a compliment, regardless, Desmond-Harris elucidates three points on how to compliment a black woman's hair without being a jerk: 1) Hands to yourself. 2) Compliment, don't query. 3) Consider the context.
posted by girlmightlive at 5:47 AM - 136 comments

First they're carved, then they are dipped, and finally they are painted. In the late 1930s, the Dalahäst (Dalecarlian horse, or Dala horse to Americans) made the transition from traditional home-made Swedish toy to Swedish symbol when they became the centerpiece of the Swedish Pavilions at the 1939 World's Fair. Although many (Scandinavian-)Americans associate the brightly painted wooden horses painted in the kurbits style with yuletide decor, the toys have no seasonal assignation for Swedes.
posted by julen at 5:44 AM - 16 comments

Welcome to Al Zimmermann's Programming Contests. You've entered an arena where demented computer programmers compete for glory and for some cool prizes. The current challenge is just about to come to an end, but you can peruse the previous contests and prepare for the new one starting next month.
posted by Wolfdog at 5:18 AM - 11 comments

August 13

In 1930, a 29-year-old composer named Ruth Crawford (wiki) became the first woman to ever receive a Guggenheim fellowship—despite the chairman of the awards wondering, of women composers, "Is there any such beast?" The next year she wrote her modernist masterpiece String Quartet. [more inside]
posted by Zephyrial at 10:29 PM - 8 comments

Chronicler of the gross and creepy Bogleech presents a look at the bosses of classic NES weirdfest Monster Party and the sprites recently discovered in a ROM dump from a Japanese prototype cart.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:16 PM - 7 comments

South China Morning Post interactive graphic detailing the effect typhoons have had on Hong Kong since settlement.
‘When the typhoon was at its height a Chinese was blown down Pedder Street toward the wharf, and unable to stop went headlong into the harbour… A European rushed across the windswept space and boldly jumped in to the rescue. He succeeded in securing the drowning man with the aid of an Indian constable who unrolled his turban and threw the end to the rescuer.’
posted by awfurby at 10:04 PM - 3 comments

BAH GAWD! (exp.) — A shocked evocation of the deity in order to underscore the gravity of a moment or situation, popularized by announcer Jim Ross. Must be screamed loudly in a pinched Southern tenor. (Related expressions: MAH GAWD!; GOOD GAWD ALMIGHTY!; slobberknocker — an unsightly brawl; shades of [wrestler X] — when a wrestler uses a move in a manner reminiscent of a previous wrestler; business has just picked up — an unexpected entrance that raises the stakes in a segment; bowling shoe ugly — a roughneck or plainly (and woefully) uncoordinated match; That’s [wrestler X]’s music! — a surprise appearance by a wrestler, as forewarned by his entrance music playing before he appears in person.)

Feeling overwhelmed by wrestling, sorry, sports entertainment lingo? David Shoemaker at Grantland presents the Grantland Dictionary: Pro Wrestling Edition.
posted by Ghidorah at 9:01 PM - 31 comments

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