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January 22

Soot is not food.

If, like me, you're a sucker for a vaguely Eastern European accent, you may well enjoy the tale of Little Greggorio, in which a family dreams of journeying to America, where a little boy can become... a legend.
posted by slappy_pinchbottom at 8:48 PM - 2 comments

Why sell Thin Mints when you could be starting a revolution?

Meet the Radical Brownies. In Oakland, activists from Black Lives Matter have started a Girl Scout-style troop of girls of color ages 8-12 that puts the focus on social justice, taking the girls on marches for police accountability and offering merit badges in "Radical Beauty" and "LGBT Ally." [more inside]
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:16 PM - 48 comments

A very specific sequence of weird tricks that Bowsers HATE

Speedrunner Minecraft SethBling explains how he beat Super Mario World in around 6 minutes by using in-game actions to manipulate the game's memory so that it glitches to the end credits. The glitch had already been pulled off in-game using emulators, but this is the first time it has been done on an actual SNES. Very technical details available here.
posted by passerby at 7:04 PM - 33 comments

Yes: he still has the hair

John Romero Plays Doom, personably. Doom history enthusiast and Spacebase creator JP LeBreton joins id Software co-founder John Romero as the two play though the first episode of Doom, “Knee Deep in the Dead,” in its entirety. John Romero’s run through each level turns up fresh and encyclopedic insight into how this genre-defining title was designed and set the stage for first-person action games for years to come.
posted by Sebmojo at 5:26 PM - 29 comments

Mop Top Not

In the early 60s, the Beatles' signature haircuts rapidly became de rigueur for any and all rock bands seeking a crack at the big time. Conformity to the new look became, almost overnight, the norm. One band, though, said later for all that, and went for a truly radical look. That band, of course, was The Eggheads. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:38 PM - 48 comments

Veeptopus

Veeptopus
posted by cjorgensen at 4:21 PM - 13 comments

Hey, Spirits. Y'all Look Creepy.

NFL Bad Lip Reading 2015. (2014, Etc.)
posted by Navelgazer at 3:37 PM - 16 comments

Does she get any respect?

Serena Williams, America's greatest athlete (New Yorker)
... But it’s not enough to say that Williams would be more uniformly adored if she were a white woman, or a man. Instead, the failure to fully appreciate her importance is perhaps evidence of our inability to appreciate the stubbornly unfamiliar narrative arc of her career. Williams is underloved because, at times, she has been unlovable and, in the end, mostly unrepentant about it—something that might be admired as iconoclastic in a male athlete, but rarely endears women to a wide audience. ... [T]he great crisis in her public persona came later, in 2009, when she was penalized the final point in her U.S. Open semifinal against Kim Clijsters after berating a line judge over a foot-fault call on the previous serve. Williams is indeed singular: she is likely the only person ever to utter on a professional tennis court, “I swear to God, I’m fucking going to take this fucking ball and shove it down your fucking throat, you hear that? I swear to God.” (Of course, John McEnroe said things that weren’t so different, and he is beloved for it.)
Just the other day, she was asked to twirl in front of male reporters during an interview.
posted by Melismata at 2:26 PM - 214 comments

"Haskel programmed the world's first video game inside joke"

Reaching for inspiration, Haskel based his first program on the prevailing trend in the video game market: sporty, ping-pong type games popularized by the [Magnavox] Odyssey and Atari's Pong arcade machine. The games made a big impact on Haskel, who vividly recalls the first time he saw the Odyssey in action during a visit to a department store. "I was going to see the furniture department, and there was a little kid playing Odyssey," recalls Haskel. "I sat down and played with him for probably an hour. It was the coolest thing I'd ever seen. I couldn't get that out of my mind."
The Untold Story of the Invention of the Game Cartridge by Benj Edwards of Vintage Computing and Gaming, who started researching the subject after interviewing one of the people involved, Jerry Lawson, in 2009.
posted by Kattullus at 2:20 PM - 12 comments

Tour the US with the Tichnor Brothers' full color postcards, ca. 1930-45

From the Boston Public Library's Postcard Collection, enjoy approximately 25,000 office proofs of postcards of the United States published by the Boston firm Tichnor Brothers Inc. The collection is sorted by state, plus a few miscellaneous US-related cards and other postcards, including two different color charts. Some images are also available on Digital Commonwealth, and Wikimedia Commons.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:52 PM - 21 comments

What Value-Creating Winners Do All Day

Artist Tony Ruth has turned Richard Scarry's BusyTown into the Silicon Valley inspired BusinessTown. (via)
posted by octothorpe at 1:51 PM - 27 comments

You can never have too many hockey sticks.

Yes, it is that time of year again. Prepare your senses for the wonder and spectacle that is the 2015 Miss Universe National Costume Competition. Do this years entries live up to the understated subtlety of their predecessors? Has the bar for taste and refined class once again been raised? Are there any giant robots, aliens, or costumes thrown together at the last minute with materials bought at Target? Let's find out!
posted by Justinian at 1:07 PM - 166 comments

The dream of the 1890s is alive in Portland

As Neda Maghbouleh pointed out for an article in the January 2009 issue of Center for New Racial Studies, the 2008 presidential campaign of Barack Obama gave Portland newspapers a striking image of its racial makeup. Just look at the photo above from Portland during Senator Obama's presidential campaign. You'd be forgiven for thinking that maybe Dave Matthews Band was about to go on stage.
There's a reason why Portland, and Oregon in general, are so whitebread: it was founded as a whites-only, racist utopia with no room for black or Asian people.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:32 AM - 152 comments

Tarnished Silver

The New York Times is reporting that Speaker of the New York State Legislature Sheldon Silver has been arrested on federal corruption charges related to income received from a NYC legal firm specializing in real estate. New York has background on the investigation and charges. [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:28 AM - 43 comments

Narcodrones

"Police in a Mexican border city said Wednesday that a drone overloaded with illicit methamphetamine crashed into a supermarket parking lot." Fox News, AP. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach at 9:24 AM - 122 comments

Don't Try Too Hard to Please Twitter

The NYT Social Media team pulls the curtain back on how Twitter works for them with detailed examples of how changing text and descriptions and focus in their short messages resonated with readers, and which fell flat. Really interesting bit of transparency on their process, and results.
posted by mathowie at 9:22 AM - 26 comments

An intersex perspective on gender critical ideas

Are Trans Communities Losing Intersex Allies in the TERF Wars? [more inside]
posted by Annika Cicada at 7:27 AM - 52 comments

Mickey has the measles

At least 67 cases of the measles have been reported in the last month, largely stemming from an outbreak that began at Disneyland in mid-December. Although largely considered to have been eradicated in the United States in 2000, this latest outbreak follows the 400 cases reported last year in Ohio. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:22 AM - 138 comments

Relief. Anguish. Certainty.

The Guardian hosts brief video interviews with seven women about their abortions.
posted by Going To Maine at 7:03 AM - 8 comments

Do you know the time?

Today, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists will set the hands of the Doomsday Clock again. You can watch it live at 11 a.m. EST (1600 GMT). How doomed are we? As in past years, the board said climate change and nuclear warheads are the two major threats in 2015 that will influence its decision to move the hands of the clock.
posted by ipsative at 5:54 AM - 57 comments

You’d think it was Dominion Day

A presentation about Ontario's lost villages, ten communities which were flooded as part of the creation of the Saint Lawrence Seaway in 1958.
posted by frimble at 5:52 AM - 10 comments

Before Zack Morris

The Mobile Telephone in Bell System Service, 1946–1993. Descriptions and photographs of car phones and briefcase phones on the "0G" pre-cellular mobile systems.
posted by grouse at 4:49 AM - 20 comments

January 21

A Date with Mark E. Smith

In the comic 'I'll Be Your Mirror' by Una Baines and Keith McDougall, Ms. Baines (founding member of the bands The Fall, Blue Orchids, and The Fates) tells the autobiographical tale of a first date with Mark E. Smith. [more inside]
posted by item at 11:45 PM - 14 comments

Death of Banks

The End of Banking: Money, Credit, and the Digital Revolution - "Unregulated banking with access to government guarantees is an enticing business model. It offers the profits of excessive risk-taking in good times, and allows passing on the inevitable losses to taxpayers in bad times." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 11:22 PM - 19 comments

Beyond belief: HeroRats 🐀

HeroRats: "If people step on landmines, they will get hurt, but the HeroRats are too small to press the button that explodes the bomb. Then people can dig up the landmine without it exploding and no one gets hurt." (PDF document). The associated Twitter account: @HeroRATs. They tweet at celebrities for the LOLs and to raise awareness, as well as interacting with fellow Tweeters. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 10:33 PM - 20 comments

Confusion Through Sand

Confusion Through Sand. (YouTube.) An animated short in which "a nineteen year old finds himself alone in a hostile desert, scared as hell, and trained to react." [Via]
posted by homunculus at 10:00 PM - 2 comments

The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered

And It Is Not What You Think. "The rats with good lives didn't like the drugged water. They mostly shunned it, consuming less than a quarter of the drugs the isolated rats used. None of them died. While all the rats who were alone and unhappy became heavy users, none of the rats who had a happy environment did."
posted by bunderful at 9:11 PM - 98 comments

A camera on a squid

Image of the squid wearing a Crittercam.
"The Humboldt squid uses pigment sacs on its skin to 'flash' and to 'flicker,' both previously-unknown behaviors".
Article with a gif showing the squid 'flashing'.
posted by panaceanot at 8:11 PM - 13 comments

The mating call of Mustang

VROOM! The “aural experience” of a car, they argue, is an intangible that’s just as priceless as what’s revving under the hood.
posted by bitmage at 7:55 PM - 67 comments

Call now for a free start-up kit!

Television commercial for The Facebook from the mid-90s. (SLYT)
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:09 PM - 45 comments

Another frantic day of trading at the New York Sock Exchange

It was 30 years ago today, Dan Piraro made "Bizarro" de...but. One of a bunch of "Far Side Copies" (and with a name borrowed from a Superman comics character), it may have never reached Gary Larson levels of success, but it stayed away from LOOKING like a copy, and almost 11,000 daily panels later, it still frequently lives up to its name.
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:08 PM - 23 comments

Better Call Jimmy McGill

The Last Hurrah of Difficult Men, commentary on a tv show, a book and an essay in Esquire. "I'll just say it: The first few episodes that I saw are better than Breaking Bad. They are smarter. They are sharper. I have never seen a prequel handled so cleverly." [more inside]
posted by maggieb at 6:45 PM - 20 comments

"He's just a platypus; they don't do much."

P-P-P-P-Platypus.
posted by Fizz at 6:34 PM - 16 comments

Meta Hip Hop

Meta Hip Hop
posted by cashman at 6:32 PM - 5 comments

“I’m not a killer. I’m really not. I’d just had enough.”

Wolflandia: The Fight Over the Most Polarizing Animal in the West
Twenty years after wolves were reintroduced in the Northern Rockies, many politicians would still love to see them eradicated, and hunters and ranchers are allowed to kill them by the hundreds. But the animals are not only surviving—they're thriving, and expanding their range at a steady clip. For the people who live on the wild edges of wolf country, their presence can be magical and maddening at once. [more inside]
posted by andoatnp at 6:27 PM - 29 comments

People are nowhere to be found

'The Cloud' and Other Dangerous Metaphors. What’s notable about dominant data metaphors is that they consistently compare data to naturally occurring physical resources. And just as the history of resource exploitation in America—from westward expansion through the Gold Rush, and beyond into modern-day debates about water and air rights—involves the appropriation of resources that belonged to someone else, online data collection policy treats personal information as a natural, inexhaustible good—ripe for exploitation in the name of economic growth and private gain.
posted by Sebmojo at 4:06 PM - 24 comments

It's enough to make you want to stop teaching kids poetry.

In which we discuss our most failed romantic gestures.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:29 PM - 100 comments

Our presence together ... is evidence that we all have screwed up.

In the Basement of the Ivory Tower. A 2008 article about a place where the dream of sending every American to college has an ugly encounter with reality.
posted by kaibutsu at 2:24 PM - 51 comments

Making himself a moot point

Christopher Poole, aka moot, the founder of the notorious anonymous imageboard 4chan, is stepping down as administrator of the site after eleven and a half years.
posted by Small Dollar at 2:14 PM - 81 comments

"The Solution to Pollution is Dilution"

Chemical Weapons Munitions Dumped at Sea: An Interactive Map [via]
posted by indubitable at 12:33 PM - 27 comments

You're Not Just Imagining Things

Pitchfork interviews Björk about the inspiration for and methods behind her newest album. Awesomeness ensues.
posted by Ipsifendus at 12:18 PM - 32 comments

Crisis on Infinite Gauntlets

Don't Call it a Reboot: Marvel Confirms a Convergence of Universes in Secret Wars [more inside]
posted by kagredon at 11:23 AM - 146 comments

This is the thread about threads that dance across your screen

For your viewing pleasure: one music video made with sewing and embroidery tools, one music video made of sewing and embroidery tools.
posted by ocherdraco at 9:28 AM - 6 comments

The Burpo-Malarkey doctrine

"I did not die. I did not go to Heaven. I said I went to heaven because I thought it would get me attention. When I made the claims that I did, I had never read the Bible. People have profited from lies, and continue to. They should read the Bible, which is enough."
Alex Malarkey co-wrote a bestselling book about a near-death experience – and then last week admitted he made it up.
posted by almostmanda at 9:05 AM - 166 comments

That's a damn fine cup of synth...and hot!

If David Lynch had made Twin Peaks back in 1984 instead of Dune, this might have been what the soundtrack would have sounded like.
posted by Katemonkey at 9:02 AM - 18 comments

How Harry Potter fans won a four-year fight against child slavery

Right before Christmas, Warner Bros. quietly gave “Harry Potter” fans what was, for some of them, a long-wished-for gift. In a letter to Andrew Slack, the founder of the Harry Potter Alliance, Joshua Berger, the company’s president for Harry Potter Global Franchise Development, announced, “By the end of 2015, and sooner when possible, all Harry Potter chocolate products sold at Warner Bros. outlets and through our licensed partners will be 100-percent UTZ or Fair Trade certified.”
[more inside]
posted by Elementary Penguin at 8:56 AM - 13 comments

Gaming while Black

"Just because I sit here and say I haven't felt overt racism or harassment doesn't mean I don't know what it is and that I haven't experienced it elsewhere in my life, or that my mother didn't grow up in a world where there were colored drinking fountains," Harvey said. "This is stuff that happened and stuff that we think is relevant still today, on a lot of levels. And I think many people are very aware of this, a lot of gamers are very aware of this stuff in their daily lives. Games are a way of processing, a way of playing through an experience that is maybe more intense than you've ever felt it – you're sort of living in that avatar's skin. I guess, in a way, we're trying to put them in a skin they're maybe not used to, or maybe they would be interested to inhabit."
Jessica Conditt looks at the realities of videogaming's treatment of race and is cautiously optimistic.
posted by MartinWisse at 8:39 AM - 7 comments

Robbie Rogers World Cup Qatar Russia

Russia and Qatar World Cups are 'insane' due to homophobia, says Robbie Rogers. Soccer/Football's first openly gay player, RR has things on his mind. Will Klinsmann come around? On Mefi Previously.
posted by josher71 at 8:38 AM - 36 comments

No! Don't make me talk to celebrities!

Conan O'Brien has trouble interviewing his guest, Sterling Archer.
posted by The Whelk at 8:30 AM - 33 comments

Legolas and Tauriel kept bursting in with their gymnastics routine

I Have Recut Peter Jackson’s Hobbit Trilogy Into A Single 4-Hour Film
Back in 2012, I had high hopes of adding The Hobbit to my annual Lord of the Rings marathon, but in its current bloated format, I simply cannot see that happening. So, over the weekend, I decided to condense all three installments... into a single 4-hour feature that more closely resembled Tolkien’s original novel. Well, okay, it’s closer to 4.5 hours, but those are some long-ass credits!
[more inside]
posted by Shmuel510 at 8:18 AM - 112 comments

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