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February 24

The best laid plans of Malofeyev and Moscow

Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta: The document we're publishing is interesting in that, in the early stages of the Ukrainian political crisis — that is, before Yanukovych's escape from Kyiv and the "Bandera junta" coming to power — it perscribes detailed, step-by-step justifications, as well as political and PR logistics, for the intervention by Russia in Ukrainian affairs and the tearing of Crimea and the eastern regions from Ukraine. [Google translated] Although the actual course of the Ukrainian drama made some adjustments, there is overall a strikingly high degree of coincidence between this project and the subsequent actions of the Russian authorities. [more inside]
posted by Kabanos at 11:07 AM - 68 comments

Chicago police detain Americans at abuse-laden 'black site'

The Chicago Police Department has been since "the late 1990s" operating a secret, off-the-books black site at Homan Square where prisoners can be disappeared to to be interrogated and tortured. [more inside]
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:42 AM - 128 comments

The grim nightmare of successfully banning booze

Edward Snowden, Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald recently did an AMA on Citizenfour, their Oscar winning documentary about Snowden and the NSA scandal. Among the highlights is Snowden discussing the relationship between people and their governments and how enforcing the law too well actually can have severe drawbacks.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:40 AM - 22 comments

The Mr. Bean crossover that we deserve

The secret life of superhero toys. [more inside]
posted by sparklemotion at 10:30 AM - 4 comments

Even the smallest harrumph can become very public

The secret life of a public library security guard.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:10 AM - 21 comments

The long shadow of the Super Friends

Why Are People Still Surprised That Aquaman Is A Badass?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:42 AM - 64 comments

Repulsa Ain't Nuthing Ta F' Wit

POWER/RANGERS (NSFW), a short "de-boot FAN FILM" from director Joseph Kahn. Featuring Katee Sackhoff as Kimberly/Pink Ranger and James Van Der Beek as Rocky. [more inside]
posted by zombieflanders at 8:04 AM - 40 comments

Cats, jihad, satire!

A new genre has emerged, the mock jihadi video. This involves short clips with ISIS-ish sound tracks layered on for shocking and/or comic effect. [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 6:57 AM - 34 comments

Armband is the new black

Today is the 46th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Tinker vs. Des Moines. Two high school students refused to remove the black arm bands that they wore to school on December 11, 1965 as a form of silent protest and in mourning of those lost in the Vietnam War. The Supreme Court agreed with their right to express their political opinions, stating "Students don't shed their constitutional rights at the school house gates." This was also the decision that stated that expression of an idea need not be verbal or written in order to be covered under the umbrella of free speech. [more inside]
posted by batbat at 6:56 AM - 19 comments

Changes to sex ed curriculum in Ontario called "long overdue."

"We need to deal with the fact that our kids are starting to go through puberty much younger than they used to," said Sandals, Education Minister. [more inside]
posted by Kitteh at 6:08 AM - 70 comments

Moneyball

Another way of looking at this is that all Premier League clubs already receive more money from their domestic league TV deal than all but 5 other European Clubs: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, Inter and Milan. When the new Premier League deals starts in 2016/17, this list will reduce to just Real Madrid and Barcelona – and even that is in doubt following La Liga’s decision to move to collective bargaining, where the top club will only be allowed to receive 4 times more than the lowest club.
The Swiss Ramble analyses the Premier League's new domestic television rights deal.
posted by MartinWisse at 3:58 AM - 56 comments

February 23

Understanding Kim Jong Un

"Nothing better defines Kim than how little we actually know about him. When asked, even the most respected outside experts on North Korea in the United States and in South Korea—not to mention inside the White House—invariably provide details that turn out to be traceable to Dennis Rodman or to a Japanese sushi chef named Kenji Fujimoto, who was employed by the ruling family from 1988 to 2001, and who now peddles trivial details about them (such as how Kim II once sent him to Beijing to pick up some food at McDonald’s)."
posted by MoonOrb at 10:40 PM - 48 comments

All the Jittery Horses

Racing the Mongol Derby
The ponies that carried Genghis Khan’s warriors are small, tough, and skittish as hell, making the prospect of riding them for 1,000 kilometers seem downright insane. American cowboy Will Grant couldn’t resist, so he entered the Mongol Derby—the longest, hardest horse race in the world—determined not just to finish but to win.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:09 PM - 11 comments

small zeppelin

Kashmir + The Ocean performed by 50-plus percussive pre-teens. Straight outa Louisville. Note the seriousness of purpose.
posted by philip-random at 10:00 PM - 39 comments

I know where that Malaysia Airlines plane is

How crazy am I to think I actually know where that Malaysia Airlines plane is? *Kinda crazy. (But also maybe right?)
In the year since the vanishing of MH370, I appeared on CNN more than 50 times, watched my spouse’s eyes glaze over at dinner, and fell in with a group of borderline-obsessive amateur aviation sleuths. A million theories bloomed, including my own.
[more inside]
posted by Golden Eternity at 9:17 PM - 88 comments

Leisuretown: The Lost Episodes

Leisuretown (probably NSFW) (previouslies), the webcomic created by Tristan A. Farnon (aka Spigot of Jerkcity), includes several 'flipbooks' that have been broken and unviewable on the site for some time. Working direct links to these lost stories have been discovered, including one that was slightly losterer than the others. (link to dickmissles's tumblr is also NSFW, due to large amounts of Jerkcity comics and fanart)
posted by BiggerJ at 8:03 PM - 18 comments

Zombie Bone-Eating Harem-Keeping Worms

At the bottom of the ocean, several kilometres down, is the abyssal seafloor. The pressure is crushing, the temperature is two to three degrees Celsius. The darkness is absolute: no light means no nutrients, and thus almost no life. Except when a whale falls.
posted by latkes at 7:13 PM - 17 comments

Practicing Islam in short shorts

"There are many like me. We don't believe in a monolithic practice of Islam. We love Islam, and because we love it so much we refuse to reduce it to an inflexible and fossilized way of life. Yet we still don't fit anywhere."
posted by Ragini at 7:02 PM - 56 comments

Still a brand new record for 1990

Flood Live in Australia. They Might Be Giants has released a live cover of their album, Flood. Songs are recorded in reverse order because, you know, Australia.
posted by CrunchyFrog at 6:56 PM - 15 comments

"I'm James, and this is Winston Churchquill"

Just a ticklish hedgehog. [slyt]
posted by Going To Maine at 6:52 PM - 8 comments

Comedians who died in 2014

The Comic's Comic site provides a list of comedians who died in 2014, along with some photos and video links. Some you likely know, like Robin Williams and Joan Rivers. Some perhaps not, like the great John Pinette. And some goddamn tragedies, like Jan Hooks.
posted by anothermug at 5:18 PM - 21 comments

Another look at Trinity Syndrome.

Perhaps the easiest way to sum up Jupiter Ascending is to describe it as a gender-swapped, space opera retelling of The Matrix...
posted by prefpara at 4:07 PM - 94 comments

Battle over the truth of Muslim Ring of Peace around Oslo synagogue

Emailing Breitbart is a retort by journalist Martin Grüner Larsen to Breitbart's Jordan Schachtel calling the Muslim-initiated Ring of Peace a media hoax . After the horrific shootings in Copenhagen and Paris, young muslims in Oslo wanted to show their solidarity with the Jewish community, saying that if anyone wanted to hurt the Jews they would have to go through the Muslims. [more inside]
posted by magnusbe at 3:59 PM - 55 comments

Octunado?

Octopi have proven themselves to be intelligent creatures time and time again. However, one Australian octopus made his or her cephalopod brothers and sisters proud by taking a traditionally water-based activity (hunting) and applying a unique twist.
posted by Fister Roboto at 1:27 PM - 38 comments

The second flag was so much more photogenic

The Story Behind the Most Famous Picture from World War II A story told with lots of photos and a little writing.
posted by Michele in California at 1:19 PM - 29 comments

“There’s pretty much no law on what you can do to a crime scene sample,”

Using DNA to Build a Face, and a Case by Andrew Pollack [New York Times]
The growing capability to determine physical characteristics from genetics can help the police, but it also raises questions of rights and profiling.
posted by Fizz at 12:47 PM - 13 comments

cybermapping

40 maps that explain the internet
posted by infini at 11:45 AM - 10 comments

love and marriage in myanmar 👬

love and marriage in myanmar: celebrating same-sex relationships in a nation that deems them illegal [more inside]
posted by and they trembled before her fury at 11:29 AM - 2 comments

But Blue she said women not just white women

Last night at the Oscars, Patricia Arquette, after making an impassioned statement about wage equity for women during her speech, said, backstage, "The truth is: even though we sort of feel like we have equal rights in America, right under the surface, there are huge issues that are applied that really do affect women," she mused. "And it's time for all the women in America and all the men that love women, and all the gay people, and all the people of color that we've all fought for to fight for us now." [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:22 AM - 229 comments

Just Checking In

For no particular reason we’ve started sending emails to see who can make the other person experience the most profound sense of dread and panic.
posted by Sokka shot first at 11:14 AM - 121 comments

Andrew B. Myers' Missives from the Wallpaper Dimension

Photographer Andrew B. Myers makes photographs that don't look like photographs so much as like clean-edged graphic design illustrations. Much of his work combines vibrant colors, flat, non-gradated lighting with crisp shadows, and a long-lens isometric composition to create tableaux that resemble old-school screensavers or wallpaper prints.
posted by cortex at 10:18 AM - 7 comments

inevitable cliches about heat and kitchens... thick skin, etc.

Feminist writers are so besieged by online abuse that some have begun to retire, an opinion piece by Michelle Goldberg at The Washington Post. Geek Feminism Wiki has a page on mitigating internet trollstorms, snippet: "This document intends to provide actionable guidance for people who are being attacked or who are concerned about being attacked in the future, and includes both information security, physical security, and self-care advice drawn from the experiences of the Geek Feminism community."
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 9:19 AM - 43 comments

I Watched Every Episode

Two and Half Men hit a new low every season and then continued to sink even further underground. During this last season, the show went off the rails in terms of absurdity and offensiveness. After a death scare, Walden decides that he wants to adopt a child and, since he’d have more luck if he were married, he and Alan decide to wed and adopt the child together. What follows are a plethora of obvious jokes, mostly at Alan’s expense — no one is surprised that he married a man; they all assumed he was gay already — as he girlishly demands a fancy wedding, fawns over his new husband, and brags about Walden’s attractiveness to everyone he can. Isn’t that funny, these two straight men playing gay for a roaring laugh track? It’s as low as the show can go but then, again, it goes lower. (SL Grantland)
posted by josher71 at 8:51 AM - 93 comments

Divorcing the Nest thermostat

The Nest thermostat, as described by usability expert Kara Pernice: "When I turned the dial to increase the heat to 66 degrees, rather than responding by making the house warmer . . . the next day the house temperature plummeted to a punishing 50 degrees. So I pull on another sweater and mittens and a hat. Indoors. And I wait until my thermostat decides that I am worthy of radiant warmth." [more inside]
posted by mark7570 at 8:43 AM - 127 comments

Yippee Kay Yay... Mother Falcon?

Mother Falcon is an orchestral rock act with a flexible crew of a dozen-plus multi-instrumentalists. Mother Falcon got its name when its founder misheard a sanitized version of Bruce Willis' famous battle cry from Die Hard. Mother Falcon plays tiny desks at NPR, SXSW, and is getting some prominent press for its photography as well. Their lush, bouyant sound, alternately serene (Marfa, Sanctuary) and feisty (Marigold, Dirty Summer) might justify the kind of hubris they must have needed to reimagine Radiohead. [more inside]
posted by cross_impact at 7:44 AM - 12 comments

ALIGNMENT: Beyond good and evil

Monster Pamphlets. Monsters for all your tabletop RPG needs. [slTumblr]
posted by prize bull octorok at 7:39 AM - 6 comments

A thoroughgoing rejection of science, technology, and reason itself.

Authenticity, anti-vaxxers, and the rise of neoprimitivism
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:11 AM - 161 comments

The Man Who Made Monet

How impressionism was saved from obscurity [slGuardian]
posted by ellieBOA at 4:24 AM - 10 comments

Quotas can work if you set them yourself

I wanted to do the same for people of colour. I feel as if my decision brought home just how white my reading world was. For whatever the reason and context, it took me until I was 30 years old to learn that Octavia E. Butler existed – how embarrassing! I’m not blaming anyone or anything for this travesty, and we all know late is better than never … but I think we can do better. I shouldn’t have needed to undertake a 12-month project to discover world class authors.
In 2014 Sunili Govinnage set herself the challenge to read only authors of colour for a year.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:17 AM - 17 comments

The most powerful youth movement since Punk and Hip-Hop

Twee, then, is a symptom of profound cultural exhaustion, a pop-cultural response to the death of grand narratives and radical politics: too weary to fight the corporate capitalist machine, the twee instead create hyper-stylized alternative worlds in which kittens play, ukuleles sound and childhood is eternal. Their basic disposition is melancholy rather than angry, and they will always opt for owl-print wallpaper over kicking against the pricks.
In this week's TLS, Anna Katharina Schaffner discusses Twee. [more inside]
posted by Sonny Jim at 1:12 AM - 94 comments

February 22

The Spin Zone

Mother Jones reports on Bill O'Reilly's claimed experience in combat zones, reaching conclusions like one of his claims "is at odds with news reports from the time—including the report from his own bureau." O'Reilly responded, and Mother Jones factchecked his monologue. Meanwhile, a veteran CBS News reporter weighed in, backing the work by Mother Jones.
posted by MoonOrb at 10:08 PM - 65 comments

Los Angeles: The City In Cinema

Strange Days
Southland Tales
Her
Kiss Me Deadly
Brother
The Crimson Kimono
and more

posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:08 PM - 16 comments

Diving horses: from Wild West sideshow to Atlantic City attraction

William Frank Carver was a renowned shooter in the wild west, generally called Doc Carver for his (unused) dentistry training (or possibly his time caring for animals when he was younger [Google books preview]). He went on to put on shooting and wild west exhibitions with Buffalo Bill and others (source). To expand his shows, he turned to other feats of showmanship, including horse diving. Eventually, horse diving eclipsed the rest of the shows, and Doc added his son and daughter to the events. His son Al built the ramp and diving apparatus, while his daughter Lorena was the first “girl on the diving horse.” Going forward, most of the notable divers were young ladies, including Sonora Webster, who joined the show in 1923. She went blind from a diving accident in 1931, but continued to dive until 1942. There's not much video of diving horses due to the whole practice losing general support and/or appeal well before the proliferation of personal video cameras, but here is a short clip of 19 year old "Jackie" Carvan diving 60 feet on a horse from 1923, and two horses diving without riders in the mid-1960s. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 8:09 PM - 16 comments

"I wish there were people who were honest crooks."

Dark Leviathan: The Silk Road might have started as a libertarian experiment, but it was doomed to end as a fiefdom run by pirate kings
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:15 PM - 42 comments

The Truth is IN there

The real you Your conscious self evaluation is often different from your underlying implicit reactions in this Psych' study at Harvard that tries to reveal ones prejudices and preconceived biases. [more inside]
posted by naight at 5:55 PM - 17 comments

To me photography must suggest, not insist or explain.

(NSFW) For three decades, Brassai's piercing eye focused on the urban landscape of the City of Light; famously Paris by Night.
One of his subject interests was Graffiti - The language of the wall.
He formed a great friendship with Picasso; An extract from Conversations with Picasso who himself admitted to the occasional graffiti.
Here is an interview from 1970 (Pt II never seemed to make the light of day) and a 1999 pdf article from the Smithsonian.
Letters to my Parents was collected and published posthumously.
And finally many pages.
posted by adamvasco at 5:38 PM - 3 comments

A daring plan to rebuild Syria — no matter who wins the war

In terms of sheer devastation, Syria today is worse off than Germany at the end of World War II. [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus at 5:02 PM - 21 comments

The 87th Academy Awards, also booze

The Oscars 2015: What They Tell Us. Watch out for these 5 types of upsets. It's National Margarita Day, why not drink along to the show with a George Clooney margarita?
posted by Artw at 1:55 PM - 319 comments

Open Source FTW! And keeping it old skool!

Retro Terminal for Linux Old school terminals for people with enough sense to love CLIs, but not enough to use sane modern terminals. (And one other cool proggie.) [more inside]
posted by Samizdata at 1:51 PM - 66 comments

Anorexia and the media

"My Eating Disorder Had Nothing to Do with Barbie or the Media" [more inside]
posted by John Cohen at 9:12 AM - 47 comments

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