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December 16

Happy Birthday Hero

Chelsea Manning turns 27 this week and some people have written to her.
Joe Sacco, Alan Moore, Birgitta Jónsdóttir, Terry Gilliam, Edward Snowden among others. It will be her 4th birthday in prison.
posted by adamvasco at 4:29 PM - 21 comments

Ulf is content.

Meet Ulf. He lives north of the Arctic Circle and makes boat. He swims daily (brief male buttock shot), does household chores, and relaxes. Ulf is content. [10 minutes, Vimeo]
posted by Wordshore at 3:47 PM - 26 comments

Tiny desk make big sound (NPR)

"Truth be told, you should really set aside a weekend and watch all 83 sets back-to-back. But until then, here's a cross-section of favorites, from pop to opera, hip-hop, jazz, rock, country and whatever genre is broad enough to contain the Sun Ra Arkestra." 2014: The Year In Tiny Desk Concerts (here's the full list ).
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 2:02 PM - 31 comments

Pilots of Instagram:

beautiful views from the cockpit, violating rules of the air [more inside]
posted by So You're Saying These Are Pants? at 1:06 PM - 66 comments

The snow's coming down

This Friday, Darlene Love will perform "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" on David Letterman's show for the 28th and last time. She's performed it every year since 1986, on both Late Night with David Letterman and the Late Show with David Letterman. Here's a supercut compilation of her performances. [more inside]
posted by Shmuel510 at 12:57 PM - 20 comments

Seattle’s unbelievable transportation megaproject fustercluck

Seattle's unbelievable transportation megaproject fustercluck — "In short: There is no plan to resolve the dispute over cost overruns, which are ubiquitous on projects like this; at $4.2 billion, it's the most expensive transportation project in state history. The tunnel will have no exits - no ingress or egress - throughout the entire downtown core (which makes the support of downtown businesses all the more mystifying). It won't allow transit, only cars. It will be tolled, highly enough, by the state's own estimates, to drive nearly half its traffic onto the aforementioned side streets. It will be a precarious engineering feat, the widest deep-bore tunnel in history, digging right between a) Puget Sound and b) the oldest part of Seattle, with vulnerable buildings and God-knows-what buried infrastructure. Also: Pollution. Climate change. It's the 21st f'ing century. On and on. People said all this and more, in real time, to no avail." [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu at 12:34 PM - 164 comments

Null Pointers for All

Dr Dobbs, one of the oldest programming publications announces the end.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:23 PM - 39 comments

"Witness 40": Exposing A Fraud In Ferguson

Report: Darren Wilson's Key Witness Lied About Everything: A summation of the findings of The Smoking Gun's investigation into Sandra McElroy also known as "Witness 40", a key witness for Officer Darren Wilson which may have been instrumental in preventing an indictment for the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson. [previously]
posted by quin at 12:18 PM - 130 comments

Babelfish Not Required

On Dec 15, 2014, Microsoft announced the first public beta preview for new Skype Translate, a service which will (eventually) work as a go-between to help break down language barriers during voice calls. The initial trial is Spanish <> English only, [2m marketing video] but that's only the beginning. How, though, does it work? And the even bigger question, DOES it work? (The answer appears to be yes.)
posted by hippybear at 11:17 AM - 51 comments

Everyone is poised to attack anyone. But it's all a joke.

How Chan-Style Anonymous Culture Shapes #gamergate Twitter user A Man In Black attempts to untangle the gamergater mindset using identity -- any identity as vice, and lack of identity as a chief virtue.
posted by boo_radley at 9:31 AM - 162 comments

Taliban attacks Pakistani military-run school

Tuesday’s attack killed 141 including many children in grisly battle lasting several hours. The Pakistan military has launched massive air strikes in its remote border region against the Taliban in retaliation for the massacre in a Peshawar school on Tuesday morning that left at least 141 dead, 132 of them children. [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus at 9:24 AM - 138 comments

This was not planned.

What's the best way to make sure that your politically divided children behave around the Christmas dinner table? Call in while they are appearing on C-Span.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:44 AM - 36 comments

The Hollywood Franchise: Now with 100% More Yawning Abyss!

I did not begin 2014 by imagining that the most resonant movie moment of the 12 months to come would be a quiet, resigned stare-down in a bathroom. But it has been that kind of year. "What the movie industry is about, in 2014, is creating a sense of anticipation in its target audience that is so heightened, so nurtured, and so constant that moviegoers are effectively distracted from how infrequently their expectations are actually satisfied."
posted by Tevin at 8:27 AM - 89 comments

Endless Jingling

Endless Jingling [via mefi projects] cortex made this. how do we stop him. why would he do this. mods please delete cortex
posted by Greg Nog at 8:17 AM - 180 comments

Bulletproof Nutrition

Maybe you've heard of Bulletproof Coffee, the revolutionary fad that advocates mixing in butter and oil into your coffee? Well, Dan Norman's here to tell you about the Bulletproof Sandwich (YT) (here's the original Bulletproof Coffee promo video, for reference).
posted by shivohum at 7:49 AM - 73 comments

A very BMJ Christmas

It’s that time of year again: the British Medical Journal‘s Christmas Edition is out, featuring some of the most hilarious research published since… well, since forever! All this week, Discover's Seriously, Science? will be featuring the best of this and past years’ BMJ Christmas Research Articles to get you in the holiday spirit. First up: Sword swallowing and its side effects [more inside]
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:54 AM - 7 comments

A dark reimagining of a Hollywood list

The 2014 Black List Has been announced - the top unproduced scripts of the year, according to Hollywood insiders. Excited film buffs will be scouring the list for overlooked gems and masterpieces that might have been, but why not go a different route? The Ten Worst Sounding Black List Scripts.
posted by Artw at 6:43 AM - 136 comments

The Essential Ghostface Killah Collection

The 50 best Ghostface Killah tracks (via Complex)
posted by Renoroc at 5:13 AM - 14 comments

December 15

I Have Created 50 Games This Year

Kenta Cho of ABA Games has released 50 minigames this year. They are all free to play on his site, with source. [more inside]
posted by 23 at 10:43 PM - 22 comments

"How can they possibly believe this shit?"

Piety and Plenty: The Buying and Selling of Christmas
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:41 PM - 54 comments

Once took a Texan to a wedding

The Brave Little Toaster's "Worthless" (Slower, Sadder, With Lyrics) (SLYT)
posted by theodolite at 8:32 PM - 14 comments

"one of the best interviews you’ll ever hear, providing genuine insight"

Slate's "25 Best Podcast Episodes Ever" Podcasts are nothing new to the Blue, and roundup lists are a dime a dozen towards the end of the year, but it's always interesting to listen to a curated list of favorites. Most of the episodes they chose are from the last 5 years, featuring an eclectic mix of stories about love, popular culture, personal success, and public failure; there are deconstructions of the what seems mundane at first glance, and tragedy that is difficult to process.
posted by Political Funny Man at 8:06 PM - 56 comments

Mother nature can be great but I prefer to take control of my appearance

If you saw her catwalking like no one was watching, you'd see she was a model. But if you've seen the Channel 4 advert/short, you have seen Viktoria Modesta as a Prototype. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 7:57 PM - 23 comments

"I'm not the only one who could be blackmailed for this album"

The Star Wars Christmas TV special is well known around these parts. But last week the CBC posted the first ever oral history of Christmas in the Stars: The Star Wars Christmas Album featuring interviews with producer Tony Bongiovi, composer Maury Yeston and C-3PO actor Anthony Daniels.
posted by salishsea at 5:42 PM - 16 comments

Two women from South Korea making music their own way

무키무키만만수 (Mukimukimanmansu) is a South Korean indie band that's gone mildly viral thanks to a thirty second clip from a television performance of their song Andromeda. The acoustic guitar and janggu drum duo released their first album 2012 in the eponymous year, and they played other songs off that album on television, which have been gathered into a handy playlist by YouTube user HachikoTanuki. Here are a few other videos: Studio versions of 내가 고백을 하면 깜짝 놀랄거야, 2008년 석관동, 너의 선물; television performances of 방화범 (with guests) and 투쟁과 다이어트; music video maker Vio Kim has recorded them many times, including up close at a concert last year (1, 2, 3, 4, 5); here they are performing with a jazz band earlier this year. And finally, here are demos they made in 2011.
posted by Kattullus at 3:45 PM - 19 comments

We eat bacon and pastries and are happy. Oh, and the North Pole is ours.

In 2012, the UN said that Denmark was the happiest place on earth. This year, Denmark returned to the UN with some nice Danish pastries, and a territorial claim to the North Pole based on its relationship with Greenland, a Danish autonomous territory. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore at 3:44 PM - 57 comments

Lennon or McCartney

A 30-minute Youtube video of 550 artists (musicians and actors) asked a simple question: Lennon or McCartney?
posted by dry white toast at 3:21 PM - 183 comments

Deliver Us

Ridley Scott's new film Exodus: Gods and Kings recasts the myth of Moses in typically grimdark swords-and-sandals fashion. It... ain't so good. Want something more artful? Look no further than The Prince of Egypt [alt], an underrated masterpiece of DreamWorks' traditional animation era. Directed by Brenda Chapman (a first for women in animation), scored to spectacular effect by Hans Zimmer and Stephen Schwartz, and voiced by, among others, Voldemort, Batman, and Professor X, the ambitious film features gorgeous, striking visuals and tastefully integrated CGI in nearly every scene. It also manages the improbable feat of maturing beyond cartoon clichés while humanizing the prophet's journey from carefree scion to noble (and remorseful) liberator without offending half the planet -- while still being quite a fun ride. Already seen it? Catch the making-of documentary, or click inside for more. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi at 3:03 PM - 85 comments

Pretty sure NROL-38 is a Pokemon

Sultry witches. World-devouring cephalopods. Adorable teddy bears. Smithsonian Magazine takes a look at the fantastical mission patches of the National Reconnaissance Office (via)
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:18 PM - 18 comments

Highway to the danger zone.

1 in 6 Americans become sick from foodborne illness each year, and like a norovirus infection, the blame is easy to spread around. Where does foodborne illness happen, and does it matter? Doug Powell of Barfblog (previously) notes that peer reviewed studies claim in-home food safety failures account for anywhere from 15 to 90% of food poisoning cases, which is enough variance to make anyone shrug. But what do we really know when it comes to foodborne illness? Read on for a stomach-turning romp through what food safety research tells us about a question as old as Ask Metafilter. [more inside]
posted by deludingmyself at 12:51 PM - 110 comments

A print can last for thousands of years, emulating the age of the trees.

Beth Moon photographs trees, Ancient Trees.
A few more from the gallery "portraits of time" which has links to further galleries.
In her methodology and in an interview by Lenscratch about her collection "Between Earth and Sky" she explains her photos as a Noble Process in a digital age.
posted by adamvasco at 11:46 AM - 5 comments

The Turbolift Mark I?

"German company ThyssenKrupp is proposing a self-propelled lift that can travel both horizontally and vertically through large buildings and skyscrapers." Includes short animated video demonstration.
posted by marienbad at 11:40 AM - 61 comments

It's not an insult; it's local slang for the Washington Monument

The District of Columbia has many speakers of American Sign Language, given the presence of Gallaudet University and a large Deaf community. Here are a smattering of local signs.
posted by ocherdraco at 11:38 AM - 17 comments

Where form follows data.

Amsterdam City Dashboard: a City as Urban Statistics
posted by infini at 9:42 AM - 8 comments

Powdered sugar is obviously so last year.

Chanukkah begins tomorrow night and the traditional foods are fried in oil. Latkes (potato pancakes) are established Hanukkah treats but the other treat most common in Israel are doughnuts. Ashkenazi Jews eat sufganiyot, which have their origins in Germany and are traditionally filled with strawberry jam. In North Africa the doughnuts are called sfenj (pronounced shfinz) and generally are traced to Morocco. Sfenj are drizzled with honey or date syrup. [more inside]
posted by Sophie1 at 8:07 AM - 45 comments

"This is the fairy-land; O spite of spites!"

British photographer Kirsty Mitchell's hauntingly beautiful photographs of a stylized fairy wonderland.
posted by Kitteh at 7:57 AM - 9 comments

César Aira

“I‘ve realized that the perfect length for what I do is 100 pages. In my brevity there may be an element of insecurity. I wouldn‘t dare give a 1,000-page novel to a reader […] My novels became shorter as I became more renowned. People now allow me to do whatever I want. At any rate, publishers prefer thick books. But with books, the thicker they are, the less literature they have.””—César Aira [more inside]
posted by misteraitch at 7:51 AM - 24 comments

Heien vs. North Carolina

This morning, the Supreme Court released an opinion (pdf) in Heien vs. North Carolina, finding that because the Fourth Amendment requires government officials to act reasonably, not perfectly, and gives those officials “fair leeway for enforcing the law,” an officer in North Carolina did not act unconstitutionally when they stopped and searched a car driving with a broken brake light, even though North Carolina law requires only one vehicle brake light to be working. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:42 AM - 127 comments

Running empires requires lots of meetings

this is what happens when you read a super-sci-fi-y story about spaceships, aliens, and AI, then switch to a classically fantasy story with goblins and elves, and find out they’re actually fascinatingly similar books with a lot to say about power, empire, and administration.
Alix E. Harrow talks about administrating imaginary empires and the similiarities between Ancillary Sword and The Goblin Emperor.
posted by MartinWisse at 6:22 AM - 41 comments

I picked my spot in the glass and called it my target

Shonda Rhimes received the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award at The Hollywood Reporter's Women in Entertainment breakfast, and made an extraordinary speech. Video. Text.
posted by pjern at 6:19 AM - 17 comments

When no gender fits: A quest to be seen as just a person

Which box do you check when you don’t belong in any box? How do you navigate the world when the world is built on identifying with one group or another group, male or female, and the place that feels most right to you is neither? [more inside]
posted by moody cow at 5:49 AM - 158 comments

Snap, Crackle and Pop!

In an area of London that already boasts a cat cafe and a 3d printer cafe, two bearded twin brothers have opened the Cereal Killer Cafe that serves only breakfast cereal. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:32 AM - 74 comments

December 14

After 5437 days, it better be worth it

After nearly 15 years of waiting, neo-soul artist D'Angelo released Black Messiah, a follow up to his 2000 release Voodoo. [more inside]
posted by elmer benson at 10:53 PM - 42 comments

The Office: Middle Earth

On this week's Saturday Night Live, writers decided to play to host Martin Freeman's strengths by combining two of his best known roles: Tim Canterbury from BBC's The Office and Bilbo Baggins of The Hobbit. The Office: Middle Earth. (Video may be restricted in your part of the world. Here's a YouTube link instead.)
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 10:31 PM - 35 comments

Money in the Harry Potter Universe

While there has been speculation and answers about how money works in the Harry Potter universe, no one has ever written about how the witches and wizards in the books might manage their personal finances after the end of the series. Until now.
posted by Hactar at 10:17 PM - 34 comments

Potato Chip Cookies with Raisins "country style"

"Okay out there in radio land, it's time to listen up, I've got something good to tell you and we gonna make some potato chip cookies" [SLYT]. I can't put my finger on what makes this video so enjoyable. Maybe it's the cavalier attitude towards recipe measurements, his assurance that "it might be good for you with them raisins in there" and all the non sequiturs. I can't speak for the cookies themselves but I guarantee you that this video is "gunna be good."
posted by Deathalicious at 8:31 PM - 37 comments

Whisper it quietly...

The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again.” -- Robert Jordan [more inside]
posted by SpacemanStix at 8:22 PM - 28 comments

The art of making a book, in various forms

The art of making a book (original video on Facebook, without added music) takes you through the traditional manual process of bookbinding, from selecting and setting the individual letters to finally binding the book in leather and adding finishing touches. If you'd like to try your hand at something similar but with some modern flourishes, there are plenty of tutorials and guides, linked below. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 7:28 PM - 18 comments

CURSE YOU AND YOUR DOGGY SPEED!!

Baby Elephant gets Frustrated Chasing a Dog. [slyt | cute]
posted by quin at 6:59 PM - 13 comments

'smile regimes'

Incorruptible Teeth, or, the French Smile Revolution
In 1787, Madame Vigée-Lebrun, painter to France’s royal and aristocratic elite, displayed a canvas at the Paris Salon. It was a self-portrait depicting the artist in an affectionate embrace with her daughter. Vigée-Lebrun is smiling—a sweet, broad smile revealing white teeth. There is little about this pose that seems in any way exceptional, yet exception was furiously taken. “An affectation which artists, art-lovers and persons of taste have been united in condemning,” wrote an anonymous commentator, “and which finds no precedent amongst the Ancients, is that in smiling she shows her teeth. This affectation is particularly out of place in a mother.”

How the smile came to Paris (briefly), aka Grin City. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:40 PM - 21 comments

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