The History of Autocorrect
...some of the calls were quite tricky, and one of the trickiest involved the issue of obscenity. On one hand, Word didn't want to seem priggish; on the other, it couldn't very well go around recommending the correct spelling of mothrefukcer. Microsoft was sensitive to these issues. The solution lay in expanding one of spell-check's most special lists, bearing the understated title: “Words which should neither be flagged nor suggested.”
posted by frimble at 6:40 AM - 77 comments
NPR's Planet Money
explains the history of the sales tax in the United States by tracing what kinds of sandwiches get taxed and why: How the Burrito Became a Sandwich
. Bonus: In-N-Out Burger history in the podcast.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 10:19 PM - 154 comments
is a tumblr featuring furniture/clothing/etc. from the tv show Columbo
posted by Room 641-A at 8:34 PM - 31 comments
An animated interpretation of the strange life of Boston Corbett,
the man who killed John Wilkes Booth. It was animated in charcoal, pastels and crayon on the pages of 12 paperback books. [more inside]
posted by bq at 8:17 PM - 5 comments
Doing his best Orson Welles impression
, Ze Frank administers a Voight-Kampff Test to a Vancouver TED audience.
posted by kliuless at 8:08 PM - 29 comments
Sixteen-year-old Agnes Quill has inherited an ancient family curse, brought about by the loss of her parents. Several of our key scholars have accounted for and confirmed that she has the ability to see and communicate with spirits trapped between worlds. In several confidential journal entries, Agnes describes the events of her parents’ funeral, where the ghost of her Grandfather, Ages Quill, visited her. It was then that he explained the nature of specters and how he used his connections with them to great advantage throughout his career. Ms. Quill's stories
are written by Astronaut Academy
creator Dave Roman
, and illustrated by a growing collection of artists
. (via io9
posted by filthy light thief at 7:27 PM - 3 comments
"Saying "Hey, I like Kim" isn't as inspiring to people as us getting married. And anyone that's in a relationship knows that in order to get to the point to get married and then to be married and to then carry on, it needs that work put into it. Right now, people look at it and it's like, "Wow, that's inspiring." Meaning that love is infectious. You know, God is infectious—God flowing through us and us being little-baby creators and shit. But His energy and His love and what He wants us to have as people and the way He wants us to love each other, that is infectious. Like they said in Step Brothers
: Never lose your dinosaur.
This is the ultimate example of a person never losing his dinosaur. Meaning that even as I grew in cultural awareness and respect and was put higher in the class system in some way for being this musician, I never lost my dinosaur." GQ interviews Kanye West. [more inside]
posted by porn in the woods at 7:08 PM - 34 comments
unreleased album with her band The Fates has been reissued by Finder's Keepers
on vinyl. You may know Una Baines as the first keyboard player in the Fall, as a founding member of Blue Orchids or from a short lived stint in Nico's backing band. The Fates were a "women's group"
operating at the intersection of post-punk, english mysticism, indie and folk. (Link goes to an interview at the defunct online Fall zine Reformation!) [more inside]
posted by kittensofthenight at 6:44 PM - 6 comments
Stories of Change: -
Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia.
An inside perspective from local visual storytellers on everyday life in North Africa.
posted by adamvasco at 4:54 PM - 3 comments
Small South Carolina town rallies for fired lesbian police chief
LATTA, S.C. (AP) -- When openly gay police chief Crystal Moore was fired by a mayor who condemned her lifestyle as "questionable," she feared her two decade career in law enforcement in this town was over. Then, this conservative, small town rebelled.
posted by Lexica at 4:43 PM - 61 comments
The people of Latta, who voted overwhelmingly for a state amendment banning gay marriage eight years ago, turned against the mayor, stripped him of his powers and the town council rehired Moore. They said her dedication to the town mattered more than her sexual orientation.
An Oral History of the 1989 Cleveland Indians.
It was 1989, and no one knew that the usually predictable world of Major League Baseball was about to get as topsy turvy as it could. Here's the story of a plucky band of misfits, fighting against the entrenched baseball establishment, to obtain success in their efforts against their playing opponents, and an evil owner bent on relocation. [more inside]
posted by LoRichTimes at 1:13 PM - 35 comments
Mallory Ortberg of The Toast continues the fine tradition of providing not-so-serious narration to very-serious art. This time, she tackles the Judgment of Paris
, a theme "based on a legend where three supremely powerful goddesses asked a worthless male mortal to rank them in order of attractiveness in order to win a sculpture of a fruit." [more inside]
posted by Ouverture at 1:03 PM - 56 comments
Only 15 million, riiiight.
A data experiment out of Florida State University maps the location of 1 million of the 15 million publicly available online images tagged with the word "cat." Using a supercomputer and the map coordinates imbedded in their metadata, I Know Where Your Cat Lives
shows where each image was taken, to within an estimated 7.8 meters accuracy. [more inside]
posted by gottabefunky at 12:19 PM - 72 comments
They grew up in America, were deported or returned to Mexico for other reasons and faced challenges and opportunities alike. A recently funded kickstarter
for a book called "Los Otros Dreamers" tells the struggles and hopes of the other DREAMers. Nancy Landa, a deported honors graduate of California State University, who has lived in Tijuana and London since her deportation in 2009, is about to begin a research project
collecting the experiences of voluntary and involuntary returns to Mexico after a long time in the U.S. To help in a country that is foreign to them the Mexican nonprofit Dream in Mexico
supports young people who just arrived in Mexico. The German Der Spiegel
interviewed three young deportees and how returning to Mexico after a lifetime in the U.S was both, a culture shock and an opportunity for a better life. [in German]
posted by travelwithcats at 11:55 AM - 3 comments
Why the modern bathroom is a wasteful, unhealthy design
"Piped water may be the greatest convenience ever known but our sewage systems and bathrooms are a disaster" [more inside]
posted by flex at 11:52 AM - 181 comments
What do you get when you subtract all the extraneous banter from an episode of "Family Feud"? About three minutes of actual game show. (SLYT).
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 11:39 AM - 70 comments
It's astonishing how many of the people conducting interviews and passing judgement on the careers of candidates have had no training at all on how to do it well. Aside from their own interviews, they may not have ever seen one. I'm all for learning on your own but at least when you write a program wrong it breaks. Without a natural feedback loop, interviewing mostly runs on myth and survivor bias. "Empirically", people who wear suits don't do well; therefore anyone in a suit is judged before they open their mouths. On my interview I remember we did thus & so, therefore I will always do thus & so. I'm awesome and I know X; therefore anyone who doesn't know X is an idiot. Exceptions, also known as opportunities for learning, are not allowed to occur. This completes the circle.
According to Carlos Bueno, Silicon Valley is not a meritocracy, it's a mirrortocracy
where startups hire the people that resemble them the most. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse at 11:35 AM - 61 comments
Musical proof that Scully Likes Science
posted by mudpuppie at 11:33 AM - 9 comments
The Daily Harassment of Women in the Game Industry.
"It’s telling that men in the gaming industry, or simply commentators, refuse to listen to the reality of these situations and try to help. They’d rather talk over women and convince themselves of a fictional reality that’s more comforting."
posted by Librarypt at 11:13 AM - 16 comments
Morph is a plasticine man
, star of many short animated films made for the BBC from the 1970s onwards by Aardman Animations
, who would later use the similar techniques for Wallace & Gromit.
A Kickstarter campaign
last year has paid for 12 new one minute episodes. [more inside]
posted by DanCall at 11:12 AM - 4 comments
Arizona’s Checkpoint Rebellion
Liberals, libertarians, retirees, and activists protest against immigration patrols far from the border.
DHS Checkpoint Refusals
Am I being detained? Am I free to go?
posted by davidstandaford at 10:57 AM - 39 comments
plays in the band The Nunnery
and takes 35mm photographs
of the underground music scene in Boise, Idaho.
plays in the band Underpass
and takes 35mm photographs
of the DIY punk scene in Vancouver, British Columbia.
posted by Juliet Banana at 9:45 AM - 21 comments
Thirty Essential Songs from the Golden Age of Emo
Including, of course, and with all sincerity, a late-era Jawbreaker song that opens with a clip of Christopher Walken's monologue from Annie Hall
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 9:41 AM - 34 comments
Sarah McKinley and Violeta Duncan for Community Wealth: Worker Cooperatives Address Low-Wage Work and the Feminization of Poverty
Women of color working low-wage jobs must often navigate unregulated work conditions, as much of their work is domestic labor—caregiving, house cleaning, child care—an industry that, historically, is not only low-paid but also exploitative. The National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), a 10,000 membership-based organization for nannies, housecleaners, and caregivers, describes, in its 2012 Home Economics: The Invisible and Unregulated World of Domestic Work [PDF] report, the substandard conditions of domestic work, including lack of employment benefits, meager wages, exposure to toxic chemicals, and physical abuse.
posted by divined by radio at 9:05 AM - 15 comments
Such unhealthy work environments and insufficient pay have led a number of these low-wage women to take matters in to their own hands. Many have formed women-owned worker cooperatives that ensure good pay and healthy working conditions, help women overcome the isolation and vulnerability of domestic work, and empower women to build wealth for themselves, their families, and their communities.
Are you playing Kim Kardashian: Hollywood
yet? Pretty much everyone is, including the EPA Office of Water
. Your mission is simple: become an A-list celebrity through networking, flirting, modeling, promoting vodka, avoiding landlords and poking birds for money
, and dating assholes
. Oh, and plenty of in-app purchases
. Or you could just cheat
posted by Metroid Baby at 9:00 AM - 67 comments
With growing fascination for the large land vertebratomorphs that are so startlingly diverse on Tatooine, I secured Imperial funding for an expedition to Tatooine, to survey the exotic megafauna and search for fossils of Tyrannodraconis that might further illuminate their evolution. My ensuing report
summarizes my trilogy of investigations and discoveries from this “holiday in the suns." [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura at 8:48 AM - 5 comments
Iron, Steam and Coal.
Photographer Matthew Malkiewicz captures the timeless beauty of the steam locomotive and steam trains - the steam
, the tracks
, the folks who run them
and just the folks who love them
. (Via Petapixel
posted by caddis at 8:13 AM - 4 comments
Computer Virus Catalog
(NSFW) shows artists' renditions of famous computer viruses.
posted by codacorolla at 8:08 AM - 8 comments
A Republican panel of the D.C. Circuit has ruled
[.pdf opinion] in the case of Halbig v. Burwell
that a drafting error in the Affordable Care Act provides subsidies exclusively to state-based exchanges and not to federally-facilitated ones, even while subjectively intending to provide subsidies in both cases.
The ruling threatens to take away federal subsidies for insurance sold on Obamacare exchanges in 36 states.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:02 AM - 103 comments
Last week, a 43 year-old man named Eric Garner died
during an arrest on Staten Island, New York, when he was put in what looked like a choke hold. The NYPD claims that Mr. Garner was selling illegally cigarettes outside a store. The entire encounter, which was videotaped and posted to YouTube
, (graphic) has so far resulted in the removal of the badge and gun from the arresting officers, as well as the suspension of two EMTs and two paramedics
who were seen on another video taking Garner's pulse but apparently doing little else
for about two minutes
. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:56 AM - 164 comments
"...With China’s growing economic weight, disposable income and willingness to engage internationally, its ability to radically transform the fortunes of small countries has seen many governments re-orientate their diplomatic endeavors away from traditional bases in the West.
"But with so few resources available to them, and so little political capital to bank on, these lonely diplomats face a struggle against limited budgets as they scrap for crumbs from the giant’s table."
posted by frimble at 3:47 AM - 2 comments
Michael Kors has been causing a bit of a sensation in the fashion world recently, as the popularity of the designer's handbags, and in particular, one handbag—called "the Selma"—threatens to dethrone Coach
as the luxury brand to buy (some say it already has
). The Guardian notes
that in the Kors line of handbags, "The details are right: the gold studs on the base, a practical touch so that you can rest the bag on the floor; a printed silk lining; a phone pocket. But the most important detail is very, very simple: the magic £300 price tag." Obsessions and the internet go hand in hand, so here are some of the best reviews of Selma handbags from bloggers who want to share their knowledge with other handbag enthusiasts. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 10:17 PM - 449 comments
In 1915, dissatisfied with the many competing designs for rural mailboxes, the US Post Office Department decided to specify its own box
. The result, designed by postal engineer Roy Joroleman, was the iconic tunnel mailbox
. Unpatented and easily manufacturable, it would be become ubiquitous
along America's roadsides and would often serve as a blank canvas for homeowners' artistic expression
. [more inside]
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 8:23 PM - 53 comments
Teddy Gray's Sweet Factory
is a short and sweet documentary by Martin Parr about a traditionally owned and run confectionery factory in the British Midlands. [via kottke
posted by carter at 8:18 PM - 16 comments
is 5 feet tall and weighs 100 pounds and she is a total badass
. The former Towson University gymnast recently became the first woman to qualify for the finals of American Ninja Warrior
. Esquire has an after event interview
. [more inside]
posted by cwest at 8:00 PM - 110 comments
Margaret Wise Brown willed the copyright to 'Goodnight Moon' to a friend's young son. Did she ruin his life? [more inside]
posted by bq at 7:46 PM - 13 comments
"The United Nations approves of the criminalization of narcotics. But the World Health Organization, a branch of the UN, apparently disagrees.
The Economist has flagged
a report on prevention and treatment for HIV in groups most likely to contract the disease. In the report, the WHO quietly recommends decriminalizing drugs — specifically, injectable drugs that spread HIV." [more inside]
posted by bookman117 at 7:20 PM - 15 comments
Seven crazy ‘Harry Potter’ theories we wish had come true This week marks the seven-year anniversary of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. To celebrate, we pick out the seven best fan theories that never came true.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:59 PM - 45 comments
OBVIOUSLY ANGULAR PETRIFICATION BENEATH CHARLOTTETOWN
. TWO SCABS
. OVAL WITH PLATO
. These are...the emoji of the future. (Maybe.)
Library of Emoji
[via mefi projects
] randomly generates descriptions for the Unicode characters we never knew we wanted.
posted by capricorn at 5:51 PM - 7 comments
The Decline of Harper Lee: [Vulture]
The iconic 88-year-old author is involved in [another] messy tussle over a new biography. Does this mean she'll never tell her own story? [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 4:40 PM - 12 comments
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