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November 20

Punching in a nightmare

Requiem for Rod Serling "In his work, Serling would return often to the hardships of the war-weary, but he reserved some of his most powerful observations for broken-down boxers, particularly those who failed to achieve stardom."
posted by bitmage at 7:13 PM - 25 comments

"What I want to talk shit on is the paradigm of the Big Idea."

"I have worked at international development NGOs almost my entire career ... I’ve been frustrated by the same inefficiencies and assumptions of my sector that are now getting picked apart in public. Like the authors, donors, and governments attacking international development, I’m sometimes disillusioned with what my job requires me to do, what it requires that I demand of others. Over the last year, I read every book, essay, and roman à clef about my field I could find. I came out convinced that the problems with international development are real, they are fundamental, and I might, in fact, be one of them. But I also found that it’s too easy to blame the PlayPumps of the world. Donors, governments, the public, the media, aid recipients themselves—they all contribute to the dysfunction. Maybe the problem isn’t that international development doesn’t work. It’s that it can’t."
posted by ChuraChura at 5:22 PM - 42 comments

Always on Twine

Laura Hudson at NYT Magazine offers a great profile of Porpentine, one of the most talented voices working in an ultra-accessible medium for crafting new interactive fiction. She also reviews landmarks in the genre from other authors. What better time to celebrate the profusion of excellent Twine games out there? Links galore inside. [more inside]
posted by zeusianfog at 4:19 PM - 21 comments

The joy of being unbalanced

Common sense dictates that video games should be balanced. Of course they should be! Why wouldn't they? Well, it turns out there are actually some pretty cool things that can happen when a game isn't balanced. - The Unbalanced Design of Super Smash Brothers
posted by stoneweaver at 2:42 PM - 62 comments

Nothing but a Berliner

This post contains nudity.
Photographic history is chock-full of people who were painters before they became photographers, but very few were in women's wear to begin with.
When Hitler came to power in 1933, Erwin Blumenfeld produced this premonitory photomontage which in 1943 the US Airforce dropped in their millions over Germany cities.
Possibly his most famous early work is the series Nude under wet veil reflecting Botticelli and Cranach .
From his early Dada and Surrealist photomontages to his later New York fashion shoots, Erwin Blumenfeld insistently parodied objects of desire.
Here is an illustrated lifeline and a brief bio. from weimarart blogspot.
His fashion shots were masterpieces as were some of his nudes.
73 Thumbnails and wiki.
posted by adamvasco at 2:25 PM - 16 comments

Position yourself, whenever possible, at the top of a flight of stairs.

Bookish Beauty Tips from the Toast.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 2:18 PM - 9 comments

Snip Snip goes the vasectomy

The Amazing True Story Of My Exploding Balls
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:10 PM - 73 comments

Key and Peele - Aerobics Meltdown

Key & Peele's dark parody of the 1988 aerobic championship (previously)
posted by rebent at 2:10 PM - 54 comments

a "disjoined, incoherent stream of historical tidbits."

This would not make Chipotle the first major American chain restaurant to decorate with death iconography from another culture (that distinction may go to P.F. Chang's, with their terracotta soldiers), but I'm of the opinion "death by burrito" should be about portion size, and not about inadvertently invoking the wrath of an ancient deity.
So it turns out those "Mayan" glyphs at Chipotle restaurants are indeed of Mayan origin, explains Taylor Jones in Slate. (Via Languagehat)
posted by MartinWisse at 1:03 PM - 36 comments

Ruin Porn Ruins Chernobyl

Photographers prowl the streets of Pripyat . ...at each new location we visited, photographers were picking up dolls and books and clothes, draping them across steel-strung beds or sitting them upright on mantelpieces. However in trying to show the truth, these visitors are slowly destroying it. [more inside]
posted by Omnomnom at 1:02 PM - 26 comments

Charles the Third, by the Grace of God, Defender of the Faith

When Prince Charles becomes king, will he be able to stop his compulsive ‘meddling’? And if he can’t, what will it mean for the monarchy and the United Kingdom? (SLGuardian)
posted by Chrysostom at 12:28 PM - 158 comments

From Wrestling Legend to Double Amputee, Kamala Keeps Fighting

The name Jim Harris probably doesn't mean much to many pro wrestling fans, however, most would be very familiar with his alter ego, Kamala. Billed as hailing from Uganda, Kamala, who never spoke, was portrayed as a dangerous, cannibalistic savage. After debuting the Kamala gimmick in Memphis in 1982, his career peaked in the mid-80s when he had a main event level feud with the biggest star of the era, Hulk Hogan. Unfortunately, as detailed in this article from the Bleacher Report, the past few years have been challenging for Harris both medically and financially, but he maintains a positive outlook. [more inside]
posted by The Gooch at 12:06 PM - 10 comments

Fakelore, bowdlerized fairy tales and new American legends

The term "fakelore" has one basic core definition: modern tales that are similar to true folklore, the stories and traditions of a culture or group. But there are a few different takes on what exactly fakelore is, from the anti-alcohol lessons inserted in the modified fairy tales re-written and illustrated by George Cruikshank, which earned Horatian satire from Charles Dickens, to Paul Bunyan (the Red River Lumber Company produced the most well-known material; full scans - but this hasn't kept people from giving him a grave marker) and Pecos Bill (Google books preview), who were created as for marketing purposes or to replicate traditional tall tales, and more recently 'so-called "multicultural folktale" picture books [that] are a popular means for teaching about other cultures, especially in the primary grades.'
posted by filthy light thief at 11:42 AM - 23 comments

VERSION 2.0: “New Testament” expansion pack. Adds Jesus features.

1.6 “Sodom and Gomorrah” N.S.F.W. glitch identified and removed. Bible now free of “Homosexuality” virus. . .
2.7 “Jesus AutoSave” feature. Restores Jesus to previously saved form three days after data loss. . .
6.9 Limited-edition Kanye West Messiah edition available. “Yeezus” features added. . .

"Bible System Updates" by Megan Amram for Shouts & Murmurs (The New Yorker)
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:41 AM - 15 comments

Yale Wins The Shootout

Goalkeeper Saves Five Penalties - With His Face (SLYT) A soccer match between the Yale Bulldogs and the North Carolina Tar Heels comes down to the most epic penalty kick shootout you'll ever see. A sketch from Studio C.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:35 AM - 22 comments

Stink-eye? Or bored-eye? More like bird-eye: the shoebill's steady gaze

"A few days ago, my son, Lucas, and I took the train to Prague for his school break. Usually, when I visit a city, my first port of call is whatever passes for a botanical garden but when he told me that Prague’s zoo contained not only giant salamanders but also two pairs of shoebills, I could not resist the temptation..." (John Burnside's essay in The New Statesman.) [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 10:36 AM - 4 comments

Fashion Victims

The “arsenic” ball gown sits on a headless dressmaker’s form in the basement archives of Toronto’s Bata Shoe Museum as senior curator Elizabeth Semmelhack, wearing cotton conservators’ gloves, expounds upon its vintage (late 1860s), its provenance (Australia), its exquisite construction—and, most relevantly, its ability to kill.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:52 AM - 27 comments

Dracula but before and lesbian

With only 4 more episodes before the end of the first season, now is the perfect time to catch up on the web series Carmilla, a modern take on the 1872 Gothic novella that launched a thousand lesbian vampire ships. [more inside]
posted by brookedel at 9:36 AM - 12 comments

Horrifying alternate universe what-ifs

In a world which, thankfully, is not the one we live in a goateed version of Randall Munroe also maintains a what-if blog.
posted by zeptoweasel at 9:24 AM - 38 comments

To be misunderstood in your own lifetime doesn’t make you a failure

Kickended is an archive of kickstarter projects that got 0 backers over the life of their campaigns. The Grauniad discusses it with the creator, Silvio Lorusso. [more inside]
posted by Lemurrhea at 9:23 AM - 26 comments

Ether One

A British team cautiously develops a game that simulates a sample case of dementia.
posted by mmiddle at 8:25 AM - 21 comments

Winter in Vogue

Thirty images of winter, created over the past century by Vogue magazine.
posted by orange swan at 8:14 AM - 20 comments

And then the Golden Retriever is like

EAT THIS! SNIFF THAT! SNIFF THOSE TOO! CHEW ALL THESE! SNARF THIS THING IN PARTICULAR! [more inside]
posted by fuse theorem at 8:13 AM - 39 comments

Is that an elephant in your

There are dozens of questions surrounding Magic Leap’s supposedly magical, definitely mysterious, and potentially overhyped creation. Will it be an “eyeglasses-like device,” as The Wall Street Journal has reported, or a pair of contact lenses that project images right on our eyeballs? What’s it for? Does it have practical applications? Or is it all about entertainment? And when will it be available?
posted by sammyo at 7:44 AM - 33 comments

Marry someone who will take care of the kids

It’s Not Your Kids Holding Your Career Back. It’s Your Husband. A new study of Harvard Business School graduates found that high-achieving women are not meeting the career goals because they’re allowing their partners’ careers to take precedence over their own. This echos earlier advice by Xerox CEO Ursula Burns to "marry down" someone who will take care of the kids.
posted by mooselini at 7:08 AM - 105 comments

So What, Who Cares? Email Newsletter

So What, Who Cares? by Lisa Schmeiser - What is news or pop culture without context? Every day, I'll point out three to five things that you might like to know, explaining why they matter (So what?) and who they affect (Who cares?). Archives here.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:53 AM - 13 comments

A Chat with Dionne Osborne, the Vocal Coach Who Changed Drake's Style

What I found in those recordings was that he has the most comfortable voice. It wasn't showy, and it had a very nice tone: it sounded so conversational. He wasn't singing at you, but singing to you. A lot of singers overdo it, try to bombast you, but Drake doesn't. And the average person can sing Drake's songs, and that's part of what they love.
posted by ellieBOA at 5:04 AM - 16 comments

"Plastics."

Legendary director Mike Nichols, who made an incredible debut nearly fifty years ago with Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and then managed to follow that up with The Graduate, has died at the age of 83. Younger audiences may also know him for The Birdcage, the HBO miniseries Angels in America and his last film Charlie Wilson's War.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 5:02 AM - 65 comments

How To Write A Shitty Young Adult Novel

"Books are dead. It's sad, but it's basically true. Sure, you can eke out a decent living if you dedicate yourself to your craft, spend years researching niche topics, and fleshing out the true human characteristics of your characters–that is, if you're extremely lucky and enormously talented. Or you could write a young adult novel."
posted by Jacqueline at 4:33 AM - 126 comments

DO IT LIKE YOU MEAN IT

A group of YouTube filmmakers got three grandmothers together in Washington State who had never smoked pot before and got them high.
posted by gman at 4:16 AM - 52 comments

November 19

Astronaut Marsha Ivins describes life in space

Astronaut Marsha Ivins describes her experiences: prelaunch, launch, and zero-g: "It’s a mix of the transcendently magical and the deeply prosaic."
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 11:17 PM - 13 comments

Fleshlettes

"Recently Jonathan has become consumed with the creation of realistic yet abstract human body hybrids known as FLESHLETTES."
posted by Confess, Fletch at 9:47 PM - 36 comments

Red rum reduxe

Red: A Kubrick Supercut from Rishi Kaneria
posted by a lungful of dragon at 7:40 PM - 10 comments

Campus rape

"Jackie was just starting her freshman year at the University of Virginia when she was brutally assaulted by seven men at a frat party. When she tried to hold them accountable, a whole new kind of abuse began" Many trigger warnings. [more inside]
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 3:54 PM - 235 comments

Nobody in history has ever listened to an entire episode front-to-back

This is what we know about A Prairie Home Companion
posted by brundlefly at 1:42 PM - 335 comments

“It is almost a fairytale, but that doesn’t take away from the beauty.”

Tacoma Art Museum has just opened an entirely new wing devoted to a single collection of Western American art [depicting Native Americans and created by Europeans and Euro-Americans]. Because the work presented is culturally problematic, the museum has taken the unusual step of commissioning a handful of Native American people to write labels responding to the art. What results in the galleries can be frustrating, but it also breaks open the complexity of what's really going on both in the art and in the institution of the museum in 2014.
How Tacoma Art Museum Criticizes a Collection Without Angering the Donors, by Jen Graves.
posted by Banknote of the year at 12:59 PM - 24 comments

Overtime, Stock, And The Dwindling Middle Class

And it turns out that fair overtime standards are to the middle class what the minimum wage is to low-income workers: not everything, but an indispensable labor protection that is absolutely essential to creating a broad and thriving middle class. Seattle entrepreneur Nick Hanauer (previously) discusses how unpaid overtime is choking the middle class, the shell game of stock buybacks, and what the Administration could do unilaterally to fix things.
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:27 PM - 51 comments

Neuroscience has lost an important voice.

Allison Doupe, 1954-2014. "In this era of interdisciplinary science, there is a common phrase: much is known but in different heads. Occasionally, multiple disciplines come together in one remarkable head."
posted by Dashy at 12:12 PM - 8 comments

Greil Marcus and Don DeLillo discuss Bob Dylan and Bucky Wunderlick

The following conversation took place in 2005 in front of an audience at the Telluride film festival in Colorado, after a screening of Martin Scorsese’s documentary, Bob Dylan: No Direction Home.
posted by Lorin at 12:00 PM - 6 comments

"I am defending grandmother earth and I am chasing peace."

Crow Creek Lakota member Greg Grey Cloud interrupted the Senate to sing a victory song after the Keystone XL pipeline was defeated. (Scroll down for video)
posted by femmegrrr at 11:15 AM - 52 comments

Butter Wars, squatting with Sid, and £10,000 on iPad apps

The financial wisdom of Johnny Rotten. Former Sex Pistol John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) discusses spending, saving, investment, debt, and reveals the "best thing [he] ever bought." Unsurprisingly he's a bit cynical on celebrity charity, but it makes him "happy" when people spend their money on him.
posted by bhb at 11:13 AM - 17 comments

Tactical Duty Kilt

It's the perfect clothing for doing some parkour around town or chilling at the bar. Accessorize with your rugged pouch or tactical boots.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 11:13 AM - 51 comments

All I can say is euhhh...

But in addition, and to make the dub look as realistic as possible, she must also identify every instance of a character uttering a word with an m, p, or b in it in English, and find a word in French with the same consonant. And the replacement word has to fit into that sentence in exactly the same spot as where the American actor’s mouth makes the m, p, or b face. And you think your job is tedious! What It Takes to Be the French Jennifer Lawrence.
posted by Mrs. Rattery at 11:04 AM - 34 comments

It's time to fix our broken immigration system.

Tomorrow night, President Obama will address the nation on steps he will be taking by executive action in an attempt to fix the immigration laws. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:48 AM - 170 comments

Pelvic sorcery of the finest kind

What if Guardians of the Galaxy, had included more dancing beyond that of baby Groot?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:40 AM - 35 comments

Best Tech Employers For Women (and a Nordic Mystery)

Business Insider: Best Tech Employers For Women [Ranked] by Julie Bort [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 10:23 AM - 13 comments

Amazing Little Flip Books Use Negative Space and Secret Compartments

"These fun little flip books made in Japan feature a number of unexpected designs that make use of negative space and secret “compartments” that are gradually revealed as you flip through the books. There are several books in the series published by Mou Hitotsu no Kenkyujo and you can pick them up on Amazon. Here’s the bug one. (via Travelry)"
posted by SpacemanStix at 9:59 AM - 9 comments

I El-Rei have knowledge of you Captain Zumbi of Palmares...

Quilombos are the communities formed by escaped slaves in Brazil.
Probably the most well known of these is Palmares one of whose inhabitants was the legendary leader Zumbi.
posted by adamvasco at 9:31 AM - 7 comments

"The Culture represents the place we might hope to get to"

The long-term optimism comes from the the fact that no matter how bad things seem and how idiotically and cruelly we behave. . . well, we've got this far, despite it all, and there are more people on the planet than ever before, and more people living good, productive, relatively happy lives than ever before, and—providing we aren't terminally stupid, or unlucky enough to get clobbered by something we have no control over, like a big meteorite or a gamma ray buster or whatever—we'll solve a lot of problems just by sticking around and doing what we do; developing, progressing, improving, adapting. And possibly by inventing AIs that are smarter and more decent than we are, which will help us get some sort of perspective on ourselves, at the very least. We might just stumble our way blindly, unthinkingly into utopia, in other words, muddling through despite ourselves.
In 2010 Jude Roberts interviewed Iain M. Banks for her PhD. Banks discusses his utopia, The Culture, which he created in a series of science fiction novels.
posted by Kattullus at 9:07 AM - 69 comments

And though you hate this song You'll be humming it for weeks

If Chick Chick is Rong I don't wanna be right. By Chinese pop legend Wang Rong Rollin.You gotta admit it's a step up from doing patriotic songs about China's claims to the Daioyu Islands like she did last year. (Send all blame for this here.)
posted by MartinWisse at 8:38 AM - 20 comments

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