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August 26

"International fast food behemoth Burger King Worldwide Inc. confirmed Tuesday that it will pay about $11 billion to buy Canadian chain Tim Hortons Inc., which sells coffee, donuts, and other breakfast food fare. The deal would merge America's second-largest burger chain, which is valued at nearly $10 billion, with the Canadian equivalent to Dunkin' Donuts, which is valued at more than $8 billion. It would also move the new company's headquarters to Canada, where corporate taxes are significantly lower." [more inside]
posted by flex at 11:34 AM - 225 comments

Inside the Art Department at The Onion.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:43 AM - 11 comments

A monster mouth doorway, ruined pyramid temples and palace remains emerged from the Mexican jungle as archaeologists unearthed two ancient Mayan cities.
posted by Pr0t35t3r at 10:27 AM - 24 comments

Crazy Selfie From Hong Kong Skyscraper [16 second SLYT || some context || #exthetics]
posted by milquetoast at 10:21 AM - 37 comments

Ever wanted an IMDB but for guns? Welcome to the IMFDB - The Internet Movie Database of Guns The IMDB [Internet Movie Database] is 23 years old this year. Launched in 1990, and filled with cast/crew info as well as trivia and goofs it is the go to location for film information online. But did you know that the IMFDB [Internet Movie Firearms Database] is the place to go to get the most comprehensive information on any firearms used in media? [more inside]
posted by Faintdreams at 8:42 AM - 27 comments

US states, ranked by beer.
posted by MartinWisse at 8:41 AM - 66 comments

this is an album of men and women wearing very similar outfits placed side by side for comparison. I tried to find fits that not only had the same colour palette, but the same clothing cut/style as well. Most images were taken from Pinterest - I just pinned outfits that I thought would transfer well to the opposite gender and started matching. Some resemblances are better than others, but I think the individual touches are what make some fits more characteristically masculine or feminine.
via /r/femalefashionadvice
posted by rebent at 8:39 AM - 46 comments

In the southern portion of China there is an expansive karst landscape, formed by the dissolution of soluble rocks such as limestone, dolomite, and gypsum. The region is home to the South China Karst UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is actually seven different notable features, as well as the visually impressive Moon Hill, some of China's supercaves, and Xiaozhai Tiankeng, the world's deepest sinkhole. You can climb Moon Hill, but it's best to plan ahead. You can also explore China's great caves, but it is necessary to explore between October-November and February-March to avoid the monsoon seasons, and getting down Xiaozhai Tiankeng requires a lot of gear. You can read more about the Tiankengs (giant dolines or sinkholes) in the karst of China (PDF).
posted by filthy light thief at 8:36 AM - 6 comments

Hervé This: The world’s weirdest chef [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:15 AM - 6 comments

A father finds pornographic websites in his 9-year-old son's browser history in a surprisingly charming and amusing first-person essay: “I know you were looking at porn.” A silence hung in the air between us as I tried to figure out where to go from there. He looked at me, eyebrows up and eyes wide open, on alert for whatever would come next. The past winter had torn up the road, and his still baby-fatted cheeks bounced along with the car as we headed back towards our house. The anticipation of my response was clearly getting to him. “Are you gonna say anything else?” “To be honest, I hadn’t really thought this far ahead,” I told him. “I only planned as far as this, telling you I knew.” [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:09 AM - 159 comments

Lena Dunham writes about her childhood anxieties, and growing up in therapy. (SLNewYorker)
posted by magstheaxe at 6:42 AM - 130 comments

92 Gears is a lovely, hypnotic animated GIF. Ball Bearings in a Hypersphere is a mathematical discussion of its generalizations.
posted by Wolfdog at 5:54 AM - 21 comments

August 25

Dust. A short film starring Alan Rickman.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 10:51 PM - 16 comments

Photographer Nick Bower captures portraits of varying scientists contemplating global warming.
posted by xammerboy at 7:53 PM - 23 comments

Kittens Game
posted by oceanjesse at 7:22 PM - 421 comments

Entomologist and photographer Alex Wild on the process of photographing a funnel-web spider: These Spider Fangs Aren’t Going To Photograph Themselves. "Most photographs involve some combination of creativity and constraint, and this one was no different." [more inside]
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 7:06 PM - 47 comments

In honor of Saturday Night Live's 40th season, Grantland has been publishing an ongoing series of essays, remembrances, podcasts, and interviews, as well as asking you to cast your votes in The Battle for the Best SNL Cast Member. (They're already down to the final eight; sorry, your favorite cast member has already been eliminated.)
posted by not_on_display at 6:56 PM - 84 comments

Unknown orange/red glow over Pacific Ocean "Then, very far in the distance ahead of us, just over the horizon an intense lightflash shot up from the ground. It looked like a lightning bolt, but way more intense and directed vertically up in the air. I have never seen anything like this, and there were no flashes before or after this single explosion of light." [more inside]
posted by gen at 6:53 PM - 60 comments

"Hollywood's pathological fear of being political has made them blind to the changes that women's friendships have undergone over the last forty years. We're so far past women's relationships revolving around men that no one is even offended by the suggestion that women have relationships that don't revolve around men. Bridesmaids was a smash among women AND men, and so was [Paul] Feig's follow-up, The Heat, another female driven, non-romantic comedy." (Hat-tip: Mick LaSalle) [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 5:52 PM - 46 comments

You’re allowed to make art with male gaze. But please call a spade a spade. "I don’t think I’ve seen a single page of Dresden Codak that doesn’t feature a woman posed in a male-gazey way, with loving focus on her ass or cleavage, or wearing a sexual costume, or in some situation that puts her in a compromising position (like the most recent page in which Kimiko’s clothing is burned off of her body, which has happened at least twice in the series’ run.) I have a very hard time believing that these details are accidental." [more inside]
posted by moonlight on vermont at 5:43 PM - 119 comments

Michael Specter of The New Yorker profiles and critiques prominent anti-Genetically Modified crops activist (and purported leading physicist) Vandana Shiva: "her statements are rarely supported by data, and her positions often seem more like those of an end-of-days mystic than like those of a scientist." [more inside]
posted by Bwithh at 4:02 PM - 85 comments

The Feynman Lectures on Physics All three volumes of The Feynman Lectures on Physics are now online. A fantastic resource for anyone interested in Feynman or physics in general. (Previously, when the first volume was available.)
posted by citizenoftheworld at 3:48 PM - 24 comments

Every second, a few people on Spotify hit "play" on the same track at the same time. via waxy
posted by graventy at 3:19 PM - 34 comments

Angelica Paez is a Texas-based collage artist whose works are wonderfully surreal and weird. She is also a collaborator in the decades-long One Thousand Thousand project, which aims to produce one million hand-made, original artworks.
posted by Mr. Six at 2:28 PM - 4 comments

Stack Exchange No Context collects all the weird and funny questions from the Q&A network. Viaby Mefi's own chrismear.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 2:13 PM - 24 comments

On this day one hundred years ago, Imperial German soldiers who had peacefully arrived in the Belgian city of Leuven (Fr: Louvain), having taken hostages and accepted the parole of its mayor on behalf of its citizens, without warning set fire to the city and massacred its inhabitants forever altering the city, its university's library, and the course of the war.
  • Belgian Judicial Report on the Sacking of Louvain in August 1914
  • The destruction and rebuilding of the Louvain Library: claim and counterclaim
  • [more inside]
    posted by Blasdelb at 1:50 PM - 13 comments

    Gerald Horne is the John J. and Rebecca Moores Chair of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston. He is a prolific author whose most recent book is The Counter-Revolution of 1776: : Slave Resistance & the Origins of the United States of America (published by NYU Press; available on Google Books). From the publisher's description:
    The so-called Revolutionary War, Horne writes, was in large part a counter-revolution, a conservative movement that the founding fathers fought in order to preserve their liberty to enslave others—and which today takes the form of a racialized conservatism and a persistent racism targeting the descendants of the enslaved.
    Early in the book, Horne writes:
    The construction of 'whiteness' or the forging of bonds between and among European settlers across class, gender, ethnic, and religious lines was a concrete response to the real dangers faced by all of these migrants in the face of often violent rebellions from enslaved Africans and their indigenous comrades.
    He recently sat down with Paul Jay of the Real News Network for the show Reality Asserts Itself. The result is a far-ranging discussion that covers his youth growing up in Jim Crow era St. Louis, his personal and intellectual development, pre-revolutionary America and the lucrative business of slavery, the Civil War and Reconstruction, and the Civil rights movement. The interview concludes by bringing us back to recent events, including the recent chokehold death of Eric Garner in New York, and the protests in Ferguson, Missouri. [more inside]
    posted by mondo dentro at 1:20 PM - 14 comments

    If your cryptography predates The Fresh Prince, you need better cryptography. With recognition of the need for secure communication standards finally going mainstream, crypto researcher and Johns Hopkins University professor Matthew Green takes a hard look at the de facto standard everyone is jumping on, and suggests that we can and should do a lot better. [more inside]
    posted by George_Spiggott at 1:16 PM - 22 comments

    The Wire's Greatest Line Every 'Simpsons' Character Ever Delivered
    posted by ellieBOA at 12:58 PM - 179 comments

    Then and now in New Orleans as the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approaches. This time it might not hurt to read the comments.
    posted by Anitanola at 12:08 PM - 18 comments

    Award winning Texas brewery Austin Beerworks has announced a revolutionary new packaging option for their Peacemaker Anytime Ale - the 99 pack. It's real, and only $99.
    posted by dirtdirt at 11:48 AM - 32 comments

    Perhaps the fundamental description of the universe does not include the concepts of “mass” and “length,” implying that at its core, nature lacks a sense of scale. 'Supersymmetry posits the existence of a missing twin particle for every particle found in nature.' But there's 'one big problem with supersymmetry: in the particle physics that is observed in today's accelerators, every boson most definitely does NOT have a matching fermion with the same mass and charge. So if supersymmetry is a symmetry of Nature, it must somehow be broken.' 'Scale symmetry[warning: slow-loading pdf], constitutes a radical departure from long-standing assumptions about how elementary particles acquire their properties. 'With their field stuck at a nasty impasse,' 'researchers have returned to the master equations that describe the known particles and their interactions, and are asking: What happens when you erase the terms in the equations having to do with mass and length?' [more inside]
    posted by VikingSword at 11:39 AM - 25 comments

    "Even as a very small boy I was utterly fascinated by animals of every kind." Shortly before his 19th birthday in December 1957, Bob Goulding accompanied Gerald Durrell on an animal collecting trip to Cameroon. "Our trip to Cameroon, which lasted around six months, is the subject of Durrell’s book ‘A Zoo in my Luggage’, published in 1960 by Rupert Hart-Davis. I am Durrell’s ‘young assistant Bob’ in the book." This was neither the beginning nor the end of a life-long involvement and fascination with tropical natural history which saw Goulding later take over management of the zoo attached to the Department of Zoology of the University of Ibadan, Nigeria in 1963. Now retired back to Bristol, he keeps a personal website which contains a fascinating record of those pioneering years. Particularly poignant is the story of the two gorillas, Aruna and Imade, from their capture by hunters to the years of their maturity. Under Golding's leadership Ibadan Zoo became an early and exemplary instance of zoo habitat design. The website contains an account of building the gorilla enclosure; a heartfelt acknowledgement of his former staff; letters from past visitors, now grown up; stories of research and collecting; a snapshot of Nigeria in the 60's and 70's; an overview of local fauna; and lots and lots of photographs! Also, hairy frogs (don't look at them.)
    posted by glasseyes at 11:21 AM - 11 comments

    You invest so much in it, don't you? It's what elevates you above the beasts of the field, it's what makes you special. Homo sapiens, you call yourself. Wise Man. Do you even know what it is, this consciousness you cite in your own exaltation? Do you even know what it's for?
    Dr. Peter Watts is no stranger to MetaFilter. But look past his sardonic nuptials, heartbreaking eulogies, and agonizing run-ins with fascists (and fasciitis) and you'll find one of the most brilliant, compelling, and disquieting science fiction authors at work today. A marine biologist skilled at deep background research, his acclaimed 2006 novel Blindsight [full text] -- a cerebral "first contact" tale led by a diverse crew of bleeding-edge post-humans -- is diamond-hard and deeply horrifying, wringing profound existential dread from such abstruse concepts as the Chinese Room, the Philosophical Zombie, Chernoff faces, and the myriad quirks and blind spots that haunt the human mind. But Blindsight's last, shattering insight is not the end of the story -- along with crew/ship/"Firefall" notes, a blackly funny in-universe lecture on resurrecting sociopathic vampirism (PDF - prev.), and a rigorously-cited (and spoiler-laden) reference section, tomorrow will see the release of Dumbspeech State of Grace Echopraxia [website], the long-delayed "sidequel" depicting parallel events on Earth. Want more? Look inside for a guide to the rest of Watts' award-winning (and provocative) body of work. [more inside]
    posted by Rhaomi at 11:17 AM - 67 comments

    A profile of classicist Mary Beard, and, among other things, her decision to confront sexist detractors online. "The real issue, she suggested, is not merely guaranteeing a woman’s right to speak; it is being aware of the prejudices that we bring to the way we hear her. Listening, she implied, is an essential element of speech."
    posted by OmieWise at 10:43 AM - 21 comments

    what IS country music? Tensions have been brewing and there’s been no shortage of public feuding among the genre’s A-list. As country fights to figure out what it should look and sound like, its biggest stars are airing some very honest (and sometimes harsh) opinions. Here’s a timeline of country’s wild, crazy, and sometimes mud-slinging year. [more inside]
    posted by St. Peepsburg at 9:29 AM - 97 comments

    This Is What Happens To Your Heart When You Dive Into The Sea
    Human blood has a chemical composition 98% similar to seawater. An infant will reflexively breaststroke when placed underwater and can comfortably hold his breath for about 40 seconds, longer than many adults. We lose this ability only when we learn how to walk.
    posted by dame at 9:28 AM - 40 comments

    On March 15, 1969, The Velvet Underground played its last show of a three-day engagement at The Boston Tea Party in Boston, Massachusetts. The entire set was recorded by a fan directly from Lou Reed's guitar amplifier. "Reed’s guitar is, of course, way up front and the rest of the band is barely audible. The result is a mighty electronic roar that reveals the depth and layers of Reed’s playing. Over and undertones, feedback, string buzz, the scratch of fingers on frets and the crackle and hum of tube amps combine to create a monolithic blast of metal machine music." - Head Heritage.

    Previously available on a bootleg CD, The Legendary Guitar Amp Tapes has finally made it to vinyl, courtesy of Tummy Tapes. Check out one of the most unique VU boots in existence. [more inside]
    posted by porn in the woods at 9:27 AM - 11 comments

    "Finally. A girlfriend your family can believe in." "Invisible Girlfriend gives you real-world and social proof that you’re in a relationship - even if you’re not - so you can get back to living life on your own terms." [more inside]
    posted by Fizz at 9:10 AM - 50 comments

    Why the Ice Bucket Challenge is bad for you: "The ALS campaign may be a great way to raise money – but it is a horrible reason to donate it" [more inside]
    posted by flex at 9:00 AM - 144 comments

    What Happens When 'The Simpsons' Becomes Dad Humor? With a ratings-smashing marathon running on FXX and a streaming app due to launch in October, perhaps now is the time to ask an impertinent question: When will The Simpsons become passé? Culture has moved on from The Simpsons, despite the show’s unwillingness to pass into comedy Valhalla. In other words, Simpsons is becoming dad humor: structures so well trod that they can never again surprise, no matter how perfectly crafted. The aesthetic earmarks of this mid-90s humor juggernaut are becoming as antiquated as puns and pies-in-the-face.
    posted by Cash4Lead at 8:56 AM - 111 comments

    YouTube theater critic Iain Armitage has never given a bad review. He's six years old. [more inside]
    posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:41 AM - 4 comments

    The New York Times calls David Mitchell's new novel, "The Bone Clocks," his most ambitious novel. This is significant because his other novels are fairly ambitious. [more inside]
    posted by entropone at 8:11 AM - 24 comments

    'It’s hard to describe what Fernet Branca tastes like; it mostly tastes like Fernet Branca.' Fernet Branca is a kind of fernet, themselves a classifcation of amaro, bitter Italian digestifs. The Fernet Hot House: Don't Let Hipsters Ruin It For You [more inside]
    posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:54 AM - 52 comments

    The second televised debate between Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling is to be shown across the UK tonight. After a lacklustre first debate, the final days of the referendum campaign are ticking down. There are signs of growing momentum for the Yes side, with undecideds moving to Yes in some polls and the 'Yes Declaration' recently hitting a million signatures. But the Better Together campaign still has some heavy hitters on side, with Sir Ian Wood recently casting doubt on oil extraction figures he had previously agreed with. [more inside]
    posted by Happy Dave at 7:21 AM - 84 comments

    I could tell you about the first time we made it to Death Egg. I took it pretty seriously. Instead of a controller - there's no place for Tails in the final level - I had a pencil and paper. I recorded every move the final boss made, so we could figure out the pattern, so we could win. I felt important, and smart, and so sure that I could be Player 2 and be happy.
    Alex Roberts, aka @muscularpikachu, reviewed one game per day for 45 days, examining the autobiographical impact of each one. All games listed in chronological order below the fold. [more inside]
    posted by Greg Nog at 6:42 AM - 22 comments

    Someone once asked me why "alpha males" were so popular in so much romantic speculative fiction, and I hesitated to answer it. Not because I didn't know, but because I knew I was going to have to have a discussion about teasing out the difference between finding pleasure in something you genuinely find pleasurable and taking pleasure in something you think you're supposed to find pleasurable.
    Kameron Hurley talks about Gender, Family, Nookie: The Speculative Frontier.
    posted by MartinWisse at 6:21 AM - 7 comments

    Fareed Zakaria has been taken to task for plagiarism by twitter users @blippoblappo and @crushingbort on their website Our Bad Media. (1) Did CNN, The Washington Post and Time actually check Fareed Zakaria's work for plagiarism? (2) How and why lying about plagiarism is bad - a response to Fareed Zakaria and Fred Hiatt (3) The Paste American World: How Fareed Zakaria plagiarized in his international bestseller (and the magazines he used to run) (4) Our Bad Media previously on Metafilter.
    posted by josher71 at 5:55 AM - 102 comments

    "The Way They Were" [Vimeo] Punk and New Wave 1976 - 1978. Channel 4 UK programme first broadcast circa 1984 / 1985-ish. Hosted by the late Tony Wilson, it's a compilation of performances by bands taken from his previous TV shows in the late 70's, such as So It Goes. [more inside]
    posted by maupuia at 1:59 AM - 18 comments

    August 24

    The Aftershocks Seven of Italy’s top scientists were convicted of manslaughter after a catastrophic earthquake. What the hell happened in L’Aquila?
    posted by gottabefunky at 10:31 PM - 31 comments

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