June 19

Is that… is that from Harry Potter?

What if companies interviewed translators the way they interview coders?
posted by Foci for Analysis at 11:23 AM - 88 comments

Well, I was killed in 1963 one Sunday morning in Birmingham

John Fea, Professor of American History and Chair of the History Department at Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania, documents his experience with the Returning to the Roots of the Civil Rights Tour on his blog, The Way of Improvement Leads Home. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 10:53 AM - 3 comments

Flying cars: coming to the skies near you ... perhaps soon-ish

The Paris Air Show starts today, and features a list of known names showing off their newest aircraft, but there will also be some serious attempts to present flying cars. UK-based Neva Aerospace is promoting its AirQuadOne concept (PDF, press release), while the better-known Airbus has their Vahana concept, which is being pitched as on-demand aviation, in line with Uber's near-future goal of low-cost air taxis in Dubai and Dallas, TX by 2020. Not to be left out, Larry Page is backing the Kitty Hawk Flyer, less flying car, and more more human-sized drone that can only land on water. Looping back to the Paris Air Show and flying cars, AeroMobil, the sleek car-with-wings from Slovakia is back to the Air Show, after a serious crash in 2015.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:52 AM - 40 comments

“it’s like you’re a sedimentary rock that’s gathering all these layers”

‘Fiction takes its time’: Arundhati Roy on why it took 20 years to write her second novel [The Guardian] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 10:49 AM - 4 comments

When the corner of your shower floor isn't easily accessible

The best places to cry in New York, mapped. Most of them are even free.
posted by Mchelly at 10:47 AM - 31 comments

Moving from peaking to booming

Less than a decade ago, peak oil was a constant source of anxiety on MeFi (and around the world), but now the world faces an oil price anchored around $55/barrel. The reason is the swarm - US shale producers that can clamber into the market profitably at that price, and which are getting ever more competitive post recent fracking-bust as they drive down costs (and eliminate jobs, which are increasingly in renewables). Though the future is never certain, almost every major OPEC nation needs prices above $55 to balance their budget. While increased fossil fuel use can be very bad for climate change, the fracking boom is leading to the rapid replacement of coal with natural gas, which is generally a good thing for CO2 emissions, though leaking methane mitigates the benefit to an unceratin extent.
posted by blahblahblah at 10:36 AM - 50 comments

Gaudi's First House

Gaudy? No, it's just Gaudi and his first house, now open to the public. His works always make me smile. I'm not so sure I'd want to actually live in them, but maybe I would.
posted by MovableBookLady at 10:33 AM - 17 comments

Did you collect them all?

Hope you managed to cash out of your Pokemon Go gyms this morning, because they've been disabled in preparation for a major overhaul of the game. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:26 AM - 45 comments

Supreme Court rules government can't refuse disparaging trademarks

This will reinstate trademark protections for an NFL team and a rock band with racial slurs as names.
posted by koavf at 10:08 AM - 39 comments

The Underground is heating up

Over the years, the heat from the trains soaked into the clay to the point where it can no longer absorb any more heat. Tunnels that were a mere 14 degrees Celsius in the 1900s can now have air temperatures as high as 30 degrees Celsius on parts of the tube network.
As it's a nice, balmy 31 degrees in London at the moment, have a refreshing article about cooling off the Underground.
posted by MartinWisse at 9:13 AM - 40 comments

The Nixoniad - Shakespeare's modern history plays in context

This essay analyses the sequence of seven plays by William Shakespeare known variously as the Modern Histories, the American Plays or the Nixoniad. Written by Shakespeare between 1971 and 1976, some during his extended stay in New York from 1969 to 1974 and the rest after his return to England, the American Plays cover roughly three decades of US history.... As Shakespeare's Julius Caesar causes some unexpected controversy, you might enjoy reading this essay (from 2015) on some of his other political plays: The Nixoniad - Shakespeare's modern history plays in context. [more inside]
posted by great_radio at 9:01 AM - 10 comments

It could break down any hour

Algiers - "The Underside of Power" (video). "On June 23, Matador Records will release [Algiers'] second album, The Underside of Power, a work of political critique that draws on and repurposes aggressive '80s punk, Italian horror soundtracks, modern-day hip-hop and R&B, film, literature, current events and continuing tragedies, all conceived as national politics on both sides of the Atlantic were boiling over. If there's anything in their history that the members do agree on, it's that the group — named for The Battle of Algiers, the 1960s film about an anti-colonial uprising — has always prized a collective instinct, where no one vision is definitive." Ned Raggett for NPR, on the band Algiers and their stunning new album.
posted by naju at 7:15 AM - 17 comments

“Girls like grossing ourselves out too.”

Some makeup bloggers are a little more... intense than others. Jezebel takes a look at "The Rising Gore Girls of Instagram". (Content Warning: fake but convincing blood and guts)
posted by Etrigan at 6:30 AM - 19 comments

From Garching to Innsbruck in 7 days

From Garching to Innsbruck in 7 days [via mefi projects] "Hello, dear reader! I’m Michael, a 25-year-old recent graduate of computer science at TUM. This is the public diary of my hiking trip which will take me from the FMI building in Garching, Germany, where I studied for my master’s degree, to Innsbruck, Austria, where I spent the first 23 years of my life." [more inside]
posted by mdonley at 4:38 AM - 4 comments

June 18

Sub-Etha Radio With Pictures.

Because we clearly needed yet another version, Nick Page has animated the first episode of the Hitchhiker's Guide Radio Series.
posted by Sparx at 9:42 PM - 45 comments

aryan invasion

How genetics is settling the Aryan migration debate "The thorniest, most fought-over question in Indian history is slowly but surely getting answered: did Indo-European language speakers, who called themselves Aryans, stream into India sometime around 2,000 BC – 1,500 BC when the Indus Valley civilisation came to an end, bringing with them Sanskrit and a distinctive set of cultural practices? Genetic research based on an avalanche of new DNA evidence is making scientists around the world converge on an unambiguous answer: yes, they did."
posted by dhruva at 9:18 PM - 12 comments

Those bitches can't get under your skin. They can't even.

Jason Headley (previously) offers a mantra for our times with this honest meditation.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:03 PM - 11 comments

Rosalie Sorrels (1933-2017)

The Difficult, Adventurous, Happy Life Of Rosalie Sorrels
posted by falsedmitri at 7:24 PM - 6 comments

Arrrt

The Corsairs Project - by photographer Samuka Marinho. An imagining of a 24-hour period set in the Golden Age of Piracy. Act I Act II Act III Act IV Act V Act VI Act VII Act VIII Act IX Act X
posted by unliteral at 6:15 PM - 5 comments

The most powerful woman, and one of the most powerful people, in sports.

... nothing mattered more to Jeanie Buss than the family business — than her father’s legacy. [...] She is the controlling owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, as her late father wished. Four months ago, she fired her brother and also the team’s 17-year general manager on the same day, and installed trusted friend Earvin “Magic” Johnson as president of basketball operations. Then she prevailed in an ugly court battle with her two older brothers that confirmed she will run the Lakers for the rest of her life. ~ From roller hockey to the Lakers: How Jeanie Buss became the most powerful woman in sports By Tania Ganguli, LA Times
posted by Room 641-A at 3:44 PM - 8 comments

Whether he actually went through life fat drunk and stupid, I don't know

Stephen Furst, best known as Flounder in the classic comedy Animal House has shuffled off this mortal coil.
posted by jonmc at 2:43 PM - 81 comments

A Sociology of the Smartphone

A Sociology of the Smartphone, 10 years after the launch of the iPhone. Interesting longread by Adam Greenfield. Via VersoBooks.
posted by growabrain at 2:21 PM - 32 comments

A problem common law was used to address in the past

Ethereum is a blockchain, a "decentralized platform that runs smart contracts: applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third party interference." In a phrase, use algorithms to replace contracts, or "code is law." But what if there was a bug that let let someone extract $53 million and walk out with it?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:57 PM - 58 comments

Online Mathematics Textbooks

"The writing of textbooks and making them freely available on the web is an idea whose time has arrived. Most college mathematics textbooks attempt to be all things to all people and, as a result, are much too big and expensive. This perhaps made some sense when these books were rather expensive to produce and distribute--but this time has passed."
posted by jenkinsEar at 10:09 AM - 33 comments

The inspiring, educational and wild illustrations of Ed Emberley

The influential, instructional illustrator Ed Emberley is in his 80s and still drawing. He has a range of styles, from the Caldecott Medal-winning Drummer Hoff (1967) to his creatively die-cut Go Away, Big Green Monster (1992), and perhaps most memorably a whole range of drawing books, which generally start with the reminder that if you can draw these things → · U D Δ □ ⇝ you can draw all kinds of things. If you can't find his books, the EMBR Group has a blog of Ed Emberley's Drawing Pages, and his website has more activities to print and use for non-commercial purposes (full terms of use). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:47 AM - 15 comments

faces half-emerging from books; faces half-disappearing from paintings

Two sets of work from artist Grégory Chiha:
- Têtes brûlées, books carefully burnt to create images of heads and faces.
- Fantômes, paintings with warped/strange/half-there subjects.
posted by cortex at 9:00 AM - 3 comments

Birds sounds visualized

Google has had thousands of bird sounds visualized using AI. Background.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 6:09 AM - 23 comments

This could be Rotterdam, or anywhere

“It’s in our genes,” he said. “Water managers were the first rulers of the land. Designing the city to deal with water was the first task of survival here and it remains our defining job. It’s a process, a movement. “It is not just a bunch of dikes and dams, but a way of life.”
How the Dutch are Hansje Brinker proofing their cities.
posted by MartinWisse at 4:46 AM - 14 comments

Huge forest fires in Portugal

At least 57 people have been killed by huge forest fires in central Portugal, with many dying in their cars as they tried to flee the flames, the government said on Sunday. Portugal’s prime minister, António Costa, described the blazes – which have injured dozens more people – as “the greatest tragedy we have seen in recent years in terms of forest fires”, and warned the death toll could rise. [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 3:12 AM - 22 comments

June 17

Prelude to a Mlem

Fotos Frei Schnauze is a gallery of puppies in motion and at rest, frequently on the verge of catching treats.
posted by Fish, fish, are you doing your duty? at 11:58 PM - 9 comments

He's the man, the man with the Midas touch

With gold fixed at $35/ounce, mining for it had become unprofitable by the mid-60s. Time for the U.S. government to look elsewhere for gold: seawater, meteorites, plants, even deer antlers.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:00 PM - 8 comments

Pussies and World War II

Comedian Iliza Shlesinger causes a stir when she makes some comments about the subject matter of fellow female comedians' acts: "I could walk into The Improv, close my eyes, and I can’t tell one girl’s act apart from another. That’s not saying that 30-something white guys don’t all sound the same sometimes, but I’m banging my head against the wall because women want to be treated as equals, and we want feminism to be a thing, but it’s really difficult when every woman makes the same point about her vagina, over and over. I think I’m the only woman out there that has a joke about World War II in my set." Summary on Splitsider, including some now-deleted tweets. Shlesinger also has declared herself finished with the debate: "Anyway, I'm done here. Enjoy your life" (Twitter)
posted by anothermug at 7:37 PM - 82 comments

El cóndor abraza

Edgardo is a rancher from Loncopué, Argentina, who found an injured condor chick and nursed him back to health. He shared a video [cooing in Spanish] with his family and it promptly went viral (Google translation here). "Condorito" is being monitored by staff from Ecoparque de Buenos Aires and should be able to return to his nearby habitat soon.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:28 PM - 6 comments

“The appeal is simple: sheer, stupid, ridiculous spectacle.”

Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Conor McGregor [Deadspin] “It’s really happening. McGregor vs. Mayweather is actually a reality. The fight is like a nightmare emerging from a fever dream where the walls are papered with $100 bills, the carpet is made of the finest chinchilla fur, and you wake yourself up by stepping painfully on a discarded diamond ring instead of one of your kid’s discarded Legos. Let’s address the elephant in the room. Does McGregor, who hasn’t had an actual boxing match since he was a teenager, have a shot at beating a past-his-prime great? Yes, he has a shot. McGregor hits really, really hard, and chins don’t get better with age.”
posted by Fizz at 4:25 PM - 37 comments

Programming with trits and trytes!

The Balanced Ternary Machines of The Soviet Union [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:40 PM - 50 comments

Historical Markers Database: pinpointing local history around the world

National and global events all happened somewhere, and historical markers mark the place where many occurred. But the richness of history is in its local details, details that can be insignificant on the global stage: the home of an individual who made a difference; a natural feature, building, byway; or just something interesting that happened nearby. History is not just about the high and mighty.
As we travel around, we may pass right by these roadside historical markers. That's where the Historical Marker Database comes in. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 8:24 AM - 14 comments

This alpaca will attend your Japanese wedding

And it is as adorable as you think it is.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 1:35 AM - 21 comments

June 16

badass women in science, technology, engineering, + mathematics

Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya created 35 posters celebrating women scientists, engineers, and mathematicians. [more inside]
posted by minsies at 8:06 PM - 22 comments

SLBasketOfMeowingKittens

Meow. Meow! Meow!? Mrrrr.
posted by slater at 4:54 PM - 36 comments

“Morrowind feels like it begs you to come home,”

Why The Elder Scrolls Online Is Worth Playing In 2017 [MMOS World] “Today, The Elder Scrolls Online is almost a different game. Majority of the complaints from launch have been addressed. Fan favorite Elder Scrolls guilds like the Thieves Guild and The Dark Brotherhood have been added. The game is now on consoles, reaching a wider audience for revenue benefits. Level gated mechanics have been removed with the One Tamriel update, and gone are the days of player limitations. Level scaling arrived as well. On top of all that in the past year and a half, regular developer updates have hinted at things to come and they are worth the wait too. So why should players get excited for 2017? The answer is because the developers aren’t stopping with the good news.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 3:34 PM - 39 comments

If you feel you are being watched, you change your behavior

Social Cooling describes the long-term negative side effects of living in a big-data-driven reputation economy. Data brokers derive thousands of scores from personal data; these form a “digital reputation”, and have the potential to affect their subjects' lives and opportunities. The long-term effects of this are a culture of conformity, self-censorship, risk aversion and social rigidity.
posted by acb at 2:34 PM - 54 comments

Peregrine Falcon Live Cam from PG&E Building in San Francisco

Pile of soft cotton clouds squeaks! DEMANDS SNACKS! Gently flaps wings during naps! There goes your weekend!
posted by Munching Langolier at 1:23 PM - 19 comments

Don't expand your consciousness, just beg.

Pinterest wearing thin? Self help falling short? Enter inspirobot.
posted by gennessee at 12:59 PM - 78 comments

Before the war I was a senior VP

The Handman's Tale [slvideo]
posted by phunniemee at 12:36 PM - 15 comments

The map is not the terrain

If you've ever tried to walk from one subway station to another based on the nicely squared-off map of the routes, you may know that they don't correspond perfectly to actual geography (nor are they supposed to). Here's a series of animated illustrations that show you exactly how far off the transit map is from the real world. Pay particular attention to Austin's.
posted by Etrigan at 11:48 AM - 26 comments

Rigged: Forced into debt. Worked past exhaustion. Left with nothing.

A yearlong investigation by the USA TODAY Network found that port trucking companies in southern California have spent the past decade forcing drivers to finance their own trucks by taking on debt they could not afford. Companies then used that debt as leverage to extract forced labor and trap drivers in jobs that left them destitute. (SL USA TODAY) [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:03 AM - 41 comments

Bitcoin has not in any sense eliminated human politics

"It can enforce contracts, prevent double spending, and cap the size of the money pool all without participants having to cede power to any particular third party who might abuse the power. No rent-seeking, no abuses of power, no politics — blockchain technologies can be used to create “math-based money” and “unstoppable” contracts that are enforced with the impartiality of a machine instead of the imperfect and capricious human bureaucracy of a state or a bank. ... Unfortunately this turns out to be a naive understanding of blockchain."
posted by clawsoon at 10:18 AM - 95 comments

Joni, Mary, Mama

Joni Mitchell - Both Sides Now (Mama Cass Show 1969) Mama Cass, Mary Travers, & Joni Mitchell - I Shall Be Released (ibid.)
posted by OmieWise at 10:16 AM - 16 comments

Oregon is first state to issue nonbinary IDs

Starting July 3rd, Oregon will become the first state in the US to issue driver's licenses and state IDs with three gender abbreviations: M, F, and X. [more inside]
posted by The demon that lives in the air at 9:16 AM - 37 comments

I haint afraid of no ghost!

Haint blue is a shade of blue popular for keeping spirits away in the South. The shade itself is a faint robin's egg blue, and it's used to simulate the water that spirits called haints, hate. A haint can't cross water, just like the headless horseman, so you paint your porch to look like water, and you have no problems with haintings!
posted by HakaiMagazine at 9:05 AM - 35 comments

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