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January 24

La Feria de la Alasita

Every January 24, Alasitas or La Feria de la Alasita, a fair specific to Bolivia and especially La Paz, commences. Though its origin is somewhat unclear (Spanish-language), for the next three weeks, the fair will draw Bolivians seeking material abundance ("Alasita" translates as "buy me" in Aymara) in the year ahead by buying miniatures at the fair of those things they want and giving them to Ekeko, the Aymara god of prosperity, represented by a small figurine (Spanish-language video) covered in all the goods the petitioner would like to receive. As with a number of cultural and culinary items of the region, there is some debate as to whether Alasitas is properly Bolivian or Peruvian (Google translation).
posted by the sobsister at 10:20 AM - 2 comments

Infamous. Thoughtless. Careless. Wikipedia and Gamergate. 💻

Infamous. Thoughtless. Careless. Mark Bernstein on recent editorial decisions at Wikipedia: "The infamous draft decision of Wikipedia’s Arbitration Committee (ArbCom) on Gamergate is worse than a crime. It’s a blunder that threatens to disgrace the internet." [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 9:50 AM - 348 comments

🎨💯👊

emoji.ink lets you draw with Apple emojis. [more inside]
posted by Chichibio at 8:56 AM - 16 comments

Why I Am Not a Maker

There’s a widespread idea that “People who make things are simply different [read: better] than those who don’t.” [...] It’s not, of course, that there’s anything wrong with making (although it’s not all that clear that the world needs more stuff). The problem is the idea that the alternative to making is usually not doing nothing—it’s almost always doing things for and with other people, from the barista to the Facebook community moderator to the social worker to the surgeon. Describing oneself as a maker—regardless of what one actually or mostly does—is a way of accruing to oneself the gendered, capitalist benefits of being a person who makes products. [more inside]
posted by haltingproblemsolved at 7:42 AM - 116 comments

Fishing with mosquito nets

Across Africa, from the mud flats of Nigeria to the coral reefs off Mozambique, mosquito-net fishing is a growing problem, an unintended consequence of one of the biggest and most celebrated public health campaigns in recent years. Unintended consequences and complicated trade-offs: Mosquito Nets for Malaria Spawn New Epidemic: Overfishing (SLNYT)
posted by Dip Flash at 6:35 AM - 25 comments

The Wolfpack

‘The Wolfpack’ Tells of One New York Apartment With Seven Children Locked Inside (NYT). Crystal Moselle's documentary "The Wolfpack," premieres this Sunday at the Sundance Film Festival. A video interview with Crystal Moselle. [more inside]
posted by cwest at 6:19 AM - 13 comments

In other words, this is janky and imperfect and totally a hack.

That’s Netscape 1.0n, released in December of 1994, running inside Windows 3.11, released in August of 1993, running inside of Google Chrome 39.0.2171.99 m, released about a week ago, on a Windows 7 PC, released in 2009.
Welcome to the Emularity: as tools and processes improves it's becoming easier and easier to emulate historical computer (programme)s within your browser. By Jason Scott.
posted by MartinWisse at 4:22 AM - 27 comments

January 23

Dealing with the transition to the information age

BIG and BOT Policy Proposals (transcript) - "Many of our current economic policies originated during times of scarcity. But now, says investor Albert Wenger, we live in an era of 'digital abundance', when creating new products costs virtually nothing. To adapt to the resulting economic upheavals, we won't need just more tech, says Wenger, but some strong policies. Here he explores two: basic income guarantee and the right to be represented by a bot." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 11:55 PM - 14 comments

Very Borgesian

A reflective view of the main core of The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale.
The building was designed by Gordon Bunshaft, of the firm of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, and completed in 1963. When visitors first enter the building they are faced by two large marble staircases that ascend up to the mezzanine level and a large glass tower that is the central core of the building. The mezzanine level allows for people to rotate around the glass tower which holds 180,000 volumes. [more inside]
posted by growabrain at 9:34 PM - 22 comments

what is a 'robot,' anyway?

The Random Darknet Shopper is an art piece by !MEDIENGRUPPE BITNIK for the exhibtion From Memes to Onionland. So the bot bought 10 pills of Ecstasy (among other things in the name of art and got 'arrested' by the Swiss police. So what happens when a bot gets 'arrested?' It seems robots are starting to break the law and nobody knows what to do about it. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:13 PM - 29 comments

Let's play two for Mr. Cub.

Hall of Fame shortstop Ernie Banks has died at 83. [more inside]
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:46 PM - 42 comments

Catherine the Great's Erotic Cabinet

Catherine the Great had a room decorated with penises and vaginas. The furniture has vanished, but some pictures (NSFW) remain
posted by dfm500 at 8:32 PM - 58 comments

River's Edge

“River’s Edge”: The darkest teen film of all time
posted by davebush at 7:59 PM - 48 comments

Chilling Effects

We Should All Step Back from Security Journalism. I’ll Go First. Quinn Norton (previously) responds to the sentencing of Barrett Brown (previously.) [Via]
posted by homunculus at 7:32 PM - 32 comments

All Sports Illustrated Staff Photographers Fired

Sports Illustrated director of photography Brad Smith confirmed the move this morning to News Photographer magazine. "It's true," Smith said. "There was a decision made through the company to restructure various departments, including at Sports Illustrated. Unfortunately economic circumstances are such that it has cut the six staff photographers."
posted by Quonab at 6:25 PM - 44 comments

Enchilada knife!

The TSA Blog has posted their 2014 year in review, including 2,212 confiscated firearms and a variety of other prohibited and suspicious items. FiveThirtyEight has a breakdown by airport of the confiscated firearms. [more inside]
posted by noneuclidean at 6:23 PM - 47 comments

reeeee~wind!!

"A good rewind is that rare thing in life: a product of the moment. If the timing is right, a rewind will bring excitement to the dancefloor, a celebration of the music being played, an energy charge for the place and the people." Laurent Fintoni goes deep on the history of pulling the record back across a variety of genres, from reggae and dub, to dubstep and hip-hop.
posted by raihan_ at 5:44 PM - 5 comments

WHAT ON EARTH WAS THOMAS FRIEDMAN TALKING ABOUT?

The Arab Spring is failing not for lack of bandwidth, but for lack of human understanding that can only be forged when someone is late for breakfast, and you say, "Thank you for being late."
...a lot of people have asked me whether it’s real, and, if so, what on earth Tom Friedman was saying. The answer to the first question is that yes, it is absolutely real. Tom Friedman really did say this, and it really did elicit a hearty round of applause from the assembled plutocrats. The answer to the second question is that I don’t honestly know what Tom Friedman was talking about. But at least I can give you a bit of context. ...
posted by Golden Eternity at 5:41 PM - 61 comments

Bread for Him, Bread for Her

You may have assumed that some products were immune from blatantly gendered advertising. Bread, say. But you'd be wrong. Stonemill Bakehouse has introduced Men's Wellbeing Barley & Rye Bread and Women's Wellbeing Hemp & Quinoa Bread. The label for the women's bread is, helpfully, pink.
posted by clawsoon at 4:22 PM - 126 comments

I'd like to see the CarFax.

BikeFax? (SLYT) The friend who brought this to my attention tagged it thusly: "This guy is amazing! (I wouldn't want to buy a bike from him though!)"
posted by MoTLD at 4:14 PM - 2 comments

Another one bites the dust

“If anything, Alabama’s prohibition of same-sex marriage detracts from its goal of promoting optimal environments for children,” U.S. District Court Judge Callie V. S. Granade wrote in a brief 10-page opinion, concluding, “[T]he court finds that Alabama’s marriage laws violate the Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.”
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:13 PM - 55 comments

Netrunner

You probably know Richard Garfield as the creator of Magic: The Gathering. But his favorite creation is actually Netrunner, intended to be a "richer game" with bluffing and skill "more like Poker." Android: Netrunner is an asymmetrical Living Card Game based on the original Netrunner (which still has its fans). Set in a cyberpunk future, you play a megacorp using "ICE" to protect servers hiding company agendas (like The Future Perfect and Hostile Takeover) or the hacker "runner" trying to steal them. Chose from five megacorps and three runner factions and get started with a few data packs, important jargon, and deck-building. For the initiated, prepare for this year's regional championships and read up on quantitative analyses of cards, runner economies, corporation economies, ICE and icebreakers, opening moves, studies in variance, and the ever-changing metagame. Still not sure? Watch the Worlds 2014 Final (or read the champ's recap) and practice online using OCTGN or newcomer Jinteki.net, a browser-based version in development by World Champion finalist Minh Tran. And as always, beware Scorched Earth.
posted by Soup at 4:06 PM - 27 comments

Syriza stretches poll lead as Greek election campaign ends

Greece’s anti-austerity party of the left, Syriza, has stretched its election lead to six points, putting it on course for a historic victory in Sunday’s crucial elections. Barely four weeks after the failure of parliament to elect a president, triggering the ballot, Greece’s fate now lies in the hands of 9.8 million voters. All the polls show, with growing conviction, that victory will go to Syriza. A poll released by GPO for Mega TV late on Thursday gave the far leftists a six-percentage-point lead over Samaras’s centre-right New Democracy, the dominant force in a coalition government that has held power since June 2012. A week earlier, GPO had the lead at four percentage points. [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus at 3:53 PM - 52 comments

I didn't know squirrels could vote!

Drew Curtis, of Fark.Com, is running for Governor of Kentucky.
posted by pjern at 3:34 PM - 42 comments

Cold Cream, or Galen's Cerate

Cold cream is mostly known from the beauty routines of old ladies or as a makeup remover for stage actors. However, its lengthy history goes back a ways further, to a medical treatment from the Renaissance, perhaps even to the ancient Greeks.
posted by Peregrine Pickle at 2:52 PM - 12 comments

Fish Live Beneath Antarctica

Scientists find translucent fish in a wedge of water hidden under 740 meters of ice, 850 kilometers from sunlight
posted by brundlefly at 2:37 PM - 25 comments

And laugh they did, and eat, and drink, often and heartily

In the Middle Ages, the nation that was to give the world the full English widely skipped breakfast. Yet, by 1600, a culinary non-entity had become a key part of our daily routine. Why the change?
Ian Mortimer investigates "How the Tudors (re)Invented Breakfast" for History Extra. See also: Breakfast, lunch and dinner: Have we always eaten them? (BBC, 2012); and Meals of the Day in the early and classical Roman empire, which counters the statement about Romans eating only one meal a day. Extra credit: Merienda - South American-style Afternoon Tea.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:22 PM - 28 comments

...insist, instead, that the absence of “yes” always indicates assault.

Rape on the Campus by Zoë Heller [New York Review of Books]
"Few would disagree that the systems for preventing and prosecuting sexual assault on US campuses are in need of change. But the efficacy and fairness of recent reforms that focus on making college grievance procedures more favorable to complainants and on codifying strict new definitions of sexual consent remain highly questionable."
posted by Fizz at 2:05 PM - 92 comments

"The Bible is true, and some of it actually happened."

Marcus Borg has died at age 72. The liberal Christian theologian was one of the leading figures in the modern-day "quest for the historical Jesus," participating in the Jesus Seminar and writing prolifically about how best to interpret the Bible. [more inside]
posted by Cash4Lead at 1:28 PM - 8 comments

I shot an arrow into the air It fell to earth I know not where...

Lars Andersen: a new level of archery (SLYT)
posted by blue_beetle at 1:19 PM - 41 comments

Will you fulfill your destiny and become a tangerine octodecillionaire?

"Tangerine Tycoon is a realistic tangerine economy simulator. Get your hands on quadrillions of tangerines by harvesting, gambling or trading them on the stock market. Most likely a combination of all 3. They say money is the root of all evil but surely tangerines can't do any harm." [more inside]
posted by jbickers at 12:45 PM - 79 comments

Edgar Froese, 1944-2015

Word has arrived that Edgar Froese, founding member of the massively influential electronic group Tangerine Dream, has passed away. Froese was a pioneering figure in the German Krautrock and Kosmische styles, and contributed an unfathomable amount to the world of ambient/psychedelic electronic music. [more inside]
posted by naju at 12:11 PM - 59 comments

I had this muzzle on with all these wounds and I couldn’t tell anybody

Behind the Mask - Revealing the Trauma of War "Brain injuries caused by blast events change soldiers in ways many can’t articulate. Some use art therapy, creating painted masks to express how they feel."
posted by gwint at 11:48 AM - 6 comments

Maura is a “she.” It’s one of the central points of the show.

It’s time to learn how to write about transgender people [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:33 AM - 67 comments

Restoring a Punched Monet Painting

Three years ago, a man punched a hole in a Monet painting as it hung in Ireland's National Gallery. Conservationists have restored it. This is their story. [more inside]
posted by cmchap at 11:29 AM - 21 comments

Foot push at 50 seconds... 🐈

Reggie the cat and Australian Terrier puppies [SLYT] via
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 9:27 AM - 32 comments

Pixel Dungeon: a gentle introduction to roguelikes

Pixel Dungeon is a coffee break roguelike, one which distinguishes itself with pixel-art graphics and distilled roguelike gameplay. [more inside]
posted by pwnguin at 8:53 AM - 26 comments

Gone to the great mall in the sky

America's favorite in-flight purveyor of ridiculousness, SkyMall, has filed for bankruptcy, blaming the increased use of electronic devices on planes for the drop in sales. [more inside]
posted by Metroid Baby at 8:42 AM - 185 comments

Thar she blows!

The whale approached them, stopped, pointed straight downward, and then, in the words of underwater photographer Keri Will, “the storm began.” Keri and his fellow divers were caught in the thick of a massive whale poop. As he described to CBC Radio, "If you held your hand in front of your face you wouldn't be able to see your hand any more because the water was so thick with the faecal matter." [more inside]
posted by Kabanos at 8:36 AM - 56 comments

no such thing as a cinema audience... It is a television audience

Ten o’clock on a grey, wintry morning and Mr David Niven marched up a deserted Champs-Elysées, some of the insolence of his erect Sandhurst carriage slightly curbed by a blinding hangover. 23 January 1965: David Niven on the golden days of Hollywood
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:34 AM - 8 comments

The Aging of Abercrombie & Fitch

"Mike indelibly linked his entire persona, his soul, to this brand’s image. He even tried to make himself look like his customers. He used to run around in ripped jeans and a T-shirt. He had plastic surgery,” says Lewis. “For him to change the brand would have taken the greatest psychologist in the world."
Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries steps down.
posted by almostmanda at 7:03 AM - 139 comments

How to Be a Futurist

Jamais Cascio's "Futures Thinking"
Asking The Question
Scanning the World
Mapping Possibilities (Part 1, Part 2)
Writing Scenarios [more inside]
posted by anotherpanacea at 6:59 AM - 20 comments

What is machine language?

A gigabyte and a half was a lot of data, once. It’s thought that the last person to have read every available published text was the fifteenth-century Italian philosopher and original Renaissance man, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola. To do the same thing today would be impossible. And as it turns out, the greatest collaborative literary project in human history isn’t really human at all.
posted by spacewaitress at 6:19 AM - 42 comments

January 22

2015: The year that sci-fi becomes real

"After locking away all my recording instruments and switching to the almost prehistoric pen and paper, I had a tantalizingly brief experience of Microsoft's HoloLens system, a headset that creates a fusion of virtual images and the real world. While production HoloLens systems will be self-contained and cord-free, the developer units we used had a large compute unit worn on a neck strap and an umbilical cord for power. Production hardware will automatically measure the interpupillary distance and calibrate itself accordingly; the dev kits need this to be measured manually and punched in. The dev kits were also heavy, unwieldy, fragile, and didn't really fit on or around my glasses, making them uncomfortable to boot. But even with this clumsy hardware, the experience was nothing short of magical." ... [more inside]
posted by SpacemanStix at 10:48 PM - 142 comments

aphextwin

Diskhat ALL Prepared1mixed [snr2mix] Computer Controlled Acoustic Instruments Pt2
posted by Artw at 10:25 PM - 25 comments

que será, será

"Wikipedia's now-deleted [or redirected] page on the thought-terminating cliche" [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:06 PM - 73 comments

Soot is not food.

If, like me, you're a sucker for a vaguely Eastern European accent, you may well enjoy the tale of Little Greggorio, in which a family dreams of journeying to America, where a little boy can become... a legend.
posted by slappy_pinchbottom at 8:48 PM - 2 comments

Why sell Thin Mints when you could be starting a revolution?

Meet the Radical Brownies. In Oakland, activists from Black Lives Matter have started a Girl Scout-style troop of girls of color ages 8-12 that puts the focus on social justice, taking the girls on marches for police accountability and offering merit badges in "Radical Beauty" and "LGBT Ally." [more inside]
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:16 PM - 48 comments

A very specific sequence of weird tricks that Bowsers HATE

Speedrunner Minecraft SethBling explains how he beat Super Mario World in around 6 minutes by using in-game actions to manipulate the game's memory so that it glitches to the end credits. The glitch had already been pulled off in-game using emulators, but this is the first time it has been done on an actual SNES. Very technical details available here.
posted by passerby at 7:04 PM - 33 comments

Yes: he still has the hair

John Romero Plays Doom, personably. Doom history enthusiast and Spacebase creator JP LeBreton joins id Software co-founder John Romero as the two play though the first episode of Doom, “Knee Deep in the Dead,” in its entirety. John Romero’s run through each level turns up fresh and encyclopedic insight into how this genre-defining title was designed and set the stage for first-person action games for years to come.
posted by Sebmojo at 5:26 PM - 29 comments

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