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July 26

A visual tour of downtown Los Angeles, now and then:
[more inside]
posted by Room 641-A at 1:14 PM - 22 comments

Kim's Choice: How One Family Confronts a Genetic Time Bomb. A moving article from the Globe and Mail about Kim Teske's decision to end her life, and a portrait of a family as they gather one last time to say goodbye. "[Kim] has Huntington’s, an incurable genetic disease that combines aspects of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia. At 52, she is still living on her own, but fears that, if she doesn’t act now, she will end her days in an institution. “I love life and I love me, but I don’t want to live like that..... And I have a plan.” Two of Kim's siblings also share the genes for Huntingdon's; of her four nieces and nephews, one has tested positive, one negative, and the status of the other two is not yet known.
posted by jokeefe at 12:49 PM - 41 comments

A magnetorheological (MR) fluid is a fluid that changes the way it flows in the presence of a magnetic field. [more inside]
posted by vapidave at 11:37 AM - 19 comments

“The Price of Cold”— the story of my recent adventures exploring China’s artificial cryosphere — is now online in The New York Times Magazine. In it, I visit the world’s first and only frozen dumpling billionaire, hang out with the chef leading a one-man refrigeration resistance movement, and visit refrigerated warehouses and R&D labs across the country. Meanwhile, for those of you for whom that is not enough refrigeration for one weekend, I compiled this list: ten stand-out destinations for the armchair Chinese cryotourist, based on my own travels while reporting the story.
posted by infini at 10:48 AM - 15 comments

Carlo Bergonzi was one of the 20th century's greatest operatic tenors Bergonzi's reputation was one of the great (if not THE) Verdian tenor of mid-late 20th century opera. Here is an outstanding performance by Begonzi, of "Quando le sere al placido" from Verdi's opera, "Luiza Miller"; Bergonzi is in his late 50's in this performance; here is Bergonzi singing the same aria at 70 (in 1996) - an amazing performance for that age! [if you don't know this aria, let it develop - it's one of the most lyrical and dramatic in all of Verdi's work) [more inside]
posted by Vibrissae at 10:25 AM - 7 comments

A tumblr collection of cocktails inspired by Mystery Science Theatre 3000 episodes
posted by The Whelk at 8:26 AM - 43 comments

"In peace or war, the ultimate refuge—the sanctuary of all that is humane—lies distilled within the warmth of the kitchen." Journalist Paul Salopek pauses in the middle of his 21,000-mile Out of Eden Walk from Africa to South America -- Ethiopia to Tierra del Fuego -- to reflect on the food shared with him during his time in Israel and Palestine. "Watching the women of Nablus move briskly, efficiently, purposefully about their tasks, chatting, often joking (about men, politics, life), I am reminded of all the meals that admitted me briefly into the conflicted lives of Israelis and Palestinians." [more inside]
posted by Celsius1414 at 7:57 AM - 1 comment

Weddings in the era of legalization Before Jennifer Beck, 27, and Chase Beck, 24, were married on May 3, also at the Devil’s Thumb Ranch, they briefly discussed serving THC-infused cupcakes in addition to traditional ones...[they] ultimately decided not to include the special cupcakes, in part because it was springtime, the season when the rivers are raging with snowmelt and the bears are coming out of hibernation — not the ideal moment for anyone to be stoned in the mountains.
posted by the young rope-rider at 6:37 AM - 83 comments

Bill Moyers: Question? A major finding of your research was that many of the 106 million Americans living at 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Line ignore political debates about them because they do not identify with the language used by policy makers, the media and others to describe them. What does this tell you about our messaging?. And stop talking about the economy as if it was the weather.
posted by rmhsinc at 6:10 AM - 56 comments

The 2014 edition of the quadrennial FEI World Equestrian Games will be taking place next month in Normandy, France. In addition to the game's 8 medal disciplines, there will be two demonstration sports. You're probably familiar with polo. But have you ever heard of horse-ball? [more inside]
posted by drlith at 6:01 AM - 9 comments

250 animators took an episode of Sailor Moon and divided it into 6-second pieces, and then each animator re-animated one of those pieces. Here is the result: Moon Animate Make-Up!
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 5:56 AM - 5 comments

Chocolate Mill was comprised of a giant cylindrical chocolate block that was carefully organized in 10 stacked layers, with flavored shapes used to create different geometric patterns. As a crank-turned blade similar to a cheese slicer grazed shavings off the top, the hidden layers were slowly revealed.
posted by frimble at 5:20 AM - 20 comments

In my three years at Bleacher Report, I covered the San Jose Sharks while studying in the Bay Area, and the Twins, Wild, Timberwolves, and Vikings upon returning home to Minnesota. I wrote over 500 articles, generated nearly three million page views, and received $200 for my services.
Tom Schreier: the top 200 ways Bleacher Report screwed me over.
posted by MartinWisse at 3:25 AM - 71 comments

On Sunday 27 July, history will be made when a group of professional cyclists rides the Champs-Elysées. Among the riders who have never before been allowed in the Tour de France, is an athlete The Guardian has called "the finest cyclist of their generation" and who Bicycling Magazine recently touted as one "who could be the most naturally gifted, hardest-working cyclist who ever lived", Marianne Vos. Also riding will be writer, filmmaker, former figure skater and triathlete Kathryn Bertine. Triathlete and marathoner Emma Pooley described her expectation for the event: "On a scale of one to 10, I'd say that La Course is 11 on the excitement levels." Along with the athlete who holds/held all three Ironman world and championship records (including the overall world record), Chrissie Wellington, they created the campaign Le Tour Entier, whose motto is Liberté, Égalité, Cyclisme, a play on the French national motto. [more inside]
posted by fraula at 1:50 AM - 18 comments

July 25

In 1998, after over 40 years in the music studio, orchestral arranger and music producer Sir George Martin (the 5th Beatle, or maybe the 6th, or possibly the 7th, depending on how you count or where your priorities lie) decided he was going to retire with a selfish project: recording an album (mostly) entirely of Beatles songs. This ~50 minute BBC documentary recorded many moments from the creation of this swan song, In My Life. The film features interviews with and studio footage of Phil Collins, Robin Williams, Bobby McFerrin, JohnWilliams (classical guitarist, not Star Wars composer), Goldie Hawn, Jim Carrey, and Céline Dion. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 11:08 PM - 18 comments

"London has become a literary playground: a project by the National Literacy Trust has scattered 50 book-shaped benches across the capital for the whole summer, each dedicated to an iconic London-related author or character." (The Guardian). The BBC report about the literary benches; the full list of benches from the Books about Town website. CNN has a slideshow that includes a nice photo of the Paddington Bear bench in use.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 10:26 PM - 11 comments

This Weekend, The New York Times went all in for poetry. In addition to six — count ‘em — articles about poetry in the Review, the Times also included an entire panel in its “Room for Debate” section in which the mostly white and mostly male panelists responded to the essentially rhetorical question “Does Poetry Matter?” with some version of the expected answer: yes. [more inside]
posted by whyareyouatriangle at 5:51 PM - 38 comments

NOT MINE by Guy Trefler. [slvimeo, somewhat nsfw]
posted by cthuljew at 5:46 PM - 12 comments

Researchers from the Netherlands invited 927 novice runners with different pronation types to run in the same model of neutral shoes. After a year, they found that "Foot pronation is not associated with increased injury risk in novice runners wearing a neutral shoe." There's always research skeptics who rely on a meta-analysis finding a weak relationship between pronation and injury.

So you pronate, what can you do? Corrective exercises to strengthen the muscles can help. [more inside]
posted by rebent at 5:34 PM - 22 comments

Jason Blum—producer of Paranormal Activity, Insidious, Sinister, The Purge, The Bay, and Oculus—participated in an interesting interview at SXSW Film 2014 about his model of producing high-quality low-budget horror films for wide release. The video is almost an hour long, but worth watching if you're interested in contemporary mainstream horror.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 5:14 PM - 3 comments

Shatteringly Beautiful: The Glass Dresses of Diana Dias-Leão
Diana Dias-Leão combined her fashion design and glass making skills to create couture dresses made of glass, ceramics, wire and silken yarns to stunning effect. Beautiful, but how do you wear a breakable dress? Well, you don't. These were created as art pieces to explore serious issues around personal identity, beauty and human behaviour. The artist believes that anorexia, bulimia, self harm and body dysmorphic disorder are connected with issues relating to image and lack of confidence.
[more inside]
posted by Lexica at 4:48 PM - 16 comments

To help us all relax before the weekend - have a few links celebrating the dulcet tones of Morgan Freeman. [more inside]
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:37 PM - 14 comments

Relieving poverty is charitable, but preventing it is not. Oxfam Canada, while renewing its charitable status, got into an argument with the Canadian Revenue Agency over its purpose. [more inside]
posted by Lemurrhea at 3:52 PM - 39 comments

Dratch & Fey's 1999 two-woman show. (SLYT) The audio is terrible, the video's no better, the tracking on the VHS tape should have been adjusted... and it's still well worth the 45 minutes.
posted by Shmuel510 at 3:27 PM - 7 comments

In May, David Barron was confirmed as a judge in the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, after a half-hour filibsuter by Rand Paul, and opposition stemming from a confidential memo (previously) he wrote, justifying the use of targeted drone strikes against terrorists, e.g. Anwar al-Awlaki (previously).
After a court ruling in the FOIA lawsuit filed by the ACLU and New York Times, Court Releases Large Parts of Memo Approving Killing of American in Yemen. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:19 PM - 27 comments

The images vary widely, but they tend to be very strange and even disturbing—overt sexual acts, defecation, monsters, human-monster hybrids, animals acting like humans. There’s also examples of clergy behaving very badly, the sort of thing you would not expect to see in the margins of a sacred book.
Kaitlin Manning of B & L Rootenberg Rare Books and Manuscripts talks to Collector's Weekly (previously) about the exquisitely detailed religious texts surrounded by all manner of illustrated commentary, known today as marginalia.
posted by Room 641-A at 1:05 PM - 13 comments

"So what is going on here? Should we be reassured that critics are sticking loyally by a work they admire regardless of sales, or bemused that something is being presented as a runaway commercial success when in fact it isn’t?" Tim Parks: Raise Your Hand If You’ve Read Knausgaard. [more inside]
posted by RogerB at 1:05 PM - 33 comments

Reelgirl: Slut-shaming Princess Leia or protecting childhood from adult sexuality?
HitFix: The Terrible Unspoken Implications Of Star Wars' Slave Leia [more inside]
posted by flex at 12:24 PM - 97 comments

Last week, Pando.com's Mark Ames posted an article on the efforts of the GOP to recruit in Silicon Valley using libertarianism as a wedge and the history of libertarian links, particularly through Reason magazine, to racism. Reason responded, calling Ames a "conspiracy theorist". Ames, who has a history of digging into the seedy history of libertarianism, has responded by posting a copy of Reason's holocaust denial and revisionist history issue, along with profiles of its contributors and their involvement with Reason and late 20th century libertarianism.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:18 AM - 179 comments

The North American Vexillogical Association [previously] guides you through the 5 Basic Principles of Flag Design, citing examples of good and bad flags. Badflags, however, focused on the latter -- "the most vexing examples in vexillology."
posted by not_on_display at 10:38 AM - 90 comments

The success of “24” was just one innovation of the ‘00s that helped change the TV landscape into what we’re living with today. Another was the rise of the premium cable drama. “The Sopranos” wasn’t HBO’s first original series, but it was its first to draw comparisons to Shakespeare. Broadcast networks, seeing all that prestige flowing higher on the dial, started pushing the boundaries of what kind of language and imagery they could get away with in order for network series to be as dark and transgressive as premium-network fare. Or at least, I assume that’s how I came to see a human corpse turned into a cello on NBC’s “Hannibal” last year.
Tara Ariano on Why Jack Bauer Is to Blame for ‘Bonkers TV’
(Article contains some SPOILERs for Game of Thrones, Salem, Scandal, and American Horror Story.)
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:36 AM - 55 comments

The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center presents an experiment in cultural democracy – the first crowdsourced photo gallery of the Asian Pacific American experience around the world as lived on one day: May 10, 2014. [more inside]
posted by sarahnade at 10:35 AM - 7 comments

A PSA by St John Ambulance illustrates the cost of overprotective parenting. [SLYT]
posted by gottabefunky at 10:30 AM - 10 comments

Prinna Boudreau tells the story how she and her husband became the focus of a police investigation after the loss of their infant daughter (audio - Boudreau's story begins at 20:17). From The Moth. [Warning: No graphic details but this is a very harrowing story]
posted by Mchelly at 10:23 AM - 14 comments

On July 18th, Russian researchers launched a Foton-M satellite in hopes of study how reptiles reproduce in a zero-g environment. They lost the ability to send commands to the biosatellite later that same day.
posted by quin at 9:35 AM - 77 comments

The New Yorker talks with “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey, the worlds best female fighter, about why she loves to be hated. [more inside]
posted by misskaz at 8:44 AM - 36 comments

Still shaking your head over that ridiculous "Women Against a Feminism" tumblr? The inimitable Bloggess weighs in with some welcome comic relief. (Time, right on schedule, helpfully pops up to explain it all for you).
posted by misha at 8:18 AM - 231 comments

"My son has been suspended five times. He’s 3." [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:10 AM - 116 comments

Samuel Beckett Cats
posted by Navelgazer at 8:05 AM - 9 comments

The Down and Dirty History of TMZ: Anne Helen Peterson (previously) recounts nine years of gossip site TMZ.
posted by almostmanda at 7:49 AM - 9 comments

When the high five subsequently exploded in popularity in the 1980s, historians, critics, and journalists all traced its origins back to this moment. Glenn Burke was championed as its inventor, and his story slowly emerged.
...
Then, at the onset of the 1977 season, Burke’s teammates learned that he was gay when one of Burke’s friends accidentally revealed the fact at a dinner party with the team. Burke watched his career unravel in a spire of prejudice, intolerance, and misdirected anger.
The story of Glenn Burke, who invented the high-five during a Dodger game on October 2, 1977
posted by I am the Walrus at 7:19 AM - 39 comments

On July 27th, the cross Canada journey of hitchBOT will begin in Nova Scotia and make its way to BC as part of an experiment that looks at the interaction between people and increasingly ubiquitous technology.
posted by gman at 6:31 AM - 18 comments

Elmo can't sleep and Ricky Gervais offers a Celebrity Lullaby. Poor Elmo. Ricky Gervais is no Brad Pitt.
posted by kinetic at 6:13 AM - 15 comments

A fossil found in Siberia shows that an early ornithiscian dinosaur had feathers. [more inside]
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 5:47 AM - 38 comments

In the pantheon of fictional detectives, Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe is among the best. If you haven't met the fat, cranky, sedentary, orchid-loving gourmand of a detective, and his street-smart, wise-cracking, witty right-hand of an assistant, Archie Goodwin, this introduction to the pair may be of use. Between 1935 to 1974, Wolfe and Goodwin solved mysteries, captured criminals of all ilks, and on one notable occasion, got the upper hand on J. Edgar Hoover. The books are very much of their time. [more inside]
posted by julen at 4:55 AM - 32 comments

From behind the New Yorker's temporarily removed paywall, a postmodern murder mystery from Poland in 2007.
posted by ellieBOA at 4:42 AM - 10 comments

Norway seems to be particularly good at making interesting museums. If you're touring, the museum of magic is spell-binding. The museum of knitting is a real purl. The petroleum museum is a gas. The Lofoten Stockfish museum is off the hook. And the Norsk Hermetickk-museum is about the history of sealing things in cans. [more inside]
posted by Joeruckus at 3:02 AM - 9 comments

July 24

Slate wants to know if you can name those 70s, 80s, 90s or more recent hits from hearing just the first second of them.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:40 PM - 57 comments

Wigs filled with maggots, hair filled with mice and tiny battleships - twonerdyhistorygirls have The Truth About the Big Hair of the 1770s and How they Did It. Inspired to make your own bone powder and pomatum? You can use the original recipe or these recipes, or just buy some pretty lemon-lard at Etsy, or pick up a modern substitute from the drugstore.
posted by viggorlijah at 11:14 PM - 24 comments

Studio engineer Matt Ross-Spang wasn't even born when most of Sun's most famous records were cut. Nonetheless, he's thought a lot about what makes them sound the way they do (transcript). Matt has been buying up old gear for a few years, returning the Sun Records studio to a vintage state (with a few exceptions), and he is still practicing "sonic archaeology," trying to figure out how Sam Phillips made records sound like Sun Records. There's more to it than the Sun tape echo. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 10:59 PM - 11 comments

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