March 25

I'm afraid something's not right about this, Chris.

YouTube machinist This Old Tony reveals the true story behind Clickspring Chris's Antikythera project (previously)
posted by effbot at 2:50 AM - 0 comments

The Hollywood Exec and the Hand Transplant That Changed His Life

It is a beautiful hand: strong, with long, slender fingers and smooth skin, its nails ridgeless and pink. If you didn’t know Jonathan Koch—if you first met him, say, on the courts at the Calabasas Tennis & Swim Club—you might not suspect that his hand previously belonged to someone else.
posted by ellieBOA at 12:21 AM - 2 comments

March 24

Talk Talk

Google announces the formal end of Talk come June, formally supplanting it with Hangouts.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:41 PM - 7 comments

Lynda Carter's Rock 'n Roll Fantasy

Lynda Carter's Rock 'n Roll Fantasy (SLYT)
posted by Confess, Fletch at 9:34 PM - 10 comments

Signs of Spring - TOO SOON?

The Seasons Aren't What They Used to Be "In the latter half of the 20th century, the spring emergence of leaves, frogs, birds and flowers advanced in the Northern Hemisphere by 2.8 days per decade. I’m nearly 50, so springtime has moved, on average, a full two weeks since I was born." [more inside]
posted by Miko at 7:53 PM - 9 comments

Beast is beast and wet is wet and forever the twain shall meet

The only thing that failed harder than these dogs was the Republican Party today [music at beginning and end].
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:48 PM - 5 comments

The Young Folks Do Journalism

For years, the Classic had focused on the regular beats of a high school newspaper — — teacher retirements, curriculum changes, bell schedule. It was not an investigative outlet. But with Jahoda's appointment, the very nature of the school appeared to be imperiled, and the paper's staff decided it was time to step in.
posted by Hypatia at 7:24 PM - 10 comments

G'day Bushwhackers!!

Nick Fry and Caleb (slyt) are two good bros who love Camping, Wildlife, Hunting, Cooking and Eating stuff from the Aussie bush and ocean. [more inside]
posted by shockingbluamp at 4:39 PM - 2 comments

Robert Silvers (1929–2017)

Robert B. Silvers, a founder of The New York Review of Books, which under his editorship became one of the premier intellectual journals in the United States, a showcase for extended, thoughtful essays on literature and politics by eminent writers, died on Monday at his home in Manhattan. He was 87. [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 2:55 PM - 9 comments

You may be let go...

Friday fiction: A short story by Daniel Orozco. As you leave work for the weekend, think about your first day there, and everybody's first day -- think about Orientation. "You must pace your work. What do I mean? I’m glad you asked that. We pace our work according to the eight-hour workday. If you have twelve hours of work in your in-box, for example, you must compress that work into the eight-hour day. If you have one hour of work in your in-box, you must expand that work to fill the eight- hour day. That was a good question. Feel free to ask questions. Ask too many questions, however, and you may be let go...." [more inside]
posted by storybored at 1:07 PM - 17 comments

The Right Answer Is: I Would Run

What happens if you break an artwork? Cautionary tales have been covered in countless articles and immortalized in videos of surveillance footage, though it’s not often told what happens next — or what to do if this happens to you. So what happens when you break a work of art? What would (or should) you do?
posted by JoeZydeco at 11:56 AM - 55 comments

Advocacy begins by sharing stories

Women's Voices Now hosts hundreds of films by women around the globe. Free for anyone to view, these films depict "women's struggles for civil, economic, political, and gender rights". [more inside]
posted by galaxy rise at 11:25 AM - 0 comments

Can’t we talk to the humans and work together? No, because they are dead

The robots exclusion standard, also known as the robots exclusion protocol or simply robots.txt, is a standard used by websites to communicate with web crawlers and other web robots, and was first developed by people on the www-talk mailing list in 1994. has information and history, and the similar Robots META tag. As with code in general, you can add silly things in the comments, and Google spoofed the format with their own killer-robots.txt. More recently, robots.txt inspired an alternative file: humans.txt, "a TXT file that contains information about the different people who have contributed to building the website." [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 11:19 AM - 18 comments

You can't dismantle capitalism if you have a headache

Some Friday levity for activists Raccoons of the Resistance Activism Self Care Workshop [more inside]
posted by Pocahontas at 9:20 AM - 14 comments

A five-minute cop show (SLVimeo)

Standby is a BAFTA-nominated film (From the original site) "Gary and Jenny share the same cramped “office space” as all beat cops: the front seat of a patrol car. Their evolving relationship is an emotional rollercoaster ride that stands in often-comedic contrast to the procession of thugs and criminals filling the back seat." [more inside]
posted by Mogur at 9:05 AM - 18 comments

How Les Misérables Was the Biggest Deal in Book History

Hugo, Inc. For only an eight-year license to publish political exile Victor Hugo's Les Misérables, a Belgian upstart entrepreneur paid an unprecedented and unmatched sum of 300,000 francs (~$3.8 million). Relying upon the first ever bank loan to finance a book, translation rights, and an extraordinary embargo and publicity campaign, the risky venture was a triumphant success.
posted by mixedmetaphors at 8:45 AM - 10 comments

He's been up all night listening to Mohammed's radio...

Nuclear arms tests by Pyongyang / ICE is deporting everyone that they can / Israel’s ambassador says that Jews are Nazis / And President Bannon does whatever he please / Looks like another threat to world peace / Caused by the POTUS [more inside]
posted by jferg at 7:53 AM - 1012 comments

"Can you go and get mummy?"

A four year old boy calls emergency services using his mother's phone to report that she's not breathing. Thanks to the call, things work out well for everyone. Police have released a clip of the call to remind parents about the importance of teaching young children their address and how to use 999 (UK) in an emergency. SLBuzzfeed, with transcript and audio clip of heart-breakingly young boy staying calm under pressure.
posted by RedOrGreen at 7:03 AM - 31 comments

Eleven Years

Brad is mad online and wants to know why Cracker Barrel fired his wife.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 6:12 AM - 68 comments

A Fictive Flight Above Real Mars

A Fictive Flight Above Real Mars - The anaglyph images of Mars taken by the HiRISE camera holds information about the topography of Mars surface. There are hundreds of high-resolution images of this type. This gives the opportunity to create different studies in 3D. In this film I have chosen some locations and processed the images into panning video clips. There is a feeling that you are flying above Mars looking down watching interesting locations on the planet.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:39 AM - 5 comments

The eagle(s) have landed!

Last week, both Hanover Bald Eagle eggs hatched successfully. The young are being fed round-the-clock by their doting parents, "Freedom" and "Liberty." The frequent feedings result in the nest being liberally decorated with the remains of their fish, squirrel, and rabbit repasts. The live cams (Camera 1, Camera 2) allow excellent viewing opportunities. [more inside]
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 4:37 AM - 13 comments

Undergrowth, earwigs, and The Evening Standard

You’re worried that having George Osborne as editor might compromise the paper’s editorial independence. What editorial independence? The Standard is a jellyfish, a parasitic worm, a creature with a hole at each end and nothing inbetween: it thinks nothing, it feels nothing, it floats through the infinite dark and waits for a tide to carry it along. Hence the fury.
Sam Kriss, Against the Evening Standard, Idiot Joy Showland (21 March 2017).
posted by Sonny Jim at 3:44 AM - 7 comments

'and the street lights dance in your eyes'

In many towns and cities the familiar orange glow of HPS Sodium street-lighting has given way, or is giving way, to the cooler white glare of LED illumination, giving cost and energy-efficiency savings, and improving nocturnal colour rendition. Many welcome the change: Hal Espen, writing in 2011 for The Atlantic lamented the prevalence of the ‘jaundiced weirdness’ of sodium lighting and looked forward to its obsolescence. But others are unhappy: LED Streetlights Are Giving Neighborhoods the Blues reckons Jeff Hecht at IEEE Spectrum; some complain that ‘LED street lights are disturbing my sleep’ as Brian Wheeler reports for the BBC; research at the University of Exeter suggests LED lighting could have major impact on wildlife; and astronomers, among others, are concerned about the possible effects on the night sky — LEDs: Light Pollution Solution or Night Sky Nemesis? ponders Bob King at Universe Today. Lux Review (‘Your independent guide to lighting’) asks: Will tunable street light breakthrough silence LED critics?, while, at the same site, we learn of a Bird-friendly LED island in the Netherlands. [more inside]
posted by misteraitch at 3:21 AM - 44 comments

March 23

Beyond toques and two-fours

The revised second edition of A Dictionary of Canadianisms on Historical Principles is now available online for all of your Canadian English needs.

A respectful write-up from The New Yorker.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:32 PM - 70 comments

Every man is surrounded by a neighborhood of voluntary spies

Secret Message Is Only For Dogs (via reddit)—from this years PROSH, a satire newspaper made by students at the University of Western Australia. BONUS: Plunk your doggo in front of the monitor for a SECRET DOG-ONLY VIDEO TO GET DOGS PUMPED [noisy noisy noisy].
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:21 PM - 14 comments

49 satin wedding gowns... one in each state's boxcar

The Merci Train was a train of 49 French railroad boxcars filled with tens of thousands of gifts of gratitude from French citizens sent to the US in 1949. They were showing their appreciation for the 700+ American boxcars of relief goods sent to them by Americans in 1948 via a project calledFriendship Train. Each of the 48 American states at that time received one of the gift-laden box cars. Many of those boxcars still exist. [more inside]
posted by jessamyn at 2:53 PM - 29 comments

John despises his Alabama town.

From Serial and This American Life comes a seven-part podcast, S-Town. Arriving March 28.
posted by mr_bovis at 2:47 PM - 34 comments

bon voyage

He has played his last set --John Thomas “Sib” Hashian who played the drums on arena-rock group Boston's first two albums, has died at 67. [more inside]
posted by shockingbluamp at 2:37 PM - 15 comments

Sad about Pluto? How about 110 planets in the solar system instead?

Kirby Runyon and five fellow science team members from the New Horizons mission to Pluto are at the 48th annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC) in Texas this week, promoting an alternative planetary definition (PDF, 2 page paper; PDF of their poster). They are offering a drastically different definition from the one the International Astronomical Union (IAU) set in 2006 (previously), one which would increase the planet count from 8 to 110 in our solar system. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 11:15 AM - 71 comments

The Office Chair of the Future -- Today!

You may have heard that sitting in chairs is slowly killing anyone who works in an office. Now, however, you can buy the Altwork Station, an office chair that will definitely not kill the user.
posted by Copronymus at 11:10 AM - 57 comments

Killing me softly with Wonderbread...

A Sign Thanking People For Not Feeding Ducks Bread Has Gone Viral And People Are Freaking Out
posted by Amor Bellator at 10:17 AM - 114 comments

Syrian Football-World Cup Qualifying

There is no ignoring the control that president Bashar Assad’s regime tries to exert over its citizens and, once again, sport is no different. The relative success of the team is both a passing panacea and a propaganda opportunity, the former for the people and the latter for the president. To present a thriving football culture to the world fits in entirely with the agenda of normalisation, of having quelled the rebellion, of stabilisation and control. However, as we discovered, the reality is far from that... Ultimately, this is a story of 23 Syrian footballers, 23m Syrian people, 4.9m refugees, six years of war and one president.
posted by josher71 at 8:18 AM - 3 comments

“If you went in the room when it was switched on, you’d burn directly,”

German scientists are switching on “the world’s largest artificial sun” in the hope that intense light sources can be used to generate climate-friendly fuel. [The Guardian] “The Synlight experiment in Jülich, about 19 miles west of Cologne, consists 149 souped-up film projector spotlights and produces light about 10,000 times the intensity of natural sunlight on Earth. When all the lamps are swivelled to concentrate light on a single spot, the instrument can generate temperatures of around 3,500C – around two to three times the temperature of a blast furnace.”
posted by Fizz at 7:31 AM - 37 comments

Under the pump and over the moon, with lamb, prawns, and pavlova

Notes on Masterchef Australia, by blogger Adam Cadre (17,500 words)
posted by rollick at 6:12 AM - 24 comments

You're going to the top of the mountain, broken legs and all.

"Eden, the ground-breaking Channel 4 project, saw 23 strangers cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves in a corner of the West Highlands ... Instead of being crowned reality TV celebrities and fought over by agents, the 10 who made it through the 12 months have learned that only four episodes have been shown – the last seven months ago."
posted by auntie-matter at 5:10 AM - 17 comments

Terrorist Attack in London

Four people were killed and twenty-nine injured in a terrorist attack in Westminster yesterday afternoon. [more inside]
posted by ellieBOA at 5:06 AM - 66 comments

March 22

The Rising Tide of Educated Aliteracy

"Not reading, Bayard believes, is in many cases preferable to reading and may allow for a superior form of literary criticism—one that is more creative and doesn’t run the risk of getting lost in all the messy details of a text. Actual books are thus 'rendered hypothetical,' replaced by virtual books in phantom libraries that represent an inner, fantasy scriptorium or shared social consciousness." [more inside]
posted by clawsoon at 10:25 PM - 76 comments

What Happens At Thinx

"Thinx boss Miki Agrawal wanted to break taboos about the female body. According to some employees, she went too far." "Sexual-Harassment Claims Against a 'She-E.O.'" — New York Magazine, March 20, 2017 [more inside]
posted by Charity Garfein at 9:52 PM - 52 comments

The Reign Of The Superman

Before Superman became the hero that we know him as, he was an evil genius.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 8:02 PM - 18 comments

Who would pay $5 to support a website?

Medium is now selling monthly subscriptions
posted by beukeboom at 7:47 PM - 33 comments

PMJ covers Metallica with 15-year old Caroline Baran

Nothing Else Matters . Caroline Baran is 15 and has a much older voice. Time After Time (also with PMJ), Hello [more inside]
posted by Gorgik at 7:39 PM - 7 comments

Windows’ backwards compatibility is still unrivaled

In 2011, Andrew Tait installed MS-DOS 5.0 and systematically updated it all the way through Windows 7. Now he's done it again, but starting with MS-DOS 3.10 and going all the way to Windows 10.

Cameo appearance by Monty Python's Complete Waste of Time game.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:32 PM - 24 comments

The biggest shakeup for dinosaurs since that big space rock.

Ornithoscelida Rises: A New Family Tree for Dinosaurs [more inside]
posted by brundlefly at 5:45 PM - 15 comments

But you didn't say what type of beans are on the plate!

People Share the Most Pointless Argument They’ve Been Passionately Involved In, inspired by reddit. (Pleated Jeans has a single-page version without the unfunny commentary.)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:38 PM - 218 comments

We'll keep on fighting 'til the end.

The World Go Championship is underway in Japan. Organized by the Nihon Ki-in, it is the first international tournament that will include both professional human players and an artificial intelligence Go-playing program. 1st-day coverage is up on youtube, with commentary from Michael Redmond and Antti Tourmanen (commentary begins at 2:53). [more inside]
posted by sfenders at 4:29 PM - 9 comments

“Alger is to America what Homer was to the Greeks"

The Gig Economy Celebrates Working Yourself To Death. Mary’s story looks different to different people. Within the ghoulishly cheerful Lyft public-relations machinery, Mary is an exemplar of hard work and dedication—the latter being, perhaps, hard to come by in a company that refuses to classify its drivers as employees. SLNewYorker, written by the always-interesting Jia Tolentino.
posted by Greg Nog at 4:23 PM - 33 comments


Retired Microsoftie and video game nerd Ed Fries [previously] tells the tale of how he and former Atari engineers Ron Milner and Michael Albaugh chased down a forgotten Easter Egg in Atari arcade game Starship 1, programmed by Ron and released in 1977, making it a contender for the title of the oldest known video game Easter Egg.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:48 PM - 10 comments

You are commissioned to Trinidad. You leave Cincinnati Wedns. and alone.

Rosa Maria Segale was born in 1850 in rural Italy. At age four, she and her family moved to Cincinnati, where as a teenager at a school run by the Sisters of Charity, she decided she would join them. As Sister Blandina, her sights were set on the west. She was sent to a small town in Colorado Territory and she spent two decades in the region, tending to the ill, educating the poor, building schools and hospitals, speaking up for the rights of Hispanics and displaced Indians, facing down known bandits including one* Billy the Kid (PDF) and saving at least one man from hanging, as depicted in "The Fastest Nun in the West," a 1966 episode of Death Valley Days. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 10:53 AM - 8 comments

Eurovision 2017: harmony, unity, diversity, international conflict

With less than two months until 2017s most important cultural and voting event, another major problem has occurred. Against staff resignations, a possible ineligible entry and a hostile backdrop, the Russian selection, Julia Samoylova, has been barred from traveling to the event host due to entering the Crimea from Russia, a decision which may not be surprising. The Russian Foreign Minister is apparently outraged, and the EBU is trying to broker a settlement. Across the bookmakers, Italy is currently the clear favorite to win, with Bulgaria, Sweden and Belgium also receiving much betting, with strong showings from ex-Yugoslav countries and some commentators thinking this could be Australia's year in Europe.
posted by Wordshore at 10:50 AM - 22 comments

But "MMMBop" might motivate them to walk into the light ...

New York Presbyterian provides a Spotify playlist of 100 songs to do CPR to, including the eponom-appropriate "I Will Survive". Obligatory "Office" link.
posted by WCityMike at 9:53 AM - 25 comments

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