May 31

🎼♭ There's plenty of room in the blue, ♪ for me and for you ... ♬

Who was Ivor Cutler? A Glaswegian transplant living in London, creating surreal and playful music and poetry, sometimes accompanying himself on harmonium, from 1959 until his death in 2006. [BBC obit | Guardian obit | Telegraph obit ] By then, he'd also appeared on the John Peel Show more times than any other artist (not counting The Fall). [ A piece on him from the BBC's "In Search of the Great English Eccentric" | BBC piece and a Guardian piece on a biopic play about Ivor's life and times, The Beautiful Cosmos of Ivor CutlerNational Theatre of Scotland's website for the play ]
posted by not_on_display at 9:45 PM - 0 comments


Huhhhrh! [ponk] [doont] [ponk] [doont] Huhhhrh! [ponk] [doont] [ponk] [doont] Huhhhrh! [ponk] [doont] HRARGLBL [ponk] [doont] Huhhhrh?
posted by zippy at 9:20 PM - 3 comments

the best-educated low-wage workers in America

For the past month Gawker has been sharing true stories from behind the front lines of adjunct-dom: The Educated Underclass. [more inside]
posted by bq at 8:25 PM - 13 comments

"Something seems different, Herb." "Besides us being left out?" "Yeah."

Captain Disillusion (previously) has himself become disillusioned with his own show's format. Fortunately, a mentor from another era has returned to give him guidance.
posted by BiggerJ at 7:33 PM - 5 comments

Why do dancers marry welders?

This interactive chart of who marries whom may be a horrible example of data visualization, but it contains fascinating information about marriages by occupation for both heterosexual and homosexual couples. For example, actuaries mostly marry database administrators, though male actuaries in same-sex marriages prefer fitness instructors and female actuaries in same-sex marriages go for carpenters. High-earning women (doctors, lawyers) tend to pair up with their economic equals, and the most common marriage is between grade school teachers. Hints on how to read the chart inside, as you explore the more interesting parings (for example, proofreaders tend to marry optometrists) [more inside]
posted by blahblahblah at 5:25 PM - 60 comments

The Pizzle

Dennis Lee makes and eats garbage food
posted by clorox at 5:09 PM - 20 comments

No word on whether she heard the voice of Johnny Cash

Kim Gordon was not bitten by a coyote at Whole Foods.
posted by palindromic at 4:46 PM - 28 comments

“ which he repeatedly referred to the penis area as “down there.”

The Many Ways The Media Gets Around Saying [Groin] By Kyle Wagner [FiveThirtyEight] It’s the oldest laugh in sports: Some poor schmoe takes a sports ball to the crotch, keels over and, once we’re reasonably sure no lasting damage has been done, the TV announcers deadpan some dad jokes while the camera pans around to giggling teammates. It’s as much a familiar sports yuk as other not-all-that-uncommon oddities, like a field player on the mound or the fat guy touchdown, only with funnier GIFs. At least, that’s how things work when the hit comes in a relatively low-stakes setting. But what happens when the stakes are raised? And just as important, when reporters are forced to write about sportsmen kicking each other in the nuts, what do they write? This week has provided some answers.
posted by Fizz at 3:35 PM - 32 comments

Wacky Town Names

America's a big country. From the easternmost reaches of Maine to the western Alaska islands in the Bering Sea, these United States include towns with every imaginable name. We've collected some of the more surprising examples. Because it's the last day of May and we wanna keep MeFi weird. Add your own examples, let's go wild!
posted by Bella Donna at 3:26 PM - 108 comments

Our goal is to change the way readers think about the history of movies

In order to expand the discussion of black cinema beyond #OscarsSoWhite, Slate put together a panel of cinema experts and historians to create The Black Film Canon - fifty important films by black directors, showcasing the black cinematic voice spanning over half a century. (SLSlate)
posted by NoxAeternum at 3:11 PM - 10 comments

The Fire Next Time

Business of Disaster: Insurance firms profited 400 million after Sandy. An investigative report from Frontline and NPR. [more inside]
posted by latkes at 1:54 PM - 14 comments

I thought being a grown up would be different

"My other fruit bowl has a teapot in it." "Fruit, in my fruit bowl? Are you mad?" Readers share pictures of their fruit bowls with the Standard Issue
posted by Helga-woo at 1:29 PM - 95 comments

“I’m weirder now than I’ve ever been.”

Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at age 46 in 1988, social worker, artist, dancer, marathoner and activist Patricia Lay-Dorsey has documented much of her journey. [more inside]
posted by Occula at 12:53 PM - 1 comment


Using photogrammetry, Claire Hentschker has extracted the physical space of Stanley Kubrick’s ‘The Shining' from the first 30 minutes of the film and reassembled it in VR along the original camera path. [more inside]
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 12:53 PM - 15 comments

Morph Club

The Morph Club Podcast - Two comix illustrator friends revisit Katherine Applegate's popular 1990's YA book series Animorphs! Join them as they laugh and cry about sad morphing teens and the horrible aliens who hate them. [more inside]
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 11:40 AM - 10 comments

War of the Hashtaggers

How Toronto's craziest Twitter war ended up in court (slTorontoLife)
posted by Kitteh at 11:15 AM - 45 comments

Gender Pay Gap Among Doctors

A new survey released by Medscape (owned by WebMD) shows that female doctors are paid significantly less than male doctors. Some of this may be due to specialty choice, but not all; the pay gap is $33,000 even among primary care physicians. A 2012 study also found that, among a study group of highly ambitious physician-researchers, women MDs make $12,000 less than men, after controlling for myriad factors other than gender (full paper).
posted by zug at 10:59 AM - 46 comments

Oh, no, it's distinctive; as a matter of fact I wish I had one!

Goiter-Ridden Creche Figures — Disease-ridden pilgrims bring a whole new level of realism to the manger scene. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:13 AM - 3 comments

Things he learnt

I was a stock photography model.
posted by infini at 10:02 AM - 36 comments

A bookstore filled with mirrors

In Hangzhou, China, a new bookstore designed by XL-Muse contains mirrored ceilings as well unique designs around mirrors that provide amazing illusions, as well as a very unique "book playground".
posted by numaner at 9:27 AM - 9 comments

Typhoons! Hurricanes! Earthquakes! SMOG!

"Many of the people involved in the Washington National Opera’s production of Richard Wagner's Ring Cycle say their first exposure to opera came from the same source—Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd cartoons." [SLWSJ]
posted by moonmilk at 8:55 AM - 14 comments

“They were two close friends, sitting alone together.”

“Frog and Toad”: An Amphibious Celebration of Same-Sex Love
posted by nadawi at 8:49 AM - 30 comments

Google's 2016 Food Trends Report

Google has crunched the data on all those food-related searches you made and released a 75-page report, Food Trends 2016 [pdf]. Spoiler: bacon isn't going anywhere.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:41 AM - 29 comments

Official Wendy Carlos Online Information Source

Wendy Carlos is one of the most important composers living today. While primarily connected to the fields of electronic music, sound design, and alternate tunings, her compositions transcend these genres. It is certain that her music will be included among the major milestones of 20th century music.
posted by Sokka shot first at 8:32 AM - 21 comments

"incredibly unethical and creepy"

A Boston advertiser's technology, when deployed by anti-choice groups, allows those groups to send propaganda directly to a woman’s phone while she is in a clinic waiting room.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 8:12 AM - 33 comments

Me and Magdalena

Me and Magdalena is the latest single by the Monkees. This is the first single from the Monkees' 12th album, 'Good Times!', written by Ben Gibbard from 'Death Cab For Cutie'. [more inside]
posted by h00py at 8:02 AM - 31 comments

Combat Juggling. No, really.

Dan Lewis's Now I Know newsletter brings us the story of Combat Juggling, and I bring it to you just because it's weird.
posted by Etrigan at 6:59 AM - 14 comments

“Let me tell you about this business. Every truck has a bat inside.”

“You will never see a Mister Softee truck in Midtown,” he continued. “If you do, there will be problems, and you won’t see him there very long.” [SLNYT]
posted by Chrysostom at 6:53 AM - 48 comments


"Jeanie is actually 100 percent correct in her assessment that Ferris has been cut way too many breaks in life and should be held to a higher standard. In Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, she’s not just a petty, jealous sibling, she’s a female voice of reason raging against a society that demeans her and disregards her opinions." - On the 30th anniversary of Ferris Bueller's Day Off, a reflection on the overlooked Jeanie Bueller.
posted by The Whelk at 6:08 AM - 144 comments


Lightning strikes at 7000 frames per second. [SLYT]
posted by Mitheral at 4:12 AM - 14 comments

Citizen Khan

Behind a Muslim community in northern Wyoming lies one enterprising man—and countless tamales.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:48 AM - 15 comments

Who'd have thought the invigorating face-slapper could be misused?

Inventions of Mine That Have Been Misused for Evil Purposes by veteran silly-person Jack Handey from The New Yorker's Shouts and Murmurs department
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:30 AM - 25 comments

May 30

Skepticism Refocused

When "Rationalism" makes you dumber: Scientific American writer John Horgan's recent talk to a large skeptic conference was cut short when he called for turning skepticism towards "hard targets" such as psychiatric drugs, medical overtesting and militarism, and away from "preaching to the choir" rants against the paranormal and superstitious. [more inside]
posted by blankdawn at 11:06 PM - 83 comments

The kids call it

Weird Skateboarding: Ritchie Jackson, Almir Jusovic, Jason Park, Kilian Martin, Gou Miyagi, William Spencer, no but seriously Willy Spencer.... Is This Skateboarding?
posted by carsonb at 11:00 PM - 11 comments

Anyone would do it.

Chinese students gaming entry into and passage through Western universities The advertisements were tailored for Chinese college students far from home, struggling with the English language and an unfamiliar culture. Coaching services peppered the students with emails and chat messages in Chinese, offering to help foreign students at U.S. colleges do much of the work necessary for a university degree. The companies would author essays for clients. Handle their homework. Even take their exams. All for about a $1,000 a course.
posted by modernnomad at 9:31 PM - 43 comments

Feral Aeroplanes

Norway's Virus make weirdness and dissonance surprisingly catchy and groovy, an uneasy truce between jazz and metal resembling a mixture of Talking Heads and Voivod. Stereogum offers a couple of looks at upcoming new record Memento Collider. "There’s Crzal's [of Ved Buens Ende, Aura Noir, Satyricon, and more] cool, controlled vocal, sometimes backed by a wistful maybe-theremin. There's clean-ish guitar that’s fringed with the fry of radiation. There’s the equally hooky and knotty basswork provided by Plenum, a returning member whose other gig, Manimalism, is one of the more interesting projects to surface lately. There’s Einar Sjursø’s subtly massive drumming, perfectly providing the right snap to every rise and fall. There are nearly eight minutes of grooves patiently fighting over the title of 'that groove.'" [more inside]
posted by Existential Dread at 8:35 PM - 5 comments

Getting Intense With Indigo Girls

If you only know Indigo Girls from their few hits from decades ago, you might not be aware that they get pretty intense on every album. Let's look at their deeper tracks from each of the Girls and how they evolve across time, starting with the beginning of their label recording career in 1989, Indigo Girls and the tracks Blood And Fire [Amy] and Love's Recovery [Emily]. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 6:34 PM - 43 comments

<3 <3 <3 Tormund and Brienne forever <3 <3 <3

Tormund thinks Brienne is beautiful (possible spoilers for the Game of Thrones HBO series)
posted by deathpanels at 6:09 PM - 47 comments

Dinosaurs! A Fun-Filled Trip Back in Time! With Fred Savage! And clay!

Imagine it's the Fall of 1987 and you recently saw The Princess Bride (trailer). Then you heard that Fred Savage was back, in an oddly familiar setting with another story, this time about dinosaurs. You might be thrilled to see Dinosaurs! A Fun-Filled Trip Back In Time! (full film), even if you've already seen Will Vinton's clayanimation that was used as part of a dream sequence of sorts. Flash forward to the present day and you might do a bit of research on the "prehistoric monsters" featured in the short film and find some of the details less than accurate. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 5:48 PM - 4 comments

"I'll have what she's having" - Music-induced "skin orgasms"

Frisson (Wikipedia), dubbed "skin orgasms" by some researchers, is the sensation of shivers, often accompanied by the physical manifestation of goosebumps, which some listeners experience in response to particularly emotional or unexpected passages in music. Writing in The Conversation, Ph.D. candidate Mitchell Colver explores "Why do only some people get 'skin orgasms' from listening to music?" [more inside]
posted by rekrap at 4:34 PM - 100 comments

Slamina: a graphic designer takes on phobias

How can design techniques encourage animal phobics in opening up to a positive perspective on the feared animal?

Does not contain pictures of animals.
Trigger warning for tone: in parts, comes across as minimizing.
posted by wonton endangerment at 9:31 AM - 16 comments

"I truly believe sunscreen is the No. 1 anti-aging ingredient"

You Know You Should Use Sunscreen. But Are You Using It Right? [SLNYT] [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 9:28 AM - 159 comments

The Descent of Snowman

Here in the northern hemisphere the days are getting warm enough to start wishing for some cool air. Let's dream together of snowy mountains and fun ways to get down them. Sure, we could alpine ski or snowboard, some of us may telemark, and lots of us go sledding, but we're dreaming here so let's make things more unusual. [more inside]
posted by Songdog at 8:39 AM - 12 comments

It’s so much safer in the world of Alexander Hamilton.

"This is all hilarious, of course — a 14-year-old girl utterly fanatical about the Founding Fathers — that is until you realize that it isn’t going away." Joe Posnanski of NBC Sports on taking his 14 year old daughter, Elizabeth, to see Hamilton.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:25 AM - 63 comments

In Defense of Voodoo Doughnut

Portland isn’t the biggest city, the most historical city, or the best weather city. If it isn’t quirky donuts that we promote, what’s it gonna be? You think Seattle people actually like the Space Needle? Hell no. It looks like a giant alien dick. But you’ve got to hand it to them, they put that alien dick on t-shirts, aprons, and frisbees and sell it year round. Voodoo has become a Portland institution, and it’s time to accept it. What is civic pride if not the ability to look out-of-towners directly in the eye and say “you should buy this stupid bullshit.”
posted by Bella Donna at 8:24 AM - 130 comments

Yo mama's so vast, she contains multitudes

25 Literary Yo Mama Jokes
posted by Daily Alice at 8:22 AM - 36 comments

Quitting Your Job to Pursue Your Passion is Bulls***

We praise people that are “courageous” enough to quit their 9-to-5 and dive into the deep end of the exciting unknown. We idealize and romanticize the idea of being our own boss and being in charge of our own schedule. To take a risk and reap the bountiful benefits. Yet no one talks about the real sustainability or self-sufficiency of this formula when the playing field is never even.
posted by Kitteh at 7:42 AM - 80 comments

Bisexual Buccaneers from Both-Ways Bay

How Tumblr Users Transformed a Homophobic Post Into a Dystopian Science Fiction Lovefest [more inside]
posted by moody cow at 6:31 AM - 26 comments

irl pong

that's what it is!
posted by Sebmojo at 6:13 AM - 7 comments

“...not more communism but more public-spirited pigs.””

TS Eliot's rejection of Orwell's Animal Farm [The Guardian] Digitised for the first time by the British Library, Eliot’s rejection is now available to read alongside others including Virginia Woolf’s to James Joyce. Eliot’s letter is one of more than 300 items which have been digitised by the British Library, a mixture of drafts, diaries, letters and notebooks by authors ranging from Virginia Woolf to Angela Carter and Ted Hughes. The literary archive reveals that Orwell was not the only major writer to suffer a series of rejections: the British Library has also digitised a host of rejections for James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, showing how his patron Harriet Shaw Weaver attempted to find a printer for the novel she had published in serialised form in The Egoist. [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 5:16 AM - 19 comments

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