February 27

Make no mistake: Everything about Casablanca is indelible

The End of a Beautiful Friendship - Laura Miller reviews Noah Isenberg's We'll Always Have Casablanca and tracks the movie's recent loss of prestige among critics and fans.
posted by Think_Long at 7:53 AM - 15 comments

Yesterday's bureaucracy is today's curiosity.

Passports from countries that no longer exist. (Original site)
posted by ellieBOA at 7:25 AM - 5 comments

Top secret winner's envelope

"It was also the last Oscars ceremony for which the names of winners were released to the press, or anyone for that matter, before the onstage announcement.... The academy's official history lays blame on The [Los Angeles] Times for breaking an embargo and publishing the winners in the paper's evening edition before the ceremony was underway. Think of it as the era's equivalent of a tweet that scooped everyone else. " [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:57 AM - 47 comments

"Draw, podnuh!" Or not.

The iconic western image cultivated by TV and film includes one ubiquitous element. The large (.44 or .45) handgun carried on a belt made for the purpose, in a low slung holster strapped to the leg for fast draw. This means of carrying a firearm is called the "Buscadero Rig." We have all seen it worn by Roy Rogers, Hopalong Cassidy, Gene Autrey, John Wayne, James Stewart, Henry Fonda, Clint Eastwood, the Magnificent Seven, Pallidin, and every member of the Cartwright family. It didn't exist in the 19th Century. [more inside]
posted by Repack Rider at 12:08 AM - 37 comments

“Behind the eyes, we feel ourselves shrink”

Airport security: Building a digital wall "We had already been through boarding pass checks, passport checks, scanners, and pat downs. At the gate, each passenger had already had their tickets scanned and we were all walking on the jet bridge to board. It’s at this point that most people assume that it is all done: finally we can enjoy some sense of normalcy..."
posted by beesbees at 12:01 AM - 59 comments

February 26

Record set February 25, 2017 in Finland

The people behind the Hydraulic Press Channel have peeled (and optionally sliced) an apple faster than anyone, ever. By a significant margin, probably.
posted by DoctorFedora at 8:32 PM - 38 comments

Hush, little Cyberdyne, don't you cry

Millenium FX is a U.K. special effects company that creates work for film, television, commercials, music promos, theatre and corporate projects. Also terrifying animatronic babies. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:48 PM - 13 comments

We are here to keep watch, not to keep.

When Things Go Missing is a wonderful essay on the habit and art of losing things. But it's more than just about a misplaced set of keys or a lost wallet (or even a truck). In this New Yorker piece, Kathryn Schulz lures us in with a lighthearted take on the everyday annoyance of misplaced objects (and practical tips to find them!), then invites us to ponder the cognitive process behind the lost-and-the-found. But then she surprises us by stepping candidly from there into more personal and touching territory. At the end, when losses threaten to erase all hope, she ends the essay with two powerful paragraphs that gives meaning to it all. [more inside]
posted by storybored at 2:02 PM - 25 comments


In which McDonalds in the UK advertise [alternative] [vimeo] their coffee via illustration of some aspects of purchasing coffee from contemporary gentrified, hipsterfied or otherwise artisanal establishments. The music is Madness by Prince Buster; the song, song title and artist were an inspiration for a future group.
posted by Wordshore at 12:02 PM - 90 comments

“Why don't you put her in charge?”

Bill Paxton, Actor Who Starred in Aliens and Titanic, Dies at 61 [The Guardian] “The actor Bill Paxton has died at the age of 61. The star of films including Aliens, Titanic and Apollo 13 died after complications from heart surgery, according to a statement released by his family. “It is with heavy hearts we share the news that Bill Paxton has passed away due to complications from surgery,” the statement said. “A loving husband and father, Bill began his career in Hollywood working on films in the art department and went on to have an illustrious career spanning four decades as a beloved and prolific actor and filmmaker. “Bill’s passion for the arts was felt by all who knew him, and his warmth and tireless energy were undeniable. We ask to please respect the family’s wish for privacy as they mourn the loss of their adored husband and father.””
posted by Fizz at 8:02 AM - 175 comments

I'm Poppy

I'm Poppy. [more inside]
posted by Pyrogenesis at 4:52 AM - 66 comments

The richly illustrated scenario of The Andromeda Strain

The scenario of the '71 movie The Andromeda Strain is marvelously illustrated. It uses sketches, diagrams, animations and multi-screen effects so as to better convey the complexity of the vision of Crichton’s novel. The article gives backgroud to the scenario and includes a full copy.
posted by jouke at 3:09 AM - 15 comments

outlay layout

yt-er kaptainkrisitan on Adapting the Unadaptable Watchmen.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:14 AM - 12 comments

February 25

The truly villainous font is the ubiquitous Times New Roman.

It turns out the ongoing joke about the idiocy of Comic Sans is ableist.
posted by Rumple at 9:34 PM - 107 comments

Safety Pins and Swastikas

The frameworks of liberal identity politics and “alt-right” white nationalism are proving curiously compatible. Jacobin's Shuja Haider explores the co-opting of progressive methods by the alt right.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 7:09 PM - 52 comments

High-def, close-up, like you're RIGHT THERE with the nachos

Are you bored staring at a blank wall all day? Stupid landlord won't let you hang pictures? Has life hidden your stud finder? It's okay, you don't need them anyway! Fall asleep beneath the disappointed gaze of this blue-eyed grey kitten. There's no way you *won't* lose weight with this fresh, hot pizza in a box placed strategically above your television. Nachos not for you? Enjoy your refined-palate lifestyle surrounded with locally-grown laughter and Pinterest-worthy paella decals . Still hungry? Not lactose intolerant? Jazz up your Wednesday dinner routine and impress your date with omnipresent cow's milk cheeses. And if that's not enough, you ungrateful monster, ruin your brain with this cloud of programming languages that may actually be used to create The Cloud OMG what is even real anymore.
posted by Munching Langolier at 5:41 PM - 47 comments

Call me, Ishmael.

Station 51000, a buoy, came unmoored in 2013. It's still reporting, and some Eddystone Light-hearted genius has hybridized the data with Moby Dick. ( Or possibly it isn't lost at all? NOAA still lists it with lat-long. )
posted by clew at 3:31 PM - 16 comments

"It’s imperative to make sure that these manuscripts are safe"

The monk who saves manuscripts from ISIS "Rescuing the world’s most precious antiquities from destruction is a painstaking project—and a Benedictine monk may seem like an unlikely person to lead the charge. But Father Columba Stewart is determined. Soft-spoken, dressed in flowing black robes, this 59-year-old American has spent the past 13 years roaming from the Balkans to the Middle East in an effort to save Christian and Islamic manuscripts threatened by wars, theft, weather—and, lately, the Islamic State."
posted by Hypatia at 3:28 PM - 5 comments

Dogs are like kids. Cats are like roommates.

Enjoy the smile-inducing spectacle of this dog buying his own treats. Now watch this cat trying to help with taxes. [both videos ambient sound only]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:17 PM - 25 comments

When Your Greatest Romance Is a Friendship [SLNYT, will make you cry]

When Your Greatest Romance Is a Friendship [more inside]
posted by limeonaire at 2:07 PM - 14 comments

I Hate eBays

@ebaygarfield is a twitter account that posts eBay Garfields
posted by cortex at 2:06 PM - 16 comments

I accidentally bought a giant pig

The vet that said if Esther really was six months old, she was possibly a sick runt and would grow to about 200lb, the size of a very large dog. But by her first birthday she had blown past 250lb; she was on track to be at least 500lb.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:44 PM - 65 comments

Well, there never was a hat!

As Jake Gyllenhaal begins his stint as the lead in Sondheim's Sunday In The Park With George, he's posted on Facebook a video of him singing Finishing The Hat, filmed by Cary Fukunaga. [Ed note: I think he does a pretty good job!]
posted by hippybear at 11:19 AM - 21 comments

Doubling the RDA for Fruits and Veggies

New research indicates we should eat 10, not 5, fruits and veggies a day. Here are some real people who talk about how they manage it.
posted by Michele in California at 11:09 AM - 91 comments

Do a Pubmed search after talking to your doctor

When evidence says no, but your doctor says yes [more inside]
posted by peacheater at 10:41 AM - 27 comments

Turning electronic waste into tiny robot pendants

Romanian artist 11pixeli (Andreea Strete) turns electronic waste headed for the landfill into tiny robots you can wear around your neck. (You can see all the robots on a single page here.) Artist's Instagram.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:22 AM - 7 comments

Meet The Man Who Stopped Thousands Of People Becoming HIV-Positive

A few days before Christmas 2016, a phone call took place that no one could have predicted. One of the world’s most esteemed HIV doctors, Professor Sheena McCormack – whose life’s work as an epidemiologist has been to track and fight the virus – picked up the phone to deliver a message that would make headline news: In the space of 12 months, the number of gay men in London being diagnosed with HIV had dropped by 40%. The man McCormack credited with this unprecedented reduction in HIV transmissions was not a fellow doctor, nor the head of a charity, nor even a politician. Greg Owen is unemployed, a former sex worker, and homeless. [more inside]
posted by cynical pinnacle at 9:08 AM - 47 comments

19 TripAdvisor User Who Are 100% Done with Scotland

Edinburgh Dungeon: "I don't like it. The actors have Scottish accents and its very hard to understand." [SLBF]
posted by DarlingBri at 4:58 AM - 65 comments

Online art community Deviantart bought by Wix.com for (reported) $36mill

Wix.com - primarily a WYSIWYG Web hosting company - buy DeviantArt Established in 2001, the art community / noticeboard DeviantArt (aka DA) has long been the place to see some of the best hobbyist, and professional fandom and original digital art. [more inside]
posted by Faintdreams at 4:22 AM - 29 comments

February 24

blacks swans, the dragon king, and the power law

How Dragon Kings Could Trump Black Swans, MIT Technology Review, 4 AUG 2009.
Sornette goes on to identify a number of data sets showing power laws with outliers that he says are the result of positive feedback mechanisms that make them much larger than their peers. He calls these events dragon kings. What’s interesting about them is that they are entirely unaccounted for by a current understanding of power laws, from which Nassim Nicholas Taleb built the idea of black swans.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:35 PM - 10 comments

“...the dogs run on about ten acres of her family’s 142-acre farm.”

Our Lady of Strays [Outside] “The world's greatest dog sanctuary is on a small farm in Costa Rica, where hundreds of canines run wild over the land — eating huge piles of food and slobbering happily on Lya Battle and her small band of dedicated volunteers.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 9:17 PM - 8 comments

The Jobs Americans Do

Popular ideas about the working class are woefully out of date. Here are nine people who tell a truer story of what the American work force does today — and will do tomorrow. [slNYT]
posted by ellieBOA at 8:59 PM - 12 comments

Caesar, ironically, was born the usual way

C-sections are a boon for humans, who can have very complicated birth situations due to their big heads. But they're not the only mammals with C-sections! (Note: ALL VIDEOS ARE GROSS.) [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:37 PM - 14 comments

Democrats: Now what?

Which way, Democrats?
What Democrats should learn from 2016
The wrong way to rebuild the Democratic Party
posted by latkes at 4:11 PM - 470 comments

"The concept of being able to do literally anything is hard to grasp"

Arbitrary Code Execution Glitches in video games have allowed creators of Tool-Assisted Speedruns break open a game entirely, using nothing more than the controller inputs that are normally used to guide in-game actions.

Originally used just to skip to the end credits screens, since then ACE has been used to program games to run other games. One recent example by MrWint, begins as a demonstration of running Pokemon Gold from within Pokemon Yellow, and quickly escalates from there. [more inside]
posted by radwolf76 at 3:37 PM - 26 comments

April the Giraffe

April the Giraffe is due to give birth to her fourth giraffe baby at the age of 15. Zookeepers have set up a live stream of her pen in the days approaching its arrival. [more inside]
posted by Suffocating Kitty at 2:21 PM - 21 comments

The photography of Maria Svarbova

Maria Svarbova is a Slovakian photographer who specializes in white and pastel compositions with bright accents, featuring people in carefully static and sometimes eerily affectless poses. The Dining Room. Pool Without Water. Healthy Teeth, Good Mood.

Standing apart somewhat from the rest and visually remarkable in its own right is (n.b. nudity) God's Mirror.
posted by cortex at 1:59 PM - 7 comments

Or eight legged Proclaimers?

Numerous pictures of animals that look like they're about to drop the hottest albums of the year.
posted by howfar at 1:00 PM - 31 comments

A real Great Escape

Double-sided ramps were built inside the pits. One crew hauled stretchers filled with corpses up the ramp, and another crew pushed the bodies onto the pyre. In a week, the Burning Brigade might dispose of 3,500 bodies or more. Later, the guards forced prisoners to sift through the ashes with strainers, looking for bone fragments, which would then be pounded down into powder.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:44 AM - 18 comments

Portions of the Following Program Have Been Pre-Recorded

Live from 1981, it's the 53rd Academy Awards—complete with original commercials! [more inside]
posted by Iridic at 8:54 AM - 40 comments

My conclusion: I really don’t understand why dancers turn CW.

Ballet photographer Kent G. Becker asks, Why Do Ballet Dancers Turn Clockwise? While he doesn't come up with a good reason other than "tradition", it's an interesting look at how little variation there is, even compared to other spinning endeavors -- athletes seem to turn mostly counterclockwise, but not as overwhelmingly as ballet dancers.
posted by Etrigan at 8:45 AM - 35 comments

Lo Mein and Plantains

Take a trip to Manhattan's Upper West Side and you might come across a ungentififed relic of naturally occurring fusion cuisine - La Caridad 78 - the last remaining Cuban-Chinese restaurant in town.
posted by The Whelk at 7:58 AM - 30 comments

We can fly with our spirit

Miyazaki Dreams of Flying by Zach Prewitt. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 7:56 AM - 30 comments

The Competing States Hypothesis

How Europe became so rich - "In a time of great powers and empires, just one region of the world experienced extraordinary economic growth. How?" (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 6:32 AM - 63 comments

Feel The Pulse Of The Morning Once Again

When was the last time you read Maya Angelou's 1993 Inaugural Poem "On The Pulse Of The Morning"? It might be time to experience that inspirational poem [6m25s] again. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 3:53 AM - 6 comments

February 23

To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily

In 1969 a young danish girl had been given permission to travel the countryside alone (on foot), which apparently was considered highly unusual at the time. She even had a document with a stamp from the local police chief. In this video a reporter asks what she would do to protect herself if harrassed. [speaking only]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:06 PM - 58 comments

Triumph of the Will and the Cinematic Language of Propaganda

Folding Ideas is a Youtube channel that analyzes movies and video games. By popular demand, the latest video is on Triumph of the Will and how it reflects fascist ideology and the historical context in which it was made.
posted by RobotHero at 7:18 PM - 22 comments

Cloudflare not happy times

Cloudflare CDN has been dumping uninitialized memory from its reverse proxies, including all sorts of things that are supposed to be under HTTPS. Like passwords and private messages from dating sites and cookies and online password manager data. [more inside]
posted by hleehowon at 5:57 PM - 133 comments

Archaeogenomic evidence reveals prehistoric matrilineal dynasty

For societies with writing systems, hereditary leadership is documented as one of the hallmarks of early political complexity and governance. In contrast, it is unknown whether hereditary succession played a role in the early formation of prehistoric complex societies that lacked writing. Here we use an archaeogenomic approach to identify an elite matriline that persisted between 800 and 1130 CE in Chaco Canyon, the centre of an expansive prehistoric complex society in the Southwestern United States. We show that nine individuals buried in an elite crypt at Pueblo Bonito, the largest structure in the canyon, have identical mitochondrial genomes. Analyses of nuclear genome data from six samples with the highest DNA preservation demonstrate mother–daughter and grandmother–grandson relationships, evidence for a multigenerational matrilineal descent group. Together, these results demonstrate the persistence of an elite matriline in Chaco for ∼330 years. (fulltext)
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 5:42 PM - 5 comments

“It doesn't ring like anything I know,”

Anonymous Sources, Pharmacy Pills, and Gang Wars: Inconsistencies raise questions about "Pill City," a Baltimore tale of drugs and murder. [City Paper] “But there are inconsistencies that raise questions about the veracity of "Pill City." After The Sun's Justin Fenton reported neither local nor federal officials could confirm many claims in the book, Deutsch responded in a post on Medium. "Until last week, I never knew what it felt like to be on the other end of reporters' barbed — and biased — questions," he wrote. Then he goes on to call out: Fenton; David Simon, who said the book is "by and large, a wholesale fabrication" on Twitter; and Baltimore City Paper, whose story, which you are reading, had not yet been published.”
posted by Fizz at 2:45 PM - 24 comments

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