August 30

Not Able to Get to the Beach? Not a Problem!

12 Incredible Artificial and Man-Made Beaches [more inside]
posted by little_dog_laughing at 8:40 PM - 0 comments

I Am 911

Because most people think of work like customer service when they think of remote jobs, these jobs are usually classified as clerical. 911 dispatchers are no exception. Unlike most clerical workers, though, 911 dispatchers often have to handle talking citizens through traumatic situations, often risking compassion fatigue and trauma themselves in the process. In order to get 911 dispatchers access to mental health services and support, the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials are openly campaigning to reclassify 911 dispatchers as first responders. As part of that campaign, 911 dispatchers have been speaking out this week about some of the more harrowing experiences they've talked people in crisis through.
posted by sciatrix at 8:05 PM - 3 comments

Deep Sadness

Deep Sadness is an artwork.
posted by escabeche at 7:24 PM - 12 comments

Your Guide to the Craziest Show on Television

Zoo. Season Two. "...But anyway, the sloth and the ants: The evil four-star general — who has his own plan to save the world, which is called the Noah Objective and involves releasing a gas that kills off all the infected animals, and actually seems kind of reasonable if you think about it, because, like, look at the list of things the animals have done — storms the science plane and starts detaining everyone. But the earthquake sloth gets free and shrieks and ...." [more inside]
posted by storybored at 6:18 PM - 22 comments

Fragrance of choice

Let Spike and Margaret take you to Kenzo World. (SLVimeo; alternatively, YT)
posted by progosk at 3:16 PM - 17 comments

Hargeysa International Book Fair, celebrating literature in Somaliland

This year, Somaliland is celebrating its silver jubilee (though there are concerns and disappointments), and recently held its 9th annual Hargeysa International Book Fair in the (unrecognized) country's capital. The theme this year was leadership, and its connection to art, culture, and creativity. HIBF is the biggest annual event in Somaliland, drawing 11,000 attendees this year, it's an advertisement for a republic that showcases itself as a kind of "anti-Somalia." [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 2:18 PM - 2 comments

"All we need is music - Sweet music - There's no music anywhere"

"Dancing in the Street"
Bowie + Jagger - music + hand claps = laffs [more inside]
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:10 PM - 58 comments

Tied for lighthouse keeper as potential dream job

'Freaks on the peaks': the lonely lives of the last remaining forest fire lookouts (slTheGrauniad)
posted by Kitteh at 12:54 PM - 43 comments

the game within the game

As of August 3rd, it is again legal to play Daily Fantasy sports in New York State. But having spent a fortune on legal bills (and even more on marketing) it may be too late for the two major players in the DFS world, DraftKings and FanDuel (previously) to ever become profitable. ESPN and Outside the Lines go into what went wrong (Spoiler alert: "The implosion of the daily fantasy industry is a bro-classic tale of hubris, recklessness, political naïveté and a kill-or-be-killed culture.")
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:50 PM - 19 comments

No More Education for the Future

ITT Tech has ceased enrolling new students. On August 26, the US Department of Education prohibited ITT Tech from enrolling new students who receive federal financial aid. Less than 1 week later, the embattled school will no longer enroll new students at all. Current students may continue their studies this year. [more inside]
posted by LizBoBiz at 12:38 PM - 42 comments

Attack of the Killer Robots

A quadcopter one inch in diameter can carry a one-gram charge. You can write some code to say: ‘Here are thousands of photographs of the kinds of things I want to target’. A one-gram shaped charge can punch a hole in nine millimeters of steel. You can fit about three million of those in a semi-tractor-trailer. You can drive up I-95 with three trucks and have 10 million weapons attacking New York City. They could be here in two to three years.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:06 PM - 66 comments

It’s...still the mid-Paleolithic period for far too many.

A Canadian newspaper peppers its front page with comments from Internet trolls. [more inside]
posted by sardonyx at 11:34 AM - 26 comments

unce unce unce unce BOOOOoooooo BOOOOOooooo

Blokdust is a browser-based music, instrument and sound creation thing. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:15 AM - 6 comments

formerly fundie

Inside NYC's Social Club For The Formerly Devout [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 10:46 AM - 12 comments

Indie Crossword Puzzlers Are Shaking Up A Very Square World

The death of the Buzzfeed crossword puzzle after less than a year leads FiveThirtyEight Senior Writer Oliver Roeder to survey the state of indie crosswords ("The Times is a Budweiser lager; the indies are small-batch saisons and IPAs."). [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 10:34 AM - 22 comments

Five years after the tsunami, a husband still searches the sea

"Takamatsu went out with [the] regular dive customers -- the ones who dove for fun. They had no idea Takamatsu was searching for a body." [SLNYT] [warning: some graphic details re body decomposition]
posted by trillian at 10:31 AM - 10 comments

“We have to promote inbreeding of the best bloodlines.”

The Secret Nazi Attempt to Breed the Perfect Horse by Elizabeth Letts. [Longreads] The bestselling author of ‘The Eighty Dollar Champion’ describes the Nazis’ secret stud farm, where dubious visionaries imagined a breed of perfect (and perfectly white) horse. [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 9:18 AM - 25 comments

He loves the man that Batman isn’t.

Object Dreams is a blog that catalogs the output of varying text prediction algorithms. Here's part of a Batman: The Animated Series episode it wrote, "The Penguin makes things worse by killing Batman. He has happened to Batman and he is visibly criminal. Batman isn’t still around. Batman is in a cloud. The Penguin finds that he is astounded by killing the man who loves him most. He feels responsible for the death of Gotham’s prominent Batman. He loves the man that Batman isn’t." These programs create Yelp! reviews of the Paris Catacombs, IMDB content warnings, and scripts for Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown - among other things. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla at 7:30 AM - 42 comments

The Awkward Transitions of Disneyland

"Even the most perfect reproduction of a work of art is lacking in one element: its presence in time and space, its unique existence at the place where it happens to be. This unique existence of the work of art determined the history to which it was subject throughout the time of its existence." Walter Benjamin, Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
This is our point of entry today: to take old chestnuts and try to crack them to see what pops out. Our subject is Disneyland. Our topic: charm.
[more inside]
posted by gilrain at 7:13 AM - 15 comments

Sierra Gets Creative

Jimmy Maher of The Digital Antiquarian tells the story of Sierra Entertainment's gamble on the MS-DOS/IMB platform shaped PC gaming as we know it: from creating the first game with a cinematic score (and later helping to make the Sound Blaster a standard feature of home PCs); to pioneering the genre of adventure games with rich storytelling; to a female-friendly marketing and design strategy that was decades ahead of its time.
posted by overeducated_alligator at 6:27 AM - 54 comments

Meet the meticulous artist behind those happy trees (SLNPR)

The Real Bob Ross [more inside]
posted by unannihilated at 2:56 AM - 19 comments

Testing Nexus on 'NIMH' mice

Nanowire Mesh Monitors Mouse Brains - "Injectable 'neural lace'* brain-computer interface works in mice for months at a time." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 12:21 AM - 27 comments

August 29

I Want To Believe

"No one is claiming that this is the work of an extraterrestrial civilization, but it is certainly worth further study. Working out the strength of the signal, the researchers say that if it came from an isotropic beacon, it would be of a power possible only for a Kardashev Type II civilization. If it were a narrow beam signal focused on our Solar System, it would be of a power available to a Kardashev Type I civilization. The possibility of noise of one form or another cannot be ruled out, and researchers in Paris led by Jean Schneider are considering the possible microlensing of a background source by HD164595. But the signal is provocative enough that the RATAN-600 researchers are calling for permanent monitoring of this target." [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:04 PM - 122 comments

Spam, Spam, Spam, Anthropology, & Spam

Beyond Spam: Hormel's secret weapon for predicting the future of food Around 2007, Hormel quietly embarked on a venture that would take it deeper than it had ever been into the cupboards and kitchens of Americans, many of them immigrants, many of them young. It led to a series of acquisitions and a blitz of research and development that helped round out its pantry of products and inoculate it against the fickle modern food trends of a kale-and-quinoa world.
One of the first things it did was hire an anthropologist.
[more inside]
posted by CrystalDave at 2:03 PM - 75 comments

"One cannot but think of him as a 50-year-old mausoleum exhibition"

Following an admission yesterday by the government of Uzbekistan that its president, Islam Karimov, had suffered a stroke, it is now being reported that he has died. He was the only person to have led an independent Uzbekistan and it is unclear who might succeed him, as his once-popular (at least as far as her father was concerned) daughter Gulnara has been under house arrest since 2014 after a feud within the family. Last year, Daniil Kislov, whose Ferghana news agency was among the first to report Karimov's illness and death, had some reflections on Karimov's last few years of authoritarian rule.
posted by Copronymus at 1:53 PM - 15 comments

Rudy Van Gelder, influential sound engineer, dead at 92

Rudy Van Gelder, best known for his work at legendary Bluenote Records, influential sound engineer, dead at 92. (Previously on Metafilter, RVG) Spotify playlist of his recordings.
posted by Keith Talent at 12:58 PM - 39 comments

RIP, Leo Bloom

Gene Wilder has died at age 83. Gene Wilder, who regularly stole the show in such comedic gems as “The Producers,” “Blazing Saddles,” “Young Frankenstein,” “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and “Stir Crazy,” died Monday at his home in Stamford, Conn. His nephew Jordan Walker-Pearlman said he died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. [more inside]
posted by holborne at 12:34 PM - 287 comments

Sad Face

Can smiling make you happier? Maybe not. We have no idea. ... The basic finding of Strack’s research—that a facial expression can change your feelings even if you don’t know that you’re making it—has now been reproduced, at least conceptually, many, many times. ... In recent years, it has even formed the basis for the treatment of mental illness. An idea that Strack himself had scoffed at in the 1980s now is taken very seriously: Several recent, randomized clinical trials found that injecting patients’ faces with Botox to make their “frown lines” go away also helped them to recover from depression. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 12:19 PM - 19 comments

Who Should Get Paid for Live Storytelling Events?

It’s not that “exposure” doesn’t exist. It does, sort of, but it’s more along the lines of “networking.” [more inside]
posted by Kitteh at 11:32 AM - 61 comments

Jellyfish are going to kill us all

A Tiny Jellyfish Relative Just Shut Down Yellowstone River [more inside]
posted by quaking fajita at 10:02 AM - 20 comments

There’s only one way for us to win this / Provoke outrage, outright

Donny is flopping about on immigration and his "deportation force," and the view of Donald as a bigot are solidifying, as Hillary's camp keeps up the race-themed attack on Donnie. Meanwhile, Donny bought $10 million in ads for this week, his biggest buy yet, focusing on the economy. Ads will air in battleground states, including Colorado and Virginia, where Clinton’s top aides — citing the growth in minority communities and college-educated white voters — feel confident enough to pull local ads. And to keep things lively, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton trade jabs over their health. With a bit more than 70 days to go, it's too soon for Hillary to run out the clock, so let's go, get back on your feet!
posted by filthy light thief at 8:52 AM - 1081 comments

“The Octobot also has its own preservation code. ”

Meet Octobot: Squishy, Adorable and Revolutionary [The New York Times] “This squishy eight-armed machine is the world’s first fully autonomous soft-bodied robot. Researchers at Harvard University created the octopus by three-dimensional printing, using silicone gel, which gives it its flexible, rubbery texture. On Wednesday, they unveiled their adorable step toward the robot uprising in the journal Nature [.PDF]. The scientists said in their paper that their creation could be a foundation for the future of soft-bodied robots.”
posted by Fizz at 6:41 AM - 31 comments

Heavily-Delayed Horrors Beyond Human Reckoning

The end of WTF D&D's epic saga of 90's music stars and cosmic horrors has finally begun, half a year after that post (which contains links to the entire story so far). Zack and Steve's zany game logs from the interim: Death Star plans on Naboo (1, 2), Dark Heresy: The Lost Dog Detectives (1, 2), a redneck WWE wrestler, a 90's Marvel character trapped in the Cinematic Universe (1, 2) and a Ghostbusters franchise in North Dakota (1, 2). As evidenced by the site's archives, much pointing and laughing at sourcebooks did indeed also ensue.
posted by BiggerJ at 6:38 AM - 2 comments

of the Free

After conspicuously not standing up during the National Anthem played at a preseaon NFL game on Friday, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick explained that his actions were a tribute to the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Moreover, he went on, the song itself has a racist history. If you unfamiliar, here is Jason Johnson of the Root to explain: Lt. Francis Scott Key and the history of the US National Anthem's racist 3rd Verse.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:07 AM - 170 comments

A Swarm of Controversy

In their struggle for survival against killer mites, bees get an unlikely ally: Monsanto. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb at 5:36 AM - 10 comments

only the lifelong challenge of acknowledging the reality of other people

Nakul Krishna on the ethics & morality of Malory Towers. [more inside]
posted by terretu at 2:03 AM - 16 comments

The BBC goes slow again with a two-hour Yorkshire Dales bus trip.

Following the success of previous BBC Four 'slow TV' programmes, including All Aboard! The Sleigh Ride & Canal Trip, and Slow Week, BBC4 is inviting viewers aboard for a very special journey through one of the most spectacular and beautiful bus routes in Britain. The 'Northern Dalesman', as the bus on the route is called, has been rigged with specialist cameras as it travels on its journey, snaking across the iconic landscape of the Yorkshire Dales. Filmed in real time, the cameras capture the road unfurling, the passing scenery and the occasional chatter of local passengers. Two hours of scenery and quiet, no ads, no idiot voice-over ... all television should be this way. (Previously)
posted by GallonOfAlan at 1:06 AM - 46 comments

August 28

Nobody Speak

DJ Shadow and Run the Jewels show us the potential future of international diplomacy
posted by beukeboom at 7:47 PM - 33 comments

Mojo Magazine’s Best Covers (2004-2016)

32 covers from twelve years of Mojo tribute albums [more inside]
posted by maggieb at 6:23 PM - 5 comments

Советские Movies

Free Soviet movies, with English subtitles. Cartoons! Comedy! Sci Fi! Melodrama! Drama Drama! Adventure! Everything!
posted by idiopath at 5:42 PM - 19 comments

Watch Pompeii be destroyed

Watch the Destruction of Pompeii by Mount Vesuvius, Re-Created with Computer Animation (79 AD)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 4:34 PM - 31 comments

The Lego Grad Student

"Eating his stolen sandwiches in the stairwell, the grad student contemplates how his life has come to this." The Grad Student: A hollow head struggling to make it through a blocky world.
posted by lazuli at 4:02 PM - 59 comments

Deep-fat fryers and dunking Jaffa Cakes: a nation further divided

As the UK continues to absorb the implications of the Brexit referendum vote, further splits open due to the (possibly overcooked) arguments between TV cooking show hosts. The declaration of one, that “no family should own a deep-fat fryer” leads to the reply that “...the UK was built on chips and spam fritters.” Host hostilities are further inflamed by the cultural flashpoint of whether Jaffa Cakes should, or could, be dunked in tea, with the retort of “We don't do that in the south, you know.” (Previously [1] and [2]) [more inside]
posted by Wordshore at 10:38 AM - 89 comments

I heard you and Captain America were having some relationship problems.

What was Thor up to during the Captain America: Civil War slap-fight between Thor's earthly comrades? "I guess I'm just taking a break." Starring Thor, Thor's roommate, Mjolnir, and a special Avenger guest. (alternate video link) [more inside]
posted by nicebookrack at 10:23 AM - 66 comments

1 country, 1 movie

From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, the best of "worldly cinema" according to Reddit users. The individual country threads provide alternate suggestions. The list is as idiosyncratic as can be expected from a Reddit poll: entries on Niger, Nigeria and Palestine had to be deleted because the threads were downvoted to death, Vietnamese cinema does not exist at all and the Best Swedish Movie Ever is [spoiler]. It is, however, a powerful reminder that movies are made everywhere. [more inside]
posted by elgilito at 8:08 AM - 48 comments

“the way of the sword, the way of the chef”

Food Manga: Where Culture, Conflict And Cooking All Collide [NPR.org] “In Japan, nearly every interest has a manga dedicated to it, whether it's sports, music or shooting pool. So it's no wonder that food, which has always been tied to Japan's cultural identity, has skyrocketed as a genre of manga, which represents about 40 percent of all books published in that country. Food manga first appeared in the 1980s, when the Japanese economy was strong, says Nancy Stalker, professor of Japanese history and culture at the University of Texas at Austin. One of the first, Oishinbo, ran for more than 20 years and became the basis for an anime series, as have many manga since. Conflict and cooking are at the heart of many food manga: Food Wars, Soldier of Food, Wakakozake, Detective Glutton, Solitary Gourmet, Criminal Grub, Cooking Master Boy, Antique Bakery, High Plains Gourmet.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 6:10 AM - 38 comments

August 27

Technically still a result

"Babies" made from flour sacks or eggshells have been used for to teach children about the responsibilities of parenthood, but a new study using lifelike simulated babies in Western Australian schools had a surprising result: girls enrolled in the Virtual Infant Parenting Program (VIP) were twice as likely to give birth in their teens.
[original report in The Lancet]
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:53 PM - 100 comments

De Coubertin medal: 4th Olympic medal, True Spirit of Sportsmanship

68 years after the first modern Olympic Games, a fourth medal was added to recognize athletes who displayed exceptional sportsmanship. Awarded on rare occasions, the Pierre de Coubertin medal, also known as the True Spirit of Sportsmanship medal, was inaugurated at the 1964 Winter Olympics. It was there that Eugenio Monti's kind gestures lead to two gold medals, for the two- and four-man bobsled, but for the other teams. The medal has now been awarded 18 times, with the latest medal going to New Zealand's Nikki Hamblin and US's Abbey D’Agostino, after the pair tangled in their 5,000m race in the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics, but got up to complete the race together. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 2:52 PM - 17 comments

Hands–down the best game I've played in years.

else Heart.Break() (trailer) is simultaneously one of the most delightful, and most melancholy, games in recent memory. Welcome to Dorisberg, a town in which reality itself can be reprogrammed—using a variant of BASIC, no less!—and in which a group of aimless twentysomething rebels suffers under the watch of the all–seeing Ministry. The story is short, but the town is ridiculously complex, as hinted at by the sheer length and breadth of its soundtrack. There are secrets within secrets. And sadnesses within sadnesses, too. Users have been writing delightfully complex scripts, too, rewiring the entire city to suit their purposes. eH.B() was created by Erik Svedang, whose ultrashort Blueberry Garden has been one of my favorite games for close to a decade.
posted by rorgy at 2:25 PM - 21 comments

Saturday Cartoons - Election Year Edition

It's hard to believe America has never had a woman President, considering that in 1932, theaters across the country were showing the campaign film "Betty Boop for President", which contained many gags that seem just as relevant today. Then in 1948, the same animation studio recycled some of the content for the Popeye cartoon "Olive Oyl for President".
via Miss Cellania, who should have been elected Blog Queen years ago
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:23 PM - 15 comments

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