January 1, 2000 was the day that our computers were meant to fail us and change our lives forever. It was also the day that 44 year old Norman Feller headed into his underground bunker over fears of the fallout from the Y2K virus. Remarkably Mr. Feller spent the next 14 years in isolation only to emerge this past September. [more inside]
posted by Telf at 10:29 AM - 49 comments
Like sending out Christmas cards but prefer something light on the Santas and Jesuses? The Hubble Telescope is here to help you out with a whole line of free-to-download-and-print holiday-themed greeting cards
posted by phunniemee at 9:27 AM - 7 comments
While traditional music venues
offer their usual Best Albums
) of the Year round-ups,
Spotify confers with a different set of experts of find out what songs and musicians were most important to 2013: You
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:05 AM - 32 comments
"Simply changing the skin color of the mutants obviously doesn’t address all of the issues around privilege in the Marvel Universe. The visual and narrative sexism that permeates superhero comics remains intact. Some characteristics of white characters also become negative stereotypes when applied to non-white characters. Wolverine is a symbol of wild, untamed, white male power, but when I recolor his skin to imagine him as a person of color, his snarling, predatory aggression reads as a stereotype of wild black men." -- Orion Martin reimagines the X-Men as mutants of colour
to make clear why the idea of mutant discrimination as standin for real world issues is problematic. He does so by recolouring some famous X-men images
. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse at 7:18 AM - 75 comments
Designer/Artist Phil Jones decided to do something to both honor and play with those ubiquitous real estate ads on bus benches seen in cities by recreating every photo of a realtor with a picture of himself, then pasting it over the originals
. It's odd, amazing and Buzzfeed of all people has some followup with the artist
posted by mathowie at 7:15 AM - 30 comments
Quick: What does this book
mean to you? Does that image make you crave Snickerdoodles
? Or Hermits
? Chocolate Crinkles
? SO MANY COOKIES
. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:54 AM - 35 comments
20 years ago, Sweden passed a series of reforms that encouraged privatization of its schools. In addition to making it easier to create new schools, the new laws made it legal for private, profit-seeking companies to open schools. For over a decade, these reforms were hailed as a market-driven success story
, as market share private schools grew.
Earlier this year, the bankruptcy of Sweden's largest private school operator
and questions about school quality
has some in Sweden rethinking its privatization experiment.
posted by snickerdoodle at 6:49 AM - 17 comments
San Diego Study #3: Midday Traffic Time Collapsed and Reorganized by Car Color
posted by ardgedee at 2:54 AM - 73 comments
College football attracts a lot of rabid fans. Of late, college football (and football in general) has also attracted an increasing number of stats enthusiasts
peddling increasingly obscure metrics
to quantify success and failure. At MGoBlog
, a popular Michigan fan blog, one intrepid poster has turned the statistics tools on the fanbase itself. A Season in Profanity
details the usage of various swear words in open game threads. Among the relationships detailed are the usage of various colorful expressions by game
, mood of the fan base by opponent
, swearing efficiency
, which coach(es) should be fired, and even the individual play outcomes that inspired the greatest amount of swearing
. As it was kind of a rough season for the team, there was a substantial amount of data to comb through. [more inside]
posted by Existential Dread at 6:00 PM - 12 comments
A reporter conducting vox pops re the Heathrow extension snags an a somewhat unexpected interviewee
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:15 PM - 58 comments
Robert Redford's Restless Solitude
Redford started Sundance because the movies he wanted to see – ones with story and characters – weren't being made in Hollywood. The only problem is he was so successful that Hollywood decided to devour his Xanadu, with premium vodka parties and assistants scouring the Park City Albertsons for Fiji water. "It makes me fucking nuts," says Redford. He has physically distanced himself from the film festival, making only occasional cameos. "It has moved out of what I had as a comfort zone. It's moved beyond, to where I'm uneasy about it."
Redford talks with sadness about his wayward film child, ticking off the rise of ambush marketers and swag bags, as if it is all out of his control, a stance that Redford's skeptics claim is evidence he sees himself as a reluctant, tragic hero – not only in his movies but also in the story of his life. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:55 PM - 25 comments
"After two to three hours, the body is transformed into a sterile coffee-colored liquid the consistency of motor oil that can be safely poured down the drain, alongside a dry bone residue similar in appearance to cremated remains."
GOOD magazine: The emergence of the sustainable death industry.
posted by The Whelk at 12:56 PM - 91 comments
Greenspan’s Iron Law is that the sum of these two numbers is approximately constant, at least for the last half-century in the United States. That is a pretty fraught claim: it means that every time the United States adds a billion dollars to Social Security benefits or Medicare payments or unemployment insurance outlays we are forcing a billion-dollar reduction in family saving or in the retained earnings of business, or an increase in government deficits, or some combination of these. ... So what is the evidence for it?
Nobel-prize winning economist Robert Solow finds Alan Greenspan's latest book
to be ideologically driven and embarrassing, a pity for someone who, Solow writes, was, when looking at his whole tenure, a very good chairman of the Fed.
posted by shivohum at 12:25 PM - 27 comments
XMAS JAMMIES - Merry Christmas from the Holderness Family!
- a video Christmas card that is cute and bound to get stuck in your head. [slyt | via]
posted by quin at 11:36 AM - 98 comments
Game of Thrones inspired snowflake patterns
for when you want to get your pop-culture fantasy geek on, but in a subtle way this holiday season.
posted by mathowie at 10:15 AM - 14 comments
After the title character died at the end of Buffy the Vampire Slayer
's fifth season (a season that included the death of Buffy's mom), the writers knew that the show had to be a little less dark in its sixth year. Hence the formation of The Trio
, a triad of nerds who acted like they thought villains should act, got in way over their heads, and ended up, in the words of writer Drew Z. Greenberg, "tear[ing] the family apart in a way they’ve never been hurt before."
posted by Etrigan at 8:49 AM - 298 comments
All it takes is a regular mirror, a two-way mirror and some LED lights and BAM! you have yourself an Infinity Mirror
. Chances are you've seen one or two before at science museums, but you can make one of your own
). Then there is Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama (previously
), who has done a series of "Infinity Room" art projects
over the years. The latest of which can be found at the David Zwirner gallery
in New York City (but hurry! The show ends this Saturday).
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 7:31 AM - 29 comments
The Yule Cat
, called Jólakötturinn or Jólaköttur in its native Iceland, is something in the lines of a holiday threat
. Those who don't work hard and make, earn, or receive new clothes before Yule
will be devoured by Jólakötturinn, as told in the poem
by Jóhannes Bjarni Jónasson
(original poem with some illustrations
). Myths say that Jólakötturinn belongs to the ogress Grýla
, mother of the 13 "Yule Lad" trolls
. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 7:06 AM - 22 comments
Mark Twain famously derided Jane Austen (who would have had her 238th birthday yesterday), saying (among other things) that he could not read her prose even if paid a salary to do so. But what did Twain really think about Austen's work?
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 6:59 AM - 63 comments
This guy really wants
to sell his sailboat.
posted by pjern at 6:30 AM - 42 comments
The Eggnog Project
is the collection of Madeleine Eiche. "The peculiarities of the packaging range from festive to banal, minimal to unappetizing, and each seem to be printed with complete disregard for color alignment. It is precisely these things that make for such compelling kitsch."
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:21 AM - 57 comments
The 2013 Black List has been released. For those unfamiliar, the “Black List” is a list of the most liked unproduced screenplays circulating around Hollywood, as voted on by over 250 film executives, and past Black List scripts include The Social Network, Saving Mr. Banks, The King’s Speech, and Slumdog Millionaire.
posted by Artw at 6:53 PM - 123 comments
In September, Italian archaeologists removed a slab door in Tarquinia and entered an untouched, newly discovered Etruscan tomb (Slideshow: Entry to Tomb, Pictures of Contents
) There was much excitement to find the intact tomb of a high-status man - a warrior, a prince, a man of importance, with a lance, grave goods, and the remains of his wife. Or so it was trumpeted by the discovering team and the media. A month later … the figure on the wider slab with the lance turns out to be the female, and the man was on the other slab. Whoops! Judith Weingarten writes about the assumptions made before and after the osteological analysis
(and Part II
). [more inside]
posted by julen at 6:27 PM - 14 comments
The waning influence of evangelical Christianity
can be seen through the story of Orange County's Crystal Cathedral.
posted by reenum at 6:16 PM - 57 comments
This year's critical darling essay collection -- Junot Diaz's favorite read of the year (#)
, Michael Robbins's pick for best book of the year (#)
-- is White Girls
by Hilton Als. Mentions of Als are infrequent on Metafilter, so I thought I would share a Readlist collection of his stuff
(that has a bit of overlap with the book).
posted by AceRock at 5:14 PM - 3 comments
What do you need to be an international CONTROL super spy fighting the forces of KAOS? A Shoe-Phone. A Cone of Silence. A Bulletproof Invisible Wall and a Laser Blazer. Then, and only then, can you Get Smart. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 3:43 PM - 44 comments
It used to be that a CD or good old fashioned 12" vinyl would simply play, and your only indication of when it was about to end would be the album tracklisting printed on the sleeve. Hearing another song start up just as you thought the album was finished and got up to change the record was always an unexpected thrill - a surprise encore in your bedroom, a sort of reward for listening right through to the end. Yes, the iPod and its many variants have transformed the way people listen to music, but as someone who grew up waiting excitedly when an album finished to see if there was an extra hidden treat at the end of an album, I'll always see the death of the secret song as the sad flipside of its success. [more inside]
posted by mannequito at 1:44 PM - 68 comments
In 1941, the Nazis turned the the Czech fortress and town of Terezin
into the ghetto of Theresienstadt
. The ghetto was a transit center
as well as a camp for high-profile people, and was turned into a "model Jewish settlement" in preparation for a Red Cross
visit in 1944. The "embellishment
" had the desired propaganda outcome - a "positive report
While researching Shoah
, Claude Lanzmann
interviewed Benjamin Murmelstein, the last surviving member of the Jewish Council of the Elders
in Theresienstadt. That footage is now in a new film
, "The Last Of The Unjust
." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:36 PM - 4 comments
The Sculpture on the Moon.
"Scandals and conflicts obscured one of the most extraordinary achievements
of the Space Age."
posted by homunculus at 1:20 PM - 23 comments
is a short film about an online film critic, directed by Shia LaBeouf and starring Jim Gaffigan. [via
posted by brundlefly at 1:10 PM - 70 comments
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