August 30

Meet the meticulous artist behind those happy trees (SLNPR)

The Real Bob Ross [more inside]
posted by unannihilated at 2:56 AM - 0 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 - 0 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 - 40 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 - 51 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 - 11 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 - 32 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 - 272 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 - 13 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 - 51 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 - 523 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 - 28 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 - 158 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 - 15 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 - 43 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 - 30 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 - 30 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 - 57 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 - 76 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 - 62 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

It's the pits

What toilets and sewers tell us about ancient Roman sanitation
posted by dinty_moore at 1:10 PM - 45 comments

"They didn't want people to become too happy with receiving food relief"

"Whatever [the ingredients] taste like together is not particularly relevant." Terry Gross interviews married culinary historians Jane Ziegelman and Andy Coe on the culinary history of the Great Depression and their new book 'A Square Meal' (37:00 audio, transcribed sections)
posted by The Whelk at 11:07 AM - 42 comments

Out of student loans and treehouse homes we all would take the latter

Stressed Out is a song from Blurryface, the fourth studio album by Twenty One Pilots. Released in April 2015, the song reached #2 on the US Billboard Hot 100, #1 on Hot Rock Songs and Mainstream Top 40, and is certified 4x platinum The video features many relatives of the band, and was filmed mostly in the Ohio childhood home of the drummer. The lyrics, a recent NYT review of the band at Madison Square Garden and a New Yorker piece, and a previous mention in MetaFilter.
posted by Wordshore at 8:35 AM - 50 comments

Scared the hell out of me when I stumbled on them

The Dinosaurs of Crystal Palace: Among the Most Accurate Renditions of Prehistoric Life Ever Made - a longish read by Darren Naish of the tetrapod zoology blog in Scientific American.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 8:30 AM - 8 comments

"The annihilation of space and time"

“When I closed my eyes this sensation of flying was quite delightful, and strange beyond description.” British actress Fanny Kemble provides a spirited account of the first passenger railroad trip in 1830.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 7:36 AM - 14 comments

Fashion, faux-sophistication, youth culture, and 1700s gender panic

Why did Yankee Doodle put a feather in his hat and call it "macaroni?" As you've probably guessed, the song is not about noodles; macaroni refers to a fashion trend in high-society England of the late 1700s. NPR's All Things Considered looked into the history of the rhyme with librarian and author Chris Roberts. But what happened to the macaroni trend? Atlas Obscura tells a story of youth culture, old men yelling at clouds, and social panic over the erosion of gender norms. (Previously: The Etymological Evolution of Dude)
posted by duffell at 7:04 AM - 25 comments

The feel-good gospel of the pastor made famous by Kimye and Bieber​

Pastor Rich and the Ministry of Fun "We live in the age of hipster Christianity, a time of multiplying ministries with one-word names, such as Status, Mosaic, Reality, and, most famously, Hillsong, an Australian Pentecostal megachurch whose New York City branch is led by Rich's friend and fellow pastor to the stars Carl Lentz. Most leave untouched fundamentalism's core convictions—opposition to abortion and sex outside of marriage (which is between a man and a woman) and also to false gods (meaning all of them but their own)—but they rebrand the presentation. Rich is only the most mediagenic of whatComplex has described as this "new wave of stylish pastors," just as a young Billy Graham was before him and Billy Sunday before him, stripping away the Bible's subtler teachings to draw the masses. Rich is the latest avatar of a tradition common to Christianity and capitalism, the so-called new-and-improved. His new is burnished with vestiges of the artisanal; "vintage," Rich likes to say, meaning that which is artfully rendered to reference an idea of the old. It's like he's sampling from a song he's never actually heard."
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:26 AM - 40 comments

August 26

Are the kids alright?

Season six of American Horror Story premieres in the US on September 14th. Unlike previous seasons of the anthology, however, FX is keeping this season's theme under wraps, teasing the audience with no fewer than 19 promos, each depicting a different potential show (which themselves reference different horror movies.) [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A at 11:51 PM - 37 comments

Syria's worst case scenario is the current one.

Syria’s Paradox: Why the War Only Ever Seems to Get Worse. " The average [civil war] now lasts about a decade, twice as long as Syria’s so far. But there are a handful of factors that can make them longer, more violent and harder to stop. Virtually all are present in Syria." [more inside]
posted by storybored at 10:39 PM - 40 comments

Don't take this sitting down.

A brief history of chairs by architect and professor Witold Rybczynski covers the fascinating (really) history of chairs, the subject of his new book Now I Sit Me Down. He has also written about the lack of thoughtful design in airline seats and how architects have struggled to create the perfect chair (researching this article apparently inspired the book). Don't miss the photographs of the 7 chairs that changed the world.
posted by blahblahblah at 9:29 PM - 24 comments

Sorry to Bug Ya

Yesterday, "A crazed woman trying to sell crickets and worms on a D train suddenly threw them all over the crowded car, sending it into chaos during the evening commute." "The air conditioning shut off and the screaming passengers were all stuck inside the sweltering car with the woman, who then treated them to antics for half an hour as the crickets jumped on passengers. The worms just wriggled on the floor." Today, actress Zaida Pugh admits she staged the incident, calling it a "a performance art piece meant to highlight the way people with mental and emotional health issues are treated."
posted by sallybrown at 4:06 PM - 188 comments

Pretty Polly Parrot Portuguese

This Brazilian duo of guitar and parrot are pretty good, but birds and guitars are not unusual. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:54 PM - 6 comments

“an ahead-of-its-time innovation and an exactly-of-its-time decadence”

The Legend of the Choco Taco [Eater] “For just about everyone other than the French inventor of the Cronut, the Choco Taco [wiki] is the stuff of nostalgic summer sweet tooth obsession — the most beloved and innovative of all the American ice cream "novelties." Its acolytes are legion. Restaurant pastry chefs and boutique scoop shop owners regularly pay homage.”
posted by Fizz at 3:42 PM - 30 comments

"Everybody dies with loose ends"

Poet Max Ritvo has died at 25. His "Poem to my Litter" appeared in the New Yorker in June. His debut collection, Four Reincarnations will be published in October by Milkweed Editions.
posted by larrybob at 12:56 PM - 35 comments

“I grow old…I grow old…” [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus at 12:55 PM - 19 comments

Semi-Submersible Heavy Transport Vessels

Need to move a ship? Or several ships? Try a Float-In/Float-Off Heavy Transport Vessel.
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 11:31 AM - 23 comments

Is The Texas AG Leading A Nationwide War Against Transgender People?

Most of the media focus on Transgender rights up until now have been on "Bathroom Bills" that are being presented across the country, yet in doing so, we are, as Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney for the ACLU LGBT & HIV Project states, ...ceding the terms of this conversation to the people who want to expel trans people from public life and write us out of existence."

But is that really happening? Are there people who want to write trans people out of existence? [more inside]
posted by Annika Cicada at 10:51 AM - 70 comments

I Came From Nothing

Known as much for his flamboyant style as his prolific output, rapper, singer and weirdo Young Thug [prev] has released a new commercial mixtape (can we call commercial mixtapes albums already?). The project title No, My Name Is JEFFERY asserts a new identity, and the music continues to twist the Atlanta trap sound in new and strange directions. "I always had a Michael Jackson mentality…The message is to go back to who I really am. I really am Jeffery. That’s really my swag." Oh, and the cover art is wild.
posted by so fucking future at 10:26 AM - 16 comments

Anne Boleyn was a Pointy. Jane Seymour was a ROUND.

First, there was the extrovert/introvert binary. Then, came ask culture vs. guess culture. Now: are you round or pointy?
posted by katie at 10:09 AM - 151 comments

How Cuts to Public Universities Have Driven Students Out of State

NYT: "Declines in state support for public universities have helped reshape the geography of public college admissions, leading many students to attend universities far from home, where they pay higher, out-of-state tuition. An analysis of migration patterns among college freshmen shows the states students leave each year and where they go." How does your state measure up? [more inside]
posted by Existential Dread at 9:05 AM - 44 comments

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