November 22

Ratko Mladic convicted of orchestrating genocide of Bosnian Muslims

Survivors called Mr. Mladic the Butcher of Bosnia. The deadliest year of the campaign was 1992, when 45,000 people died, often in their homes, on the streets or in a string of concentration camps. Others perished in the nearly four-year siege of Sarajevo, the Bosnian capital, where snipers and shelling terrorized residents for more than three years, and in the mass executions of 8,000 Muslim men and boys after Mr. Mladic’s forces overran the United Nations-protected enclave of Srebrenica. [more inside]
posted by mecran01 at 6:06 AM - 5 comments

Travel, Meet People, and Photograph Them

"In 1905, Charles Clayton ("Todd") Webb III was born in Detroit, Michigan. Having been a successful stockbroker in the 1920’s, he lost all of his earnings, and then some, in The Crash. During the Depression, Webb prospected for gold, worked as a forest ranger, and wrote short stories that have gone unpublished. It was during this exploratory period in the 1930s that he first picked up a camera. His interest and love for photography soon crowded out his writing ambitions, and he was able to do the two things he loved the most: travel, meet people, and photograph them."
posted by ChuraChura at 5:32 AM - 0 comments

VVater VVitches

A science blogger asked UK water companies if they still used the ancient 'art' of water divining / dowsing ... and the answer was yes, mostly. Since the story broke the companies have backtracked somewhat - it's not official policy but it still goes on.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:11 AM - 37 comments

Pointy Water

The Icicle Atlas contains more than 230,000 images of icicles (plus 3D models, time lapse movies and time-series data) on 237 icicles made at the University of Toronto over a five year period. [Via Ottawa Citizen] The atlas is the end product of a quest to determine why icicles form ripples.
posted by Mitheral at 1:26 AM - 2 comments

November 21

David Cassidy dies at 67

1970s teen heartthrob David Cassidy of The Partridge Family dies from liver failure [autoplay video]. One of the Partridge Family hits was "I Think I Love You."
posted by maurreen at 9:55 PM - 28 comments

When you find a non-toxic channel, hold on to it

Here's A List of Some Videogame Youtubers Who Aren't Terrible [more inside]
posted by naju at 8:24 PM - 38 comments

One more battle and Mosul will be fully liberated, inshallah

Warning: graphic violence
After the liberation of Mosul, an orgy of killing
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:18 PM - 6 comments

Amazon Australia likely to launch on Black Friday

Black Friday as a commercial concept probably shouldn't have gotten off the ground in Australia, but the rumour mill suggests a hard launch of the local site this Friday. [more inside]
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:07 PM - 10 comments

Two days of Bowie-inspired radio programming

Last weekend, NTS and Sonos presented a full weekend of programming celebrating the David Bowie, broadcasting direct from the new Sonos London store on Seven Dials in Covent Garden. Hosts included Dev Hynes, Iggy Pop, Thurston Moore, Connan Mockasin, Neneh Cherry, and many more. The full archive is here; descriptions of individual shows (as provided by the NTS website), with links to each show, follow. [more inside]
posted by carrienation at 5:12 PM - 4 comments

'Taches through time

Prehi(p)storic An early history of the ostentatious moustache, a storymap from the Early Celtic Art in Context project.
posted by Helga-woo at 3:25 PM - 6 comments

Once he started, it was all about the stops...

Christopher Herwig is back with more wild architectural wonders: When Christopher Herwig, a Canadian photographer, first embarked on his arduous long-distance cycle from London to St Petersburg back in 2002, the outlandishly designed bus stop was nothing more than a pleasing oddity. What Herwig didn’t expect was that this was only the start of his life-long obsession; there were similarly peculiar roadside shelters scattered across the post-Soviet world. His Soviet Bus Stops Volume II is a new collection of bus stop photos from remote areas of Georgia, Ukraine, and Russia. Herwig previously on Metafilter: A fascinating journey of architectural obsession (also previously and previouslier).
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:30 PM - 5 comments

"I’ve been keeping a straight face for thirty-five years."

The Church of the SubGenius Finally Plays It Straight, Eddie Smith
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:21 PM - 56 comments

The Ordovician What?

I do love the Cambrian Explosion but this is just as spectacular. I checked the link to the original publication but it only leads to an abstract so this article is better.
posted by MovableBookLady at 12:54 PM - 7 comments

"He cannot say that people want trivia"

CEO of HQ (a live trivia app) to The Daily Beast: If You Run This Profile, We’ll Fire Our Host
[CEO] Yusupov’s objections began with the line, "Scott said that despite the attention, he's still able to walk down the street and order his favorite salad from Sweetgreen without being accosted." "He cannot say that!" Yusupov shouted. "We do not have a brand deal with Sweetgreen! Under no circumstances can he say that." [...] When The Daily Beast read Yusupov a quote from Rogowski saying “I can make people happy and give them the trivia they so desperately love and want. It's been so great to build this community," Yusupov implored the reporter to “take that out.” Asked for clarification, Yusupov replied that Rogowski was absolutely not allowed to say that he "enjoys making people happy and giving them the trivia they want."
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:51 PM - 51 comments

A bear, a bat, a pair of legs, never a tiny king from a fairy tale

    But for the actual test – this is the sentence that Rorschachians always repeat – ‘what matters isn’t what you see, but how you see.’ A few ‘content’ answers would later come to be thought significant: ‘food responses’ indicate that a person is ‘unusually dependent’ in relationships; a lot of sexual responses point to schizophrenia. But of more importance is whether an answer is judged to have ‘good form’ – ‘whether it could reasonably be said to describe the actual shape of the blot’ – as determined by Rorschach’s own sense of things, and also by responses from other ‘normal subjects’; he doesn’t say how he determined that those subjects were normal.
Deborah Friedell reviews The Inkblots: Hermann Rorschach, His Iconic Test, and the Power of Seeing [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 11:41 AM - 14 comments

How Coral Researchers Are Coping With the Death of Reefs

The drumbeat of devastating news can take its toll on the mental health of people who have devoted their lives to coral. [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 10:50 AM - 20 comments

The monarchy that is money

The climate crisis? It’s capitalism, stupid. Benjamin K. Fong ( NYT Opinion) Kim Stanley Robinson: We’ve Come To A Bad Moment And We Must Change, climate change, capitalism, and dystopia.
posted by The Whelk at 9:20 AM - 55 comments

Playlist: vanguarda paulista

Russ Slater’s vanguarda paulista playlist [After tropicalia ended, the more conservative MPB reigned,] The vanguarda paulista that emerged at the end of the 70s attempted to return to those heady days of tropicália, when it was possible for music to be popular, even as it combined advanced compositional theories with irreverent lyrical ideas and an awareness of mass culture. These same traits characterised the work of the São Paulo based group of musicians and composers who congregated around the small theatre, live venue and record label called the Lira Paulistana.
posted by OmieWise at 9:14 AM - 4 comments


25 years ago, Mortal Kombat redefined American video games [Polygon] “What Mortal Kombat lacked in substance, though, it made up for with style. Its characters, digitized from motion capture footage of martial arts actors, looked “realistic” by the standards of the era. Their movements had a choppy quality, and the fighters never looked like they really inhabited their photorealistic settings, but Mortal Kombat’s gory, lifelike gloom gave it a heavy metal album cover feel that set it apart from Street Fighter’s cartoonish fare. Mortal Kombat’s brawlers bled, froze and died in a number of explicit ways ranging from brutal impalement in a pit of spikes to messy dismemberment. Midway’s brawler invested its viscera with a panache that became the game’s main draw.” [YouTube][Mortal Kombat - 25 Year Anniversary Trailer] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 8:48 AM - 69 comments

How colonial violence came home: the ugly truth of the first world war

"But in order to grasp the current homecoming of white supremacism in the west, we need an even deeper history. [...] Such a history would show that the global racial order in the century preceding 1914 was one in which it was entirely natural for “uncivilised” peoples to be exterminated, terrorised, imprisoned, ostracised or radically re-engineered. Moreover, this entrenched system was not something incidental to the first world war, with no connections to the vicious way it was fought or to the brutalisation that made possible the horrors of the Holocaust. Rather, the extreme, lawless and often gratuitous violence of modern imperialism eventually boomeranged on its originators."
posted by destrius at 5:31 AM - 31 comments

Can't help put a smile on my face

A catchy song about dogs to brighten up your Tuesday. (A SLYT from the people who brought you Dump Truck and Cement Mixer. )
posted by mippy at 4:50 AM - 7 comments

The visitor

Interstellar object confirmed to be from another solar system - it's dark red and has organic material - absolutely nothing to worry about [nudity].
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:28 AM - 103 comments

November 20

"They respect each other and they can read each other."

Tanja Brandt loves photographing animals. A recent project involves Ingo, a Belgian shepherd, and Poldi (Napoleon), a one-year-old owlet.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:43 PM - 13 comments

A half-century old machine that forces her to breathe.

The Last of the Iron Lungs "In 2013, the Post-Polio Health International (PPHI) organizations estimated that there were six to eight iron lung users in the United States. Now, PPHI executive director Brian Tiburzi says he doesn’t know anyone alive still using the negative-pressure ventilators. This fall, I met three polio survivors who depend on iron lungs. They are among the last few, possibly the last three."
posted by rhizome at 11:13 PM - 28 comments

The Worst of the Web?

The end of Net Neutrality to be announced by the FCC as early as this Thanksgiving week. As early as tomorrow, Tuesday, November 21, in the year of our lord 2017, the FCC may announce their intention to dismantle the Obama-era rule that guarantees that all web traffic be created equal. Fast lanes for some websites, blocking competitors' websites for others (let's not forget that Comcast is looking to buy some of Fox while we discuss this). [more inside]
posted by General Malaise at 7:14 PM - 126 comments

Tommy wore dresses because his tail interfered with pants.

Tommy Tucker was a male grey squirrel who toured the United States wearing women's fashions and selling war bonds to support America in WWII as well as other charitable endeavors. He died in 1949, was stuffed and was bequeathed to the Smithsonian in 2005. While the museum maintains an archive of Tommy Tucker related ephemera (and possibly dresses), the actual stuffed squirrel lives in the lawyer's office who had been handling the bequest according to this podcast. (prev, via)
posted by jessamyn at 5:43 PM - 18 comments

Do we have to be dead & dug up from the ground to be worthy of respect?

Native Americans had long tried to prevent the theft of their dead. But it was not until the 1960s, in the wake of the Civil Rights movement, that activists turned collections into a question of conscience: Why were U.S. museums filled almost exclusively with the bones of Native Americans? “When a white man’s grave is dug up, it’s called grave robbing,” as the Tohono O’odham activist Robert Cruz said in 1986. “But when an Indian’s grave is dug up, it’s called archaeology.”
The long ethical arc of displaying human remains: A look at why museums exhibit Egyptian mummies, but not Native American bones, by Chip Colwell.
posted by Rumple at 5:28 PM - 27 comments

Your reckoning. And mine.

Your Reckoning. And Mine. As stories about abuse, assault, and complicity come flooding out, how do we think about the culprits in our lives? Including, sometimes, ourselves. [content warning: sexual assault, harassment] [more inside]
posted by triggerfinger at 5:19 PM - 47 comments

Bus! No!

The Weather Channel was photobombed by a bus today. (slyt)
posted by curious nu at 4:15 PM - 50 comments

ice + ice = baby

They were once Olympic rivals — one the captain of the U.S. women's hockey team, the other the captain of Canada's women's hockey team. But now Julie Chu and Caroline Ouellette are celebrating the birth of their daughter. [more inside]
posted by roger ackroyd at 2:24 PM - 33 comments

Dance It to the Next Level

What better way to share your love of video games and your love of dance than by combining them? (SLYT)
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 2:17 PM - 4 comments

Witch Dollhouse

Amazingly intricate dollhouse of three stories by Gayle Palama. Ignore the first two photos. These are close-up photos of each floor of the dollhouse. The amount of work that went into the furniture and goods and decor of these rooms is truly astonishing. Hover on a photo and a short title will pop up. I found this blog of hers which may provide more info. Annadancie
posted by MovableBookLady at 12:48 PM - 18 comments

"5.2 percent of the hospital’s liver transplants during that time"

Some U.S. Hospitals Don’t Put Americans First for Liver Transplants: At a time when there aren’t enough livers for ailing Americans, wealthy foreigners fly here for transplant (SLProPublica)
posted by crazy with stars at 11:17 AM - 42 comments

One 2007 report put the figures for Flemish-Walloon marriages at 1%

Flemish bitterness about this lies close to the surface, as so much else does in the fields of Flanders. At the monument on an autumn morning I met a local writer, André Gysel: “There are six million Danish people; they have a country,” he told me. “We have six million but we share our country with these other people and we give them €1,000 a year from each of us. And they never say thank you.” He paused, witheringly: “Mer-ci!
posted by Chrysostom at 10:55 AM - 52 comments

How Alibaba co-opted anti-Valentines day and exceeded Black Friday

Two minutes and one second into its annual mega-sale, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba hit $1 billion in sales, quickly passing Amazon's 2017 Prime Day sales record. By the end of the day, the final sales tally rang in at $25,386,927,848, about 40% higher than last year's record. How do you hype a commercial holiday that dwarfs Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States? A musical number from Pharrell Williams, as part of a lavish gala in Shanghai with Nicole Kidman, Karen Mok and Maria Sharapova. And why November 11? To co-opt Singles' Day, which was created in the 1990s by a group of university students at Nanjing University, before the Chinese entrepreneur Jack Ma founded Alibaba.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:06 AM - 27 comments

Let battle commence: The 2017-18 Ashes

It's time. In just a few days, the first ball in The Ashes (mens) will be bowled. Beginning in 1882, the current score is Australia: 32, England: 32. A few previous players, one of whom could bowl a bit. The Ashes are part of a tour of Australia and New Zealand by England which concludes after five months. England start without their star player while Australia have undertaken some unexpected squad selections. Joe Root, the England captain previously punched by Australia's star player, may be a decisive factor; diplomatic incident and in-play violence are, unlike previously, unlikely but not impossible. There will be much verbal abuse from players and spectators, plus mental disintegration. In the Women's Ashes, currently drawing to a close, Australia have retained the urn. Previously.
posted by Wordshore at 7:46 AM - 21 comments

their day in court

In theory, there are two parts to an immigration court case. The prosecution (ICE attorneys) has to show that an immigrant is removable — that he either has no legal status in the US or that he’s done something that allows the government to strip his legal status from him — and that he doesn’t qualify for any form of “immigration relief,” which can mean formal legal status or another form of protection from deportation. But without a lawyer, good luck figuring out what any of those forms of relief even mean — much less whether you qualify for them.
So New York City and eleven others are providing lawyers to immigrants facing deportation. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:35 AM - 3 comments

His iron-clad fleet flowed forward

One hundred years ago today began the Battle of Cambrai. On November 20th, 1917, the British army launched the first massed tank attack in history. Nearly five hundred vehicles, accompanied by air power, poison gas, and swarms of infantry, slammed into German lines before the northern French city of Cambrai. [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 6:07 AM - 9 comments

Everything but the clouds

Cory Arcangel (previously) describes his artwork/Super Mario Bros ROM hack "Super Mario Clouds" as "an old Mario Brothers cartridge which I modified to erase everything but the clouds." Except, as Patrick LeMieux discovers when reverse-engineering the ROM, "Arcangel’s ROM hack does not actually contain Nintendo’s ROM". There was no erasure. This video documents Patrick's analysis of Arcangel's ROM and his own attempt to erase "everything but the clouds".
posted by EndsOfInvention at 5:42 AM - 40 comments

In the Land of Vendettas That Go On Forever

I had flown to the Balkans in late July 2017 to learn about blood feuds, or the ancient oaths of vendetta sworn between warring families and passed on from one generation to the next. The killing is concentrated in northern Albania—in the rural, often unreachable villages of the Accursed Mountains, and in the modern city of Shkodër, one of the oldest municipalities in southeastern Europe. Here, justice works like this: When a man is murdered, his family avenges his death by similarly executing either the killer himself or a male member of his clan. Sometimes, after a killing has been successfully vindicated, the feud is settled. Other times, the head of the family that initiated the feud, while admitting both sides are now ostensibly “equal,” nonetheless chooses to perpetuate the cycle by killing a second male from the avenging family.
posted by ellieBOA at 3:23 AM - 31 comments

Tsunami Bomb

During WWII, the United States and New Zealand conducted secret tests of a "tsunami bomb" designed to destroy coastal cities by using underwater blasts to trigger massive tidal waves. [more inside]
posted by Start with Dessert at 2:18 AM - 14 comments

November 19

The sea is full of saints

This past April a massive 80-foot steel kraken was purposefully sunk into the Caribbean Sea on top of a decorated WW2 ship. The former Navy fuel barge and its monstrous passenger were placed underwater in order to jumpstart a new coral ecosystem, while also serving as a cutting-edge education center for marine researchers and local students from the surrounding British Virgin Islands. The project is titled the BVI Art Reef, and aims to use sculptures like the porous kraken as a base to grow transplanted coral.
[more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:29 PM - 15 comments

Charles Manson is dead at 83

Charles Manson, the mass murderer and cultural icon, has died. (NYT link) He was convicted of the murders of 9 people, most famously Sharon Tate (wife of Roman Polanski, the movie director). However, Manson was not physically present for any of the killings, which were carried out by his followers, known as the "Manson family." [more inside]
posted by John Cohen at 10:30 PM - 180 comments

“the technical, artistic merit, while leaving all the garbage behind.”

Cuphead and the Racist Spectre of Fleischer Animation [Unwinable] “When asked in a Rolling Stone interview about the unfortunate associations of Cuphead‘s 1930s aesthetic, lead inking artist for the game, Maja Moldenhauer replies: “It’s just visuals and that’s about it. Anything else happening in that era we’re not versed in it.” But these visuals are weighed down by the history that brought them into being, despite the developers best efforts at stripping them of the more overt caricatures that are rife in cartoons for most of the first half of the 20th century. By sanitizing its source material and presenting only the ostensibly inoffensive bits, Studio MDHR ignores the context and history of the aesthetic it so faithfully replicates. Playing as a black person, ever aware of the way we have historically been, and continue to be, depicted in all kinds of media, I don’t quite have that luxury. Instead, I see a game that’s haunted by ghosts; not those confined to its macabre boss fights, but the specter of black culture, appropriated first by the minstrel set then by the Fleischers, Disney and others -twisted into the caricatures that have helped define American cartoons for the better part of a century.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 8:21 PM - 75 comments

The Simpsons Spoken Dialogue Comedic Songbook

Acai, one of many Guitar Hero experts on YouTube, flawlessly plays an arrangement of “Steamed Hams”, A.K.A. the “Skinner and The Superintent” portion of “22 Short Films About Springfield”. (A piano arrangement.)
posted by Going To Maine at 4:32 PM - 27 comments

The Rise and Fall of the English Sentence

We utter the first syllables of a sentence while taking a leap of faith that we’ll be able to choose the right words en route and formulate phrases adequately as the words tumble out of our mouths and bring us to an intersection in our thoughts that demands our next move. This puts an upper bound on complexity. But written text, which can be more deliberately planned out and revised, is able to transcend this.
Linguist Julie Sedivy on the rise (and eventual fall?) of sentence complexity in written and oral languages.
posted by Rumple at 4:31 PM - 38 comments

Don't stay late, come home safe

Planet P Project is a science-fiction-inspired one-man band and an album by Tony Carey. Their debut album [46m] featured known single, Why Me. Planet P Project previously.
posted by hippybear at 2:31 PM - 11 comments

Subway time machine

Around this time of the year, the New York subway system offers rides on its "Holiday Nostalgia" train, which consists of eight restored cars from the 1930s, complete with vintage subway advertising and riders who show up in appropriate costumes. Lots of pictures. Transit Museum info page. More pictures! Video! Pix and video at the late Gothamist.
posted by beagle at 2:29 PM - 19 comments

I wasn’t meant for reality, but life came and found me.

Fernando Pessoa was a Portuguese wrter with nearly 80 different literary alter egos or "heteronyms". Each of which had a biography, psychology, politics, religion, physical description; the main characters being interconnected and with their own horoscopes
"I'm the empty stage where various actors act out various plays," he once wrote and “a drama divided into people instead of into acts”.
“I’m beginning to know myself. I don’t exist,” he writes in one poem. “I’m the gap between what I’d like to be and what others have made of me. . . . That’s me. Period.
His occult interests led him to a correspondence and friendship with Aleister Crowley who enlisted him in faking his suicide.
posted by adamvasco at 1:55 PM - 12 comments


UC Berkeley professor Stuart Russell and the Future of Life Institute have created an eerie viral video titled "Slaughterbots" that depicts a future in which humans develop small, hand-sized drones that are programmed to identify and eliminate designated targets. In the video above, the technology is initially developed with the intention of combating crime and terrorism, but the drones are taken over by an unknown forces who use the powerful weapons to murder a group of senators and college students. UC Berkeley professor's eerie lethal drone video goes viral [Warning: graphic violence]
posted by chavenet at 1:16 PM - 64 comments

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