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October 24

The Secret State and the Historians

The UK's National Archives has today released the formerly secret files detailing MI5's monitoring of the British Marxist historians Eric Hobsbawm and Christopher Hill [PDF downloads available]. The Guardian reports. An official historian explains. [more inside]
posted by bebrogued at 3:15 AM - 0 comments

The secret history of alternative manga

Without komaga (literally “panel pictures”), there would have been no gekiga. Moreover, because by the mid 60s gekiga had become lingua franca in comics for adolescent boys and young men, and because without gekiga it is unlikely that the “cinematic” would have become the obsession that it did amongst manga critics and historians, one could also say that without komaga neither manga or its discourse would exist as we know them.

Despite this, komaga’s creator, Matsumoto Masahiko (1934-2005) has only recently been resurrected from the archive. Yet still has his work barely registered within the mainstream of manga scholarship, which remains stubbornly Tezuka-centric in focus.
Ryan Holmberg looks at the work of pioneering manga artist Matsumoto Masahiko and his influence on manga as an artform.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:35 AM - 0 comments

Seriously, it's not an RPG supplement

Yale's Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library has just released brand new scans of the Voynich Manuscript. The entire collection is available in JPEG and TIFF, and the new scans look pretty nice. The Beinecke's main page for the Voynich (previously) gives a high-level overview of what the Voynich is, but René Zandbergen's site is probably a better place to start. Just want to poke around? Try the Voynich Manuscript Voyager, which lets you zoom in and bookmark any location in the book. Or the Voynichese Query Viewer, which provides visual search results. And don't forget the text, which the Voynich information browser provides in your choice of transcription. [more inside]
posted by bigbigdog at 12:28 AM - 5 comments

October 23

Main Street ran east to west, land astride platted into tidy rectangles

Maps of street layouts, coloured based on their orientation. Includes San Francisco, New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Paris, Chicago, Berlin, Boston and London.
posted by frimble at 11:41 PM - 5 comments

I ate roadkill raccoon

Reanna Alder eats roadkill raccoon so you don't have to. (Article has no images except a highly processed one of a live raccoon.)
posted by Harald74 at 11:10 PM - 12 comments

What to read when pressed for time.

17 Brilliant Short Novels You Can Read in a Sitting by Lincoln Michel at Electric Literature:
This week author Ian McEwan expressed his love of short novels, saying “very few [long] novels earn their length.” Certainly it seems like a novel has to be a minimum of 500 pages to win a major literary award these days, and many genre novels have ballooned to absurd sizes.

I love a good tome, but like McEwan many of my favorite novels are sharpened little gems. It’s immensely satisfying to finish a book in a single day, so in the spirit of celebrating quick reads here are some of my favorite short novels. I’ve tried to avoid the most obvious titles that are regularly assigned in school (The Stranger, Heart of Darkness, Mrs Dalloway, Of Mice and Men, Frankenstein, The Crying of Lot 49, etc.). Hopefully you’ll find some titles here you haven’t read before.
[more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 9:39 PM - 18 comments

"Because we're here, lad. Nobody else. Just us."

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the film Zulu, which depicts the Battle of Rorke's Drift (previously) in 1879. Here's a little history of the production, as well as ten things you may not know about the film and an argument that it's the best British war film ever made. Film Historian Sheldon Hall discusses the film's legacy, and Zulu leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi (who portrayed his own great grandfather in the film) reminisces about the shoot.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 7:17 PM - 31 comments

Far beyond "every good boy does fine"

Music Theory for Musicians and Normal People Toby W. Rush's "Music Theory for Musicians and Normal People" covers a massive range of topics like pitch, rhythm, scales, intervals, and harmonics. The online book itself is arranged as a collection of about 50 PDFs that offer diagrams, notes, and tips for everything music theory related. [more inside]
posted by Lexica at 4:51 PM - 21 comments

“I’m Emanuela Orlandi and I attend a science high school.”

The Orlandi Code: [Toronto Star] The Mafia, communist spies, the Pope and the twisted mystery of a kidnapped Vatican girl.
posted by Fizz at 4:39 PM - 3 comments

The new single from Aphex Swift

We Are Never Getting Girl/Boygether
posted by kenko at 2:28 PM - 53 comments

EVE Online: Phoebe changes everything about capital-class ship travel

Possibly one of the largest game changes ever seen. Being over ten years old, Eve has started to suffer from stagnation in its null-security space operations and politics. After the large $300k+ battle of B-RVRB, many of the large alliances and coalitions settled in to rebuild their massive capital ships. Many of them brokered deals to not attack each other and this has been going on for quite some time. Without high-end targets to go after, those operating large capital fleets get bored and find ways to PvP on lesser well-equipped players with their Titans and supercarriers. This type of PvP has been around for a long time of course, but now it is to the extent that CCP Games has announced highly drastic changes to the way that capital ships and others travel via jump mechanics (teleportation), bridging structures and gate travel. All jump ranges by most capital ships, usually in the 11-15 light year range, will be reset to a 5 light year range in the upcoming Phoebe expansion in early November. This, along with the introduction of fatigue timers, will drastically alter the travel map for very large ships in that old routes between regions will no longer exist for most areas of the galaxy. The player base has been split between being overly-exhilarated and highly-wronged. But all agree, the in-game universe size has been re-writ enormously. [more inside]
posted by Zangal at 2:02 PM - 65 comments

A biomechanical analysis of coitus

Objective: To describe male spine movement and posture characteristics during coitus and compare these characteristics across 5 common coital positions. Results: Based on range of motion, the least-to-most recommended positions for a male flexion-intolerant patient are mSIDE, mMISS2, mQUAD2, mMISS1, and mQUAD1 (NSFW).
posted by elgilito at 1:22 PM - 35 comments

boo

13 classic scenes that explain how horror movies work.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 1:11 PM - 11 comments

Neanderthal and Sapiens, sitting in a tree...

"Scientists have reconstructed the genome of a man who lived 45,000 years ago, by far the oldest genetic record ever obtained from modern humans. The research, published on Wednesday in the journal Nature, provided new clues to the expansion of modern humans from Africa about 60,000 years ago, when they moved into Europe and Asia. And the genome, extracted from a fossil thighbone found in Siberia, added strong support to a provocative hypothesis: Early humans interbred with Neanderthals."
posted by jammy at 11:53 AM - 75 comments

Micropower’s Quiet Takeover

Small-scale, low-carbon generation now produces one-quarter of world electricity (Rocky Mountain Institute)
posted by flabdablet at 11:02 AM - 30 comments

Who Wears The Pants Around Here?

In 1938 Los Angeles, Helen Hulick went to jail for wearing slacks in courtroom. 'Kindergarten teacher Helen Hulick made Los Angeles court history — and struck a blow for women's fashion — in 1938. Hulick arrived in downtown L.A. court to testify against two burglary suspects. But the courtroom drama immediately shifted to the slacks she was wearing. Judge Arthur S. Guerin rescheduled her testimony and ordered her to wear a dress next time.' 'The next day, Hulick showed up in slacks. Judge Guerin held her in contempt. She was given a five-day sentence and sent to jail.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 10:53 AM - 73 comments

That New Costume Smell

If you were a child in the 70s who dreamed of being Boss Hogg or an 80s baby desperate to be a Rubik’s Cube, your dream could come true for less than $5. For that was the Golden Age of Ben Cooper and Collegeville Costume. Relive their glory days by perusing some vintage catalogs. [more inside]
posted by jrossi4r at 10:52 AM - 52 comments

He looks like a reverse Benjamin Buttons

Zach Galifianakis and Brad Pitt share some gum
posted by anazgnos at 10:44 AM - 17 comments

You probably should play all of these...

With thousands of reader suggestions, Kotaku has published a directory of "Classic PC games you must play". The most voted for free games [links go to places you can download games]: Star Control II, Tyrian, Zork, Battle Zone, Myth II, and Daggerfall. Some of the most votes for games that are available for $10 or less:Master of Orion ($5),Quest for Glory ($10), Planescape ($10), Total Annihilation ($6), Heroes of Might and Magic III ($9), Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis ($5), Little Big Adventures 2 ($5), Descent ($10), and Betrayal at Krondor ($6). More idiosyncratic than PC Games list of the top games, but the people have spoken...
posted by blahblahblah at 10:39 AM - 95 comments

Car model diorama-rama

Instagram user takupon0816 is a constant stream of the most incredible model car dioramas. The weathering and lighting are so spot on that most barely give away they are in fact small scale models and not life-sized photoshoots. Weathering is a big thing in scale modeling with tools and techniques specifically made for it. There are also diorama model museums in Japan dedicated to showcasing the craft.
posted by mathowie at 10:11 AM - 8 comments

Michaelangelo: You’re not a quitter, dude. Finish what you started.

This Is What Happens When You Eat 15 Slices Of NYC Pizza In One Day [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:39 AM - 148 comments

#Krogisnotforsale

Atlanta's graffiti filled Krog Street tunnel erased in protest. Artists and residents of Atlanta's Cabbagetown neighborhood, angry about an upcoming ticket-holders only masquerade ball (promising a "sultry underground experience" where "taboo will be the norm" for $40 not including drinks) have, in protest, painted over all the graffiti art that made Krog street tunnel remarkable to begin with.
posted by dis_integration at 8:56 AM - 68 comments

Through the Eyes of a Monster, tales from a different vantage point

About 40 years ago, Edward D. Wood, Jr. published a number of short stories in "girly" mags (cover images likely NSFW), but those stories haven't been republished, until now. Blood Splatters Quickly collects 32 stories from Ed Wood, and you can read The Day The Mummy Returned on Boing Boing. If you like tales told by the monsters, io9 collected more of such stories, videos, and video games, and there's a related AskMe post, looking for stories where humans are the monsters, many of which can be read online, as linked below the break. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 8:29 AM - 6 comments

100 Years of Martin Gardner!

In Honor of the Centennial of Martin Gardner's birth (October 21, 1914), we've lined up Thirty-One Tricks and Treats for you: Magazine articles, new and classic puzzles, unique video interviews, and lots more.The Nature of Things / Martin Gardner [46min video] ✤ The College Mathematics Journal, January 2012 dedicated to Gardner with all articles readable online.
posted by Wolfdog at 8:19 AM - 18 comments

Moderation Exasperation

So companies like Facebook and Twitter rely on an army of workers employed to soak up the worst of humanity in order to protect the rest of us. And there are legions of them—a vast, invisible pool of human labor. Hemanshu Nigam, the former chief security officer of MySpace who now runs online safety consultancy SSP Blue, estimates that the number of content moderators scrubbing the world’s social media sites, mobile apps, and cloud storage services runs to “well over 100,000”—that is, about twice the total head count of Google and nearly 14 times that of Facebook.
The Laborers Who Keep Dick Pics and Beheadings Out of Your Facebook Feed
posted by almostmanda at 8:09 AM - 53 comments

Translation: I love mom

AutoRap is an app that will take words spoken into it and automatically tune them into one of several pre-set rap beats. Here, a young girl makes an adorable rap about her mother.
posted by codacorolla at 7:57 AM - 4 comments

Why I Left

"It’s about readers and their trust in us." Dave McKinney, longtime Chicago Sun-Times political reporter, resigns after the paper appears to cave to pressure from billionaire Illinois Republican gubernatorial nominee Bruce Rauner to punish McKinney for writing an article that portrayed Rauner as a thug. After supporting McKinney publicly but attempting to remove him from the political beat, the paper reversed its three-year-old policy of not endorsing candidates by endorsing Rauner, who until recently owned 10% of the company that owns the paper.
posted by goatdog at 7:50 AM - 25 comments

Photographing Today's Solar Eclipse

This afternoon/evening, North Americans will be treated to a partial solar eclipse, making for some great photography opportunities from Chicago to LA and points northward (coverages as high as ~60% in the Northwestern US and Canada) -- even if there are some clouds! Not sure how to photograph an eclipse safely? Here are some detailed guides. [more inside]
posted by Westringia F. at 7:17 AM - 18 comments

f-bombs for feminism?

Potty-Mouthed Princesses Drop F-Bombs For Feminism (YouTube; NSFW), FCKH8's new video campaign, has gone viral - attracting both praise & criticism. FCKH8's campaigns have sparked similar mixed reactions before. [more inside]
posted by flex at 7:16 AM - 30 comments

hassled by the cops for taking too many photographs of freight trains

Please tell me the most Dad thing your dad has ever done
posted by griphus at 7:05 AM - 229 comments

Abomination

A prolific vandal has defiled natural features in at least ten US National Parks. And then posted about it on social media. Reddit is on the case.
posted by pjern at 6:02 AM - 157 comments

Really, really old dogs

"Photographer Pete Thorne has discovered that, just as photographing the elderly can make for powerful portraits, the same can be said for old dogs as well. His “Old Faithful” photo series takes a warm and intimate look at man’s best friends as they live out their golden years."
posted by Jacqueline at 5:18 AM - 27 comments

"I write as a reader, not knowing what the author will say next."

Russell Edson was a prose poet whose poetry had the "the sustained wackiness of old Warner Brothers cartoons." When he passed away this year Charles Simic wrote in appreciation of his work, as did J. Robert Lennon, whose article included two audio clips of Edson reading. In interviews, Edson spoke with the same mix of seriousness and humor as he did in his poetry. Here are two interviews, one with Peter Johnson [pdf] and another with Mark Tursi. But, of course, the important thing is his poetry, so here are a few examples: 1, 2, 3. And finally, here's a video of him reading (starts after the 9th minute). [Edson previously. I especially recommend reading the linked appreciation by Sarah Manguso.]
posted by Kattullus at 2:53 AM - 11 comments

October 22

"My father directed his stupid humor at me."

Louise Bourgeois Peels an Orange. A short film about her father, a little girl, and an orange.
posted by R. Mutt at 5:55 PM - 9 comments

Sexagenarians

Playboy models from Miss March 1954 to Miss January 1979 on meeting the male gaze then—and now. (NSFW!) "There is, according to Playboy magazine’s official style guide, no such thing as a former Playmate." [more inside]
posted by GrammarMoses at 5:40 PM - 9 comments

Dogs reenacting U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments

If there is any justice in the world, this will revolutionize the way you consume Supreme Court news. Fed up with the Supreme Court's refusal to allow cameras at oral arguments, John Oliver has proposed an alternative to existing television coverage that relies on artists' renderings of the justices. Oliver has released more than ten minutes of raw footage of dogs dressed up like the members of the Court, and has challenged news outlets to use the footage to create less-boring recreations of oral arguments. [more inside]
posted by heisenberg at 5:09 PM - 28 comments

When Baby gets that first haircut, Mother saves the hair.

"Hair work mourning jewelry served as a sentimental and tangible memorial to the deceased. In the late 1700s, hair work started to become professionalized, but tradesmen were soon deemed untrustworthy. Customers would send the hair of a loved one by mail, expecting it to be returned worked into a piece of jewelry. Instead, some tradesmen returned pre-made pieces containing anonymous hair... Some makers even replaced human hair with sturdier horsehair—leaving the jewelry with none of the sentimental attachment Victorian women coveted." [more inside]
posted by jessamyn at 5:01 PM - 18 comments

Nothing Lasts Forever

The official full-length trailer for Avengers 2: Age Of Ultron has landed
posted by The Whelk at 4:40 PM - 229 comments

"The straight line belongs to men, the curved one to God."

Antonio Gaudi [YouTube] a 1984 Japanese documentary film by Hiroshi Teshigahara about the works of Antoni Gaudi. In the film the director visits the buildings including houses in Barcelona and the Sagrada Família. [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 4:11 PM - 10 comments

Detroit with a Boardwalk

"Wonder why Atlantic City is failing? The better question, the one asked by people who know the town: Why did anyone think it would ever succeed?"
posted by ActionPopulated at 4:02 PM - 27 comments

The Kids At Duke Are Going To Love This

Over a period of 18 years, 3100 students at The University of North Carolina were afforded the opportunity to pad their GPA by taking classes that had no actual requirements, and never even met. Over 1/2 the students were athletes, who without the help presumably would not have stayed eligible to compete make money for the University.
posted by COD at 3:56 PM - 62 comments

FTDI driver destroys devices

USB-to-serial chip manufacturer FTDI has deployed a new version of their Windows device driver, with a small bug: it doesn't work with many Arduinos and is damaging devices that used to work. Turns out that it isn't a bug -- FTDI's new driver is deliberately "bricking" devices if it thinks the chip is counterfeit (which is fairly easy to see). FTDI says it is in the license agreement and claims that they are "definitely not targeting end users", despite the fact that their actions are destroying end-user devices where the purchasers had no idea about the provence of the chips inside. Various communities respond and some question if the new driver is malware.
posted by autopilot at 3:33 PM - 128 comments

"Portraits carry a weight, they are seen as markers of respect"

South African artist and activist Gabrielle Le Roux is in San Francisco for the first time to show the "Proudly African & Transgender" portrait and story series she co-created with trans* activists from Zimbabwe, Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Burundi, Uganda and Kenya in 2008, together with a selection of portraits from the "Proudly Trans* in Turkey" collaboration with eighteen trans* activists from across Turkey. The portraits and stories will show at the SF LGBT Center at the invitation of the Queer Cultural Center and SFSU Sociology Dept. Galería de La Raza will be showing the 18 part video installation of the Proudly Trans* in Turkey exhibition, through which trans* activists from across Turkey explore the issues they want to discuss on film. [more inside]
posted by Lexica at 2:08 PM - 3 comments

If I'm unworthy

Blake Mills is a Venice Beach-based guitarist who combines lo-fi folk with smart pop-rock song craft. Described by Eric clapton as "the last guitarist I heard that I thought was phenomenal" Premier Guitar interview (long), Rolling Stone interview, soundcloud: If I'm unworthy
posted by Lanark at 1:00 PM - 10 comments

Woof.

A review of the uncomfortable, colonialist-islander RPG, Dog Eat Dog
posted by michaelh at 12:45 PM - 32 comments

“unusual horrible hand”

It's been a big couple of months for very large (and very strange) theropod dinosaurs. The eight-foot-long arms of Deinocheirus mirificus were discovered in the Gobi in 1965 and the animal has remained a source of speculation since then. Now a team of paleontologists from the Korea Institute of Geoscience & Mineral Resources has discovered two well-preserved specimens, and it seems that Deinocheirus was even weirder than we thought. Here's the Nature link.
posted by brundlefly at 12:29 PM - 20 comments

You're Doing It Wrong: Peeling Oranges edition

How to peel an orange.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:02 PM - 87 comments

...just don't try this at home and don't take it too seriously

"A hypocrite knows right from wrong; they know they sin when they sin," Chmielarz said. "They find excuses for these sins just like we find excuses to mow down another hundred enemies in a video game. And even though they don't follow it, deep down they know which way the moral compass is pointing. Hatred takes the excuses away from us and asks us to enjoy the sin out there in the open." Outrage and debate over the announcement of the upcoming video game "Hatred," in which players take the persona of a mass shooter. (Disturbing content in both video and company website.) [more inside]
posted by jbickers at 10:58 AM - 120 comments

the lifeblood of our business

In the Billfold: a tale of a day-long tryout for an early stage startup, the author dubs The Start-up From Hell. The COO responds in Valleywag, "While it posted today (October 21), the article [...] relates to an experience she says she had 15 months ago. [...] At that time, Handybook employed less than 15 people. Today, Handy is two and a half years old and employs 200 people. [...] In short, as we continue to grow we're working every day to ensure the happiness of our customers and employees." [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:42 AM - 65 comments

Pay Any Price

The APA Grapples with Its Torture Demons: Six Questions for Nathaniel Raymond [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:12 AM - 12 comments

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