December 8

Lots of flowers for the seasonal mood

An A.I. wrote a Christmas song and...yeah.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:53 AM - 3 comments

December 7

a perfect superposition of tragedy and farce

How the Soviets invented the internet and why it didn't work - "Soviet scientists tried for decades to network their nation. What stalemated them is now fracturing the global internet." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 11:42 PM - 4 comments

Cat Hulbert: How I got rich beating men at their own game

Cat Hulbert: How I got rich beating men at their own game In her own words, Cat Hulbert describes how she got rich beating male opponents - and the casinos - and explains why in her view women are innately better at poker than men.
posted by jouke at 9:44 PM - 23 comments

It is said that the present is pregnant with the future.

The World Of Tomorrow: A Tribute to the Post-Apocalyptic Cinema (SLVimeo)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:26 PM - 4 comments

“Reading one book is like eating one potato chip.”

100 Notable Books of 2016 [The New York Times] The year’s notable fiction, poetry and nonfiction, selected by the editors of The New York Times Book Review. This list represents books reviewed since Dec. 6, 2015, when we published our previous Notables list. [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 9:13 PM - 4 comments

Peace, love, unity, respect, and rave with Kutski

DJ Kutski is keeping the rave alive via podcast mixes, "representing 360 degrees of the harder styles of dance music," an hour at a time. He's up to 244 episodes, and if you check out a few, you'll quickly notice a pattern in the shows. They generally feature a mix of old and new tracks, a cheeky check to see "does it sound good at 170 BPM", a bit of sample mania, and a guest mini-mix from such names as Dune and Charlie Lownoise & Mental Theo from the living history of the scenes, with folks like Sound Rush and AniMe representing the new generation. PLUR! [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 8:51 PM - 1 comment

Not an Onion Title: Rehab for Millennials Aims to Turn Them Into Adults

"Yellowbrick was founded a decade ago specifically to treat 'emerging adult' brains. It helps its patients navigate the extended period between childhood and adulthood." At a cost of $27,500 per month and a minimum commitment of 10 weeks, parents of prospective patients are paying dearly - and some would say being sucked dry - in the name of launching their failed-to-launch 20 or 30-something child.
posted by tafetta, darling! at 8:12 PM - 43 comments

smash the state, pet the pups

An American in Syria: The young United States florist headed to Raqqa, Syria, as a volunteer with the People’s Defense Units, or YPG, is known to most of Weird Twitter as PissPigGranddad.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:05 PM - 19 comments

I am proud to be brown

The other day on the bus, my kiddo was being teased about her dark brown skin. it wasn't the first time and it won't be the last. this morning we did a little self-love exercise. i wrote some positive things on sticky notes and had her stick them to her mirror. BuzzFeed interview with Alexandra Elle.
posted by Lanark at 2:48 PM - 6 comments

The World Sees Me as the One Who Will Find Another Earth

The star-crossed life of Sara Seager, an astrophysicist obsessed with discovering distant planets. A long read NYTMag article about a scientist that touches on exoplanets, starshades, daily commutes, love, loss, widowhood, and aliens. (As an aside: the WFIRST mission, and the proposed starshade.)
posted by RedOrGreen at 2:43 PM - 8 comments

HAVE YOU SEEN HIM

The Bones Brigade’s The Search for Animal Chin — the most successful skateboarding video of all time — turns 30 next year. YouTube. Previously.

Under the guidance of Tim Payne, the original Animal Chin ramp builder, a new Chin Ramp has been erected at Woodward West Skatepark in Tehachapi, California. The outcome was a near-identical ramp complete with extensions, channels, mini ramp on top of the deck and a full vert spine – a feature that hasn't been attempted again since its original creation. [more inside]
posted by porn in the woods at 2:41 PM - 13 comments

"the rule was to keep patients until their insurance ran out"

When people called in to ask for help or inquire about services, internal documents and interviews show, UHS tracked what a former hospital administrator called each facility’s “conversion rate”: the percentage of callers who actually came in for psychiatric assessments, then the percentage of those people who became inpatients. “They keep track of our numbers as if we were car salesmen,” said Karen Ellis, a former counselor at Salt Lake Behavioral.
How treating psychiatric care as a profit-driven business has led to predictably horrifying results.
posted by jeather at 1:40 PM - 25 comments

Meeeeeeeeee​EEEEeeeee​OOWWWWWWW​wwwwww

Choir singing cat tunes.
posted by whimsicalnymph at 1:39 PM - 17 comments

Environmental Noxiousness, Racial Inequities and Community Health

Investigating Environmental Racism is the essence of The ENRICH Project, a unique and innovative project established in 2012 to address the health and socio-economic effects of NIMBYism on Mi’kmaw and African Nova Scotian communities. Their work is the subject of the documentary In Whose Backyard?
posted by Michele in California at 1:37 PM - 1 comment

Everyone good died.

it's time for this year's edition of everyone's favorite holiday tradition: The 2016 Hater's Guide to the Williams-Sonoma Catalog! [more inside]
posted by Old Kentucky Shark at 1:00 PM - 112 comments

Four podcasts with episodes mostly under five minutes long

  • Random Tape is a podcast of random audio recorded by producer David Weinberg.
    (The last two episodes are longer than five minutes. Don't start there.)
  • Sidewalks is a podcast of short interviews and other audio recorded on the sidewalk.
    (The most recent episode is longer than five minutes. Don't start there.)
  • Poetry Now is a podcast of modern poets reading poems, from the Poetry Foundation.
  • Poem of the Day is a podcast of poems from throughout history read by poets and actors, also from the Poetry Foundation.
[more inside]
posted by Going To Maine at 12:48 PM - 9 comments

Fossil fuels are doomed

A meta-assessment by Rembrandt Koppelaar argues that "Solar is able to generate 14 times the energy invested to create the panels" while "oil and gas now generate roughly 11 times the amount of energy invested" in the U.S., due to declining reserve quality.
posted by jeffburdges at 12:06 PM - 41 comments

Is Your T-shirt Clean of Slavery?

Business of Fashion: "Is Your T-shirt Clean of Slavery? Science May Soon Be Able to Tell. Shoppers lured by a bargain-priced t-shirt but concerned about whether the item is free of slave labor could soon have the answer — from DNA forensic technology." [more inside]
posted by Celsius1414 at 11:37 AM - 4 comments

The Clam That Sank a Thousand Ships

What adorable animal is this? It's a type of clam called a shipworm. One of the most destructive forces in the ocean and scourge of explorers. They eat boats, and apparently taste ok. These infamous clams are invading new areas, buoyed by climate change and the 2011 tsunami in Japan (PDF).
posted by joelf at 11:26 AM - 12 comments

SPEAR! SPEAR! BAH GAWD HE'S BROKEN IN HALF!

A subreddit r/Dogberg collects clips of dogs Goldberg spearing humans, animals, and other dogs.
posted by burgerrr at 11:16 AM - 11 comments

Çeko​slovak​yalila​stira​madi​klari​mizdan​missiniz?

What features make languages most difficult for native English speakers?
posted by Chrysostom at 10:57 AM - 16 comments

Inside Quebec’s Great, Multi-Million-Dollar Maple-Syrup Heist

In 2012 (previously), $18.7 million of maple syrup was stolen from a storage facility in St-Louis-de-Blandford, Quebec (Modern Farmer's illustrated account here). Much of the stolen syrup was eventually traced and recovered (previously). In November of this year, Richard Vallières and two others were found guilty of the crime. This was not the only maple syrup heist of its kind. Quebec produces 72 per cent of the world's supply, with quotas, prices, and quality standards set by the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers. Rich Cohen, writing in Vanity Fair, asks: "Have there been side effects to all this success? Has the federation, with its quotas and its methods of control (quotas must be enforced), reaped its own sticky harvest?"
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:15 AM - 51 comments

Food for thought at my own office.......

How To Tell Your Boss To Kiss Your Ass, And Get Away With It No description necessary.
posted by strelitzia at 9:59 AM - 12 comments

“A new president, new justice appointees changed the dynamic"

House Bill 493, a so-called "heartbeat" abortion bill, has cleared Ohio's House and Senate. [more inside]
posted by pullayup at 8:46 AM - 90 comments

First off, you have to make ALL the cookies

What Christmas means, when you're the mom. [more inside]
posted by A Terrible Llama at 8:36 AM - 62 comments

Arty G. Schronce and the Price of Chicken

Are chicken prices artificially high? “I have come to question the validity of some of the information provided,” [Schronce] wrote [PDF] in September in preparation for a meeting at the Georgia Department of Agriculture. “I do not think I am getting actual weighted average prices from some companies.” [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 7:42 AM - 11 comments

Her Hobbies Include Restoring Deadly Weapons

Today marks the release of Marvel Comics' Dr. Aphra #1, the first ongoing Star Wars comic to be headlined by an Asian character. Created by Kieron Gillen for the highly praised Darth Vader title run, Aphra has been described by her creator as a morally "inverse Indiana Jones" and represents the rare breakout character with no connection beyond the comic universe. After all, who wouldn't love someone who makes it a hobby of finding and restoring weapons of mass destruction? WARNING: Links and below the fold contain spoilers for the Darth Vader comics! [more inside]
posted by Atreides at 7:34 AM - 23 comments

Donald Trump is Time's 2016 Person of the Year

"For reminding America that demagoguery feeds on despair and that truth is only as powerful as the trust in those who speak it, for empowering a hidden electorate by mainstreaming its furies and live-streaming its fears, and for framing tomorrow’s political culture by demolishing yesterday’s, Donald Trump is Time Magazine's 2016 Person of the Year." [more inside]
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:52 AM - 140 comments

I was going for small, specific and good.

2016 was a very punishing year for a variety of reasons. We lost a lot of good people. The election certainly was divisive. I wanted to remind people that there are these moments scattered throughout the year where something good came out of popular culture. (Audie Cornish interviews Glen Weldon of Monkey See)
Once a day until December 25, the Monkey See blog is highlighting a small good thing that happened in pop culture this year. (the Pop Culture advent calendar)

posted by BekahVee at 5:46 AM - 12 comments

Block by block

An Atari 2600 Emulator in Minecraft built by Youtube user SethBling. After the initial 'wow' response this is actually a fascinating under-the-hood model/demo/explanation of how video game cartridges and displays functioned.
posted by carter at 5:27 AM - 7 comments

December 6

Survivors speak highly of it

Austrian ski resort Obergurgl-Hochgurgl has three live webcam feeds to its guest rooms; in 2015, "some idiots" photobombed all three. The photobombing is now under control, so this year's video shows the new extreme ski run.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:22 PM - 19 comments

YOOOOUUUUU AND MMAAAEEEEE. MAAAEEEEEEEE AND YOOOOUUUUUUUU

I Fucking Live For Haunting Covers Of Literally Any Song In Movie Trailers - the comments have some great additions too.
posted by divabat at 8:08 PM - 83 comments

This isn't Amsterdam.

There's a futuristic sort-of new highway in Paris.
posted by aniola at 7:50 PM - 22 comments

Ear of the Year

100 Outstanding audio stories of 2016. The best podcast episodes & audio journalism of the year, as chosen by the Bello Collective team, in categories including: Investigative journalism; politics & history; first-person storytelling & interviews; out of the ordinary; human behavior, love, & other feelings; science, nature & technology; cool collaborations & serialized stories; audio drama; documentary-style. [more inside]
posted by storybored at 7:09 PM - 18 comments

“To them, the gray jay is a stranger.”

We give you the gray jay. Also known as the whiskey jack or Canada jay, it is Canadian Geographic’s official choice for National Bird of Canada. [Canadian Geographic] There are more than 450 species of birds across Canada, but until now, not one of them has been designated as our national bird. In 2015, the team at Canadian Geographic decided it was time to change that, and founded the National Bird Project with the aim of declaring an official bird for Canada by 2017, the 150th anniversary of Confederation. [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 3:49 PM - 63 comments

Cooking In Russia

Greg Easter and his Youtube channel, CookingInRussia, are one of the internet's greatest (and growing) repositories of culinary knowledge. I was reminded again of his unequalled excellence when he recently posted his unbelievable recipe for Persian Rose Chicken. Everything he teaches is directed at the home cook, but he will never dumb it down or simplify anything to sacrifice flavor. If a stock cube will make it taste just as good as stock from scratch, he's absolutely fine with that. But if stock from scratch is what's required, he will quite directly tell you to start roasting those bones, buster. [more inside]
posted by macross city flaneur at 2:15 PM - 8 comments

What your social-media news feed could look like if things go wrong

The Pessimist’s Guide to 2017. Donald Trump and Brexit shocked most of the world in 2016. But not readers of last year’s Bloomberg Pessimist’s Guide, which warned that the unthinkable could happen in both cases. Now the authors are turning their attention to 2017. (SLBBW)
posted by slogger at 1:16 PM - 100 comments

Your Cure for Luposlipaphobia

Tales from The Far Side.
Tales From the Far Side II. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 12:03 PM - 22 comments

The Sweethome Guide to Menstrual Cups

This week, the Sweethome (previously) tackles the question of finding the best menstrual cup for a first-time user to try out. With menstrual cups (previously) quickly increasing in popularity from relatively unknown status, it can be difficult to figure out what models to try and what size your vagina even is, so the article includes some helpful tips on guesstimating size and cervix height. Cups don't work for everyone and there's definitely a learning curve, so making sure to start with a model that's probably not completely the wrong size can be surprisingly important! Of course, testing out cups in an evidence-based way meant designing an artificial vagina to keep things consistent--which turned out to be a bit more difficult than previously expected.
posted by sciatrix at 10:38 AM - 69 comments

I'm a stupid moron with an ugly face and a big butt and my butt smells

The Best Simpsons Faces
posted by griphus at 10:00 AM - 14 comments

It was four a.m. when we arrived in the lot...

But one day I realized recruiter emails were something else altogether: writing prompts. From a captive audience. [more inside]
posted by acb at 9:05 AM - 38 comments

Don't ask a question you aren't prepared to have answered

Sid the Science Kid asks: Where did I come from? (SLYT)
posted by Small Dollar at 8:55 AM - 29 comments

The Best Southern Albums 2016

"So, if 2016 left you feeling crappy, you can turn to our music for solace and inspiration. We hope you find both inside this list, and we expect you will." (SL Bitter Southerner)
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:42 AM - 21 comments

That is when I say, oh yes yet again, can you stop the cavalry?

It is the time of year when the voice of Jona Lewie, a musician since school and a composer and performer across several genre for over half a century, becomes frequently heard in shops and on radio. Stop the Cavalry is a single from 1980 (live: [1] [2] [3]); the arguably anti-war protest song was not originally intended to be a Christmas single, and was kept off the #1 UK chart spot by songs from the recently deceased John Lennon and the St Winifred's School Choir. The tune, often covered by brass bands, is more well-known in the USA through the cover by The Cory Band with The Gwalia Singers (also Gwalia Singers on own and background). However, Jona was successful before this... [more inside]
posted by Wordshore at 5:45 AM - 20 comments

This land is our land

Gillan Alexander's seed drill is on the fritz. So the winter wheat he’d hoped to get in the ground this early-October morning will have to wait until a parts dealer more than 80 miles away locates the necessary ball-bearing housings. Alexander, 59, who also grows sorghum and soybeans in rural Nicodemus, Kansas, puts the hassle in perspective: “My grandfather farmed wheat here using mules. I’m grateful to carry on that tradition, though it’s hard, even with modern equipment, and it does put pressure on me. I feel like I need to do an exceptional job, not only because that’s what farmers do, but because I’m one of the few black farmers left—in this town, the state, and the nation.”
posted by ChuraChura at 4:46 AM - 10 comments

RIP Czech rock guitar legend Radim Hladik (1946–2016)

Hladik, who died Sunday from lung disease, would have turned 70 next Tuesday. He was considered his country’s equivalent of a Jeff Beck or Eric Clapton, but performed in relative obscurity behind the Iron Curtain. [more inside]
posted by LeLiLo at 1:27 AM - 5 comments

Socialize Finance

The economic geography of a universal basic income - "An underdiscussed virtue of a universal basic income is that it would counter geographic inequality even more powerfully than it blunts conventional income inequality. By a 'universal basic income', I mean the simple policy of having the Federal government cut periodic checks of identical dollar amounts to every adult citizen, wherever they may live. Importantly, a universal basic income would not be calibrated to the local cost of living. Residents of Manhattan would receive the same dollar amount as residents of Cleveland. But a dollar in Cleveland stretches much farther than the same dollar in Manhattan..." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 12:06 AM - 50 comments

This was a forest, not a battlefront

“The Growler is not louder” than the Prowler, reads a public information statement from the navy, “but has a slightly higher potential to cause noise-induced vibration,” low frequencies that can physically shake you. Some who live beneath the navy’s flight paths say the Prowler was tolerable. But the noise from the Growler? Maddening.
The military’s plan to send newer, more disruptive jet planes over the Hoh and Quinault rain forest region has unraveled not only townspeople throughout the Olympic Peninsula, but the veterans who thought they’d found a refuge. [more inside]
posted by edeezy at 12:02 AM - 32 comments

December 5

“No te quiero ilusionar,” she’d say.

Whoever he’d been before, whoever he still was inside, to the world around him, he was now a human riddle, a blank slate on which to write a thousand possible names and stories. He needed a name for the forms and the charts and the billing, and so he was assigned one — a strange name whose origins have been lost in the nearly 17 years since the accident. It might have come from an auto shop to which the truck was taken or near where the accident occurred; some people heard it came from the truck’s route, or it was simply random. However it happened, legally he became Sixty-Six Garage.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:21 PM - 3 comments

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but 4500 apples...

Creating a clone army of apple trees. A tiny non-profit in Molalla, Oregon, is working to save a private collection of 4,500 rare apples.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:11 PM - 24 comments

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