September 30

Thoughts & Prayers - The App

Cool! There's been a mass stabbing in New York and my thoughts and prayers were automatically posted! I feel like a better person and I didn't have to do anything! (SLYT)
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:00 AM - 1 comment

Wait, my favorite skater is gay?

Vice Sports talks to the legendary Brian Anderson about Being a Gay Professional Skateboarder.
How does it feel? "Like a hundred pounds has been lifted off of my body." [more inside]
posted by hot soup at 8:55 AM - 2 comments

Constrained Synthesis

Bitmap & tilemap generation from a single example with the help of ideas from quantum mechanics. [more inside]
posted by tocts at 8:02 AM - 1 comment

Hey, you got water in my fuel mixture. Hey, you got fuel in my water.

New York Times: "For decades, automakers have relied on turbocharging, which uses energy captured from exhaust gases to force additional air into the cylinders, to increase the power and efficiency of some gasoline engines." "[Now] a prominent automotive supplier has developed a counterintuitive technology that could enhance turbocharged engines for passenger cars by improving fuel economy with no reduction in power. How? By spraying water into the cylinders as the engine is operating." Warning: Some marketing speak in quotes.
posted by mr_bovis at 7:50 AM - 17 comments

Babi Yar at 75: Filling in the Blanks in Ukrainian History

Long before Auschwitz, long before Treblinka and Sobibor, there was Babi Yar—the sprawling ravine on the outskirts of Kyiv where the Nazis, with support from the locals, murdered 33,771 Jews in a two-day killing spree on September 29 and 30, 1941. The Holocaust as the “final solution” began here, in Ukraine and other Soviet territories. Over the fall of 1941 the number of victims at Babi Yar grew to 100,000, to include, beside the Jews, the mentally ill, Roma, Ukrainian nationalists, Communists, and other undesirables.
posted by Etrigan at 7:24 AM - 11 comments

Biggy Pop

Iggy Pop has a pet cockatoo named Biggy Pop. Biggy Pop is on Instagram. They have sweet adventures together, like today's.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 7:12 AM - 9 comments

Roll up for the murderous mystery tour

Dark Tourism On her great blog, historian Donna Seger discusses the phenomenon of Dark Tourism - a cultural trend responsible for the proliferation of ghost tours, vampire tours, and graveyard tours as well as interest in more historically serious places such as Holocaust sites, Civil War Battlefields, and even contemporary war zones. Also known in academia as thanatourism, its subcategories include fright tourism[PDF], disaster tourism, morbid tourism, and grief tourism. [more inside]
posted by Miko at 6:15 AM - 8 comments

September 29

The World Passes 400 PPM Threshold. Permanently.

2016 will be the year that carbon dioxide officially passed the symbolic 400 ppm mark, never to return below it in our lifetimes. In the centuries to come, history books will likely look back on September 2016 as a major milestone for the world’s climate. [more inside]
posted by splitpeasoup at 11:11 PM - 66 comments

What A Horrible Year To Have A Curse

In honor of the 30th anniversary of Konami's iconic horror series Castlevania, USGamer has put together a retrospective of the series' history and influence and the AV Club has picked it's favorite songs from the soundtrack (YouTube link). If you want a trip down memory lane, VG Junk has a loving review of the first game, Dracula X, and a collection of Symphony of the Night ephemera. Or refresh yourself on what made the series so mechanically great with Tim Rogers essay In Praise of Sticky Friction.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 6:25 PM - 12 comments

Meerkats - the most murderous mammal!

Cute but deadly
Which mammal is most likely to be murdered by its own kind? It’s certainly not humans—not even close. Nor is it a top predator like the grey wolf or lion, although those at least are #11 and #9 in the league table of murdery mammals. No, according to a study led by José María Gómez from the University of Granada, the top spot goes to… the meerkat.
[more inside]
posted by hilaryjade at 6:20 PM - 32 comments

The Evolution of Pepe

In light of the Clinton campaign calling Pepe the Frog "a symbol associated with white supremacy" (which the ADL has now added to its online hate symbols database), The Atlantic interviews Matt Furie, the creator of Pepe: "My feelings are pretty neutral, this isn’t the first time that Pepe has been used in a negative, weird context. I think it’s just a reflection of the world at large. The internet is basically encompassing some kind of mass consciousness, and Pepe, with his face, he’s got these large, expressive eyes with puffy eyelids and big rounded lips, I just think that people reinvent him in all these different ways, it’s kind of a blank slate. It’s just out of my control, what people are doing with it, and my thoughts on it, are more of amusement."
posted by bookman117 at 5:47 PM - 67 comments

Inside the Chicago Police Department’s secret budget

Through numerous Freedom of Information Act requests, the Chicago Reader, working with the Chicago-based transparency nonprofit Lucy Parsons Labs and the public records website MuckRock, obtained more than 1,000 pages of Chicago Police Department documents—including the department's deposit and expenditure ledgers, internal e-mails, and purchasing records—that offer an unprecedented look into how Chicago police and the Cook County state's attorney's office make lucrative use of civil asset forfeiture. [more inside]
posted by cynical pinnacle at 4:21 PM - 18 comments

“...Mr. Obama’s strongest allies on Capitol Hill turned against him.”

Congress Votes to Override Obama Veto on 9/11 Victims Bill [The New York Times] “Congress on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly to override a veto by President Obama for the first time, passing into law a bill that would allow the families of those killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to sue Saudi Arabia for any role in the plot. Democrats in large numbers joined with Republicans to deliver a remarkable rebuke to the president. The 97-to-1 vote in the Senate and the 348-to-77 vote in the House displayed the enduring power of the Sept. 11 families in Washington and the diminishing influence here of the Saudi government. The new law, enacted over the fierce objections of the White House, immediately alters the legal landscape. American courts could seize Saudi assets to pay for any judgment obtained by the Sept. 11 families, while Saudi officials have warned they might need to sell off hundreds of billions of dollars in holdings in the United States to avoid such an outcome.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 4:18 PM - 53 comments

The Haunting of Netflix House 4: The Netflix Master

Comics writer Benito Cereno gives his now traditional guide to "good, notable, or at least interesting horror and horror-adjacent movies available to stream on Netflix" in October *, the spookiest of months. [more inside]
posted by Artw at 2:30 PM - 51 comments

Stop Flipping Forks

On putting your emotional energy into things that matter and ignoring the things that don't.
posted by stoneweaver at 2:25 PM - 40 comments

No more vagina pillows (at that location)

Back in 2015, Portlandia was renewed for a sixth and seventh season, and season 7 is almost upon us.
One of the many recurring sketches on the program features Toni and Candace, the owners of the Women and Women First bookstore. While the name is a play on Chicago’s Women and Children First, episodes are filmed at Porland’s In Other Words.
On Monday, after a particularly intrusive shooting session, the staff at In Other Words have put a “Fuck Portlandia!” sign in the window, written a blog post about their issues why, and cut off their relationship with the program. Additional coverage/reposting at Splitsider, Jezebel and The A.V. Club
posted by Going To Maine at 2:20 PM - 91 comments

French might be the language of love but German is the language of anger

Rammstein-Du Hast (Bossa Nova Version) (SLYT)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:12 PM - 24 comments

"It belongs in a museum!"

Indiana Jones: the Animated Series (slyt) [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator at 1:06 PM - 12 comments

And, if you're frightened, you can be frightened, you can be, it's ok.

"So who here doesn't know about it..."
Radiohead
Berlin
9/11/2001 [more inside]
posted by grobstein at 12:06 PM - 8 comments

I guess Chinese men don't have tears

Lovey Banh is a figure I became completely transfixed by during a period of really unstable emotional health. She has mild notoriety as an amazon oddity author for her irreverent book titles (“An Ant See A Lion Marry A Butterfly: I Am Sleeping In My Car B/C I Am Not The Next RJ Rowling”, “30 Years I Do Not Brush My Teeth”, “One Kid Two Lungs To Harvest”), book covers prominently featuring what is presumably the author in swimwear, book pricing (most sitting at around $2,000), and the incomparable sum of books written and available to purchase: currently equaling 265...

...It’s all very easy to quickly dismiss as funny and weird and move on from. But upon closer inspection and some pouring through of “look inside” offerings of her books, there was something namelessly too human and that connected too much within itself to convince me there wasn’t intelligence behind the books.


The Case of Lovey Banh.
posted by timshel at 12:01 PM - 7 comments

Mary Cavendish: 17th century duchess, author, scientist, philosopher

Browse through the history of science fiction and you don't see many women named. One of the first is Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, who published a proto-SF novel in 1666, 152 years before Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Also notable, Mary Cavendish published her book, titled The Description of a New World, Called The Blazing-World (Internet Archive), under her own name. The book is a curious mixture of themes and styles: part science fiction, part fantasy, part scientific musing, part political tract, part social commentary and satire, and part autobiography. This diversity of topics reflected the amazing life and interests of its "Happy Creatoress," a woman of means but without formal education of her male peers. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 12:01 PM - 11 comments

History of urban nightlife in America

Here are 12 interesting facts about urban nightlife from Peter C. Baldwin’s article for the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History, which shows how times have greatly changed and, remarkably, how some things have remained the same.
posted by infini at 10:42 AM - 3 comments

[Election 2016] If you stand for nothing, what’ll you fall for?

In the wake of the first presidential debate Monday night, which was widely recognized as a Clinton win even by the Republicans, polls in swing states have begun to swing back toward Clinton and even Nate Silver is calming down a bit. [more inside]
posted by rabbitrabbit at 10:14 AM - 829 comments

At 12-9, the US military has a journeyman baseball pitcher's W/L record

"If, in SOCOM’s accounting, the United States has engaged in relatively few actual wars, don’t credit “deterrence.” Instead, the command has done its best to simply redefine war out of existence, as in Iraq and Afghanistan, in favor of those “gray zone challenges.” If one accepts that quasi-wars are actually war, then the Defense Department has done little to deter conflict. The United States has, in fact, been involved in some kind of military action — by SOCOM’s definition — in every year since 1980." How's successful has the US been in achieving those aims, reducing conflict, and actually succeeding in it's objectives? Face it, America doesn't win a lot of wars. [more inside]
posted by Carillon at 9:39 AM - 30 comments

Who Tells Their Story?

"For Asian-American actors, there is a persistent fear of being left out of the conversation entirely, since “diversity” has often been conflated with black representation only. As Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr. put it, “In America, things get boiled down into a black and white issue, but I want to see stories about Asian people, I want to see stories about trans people — diversity is not just a black and white issue. … We’ve still got some work to do when you talk about real diversity.” (Buzzfeed longform)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:00 AM - 15 comments

I hated that necktie anyway

Some genius superimposed John Williams' Superman score on the season preview for Supergirl. (SLYT)
posted by Gelatin at 8:56 AM - 27 comments

Galactic Tick Day

September 29, 2016 is Galactic Tick Day, a celebration of our progress around the milky way.

Our planet Earth, along with the rest of the Solar System travels around the galactic center of the Milky Way Galaxy every 225 million Earth years. One centi-arcsecond of this rotation is called a Galactic Tick. A Galactic Tick happens every 633.7 days, or 1.7361 years.

Galactic Tick Day is set aside to acknowledge our Sun's motion, our progress around the home galaxy, and to celebrate humanity's knowledge of this motion.

Note: No spoons were harmed in the creation of this FPP. [more inside]
posted by Herodios at 7:48 AM - 30 comments

The Sausage King of Northeast

Beards, beer and flannel: 11 guys compete for the title of Mr. Northeast Minneapolis "...the men of Northeast compete before a panel of celebrity judges in such distinguished categories as “Fashion,” “Talent,” and "Question and Answer" to capture the crown, the title and fabulous prizes." [more inside]
posted by jillithd at 7:27 AM - 26 comments

Gears, Glorious Gears

The Fast & Furious movies are, of course, cinema's crowning achievement. But what is the very best part of cinema's crowning achievement? Amazingly, it is not The Rock -- it's that sexy, sexy, gear shifting. So if you think you can stand two and a half minutes of pure, undiluted awesomeness, go ahead and watch all 236 shifts from all seven movies.
posted by Etrigan at 7:12 AM - 49 comments

The Great Bear, The Living Statue & The Monster In The Cave

"In recent years a promising scientific approach to comparative mythology has emerged in which researchers apply conceptual tools that biologists use to decipher the evolution of living species. In the hands of those who analyze myths, the method, known as phylogenetic analysis, consists of connecting successive versions of a mythical story and constructing a family tree that traces the evolution of the myth over time." On using biological ideas to trace the paths of evolving myths across the world.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 6:57 AM - 12 comments

Can we call it a "Jewish accent" rather than, say, a "New York accent"?

Why Linguists are Fascinated by the American Jewish Accent
Intonation, pitch, phrasing, cadence, conversational style and behavor patterns, use of non-English words and locally-specific references (and so much more) all combine to produce what we call the American Jewish Accent. [more inside]
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 5:14 AM - 74 comments

8 Hours To Cross The Mountains (... and that's just the first day)

The Camino de Santiago is a long walk. This is the story of one man walking a pilgrim's way to the bones of Saint James the Great in Northwest Spain. SandyRoe tells his story to an online community of cruciverbalists. [more inside]
posted by CjEggett at 1:52 AM - 12 comments

That's No Moon -- Okay No Wait That's a Moon

There are 182 moons (and counting) in the solar system orbiting planets; there are a bunch more orbiting planetoids. Read on for all your moon facts. [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:33 AM - 44 comments

September 28

High Hitler

German novelist Norman Ohler has written his first non-fiction work, Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany. Drug abuse permeated all levels of the Third Reich, with Hitler himself, enabled by his personal physician Theodor Morell, being one of the most addicted, primarily to Eukadol (Oxycodone) and cocaine. Ohler also argues methamphetamines made the western Blitzkrieg through the Ardennes possible.
posted by Rumple at 7:28 PM - 49 comments

The Clean

I knew dimly that I might gain advantages by befriending my wealthier clients, but I wasn’t sure what kind — and I was nervous about seeming phony. I’d occasionally sense that a strange door was open to me: not to friendship, exactly, but to some sort of benevolent leeching, or simply the opportunity to be liked.
posted by Kitteh at 5:03 PM - 58 comments

RIP Agnes Nixon TV Soap Opera Writer, Creator, Legend

Agnes Nixon creator of 'All My Children,' 'One Life to Live,' dies at 93 Ms. Nixon was a dominant force in daytime TV. The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences called her "the grand dame of daytime serial drama" when she won lifetime achievement award at the Daytime Emmy Awards in 2010 for her serials. [more inside]
posted by pjsky at 4:00 PM - 22 comments

Mario cover art through the years

A short visual essay on the unnamed but consistent visual style of Mario game box art
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:37 PM - 11 comments

“A word can be reclaimed, or reconstituted...”

On Carefree Black Boys: Understanding the Appeal of the 'Carefree' Aesthetic to Black Male Musicians From Young Thug to Chance the Rapper [MTV] “Chance has found a slogan to represent what is irrepressible in him: #BlackBoyJoy. Following his appearance at the 2016 VMAs, he started sharing photos of himself at the event, preening, dancing, and posing, with the hashtag. He was a natural spokesman. Others followed suit, posting photos of boys and men frolicking and grinning. The #BlackBoyJoy hashtag preceded Chance’s use of it, and its origins are in the broader, voguish idea of “carefree blackness.” Like the loose digital community that bore it, this carefreeness has an ambient quality, a collection of aesthetics and identities that many laud as a generalized form of activism.”
posted by Fizz at 3:26 PM - 5 comments

Why do we dance?

Dance is a language, and social dance is an expression that emerges from a community. A social dance isn't choreographed by any one person. It can't be traced to any one moment. They are as old as our remembered history. In African-American social dances, we see over 200 years of how African and African-American traditions influenced our history. The present always contains the past. And the past shapes who we are and who we will be.
posted by ChuraChura at 2:32 PM - 14 comments

The Queer Poor Aesthetic

There’s a viral and ironic trend that i’ve been lately noticing in and beyond my TQPOC community: my wealthier friends own everything but their class privilege. I couldn’t “be myself” in a space built for people like me. I couldn’t identify with people I shared identities with. The identity that significantly affects my daily life was erased in a culture that consumes identity politics. The only times my anti-capitalist housemates mentioned class was when it was theoretical and not about them personally, as if being marginalized makes you entitled to know how every kind of oppression feels. It’s easy to hide behind your oppression.
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 2:08 PM - 45 comments

I sing the city

The City Born Great, short fiction by Hugo Award winner N. K. Jemisin.
posted by Artw at 1:09 PM - 10 comments

like The Rock in Fast & Furious 7, only with much more crying

"Summer is the time for sunshine, sudsy brews and sandwiches of the hot dog variety. And of course, that classic game. The sport of kings. Baseball. What better way to celebrate America’s pastime than that classic sportswriter trope of visiting all 30 MLB parks in 30 days. Crossing the country, seeing the sights and catching a ballgame or two along the way. My trusty editor set up an itinerary and sent me on my way. What wonders will I encounter and valuable lessons will I learn along the way? Let’s find out as I embark on this adventure into America’s pastime!" -- A tribute to the great parks by the inimitable Ethan Booker
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:48 PM - 7 comments

You’ve been drinking SQUASH FREAKING SPICE LATTES this entire time

I just found out canned pumpkin isn't actually pumpkin at all, and my whole life is basically a lie. By Emma Crist at Food & Wine.
posted by Mchelly at 12:46 PM - 111 comments

The hills are alive with the sound of pinballs...

Jollyball is a rolling ball sculpture by Charles Morgan. (site is in French, but a short film on Morgan is in English.) It debuted at the Expo 86 Switzerland Pavilion in Vancouver, Canada, and is seen briefly in this Expo 86 promotional video. It is now located at the Museum of Science and Industry Chicago, which means we can now see videos of the pinball's entire 5 minute adventure through Swiss life.
posted by Theta States at 12:32 PM - 7 comments

Don't look back—something might be rolling on you.

The Best Sport Of The Early 1900s Involved Pushing Around An Elephant-Sized Ball (Atlas Obscura) [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:31 PM - 14 comments

Because ≤ and ← are better than <= and <-

Some monospaced fonts with ligatures for common mathematical and programming symbols: Hasklig, Fira Code, Monoid (a small “why” from the creator), Iosevka, DejaVu Sans Code, and Fixedsys Excelsior. Take them (and a bunch of no-ligature monospaced fonts) for a spin at app.programmingfonts.org!
posted by Going To Maine at 11:07 AM - 73 comments

Useful Guide For Living A Self-Sustatining Lifestyle

Shershnyov's royalty report showed that itemized revenues from the 11 master accounts generated $2.44 million since June 2015, which is when Amazon changed the terms in which authors were paid based on the number of books loaned. (It's not known what was made during the six months prior to that, which was when the scam began.)
Revealed: How one Amazon Kindle scam made millions of dollars
posted by griphus at 9:46 AM - 32 comments

BUCKAROO PARTY is not being represented tonight

After a must-read Presidential Debate Live Tweet, Internet Saint Chuck Tingle has brought forth trumpdebatefacts.com, blowing open the lies of the man crab from the Void, along with some brand new Tinglers (last two links are NSFW).
posted by Itaxpica at 9:31 AM - 75 comments

Mini Lasagna!

Does what it says on the tiny little tin: a guy making adorable, small food.
posted by hapax_legomenon at 9:31 AM - 24 comments

Still solvent after all these years

Wisconsin's unique pension system was "designed like a Swiss watch that winds itself," adjusting payouts based on how well the fund is doing, so as to automatically stay solvent. The architect? Gary Gates, a man so thrifty he would cut out and reverse the collars on his dress shirts when they got too worn.
posted by Slinga at 7:11 AM - 31 comments

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