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November 24

Open your eyes and smile

This wasn’t a reality show, nor was it one of the elite bookings Anna enjoyed back in New York or Milan. We were there for a fake beauty pageant, one our Beijing modeling agency had booked us for, telling us it was a “fashion show” and providing no further details. It was only after we boarded our early-morning flight to Ordos that the true nature of the event was revealed. “We’re on our way to another ‘Miss’ thing,” a Ukrainian girl said from her seat with a groan. I was hired as Miss America; Anna, despite being Brazilian, as Miss Chile. It would have been the strangest 36 hours of my life—if, over the previous two months, I hadn’t done it twice before.
Life as a Fake Beauty Queen in Small-Town China
posted by divabat at 4:30 PM - 0 comments

"Lunch: the most real you can get"

"HVNGRY is an online publication for teen girls (and boys) wanting more from mainstream media. It’s a belly full of inspiration, motivation, passion, power, and taking-over-the-world." [more inside]
posted by lollusc at 3:33 PM - 6 comments

The Governor of New York Owes an Apology to a Bunch of Meteorologists

The Governor of New York Owes an Apology to a Bunch of Meteorologists Governor Cuomo’s attempt to scapegoat the National Weather Service for an inaccurate forecast in advance is not only completely in error–the NWS did an outstanding job–but is a disservice to the public and to the hard-working staff of this federal agency.
posted by Nevin at 3:20 PM - 17 comments

YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG

13 amazing food and life hacks you need to know right now.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:44 PM - 192 comments

this will answer all of your questions but it is in Chinese

The Shack Up Inn is a hospitality institution just outside of historic Clarksdale, Mississippi. Their FAQ page helpfully provides information regarding any questions you might have about amenities, bedding quality, or Didelphimorphia reproduction.
posted by theodolite at 12:38 PM - 9 comments

Hiding the Hollywood Sign through Garmin 'n Google

You're not really supposed to try to find this sign up-close in person, you're supposed to look at it from a distance. Arguments begin on how short that distance can be... [more inside]
posted by aydeejones at 12:20 PM - 29 comments

Almost 530,000 words long—still a little shorter than “Infinite Jest.”

Paul Ford explains the long road to HTML5 and the web standardisations process in the New Yorker.
In “Gathering of the Player Men at Buffalo,” the Music Trade Review described a heady scene in which Mr. P. B. Klugh, speaking for the Cable Company, said that it had adopted “the nine-to-the-inch scale” and that “they were not open to argument on the subject, as such a scale had given entire satisfaction.” Swayed, the manufacturers resolved the issue in favor of Klugh. As a result, we now live in a world where nine-holes-per-inch piano rolls are the standard. You would be a fool to build a player piano to any other metric.
Of course, the Web page is far more complex. It requires dozens of standards, governing words, sounds, pictures, interactions, protocols, code, and more. The role of Web parliament is played by the W3C, the World Wide Web Consortium. This is a standards body; it organizes meetings that allow competing groups to define standards, shepherding them from a “working draft” to “candidate recommendation” and “proposed recommendation,” and finally, if a standard has been sufficiently poked and prodded, granting the ultimate imprimatur, “W3C recommendation.”
posted by frimble at 11:37 AM - 9 comments

Seven great movies expiring from Netflix on December 1st

"Every month, Netflix quietly clears its virtual shelves to prepare for the arrival of new offerings. There are roughly 80 movies expiring from Netflix Instant at the end of November. We've picked seven that we think you should make sure to watch before they’re no longer streaming – one for each night until Dec. 1." (Paste Magazine)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 11:36 AM - 65 comments

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Ex-Maple Leaf coach Pat Quinn dead at 71 [Toronto Star]
"Former Toronto Maple Leaf coach and general manager Pat Quinn has died at the age of 71. Quinn died Sunday night in Vancouver after a lengthy illness, the Hockey Hall of Fame and Vancouver Giants said Monday. Quinn, who was co-owner of the WHL’s Giants, was 71.
posted by Fizz at 10:39 AM - 22 comments

"Bonding with owners is much more important for dogs than other pets,"

"Dogs don't just seem to pick up on our subtle mood changes — they are actually physically wired to pick up on them." A recent neuroimaging study shows how closely tied to humans dogs have become over the last 30,000 years.
posted by quin at 10:14 AM - 51 comments

Professor and the boomerang

Professor Yutaka Nishiyama is a mathematician and a boomerang enthusiast. His Boomerang International Project page contains instructions in multiple languages for making your own paper boomerang and several videos of the boomerang in action. [more inside]
posted by tykky at 10:13 AM - 2 comments

It pretty much landed in my lap

I’ve been watching Odell Beckham practice similar one-handed catches for the past several weeks. He caught half a dozen in practice before Sunday’s game, and had an amazing one-handed fingertip catch in practice several weeks ago. So he was definitely on my radar screen. Today I was making a point of keeping track of where Beckham lined up, so I would be ready. -- The New York Times interviews photographers about how they themselves caught this incredible catch in the Giants game last night.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:50 AM - 39 comments

A Sassy remembrance

Theresa DeLucci got a letter published in the only publication for girls that really attempted educational journalism—amid Twin Peaks fashion spreads and celeb interviews with grunge luminaries like Kurt Cobain and Kim Gordon.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:18 AM - 16 comments

Fashion behind bars

Project Pietà clothing is the brainchild of Thomas Jacob, a French designer who moved to Lima in 2011 to pursue a job with a Peruvian fashion label. A chance visit to a neighbouring jail, Casto Castro, with a friend who was teaching the inmates French opened Jacob’s eyes to the possibility of a clothing project behind prison walls. “There are all sorts of initiatives when it comes to art or music, but fashion is popular with prisoners because it’s about the body. In prison, it’s the body which is imprisoned as well as the mind. And fashion allows a degree of physical self-expression which enhances the body.” [more inside]
posted by billiebee at 9:05 AM - 0 comments

Drugs, stolen credit cards, and lots of free pizza

The weird, disturbing, and hilarious things for sale on the Internet's largest black market. Evolution: The not-so-secret place on the Web that sells drugs, uranium and a guide to texting girls
posted by gemmy at 8:51 AM - 38 comments

Glove Save, And A Beauty

At a Gander Flyers game against the Corner Brook Royals, a fan suffered a heart attack in the stands. The first two people there were the Mayor of Gander and the starting goaltender, Patty O'Brien, who moonlights as a paramedic. The victim is fine, Patty's a hero, and this story couldn't be more Canadian if the Trailer Park Boys were in the ambulance, feeding everyone poutine & Eric's Red beer and singing "I's The By".
posted by chicobangs at 8:48 AM - 12 comments

Elizabethan Costume Page

Elizabethan Costume Page. From patterns and instruction to social history, and lots of resources collected therein. [via]
posted by Think_Long at 8:35 AM - 6 comments

On Japanese Farewell Ceremonies for Things

Destruction and sacredness of life are often reasons for conflicts in Western culture; on the contrary, ceremonies like hari kuyo can become, even for Westerners, precious opportunities for reflection. In our habit of first producing and then acquiring, often with craving, a great quantity of objects destined to be thrown away like useless, harmful, and cumbersome rubbish shortly after their acquisition, are hidden the germs of attachment and hate that, together with nescience (avidyā), form the sad trio of spiritual poisons. We generally believe we are good custodians of the environment when hurriedly, even with a bit of resentment, we throw in the rubbish bin all that has been discarded. In transforming "removal" into "restitution," the getting rid of useless objects can instead become a stimulus, and not a mere gesture of refusal, for considering our relationship with activities, objects, and the environment, by carrying out, through decorous and at times melancholic farewell ceremonies, daily exercises of kindness and giving.
Farewell Ceremonies for Things, from Dharma World, providing context for a number of Japanese ceremonies, including Hari-Kuyo, the Festival of Broken Needles, Fude-Kuyo, a ceremony for brushes, Ningyo-Kuyo, "a doll funeral", and other ceremony for valued items, activities, and professions.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:23 AM - 17 comments

According to one senior official, “He wasn’t up to the job.”

President Obama will announce today that Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is submitting his resignation. According to the New York Times, "The officials described Mr. Obama’s decision to remove Mr. Hagel, 68, as a recognition that the threat from the Islamic State would require a different kind of skills than those that Mr. Hagel was brought on to employ." [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:11 AM - 83 comments

"Some things belonged to both of us from day one"

"A song, a poem, a scene from a film triggers memories. You’re startled, moved, shaken. And you’re faced with two options: 1) engage with the work and the memories it calls up, or 2) retreat, postpone, avoid. Option 2 is very attractive." Matt Zoller Seitz remembers his wife Jennifer, who would have turned 44 today. [more inside]
posted by jbickers at 6:46 AM - 16 comments

"Why even make a harsh story about surviving war into a video game?"

This War of Mine is a computer game by Polish developers 11 Bit Studios about being a normal citizen during a modern Eastern European civil war, drawing especially on the Siege of Sarajevo. It has been called an antidote to Call of Duty for its unremittingly bleak depiction of war, though it has been criticized for being an unrealistically grim portrayal of life in a besieged city by some, including a survivor of the Siege of Sarajevo. These and other issues are discussed on the strategy game podcast Three Moves Ahead. [This War of Mine previously]
posted by Kattullus at 5:18 AM - 52 comments

It's all about the water in your head

Lost your car? This might help. Just "do the damned experiment".
posted by HuronBob at 5:12 AM - 29 comments

Newtown's Adam Lanza and Missed Opportunities

Connecticut's Office of The Child Advocate Releases Report on Sandy Hook Shootings "Newtown shooter Adam Lanza was an isolated young man with deteriorating mental health and a fascination for mass violence whose problems were not ignored but misunderstood and mistreated, according to a report released Friday by a Connecticut state agency." [more inside]
posted by kinetic at 3:39 AM - 82 comments

The Cloud Colonies of Venus

While talk of a moonbase or terraforming Mars has tended to dominate the discussion for the first step in human colonization of the solar system, another possibility exists: floating habitats above the cloud tops of Venus. [more inside]
posted by fairmettle at 3:09 AM - 47 comments

Below the Row

Underneath Savile Row, the home of British bespoke tailoring, work goes on that is seldom seen by those that walk along the street. James, apprentice coatmaker and Paul, his master, encapsulate a life dedicated to craft and precision. (SLVimeo)
posted by bswinburn at 3:05 AM - 9 comments

Who lives in the year Three-ee Thousand A.D.?

On December 31, 1999, a fast-food employee was cryogenically frozen, waking up centuries later to find himself in a bewildering future. This is his story. (SLYT)
posted by BiggerJ at 2:49 AM - 4 comments

What Wikipedia Taught Me About My Grandfather

To me Frederic M. Richards was Grandpa Freddy, a jolly man who always wore a silly brown jacket with elbow patches, who delighted in showing me how to spin the lazy Susan at the breakfast table, who insisted I help him move a one-ton rock up his path, who challenged me to fruit-eating contests. To his parents and siblings he was the weird youngest son. To a generation of biophysicists he was, apparently, a defining thinker.
Thanks to Wikipedia and the tireless efforts of one 73 year old volunteer, Ben Lillie discovers his grandfather could've won a Nobel Prize.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:30 AM - 7 comments

November 23

Sunday Reading

On Sundays, The New Inquiry publishes Sunday Reading, a collection of links with minimal context and maximal depth [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:43 PM - 8 comments

16,000 amphetamine-fueled, stream-of-consciousness words

"It was the greatest piece of writing I ever saw, better'n anybody in America, or at least enough to make Melville, Twain, Dreiser, Wolfe, I dunno who, spin in their graves." After reading Neal Cassady's 16,000 word letter, Jack Kerouac threw out his draft of On the Road and started over, in the style he's now famous for. Ginsberg took the letter and lost it. Kerouac thought it had fallen over the side of a house boat. But now the Joan Anderson letter has been found. [more inside]
posted by alms at 9:05 PM - 18 comments

Get me off your fucking mailing list

"Get Me Off Your Fucking Mailing List" is an actual science paper accepted by a journal. Original Source.
posted by 445supermag at 8:23 PM - 34 comments

We're hurting innocent people...but we're helping the economy

"Black Friday", a new flick from the makers of "Daylight Saving"
posted by Renoroc at 8:03 PM - 15 comments

Magical Contamination

Seashells? Distant planets? Beautiful mold.
posted by FirstMateKate at 7:58 PM - 3 comments

Undelicious Donut Holes

Many people have discussed discussed the Bir Tawil trapezoid before, a piece of land unclaimed by either Sudan and Egypt, because both would rather possess the disputed (and more fertile) Hala'ib triangle. [more inside]
posted by ivan ivanych samovar at 7:21 PM - 13 comments

Turkey, Pie, Football, Costumes and Trick-or-Treat! Wait.

Halloween and Thanksgiving are two of the slipperiest holidays in the American tradition. Costumed masquerading and trick-or-treating used to happen on Thanksgiving, while Halloween was mostly devoted to vandalism. As Americans did they best to stamp out the vandalism, they also cleaned up the unruly traditions of Turkey Day, banishing the Thanksgiving Ragamuffins to October. [more inside]
posted by Miko at 6:17 PM - 10 comments

The caudate nucleus

What goes on in the brains of simultaneous interpreters. Miles told me about an agricultural meeting at which delegates discussed frozen bull’s semen; a French interpreter translated this as “matelot congelés”, or ‘deep-frozen sailors’. (via) [more inside]
posted by spamandkimchi at 2:06 PM - 12 comments

So many subtle ways to be human, and so many subtle ways to be wrong.

Tor.com presents Max Gladstone's A Kiss With Teeth, in which an ancient evil settles down and tries out middle-class married life.
posted by The Whelk at 1:29 PM - 30 comments

Shepherded, lovingly but firmly, away from harmful things like airlocks.

Tropical Islands is the mother of all water parks, built inside one of the world's largest buildings, with a separate play area for the kinder while the teens and adults discreetly down their pina coladas or Erdinger weissbiers in the thatch-roofed bars overlooking the beach. It's safe, and clean, and organized and curated and manicured to within an inch of its life. It's got that Malaysian high concept futurist vibe going, combined with German thoroughness and attention to detail, for an experience that's pretty much what you'd expect if Disneyworld opened a park in Singapore, only with fewer dire declarations of death to drug smugglers. It is in short thoroughly enjoyable if you're in Berlin and for some reason decide you want a relaxing tropical beach-side day out in an environment that's barely less artificial than an L5 space colony.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 12:49 PM - 19 comments

No Cure, No Pay

Marine salvage master Captain Nick Sloane is the man to call when your cruise ship or supertanker founders at sea. "Sloane had a six-man team. They found the Ikan Tanda lying broadside to the weather about two miles offshore. It was rolling heavily and was being swept by seas so large that the entire deck was going under, and waves were bursting over the top of the superstructure. The waves were running 14 seconds apart, an interval just large enough to allow each member of the team, in helmet and life vest, to be winched down onto the deck and take cover. They landed on one of the massive cargo hatches, unhooked from the harness, rolled to the edge, and dropped down to the side deck to crouch behind a coaming—the raised steel perimeter around a cargo hatch—just as the next wave swept across."
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:20 PM - 21 comments

They tell us dragons can be beaten: continuing relevance of fairy tales

Neil Gaiman: Why Disney's Sleeping Beauty doesn't work (Gaby Wood for The Guardian):
"I feel like some kind of alchemist," Gaiman suggests. "I have to go to the cupboard and take one ounce of Snow White and two ounces of Sleeping Beauty, and heat the Sleeping Beauty and froth the Snow White and mix them together: it's kind of like fusion cuisine. It tastes like both of them but it's actually a new dish."

Are fairy tales back in fashion? Certainly, the recent success of Disney's films Frozen and Maleficent seems to point to something. But most of the fairy tales we know have come to us via 17th century France or 19th century Germany, and have since been subject to so many retellings and rebellions that trends are difficult to map.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 11:27 AM - 46 comments

Portraits of love and sex in the 21st century

Everybody Sexts is collection of nude images (re-imagined as illustrations) that people sent via their phone, accompanied by the story and reasons why such explicit photos were sent.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:05 AM - 52 comments

Man in black shirt is playing guitar

Deep Visual-Semantic Alignments for Generating Image Descriptions. A model that generates free-form natural language descriptions of image regions. Holy crap.
posted by signal at 10:53 AM - 32 comments

A picture is made of a thousand notes

"Cymatics is the science of visualizing audio frequencies." [more inside]
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:31 AM - 6 comments

"I have decided you are in a goofy state of mind."

"Martha Gellhorn’s pen pals included Eleanor Roosevelt, Maxwell Perkins, H.G. Wells, her husband (later, ex-) Ernest Hemingway, and Peggy Schutze, my maternal grandmother." Author Amy Shearn shares some of the letters her grandmother received from legendary war correspondent Martha Gellhorn with the hope that, "if I studied Martha, the writer who wanted to be a mother, and Peggy, the mother who wanted to be a writer, some golden mean would eventually present itself."
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 9:14 AM - 5 comments

Unpublished Coffee Table Books

Over the years I have taken countless photos perhaps under the deluded belief that if I don’t visually document everything then those very things won’t exist because I have a magic camera and enchanted iPhone. Or maybe because I just like to take pictures. Either way, it has resulted in me having an untold number of images that I have time and time again organized into coffee table books that remain unpublished because of The Man (or because my own publisher wishes to remain profitable).
[more inside]
posted by Lexica at 8:43 AM - 22 comments

Shark Cats, portraits of terror

"It was a normal day when I grabbed my sketchpad and began to doodle. What came out was little scribbles of a horrible little creature: the Shark Cat. The initial design was based on the thresher shark. I found that the short face and extremely large eyes worked well with the cat aesthetic. However, as I kept sketching, I noticed that almost any shark species could be adapted." Shark Cats, portraits of terror, by concept artist/illustrator Brynn Metheney, who has more work on her Instagram account. (Not to be confused with the cat in a shark costume on a Roomba, previously).
posted by filthy light thief at 7:51 AM - 16 comments

Caring for monkeys pays better than caring for children

"Childcare providers’ wage growth was lower than the growth in wages paid to fast food workers. They were consistently in the bottom second or third percentile in salary rankings, sharing that status with parking lot attendants, laundry workers, fast food employees, and bartenders. Perhaps most strikingly, the people who care for our youngest children earn less than those who care for animals in zoos or homes."
posted by COD at 7:03 AM - 49 comments

Marion Barry, former contentious DC mayor, dies at 78.

Marion Barry, former 4-term mayor of Washington DC, has died at the age of 78.
posted by chainsofreedom at 6:35 AM - 56 comments

“I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestations...”

A TALE OF MOMENTUM & INERTIA
posted by jenkinsEar at 5:29 AM - 13 comments

This Kid Just Died [VIDEO]

"Grief porn enters the Facebook era" "And, like regular pornography, the internet has transformed it. Freed from the already relaxed constraints of tabloid journalism, grief porn is no longer obligated to fake newsworthiness or importance. You don't need to die in a particularly tragic way; your death doesn't need to be the occasion for punishment or law-enactment. You just need to have produced consumable, shareable content before your untimely death. Rather than a news angle allowing a writer to smuggle grief porn into a paper, a grief-porn angle allows a content creator to smuggle a shareable unit onto Facebook." An interesting essay by Kelly Conaboy, ironically on Gawker.
posted by HuronBob at 4:10 AM - 64 comments

Dangerous days

For whom the bell tolls: accidental deaths in Tudor England
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:42 AM - 35 comments

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