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July 22

Last week, a 43 year-old man named Eric Garner died during an arrest on Staten Island, New York, when he was put in what looked like a choke hold. The NYPD claims that Mr. Garner was selling illegally cigarettes outside a store. The entire encounter, which was videotaped and posted to YouTube, (graphic) has so far resulted in the removal of the badge and gun from the arresting officers, as well as the suspension of two EMTs and two paramedics who were seen on another video taking Garner's pulse but apparently doing little else for about two minutes. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:56 AM - 30 comments

"...With China’s growing economic weight, disposable income and willingness to engage internationally, its ability to radically transform the fortunes of small countries has seen many governments re-orientate their diplomatic endeavors away from traditional bases in the West.
"But with so few resources available to them, and so little political capital to bank on, these lonely diplomats face a struggle against limited budgets as they scrap for crumbs from the giant’s table."
posted by frimble at 3:47 AM - 1 comment

July 21

Michael Kors has been causing a bit of a sensation in the fashion world recently, as the popularity of the designer's handbags, and in particular, one handbag—called "the Selma"—threatens to dethrone Coach as the luxury brand to buy (some say it already has). The Guardian notes that in the Kors line of handbags, "The details are right: the gold studs on the base, a practical touch so that you can rest the bag on the floor; a printed silk lining; a phone pocket. But the most important detail is very, very simple: the magic £300 price tag." Obsessions and the internet go hand in hand, so here are some of the best reviews of Selma handbags from bloggers who want to share their knowledge with other handbag enthusiasts. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 10:17 PM - 145 comments

The grandeurs and intimacies of nature will, I hope, encourage the spectator to seek for himself the inexhaustible sources of beauty in the natural world around him. Fortunate is he indeed who can see Mount McKinley against the summer midnight sky.... From a 1962 documentary about the photography of Ansel Adams produced by THIRTEEN/WNET. [more inside]
posted by MoonOrb at 9:27 PM - 1 comment

In 1915, dissatisfied with the many competing designs for rural mailboxes, the US Post Office Department decided to specify its own box. The result, designed by postal engineer Roy Joroleman, was the iconic tunnel mailbox. Unpatented and easily manufacturable, it would be become ubiquitous along America's roadsides and would often serve as a blank canvas for homeowners' artistic expression. [more inside]
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 8:23 PM - 40 comments

Teddy Gray's Sweet Factory is a short and sweet documentary by Martin Parr about a traditionally owned and run confectionery factory in the British Midlands. [via kottke]
posted by carter at 8:18 PM - 15 comments

Kacy Catanzaro is 5 feet tall and weighs 100 pounds and she is a total badass. The former Towson University gymnast recently became the first woman to qualify for the finals of American Ninja Warrior. Esquire has an after event interview. [more inside]
posted by cwest at 8:00 PM - 72 comments

Margaret Wise Brown willed the copyright to 'Goodnight Moon' to a friend's young son. Did she ruin his life? [more inside]
posted by bq at 7:46 PM - 11 comments

"The United Nations approves of the criminalization of narcotics. But the World Health Organization, a branch of the UN, apparently disagrees. The Economist has flagged a report on prevention and treatment for HIV in groups most likely to contract the disease. In the report, the WHO quietly recommends decriminalizing drugs — specifically, injectable drugs that spread HIV." [more inside]
posted by bookman117 at 7:20 PM - 12 comments

150 pounds, 35 miles, 4 eggs, dozens of cargo bicycles, and one skateboard trailer [more inside]
posted by aniola at 6:45 PM - 21 comments

Slate's article on the photojournalist Brenda Ann Kenneally's Upstate Girls project article sparks huge internet backlash. Brenda spent ten years documenting the lives of five women in Troy through photography. Slate published an article about the project and then the Facebook comments rolled in. For perspective, take a look at the interview with Brenda about the project and New York Times original showcase of the project.
posted by ichimunki at 6:17 PM - 50 comments

Seven crazy ‘Harry Potter’ theories we wish had come true This week marks the seven-year anniversary of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. To celebrate, we pick out the seven best fan theories that never came true.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:59 PM - 38 comments

OBVIOUSLY ANGULAR PETRIFICATION BENEATH CHARLOTTETOWN. TWO SCABS. OVAL WITH PLATO. These are...the emoji of the future. (Maybe.) Library of Emoji [via mefi projects] randomly generates descriptions for the Unicode characters we never knew we wanted.
posted by capricorn at 5:51 PM - 6 comments

i believe you | it's not your fault. The "What are we doing here?" post explains the origin: [more inside]
posted by Lexica at 4:41 PM - 8 comments

The Decline of Harper Lee: [Vulture] The iconic 88-year-old author is involved in [another] messy tussle over a new biography. Does this mean she'll never tell her own story? [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 4:40 PM - 12 comments

Alien viruses from outer space and the great Archaeopteryx forgery [more inside]
posted by brundlefly at 3:43 PM - 13 comments

On July 21th, 1969 Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin waited within paper thin walls on the surface of the Moon. Hours ago they had made history by being the first humans to land and walk on its surface. Now the only thing left to do was take off. All that entailed was performing the final test of the Lunar Module: launching from the lunar surface with no on-site support or possibility of fixes if something failed. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:57 PM - 57 comments

Three albums filled with hundreds of pictures of Pripyat and Chernobyl before and after the disaster.
posted by ilama at 2:53 PM - 8 comments

15 Main Title Sequences From Quinn Martin TV Shows. [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A at 1:44 PM - 14 comments

Defense of the Ancients is a MOBA (what's a MOBA? | comprehensive history of MOBAs) that has skyrocketed in recent years from a humble Warcraft multiplayer mod to a genre-defining megahit whose worldwide competitive bracket The International (whose finale airs tonight) boasts a prize pool of more than $10 million dollars. While publisher Valve is determined to help mainstream the esports craze with helpful noob newcomer-friendly broadcasts of the final and a simulcast on ESPN, the community has been dogged by accusations of hostility and a very steep learning curve. Luckily, you don't have to know anything about DOTA to enjoy the best thing to come out of it so far: 45 minutes of witheringly sarcastic in-game meta-commentary [playable transcript] in the dulcet tones of Kevan Brighting, the very charming (and very British) narrator of beloved metagame The Stanley Parable. Once you're finished with that delightful deconstruction of esport tropes, you might also enjoy perusing similar announcer packs for Portal's GLaDOS, Bastion's Rucks, and... a pirate. DIGITAL SPORTS!
posted by Rhaomi at 12:36 PM - 44 comments

Columbo - that much loved TV show - might be the latest candidate for a Hollywood remake - confirmed by its proposed star Mark Ruffalo on twitter. The Guardian argues that this is an inherently poor idea. Meanwhile Empire says "this is a project that every right-thinking human being would like to see happen". [more inside]
posted by Chipeaux at 11:48 AM - 182 comments

Today, The New Yorker announces a redesign, temporary free access to their archives for all web visitors, and a soon-to-be implemented paywall, modelled on that of The New York Times. The New Yorker website--which now publishes 15 original stories a day--has been steadily expanding their offerings (and increasing their traffic) under online editor Nicholas Thompson. Perhaps TNY seeks to finally answer the question: what's an old magazine to do on the internet? Capital NY digs into the history of the relaunch and how striving for timeliness on the web may affect the publication. Others maintain that a remaining problem is Andy Borowitz, whose vague satire accounted for 6% of traffic to the website last year.
posted by youarenothere at 11:27 AM - 43 comments

Stories are waves: My daughter insists that Bilbo Baggins is a girl and I'm her willing conspirator in updating the classics for our times [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:53 AM - 46 comments

"What role then does the amateur image-maker play in a pre-made consumer reality? If people are allowed to make their own versions of Transformers, will they be able to veer from that script, or will they just feed the corporate giant?" Renowned video essayist Kevin B. Lee's latest work, Transformers: The Premake, uses amateur behind-the-scenes footage found on Youtube to investigate the phenomenon of the contemporary global blockbuster. [more inside]
posted by Awkward Philip at 10:44 AM - 2 comments

"Let me see if I can find a cutlass," says Tracey Williams, poking around some large rocks on Perran Sands with a stick.

She doesn't manage that, but does spot a gleaming white, pristine daisy on the beach in Perranporth, Cornwall. The flower looks good for its age, seeing as it is 17 years old.
Seventeen years after being swept overboard, one container full of Lego pieces still regularly spills its treasure on a Cornish beach. That sounds cute but it points at a hidden world of oceanic currents and the threat of plastic and its durability to the ocean's health.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:25 AM - 21 comments

Film Muffler is a stop motion animation knitted into a scarf. [via]
posted by jacquilynne at 9:48 AM - 15 comments

The nightclub insurer promised to fight for its clients — its promotional material shows a man socked in the face with a boxing glove. But founder Jeffrey B. Cohen fights everything. He went after competitors, clients, former employees and even neighbors, filing dozens of lawsuits around the country. The Reisterstown man once sought a restraining order to keep a rival company from attending an adult industry convention.
posted by josher71 at 8:23 AM - 13 comments

Hyperkin's Retron 5 hardware plays real cartridges using original controllers from a variety of 8-bit and 16-bit consoles (including the NES, SNES, Sega Master System, Sega Genesis, and Game Boy Advance), converts the output to HDMI for moderns TVs, and includes all the advanced options you usually only find in software emulators. It's winning over even the most skeptical retro gamers.
posted by 256 at 8:01 AM - 46 comments

If you like cheap groceries and live in Massachusetts, you may have noticed this weekend that the shelves were bare at Market Basket. Employees of the company staged a walkout on Friday to show their support for Arthur T. Demoulas, the company's recently ousted president. Many people have questioned the sudden change in management. [more inside]
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 6:17 AM - 77 comments

19 U.S. Maps that Will Blow your Mind Or, um, not. If you love beautiful infodata, you'll really something this.
posted by Mchelly at 6:04 AM - 66 comments

Carlos Slim calls for a three-day working week "We've got it all wrong, says Carlos Slim, the Mexican telecoms tycoon and world's second-richest man: we should be working only three days a week." also btw: The four-day work week (previously)
posted by kliuless at 5:32 AM - 83 comments

Hot on the heels of his mindblowing mashup extravaganza Mouth Sounds (prev. on MeFi), resident internet demiurge Neil Cicierega (also prev.) has released a "prequel" album: MOUTH SILENCE. [more inside]
posted by Strange Interlude at 3:56 AM - 30 comments

July 20

John Faherty tells his story of undergoing a pancreas transplant in a bid to cure his type-1 diabetes. [more inside]
posted by soelo at 9:14 PM - 33 comments

Here's a song I didn't know existed until summer 2007, when Lemon Jelly's Fred Deakin released an impeccably curated three-CD mix (full 4 hours on Mixcloud). Halfway through the first disc, the music slipped into an easy, loping groove, sunburned and hungover, and a regretful voice offered Otis Blackwell's lonesome lyric: "You know I can be found/ Sitting home all alone …" [Billy Swan's version of "Don't Be Cruel" is] a beautiful record, though, and utterly different from Elvis's 1956 recording. And it opens a fantastic collection of country funk songs, collected and remastered by Zach Cowie of Light in the Attic Records. More sounds below the break. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:13 PM - 24 comments

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has called for changing the admissions criteria of NYC's elite high schools, arguing that relying solely on a single exam (the SHSAT) "creates a “rich-get-richer” dynamic that benefits the wealthy, who can afford expensive test prep. However, the reality is just the opposite. It’s not affluent whites, but rather the city’s burgeoning population of Asian-American immigrants — a group that, despite its successes, remains disproportionately poor and working-class — whose children have aced the exam in overwhelming numbers." [more inside]
posted by gemutlichkeit at 9:05 PM - 73 comments

Dave's Classic Limousines is dedicated to documenting Limousines prior to the Super-Stretch era and features pictures and descriptions of Custom Coachworks cars and one offs (home built and commercial) plus a page devoted to presidential limos. [more inside]
posted by Mitheral at 8:21 PM - 13 comments

Test Pattern: Downscaling 2997fps 10Min. Reviews are streaming in for Test Pattern: Downscaling 2997fps. Test Pattern: Downscaling 2997fps. Test Pattern: Downscaling 2997fps. Test Pattern: Downscaling 2997fps. Satisfied viewers are saying "Not as good as the book" but still a "A start to finish THRILL RIDE!" and "Deeply. Riveting". It's currently the most popular Netlix movie on Instant Watcher and destined to be a classic.
posted by four panels at 8:16 PM - 20 comments

Touching the Art "Ovation’s newest digital series tackles the contemporary art world’s least favorite subject – art. Host Casey Jane Ellison asks her panel of insiders all the dumb questions, so you don’t have to." [more inside]
posted by danabanana at 7:43 PM - 4 comments

Organic Lawn Care for the Cheap and Lazy : What it says on the tin.
posted by bq at 7:35 PM - 42 comments

101 Useful Websites is "a frequently updated list of lesser-known but wonderful websites and cool web apps. Here are some of the most useful websites on the internet that you may not know about. These web sites, well most of them, solve at least one problem really well and they all have simple web addresses (URLs) that you can memorize thus saving you a trip to Google." [more inside]
posted by flex at 6:39 PM - 14 comments

“San Francisco's Fire Department is one of the few left in the United States that still uses wooden ladders. Each is made by hand at a dedicated workshop. Some have been in rotation for nearly a century.” [more inside]
posted by rtha at 6:11 PM - 24 comments

Kali couldn’t hold her gaze. Her eyes rolled back into her head. She had an appointment for 3 p.m., but around noon, Traci called her husband, Joseph. “I got her in, but I don’t know if she’s going to make it that long.” This is the story of how Kali Hardig became the third known survivor of the naegleria fowleri amoeba.
posted by threeants at 6:02 PM - 24 comments

"Julia is a high-level, high-performance dynamic programming language for technical computing." The language is elegant (homoiconic, multiple-dispatch, consistent and extensible type system), but with easy-to-learn syntax. The standard library includes a wide array of fast and useful functions, and the number of useful packages is growing. [more inside]
posted by vogon_poet at 5:48 PM - 25 comments

Could Mario Kart 8 be the Bullet Bill that propels Nintendo's Wii U from its slump? Outstanding reviews, a free game with purchase, plus the Luigi stare of death meme, helped make MK8 the best-selling game in June and boosted Wii U sales tremendously. An arcade version - featuring Fusion Carts - is forthcoming.

Hop over to MetaTalk and share your Nintendo Network ID. [more inside]
posted by porn in the woods at 4:54 PM - 53 comments

Bringing Wes home.
How Sound is a podcast on radio storytelling on Public Radio Exchange that focuses on the story behind the radio story, and this episode is called "Bringing Wes home". I'd recommend listening to it cold with no more information than that, but if you'd like to know a bit more, the episode description is below the fold. [more inside]
posted by Lexica at 4:39 PM - 2 comments

You Were Made for Loneliness is a Twine text adventure by Tsukareta that explores the idea of love in different situations. Since it's release back in June reviews have been overall positive. [more inside]
posted by chrono_rabbit at 3:53 PM - 8 comments

"Bubble Bobble was the first game I ever played in the arcades and it pretty much decided what my career was going to be." 300 sprites of various characters in the style of Taito's Bubble Bobble. By the always-fantastic pixel artist Paul Robertson. (previously on mefi: Pirate Baby's Cabana Battle Street Fight 2006, Kings of Power 4 Billion%)
posted by Greg Nog at 3:23 PM - 31 comments

The Real Castaway (2001; 48:13) is a tense and awkward but sometimes beautiful documentary about a teenage boy moving to the Ulithi Atoll and seeking companionship to fulfill a romantic fantasy. [Via.]
posted by Monsieur Caution at 3:03 PM - 3 comments

Person Swap (SLYT) This is one of those "awareness test" things but done more with more of the flare of a magician's trick. There are a lot of interesting details in how they pulled it off. [more inside]
posted by Michele in California at 2:19 PM - 24 comments

A team of geologists and geophysicists have imaged the path of a Pacific Northwest volcano's molten rock, from the subducting slab to the upper crust. [more inside]
posted by Secretariat at 1:32 PM - 18 comments

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