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Obama was faltering in a way his closest advisers had never witnessed.

Excerpts from the upcoming book "Double Down", Obama's tension-filled debate preparation following his poor performance in Denver [more inside]
posted by warm_planet on Nov 2, 2013 - 107 comments

Trader Lost Millions Betting on Romney

A new academic paper digging into presidential betting in the final weeks of the 2012 election finds that a single trader lost between $4 million and $7 million placing a flurry of Intrade bets on Mitt Romney—perhaps to make the Republican nominee’s chance of victory appear brighter.
[more inside]
posted by Elementary Penguin on Sep 24, 2013 - 104 comments

Landsat Annual Timelapse 1984-2012

Explore different views into this global timelapse built from global, annual composites of Landsat satellite images. Watch change across the planet's surface beginning as early as 1984. See Vegas grow! Rainforests Shrink! Coastlines expand, and lakes vanish!
posted by The Whelk on May 10, 2013 - 22 comments

DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN

Respected polling firm Gallup had a disastrous 2012, with a final presidential poll showing Romney 49-48 over Obama, some five points off of the final result. So what exactly went wrong?
posted by Chrysostom on Mar 12, 2013 - 85 comments

Atari VCS (2600) Demo 2012

Atari VCS Demo 2012 - Liquid Candy by Noice [slyt] VCS or 2600? Ah, who cares about nomenclature, just enjoy. If anyone knows how the heck this is done on a VCS, please comment.
posted by marienbad on Feb 20, 2013 - 30 comments

2012 in 366 seconds

James Bernal took one second clips every day of 2012 and created a 366 second video of context-free goodness. [a similar previously] [via]
posted by quin on Jan 17, 2013 - 28 comments

It's not all doom and gloom

Tom Spurgeon lists fifty positive comics news stories that happened in 2012.
posted by MartinWisse on Jan 3, 2013 - 45 comments

64 Photos by 64 Photographers

64 Photos by 64 Photographers From Booooooom. Here are 64 photos by 64 photographers that I came across in 2012. These photos weren’t all produced this year, I just encountered them at some point in the last 12 months. Enjoy.
posted by OmieWise on Jan 2, 2013 - 23 comments

What do a cake, a runner, a rainbow and a kalashnikov have in common

10 Contested African Images of 2012
posted by litleozy on Dec 31, 2012 - 32 comments

'Cause Tonight We're Going To Party Like It's 12-20-12 ...Again!

2012 in 4 minutes [SLYT] [more inside]
posted by Mike Mongo on Dec 30, 2012 - 30 comments

iTunes Music Festival

For the 2012 iTunes Music Festival, 65 acts (including P!nk, One Direction, David Guetta , Jessie J, OneRepublic, Ellie Goulding, Andrea Bocelli, Matchbox Twenty, Muse and many others) performed at the Roundhouse in London throughout the month of September. 40 performances are available in full online. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 29, 2012 - 9 comments

Wikipedia in 2012

A list of the most viewed articles on Wikipedia in 2012 from many of the site's main languages. [more inside]
posted by Winnemac on Dec 29, 2012 - 56 comments

Kindness killed, just as surely as the huntsman's knife

Seven For A Secret - an anonymous fanfic author creates seven unhappy ( or at least, unconventional ) endings for Disney Princesses by placing them in proper historical, mythological, or thematic context.
posted by The Whelk on Dec 27, 2012 - 53 comments

Oh shit, the Mayans! The Mayans!

Miss Peppermint sums up some highlights of 2012, in the style of Azealia Banks, with some obscenities for good measure.
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 20, 2012 - 16 comments

The Things You Should Have Already Experienced On The Internet

List Of The Things You Should Have Already Experienced On The Internet Greg Rutter does it again with his “Definitive List Of The Things You Should Have Already Experienced On The Internet In 2012 Unless You’re A Loser His other two previous lists can be found here and here. Always an entertaining way to burn an afternoon or two.
posted by hubs on Dec 20, 2012 - 90 comments

"Shine Brighter"

DJ Earworm has released his annual "United State of Pop" mashup of the year's 25 most popular songs according to Billboard's charts: Shine Brighter. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 20, 2012 - 39 comments

End-of-year lists are fingerprints

Year-End Lists: 2012 Albums | 2012 Songs | 2012 Movies | 2012 Books [more inside]
posted by carsonb on Dec 19, 2012 - 63 comments

Her finger got stuck where, now?

The 25 funniest AutoCorrects of 2012, from Damn You, AutoCorrect (previously)
posted by Clustercuss on Dec 19, 2012 - 112 comments

Baby Brosteps Towards The Elevator

"This year, two monumental genres with decidedly global pedigrees arrived on our shores and attempted to crack the American pop code, with one enjoying far more decisive success than the other...One of those is definitely sexier and zeitgeistier than the other, but that doesn't always result in sustained cultural relevance."
K-Pop, EDM, and Baby Brosteps Toward a More Global Pop Landscape
posted by mannequito on Dec 18, 2012 - 33 comments

Rah, rah

Could 2012 have been the greatest year in the history of the world? Steven Pinker makes the case in this week's Spectator.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars on Dec 16, 2012 - 64 comments

He was dead all along.

Filmography 2012 [more inside]
posted by blue_beetle on Dec 16, 2012 - 6 comments

The Best of Times, The Worst of TImes

Released today: the top Google searches of 2012. Also, the top Google searches in the UK. Hungry for more "Best of 2012" collections? Curious about "best of" versus "most popular"? There's much [more inside]
posted by misha on Dec 11, 2012 - 21 comments

Next year it will start around Halloween.

From the Atlantic's In Focus:2012: The Year in Pictures [more inside]
posted by OmieWise on Dec 4, 2012 - 69 comments

Increasing the emotional energy of inanimate objects

Brain Pickings presents the Best Design Books of 2012. Because you weren't really going to get anything done today anyway, right? [more inside]
posted by davidjmcgee on Dec 2, 2012 - 14 comments

The Royal Society Winton Prize 2012

The Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Writing 2012 has been announced. James Gleick has won for his book The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood. The shortlist is also available with Chapter 1 of each book downloadable as a PDF.
posted by shimmerbug on Nov 27, 2012 - 5 comments

Nothing much happens, until it does.

This is a very very boring indoor climbing video, until 1'24" anyway.
posted by unSane on Nov 22, 2012 - 22 comments

"Used to be that the idea was 'once every two years voters elected their representatives.' And now instead it's 'every ten years the representatives choose their constituents.'"

Obama won Ohio by two points, and Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown won by five, but Democrats emerged with just four of Ohio’s 16 House seats. In Wisconsin, Obama prevailed by seven points, and Democratic Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin by five, but their party finished with just three of the state’s eight House seats. In Virginia, Obama and Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine were clear victors, but Democrats won just three of the commonwealth’s 11 House seats. In Florida, Obama eked out a victory and Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson won by 13 points, but Democrats will hold only 10 of the Sunshine State’s 27 House seats. The Revenge of 2010: How gerrymandering saved the congressional Republican majority, undermined Obama's mandate, set the terms of the sequestration fight, and locked Democrats out of the House for the next decade. It's not a new problem. But if the Supreme Court guts the Voting Rights Act, it could get a whole lot worse. And the electoral college may be next. (What's gerrymandering, you ask? Let the animals explain. Meet the Gerry-mander. Peruse the abused. Catch the movie. Or just play the game. Previously.)
posted by Rhaomi on Nov 14, 2012 - 137 comments

WILD MASS GUESSING

The Futurist Magazine along with The World Future Society predicts the future with a list of the top trends and forecasts for 2013 and beyond.
posted by The Whelk on Nov 9, 2012 - 53 comments

Sasha Issenberg: the new science of winning campaigns

A Vast Left-Wing Competency: "How Democrats became the party of effective campaigning — and why the GOP isn’t catching up anytime soon." Sasha Issenberg, author of The Victory Lab, has been writing a series of posts on Slate that focus on different aspects of "the new science of winning campaigns". [more inside]
posted by flex on Nov 8, 2012 - 103 comments

56% of self-described moderates voted for Obama

Exit polls for the 2012 presidential election (CNN). The most likely bottom line from AP: "Overall, 53 percent had a favorable opinion of Obama, while only 47 percent felt that way about Romney. And 53 percent felt Obama was more in touch with people like them than Romney was." Initial reactions among the disappointed.
posted by Brian B. on Nov 8, 2012 - 512 comments

¿Sí Se Puede?

The November 6th elections saw a lot of historic decisions made in the United States -- the first black president re-elected, marijuana legalized for the first time in two states, gay marriage affirmed by the voters in four, and even the first openly gay senator. But perhaps the most underreported result yesterday came from outside the country altogether: in the commonwealth of Puerto Rico, a solid majority voted to reject the island's current status and join America as the long-fabled 51st state. How the bid might fare in Congress is an open question, but both President Obama and Republican leaders have vowed support for the statehood movement if it proves successful at the ballot box (while D.C. officials ponder a two-fer gambit to grease the wheels). Though it would be the poorest state, joining the Union might bring economic benefits to both sides [PDF]. And politically, some argue the island might prove to be a reliably red state, despite the Hispanic population, although arch-conservative governor and Romney ally Luis Fortuño appears headed toward a narrow loss. But the most important question here, as always, is: how to redesign the flag? (Puerto Rican statehood discussed previously.)
posted by Rhaomi on Nov 7, 2012 - 108 comments

Convince me. Convince me. Convince me.

Charlie Pierce is a longtime sportswriter and author who has, among other things, reported for Grantland, Slate, and the Boston Globe, paneled on more than a few games of Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!, and fished diapers out of trees as a state forest ranger. He's also made a name for himself as one of the sharpest and most incisive political columnists since Molly Ivins. The lead writer for Esquire's Politics Blog ever since a caustic article on former Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell cost him his Globe job, Pierce has churned out an uninterrupted stream of clever, colorful, and challenging commentary on the 2012 election season and its implications for the nation's future, dispatches often seething with eviscerative anger but shot through with deep love of (or perhaps grief for) country. Look inside for a selection of Pierce's most vital works for some edifying Election Eve reading. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Nov 5, 2012 - 73 comments

John Cusack was unavailable for comment.

It's Not the End of the World: What the Ancient Maya Tell Us About 2012. The Foundation for Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies (FAMSI, previously) has a series of in-depth & visually rich presentations on Mesoamerican creation myths, concepts of time, and calendrics related to the up-coming (non)apocalypse. [more inside]
posted by Panjandrum on Nov 2, 2012 - 27 comments

The progressive case against Obama

"A few days ago, I participated in a debate with the legendary Daniel Ellsberg on the merits of the Obama administration, and what progressives should do on Election Day. Ellsberg had written a blog post arguing that, though Obama deserves tremendous criticism, voters in swing states ought to vote for him, lest they operate as dupes for a far more malevolent Republican Party. This attitude is relatively pervasive among Democrats, and it deserves a genuine response."
Matt Stoller lays out a progressive case for why one should not vote for Barack Obama for reelection, even if you are in a swing state.
posted by ennui.bz on Oct 27, 2012 - 447 comments

Meet Jim and Steve

Eight Families Fighting For the Right to Get Married (Single Link Buzzfeed)
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Oct 23, 2012 - 12 comments

Obama and Romney battle it out, rap style

President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney will have the final debate of the US Presidential race tonight. Yawning at the thought of a formulaic back and forth, while secretly hoping for a rap battle? Then look beneath the fold for examples of explicit lyrical parodies. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Oct 22, 2012 - 4475 comments

So who are you voting for in the erection?

Uncle Obama's Banana by Sister Deborah
posted by KokuRyu on Oct 14, 2012 - 50 comments

Is poverty a kind of robbery?

Is poverty a kind of robbery?
posted by deathpanels on Sep 16, 2012 - 138 comments

South Wales, and Beyond the Infinite

What I wrote was unquestionably fiction — was fantasy. Among Others has magic and fairies. But I was writing fantasy about a science fiction reader who had a lot of the same things happen to her that happened to me. It’s set at the end of 1979 and the beginning of 1980, and it’s about a fifteen year old just when I was fifteen, and from a family like mine and in the time and place and context where I was. I was using a lot of my own experience and memories. But this is Mori, not me, and she lives in a world where magic is real. Jo Walton, who as editor for tor.com revisisted the Hugos 1953-2000, now has one of her own, taking home the 2012 Best Novel Award for Among Others. Other winners include Kij Johnson for her Novella The Man who Bridged the Mist (excerpt) and io9 regular Charlie Jane Anders for her novellete Six Months, Three Days. The Best Graphic Story award went to the webcomic Digger by Ursula Vernon. E Lily Yu took home the Bets New Writer award (technically not a Hugo) and was also nominated for her short story The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees. A couple of TV shows you have heard of also got awards. Links to many of the nominated stories here.
posted by Artw on Sep 3, 2012 - 51 comments

"...the 2012 campaign still looks like a titanic collision between the economy and demography."

In 2008, the National Journal released The Hidden History of the American Electorate, an analysis of exit poll demographics conducted by multiple news organizations from US presidential elections between 1988 and 2004. The study looked for "pressure points in the electorate": trends which were likely to decide the outcome of the 2008 presidential election. They've released an update for 2012, by adding exit poll results from the 1980, 1984, and 2008 presidential elections. It gives a more comprehensive look at voting trends over a 32 year period of the groups whom they believe are likely to influence the outcome in November. Charts: Voting Preferences of the American Electorate, 1980-2008
posted by zarq on Sep 3, 2012 - 54 comments

Common Ground

The Most Intriguing New Global Architecture Ideas You've Never Heard Of [more inside]
posted by infini on Sep 2, 2012 - 7 comments

The beginning of tyranny.

Last year, The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU's Law School released a report (pdf) detailing new, more restrictive state laws that affect voting rights and are likely to impact the outcome of the 2012 elections. The restrictions "fall most heavily on young, minority, and low-income voters, as well as on voters with disabilities." On August 3rd, 2012, they updated their analysis with a pdf of passed and pending State government legislation. Their conclusion: after a century in which the United States "expanded the franchise and knocked down myriad barriers to full electoral participation... that momentum [has] abruptly shifted." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 17, 2012 - 47 comments

Kenyan record-winning distance runners trained by Irish missionary

Team Ireland is celebrating its first gold medal at London 2012, thanks to boxer Katie Taylor, but the Irish also had an unlikely part to play in another, very special Olympic victory on Thursday. Kenyan middle-distance runner David Rudisha joins notable alumni from Saint Patrick's High School, a 500-student boy's school started by Irish missionaries in 1963, in Iten, a town in Kenya. Brother Colm O'Connell, though no longer teaching at the school, is still a highly regarded coach in one of the world’s great running capitals. The school plants a tree in honor of record-making alumni, though some of the more recent alumni are getting shrubs, to save space. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 11, 2012 - 7 comments

Paul Ryan as Romney's running-mate

Paul Ryan. Seven-term congressman for Wisconsin's 1st District. Chairman of the powerful House Budget Committee. Architect of the controversial Ryan Budget -- a "Path to Prosperity" [PDF - video - CBO] that would slash trillions from the federal budget, sharply curtail taxes on the wealthy, and transform Medicare into a private voucher system. Proponent (vid) -- and renouncer -- of Ayn Rand 's Objectivism. Social Security beneficiary. Hunter. Weinermobile driver. And as of this morning, the 2012 Republican candidate for Vice President of the United States of America. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Aug 11, 2012 - 1550 comments

Ohio voting turmoil. Again.

As a consequence of the 2008 election, Ohio Republicans cut early voting back for the upcoming election from 35 days to 11 days, with the three days right before the election eliminated. Now, they've gone even further. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Aug 10, 2012 - 92 comments

If it weren't for those medaling kids...

Here's a nifty realtime Olympic medal tracker that allows you to sort by rank, country, total, gold, silver, and bronze medals. Too obvious for you? There are plenty of alternatives: medals per capita ; medals by GDP per capita; number of athletes and billions of dollars GDP per medal (2008); and a discussion of alternative rankings with a sortable rankings table. There is also a booming business in predictions that take into account GDP per capita, population size, and other factors: FT; BBC. [more inside]
posted by googly on Jul 31, 2012 - 23 comments

Humans: Be Interested

There's been a lot of talk about the snarls and snafus preceding this year's games. But even as the training is winding down and the athletes are pouring into the Village, there's still plenty of interesting stuff going at this year's Olympics. Like, have you heard about the Olympian without a country? (He's not the first independent athlete to compete.) Or that almost all the US swim team gets themselves ritually tattooed with the Olympic rings? Or that a California girl is one of Saudi Arabia's two female competitors? Or that Caster Semenya (previously 1,2) will be South Africa's flag bearer? Or that Nur Suryani Mohamed Taibi may be the first Olympic athlete to have to worry that a kick from her unborn child may put her out of the medal running?
The Christian Science Monitor has been highlighting athletes who's struggled to get to the games, including Behdad Salimi, who'll have to prove he's the strongest man in the world to bear Iran's lone medal hopes, Hiroshi Hoketsu, who's competing in his third Olympics this go round --- second since he retired from his desk job, and Gladys Tejeda, who grew up in a family of subsistence farmers in an Andean village so remote she hadn't even heard of the Olympics until her family got a TV --- in 2007. London will be her third marathon. Of course, there's another class of competitors whose fight to get to the games was a little more literal: This is the first year for women's boxing.... [more inside]
posted by Diablevert on Jul 24, 2012 - 66 comments

The games began with piles of whitened bones, and horses' heads, and the skulls of men nailed to trees.

Boris Johnson's Olympic welcome. [YouTube]
posted by hot soup girl on Jul 24, 2012 - 67 comments

The Corporate Olympics

On Friday, Baron Sebastian Coe, the conservative politician, former athlete, and Nike board member who is chair of LOCOG (the London Organizing Committee) for the 2012 games, ignited a furor when he said anyone wearing a Pepsi T-shirt is likely to be "booted out" because it would upset Coca-Cola, who is an official sponsor. [more inside]
posted by CheeseDigestsAll on Jul 21, 2012 - 79 comments

Not like the Queen, but like John Hurt

"We thought we were hosts like the queen is at a posh garden party, when actually we're hosts in the way that John Hurt is in Alien." As the Olympics approach, the scandals, inconveniences, mistakes and problems keep mounting, ranging from the frustrating through the comic to the tragic. For your appreciation, a picture of the London Olympics 2012. [more inside]
posted by outlier on Jul 16, 2012 - 300 comments

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