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Stink-eye? Or bored-eye? More like bird-eye: the shoebill's steady gaze

"A few days ago, my son, Lucas, and I took the train to Prague for his school break. Usually, when I visit a city, my first port of call is whatever passes for a botanical garden but when he told me that Prague’s zoo contained not only giant salamanders but also two pairs of shoebills, I could not resist the temptation..." (John Burnside's essay in The New Statesman.) [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Nov 20, 2014 - 4 comments

honoring the men and women whose photographs helped shape his career

MALKOVICH, MALKOVICH, MALKOVICH: HOMAGE TO PHOTOGRAPHIC MASTERS by Sandro
posted by davidstandaford on Sep 21, 2014 - 9 comments

If you're 50, please, buy a painting.

John Waters: Subversive Success When I was young there were beatniks. Hippies. Punks. Gangsters. Now you're a hacktivist. Which I would probably be if I was 20. Shuttin' down MasterCard. But there's no look to that lifestyle! Besides just wearing a bad outfit with bad posture. Has WikiLeaks caused a look? No! I'm mad about that. If your kid comes out of the bedroom and says he just shut down the government, it seems to me he should at least have an outfit for that.
posted by KokuRyu on Jan 10, 2014 - 61 comments

"The story of Grizzly Adams is big and powerful. Beautiful!"

"Now, my friend Adams was accused of a crime he didn't commit, so he escaped into the mountains, leaving behind the only life that he ever knew." In 1977, three years after the popular movie The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams introduced the story of John "Grizzly" Adams to the public, a TV show of the same name premiered. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 8, 2013 - 45 comments

“This is historic legislation, and it’s time to right this wrong.”

Yesterday, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley signed Senate Bill 97, the Scottsboro Boys Act allowing for posthumous pardons. Bentley has said he wanted to close a chapter of state history. The Scottsboro case led to a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision against excluding Blacks from juries. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Apr 12, 2013 - 7 comments

A relentless curiosity and desire to move beyond

The World According to John Coltrane is a one-hour documentary, featuring lots of music footage and interviews with prominent jazz musicians such as Wayne Shorter, Tommy Flanagan and many others. It's an excellent primer on the enormously influential saxophonist's life and music.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Apr 6, 2013 - 12 comments

Noisey British Masters

Noisey's feature British Masters features interviews by John Doran with Bryan Ferry, Luke Haines, Gary Newman, and Johnny Marr, thus far.
posted by juiceCake on Feb 21, 2013 - 9 comments

Shit. What? Rollers. No. Yeah. Shit.

The pitch was simple: “John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Blues Brothers, how about it?” But the film became a nightmare for Universal Pictures, wildly off schedule and over budget, its fate hanging on the amount of cocaine Belushi consumed. Soul Men: The Making of The Blues Brothers.
posted by Frayed Knot on Dec 27, 2012 - 135 comments

Sex, Drugs, Murder and Media: John McAfee's Golden Years

John McAfee [recent previously], eccentric Silicon Valley mogul and creator of a McAfee antivirus software, lowered his taxes by relocating to Belize a few years ago. But his expatriate neighbor Gregory Faull was not a fan McAfee's dogs, prostitutes and partying. After Faull was shot to death last month Belize police named McAfee a "person of interest" in the case. McAfee went on the lam and invited Vice Magazine to join him, which must've seemed like a good idea at the time. McAfee was soon arrested and has since been fighting extradition back to Belize from a Guatemalan jail. McAfee said yesterday he just wants to return to a "normal life" in the U.S.
posted by nowhere man on Dec 10, 2012 - 70 comments

Otzi was More Neanderthal than You

Ötzi the Iceman died around 3,300 B.C., yet his body was preserved frozen in the Alps until 1991. DNA sequencing of Neandertals (who died out about 35,000 years ago) suggests modern humans with ancestry outside of Africa carry a few percent of Neandertal genes due to interbreeding. Now (in a blog post knocking down a re-interpretation of the Neandertal DNA evidence) paleontologist John Hawks previews an upcoming publication of his examining Ötzi's DNA::
If we took as a baseline that Europeans have an average of 3.5 percent Neandertal, Ötzi would have around 5.5 percent (again, the actual percentage would be highly model-dependent). He has substantially greater sharing with Neandertals than any other recent person we have ever examined.
Previously (Ötzi), Previously (Neandertals)
posted by Schmucko on Aug 18, 2012 - 48 comments

The "Unstoppable Gay Jew"

In 1971, "decades before any state had seriously considered legalizing gay marriage, long before anyone had thought of creating—never mind repealing—a policy called “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” before Reagan, before AIDS, before the American Psychiatric Association determined that homosexuality was not a mental illness, and before half the people currently living in America were even born, a man named John Singer stepped into the King County marriage license office in Seattle." Meet Faygele ben Miriam, the radical activist who pioneered the fight for same-sex marriage in Washington State, 41 years ago. Via.
posted by zarq on Jun 7, 2012 - 16 comments

It's good to be curious

Garden of Your Mind: Mister Rogers Remixed
posted by jacquilynne on Jun 7, 2012 - 57 comments

A Strange Light In The Sky

In the wee morning hours of September 20th, 1961, Betty and Barney Hill drove down New Hampshire's Route 3, through the Franconia Notch, and into the UFO history books. Five years later, John G. Fuller's account of their story, The Interrupted Journey, became the most well known alien abduction case of all time. Fuller's book was adapted into a made-for-TV movie in 1975. The book and movie brought the "Greys" into the public consciousness as the quintessential UFO occupants, although it has been alleged by skeptics that the Greys themselves were inspired by an episode of the TV show The Outer Limits. Last year, the state of New Hampshire erected a historical marker at the site of the alleged abduction. Skeptics and believers have been debating the case for decades now. Interestingly, a UFO enthusiast named John Oswald published an account in 1980 that claimed "Mrs. Hill was unable to 'distinguish between a landed UFO and a streetlight'", which even included a photo of said streetlight. It was not until 2007 that a science fiction writer who lives in the area where the "abduction" took place published an article which reveals the real "UFO" and puts forward a plausible explanation. [more inside]
posted by smoothvirus on May 3, 2012 - 32 comments

it rocks

If you want to hear the rock solidest, rock steadiest, rock of Gibralterist rock drumming that's ever been rocked in the history of rock, then you want to hear this.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Apr 24, 2012 - 57 comments

Creativity is not a talent, it is a way of operating.

John Cleese on creativity.
posted by Lord_Pall on Apr 9, 2012 - 13 comments

What is wrong with you? Does god hate you or something? Has he not taught you how to love?

"It was hot as blazes as we tore through the south side, pulling up at lights all the people laughing at the white kids doing their little dance in the car." John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats performs 'The Sign,' by Ace of Base, interspersed with a story about the song and hand-signal dancing.
posted by kaibutsu on Mar 17, 2012 - 29 comments

A New Twist in the Sad Saga of Little Albert

A relatively new twist in the sad saga of Little Albert is challenging the traditional understanding of the already troublingly unethical classical experiment. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Feb 19, 2012 - 28 comments

Dolly Parton's Other Voice

Dolly Parton is two amazing singers. You've already heard her unforgettable voice at normal speed. But as John Oswald and others show, slowed down, it becomes something hauntingly lovely.
posted by Mchelly on Jan 31, 2012 - 71 comments

Austraaaaalia

Austraaaaaalia, Melbourne, kangaroos, didgeridoo, Austraaaaaalia, Olivia Newton John, Paul Hogan, Mel Gibson.
posted by signal on Dec 31, 2011 - 23 comments

Left-Handed Toons

Here is Left-Handed Toons (By Right-Handed People), a weekdaily webcomic drawn by two guys, Justin and Drew, using their "off" hands, and with their "off" brains.  They have a lot of series.  Here's some highlight strips.
posted by JHarris on Dec 29, 2011 - 13 comments

A trombone to pick

When script guru John August, writer of films such as Big Fish and Go, posted a fairly casual post advocating teaching children piano and guitar over certain woodwind instruments, the response was fairly heated and resulted in Mr. August putting his blog on a comment holiday.
posted by smithsmith on Dec 12, 2011 - 106 comments

RIP Baron

John Neville, best known for an array of theatre roles, with legions of fans for his portrayal of Baron Munchausen in Terry Gilliam's movie and "the well-manicured man" in the X-Files, has died.
posted by Mike D on Nov 21, 2011 - 67 comments

That is all

That is all. We hear from the deranged millionaire once again.
posted by zuhl on Oct 26, 2011 - 48 comments

Happy Birthday, Mr. Hooker!

Happy birthday John Lee Hooker! Let's celebrate by listening to some of your older tunes! "Gonna take you down by the riverside, gonna tie your hands, gonna tie your feet, got the mad man blues" ... "Now the war is over, and I'm broke and I ain't got a dime" ... "You know I'm a crawling king snake, baby, and I rule my nest" ... "Gonna get up in the mornin', goin' down highway 51" ... "Well I rolled and I tumbled, babe, I cried the whole night long" ... "I feel so good, let me do the boogaloo"
posted by flapjax at midnite on Aug 22, 2011 - 19 comments

just some blokes singing some songs

Here come old flat top, coming down fast, standing by a parking meter, oh what joy, I'll never do you no harm, and you're working for no one but me. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Aug 1, 2011 - 22 comments

WWJQD, or What Would John Quiñones Do?

At Norma's cafe in Farmers Branch Texas the results of the Primetime show "What would you do?" brings tears to the eyes of its actors [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on May 28, 2011 - 59 comments

John Cazale

I Knew It Was You: Before his tragically early death from lung cancer at the age of 42, John Cazale acted in only five films -- The Godfather, The Conversation, The Godfather Part Two, Dog Day Afternoon, and The Deer Hunter -- and each was nominated for Best Picture. Yet today most people don't even know his name. I KNEW IT WAS YOU is a fresh tour through his movies which helped define a generation. With Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro, Gene Hackman, Francis Ford Coppola, Sydney Lumet and Steve Buscemi. (documentary, 39mins)
posted by puny human on May 17, 2011 - 25 comments

The Who Live in 1965

The Who in 1965. They are featured in a French documentary on the Mods. You can skip ahead to the Who live songs if you are not in the mood to watch the whole documentary.

From Google Translate: "Discover the new English youth in the district of Hammersmith, London suburbs and particularly the movement "mods" or "Modern", new dandies, mavericks ouvrier.Les interviews from rural youth about drugs, Police headquarters, politics, racism, society in general, alternate with concert footage of WHO on a small stage in London. Interview in French Kit Lambert, manager of the WHO, about Teddy Boys movement, rockers, mods."
posted by zzazazz on Dec 11, 2010 - 9 comments

Spirit of Love

Let's dust off our turntable, and the hash pipe and break out the C.O.B., which is Clive's Own Band, Clive being Clive Palmer, one of the founders of The Incredible String Band, who left after the success of their first album, took his money, and left England to live in alone in India. Later, in the early seventies, living off porridge and crackers in a caravan with Mick Bennett and John Bidwell, he released two 'progressive folk' albums, Spirit of Love and Moyshe McStiff and the Tartan Lancers of the Sacred Heart, which some have called the best folk albums to have ever come out of Britain. Produced with Ralph McTell.
posted by puny human on Oct 8, 2010 - 12 comments

Cold Wave

So where would you go looking if you wanted to find the deepest and sickest cold wave synth-beats of all? Then I think we would have to look all the way back to John Bender, avant-garde synth pioneer, who released three seminal albums in the early '80s and then just disappeared, forever. What else sounds this fantastic, and has that addictive, computerized, lo-fi ice beat? Maybe Ultravox, and the frosty, hollow majesty of Hiroshima Mon Amour. Or Soviet with Candy Girl, or Lori and the Chameleons and Touch
posted by puny human on Sep 2, 2010 - 12 comments

The Disappearance of John Lurie

"For friends and fans of John Lurie, there’s a disturbing article in the current issue of The New Yorker. The title of the piece is Sleeping With Weapons (sadly, abstract only for non-subscribers) and it's a strange and sad tale. John has been in hiding for the past 18 months to avoid a former friend who is supposedly stalking him. In addition, he has a mysterious illness that kept him a virtual prisoner in his apartment for six years." [more inside]
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates on Aug 18, 2010 - 61 comments

Patmos on my mind

Who's that writing? [MLYT] [more inside]
posted by chaff on Jun 26, 2010 - 10 comments

The Wizard of Westwood has passed

John Wooden has passed away at the age of 99. Did he teach you how to put on your socks and shoes? Some say he got a lot of things wrong. But he had a boatload of achievements. There was the Pyramid of Success. The Seven-Point Creed. And he was married to his beloved Nell for 53 years, and after her death in 1985, he still wrote her a love letter every month and set it on her side of the bed. [more inside]
posted by Cool Papa Bell on Jun 4, 2010 - 37 comments

The Front Fell Off

The Front Fell Off [more inside]
posted by HumanComplex on May 29, 2010 - 30 comments

Ok, you guys are dead to me.

Life imitates art.
posted by Christ, what an asshole on May 4, 2010 - 26 comments

John Baez's Favorite Numbers

My Favorite Numbers by John Baez
posted by vostok on Apr 22, 2010 - 24 comments

Video Shows Maryland Police Beating Student

Video of University of Maryland student John McKenna being punched, kicked, and beaten with clubs by Prince George's County police. McKenna was charged with disorderly conduct and assaulting a police officer; the police report claims that he had punched the officers and their horses, and that his injuries were due to being kicked by the horses. The video shows otherwise.
posted by Optimus Chyme on Apr 16, 2010 - 121 comments

John Strype's Survey of London (1720)

LONDON, the Metropolis and Glory of the Kingdom, was anciently the Seat of the British Empire; and since, stiled commonly, the Royal Chamber of our Kings. The Kings Chamber, the Heart of the Commonwealth, and a Short Draught of the whole Kingdom: As it was once described by Sir Edward Coke, sometime Recorder of this City. It may boast it self to be the largest in Extent, and the fairest built, the most Populous, and best inhabited (and that by a Civil, Rich and Sober People) of any in the World. And for a general Trade throughout the Universe, all other must give her the Precedence. [more inside]
posted by ClanvidHorse on Apr 3, 2010 - 6 comments

Gory & Defeated? Never!

It's getting close to Christmas, and for many people that involves putting a train set running around the tree. Seasonal displays of elaborate layouts are popular as well this time of year. One man had the ultimate train set. [more inside]
posted by pjern on Dec 20, 2009 - 21 comments

100 miles from the middle of nowhere...then take a left another 40 miles or so....

A 47 year old NYC photographer says to hell with it. He takes his 10 thousand dollars or so and buys a spot of land. You are miles and miles from anywhere. John Wells wants to build something for himself and inspire others. John has built the Field Lab and invites all who are interested to explore the idea of living off the grid... that is to use only the power you produce and eat what you grow. He has gotten a little attention...but for the most part has stayed out of the spotlight. You can follow his day to day blog and live a little vicariously. Note: If you want a tour...show up with a six pack or something. Its a long drive to town and he will forever be your friend.
posted by shockingbluamp on Nov 29, 2009 - 38 comments

the psychedelic hoodoo gonna getchoo...

Just ease on into one of the most laid-back grooves to ever weave its way through a New Orleans junkyard, and join the procession as the estimable Dr. John is led through the rusting automobiles on a mule. After that, you'll be ready to enter the Inner Sanctum of Deep Mystic Hoodoo, with the good Doctor as your intoning, night tripping guide through the Zu Zu Mamou hallucinations. You won't be the same, afterwards...
posted by flapjax at midnite on Nov 27, 2009 - 22 comments

Danke schön

Writer, director, producer John Hughes has passed away. Responsible for hilarious Vacations, quirky boyfriends, Ferris' Day Off, a young boy being left Home Alone and the Shermer IL multiverse. If you liked films in the 80s, you liked John Hughes.
posted by crossoverman on Aug 6, 2009 - 234 comments

Smells Like Sloop John B

"Smells Like Sloop John B", a mashup of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and the Beach Boys' "Sloop John B".
posted by rageagainsttherobots on Apr 20, 2009 - 35 comments

Waiting for the CTA

It's harder to be more obscure and unheralded than John Henry Timmis IV. He barely even tried to sell his own music, almost always giving copies away of his impossibly rare loner-punk 45's. Dieing in 2002, almost 15 years after his last single, from complications resulting from alcoholism, after suffering from the degenerative ear/skull disease mastoiditis-- his potential hardly tapped... until now. Film buffs may know him as the director/producer of the longest movie ever made, The Cure for Insomnia staring Lee Groban reading his same titled 4,080 page poem spliced with porn and heavy metal, clocking in at 87 hours. Virtually unknown until the song "Death Trip" appeared on an obscure bootleg punk compilation Staring Down the Barrel. Interest peaked enough for Plastic Crimewave's Secret History of Chicago Music article to have a write up on him and Drag City/Galactic Zoo to reissue his forgotten masterpiece, Cosmic Lighting. [more inside]
posted by wcfields on Mar 17, 2009 - 7 comments

He's a nice, quiet, peace-loving man, come home to Ireland to forget his troubles.

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Now watch the greatest fight in movie history (SLYT).
posted by Cool Papa Bell on Mar 17, 2009 - 27 comments

Kind of Blue turns 50

As jazz fans know, fifty years ago on March 2, 1959, Miles Davis, Bill Evans, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, Paul Chambers and Jimmy Cobb met at the Columbia 30th Street Studios in NYC for the first session of Miles new album, Kind of Blue. (Link goes to the 50th anniversary collector's box set edition page at amazon.) It was the touchstone for many other future recordings bearing its mighty influence and it fostered several high profile careers, and a new modal sound for jazz. Kind of Blue went on to be certified platinum, selling 4 million records, the most ever for a jazz album. Bill Evans had left the band in late 1958, but was called back by Miles for the sessions, which included his new pianist Wynton Kelly on one track only, Freddie Freeloader. The tunes they did that day, "So What", "Blue in Green" (written by Evans, though credited to Miles) and "Freeloader" all became standards as did "All Blues" from the April session. Documentaries and entire books have been written on this one album alone. The phenomenon lives on. (previously on AskMeFi, but just on Trane and Miles.)
posted by Seekerofsplendor on Mar 3, 2009 - 71 comments

Reform School Boys and Girls

John Pfaff. Five Myths about Prison Growth.
posted by wittgenstein on Feb 21, 2009 - 36 comments

May you never lay your head down without a hand to hold.

John Martyn: 11th September 1948 - 29th January 2009
posted by Kiwi on Jan 29, 2009 - 35 comments

What else is there besides matters of taste?

It's almost as good as being at John Ashbery's home (bio) and there's more, including a preliminary inventory of his library* (search for "inventories" or scroll down). Ashbery's poetry is still very much invested in the reader's pleasure—more so than many supposedly "approachable" poets. You can hear him read his poems (more), watch him (here's -transcript- a brief taste and a half-hour video) or read a few of his poems. [more inside]
posted by ersatz on Jan 28, 2009 - 20 comments

Black Gold

When the modern oil industry began 150 years ago, many speculators moved into Northwestern Pennsylvania. Among them was John Wilkes Booth, who walked off the stage and onto the oil fields in an attempt to increase his fortunes with the Dramatic Oil Company. [more inside]
posted by hoppytoad on Jan 10, 2009 - 4 comments

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