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"something like a sense of despair often took hold of me"

The Colour of Our Shame: 3 AM Magazine interviews Chris Lebron [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Sep 29, 2014 - 2 comments

No children are born hating

"No matter who you are, or where you come from, or what you look like, or what God you pray to, or who you love, there is something fundamental that we all share."

Obama delivers one of the most humanist, powerful, and intellectual speeches to the United Nations.
posted by four panels on Sep 24, 2014 - 118 comments

Hole in the Border

Moving the Mexican Border
The whole point of setting the border between Mexico and the United States at the deepest channel of the Rio Grande was that the river was not supposed to move. That was the thinking in 1848 [...]
[more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia on Sep 21, 2014 - 8 comments

I.P. Freely

What happened to pay toilets in the USA? In the early 1900s, when railroads connected America’s biggest cities with rural outposts, train stations were sometimes the only place in town with modern plumbing. To keep locals from freely using the bathrooms, railroad companies installed locks on the stall doors—only to be unlocked by railroad employees for ticketed passengers. Eventually, coin-operated locks were introduced, making the practice both more convenient and more profitable. Pay toilets then sprung up in the nation’s airports, bus stations, and highway rest stops. By 1970, America had over 50,000 pay toilets. By 1980, there were almost none.
posted by modernnomad on Sep 17, 2014 - 98 comments

Reconciling the Second Amendment with Public Safety Concerns

Gun Wars: the struggle over gun rights and regulation in America, in the aftermath of the Newtown school shootings and the ongoing congressional stalemate over federal gun legislation. An investigative report from "29 students from 16 journalism schools, as well as an experienced staff of editors" for Carnegie-Knight News21. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 11, 2014 - 62 comments

United Sweets of America

If every state had an official dessert, what would it be? (SLSlate)
posted by Metroid Baby on Sep 8, 2014 - 182 comments

The Original Tea Partier Was an Atheist

Politico: "Young called his creed 'the religion of nature' and 'the religion of nature’s God.' And he made abundantly clear that, in his own mind, this radical philosophical religion was the axis on which the Revolution turned. For him, the project to free the American people from the yoke of King George III was part of a grander project to liberate the world from the ghostly tyranny of supernatural religion." [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Sep 2, 2014 - 26 comments

It presumably refers to either a kind of sofa or a kind of birth control

The Upshot asked: Where are the hardest places to live in the U.S.? (A bit more on the ranking.) Now, given continuing economic divergence (previously): What do the two Americas search for?
posted by psoas on Aug 19, 2014 - 42 comments

You've Been 'Mingoed!

A company in Tennessee will, for a small fee, cover someone's lawn with pink flamingos for one day.
posted by The Whelk on Aug 17, 2014 - 51 comments

"Don’t shoot me"

Why Did Michael Brown Die in Ferguson? - According to the police of Fergusson, Missouri it was because he reached for an officer's weapon, necessitating that he be shot multiple times as he ran away empty handed. Eyewitness tell a different story. Whatever happened the killing has prompted demonstrations and looting. Ferguson police responded in full force, firing teargas and wooden rounds into crowds of protestors and sealing the area off from the media. In the wake of the tragedy questions of racial profiling, the paramilitarization of police and media depictions of black shooting victims have been raised. Meanwhile the shooter has not been named to preserve his safety.
posted by Artw on Aug 12, 2014 - 3381 comments

Bill of Mights

“Republicans always saw libertarians as nice to have around in case they wanted to score some weed, and we always knew where there was a party. And for a while it made sense to bunk up with them. But after a while, it would be like, ‘So if we agree on limited government, how about opening the borders?’ No, that’s crazy. ‘How about legalizing drugs? How about giving gays equal rights?’ No, come on, be serious. And so I thought, There’s nothing in this for me.”

From Silicon Valley technologists to NYU postgrads, the ‘Libertarian Moment’ may have finally arrived.
posted by four panels on Aug 7, 2014 - 323 comments

"...this is a charity that's supposed to be helping the troops."

ProPublica reports: Pro-Troop Charity Misleads Donors While Lining Political Consultants' Pockets. [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu on Aug 6, 2014 - 47 comments

It's a truth universally recognized that you have no game

How to pick up genteel women in the 18th Century according to period guides.
posted by The Whelk on Aug 2, 2014 - 17 comments

Too many brewers hopped on the craft bandwagon

The highway, however, is getting mighty crowded. Hundreds of different beers debut weekly, creating a scrum of session IPAs, spiced witbiers, and barrel-aged stouts scuffling for shelf space. For consumers, the situation is doubly confusing. How can you pick a pint on a 100-brew tap list? Moreover, beer shops are chockablock with pale this and imperial that, each one boasting a different hop pun.
America has too many craft brewers.
posted by MartinWisse on Aug 1, 2014 - 241 comments

The Not So United States of Infographics

One of the more ubiquitous formats for "infographics" these days is the U.S.A. Map Comparing Individual States and promoting interstate rivalries. After all, wherever you live in the U.S. of A., you need bragging rights for something, right?

Recently, Business Insider featured "27 Maps That Explain America" including ones that compared each state's percentage of residents with passports, most overrepresented job in every state, percentage of each state's population with a 4-year degree, number of billionaires in each state, number of Starbucks locations in each state, states' stances on climate change (judged by Think Progress), fast food consumption and exercise frequency (detail in a weird format here and here), and cavities per capita.

But Business Insider is certainly not the only site 'mapping the states'... [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop on Aug 1, 2014 - 29 comments

Veto bunnies

Who uses their veto in the UN Security Council the most, and what for?
posted by tavegyl on Jul 31, 2014 - 16 comments

From Above

How the US Stumbled into the Drone Era [WSJ] As ubiquitous as Predators, Reapers, Global Hawks and their ilk may now seem, the U.S. actually stumbled into the drone era. Washington got into the business of using drones for counterterrorism well before 9/11—not out of any steely strategic design or master plan but out of bureaucratic frustration, bickering and a series of only half-intentional decisions.
posted by modernnomad on Jul 29, 2014 - 6 comments

Cardboard Stories

Rethink Homelessness asked a bunch of homeless people from Orlando to write down something about themselves that people who walk by them wouldn't otherwise know.
posted by gman on Jul 23, 2014 - 44 comments

HD Available

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 on Jul 20, 2014 - 20 comments

Well, that settles that.

Tip The Pizza Guy is the most exhustive, detailed, old-school website about Tipping and Pizza Delivery I have ever seen. (last seen in 2001 and still being updated.)
posted by The Whelk on Jul 19, 2014 - 59 comments

The Ghetto Is Public Policy

Ta-Nehisi Coates writes in The Atlantic:The Effects of Housing Segregation on Black Wealth. As the wealth gap widens between whites and blacks in America, and after reading this list and this list, he concludes The Ghetto Is Public Policy. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jul 12, 2014 - 31 comments

www.pranksters.gop

The Republican Party began selling new web domains ending in .gop today at www.join.gop. Public interest has definitely been sparked, but perhaps not for the reasons Republicans have hoped. [more inside]
posted by porn in the woods on Jul 8, 2014 - 213 comments

I get all steamed up

I love your poise
Of perfect thighs
When they hold me
in paradise ...
If I had you today, I’d kiss and
fondle you into my arms and
hold you there until you said
‘Warren, oh, Warren’

Warren G. Harding, perhaps the worst chief executive in U.S. history, was a poet to longtime mistress and possible German spy Carrie Fulton Phillips.
posted by four panels on Jul 7, 2014 - 48 comments

Rolling Coal: Everything Else About It Is Pretty Good

Slate: "Prius Repellent is a perfect introduction to one of the Obama era’s great conservative subcultures: the men and women who “roll coal.” For as little as $500, anyone with a diesel truck and a dream can install a smoke stack and the equipment that lets a driver “trick the engine” into needing more fuel. The result is a burst of black smoke that doubles as a political or cultural statement—a protest against the EPA, a ritual shaming of hybrid “rice burners,” and a stellar source of truck memes." [more inside]
posted by porn in the woods on Jul 6, 2014 - 134 comments

Happy birthday, Joe Bell

World War II veteran Joe Bell — who gained internet fame when a video of runners shaking his hand went viral — was honored as grand marshal in the San Jose 4th of July Parade yesterday; he led the parade in a motorcycle sidecar driven by his son, Matt. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jul 5, 2014 - 2 comments

"Free markets killed capitalism," Or really, the other way around.

Monopoly is back: Barry Lynn on the concentration of American economic power — and how we can restore fairness. Highlights: [more inside]
posted by cthuljew on Jun 30, 2014 - 47 comments

2014 FIFA World Cup: From the Round of 16 to the Winner

With the completion of the group stages, three quarters of the matches in the 2014 FIFA World Cup have been played. Now, it's a straight round-by-round elimination for the remaining 16 teams in their quest to reach the final. There's been biting, alternative commentary, mood swings, (allegedly) sulky England players, exciting matches, the USA vs Ronaldo, Europeans taking early return flights, deep analysis, a fantasy league and many goals - but who will finally lift the trophy in Rio's Estádio do Maracanã on Sunday 13th July? [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Jun 26, 2014 - 1838 comments

Reggie Watts Joins Peter Serafinowicz For His World Cup Broadcasting

"And looks like an almost goal. If that whole goal system would have been moved over maybe thirty more feet, we would have been looking at a goal." -- MeFi favorite Reggie Watts (previously) doing World Cup commentary alongside MeFi favorite Peter Serafinowicz (previously) on his Mixlr account, where Serafinowicz has been providing comedic commentary for the games for the last week. [via]
posted by Room 641-A on Jun 26, 2014 - 16 comments

Garbage Everywhere

What refuse in India's streets reveals about America’s hidden trash problem
posted by infini on Jun 22, 2014 - 43 comments

If you can only watch one soccer game...

Today at 6 PM Eastern, the United States plays Portugal in the World Cup. The United States has never been very successful in World Cup soccer (football), but it has come close. The United States shocked the world by coming in third in 1930 and again by defeating England in 1950. In 2002, the U.S. had an upset against Portugal, but could it happen again? Playing for Portugal is Cristiano Ronaldo, possibly the best player in the world, whose fancy footwork is legendary.
posted by twoleftfeet on Jun 22, 2014 - 352 comments

It's last call to do your shopping at the last mall

The Guardian on the decline of America's shopping malls. "Dying shopping malls are speckled across the United States, often in middle-class suburbs wrestling with socioeconomic shifts. Some, like Rolling Acres, have already succumbed. Estimates on the share that might close or be repurposed in coming decades range from 15 to 50%. Americans are returning downtown; online shopping is taking a 6% bite out of brick-and-mortar sales; and to many iPhone-clutching, city-dwelling and frequently jobless young people, the culture that spawned satire like Mallrats seems increasingly dated, even cartoonish.

The trend is especially noticeable in the Midwest, a former blue-collar bastion where ailing malls have begun dotting suburban landscapes. Outside of Chicago, Lakehurst Mall was levelled in 2004 and the half-vacant Lincoln Mall is costing its host village millions in botched redevelopment plans. Dixie Square Mall sat vacant for more than 30 years after serving as the backdrop for the iconic chase scene in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers. It was finally demolished in 2012. Many others will similarly lie dormant as they wait for the wrecking ball."
posted by porn in the woods on Jun 19, 2014 - 181 comments

Give it 30 years and the overstuffed chair becomes hip and high brow...

Spread from a 1949 issue of LIFE magazine charts what is low-brow, high-brow and inbetween
posted by The Whelk on Jun 14, 2014 - 185 comments

The Honey Makers

F.D.R 's New Deal explained to the public via cartoons, shorts, and newsreels
posted by The Whelk on Jun 12, 2014 - 7 comments

"Just because we have the best hammer"

Presdient Obama gave a speech (video, transcript) at the United States Military Academy last month that outlined American foreign policy.
Reaction has been mixed. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 10, 2014 - 57 comments

War Gear Flows to Police Departments

In the Indianapolis suburbs, officers said they needed a mine-resistant vehicle to protect against a possible attack by veterans returning from war. A look at the redistribution of surplus tools of combat to state and local law enforcement. (SL NYT)
posted by porn in the woods on Jun 9, 2014 - 128 comments

“Before I came to America, I didn’t know I was black.”

To be gay, Christian and black in Harlem West African asylum seekers face a new kind of discrimination in the US
posted by infini on Jun 7, 2014 - 7 comments

Following The Beautiful Game In The USA

"It was the dark ages of American soccer, with the United States preparing to host a World Cup for a sport that its public had virtually no common appreciation for. Since the collapse of the North American Soccer League in the 1980s, the country didn’t even have a professional top division – Major League Soccer was a mere glimmer in Doug Logan’s eye. It was a time when the notion that airing football matches in the US could be a viable, lucrative endeavour received “zero respect”, in Keane’s words, from broadcasters. Burdened by extortionate broadcasting agreements with pay-per-view carriers, Keane would often record European matches for diehard fans who had no idea which teams won over the weekend."
posted by marienbad on Jun 5, 2014 - 21 comments

like greyhounds in the slips

Why Men Love War. "What people can't understand is how much fun Vietnam was. I loved it. I loved it, and I can't tell anybody."
posted by four panels on May 24, 2014 - 97 comments

Illustration Is Story-Telling

Longtime veteran courtroom sketch artist Gary Myrick gives us a look inside his profession.
posted by gman on May 22, 2014 - 5 comments

The Brewstorian

"With over 200 breweries, Oregon is often considered the craft beer capital of America. Beer geeks and casual drinkers across the country can also thank the state’s farmers for their brews: hops, the essential ingredient that gives beer its bitter flavor, is a rare crop throughout the U.S. but not in Oregon. Last year, Oregon State University established the Oregon Hops & Brewing Archives (OHBA), the first archive in the U.S., dedicated to preserving and telling the intertwined story of hop and beer production and the craft brewing movement. They're posting materials from their collection to Tumblr, Flickr and Zotero.
posted by zarq on May 20, 2014 - 31 comments

GI Tufte

Military infographics are completely insane -- An analysis of some of the baffling infographics that the US military have made public on the web for some reason.
posted by schmod on May 15, 2014 - 59 comments

The third-most spoken language in the U.S. overall? Chinese.

What language does your state speak?
posted by and they trembled before her fury on May 14, 2014 - 119 comments

The eyes of Texas are upon you

The Gold Standard in Executions.
For two years now, Texas has used a single drug, the barbiturate pentobarbital, instead of the three-drug regimen used in neighboring Oklahoma. Prison administrators from other states often travel to Texas to learn how it performs lethal injections and to observe executions. Texas officials have provided guidance and, on at least a few occasions, carried out executions for other states.
posted by four panels on May 12, 2014 - 101 comments

Is Miss Manners available?

Zizek, Slavoj. "Who can control the post-superpower capitalist world order?" The Guardian.
posted by ultraversetransit on May 9, 2014 - 17 comments

Be it resolved state surveillance is a legitimate defence of our freedom

Alan Dershowitz and Michael Hayden (for); Glenn Greenwald and Alexis Ohanian against. Tonight. “I consider him and Alan Dershowitz” – the two men Mr. Greenwald, 47, will face at Friday’s Munk Debates – “two of the most pernicious human beings on the planet. I find them morally offensive. There’s an element of hypocrisy to being in the same room with them, treating them as if I have outward respect, because I don’t.” [more inside]
posted by whyareyouatriangle on May 2, 2014 - 282 comments

Anthem of Dystopian America

Following in the footsteps of other songs switching up minor keys and major keys, Chase Holfelder's Star-Spangled Banner in minor key is particularly haunting.
posted by divabat on Apr 30, 2014 - 75 comments

Harmonized data sets with varying sample sizes....

The American Middle Class Is No Longer the World’s Richest. The American middle class, long the most affluent in the world, has lost that distinction. Comparing income by country. About the data.
posted by blue_beetle on Apr 23, 2014 - 38 comments

New York joins the National Popular Vote

The US is a little closer to a popular vote for president. Governor Cuomo added New York State to the National Popular Vote interstate compact. [more inside]
posted by So You're Saying These Are Pants? on Apr 18, 2014 - 61 comments

Suicide, drugs, sex and other dangers of rock and/or roll

How Americans Die - a visual tour through surprising trends in mortality among Americans in the last several decades
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Apr 17, 2014 - 58 comments

Resegregation in the American South

The most recent story in ProPublica's Living Apart: Examining America's Racial Divide series is "Segregation Now," which focuses on the Tuscaloosa, Alabama, city school district "and its fleeting experience with the challenges and virtues of integration." But beyond Tuscaloosa, "almost everywhere in the United States, the gains of integration have been eroded. And nowhere has that been more powerfully and disturbingly true than in the South – once home to both the worst of segregation and the greatest triumphs of integration. Freed from the federal oversight that produced integration, schools districts across the 11 former states of the Confederacy have effectively re-instituted segregation for large numbers of black students, in practical terms if not in law." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 17, 2014 - 90 comments

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