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Peak Suburbia

Peak Suburbia.
posted by chunking express on Jun 26, 2007 - 82 comments

DEVO Lives

On the cusp of DEVO's first tour of Europe since 1990, it's become clear that, though largely cast aside after their 1980 hit "Whip It", DEVO's influence is finally being felt on modern audiences, around the world. DEVO has inspired tribute bands, some traditional, some not. They've also spawned new bands, domestic [MySpace link], and Foreign like Japan's POLYSICS [YouTube], and Germany's Mutate Now [YouTube]. With musical inspiration like this, can't we forgive such missteps as Devo 2.0?
posted by SansPoint on Jun 15, 2007 - 55 comments

Deja View: Historic landscape "rephotos" (1800s, 1970s, 1990s)

The Third View project is a fascinating presentation of "rephotographs" of over 100 historic landscape sites in the American West that presents original 19th-century survey photographs, photographed again in the 1970s, then once again in the '90s - from the original vantage points, under similar lighting conditions, at (roughly) the same time of day and year. [Flash, and you'll probably need to allow pop-ups; a little more info inside...]
posted by taz on Jun 15, 2007 - 13 comments

"They wuz stupid..."

Australian TV show The Chaser recently went to New York and asked some American citizens what date the September 11 attacks occurred on. Here are some of their answers.
posted by Effigy2000 on Jun 14, 2007 - 134 comments

Biggest worm threat

Australia is home to the biggest worm in the world, the Giant Gippsland Earthworm - Megascolides australis. The next biggest is the Giant Palouse Earthworm - Driloleirus americanus from Oregon. Both [Gippsland, Palouse] are only classed as vulnerable in the threatened category of the IUCN Red List, simply because they are hard to count. This is despite the extreme measures taken to save some and to try and just find a live specimen of others.
posted by tellurian on Jun 13, 2007 - 25 comments

That’s what this is all about, the “New World Order”.

In 2008 Elect “Independent” Don Cordell For President, of the “United States of America” our, “America the Beautiful” OR, You “will be” “Citizens” of The: UNITED NATION’S, “NEW WORLD ORDER”
posted by brett on Jun 13, 2007 - 57 comments

How to Restore America's Place in the World

Beyond Bush: What the world needs is an open, confident America. An interesting article from Zakaria Fareed.
posted by chunking express on Jun 6, 2007 - 42 comments

Marriage in America: The Frayed Knot

Marriage in America: The Frayed Knot. "As the divorce rate plummets at the top of American society and rises at the bottom, the widening “marriage gap” is breeding inequality."
posted by chunking express on May 25, 2007 - 133 comments

Instructional videos

doFlick.com is a library of educational and instructional videos. It's short on content at the moment but it could turn out to be a useful resource. Who wouldn't benefit from knowing how to fold a plastic bag neatly?
posted by tellurian on May 16, 2007 - 24 comments

Semiwar

The Semiwarriors: By creating an atmosphere of perpetual crisis, Presidents have expanded their powers and hidden their actions from the public eye. A recent essay by retired Army lieutenant Colonel and current Boston University professor of international relations Andrew J. Bacevich, on "semiwar," a term coined after World War II "to promote permanent quasi mobilization as the essential response to permanent global crisis." Bacevich is the author of The New American Militarism, How Americans Are Seduced by War (previously discussed here and here). Tragically, Bacevich's own son, an Army First Lieutenant, was killed on patrol in Iraq two days ago by an IED.
posted by homunculus on May 16, 2007 - 45 comments

Kymaerica

Have you ever come across a plaque commemorating an historical event that seemed well… just a little strange? Maybe it was the Krblin Jihn Kabin (KHS #1) in pCalifornia, Notgeon. Maybe it was the Noizomi in nMichigan, Raalberdus? Welcome to Kymaerica.
posted by tellurian on May 9, 2007 - 26 comments

Death to America

Two podcasts from the BBC. Around the world, by every measure, America's reputation and image has never been so poor. Part 1: Venezuela; Part 2: Turkey
posted by adamvasco on May 9, 2007 - 43 comments

Aptitude Schmaptitude!: innumeracy in America

Aptitude Schmaptitude! While the state of mathematical incompetence in this country has been much lamented, most famously in Paulos's brilliant 1988 book Innumeracy, it is still tacitly accepted . . . Being incompetent in math has become not only acceptable in this widely innumerate culture, it has almost become a matter of pride. No one goes around showing off that he is illiterate, or has no athletic ability, but declarations of innumeracy are constantly made without any embarrassment or shame.
posted by jason's_planet on May 3, 2007 - 140 comments

George on Laura Bush: Carpet matches the curtains.

"As he has before, Bush told the story about how his first presidential decision was to pick a rug for the Oval Office..." In a speech before Ohio High Schoolers and business leaders in a Republican district outside of Dayton, the President made some interesting commentary on marriage, chicken-plucking, polling, his own legacy, comparisons between Iraq and Vietnam, and of course, the rug. Apparently, he loves the rug like Ronald Reagan loved Jelly Beans, talking about it all the time, even on the whitehouse.gov's video tour. Shortly after a President takes office, they make their own imprint on the character of the Oval Office by redecorating, a task usually taken by the First Lady. The rug, designed by Laura Bush is sunshine yellow, as the President stated he wanted the room to convey a sense of optimism, "because you can't make decisions unless you're optimistic that the decisions you make will lead to a better tomorrow." Hopefully the rug doesn't become a bookended anecdote to another Presidential "rising" sun.
posted by rzklkng on Apr 24, 2007 - 58 comments

With friends like this ...

"Hello America!" - a message of greeting from the UK by Pat Condell including some nasty truthiness from good old Europe. [MySpace Video]
posted by homodigitalis on Apr 12, 2007 - 22 comments

Jackie Robinson Day

"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives." - Jackie Robinson

This Sunday April 15, 2007, Major League Baseball celebrates Jackie Robinson Day in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the breaking of baseball's color barrier. For one day, superstars and managers throughout the sport as well as entire teams will be saluting his memory by wearing Robinson's retired number 42. Robinson is honored for his tremendous leadership both on and off the field (previously), he is remembered for his determination in overcoming racial prejudice and hatred, and for his post-career activities as a civil rights advocate. Perhaps the highest compliment is to say simply that Jackie Robinson was one of the greatest players to ever grace a baseball diamond, but his contribution to baseball, and to equality in America was far greater than statistics and pennants.

"Mr. Rickey, do you want a ballplayer who is afraid to fight back?" "I want a ballplayer with guts enough not to fight back!" See The Jackie Robinson Story, starring the man himself. (1:16:29, Google video)
posted by edverb on Apr 9, 2007 - 20 comments

Vibraphone Orchestra

Vibraphone Orchestra
posted by phrontist on Apr 8, 2007 - 18 comments

Mandingo Party

[NSFW] “[T]onight's orgy is fairly typical. . . . Within an hour or so, the guests—23 white couples and 3 black couples—have arrived, all of them here specifically to have sex with single black men often a decade or two their junior. There are 12 such men in the house tonight. They call themselves Mandingos. And this is a Mandingo party.
posted by jason's_planet on Mar 31, 2007 - 250 comments

A different view of Iraq, and America.

Sami Rasouli is an Iraqi-American who was born in Najaf . He left Iraq in the late 70's to teach, first to the UAE, and then to Germany. In 1986, he moved to the US, where he eventually opened Sinbad's, a successful restaurant. In late 2003, he went back to Iraq after learning his mother had died. Upon his return to the US, he could not stop thinking about the country he left, and the state it was in, so in 2004, he sold his restaurant and moved back. There, he founded the Muslim Peacemakers Team, based closely off of the Christian Peacemakers Team (and in fact was a friend of Tom Fox). He currently lives in Iraq, although comes back to visit the US every year or so, to raise awareness, visit friends, and to share news about what is really going on in Iraq. [Links to Articles, E-mails, and Interviews inside.]
posted by wander on Mar 14, 2007 - 7 comments

"SeaWorld bespeaks the essence of Orlando, a place whose specialty is detaching experience from context, extracting form from substance, and then selling tickets to it."

"All over Orlando you see forces at work that are changing America from Fairbanks to Little Rock. This, truly, is a 21st-century paradigm: It is growth built on consumption, not production; a society founded not on natural resources, but upon the dissipation of capital accumulated elsewhere; a place of infinite possibilities, somehow held together, to the extent it is held together at all, by a shared recognition of highway signs, brand names, TV shows, and personalities, rather than any shared history. Nowhere else is the juxtaposition of what America actually is and the conventional idea of what America should be more vivid and revealing."

"Welcome to the theme-park nation." [more inside]
posted by wander on Mar 2, 2007 - 61 comments

Unmarked planes and Hidden Geographies

An interesting project from the latest Vectors Journal. "Legend has it that Paglen, who has been called the Fox Mulder of cultural geography, was personally instrumental in provoking the military to extend the perimeter around Area 51 by several miles in an attempt to thwart one of his counter-surveillance efforts" [via]
posted by tellurian on Feb 16, 2007 - 5 comments

But is it jazz?

Jazz '71-'89 Dave Douglas posed the challenge: “Is there a writer who can take on the project of an unbiased overview of music since the end of the Vietnam War?” The Bad Plus answered (though not unbiased). The Guardian and NY Times weighed in. Suck it, haters. And ultimately, Behearer used a wiki to answer the call.
posted by klangklangston on Feb 15, 2007 - 20 comments

Display your typing and editing

dlog is a new document visualization system that attempts to show writing not as a static document but a progression of frames over time. I find the suspense of the process mesmerising/delightful. I'm surprised it hasn't been trashed.
posted by tellurian on Feb 13, 2007 - 30 comments

'To an Eastern man this city is full of surprises. '

Ghost Cowboy :: True Tales of Adventure in the American West
posted by anastasiav on Feb 3, 2007 - 10 comments

What do you do in your spare time?

Mengermania tracks the progress of building a level four Menger sponge out of index cards (related - level three with business cards). [via]
posted by tellurian on Jan 18, 2007 - 5 comments

... the replacement of my secular education with a curriculum guided by God. ...

Through a Glass, Darkly How the Christian right is reimagining U.S. history--from Harpers. ...producing a flood of educational texts with which to wash away the stains of secular history. ...
posted by amberglow on Jan 12, 2007 - 111 comments

Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and House of Representatives:

State of the Union Addresses 1790-2006 :: complete texts
posted by anastasiav on Jan 3, 2007 - 18 comments

Out of my cold dead ramparts...

Washington town has long tradition of firing cannon shots during football games. A cannon misfire maims student Brent Karch's leg. Folksy, compassionate response from townspeople? "Take away our cannon, and we'll "make sure the other gets blown off."
posted by krippledkonscious on Dec 20, 2006 - 52 comments

No stop signs, speed limit, nobody's gonna slow me down

Are you annoyed with careless, rude, or stupid drivers? Instead of obscene gestures, obscenities, and aggressive tailgating, now you can snitch on them at PlateWire.com, a site where you can enter the license plate, vehicle make & model, and a description of the offensive behavior. Members can search for repeat offenders' license plates and contribute to the blogs.
posted by fandango_matt on Dec 20, 2006 - 37 comments

Who's afraid of Obama?

“President Barack Hussein Obama – it does have a ring to it, doesn't it?” – Who’s hot for (and who’s not for) America’s up-and-coming presidential wonderboy.
posted by Milkman Dan on Dec 15, 2006 - 113 comments

No Context

"A fedora hat worn by me without the necessary protective irony would eat through my head and kill me." Goodbye to George W.S. Trow, one of the strangest, wisest, disturbingest writer ever to gape at, marvel at, and love his fellow Americans. His 1980 essay "Within the Context of No Context" (which shared with J.D. Salinger's last published story the distinction of taking up an entire issue of the New Yorker) placed television, irony, and distance at the center of the new United States. He also wrote the less well-known (but equally beautiful) short story collection Bullies, along with a novel and several screenplays, helped found National Lampoon, and was a staff writer at the New Yorker from 1966 until 1994, when he quit in protest of Roseanne Barr's guest-editing stint. He died on November 24, in Naples, at the age of 63. Appreciations from the New York Observer, Slate, and Gawker.
posted by escabeche on Dec 12, 2006 - 17 comments

Punkin' Chunkin'

Here’s the scenario. Halloween’s over. The kids have their loot. But you, the grownups, are stuck with pumpkin upon pumpkin upon pumpkin . . . what are you to do? You could just leave them out for the garbage collection but that’s not very inspired. A more creative option would be to head out to a field in rural Delaware, build a big-ass catapult or a big air cannon and let the fun begin. (A longer video can be found here.) The World Championship Punkin Chunkin contest has been hurling ripe holiday vegetables through the autumn air for two decades now and attracts a crowd in the tens of thousands. (Previously on MetaFilter).
posted by jason's_planet on Dec 10, 2006 - 13 comments

Pre-WWII America in Color

Kodachrome color photographs of American life, dating from the 1930s, 40s, & 50s. Selections via DailyKos.
posted by ijoshua on Dec 7, 2006 - 12 comments

Flash cartoons

Magic Butter produce NSFW flash cartoons. Don't believe me? Have a look at Miss Muffy and the Muff Mob - Lubin' Da Hole Wit 'Sco or Porkchops - Approaching Pork Horizon (Part Two).
posted by tellurian on Nov 21, 2006 - 14 comments

Crooked Knives

How to make a crooked knife via mo-co-ta-gan. The Museum of Woodworking Tools has a very fine example.
posted by tellurian on Nov 15, 2006 - 21 comments

Breaking the Chain.

Breaking the Chain: The antitrust case against Wal-Mart. Barry C. Lynn argues Wal-Mart is a monopsony, and should be dealt with the same way A&P and Standard Oil were many years ago.
posted by chunking express on Nov 2, 2006 - 32 comments

"It's a no-brainer for me."

Cheney indicated the Bush administration doesn't regard waterboarding as torture and allows the CIA to use it. "It's a no-brainer for me," Cheney said. [previously]
posted by chunking express on Oct 26, 2006 - 196 comments

Oh, Cruel Fate To Be Thusly Boned Or How To Steal An Election

A manual for electoral apocalypse in America. Quite a bit's been written both on MeFi and other places about how bad Diebold machines are. Rolling Stone wrote an article about election fraud in 2004 that was discussed here on MeFi. Tonight, Ars posted a very thorough, very clear article about how we are completely screwed if we do not enact expensive, fundamental changes in how we handle elections in America. It's too late to do anything about the elections in a couple weeks, but perhaps steps can be taken to fix things before 2008...
posted by sparkletone on Oct 25, 2006 - 45 comments

The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

Empire Falls. "They called it 'the American Century,' but the past hundred years actually saw a shift away from Western dominance. Through the long lens of Edward Gibbon's history, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Rome 331 and America and Europe 2006 appear to have more than a few problems in common." By Niall Ferguson, whose views on the American hegemony have been discussed previously.
posted by homunculus on Oct 25, 2006 - 46 comments

Life & Liturgy Artifacts

A collection of American Catholic paraphernalia, including mysterious (for me, a non-Catholic) objects like; aspergills, clappers and Sick call sets. There are also more rosaries, medals and pins than you can shake a stick at.
posted by tellurian on Oct 20, 2006 - 20 comments

Planning your dream wedding

Altar•ations [flash] Remember YOU'RE in control.
posted by tellurian on Oct 18, 2006 - 16 comments

Privacy? Who cares?

Why don't Americans care about the loss of privacy? Give your SSN for a 50 cent coupon? Have your car tracked by EZ-Pass? Have a security camera on the corner? Who cares?
posted by SansPoint on Oct 16, 2006 - 112 comments

The Not Too Distant Future

Shooting War: a graphic novel by Anthony Lappe and Dan Goldman. The 11-chapter first act has been lauded in Rolling Stone, Wired and The Village Voice. It's 2011: President McCain is fighting for political survival, America is stuck in Iraq, and there's another oil embargo. 'Vlogger' and indie icon Jimmy Burns happens to catch a terrorist attack in NYC on his web cam, making him the new face of wartime journalism.
posted by spaltavian on Oct 1, 2006 - 36 comments

Christopher Morris's "My America"

"Then my photography started to shift; everything had to be very clean and Republican, straight and perfect... Everything is staged and controlled... It's the complete opposite of war photography."
War photographer Christopher Morris's new exhibit and book: "My America".
posted by matteo on Sep 27, 2006 - 20 comments

Declare Yourself!

MySpace has started a voter registration drive. MySpace has a ton of users, so this could be huge. Could this get young Americans to vote? I'm going to guess no, but you never know.
posted by chunking express on Sep 27, 2006 - 29 comments

Made in the USA

Paradise Lost: Greed, Sex Slavery, Forced Abortions and Right-Wing Moralists. Saipan is not a pleasant place to live or work.
posted by chunking express on Sep 18, 2006 - 41 comments

Death and Taxes

US federal income taxes at work. A 2007 version is now available. [previously]
posted by tellurian on Sep 17, 2006 - 37 comments

Security Analysis of the Diebold AccuVote-TS Voting Machine

Security Analysis of the Diebold AccuVote-TS Voting Machine. These voting machines are even more broken than you think. Ars Technia has posted nice summary of this article. The research was done in part by Professor Ed Felten who writes for the Freedom to Tinker web site, which is well worth reading.
posted by chunking express on Sep 14, 2006 - 50 comments

Diary of a Forty-Niner

Alex Ramsey's journal gives an account of his journey westward to join the 1849 Gold Rush, a laborious trek of no more than twenty-five miles a day which ended in illness and disappointment. "I am now convinced that I done very wrong in coming here with the hope of bettering my pecuniary condition alone and I now declare and humbly ask God to enable me to perform my promise that if I am again permitted to return to a land of peace and quietude, that I will strive to be content." From the Wyoming State Archives' Document Photo Gallery.
posted by Miko on Sep 14, 2006 - 16 comments

Maxwell did it!

Images of Atlantic City Boardwalk from R.C. Maxwell. Photographs taken to give client's an idea of the traffic that would see their billboards, provide a record of the people who have thronged to the boardwalk since the early 1900's.
posted by tellurian on Sep 13, 2006 - 8 comments

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