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You're Wrong! No, You're Wrong!

5 Lesser Known (Completely Ridiculous) American Civil Wars, via Cracked. [more inside]
posted by Miko on May 26, 2010 - 45 comments

A Castle in the Making

Ozark Medieval Fortress – Thirty masons, carpenters and stone carvers authentically dressed, will work all year round for twenty years, the time required to build a fortress in the Middle Ages.
posted by tellurian on May 4, 2010 - 74 comments

Dr. Zworykin's Secret Experimental RCA Photos

The Personal Photographs of Dr. Vladimir Kosma Zworykin, Television Pioneer. The screen images are time exposure photographs of the picture on the kinescope in the monitoring rack in the main control room. Some were taken with stationary frames of moving picture film projected upon the iconoscope by a standard moving picture machine. Others are actually the pictures transmitted with the iconoscope camera in the studio and outdoors.
posted by tellurian on May 3, 2010 - 9 comments

give up that dream

It is not our role to take power. It is our role to make the powerful frightened of us. And that's what we've forgotten. Give up that dream! Chris Hedges talks neoliberalism and neofeudalism, the civil rights movement, Camden, Obama, Clinton, Tea Parties, moral nihilism, inverted totalitarianism and corpocracy, NAFTA, welfare reform, health care, labor, poverty, Yugoslavia, post-industrial capitalism, economic crisis, imperial collapse, socialism, and democracy, among other things. [more inside]
posted by gerryblog on Apr 24, 2010 - 51 comments

The Whitewash

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (R) has proclaimed April to be Confederate History Month in his state, without referencing slavery or civil rights. The move has angered civil rights leaders and revived a controversy that has lain dormant for eight years. FireDogLake is reporting that the neo-confederate group which lobbied Governor McDonnell to make the proclamation has ties to white supremacists. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 7, 2010 - 245 comments

Do you know the way to Lost Dakota?

NPR looks at American States That Might Have Been You've probably heard of the proposed Mormon state of Deseret, but have you heard of Nickajack? What about Absaroka, the 49th state? I bet you forgot about Forgottonia. The author of Lost States has a blog.
posted by desjardins on Apr 7, 2010 - 33 comments

America: Have vs Have-not

The Obama Coalition "These general findings suggest the possibility that the political strength of voters whose convictions are perhaps best described as Social Democratic in the European sense is reaching a significant level in the United States. With effective organization and mobilization, such voters are positioned to set the agenda in the Democratic Party in the near future."
posted by Glibpaxman on Apr 4, 2010 - 37 comments

Pvt. Droop Has Missed The War!

Droops and 8-balls in this man's army shouldn't take unnecessary chances with their lives. Illustrated by Walt Ditzen. [more inside]
posted by tellurian on Mar 9, 2010 - 6 comments

Scout, Mum, Dad, etc

Portraits – Somewhat creepy but arresting, nevertheless.
posted by tellurian on Mar 8, 2010 - 26 comments

This is not the time to send out a signal like this in some personal fucking sodcast

For quite some time, I’d wanted to make a screwball comedy. A fast-talking, wildly acclerating ensemble comedy that gets stupider and stupider. I never imagined it would be about a war, and inspired by a very recent war at that. But Simon, Jesse, Tony and I all felt that the more we found out about the dysfunction in Washington and the naivety in London leading up to the Iraq invasion, the more obvious it was that the only way to deal accurately and fairly with this topic was as a screwball comedy. - The Oscar nominated script for In The Loop, with an introduction by writer Armando Iannucci.
posted by Artw on Feb 13, 2010 - 33 comments

Small Trades of Salonica

At the American Farm School historical records they have a large collection of postcards. In amongst them are these small sketches of local traders.
posted by tellurian on Feb 13, 2010 - 16 comments

America, fuck yeah!

Captain America takes a swing at the Tea partiers... or does he? Marvel editor Joe Quesada on how teabag-gate went down.
posted by Artw on Feb 10, 2010 - 128 comments

The Battle of Brisbane

The United States and Australia have long shared a peaceful alliance, but it was not always so. In 1942, U.S servicemen and Australian soldiers fought openly and violently in what is known today as The Battle of Brisbane. [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000 on Feb 8, 2010 - 51 comments

American declinism

The End of Influence - the latest in a long series documenting the US' relative decline (esp wrt China 1 2 3 4 5) Brad DeLong and Stephen Cohen reflect on what has brought us to our past, but now fast-fading glory: "Roosevelt's strategy [entering WW2] was to make Britain broke before American taxpayers' money was committed in any way to the fight against Hitler." Before delving into our present predicament, however, it might also be useful to briefly consider some of the lessons from Bretton Woods and what the wealth of nations is really built upon.
posted by kliuless on Jan 31, 2010 - 39 comments

America: A Personal History of the United States

America: A Personal History of the United States (MLYT). Alistair Cooke's critically acclaimed series, originally released in 1972 to educational institutions in the US, but still unavailable on DVD in region 1 despite requests to the BBC. Synopsis here.
posted by Balonious Assault on Jan 30, 2010 - 13 comments

a very long article

How America Can Rise Again by James Fallows
Is America going to hell? After a year of economic calamity that many fear has sent us into irreversible decline, the author finds reassurance in the peculiarly American cycle of crisis and renewal, and in the continuing strength of the forces that have made the country great: our university system, our receptiveness to immigration, our culture of innovation. In most significant ways, the U.S. remains the envy of the world. But here's the alarming problem: our governing system is old and broken and dysfunctional. Fixing it—without resorting to a constitutional convention or a coup—is the key to securing the nation's future. (via|previously)
posted by kliuless on Jan 6, 2010 - 61 comments

Basking in the warm glow of the television.

Sure, we all know that Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is broadcast every year in the US as a Christmas tradition, and that Sweden basically closes every year from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. on December 24th to watch Donald Duck, but what about other countries? [more inside]
posted by DoctorFedora on Dec 22, 2009 - 33 comments

Single Link Wire-Filter

You’re going to hire people to guard your sh*t, but you’re not going to give them health care. Vice has a long spoiler- and profanity-laden interview with The Wire creator David Simon, running the gamut from backstage Wire details to the media's obsession with "the Dickensian aspect" to his next series (set in New Orleans) to Joe Lieberman to this fight he almost got in at a concert one time. Via /Film.
posted by gerryblog on Dec 17, 2009 - 41 comments

Not Afraid of Americans

David Bowie's response to his first American fan letter. In 1967, 14 year old Sandra Adams wrote a letter to Bowie. According to Bowie himself, this was his first bit of fan mail from the States. The response, though brief, is funny and sincere.
posted by spaltavian on Dec 14, 2009 - 79 comments

Religion à la Carte – Threat or Menace?*

A major survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life finds that most Americans have a non-dogmatic approach to faith. A strong majority of those who are affiliated with a religion, including majorities of nearly every religious tradition, do not believe their religion is the only way to salvation. And almost the same number believes that there is more than one true way to interpret the teachings of their religion. The survey finds that constant movement characterizes the American religious marketplace, as every major religious group is simultaneously gaining and losing adherents. (.pdf of full report (268 pages) or watch the video of Pew Forum Director Luis Lugo giving an overview of the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey and talking about some of its key findings.) [more inside]
posted by ServSci on Dec 11, 2009 - 37 comments

Final edition: Twilight of the American newspaper

Final edition: Twilight of the American newspaper. "Newspapers have become deadweight commodities linked to other media commodities in chains that are coupled or uncoupled by accountants and lawyers and executive vice presidents and boards of directors in offices thousands of miles from where the man bit the dog and drew ink."
posted by chunking express on Dec 10, 2009 - 91 comments

Detainee 063

Detainee 063. This is the interrogation log of Mohammed al-Qahtani. It is being published in real time: each entry will appear exactly seven years after it was first recorded. The interrogation took place at Guantanamo Bay.
posted by chunking express on Dec 7, 2009 - 28 comments

8 Million Reasons for Real Surveillance Oversight.

8 Million Reasons for Real Surveillance Oversight. "Sprint Nextel provided law enforcement agencies with its customers' (GPS) location information over 8 million times between September 2008 and October 2009. This massive disclosure of sensitive customer information was made possible due to the roll-out by Sprint of a new, special web portal for law enforcement officers."
posted by chunking express on Dec 3, 2009 - 41 comments

Mainstream. Main Street. Mass produced. Middle Class homes.

Retro Renovation celebrates an era of post-war American housing that's being slowly eroded by the likes of HGTV. [more inside]
posted by saturnine on Dec 2, 2009 - 49 comments

Everything you never wanted to know about the American prison-industrial complex

Everything you never wanted to know about the American prison-industrial complex. Part 2: Prison Nation.
posted by Optimus Chyme on Nov 30, 2009 - 92 comments

your favorite literary writer sucks

This is what the cultural elite wants us to believe: if our writers don't make sense, or bore us to tears, that can only mean that we aren't worthy of them. [more inside]
posted by philip-random on Nov 26, 2009 - 143 comments

How Tyler Cowen Would Fix the Current Healthcare Bill

What should we do instead of the Obama health reform bill?
posted by reenum on Nov 20, 2009 - 99 comments

Minority Death Match

Minority Death Match: Jews, Blacks, And The "Post-Racial" Presidency by By Naomi Klein. An interesting look at the failure of the two United Nations Durban conferences on racism — and a whole lot of other stuff. [more inside]
posted by chunking express on Nov 19, 2009 - 32 comments

Overthinking an overloaded buffet platter

Dismal economy got you down? Chin up, sport - it's possible to save money and eat like a king at one of America's abundant all-you-can-eat buffet restaurants. Before you and your dining companion are whisked off this culinary land of plenty, take note of the definitive strategy guide to maximize both your dollar and your waistline. Fill up on tips such as: Wear items with intricate patterns or designs that will disguise spills and stains. As you get your game plan together, here's your anthem.
posted by porn in the woods on Nov 10, 2009 - 96 comments

ACCORDION SOLO!

Be forewarned, the sound quality isn't the best. But for a dose of pure surreality strong enough to turn your socks into melted Dada timepieces, try mixing "Weird Al" Yankovic on accordion with the Presidents of the United States, performing a (non-parody) cover of Boston's "More Than a Feeling" (SLYT). (via Dave Dederer's Reddit interview)
posted by WCityMike on Oct 22, 2009 - 29 comments

George S. Zimbel

George S. Zimbel is a documentary photographer. [more inside]
posted by chunking express on Oct 21, 2009 - 7 comments

America's Smartest Cities -- From First to Worst.

"Which [U.S.] metropolis has the most intelligent residents? The Daily Beast crunched the data on the brainpower of America’s 55 largest cities (w/ video), from first-to-worst." The list. First -- Raleigh-Durham, NC. Worst -- Fresno, CA. [more inside]
posted by ericb on Oct 11, 2009 - 99 comments

Land of the Freep

American things that Barack Obama has made unAmerican
posted by Artw on Oct 10, 2009 - 76 comments

Can you find Satan?

"This may truly be the most important new painting of the twenty first century." The McNaughton Fine Art Company presents "One Nation Under God" [cache], an... interesting take on American history in a nifty zoom interface. Artist John McNaughton, who calls himself "the only living artist in the world today" to practice the Barbizon School of French Impressionism, has an extensive body of less opinionated work for you to admire. Interview. Character list.
posted by Rhaomi on Oct 6, 2009 - 305 comments

What Does DHS Know About You?

What Does DHS Know About You? A lot. [more inside]
posted by chunking express on Oct 5, 2009 - 50 comments

McCarthy to Wilson...is history doomed to repeat itself?

"The Obama Haters" is a horribly inaccurate title. The article itself is a 25-years-later review of Richard Hofstadter's 1964 essay The Paranoid Style in American Politics. Reading this essay (and the Slate article today) gives rise to thought on what led to the McCarthyism that Hofstadter wrote in reaction to, and what might lie in our very near future....regarding the Obama haters.
posted by Kickstart70 on Sep 23, 2009 - 73 comments

The abnormal has become the norm

Brenda Kenneally documents the effects of illegal drugs in her Brooklyn, New York neighborhood. Money Power Respect and Big Trigg. NSFW [previous comment]
posted by tellurian on Sep 15, 2009 - 29 comments

*Slap!* Sir, I demand satisfaction

Few things in history are as compelling as the duel. Refined and barbaric at the same time, this practice has had a checkered history. The rules of dueling were codified by the Irish in 1777 in the Code Duello (summarized here), which was codified at Clonmel Summer Assizes in 1777. As evidenced by these documents, dueling was in practice prior to the Irish rules being drafted. The procedure and philosophy behind duels is illustrated in this article. Dueling gained some traction in America in the 19th century, culminating in the famous Burr-Hamilton affair. There are many more resources to find out more here. For a list of famous duels, you can check out this list. Lest you think men were the only ones dueling, here are a few short anecdotes of women dueling. Reportedly, dueling is still legal in Paraguay, as long as both parties are registered blood donors.
posted by reenum on Sep 15, 2009 - 17 comments

Since when does Hollywood shy away from controversy?

The Producer Cites Religious Controversy. The Director points to a recessionary trend against "serious" movies. A new film about Charles Darwin's life ("Creation") is reportedly having difficulty finding a US distributor. ( Creation: IMDB / Official Site / Trailer / Spoiler-laden review from Roger Ebert / LA Times review // Darwin: Previously on MeFi).
posted by zarq on Sep 13, 2009 - 70 comments

Harmony Korine's Trash

Trash Humpers [more inside]
posted by philip-random on Sep 10, 2009 - 43 comments

Cross Country in 4 Minutes

A road trip from San Francisco to Washington D.C. in time lapse.
posted by The Devil Tesla on Sep 9, 2009 - 24 comments

Government using Facebook and MySpace to find tax cheats

Tax authorities using social networks to find tax cheats Yet another reason to be careful who you accept a friend request from.
posted by reenum on Aug 30, 2009 - 25 comments

Mercy and the Minotaur.

"The subjects vary... but there is an ideological approach in America that is distinguished by one common characteristic: words and deeds utterly lacking in the quality of mercy," by Charles Stross. Or, in other words, is using a minotaur to gore detainees a form of torture?
posted by geos on Aug 29, 2009 - 88 comments

Dominick Dunne 1925-2009

Dominick Dunne died yesterday at the age of 83. was well known for his chronicling of the follies and crimes of the rich. You can read some of his pieces from Vanity Fair here.
posted by reenum on Aug 27, 2009 - 26 comments

He says every patient is a golden trout. We need to go get those trout.

The Deadly Cost of Swooping In to Save a Life (single-page version): Deregulation and America's health care system combine to make medical helicopters increasingly dangerous.
posted by parudox on Aug 20, 2009 - 28 comments

VIMBY?

Suburban farming, an idea whose time may have come. Short and sweet SLYT from the Wall Street Journal about people growing herbs and vegetables in their own yards in American suburbia.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Aug 18, 2009 - 64 comments

The art of Josh Keyes

Animals isolated in dystopian tableaux.
posted by tellurian on Aug 17, 2009 - 23 comments

A rational conservative solution for health care reform

E.D. Kain with a moderate conservative solution to the health care crisis
posted by reenum on Aug 13, 2009 - 88 comments

"America's Imaginary Medieval Period"

NPR: American Castles. With interactive map. Previously. Also, on Flickr.
posted by Miko on Aug 1, 2009 - 28 comments

Operation Pancake

An expose of non-vegan ingredients in pancakes at LA Vegan Thai inspired the QuarryGirl.Com writers to conduct their own extremely thorough investigation of LA vegan restaurants, testing their meals for traces of casein, egg, and shellfish. Over $1000 and a chain of interviews up to Taiwan later, they find that half the restaurants aren't as vegan as they claim, with half registering Positive or High and one registering Overload. Some restaurants vowed to conduct their own tests or requested further assistance; one banned them from the establishment.
posted by divabat on Jul 5, 2009 - 260 comments

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