October 18

The Indonesian Immigrants who brought Rock'n'Roll to the Dutch

Between 1945 and '65 around 300,000 Dutch, Mollucans and Indo people, the descendants of mixed Dutch and Indonesian parents, left the Dutch East Indies, today known as Indonesia, for the Netherlands. The majority arrived around the time of Indonesia's struggle for independence in the second half of the 1940s. And some of these immigrants brought in western Rock'n'Roll: The Blue Diamonds, The Crazy Rockers and The Tielman Brothers (trio of black'n'white rock'n'roll videos; more below). [Another twang of the guitar to Johnny Wallflower for this musical trip] [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 10:06 PM - 1 comment

I don't have any more luxury goods to fill this box so are words OK?

“People talk about subscriptions as if they’re all the same,” says Ipsy CEO Marcelo Camberos. “But in fact, subscription commerce is just a new way to engage with brands and get products. We’re all fundamentally different businesses.” Inside the $2.6 billion subscription box wars.
posted by Juso No Thankyou at 9:15 PM - 1 comment

This is not the new politics thread

How to Stop Yourself From Crying: Crying is a natural human response to joy, stress or sadness. But what if you don’t want to let the tears fall? (SLNYT)
posted by not_the_water at 6:04 PM - 12 comments

Do No Harm

Do No Harm. "3am. 1980s Hongjing. In an aging private hospital, a single-minded surgeon is forced to break her physician’s oath when violent gangsters storm in to stop a crucial operation." [SLV, Via] [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 5:55 PM - 2 comments

They Live: A populist documentary on shadowy cabals turns 30

"Drones in the sky, conspiracies in our heads, militarized police in the streets, economic inequality in every corner of society, media that seeks to control our minds: The terror of They Live is more tangible and primal in 2018 than a slasher movie could ever be." Steven Hyden, The Ringer: John Carpenter’s ‘They Live’ Was Supposed to Be a Warning. We Didn’t Heed It. We Didn’t Even Understand It. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:28 PM - 15 comments

"Game on, Tiny"

Last Sunday's “60 Minutes” aired an interview by Lesley Stahl with Donald Trump, who informed her, twice, "I'm not a baby." (Transcript) Among other highlights, Trump, bobbing and weaving to avoid the truth, tried to cast blame on China when pressed about Russian interference in the 2016 campaign election, declared he knew more about NATO than Defense Secretary Jim Mattis (a former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Transformation), suggested climate change will "change back again", and let slip, "I don’t trust everybody in the White House". The AP reports 11.7 million viewers tuned in to watch, just over half the audience that Stormy Daniels had on the CBS newsmagazine last spring. CNN tracks 11 noteworthy moments from Trump's '60 Minutes' interview. [more inside]
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:19 PM - 46 comments

the default all-American cake

Everyone agrees on this: Birthday cake is vanilla. Birthday cake has sprinkles. I want to know when we all decided this, but nobody will tell me. It is just the natural order of the universe. It is what a birthday is.
posted by devrim at 4:19 PM - 75 comments

Welcome to math, where everything is cool if you know how it works

Geometry is neat:
Surface Area of a Sphere
Cake by Dinara Kasko
Morphing Cube
Slowly Filling a Maze
Pop-up cards
Milling Machine At Work
Church in Mogno, Switzerland
Two inverted magnetic bowls causing un-magnetized steel balls to organize into geometric patterns [more inside]
posted by growabrain at 3:40 PM - 10 comments

The Knack

"The thing I hated most about being a child in the 1950s was that you couldn’t just open the cupboard." Why growing up in the 1950's sucked by M. John Harrison.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 2:49 PM - 25 comments

Death is in demand. Life is golden, until it isn’t.

The Life and Death of a Mexican Hitman
Researching how Mexico can uproot the scourge of organised crime, Falko Ernst befriends a doomed hitman on the run from his past. Talking to the sicario in the Michoacán underworld, he learns much about the deadly challenges the new government faces. Additional: 'The training stays with you': the elite Mexican soldiers recruited by cartels.
posted by adamvasco at 2:18 PM - 1 comment

Definitely not made up Murder She Wrote title cards

Definitely not made up Murder She Wrote title cards [via mefi projects]
posted by WCityMike at 12:40 PM - 16 comments

He escorted me to the door and placed his iron-tipped toe to my rump...

Friday flash fiction: What Happened to Auguste Clarot? A blast of sci-fi comedic nonsense reminiscent of Donald Bartleme. "When I was summoned posthaste to the topsy turvy office of Emile Becque, savage editor of L'Expresse, I knew in my bones that an assignment of extraordinary dimensions awaited me. Becque glared at me as I entered, his green-tinted eyeshade slanted forward like an enormous bill. We sat there, neither of us saying a word, for Becque is a strong believer in mental telepathy. After several moments I had gathered nothing but waves of hatred for a padded expense account and then, all at once, I knew. It was l'affaire Clarot. I leaped to my feet crying out, I will not let you down, Emile, and stumbled (almost blinded by tears) out of his office."
posted by storybored at 12:14 PM - 3 comments

Mary Bono Nails the Dismount

Soon after allegations of sexual abuse by Larry Nassar were made by three former gymnasts on 60 Minutes, USA Gymnastics President and CEO Steve Penny resigned. Kerry Perry was hired to change the climate at the governing body, then fired "after nine months marked by chaos [and] lack of tangible action". [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 11:55 AM - 16 comments

Beat The Devil Out Of It

46 minutes of Bob Ross beating the devil out of it, redecorating his living room, covering everybody in the studio, taking out his hostilities, just enjoying the best part of painting. [Digg] [YouTube] [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 11:53 AM - 7 comments

flood the swamp!

From the very beginnings, Europeans looked at the swamps, marshes, bogs, and wetlands of what would become the United States as useless lands, suitable only for draining prior to agriculture or dredging for ship traffic. Now we have all found ourselves In The Dismal Swamp. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:49 AM - 10 comments

Oh, dear.

I need a new bum! Read by The Scottish Granny. [more inside]
posted by Adridne at 10:31 AM - 6 comments

there can be only one

The Best Halloween Candy, Ranked [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 10:14 AM - 182 comments

Better than tiger urine

Calvin Klein's "Obsession" for Men could be used as lure to catch a dangerous man-eating tiger in India. The cologne's ability to attract tigers was discovered in an experiment at the Bronx Zoo in 2003. [more inside]
posted by numaner at 9:14 AM - 36 comments

Precarious by Design

Passengers are empowered to act as middle managers over drivers, whose ratings directly impact their employment eligibility,” note Rosenblat and Stark in their paper. “This redistribution of managerial oversight and power away from formalized middle management and toward consumers is part of a broader trend in flexible labor. via Kenyatta
posted by infini at 8:56 AM - 71 comments

“As players, we rarely look down on our own shoes, or even NPCs shoes,”

Shoes for Virtual Feet: “People wear shoes. Well, most people do. The same applies to virtual humans, every character in videogames wear shoes of some sort. I wonder what they are wearing? I've been documenting shoes in videogames for a few months now. It's experimental, it's not a full documentation yet, only the ones I find interesting. Protagonist, supporting characters, enemies, NPCs, pedestrians, they are all included.” [via: Rock Paper Shotgun]
posted by Fizz at 5:00 AM - 40 comments

October 17

Art and technology meet in Stargazing: A Knitted Tapestry

Australian software engineer Sarah Spencer hacked a 1980s knitting machine to create a massive star map. [more inside]
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:49 PM - 17 comments

"Some students knew beforehand and still consumed the cookies"

A Davis high school student allegedly baked her grandfather’s ashes into a batch of sugar cookies and gave them to classmates, some of whom were aware they contained human remains before they ate them, authorities said Tuesday. […] Asked if the allegation seems credible, [Police Lt.] Doroshov gave a long sigh. “Yeah.” (SL LA Times)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:46 PM - 119 comments

It's competitive gourd season, motherf**kers

From Barnesville, Ohio, Topsfield and Marshfield, Massachusetts, to Half Moon Bay, California, contest and county fair records for "heaviest pumpkin" have been falling like autumn leaves. National records have also been crushed beneath the weight of some impressive specimens - a new Canadian record (1,959 lbs), a new UK record for the largest pumpkin grown indoors (2,433.9 lbs), and a new U.S. (and North American) record (2,528 lbs). The current world record of 2,624.6 lbs still stands for now. Have pumpkins maxed out? [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:20 PM - 17 comments

A.. AH... SOM...THI...TO...E EAT...?

Eighteen year old high school student Hyun Cha
Lost all his family
Here, alone
At the end of the world
SWEET HOME - Youngchan Hwang, Carnby Kim
CW: violence, self-harm, suicide, monsters [more inside]
posted by Existential Dread at 8:13 PM - 10 comments

When I'd Give Her The World, She Asks Instead For Some Earth

The Tony award-winning 1991 Broadway production of The Secret Garden (adapted from Frances Hodgson Burnett's novel) is not particularly well-known. Its house is haunted by the past and its young heroine struggling to grow into the future. The show's sophisticated examinations of love and loss and its depiction of youthful self-discovery was deeper than typical musical fare. The main record we have of this show is the Original Broadway Cast recording [discogs], which features Daisy Eagan, Mandy Patinkin, and John Cameron Mitchell (very much pre-Hedwig), amongst others, and contains between song scenes which flesh out the story even for those who have never seen the show. Here's a YouTube playlist (I apologize for the commercials). [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 8:13 PM - 29 comments

Because of Mark Twain, Somehow

The Soylent Corporation maestro is under attack for making Soylent Green out of people. But we need people who take risks. We need people who try. We need people to eat. In Defense of Soylent Green Inventor Henry C. Santini (after the Popular Mechanics defense of Elon Musk)
posted by Artw at 7:44 PM - 28 comments

Patterns in Nature: RSB 2018 shortlist

The Royal Society of Biology’s 12 shortlisted entries range from symmetries seen under a microscope to camouflaged insects
posted by MovableBookLady at 7:38 PM - 4 comments

Paywall: The Business of Scholarship

Paywall: The Business of Scholarship provides focus on the need for open access to research and science, questions the rationale behind the $25.2 billion a year that flows into for-profit academic publishers, examines the 35-40% profit margin associated with the top academic publisher Elsevier and looks at how that profit margin is often greater than some of the most profitable tech companies like Apple, Facebook and Google.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 6:37 PM - 23 comments

There can be no greater issue than that of archiving in this country

The largest collection of the papers of President Theodore Roosevelt has been digitized and is now available online from the Library of Congress. Consisting of 276,000 documents and 461,000 images, the collection includes letters, speeches, executive orders, scrapbooks, diaries, White House reception records and press releases of his administration, as well as family records. [more inside]
posted by waninggibbon at 6:18 PM - 3 comments

When I Came Out to My Parents, Kimchi Fried Rice Held Us Together

I'd always thought that you're supposed to learn something about yourself when you come out, but I think I learned more about my parents.
It meant something to me that in the midst of my mother's grave disappointment, during a time in her life when everything had seemed to change, the rug pulled out from under her, somehow she and I could seek refuge in this one thing that would never change. I was still her son and she was still my mom, and kimchi fried rice—something only she could make—was still my favorite thing to eat in the entire world.
By Eric Kim.
posted by Lexica at 5:39 PM - 10 comments

Attack method #268324: Sonar Phishing

Don't have a photo of your victim to break into their phone? Too lazy to walk to the printer to smash that fingerprint ID roadblock? Not to worry: now you lazy cracker kids can infect your mark's device with the latest and greatest sonar phishing tech. Thanks, Lancaster University: Researchers Used Sonar Signal From a Smartphone Speaker to Steal Unlock Passwords (SL Motherboard). [more inside]
posted by Juso No Thankyou at 4:55 PM - 9 comments

Abortion to be decriminalised in Queensland

For over 100 years, abortion in Queensland has been a crime, unless a doctor considered it necessary to "prevent serious danger to the woman's physical or mental health". Last night, the Queensland parliament voted in favour of the Termination of Pregnancy Bill. The Bill removes abortion from the criminal code, allows abortion on request up to 22 weeks, and introduces safe access zones of 150 metres around clinics to shield women from harassment. [more inside]
posted by fever-trees at 4:51 PM - 8 comments

It's not rocket surgery

A malaphor is a Blend of malapropism +‎ metaphor. Examples: "We'll burn that bridge when we get to it"... "Even a blind squirrel is right twice a day"... "If a bear shits in the woods, does it make a sound?"... "An apple a day leaves the whole world blind" [more inside]
posted by growabrain at 2:51 PM - 124 comments

A Fighting Chance

Monday, October 15: CNN, 'Why Elizabeth Warren is #1 in Our New 2020 Rankings'; WaPo, 'Elizabeth Warren Has Her Act Together: Democratic 2020 Hopefuls Better Wake Up'. Boston Globe, Warren Releases Results of DNA Tests [more inside]
posted by box at 2:23 PM - 183 comments

"Twitter’s focus is on a healthy public conversation."

Twitter has released a dataset consisting of 1.24GB of messages and 296GB of media "that we believe resulted from potentially state-backed information operations on our service", according to the company. They come from "3,841 accounts affiliated with the [Internet Research Agency], originating in Russia, and 770 other accounts, potentially originating in Iran. They include more than 10 million Tweets and more than 2 million images, GIFs, videos, and Periscope broadcasts", and are being made publicly available in partially-anonymized form. [more inside]
posted by Kadin2048 at 12:51 PM - 16 comments

Status and meaning of photography in a digital world drowning in images

What next for photography in the age of Instagram? Sean O'Hagan, The Guardian's photography critic, examines the changing landscape of a thriving medium, and provides updates on his musings on an ever-evolving art form from six years ago, covering everything from the absurd number of photography festivals held each year to the value of truth in photography in the age of Photoshopping, in contrast with videos of a fatal shooting at an Iranian protest that went viral. In his prior piece, O'Hagan compared photographs netting high bids at auctions, between the 1906 "old master," Edward J. Steichen's The Pond - Moonrise, and Andreas Gursky's "The Rhine II". Adding to the discussion is the fact that the latter was, as Gursky said, digitally altered to "leave out the elements that bothered me." [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 12:16 PM - 13 comments

American Mercenaries

A Middle East Monarchy Hired American Ex-Soldiers To Kill Its Political Enemies. This Could Be The Future Of War. [Buzzfeed News] “Cradling an AK-47 and sucking a lollipop, the former American Green Beret bumped along in the back of an armored SUV as it wound through the darkened streets of Aden. Two other commandos on the mission were former Navy SEALs. As elite US special operations fighters, they had years of specialized training by the US military to protect America. But now they were working for a different master: a private US company that had been hired by the United Arab Emirates, a tiny desert monarchy on the Persian Gulf. On that night, December 29, 2015, their job was to carry out an assassination.” [more inside]
posted by supercrayon at 11:51 AM - 33 comments

The NCAA Is Gaslighting You

In a longform piece for Deadspin, Andy Schwarz talks about how the argument at the core of the NCAA's justification for not allowing players to be paid - "the fans demand it" - not only doesn't hold up to any sort of scrutiny, but also how the NCAA works to make people buy into their view even with all the evidence against it. (SLDeadspin)
posted by NoxAeternum at 11:46 AM - 12 comments

The world is dying; come see it

"The world is on fire but the new Google Pixel 3 — a Good Phone, which I do recommend you buy if you like Android and can afford it, although its updates are mostly incremental — in my pocket is cool to the touch. ... My neck hurts. I am never not looking down. When I am not looking at my phone, I become slightly anxious. And then, when I do actually look at it, I become even more so. It reminds me of how I once felt about cigarettes. I don’t recall exactly when my phone became such a festival of stress and psychological trauma, but here we are." Matt Honan reviews the Google Pixel 3 for Buzzfeed News through a haze of existential angst about the smartphone revolution. (via Daring Fireball.)
posted by RedOrGreen at 11:33 AM - 50 comments


Training compassion ‘muscle’ may boost brain’s resilience to others’ suffering. "It can be distressing to witness the pain of family, friends or even strangers going through a hard time. But what if, just like strengthening a muscle or learning a new hobby, we could train ourselves to be more compassionate and calm in the face of others’ suffering?" Compassion Is Like a Muscle That Gets Stronger With Training: Loving-kindness meditation and compassion training boost empathic resilience. [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 10:40 AM - 11 comments

The Fascist Creep

“In Germany in 1933, Wilhelm Reich, in analyzing how a society chooses fascism, rejected the all-too-easy notion of the duped masses. He insisted that we take seriously the fact that people, en masse, genuinely desired fascism. Ignorant masses weren’t manipulated into an authoritarian system they do not actually want.” No Joke (Real Life) “And that brings me to the point of this little essay. How did America end up so hilariously, amazingly, spectacularly stupid, it couldn’t even figure out when fascism, comic-book fascism, in fact — replete with cartoon dictator, demonization, scapegoating, camps, bans, and so on — was rising right in front of its eyes?“ Why America Didn’t See Fascism Coming (Medium) Republicans Are Adopting the Proud Boys ( Daily Beast). “The past three years have seen a proliferation of such groups: organized reactionaries of various political tendencies seeking out ideological enemies (mostly, but not exclusively, on the anti-capitalist left) to beat to a bloody pulp.” Boys To Men (Baffler)
posted by The Whelk at 10:17 AM - 61 comments

It's like battling a monster

Elite Wildland Firefighters Are The Pride Of The Blackfeet Reservation [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 10:04 AM - 1 comment

Fiat Lux!

Next month, California votes on 11 propositions covering everything from rent control to transportation funding to taking control of the shared concept of time itself. State and local offices, judges, and local ballot measures on everything from homeless services to a public bank are all up for grabs, not to mention several competitive House races. Register to vote by October 22nd (or anytime through Election Day) or check your voter registration. Then find your polling place and your ballot. We'll take the state propositions one-by-one, and everyone can discuss what's on the ballot in your part of the state. [more inside]
posted by zachlipton at 10:00 AM - 70 comments

me, ordering a 3x3: is this a recuperation?

The Weird World of Secret Menus, Alison Pearlman
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that variations on the expression to hack the menu have been used to describe off-menu ordering at fast-food chains almost exclusively. This language, derived from computer hacking, encapsulates the secret-menu subculture that revolves around them. When I hear the verb hack used this way, I picture someone trying to game a system. Convinced that an organization can’t be trusted to act in her interests, she resorts to work-arounds and trickery. At the root of her approach is a reciprocal alienation: the system treats the individual as faceless and interchangeable, so the hacker views the system as a monolithic adversary.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:19 AM - 59 comments

Reply All episode 127 and 128: The Crime Machine

New York City cops are in a fight against their own police department. They say it’s under the control of a broken computer system that punishes cops who refuse to engage in racist, corrupt policing. The story of their fight, and the story of the grouchy idealist who originally built the machine they’re fighting.
PJ Vogt tells the story of the New York cop who brought data to policing, and the unintended consequences that followed. Part 1 (45 minute audio with transcript). Part 2 (40 minute audio with transcript).
posted by rebent at 9:07 AM - 15 comments

Caroll Spinney (STILL ALIVE), aka Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, Retires

After nearly 50 years, Caroll Spinney (WHO IS STILL ALIVE) has announced that he is stepping down as the primary performer of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch. Spinney, last of the original Sesame Street Muppeteers, has already taped his final performances as Messrs. Bird and Grouch have already been taped for Sesame Street's 50th season, which will air next year. The tall yellow role will be taken by Matt Vogel, currently Count Von Count and Kermit the Frog; the short green role will be taken by Eric Jacobson, currently at least 10 other Muppets.
posted by Etrigan at 8:43 AM - 31 comments

Herb is the healing of a nation

Today is the day recreational cannabis becomes legal in Canada. Canada is the second country in the world to legalize recreational cannabis after Uruguay (it has been decriminalized but not legalized in Portugal). The rules around cannabis sales and consumption will vary from province to province and from municipality to municipality. In British Columbia, where there is a backlog of private business licences waiting to be processed, pot will be available immediately through the provincial government's BC Liquor Distribution Branch, for sale online or in one lone storefront in Kamloops. Meanwhile, the federal government has announced it will move quickly to pardon those with past convictions for simple possession. [more inside]
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 8:40 AM - 89 comments

I should’ve gone to therapy but instead I came back to Mississippi.

Bim Adewunmi on Kiese Laymon and his new book, Heavy. I write the way I write because my mother and my grandmother encouraged me not to write that way most of my life... But also, I listened to them talk to one another. And sometimes in private, I would hear my mother and my grandmother and my aunts talking in a way that I had never...just nothing I had read sounded like that. Maybe some Toni Morrison sounded like it, but I just heard them reckoning in a way that I wanted do in my art. I know English. I know all the rules. I read damn near all the books. I mean, I literally have to read all the books! So if I wanna fuck around with the language, I can do that. Because my mama created a fucking reading machine.” [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura at 5:27 AM - 14 comments

Teacup pigs are popular on YouTube and Instagram once again..

What most sellers/owners don't know (or won't tell you) is that most of these micropigs aren’t going to remain small ... " It’s a universal truth that what’s old will eventually become new again, and what’s beloved on Instagram or YouTube can never truly die. And so, adopting teacup pigs, a fad inspired partly by Paris Hilton in 2007 (the same year Hilton’s reality series, The Simple Life, ended) is back. " [more inside]
posted by Faintdreams at 3:05 AM - 40 comments

In Every Way Shopping Reinforced Hierarchy. Until Sears.

The catalog undid the power of the storekeeper, and by extension the landlord. Black families could buy without asking permission. Without waiting. Without being watched. With national (cheap) prices! How the Sears Catalog Undermined White Supremacy in the Jim Crow South -- a catalogue of fascinating articles curated by [MetaFilter's Own™] Jason Kottke
posted by chavenet at 1:13 AM - 24 comments

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