April 25

Policymakers in other cities can learn from Minneapolis

Minneapolis Land Use Reforms Offer a Blueprint for Housing Affordability: Rents stayed flat as more apartments were built, even as the rest of Minnesota saw increases. [more inside]
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:35 AM - 2 comments

"One or more of the following may apply to your particular idea"

When you often notice people "why-don't-they-just"-ing their way into a proposed solution to a gnarly problem, you might turn your criticisms into a checklist. "Your post advocates a [( ) technical ( ) legislative ( ) market-based ( ) vigilante] approach to fighting spam. Your idea will not work. Here is why it won't work." These templates often offer a summary of the problem space and a glimpse of experts' frustrations. Solution rejection checklists exist for fixing the housing crisis, beating the CAP Theorem, protecting against DDOS attacks, improving pharmaceutical drug discovery success rates, creating new programming languages and distributed social networks, and (MeFi comment!) saving journalism. [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 7:30 AM - 9 comments

The Portugal Model for Addressing the Overdose Crisis

I am a professor of medicine and public health who researches the government’s response to addiction. I also spent more than two decades as a police officer. If cities expect to help reduce our nation’s overdose crisis and not simply ride a policy pendulum back and forth between election cycles, their leaders need to enact compassionate, effective drug policies and ensure fair access to public space at the same time.
posted by Winnie the Proust at 5:38 AM - 10 comments

Canada loves a homegrown oligopoly

From groceries to pharmacies to financial services, the Loblaw kingdom is hard to escape for Canadians. (slTheWalrus) [more inside]
posted by Kitteh at 5:09 AM - 18 comments

O povo é quem mais ordena

Grândola, vila morena [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 12:03 AM - 4 comments

seven sided coins

An Alphabet of Heptagons: Seven-sided Coins [See also: Polygonal coins]
posted by dhruva at 12:02 AM - 6 comments

April 24

Please don't bring live snakes to hospital

Venomous snake brought into hospital in lunchbox prompts plea from doctors — "please don't do this." Hospital staff came face-to-face with one of the world's most deadly snakes after a patient brought it to the emergency department in a snap-lock lunch container. Snake catcher Jonas Murphy has relocated several snakes brought into the Bundaberg Hospital. Mr Murphy said the snakes were in plastic containers or bags and posed a big danger if they had escaped. "You are risking a follow-up bite and you're putting everyone around you in danger as well," Mr Murphy said. "Snakes are one of those things that scare a lot of people, we definitely don't want them in the hospital." [more inside]
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 10:41 PM - 31 comments

Ever wondered what Isaac Asimov would sound like beatboxing?

Or Nixon? Shirley Chisholm? Thanks to Brian Foo, the data driven dj, wonder no longer! [more inside]
posted by forbiddencabinet at 9:27 PM - 3 comments

Stereophonic on Broadway, it's an interesting story

Making Real Music for a Fake Band [43m] is from Slate's Decoding Ring podcast that digs pretty deep into a particular Broadway play that is the current Hot Ticket In Town [Playbill, Stereophonic]. It also digs into making real things for fake things. The episode looks at a multitude of excellent fake things you already know, and then the playwright David Adjmi and Will Butler formerly of Arcade Fire get into the show itself... A fictional Fleetwood Mac-esque band in the studio struggling to record an album of songs like this [1m45s] in the mid-Seventies. Here's a "retrospective trailer" looking back at its developmental run at Playwrights Horizons. [43s] [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 7:50 PM - 2 comments

Examining What "Never Again" Means Through the Lens of Magneto

Writing for Defector, Asher Elbein talks about the evolution of the character of Magneto, who is (yet again) back from the dead and the shift of meaning in "Never Again," from inclusive aspiration to its violent modern application. [more inside]
posted by Ghidorah at 4:13 PM - 68 comments

"We pay attention to timbre, rhythm, as well as variation"

'Seagull Boy', nine, wins European screeching competition
posted by pipeski at 2:29 PM - 15 comments

EPIC indeed

The backside of the moon as it transits across Earth. That is all.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 1:32 PM - 33 comments

Realistic is not necessarily the most convincing

Emil Dziewanowski is a technical artist in the gaming industry who excels at using inventive techniques to create compelling visual effects. His latest blog post, Flowfields, walks you through the process of animating the complex whorls and vortices of Jupiter without using traditional fluid dynamics, using lessons learned from such prior art as Contra's color-cycling, frame-by-frame animation, and the trippy lava effect in Quake, ultimately using a combination of clever tricks to design a "universal" flow simulator that can render appealing fluid effects in just half a millisecond.
posted by Rhaomi at 12:04 PM - 3 comments

Experts left scratching their heads as wombat wanders into ocean

Experts left scratching their heads as wombat wanders into ocean. A couple holidaying in Tasmania's remote north-west have captured a wombat foraging in the ocean. The footage has surprised wombat experts, who say the behaviour is highly unusual.
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 8:49 AM - 26 comments

When you let Dan Stevens be weird, that's when the magic happens

The Mary Sue joins me in welcoming actor Dan Stevens' sleazier weirder side. (slTheMarySue) [more inside]
posted by Kitteh at 4:50 AM - 26 comments

Life After Running

Life After Running Athletes are often defined by their physical strength. Who are they when they lose it?
It is not a replacement for running, but to live with a chronic condition is to become an expert at negotiating between one’s wants and one’s capacities. It means constantly hacking away at the richness of one’s life—there is nothing casual about it.
posted by hydropsyche at 3:57 AM - 41 comments

“I will not speak with her.”

Ophelia’s life, as much as we see of it within the boundaries of five acts, has been one of enforced silence, climaxing in a desperate call—answered too late by Gertrude—for a chance to unpack her heart with words. She comes in a full and terrible circle from her playful rebuke to Laertes for pontificating about how women should behave, but she never saw what was coming. “Lord, we know what we are, but know not what we may be.” Only in her madness, when language tumbles out uninhibitedly, does Ophelia make a direct and profound charge about masculinist privilege and culpability. “Young men will do’t if they come to’t, / By Cock, they are to blame.” Unlike Hamlet with his words, words, words, Ophelia never speaks of taking her own life. And then she does. The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune strike more than one target in this play. Among its many wonders, Hamlet depicts a young woman set on a lonely path, leading to an abyss, in a lethal world of male verbal license. from The Silencing of Ophelia by Robert Crossley [Hudson Review]
posted by chavenet at 12:19 AM - 11 comments

April 23

Listening at Two Very Different Scales

Large-scale listening: To ensure that DSS-43 can still place the longest of long-distance calls, the antenna underwent a round of updates in 2020. A new X-band cone was installed. DSS-43 transmits radio signals in the X (8 to 12 gigahertz) and S (2 to 4 GHz) bands; it can receive signals in the X, S, L (1 to 2 GHz), and K (12 to 40 GHz) bands. The dish’s pointing accuracy also was tested and recertified. 1200 words from Willie D. Jones for IEEE Spectrum. Small-scale listening: The sounds being produced are within the lower range of human hearing, so it’s possible there are sounds in the soil we haven’t heard yet. Early research from Switzerland shows soils were producing the most complex sounds in spring and summer, which declined in autumn and winter. Phoebe Weston writes 1000 words for The Guardian.
posted by cgc373 at 10:20 PM - 1 comment

The six directions: North, South, East, West, Anth and Kenth

On Steam right now is a game that lets you play Mini Golf in four dimensions, called, naturally, 4D Golf (Steam, $20). I don't mean in the sense that time is a fourth dimension, it's set in a fully 4D world: you decide which slice of it is revealed in the visible 3D world at any time. Here's a trailer. (1 1/2 minutes) Here's Youtuber Icely Puzzles playing the beginning of it. (43 minutes) Here's the video devlog. It's from CodeParade, who also made the hyperbolic plane exploration game Hyperbolica. At the end of the release announcement video, its creator mentioned that there is a secret feature in 4D Golf that makes it even more bizarre, but telling its existence is a pretty major spoiler.... [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 9:56 PM - 12 comments

Outback cattle property to expand national park

Outback cattle property to expand national park after environmentally significant government purchase. An anonymous $21 million ($13.68 million US) donation has helped with the purchase of the 352,589-hectare (871,266 acre) Vergemont Station near Longreach to create a 1.5 million-hectare (3,706,580 acre) protected corridor in outback Queensland.
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 9:40 PM - 3 comments

Grace Cummings

So I was out yesterday and listening to the NPR show World Cafe, as I do if/when I'm out at that time, and the host starts going on and on about the voice of the featured artist that day, about how stunning it is, and I'm thinking, come on, don't oversell it. They weren't overselling it. [more inside]
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:04 PM - 12 comments

The core query softness continues without mitigation

Edward Zitron has been reading all of google's internal emails that have been released as evidence in the DOJ's antitrust case against google.

Zitron concludes that Google Search died on February 5th, 2019 [more inside]
posted by zenon at 11:40 AM - 113 comments

If only your economy room included an escape pod

Little Workshop is an award-winning French studio specializing in high-quality immersive 3D experiences for the web. Their portfolio contains many charming and fun projects you can try out yourself, including endless city generator Infinitown, cute procedural dungeon crawler Keep Out!, pulsing geometric music visualizer TRACK, and Arde Madrid, a multi-scene recreation of Ava Gardner's home in Francoist Spain. Their latest and most ambitious project: EQUINOX, a slick, stylized adventure game set in a failing starship in deep space, complete with a full soundtrack and voice acting in a mobile-friendly interface. Read the case study on their website, or check out their other projects (including the dearly-departed Mozilla MMORPG BrowserQuest).
posted by Rhaomi at 9:57 AM - 4 comments

New ant species named after Voldemort due to visual similarities

New ant species discovered recently in Western Australia's Pilbara region, now named after Voldemort due to visual similarities
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 4:47 AM - 25 comments

It’s peculiar, in the sense that words are supposed to mean something

The Caesar’s mission creep toward absurdity began long before the tequila and the fava beans. In fact, it has been going on for decades—first slowly, then quickly, swept along by and reflective of many of the biggest shifts in American dining. from Something Weird Is Happening With Caesar Salads [The Atlantic; ungated]
posted by chavenet at 1:53 AM - 85 comments

How social networks prey on our longing to be known

"To be online today is to constantly walk a tight-rope between the longing to be known and the dread of being perceived." [more inside]
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 1:37 AM - 13 comments

April 22

That mysterious font is Festive, not Stymie

For a generation of British people, it represents the vanishing landscape of their childhoods, tied into ideas of nostalgia and even hauntology.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 11:35 PM - 18 comments

All 29 road tunnels in New Zealand, ranked from worst to best

By our count there are 29 tunnels you can drive through in New Zealand, and we have ranked them all, so if a shit one is on your route, you can take the other way around.
posted by Sebmojo at 8:28 PM - 21 comments

No One Buys Books

Elle Griffin's report on the testimony from the Justice Department's 2021 antitrust lawsuit to block the merger of Penguin Random House with Simon and Schuster reveals a disheartening truth: practically nobody buys books. [more inside]
posted by dis_integration at 8:10 PM - 91 comments

Turns out, it was The Last Domino

Genesis -- The Last Domino? PBS documentary [55m], about their final tour from a few years ago. Genesis The Last Domino? tour previously, which wasn't the end, I saw them in November of 2022.
posted by hippybear at 7:52 PM - 3 comments

CareFREE drumming

Junna's drumcover of Babymetal's Doki Doki Morning (It's your weekly free thread!)
posted by Gorgik at 6:59 PM - 28 comments

We cherished the girls, grog and laughter

The Poetry of Actor William Smith. You may be familiar with William Smith as a "that guy" from hundreds and hundreds of movie performances, usually the heavy, such as bare-knuckle brawler Jack Wilson in 1980's Any Which Way You Can. But his poetic contributions have gone largely unnoticed, and courtesy of his still-up website -- Williams passed in 2021 -- you can read poems like The Reaper or thrill to these poems read in Williams' own roadworn voice.
posted by Shepherd at 3:01 PM - 9 comments

High-Speed Rail from (Almost) LA to Vegas Finally Happening

Brightline West is ready to start breaking ground this week, according to The Washington Post. The southwest endpoint will be in Rancho Cucamonga, where it will connect to Metrolink. (Which is definitely better than Victorville, which had been suggested a few years ago.) Connecting to the existing lines here will make it simpler to build than trying to connect all the way to Los Angeles proper. (gift link) [more inside]
posted by KelsonV at 12:44 PM - 58 comments

“members of the Voyager flight team celebrate”

NASA’s Voyager 1 Resumes Sending Engineering Updates to Earth reports NASA. After pinpointing the issue with the space probe, the mission team have devised a workaround. Previously, previouslier, many more previouslies.
posted by Kattullus at 12:24 PM - 36 comments

H5N1 bird flu is spreading to mammals, killing huge numbers.

H5N1 bird flu has begun spreading between mammals, leaving coastlines dotted with the bodies of birds, seals, and sea lions. Agriculture increases human- animal contact. On the bright side, the human history of infection with other flu viruses may confer some resistance to H5N1. (Gift NYT article)
posted by Sleeper at 12:09 PM - 23 comments

Honeylocusts, Ginkgos, Callery Pears, Maples & more in the 5 boroughs

Previously: the official New York City tree map. Earlier this year: Kieran Healy created visualizations of "the relationship between the median diameter of street-trees (i.e., trees not in parks) and median household income for New York City neighborhoods" (for example, Park Slope versus Bushwick), dendograms of "New York City’s street tree species clustered by similarity of neighborhood profiles" (and, conversely, "the neighborhoods clustered by tree profile similarity"), and "a Principal Coordinates Analysis of New York City NTA neighborhoods and their street tree species". (NTA means Neighborhood Tabulation Area.) "I don’t really know anything about trees. I do know how to draw pictures, though."
posted by brainwane at 10:44 AM - 3 comments

Whose priorities

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith's introduction of Bill 18 is ostensibly meant as a corrective against federal overreach. The bill is widely described by observers and critics as unnecessary. It will result in the addition of a layer of bureaucracy and oversight between federal monies and programs, and the Albertan municipalities and public institutions that stand to benefit. [more inside]
posted by elkevelvet at 8:05 AM - 11 comments

Protesting for Gaza on US universities

Pro-Palestinian orgs at universities across the world protest in support of "Columbia Gaza Solidarity Encampment" Columbia Spectator, the newspaper run by undergrad Columbia University students, published an editorial asking if Columbia University is in crisis, stating: Columbia’s crisis is not as the committee has attempted to define it—a characterization stemming from the belief that the University has become a hotbed of antisemitic thought and behavior. Rather, the crisis is rooted in a lack of genuine community engagement on the part of the administration, as well as a failure to fulfill its duty of care to all affiliates. [more inside]
posted by toastyk at 7:20 AM - 302 comments

Ukraine war heading into third summer

As Congress has finally passed the Ukraine aid bill, hope is returning to the frontline, where Ukrainian troops are increasingly struggling to hold out against a numerically superior Russian force that also has a lot more ammunition to spend. This post has some status updates and commentary on the war at present. [more inside]
posted by Harald74 at 6:32 AM - 99 comments

The world has its youngest challenger for chess champion

17-year-old Gukesh Dommaraju has become the youngest challenger for the world championship title in history by winning the open section of the FIDE Candidates 2024 (previously). Other highlights of the tournament including Tan Zhongyi steamrolling the women's section, and Vaishali Rameshbabu winning five games in a row to lift herself from last place to shared second. The saddest moments came after the draw between Fabiano Caruana and Ian Nepomniachtchi that gave Gukesh his historic victory: "I'm very sorry." "My fault."
posted by clawsoon at 6:21 AM - 8 comments

Jo Brand interviewed by Jamie Laing

Exactly as it says on the tin (50ish min). Jo Brand, an English standup comedian, talks psychiatry, comedy and what swear word is her favourite with Jamie Laing, ex-Made in Chelsea star.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 6:18 AM - 6 comments

Insatiable: A Life Without Eating

Writer Andrew Chapman on having Crohn's and how food connects us to being human. (slLongreads)
posted by Kitteh at 5:24 AM - 12 comments

10 Years of Jeremy Parish's Works Projects

Jeremy Parish, dedicated game journalist and Retronaut, and creator of design deep dives, has been covering Gameboy (1989, gaiden), Game Boy Color (1998), Game Boy Advance (2001), NES (1985, 1986, 1987, 1998, 1999, gaiden), SNES (1991, extra, gaiden), N64 (1996), Sega, Virtual Boy and Metroidvania games now for ten years! His terrific and scholarly videos don't get nearly the views that much less worthy series get, so please give them a try if you have any interest in this area.
posted by JHarris at 1:08 AM - 15 comments

Parasite Aircraft

Flying aircraft carriers show up in steampunk, dieselpunk and atompunk fiction so often, we can consider them a genre trope. From Castle Wulfenbach in Girl Genius to the British aircraft carriers in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow to the helicarriers of S.H.I.E.L.D., here is a look at these behemoths of the sky. from Flying Aircraft Carriers [Previously]
posted by chavenet at 12:28 AM - 18 comments

April 21

Scientists discover extinct marsupial double the size of red kangaroos

Scientists discover extinct marsupial double the size of the red kangaroo. (Male red kangaroos grow up to a head-and-body length of 1.3–1.6 m (4 ft 3 in – 5 ft 3 in) with a tail that adds a further 1.2 m (3 ft 11 in) to the total length.) Researchers from Flinders University have described three new species of extinct kangaroo, helping to solve a nearly 150-year-long scientific mystery.
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 10:05 PM - 2 comments

wxsjmu by zevum oedldcmc cdhdeu qz

QWANJI is a fun, minimalist little webtoy for converting the patterns drawn on QWERTY-based swipe keyboards like Swype (RIP) and Gboard into visible glyphs reminiscent of handwritten kanji (hence the name). Experiment by typing text (using spaces to break up glyphs) to see instant results, and share by copying either the resulting URL or the gibberish text, which you can drop into the text field to see them sketched out. No word on when DVORAK support is coming (or T9, for that matter -- but there's a simulator for that).
posted by Rhaomi at 9:45 PM - 8 comments

Willie Nelson Outlaw Tour 2024

Willie Nelson Outlaw Tour 2024

I would have posted this to IRL if I knew how. Considering the principals and the age of some, this presents a last chance opportunity to see them. And as someone here I've already notified said about the front row tickets, those are stupid cheap prices.

Indeed, indeed.
posted by y2karl at 1:29 PM - 58 comments

Vicky Osterweil on the muddled anti-politics of contemporary movies

Image without metaphor in Dune 2: Because in 2024, I don't find it hard to believe that people are incredibly excited by the vision of an anti-colonial guerilla movement driven by Islamic faith defeating a massive and technologically dominant empire... I do find it hard to believe that more people in 2024 aren't outraged that Dune Part Two literally features a talking embryo.

Civil War, a piece of radical-centrist, middle brow bothsideism is not only sure to be the most successful film he has made, it is also by some margin the worst. But to my pleasant surprise, it's not a completely terrible and evil film. It is just a deeply mediocre one. [more inside]
posted by spamandkimchi at 12:53 PM - 112 comments

How does it feel to suddenly get decades of life added?

Jenny Livingstone has cystic fibrosis. She was not supposed to live beyond her mid thirties. But a new treatment is adding decades onto her life and she's having to consider the future in a new way now. Here's an interview with Jenny and Max Fisher from Pod Save America [~45m] about her life and her treatment and what this new extended lifespan means to her.
posted by hippybear at 11:17 AM - 6 comments

By Amun, it's full of stars

Enclosed within its rugged mud brick walls the temple precincts at Dendera seem to be an island left untouched by time. Particularly in the early hours of the morning, when foxes roam around the ruins of the birth house or venture down the steep stairs leading to the Sacred Lake. Stepping into the actual temple is like entering an ancient time machine, especially if you look up to the recently cleaned astronomical ceiling. This is a vast cosmos filled with stars, hour-goddesses and zodiac signs, many of which are personified by weird creatures like snakes walking on long legs and birds with human arms and jackal heads. On the columns just below the ceiling you encounter the mysterious gaze of the patron deity of the temple: Hathor.
It might not have the iconic status of Giza or the Valley of the Kings, but the Dendera temple complex north of Luxor boasts some of the most superbly-preserved ancient Egyptian art known, ranging from early Roman times back to the Middle Kingdom period over 4,000 years ago. Most breathtaking is the ceiling of the temple's grand pronaos, which is richly decorated with intricate astrological iconography. But you don't have to travel to Egypt to see it -- thanks to photographer and programmer José María Barrera [site], you can now peruse an ultra-HD scan of the fully-restored masterpiece in a slick zoomable scroller. Overwhelmed? See the captions in this gallery for a deep-dive into the symbolism, or click inside for even more. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi at 9:52 AM - 10 comments

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