June 18

The Keeper of the Keys

Meet the man who holds the keys to the Pope’s Museums, and other stuff. (YT video)
posted by shoesfullofdust at 6:51 PM - 0 comments

Music to do nothing to

lofi study chill beats radio [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:27 PM - 10 comments

True-Life Adventures

Herb and Lois Crisler were a married team of wildlife photographers who spent much of their life together living in the backcountry of Olympic National Park. In 1973, two years after Lois' death, their old friend Don McQuade accompanied an 80-year-old Herb on a traverse of the Olympic Mountains and filmed it for a documentary about the Crislers. The film screened several times but all that's known to survive today is an 18-minute sample reel. [more inside]
posted by edeezy at 6:12 PM - 1 comment

Technology Connections

Sure, in this age of LCD screens and 8k displays, it's easy-ish to understand how video is played. But what about before computers, before integrated circuits, hell, before transistors? Simple. Televisions used analog lines of light to draw their pictures. [more inside]
posted by thegears at 5:24 PM - 14 comments

The night in Day is brighter than the day in Night.

Jared Pechacek (@vandroidhelsing) has used Twitter's poll feature to write three Choose Your Own Adventure-style stories — each a fairy tale, of one sort or another — as he responded in real time to readers' choices. [more inside]
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 5:15 PM - 1 comment

An actual panic button

Not Ok is an app to let people know you need help. Designed by teenagers for both physical and mental illnesses. Hannah Lucas came up with the idea for this because she needed it herself. [more inside]
posted by Margalo Epps at 4:38 PM - 7 comments

Seriously, it was impossible to predict

From the Department of No One Could Possibly Have Foreseen this: Tronc finally realizes it has a stupid name (previously) (previouslier) [more inside]
posted by GuyZero at 4:12 PM - 31 comments

What Spitty does well is jump. At this, he excels.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that no pleasure is so cheaply bought, and so unmarred by complexity, as the simple joy of seeing a dog hurl itself into a pond in pursuit of a slobbery stick. Science has proven the impossibility of the human brain to register self-pity, or maunder on about the generally sorry state of things, while in the presence of canine bellyflops. (Outside magazine)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:16 PM - 14 comments

How to Spot a Perfect Fake: the World's Top Art Forgery Detective

A wonderful profile by Samanth Subramanian of James Martin, perhaps the world's best forensic forgery detection expert, waging a battle with increasingly skilled forgers who have set off a "crisis of authentication" in "a time when the art market is synonymous with art itself." [more inside]
posted by mecran01 at 1:52 PM - 16 comments

Feeling Low? Time to Get Happy

Do you feel low? Worn down? Discouraged? Maybe you need a break. Maybe you need a lot of breaks. Here are 25 ways to feel happier in the next 5 minutes because we all could use a little happiness. No good? Perhaps 14 ways to get through tough times is a better fit. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 1:42 PM - 8 comments

Sending an endless stream of pictures of Gary Busey

Nastybot is a Facebook chatbot that helps people navigate creepy and unsolicited messages. Your assistant for dealing with internet harassment. Nastybot has answers for all sorts of scenarios when unsavory characters send unwelcome messages to your inbox. Keep her in your toolbelt next time someone harasses you online and thwart creepy messages.
posted by holmesian at 1:31 PM - 3 comments

So what are we going to do about it?

The Death of a Once Great City: The Urban Crisis of Affluence. What are we going to do about a New York that is, right now, being plundered not only of its treasure but also of its heart, and soul, and purpose? [more inside]
posted by hydra77 at 12:23 PM - 36 comments

interrupt me one more time

I ask a bunch of men, "Have you ever interrupted a woman?" [more inside]
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:16 PM - 22 comments

The art and standards of obituaries, reflecting current traditions

"She will not be missed" is a brutal phrase to read in an obituary, but leads to the question: how have obits changed in recent time? Susan Soper has a theory: "after 9/11 when The New York Times wrote those hundreds and hundreds and hundreds, thousands of very short, poignant obituaries in their pages ... that was sort of when the tide turned in obituaries and people realized that you could bring a person to life and keep them alive in even a short written bio, really." And many taboo topics, like children born out of wedlock, drug use and suicide, are less of taboos than they used to be [content warning]. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 10:23 AM - 23 comments

"Don’t confuse Freedom Edition with Free Edition at TurboTax.com"

Why Are Millions Paying Online Tax Preparation Fees When They Don’t Need To? Few taxpayers use the Free File system — intended to help moderate- and low-income filers — and that benefits companies like Intuit and H&R Block. Now Congress is moving to make the program permanent. (SLProPublica by Tik Root)
posted by crazy with stars at 10:14 AM - 21 comments

My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me

"My wife said you may want to marry me. A little over a year ago, my wife, Amy Krouse Rosenthal, published a Modern Love essay called “You May Want to Marry My Husband.” At 51, Amy was dying from ovarian cancer. She wrote her essay in the form of a personal ad. It was more like a love letter to me. Those words would be the final ones Amy published. She died 10 days later." (previously)
posted by Memo at 9:24 AM - 18 comments

Fred Gonsowski would like to share his gardening wisdom

Fred Gonsowski has been sharing gardening tips at Fred Gonsowski Garden Home since 2010 based on his experience building a beautiful garden at his upstate New York home. [more inside]
posted by imabanana at 9:23 AM - 5 comments

Bluegrass pride

Just As I Am: "By age twenty, he was working consistently on the bluegrass-gospel circuit. One gig ended abruptly when he loaned his laptop to a couple of bandmates at a recording session. They got nosy and found photos from a hush-hush trip to Gatlinburg with his clandestine boyfriend. 'I don’t know how you and God are,' the bandleader thundered at Brandon, who stared at the floor, 'but you need to get it right. If you keep on this path, you’ll be in hell for sure.'” [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:10 AM - 7 comments

The application does not define you – you define the application.

The University of Chicago announced that it would no longer require the ACT/SAT for admission, becoming the most-selective institution ever to adopt a test-optional policy. [more inside]
posted by WedgedPiano at 8:56 AM - 20 comments

I feel the earth move under my feet : sports seismology

How exciting is it when your team beats the reigning World Cup champs in your first match against them? Enough to shake the earth, apparently! [more inside]
posted by a fiendish thingy at 8:49 AM - 9 comments

Three Point Landing

A supercut of superheroes (and Justin Timberlake) dropping in to cause mayhem [more inside]
posted by quaking fajita at 8:08 AM - 30 comments

mastaba-tory or mastaba-mazing?

7,506 oil barrels floating in Hyde Park. Christo has unveiled his latest piece of art: a mastaba in the middle of the Serpentine in London. "Based on the trapezoid shapes of traditional Islamic mastabas – a type of tomb – the temporary sculpture is the realisation of the artistic duo's shared dream of creating a floating version of the form that has fascinated them for half a century." Entirely self-funded, free to view (obviously enough), and difficult to miss if you're wandering through the park.
posted by humuhumu at 7:49 AM - 22 comments

Favorite beard goes ghostbusters Mesopotamian style

Mesopotamian ghostbusting with Irving Finkel I Curator's Corner | The British Museum. Favorite beard is at it again with Sumerian tablets and ghostlies.
posted by zengargoyle at 7:37 AM - 5 comments

Balanced by some other force

In an 1898 letter to her son Emily wrote, “I have more brains, common sense, and know-how, generally than any two engineers civil or uncivil that I have ever met, and but for me, the Brooklyn Bridge, would never have had the name Roebling in any way connected to it!”
posted by ChuraChura at 6:35 AM - 6 comments

Debbie Sims Africa of the MOVE 9 paroled

Debbie Sims Africa was released on parole Saturday after 40 years in prison. She was one of the MOVE 9, nine men and women who were arrested in 1978 during a police raid on the building occupied by the Philadelphia Black liberation group MOVE. [more inside]
posted by enn at 5:47 AM - 9 comments

The brutality of British history

If you, or you ancestors are British, and paid tax between the 1830s and 2015 you contributed to reparations for the slave trade, not for the slaves but compensation for the owners. There are 32 images of William Wilberforce in the National Portrait Gallery, but just four images of black abolitionists. It's argued that slavery in the British empire was only abolished after it had ceased to be economically useful. When will Britain face up to its crimes against humanity? (has descriptions of slave punishment and torture)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:10 AM - 37 comments

June 17

Apocalypse please.

Political Realism in Apocalyptic Times, by Alison McQueen, traces the responses of three canonical political realists, Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes, and Hans J. Morgenthau to apocalyptic politics. Review here. Interview here. The Apocalypse in U.S. Political Thought. How to Be a Prophet of Doom.
posted by spaceburglar at 11:31 PM - 2 comments

TANK - A short film by Stu Maschwitz

TANK is an animated short film that took that Stu Maschwitz a year and half to create..."but I have to warn you, this is not how I would recommend anyone make a film." [more inside]
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 10:33 PM - 9 comments

Hip-Hop Radio Archive

From the legendary Mr. Magic's Rap Attack to tiny college and pirate stations, in the 80s and 90s radio was pivotal to the growth of hip hop culture in the US and beyond. The Hip-Hop Radio Archive is bringing taped recordings out of collectors' basements and into a more secure and public home, tracing the spread of hip-hop by providing regional and historical context for the episodes. [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 9:49 PM - 10 comments

Go cross-eyed.

OMDO [itch.io] “Plays just like DOOM, except every frame is a random dot autostereogram. If you don't know what that is, you should read more about it here, but the gist is that you have to either go cross-eyed or wall-eyed in order to see the game. Otherwise it just looks like a bunch of random dots.” [via: PC Gamer]
posted by Fizz at 8:50 PM - 38 comments

How to evacuate a train using the seats [SL Birdsite]

After the 6.1 quake in Osaka this morning, here is a bit of positive news. Seats on Hankyu Railway trains (not linking to the railway since their site is a little hammered at the moment) can be removed and reassembled into exit ramps to get people out of the cars between stations. This is great.
posted by Gotanda at 8:49 PM - 15 comments

To speak of modern things in an ancient voice

"I watched these pothole crews going up and down my street, and there was a defiant pothole in front of my house that was just staying, that wasn't being fixed. I thought I should fill it in." That was mosaic artist Jim Bachor in 2014, when his 87-year-old neighbor stood lookout as Bachor turned an eyesore into eye candy. Just look at what the pothole vigilante has been up to since then. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:02 PM - 15 comments

Get them while they're hot

For centuries -- millennia even -- the biggest goal of Pixar fanatics has been to find the Holy Grail, the rarest of all DVDs to bear the lamp: Made In Point Richmond. Given out exclusively to employees shortly before the studio moved to a larger facility, it was never sold to the public. You could only have a copy if you worked for the company at the time, and though it had grown to a staff of hundreds by the time the disc was printed, it still wasn't as big as it is now.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 5:39 PM - 8 comments

You confront the tough mobile sprout

Houseplants occasionally get a little leggy, but usually not in this direction. Franktasia's quick sketch-up of his most accomplished son, "whomst has defied the restrictions placed on him as a plant," prompts a delightful responses from the Twitter artsy community.
posted by drlith at 5:21 PM - 15 comments

Patriotic Patriarchy: Working for the Man

Utopia and work - "The utopianism of full employment is so entrenched, as a seemingly uncontested common sense, it's difficult to imagine a different utopian horizon. But there is one, which emerges from at least three different theoretical and political traditions." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 3:03 PM - 5 comments

A Handful of Female Glass Artists

Just some really cool women doing some really cool glass artwork, some functional, some not. Check out Chris Wood for her amazing dichroic glass wall panels that sculpt light. If you liked the crystal foxes from Star Wars, you'll love the work of Marta Klonowska who makes lifelike animals from shattered glass. If shoes are more your speed, check out Dellene Peralta's dope work. Finally, the work of Ginny Ruffner opens the world of what it means to create accessible glass art by someone with a disability.
posted by stoneweaver at 2:21 PM - 7 comments

Urban Hammocking: It's a Thing

Swaying gently in an urban hammock has become increasingly popular as lightweight and more advanced hammock designs have become available. There are photos. There are articles. Sometimes permits are required. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 12:05 PM - 56 comments

Adding Color Evokes Empathy

The Passionate Photo Colorizers Who Are Humanizing the Past
“I love how colorized photos enable me to imagine these guys walking around today,” one commenter remarked. “I feel like I saw this guy at the store,” wrote another.
[more inside]
posted by hilaryjade at 9:37 AM - 29 comments

Bike a scarf in five minutes or less

The Cyclo Knitter is the perfect contraption for those cold waits at a train station when one has forgotten their book. Design student George Barratt-Jones's invention, a five minute stationary bike ride on the machine knits up a simple scarf to cozy in or give away. Watch the bike-scarf-er in action or read more about the design process and construction. [more inside]
posted by hapaxes.legomenon at 9:20 AM - 20 comments

When Gays Wanted to Liberate Children

"Rearing children should be the common responsibility of the whole community. Any legal rights parents have over ‘their’ children should be dissolved and each child should be free to choose its own destiny."
posted by latkes at 9:00 AM - 15 comments

From Little Fanny to Fluffy Ruffles

In the cookie-cutter conservative era of the 1950s, even good, wholesome girls were undressing Elvis, and not just in their minds. During the mid-20th century, the popularity of paper dolls peaked and production boomed like never before. By then, the medium was well-established as a cheap way for young people to make believe: You could be Martha Washington, carefully selecting a regal wardrobe, or a rebellious teen-queen cruising around with famous rock idols. But these simple-seeming toys have a complicated past. [more inside]
posted by MovableBookLady at 8:51 AM - 13 comments

André-Jacques Garnerin, Official Aeronaut of France

On October 22, 1797, André-Jacques Garnerin ascended to 3,000 feet in a hydrogen balloon -- and became the first person to parachute from a high altitude. The Paris crowds below watched, mesmerized, as Garnerin detached his basket and parachute from the hydrogen balloon. Anxiety must have diffused through the crowd like bolts of lightening as Garnerin began to free-fall, until seconds later his parachute opened. A small revolution had taken place a few thousand feet above the crowds, as a man began slowly descending beneath his parachute, and the crowds were ecstatic. [more inside]
posted by kmkrebs at 8:20 AM - 8 comments


In Detroit's busiest ER, a man with his own dark past tries to halt a cycle of violence [LATimes] 'In the first year of the program, Winans received a letter from President Obama honoring his achievements as a mentor. He keeps it in his office along with a photograph of himself in a prison uniform and a portrait of his father taken shortly before he was killed.'
posted by riruro at 6:41 AM - 3 comments

Wiki-Food and (mostly) Women

The Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery (previously) in collaboration with the British Library is running Wiki-Food and (mostly) Women, a project aimed at improving and expanding Wikipedia's food coverage, especially (but not exclusively) entries related to women and those outside of the Western gaze. Four edit-a-thons have been held to date, and some of the improved articles include Sophie Coe (historian of chocolate), Anna Wecker (16th century German cookbook author) and the use of charcoal in food.
posted by Vesihiisi at 4:43 AM - 4 comments

"there is no such thing as negative visibility"

A Clear Look at the Issue of Resolution
Steve Yedlin, ASC [previously] offers an intriguing demonstration on how capture formats, pixel counts and postproduction techniques affect image quality and why simply counting Ks is not a solution when selecting a camera.
[more inside]
posted by Bangaioh at 4:24 AM - 13 comments

June 16

Henry Bromell: master of the one-hour drama

old podcast interview with the late Henry Bromell, master of writing one-hour tv dramas During his lifetime wrote for "Northern Exposure", "Homicide", "Carnivale", "Homeland", and created one of the most underrated shows of all time, "Rubicon"
posted by FiftyShadesOfBae at 10:59 PM - 8 comments

No one leaves home unless/home is the mouth of a shark.

The deeply-personal Home, by British-Somali poet Warsan Shire, has become a rallying call for refugees and their advocates. Listen to her read it. An earlier version of the poem, Conversations About Home (at a deportation centre), featured an unusual typographical style. Watch her read it. [CW: sexual abuse]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:47 PM - 10 comments

Beyond The Scene: BTS and the Korean Invasion

BTS (방탄소년단; Bangtan Sonyeondan), also known as the Bangtan Boys, celebrate their 5th anniversary with a notable first in the U.S.: their 6th album, Love Yourself 轉 'Tear' (YT playlist), is the first (largely) Korean language album to hit #1 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart, which some to ask: bigger than Bieber? (CNN) Is it time for a Korean invasion? (NPR) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:32 PM - 11 comments

Feminize Your Canon

The Paris Review's new monthly column, Feminize Your Canon seeks to explore the lives and works of women writers who have achieved less attention and/or appreciation than one might think they ought. First up: Lapham's Quarterly's Emma Garman profiles 20th-Century British novelist, poet, and reviewer Olivia Manning. [more inside]
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 6:50 PM - 16 comments

Creative applications of color theory in landscape photography

Photorapher Erin Babnick gives anyone interested in colour and photography a different perspective. Illustrated with some gorgeous examples, this isn't a photoshop tutorial, but rather a way to think about colour.
posted by smoke at 6:40 PM - 13 comments

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