April 22

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 - 3 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 - 31 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 - 13 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 - 2 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 - 2 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 - 6 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 - 11 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 - 14 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 - 3 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 - 54 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 - 80 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 - 9 comments

Negative Space - animation

Negative Space - "a short film by Ru Kuwahata and Max Porter, was nominated for a 2018 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film." [more inside]
posted by pracowity at 4:37 AM - 4 comments

Unwanted Sound

Implicit in the art of noise is a promise of resistance. For millennia, music has been a medium of control; noise, it follows, is a liberation. from What is Noise? by Alex Ross [The New Yorker; ungated]
posted by chavenet at 12:04 AM - 22 comments

April 20

Researchers train goannas not to eat cane toads in WA Kimberley region

Researchers train goannas not to eat cane toads in Western Australia's Kimberley region. The cane toad is spreading in northern Australia, but researchers have found a way to protect predators from the toxic pest and it's all a matter of taste.
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 11:07 PM - 3 comments

stop motion cooking

'Small pizza delivery shop.' (slyt. 4:12)
posted by clavdivs at 6:40 PM - 17 comments

I thought this was going to change the world. In a way, it did

‘We went from naive, hippyish protesters to hardcore anarchists’: the criminal justice bill protests, 30 years on. The criminal justice and public order bill aimed to criminalise “sounds wholly or predominantly characterised by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats”. “It was almost like a surrealist prank,” Harry Harrison, co-founder of DiY sound system, says now. “I said: ‘Is this real?’ It was a crazy mixture of the sinister and the absurd.” [from The Guardian]
posted by goo at 2:38 PM - 11 comments

The Lost Symphony of Jean Sibelius

A century ago saw the premiere of Jean Sibelius’ Seventh Symphony, the culmination of decades of experimentation and refinement of the form, as Alex Ross explains (with musical examples). A few years later, he started work on an eighth symphony, which he never completed to his satisfaction, and eventually he burned his manuscripts of it. In 2011, after sifting through the Sibelius manuscript archive, it was possible to record roughly two and half minutes of the thirty minute work. Despite some subsequent hints from correspondence with Sibelius’ copyist, no further fragments have been uncovered, and the Eighth Symphony remains lost.
posted by Kattullus at 1:55 PM - 13 comments

Not quite Mathematic!

Over on gRubiks.com, they've come up with an interesting puzzle solving guide:
If you have an old scrambled [Rubik's] cube just lying around the house, if you’re trying to learn how to solve it on your own and just need a “reset”, if you're looking for algorithms for patterns, or even if you just want to impress your friends—this solver is perfect for you.
Just take your scrambled Rubik's Cube, place it in front of you, and color the squares on the screen as you see them on your cube. Then press "solve", and it will walk you through the solution.
posted by not_on_display at 12:50 PM - 25 comments


Over on Mathstodon.xyz, Alexandre Muñiz comes up with an interesting puzzle game:
I call it Reverse the List of Integers. How it works is, you start with a list of positive integers, (e.g. [7, 5, 3]) and your goal is to make the same list, in reverse ([3, 5, 7]). You have two moves you can make:
     1) Split an integer into two smaller integers. (e.g. [7, 5, 3] → [6, 1, 5, 3])
     2) Combine (add) two integers into a larger one. (e.g. reverse the last e.g.)
There are two restrictions that seem natural for making this into an interesting game:
     1) You can never make an integer greater than the largest integer in the original list.
     2) You can never make a move that results in the same integer appearing in the list more than once.
User @ch33zer chimes in with a basic web implementation (followed by other attempts, including a visual version), and @GistNoesis offers some code for exploring the problem space to brute-force solutions. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi at 11:19 AM - 3 comments

Phish at The Sphere

How Phish turned Las Vegas’ Sphere into the ultimate music visualizer "Some moments last night felt like you were seeing enormous versions of the old visualizers from Winamp or iTunes. Others brought the crowd into intricate, dazzling scenes."
posted by dhruva at 3:15 AM - 56 comments

In the future these will be funny stories

It’s 2008. Though a San Francisco resident, I crave “Girl in New York” stories. Felicity Porter, Lena Dunham, Eileen Myles—in books and TV shows, I’ve watched them come of age in their frothy version of Brooklyn. As a black man, I have to tell myself this fascination isn’t me idolizing whiteness. No, this must be, like Venus Xtravanganza before me, a rational envy for those society deems valuable. A desire to chase my dreams through a maze of hangovers and strange lovers and suffer mere embarrassment for my mistakes. It seems I’ve found another such fantasy in this Reagan-era relic about itinerant artists—provided I steal it. Bohemian behavior for a bohemian book. So, Slaves in hand, I keep walking. from The Time I Stole Tama Janowitz’s Slaves of New York and Couldn’t Stop Reading It by Elwin Cotman
posted by chavenet at 12:17 AM - 6 comments

Unlikely friendship between cockatoo and lorikeet

Unlikely friendship between cockatoo and lorikeet bamboozles wildlife sanctuary visitors. A red-tailed black cockatoo and a musk lorikeet have become inseparable, with the smaller bird often found under the wing of the cockatoo at Tasmania's Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary.
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 12:13 AM - 18 comments

April 19

"Animals speak their own language... it’s a lot simpler to figure out."

A short fantasy story about a beastkeeper and what happens after the royal palace lets them go. By bixbythemartian.
posted by brainwane at 7:49 PM - 4 comments

You won't remember all my Erdős problems

A database of 589 math problems posed by Paul Erdős, mostly in combinatorial geometry and number theory, only 159 of which have been solved. Get to work!
posted by escabeche at 7:34 PM - 15 comments

Revolution in Tennessee

The NLRB announced tonight that UAW won a historic union election at Volkswagen in Chattanooga Tennessee. The union won by a margin of more than 70% as votes [continued] to be counted. With labor shortages throughout the manufacturing sector, many of the workers hired by Volkswagen were much younger and more diverse. Some had even moved from more pro-union parts of the country to work there. “It’s a totally different ball game,” [Renee Berry] said. “The atmosphere is different. You see more pro-union than anti-union [workers]. A whole lot of people who were anti-union in the past have switched.”
posted by 2N2222 at 7:22 PM - 19 comments

The Scientist of the Soul

The materialist world view is often associated with despair. In “Anna Karenina,” Konstantin Levin, the novel’s hero, stares into the night sky, reflects upon his brief, bubblelike existence in an infinite and indifferent universe, and contemplates suicide. For Dennett, however, materialism is spiritually satisfying. [...] “Darwin’s dangerous idea,” Dennett writes, is that Bach’s music, Christianity, human culture, the human mind, and Homo sapiens “all exist as fruits of a single tree, the Tree of Life,” which “created itself, not in a miraculous, instantaneous whoosh, but slowly, slowly.” He asks, “Is this Tree of Life a God one could worship? Pray to? Fear? Probably not.” But, he says, it is “greater than anything any of us will ever conceive of in detail worthy of its detail. . . . I could not pray to it, but I can stand in affirmation of its magnificence. This world is sacred.”
Daniel C. Dennett, Widely Read and Fiercely Debated Philosopher, Dies at 82 [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi at 3:29 PM - 38 comments

See also Arkell v. Pressdram

The maker of a "Fuck the LAPD" t-shirt received a takedown notice from the Los Angeles Police Foundation on the grounds that the shirt infringed its trademark on "LAPD". Their lawyer's response was nothing if not concise. [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole at 12:14 PM - 24 comments

K-POP stans and crunchy snack fans for the planet!

K-pop fans organized by KPOP4PLANET pressure Hyundai into ending a greenwashed dirty energy aluminum deal in Indonesia. Will the collective action of snackers and ramen slurpers end PepsiCo's reliance on palm oil from deforested areas? PalmWatch is a brand new tool to trace palm oil supplies from the ground level (% of tree cover area lost by country), to the processing mills, to middleman parent corporations, and to the consumer brands that use the oil in their products. [more inside]
posted by spamandkimchi at 12:03 PM - 5 comments

You'd Think Every Year Would Be A Heliophysics Year

Heliophysics Big Year [24m] is a video from NASA Edge about, well, apparently a big year for heliophysics, or the study of the Sun. The Solar Observatory at Sunspot NM is a pretty interesting place to visit. If you're ever in the vicinity of White Sands National Park, you're only a couple of hours' drive from Sunspot, in a completely different environment from the desert floor below. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 11:39 AM - 12 comments

Can memory reconsolidation increase psychotherapy's effectiveness?

In “A Proposal for the Unification of Psychotherapeutic Action Understood as Memory Modification Processes”, Bruce Ecker lays out the case for a unifying account of therapeutic processes, and why that matters. (Link is to a publicly available pre-print copy of the article.) [more inside]
posted by concinnity at 10:39 AM - 11 comments

emo ambient

Claire Rousay has gained prominence [NYT, archive link] as an experimental, ambient musician, but her most recent album, Sentiment, [Bandcamp, Spotify, YouTube Music, Apple Music] is closer to lo-fi indie pop. Her website has links to her whole discography.
posted by Kattullus at 8:32 AM - 6 comments

The Life and Death of Hollywood

"The writers are losing out. The middle layer of craftsmen are losing out. The top end of the talent are making more money than they ever have, but the nuts-and-bolts people who make the industry go round are losing out dramatically.” (slHarper's) [more inside]
posted by Kitteh at 7:11 AM - 22 comments

☆彡 ☆彡 ☆彡 ☆彡 It was like fireworks. ☆彡 ☆彡 ☆彡

It is the late 1800s. You are an innovative fireworks manufacturer in Yokohama, Japan, with an increasingly international audience (including, on at least one occasion, Ulysses S. Grant). But how to demonstrate to your worldwide customers what, exactly, you have on offer? Introducing the beautifully minimalist Hirayama Fireworks' Illustrated Catalog of Night Bomb Shells. [more inside]
posted by nobody at 5:33 AM - 24 comments

No Tech for Apartheid organizers fired

In an internal memo Wednesday, Google announced the firing of 28 employees in connection to a protest of Project Nimbus. The previous day inside Google offices in New York and California, a couple dozen employees staged a sit-in to bring awareness to the $1.2 billion Israeli government contract. It began in 2021 and provides cloud computing services to Israel—specifically, we’ve recently learned, to the Israeli Ministry of Defense—and though it has faced internal criticism since its inception, efforts against it have naturally intensified since October 7th. The memo from Google’s global head of security Chris Rackow was ominous. “If you’re one of the few who are tempted to think we’re going to overlook conduct that violates our policies,” he wrote to the company’s thousands of employees, “think again.” From Marisa Kabas of The Handbasket. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 4:13 AM - 63 comments

Mini rope bridges built in Forest of Dean to help dormice

Forestry England has built rope bridges for hazel dormice in the Forest of Dean, so that the mice can get from tree to tree, their routes having been interrupted by felling caused by ash dieback. [more inside]
posted by paduasoy at 2:39 AM - 13 comments

Confidence is a preference for the habitual voyeur

One Minute Park allows you to visit parks from around the world for one minute each. These are just one minute videos, not webcams. Eventually the project will fill in all the minutes (1440) in a day. You can create your own One Minute Park to help achieve this goal.
posted by chavenet at 12:32 AM - 5 comments

Friday Itch.io Fun: Neltris

Neltris is a small in-browser game by Hempuli, creator of Baba is You, Environmental Station Alpha, and scores of tiny indie games as seen on that itch.io page. It's just Tetris, but with additional Tetris.
posted by wanderingmind at 12:03 AM - 12 comments

April 18

When Pearl Jam Get Dark About Matters, Things Get Great

First we got the title track, Dark Matter thick and meaty, grown out of a drum riff. Something was a'brewin'. Something more powerful than in the recent past, with a blistering guitar solo. Running was the second single, maybe even more intense than the first. Then the miracle review: Pearl Jam Dig Deep and Find a New Light on ‘Dark Matter’ [Rolling Stone] But the band is also excited: [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 8:51 PM - 12 comments

"Greetings, citizen! Are you getting enough oxygen?"

Adult Swim is celebrating the 30th anniversary of Space Ghost: Coast To Coast by showing all the episodes in no particular order on YouTube right this very moment. Relive the early days of Cartoon Network's dimwitted dadaist superhero insanity, or become enthralled for the first time.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 8:45 PM - 24 comments

Fine-Feathered Friends

The two flat “blades” of a feather on either side of the main shaft are called vanes. In living birds that fly, the feathers that arise from the hand, known as the primaries, have asymmetrical vanes: the leading vane is narrower than the trailing one. It stood to reason that vane asymmetry was important for flight. And because fossils of Microraptor and its kin show asymmetrical feathers, some researchers argued, these animals must have been able to fly.

Recent work by flight biomechanics experts, including me, has overturned this received wisdom about feather vane asymmetry. Our research shows that feather shape is largely optimized to allow the feather to twist and bend in sophisticated ways that greatly enhance flight performance. Merely being anatomically asymmetrical doesn’t mean much. What matters is that the feather is aerodynamically asymmetrical, and for this to be the case, the vane asymmetry must be at least three to one—that is, the trailing blade needs to be three times wider than the leading one. Below this ratio, the feather twists in a destabilizing rather than stabilizing way during flight.
Scientific American: Why Feathers Are One of Evolution’s Cleverest Inventions [includes helpful illustrations -- and some truly stunning 4K+ photography] [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi at 6:43 PM - 18 comments

And when it's time for leavin', I hope you'll understand

Singer, song writer, guitarist Dickey Betts has died. A driving force and original member of the Allman Brothers Band, Dickey Betts was an early pioneer of two part guitar harmonies in rock music.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 3:04 PM - 44 comments

These frogs were thought close to extinction, but they've reappeared

These dramatically-coloured bright yellow and dark black frogs were thought close to extinction, but they've reappeared in a park blackened during Black Summer. (Black Summer was the massive and far reaching 2019-2020 Australian Bushfires/Forest Fires that were on a previously unprecedented scale, size, and scope.) For the first time in five years, northern corroboree frogs have been detected in Namadgi National Park. Almost 40 of the critically endangered species were spotted across the park by government ecologists. [more inside]
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 12:10 PM - 1 comment

Istanbull not Coinstantinople

Being early investors in tech wasn’t something that had historically been available to the average person in Turkey. The instant millionaires and billionaires and unicorns pretty much lived elsewhere. Now, Faruk Özer saw a possibility. People in Turkey could shelter their money in what was clearly going to be the next big tech boom. But the biggest opportunity wasn’t in trading coins—it was in running a cryptocurrency exchange. Exchanges collect people’s money and, for a commission, invest it; that gives people who don’t have the time or skills to invest directly into the blockchain a pathway to crypto. from He Emptied an Entire Crypto Exchange Onto a Thumb Drive. Then He Disappeared [Wired; ungated]
posted by chavenet at 11:44 AM - 13 comments

I Go Meow

The Kiffness x Cala - I Go Meow [3m]
posted by hippybear at 9:50 AM - 9 comments

“I still wanted to help. But I didn’t know what the hell I was doing.”

The Deaths of Effective Altruism [archive] by Leif Wenar is a critical assessment of the effective altruism movement, taking in Sam Bankman-Fried and billionaires, Peter Singer and other philosophers, and GiveWell and the wider network of charities working off effective altruistic ideas.
posted by Kattullus at 8:11 AM - 81 comments

The ultimate con

His real name appears to have been John McCarthy. And he was the con man who sold the Brooklyn Bridge. By Dean Jobb. (Previously on selling landmarks)
posted by bq at 7:38 AM - 13 comments

If you miss this comet, you’ll have to wait another 71 years

Want to see the "Devil Comet" at its brightest? If you miss it, you’ll have to wait another 71 years. Australians will be able to see comet 12P/Pons-Brooks aka the "Devil Comet" this week even without a telescope or binoculars. Here's how to spot it and snap a photo.
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 12:49 AM - 10 comments

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