June 19

Candy and candymaking and "satisfying", ASMR-adjacent videos

In the world of YouTube, satisfying, ASMR-like videos are booming, and some folks like to watch long videos about all kinds of activity and process, especially in skills and domains they don't personally work in, like candy-making. Two major contributors to candy-making videos, and candy business videos, are (and they have visited each other), Lofty Pursuits and Public Displays of Confection, based in Tallahassee, FL, and Hercules Candy, based in East Syracuse, NY. [more inside]
posted by kalessin at 8:32 AM - 0 comments

Kate Tempest's latest album: living poetry amid the chaos of 2019

Kate Tempest’s latest record finds beauty amidst breakdown. The spoken word poet – whose last album, 2016’s Let Them Eat Chaos (YouTube playlist), was nominated for the Mercury prize – is known for her chest-thumping, rousing statements. But on The Book of Traps and Lessons (YT pl), she takes a macro view of people (in one breath-catching moment she counts (YT): “7.2 billion humans … 7.3 billion humans …”, and on), before zooming right in to the smallest of intimacies. On Three Sided Coin (YT), she captures the current turbulence of the UK, a nation living “in the mouth of a breaking storm”; and then, quickly, the track unspools into the softer-edged I Trap You (YT), a meditation on a broken-down relationship. (The Guardian) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 7:27 AM - 1 comment

Excerpt from The Book of Dust Volume Two

What Lyra did next. "An exclusive extract from Philip Pullman’s new novel The Secret Commonwealth: Twenty-year-old Lyra has to flee Oxford by boat for the third time in her life, this time in the company of the old gyptian Giorgio Brabandt. As they sail towards the safety of the Fens, they hear a zeppelin approaching …" The Secret Commonwealth: The Book of Dust Volume Two will be published on 3 October 2019. [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 6:48 AM - 9 comments

It's easy if you try...

In advance of a new film set in a parallel universe in which the Beatles never existed except in the memory of one man, several music writers consider the question of how popular culture and society in general would have differed had the band never existed. Would rock'n'roll have died out in the early 60s, with folk or jazz providing the basis of pop music? Would pop music have been more ephemeral and insignificant, with something else (possibly surfing or chess) serving as the core for generational rebellion? And what would have happened in the lives of everyone from the four erstwhile Beatles themselves to Brian Epstein, Mick Jagger and antecedents including Elton John, Noel and Liam Gallagher and Ed Sheeran. (SLGuardian)
posted by acb at 6:25 AM - 60 comments

goth spelunking

Bloodstained: Ritual Of The Night whips it good [Rock Paper Shotgun] “Bloodstained: Ritual Of The Night, the crowdfunded return of Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night, is out now. Produced by [director Koji Igarashi] new studio, ArtPlay, it’s a series successor in all but name. There might be a shortage of Belmonts or Draculas, but there’s a big gothic castle to explore, bosses to clobber, and a bundle of RPG elements to pad out the platform exploration and brawling. Below, a very tongue-in-cheek launch trailer, featuring Igarashi hamming it up in front of the camera again, daft character customisation, and free DLC plans. [...] The similarities run all the way down to the primary protagonist having magic tattoos which let her steal abilities from monsters and re-purpose them. Igarashi was just a producer, rather than director on that game, but I’m hoping it manages to recapture that fine balance between RPG flexibility and tricky platform combat.” [YouTube][Launch Trailer] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 5:51 AM - 5 comments

"Where there is waste, there is an opportunity."

How a Swedish town became the world capital of recycling [slGuardian]
posted by ellieBOA at 4:48 AM - 1 comment

The Real Estate State

CAPITAL CITY: “Planners provide a window into the practical dynamics of urban change: the way the state both uses and is used by organized capital, and the power of landlords and developers at every level of government." Antifada Podcast: The Housing Monster w/ Samuel Stein of Capital City on the Real Estate State (89:00) 'Places where real estate is cheap don’t have many good jobs. Places with lots of jobs, primarily coastal cities, have seen their real-estate markets go absolutely haywire. " Why Housing Policy Feels Like Generational Warfare (The Atlantic) Grim New Report Shows Rent Is Unaffordable In Every State (Huffpost) Tenants Won This Round: Last week, New York tenants overcame the state's powerful real-estate lobby to win a historic package of renter protections. Next stop: universal rent control. (Jacobin) Berlin backs five-year rent freeze amid housing pressure (BBC) Lessons from Berlin (RTE)
posted by The Whelk at 12:49 AM - 10 comments

Money Stuff

Facebook Will Make the Money Now - "Money is a technology. This is true, first of all, in a grand abstract sense: The human capacity to generate collective fictions is our most powerful and general technology, the thing that distinguishes us from other animals and enables long-term cooperation and complex societies, and money is one of the most important collective fictions."[1] [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 12:12 AM - 35 comments

"It has created so much curiosity and speculation in so many places"

“There are so many unanswered questions that will probably never be answered, but the one I would love to get answered is, Who was Peter Bergmann?” Ten years ago this week a man calling himself Peter Bergmann checked in to a hotel in Sligo town. Five days later his body was found on Rosses Point beach. Who was he?
posted by Grinder at 12:10 AM - 15 comments

June 18

Most of all, I didn’t expect to meet Lynette.

I didn’t expect to have a profound reckoning with my relationship to my own lesbianism and womanhood. I didn’t expect to make friends I hope to keep for a long, long time. I didn’t expect that spending a few days with a couple thousand lesbians on a floating hotel/casino/mall/amusement park would push me to radically reconsider the future I’d been carefully and painstakingly planning for myself.
Shannon Keating went on an Olivia cruise, run since 1990 by the legendary lesbian record company and didn't expect much beyond having a good time. It ended up overturning her entire life.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:09 PM - 21 comments

A choir of potatoes sings

This is a song about potatoes.
posted by MoonOrb at 9:36 PM - 10 comments

"It made sense to create a food concept around Garfield."

A Garfield-licensed restaurant has opened in Toronto. My first question was direct, “Why Garfield?” [more inside]
posted by knile at 9:13 PM - 36 comments

I wrote 752 words of my novel after the pain set in today

Author Ada Palmer on writing, pain, and teamwork.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:44 PM - 9 comments

"I don’t like the square. It’s dumb."

Nintendo Life: Tetris Creator Alexey Pajitnov On Tetris 99, Tetris Comics And His Favourite Tetris Piece
posted by duffell at 7:29 PM - 7 comments

"...the chemistry of the weeper"

As human teardrops dry, salt and other substances in the teardrop bunch together and crystalize in intricate, snowflake-like shapes (Discover Magazine). Do the tears caused by onions look the same as those provoked by sadness? Photographers Rose-Lynn Fisher (Smithsonian) and Maurice Mikkers (Medium) have both explored the composition of the three types of tears: basal (ever-present fluid that protects the eye), reflex (triggered by an irritant), and psychic (triggered by emotions). The verdict: they all look different but not because of the type of tears. “There are many factors that determine the look of each tear image," says Fisher (New Yorker), "including the viscosity of the tear, the chemistry of the weeper, the settings of the microscope, and the way I process the images afterwards,”
posted by not_the_water at 3:47 PM - 8 comments

this summer, one person will learn what it means to knock on wood

The Skatune Network Presents: The Impression That I Get, Except It Changes Genre Every 15 Seconds
posted by everybody had matching towels at 3:16 PM - 34 comments

fun to funky

Want some classic Bowie recordings remixed into a reggae structure? Well, here's David Bowie - The Next Dub, one of over a dozen dub remix projects by musical entity Black Market. [more inside]
posted by cortex at 12:56 PM - 13 comments

From The Queen of Shitty Robots...

Truckla, the new Tesla Pickup. "Available nowhere." (Except in Simone Giertz's driveway.)
posted by dobbs at 11:28 AM - 47 comments

You Built a Time Machine... Out of a DeLorean?

The actual story of famed and disgraced auto designer John DeLorean would probably make a pretty good movie. Probably wouldn't have any time machines in it though. It would be more like The Wolf of Wall Street, but with cars.
posted by COD at 10:03 AM - 35 comments

Brace! Brace! Brace!

Youtuber Tom Scott and friends has a go in the Royal Navy's Damage Repair Instructional Unit, also known as the HMS Excellent. While water is pouring in and the unit is listing, they are trying to apply damage control procedures that the Royal Navy would use in a real situation (SLYT).
posted by Harald74 at 8:58 AM - 24 comments

“When you're accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression."

Author Michael Lewis has a new{NYT] podcast called[FT] "Against The Rules" [spotify, apple, stitcher] that's all about referees and refereeing [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:29 AM - 19 comments

Theories on Māori moa hunting methods, based on practices and words

As early humans spread across the earth, they persistently hunted down the largest beasts around. Along with climate changes and human-caused ecosystem change, many researchers implicate hunting as a death knell for creatures from the giant ground sloth (Inverse; full paper) to the wooly mammoth and other megafauna (Geology Page; full paper in PDF). From this perspective, humanity’s late arrival to New Zealand simply delayed the moa’s execution date. When the Māori First Settled New Zealand, They Hunted Flightless, 500-Pound Birds (Atlas Obscura) -- but how did Māori best these beasts? [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 7:25 AM - 4 comments

The Saturday Night Live queer canon

Looking back at the show’s history, queer content has come in a few distinct forms. Tracking the evolution of these forms across the years can give us an appreciation for just how far Saturday Night Live and we, its fitfully patient (and just as often impatient) queer audience, have come.
posted by Etrigan at 6:32 AM - 19 comments

The Hot Mess of Hawai‘i’s Renewable Power Push

Can the small Hawaiian island of Moloka‘i and its utility get along well enough to teach the rest of the world how to get off fossil-fueled electricity? [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 6:01 AM - 10 comments


A brief history of cheating at video games [Engadget] “For as long as we've played games, there have been players willing to break the rules in order to win. Whether it's rolling weighted dice, counting cards, or hip checking pinball machines, you can bet your bottom dollar that if there's a game of chance, someone's working to work the odds in their favor. [...] Whether you exploit them or not, cheats are an intractable facet of modern gaming. They help developers test and debug their programs faster, with less effort, while providing a leg up for players otherwise overwhelmed by a game's difficulty.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 5:30 AM - 24 comments

Bigger, droopier, and objectively cuter...

A paper published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that dogs’ faces are structured for complex expression in a way that wolves’ aren’t, thanks to a special pair of muscles framing their eyes. These muscles are responsible for that “adopt me” look that dogs can pull by raising their inner eyebrows. It’s the first biological evidence scientists have found that domesticated dogs might have evolved a specialized ability used expressly to communicate better with humans. [The Atlantic]
posted by jim in austin at 4:12 AM - 33 comments

June 17

Because Australia, that's why

Pygmy possums usually aren’t on the menu for huntsman spiders. But an Australian man from Tasmania has captured the rare moment a huntsman attempted to devour a tiny possum at a lodge in the Mount Field national park, 64 km north-west of Hobart. CW: PICS OF A SPIDER EATING A MAMMAL (Possum-eating spider previously)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:26 PM - 37 comments

"Fasten, then zip. You?" "Fasten, zip."

Babylon 5 Is the Greatest, Most Terrible SF Series. Jennifer Giesbrecht takes an extended look at the best and worst aspects of this pathbreaking TV program 26 years after it first aired. Spoilerrific, of course.
posted by grouse at 3:45 PM - 109 comments

Amazon's union busting training video

Actual clips from Amazon's union-busting training video that was sent to Whole Foods management in 2018. It was then leaked by Whole Worker to the media.
posted by adept256 at 2:27 PM - 52 comments

A spanner in the wercs

Mr Olds' Remarkable Elevator - Tom Scott explores a (recently discovered) counterintuitive engineering solution that had been hiding in plain sight
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 12:50 PM - 37 comments

A comedy podcast that exists in the universe of bicycling

Yardsley. Or she may possibly have punctured her tire—that would delay her fifteen or twenty minutes. Don’t worry, my dear boy. I showed her how to fix a punctured tire all right. It’s simple enough—you take the rubber thing they give you and fasten it in that metal thingumbob, glue it up, poke it in, pull it out, pump her up, and there you are.

Bradley (with a mock sigh of relief). You don’t know what a load you’ve taken off my mind.
For its 40th episode, The Wheel Friends (FB, Patreon)recreates The Bicyclers, the epitome of bicycle based comedy in 1896
posted by rebent at 12:30 PM - 1 comment

mh370: where is it?

from the atlantic, more about where mh370 may have gone, and an american lawyer looking for the debris, over five years later.
posted by koroshiya at 12:26 PM - 34 comments

Ugliness is a gatekeeper to being worthy of love

At the first annual Ugly Conference, attendees aren't trying to "reclaim" anything. They're just trying to be seen as they are. A Vice reporter recounts their experience at Oakland's first annual Ugly Conference, which was organized by Vanessa Rochelle Lewis after her picture made the rounds on the internet when a party promoter used it in a meme. Lewis hopes the conference is the "first in a series of gatherings designed to combat image-based prejudice and abuse." [more inside]
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 12:18 PM - 11 comments

The Case Against Quantum Computing

The proposed strategy relies on manipulating with high precision an unimaginably huge number of variables
posted by hugbucket at 11:22 AM - 28 comments

Local production, reliability, easy repair, and low embodied energy

Low-tech Magazine does small wooden wind turbines.
posted by clawsoon at 9:44 AM - 29 comments

The Bread-Roll’s Path into Socialism

The LA Review of Books revisits the life and writing of Ronald M. Schernikau
i am afraid. am female, am male, double. feel my body departing from my body, see my white hands, my eyes in the mirror, i don’t want to be double who am I? want to be me, male, female, see only white. i am facing myself, want to reach myself, stretch my arms out towards myself where am i? i see, kiss, hug and intermingle. at some point lea appears, then reappears, and at last he is aware of her. b. senses: he’s lying in bed, it’s morning, his room is blurry, he tries to take it in, feels the movement of his head, doesn’t try to steer it. no hope for a good day today, fuckingettingup, fuckingschool, fuckinglife.
posted by frimble at 8:45 AM - 1 comment

At-home medical tests are an awful lot like astrology.

Mail-in diagnostic testing lacks the rigor and accuracy of actual medical testing. The results can be inaccurate and misleading even when true, as they lack context. Science and astrology are often seen as opposite poles... The implication is that anything making a scientific claim, like a medical test, should not be as squishy as astrology. Yet the same thing that drives some people toward astrology drives others toward mail-in test kits: People want to learn more about themselves and make sense of why they are the way they are. Your life might be fine, but perhaps it could be better if you understand yourself on a deeper level. [more inside]
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 7:46 AM - 30 comments

The 2020 census is coming.

Will Native Americans be counted? [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 5:50 AM - 3 comments

June 16

Fashion beyond form is not new, particularly for footwear

English sumptuary laws (Wikipedia) started off with regulations on work attire, then a proclamation against 'outrageous consumption of meats and fine dishes' by nobles, in 1281 and 1309, respectively (Lords and Ladies.org). Next came the regulation of pointy shoes. Why Were Medieval Europeans So Obsessed With Long, Pointy Shoes? (Atlas Obscura) Want more? Check out The history of sumptuary law and shoes, a blog in which "the author attempts to describe a brief history of sumptuary laws and relate this to how legislation of the Middle Ages may have influenced the design and style of today’s shoes," though the latest post looks at early Christian times, and other cultures around the world.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:21 PM - 20 comments

"Medieval peasants had perfect teeth."

Television Heaven tweeted 20 Things You Know Because of Television. Writer John Donoghue asked his followers "what else can we add?"
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:54 PM - 140 comments

Small Bikes Big Adventures

Two motorcycle enthusiasts KiwiGrom are making videos and documenting their trip riding a pair of 8hp Honda Groms across the US, mostly off-road, via the Mid Atlantic Backroad Discovery Route and TransAmerica Trail. [more inside]
posted by peeedro at 4:21 PM - 12 comments

The very rich are different from you and me.

A friend who used to play at Augusta every year during non-tournament weeks (his father was a member) told me that, at dinner in the clubhouse, you could see the power of the green jacket in the body language of the guests, as they fawned over their host. Yet there was also a certain gelding effect: “Dad was not a humble man, but he was always nervous at Augusta. He didn’t want to break a rule. The club turned these high-powered men into boys.”
Writing for The New Yorker, Nick Paumgarten takes us on a 10,000-word tour of Augusta National Golf Club during the 2019 Masters Tournament: its founding, its opulence, and its handling of media: “Inside the Cultish Dreamworld of Augusta National”. [more inside]
posted by Going To Maine at 2:13 PM - 38 comments

Auschwitz Is Not A Metaphor

The new exhibition at the Museum of Jewish Heritage gets everything right—and fixes nothing. Dara Horn reviews “Auschwitz: Not Long Ago, Not Far Away" for The Atlantic. [more inside]
posted by colorblock sock at 12:43 PM - 31 comments

What Podcasting Pays Now

WNYC did a podcaster survey as part of their Werk It campaign and festival. "We received 612 responses in total from a self-selecting group of anonymous US-based participants who reported earnings in US dollars. These are a few of the headlines that emerged."
posted by hippybear at 11:14 AM - 17 comments

You Know the Advertisement of the Man

For the time, it would certainly have been subversive and risky to base the country’s most prominent symbol of haughty masculinity on Leyendecker’s own gay lover. Their forbidden love was in everyone’s faces in the ads of one of the country’s most prominent clothing manufacturers and on the covers of America’s favorite conservative magazine, though it remained hidden in plain sight—so much so that few sources even mentioned Leyendecker’s homosexuality until fairly recently. The Arrow Collar Man specifically, and the Leyendecker Man more generally, became the model of style, sophistication, and masculinity. What Maketh a Man: How queer artist J.C. Leyendecker invented an iconography of twentieth-century American masculinity by Tyler Malone
posted by chavenet at 10:59 AM - 5 comments

Voila! Your dog’s face now looks like a fucked-up person.

“Today in nightmare fuel: the “AXAYINC Dog Masks, Pet Entertainment Spoofs, Super Cute Masks Designed for Pets to Prevent Bites and Eat Unclean Food.” As the name very clearly implies, these masks, available on Amazon, serve as a fun way to keep your dog from biting things and eating food that is not clean (?) while also making your dog look like a serial killer.” [via: A.V. Club]
posted by Fizz at 10:54 AM - 18 comments

June 16…

is Bloomsday! Bloomsday is a celebration that takes place both in Dublin and around the world. It celebrates Thursday 16 June 1904, which is the day depicted in James Joyce’s novel Ulysses. The day is named after Leopold Bloom, the central character in Ulysses. The novel follows the life and thoughts of Leopold Bloom and a host of other characters – real and fictional – from 8am on 16 June 1904 through to the early hours of the following morning. [more inside]
posted by Ahmad Khani at 9:19 AM - 43 comments

Concrete clickbait

Photos of Yugoslav monuments known as spomeniks are often shared online, exoticised and wrenched from context. But now, argues Owen Hatherley, it is vital that we make the effort to understand what they truly represent.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 6:58 AM - 24 comments

Self Referential Meta Dementia?

Since the 60s, *every* field has become beset by specialization, fueled by increasing competition for jobs and spiraling productivity, which forces researchers to take a narrow, goal-oriented, approach to science. Those who don't do this to some degree vanish. (twitter thread) [more inside]
posted by sammyo at 5:48 AM - 10 comments

Cold War Steve

Coldwar_Steve “I don’t know what I would do if couldn’t satirise these repellent, grotesque imbeciles. From the point of view of creating art, it’s a fantastic time, there’s so much material. But thinking of my daughters growing up in this world is frightening – a small, shrinking island, bitter little England. I just hope good will prevail in the end.” From The Guardian: 'His work features public figures in typically English settings – seaside towns, low-cost supermarkets, working men’s clubs, car boot sales, a nostalgic place of “Fray Bentos pies and insipid high streets”. Among the Brexit cast list are Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Theresa May, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Jeremy Corbyn and the Queen. An international presence is supplied by Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un.' Picture gallery, The Guardian. The Time Magazine cover, link from The Poke. [more inside]
posted by glasseyes at 3:06 AM - 21 comments

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