March 20

Meet the numbat

Meet the numbat (Myrmecobius fasciatus), also called the noombat or walpurti. It is a small (and very cute!) Australian marsupial that eats between 15,000 and 20,000 termites every day. It can stand upright on its hind legs like a meerkat and has a big feathery tail. [more inside]
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 8:35 PM - 6 comments

Coming to a bathroom floor near you soon

An aperiodic monotile. [more inside]
posted by thatwhichfalls at 8:08 PM - 4 comments

An Unproductive Productiveness

It may well be that literature that depends on the adoption of such a godlike attitude is better laid to rest in our age of Ópera Prima. Our era’s preference for the debut novel is also a preference for the autofictional, for a rejection of universality in favor of particularity, of identity defined as difference. Still, I sometimes long for writing courageous—or hubristic or long-lived—enough to dare to say something about the whole of the human condition: something that is almost certainly wrong, or at least incomplete, but that is nevertheless worth saying. from Subterranean Treasures by Nicolás Medina Mora [The Nation; ungated]
posted by chavenet at 5:13 PM - 1 comment

La Véritable Histoire d'Amélie Poulain

La Véritable Histoire d'Amélie Poulain: Now, just over 20 years since its release, its writer and director Jean-Pierre Jeunet provides an official new director's cut that reveals Amélie's true identity as a KGB agent.
posted by cubby at 3:52 PM - 8 comments

When Owls Attack!

Aggressive owl closes campground at Killarney Provincial Park. One man suffers head wounds, another has tuque ripped off and tent attacked.
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:19 PM - 37 comments

Revisiting a favorite from long ago

Ever since we first discussed this in 2011, I keep coming back to it regularly. Oração - A Banda Mais Bonita da Cidade is a six minute long tracking shot through a house full of musical people making music in variously combinations before they all join for a joyous conclusion. provides a bit more background information. I just love it so much
posted by hippybear at 1:18 PM - 5 comments

Popehat (Ken White): Kyle Duncan and Stanford Law

"Hating Everyone Everywhere All At Once At Stanford"
posted by Marky at 12:40 PM - 71 comments

Sloth Bites Teen! Ruining Life Long Dream!

From Saginaw Township Michigan, Cole Waterman brings you a twisty-turny local news saga featuring a local family, a local exotic pet store, a kinkajou custody dispute, and every possible county, state, and federal agency pertaining to sloth bites. [more inside]
posted by Hypatia at 10:16 AM - 23 comments

A different kind of race. One that wasn’t fair, because life wasn’t fair

For the first time since 2017 the Barkley Marathons have a finisher. For only the second time in the history of this endurance race which began in 1986, the race has three finishers. Aurélien Sanchez a first-timer from France, John Kelly from the US, and Karel Sabbe a dentist from Belgium all completed the course Thursday night, though none broke the fifty-two hour record set by Brett Maune in 2012. [prev1, prev2, prev3]
posted by jessamyn at 9:49 AM - 7 comments

the most exciting bank switching story since SVB got shut down

How did the graphics on NES' Punch Out work? It's a little complicated!
posted by cortex at 8:19 AM - 12 comments

What if climate change meant not doom — but abundance?

Rebecca Solnit: How to meet the climate crisis? Redefine 'abundance.' [ungated] - "Much of the reluctance to do what climate change requires comes from the assumption that it means trading abundance for austerity, and trading all our stuff and conveniences for less stuff, less convenience. But what if it meant giving up things we're well rid of, from deadly emissions to nagging feelings of doom and complicity in destruction? What if the austerity is how we live now — and the abundance could be what is to come?"[1,2,3,4] [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 7:26 AM - 32 comments

Long COVID comes into the light

We’re finally starting to see the truth about the vexing condition. It’s not what we thought. Now, three years later, the research is catching up to the anecdotal reports and the early evidence, and a clearer picture of long COVID has emerged. It turns out that, like COVID-19 itself, a lot of our early guesses about it turned out to be considerably wide of the mark. This time, fortunately, the surprises are mostly on the positive side. [more inside]
posted by holborne at 6:40 AM - 79 comments

Design notes on the 2023 Wikipedia redesign

Hey, I’m Alex Hollender. For the past few years I led the redesign of the Wikipedia desktop interface, which launched this past January. Below are some notes on the project and process.
posted by Etrigan at 5:18 AM - 23 comments


Hello fellow travelers, once again it's Monday, when, every week, we gather to throw off our yokes and comment freely. This week, though, I'd like to point out the occasional ambiguities and ambivalences that can accompany such headlong pursuits, with The Frog Prince, a poem by Stevie Smith. [more inside]
posted by taz at 5:14 AM - 64 comments

Australian soldier charged with murder

An Australian soldier has been charged with murder over the 2012 shooting of an unarmed man in Afghanistan, in a case that may have precedent for other Western allies. The Office of the Special Investigator has said that ‘40 or 50’ other offences are being investigated. [more inside]
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 12:30 AM - 8 comments

March 19

What it costs society when tenants constantly have to keep moving house

High rental turnover is bad for schools; bad for health; bad for crime; bad for communities; and bad for the general mental stability of the country. A factual cartoon by Toby Morris about the need for more secure rental tenancies.
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 8:19 PM - 52 comments

Each turned out to be dangerous on an almost unimaginable scale

"A double delight is dichlorodifluoromethane, with its thirteen consonants and ten vowels." Steven Johnson explores two inventions of Thomas Midgley Jr., freon and leaded gas, each lauded at its time, and each subsequently proven to be disasters. (SLNYT) (previously)
posted by doctornemo at 5:16 PM - 26 comments

I Asked The Doctor, To Take Your Picture, So I Could Look At You...

This CT Scan site is one of the strangest sites I've seen in some time. I have no idea how these people got all this stuff wedged into their scanners, or why.
posted by chavenet at 5:07 PM - 12 comments

It’s hard to believe, but they’re telling me it will get worse

A Sandwich Shop, a Tent City and an American Crisis "He looked out the window toward Madison Street, which had become the center of one of the largest homeless encampments in the country, with as many as 1,100 people sleeping outdoors. On this February morning, he could see a half-dozen men pressed around a roaring fire. A young woman was lying in the middle of the street, wrapped beneath a canvas advertising banner. A man was weaving down the sidewalk in the direction of Joe’s restaurant with a saw, muttering to himself and then stopping to urinate a dozen feet from Joe’s outdoor tables. “It’s the usual chaos and suffering,” he told Debbie. “But the restaurant’s still standing.” ( version) [more inside]
posted by gwint at 3:42 PM - 32 comments

Trump in panic mode as he braces for likely charges

Manhattan district attorney expected to file criminal charges against ex-president for payment to adult film star in 2016. [Guardian] Donald Trump is bracing for his most legally perilous week since he left the White House, with the Manhattan district attorney likely to bring criminal charges against him over his role in paying hush money to adult film star Stormy Daniels, as he huddled this weekend to strategize his legal and political responses. The former US president has posted in all-caps on his Truth Social platform that he expected to be “ARRESTED ON TUESDAY OF NEXT WEEK” and called for his supporters to engage in protests – an ominous echo of his tweets urging protests in the lead-up to the January 6 US Capitol attack. [more inside]
posted by Ahmad Khani at 3:21 PM - 99 comments

Ducks lift off

Video of Pintails, Mallards, Widgeon and Shovelers at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge by Tara Tanaka (suggestion to lower your volume before playing video, the music is appropriately dramatic!).
posted by spamandkimchi at 11:58 AM - 4 comments

District heating systems: The greenest energy is the energy we don't use

Oil Frackers Hold a Crucial Piece of the Net Zero Puzzle [ungated] - "Technology used to produce bad old fossil fuels is now being turned to clean renewable purposes. What matters is how companies manage the risks." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 6:54 AM - 20 comments

March 18

An Icelandic Town Goes All Out to Save Baby Puffins

An Icelandic Town Goes All Out to Save Baby Puffins. Kids and senior citizens alike rally to rescue beloved young seabirds that have lost their bearings.
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 8:08 PM - 12 comments

The Tricky Art of Living in a Body

General readers of American poetry probably know Bishop as the author of “One Art.” ... College students will be familiar with other poems and perhaps biographical details, including her increasing importance as a queer poet. Her alcohol use disorder is often there in the shadows, her asthma too. But what about her eczema, the first of three lifelong conditions to develop in childhood and the one that quite literally affected her ability to write? from Elizabeth Bishop’s Eczema by Jonathan Ellis
posted by chavenet at 4:56 PM - 3 comments

Through every transformation, you are only who you dream you are.

Tight, tight. A sharp flex, a crack, a sudden a wash of air, then—the scent of a guru upwind! Guru guru guru! Larva831’s eggy thoughts gushed away, its ejected cognitive fluids mixing confusedly with the ejected fluids of its 100012 hatching sibs. Obsolete embryonic ideas flowed under a dozen dozen dozen cracking shells, swirled through holes in the bottom of the nest, streamed dazzling out into the air above the great tree’s lower branches, hit soil, and dissolved. Larva Pupa Imago by Eric Schwitzgebel is a short story about love, personhood, and transformation. It's also about erotica for uplifted butterflies.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 1:15 PM - 9 comments

Lance was taken from us far too soon.

Lance Reddick, ‘The Wire’ and ‘John Wick’ Star, Dies at 60 [Variety] Lance Reddick, who appeared in major TV series like “The Wire,” “Fringe” and “Bosch” and films like the “John Wick” franchise, which is set to debut “John Wick: Chapter 4” next week, died of natural causes Friday morning, Variety has confirmed with his reps. He was 60. [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 12:42 PM - 96 comments

Make a DEI Training Video with the Non-White Avatar of Your Choice!

This technology is good and getting better rapidly as things like GPT4 enter the marketplace and wed sophisticated render engines to AI-generated content. But should we? I honestly don't know how to feel about the ability to create content localized in 120 different languages and body types. Is this a victory for representation? A threat to human labor? What does representation even mean in the workplace when you can customize representation at the individual level? Everywhere I look, I see me! Did we win?
posted by metametamind at 11:19 AM - 10 comments

You Reap What You Sow - Meet Ira Wallace, Godmother of Southern Seeds

(NYTimes link) Story about seed banks, radical sharing, and endless local varieties. Or just go straight to the seed bank and start planning out your garden. Many of the descriptions of the various seeds are interesting bits of history in and of themselves. Happy gardening!
posted by coffeecat at 10:35 AM - 6 comments

Defeating AI With A Coat Of Glaze

University of Chicago researchers working with several artists have created Glaze - a cloaking filter layer that is barely perceptible to humans, but negatively interferes with machine learning models to interfere with their capturing an artist's style. [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:28 AM - 22 comments

Saturday Morning Youtubes

Here are some interesting youtube videos in the 10-20 minute range. Why Clip Art Was Everywhere.... Until It Wasn't. by Linus Boman. How to turn your Neighborhood into a Village by Andrew Millison. How Small and How Big do Houses Get? and How much room do you need to live comfortably? By Stewart Hicks. "Weird Stuff in a Can #147: Tumeric Golden Blend" by Atomic Shrimp
posted by rebent at 7:47 AM - 13 comments

Iraq, twenty years later

Mehdi Hasan addresses how Bush hasn't paid for that atrocity, and how it connects to Trumps victory and Putin's invasion. Hasan says the impetus behind the war was very much GWB, and GWB's is rehabilitated and shouldn't be.
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 6:03 AM - 61 comments

March 17

anti-racist starter pack

anti-racist starter pack: a list each of books, articles, podcasts, interviews/lectures, and documentaries
posted by aniola at 10:58 PM - 14 comments

Erich's Packing Center!

You want squares in triangles? Erich's got 'em! You want triangles in squares? Erich's got 'em! Squares in squares?? Erich's got those, too! How about L's in circles? Triangles in circles? Right triangles in squares? You know Erich's got 'em! Packing! Tiling! Covering! Come on down to Erich's Packing Center for all this and related problems!
posted by Lirp at 10:33 PM - 16 comments


The latest from There I Ruined It (SLYT) h/t to Miss Cellania
posted by Gorgik at 9:30 PM - 7 comments

Like a Pickled Priest Who Was Being Flambéed

50 Genuinely Horrible Albums by Brilliant Artists [Rolling Stone; ungated]
posted by chavenet at 4:52 PM - 90 comments

i'm in a pipe / i cannot gripe

Nirvana's Nevermind but with the Super Mario 64 soundfont
posted by cortex at 4:36 PM - 8 comments

In a New York Patient

1st woman given stem cell transplant to cure HIV is still virus-free 5 years later
posted by tiny frying pan at 3:23 PM - 5 comments

An EPIC tale of a new garage door

When Home Depot's service team meets Kafka This story is very weird and funny and also very sweet. People sometimes try SO HARD to get simple things done and life is NOT EASY in service land.
posted by AnneK at 12:39 PM - 31 comments

Happy St. Patrick's Day! The Pogues, live at the Town and Country Club

The Pogues ‎– Live At The Town And Country Club London (1988) [more inside]
posted by elkevelvet at 11:39 AM - 15 comments

Kirk Cameron harassed a TN library until its director got fired

Threats to libraries and librarians continue.
posted by hypnogogue at 11:39 AM - 31 comments

those who bring “heat” and those who bring “light"

Cancel culture has its merits, but the left is ready for a better approach [LA Times]. It used to be almost exclusively the political right that complained about the amorphous bogeyman known as “cancel culture.” Recently, at our research center dedicated to diversity and inclusion, we’ve noticed an intriguing shift in the zeitgeist: Complaints have started surfacing on the left. [more inside]
posted by Ahmad Khani at 10:34 AM - 53 comments

"I don't like you no more."

Banshees of Inisherin: The Game. Post-Flash Friday Fun.
posted by HeroZero at 10:31 AM - 16 comments

“Since 1995 Ai Weiwei has raised his middle finger to bastions of power”

Do you want Ai Weiwei to flip the bird at major landmarks, or anywhere else that’s findable on Google Maps? Here is his middle finger extended at the Kremlin. At the Leaning Tower of Pisa. At Mar-a-Lago. At Hallgrímskirkja in Reykjavík. At some guy on the South Pole. At a statue of a moomintroll in Tampere, Finland. Try it yourself and then read about the project here.
posted by Kattullus at 10:16 AM - 7 comments

And In The Darkness, One Card To Bind Them All

As part of the promotion of their upcoming Lord of the Rings set later this year, Wizards of the Coast has announced that there will be a special rare card - The One Ring, of which only one will be printed. [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 9:50 AM - 28 comments

bicycling and stop signs

"Bicycles, stop signs, and scofflaw motorists": on research, laws, safety, and norms. By Scott Feeney.
posted by brainwane at 9:41 AM - 44 comments

When you place the needs of others before your own

How we are failing older women in Canada [more inside]
posted by Kitteh at 8:24 AM - 17 comments

Because we break the things we love...

...And monsters sharpen their claws in the void where youth is confused with beauty. Get out your shovel! MeFi favorite Bobby Fingers is at it again, with an incendiary new diorama featuring the (middle-aged) King of Pop on the set of the notorious Pepsi commercial. Special appearances by Matt Parker, Constance Zimmer and David Spiegelhalter, with inspired use of shrooms, horse's caca and an original song about youthful indiscretions. [more inside]
posted by St. Oops at 8:07 AM - 15 comments

The Sideshow Magician Who Inspired Ray Bradbury—Then Vanished

Experts have been unable to verify the existence of Mr. Electrico, whose 1932 electric chair act supposedly affirmed the young author’s interest in writing
posted by Etrigan at 7:25 AM - 19 comments

So I fired up a doobie to see if that would help.

Something Pretty Right: The History and Legacy of Visual Basic
posted by OneGearIsEnough at 5:42 AM - 41 comments

The Amish are loving electric bikes

Believe it or not, the Amish are loving electric bikes. "Electric bicycles have been finding favor in a growing number of communities. From hunters to surfers and even soldiers, e-bikes and their low-cost, far-reaching transportation options have permeated a surprising number of different groups and use cases. The latest community adopting e-bikes en masse may be even more of a surprise: the Amish. Amish communities, more often known for their black buggies pulled by horses, have been increasingly turning to electric bikes as an alternative form of transportation."
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 2:25 AM - 22 comments

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