November 28

The Outsiders Guide to Life

“Well this is rather snazzy! Casually making into into the ‘Best books of 2020: Science’ in the Financial Times reading list,” said biochemist and neurodiversity advocate, Dr Camilla Pang who, at 28, is the youngest ever winner of the Royal Society Insight Investment Science Prize for Explaining Humans: What Science Can Teach Us about Life, Love and Relationships, the book she needed and began writing as a child through the perspective of her autism and her love of science.
posted by Thella at 4:56 PM - 1 comment

To keep up, one must upgrade to the status of a "SuperLearner"

Speed Reading Sucks (LA Review of Books): Seen in tandem with other popular companies like Blinkist, Joosr, and Shortform, which offer bullet-pointed, summarized versions of books so customers don’t have to spend time actually reading the books themselves, speed reading is part of the emergent market of “cram reading” and represents the latest heights to which our skill-obsessed, workaholic society aspires. I have little doubt that following lines of text with a pencil or scheduling specific times to focus on the task of reading (both “techniques” advised by Kwik) could aid in the reading process. But a more pressing matter is why such odd, over-achiever exploits are so alluring in the first place. Just why, exactly, is everyone suddenly so behind on reading, so gripped by the need to read more and faster than ever before? ¶ For the answer we need only survey the structure of our techno-capitalist civilization, with its grinding, hyper-competitive dynamism...
posted by not_the_water at 4:22 PM - 21 comments

Regular Americans

55 Ways White People Say ‘White People’ Without Actually Saying ‘White People’ (Very Smart Brothas/The Root)
posted by adrianhon at 3:50 PM - 11 comments

Circus Girl, The Hunter, and Mirror Boy

I wasn't planning to leave this life that I'd built purely on some intangible warning from a boy who was half a dream. I liked what I had now: the mindless, fuss-free job; a roommate who was reasonably clean and had no drunk boyfriends to bring over; the little pockets of weird I'd found in the neighborhood, places where I didn't feel quite out of place. For the first time in my life I could see myself continuing down this path towards the future, gray in my hair, a box flat to call a home, a collection of books, half a dozen cats. A tidy and quiet picture that brought me little jolts of pleasure when I thought of it. [more inside]
posted by smcg at 10:57 AM - 3 comments

"Scented candles: An unexpected victim of the COVID-19 pandemic"

On Twitter, Terri Nelson noted the proliferation of complaints on Yankee Candle's website about the lack of scent in their scented candles. Kate Petrova responded (Threadreader version) with a tweet thread analyzing Amazon reviews for scented candles before and during the pandemic, and the results are interesting (and very easy to understand). [more inside]
posted by ardgedee at 3:56 AM - 80 comments

November 27

See how Adolf Hitler and the Nazis rise to power.

Rise of the Nazis [Ep. 1, 2, 3] - "In 1930 Germany was a liberal democracy. Just four years later democracy is dead, Germany's leader is a dictator and its government is in the hands of murderers. This series tells the story of how this happened. Leading historians and experts get inside the heads of some of the key players, whose political plotting, miscalculations and personal ambitions helped to destroy democracy and deliver control to Hitler." (via; BBC; previously)
posted by kliuless at 11:27 PM - 27 comments

Space Junk!

Since 1957, nearly 10,000 satellites have been put into earth orbit. The approximatley 2700 of them still functioning have been joined by another 26,000 catalogued pieces of space debris, along with countless pieces too small to track. There is an ever increasing risk of chain reaction collisions, especially with massive fleets of new communications satellites starting to be launched. (New Yorker) [more inside]
posted by blue shadows at 10:19 PM - 19 comments

Inside The Baking Bubble

With the finale of The Great British Bake-Off Baking Show having been aired, one might wonder what it was like inside The Bubble that made the show possible? Vanity Fair has a lengthy article from September. Likewise The Guardian. has an article from just last week. No spoilers, but for me this was one of the best finales ever.
posted by hippybear at 7:51 PM - 23 comments

♬ vibes ♬

Italian singer Adriano Celentano released a song in the 70s with nonsense lyrics meant to sound like American English, apparently to prove Italians would like any English song. It was a hit, and resulted in this: THE GREATEST VIDEO I HAVE EVER SEEN.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 7:23 PM - 59 comments

Today We're Going To Talk About Rice and Tea

Follow me down a Joyce Chen rabbit hole. Joyce Chen was born in 1917, a Beijing daughter of a high ranking official. She and her husband and children were on the second to last boat leaving Shanghai after the communist revolution. Chen found herself a housewife in the US, a huge change from her job as an insurance broker back in Beijing. But in time, she started to focus on creating a career from her cooking... [more inside]
posted by frumiousb at 6:52 PM - 7 comments

Animal Crossing IRL

Wildlife bridges — AKA animal crossings, animal passings, ecoducts, etc. — can be pricey (costing US$2-4 million each, but one crossing can save thousands of animals lives every year. Common in Europe since the 1950s, they have become much widespread around the world. [more inside]
posted by darkstar at 5:11 PM - 18 comments

Doonesbury Turns 50

Garry Trudeau, 72, launched ‘Doonesbury’ as a syndicated comic strip 50 years ago. [more inside]
posted by freakazoid at 5:07 PM - 29 comments

Show these ads their place

Banners Begone! is a clicker quest to purge banners from your homepage. Unlike others in the genre, there’s not much idling in this game – it’s a clicker to the core at a tight 1-2 hours in length.
posted by adrianhon at 2:57 PM - 14 comments

The real-life Queen's Gambit

How Georgia's Nona Gaprindashvili conquered the chess world (SL Calvert Journal). [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:56 AM - 8 comments

“A bath is not an alternative to a shower: it is a hot lie-down”

One in four Britons don’t shower every day: “A Shower is where you get completely into the shower and also wash your hair. A man shower is where you get your hair wet but don’t wash it. And a shower (lower case, no stated gender) is where you just stand at the sink, splashing yourself ... If you spray deodorant on and call that a shower, that’s a Sure-er (you have to say it, not spell it). If you spray deodorant on and spray dry shampoo into your hair, you’ve had a Febreze. If you can’t be bothered to shower and instead get into the sea because you are near it, you’ve had a Sea Febreze.”
posted by Wordshore at 8:07 AM - 140 comments

November 26

"I love it when people sing my songs!"

If you are having a tough time right now, here is Dolly Parton watching people cover her songs on YouTube and being, well, completely Dolly Parton about it.
posted by mightygodking at 10:58 PM - 39 comments

The dream-work makes the waking work possible.

Such dream-sharing societies seem to possess a great deal more self-consciousness about the nature of dreaming—a much greater ability to make use of it, manipulate it, interrogate its function and purpose—than we do. We have been blinded to the splendor of their achievement by the dismissive judgment, so long promulgated in the West against other societies, that to assign dreams a cosmological and spiritual significance is to be enslaved to superstition.
Dreams are instances where the imagination unfurls its full power over us: An essay by Matthew Spellberg about societies in which dreaming is a shared, social act.
posted by Rumple at 3:37 PM - 17 comments

That Doesn't Sound So Bad

“His handlers, who are basically all old Obama staffers, believe in something called the Great Reset of capitalism,” Ingraham said in a November episode of her show. “It’s a plan to force a more equitable distribution of global resources.” from The Biden Presidency Already Has Its First Conspiracy Theory: The Great Reset [Daily Beast] [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 2:42 PM - 98 comments

Take the Nightline through an infinite Metropolis

Inspired by late nights on the Tristate area MTA system, Nightline (Win/Mac/Linux) is a gorgeous procedural subway experience by @colorfiction, free for the next three days.
posted by adrianhon at 2:13 PM - 15 comments

Poems in a Scottish Setting

The Poetry Map of Scotland has more than 350 poems, each linked to a specific place in Scotland. The map is a standard Google map, and you can zoom in and click on the title of poems, which takes you to the poem itself. The map is a project of the Stanza Poetry Festival, and the poems have been submitted by living poets.
posted by Kattullus at 12:47 PM - 5 comments

animal illusions

Which optical illusions can animals see? "Visual illusions remind us that we are not passive decoders of reality but active interpreters. Our eyes capture information from the environment, but our brain can play tricks on us. Perception doesn’t always match reality. Scientists have used illusions for decades to explore the psychological and cognitive processes that underlie human visual perception. More recently, evidence is emerging that suggests many animals, like us, can perceive and create a range of visual illusions."
posted by dhruva at 12:27 PM - 8 comments

DJ Cummerbund

DJ Cummerbund: A purveyor of cursed, powerful mashups such as The Devil Wap Down to Georgia and Play That Funky Music Rammstein (2020 Webby Award). Come for songs that you may not know how to feel about individually yet are strangely compelling when bound together, stay for the restrained yet hilarious video editing and persistently recurring Macho Man. [more inside]
posted by automatic cabinet at 11:07 AM - 16 comments

Take the Indian Out of the Child

Residential Schools were part of a system set up to "assimilate" First Nations people in Canada by taking their children to schools where they lived and were taught and were often abused. Some children died and were buried in unmarked graves. Started in the 1800s, the last residential school closed in 1996. The government has officially apologized but not everyone thinks residential schools were a bad thing [tiktok].
posted by aclevername at 10:15 AM - 24 comments

A Racial Justice Guide to Thanksgiving

As we enter this holiday season, this resource is intended to support educators and families as we address the true story of Thanksgiving. This guide provides resources that range from lesson plans to narratives that uplift the perspectives and contributions of the Native American community.
posted by aniola at 9:30 AM - 2 comments

Thank frontline workers by staying home today

Midwest Nurses Say Their Hospitals Are On The Verge Of Collapsing — And Leaders Aren’t Listening. For Tammy Tate, a nurse at a Missouri hospital, this wave is like watching a train about to crash, knowing that it could be stopped in time — if people would listen. [more inside]
posted by supercrayon at 9:09 AM - 38 comments

Discretely assembled mechanical metamaterials

Versatile building blocks make structures with surprising mechanical properties - "The subunits could be robotically assembled to produce large, complex objects, including cars, robots, or wind turbine blades." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 8:08 AM - 7 comments

The passive engagement of ambient television

By the end of its second episode, I knew that Netflix’s new series “Emily in Paris” was not a lighthearted romantic travelogue but an artifact of contemporary dystopia. [SLNewYorker]
posted by litleozy at 5:38 AM - 42 comments

How to Socialize in the Cold Without Being Miserable

From CityLab: The still-raging pandemic means social activities will stay outdoors as the temperature plummets. Here’s what experts say about the art of keeping warm.
posted by Bella Donna at 5:35 AM - 24 comments


What it says on (and about!) the tin | In which the estimable Mr. John Moon reveals that he Has Opinions On This Topic.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 3:27 AM - 73 comments

Can the Gävle Goat get through to the end of 2020?

It is that time of the year, it is tweeting and it is reborn! Through webcam, see the 2020 Gävle Goat being constructed and guarded. After last year (larger goat survived, smaller goat did not), the Wikipedia page details the various attacks on (both) Yule straw goats over the decades ("2005: Burnt by unknown vandals reportedly dressed as Santa and the gingerbread man, by shooting a flaming arrow at the goat"). Some previously on MetaFilter: 2017, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2009.
posted by Wordshore at 3:22 AM - 33 comments

When I was young I played video games

A lovely paper animation [more inside]
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 1:18 AM - 5 comments

November 25

Sexy nails

Two guys talk life, the universe and lacquer over their monthly manicure. A comedy about being married, being single, and being best friends. [more inside]
posted by severiina at 8:25 PM - 7 comments

You have to pay for the dirty dream I had about you last night

The Polish-born Romantic-era composer Frédéric Chopin, who lived most of his adult life in exile while the country was partitioned and incorporated Polish folk motifs into his compositions, is a national cultural icon in his country of birth, giving his name to a prestigious music competition, several festivals, Warsaw's international airport and a video game reimagining him as a supercool rock star saving the world, among other things. Now, a radio programme aired on the Swiss public broadcaster SRF reveals ardent letters Chopin wrote to male companions, suggesting that he may not have been, as previously assumed, heterosexual. [more inside]
posted by acb at 5:27 PM - 13 comments

"When I die, I don't want people to be sad. What a life!"

For drivers who’d notice the “Pasta King” sign from the rural Sonoma County road and pull into Art Ibleto’s driveway, the door to the kitchen was always unlocked. The fridge was always full of penne, marinara, pesto and lasagna. And when Ibleto wasn’t around to take people’s money, the desk was nearly always covered with folds of cash next to the yellow touch-tone landline phone and old Rolodex, accompanied by notes of appreciation. Ibleto, who died Tuesday morning at the age of 94, was the kind of person for whom this honor system was natural, instead of novel. For all of Ibleto’s philanthropy and civic service to the Sonoma County community he adopted as a young immigrant from Italy, it’s this fact that sticks with many of the Pasta King’s fans most: he trusted you.
[more inside]
posted by Lexica at 4:32 PM - 10 comments

Hector Plays Piano

Swedish Kitchen Sink Sci-fi artist Simon Stålenhag (whose book Tales From the Loop was recently serialised by Amazon) has moved on from creating sumptuous art books (previously) to directing a pop video starring a somewhat mournful robot called Hector and some rather large fish...
posted by Chairboy at 3:19 PM - 10 comments

widening gyre, errant falcon, blood-dimmed tide, slouching beast

A whistle-stop tour of W. B. Yeats quotations in popular culture (Lit Hub): “You can’t beat a good W. B. Yeats quotation, especially in these dour, doomscrolling days. (“The Second Coming”—with its widening gyre, errant falcon, blood-dimmed tide, and slouching beast—has been the English-speaking world’s go-to apocalypse lyric for 100 years now. Whether it’s the Nazis swarming Europe, Trump capturing the White House, or a morose A. J. Soprano attempting to drown himself in a swimming pool, as long as the world continues to be shit, Yeats’ most famous poem will continue to evoke a sense of paralyzing existential terror in its readers.) Though I have absolutely no hard data to back this up, I’d wager that Yeats is the most quoted and referenced (non-Elizabethan) writer in contemporary popular culture.” [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 3:06 PM - 28 comments

Gnarly... Tubular... Way Cool

Herald of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Nov 21st marked the 30th anniversary of Super Mario World. [more inside]
posted by Zargon X at 2:45 PM - 13 comments

Just can't get enough guy

Infinite Bad Guy Using machine learning the YouTube team has analyzed all the covers of Billie Eilish's Bad Guy and aligned them to within a quarter beat of each other, allowing you to seamlessly move between cover versions while the song plays continuously.
posted by GuyZero at 2:39 PM - 8 comments

"Very simple, but powerful images with a beautiful clarity."

A collection of photographs of teenagers dressed up for proms cancelled due to Covid-19 wins this year's photographic portrait prize. See the winners and the other finalists in the virtual exhibition.
posted by Stark at 2:24 PM - 2 comments

Tainted Earth

Alexis Okeowo on the heartbreaking tale of the many rural households in America lacking safe sewage systems – and how entrenched poverty and unusual geology have created a public-health disaster in Alabama (The New Yorker)
posted by adrianhon at 2:12 PM - 8 comments

American artist Helen LaFrance, November 4, 1919 – November 22, 2020

Black folk artist Helen LaFrance, who painted memories of her life in rural Kentucky, has died at 101. [more inside]
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:05 PM - 2 comments

Grass-fed beef is full of Omega 3s, like sardines that moo.

Bill McKibben first wants to establish: I Do Not Have A Cow In This Fight. McKibben then takes us on a short tour, the pros and cons of how we grow and eat meat, and what it costs us.
posted by dancestoblue at 11:24 AM - 9 comments

“Nothing Is Stranger To Man Than His Own Image”

O Human Star is a 505-page, eight-chapter web comic melodrama by Blue Delliquanti about a roboticist who is mysteriously reincarnated (as a robot) many years after his death and must find out why. It’s a story about gender and the self. It’s a bad guide to how the academic funding process works or appropriate employer/employee relationships, but is otherwise an optimistic, speculative vision of how the future might be.
This is the first page.
Samantha Reidel’s review in Polygon (August, 2020)
An interview with Delliquanti about their comic at Multiversity Comics (January, 2019)
Previously from 2014
posted by Going To Maine at 10:48 AM - 17 comments

Come with me if you want to love

David’s Dad’s Movie is a heartwarming comic by comedian and artist Doogie Horner about a little boy whose curiosity about his dad’s favorite violent R-rated sci-fi action movie gets the better of him.
posted by chinese_fashion at 9:14 AM - 25 comments

Transfer deal done: Gimnasia de La Plata to...

Diego Maradona, FIFA's player of the 20th Century, scorer of the greatest World Cup goal of the 20th Century, has died following a heart attack at the age of 60.
posted by MattWPBS at 9:11 AM - 34 comments

an obscure lawyer from west Michigan stood on principle

We must not attempt to exercise power we simply don’t have,” declared Van Langevelde, a member of Michigan’s board of state canvassers [more inside]
posted by gt2 at 5:36 AM - 46 comments

November 24

Raising Cane

Sugar candy tasted better than bitter truth: A long and beautiful read by Shane Mitchell on sugar cane. SL The Bitter Southerner
posted by frumiousb at 11:25 PM - 9 comments

Minecraft Accessibility Plus

Minecraft is probably not the game that most people think of when they think about accessibility to the blind, but this mod is working on improving that situation. [more inside]
posted by Alensin at 8:06 PM - 5 comments

lofi smash mouth radio - beats to relax/study to

Courtesy Griffin McElroy and the game Fuser, an extremely cursèd DJ set: lofi smash mouth radio - beats to relax/study to [more inside]
posted by yasaman at 7:11 PM - 22 comments

Latria Graham: On Being Black in the Outdoors

In May of 2018, journalist and avid explorer of the outdoors Latria Graham wrote an essay for Outside Magazine, We're Here. You Just Don't See Us. "We are doing it. We are out there. We always have been. My Instagram feed is filled with people of color tackling V12 climbs, ascending mountains, teaching their children how to read the sky," she wrote. Responses to her essay overwhelmed her, and readers wanted to know how they could be safe in spaces that aren't always welcoming to people of color. In September of 2020, Graham answered: "The unraveling of this country in the summer of 2020 has forced me to reckon with my actions, my place in the natural world, and the fact that as a Black woman writer in America, I am tasked with telling you a terrible truth: I am so sorry. I have nothing of merit to offer you as protection." Out There, Nobody Can Hear You Scream. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:28 PM - 19 comments

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