October 3

Echidnas recorded communicating for the first time

Echidnas recorded communicating for the first time. Some of the most elusive sounds in nature — echidnas talking to each other — have been recorded for the first time. Researchers believe it is likely that they are the sounds of echidnas flirting, as the spiky creatures only seem to vocalise during breeding season. In what is believed to be a scientific first, researchers from Curtin University have obtained recordings of short-beaked echidnas producing a range of sounds including cooing, grunting, and wheezing.
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 9:44 PM - 3 comments

Stakes, the magic circle, fun, ethics, law, consent, and game design

Game designer James Ernest plays and makes games of many kinds, including tabletop games and casino/gambling games. In "Black Box Mechanics And the Ethics of Gambling in Games", published on January 12th, 2021, he writes, 'Are gambling games ethical at all? That's the root question here and of course the answer is complicated. In theory? Yes. In practice? Not always.....I often see folks in computer games decrying the use of “gambling mechanics” in games, but I think we need to be a little more specific.' I learned from his comparisons of laws, practices, and intuitions surrounding swimming pools and casinos, and "Context Part 2" on what's particularly pernicious about "black box mechanics [being] dicey outside of the casino," as well as his definition of an ethical payout. [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 6:26 PM - 5 comments

Arguably the funniest McCarthyist purge in US political history

Representative Patrick McHenry (R-NC) has become acting Speaker of the House after Kevin McCarthy, rocked by a series of failed budget votes (and a last-minute agreement with Democrats to avoid a government shutdown), was ousted by Matt Gaetz and other far-right members of the House Freedom Caucus in an unprecedented vote. McCarthy, while likely to run for the speakership again, is no shoo-in given the 15 ballots it took him to secure the gavel just nine months ago (previously).
posted by Rhaomi at 3:28 PM - 125 comments

Oh, the Schadenfreude!

Oh, the schadenfreude! -- On Amanpour, David Cay Johnson talks to Hari Sreenivasan about the coming just desserts of TFG. Warning: Viewing and/or just listening to this is relentlessly entertaining and uplifting. To and for you! Or so I hope.

See also John Kelly, a Former White House Chief of Staff, Confirms Trump's Disparaging of Veterans and consider the source. The ice dams are collapsing -- watch out for flash floods!
posted by y2karl at 12:31 PM - 38 comments

More Than Meets The Eye

“The excitement I feel looking at the 1960s architecture of Kenzo Tange is rooted in the excitement I felt as a six-year-old boy looking at the animated Autobot City.” Owen Hatherley looks at the Transformers franchise through a New Socialist lens.
posted by infinitewindow at 12:05 PM - 4 comments

The "Small Landlord": ~Myth or Reality~

Pity the Landlord: How "Oppressed" landlords have taken up the language of social justice in their fight against rent regulations: "But Eccles takes it a step further. Oppression of landlords, he argues, is a racial justice issue...Eccles’s widespread media presence is no accident. In 2019, he became one of the public faces of Responsible Rent Reform—a faux-grassroots group backed by the Rent Stabilization Association (RSA), the largest landlord organization in the state—which has set about weaponizing the stories of a dozen 'mom-and-pop' landlords to undermine rent regulations" [more inside]
posted by windbox at 11:22 AM - 52 comments

Vaccines Fuck Yeah

In major news in the fight against malaria, the World Health Organization has approved the R21 vaccine - which can be produced cheaply at scale. [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:17 AM - 14 comments

Notes on a Criminal Conspiracy: Google's Enshittification Memos

Cory Doctorow writes: "Right now, Google's on trial for its sins against antitrust law. To secure a win, the prosecutors at the DoJ Antitrust Division are going to have to prove what was going on in Google execs' minds when the took the actions that led to the company's dominance. They're going to have to show that the company deliberately undertook to harm its users and customers. Of course, it helps that Google put it all in writing." [more inside]
posted by AlSweigart at 9:01 AM - 48 comments

"It makes me feel some type of way"

In previous years, Moore might have sent out a text to family and friends seeking donations for the uniform. She might have asked the school if she could pay in installments. But this year, for the first time, she can cover it all herself. That’s because she has an extra $500 a month coming in — not from a third job or a side hustle but from the City of Chicago, which gives her the money to spend or save as she chooses. It’s part of an audacious new philosophy of government aid, an experiment of sorts that seeks to find out whether infusions of no-strings-attached cash can begin to break the cycle of poverty. from What $500 Means to Zinida Moore
posted by chavenet at 6:15 AM - 32 comments

Monster Chiller Horror Theater!

Get spooky with your television viewing with these classic horror classics: The House Of Cats! [6m], Whispers Of The Wolf! [8m], and most terrifying of all: the preternaturally early [by my calendar] Have Yourself A Scary Little Christmas! [4m]
posted by hippybear at 6:10 AM - 9 comments

2010s Pop Feminism: A Painful Look Back

"We've changed the culture by any measure conceivable. And yet things are the worst they've been in my entire life. And they don't seem to be getting better." Lily Alexandre reflects on the feminism of her high school years and what it did - and didn't - change. [SLYT] [Sources]
posted by clawsoon at 5:50 AM - 3 comments

October 2

It's Monday!

It's our 92nd free thread!
posted by Gorgik at 9:01 PM - 82 comments

Waste coffee grounds make concrete 30% stronger

Waste coffee grounds make concrete 30% stronger. Researchers have found that concrete can be made 30% stronger by replacing a percentage of sand with spent coffee grounds, an organic waste product produced in huge amounts that usually ends up in landfill. The method also reduces the use of natural resources like sand, further contributing to a greener circular economy approach to construction.
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 8:20 PM - 53 comments

I can't tell you what researching this piece did to my browsing history

The Inaugural "Please Don't Let Any of These People Become President" Merchandise Awards. Garrett Bucks, writer and founder of The Barnraisers Project, finally throws his hands up in the air and evaluates the current crop of Republican "Presidential candidates" (besides you-know-who) on the only criteria that really matters - the quality of their campaign merchandise. (Main link is for his SubStack, for those who object to SubStack.) [more inside]
posted by soundguy99 at 3:20 PM - 28 comments

We are the ghosts of Halloween Past, Present, and Future

A Halloween Carol (SLXKCD)
posted by Quasirandom at 2:43 PM - 35 comments

A Monograph of the Trochilidæ, or Family of Humming-Birds

"This site is a faithful reproduction and restoration of John Gould’s A Monograph of the Trochilidæ, or Family of Humming-Birds, a magnificent work of ornithological art and science that was published in six volumes between 1848 and 1887." Scans of the original books were restored by Nicholas Rougeux, who also created the website; the artwork is downloadable and is in the public domain. [more inside]
posted by adamrice at 12:13 PM - 3 comments

How do people hold the bassoon again?

Guessing what instrument someone plays... based on photos of their hands. From the comments: If they’re looking at calluses, maybe I should have sent pics to REALLY confuse them 😅. I play flute and piano and just started violin. But my calluses are from climbing and tennis 😂😂😂 But seriously, this is an exception to the rule that you should never read Youtube comments. Read these! Another comment: "That is such a waste of big hands" -TwoSet. But also as a pianist I agree [more inside]
posted by spamandkimchi at 11:43 AM - 25 comments

The 24-Year-Old Who Outsold Oprah This Week

The Shadow Work Journal has exploded on TikTok as an inexpensive mental-health tool, even as experts question its approach—and the author’s credentials. The rise of The Shadow Work Journal is another reminder of TikTok’s power—to generate conversation, to sell a ton of books, to keep people in an algorithmic loop indefinitely. Though it was first published in the fall of 2021, the journal reached hit status this year, after being listed in TikTok Shop. It has sold 290,000 copies on TikTok alone since April—45 percent of its overall sales, Shaheen says, meaning more than half a million sold in total.
posted by folklore724 at 10:25 AM - 16 comments

He Did the Monster Mash(ed Avocado)

Seasonally appropriate frivolous spending! Looking for seasonally appropriate ways to fritter away your savings? Be a avocado toast monster! [more inside]
posted by supermedusa at 9:16 AM - 14 comments

It started out with a kiss

Happy 20th anniversary to the unofficial British National Anthem (now over 380 weeks on the charts!) How The Killers made Mr Brightside, one of the most enduring rock songs of all time - The Independent (more links below the cut) [more inside]
posted by Pachylad at 8:03 AM - 52 comments

Private security guards -- a Band Aid solution for growing problems

In America’s overwhelmed downtowns, private security guards like Michael Bock have become the solution of last resort. (gift link)
posted by Kitteh at 7:40 AM - 47 comments

The size of the bet up against the size of the market seems irrational

The pool of podcast listeners is growing, but the flood of shows on various streaming platforms makes it tough to break new hits. Facing competition across genres and formats, Spotify found that exclusive podcasts generally don’t draw subscribers away from its rivals. Podcast costs at the company rose €29 million in the first half of this year. from Spotify’s $1 Billion Podcast Bet Turns Into a Serial Drama [WSJ; ungated] [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 6:14 AM - 50 comments

Build Your Own Ghost House

Feeling the need for a bit of spooky decor, and feeling a bit crafty? Here's a paper craft Ghost House you can print out, cut apart, and glue together. House pages and instructions are in two separate PDF files. The same maker also has a fairly simple human skull, along with a whole catalog of interesting paper craft patterns. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 5:57 AM - 9 comments

British Seaside Simulator

British Seaside Simulator by Mefi's own malevolent, "so we can endlessly relive the summer that's coming to an end." (info) Best enjoyed with a cup of builder's in a stainless steel travel mug. [via mefi projects]
posted by taz at 1:09 AM - 43 comments

October 1

Americans Are Still Spending Like There’s No Tomorrow

Concerts, trips and designer handbags are taking priority over saving for a home or rainy day (ghostarchive.org)
posted by buffy12 at 8:58 PM - 71 comments

the narrative unfolds with all the messy complexities of real life

Kentucky Route Zero: It took seven years for the three-person team at Cardboard Computer to finish their masterpiece about a sad, regretful man making one last delivery for his employer's failing antique shop. [more inside]
posted by mecran01 at 6:52 PM - 15 comments

Patients treated by female surgeons are less likely to die

Patients treated by female surgeons are less likely to die. Patients treated by female surgeons have better chances of effective recovery and are "less likely to experience death," according to a new study that raises further questions on the underlying causes. The study of over one million people, published recently in the journal JAMA Surgery, found patients treated by female surgeons have a lower likelihood of adverse outcomes at 90 days and a year following their surgical procedures.
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 5:16 PM - 19 comments

Launches, landings, elements, and the fiery golden apples of the sun

NASA started work on this day in 1958. So let's mark the occasion by checking on the past month of humanity's exploration of space. [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 1:26 PM - 5 comments

The Museum of Youth Culture (UK)

The Museum of Youth Culture - 100 years of growing up in Britain. Features include growing up behind a Chinese takeaway counter, rural teen life, rave flyers, Beatlemania, pirate radio, classroom culture, festivals, Coventry, Glasgow, the Ace Cafe on the North Circular, the Gay Liberation Front, a love letter to MySpace, May Day, and Carnival. Bonus : 100 years of teenage kicks.
posted by plep at 12:42 PM - 1 comment

Pee-Wee's Big Adventure - re:View

Red Letter Media Re:Views Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, the first feature film directed by Tim Burton, with their old friend, Macaulay Culkin (pictured here with the former President of the United States)
posted by riruro at 11:49 AM - 23 comments

4K Rivers

4K Rivers "An ongoing series of vibrant river and delta images from North America and other parts of the world. The images are constructed using high-resolution elevation data." [via]
posted by dhruva at 9:38 AM - 12 comments

Build a castle from scratch...

Deep in a forest of France's Burgundy region, a group of enthusiasts is building a medieval castle the old-fashioned way — that is, with tools and methods from the late 13th century
posted by jim in austin at 7:51 AM - 13 comments

They're not anti-Wall Street, they're tsundere for Wall Street

Dan Olson's This is Financial Advice, a two and a half hour deep dive into the Gamestop meme stock phenomenon and the resulting cult that sprang up in its wake.
I tell you what, when you try and tell this story you either sum it up in ten minutes with the broadest strokes or you settle in for a rabbit hole made entirely out of onions and ogres. Conspiracy theorists flock together and constantly try and rope each other into the orbit of their personal hobby horse conspiracy, so once you break the surface suddenly you're digging through endless side stories, each with their own cast of characters, trying to figure out if some tertiary claim is true, was maybe true in the past but is no longer true, or was never true, and discover that the only sources on the matter are the same three people quoting each other in an endless circle of false legitimacy.
[more inside]
posted by Pachylad at 6:59 AM - 58 comments

But That Myrrh Lasts You Only So Long

What if my dad was, like, Bill Of Nazareth, just, like, a guy with a truck and a snake? From Nepo Baby by Megan Amram [The New Yorker; ungated]
posted by chavenet at 6:11 AM - 12 comments

Spooky Season Is Upon Us!

#SpookySeason We're entering that time of hauntings and horrors, and maybe you need some inspiration? Well, the 2013 documentary Halloween Home Haunts [1h25m] is a leisurely stroll through terrifying yards, gristly walk-through, and even some who graduated to professional level. Gain some insight, glean some techniques, and linger in the atmosphere that could lure you to creating your own home haunt! [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 5:50 AM - 9 comments

September 30

Interview with Menewood audiobook narrator, Pearl Hewitt

A far-ranging interview between author Nicola Griffith and audiobook narrator Pearl Hewitt on the craft. A warm and thoughtful discussion ranging from the technical details of voice exercises and DIY recording to homesickness and place names and building careers. Hewitt narrated award-winning Hild, a fantastical history of St Hilda of Whitby, and her upcoming sequel Menewood.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 7:16 PM - 3 comments

Embarking on our Mission of Glorious Obscurity

The Museum of Everyday Life is an ongoing revolutionary museum experiment based in Glover, Vermont. Its mission is a heroic, slow-motion cataloguing of the quotidian–a detailed, theatrical expression of gratitude and love for the minuscule and unglamorous experience of daily life in all its forms. [more inside]
posted by zeptoweasel at 4:42 PM - 11 comments

"this language will never hurt you as much as it has hurt me"

Agma Schwa's second Cursed Conlang Circus is on YouTube! For those who enjoy a good conlang, these are bad ones -- or rather, fantastically difficult and strange ones -- to enjoy even more. Although the links are to YT videos that take some time to watch, you can consult the transcripts or use chapters for quick looks.
Check out the marvelously alien Gurgle, created for a race of hexapods with a central orifice and beak. Or the ridiculous Douleur ("ultraFrench") with its six genders, including insectile and piratical. Tired of noise? Say it with rocks instead, using Geolaŋ, one of the few languages that requires knowledge of local land use regulations.
[more inside]
posted by Countess Elena at 12:09 PM - 7 comments

“Listen,” says one of the women, “I’ve just heard something odd.”

Good Morning sings with an insistent, subtle intelligence. It asks after the origin and purpose of language and suggests that the degree zero of speech is laughter, which is where the farts come in.”
posted by oulipian at 8:58 AM - 7 comments

I Need His @

The TikTok account, conversations with victims, and TikTok’s own lack of action on the account show that access to facial recognition technology, combined with a cultural belief that anything public is fair game to exploit for clout, now means that all it takes is one random person on the internet to target you and lead a crowd in your direction. from The End of Privacy is a Taylor Swift Fan TikTok Account Armed with Facial Recognition Tech
posted by chavenet at 4:50 AM - 62 comments

oooooooooooooooooh STOP

Todd in the Shadows uploads a 33 minute 'DELUXE' of his Songs That Stop on the Word "Stop" Supercut compilation (original compilation he posted back in 2015) (previously)
posted by Pachylad at 2:05 AM - 17 comments

"One listens alone, even in another's presence"

A BBC audio drama adaptation of Italo Calvino's If on a winter's night a traveler featuring Toby Jones, Indira Varma & Tim Crouch. (NB: it says it's only available for 24 days)
posted by juv3nal at 1:33 AM - 15 comments

I invented my body and it was the best idea.

What's Cyriak done this time? Seriously, what has he done. As always, I'm looking right at it and I don't know what it is. All I know is that it's a video about a goose and it's called HONK. (post title source, previously) [more inside]
posted by BiggerJ at 12:41 AM - 10 comments

September 29

How to save urban trees from extreme heat

We need urban trees more than ever: here's how to save them from extreme heat
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 10:28 PM - 10 comments

New York City Is Not Built for This

The city is seeing rainfall patterns that look more like Miami’s or even Singapore’s The city flooded last December, last April, and last July—an unusual seasonal span.
posted by folklore724 at 10:16 PM - 41 comments

You've heard of this one, it fucking rules

Benito’s 50 New Streaming Spookums for Halloween 2023 - it’s spooky season so Benito Cereno has another list of streaming movies. It’s the good shit, check it out.
posted by Artw at 4:16 PM - 16 comments

On Ageism

Are you ageist? Take a 10-minute implicit bias test and find out. Work against ageism. It's good for you, it's good for society. [more inside]
posted by aniola at 11:12 AM - 145 comments

Scientists will unleash an army of crabs

to help save Florida’s dying reef. Not all heroes wear capes. Some are crabs. Benji Jones for Vox.
posted by Hypatia at 7:00 AM - 48 comments

Dianne Feinstein (1933-2023)

“We went from two women senators when I ran for office in 1992 to 24 today – and I know that number will keep climbing.” Dianne Feinstein, whose three decades in the Senate made her the longest-serving female US senator in history, has died. [CNN]
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 6:25 AM - 199 comments

Alright, alright, alright!

Making Dazed [45m] is a 2005 reunion/behind-the-scenes documentary about the making of the 1993 film Dazed And Confused. Ben Affleck, Matthew McConaughey, Parker Posey, Adam Goldberg, and more look back at the film that helped launch their careers.
posted by hippybear at 5:57 AM - 20 comments

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