March 1

When should you end a conversation? Probably sooner than you think

People Literally Don’t Know When to Shut Up—or Keep Talking, Science Confirms (Scientific American): We are really bad at navigating a key transition point during one of the most basic social interactions. "Mastroianni and his colleagues found that only 2 percent of conversations ended at the time both parties desired, and only 30 percent of them finished when one of the pair wanted them to. In about half of the conversations, both people wanted to talk less, but their cutoff point was usually different. Participants in both studies reported, on average, that the desired length of their conversation was about half of its actual length. To the researchers’ surprise, they also found that it is not always the case that people are held hostage by talks: In 10 percent of conversations, both study participants wished their exchange had lasted longer. And in about 31 percent of the interactions between strangers, at least one of the two wanted to continue." When should you end a conversation? Probably sooner than you think (Science)
posted by not_the_water at 1:30 PM - 63 comments

Creating a world where there is no oppressor

From this, then, we can extract the three aspects of my Jewish identity which I believe shape my politics, and that of many, but of course not all, other Jews: fragile privilege and what that means for how we are to be safe; uprootedness, which can become a positive internationalism; and abhorrence of dominating power. These three ideas lead me to a deep appreciation for and belief in interdependence, which, in my view, is the beating heart of green, ecological politics.
Ecology, Citizenship and Jewish Identity, a speech given to the Australian Association of Jewish Studies conference by Tim Hollo, about the experience of the Jewish diaspora and its influence on a progressive, ecologically-based politics of bottom-up democracy, interdependence, mutualism and opposition to dominating power, citing Hannah Arendt, Emma Goldman and Murray Bookchin.
posted by acb at 1:22 PM - 4 comments

Trader Joe's Fearful Flyer

Trader Joe's employee fired for advocating better safety in stores
Ben Bonnema, who worked at the store’s 545 branch on the Upper West Side in New York city, said he wrote to the company’s CEO Dan Bane in February, pointing to new studies about aerosol transmission of Covid-19 and calling for a series of safety measures – including better air filtration, limits to store capacity based on CO2 levels and a “three strikes policy” for customers who refuse to wear a mask.
[more inside]
posted by benzenedream at 11:49 AM - 43 comments

Helmets Yes. Helmet Laws No.

Cycling groups call for an end to helmet laws after a study showed inequity of enforcement
posted by aniola at 8:11 AM - 148 comments

Go with the $flow$

Personal Income Spending Flowchart. From Reddit's personal finance subreddit. US-specific tax vehicles may or may not be available in equivalent forms in your country.
posted by storybored at 8:10 AM - 64 comments

but I want you to do it right this time

My First and Last Proclamation as the Child Freed and Crowned Queen of Omelas
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:06 AM - 6 comments

February 28

Electronic Plastic

Browse through pics & details in the museum of more than 900 handheld and tabletop games, from the 70s and 80s.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 4:02 PM - 36 comments

‘Like a Warm Hug From an Angel'

For a handful of cultures across the globe, the Arab world among them, these distinct blankets deliver not only an impossibly warm, soft hug but a great sense of belonging. [slNYT] Subhi Taha wanted to give a special thanks last week to what he called the “one and only reason” he didn’t suffer frostbite during the destructive and deadly winter storm that recently left millions without heat in Texas, where he lives. “That thing is this blanket,” Taha said on TikTok, pointing behind him to an ornate hunter green and rose pink bedspread printed with large flowers.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 1:39 PM - 43 comments

"a tacit understanding that we’re all here to help one another..."

"Throughout the 70s and into the 90s, groups around the world helped hapless users figure out their computer systems, learn about technology trends, and discover the latest whiz-bang applications.... the meetings often happened IRL." [more inside]
posted by jessamyn at 12:11 PM - 14 comments

"Let me tell you this right now, Donald J. Trump ain't going anywhere."

The Conservative Political Action Conference, better known as CPAC, wraps up today with the first post-presidential speech from Donald Trump. [more inside]
posted by box at 9:27 AM - 130 comments

This Is the Way

Interview: Saikat Chakrabarti, creator of the Green New Deal - "He also discovered AOC, served as her chief of staff, and co-founded the Justice Democrats." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 9:26 AM - 12 comments

"They took a chisel to God"

" was the kids who took their faith the most seriously who eventually walked away. Those of us who tearfully promised that we would follow Jesus anywhere eventually followed him out the door. The Queer kids, more than anyone, learned exactly what it meant to work out our faith with fear and trembling." [more inside]
posted by clawsoon at 6:59 AM - 63 comments

"Everything has kinetic potential"

Tights! Spatulas! Action! The madcap world of chain reaction videos (The Guardian) - a very enjoyable showcase of the work of three full-time chain-reaction artists, featuring Joseph Herscher (previously), Steve Price (previously) and Lily Hevesh (previously).
posted by bitteschoen at 6:11 AM - 7 comments

Flim is the Thing

Flim is a movie search engine currently in beta that returns screenshots from movies based on keywords. [Via Kottke & Boing Boing & Recomendo]
posted by chavenet at 3:05 AM - 15 comments

Concerning Beards

Dr Alun Withey, an historian of medicine and the body, has been researching pogonotomical matters - see, for example Beard Fashions and Class; To Dye for! Colouring the Beard in the 19th Century; The ‘Toilet Arts’: Men’s Personal Grooming and Advice Literature in the 19th Century; Barbers and Shaving in the Eighteenth Century and Shaving the Dead in Irish Folklore. Moreover, Dr. Withey's recent book Concerning Beards: Facial Hair, Health and Practice in England, 1650–1900 is available electronically as a free-to-download open access edition. [more inside]
posted by misteraitch at 2:13 AM - 7 comments

February 27

3 Mules

Who are we? We are the Mules. Where are we from? We are from the outside. We live outside all day, every day. Where are we going? Nowhere. We’re here: the outside, the web of life, the beautiful earth, a place like no other. We have come to this place, a place of golden sparkling light, a place for anybody and everybody. Give your faith, hope and energy to this place at which time you connect to it and receive the magic and endless possibility of infinity. As you walk in this place with these mules you spread the awareness that this beautiful earth, like no other, can only be protected by the way we live one day at a time. [more inside]
posted by aniola at 7:49 PM - 16 comments

Dance like everyone's watching

Bhangra fan Gurdeep Pandher of Yukon sends all of us a snowy dance of joy, hope and positivity (YT; Twitter link here). “I'm trying to spread happiness and hope through my videos,” he says. “I find it very important especially after the pandemic so that people can find a moment of joy. The second thing which I am passionate about is creating cross-cultural bridges like bringing people together. Especially after some recent news and all that stuff.” [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 1:50 PM - 15 comments

Hebrew recital of the Scroll of Cham-Steam in the manner of the Megillah

Megilat Ḥam-Ed — the Scroll of the Steamed Portions of Cham — And this scroll, the Scroll of Cham-Steam, was written and sealed by the hand of Isaac Harel son of Jael and Abraham Meir the priest, in the thirty-second year of the family of the sons of Simp. May the lord be unto us a help, a help!
posted by Kattullus at 1:39 PM - 17 comments

Gavin Bryars -- Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet

Gavin Bryars -- Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet (audio only) [more inside]
posted by y2karl at 12:54 PM - 18 comments

This is not the language of gratitude

The "Essential Worker" Swindle "People say we're heroes and everything -- but it doesn't feel like we're heroes. It feels like we don't have a choice." [more inside]
posted by RobinofFrocksley at 11:28 AM - 25 comments

"In the evenings it’s not PG-rated..."

"There only a few hundred lockmasters employed throughout the United States, and most of them are in the industrial waterways of upstate New York." Originally, "lockmasters literally lived the jobs much like a lighthouse keeper of the day did—constantly on watch, available to take quick action in case of a river-related emergency day or night." (pdf) The last lockmaster moved out of their on-site lockmaster house in 1990. The Mississippi River promises nine feet of navigable depth along its entire length for shipping, and this requires a system of locks and dams, the last of which is in St. Louis Missouri. People who do these jobs start out as a lockman (even the women) and then graduate to being a lockmaster. [via]
posted by jessamyn at 11:22 AM - 17 comments

Yaupon, South Seas Tea, Apalachine: North America's forgotten tea

Yaupon: The rebirth of America's forgotten tea (BBC) It is North America's only known native caffeinated plant and once threatened the British East India Company. So why has the world forgotten about it?
posted by not_the_water at 10:34 AM - 27 comments

10 PRINT "Classic Computer Games, No BASIC Required"

In the early days of computing, downloading software was iffy at best. Instead, the most common way of distributing a program for home users was a type-in listing, typically in BASIC. Those of us with Eighties 8-bit home computers often purchased the yellow BASIC Computer Games (originally published in 1973), and it's red-covered sequel, More BASIC Computer Games*. Listings for classic games like Super Star Trek could be found. A new effort is underway to implement these games in modern computer languages, such as C#, Java, or Python. You can get the code (or contribute) at Coding Honor's GitHub. If you prefer, you can also use the classic code with Commodore BASIC on your Windows, MacOS, or Linux systems.
posted by MrGuilt at 8:23 AM - 51 comments

February 26

Is Your Vaccine Card Selfie a Gift for Scammers?

You finally got your vaccine, and you’re excited to share the proof. Here’s why that may not be a good idea. "Someone who is not yet vaccinated or does not want to be could be “tempted to forge a copy from these photographs,” she said. “Or why wouldn’t an entrepreneurial scammer use the photographs to create counterfeits to sell to those who want them?” The Better Business Bureau, in its warning, cited newspaper reports in Britain that said that fake vaccination cards were purchased on eBay for about $6.
posted by folklore724 at 5:32 PM - 68 comments

But, wait, are these toys circular? Neigh.

Here's a five minute German-language video about making, inter alia, little wooden horses with a lathe.
posted by cortex at 3:04 PM - 41 comments


posted by metabaroque at 2:25 PM - 23 comments

Four ways Zoom interaction overwhelms our brains

Jeremy Bailenson, founding director of Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, noticed how quickly Zoom fatigue arose as video conferencing became commonplace during the pandemic. His open-access article explores why: Nonverbal Overload: A Theoretical Argument for the Causes of Zoom Fatigue from Technology, Mind, and Behavior, 2(1). [more inside]
posted by Jesse the K at 1:05 PM - 75 comments

Wizards and Wool

An RPG themed shaggy dog story about book binding, economics, pre-industrial library science, animal husbandry, Wizard Cheese and the politics of Big Parchment. [more inside]
posted by mark k at 12:10 PM - 18 comments

Brian Eno -- Discreet Music

Sides 1 & 2 of

Brian Eno -- Discreet Music

Brian Eno -- Three Variations on Pachelbel's Canon in D [more inside]
posted by y2karl at 11:42 AM - 31 comments

All happy online communities are alike . . .

A Life-Cycle Perspective on Online Community Success. In 2009, Iriberri and Leroy surveyed 27 peer reviewed, empirical articles about online communities and identified four stages of online community development: 1. Inception 2. Establishment 3. Maturity 4. Mitosis (or death) The original article [PDF] makes for fascinating reading, and has been cited 456 times. Fortunately, various blog entries summarize the contents for us. [more inside]
posted by mecran01 at 11:22 AM - 10 comments

Sexy Times With Wangxian

Virtual1979 may have achieved that magical poof simply by promising to keep expanding the number of fandoms they tag their fic into indefinitely, until they get bored or AO3 changes its policies. But if the site’s tagging infrastructure is altered or a blocking or filtering function is added, it will be hard not to see this episode through a cynical lens: That the OTW systematically rejected and bypassed the sustained voices of so many fans, including Black fans and other fans of color, for months — until their needs and desire for a safe space abruptly aligned with other fans’ annoyance and inconvenience.
How a million word, 1700 tag story is forcing AO3 to change its policies when anti-racism couldn't.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:59 AM - 43 comments

“For some, this might be old hat, and -for others- a revelation”

No Pun Included is a board game review YouTube channel and podcast run by Elaine and Efka.
As you’d expect, it features board game reviews, best-of-the-year assessments, Let’s Plays, and theme episodes like “It’s Time to Say Goodbye to Catan (and say hello to three other games)” and “Weird Games I Found At Essen Spiel”.
Earlier this year, on (one of) Lithuania’s Independence Day(s), Efka recorded an episode looking at Colonialism as a theme in board games.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:08 AM - 12 comments

Feeling Unsure Shouldn’t Make You an Imposter

Stop Telling Women They Have Imposter Syndrome. Writing in the Harvard Business Review (limited free articles), Ruchika Tulshyan and Jodi-Ann Burey examine how and why the idea of imposter syndrome has been approached as an individual pathology rather than a symptom of systemic issues in business culture. (h/t to Anne Helen Petersen's substack; "imposter syndrome" was coined in 1978 by psychologists Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne Imes in their study The Imposter Phenomenon in High Achieving Women: Dynamics and Therapeutic Intervention. (pdf link)) [more inside]
posted by soundguy99 at 6:47 AM - 36 comments

“All great works of literature either dissolve a genre or invent one.”

Storytelling -- Harmon vs. McKee : "I realized the line accurately describes all stories I like, and also everything I attempt in my own fiction experiments, whether or not I succeed. Hitchhiker’s Guide, for example, dissolved the genre of space opera. Iain M. Banks’ Culture series resurrected and reinvented it. Storytellers who do one of the two things tend to do at least a little bit of the other as well, but tend to have a preference. It’s like being left or right-handed."
posted by snerson at 5:57 AM - 19 comments

Rumble in the Jungle

Do you think controller rumble in video games is stupid? What if you make it way stronger? (Via RPS)
posted by Alex404 at 12:28 AM - 36 comments

February 25

The Savor of Memory

When I left Iran for good in 1985, I carried two books in my massive suitcase. The first was a boxy little hardcover bound in black cloth: the collected ghazals of Hafez (which apparently every Iranian must own). The version was edited by the great modernist poet Ahmad Shamlu, and it was notorious for his controversial editorial choices, unadorned presentation on the page and blasphemous punctuation. The second book was also bound in black cloth. Roza Montazemi’s venerable cookbook, Honar-e-Ashpazi (The Art of Cooking) was bigger in size but lighter, because its paper was what we called kahi, or lower-quality straw paper, lightweight and liable to yellowing. [more inside]
posted by Ahmad Khani at 5:38 PM - 8 comments

Is It Time to Kill the Book Blurb?

The pre-publication endorsements—“dazzling!” “a masterwork!”—that litter book covers have long been a staple of publishing. Are they of any value or mere relics that deserve to go? There may be some upside to blurbs. One study from 2013, conducted by BookTrust, a U.K. reading charity, found that of the 1,500 adults surveyed in England, 40 percent choose what books to buy based on “blurbs/book covers,” more than any other aspect, including professional reviews and recommendations from friends and family.
posted by folklore724 at 5:21 PM - 61 comments

Hey, man!

Is it kosher to smoke weed on Purim?
posted by not_on_display at 3:46 PM - 21 comments

The Musician Comes First

Dave Grohl delivers the SXSW keynote, 2013.
posted by dfm500 at 3:38 PM - 7 comments

My Year of Grief and Cancellation

"If you were on Tumblr in the early 2010s, you may remember a blog called Your Fave Is Problematic. If not, its content should still sound familiar to you. The posts contained long lists of celebrities’ regrettable (racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, ethnophobic, ableist and so on) statements and actions — the stuff that gets people canceled these days. That blog was my blog."
posted by Ouverture at 3:24 PM - 48 comments

"the more elusive aspects of human experience"

Satanic Panics and the Death of Mythos by Aisling McCrea is an essay exploring how, in contemporary society, people want explanations that are "materially and logically and scientifically true", and ignore "non-literal or non-rational parts of our understanding of what is true: rituals, customs, superstition, storytelling, art, and transcendent experiences". She especially focuses on people's relationship with art, quoting Dan Olson's video essay Annihilation and Decoding Metaphor to explain how you can miss the deeper meaning of a piece of art, if you seek to explain everything logically.
posted by Kattullus at 2:20 PM - 35 comments

A Moment Of Accountability In Lansing

As part of her investigation into the abuses of Larry Nassar, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has announced charges of human trafficking, racketeering, lying to police, and sexual assault against John Geddert, the owner and operator of the Twistars gym where Nassar abused many of his victims. (cw: abuse, suicide) [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 1:52 PM - 14 comments

The Moomins as queer family

The unlikely queer family at the heart of the Moomins. "In recent years, Moomins creator Tove Jansson has become a queer icon. What her stories capture, says Elizabeth Lovatt, is the importance and joy of choosing your own family." [more inside]
posted by Biblio at 11:29 AM - 7 comments

The Dolly Moment

Tressie McMillan Cottom (previously) goes deep on Dolly Parton and how her "unproblematic fave" status is tied up in notions of race, gender, and class: The woman has earned her nostalgic moment in the sun; the question is whether we have earned the rose-tinted glasses through which we see her.
posted by Cash4Lead at 10:59 AM - 62 comments

How Pelé became more myth than man

Making a superhero: how Pelé became more myth than man, by Jonathan Liew in the Guardian. "Casa Pelé, the small two‑room house in Três Corações where Pelé was born in 1940, is now a popular tourist attraction. As no photographs or descriptions of the original house have survived, it was rebuilt entirely from the memories of Pelé’s mother, Dona Celeste, and his uncle Jorge, with period furniture and fixings sourced from antique shops. And so what greets visitors today is really only a vague approximation of the house where one of the world’s most famous footballers spent his earliest years: a heavily curated blend of hazy memories and selective detail. As it turns out, this is also pretty much how Pelé himself is remembered these days. It’s 50 years since he played his last game for Brazil. Only a fraction of his rich and prolific playing career has survived on video. The vast majority of us never saw him play live. And so for the most part, the genius of Pelé exists largely in the abstract: something you heard or read about rather than something you saw, a bequeathed fact rather than a lived experience, a processed product rather than an organic document."
posted by dng at 10:14 AM - 15 comments

Black history of science

Meet 7 groundbreaking Black scientists from the past From the first treatment for leprosy to the foundation of the global positioning system, Black scientists have long been involved in major scientific developments, despite being pushed to the margins, refused jobs, and denied credit for their discoveries. Here are a few of their stories.
How historical racism in science continues to shape the Black experience Science is meant to be objective. In order to be trusted, it is to be free of any bias or prejudice and simply rely on experimentation, observation and conclusions. However, that has not been the case when it comes to race. And centuries of scientific racism have been hard to shake — even to this day, where the effects are still being seen and felt.
posted by heatherlogan at 7:12 AM - 7 comments

February 24

The Ramsey Effect

The Ramsey Effect is an essay written by philosopher Kieran Setiya in the London Review of Books on (or at least inspired by) Cheryl Misak's book Frank Ramsey: A Sheer Excess of Powers. Previously on Metafilter. [more inside]
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 10:45 PM - 26 comments

Non-Metro Congress-people mover under the Capitol

US Senators and members of the House can ride a special system of below-ground trains in Washington, DC. One of them may utilize Linear Induction Motors, a fascinating form of electrical propulsion (with magnetic levitation, even) made possible by Triple Phase Electricity. [more inside]
posted by Rash at 4:43 PM - 26 comments

KIRINJI: Jikan ga Nai (There's No Time)

This is a music video in which a man wearing a suit dances.
posted by Sokka shot first at 2:38 PM - 32 comments

"I would pay $15 to go to this show rn"

We're Penn Jillette Men's Razors and this next song is called "Don't call me back unless you have the Glade refills".
For all those yearning to see (crappy) indie live shows once again, the latest Tik-Tok trend is a nice concentrated blast of nostalgia.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:12 PM - 20 comments

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