June 12

Elephants call each other by name, study finds

Elephants call each other by name, study finds. Researchers used artificial intelligence algorithm to analyse calls by two herds of African savanna elephants in Kenya.
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 8:06 AM - 2 comments

RIP The Logo, Mr Clutch

Jerry West, the inspiration for the NBA's logo, died peacefully at his home at the age of 86. One of basketball's most accomplished contributors, West was a staple of the sport across eight decades, winning nine championships as a player, scout, coach, executive and consultant. [more inside]
posted by NoMich at 7:16 AM - 10 comments

Pride, Good News Edition

With legislative and social attacks against trans people across the US, you may have missed some of the more encouraging stories. Here's just a few: 1. Federal Court Blocks First State Law Restricting Health Care for Transgender Adults. The ruling in Doe v. Ladapo found that Florida SB 254 and the related Boards of Medicine (BOM) rules were motivated by disapproval of transgender people and violate the equal protection rights of transgender individuals and parents of transgender minors in Florida. [more inside]
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 2:29 AM - 6 comments

This language now extends beyond politics

Today, QAnon exists in a vastly more complex media ecosystem and seems to be addressing a wider, more amorphous set of concerns. But its rough function is the same: The family order is again seen as being threatened, this time by attacks on gender norms. Q gives people a way to feel they are protecting the traditional atomic family. By devouring fresh posts from QAnon influencers, donning Q gear, or spreading word online about the impending arrest of the cabal, Q faithful felt like they were doing everything they could to support the welfare of children and usher in a new era of conservative family values that would put them in charge. from How Q Became Everything [Mother Jones; ungated] [CW: Q, conspiracy, Felonious Trump, Epstein, pedophilia etc. etc.]
posted by chavenet at 12:56 AM - 6 comments

June 11


Signs and Wonders: Celestial Phenomena in 16th-Century Germany "The villagers of Strasbourg may have heard about a war in heaven while reading the Book of Revelation; in 1554, they witnessed one with their own eyes. As a broadsheet published in June of that year records, a bloody, fiery ray bisected the sun, followed by a clash between cavalry — each side bearing guidons. War raged for hours, and then, as suddenly as they appeared, the combatants trotted off into the clouds. "
posted by dhruva at 10:40 PM - 3 comments

Why do trucks/lorries hit bridges?

Why do trucks/lorries hit bridges?
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 8:24 PM - 42 comments

Chiquita ordered to pay for funding paramilitary squad

US banana giant ordered to pay $38m to families of Colombian men killed by death squads A Florida court has ordered Chiquita Brands International to pay $38m to the families of eight Colombian men murdered by a paramilitary death squad, after the US banana giant was shown to have financed the terrorist organisation from 1997 to 2004. [more inside]
posted by bunderful at 8:12 PM - 18 comments


After over a quarter century, The Jesus Lizard are releasing a new album and small tour. [more inside]
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 6:32 PM - 6 comments

I looked at the scene before me — at its empty eye-like windows

"This is a slow moving thread of screaming and horrified city gates. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa" Does what it says on the tin. (SLMastodon)
posted by doctornemo at 6:01 PM - 12 comments

What goes up...

Large pieces of the trunk structure of SpaceX's Dragon capsule have been crashing to earth following re-entry, including in NSW, Australia, Saskatchawan, Canada, and NC, US. Prof Sam Lawler is the astronomy professor at the University of Regina, so when a farmer in Saskatchawan found a piece in a field, she got the call. She has been chronicling what has happened next on Mastodon (all links should be viewable without a Mastodon account), with today's amazing chapter in which SpaceX representatives arrived in a Uhaul to pick up the pieces found by two local farmers. [more inside]
posted by hydropsyche at 5:47 PM - 14 comments

Permission to Jeer

'Professional wrestling’s profitable use of kayfabe... offers a prism for understanding the trajectory of conservative politics today'.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 5:01 PM - 15 comments

I no longer Want to Be the Guy

Level Devil is a minimalist browser-based platformer that combines cruelty, accessibility, and a wicked sense of comic timing. [more inside]
posted by longtime_lurker at 3:13 PM - 15 comments

This whole world is out there just trying to score

Occasionally, people make music, and then wildly different people cover that music with wildly different sounds and results. I like when this happens. I especially like when it happens without changing the pronouns of the original piece. “Look into his angel eyes…” hits differently when it comes from a sparsely accompanied, gravelly male voice, instead of, ah, ABBA. from Genderswap.fm by Eva Decker [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 12:10 PM - 16 comments

Very Large Scale Integration with the dust of the earth

Lynn Conway, pioneering computer scientist and trans activist, passed away on June 9. Every aspect of computing is deeply dependent on Conway's work; DIS, which she invented while at IBM, is one of the crucial foundations of modern computer architecture, and her innovations (with Mead) to the methodology of VLSI paved the way for the entirety of modern IC design. So when you look at your phone or your computer today, say a quiet "thank you".
posted by adrienneleigh at 11:31 AM - 59 comments

"My reasons for wanting him gone are to avoid more trauma"

Driver who caused deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash denied first bid to stay in Canada (Jaskirat Singh) Sidhu was sentenced to eight years after pleading guilty to dangerous driving causing death and bodily harm in the April 2018 crash that killed 16 people and injured 13. Court was told Sidhu, a newly married permanent resident, missed a stop sign at a rural Saskatchewan intersection and drove into the path of the Broncos bus carrying players and staff to a junior hockey league playoff game. [more inside]
posted by elkevelvet at 7:32 AM - 57 comments

Harvard removes human skin binding from book after more than 90 years

Harvard removes human skin binding from book after more than 90 years. Harvard University has removed human skin from the binding of a book held for over 90 years at one of its libraries
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 6:11 AM - 56 comments

The Internet's Favourite Dad* (*unproven)

Brittlestar, aka Stewart Reynolds is a Canadian humorist and national treasure. [more inside]
posted by Kitteh at 5:23 AM - 10 comments

Digital manipulation with surreal consequences…

"Lissyelle is a photographer and art director based in Brooklyn, New York and Los Angeles, California. She grew up in rural Ontario where her interest in photography began at the age of 12, spurred by an obsessive fear she would one day forget her entire life were she not to document it. Her body of work is often still inspired by this compulsion to photograph, as well as by the vivid colors of early childhood, reoccurring dreams, the blurry way we see things when we are either too happy or too sad, and the soft hands of the high renaissance." [NSFW]
posted by cupcakeninja at 3:38 AM - 1 comment

1 📳 2 rulial space

Leibniz’s monadology [pdf, Early Modern Texts], his last attempt to codify his philosophical system, can certainly rival Wolfram’s Ruliad for all encompassing majesty, despite its extreme brevity. Each monad is an individual that reflects the rest of the universe from its own unique point of view. The parts shape the whole and in turn, the whole back-reacts on the parts. Likewise, the Ruliad has similarity to Indra’s Net from The Flower Garland Sutra - a kind of representation of a totality in terms of bejeweled vertices which encode the whole. Each is a vista of the whole. Every possible view is present in the whole. It is interesting to see how this basic idea, in which a totality is decomposed into an interdependent parts, repeats. [arxiv]
posted by HearHere at 2:55 AM - 8 comments

Apple Intelligence and Privacy @ WWDC '24

Yesterday at WWDC 2024 Apple announced its long-anticipated machine learning effort, a Siri overhaul dubbed "Apple Intelligence." The new system employs LLMs and diffusion model image generation while attempting to maintain a uniquely high level of privacy by splitting queries across three tiers of increasing anonymity and capability: on device, private cloud compute servers, and anonymized opt-in-only ChatGPT calls. Ars coverage on Apple Intelligence, and the ChatGPT integration. [more inside]
posted by Ryvar at 1:33 AM - 103 comments

Each of these finds is a minor miracle

The North American Crash, the Atari Shock, or whatever else you want to call it, was an incredibly traumatic event for game development in the US. Most of the companies that had been making games just years prior closed their doors, laying off hundreds or thousands of people in the process. These were designers, programmers, artists, marketers, assembly workers, and more who found themselves out of work and trying to pick up the pieces. Some were able to pivot to the home computer space, find work at the surviving developers and publishers, or form new game companies. Others left video games behind entirely. In many of these cases, the projects they were working on were simply and quietly canceled, regardless of how close they were to completion, never intended to be seen again – just a failed product that didn’t make it to market. Like Tarzan. from The Long-Lost Tarzan Atari Game, Preserved [The Video Game History Foundation]
posted by chavenet at 12:55 AM - 19 comments

June 10

Reverend James Lawson, 1928-2024

Reverend James Lawson, an architect of the US Civil Rights Movement, whom Dr. King called “the leading theorist and strategist of nonviolence in the world,” has died. Lawson went to prison for refusing the draft during the Korean War, and upon release he went to study with Gandhi, only to be called home to the front lines of the Civil Rights Movement by Dr. King. He led lunch counter sit-ins in Nashville that led to his expulsion from Vanderbilt University, helped found the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, mentored the Freedom Riders in nonviolence and strategy, and was a leader in the 1968 sanitation workers' strike in Memphis (he is credited with the famous "I AM A MAN" slogan) where Dr. King was assassinated. He befriended and ministered to Dr. King's assassin, James Earl Ray. In his later years Rev. Lawson was the pastor at Holman United Methodist in Los Angeles, and led weekly nonviolence clinics there long after his retirement. His project was the civil rights of all people, and he advocated until the end for the rights of all people regardless of race, for the rights of workers, for LGBTQ people, and for reproductive rights. [more inside]
posted by kensington314 at 11:24 PM - 32 comments

You can keep the dime

Who knew 2024 would be the year Jim Croce releases an animated music video? (SLYT 3:49)
posted by 2N2222 at 9:31 PM - 12 comments

Claude the koala busted again for evading security to eat seedlings

Claude the hungry koala scales fences in broad daylight to sample young seedlings at a nursery. He's a repeat offender and has attracted mates to the free feed, costing the nursery thousands of damaged plants. The nursery owner hopes new fencing and a mass planting project nearby will deter the brazen koala from repeated daylight robbery.
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 7:05 PM - 11 comments

The Time I Built an ROV to Solve Missing Person Cases

Inspired by the search for the Death Valley Germans (mefi previously), Antti Suanto and his brother decided to build themselves a remote-controlled sidescan sonar boat, and an underwater ROV, and attempt to solve two long-cold missing person cases in the waters of northern Finland.
posted by automatronic at 4:23 PM - 20 comments

Japan's Life-Sized Gundam, Through the Years

"In terms of sheer kinetic wow factor, the most impressive Gundam to date is the full-scale moving one at Gundam Factory Yokohama..." [more inside]
posted by cupcakeninja at 4:16 PM - 13 comments

Fuzzy wuzzy were five baby birds' head

Kestrel live cam from Cornell Lab's Raptor Resource Project. See also the first Red-tailed Hawk fledgling to take flight this season and the female Kestrel feeding her chicks.
posted by spamandkimchi at 1:49 PM - 7 comments

To mend and defend

ReBoot is widely considered the first all-CGI TV series (although that distinction may belong to the French show "Insektors"). Thirty years after its TV premiere, a team in British Columbia are working on a documentary (LinkTree link) about the show. But, they've run into a minor snag (Google Docs link). [more inside]
posted by hanov3r at 1:14 PM - 31 comments

The G Word

The G-Word: The Fight for Roma Rights in America by Caren Gussoff Sumption A five minute live talk at Ignite Seattle in Town Hall Seattle from March 2022. [more inside]
posted by bq at 12:48 PM - 19 comments

Scotty, you promised me an estimate on the dilithium crystals

If a superluminal—meaning faster than the speed of light—warp drive like Alcubierre’s worked, it would revolutionize humanity’s endeavors across the universe, allowing us, perhaps, to reach Alpha Centauri, our closest star system, in days or weeks even though it’s four light years away. from A Groundbreaking Scientific Discovery Just Gave Humanity the Keys to Interstellar Travel [Popular Mechanics] [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 12:33 PM - 65 comments

The Absurd Mystery of the Strange Forces of Existence

A detective searches for a mysterious second dimension, with his ability to stand on one leg being his one asset in the quest. The only thing standing in his way is the “Donut Men”, a group who stalks our hero and poses their electric-wielding power as a threat. Simultaneously, a rock star needs to be plugged into an electrical supply so he can garner the power to create powerful music with the occasional destruction. David Lynch attempted to make Ronnie Rocket, or The Absurd Mystery of the Strange Forces of Existence his second film. Or his third. Or his fourth. Or his fifth. He never found the funding. Far Out magazine looks into the story of David Lynch's abandoned sci-fi opus. You can check out the screenplay here or listen to a reading on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:45 AM - 11 comments

Reconsidering Elaine May (and Ishtar)

Could Elaine May Finally Be Getting Her Due? [ungated] - "A new biography gives a compelling sense of a comic and cinematic genius, and also of the forces that derailed her Hollywood career." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 8:25 AM - 26 comments

Airports caught thousands of travellers with biosecurity risks in 2023

Australian airports caught thousands of travellers with biosecurity risks in 2023, including holy water from the Ganges. A live toad, holy water from the Ganges and an aphrodisiac made from donkeys are among the more unusual items detected at Australian airports and mail centres. Context: there are a lot of diseases, viruses, and parasites that are common in Britain/Europe/Asia/North America that are not present at all in Australia, and Australia would very much like to keep it that way.
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 7:57 AM - 23 comments

Merde / Merda / Scheiße / Shit

Last week's EU parliamentary elections have resulted in big wins for right (and far-right) parties across the continent, with inflation- and migration-driven campaigns seeing late surges in support from Giorgia Meloni's Brothers of Italy to Geert Wilder's Party of Freedom to the extremist (and Nazi-curious) Alternative for Germany. Most notable was the unprecedented success of Marine Le Pen's hard-right National Rally in France, whose demolition of the ruling centrist coalition was so complete that President Emmanuel Macron has unexpectedly dissolved the legislature and called for snap elections later this month in a high-stakes bid to disrupt the national-populist wave. Not all is grim for the left -- socialist parties held their own in multiple nations, proudly illiberal Viktor Orban's Fidesz fell short of projections against a rising Péter Magyar, and France's two-round system has reliably kept the far-right out of power. Still, this week's results have massive and troubling implications for climate change, Ukraine, and a swath of other critical issues.
posted by Rhaomi at 2:00 AM - 67 comments

Does Ed Balls still count?

What are the load-bearing posts of our time? Obviously 'facing god and walking backwards into hell' and 'miette' are up there. Does Ed Balls still count? PS if you can parse this you should probably log off [X] [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 1:32 AM - 72 comments

June 9

After 25 years of scanning we can finally announce...

Generate yourself a cat avatar with the Cat Avatar Generator for Generating Cat Avatars. (via JHarris' LinkMe submission) [more inside]
posted by nobody at 9:19 PM - 14 comments

50,000 Year Old Neanderthal Bones Have Remains of Human Viruses

50,000 Year Old Neanderthal Bones Have Remains of Human Viruses, Scientists Find. (Smithsonian Magazine.) The preliminary analysis is a first step in testing the theory that infectious diseases played a role in Neanderthals’ extinction.
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 7:09 PM - 6 comments

I Built the World's Largest Translated Cuneiform Corpus using AI

TL;DR I used a custom-trained Large Language Model (T5) to create the world’s largest online corpus of translated cuneiform texts. It’s called the AICC (AI Cuneiform Corpus) and contains 130,000 AI translated texts from the CDLI and ORACC projects. [more inside]
posted by bq at 6:10 PM - 15 comments

There’s a whole lot more to unlife than blood, lace, and leather

Vampire Therapist: “Guide vampires through centuries of emotional baggage, decades of delusions and the odd bout of self-loathing with real cognitive behavioral therapy concepts and become a Vampire Therapist! Even vampires need a shoulder to cry on when a neck to bite just won’t do.” Releasing July 18, demo available now. [more inside]
posted by brook horse at 4:43 PM - 9 comments

The Deep Ark

The Deep Ark is an eight hour plus mix of 1990's Warp Records "Electronic Listening Music" and related beats. [more inside]
posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 1:48 PM - 13 comments


KittyToy by Rakqoi (be sure to check out her itch.io user page for tips). Take care of and adopt stray kitties! Feed them, pet them, play with them! Inspired by Neko Atsume (discussed previously on the Blue).
posted by eruonna at 1:17 PM - 3 comments

G__d_ye, P_t S_j_k

“Well, the time has come to say goodbye ... It’s been an incredible privilege to be invited into millions of homes night after night, year after year, decade after decade. I always felt that the privilege came with the responsibility to keep this daily half-hour a safe place for family fun. No social issues, no politics, nothing embarrassing I hope, just a game.” from ‘The Time Has Come to Say Goodbye’: Pat Sajak Bids Farewell to ‘Wheel of Fortune’ [NY Times; ungated] [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 12:31 PM - 71 comments

Storytelling through dance

KIRINJI - 時間がない (Jikanga Nai) is a super-simple music video of a guy dancing. The dancer/choreographer is also on instagram.
posted by snofoam at 12:18 PM - 9 comments

Finding a small forest long-since built over

A local twitter friend who is a geologist, archaeologist and historian has uncovered the history of a former isolated native forest that is now a town. It's quite a tale from an accidental find of an 1847 map with a coloured patch representing a forest, to a 3D virtual forest in Blender matched to an 1859 watercolour painting. [more inside]
posted by unearthed at 12:16 PM - 4 comments


Celtix – a daily puzzle game about making Celtic knots. [more inside]
posted by Wolfdog at 8:37 AM - 13 comments

not to praise, but bury -- one funeral at a time

New Book Blames Yuppies for Trump, Housing—Basically Everything [ungated] - "Tom McGrath's Triumph of the Yuppies: America, the Eighties, and the Creation of an Unequal Nation is not a flattering portrait of a generation." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 8:18 AM - 87 comments

A playlist about Kerr Avon

A playlist about Kerr Avon, from the British Science Fiction TV show Blake's 7. [more inside]
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 5:58 AM - 4 comments

Decker Is Hypercard for Now

Decker is a multimedia platform for creating and sharing interactive documents, with sound, images, hypertext, and scripted behavior. Remember HyperCard? Ever wish you could still make simple, scriptable, interactive presentations and applications with almost no effort? Well, with Decker, you can. It's free on itch.io
posted by bowbeacon at 5:27 AM - 13 comments

Physical Dice vs. Digital Dice

"We took it to the streets and asked both hardcore and novice tabletop gamers." Meanwhile, on another forum... A loosely related blending of physical and digital. Some feel that It's The Apps That Are Wrong. A D&D-focused list of dice apps. There's also Elmenreich's "Game Engineering for Hybrid Board Games" [SLPDF]. Previously [more inside]
posted by cupcakeninja at 5:08 AM - 28 comments

We arrive at a much different mullet landscape in 2024

The mullet is alive and well in AFL [ABC]
posted by chavenet at 1:25 AM - 19 comments

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