July 7

Post Office Delivery Trucks Keep Catching on Fire

Hundreds of the iconic Post Office delivery trucks have caught on fire in recent years, thanks to a 30-year-old fleet and a manufactured budget crisis. [Vice] [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 11:36 AM - 16 comments

To be read during the day or the night (of the)

Ranking of every movie with ‘Night of the’ in the title [Polygon] “One night, I was thinking about how weird it was to wander the empty streets during the pandemic, which made me think about 1984 post-apocalyptic sci-fi movie Night of the Comet, which made me think of other movies that use “Night of the” in the title. Then some guy on Twitter said I should rank them. I said I would. This was a foolish choice. There are a lot of movies that use “Night of the” in the title, even if you cut out short films and TV movies. But, hey, I’m in lockdown. This brings us here: a ranking of every single movie that starts with “Night of the,” from worst to best. Horror classics rub shoulders with serious dramas and the occasional ’70s porno to create one long, bizarre night. The sun’s going down, so let’s get to it.”
posted by Fizz at 10:58 AM - 11 comments

The Truth About the Confederacy in the United States

Jeffery Robinson, the ACLU's top racial justice expert, discusses the dark history of Confederate symbols across the country and outlines what we can do to learn from our past and combat systemic racism.
The Truth About the Confederacy in the United States
posted by y2karl at 10:08 AM - 3 comments

They even voted on whether to stop the bus for a bathroom break

After two decades of Brazilian military dictatorship, Brazilians were inspired by a football club which made a point of voting on absolutely everything. Socrates and Corinthian Democracy. It was the "greatest team I ever played in because it was more than sport." [more inside]
posted by clawsoon at 9:58 AM - 2 comments

The Anarchist's Workbench

Christopher Schwarz (prev.) has finished a book on workbenches, which you can download for free.
posted by zamboni at 8:24 AM - 9 comments

The Weaponization of Diversity

This is an unusually extra lengthy essay, because the issue is so complex, sensitive, and nuanced that it deserves an appropriate level of patience and attention. It includes my deeply honest, personal, and some would say risky perspective on the topic of diversity in high-performance careers, including tech entrepreneurship; and my concern, as a latino, that the decision by some to “weaponize” diversity is backfiring and causing harm to under-represented minority groups.
posted by infini at 3:43 AM - 62 comments

Local currencies' time to shine

Complementary currencies for municipal finance - "It is an act of criminal malfeasance that the United States' federal government has not eased the tremendous fiscal pressure on states and municipalities, enabling them to prioritize public health and long-term economic wealth over immediate maintenance of tax revenue. Misgovernance of the United States presently rises to the level of war crime (and that is not just Donald Trump). A recent article by Rohan Grey, aptly titled Monetary Resilience, highlights one way this national misgovernance might be circumvented. Municipalities could issue complementary currencies..." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 12:34 AM - 23 comments

July 6

“It’s an idiotic story: young people go to fight bugs”

How “Starship Troopers” Aligns with Our Moment of American Defeat (single link new yorker) Verhoeven told Empire, in 2014, that he couldn’t finish reading it. With the possible exception of Mary Harron’s “American Psycho,” it’s hard to think of a film adaptation that’s more invested in refuting and satirizing its source. The anti-Fascism of “Starship Troopers” is mordant and merciless, but Verhoeven advances his argument by making its every frame lavishly, overbearingly Fascist. [more inside]
posted by ActingTheGoat at 6:54 PM - 116 comments

Art heist minus art

A short comic about the unusual 2018 art theft involving 'A View of Hampstead Heath' by John Constable - notable because the thieves never even touched the painting (SL Bloomberg).
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:51 PM - 15 comments

Jupitee and Mores.

MiuMiu Guitargirl is a 7 year old in Nanjing. Her parents have been posting her performances to YouTube during the last few months: multi-instrumental covers, song lessons, guitar playing tips and originals. Some of her earliest posts were I Wish You Love, Fly Me to the Moon and Moon River. I looks like musicians around the globe have time on their hands right now and have decided - to - accompany - her - performances.
posted by bonobothegreat at 5:28 PM - 5 comments

"so, i just want to emphasize that what i'm doing here is BAD"

Spend a pleasant ninety minutes watching beardy, distractible Irish sword-maker Michael Cthulhu build a massive slab of sword called The Wrektangle.
posted by cortex at 3:22 PM - 27 comments

"Danny put his whole life aside to attempt to protect children.”

Last November, Daniel M. Lavery -- cofounder of the Toast and Metafilter favorite author -- abruptly and publicly broke with his entire family of origin. Lavery's father is the influential evangelical author John Ortberg, pastor at the prominent Menlo Church, and his sister Laura Turner is also a Christian writer. Lavery had written warmly about his family before. What could have happened?

Megachurch pastor John Ortberg kept a family member’s attraction to children secret. Then his son blew the whistle. [more inside]
posted by Countess Elena at 2:55 PM - 37 comments

Facts are Getting the Best of them.

Why Facts Don't Change Our Minds. "Sloman and Fernbach see in this result a little candle for a dark world. If we—or our friends or the pundits on CNN—spent less time pontificating and more trying to work through the implications of policy proposals, we’d realize how clueless we are and moderate our views. This, they write, “may be the only form of thinking that will shatter the illusion of explanatory depth and change people’s attitudes.” [more inside]
posted by storybored at 1:35 PM - 55 comments

Art of Ant Farm: their enduring landmark, a mixed media event, and more

A year after creating "arguably the most famous landmark in the Texas panhandle," Cadillac Ranch (Trip Advisor; 1974/1994 short documentary; MoMA; Texas Monthly), Ant Farm (Wikipedia) set up a different sort of temporary event/mixed media piece called Media Burn (original video), whose centerpieces was when a modified Cadillac drove through a burning (smouldering?) wall of televisions (Mltshp; MOMA; MOCAtv short documentary). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 10:42 AM - 5 comments

The Hungarian who went to Mexico via Spain

Childhood friends Kati Horna and Robert Capa became lovers and she went with him to Spain, becoming the woman who captured his Heart.
She documented mostly away from the front lines.
After marrying the Sculptur Jose Horna they fled to Mexico, where she formed a close and lasting friendship with the Surrealists Remedios Varo & Leonora Carrington and her husband Chiqui Weisz (see Mexican Suitcase). As well as photographing Frida Kahlo's studio and Portraits of Leonora Carrington and Varo she played with collage and masks.
A lost archive of her Civil War photos only appeared last year (2019). During her long life she produced a large and varied body of work. See pdf.
posted by adamvasco at 10:09 AM - 3 comments

images that reveal themselves only to distort and disappear

When a decomposing, century-old film becomes a haunting meditation on memory (Aeon): Created using a decomposing 35mm print of the crime drama The Bells (1926), the experimental short Light Is Calling (2004) depicts a dreamy encounter between a soldier and a mysterious woman.
posted by not_the_water at 8:22 AM - 7 comments

“...it’s a chaotic, desperate age and therefore has to produce art.”

Ben Wittes and Kate Klonick of LawFare interview Renaissance historian, science fiction writer and anime consultant Ada Palmer on their YouTube channel In Lieu of Fun. [more inside]
posted by nangar at 8:04 AM - 2 comments

“Tell your friends that the Vikings are gay”

Vikings Are Gay is a podcast about Norse culture and history from a queer perspective by Old Norse scholar Amy Jeffords Franks. Besides an introductory episode, so far she’s touched on the subjects of bottom shaming and female magic, Odin’s gender, Thor having to act the role of the bride, and an episode in response to Black Lives Matter about the links between Viking studies and white supremacy.
posted by Kattullus at 3:16 AM - 19 comments

“The best film music is music that you can hear.”

Italian composer Ennio Morricone, best known for his scores to over 500 films and television programs, has died in Rome at the age of 91. Winner of numerous awards, including two Oscars, six BAFTAS, four Grammys, and three Golden Globes, he gained international recognition in the 1960s for the music he wrote for a series of spaghetti westerns directed by Sergio Leone. Over the next five decades Morricone worked with some of the world’s most acclaimed directors and many others who were lesser known. In addition to his film and television work, he also composed music for advertisements, collaborated with singers, and recorded avant-garde improvisational music as a member of Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza. [more inside]
posted by theory at 2:38 AM - 86 comments

Throw a Dog a Bone

In a world where dogs are people too, Huxley feels like he's the chewtoy of the universe. His latest indignity: being unable to afford his mother's funeral. He thinks he's found a way to win without his brother's help in this animated short film, Condolences from the Vulgar Tongue or (Boner).
posted by BiggerJ at 1:16 AM - 0 comments

July 5

RIP Nick Cordero

He was a Broadway actor who went through extreme complications of coronavirus before finally dying today. "Since being diagnosed with what was thought to be pneumonia in late March, the Canadian actor spent weeks in intensive care at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, had his right leg amputated, lost more than 60 pounds and was hoping to receive a double-lung transplant." [more inside]
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:59 PM - 36 comments

Little Ditty 'Bout Al and Lin-Manuel ...

Here comes the general ... the pride of Lynwood ... ladies and gentlemen ... "WEIRD AL" YANKOVIC ... and his friendship with Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. [more inside]
posted by metabaroque at 8:53 PM - 20 comments

We want a smaller head, which means it must be pickled for several hours

“안녕~! (Annyeong!) Dollightful is a channel where old toys are transformed by the power of art into unique, one-of-a-kind characters. Whether you're here for a tutorial, or just to laugh and have fun with the ups and downs of a creative process, there's something here for everyone. "Come for the dolls, stay for the cats" as they say.” [more inside]
posted by brook horse at 8:16 PM - 5 comments

Democracy Wins In The Cereal Aisle

In these uncertain times, it is reassuring to hear that a proven case of voter fraud has been corrected. I am referring, of course, to Kellogg's releasing Green Onion Flavor Chex in South Korea. [more inside]
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:29 PM - 44 comments

Unfortunately, there's no scratch n' sniff

"Owen Simmons' 1903 'The Book of Bread', is famous in the book world as, arguably, the first photobook" (threadreader version) Thus begins @incunabula's brief paean to this remarkable, but rare object. Luckily, a scan of the book is available at the Wellcome Collection website.
posted by gwint at 4:02 PM - 7 comments

Thucydides in Times of Trouble

What the historian’s account of an ancient plague taught me when my father died 8,000 miles away "In the slow, turbid dive of the pandemic, Thucydides’ account of the Athenian plague has been my distance line through the compound shocks of public catastrophe and private bereavement. And in the still greater depths of the urgent, unfinished history of racism that kills with both sly neglect and dehumanizing violence, I recall Thucydides’ interpretation of another epidemic as a metaphor for the health of the body politic. "
posted by hippybear at 3:20 PM - 5 comments

Steam is just ghost water /macintosh plus plays

MACINTOSH PLUS - リサフランク420 / 現代のコンピュー |. MACINTOSH PLUS - リサフランク420 / 現代のコンピュー (Drum Cover). MACINTOSH PLUS - リサフランク420 / 現代のコンピュー (Guitar cover). Macintosh Plus - リサフランク420 / 現代のコンピュー(kazoo/guitar cover). MACINTOSH PLUS - リサフランク420 / 現代のコンピュー (8bit C64 cover). MACINTOSH PLUS - リサフランク420 / 現代のコンピュー (Otamatone cover). MACINTOSH PLUS - リサフランク420 / 現代のコンピュー (bottle cover\DeJoy). MACINTOSH PLUS - リサフランク420 / 現代のコンピュー (marimba cover). MACINTOSH PLUS - リサフランク420 / 現代のコンピュー (but it's a sad keyboard cover). MACINTOSH PLUS リサフランク420 / It's All In Your Car. MACINTOSH PLUS - リサフランク420 / 現代のコンピュー (on a worn out reel-to-reel tape). MACINTOSH PLUS - リサフランク420 / 現代のコンピュー | ( KALIMBA COVER ). MACINTOSH PLUS - リサフランク420 / 現代のコンピュー | (out of tune records cover). MACINTOSH PLUS On A Real Macintosh Plus. [wiki]
posted by Fizz at 1:40 PM - 24 comments

The death of the bra: will the lingerie liberation of lockdown last?

Lockdown has changed a lot of things about the way we present ourselves to the world, and for many women, ditching their bra has been a particularly popular one. (Emine Saner, Guardian) “I just don’t see bras making a comeback after this,” tweeted the Buzzfeed writer Tomi Obaro in May. Her tweet has been “liked” more than half a million times. The feminist satire website Reductress ran a headline last week reading: “Bra furlough extended.”
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:29 AM - 114 comments

How AIDS was spread through the blood supply

A number of companies were selling HIV-contaminated blood factor for treatment of hemophilia, first from ignorance and then from irresponsibility. I first ran across this about Bayer's complicity, and was pointed at The Origins of AIDS. The first review (by John P. Jones) pointed me at Haemo-Caribbean, a Haitian company which was part of the problem. [more inside]
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 8:32 AM - 7 comments

The Hurdy-Gurdy Carnival is Present to Conduct You Into the Big Tent

Thomas Pynchon Predicted the Pandemic in ‘Gravity’s Rainbow’—Now Aren't You Sorry You Didn't Read It? by Tom LeClair
posted by chavenet at 4:34 AM - 35 comments

TV Themes Go Pop

Darrell Maclaine is an impressionist who has been making videos in lockdown singing UK TV themes in the style of famous artistes. [more inside]
posted by Cardinal Fang at 12:27 AM - 4 comments

July 4

"Nobody ever wants to talk about the 6,000 great things that you did..."

An Oral History of the Great San Diego Fireworks Fail of 2012 (previously)
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 11:32 PM - 22 comments

How masks reduce the spread of COVID-19

How well do masks work? (YouTube: It's Okay To Be Smart). Quite well, of course, if worn properly, and Schlieren photography (Wikipedia) gives a great visualization of just how well they do.
posted by biogeo at 11:17 PM - 35 comments

What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?

Descendents of Frederick Douglass read his 4th of July speech. In this speech, to an abolitionist group, Douglass questions the celebration of freedom, for in 1852, was not granted to him. [more inside]
posted by zabuni at 7:52 PM - 6 comments

I Thought I Understood White Privilege. Then I Married a Black Man.

My relationship with Jordan has taught me more about race than any protest or rally ever could.

Genevieve Roth on unknown privilege.
posted by dfm500 at 6:48 PM - 24 comments

Escalating Plunder

"...the bailout ‘has been described as a stimulus’ but it is ‘more accurately’ for ‘stability and relief’. It is better understood, that is, as an instrument for enabling non-financial and financial businesses to continue along the path they had already been taking—to the extent indeed they wished to do so—by placing money in their hands without conditions on how they should spend it, rather than burdened by conditions designed to set them on another path." Robert Brenner, NLR
posted by blue shadows at 5:59 PM - 6 comments

"He's like an elder statesman of comedy at this point"

Jay and Josh from Red Letter Media talk about UHF, the only feature film vehicle for Weird Al Yankovic.
posted by Pendragon at 4:32 PM - 36 comments

Pet Shop Boys Remastered

Pet Shop Boys recently released remastered HD versions of 5 of their classic videos: Domino Dancing, West End Girls, What Have I Done To Deserve This?, It's A Sin, Go West. YouTube Playlist
posted by hippybear at 12:50 PM - 20 comments

Musicians and Composers Respond to a Chaotic Moment

The pandemic and the protests inspire works of lamentation and rage. African-Americans are severely underrepresented in classical music, although you wouldn’t necessarily know it from the frequency with which people of color are now featured in promotional brochures. Online discussions in the wake of nationwide Black Lives Matter protests have made clear how uncomfortable the role of a black classical musician can be. [more inside]
posted by Ahmad Khani at 11:49 AM - 5 comments

All About Bison

Seriously, all about bison. Exactly what it says on the tin. Bison!
posted by mygothlaundry at 11:24 AM - 15 comments

Welcome to the gun show.

The Last of Us Part 2 proves gaming doesn’t know how to deal with muscular women by Patricia Hernandez [Polygon]Abby, a new character introduced in The Last of Us Part 2, does not fit the mold. Her face is anchored by a square jaw, which gives her visage a wider look — at least, compared to the heart-shaped face that defines most women in games. Perhaps most notably, Abby is buff. Your eyes are drawn to her chest and muscular arms, which, according to The Last of Us Part 2, she worked very hard across multiple years to beef up. [...] It’s been baffling to see some of the popular dissenting opinion on the game, which often directed against Abby. Part of the dislike seems unavoidable: The Last of Us Part 2 asks you to play as a character who is fundamentally opposed to the heroes we’ve spent hours learning to love and protect. Abby is a hard sell, and that would be true no matter what she looked like. But much of the hate visible on social media isn’t just about the story and Abby’s likability compared to Ellie and Joel, it’s fixated on Abby’s jacked-up body. [And the voice actor who played her]” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 9:44 AM - 67 comments

July 3

Dark days for democracy in Hong Kong

Massive protests last year in Hong Kong (previously, previously, previously, previously) succeeded in getting an extradition bill scrapped. But now the Beijing government has passed a sweeping security law for Hong Kong which has led to immediate arrests, the purging of social media accounts and disbanding of protest groups, support from businesses including British banking giant HSBC, and fears that the new law covers everyone on earth. If you've been critical of Chinese or Hong Kong authorities, some legal experts are saying, don't board a Cathay Pacific flight or travel to countries which have an extradition treaty with Hong Kong. [more inside]
posted by clawsoon at 10:34 PM - 53 comments

It's not an error until you build it

The international foot is exactly 0.3048 of a meter, whereas the U.S. survey foot, 1200/3937 of a meter, has an unending decimal. This means that anyone working in multiple U.S. locations or with different agencies must keep careful track of which foot is in use.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:41 PM - 116 comments

Bichopalo's noises and frankenstein creations

Musician/ sculptor Bichopalo builds complex music machines from unusual objects. The machines feature plants where possible as well as other natural elements like sticks and water. They also include small spherical elements that double as bird houses to host Bichopalo’s two pet birds, Pico and Verdi. (Designboom) (Instagram) (short videos re-posted to Imgur)
posted by filthy light thief at 8:33 PM - 5 comments

Absolutely shredding the balalaika ...

Selo i Ludy (Село і люди) - It's My Life, Thunderstruck, Enter Sandman, Money for Nothing, Smoke on the Water, I Want to Break Free, Satisfaction, Yellow Submarine, Pretty Woman, I Will Always Love You, Light My Fire, Losing My Religion, Take on Me. (YouTube launch points: Selo i Ludy, Russkaja, Gogol Bordello)
posted by metabaroque at 3:34 PM - 18 comments

Besides the bees

Happy (Belated) Pollinator Week! US Forest Service's Pollinator of the Month includes Bats, Bees, Beetles, Birds, Butterflies, Flies, Moths, Mosquitos, and Wasps. What what? Yes, snow pool mosquitos, flower flies, and pollen wasps are all important pollinators (Pollen wasps look like yellow jackets but "are more like Ferdinand the Bull, who was more interested in smelling flowers.") And don't forget the cacao pollinator, the chocolate midge. [more inside]
posted by spamandkimchi at 2:12 PM - 8 comments

Toccata Spaccata

Optical Arts conceived this video as a “live action musical animation” of cups, plates, and glasses smashing and un-smashing accompanied by the toccata section of Johann Sebastian Bach’s famous organ piece, Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. I thought it was fully CGI at first (as The Morning News reported), but then I found the making of video on the project page and it’s not — they filmed all the glasses and dished smashing at extremely high speeds between 1000 and 5000 frames/second on Phantom cameras.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:39 AM - 16 comments

The Existential Threat is Drawing Near

MetaFilter favorite Cyriak (previously) is back, and teaming up with legendary band Sparks for their newest music video: "The Existential Threat".
posted by SansPoint at 11:16 AM - 27 comments


How is Duran Duran's Simon LeBon staying busy during the pandemic lockdown? In late April he started up a podcast WHOOOSH!. It's available to listen to online. So far there are 11 episodes, and they are full of interesting music and discussion. No RSS feed, but here's a YouTube playlist (audio only) of the episodes thus far, I assume it will continue to be updated.
posted by hippybear at 10:13 AM - 5 comments


On rewriting the terms of engagement with images of Black suffering. Images of Black suffering, death, and protest have widely circulated on the internet before: for example in 2012 after 17-year-old Trayvon Martin’s murder by George Zimmerman, or in 2014 after Michael Brown was shot in the back by Ferguson police officers. One difference this time is that it’s not just that people who already saw themselves as activists who have called their online followers to take to the streets and participate, but formerly nonactivist users have become politicized and seized upon the feed as a politicized space to engage in an activism of their own.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 9:30 AM - 4 comments

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