Solomon Perel, a German Jew who outwitted the Nazis by posing as a member of the Hitler Youth during World War II, an extraordinary story of survival that was dramatized in the 1990 film “Europa Europa,” died Feb. 2 at his home in Givatayim, near Tel Aviv. He was 97. [more inside]
In Feb. 1927, Justin Spafford and Lucien Esty published Ask Me Another [alt.], a trivia book that let readers compare scores with Anita Loos, Dorothy Parker, John B. Watson, Ruth Hale, Alice Duer Miller, and others. Interview with Esty and Spafford (cont.; cw: stereotyping). By March, 100k copies were in print. By April, a second volume was in print, appearing later in an omnibus. By May, it inspired a comedy song and parody book (or two). The same year, it inspired music history / theory quizzes with scores from prominent musicians. Newspapers ran brief quizzes supplanting the crossword puzzle rage, itself deeply rooted in trivia puzzles (see also 19th C. question books or Renaissance memory / conversation games such as "Vittorie d'Hercole"). Last month, before passing away, Mefi's Own eotvos described a planned project for an online edition.
Former Del Fuego, NYU professor and Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen biographer Warren Zanes shares his opinion about the Grammys. Are they outdated? Useless? Do they ever actually award the right people? Well, Zanes feels there may be some value to the Grammy Awards.
Hillel Wayne interviewed 17 people with experience in both software and “traditional” engineering to answer the question: “Are we really engineers?” [more inside]
The Live-Service Game Bubble Looks Ready To Burst [Gamespot]
“Fortnite is several weeks into the first season of its fourth chapter. In real time, it's been going strong since the summer of 2017, and though Epic doesn't share player counts, by any available metric it seems to still be doing incredibly well. But in the live-service world, Fortnite's success feels increasingly rare. While there do exist other major successes in the pocket of the games industry where studios operate one game for years on end, many others are closing their proverbial doors for good, which is extremely scary both for players worried about gaming history and future developers concerned with the trends they may be tasked with chasing. Can live-service games survive modest successes, or must they all be as massive as Fortnite to make it?”Amid a host of live-service games announcing their shutdowns, it's starting to feel like there's no safe middle ground between Fortnite and foreclosed. [more inside]
So Norway has now removed all religious status and related state subsidies from the Jehovah's Witnesses. This on the heels of a recent move in which Norwegian courts reversed a disfellowship decision the Church made. [more inside]
Chawne Kimber on constructing quilts and speaking history. "The name of that quilt is 'The One for Eric G'; it says “I can’t breathe” nine times, and it’s meant to look like graffiti scrawled on the wall in a dark alleyway. But the background fabrics are all Civil War–era prints in black... So you can’t miss that I’m making commentaries about then and now at the same time." Virtual Studio Tour with Artist Chawne Kimber, Smithsonian American Art Museum (Sept 22, 2022) Title of the post (and this quilt): "In essence, I am a sophisticated cotton picker" is an Eartha Kitt quotation. [more inside]
Even as Opel’s fifteen minutes ticked down, his quest for exposure was just getting started. The Oscars were not his first or his last brush with history, and five years later he’d be dead. from What Became of the Oscar Streaker? [The New Yorker; ungated] [CW: references to antiquated 1970s language about homosexuality]
Will Steffen's "ideas were grounded in his view of the Earth as a complex, interconnected, evolving system" .. "Viewing the world in this way helps us understand what we have done to our environment – and how to begin fixing the problems." (see also the Climate Council and his talks on youtube) [more inside]
When held up to the light no useful information can be gained through a security envelope. […] What is kind of mind boggling to me is just how many different patterns there are. If you think about it, five to ten patterns could have been created and that would have satisfied any security needs. There seems to be a lot more than ten patterns…
Inside Netflix’s ‘Squid Game’ Reality Show Disaster: ‘The Conditions Were Absolutely Inhumane’ [Variety]. What could possibly go wrong?
Lucy Scholes (Prospect, 01/25/2023), "Meet the archive moles": "There's a growing band of people digging through library stacks and second-hand bookshops in search of lost classics. I'm one of them." A reading list of reissues accompanying the article includes titles from Boiler House Press, Pushkin Press, Daunt Books, Faber (Memoir), Lurid Editions, Handheld Press, Another Gaze Editions, Penguin Modern Classics, British Library Publishing, and Vintage Classics. The article also mentions The Neglected Books Page, Virago Modern Classics, Persephone Books, Faber (Classics), and McNally Editions, where Scholes is an editor. Scholes previously and previouslier.
Anadvora is an adorable nerd person on Youtube who posts songs, video essays and other stuff that will charm the socks right off of you. Her ragtime version of the Kinks' Lola is not to be missed, nor is Stacy's Aunt, her hilarious sequel to Stacy's Mom. And then there's her absolute mania for classic series Doctor Who... [more inside]
Love this personal essay about the stress of parenting This is the only advice we've ever found to be actually useful: The Bucket System. You each have a 'bucket,' and the more stressed and overwhelmed you are, the fuller your bucket is. When the bucket gets full, like you can't handle anymore: that's it. There's nothing you can do. You're overwhelmed, game over, and the best thing for everyone is if you take a break. At any point either one of you can say, 'My bucket is full,” and the other person knows that means they need to step up, no questions asked, so the full-bucketee can take some time away.
After rocky start, hopes up in Oregon drug decriminalization In November 2020, Oregon voters passed Ballot Measure 110, which made it the first state in the union to broadly decriminalize drug possession, a response to an untenable status quo. In addition, the measure pledged to support the expansion of drug treatment and harm reduction programs in the state through funds from cannabis taxes. [more inside]
A 30-year-old Portuguese dog has been named as the world's oldest ever by Guinness World Records - beating a record that stood for a century. Bobi is a purebred Rafeiro do Alentejo - a breed that has an average life expectancy of 12 to 14 years.
Therapeutic Goods Administration approves psilocybin & MDMA for use in treating Depression & PTSD. Australia's medical regulator has approved the use of psychedelics to treat some mental health conditions, making the country one of the first in the world to officially recognise MDMA and psilocybin as medicines.
Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, in collaboration with the Mauritshuis in The Hague, has organized a blockbuster exhibition this spring featuring the paintings of Johannes Vermeer—the largest ever—bringing together 25 of the 34 works that can be firmly attributed to the Dutch Golden Age master, whose paintings are rarely loaned out from the lucky handful of collections that possess them. Three additional works with disputed attribution will also be included, following a recent and somewhat controversial authentication by Rijksmuseum curators [previously]. Despite record-breaking ticket sales and extended museum hours, countless Vermeer enthusiasts won’t be able to attend. Fortunately for them the museum has also commissioned a virtual exhibition featuring ultra high resolution photos of Vermeer’s paintings. Click on a thumbnail to peruse specific works on your own, or take an in-depth guided tour with your choice of docent: Stephen Fry (in English) or Joy Delima (in Dutch).
A growing number of non-Māori New Zealanders are embracing learning te reo – but there’s more to it than language. An article in The Conversation by Brian Tweed and Pania Te Maro, on approaching language learning in New Zealand Aotearoa through the lens of whakapapa: 'the emergence of new entities from their previous forms'.
There are 69 weather-forecasting prognosticators in Canada or the USA who made predictions in 2022 — including 39 ‘alternative’ groundhogs. [Ed. other parts of the site have been updated for 2023]
Use the Groundhog Map to locate your fave prognosticator.
Use the Groundhog Map to locate your fave prognosticator.
For the 20th anniversary of Dinosaur Comics, creator Ryan North posted a special giant-size update. [more inside]
London “A long-running dispute over pay and working conditions came to a head Wednesday, with hundreds of thousands of British workers taking part in what organizers said was the biggest day of industrial action in more than a decade.”
A short surreal animated film by Felix Colgrave: DONKS.
When my husband suffered a stroke, I was determined that this was not going to be the thing that unwound our love. [more inside]
Building on the work of other scientists, data scientist Floe Foxon says that most sasquatch sightings in the United States and Canada were probably black bears, walking on their hind legs. [more inside]
Every September, the City of Binghamton, New York hosts LUMA, a free projection arts festival. Warning: flashing lights. For two nights in September, buildings in downtown Binghamton are transformed through projected light. The results are dazzling. Buildings split, flip over, melt, are destroyed and rebuilt, and turn to gold. [more inside]
Neurodivergent people face some very specific challenges when it comes to physical and mental health, and often don’t respond well to treatments that are designed for neurotypical people. Even when our differences are recognised, treatment is often pathologising. They try to cure or mask difference, rather than meeting our actual needs. This is rooted in a pathologising view of neurodivergence: Nick Walker, a queer, transgender, autistic writer and educator explains: Throw Away The Master's Tools: Liberating Ourselves from the Pathology Paradigm [more inside]
He has never interviewed a scientist for any of his stories despite the fact that, because of their fidelity to scientific ideas, they often read like they were written by one. “My understanding of science comes entirely from the written word,” Chiang says. Just as SFI’s scientists can’t predict what fresh perspective they might glean from conversations with Chiang, Chiang can’t predict whether those conversations will spur him to write new stories. 1000-word press release via MeFi's own Nelson's linkblog
Bay Area Cities To Lose ALL Housing Zoning Powers [today; thread] - "Old law proposes to turn the Bay Area's zoning system into something like Japan's
in just two days."[1,2,3,4,5] (previously) [more inside]
The wikipedia article is an good overview. TLDR: some computers keep time by tracking seconds since January 1, 1970. A subset of these computers used a 32-bit value to do so, meaning that it only has space to track the time until some date in 2038. Most of the major systems have migrated to 64 bit numbers, but not all.
That’s A Wrap On The Public Domain Game Jam! Techdirt has just concluded their fourth annual Gaming Like It's 19XX game jam, a celebration of creativity, gaming, and the public domain. All submitted games include reference to materials from 1927 that have now entered the public domain in the United States. All the submissions are up on itch.io.
On the 20th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, Ars Technica published two articles; the first asks if NASA has fixed its safety culture, and the second, a reprint of a 2014 article with some updates, wonders if, had the damage to the ship's wing that occurred on launch been detected before they started reentry, the crew could have been saved. (Previously on the blue; Columbia previouslies) [more inside]
Women have been misled about menopause Hot flashes, sleeplessness, pain during sex: For some of menopause’s worst symptoms, there’s an established treatment. Why aren’t more women offered it? or maybe we should talk about extending reproductive longevity. After all, we don't fully understand the purpose of menopause as most mammals don't experience it. There are theories.
Or perhaps we should Cancel Menopause altogether?
Or perhaps we should Cancel Menopause altogether?
Jeanne Theoharis, author of A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of the Civil Rights History, on our tendency to focus on protests, on complaints about Black Lives Matter causing disruption, and on how we trap Rosa Parks on the bus as the mild-mannered secretary and not the uncompromising fighter for justice. Theoharis speaks of how, during the 2013 unveiling of a statue in her honor, the Supreme Court was hearing Shelby County v Holder (which gutted the Voting Rights Act). Four minute video: 5 Myths of the Civil Rights Movement. [more inside]
Artifact, Relic, and Monument The story of Coil's 'Tainted Love,' the first musical AIDS benefit and the first music video to be added to the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art. [more inside]
By 1681, Didus ineptus would be gone, by 1710 so would every last settler from Mauritius. The enterprise here would have lasted about a human lifetime. ... To some, it made sense. They saw the stumbling birds ill-made to the point of Satanic intervention, so ugly as to embody argument against a Godly creation. But now A 'De-Extinction' Company Wants to Bring Back the Dodo
Philanderer? Fraudster? Spy? The British MP who faked his death and ran away to Australia. He was a British MP who faked his own death to start a new life in Melbourne. But what's the truth about the elusive, alleged spy John Stonehouse?
There's no way you could write a script so tedious and lacking in drama as Tape of me and my friends, which records a momentous summer day in 1993 wherein four extremely stupid teenagers from Gardner, Massachusetts drive to Nashua NH so Mike can buy a TV. Cluelessness pervades every second of this video. Try to count the amount of times someone raises a middle finger to the camera. And don't blame me if you get that Overkill song stuck in your head. [more inside]
[Warning, some links have autoplaying video/sound] Police Save Baby Ducks. Police Save Baby Ducks. Police Save Baby Ducks. Police Save Baby Ducks. Police Save Baby Ducks. Police Save Baby Ducks. Police Save Baby Ducks. Police Save Baby Ducks. Police Save Baby Ducks. Police Save Baby Ducks. Plus 20 more where that came from, compiled by Radley Balko after a Twitter thread by John Hamasaki. (The Watch is a paid newsletter but this post is free.)
Putting a name to the typeface that defined the visual identity of the science fiction series and its author, Frank Herbert—around 2000 words from Florian Hardwig for Fonts In Use.