January 16

Minorcan Food of Florida

Way down in St. Augustine, Florida, America's oldest city*, jewel of the First Coast, you'll find a unique and largely unheralded culinary tradition: Minorcan food. [more inside]
posted by saladin at 8:50 AM - 0 comments

My ancestors did wrong. It's right here in black and white.

#1 is Edie. She's 45 years old, and valued at $800. And she, her, it's hard to say the word…owner...it's not right. This is my second great grandfather, William Hayes Paxton. #2, Julia. She's 26, valued at $1400. The list goes on. There are 44 names on this list.
After Two White Colorado Women Unearthed The History Of Their Slave-Owning Ancestors, They Turned To Reparations by Ann Marie Awad, Colorado Public Radio (article and audio of radio interview at link). [more inside]
posted by medusa at 8:02 AM - 4 comments

not just for students

The Literary Canon Is Mostly White. Here’s an Alternative Latin American Reading List [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 6:31 AM - 16 comments

rtyn mbdx: the mysterious modern art of google image search

Type two random 4 letter ‘words’ into google images and you’ll get a set of abstract art paintings. Why? A reddit forum which tries to identify mystery objects has identified a, er, mystery... [more inside]
posted by AFII at 12:59 AM - 19 comments

January 15

The Real-life Room of Requirement.

A Three-Act Tribute to Libraries. (slThis American Life): "Five of us went to libraries around the country that day.... And one of the things that we found everywhere were even-tempered, unflappable librarians. Like at the Palo Verde Public Library in Phoenix, a library user named Cindy, in a maroon sweatshirt and fanny pack, broke into song to get the librarian to understand exactly which Amy Grant Christmas album she wanted." [more inside]
posted by storybored at 10:23 PM - 3 comments

Namibia is not particularly close to Mount Kilimanjaro

Artist's installation in African desert to play "Africa" forever.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:02 PM - 54 comments


Quick-sort with Hungarian (Küküllőmenti legényes) folk dance.
posted by capricorn at 6:47 PM - 20 comments

Wheezer or Weezer?

Can you distinguish classic cheerlessness from modern melancholy? Who Wrote It: Edgar Allan Poe or an Emo Band? (Mental Floss)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:30 PM - 20 comments


Roy Rogers wore it. Los Angeles Chargers QB Philip Rivers has been known to sport one too. It's the bolo tie, baby--or the bola tie, gaucho tie, mono loop tie, emblem lariat, neck rope, cowboy tie, western tie, thong tie, sport tie, or string tie. Reports of the bolo tie's comeback frequently surface; Bloomberg thinks it's happening now. Santa Fe Monthly looks at the bolo tie's still-murky early days; a recent Heard Museum exhibit on Native American bolo ties examined its antecedents in both Anglo and Native culture.
posted by duffell at 5:30 PM - 17 comments

"That should be a national motto for us" - K. Tippett

How can I say this so we can stay in this car together, and yet, explore the things I want to explore with you? This is the question Claudia Rankine asks when Krista Tippett interviews her about race and her 2014 book Citizen: An American Lyric, among other things. They also talk briefly about Eula Biss's questions about whiteness and white debt. (First link contains both an audio interview and its transcript.) [more inside]
posted by platitudipus at 3:22 PM - 8 comments

Carol will never go away again

Legendary Broadway actress Carol Channing passes away at 97 Carol Channing died of natural causes at 12:31 a.m. Tuesday in Rancho Mirage, California. She had twice suffered strokes in the last year. Broadway will dim its lights for Channing tomorrow night at 7:45 pm ET, The Broadway League announced today. [more inside]
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 2:37 PM - 54 comments

Two million gallons of molasses, to go.

One hundred years ago today, a storage tank burst in Boston, unleashing a thirty-foot wave of molasses that flooded the streets at thirty-five miles per hour. Twenty-one people died, some of them by suffocating in the sweet, sticky mire. Here's a song about it.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:02 PM - 60 comments

“Those who do not move, do not notice their chains.”

“Rosa Luxemburg was a shining star of the early socialist movement. As an economist and political theorist, a teacher and public speaker, a comrade and rebel, a revolutionary and martyr of the German Revolution, she was many things to many people. Her legacy today reflects that, stretching across a broad spectrum of the international left.” For the 100th anniversary of her death, ROSA REMIX (PDF) (German) presents essays by contemporary writers on Rosa Luxemburg’s legacy, theories, and how they can be applied today. Kate Evans, writer/artist of RED ROSA (Previously) offers some reflections in her twitter feed.
posted by The Whelk at 11:49 AM - 13 comments

How experimental psychology can help us understand art

Whys of seeing. "Experimental psychology is providing concrete answers to some of the great philosophical debates about art and its meaning." [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 10:52 AM - 9 comments

"...prions are not an infectious entity; they’re an infectious shape."

“You really want to hope that you’re negative, but the fear that you’re positive keeps interrupting, and it’s a constant psychological dialog,” she says. “Once you know, you start to adapt. What you can’t adapt to is something that keeps changing shape on you.”
When Sonia Vallabh lost her mother to a rare disease, she and her husband, Eric Minikel, set out to find a cure. [more inside]
posted by VeritableSaintOfBrevity at 10:15 AM - 17 comments

she kept track of train delays by knitting herself a scarf

A scarf knitted by a German woman to document her frustrations with frequent train delays has sold for €7,550 (£6,720) on eBay, as the country’s biggest railway company announces plans for a punctuality tsar. (The Guardian) Claudia Weber suspected that delays on her daily train commute had been increasing, so in 2018 she knit two colour coded rows per day, with each colour representing a delay of a particular length. She and her daughter auctioned off the resulting scarf for charity after it went viral on social media, and "she is donating the proceeds to Bahnhofsmission, a charity that helps vulnerable passengers or people facing travel emergencies." (CBC) [more inside]
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:03 AM - 27 comments

Equality in Women's Wrestling Goes Below the Belt

Late last month, independent professional wrestler Priscilla Kelly had an interesting new move to try out against her opponent: she pulled a "bloody" tampon out of her trunks and shoved it into Tuna's mouth. A clip of it exploded a week later, with various wrestling luminaries weighing in, generally disapprovingly, but with many comparing it to famed indie wrestler Joey Ryan's "dick flip". [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 10:01 AM - 8 comments

Is Marijuana as Safe as We Think?

We don’t know that an increase in cannabis use was responsible for that surge in violence. Between 2013 and 2017, [Washington's] aggravated-assault rate rose seventeen per cent, which was nearly twice the increase seen nationwide, and the murder rate rose forty-four per cent, which was more than twice the increase nationwide. [more inside]
posted by mecran01 at 9:54 AM - 51 comments

Red Rocker and Blue Bomber "I coulda been a contender"

Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots What more could you want in life, as a youngster, than to field your own robot in the boxing ring? It was a simpler time, perhaps? [more inside]
posted by mightshould at 9:30 AM - 10 comments

“I think Nick Fury just hijacked our summer vacation,”

Spider-Man: Far From Home [YouTube][Teaser Trailer]
posted by Fizz at 9:03 AM - 104 comments

Punk's only *mostly* dead. There's a big difference...

After 37 years and 400 issues, the seminal punk zine Maximum Rocknroll is ending print publication. Maximum Rocknroll will continue to exist online.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:26 AM - 28 comments

Blueberry Earth

On Physics Stackexchange billybodega asked the question: Supposing that the entire Earth was instantaneously replaced with an equal volume of closely packed, but uncompressed blueberries, what would happen from the perspective of a person on the surface? Unfortunately the site tends to frown on fun questions like this, so it was in my opinion prematurely closed while I was working out the answer. So here it is, with some extra extensions.
posted by Wolfdog at 8:07 AM - 29 comments

40 512 993 and counting

Meet the world's most popular egg.
posted by Vesihiisi at 6:20 AM - 36 comments

But can Trudeau sing?

Afghan wedding singer finds fame as 'Justin Trudeau's lost twin' "Abdul Salam Maftoon, a wedding singer from a village in the remote and impoverished northeastern province of Badakhshan, had never even heard of his more famous doppelgänger until a judge on the popular television music contest Afghan Star pointed out the uncanny likeness."
posted by freethefeet at 5:33 AM - 3 comments

January 14

In Fimo Veritas

Latin continues to provide exact and elegant expressions that have become standard in the international scientific community. Think of “in vitro” and “in vivo.” Here, we propose “in fimo” to indicate samples derived from human and animal excrement and examined scientifically. Microbiologist Dr. Aadra Bhatt and classicist Dr. Luca Grillo have been laboring on company time to produce some impressive output: a proposal in the journal Gastroenterology (direct PDF link) for improved terminology in the study of feces.
posted by duffell at 5:29 PM - 25 comments

for this was it a glorious, for this was it an honorable undertaking

Three cheesemakers decide to invent a new American cheese: “I suggested that the three of us — Sue, Peter and myself — come up with a cheese that we define ourselves,” says Civitello. A truly new, unique recipe would have to be simple, stripping cheese down to its essential elements. The cheese would show off the unique taste that is indigenous to each creamery. [more inside]
posted by Emmy Rae at 4:19 PM - 44 comments

Are you ready for some (smart) football?

American football season is winding down. The college football season is already over, and there are only three more NFL playoff games. (Although the Alliance of American Football will kick off its inaugural season in February!) Now that we don't have games to keep us occupied anymore, let's turn our attention to Xs and Os instead. If you can't tell the difference between a 3x1 spread and a flexbone, jump in to some Xs and Os blogs and start learning. By next season's kickoff, you'll be able to impress all your rowdy friends when you say things like "oh, that's a simple smash concept to the boundary with the H-back check-releasing to the flat, gives the QB an easy hi-lo read". [more inside]
posted by kevinbelt at 2:10 PM - 12 comments


FUTURE ZONE is a YouTube channel devoted to full length science fiction movies, many of which are Italian - but not all, I think. Of course there is [more inside]
posted by wittgenstein at 2:07 PM - 12 comments

I’m not going to court! #blessed

"Why should you care about this person you’ve most certainly never heard of before? Why are we wasting our time talking about yet another internet celebrity and yet another scam? Well, that’s a lot of questions and the answers will require time, but throughout this post, I hope to paint a portrait of the new age of the ‘influencer economy’, the insidious nature of Instagram’s faux aspirational agenda, and the one woman who exemplifies the trend at its most inept. Caroline Calloway’s scam may not be the biggest on the internet or the most upsetting but it certainly best represents the truth that lies beneath the well-filtered veil." The Empty Mason Jar of the Influencer Economy: The Case of Caroline Calloway and Her Creativity Workshop Tour
posted by everybody had matching towels at 1:44 PM - 106 comments

Polish Mayor Dies After Being Stabbed Onstage at Charity Event

It was just before 8 p.m. Sunday, and tens of thousands of people had gathered for a concert to promote the charity. A countdown had begun to signal the start of an extravagant laser light show called “Light to the Sky.” One second before fireworks were set to explode, a young man burst onto the stage and stabbed Mr. Adamowicz several times, including in the heart. Mr. Adamowicz’s injuries included “a deep wound to the heart, a wound to diaphragm and other injuries of internal organs,” doctors at Medical University of Gdansk said. Despite their efforts to save him, he died Monday afternoon. As the city went into mourning, Poland grappled with the question of whether the toxic and aggressive tone of the country’s political debate could have instigated the attack.
posted by M. at 1:27 PM - 32 comments

Bunnies. It must be bunnies.

"It's weird seeing a bunny … just kind of getting its head right into the side carcass of another rabbit and consuming meat," said Michael Peers, who wrote the paper. "It's kind of, I guess, not what you'd expect." [more inside]
posted by sardonyx at 12:42 PM - 31 comments

The Best a Man Can Get?

Gillette, the razor company, yesterday released a short film titled "The Best a Man Can Be," challenging men to stand up to issues of toxic masculinity such as bullying and harassment in light of the #MeToo movement. In doing so, Gillette joins other companies whose ads have extended into social or political commentary, to mixed results. Reactions to the Gillette ad have been mixed. [more inside]
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 12:36 PM - 84 comments

Representation Roundup

A short visual representation of the women of the 116th United States Congress (SLNYT). [more inside]
posted by KleenexMakesaVeryGoodHat at 12:33 PM - 5 comments

What a regrettably large head you have. I would very much like to hat it

“Visualizing data through graphs can be an effective way to communicate one’s results. A ubiquitous graph and common technique to communicate behavioral data is the bar graph. The bar graph was first invented in 1786 and little has changed in its format. Here, a replacement for the bar graph is proposed. The new format, called a hat graph [PDF], maintains some of the critical features of the bar graph such as its discrete elements, but eliminates redundancies that are problematic when the baseline is not at 0.”
posted by not_the_water at 10:00 AM - 19 comments

Bharat Bandh - “General Strike”

For two days, an estimated 150-200 million workers went on a strike against the Narendra Modi government in India, shutting down schools and public transport.(Quartz India) “Modi’s government is eager to amend the trade unions laws. Tapan Sen, the leader of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), said that the new trade union laws would essentially lead to the enslavement of Indian workers. These are strong words. But they are not unbelievable.” (Common Dreams) “At Jadavpur in south Kolkata, senior Communist Party India (Marxist) leader Sujan Chakraborty along with several other strike supporters were detained by the police. Protestors squatted on tracks in some places to stop trains and burnt tyres on the roads.” Bharat Bandh Highlights: As many as 10 Central Trade Unions with at least 20 crore (ten million) workers affiliated to them have joined the strike.(NDTV) Photos and news of the Bharat Bandh (Economic Times India) [more inside]
posted by The Whelk at 9:15 AM - 13 comments

Also, every secondary school would get a librarian

The LA Unified School District is going on strike for the first time in 30 years as of this morning, demanding smaller class sizes, long-term increases in staffing for students, and resources to be able to teach more effectively. Union president Caputo-Pearl asks: What does the future of American public education look like? Denver may join Los Angeles later this week in the first strike there in 25 years. The National Educational Association voted July to include support for demonstrators and a strike fund in its budget, a decision that in retrospect looks wise.
posted by sciatrix at 9:07 AM - 52 comments

Skin Cancer vs High Blood Pressure

Is sun exposure harmful or helpful? Outside magazine asks, "Is Sunscreen the New Margarine?"
posted by soelo at 9:05 AM - 107 comments

Space-filling curves the hard way

Wacław Szpakowski was a polish artist who made a series of complex drawings using one continuous line turning back on itself repeatedly. More examples viewable here; a few animated versions; some pages from his notebooks. (Those last three links are futzy embeddings from waclawszpakowski.pl, which has Polish- and English-language info about his life and work.) More images still if you click on "IMAGES" at the top right of this page.
posted by cortex at 8:56 AM - 14 comments

Winter is yadda yadda

HBO has announced the premiere date for the final season of Game of Thrones, so The Hollywood Reporter looks toward the endgame for the King in the North.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:59 AM - 100 comments

Renewable Energy To Remodel World Dominance Patterns

This Report analyzes the geopolitical implications of the global energy transformation driven by renewables. It is the culmination of ten months’ deliberations by the Commission, involving four meetings held in Berlin, Oslo, Reykjavik and Abu Dhabi respectively, as well as consultations with business leaders, academics and policy thinkers. It is informed by a number of background papers drafted by experts in the fields of energy, security and geopolitics. [via CleanTechnica + bonus]
posted by infini at 7:44 AM - 16 comments

3. Trying to be an author is a very bad idea.

A year after Ursula Le Guin's death, Alison Smith recalls escorting her during a university conference in 1987. When I met Le Guin, I was in outer space, hovering in that darkness. Cast out from my homeworld, I spent my days orbiting a new world, afraid to land. [more inside]
posted by ALeaflikeStructure at 6:20 AM - 25 comments

A waxy Rogen

Chloe Condon, a developer advocate and well-known tech speaker, was linked to an Instagram post where a stolen photo of her at a conference was mis-used. She called the person out on Twitter and the in the ensuing Twitter thread it turned out that the individual involved had a history of faked media (including a photo with a, uh, strangely shiny Seth Rogen and a Pinterest board of photoshopped images of Mitt Romney.) She's since written a post talking about this very strange rabbithole on Medium.
posted by secretdark at 3:39 AM - 24 comments

Plato was the embodied form of the prep-jock

"My morning doodle, explained in a thread. I've sorted philosophers along the only axes that matter." (SL Twitter thread)
posted by criticalbill at 3:33 AM - 17 comments

January 13

Goodsprings, New Vegas is a place on Earth

A mere handful of photos from the real Goodsprings, which was the opening location for the PC/X360/PS3 game Fallout: New Vegas. [more inside]
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 8:48 PM - 6 comments

Link suggested between spikes in child abuse and timing of report cards

Content warning: Abuse of children
Dr. Melissa Bright, an early-childhood research scientist at the University of Florida, wanted to know if there was any truth to pediatricians' stories about child abuse spiking after report cards' release. After analyzing a year's worth of state child welfare data alongside schools' report card release dates, Dr. Bright and her colleagues found no spike in abuse cases when report cards were released Monday through Thursday; however, abuse rates were found to be four times higher when report cards were released on Fridays. (JAMA study abstract.) [more inside]
posted by duffell at 3:43 PM - 38 comments

I left my knickers at a house party we crashed

Every Saturday, The Guardian runs a blind date column, and every Saturday, the daters answer the questions about their date pretty coyly. Until this week's, when Joanne & Morgan hit it off pretty successfully. Joanne replied to “Did you kiss?” with “We did. A lot”, and Morgan replied with “Sure did”. It caused enough of a sensation that it merited a follow up article – they'll be in a full-time relationship once Joanne finishes her pottery course. And regular Guardian blind date reviewer Justin Myers reviewed it with sheer delight, saying [more inside]
posted by ambrosen at 12:30 PM - 28 comments


Forged and Filed is a video by Jesse Beecher showing the construction of Seth Gould's piece "Coffer", a modern armada chest (more armada chest images).
posted by Stark at 11:16 AM - 9 comments

This little piggy liked.... being the subject of artistic expression!

Today in 1625, Jan Brueghel died. Before that, he liked to paint guinea pigs. [more inside]
posted by vespabelle at 10:59 AM - 13 comments

What does it take to lead a rooted life?

"While Plato and Aristotle were concerned with character-centred virtue ethics, the Aztec approach is perhaps better described as socially-centred virtue ethics. If the Aztecs were right, then 'Western' philosophers have been too focused on individuals, too reliant on assessments of character, and too optimistic about the individual’s ability to correct her own vices. Instead, according to the Aztecs, we should look around to our family and friends, as well as our ordinary rituals or routines, if we hope to lead a better, more worthwhile existence." Life on the slippery Earth by Sebastian Purcell
posted by lazuli at 9:11 AM - 18 comments

Have wheel, will travel

Ed Pratt is a young Englishman who recently finished unicycling around the world. He's currently posting videos of his travels in Southeast Asia. Before that he rode across China in under 90 days, after spending the winter in Kyrgyzstan. Ed's enthusiasm and good cheer are infectious, and he finds amazing hospitality wherever he goes. Also, his soundtracks are always on point.
posted by serathen at 8:27 AM - 5 comments

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