August 14

they hold the government over a barrel

Why Public Banks Are Suddenly Popular (Why Are Banks Special?)
posted by kliuless at 6:33 AM - 2 comments

Alewives: the Women Who Crafted Beer and Split Hell Wide Open

Sumerian goddess Ninkasi, Hildegarde von Bingen, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg stir the cauldron in this history of brewing by Heather Hogan at Autostraddle [more inside]
posted by prewar lemonade at 5:38 AM - 1 comment

the jazz musician of American acting

I watched Nicolas Cage movies for 14 hours straight, and I'm sold [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:29 AM - 28 comments

Wake Up, Opportunity!

Mars Rover Opportunity was put to sleep by a planet-wide dust storm that didn't allow her solar panels to recharge her batteries. The dust storm has died down, and as the engineers wait for her to wake back up, they've been greeting her every day with a different wake up song. has the article, and the article has a Spotify playlist.
posted by hippybear at 2:37 AM - 6 comments

Not under the weather

Cities of the World Where You Don’t Need AC or Heat - lookup available at Guardian
posted by Gyan at 1:23 AM - 44 comments

Milgram, Marshmallows, and Myers-Briggs

What's a scientific study that strongly affected the way you think, but which later turned out to probably be wrong? From Zach Weinersmith on Twitter.
posted by Gin and Broadband at 1:22 AM - 20 comments

August 13

Forty percent of respondents didn't think that Native people still exist

"The sheer invisibility of Native people leads to some very warped perspectives about contemporary Native life. Forty percent of respondents did not think that Native people still exist. While 59 percent agree that 'the United States is guilty of committing genocide against Native Americans,' only 36 percent agree that Native Americans experience significant discrimination today — meaning nearly two-thirds of the public perceive Native Americans as experiencing little to no oppression or structural racism... ." Reclaiming Native Truth's report on how the American public views Native Americans. [more inside]
posted by Grandysaur at 9:37 PM - 11 comments

Cracking the hard shells of its prey with a multi-tool head

Half a billion years ago, Habelia optata lived and hunted prey at the bottom of a warm shallow Cambrian sea. Protected by its thick, hard, spiny armor, it walked on five pairs of articulated legs. Only 2 to 3 centimeters long, it detected and grasped smaller less fortunate animals. With its many comparatively large jaws, it cracked through the hard shells of its prey.
How Art Makes Better Science: a short case study of the 2-D and 3-D interpretations by Joanna Liang of one of the many weird creatures of the Burgess Shale. via [more inside]
posted by Rumple at 7:31 PM - 6 comments

Playland to be replaced by condos - again

The last of San Francisco's series of now-defunct amusement parks was Playland at the Beach, which closed in 1972. in 2008, Playland Not-At-The-Beach opened to the public across the Bay in El Cerrito. It contains memorabilia related to Playland, Sutro Baths, a miniature version of the Sells-Floto Circus created by Isaac and Donald Marcks, a variety of pinball machines and other amusements, and even a room devoted to Eartha Kitt. Unfortunately, the building is slated to be demolished and like its predecessor, replaced with condos, so Playland Not-At-The-Beach is closing Labor Day 2018, and its contents will be auctioned.
posted by larrybob at 5:49 PM - 16 comments

Tea, cake, sandwiches, more tea, more cake, more tea, nookie: England

This week is National Afternoon Tea (not High Tea) Week. But what is Afternoon Tea? It can be simple (scones, jam, cream, tea) or elegant or expensive. There are do's and dont's. It's not this, or this, and just c'mon, but is found in Yorkshire or Bolton or Liverpool or London or Belfast or (suspended reality) Harrogate or the Falklands or far from Britain. Some options, and more and some more - and one to reignite the English class war. The tea can be red and the food can be based around chocolate or a Dundee cake or dim sum or fish or of course gin or fruit or Harry Potter, or be for dogs, or be oh not again served by hipsters. Or, you could make your own, perhaps a healthy option, or construct one at Ikea. May attract criminals or Her Majesty. Clothing optional.
posted by Wordshore at 3:02 PM - 30 comments

There is only one good job out there

Advert for cat caring job on Greek isle brings deluge of candidates. “From experience, the job is most suitable for someone 45+ years of age, who’s responsible, reliable, honest, practically inclined – and really with a heart of gold! You will at times be expected to trap or handle a feral or non-sociable cat … so cat whispering skills should come natural to you.”
posted by Emmy Rae at 2:39 PM - 24 comments

Of Fancy Feathers and the Fly-tying Flautist Who Filched Them

In Kirk Wallace Johnson's new book, The Feather Thief, he writes about a 2009 theft of almost 300 rare and exotic birds from the British Natural History Museum at Tring, and the then 20-year-old flautist who stole them. National Geographic has an excerpt from the book, and This American Life presents the story in this week's episode.
posted by noneuclidean at 1:35 PM - 13 comments

Curvy on the bottom and straight on top

Michaeleen Doucleff for NRP: Maybe the problem, when it comes to back pain, isn't how much Americans are sitting, but the way we're sitting. If we change the way we sit, it will help to decrease back problems. Take a look at people who are sitting down – not face-on but rather from the side, in profile, so you can see the shape of their spine. There's a high probability their back is curving like the letter C. To straighten out the C shape, [Jenn] Sherer says, "we need to position the pelvis in a way that this tail could wag." In other words, we need to untuck our tails. To do that, Sherer says, you need to bend over properly when you go to sit down.
posted by numaner at 1:03 PM - 38 comments

"Is the president aware of what’s going on?"

Today is the 10th day of the United States of America v. Paul J. Manafort, Jr. and Richard W. Gates III (PDF). The dramatic courtroom events so far include secretive conferences between Judge T.S. Ellis, the federal prosecutors, and Manafort's defense lawyers, the judge repeatedly snapping at Mueller's team, mounting evidence of Manafort's financial fraud and corruption from government experts and immunized witnesses, and stunning plea-bargain testimony from Manafort's former partner and protégé, the newly clean-shaven Rick Gates. The Prosecution's case in Paul Manafort trial is close to wrapping up (CNN), and the New York Times has begun to write his political obituary: The Rise and Fall of Paul Manafort: Greed, Deception and Ego. Meanwhile, Donald Trump is winding up his "working vacation", during which he's stumped at rallies for GOP mid-term candidates, stirred up his trade wars, explored shutting down the government to get his border wall, and obsessed over the Manafort trial. (Politico) [more inside]
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:42 PM - 125 comments

It's all fu will take you though building a working computer, starting from the most basic components. [more inside]
posted by zamboni at 12:37 PM - 15 comments

Funeral for a Superfriend

An oral history of the original Death and Return of Superman, 25 years later
posted by Artw at 10:54 AM - 29 comments

Sectarianism that is fuelled by the very act of being vocally sectarian

“When radicals attack each other in the game of good politics, it is due at least in part to the fact that this is a place where people can exercise some power. Even if one is unable to challenge capitalism and other oppressive structures, even if one is unable to participate in the creation of alternative forms of life, one can always attack others for their complicity, and tell oneself that these attacks are radical in and of themselves.” The stifling air of rigid radicalism, an excerpt from Joyful Militancy.
posted by The Whelk at 9:23 AM - 35 comments

“A different language is a different vision of life”

Endangered Languages [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 8:35 AM - 14 comments

“Sometimes your hero was the antagonist all along.”

The Beloved Characters We Have to Leave Behind [Waypoint] “My favorite musical of all time, one of the few that I will happily just sit down and watch, is George Cukor’s 1964 adaptation of My Fair Lady with Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn. Itself an adaptation of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, it tells the story of a Cockney flower girl named Eliza Doolittle, who is taken under the instruction of professor of language and phonetics, Professor Henry Higgins. [...] I realized, watching the play, that I’ve only partially outgrown Higgins, or characters like him. It’s rather far more accurate to say that I’ve grown into the characters that surround him.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 8:31 AM - 99 comments

Fake Riverbanks Turn a Chicago Canal 'Wild'

The name “Chicago” derives from a word in the language spoken by the Miami and Illinois peoples meaning “striped skunk, ” a word they also applied to the wild leek (known to later botanists as Allium tricoccum). This became the Indian name for the Chicago River, in recognition of the presence of wild leeks in the watershed. You probably wouldn't want to eat any if you did come across any growing on the banks of the Chicago River now, but there are efforts to turn a mile of the river "wild" again. By 2020, Urban Rivers wants the canal to house birds, fish, trees, and mussels. To do that, it has to build a habitat almost from scratch.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:10 AM - 12 comments

“Archaeology is always a race against the clock,”

A research team from the British Museum is excavating and recording a site at Amara West in Sudan, along the Nile, in what was ancient Nubia. But can people save and Rediscover Ancient Nubia Before It Is Too Late? [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:41 AM - 1 comment


Doja Cat's dairy-themed bop could well be the song of the summer Semi NSFW.
posted by nerdfish at 6:25 AM - 11 comments


The Afterlife of Otis Redding (The Up Rising of Otis Redding)
posted by kliuless at 6:24 AM - 8 comments

‘This is a safe space for people’

One day in a Dublin library, by Patrick Freyne in the Irish Times (~3000 words)
posted by rollick at 4:15 AM - 9 comments

What is now proved was once only imagined

The English poet and artist William Blake has received a new gravestone at the exact place he was buried. How amateur sleuths finally tracked down the burial place of William Blake Singer Bruce Dickinson speaking at the unveiling.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:23 AM - 19 comments

August 12

Surprisingly little bloodshed occurs 🐱👶🏻

Cats can be remarkably tolerant of babies, allowing the tiny humans to play with them and laugh at them. They will even protect them. (Cats and babies previously)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:16 PM - 29 comments

Banding Together To Fight Homelessness

Pearl Jam just played its first two shows in five years in its hometown of Seattle this past week, pulling together something like a combined 90,000 in its audience at Safeco Field. But the band used this event as a publicity beacon to pull together a coalition to work to solve Seattle's homelessness crisis, raising over $11million from a myriad of sources, a sum which continues to grow. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 8:32 PM - 13 comments

The Inexorable Rise of Identity Condiments

My son Jake, who’s 25, eats mayo. He’s a practical young man who works in computers and adores macaroni salad. He’s a good son. I also have a daughter. She was a women’s and gender studies major in college. Naturally, she loathes mayonnaise.
posted by chaoticgood at 7:41 PM - 163 comments

He Was A Famous Lesbian Poet

We thought we’d heard it all when it came to imposters. Clearly, we hadn’t met Pierre Louÿs. [Note: artistic nudity.]
posted by MovableBookLady at 6:37 PM - 8 comments

"On a bit of test paper I wrote 'Dad’s pen with wonky nib'...."

"World's Most Wanted": "One day last November, I dropped my dad’s fountain pen on the floor. Actually it’s been my fountain pen since my dad died half a century ago, but I still think of it as my dad’s pen." [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 5:56 PM - 30 comments

Put Words Between Buns

Ian Bogost appealed to the world to put more words between buns. So he made a thing where you just type and the words appear (recognises return, backspace). Lots of people then put words between buns (also on Facebook).
posted by Wordshore at 2:22 PM - 28 comments

“ could do the incredibly obvious and take a screenshot”

The JPEG Committee is “exploring Blockchain” — to put DRM into JPEG [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 2:05 PM - 41 comments

Unite the Right 2: White Supremacist Boogaloo

Washington DC Braces for White Supremacist Rally Outside White House—Thousands of counter-protesters expected to outnumber those at ‘white civil rights’ rally on anniversary of violence in Charlottesville (Guardian). On the ground, DCist is updating their article Here's What Is Happening With 'Unite The Right 2' and Counterprotests. Live coverage can be found on Twitter, such as the feeds of the Washington Post's Marissa J. Lang (@Marissa_Jae), WUSA9's Mike Valerio (@MikevWUSA), and American University Radio (@WAMU). [more inside]
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:32 PM - 105 comments

Lil' Globes

Little Big City takes a map location and turns it into an adorable 3D globe: NYC, Hong Kong, Versailles, Chicago, Angkor Wat. Created by programmer Yi Shen [more inside]
posted by gwint at 8:07 AM - 7 comments

Augmenting Long-term Memory

In this essay we investigate personal memory systems, that is, systems designed to improve the long-term memory of a single person. In the first part of the essay I describe my personal experience using such a system, named Anki ... The second part of the essay discusses personal memory systems in general. Many people treat memory ambivalently or even disparagingly as a cognitive skill: for instance, people often talk of “rote memory” as though it's inferior to more advanced kinds of understanding. I'll argue against this point of view, and make a case that memory is central to problem solving and creativity. A detailed long read from Michael Nielsen including a discussion of how he prepared himself to write an article on AlphaGo for Quanta Magazine.
posted by Wolfdog at 7:57 AM - 19 comments

There is no movement without rhythm

"Foli" is the word used for rhythm by the Malinke tribe in West Africa. But Foli is not only found in Malinke music, but in all parts of their daily lives. Directed by Thomas Roebers, this short film portrays the people of Baro, a small town in eastern-central Guinea, and gives you a glimpse inside their culture of rhythm.
posted by HuronBob at 7:24 AM - 8 comments

“Life doesn't have a neat beginning and a tidy end,”

VS Naipaul, Nobel prize-winning British author, dies aged 85 [The Guardian] “The writer VS Naipaul, who explored questions of place and identity for more than half a century, has died aged 85.” [Previously.] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 6:37 AM - 15 comments

You're free! You have spent 141 days in jail. You lost your job.

Interactive (non)fiction from the Los Angeles Times: You’ve been arrested by a dishonest cop. Can you win in a system set up to protect officers? By Swetha Kannan, Corina Knoll, Maya Lau, Ben Poston, Joel Rubin, Aug. 9, 2018. Read more about this: An L.A. County deputy faked evidence. Here's how his misconduct was kept secret in court for years, by Corina Knoll , Ben Poston and Maya Lau. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 5:32 AM - 13 comments

Names that get your cat's attention

The team at Vancouver East Veterinary are back with scientific advice for Cat Names That Get Your Cat's Attention. Dr. Uri Burstyn & Vancouver East Veterinary previously on MeFi. (Cat naming is a popular topic on AskMeFi.)
posted by wheek wheek wheek at 4:50 AM - 41 comments

Atlas Has Shrugged

I am John Galt (SLTwitterThread)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:22 AM - 38 comments

August 11


An educator's take on her brother and boys like him. First person essay. [CW: DV, animal cruelty]
posted by k8t at 10:52 PM - 22 comments

Crowning Glory

Medina Dugger's "Chroma: An Ode to J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere, is an on-going series which celebrates women’s hair Styles in Nigeria through a fanciful, contemporary lens. The images are inspired by hair color trends in Lagos and by the late Nigerian photographer J.D. Ojeikere."
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:11 PM - 7 comments

I felt like this deserves a FPP

Following a previous installation at the The Standard in NYC, Lucy Sparrow's felt bodega 8 'till Late will be featured at the Standard in LA through the end of August 2018. Can't go in person? Take a tour, or venture into her studio.
posted by sacrifix at 10:05 PM - 3 comments

Hey, you got your billiards in my bowling alley!

Bowling vs Pool Trick Shots [SLYT]
posted by axiom at 7:13 PM - 10 comments

The Parker Solar Probe

It’s Easier to Leave the Solar System Than to Reach the Sun. The center of the solar system is a tricky destination, but NASA is going. [more inside]
posted by peeedro at 5:41 PM - 36 comments

Incompetence Porn

If Monday Was a Video... Also, The Most Unsatisfying Video in the World ever made - pt. 1 and then pt. 2
posted by Gorgik at 5:12 PM - 30 comments

There, there...

There's Waldo is a robot built to find Waldo and point at him. The Verge: "If you’re totally stumped on a page of Where’s Waldo and ready to file a missing persons report, you’re in luck. Now there’s a robot called There’s Waldo that’ll find him for you, complete with a silicone hand that points him out."
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 4:56 PM - 10 comments

Masks and Rural Life

Through paper mâché maskes made by traditional artists in west-central India, Gauri Gill creates a series of stunning photographs. "Acts of Appearance" is on display at MoMA PS1 (22–25 Jackson Ave, Long Island City, Queens) until September 3.
posted by MovableBookLady at 12:18 PM - 2 comments

Jame Gumb had excellent taste in music.

Q Lazzarus scored a minor hit in 1990, when Jonathan Demme used her song “Goodbye Horses” in a pivotal scene in Silence of the Lambs. The singer seemed to disappear from the face of the earth in the mid-1990s. When Quitters drummer Kelsey Zimmerman put out a call on Twitter for the singer, she got a surprising response.
posted by pxe2000 at 11:54 AM - 22 comments

Modular, Scaleable Everything

As the gig economy grows, so too does the danger that engineers, in attempting to build the most efficient systems, will chop and dice jobs into pieces so dehumanized that our legal system will no longer recognize them. And along with this comes an even more sinister possibility: jobs that would and should be recognizable—especially supervisory and management positions—will disappear altogether.
Short read: Susan Fowler in Vanity Fair notes that the labor problems Uber created market disruptions Uber innovated are becoming permanent. (Susan Fowler previously.)
posted by postcommunism at 10:51 AM - 28 comments

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