October 22

That Time the City of Seattle Accidentally Gave a Guy 32m Emails for $40

The first large batch of requests for email metadata were sent to the largest cities of fourteen arbitrary states in a trial run of sorts. In the end of that batch, only two cities were willing to continue with the request - Houston and Seattle. Houston complied surprisingly quickly and snail mailed the metadata for 6m emails. Seattle on the other hand... 2800 words from Matt Chapman.
posted by cgc373 at 8:45 AM - 4 comments

Pickled To Death

[…] embalming fluid was frequently mistaken for something drinkable like whiskey or beer, or even plain water. I find this a bit baffling. I admit I do not know how vintage embalming fluid smelled, but I would assume that there was enough of a smell to alert the drinker that it wasn’t whiskey. But given the copious amounts of alcohol served to mourners at wakes, were there any alert drinkers? The overflowing cup of cheer (along with an apparent shortage of cups) lies behind many of these tales. “Dead drunk” was no mere figure of speech.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:27 AM - 7 comments

You Gotta Give to Get

Japan's Hometown Tax — an innovative Japanese tax policy helps share tax revenues with regions outside of the urban metropolises.
posted by exogenous at 8:18 AM - 1 comment

Japan is a Place on Earth

"People use Japan as a handwavey scapegoat as a result of a background culture of 'wacky Japan' jokes and growing up joking about Japanese video games. They also use it as a catch-all marker of reactionary sentiment partially in reaction to the supposed popularity of anime amongst the resurgent online right wing. The problem with all this is that it almost invariably extends beyond the media itself or even the (deserving) targets of mockery that this stuff is meant to lampoon."
posted by Sokka shot first at 5:35 AM - 16 comments

SHE BON : Sensing the Sensual

SHE BON is a platform, a human-computer interface for sensing and indicating different aspects of arousal by harnessing a variety of body-data! "What I'm aiming to achieve is encouraging a more healthy, approachable dialog about sex amongst humans." (NSFW)
posted by greenhornet at 2:18 AM - 11 comments

October 21

Dr. Caligari (1989)

We’ve discovered a midnight movie that’s slipped under our radar all these years. It’s just as retro, hypnotic, and freaky as say, the cult musical Rocky Horror Picture Show— but you might even say more chic. [more inside]
posted by MovableBookLady at 4:19 PM - 27 comments

Is there a such thing as ballet that doesn't hurt women?

"Just being in the ballet studio, she said, it is assumed that you can be adjusted at any point by a teacher, choreographer, or partner. Personal boundaries are crossed through persuasion or physical adjustment, without asking the dancer to check in with her own comfort and ability. It’s simply not part of the equation; if a dancer can’t keep up, there is always someone willing to take her place." (CW: sexual abuse)
posted by Lycaste at 4:17 PM - 19 comments

Read this and weep for Brazil.

Thy Will Be Done: Brasil’s Holy War.
A fifty year foreign battle to combat Catholic Liberation Theology in Brazil promises rich rewards for the vested interests which initiated it.
By this time next week the odds are that Brazil will have elected a fascist as President. Jair Bolsonaro, who has openly stated that the dictatorship’s mistake was to torture but not kill, and his volunteers envision a state of war for Brazil. That is the experiment they are hoping to deliver to the world.
The far-right Brazilian leader isn’t just another conservative populist. His propaganda campaign has taken a page straight from the Nazi playbook.
[more inside]
posted by adamvasco at 4:12 PM - 23 comments

Love. Always.

Gary Andrews is a cartoonist who lost his wife Joy to sepsis. He has continued his doodle a day during that time. [more inside]
posted by Martha My Dear Prudence at 1:21 PM - 15 comments

Full eyes, clear hearts, here's how it's gonna go, can't lose

"Sweeping my hair uneasily into a baseball cap, I decided to try to be as “Coach Eric Taylor” as possible for two weeks. I am a five-foot-two white woman with glasses, shoulder-length hair, a wide smile and ready eye contact. I was dubious about this stunt working. Could I truly effect male power?" [more inside]
posted by clawsoon at 12:16 PM - 40 comments

Day of the Devs

Indie games offer innovation and niche appeal in a market dominated by formulaic blockbusters. At the 6th annual Day of the Devs there will be 70 unreleased games to play. Watch the teaser preview of all 70 here.
posted by adept256 at 12:00 PM - 6 comments

the ice-cold reality of the retail death spiral

"What if I told you one of the largest ever undertakings in American historic preservation was happening not through the graces of any large institution, but through the autonomous participation of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of individuals across the country, who are collectively stitching together their own narrative of architectural history?" Kate Wagner in The Baffler, The Archivists of Extinction: Architectural history in an era of capitalist ruin
posted by everybody had matching towels at 9:10 AM - 14 comments


Are you #TylerStrong? (SLYT - have a tissue handy) The best sports story that is not really about sports that you will see this weekend. [more inside]
posted by COD at 8:11 AM - 8 comments

Kaitlin Prest: "I didn’t take that feedback"

Take some time to explore the work of Kaitlin Prest. Her newest podcast, The Shadows, was just released. You can also hear Prest's work on RadioLab's recent series In the No on the topic of consent. Part II is here. Part III to come. Prest's whole "No" series is here. [more inside]
posted by CMcG at 7:36 AM - 1 comment

So this is probably my 10th client who is the smartest man in the world.

"There's nothing." Escaping NXIVM is a new CBC podcast focusing on the experience of Sara Edmonson, one high-profile defector from the recently-crashed cult. (Stitcher, iTunes, Twitter) [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 6:54 AM - 24 comments

Did Joshua Schachter Make a Mistake Selling del.icio.us to Yahoo?

Joshua Schachter’s groundbreaking social-bookmarking site Del.icio.us, founded in 2003, popularized the idea of “tags” — organizing bookmarks by appending just a word or two. At its height, Del.icio.us was the toast of budding social sites known as Web 2.0, had millions of users, and served as a direct inspiration for sites like Reddit and Pinterest. Schachter talked to Intelligencer about his decision sell Del.icio.us to Yahoo in 2005 — and how it felt to watch as the company was mismanaged and sold off to a series of buyers before being permanently shut down in 2017. [more inside]
posted by gen at 5:00 AM - 44 comments

October 20

When do you jump? And where do you land?

Why Kodak Died And Fujifilm Thrived: A Tale Of Two Film Companies
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:57 PM - 49 comments

Allergic to Modernity

The Guardian discusses the recent, and startling, mass increase in allergy occurrences - possibly connected to delayed exposure to allergens, overly-hygienic practices, and lack of exposure to sunlight. Are our best laid plans in health and wellness wreaking havoc on our immune systems?
posted by TruthfulCalling at 8:42 PM - 49 comments

"Censorship was a problem."

Emanuele Taglietti is an Italian illustrator, mostly known for his covers for digest-sized, adult comics (fumetti) whose themes were sex, violence, and horror. The following links are so, so NSFW:

Sex And Horror: The Lurid Erotic Art Of Emanuele Taglietti (Dangerous Minds)
Emanuele Taglietti art at Comic Art Fans
Cover Art By Emanuele Taglietti at Spaghetti Fumetti
Interview with Korero Press
Emanuele Taglietti Fan Club
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:37 PM - 20 comments

So You Want to Open a Small Press Bookstore/Artist-Run Space?

A cautionary tale by poet Noel Black.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 8:22 PM - 31 comments

"Monsters, if they are interesting, are unpredictable."

“Polysemy (from Greek: πολυ-, poly-, "many" and σῆμα, sêma, "sign"), the capacity for a sign, such as a word, phrase, or symbol, to have multiple meanings, usually related by contiguity of meaning within a semantic field.” – definition adapted from Wikipedia

“If you cannot convince a fascist, acquaint his head with the pavement.” – Gritty (probably)
True Grit: From Weird Mascot to Eldritch Revolutionary
posted by Lexica at 6:32 PM - 9 comments

Needle Felted Faces

Hyperrealistic cat portraits needle felted by Japanese artist Wakuneco. [more inside]
posted by dilettante at 5:48 PM - 18 comments

Is there a better game plan than us trying to pick a fight with Hammer?

"The upside was that we finally did finish Paul's Boutique. The downside is that we wasted So. Much. Fucking. Money. Soon enough, though, the amount of money we'd just wasted would be the least of our problems." The Making (and Unmaking) of Paul's Boutique.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 4:17 PM - 29 comments

No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark

Follow some of the about 1.9 million Venezuelans who have fled since 2015 in one of the largest migrations in the world in recent years.
The price of oil plummeted from $96 per barrel in 2014 to just $49 in 2015.
Corruption and rot run from the president right down to the human traffickers, brothel proprietors, contraband smugglers and taxi drivers.
Meanwhile drug trafficking structures are a series of often competing networks buried deep within the Chavista regime, with ties going back almost two decades. The Development of the Cartel of the Suns.
posted by adamvasco at 3:41 PM - 3 comments

We all die alone, but some more than others

Miyu Kojima cleans the apartments of those who have died alone. These lonely deaths (kodokushi) are often undiscovered for months, and the work is difficult and grim. But in her off hours she takes these experiences and turns them into art, memorializing the apartments she's cleaned in painstakingly constructed dioramas.
posted by serathen at 3:10 PM - 9 comments

Best Wildlife Photos of 2018

The 40 best from over 45,000 entries to London's Natural History Museum. This is the best representation among several sites with these photos. The images reveal the abundance, beauty, resilience, and vulnerability of life on Earth. The winning photos were chosen from more than 45,000 entries from 95 countries for their artistic composition, technical innovation, and truthful interpretation of the natural world.
posted by MovableBookLady at 1:41 PM - 6 comments

“I’ve always known that I’m multiracial”

A DNA test said a man was 4% black. Now he wants to qualify as a minority business owner. (WaPo)
posted by girlmightlive at 12:04 PM - 73 comments

Slate - The New American Songbook

The New American Songbook is emphatically not a list of the best songs of the past quarter-century, although many of these tracks would make that list, too. As predicted by our panel, tomorrow’s oldies, like tomorrow’s America, will be a lot less male-dominated, and a lot more diverse. [more inside]
posted by cgc373 at 10:10 AM - 53 comments

101. Metafilter (1999)

100 Websites That Shaped the Internet as We Know It [more inside]
posted by holmesian at 9:15 AM - 97 comments

With what do you want to light the torch? Say things in full, bedlamite!

40 years ago (near enough), and inspired by Zork, Roy Trubshaw coded (in MACRO-10) the first version of MUD, the Multi-User Dungeon, at Essex University. With the work of Richard Bartle (previously) versions were recoded and refined over the next few years. Soon, external access to the university DEC-10 between 2am and 7am increased player numbers at their expense. Various incarnations and versions appeared over the next few years with MUD being hosted, between 1984 and 1987, by Dundee Technical College (which became Abertay University). MUD was one of several early games which inspired online adventure and virtual environment creators; MUDs and MOOs, such as TinyMUD in 1989 and the still-developing MUDII from 1985, proliferated. [Post title]
posted by Wordshore at 8:40 AM - 28 comments

It's That Pivotal Moment

“For me, this is something you’ll not see this year, last year, the year before that. . . kissing. . . Liam Neeson, a hunk. And kissing him sexually, romantically.
[more inside]
posted by jojo and the benjamins at 8:37 AM - 7 comments

Monkey Lifts Its Baby to the Sky

The Disney-like moment was captured on film. Photographer Dafna Ben Nun, 38, captured the incredible real life Disney moment whilst on a trip to Zimbabwe. "It was just a split second, but it was fascinating to watch!"
posted by grobertson at 8:33 AM - 6 comments


On the Pleasures of the Escape Room. "Escape rooms make a simple and beguiling metaphor for life. In the space of an hour, you dart through all the stages of human maturation, from bewilderment (infancy) to discovery (puberty) to reasoning (adulthood) to deliverance (death). It’s like starring in your own dumb biopic."
posted by storybored at 8:18 AM - 13 comments

Another way to prove you’re a gentleperson and a scholar

Indiana University English professor Michael Adams reflects on dictionaries as physical objects.
posted by Vesihiisi at 8:00 AM - 13 comments

Women in the U.S. Can Now Get Safe Abortions by Mail

The Atlantic interviews doctor Rebecca Gomperts about the recently-launched Aid Access. “I got an email from a woman who was living in a car with two kids,” she told me. “Something had to be done.” [more inside]
posted by Little Dawn at 7:54 AM - 9 comments

For Halloween, the Spooky and Queer Holiday, More Weird Audio Dramas

Some of you may be aware that Limetown Website Previously FanFare is making a return at the end of the month, but other creators have been turning out more and more spooky and weird (and sometimes funny) audio dramas for your entertainment as the nights get longer and the days colder (in the Northern Hemisphere, at least). Here’s a round up of audio dramas with paranormal elements. In honor of the historical queerness of Halloween, LGBTQ characters and elements are also identified. [more inside]
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:38 AM - 8 comments

Jesse Jackson ’88 tees are hot in Asia. Here’s why.

Jesse Jackson's 1988 presidential campaign logo trending in Asian fashion "The Jesse Jackson ’88 “content” is the least important aspect of the shirt. In today’s globalized world, items can jump between cultures, but they mostly succeed in other places because they take on completely new meanings upon arrival."
posted by MythMaker at 6:32 AM - 15 comments

In which a skillet is saved

Kat Kinsman came into possession of an extremely neglected cast iron pan and asked the internet for advice. A short but satisfying story of redemption and high heat. Previously.
posted by arcticseal at 1:22 AM - 29 comments

October 19

But what if I want to go from C - L, via A, B and A again?

Desire paths have been described as illustrating “the tension between the native and the built environment and our relationship to them”. Because they often form in areas where there are no pavements, they can be seen to “indicate [the] yearning” of those wishing to walk, a way for “city dwellers to ‘write back’ to city planners, giving feedback with their feet”. Stroll on through: Desire paths: the illicit trails that defy the urban planners. (SL The Guardian)
posted by Juso No Thankyou at 11:47 PM - 23 comments

Thanks, Mole Playing Rough

The Mystery of the Mole Playing Rough (SLYT): why did SNES classic Earthbound contain an unavoidable random encounter with a plucky (but doomed) mole?
posted by Jpfed at 11:40 PM - 4 comments


Enjoy a song consisting entirely of bits of video game console startup audio. [slyt]
posted by DoctorFedora at 11:28 PM - 2 comments

Are You There God? It's Me, Movie Rights

Nearly 50 years after its publication, Judy Blume has granted the screen rights to her coming-of-age classic, "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret." [more inside]
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:32 PM - 23 comments

I am Herschel and so is my wife

A story of trout, human hubris, and the scapegoating of hungry sea lions. (SLHakai)
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 5:50 PM - 4 comments

Accurate perception is optional

The 2018 Best Illusion of the Year Contest results are out, and unsurprisingly Kokichi Sugihara has won with a truly disorienting illusion. Sugihara previously.
posted by jjray at 5:14 PM - 22 comments

What up with that?

Lindsey Buckingham and Fleetwood Mac are fighting again.
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:20 PM - 54 comments

A tree grows in Pittsburgh. Well, up to 100,000

On a patch of land beneath the 62nd Street Bridge, Tree Pittsburgh is looking to train the next generation of local dendrophiles. On Oct. 18, the environmental nonprofit unveiled an expansion of its existing tree nursery on the shores of the Allegheny River. In addition to new space for more than 100,000 new tree saplings, Tree Pittsburgh also opened the doors to its new and totally green education center. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 2:42 PM - 8 comments

Criminalizing Victims

Last Thanksgiving, a Chinese woman named Song Yang fell to her death during a police raid of her apartment in Queens. This is her story. (Linked article discusses sexual assault, suicide and abuse.) [more inside]
posted by zarq at 2:24 PM - 8 comments

poorly known and rarely seen felid

Chinese Mountain Cats. Video footage of a mother and two kittens of a cat species with "a very small known range on the northeastern Tibetan Plateau (Qinghai and northwest Sichuan), [...] the only cat endemic to China".
posted by readinghippo at 1:23 PM - 32 comments

The Sunburnt Country

Whiteness as disease in skin-cancer-ridden Australia
posted by zeptoweasel at 11:40 AM - 50 comments

Is there racial inequality at your school?

A ProPublica developer uses Illinois as an example of the data on racial disparities in education that can be easily viewed using the new Miseducation online tool. A recent story uses some of the same data (and a great deal of individual reporting) to explore education disparities in Charlottesville.
posted by eotvos at 11:16 AM - 18 comments

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