October 17

Hidden for years

“A spiritual experience”: The artist behind a rediscovered Last Supper sculpture talks about its creation. [more inside]
posted by peeedro at 4:12 PM - 0 comments

Become a horrible eldritch ocean god. 🐙

Sea Salt [YouTube][Game Trailer] “I am a dark God; my tendrils writhe beneath the waves, and altars to my magnificence are spread across the land. I seek worship, but, more importantly, I need flesh. When the time comes for my devoted archbishop to sacrifice himself, he refuses and flees behind the paltry defense of the city walls. He has mistaken my call for a request, and now I must claim him — and anyone who stands in my path. I will feast. [ ...] It’s best summarized as Hotline Miami, except I’m an angry sea god instead of a nihilist in a mask. I also gather and manage minions in a way that’s a little like Pikmin, but for goths. I have to navigate through levels seen through a top-down camera, and use my 2D pixel-art armies to visit unfathomable violence on the enemies and obstacles in my way.” [via: Polygon]
posted by Fizz at 3:07 PM - 2 comments

A Doubleheader Of Baseball Dork

Sports statistical dorks Jon Bois and Alex Rubenstein have a video and print pairing of baseball statistical oddities. On the video side, we have a discussion of Brandon Guyer, the Hit By Pitch God, who turned the beanball into a weapon. Then in print, they discuss how 2019 was the Year Of The Dinger, with an additional loving roasting of the Baltimore Orioles for being the recipient of so many.
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:41 PM - 12 comments

Never a dull moment

The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk's resident historian recounts the immediate aftermath of the 1989 Loma Prieta quake on the seaside amusement park and adjacent retirement home Casa Del Rey, as well as how it was rebuilt. [more inside]
posted by subocoyne at 12:05 PM - 5 comments

Tour Halted Immediately After Scandal! Willie will never perform again!

Craig Silverman at Buzzfeed breaks down the anatomy a intricate fake ads on social media scam. He gives some of the highlights in a thread on Twitter. [more inside]
posted by 3j0hn at 9:35 AM - 42 comments

San Francisco is now home to world's tiniest comic shop, "Hella Novella"

San Francisco is now how to the world's tiniest comic shop. Not only is it the world's tiniest, at 71 square feet, it's also devoted solely to "local artists, women, and people of color."
posted by Slinga at 8:55 AM - 5 comments

Congressman Elijah Cummings: 1951-2019

U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings of Baltimore, a committee chairman known for his devotion to Baltimore and civil rights and for blunt and passionate speechmaking, died of longstanding health problems early Thursday morning, his office said. He was 68 years old (Baltimore Sun). "In the Congress, Elijah was considered a north star," Pelosi said. "He was a leader of towering character and integrity." She added, "He lived the American dream, and he wanted it for everyone else." (NPR) More remembrances on the Baltimore Sun, and Elijah's story, from his campaign site.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:40 AM - 103 comments

In Fairness to the Marmot, That Is a Very Startling Fox

The UK's Natural History Museum has unveiled its Wildlife Photographer of the Year winners. Yongqing Bao won the adult award for The Moment, his shot of a Himalayan marmot being surprised by a Tibetan fox. Cruz Erdmann won the youth award for Night Glow, a colorful shot of a bigfin reef squid.
posted by Etrigan at 7:51 AM - 21 comments

When Internet Access is a Public Utility

In some Rust Belt communities, broadband access is provided by the municipal government. [more inside]
posted by hilaryjade at 6:17 AM - 24 comments

Coca-Cola's plastic secrets | DW Documentary

By 2050, there could be more plastic than fish in the sea. Ten tons of plastic are produced every second. Sooner or later, a tenth of that will end up in the oceans. Coca-Cola says it wants to do something about it - but does it really? (YouTube link)
posted by flabdablet at 4:21 AM - 31 comments

We will decide who plays in this country...

In 1928, successful American jazz bandleader Sonny Clay took his big band, billed as Sonny Clay's Colored Idea, on a tour of Australia. They played in Sydney and Melbourne and were well received by audiences, though throughout their tour, were followed by police detectives. Then, on 25 March, Victoria Police raided an apartment in East Melbourne where some of the musicians were staying, finding several members of the band in the company of five local women. An attempt to charge the women with vagrancy failed, leaving the musicians free to go, but their subsequent reception in Sydney was frigid, with hotels denying them accommodation. Meanwhile, the federal government cancelled their visas, and instituted a policy of barring entry to Australia to black musicians, which remained in effect until 1954.
posted by acb at 3:20 AM - 8 comments


"Here it is again," she thought. "Someone else that has my life right in their hands and is able to make these decisions for me. Here it is again. Someone again forcing my hand to do something I don't want to do when it involves sexual stuff." So she made a decision. From The real (and fake) sex lives of Bella Thorne [BBC] [CW: abuse, depression, revenge porn, deepfakes, Disney. Link may be NSFW for language.] [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 2:25 AM - 8 comments

October 16

Please regard this as a menu, not a college course

NPR's podcast Hidden Brain recently completed their 2019 edition of their series, You 2.0. Across six episodes, it explores ways people might be able to improve themselves and break old patterns to move into renewed progress in their lives. Episodes run from around 30 minutes to around an hour. Episode 1 is The Empathy Gym [53m] "On this episode of Hidden Brain, we talk about calibrating our empathy so we can interact with others more mindfully." [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 9:52 PM - 7 comments

"I was shocked that instead of a hit or a slap, she wanted to hug me."

"I don't think I need to forgive you, because I understand what happened. He and I were like two rocketships on the same trajectory, from different directions. He had been raised and trained in an environment that caused him to react exactly like you would expect a human being to react, given his training and environment. I was doing exactly the same thing, reacting exactly how I was trained. To me it was almost inevitable what had happened. I don't need to forgive him. If he wants it, if that's something that would be of value to him, I would give it." Ear Hustle, the podcast featuring inmates at San Quentin State Prison in California, talks about forgiveness. CW: graphic descriptions of violence. The Victim Offender Dialogue program as mentioned in the show.
posted by Evilspork at 6:43 PM - 7 comments

shiny speedy ant

These Desert Ants Gallop at a Blistering 108 Body Lengths Per Second "Just how quick these iridescent arthropods can be, and how they achieve those speeds, is explained for the first time today in the Journal of Experimental Biology (paywalled). Saharan silver ants can travel at 108 body lengths a second, the researchers found. This makes them one of the fastest known running species, bested only by the California coastal mite and the Australian tiger beetle."
posted by dhruva at 6:38 PM - 17 comments

Yahoo Groups Is Winding Down

...and all content will be permanently removed. Users won't be able to upload new content to the site after October 21 and have until December 14 to archive their content, Yahoo said in an announcement.
posted by clawsoon at 4:18 PM - 63 comments

Two Essays and a New Book from Andrea Long Chu

Andrea Long Chu, On Liking Women:
The truth is, I have never been able to differentiate liking women from wanting to be like them. For years, the former desire held the latter in its mouth, like a capsule too dangerous to swallow. When I trawl the seafloor of my childhood for sunken tokens of things to come, these bus rides are about the gayest thing I can find. They probably weren’t even all that gay. It is common, after all, for high school athletes to try to squash the inherent homoeroticism of same-sex sport under the heavy cleat of denial. But I’m too desperate to salvage a single genuine lesbian memory from the wreckage of the scared, straight boy whose life I will never not have lived to be choosy. The only other memory with a shot at that title is my pubescent infatuation with my best friend, a moody, low-voiced, Hot Topic–shopping girl who, it dawned on me only many years later, was doing her best impression of Shane from The L Word. One day she told me she had a secret to tell me after school; I spent the whole day queasy with hope that a declaration of her affections was forthcoming. Later, over the phone, after a pause big enough to drown in, she told me she was gay. “I thought you might say that,” I replied, weeping inside. A decade later, after long having fallen out of touch, I texted her. “A week ago, I figured out that I am trans,” I wrote. “You came out to me all those years ago. Just returning the favor.”
[more inside]
posted by JimBennett at 2:54 PM - 14 comments

We are working, we are working

On the eve of a(nother) crunch European Council on Brexit, negotiations on a possible deal are ongoing in Brussels. [more inside]
posted by roolya_boolya at 2:39 PM - 67 comments


2500 Classic MS-DOS Games Are Now Free To Play [Internet Archive] “The Internet Archive has been building a growing collection of old PC games over the years, with a batch of DOS games added in 2015, and Windows 3.1 games in 2016—all of them playable in your browser. This month another update has hit the collection, and now 2,500 more games (often with their manuals) have been preserved for the ages. Highlights of the latest set include Street Fighter 2, The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard, Loom, The Lost Vikings, Magic Carpet Plus, Robotron 2084, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Queen of Krynn, King's Quest 1 and 2, The Lords of Midnight, The Incredible Machine and its sequel, the first three Bard's Tale games, and plenty more.” [via: PC Gamer]
posted by Fizz at 2:32 PM - 46 comments

The Human Alphabet

"There is arguably nothing more human than the alphabet, given that language, and particularly written language, often tops the list of qualities which distinguish our dear species most distinctly from others. To form the letters of these alphabets using the human body is then, perhaps, not so strange a leap..." (links 1 & 2 potentially NSFW). [more inside]
posted by misteraitch at 1:33 PM - 6 comments

E/V Nautilus found a recently deceased whale

WHALEFALL! NOAA's Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary’s exploration vessel Nautilus has “just discovered a whale skeleton on the seafloor covered in bone-eating worms, cusk eels, and octopus devouring this massive deep sea meal.” You can watch live, with commentary by the Nautilus team, who are also taking questions.
posted by Kattullus at 1:00 PM - 26 comments

Yes, in Fact We ARE the 800 Pound Gorilla!

This past Monday morning at 8:05 AM EST, the Twitter account for Disney's forthcoming Disney+ streaming service posted a tweet saying, "It. Is. Time." [more inside]
posted by Ipsifendus at 12:34 PM - 96 comments

Thinking Outside the Plane

Tarski's Plank Problem1,2 asks for the least number of strips of width 1 that will cover a circular hole of diameter N. Though the strips are allowed to overlap, the configuration that will occur to most people is N parallel strips side by side, with no overlap and no gaps. But is this the best possible?

The middle strips in this configuration cover the most area, while the strips on the edge don't seem to pull their weight. Could a bunch of strips crossing the center in different directions do better? But the outer circumference also needs to be fully covered, and that's one thing "edge" strips do well. There's no obvious right way to measure each strip's contribution. It's a maddening little puzzle, whose resolution surprisingly lies in...  [more inside]
posted by aws17576 at 12:07 PM - 13 comments

Cherrypicks: The Best Place to See What Women Think About Movies

Cherrypicks is a movie review site based entirely on the reviews of female-identifying and non-binary voices. As women, we consume more than half the media in the world. And newsflash: we’ve also got opinions. That’s why we made CherryPicks, the best place to see what women think about movies and more. We create a unique score based on reviews from female-identifying and non-binary voices, so whether you’re looking for a night out, or a night on the couch, you know the opinions you trust come from women like you. The site also features race and representation-focused articles like In “Always Be My Maybe,” Asian American Men Play the Heartthrobs: Undoing the Damage of Long Duk Dong and review categories like “Moms in Horror” and “LGBTQ Coming of Age Stories”. [more inside]
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:10 AM - 24 comments

"She says, ‘Tell the ambulance not to come.’ She just needs the police."

One Night at Mount Sinai: A star doctor drugs, then sexually assaults his patient. Aja Newman was dozing from the morphine. David Newman entered Room 8 and told her he was going to give her another dose. She objected. She had already been given morphine, she said, but the doctor was determined. ... “I’m like, ‘Wait. Whoa, whoa, whoa. This is not okay.’ And I am immediately concerned. I’m going under way too fast,” she remembers. But even then, it didn’t occur to her that David had any intention of harming her.
posted by MiraK at 11:06 AM - 23 comments

I didn’t want to be an armchair revolutionary.

“ And the gap between the smallness of everything I could realistically do and the largeness of everything I wanted to happen was so immense. I was deeply pessimistic, intellectually. The time in which to transform the global economy in order to prevent untold death and destruction shrank daily, and the forces of reaction grew stronger just as fast. So I wanted to do something ambitious and hard: something commensurate with the monstrosity of the world, with the distance of utopia and the nearness of catastrophe. There was so much I wanted to change, so many people I wanted to move. In the daily struggle to build the union and beat the boss and the odds, I saw something I desperately wanted to learn.” Spadework : On political organizing (N+1)
posted by The Whelk at 10:19 AM - 5 comments

For Asian-American Artists, K-Pop Is A Homecoming

A history of Americans in K-pop and K-pop in America and a video series featuring three former K-pop stars making their American debuts. [more inside]
posted by storytam at 9:31 AM - 3 comments

Victoria(n) mourning: how the Widow of Windsor changed Victorian customs

Although Queen Victoria had been on the throne for over twenty years, the 14th December 1861 marked the beginning of the reign of the mourning Queen (Royal Central). After Prince Albert’s death, Queen Victoria decreed that everyone in the household had to appear in full mourning while on duty for two years and although official mourning for the Prince ended in 1863, women at court still had their wardrobes dictated by the Queen (Enough of this Tomfoolery blog), which influenced society at large and and abroad.... [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 8:33 AM - 6 comments


50 of the world's best breads
posted by Mrs Potato at 5:43 AM - 70 comments

"Code’s effects can surprise everyone, including the coders."

Slate takes a look at some of the most important pieces of code (via Kottke)
posted by Stark at 4:31 AM - 38 comments

Superman Smashes the Klan

It began as a 1940s radio serial (which is soon to be the subject of a documentary film). This week it becomes a comic book which starts its run today.
posted by Paul Slade at 12:29 AM - 22 comments

October 15

Witchy music for a witchy season

The 2015 Swedish film Cirkeln (The Circle) wasn't well reviewed or received outside of its home country. But the story of six girls who discover witchery and bravery together was scored by none other than ABBA's Benny Andersson. Benny Andersson - Cirkeln is an hour of instrumental score with seasonally appropriate tones, and could be a welcome soundtrack during this season of haunting. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 9:29 PM - 3 comments

The US Constitution, Annotated

The Constitution Annotated: Analysis and Interpretation of the U.S. Constitution is a long-running project of the Congressional Research Service, now updated for the web, that "allows you to read about the Constitution in plain English…providing a comprehensive overview of Supreme Court decisions interpreting the United States Constitution." Until now, the Constitution Annotated "has primarily existed as a 3,000-page hardbound volume provided to Congressional members." If you're looking for a place to start browsing, here's a timely example. You can also browse by topic.
posted by Not A Thing at 9:01 PM - 8 comments

At the Library, Patrons Check Out Death Discussions

Death Discussions Some Alexandria Library patrons are browsing more than just books: these days they’re also checking out discussions about death.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 8:25 PM - 7 comments

Don't mistake a moment for a movement

Be Kind Rewind is a fantastic youtube channel that features educational, entertaining, and perfectly paced video essays about the history of Hollywood, the Oscars, and a celebration of Best Actress winners. For example, about the only black woman to win Best Actress: "If we read the Oscars as a symbol of what Hollywood values, then Halle Berry's singular win says a lot about how much Hollywood values women of color generally." - #OscarsSoWhite and The Legacy of Halle Berry [more inside]
posted by BeginAgain at 4:36 PM - 4 comments

Then it happened. Tyler finally croaked.

"In celebration of reaching 5,000 followers on Twitter (@No_Context_JTC) here are 50 images of sudden, horrible deaths in Chick Tracts."
Images 1-10 | Images 11-20 | Images 21-30 | Images 31-40 | Images 41-50
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:35 PM - 52 comments

Bodies of Evidence

When 69-year-old Marietta Jinde died in September 2016, police had already been called to her home several times because of reports of possible abuse. A detective described conditions at the woman’s home in Gardena as “horrendous.” She was so emaciated and frail that the hospital asked Los Angeles County adult protective services officials to look into her death. […] With permission from county officials and saying they did not know of the abuse allegations, employees from OneLegacy, a Southern California human tissue procurement company, had gained access to the body, taking parts that could have provided crucial evidence. [CW: descriptions of autopsies] [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:19 PM - 46 comments

Onward in Ohio: A Wish for Words that Work

On October 15, the Democrats meet for the fourth time, starting at 8 p.m. ET in Westerville, Ohio, for a debate hosted by CNN and The New York Times, on the most crowded debate stage of this election cycle so far. [more inside]
posted by katra at 3:17 PM - 135 comments

Scottish Ballet: Tremble

Tremble. "An abstract dining room is the setting for Scottish Ballet’s largest film yet. Tremble stars 26 Scottish Ballet dancers and has been co-choreographed and directed by Jessica Wright and Morgann Runacre-Temple [of Jess and Morgs Films], set to Anna Meredith’s brassy track ‘Nautilus’ [previously]."
posted by homunculus at 3:15 PM - 13 comments


Solving Rubik’s Cube with a Robot Hand [YouTube] “We’ve trained a pair of neural networks to solve the Rubik’s Cube with a human-like robot hand. The neural networks are trained entirely in simulation, using the same reinforcement learning code as OpenAI Five paired with a new technique called Automatic Domain Randomization (ADR). The system can handle situations it never saw during training, such as being prodded by a stuffed giraffe. [...] Solving a Rubik’s Cube one-handed is a challenging task even for humans, and it takes children several years to gain the dexterity required to master it. Our robot still hasn’t perfected its technique though, as it solves the Rubik’s Cube 60% of the time (and only 20% of the time for a maximally difficult scramble).” [via: Open AI]
posted by Fizz at 2:03 PM - 8 comments

A scientist who worked on the Viking mission says

I’m Convinced We Found Evidence of Life on Mars in the 1970s The Labeled Release experiment on the Viking mission reported positive results, although most have dismissed them as inorganic chemical reactions.
posted by Bee'sWing at 1:07 PM - 13 comments

Let The Arguing Begin!

The 21 Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Series Ever
posted by bq at 12:58 PM - 279 comments

The Tiptree Award is becoming the Otherwise Award

Joy, absurdity, and irreverence have long been in the DNA of the Tiptree Award. What other award crowns the winner with a tiara, raises money with bake sales, and serenades the winner? Now, our community has spoken and said: there is too much discomfort over this history for many of us to feel joyous about this name.
The Tiptree Motherboard has renamed the Tiptree to the Otherwise Award. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse at 9:51 AM - 28 comments

Democracy At Work

“This is the most ambitious plan on corporate ownership ever put out by a presidential candidate,” Peter Gowan, with the Democracy Collaborative, an economic inequality-focused research institution, said. “[This is] giving real bones to Sanders’ vision of democratic socialism.” Bernie Sanders’s plan to reshape corporate America, explained (Vox) [more inside]
posted by The Whelk at 9:33 AM - 14 comments

Bleak France: Eric Tabuchi's architectural photography

Eric Tabuchi lives and works in Paris, and captured abandoned clubs around France (Design You Trust) in Discothèques, 2016. [via MltShp] Tabuchi has additional collections of stark and sometimes decaying features: symmetry in Ville Nouvelle, barriers in Restricted Areas, upright elements in Éléments verticaux, concrete poetry in Infrasculpture, stairways to nowhere in particular in Architecture d'entraînement, and a surprisingly large collection of Vertical Pools.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:28 AM - 10 comments

The dog's name means pudding

ShibaInuPunchan is a youtuber whose videos feature Purin the shiba watching their master cook. There are currently two dozen low-key videos without dialogue, only the sound of cooking and the sight of a handsome shiba inu with their head and forepaws propped up on the counter, calmly watching their master. Dishes include fluffy cheesecake, spaghetti with meat sauce, and omurice (Purin gets their own serving of this one). [more inside]
posted by ardgedee at 7:00 AM - 21 comments

Tax Justice Now

Starting from the current tax system, everyone can design their own tax plan: Wealth tax, individual income tax, corporate tax... Pick the rates, adjust enforcement, and taxjusticenow.org shows: 1. How much revenue would be generated; 2. How tax progressivity would change." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 6:28 AM - 39 comments

October 14

TIL... how to do picture descriptions in twitter for blind/sight-limited

@RobotHugsComics has created a twitter thread [threadreader] full of great information on how to write image descriptions in twitter for those with visual impairments who are using text readers to engage with the site. It's full of in-depth tips on how to write image descriptions which will be useful for those who cannot see the images, in a way which makes them a part of the tweet content.
posted by hippybear at 9:02 PM - 15 comments

Native Music for Today

We Are One "Today on Indigenous Peoples' Day and every day we are here to say that We Are Still Here. Research has shown that the lack of representation of Native peoples in mainstream society creates a void that limits the understanding and knowledge that Americans have of Native communities. We [Illuminatives] are here to fight the invisibility that Natives face by amplifying contemporary, authentic Native voices, and supporting Native peoples tell their story." Indigenous People's Day Toolkit (PDF) More music inside [more inside]
posted by stoneweaver at 8:44 PM - 6 comments

Sady recommends horror.

American Psycho [NSFW]
Yet American Psycho would not be a comedy unless Mary Harron set out to make it one. Her bravery and generosity may go unnoticed, but it was heroic work. Harron — working with a female screenwriter and frequent collaborator, Guinevere Turner — didn’t quiver in fear or cry her eyes out over Ellis’ misogyny. She simply refused to take it seriously. Ellis wrote a book about his pain and how it could only be assuaged by punishing women for being dumb bitches, and Harron, the director assigned to do this little manifesto justice, essentially rolled her eyes and made jerk-off motions at it for two hours. She didn’t just save us from Ellis’ awful book, she did the man himself a favor: In finding comedy where there was only self-pity, Harron gave American Psycho a better name and a more enduring place in the canon than Bret “No Good Female Directors” Ellis could ever manage for himself.
Black Swan
(non-horror) Game of Thrones
posted by coolname at 7:51 PM - 53 comments

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