January 20

The Folding Dutchman

While sea shanties and experiencing joy are in vogue, perhaps you would like to see The Longest Johns, recently famous as seed crystal of The Wellerman phenomenon on TikTok, making the video for their recent song Hoist Up The Thing.
posted by mhoye at 1:05 PM - 2 comments


For your consideration: Two deep dives on dithering techniques, from random thresholds to blue noise to error diffusion. Here's a listicle with example animations from a wide range of historical 1-bit games, including one recent and one upcoming game. [more inside]
posted by kaibutsu at 12:37 PM - 10 comments

There is a legend which comes from...

Click for a made-up bit of folklore. This page generates two-sentence lore on demand. One sentence describes its origin while the next summarizes the story. For example, "There is a legend which comes from the book The Ghosts of Shildon & Stanley by Cleveland Kendall. In 1841, the Devil himself died of 'rising of the lights', contracted from a witch named Mother Liliana." [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 8:47 AM - 17 comments

Money Pleeease!

Joe Biden, Welfare King "Joe Biden's presidency could be one in which the toxic ideological bias against a proper welfare state and active government dies an extremely deserved death. Free money is both good and fun!" [more inside]
posted by schoolgirl report at 8:03 AM - 68 comments

Biden / Harris Inauguration

The inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris: Live camera feed from C-Span; live updates from CNN; NYT live updates; NYT live stream and analysis; The Guardian live updates; NPR coverage beginning at 11 a.m. EST; streaming beginning at 10:30 a.m. EST at bideninaugural.org. [more inside]
posted by taz at 6:41 AM - 526 comments

Niche Communities

A report finds that 76% of internet users participate in online communities. (Up from 72% in 2017.) The report also says that 90% of Gen Z and Millennials are part of at least one online community. [more inside]
posted by veggieboy at 4:21 AM - 23 comments

Dinosaur Butthole

The first complete, preserved, fossilised dinosaur butthole has been discovered. [single link dinosaur butthole science] [more inside]
posted by prismatic7 at 3:49 AM - 30 comments

The Complete List of Trump’s Twitter Insults (2015-2021)

This list documents the verbal attacks Mr. Trump posted on Twitter, from when he declared his candidacy in June 2015 to Jan. 8, when Twitter permanently barred him.
posted by Cardinal Fang at 12:13 AM - 27 comments

January 19

Soon May the Wellerman Come

Sea Shanty TikTok is the perfect expression of masculinity for 2021. In shanties, we find something both extremely manly and subversively tender.” Wikipedia entry on the “Wellerman” shanty. Full lyrics and more available here, on The Longest Song wiki.
posted by darkstar at 10:11 PM - 43 comments

Bad science, computational imperialism, and the economy of attention

Bad science, computational imperialism, and the economy of attention. Problems with the attempts to predict complex human traits like sexual and political orientations from facial features.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 9:34 PM - 5 comments

What'd I miss?

Since last summer, Cesar (also known as Guitar_Knight14) has been painstakingly recreating the musical Hamilton inside of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. After six months of work, he completed all of Act 1, which you can view as a YouTube playlist or a single hour-long video. [more inside]
posted by mbrubeck at 7:29 PM - 19 comments

Fold a better samurai

Artist Spends 3 Months Planning and Folding Origami Samurai From a Single Sheet of Paper - "You can see how each of the parts develop in the folding process."
posted by kliuless at 5:43 PM - 16 comments

Never share leeches with other people, just to be safe.

Have you ever considered owning a pet leech? You're not alone! While some might keep leeches for medicinal reasons (hirudotherapy, previously) there is a small, but enthusiastic, community of leech fans that sing the praises of these simple to care for creatures. If you are ready to welcome a new bloodsucking friend into your life then Emzotic's video has everything you need to know about leech care.
posted by forbiddencabinet at 4:52 PM - 37 comments

Raven Story, Message Monsters, new USPS stamps and rates

The USPS has announced their lineup of new stamps for 2021. Especially exciting is this stamp, Raven Story, designed by Tlingit artist Rico Lanáat’ Worl, this is thought to be the first time such a design has been illustrated by a Tlingit artist. Inspired by this recent post, Forever Leguin [more inside]
posted by winesong at 4:19 PM - 21 comments

As a User...

“As a user of Instagram I want to have all the growth features at my fingertips in the tab bar so that I can help the growth PM hit KPIs.” More shit user stories at @shituserstories.
posted by adrianhon at 10:56 AM - 62 comments

Guanay Cormorant, Peruvian Pelican, and Peruvian Booby

Because of guano... The Incas were some of the earliest bird conservationists. And for the sake of seabird poo, the U.S. Congress authorized the earliest significant expansion beyond the North American continent in the Guano Islands Act of 1856, which "allowed (and still allows) any American who discovered an island with a large supply of guano to claim that island as an American territory." Haiti continues to demand the return of Navassa Island from the U.S.
posted by spamandkimchi at 10:50 AM - 9 comments

Perhaps Too Much Kirsch in the Fondue

For nigh on 7 years this cat has been cataloguing (and drinking, and taking pictures of) "every drink in every [Thomas] Pynchon novel." The latest post is #99 and it's a doozy: a bottle of '76 Lafite-Rothschild made into wine gums in honor, of course, of the "Disgusting English Candy Drill" [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 10:37 AM - 17 comments

Finally (9) virgins in space

On Sunday afternoon, Virgin Orbit joined the rare club of companies that have privately developed a rocket and successfully launched it into orbit. [more inside]
posted by sammyo at 10:27 AM - 23 comments

“I’m gonna call up Ed and see what he thinks about this business.”

Dial Comes To Town is a twenty-minute educational short film from 1940 by Bell Telephone intended to introduce Americans to phones with rotary dials.
It was uploaded to YouTube from the Prelinger Archives on archive.org.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:04 AM - 50 comments

An organized rogue editor network!

One way to hack a scientific journal. A group of researchers convinced a scientific journal to organize a special issue about the “Role of Nanotechnology and Internet of Things in Healthcare.” The content turned out to be bad and the organizers disappeared. [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 8:36 AM - 21 comments

All the sugar water you can drink!

Want to just sit back and watch some birds? Enjoy Carole's Hummingbird Feeder Cam, live from Studio City, California.
posted by Katemonkey at 7:25 AM - 28 comments

January 18

“The impossible is made possible!”

On Saturday, ten Sherpas and Nepalis became the first team to summit the venerable and formidable K2 during the winter. Starting as two separate teams, they combined forces in the days leading up the the final ascent. A few meters below the pinnacle, they all stopped, sang the Nepali National Anthem, and then summited together. BBC News has video interviewing one of the team's leaders during a break in their descent. The temperature turned out to be a manageable -40℃ that day, with little wind chill.
posted by not_on_display at 9:42 PM - 17 comments

How well do you know the movie "Peter Pan"?

Not as well as SungWon "ProZD" Cho [more inside]
posted by Gorgik at 7:55 PM - 27 comments

Early radiosonde. Laboratory measuring cylinder. Probe?

The UK's Science Museum Group, which includes the Science and Industry Museum, the National Science Museum, the National Railway Museum, and Locomotion, have digitized a quarter of their collection and made some cool digital tools to explore it, including a traditional search engine, the Random Object Generator and a random object described by machine learning, What the machine saw. Now, you can also be the first person to digitally see an object that's never been seen.
posted by ChuraChura at 6:10 PM - 14 comments

“Sometimes, I like to think I get paid to hike”

[Warden Praveed “Abe”] Abraham, 32, is the first full-time warden of color in the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s 115-year history. His path to conservation law enforcement was an unlikely one — he once planned to become a doctor — and it began in the unlikeliest place: Yonkers, N.Y. Abraham, of Indian and West Indian descent — his father was born in India, his mother in Guyana — grew up there with his family. Wildlife in Yonkers consisted of pigeons and squirrels. “Once, I saw a turkey there when I was a kid,” he said. “I didn’t know what it was.”
posted by sepviva at 5:05 PM - 9 comments

A small form of resistance

“...'Dilettante' is one of those words which deter people from taking up new pursuits as adults. Many of us are wary of being dismissed as dabblers, people who have a little too much leisure, who are a little too cute and privileged in our pastimes. This seems a narrative worth pushing back against. We might remember, as Vanderbilt points out, that the word 'dilettante' comes from the Italian for 'to delight.'" Margaret Talbot on learning new skills as an adult.

It pairs well with Casey Johnston (Ask a Swoll Woman) "on the extremely difficult chore of getting to know yourself, asking what it is that you want, and giving yourself permission to take yourself seriously."
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:52 PM - 33 comments

2020: The Game

A cute game about an awful year.
posted by jenkinsEar at 9:48 AM - 33 comments

20 ways to drag your ass outside

(Ways to motivate yourself. Source link: The Guardian) The weather is rubbish, there is nowhere to go and, bereft of the joys of spring, the daily lockdown walk can feel pointless. But, of course, it is not: the mental and physical health perks of exercise are immune to seasonal changes. We need to gallivant around outside in daylight so that our circadian rhythms can regulate sleep and alertness. (Yes, even when the sky is resolutely leaden, it is still technically daylight.) Walking warms you up, too; when you get back indoors, it will feel positively tropical. But if meeting these basic needs isn’t enough to enthuse you, there are myriad ways to add purpose to your stride and draw your attention to the underappreciated joys of winter walking. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 9:42 AM - 58 comments

Forever Leguin

For the 33rd stamp in the Literary Arts series, the USPS has chosen to honor science fiction author, activist, and mefi-favorite Ursula K. Leguin.
posted by FirstMateKate at 9:00 AM - 45 comments

Goodreads for Film, but Actually Good

Film social media site Letterboxd is growing rapidly amid the pandemic and the explosion of streaming options. Is Letterboxd Becoming a Blockbuster? (NYT/Archive.is) and The Future of Film Talk? (The Ringer). Check out Letterboxd’s 2020 Year in Review, with the site’s highest rated and most popular films, plus weirder categories like most obsessively rewatched and most loved to hate. Previously.
posted by adrianhon at 8:42 AM - 30 comments

Le Tic-Toc-Choc

Le Tic-Toc-Choc is a lively little harpsichord piece written by François Couperin (1668-1733) with many performances on YouTube (Elaine Comparone, Jory Vinikour). I happen to like alternative sonorities, so below the fold are some interesting non-harpsichord renditions. [more inside]
posted by mpark at 5:05 AM - 17 comments

People Who think [Tabletop] D&D is just like Skyrim..

Solo Video Game RPG's are not like Group Tabletop RPG's.. [SLYT 5min 6sec] 5 min 6 second amusing YouTube video. [more inside]
posted by Faintdreams at 3:22 AM - 61 comments


Step 0. Visit justscream.baby
Step 1. Call +1-561-567-8431 Don’t worry! There is no live human on the other end of the line.
Step 2. Scream. Wait for the beep. Scream. Hang up. That’s all there is to it.
Step 3. Listen. Screams are updated daily. Listen now!

Step 4. Read the About page.
posted by Going To Maine at 1:29 AM - 16 comments

January 17

Canlis Community College Curriculum

Canlis Community College was an education-meets-dining pop-up Canlis, a long-time Seattle fine dining mainstay, put on to keep busy over the last year.

Now the videos are online (Youtube Playlist) and free, so everyone can learn everything from soba from Kamonegi's Mutsuko Soma, pot brownies with Goodship's Jody Hall, Seattle Black history with LaNesha DeBardelaben, baking with the WSU Bread Lab, aerobics with the PNW Ballet, and much more. [more inside]
posted by CrystalDave at 6:24 PM - 7 comments

huge success

Captain Hamster has to escape the dungeon. Captain Hamster is thinking with portals.
posted by fight or flight at 3:41 PM - 21 comments

Irene Pepperberg -- Alex and Me

Irene Pepperberg -- Alex and Me [more inside]
posted by y2karl at 2:55 PM - 8 comments

Animals Interrupting Wildlife Photographers

Animals Interrupting Wildlife Photographers. A Thread. Threadreader version.
posted by hippybear at 10:59 AM - 32 comments

RIP Phil Spector

Creator of the Wall of Sound, murderer, died in prison Harvey Phillip Spector (December 26, 1939 – January 16, 2021) was an American record producer, musician, and songwriter who developed the Wall of Sound, a music production formula he described as a Wagnerian approach to rock and roll. Spector is regarded to be among the most influential figures in pop music history and as the first auteur of the music industry for the unprecedented control he had over every phase of the recording process. After spending three decades in semi-retirement, in 2009, he was convicted for the 2003 murder of the actress Lana Clarkson. At the time of his death, he was serving a prison sentence of 19 years to life.
posted by wellvis at 8:58 AM - 106 comments

Think about the future!

Help maintain that healthy tingle. Midcentury designers created the ultimate electric home for Westinghouse and Betty Furness can tell you all about it. [more inside]
posted by kinnakeet at 8:46 AM - 29 comments

All Aboard

The Daniel Patrick Moynihan Train Hall has opened, expanding New York's Penn Station into the former General Post Office building. It's been been praised (New Yorker, NYT) for its art-filled spaciousness, and plans have been announced to connect it to the High Line. Sadly, project manager Michael Evans didn't live to see its completion (NYT/Archive.is), having taken his own life in early 2020 amid the stress of the works.
posted by adrianhon at 8:27 AM - 13 comments

January 16

RIP Sylvain Sylvain (February 14, 1951 - January 13, 2021)

Sylvain Sylvain, born Sylvain Mizrahi, guitarist for proto-punk band The New York Dolls, has died at age 69. [more inside]
posted by holborne at 10:35 PM - 28 comments

Toward a unified theory of the exurbs

The Republican Party’s most Pro-Trump members have been elected by higher income white homeowners in the fast-growing exurban fringe. They feel the social status traditionally associated with their identity as white Christians is being degraded and that left wing political movements pose a threat to their livelihoods and political power. [more inside]
posted by latkes at 9:58 PM - 150 comments

Counter-Reformation, 2021 Edition

The techniques of this movement start with insults and propaganda and work their way up through boycotts and demonstrations to discriminatory laws. Then comes stochastic violence followed by planned violence. An important point is that it doesn’t start with atrocities. It begins with scapegoating, stigmatizing, and dehumanizing the targeted group(s); political speech. The true believers incrementally escalate their behavior. By the time they reach planned violence, there is no going back. [more inside]
posted by Joan Rivers of Babylon at 5:21 PM - 31 comments

owl spotting

Timber Wars is an eight-part podcast about the history of logging and environmentalism in the Pacific Northwest. It includes some great episodes on the spotted owl and the ecology of old growth forests. The series wrapped up in November, but just a few days ago, in the closing days of a failed administration, a new change to the federal rules placed 3 million acres of Northwest forests on the chopping block, removing protections for the spotted owl. [more inside]
posted by kaibutsu at 3:58 PM - 7 comments

Nie, to wodka czysta! Pij NIE!

"This is not the greatest song in the world / this is just a Polish-language 'Tribute'."
posted by metabaroque at 3:50 PM - 8 comments

22 Orphans Gave Up Everything to Distribute the World’s First Vaccine

In 1803, Spanish health officials wanted to get the smallpox inoculation to the New World. The problem was that it required fresh lymph which wouldn't last the journey across the Atlantic. The plan involved putting two dozen Spanish orphans on a ship. Right before they left for the colonies, a doctor would give two of them cowpox. After nine or 10 days at sea, the sores on their arms would be nice and ripe. A team of doctors onboard would lance the sores, and scratch the fluid into the arms of two more boys. Nine or 10 days later, once those boys developed sores, a third pair would receive fluid, and so on.[SLTheAtlantic]
posted by ShooBoo at 3:37 PM - 21 comments

Fighting Baseball - the Full Roster

Having garnered considerable online fandom, the curious player names of Fighting Baseball (previously) have since been researched in depth by redditor Cincinnati Redlegs, who has since published a spreadsheet of the complete list of player names.
posted by CarrotAdventure at 2:51 PM - 7 comments

This is what it sounds like when the violet backed starlings cry.

Prince as birds. (Twitter) Avian avatars of the Artist. thread reader link For the Twitter averse (or Donald Trump).
posted by barrett caulk at 10:33 AM - 11 comments

R.I.P. Margo St. James

On January 13, Margo St. James, founder of the St. James Infirmary and COYOTE (Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics) died. She was a fighter for sex-workers rights and their health and safety. I remember learning about her as a young person and she was one of the influencers of my feminism--she changed how I think about sex work/workers. Rest In Power.
posted by agatha_magatha at 8:41 AM - 36 comments

Wild, white horses

Mr. Frank Watkinson makes beautiful guitar covers. He also posts original music on his channel. I highly recommend listening to his rendition of I Will Follow You Into The Dark.
posted by antihistameme at 6:55 AM - 7 comments

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