January 18

Always use a designated passenger to look up flowers

Finally, A Practical Guide for Roadside Wildflower Viewing
If you’re a fan of wildflowers, I’m sure you’ve noticed the same thing I have – all the field guides out there have one massive flaw. They’re designed for people who are slowly ambling about in prairies and other natural areas with nothing better to do than stop and stare closely at the minute details of flowers.
... Well, at long last, I have bravely stepped into the void to create the wildflower guide that has been missing for as long as field guides and automobiles have awkwardly co-existed on this earth. Today, I am introducing my new book, “A Field Guide to Roadside Wildflowers At Full Speed“. This free, self-published eBook is available right now at THIS LINK.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:01 PM - 6 comments

2nd Amendment freak-out: Civil War 2, Electric Boogaloo (+ accordion)

Virginia Democrats ran gun control ads in tight state races (The Hill, Sept. 23, 2019) and won the House and Senate (CBS News, Nov. 6, 2019). They pledged to pass a series of standard gun control laws, including universal background checks and bans on military-style “assault weapons” and high-capacity ammunition magazines. Some gun owners, believing conspiracy theories, are talking civil war (The Guardian, Jan. 10, 2020), using an odd term that has been kicking around Reddit since 2018: boogaloo, or big igloo (ADL, Nov. 26, 2019). If this has got you down, check out Frontera Bugalu (Bandcamp), a musical project founded by accordionist and composer Kiko Rodriguez in El Paso, Texas.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:50 PM - 31 comments

“Actually, it's about sexism in games development.”

Escape from Tarkov creator gives terrible excuse for not including playable female characters [The Verge] “We’re in a brand-new decade, but that hasn’t stopped some video game developers from falling back on inexcusable explanations for why you can’t play as female characters in certain games. This time, it’s courtesy of Escape from Tarkov creator Battlestate Games, which offered two convenient excuses for why — despite the requests of many players — it will not let you play as a female character in its ultra-realistic military survival sim.” [Warning, some talk about suicide] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 11:11 AM - 22 comments

Welcome to Mystery Flesh Pit National Park

Tor.com brings us the horrifying tale of Mystery Flesh Pit National Park, the “brainchild of Redditor u/StrangeVehicles, aka designer, illustrator, and writer Trevor Roberts.”
posted by Etrigan at 10:48 AM - 9 comments

Zombo.com in VR

Anything is possible. The only limit is yourself. Terry Cavanagh, the game designer behind VVVVVV, Super Hexagon, and Dicey Dungeons, finally found a match for virtual reality’s infinite potential, pairing it with one of the oldweb’s greatest single-serving sites. [more inside]
posted by waxpancake at 9:50 AM - 16 comments

intersection of cyriak and that Going To The Store guy

This music video for Very Noise by Igorrr is a hell of a thing.
posted by cortex at 9:16 AM - 15 comments

Sure, that might lead to a dystopian future or something, but

SLNYT: The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy As We Know It By Kashmir Hill [more inside]
posted by Monochrome at 8:43 AM - 47 comments

'Do Right and Feed Everyone'

Trump to Roll Back Michelle Obama's School Lunch Rules (The Hill, WaPo, LA Times, USDA) In 2019, after reducing regulations about sodium content, whole grains, and flavored milk, the USDA allowed schools to serve potatoes rather than fruit with breakfast. This most recent proposal, which reduces fruit serving sizes and permits potatoes to be served as a lunch vegetable every day, was unveiled on the former first lady's birthday.
posted by box at 7:47 AM - 45 comments

Rep. Ayanna Pressley's hair story is both personal and political

Rep. Ayanna Pressley Reveals Beautiful Bald Head. Ayanna Pressley has been wearing wigs lately, a noticeable departure from her signature Senegalese and bomb twists, which have become synonymous with her political brand and made her the hero of little Black girls across the country. Now, the congresswoman has decided to go public as to her reason why: She has alopecia.
posted by vespabelle at 7:42 AM - 11 comments

The Asian American Canon Breakers

The Asian American Canon Breakers (SLNYer)
posted by toastyk at 7:03 AM - 5 comments

My Journey to Scotland's Most Remote Pub

For decades, the Old Forge was the holy grail of the British outdoors community. The UK's remotest pub, it could only be reached via boat or a three-day walk through one of Britain's last true wildernesses, the Knoydart peninsula in Scotland. A dispute between some locals and a new owner threatened the legend—until they decided to open up a pub of their own. [slOutsideOnline]
posted by ellieBOA at 6:06 AM - 11 comments

January 17

There Is A Season (Dog, Dog, Dog)

For seven years, a small pet salon & hotel in the island town of Minamiawaji has been taking pictures of their satisfied canine clients. And two years ago, the photoshoots have included seasonal backdrops and decorations to go along with all the good dogs. The floof of Popotan-chan. The joy of Oji-chan. The extended blep of Kirara-chan. And dozens of other well-coiffed dogs in the oasis that is the twitter account of Pet Salon Barm.
posted by smasuch at 10:29 PM - 9 comments

NYT Taps White Nationalist Organization for Immigration Op-Ed

In a recent Op-ed in the NYT, an argument was presented as a "Liberals" arguments against immigration. The author's bio is given as a Jerry Kammer, fellow for the Center for Immigration Studies. Not mentioned in the op-ed or bio is that the CIS is a SPLC documented hate group. [more inside]
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 8:58 PM - 39 comments

Humble Australia Fire Relief Bundle

Humble Australia Fire Relief Bundle: There's only about 5 days left to obtain this special one-week bundle featuring over $400 in incredible games for just $25. 100% of the proceeds from your bundle purchase go to help the wildlife and animals affected by the Australian bushfires. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 8:21 PM - 9 comments

"Thunderstruck" in the key of baby

Baby's noises edited into a song. The sneezes killed me. Making of
posted by Gorgik at 7:15 PM - 24 comments

Headphone Notes

How Headphones are Changing Music. “'Listening to music on headphones is very different to speakers where there is a temporal and spatial difference between you and the music,' says Charlie Harding, one of the hosts of the podcast Switched On Pop and co-author of a new book on music theory in popular music. Harding partially credits the success of podcasting to headphones: listening that way creates a feeling of closeness between the hosts and listener."
posted by storybored at 5:28 PM - 31 comments

John Wheeler's very bad night

In the early 50's the Physics community was sharply divided. One camp, led by Edward Teller (previously) thought that the United States had to stay one step ahead of the Soviet Union and so building a fusion weapon was vital to national security. On the other hand, physicists like Robert Oppenheimer thought that it would be madness and genocide. [more inside]
posted by ambulocetus at 4:59 PM - 15 comments

an indefinite time while they work to earn money to pay

Think Debtors Prisons Are a Thing of the Past? Not in Mississippi. How the state’s "restitution program" forces poor people to work off small debts. [The Marshall Project] [more inside]
posted by readinghippo at 3:57 PM - 8 comments

Nothing I Didn’t Want to See

“By the end of 2019, I half expected to see my own likeness in an ad served just to me — me in minimalist clothing, reading n+1 beside a bar cart. . . . Home-delivery services, loungewear brands, and weighted-blanket manufacturers were all well poised to capitalize.” Dayna Tortorici on the Rear Window world of Instagram.
posted by sallybrown at 2:19 PM - 8 comments

Friday Happy

Letter of Recommendation: ‘The Happy Song’ by Imogen Heap
posted by bq at 1:28 PM - 8 comments

Some of those that work forces... are the same that draw horses

"Rage Against Vanessa Carlton" [single link YouTube]
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:46 PM - 14 comments

A platform for junk science, gibberish, and unproven health claims

The review starts off with a disclaimer (more of a warning):
Disclaimer: This review contains detailed information about the Netflix series the goop lab with Gwyneth Paltrow. If you plan to watch the show (please, don't) and do not wish to know details in advance, this is not the review for you. Normally, we would refer to such information as "spoilers," but in our editorial opinion, nothing in this series is spoil-able.
- ArsTechnica reviews the Netflix series "The Goop Lab" in the style of the New York Times' review of Guy's American Kitchen & Bar in Times Square .
posted by jenkinsEar at 12:37 PM - 37 comments

Semantic Noodling And Meaning Machines

"This is a question that has fascinated me for a long time: How Do You Think New Things?"
Christopher Noessel discusses divination, latourex, semiotics, constrained writing, creative matrices, The Official Creebobby Comics Archetype Times Table, John Cage, and more. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:10 AM - 4 comments

The right to move freely

History of erosion of the right to move freely in the US "Despite its prominence for centuries, this right began to disappear in the past century. The Supreme Court, beginning in the 1980s, developed a far more expansive conception of private property, holding in a series of cases that the right to exclude others from private land was “essential” to the concept of private property. In addition, in 1968, the court opened the door to far greater intrusions on freedom of movement by police officers, when in the case of Terry v. Ohio, it held that police officers could interfere with citizens’ right to be on the streets, by stopping, questioning, or frisking them, so long as they had reasonable suspicion that criminal activity might be afoot. In doing so, the court succumbed to the tunnel vision fear of urban crime that dominated American politics at the time. It elevated the government’s interest in proactive crime prevention to the same level as a fundamental right whose lineage far surpassed the rise of any organized police force in any Western society. This was a cataclysmic shift—only 10 years before, the court had confidentially asserted that “[u]nder our system, suspicion is not enough for an officer to lay hands on a citizen” in a public space." [more inside]
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 9:28 AM - 26 comments

Don't you know you smell like the deep brown earth

As a poet I've followed the footprints of the manongs. I gathered their history from Agbayani Village to Stockton, in the farms and fields that stretched north, south, east, and west. I followed them deep inside fish bellies swimming across the icy cold Pacific waters. Sat down with every single manong and watched as they weaved out dreams from fishnets beneath trees, in the Kauai rains. I cried out to them across the sugarcane fields. Mudfish cut through my mind.

Al Robles was a Filipino American poet, a native of the Fillmore district of San Francisco, an activist who fought to defend tenants of the I-Hotel, a sensualist and keen observer of the jazz rhythms of city life. Poet Barbara Jane Reyes remembers her mentor. [more inside]
posted by sunset in snow country at 9:10 AM - 5 comments


The Best Fishing Mini-Games [Kotaku] “Sometimes, between fighting monsters or zombies with swords or guns or whatever, you want to kick back and enjoy a different type of challenge in a video game. Fishing mini-games bring bite-sized blasts of outdoorsmanship to our adventures, and while some players hate them, I’ve found there’s fun to be had when fishing’s done right. Here’s a list of some of the best. The true joy of a fishing mini-game comes from mixing challenge with relaxation. You can relax and watch the rippling waters, but when the time comes and you get a bite, you’ve got to put in some work and battle with a scaley foe. These fights range from being complex simulations of actual fishing to bubbly arcade romps.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 8:13 AM - 50 comments

Life Beyond Faith

Life Beyond Faith is a youtube series made by Ex Muslims of North America. "Apostates are hiding no longer, and we at Ex-Muslims of North America are telling their stories. Our mini-documentary series, Life Beyond Faith, pulls back the curtain to show the people behind the label – their lives, their journeys, and their hopes after finding freedom from the confines of faith. It is a celebration of ex-Muslim freethinkers – an exploration into their lives, struggles, and triumphs." It's fourteen 5-10 minutes videos where ex-muslims discuss their lives, why they stopped believing, and difficulties that resulted from leaving Islam.
posted by brandnewday989 at 7:06 AM - 15 comments


"Best" trailers of all time:
Raging Bull
Goodnight Mommy
La La Land
The Shining
The Social Network. (And from Screen Junkies, an honest trailer of same)
The Comic-Con Suicide Squad
Citizen Kane
(Trailers tag on M-F )
Similarly, my own random list of 'best' movie scores
posted by growabrain at 5:07 AM - 67 comments

"We didn't call it art; we called it survival."

Remembering as an Act of Resistance: Apache Skateboards and the Mystery of Now [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 3:39 AM - 1 comment

January 16

Tacos in space: Mexican food in the U.S., and beyond.

"People are not interested in any scientific result of the experiments I performed (NM Space Museum), what fills them with emotion is that something Mexican came into space." The most popular food in the country left Earth 30 years ago to stay. NASA now uses it as one of the basic meals for its missions. “This is one of Mexico's great contributions to the conquest of space,” [Rodolfo Neri Vela] mentions with laughter. (Google auto-translation of article in El Pais) In 2013, Astronaut Chris Hadfield and Chef Traci Des Jardins made a Space Burrito (YouTube), and four years earlier, José Hernández and Danny Olivas made their own burritos in space. "Their feast made the news; a video soon went viral across the Internet, the astronauts’ beaming, proud smiles as they hoisted their fast food for humanity to see. So high in the heavens, up above the world, the burrito not only had become universal—it was now, finally, truly, cosmic." (Latino Magazine) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 7:51 PM - 19 comments

I feel ... my lasagna shouldn't have onions or garlic in it

Paris Hilton has a cooking show.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:38 PM - 100 comments

When Gonzo meets gonzo

Fear. Loathing. Muppets! (slMcSweeneys)
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 5:20 PM - 15 comments

the food is either extremely good, or extremely bad

“gonna do a blog-style open thread here by asking: what is the business in your area that is a transparent front for organised crime” [SL Twitter open comment thread]
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:20 PM - 192 comments

Run fast don't stand in the sun/ There's too much work to be done

RIP Norma Tanega: In December 2019, we lost folk singer/songwriter and painter Norma Tanega. [more inside]
posted by frumiousb at 3:44 PM - 11 comments

"If you were hungry, wouldn’t you eat them?"

Left alone, a human corpse will soon be feasted upon by maggots. Also, depending on the circumstances, by a cat.

It is one of those pet-owner musings, a conversation topic so dark that it inspired a book by a mortician: Would Fluffy eat me if I dropped dead? The answer, according to small but growing body of scientific literature, is a fairly clear yes.
(Karin Brulliard WaPo | SFGate) [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:26 PM - 77 comments

a template for how to feel confident whenever I need to: do the work

The mathematician Arthur Ogus explained Alexandre Grothendieck’s approach to problem solving by saying, "If you don’t see that what you are working on is almost obvious, then you are not ready to work on that yet." I find this quote comforting because it suggests that good ideas—at least for one famous mathematician—do not come into the mind ex niliho. Rather, good ideas come from so deeply understanding a problem that the solution seems obvious. 2700 words from Gregory Gundersen on the benefits of keeping a research blog.
posted by cgc373 at 2:25 PM - 3 comments

A small story about a marriage

My mum has six brothers. They all live in Pakistan- as does the rest of her family. I went there recently after ten years and saw them all. For the first time in my life, I believe I’ve seen true and undeniable love.
posted by Sokka shot first at 12:47 PM - 10 comments

Christopher Tolkien Has Entered the Halls of Mandos

Christopher Tolkien has died at 95. He was famous for the work he did to maintain the legacy of his father's creation, Middle Earth, including collecting, editing and releasing many unpublished works which J.R.R. Tolkien left at his death.
posted by Alensin at 12:25 PM - 60 comments

Belonging in STEM

SACNAS (Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science) is "an inclusive organization dedicated to fostering the success of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans, from college students to professionals, in attaining advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership in STEM." Recently they've run a special series of articles called "Belonging in STEM" as part of their "STEM and Culture Chronicle". "Belonging in STEM" is described as "6 incredible stories from our community about belonging in STEM, covering the struggles, the triumphs, and everything in between". Individual links and excerpts inside! [more inside]
posted by primalux at 11:03 AM - 4 comments

The facts tag along for the ride!

Rosemary Mosco is a science cartoonist and communicator who draws nature comics! [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura at 10:17 AM - 11 comments

Beads are easier to connect than family

"You like dark colors. Every time I see you you’re wearin’ something dark. Not me. I like to wear red and yellow, so people know I’m around and don’t try talkin’ about me behind my back, aay? The thing is, you got to use some light colors, because you’re makin’ these for your mama, right, and she has dark hair, and you want ’em to stand out, and if they’re all dark colors, you can’t see the pattern." A short story about beading and relations. Beth Piatote is a Nez Perce writer and associate professor of Native American Studies at UC Berkeley. The Beadworkers at Counterpoint Press.
posted by stoneweaver at 9:19 AM - 15 comments

"My goal is to be part of the spark that pushes the sport"

Justin Williams Is the Most Important Bike Racer You Don’t Know.
The 2018 USA Amateur Road and Crit champion says we need to move away from the 'boys club' of cycling to achieve greater inclusion and representation. After his stunning dual championships [What it took to win a Nationals championship ] in 2018, Williams [twitter, instagram] 'has created his own racing program without a professional road team' in CNCPT. Justin Williams Can’t Stop Winning Bike Races [including a repeat as USA Criterium national champ in 2019; What It Took To Win Crit Nationals Back-To-Back]
Now Williams is trying to reinvent a corner of the cycling world with a team of his own: Legion, a small, L.A.-based outfit that focuses on fast U.S. races, like Oklahoma’s Tulsa Tough, where Williams won two events in June. Williams serves as kind of Legion’s player-coach, and its roster is a diverse collection of speedsters, including Williams’s 26-year-old brother, Cory, the current California state criterium champ.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:51 AM - 20 comments

chilli and chocolate, cajun squirrel and builder’s breakfast

So long, salt and vinegar: how crisp flavours went from simple to sensational
posted by niicholas at 7:46 AM - 73 comments

Bart the Mothman

Bart Van Camp has trapped (and released) 500 species of moths in his tiny garden in Flanders and made a poster out of it. He also wants you to see some of the thousands of tiny creatures he has seen in this small space. He also does gardens of other people, mainly politicians and naturalists, like Herman van Rompuy or Fredrik Sjoberg or George Monbiot. Some posters like the one for journalist Tine Hens include the number of moths as well.
Monbiot wrote in the Guardian "Two naturalists from Flanders, Bart Van Camp and Rollin Verlinde, asked if they could come to our tiny urban garden and set up a light trap. The results were a revelation... our failure to apprehend the ecology of darkness limits our understanding of the living world."
posted by vacapinta at 5:38 AM - 5 comments

Hey Siri, what does the "S" stand for in "IoT"?

It turns out that the MEMS microphones used in most always-listening voice-activated home assistants are sensitive not only to sound but to modulated light as well. Smarter Every Day explores some of the consequences.
posted by flabdablet at 4:27 AM - 48 comments

“May you build a ladder to the stars”

The Starbugs was a musical quintet of five kids from Wellington, NZ, ranging in age from 7 to 15.
In 2011, they released an 11-track CD of Dylan covers, called 'Kids Sing Bob Dylan'.
Here’s their “Forever young
Here’s “Mr Tambourine Man
Here’s “Knockin' On Heaven's Door
Here’s “I shall be released
Here’s “Girl From the North Country
Here’s the rest of their channel, including a previous CD of Beatles covers
- Background
- From
- Via
posted by growabrain at 3:13 AM - 2 comments

‘I won't speak to another human until Monday’

'For growing numbers of people the weekend is an emotional wilderness where interaction is minimal and social life non-existent' writes Paula Cocozza at The Guardian on the subject of 'the Agony of Weekend Loneliness'. While at Grazia Daily, Jenny Stallard asks 'Do You Get Weekend Loneliness?', characterizing it as 'the modern malaise of many single women'. [more inside]
posted by misteraitch at 1:27 AM - 93 comments

January 15

“Big Bird ain’t got nothin’ on me”

True Facts: The Mating Dance Of The Ostrich
posted by Going To Maine at 10:50 PM - 6 comments

Do you wear that when you're home alone?

Yes, I'm Hot In This, the brainchild of Huda Fahmy, is a webcomic about life as a Muslim American hijabi. It chronicles microaggressions (and regular aggressions), assumptions, and misunderstandings, as well as lighter fare such as Ramadan, attempts to connect with your culture, and nerd stuff. [more inside]
posted by sunset in snow country at 9:03 PM - 28 comments

The jay, pig, fox, zebra and my wolves quack

GooFonts is a tag index for Google Fonts, organizing a thousand-odd free typefaces into categories like "chalk," "Halloween," and "swirls." [more inside]
posted by Iridic at 7:55 PM - 7 comments

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