September 25

“Doors are important. What we find on the other side matters even more.”

Portals in Science Fiction & Fantasy [Kirkus] “The most obvious definition of portals—doorways to other places—is too simplistic to convey the true nature of them. Sometimes those places are real, but far away. Sometimes they are fantasy worlds that shouldn't exist but do. Sometimes they are physical, sometimes metaphorical, mere plot devices to advance the story. They could take many forms, from holes in the ground, to mirrors, to large constructs big enough to fly a starship through. Sometimes they aren't about traveling distance at all, but instead are about traveling through time. In fantasy novels, portals tend to be ways for characters to pass from their world (usually our own) to a fantastical secondary world.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 6:54 AM - 9 comments


With a very short proof, mathematician Michael Atiyah claims to have solved the Riemann Hypothesis
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:12 AM - 18 comments

2018 Is The Year Of The Queer Woman Pop Star

The days of “fauxmosexual” singers playing gay for the male gaze are (mostly) gone. But as more out queer woman pop stars rise, what kinds of representation do we want from them? [slBuzzfeed Reader] [more inside]
posted by ellieBOA at 2:49 AM - 14 comments

September 24

"Mmmm has that new viper smell"

Unwrapping a viper: Twitter | Threadreader | reddit (no sound) [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:40 PM - 18 comments

Consent should be mandatory

Tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of women around the world have had pelvic exams while under anesthesia, without their consent or being informed, sometimes with multiple medical students doing an exam each on a single patient. In 2014, The American College of Physicians released a paper suggesting that pelvic exams were not an effective diagnostic tool, and yet, hospitals continue to let medical students get inside any woman under anesthesia, including procedures unrelated to reproductive health. [more inside]
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 6:54 PM - 45 comments

im in ur bookmarks, deleting ur data

Firefox 62.0 removes bookmark descriptions from the UI. Go to Bookmarks, Show All Bookmarks. Notice anything missing? Firefox 62.0 has removed the "Description" free-text field. This has been in the works for some time, as the long-standing existence of this data was flagged as a bug about a year ago. Currently, descriptions are only hidden in the UI; current plan is to delete them from the user's bookmark database altogether in Firefox 64.0 on December 11, 2018. [more inside]
posted by Huffy Puffy at 5:32 PM - 63 comments

My favourite too

The Fascinating History of the Iconic Mysore Sandal Soap
posted by infini at 3:55 PM - 15 comments

Nintendo Makes Mistake, Gives Internet Ideas

In a recent Nintendo Direct discussing the Switch port of New Super Mario Bros. Wii U, a new item was brought up - the Super Crown, which allows Toadette to become Peachette, who looks like Princess Peach and grants her many of Peach's usual platforming abilities.
Then, a Twitter user posted a comic of Bowser using the Super Crown to turn into a Peachesque bombshell...and the Internet was off and running. [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 1:26 PM - 60 comments

Tiny but Mighty

Seven year old Malea Emma gives a rousing performance of the US National Anthem at an MLS game (article).
posted by roaring beast at 1:23 PM - 13 comments

Arthur Mitchell, Dance Legend, R.I.P.

Arthur Mitchell co-founded the Dance Theater of Harlem, a world-renowned company. A star of New York City Ballet and the co-founder of Dance Theatre of Harlem, Arthur Mitchell was also the first African American principal dancer in any major ballet company. Mitchell, who has died aged 84, had classical lines, buoyant energy and a palpable joy in movement. In NYCB, where he danced from 1955 to 1968, he gained renown for two roles he created: the startlingly modernist Agon pas de deux, choreographed for him and Diana Adams by George Balanchine, and the mischievously bounding Puck in Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. According to his fellow NYCB dancer Jacques d’Amboise, “every time we toured Europe, he was a sensation … There would be hundreds of fans at the stage door.” [more inside]
posted by MovableBookLady at 1:12 PM - 11 comments

Raptors, Aphids, Dragonflies And Robins

“So, fun fact: birds and insects show up on radar. Often. As in, pretty much every day.” (link to Twitter thread; you can also read the same thing on Thread reader)
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 11:57 AM - 22 comments

Breaking A Sacred Trust

On the exploitation of traditional native knowledge [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 10:47 AM - 14 comments

Is it pitchfork time yet?

Brett Kavanaugh, nominee to the Supreme Court, faces more and more allegations of sexual assault. Michael Avenatti has entered the fray. Something's up with Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein. A UN General Assembly Meeting is this week, and Trump is set to chair a Security Council meeting. And among other things, the Trump administration seeks another tightening of immigration rules. [more inside]
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 9:20 AM - 284 comments

All hail Gritty.

"The Philadelphia Flyers have unearthed something amazing, and also possibly horrible they are now unleashing on the world. Meet Gritty."
posted by everybody had matching towels at 8:52 AM - 71 comments

The power of nice

The trend of Nice Media seems to be the sun-filled, hopeful answer to the negativity and division offered nearly everywhere else. No single video game series encapsulates that sense of safe, intentional and welcoming niceness like Animal Crossing, and it has been doing it for almost 20 years.
posted by Memo at 8:07 AM - 20 comments

Looking for yet an otter pun here...

This week is Sea Otter Awareness Week. A few things about otters floating around out there include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Sea Otter Recovery Plan (pdf), the USGS California Sea Otter Surveys and Research page , complete with northern sea otter and southern sea otter colouring pages, the Oregon Zoo's 20-year-old rescued sea otter Eddie, and the Elkhorn Slough otter cams. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:38 AM - 23 comments

"Is Chris Messina married?" "I don't know." "Shall I look it up?"

"3 friends try to have a conversation but can’t stop looking stuff up." A stand-alone episode by Cazzie David. [previously]
posted by Wordshore at 7:23 AM - 19 comments

I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to write

"The idea of LETTERS LIVE is simple: we ask talented, inspiring and high-profile artists from various disciplines to read letters out loud to our audiences. LETTERS LIVE celebrates letter writing and the art of correspondence first and foremost." [more inside]
posted by specialagentwebb at 7:06 AM - 2 comments

No need to peel off the stickers

Self-solving Rubik's Cube
posted by ook at 6:03 AM - 30 comments

An Ill Wind

While the number of opioid overdose deaths nationwide has doubled since 2008, the number of those victims who have become organ donors has quadrupled. Partially as a result of the newly available organs from overdose deaths, the list of people waiting for transplants — nearly 124,000 at its peak in 2014 — has begun to shrink for the first time, after 25 years of continuous growth.
posted by Etrigan at 5:58 AM - 9 comments

Man, machine or beast

Police have called off the three year investigation into the 'Croyden Cat Killer' as they believe they now know the answer. But some locals are not happy and want the hunt to continue (Video possibly nsfw, other links have potentially disturbing descriptions)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:29 AM - 33 comments

Mr. Rogers vs. the Superheroes

One of the few things that could raise anger — real, intense anger — in Mister Rogers was the willful misleading of children. Superheroes, he thought, were the worst culprits. An excerpt adapted from The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers by Maxwell King, on Longreads.
posted by Svejk at 1:04 AM - 23 comments

“...Now we have a glue gun”

Pastry Chef Attempts To Make Gourmet Twizzlers (SLYT)
posted by not_the_water at 12:15 AM - 27 comments

September 23

Look closely: you never know what you might see.

Art History for All is a young podcast by independent scholar Allyson Healey (pronouns they/them), devoted to making visual art accessible by exploring "a global history of art and material culture in a casual, conversational way. [...] This podcast is dedicated to accessibility in the practical sense, as well, providing episode transcripts for those who find the podcasts difficult to listen to or understand in audio form, or those who want to be able to access citations and sourcing. Both audio podcasts and transcripts will include verbal descriptions of the central works discussed, for the benefit of those who cannot view them." Podcast listening bonus: the soothing sounds of ambient electronic music and Healey's calm, crisp voice. [more inside]
posted by nicebookrack at 11:10 PM - 9 comments

Proposal for a book to be adapted into a movie starring Dwayne Johnson

I am here to tell you the professional wrestler turned movie star Dwayne The Rock Johnson is going to be president, but before that happens, we are going to make a book, to make a movie, to make a mind.
posted by Zed at 10:52 PM - 16 comments

Couple in the next room bound to win a prize

What’s worse than nosy neighbors? How about noisy neighbors? The Washington Post's John Kelly recently asked readers to share tales of strange noises they’ve heard from their neighbors.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:21 PM - 55 comments

Two Brothers. One Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Book. So Many Endings.

Finish It! is a completionist Choose Your Own Adventure podcast, focusing on one book at a time. Each week, Matt and Chris get one attempt each at this Choose Your Own Adventure until they read every single ending. Will they ever choose every adventure? Will anyone listen?! Join them on their descent into a madness of their own design. [more inside]
posted by meese at 7:53 PM - 3 comments

Amos and American Christianity

"Amos was responsible for one of the three major conversions in my life. Two were intellectual and religious: a conversion to the study of religion and an experiential conversion to the conviction that God is real. The third was political: from the conservative political orientation I absorbed while I was growing up to what I have learned from the Bible and Jesus. Amos was the trigger. In my junior year in college in a political philosophy course, we spent a week on Amos. The encounter stunned me. Speaking in the name of God, he passionately indicted the powerful and wealthy of his time because they had created an economic system that privileged them and inflicted misery and suffering on most of the population." [more inside]
posted by clawsoon at 4:38 PM - 15 comments

If I had a hammer

How To Make a Hand-Engraved Hammer with Simple Tools Uri Tuchman & his cat show us how to do it. (SLYT)
posted by supermedusa at 2:20 PM - 29 comments

Hardy Fox (1945 - 2018)

Hardy Fox, composer for Avantgarde music group, The Residents is not dead, but is near death. The Residents and The Cryptic Corporation "prefer to celebrate his life rather than dwell on his impending exit. And to respect his actions, we will not share any details he himself does not make public." [more inside]
posted by SansPoint at 11:53 AM - 38 comments

Umberto Eco on Lists

"The list is the origin of culture," said Umberto Eco About the exhibition on the history of the list he curated at the Louvre. "It's part of the history of art and literature. What does culture want? To make infinity comprehensible. It also wants to create order — not always, but often."
posted by MovableBookLady at 11:11 AM - 8 comments

Don't vote for our brother

Don't vote for our brother. A series of ads were released this week featuring 6 of Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar's 9 siblings endorsing his opponent Democrat David Brill. (The NYT reports that their mom supports Paul.) [more inside]
posted by k8t at 9:04 AM - 40 comments

Sorry I'm not home right now / I'm walking into spiderwebs

Giant spiders' web covers Greek beach [The Guardian] “A Greek beach has been turned into an arachnophobe’s worst nightmare, as spiders have covered it in a web some 300 metres long. The web has been built by spiders of the Tetragnatha genus. They are often known as stretch spiders, as they have elongated bodies – and in another worrying development for those who fear spiders – Tetragnatha extensa are small enough and light enough to be able to run across water faster than they can move on land.” [YouTube]
posted by Fizz at 5:24 AM - 33 comments

An umbrella is a fearful weapon if used with both hands like a bayonet

“Lithe as the animal she takes her cognomen from, and strong and supple as steel, she presented an extraordinary picture as she awaited the onset. When the signal was given the heavy blades cut through the air like flashes of lightning, and steel rang on steel in a series of movements so rapid in execution as to defy being followed by the eye.
Ben Miller writes about colonel Thomas Hoyer Monstery, one of the few fencing instructors to teach women to not just fence, but fight -- including the proper use of umbrellas in self defence -- and his greatest student: Ella "Jaguarina" Hattan, America's greatest ever swordswoman.
posted by MartinWisse at 4:09 AM - 11 comments

遠い昔 はるかかなたの銀河系で・・・

A fan-made trailer for an anime version of Star Wars (slyt)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:09 AM - 18 comments

So the Doctor uses his magic wand, I mean screwdriver...

Chris Chibnall is a British TV writer, perhaps best-known for the drama, Broadchurch. Now he's the showrunner of Doctor Who, for which he has previously contributed episodes including Ten and Eleven. So now, perhaps it's a good time to review all of Chibnall's previous Doctor Who episodes. (SLYT, NSFW) [more inside]
posted by Juso No Thankyou at 1:56 AM - 50 comments

September 22

Listen to the world

An aural experience in which the NY Times explores the soundscape of the earth and its inhabitants.
posted by standardasparagus at 6:22 PM - 8 comments

"And what shall we call the wall, Hadrian?"

If Peter Capaldi had not gotten the Doctor Who gig, the only time travel he would have been known for would be as a tipsy sidekick to a self-proclaimed tight-suited, unfunny fat bastard (previously) in a drunk Time Tunnel parody. Also featuring Jenny Agutter. From The All-New Alexei Sayle Show. Definitely not the best of the web. MLYT. [more inside]
posted by zaixfeep at 6:00 PM - 17 comments

Champion of Household Freestyle h-o-r-s-e

No look, behind the back, toothbrush in the cup, no rim. BAM. This kid wins.
posted by not_on_display at 5:19 PM - 10 comments

The mask doesn't come off

September 22nd - Brock Berrigan [SLYT], because everyone needs a break.
posted by Freeze Peach at 5:00 PM - 3 comments

“For whatever reason it moves the needle for them. I don’t know why.”

How a small company in Malden created the Greatest TV Commercial Ever Made At this point — if you haven’t done it already — it might be time to watch this thing again. But I’ve already been over it like it’s the Zapruder film. I know that the dogwalker in the background was a happy accident; I know that the lemonade at the end is weirdly clear because the pitcher was full of real ice on a very hot day; I know that Dodd’s shirt-tug at the beginning was ad-libbed. So I’m going to sit this viewing out and I’ll see you in two minutes.
posted by schoolgirl report at 4:17 PM - 83 comments

Nobody walks in L.A., but everybody walks the Lijnbaan

Every year on or around 22 September, people from around the world get together in the streets, intersections, and neighbourhood blocks to remind the world that we don't have to accept our car-dominated society. In support of the idea that going car-free shouldn't just be one day, The Guardian has a series of posts on Walking the City, including life in the Spanish city of Pontevedra that banned cars; an exclusive essay for Guardian Cities: David Sedaris has walked through cities all over the world and the worst, by far, is Bangkok; and Vision Zero: has the drive to eliminate road deaths lost its way? [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 2:07 PM - 35 comments

Doin' Time in Times Square

Doin' Time in Times Square, by Charlie Ahearn (and some footage by Jane Dickson, it appears) (0:40). "In 1986, Ahearn — who’d moved to his second-floor loft apartment on the corner of 43rd and Eighth Avenue in 1981 — began filming what he saw out his window. For the next four years, Ahearn aimed his camera down at the unflinching and uncomfortable realism of Times Square NYC."
posted by WCityMike at 1:14 PM - 20 comments

Full on its crown, a fig's green branches rise

Murdered man's body found after tree 'unusual for the area' grew from seed in his stomach.
posted by Cash4Lead at 12:59 PM - 25 comments

Hayabusa 2 had landed. And is hopping.

The story of an asteroid, one space probe, and two robot rovers. About 200 million miles from Earth the JAXA space probe Hayabusa2 (Japanese language site; English language site; Wikipedia) has landed two tiny rovers on top of a very small asteroid, 162173 Ryugu. The rovers (named 1A and 1B) are now hopping on Ryugu's surface, taking photos, and sending them back to Earth via Hayabusa2 in orbit. [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 11:44 AM - 12 comments

"Mr. Frees attributes his success to kindly treatment of his models"

One hundred years before e-mail inboxes crowded with pictures of cats adorned with text like “I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER?” and “CEILING CAT IS WATCHING YOU,” lolcats (and loldogs and lolrabbits) were already at the height of fancy. The rise of postcards at the turn of the century enabled Pennsylvanian Harry Whittier Frees to build a career out of photographing cute animals donning hats and britches.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:47 AM - 9 comments

The Elevation Span of Every Country in the World

Distance between the highest and lowest point in each country. [SLVC]
posted by chavenet at 9:35 AM - 20 comments

Form Follows Fashion

Greek architect Viktoria Lytra has created a set of images exploring the relationship and interaction between architecture and fashion. FormFollowsFashion investigates the common purpose of architecture fashion, to create shelter for the human body, placing aesthetic as a common factor in novel approaches to the design of clothes and buildings. Lytra’s series features various movements and styles, such as minimalism, deconstructivism, and postmodernism, playing on common geometric characteristics such as folks, pleats, curves, prints, and twists.
posted by MovableBookLady at 8:38 AM - 3 comments

He is not Lance Armstrong. Nor Tom Brady.

Tony Hawk gets recognized a lot, but he also... doesn’t.
posted by Etrigan at 7:22 AM - 40 comments

Keep an eye out for the wicked witch

EF-2 tornado rips through Canada's capital. 170,000+ people without power in Ottawa-Gatineau, six people hospitalized. Damaged projected to be worse than the crippling ice storm of 1998.
posted by Mitheral at 6:53 AM - 26 comments

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