September 15

How do you like them books?

eBooks vs Printed Books: Which are better?

The history of the book starts with the development of writing, paper and printing.

Now there's an ongoing debate over which is better - e-books or paper books. [more inside]
posted by bendy at 9:26 PM - 44 comments

I could be anymeme you like

I can be brown, I can be blue, I can be violet sky... (sltwitter)
posted by curious nu at 7:55 PM - 7 comments

Volume warning

"The Federal Signal Thunderbolt siren is one of the most famous 'older sirens' in the history of sirens." Check out the high-low fire signal on this one in Sarnia, ON, one that's flooded, in Maysville, OK, one on full alert in Seminole, OK, an alternate wail in Saint Paul, NE, an unwell example in Riceville, IA, or watch private owners of various Thunderbolt models test out their siren in the yard, demonstrate the Thunderbolt's "chopper" levels, the hi-lo solenoid, its "pulse signal," a decoupled "blower" in action, extra blower action, or dual Thunderbolts in concert. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:49 PM - 8 comments

Lil Nas X Gala Look Behind The Scenes

Behind Lil Nas X's Royal Met Gala Looks [6m27s YouTube video from Vogue] I thought it was fun to watch him have fun with very expensive clothing. Also, great looks!
posted by hippybear at 6:15 PM - 7 comments

A Musical Interlude...

Skylark, a 1941 popular song with lyrics by Johnny Mercer, music by Hoagy Carmichael and the jazz stylings of Ella Fitzgerald...
posted by jim in austin at 3:26 PM - 9 comments


Amitav Ghosh's meditations on the myth of the voiceless.
posted by Ouverture at 3:18 PM - 3 comments

Rewild Your Attention

"If you want to have wilder, curiouser thoughts, you have to avoid the industrial monocropping of big-tech feeds. You want an intellectual forest, overgrown with mushrooms and towering weeds and a massive dead log where a family of raccoons has taken up residence." Clive Thompson's "Rewilding Your Attention" (Medium) is a brief reflection on the value of seeking out idiosyncratic content. Time to go for a random walk in the woods.
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:05 PM - 14 comments

Courtney’s Story

"“‘Oh my God, please tell the truth,'” she recalled saying as Meyer spoke. “I was on my hands and knees, going, ‘Please tell the truth, Urban, please.'” Urban Meyer would fail Courtney Smith that day, and he wasn’t alone. Defector’s conversations with Courtney and those who are close to her, as well as the examination of hundreds of pages of records from law enforcement, the courts, and Ohio State, reveal the many ways that people and institutions across Ohio acted to primarily protect themselves rather than Courtney." CW:Abuse [more inside]
posted by Carillon at 12:48 PM - 8 comments

I'll paint you mornings of gold, I'll spin you Valentine evenings

The Labyrinth (of Jareth) Masquerade Ball is an annual dance and narrative theatrical event, based in Los Angeles and inspired by the As The World Falls Down sequence from Jim Henson's Labyrinth (Fanfare). Photo galleries of attendees' elaborate costumes from the last seven years: '13 '14 '15 '16 '17 '18 '19. (The ball is planned to return in 2022 after two years of health and safety concerns.) An article at Cosplay Culture goes into more detail about the ball's evolving storyline and how much work goes into it each year.
posted by one for the books at 11:54 AM - 8 comments

My hovercraft is full of eels

How to Say What You Need to Say in Another Language. "You know those language textbook dialogues? Where people seem to talk more about silverware (“the fork, the knife”) and what color things are more than any real person ever does and, having mastered these locutions, you get off the plane in a place where the language is spoken and can barely figure out how to say, “How do I get outside?”" [more inside]
posted by storybored at 10:30 AM - 83 comments

Get off my lawn

In which a guy decries Sally Rooney, praises Ottessa Moshfegh, ties himself into a knot about Philip Roth, dumps on Ben Lerner, and includes the names Toni Morrison, Raven Leilani, and Zadie Smith.
posted by scratch at 6:45 AM - 36 comments

On singleness, self-sufficiency and masculinity

There is no real guidebook for a woman alone in her home. No one threw me a shower. To give me pots and pans. The ones I’d left behind and couldn’t afford to replace. No one to give me hammers and socket wrenches. No one told me about furnace filters or gutter cleaning or caulking. There was only me and a house and a vast gap of knowledge. Single homeowner Lyz Lenz thanks the dads of YouTube. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 6:15 AM - 45 comments

The Innovation of Modular Housing: How Buildings Learn Pattern Languages

Apartments Built on an Assembly Line [ungated] - "The pandemic put a general crimp in housing construction, but made a California factory that churns out prefabricated housing extra busy."[1,2] [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 4:56 AM - 31 comments

September 14

Amu Darya, Brahmaputra, Ganga, Indus, Irrawaddy, Mekong, Yangtze

The Third Pole is a multilingual site focused on the Himalayan Mountains, the rivers that originate there and the stories of the peoples who live in its watersheds. Stories on unravelling air pollution in Asia. Songs about loss, longing and rivers in Bangladesh. Photos of the communities threatened by the Cambodian government's ambitious development. Don't miss the videos. [more inside]
posted by spamandkimchi at 4:50 PM - 4 comments

The most popular Canadian compilation of all time

An oral history of Big Shiny Tunes, a series of alt rock compilation albums (example) released by MuchMusic.
posted by a feather in amber at 3:09 PM - 30 comments

We Need(ed) a Resolution

Due to the grace of the 'Lord,' the important label Blackground Records is releasing its catalog to Digital Streaming Platforms thru Oct 1 of this year. That means Aaliyah, Timbaland & Magoo, Toni Braxton, JoJo and Ashley Parker Angel (and R&B artist Tank) get to be heard by - roughly - a new gen. On top of that, Blackground is releasing a lot of videos on YouTube, including gems that you already know: We Need a Resolution, Rock the Boat and Try Again (all by Aaliyah). [more inside]
posted by kfholy at 1:58 PM - 5 comments


In the newest Fumble Dimension, Jon and Kofie pull the man, the myth, the legend - Clarence BEEFTANK - out of retirement to see if they can create an eternal play in Madden.
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:15 PM - 11 comments

"That's right - it's a funny name."

Norm MacDonald, former SNL comedian (among many things) has passed away at 61. [more inside]
posted by Zargon X at 12:11 PM - 164 comments

"I create mostly by weaving materials found in nature."

Charlie Baker is an artist and builder that makes many kinds of structures and art pieces out of woven branches. He was recently interviewed by Wired [YT] as part of their Obsessed video series.
posted by forbiddencabinet at 10:34 AM - 8 comments

mathematic mandalas

Times Tables, Mandelbrot and the Heart of Mathematics [slyt]
posted by dhruva at 8:17 AM - 18 comments

"People like him love standard procedure"

Two short scifi/fantasy stories in which customer service folks get to reward customers who treat them well, or punish those who treat them badly. Dyce writes about an isolated refueling station: "Out-of-hours fuelling requires a prior appointment." Aimee Ogden writes about a coffeeshop: "his coffee comes with a nice cantrip that'll help him send all his emails for the next week with zero typos and exactly the right number of exclamation marks."
posted by brainwane at 6:51 AM - 14 comments

Le positivisme

Massimiliano Simons (@MassSimons), a philosopher of science at the University of Ghent, is tweeting charming illustrated threads about French philosophers of science and positivists from the turn of the 19th/20th century, figures who sometimes get forgotten or lazily lumped together in anglophone history and philosophy of science. [more inside]
posted by Joeruckus at 3:00 AM - 1 comment

September 13

Digital Light

Meet the Little-Known Genius Who Helped Make Pixar Possible [ungated] - "Alvy Ray Smith helped invent computer animation as we know it—then got royally shafted by Steve Jobs. Now he's got a vision for where the pixel will take us next."[1,2,3] [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 10:04 PM - 19 comments

Using currency from 23 countries

Money Is the One True God - Music video for the Blake Mills song, featuring amazing currency animation by Lachlan Turczan.
posted by dobbs at 4:53 PM - 7 comments

"grit & valor" not “sissy pants” & “girlie guns”

Over the years in China, “little fresh meat” celebrities and male beauty bloggers have disrupted the traditional image of what it is to be a man. But recently, Chinese cultural authorities have announced a purge of “morally flawed celebrities.” Setting the frame was a widely promulgated blog essay on the "grit and valor" returning to Chinese culture that “will no longer be a paradise for effeminate stars, and the press will no longer be a place for the worship of Western culture.” Previously on this massive, multi-sector crackdown. [more inside]
posted by spamandkimchi at 2:32 PM - 22 comments

“[A good letter] must be plausible, but it must also be ridiculous”

For Gawker, Bennett Madison writes about being a fabulist: “Help! I Couldn’t Stop Writing Fake Dear Prudence Letters That Got Published”
Writing fake letters to advice columns could not be considered a good career move; after all, it was unpaid and I wouldn’t even get a byline out of it. On the other hand, it was easy and creatively fulfilling.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:59 PM - 76 comments

One handful of rainbow sprinkles of unknown origin

The Grub Street Diet: Leon Neyfakh Always Waits Too Long to Eat. “Not to be dramatic, but this is something I genuinely hate about myself.”
posted by carolr at 12:37 PM - 14 comments

Fingertip Universes 2021-1975

2021 Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition – with links to annual Nikon Small World galleries back to 1975.
posted by cenoxo at 11:31 AM - 1 comment

The science of obesity was derailed by one experiment

"We argue that the reason so little progress has been made against obesity and type 2 diabetes is because the field has been laboring, quite literally, in the sense intended by philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn, under the wrong paradigm. This energy-in-energy-out conception of weight regulation, we argue, is fatally, tragically flawed: Obesity is not an energy balance disorder, but a hormonal or constitutional disorder, a dysregulation of fat storage and metabolism, a disorder of fuel-partitioning."
posted by rednikki at 11:10 AM - 83 comments

He's Just a Tired Dad, Trying To Make It Home For Christmas

Marvel's Hawkeye trailer suggests Die Hard vibes for Disney Plus series
posted by chavenet at 10:45 AM - 60 comments

Abortion in Coahuila, Mexico has been decriminalized

SCJN: aplica en todo el país despenalización del aborto. Abortion Is No Longer a Crime in Mexico. (NYT) [more inside]
posted by aniola at 9:10 AM - 17 comments

“I never, ever hid who I was and I never stopped correcting people”

That time Rae Spoon cancelled their tours due to COVID-19 and then found out they had cancer I only met Rae Spoon once, when they were just starting to tour superioryouareinferior. That 2008 album is a lot of things, and haunting is one of them. If there was ever a perfect encapsulation of what it feels like to live in a place where the whole culture of resource extraction and boom/bust had/has defined generations of people, then "My Heart is a Piece of Garbage Fight Seagulls! Fight!" is it. Fight, Rae. Fight. [more inside]
posted by elkevelvet at 8:02 AM - 6 comments

September 12

I don't know how that cat got wedged in an American flag or why

At the Miami Hurricanes home opener, a cat dangles for its life and then is rescued. 2LYT
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 4:17 PM - 36 comments

The last one, Don Maddox, goes to Hillbilly Heaven

The Maddox family walked and rode freight trains from Alabama to California. They came to California with $40 dollars and a dream. They worked the fields and orchards. When they decided to play music, they became the Most Colorful Hillbilly band in California. [more inside]
posted by mule98J at 3:44 PM - 10 comments

The Legendary Lao Gan Ma

How Chili Sauce Billionaire Tao Huabi Became a ‘Chinese Dream’ Role Model
posted by spamandkimchi at 2:02 PM - 37 comments

The Debarkle

Debarkle traces the history, events and subsequent consequences of the Sad Puppy/Rabid Puppy Kerfuffle at the 2015 Hugo Awards "Six years later, the differences and similarities in stance between the members of the so-called Evil League of Evil revolved around the same framing of world events as they had used for the Hugo Awards: that powerful “elites” were siding with left wing ideologues to transform society using underhand means." [more inside]
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:39 PM - 34 comments

R is for reason and poor old reality. Once in fashion, but now obsolete.

The Public Domain Review introduces the 1913 parody children's book railing against modern art, The Cubies' ABC. (Including full text scans from the Internet Archive.)
posted by eotvos at 12:11 PM - 12 comments

Sondheim's Six Ladies In Red

Patti LuPone, Marin Mazzie, Audra McDonald, Donna Murphy, Bernadette Peters, and Elaine Stritch all take the stage and take a turn singing some Sondheim. Thirty minutes of diva delight, with David Hyde Pierce to introduce them.
posted by hippybear at 10:01 AM - 14 comments

Does physics require a continuum?

Finitism and Physics - "A brief precis: Gravitational collapse limits the amount of energy present in any space-time region. This in turn limits the precision of any measurement or experimental process that takes place in the region. This implies that the class of models of physics which are discrete and finite (finitistic) cannot be excluded experimentally by any realistic process. Note any digital computer simulation of physical phenomena is a finitistic model. We conclude that physics (Nature) requires neither infinity nor the continuum. For instance, neither space-time nor the Hilbert space structure of quantum mechanics need be absolutely continuous. This has consequences for the finitist perspective in mathematics..." (previously) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 6:54 AM - 88 comments

September 11

Bruce the Tool Using Parrot

Bruce Is a Parrot With a Broken Beak. So He Invented a Tool (SLNYT). [more inside]
posted by kathrynm at 5:55 PM - 24 comments

The Dollar Store Jamie Lannister

Confederate DESTROYS Yankee with FACTS and LOGIC (6:37) [more inside]
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 4:23 PM - 14 comments

9/11 and the birth of the Big Lie

9/11 and the birth of the Big Lie (via)
posted by wittgenstein at 2:07 PM - 43 comments

Trees are Magnificent, and so can be the words about them.

A Tall Tree Reading List. Featuring five essays: The Wolf Tree and the World Wide Web. Do Trees Talk to Each Another? Illuminating Kirinyaga. Inside the Pacheedaht Nation's stand on Fairy Creek Logging Blockades. When the Toughest Trees meet the Hottest Fires.
posted by storybored at 12:25 PM - 6 comments

"…the fury and the momentum of the proudly ill-informed is problematic."

After 9/11, Marc Maron’s Friends Started Choosing Sides – in which Maron connects the rise of so-called anti-woke comedy to the political polarization that emerged in the stand-up comedy scene in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu at 7:10 AM - 67 comments

A Little Night Music

Stephen Sondheim was riding pretty high in 1973. His previous two shows, Company and Follies, were both gigantic artistic successes, and everyone was waiting with baited breath for his new show, A Little Night Music. A period country house drama set mostly in waltz time, the show was Sondheim's third consecutive Best Musical Tony Award winner, and yielded (so far) the only radio hit from a Sondheim show. Here is an excellent filming of the New York City Opera production from 1990 [2h55m]. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 6:48 AM - 17 comments

data rule everything around me

The four most important charts in science & technology (threadreader) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 6:42 AM - 39 comments

September 10

Don’t Believe the Salad Millionaire

You’re smart enough to pick your own lunch, no matter what Sweetgreen's CEO says. "More interesting, though, is how telling Neman’s salvational ramblings are of a harmful conviction about health that America’s wealthiest, most privileged class long ago laundered into common sense: that people who, unlike them, end up sick or poor have simply refused to make the right choices and help themselves."
posted by geoff. at 6:27 PM - 50 comments

Short Films, Science Fiction Edition

DUST is a YouTube channel featuring short science fiction films. They post a new film every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Most are live action, some pure CGI, and there are a few animated films as well. [more inside]
posted by maxwelton at 3:41 PM - 11 comments

Are clothing and textiles marketed as "vegan" really sustainable?

"I often hear well-meaning people conflate “vegan” with terms like “ethical,” “sustainable,” or “eco-friendly,” as if they can all be used interchangeably. The unnecessary death of animals is of course a bad thing, but as we can see in the case of the silkworm, an animal’s death sometimes produces social and even environmental benefits. Those benefits are often extensive enough that they could be classified as ethical. And given the way clothing is made in today’s intertwined world, where available resources decrease every year and pollution increases—saving one animal often means killing or harming others."
posted by Lycaste at 2:29 PM - 47 comments

Ever want to watch a history nerd go shrimping?

Ruth Goodman is a historian specializing in the social and domestic history of Britain. She is also the star of BBC Two's historic farm series. Are you at the "need to watch 40 hours of making cheese and harvesting barley with limited technology" stage of the pandemic? Well then Ruth is here for you. [more inside]
posted by phunniemee at 1:36 PM - 29 comments

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