November 17

Shack house might stock elves in it

On July 31st, known illustrated jocularity Wondermark (previously) posted an innocuous comic strip beginning with the phrase "Check out my sick elephant!" For the next three and a half months, ending(?) only this past Thursday, every Wondermark strip centered around this one phrase, eventually spiraling into a dramatic(??) storyline with numerous recurring characters—including, yes, several sick elephants. In the eighth strip, wordplay based on slight phonetic variation began appearing, and the phrase was no longer relegated to the first panel; in the last strip, over twenty different variations of increasing obscurity appeared in short succession. In-between is only chaos. [more inside]
posted by one for the books at 2:47 PM - 9 comments

Pilobolus dance troupe: good ideas are like a mouse in your house

"It's named for a sun-loving fungus that lives in cow dung, but the dance form of Pilobolus, which has been gaining momentum for more than 30 years, is a lot more exciting, but we'll let you judge for yourself" (an interview and performance segment from 9 years ago, related to Pilobolus' 2007 Oscar performance). How Pilobolus brings shadows to life (Wired Masterminds video). Pilobolus is more than shadow-dancing, but that creativity and whimsy is always present. From early on, the company "made a specialty of playful topsy-turvy entanglements that defied anatomical logic" and which sometimes "gave rise to bizarre imagery" (blurb from an almost hour long Pilobolus Dance Theater performance/ lecture, recorded in 1998 at C. D. Hylton High School in Woodbridge, VA). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 2:40 PM - 3 comments

“If you meditate, you're less of an asshole.”

The growth of yoga and meditation in the US since 2012 is remarkable: The number of Americans who meditate has tripled. Yoga is up 55 percent. "Yoga and meditation, two ancient practices, are now officially the most popular alternative health approaches in the United States, each used by around 35 million adults. That’s the word from a report (PDF) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention out [last] Thursday, which looked at the changes in the use of yoga, meditation, and chiropractors between 2012 and 2017." Mindfulness Is Going Mainstream Because of Science: Mindfulness has gone from hippie-dippie magical thinking to science-based health hack. What gives? ... [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 2:02 PM - 9 comments

Preludes to Dracula

Roughly coincident with Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker's prequel to Dracula (excerpt 1; excerpt 2) contending for a Goodreads Choice Award for Horror, Philip Spedding at The London Library has announced an intriguing find: "Bram Stoker was a member of The London Library but until now we have had no indication whether or how he used our collection. Today's discovery changes that" (video walkthrough of the evidence). Alternative copies of the sources listed in the article are available online. [more inside]
posted by Wobbuffet at 12:49 PM - 10 comments

Giant ants from space Snuff the human race Then they eat your face

Ants that collect the skulls of their prey.
"Time-lapse video observation of the interior nest chambers of laboratory colonies found that freshly-killed trap-jaw ants are dragged into the nest like food items and dismembered. Leading to nests filled with trap-jaw ant body parts, as is found in natural colonies."
posted by thatwhichfalls at 10:39 AM - 8 comments

“You'll be celebrating Life Day before you know it!”

Watch the Star Wars Holiday Special on its 40th Anniversary [YouTube] “You can expect Disney to release a new Star Wars movie every year from now until ... let's be honest, probably long after you and I are both dead and buried. But there's another Star Wars holiday tradition you should be keeping: Making time to watch the Star Wars Holiday Special, a famously atrocious piece of Star Wars history that aired once, and only once, on Nov. 17, 1978. The special was never re-aired; it was never released on video. It's been something Lucas — and ostensibly now, Disney — has been all too happy to forget about.” [via: Polygon]
posted by Fizz at 8:55 AM - 52 comments

Ich bin ein Berliner

From All Things Considered, Uri Berliner tells the story of two families who risked everything to help his father escape the Nazis, and the story of the childhood token that reunited two branches of his family decades later.
posted by bq at 8:53 AM - 2 comments

The Alt-Right’s Favorite Meme Is 100 Years Old

‘Cultural Marxism’ might sound postmodern but it’s got a long, toxic history. [slNYTimes]
posted by standardasparagus at 7:40 AM - 17 comments

"…it was eggs, rotten eggs, but not from me"

The world of professional darts has been rocked by two players accusing each other of repeatedly breaking wind during a match. (SLGuardian)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:14 AM - 18 comments

November 16

The Definitive Ranking of the Coen Bros. Movies

I suspect that the Coen brothers would not regard a ranking of their films with much respect. For nearly 35 years, the duo from Minnesota have been making movies that celebrate and undermine genre, thumbing their noses at convention and trends, and exploring the meaninglessness of existence with the depth and absurdity worthy of the cause. Joel and Ethan Coen’s 18 films—including The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, the anthology Western debuting on Netflix this week—represent one of the truly unified American accomplishments in the arts.
posted by MovableBookLady at 7:26 PM - 124 comments

I knew I'd get postnatal depression

Before I had PND, I already had a psychotic illness. I knew I'd get postnatal depression. The reality was nothing like what I expected. While I was pregnant, I’d already conceded defeat, getting my black dog a new bed and a fancy ceramic bowl. But I had got it all wrong. PND didn’t just blend into the depression I already had. I didn’t just become “more depressed”. It was a whole distinct illness with its own symptoms and its own treatments. Anna Spargo-Ryan in The Guardian.
posted by mosessis at 3:22 PM - 4 comments

It’s just two people trying to figure out what it takes to keep living

Jerome Motto's research found that simple acts of showing people that someone was there for them, and expected nothing in return— would make suicidal patients feel less isolated, less in conflict with themselves. So his team wrote letters, simple and direct, without clinical jargon that demanded nothing. Motto's goal was to convey a genuine sense of kinship—“simply what one might say to a friend.” Motto's data found that the suicide rate of the control group was nearly twice as high as that of group his team had contacted. The Best Way To Save People From Suicide is a Single Link Huffpost from their Highline series by Jason Cherkis. [more inside]
posted by zenon at 1:06 PM - 17 comments

New kingdom of eukaryotes discovered on a hike near Halifax

Canadian researchers have discovered a new kind of organism that doesn't fit into the plant, animal, or any other kingdom of known organisms. Two species of the microscopic organisms, called hemimastigotes, were found in dirt collected on a whim during a hike in Nova Scotia by Dalhousie University graduate student Yana Eglit. Hemimastigotes were first seen and described in the 19th century, and about 10 species have been described over the past 100 years. But up to now, no one could figure out how they fit into the evolutionary tree of life. Based on the Dalhousie lab's new genetic analysis, it looks like you'd have to go back a billion years before you could find a common ancestor of hemimastigotes and any other known living thing. [more inside]
posted by heatherlogan at 12:36 PM - 23 comments

Flaming Locks of Auburn Hair, Ivory Skin, and Eyes of Emerald Green

Dolly Parton has recorded a new, stripped-down, strings-only version of her 1973 hit Jolene. Happy Friday. [more inside]
posted by mhum at 12:20 PM - 46 comments

Dr. Koop's Digital Korner

How famed U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, at the age of 82, became an internet entrepreneur, and why his namesake website burned out, fast. (from Ernie Smith's excellent Tedium newsletter)
posted by Etrigan at 11:46 AM - 10 comments

Yes, 4:44 was pretty good, but so is Voodoo Lounge.

Jay-Z Is The Rolling Stones: A Dad Rock-To-Dad Rap Conversion Guide (slUproxx)
posted by Cash4Lead at 11:18 AM - 45 comments

Hearts filled with love and garbage

Art students at SUNY Purchase had a good thing going behind a paper towel dispenser in a bathroom, until someone tweeted about the Danny DeVito shrine hidden back there and it went viral. Despite the school issuing a statement praising their students' creativity, the shrine has been shut down because we cannot have good things. However, DeVito himself has addressed the matter with some words and a mission for us all.
posted by rewil at 10:53 AM - 36 comments

A view to a lab

"Frederick Banting discovered insulin but he was more than just a Nobel prize-winning scientist. He was also an artist and he painted the lab where he made his famous discovery." The painting will be put up for auction on November 21. Banting's papers and more can be found via the University of Toronto's Insulin Collections.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:23 AM - 4 comments

Stripping and Planking

Follow along as Jimmy Diresta builds a cedar strip canoe. [more inside]
posted by bondcliff at 10:20 AM - 5 comments

Here's Why Tires Are Black

Tire technology has come a long way since the Ford Model T first rolled out of the factory in 1908. Modern tires are not only different in dimension, compound, and overall structure, but they’re also a different color. That’s because early tires were white, and only around World War I did they turn black. Here’s why. [more inside]
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 10:03 AM - 17 comments

Poverty—both individual and social—is a policy, not an accident.

“The American commonwealth is shockingly impoverished. Ask anyone who’s compared the nine-plus-hour train ride from Pittsburgh to New York with the barely two-hour journey from Paris to Bordeaux, an equidistant journey, or who’s watched the orderly, accurate exit polls from a German election and compared them with the fizzling, overheating voting machines in Florida.” The Lie Americans Tell Themselves (TruthDig)
posted by The Whelk at 9:23 AM - 93 comments

"Art is not a plaything, but a necessity,"

Currently showing through 19 JAN 2019, at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Toward A Concrete Utopia showcases Yugoslavian architecture from 1948 to 1980 [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:13 AM - 3 comments

Sometimes it's better not to be the best.

I Found the Best Burger Place in America. And Then I Killed It. A reporter reflects on his responsibility. Should we all start keeping quiet about hidden gems? [more inside]
posted by Winnie the Proust at 7:05 AM - 138 comments

The Manhoff Archives

The Manhoff Archives Stalin's Soviet Union comes to life in full color with the discovery of a long-hidden collection of images. Major Martin Manhoff spent more than two years in the Soviet Union in the early 1950s, serving as assistant army attaché at the U.S. Embassy, which was located just off Red Square at the beginning of his time in Moscow. [more inside]
posted by Man with Lantern at 7:04 AM - 6 comments

Life isn't fair; it's just fairer than death, that's all.

"I have been informed by friends of the family that William Goldman died last night. He was 87. Goldman, who twice won screenwriting Oscars for All The President’s Men and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, passed away last night in his Manhattan home, surrounded by family and friends. His health had been failing for some time, and over the summer his condition deteriorated." [more inside]
posted by gauche at 6:58 AM - 88 comments

28 Indigenous Guardian programs get federal funding

Pilot programs to help young people get onto land and monitor fishing, tourism activities [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 6:47 AM - 1 comment

Reloading a Boeing 747 'Supertanker' firefighting plane

In coverage of the recent fires in California you may have seen a Boeing 747 being used to drop fire retardant. Here's a behind the scenes look at how a 747 and DC-10 are refuelled and reloaded during firefighting operations, along with some insight into how the retardent equipment functions. The turnaround is very fast.
posted by carter at 5:42 AM - 19 comments

Visiting the Whitney Plantation/Slavery Museum

I hope a FPP from mathowie doesn't cause some sort of weird self-link ban loop that destroys the site, but his account of visiting the Whitney Plantation/Slavery Museum is absolutely the best of the web.
posted by COD at 5:34 AM - 32 comments

There is so much talent wasted, so many silenced

Back of the Class: Julia Bell recalls her admission interview for Oxford University [TLS]: "I wonder now about all the other kids like me, the ones at odd angles, the queer and working class and black, or even just Northern, or Welsh, or provincial. This is not a place for them, however loudly they might be knocking on the door." Julia Bell writes about her 1988 interview for admission to Jesus College, Oxford University, touching upon class, elitism, social control and how the mind reacts in high-pressure situations. In response other people have shared similar experiences on twitter. [more inside]
posted by ocular shenanigans at 2:30 AM - 39 comments

November 15

Özgür Baba - Dertli Dolap

The other day, YouTube's algorithm decided to present me with a gentleman called Özgür Baba playing a tune called Dertli Dolap on a cura outside what is possibly his home. Neither his cat nor his chickens are much impressed, though. I have no further context to provide. I just wish you to enjoy a peaceful 14 minutes in the countryside this Friday morning.
posted by Harald74 at 11:32 PM - 17 comments

How VLEO Can You Go?

FCC tells SpaceX it can deploy up to 11,943 broadband satellites — Initial launch of 4,425 satellites to be followed by 7,518 closer to the ground. [Ars Technica, 11/15/2018]. SpaceX "proposes to add a very-low Earth orbit (VLEO) NGSO [non-geostationary satellite orbit] constellation, consisting of 7,518 satellites operating at altitudes from 335km to 346km," the FCC said in the draft of the order that it approved unanimously today. The newly approved satellites would use frequencies between 37.5 and 42GHz for space-to-Earth transmissions and frequencies between 47.2 and 51.4GHz for Earth-to-space transmissions, the FCC said. More details, WP, Elon Musk on making Starlink (YT).
posted by cenoxo at 11:03 PM - 30 comments


Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! [Nintendo Life] “Acting as a reimagining of Pokémon Yellow – an already enhanced version of the series’ first titles Pokémon Red and Blue – Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! have taken all of the nostalgia-filled loveliness of their origins, added a healthy sprinkling of modern flavourings and preservatives and cooked up a brand new entry full of fan service, bold changes and plenty of intrigue.” [YouTube][Trailer] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 7:31 PM - 8 comments

RIP Roy Clark

The legendary guitarist has died at age 85. His starring stint on the at times deliberately corny “Hee Haw” television show belied his stellar musicianship and deep pedigree as a country-music pioneer, particularly the “Bakersfield” sound of the late 1950s and early 1960s in which he was deeply involved with fellow picker Buck Owens, who also appeared on the show. With the later rise of country stars ranging from Emmylou Harris and Dwight Yoakam to Brad Paisley and Keith Urban, Clark’s vast influence has received its proper due.
posted by MovableBookLady at 7:01 PM - 50 comments

"Many of you feel for the lamp."

In 2002, Ikea released an ad about a lamp that had an interesting stinger. 16 years later, they released a follow up. [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 4:44 PM - 88 comments

Fun will now commence

Some Kind Of (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:54 PM - 17 comments

Mind over Matter

Interdisciplinary artist Suzanne Jongmans recycles packaging materials to create elaborate Renaissance costumes. [more inside]
posted by merriment at 11:38 AM - 10 comments

The WB was pretty much just a Penn Badgley makework project

For no apparent reason, has chosen to rank all 77 scripted live-action shows aired by the WB over its 11 years, 8 months, and 7 days of broadcasting.
posted by Etrigan at 11:14 AM - 77 comments

Halloween 2018

Aidan got a Star Destroyer.
How Andrew Guy built it.
Via Coudal.
posted by growabrain at 10:37 AM - 8 comments

Let your need guide your behaviour

Two cats that have spent the past two years trying to enter an art museum in western Japan – only to be politely turned away at the door – have become online celebrities with a global following willing them on in their attempts to see at least one exhibit up close.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:42 AM - 51 comments

When will there be enough women in Congress? When there are 535

Why Aren't U.S. Workers Working? - "Labor force participation among U.S. men and women ages 25 to 54 has been declining for nearly 20 years, a stark contrast with rising participation in Canada over this period. Three-fourths of the difference between the two countries can be explained by the growing gap in labor force attachment of women. A key factor is the extensive parental leave policies in Canada. If the United States could reverse the trend in participation of prime-age women to match Canada, it would see 5 million additional prime-age workers join the labor force." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 6:44 AM - 69 comments

I speak the sounds of the people of the rain

What is killing Mexico’s rich indigenous languages? [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 5:31 AM - 8 comments

"The mountain fairy does Adams a solid, and summons a gigantic eagle!"

A thread of images from a Japanese illustrated history of America from 1861. Nick Kapur posts images from "Osanaetoki Bankokubanashi" (童絵解万国噺): "A Child's Illustrated Book of All Countries". Including: John Adams battling an enormous snake, Ben Franklin's impressive squat and more. [more inside]
posted by dill at 4:47 AM - 35 comments

Does what it says on the tin.

Emoji builder. Build your own emoji, from individual components.
posted by DoctorFedora at 2:24 AM - 24 comments

You like pizza. You like bananas. So you are bound to like...

Banana, peanuts, mushrooms and curry powder on a pizza? It's maybe not everyone's can of pineapple (previously) or tin of Dr. Pepper flavored baked beans, though some like banana topping occasionally in Plymouth, with blue cheese in Iceland or nutella in Belfast or chilies and bell peppers in India or with dulce de leche and caramel popcorn in Adelaide. The taste test? "This is like someone forced a smoothie on a pizza." Best covered in coleslaw and eaten on a plate with a knife and fork. But hey, healthy pizza such as Granola Crust Fruit Pizza is good for you so maybe switch? The future of hot dogs? Recipe for Mini Fruit Pizza. (also previously, some New Yorkers have opinions)
posted by Wordshore at 12:07 AM - 56 comments

Persuasive Cartography

A collection of maps intended primarily to influence opinions or beliefs - to send or reinforce messages - rather than to communicate objective geographic information. Browse by subject. [more inside]
posted by peeedro at 12:01 AM - 10 comments

November 14

when you move, I'm moved

After performing a breathtaking solo dance to Hozier's hit Take Me to Church in a video directed by David LaChapelle, ballet dancer Sergei Polunin stars in the official music video to Hozier's newest single Movement (dir. Chris Barrett and Luke Taylor), only this time, he's not quite dancing by himself. [more inside]
posted by yasaman at 9:43 PM - 13 comments

Fursona reveal included

Jello Biafra’s Incredibly Strange Interview and dance party with furries
posted by Artw at 8:01 PM - 12 comments

Tim Berners-Lee, Act Three

Tim Berners-Lee, the man who created the World Wide Web, has some regrets. He has seen his creation debased by everything from fake news to mass surveillance. But he’s got a plan to fix it. "The power of the Web wasn’t taken or stolen. We, collectively, by the billions, gave it away with every signed user agreement and intimate moment shared with technology. Facebook, Google, and Amazon now monopolize almost everything that happens online, from what we buy to the news we read to who we like. Along with a handful of powerful government agencies, they are able to monitor, manipulate, and spy in once unimaginable ways. Shortly after the 2016 election, Berners-Lee felt something had to change, and began methodically attempting to hack his creation." [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 7:15 PM - 42 comments

hardy, keeps well in winter, loads o' vitamins

Descendants of the field mustard, call 'em cole crops, brassicas, crucifers, or one of their many, many names, "It is the cabbage which surpasses all other vegetables":
Of Cabbages and Kings. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:11 PM - 29 comments

Pseudoarchaeology and the Racism Behind Ancient Aliens

Where, exactly, did the idea of ancient aliens building the pyramids begin? Since the late 19th century, science fiction writers have imagined Martians and other alien lifeforms engaged in great feats of terrestrial engineering. Earlier alien theories surrounding Atlantis may have spawned fantasies about alien building. The most substantial evidence for non-earthly creatures arrived in the wake of H.G. Wells’s success. Capitalizing on the fervor surrounding Wells’s The War of the Worlds, astronomer and science fiction writer Garrett P. Serviss penned a quasi-sequel titled Edison’s Conquest of Mars in 1898.
posted by MovableBookLady at 6:58 PM - 30 comments

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