March 18

The art of Sarah Stone, early British illustrator of Australian wildlife

Sarah Smith, née Stone, was an English natural history illustrator and painter (Wikipedia; Design and Art Australia Online), who started turning dead specimens into "living" illustrations when she was not yet 20, was largely self-taught in her draughtsmanship technique. At only twenty-one, she was invited to exhibit four of her paintings at the Royal Academy, closed to women at the time. Australians would recognise her art from her illustrations in John White's Journal of a Voyage to New South Wales (, published in 1790. This journal is one of the 5 first fleet accounts of the new colony. And in the first half of the 1790s, her drawings were featured with other artists and published in the monograph Museum Leverianum ( [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 10:57 AM - 0 comments

Help for Music Beginners

Musicards is a collection of music theory flash cards for the beginner and intermediate music student. Learn note names, chords, key signatures at your own pace.
posted by storybored at 10:12 AM - 1 comment

Curious Architectural Phenomena

Gregor Sailer is an Austrian photographer. His projects include Closed Cities, effectively invisible, artificially created urban agglomerations that are hermetically sealed off from the eyes of the world either by walls or by their hostile surroundings; The Potemkin Village, haunting images of fake towns; and The Box, an exploration of small scale secret Soviet facilities such as design bureaux for weapons, aircraft, space and military electronics.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:54 AM - 0 comments

Brands Are Not Your Friends

H.Bomberguy (of Mermaids charity fame) discusses brand twitter, advertising, ‘realmericals’, and harnessing performative political outrage for profit in WOKE BRANDS (26:43)
posted by The Whelk at 9:53 AM - 1 comment

How David Weber Orders a Pizza

The telephone rang again. Jason wanted to groan and roll his eyes, but he suppressed this urge and put on the mask of outward neutrality expected of a Pizza Maker Second Class. [...] He slapped the flour dust from his hands, grasped the receiver, and placed it next to his ear. The light codes on the telephone's front panel danced from flashing red to solid green, letting him know that a live connection had been established. "Pizza Barn," he intoned. "Is this for dine in, pick up, or delivery?"
A simple phone call between Pizza Maker Second Class Jason Wilkins and a shadowy Customer. [more inside]
posted by Sokka shot first at 8:59 AM - 11 comments

You said it Tyrus, I’m one of the good ones.

Each Friday, for more than two years, The Root has responded to emails and comments from our readers (and some people who obviously don’t read The Root). Not today. Today, there will be just one email and one response.
[more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 6:19 AM - 39 comments

MySpace has lost all music uploaded between 2003 and 2015

The issue was first noticed about a year ago. MySpace have confirmed that all the music is lost and cannot be recovered. "Due to a server migration files have been corrupted and unable to be transferred to our updated site." [more inside]
posted by daisyk at 4:04 AM - 27 comments

March 17

Tulip Mania --> Poppy FOMO

Large desert blooms, labeled "superblooms" (previously) have been happening with greater than average frequency in the last few years, a consequence of wet-dry weather swings and fire activity. Social media has caught on, and capturing one's self sprawled in a field of wildflowers is now an essential selfie ritual. [more inside]
posted by q*ben at 9:35 PM - 17 comments

King of Surf Guitar

Dick Dale, godfather of surf guitar, dies aged 81. (Guardian) Richard Anthony Monsour, better known by his stage name Dick Dale, was an American rock guitarist, known as The King of the Surf Guitar. He pioneered and created what many call the surf music style, drawing on Middle-Eastern music scales and experimenting with reverberation. He worked closely with Fender to produce custom made amplifiers, including the first-ever 100-watt guitar amplifier. [more inside]
posted by valkane at 7:44 PM - 70 comments

Deep Park

Photographers often talk about making pictures rather than taking them: constructing something from the scene in front of the camera that is related to it but not subordinate to it. A photo of a tree or a soldier has a life independent of its subject. Bruce Polin began making these images in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park around the time of the last presidential campaign. He had been shooting mostly in his home studio, but when the divisive rhetoric of the election heated up, he felt the need to get out among strangers, from all cultures he could find. The park was ideal. The camera was big. [more inside]
posted by octothorpe at 6:24 PM - 7 comments

Well this is Bleeping Creepy...

The Government Is Using the Most Vulnerable People to Test Facial Recognition Software Research shows that any one of us might end up helping the facial recognition industry, perhaps during moments of extraordinary vulnerability. [more inside]
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 6:16 PM - 13 comments

We got bored while you were gone.

Blair Braverman (previously) just finished the Iditarod. Her fans were doing their part, too. [SLtwitter, very short story, but man it got dusty in here]
posted by hippybear at 2:45 PM - 22 comments

Good Society: a tabletop roleplaying game of Jane Austen and others

Good Society, the RPG is a collaborative roleplaying game "that seeks to capture the heart, and the countenance, of Jane Austen’s work. It is a game of balls, estates, sly glances, and turns about the garden. At least on the surface. Underneath this, just as in Austen’s own novels, it is a game of social ambition, family obligation and breathtaking, heart-stopping longing." Notable for blowing past their original Kickstarter goal of $4000 Australian in the first two days and winding up at $154,774 Australian, enabling better printing, more supplemental books, and donations to public libraries. [more inside]
posted by Mogur at 1:41 PM - 15 comments

Something to make you smile

Maybe a future grandmaster? "Tani is a reminder that refugees enrich this nation — and that talent is universal, even if opportunity is not." (SLNYT)
posted by blue shadows at 1:40 PM - 2 comments

Wait, what grow on trees?

The marginalia of Jeanne de Montbaston in The Romance of the Rose. This is an illuminating piece of scholarship by historian Sara Öberg Strådal on the overlooked imagery in 14th century marginalia, in this case in the medieval French poem Le Roman de la Rose (written circa 1230 and 1275, BnF fr. 25526) by artist Jeanne de Montbaston (possibly nsfw, via.) [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 12:55 PM - 4 comments

The Orange Alternative: There Is No Freedom without Dwarfs

The cheeky gnomes taking over Wrocław -- Cute as they may be, each statue is a nod to the Orange Alternative, an anti-Soviet resistance movement that helped bring down Poland’s oppressive communist regime in the 1980s (BBC Travel). By opposing conformism and consumerism with intelligent humour, the Orange Alternative (Pomaranczowa Alternatywa) movement achieved a considerable artistic victory over the Communist regime. Their continuing influence upon Polish political protest is noticeable to this day. ( [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 10:48 AM - 7 comments

Look Up From Your Hash Browns

Micah Cash's Waffle House Vistas Project collects images that document Southern communities as seen through the windows of Waffle Houses. In each instance, the point of view is the customer’s. Each photograph looks out from booths and chairs, making the viewer a witness to intertwined narratives of poverty, transience, and politics. [more inside]
posted by JoeZydeco at 9:27 AM - 28 comments

What Happens When Techno-Utopians Actually Run A Country? Fascism.

Spoiler, it's Italy; and Nigel Farage and Steve Bannon make an appearance. SLWired This is real-time reporting on using the internet to manufacture consent toward a goal that the participants initially would have rejected by using a beloved Italian comedian and his innocent blog. [more inside]
posted by djinn dandy at 8:40 AM - 25 comments

Bee-Lieve it Or Not

A bookstore tweets about a mysterious object left behind. Poetry follows. (Link is to first tweet)
posted by PussKillian at 8:28 AM - 16 comments

Most of the caterpillars were new to science

The Janzen–Connell hypothesis is an attractive but difficult-to-prove explanation for rainforest diversity: It's dangerous for rainforest trees to grow up near their parents, because that makes them vulnerable to the herbivores who are already crunching and munching on their parents. A team from the University of Utah has added some detail [paywalled] with a study in Panama. "“People may think of a jungle like it’s a giant salad bowl. It should be paradise for pests because they’re surrounded by leaves. But plants have an infinite number of defense combinations—half the weight of a young leaf is poison”.... Over five years, the researchers collected leaf samples in the field..... Using high performance liquid chromatography, they separated all of the distinct compounds inside the leaves.... [O]nly 4 percent of the Inga compounds were known to science."
posted by clawsoon at 7:10 AM - 20 comments

March 16

Unfolds in a very interesting way

Vladimir Ivkovic and Lena Willikens play amazing music separately, but together they challenge each other. “We share a curiosity. It makes it vivid, like a good conversation,” she says. [more inside]
posted by asok at 7:48 PM - 2 comments

Ukulear Meltdown

Roz Chast and Patricia Marx collaborate on a book and a Uke band. (SLNYT)
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:22 PM - 4 comments

Nick On The Rocks

CWU geology professor Nick Zentner hosts the debut of 'Nick On The Rocks - Season 3'. (SLYT) All six new episodes (5 minutes each) are featured. Q & A with the crowd is featured. Taped on January 24, 2019 in CWU's Student Union Theater. Nick On The Rocks - a geology video series - airs on PBS television stations throughout the Pacific Northwest.
posted by Long Way To Go at 3:52 PM - 9 comments


Saliva is our core focus. It’s who we are. DNA Friend.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 3:29 PM - 18 comments

How Do I Reconcile My Masculinity With The Toxicity of Men?

How can I work out the (still barely legible) person I want to be without inappropriately centering myself and masculinity, when everyone around me is reliving trauma at the hands of men? “For trans men who pass, like me, the visceral discomfort of that privilege can feel like a crossroads. Would I accept the dominant narrative about what being a man means, or give up what little “status” I have in this paradigm to challenge it? I don’t posit that question lightly. Patriarchy teaches us all that staying quiet about what we see men do is the key to survival. But what if… it’s not?”
posted by stoneweaver at 3:17 PM - 24 comments


Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe [YT full album link] is an hour of ridiculous, top of the line prog rock that maybe you've never heard of, or maybe you haven't listened to in decades. It's part of the complicated history of the band Yes, but I'm not going to describe that here. Just listen -- it's a lot of fun!
posted by hippybear at 2:39 PM - 21 comments

Your ID, please

UK to require ID upload to limit access to online porn by young people. The UK will soon block all porn sites and require strict age verification for anyone seeking access to online porn (Guardian link, totally SFW). Persons wishing to view any porn sites will need to upload a passport or driver’s license onto a gatekeeping site, or purchase a porn pass for £4.99 from designated dealers.
posted by stillmoving at 2:11 PM - 76 comments

I have…visitors?

John Paul Brammer, writer and widely beloved creature of obscure Mexican folklore, is currently documenting a furry home invasion. (Here's the Threadreader unroll, but as this is a developing situation, you may need to refresh it.)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:14 PM - 13 comments

I'll be watching over you, only you

Nighty Night by Mafumafu -- A nostalgic (and sad/cathartic) illustrated Japanese music video, sung as a lullaby from a tiny dog to their beloved person. Please turn on CC's for an English translation.
posted by anthy at 12:40 PM - 2 comments

Essential sampling, four mixes for your weekend

In the sea of DJ mixes and mixtapes, BBC's Essential Mixes are still stellar examples of DJs at the top of their game. Here are a pick of four from this year alone that may well be worth your time: Lee Burridge's uplifting house and dance music (and via Core News); Shlohmo's end of the world mix (Core News); Jayda G's diverse mix to make you dance (Core News); and Josey Rebelle, "always eclectic, always compelling behind the turntables" (not currently available on iPlayer; available via Core News). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:53 AM - 14 comments


Breaking Heart Syndrome Linked with Brain’s Control of Emotions (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News). Scientists in Switzerland have for the first time identified a tangible link between how different areas of the brain communicate with each other, and Takotsubo syndrome. TTS is a rare, potentially fatal cardiac disorder brought on by a sudden temporary weakening of the heart muscle -- typically triggered by episodes of severe emotional distress, including grief, anger, or fear, or by reactions to joyful events -- leading to heart attack and death. It's more common in women but how the disease occurs has not yet been explained (ScienceDaily). (European Society of Cardiology press release, study full text) [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 9:15 AM - 6 comments

salt fat acid heat Maggi

Khushbu Shah writes for the Washington Post: Peek into homes and restaurants in China, Poland, the Philippines, France and Australia, and you’ll probably find Maggi products — most often a seasoning sauce, bouillon cube, noodle or soup mix — on one of the shelves. The seasoning sauce Maggi Würze, which is reminiscent of the flavor of lovage, has become so popular and beloved in Germany that Germans often colloquially referent to lovage as “maggikraut.” Like salt, fat, acid and heat, Maggi is one of the few great unifiers of the world’s kitchens and may be Switzerland’s largest and most influential culinary contribution.
posted by ChuraChura at 9:01 AM - 54 comments

The Otay Mesa Detention Center Detainee Letter Collection

The Otay Mesa Detention Center Detainee Letter Collection documents the hidden stories of hundreds of refugees from human rights hot spots around the world--including Honduras, El Salvador, Venezuela, Brazil, Cameroon, Eritrea and China. Each of them has sought asylum in the United States and has been held at the San Diego, California Otay Mesa Detention Center operated by a private corrections company, CoreCivic. These letters provide insight into the lives of asylum seekers and migrants both before and during detention. Identifying information has been redacted to protect the privacy and safety of the writers. Letters date from July 2018 to present.
posted by juliplease at 9:00 AM - 2 comments

The difference between being 'broke' and living in poverty

This article recently released by the Guardian explores the fine line that divides life when you feel you can't afford what you want, and life when you are struggling to afford food. It begs the question - what constitutes a full and rich life of 'enough' anyhow, and how much of that do we have in our control, regardless of income? [more inside]
posted by TruthfulCalling at 6:18 AM - 15 comments

"They just don’t make places like this anymore.”

Masonic Temple reborn at 100: inside the mysterious, historic landmark. A photo essay from on the history and restoration of Cleveland's Masonic Temple and Performing Arts Center, as it approaches its 100th anniversary.
posted by soundguy99 at 6:05 AM - 10 comments

March 15

Your absence has gone through me like thread through a needle

Two-time poet laureat and two-time Pulitzer prizewinning poet W.S. Merwin has died at age 91. In a publication career that spanned 66 years, from 1952's A Mask for Janus to 2016's Garden Time, with highlights that include Pulitzer Prizes 38 years apart (1971's The Carrier of Ladders and 2009's The Shadow of Sirius), Merwin was one of the best-known and awarded poets of his generation, whose work wove together politics, spirituality, observation of nature and the human condition. [more inside]
posted by drlith at 7:39 PM - 37 comments

Not So Quiet on the Eastern Front

Eastory is a YouTube channel for short, clearly animated recountings of war history and history in general, made by an anonymous Estonian guy. The narration is simply stated with plenty of detail and an incredible sense of scale, with appropriately ominous music throughout. The videos about the Eastern Front of WWII are superb.
posted by rhizome at 6:39 PM - 11 comments

The idealized and white-washed past of home cooking

Measuring Ourselves Against an Idealized Home-Cooking Past Is a Recipe for Frustration The idea that everything would be better if we just cooked three meals a day from scratch like we did in the mythical past ignores both current realities, and the realities of our not so distant past. A new book, Pressure Cooker: Why Home Cooking Won't Solve Our Problems and What We Can Do About It is out, and challenges some of the preconceptions around the idea that if we just cook all our meals, all our problems will evaporate. [more inside]
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 6:08 PM - 260 comments

I feel I have to make it clear that this essay is not about “grit”

When I first read Virginia Woolf’s dictum that “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction,” I was homeless.
At Electric Lit, Sandra Newman writes about the tension between the common perception of writing as bourgeois and the often very broke reality: "What If You Can't Afford 'A Room Of One's Own'?"
At, Tim Carmody comments on his own situation in relation to the essay, lauds it, and disagrees on one point: "The Problem Of Writing And Money"
posted by Going To Maine at 5:32 PM - 13 comments

Everybody needs a hug today

Do you feel that the world is full of hate and anger today?
Then watch 10 min. of animals hugging hoomans [more inside]
posted by growabrain at 5:26 PM - 5 comments

she protecc she attacc but she also eat snacc

@Mayapolarbear [Twitter][Instagram], a Samoyed pupper has a YouTube channel devoted to ASMR dog-eating/sounds. • Reviewing Different Types of Food #1Reviewing Different Types of Food #2Reviewing Different Types of Food #3Eating Crispy ChipsEating Crunchy Apple SlicesEating WatermelonEating Yellow WatermelonEating Homemade PopcornEating Roasted ChickenEating Carrot FAILEating Crunchy Honeydew MelonEating Yellow AppleHaving Breakfast [All reviewed food are safe for dogs and were checked on the American Kennel Club website before.]
posted by Fizz at 4:29 PM - 12 comments

A Series Of Tubes. Comfy, Lovely Tubes.

Kratu the rescue dog just doesn't care. Rescue dogs are truly a breed of their own. This one just has to be the best in show, and the perfect antidote to another awful week.
posted by lhauser at 2:03 PM - 18 comments

Knight to Bifurcating Tentacle Monster Three

Pawnbarian is a...roguelike chesslike deckbuilder? Yes! Sure. You draw a hand of chess moves and try, with two moves per turn, to kill off the baddies in each level without taking a fatal amount of damage in return. [Via the ever-charming Rock Paper Shotgun, re: the ever-delightful 7 Day Roguelike Challenge]
posted by cortex at 1:42 PM - 26 comments

Make way, two bit half assed nature documentaries over here.

Learn about rare plants and the fate of Tony's Italian Beef Stand (YouTube) - Joe Blowe makes nature documentaries, mostly about botany and streams of consciousness. [more inside]
posted by Pink Fuzzy Bunny at 1:41 PM - 7 comments

Factory Life

“Gouthro says that if Tripp was ignored, it was partly because his problems barely rated in Nevada. The Gigafactory, one of the world’s largest buildings by floor area, had been filled with workers so quickly that it was almost impossible to control. Not long after Gouthro started in January 2018, he discovered that many employees, some of whom were living out of their car in the corners of the industrial park, were using cocaine and meth in the bathrooms. Others were having sex in parts of the factory that were still under construction. Gouthro says the scanners guards used to check badges were unreliable, so they’d wave in anyone with a piece of paper that looked legitimate. Local scrap yards called him to report thieves were trying to sell obscure electric vehicle parts.” When Elon Musk Tried to Destroy a Tesla Whistleblower (Bloomberg Businessweek)
posted by The Whelk at 12:12 PM - 16 comments

... second chances have long been superhero movie staples ...

James Gunn reinstated to write and direct Guardians of the Galaxy 3. [more inside]
posted by hanov3r at 11:54 AM - 81 comments

"They desperately want people to pick a side."

Deeyah Khan, a Muslim woman, spent months interviewing neo-Nazis and jihadists — and came away more hopeful than ever. [more inside]
posted by kristi at 11:41 AM - 13 comments

A story about a fat woman that is not the same as stories we've heard

Q&A: Lindy West on Why Her New Hulu Series, ‘Shrill,’ Is Not a ‘Weight-Loss Narrative’. Shrill, the Hulu series based on Lindy West's book of the same name, starring SNL's Aidy Bryant, comes out today on Hulu. While it's groundbreaking simply for promising "under no circumstances will the lead character in the show, ever in the series, step on a scale and look down and sigh", it's also the first show on television that shows an on-screen abortion in the very first episode. Reviews have been mostly positive. [more inside]
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 11:08 AM - 20 comments

"I got in one little fight and my mom got scared"

Ever wonder what the Fresh Prince of Bel Air would be like if it was a drama instead of a comedy, and if it was set in 2019 instead of the 90s? Wonder no more. (Link to HuffPo article, short film linked in article.)
posted by 23skidoo at 10:31 AM - 28 comments

art and science, craft and engineering

The art of scientific glassblowing, by Gayle Price at the University of Leicester [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:29 AM - 5 comments

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