Enter Sandman is actually an Iron Maiden song. We have the proof! It's them, in the flesh, performing the song as originally written and recorded. It's not actually just a Finnish guy reimagining the song as if it were done by Iron Maiden.
The Kilobyte’s Gambit 1k chess game: I adapted an impressive 1.25KB chess engine to remove display code and get it down to 1024 bytes, then created a separate interface using pixel art of The Queen’s Gambit. It won’t win any tournaments, but if you’re a chess novice brace yourself for a challenge. [via mefi projects]
I was dancing to the ringtone. (YouTube)
Backup Singer Dolette McDonald on Her Years With Talking Heads, the Police, and Don Henley. The latest article in Rolling Stone's Unknown Legends series (which seems to have ramped up considerably during the pandemic) - long interviews with veteran musicians who have played and recorded with icons and stars for decades, but who remain largely unknown to the general public. [more inside]
'They become dangerous tools': the dark side of personality tests – The Guardian on the new HBO Max documentary, Persona: The Dark Truth Behind Personality Tests, which "investigates America’s infatuation with personality testing, revealing the surprising origin story behind the MBTI while surfacing ethical questions and criticisms that these seemingly harmless instruments are profoundly discriminatory and reflective of larger troubling issues of who exactly is considered worthy and valuable in society."
"So your grandmother is a starship now: a quick guide for the bewildered" by Marissa Lingen [more inside]
It's been a tough few weeks up in Canada. Not just delays with covid-19 vaccinations, but the revelation that maybe Canadian butter is being boosted with palm oil. Now there's a full-on debate as to whether Buttergate is real. Even if palm oil is a normal feed supplement, do we want it to be? The icing on the cake is the (unrelated) scandal of the NY Times publishing a photo of Nanaimo Bars with TOTALLY WRONG proportions.
Hood Internet 1995, with at least 1996-1998 forthcoming each Thursday in March 2021. (Soundcloud.) Previously and previously and previously on Mefi. [more inside]
Looking Closely is Everything "The point being: Looking closely is valuable at every scale. From looking closely at a sentence, a photograph, a building, a government. It scales and it cascades — one cognizant detail begets another and then another. Suddenly you’ve traveled very far from that first little: Huh." [via]
John Scott (previously) was a hockey player in the NHL. He wasn't a particularly skilled player, no he was a goon. As a joke some people started an internet campaign to get him in the All-Star Game. The league tried their best to prevent him from going but he went and ended up being the game MVP. Here's how it all went down in his own words.
Vulture interviews Polly Smith, costume designer on the Muppet Show and other Henson productions. Includes: getting the right size buttons, what a frog needs in a tuxedo, crocheting tiny rat gloves, and the perils of dressing the world's most glamorous pig. [more inside]
Enjoyed The Secret Life of Machines? Tim Hunkin is back with a new series, The Secret Life of Components – starting with a 47 minute episode on CHAIN (previously)
Coyote & Crow, "A science fiction and fantasy tabletop RPG set in a near-future where the Americas were never colonized, created by a team of Natives", as their KS page puts it, with a promotional video featuring music by A Tribe Called Red that will give you shivers. Judging by the KS page, this team is skilled and this game is something to watch out for. > [more inside]
Atlantic Ocean circulation at weakest in a millennium, say scientists - "Decline in system underpinning Gulf Stream could lead to more extreme weather in Europe and higher sea levels on US east coast." [more inside]
KRAZAM is a YouTube channel making sketches about living in the internet era. From attending socially-distanced Coachella in VR to the fine art of standing table mat design to the daily grind of lifestyle hacks, the comedy troupe of Benjamin Burke and Shiva Kilaru satirize Silicon Valley real good. Best of: highlights from the competitive Microsoft Excel scene, the love and angst amongst microservices, and videochatting woes (made pre-pandemic!). Unlock the secrets to ETERNAL DIGITAL LONGEVITY
Buckingham Palace to investigate after Meghan Markle accused of bullying staff The Windsor War continues. [more inside]
A memory without a brain (Science Daily): "The striking abilities of the slime mold to solve complex problems, such as finding the shortest path through a maze, earned it the attribute "intelligent." The decision-making ability of Physarum is especially fascinating given that its tubular network constantly undergoes fast reorganization -- growing and disintegrating its tubes -- while completely lacking an organizing center." How the Brainless Slime Mold Stores Memories (Smithsonian Mag): "When placed in a new environment, a slime mold sends out a fractal net of oozing tendrils to explore its surroundings. According to the new research, published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the slime mold encodes information about what it finds during these searches by changing the diameter of its exploratory tubes." Single-Cell Organism's Memories Twists Our Understanding Of Intelligent Life (Inverse): "But this isn't just a one-time response. Rather, the slime mold has "irretrievably changed" the flow patterns of its tubes, according to the study — a sign of long-term memory formation." [more inside]
Never press the rewind button or else you may record over a precious memory.
Decolonizing Electronic Music Starts With Its Software. "In 2004, Khyam Allami was ready to give up on electronic music. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t write melodies that sounded like the music in his head. “It felt like the software was leading me somewhere that wasn’t my intention, and I couldn’t understand why that was,” he recalls. Born in Syria to Iraqi parents, Allami had grown up in London playing guitar and drums in punk bands. He was exploring Arabic music for the first time—or at least trying to, but the music’s distinctive quarter-tones were proving difficult to emulate. The software simply wasn’t made for him." Now he has partnered with creative technology studio Counterpoint to create two free browser-based pieces of software - Leimma to create and explore microtonal tuning systems, and Apotome to create music with the tuning systems the artist selects in Leimma. Link to both. (Note that Apotome appears to work only in Chrome or Firefox, and the tutorials are rather long and maybe a bit heavy on the theory and music tech for the average non-musician.) Use of the software was premiered at this year's (mostly virtual) CTM Festival in Berlin. [more inside]
they're good posts Bruce: Ottawa Public Health's twitter and facebook feeds have been a guiding light of thoughtfulness, good humour and grace under pressure during the pandemic. Meet Kevin -- not Bruce -- the man behind North America's most popular public health social media accounts.
In response to ongoing discussion of the ecological cost of cryptoart, Superrare (a platform for hosting and selling cryptoart) has written a post "clarifying" the ecological impact of NFTs. It argues that Ethereum (as it currently stands) uses huge amounts of energy regardless of their involvement, and that their business model is tantamount to buying a ticket on a train that "will keep running at the same speed and with the same energy consumption whether or not there are any seats filled." [more inside]
With the intimate, Oscar-tipped Nomadland streaming and the Marvel epic Eternals set for the fall, this might be the filmmaker’s big year. "So then I end up with a hundred grand, making my first film. The question is, what do you have that people with $10 million don’t have? Then make that as big onscreen as possible. Because that’s your only chance to stand out. I’m very grateful for those years."
Not the fauna themselves, but rather their selection. Not only is the content compelling, the author uses a totally novel (to me) low-tech fake-high-tech "this is a unix system" style presentation medium. To me it's as interesting as the content! I had to keep asking myself: why is this good? It's like a layer cake of nostalgia and... is that irony? I can't tell! Keep it comin'... [more inside]
RIP Neville Livingston a/k/a Bunny Wailer. Wailer's high tenor, almost a soprano, lent an otherworldly quality to the Wailers' early work, contrasted with Bob Marley's gritty tenor and Peter Tosh's grounding baritone. He was seventy-three years old and had been in and out of the hospital for a while following a second stroke last year. [more inside]
The Brienne Collection (previously) is an astonishing trove of thousands of undelivered 17th century letters, many still sealed since the moment they left their writers' hands. A new paper in Nature explains how a high-resolution dental x-ray, combined with a painstakingly-researched knowledge of letter folding techniques, makes it possible to read these letters without ever opening them.
SLYT - and read by the author. “How to
Belong Be Alone” by Pádraig Ó Tuama is part of our “Poetry Films” series, which features animated interpretations of beloved poems from our archive. [more inside]
Young Marble Giants -- Searching For Mister Right
Young Marble Giants -- Include Me Out
Young Marble Giants -- Credit In The Straight World
Young Marble Giants -- Include Me Out
Young Marble Giants -- Credit In The Straight World
When her first novels were published, in the mid-1970s, Gayl Jones’s talent was hailed by writers from James Baldwin to John Updike. Then she disappeared. Jones’s early novels were shepherded by Toni Morrison, then an editor at Random House, who’d dedicated herself to publishing Black writers, especially women. To put things in perspective, at the time Corregidora came out, Morrison had only recently published her first works of fiction, The Bluest Eye and Sula. She had yet to hit her stride as a writer, while Jones burst forth in her early 20s all but fully formed and requiring little editing. Jones needed a champion, however, someone who could understand and appreciate the sophistication of her approach to subject matter as well as language. “No novel about any black woman could ever be the same after this,” Morrison declared after reading the manuscript of Corregidora. [more inside]
[I]t wasn’t like Wentworth hadn’t seen money before.... Beginning in the 80s, in particular, the Island attracted people with a high order of wealth – all of whom have found, over the past decade or so, that they, in turn, are being inconveniently supplanted by people with an altogether more stratospheric order of wealth. (SLGuardian)
From Soo Youn in The Lily: On Jan. 1, women and girls in the United States became eligible for an additional check on their health. Now, starting at 13, they can be screened for anxiety as part of a routine checkup or physical with a primary care doctor or OB/GYN as a preventive service under the Affordable Care Act. “This is a real breakthrough because we’re now saying that the mental health conditions that women suffer from are extremely important and they need to be screened for,” said Maureen Sayres Van Niel, a psychiatrist and the president of the women’s caucus of the American Psychiatric Association. “Some mental health issues are as important as the physical health things we screen for, like cancer.”
What happens if you cross Planet of the Apes (the originals) with the comic sensibilities of Space Ghost Coast to Coast and the style of The Tonight Show in its heyday? You get Hanging With Doctor Z. [more inside]
Vincent Alexander (@NonsenseIsland) has posted a lengthy twitter thread of classical music used in classic cartoons, giving title and composer name, and each entry is accompanied with a short (generally less than 2 minutes) video full of examples of that piece being used. It's a delightful little classical music education lesson that brings back a full blast from the past, if these cartoons were a part of your childhood. Threadreader link.
People Literally Don’t Know When to Shut Up—or Keep Talking, Science Confirms (Scientific American): We are really bad at navigating a key transition point during one of the most basic social interactions. "Mastroianni and his colleagues found that only 2 percent of conversations ended at the time both parties desired, and only 30 percent of them finished when one of the pair wanted them to. In about half of the conversations, both people wanted to talk less, but their cutoff point was usually different. Participants in both studies reported, on average, that the desired length of their conversation was about half of its actual length. To the researchers’ surprise, they also found that it is not always the case that people are held hostage by talks: In 10 percent of conversations, both study participants wished their exchange had lasted longer. And in about 31 percent of the interactions between strangers, at least one of the two wanted to continue." When should you end a conversation? Probably sooner than you think (Science)
From this, then, we can extract the three aspects of my Jewish identity which I believe shape my politics, and that of many, but of course not all, other Jews: fragile privilege and what that means for how we are to be safe; uprootedness, which can become a positive internationalism; and abhorrence of dominating power. These three ideas lead me to a deep appreciation for and belief in interdependence, which, in my view, is the beating heart of green, ecological politics.Ecology, Citizenship and Jewish Identity, a speech given to the Australian Association of Jewish Studies conference by Tim Hollo, about the experience of the Jewish diaspora and its influence on a progressive, ecologically-based politics of bottom-up democracy, interdependence, mutualism and opposition to dominating power, citing Hannah Arendt, Emma Goldman and Murray Bookchin.
Trader Joe's employee fired for advocating better safety in stores
Ben Bonnema, who worked at the store’s 545 branch on the Upper West Side in New York city, said he wrote to the company’s CEO Dan Bane in February, pointing to new studies about aerosol transmission of Covid-19 and calling for a series of safety measures – including better air filtration, limits to store capacity based on CO2 levels and a “three strikes policy” for customers who refuse to wear a mask.[more inside]
Personal Income Spending Flowchart. From Reddit's personal finance subreddit. US-specific tax vehicles may or may not be available in equivalent forms in your country.
Browse through pics & details in the museum of more than 900 handheld and tabletop games, from the 70s and 80s.
For a handful of cultures across the globe, the Arab world among them, these distinct blankets deliver not only an impossibly warm, soft hug but a great sense of belonging. [slNYT] Subhi Taha wanted to give a special thanks last week to what he called the “one and only reason” he didn’t suffer frostbite during the destructive and deadly winter storm that recently left millions without heat in Texas, where he lives. “That thing is this blanket,” Taha said on TikTok, pointing behind him to an ornate hunter green and rose pink bedspread printed with large flowers.
"Throughout the 70s and into the 90s, groups around the world helped hapless users figure out their computer systems, learn about technology trends, and discover the latest whiz-bang applications.... the meetings often happened IRL." [more inside]
The Conservative Political Action Conference, better known as CPAC, wraps up today with the first post-presidential speech from Donald Trump. [more inside]
Interview: Saikat Chakrabarti, creator of the Green New Deal - "He also discovered AOC, served as her chief of staff, and co-founded the Justice Democrats." [more inside]
"...it was the kids who took their faith the most seriously who eventually walked away. Those of us who tearfully promised that we would follow Jesus anywhere eventually followed him out the door. The Queer kids, more than anyone, learned exactly what it meant to work out our faith with fear and trembling." [more inside]
Tights! Spatulas! Action! The madcap world of chain reaction videos (The Guardian) - a very enjoyable showcase of the work of three full-time chain-reaction artists, featuring Joseph Herscher (previously), Steve Price (previously) and Lily Hevesh (previously).
Flim is a movie search engine currently in beta that returns screenshots from movies based on keywords. [Via Kottke & Boing Boing & Recomendo]
Dr Alun Withey, an historian of medicine and the body, has been researching pogonotomical matters - see, for example Beard Fashions and Class; To Dye for! Colouring the Beard in the 19th Century; The ‘Toilet Arts’: Men’s Personal Grooming and Advice Literature in the 19th Century; Barbers and Shaving in the Eighteenth Century and Shaving the Dead in Irish Folklore. Moreover, Dr. Withey's recent book Concerning Beards: Facial Hair, Health and Practice in England, 1650–1900 is available electronically as a free-to-download open access edition. [more inside]
Who are we? We are the Mules. Where are we from? We are from the outside. We live outside all day, every day. Where are we going? Nowhere. We’re here: the outside, the web of life, the beautiful earth, a place like no other. We have come to this place, a place of golden sparkling light, a place for anybody and everybody. Give your faith, hope and energy to this place at which time you connect to it and receive the magic and endless possibility of infinity. As you walk in this place with these mules you spread the awareness that this beautiful earth, like no other, can only be protected by the way we live one day at a time. [more inside]
Bhangra fan Gurdeep Pandher of Yukon sends all of us a snowy dance of joy, hope and positivity (YT; Twitter link here). “I'm trying to spread happiness and hope through my videos,” he says. “I find it very important especially after the pandemic so that people can find a moment of joy. The second thing which I am passionate about is creating cross-cultural bridges like bringing people together. Especially after some recent news and all that stuff.” [more inside]