May 24

"The world’s only known vertebrate-microbe symbiosis"

Algae trapped inside salamander cells do not appear to be able to generate enough oxygen to meet the dual demand from self and salamander. Compounding the trouble, being inside an animal also tends to obscure the sun.
An article from Jennifer Frazer's Artful Amoeba blog on the Scientific American site (previously).
posted by inconstant at 7:14 AM - 4 comments

The Jeffersonian/Hamiltonian divide regulating 'platform capitalism'

Tech Platforms and the Knowledge Problem by Frank Pasquale - "Though Jeffersonian trust-busters and Hamiltonian utility regulators have very different views of political economy, each counters the untrammeled aspirations (and disappointing quotidian reality) of the stalwarts of digital capitalism. They also help us understand when giant firms can help us solve the 'knowledge problem' Hayek identified, and when they exacerbate it via obscurity and obfuscation. If conglomeration and vertical mergers actually help solve real-world problems—of faster transport, better food, higher-quality health care, and more—then authorities should let them proceed. Such industrial bigness helps us understand and control the natural world better. But states should block the mere accumulation of bargaining power and leverage. Such moves are exercises in controlling persons—a much less salubrious aim of industrial organization. Economic policy focused on productivity and inclusive prosperity will balance and do justice to important insights from both Jeffersonian and Hamiltonian critics of our increasingly sclerotic economy." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 6:19 AM - 3 comments

I think I'm hyper enough as it is.

Hypermodernity, the age of the new totally electronic World Interior.
posted by spaceburglar at 4:37 AM - 11 comments

It’s a spherical video in a triplified space with symmetry in space-time

MetaFilter favorite Vi Hart and mathematician Henry Segerman collaborated on creating Peace for Triple Piano, a 360° video with 3D audio in which Vi is singing “Dona nobis pacem” as a canon and accompanying herself on the piano while Henry is playing the triangle. But they added some space-time twists to the video, which they explain in The Making of "Peace for Triple Piano”.
posted by amf at 4:15 AM - 1 comment

Lesson One: Greed is good

Why we should bulldoze the business school
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:34 AM - 42 comments

May 23

"Using Ludwig van like that!"

Bach at the Burger King, Theodore Gioia
Take your delinquency elsewhere could be the subtext under every tune in the classical crime-fighting movement. It is crucial to remember that the tactic does not aim to stop or even necessarily reduce crime — but to relocate it. Moreover, such mercenary measures most often target minor infractions like vandalism and loitering — crimes that damage property, not people, and usually the property of the powerful. “[B]usiness and government leaders,” Lily Hirsch observes in Music in American Crime Prevention and Punishment, “are seizing on classical music not as a positive moralizing force, but as a marker of space.” In a strange mutation, classical music devolves from a “universal language of mankind” reminding all people of their common humanity into a sonic border fence protecting privileged areas from common crowds, telling the plebes in auditory code that “you’re not welcome here.”
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:07 PM - 30 comments


Claudio Passavanti of Doctor Mix breaks down Michael Jackson's post-disco classic Thriller. [more inside]
posted by lmfsilva at 10:26 PM - 8 comments

A shave, a haircut and a blood pressure check.

Barbers can do a better job of delivering healthcare than doctors. "We have the health care system [in the U.S.] we do because of history and economics, not because of studies that show it’s optimally designed. Changes are most often made within the current framework; those that buck the system are usually met with more resistance."
posted by storybored at 9:32 PM - 12 comments

General Tubman, a Secret Military Weapon

Not just a rescuer and transporter of slaves, she was also a Union Army asset.
posted by MovableBookLady at 8:10 PM - 6 comments

For Your Viewing Pleasure

Facial Fitness Pao. (slyt)
posted by Literaryhero at 7:26 PM - 5 comments


Over 500 classic episodes from the 26 seasons of classic Doctor Who will air worldwide on the live streaming video platform Twitch from May 29th.
posted by hippybear at 7:06 PM - 17 comments

Article 40.3.3

On Friday May 25th Ireland will hold a referendum to decide whether or not to repeal the 8th amendment to the Irish constitution, which was added to the constitution by referendum in 1983. The 8th amendment inserted a subsection to the Irish constitution equating the right to life of the unborn with the right to life of the mother, effectively banning abortion in Ireland in all cases bar the most severe risk to the life of the mother. [more inside]
posted by roolya_boolya at 4:38 PM - 29 comments

We Sat Down With the ‘Arrested Development’ Cast. It Got Raw

Sopan Deb of The New York Times interviewed several cast members of “Arrested Development” about the upcoming 5th season of the show, debuting May 29th. When the conversation turned to the recent sexual harassment allegations against Jeffrey Tambor and, more specifically, an incident where Tambor was verbally abusive to co-star Jessica Walter, things got rather awkward, with several male actors on the show coming to the defense of.....Jeffrey Tambor. (SLNYT)
posted by The Gooch at 3:24 PM - 130 comments

Short answer: no

Jenny Nicholson asks "Is Star Wars Forces of Destiny good?"
posted by Pendragon at 2:22 PM - 21 comments

Where you’re the center of the accident.

Traumatic License: An Oral History of Action Park [more inside]
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 2:17 PM - 30 comments

The Image Book

Jean-Luc Godard's new film "Le livre d'image" (trailer) premiered in the 2018 Cannes Film Festival and was awarded a "Special Palme d'Or", since, according to Cate Blanchett, it “almost sat apart from the other films, almost outside time and space”, and so could not be considered against them. This time, Godard was present for the press conference, though in absentia via FaceTime (45min video: English; French). [more inside]
posted by sapagan at 2:07 PM - 4 comments

“It presents dialogue as a genuine plaything,”

Mike Bithell’s Quarantine Circular is a fantastic conversation with an alien [Polygon] “Mike Bithell’s series of short games seeks to push conversational gaming onward, within the testing constraints of tight budgets and limited development time. Like his superb Subsurface Circular, released last year, Quarantine Circular is a series of dialogue trees, peppered with simple puzzles, climaxing in a big moral choice. While Subsurface Circular offered two alternate endings, this game has six. I played through three of those endings. Game time for a first playthrough is about 2.5 hours.” [YouTube][Game Trailer] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 1:42 PM - 2 comments

"[T]he images we know so well were only part of a much larger story"

Many of the 175,000 photographs in the Farm Security Association archive became defining images of the Great Depression, including Evans’s gaunt sharecropper families, Lange’s portraits of farm women with nothing left except willpower, and Arthur Rothstein’s Fleeing a Dust Storm (large image) , a surreal scene of a family fighting to keep their feet in the wind that has already ripped their farm buildings to shreds. However, thousands more images were censored, judged not to meet the strict criteria the photographers had been given for the type of images sought – a tricky brief to show the scale of the problem the association was trying to tackle, but without obliterating all hope. (Maev Kennedy for the Guardian; web gallery) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 12:59 PM - 8 comments

There's Always Something Else to Calculate

The first XKCD "What If" to appear in more than a year answer's a 5-year-old's question: "If there were a kind of a fireman's pole from the Moon down to the Earth, how long would it take to slide all the way from the Moon to the Earth?"
posted by mr_bovis at 12:09 PM - 55 comments

It's got dice, it's got dungeons, it's got additional dice...

Dicey Dungeons is a new game from rad indie dev Terry Cavanagh. You choose a class, explore a dungeon, and use dice rolls to power your various equipment and special moves while leveling up to earn more dice to power new loot. Look out for the skeleton, he'll fuck you up! [more inside]
posted by cortex at 11:51 AM - 28 comments

When I die Dublin will be written in my heart.

Emma Clarke is capturing Dublin's history through its old and fading signs.
The faded history behind Dublin's 'ghost signs' which are preserving a city's fading memories.
posted by adamvasco at 10:48 AM - 3 comments

Where have all the babies gone?

Birthrate has been declining in the US since 2014, and is now at its lowest point in 30 years. The only age group having more babies is women over 40. What’s driving the decline? No one knows, but speculation includes: [more inside]
posted by Sockowocky at 10:14 AM - 143 comments

Calvin and Hobbes talking about The Old Days

In the final minutes of his life, Calvin has one last talk with Hobbes. [more inside]
posted by dancestoblue at 9:53 AM - 46 comments

Neoclassical Economics. Best before: 1500AD

“A lot of economics professors, especially the more junior ones who are more focused on research and really trying to develop new ideas and process new data, there’s an escapism to a large extent, in that their career depends so much on getting published in high ranking journals,” he says. “That deviates from the practical problems of understanding the economy as it truly is and trying to address the policy questions that truly exist, because they’re confronted with the pressure in their own careers to develop these journal articles and the game of getting these journal articles written and published is truly a game in itself that involves so much more from observing reality and trying to make things better.” How economics professors can stop failing us.
posted by Juso No Thankyou at 8:26 AM - 18 comments

The Black Knight Rises

Has a mysterious satellite been circling the Earth for 13,000 years? [Vice] [more inside]
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:02 AM - 14 comments

Propaganda, but the good kind

God Bless ContraPoints, one of the few brave youtubers successfully taking on the alt-right - or, according to Vice, destroying it. [more inside]
posted by entropone at 7:00 AM - 43 comments

Complexity: the paradox of order and disorder

The Key to Everything (Freeman Dyson reviews Geoffrey West's Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies) - "West is now making a huge claim: that scaling laws similar to Kepler's law and the genetic drift law will lead us to a theoretical understanding of biology, sociology, economics, and commerce. To justify this claim he has to state the scaling laws, display the evidence that they are true, and show how they lead to understanding. He does well with the first and second tasks, not so well with the third. The greater part of the book is occupied with stating the laws and showing the evidence. Little space is left over for explaining. The Santa Fe observers know how to play the part of a modern-day Kepler, but they do not come close to being a modern-day Newton."
posted by kliuless at 6:14 AM - 16 comments

Needing the Court to Evict Your Adult Son

Mark and Christina Rotondo filed a petition earlier this month against their 30-year-old son to evict him from their upstate New York house after he repeatedly refused to leave. On Tuesday, the parents attempted to settle the matter in court. Judge Donald Greenwood praised Rotondo's legal research but ultimately ruled Rotondo had to leave. Rotondo returned to his parent's home and is considering appealing the decision.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 4:58 AM - 96 comments

They Sound Like Angry 12 Year Olds

Two Lynx Having Some Sort of Confrontation (SLYT)
posted by Ipsifendus at 4:38 AM - 37 comments

Happy Wednesday morning. What are you doing today?

David Graeber has expanded his 2013 essay on bullshit jobs (previously) into a book. The Guardian has an edited excerpt. Are you a flunky, a goon, a duct-taper, a box-ticker, or a task-master? "I think," Graeber says, "we need a rebellion of what I call the 'caring class,' people who care about others and justice."
posted by clawsoon at 3:47 AM - 71 comments

Bitcoin as explained by AI

A very basic stage training on Bitcoin, written using predictive keyboards trained on dozens of Bitcoin explainers. (SLYT)
posted by Pyrogenesis at 2:43 AM - 10 comments

“If I’m not an American, I’m nothing.”

Philip Roth, Towering Novelist Who Explored Lust, Jewish Life and America, Dies at 85 [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 2:02 AM - 39 comments

sunken cities, crashed gliders and cheese

Gwenno Saunders aka 'Gwenno' is a Welsh singer, previously of The Pipettes. Her first solo album Y Dydd Olaf was sung in Welsh, her recent second album Le Kov is sung in Cornish. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:25 AM - 11 comments

May 22

the fraternal president

Après plusieurs propositions controversées de droit du travail, les cheminots, les étudiants, contrôleurs aériens, et les fonctionnaires en France sont en grève, perturbant le pays. Macron déterminé à réformer la SNCF, il promet d'aller «au bout» [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:37 PM - 11 comments

The Jo-Boat Boys

When Pittsburgh's rivers were full of houseboats.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:11 PM - 6 comments


The Spectacular Personal Mythology of Rammellzee by Hua Hsu is a fine introduction to the works of New York graffiti artist, sculptor, rapper, and painter Rammellzee, who passed away in 2010 at the age of 49. Known to hip hop afficionados for Beat Bop, his collaboration with Jean-Michel Basquiat and K-Rob, which was the subject of a Spin oral history. To get a feel for his aesthetic, this interview excerpted from the documentary Guerilla Art is a good place to start. If you want to know more, Alexxa Gotthardt wrote a good overview of his career and hip hop historian Dave Tompkins reminisced about Rammellzee and placed him in context.
posted by Kattullus at 5:24 PM - 3 comments

Return to mother!

Aronofsky, allegory, authorial intent and auteurship. The Partially Examined Life discusses Darren Aronofsky's philosophical 2017 film mother!.
posted by spaceburglar at 4:52 PM - 10 comments

Between two worlds

Anais Granofsky, who played Lucy Ferndandez on Degrassi has a life story filled with as much drama and pathos as her fictional counterpart. [more inside]
posted by Cuke at 4:41 PM - 13 comments

Who is Arthur Chu?

Airing on PBS, new doc explores ups and downs of growing up—and growing in stature—online. The documentary on the polarizing Jeopardy champion airs tonight. And speaking of polarizing, here's Ken Jennings opinion of how Chu played the game: Jennings on Chu
posted by MovableBookLady at 3:12 PM - 39 comments

literally, “the method of dyeing and printing”

Ranyin Fa: Photography and the Appropriation of Kodak Dye Transfer in Socialist China
posted by klangklangston at 1:47 PM - 6 comments

Enough about you, let's talk about life for a while

Alanis Morrisette's Jagged Little Pill has been made into a musical opening May 24th at the American Repertory Theater. NPR has a piece with Diablo Cody. [more inside]
posted by blurker at 12:48 PM - 22 comments

This Man Made Presidents Sound Like Presidents

Richard N. Goodwin, husband of Doris Kearns Goodwin and (among other things) speechwriter for politicians from John F. Kennedy to Al Gore has died of cancer at age 86 [more inside]
posted by TedW at 12:43 PM - 7 comments

"He became corrupted! Soon his crime makes him old before his time."

He was young and handsome, his mother’s pride and joy—but he died in torment, blind, sick and paralyzed—at the age of seventeen. If only he’d known the perils of masturbation, then he might have lived a better life.

There are ways to prevent this tragedy (NSFW).
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:36 PM - 40 comments

'It's an Anime Titty Holocaust'

Steam Is Cracking Down on Visual Novels [Motherboard] “Fans of visual novel games and adult-themed anime games around the world woke up to some troubling news this morning. According to several independent developers, Steam, the largest digital storefront for computer games, is cracking down on a number of games that feature scantily clad cartoon women. According to these developers, Valve, the company that operates Steam, has given them until the end of the month to remove adult content from their games. If they don't, Valve will boot their games from the store.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 12:31 PM - 51 comments

"Rickey Henderson crushed souls with unprecedented efficiency."

In the latest episode of Dorktown, SB Nation editor and national treasure Jon Bois, along with compatriot Alex Rubenstein, discuss the career of the Arsene Lupin of the baseball diamond, Rickey Henderson, and how his shattering the stolen bases record is a feat you just don't see anymore. (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:30 PM - 16 comments

I browse MetaFilter

Eyebrows, we all have them, but what are they actually for?
posted by Rumple at 11:58 AM - 64 comments

AWS: Amazon Web Surveillance

The ACLU has obtained new documents detailing law enforcement usage of Amazon's facial detection software known as Rekognition. The Bezos-owned Washington Post reports that the sheriff’s office of Washington County, Ore. pays Amazon between $6 and $12 a month to scan footage of potential suspects against a database of 300k mugshots, and the service has even been used to identify guests at a recent royal wedding. [more inside]
posted by Existential Dread at 11:04 AM - 37 comments

A Forgotten War on Women

"In 1918, 1,121 people in Michigan were “hospitalized at the expense of the state” because the authorities believed they had STIs. 49 were men; 1,072 were women, and one of them was a 19-year-old, impoverished white woman named Nina McCall. She was arrested, forcibly examined by a local health officer named Dr. Carney, deemed infected with gonorrhea and then syphilis, pumped full of arsenic, and imprisoned at the dilapidated Bay City Detention Hospital for three months. Like so many others, she found the courage to fight back. But instead of staging a prison riot or burning down the “reformatories,” as some of her incarcerated sisters did, Nina did something perhaps even more audacious for a working-class woman of her time. She took her tormentors to court."
posted by palindromic at 10:10 AM - 6 comments

[+] - - - --->!!!<--- - - - [-]

Psst, kid, you wanna see some magnets colliding at a thousand frames per second
posted by cortex at 9:20 AM - 45 comments

You have a graph. It’s very dense. You have this elliptic operator...

Now-retired Baltimore Ravens guard and center John Urschel discusses his favorite mathematical theorem (one for the graph theory fans), among other things. This is generally what people do at My Favorite Theorem.
posted by Wolfdog at 8:50 AM - 12 comments

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