December 8

Space Alien Ponies

It only costs $1,000 to get your name on the presidential primary ballot in New Hampshire, a far lower barrier to entry in other states. So, there's no shortage of lesser-known candidates.
posted by jim in austin at 11:36 AM - 0 comments

Texas judge allows abortion for woman whose fetus has fatal disorder

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's office issued a statement saying the temporary restraining order "will not insulate hospitals, doctors, or anyone else from civil and criminal liability. The letter was sent to three hospitals where Damla Karsan, the doctor who said she would provide the abortion to Cox, has admitting privileges. [more inside]
posted by mumimor at 6:32 AM - 48 comments

"an epistolary novel in the form of twelve folksongs"

Correspondence was a project where Swedish musicians Jens Lekman and Annika Norlin (a.k.a. Hello Saferide) wrote and sent each other songs in English on alternating months over the course of 2018. You can listen to the original versions on the website but the pair also rerecorded many of the songs with strings and released it as an album which is available to buy from Bandcamp or stream on various services.
posted by Kattullus at 5:37 AM - 5 comments

First of all, how dare you come for Root Boy Slim

AV Club's 30 Worst Christmas Songs, Ranked [more inside]
posted by Kitteh at 5:28 AM - 57 comments

Let's get ready to goo it again

Hello! It's been awhile
15 years in fact!
I hope you've been well
Me? I don't like talking about myself
Not directly anyway
The goo balls are doing fine
Better than that, they have a new game
Coming in 2024
I hope you'll enjoy it, I'll see you soon
Signed, the Sign Painter
posted by JHarris at 5:11 AM - 13 comments

Mama's got a squeezebox

Accordion Noir has posted its 2023 Christmas Special podcast episode. It includes a few artists you've heard of (The Pogues, EC Ball, The Tiger Lillies) and many more you haven't (Duckmandu, Southern Scrach, Christmas Jug Band). If you want a change from the usual musical drivel that dominates this time of year, give it a listen.
posted by Paul Slade at 4:03 AM - 5 comments

Army employee indicted for stealing $100 million

Army employee indicted for stealing $100 million from military youth program. [more inside]
posted by ndr at 3:06 AM - 26 comments

The rate of catastrophes appears roughly constant over time

One argument against using historical base rates is that the present is so different from the past (e.g. due to technology) that base rates are meaningless. While today’s world is indeed different from the past, base rates can help sharpen rather than neglect these differences, by clarifying what’s actually new. For instance, the mere presence of technology cannot move us far above the base rate, because many technologies have been developed throughout history and none has caused a catastrophe in the sense defined above. Instead, we should look for technology that shares properties with the historical drivers of catastrophe: epidemics, famines, wars, political turmoil, climate changes, natural disasters, invasive species, and humans. from Analyzing the Historical Rate of Catastrophes
posted by chavenet at 1:42 AM - 5 comments

December 7

Number of Dry Eyes in the House: Zero

Lucy! [more inside]
posted by y2karl at 8:57 PM - 9 comments

Twenty-one red handfish hatched in successful breeding program

Twenty-one critically endangered red handfish hatched in successful Tasmanian conservation breeding program. A lot is riding on this group of tiny baby fish — so much so, they'll be put through school to get them street smart before release into the wild in Tasmania. [more inside]
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 6:40 PM - 3 comments

Really CGI

"No CGI is really just INVISIBLE CGI" part 2 [SLYT] The first part took apart Top Gun Maverick (among other things). This part focuses on Christopher Nolan's Inception (among other things). The point about invisibility is a generous way of saying that it's just outright lying.
posted by bbrown at 4:03 PM - 36 comments

"I'm not going to let anybody see you"

'Bluebird' by Charles Bukowski. (slyt)
posted by clavdivs at 2:50 PM - 5 comments

The Kids are Alright

Stairway to Heaven. (YouTube via Invidious so you aren't tracked.) At the annual prize-giving ceremony at St Andrews College in Ōtautahi (Christchurch) in Aotearoa, the music department covers Led Zepplin's 'Stairway to Heaven' and absolutely nails it. It's going viral here but deserves a wider audience.
posted by vac2003 at 2:17 PM - 24 comments

Trapping Jughead

She spent a month trying to help stray dog whose head was stuck in a jug [CW: happy ending]
posted by chavenet at 1:41 PM - 14 comments

2023 (Taylor's Version)

This was the year she perfected her craft—not just with her music, but in her position as the master storyteller of the modern era. The world, in turn, watched, clicked, cried, danced, sang along, swooned, caravanned to stadiums and movie theaters, let her work soundtrack their lives. For Swift, it’s a peak. 'This is the proudest and happiest I’ve ever felt, and the most creatively fulfilled and free I’ve ever been,' Swift tells me. 'Ultimately, we can convolute it all we want, or try to overcomplicate it, but there’s only one question.' Here, she adopts a booming voice. 'Are you not entertained?'
"For building a world of her own that made a place for so many, for spinning her story into a global legend, for bringing joy to a society desperately in need of it, Taylor Swift is TIME’s 2023 Person of the Year." [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi at 12:14 PM - 42 comments

Sometimes a finger is just a finger

Guardian: “As a BBC licence payer I demand more of this type of behaviour.” Huffington Post: “Undeterred by the faux pas, the newscaster simply composed herself and began reading from the autocue about the latest updates in the Boris Johnson Covid inquiry. Fortunately for Maryam, the moment took place when the UK feed was showing Prime Minister’s Questions, so only international viewers saw the moment play out live.” CBS News: “Maryam Moshiri, the chief presenter at the British network, said she was "joking around a bit with the team" when she stuck up her middle finger just as the broadcast went to air.” In the Metro, further BBC news mishaps.
posted by Wordshore at 11:27 AM - 23 comments

If you can ask for help, do.

Most of us will experience the death of a parent. That experience is unique for everyone, yet there is so much we can learn from each other. Sumana Harihareswara has created an extraordinary collection of resources about Eldercare, Family Caretaking, and End-of-life Logistics: Stuff I Learned. It is full of detailed advice, good sense, and compassion. (created by brainwane, found at MeFi Projects)
posted by kristi at 11:11 AM - 18 comments

Poet and activist Benjamin Zephaniah dies age 65

One of the important voices of modern Britain, Benjamin Zephaniah was not much like other poets teenagers get introduced to. [more inside]
posted by plonkee at 9:59 AM - 29 comments

Costa da Coastal

The village of Hemsby has been on the East coast of England since Hemer the Viking started farming there over 1,000 years ago. Two weeks ago, a rather modest storm, which didn't even merit a name, carried away the road [BBC] which services a number of houses which used to be (safe) behind the dunes. Context below the fold. [more inside]
posted by BobTheScientist at 9:30 AM - 4 comments

One-Vote Wonders From Sight and Sound's Greatest Films Poll

BFI: 101 Hidden Gems: The Greatest Films You’ve Never Seen. “Hailing from every continent but Antarctica and spanning more than 120 years, this selection is, in its way, as representative of the riches of cinema history as that other list we released at the end of last year. Fiction rubs shoulders with nonfiction, films made by collectives sit alongside hand-crafted animation, and a healthy dose of comedy sidles up to heartbreaking drama – and then there are the films that defy all categorisation.” [more inside]
posted by oulipian at 9:11 AM - 23 comments

Ken Gun Min's Gay Utopia

"Ken Gun Min is a daydreamer. 'I have one foot in reality and the other in fantasy,' the painter says as he sits on the floor of his Koreatown studio and sews beads onto a finished canvas. 'I have a fantasy-oriented brain. I am constantly daydreaming and creating stories'" The LA Times presents a story on the artist and his big, gorgeous, sumptuously gay paintings/collages/beadwork. But also, because I cannot get enough: Ken Gun Min’s Vision of Gay Utopia (Hyperallergic). And from his 2022 show (ArtNet).
posted by mittens at 8:53 AM - 5 comments

When Robert Met Barbara

I've watched a lot of these Actors On Actors videos from Variety, but none of them have felt as truly interesting to me as Cillian Murphy & Margot Robbie meeting for the first time and talking about the phenomenon that was Barbenheimer. 45m
posted by hippybear at 8:38 AM - 6 comments

Live shamelessly

The ancient Cynic outlook was negative, but the Cynic did not become trapped by their negativity, or use a negative outlook on life as an excuse for doing nothing, for giving up on life, or for giving in. Cynic negativity was not associated with the idea that if everything is bad, nothing can be done, so let’s do nothing. Rather, Cynic negativity spurred the Cynic into action. Negativity was employed in a quest to become free of unnatural restraint, and to conjure a less servile state of mind. Negativity released the Cynic from social obligations, and social ties, and allowed the Cynic to think differently about the world around them. from How to live like a Cynic
posted by chavenet at 12:47 AM - 20 comments

December 6

right to vote

Pressley, Welch introduce legislation to guarantee right to vote for people with felonies on record [more inside]
posted by aniola at 11:12 PM - 40 comments

Here Hold My Kid

Here Hold My Kid (SLRedBull). Watch two of the best skiers on the planet compete for a sponsorship over the course of a winter season. [more inside]
posted by yeahwhatever at 10:26 PM - 6 comments

Audio search engine can identify Australian wildlife by sounds

Never been done before: This audio search engine can identify Australian wildlife by the sounds they make. Australian researchers and Google have launched a first-of-its-kind search engine that analyses and identifies wildlife sounds.
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 8:48 PM - 12 comments

TV legend Norman Lear dies at 101

Writer-producer-developer Norman Lear, who revolutionized American comedy with such daring, immensely popular early-‘70s sitcoms as “All in the Family” and “Sanford and Son,” died on Tuesday. He was 101.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 8:34 PM - 48 comments

The Crimson Tide washes up some guppies

Tonight at 8PM Eastern: The fourth Republican presidential debate -- and the last one before next month's Iowa caucuses. Currently winnowed to just four candidates (and once again missing its runaway favorite), the NewsNation-hosted debate at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa (roll tide), will feature Gov. Nikki "Koch Fiend" Haley, Gov. Ron "Poop Map" DeSantis, Gov. Chris "Just Happy to Be Here" Christie, and entrepreneur Vivek "Pharma Bro Bro" Ramaswamy. You can catch the debate live on NewsNation (or The CW), stream it for free on the NewsNation site, download their app, or check out a minimal-commentary livestream from YouTuber David Pakman.
posted by Rhaomi at 4:33 PM - 58 comments

experiencing diaspora as an unexpected concentration of connections

There are foods I don’t associate with a specific memory so much as with the act of remembering. If all my favourite breakfast foods were laid out before me—smoked salmon and capers, ful mdammas, soft goat cheese and honey—I would reach for labaneh and zaatar first.
posted by curious nu at 3:52 PM - 5 comments

Sentenced to a job in fast food

The woman who threw a burrito bowl in a Chipotle employee's face back in September has been sentenced to a fine and 180 days jail time, with that time reduced to 60 days in exchange for working 20 hours per week at a fast food restaurant for two months. "She got exactly what she deserved. She’s gonna walk in my shoes,” Russell said. [more inside]
posted by Night_owl at 12:51 PM - 77 comments

You want year-end best-of album lists?

Following on the recent Rolling Stone best albums of 2023 posting and with a few media outlets yet to weigh in, a few more best-of lists from the media jungle, compiled for your reference and enjoyment. [more inside]
posted by the sobsister at 10:32 AM - 29 comments

Blue chat bubbles for everyone

It is now possible to turn your phone number blue on Android. Unlike the recent Nothing iMessage MITM debacle, this is a fully end-to-end encrypted interoperable system thanks to the reverse engineering of the iMessage protocol by jjtech
posted by autopilot at 9:06 AM - 103 comments

Watch electricity hit a fork in the road at half a billion fps

How does electricity decide whether to flow through an open circuit or a closed circuit, and how long does it take to make that decision?
posted by clawsoon at 9:04 AM - 44 comments

There's no Rudolph, he's just one of them urban legends.

What if Drew Barrymore were a Jack Russell Terrier convinced she could help Santa complete his Christmas delivery mission? Olive The Other Reindeer [45m] is a 1999 Fox Television Special [Wikipedia] based on a children's book, with familiar voices ranging from Ed Asner to Michael Stipe [see tags], and was produced by one of Matt Groening's production companies.
posted by hippybear at 7:32 AM - 13 comments

After the Hit-and-Run

Lately, instead of emphasizing the importance of criminal consequences, advocates have begun calling for drivers who hit pedestrians or cyclists to be held accountable through “restorative justice,” a term for an increasingly popular set of practices that eschews a focus on punishment in favor of an emphasis on repair and an effort to meet victims’ needs (slJewishCurrents) [more inside]
posted by Kitteh at 7:30 AM - 54 comments

He Wanted Privacy. His College Gave Him None

College students adopting Facebook 20 years ago; today they are fighting for their privacy.
posted by schmudde at 2:18 AM - 25 comments

Free Money

What if the money you accumulated in life died with you? What if actuaries determined the amount of money people need to live a comfortable life, and earnings were capped there? What would a world look like in which the ardor of one’s work — not just luck and geography and privilege — determined a person’s wealth? from What If Money Expired? [Noema; ungated]
posted by chavenet at 1:26 AM - 39 comments

December 5

Global education's leaning tower

Mathematics, reading skills in unprecedented decline in teenagers
Teenagers' mathematics and reading skills are in an unprecedented decline across dozens of countries and COVID school closures are only partly to be blamed, the OECD said on Tuesday in its latest survey of global learning standards. The Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said it had seen some of the steepest drops in performance since 2000 when it began its usually triennial tests of 15-year-olds reading, maths and science skills. Nearly 700,000 youths took the two-hour test last year in the OECD's 38 mostly developed country members and 44-non members for the latest study, closely watched by policymakers as the largest international comparison of education performance. Compared to when the tests were last conducted in 2018, reading performance fell by 10 points on average in OECD countries, and by 15 points in mathematics, a loss equivalent to three-quarters of a year's worth of learning. [...] Countries that provided extra teacher support during COVID school closures scored better and results were generally better in places where easy teacher access for special help was high. Poorer results tended to be associated with higher rates of mobile phone use for leisure and where schools reported teacher shortages.
[more inside]
posted by Rhaomi at 11:10 PM - 69 comments

How to Train Your Polar Bear: "Discipline is key."

I E Skin's Guide To All That There Is To Know—an indie ink-and-press 8" x 11" comic from the mid-1990s (and eventually distributed by the Onion's Features Syndicate). Examples: [ James Monroe | The Car | Passover 5753 | Capitalism | Wolves ]
posted by not_on_display at 9:33 PM - 2 comments

How much does a horse power?

What is horsepower anyway?
The term was adopted in the late 18th century by Scottish engineer James Watt to compare the output of steam engines with the power of draft horses. This was not science for the sake of science, but an attempt to develop marketing blurb for selling steam engines by talking about how many horses they could replace.
The term is used with abandon in all sorts of ways by manufacturers of all sorts of engines, some of which may even be accurate. But what is a horsepower anyway? There are lots of different measures called horsepower and lots of 'standardised' ways of measuring it. [more inside]
posted by dg at 9:28 PM - 15 comments

Farm robots helping put healthier produce on the table

Farm robots helping put healthier produce on the table by reducing herbicide use. Hand-weeding and mechanical cultivation fell out of favour following the invention of herbicides in the 1940s. But robots imported to Australia from manufacturers in countries such as Denmark and the United States are reviving these weed-control methods to slash chemical use. Guided by GPS and cameras, the machines use knives and wires to take out pest plants by hand instead of spraying. [more inside]
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 2:55 PM - 39 comments

Washington Post goes on strike Thursday

On Thursday, the Washington Post's workers are going on strike for 24 hours. They've worked now for 18 months without a satisfactory contract, there have already been layoffs, 240 staff have been offered buyouts, and the owners are now threatening more layoffs. The staff have asked people not to engage with Washington Post content on December 7 from midnight to midnight (a full day). They also encourage you to send a letter to the Post's leaders asking them to stop the cuts and give a fair deal to employees.
posted by rednikki at 12:48 PM - 25 comments

Manufacturer's secret code caused trains to lock up on purpose.

"I can finally reveal some research I've been involved with over the past year or so." Three Polish hackers reverse engineered the PLC code of NEWAG Impuls trains that were locking up for arbitrary reasons. The manufacturer argued that this was because of malpractice by third-party workshops, and that they should be serviced by them instead. "We found that the PLC code actually contained logic that would lock up the train with bogus error codes after some date, or if the train wasn't running for a given time. One version of the controller actually contained GPS coordinates to contain the behaviour to third party workshops." Original article in Polish and translated to English.
posted by AlSweigart at 10:36 AM - 42 comments

Public health consequences of becoming a nation of petty landlords

Living in a privately rented home, as opposed to owning a home or living in social housing, is associated with twice the ageing effect of obesity and half that of smoking, according to a study of DNA methylation published in the the BMJ Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. The study also found that the biological ageing effect was associated with falling behind with rent payments or living in a home affected by pollution.
posted by clawsoon at 7:17 AM - 58 comments

The 100 Best Albums of 2023

The 100 Best Albums of 2023 [Rolling Stone, Archive] As a certified Old, I was pleased that I recognized more than just a handful of names, but still overwhelmed by how completely out of touch I truly am.
posted by hippybear at 7:11 AM - 90 comments

“Sounds ill ey gahl” … “Eh, kinda.”

“We’ll do it a few times,” Josiah remembers thinking. “We’ll cause trouble for a little bit, and then we’ll just forget about it. We’ll stop.” from The Mirai Confessions: Three Young Hackers Who Built a Web-Killing Monster Finally Tell Their Story [Wired; ungated]
posted by chavenet at 12:44 AM - 19 comments

December 4

Florida Man: The Video Game

Rockstar has officially released the first trailer for Grand Theft Auto 6. [more inside]
posted by Diskeater at 5:41 PM - 77 comments

‘How do you reduce a national dish to a powder?’

The weird, secretive world of crisp flavours. Why can you buy lasagne flavour snacks in Thailand but not in Italy? Which country can cope with the hottest chilli? And why do Germans like paprika so much? Amelia Tait for the Guardian. [more inside]
posted by Hypatia at 5:30 PM - 77 comments

No mousetraps but lotsa other cool stuff

TIME magazine's best inventions of 2023. From stuff you can use (Clipboard AI?) to dream tech that no one can afford and everything in between.
posted by storybored at 4:52 PM - 23 comments

The mysterious creature with bizarre anatomy that once roamed Australia

The mysterious creature with bizarre anatomy that once roamed Australia. Palorchestes was an ancient sharp-toothed animal that also boasted an elephant-like trunk. It lived for millions of years in pockets of Australia, but its fossils are extremely rare.
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 4:49 PM - 9 comments

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