December 14

to make people conscious of the cyclical time of the universe

Nancy Holt (1938-2014) was an American artist. Over the course of five decades, her work encompassed films, videos, photography, audio works, concrete poetry, and artists’ books, but Holt is best known for her large-scale, public art installations. [more inside]
posted by Iris Gambol at 2:20 PM - 0 comments

There is no fear in love

Brandan Robertson writes about his experience trying to "pray the gay away".
posted by clawsoon at 1:47 PM - 1 comment

Warning Signs

Michelle was 31 and 5'6, the perfect age and the perfect height. She had thick, straight hair, which wasn't a must-have, necessarily, but it was certainly nice. She smiled in every picture, a wide, inviting smile. She had a fine sounding job as a Project Manager and went to a college he had heard of. He messaged "Hey." This wasn’t his best work but it was usually good enough. [more inside]
posted by smcg at 1:29 PM - 4 comments

Data is Beautiful!

Simulated Dendrochronology of U.S. Immigration
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 12:30 PM - 0 comments

Focus on the Science, Not the Scientist

Astronomers gathered in Baltimore recently to complete the annual Telescope Allocation Review for the Hubble Space Telescope. Last year, despite efforts made to reduce bias, proposals for medium and large programs on the Hubble Space Telescope had an acceptance rate of 24% for programs led by men and 13% for programs led by women, an imbalance largely in keeping with the telescope's history. This year, in one of the most competitive cycles ever, that suddenly changed to a near-equivalent 8.7% acceptance rate for women and an 8.0% acceptance rate for men, reversing the trend seen over the past 15 cycles. What happened? Anonymized proposals. [more inside]
posted by kyrademon at 11:54 AM - 12 comments

To Protect Migrants From Police, a Dutch Church Service Never Ends

Under an obscure Dutch law, police may not disrupt a church service to make an arrest. And so for the past six weeks, immigration officials have been unable to enter Bethel Church to seize the five members of the Tamrazyan family, Armenian refugees who fled to the sanctuary to escape a deportation order. The service, which began in late October as a little-noticed, last-gasp measure by a small group of local ministers, is now a national movement, attracting clergy members and congregants from villages and cities across the Netherlands. More than 550 pastors from about 20 denominations have rotated through Bethel Church, a nonstop service all in the name of protecting one vulnerable family. (SLNYT)
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:48 AM - 18 comments

“This is one of the most important films I’ve come across.”

They are on screen for less than 30 seconds, a couple in simple embrace. The man, dressed in a suit and bowtie, and the woman in a frilled dress. They hug and kiss, swing wide their clasped hands, and kiss again. Titled Something Good-Negro Kiss, the newly discovered silent film from 1898 is believed to be the earliest cinematic depiction of African-American affection. [more inside]
posted by Pater Aletheias at 11:40 AM - 8 comments

No matter what we write, white people can turn our stories into weapons.

Native American Lives Are Tragic, But Probably Not in the Way You Think [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 10:38 AM - 1 comment

Blue, Blue, My World is Blue

Nancy Wilson, jazz singer who turned songs into stories, passed away yesterday at 81. (No, not that Nancy Wilson.) [more inside]
posted by widdershins at 9:33 AM - 14 comments

Underground psychedelic therapy

Welcome to the trip of your life: the rise of underground LSD guides. "Some Americans searching for alternative paths to healing have turned to psychedelics. But how does one forge a career as a guide when the substances are illegal?" [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 9:18 AM - 24 comments

The internet spawned Uber and Amazon, not the Paris Commune

“In times in which financial institutions and even whole political entities may just dissolve into fluffy glitter, investment in art seems somehow more real. Moreover, as alternative currency, art seems to fulfill what Ethereum and Bitcoin have hitherto only promised. Rather than money issued by a nation and administrated by central banks, art is a networked, decentralized, widespread system of value. It gains stability because it calibrates credit or disgrace across competing institutions or cliques. ” If You Don’t Have Bread, Eat Art!: Contemporary Art and Derivative Fascisms (e-flux)
posted by The Whelk at 9:14 AM - 1 comment

10,000-foot-tall, carrot-chomping, gay cocaine addict

"What we learn from that finding is that 'mischievous responders' think some responses are funny but not others. For example, a 12-year-old saying that he has used heroin over 40 times has a certain panache to it compared to, say, disclosing suicidal ideation. But that could have the net effect of making it seem like gay and bisexual boys are abusing substances at much higher rates than they actually do." These Teenage Trolls Are Pretending to Be LGBT, and Screwing Up Scientific Studies [SLTheDailyBeast]
posted by Grandysaur at 8:56 AM - 27 comments

Minimalist City Maps with a Twist

Every city has a defining feature that acts as a cultural shorthand for those in the know. Peter Gorman is the designer behind Barely Maps, a series of illustrated maps that turn these design features into wonderfully opaque visual riddles. [more inside]
posted by MovableBookLady at 8:36 AM - 25 comments

—for years, Steam has been the only digital games store for many players

Epic Games takes on Steam with its own fairer game store [The Verge] “Epic Games, the developer of Fortnite and the widely used game-making software Unreal Engine, is about to start selling other companies’ games, too. Epic is launching a new online store like Valve’s Steam that will similarly feature third-party games, marking yet another substantial threat to Steam’s dominant position as the lead distributor of PC titles. Epic’s store, which is set to launch soon, will start with a select number of PC and Mac games, and it will open up to more developers next year.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 7:28 AM - 45 comments

Rejoice Greatly indeed

Trinidadian soprano Jeanine DeBique performs 'Rejoice greatly' from Messiah (SLYT) People are gagging over her ability to accurately and gorgeously render the challenging coloratura of this piece at near breakneck speed, with such warmth and expression. Her slow sections are equally beautiful. At the 2:25 mark, her use of straight tone is devastating. DeBique is in a class by herself. [more inside]
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 3:25 AM - 33 comments

December 13

Celebrating Avril 14 four months early

As the darkness of December descends, why not celebrate April 14th four months early? Aphex Twin dropped a few new gifts recently, expanding his 2001 album Drukqs with two newly available versions of Avril 14 (a 3rd was briefly available, long enough that someone got it and posted it to Soundcloud). Richard D. James isn't one to talk about song titles or inspirations, but there's a theory that he's marking a rather dark day, or repeating date, in history. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 8:55 PM - 11 comments

Quod me nutrit me destruit

What's the most dangerous food of all time? Experts give and explain their answers: Durian (physical accidents, sulfur content); lookalike mushrooms; domesticated livestock (zoonotic diseases); alcohol; food-spoiling fungi; beef (global warming); raw food; and sugar (x4). [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:32 PM - 74 comments

Humble Bachelor who is Prone to Conniptions

19th Century Character Trope Generator
posted by spamandkimchi at 5:25 PM - 50 comments

Why Are So Many People Suddenly Allergic to Meat?

More and more people are becoming allergic to mammal meat, and worryingly, mammal products such as cheese, wool, and even the gelatin in pill capsules “This increasingly common sensitivity seems to result from a certain type of tick bite. The fact that we’ve figured that out is the result of some amazing coincidences in scientific research.” It’s called an Alpha-Gal allergy, and due to climate change, it’s becoming a problem worldwide.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 2:23 PM - 70 comments

Of the 385,000 electric buses worldwide, 99% of them are in China

Bloomberg: Electric buses are hurting the oil industry. Buses consume 30x more fuel than cars, so 84% of the fuel displaced by electric vehicles so far has come from the usage of electric buses, compared to just 16% attributed to the use of electric passenger vehicles such as those produced by Tesla or Nissan. [more inside]
posted by xdvesper at 1:40 PM - 50 comments

The biggest news in Australia that Australians don't know yet.

While the news is available to the rest of the world, the majority of Australians don't know that the most senior catholic in the country, Cardinal George Pell, is now a convicted paedophile. At the request of the prosecution, a suppression order forbids the media from reporting this, in an effort to preserve impartiality in further trials. The trial inspired a Tim Minchin song two years ago, it's popularity indicating the public interest.
posted by adept256 at 1:04 PM - 55 comments

The trident is superfluous at this point.

At the blue carpet premier of Aquaman last night, Jason Momoa joined Kiwi costar Temuera Morrison and some other cast members in a performance of the Haka dance (Youtube link). It should be noted that this is not Momoa's first foray into this traditional Maori performance.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 11:23 AM - 37 comments

The Secret Origin of the Secret Society of Secret Santas

What to do when your children stop believing in Santa: teach them to become him. [slImgur] [more inside]
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:33 AM - 23 comments

"I'm confused, I'm not sure where to go, but I know my door is blue"

"We had a traffic jam of wheelchairs and walkers because everyone was so excited to come and see how the doors were going to turn out." Trying to find their own room among identical beige doors can be confusing and stressful for care home residents with dementia. Some memory care facilities are trying a new approach: large decals that transform each featureless beige door into the distinctive front door of a real house. The decals are based on the final art school thesis of Marieke van Diepen, who worked with a social development organization to figure out how to use the door decals to help people with dementia. The Amsterdam-based company even offers custom decals based on the actual front door of a person's former home.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:25 AM - 21 comments

Architectural Drawing Of The Year 2018

The drawings are created by architecture students from around the world and the competition is held by Aarhus School of Architecture.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 9:59 AM - 5 comments

Chocolate Spills Out Into German Street

"A ton of chocolate" has brought a local road to a standstill in Germany, according to local authorities. "The chocolate quickly solidified. About 10 sq m (108 sq ft) was cleared by 25 firefighters using shovels, hot water and blowtorches."

Additional links:
NBC News
posted by grobertson at 9:47 AM - 20 comments


Project Drawdown is a book edited by Paul Hawken, and a plan, that ranks the top 100 solutions to global climate change. "The list is comprised primarily of “no regrets” solutions—actions that make sense to take regardless of their climate impact since they have intrinsic benefits to communities and economies." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:41 AM - 18 comments

Chicago's mass school closings

A Generation of School Closings. Since 2002, Chicago has closed or radically shaken up 200 public schools. Public radio station WBEZ takes a look at who the shakeup helped, who it hurt, and where the city’s schools stand now. [more inside]
posted by goatdog at 8:41 AM - 4 comments

Don't tell me it's raining

Insect pee: Ultrafast fluidic ejection from sharpshooters - Sharpshooters are agricultural pests that “suck” copious amounts of fluid from plants and spread Pierce’s disease which threatens California’s multi-billion agricultural industry. A single sharpshooter can ingest up to 300 times their body weight per day in xylem fluid making them extreme biological pumps. To prevent fluidic build-up, they constantly have to release droplet excrements before ejecting them in the form of “pee” at ultra-high speeds. These insects, nicknamed the "pissing fly," have left passersby wondering if it's raining. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:01 AM - 15 comments

Hair Today, Gone... Never?

For almost fifty years, the increasing emphasis on dramatic mourning in the English-speaking world spurred an unlikely medium for art: severed human hair. Hair could be prepared for art, jewelry, or keepsakes in four different ways depending on texture. Hairwork isn't dead, however. There are still artists who work with human hair--and some of them even teach classes in the Victorian style. [more inside]
posted by sciatrix at 7:34 AM - 3 comments

I asked someone how they were and they actually told me.

Londoners troll New York Times with deluge of 'petty crimes'
An appeal for victims of petty crime in the UK’s capital has been met with sarcasm.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 7:05 AM - 36 comments

Dense rings of dust

ALMA Campaign Provides Unprecedented Views of the Birth of Planets. ALMA‘s first large-scale, high-resolution survey of protoplanetary disks. Fantastic pictures. Because what is astronomy if not fantastic pictures?
posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee at 6:32 AM - 3 comments

“He’s probably in his room right now, stuffing Lego in the hole”

It is the season of goodwill, of delivering gifts and presents, and the traditional British Santa's Enchanted Adventure That Isn't. Santa has been getting into the festive rage/spirit in Cambridge (the county of interesting school plays), while in Thornaby he gets a parking ticket. In Hull, the elderly spend the night cutting their neighbour's flashing lights, while in Reading “the lights were flashing and it is so in your face, you cannot help staring at it - I was in complete disbelief.” Though in Chard, some residents will become familiar with Baby Shark. And in Yorkshire, a shepherd was sent to the school nativity with a ... multi-purpose ... sheep. Should you charge your relatives to eat Christmas dinner, or just let them tuck into marmite sprouts? Happy Christmas, MetaFilter.
posted by Wordshore at 2:28 AM - 46 comments

December 12

Handel's Messiah - the best in New York.

What the New York Times has described as the best Messiah performance in New York will be live-streaming here on Sunday Dec 16th at 3pm.
posted by storybored at 10:09 PM - 18 comments

Art of a water shaped planet

Water · Shapes · Earth "A project that combines power of aerial photography and storytelling to rediscover the beauty of our planet, and to show how water shapes Earth and influences our lives." [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 9:32 PM - 5 comments

“The numbers don’t lie,”

Elizabeth Rowe has sued the BSO. Her case could change how orchestras pay men and women. [The Washington Post] The Boston Symphony Orchestra is one of the country's "big five" orchestras. There are 95 musicians in the orchestra — 63 men and 32 women. Principal flutist Elizabeth Rowe sits next to principal oboist John Ferrillo. She's paid $64,451 less than him a year.
“Money is the one thing that we can look to to measure people’s value in an organization,” Rowe says. “You look at the number of women that graduate from conservatories and then you look at the number of women in the top leadership positions in orchestras, and it’s not 50-50 still. Women need to see equality, and they need to see fairness in order to believe that that’s possible.”
posted by Fizz at 8:39 PM - 71 comments

National Geographic 2018 Winners & More

The winners and honorable mentions of the 2018 photography competition. These are just a few of the many winners/honorable mentions. If you go to the NatGeo website NG Photo Contest, you can poke around in different categories to see more.
posted by MovableBookLady at 7:05 PM - 3 comments

A Demon Underneath

Long before Elon Musk, a visionary automaker showed how ugly the American Dream could be. Long before the rise of utopian tech billionaires and Silicon Valley mountebanks, John DeLorean blazed the trail they would eventually follow. The Outline explores DeLorean's apocalyptic, quintessentially American life.
posted by Naberius at 6:05 PM - 27 comments

The Island the Left Neglected

Imagine a small, peaceful, progressive island in Asia about the size of Maryland. Ruled until the Cold War’s very end by a military dictatorship, it is now a robust democracy, although it endures incessant hostility from its giant neighbor. Its people treasure their hard-fought equality, free press, and vibrant civil society. [By Jeffrey C. H. Ngo in Dissent Magazine] [more inside]
posted by FJT at 5:57 PM - 18 comments

The Cosplay of Nations 2018: Miss Japan Makes Title More Literal

Arriving earlier than expected this year, it's the Miss Universe national costume pageant, better known as The Cosplay of Nations - a title that was more literal than usual, thanks to Miss Japan. Female empowerment seemed to be an unofficial theme this year, with costumes paying tribute to a Kenyan village that empowers and shelters women and to the suffergette movement being of note, as well as a number of outfits that bring to mind angry deities or superheroes and supervillains. [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 4:27 PM - 53 comments

Lithotomy? You barely know me!

Extremely detailed surgical illustrations [SO NSFW] from two 19th-century medical texts. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:46 PM - 28 comments

Ghost Ship

Max Harris and the aftermath of the Ghost Ship fire A look at one of the two men who have been named culpable in the Ghost Ship artist's collective fire. (SLNYT) Previously
posted by PussKillian at 2:13 PM - 110 comments

here's hoping for a consistently dense thread

Got some fabric, want to check it for thread count or imperfections, and you can only use the power of moire? Looks like you need a Lunometer! The device was invented, patented in 1929, and eponymously branded by one Hans Peter Luhn, who also invented the goddam hashing algorithm among other things.
posted by cortex at 1:49 PM - 13 comments

Humongous fungus: ancient invaders of old-growth forests

In 1992, Anderson and his colleagues estimated that the honey mushroom, which is growing in a forest on Michigan's Upper Peninsula, was 1,500 years old, weighed 100,000 kilograms (~220,460 pounds or ~110 tons) and covered 15 hectares (~37 acres). Based on additional samples taken between 2015 and 2017, the new estimate is that this mushroom is at least 2,500 years old, weighs 400,000 kilograms (881,849 lb or ~441 tons) and covers about 70 hectares (~173 acres) ( According to the researchers, "any temporally continuous forest could support large , old Armillaria individuals," and this isn't the biggest, or oldest (BBC; previously). Worse, Armillaria doesn't share well, and tends to kill off trees. The Secrets of the 'Humongous Fungus' (The Atlantic).
posted by filthy light thief at 1:47 PM - 10 comments

Look at these animals

A cat attends college and dates on campus. | A smart golden retriever which runs errands | Dog giving birth to a kitten...? | Genius dog Hoya, the PR ambassador for going against smoking | A few most excellent videos from South Korea's SBS TV program "Animal Farm x Look at Animals" 동물농장x애니멀봐 ( previously)
posted by spamandkimchi at 1:26 PM - 5 comments

Intersectional sustainable crop science, and GIFs

Dr. Sarah Taber is an aquaponics and agricultural consultant and food safety scientist, Doctor of Plant Medicine, Plant Protection and Integrated Pest Management, and science communicator who's attracted a Twitter following and is writing a book. Following the jump, a collection of links. [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 12:56 PM - 14 comments

Revealed: Google's 'two-tier' workforce training document

Guardian exclusive: internal document shows how Google employees are trained to treat temps, vendors and contractors. (SLGuardian by Julia Carrie Wong)
posted by crazy with stars at 10:54 AM - 100 comments

Police Play Video Games with Tenants After Responding to Noise Complaint

Neighbors called the police on Jovante M. Williams and his friends playing video games. Police responded appropriately. “We got a lot of cops. We’re telling them this is the same noise level we’ve been having,” Williams tells us. “They confirmed, a few times, that we weren’t even loud.” Eventually, one police officer asked the young men what they were playing. “I’m like, ‘Y’all wanna play Smash?!’ And two of them literally raised their hand and walked up. They’re like, ‘How do you jump?’ They were acting; one of them was playing Pikachu!” Williams says, laughing, alluding to the fact that the officers knew how to play very well.
posted by grobertson at 9:40 AM - 14 comments

Amazon Warehouse Workers in Staten Island Go Public With Unionizing Push

Employees at a newly-opened Amazon warehouse in Staten Island went public with a campaign to unionize last night. In the face of the company’s hyper-aggressive, global anti-union campaign, the new push is a pretty huge development for workers in other parts of the country—and other Amazon-owned companies like Whole Foods. The Staten Island employees’ complaints are familiar—mainly, that Amazon treats them like shit for not enough money.
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 8:34 AM - 44 comments

Photosynthesis Makes a Sound

The ping of algae turning sunlight into energy adds to the soundscape of marine ecosystems. [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 7:56 AM - 4 comments

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