December 7

Fun Home

A lesbian coming-out story, a father's suicide, life in a funeral home... Perhaps not the most likely subjects for a Broadway musical, but in 2015, the truly transcendent play Fun Home opened, and broke all expectations. Written by Tony-winnters Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron, based on a graphic memoir by Alison Bechdel [author reading and Q&A, 51m], the show is touching, hilarious, tragic, and ultimately very very human. Here is an edited audience bootleg (several sources, really good) of the original Broadway Cast [Vimeo link, 1h41m], including Michael Cerveris, Judy Kuhn, and Beth Malone. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 7:39 PM - 8 comments

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it

I Am The Horrible Goose That Lives In The Town. You cannot anticipate me because your brain is so big and weighty and far from the ground, but my brain is aerodynamic and small and ground-sure and I have all I need in my wicked goose-body, and also I have your radio. [more inside]
posted by vibratory manner of working at 1:24 PM - 30 comments

The Driver Who Hit Me Got Two Years in Prison. But I Got a Life Sentence

A driver hit Andrew J. Bernstein with his car, very nearly killing him, and ran from the scene. Years later, the driver is finally caught, reaches a plea deal, and is sentenced. But what is two years of jail time against the lifetime consequences faced by the victims of reckless drivers? What does "justice" mean when the legal system puts only the most egregiously dangerous drivers in prison but refuses to take steps to prevent this kind of violence in the first place? [more inside]
posted by threementholsandafuneral at 1:18 PM - 50 comments

Rothko at the Inauguration: A story of America in three scams

"The story I ended up with is at once the story of the largest art fraud of the late 20th century, the greatest betrayal in the history of the New York art world, and the inauguration of Donald Trump." An astonishing long form essay by Richard Warnica about Rothko, fatherhood, the depravity of the very rich, the Trump inauguration, and more than I can list here….but mostly about the mystery at the heart of great works of visual art. Richard Warnica previously on Mefi.
posted by jokeefe at 12:42 PM - 14 comments

The Summit of Democracies is a wrong idea

(for the world) [more inside]
posted by - at 12:33 PM - 8 comments

Tilda Swinton as Libraries

Tilda Swinton as Libraries
posted by Tom-B at 12:22 PM - 16 comments

The First Guy to Ever ...

The first guy to ever take a vacation, wrap a gift, commit a crime, write fiction, have a name, be a toxic fan, own a cat, punch someone, clean himself, be an artist, make a commercial, wear a costume, dream, celebrate Christmas, kidnap someone, open a restaurant, hold up a lighter at a concert, make a friend, have a home, swim, play tag, get drunk, get ripped, get divorced, celebrate a birthday, rob a bank, be king, eat dessert, go camping, open a zoo, open a school, wear contact lens, break an arm, open a hotel, play Duck Duck Goose, climb a mountain, go to prison, order food delivery, sell insurance, feel an earthquake, be a sports mascot, hire an assassin, shoplift, graduate, be a motivational speaker, solve a crime, or order drive-thru. [more inside]
posted by WCityMike2 at 9:46 AM - 22 comments

I Hate It

I Moved to a Remote Cabin to Write, and I Hate It From Outside Magazine, it's Iditarod musher Blair Braverman's advice column "Tough Love" dealing with what happens if you actually live out your COVID fantasy and run away to write a book in the woods.
I haven’t written anything. I’m bored with the little trail by my house, and the only wildlife I’ve watched are geese.
Blair Braverman previously on MeFi
posted by hydropsyche at 8:57 AM - 51 comments

"Cindy had a wonderful ability to be amused by things."

"Against Babylon" by Robert Silverberg -- published May 1986 in OMNI (previously) -- is an atmospheric science fiction story of brushfire season in Southern California and a pilot who misses his wife. [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 7:43 AM - 13 comments

Down Here Among the Living, Things Are Not So Simple

A worn face crusted with sores in the mirror, old before its time. Memories of a man’s flying fists visit every room. A belly swells with the inevitability of another life. Slut. An infant squalls. Wheezing. Laughter. Cigarette smoke. Young voices inside and out. The screen door opens and slams shut. And the undefiled border blooms with seductive promise as she sings to herself and carefully irons her blouse for school. from The Scapegoat: Siri Hustvedt on the Torture and Murder of Sylvia Likens [CW: pretty much everything awful]
posted by chavenet at 7:34 AM - 7 comments

Less than two hours, December 7, 1941

Attack on Pearl Harbor: December 7, 1941, fold3 HQ, Jenny Ashcraft, December 2, 2021. Eighty years ago this month, a surprise attack by Japanese forces occurred at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The attack killed more than 2,000, injured 1,178, and led to America’s entry into WWII. During the attack, six U.S. battleships were sunk, and more than a dozen others were damaged. The Japanese also destroyed 300 airplanes. The attack lasted less than two hours, and the following day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war on Japan. The volunteers at Stories Behind the Stars are working on an ambitious project to tell the story of each Pearl Harbor casualty. As we mark the 80th anniversary of that fateful day, here are a few stories they’ve gathered:
posted by cenoxo at 6:51 AM - 17 comments

December 6

NO Tannenbaum

Popular Mechanics asks Why the Hell Is There a Christmas Tree Shortage?
posted by ShooBoo at 10:09 PM - 84 comments

The Era of “This Isn’t Working” May Stick Around.

"How This All Happened, 5000 words tracing the boons and busts and expectations in the US since World War II.

"Things were very uncertain, then they were very good, then pretty bad, then really good, then really bad, and now here we are. And there is, I think, a narrative that links all those events together. Not a detailed account. But a story of how the details fit together."
posted by MrGuilt at 8:53 PM - 32 comments

Creating Get Back in Get Back

John's late, and Paul's fucking around on his guitar, and suddenly magic occurs. Paul McCartney Composing Get Back (Jan 7, 1969) [2m33s] From Get Back, directed by Peter Jackson, now on D+. It's long long long, but that's because it has to be. The Beatles: Get Back Is an Eight-Hour Love Story [Slate, medium read] [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 1:53 PM - 101 comments

Seeing Beauty Right in Front of You

At Block Club Chicago, Ariel Parrella-Aureli covers Allison Robicelli's recent overnight stay at O'Hare International Airport.
posted by Ipsifendus at 12:47 PM - 30 comments

Feel-Bad Politics Stories

Barton Gellman,
who was right in his September 2020 Atlantic cover story
when he made you feel bad about a coming election and democracy in America
has a new Atlantic cover story
to make you feel bad about the coming election and democracy in America.
Read it to feel bad!
Like Pandora keeping hope alive inside her box,
David Atkins writes in The Washington Monthly about steps to take to feel good about American democracy, and the reasons to believe those steps are conceivable.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:06 AM - 72 comments

"The cat’s silence was less heavy than her parents’ silence"

"Yiling was riding home on her motorcycle when she saw the cat. It was late evening and the air was thick with smells, but the scent of the cat rang out like the clang of a temple bell, cutting through the stench of exhaust and the oil-in-the-nose smell of fried food wafting from the roadside stalls." "The Guest" by Zen Cho is a short, sweet, funny fantasy story in which a young woman meets a cat and takes on a small magical job. [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 7:42 AM - 9 comments

Your country may be smaller than you think

Mercator Misconceptions: Clever Map Shows the True Size of Countries
posted by I shot a fox in Skyrim and it made me sad at 4:36 AM - 48 comments

The question of genre

The whole question of genre is something that female writers of all stripes have to contend with far more than their male counterparts. Just look at people’s obsession with categorising Sally Rooney. The idea that a young woman’s pastel-covered novels about millennials falling in love might qualify as literary fiction causes a fair few commentators to start frothing at the mouth: in 2019, Will Self dismissed her work as “very simple stuff with no literary ambition” during an interview to promote (and I swear I’m not making this up) a line of macarons for the restaurant Hakkasan. Emma Hughes (@emmahdhughes) writes on women's commercial fiction in The Guardian. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 3:36 AM - 37 comments

These crimes are preventable

Warning signs present in 1 in 3 homicides of intimate partners, CBC investigation finds. CW: Descriptions of graphic violence. [more inside]
posted by Alex404 at 2:05 AM - 43 comments

Live Like Line: The Story of Caroline Found

If you think that girls high school volley ball sounds like a nice little game, then you haven't been to Iowa City. Here girls volley ball is serious business, with some of the best girls in the country going head to head. The girls who come through here have reached the heights, big-time college scholarships, with dreams of national titles and Olympic medals. This is a story about a girl who achieved none of these, but might be the most celebrated of them all.
posted by dancestoblue at 1:04 AM - 6 comments

December 5

Star Trek: Coda

Author James Swallow: “It’s been twenty years since Star Trek fiction took a gigantic leap of faith, out from the universe established by the TV shows and movies, and into the new, ongoing continuity that avid readers nicknamed ‘the litverse.’ ... But nothing lasts forever.” [more inside]
posted by bryon at 10:56 PM - 32 comments

Peter Cundall

Peter Cundall, the host (1990–2008) of the ABC's Gardening Australia, and host of gardening programs since 1967, has died. [more inside]
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 7:36 PM - 11 comments

Standing at the Limit of an Endless Ocean

Rolling Stone Australia has released its list of the 200 Greatest Australian Albums of All Time. [more inside]
posted by jjderooy at 7:25 PM - 72 comments

"It's on, motherfuckers!"

L’Chaim! With the last night of Hanukkah wrapping up, Dave Grohl and Greg Kurstin also wrap up their second year of The Hanukkah Sessions with a song by two young Jewish men: Chaim Witz and Stanley Eisen. [more inside]
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 4:56 PM - 18 comments

'Fun' sleepover after a massive snowstorm strands 31 people in IKEA

Employees and customers spent the night sleeping in beds in the showroom. Around 11pm members of the group chose where they wanted to sleep, having their pick of IKEA's vast showroom of beds and sofas. "Everybody found a nice and comfortable bed and could test and try out our range," he said.
posted by folklore724 at 4:26 PM - 42 comments

a hundred people respond when one person calls

On November 13, delivery couriers working for food delivery company Foodpanda in Hong Kong went on strike as a response to pay cuts, work-related injuries, arbitrary account suspensions, long waits at restaurants, app issues and more. The strike was led by South Asian immigrants and supported by ethnically Chinese Hongkongers, and was self-organized without the aid of the (largely disbanded) trade unions. On November 18, workers and the company reached a deal on pay. [more inside]
posted by spamandkimchi at 2:41 PM - 2 comments

Medical illustrations in full colour

"I’ve literally never seen a black foetus illustrated, ever." [SLTwitter]
posted by clawsoon at 1:35 PM - 11 comments

The Kid Should See This Gift Guide

A nice set of STEAM oriented, often sustainable gifts for kids A product of the the blog: The Kid Should See This, which was linked previously. Has affiliate links, generally includes Amazon alternatives like bookshop, etc.
posted by rockindata at 1:31 PM - 9 comments

Jonathan Larson's Sunday

Sunday is a Sondheim pastiche from Rent composer Jonathan Larson that is featured in Lin-Manuel Miranda's film tick, tick... BOOM. The star-studded filming took quite a bit to pull off. [How “Tick, Tick…Boom!” Pulled Off Its Surprise All-Star Musical Number HarpersBazaar, medium-long read, oral history format] [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 1:17 PM - 8 comments

Food Sleuth

Ages ago, Ruth Reichl interviewed Ian Dengler about American food culture Now, Reichl has a blog/newsletter at substack and she has posted that article. [more inside]
posted by mumimor at 12:45 PM - 15 comments

“Because we’re not special,” I say.

"The tuktuk driver... Piter is telling me a story about digging a hole to hell, which is also the story of his life, and I am trying to explain to him why his life is meaningless, while he does the same to me." "Dharmas" by Vajra Chandrasekera is a witty fantasy story in which a taxi passenger futilely argues about cosmology. "What kind of psychology meets a new species and says—do what I want, or I’ll kill the lot of you?" "Anna Saves Them All" by Seth Dickinson is a very dark science fiction story about first contact and "how to do what must be done." [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 7:40 AM - 5 comments

The future, for me, has always felt intangible

I could never picture myself growing old or reaching life milestones. Now I know it's a trauma response called ‘a sense of foreshortened future’. [UK Glamour]
posted by ellieBOA at 6:12 AM - 71 comments

flyheccing with the cheez grip

Tetris players recently discovered an unusual way to use the NES controller, which is leading to new records being set.
posted by lazaruslong at 2:28 AM - 24 comments

December 4

The latest in the bonkers Ebay stalking case

Amazon. Etsy. eBay. Lots of companies appeared in David and Ina Steiner’s E-commerce newsletter. Only one tried to take them out. Previously 1, Previously 2, and Previously 3.
posted by momochan at 7:05 PM - 10 comments

The Secretive Prisons That Keep Migrants Out of Europe

Tired of migrants arriving from Africa, the E.U. has created a shadow immigration system that captures them before they reach its shores, and sends them to brutal Libyan detention centers run by militias. [slNYorker] [more inside]
posted by Ahmad Khani at 5:42 PM - 16 comments

The Beatles - Love

It began as the soundtrack to a Cirque du Soliel Vegas show, but became something much more. With George Martin and son Giles Martin at the helm, The Beatles 2006 album Love became much more than just a rehash of familiar material. It became a massive mashup project covering the entire Beatles career. [George & Giles Martin: Remixing The Beatles Sound On Sound, medium read] Here's the full album on Vimeo [1h20m,], probably the preferred listening experience. But also a YouTube playlist with each track separated. Oh, and here are the original liner notes to the album. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 12:57 PM - 17 comments

Putting the Indiana in Indiana Jones

Don Miller, a resident of rural Indiana, spent a lifetime collecting of tens of thousands of archeological artifacts, showing it off to visitors. His method of obtaining the artifacts though was not quite legal. How the FBI Discovered a Real-Life Indiana Jones in, of All Places, Rural Indiana.
posted by borkencode at 10:08 AM - 25 comments

"one of the only insurance providers to include a kaiju damages plan"

"They had asked about the top-tier package, with full coverage from any damage incurred from acts of kaiju. The yearly cost was more money than I’d ever made in my life." "One Hundred Seconds to Midnight" by Lauren Ring (published this year; available as audio and text) is a suspenseful speculative story about air travel and human decency. Naomi Shihab Nye's short poem about those same subjects, "Gate A-4", starts: Wandering around the Albuquerque Airport Terminal, after learning my flight had been delayed four hours, I heard an announcement: "If anyone in the vicinity of Gate A-4 understands any Arabic, please come to the gate immediately." [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 7:37 AM - 11 comments

A brazen, complex web of fuckery

How A NYTimes Reporter Collects Royalties From Hundreds of Musicians (slyt)
posted by BungaDunga at 6:57 AM - 48 comments

The Webb Space Telescope Will Rewrite Cosmic History. If It Works.

"Now we’re going to put our zillion-dollar telescope on top of a stack of explosive material and turn things over to fate." Current scheduled launch date December 22 To look back in time at the cosmos’s infancy and witness the first stars flicker on, you must first grind a mirror as big as a house. Its surface must be so smooth that, if the mirror were the scale of a continent, it would feature no hill or valley greater than ankle height. Only a mirror so huge and smooth can collect and focus the faint light coming from the farthest galaxies in the sky — light that left its source long ago and therefore shows the galaxies as they appeared in the ancient past, when the universe was young. [more inside]
posted by dancestoblue at 4:27 AM - 59 comments

Great Art Explained

The face that started a revolution. The Sistine Chapel of impressionism. A new kind of hero. A troubled vision. More explorations of what make other famous works of art great from James Payne's YouTube channel.
posted by blue shadows at 2:49 AM - 5 comments

December 3

Blender 3D: Deform Modifier Stack tutorial by Notorious B.I.G & Frends

Ever wish you could learn about Blender 3D from Notorious B.I.G.? Sometimes all it takes is a little AI here, a little hip hop there, and before you know it, you learned something. Also making appearances: Eminem, Jay-Z, Kanye, Snoop, Tupac...RIP
posted by circular at 3:08 PM - 8 comments

“All good things must begin.”

The thing that has surprised me most was really how cash poor she was. She’d journal just about every single day. She would write something in her journals and then she would work on her novels or a story or whatever. She would be doing calculations in the margins — word counts and how much she would be paid per word for something, how much money she had to get through the week, or how much or how little food she could purchase. Her shopping lists down to the penny. Which meant she had to go without a lot of things to produce the writing that we have been gifted. And it was kind of heartbreaking. From Tracing Octavia Butler’s Footsteps: An Interview with Dr. Ayana A. H. Jamieson [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 3:07 PM - 6 comments

If you list a book as published in 1602, it's in a different aisle.

SLNYT: What Happened to Amazon’s Bookstore? The state of Amazon today.
posted by Melismata at 10:20 AM - 75 comments

No knowledge of German required

Since its first release in 1961 the hymn “Danke” by Martin Gotthard Schneider has been one of Germany’s most popular Christian songs. But in 1993 comedian and theater director Christoph Marthaler made it a comic centerpiece of his popular play Murx den Europäer, often reprised. Marthaler’s version has itself been covered, such as by the Hafnarfjörður Brass Band and the male choir Voces Masculorum.
posted by Kattullus at 9:41 AM - 5 comments


You find yourself standing outside your college dorm hall. All of your friends are complaining about your Composition and Rhetoric Professor. He assigned a 10 page paper on Monday. The paper is due tonight...before midnight. [more inside]
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:38 AM - 18 comments

"They aren’t supposed to be used for frivolous things, she knows that"

"(emet)" by Lauren Ring is a speculative novelette involving surveillance technology, a tech worker who's "not even a cog in a machine, she’s just a drop of oil that helps the cog turn," and the programming of golems. It "was originally published in the July/August 2021 issue of the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, edited by Sheree Renée Thomas, and is temporarily available on this page for the purposes of awards consideration." Ring's stories on the intersection of tradition and sci-fi futures also include "The Best Latkes On the Moon" ("This is how to make latkes when you’ve just turned eleven and it’s the first night of Hanukkah and you are alone on the moon.") and “Three Riddles and a Mid-Sized Sedan” ("I teach my daughter to chalk runes around the house, double yellow lines that forbid the cars from crossing."). [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 7:35 AM - 5 comments


Home Video: Your Kid Performing in Your Living Room at Christmas by Desi Domo, part of the rotating troupe of comedy performers at Characters Welcome NYC. [more inside]
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 6:58 AM - 6 comments

December 2

A Couple Of Lists Of Christmas Music

15 unconventional Christmas albums from the past 50 years,from KTVZ, Bend, OR. Also, 20 New-ish Christmas Albums That Actually Rule from Esquire. I will admit to ordering an album from one of these lists and expect to be pleased.
posted by hippybear at 10:31 PM - 63 comments

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