Build up or pay up. That is the message Massachusetts is sending to 175 cities and suburbs in the Boston area, as a bill to boost housing production begins to take effect. Almost every jurisdiction in eastern Massachusetts will have to do its part zoning for 344,000 new units of as-of-right multifamily housing—or lose access to some state grant programs. That means allowing apartments in many tony subdivisions currently reserved for single-family homes. (SLSlate)
At doom’s doorstep: It is 100 seconds to midnight The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (about) updates their Doomsday Clock. [more inside]
Perhaps you would like to start your weekend with a feel good story of community cooperation, dangling sausages and a rescued pup. (single link to CNN) [more inside]
And then there are the customers. Bill McCamley, former new Mexico labor official, spent time tending bar in Texas, and lays out the specifics of what the "labor shortage" is about. tldr is: everything. [more inside]
These Polar Bears Are Living Their Best Life on an Abandoned Island A bit of Friday joy as we head in to the weekend - an abandoned meteorological station has become home to a colony of polar bears, and they seem to be thriving.
Part 3: Curtains and covers on secular paintings and looking-glasses From The Frame Blog…a fabulous collection of well researched articles on the aesthetics, function and social history of frames.
The recent killing of a woman pushed onto the NYC subway tracks brings up this issue: Advocates have been calling on the MTA to install subway platform doors for years to prevent exactly this kind of tragedy. Instead, the MTA hasn’t built any. [more inside]
It’s a radio broadcast of a baseball game. It’s completely fictional. And it’s designed to put you to sleep. The Northwoods Baseball Radio Network is on the air with no yelling and commercials at the same audio level. In an interview with its creator, Chicago-based media producer Mr King said "I experimented with listening to podcasts and white noise, and I found I liked to fall asleep by listening to a west coast game that I didn’t really care about." One game has been "played" with more planned as part of a podcast.
'Brought together for a new book of the same title, Undo Motherhood is Diana Karklin's attempt to better understand why women love their children and are excellent mothers when judged according to society's standards but yet hate the oppressive "mother role" that "robbed them of their own existence and suffer through it in silence", often feeling it to be the worst mistake they have ever made.'
Harvard's Loeb Music Library is releasing a small subset of their early 20th century Arabic 78 collection. Acquired over many years, the Arabic 78 Collection currently contains nearly 600 cataloged recordings of Arab and Arab-American music spanning the first half of the 20th century, from roughly 1903 through the 1950s, valuable not only for their musical content, but also as artifacts of the early sound recording industry. [more inside]
Over 18 months of discussion and planning, the racist statue of Theodore Roosevelt at the entrance to the American Museum of National History has finally been removed. The statue will be re-contextualized at the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library in Medora, North Dakota, set to open in 2026. [more inside]
Alex Cameron just published his latest music video, Best Life, today on YouTube, directed by Jemima Kirke. [more inside]
Sialis.org is a web 1.0-style site full of information about bluebirds and other small cavity nesters. That’s it!
Long-time very-online creative inter alia video type person Hank Green discusses how fucked TikTok's revenue-sharing is and why that's fine for TikTok-the-cash-cow but a bad long-term investment in TikTok-the-creative-hub.
How to be a Dick in the Twenty-First Century is a short story by Chris Stuck, author of the anthology entitled Give My Love to the Savages. "I could get around just fine, but I didn’t have legs in the traditional sense. That morning, before I even realized I’d transformed into a penis, I’d risen out of bed and waddled about my home as I usually did, had a cup of tea and read a bit of the newspaper. It wasn’t until I was walking past my full-length mirror on the way to the shower, stripping off my pajamas, that I finally saw my new form. Where my feet usually resided were two watermelon-sized testicles sitting cozily in nests of hair. I moved what used to feel like my feet and the testicles moved. This was, needless to say, fucking freaky. Testicles should never be that big. They really aren’t appealing. Yet when I looked up and saw my reflection, almost without meaning to, I elongated and stood taller. Instead of being sickened, I was momentarily impressed at how majestic I looked. I stuck out my chest." [content warning: sexual assault] [more inside]
Brookside, Alabama, a town of 1,253 just north of Birmingham, reported just 55 serious crimes to the state in the entire eight years between 2011 and 2018. But in 2018 it began building a police empire, hiring more and more officers to blanket its six miles of roads and mile-and-a-half jurisdiction on Interstate 22. By 2020 Brookside made more misdemeanor arrests than it has residents. Months of research and dozens of interviews by AL.com found that Brookside’s finances are rocket-fueled by tickets and aggressive policing. In a two-year period between 2018 and 2020 Brookside revenues from fines and forfeitures soared more than 640 percent and now make up half the city’s total income. And the police chief has called for more. [more inside]
It's gonna get cold here again in NE Ohio. Maybe time to experiment with bubbles (via Kottke). [more inside]
All the growth in the music business now comes from old songs. Music writer Ted Gioia traces the decline of new music in a changing consumption landscape, observing falling Grammy ratings, a frenzy of labels buying up the back catalogs of legacy artists, and the continued commercial interest in vinyl records. He examines the forces behind this state of affairs and where music can go from here.
Why Do Grocery Stores Still Have Ethnic Aisles? NYTimes article (probably paywalled, but the main points are in the video). [more inside]
24 hours of trains in the Netherlands, created by taking one full day of actual train movements, as explained in the thread. SLTwitter.
In 2011, he began creating a “MINIATURE CALENDAR”, a form of art that sees him use alternative items to recreate everyday things in miniature form. Since then, he has been updating and uploading content to present online on a daily basis. [more inside]
If Your Mom Owned "Reviving Ophelia" in 1995, My Best Guess For Her Non-Fiction Purchases In Each Subsequent Year. From Daniel Lavery's Chatner: 'The “What Happened to My Daughter?” genre was strong that year. Who took my sweet little girl away from me? She was so affectionate when she was eight, but now she’s too princess, or she’s too pageant, or she’s too tomboy, or she’s too mental health diagnosis I’m suspicious of, or she’s getting transed (but I’m getting ahead of myself, as that particular anxiety wouldn’t hit the Reviving Ophelia set in a significant way for another few years).'
Link to his obituary in Vogue. Fashion journalist André Leon Talley, often described as larger than life, has died at age 73. He was an American fashion journalist, stylist, creative director, and editor-at-large of Vogue magazine. He was the magazine's fashion news director from 1983 to 1987, its first Black male creative director from 1988 to 1995, and then its editor-at-large from 1998 to 2013. [more inside]
Chicago Public Media, home to WBEZ, will acquire the Sun-Times, with the Sun-Times joining WBEZ “as a not-for-profit subsidiary of Chicago Public Media.”
This Is What “Cozy” Looks Like Around the World (Apartment Therapy): “Is coziness an aesthetic brought about by carefully curated things, or is it a feeling rooted in something slightly intangible? You just know it when you see it and feel it, even if it doesn’t meet your own classic definition of cozy. We spoke to designers, creatives, and citizens of the globe to see what coziness looks like around the world.”
"I think the reason I’ve hesitated to write about this one is that I don’t feel like I live a very poverty-stricken life. I have everything I need. No bills to worry about, no bank account to keep track of, no car payments or maintenance, no debts to pay off. I don’t have to go grocery shopping or rush around the mall trying to buy the latest fashions in clothing. I always have enough food to eat. I live a comfortable life. So what is poverty, and if I say that poverty is the first of the three vows I have taken, what does it mean to me?"
"Obsessed with the ornithologist (Mario Cohn-Haft) who heard a birdsong he didn’t recognize in 1988, predicted that the song was made by a new species of bird, and then spent the next 25 years looking for it before finally discovering evidence for the previously undescribed species in 2013." Proposal (586) to South American Classification Committee. Predicted antwren birdsong and three recordings of other birdsong shared by Cohn-Haft on xeno-canto, "Sharing bird sounds from around the world".
The Last Design You'll Ever Make. "Designers were brought up to design from cradle to grave. Our new challenge is to postpone that grave as long as we can. How can we design the last product our customers will ever need buy? This is how to design for a right to repair." [more inside]
What the Kids Are Reading. Paul Musgrave provides some data on how college students live in a different media world from their instructors - according to BLS surveys, average daily time spent reading for personal interest in this age group is less than 10 minutes. "I’ve started doing more direct reading instruction, including exercises to help students identify the thesis of a given reading and to teach the conventions of different forms of writing. This may seem basic, but it really isn’t: even within the kinds of general-interest readings I assign, the conventions of longform journalism, opinion writing, analytical essays, and straight news stories are as different as lyric poetry and free verse. And if you don’t know what’s going on, you really can’t read these, even if you can put every word and sentence together." [more inside]
When the CEO of Pornhub’s mega-mansion mysteriously burned to the ground, there was no shortage of possible suspects. Now, for the first time, the site’s shadowy founders tell their story: XXX-Files: Who Torched the Pornhub Palace? [Vanity Fair] [Archive version] [story is technically SFW but it's about Pornhub so it's probably NSFW]
Microsoft Closing In On $70 Billion Deal To Buy Activision Blizzard – The Xbox owner is close to buying the beleaguered Call Of Duty publisher, Kotaku, John Walker, Jan 18, 2022: “In an extraordinary turn of events, Microsoft is getting near to a deal to buy Activision Blizzard, the Wall Street Journal reported today. This would not only be one of the most major shake-ups in the gaming industry in years but could also finally signal the end for its horrendous CEO, Bobby Kotick. Activision Blizzard has been going through a tumultuous time after widespread issues of sexual harassment and trauma were revealed within the enormous company…” [previously on MeFi.]
Dun, Dun Duuun! Where did pop culture’s most dramatic sound come from? Yet though many of us are familiar with the sound, no one seems to know exactly where it came from. Try to Google it and … dun, dun, duuun! Its origins are a mystery.
In April 2020, The Marsh family from Kent, UK cracked out a One Day More [check out the red flag 1.45m] parody about the then lockdown. Their latest sprightly commentary is on Boris Johnson's Government stonewalling on partygate: -"We'll Have to Wait for Sue Gray's Inquiry". Ms Gray may be the only senior civil servant in the corridors of power who hasn't been at a party . . . yet. [more inside]
"Weird Al" Yankovic biopic will star Daniel Radcliffe. “When my last movie UHF came out in 1989, I made a solemn vow to my fans that I would release a major motion picture every 33 years, like clockwork. I’m very happy to say we’re on schedule.”
"Hello, I'm sorry, this is going to sound weird but please give me a chance. When you were eighteen, did you have a childhood friend named Carli that you lost contact with after you left to go to college?" [more inside]
Dogs can distinguish language from gibberish—and tell languages apart. Many animals can pick out auditory patterns in human speech—but a study suggests dogs are particularly good at it. [more inside]
Both seasons of the critically-acclaimed queer web series The Outs are now free to watch. [more inside]
It's another Monday, by which I mean it's a Tuesday, and so it's time for another Free Thread! Come on in and talk about whatever, tell folks about an interesting animal and/or mineral you know something about, discuss your progress along the Kübler-Ross "five stages of social media Wordle score posting discourse" journey, etc. [more inside]
In 2008, the Norwegian city Hamar decided to build a diving tower. The estimated cost was 1.5 million krone (roughly $170k USD). Seven years and 28 million krone later, it was finally finished. Here is the story of the most expensive diving tower in the world, told half as documentary and half as absurdist musical. [SL DailyMotion, subtitles available in English] [more inside]
Nikole Hannah-Jones (previously), the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the The 1619 Project, was invited to give a speech about Dr. King, only to have a small number of members of the group hosting her claiming that her presence "dishonored" the Civil Rights icon. "So," Jones tweeted, "I scrapped my original speech and spent the entire first half of it reading excerpts from a bunch of Dr. King's speeches, but without telling anyone that I was doing so, leading the audience to think King's words were mine. And, whew, chile, it was AMAZING." Twitter thread starts here.
web3isgoinggreat.com is a schadenfreude filled timeline curated by Molly White that collects the grift, scams, hacks, and "rug-pulls" that seem to define the cryptocurrency ecosystem. She's also written about how blockchain-based systems are not what they say they are and that after more than a decade, it's not still early days for these projects. Extra bonus reading, Paul Butler's "Play-to-earn" and Bullshit Jobs, which explores the dismal grinding of the web3/NFT based games through the lens of Graeber's thesis about useless work, Nicolas Weaver's "The Web3 Fraud", which illustrates how web3 will still need all the same infrastructure since there is no actual decentralization there, and Natalie Weizenbaum's deeply disappointing list of otherwise decent people who are issuing NFTs.