July 23

No Man's Sky: The NEXT Update

Tomorrow, just shy of two years since the game was released, the No Man's Sky NEXT update will launch. This fourth major update will bring the game to the XBox One, and represents the biggest addition to the game's functionality since its launch in 2016, including long-awaited multiplayer functionality:
Resource gathering no longer feels quite so much of a chore when you've up to three other friends in a party; creative collaboration on building projects and the likes is a joy, and simply exploring the galaxy with friends in tow makes for a much less lonely place. And there are plenty of well-considered touches too, such as being able to mark points of interest for others to see, and easily dropping resources straight into friends' inventories.
[more inside]
posted by Sokka shot first at 4:01 AM - 1 comment

July 22

Nukey Poo

Not as adorable as you may think. Remembering Antarctica's first and only nuclear reactor.
posted by KirkpatrickMac at 8:23 PM - 6 comments

a lost battalion of platonic conversationalists

What's more fun than watching huskies frolic and complain? Nothing, that's what: Exhibit 1 | Exhibit 2. And because no post is complete without cats*, here are some noisy cats [all videos contain howling and/or yowling].

*Not true. I'm just saying that to be nice.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:12 PM - 6 comments

The tragic, true, ongoing story of a Detroit myth, White Boy Rick

If you're not from the Detroit area, or if you're not familiar with Kid Rock's second album, particularly the single "Back from the Dead" [explicit lyrics], the name White Boy Rick probably doesn't mean much to you. But if you are, he may be more of a myth, the baby-faced mega-dealer who drove white jeep with the words THE SNOWMAN emblazoned on the rear. In 2014, Evan Hughes reported at depth on the unlikely story of the youngest informant for the FBI, who at that time was still behind bars despite the Supreme Court banning mandatory life sentences for minors that saw others released, as earlier reported by Seth Ferranti in The Fix. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 7:50 PM - 3 comments

12% of a plan

In a single day, James Gunn went from acclaimed writer/director of one of Marvel’s most successful and beloved franchises, to fired. And, of course, Twitter is to blame.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:54 PM - 59 comments

This is about generating joy, and embodying joy

Meet the Subversive Sirens. These 5 women are bringing joy and inclusivity to synchronized swimming. The Subversive Sirens (Twitter) are committed to black liberation, equity in swimming/ aquatic arts, body positivity in athleticism & queer visibility. Check out short video interviews of the members and practice clips.
posted by spamandkimchi at 5:35 PM - 3 comments

D&D Kenku cosplay

It's always a really fun surprise. More on the costume by the creator, illustrator H. Esdaile, here.
posted by curious nu at 4:25 PM - 11 comments

The Book of Dragons

“The Dragon Tamers” A short story by Edith Nesbit, one of the mothers of modern fantasy. “The child who reads her will never be quite the same again, and that is probably a good thing” (Gore Vidal, 1964)
posted by stoneweaver at 1:51 PM - 13 comments

“No Restrooms, No Bare Feet, No Directions to the Solzhenitsyn Home.”

A Tiny Village in Vermont Was the Perfect Spot to Hide Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: "Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn didn’t actually write about Vermont. But the Russian author spent almost the entirety of his 20 years in exile here, in the tiny village of Cavendish, before returning to Russia in 1994." [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:02 PM - 4 comments

...give it a few seconds, then yank

Do you really need to properly eject a USB drive before yanking it out? Popular Science says probably not. The internet rebuts. [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 11:02 AM - 83 comments

LBJ orders a pair of pants.

Please listen to President Lyndon B. Johnson order a pair of slacks. SLYT
posted by Grandysaur at 9:33 AM - 25 comments

The Octonions (Real Numbers Are Trivial)

The Peculiar Math That Could Underlie the Laws of Nature - "As numbers go, the familiar real numbers — those found on the number line, like 1, π and -83.777 — just get things started. Real numbers can be paired up in a particular way to form 'complex numbers', first studied in 16th-century Italy, that behave like coordinates on a 2-D plane. Adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing is like translating and rotating positions around the plane. Complex numbers, suitably paired, form 4-D 'quaternions', discovered in 1843 by the Irish mathematician William Rowan Hamilton, who on the spot ecstatically chiseled the formula into Dublin's Broome Bridge. John Graves, a lawyer friend of Hamilton's, subsequently showed that pairs of quaternions make octonions: numbers that define coordinates in an abstract 8-D space." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 8:11 AM - 24 comments

Economics professor suggests Amazon books & Starbucks replace libraries

Via Forbes.com Described on Twitter as a C- Econ 101 essay, the author continues to defend his position.
posted by k8t at 7:54 AM - 79 comments

Dank Simpsons Remixes

- B L U R S T - O F - T I M E S -, - S N R U B -, - P U T - I T - I N - H -, - D I S S I N - Y O U R - F L Y - G I R L -, and other dank Simpsons remixes.
posted by milquetoast at 7:17 AM - 9 comments

“It’s not just a game… it’s a Gayme!”

Caper in the Castro was probably the first LGBTQ computer game. The player takes on the “the role of a lesbian private detective, Tracker McDyke, in search of a kidnapped drag queen, Tessy LaFemme.” The adventure mystery game was designed for Apple’s HyperCard, by C. M. Ralph, and released in 1989 as CharityWare, which meant that if people enjoyed playing, they were encouraged to “make a donation to an AIDS Related charity of your choice for whatever amount you feel is appropriate”. Adrienne Shaw of the LGBTQ game archive wrote about the game and interviewed Ralph last year.
posted by Kattullus at 7:09 AM - 12 comments

“But these are all tools of expression.”

Sheldon County: A Nothing Place [Soundcloud] [Episode 1]James Ryan, a Ph.D. student at the University of California, Santa Cruz, uses code to tell stories. Sheldon County is his current project (a proof-of-concept released to Soundcloud earlier this year can be listened to here.) Named in honour of Sheldon Klein, an early pioneer of expressive artificial intelligence, Sheldon County is an AI-powered podcast capable of generating an infinite number of procedural stories. Sheldon County tells the story of a fictional American town and the people who inhabit it over the course of 150 years. It is the result of two programs that run in parallel: Hennepin, which simulates each day and night in the history of a fictional American county over 150 years, and Sheldon, which in turn sifts through this accumulated history to find the interesting storylines and dramatic nuggets that have actually emerged over the course of the simulation based on narrative patterns authored by Ryan.” [via: Eurogamer]
posted by Fizz at 4:34 AM - 8 comments

Face off

Bian lian is the ancient and secret Chinese art of 'face changing'
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:51 AM - 18 comments

July 21

"When it's done properly, taco should be a verb"

Jonathan Gold, Food Critic Who Celebrated L.A.’s Cornucopia, Dies at 57
posted by lalochezia at 8:29 PM - 45 comments

Okay guys 🐥 I'm over here, look 🐥 this way, here I 🐥 am, right here 🐥

Ever wonder what it's like to teach kindergarteners? Perhaps it's like teaching chicks about magnets.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:15 PM - 20 comments

The new Fallas line

The pretty-dresses portion of a traditional festival.
posted by clew at 5:48 PM - 6 comments

Emily Carr, a Canadian artist of stunning originality and strength

Emily Carr (December 13, 1871 – March 2, 1945) was a Canadian artist and writer, documenting life and locations in and around British Columbia before others. She began painting in an era when women didn’t, at an age when most people shouldn’t, traveling to remote locations that few professional adventurers chose to go. Not only did she adopt the painting techniques of modernism, when such ideas were considered dangerous, Carr chronicled the extraordinary art and culture of native peoples, who were invisible to the dominant culture, as described in the documentary Winds of Heaven (documentary trailer). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 5:40 PM - 26 comments

Spaaaaace... laaaaaab...

Kraftwerk's live shows are known for being fairly regimented affairs, but at the Jazz Open Festival in Stuttgart, the band was joined by a special guest for a performance of "Spacelab": ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst, who is currently stationed about the ISS. (SLYT)
posted by SansPoint at 5:23 PM - 9 comments

Women's Worlds in Qajar Iran

This is the greatest thing you will see today: a group portrait of Ismat al-Muluk, granddaughter of the King of Persia Nasir al-Din Shah, and her relatives, circa 1900. This photograph is part of Women's Worlds in Qajar Iran, an archive exploring the lives of women during the Qajar Dynasty (1796-1925) through a wide array of photographs and materials from private family holdings. Other pictures of Ismat al-Muluk include this funny/strange one featuring her dad, her sister and a chair and this tender one, with her husband and a goat. Also: her sister Fakhr al-Taj (seated) with her mom Ismat al-Dawlah (lying). [more inside]
posted by elgilito at 4:46 PM - 8 comments

Very medium. Just straight-up meh.

"The Good Place" season 2 gag reel has been released. [more inside]
posted by rewil at 3:22 PM - 20 comments

The Tyrant and His Enablers

Long excerpt from Stephen Greenblatt's new book: Tyrant: Shakespeare on Politics It's about Richard III of Shakespeare's telling, not the "real" Richard. After all, he was writing for the Tudors, and we all know that victors write the history. But what he has to say about tyranny is as trenchant today as it was then.
posted by MovableBookLady at 3:18 PM - 5 comments

What 24 Hours in Prison is Really Like

A Day in the Life of a Prisoner People are constantly asking me: What’s a day in prison like? Is it boring? Or are you busy? So the other day, I toted a pocket-sized notebook with me everywhere I went, scribbling down every single thing I did. I thought I’d share my findings with you to show you that we prisoners aren’t deadbeats — our days are, in fact, incredibly full.
posted by strelitzia at 12:37 PM - 13 comments

“Long live the king”

The first trailer for Godzilla: King of the Monsters, the 35th film, scheduled for the summer of 2019. Stars "Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah", plus some humans including Millie Bobby Brown, Sally Hawkins, Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Ken Watanabe and Charles Dance. Godzilla vs. Kong is scheduled to follow up in 2020. [Twitter][InterWeb]
posted by Wordshore at 12:19 PM - 55 comments

At the Living Heart: Translating Aimé Césaire

we sing of poisonous flowers [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus at 11:54 AM - 3 comments


The best on-screen kisses of 2018, according to Proma Khosla at Mashable. Rewatch some lovely kisses from your favorite tv shows and movies and get spoilers for a few you don't watch with utter sweetness. [more inside]
posted by Margalo Epps at 11:39 AM - 2 comments

White Fragility

"I think you’re racist. I think I am, too." (full talk) Dr. Robin DiAngelo coined the term "white fragility" to describe "a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable." She has just published a book on the subject and in this talk for the KUOW Speakers Forum she has particularly pointed words for the fragility of white progressives. [more inside]
posted by schroedinger at 10:39 AM - 64 comments

What’s the collective noun for hermits?

Hermitcraft is a private, whitelisted, vanilla Minecraft server, supporting a number of YouTube Let’s Players and streamers, which is now entering its sixth season. Founded by Generikb - who describes himself as a “gaming hermit” - in April 2012, the server had a rocky start, including losing the first map only a few episodes in. Regrouping, the Hermits started over, but “genny” would leave after a year to focus his time on the older Mindcrack server, to which he’d been invited half-way through the first Hermitcraft season (and which had been the impetus for starting his own survival multiplayer server). The rest of the Hermits carried on, before deciding to reset the map for an official “Season 2” in June of 2013 as Minecraft’s “Horse Update” was approaching a proper release… [more inside]
posted by Auz at 10:30 AM - 8 comments

What makes Yes's Roundabout so f***ing great?

An in depth breakdown of the multi-track master tape of Yes's Roundabout, one of the most complex, adventurous, innovative, progressive records to ever get played (almost) to death on classic rock radio. Thank you, Rick Beato, all purpose everything music guy (previously). [more inside]
posted by philip-random at 10:10 AM - 37 comments

A Porous Reality In The Government Communications Office

The UK's Civil Service has a high opinion of itself and is proud of its history. It publishes a periodical, Civil Service Quarterly, so that its bureaucrats may read about themselves, and the latest edition included a long, illustrated article about the history of public communication. But all was not as it seemed. [more inside]
posted by Devonian at 9:37 AM - 12 comments

Die With Me

The chat app you can only use when you have less than 5% battery. The app itself is an art project that reflects on how dependent we are on our phones. But people have actually been using it. On average, 17 people are in the chatroom at once.
posted by adept256 at 9:08 AM - 9 comments


$800 Million Says a Self-Driving Car Looks Like This - "It's in the city, though, where Zoox really shines. The screens inside the vehicle show an overwhelming amount of information, as the computer vision software keeps tracks of cars, people, stoplights, and road markers all at the same time. Unlike many self-driving cars, it glides to stops. At an intersection with a left turn, it allows oncoming traffic to pass and then waits for some slow pedestrians. Overall, the vehicle performs so well that you forget no one is driving."
posted by kliuless at 8:08 AM - 75 comments

We ban it immediately

Conversation is impossible if one side refuses to acknowledge the basic premise that facts are facts. This is why engaging deniers in such an effort means having already lost. And it is why AskHistorians, where I am one of the volunteer moderators, takes a strict stance on Holocaust denial: We ban it immediately.
posted by eirias at 4:36 AM - 46 comments

He tapped the shutter, freezing a moment of hope, of promise.

"Late one night inside an art-filled home on a tranquil parkway in Silver Spring, Md., a woman decided to take her laptop to bed with her. She clicked on a story about an old picture. Her eyes widened. “No,” Michele Holzman thought to herself. “That couldn’t be me. Could it?”" How a Washington Post story about the two unidentified people in a beautiful old photograph leads to a reunion of one of them and the photographer.
posted by Stanczyk at 4:23 AM - 8 comments

The Conscience Pile

"The fossilized remains of an ancient forest, dazzling with glints of opal and amethyst, have tempted many a visitor to Arizona’s Petrified Forest National Park. Some who pocketed a rock were later guilt-stricken into sending them back, and some even included letters of lamentation and curses. Bad Luck, Hot Rocks: Conscience Letters and Photographs from the Petrified Forest, published in November by the Ice Plant, is a photography and archive project by artists Ryan Thompson and Phil Orr to document these stolen fossils and their woeful apologies." [more inside]
posted by lesser weasel at 4:19 AM - 7 comments

All you need is "to have an infinite amount of intelligence".

I am going to give what I will call an elementary demonstration. But elementary does not mean easy to understand. Elementary means that very little is required to know ahead of time in order to understand it, except to have an infinite amount of intelligence. There may be a large number of steps that hard to follow, but to each does not require already knowing the calculus or Fourier transforms. -- Richard P. Feynman
This video recounts a lecture by Richard Feynman giving an elementary demonstration of why planets orbit in ellipses. See the excellent book by Judith and David Goodstein, "Feynman's lost lecture”, for the full story behind this lecture, and a deeper dive into its content. minutephysics takes some time off and lets 3Blue1Brown tell the story of Feynman's Lost Lecture. Orbital mechanics the Elementary way...
posted by zengargoyle at 1:21 AM - 5 comments

With knobs on

There are 93 penises in the Bayeux Tapestry What do they tell us? [more inside]
posted by Helga-woo at 1:19 AM - 24 comments

When I wear a lot of black... you can’t see the tomato sauce stains

Helena Hauff is a German techno and electro DJ and record producer. She has released a 'short film' / music video Qualm as a teaser for her coming second album of the same name. 'Every woman who DJs and is visible helps to make a change'. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:57 AM - 1 comment

July 20

Shed a Little Light

The antithesis of your news feed. James Taylor, Martin Luther King... There are times between us, all men and women, living on the earth...
posted by HuronBob at 11:29 PM - 7 comments

Totenköpfchen (Laugh at Death)

Inge Ginsberg performs death metal with her band, the TritoneKings Trümmer "As Ms. Ginsberg grew older, she kept writing lyrics and poetry, and realized she needed to find new ways to reach an audience. How was she going to gain attention in a society where older women are neglected, silenced and often cast off? At age 93, she discovered a solution: death metal, where you can shout your lyrics instead of sing them." Fittingly, the tritone is known as the devil's interval.
posted by bunderful at 9:28 PM - 11 comments

World War Disinformation

"Combining virtual hate mobs, surveillance, misinformation, anonymous threats, and the invasion of victims’ privacy, states and political parties around the globe have created an increasingly aggressive online playbook that is difficult for the platforms to detect or counter." Bloomberg's Michael Riley, Lauren Etter, and Bibhudatta Pradham: A Global Guide to State-Sponsored Trolling. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 9:04 PM - 11 comments

Maman lives in a bubble

This knowledge lends A Bubble the quality of a saint’s relic and makes it nearly unbearable to read. It is a tiny work, less than twenty small pages, and more would seem impossible to handle. The first few times I looked through it, I held my breath, for it is in essence a horror story. I kept thinking of that old urban legend/possible Hemingway apocrypha that the saddest story ever told took only six words: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” And here is this, a book sized for a toddler’s hands, with its simple colors, its direct language, its bright hope. Baby book, begun in love, never finished: The Saddest Children’s Book in the World
posted by not_the_water at 8:00 PM - 4 comments

Sophomore slump or sophomore surge?

Alan Sepinwall talks about the difficulties of pulling off season 2
posted by PussKillian at 7:41 PM - 8 comments

“intimidating whirlwinds of bullets...”

What Other Games Can Learn From the Bullet Hell Genre [Paste Magazine] “When you hear “bullet hell” what do you think of? It’s not a new term, but it’s gained increasing prominence in the mainstream games discussion over the last decade, and is often associated with any game with overwhelming numbers of enemy projectiles. While these barrages of bullets are what immediately capture attention, the genre is better defined by the way that it forces players to react to space. Taking elements from it can create new, novel approaches to the way we play in already established genres. Like roguelikes, the bullet hell genre has also seen a small number of games do just that, growing a small niche into something more visible and influential. It’s also muddied definitions of what exactly the genre is, and the elements that make it unique. In the strictest sense, “bullet hell” is a sub-genre of scrolling shooters, often but not strictly vertically oriented, that focus on intricate patterns of enemy projectiles, often building to encounters where most of the available play space is blanketed in bullets.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 5:02 PM - 29 comments

Sit. Stay. Smile!

The UK's Kennel Club has announced this year's winners of the Dog Photographer Of The Year contest (previously). There are new dogs, there are old dogs, there are friendly dogs. So many good dogs.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 4:51 PM - 13 comments

"We never considered or wrote for She-Ra as 'the ideal woman.'"

Recently, Lumberjanes writer Noelle Stevenson tweeted a set of images showing off the art style for her latest project: a reboot of the classic cartoon series She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. While the new designs got rave reviews from many fans, a vocal contingent complained that the designs were not "appealing" enough, with some even attacking Stevenson herself over the redesign. In turn, other fans have been fighting back, pointing out how disturbing and creepy their argument really is. [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 3:45 PM - 89 comments

Evolution of Video Game Music: Played on Violin

Part One. [SLYT 3min 50sec] Part Two [SLYT 2min 45sec] [more inside]
posted by Faintdreams at 2:46 PM - 8 comments

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