March 25

"In the context of this wider lie."

How Pro Wrestling Explains Today's GOP [more inside]
posted by box at 1:14 PM - 17 comments

Here’s What Retirement With Less Than $1 Million Looks Like in America

The stock market downturn wiped away 20% of her nest egg, which is now worth about $240,000. To save on gas, she and Mr. Le Blanc drive to the grocery store only on days when they pick up their mail nearby. “There’s no frivolous driving around,” she said.
posted by craniac at 1:07 PM - 30 comments

Utah gets new flag... kind of... for now

This is Utah’s new flag — and here’s why more states are mulling redesigns ( link)
posted by Etrigan at 12:55 PM - 26 comments


Zakka collector iseebitarou (previously) celebrates 1M subscribers: Sushi Robot.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:55 AM - 3 comments

A 3D Road Trip

Top 100 3D vehicle renders of 4,280 submissions [more inside]
posted by Gyan at 11:43 AM - 4 comments

Everything Everywhere All of the Same

The age of average by Alex Murrell
posted by chavenet at 11:30 AM - 22 comments

How an endless voyage round the world stole my childhood

Suzanne Heywood tells of how her parents took her and her brother on and endless round the world yacht trip starting in 1976. CW: child abduction.
posted by rongorongo at 6:44 AM - 39 comments

More Saturday video shorts

Videos showing how all the different fields fit together in the map of mathematics and in the map of physics. Larnell Lewis demonstrates 13 levels of drumming. [Open Culture] Art History Shorts explaining famous works of art, artists, and art movements. [YouTube] [more inside]
posted by blue shadows at 1:26 AM - 2 comments

MS Chief Techonology officer Kevin Scott Behind The Tech blog

Bill Gates and Kevin Scott give us an hour on AI and the rapidly evolving future of computing. Explain it to me like I'm five years old? OK, not five years old maybe, not totally tech blind but I know little of AI. This podcast seemed aimed at people with my level of understanding; it was a good use of my time to spend an hour with these [more inside]
posted by dancestoblue at 12:00 AM - 6 comments

March 24

The Dumbest Way A Huge Turning Point in History Began

What is the dumbest way a huge turning point in history began? Not a direct Twitter link, just a roundup of things said on Twitter about extremely dumb moments that twisted history. I presume y'all might be able to add your own as well?
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:28 PM - 40 comments

Extreme polygamy may be driving southern elephant seals to early death

Pressures of extreme polygamy may be driving southern elephant seals to early death. Study finds males, who can command a harem of up to 100 females, driven to gain weight as quickly as possible by foraging in areas full of predators.
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 10:40 PM - 5 comments

Intel co-founder Gordon Moore dead at 94

Intel and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation announced today that company co-founder Gordon Moore has passed away at the age of 94. An era-defining inventor and engineer, his work laid the groundwork for our modern world of computing (and helped create Silicon Valley along the way). [more inside]
posted by redct at 9:27 PM - 31 comments

Talib Kweli talks to Jon Stewart for an hour

Talib Kweli's podcast People's Party welcomes Jon Stewart for one of those wide-ranging conversations that is full of Stewart insight that we long for more of in our current world. I'm not sure I felt better about the world after this, but I felt like I had some new perspectives.
posted by hippybear at 8:41 PM - 1 comment

A Survey Of Transgender Life In America

While the New York Times serves to platform transphobia, the Washington Post alongside health non-profit KFF have compiled an in depth survey of transgender people in the US. (Ungated version.) [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 1:42 PM - 12 comments

"The road outside is near."

The Never Ending Property (slYT) [more inside]
posted by box at 1:00 PM - 21 comments

Can't stop, don't want to.

Terry Barentsen films bike races, but not for the pro tour. Sometimes he’ll follow a single rider on a ride through their home neighborhoods or follow a chill group ride through NYC or the surrounding countryside - those last two in the company of BikeSnobNYC - but often he shoots alleycat races like Mexico City’s Track Or Die, NYC's Three Blind Mice, SF’s Mission Critical and sprints like Bedford Burning. [more inside]
posted by mhoye at 12:22 PM - 14 comments

Try again

SpaceX has gotten good at landing its boosters, but it did take a while to get it right.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:11 PM - 8 comments

"You, my friends, are not boring or lame."

Brandon Sanderson (Reddit, 03/23/2023), "On the Wired Article": "Honestly, I'm a guy who enjoys his job, loves his family, and is a little obsessive about his stories ... I can see how it is difficult to write an article about me." Additional context by Janet Manley (LitHub, 03/24/2023), "Read the meanest literary profile of the year (so far) ... and the subject's response": "Does Kehe insult Sanderson’s writing, or Sanderson, or Sanderson's Mormonism? Yes. All of those things." The Wired article by Jason Kehe (03/23/2023), "Brandon Sanderson Is Your God": "I realize, in a panic, that I now have a problem. Sanderson is excited to talk about his reputation. He's excited, really, to talk about anything. But none of his self-analysis is, for my purposes, exciting" (Wayback Machine).
posted by Wobbuffet at 10:55 AM - 84 comments

Much is Lost Through this Narrow Focus

Unfortunately, students interested in film usually acquire their critical frameworks and vocabularies first from popular film reviews, which rely heavily on ideas about artistic achievement and make value judgments without clear criteria. It can be very difficult to break students of the habit of evaluating in these terms and to get them to describe and analyze what they see and hear. It can also be challenging to reconcile aesthetic or technical criteria of judgment with the different registers of social significance that connect films to students’ personal and social lives. These introduce other sets of values and selection criteria into teaching. from What Films Should We Teach?: A Conversation About the Canon [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 10:54 AM - 8 comments

Hold my Hair and Tell the Future How I Died

What killed Ludwig van Beethoven? Was it Celiac disease? IBD? A neurological issue that also caused deafness? Liver disease? Cirrhosis? [more inside]
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 10:49 AM - 8 comments

misleading language choice, inadequate context, and biased sourcing

Alec Karakatsanis' meticulous research on copaganda.
A "Shortage" of Punishment Bureaucrats: When the New York Times Is Like a PR Firm for Police Unions.
Public Relations Spending by Police Part 1 and Part 2: In 2014, Chicago cops had 6 full-time public relations employees. During the coverup of Laquan McDonald's murder, the city increased its police budget to 25 full-time positions. As of 2023, Chicago cops have 48 full-time PR positions.
How the Media Enables Violent Bureaucracy Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3 [more inside]
posted by spamandkimchi at 10:43 AM - 8 comments

The Magical "Add Multiplayer" Button

Gomps, short for "Generic Online MultiPlayer System", is an in-development tool that will add rudimentary multiplayer functionality to any of the thousands of games made in Unity. Here's a short video of the tool working in Firewatch, Return of the Obra Dinn, and Ynglet.
posted by May Kasahara at 10:42 AM - 5 comments

cruise ships

Take a typical Alaska cruise and see the damage in its wake. The evidence is clear: the industry needs an overhaul. Article addresses sewage, pollutants, trash, impact on wildlife, impact on port towns and cities. [more inside]
posted by aniola at 10:37 AM - 19 comments


An online dance music subgenre quiz.
posted by solarion at 4:27 AM - 28 comments

March 23


伝統工芸品青山スクエア (Iga-yaki (pottery)) [more inside]
posted by clavdivs at 10:16 PM - 5 comments

That time Mark Twain and the The President raised a son together

From Matt Baume comes the story of The First Gay TV Movie: The Battle Over "That Certain Summer" [27m], a 1972 made-for-television movie starring Martin Sheen and Hal Holbrook as a gay couple struggling with the ramifications of trying to bring Holbrook's son from his marriage into their lives. Developed by the team who had created the recently successful Columbo, it made it onto television just a few years after the Stonewall Revolution.
posted by hippybear at 8:04 PM - 18 comments

The world's smolest monkey

The pygmy marmoset is the smallest monkey in the world and arguably the cutest. These gummivore rainforest-dwellers are also called pocket monkey, little lion, dwarf monkey, and finger monkey. [more inside]
posted by joannemerriam at 6:57 PM - 9 comments

Five (SFF) Authors We Wish Had Written More

In the wake of Cameron Reed's announcement that she is working on a new book and that Locus-nominated The Fortunate Fall is being republished next year, James Davis Nicoll points us at five other science fiction and fantasy authors whose careers ended too soon, for various reasons. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 5:00 PM - 37 comments

Hot Take Swan Song

In 2022, the podcast Hot Take—a "holistic, irreverent, honest look at the climate crisis and all the ways media and society are talking—and not talking—about it"— was acquired by Crooked Media, the network founded by the men behind Pod Save America. A year later, the hosts of Hot Take have written separate takes about why the podcast is ending, highlighting mismanagement and malfeasance from the company that acquired them.
posted by Tom Hanks Cannot Be Trusted at 4:12 PM - 17 comments

“We kept hoping the statue would be restored, but it never was”

In the 1950s, the Met began acquiring pieces from Robert E. Hecht, an American-born antiquities dealer who spent decades running afoul of authorities and was ultimately tried on charges of antiquities smuggling in Italy. In 1959 and 1961, Italian prosecutors charged Hecht with antiquities smuggling, and in 1973, they issued an arrest warrant for him that was later revoked. But the Met kept buying from him.
In search of stolen gods at the Met, the latest in a series on looted statues by the Nepali Times, focuses on the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which owns “at least 1,109 pieces previously owned by people who had been either indicted or convicted of antiquities crimes”.
posted by Kattullus at 2:48 PM - 12 comments

Finding Britain’s Lost Gods

I. Gods of Prehistoric Britain; II. Paganism in Roman Britain; III. Anglo-Saxon Pagan Gods; IV. Viking Pagan Gods in Britain: the first four of an on-going series of hour-long lectures at Gresham College by cravat-wearing historian Ronald Hutton. (Previously).
posted by misteraitch at 12:29 PM - 12 comments

Berber Music / ⵜⴰⵏⵎⵎⵉⵔⵜ

In pursuit of music to study/work/live to, may I present this 1.5 hr spotify playlist of north African music featuring bands such as Bombino, Imarhan, and Ali Farka Toure.
posted by rebent at 11:59 AM - 12 comments

Sociocracy: Democracy as It Might Be

Peace activist and educator Kees Boeke (previously) wrote Sociocracy: Democracy as It Might Be, a Quaker-inspired view of what democracy could look like. [more inside]
posted by Jpfed at 11:37 AM - 15 comments

Heaven criteria

it might've been nice to know this before dying
posted by simmering octagon at 11:37 AM - 13 comments

mollusc of the year

The Chilean Abalone is "International Mollusc of the Year 2023" [see the nominees]
posted by dhruva at 11:07 AM - 13 comments

Self-testing and toys to help you learn about your music listening

The Music Lab has tests for you to learn how good you are at discerning melodic discrimination and recall, mistuning perception, and beat alignment and more (previously). "This Is What It Sounds Like" offers compare-and-contrast samples to help you reflect on your taste in melody, novelty, realism, timbre, and other elements. Its links lead to further online tests and demonstrations.
posted by brainwane at 9:58 AM - 33 comments

The People's Plan for Nature

Can citizens' assemblies save the planet? The People’s Plan for Nature, launched on Thursday, sets out the UK public’s recommendations for reversing massive declines in Britain’s nature. A hundred people were invited to come together, in a citizens’ assembly, to agree on a plan for how to renew and protect nature. More information at [more inside]
posted by N8yskates at 9:04 AM - 3 comments

a hand sitting still on a handrail and the bodies blurring past together

Alexey Titarenko is a Russian photographer with a particular focus on long exposure and city photography, a combination that leads to stunning civic ghostliness as in, among other collections, City of Shadows (1991-1994), or the somewhat more restrained New York (2004-present). See also his photocollage of perestroika-era signs and symbols, Nomenclature of Signs. [more inside]
posted by cortex at 8:26 AM - 7 comments

The lesbian spy network that never existed

In 1918, there was a lesbian spy network working to "exterminate the manhood of Britain" called The Cult of The Clitoris... Except actually, there wasn't. It was a fake news scandal that somehow won a libel trial. This is the story of the sapphic cult that wasn't.
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 8:15 AM - 14 comments

For many, Link is gay or trans or both, and that’s a powerful thing

Link is a gay icon, and Zelda fans know it [Polygon] “The Legend of Zelda’s beloved and iconic protagonist, Link, is tagged in more than 17,000 pieces of fanfiction on Archive of Our Own. Among those stories, more than 300 are tagged with “Trans Link,” and nearly 2,000 feature Link in a romantic relationship with Prince Sidon (or Ganondorf, for the enemies-to-lovers fans). AO3 may not be the only metric for how many Zelda fans interpret Link as gay and/or transgender, but it’s one of the biggest. This is no surprise, as fans have been speculating on Link’s gender and sexuality since at least 2009, though realistically he’s been on the minds of queer players since The Legend of Zelda was first released in Japan in 1986.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 7:42 AM - 31 comments

Get your Club Z points ready

Zellers returns to Canada. (sort of.) Is nostalgia to blame? asks The Walrus, where anyone who follows Brittlestar knows the answer is definitely yes (and be careful, this tune is catchy). (link to YouTube) [more inside]
posted by warriorqueen at 7:29 AM - 63 comments

Kiss My… Machine

“Among the top complaints was its lack of tongue.” Chinese startup develops kissing machine that “makes sounds and warms up slightly when kissed.” [more inside]
posted by kinnakeet at 2:28 AM - 27 comments

Neon - A Short Skate Film

Neon is five minutes of mindblowing freestyle skateboarding from Andy Anderson, Isamu Yamamoto, and Kilian Martin. [more inside]
posted by Dysk at 12:50 AM - 16 comments

Like a Bit of a Distraction, Even an Anachronism

His is a temperamentally conservative vision, in which youth culture—hippies and beatniks, “kids gone feral,” kids who never fought in a war and lack respect for their elders—is an absurd and pathetic sort of menace. Where this could easily become curmudgeonly or censorious in a less imaginative writer, however, Portis always seems bemused; the disappointment is too vast to be taken all that seriously, it is foregone and always cut with an instinctual swerve toward the comic. from Signs and Wonders [Harper's; ungated] [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 12:23 AM - 1 comment

March 22

From One To "40" -- We Have To Talk About The New U2 Album

It started out as Edge's pandemic project. [Rolling Stone] Why not remake some old songs in a new flavor? Larry's on light duty, at best, after back surgery, and it's lockdown anyway so let's just fuck around with a sort of front porch vibe. Two years later, and we have the totally unexpected (even by their label) new U2 project Songs Of Surrender [Wikipedia]. Forty songs spanning their career, organized into four albums. Tracks with major lyric changes marked with •. We begin with The Edge: One, studio version [from Achtung Baby], video, best live recording, most famous cover version [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 7:43 PM - 43 comments

The Post-Socialist Mortality Crisis

"Even in 1950–53, during the last years of Stalin’s regime, with the high death rates in the labour camps and the [delayed] consequences of wartime malnutrition and injuries, the mortality rate was only nine to ten per 1,000, compared with 14–16 in 1994." Sopo Japaridze's thread on recent research about the 7 million excess deaths in Eastern Europe since the 1990s. [more inside]
posted by kmt at 2:54 PM - 20 comments

[META] Last call for Steering Committee nominations

PSA: This week is the last call for user nominations to the second Steering Committee to help set policy and oversee the site budget for the year ahead. Do you want to help chart a course for this community (or know someone who would make a great pick)? Send in your nominations today! More details from the full MetaTalk post inside. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi at 1:05 PM - 0 comments

The longest GOOOOOOAL ever

Argentine goalkeeper Leandro Requena scored one of the most outrageous goals you are ever likely to see during his Cobresal side’s 3-1 win over Colo-Colo in Chile’s top soccer league.
posted by Etrigan at 12:04 PM - 41 comments

Cocaine Cat

You've heard about Cocaine Bear, now get ready for Cocaine Cat. Found after it escaped from a car during a traffic stop in Cincinnati, the serval (which is illegal to own in Ohio), named Amiry, was tested and found to have cocaine in its system. [more inside]
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:45 AM - 20 comments

the “tide of history,” the courant de l’histoire

Russia’s war against Ukraine through the prism of the Algerian War and France’s decolonization. Metropolitan France lost [approximately] 75,000 soldiers in Vietnam and 25,000 soldiers in Algeria. The embrace of decolonization was an effort to turn something that was, in quite stark terms, a defeat for the French (and the Dutch, the British, the Belgians) into a good thing, something reassuring.
posted by spamandkimchi at 10:13 AM - 10 comments

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