October 18

To the Very Last Person to Ever Touch My Daughter on Earth

I honestly have no idea what compels someone to become a funeral director. I can't imagine many high school career counselors hear that one. In your case, this was a family business, but you could have done anything. Instead, you chose to comfort the brokenhearted. You chose a profession where you see people at their weakest and most vulnerable. During the times where we are so lost we have literally no idea how we will behave. Some sit stone still, others rage. Some cry, others are in denial. Families fight in front of you, bringing up old, unnecessary wounds when all that should be done is to write the obituary and get it into the paper.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:44 PM - 9 comments

The Agony and the Ecstasy of Being Hated On The Internet

Lindsay Ellis speaks at the XOXO Festival about lessons she's learned for managing online harassment.
posted by wabbittwax at 6:12 PM - 1 comment

Yes, you can pet the Polterpup in Luigi's Mansion 3.

Luigi's Mansion 3 [YouTube][Game Trailer] [Overview Trailer][JP]“Luigi’s Mansion is one of those series that seemingly came out of left field. When it was announced that Luigi would be getting his own star role for the GameCube launch, people were dubious. What came was nothing like any Mario game before it, and it has stuck with fans ever since, albeit through scattered releases and easter eggs in other Mario franchises. So when a full-console third installment was announced last September, people lost their minds. Luigi's Mansion 3 has that Nintendo polish we know and love: The mansion is gorgeous, the character animations are stylized, and the music is unbelievably good. While it may not scare you like Resident Evil or The Last of Us, there is still some low-level eeriness. So if you're too old for trick-or-treating and too chickenshit for other horror games, this is the perfect pick for your Halloween gaming.” [via: Esquire] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 5:33 PM - 5 comments

No Claws for Concern

Playing Deadliest Catch: The Game on medical speed. A newly-diagnosed ADHD patient describes writing on a deadline with new meds. Come for the fantastic advertisement of just how great appropriate mental health treatment can be, but stay for the Bon Jovi theme running throughout.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 1:51 PM - 7 comments

Muddy America: Color Balancing the Election Map

The Trouble with the County Winner Map, and why this Muddy Map is better for determining vote populations and vote margins in the US election.
posted by agentofselection at 12:33 PM - 16 comments

Helping the climate survivors multiply and thrive, for a while at least

On the north shore of Lake Tahoe, Patricia Maloney, a UC Davis forest and conservation biologist, hunts for these [climate] survivors. Most people focus on the dead trees, their brown pine needles obvious against the glittering blue of the lake. But Maloney tends not to notice them. "I look for the good," she says. "Like in people, you look for the good, not the bad. I do the same in forest systems." [...] "Evolution is a tool that we can bring to bear in helping us get through this future," says Steve Palumbi, a biology professor at Stanford University, who has been looking for coral that can handle heat. Boosting natural resilience: studying the trees that survived California drought and coral that withstand higher water temperatures, and then helping them propagate (NPR). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 12:26 PM - 3 comments

Emo Lumen T

The matter of Trump receiving emoluments has come under scrutiny, especially for stays at his DC hotel and due to his declaration that the 2020 G-7 meeting will take place at Trump Doral Resort. [more inside]
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 11:30 AM - 66 comments

The Mystery of the "Terminator" Theme Time Signature

What time signature is the Terminator theme in?
posted by WCityMike at 10:47 AM - 68 comments

"A Communist doesn’t whine - he shows his teeth"

An interview with Theodor Bergmann, "the last participant and eyewitness to the German labor movement of the Weimar era."
posted by clawsoon at 9:32 AM - 6 comments

The day Zach Galifianakis saved Obamacare.

“ Obamanauts have a passion for office and state, a calling for power distilled of all impurities. Pfeiffer may have wanted to help Obama “achieve his place in history,” but his ultimate intention in the White House was to serve “not just my president but the presidency itself.” Even so, theirs is an agile sense of service that bends to more self-serving claims. Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes says that after 9/11 he was so compelled by patriotism—and repelled by the New York left’s “preemptive protests against American military intervention” and “reflexive distrust of Bush”—that he made the trek uptown to talk to an Army recruiter under the Queensboro Bridge. After giving the matter some thought, he decided that army life wasn’t for him; he could better serve his country by joining a think tank in DC.” The memoirs of Barack Obama’s staffers, considered (Dissent)
posted by The Whelk at 8:41 AM - 13 comments

One Rothko Per Hour

One Rothko per hour
posted by Etrigan at 7:53 AM - 37 comments


Lizzo boosts flute sales as classical music has renaissance on Instagram - "The Detroit-born star has amassed more than 265,000 fans on her flute playing Instagram account @Sashabefluting (named after her flute she calls Sasha Flute)."
posted by kliuless at 6:42 AM - 10 comments

Fun, convenient, viral

Last month, Pizza Hut rolled out a calzone shaped like a Cheez-It, a square cracker with a cheddar flavour, and, in August, KFC released a fried-chicken sandwich stuffed with Cheetos, puffy cheese-flavoured crisps.
The BBC takes a delve into the world of viral fast food-cum-snack creations that "inspire curiosity, attention and disgust wherever they go".
posted by Vesihiisi at 5:22 AM - 53 comments

The WTC Visualised

Chill out this Friday with visuals in various styles illustrating Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier book 1. (SLYT Playlist) [more inside]
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 4:15 AM - 7 comments

October 17

"I have thousands of those [...] that are pretty good."

this video of paul rudd demonstrating how he takes pictures of celebrities and makes his hand look like a butt is hovering over them is more valuable than anything you'll ever learn in school (link to Tweet) [more inside]
posted by Caduceus at 10:19 PM - 48 comments

Hidden for years

“A spiritual experience”: The artist behind a rediscovered Last Supper sculpture talks about its creation. [more inside]
posted by peeedro at 4:12 PM - 10 comments

Become a horrible eldritch ocean god. 🐙

Sea Salt [YouTube][Game Trailer] “I am a dark God; my tendrils writhe beneath the waves, and altars to my magnificence are spread across the land. I seek worship, but, more importantly, I need flesh. When the time comes for my devoted archbishop to sacrifice himself, he refuses and flees behind the paltry defense of the city walls. He has mistaken my call for a request, and now I must claim him — and anyone who stands in my path. I will feast. [ ...] It’s best summarized as Hotline Miami, except I’m an angry sea god instead of a nihilist in a mask. I also gather and manage minions in a way that’s a little like Pikmin, but for goths. I have to navigate through levels seen through a top-down camera, and use my 2D pixel-art armies to visit unfathomable violence on the enemies and obstacles in my way.” [via: Polygon]
posted by Fizz at 3:07 PM - 18 comments

A Doubleheader Of Baseball Dork

Sports statistical dorks Jon Bois and Alex Rubenstein have a video and print pairing of baseball statistical oddities. On the video side, we have a discussion of Brandon Guyer, the Hit By Pitch God, who turned the beanball into a weapon. Then in print, they discuss how 2019 was the Year Of The Dinger, with an additional loving roasting of the Baltimore Orioles for being the recipient of so many.
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:41 PM - 17 comments

Never a dull moment

The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk's resident historian recounts the immediate aftermath of the 1989 Loma Prieta quake on the seaside amusement park and adjacent retirement home Casa Del Rey, as well as how it was rebuilt. [more inside]
posted by subocoyne at 12:05 PM - 12 comments

Tour Halted Immediately After Scandal! Willie will never perform again!

Craig Silverman at Buzzfeed breaks down the anatomy a intricate fake ads on social media scam. He gives some of the highlights in a thread on Twitter. [more inside]
posted by 3j0hn at 9:35 AM - 49 comments

San Francisco is now home to world's tiniest comic shop, "Hella Novella"

San Francisco is now home to the world's tiniest comic shop. Not only is it the world's tiniest, at 71 square feet, it's also devoted solely to "local artists, women, and people of color."
posted by Slinga at 8:55 AM - 9 comments

Congressman Elijah Cummings: 1951-2019

U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings of Baltimore, a committee chairman known for his devotion to Baltimore and civil rights and for blunt and passionate speechmaking, died of longstanding health problems early Thursday morning, his office said. He was 68 years old (Baltimore Sun). "In the Congress, Elijah was considered a north star," Pelosi said. "He was a leader of towering character and integrity." She added, "He lived the American dream, and he wanted it for everyone else." (NPR) More remembrances on the Baltimore Sun, and Elijah's story, from his campaign site.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:40 AM - 137 comments

In Fairness to the Marmot, That Is a Very Startling Fox

The UK's Natural History Museum has unveiled its Wildlife Photographer of the Year winners. Yongqing Bao won the adult award for The Moment, his shot of a Himalayan marmot being surprised by a Tibetan fox. Cruz Erdmann won the youth award for Night Glow, a colorful shot of a bigfin reef squid.
posted by Etrigan at 7:51 AM - 25 comments

When Internet Access is a Public Utility

In some Rust Belt communities, broadband access is provided by the municipal government. [more inside]
posted by hilaryjade at 6:17 AM - 30 comments

Coca-Cola's plastic secrets | DW Documentary

By 2050, there could be more plastic than fish in the sea. Ten tons of plastic are produced every second. Sooner or later, a tenth of that will end up in the oceans. Coca-Cola says it wants to do something about it - but does it really? (YouTube link)
posted by flabdablet at 4:21 AM - 39 comments

We will decide who plays in this country...

In 1928, successful American jazz bandleader Sonny Clay took his big band, billed as Sonny Clay's Colored Idea, on a tour of Australia. They played in Sydney and Melbourne and were well received by audiences, though throughout their tour, were followed by police detectives. Then, on 25 March, Victoria Police raided an apartment in East Melbourne where some of the musicians were staying, finding several members of the band in the company of five local women. An attempt to charge the women with vagrancy failed, leaving the musicians free to go, but their subsequent reception in Sydney was frigid, with hotels denying them accommodation. Meanwhile, the federal government cancelled their visas, and instituted a policy of barring entry to Australia to black musicians, which remained in effect until 1954.
posted by acb at 3:20 AM - 23 comments


"Here it is again," she thought. "Someone else that has my life right in their hands and is able to make these decisions for me. Here it is again. Someone again forcing my hand to do something I don't want to do when it involves sexual stuff." So she made a decision. From The real (and fake) sex lives of Bella Thorne [BBC] [CW: abuse, depression, revenge porn, deepfakes, Disney. Link may be NSFW for language.] [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 2:25 AM - 12 comments

October 16

Please regard this as a menu, not a college course

NPR's podcast Hidden Brain recently completed their 2019 edition of their series, You 2.0. Across six episodes, it explores ways people might be able to improve themselves and break old patterns to move into renewed progress in their lives. Episodes run from around 30 minutes to around an hour. Episode 1 is The Empathy Gym [53m] "On this episode of Hidden Brain, we talk about calibrating our empathy so we can interact with others more mindfully." [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 9:52 PM - 9 comments

"I was shocked that instead of a hit or a slap, she wanted to hug me."

"I don't think I need to forgive you, because I understand what happened. He and I were like two rocketships on the same trajectory, from different directions. He had been raised and trained in an environment that caused him to react exactly like you would expect a human being to react, given his training and environment. I was doing exactly the same thing, reacting exactly how I was trained. To me it was almost inevitable what had happened. I don't need to forgive him. If he wants it, if that's something that would be of value to him, I would give it." Ear Hustle, the podcast featuring inmates at San Quentin State Prison in California, talks about forgiveness. CW: graphic descriptions of violence. The Victim Offender Dialogue program as mentioned in the show.
posted by Evilspork at 6:43 PM - 11 comments

shiny speedy ant

These Desert Ants Gallop at a Blistering 108 Body Lengths Per Second "Just how quick these iridescent arthropods can be, and how they achieve those speeds, is explained for the first time today in the Journal of Experimental Biology (paywalled). Saharan silver ants can travel at 108 body lengths a second, the researchers found. This makes them one of the fastest known running species, bested only by the California coastal mite and the Australian tiger beetle."
posted by dhruva at 6:38 PM - 17 comments

Yahoo Groups Is Winding Down

...and all content will be permanently removed. Users won't be able to upload new content to the site after October 21 and have until December 14 to archive their content, Yahoo said in an announcement.
posted by clawsoon at 4:18 PM - 67 comments

Two Essays and a New Book from Andrea Long Chu

Andrea Long Chu, On Liking Women:
The truth is, I have never been able to differentiate liking women from wanting to be like them. For years, the former desire held the latter in its mouth, like a capsule too dangerous to swallow. When I trawl the seafloor of my childhood for sunken tokens of things to come, these bus rides are about the gayest thing I can find. They probably weren’t even all that gay. It is common, after all, for high school athletes to try to squash the inherent homoeroticism of same-sex sport under the heavy cleat of denial. But I’m too desperate to salvage a single genuine lesbian memory from the wreckage of the scared, straight boy whose life I will never not have lived to be choosy. The only other memory with a shot at that title is my pubescent infatuation with my best friend, a moody, low-voiced, Hot Topic–shopping girl who, it dawned on me only many years later, was doing her best impression of Shane from The L Word. One day she told me she had a secret to tell me after school; I spent the whole day queasy with hope that a declaration of her affections was forthcoming. Later, over the phone, after a pause big enough to drown in, she told me she was gay. “I thought you might say that,” I replied, weeping inside. A decade later, after long having fallen out of touch, I texted her. “A week ago, I figured out that I am trans,” I wrote. “You came out to me all those years ago. Just returning the favor.”
[more inside]
posted by JimBennett at 2:54 PM - 14 comments

We are working, we are working

On the eve of a(nother) crunch European Council on Brexit, negotiations on a possible deal are ongoing in Brussels. [more inside]
posted by roolya_boolya at 2:39 PM - 89 comments


2500 Classic MS-DOS Games Are Now Free To Play [Internet Archive] “The Internet Archive has been building a growing collection of old PC games over the years, with a batch of DOS games added in 2015, and Windows 3.1 games in 2016—all of them playable in your browser. This month another update has hit the collection, and now 2,500 more games (often with their manuals) have been preserved for the ages. Highlights of the latest set include Street Fighter 2, The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard, Loom, The Lost Vikings, Magic Carpet Plus, Robotron 2084, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Queen of Krynn, King's Quest 1 and 2, The Lords of Midnight, The Incredible Machine and its sequel, the first three Bard's Tale games, and plenty more.” [via: PC Gamer]
posted by Fizz at 2:32 PM - 52 comments

The Human Alphabet

"There is arguably nothing more human than the alphabet, given that language, and particularly written language, often tops the list of qualities which distinguish our dear species most distinctly from others. To form the letters of these alphabets using the human body is then, perhaps, not so strange a leap..." (links 1 & 2 potentially NSFW). [more inside]
posted by misteraitch at 1:33 PM - 6 comments

E/V Nautilus found a recently deceased whale

WHALEFALL! NOAA's Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary’s exploration vessel Nautilus has “just discovered a whale skeleton on the seafloor covered in bone-eating worms, cusk eels, and octopus devouring this massive deep sea meal.” You can watch live, with commentary by the Nautilus team, who are also taking questions.
posted by Kattullus at 1:00 PM - 27 comments

Yes, in Fact We ARE the 800 Pound Gorilla!

This past Monday morning at 8:05 AM EST, the Twitter account for Disney's forthcoming Disney+ streaming service posted a tweet saying, "It. Is. Time." [more inside]
posted by Ipsifendus at 12:34 PM - 98 comments

Thinking Outside the Plane

Tarski's Plank Problem1,2 asks for the least number of strips of width 1 that will cover a circular hole of diameter N. Though the strips are allowed to overlap, the configuration that will occur to most people is N parallel strips side by side, with no overlap and no gaps. But is this the best possible?

The middle strips in this configuration cover the most area, while the strips on the edge don't seem to pull their weight. Could a bunch of strips crossing the center in different directions do better? But the outer circumference also needs to be fully covered, and that's one thing "edge" strips do well. There's no obvious right way to measure each strip's contribution. It's a maddening little puzzle, whose resolution surprisingly lies in...  [more inside]
posted by aws17576 at 12:07 PM - 13 comments

Cherrypicks: The Best Place to See What Women Think About Movies

Cherrypicks is a movie review site based entirely on the reviews of female-identifying and non-binary voices. As women, we consume more than half the media in the world. And newsflash: we’ve also got opinions. That’s why we made CherryPicks, the best place to see what women think about movies and more. We create a unique score based on reviews from female-identifying and non-binary voices, so whether you’re looking for a night out, or a night on the couch, you know the opinions you trust come from women like you. The site also features race and representation-focused articles like In “Always Be My Maybe,” Asian American Men Play the Heartthrobs: Undoing the Damage of Long Duk Dong and review categories like “Moms in Horror” and “LGBTQ Coming of Age Stories”. [more inside]
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:10 AM - 24 comments

"She says, ‘Tell the ambulance not to come.’ She just needs the police."

One Night at Mount Sinai: A star doctor drugs, then sexually assaults his patient. Aja Newman was dozing from the morphine. David Newman entered Room 8 and told her he was going to give her another dose. She objected. She had already been given morphine, she said, but the doctor was determined. ... “I’m like, ‘Wait. Whoa, whoa, whoa. This is not okay.’ And I am immediately concerned. I’m going under way too fast,” she remembers. But even then, it didn’t occur to her that David had any intention of harming her.
posted by MiraK at 11:06 AM - 25 comments

I didn’t want to be an armchair revolutionary.

“ And the gap between the smallness of everything I could realistically do and the largeness of everything I wanted to happen was so immense. I was deeply pessimistic, intellectually. The time in which to transform the global economy in order to prevent untold death and destruction shrank daily, and the forces of reaction grew stronger just as fast. So I wanted to do something ambitious and hard: something commensurate with the monstrosity of the world, with the distance of utopia and the nearness of catastrophe. There was so much I wanted to change, so many people I wanted to move. In the daily struggle to build the union and beat the boss and the odds, I saw something I desperately wanted to learn.” Spadework : On political organizing (N+1)
posted by The Whelk at 10:19 AM - 6 comments

For Asian-American Artists, K-Pop Is A Homecoming

A history of Americans in K-pop and K-pop in America and a video series featuring three former K-pop stars making their American debuts. [more inside]
posted by storytam at 9:31 AM - 3 comments

Victoria(n) mourning: how the Widow of Windsor changed Victorian customs

Although Queen Victoria had been on the throne for over twenty years, the 14th December 1861 marked the beginning of the reign of the mourning Queen (Royal Central). After Prince Albert’s death, Queen Victoria decreed that everyone in the household had to appear in full mourning while on duty for two years and although official mourning for the Prince ended in 1863, women at court still had their wardrobes dictated by the Queen (Enough of this Tomfoolery blog), which influenced society at large and and abroad.... [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 8:33 AM - 6 comments


50 of the world's best breads
posted by Mrs Potato at 5:43 AM - 70 comments

"Code’s effects can surprise everyone, including the coders."

Slate takes a look at some of the most important pieces of code (via Kottke)
posted by Stark at 4:31 AM - 38 comments

Superman Smashes the Klan

It began as a 1940s radio serial (which is soon to be the subject of a documentary film). This week it becomes a comic book which starts its run today.
posted by Paul Slade at 12:29 AM - 22 comments

October 15

Witchy music for a witchy season

The 2015 Swedish film Cirkeln (The Circle) wasn't well reviewed or received outside of its home country. But the story of six girls who discover witchery and bravery together was scored by none other than ABBA's Benny Andersson. Benny Andersson - Cirkeln is an hour of instrumental score with seasonally appropriate tones, and could be a welcome soundtrack during this season of haunting. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 9:29 PM - 3 comments

The US Constitution, Annotated

The Constitution Annotated: Analysis and Interpretation of the U.S. Constitution is a long-running project of the Congressional Research Service, now updated for the web, that "allows you to read about the Constitution in plain English…providing a comprehensive overview of Supreme Court decisions interpreting the United States Constitution." Until now, the Constitution Annotated "has primarily existed as a 3,000-page hardbound volume provided to Congressional members." If you're looking for a place to start browsing, here's a timely example. You can also browse by topic.
posted by Not A Thing at 9:01 PM - 8 comments

At the Library, Patrons Check Out Death Discussions

Death Discussions Some Alexandria Library patrons are browsing more than just books: these days they’re also checking out discussions about death.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 8:25 PM - 7 comments

Don't mistake a moment for a movement

Be Kind Rewind is a fantastic youtube channel that features educational, entertaining, and perfectly paced video essays about the history of Hollywood, the Oscars, and a celebration of Best Actress winners. For example, about the only black woman to win Best Actress: "If we read the Oscars as a symbol of what Hollywood values, then Halle Berry's singular win says a lot about how much Hollywood values women of color generally." - #OscarsSoWhite and The Legacy of Halle Berry [more inside]
posted by BeginAgain at 4:36 PM - 4 comments

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