May 28

"Music and humor are for the healing of the nations"

This post started as a single video of veteran musicmaker Leonard Solomon performing Skrillex's "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites" on a homemade "Squijeeblion." That led to discovering his YouTube channel @Bellowphone, full of similarly whimsical covers on a collection of bespoke instruments hand-built in his Wimmelbildian workshop, from the Emphatic Chromatic Callioforte to the Oomphalapompatronium to the original Majestic Bellowphone. Searching for more videos led to his performance in the Lonesome Pine One-Man Band Extravaganza special from 1991, where he co-starred with whizbang vaudevillians like Hokum W. Jeebs and Professor Gizmo. But what was Lonesome Pine? Just an extraordinary, award-winning concert series by the Kentucky Center for the Arts that ran for 16 years on public radio and television -- an "all things considered" showcase for "new artists, underappreciated veterans and those with unique new voices" featuring such luminaries as Buddy Guy, Emmylou Harris, Lyle Lovett, k.d. lang, Koko Taylor, and hundreds more. You can get a broad overview of this televisual marvel from this excellent half-hour retrospective, see a supercut of director Clark Santee's favorite moments, browse the program directory from the Smithsonian exhibit, or watch select shows in their entirety: Lonesome Pine Blues - All-star Bluegrass Band - Nashville All-stars - Bass Instincts - Zydeco Rockers - Walter "Wolfman" Washington - Mark O'Connor - Alison Krauss & Union Station - Sam Bush & John Cowan - Maura O'Connell - Nanci Griffith - A Musical Visit from Africa [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi at 9:16 AM - 1 comment

Spying, hacking and intimidation: Israel’s nine-year ‘war’ on the ICC

You should help us and let us take care of you. You don’t want to be getting into things that could compromise your security or that of your family.” An investigation by the Guardian and the Israeli-based magazines +972 and Local Call details an almost decade-long secret “war” against the International Criminal Court.
posted by clawsoon at 8:32 AM - 5 comments

Microsoft WordPad: 1995-2024

Originally introduced as a feature of Windows 95, the RTF-compatabile word processor Microsoft WordPad will be removed in the version 24H2 release of Windows 11, due later this year. The app will be missed, along with AI agent Cortana and help directory Tips, but will be survived by its older sibling, Microsoft NotePad.
posted by Smart Dalek at 7:14 AM - 24 comments

Like Lifting Up the Floorboards and Finding an Oil Well That’s Ready to

The Money In Menopause Supplements I created Dr. Jen's Menopause Taming Turmeric Supplements to find out just how much. As influencers and podcasters all suddenly have their own menopause supplements, OBGYN Dr. Jen Gunter went through the steps of getting quotes to do the math on just how profitable selling a cheap turmeric pill with good marketing and no science can be. (Please note: She is not a crook. She is not selling anything. She just did the math.) [more inside]
posted by hydropsyche at 3:54 AM - 35 comments

Kado is one of only three speakers of Ngalia

Kado is one of only three speakers of Ngalia. He designed an app to pass down his knowledge to the next generation. The remote town of Leonora, more than 800 kilometres from Perth, is an unlikely technology hub, but its only school has been chosen to launch a new app aimed at preserving language and culture.
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 2:50 AM - 1 comment

don't be evil

Once upon a time, Google would have encouraged users to verify its AI's claims with a quick Google search. Ironically, this now only works if users click through results to check information against primary sources—the exact practice Google is trying to shift users away from. [extremetech]
posted by HearHere at 2:03 AM - 14 comments

Let It Go

That all sounds scientific and careful. But is it really science or just applying scientific tools to a fantasy proposition? Is it possible to freeze the human body and revive it decades later? Currently, it’s not remotely plausible. Will it ever be? That’s probably an open question. As it stands now, cryonics is a bizarre intersection of scientific thinking and wishful thinking. from Horror stories of cryonics: The gruesome fates of futurists hoping for immortality [BigThink] [CW: Not Safe for Breakfast]
posted by chavenet at 2:01 AM - 14 comments

May 27

Jen and Dan chatting about work

Jen Psaki with Dan Pfeiffer: Lessons from the White House [1h6m, Commonwealth Club] is a great conversation about being White House Press Secretary between that Press Secretary and Obama's Communications Director. They're both really personable and full of anecdotes; it's a great talk.
posted by hippybear at 6:32 PM - 18 comments

I could run forever, but I won't get far (free thread!)

Charly Bliss' new single/video, "Nineteen" From their upcoming album "Forever". It's your weekly free thread! Come on in, put on some tunes, kick up your heels and tell us what's up with you!
posted by Gorgik at 5:02 PM - 41 comments

Meet the echidnapus

Meet the echidnapus: Fossils discovered in museum drawer may point to Australian age of monotremes. The "echidnapus" is one of the newly described ancient monotremes from a fossil hotspot in NSW that could give us more clues about an era when egg-laying mammals diversified. [more inside]
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 3:44 PM - 6 comments

26 more books from small presses

Another book roundup (previously; previouslier). [more inside]
posted by joannemerriam at 9:12 AM - 7 comments

“Will you tell everyone that I was halfway cool?”

How Kid Rock Went From America’s Favorite Hard-Partying Rock Star to a MAGA Mouthpiece A deep look into a very dark heart. [more inside]
posted by cybrcamper at 8:52 AM - 63 comments

I’m furious that they are responding at all.

Quit arguing about the Apple Music albums list. From Slate music guy Carl Wilson on his Substack.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:55 AM - 18 comments

Randomness or the Perception of Randomness?

"All this leads to the inevitable question, which one – perceived randomness or true randomness – should a GM aim to use in his [sic] games? After careful consideration, I don’t think there is any one right answer to this question; depending on the circumstances, either could be correct." A neat previously featuring random maps.
posted by cupcakeninja at 5:40 AM - 19 comments

The Vast Jalapeño Conspiracy

Here’s Why Jalapeño Peppers Are Less Spicy Than Ever is an investigation by food writer Brian Reinhart as to why jalapeño peppers are milder than they used to be. Willa Paskin of Slate turned the article into an episode of her podcast The Decoder Ring and went further.
posted by Kattullus at 5:29 AM - 33 comments

bridge, burning

it is, at best, very good at only one third of the game [lesswrong] [more inside]
posted by HearHere at 3:48 AM - 15 comments

Palaeontology while using a power wheelchair

Palaeontology while using a power wheelchair. Eleanor Beidatsch recently graduated with first-class honours in geoscience at the University of New England (UNE). Eleanor has spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) type 1 and has never had use of her legs. Her arm movement is also limited. "I cannot move myself around at all," she said. "When I'm in the wheelchair I can move, thanks to the wonders of technology." The disease, which affects her respiration as well as her mobility, was generally considered fatal by doctors when Eleanor was born. "I'm more of a lab rat than a field mouse," she said. "Palaeontology is very physical, but only if you're out digging. [Information about fossils] essentially then gets put online, that is then accessible for people to do lab work, and you don't need to be able bodied [for that]."
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 2:06 AM - 7 comments

We used to have choices. Now we are railroaded.

All this matters because the interfaces in question do the job of the dictator and the censor, and we embrace it. More than being infuriating, they train us to accept gross restrictions in return for trifling or non-existent ease of use, or are a fig leaf covering what is actually going on. from The accidental tyranny of user interfaces by Oliver Meredith Cox
posted by chavenet at 1:09 AM - 37 comments

The Chickens of the Night

The village of Snettisham, who play in the Kevin Grimmer Division of the Norfolk Sunday Cricket League, is allegedly 'plagued' by nocturnal chickens. Guardian: Dwellers in Snettisham, Norfolk, have said their life is being made “hell” as the chickens swarm in from a nearby wood. Mirror: But not everyone shares this anger and some even defend the chickens, insisting the animals contribute to the village's appeal. Graeme McQuade, 43, said: "I have no issues with the chickens whatsoever. Before we moved here, we didn't know chickens get up at 4am, but it gives character to the place. (Bluesky) Mrs Schwarzski: Is Snettisham the Florida of England? Derelict Geodesic Dome, MA: Have you seen Snettisham? It’s /insane/ that a town that small has a church that looks like that.
posted by Wordshore at 1:02 AM - 13 comments

May 26


'Paul Williams shows up in his Planet of the Apes costume and performs "Here's That Rainy Day"'. (slyt.9:49)
posted by clavdivs at 7:42 PM - 6 comments

Nudging not Budging

The Problem with Behavioral Nudges. "When we gave participants one website as a default—in other words, we nudged them to choose it—70% opted for it, compared with 48% who chose the same one when it wasn’t preselected. That’s typically how default nudges work: People are much more inclined to pick the default, which presumably will be the one that is best for them or society. Next came the important part. We waited..." [more inside]
posted by storybored at 7:03 PM - 24 comments

Art world mourns death of superstar Aboriginal artist

Art world mourns death of superstar Aboriginal artist Destiny Deacon. Tributes are flowing from friends and the art world for a trailblazing contemporary Aboriginal Australian artist. [more inside]
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 1:52 PM - 8 comments

Hmong Cornhole

It’s Monday night at the National Guard Armory in northeast Minneapolis, which means it’s time for Hmong Cornhole. A few dozen folks throw little bean bags into holes in rows of glossy wooden boards. They chat and fist bump and update scores on digital tablets. Kids occasionally run weaving through the boards, sometimes squirreling away bags from their parents.
posted by ShooBoo at 1:14 PM - 14 comments

Paleolithic Pareidolia

"The influence of pareidolia has often been anecdotally observed in examples of Upper Palaeolithic cave art, where topographic features of cave walls were incorporated into images. As part of a wider investigation into the visual psychology of the earliest known art, we explored three hypotheses relating to pareidolia in cases of Late Upper Palaeolithic art in Las Monedas and La Pasiega Caves (Cantabria, Spain)." [SLPDF] Pareidolia previously, back in '03. [more inside]
posted by cupcakeninja at 7:29 AM - 17 comments

full fathom five thy (fore)father lies

There’s no reason or evidence for a modern structure to have been built underwater at this site, says team member Marcel Bradtmöller, an archaeologist at the University of Rostock, Germany. Nor can the team think of any natural process that could create such a structure. [doi] [more inside]
posted by HearHere at 4:01 AM - 16 comments

“I believed every word of the song. It was happening to me."

The personal anguish underlying Marvin Gaye's "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," perhaps the greatest song in Motown history, is starkly evident in the recording's haunting isolated vocal track (SLYT). [more inside]
posted by How the runs scored at 3:44 AM - 11 comments

Cameras reveal wombat burrows can be safe havens after fire

Cameras reveal wombat burrows can be safe havens after fire and waterholes after rain (The Conversation.) And here is a cartoon about it: A wombat burrow is the food court of nature – and so much more. It is like an Airbnb combined with an Aldi. (First Dog on the Moon).
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 2:18 AM - 6 comments

Sex, drugs, pedicabbing, a landscaping convention, and lots of dread

The convention seemed endless. We wandered into Hall J. Everywhere, people clamored to shake the Palm Tree Wholesaler’s hand, either nervously introducing themselves or trying to hide their dismay as they reminded him of their names. I asked if he had a booth at the conference, if he was here to sell trees, and he said, “I’m on the board of the association. I’m the keynote speaker this year.” from The Smoke of the Land Went Up a short story by Andrew Cominelli [Guernica]
posted by chavenet at 1:56 AM - 4 comments

May 25

Australia: Solar for First Nations communities? Where?

10,000 Aboriginal households in the Northern Territory go without power. Prepaid meters leaving households disconnected For around 10,000 Aboriginal households in the Northern Territory, mostly in remote areas, getting power and keeping it on can be a difficult task. [more inside]
posted by gusset at 9:03 PM - 5 comments

Day 1: ruffled fur and lethargy

Researchers found raw cow’s milk infected lab mice with Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A (H5N1). They demonstrated both mammal to mammal transmission and that the milk remained infectious for weeks when stored at refrigerator temperatures. [more inside]
posted by zenon at 6:20 PM - 45 comments

The Legacy of KMT's "Lost Army" After Losing China

Unless you knew modern Chinese history well, you probably have no idea what I am talking about. Most people only knew that "after Chiang Kai-Shek's Nationalists, or KMT, was defeated by Mao Tse-tung Communists, Chiang took his army to Taiwan and settled there and turned it into an economic powerhouse..." What most people do not know is that a portion of the KMT Eight Army, under General Li Mi, comprised of KMT 26th and 93rd Divisions, actually remained in Yunnan after after Chiang's retreat, and in order to grow their support, they, with permission from Chiang, allied themselves with the the Karen National Defense Organization and tried to help them take over Myanmar / Burma. Those of you who watched Rambo (2008) may recognize "Karen", as in the Karen Rebels. Yes, it's the same people, still fighting the Myanmar government decades later. And there are a lot more involvement of the Lost Army... [more inside]
posted by kschang at 3:44 PM - 5 comments

“All art is propaganda … on the other hand, not all propaganda is art”

Not All Propaganda Is Art is a nine episode series of the podcast Benjamen Walker’s Theory of Everything. In it, Walker tells the story of the CIA’s cultural Cold War propaganda operations in the 1950s as reflected in the lives of three men, cultural theorist Dwight Macdonald, theater critic Kenneth Tynan, and novelist Richard Wright. The show notes are also full of interesting links and images. If you’re not sure you want spend nine hours in the paranoid fifties, Sarah Larson gives a very good overview in the New Yorker [archive].
posted by Kattullus at 12:46 PM - 7 comments

I want to go to somewhere where I’m guaranteed to have a good time

We interviewed three people whose holiday habits seem precision-engineered to wind up people on Twitter and TikTok. The adult Disney fanatic who’s been on more than 70 Disney-themed holidays. A private landlord who flies first class while leaving his kids (and their nanny) to slum it in economy. And what about a 47-year-old who still stays in hostels? Do these people deserve their pariah status? Or might we have something to learn from listening to their perspectives? from Three Maligned Modern Tourists Defend Themselves [Vice]
posted by chavenet at 12:31 PM - 47 comments

For when "Crusader Kings" is a bit much

Sort the Court is a charmingly addictive "kingdombuilder" of sorts that's perfect for a lazy Saturday. Designed and written by Graeme Borland in just 72 hours for Ludum Dare 34, the game casts you as a new monarch who must judiciously grow your realm's wealth, population, and happiness with an eye toward joining the illustrious Council of Crowns... all by giving flat yes-or-no answers to an endless parade of requests from dozens of whimsical subjects. It's possible to lose, and the more common asks can get a bit repetitive, but with hundreds of scenarios and a number of longer-term storylines, the game can be won in an hour or two while remaining funny and fresh. See the forum or the wiki for help, enjoy the original art of Amy "amymja" Gerardy and the soundtrack by Bogdan Rybak, or check out some other fantasy decisionmaking games in this vein: Borland's spiritual prequel A Crown of My Own - the somewhat darker card-based REIGNS - the more expansive and story-driven pixel drama Yes, Your Grace (reviews), which has a sequel due out this year
posted by Rhaomi at 11:56 AM - 15 comments

Found at last

long-lost branch of the Nile that ran by the pyramids: Geological survey reveals the remains of a major waterway that ancient Egyptian builders could have used to transport materials (Freda Kreier for Nature). Satellite images and geological data now confirm that a tributary of the Nile — which researchers have named the Ahramat Branch — used to run near many of the major sites in the region several thousand years ago. The discovery, reported on 16 May in Communications Earth and Environment1, could help to explain why ancient Egyptians chose this area to build the pyramids (see ‘Ancient river’). [more inside]
posted by bq at 8:53 AM - 26 comments

Gaza & University Protest

There has been 1 arrest since counterprotesters violently attacked the UCLA pro-Palestinian encampment on April 30. UCLA Chancellor Gene Block testified before the House committee on the protests, where he admitted that he thought he should have removed the encampment sooner to prevent violence. Other universities also participated in the hearing, where the focus was mostly on how/whether the protests were antisemitic and should have been shut down earlier. Over 1000 people walked out of the Harvard commencement to protest Harvard denying 13 student protesters from participating. Encampments and student protests have spread to Australia, England, Germany, Italy, and more. [more inside]
posted by toastyk at 8:46 AM - 39 comments

At home with the pronatalists

[CW: eugenics, racism, violent child abuse incident] Guardian: “His little brother, two-year-old Torsten Savage, is on his iPad somewhere upstairs. Simone, 36, in an apron that strains across her belly, has her daughter, 16-month-old Titan Invictus, strapped to her back. The imminent arrival of their fourth child, a girl they plan to name Industry Americus Collins, turns out to be only the first in a string of surprises – and one really shocking thing – that I will encounter during my day with the pronatalists.” [Previously: November 2022, You say 'Eugenics' like it's a bad thing (it is)]
posted by Wordshore at 8:29 AM - 98 comments

Katey Sagal Question And Answer Session

I didn't really know what to expect going into watch Katey Sagal | Full Q&A | Comic-Con Liverpool 2024 [40m] but what I found was really delightful, honest, human interview that left me feeling really good. If you've ever enjoyed Married With Children or Futurama or Sons Of Anarchy or any of her other projects, you should check this out.
posted by hippybear at 6:03 AM - 8 comments

Root maps

1,180 drawings of plant root systems. A variety of strategies for collecting water and nutrients into the plant. [more inside]
posted by mediareport at 5:55 AM - 13 comments

The Drowning of "Lyonesse"

"Stories about a submerged land named Lyonesse abound in culture traditions of Southwest Britain and plausibly derive from memories of land loss within the Scilly Isles. We review Lyonesse stories, their links to Arthurian romances and Greek/Roman accounts of the Cassiterides, and trace their divergent evolution. From this region’s history of land-sea movements and human occupation, we propose Lyonesse stories originated more than 4000 years ago when rising sea level divided a single inhabited island in the Scilly group." Lyonesse previously. [more inside]
posted by cupcakeninja at 5:52 AM - 9 comments

You'll be pleasantly surprised by the huge range of options

Wrapped up in the thrill of discovering this new, delightful art and securing versions of it to gaze at while stirring tea in the morning, my dark, skeptical, spidey-senses failed to engage. High on consumer dopamine and browsing picture frames, I forgot, for an important moment, that we recently crossed over into a different sort of world. The sort of world where it is trivial to prompt a neural network to create an image that pulls on the traditional patterns, subject matter, and motifs of William Morris, but layered with the hyper-realistic, high-definition, pixel-perfect asethetics of the modern web; dramatic lighting and sweeping landscapes ripped from ArtStation, meticulously art-directed details from Wes Anderson film stills, the two-tone color overlays and soft glow effects popularised on Instagram and Pinterest. A system trained on everything we've clicked like on, priming us to like what it makes. from Faking William Morris, Generative Forgery, and the Erosion of Art History
posted by chavenet at 1:30 AM - 34 comments

More Than 1000 Fossils Given to Brazil’s National Museum Following Fire

More Than 1000 Fossils, Including Rare Dinosaurs, Given to Brazil’s National Museum Following Fire. (Smithsonian Magazine.) The massive donation was made by Burkhard Pohl, a Swiss-German collector, as the museum works to replenish its collections after a devastating blaze in September 2018. [more inside]
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 12:50 AM - 3 comments

May 24

They are not maternal. They are PUNK AS F*CK.

Otoboke Beaver: A quartet from Kyoto with an unusually complex and original stye of punk rock, played with great precision, energy, and attitude. Their songs tend to stop, start, and change tempo unpredictably, but they make it look deceptively easy and natural. [more inside]
posted by mikeand1 at 5:27 PM - 23 comments

I think I’m going to have to go supersize.

Morgan Spurlock, ‘Super Size Me’ documentary director, dies at 53. Morgan Spurlock, a documentary filmmaker whose Oscar-nominated “Super Size Me” chronicled a month of watching his body swell and health decline while eating only McDonald’s meals, launching a highflying career that later imploded after he acknowledged past incidents of sexual assault and harassment, died May 23 at a hospital in New York City. He was 53. [more inside]
posted by Toddles at 4:13 PM - 39 comments

“The Mist” is a novella

25 Essential Stephen King Short Stories
posted by Artw at 3:38 PM - 42 comments

Leroy and Leroy Uber Alles

The world needs more Leroy and Leroy [more inside]
posted by y2karl at 2:43 PM - 2 comments

I’ve met a lot of bears, but not nearly as many bears as men

This leads us straight back to the original conversation about “Man or Bear,” which has nothing to do with bears. (Sorry, bears!) “Would you rather be stuck in a forest with a man or a bear?” is just another way of asking, “Are you afraid of men?” It’s the same question I’ve been fielding for the entirety of my life as a solo female traveler. It’s the same question that hovers over women all the time as we move through the world. And it’s a question that’s always been difficult for me to answer. from A Woman Who Left Society to Live With Bears Weighs in on “Man or Bear” by Laura Killingbeck [Bikepacking]
posted by chavenet at 1:18 PM - 41 comments

Elvis Has Not Left The Building

The Tennessee Attorney General is investigating the mysterious investment company that attempted to have Graceland, the late Elvis Presley's mansion that is one of America's most successful tourist attractions, sold at a foreclosure sale. [more inside]
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:37 PM - 9 comments

Research finds doctors & families are turning off life support too soon

After Brain Injuries, Doctors and Families Should Take More Time With Life Support Decisions, Research Finds. (Smithsonian Magazine.) A small study suggests some severe traumatic brain injury patients can later recover a level of independence or return to their pre-injury lives. [more inside]
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 12:00 PM - 40 comments

Small Press Economies & Roundup

"There’s a vague, deliberately unexamined idea that the goodness of art and literature will transcend the complicity of the structures art ‘has to’ use to reach people. And sometimes they can transcend; sometimes they can destabilize culture generatively, even using corporate-owned pathways. But more often, of course, challenging work is not going to make it through those pathways. It’s going to be excluded, and readers are not going to encounter it and be changed by it. This is a political problem." From Small Press Economies: A Dialogue by Hilary Plum and Matvei Yankelevich. [more inside]
posted by joannemerriam at 11:44 AM - 3 comments

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