February 16

2 guys catching a flight

A door in the sky: 2 wingsuit flyers BASE jump into a plane in mid-air
posted by growabrain at 7:27 PM - 12 comments

"crowded congregations could be unpleasant to unbearably irritating"

There are moths that drink tears from sleeping birds' eyes. There are butterflies that feed on turtle tears. And then there are the wild bees that drink from human eyes. [CW: literally closeup photos of bees drinking from a person's eyes.] [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 4:33 PM - 14 comments

Ken Nordine (1920 - 2019)

"The Voice of God," Ken Nordine, passed away today at age 98 Ken Nordine was one of the greatest voice artists of all time. You may not know his name, but assuredly you know his voice. [more inside]
posted by JimInLoganSquare at 4:14 PM - 33 comments

What killed off the Megalodon, supernova radiation or the Great Whites?

2.6 million years ago, a nearby supernova impacted earth around the time of a significant die-off of large ocean animals at dawn of Pleistocene, in a newly documented marine megafaunal extinction (press release) tied to the presence of Iron-60 (Wikipedia). The research is reported in Astrobiology: Muon Radiation Dose and Marine Megafaunal Extinction at the end-Pliocene Supernova. A notable example of extinct marine megafauna is the currently popular Megalodon, but another recent study disputes the supernovae explanation for Meg's extinction, instead linking it to the rise of the Great White Shark (NatGeo): The Early Pliocene extinction of the mega-toothed shark Otodus megalodon: a view from the eastern North Pacific (PeerJ).
posted by filthy light thief at 3:49 PM - 11 comments

All Breakfast, All The Time

Mr. Breakfast is committed to: 1) assisting breakfast lovers find the best possible breakfast, and 2) making breakfast lovers out of those who are not.
The site features an interactive database of recipes.
A section called “The Breakfast Times” offers interesting articles, product reviews and the latest news concerning breakfast.

The Cereal Project at MrBreakfast.com is an online encyclopedia of every breakfast cereal ever made in the U.S. with over 1,400 different cereals profiled.
For assistance navigating around the site, please try the search box at the top of each page or consult our site index.
Enjoy your stay. Enjoy your breakfast.
About Mr. Breakfast - The Man | Happening Now! Star Wars Breakfast Recipes [more inside]
posted by Going To Maine at 2:55 PM - 22 comments

When modern builders meet old houses

Peter Ward is a surveyor who specialises in very old houses, watch him explain the problems that arise when modern builders try to 'fix' the external timber frame of a Grade 2 listed old house. At the other extreme discover a time capsule house from the 1600's that's barely been touched for centuries.
posted by Lanark at 2:49 PM - 10 comments

Soothing Saturday Sharing

Reddit's /r/aww forum is excellent mind bleach in these days of modern time: Hello ! | Late night study partner | Nothing funny just my old doggo | Little boy gets to be in a puppy pile | Snuggle time
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:00 PM - 9 comments

The Genome of the Rose

The rose genome has recently been completely sequenced, which should lead to much faster and easier development of traits such as fragrance, colour, and healthiness - maybe even thornless varieties.
posted by blue shadows at 10:41 AM - 28 comments

Drowning in Debt

A social and financial divide is forming — between those who have student debt, and those who do not — that will have ramifications for decades to come. (SLBuzzfeedNews)
posted by holmesian at 10:33 AM - 77 comments

I'm not gonna lie... I'm outta ideas.

Do you prefer your video game reviews in comic form? Maybe with a side of (non-manic) playthrough videos? Why not check out GamePadInk? [more inside]
posted by ropeladder at 8:14 AM - 0 comments

Institutional racism at NYU

"I found it easier to lead the discussion without black presence in the room, since I do feel somewhat uncomfortable with the (perceived) threat that it poses." While traveling abroad, a black graduate student at New York University says he was told by a classmate that a class discussion was easier to facilitate without a “black presence” in the room.
posted by Morpeth at 3:44 AM - 91 comments

February 15

Rise of the mid-rise

Why America’s New Apartment Buildings All Look the Same TLDR: Because they're made of wood, which is cheap... but read on for more on the confluence of changing building codes, institutional investors, and a nationwide housing shortage... [more inside]
posted by latkes at 10:48 PM - 47 comments

Angelic Art

The Heavenly History of Angels in Art.
posted by storybored at 9:48 PM - 6 comments


How to make bread. Happy Friday Everyone!
posted by Freelance Demiurge at 9:33 PM - 22 comments

The Chattering Order of St. Beryl

The Chattering Order of St. Beryl of Lower Tadfield, UK, are united by their love of the Lord of Darkness and most recently a capella.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 9:23 PM - 6 comments

Pinky And The Brain Theme - Postmodern Jukebox

Postmodern Jukebox covers the Pinky And The Brain Theme, featuring Emily Goglia, Rob Paulsen, and Maurice LaMarche.
posted by fings at 8:56 PM - 16 comments

Metal (melted?) clarinets

Gleb Kanasevich covers Necrophagist “Epitaph” on clarinet (Youtube) [more inside]
posted by sacchan at 8:16 PM - 4 comments

Maybe it’s okay for your definition of sex to be subjective

I’ve been writing about sex online for the better part of a decade now, and my understanding of what “sex” is has only become broader and murkier as time has progressed (not to mention, as acts like sexting and phone sex have become a bigger and bigger part of my life). I’m not sure I know what sex is. I’m not sure I ever knew.
posted by sciatrix at 4:27 PM - 68 comments

"Something about that look, those ears, that tail. But, mostly the look"

BBC: Tudder features data profiles of animals from 42,000 UK farms in an effort to help farmers find the perfect breeding partner for their cattle. Farmers can view pictures of bulls or cows and swipe right to show interest. ABC: "I'd have to talk to Brownie and a few of the girls and see what they're really wanting," Mr Jenkins said. Guardian: ‘How do they swipe right with their hooves?’ Metro: Launching just in time for the most romantic day of the year, the pioneering matchmaking app is thought to be the first of its kind for livestock. (App)
posted by Wordshore at 3:21 PM - 19 comments

"The bones sealed up the marrow like a Tupperware container"

A taste for fat, not meat, may have made us human: A new paper argues that our early ancestors acquired a taste for fat by eating marrow scavenged from the skeletal remains of large animals that had been killed and eaten by other predators. The argument challenges the widely held view among anthropologists that eating meat was the critical factor in setting the stage for the evolution of humans. While focusing on fat over meat may seem like a subtle distinction, the difference is significant. The nutrients of meat and fat are different, as are the technologies required to access them. The authors review evidence that a craving for marrow could have fueled not just a growing brain size, but the quest to go beyond smashing bones with rocks to make more sophisticated tools and to hunt large animals.
posted by not_the_water at 2:03 PM - 24 comments

More than J-Pop: Ongaku 70-90, Kankyō Ongaku compilations

Four (plus Four) for Friday: the trio of decade and genre-focused "Ongaku" (音楽, music) compilations from the dubious French label, Hiruko Records: Ongaku 70 (YouTube playlist; Discogs), subtitled "Vintage Psychedelia in Japan" / Ongaku 80 (YT album; Discogs), subtitled "Alternative Waves from Japan" / Ongaku 90 (Discogs with some YouTube clips embedded), subtitled "Underground Music from Japan," (Discogs lists styles as New Wave, electro, experimental, and ambient) // If you want more experimental, ambient music from this period, Light in the Attic recently released Kankyō Ongaku: Japanese Ambient, Environmental & New Age Music 1980-1990, and a YouTuber made a playlist of some of the clips that are already online. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:59 PM - 6 comments


Hidden women of history: Enheduanna, princess, priestess and the world’s first known author. "The world’s first known author is widely considered to be Enheduanna, a woman who lived in the 23rd century BCE in ancient Mesopotamia (approximately 2285 – 2250 BCE). Enheduanna is a remarkable figure: an ancient 'triple threat', she was a princess and a priestess as well as a writer and poet." [Via] [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 10:55 AM - 15 comments

All Care For All People

“...Jayapal’s bill joins a crowded mess of at least eight other healthcare policies being bandied about among Democrats. I couldn’t fault anyone for getting confused when candidates talk about “Medicare for All,” or “Medicare Extra for All,” or “Medicare for America,” or the “public option.” The relatively simple problems of health finance have been made very complicated by people who make money off of healthcare. So what are all of the issues being discussed and what do they mean? What’s really “Medicare for All” and what’s not? How do existing bills stack up? And why does this matter?” The Only Guide To ‘Medicare For All’ You’ll Ever Need by Tim Faust (Splinter)
posted by The Whelk at 10:37 AM - 8 comments

What Are the Best Policies to Solve Climate Change?

The Energy Policy Solutions Simulator " lets users test different policy options and see the results instantly" for carbon dioxide emissions reduction in Canada, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Poland and the United States
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:55 AM - 19 comments

"A Novel": A MetaFilter Post

Vox's Eliza Brooke asks the question "Why do so many book covers still use the phrase 'A Novel' for works of fiction?" and finds some answers, linking to a 2008 Ask MeFi thread in the process, and points out that often "A Novel" is added to the cover of book-length works of fiction when they cross over from the UK to North America.
posted by sillygwailo at 9:14 AM - 53 comments

"We just beat the richest man in the world."

After months of public outcry and demands for transparency, Amazon has cancelled its plans to build a corporate campus in Queens. Activists and community groups who swore they would crush the deal are elated; real estate brokers, not so much.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:02 AM - 183 comments

“s/he shook my rack/bookshelf”

What does ‘I love you’ mean? It depends on where you say it and what language you speak. Translators, scholars, and dating coaches from various countries discuss expressions of love. -- Alice Robb for the Washington Post.
posted by Hypatia at 7:09 AM - 14 comments

The King of the Ferret Leggers

What kind of person sticks a ferret down his pants for more than five consecutive hours? "Ay lad," said the 72-year-old champion, "no jockstraps allowed. No underpants—nothin' whatever. And it's no good with tight trousers, mind ye. Little bah-stards have to be able to move around inside there from ankle to ankle."
posted by calamari kid at 6:53 AM - 46 comments

A time of debt

Two years after global economy crashed in 2008, austerity politics swung into action. Using Greece as its example, a transatlantic alliance of right-wing fearmongers, conservative political entrepreneurs and centrist fiscal hawks abandoned stimulus and instead turned the screw. Adam Tooze reconstructs the spread of the austerity epidemic and recalls how decision-makers in Europe ploughed their course even after the US had begun to pour money back into the system (Eurozine). (This is an extract from Tooze’s book "Crashed", London: Allen Lane 2018.)
posted by sapagan at 6:16 AM - 4 comments

Kelly Slater’s Shock Wave

[New Yorker]The best surfer in history made a machine that creates perfect conditions on demand. Will his invention democratize surfing or despoil it? Surfing on Kelly Slater’s machine-made wave [Video] Previously.
posted by ellieBOA at 2:16 AM - 22 comments

February 14

Squirrel and cat. Living together. Mass hysteria.

Cat and squirrel play-fight Sorry, those looking for a despair, outrage or poop fix, there's none of that in this post. TW: Do not search the web for this topic, most end very badly.
posted by zaixfeep at 10:51 PM - 32 comments

When You Bring the Songs Back, You Are Going to Bring the People Back

Jeremy Dutcher is a First Nations classically trained tenor, musician, and composer whose debut album Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa [Youtube playlist], sung entirely in the "severely endangered" language of Wolastoqey, won the 2018 Polaris Prize, which is awarded annually to the best full-length Canadian music album. You can watch him perform a stunning medley of his album at the Polaris Gala, and accept the prize. Dutcher is a Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) member of the Tobique First Nation, and his album is based on traditional Wolastoqiyik songs, often sampling century-old wax cylinder recordings of his ancestors' singing, to devastatingly beautiful effect. [more inside]
posted by yasaman at 10:22 PM - 15 comments

Better Language Models and Their Implications

We’ve trained a large-scale unsupervised language model which generates coherent paragraphs of text, achieves state-of-the-art performance on many language modeling benchmarks, and performs rudimentary reading comprehension, machine translation, question answering, and summarization — all without task-specific training. [more inside]
posted by latkes at 9:03 PM - 44 comments

There is a reason why dog owners have coined the term "poopsicle."

The weird things dogs do when they poop serve a purpose. Afterwards, be sure to monitor the color of their poop to keep abreast of their health. And don't be too upset when they eat poop. It's probably an ancient pack-survival behavior. They'll even venture outside the species and eat cat poop—it smells like cat food to them.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:24 PM - 38 comments


The Achewood Tarot
posted by griphus at 7:23 PM - 15 comments

"I thought I did good"

Tri-State man mistakenly gets wife turnips instead of tulips
posted by JeffL at 6:37 PM - 32 comments

The League of Not Extraordinary and Not So Gentle Men

In 2009, a secret Facebook group called the Ligue du LOL (The League of LOL), led by young French male journalists, started harassing fellow journalists, writers, bloggers and activists - predominantly targeting women and minorities (also NYT), disrupting the lives and ruining the careers of their victims through barrages of sexist, racist and homophobic insults, pornographic montages, prank calls, and Twitter-coordinated attacks, online and IRL. The existence of the group was revealed last week, resulting in a flood of heartbreaking testimonies (megathread on r/feminisme (in French)), and in an intense bout of soul-searching in the progressive French media: not only the victims had been ignored before last week, but most of the Ligue members are now prominent journalists in major left-wing publications. [more inside]
posted by elgilito at 4:57 PM - 64 comments

Take Me To Church except he’s practicing it alone in an empty cathedral

bassiter on tumblr creates specific music edits [more inside]
posted by blithers at 3:33 PM - 13 comments

This Person Does Not Exist

This Person Does Not Exist is a single-serving website that does only one thing: algorithmically generate fake human faces. Refresh for more. [more inside]
posted by penduluum at 2:34 PM - 90 comments

Victorian vinegar Valentines: Why send me such detested stuff?

If you're sick of the simpering sweetness of this supposed saint's day (Catholic.com), you might enjoy some Victorian vinegar Valentines, as recounted by Atlas Obscura, with more from Collector's Weekly (previously). If you want to copy some salty prose or rather precise, personal poetry, The Satirical Valentine Writer (circa 18xx, via Archive.org) could be your new friend, itself a response to the earlier Valentine Writers, such as Richardson's New London Fashionable Gentlemen's Valentine Writer or, the Lover's Own Book (1828, Archive.org) and the new and improved Sentimental Valentine Writer, containing a selection of the best and newest Valentine Poetry (1850, Archive.org). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:48 PM - 5 comments

Probably quite ticklish

Estudio del movimiento gasterópodo: A snail traverses a person's face [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 1:40 PM - 7 comments

DIY Divorce

“Lawyer up!” each future divorcée is exhorted, by those who’ve been there. The call to arms is a directive, not a suggestion. But what if the future divorcée—like me, like so many—cannot afford a lawyer? (SL The Atlantic)
posted by devrim at 1:10 PM - 29 comments

The home-wrecking usurper Aaron Burrd

Bald eagle named Justice missing from nest in D.C.: Things appeared to be going fine at the nest, with a hint of spring and new life in the air. Liberty and Justice mated Saturday, experts said, and fertilized an egg. But in that afternoon, a new, younger male eagle showed up at the nest. [more inside]
posted by peeedro at 12:43 PM - 8 comments

Swahili for "friend"

Kenyan film director Wanuri Kahiu wanted a hopeful African love story she could adapt into a film. She found what she was looking for in Jambula Tree, a Caine Prize-winning short story by Ugdandan author Monica Arac de Nyeko about the love and courtship of two young women. Kahiu's film is named Rafiki--Swahili for "friend"--which, as Kahiu frequently states in interviews, "is how queer Kenyans need to introduce their partners in a society where it is not yet safe to name their love directly." The film premiered at Cannes in 2018 (trailer here), but the Kenyan Film and Classification Board banned it back home. After suing the government, Kahiu won a 7-day suspension of the ban to allow Rafiki to qualify for the Academy Awards; the theaters were packed, breaking box office records, but the Kenyan Oscars selection committee declined to submit Rafiki for consideration. Africa Is A Country has more on the film, which plays against the backdrop of Kenya's expected February 22nd Constitutional Court ruling on colonial-era laws that criminalize homosexuality.
posted by duffell at 12:11 PM - 4 comments

And a marginal contribution of prostatic secretions

"It Is Definitely Pee": The Ecstatic, Pedialyte-Fueled Art of Performing Squirting in Porn
posted by Etrigan at 11:58 AM - 36 comments

“Marriage is primarily an economic arrangement, an insurance pact.“

“The defenders of authority dread the advent of a free motherhood, lest it will rob them of their prey. Who would fight wars? Who would create wealth? Who would make the policeman, the jailer, if woman were to refuse the indiscriminate breeding of children? The race, the race! shouts the king, the president, the capitalist, the priest. The race must be preserved, though woman be degraded to a mere machine, — and the marriage institution is our only safety valve against the pernicious sex-awakening of woman. But in vain these frantic efforts to maintain a state of bondage.” - Anarchist agitator Emma Goldman, “Marriage and Love.” 1914
posted by The Whelk at 10:25 AM - 8 comments

About 500 miles away and mainly to the south

In the coming decades, the climates of North American cities will shift to those of locations that are hundreds of miles away or, in some cases, to climates "with no modern equivalent in North America”. An interactive map shows what the climates of 540 urban areas in the US and Canada will feel like 60 years from now. [more inside]
posted by theory at 9:54 AM - 42 comments

Cortex's beautiful stained glass piece

There's a detailed walkthrough of the process with photos. The shape is a Menger sponge.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 9:20 AM - 29 comments

In A Post-Parkland America, Teens Talk About Gun Culture

NPR spent nearly a year talking to high school students about their attitudes about guns. Here is their reporting in a 20 minute video -- Senior Spring: How Teens Feel About Guns In America.
posted by hippybear at 8:20 AM - 16 comments

The dream of the 90s is alive in Nairobi

Did you ever wonder where the rollerblades you had in the 90s are now? If you donated them to a charity shop, there's a good chance that they ended up in a container of secondhand clothing exported to Africa (a trade known by the Swahili word mitumba, meaning “bundles”), made their way to a skate shop in central Nairobi, and right now are in the possession of a stylishly attired young Kenyan, racing deftly down a busy street in Kenya's inline skating craze.
posted by acb at 7:40 AM - 5 comments

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