May 25

A Haunted Tome Made Out of Human Skin... But Informative!

Stacie Ponder of Final Girl, a blog from Portland, ME and Anthony Hudson of Queer Horror, a film series in Portland, OR, together are The Gaylords of Darkness. Most weeks, they discuss a horror movie from the ridiculous to the sublime with a mix of queerness, feminism, enthusiasm, frantic humor, and running jokes. Occasionally they discuss non-horror films. Quite frequently, they discuss Susperia (2018).
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:38 PM - 1 comment

Library of Congress wants to bring back the golden age of hip hop

Library of Congress app lets you make hip hop with century-old samples (Engadget): "The US Library of Congress has unveiled Citizen DJ, a digital tool that allows you to remix sounds from its massive collection of film, television, video and sound recordings. It was created by "innovator in residence" Brian Foo to recapture the '80s and '90s golden age of hip-hop sampling." You can explore collections using the web interface, use a simple music-creation app to remix beats, and download "sample packs" with thousands of audio clips from a particular collection that can be used in most music production software. Explainer video (Vimeo). See also: Library of Congress Needs a Few Citizen DJs (LOC)
posted by not_the_water at 10:47 AM - 12 comments

American Ninja Forager

In backyards around the world, a vicious resource war is being fought between the avians and the rodents. Are you tired of standing idly by? Do you prefer the lilt of birdsong to the screech and chatter of tree-rats? Then perhaps you should look at the latest in birdfeeder anti-squirrel technology: an extensive, squirrel-scale backyard obstacle course created by YouTube science guy Mark Rober (previously). The results may surprise you. They definitely won't.
posted by ZaphodB at 8:32 AM - 29 comments

Let's do some math

3Blue1Brown known for beautiful visualizations of complex mathematical topics gives a go at livestreaming high-school level math with a 'Lockdown math' series. Brush up on things you probably forgot from math class. [more inside]
posted by zengargoyle at 8:04 AM - 4 comments

Meet Star Stable, a horse game for girls 8 to 17

According to a 2015 profile in Venture Beat, Star Stable Entertainment broke a lot of rules when it launched (in 2011, according to various sources other than Venture Beat). "It created an online horse game, Star Stable, for girls and young women. It charged a subscription fee and built its own game engine. And it stayed online rather than diving into mobile with a million other competitors." [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 7:27 AM - 14 comments

The feelgood story of the day

From homeless refugee to chess prodigy, 9-year-old dreams of becoming youngest grandmaster. Follow up on a Nicholas Kristof story from last year on M-F
posted by growabrain at 6:50 AM - 5 comments

“It's nice to sit at the campfire and discuss projects,”

Zoom sucks, we started having editorial meetings in Red Dead Redemption [Rock Paper Shotgun] “Mostly we were just having a really crap time,” said Viv when I spoke to them, about their meeting life before Cowboys. “We were having to deal with all those Zoom and Skype meetings and emails and phone calls… and we were just feeling worse and worse and more annoyed all the time.” Minecraft was considered, apparently, but people tended to just wander off and start digging, or dumping gravel on the meeting table, “so picking the most ludicrous game to meet in seemed good.” But then, as it turned out, it wasn’t quite as ridiculous as expected. “The thing is,” Viv explained, “the Cowboys just look right when they’re sitting around the campfire? They look like they’re in a meeting: scratching noses and frowning, and occasionally gesturing.”
posted by Fizz at 6:36 AM - 29 comments

The importance of building a fort

I feel like you’re in a safe place, your own bubble of coziness. All forts, according to fort expert David Sobel, share common traits: They are handmade, somewhat secretive and “you can look out, but others can’t see in.” They are safe — physically and emotionally. “It’s your place where you want to be just you, observing but unseen,” he says. One fort-builder comments, “Everything is wrong right now, but it’s a safe space where no one worries about you...if you locked yourself in your room, people would worry, but if you hide in your fort all day, no worries.”
posted by stillmoving at 6:25 AM - 17 comments

On Dead Wrestlers

[Content Warning: death, suicide, self-harm] Last week was a tragic one in the world of professional wrestling, with former WWE wrestler Shad Gaspard giving his own life to save his son from drowning and second-generation joshi star Hana Kimura dying of suicide. Between Gaspard and Kimura's death, Vice on TV aired the last episode of the second season of Dark Side of the Ring, which told the story of the death of Owen Hart live on pay-per-view on May 23rd, 1999. Colette Arrand notes, "there are few forms of art and entertainment that breed tragedy at the same rate as professional wrestling." [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 6:05 AM - 6 comments

I'll have one Chicken Dump Truck and Blinfolded Ordinary on the side...

Humorous mistranslationfilter, SLT - Twitter user @vladadraws had an appeal to her followers yesterday: "So my mother's friend's husband is stuck in a hotel in Saudi Arabia and this is the order menu they gave him, Do I have any Arabic speaking followers that can help make sense of this?" The Arabic-to-English translations on said menu are....unconventional. [more inside]
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:09 AM - 27 comments

May 24

What kind of country (and world) do we want?

Before there was a viral crisis whose reality forced itself on our notice, there were reports of declines of life expectancy in America, rising rates of suicide, and other “deaths of despair.” This is surely evidence of another crisis, though it was rarely described as such. The novel coronavirus has the potential for mitigation, treatment, and ultimately prevention. But a decline in hope and purpose is a crisis of civilization requiring reflection and generous care for the good of the whole society and its place in the world. We have been given the grounds and opportunity to do some very basic thinking. Marilynne Robinson, The New York Review
posted by blue shadows at 10:57 PM - 5 comments

Cry havoc, and let slip the cats of war. Or is it let sleep?

Giant Military Cats, a Twitter account. Just giant cats with military hardware and/or in military scenes.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:33 PM - 12 comments

Bonus take: hot dogs taste better cold

David took his first sip of warm, flat Pepsi about eight years ago at a Christmas party. As bored 12-years-olds are wont to do, he recalls “constantly fiddling around” with his Pepsi bottle the entire night, to the point that the soda lost all carbonation and turned into syrup-y sugar water. Still, he swigged away nonetheless. “I enjoyed the taste so much more, and the carbonation didn’t upset my stomach or burn my eyes and throat,” he says. The Absolute Masochists Who Love Drinking Flat Soda (Quinn Myers, MEL Magazine)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:31 PM - 103 comments

Making FPP's

Richard Scarry's classic What Do People Do All Day, further revised to reflect our current societal roles in The New Now. | Sanctioned Revisions to Richard Scarry texts previously on MeFi
posted by not_on_display at 11:10 AM - 27 comments

“For those with a taste for the peculiar”

The Museum of Ridiculously Interesting Things is the blog of curator and art historian, Dr. Chelsea Nichols. The collection includes such treasures as sexy weasels in Renaissance art, how to scare children in the 1920s, and hidden mothers in Victorian portraits. There are also occasional guest posts, on topics including Ivan Bilibin’s Illustrations of Russian folklore by Claire Atwater, Robert Liston, a surgeon and a showman by Mike Crump, and a make-your-own-bat-colony activity sheet by Alice Fennessy.
posted by Kattullus at 9:09 AM - 13 comments

tools for remembrance, but also for amnesia, for erasures

Novelist Maaza Mengiste speaks to Africa is a Country about photography as a weapon, her novel The Shadow King and Project 3541: a photographic archive of the 1935-1941 Italo-Ethiopian war. [more inside]
posted by spamandkimchi at 8:58 AM - 3 comments

The Dark Angel

Merle Oberon’s Remarkable Life. "In 1935, Merle Oberon became the first biracial actress to be nominated for a Best Actress Oscar, an incredible achievement in then-segregated Hollywood -- except that nobody in Hollywood knew Oberon was biracial. Born in Bombay into abject poverty in 1911, Oberon's fate seemed sealed in her racist colonial society. But a series of events, lies, men, and an obsession with controlling her own image -- even if it meant bleaching her own skin -- changed Oberon's path forever." [more inside]
posted by storybored at 8:00 AM - 5 comments

Trump's pet medical association

There's a medical association that supports Trump's misinformation.
Among the most ardent proponents of these claims is the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), a fringe group of less than 5,000 doctors. The group was recently cited by Trump’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale, to explain the president’s stunning announcement that he is taking the drug hydroxychloroquine in an attempt to protect himself against Covid-19 despite a lack of evidence of its effectiveness.
[more inside]
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:14 AM - 37 comments

Saturn, RIP

"The last German prisoner of war"
posted by gregoreo at 6:47 AM - 12 comments

May 23


NPS graphics encouraging best practices for health and safety in national parks.
posted by vespabelle at 11:09 PM - 19 comments

The house of your dreams. All of your dreams*. At once.

"Do you like Fun & Adventure? See this One of a Kind Brick Ranch, Converted into a 2 Story. Enter the Door to a 13th Century Castle Décor Sunken Living Rm, w/ Dramatic, High, Oak Beamed Ceiling, Hardwood Floor, Brick Fireplace, a Ladder to an Elevated Library. Time Travel at Warp Speed to the 25th Century Starship. A Talking Space Alien greets you as you walk toward the Floor to Ceiling, Outer Space Wall Mural." And that's not all! But if you have a bigger budget and are looking for something woodsy, browse this listing, though it's not clear if the forest resident is included with the home.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:51 PM - 30 comments

"The Countermelodies that Changed Us: A Lifetime of Loving Indigo Girls"

Karen Tongson reflects on the Indigo Girls for NPR's Turning the Tables, a "series dedicated to recentering the popular music canon on voices that have been marginalized."
posted by ferret branca at 7:32 PM - 5 comments

Remote learning for the pre-k set - a historical perspective

Joy Thomas recalls her school shutting down for the 1925 polio epidemic, and how she did remote learning by mail. It was a positive experience for her. (I definitely recommend the video, but the article covers the basics). She also has some good advice for students doing remote learning today.
posted by Salamandrous at 6:53 PM - 9 comments

"They Were Not Simply Names on a List. They Were Us."

On May 24, 2020, the New York Times' front page will contain only one article, a list of 1000 names of Americans who have died from COVID-19 [tweeted image of front page], distilled from the nearly 100,000 deaths in the United States attributed to the virus this Memorial Day weekend. [more inside]
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:29 PM - 65 comments

Virtually Maker Faire

Maker Faire is having a virtual global event today. Videos all over the place...literally. Schedule here. I am unfortunately late to mention it, but it looks like anything that wasn't a Zoom or Zoom equivalent still has watchable videos up today.
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:17 PM - 4 comments

NY Times gets into some knotty legal issues around fanfic tropes

A Feud in Wolf-Kink Erotica Raises a Deep Legal Question (NY Times, possible paywall, possibly NSFW depending on how your work feels about sexy wolves) [more inside]
posted by betweenthebars at 10:23 AM - 67 comments

Cancel Research

Ruin a journal name by changing one letter. sltwitter
posted by Pyrogenesis at 9:31 AM - 55 comments

“Hear... Feel... Think.”

How To Get Into Final Fantasy XIV In 2019 2020 [Kotaku] “I’ve seen a lot of curiosity from co-workers and friends about how to get started with the game. With hours and hours of content, tons of jobs to choose from, and multiple places to hop in, it can seem daunting, but it’s still well worth the time. Here’s some advice for curious adventurers eager to start their adventures. Final Fantasy XIV first launched in 2010 to a disastrous reception before being revamped into Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn in 2013. It was an immediate improvement, bringing faster combat and a more focused storyline, and the three expansions that followed brought further refinement. The most recent of these, “Shadowbringers,” came out just last week, and there are often fun events that keep things fresh, from crossovers with other games to the sudden arrival of new job classes. [...] Final Fantasy XIV offers spectacle, cool player events, tough boss fights, and more. Soak it all in and embrace the chance to really grow, not just as a Dragoon but as a person.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 9:03 AM - 35 comments

Overall the customer service could be better, but the cook is a cutie.

So I tried to support another Black Owned Business for lunch today. It’s called Ava’s Kitchen, just opened end of April. It’s a very clean establishment, but whewww let me tell you about this owner.
posted by Evilspork at 8:11 AM - 16 comments

Moldy fruit as art

Kathleen Ryan explores the beauty in decay by making oversize sculptures of mold-covered fruit.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 6:40 AM - 8 comments

May 22

“Showers, good”

Five hours of the shipping forecast on BBC Radio 4. Sleep well!
posted by Going To Maine at 10:44 PM - 19 comments

nextdoor & the police, sitting in a tree

The hyper-local social media platform Nextdoor is winning over local law enforcement and other government officials in the U.S., alarming civil rights advocates. [more inside]
posted by aniola at 4:36 PM - 79 comments

four Good Emperors, some forgotten guy, and one more Good Emperor, then:

Obama Aurelius: on undead imperialism, Laurie Charles
posted by the man of twists and turns at 4:33 PM - 27 comments

It's fine, I put some blubber on it

Ferris Jabr critiques bird nests and the personalities that build them in Bird Nesting Styles: A Critical Review, via (appropriately enough) Twitter (Part 1, Part 2) or Threadreader (Part 1, Part 2). Just some lighthearted Friday fun.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:28 PM - 7 comments

The coronavirus invades Trump country

Axios reports that according to a recent poll, Republicans are less worried about the coronavirus than Democrats or independents, even as it spreads out from primarily urban areas into suburban and rural Republican-leaning areas. [more inside]
posted by katra at 4:11 PM - 125 comments

Wakka Wakka Wakka

The game that ate the world: 40 facts on Pac-Man's 40th birthday [Grauniad] [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 2:40 PM - 24 comments

Mory Kante rip

Legendary world music superstar and one of the most influential died at 70. Seriously how could anyone vote this as the worst, not the best, song of the 80's? However, his 70's career as the vocalist of Super Rail Band made his name. 2020 is bad for world music so far.
posted by avi111 at 2:00 PM - 7 comments

Dreaming of the CE 2000, the Year Formerly Known as the Future

People were dreaming of what the year 2000 might hold for well over a century, including illustrator and futurist Albert Robida (French fan site; works digitized on Internet Archive), whose illustrations and ideas seemed to foretell the future (Art Kaleidoscope / Many focused on his visions of future wars (previously), but he also had a view of leaving the opera by air in 2000, as displayed and described by Public Domain Review, who also have a collection of other 19th century French visions of the year 2000. But now, looking back 20 years might be a bit of a future-past shock. 2000, the Year Formerly Known as the Future (
posted by filthy light thief at 1:12 PM - 5 comments

It’ll give you an ice cream headache without the ice cream

Scary northeast Minneapolis ice cream truck has heavy metal, no ice cream. The truck displays images of metal band logos on ice cream sticks but does not actually sell ice cream. The owner has been known to participate in art car parades.
posted by larrybob at 9:53 AM - 28 comments

"I want in on it"

Paige Alms is one of the best big-wave surfers on the planet (Surfline). Watch her win the 2019 Jaws Big Wave Championships, get an enormous barrel at Pe'ahi, and a few of her other massive waves -- plus this brutal wipeout -- from last year (Youtube). A new documentary titled “Paige” (trailer, Amazon) chronicles her remarkable career. If you don't want to pay for the latest film, check out the full-length documentary "The Wave I Ride: Paige Alms' Story" (Red Bull).
posted by not_the_water at 9:46 AM - 1 comment

Scientists Stunned by Alliterative Assertions of Baffled Boffins

The idea of “bafflement” about science that shows up in headlines does tell me that someone truly IS baffled. But, it’s not the scientist in this equation. It’s the writer.
posted by Clowder of bats at 8:53 AM - 34 comments

people r mixed about it but 1 thing everyone agrees on it’s a great idea

Remember Yesterday - the movie about how the Beatles never existed save one guy who remembered? Interviewed a year after it's release Jack Barth relates how his first feature film script, which he sold after working in comedy biz for 40 years, turned into a serious of disappointments. From getting cut from writing credits, to paying his own way to the premier, Barth ultimately gets erased from the whole project. The irony - the main difference appears to be that Barth's screenplay was a "meditation on professional disappointment", while the movie turned out to be a romcom about a fella who had to decide between global fame and his a childhood crush.
posted by zenon at 8:05 AM - 40 comments

Butch Walker’s Complicated ‘American Love Story’

Earlier this month singer/songwriter/producer Butch Walker released the rock opera (or concept album if you prefer) that he wrote in the wake of Trump's election and the horrifying events in Charlottesville VA back in 2017. He originally shelved it because he didn't think he could tour or promote around it given that it's a concept album and some songs don't make much sense individually, and in fact can be downright offensive if taken out of context. But since we are stuck at home with time to invest in listening to the whole story... [more inside]
posted by COD at 8:04 AM - 8 comments

The Artisanal Pizza You Ordered Might Secretly Be Chuck E. Cheese

To drum up delivery businesses, big restaurant chains are rebranding themselves in apps like Grubhub. That could mean more competition for local joints.
posted by Etrigan at 8:02 AM - 34 comments

Other fingers must run errands elsewhere on the keyboard...

The Unexpected Solace in Learning to Play the Piano During Quarantine (illustrated) "Playing the piano is the opposite. I know I will never produce anything at the level of a talented 8-year-old on Youtube. But when I stumble into a moment of unexpected beauty, I have no choice but to enjoy it...because it disappears the moment it is created."
posted by storybored at 7:42 AM - 7 comments

they made friendship bracelets for the moss mice

Herd-Like Movement Of Fuzzy Green 'Glacier Mice' Baffles Scientists "'They really do look like little mammals, little mice or chipmunks or rats or something running around on the glacier, although they run in obviously very slow motion,' says wildlife biologist Sophie Gilbert."
posted by moonmilk at 7:24 AM - 18 comments


With a cute twitter video, Carly Rae Jepsen announced and released a new album: Dedicated Side B
posted by everybody had matching towels at 7:21 AM - 7 comments

Ecco the Dolphin, but you do murders

Maneater [Game Trailer] [13 Minutes of Gameplay] “Maneater is an open-world-action-game with some RPG elements, starring an unnamed shark on a revenge mission. At the start of the game, you play as a big and powerful shark who is captured, then brutally killed and gutted by a shark hunter named Scaly Pete. During the gutting, he literally rips out a baby shark, but that pup bites Pete’s arm off and escapes. For the rest of the game, players take on the role of that baby shark and level up, growing bigger and stronger in the process. The end goal is to kill Scaly Pete and get revenge for what he did to your mother.” [via: Kotaku] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 6:32 AM - 20 comments

We’re on the cusp of something… ordinary

The Case for Letting the Restaurant Industry Die
posted by BekahVee at 6:30 AM - 59 comments

Pandemic on the Appalachian Trail

How the Pandemic Splintered the Appalachian Trail. (Single link New York Times - possible paywall.)
posted by loquacious at 12:32 AM - 8 comments

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