January 2016 Archives

January 31

Human Harp

posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:25 PM PST - 11 comments

Raw Power: From Iggy and the Stooges to AMD and Blu-ray

The Leap: The Improbable Transformation of a Punk Pioneer (mp3) - "James Williamson is a successful tech executive who's been working in Silicon Valley for decades. But it turns out Williamson had a secret, something that no one working with him knew. He was a pioneer in a type of music that is about as far from the tech world as you can get." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 9:41 PM PST - 24 comments

Returning to spacedock

Starship Enterprise in the shop for repairs [Washington Post]
After 50 years of imaginary intergalactic service and epic flights of science fiction, the starship Enterprise, registry number NCC-1701, lies in pieces on a table at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia.
posted by peeedro at 5:20 PM PST - 54 comments

Scrawled on the box in black Magic Marker were the words “TIME MACHINE.”

The Philosophers
posted by anotherpanacea at 3:28 PM PST - 16 comments

Here she has grabbed by the neck and by his member

Trial by combat (or judicial duel, judicial combat) was a method of Germanic law to settle accusations in the absence of witnesses or a confession in which two parties in dispute fought in single combat; the winner of the fight was proclaimed to be right. One of the forms of judicial duel was so-called marital duels (or conjugal duels) in which a husband and a wife physically prove their case in domestic disputes. In an effort to even the field, husbands were ordered to fight while confined to a shallow pit with one arm tied to his body.
posted by Sebmojo at 2:54 PM PST - 28 comments

Ruff Ride

Somebody ring the buzzer for me please? [more inside]
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 1:29 PM PST - 19 comments


Long-running experimentalists Ulver break free from the studio to release ATGCLVLSSCAP. From PopMatters:
The basis of this new double LP, ATGCLVLSSCAP, comes from a dozen shows the band performed in early 2014, not long after the unit had issued its postmodern requiem mass Messe I.X-VI.X. The material here is the result of the group improvising in the live setting, blending the dark electronic elements that it has become known for with traces of the psychedelic, dashes of minimalism and rhythms that sway somewhere between Scandinavian primacy and ornate Latin temples to movement and time. Now placed side-by-side the pieces form two possible interpretations: the first of which is an album that evolves with a tension and release strategy in its sequence or a composition with 12 chambers that take the listener through all the same movements and emotions of a well-wrought symphony.
[more inside]
posted by Existential Dread at 1:23 PM PST - 9 comments

Yes We Can(ada)!

If you're tired of the status quo, there is a third path forwards — Canada for President [more inside]
posted by a lungful of dragon at 1:19 PM PST - 28 comments

Women farmers & food leaders

Oregon Tilth's magazine, In Good Tilth:
Our inaugural issue of 2016 celebrates women farmers and food leaders. Stories include: An interview with Doria Robinson of Urban Tilth; a photo narrative by Audra Mulkern; an analysis of why women farmers have been invisible for so long; a look around the United States at female leaders in our good food movement; and more.
(probably not mobile-friendly)
posted by aniola at 12:57 PM PST - 12 comments

Visualizing History

Syracuse, ancient and late classical era. Pompeii's Last Day. Hadrian's Villa: reconstruction and current state and virtual walkthrough. Virtual exploration of Corinth, 2nd century C.E. Rome circa 320 C.E. Flyby of Tenochtitlan. A 3-D walkthrough of Paris in the 18th century. Paris in 1896 and today. London in 1927 and 2013, side by side. A portal into 1924 London through 2014. [more inside]
posted by rednikki at 11:37 AM PST - 10 comments

The Junior Vasquez Post You Didn't Know You Needed

1983: Donald Mattern releases his first remix, a 12" for Kid Nice's song "Keep Dreaming". It was the inauspicious birth of a phenomenon who would dominate house music remixes for decades -- Junior Vasquez. Join me for a chronological and selective journey through his remix career, won't you? As the years go by, witness the evolution of synth technology, remix philosophy, and house and dance music. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 10:37 AM PST - 17 comments

The Life and Adventures of a Haunted Convict

An expert in prison literature, Smith felt sure that the book was written by someone with firsthand knowledge of 19th-century correctional facilities. And if Haunted Convict was a genuine account, it would be groundbreaking: the earliest-known narrative penned by an African-American prisoner.
posted by a strong female character at 9:10 AM PST - 7 comments

Pregnant, Sick With Zika—and Prohibited From Getting an Abortion

"The way these governments are handling the virus is foolish, highly unrealistic, and insensitive to women." But Zika Virus Isn't The First Disease To Spark A Debate About Abortion [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:18 AM PST - 21 comments

No, I'm afraid it doesn't qualify for Free Shipping

Though prefab houses have started to increase in popularity, the concept is certainly not a new one. Sears & Roebuck, through it's Modern Home program, sold mail order homes for over thirty years at the start of the 20th century. And though Sears was the most popular home seller at this time, other companies such as Aladdin in Bay City, Michigan also made their mark. Central Michigan University has an online archive of these home catalogs for those curious. And these Flickr albums include not only Aladdin catalogs, but also Sears Home catalogs and many others for your perusal. Finally, if you think that you might live in a Sears home or you've seen one in your neighborhood, here are a few tips for successfully spotting them (Previous Prefab Posts).
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 8:14 AM PST - 38 comments

So that's why they sound better

Audioquest, the folks who claimed their expensive Ethernet cables made a “noticeable improvement in sound quality” (previously) has a YouTube video that clearly proves their claims. It demonstrates the improvement in sound quality their HDMI cables provide. Folks, this is not a subtle improvement that requires “golden ears” to perceive. In fact, you can even hear it on laptop speakers. Not surprisingly, the more expensive the cable the greater the improvement in the sound quality. Money well spent. Except, as Mark Waldrep points out: they cheated by faking the results. Here’s the response from the C.E.O. of Audioquest.
posted by Dean358 at 6:02 AM PST - 78 comments

“Warren! Warren! Answer me—are you there?”

The Ordeal of Randolph Carter - not quite an adaptation of H. P. Lovecraft's The Statement of Randolph Carter By Chris Lackey and Greig Johnson.
posted by Artw at 4:32 AM PST - 15 comments

Dawn of a new era

For the first time, the UCI has discovered a motor in a cyclist's bike. Femke Van den Driessche dropped out of the under 23 Women's World Cyclo-Cross Championship race with apparent mechanical problems, the bike was taken away for investigations. The Clinic started speculating right away about a previous performance at Koppenberg Cross. I believe this is a video of that event.
posted by Chuckles at 3:09 AM PST - 73 comments

Every year I expect it to be less foolish, and every year it is more so.

RIP Sir Terry Wogan, Irish radio and television presenter whose long career at the BBC included many notable shows including Wake up to Wogan, the Wogan chatshow, Blankety Blank and The Eurovision Song Contest. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:37 AM PST - 50 comments

Count Me Out

Robb Flynn of Machine Head responds to former Pantera lead singer Phil Anselmo's racism.
posted by dazed_one at 12:26 AM PST - 101 comments

Bouletize Me!

Following in the semi-proud tradition of The Peanuts Movie, The Simpsons, Scott Pilgrim, Mad Men, South Park, The Great Gatsby (?!?) and too many other media entities to mention, you can now create a Personal Avatar in the style of MeFi's Favorite French Cartoonist* Boulet (10X previously):
LE BOULETMATON. (in French with no English translation I could find**, but it's pretty self-explanatory) [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:18 AM PST - 22 comments

January 30


"Led by The New York Academy of Medicine, the Color Our Collections event invites you to download images from library and cultural institution collections, color them, and share them on social media using the event hashtag #ColorOurCollections."
To start with, check out the natural history offerings from the Biodiversity Heritage Library and the medieval offerings from the University of Oxford's Bodleian Library. [more inside]
posted by flex at 10:38 PM PST - 9 comments


We always just called it the Castle Park. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:12 PM PST - 36 comments

New Potter Wizard School Info

J.K. Rowling has recently released some information on international wizarding schools. We already knew a fair amount about Durmstrang and Beauxbatons. But she also discusses Mahoutokoro, the Japanese school that actually has day students; Uagadou, the African school carved out of a mountainside; and Castelobruxo, the Brazilian home of Bill Weasley's ear-shrivelling penpal. She gives no information about Ilvermorny, the "North American" school. (There is not even a mention of the Salem Witches' Institute.)
posted by vogon_poet at 7:26 PM PST - 95 comments

The "Guilty Mind" principle eliminates a lot of "crimes"

Everyone commits crimes. There are so many laws out there making what's relatively banal behavior criminal if looked at in that light. Apparently a longstanding legal principle tho has been the idea of a "guilty mind," which has gotten somewhat lost recently. The idea is that if you can't write a law where it's possible for a person to commit a crime without meaning to commit a crime. More in the link.
posted by BradyDale at 6:48 PM PST - 43 comments

Oregon Under Attack: And then there were four

The FBI negotiated further with four armed occupants at a remote federal wildlife refuge in Oregon on Saturday while the holdouts in a video posted online expressed their mistrust of the government and reluctance to leave. (Mega) Previous.
posted by valkane at 5:44 PM PST - 2733 comments

Cafe Grumpy and more: NYC coffee shops

28 Outstanding Coffee Shops in New York City - Levi Dalton and Marguerite Preston, The Eater, 2015 (with map)
The 10 best coffee shops in New York City - Liz Clayton, The Thrillist, 2015
10 Hottest Coffee Shops in NYC - Megan O. Steintrager, Zagat, 2015
The best coffee shops in New York - Time Out, 2014
101 Places to Find Great Coffee in New York - interactive map
And of course, there's an app for that.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 5:36 PM PST - 23 comments

"Oh! how I wish I could fly, There’s so much to see from the sky."

For decades, artist Harry Smith (previously on mefi) collected paper airplanes that he found on the streets of New York City- over 250 of them from 1961 to 1987. They're now in the collection of the Getty Research Institute. [more inside]
posted by moonmilk at 5:05 PM PST - 5 comments

The 10 Best Canadian Heritage Minutes of All Time

"Heritage Factor (how much does it feel like a Heritage Moment?): 9.1. We’ve got period costumes, some clunky exposition/dramatic devices to ensure everything is explained in a minute, and a dramatic ending. Most importantly, we’ve got lots of historical half-truths in order to service television drama....I’m not saying we have a national fetish for comparing ourselves favourably to America. I’m just noting a full 10% of Heritage Minutes are based around that theme." Vancouver journalist Justin McElroy presents The 10 Best Canadian Heritage Minutes of All Time. [more inside]
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 2:50 PM PST - 34 comments

Kumbali and Kago's First Snow

Cheetah and dog play in the snow. SLYT, 1:43. [more inside]
posted by asperity at 1:58 PM PST - 15 comments

Geeta, Rohan, and the Factory

A few weeks earlier, the male elders of their caste had decreed that village women working at nearby meat-processing factories should leave their jobs. The reason they gave was that women at home would be better protected from the sexual advances of outside men. A bigger issue lay beneath the surface: The women’s earnings had begun to undermine the old order. It came as a surprise when seven of the women, who had come to rely on the daily wage of 200 rupees, about $3, refused to stop. The women would have to, the men said, blocking the lane with their bodies. They did not expect the women to go to the police. (SLNYTimes). [more inside]
posted by Diablevert at 1:57 PM PST - 12 comments

Alabama Shakes

Brittany Howard On Small-Town Life, Big-Time Music - "Howard was raised on her father's junkyard in the small town of Athens, Ala. 'It was a really interesting way to grow up', she tells Fresh Air." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 1:08 PM PST - 14 comments

Oh, Seattle! in comic form

Seattle alt-paper The Stranger carries comic-strip renditions of real police reports by Callan Berry. Recent pieces include: Man Throws Boasts (and Roasts) in Elevator, Woman Gets Cut in Line, Uses Peppery Language, and Man Gives Friend a Beer, Fight Ensues. Meanwhile, Real Change features MetroFareComic by Peter Orr, affectionate pieces based on real bus rider experiences, such as the overheard new lips prayer and misheard pothead genocide.
posted by splitpeasoup at 11:52 AM PST - 30 comments

Name that fragment of a century-old forgotten silent film!

Beneath glimmering chandeliers at an Art Deco movie house built into the side of a mountain, 150 silent-movie buffs sat wide-eyed as snippets from films lost decades ago lighted up the screen. Their quest: Name the film, or at least spot details that will advance the cause. The fans shouted clues as a piano player wearing an old-time parlor vest and a thick period mustache improvised jaunty scores. They scoured vintage magazines on their laptops, checked film databases on their tablets, and scrubbed their brains for odd bits of early 20th century cultural history. Every frame had the potential to unlock a secret.
posted by jason's_planet at 10:12 AM PST - 7 comments

Tattooed Ceramic Ladies

Jessica Harrison takes old ceramic statues of fancily-dressed women and decorates them with tattoos.
posted by divabat at 9:56 AM PST - 14 comments

UNiversal ARticulate Interdimensional Understanding of Science

Meet Unarius, the world's most stylish UFO reincarnation cult.
posted by The Whelk at 7:47 AM PST - 34 comments

“I gave them their own species name: Abundus egocentrus.”

A tyrannosaur of one’s own. by Laurie Gwen Shapiro [Aeon] Dinosaur collecting isn't just for museums any more — film stars and sheikhs do it too. What drives a man to covet big bones?
The world’s most famous palaeontologist doesn’t understand why anyone wants to collect dinosaurs. Mark Norell sits across from me in his expansive corner office at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and launches right in: ‘People are weird. I think: “Who is buying this shit?” No accounting for people’s taste. I have a passion for dinosaurs, but certainly not what I would call “dinosaur insanity”. Dinosaurs are just a medium for me to do science. But if I were doing the same thing on some other organism – you wouldn’t be here.’
posted by Fizz at 7:43 AM PST - 20 comments

Animal Families

Animal Families - A collection of animal illustrations that explore the relationship of parent and child. By artist Michael Sutton.
posted by Wolfdog at 7:29 AM PST - 3 comments

What if Doctor Seuss channeled H.P. Lovecraft?

The Call of Cthulhu (for beginning readers)
posted by fings at 7:10 AM PST - 24 comments

Become A Better Developer — By Having A Blast

“At CodinGame, we believe that everyone should be able to discover the pleasure of coding. We are programmers at heart, and we know that code is a powerful tool to innovate and create. It's a matter of passion, but above all, it's fun. So we've imagined a platform which merges programming and video games.” [more inside]
posted by ob1quixote at 1:21 AM PST - 33 comments

I Want You to Be Nice Until It's Time to Not Be Nice.

The Presidential Candidates Ranked By Their Usefulness In A Bar Fight: Kasich is the guy who shows up to the bar in business casual and turns out to be carrying a butterfly knife. He’s the guy who scares the piss out of everyone by wading into the deepest part of the fray while swinging double-fist thunderpunches and screaming an extemporaneous sermon. He’s the guy carving tattoos into his own arm with a broken bottle, the guy who palmed a handful of darts twenty freaking minutes before you even sensed there would be a fight, the guy who is slamming someone’s head into the bar long after the fight is over, screaming “Taste it! Taste it!” You do not want Kasich in any sort of a leadership position ever, but you definitely want him on your side in a bar fight.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 12:22 AM PST - 90 comments

January 29

Andrew Andrews and Kelsey Plum play PIG

PIG! Andrew Andrews is #1 in the Pac-12 men’s basketball standings, at 21.7 points per game. Kelsey Plum is averaging 27.2, which leads the entire nation. So they played a game of PIG against each other and here's what happened.
posted by jragon at 8:37 PM PST - 2 comments

Ask Vincent

Ask Vincent: In which Vincent van Gogh gives advice both solicited and unsolicited. Part 2, Part 3.
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:25 PM PST - 7 comments

Faces, Feet, Water, Street

Ten Tiny Dances choreographed by Emily Schoen. #1 - Ready/Set - #2 - Mind The Gap - #3 - Face Dance - #4 - The General - #5 - Little Lisa - #6 - City Run - #7 - So Many Ways - #8 - Foot Dance - #9 - Bounce Quartet - #10 - A Jointed Affair.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:58 PM PST - 11 comments

in all the papers

Paper people can have weddings, historical costumes, and baroque wigs made from paper.
posted by dilettante at 3:33 PM PST - 5 comments

Yoda Jokes

posted by Foci for Analysis at 3:15 PM PST - 21 comments

Bike Love

1. Love Across the Globe Through Strava: The incredible story of how a competitive cycling app united two riders from across the world. From Caitlin Giddings [more inside]
posted by Dashy at 3:06 PM PST - 2 comments

‘Every single game now I go out to play for her’

On a Wednesday night, Bournemouth's Harry Arter learned his daughter of 38 weeks was stillborn. That Saturday, he played against Manchester United. Arter tells the Guardian all, in the heart-wrenching detail.
posted by devious truculent and unreliable at 2:19 PM PST - 8 comments

Would it be wrong to eradicate the mosquito?

By spreading malaria, dengue fever, West Nile, yellow fever and now the Zika virus, they are the most dangerous animal in the world. What would happen if we got rid of them? It sounds like a promising idea, but what would take their place and would the rainforests survive?
posted by soelo at 1:53 PM PST - 107 comments

The Makers of Oban

A distillery tour.
posted by phunniemee at 1:18 PM PST - 35 comments

Babylonian (Pre)Calculus!

Signs of Modern Astronomy Seen in Ancient Babylon - "Scientists have found a small clay tablet with markings indicating that a sort of precalculus technique was used to track Jupiter's motion in the night sky." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 1:01 PM PST - 15 comments


Welcome to WorldPopulationHistory.org, an interactive site that lets you explore the peopling of our planet from multiple perspectives – historical, environmental, social and political. It is about the 2,000-year journey of human civilization and the possible paths ahead to the middle of this century.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 12:58 PM PST - 4 comments

How Men Treat Women On American Roads

When I Quit Cutting My Hair, I Learned How Men Treat Women On American Roads "The fifty-something man in the aging Lexus SUV was red-faced from screaming as he pulled up next to my motorcycle and lowered his passenger window. I caught fragments of every nasty word I'd ever heard my Catholic-school classmates whisper to each other during recess. Then he slowed the torrent of abuse long enough to enunciate the next sentence clearly: "Bitch, I am going to get out of this car and beat you until you can't stand up." From Road and Track.
posted by generichuman at 12:55 PM PST - 100 comments

Roomies Like These

Margaret Sugg, Nancy Fassett, and Barbara Fletcher moved into a group house together in the 1960s and have lived together ever since, renting a row house in Georgetown, DC; buying a home in the Maryland suburbs, and then retiring together to a nearby retirement community. [more inside]
posted by sallybrown at 12:40 PM PST - 17 comments

not the usual bhaji

The Best Dishes From Every Indian State And Their Authentic Recipes Are Right Here
posted by infini at 12:30 PM PST - 33 comments

The adventures of Odge Dadam on Nam Chorios

LEGO builder Adam Dodge presents a slice-of-life Star Wars story in the form of a Flickr gallery. It starts here (found via The Brothers Brick).
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 12:01 PM PST - 2 comments

The man who laughed at Corium, radioactive man-made lava

It has been created outside of the lab at least five times -- once at the Three Mile Island reactor in 1979, once in Chernobyl in 1986, and three separate times during the Fukushima Daiichi meltdown in 2011. It's made by melting fuel pellets or rods in nuclear reactors, which then assimilate concrete and whatever else they touch, making radioactive "lava." It's called corium, and it remains radioactive for centuries. Artur Korneyev, a dark-humored Kazakhstani nuclear inspector, has a lot of experience with it, especially the "elephant foot" in the Chernobyl sarcophagus. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 11:45 AM PST - 18 comments

asaph hall and two moons i would not go anywhere near

"Unlike the names of almost every celestial body in the solar system, the names of the moons of Mars are words. They’re names, but they’re words as well." , Fortunato Salazar
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:36 AM PST - 39 comments

Come on, let's go for flight over the dwarf planet Ceres!

Look out the window and be sure you don't miss the neat stuff! [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:25 AM PST - 7 comments

In Defense of Bad Sex

"It’s like parenting or establishing friendships, or pretty much any other intimate, cooperative endeavor: It takes attention and recalibration to be done well even when you’ve made a particularly felicitous match." Sex can be unpleasant, awkward, or even upsetting - and that's okay. In Defense of Bad Sex.
posted by sunset in snow country at 10:46 AM PST - 88 comments

Barbie Got Booty

America’s biggest toy company is changing the most famous body in the world. Classic, curvy, tall and petite; 7 skin tones; 22 eye colours; 24 hairstyles; 8 hair colours: meet the new Barbie Fashionistas.
posted by DarlingBri at 10:34 AM PST - 105 comments

Positive Lexicography

Dr. Tim Lomas is creating a positive cross-cultural lexicography: an evolving index of expressions from many languages for positive emotional states and concepts pertaining to well-being. Most do not have immediate English equivalents. View by Alphabet, Language or Theme. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 8:56 AM PST - 20 comments

5 Ninth Avenue

Keith Haring's New Year's Eve Party with his paintings and favorite music is a video taken at Keith's New Year's Eve Party welcoming 1984 via the 5 Ninth Avenue Project, , which uploads the work of video artist Nelson Sullivan, who, when he died in 1989, left behind almost 1,200 hours of footage of the now iconic and heavily romanticized Downtown New York scene
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:41 AM PST - 4 comments

On this spot

On This Spot is a history blog that focusses on then and now photography, comparing historical and contemporary photographs of the same locations. Locations include cities and battlefields in the UK, Germany, France, Japan and Canada.
posted by Dim Siawns at 8:16 AM PST - 6 comments

DylanTube - All Videos: Live, Documentaries, Films, Ads,

DylanTube [more inside]
posted by y2karl at 8:07 AM PST - 9 comments

The Movie Toyota Doesn't Want You to See

Check Your Surroundings for Safety is the first feature film shot entirely on a Prius backup camera. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 7:50 AM PST - 17 comments

Drink our coffee. Or else.

"That’s the message of these curiously sadistic TV commercials produced by Jim Henson between 1957 and 1961. Henson made 179 ten-second spots for Wilkins Coffee, a regional company with distribution in the Baltimore-Washington D.C. market, according to the Muppets Wiki: “The local stations only had ten seconds for station identification, so the Muppet commercials had to be lightning-fast–essentially, eight seconds for the commercial pitch and a two-second shot of the product.”" --from OpenCulture.com
posted by valkane at 7:48 AM PST - 45 comments

If you hate posts about tiny little bunnies you'll really hate this one!

Rabbit Female Wearing Ladies Dress Walking And Jumping , Drinking Milk From Injection Nipple. [SLYT]
Does what it says on the fuzzy wuzzy tin.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:14 AM PST - 23 comments

A protruding strut of bone. A sticky-outy bit. A chin.

We're the only animals with chins, and no one knows why. "I always get entertaining emails from lay people trying to help me so let me thank you in advance for what I'm about to receive."
posted by Metroid Baby at 7:03 AM PST - 73 comments

You could say Morrissey is a kind of modern day crooner

Caroline St. Clair introduces her aunt, Toni Tennille (of the Captain & Tennille) to the music of Morrissey: Part One, Part Two.
posted by Cash4Lead at 6:47 AM PST - 22 comments

Sometimes You Break Their Hearts, Sometimes They Break Yours

Online Feature: “Sometimes You Break Their Hearts, Sometimes They Break Yours” by Marie-Helene Bertino She's an alien, living in our world. She observes and describes. She says amazing things. Enlightening things. Things that make you embarrassed at your own humanity. Is this how we look to the rest of the universe? [more inside]
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 4:41 AM PST - 19 comments

January 28

Lutheran Insulter

Lutheran Insulter [more inside]
posted by Confess, Fletch at 8:34 PM PST - 69 comments

If we lowered transit construction costs, we could build more transit

US transit projects are way more expensive than those in similar countries. Addressing the reasons why could help us build more transit.
posted by jason's_planet at 7:14 PM PST - 79 comments

This generation got no destination to hold

Paul Kantner, guitarist, lyricist, and founding member of the Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, KBC, and the Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra has passed at age 74. [more inside]
posted by mosk at 6:10 PM PST - 73 comments

“may someday help in a more objective assignment of books...”

Scientists find evidence of mathematical structures in classic books. [The Guardian] James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake has been described as many things, from a masterpiece to unreadable nonsense. But it is also, according to scientists at the Institute of Nuclear Physics in Poland, almost indistinguishable in its structure from a purely mathematical multifractal.
“The absolute record in terms of multifractality turned out to be Finnegans Wake by James Joyce. The results of our analysis of this text are virtually indistinguishable from ideal, purely mathematical multifractals,” said Professor Stanisław Drożdż, another author of the paper, which has just been published in the computer science journal Information Sciences.
posted by Fizz at 4:29 PM PST - 28 comments

One more chance to love you

Stays at boutique hotels featuring rooftop pools, private soirees at members-only, jacket-and-tie clubs and fundraisers at the Four Seasons, the St. Regis and the Mandarin Oriental.

How Jeb Bush blew through his warchest.
posted by four panels at 2:05 PM PST - 247 comments

"No! No! No! They don't mean the shuttle! They don't mean the shuttle!"​

An Oral History Of The Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster
posted by brundlefly at 1:13 PM PST - 105 comments

Neuron-pruning gene linked to schizophrenia

the collection of DNA from more than 100,000 people, detailed analysis of complex genetic variation in more than 65,000 human genomes, development of an innovative analytical strategy, examination of postmortem brain samples from hundreds of people, and the use of animal models to show that a protein from the immune system also plays a previously unsuspected role in the brain
researchers have concluded that a complex variant of the C4 gene is a major risk factor for schizophrenia. C4 is involved in synaptic pruning, which helps explain why the disorder often begins in adolescence or young adulthood. [more inside]
posted by clawsoon at 12:33 PM PST - 30 comments

"Close your eyes and surrender to your darkest dreams"

Donald Trump begins and ends each of his presidential campaign rallies with “The Music of the Night” from The Phantom of the Opera and “Memory” from Cats. [more inside]
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 10:47 AM PST - 104 comments

You CAN Go Home Again -- But Dating Is Tough

An African City, frequently described as "Sex and the City meets Americanah," is a web series (ep. 1) that follows five glamorous young women living in Accra, Ghana, who were raised or educated abroad, navigating the pitfalls of life in the modern city -- work, money, housing, men, and the special problems of the "returnee." [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:22 AM PST - 8 comments

Vincent "Buddy" Cianci: 1941 - 2016

Controvertial former mayor of Providence and convicted felon Vincent "Buddy" Cianci is dead at 74
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:27 AM PST - 53 comments

The Tree Farm

Deforestation and tree farming in northern Scotland.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:24 AM PST - 9 comments

Time Lapse Cicadas

Time Lapse Cicadas. Time Lapse Cicadas. Time Lapse Cicadas. And, finally, Time Lapse Cicadas (last is Globe & Mail video with popup cicada factoids).
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 9:10 AM PST - 23 comments

Crisis on Infinite '90s Childhoods

Jared and Jerusha Hess, co-creators (in varying capacities) of Napoleon Dynamite, Nacho Libre, and Austenland, have signed up to write and direct NickToons, a shared-world movie featuring Nickelodeon-owned cartoon characters including Rugrats, Ren & Stimpy, Rocko’s Modern Life, Aaahh! Real Monsters, and The Angry Beavers. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 7:38 AM PST - 65 comments

0, 1, 1, 0, 1, 0, 0, 1, 1, 0, 0, 1, 0, 1, 1, 0, ...

Fair sharing, the Thue-Morse sequence, infinitely long chess games, and related ideas. [A light, 10 minute video]
posted by Wolfdog at 7:07 AM PST - 17 comments

The Canadian Library Association has been dissolved.

Members voted to dissolve the Association at a Special General Meeting on January 27. Their intent is to form a new "Federation of Library Associations" to create a "strong national voice" for libraries. The full proposal for the creation of the Federation is here. This is, obviously a hot topic at the Ontario Library Association OLA Superconference happening now in Toronto.
posted by Shepherd at 5:35 AM PST - 24 comments

This is the NHS

The Guardian has been running news stories that highlight the UK healthcare system. [more inside]
posted by Kitteh at 5:24 AM PST - 19 comments

Sampling involves “at least 5 solid whacks” above a net

Adventures of a pine cone spider collector
posted by bismol at 3:42 AM PST - 8 comments

India's first all-trans-women band

The 6-Pack Band, a collaboration between Bollywood composer Shamir Tandon and Indian tea brand Brooke Bond Red Label, consists of 6 women from the hijra community in India. They have two singles out: Hum Hain Happy, a remix of Pharrel Williams's Happy, and Sab Rab De Bande (with playback singer Sonu Nigam) based on a central Sikhism tenet of "we are all children of God".
posted by divabat at 1:02 AM PST - 15 comments

January 27

It's Wednesday night

So let's relax with a bit of topology and turn some spheres inside out.
posted by boo_radley at 9:32 PM PST - 23 comments

the mystery of the disintegrating laundry

Why was laundry disintegrating on urban clotheslines in the 1920s? Chemical Heritage Magazine has the answer!
posted by moonmilk at 8:03 PM PST - 18 comments

Who lives / Who dies / Who remixes your story?

Why Hamilton is the Perfect Mashup for Every Fandom Writing like you’re running out of time, making an impact on history, sabotaging yourself, stepping in and out of the narrative—could there be a more accurate depiction of what it is to be a fan?
posted by CrystalDave at 7:09 PM PST - 73 comments

“I became weirdly obsessed with this novel years ago...”

‘2666,’ a Most Difficult Novel, Takes the Stage [The New York Times]
2666,” the Chilean writer Roberto Bolaño’s darkly enigmatic, wildly digressive, sometimes densely philosophical and above all extremely long final novel, has awed, mesmerized, baffled and exasperated readers around the world since its posthumous publication in 2004. “It would take 45 minutes just to explain what the novel is about,” Mr. Falls, the longtime artistic director of the Goodman Theater here, said on a recent afternoon. But that hasn’t stopped him from turning it into a five-hour stage adaptation that begins performances on Saturday, Feb. 6, the culmination of what he describes as a nearly decade-long effort to wrestle Mr. Bolaño’s baggy monster to the theatrical ground.
posted by Fizz at 3:46 PM PST - 33 comments

"And when you let them in, you don't grimace"

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who built a barbed wire fence around his country to keep out the migrants, was also [at a Brussels summit]. He saw, and enjoyed, seeing [Angela] Merkel in a fix. He took the floor and said: "It is only a matter of time before Germany builds a fence. Then I'll have the Europe that I believe is right." Merkel said nothing at first, a person present at the meeting relates. Only later, after a couple other heads of government had their say, did Merkel turn to Orbán and say: "I lived behind a fence for too long for me to now wish for those times to return."
-The Isolated Chancellor: What Is Driving Angela Merkel? by Markus Feldenkirchen and René Pfister of Der Spiegel.
posted by Kattullus at 3:37 PM PST - 106 comments

Why Buffy, why now?

The Chosen One still gets chosen. Almost thirteen years ago, I put my first post up on Metafilter. It was a goodbye to my favorite show. It wasn't heavily commented on. In the intervening time, we've had Buffy conventions, Buffy sing-alongs and a huge amount of scholarly work! [more inside]
posted by lumpenprole at 2:52 PM PST - 75 comments

Make sure your friends never want to play Monopoly again

How to Win at Monopoly and Lose All Your Friends [via]
posted by figurant at 2:50 PM PST - 109 comments

Rudd vs Hawking at Quantum Chess

Caltech's Institute for Quantum Information and Matter in association with Trouper Productions bring you a chess match for the ages: Paul Rudd vs Stephen Hawking in a game of Quantum Chess, narrated by Keanu Reeves.
posted by valkane at 2:23 PM PST - 27 comments

photography, life, art, and Los Angeles

Kwasi Boyd-Bouldin has been documenting the Los Angeles urban landscape for over a decade. His latest project, The Los Angeles Recordings, examines the physical structure of neighborhoods and how they are molded and reconfigured by outside elements (demographics, gentrification, the passage of time.) “The Los Angeles Recordings is a project I’ve been working on in some way, shape, or form for over a decade. Very soon after getting into photography, I recognized the medium as a way I could show others the city as I viewed it. LA’s people, landscape, and topography exist in a state of constant change that is, in my opinion, rarely portrayed from street level." [h/t] [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A at 2:10 PM PST - 4 comments

Where The Wild Things Aren't.

The home of late artist/illustrator Maurice Sendak may or may not become a museum. It may be more difficult to house a wild thing than it would seem. Controversy broils over Sendak's disputed legacy.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 1:51 PM PST - 6 comments

You're able to move on and have a great day

Las hijas de Violencia are responding to street harassment in Mexico using confetti guns and punk rock. AJ+ has made a short video showing how las hijas are bringing their song Sexista Punk to the streets.
posted by roolya_boolya at 1:49 PM PST - 6 comments

Boston students bury those with no one to witness

NPR covers Boston-area students who attend the funerals of those with no one to witness. In a time when a lot of our interactions are fueled by fear or blunted by avoidance of perceived risk, it can be hard to reach out to those with nothing. Students in their senior year at the Roxbury Latin school attend the funerals -- and act as pallbearers -- for those who have no one. A local funeral home, Lawler and Crosby, handles the other details. [more inside]
posted by wenestvedt at 12:50 PM PST - 35 comments

"Stop wearing Keith Haring shirts."

Vince Staples (previously) reviews NBA stars' fashion choices.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:47 PM PST - 14 comments

Tic-Tac-Toe, 1952; Checkers, 1994; Chess, 1997; Go, 2016

The game of go, seemingly the last hold-out for games at which the most skilled humans can beat the best computer programs, has perhaps fallen at the hands of a computer. [more inside]
posted by klausman at 12:29 PM PST - 80 comments

If I Could Only Fly

The singer

If I Could Only Fly - Merle Haggard

The songwriter

If I Could Only Fly - Blaze Foley

The songwriter's story

Duct Tape Messiah [more inside]
posted by y2karl at 12:23 PM PST - 11 comments

You could feel the desire.

Remembering Jonathan Larson, who died 20 years ago this week, weeks shy of his 36th birthday. The 20th anniversary tour of the show that began previews the night of his death, RENT, will launch this fall. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:16 PM PST - 9 comments

Some Thoughts On Dining Out In Groups

How To Handle Splitting The Bill At Group Restaurant Dinners
posted by poffin boffin at 12:07 PM PST - 254 comments

Why the Calorie Is Broken

“A calorie isn’t just a calorie. And our mistaken faith in the power of this seemingly simple measurement may be hindering the fight against obesity.”
posted by insectosaurus at 11:48 AM PST - 94 comments

Horse Dope Sensation

Tits, boobs & Kelvin Mackenzie. A partial history of The Sun newspaper, starting from its launch in 1964 as a left-leaning broadsheet. [more inside]
posted by jontyjago at 11:44 AM PST - 8 comments

A Movie in the Jacuzzi

This is What Hip-Hop Sounded Like, Back in [1989-2015] An interactive visualization of the top songs on Billboard's 'Hot Rap Songs' chart, 1989-2015.
posted by box at 11:11 AM PST - 11 comments

The Reefer Madness of porn

Oregon Historical Society announces discovery of print of unusual and thought lost 1962 anti-porn film, “Pages of Death” (★★☆☆☆) [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:01 AM PST - 13 comments

Tools for Working with Data

Data Driven Journalism maintains a list of tools for working with data. Many of them are free to use or open source. [more inside]
posted by jedicus at 9:27 AM PST - 7 comments

The Dark Underside of the Show-Dog World

It was after the show, back home in Belgium, that Jagger began having such difficulty breathing that his alarmed owners called a veterinarian. By the time he got there it was too late: Jagger had collapsed and died. An autopsy found shocking evidence in the dog’s gastrointestinal tract: pieces of beef neatly folded with poison inside.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:55 AM PST - 24 comments

Few Kauaians share his malice towards feral chickens.

"Don't look at them directly,” Rie Henriksen whispers, “otherwise they get suspicious.” The neuroscientist is referring to a dozen or so chickens loitering just a few metres away in the car park of a scenic observation point for Opaekaa Falls on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. As the two try to act casual by their rented car, a jet-black hen with splashes of iridescent green feathers pecks its way along a trail of bird feed up to a device called a goal trap. Wright tugs at a string looped around his big toe and a spring-loaded net snaps over the bird. After a moment of stunned silence, the hen erupts into squawking fury. Biologists see in the feral animals an improbable experiment in evolution: what happens when chickens go wild?
[more inside]
posted by ChuraChura at 8:49 AM PST - 33 comments

"The house is not a work of art, simply a place where one lives"

The NYTs announces a new exhibit at the Austrian Museum of the Applied Arts on Josef Frank, architect and designer now best known for his surreal and wonderful wallpaper and fabric designs. [more inside]
posted by acrasis at 8:05 AM PST - 1 comment

20 Years Battling For Access To Drugs For The Poor

Jamie Love has spent years battling global drug companies, unshakable in his belief that even the world’s poorest people should have access to life-saving medicines. Is it time that our own government listened to him? [slguardian]
posted by ellieBOA at 6:59 AM PST - 3 comments

A Win for Immoral and Scandalous (TMs), or Death to Section 2(a)

Last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit decided In re Tam, overturning a longstanding ban on the registration of "disparaging" trademarks. (On Simon Shiao Tam's and The Slants' fight with the law, previously.) The court left in place the prohibition on registering "immoral and scandalous" trademarks. However, "[i]n a letter brief issued Thursday, the Department of Justice conceded that § 2(a) [the immoral and scandalous clause] was no longer enforceable in light of In re Tam."
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:22 AM PST - 31 comments

Radishes, Celery, and Finger Bowls upon request!

The unusual foods Americans loved a century ago. A massive collection of historical menus at the New York Public Library has been digitised for your perusal.
posted by blue_beetle at 1:48 AM PST - 98 comments

Ending the new Thirty Years War

Ending the new Thirty Years War "Why the real history of the Peace of Westphalia in 17th-century Europe offers a model for bringing stability to the Middle East."
posted by TheophileEscargot at 1:16 AM PST - 18 comments

What about JFK or Roswell or the Illuminati? The truth is out there

A study has examined how long alleged conspiracies could "survive" before being revealed - deliberately or unwittingly - to the public at large.Here is the paper itself.
posted by JiffyQ at 12:24 AM PST - 31 comments

January 26

60% of the time it works every time

Austin Powers-style Chicago condo untouched since the 1970s hits the market. It's got a little touch of Ron Burgundy and Brian Fantana in there too. A steal at $158,000. The listing at Zillow.
posted by GuyZero at 10:43 PM PST - 79 comments

Wide Open

New Chemical Brothers video, in which dancer Sonoya Mizuno (Ex Machina) undergoes an unusual transformation. Directed by Dom & Nic.
posted by Artw at 10:40 PM PST - 21 comments

In praise of slow cycling

We had the opportunity to cycle in a number of North American cities in 2015, including Washington D.C., Montreal, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles. And it was through the mixed experiences of sharing their streets with locals that we began to observe a seldom-discussed measure of a city’s bike-friendliness: the speed at which its cyclists travel.
posted by aniola at 10:04 PM PST - 40 comments

Ridealong: The Flotilla That Will Cross The Galaxy

~900 players will spend 3 months crossing the galaxy in Elite: Dangerous.
posted by curious nu at 8:22 PM PST - 29 comments

Lucha Underground Becomes More Comicbook-Like

As a preliminary to Season 2 of Lucha Underground, comicbook.com is featuring a comic book story bridging the first and second seasons. If you're not already familiar with the show, here are Five Sites Offering Reasons to Watch.
posted by Ipsifendus at 7:29 PM PST - 4 comments


Flitetest is a project that makes RC flight fun. Their Youtube channel includes 'Crazy Projects' like the Super Circle Plane. [more inside]
posted by carter at 6:54 PM PST - 8 comments

Medium allegedly blocked in Malaysia

On January 20th Medium received a takedown request from the Malaysian Government over a supposedly false report on the Malaysian Prime Minister and corruption by the Sarawak Report, a whistleblowing news organization whose main site was banned in Malaysia. When Medium Legal requested clarification, such as official court documents and proof of the report's falsehoods, instead of providing such documentation, Malaysia blocked Medium.
posted by divabat at 4:44 PM PST - 22 comments

I am a slut.

I am a slut. SLYT A slam poem from Savannah Brown
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 4:17 PM PST - 13 comments


Warcraft [YouTube] [Trailer]
“The peaceful realm of Azeroth stands on the brink of war as its civilization faces a fearsome race of invaders: Orc warriors fleeing their dying home to colonize another. As a portal opens to connect the two worlds, one army faces destruction and the other faces extinction. From opposing sides, two heroes are set on a collision course that will decide the fate of their family, their people and their home. So begins a spectacular saga of power and sacrifice in which war has many faces, and everyone fights for something.”
[more inside]
posted by Fizz at 3:35 PM PST - 149 comments

Dead, but they'll be back

The new mayor's shallow pockets, the abandoned fairgrounds, and the battle for New York City -- Stereogum explains how and why there's a new music festival on Randall's Island this summer.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:18 PM PST - 10 comments

Eureka! I've invented the road trip!

From 1914 to 1924, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone, and nature writer John Burroughs took off every summer to "rough it" (shaving was forbidden), camp on the roadside, and visit the country's most beautiful places by automobile, creating a media sensation and kicking off the tradition of the Great American Road Trip. [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:46 AM PST - 31 comments

Werner Herzog has made a documentary about AI and technology

Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World - "With interviewees ranging from Elon Musk to a gaming addict, Werner Herzog presents the web in all its wildness and utopian potential in this dizzying documentary." (via)
posted by kliuless at 11:42 AM PST - 24 comments

Finally, someone solves "The Shining" + chickens = ???

Since Kubrick's death, the world has wondered about his rumored obsession with "remastering" The Shining in the same way that Lucas did his original trilogy.

Finally, a trailer for his magnum opus — albeit significantly more, well…chicken-based — is now available: The Chickening (SLYT)
posted by ArmandoAkimbo at 11:38 AM PST - 27 comments

Not a hoax!

Abe Vigoda, Sunken-Eyed Character Actor, Dead at 94 [more inside]
posted by incomple at 11:36 AM PST - 180 comments

Charity Light on the Edge

"East Charity Shoal Light is an offshore lighthouse located near the Saint Lawrence River's entrance in northeastern Lake Ontario, due south of the city of Kingston, Ontario and approximately five miles (8.0 km) southwest of Wolfe Island. It is on the southeast rim of a 3,300-foot-diameter (1,000 m) submerged circular depression known as Charity Shoal Crater that may be the remnants of a meteorite impact." It sold for under $26,000 in 2009.
posted by valkane at 11:34 AM PST - 2 comments

The Birth of a Nation(wide Release)

Actor, director, producer, financier, and all-around dynamo of talent Nate Parker spent years working to bring Nat Turner's story to the big screen -- and just shattered Sundance records by selling his well-reviewed and rapturously received debut film The Birth of a Nation for $17.5 million, the largest sum in the festival's history. [more inside]
posted by sallybrown at 11:25 AM PST - 26 comments

Wherever this flag is flown

In November, Brian Donohue of NJ.com asked for submissions to redesign the New Jersey state flag. He received almost 400. (photo gallery is in video form, with music) [more inside]
posted by kimberussell at 10:30 AM PST - 64 comments

The Answer Is What's Poppin'

Behold Cyriak's (previously) new video for Meow the Jewels (previously) : "Meowpurrdy feat. Lil Bub, Maceo, Delonte".
posted by Maecenas at 10:18 AM PST - 30 comments

Ninja Eagle on Stilts - The Secretary Bird

Secretary birds can be found striding through the grasslands of sub-Saharan Africa. They cut a striking and unmistakeable profile, with light grey bodies, black wing tips and shorts, a red mask, and a crest of black quills. The latter, according to one dubious-sounding hypothesis, look like the quill pens that secretaries once tucked behind their ears—hence the bird's name. A more plausible alternative is that “secretary” is a bastardization of the Arabic “saqr-et-tair” for “hunter bird.” [more inside]
posted by narancia at 10:15 AM PST - 12 comments

"It was a sad fate for them and I pity them. So I hope, do you"

Charles Farrar Browne, the Sometimes-Racist Father of Standup Comedy [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:46 AM PST - 7 comments

Earned Media

After sifting through more than 100,000 hours of broadcast television coverage and counting, the Internet Archive last week launched its new, free Political TV Ad Archive website —PoliticalAdArchive.org — with more than 30,000 ad airings archived. This new resource will bring journalists, researchers, and the public resources to help hold politicians accountable for the messages they deliver in TV ads. [more inside]
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:20 AM PST - 12 comments

No Toilets for the Homeless

The inability to use a toilet isn’t just embarrassing. According to the 2015 No Right to Rest Report, a collaborative study by scholars and homelessness advocates in Colorado, it represents a public health crisis. For example, Stolte explained, the dearth of toilets and places to wash exacerbates health problems like body lice, skin infections, gastric illnesses, prostate and bowel issues, and the spread of communicable infections. (slMedium)
posted by Kitteh at 8:33 AM PST - 66 comments

Dekoven Presents: Super OTW!

DeKoven, who generally used only his last name, tended to wax enthusiastic over every piece of music he selected for play. He characterized many of them as ''OTW,'' Out of This World. OTW was only the bottom step of a set of escalating accolades which included ''Super OTW,'' ''Super Super OTW,'' and occasionally ''OTG'' (Out of This Galaxy), ''OTU'' (Out of This Universe) and ''OTC'' (Out of This Cosmos). Other phrases DeKoven used included "Remember, even a 3 by 5 inch index card can be used as a post card!" or at the conclusion of a broadcast when soliciting donations for his ''Barococo Society,'' he would always remind his listeners when addressing their letters ''....please skip the Sir or Mister when mailing me. Just capital DeK-o-v-e-n. I see this as an anachronism, especially in the Arts.'' He also reminded listeners that ''I am a lone wolf...'' about his endeavor...
And now, we give you the incomparable DeKoven, maven of the Baracoco... [more inside]
posted by y2karl at 8:13 AM PST - 8 comments

Spreadsheets for Developers

Thinking about learning a new programming language? How about a functional language with support for test-driven development and a snazzy visual interface, already deployed on millions of computers around the world? I'm speaking, of course, about Excel. In a 2014 Strange Loop talk, Felienne discusses the virtues of the Excel programming language (which is Turing complete, if you were wondering).
posted by jedicus at 7:57 AM PST - 72 comments

Have You Tried Just Holding Your Breath?

Good news, everyone! Oxygen has been linked to lung cancer. [slnyt]
posted by mittens at 6:46 AM PST - 47 comments

The most Australian Interview ever. (slyt)

Full Manlyness A couple of Australian Heroes stop a convenience store robbery. So Australian. [more inside]
posted by helmutdog at 6:42 AM PST - 36 comments

Iran Is Back in Business

The Great Race—for what a Western ambassador in Tehran described as “the last gold mine on Earth”—has begun. With eighty million people, Iran is the largest economy to return to the global marketplace since the Soviet Union’s demise, a quarter century ago. It urgently needs to refurbish its crumbling infrastructure. Unlike Eastern Europe, however, Iran is flush with cash, after gaining access to a hundred billion dollars in oil revenues that had been locked in foreign banks during sanctions. [NewYorker] [more inside]
posted by Sir Rinse at 6:34 AM PST - 19 comments

George Hotz Is Taking On Google And Tesla By Himself.

The first person to hack the iPhone built a self-driving car. In his garage.
posted by ellieBOA at 6:32 AM PST - 32 comments

A few seconds closer to Midnight?

Today The Doomsday Clock will have its time recalibrated. In 2015 the scientists set the hands to 23.57 - "due to climate change, the modernization of nuclear weapons in the United States and Russia, and the problem of nuclear waste." Is the apocalypse closer or further away? Watch the result live at 13.30 EST. There's really only one way it can go.
posted by 0bvious at 6:31 AM PST - 7 comments

And the minute she saw me, she was like, "Oh my God, I get to go home."

The state said a 19-year-old with an intellectual disability wasn’t equipped to look after her baby and whisked the newborn off to another family just after birth—a decision the mother was ready to fight. But how smart do you have to be to raise a child?
[more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 6:27 AM PST - 27 comments

"A tour de force of dropped R's"

Late Night's Seth Meyers (previously) has released the trailer for Boston Accent, the most Boston movie of all time. [SLYT]
posted by Room 641-A at 6:17 AM PST - 36 comments

Did Michael Jackson write the music for Sonic the Hedgehog 3?

The Michael Jackson Video Game Conspiracy
posted by gauche at 6:12 AM PST - 6 comments

A: Invent a dog spacesuit

41 of the trickiest questions Google will ask you in a job interview [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:01 AM PST - 77 comments

"Pinball Palace was a small, almost hidden place...

...tucked between the Jerry Lewis Movie theater and a specialty bra shop. From the outside, it looked forbidden and dangerous, two things that combined to point a beckoning finger at me.
Gina opened the door and I followed, knowing that this was exactly the kind of place my parents warned me about."
-- Michele Catalano, on the lost age of pinball.
posted by JHarris at 6:00 AM PST - 18 comments

Report All Obscene Mail to Your Local Potsmaster

collectpostmarks.com is a US-focused introduction to the hobby of postmark collecting. The site includes a detailed how-to guide for collecting USPS postmarks, a calendar of time-limited pictorial postmarks (gleaned from the USPS Postal Bulletin), and a gallery of postmarks to whet your appetite. [via mefi projects]
posted by Westringia F. at 5:30 AM PST - 10 comments

The Flat Earth Rapper

Two days ago, semi-famous rapper B.o.B. (no, not that BOB) began posting to his Twitter account a series of tweets and pictures in which he declared his belief that the earth is flat, not round. (And yes, believing that the earth is flat is a real thing.) B.o.B.'s twitter rant caught the attention of the internet's chief of science police, Neil deGrasse Tyson, who tried to change B.o.B.'s mind with the presentation of some well-intentioned facts. Undeterred and unconvinced by deGrasse Tyson's efforts, B.o.B. spent the day whipping up a diss track. Let the rap battle over a flat earth begin.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 5:28 AM PST - 135 comments

Girih Tile Designer

Girih Designer [more inside]
posted by scruss at 4:46 AM PST - 16 comments

Phantom haunts the ice cream section of your 24 hour grocery store

Literary Witches, a new comic by Katy Horan and Taisia Kitaiskaia, author of Ask Baba Yaga.
posted by dysh at 4:34 AM PST - 3 comments

Strength, Perseverance, Integrity, Resilience, Inspiration, Trust

Yesterday the Coxless Crew, a team of four women, completed their unsupported row across the Pacific. It took them 257 days to travel 8446 miles in three stages - San Francisco to Hawaii, then to Samoa, and completing their journey at Cairns. They travelled in a 29-foot long pink boat called Doris. [more inside]
posted by Stark at 4:22 AM PST - 10 comments

"We have found a way to treat others how they want to be treated"

".. after 70,000 kilos of washing ... we realised it is so much more. We can restore respect, raise health standards and be a catalyst for conversation.

Orange Sky Laundry is a world first not for profit mobile laundry service. Launched in July 2014 by this years Young Australians of The Year Nic Marchesi and Lucas Patchett, giving the homeless an opportunity to have their clothes laundered- and perhaps more importantly, the chance to sit down and have a chat with friendly, thoughtful and compassionate volunteers. [more inside]
posted by Philby at 12:23 AM PST - 8 comments

January 25

Let's talk about daily life with depression

New Yorkers Alice Bradley and Deanna Zandt made a podcast about life and depression. It’s all going to be okay. Probably.
posted by jden at 11:50 PM PST - 3 comments

Economic Class != Social Class, and why.

Ever confused about why it's so hard for Americans (US) to talk about class issues? LJ blogger Siderea has some answers for you, having to do with the distinction between social and economic class. [more inside]
posted by suelac at 10:38 PM PST - 82 comments

For more than 2000 years, Jews lived among Arabs

When asked to speak at certain Zionist functions, many Jewish refugees from the Middle East and North Africa are asked to focus on the mistreatment they experienced under Arab rule—not the ways in which they successfully coexisted with Muslims, or the serious discrimination they have faced in Israeli society after arriving in the Promised Land. In anti-Zionist circles the situation inverts: the hosts are delighted to hear tales of Israeli malfeasance but are deeply hostile if the topic turns to the oppression and expulsion of Jews from Arab countries or if the Jews proclaim a proud connection to Israel. - An Intersectional Failure: How Both Israel’s Backers and Critics Write Mizrahi Jews Out of the Story
posted by beisny at 8:50 PM PST - 29 comments

Hard Truths

The artist Thornton Dial has died
posted by bongo_x at 7:55 PM PST - 8 comments

You don't understand anything until you learn it more than one way.

Marvin Minsky, co-founder of MIT's Artificial Intelligence Lab, has passed away at 88.
posted by radwolf76 at 6:39 PM PST - 67 comments

The Longest-Ever White House Protester Died Today

Concepcion Picciotto, who held vigil outside the White House for more than three decades, died today. [more inside]
posted by anya32 at 5:27 PM PST - 23 comments

"We must go where the evidence leads us."

A grand jury in Houston investigating the recent videos that claimed that Planned Parenthood sold fetal organs (previously) has cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing. Instead they indicted two videographers, David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, on charges of Tampering with a Governmental Record. Mr. Daleiden has also been charged with violation of the Prohibition of the Purchase and Sale of Human Organs.
posted by JDHarper at 3:02 PM PST - 128 comments

Gareth Evans doing what he does best.

Director Gareth Evans (Merantau, The Raid, and The Raid 2) has posted a test action sequence to his YouTube channel. "In a time of civil war, a young warrior is given the task of delivering a treaty between two rival lords. During her journey through the woods however, she finds herself hunted by two assassins intent on intercepting her message of peace in a bid to maintain the fear, instability and violent rule of their leader." [more inside]
posted by brundlefly at 2:29 PM PST - 31 comments

Hyper Speed Walking to Parallel Universes via Scuttlebug Raising

Scott Buchanan is a Super Mario 64 challenge runner who can do amazing things in the game while pressing buttons as little as possible. Here's a 25 minute long video of him collecting the Watch for Rolling Rocks in Hazy Maze Cave star while only pressing the A button one half of a time.
posted by Small Dollar at 2:07 PM PST - 39 comments

The Pistol and its Songbird

"In 2016, after twelve months of work, Parmigiani Fleurier has brought back to life a unique object" (SLVimeo) [more inside]
posted by mrjohnmuller at 1:10 PM PST - 24 comments

Looking Back on Romer (1990)

25 years ago, Paul M. Romer's oft-cited article: "Endogenous Technological Change" (pdf) was published in The Journal of Political Economy. In it, he tried to explain how technological progress and knowledge creation affected the dynamics of growth. Romer’s model (pdf) became the "primary engine that fueled a decade-long re-examination of long-term growth in economics." This past October, Dr. Romer posted 7 follow-up blog entries to his historic paper, in order to 'revisit the basics,' starting with: Nonrival Goods After 25 Years. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 1:07 PM PST - 5 comments

Can't cut the throat of every person whose demeanor it would improve

Ten years after its third season, HBO confirms that a Deadwood movie will appear on the network.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:05 PM PST - 83 comments

Weird Al steps in as CBB Bandleader

On today's Comedy Bang Bang podcast it was officially announced that Weird Al will take over as bandleader for the fake talk show on IFC.
posted by kittensofthenight at 12:04 PM PST - 31 comments

Sexism in the Oxford Dictionary of English

Why does the Oxford Dictionary of English portray women as “rabid feminists” From the MEDIUM article: "The Oxford Dictionary of English is the default dictionary on Apple’s Mac OS X operating system. Anyone using a Mac, an iPad, or iPhone will get definitions from this dictionary. So why is it filled with explicitly sexist usage examples?" [more inside]
posted by pjsky at 11:56 AM PST - 67 comments

Death Race 2014

In 2014, gun deaths outpace motor vehicle deaths in 21 states and D.C., according to the newest study from Violence Policy Center. (VPC previously) [more inside]
posted by Mr.Pointy at 11:40 AM PST - 102 comments

Flying Lotus - FUCKKKYOUUU

( SLYT ) With the ability to travel in time, a lonely girl finds love and comfort by connecting with her past self. Eventually faced with rejection she struggles with her identity and gender, and as time folds onto itself only one of them can remain. Director: Eddie Alcazar Composer: Flying Lotus Producer: Javier Lovato
posted by mrblack at 11:28 AM PST - 7 comments

A Mortician Challenges Our Obsession With Looking Young

I pulled the zipper down, revealing a body like I had never seen. She appeared as if emerging from the primordial goo at the beginning of time. It was Mother Earth, severely decomposed and glorious.
posted by katie at 11:23 AM PST - 29 comments

Think you can tell a Democrat from a Republican?

Think you can tell a Democrat from a Republican? You are presented with a bill from 2005-2014, and have to decide if that bill was sponsored by a Democrat or a Republican. Some are obvious, some are tricky, and some are really surprising! [via mefi projects]
posted by aniola at 11:04 AM PST - 19 comments

She don’t say a word, and she won’t say a word, until you kiss the girl

"The plot of "The Little Mermaid," of course, involves Ariel literally losing her voice — but in the five Disney princess movies that followed, the women speak even less. On average in those films, men have three times as many lines as women."
posted by Shmuel510 at 10:33 AM PST - 82 comments

Guilty. Ish.

On 27 July, 2013, Sammy Yatim was shot nine times by Toronto police Constable James Forcillo after brandishing a knife on a streetcar. A jury has found the officer guilty of attempted murder, not guilty of second-degree murder.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:11 AM PST - 56 comments

Genius troll forces British film board to watch 10 hours of paint drying

Charlie Lyne was sick of the censorship of the UK's ratings board. Upon discovering the BBFC has committed to watch every minute of every submitted film, the filmmaker raised £5963 on Kickstarter to make a film of paint drying. He has now submitted a 607 minute long film for their review. There's an AMA with him on Reddit.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:06 AM PST - 36 comments

someone needs a semiotic square

How to Be an Anticapitalist Today , Erik Olin Wright at Jacobin: Tame, Smash, Escape, Erode. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:06 AM PST - 24 comments

Montgomery v. Louisiana

"Petitioner Montgomery was 17 years old in 1963, when he killed a deputy sheriff in Louisiana. The jury returned a verdict of “guilty without capital punishment,” which carried an automatic sentence of life without parole. Nearly 50 years after Montgomery was taken into custody, this Court decided that mandatory life without parole for juvenile homicide offenders violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on “ ‘cruel and unusual punishments.’" Today, the Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision, said that ruling will apply retroactively. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:44 AM PST - 52 comments

Conversations From the Comic Book Store

It's a known fact that people in comic stores say things. It's undeniable that many of these things are inane, oblivious, foolish, and occasionally perspicacious. Comic book owner and artist Tim Chamberlain, aka MrTim, chronicles his customers' conversations in his webcomic, Our Valued Customers.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:31 AM PST - 82 comments

Why don't you dance with me? I'm not no limburger!

Oh it's time to do 'em right. Early concert footage of The B-52's. Hey now, don't that make you feel a whole lot better? Stream The B-52's Live! 8-24-1979. They do all 16 dances: [more inside]
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 6:52 AM PST - 26 comments

"You have to respect the absurdity of it,"

Iowa's caucus system, explained. [YouTube] [Vox] Each US primary election season kicks off in Iowa. Learn the process behind one of the pivotal events of the general election. [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 6:47 AM PST - 58 comments

Research integrity: Don't let transparency damage science

We have identified ten red-flag areas that can help to differentiate healthy debate, problematic research practices and campaigns that masquerade as scientific inquiry. None by itself is conclusive, but a preponderance of troubling signs can help to steer the responses of scientists and their institutions to criticism.
posted by infini at 5:58 AM PST - 13 comments

An elegant weapon for a more civilized age

Not content at making Thor's hammer Mjölnir (and a Rasengan) Allen Pan has made a working lightsaber (probably best not to try this at home) (MLYT) (previously)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:16 AM PST - 27 comments

woah dude

Spherical Droste video (may require desktop browser for ability to pan around)
posted by juv3nal at 12:58 AM PST - 16 comments

What if the Bond girl and Bond villain were the same person?

Genghis Khan”, from Miike Snow’s not-yet-released album iii. (SLYT)
posted by Rangi at 12:56 AM PST - 17 comments

. . . . . . ...:..:.:.::.:::.::::.:::.::.:.:..:... . .

Planning a romantic evening, a night of meteor watching or taking pictures of the milky way or auroras? Want to know the closest, darkest place to observe the night sky? Consult the Light Pollution Atlas for the darkest viewing areas near you. Yes, even those of us residing outside the borders of the USA. [more inside]
posted by Mitheral at 12:42 AM PST - 38 comments

YTMND is dead. Long live YADN.

You Are Dog Now is a Twitter account that matches pictures sent to it with 'doggie doppelgangers'. Since being discovered by BuzzFeed last week and forcibly made viral, YADN has matched hundreds of people with dogs, some simply by appearance (1, 2, 3), others based on expression (1, 2, 3), location (1, 2, 3) or props (1, 2, 3). And yes, some Celebrities Are Dog Now (1, 2, 3).
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:30 AM PST - 14 comments

January 24

Euler's Disc

Euler's Disc. [more inside]
posted by benito.strauss at 10:39 PM PST - 15 comments

Netflix's Chelsea Does

This weekend Netflix released Chelsea Does, a new documentary series that follows comedian Chelsea Handler as she explores the topics of marriage, racism, drugs, and Silicon Valley. Some reviews have been quite positive whereas others are much more negative.
posted by smorgasbord at 9:42 PM PST - 20 comments

Surfboard + bells + whirlies + tap

Walk Off The Earth + two tap dancers cover "Hello." Gets more impressive as it goes along. (Walk Off The Earth previously. No autotune on this one, though [that I can discern].)
posted by en forme de poire at 9:29 PM PST - 11 comments

Meet Ted Cruz’s Secretive $11 Million Donor

Critics warned that Citizens United would bring about a new era of corporate influence in politics, with companies and businesspeople buying elections to promote their financial interests. So far, that hasn’t happened much… Instead, a small group of billionaires has flooded races with ideologically tinged contributions. Zachary Mider profiles the enigmatic Bob Mercer, the single biggest donor of the current campaign, for Bloomberg: “What Kind of Man Spends Millions to Elect Ted Cruz?” [more inside]
posted by Going To Maine at 8:50 PM PST - 62 comments

"Uptown Funk"

SLYT: Mash-up video of 66 movie dance scenes set to "Uptown Funk"
posted by rmd1023 at 3:53 PM PST - 58 comments

Inflatable Air-tube Men: Dancing ambassadors from Trinidad

They're nearly ubiquitous - plastic tubes with "arms" and painted faces, writhing around from the air blown up from below. You could imagine a number of origins for these advertising .. things - innovative leaf blower who started with plastic bags, a bounce-house designer who wanted to branch out. But the real story involves two artists, one from Trinidad & Tobago, the other from Israel, and the 1996 Olympics. For the short version, here's the Tale of Tall Boy: The Origin of the Inflatable Man (1:32). For a longer take, 99% Invisible got an interview with Peter Minshall, and a piece for re:form.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:52 PM PST - 23 comments

Such a good doge

If you like Shiba Inus, and you like slow-paced videos, you will love this hour-long video of a doge on a leisurely walk through a Japanese village. They visit a temple, stop for some noodles, take some photos, and create some paw print art. No dialogue, only music. No Japanese knowledge required. [more inside]
posted by desjardins at 3:35 PM PST - 27 comments

Inside Outsider Art

This weekend, New York City hosted the 24th Annual Outsider Art Fair. Director Rebecca Hoffman shares some highlights, the New York Times provides an overview, and Bloomberg Business considers whether Outsider Art has gone mainstream. Meanwhile, a Christie's Ousider Art auction the same weekend brought in over 1.5 million dollars. [h/t]
posted by Room 641-A at 3:28 PM PST - 10 comments

A library of illusions, misdirections and prestidigitation

The Conjuring Arts Research Center is a research library in Midtown Manhattan with over 12,000 volumes devoted to the arts of magic. They publish a semiannual journal by the name of Gibeciere. And for those who prefer not to wait for the mail, there's Ask Alexander, a searchable database of over 2,500,000 pages of magic instruction.
posted by jason's_planet at 1:38 PM PST - 11 comments

Chill Communication

Netflix and Thrill - does the streaming TV company face a rocky future, or are its traditional competitors, desperatly trying to pin down its ratings, just suffering from jealously?
posted by Artw at 1:07 PM PST - 57 comments

Unfortunately, for various reasons, the project got cancelled.

On my last day at Ubisoft, while I was saying goodbye to my colleagues, nobody asked why I was leaving to work on my own games. Even people who barely knew me had a pretty good idea. A lot of them were actually envious, although they worked on Syndicate too, realizing one of their own dreams. I’m sure that many professional game developers might have a clue about why I made this move. So, I decided to write about the reality of AAA games development or: how I learned to stop worrying and go indie.
posted by Sebmojo at 1:02 PM PST - 10 comments

The Road Everyone Hates

Chaz Hutton Draws Graphs: Most recently "A Map Of Every City."
posted by The Whelk at 1:00 PM PST - 25 comments

The devil's innovation on the snake

The Verge Review of Animals: Centipedes
posted by shakespeherian at 11:58 AM PST - 39 comments

A Reader on Black Revolutionaries in the United States

A Reader on Black Revolutionaries in the United States [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by Westringia F. at 10:38 AM PST - 5 comments


Stop Everything And Watch These Blizzard Puppy Videos [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 10:11 AM PST - 25 comments

The claw was coming from inside the house!

Kittens star in far superior remakes of classic horror films.
posted by jeather at 9:44 AM PST - 7 comments


Wondering why pop star Kesha (or Ke$ha) hasn't produced any new music since 2013? Sony refuses to release her from her contract, which bars her from producing music with anyone else but producer Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald, until she's made eight more records. So why is she refusing to work with Dr. Luke? Because, she alleges, he coerced her into drinking and taking drugs and sexually assaulted her when she was just 18, and his ongoing abuse led her to develop an eating disorder. Sony has called the allegations a "transparent and misguided attempt to renegotiate her contracts." [more inside]
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:04 AM PST - 140 comments

Millions of sushi, sushi for me.

On one hand, you have the Jiro-sans of the world. On the other...
posted by theappleonatree at 8:28 AM PST - 35 comments

What lift lines?

Snowboarding New York
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 7:55 AM PST - 31 comments

Sheer Innovation: The iconic L'Eggs egg

"The plastic shine of the L’eggs egg pantyhose package is instantly recognizable to anybody who browsed grocery, drug, or convenience store shelves during the 1970s and ‘80s. First introduced in 1969, L’eggs brought women’s hosiery out of the specialty shop and to the mass market, providing women with an alternative to the frippery of garters and stockings and simultaneously creating a merchandizing phenomenon that changed not only the hosiery industry but those of package design and visual retailing."
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:40 AM PST - 46 comments

I'm a graph just like you

[In late 2015], László Babai, of the University of Chicago, announced that he had come up with a new algorithm for the “graph isomorphism” problem, one of the most tantalizing mysteries in computer science.
posted by Wolfdog at 6:19 AM PST - 22 comments

Dr. Langeskov, The Tiger, And The Terribly Cursed Emerald

In this 15 minute game by Crows Crows Crows, a team led by William Pugh (The Stanley Parable), slip into the soft-soled shoes of the mastermind responsible... ... silently cross the darkened lawn of the mansion... ... hold tight to the tranquiliser gun in your pocket, and commit the most audacious heis-- oh god I can't do this any more, i'm joining the strike. i didn't want to - i honestly didn't want to, but it's gone too far [more inside]
posted by smcg at 5:03 AM PST - 9 comments

Does this mean I have to be /me/ for all eternity?

A Visit, by Bette Howland. [more inside]
posted by solarion at 4:32 AM PST - 6 comments

"No more I hear thee purr and purr as in the frolic days that were"

Cat Funerals in the Victorian Era: "During the early 19th century, it was not uncommon for the mortal remains of a beloved pet cat to be buried in the family garden. By the Victorian era, however, the formality of cat funerals had increased substantially. Bereaved pet owners commissioned undertakers to build elaborate cat caskets. Clergymen performed cat burial services. And stone masons chiseled cat names on cat headstones." Ends with a lovely elegy for Peter, aged 12, by poet Clinton Scollard. [more inside]
posted by fraula at 4:09 AM PST - 8 comments

January 23

‘I was terribly wrong’

Writers look back at the Arab spring five years on [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:30 PM PST - 27 comments

Actually, the An-2 is just like other biplanes, only there’s more of it.

A day with the Hampshire-based PPL club that operates one of the world’s biggest single-engine biplanes, all 1,000hp and five-and-a-half tons of it
posted by Confess, Fletch at 10:50 PM PST - 16 comments

She’s actually really lazy

Ludivine, a two-and-a-half-year-old hound dog, was let out of the house in Elkmont, Alabama, to do her business. Prone to roaming around town at will, Ludivine snuck out of the backyard and made her way to the starting area of the inaugural Trackless Train Trek Half Marathon about a quarter mile away. Ludivine proceeded to mingle with the runners, run the entire 13.1-mile course, cross the finish line in an unofficial 1:32:56, and have a medal draped over her floppy brown ears—all without her owner, April Hamlin, realizing she had wandered off in the first place.
posted by mama casserole at 6:02 PM PST - 47 comments

10 things to know about progress in international development

10 things to know about progress in international development (.pdf) Around the world, amazing progress is being made. More than 1 billion people have been lifted out of extreme poverty since 1990, with major gains made in health and education and in other areas that contribute to human well-being.

Lots of problems remain of course. And you can still be very poor and not be below the $1.25 (in $2005) line. But a big deal.
posted by hawthorne at 5:03 PM PST - 9 comments

Breaking down David Bowie's 'Heroes' - Track-by-track

Producer Tony Visconti uses the original master tapes from sessions at Hansa Studio in Berlin to get to the heart of the title track from 'Heroes'.
posted by Catblack at 2:15 PM PST - 62 comments

Scrooge McDuck's Giant Pool of Money is Real

Planet Money's Adam Davidson ponders an emerging economic paradox in this week's NYT Magazine: Why are corporations hoarding trillions in cash? The cash stockpiles being held by many major corporations situation are unprecedented in size, and often vastly exceed any sum of money that these corporations could ever dream of spending. This behavior runs in direct opposition to most economic theories, violates assumptions about how rational corporations should act, and is being rewarded by the market (but only in some industries). So, what gives?
posted by schmod at 2:11 PM PST - 77 comments

Has a piston stroke of just 6 millimeters

The origami engine: Incredibly detailed tiny V8 motor made of paper revealed (and it really works)
posted by Michele in California at 2:05 PM PST - 9 comments

Drone Art: Arctic Edition

Drone Art: Arctic Wildlife & Landscapes is a two and a half minute drone video from the far north of Canada starring beluga whales, polar bears and some of the most amazing scenery.
posted by jason's_planet at 1:22 PM PST - 7 comments

the art of our necessities is strange

"If you have a Democratic frontrunner who is opposed to capitalism and a Republican frontrunner who wants to deport 10 million immigrants, that'll make a difference."

Michael Bloomberg set to run for President.
posted by four panels at 12:34 PM PST - 317 comments

"It's not a single process, it's 1,095 days of little decisions."

What It's Really Like to Transition, via Cosmopolitan [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:24 PM PST - 34 comments


"I told her I was sick of reading about white boys and dogs" In the past year, Philadelphia native Marley Dias has successfully written a proposal for (and received) a Disney Friends for Change grant, served food to orphans in Ghana and recently launched a book club. Dias is 11 years old. Dias' latest social action project is the "#1000BlackGirlBooks" book drive. Frustrated with many of the books she's assigned in school, she confessed to her mother during dinner one night that she was unhappy with how monochromatic so many stories felt.
posted by pjsky at 12:19 PM PST - 6 comments

Time for a vat of refreshing green juice

First there was Deliciously Ella. Then came Deliciously Stella.
posted by alby at 12:16 PM PST - 6 comments

Maned Lionesses

This male-like lioness is defying gender norms (full episode) - "An African lioness that looks and acts male may be the secret to her pride's success."
posted by kliuless at 12:12 PM PST - 10 comments


A commerical for the dried turkey snack food 'Gobblestix' slowed down 50%
posted by The Whelk at 10:00 AM PST - 33 comments

The Velvet Ant

The Velvet Ant "A female velvet ant's legs are so powerful, she can use them to wrestle her way out of a predator's mouth. You might think that a bigger animal like a lizard could easily crush her in its jaws, but the velvet ant is too tough for that."
posted by dhruva at 9:54 AM PST - 25 comments

Venus Flytraps Are Even Creepier Than We Thought

When it comes to digesting its prey, the plant is a calculating killer.
posted by ellieBOA at 9:39 AM PST - 13 comments

"I cannot be that person."

John and Sherry Petersik built a cult following with their website, Young House Love. Then they tried to walk away. The couple behind Young House Love on the process of falling down the rabbit hole from lifestyle bloggers, to full time "brand," and the burnout that resulted. Related, Heather Armstrong (a.k.a. Dooce) on "Why the 'Queen of the Mommy Bloggers' had to quit." [more inside]
posted by blue suede stockings at 9:36 AM PST - 39 comments

“I haven't had my muffin yet, MATT!”

Undercover Boss: Starkiller Base [YouTube]
posted by Fizz at 7:41 AM PST - 30 comments

Badger Badger Badger Badger Badger Badger Badger Red Deer! Red Deer!

Charles Foster has lived as a badger, a red deer and an urban fox among other animals. Extract from his book. (Contains descriptions of worm eating)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:36 AM PST - 12 comments

You go to war with the app you have, not the app that you might want.

Have you ever wished there was a way to play solitaire while still viewing inspirational wartime content of Winston Churchill? Do you have an iPhone? Well, has Donald Rumsfeld (best known for such previous non-mobile hits as the admittedly buggy Iraq War) got the game for you! [more inside]
posted by corb at 5:53 AM PST - 19 comments

January 22

Doing Gentrification Right

The inexorable pressures of economy, personalized. We are people!
posted by kozad at 11:48 PM PST - 14 comments

rhymes with 'peace rally'

Up until his passing last June at 93, Reese Palley, "a flamboyant entrepreneur, art impresario, adventurer, promoter of eccentric business enterprises around the globe, and public scold on matters as diverse as nuclear energy and how to revive Atlantic City", influential in the San Francisco art scene, seller of Boehm birds and Dali prints, sailor extraordinare, rescuer of communities and torahs ... well, Reese was a hell of a guy, settled in Key West and built a home out of the greatest material ever devised. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:22 PM PST - 6 comments


Your frog's name is Gugget. They are a Orange-Banded Tree Frog. Cherish this frog. Begin Frog.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 10:38 PM PST - 29 comments

Getting Sauced: a post about condiment packets

The Mysterious, Murky Story Behind Soy-Sauce Packets: How Chinese takeout, a Jewish businessman from the Bronx, and NASA-approved packaging have shaped the 50-year reign of a well-loved American condiment (The Atlantic) [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A at 8:27 PM PST - 29 comments

I built a tree in my daughter's bedroom

Yes, he really did.
posted by maudlin at 5:51 PM PST - 94 comments

mapping the college curriculum across 1M+ syllabi

The Open Syllabus Project is pleased to make the beta version of our Syllabus Explorer publicly available. The Explorer leverages a collection of over 1 million syllabi collected from university and departmental websites. [more inside]
posted by betweenthebars at 5:15 PM PST - 22 comments

The Digital Materiality of GIFs

A short exploration of the history, present and future of the Internet's most animated image format, The Digital Materiality of GIFs.
posted by dragoon at 3:13 PM PST - 20 comments

Goodbye, Steven Moffat; hello, Chris Chibnall!

Steven Moffat is stepping down as showrunner of Doctor Who. Chris Chibnall, a longtime Who fan who has written episodes for both Who and Torchwood, as well as acting as showrunner for David Tennant in Broadchurch, will be taking his place. (Here's Chibnall expressing his opinions on Who in 1986.) The bad news is there will be no new Who in 2016, just a Christmas special, and Moffat's last series will air in 2017. The good news for Broadchurch fans is that they'll apparently get a Season Three filmed this year before Who takes Chibnall over, or vice versa.
posted by immlass at 2:42 PM PST - 195 comments

"Blends both toy and game alike."

This is Griffin McElroy. Welcome to Griffin's Amiibo Corner, a weekly series about a delightful new creation from Nintendo. (2) (3)
posted by Navelgazer at 1:50 PM PST - 18 comments

Golden Years

Old music is outselling new music for the first time in history - 2015 marks the first year that catalog albums, albums over 18 months old, outsold newer ones in the US.
posted by Artw at 1:15 PM PST - 70 comments

"I'm really sorry that I deleted your penis"

Someone draws a large penis in the snow in a canal in Gothenburg, Sweden. A concerned citizen removes it when the City decides it is too dangerous to remove due to thin ice. This is what happens next. [more inside]
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 11:47 AM PST - 79 comments

White Privilege II

On Thursday, Macklemore released his new 8 minute long song White Privilege II, a sequel to White Privilege off his 2005 album. Lyrics to the new song with citations available on Genius.com and commentary from Slate.com.
posted by all about eevee at 11:45 AM PST - 89 comments

My Bookshelf, Myself - NYT

Leaders in different fields share the 10 books they’d take with them if they were marooned on a desert island. For his bookshop installation, One Grand, the editor Aaron Hicklin asked people to name the 10 books they’d take with them if they were marooned on a desert island. [more inside]
posted by pjsky at 11:44 AM PST - 37 comments

“The first website we made was www.MakeMyNudesFight.com.”

Finally, courtesy of The Clickhole: An Oral History of Facebook. It features exclusive interviews with Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Sean Parker, identical river giants Cameron And Tyler Winklevoss, and many others.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:01 AM PST - 15 comments

That's some professional breadstick passing

A 15-second Olive Garden commercial is reviewed. While playing 120 times.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:55 AM PST - 21 comments


"They said they were going to put me on hold, and then hung up on me. But I had their #, a 20-minute drive ahead of me, and I do improv."
Comedian Dave Holmes trolls a couple of hapless IRS telephone scammers.
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:05 AM PST - 61 comments

I love the smell of Schadenfreude in the morning

From Pickup Artist to Pariah Jared Rutledge fancied himself a big man of the 'manosphere.' But when his online musings about 46 women were exposed, his whole town turned against him.
posted by pretentious illiterate at 9:53 AM PST - 101 comments

NASA reduces average payload weight without sacrificing capabilities

For the first time [ever], NASA’s latest class of astronauts is 50 percent female. And, NASA has announced, in 15 years they could all be selected for an inaugural trip to Mars.
posted by Hot Pastrami! at 9:43 AM PST - 23 comments

Now is the time on Sprockets when we dance

How will we dance in the future? The 1966 German science fiction series Raumpatrouille Orion has a few ideas. (previously)
posted by bibliowench at 8:58 AM PST - 24 comments

'Starring Willie W, Bas Bron and Vieze Fur.'

Time to slink into the weekend with this chill music video for De Jeugd Van Tegenwoordig's 'Manon', starring a gang of imperious Dutch cats, custom scratching posts. Directed by powerhouse creative duo Lennert & Sander. [more inside]
posted by nerdfish at 8:48 AM PST - 8 comments


Threadbase purchased 800 of the most popular Men's t-shirts in every size that they could get their hands on. They then measured the shirts, washed them repeatedly, and tracked their shrinkage/stretching over time. Notably, they observed that shirts get wider and shorter over time, but actually wearing the shirt undoes most of the shrinkage that happens in the wash. Also, sizing systems vary wildly across manufacturers.
posted by schmod at 8:20 AM PST - 40 comments

“Your house is a crime scene and you two are persons of interest"

Why do people keep coming to this couple’s home looking for lost phones? Lost mobile phones are reporting that they're at a suburban Atlanta address, but they're not there. "The missing phones don’t seem to have anything in common. Some are iPhones. Some are Androids. They’re on different carriers: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, Boost Mobile."
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 8:13 AM PST - 36 comments

Horizontal history

"An econ buff in the year 2500 might know all about the Great Depression that happened in the early 20th century and the major recession that happened about 80 years later, but that same person might mistake the two world wars for happening in the 1800s or the 2200s.... Likewise, I might know that Copernicus began writing his seminal work... in the early 1510s, but by learning that right around that same time in Italy, Michelangelo painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, I get a better picture of the times. [It]allows me to see the 1510s horizontally, like cutting out a complete segment of the vine tangle and examining it all together."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:06 AM PST - 37 comments

Think You're Done? You Thought Wrong.

25 Steps To Being A Traditionally Published Author: Lazy Bastard Edition. Your brief guide through the process, from drafting (5. All First Drafts Are Word Vomit Made Of Horse Shit) to querying (14. I Have Queried Every Agent In The Entire Universe, And No) to post-publication (25. My Book Sales Did Not Exceed My Wildest Dreams And I’m Disappointed Because My Publisher Didn’t Get Me Enough Publicity And Barnes And Noble Doesn’t Carry It And I Wasn’t On Oprah And 50 Shades Sucked Butt And Wah). [more inside]
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:37 AM PST - 13 comments

Top this, Templeton

It's an familiar fable in New York City: Dumped on the curb by the West Side Highway, a stranger to the city with no name and no connections, just a ferocious will. With a little luck and a lot of talent, a year later she's making her Broadway debut: The Story of Rose, a white rat. (SLNYTimes)
posted by Diablevert at 7:02 AM PST - 9 comments

It was never about the glass

She Divorced Me Because I Left Dishes By the Sink
posted by Dressed to Kill at 6:42 AM PST - 251 comments

Moving with the reindeer in the winter

This is an aerial drone footage of a herd moving in Norway.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:33 AM PST - 12 comments

My Wife and I Are (Both) Pregnant

The story of two women who set out to have a baby together, and were more successful than they ever imagined.
posted by ellieBOA at 5:08 AM PST - 10 comments

January 21

"The first and only time I had sex it did not go well."

Mariya Karimjee writes powerfully about her experience with female genital mutilation. [more inside]
posted by salvia at 10:45 PM PST - 21 comments

Venture? Capital!!!

With Season 6 of The Venture Brothers finally hitting at Midnight January 31st (or 12:01AM February 1st, whatever), an "Extended Trailer" has been released (which is actually shorter than the first trailer for Season 6, even if you don't count the frustratingly long intro, but you may have missed that first trailer entirely - as I shamefully did - but anyway, the new trailer better shows off the season's New York setting and its Marvel-inspired 'new neighbors', including The Fallen Archer and The Think Tank; besides, why can't you just watch both?).
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:44 PM PST - 21 comments

Fōsu to tomo ni are! [フォースと共に在れ]

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Anime Opening, courtesy of Tumblr user and Star Wars fan KyloRenIsAPunkBitch.
posted by Hermione Granger at 9:11 PM PST - 20 comments

I Want To Believe

The truth is out there.
posted by valkane at 9:03 PM PST - 43 comments

The Death of a Very Tired Man

He was no ordinary man. For 13 years, he was the custodian of the dead.
posted by bardophile at 8:27 PM PST - 14 comments

(non)Marriage Equality

Couple to begin court fight against ban on heterosexual civil partnerships Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan, who describe themselves as feminists and reject marriage as a “patriarchal” institution, will pursue their claim against the government’s equalities office on Tuesday. The case is being brought on the grounds that the refusal to allow them to participate in a civil partnership amounts to discrimination, breaching their right to family life under article 8 of the European convention on human rights. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad at 8:03 PM PST - 34 comments

the party decides?

The editorial staff of National Review is in agreement: Conservatives should oppose the nomination of Donald Trump
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:02 PM PST - 200 comments


Meet the people who pretended to meet Banksy at the Waldorf Astoria
posted by shakespeherian at 7:25 PM PST - 10 comments

Tory MP: Don't Ban Poppers, I Use Them

As the government debates the Psychoactive Substances Bill... A Conservative former minister has "outed" himself as a poppers user, amid warnings that a Government ban on the substance will harm the gay community and others. Crispin Blunt warned he and many gay men are "astonished" by the Government's proposals, adding respect for the law would "fly out the window" if a ban is implemented. Grauniad Article. Politics.co.uk. Legalcheek.
posted by marienbad at 6:50 PM PST - 29 comments

"HUFFLE-PUFFLE / Dracula Breathing While Running"

A complete alphabetical list of all of cartoonist Don Martin's soundwords in Mad Magazine. (from Doug Gilford's Mad Cover Site)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 6:46 PM PST - 24 comments

Need a banjo? Want some provenence?

When Australian blues singer and composer CW Stoneking left his vintage New Windsor banjo in a Yellow Cab near 3rd St in New York in 2008, he was bereft. He searched and called and searched some more but it was never to be seen again until a day ago when a listing on ebay caught Stoneking's eye. [more inside]
posted by Thella at 6:34 PM PST - 21 comments

Big Supernova

570 BILLION times brighter than our sun. [more inside]
posted by breadbox at 6:31 PM PST - 13 comments

Target acquired.

The Last Days of Target: The untold tale of Target Canada’s difficult birth, tough life and brutal death. [more inside]
posted by futureisunwritten at 4:56 PM PST - 70 comments

“When one burns one's bridges, what a very nice fire it makes.”

No trolls allowed: Seattle advertises a writing residency … in a bridge. by Marta Bausells [The Guardian] The US city’s transport department offers $10,000 for a ‘unique’ residency in a bridge tower – in return for ‘an in-depth exploration’ of the space.
“The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS), in partnership with Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) seeks a practicing, published poet, fiction, or creative non-fiction writer for a unique project-based artist residency in the northwest tower of the Fremont Bridge. The selected writer will undertake an in-depth exploration of the bridge and write a piece in response to the experience.”
[more inside]
posted by Fizz at 3:39 PM PST - 48 comments

263 years, 263 years. She got you in prison, got you for 263 years

Disgraced ex-officer Daniel Holtzclaw sentenced to 263 years. [more inside]
posted by Talez at 3:09 PM PST - 66 comments

The Grief Police

The rise of grief policing. The notion that there is but one way to grieve, and that deviation from that way is wrong. Grief policing was on display recently, during the aftermath of David Bowie’s death. Camilla Long, the film critic for The Sunday Times, witnessed the outpouring of emotion posted online as people learned, and tried to make sense, of Bowie’s passing. She did not like the way they mourned. Their grieving, she suggested—or, well, “grieving”—was self-indulgent, and, like so much else on social media, purely performative. “Bowie Blubberers,” she called the grievers. [more inside]
posted by narancia at 2:42 PM PST - 108 comments

We knew that they knew that we knew that they knew....

Ex NSA Analyst Bill Scannel talks about Teufelsberg, in Berlin. His talk describes the inner workings of an NSA field station in an interesting manner. The talk is 42 minutes, with a Q&A at the end. [more inside]
posted by pjern at 2:32 PM PST - 11 comments

Uncanny Valley of the dolls

Russian artist makes eerily realistic dolls. [more inside]
posted by sively at 2:30 PM PST - 21 comments

American Panorama

"American Panorama is an historical atlas of the United States for the twenty-first century. It combines cutting-edge research with innovative interactive mapping techniques, designed to appeal to anyone with an interest in American history or a love of maps." [more inside]
posted by dancestoblue at 2:25 PM PST - 3 comments

Wacky DC Superteams, GO!

FILM! The new Suicide Squad trailer has the grimy cheer of a ball of cotton candy set on fire. Trailer breakdown. Roll call: Deadshot shoots people, Killer Croc's the crocodile who eats people, El Diablo burns people, Enchantress is possessed by a witch, and Harley Quinn is just crazy. Plus friends Boomerang, THE WALL, Slipknot, Rick Flag, the Joker, and Katana.

TV! Tonight is the series premiere of Legends of Tomorrow, the Arrowverse's time-traveling crossover crew. Roll call: White Canary, Captain Cold, Heat Wave, Hawkgirl & Hawkman, Firestorm, Atom, and TIME LORD RORY WILLIAMS Rip Hunter. Saving the world by punching the timestream and getting in bar fights!
posted by nicebookrack at 12:18 PM PST - 144 comments

You'll never expect what happened to Ross and Rachel's daughter!

Whatever happened to television’s most famous couples?
posted by crazy with stars at 12:10 PM PST - 70 comments

A Brief History of Spam

For a six-ingredient food product, it's taken on a life of its own. Spam — the square-shaped mash-up of pork, water, salt, potato starch, sugar, and sodium nitrate — recently celebrated its 77th anniversary of being alternately maligned, celebrated, musicalized, or the subject of urban legend (one particularly pervasive myth insists that its name is actually an acronym for "Scientifically Processed Animal Matter"). And despite today's more locavore approach to food and some unkind memories from soldiers who were served Spam during WWII, Spam has entered its third quarter-century on the rise.
posted by sciatrix at 11:47 AM PST - 81 comments

It's a real insult to people who try

Comedian H. Jon Benjamin (Archer, Bob's Burgers) has released his first experimental jazz album. He can't play the piano.
posted by BungaDunga at 11:43 AM PST - 112 comments

"You sound like John Ritter. ALL THE TIME."

Key and Peele may have said their goodbyes to television, but they will soon return to the big screen in their first feature film "Keanu", whose red band NSFW trailer dropped today.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 11:41 AM PST - 36 comments

Outrageous statements are those folks' careers

Warming to an Idea: "The obvious problem was that you weren't asking this guy to change his mind. You were asking him to give up the somewhat lucrative profession on which he had based the last 20+ years of his life and you were asking him to admit he'd been a fool." [more inside]
posted by Flexagon at 11:41 AM PST - 5 comments

The farther west you go in Manhattan, the weirder it gets.

"Why the hell do we live here?" What it's like to live docked at NYC's 79th Street Boat Basin.
posted by Mchelly at 11:05 AM PST - 14 comments

You’re either on team chicken bake or you're not.

Lucky Peach presents the Official Costco Food Court Power Rankings.
posted by burgerrr at 10:41 AM PST - 63 comments

"In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit."

The evolution of first lines of novels.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:34 AM PST - 20 comments

It's like Chatroulette with less dicks and more casual roleplaying

Feel like collaboratively lying to and with random strangers on the internet? Get your pretending-to-be-something-you-aren't on with Shamchat.
posted by cortex at 10:30 AM PST - 41 comments

"I suppose Old Man Trump knows just how much Racial Hate he stirred up"

"Guthrie’s two-year tenancy in one of Fred Trump’s buildings and his relationship with the real estate mogul of New York’s outer boroughs produced some of Guthrie’s most bitter writings, which I discovered on a recent trip to the Woody Guthrie Archives in Tulsa." Woody Guthrie, ‘Old Man Trump’ and a real estate empire’s racist foundations
posted by koeselitz at 10:24 AM PST - 8 comments


GOMI, founded in 2008 by blogger Alice Wright, is one of the most concentrated and active of the “hate blogs”. Trading in anti-fandom, its users borrow the In-Real-Life habit of talking behind people’s backs, except there’s no quiet corner to kvetch on the internet. Everything is said directly to someone’s face. (slTheGrauniad)
posted by Kitteh at 9:47 AM PST - 96 comments

Planet Corduroy

Bomb threats, breakdowns and bongs: the life of a university security guard [more inside]
posted by orrnyereg at 9:16 AM PST - 10 comments

Investigating Policies Defining When And How Police Use Force

The Police Use of Force Project investigates the ways in which police use of force policies help to enable police violence in our communities. (Proposed policy solutions from Campaign Zero) [more inside]
posted by jillithd at 9:08 AM PST - 26 comments

Compares textbook prices on new, used, ebooks and rentals

posted by zarq at 8:44 AM PST - 27 comments

Sick Woman Theory

Sick Woman Theory: Johanna Hedva on chronic pain, endometriosis, mental illness, and caring for yourself and others as an anti-capitalist act.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 8:27 AM PST - 31 comments

I hope we can still be cousins

You may have seen the work of cartoonist Matthew Diffee in The New Yorker. The guy has a twisted sense of humor. But not all of his work makes in into the august magazine. So he collected some of his rejected ideas, and others from fellow cartoonists like Roz Chast and Gahan Wilson into The Best of the Rejection Collection: 293 Cartoons That Were Too Dumb, Too Dark, or Too Naughty for The New Yorker. Here's a selection.
posted by gottabefunky at 8:27 AM PST - 20 comments

Whiteness History Month

Portland Community College to launch a "Whiteness History Month." (April to be specific) The American Conservative disapproves: "... plainly designed to convince white students to despise themselves and their culture." The Washington Post hits the ground running with a listicle: Whiteness History Month is a great idea. Here are 7 ways to observe it.
posted by GuyZero at 8:17 AM PST - 104 comments

beard science

Surprising, isn't it, what you can find in a beard? [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 7:52 AM PST - 39 comments

"Everyone puts them inside their ears, but no one should."

"Plenty of consumer products are widely used in ways other than their core function — books for leveling tables, newspapers for keeping fires aflame, seltzer for removing stains, coffee tables for resting legs — but these cotton swabs are distinct. Q-tips are one of the only, if not the only, major consumer products whose main purpose is precisely the one the manufacturer explicitly warns against." Roberto A. Ferdman of the Washington Post takes a detailed look at what he calls "one of the most perplexing things for sale in America," including a look at the bureaucratic tangle which makes it difficult to quantify annual Q-tip related injuries. (previously)
posted by orthicon halo at 7:39 AM PST - 86 comments

The McKnelly Megalith

Megalithic Robotics is a recent class at MIT that resulted in a very interesting object: a 2000-pound megalith that can be moved with a fingertip.
posted by ocherdraco at 7:11 AM PST - 8 comments

The incredible tale of irresponsible choco milk research at U Maryland

Academic press offices are known to overhype their own research. But the University of Maryland recently took this to appalling new heights — trumpeting an incredibly shoddy study on chocolate milk and concussions that happened to benefit a corporate partner. It's a cautionary tale of just how badly science can go awry as universities increasingly partner with corporations to conduct research. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb at 6:52 AM PST - 19 comments

The Columbus Zoo should have asked The Green for naming advice.

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has a polar bear cub (previously.) Now she's three months old and you can vote on her name (or just squee at the pictures.) Be an informed voter with these bonus videos of the cub: 1, 2, 3.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:46 AM PST - 16 comments

Science fiction editor David Hartwell (1941-2016)

Influential science fiction editor David Hartwell died yesterday of complications resulting from head injuries suffered during a fall at his home. [more inside]
posted by aught at 5:48 AM PST - 34 comments

Projected Animations Of A Tiny Chef Cooking Meals At The Table

Skullmapping have created the first two in a series of animation projections that portray a miniature chef making dinner on a real dining table: Bouillabaisse and another where he whips together a grilled steak. [via Colossal]
posted by ellieBOA at 4:03 AM PST - 10 comments

He is not an All-Star, but he is a folk hero.

[John]Scott is not a gifted offensive player. He's an enforcer. He's a 6-foot-8 fighter who can't skate all that fast, has only scored five goals in his career, and is averaging just over six minutes on the ice in the 11 games he's played this year. He is, by no means, an All-Star in any traditional sense of the term.
Yet, John Scott was selected as one of the four Captains in this year's NHL All-Star game. (Note: Sidney Crosby didn't even make the team!) What happened? The Internet! [more inside]
posted by CCBC at 1:43 AM PST - 70 comments

January 20

Phylogenetic analyses suggests fairy tales are much older than thought

To come to these conclusions, the researchers applied a technique normally used in biology—building phylogenetic trees to trace linguistic attributes back to their origin. ...one fairy tale in particular, they note, was very clear—called The Smith and The Devil, they traced it back approximately 6,000 years, to the Bronze Age.
posted by bq at 10:51 PM PST - 35 comments

First Listen: Saul Williams - MartyrLoserKing

Spoken word artist Saul Williams comes forth with a new album, MartyrLoserKing, available for first listen via NPR, produced by Justin Warfield. Williams first made his name on the slam poetry circuit and has been recording rap (hard to call them hip-hop) albums for several years. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 10:09 PM PST - 13 comments

Nobody could focus on their own moves

Sometimes You Really Should Read the Comments: A Fine Little Reminiscence Posted to a YouTube Upload of Black Sabbath's Supernaut
posted by otio at 8:16 PM PST - 50 comments

Angel Collinson: making it big in big mountain skiing

Angel Collinson Annihilates Alaska and makes big mountain skiing look easy, but when seen from the first person perspective, it's a different view. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 7:36 PM PST - 26 comments

Game Music's New Canon

Jeremy Parish writes about video game(-ish) music label Brave Wave and has interviews with Ninja Gaiden composer Keiji Yamagishi and Mega Man composer Manami Matsumae, both artists on the label. (Brave Wave previously)
posted by curious nu at 7:35 PM PST - 3 comments

Flint Water Crisis Runs Deeper and Wider

Last month, Flint, Michigan, declared a state of emergency as a result of serious contamination of the municipal water supply. Since then, the issue has expanded from a municipal problem to a scandal reaching the Governor's office and the White House. The situation in Flint took up much of the annual State of the State address this week. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 6:07 PM PST - 120 comments

America’s most contentious legal reformer

Harvard Magazine profiles Judge Richard Posner (LL.B. ’62): Rhetoric and Law
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:02 PM PST - 39 comments

Larry Wilmore Celebrates the 1st Anniversary of His Show

The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore observed its first anniversary with a wonderful episode last night that featured Donald Trump's pandering to evangelicals, a suggested alternative to A Birthday Cake for George Washington, and a panel discussion on the Oscar awards boycott.
posted by Bella Donna at 4:08 PM PST - 14 comments

Michael Jackson.

We asked @jimmyfallon to join us for tonight's #Ham4Ham show to do impressions while singing "You'll Be Back."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:48 PM PST - 45 comments

Who here likes pancakes? I love pancakes.

Yummiest font ever. Olin College of Engineering students make a machine that "prints" pancakes.
posted by JanetLand at 1:42 PM PST - 19 comments

90s scandals may threaten to erode Hillary Clinton’s strength with women

Now that the stories are resurfacing, they could hamper Mrs. Clinton’s attempts to connect with younger women, who are learning the details of the Clintons’ history for the first time. Several news organizations have published guides to the Clinton scandals to explain the allegations to a new generation of readers. [SLNYT] [more inside]
posted by Sir Rinse at 1:06 PM PST - 343 comments

"The top hat and the thimble weren’t plot points, either."

“Would your son want to play with an action figure of Rey, the central figure in the latest Star Wars film? Would your daughter? It’s too bad they don’t have the choice; Hasbro, among other toymakers, left out the one key female figure in their The Force Awakens game sets. Hasbro says it was to preserve plot secrets, but an industry insider said the choice was deliberate.” Where's Rey?
posted by everybody had matching towels at 12:55 PM PST - 214 comments

Unterstützt die Wirtschaft - öfter mal Weihnachten

Kraftwerk live in Soest, Winter 1970. This concert from "Youth Carousel" is the earliest existing concert recording from the pioneering electronic group out of Düsseldorf. The group was founded that year and is seen here with their original lineup.
posted by frimble at 11:45 AM PST - 13 comments

Academic Hiring Is Broken

At Brandeis University, students are petitioning the school to take well regarded adjunct sociology professor Jillian Powers on as a tenure-track professor, after learning how tenuous her status is. A Slate article on the matter discusses why the student petition will most likely fail, and the incredibly broken system used to hire new tenure-track professors without any real consideration for their ability to teach.
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:39 AM PST - 156 comments

Its solution heralds the end of the world.

"This is a 22x22 Rubik's Cube."
posted by JHarris at 9:50 AM PST - 56 comments

Smells like holy spirit.

How Christianity Infiltrated Seattle Music with a Little Help from Mars Hill Church and the City Council: Thanks to a restrictive zoning ordinance, for a number of years the only consistently open venue for all-ages music in the city of Seattle was owned and operated by the now-defunct Mars Hill Church, headed by now-disgraced pastor Mark Driscoll (previously). Consequently, "Christian imagery continues to permeate post–Mars Hill Seattle music, though its tone and reception has shifted. Songwriters still approach the subject of faith in allegorical, roundabout ways. This is both a reflection of the complex relationship to faith, and a perfectly understandable aversion to guilt by association."
posted by Cash4Lead at 9:50 AM PST - 12 comments

Hi, I'm a digital junkie, and I suffer from infomania

Infomania, defined by the Oxford dictionary as “the compulsive desire to check or accumulate news and information, typically via mobile phone or computer.” "I was recently described, to my face, as a 'modern digital junkie.' This diagnosis was given to me, half in jest, by Dr. Dimitrios Tsivrikos, consumer psychologist at University College London, when I described my symptoms to him. After spending my workday tapping, swiping and emailing, I come home and — despite my exhaustion and twitching eyes — I want to consume more online. But I’m not even absorbing the articles, tweets and posts that I peruse. I’m just skipping from page to page, jumping from link to link." [more inside]
posted by narancia at 9:44 AM PST - 46 comments

A Story of a Fuck Off Fund

If any man ever hit you, if anyone ever sexually harassed you, you’d tell him to fuck right off. You want to be, no, you will be the kind of woman who can tell anyone to fuck off if a fuck off is deserved, so naturally you start a Fuck Off Fund.
posted by DynamiteToast at 8:38 AM PST - 72 comments

So the Wind Won't Blow It All Away - Matador

Matador, Texas is a town on borrowed time. If you're not from there or one of the few similarly sinking small towns scattered across the Great Plains region, you would almost definitely not know that it exists. Its population has fallen from 740 to just 607 in 10 years according to a 2010 census. Of course, it wasn't always that way. A true Texas round-up of links to celebrate the Matador that was and still is before it is gone. [more inside]
posted by Krazor at 8:36 AM PST - 13 comments

The Death of the Midwestern Church

Rural neighborhood churches, once the heart of many Iowan communities, are disappearing along with local schools. The result is a tear in the social fabric of life in the Midwest. “There is no glue holding these communities together ... and it’s making us forget how to neighbor. ... If someone is working all the time and has less disposable income, where can they go for help? It used to be church. Now?” ... “you can’t survive unless you become a neighbor and then let other people neighbor you in turn.”
posted by jillithd at 8:33 AM PST - 45 comments

Selective Blindness in Google Earth and Google Maps

Sorry we have no imagery here: Self censorship in Google geographical images Google's original mission statement from 1998 stated was to: “organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” [more inside]
posted by Faintdreams at 8:18 AM PST - 17 comments

Many Very Educated Men Just Screwed Up Nature. Possibly?

New evidence of a Ninth Planet. Astronomer Michael E Brown is more famous as "The man who killed Pluto" thinks their might be nine planets after all. [more inside]
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 8:11 AM PST - 76 comments

"I'm lying," he said, finally. "You don't actually use lime blossoms."

What it's like to live inside the legendary Paris bookstore Shakespeare & Co.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:05 AM PST - 21 comments

This Professor Fell In Love With His Grad Student, Then Fired Her For It

Christian Ott, a young astrophysics professor at the California Institute of Technology, fell in love with one of his graduate students and then fired her because of his feelings, according to a recent university investigation. Twenty-one months of intimate online chats, obtained by BuzzFeed News, confirm that he confessed his actions to another female graduate student. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb at 3:56 AM PST - 197 comments

Going in a hand basket or wearing shades?

The idea that America’s best days are behind us sits in sharp tension with the high-tech optimism radiating from the offices of the technology start-ups and venture capital firms of Silicon Valley.(NYT) Robert Gordon just published a book on the end of US growth. His TED talk echos this.
posted by JiffyQ at 1:01 AM PST - 27 comments

January 19

"How did my father die?"

Obi-Wan Remembers The Truth
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 9:53 PM PST - 47 comments

Sports person did a sports thing!

“the eleven most boring conversations i can’t stop overhearing” (in which a liberal white male american san francisco bay area resident possessive of the auditory acuity of a baby chihuahua learns to scream).
posted by blue_beetle at 9:23 PM PST - 146 comments

The Likely Persistence of a White Majority

In The American Prospect, Sociologist Richard Alba discusses two reasons why the Census-projected relative demographic decline of White Americans may prove illusory.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 7:52 PM PST - 45 comments

Holding the T

Holding the T "By far, squash is the toughest, most brutal, most complete sport there is. It takes everything out of you. It takes every mental and physical effort you have. And if you do your best you have a fifty-per-cent chance to win.”
posted by dhruva at 7:47 PM PST - 12 comments

Grim Reapers

More U.S. military drones are crashing than ever... Driving the increase was a mysterious surge in mishaps involving the Air Force’s newest and most advanced “hunter-killer” drone, the Reaper, which has become the Pentagon’s favored weapon for conducting surveillance and airstrikes against the Islamic State, al-Qaeda and other militant groups. From the Washington Post, January 19, 2016.
posted by cenoxo at 7:40 PM PST - 32 comments

Diminished professor

Pediatrician Hans Asperger is known worldwide for the syndrome he first diagnosed. The rest of his story – in Vienna during WWII – has only recently come to light: The Doctor and the Nazis
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:44 PM PST - 14 comments

House for Sale. 8 Bedroom Villa near Siena. Previous owner Michelangelo.

Art lovers take note: a sprawling villa once owned by the artist and sculptor Michelangelo Buonarroti is on the market. And if you have a few million to spare, the masterpiece could be yours. The eight-bedroom villa, located near Siena, was bought by the Renaissance master in 1549 and remained in the Buonarroti family until 1867 - more than 300 years after his death. The home, surrounded by the vineyards of Chianti and views of Tuscany’s rolling hills, could be yours for €7.5 million. [more inside]
posted by pjsky at 6:09 PM PST - 27 comments

Afghanistan 1970 – 1975 Images from an Era of Peace

A Collection of Vintage Photographs from The Heart of Central Asia - By Joseph Hoyt. His Tales and Travelogues with a very good map. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 5:05 PM PST - 12 comments

"'Say it with me people. Pulitzer. Motherf***ing. Prize'"

Kevin Dawes: searching for a missing American in Syria. A young American man and sometime SomethingAwful goon, self-taught as a medic and aspiring to journalism, maxes out his credit cards and heads for Syria, on his own. His contacts and friends increasingly fear he is mentally ill. The last report of him is from 2013. (GQ, 1/15/2016) [more inside]
posted by Countess Elena at 2:59 PM PST - 17 comments

“Falafel is a meal that transcends socio-economic backgrounds—”

A Falafel House Divided by Mohamad Yaghi and Jack Crosbie [Roads & Kingdoms]
“They work meters from one another every day, preparing falafel the way their father taught them. But instead of sharing a kitchen, Zouhair alone inhabits the original Damascus street shop. One store over, Fouad has a new shop, emblazoned with red signs that read “Falafel M. Sahyoun.” A single white tile wall separates them, a boundary that is never breached. The brothers no longer speak. Lebanon has long been a country defined by divisions, and though the brothers’ rift is not sectarian, the uneasy relationship between two falafel makers competing in close proximity is a reflection of the problems that still haunt the country.”
posted by Fizz at 1:52 PM PST - 16 comments

The language is completely case insensitive

Code with TrumpScript, and make programming great again.
posted by Gin and Broadband at 1:34 PM PST - 43 comments

I've Always Been Hungry

Growing up poor, there were times when I only ate what I could manage to steal. As a well-fed adult, I still can’t turn down a good meal…or a bad one. This moving memoir piece is by Zen monk and author Barry Graham, who also blogs at No Mean Preacher.
posted by katie at 1:13 PM PST - 22 comments

Going faster miles an hour

What holds Wile E. up in the air long enough to understand his mistake—what propelled that boulder back into the rock face, what blew up the detonator and left the dynamite unscathed—isn’t anarchy, but its exact opposite.
How Wile E. Coyote explains the world (slds)
posted by thecaddy at 12:55 PM PST - 18 comments

wake up little boy, daddy's looking for you

A family living in Washington is speaking out about the horrors they experienced while operating a baby monitor inside their 3-year-old son's bedroom. [more inside]
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:25 PM PST - 69 comments


Partly organized and hosted by Creed director Ryan Coogler, MLKNOW was an all day event that celebrated Martin Luther King Jr Day with a string of stars reciting his and other black activists still all too relevant words at Harlem's Riverside Church. A full archive of the event is available. (Actual event starts at around 39:45.) Non-chronological Program. More timestamps below, with individual links where available: [more inside]
posted by kmz at 11:56 AM PST - 2 comments

Worst. Tablecloth. Pulling. Gig. Ever.

They misunderstood my ability to be a dick, when correctly inspired. Juggler and comedian Mat Ricardo describes a nightmare gig in Beijing, starting with a (supposed) world record attempt and ending with a mad dash for the airport.
posted by gottabefunky at 10:36 AM PST - 60 comments

Her Story

Her Story is a 6-episode new-media series that looks inside the dating lives of trans & queer women as they navigate the intersections of desire & identity.
The show is co-written, co-produced, and co-starred by writer and One Billion Rising organizer Laura Zak and founder of The Trans 100 and We Happy Trans Jen Richards, and also stars Angelica Ross, founder of Trans Tech Social Enterprises. (CW: One of the side characters is hella transphobic, and there's smatterings of casual transphobia.)
posted by divabat at 10:12 AM PST - 9 comments

We are still living in Moynihan’s moment.

Coates sees the mass incarceration of African Americans as the “national action” that America chose to undertake to address the problems Moynihan described. Moynihan’s framing of poverty as a problem of black families—of black people—has enabled political leaders for half a century to look away from restitution and towards punishment as a way to address social problems. We are still living in Moynihan’s moment.
The Moynihan Report Resurrected, by Sam Klug [more inside]
posted by graymouser at 10:06 AM PST - 13 comments

The Polaroids of the Cowboy Poet

“I’ve heard about people gripping the rails of their deathbed, thinking the void awaits them. But that can’t be it, can it? (SLWAPO)
posted by PussKillian at 10:00 AM PST - 2 comments


Peter Huttlinger, who died on January 15th, was an American guitarist known for impressive fingerstyle arrangements, in particular this one [SLYT]
posted by 43rdAnd9th at 8:30 AM PST - 25 comments

Univision buys The Onion (no, really)

Even NPR couldn't resist making a joke, but it's it's true: the largest Spanish-language broadcaster in the U.S. has purchased a controlling interest in satirical news site The Onion and its subsites, legit pop-culture site AV Club and clickbait parody site Clickhole. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 8:25 AM PST - 29 comments

The Keeper

Gay City News profiles Robert Woodworth, on his retirement after thirty-two years at New York’s LGBT Community Center.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:17 AM PST - 1 comment

British People on Top of Tour Buses Look Generally Displeased

There are benefits to exploring a new city on a bus tour—you get ferried around to all the best sites, you have an overly enthusiastic guide who will regale you with fun facts and helpful information, and, at the end, there will be a great place to buy souvenirs. The downside? The point when you realize you’re one of those people who take bus tours.
posted by veedubya at 7:32 AM PST - 48 comments


Tim Burton, John Lassiter, Genndy Tartakovsky, Brenda Chapman, Brad Bird, and many more of the biggest names in animation all went through the animation program at CalArts, taking classes in room A113. As a thank-you gesture, the number A113 is included every Pixar Film. Even The Good Dinosaur. And quite a few other movies and tv shows as well. [more inside]
posted by Mchelly at 7:10 AM PST - 13 comments

The DIY Scientist, the Olympian, and the Mutated Gene

It seemed absolutely crazy. The idea that an Iowa housewife, equipped with the cutting-edge medical tool known as Google Images, would make a medical discovery about a pro athlete who sees doctors and athletic trainers as part of her job? via
posted by ChuraChura at 6:52 AM PST - 62 comments

the classical music of now

I hate myself, a 4 second song by Bill Wurtz [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:35 AM PST - 12 comments

Your Home Is Filled With Bugs

Census Finds Lots of Bugs in 50 US Homes Aside from pets, family members, or roommates, many of us often go weeks without seeing another living thing in our homes. But appearances can be deceiving. We are, in fact, surrounded by arthropods—insects, spiders, centipedes, and other animals with hard external skeletons and jointed legs. They are the most successful animals on the planet, and the walls that shield our homes to the elements are no barriers to them. In the first systematic census of its kind, a team of entomologists combed through 50 American houses for every arthropod they could find, and discovered a startling amount of diversity. [more inside]
posted by narancia at 6:20 AM PST - 80 comments

tasty delicious coffee making recipes

Brew Methods is a collection of coffee brewing guides.
posted by zamboni at 5:39 AM PST - 54 comments

Highest Annual Mileage Record

How many miles can you cycle in a year? British cyclist Tommy Godwin’s "unbreakable" 1939 record of 75,065 miles has just been beaten by American Kurt “Tarzan” Searvogel, who achieved 76,156 miles, or 208.6 miles a day, between January 10, 2015 and January 9, 2016. [more inside]
posted by grahamparks at 5:31 AM PST - 42 comments

I feel like I’ve finally gotten to know Ada Lovelace

Untangling the Tale of Ada Lovelace - by Stephen Wolfram; a good read, even if you're generally familiar with the story of Lovelace, Babbage, and the Difference Engine.
posted by Wolfdog at 5:06 AM PST - 13 comments

Do Londoners have it in their nature to stand on the left?

"London’s commuters have learned to withstand vast and unpredictable challenges: track closures; signal failures; engineering works. And they have developed a thick skin. But on that particular Friday, the 11,000 of them who got off at Holborn station between 8.30 and 9.30am faced an unusually severe provocation. As they turned into the concourse at the bottom of the station’s main route out and looked up, they saw something frankly outrageous: on the escalators just ahead of them, dozens of people were standing on the left."
posted by MartinWisse at 2:47 AM PST - 104 comments

January 18

Behind the Animated Tentacles

was a real-life, big-haired, poo-eating Baltimore drag queen named Divine. "Unearthing the Sea Witch" by Nicole Pasulka and Brian Ferree from Hazlitt.
posted by Hypatia at 5:32 PM PST - 22 comments

"But Glenn was the one who started it all"

Glenn Frey of the Eagles has passed away at 67. A founding member of the Eagles - with whom he won 6 Grammys, as well as a popular solo artist, Glenn Frey passed away today from a combination of complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis, and pneumonia. [more inside]
posted by dotgirl at 2:48 PM PST - 207 comments

Early Modern English

Shakespeare: Original pronunciation. What Shakespeare Sounded Like to Shakespeare.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:59 PM PST - 40 comments


The life-changing magic of not giving a fuck.
posted by Sebmojo at 1:57 PM PST - 119 comments

Space X nails it, except for this one part

On Sunday, Space X launched the JASON-3 satellite and also tried to land the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket on a droneship barge. The satellite reached orbit successfully and the first stage landed perfectly. That's when a problem latched on to the mission (video in link). [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:31 PM PST - 73 comments

How the Federal Reserve promotes income inequality

Fed officials deny they’re taking sides. They justify policies that keep workers too weak, disorganized, and traumatized to demand higher wages by focusing on the purported dangers of low unemployment.
posted by Lycaste at 12:47 PM PST - 38 comments

Newly Discovered 1964 MLK Speech

Newly Discovered 1964 MLK Speech on Civil Rights, Segregation & Apartheid South Africa This recording was made by Pacifica Radio's European correspondent Saul Bernstein while Dr. King was in London, days before recieving the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo. Then it was left uncatalogued in Pacifica Radio's archives for some 50 years before being found by the archive's director, Brian DeShazor.
posted by 3urypteris at 11:33 AM PST - 6 comments

All Hollowed Out

The lonely poverty of America's white working class. (slAtlantic)
posted by Kitteh at 11:05 AM PST - 73 comments

White ally background material for anti-racism in the US.

Here's a primer for white Americans to learn about race and racism without making their friends/colleagues/acquaintances of color have to keep explaining it.
posted by Stewriffic at 11:03 AM PST - 14 comments

Song of a Coast

Song of a Coast is a short photo-essay about a particular time and place along the coast of Bangladesh rendered in gentle light.
posted by jason's_planet at 10:33 AM PST - 1 comment

"Oh! Sir, I am very glad, because he is free now."

After much criticism and some defence, A Birthday Cake for George Washington has been pulled by Scholastic Press. [more inside]
posted by Stilling Still Dreaming at 10:16 AM PST - 71 comments

Urban Scratch-Off

Reveal How New York Has Changed With This 'Scratch-Off' Map [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 8:54 AM PST - 6 comments

Waffle poots

Waffle poots [SLYT]
posted by slater at 8:18 AM PST - 24 comments

Low- and High-Ping Bastards

The year is 2002, and Greg Costikyan wants to teach you to speak like a gamer.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:55 AM PST - 41 comments

Are You Sure You Want To Quit The World?

If you were desperate and hopeless enough to log on to a suicide chat room in recent years, there was a good chance a mysterious woman named Li Dao would find you, befriend you, and gently urge you to take your own life. And, she'd promise, she would join you in that final journey. But then the bodies started adding up, and the promises didn't. Turned out, Li Dao was something even more sinister than anyone thought.
posted by veedubya at 6:46 AM PST - 67 comments

“I’ve been here 33 years and I’ve never seen anything so bad,”

The Story Behind The Deadliest Prison Bus Crash In Texas History [BuzzFeed] In January 2015, a prison transport carrying 15 men — three guards and 12 chained-together inmates — ran off the road. It was one of the bloodiest days in the history of Texas prisons. [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 5:28 AM PST - 20 comments

January 17

Cancer and Climate Change

"I’m a climate scientist who has just been told I have Stage 4 pancreatic cancer."
Ex-astronaut and NASA climate scientist Piers J. Sellers compares the long-term prognosis for Humanity and the Earth to his short-term prognosis and decides "I’m going to work tomorrow." Previously, he wrote about the passing of Neil Armstrong and was interviewed about the end of the Space Shuttle program.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:15 PM PST - 14 comments

In His Own Words

A Syrian Refugee's first month in Canada Vanig Garabedian, 47, was on board the first government-organized flight of Syrian refugees to Canada on Dec. 10. He came with his wife Anjilik Jaghlassian and their daughters Sylvie and Lucie, 12, and Anna-Maria, 10. The very first people to leave the plane, the family’s arrival in Toronto was widely photographed, as was their meeting with the prime minister. One month later, Garabedian, an obstetrician/gynecologist for 15 years in Aleppo, has settled into an apartment in the suburbs of Toronto.
posted by modernnomad at 10:28 PM PST - 27 comments

Wagnerian Wabbit

The Making of ‘What’s Opera Doc?’ [more inside]
posted by 1367 at 8:56 PM PST - 46 comments

Vietnam lifts ban on same-sex marriages

Vietnam becomes the first South-East Asian country to abolish a ban on same sex marriages.
posted by divabat at 8:30 PM PST - 23 comments

"We all deserve to be happy, healthy, and respected."

Sometimes, music is the best medicine.” Frank Waln is a 26-year-old Hip-Hop artist; a Sicangu Lakota person who grew up on the Rosebud Reservation, taught himself to play piano as a child, and mixes his own music in his basement studio. [more inside]
posted by one teak forest at 8:08 PM PST - 3 comments

Brownian notion

Maximizing Food Flavor by Speeding up the Maillard Reaction.
posted by storybored at 6:49 PM PST - 31 comments

Every Plant in its Place

Trojan Horse attack on native lupine. At Point Reyes National Seashore in Marin County, California, a fierce battle is taking place under the oblivious, peeling noses of beachgoers. It’s a battle between an invasive plant and a native plant, but with a new twist. The two plants, European beachgrass (aka marram grass) and Tidestrom’s lupine, are not in direct competition, and yet the beachgrass is helping to drive the lupine over the cliff. While in New Zealand a close relative, the yellow bush lupine is working in concert with the same marram grass to threaten the the native Pikao (aka golden sand sedge) in sand dune environments and Rusells Lupin, a garden hybrid that was planted for it's pretty looks is invading New Zealand's braided river environments.
posted by Long Way To Go at 6:06 PM PST - 9 comments

"I majored in Sharia law at the University of Havana."

Bill Maher hilariously parodies the Republican candidates' wildly inaccurate descriptions of what Bernie Sanders says by providing examples of what the Republican candidates might hear when they listen to Sanders speak on various political issues. (SLYT)
posted by orange swan at 4:27 PM PST - 99 comments

The Tennis Racket

The Tennis Racket -- an investigation by the BBC and Buzzfeed into match fixing at the highest levels of professional tennis.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 4:07 PM PST - 23 comments

boreal mysteries

In the boreal forests of northern Ontario, aerial photography revealed groups of 'rings' of stunted tree growth. The Ontario Geological Society[PDF] conducted research and found the rings are from 'reduced chimneys' forming enormous electrochemical cells.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:30 AM PST - 18 comments

Leaf fat is particularly well suited for baking – pie crusts especially

'I Butchered a Pig' - The process of butchering an entire pig while trying not to waste anything, documented by Mefi's own backseatpilot. [via mefi projects]
posted by The Whelk at 10:58 AM PST - 78 comments

The privatization of the public continues apace

Yosemite to Rename Several Iconic Places - "The National Park Service said today it will rename many well-known spots in Yosemite, as part of an ongoing legal dispute with an outgoing concessionaire that has trademarked many names in the world-famous park."
posted by a lungful of dragon at 10:28 AM PST - 60 comments

Siberian farmyard rap goes viral! And the crowd goes wild!

Do you listen to a lot of hip-hop in in the Yakut language? Me either. But that changed when I happened upon the story of Ayal Adamov, Monty Python fan and student at Northeast Federal University, Yakutsk, Sakha Republic, Russia. One day, he heard a song that celebrated bling and money and conspicuous consumption. He felt a profound sense of disgust and, in response, composed a song that celebrated his own, humbler, rural roots. The accompanying video has to be seen to be believed; it is embedded in this article in the Siberian Times.
posted by jason's_planet at 10:26 AM PST - 33 comments

Bookmaking is Hard

How Could The Winds of Winter Be Published In Only Three Months? With dedicated labor, long hours, and a highly-focused publishing machine, that's how.
posted by ChrisR at 7:44 AM PST - 83 comments

We're gonna need a bigger hard drive.

On January 6th, 2016, The New York Public Library made over 187,000 digital items in the public domain available for high resolution download. NYPL Labs released a visualization tool to help people understand and explore the collection; another tool helps you mine all that sweet, sweet public domain data. [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A at 7:17 AM PST - 16 comments

A single payer healthcare system shouldn't have to be a dream.

Even Insured Can Face Crushing Medical Debt, Study Finds. (slNYT) "I Am Drowning": The Voices of People with Medical Debt. (also slNYT)
posted by Kitteh at 6:49 AM PST - 68 comments

Oligarchs R US

In the 2016 elections, the goal of the Koch network of contributors is to spend $889m, more than twice what they spent in 2012.
Dark Money though prominent is not confined to the political right.
How dark money affects elections.
posted by adamvasco at 6:02 AM PST - 32 comments

“But the body is far more beautiful nude.”

In February 1916, two prestigious northeast American liberal arts colleges engaged in a spirited war of words, goaded by the media. The conflict, between Wellesley in Massachusetts and Swarthmore in Pennsylvania, did not pertain to academics, admissions, suffrage or sporting teams. They were fighting over which college’s female students most closely resembled the Venus de Milo.
posted by veedubya at 5:07 AM PST - 26 comments

Around the Mind in 2192 Strips

For the past six years, cartoonist Dakota McFadzean (Twitter, Tumblr) has been drawing a comic strip a day. On January 10, he finally completed his required minimum of six years of daily comic strips as outlined by the Government of Canada’s Cartooning Standards Act of 1967 and recognized by the Canadian Ministry of Comics, Cartooning and Clock Repair. The previous sentence sounds almost plausible to me, but then, I've been attempting to read his mindbending comic from the beginning.
posted by BiggerJ at 3:00 AM PST - 14 comments

January 16

It was a very big year

Noah Stryker just set the record for birding's Big Year, spotting 6,042 of the estimated 10,400 species of birds in 2015. He blogged about it for Audubon. He saw a lot of birds. [more inside]
posted by gingerbeer at 8:58 PM PST - 15 comments

A cloud becomes the sky

Every recording of Erik Satie’s “Gymnopedie 1” played at the same time, stretched to the length of the longest recording. About 60 versions of the piece incorporated - "less than I thought I would find, but enough," says the arranger. A lovely piece of musical architecture to roam around in. [via the always-excellent Disquiet.]
posted by naju at 4:21 PM PST - 32 comments

Bryn Kelly

Bryn Kelly, writer, performance artist, voice behind The Hussy, activist in the transgender and PLW HIV/AIDS communities, hairstylist and Lambda Literary fellow, died on Wednesday.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:10 PM PST - 41 comments

“But not everyone prefers to hyphenate...”

Why Does Moby-Dick (Sometimes) Have a Hyphen? [The Smithsonian]
When the book was published in England, it bore that straightforward title. In a historical note to a scholarly edition of the book, Melville scholar G. Thomas Tanselle writes that Melville’s brother, Allan, made a last-minute change to the title of the American edition. “[Melville] has determined upon a new title,” his brother wrote. “It is thought here that the new title will be a better selling title…Moby-Dick is a legitimate title for the book.” The American edition went to press, hyphen intact, despite the fact that the whale within was only referred to with a hyphen one time. Hyphenated titles would have been familiar to Victorian-era readers, who were used to “fairy-tales” and “year-books.” Even Melville enjoyed a good hyphen now and then, as the title of his book White-Jacket proves. But it’s still unclear whether Melville, who didn’t use a hyphen inside the book, chose a hyphen for the book’s title or whether his brother punctuated the title incorrectly.
posted by Fizz at 2:33 PM PST - 46 comments

Anne spelt with an "e"

A new adaptation of Anne of Green Gables is in the works. Not everybody is convinced this is a great idea. Megan Follows's Anne Shirley will be hard to top—she had the part nailed from the time she auditioned.
posted by Sokka shot first at 1:41 PM PST - 52 comments


Canada Is Suddenly Hip
posted by four panels at 1:35 PM PST - 96 comments

"delicates" cycle

This is a video of a washing machine on a trampoline. The washing machine has a brick in it. The video is 37 seconds long.
posted by ardgedee at 12:45 PM PST - 82 comments

just passing through

Bigg's Killer Whales, formerly 'transients', eat marine mammals like dolphins, porpoises, seals and sea lions, and other whales. But sometimes they eat the occasional land mammal as well... From The Marine Detective
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:22 AM PST - 15 comments

peek-a-boo spider

New Spider Species Found, Plays Peekaboo to Attract Mates "Spiders generally don’t carry hankies. So when a gentleman spider of a newly discovered Australian species (pdf) wants to get a lady’s attention, he waves the next best thing: his paddles. "
posted by dhruva at 11:14 AM PST - 23 comments

Agafia Lykova, 70 year old hermit, hospitalized

According to the Guardian,
"Agafia Lykova is the last remaining member of a deeply religious family that fled civilisation in 1936 and did not know about the second world war until geologists stumbled upon them in 1978. After she contacted the “mainland” with an emergency satellite telephone to ask for medical help, the governor, Aman Tuleyev, ordered her evacuation from her homestead near the Abakan river to a hospital in Tashtagol, according to the Kemerovo region website."
[more inside]
posted by chainsofreedom at 10:44 AM PST - 19 comments

The numbers tell a remarkable story of recovery

Mozambique park sees wildlife numbers grow in wake of war The estimated elephant population went from 2,500 in the early 1970s, to fewer than 200 in 2000, and more than 500 in 2014. Similarly, researchers have counted nearly 60 lions, double the number a few years ago, but below the estimated 200 in 1972. [more inside]
posted by Michele in California at 10:36 AM PST - 2 comments

What have we lost now that we can no longer read the sky?

For most of human history . . . [i]t was unthinkable to ignore the stars. They were critical signposts, as prominent and useful as local hills, paths or wells. The gathering-up of stars into constellations imbued with mythological meaning allowed people to remember the sky; knowledge that might save their lives one night and guide them home. Lore of the sky bound communities together. On otherwise trackless seas and deserts, the familiar stars would also serve as a valued friend. That friendship is now broken.
posted by jason's_planet at 10:18 AM PST - 40 comments

The Stories The Museum Tells

The whale is so big, the frogs are so bright, the Hall of Biodiversity an astonishing swarm of life. The planetarium space show tells a story, but it holds your attention by engulfing your senses with an experience. And then maybe this excitement inspires a little girl to go home and learn the names of the constellations and all the planets and their moons, and the night sky is no longer spooky darkness, but a beautiful realm full of things she can name. The museum today teaches you about science, but it makes you care by getting you to fall in love.
posted by ChuraChura at 9:48 AM PST - 10 comments

Rest of the orchestra didn't show, so fine, I'll play it myself.

Youtube user 826aska plays an impressive Star Wars medley on her electric organ, adding her own creative twist. (slyt)
posted by polywomp at 7:47 AM PST - 30 comments

Classical Mashup

57 famous pieces by 33 classical composers, as a mashup. (slyt)
posted by frimble at 4:46 AM PST - 14 comments

Happening recently on porches in Houston: Good Folk Music

Houston is this strange mix of obscene wealth and obscene poverty and obscene humidity and big medicine and bayous and Louisiana food and TexMex food and Asian food and I don't know what all, it's this staggeringly humongous economic powerhouse that also has a great art scene somehow, and a really rich singer-songwriter community, too. Two of these Houston singer-songwriters -- Charles Bryant and Sara Van Buskirk -- it seems they sing on porches sometimes, with mourning doves cooing and traffic sounds and train sounds and just any other thing you'd hear on a porch. [more inside]
posted by dancestoblue at 1:06 AM PST - 17 comments

Sorting the Wheat from the Chaff, Karaoke style

Want a fun way to see which singers can still hit it outside of a studio and without a mixing board? Carpool Karaoke, hosted by James Corden (as part of The Late Late Show) who is driving, takes a singer and has them sing along with their own work (and others) while driving around. [more inside]
posted by Megami at 12:49 AM PST - 30 comments

A matter of tone

The Tone Analyzer uses linguistic analysis to detect emotional tones, social propensities, and writing styles in written communication. Then it offers suggestions to help the writer improve their intended language tones.
posted by Gyan at 12:44 AM PST - 22 comments

January 15

Marriage is like money – seem to want it, and you’ll never get it

'Silver Fork' or Fashionable Novels are the largely forgotten English popular novels of the 1820s and 30s which depicted aristocratic life and scandals as a how-to guide for rising middle-class readers while also exploring growing political and class anxieties in the post-Regency. Advice on how to romance, eat, party and raise children like a member of the upper class from Silver Fork novels via Bizarre Victoria (previously).
posted by The Whelk at 11:22 PM PST - 7 comments

"I don't want to be what's broken."

Jake Roper from Vsauce3 talks about the frustration of recovery, creativity, and limitations. [more inside]
posted by [insert clever name here] at 5:58 PM PST - 4 comments

Flip and Rewind

Rashida Jones channels TLC, SWV, and MJB to take us all back to the 90s Because it's Friday and I want us to have nice things too.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 4:41 PM PST - 44 comments

One wore a shirt that extolled the virtues of waterboarding.

It was, in some sense, intended to be a memorial. People filtered into the stadium under giant waving flags on the stadium’s external jumbotrons. But once inside, they were greeted with the giant floating head of John Krasinski, better known as Jim from The Office, who plays the movie’s protagonist, a security contractor named Jack Da Silva.

When [Krasinski] was interviewed on the stadium’s immense on-field red carpet, as part of the pre-show, he spoke about working with the real-life Da Silva to develop his character. A man in front of me groaned. “Oh, so now we know that character doesn’t die,” he said. “Great spoiler, dude.” Yes: Jim from The Office spoiled Benghazi.
I Watched Michael Bay's Benghazi Movie at Cowboys Stadium With 30,000 Pissed-Off Patriots
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:16 PM PST - 193 comments

Symphony No. 4

Perhaps you remember Henryk Górecki's Symphony No. 3 "Symphony Of Sorrowful Songs", which became a surprise international hit after a BBC DJ played its haunting first movement in its entirety one day, shocking and surprising everyone with its slowly building fugue of energy that peaked with the entrance of Dawn Upshaw's soprano voice and then slowly ebbed back down into nothingness again like a musical palindrome. Well, now for something completely different: NPR brings us the a First Listen to the posthumously completed (by his son, from a piano score with notes for orchestration) Symphony No. 4, "Tansman Episodes", which NPR says "pounds, growls, swaggers and confounds."
posted by hippybear at 3:02 PM PST - 10 comments

Absolutely Fabulous

Sweetie Darling, there's a movie coming. But maybe you've wondered about Jennifer Saunders. What has she done since? Well, there's Jam and Jerusalem. And, there's Vivienne Vyle. Now, a little Bolly? Just a smidge.
posted by valkane at 2:53 PM PST - 37 comments

Attention, New York Wankers

"A sex toy company created a tiny male masturbation fort in New York City . No, we don't condone it. On Tuesday, Hot Octopuss erected what it called a "GuyFi" booth on 28th Street and 5th Avenue in New York City, where men could, in theory, go to "relieve stress.""
posted by marienbad at 2:22 PM PST - 87 comments

brb getting a tattoo that says "The Hammock District"

The Simpsons Tattoo is a curated Instagram collection of very specific Simpsons tattoos.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:48 PM PST - 66 comments

Post-car culture: broader implications to a driverless society

How driverless cars will change cities: a 9 minute video from CBC News' The National, covering Morgan Stanley's 2014 prediction for the end of car culture as we have known it (PDF) due to the convergence of driverless cars and "sharing culture" technology like Uber (who will be testing their system soon), and idea that people would be less inclined to own their own driverless vehicle, gien that personally owned passenger vehicles are parked 95% of the time, all of which will mean potentially significant changes in how urban spaces are planned and designed. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 12:45 PM PST - 231 comments

“Randolph Tech,” Mr. Newburger said, making up another college.

The (completely fake) 1941 football season of the (completely fake) Plainfield Teachers College.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:06 PM PST - 12 comments

Right to the midsection...

Follow Friday: @WWESubway uses professional wrestling GIFs to illustrate the vast panoply of experiences and emotions of the Subway sandwich shop aficionado. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 11:49 AM PST - 20 comments

Where Your Country and My Country Eat Together

Saigon Deli Sandwich and Taco Valparaiso offers a lesson in cross-cultural communication. In 2011, Tony Torres, who owned a taqueria, approached Dieu Ngo, who owned the Saigon Deli banh mi shop, with a proposition that they join forces. The result was a classic multi-cultural fusion, and a budding romance.
posted by suelac at 11:37 AM PST - 27 comments

Fable Friday: Venus and the kitty cat

This is a short visual telling of an Aesop fable called Venus and the Cat
posted by Taft at 10:59 AM PST - 7 comments

“I hope it rains for the entire weekend.”

At £150-a-head, the Queen’s 90th birthday party is turning into a right royal PR disaster.
posted by veedubya at 10:19 AM PST - 41 comments

Stuck on Eden

Matt Schneider, who writes for the Christian publication Mockingbird, achieved a bit of viral fame back in 2014 when he wrote a critical assessment of Thomas Kinkade's body of work. He received some passionate responses from Kinkade's fans, which prompted a followup. Now, a year after that first response, Google has seen fit to push his original article near the top of hits for Kinkade searches, so he decided to take one more look at the beloved Christian painter: "Critical Thoughts on the Evangelical Embrace of Thomas Kinkade’s Escapist Art".
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 10:12 AM PST - 28 comments

"It is an ugly fish. That's why I like it."

The Royal B.C. Museum is putting their bony-eared assfish on display. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:52 AM PST - 29 comments

when the facts change...

Can Economics Change Your Mind? [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:46 AM PST - 15 comments

Mathematics For The End Of Time

Interned in a Polish prison camp during World War II, French composer Olivier Messaien composed Quartet for the End of Time. To mark the 75th anniversary of its premiere at the camp, animator Simon Russell and mathematician Marcus du Sautoy have created a vlisualisation for the first movement, 'Crystal Liturgy'.
posted by Devonian at 9:24 AM PST - 6 comments

Mail Order Brides

"Marcia Zug is an associate professor of law at the University of South Carolina who specializes in family law. She is writing a book due out in May 2016 on the international marriage industry, called 'Buying a Bride: An Engaging History of Mail-Order Matches.' The reason that mail-order brides continue to be popular, she tells me, is that conditions for women in some countries remain bleak, and as long as women have few prospects for a good match at home, they will look elsewhere for someone to start a family and life with. [more inside]
posted by josher71 at 8:49 AM PST - 33 comments

Working outside in the cold at the ISS

Britain's first official astronaut, Tim Peake, is hard at work today outside the International Space Station on a spacewalk, going on live as of 10:40am EST. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:30 AM PST - 84 comments

Haydn's 107 symphonies

Joseph Haydn wrote a total of 107 symphonies, and is known as the 'Father of the Symphony.' You can listen to them all online at Haydn107.com, where each symphony is presented in different interpretations, along with introductory notes.
posted by carter at 6:29 AM PST - 34 comments

"Like a Vivian Maier of folk music"

Like many others, Connie Converse was a struggling musician in New York in the 1950s, trying to secure a record deal. She never did, and in 1961 she left New York and music behind. For 13 years, she lived a conventional life in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Then she disappeared, sending letters to her family and friends saying that she was leaving to start a new life. She has never been heard from since. Years after her disappearance, her music has been rediscovered, with fans calling her a pioneer of the singer-songwriter style that came to prominence in the decades after she stopped making music. How a 90-year-old missing person became a hit on Spotify. [more inside]
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:47 AM PST - 16 comments

Something's Coming

"Yes indeed, it appears as though that long-talked-about sequel to the secretive Abrams-produced 2008 film Cloverfield is not only happening, it’s already in the can." [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:08 AM PST - 82 comments

By Wambui Mwangi

Silence Is a Woman
posted by infini at 4:56 AM PST - 4 comments

The big sleep

On October 27th 2015, Peter and Pat Shaw ended their long lives together, in an act of "rational" suicide.
posted by John Shaft at 1:38 AM PST - 56 comments

January 14

Becoming an uber-Spock? Or becoming the love-child of Spock and Kirk?

Proponents of rationality tend to talk about the brain as a kind of second-rate computer, jammed full of old legacy software but possible to reprogram if you can master the code. (SLNYT) A group teaches ways to overcome your primate brain to help yourself.
posted by JiffyQ at 8:55 PM PST - 99 comments

Mommy and Meds

Jane Marie writes about On Going Off My Depression Medication During Pregnancy.
posted by zix at 7:09 PM PST - 28 comments

the largest Zika epidemic researchers have ever seen

"This is quite a large epidemic, so another question is how did this get so big so fast? And no one has the answer," said Hotez. "There's nothing really published, most of what we’re going on are World Health Organization alerts." First case of tropical zika virus linked to serious birth defect found in Texas (Jessica Glenza, The Guardian); What You Need To Know About the Zika Virus (Alexandra Ossola, Popular Science); CDC home page for resources and information; FAQ from Pan American Health Organization
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 6:34 PM PST - 24 comments

Escape from the Blockchain

Prominent Bitcoin developer Mike Hearn writes an epitaph for Bitcoin: "Bitcoin is an experiment and like all experiments, it can fail."
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 5:53 PM PST - 60 comments

Splain it to Me

MetaFilter is long familiar with the dichotomy between Ask Culture and Guess Culture. Alice Maz, a programmer writing for the new group blog Status 451, has described another common dichotomy between “harmonious emotional experience” and “information sharing”, and what happens when the two meet. (In short: “Harsh words may be exchanged, and everyone exits the encounter thinking the other person was monumentally rude for no reason.”) [more inside]
posted by Rangi at 5:46 PM PST - 139 comments


Max Verstappen drove his F1 car on a ski slope and didn't die. [YouTube]
We see Verstappen taking his Red Bull (of course) team race car and driving it up, down, and back up a ski slope. Somehow, the mix of studded tires, snow chains, and Verstappen's natural born talent keep the kid from flying off the mountain. (The super serious 9-minute one, seen directly above, is particularly full of beautiful, mind-boggling footage.) [The Verge]
posted by Fizz at 3:30 PM PST - 47 comments

Deal from strength or get crushed every time

The Official Donald Trump Jam (SLYT)
posted by OverlappingElvis at 1:30 PM PST - 182 comments

The Life of Poo

The San Francisco sewer system is an amazing feat of engineering. Almost entirely gravity-run, it directs both stormwater and wastewater into a combined system of pipes that flow to wastewater treatment facilities. In the Life of Poo, you can type in an address in San Francisco and see where your toilet waste flows.
[more inside]
posted by parrishioner at 11:43 AM PST - 44 comments

"Kind hearts are more than coronets."

Peterborough & The Great War. At the Peterborough (UK) East Railway Station during 1916 and 1917, the Women’s United Total Abstinence Council ran a tea stall. There were two visitors books there signed by the soldiers travelling to and from the various fronts during World War I which have been digitised for the website. [more inside]
posted by Zack_Replica at 10:16 AM PST - 14 comments

Sacramento Meditations

Jeff Enlow photographs the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta in Behind the Levees (with video) [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:38 AM PST - 12 comments

Because no one needs three Canary Wharf Stations

Crossrail needs to rename its stations. Crossrail is a big new railway right through the middle of London. Whilst a nice new railway affords a lot of opportunities for improvement apparently naming stations is not one of those areas.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 9:20 AM PST - 40 comments

Ditch the DEET, get a Cock ring in Peru

In Zanzibar, life moves pole pole. Tunis does not rock the casbah. Barcelona is a gin and tonic town. Maps are worthless in Ulaanbaatar. Altitude is a bastard in Ganzi. Eating local in Hargeisa means devouring "a metric shit-ton of gamey, tough, and greasy camel meat." And nothing can prepare you for platzkart on the Trans-Mongolian Railroad. These are some of the many things you can learn from Roads and Kingdoms' regular feature, Know Before You Go.
posted by zarq at 8:47 AM PST - 33 comments

Don't you dare move my bottle ... It's mine. I paid for it.

My dentist tells me that I grind my teeth at night. He says this is a very bad thing and needs to be remedied. Apparently the problem is tension, brought on by stress. Clearly I need less stress in my life. To make this happen I have decided to use this column to address all the things about restaurants that I truly hate; the atrocities I hope to see disappear in 2016.
The 12 things that restaurants must stop doing in 2016. [Single-link Jay Rayner] [more inside]
posted by Sonny Jim at 8:15 AM PST - 322 comments

You're sat at your desk, and you're reading Metafilter?

A compilation of the opening rhetorical questions from 1990s morning talk show Kilroy.
posted by mippy at 7:53 AM PST - 11 comments


The Academy Award nominations are out, and for the second year in a row, the twenty acting nominees share a common thread besides being good actors: every one of them is white. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 7:44 AM PST - 160 comments

Can we go back to Hannibal? Or Mansa Musa?

Creed's star, Michael B. Jordan, and director, Ryan Coogler, talk about film and race. [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura at 7:42 AM PST - 11 comments

Alan Rickman 1946 - 2016

Actor Alan Rickman, active in theater and film for 30 years and known for roles such as Professor Severus Snape in Harry Potter, has died at age 69 from cancer.
posted by divabat at 4:54 AM PST - 434 comments

January 13


The Mad Painter was a sketch that first aired on Sesame Street in 1972. In the series, Our Protagonist (Paul Benedict, looking suspiciously like Greg Nog) decides he's going to paint a certain number, finds a surface on which to paint the numeral, paints said number, and then something funny happens. The Painter's co-stars included a young Stockard Channing, a bald mustachioed guy (Jerome Raphael), and a gorilla. Robert Dennis scores the pieces jauntily. Here they are, in numerical order: [ 2345678910*11 ] [more inside]
posted by not_on_display at 10:39 PM PST - 45 comments

A Rare Glimpse of NASA’s Otherworldly Treasures

HOUSTON, Tex.—Building 31 on the campus of Johnson Space Center lacks the Tower of London’s majesty and history. No Queen’s Guard stand outside. But this drab, 1960s-era building is nonetheless where NASA keeps the crown jewels of its exploration program. Inside various clean rooms, curators watch over meteorites from Mars and the asteroid belt, cosmic dust, samples of the solar wind, comet particles, and, of course, hundreds of kilograms of Moon rocks.
posted by veedubya at 10:08 PM PST - 17 comments

The Preservation Of A Nation

Robbie Judkins visits Tanzania to witness first hand the attempt to save a quarter of a century of musical history from oblivion. Listen to an exclusive mix of tracks newly digitized by the Tanzania Heritage Project
posted by infini at 8:45 PM PST - 5 comments

Lawrence Phillips 1975-2016

Former football star Lawrence Phillips has been found dead in his jail cell. Phillips was a star running back at the University of Nebraska, where he won back-to-back national championships in 1994 and 1995. The latter is often considered the best college football team ever assembled. Phillips was as well-known for his off-the-field problems, one of several troubled star players that legendary NU coach (and now ex-Congressman) Tom Osborne was accused of coddling. [more inside]
posted by kevinbelt at 2:11 PM PST - 20 comments

Dad, who gamed

John Walker, games writer for Rock Paper Shotgun, eulogizes his father Hugh and reflects on a life spent playing and talking about games together.
posted by cortex at 1:06 PM PST - 10 comments

Our business model is simply not sustainable

Al Jazeera America to shut down by April 2016. [more inside]
posted by Existential Dread at 12:53 PM PST - 75 comments

Fabio Helped Me Escape From a Cult

When you’ve been in a cult and you meet new people at a dinner party, you’re never quite sure when to bring it up. But I know one thing: If I do bring it up, nobody ever finds my story boring.
posted by Bella Donna at 12:33 PM PST - 60 comments

“...left a trail leading right back to his door”.

Stephen Leather accused of cyberbullying by fellow thriller writers. by Alison Flood [The Guardian]
Over the past week, the authors Steve Mosby and Jeremy Duns have each alleged that Leather is behind websites set up to attack them. On 4 January, Mosby blogged about the launch of the site fuckstevemosby.com, which featured an exhaustive collection of the times he swore online. Mosby claims that the site was set up by Leather. Duns, the author of the Paul Dark spy novels, then blogged a lengthy analysis of the reasons why he believes Leather is behind a series of sites abusing him – including the claim that the recently established site fuckjeremyduns.com briefly redirected to Leather’s own site about his character Spider Shepherd.
[more inside]
posted by Fizz at 12:03 PM PST - 32 comments

The Trials of Alice Goffman

‘‘Alice used a writing style that today you can’t really use in the social sciences.’’ He sighed and began to trail off. ‘‘In the past,’’ he said with some astonishment, ‘‘they really did write that way.’’ The book smacked, some sociologists argued, of a kind of swaggering adventurism that the discipline had long gotten over. Goffman became a proxy for old and unsettled arguments about ethnography that extended far beyond her own particular case. What is the continuing role of the qualitative in an era devoted to data? When the politics of representation have become so fraught, who gets to write about whom? [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:52 AM PST - 59 comments

Explore a little world from the comfort of your home

Hamburg's Miniatur Wonderland has been featured on Metafilter before (1, 2) but now you can explore 9 of its sections as if you were there with Google Maps.
posted by jontyjago at 10:37 AM PST - 14 comments

They’re as dysfunctional as I’ve seen.

Vivian Maier Developed. “While the posthumous discovery of Maier’s remarkable images and her years in Chicago have been well documented, there has been scant coverage of her upbringing. With the discovery of credible new sources, the mystery surrounding her American family and childhood has been solved.” New research delves into the life of Vivian Maier and the unhappy family she was born into. [more inside]
posted by 1970s Antihero at 9:39 AM PST - 4 comments

Satan in Poughkeepsie

The ’70s counterculture and women’s movements had derailed all kinds of assumptions about American family life and sexuality, and, in their wake, a collective nightmare had emerged [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:24 AM PST - 140 comments

One last Best of list for 2015

The Best Southern Albums of 2015 (slTheBitterSoutherner) [more inside]
posted by Kitteh at 9:17 AM PST - 23 comments

A Calculated Design

“They’re probably the most familiar interfaces on the planet: the numeric keypads on our mobile phones and calculators. Yet very few notice that the keypads’ design has remained unchanged for nearly half a century in the face of evolving global design norms and conventions. Even fewer users notice another startling design feature: the phone’s keypad is the inverted version of the calculator’s.”
Graphic designer C Y Gopinath explains the science and research behind his decision to change the numeric interface layout of his calculator app, Calcuta, from square to circular.
posted by _Mona_ at 9:00 AM PST - 93 comments

Mars Ice House

A 3D printed habitat for four Mars explorers from Clouds Architecture Office. Awarded first place in NASA's Centennial Challenge Mars Habitat Competition.
posted by OmieWise at 8:44 AM PST - 18 comments

Let me tell you about the equilibrium of bodies...

Published in 1913, a best-seller in the 1930s and long out of print, Physics for Entertainment was translated from Russian into many languages and influenced science students around the world ... In the foreword, the book’s author describes the contents as “conundrums, brain-teasers, entertaining anecdotes, and unexpected comparisons,” adding, “I have quoted extensively from Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, Mark Twain and other writers, because, besides providing entertainment, the fantastic experiments these writers describe may well serve as instructive illustrations at physics classes.”
posted by Wolfdog at 7:56 AM PST - 6 comments

'...follow the law or you’re no better than the crook.'

Inside the Snitch Tank. After his arrest for the worst mass shooting in Orange County, CA history, Scott Dekraai poured out his feelings to a jailhouse informant. But instead of nailing down a death-penalty conviction against a confessed killer who was arrested with murder weapons in his car, the bugging of Dekraai’s cell touched off a legal storm over prosecutorial misconduct and the misuse of jailhouse informants which has delayed justice and drawn national attention. The Orange County Register has set up an extensive website to accompany their ongoing investigation and report.
posted by zarq at 7:52 AM PST - 17 comments

Goldeneye facility in Unreal 4

Game artist Jude Wilson, like many of us, spent a lot of time playing Goldeneye (previously) on the Nintendo 64. Videogame graphics have come a long way in the nineteen years since Goldeneye was released, so Jude undertook to recreate part of one level in Unreal Engine 4 for his portfolio. [more inside]
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:13 AM PST - 36 comments

Research team pinpoints site of Salem witch trial murders.

He has told me that his nurse had often told him, that ... she saw, from the chamber windows, those unhappy people hanging on Gallows’ Hill, who were executed for witches by the delusion of the times. Building on work done a century ago by lawyer and historian Sidney Perley, a team of historians and researchers has definitively identified the exact location where those found "guilty" in the Salem, MA witch trials of the seventeenth century were murdered, or in the words of many, "executed." [more inside]
posted by Sheydem-tants at 6:15 AM PST - 33 comments

3... 2... 1... Activate!

The BBC have announced it will be resurrecting cult favourite Robot Wars [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:05 AM PST - 36 comments

CC: George Pelecanos

Bug Man Pete and I are out on the front porch at Hank Dietle’s Tavern, the last roadhouse in Montgomery County, watching the traffic crawl by on Rockville Pike. An exterminator by trade, he’s finished battling vermin for the day and is ready for a few cold ones. A pitcher of draft beer is on the table, and a lit Maverick cigarette is in his hand. He’s feeling good, as he usually is at Dietle’s. [He] has been coming here for almost half of his 56 years. But people like him have been coming to Dietle’s for a century. They were here when the Pike was a rural toll road. They were here when cold, cheap beers were illegal. They were here when Metro dug its tunnels underneath and when a gleaming new mall went up across the road. Now that the mall has been shuttered, they’re still here. -- Washingtonian Magazine on the Last Roadside Divebar in Suburbia.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:49 AM PST - 37 comments

61st Century Lip-Synch Man

In the history of gag dubs, one of the earliesr and more obscure is a segment from MTV's Cartoon Sushi, Ultracity 6060, debuting in episode one. After the fold, all but one of its six or seven episodes, depending on how you count - one is an original parody. [more inside]
posted by BiggerJ at 4:20 AM PST - 6 comments

Rebel Without A Pause

Killer Mike and the return of the politically engaged rapper.
posted by ellieBOA at 4:12 AM PST - 19 comments

The Forced Humor Awakens

Star Wars VII Parody Twitter Accounts seemed to reach their zenith with the spoilery Emo Kylo Ren, but it has been totally eclipsed (wait... that's no moon), because if you ever wondered what kind of father the Original Trilogy's Rogue Han Solo would be, Dad Joke Han Solo explains it all (and spoils even more, you have been warned).
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:14 AM PST - 24 comments

January 12

The archetype is probably 'Lucky Jim' by Kingsley Amis...

"From a comic standpoint, anyone who’s every been to a cocktail party with university colleagues knows that even at the best of times it’s an ongoing comedy of manners, a ballet of awkwardness. There exist in university settings the following: Competition, ego, eccentric personalities. Sartorial affectation (berets, tweed blazers, brightly colored silk scarves, Trotsky-style beards, all manner of glasses). Bureaucracy and Machiavellian maneuvering. Snubs and indignities and inappropriate flirtations.

"All, as they say, ripe for satire."
[more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 10:05 PM PST - 35 comments

Ladies and gentlemen, your Los Angeles Rams!

NFL football returns to Los Angeles next season. After 20 years in St. Louis, the Rams will be relocating (or re-relocating) to Los Angeles, to play in a new stadium built by owner, Walmart heir, and real estate mogul Stan Kroenke. The San Diego Chargers will have the option to join next season. [more inside]
posted by honeybee413 at 6:34 PM PST - 116 comments

"I had found a steel box in my heart."

"Over the years, when I told people about the abuse I endured at Gafni's hands, many asked, 'Why didn't you tell anyone?' That's a good question. But a better question is what happened when I did tell. It was almost as if I had told no one." So writes Sara Kabakov in a new article, "I Was 13 When Marc Gafni's Abuse Began." [tw for sex abuse] [more inside]
posted by Charity Garfein at 5:13 PM PST - 16 comments

I refer of course to investigations of the so-called Metafilter affair

Tonight at 9 p.m. ET President Obama will give his final State of the Union address. (Barring unexpected developments.) He is expected to reflect on his legacy in office and also look towards the future with the same optimistic viewpoint which has always been a signature of his political identity. [more inside]
posted by Drinky Die at 4:15 PM PST - 479 comments

A new idea in the world of vegan cooking, or, blowing minds with brine

Vegan Meringue Has Arrived thanks to aquafaba (bean water). [more inside]
posted by aniola at 1:53 PM PST - 58 comments

They're just like us!

Jason Statham gets a charlie horse. The talented Ross Marquand (previously) does nano-impressions of A-list actors in mundane moments.
posted by gottabefunky at 1:13 PM PST - 44 comments

You buy the mansion, we'll throw in a roommate!

You won the big Powerball, you're going to want a new house. There's no investment like real estate. How about the Playboy® Mansion? [more inside]
posted by Marky at 12:00 PM PST - 95 comments

Does free speech protect free riders?

Oral arguments were heard on Monday in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, a Supreme Court case in which the plaintiffs are attempting to invoke their First Amendment right to free speech to avoid being compelled to pay their share of the costs of union representation. Summarizing the oral arguments for SCOTUSblog, Amy Howe notes that "public-employee unions are likely very nervous, as the Court’s more conservative Justices appeared ready to overrule the Court’s 1977 decision in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education and strike down the fees." [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu at 11:50 AM PST - 112 comments

Backstab Machine

Dark Souls (previously and previously) remains popular for its challenging single player, and dedicated PVP community. Github user Metal Crow has developed an AI for the PVP aspect of the game, and shows off its talents at this YouTube video. In the write-up.txt file at GitHub, he explains the process, capabilities, and difficulties of programming a bot for what is (ostensibly) a total black box of a game (Pastebinned version to add word wrap and improve readability). Especially interesting is the use of a neural network to train the bot to avoid backstabs. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla at 11:43 AM PST - 27 comments

From the best meal in NYC to appealing as bongwater, Per Se loses stars

Today the New York Times revisited Per Se and dropped them from four stars to two in a brutal review. There had been rumblings: a cutting reference in Harpers (previously), rumblings on chowhound and egullet and most notably an ugly review in Eater last month. Couple that with a C grade on a health inspection last year and a half-million dollar settlement of charges they failed to pay servers the "included" service charge now attached to every meal and it seems unlikely they will ever recover their once lofty status.
posted by Lame_username at 10:05 AM PST - 282 comments

Trail Trees: Living Guide-Posts to the Past

There are three main methods for using the trees to find your way. We can look for how the tree’s growth is influenced by the sun and how their shape is altered by the wind. The third method is to use a tree's preferences to work out the nature of the terrain ahead of us.
Now let's add a fourth: follow trail marker trees, those trees that were purposely bent by Native Americans as navigation aids. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 10:05 AM PST - 21 comments

quantified sneezes

Thomas Blomseth tracked his sneezes for five years, over 60,000 of them, and may have ended his pollen allergy
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:01 AM PST - 13 comments

Malware Sucker Punch

Forbes.com will ask you to turn off ad-blocking software or extensions that you may have on your browser in order to read their articles. If you comply, you then run the risk of being served malware. [more inside]
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:46 AM PST - 93 comments

“Uno,” forward Kent Bazemore said, “is always a thrill.”

For Some Atlanta Hawks, a Revved-Up Game of Uno Is Diversion No. 1 by Scott Cacciola [The New York Times]
The Hawks, like many professional sports teams, have a lot of free time to kill, much of it spent on airplanes traveling to games. Some of the players keep busy by watching movies. Many sleep. Others play cards, a popular pastime for athletes who are competitive by nature. Yet the Hawks’ card game of choice might come as a surprise. Teammates who have resisted the urge to wade into the Uno fray know enough to keep a safe distance.
posted by Fizz at 8:10 AM PST - 67 comments

The story of my success, if it is anything, is a paean to laziness.

Internet hero Frank Chimero conquers the New Yorker
posted by Diablevert at 7:31 AM PST - 15 comments

January 11

Clichés (music video)

Hiérophante - Clichés. Pattern recognition software used to collate myriad random, themed still images (selfies &c) for a music video. Surprising fluidity is achieved. [more inside]
posted by davidpriest.ca at 9:05 PM PST - 9 comments

A life unraveling

Over the past year, the [Boston] Globe spent time with an East Boston heroin addict as she struggled through recovery and the prospect of losing her children to the state. Nearly every key moment was witnessed by a Globe reporter or photographer. Brave, broken, loving, at a loss, this is Raquel and her story.
Warning: Does not end terribly, but does not end well.
posted by Etrigan at 7:14 PM PST - 47 comments

Big dinosaur leaves faint tracks

A few months ago, I went searching for the truth about that missing bone. I was not the first — plenty of others have sought the largest dinosaur that has ever lived. What I found was a quest that has driven some people toward maniacal competition, some to conspiracy theories and others to disregard scientific consensus. It drove me to a little rocky outcropping on a hill in rural Colorado known as Cope’s Nipple.
The Biggest Dinosaur In History May Never Have Existed by David Goldenberg is about Amphicoelias fragillimus, a species of sauropod dinosaurs described by famed paleontologist Edward Drinker Cope from a single, enormous bone, which later went missing. It may have been the biggest of the big, as explained by Prof. Ken Carpenter [pdf] or a fiction created by a typo [pdf], as argued by Cary Woodruff and John R. Foster.
posted by Kattullus at 3:29 PM PST - 17 comments

Even then, when we do reach our perceived glories, they fade in a moment

Writing for Thump, at Vice, Angus Harrison beanplates deconstructs, lengthily, Four Tet's remix of Opus by Eric Prydz. Four Tet previously; Eric Prydz previously, 2.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:49 PM PST - 15 comments

Fresh roses dropped into her lap every day

I am not Catholic, and yet I find myself drawn to the women saints. There is something about them that I admire. Maybe it is simply the lengths to which they went to avoid marrying.
posted by roolya_boolya at 2:36 PM PST - 22 comments

Cheese robbery in the Netherlands

DutchNews reports on how Dutch cheese farms have recently been plagued by cheese theft. It may sound a little bit like the plot for a children's book, but it's quite serious: thousands of euros worth of cheese are being stolen from the dairy farms. [more inside]
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:15 PM PST - 85 comments


It's Payback Time for Women - "Society is getting a free ride on our unrewarded contributions to the perpetuation of the human race." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 1:48 PM PST - 79 comments

Ashima Shiraishi, Rock-Climbing Wonder

Ashima Shiraishi is a fourteen-year-old New Yorker who has been called the most talented rock climber in the world.
posted by mossicle at 12:46 PM PST - 41 comments

The menu, the venue, the seating

In the Room Where It Happens, Eight Shows a Week and 8 Places to Celebrate Alexander Hamilton's birthday in New York and Beyond
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:40 PM PST - 104 comments

And they rode on in the friscalating dusklight. [SLYT/CNN]

Ever wish the State of the Union was a little bit more Wes Anderson? Wish no more. Thanks, Obama.
posted by a halcyon day at 12:00 PM PST - 23 comments

Campus Sexual Assault Under Investigation

Campus Sexual Assault Under Investigation: Track Hundreds of Federal Sexual-Assault Investigations
posted by all about eevee at 11:57 AM PST - 1 comment

Grandmaster Caz to Drake

The Best Rapper Alive, Every Year Since 1979 [more inside]
posted by alby at 10:21 AM PST - 117 comments

Punishing your body is not taking care of it.

I don’t mean that you shouldn’t strive for health in 2016, if health is what’s important to you. But a number on a scale is not health. A dress size is not health. Work with your body, not against it. This isn’t some radical tenet of fat-acceptance either – any life coach, self-help guru, or even personal trainer will tell you the same: set reachable goals. Don’t set yourself up for failure. [more inside]
posted by Kitteh at 9:17 AM PST - 77 comments

"There is only one road, one bridge across the country"

The Trans-Canada Highway spans the length of Canada with a route over 8000 kilometers long. This weekend, a new bridge crosssing the Nipigon buckled, severing the only road link between Eastern and Western Canada.
posted by thecjm at 7:58 AM PST - 126 comments

First X, Then Y, Now Z : Landmark Thematic Maps and Their Makers

This section reads as would a biblical genealogy of sorts: Alexander von Humboldt (wiki) taught Heinrich Berghaus (short wiki bio)and influenced Alexander Keith Johnston; Berghaus taught August Petermann (wiki); and Petermann collaborated with Berghaus and Johnston. More accurately, it reflects the passing on of the thematic torch lit by Humboldt. There were isolated “ignitions” throughout Europe before him—he, of course, was not the first to construct a thematic map or even to think of how one might do it—but every science needs a founding figure. More than anyone who preceded him, Humboldt provided that role.
Landmark Thematic Atlases, from Princeton University Library's Historic Maps Collection website of Landmark Thematic Maps.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:55 AM PST - 2 comments

More evidence that student evaluations of teaching evaluate gender bias

Inside Higher Ed: There’s mounting evidence suggesting that student evaluations of teaching are unreliable. But are these evaluations, commonly referred to as SET, so bad that they’re actually better at gauging students’ gender bias and grade expectations than they are at measuring teaching effectiveness? A new paper argues that’s the case, and that evaluations are biased against female instructors in particular in so many ways that adjusting them for that bias is impossible. [more inside]
posted by leahwrenn at 6:50 AM PST - 44 comments

La-Z Rider

The Simpsons 80s Style Couch Gag [slyt]
posted by ellieBOA at 4:45 AM PST - 36 comments

January 10

The Fall of Ziggy Stardust

Farewell to all-around legend David Bowie. [more inside]
posted by Beti at 11:17 PM PST - 1407 comments

No.1 threat to US electric grid? squirrels.

"This map lists all unclassified Cyber Squirrel Operations that have been released to the public that we have been able to confirm. There are many more executed ops than displayed on this map however, those ops remain classified."
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:43 PM PST - 28 comments

Why doesn’t anyone listen to Ani DiFranco anymore?

32 Feelings & Then Some: An Inquiry into the Non-Legacy of Ani DiFranco (SLHairpin).
posted by Cash4Lead at 9:32 PM PST - 116 comments

“This paper is intentionally solo-authored.”

When Teamwork Doesn't Work for Women Ms. Sarsons discovered one group of female economists who enjoyed the same career success as men: those who work alone. Specifically, she says that “women who solo author everything have roughly the same chance of receiving tenure as a man.” by Justin Wolfers in the New York Times.
posted by wonton endangerment at 4:04 PM PST - 22 comments

I Found The Worst Things At CES

"Without asking, I started working for @internetofshit with some hot, on-the-floor reporting on the worst technology at the Consumer Electronics Show."
posted by jenkinsEar at 3:04 PM PST - 96 comments

Organic Back-Pack Warmers

Bolt and Keel, the back-packing cats. This past July, two tiny kitties were found, alone in the forest, in British Columbia. They were rescued, and now travel along on their human's outdoor adventures. Christened Bolt and Keel, for their new companion's passion for kayaking and rock climbing, they have their own Instagram account.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 2:02 PM PST - 25 comments

The not-so-secret history of comics drawn by women

The head of the festival that awards comics’ most prestigious prize – the Grand Prix – claimed that women don’t appear in the history of comics. He’s wrong.
posted by Artw at 12:20 PM PST - 23 comments

Delicious Detangling

Got knotty yarn? These volunteers will help. [more inside]
posted by jebs at 11:43 AM PST - 28 comments

“A tear in this fabric is all it takes for a story to begin.”

Why the British Tell Better Children’s Stories by Colleen Gillard [The Atlantic] Their history informs fantastical myths and legends, while American tales tend to focus on moral realism.
If Harry Potter and Huckleberry Finn were each to represent British versus American children’s literature, a curious dynamic would emerge: In a literary duel for the hearts and minds of children, one is a wizard-in-training at a boarding school in the Scottish Highlands, while the other is a barefoot boy drifting down the Mississippi, beset by con artists, slave hunters, and thieves. One defeats evil with a wand, the other takes to a raft to right a social wrong. Both orphans took over the world of English-language children’s literature, but their stories unfold in noticeably different ways.
posted by Fizz at 10:03 AM PST - 88 comments

The White Man Pathology

On an American road trip, Stephen Marche enters the fray with Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders in Iowa and gets a view of the campaign trail from the perspective of his whiteness. (SLGuardian)
posted by josher71 at 9:34 AM PST - 93 comments

El Chapo Speaks

A secret visit with the most wanted man in the world. By Sean Penn
posted by CrazyLemonade at 7:46 AM PST - 88 comments

The Tall Man Has Left This Dimension

Early in his career, Lawrence Rory Guy won a Grammy for writing album liner notes for such diverse artists as Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, and Itzhak Perlman. More recently as an actor, under the name of Angus Scrimm, he was known for his roles in movies like I Sell the Dead and John Dies at the End or on television in the series Alias. Of course, he is most well known for is iconic role as The Tall Man in 1979's Phantasm and its three (soon to be four) sequels. Late last night, at the age of 89, Angus Scrimm passed away peacefully surrounded by his friends and loved ones. [more inside]
posted by Lokheed at 7:35 AM PST - 23 comments

Dressing a windmilling baby is like trying to put a rabbit in a balloon

A new dad's entertaining thoughts on being a parent. "I was congratulating myself today on how I’ve got nappy changing down to a precision art. I’m basically like a Formula One pit crew.. in fact, in many ways, I’m better, because when you’re speed-changing the tyres on Lewis Hamilton’s car he’s probably less likely to piss in your eyes..."
posted by colfax at 2:02 AM PST - 99 comments

January 9

The great British curry crisis

The high-street staple is under threat. Can a new generation of entrepreneurs save the nation’s tandoori?
posted by infini at 9:26 PM PST - 100 comments

Maribou State: "We don’t set out to make celestial, sublime music"

The duo of Maribou State have come a long way from impressing Fatboy Slim with their remix of Praise You that landed them on his label. Last year, they dropped their debut album, Portraits (YT playlist, Bandcamp), "occupying a space somewhere between ambient electronic and a more house-nodding, four on the floor sensibility," and they had the honor of getting the first Essential Mix for 2016 (Mixcloud; Soundcloud). “We don’t set out to make celestial, sublime music. We aim for something more uptempo and less atmospheric. But that’s the way it comes out.[more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:08 PM PST - 4 comments

"No safe level of drinking": UK alcohol guidelines tightened

"No safe level of drinking": recommended drinking guidelines in the UK have been sharply tightened to no more than 14 units a week (equivalent to six pints of beer or seven glasses of wine) for both men and women, and no alcohol at all for pregnant women. [more inside]
posted by Dip Flash at 6:53 PM PST - 72 comments

The Case of the Missing Hong Kong Booksellers

One Country, Two Systems? Although none of the booksellers have disclosed their locations, a few have been in sporadic contact with family members to communicate, in opaque terms, that they are “assisting in an investigation.” On the phone with his wife, Sophie Choi, earlier last week, Lee conveyed that he was calling from Shenzhen, specifying that he, too, was voluntarily helping with a case but, strangely, spoke in Mandarin, the standard mainland dialect, rather than his native Cantonese. [more inside]
posted by frumiousb at 6:08 PM PST - 14 comments

The operation's greatest success was the evacuation.

One hundred years ago, the last Allied day at Gallipoli. "The evacuation had been carried out brilliantly, of that there can be no doubt." (Peter Hart) After months of agonized fighting between forces from multiple nations, the Allies withdrew from Gallipoli, ending one of WWI's most remembered and discussed campaigns. One hundred years ago today the last British soldiers left the peninsula, leaving behind booby traps, animals dead and alive, material destroyed and as booty, and the victorious Turks. [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 5:54 PM PST - 15 comments

Maths and physics visualizations

Illustrations, diagrams, and animations, many of maths and physics concepts, created for Wikipedia by Lucas Vieira Barbosa.
posted by carter at 5:42 PM PST - 13 comments

what's in this sausage, anyway?

"Over the past seven years, Americans have heard an awful lot about Barack Obama and his presidency, but the actual substance of his domestic policies and their impact on the country remain poorly understood. He has engineered quite a few quiet revolutions—and some of his louder revolutions are shaking up the status quo in quiet ways. "
posted by the man of twists and turns at 5:05 PM PST - 66 comments

Native ants are diverse; they're beautiful.

Argentine ants altering California's ecosystems as homeowners give them shelter The Kentucky woman found herself waging war on a freezer full of Argentine ants. Thousands of them had set up shop inside the appliance's insulation, and a steady stream of tiny bodies poured out of the cracks to forage in the kitchen. "There was a fortress within the freezer walls," said Cliggett, who set out baits but still spent nearly an hour a day wiping up the fallen soldiers' carcasses.
posted by Michele in California at 1:53 PM PST - 67 comments

The Netflix Bible

What's on Netflix? You know how, when you go to Netflix, it shows you what IT thinks you want to watch..and how finding anything else (or even browsing other categories) is next to impossible... "What's on Netflix" has a page where, by inserting the number from any of the many, many categories listed on the pages from the first link (note, there are three pages of categories, the navigation is at the bottom of the page) you can browse stuff you never knew existed!
posted by HuronBob at 1:39 PM PST - 65 comments

A Beautiful Theorem Deserves a Beautiful Proof

Douglas Hofstadter presents a proof Napoleon's theorem (on equilateral triangles constructed on the sides of another triangle), in the form of a sonnet. (Part of a longer talk; the link should take you to 34:18 in the video.)
posted by Wolfdog at 1:22 PM PST - 7 comments

Thou Shalt Not Forget the Not

The Risky Business of Bible Translation. Last month, a highly unusual Bible sold at auction for a whopping $47,311. From its exterior, the book looks rather unassuming: It lacks a general title. It contains only two colors of ink — black and red. Its pages are jagged and frayed, as if cut with a hacksaw. Yet deep inside this 1631 copy of the King James Version, nestled in the Ten Commandments, lies what is widely considered to be the worst typographical error ever made in a Bible. [more inside]
posted by storybored at 12:52 PM PST - 62 comments

The Summoning of the Skylark

Cool 3D World, by a pair of artist-musicians, puts out a series of Vines (compiled, 3:57) handcrafted in a warm, cozy town in the Uncanny Valley. Last month, they released their first full-length music video, "The Summoning of the Skylark" (3:40).
All NSFW due to unearthly naked demihuman flesh conglomerations.
posted by Countess Elena at 11:53 AM PST - 6 comments

Display Preparation Demo

Cinematographer Steve Yedlin (Looper, Star Wars Ep. VIII) has created "Display Preparation Demo," comparing 35mm film and Arri Alexa digital "prepped" with custom film-look algorithms (but doesn't reveal which is which).
After filmmaker Mario Carvalhal asked for a cypher, an email exchange ensued exploring the nature of psychological bias in the film vs. digital debate. (via)
posted by starman at 11:27 AM PST - 10 comments

Don't buy upgrades, ride up grades

Welcome back from your Saturday morning ride! Now enjoy the classic Eddy Merckx profile La course en tête. [101min.] [more inside]
posted by carsonb at 10:30 AM PST - 10 comments

Wherefore Art Thou, ATL?

Looking back at the Atlanta music scene in 2015 & the challenges it faces. (slImmersiveAtlanta)
posted by Kitteh at 10:21 AM PST - 2 comments

Neither private nor tegrity

David Chaum has a solution to end the crypto wars. [more inside]
posted by Lycaste at 10:04 AM PST - 37 comments

“I don’t even know where to begin...”

Animal Collective - FloriDada (Official Video) [YouTube] [Viewer discretion is advised, this video has been identified to potentially trigger seizures for people with photosensitive epilepsy.] FloriDada is from Animal Collective’s Painting With out February 19, 2016, produced and directed by sometime Adult Swim directors PFFR. [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 7:40 AM PST - 33 comments

Politics now more divisive than Race

"When defined in terms of social identity and affect toward copartisans and opposing partisans, the polarization of the American electorate has dramatically increased...Our evidence demonstrates that hostile feelings for the opposing party are ingrained or automatic in voters’ minds, and that affective polarization based on party is just as strong as polarization based on race. We further show that party cues exert powerful effects on nonpolitical judgments and behaviors. Partisans discriminate against opposing partisans, doing so to a degree that exceeds discrimination based on race. " (PDF). [more inside]
posted by d. z. wang at 6:48 AM PST - 114 comments

No war at the dinner table

Last August, the Guardian's Northern correspondent Helen Pidd invited Yasser, a 34-year-old Syrian refugee, to live in the spare room of her Manchester flat while he waited for his wife and baby daughter to join him. Helen and Yasser tell their sides of the story, from navigating the UK's welfare bureaucracy to the English's perplexing fondness for cookbooks and bare floorboards, a family Christmas near Morecambe and a topical Halloween costume. [more inside]
posted by acb at 6:21 AM PST - 23 comments

January 8

Yowza yowza yowza

Dance Dance dance (Yowza) dance [SLYT]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 8:13 PM PST - 50 comments


Games to Play With Your Child in Which You Barely Have to Move or Talk.
posted by smoke at 7:45 PM PST - 56 comments

Bet your paycheck?

Here’s $100. Can you win $800 million at Powerball? (SLLATimes)
posted by Huck500 at 2:22 PM PST - 181 comments

Cologne Police Chief Forced to Resign

After more than 100 women and girls came forward with reports of sexual assault and robbery by gangs of men in the German city of Cologne on New Year's Eve, Cologne's police chief has been removed from his post. [more inside]
posted by marienbad at 2:02 PM PST - 322 comments

How does that make you feel?

CBT vs Psychoanalysis, Round 2016 [The Guardian] [more inside]
posted by facehugger at 1:45 PM PST - 55 comments

A third way: Non violent protest

The true meaning of turn the other cheek Roman law permitted soldiers to force civilians to carry their gear for one mile, but because of abuses stringently prohibited more than one mile. If they ask you to do that, Jesus says, go ahead; but then carry their gear a second mile. Put them in a disconcerting situation: either they risk getting in trouble, or they will have to wrestle their gear back from you.
posted by Michele in California at 1:14 PM PST - 56 comments

"You’re a survivor now, not a victim."

Most American rapes go unreported and unpunished. In part because ideas about what constitutes a ‘‘real rape’’ still hinder investigations and prosecutions, and many police officers continue to read vulnerability as complicity. But there is another unacknowledged side to the investigation of sexual assault: the huge numbers of victims who are children or teenagers. New Haven, CT detectives estimate that more than 80 percent of their cases involve minors — a number only slightly higher than national statistics. Such cases are rarely reported immediately, which means that there is rarely any physical evidence to investigate. "To Catch a Rapist:" How New Haven's special-victims unit fights a hidden epidemic of sexual assault that is disturbingly difficult to investigate. (Some may find the descriptions and topics in this article disturbing or triggering.)
posted by zarq at 12:58 PM PST - 22 comments

A Modest Proposal, Texas-Style

Texas Governor Greg Abbott published a document, "Restoring the Rule of Law With States Leading the Way"[PDF], which addresses what he describes as the U.S. Constitution being "increasingly eroded with each passing year." His solution, which he dubs "The Texas Plan": nine constitutional amendments. [more inside]
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:11 PM PST - 194 comments

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe

Today is Roy Batty's Inception Date
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:58 AM PST - 87 comments

Safe and Unrestricted Access to Abortion

“To the world, I am an attorney who had an abortion, and, to myself, I am an attorney because I had an abortion." The Center for Reproductive Rights and law firm Paul Weiss submitted an amicus brief [pdf] to the U.S. Supreme Court signed by 113 attorneys, detailing the importance of abortion rights in their own lives. [more inside]
posted by melissasaurus at 10:36 AM PST - 54 comments

Latching onto bit characters simply because they look cool

WHO IS BOBA FETT? WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM THE PREQUELS - Noelle Stevenson (of Nimona and Lumberjanes awesome sauce) breaks down her theory of who Boba Fett really is.
posted by jillithd at 9:45 AM PST - 44 comments

because leaving isn't exactly an option

GOPLifer writes Why I Live In A White Neighborhood [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:42 AM PST - 157 comments

The psychological effects of fitness DVDs.

A study of 10 popular commercial exercise DVDs showed that the imagery in the fitness videos may be perpetuating and reinforcing hyper-sexualized and unrealistic body images, said Bradley J. Cardinal, PhD, a kinesiology professor in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at Oregon State University. [more inside]
posted by Sir Rinse at 9:13 AM PST - 46 comments

The Long Fall of Phoebe Jonchuck

"He was a schemer who used the courts for profit and revenge. He was a paranoid, angry meth addict who had been arrested for battery and domestic violence seven times. He had been involuntarily committed, by his family’s count. And yet, in its report on Phoebe’s death, the Florida Department of Children and Families concluded, “There was nothing in the preceding several years that could have reasonably been interpreted as predictive of such an event.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:23 AM PST - 13 comments

“They knew this stuff was harmful, and they put it in the water anyway.”

In 1998, Rob Bilott, an environmental lawyer, took the case of Wilbur Tennant, a cattle farmer who believed DuPont chemical dumping was killing his livestock. Internal documents would reveal that DuPont had known for decades that the chemical—PFOA, used in the manufacture of Teflon—was highly toxic, connected to organ failure, birth defects, cancer, and more. DuPont decided to keep using it anyway. Factory workers were poisoned, as was the water supply of 70,000 people; the scale may be even greater, as “by 2003 the average concentration of PFOA in the blood of an adult American was four to five parts per billion”.
posted by spinda at 7:07 AM PST - 30 comments

Diagnosing women

A writer for Gray's Anatomy on confronting the doctor who missed her rare cancer. I didn't question him when he prescribed anti-depressants—rather than another MRI—after I confided I was sleep deprived from constant knifing back pain. I convinced myself that his inability to fix me was my failure, not his. I wasn't tough enough. I weighed too much, exercised too little. It was my fault I couldn't walk to the grocery store without a cane and a fistful of Vicodin. He called me "impatient" and "emotional." It never occurred to me that being "female" was perhaps the most dangerous label of all. [more inside]
posted by pie ninja at 6:24 AM PST - 129 comments

Though it's horrible to visit...

A Salute to MOOSYLVANIA Recorded Live at the Moosylvania Jazz Festival! The time: 12:45 AM - - the date: June 14, 1962 - - the temperature: 12 degrees above zero...
posted by Wolfdog at 4:54 AM PST - 6 comments

Power of Asian superheroes

To say that Asians cannot be superheroes because of “Asian values” erases traditional and contemporary Asian superheroes, assumes all Asians are the same, and echoes a long history of racist oppression. It tells Asians that we can only be part of someone else’s story, and never make our own stories. Having Asian superheroes is a way of changing all that.
In response to their compatriot Umapagan Ampikaipakan's New York Times piece about the "oxymoron of Asian superheros", fellow Malaysian writers Amanda Ng Yann Chwen and Louise Tan speak of the importance of having relatable role models in fiction.
posted by divabat at 2:27 AM PST - 57 comments

As Subtle as the Pose

Jennifer Moss on Fashion Photography: With this renewed awareness, I started noticing that it can be as subtle as the pose. I, myself, told models to hunch their shoulders, lean forward, angle the head. Industry standard. But why was it industry standard?
posted by frumiousb at 1:49 AM PST - 32 comments

January 7

Interview With A Toddler

"Why don't toddlers help the family financially?" (SYTL) "The dad discovers why toddlers don’t help the family financially, and the real reason little Amalah can’t sleep through the night." [more inside]
posted by ramix at 8:24 PM PST - 21 comments

The devil's in the details: handbag cakes

YouTube demos: How To Make A Kate Middleton Handbag Cake With Toffee Vanilla Cake, Buttercream and Fondant! | Louis Vuitton Purse Cake tutorial video | How To Cook That Ann Reardon Louis Vuitton
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 8:06 PM PST - 12 comments

Apploitation in a city of instaserfs

How the “sharing economy” has turned San Francisco into a dystopia for the working class. Oh, Canada! I’m writing you from Berkeley, California to warn you about this thing called “the sharing economy.” Since no one is really sharing anything, many of us prefer the term “the exploitation economy,” but due to its prevalence many in the Bay Area simply think of it as “the economy.” Whatever you want to call it, the basic idea is that customers can outsource all the work or chores they don’t want to do to somebody else in their area. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad at 7:42 PM PST - 169 comments

The Funny Thing About Abusive Relationships

The Funny Thing About Abusive Relationships "Offhand, there are maybe three times in my life I can clearly recall laughing at something really terrible. One: when my mother told me my grandfather had a heart attack. Two: when a friend and I were driving to Cape Cod and a huge bird careened into the windshield, instantly bonking itself dead. Three: when my friends tried to keep me from going home from a party because they thought my boyfriend might kill me." [more inside]
posted by sweetkid at 7:04 PM PST - 21 comments

“A fatalism I share with the western tradition at times.”

Obama as Literary Critic by Edward Mendelson [The New York Review of Books]
“Recently, while writing an essay on T.S. Eliot for The New York Review, I read or reread the work of many earlier critics, and was impressed most by two of them. One was Frank Kermode, who was ninety when he wrote, in 2010, one of his greatest essays, “Eliot and the Shudder,” [London Review of Books] a breathtakingly wide-ranging and sharply-focused piece about Eliot’s unique response to the common experience of shuddering. The other was a twenty-two-year-old college senior named Barack Obama, who wrote about Eliot in a letter to his girlfriend, Alexandra McNear, when she had been assigned to write a paper on The Waste Land for a college course.”
[more inside]
posted by Fizz at 5:24 PM PST - 30 comments

The internet has made defensive writers of us all

“I realize I’ve begun writing defensively on the web, putting in hedges and clarifications that really aren’t necessary for a charitable reader. I’ve also taken to toning down any rhetorical flourishes that could be interpreted uncharitably in a way that annoys some people. The result: boring writing stripped of a lot of my own personal style.” Paul Chiusano discusses how online feedback has affected our writing styles.
posted by Rangi at 4:18 PM PST - 114 comments

“The best pairing American cuisine has to offer”

Keith Pandolfi on potato skins, childhood, emotion, and memory: "Potato skins remind me that I don't need New York. That I'd be perfectly happy back home among the commercial strips and fast-food joints of suburban Cincinnati, where I grew up. I'd be fine hanging out with my old friends each night in the bar at Uno's or Applebee's or Chili's, drinking Michelob Amber Bocks."
posted by Maecenas at 3:56 PM PST - 21 comments

Celebrating the Polyester Decade

Space 1970 :: Journey with us back to the days when special effects were created by skillful hands and spaceships were detailed models, when robots were obligatory comedy relief, when square-jawed heroes and cloaked villains battled among the stars -- and the future was fun!
posted by anastasiav at 12:51 PM PST - 37 comments

Blood-Bought Sweets

Quakers pioneered social enterprise. They were also the first to fail: How hard was it to opt out of the slave economy in the U.S. before the Civil War? Pretty hard, as the "free produce" movement discovered: In 1829... the members of [the Female Association for Promoting the Manufacture and Use of Free Cotton] reported their contractors had spun 2,515 pounds of cotton. Compared to the approximately 78 million pounds of cotton produced across the country in the year 1800 alone, it was a drop in the bucket. The economics of slavery previously.
posted by Cash4Lead at 12:49 PM PST - 12 comments

You're thinking of water

Periods aren't that gross (SLYT)
posted by numaner at 12:47 PM PST - 56 comments

I like to think that Family Guy would be The Joker's favorite show.

Jared Leto taking on the mantle of The Joker for the upcoming Suicide Squad Badguy Patrol movie met with a great deal of conversation when it was announced in 2014. Recent leaks from the set indicate that Leto is falling wholeheartedly into the role, taking a method acting approach to getting into the insanely dark and twisted inner life of the character. Twitter reports.
posted by codacorolla at 12:43 PM PST - 41 comments

The Surreal Story of StubHub Screwing Over a Kobe Fan

Remember back in late November when Kobe Bryant announced he was planning to retire at the end of the current NBA season? Perhaps not surprisingly, this caused a major spike in ticket prices to Lakers games on the secondary ticket market. Luckily for Kobe fan Jesse Sandler, he anticipated ahead of time that this might be Kobe's final season, and on November 11th (18 days before the official announcement) purchased (4) tickets for him and some friends to attend the final Lakers home game of the season at a cost of $195 per ticket as opposed to the nearly $1500 per ticket that comparable seats were going for following the announcement. Or so he thought. As it turned out, Sandler was to later learn that "NO TICKETS YOU EVER BUY ON STUBHUB – EVER –ARE ACTUALLY YOUR TICKETS." Through their twitter account, Stubhub acknowledged, "We shot an air ball on this one."
posted by The Gooch at 12:18 PM PST - 46 comments

Nothing's gonna touch you in these golden years

January 8th, 2016 marks David Bowie's 69th birthday. What did he do when he was your age?
posted by Metroid Baby at 11:59 AM PST - 51 comments

Nobody walks in LA, and for fleeting moments, no one drives there either

Some years back, Matt Logue photoshopped cars and people out of Los Angeles street scenes for a photo series titled Empty L.A. (see also, previously). More recently, Alex Scott has been wandering around L.A. freeways in the middle of the night to catch moments where the roadways are empty.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:51 AM PST - 13 comments

The bean is crushed to make the coffee, as I am made by coffee

According to new US dietary guidelines, you can drink up to 5 cups of coffee per day.
posted by schmod at 10:04 AM PST - 123 comments

And good riddance

Starting January 12, Microsoft will no longer support IE 8, 9, and 10.
posted by the_blizz at 9:53 AM PST - 71 comments

“We’ll never totally eliminate stupidity in this world,” he says.

The train bridge’s underside trimmed a layer off the truck’s top, looking like a grater shaving a layer of cheese. The world can watch the whole thing, thanks to Jürgen Henn.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:38 AM PST - 74 comments

Sound construction.

Dear Architects: Sound Matters. Put your headphones on. Why Architects Need to Use their Ears [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:57 AM PST - 33 comments

Someone in Montreal is headed to Hogwarts

A snowy owl was caught flying at a traffic cam on the West Island in Montreal. [more inside]
posted by jeather at 8:48 AM PST - 7 comments

Pat Harrington Jr., ‘Schneider’ of TV’s ‘One Day at a Time,’ dies at 86

Pat Harrington Jr., ‘Schneider’ of TV’s ‘One Day at a Time,’ dies at 86 : "As the character was conceived, Schneider was a married man and an unrepentant adulterer who used fake maintenance problems to enter women’s apartments. Mr. Harrington, however, doubted that such an unpleasant type would fit in a show filled with far more likeable people. [more inside]
posted by NedKoppel at 8:30 AM PST - 34 comments

The dark shadow of Mordor creeping into the Ukraine

The occupiers from Mordor and their sad little horse - I mean Russians from the Russian Federation and their Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov - such is Google translate. Probably not an intentional Google bomb, but just how the Ukrainians have actually been describing their occupiers in online documents which feed Google's translation algorithm.
posted by caddis at 8:25 AM PST - 2 comments

His grotesquely swollen jaw had healed by this point.

Jon Bois (Breaking Madden [previously], The Tim Tebow CFL Chronicles [previously], Pretty Good) recounts the oral history of the successful 1996 presidential campaign of Ken Griffey, Jr. [more inside]
posted by Rock Steady at 8:20 AM PST - 12 comments

Wisdom is as Wisdom Does

The markov wisdom of Deepak Chopra. "It has been said by some that the thoughts and tweets of Deepak Chopra are indistinguishable from a set of profound sounding words put together in a random order, particularly the tweets tagged with "#cosmisconciousness". This site aims to test that claim! Each "quote" is generated from a list of words that can be found in Deepak Chopra's Twitter stream randomly stuck together in a sentence."
posted by OmieWise at 6:59 AM PST - 40 comments

"Same-sex" in This Instance Not Entirely Accurate

Pink news reports that a recent episode of "Steven Universe" has been censored in the UK to remove some elements relating to same-sex romance.
posted by Ipsifendus at 4:32 AM PST - 35 comments

When unanimity signals bias

"Under ancient Jewish law, if a suspect on trial was unanimously found guilty by all judges, then the suspect was acquitted. This reasoning sounds counterintuitive, but the legislators of the time had noticed that unanimous agreement often indicates the presence of systemic error in the judicial process, even if the exact nature of the error is yet to be discovered."
posted by leibniz at 4:19 AM PST - 56 comments

A Victorian booty call: Come see our new Lamp. You can turn it down low.

Young People Used These Absurd Little Cards to Get Laid in the 19th Century.
posted by colfax at 2:03 AM PST - 65 comments

January 6

"He travels fastest who travels alone, and that goes double for she."

Florence King, best known in some circles as the author of Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady, and best known in others as "The Misanthrope's Corner" and "The Bent Pin" columnist for the National Review, died today, a day after her 80th birthday. [more inside]
posted by sobell at 8:10 PM PST - 30 comments

the eye of God / the void stares back

Artist Pablo Carlos Budassi scours through images from NASA's rovers and satellites to produce a logarithmic map of the entire known universe.
posted by divabat at 7:38 PM PST - 23 comments

Who’s Been Killing the Feral Peacocks of Palos Verdes?

A string of peafowl deaths has the neighborhood divided. Over the years the Retzes had seen a handful of dead peafowl, usually casualties of old age or coyote attacks. But the bird in front of Kurrasch’s house was different. Even peacocks, which are lousy at flying, don’t simply plummet to their deaths.
posted by headspace at 7:37 PM PST - 24 comments

Pierre Boulez has died

In June 1969, the stunning news broke that the New York Philharmonic had appointed Pierre Boulez to succeed Leonard Bernstein as its music director. The decision understandably rattled the classical music establishment. . . . But I want to highlight his collaboration with someone you may not expect: Frank Zappa.
posted by Sir Rinse at 6:12 PM PST - 44 comments

let’s just start this thing finally with some clarity.

LCD Soundsystem is reuniting in 2016 and plans to release a new album. LCD Soundsystem is headlining Coachella 2016. After walking away in one the most memorable set of shows documented in "Shut Up and Play the Hits", James Murphy and crew is returning to the stage but in typical fashion he pours out his heart in a mixture of anxiety, excitement, and pathos evident in all of his songs. Previously 1 2 3 4
posted by 27kjmm at 3:59 PM PST - 38 comments


"In an age when the line between childhood and adulthood is blurrier than ever, what is it that makes people grown up?" [more inside]
posted by flex at 3:52 PM PST - 216 comments

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity

The Miss Universe contest was held recently, and notoriously, Steve Harvey mistakenly announced Miss Colombia as the winner (she was first runner up, Miss Philippines was the real winner). But we don't care about that. We care about Tom and Lorenzo's bitchy roundup of the national costumes, in four parts 1, 2, 3, and 4. [more inside]
posted by adamrice at 2:43 PM PST - 101 comments

Define 'interesting.'

When an NBC producer fell for celebrated surgeon Paolo Macchiarini while filming a Dateline documentary special about him, she thought her biggest problem was a breach of journalistic ethics. Then things got really interesting.
posted by zarq at 12:31 PM PST - 122 comments

A frosty visit to living relics, muskox

In a remote corner of the world a living relic from a prehistoric age still exists. A creature that once roamed the northern plains alongside mammoths and sabertooth cats.
In Between is a short video that takes you to visit muskox in their frozen habitat. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 11:41 AM PST - 24 comments

The Beautiful Battlefield

The Cuyahoga Valley National Park, nestled between Akron and Cleveland in northeast Ohio, is one of the few urban national parks in the US. But unlike similar urban national parks that were created entirely of government land, the CVNP was formed from a mix of both public and private property. The 1980 film, For All People, For All Time (and accompanying PBS Frontline episode), documents the eminent domain seizures and heavy-handed tactics used by the National Park Service in the creation of the park. Since then, the few surviving towns that exist within the park (aka "Helltown") are shrouded in urban legend and folklore, which some attribute to the cleanup of the Krejci Dump. [more inside]
posted by slogger at 11:10 AM PST - 9 comments

New York Public Library access is just a click away

New York Public Library Makes 180,000 High-Res Images Available Online
posted by Michele in California at 10:41 AM PST - 20 comments


Want a frozen pint of ice cream from your favorite artisanal creamery delivered by helicopter to your suite at the Burj Dubai at 11PM tonight? San Francisco startup Magic claims that they will arrange any request for $100 per hour, plus expenses.
posted by overeducated_alligator at 10:41 AM PST - 94 comments

The age of uncle books

Why do male authors and subjects dominate history books? Digging into bestselling history books in the United States. (SLS) [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 10:30 AM PST - 30 comments

The State of the HIV Epidemic

"This summer will mark 35 years since the first reports of AIDS. Additionally, two decades have now passed since combination antiretroviral treatment began to transform a health crisis into a more manageable public health concern. " [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:06 AM PST - 7 comments

I honestly don't know what you're talking about.

Driving lessons with Conan, Kevin Hart, and Ice Cube. SLYT
posted by allkindsoftime at 9:14 AM PST - 39 comments

N. Korea does have a long history of exaggerating its military prowess.

North Korea says it just tested a hydrogen bomb. Here's what we know. [Vox]
According to top experts, it's very plausible this was a test. "I think it is *probably* a test," Jeffrey Lewis, the director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, tweeted. "DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the formal name of North Korea] event epicenter close to test site and on 1/2 hour." Generally, earthquakes don't just happen on exactly the half hour.
[more inside]
posted by Fizz at 8:38 AM PST - 78 comments


Baltimore's City Paper came out today with a list of all 344 people murdered in the Baltimore City this year with a small description of each incident. "The editorial staff at City Paper looked to the Vietnam Memorial for inspiration this week for the following reasons: Because almost every day the police department announces the latest homicide, because every week the paper runs the death tally in Murder Ink, because there were more homicides this year than in the previous 22, because the numbers keep rising, because each single homicide is the story of a life with a ripple effect on a family and neighborhood, because we wish we could do a proper obituary for each person killed but lack the editorial resources, because we wish to acknowledge each death, because we are hopeful that cumulative murders and the visual impact of sheer numbers and names will move readers to action, because we have faith in this city and its ability to do so much better than it does, because we hope people will be shocked out of their complacency, because something has to change, we have dedicated this entire issue to a list of the 344 murders in Baltimore this year. There will be no arts coverage, no columns, no photos. We are in mourning."
posted by josher71 at 7:55 AM PST - 39 comments

"When Your Fat Pic Goes Viral as a Feminist Cautionary Tale"

Writer Hale Goetz had just finished Christmas dinner with her family when she got the call: “A picture of you is on the front page of r/funny,” my friend told me. I’m not a regular Reddit user, but I know about r/funny—it’s a popular subpage, a place with a lot of cat pictures. Funny? Had I been funny? I traced back through the past week, wondering if I had finally made one of my 119 Twitter followers laugh, but then my stomach clenched as my friend explained my stardom wasn’t because I had been funny. It was because I had gotten fat.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:53 AM PST - 72 comments

Accent and Sentiment

Two recent essays explore the way our expectations and our language interact in fiction: First, at The Toast, Brittany K. Allen deals with what "urban" means in "urban romance," and how hewing to the genre affected her writing, in "I Wrote the Accent." Next, Andrew Piper and Richard Jean So use sentiment analysis to determine whether pop fiction is more sentimental than its literary cousin, in "Quantifying the Weepy Bestseller."
posted by mittens at 7:38 AM PST - 5 comments

Les Guerriers de l’Ombre

But where much slavery media aims for education and humanity, Freedom wants blood. You kidnap slave drivers and set fire to their buildings. Freedom still shocks today, and that it debuted the same year as Super Mario Bros. 2 is almost unfathomable in the traditional framework of game history and culture.

Freedom: Rebels in the Darkness was a slave rebellion game for the Amiga, Atari ST, and PC by Afro-Caribbean developer Muriel Tramis. Screenshots at MobyGames, many of which are very evocative.
posted by ignignokt at 7:38 AM PST - 4 comments

Hello, this is Dan from Optus. How may I counter your racism today?

Late last year, Australian telecoms company Optus removed signs written in Arabic from a Sydney storefront (in an area with 10% Arabic-speaking population) after threats from angry store patrons and complaints it was “inappropriate” after the Paris attacks. [more inside]
posted by travellingincognito at 5:43 AM PST - 58 comments

Preserving Apple II history, one disk at a time

Apple II hacker 4am has cracked hundreds of disks, removing protection schemes and not only posting the unprotected software to the Internet Archive where it can be run in your browser, but also posting detailed and entertaining (to a certain mindset) descriptions of how he did it (click the "Download text" option on each item to read -- here's the one for BurgerTime). Jason Scott explains.
One such crack that's generally playable without learning many keys is Pac-Man (Datasoft version).
For news on new cracks and generally interesting related stuff, there's 4am's Twitter feed. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 5:12 AM PST - 29 comments

January 5

ritual disinhibition, shaming and play

Is being online the ultimate masquerade?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:00 PM PST - 11 comments

"This is a man's car."

Salesgirl drifts a pickup truck Professional motorsports athlete Leona Chin (dubbed Malaysia's Drift Queen), together with Mitsubishi Motors and Maxman.tv, pretends to be a sales girl on her first day selling the Mitsubishi Triton to unsuspecting male customers. Hijinks ensue during the testdrive. This isn't her first time: she's pranked driving instructors before.
posted by cendawanita at 9:00 PM PST - 69 comments

"Resist absentminded busyness"

The great Maria Popova, whom I shamefully admit I had never heard of before, posts 16 Elevating Resolutions for 2016 Inspired by Some of Humanity’s Greatest Minds on her Brain Pickings blog. She's a phenomenon and a machine: her wikipedia entry describes her working style (in part) as:
Running Brain Pickings takes over 450 hours of work each month. Popova reads hundreds of pieces of content a day and anywhere between 12-15 books per week. From this, she posts the best to her blog and Twitter feed. She spends anywhere from three to eight hours writing a day, publishes three articles a day from Monday to Friday, and tweets four times per hour between 8am and 11pm Eastern with few exceptions.
She was featured also on yesterday's On Point on NPR. I particularly like her charming and well-considered "umm" before most of her answers.
posted by anothermug at 8:05 PM PST - 36 comments

What I Learned from Losing $200 Million

It was 2008, after the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy. Markets were in turmoil. Banks were failing left and right. I worked at a major investment bank, and while I didn’t think the disastrous deal I’d done would cause its collapse, my losses were quickly decimating its commodities profits for the year... [more inside]
posted by triggerfinger at 7:21 PM PST - 29 comments


Without pressing a button, how long does it take for a localized segment of civilization to collapse in "Just Cause 3"? (SLYT)
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 6:27 PM PST - 23 comments

There's a lot of heartache.

President Obama Delivers Remarks on Reducing Gun Violence.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:18 PM PST - 57 comments

Meet our darling little Navratilova!

It isn't easy to name a baby these days. This expectant couple followed a simple 64 step plan. Introducing...The Baby Naming Tournament.
posted by katie at 6:15 PM PST - 21 comments

Motel Life, Lower Reaches

Back when Roger Miller was King of the Road, in the 1960s, he sang of rooms to let (“no phone, no pool, no pets”) for four bits, or fifty cents. I can’t beat that price, but I did once in those days come across a cabin that went for three dollars. It was in the long, slender highway town of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 4:31 PM PST - 37 comments

A Father, a Dying Son, and the Quest to Make the Most Profound Videogame

A Father, a Dying Son, and the Quest to Make the Most Profound Videogame Ever: Wired interviews Ryan Green about That Dragon, Cancer, the upcoming game he created about his terminally ill son.
posted by infinitywaltz at 12:37 PM PST - 16 comments

What Goes Through Your Mind: On Nice Parties and Casual Racism

"All these thoughts steamroll through my mind in the span of a few seconds, calculations firing while my cheeks burn and I stare at my plate. For the last time, I consider defending myself. Just giving voice to the confusion and anger and mortification I feel boiling in the pit of my stomach. But I know, in an instant that reminds me of countless others like it, that I’m not that person. The truth sinks in: I am the only one who can make sure that everybody keeps having a good time." Nicole Chung on what it's like when your holiday dinner is ruined by racism.
posted by zeusianfog at 12:19 PM PST - 175 comments


One-hour Director Roundtable With Quentin Tarantino, Ridley Scott, Tom Hooper, Alejandro G. Inarritu, Ridley Scott, Danny Boyle and David O. Russell (SLYT)
posted by Huck500 at 12:18 PM PST - 38 comments


20,000 cars in Trackmania, flowing like liquid metal. Cars start at 1.37. tw: dubstep [more inside]
posted by Sebmojo at 12:00 PM PST - 36 comments

There's an awful lot of fireworks in Peru

New Year's Eve drone flight over Lima (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:02 AM PST - 17 comments

‘What are you looking for?’ It was always, ‘Arterial spray,’”

“If there was an unfortunate incident here [in the sake bar], and we were called upon to dismember a body into its constituent parts, I would probably be a good guy to have around,” quips Bourdain. “If inclined to help you out with this problem, I would certainly know what to do and pretty god damn quickly.” Bryan Reesman reports on Anthony Bourdain's comic book, written with Joel Rose, for mentalfloss.
posted by valkane at 9:59 AM PST - 37 comments

National Bird Day

Every January 5th, dozens of children in the United States wake up excited by the prospect of birdwatching. National Bird Day, now in its 14th year, is dedicated to the enjoying and preservation of our fine feathered friends. This year, organizers are encouraging people to take the “captive bird video pledge” and promise not to share videos of captive “pet” birds. Parents taking care of their babies
posted by JujuB at 9:29 AM PST - 16 comments

Treat YoSelf

On the sad seduction of “treating myself” during a crisis. My life became a blur of errands and chores and emotional breakdowns. As a woman nursing two men back to health, I felt stuffed into an archaic gender role for which I had little aptitude. It was getting to me. And so I began to Treat Myself. Between retrieving my dad’s mail and my man’s pills, I ducked into swanky bars and flirtatiously asked the bartender about new cocktails. Barely able to squeeze in shower time, I instead dropped everything and went to Drybar, where for a precious 45 minutes, a stranger complimented my curls, caressed my head, enveloped me in the white noise of a blow dryer, and transformed my frizzy top knot into a fall of fragrant, golden silk. [more inside]
posted by sweetkid at 9:11 AM PST - 101 comments

Mexican Mayor Killed After One Day in Office

Temixco is two hours' drive south of Mexico City, close to the resort town of Cuernavaca. The city of about 90,000 was catapulted into international headlines when its first female mayor was assassinated after less than 24 hours in office. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 9:06 AM PST - 21 comments

Christmas Quackers

How to wrap a duck for Christmas. (slyt)
posted by ApathyGirl at 8:53 AM PST - 14 comments

Ashley's Sack

My great grandmother Rose
mother of Ashley gave her this sack when
she was sold at age 9 in South Carolina
it held a tattered dress 3 handfulls of
pecans a braid of Roses hair

posted by Countess Elena at 8:46 AM PST - 20 comments

“In Canada, complaining about the cold is a national pastime.”

Canada: A nation of winter wusses. by Aaron Hutchins [Maclean's Magazine] Canada used to pride itself on being the land of ice and snow. Now we avoid the outdoors—even when it’s not all that cold. [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 8:23 AM PST - 141 comments

M is for Marduk, that's good enough for me

Cuneiform Cookies for the New Year
posted by moonmilk at 7:58 AM PST - 23 comments

Rules for Duels

The Code of Honor; or Rules for the Government of Principals and Seconds in Duelling by John Lyde Wilson 1858. (via Chief Justice John Roberts)
posted by caddis at 7:11 AM PST - 29 comments

Southern Culture in the Threads

"For most of us, thread is something we think about only when it breaks — a lost shirt button, a ripped hem, a dangling end waiting to be trimmed. But for Natalie Chanin, thread is the tie that binds her to Southern textiles and to the relatives who worked at Florence’s Sweetwater Mill during the industry’s heyday." Kristi York Wooten writes about the history and resonances of Alabama Chanin, a "homegrown fashion line," for The Bitter Southerner.
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:47 AM PST - 19 comments

How fortunate you’re not Professor de Breeze

Given that it's no longer widely taught in even the most prestigious high schools in the US and UK, and given the current economic climate, Why should Millennials Study the Classics?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:37 AM PST - 47 comments

The forgotten slaves of Tromelin Island

On July 31, 1760, L'Utile, a ship of the French East Indian Company loaded with an illegal cargo of about 160 Malagasy slaves, was shipwrecked on a barren, windswept islet now known as Tromelin Island, 500 km east of Madagascar. The French crew, with the help of the surviving Malagasy, built a makeshift boat and set sail for Madagascar two months later, leaving behind 60 Malagasy with three months’ provisions, a letter recognising their good conduct and the promise that someone would come back for them. Weeks passed, then months, then years. Since 2006, archeological teams have gone to Tromelin to examine the wreck site and learn about the lives of the marooned Malagasy: diary of the 2010 campaign. [more inside]
posted by elgilito at 5:59 AM PST - 8 comments

the art of eating as an omnivore

No diet, no detox: how to relearn the art of eating, by Bee Wilson, author of the weekly column, The Kitchen Thinker. "All the foods that you regularly eat are ones that you learned to eat. Everyone starts life drinking milk. After that, it’s all up for grabs. From our first year of life, human tastes are astonishingly diverse. But we haven’t paid anything like enough attention to another consequence of being omnivores, which is that eating is not something we are born instinctively knowing how to do. It is something we learn."
posted by colfax at 3:17 AM PST - 99 comments

January 4

The History of Farting for Money

Linda Rodriguez at The New Republic: “Roland, court minstrel to 12th century English king Henry II, probably had many talents. But history has recorded only one.” (Originally posted with a few additional pictures on Atlas Obscura.) [more inside]
posted by Going To Maine at 11:47 PM PST - 24 comments

Bierce by way of 1 WTC

The Unsettling Arrival Of Speculative 9/11 Fiction [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:04 PM PST - 36 comments

“You can give a lousy customer the boot.”

What A Sex Worker Can Teach You About Working For Yourself
posted by divabat at 7:39 PM PST - 12 comments

The Brand Keeping Oprah in Business

Tyler Perry doesn't care what the critics think of his work. His audience always finds it. (Rembert Browne for Vulture)
posted by box at 7:17 PM PST - 9 comments

Ask Historians. It's not just for breakfast.

Reddit's /r/askhistorians "Best of 2015" thread is something you'll learn from, maybe. Probably the most rigidly moderated subreddit regarding historical topics, /r/askhistorians has some of the smartest answers you'll find to some of the most unusual questions they answered in 2015. Check the thread for questions answered in earlier years.
posted by disclaimer at 6:24 PM PST - 19 comments

An orangutan builds a hammock.

An orangutan builds a hammock [SLYT].
posted by rdr at 4:21 PM PST - 42 comments

The Vowel Space

Vowels can be tricky to describe phonetically because they are points, or rather areas, within a continuous space... [more inside]
posted by Wolfdog at 2:52 PM PST - 17 comments

My day with ABC's Dinosaurs

"I recalled watching the show as a kid, as ABC's TGIF lineup was a staple for kids my age back then, and I thought the show was bonkers but was too young to really enjoy the nuance -- or, as much nuance as a show with creepy looking puppet dinosaurs going for wink-wink adult comedy wrapped in the façade of a kids show on primetime network television could possibly have." Baseball blogger Christopher Fittz live-tweets a New Year's Day binge-watch of every episode of the 1990s sitcom Dinosaurs.
posted by shadow vector at 2:06 PM PST - 43 comments

Habibi Funk

Fadoul et Les Privileges, Morocco's answer to James Brown.
posted by ChuraChura at 1:26 PM PST - 6 comments

Solving the 'bidoon' problem

When citizenship can be bought and sold In 2007, a Syrian French businessman named Bashar Kiwan went to the Comoro Islands with his team. They proposed to the government that they could sell passports to the Emirates in exchange for a lot of money that would then go toward infrastructure and development. The Comoros were so broke that they decided to go ahead with this plan. It is unclear how many people have these passports, but some say up to 100,000 stateless people are now Comoro Island citizens despite never having been there.
posted by Michele in California at 1:24 PM PST - 12 comments


The Genius is a South Korean variety show that focuses on strategy and social politicking. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:35 PM PST - 17 comments

It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy

The Sudden But Well-Deserved Fall of Rahm Emanuel. By Rick Perlstein, New Yorker. Puts the rising number of calls for Emanuel to resign as mayor of Chicago in context.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:40 AM PST - 62 comments

A Ham4Ham for the ages

Before going into a two month digital hibernation, the Hamilton lottery pulled out all the stops for possibly the greatest Ham4Ham yet: The women of Hamilton singing "My Shot". (Alternate angle.) [more inside]
posted by kmz at 11:20 AM PST - 54 comments

You still writing? You in any newspapers?

Chris Rose’s Pulitzer crystal sits in his small French Quarter apartment, its glass badly chipped from various accidents. The disfigured accolade for his work on a reporting team at the Times-Picayune is a reminder of both prowess and loss... Since then, New Orleans’ news community has seemingly cast Rose aside. No journalism entity in town will hire him, he tells me, not even freelance... And so for all of 2014, the 53-year-old Rose was waiting tables to pay rent and feed his three kids.
The irredeemable Chris Rose
posted by spinda at 11:13 AM PST - 17 comments

Here children are killed at public expense.

The Best Facts I Learned from Reading books in 2015. "Last year, I learned a piece of information so startling that I spent months repeating it to anyone who would listen."
posted by blue_beetle at 11:03 AM PST - 49 comments


Concept artist Tom Rhodes asks fans to submit detailed descriptions of their RPG characters. He then illustrates a random selection each week on RnD Fantasy. [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator at 10:32 AM PST - 13 comments

You just might find that you’re more… CHICKtacular (!)

What I Learned From One Month Of Not Eating Raw Chicken
MeFi's Own GregNog with a personal essay "that I hope resonates with a lot of people". [via mefi projects]
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:31 AM PST - 97 comments

No word on Unobtanium

Scientists find four new elements and complete the periodic table's 7th period. Nearly five years after elements 114 (Flerovium) and 116 (Livermorium) were officially added to the periodic table of the elements, IUPAC is recognizing four more. [more inside]
posted by HE Amb. T. S. L. DuVal at 10:25 AM PST - 46 comments

Klytus, I'm bored. What play thing can you offer me today?

Gordon's Alive! The Untold Story Of Flash Gordon
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:07 AM PST - 90 comments

But is there a Costco nearby?

"Also, by dramatising the wildness of the outside, it fetishises the cosiness of indoors." Cabin porn: why hideaways are hot right now (Jess Cartner-Morley, The Guardian) [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 7:43 AM PST - 65 comments

Saudi Arabia Lights Another Fire in the Middle East

Over the weekend, Saudi Arabia executed 47 people of "terrorism-related offenses", including Nimr al-Nimr, a prominent Shi'ite cleric who supported protests against the Sunni government. In response, protestors in Tehran set the Saudi embassy on fire, and the Saudi and Bahraini governments cut diplomatic ties to Iran, ejecting Iranian diplomats and closing their embassies in Tehran. The United Arab Emirates recalled their ambassador to Iran as well. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 6:50 AM PST - 58 comments

“So many books, so little time.”

The Great 2016 Book Preview [The Millions]
We think it’s safe to say last year was a big year for the book world. In addition to new titles by Harper Lee, Jonathan Franzen, and Lauren Groff, we got novels by Ottessa Moshfegh, Claire Vaye Watkins, and our own Garth Risk Hallberg. At this early stage, it already seems evident this year will keep up the pace. There’s a new Elizabeth Strout book, for one, and a new Annie Proulx; new novels by Don DeLillo, Curtis Sittenfeld, Richard Russo and Yann Martel; and much-hyped debut novels by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney and Callan Wink. There’s also a new book by Alexander Chee, and a new translation of Nobel Prize-winner Herta Müller. The books previewed here are all fiction. A non-fiction preview will follow next week. While there’s no such thing as a list that has everything, we feel certain this preview — at 8,600 words and 93 titles — is the only 2016 book preview you’ll need.
[more inside]
posted by Fizz at 5:50 AM PST - 45 comments

The Unseen Threat of Capital Mobility

For the Wealthiest, a Private Tax System That Saves Them Billions -"The very richest are able to quietly shape tax policy that will allow them to shield billions in income." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 4:20 AM PST - 31 comments

Adrian Street: Sadist in Sequins

A shot of the wrestler ‘Exotic’ Adrian Street and his father (taken by press photographer Dennis Hutchinson in 1973) has been described by the artist Jeremy Deller as ‘the most important photograph taken in Britain after the war […] it is the perfect summation of the difficulty post-war Britain had to come to terms with being a post-industrial country.’ Its subject is quoted in a BBC News piece (by Steven Green) as having said that the picture is ‘worth a million words, because it hasn’t shut its gob [...] ever since it was taken.’ [more inside]
posted by misteraitch at 4:15 AM PST - 16 comments

January 3

If you know where things used to be, you can find them today.

Scientists have used groundbreaking technology to figure out how the Earth looked a billion years ago
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:45 PM PST - 22 comments

Happy New Year from the manufacturers of economic inequality

Venture capitalist Paul Graham starts 2016 with an essay on Economic Inequality
Since the 1970s, economic inequality in the US has increased dramatically. And in particular, the rich have gotten a lot richer. Some worry this is a sign the country is broken. I'm interested in the topic because I am a manufacturer of economic inequality. I've become an expert on how to increase economic inequality, and I've spent the past decade working hard to do it.
[more inside]
posted by nickrussell at 7:38 PM PST - 87 comments

Lee Hardcastle's animated modeling clay horrors

Four years ago, Lee Hardcastle remade John Carpenter's The Thing in a two minute short, featuring flightless birds made of Plasticine. After that he was “legally advised not to make any more claymations involving penguins and gore,” but he didn't stop making bloody, disgusting, humorous shorts. He remade that short with clay cats, and has made a number of new pieces over the years, including a horror story about toilets that won a place among an international cast of horror directors in a horror anthology. He has posted a number of additional shorts on YouTube, which he has also sorted into playlists for convenient browsing.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:12 PM PST - 11 comments

The Selfish Side of Gratitude

New York Times Sunday Review Opinion piece "The Selfish Side of Gratitude" by Barbara Ehrenreich "Perhaps it’s no surprise that gratitude’s rise to self-help celebrity status owes a lot to the conservative-leaning John Templeton Foundation. At the start of this decade, the foundation, which promotes free-market capitalism, gave $5.6 million to Dr. Emmons, the gratitude researcher. It also funded a $3 million initiative called Expanding the Science and Practice of Gratitude through the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley, which co-produced the special that aired on NPR. The foundation does not fund projects to directly improve the lives of poor individuals, but it has spent a great deal, through efforts like these, to improve their attitudes."
posted by pjsky at 6:59 PM PST - 50 comments

Good is to MetaFilter as evil is to LOLCats

A web tool (scroll down) built by Radim Řehůřek allows you to compute analogies between English words using Google's word2vec semantic representation, trained on 100 billion words of Google News. "He" is to "Linda" as "she" is to "Steve." "Wisconsin" is to "Milwaukee" as "Maryland" is to "Baltimore." "Good" is to "MetaFilter" as "evil" is to "LOLCats." [more inside]
posted by escabeche at 6:14 PM PST - 30 comments

Become the Best Cactus Grower

Kathleen Hanna, of Bikini Kill, Le Tigre, and The Julie Ruin, discusses feminism and the effects of having an "invisible disease" (Lyme). She's in remission now, but while she was sick, she and her husband, Adam Horovitz, noticed a double-standard for male caregivers. In this interview, she discusses her illness, recovery, and emotional labor.
posted by katie at 5:11 PM PST - 17 comments

I just wanna do it all surprise!

Hilariously bad Spanish covers of the Sex Pistols, circa 1978. Behold: Anarchy in the UK. [more inside]
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:39 PM PST - 28 comments

Oh, My, what kind of 3D printed mushrooms were those?

Twisty, Trippy Staircase Tricks the Eye at the Center of 3D Systems’ Culinary Lab
posted by Michele in California at 12:58 PM PST - 8 comments

Funny people who died last year

The Comic's Comic posts a list, with links, including alas Taylor Negron and Anne Meara.
posted by anothermug at 11:28 AM PST - 6 comments

"In order to shoot real movies, they should go back to the past."

Vilmos Zsigmond, master cinematographer, has died aged 85. [more inside]
posted by infinitewindow at 11:24 AM PST - 14 comments

A sensible rebuttal to "Stop Liking What I Don't Like"

Back in May, Slate published an article decrying the trend in craft beers to be overly hoppy (at least according to the tastes of the author). The next day, a rebuttal was crafted (pun intended) and posted the the Bear Flavored beer blog. The main point of contention in the counterpoint article is that more hops does not always mean more bitterness. Additionally, even if some beers were highly bitter, then why complain if some people enjoy them?
posted by surazal at 11:11 AM PST - 111 comments

"Only a story. Only the most important thing in the whole world."

What to do when you're not the hero any more by Laurie Penny [NewStatesman] From Star Wars to Mad Max, a new, more diverse kind of storytelling went mainstream this year - and the backlash shows how much it matters. [more inside]
posted by pibkac at 10:26 AM PST - 58 comments

Oregon Under Attack

An armed right-wing militia has occupied a federal building and plans to stay for "years." Here is a bit of background to this issue, which has been brewing for years in rural Oregon. Social media has taken note of the response both from authorities and the general media to this action, drawing out the disparities between the response to black vs. white civil disobedience.
posted by thelaze at 10:00 AM PST - 3668 comments

Never leaving the house again

25 Hikers And Backpackers Reveal The Creepiest, Scariest Things They’ve Found In The Wild
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:55 AM PST - 92 comments

All the information you'll need to master today's hottest PC phenomenon

Google Books has ten years of Maximum PC online for your enjoyment and occasional chuckles. [more inside]
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:36 AM PST - 13 comments

Memory, Law, and Recording

Sci-Fi Author (and Metafilter's own) Charlie Stross has an interesting thought experiment: Could you get to a technological society without the use of writing? And if so, what would that look like?
posted by The Whelk at 6:46 AM PST - 58 comments

Rock and Roll High School

For two days in 1975, rock band KISS took over the town of Cadillac, Michigan, and played at the Cadillac High School Homecoming. [SLYT] What started as a football coach looking for a way to inspire his players ended up bringing the entire town together in the name of rock and roll. [via]
posted by Room 641-A at 6:04 AM PST - 6 comments

i want that LED dress as my wedding dress

18-year-old self-taught costume designer Angela Clayton makes incredible, highly detailed outfits based on history, fantasy, and (formerly) cosplay. Some standouts include a medieval gown with accompanying escoffin, an Elsa costume with over 100,000 hand-applied rhinestones, and a Christmas costume with LED lights. She documents her progress regularly and provides sewing tutorials for her work.
posted by divabat at 4:07 AM PST - 30 comments

I’m in control of my actions basically all of the time

Two years ago today I last got shithoused. It was the closing night of the Lincoln Lodge, a fantastic comedy venue in Chicago in the back of a now-closed diner. They’ve since moved, but after that show, I thought I should take a breather from drinking... I’ve learned a lot in two years, so I thought I’d share that with you, in case you’d like to take a break from the booze cruise.
Andy Boyle writes about lessons learned from two years without alcohol.
posted by spinda at 1:19 AM PST - 76 comments

from Batman to Big Bird to Walter White to...

"Icons Unmasked" is the latest gallery of pop culture alterations by Alex Solis showing the originals, influences, parallels or secret identities behind 70+ iconic characters. Solis' previous galleries include: "Famous Oldies" (aged versions of heroic characters) and "Famous Chunkies" (they're fat), plus mixed media, animations and other stuff from cute to creepy to both ("Adorable Circle of Life" shows cute predators killing and eating cute prey - you have been warned).
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:10 AM PST - 11 comments

January 2

Sour Times

Ekşi Sözlük [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:42 PM PST - 7 comments

The cupcake is malevolent.

"Being a fascist collaborator has never tasted so sweet.": Performance artist Penny Arcade on cupcakes and New York City at the Poetry Project's 2016 New Year's Day marathon benefit reading.
posted by frumiousb at 4:36 PM PST - 9 comments

Dead ding dong is the witch.

Of Oz the Wizard. Finally someone put it in alphabetical order! SLVimeo.
posted by Obscure Reference at 1:21 PM PST - 58 comments

Loriot at the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

Beloved (if not legendary) German comedian Loriot is not well known outside of Germany, mostly because his particular kind of comedy and commentary does not translate well. But here are two pieces that transcend wordplay and language/culture barriers: Loriot Conducts The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (from the 1970s with then Chancellor Helmut Schmidt in the audience), and then for the 100th Anniversary of the BPO, The "Hustensymphonie", a performance of a piece by Grieg "with live broadcast/recording effects". [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 1:14 PM PST - 25 comments

I love you madly

New book shows Marie Antoinette used invisible ink, secret stamps in love letters to Swedish count Touched on somewhat less sensationally in this article: From letters to apps, the secret code language of lovers [more inside]
posted by Michele in California at 12:38 PM PST - 12 comments

Eight Ways to Get the Audience to Look at Someone/Something

MeFi fave Tony Zhou returns with a look at ensemble staging.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:51 AM PST - 7 comments

“I have been told in interviews that they want somebody younger,”

Over 50, Female and Jobless by Paticia Cohen [The New York Times] A new study found that the employment prospects for women over 50 darkened after the Great Recession, as many now earn far less and use many fewer skills than they did before. [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 10:22 AM PST - 147 comments

When in doubt, I just start removing the things that annoy me.

ReFashionista: Jillian Owens takes out-dated, oversized or was-this-ever-fashionable? thrift store clothing and turns it into wearable clothing. She's been blogging since 2010 so her archives are lengthy, but she's also just started an update-a-day challenge for 2016. Want to skip the lengthy explanations and just see some before-and-after photos? Try this slideshow of her work on the Grist.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:25 AM PST - 30 comments

"The [Canadian] dollar slides briefly below 70 cents US"

Garth Turner, current real estate curmudgeon and former politician, makes his predictions for 2016. Some are genuine predictions, others not so much. Dear old Garth does this every year, with mixed results. (2014, 2013, 2012)
posted by anothermug at 9:11 AM PST - 14 comments

He's no good to me dead.

Jason Wingreen died at the age of 95 on Christmas Day, 2015. A character actor best known for his role of Harry the bartender on All in the Family until his iconic roll as the one true voice of Boba Fett made him famous to Star Wars fans everywhere in 1980. [more inside]
posted by entropicamericana at 8:36 AM PST - 16 comments

The boy had no magic except what other people hung on him.

What would have happened if Harry Potter had been a squib? How might the story of the books gone differently? Well. Perhaps Arabella Figg noticed something first.
posted by sciatrix at 7:48 AM PST - 79 comments

Man is small, life is large.

Dr. Henry Marsh has performed 400 "awake craniotomies" -- a surgical procedure he helped pioneer -- in which a specific kind of brain tumor that looks just like the brain itself is identified through electric stimulation and removed. Without surgery, 50 percent of patients die within 5 years; 80 percent within 10 years, and the operation can prolong their lives by 10 to 20 years or more. He was profiled in a 2007 documentary: The English Surgeon as well as this article by Karl Ove Knausgaard: The Terrible Beauty of Brain Surgery. Images in some links in this post may be disturbing to some viewers.
posted by zarq at 7:03 AM PST - 9 comments

"The leak accounts for 25 percent of daily greenhouse gas emissions"

Two months in, Porter Ranch [California] gas leak compared to BP Gulf oil spill: More than 1,800 families have been relocated by the gas company and more than 1,000 remain on a waiting list. Some say they can’t remember a displacement of residents this large since the Northridge earthquake in 1994, when 20,000 people were left homeless. Two local elementary schools have been impacted, with nearly 2,000 schoolchildren and staff slated to be moved to other schools in January. Enough methane gas is being released to fill the Empire State building each day, state officials have said, and the concern has even reached the Federal Aviation Administration, which issued temporary flight restrictions over the area for small aircraft and helicopters. [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A at 4:43 AM PST - 51 comments

"...sometimes the writing goes well and sometimes it doesn't"

How's The Winds of Winter coming along? "The book's not done," says George R. R. Martin. His publishers said that they could turn the manuscript around in three months, which meant he would've had until December at the latest to get it on shelves in time for season 6 of the TV series. Fans are predictably grizzly. Earlier this week Deadspin put it to you that he had no pages at all. Some number-crunching posted on Watchers on the Wall back in March suggested an optimistic date of January-February 2016 (which seems unlikely now) and a pessimistic guess of early 2019. (previously, previously, and previously)
posted by raena at 3:16 AM PST - 126 comments

January 1

The Curious Tale of Bhutan's Playable Record Postage Stamps

"For decades, the stamps were dismissed by the philatelic establishment as tacky novelties and were, correspondingly, as cheap as chips." [more inside]
posted by nightrecordings at 9:55 PM PST - 13 comments

India and Pakistan Wagah Border Closing Ceremony

India and Pakistan Wagah Border Closing Ceremony A little explanation : "The lowering of the flags, or the Beating Retreat ceremony at Wagah border, is a daily military practice that the security forces of India (Border Security Force) and Pakistan (Pakistan Rangers) have jointly followed since 1959.The drill is characterized by elaborate and rapid dance-like maneuvers, which has been described as "colorful" .It is alternatively a symbol of the two countries' rivalry, as well as brotherhood and cooperation between the two nations." from the Wiki.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 9:00 PM PST - 19 comments

215 Of The Best Longreads Of 2015

215 Of The Best Longreads Of 2015 [more inside]
posted by triggerfinger at 8:52 PM PST - 19 comments

Tigers and Tide Pummel Their Way to the Title Game, Few Notice

The college football bowl season has nearly reached its pinnacle, with the undefeated Clemson Tigers beating the Oklahoma Sooners 37-17 in the Orange Bowl and the Alabama Crimson Tide destroying the Michigan State Spartans 38-0 in the Cotton Bowl. Alabama and Clemson will travel all the way to Arizona for the championship game. Despite those two shellackings, the worst loser may have been ESPN, as ratings for the two semifinal games plunged by more than a third from last year. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 7:12 PM PST - 47 comments

"It is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future."

A Pessimist's Guide To 2016 - By Flavia Krause-Jackson, Mira Rojanasakul, and John Fraher, Bloomberg Business [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:30 PM PST - 16 comments

Much of what we do in the law is guesswork

12 reasons to worry about our criminal justice system, by 9th Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski [PDF]
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:30 PM PST - 16 comments

ABVH Stands For...

ABVH is a Serbian artist/animator/GIFster whose specialty is bringing other artists' still pictures (some of them shocking, that's your warning) to animated life (giving proper credit to original creators). At the end of each year, he makes a YouTube video compiling all the year's GIF creations with semi-appropriate music. Watch and be impressed by ABVH in 2015, 2014 and 2013.
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:58 PM PST - 3 comments

YearCompass: reflect on 2015, look forward to 2016

YearCompass provides a way to reflect on the past year and plan for the upcoming year. You can fill it in online or download a printable booklet (both free). Some people like to do it as a solo activity; for others, it's a social event. Sometimes there's feline supervision . [more inside]
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 5:22 PM PST - 12 comments

Hannah Glasse: the First Domestic Goddess and her cookbook

As the Georgian Era progressed, the middle class expanded in size and wealth, emulating the opulent lifestyle of the aristocracy as they could. To that end, Hannah Glasse, who grew up with the life of a land-owner's daughter, then married a soldier and ended up serving an earl's household, brought her knowledge of high living to the middle classes and their households in three books. The most notable was The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy, for which she earned the titles the first domestic goddess, the queen of the dinner party and the most important cookery writer to know about. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 3:03 PM PST - 4 comments

Complete, with a breakdown rap, even.

Video game composer (and longtime video game remixer) jake has composed an album on behalf of a boy band. A boy band composed of established video game villains, including Ganon(dorf) and brooding bad boy Sephiroth. He and a group of video game YouTubers have finished recording, and now there's a video! [via mefi projects]
posted by ignignokt at 2:39 PM PST - 10 comments

The Forgotten Plague.

By the dawn of the 19th century, the deadliest killer in human history, tuberculosis, had killed one in seven of all the people who had ever lived. The disease struck America with a vengeance, ravaging communities and touching the lives of almost every family. The battle against the deadly bacteria had a profound and lasting impact on the country. It shaped medical and scientific pursuits, social habits, economic development, western expansion, and government policy. Yet both the disease and its impact are poorly understood: in the words of one writer, tuberculosis is our "forgotten plague." [54:11]
posted by Blasdelb at 2:02 PM PST - 28 comments

The Creation of Manchester

The Manchester Evening News has a slideshow of the city partying hard to ring in the New Year. One photo in particular has caught the attention, and critical acclaim, of the internet.
posted by roolya_boolya at 2:01 PM PST - 48 comments


Singer Natalie Cole, the daughter of music great Nat King Cole who became a recording star in her own right with hits that spanned three decades, has died, her publicist, Maureen O’Connor, said. She was 65 years old. The cause of death was congestive heart failure, O'Connor said.
posted by hippybear at 1:00 PM PST - 37 comments

"How should I know? I dropped out of school to become a doctor."

"Wayne Rogers, best known for playing Captain 'Trapper' John McIntyre on TV comedy series 'M.A.S.H.,' died Thursday in Los Angeles from complications of pneumonia. He was 82." [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 12:09 PM PST - 47 comments

Just Desserts

Sandy Jenkins was a shy, daydreaming accountant at the Collin Street Bakery, the world’s most famous fruitcake company. He was tired of feeling invisible, so he started stealing—and got a little carried away.
posted by katie at 10:13 AM PST - 72 comments

And then one day you find ten years have got behind you

Wow -- New Year's Day again already? Didn't we just do this? Why does time seem to speed up as we get older? Brian Resnick at Vox provides some food for thought.
posted by Fuzzypumper at 9:47 AM PST - 22 comments

The Rise of Paint and Sip

The Paint and Sip Industry has been steadily on the rise since 2007. You bring wine or beer, there are snacks, and you tie on an apron to make some art. Yes, the paintings tend to look similar; one instructor writes that "There is real merit to what is being done, but it is a whole different animal than what some artists want or feel about art." [more inside]
posted by witchen at 9:00 AM PST - 97 comments

Edge Question 2016

What's the most interesting recent [scientific] news? Why does it matter? 194 responses 133,000 words, available via a table of contents and as a manuscript.
posted by kingless at 8:01 AM PST - 14 comments

“If creativity is the field, copyright is the fence.”

Public Domain Day: January 1, 2016 [Center for the Study of Public Domain] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 7:57 AM PST - 11 comments

The dawn of the Taft Test

The Website Obesity Crisis Maciej Cegłowski calls for downsizing web pages. And "I shouldn't need sled dogs and pemmican to navigate your visual design." (previously)
posted by doctornemo at 7:46 AM PST - 71 comments

When Liberals Attack

Jesse Singal on Alice Dreger's book about witch hunts in social science: "It’s hard not to come away from Dreger’s wonderful book feeling like we’re doomed."
posted by leibniz at 2:20 AM PST - 125 comments