January 2017 Archives

January 31

Deciphering the Indus seals

Over a century after Cunningham’s discovery, the Indus seals remain undeciphered, their messages lost to us. Are they the letters of an ancient language? Or are they just religious, familial, or political symbols? Those hotly contested questions have sparked infighting among scholars and exacerbated cultural rivalries over who can claim the script as their heritage. But new work from researchers using sophisticated algorithms, machine learning, and even cognitive science are finally helping push us to the edge of cracking the Indus script.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:18 PM PST - 13 comments


10+ Photos That Are So Uncomfortable You Probably Won’t Finish Scrolling (but #13 is awesome).
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:37 PM PST - 80 comments

"To survive in the bush, guns, whiskey and a good dog can’t be beat."

Meet Kel Sax, Dirtbag Queen
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:29 PM PST - 13 comments

"My head says go but my heart says no"

The Ten Meter Tower. You've never been up there before. Do you jump or do you go back down? A short documentary film by Maximilien Van Aertryck.
posted by moonmilk at 7:20 PM PST - 48 comments

Dictators free themselves, but they enslave the people -- The Barber

In 2014, the North Korean government stated that Seth Rogen deserved strong punishment for making The Dictator. But what if Adolf Hitler attempted to assassinate Charlie Chaplin during the making of The Great Dictator in 1938-40? Find out in The Führer And The Tramp, a rollicking action-adventure graphic novel currently updated with bi-weekly page batches according to its Facebook account and starring Hedy Lamarr and Errol Flynn, and that's just for starters.
posted by BiggerJ at 7:16 PM PST - 2 comments

Twins! In! Space!

The early results of NASA's Twins Study on astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly are out, some expected (gene expression changes) and some unexpected (telomere lengthening). NASA Human Research Program
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:05 PM PST - 7 comments

There’s something about making something to last

As we all practice expressing our opinions on current events, MeFites (and Americans) have been thinking about protest materials which can be carried everywhere in case of emergency protests. Fortunately, we're not the only ones: Stephanie Syjuco thinks fabric banners and signs are *awesome*. They tap into a long history of using textiles to protest, for one thing--textiles have marched alongside everything from suffragettes to AIDS activists, especially alongside activist women. Plus they're easy to carry, and they clearly demonstrate how much you care about a topic--and they can be great household decoration when the march is done. Best of all, she's written up a helpful guide on how to make your own, complete with instructions suited to a variety of experience and skill levels. [more inside]
posted by sciatrix at 6:39 PM PST - 18 comments

Honey, why is the cat talking?

The FDA is cracking down on rogue genetic engineers.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 5:57 PM PST - 20 comments

“...Macintosh and Linux have never looked so attractive.”

The Woes of Windows 10 [The Economist] “Despite its having been available for 18 months, three out of four PC owners have not bothered to upgrade their computers to the latest version of Microsoft's operating system, Windows 10. More than 700m of the world's 1.5bn or so computers continue to run on Windows 7, a piece of software three generations old. A further 300m users have stuck with other versions—half of them stubbornly (and rashly) clinging to 16-year-old Windows XP that Microsoft pensioned off three years ago. The business world has been even more recalcitrant. In a recent study by Softchoice, an info-tech consultancy, corporate computers were found to be running a whole gamut of legacy versions of Windows. Fewer than 1% of them had been upgraded to Windows 10.”
posted by Fizz at 2:46 PM PST - 230 comments

Anyone who sides with Dan Snyder about anything is wrong. That is a fact

Drew Magary would like you to spent some time thinking about the second most hated orange clown in America: Roger Goodell’s 25 Dumbest Moments.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:35 PM PST - 18 comments


"In Hinduism, gods and goddesses are incarnations or avatars of the same holy energy, and while I'm not religious I definitely feel this shared sisterhood and power that comes with uplifting and positive femininity." Drag model bon_abhijeet just finished their first installment of #BadBeti on Instagram, honoring badass and inspiring South Asian women and non-binary femmes. It's hard to choose highlights, but I particularly like this one honoring Gangubai Kothewali, a mafia queen and brothel madam who fiercely advocated for sex worker rights. [more inside]
posted by naju at 1:49 PM PST - 4 comments

🎵 You’re the egg in my coffee, you’re the salt in my stew 🎵

The Japanese do it
The Vietnamese do it
Even Scandi-nav-ians and Minne-sot-ans do it.
Let’s do it!
Let’s make coffee with an eeeeggggggg! [more inside]
posted by Going To Maine at 12:29 PM PST - 41 comments

Worry and its role in our personal stories

My classmate Bethany, during the third grade, was the first friend to go missing: she moved to Oklahoma. I never heard from her again, despite earnest promises to keep in touch, and I naïvely spent months waiting for a postcard. I was torn between two versions of the story of her disappearance: 1) she lost my address in the shuffle of moving boxes; or 2) she was one of the victims of the Oklahoma City bombing.
The Lost Girls: A Rehearsal for Minor Tragedies is an essay by Mallory Chesser.
posted by Kattullus at 11:48 AM PST - 3 comments

Best Rockabilly Duo You Never Heard Of

I stumbled across the Collins Kids on another site. As teenagers they were the best rockabilly duo I have ever seen, making the Everly Brothers look like amateurs. They were regulars on Western Ranch Party and similar shows in the '50s. They made as at least one appearance on Grand Ol' Opry when he was 12 and she was 14. [more inside]
posted by Repack Rider at 11:43 AM PST - 14 comments

John Wetton (12 June 1949 – 31 January 2017)

Prog rock icon John Wetton, who played bass or sang for Family, King Crimson, Roxy Music, Uriah Heep, UK, and Asia, has died following a lengthy battle with cancer.
posted by thelonius at 10:23 AM PST - 36 comments

Wild mice and rats like their time on the running wheel,along with slugs

According to research it seems that wild mice ,rats,frogs and slugs enjoy a run on the wheel regardless of whether they are caged or not. Snails not so much.
posted by boilermonster at 9:31 AM PST - 15 comments

Poetic taxidermy

A stone marten, killed by the Large Hadron Collider, will go on display in a Rotterdam museum's Dead Animal Tales exhibit. “We want to show that no matter what we do to the environment, to the natural world, the impact of nature will always be there,” Moeliker said. “We try to put a magnifying glass on some fine examples. This poor creature literally collided with the largest machine in the world, where physicists collide particles every day. It’s poetic, in my opinion, what happened there.”
posted by cubby at 9:24 AM PST - 32 comments

Short comic

Kate Leigh and Tilly Devine The Queens of the Sydney Underworld
posted by josher71 at 8:15 AM PST - 7 comments

Bottle-Flip for the Aged

Portuguese senior citizens in their day center accept the bottle-flip challenge. [Previously]
posted by chavenet at 5:07 AM PST - 32 comments

"We tend not to recognize the value of minority identity."

The term "horizontal hostility" was coined in 1970 by Florynce Kennedy, a renowned Black intersectionalist feminist and civil rights organizer, to describe infighting and aggression in groups of marginalized people. Judith B. White and Ellen J. Langer applied the concept to psychology in their paper "Horizontal Hostility: Relations Between Similar Minority Groups" (1999) [PDF], looking at Jewish congregations and varsity soccer teams, and finding prejudice aimed at "more mainstream" groups. In 2006, they went on the study the same phenomenon among vegetarians and vegans [PDF]. The concept has also been used to explain prejudice against bisexuals and light-skinned people of color and even the 2016 US primary race, among other divisions.
posted by thetortoise at 4:57 AM PST - 17 comments

Scout Law says: a Scout must be kind. Mostly. Sometimes. But here, yes.

The Boy Scouts of America have announced that "Starting today, we will accept and register youth in the Cub and Boy Scout programs based on the gender identity indicated on the application" [NYT, Guardian], reversing their previous practice of basing gender on the gender listed on the birth certificate. The previous policy effectively banned trans boys from participation, and previously resulted in the expulsion of an 8 year old trans boy on the basis of misgendering him. [MeFi, NYT] [more inside]
posted by jaduncan at 12:35 AM PST - 63 comments

January 30

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it"

In a time of uncertain facts and shifting reality see how the Tudors rewrote the history of the Wars of the Roses. Enjoy the first episode of the quite excellent series British History's Biggest Fibs with Lucy Worsley.
posted by Long Way To Go at 10:54 PM PST - 20 comments

The sound from the ice directly under my feet.

"Under the weight of these glacial blocks, the sea ice buckles and cracks, splitting into large slabs called pressure ridges which slide along the glacial ice, producing these extraordinary musical tones." [more inside]
posted by cnidaria at 10:19 PM PST - 9 comments

Virtual crate digging through diverse music from Africa with PMG

Presch Media GmbH (PMG) is an Austrian vinyl broker, licensing agency and copyright holder, who has a fantastic collection of vinyl and CD re-presses, many by African artists from decades past, that they sell via Bandcamp, which means a lot of streaming media, even after the limited run records sell out. A random selection: Fela Kuti collaborator, jazz legend, and highlife pioneer Prince Eji Oyewole's Me & You, Oby Onyioha's I Want To Feel Your Love, "much-hyped and sought-after African disco from 1981 Nigeria", and Ikon Allah Bala Miller His Great Music Pirameeds Of Afrika's Pyramids, "a breathtaking fusion of Hausa rhythms, jazz and funk."
posted by filthy light thief at 8:47 PM PST - 12 comments

Lights out - guerrilla radio!

The oral history of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater.
posted by porn in the woods at 5:27 PM PST - 17 comments

The 15th Century, Either More or Less Exactly

A 1950 Broadway cast recording of The Lady's Not For Burning, Christopher Fry's verse comedy about love, despair, witchcraft, and judicial intransigence. Starring John Gielgud, Pamela Brown, Claire Bloom, and Richard Burton.
posted by Iridic at 4:21 PM PST - 4 comments

One Ring to Fool Them All

“I am certainly an old man of 73 years, but close to where I live is my family doctor. I have been going there for 10 years, but that’s where the problem lies. In the waiting room there is a puzzle ring, and no matter what, I cannot solve it!" [more inside]
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:39 PM PST - 41 comments

"Things end. That's all. Everything ends, and it's always sad."

Peter Capaldi announces he will stand down as Doctor Who at the end of the year. "I've never worked the same job for three years, and I feel like now is the right time to move on," he told BBC Radio 2. Capaldi will be stepping down at the end of the year with the Christmas special - when the regeneration will take place. This will also be the last series for showrunner Steven Moffat, who calls Capaldi "the best, and kindest and cleverest of men". The first episode of the new series, "A Star in Her Eye", will air on April 15.
posted by Doktor Zed at 3:22 PM PST - 125 comments

Team of Revileds

The cabinet of new U.S. President Donald J. Trump is largely up for confirmation this week, and each nominee has a hefty portfolio to handle if confirmed. [more inside]
posted by saturday_morning at 1:46 PM PST - 3342 comments

also: America's feelings on the eliteness of Joe Flacco!

Americans are divided about a lot of things these days, but there's one thing our new national poll finds they can come together on: wanting the Patriots to lose the Super Bowl. We find that among football fans nationwide, 53% are rooting for the Falcons to win on Sunday, compared to only 27% who are pulling for the Patriots. Republicans (58/23), Democrats (54/27), and independents (47/31) all give their support to the Falcons in pretty similar numbers. Public Policy Polling, for immediate release: Americans Come Together On Hating The Patriots
posted by everybody had matching towels at 1:25 PM PST - 57 comments

Dogs never die. They are sleeping in your heart.

I wrote this several years ago in memory of Bolo, a black and white Pit Bull who would always go for a walk, right up to the day he died. He might only get 15 feet before he stopped and looked at me and gave me the look: "I can't go any further. But don't you think for one minute I'm done walking." [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:00 PM PST - 18 comments

Reaction GIF Generator

Reaction GIF Generator from MeFi's own loquacious crouton. Take a selfie, get a GIF for your feelings! [via mefi projects]
posted by phunniemee at 12:46 PM PST - 7 comments

Patiently Arranged Dandelion Works

"Duy Anh Nhan Duc is a visual artist who handles botanical art in a very singular way." — "Though my creations, I try to capture the unique allure of natural vegetation. All is excuse to tell stories and honor plant kingdom." [more inside]
posted by Celsius1414 at 11:09 AM PST - 4 comments

Fred Korematsu's fight against prejudice

Today Google’s US homepage is celebrating Fred Toyosaburo Korematsu, civil rights activist and survivor of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. In 1942, at the age of 23, he refused to go to the government’s incarceration camps for Japanese Americans. After he was arrested and convicted of defying the government’s order, he appealed his case all the way to the Supreme Court. In 1944, the Supreme Court ruled against him, arguing that the incarceration was justified due to military necessity. [more inside]
posted by cynical pinnacle at 10:40 AM PST - 20 comments

Don't Blink!

Tal Peleg creates art on eyelids, generally her own. Her favorite subjects include fairy tales, movies, and cats. Even historical inspirations. Whenever possible, she incorporates the eyebrow. More here, here and here.
posted by Mchelly at 10:31 AM PST - 5 comments

Coal Production In The US Is Dying. Listen Closely You Can Hear It.

A sonification of coal production data in the U.S over the last 30 years InsideEnergy takes a look at coal production in the U.S which is at a 30 year low. The last two years have been particularly hard. By sonifiying the data, IE allows you to listen to the merry melody of coal production through the years and hear its tragic fall off a cliff in 2016.
posted by yossarian1 at 9:47 AM PST - 34 comments

Black Love and Lives in a Forgotten Photo Album

"Etta lived a full life.” It was all in the album: the Great Migration, Harlem at its most chaotic and crowded, the transformation of Brooklyn. Annie Correal found an old photo album on top of a trash can one day while she was walking in her neighborhood. She decided to track down the owners, and along the way rediscovered the rich history of an African American couple who came to New York during the Great Migration and made the city home.
posted by TwoStride at 8:38 AM PST - 8 comments

There's always Eurovision

Through times of trouble, fire and ice, the Eurovision Song Contest remains an annual beacon of diversity, happiness, sparkly, demographics, hats, poultry, culture and erotic butter churning. With less than 100 days till the 2017 semi-finals, countries such as Latvia are beginning to select their artists, or artists and songs together, through processes quick or thorough. Finland, for example, this year did not chose the homage to Pete Burns, or to virtual reality "self love", as their chosen entry, and with Finnish efficiency are already looking for their 2018 entry. Meanwhile, Belarus are represented by Navi singing the uplifting Гісторыя майго жыцьця (Historyja Majho Zyccia), while for Albania Lindita Halimi will sing Botë. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore at 6:22 AM PST - 72 comments

It was dirty. It was incredibly noisy. It stank to high heaven.

When the Beatles Played their Hearts Out for a Quid a Night [more inside]
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 4:31 AM PST - 27 comments

Terrorist attack in Quebec

Terrorist attack in Quebec Six are dead, and more wounded. Two men are in custody after they attacked a mosque during evening prayers, in Quebec City. This is horrible. Prime Minister Trudeau has condemned the attack, saying as well that "Muslim-Canadians are an important part of our national fabric".
posted by Mogur at 3:04 AM PST - 153 comments

January 29

Rust in Pieces

The Enfield P53 .577 musket-rifle was the standard longarm of the British Army for two decades starting in the 1850s, and also saw service on both sides of the American Civil War. In 2011 a 600 pound crate of these rifles was trawled up in Canadian waters almost 200 miles offshore. Archaeologists at Memorial University of Newfoundland are conserving the find. It's not the only such crate of rifles to come up from the bottom.
posted by Rumple at 11:28 PM PST - 8 comments

“Let me share with you the terrible wonders I have come to know..”

A Burnt Torch: Darkest Dungeon, Mental Health and Lovecraftian Horror [Paste Magazine] “Darkest Dungeon [wiki] is a tactical, party-based roguelike with a Lovecraftian flair. You play as the last heir of a fallen noble house. It’s your job to recruit and command a set of heroes, sending them into the decrepit bowels of a ruined estate—and the corrupt environs surrounding it. There’s a lot to like here. Darkest Dungeon’s aesthetic (including its use of a Bastion-style narrator) is stunning, and it contributes to the spring-like, tense-and-release feeling of the game’s turn based, positional combat. The adventuring slots nicely into a simple, yet fulfilling town-upgrade system, which itself fits together with a unique take on character advancement. And it all hinges on managing the stress of your heroes.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 11:11 PM PST - 24 comments

Winter has arrived in the Upside Down

This award goes to Eleven: At tonight's 2016 Screen Actor's Guild Awards, Stranger Things (FanFare), a small, sci-fi TV series starring four tween actors, beat out the venerable Game of Thrones (FanFare) for Best Ensemble in a Drama Series. Even if you've never heard of the shows, the kids' jubilantly rejoicing, adult lead actor David Harbor's firey and passionate speech about the political climate, and Winona Ryder's facial expressions, is the feel-good acceptance speech of the year.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:02 PM PST - 41 comments

Yassin Terou (Falafel)

We're going to keep the American Dream going. Because this country is for everybody.
posted by slater at 7:53 PM PST - 18 comments

Taking the atomic elixir

Dan Carlin dives into the Cold War. The latest Hardcore History podcast explores the Atomic Age and what became the balance of terror. Dan Carlin (previously) starts with Hiroshima and ends with the Cuban Missile Crisis. Nearly six hours of nuclear war audio history. (SLgiantpodcast)
posted by doctornemo at 7:27 PM PST - 27 comments

Bannon now on National Sec. Council; professionals demoted to make room

Steve Bannon has been elevated to a position on the National Security Council, while the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence have been demoted. They will attend NSC meetings only when "issues pertaining to their responsibilities and expertise are to be discussed." Bannon is an radical ideologue; his position in a place where decisions about war and peace are made could be the beginning of something major.
posted by Sleeper at 1:44 PM PST - 297 comments


Extra Ordinary Comics (Warning, contains cute) via /r/wholesomememes [more inside]
posted by zabuni at 12:41 PM PST - 8 comments

Connect miniskirt via USB or wireless and hit play

Porpentine Charity Heartscape and Neotenomie have made a new game, Miniskirt World Network: Business Slut Online, with delightful music and visuals.
posted by bile and syntax at 10:22 AM PST - 9 comments

Guess who has a new beach video?!?! 🐶

Despite having died twice in the past year, Duncan Lou Who Is 3 1/2 Years Old Now! [joyful barking and music to run by] (previously)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:03 AM PST - 9 comments

Transitioning to shots of Jesus

"The Weather" is a concept album, not completely about Perth, but focusing on all the weird contradictory things that make up a lot of colonial cities around the world. Laying out all the dark things underneath the shimmering exterior of cranes, development, money and white privilege. It’s not our place, but it is our place. British, but Australian, but not REAL Australian.
Tame Impala offshoot band Pond have released a video for the first single off their forthcoming album, The Weather, Sweep Me Off My Feet (dir. Matt Sav). It is, as the NME puts it, a "dreamlike mix of juxtapositions: stock footage of office meetings, sunny getaways, mascara-soaked showers, debt ceilings, Jesus, and mindless self-congratulation." [more inside]
posted by Sonny Jim at 7:53 AM PST - 2 comments

Metaphysics is back in fashion

Timothy Williamson, Wykeham Professor of Logic at the University of Oxford, gives a lecture on speculative philosophy. [more inside]
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 12:45 AM PST - 18 comments

January 28

Recommended Books by Arab Women

100 Recommended Books by Arab Women for Your 2017 Reading Resolutions, an annotated list by M. Lynx Qualey, founder of ArabLit.org: "These recommendations are based on a personal reading of Arab and Arabic literature, so there are inevitable gaps ... A more comprehensive author listing can be found at [Nahla Hanno's] website Arab Women Writers," which offers a must read list too. [more inside]
posted by Wobbuffet at 8:03 PM PST - 5 comments

NPR essays on Philip Glass at 80

Editor's Note: On Jan. 31, Philip Glass turns 80. We're marking the event by asking a few of his collaborators and colleagues to write about him and his music. Errol Morris, Nico Muhly, David Lang, Paul Simon, Laurie Anderson
posted by hippybear at 3:04 PM PST - 33 comments

The Story of The Last Poets

The Last Poets interviewed at length on the Guardian Books Podcast about their origins in late 1960s New York and their subsequent history. Joining Umar Bin Hassan, Abiodun Oyewole and percussionist Baba Donn Babatunde in the studio is Dutch author Christine Otten, who wrote a novel based on the lives of The Last Poets. She wrote an article about writing her book.
posted by Kattullus at 11:50 AM PST - 4 comments

People ask me "How can you cook if you're blind?"

Christine Ha was the first ever blind contestant and winner of Gordon Ramsay’s "MasterChef." In answer to a question she frequently gets, she strapped on a GoPro and produced "How The Blind Cook." She co-hosts the Canadian cooking show "Four Senses;" her personal website is The Blind Cook. [h/t Miss Cellania]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:00 AM PST - 14 comments

How high can you get on the floor?

Living The Dream: Lost Cat Enters Pet Store, Goes Nuts In Catnip Toys You can skip the article and just go straight to the video. And the party continues. [no captions necessary]
posted by AFABulous at 7:54 AM PST - 40 comments

Sounds of Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris

Priests singing a Gregorian Mass. All the bells ringing. The organ accompanying the choir.
posted by colfax at 7:08 AM PST - 3 comments

January 27

“I'm not very good at playing the game.”

The Voice Behind 'The Witcher' Is A College Professor [Eurogamer] “He isn't gruff, either, or arrogantly aloof. He is mild-mannered and friendly. And as we walk to an onsite cafe for a cup of coffee we make everyday small talk about students leaving for Christmas and oh my isn't it getting cold. He buys me a coffee with a handful of change from his fleece pocket. It is an entirely unremarkable situation. Then I hear his American accent, half growl, half purr, and I remember who he is, like it's some kind of secret, like he's wearing some kind of disguise. I realise I know, and I'm not the only one. "I don't know when people really clock," he says, "some of my students I think still don't know. I do share it when I'm recording something; if the students ask, I'll tell them. But I was supposed to be very tight-lipped about The Witcher 3 so I didn't say a lot about it. I got told off once for just tweeting. But the ones who were listening knew.”
posted by Fizz at 9:22 PM PST - 21 comments

Cats ... Opium for the Masses ... Are You at Risk?

When The Art Assignment featured Nina Katchadourian, she was sifting through the personal library of William S. Burroughs to create the Kansas Cut-Up series in her Sorted Books project (more sorted books: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9; Katchadourian previously: 1 2 3). A follow-up episode very briefly displayed viewer responses. There have been many more assignment / response episodes--most recently, a challenge from Houston artist Jamal Cyrus (see especially Pride Record findings--Tokyo, 2005-2016) to visually suggest an impossible sound--but The Art Assignment is refocusing on its Art Trips and The Case For series.
posted by Wobbuffet at 7:52 PM PST - 3 comments

John Hurt: 1940-2017

He was Olivander, that's true, and the War Doctor. But he was also John Merrick, Kane, and Winston Smith. John Hurt has died at the age of 77.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 6:24 PM PST - 141 comments

“Yeah he got bands in the Bando / Missy got dudes in Orlando”

Missy Elliot has a new track out! But you should just watch the music video: “I’m Better” (Lyrics.)
posted by Going To Maine at 5:30 PM PST - 31 comments

Japan has its first native-born yokozuna for 19 years

Kisenosato Yutaka has been officially named the 72nd yokozuna, the highest rank achievable in sumo. After logging several years of solid performances and second places at the second-highest rank of ozeki, Kisenosato finally won his first tournament last week, removing the last obstacle to his promotion. [more inside]
posted by corvine at 4:41 PM PST - 12 comments

¡El pueblo unido, jamás será vencido!

Need a rousing song for your marches? In 1973, Chilean composer Sergio Ortega and the folk group Quilapayún wrote the ultimate political marching song, ¡El pueblo unido, jamás será vencido! (Inti-Illimani, 2010, goosebumps start at 1m:10s) in support of Salvador Allende. After the 1973 Chilean coup the song became the anthem of the Chilean resistance and has since become a universal protest song (wikipedia). [more inside]
posted by elgilito at 3:50 PM PST - 6 comments

The Last Jedi (Singular/Plural/Only A Callback)

With only about 323 days until the next Star Wars theatrical release, Lucasfilm has announced the title of Episode VIII: The Last Jedi. As to be expected, rampant discussion followed as to who or whom the title referred to, including a bold attempt by the fearless Josh Gad to get answers from Daisey Ridley. [more inside]
posted by Atreides at 2:13 PM PST - 71 comments

Unlocking the world's most unsolvable puzzles

The Millennium 13 piece burr, designed by Donald Osselaer in 2012, is thought to be almost unassailable in its stubbornness not be solved. Check out the Millennium and other wickedly difficult puzzles. There's a puzzle wiki, of course. For state of the art stuff, check out the annual Puzzle Design Competition.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 12:47 PM PST - 7 comments

The Lost Royal Rumble

The Royal Rumble is a unique form of the "battle royale" in pro wrestling. Instead of beginning the match with all participants in the ring, the Royal Rumble has a new entrant running in to the ring every two minutes, adding up to anywhere from 12 to 40 total participants. But it almost never happened, because Vince McMahon thought the idea was "stupid." [more inside]
posted by misskaz at 12:40 PM PST - 16 comments

Kids: don't believe the Vole troll!

In a new issue of kids' comic Bamse, Sweden's most popular cartoon bear learns to distinguish fact from rumor (slBuzzFeed)
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 12:36 PM PST - 19 comments

Her Name Was Glynis

Now for the sad story (CTRL+F "Now for a sad story") behind The Smashing Pumpkins' dreamy song Glynis. [more inside]
posted by Brocktoon at 9:40 AM PST - 10 comments

Publicizing the horrors

Shocked by the conditions he discovered at a liberated Nazi concentration camp, General Eisenhower took decisive action to ensure that the horrors of the Holocaust were never dismissed as propaganda. (via The Presidential Timeline) [cw: pictures taken in concentration camps]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:22 AM PST - 30 comments

An interesting week of politics has occurred in a former British colony

Exactly a week after attaining power, the 45th and popular vote-losing President of the 240 year old United States of America continues novaturient actions and promises such as a wall, to rescind other things, and to investigate things which may not exist. While allegedly refractory, he also allegedly has size "issues", fulminating at the numbers involved in the global and extremely well attended Women's March in comparison to his less impressive inauguration, while his initial approval rating craters. His press secretary, in between struggling with a basic 140 character service, angrily amplified his bosses grievances. Yesterday T(h)eresa May, the Prime Minister of Her Majesty's realm on an unbipartisan trip, addressed Republicans; today, she meets the current POTUS. Meanwhile, vote suppression and electability continue, with less than 22 months to the crucial midterm elections.
posted by Wordshore at 9:00 AM PST - 3199 comments

Tiffany Richardson Doesn't Need You to Root for Her Anymore

"Since Tyra Banks yelled “We were rooting for you!” on America’s Next Top Model, it’s become one of the most iconic moments in reality TV history, and one of the most inescapable GIFs on the internet. Now, more than a decade since Banks flipped on contestant Tiffany Richardson, the former model hopeful reveals what viewers didn’t see, how she feels about Banks, and how far she’s come."
posted by myelin sheath at 8:01 AM PST - 31 comments

Selling The Past: A Story From Tbilisi

"I focused on one part of the market and set about creating a 360-degree panorama of everyone and everything in my field of view. And after nearly four months of work, always standing in the same place, it became a four-metre-long ink drawing." Artist Andrew North has drawn a 360-degree panorama of the Eliava Bazaar in Tblisi, Georgia. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:46 AM PST - 5 comments

The Woman at the Center of the Emmett Till Case

With a renewed cultural interest in the 1955 murder that catalyzed the 20th century civil rights movement, an interview with the author of a new book who tracked down the long-hidden woman at its center.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 7:22 AM PST - 24 comments

Fellow prisoners...

In Times of Crisis, find solace and inspiration in the lucid voices of cultural critic John Berger (recently departed) and leading intellectual Noam Chomsky. [more inside]
posted by Elizabeth the Thirteenth at 7:14 AM PST - 5 comments

Thundercat's new single features Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald

You might know him from collaborations with Kendrick Lamarr, Flying Lotus, and Erykah Badu, but Thundercat is a "multi-genre bassist, producer and singer" in his own right. The first single from his upcoming album Drunk, "Show You The Way" somewhat unexpectedly features yacht rockers Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald. [more inside]
posted by greenish at 6:21 AM PST - 17 comments

How a sex site left member data open to anyone

"...the editors found that at that time, thousands of personal images that members had uploaded in order to join Skirt Club were accessible to non-members – photos of users partially or fully naked, often recognisable, sometimes even with their names mentioned in the image. You didn't need to hack the site to see – they weren't password protected and anyone curious enough to make a bit of an effort could view and download the photos." [nsfw]
posted by holmesian at 5:44 AM PST - 28 comments

Have you ever wondered what goes on inside a Mormon temple?

An ex-mormon, whose internet moniker is NewNameNoah, goes into temples and records secret Mormon rituals with a hidden camera. He has recorded a baptism for the dead, a prayer circle, and the entire endowment ceremony, which Mormons believe is essential to their salvation. The videos are choppy at the very beginning, but they settle down. The reddit ex-mormon community discusses his work here.
posted by colfax at 4:25 AM PST - 76 comments

January 26

...nice place to visit but i wouldn't want to have lived there...

Take a Google Streetview tour of 2027 Fairmount Ave, Philadelphia, aka ESP, the former Eastern State Penitentiary. Courtesy of MapCrunch.
posted by not_on_display at 10:47 PM PST - 19 comments

Motherhood. Yay.

The Best of Animal Snapchat
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:26 PM PST - 9 comments

US DOT Transportation Toolkit for Public Engagement

How to Stop a Highway [more inside]
posted by aniola at 7:45 PM PST - 7 comments

Always was, always will be: Aboriginal land

The 26th of January is celebrated by many as Australia Day- by others as Invasion day or Survival day. Aboriginal people living at Lake Tyers reflect on the day (autoplaying video- which is worth watching.) [more inside]
posted by freethefeet at 6:37 PM PST - 21 comments


Did you know that France once launched a cat into space? Meet Félicette.
posted by pjern at 5:24 PM PST - 31 comments

Half in the bag? Hack into this bag.

[T]he Tostitos Party Bag is outfitted with sensors to detect alcohol on a person’s breath. If you’re in the clear, the bag turns green and you’re free to go about your night. If alcohol is detected, the bag turns red with the message, “Don’t drink and drive,” and offers a $10 Uber credit for a discounted ride home. It’s even got near-field communication technology that lets you tap your phone to the bag to hail the ride, if you’re that blasted. [more inside]
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:40 PM PST - 35 comments

Spoiler: There’s a lot of Warp

The dispute is over! Pitchfork has done it! They’ve assembled the positively, most-definitive, entirely indisputable list of the 50 Best IDM Albums of all time! (50-41, 40-31, 30-21, 20-11, 10-1.) Surely no one will have contrasting opinions.
There’s a Spotify playlist! There’s an Apple Music playlist! And there’s an explanatory video if you don’t want to read things. All fifty entries inside, with some links to reviews from Pitchfork at the time (note humorous contrasts and hagiographic rewrites!), Wikipedia articles, and streaming audio. [more inside]
posted by Going To Maine at 1:57 PM PST - 97 comments

The Red-billed Quelea is the most numerous, and most distructive bird.

The Red-billed Quelea has been called Africa's most hated bird. Their giant, devouring flocks put murmuration of starlings to shame.
posted by Bee'sWing at 1:20 PM PST - 25 comments

‘You think we’re gay, don’t you?’

‘Back to Hull,’ he said. ‘I’ve had enough. I can’t go on stage wearing clothes like that. I have friends who’ll see me. It’s all too much, I just wanna play guitar.’ -- The difficulties of being a northern lad when it's 1972 and you're part of the Spiders of Mars having to adjust to slightly more fashionable clothes than jeans and t-shirt.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:13 PM PST - 19 comments

If you were an elephant...

Lawyer/veterinarian/philosopher/author/IgNobel laureate Charles Foster takes a second-person look at the mighty elephant and just how human and inhuman (in all the best ways) it is.
posted by Etrigan at 11:18 AM PST - 17 comments


A partial index of published architectural rendering
posted by Think_Long at 10:50 AM PST - 11 comments

To: Leaders and citizens of the world

It is two and a half minutes to midnight.
posted by effbot at 9:23 AM PST - 188 comments

An unsettling reindexing of depth and dimension

Weronika Gęsicka is a Polish photographer and artist who creates surreal, fractured variations on mid-century Americana imagery.
posted by cortex at 7:33 AM PST - 8 comments

The Golden Sahara, a remote control custom luxury car of the 1960s

The Golden Sahara turned a wrecked 1953 Lincoln Capri into an ultimate luxury custom car in the late 1950s, with "a TV set mounted in the dash, a hi-fi radio mounted below the TV, a tape recorder installed between the driver and passenger in the front seat, and a complete cocktail bar with its own refrigerator unit installed in the back seat. Golden frieze material and white Naugahyde covered the seats, dash, and side panels. A shag rug with two-inch padding made the floor of the car luxuriously soft to the feet. All interior trim were gold-plated." If that wasn't enough, it was reworked as the Golden Sahara II, as seen in the 1960 movie Cinderfella, starring Jerry Lewis, and on June 25, 1962 it was on the TV-show I've Got a Secret (via Presurfer). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 5:34 AM PST - 16 comments

Known man dies for unknown reason

The mystery behind the identity of a man found dead on Saddleworth Moor more than a year ago has been solved. 'Coroner says man found at Dovestone reservoir, Greater Manchester, in 2015 was 67-year-old David Lytton... In a short hearing at Heywood coroner’s court, it was confirmed that officers had checked passenger records from a flight from Lahore in Pakistan, which tallied with Lytton’s details.' Also being covered by the Manchester Evening News. Previously.
posted by plep at 4:02 AM PST - 24 comments

"Thus, gentle Reader, myselfe am the groundworke of my booke"

"Que sais-je?" "What do I know?" was Montaigne's beloved motto, meaning: What do I really know? And what do we really know about him now? We may vaguely know that he was the first essayist, that he retreated from the world into a tower on the family estate to think and reflect, and that he wrote about cannibals (for them) and about cruelty (against it).
Montaigne on Trial by Adam Gopnik, an essay on a recent biography of the 16th Century philosopher who was first translated into English in 1603 by John Florio.
posted by Kattullus at 3:10 AM PST - 22 comments

January 25

Monkey Adopts Adorable Stray Puppy

A rhesus macaque monkey found a stray dog puppy in the neighbourhood of Kareli, in the mid-western Indian city of Allahabad, on Tuesday, and adopted it as if it were its own baby. As the primate was seen attentively holding the pup in its arms and carrying it through the city's streets, local people gathered around to see the two animals and take pictures of them. Both the monkey and the pup were given food and plenty of attention.
posted by grobertson at 9:59 PM PST - 26 comments

Twitter fiction

Tiny stories, worlds, horrors in in 140 characters or less. [more inside]
posted by quaking fajita at 9:58 PM PST - 13 comments

Once you lose trust in one institution.....

Russia: Life After Trust
posted by lalochezia at 9:11 PM PST - 35 comments

We see @NationalZoo 's seal pup, and raise an otter/osprey combo.

When Smithsonian's National Zoo tweeted a press release announcing the birth of a baby grey seal, Virginia's Sarah Hill challenged the Virgina Aquarium to step up. Zoos across the nation took notice, and that's how the #cuteanimaltweetoff began!
posted by Room 641-A at 9:03 PM PST - 9 comments

If you're looking for a shark, you're not going to find him on the land

Beautiful drone footage of surfers and the nearby sharks they are oblivious to. (SLYT, music is the only audio; no need for sound). There's a news story about the video with a little more detail too.
posted by lollusc at 8:07 PM PST - 34 comments

The tide rolls in

The O.C.E.A.N. model washes away democracies "How good a model is, however, depends on how well it can predict the way a test subject will answer certain further questions. Kosinski charged ahead. Soon, with a mere ten “likes” as input his model could appraise a person’s character better than an average coworker. With seventy, it could “know” a subject better than a friend; with 150 likes, better than their parents. With 300 likes, Kosinski’s machine could predict a subject’s behavior better than their partner."
posted by bitmage at 6:50 PM PST - 66 comments

My God, it's full of RPG screenshots

Felipe Pepe is writing a book about the history of Computer Role-Playing Games. As a by-product, he's been taking high-quality screenshots of RPG games along the way. Along with screenshots taken by The CRPG addict (previously), there's now a large collection - over 16,000 screenshots of almost 400 CRPGs, from latest releases to PLATO games from the 70's. They are on Flickr and can be used freely. Albums include Fallout, Mass Effect, The Elder Scrolls, Ultima I, Dark Souls, Deus Ex, Diablo and many more. Thank you, Felipe and CRPG addict
posted by Wordshore at 5:36 PM PST - 22 comments

Everybody MARCH!!!

Scientists are now planning their own march on Washington, date to be determined. A rundown on the reasons why from Gizmodo. Following the success of the Women's March, an entire profession looks forward to trying out public dissent.
posted by Gyre,Gimble,Wabe, Esq. at 4:46 PM PST - 134 comments

Presidential administration/TV mash-ups

The past 10 presidencies, explained by the TV shows that defined them recollects Todd VanDerWerff, Vox
posted by maggieb at 4:29 PM PST - 24 comments

We're democratically elected too!

Dutch international development minister Lilianne Ploumen stands up to Trump to plug a $600m gap in funding after he reimposed the global gag rule. [SLTheGuardian] “These are successful and effective programmes: direct support, distributing condoms, making sure women are accompanied at the birth, and making sure abortion is safe if they have no other choice,” she said. Ploumen admitted that replacing the $600m that Trump has pulled from family planning services was a tall order, but added: ‘You should never compromise on your aims from the outset. Six hundred million dollars is a very ambitious target but we’re committed to it.’
posted by stillmoving at 3:31 PM PST - 13 comments

Scapegoating Trade Deals

NAFTA and other trade deals have not gutted American manufacturing — period. "...here in America, you can, as you definitely can elsewhere, mobilize a great deal of populist energy by identifying foreigners as the enemy. I do not think this is an impulse that it is healthy for any part of this country. I do not think this is something any political movement that seeks to do anything other than destroy can dare to encourage." [more inside]
posted by storybored at 2:12 PM PST - 71 comments

Rene Descartes’s robot daughter

Together, as fellow members of the guild of formerly pneumatic entities — the Roombas, Hoovers, scubas, flus, and turbo-charged loofahs — we honor this important legacy, in memoriam.
A biography of Francine Descartes by Dominic Pettman, third in the Conjectures series in the Public Domain Review.
posted by Rumple at 1:30 PM PST - 3 comments

I seem to recognize your face

The Young@Heart Chorus and soloists Steve Martin and Bill Sheppard singing "Elderly Woman Behind the Counter of a Small Town" by Pearl Jam
posted by hippybear at 12:20 PM PST - 10 comments

I hate spunk

Mary Tyler Moore has died at the age of 80. Born in Brooklyn in 1936, Moore's screen credits span 60 years, including, of course, the Mary Tyler Moore Show. Mary Tyler Moore was the co-founder of Broadway Barks, which for 17 years has been holding all-star adoption events for homeless pets in midtown Manhattan. Moore won 7 Emmys and was nominated for an Oscar for her 1980 portrayal of an affluent mother in 'Ordinary People.' [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:16 PM PST - 165 comments

From then on I would identify myself on the phone as Tuna Neck.

Dan Aykroyd's memories of his former fiancée, Carrie Fisher.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:15 AM PST - 21 comments

How much would you pay for your right to protest?

Minnesota is the latest state legislature to introduce a bill that would increase fines levied against those exercising their constitutional right to peacefully assemble. MN State Representative Nick Zerwas (R), the bill's sponsor, does not address the potential cost of the fine that the only disruptive member of Saturday's Women's March, a counter-protester arrested by police for pepper spraying peaceful marchers, might receive.
posted by thenewbrunette at 9:00 AM PST - 45 comments

The Magic Flute Told in Cat Gifs

Mozart's animated opera united with the Internet's most animated art form. Courtesy of the Seattle classical station King.org, which has always been at ease with the Internet. Perhaps this is how Mozart would have pitched Die Zauberflöte to the Freihaus-Theater in 2017.
posted by QuietDesperation at 8:58 AM PST - 17 comments

Up your hole productions presents

"In a part of Dublin known as the Liberties, which is also where the Vikings settled 1000 years ago, there is a small community of rebel horse owners. And a few years ago, a travelling street musician who goes by the name, "The Musical Slave", accidentally crashed her van into the wall of one of their urban horse yards – and out came a horse and a few boys. One of them brought her for a spin with a horse and two-wheeler, and from that day on she was hooked. She ended up buying her own horse and moving him into the yard... "
posted by Iteki at 7:45 AM PST - 14 comments

I feel sorry for the judge anyway because he is a Browns fan

Defending a case in Ohio, a lawyer argued that the complaint should be thrown out as excessively verbose and containing run-on sentences. Plaintiff's counsel responded with a two-page answer consisting of a single sentence.
posted by mama casserole at 6:14 AM PST - 19 comments

Version control ain't easy

Most of us in the room were dumbfounded. “What did he say?”
At the end of the original film, Rebel ships fly along the Death Star trench in an attempt to blow up the space station. Look at the photo of the Death Star at the top of this post: can you point to the trench that Luke and the Rebels flew down to fire upon the exhaust port that would ultimately destroy the space station?
posted by michswiss at 5:52 AM PST - 138 comments

Uh Uh Oww Oww Squee Squee Eee Eee Da Da Bang bang

Forget the Wilhelm scream, here's the Jackson squeal (warning: 1:17 of John Wick violence)
posted by elgilito at 5:52 AM PST - 11 comments

January 24

Daphnis, the Wavemaker

Tireless Cassini, now in its last cycle of death-defying orbits through Saturn's rings before its spectacular September 2017 Grand Finale, has captured an astonishing picture of tiny Daphnis making waves in Saturn's rings; Daphnis is one of the seven moons discovered by Cassini during its 20-year mission. Of course it already has a meme (with accompanying rhapsody). [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:52 PM PST - 14 comments

They find humour where others find only sadness. Or potatoes.

British Drunk People Are The Best Drunk People (SLBuzzfeed)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:09 PM PST - 40 comments

Second hand enforcers of a creditor's paradise...

Mark Blyth is the Eastman Professor of Political Economy at Brown University.

Author of the book, Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea. Previously on the blue.

He has written extensively about the creditor's revolt that begin in the late 70s.

He has become more well known over the last year after he called Brexit, Trump, and the Italian referendum, and is now warning about the French presidential election. He sees the current global trend as creditor-debtor stand-offs. He has referred to many center left and right parties as enforcers in a creditor's paradise For instance, in a speech to the center left, German Social Democratic Party. After they gave him an award for "thinking differently" about economics. [more inside]
posted by KaizenSoze at 5:22 PM PST - 26 comments

Who's a good Chocodile? You are!

Lucky Peach magazine's Official Hostess Power Rankings: "Per usual, I have ranked these items in order of tastiness. I have also judged them by a metric I simply like to call “Is It A Good Pet Name?” which ranks these products in order of how cutely they would serve as a name for your new puppy or kitten (adopted from a shelter, of course)." Bonus song: Larry Groce - Junk Food Junkie
posted by Room 641-A at 4:56 PM PST - 43 comments

Democratic vs. Republican occupations

Most librarians are Democrats. Most farmers are Republicans. As a group, doctors are in the middle, though pediatricians lean left and urologists right.
posted by Stewriffic at 4:49 PM PST - 74 comments

There’s no “Mr. President” out there

The Oral History of President Barack Obama Playing Pickup Basketball [more inside]
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 3:01 PM PST - 19 comments

Best YouTube Videos Ever

This compilation of 300+ short subject YouTube videos may just make your life complete. If you haven't laughed so hard you've cried today, consider this a daychanger.
posted by zeusianfog at 2:12 PM PST - 41 comments

Warm, warm, warm, cold as fuck

Youtube has been obsessed lately with various red hot things, but this one is actually worth watching: 20 kg of red hot steel vs a frozen lake, from your favorite Finnish machine shop duo (previously.)
posted by Rhomboid at 2:07 PM PST - 37 comments

Cheat Sheet for the Brain

The Cognitive Bias Cheat Sheet. Derived from the wiki article, the cheat sheet consolidates and classifies 175 biases into four groups. "Every cognitive bias is there for a reason — primarily to save our brains time or energy. If you look at them by the problem they’re trying to solve, it becomes a lot easier to understand why they exist, how they’re useful, and the trade-offs (and resulting mental errors) that they introduce. [The] four problems that biases help us address: Information overload, lack of meaning, the need to act fast, and how to know what needs to be remembered for later." [more inside]
posted by storybored at 1:58 PM PST - 20 comments

The Spirit of Standing Rock and The Never-Ending Indian Wars

The Spirit of Standing Rock on the Move. "People from more than 300 tribes traveled to the North Dakota plains to pray and march in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux. Back home, each tribe faces its own version of the “black snake” and a centuries-old struggle to survive." [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 1:10 PM PST - 27 comments

Get Back

Back in the Sixties, English MP Eddie O'Hara taught Latin. To make the language relevant, he put Beatles songs into Latin. Former pupil and current Latin teacher Keith Massey sings one or two in an older language. And not just Beatles [more inside]
posted by BWA at 12:52 PM PST - 6 comments


The most electrifying new exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens isn’t inside the museum; it’s a black orb attached to an outside wall. Above it is the name of the newest LaBeouf, Rönkkö & Turner art project, “HE WILL NOT DIVIDE US.” That orb is a camera connected to a 24/7 livestream, an invitation for anyone anywhere to bear witness. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 11:59 AM PST - 40 comments

“Charred food always draws you in more, whets your appetite,”

Charred, Browned, Blackened: The Dark Lure of Burned Food [The New York Times] “From the blackened avocados at Nix to the lamb heart ashes at Aska, burned and charred foods may seem like just another fad sweeping through pyrotechnically inclined restaurants. But burning, a technique that can involve a surprising amount of shading and subtlety, has deep roots in many cuisines. A great kazandibi, the Turkish milk pudding, requires a totally scorched bottom to fulfill its delicious potential, the milk pushed to the same shade as a fire-licked marshmallow. Any dessert that relies on a touch of burned sugar, from flan to crème brûlée, will go limp and lifeless if that caramel is cooked too lightly. And there are few primal delights like the burned ends of a barbecued brisket, crisp-edged and fierce with smoke.”
posted by Fizz at 11:35 AM PST - 67 comments

"We should put this on a website or whatever"—A Homestar Runner History

Having revived their signature Flash-driven cartoon, Homestar Runner, creators the Brothers Chaps recount its seventeen-year history in a winding tale of snark, underground popularity, no real business plan, creative burnout, and unlikely success. "A few weeks ago we got to spend all day 3D printing a fake action figure and filling it with beef stroganoff for the Walt Disney company. Once you hit that point, I don’t think you’re allowed to complain ever again." (previously)
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:03 AM PST - 40 comments

From 360 lb. teenager to (likely) NBA first round draft pick

Caleb "Biggie" Swanigan was 360 pounds in 8th grade, living under the constant specter of shelter and food insecurity, with a drug addicted father and an overwhelmed mother. 6 years later he is a successful college student at Purdue University, leading contender for college basketball player of the year, and will likely be a multi-millionaire professional basketball player by the Fall. His journey is kind of inspiring.
posted by COD at 9:44 AM PST - 2 comments

Monsieur le Pepe

Inside the Private Chat Rooms Trump Supporters Are Using to Manipulate French Voters : Buzzfeed reports on a Discord channel called "The Great Liberation of France," the associated /r/the_Europe/ subreddit, as well as on 4chan and 8chan, and the tactics underway to move public opinion in advance of the upcoming French elections. [more inside]
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:16 AM PST - 114 comments

Not A Parking Spot

A South Philly photographer has setup instagram and twitter accounts documenting illegal parking in the city. Philadelphians are handling this in their usually polite manner. (via Atrios)
posted by octothorpe at 8:13 AM PST - 81 comments

Doomsday Prep for the Super Rich

Even after the world ends, we won't be rid of these people. Some of the wealthiest people in America—in Silicon Valley, New York, and beyond—are getting ready for the crackup of civilization. [more inside]
posted by TheProfessor at 7:51 AM PST - 117 comments

Homelessness & menstruation: making a tough situation tougher

“You never see a bowl of tampons and maxi pads, but you always see a bowl of condoms.” [more inside]
posted by Kitteh at 6:48 AM PST - 28 comments

How Chicago Bars Got So Many Old Style Signs

What's the deal with all of those bars in Chicago with Old Style signs outside?
posted by Chrysostom at 6:45 AM PST - 21 comments

Happy birthday, Finland! I got you a mountain.

Battle for Birthday Mountain (video) A lot of Norwegians want to give Finland a mountain to celebrate 100 years of Finnish independence, moving the national boundary 31 feet. Right now the highest point of Finland is on the side of the mountain-- this would give them the summit as well. Is it legal? Maybe not! But now there's a touching film about it.
posted by athirstforsalt at 6:17 AM PST - 8 comments

Eighteen year old plays Pink Floyd's Echoes. By himself.

Eighteen year old Ewan Cunningham covers Pink Floyd's Echoes by playing every instrument. His video pays homage to Pink Floyd's famous Live at Pompeii version of the 25-minute long masterpiece. Link to the Ewan Cunningham YouTube channel.
posted by The Deej at 6:05 AM PST - 17 comments

America First. The Netherlands Second.

Dutch comedian Arjen Lubach has made a short video welcoming Trump to the Netherlands in Trump's own style . The introduction to the video is in Dutch with subtitles; the video itself is in English.
posted by colfax at 3:25 AM PST - 29 comments

January 23


20 Times Font Choice Mattered [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:39 PM PST - 65 comments

"Yes, my brother was gay. Yes, he died of AIDS. Yes, I love him."

Nell Carter, the Broadway and 80s sitcom superstar who died too young in 2003 after a life of many highs and lows, was born today in 1948 . In 1992, ABC, in partnership with Elizabeth Taylor, presented "New Light: A Call to Action in the War Against AIDS" (1992 New York Times article) and Ms. Carter sang a perhaps odd choice: Steve Winwood's "Back in the High Life Again", which she dedicated, against her family's wishes, to her gay brother Dr. Bernard Taylor, who had died of the illness in 1989. (poster's note: if this interests you in the least, please forgive the poor quality and make it to the end around 3:48 because it is worth it) [more inside]
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:28 PM PST - 18 comments

moods are a thing for cattle and loveplay

Neil Cicierega has released a new mashup album, and it's called Mouth Moods, and you should start listening to it immediately and never stop.

Previously: Mouth Sounds; Mouth Silence.
posted by cortex at 8:05 PM PST - 72 comments

Building a Cabinet

If President Trump’s Cabinet nominees are confirmed, women and nonwhites will hold five of 22 cabinet or cabinet-level positions, a smaller percentage than the first cabinets of Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George Bush. Politico sat down with Press Secretary Sean Spicer after his second press briefing today; the newly announced Skype seats in the press room seem to have been suggested... last week, by NBC's Chuck Todd. Former CIA director and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said today that President Trump somehow "forgot that he was president of the United States" when he gave a speech at the CIA on Saturday. The former Executive Director of Anti-Immigrant Hate Group FAIR joined the Trump Administration today as chief of staff at U.S. Customs and Border Protection. In Germany, Angela Merkel advisors say Germany has 'given up' on Donald Trump acting like a President. Today is the fourth day of the Trump Administration.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:20 PM PST - 3042 comments

Why Peter Hujar is Portraiture's Forgotten Hero

"Who? Although many would recognise the work of Peter Hujar – his famous photograph of Susan Sontag reclining, for example, or his affecting shot of transgender actress Candy Darling on her deathbed – the American photographer and his impressive legacy are frequently overlooked." Thirty years after his death, Peter Hujar is finally getting his due: a traveling retrospective, organized by the Morgan Library & Museum. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:04 PM PST - 11 comments

Manzoku-san strikes back

Video game movies usually rank from least bad to absolute worst, but all that could be about to change, with cat collection game Neko Atsume getting a live action movie. Official Japanese site.
posted by Artw at 10:52 AM PST - 50 comments

Dr. Grob's Animation Review: The animation film review site

Are you an animation buff? If so, perhaps you will appreciate this resource!Index by categoryAlphabetical indexChronological index [more inside]
posted by spock at 10:45 AM PST - 3 comments

"Bessie used to wear [suffragette] colours at the end of her pigtails"

Bessie Watson: 9-year-old, bagpipe-playing suffragette. [more inside]
posted by Catseye at 8:23 AM PST - 8 comments

Next Stop, the WSOP

Carnegie Mellon University has developed an AI to play poker, Libratus. They are having it face off versus four poker pros, and halfway through the competition, Libratus is winning. The game is heads-up, no limit poker, which pits two players face to face, and doesn't constrain their betting, making the game an aggressive mix of math, psychology, and strategy. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla at 7:26 AM PST - 52 comments

Jaki Liebezeit (1938-2017)

Jaki Liebezeit , drummer and founding member of the influential German band Can, has died from pneumonia at the age of 78. Some examples of his playing: Yoo Doo Right; Oh Yeah; Halleluwah; a drum solo. [more inside]
posted by misteraitch at 2:31 AM PST - 73 comments

Gravity Falls, just outside Saint Petersburg

2D Among Us (on Instagram, on VK Russian social network) is an Art Project by a group of Russian photoshoppers, originally to insert characters from 2D cartoons into real photos, from Woody Woodpecker and The Road Runner to Bambi and The Little Mermaid and The Iron Giant to Sprited Away and Evangeleon and Sailor Moon, to Adventure Time and Gravity Falls and (obviously) The Simpsons but quickly expanding into 3D animation like Big Hero 6 and Toy Story and Kung Fu Panda, not to mention characters from games, from Mortal Kombat to Portal. [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:22 AM PST - 6 comments

January 22

Make me.

Voting Should Be Mandatory "The evidence is mixed on whether compulsory voting favors parties of the right or the left and some studies suggest that most United States federal election results would be unchanged. But all that misses the point because it overlooks that compulsory voting changes more than the number of voters: It changes who runs for office and the policy proposals they support." - Waleed Aly, New York Times [more inside]
posted by Thella at 11:07 PM PST - 188 comments

Points of Inflection

Points of Inflection is a blog by John Roe, a math professor at Penn State who specializes in coarse geometry (one-sentence summary: what is geometry like if you can tell when points are getting farther and farther apart but not when points are getting closer and closer together?) He has terminal cancer and is teaching his last course this semester. He is a devout Christian who teaches about the mathematics of sustainability and who has strong words about the proposed new head of the EPA. He lost his trans* son last year. He climbs rocks.
posted by escabeche at 9:19 PM PST - 4 comments

Scenic Simpsons

An Instagram account dedicated to showcasing the most beautiful scenes, colours, sets and abstract compositions from The Simpsons.
posted by Going To Maine at 6:24 PM PST - 13 comments

“Perhaps Resident Evil 7 will be a similarly dramatic reinvention,”

The Resident Evil Games Ranked From Worst to Best [PC Gamer] “As the series that popularized the survival horror genre, Resident Evil has attempted to sustain its hold on the elusive zombie shooting crown since its inception in 1996. Suffice it to say, Resident Evil hasn’t maintained a keen, constant rule over the genre, blasting further off into bizarre, convoluted lore dumps and Matrix-worthy action sequences as the series grew in scope and ambition. Through reinvention after reinvention, Resident Evil games may not always be great, but they’ve always been fascinating, curious objects. And it’s because of that wild experimentation that Resident Evil still has a firm grip on us, redefining the genre and forcing the entirety of game design to respond—hell, Dead Space was going to be System Shock 3 before Resident Evil 4 came out. Now we’re just around the corner from another series reinvention in Resident Evil 7 [YouTube] [Trailer], a more grounded first-person return to survival horror, borrowing ideas from games that may have formerly looked to Resident Evil for inspiration. We’ve come full circle.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 5:55 PM PST - 40 comments

They Shut it Down

In 1971, the people didn't just march on Washington--they shut it down.
The most influential large-scale political action of the ’60s was actually in 1971, and you’ve never heard of it. It was called the Mayday action, and it provides invaluable lessons for today.
The largest and most audacious direct action in US history is also among the least remembered, a protest that has slipped into deep historical obscurity. It was a protest against the Vietnam War, but it wasn’t part of the storied sixties, having taken place in 1971, a year of nationwide but largely unchronicled ferment. To many, infighting, violence, and police repression had effectively destroyed “the movement” two years earlier in 1969.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 5:46 PM PST - 44 comments

Karl Hendricks. 1970 - 2017.

Guitarist and songwriter Karl Hendricks died yesterday after a three-year battle with oral cancer. He was at home in Pittsburgh with his wife and daughters (wearing a Funkadelic t-shirt). He was 46. [more inside]
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 5:39 PM PST - 14 comments

For Today, But Really Every Day, Hundreds of Women Sheila O'Malley Loves

Do you honestly feel like this is a FINAL list? Or that such a list could EVER be finalized?
posted by cgc373 at 9:49 AM PST - 4 comments

"Seriously?! It's like cutting your dick to prevent pregnancy!"

Mehdi Sadaghdar [painful attempt at singing] of ElectroBOOM devises a way to power your stuff when there's a power outage [zapping and beeping]. (Previously) [h/t Miss Cellania] [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:25 AM PST - 30 comments

Pictures From Women’s Marches on Every Continent

Crowds in hundreds of cities around the world gathered Satuday in conjunction with the Women’s March on Washington. New York Times compiles photos from a LOT of marches into a single page illustrating the vast numbers and global reach of the sea of pink hats. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 8:04 AM PST - 302 comments

That's just how you negotiate with a Nazi. Ask your grandfather.

On Friday a white man wearing black punched American white nationalist Richard Spencer in the face on camera. While discussions of ethics and history have been springing up, the Internet has also decided that this needed to be set to music. Tim & Eric have also composed a piano ballad about the events. [more inside]
posted by bile and syntax at 7:57 AM PST - 661 comments

How a dispute at Harvard led to a grad student’s forced mental exam...

At 1 a.m. on 4 June 2016, Gustavo German, a doctoral student in biomedicine at Harvard University, heard a knock at his door. It was three police officers. A doctoral student at Harvard is forced to take an in-patient psychiatric evaluation. Concern for the student or a reprisal for blowing the whistle on his advisor? "The judge issued an order that has created an extraordinary situation: Rubin must allow German to work in his laboratory, but stay at least 30.5 meters away from him, and have no direct or indirect contact. Rubin must also provide German with all of the lab resources he had before the problems began."
posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee at 2:48 AM PST - 39 comments

Maggie Roche (1951-2017)

Maggie Roche, co-founder of the idiosyncratic and influential sister trio The Roches, passed away on Saturday, January 21. Her sister and bandmate Suzzy Roche announced the death on Facebook and said the cause was breast cancer. NYT Obituary. [more inside]
posted by mykescipark at 1:15 AM PST - 62 comments

January 21

To the lighthouse!

Do you need to get away from it all? How about spending six months in Australia's southernmost lighthouse, ten kilometres off the southern coast of Tasmania, the country's southernmost state? Maatsuyker Island is looking for its next caretakers - although the light is automatic and no longer needs an actual lighthouse keeper, a pair of volunteers spends six months at a time on the isolated 0.72sq mi island, rising early for weather observations (it rains 250 days of the year), managing the land, and maintaining the lighthouse buildings and grounds. [more inside]
posted by Naanwhal at 9:57 PM PST - 35 comments

What is Probability?

The Trouble with Quantum Mechanics - "The introduction of probability into the principles of physics was disturbing to past physicists, but the trouble with quantum mechanics is not that it involves probabilities. We can live with that. The trouble is that in quantum mechanics the way that wave functions change with time is governed by an equation, the Schrödinger equation, that does not involve probabilities. It is just as deterministic as Newton's equations of motion and gravitation. That is, given the wave function at any moment, the Schrödinger equation will tell you precisely what the wave function will be at any future time. There is not even the possibility of chaos, the extreme sensitivity to initial conditions that is possible in Newtonian mechanics. So if we regard the whole process of measurement as being governed by the equations of quantum mechanics, and these equations are perfectly deterministic, how do probabilities get into quantum mechanics?" (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 9:41 PM PST - 68 comments

Eero Saarinen: The Architect Who Saw the Future

American Masters explores the work of Finnish/American architect Eero Saarinen (or here), who designed the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, the TWA Flight Center at JFK Airport, the main terminal at Dulles Airport, numerous buildings for iconic US corporations, and campus buildings for Yale, MIT, Vassar, and the University of Chicago. Previously: JFK's TWA terminal, Bell Labs, Michigan Modern. [more inside]
posted by kristi at 12:43 PM PST - 22 comments

Easy as falling off a log

The Humble Logarithm
posted by Michele in California at 12:26 PM PST - 19 comments


McDonald's in Canada adding nuts back to the menu. The move is a major departure from the company’s long-standing policy of serving nuts in sealed packages, which enabled people with peanut and tree-nut allergies to safely consume many items on the menu. In a statement posted on its website, McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Ltd. said that as of Tuesday, the company is adding nuts that are not individually packaged to the menu across the country.
posted by Kitteh at 12:14 PM PST - 35 comments

Little Things: The outsized pleasures of the very small

Lori DeBacker wears "+300 reading glasses and a ring on every finger, enjoys creating minuscule cakes — 'faux gâteaux' — and humorously altered, miniaturized versions of famous paintings. 'I love to spoof the masters,' she smirked, showing me a postage-stamp-size reproduction of The Scream in which the central figure was replaced with an extra-agonized ghost. Making miniatures focuses DeBacker. 'My mother always said this would drive her to drink,' she said, 'but I think it keeps me from it.'" [SL Harper's]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:40 AM PST - 17 comments


Squarepusher - one of the most important figures in braindance/IDM/whatever - is set to release a new album with his live band Shobaleader One which features full band versions of classic Squarepusher tracks. They've been playing these tracks at live shows recently and the results are impressive: [more inside]
posted by Frobenius Twist at 9:38 AM PST - 19 comments

30 Years (give or take) of Acid on Wax

2017 marks 30 years since acid was put on (commercial) wax, if* you're crediting Phuture's Acid Tracks as the first Acid (House) song/EP. BBC Radio 1 recently celebrated this history with the first Essential Mix of 2017 by DJ Pierre, one third of Phuture, the Chicago group that recorded an epic 12 minutes of Roland TB-303 knob-twiddling and spread the acid madness via Ron Hardy in The Music Box. For more acid in the mix, B. Traits preceded that set and played a 2 hour set acid, with a 3rd hour by Luke Vibert, who stated (via a track title) "I Love Acid." [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:38 AM PST - 17 comments

Grizabella sings Queen

Elaine Paige (Cats, Chess, a zillion other things) sings the songs Queen in a 1988 album titled simply The Queen Album. [YouTube playlist, so so sorry about the commercials]
posted by hippybear at 8:00 AM PST - 10 comments


Pigeons sing Under Pressure by Queen and David Bowie. A comic by ProfessorBees.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 2:15 AM PST - 16 comments

I reject your approval, in favor of my own self-assessment

Dear Hot Men Who Love My Body As It Is: IDGAF by Amanda Richards "Many aspects of beauty are tangled in a complicated nest of societal standards, including men's approval, so it's understandable that you might think your input is necessary — after all, as a hot, fit man, you've been groomed to believe that your opinion matters the most."
posted by wonton endangerment at 12:51 AM PST - 54 comments

January 20

Lesser known heroes of WWII

"Here are ten lesser-known heroes of WW2 who are a reminder to us all that even when it feels like it’s hopeless (or when it feels like the world is being run by a madman) that you are not powerless: there are always things you can do." [more inside]
posted by freethefeet at 11:05 PM PST - 9 comments

Loving Vincent

Six years, 62,450 oil paintings by 115 artists, 94 paintings (Colossal), 600 letters (Slate), 3,000 litres of oil paint (great overview), and one movie about the life of Vincent Van Gogh (trailer). Loving Vincent was first filmed (behind the scenes feature), then artists painted every scene in his style, to create a loving homage (BBC) to the artist's life and work. IMDB -- Loving Vincent's website.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:24 PM PST - 7 comments

The Terrifying, Horrifying, Super Gross Miracle of Life

Very, very few insects are viviparous, meaning they give live birth. Among them is the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach. Thankfully (?), the entire process -- gross, but also pretty cool -- can be seen on youtube.
posted by Rinku at 9:42 PM PST - 26 comments

Ruff day today

Even the dogs are sad.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:31 PM PST - 13 comments

The Twentieth Day of January

Now, I never paid any attention to this. I had no interest in reading an obscure spy novel just because Trump liked it. But then over Christmas after the election, I was visiting family in Bozeman, Montana. And there it was, in a used bookstore: The Twentieth Day of January. THEORY OF EVERYTHING: And? Is it good? “JOSH GLENN”: No, it’s terrible. The plot is ridiculous. [more inside]
posted by cgc373 at 2:54 PM PST - 73 comments

Spoiler: Siddhant Gets Kicked Out of a Government Office

Siddhant Adlakha, writing at "Birth. Movies. Death", recounts an extremely perplexing interview with the Chairman of India's Central Board of Film Certification, nearly a year after first writing about that Board's erratic censorship practices here.
posted by Ipsifendus at 12:27 PM PST - 14 comments

Memorizing the following logarithm values is a good place to start

Physicist Enrico Fermi famously arrived at the approximate strength of the Trinity test explosion by dropping pieces of paper and watching how far they drifted. Estimates with little or no data are now called Fermi problems, including the famous "How many piano tuners are there in Chicago?" and the Drake equation. Fermi Questions has been an event in the Science Olympiad, a competition in American K-12 schools, where competitors must estimate amounts such as the number of playing cards it would take to equal the mass of Betelgeuse (2x10^34, or twenty decillion). Practice your wild estimates at FermiQuestions.com (tutorial here).
posted by Etrigan at 9:43 AM PST - 47 comments

Billy Eichner Is Trying to Talk to You

You think he just runs around screaming, randomly shoving a microphone into peoples' faces? Think again. Now in its fifth official season on truTV, the unique Billy on the Street is still one of the strangest shows on television — a delightful alchemy of pop culture, celebrity, performance art, and social anthropology. [more inside]
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 9:39 AM PST - 24 comments

L-L-Lock the doors tight - dive, turn, work.

A kiki is a party, for calming all your nerves. We're spilling tea and dishing just desserts one may deserve.
posted by Evilspork at 8:29 AM PST - 21 comments

What are the young animals of America learning today?

The United States of America has a wide variety of biomes, and in all of them today there are baby animals learning how to be animals.
Forest: Bobcats have to learn a lot of things, to climb and play and survive in the wild* but they don't have to learn manners. *Note video includes images of bobcat eating prey. [more inside]
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 8:28 AM PST - 7 comments

Everyone needs a sea dragon

Ruby Sea Dragon filmed in the wild for the first time (film of sea dragon itself starts at 1:11) [more inside]
posted by Catseye at 5:08 AM PST - 17 comments

At the Foot of the Big Old Tree That Dreams

Browser game developers Marek and Marcin Rudowski, creators of the beautifully illustrated Trader of Stories fantasy adventure games Bell's Heart and A Grain of Truth, have decided to treat those games as side stories for a proper series, starting where it all began (at least, all the protagonist can remember) in Chapter One.
posted by BiggerJ at 4:56 AM PST - 3 comments

Struggle over the library of a monastery of the Order of St. Bridget

The struggle between an international band of medievalists and the Catholic Church over the fate of a mostly unknown Birgittine convent library established in 1491 has the outlines of a Dan Brownian thriller. Add in Vicar General Monseigneur Peter Beer, prioress Sister Apollonia Buchinger, musicologist Viveca Servatius, and exclamations like "Altomünster is the holy grail", and you would be forgiven for assuming you're reading fiction. But this is all to real. After an academic conference at the Altomünster Abbey (blogpost about it by Bevin Butler) in late 2015, the Münich Diocese forbade access to the library. Medieval Histories has more, and Anita Sauckel of Mittelalter interviewed Prof. Volker Schier about his campaign to gain access to the library and preserve it intact.
posted by Kattullus at 4:31 AM PST - 25 comments

The McFrizz Files: A Podcast Tale Of Addiction and Bank Robbery

Mike Frizzell surrendered himself voluntarily to police in 1993. He confessed and served his time and refound himself. In 2009, he was interviewed for a Seattle radio show, telling his story. Those interviews have been newly expanded over a series of 5 epic episodes that include questions from friends and internet strangers, and interviews with key figures in the life of Drew McFrizz. If you like long form podcast storytelling, you can begin with The McFrizz Files, Part One: How It All Began [1h32m] [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 4:23 AM PST - 3 comments

Mark Fisher, Theorist, 1968-2017

Mark Fisher, blogger, editor, and cultural theorist, Lecturer in Visual Cultures at Goldsmith's, University of London, and author of Capitalist Realism (2009) died suddenly on 13 January 2017. He was 48 and leaves a wife and young son. [more inside]
posted by Sonny Jim at 4:17 AM PST - 24 comments

The inauguration of the 45th President of the United States of America

Assuming no last-minute surprises, while the White House transitions the son of a Leòdhas emigrant will take the Oath and become the next POTUS in Washington D.C. today (security gates open at 6am, ceremony begins at 11:30am), as part of the 58th Presidential Inauguration (events began yesterday). Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the oath; the Lincoln Bible and a family bible will be used. Clarence Thomas will administer the Oath of Office to Vice President-elect Mike Pence. Many Democratic lawmakers are boycotting the inauguration; security is tight, and selfie sticks, drones and drums are not permitted. Some artists are performing at the inauguration and after events. The day after, the Women's March takes place in D.C. and many other cities and towns. Channels showing the inauguration, the 2009 and 2013 ceremonies, and Obama's 2008 victory speech.
posted by Wordshore at 3:01 AM PST - 3235 comments

It certainly a-pier-s to be the same

London-based blogger Diamond Geezer was astonished by a painting by Bob Dylan of a pier in Norfolk, Virginia. Mostly because it seemed to be based on a photograph that he'd taken of Blackpool Pier. [more inside]
posted by Stark at 2:24 AM PST - 13 comments

January 19

"...early retirement EARNED."

Dr. McNinja, the comedy/action webcomic created, written and mostly drawn by Christopher Hastings, has come to the end of its 12½ year saga (previously here, soon after it started). In his adventures he has defeated an Evil Fast Food Clown, Dracula, and a dimension-hopping King from the Radical Lands, with his allies including his McNinja family, the clone of Ben Franklin, a gorilla, a velociraptor and a 12-year-old boy with an awesome mustache. Hastings is now busy writing dead-tree comics, including the Adventure Time series, The Unbelievable Gwenpool and other Marvel projects. And he doesn't hire night janitors either.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:38 PM PST - 15 comments

My sign-in sheet is as empty as my soul right now.

"A bird lands outside my window. I invite him in to learn about algebra. He declines and flies away. I hope a cat eats him. #Classwatch2017" A moment in the sad, lonely school day of Adam Heath Avitable (‏@avitable).
posted by filthy light thief at 9:54 PM PST - 8 comments

This is why we can't have nice things

"The Kingdom of speech" is a literary Sharknado of error and self-satisfaction, with borderline racism and anti-Semitism mixed in. In which E.J. Spode reviews Tom Wolfe's latest book, with special guest appearances by George Lyell and Ali G. (via)
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 9:47 PM PST - 32 comments

Inverted Aquariums

It's like a fish penthouse where your fish can get above your pond waterline. Some others. The Romaurie effect.
posted by adept256 at 7:44 PM PST - 36 comments

Listening for the country

Dr. Zandria Robinson writes in memory of her father. The article, a finalist for the National Magazine award, is part of her memoir-in-progress. Listen to Dr. Robinson read part of the work here.
posted by Cuke at 7:00 PM PST - 3 comments

America's Best Security Blanket: Meet the Woobie

"There have been some amazing military innovations over the years: freeze-dried food for MREs, jet aircraft, rail guns, and the soul-sucking website, Army Knowledge Online. But none of these compare to the simplest, most wonderful invention known to mankind: the poncho liner, affectionately known by all those who have felt its life-giving warmth as the 'woobie.'" [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:28 PM PST - 37 comments

Character Actor Miguel Ferrer Has Died

"Ferrer was the son of top 1950s singer Rosemary Clooney and actor Jose Ferrer, and first cousin to George Clooney."
posted by guiseroom at 3:24 PM PST - 99 comments

The Complicated History of Headscarves

The headscarf has been banned, made mandatory, hailed as a symbol of religious virtue, accepted as a means of controlling female sexuality, and politicized by governments and colonizers across the world. Manipulated and misinterpreted, it is seen as both a sign of liberation and imprisonment, of progress and regression. It’s a source of friction both outside and inside the communities that wear it.
posted by insectosaurus at 1:44 PM PST - 21 comments

Impossibly Intricate Embroideries

"New Impossibly Intricate Embroideries by Chloe Giordano" Colossal: "We continue to be enthralled by the work of Chloe Giordano [...] who produces everything from tiny coin-sized depictions of woodland creatures to entire book covers typography and all. The Oxford-based illustrator is entirely self-taught, learning her craft “through a lot of trying things out and messing them up.” Each piece is deeply connected to her pencil drawings, as she works out many of the details on paper before turning to thread. Giordano frequently fields questions on her Tumblr and you can follow more of her progress on Instagram." [more inside]
posted by Celsius1414 at 11:19 AM PST - 35 comments

RIP, sir.

Nigerian synth-funk pioneer William Onyeabor died January 16, 2017.
Onyeabor previously on MF.
posted by OmieWise at 11:09 AM PST - 26 comments

Hoop Dreams for Safer Neighborhoods

"In North Lawndale, Chicago, a public basketball court is changing the way people relate to local police. Built just last October, it’s a half court built right next to the West 10th district police station, and it’s designed to get cops to shoot hoops with young men and women they might otherwise never meet."
posted by storybored at 10:25 AM PST - 21 comments

Purple mountain majesties

Conor Knighton is a correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning. During the course of 2016, he visited all 59 U.S. national parks in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. At every park, he stopped and recorded himself singing “America The Beautiful,” and made this compilation video in which you can get a glimpse of them. (Instagram) [h/t Miss Cellania]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:15 AM PST - 5 comments

An exceptional archive of paintings of children around the world

I Am A Child – Children in Art History, more than 3,100 artists and more than 30,000 paintings. A sampling of various artists' works from horrific depictions of children in war to gently sublime storybook illustrations. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 9:55 AM PST - 3 comments

"Those rules of thumb don’t apply to hard tech startups"

How to Build a Hard Tech Startup | CEO Jason Rosenthal deep-dives into the trials and tribulations surrounding the development of Lytro Cinema technology. [more inside]
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 9:30 AM PST - 23 comments

We wanted to come up with a different approach

The percentage of 15- and 16-year-olds who had been drunk in the previous month plummeted from 42 per cent in 1998 to 5 per cent in 2016. The percentage who have ever used cannabis is down from 17 per cent to 7 per cent. Those smoking cigarettes every day fell from 23 per cent to just 3 per cent. This is how Iceland did it and why the Icelandic strategy for preventing/reducing teen substance use may or may not work elsewhere.
posted by elgilito at 8:56 AM PST - 54 comments

"Well, maybe I can make a mansion out of a series of linked yurts"

The audiobook for George Saunders’s debut novel, Lincoln in the Bardo, will be narrated by Nick Offerman, Julianne Moore, Miranda July, Ben Stiller, Don Cheadle, Keegan Michael Key, David Sedaris, Susan Sarandon, Carrie Brownstein, a dozen other A-listers, top audiobook narrators, the author’s close friends and family, volunteers from Random House, and the author himself to form a 166 voice American chorale.

Penguin Random House Audio is applying for a Guinness World Record. Listen to a clip here. [more inside]
posted by little onion at 8:11 AM PST - 13 comments

"What an incredible place (heart-eyes emoji)"

Yolocaust re-contextualizes selfies taken at the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin. (Trigger warning: use of historical death camp photography.)
posted by mightygodking at 7:48 AM PST - 64 comments

Forum Drama. Forum Drama Everywhere.

The Alt-Right’s Meltdown Is Just Like Any Other Message Board Drama (single link Buzzfeed, by Katie Notopoulos)
posted by Elementary Penguin at 6:43 AM PST - 99 comments

A Francesinha

When picturing a francesinha, imagine a croque monsieur — the delicious baked or grilled French ham and cheese sandwich — that got extremely angry, hulked out into a muscle-bound edible behemoth and was then doused by the attendant cook with a zesty beer-and-tomato sauce to prevent any further, monsterlike growth. [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 3:34 AM PST - 38 comments

Live From the Chase Bank Auditorium in Chicago...

Tom Hanks guest hosts on NPR's Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, with panelists Luke Burbank, Paula Poundstone, and Faith Salie, and Simone Biles playing Not My Job. AV Club was there, and apparently it was an interesting night. Chicago Tribune was also there.
posted by hippybear at 3:04 AM PST - 45 comments

January 18

A short but excellent piece by the Southern Poverty Law Center

Google and the Miseducation of Dylann Roof - How did Dylann Roof go from being someone who was not raised in a racist home to someone so steeped in white supremacist propaganda that he murdered nine African Americans during a Bible study?
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 8:08 PM PST - 68 comments

Tomato, dairy, cut of meat? Feuds started over less

In Search of Ragu - Matt Goulding (Roads & Kingdoms) The beauty of ragu is that it’s an idea as much as it is a recipe, a slow-simmered distillation of what means and circumstances have gifted you: If Zia Peppe’s ragu is made with nothing but pork scraps, that’s because her neighbor raises pigs. When Maria cooks her vegetables in a mix of oil and butter, it’s because her family comes from a long line of dairy farmers. When Nonna Anna’s slips a few laurel leaves into the pot, she plucks them from the tree outside her back door. There is no need for a decree from the Chamber of Commerce to tell these women what qualifies as the authentic ragu; what’s authentic is whatever is simmering under the lid.
posted by CrystalDave at 7:55 PM PST - 13 comments

Tight as a Boiled Owl

The English language has produced a staggering number of words and phrases for the state of being intoxicated by alcohol. The Drunktionary collects hundreds of them, from "A beat up tank" to "zozzled", all in glorious 2001 Tripod style. [more inside]
posted by jedicus at 6:40 PM PST - 15 comments

"Honey, as far as reads go this is Infinite Jest."

Congresswoman Maxine Waters Will Read You Now (R. Eric Thomas, Elle Culture)
posted by moons in june at 5:29 PM PST - 47 comments

i lik the bred

A Reddit thread about health inspection violations has led to an unlikely yet delightful new meme: in response to a redditor's story about their stepdad's recreation of an 18th century French bakery, redditor Poem_for_your_sprog, also known as Sam Garland, offered the following summation in verse: my name is Cow / and wen its nite, / or wen the moon / is shiyning brite, / and all the men / haf gon to bed - / i stay up late. / i lik the bred. [more inside]
posted by yasaman at 4:02 PM PST - 173 comments

Rock, Pudge, and a Killer B

The results of the 2017 Major League Baseball Hall of Fame vote were announced this evening, and Tim Raines (in his last year of eligibility), Ivan Rodriguez (in his first year of eligibility), and Jeff Bagwell (in neither his first nor last year of eligibility) were elected. Close watchers anticipated both Bagwell and Raines's elections based on Ryan Thibs's ballot tracking spreadsheet which compiled over 240 votes (more than half of those cast) from public posted columns and a few given anonymously, but the it was still unclear until the announcement whether Rodriguez would have enough support from those who did not make their ballot public to clear the 75% mark required for election. [more inside]
posted by Copronymus at 3:50 PM PST - 24 comments

The Creator of the Mirai Botnet Unmasked

Remember the Mirai botnet that took down Dyn and made most of the Internet unusable for a day back in October of 2016? Internet security expert (and also Mirai botnet victim) Brian Krebs, author of excellent blog Krebs on Security, has a massive, four-months-in-the-making investigation unmasking the creator of Mirai, and it reads like a really good thriller novel.
posted by Peemster at 3:20 PM PST - 25 comments

Missing an old friend....

Adam Sandler singing about Chris Farley NSFW Lyrics, poor video quality.
posted by dfm500 at 1:54 PM PST - 7 comments

Jamming With The Koopas

Nintendo Special Big Band [SLYT] Spend an hour listening to Nintendo's jazz band jamming away at musical hits from Super Mario, Kirby, Pokemon, Fire Emblem, Donkey Kong Country, and The Legend of Zelda. [more inside]
posted by Servo5678 at 12:29 PM PST - 6 comments

4.6 Billion Year Story

Released in 1992 (the same year as the much more complex Sim Life) and published by Enix, Almanic's E.V.O.: Search for Eden is a Super Nintendo game in which players evolve a custom-made organism across vast geologic epochs and numerous phylums by growing new jaws, fins, tails, wings, horns, lungs and assorted other body parts. A cult classic that predates the more widely recognized evolution-em-up Spore by 16 years, E.V.O. is actually the thematic followup to an obscure 1990 PC-98 evolution-themed RPG called 64 Okunen Monogatari: The Shinka Ron (4.6 Billion Year Story: The Theory of Evolution). For almost as many years, 46 Okunen Monogatari has remained an intriguing mystery for Western audiences, but now a full English translation patch has been released. [more inside]
posted by byanyothername at 12:06 PM PST - 12 comments

pepsee blue

pEPsi - "A tribute to Pepsi and Doritos, featuring remixes of some classic, re-imagined hits. Sorry in advance."
Sgt. Pepsi's Thirsty Hearts Club Brand - "Fourteen icy cold tracks to celebrate your white hot love for your favorite blue soft drink. It's Pepsi. Pepsi is blue." [more inside]
posted by jason_steakums at 12:00 PM PST - 10 comments

Superyacht Consumers No Longer Underserved By Housing Market

America's most expensive luxury home - complete with Dom Perignon-filled fire extinguishers, a candy wall, and the helicopter from Airwolf - can now be yours for a cool $250 million.
posted by Small Dollar at 11:29 AM PST - 136 comments

I wish it was my idea for him to eat Cheetos, but that was all him

Young Thug - 'Wyclef Jean' (no nudity, but possibly NSFW.) [more inside]
posted by naju at 11:21 AM PST - 29 comments

You Must Be This Tall To Enter the Void

"Miguel Marquez Outside" (aka Michael Pederson) takes Jeff Wysaski's "Obvious Plant" fake posters/flyers/shelf tags a step farther with site installations like the Gravity Gauge, the Vicarious Yelling Station and the Small Orange Cones for Minor Hazards.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:05 AM PST - 8 comments

BBC Radio 4 - The New World

BBC Radio 4 has served up five 45 minute programmes of high quality brain food. Where intelligent and informed people present shows exploring the topics of; Politics, Power, Population Demographics, Globalisation and Truthy-ness at the start of 2017. It's the Demography, Stupid!, David Willetts investigates how is population change transforming our world? (Wow! The problem with all those baby boomers.) Us Versus Them, John Harris examines the international rise of anti-elitist or 'populist' politics. (Including Trump and Farage.) [more inside]
posted by Dr Ew at 11:03 AM PST - 3 comments

James Earl Jones reads Walt Whitman

Actor James Earl Jones reads passages from Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself", recorded Oct 21, 1973 (via 92Y on Demand)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:43 AM PST - 16 comments

"The printed book is final and thus unchangeable"

Irma Boom’s Library, Where Pure Experimentalism Is on the Shelf (Joshua Barone, NYT) [via]
posted by Think_Long at 8:24 AM PST - 4 comments

Lincoln's Worst Decision - Turning Down Elephant Herds

As a celebration of the election of President Abraham Lincoln* in 1860, King Rama IV of Siam** offered the U.S. "several pairs of young male and female elephants", with the intent that they be allowed to reproduce, eventually becoming large herds such that the people of America could use them as beasts of burden. Sadly (but probably for the best), Lincoln turned down the offer, noting that the climate of the U.S. probably did not lend itself to breeding elephants. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 8:11 AM PST - 69 comments

"It was just a matter of doing what you could before the fire arrived."

The world surrounding my father's Montana homestead could disappear tomorrow, and he would make out just fine. I went to see him to find out how he does it—and why [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:34 AM PST - 38 comments

Ain't motherhood grand?

Mama cats taking care of their kittens [obnoxious music at beginning, occasional music throughout]. Mama dogs and their puppies [background music]. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:34 AM PST - 14 comments


What is weird? 366 Weird Movies (not yet complete but has over 200 entries) is a substantial tribute to celluloid oddities and unconventionals, loaded with interesting essays and outside links. Some good, some bad, and some very bad. Here's just a few: Buckaroo Banzai, Robot Monster, Rubber, Rocky Horror, Zardoz, 2001, Skidoo, 5000 Fingers of Dr. T, Death Bed: The Bed That Eats, Evil Dead II, Glen or Glenda, Manos, Pan's Labyrinth, Time Bandits, Pink Flamingos, Uncle Boonmee, and good lord Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny.
posted by JHarris at 6:45 AM PST - 67 comments

Transcribing handwritten texts from the Shakespearean age

Shakespeare's World is a collaboration between Zooniverse and the Folger Library's Early Modern Manuscripts Online project. On the Shakespeare's World website anyone can contribute transcriptions of bits of manuscripts from Shakespeare's time. The project benefits not only Shakespeare studies, but also historians of the early modern period and the lexicographers of the Oxford English Dictionary. Roberta Kwok wrote an article about the project for the New Yorker.
posted by Kattullus at 4:10 AM PST - 9 comments

Free School, Under the Bridge

Good people, doing good things --- Rajesh Sharma, a grocery story owner in New Delhi, has spent the last seven years teaching children under a bridge. Nearly 200 underprivileged children from neighbouring ghettos now come to the school, known as ‘Free School, Under The Bridge’ located in one of the world’s most polluted cities, New Delhi.
posted by gt2 at 3:30 AM PST - 13 comments

England does not want to be just another member of the team

Brexit is the result of an English delusion, a crisis of identity resulting from a failure to come to terms with the loss of empire and the end of its own exceptionalism.
(Or - in song - as once summarised by Flanders and Swann)
posted by rongorongo at 1:49 AM PST - 111 comments

January 17

A little panda-monium

A bunch of baby pandas. Because we all need a dose of adorable right about now. Because with the beginning of the American apocalypse Friday, we could use a nice big dose of adorable. 23 baby pandas making their public debut in China should do the trick.
posted by azpenguin at 5:47 PM PST - 22 comments

Obama Commutes Bulk of Chelsea Manning’s Sentence

New York Times President Obama on Tuesday largely commuted the remaining prison sentence of Chelsea Manning.
posted by freakazoid at 1:32 PM PST - 190 comments


"The fact that people make the opposite judgment — that kids are in more danger when parents leave on purpose — strongly suggests that their estimates of risk have been unconsciously inflated to help justify their stronger moral disapproval of parents who choose to leave children unsupervised."
We’re really bad at judging risk to kids. We’re really good at judging parents. [more inside]
posted by The Gooch at 1:07 PM PST - 124 comments

Nugs, Ranked

Ryan Sutton at EATER asks the hard question: What are the best fast food chain chicken nuggets?
posted by The Whelk at 10:13 AM PST - 123 comments

KEDI - a.k.a. Nine Lives - Cats in Istanbul

“Dogs think people are God, but cats don’t. Cats know that people act as middlemen to God’s will. They’re not ungrateful. They just know better.” Film maker Ceyda Torun and cinematographer Charlie Wupperman have finished their documentary about Istanbul's cats. Coming soon to a city near you. (The movie, not the cats.) [more inside]
posted by BWA at 9:08 AM PST - 19 comments

it tickles

Butterfly takes over Koala Joey's Photoshoot and owns it like a BOSS!
posted by Evilspork at 4:15 AM PST - 22 comments

January 16

These are fleeting moments

Astronaut shows videos from Youtube with zero views. Beautiful and surprisingly refreshing.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 11:30 PM PST - 68 comments

Dick Gautier, 1931-2017

The actor -- famed for his role in the original production of Bye, Bye Birdie, for portraying Hymie the Robot in Get Smart, and for a short run as Robin Hood in When Things Were Rotten -- died Friday. The article includes a link to a three-part interview with Kliph Nesteroff, in which Gautier discusses, especially, his early career.
posted by bryon at 10:32 PM PST - 21 comments

The six pillars of nonviolent resistance

An Experiment in Love: Martin Luther King, Jr. on the Six Pillars of Nonviolent Resistance and the Ancient Greek Notion of ‘Agape’
posted by HuronBob at 10:21 PM PST - 10 comments

The Spiritual Shape of Political Ideas

Joseph Bottum argues that contemporary American progressivism resembles Christianity sans salvation. [more inside]
posted by Panthalassa at 9:42 PM PST - 47 comments

Blood Pancakes Are The Most Metal of All Flapjacks

On their own, blood pancakes end up being a savory dish, so many recipes call for enhancing the natural flavor by adding things like onions, spices, bread crumbs, and molasses. The only other body-fluid-specific requirement is to strain the blood to remove any clots that may have formed. Which really hammers home that you’re cooking with blood, in case you forgot. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:29 PM PST - 32 comments

The Last Man on the Moon

Gene Cernan, last man to walk on the moon, has passed away
posted by tgrundke at 2:34 PM PST - 87 comments

Who's a good dog groomer? You are!

Jess Rona is a dog groomer who posts wonderful slo-mo videos of her clients on Instagram. (Autoplaying music alert) [via Mashable's How She Works series.]
posted by Room 641-A at 2:20 PM PST - 15 comments

The True Masters Of Cyberwarfare - Squirrels

At a recent presentation at Shmoocon, security researcher Cris "SpaceRogue" Thomas discusses the results of his "CyberSquirrel 1" project, which monitors animal related infrastructure outages. His assessment? The squirrels are winning. [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 2:02 PM PST - 23 comments

genderless_nipples confounds Instagram censorship (NSFW)

In order to subvert Instagram's policy of allowing male nipples without restriction and censoring women's nipples without exception, the account genderless_nipples is posting close-up pictures of nipples. [more inside]
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 11:51 AM PST - 61 comments

We march for Harriet Tubman, Sylvia Riviera, Barbara Jordan, Audre Lorde

In six days, one of the largest mass protests in American history will begin with an estimated 200,000 marchers on DC. For those who cannot travel to Washington, 386 simultaneous sister marches with an anticipated 735,000 marchers will be taking place on the same day in 50 US states and 53 additional countries. 1200 buses will park in the capitol on January 21 compared to a paltry 200 arriving for Trump's inauguration, and the related Pussy Hat Project (previously) is making efforts to ensure that every marcher has access to a handmade pink hat. The Women's March on Washington will unite a new cohort of American activists under the banner of an unapologetically progressive and explicitly intersectional platform. [more inside]
posted by sciatrix at 8:29 AM PST - 205 comments

When picky eating becomes an affliction

“It’s like asking a colorblind person what color that is. It doesn’t look like food to me.”
posted by Kitteh at 8:13 AM PST - 154 comments

The Superfly Flies No More

WWE Hall of Fame Pro Wrestler Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka passed away yesterday at the age of 73. [more inside]
posted by The Gooch at 8:04 AM PST - 13 comments


Peeqo is a robot that responds entirely in GIFs.
posted by ellieBOA at 7:47 AM PST - 12 comments

Scrimmage, Touques, and Yaks

Teaching Hockey in the Himalayas. A photo journey from the HELP fund.
posted by blue_beetle at 6:34 AM PST - 2 comments

Perverse incentives, Australia's (1790) death fleet & echoes today

Contracts and convicts: how perverse incentives created the death fleet After Australia's First Fleet came the second fleet. Due to contract issues, many people died. (via @smurray38) [more inside]
posted by hawthorne at 4:42 AM PST - 8 comments

January 15

Recent SF/F/H short fiction online

Tables of contents have been published for upcoming best SF, fantasy, and horror collections edited by Neil Clarke, Gardner Dozois, Paula Guran, Rich Horton, and Jonathan Strahan. The Nebula Award suggested reading lists (previously) for novella, novelette, and short story are well-populated. BestSF.net has selected its shortlist. At Strange Horizons, Rachel Swirsky has comments on her favorite short fiction of the year. And at r/Fantasy, the Stabby Award winners have been announced. Many stories suggested by these sources can be read for free. [more inside]
posted by Wobbuffet at 11:12 PM PST - 8 comments

God hath given you one face, and you make yourselves a̵̧͏n̶͢o͠t͞h͝e̸͢r̶̛

27 of the Best (and Most Hideous) Face Swaps of 2016. You have been warned.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:19 PM PST - 33 comments

History of the Turnspit Dog

The Best Kitchen Gadget of the 1600s Was a Small, Short-Legged Dog
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:05 PM PST - 33 comments

On Food and Cooking and Science

Dinner with Harold McGee
posted by Lycaste at 3:42 PM PST - 20 comments

The Greatest Show on Earth is Done

The Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey Circus will have its last shows in May, after 146 years in the United States. It appears that many of the employees will be out of work and the animals will be going to shelters.
posted by pyramid termite at 1:37 PM PST - 125 comments

Mellbergs Customs: Swedish vintage custom cars

Leif Mellberg was a Swedish custom car designer during the 60s-90s. He mainly worked with Saab and Volvo cars, such as the gorgeous SAAB 900 turbo 16 EV-1 or Mayo P1. The site's in Swedish but the pictures say it all really.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 12:05 PM PST - 8 comments

Do Teens Know Music from the 90s?

Teenagers try to guess the song and artist from popular 1990s songs. Sample dialogue: "I wasn't even born yet!" (1990s music part 2, part 3. Related: Do college kids know 1980s music?)
posted by AFABulous at 10:35 AM PST - 168 comments

I give it 5 out of 5 Ellens! (Awesome musical instrument reviews)

Ellen Angelico is a multi-instrumentalist/"utility player" in Nashville TN. She also does hilarious reviews of musical instruments and vintage clothing for sale at Fanny's House of Music. For those who like music, musical instruments, quirky personalities, have shopped in a music store, worked in a music store, or even just looked at weird vintage stuff. [more inside]
posted by gorbichov at 9:41 AM PST - 16 comments

Ponzi Supernova

“At one point, he cornered the hot chocolate market,” Fishman told MarketWatch. “He bought up every package of Swiss Miss from the commissary and sold it for a profit in the prison yard. … He made it so that, if you wanted any, you had to go through Bernie" ... “He’s a star in prison. He stole more money than anyone in history, and to other thieves, this makes him a hero,” said Fishman, a journalist who spoke with Madoff extensively. Bernie Madoff manipulated the market for hot cocoa mix at his prison [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 8:58 AM PST - 41 comments

"You look out here and it's a second Rome"

Capitalism without opposition is left to its own devices, which do not include self-restraint. The capitalist pursuit of profit is open-ended, and cannot be otherwise. The idea that less could be more is not a principle a capitalist society could honour; it must be imposed upon it, or else there will be no end to its progress, self-consuming as it may ultimately be. At present, I claim, we are already in a position to observe capitalism passing away as a result of having destroyed its opposition—dying, as it were, from an overdose of itself.
Wolfgang Streeck, How Will Capitalism End?, New Left Review, 87 (May–June 2014). [more inside]
posted by Sonny Jim at 6:23 AM PST - 43 comments

January 14

The Great American Novel (Pick Only One)

LitHub suggests some top picks for "the" Great American Novel and offers rationales for each with links to articles arguing for them. [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:04 PM PST - 166 comments

Found Sound + Producer = Music

Sponsored by The Netherlands’ Institute for Sound and Vision, the RE:VIVE Initiative brings together archives and artists to create new music out of and inspired by curated sets of archival material. While their workshops are only in The Netherlands, for everyone outside they provide free packs of audio samples collated from different libraries: Pack 1; Pack 2; Schipol Airport; Madagascar, Switzerland, Tahiti, China, and an accordion; Around The House; and The Music of Samoa.
RE:VIVE has collaborated with Fog Mountain Records to release two albums: Damrak, built on samples from Amsterdam; and 010, built on samples from Rotterdam. They have also collaborated with Lakker to provide samples for their Struggle & Emerge album. (A short documentary on the process.)
posted by Going To Maine at 10:19 PM PST - 2 comments

Gatherer and Fiddler: Alan Jabbour (1942–2017)

Alan Jabbour, who died today, was best known (to those who know of him at all) as a fiddler and a gatherer of fiddle tunes. His name and influence permeate American traditional music. If you like Old Crow Medicine Show, the Avett Brothers, Chris Thile, Carolina Chocolate Drops, SteelDrivers, etc., you are enjoying the results of Jabbour's life work. [more inside]
posted by underthehat at 9:59 PM PST - 9 comments

Chinese Whiskers

When Marcel Heijnen took a picture of cat hanging out in a shop in Hong Kong, he didn't know he had just uncovered his next project. He calls it "pure serendipity."

"[I moved to] an area that is rapidly gentrifying, with new cafés and galleries coming up left right and center, but it’s still rooted in tradition, as well — there’s loads of dried-seafood shops and traditional Chinese medicine halls," he said. "I noticed a cat sitting on the counter of one of those stores and photographed it on my iPhone. Then, another and another."
[more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:52 PM PST - 31 comments

Kidnapped Newborn Found Alive...After 18 Years

In a story strikingly similar to the MTV show, Finding Carter, 18-year-old Kamiyah Mobley was allegedly taken by Gloria Williams, posing as a nurse, from a Jacksonville, FL hospital in 1998. Williams, who raised Kamiyah as Alexis Manigo, brought her up alongside her other two children. Williams had suffered a miscarriage a few weeks before the alleged kidnapping, so her family did not question the appearance of a newborn. It seems that the situation was discovered by Kamiyah, who suspected she had been kidnapped. Kamiyah's grandmother, Velma Aiken, "prayed she would see her granddaughter before the day she died. 'Everyone broke down in tears' during the conversation. 'We lost her for 18 years,' Velma said. 'We don't want to lose her again.'"
posted by guster4lovers at 3:34 PM PST - 80 comments

six seasons and a movie

Will 2017 be the year of the cape? Men, women, children, lawyers, masked men...
Perhaps we should all wear cloaks instead. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:09 PM PST - 69 comments

I'd knit so hard, bro

Further on the topic of ways that toxic masculinity harms men, an Independent article on feminine activities men would do if society didn't judge them so hard, from a Reddit thread on the same topic.
posted by bile and syntax at 10:26 AM PST - 242 comments

"So long, Old Bill."

William Peter Blatty, dead at 89. Author and moviemaker, best known for writing The Exorcist (1971).

Tweeted by William Friedkin and Stephen King.

The Exorcist, read by Blatty. [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 10:11 AM PST - 29 comments

Unicycle Polo Match

It's a thing, people.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 9:24 AM PST - 15 comments

The Penultimate Week

In seven days, Donald J. Trump is due to be inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States of America. What happens next? [more inside]
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:22 AM PST - 3210 comments

January 13


Cleaning the knives was one of the daily, heavy, unpleasant household tasks through the long 19th century. [more inside]
posted by clew at 9:53 PM PST - 54 comments

Maybe Denis Villeneuve could tackle this after Dune

SCTV alum Dave Thomas' sci-fi opus 'Rocket Boy'. It hasn't aged a bit.
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 7:33 PM PST - 10 comments

The Secret Life of Dog

An investigative reporter follows a very.... plump dog to see how it's getting so plump. On the Japanese comedy show Knight Scoop, people write in with questions about a variety of topics (like this man who is scared of leaves), and a detective discovers the answers. Other episodes about dogs: My Dog Is a Misandrist, The Dog Who is Scared of Godzilla, The Mystery of the Escaping Dog. But there is much, much more (and weirder) to this show. Playlist. [All videos have English subtitles]
posted by AFABulous at 5:11 PM PST - 24 comments

more guinea pigs

"Occasionally I judge science fairs & while the scientific questions aren't always super novel, I get a kick out of kid scientist logic..."
posted by griphus at 3:03 PM PST - 43 comments

Compare and Contrast

Here's what dogs are thinking about. Here's what cats are doing.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:53 PM PST - 22 comments

Law Professor Challenges Traffic Camera Ticket, Hijinks Ensue

First of all, the city attorney wasn't sure if the case was civil or criminal. The professor definitely was not in his car when it was found to have been speeding, but he received a violation notice. He decides to challenge it and learns how little interest local attorneys for the city have in the law.
posted by BradyDale at 1:18 PM PST - 143 comments

Switch it up

Nintendo announces its new gaming console, the Switch. It's got crazy new controllers that join together or split into two separate controllers. It's got a new Super Mario game. It's got more or less the same Mario Cart. It's got 2D Sonic games. It's got a new Legenda of Zelda installment. A new splatoon and a new xenoblade! It's a portable as well as a home console. (and probably uses a Tegra X1). But is it enough to compete against the XBox One and PS4?
posted by GuyZero at 12:06 PM PST - 129 comments

A DIY Guide to Feminist Cybersecurity

Hack*Blossom: "You have a right to exist safely in digital spaces. Although we have to rely on outside parties for technology to access these spaces, there are tons of helpful tools and strategies that allow you to take greater control of your digital life and mitigate the risk of malicious threats. We’ll walk through common areas of digital life such as web browsing, private data, and smartphones to show you different ways that you can implement as much or little security as you’re comfortable with." [more inside]
posted by bluecore at 10:32 AM PST - 34 comments

Good Evening, All Current Art Is Fake

The first trailer for MANIFESTO, a feature length art firm made from a video installation by Julian Rosefeld staring Cate Blanchett and 13 manifestos.
posted by The Whelk at 10:19 AM PST - 9 comments

Archaeological Find Puts Humans in North America 10,000 Years Earlier

New evidence suggests human presence in a Yukon cave during the last ice age 24,000 years ago. A local (to me) science magazine has a story about evidence that humans arrived in North America years earlier than thought. Bluefish Caves in the Yukon contained some bone fragments and tools that is strong evidence of human settlement - years before it was thought to have happened. This institute and magazine is on an archaeological roll - The Hakai institute discovered the oldest footprints in North America, last summer, and is now working on cataloguing the data.
posted by joelf at 10:17 AM PST - 23 comments

Japan’s Rural Towns Are Luring Tax From Tokyo With Beef and Beer

In Japan, you can designate a "hometown" to send a portion of your taxes to. The program is intended "to help rural areas struggling with falling populations and shrinking revenues." Then someone realized that you don't have to designate your actual hometown, and that those rural areas can lure in tax money by rewarding people with local goods. Think of it as the NPR totebag of the Japanese tax system. Of course, that means that people's actual living spaces lose out on the tax revenue.
posted by Etrigan at 10:09 AM PST - 21 comments

Investigation of the Chicago Police Department

Today, the DOJ released their report on a year-long investigation (PDF) of the Chicago Police Department, finding "reasonable cause to believe that CPD has engaged in a pattern or practice of unreasonable force in violation of the Fourth Amendment and that the deficiencies in CPD’s training, supervision, accountability, and other systems have contributed to that pattern or practice. "
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:29 AM PST - 32 comments

"Preposterous and rococo cannibalism"

Slate reviews Bill Schutt's forthcoming book Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History. Guardian review here. Schutt is a Research Associate in Vertebrate Zoology and Mammalogy at the American Museum of Natural History. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:29 AM PST - 15 comments

America the Beautiful

Yesterday in a press release, the US Mint announced their plans for their upcoming 225th anniversary "Lady Liberty" gold coin, the first in a series of 24-karat gold coins that will feature designs which depict an allegorical Liberty in a variety of contemporary forms--including designs representing Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and Indian-Americans among others--to reflect the cultural and ethnic diversity of the United States. You can see the first proposed design here.
posted by phunniemee at 8:25 AM PST - 30 comments

Always look for the helpers

A rancher helps a frozen finch [SLYT] NB: the beginning might be a bit cringey, but nothing gruesome happens...
posted by stillmoving at 7:48 AM PST - 12 comments

We failed to overcome the chicken-and-egg issue

App.net to end. Would-be Twitter competitor App.net is closing up shop and open-sourcing its code. The project launched in 2012 through crowdfunding, and tried to make the pay-for-play model work in social media. It also wanted to be very friendly to developers, especially when Twitter wasn't. Other services appeared alongside the microbloggery, like a push notification tool and a crowdfunding function. (via HN) [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 6:32 AM PST - 47 comments

The fastest spinning object driven by human power

Introducing a human-powered centrifuge which separates blood into individual components in ninety seconds and costs 20 cents. [more inside]
posted by Stark at 6:00 AM PST - 13 comments

Murder on Union Hill Road

In April 2016, eight family members were slain in their homes in Ohio. Nine months later, the killer or killers are still on the loose, and the town has all but forgotten the crimes.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 5:18 AM PST - 89 comments

How to navigate the bullshit-rich modern environment.

The world is awash in bullshit. Politicians are unconstrained by facts. Science is conducted by press release. So-called higher education often rewards bullshit over analytic thought. Two University of Washington lecturers have designed a course to teach students about Bullshit. [more inside]
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 5:16 AM PST - 33 comments

BBC Sound Of 2017

Soul singer Ray BLK has topped the BBC's Sound Of 2017 list, which aims to predict the most exciting new music for the year ahead. It is the first time an unsigned artist has won the honour - which has previously gone to Adele and Sam Smith. [...] Four of the top five Sound of 2017 acts are black British women, reflecting a rise of female talent in grime and R&B.

Why the future of music is black, female, and British. [more inside]
posted by ellieBOA at 4:31 AM PST - 3 comments

Now you are about to join another rarified club

Malia and Sasha, eight years ago on a cold November day, we greeted you on the steps of the White House. We saw both the light and wariness in your eyes as you gazed at your new home. We left our jobs in Baltimore and New York early and traveled to Washington to show you around. To show you the Lincoln Bedroom, and the bedrooms that were once ours, to introduce you to all the people—the florists, the grounds-keepers and the butlers—who dedicate themselves to making this historic house a home.
George W. Bush's daughters Barbara Bush and Jenna Bush-Hager write an open letter to the Obama sisters.
posted by hippybear at 4:03 AM PST - 32 comments

January 12

Ward + Robes

The Starlight Children's Foundation of Canada teamed up with top designers in various fields (tattooing, fashion, embroidery, and so on), to create Ward + Robes, fashionable and functional hospital gowns for teens. The teens love it.
posted by divabat at 10:01 PM PST - 19 comments

Primates this week

Why Biologists Care About A Macaque And Deer Caught On Camera In Rare Interspecies Mating Act - "An unexpected pair has been caught in flagrante delicto and scientists got it all on tape. Primate researcher Marie Pelé and colleagues published a surprising note in the journal Primates this week—the second documented case of distantly related species attempting to mate with each other."
posted by kliuless at 9:06 PM PST - 52 comments

“I have never seen myself as a spokesman. I am a witness. ”

“Has the American Dream Been Achieved At the Expense of the American Negro?” [YouTube] Historic debate between James Baldwin v. William F. Buckley Jr. at Cambridge University. [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 4:10 PM PST - 32 comments

Rimbaud at the food court

"When I went inside the venue, a marching band was playing Jimmy Eat World’s 'The Middle,' and the ceiling was covered with 'SAD AF' balloons. To my right, a pair of husky lurkers talked about the Promise Ring; to my right, three girls who appeared to be dressed for social media Snapchatted themselves singing along to 'Mr. Brightside,' the 2004 hit by the Killers, which was playing over the speakers. The Killers were not emo." The Rise of Emo Nostalgia, by Jia Tolentino for the New Yorker.
posted by naju at 2:33 PM PST - 45 comments

He did what he must because he can

Portal Ported to Apple II. Well, not so much ported as re-imagined in Basic on an Apple II. It's only the first and last levels and end credits, but it is playable and includes an Apple II version of "Still Alive." Complete with a play-through video, source code, and a link to an online emulator if you want to try it out without installing anything. [more inside]
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 1:59 PM PST - 21 comments

The Concussion Diaries

Zac Easter knew what was happening to him. He knew why. And he knew that it was only going to get worse. So he decided to write it all down—to let the world know what football had done to him, what he'd done to his body and his brain for the game he loved. And then he shot himself.
posted by bologna on wry at 1:19 PM PST - 64 comments

Whiskey wisdom

An Absurdly Complete Guide to Understanding Whiskey.
posted by storybored at 12:40 PM PST - 97 comments

How do we go on?

Lessons From Memphis. A comic that looks at history for inspiration to go forward.
posted by latkes at 12:38 PM PST - 5 comments

I Grew Up In The Rust Belt, But I’m Not In Any Of The Stories About It

It’s strange to see the media turn its attention to places like my hometown in coal-country Pennsylvania and find that my experience there, as part of the non-white working class, is still invisible. [more inside]
posted by cynical pinnacle at 12:23 PM PST - 24 comments

Rethinking the IAT

The Implicit Association Test (IAT) has been a popular method in psychological studies to evaluate effects of implicit bias against women or minorities. The creation of an easy-to-use, online version of the test has led to many references in non-academic literature as well. However, the test as used for measuring racial bias may not measure what it's supporters purport and has been shown to have low test-retest reliability. In a lengthy article, Jesse Singal discusses the history of the test.
posted by demiurge at 12:12 PM PST - 18 comments

Videos of cookery in an Indian village

My Money My Food is an Indian YouTube cooking channel. While occasionally featuring videos of food collection or Indian street food, its primary content is footage of meals being cooked at village-scale. Some prime examples: Cooking 500 Quail Eggs in Our Village; Cooking 101 Chicken Legs in My Village; Cooking a 40 Pound Stingray in My Village; Cooking Mole Crabs in My Village. (NOTE that many of these videos feature meat in its yes-this-is-a-dead-animal form.)
posted by Going To Maine at 11:58 AM PST - 16 comments

Filling the amateur space archaeology niche

Paul Maley maintains three highly comprehensive pages dedicated to space debris which has fallen back to earth. These are organized into chronological sections: 1960-1980, 1981-2003, and 2004-present.
posted by Rumple at 11:21 AM PST - 5 comments

Scientists are building an animal fart database

Does it fart?” is one of most frequent questions zoologists receive from kids, said Dani Rabaiotti of the Zoological Society of London. In fact, the whole #DoesItFart adventure started when her teenage brother asked if snakes ever experience flatulence. Rabaiotti knew from her own work that the wild dogs of Africa definitely fart, as do the extremely gassy seals that reside on the Atlantic island of South Georgia. But she wasn’t sure about snakes, so she consulted snake expert David Steen. [more inside]
posted by Existential Dread at 10:33 AM PST - 36 comments

The Great Molassacre

Some perspective for all my fellow Californians dealing with flooding. It could be so much worse. (podcast) [more inside]
posted by ananci at 9:49 AM PST - 8 comments

Got That Black Magic

Took Your Girl To The Secret Chamber Shit's lit like lumos. NSFW.
posted by Deeleybopper at 8:45 AM PST - 7 comments

Trees are nice, but they're not a simple solution.

The Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative started as a project to plant a 15-kilometer-deep belt of trees across all of Africa to stop the expansion of the Sahara Desert, but it has evolved into a more complex system that seeks to use a patchwork of local agricultural and management techniques. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 6:34 AM PST - 16 comments

What'd I miss?

The year in memes. An interactive look at everything that went viral in 2016, by date.
posted by Mchelly at 6:16 AM PST - 30 comments

YOU ARE SO IMPORTANT TO ME and i mean that from the bottom of my butts

To celebrate the release of his newest magnum opus Domald Tromp Pounded In The Butt By The Handsome Russian T-Rex Who Also Peed On His Butt And Then Blackmailed Him With The Videos Of His Butt Getting Peed On, Hugo-nominated Dr. Chuck Tingle has once again descended on a little-known corner of the Internet known as "Reddit" to share tingly nuggets of wisdom with all his BUCKAROOS. As usual, we must be strong in our fight against DEVILMEN and Void Crabs, so be on the lookout. Just know that he BELIEVES IN YOU and your dreams can come true. [more inside]
posted by zombieflanders at 5:49 AM PST - 56 comments

A transit planner looks at Mini Metro

Mini Metro (previously) is a transit planning game, simplified to the point of abstraction. On Waypoint, Robert Rath speaks to the developers and a real transit planner about how the game has been received in the transit planning community.
posted by Harald74 at 1:44 AM PST - 43 comments

January 11

What Lies Beneath

People Just Realized What Owls Look Like Without Feathers And OMG (SLBuzzfeed). Includes other disturbing uncovered creatures. (h/t Miss Cellania)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:10 PM PST - 50 comments

NSFW: Sex-Toy Shops for Religious Couples

NSFW: so very NSFW. In recent years, a religious sex-toy industry has developed for devout Christian, Jewish, and Muslim folks (who, in this case, can't buy sex toys but massage oil and lube). Note: For the love of all that is holy, do not confuse the religious sex-toy industry with the religious-sex-toy industry, which sells blasphemous items like a baby Jesus butt plug, a Buddha dildo, and a dildo called Damien.
posted by Bella Donna at 9:58 PM PST - 32 comments

Lickety Split!

How a 13-year-old Canadian girl ran the world’s fastest marathon. Imagine a record-setting distance runner. This marathoner you envisage should be a history maker. The fastest in the world, by a long margin. Concentrate. Got a picture in mind?
posted by Literaryhero at 9:20 PM PST - 19 comments

They're Simple Dogs, Brent.

Not all dogs are good at everything. Some flunked out of bomb sniffing class. But good news - these goofy TSA rejects can be your new best friend. For free, if you can get to Texas. Available breeds are German Shorthaired Pointers, Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois. Here are the Canine Adoption Program requirements. [all videos subtitled, no narration] [more inside]
posted by AFABulous at 5:28 PM PST - 60 comments

“Pikachu, you're a three-two!”

This Fan has Reimagined the Original 151 Pokémon as Hearthstone Cards [PC Gamer] “Thanks to a Redditor named Corpit, the original 151 Pokémon have been reimagined as Hearthstone cards. [Full Imgur Album]"I tried to capture the character of each species while trying to make them unique as cards too," Corpit said.”
posted by Fizz at 3:36 PM PST - 4 comments

Where people are really, really willing to kill for conservation

New Zealand is planning to eradicate all invasive pests by 2050. After the announcement in 2016 of a plan to eradicate rats, stoats, possums and other invasive predators from New Zealand, Nature News looks at how it might be accomplished.
posted by 1head2arms2legs at 2:20 PM PST - 59 comments

Garlic is as Good as Ten Mothers

An article about food documentaries wherein lies the treasure of the full length Les Blank classic. [more inside]
posted by mumimor at 1:13 PM PST - 28 comments

you say tomato, I say 52-million year old fossilized tomatillo

The first discovery of fossilized fruits from the Solanaceae (nightshade) family, representing a new species of lantern fruit, has been made by paleobotanists researching Eocene plant diversity in Gondwanan Patagonia. The specimens, since dubbed Physalis infinemundi, were extraordinarily well-preserved in the surrounding 52.2-million year old rock, dating the existence of the Physalis genus back 40 million years earlier than scientists had previously believed. [more inside]
posted by amnesia and magnets at 12:38 PM PST - 10 comments

Pepsi Blue Meth

AMC has just released a commercial for Los Pollos Hermanos that may signal the return of a character from Breaking Bad and a new teaser for season three of Better Call Saul gives a Spring 2017 return date. Better Call Saul on Fanfare. Bonus: 10-hour loop of the Better Call Saul theme. [via Uproxx]
posted by Room 641-A at 10:17 AM PST - 57 comments

"the U.S. government rounded up the people of Innsmouth..."

Ruthanna Emrys's debut novel Winter Tide is in the world of her novella The Litany of Earth (previously), a story about about secrets, furtive faith, government mistakes, and the silenced Other from a well-known narrative -- specifically, H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos. Winter Tide will come out April 4th, but Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 are available to read now. [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 8:51 AM PST - 44 comments

Occasus Imperii Romani

The Fall of Rome is a podcast on the later Roman Empire, focusing especially on the various invasions that contributed to its collapse and how different regions of the empire experienced the disruptions of Late Antiquity. The most recent episode, "Attila And The Empire Of The Huns", has a particularly interesting discussion of how the Huns were able to project power over a vast swath of territory as a sophisticated multi-lingual, multi-ethnic empire, far from the mindless savages they are often portrayed as.
posted by Copronymus at 8:39 AM PST - 31 comments

'I have to do this'

Why some Catholic women are defying church doctrine and becoming priests. Canada's only female Catholic bishop has ordained the country's newest female Catholic priest. Previously, previouslier.
posted by heatherlogan at 8:00 AM PST - 43 comments

The Musical that (almost) Fell to Earth

"This is David Bowie. I hope I’m not calling at an inconvenient time..." When Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist Michael Cunningham got a call from someone claiming to be David Bowie, he thought it was a friend pulling a prank. He didn’t know he was about to be launched into a yearlong collaboration on a musical involving space aliens, mariachi bands, and an imaginary trove of unreleased songs by Bob Dylan. Here, for the first time, is the story of their unfinished show—and what it’s like to work alongside a bona fide pop genius.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 4:40 AM PST - 24 comments


Officially known as the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, SEAL Team 6 is today the most celebrated of the U.S. military’s special mission units. But hidden behind the heroic narratives is a darker, more troubling story of “revenge ops,” unjustified killings, mutilations, and other atrocities — a pattern of criminal violence that emerged soon after the Afghan war began and was tolerated and covered up by the command’s leadership.
posted by Blasdelb at 3:29 AM PST - 71 comments

Ye Olde Philologie

... in a very real sense, the history of “Classical Mandaic” begins in 1875, even if it had to wait another 90 years for scholars to come up with a name for it.
C.G. Häberl writes about Columbusing Classical Mandaic
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:41 AM PST - 8 comments

January 10

Classical Geek

The Galactic Civil War had one pernicious side effect: fighters on both sides neglected their cultural heritage in the name of military expediency.
A Handy Guide to the Archaeology of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, an analysis rich with links to the deepest layers of overthought.
posted by Rumple at 7:41 PM PST - 22 comments

Am I in Canada?

Asylum seekers are risking their lives to make their way into Canada on foot to exploit a loophole in the US-Canada Safe Third Country agreement. Immigration experts expect the number of individuals attempting this journey will only increase under the incoming US administration.
posted by bkpiano at 5:34 PM PST - 45 comments

What it's like to be a cookbook ghostwriter

The cookbook ghostwriter is part writer, part recipe developer and part project manager. Whether it's a YouTube phenom or the head of a high-end restaurant empire, the person on the cover didn't always write the cookbook. Sometimes the writer is acknowledged on the cover. Sometimes the writer gets a thank-you in the acknowledgements. Sometimes the writer wants no credit.
posted by veggieboy at 2:20 PM PST - 16 comments

Chrys(o)t(ile), what an...

In September of 2016, Laura Lozanski, a Canadian occupational health and safety expert, agreed to be interviewed by a man who told her he was working on a documentary about the dangers of asbestos. That man, Robert Moore, is at the centre of a case before the British High Court in which it is alleged he has spied on anti-asbestos activists and organizations. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:27 PM PST - 36 comments

anger makes me a modern girl

"[T]he present study indicates that anger is the mechanism underlying women's proactive responses." Objecting to Objectification: Women's Collective Action against Sexual Objectification on Television [full text PDF] [more inside]
posted by amnesia and magnets at 11:58 AM PST - 21 comments

It's a slippery slope eh.

Doughty Canadian woman tries to get in her car after an ice storm. [infectious laughter, familial mockery]. (h/t Miss Cellania) [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:53 AM PST - 66 comments

Your drone might be cold

A sweater can make a significant difference in your drone’s feeling of well-being.
posted by Maaik at 11:25 AM PST - 20 comments

Gross Science

Host Anna Rothschild teaches us Gross Science: Sea Cucumbers Have Multipurpose Butts 💩 What Can You Learn From Ancient Poop? 💩 The World's Most Expensive Fungus 💩 Hookworms and the Myth of the "Lazy Southerner"
posted by Bee'sWing at 11:12 AM PST - 33 comments

Managing to do what Spike Milligan didn't

For nearly 35 years, Mell Lazarus knew exactly how the end would go for Momma. In 1982, when the cartoonist began dating Sally Mitchell, who would become his second wife, he confided to her that he had already decided what the final installment of his comic strip would be, and he told her the idea.
Cartoonist Mell Lazarus died on 24th May of last year and had the perfect ending for his comic strip planned thirtyfour years earlier already.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:54 AM PST - 30 comments

“I must admit that I enjoy being in a war."

Clare Hollingworth, Reporter Who Broke News of World War II, Dies at 105 "In this period of heightened tension, the border between Poland and Germany was sealed to all but diplomatic vehicles. After borrowing a car from the British consul in Katowice and proudly displaying the union jack, she drove through the exclusion zone and into Germany. While driving back to Poland, having bought wine, torches and as much film as possible, she passed through a valley in which huge hessian screens had been erected. As the wind blew one of the screens back, it revealed thousands of troops, together with tanks and artillery, all facing the Polish border. Her report featured on the front page of the Daily Telegraph on 29 August, 1939. Less than a week after becoming a full-time journalist, she had scooped one of the biggest stories of the 20th Century." [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:44 AM PST - 44 comments

Rescuing an Artwork from Crumbling Technologies (e.g. MS-DOS, Laserdisc)

What does it look like when a museum pulls a time-based media installation artwork from storage? MoMA Conservator Ben Fino-Radin tells the story of rescuing and exhibiting the 1994 interactive multimedia work Lovers, by Teiji Furuhashi. [more inside]
posted by desuetude at 9:09 AM PST - 29 comments

I like Turkish Delight

Scottish comedian Limmy took the music from a 1984 Fry's Turkish Delight ad and made a techno remix (soundcloud, 6.20). Original ad (youtube, 1.00).
posted by rollick at 7:51 AM PST - 18 comments

“How do you want me to know how it feels to be free?”

I’ve always considered myself a political prisoner. Not in the sense that I’m here for a political crime, but in the sense that I’m here because of a political system that has failed me terribly as an individual and citizen in this country.” How Albert Woodfox, a Black Panther and one of the Angola 3, survived 44 years in solitary confinement at the Louisiana State Penitentiary.
posted by ChuraChura at 7:24 AM PST - 15 comments

"It's only a little bit live!"

Three Englishmen, an electric fence, and a tangled bike. [NSFW-swears]
posted by Room 641-A at 4:24 AM PST - 57 comments

January 9

and the price you pay is to cut the culture and religion

The Erasure of Islam from the Poetry of Rumi Rozina Ali revisits the cultural legacy of Rumi in the West: 'The erasure of Islam from Rumi’s poetry started long before Coldplay got involved. Omid Safi, a professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic studies at Duke University, says that it was in the Victorian period that readers in the West began to uncouple mystical poetry from its Islamic roots. Translators and theologians of the time could not reconcile their ideas about a “desert religion,” with its unusual moral and legal codes, and the work of poets like Rumi and Hafez. The explanation they settled on, Safi told me, was “that these people are mystical not because of Islam but in spite of it.” This was a time when Muslims were singled out for legal discrimination—a law from 1790 curtailed the number of Muslims who could come into the United States, and a century later the U.S. Supreme Court described the “intense hostility of the people of Moslem faith to all other sects, and particularly to Christians.” In 1898, in the introduction to his translation of the “Masnavi,” Sir James Redhouse wrote, “The Masnavi addresses those who leave the world, try to know and be with God, efface their selves and devote themselves to spiritual contemplation.” For those in the West, Rumi and Islam were separated.' [Rumi previously]
posted by cendawanita at 10:59 PM PST - 94 comments

Holy Grail of Fashion History

A skirt believed to have belonged to Elizabeth I -- probably the one depicted in The Rainbow Portrait -- has been discovered in St. Faith's church (Bacton, Heresfordshire), serving as an altar-cloth for the last 400 years. It is the only surviving piece of clothing worn by Elizabeth I. [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:30 PM PST - 41 comments

Reviewing the Unreviewable Restaurant

NYT's Pete Wells, arguably the most influential restaurant reviewer in the US, visits Locol, a new restaurant venture with a significant social agenda, to bring accessible food to neighbourhoods otherwise devoid of choices. He declares the food a fail. The LA Times' Jonathan Gold, arguably the other most influential restaurant reviewer in the US, wonders if Pete Wells has missed the point of the whole thing.
posted by helmutdog at 7:24 PM PST - 87 comments

Lava + Water

Lava entering the ocean at Kamokuna viewed from the Kalapana side of the flow (flikr). For more recent lava, like another view of the ocean entry, or a lake of lava in Halema‘uma‘u, see "What's going on with the volcano?" at the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. The facebook page is also quite nice.
posted by TreeRooster at 4:36 PM PST - 28 comments

Belief and Fear in Ungurtas

Many believe Bifatima Dualetova to be one of the last Sufi dervishes in Kazakhstan. I first met her in September 2010 while traveling in Central Asia. The locals that I was staying with in Almaty told me about a shaman woman living on the outskirts of the small village Ungurtas, close to Kyrgyzstan's border. "The last house in the village, at the foot of the 'Sacred Hill,'" they said. ...... I ended up staying with her for more than two months, from January to March 2011, documenting her rituals and practices, herding sheep, and working on my van.
Photographer Denis Vejas documents the practices of one of the country's last Sufi dervishes. Russian language post (Google Translate). Note: some images of animal sacrifice.
posted by Rumple at 3:53 PM PST - 6 comments

Do what you will, just don't shutter Flickr

With the (maybe not) closing of the roughly $4.8 billion sale of its core business to Verizon Communications Inc., Yahoo says goodbye to Chief Executive Marissa Mayer, co-founder David Filo and others and changes its name to Altaba Inc. More in the small print of Form 8-K. On Flickr: the MetaFilter group, the MetaFilter HQ reception, and other search results for 'MetaFilter'.
posted by Wordshore at 3:23 PM PST - 91 comments

"I haven’t worked out everything."

"...in the New Year I worked out part of what Shakespeare’s Sonnets were about one day when I was sitting around doing nothing." A Crooked Timber commenter going by "ZM" shares a theory that includes William Herbert the 3rd Earl of Pembroke, Christopher Marlowe, Mary Sidney, infertility, and espionage.
posted by brainwane at 1:30 PM PST - 34 comments

The Best

Cristiano Ronaldo, Carli Lloyd and Claudio Ranieri, Silvia Neid were The Best in 2016, according to FIFA. [more inside]
posted by lmfsilva at 12:48 PM PST - 15 comments

The "Unbegun" Symphony

The "Unbegun" Symphony: In which Peter Schickele conducts a piece of music that is NOT by P.D.Q. Bach, but which exhibits most of the 21st Bach child's worst traits, namely plagiarism. [Ed Note: I have here skipped the mostly superfluous and very in-jokey 3rd movement and gone directly to the 4th movement. There are no first or second movements, because Schickele was born too late to compose them.]
posted by hippybear at 12:23 PM PST - 38 comments

“A winner is you!”

Steam Passes 14 Million Concurrent Users for First Time Ever [PC Gamer] “Steam has surpassed 14 million concurrent users. The milestone was hit early January 7 and peaked at 14,207,039, according to Steam's stats page. It's now back to the mid-to-high 13 millions. Unsurprisingly, Dota 2 was the game with the highest concurrent player count at the peak today with 951,942 concurrent players. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive followed with 675,195 players, while Grand Theft Auto V rounded out the top three with 116,230. It's worth underlining that concurrent users isn't the same as concurrent players. The 14,207,039 number includes users who have Steam running in the background while they're doing other things or away from the PC altogether. Still, the figure is one measurement of Steam's growth over time.”
posted by Fizz at 11:49 AM PST - 42 comments


On Saturday photographer Kaylyn Messer found a giant, near-perfect circle of ice [looped] spinning in the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River near North Bend, Washington. [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 10:58 AM PST - 42 comments

Malibu Crypto

The Barbie Typewriter has a hidden built-in cryptographic capability. Specifically, four alphabet substitution cipher modes that were explained in the manual for the original Mehano electronic typewriter that served as the basis for the Barbie Typewriter. However: As it was probably thought that secret writing would not appeal to girls, the coding/decoding facilities were omitted from the [Barbie Typewriter] manual. Nevertheless, these facilities can still be accessed if you know how to activate them. Via Bruce Schneier.
posted by Cash4Lead at 10:55 AM PST - 52 comments

The hidden artist of the Soviet space program

When Galina Balashova designed her first space habitation module for Soviet cosmonauts, she drew a landscape on its interior wall, something that could remind them of home. In a 2015 interview, she said, "When I popped by to commission the final product they asked me where to procure the painting for the wall. When I replied that it was not needed I was reproached: 'No, it’s been signed off and so we will build it exactly that way.' So I sat down one night and painted pictures for the space capsules. Usually watercolors depicting Russian countryside. They all burned to nothing on re-entry." [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:53 AM PST - 14 comments

There Be Ter-Dragons

Brainfilling Curves, by Jeffrey Ventrella, is an explanation and exploration of various subspecies of fractal curves, including fat dragons, Gosper islands, and the occasional aggressively self-touching specimen. Also in PDF if you like.
posted by cortex at 9:38 AM PST - 6 comments

7 Kinds of Makeup Chemistry [8min 33sec SYTL]

Ever wondered about the chemistry of everyday makeup? Taking a look at seven different types of makeup, Youtube channel SciShow explains some typical makeup ingredients, the chemical reasons for those ingredients and the how those chemicals adhere to a face. [more inside]
posted by Faintdreams at 9:08 AM PST - 4 comments

You zombie, be born again my friend

Put your hands together for Steely Danzig.
posted by porn in the woods at 8:44 AM PST - 22 comments

The World Continues to Get Less Marvelous

Marvin Yagoda, founder and proprietor of Detroit area attraction Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum (previously), has died. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 8:44 AM PST - 16 comments

I Love the 90s

Anne Helen Peterson on going to college after the internet became a thing, but before it became *a thing*. Part of 1999 Week at Buzzfeed. [more inside]
posted by kevinbelt at 8:28 AM PST - 109 comments

Tunnel trees had their time & place in the history of our national parks

Tunnel trees are a thing. Created in the 19th and early 20th century to promote parks and inspire tourism. They're good for engagement, but bad for the tree. One of the last known sequoia tunnel trees was recently brought down by a storm in California. A sequoia drive-throughable tunnel log does still exist.
posted by jessamyn at 8:18 AM PST - 47 comments


Tiny Spires is a Twitterbot that generates castles in the style of Mary Blair's it's a small world art.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 7:56 AM PST - 8 comments

Women Who Draw

Women Who Draw is an open directory of female professional illustrators, artists and cartoonists who take freelance work. [more inside]
posted by jontyjago at 6:39 AM PST - 7 comments


The best thing you've heard all year | In which a techno-alchemist creates musical gold. The ingredients: equal parts this and this with a dash of this; mix well and serve over a tasty beat. EUREKA!
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 4:56 AM PST - 22 comments

Fireflies and Biplanes

The Sky Rover travels on a glider and never stays in the same place twice. He is a free spirit and likes the unexpected aspects of life.
The Lantern Maker is a crafter who loves her work. She makes lanterns and sells them at the market as a living.
Nunumi is a story artist in the animation industry in Montréal who just published her first web comic, a simple 44 page wordless story that may be the cutest thing you see this week.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:16 AM PST - 3 comments

January 8

My very heart leaped with delight at the sound!

Horse with a rubber chicken [much squeaking]. Horse with a big silver bouncy ball [ambient noise]. Horse with a rubber chicken, again [not so much squeaking]. Horse with a pokey reindeer and a rubber duckie [talking and teensy squeaking]. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:25 PM PST - 17 comments

Monkeys Mourn the Death of a Robot Baby Monkey in BBC Wildlife Series

A CHIMP adopting a pet kitten and a family of monkeys mourning the death of a robot baby are some of the scenes captured in a BBC wildlife series filmed by remote-controlled animals. Spy In The Wild has been shot using replica animals with cameras hidden inside. Scientists and show producers were amazed when a group of langur monkeys in India mistook a robot baby for one of their family. And when the cyber monkey was accidentally dropped from a height, they were plunged into grief and began hugging each other for comfort
posted by grobertson at 7:14 PM PST - 21 comments

...at least until the icy patches form between their toes

Why do dogs love snow? Canine behavioral researcher Julie Hecht (Dog Spies) asked a bunch of experts why dogs go crazy for snow. Did you know that "dogs' ability to turn up their metabolism as the temperature falls means that snow will cause them far less discomfort than it can do for us"? [more inside]
posted by moonmilk at 6:09 PM PST - 39 comments

"We need to talk about pockets."

"I wore men's clothes for a month and it changed my life": Motivated by Octieber and determined to combat the world of gendered clothing, Lucy Rycroft-Smith tries menswear for a month and documents her findings.
posted by orange swan at 2:16 PM PST - 288 comments

Burger Art

Fat and Furious Burger is a Tumblr dedicated to the burger art of Studio Furious. The about page claims that all burger art is edible. You can see their work in action with this burger art video.
posted by codacorolla at 1:45 PM PST - 6 comments

Meanwhile in a country far far away.....

U.S.-backed Saudi War in Yemen Fuels 'Largest Food Security Emergency in the World'.
American Special Operations Forces Are Deployed to 70 Percent of the World’s Countries.
Related; The Political Rhetoric of Perpetual War. [more inside]
posted by adamvasco at 1:03 PM PST - 19 comments

New light shone on the relationship between Minoans and Mycenaeans

Yet remarkably little is known of the beginnings of Mycenaean culture. The Pylos grave, with its wealth of undisturbed burial objects and, at its bottom, a largely intact skeleton, offers a nearly unprecedented window into this time—and what it reveals is calling into question our most basic ideas about the roots of Western civilization.
This 3,500-Year-Old Greek Tomb Upended What We Thought We Knew About the Roots of Western Civilization by Jo Marchant.
posted by Kattullus at 12:39 PM PST - 26 comments

No Plan

Today would have been David Bowie's 70th Birthday, and he's released a transfixing new video, No Plan. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 11:34 AM PST - 19 comments

The Pussyhat Project--knit, crochet, sew for women's rights

Currently over 111,000 people have pledged to attend the 2017 Women's March on Washington on Jan. 21. Meanwhile, thousands of crafters, some outside the US, are working to make sure there is a defiant sea of pink cat eared hats that day via The Pussyhat Project, which aims to reclaim the word pussy and make a bright visual statement about women's rights and strength in numbers--while keeping marchers' heads warm. You can download free patterns and knit or crochet a hat for yourself or to donate to others who will be marching. Hat donors can attach a personal note to the wearer describing a women's issue they are passionate about and contact info if they wish. [more inside]
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:14 AM PST - 90 comments

No Horses Were Harmed in the Making of This Footage

CGI breakdown reel for the Game of Thrones episode Battle of the Bastards, from VXF house Iloura. [CW: graphic battle carnage]
posted by dephlogisticated at 8:34 AM PST - 35 comments

Don't believe the height

posted by ardgedee at 8:01 AM PST - 15 comments

Can you see a pattern forming here?

This guy makes sweaters of places and then takes pictures of himself wearing the sweaters at those places. No more inside; that's it. Sweaters. Places. You know you want to click.
posted by chainsofreedom at 7:41 AM PST - 56 comments

I hate to brag, but...

Dutch babies were found to be more contented – laughing, smiling and cuddling more – than American babies. Dutch babies were also easier to soothe, while American babies displayed more fear, sadness and frustration.
They raise the world's happiest children - so is it time you went Dutch?
posted by MartinWisse at 4:50 AM PST - 70 comments

Pathways to Civilization

The Origin of Cities - "It may seem odd to conduct the rise of cities to ritual, inequality, and debt, and yet they play a very large role in the urban revolution." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 12:12 AM PST - 20 comments

January 7

Dogster Jekyll and Meowster Hyde

Dogs Being Jerks—mostly about food. Cats Being Jerks—mostly about who the hell knows. [both videos feature music and ambient sound]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:20 PM PST - 36 comments

One Man’s Quest to Change the Way We Die

"How B.J. Miller, a doctor and triple amputee, used his own experience to pioneer a new model of palliative care at a small, quirky hospice in San Francisco."[NYTimes] Once an outlier, Zen Hospice has come to embody a growing nationwide effort to reclaim the end of life as a human experience instead of primarily a medical one. The goal, as Miller likes to put it, is to “de-pathologize death.” [more inside]
posted by sevenofspades at 3:52 PM PST - 10 comments

Mário Soares: Socialist, Republican, Layman (1924-2017)

Mário Soares,the spirited Socialist leader who deftly steered Portugal from authoritarian rule to democracy, fended off a Communist push for power, led his country into the EU and helped its people recover a sense of confidence lost under almost half a century of miserly dictatorship, has died in Lisbon aged 92. Mr. Soares started an underground Socialist movement after becoming disillusioned with the leadership of the Communist Party, then the only organized opposition in the country. He began a tour of Europe in 1967 to drum up support from other Socialists, but he was jailed on his return and, in March 1968, banished without trial to the remote equatorial island of São Tomé. Mário Soares Dies at 92; Guided Portugal’s Shift to Democracy (NYT) [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 1:58 PM PST - 23 comments

Don't talk to me!!! Don't mess with me!!! Mind your own biz!!!

Hello Kitty sure is an adorable character, but Sanrio also has someone for those of you stuck in the grind of modern office life. Meet Aggressive Retsuko: (SLYT *loud*) a "very, very emotional red panda with a penchant for heavy metal."
posted by selfnoise at 12:18 PM PST - 40 comments

Make kin, not babies

Call it the Anthropocene, the MisAnthropocene (PDF), the Capitalcene, a Raven's Trick, a Charismatic Mega-Category, or the Chthulucene: Anthropologists are engaging with the new Epoch. [more inside]
posted by Rumple at 12:15 PM PST - 3 comments

I hope Burr-senpai notices me...! ✨

An anime-of-center animatic for "Aaron Burr, Sir" -- brought to you by Israel-based artist Ella.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 11:23 AM PST - 12 comments

Pairing strains

“I’m lucky to have a fairly high tolerance for cannabis, so I can consume in all forms without stringently measuring and know that I’ll still have the energy and articulation to host the show”. Bong Appetit, a cannabis-fueled culinary web-series in search of bold flavors, colorful characters, and truly "high"-end eating.
posted by growabrain at 10:18 AM PST - 34 comments

No new information for those who have been paying attention.

A day after the release of the declassified report on Russian hacking during the 2016 election, the New York Times is reporting this morning on the business deals of Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner. In Washington, Congressional Republicans seem to be supporting Trump's campaign promise to build a border wall between the US and Mexico, even though it seems that American taxpayers will be the ones fronting the money to pay for it. Mr. Trump, with 13 days to go before he assumes the presidency, is tweeting about the "stupid" people, or fools, would think that [having a good relationship with Russia] is bad! He will purportedly give a press conference this week, on January 11, following President Obama's Farewell Address, on January 10. A number of confirmation hearings will also take place on the 11th. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:42 AM PST - 3855 comments

"It's impossible to keep up with them all, and that's a good thing."

"When Words Fail in Movies," "The Elevator," "A Homeless Ghost: The Moving Camera and its Analogies," "A Theory of Film Music" (a reply to the previously posted "The Marvel Symphonic Universe"), "The Revenant by Tarkovsky," "Fritz Lang," "The Dark Knight--Creating the Ultimate Antagonist," "Honolulu Mon Amour," and "Sound Unseen: The Acousmatic Jeanne Dielman" were just a few of the videos selected multiple times as "The Best Video Essays of 2016" (see also 2014 and 2015, previously). But one response chose to honor a series of parodies of the form: Why is Cinema, e.g. "Screenwriters! Do the Best Words Now!"
posted by Wobbuffet at 5:32 AM PST - 9 comments

Malaysian Ninja Hijabi

Malaysian Muslim fashion brand Debellani promotes their newest jubah (long Muslim robe-like dress) line by asking: why be a lady when you can be a warrior?
posted by divabat at 2:29 AM PST - 28 comments

The Case Against Sugar

Is sugar the world’s most popular drug? 'It eases pain, seems to be addictive and shows every sign of causing long-term health problems. Is it time to quit sugar for good?' [more inside]
posted by dgaicun at 12:57 AM PST - 88 comments

January 6

People who are so important that they don’t have to stop.

All life travels the ribbon of asphalt that cuts through Mokong, Cameroon. The women carrying their onions to market atop their heads step aside when a car approaches. The occasional stray cow ambles down the center, chased by local herders. The men with logs balance jerkily, while an entire family wobbles precariously by on one bicycle. And children — so many children — dart across the pavement, keeping an eye on the cattle while kicking soccer balls back and forth. Vehicle in convoy of US Ambassador to UN kills boy in Cameroon. [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura at 5:23 PM PST - 21 comments

For we who grew up tall and proud, in the shadow of the mushroom cloud

We’re going back to the kind of dangers we had during the Cold War. At 89, former U.S. secretary of Defense Bill Perry finds himself an unexpected prophet of doom: “Today, the danger of some sort of a nuclear catastrophe is greater than it was during the Cold War, and most people are blissfully unaware of this danger.”
posted by bitmage at 3:48 PM PST - 75 comments

That is how a cuttlefish do.

Cuttlefish are cute except when they're feeding [silent]. Seriously, that is some scary-ass shit there [music]. Want to know more about this terrifying creature? Of course you do! [voiceover, captions] [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:11 PM PST - 36 comments

Soundtracking The Void w/ Thomas Ragsdale - 3.1.2017

for the next two hours I'm going to be playing a lot of music - a lot of electronica, techno, drone, weird, soundtracky soundscape, ambient kinda stuff. Some of it's quite scary, so I apologize in advanced. [more inside]
posted by rebent at 3:06 PM PST - 1 comment

2016 Was Indeed a Year of Surprisingly-Many Celebrity Deaths

It’s become cliché that unusually many prominent people died in 2016. Is this true? Jason Crease says yes, using Science! (well, statistics).
posted by chavenet at 1:51 PM PST - 26 comments

Do I have a soul?

Two Google Home assistants are talking to each other on Twitch. (Direct Twitch link.)
posted by kmz at 1:25 PM PST - 138 comments

Instant Ramen Power Rankings

Lucky Peach ranks instant ramen - "after 17 packages of ramen, I couldn’t eat anymore. My feet were swollen like they’d been on a transcontinental flight. It had to stop somewhere."
posted by needled at 1:25 PM PST - 57 comments


Reverberation time of a balloon pop: reverb room vs. anechoic chamber (SLYT, 17 seconds) [more inside]
posted by lmfsilva at 12:57 PM PST - 11 comments

The main thing I interacted with was the weather and the animals

billy barr (who doesn't capitalize his name) has lived in a cabin in the Colorado woods for 40 years, and has been recording the snow levels twice a day, every day, all winter long. [more inside]
posted by brainmouse at 12:34 PM PST - 14 comments

the emotional labor thread, circa '87

The Female World of Cards and Holidays: Women, Families, and the Work of Kinship [PDF] by Micaela di Leonardo: "The kin-work lens brought into focus new perspectives on my informants' family lives. First, life histories revealed that often the very existence of kin contact and holiday celebration depended on the presence of an adult woman in the household... Kin work, then, is like housework and child care: men in the aggregate do not do it. " (Originally published in Signs, Spring 1987.)
posted by amnesia and magnets at 12:32 PM PST - 5 comments

On Wanting to be a Woman Bike Mechanic

Almost six months after she was hired, the shop had an opening for a full-time mechanic. Layton wasn’t moved into the position, as she’d been promised. Instead, the store hired a young man who hadn’t gone to bike school, and whose experience came from volunteering at the same bike shop where Layton had previously worked. “On his first day,” she says, “he overtightened a seatcollar on a carbon seatpost and cracked it, smashed it. I fucking would have known not to do that.”
posted by Atreides at 12:26 PM PST - 38 comments

Pornhub’s 2016 Year in Review

Last week, we had our 2016 report on what people stuffed up their bums, and what sorts of medical attention they needed to help fish those items out. This week, Pornhub.com is out with their annual deep data dive into the many ways that Pornhub content was accessed by Pornhub users, and what sorts of things those users preferred (and/or did not prefer). And say what you will about 2016: despite many, many other worthy distractions, people streamed an unbelievable amount of porn from Pornhub last year. [more inside]
posted by mosk at 9:50 AM PST - 180 comments

“The nuts and bolts of getting everyone to buy in to this...”

Feed Your Kids Peanuts, Early and Often, New Guidelines Urge [The New York Times] “Peanuts are back on the menu. In a significant reversal from past advice, new national health guidelines call for parents to give their children foods containing peanuts early and often, starting when they’re infants, as a way to help avoid life-threatening peanut allergies. The new guidelines, issued by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases [Full Text] on Thursday, recommend giving babies puréed food or finger food containing peanut powder or extract before they are 6 months old, and even earlier if a child is prone to allergies and doctors say it is safe to do so. One should never give a baby whole peanuts or peanut bits, experts say, because they can be a choking hazard. If broadly implemented, the new guidelines have the potential to dramatically lower the number of children who develop one of the most common and lethal food allergies, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the institute’s director, who called the new approach “game changing.””
posted by Fizz at 9:18 AM PST - 81 comments

Sciuridae? Dunno, they scurried away...

The owners of a convenience store in Toronto have been plagued by a rash of thefts. Local squirrels have been stealing chocolate bars from the store, and have been caught on video. This wouldn’t be the first time squirrels have been fingered as thieves. In 2013, residents of Kentish Town in Greater London were puzzled when soap and shower gel began going missing from their bathrooms. The culprit was squirrels. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:05 AM PST - 35 comments

"Forgiveness gave me that liberation"

Jill Saward, campaigner against sexual assault, has died aged 51. Saward was the first woman to waive her right to automatic anonymity and campaigned for the rights of rape victims. [CN: rape, sexual violence] [more inside]
posted by threetwentytwo at 8:57 AM PST - 5 comments

Fake News, Conspiracy Theories and the Effect of 'Media Literacy'

danah boyd discusses how a wide spread way of media literacy was probably more harmful than helpful. "[T]oo many students I met were being told that Wikipedia was untrustworthy and were, instead, being encouraged to do research. As a result, the message that many had taken home was to turn to Google and use whatever came up first. They heard that Google was trustworthy and Wikipedia was not."
posted by katta at 7:49 AM PST - 114 comments

Interview with Thomas Dolby talking about Foreigner and more!!!

I remember specifically, when I created the intro to “Waiting for a Girl Like You,” I’d done it with a technique that I’d long been hoping to try out, which was basically just to sort of build yourself a Mellotron by recording a sustained note on each track of the multi-track and manipulating them in a wave to create combinations of harmonies. I’d been longing to do that for years, and I actually got to do that one night at Electric Lady and put it on the intro of “Waiting for a Girl Like You.” The band came in in the morning and I played it for them, and there was sort of a silence and then the bass player said, “It’s a bit like massage music, isn’t it?”
posted by josher71 at 6:16 AM PST - 30 comments


What is aluminium? It a silvery-white metal which is abundant in the Earth's crust. The Wright Brothers were early adopters of aluminium in engine construction. Now, aluminium is used to make cans, window frames, aircraft, fireworks and foil. Controversially, aluminium has also been used to make cricket bats. The ease of use of aluminium, and the flexibility properties especially when alloyed for strength or security for use in items such as coins, has helped make it the most widely used non-ferrous metal. Also, aluminium is often used to make kitchen utensils such as pots and pans. Finally, the sounds made by the manipulation of thin aluminium surfaces can have pleasing ASMR characteristics.
posted by Wordshore at 6:04 AM PST - 73 comments

Better living through... biohacking?

Micro-dosing: The Drug Habit Your Boss Is Gonna Love The small brown vial came to me via a chain of custody that shall not be discussed and with the assurance that the clear liquid therein was, according to some guy who told the guy who gave it to me, a precise dilution of LSD. If the stories I'd heard were true, taking a tiny bit of it, a micro-dose, had the potential to make my workday more productive than ever... I squeezed the dropper gently, putting a clear drop into a mug of water on my desk, and drank it all in a single gulp. Then I began to worry that I was about to trip balls.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 4:30 AM PST - 126 comments

January 5

Hail to musical adaptation: how a lusty boat song became presidential

The upcoming transfer of power in the United States will be a time with much pomp and music, with people singing along to "The Star-Spangled Banner" and "God Bless America," but "Hail to the Chief" remains instrumental, even though there are lyrics, as sung by the Mormon Tabernacle. And if we sang those lyrics, we'd be missing its origin as a song to celebrate Roderick Dhu, or Black Roderick, a fictional medieval Scottish outlaw, which was re-written a number of times before becoming the song that Julia Tyler, wife of President John Tyler, requested for presidential entrances. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:20 PM PST - 15 comments

“There is nothing hip and cool happening in Brooklyn. It’s a war”

Activist Imani Henry discusses gentrification with the blog Brokelyn. Previously: An excerpt from D.W. Gibson's The Edge Becomes the Center: An Oral History of Gentrification in the Twenty-First Century. More: "Everything is going to become another Park Slope because that’s the way that this works.” Gentrification in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. And for your listening pleasure, WNYC and The Nation's "There Goes the Neighborhood." From ProPublica: is your apartment rent stabilized? and one of the mechanisms that got us here. Plus, your guide to New York State tenants' rights.
posted by the_blizz at 7:57 PM PST - 31 comments

It is by my hand you will rise from the ashes of this world

From the director of Mad Max, The Road Warrior, Beyond Thunderdome, and Babe: Pig in the City comes a new masterpiece. MAD FEET: FURY ROAD
posted by mbrubeck at 5:48 PM PST - 14 comments

“Criminal justice reform has been a focus of my entire career”

In a first for a sitting President, Barack Obama has published a 56-page paper/commentary in the Harvard Law Review: “The President’s Role in Advancing Criminal Justice Reform” [more inside]
posted by Going To Maine at 5:38 PM PST - 46 comments

Children Against Wizards

Cr1tikal/Penguinz0 and fellow The Official Podcast member Kaya Orsan (previously) have riffed on the recent terrible Russian children's film Children Against Wizards, made with support from the Russian government (parts 1, 2, 3). They don't understand a word of it, but understanding it can't possibly make it worse, right? ...Right? (English subtitles available for latter video. Contains references to drugs, suicide, religion and politics.)
posted by BiggerJ at 5:37 PM PST - 4 comments

A Slight Return

"Everyone thought I was just a crazy kid,” Casher said. "I mean, here I was with a 60-piece orchestra playing wah-wah guitar. All the first-call players like Bob Bain and Tommy Tedesco were saying, ‘What is this kid doing playing first chair?’ Well, it was because I had the wah."
50 Years Ago, the Wah-Wah Pedal Was Born in a Hollywood Hills Garage (previously)
posted by mannequito at 4:15 PM PST - 12 comments

Still, the K-On movie was robbed

To celebrate Hayao Miyazaki's 76th birthday today, why not take a look at the 100 best anime movies of all time according to Paste Magazine and discover some of anime's other great directors?
posted by MartinWisse at 3:10 PM PST - 67 comments

May all that have life be delivered from suffering

Shelters have a hard time finding adoptive families for elderly pets, animals with disabilities or chronic medical conditions, large animals that need special facilities, and working animals who have outlived their usefulness. Some people have stepped up to provide permanent care for these animals, so that they can live out their lives in comfort and security: 10 Animal Retirement Homes [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:05 PM PST - 22 comments

Is progress inevitable? Is it natural? Is it fragile? Is it possible?

[I]n the middle of so many discussions of the causes of this year’s events (economics, backlash, media, the not-so-sleeping dragon bigotry), and of how to respond to them (petitions, debate, fundraising, art, despair) I hope people will find it useful to zoom out with me, to talk about the causes of historical events and change in general. Historian Ada Palmer writes about the history of the idea of progress, the role of individuals in history, the (simulated) Papal election of 2016, and what it all means for us here in 2017. [more inside]
posted by vibratory manner of working at 1:14 PM PST - 11 comments

In My Mind, and In My Car, We Can't Rewind, We've Gone Too Far...

Faced with a declining listener-ship, in the wake of competing formats like streaming media, Norway announced that it will cease broadcasting on the FM bandwidth in 2017, in favor of the DAB+ standard, which employs AAC-based encoding at 48kbps. [more inside]
posted by Smart Dalek at 12:36 PM PST - 44 comments

Not now. Not ever.

Queen Elizabeth II cannot die. You might be wondering what happens when the Queen dies. It's simple: we don't really know, but there are plans afoot.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:33 PM PST - 173 comments

Comic Book Squirrel Monkeys

I grabbed it by its tail, and it came down on, starting literally up by my shoulder, like a drill press it landed on my arm, and every bite was breaking flesh. It was literally like an unsewing machine. It was literally unsewing my arm coming down, and I was pouring blood. The testimony of someone who actually bought one of those little monkeys advertised in the back of comic books. [more inside]
posted by marxchivist at 11:15 AM PST - 97 comments


Originally from Afropunk: Coachella , the über-fest hailed by music's intelligentsia and many progressives, set to take place in April has been making headlines (but not at music's most revered places) for its owner Philip Anschutz, "a climate change denier ... who has donated some of his billions to anti-gay organizations."
posted by kevathens at 11:08 AM PST - 17 comments

12/10 h*ckin good story

The best meme of 2016 — and let’s be real, probably any year — should be the one that was born from people arguing about dogs on the Internet. The Washington Post talks to @dog_rates and Brent Brant Walker , who had one of the best Twitter exchanges of the year.
posted by Metroid Baby at 9:07 AM PST - 75 comments

The Detective of Northern Oddities

When a creature mysteriously turns up dead in Alaska—be it a sea otter, polar bear, or humpback whale—veterinary pathologist Kathy Burek gets the call. (contains some descriptions of animal gore) [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:02 AM PST - 5 comments

"Personally, it's not been worth it."

Nine months later, Lucy DeCoutere talks with CBC Radio about her experiences since the end of the Jian Ghomeshi trial (previously). [more inside]
posted by clawsoon at 7:36 AM PST - 14 comments

What's Up Fellow Kids?

Millennial Dan Nainan has been the go-to millennial in a whole lot of news stories in the past year. He was 35 in an AP story that appeared in the Chicago Tribune about undecided voters on Nov. 6, two days before the election. A few weeks later, he was 35 in a Vocativ story about Obama voters who wound up voting for Donald Trump. There he was again in Cosmopolitan in July. This time he was a millennial who swore off porn... Dan Nainan is known as a 35-year-old former Intel engineer who now makes millions as a comedian. The fact that he’s 20 years older is the least weird part of his story.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:51 AM PST - 96 comments

Ice Minarets!

Check out the awesome snow and ice sculptures at the 2016 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival! [more inside]
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 5:58 AM PST - 11 comments

January 4

“...this cycle of easy forgiveness and celebrity-related amnesia.”

The Glare Varies for Two Actors on Hollywood’s Awards Trail [The New York Times] “Why do the two men find themselves in much different circumstances? Perhaps people think Mr. Affleck’s performance, and the movie in which he stars, is better. Maybe it’s because, as an Oscar nominee and the brother of the box-office star Ben Affleck, Mr. Affleck has attained a privileged status in Hollywood; the power surrounding him may make people reluctant to openly criticize him. Certainly a factor is the fact that there was unsettling new information revealed about Mr. Parker’s rape case in August — that his accuser later committed suicide — while there have been no new disclosures regarding Mr. Affleck’s cases. Or maybe, say those mindful of Hollywood’s checkered racial history, it is because Mr. Affleck is white and Mr. Parker is black. ” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 10:07 PM PST - 67 comments

And the most American food is...

posted by jacquilynne at 9:06 PM PST - 151 comments

trains with the faces of men

Trains race to and fro with no consideration of train loads. Trains shunt cars for fun. Trains respond to the whims of fat men in top hats. Trains are bricked up alive into tunnels to force them to work for the crony capitalist nightmare that is the island of Sodor. A subversive anti-capitlist screed or a good faith depiction of what happens when captial and aristocracy are too closely entwined or a classic depcition of false conciousness? And why are we running steam trains in this day and age? What the hell is going on on this island? [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:00 PM PST - 72 comments

u ever thought about a cat? get 1.

The FurKids animal and rescue shelter in Georgia is really trying to sell you on the concept of "cats" in their newest, low budget, pretty funny commercial. Warning: may make you want a cat.
posted by codacorolla at 8:46 PM PST - 32 comments

Bear Loses Bearings on Bare Ice

[SLYT] When White Bear Mitsubishi's mascot joins the Minnesota Gophers' Goldy on the rink in Mariucci Arena to shoot a local ad, everyone wins! Except the white bear.
posted by not_on_display at 6:13 PM PST - 32 comments

How to become a "superager"

Of course, the big question is: How do you become a superager? Which activities, if any, will increase your chances of remaining mentally sharp into old age? We’re still studying this question, but our best answer at the moment is: work hard at something. Many labs have observed that these critical brain regions increase in activity when people perform difficult tasks, whether the effort is physical or mental. You can therefore help keep these regions thick and healthy through vigorous exercise and bouts of strenuous mental effort. My father-in-law, for example, swims every day and plays tournament bridge. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 6:02 PM PST - 45 comments

An 8-bit time is guaranteed for all

The 8-Bit Beatles
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 4:37 PM PST - 32 comments

"In the year the cheeto ascends the throne, the sun will hide in shame"

On August 21st this year, a solar eclipse will sweep across continental USA for the first time in decades. Between 10:15am in Oregon and 2:49pm in South Carolina, the sun will be blotted out in parts of 14 states to greatly varying degrees, with all of the contiguous United States seeing at least a partial eclipse. This iteration belongs to Saros 145; the longest duration of totality will be 2 minutes 41.6 seconds just south of Carbondale, Illinois and the greatest extent will be between Hopkinsville and Princeton, Kentucky. The best place to view? Depends, even as towns vie for viewers and predict the masses. While astronomers are excited, prophets are worried. Also, a google map, resource bibliography and an alien invasion.
posted by Wordshore at 3:15 PM PST - 44 comments

Doula Drama

Inside The Million-Dollar Get-Rich Doula Clique. Buzzfeed profiles ProDoula, whose controversial efforts to "professionalize" doula services is described as both empowering and predatory. (Warning: includes disability slur).
posted by snickerdoodle at 2:17 PM PST - 17 comments

The Joy of Vibrating

Ever since we got electrical power, there have been weight-loss gadgets that depend on vibration. They don't work; you can't vibrate fat away. That doesn't mean these gadgets can't be fun. Two little boys found one out for demonstration in a store and decided to try it out. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:55 PM PST - 17 comments

Battle hymn for our new republic

Revenge, a poem by Elisa Chavez. Read it aloud, it will do your soul good to proclaim it.
posted by donnagirl at 1:47 PM PST - 22 comments

The snowball machine gun

Mark Rober was outgunned and outflanked by his nephews and nieces in (snowball) battle, and had to resort to developing a wunderwaffe: The snowball machine gun. Faced with similar problems? He has provided instructions on making your own.
posted by Harald74 at 12:27 PM PST - 20 comments

You don't get into this for the money because THERE IS NO F*&$ING MONEY

The American restaurant business is a bubble, and that bubble is bursting. I've arrived at this conclusion after spending a year traveling around the country and talking to chefs, restaurant owners, and other industry folk for this series. In part one, I talked about how the Good Food Revival Movement™ created colonies of similar, hip restaurants in cities all over the country. In the series' second story, I discussed how a shortage of cooks -- driven by a combination of the restaurant bubble, shifts in immigration, and a surge of millennials -- is permanently altering the way a restaurant's back of the house has to operate in order to survive. This, the final story, is simple: I want you to understand why America's Golden Age of Restaurants is coming to an end.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 12:04 PM PST - 121 comments

The Mysterious Disappearance of Keith Davis

The unsettling disappearance of a fisheries observer sparks questions about safety on the high seas and the fate of the fish stocks they attempt to monitor. [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 11:56 AM PST - 8 comments

Please Make Me a Chair Before You Go

There are now only two living members of the Shaker faith. In 2016, there were three. [more inside]
posted by notyou at 11:26 AM PST - 48 comments

Ever just want to spend a little time with your idol?

Gone and Sometimes Forgotten (slyt) Adam the Woo visits odd and out of the way places.
Former drummer for Guttermouth. [more inside]
posted by shockingbluamp at 10:26 AM PST - 2 comments

I think he meant 9 lives, not 9 days...

SL cat-story-with-happy-ending filter: Boston cat jumps out of car window on busy highway, is found by electricians nine days later hiding in a pipe underneath. From Mefi's Own™ adamg.
posted by Melismata at 10:08 AM PST - 9 comments

Hate in America is alive and well

The LGBT movement, like every other battle for civil rights, is not a simple, straightforward march toward liberation. In the coming years, as being labeled a racist or bigot is falsely equated with acting out of racism or bigotry, as evidence of hate and its terrible outcomes is clouded by self-interested suspicion and denial — it’s worth remembering that in 2016, love did not trump hate. A Buzzfeed piece uses the 1998 Matthew Shepard murder as the focal point of a longform piece on how far we've come - or not.
posted by AFABulous at 9:35 AM PST - 17 comments

I'm gonna dance with you, pal you're gonna dance with me!

“It was so much fun to go through all those archives and retrace the steps that the production designers of the era took to achieve the look of their movies,” says [production designer Jess Gonchor]. Here, in GIF form, we’ve assembled a handful of classic films that directly inspired Hail, Caesar!
posted by griphus at 9:21 AM PST - 26 comments

Bruce Lee Helped Me Come to Terms With the Death of My Son

"No matter what we were doing there, one constant seemed to be that on many days someone would wander over or call to us from afar, “Hey, do you know where Bruce Lee is buried?” Bill Radke talks to Linda Dahlstrom Anderson, a Seattle journalist and editor at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, about how Bruce Lee's grave at Lake View Cemetery in Seattle helped her come to terms with the loss of her 7-month-old son Phoenix.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:43 AM PST - 7 comments

New Year, New Organ (or, And Then There Were 79)

It's official: A brand-new human organ has been classified

No, Scientists Have Not Found a 'New Organ' [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 7:07 AM PST - 36 comments

Did Inadequate Women’s Healthcare Destroy Star Wars’ Old Republic?

"[Anakin] seriously spends two hours of the movie freaking out about his wife’s uterus, and hypes himself up so much that he gets to the point of slaughtering tiny tots in a Jedi temple. All because he can’t think of another way to save Padme from reproductive health complications. Why didn’t they just go to a goddamned obstetrician-gynecologist?" [more inside]
posted by Shmuel510 at 5:49 AM PST - 217 comments

Because it's been a whole day since we invoked Smashmouth.

Why are animated dance-party endings so goddamn annoying? (SLAVClub)
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 4:46 AM PST - 54 comments

Don't Stay in School

Don't Go to School (slyt) David Brown posits that the traditional school syllabus is a poor fit for modern life.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 4:36 AM PST - 72 comments

Shit Cassandra Saw That She Didn’t Tell the Trojans

Because at that Point Fuck Them Anyway
posted by hollyholly at 3:45 AM PST - 19 comments

Cormac McCarthy's Increasing Returns

How To Write Better Harvard Business Review Articles: Have Cormac McCarthy Do Your Editing - "I really enjoyed this anecdote about the writing of W. Brian Arthur's classic article on increasing returns from 1996." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 1:49 AM PST - 7 comments

January 3

Is the KLF back for 2017?

Is the KLF back for 2017? 23 years after burning a million quid a strange video appears on YouTube. The number 23 has mystical meaning for the KLF.
posted by GuyZero at 8:21 PM PST - 71 comments

Includes the Austin Wintory Soundtrack of 2016

The lovely gentlemen at Rebel FM have a (somewhat) annual tradition of recording one really big podcast at year's end covering all the wild and wonderful twelve months in video game music. Want to dive into over four hours of music with the occasional comment? Click here to choose the path of perpetual torment.(audio only, somewhat NSFW) [more inside]
posted by selfnoise at 6:55 PM PST - 1 comment

Subcultures within subcultures: Floor hockey in NYC Orthodox Schools

A ‘World Unto Itself’ in New York Area Yeshivas: Floor Hockey At certain powerhouses, hockey is perhaps the most prominent sport, and rivalries have developed between neighboring yeshivas. [more inside]
posted by Salamandrous at 5:54 PM PST - 8 comments

Keeping Up with the Bones

Police in Missouri found four coffins and 15 skeletons inside an archaeologist's house. Establishing their origin illustrates some new developments in forensic Anthropology.
posted by Rumple at 2:53 PM PST - 12 comments

How you spend your time when you can't build a rocket

Scavengers is a brief animation about explorers stranded on a remote planet that was recently featured on Short of the Week. [more inside]
posted by Going To Maine at 1:28 PM PST - 14 comments

The Champions of the 401k lament the revolution they started

The Champions of the 401k Lament the Revolution They Started “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.” --Eric Hoffer. | "The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative the day after the revolution." --Hannah Arendt | "Could you have ruined yourself somehow?" --Hannah and Her Sisters [more inside]
posted by mecran01 at 11:53 AM PST - 103 comments

Tomatoes, or How Not to Define Art [SLYT 11min 46 seconds]

Ceci n'est pas une tomato. A Tomato is Botanically a Fruit, but is it also Linguistically a Vegetable? This is a video about how we (as humans) define and use tomatoes, except it's really a video about how we define, use and interact with Art. [more inside]
posted by Faintdreams at 9:51 AM PST - 30 comments

I̘̟̼͙ͮͯͧ̎͡t̮̹̲͈̲͂̄ͫ͘'̥̺̆̒̀s̖̥̞̹̭ͪ ̠̫̦̏̌͗ͪ̓ͮb̩̲͗ͥ͋͋̀e͍̞̬̻͕̗̓̋͗e̹̼̞̖͔͗ͪ̃̒ņ̬̹̼͊̋ͥ̎̊̆.͚̞́́̅.҉̹.̥̲͛͆ͦ̂̋͋ͧ

Musician Evan Desautels remixed Barenaked Ladies' hit, One Week, replacing every instrument with its earworm opening lyrics,"It's been." He previously remixed the theme to Star Wars, replacing all the instruments with the first orchestral hit.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:03 AM PST - 69 comments

House GOP votes to gut independent ethics office

House Republicans voted in a closed-door meeting Monday night to strip the independent Office of Congressional Ethics of its powers to speak publicly, report crimes, get anonymous tips, and act independently. If this amendment is passed, the Office will now be under the control of the House Ethics Committee. The Ethics Committee is run by members of the House, the body that the Office was intended to investigate. [more inside]
posted by Sleeper at 1:36 AM PST - 342 comments

January 2

Are you a beginner looking for a jumpstart?

However, as I traveled and taught workshops to more and more groups of ukulele players, I began to question the conventional “C, F and G7” approach to teaching beginners. More importantly, I began to find success using what I called “Chord Twins.” Eventually, this approach became the foundation of Booster Uke. The idea was simple: one shape, two chords. Ten online lessons from James Hill are available for free through January 31st. [more inside]
posted by Shmuel510 at 10:31 PM PST - 30 comments

Faking fake

Still File, by Skrekkøgle, is a series of photographs staged to resemble e.g. unconvincingly photorealistic raytraced 3D graphics. Making-of photos included. Skrekkøgle hijinks previously.
posted by cortex at 10:10 PM PST - 20 comments


Pnut has Greasy Fingers
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:53 PM PST - 16 comments

Love & Happiness

The Obama's final celebration of American music, Love & Happiness, has been posted to the White House Youtube channel. The 82-minute concert features Jill Scott, Regina Hall, Terrence J., Yolanda Adams, Janelle Monae, Leslie Odom Jr., BBD, Michelle Williams, The Roots, De La Soul, Usher, and Samuel L. Jackson.
posted by kristi at 9:42 PM PST - 24 comments

Play Your Part...

Feed the Animals, Annotated. With a Y-Axis for year of the samples' release, even!
posted by Navelgazer at 8:27 PM PST - 7 comments

Power Shower

World's Worst Wiring [more inside]
posted by hilaryjade at 6:01 PM PST - 79 comments

Artist, pioneer, kitemaker: Tyrus Wong, 1910-2016

Artist, animator, and kitemaker Tyrus Wong, called film’s “most significant stylist” and best known for inspiring the unique and heralded visual style of Walt Disney's Bambi, died on December 29 at age 106. [more inside]
posted by drlith at 5:37 PM PST - 14 comments

“Hello, my friend. Stay awhile and listen...”

Blizzard Celebrates 20 Years of Diablo [Battlenet] “Blizzard Entertainment is thrilled to commemorate twenty years of Diablo [wiki]. We’re ready to celebrate our passion for the world of Sanctuary and the brave heroes who inhabit it! Starting soon, you can experience special in-game events and goodies in Diablo III, Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone, Overwatch, StarCraft II, and World of Warcraft to celebrate a few of the things we love about Diablo. These events and items will only be available for a limited time, so be sure to check them all out before they’re gone. A small taste of each tribute is below—keep an eye out for more details about these celebrations. . . and thank you, all of you, for allowing us to continue adventuring in the world of Sanctuary. Here’s to twenty years of loot!” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 4:23 PM PST - 52 comments

White Nationalism and the Ethics of Medieval Studies

Sierra Lomuto writes about resisting the fascist, neo-Nazi, and racist cooption of medieval history in "White Nationalism and the Ethics of Medieval Studies." (similar issues previously, in the classics context) [more inside]
posted by jedicus at 4:04 PM PST - 28 comments

we are all maggots of the divine corpse

Kill Six Billion Demons is a Webcomic about the Multiverse. Start here. As you read, do not skip the long text posts that accompany each page, and be sure to peruse the comments for clues and other contributions from the fanatic community.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:53 PM PST - 19 comments

Rich, fascinating stories in little, tiny videos:

Bodybuilding with one arm an no legs
Surreal Worlds in Snow Globes
Generations of Falconers in Dubai's Desert
Cloud Piano
At this Sanctuary, All Dogs are in Heaven
This Robot Hitchhiked across Canada
Finding Balance in Korean Sword Making
The Yogi Practicing Body Acceptance
Welcome to Driver's Ed... for Supertankers
Making Sake for almost a Millenium
Cooking for Compton (Snappin' and Trappin')
Protecting Costa Rica's Sea Turtle Mecca
The Furniture Farmer
All stories courtesy of The Great Big Story.
posted by dfm500 at 2:15 PM PST - 19 comments

Hanging with Your Art

Turning Your Vacation Photos Into Works of Art. Some novel ideas for printing out your photos. For example, engineer prints - "Of all the ways to turn photos into wall art, I was most interested in trying engineer prints, named for the large, lightweight prints used by architects. For less than the cost of a couple of movie tickets, you can make huge enlargements. Mind you, it’s a particular aesthetic, one that’s most likely to appeal to people who are after an industrial, shabby chic or bohemian look. The paper is thin and the lines of the images are softer than a fine art print.") [more inside]
posted by storybored at 2:10 PM PST - 11 comments

Seeing comes before words: John Berger 1926-2017

The march of the distinguished nonagenarians continues: Art critic John Berger, perhaps best known for Ways of Seeing (TV series; book; previously), has died at the age of 90. You can get a glimpse of the man in this recent interview and the documentary The Seasons in Quincy.
posted by maudlin at 1:04 PM PST - 31 comments


pppp [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:03 PM PST - 20 comments

Airlines Take Note

Melbourne landlord blasted for installing coin operated toilet.
posted by Literaryhero at 12:18 PM PST - 39 comments

Sorry, I didn't get that

Japanese comedians try to use Siri in English and the results are hilarious. Otona no Kiss eigo (大人のKISS英語) is "an 'English conversation variety show' where we get exposed to English through many kinds of variety projects week by week!!" [Episode playlist] The host, Tomohisa Yamashita (山下 智久), is a widely-known actor, singer, and TV host.
posted by AFABulous at 11:17 AM PST - 33 comments

Stories of Irish suffering opened wounds that had just started to heal

The 1847 Irish potato famine was the first national disaster to attract significant international aid efforts. Among the donors to the Irish people were the Choctaw Nation, which collected and donated $174 to famine relief efforts--despite having themselves barely survived the Trail of Tears only sixteen years before. Indeed, it was the 1831 winter marches from Mississippi to Oklahoma that originally inspired the name "Trail of Tears". In 2015, Cork dedicated a major memorial statue honoring the Choctaw for their help. For their part, the Choctaw have continued to donate to aid efforts following tragedies like Hurricane Katrina and the Haiti earthquake. Most recently, the Choctaw nation have continued their generosity by sending aid to the Sioux community of Standing Rock.
posted by sciatrix at 10:27 AM PST - 8 comments

What makes me the same person throughout my life?

Philosopher Derek Parfit has died. The author of the landmark Reasons and Persons was 74. If you've never heard of Parfit, you may have heard of the Repugnant Conclusion (which highlights paradoxes in how we understand obligations to future generations). Or if you've ever mused on what would happen to you if you used a Star Trek-style transporter, you may enjoy Parfit's treatment of the philosophical implications in the teletransportation paradox. For more about Parfit, read this profile by Larissa MacFarquhar in the New Yorker.
posted by Cash4Lead at 9:15 AM PST - 42 comments

New Year was three months ago

לשנה טובה תכתבו. Back in October, the podcast for the Yiddish Book Center (The Schmooze) interviewed Hannah Pressman of the University of Washington, who has a longstanding interest in Jewish postcards, especially those for the Jewish New Year. [more inside]
posted by maxsparber at 8:53 AM PST - 4 comments

My 72-year-old mom isn't this wise.

A 4-year-old explains the problem with New Year's Resolutions (SLYT)
posted by rabbitrabbit at 5:53 AM PST - 46 comments

Uplifting Culture for 2017

The Guardian has a new series on uplifting culture for 2017 that includes films that are uplifting (rather than the often cliched 'inspirational' genre). [more inside]
posted by ellieBOA at 4:45 AM PST - 24 comments

January 1

"Gopher seems to have won out"

In which we meet an adorably-described Mac SE/30 known as the Mother Gopher. The rise and fall of the Gopher protocol.
posted by duien at 9:42 PM PST - 55 comments

Exodus - first person story telling from the refugee crisis

PBS Frontline Powerful film using cell phone video and interviews following five stories of desperation and hope. [more inside]
posted by readery at 8:39 PM PST - 9 comments

edge.org question 2017

Edge.org asks: WHAT SCIENTIFIC TERM OR CONCEPT OUGHT TO BE MORE WIDELY KNOWN? The Responses: a genetic book of the dead, negative evidence, enactivism, and gravitational radiation, among others.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:14 PM PST - 18 comments

New years as celebrated elsewhere

New Years is celebrated in different ways in different countries but my fave is the area around Romania. Behold the Capra [more inside]
posted by boilermonster at 6:55 PM PST - 4 comments

Load 745 tons and what do you get?

It must be startling to look out of your window and see a centuries-old church rolling by. Even more so if you are in communist Romania in the 1980s, where news is state-controlled and everyday items rationed. Between 1982 and 1988 almost a dozen churches, as well as other buildings, were moved hundreds of metres in order to save them from destruction.
posted by ambrosen at 6:32 PM PST - 3 comments

Antidisestablishmentarianism lost today

On January 1, 2017, Norway ceased to be one of the remaining small handful of European countries with a state church, with the formal disestablishment of the Church of Norway (Lutheran). Norway became Lutheran in the 1530s when Denmark, which then ruled Norwegian territory, broke with the Holy See. [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:00 PM PST - 41 comments

Rory: failing at holding flowers

Cracked.com offers a fan theory for why Rory Gilmore is so terrible in "Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life." (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by lunasol at 4:49 PM PST - 22 comments

13 Commercials by Wes Anderson

The most recent is first. The rest are sorted by duration, company, and title. Those that are a minute or less are below the fold. [more inside]
posted by Going To Maine at 2:00 PM PST - 20 comments

"I serve both masters..."

Welcome to Nerdville: Joe Bonamassa and his personal guitar and amp collection
posted by dfm500 at 1:41 PM PST - 38 comments

Dead Ant Dead Ant Dead Ant Dead Ant Dead Ant

Classical Pieces You’ve Probably Heard but Might Not Remember the Name Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
posted by infini at 11:42 AM PST - 51 comments

Nixon's Vietnam Treachery

The New York Times has published excerpts from Richard Nixon aide H.R. Haldeman's notes proving that during the 1968 Presidential election, Nixon did in fact, as he always denied doing, sabotage peace talks that could've ended the Vietnam war years early, saving thousands of unnecessary deaths and potentially giving Hubert Humphrey an edge in the election.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:37 AM PST - 73 comments

I miss "meh"

Charlie Brooker Newswipes 2016 Black Mirror's creator takes a whack at a shitmungous year, accompanied by Philomena Cunk and Alt-Git Barry Shitpeas. The 2016 wipe features Pokemon Gove, an epic if brief puddle, horse pleasuring, Brexit breakfast, Yorkshire-bashing, the pocalypse, and an epic Trump mashup. Don't miss the Wendy Carlos soundtrack and a new fake news channel. (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 9:35 AM PST - 29 comments

Finding the Lost City

'Lost City': The expedition that uncovered the fabled 'Monkey God' civilization buried in the jungles of Honduras The team traveled with three former British special forces members. Andrew Wood, who went by the name “Woody,” stepped up. The snake “exploded into furious action . . . striking in every direction, spraying venom.” [more inside]
posted by Michele in California at 8:03 AM PST - 15 comments

All The Bass...

Here is the cimbasso, also sometimes known as the bass valve trombone. According to Wikipedia, the cimbasso is a brass instrument in the trombone family, with a sound ranging from warm and mellow to bright and menacing. [more inside]
posted by 43rdAnd9th at 6:58 AM PST - 15 comments

Approved News 6's take on the end of 2016

New Year's Eve: Illuminati Declares "Case WISTFUL CRANE;" Orders All Units Activated -- This tweet, plus subsequent tweets in response, describe the end of 2016 as it could have been in the alternate universe where Approved News 6 reigns supreme. [more inside]
posted by XtinaS at 5:19 AM PST - 17 comments

Jeremy Irons reads TS Eliot

On BBC Radio 4 throughout the day today, Jeremy Irons reads (almost) all the poetry of TS Eliot. A new year's day treat. From the BBC website: "At the end of a year in which so much that had been taken for granted seemed to fragment, our guests explain why Eliot, himself a poet of fragments, can steady us for a journey into the unknown, and for transformation ... There may be no better preparation for the coming year." [more inside]
posted by genesta at 4:24 AM PST - 17 comments

"The symptoms of life"

In "Poor People," anthropologist Andrew Beatty recalls his fieldwork in Indonesia and portrays specific impacts of poverty easily obscured by generalized references to the poor. In "Return to the Field," he evokes what it's like to revisit the two scenes of his earlier research, encounter changes in individuals, families, and social/religious life, and learn the stark facts about how some things turned out. [more inside]
posted by Wobbuffet at 2:15 AM PST - 3 comments