January 2019 Archives

January 31

As grocery store investigates, theories abound in Carstairs

A mystery is unfolding in Carstairs, and its become the talk of the town. It seems key fobs for some cars have stopped working in the parking lot of a local grocery store. People in town are trying to figure out why its happening.
posted by Vesihiisi at 11:25 PM PST - 37 comments

The Empty Quadrant

"That's the end. Howard Schultz did not put forward one policy he would enact as president." - Paul Constant wraps up a live-tweet of billionaire Howard Schultz's latest not-quite-presidential-campaign event. The not-campaign has been marked with a distinct lack of substance, mostly consisting of Schultz criticizing popular Democratic policies and espousing a bland socially liberal/financially conservative centrism that's been described as "The Empty Quadrant of American Politics". So who is this for and who is encouraging this? Probably the media, and their ongoing infatuation with false middle ground narratives.
posted by Artw at 10:05 PM PST - 129 comments

Finally, something else everyone is sure to agree on!

Every Black Sabbath Album Ranked! A definitive, uncontroversial list from the fine folks at Grauniad. [more inside]
posted by Cookiebastard at 9:32 PM PST - 35 comments

Saudade: Homebrew Retro Games & The Interrogation of Capitalism

It is easy to view retro gaming as regressive. With the arc of history bending towards justice, the past is problematic and its celebration can hurt the vulnerable. Archival efforts are literally conservative. It is impossible for a community which celebrates long dead brands to escape the shadow of consumerism. Despite all of this, portions of the hobby—consciously or not—can be seen as casting doubt on the standard narratives regarding the proper roles of capitalism and politics in the creation of culture. [more inside]
posted by always_implicated at 9:15 PM PST - 28 comments

Silk Stockings and Socialism

The 1920s Jazz Age is remembered for flappers and speakeasies, not for the success of a declining labor movement. A more complex story was unfolding among the young women and men in the hosiery mills of Kensington, the working-class heart of Philadelphia. Their product was silk stockings, the iconic fashion item of the flapper culture then sweeping America and the world. Although the young people who flooded into this booming industry were avid participants in Jazz Age culture, they also embraced a surprising, rights-based labor movement, headed by the socialist-led American Federation of Full-Fashioned Hosiery Workers (AFFFHW). [more inside]
posted by sepviva at 7:20 PM PST - 2 comments

“The system keeps perpetuating the same faulty norms about us.”

Are Philly court reporters accurate with black dialect? Study: Not really.
For a forthcoming study in the journal Language, researchers evaluated how well Philadelphia court reporters transcribe dialect. The team, which includes University of Pennsylvania linguists, a New York University sociologist, and a co-founder of Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity, tested 27 court reporters for both accuracy and comprehension. Roughly 40 percent of the sentences the court reporters transcribed had something wrong. Sixty-seven percent of attempts at paraphrasing weren’t accurate. And 11 percent of transcriptions were called gibberish.
[more inside]
posted by Lexica at 6:08 PM PST - 43 comments

knit one pearl, too

Beautifully crocheted seafood by Kate Jenkins (instagram, homepage)
posted by moonmilk at 5:24 PM PST - 8 comments

Macs & cheese

The Washington Post tries 20 store-bought mac and cheese brands to determine which is the best [more inside]
posted by peeedro at 5:09 PM PST - 130 comments

The Convention of Secrets

The Literary Ink Convention takes place in Chattanooga this weekend. While there will be many literary references present, let's be honest, it's mainly a Harry Potter tattoo convention. Here's a small sample from this year's "tattoo wizards": Professor McGonagall, Deathly Hallows, Floo Powder, Luna Lovegood, Mad Eye Moody, Kreacher, Shrieking Shack, Expecto Patronum, Bellatrix Lestrange, George's ear, Snape Snape Snape, potions and potions and potions and potions, Hermione, Cornish pixie, Dark Mark, Dobby, the third Horcrux, the Marauder's Map, Harry's grim, Hufflepuff House and Slytherin House, so very very very very very very many wands, and countless other references to little moments in the books.
posted by not_the_water at 4:04 PM PST - 3 comments

Three for Thursday: studies of evolution and longevity

Sometimes scientific studies are fast, and some are slow. On the fast side, a study of anole lizard before and after Hurricanes Irma and Maria battered the Caribbean islands of Turks and Caicos was fortuitously timed and able to document significant differences in the remaining population in a few short months, while a study of evolution in deer mice in Nebraska was completed in 14 months, thanks in part to a chance encounter at a bar in Valentine, NE. On the other end, scientists at the University of Edinburgh are only four years into a 500 year study on the longevity of bacteria (The Atlantic x 3). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 2:54 PM PST - 4 comments

Dayle's Growlies for Groups

When you need recipes (500+) for feeding large groups (e.g. 100 servings), (wedding) self catering or make-ahead meals. Bonus: great vintage web design. Via wwax's comment.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 1:49 PM PST - 12 comments

The Bicycle Thief

Tom Justice was once a cyclist chasing Olympic gold. Then he began using his bike for a much different purpose: robbing banks. (Chicago magazine)
posted by box at 1:47 PM PST - 16 comments

The Queen killed the sun, and the sky is now full of terrors.

Sunless Skies , from the makers of Sunless Seas and Fallen London, has launched! Madness and arcane mysteries in the great unknown. [more inside]
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 1:42 PM PST - 12 comments

Apollo 11

As the 50th anniversary draws near, Apollo 11 is yet another film about the 1969 manned moon mission. Made from recently found and restored video and audio, after premiering at Sundance the film has picked up positive reviews. Variety: '...just about all the footage has never been seen before.' Gizmodo: 'Six weeks before launch, MGM lost interest'. Nerdist: 'The footage ... looks so crisp, so clean, so impossibly high definition that you would think it was filmed last week..'. Hollywood Reporter: '...the weight and grandeur that come from 6.5 million pounds of machinery instead of CG'. Previously on MetaFilter: the flight plan, Saturn V launch, getting to the moon, 35th anniversary, the Apollo photos.
posted by Wordshore at 1:27 PM PST - 39 comments

The Undefeated: 44 Most Influential Black Americans in History

44 Most Influential Black Americans in History "African Americans who shook up the world" [more inside]
posted by kirkaracha at 1:14 PM PST - 5 comments

Drew Magary has a Take.

"Well now, this is an official Take, and by law all Takes must include an unwelcome BUT to spoil everything and to set off fires in your psyche. I loved all of these bagels, but the standard operating procedure of most bagel shops is to serve your bagel and smoked salmon as a full-on sandwich, with the cream cheese and smoked fish jammed inside the full bagel. This is, in my opinion, a sub-optimal way of enjoying a bagel. Bagel sandwiches are dumb."
posted by everybody had matching towels at 1:05 PM PST - 58 comments

"... Munchery is closing its doors and ending operations..."

Munchery, a microwave meal and meal-kit delivery company, announced last week that they were shutting down. Well, at least, they announced it to their customer base, but they appear to have forgotten to tell their vendors. Yesterday, their employees filed a class action lawsuit, citing failure to warn of mass layoffs.
posted by hanov3r at 1:00 PM PST - 14 comments

‘World of curation craft’

Occupy White Walls [YouTube][Game Trailer] “ Occupy White Walls [oww.io] is an upcoming MMO where you can build your own architecturally ambitious art gallery and showcase it to the world. [...] The idea is that every player curates their own gallery, and earns in-game money to expand their collection based on how many visitors they get. There are 800 architectural assets in at the moment, with plans to add thousands more. Once your white walls or otherwise are in place, you can adorn them with “hundreds of thousands” of artworks, which are currently limited to works from the 18th and 19th centuries.” [via: Rock Papers Shotgun]
posted by Fizz at 12:43 PM PST - 14 comments

Inside an expansive $21+ million NYC Townhouse [SLYT 10min 21 Sec]

“The definition of nature in New York is a little different to the rest of the world, but here we see a Tree and that's pretty darn good.” Basic description: 5 bedrooms, 6 Full Bathrooms, 2 half bathrooms, Over 8,500 (eight thousand five hundred) square feet and (currently) cost a mere $21,900,000 USD (Twenty One million Nine Hundred Thousand Dollars). Covering four floors the Townhouse includes; a cellar gym, a large private terrace, and a subterranean car park that can fit two entire cars. [more inside]
posted by Faintdreams at 12:40 PM PST - 56 comments

Downside: A potentially uninhabitable Europe

Exxon’s rhetoric ran counter to its own internal conclusions about climate change, as the company re-engineered oil platforms and pipelines to account for the rising sea levels it claimed didn’t exist.
In 1997, scientists working for Exxon offered visionary solutions for climate change. The only problem? Their plans might destroy the earth in the process.
posted by Rumple at 11:32 AM PST - 20 comments

Rivers of Babylon: The Story of a Third Trimester Abortion

The first walk I took outside my house after my abortion was with my rabbi. ...She said something to me, then, that has been a great comfort. “You had a choice,” she said, “but you did not have free will.” A choice that was no choice at all. (Content warning: a depiction of a of third-trimester abortion physically, practically, and emotionally)
posted by muddgirl at 10:41 AM PST - 21 comments

Worker Collectives. Mixed Markets. Liberal Freedoms. Local Control.

“..What is instead needed is an honest presentation of the risks, costs, and dilemmas the socialist project will face, alongside credible examples and promising indications of how the problems might be creatively addressed. The primary quandary of socialism lies in how to concretely manifest social property in the means of production. Can workers run their workplaces? If social property is organized through the state, where does worker control fit in? If social property is divided among worker collectives, how do the particular interests of each collective mesh with the social interest? And can these fragmented collectives counteract the centralized power? That is, can the concentrated power that comes with comprehensive planning be democratized?” As the old order begins to wobble, a serious attempt to address the problems and critics of a future socialist society must be taken up : Socialism For Realists. (Catalyst)
posted by The Whelk at 8:20 AM PST - 14 comments

Remember MySpace‽

Why isn't the internet more fun and weird?

The internet used to be fun and weird, but somewhere along the way we lost... <blink>something</blink>. Things like Zombo.com.
Jarred Sumner takes a look at the web that MySpace enabled, trying to bring back the same quirky Internet that glitch.com is also trying to bring back.
posted by fragmede at 8:06 AM PST - 45 comments

Comments Sought by Feb 12 on US Health Privacy Law

Imagine your worst enemy. Got them in mind? Ok, now imagine how you'd feel if your medical records were given to that person without your consent. This is a thread about stopping changes the Trump admin wants to make to HIPAA & a confession: I've failed, I need your help. Healthcare system activist and attorney Matthew Cortland@mattbc asks for comments by February 12 on proposed changes to the Federal Privacy Rule (SL: Threadreader App). The purpose of these comments is to persuade the human beings who work at HHS that stripping us of the privacy protections other patients get is a terrible idea that will harm and, literally, kill people. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 7:59 AM PST - 7 comments

In Search of Emiliano Sala

The plane carrying footballer Emiliano Sala from Nantes to his new team in Cardiff disappeared over the English Channel. A moving account of his final days and the search for closure. Footballer Emiliano Sala, born in Argentina, became a hardworking fan-favorite at Nantes. He was sold to Cardiff City two weeks ago. After a brief return to Nantes to finalize his move, he boarded a single-engine Piper plane. It never reached Cardiff. [more inside]
posted by TwoStride at 7:28 AM PST - 2 comments

everyone loves it 'til they're on it

30 years ago this May, an Australian barrister and former journalist, Stuart Littlemore, was given a small space on the national publically-owned broadcaster, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) to host a program about the media. Littlemore, now a barrister, was an idiosyncratic host, more like a well-connected uncle than a news anchor, and instead of feebly countering criticism of the ABC, he went for the throat of anyone that had, in his view, used their platform to lie to the public, including reporters at the ABC themselves. That program, now called Media Watch, is entirely unique in the world: a prime time, 15-minute program about media content analysis and critique. [more inside]
posted by Merus at 5:03 AM PST - 14 comments

Aeneas Fleeing from Troy (c. 1750) / He-Man Fleeing from Troi (2019)

Recreations of Famous Paintings of Myths Using Only My Children’s Toys from the series “By a Woman With Small Children and a PhD in Classics” on Eidolon, by Sarah Scullin, which also includes the posts The Definitive Latin Translation of “Baby Shark”, How to Travel Europe With Small Children, Writing While Mothering, and A Woman with Small Children and a PhD in Classics Pitches Eidolon. Sarah Scullin’s other writings for Eidolon are worth checking out too.
posted by Kattullus at 4:27 AM PST - 13 comments

Mr. & Miss Albinism East Africa pageant

[WaPo] Defying stigma, contestants compete in the world’s first Mr. & Miss Albinism East Africa pageant Photo report. [more inside]
posted by stonepharisee at 1:35 AM PST - 3 comments

January 30

The polar vortex is so cold

Seven hours of cats sitting under a Kotatsu and being warm
posted by Going To Maine at 10:48 PM PST - 25 comments

Sites with Depth

Ian Ference curates the blog Brooklyn Stereography where he features and writes about Stereo Photographs from his vintage collection. EG: A Burlesque Fan Dance from 1933 (NSFW), WWI Ruins, Carnaval de Nice 1933, Ambulances from Champagne 1915 & Saint-Mesmes 1916, and, naturally, 3d photos of 1933 Brooklyn. [more inside]
posted by Mitheral at 9:51 PM PST - 8 comments

"Adobe Illustrator is a horrible piece of....software"

laser cut peacock mandala: MeFi's own MillMan walks us through the process of creating a mesmerizing, intricate, absolutely gorgeous mandala from 49 layers of 140lb cardstock. [via mefi projects]
posted by Anonymous at 8:54 PM PST - 41 comments

I'm going upstairs

Michael Gungor, Mike McHargue, Hillary McBride and William Matthews of The Liturgists Podcast try to answer the question How Do We Know What We Know?
Barry Lam of the podcast Hi-Phi Nation enters the Chamber of Facts to determine how people understand information.
Chris Hayes talks with journalist David Roberts on Why Is This Happening podcast about Assessing America's Information Crisis
DAVID ROBERTS: "And so, they don't believe. And all the evidence flying this way and that, and all the arguments and framing, oh my God, so many discussions of framing, all that stuff just turns out to be more or less useless. "
Is America Facing An Epistemic Crisis - ongoing? [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:05 PM PST - 15 comments

"I…felt kind of sorry for this curelessly horny guy."

When she’s not touring as part of the backing bands for such artists as Beck and Lorde, [Alex] Lilly is busy crafting sparkly and smart pop gems that are as spiky as they are sweet. Case in point: the acerbic synth-wave anthem “Pornographic Mind” [NSFW]. It’s Lilly’s exasperated ode to workplace harassment, a darkly comic tale that’s far too relatable.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:33 PM PST - 4 comments

R.I.P. Dick Miller

Dick Miller, veteran character actor, Roger Corman regular (and thus MST3k mainstay) and subject of his own documentary, has passed away at the age of 90.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 6:14 PM PST - 32 comments


I don' t wanna get out of futon by 打首獄門同好会 (Uchikubi Gokumon Doukoukai): A cute and relatable little song for some people in the North American midwest right now.
posted by ardgedee at 5:14 PM PST - 21 comments

How does pure mathematics apply to our daily lives?

How to Think Like a Mathematician - with Eugenia Cheng. For thousands of years, mathematicians have used the timeless art of logic to see the world more clearly. Today, truth is buried under soundbites and spin, and seeing clearly is more important than ever. In this talk, Eugenia Cheng will show how anyone can think like a mathematician to understand what people are really telling us – and how we can argue back. Taking a careful scalpel to fake news, politics, privilege, sexism and dozens of other real-world situations, she will teach us how to find clarity without losing nuance.
posted by zengargoyle at 4:59 PM PST - 24 comments

I scream, you scream, actually that's still me screaming

Human screams occupy a privileged niche in the communication soundscape: "We found that screams occupy a reserved chunk of the auditory spectrum, but we wanted to go through a whole bunch of sounds to verify that this area is unique to screams," says Poeppel, who also directs the Frankfurt Max-Planck-Institute Department of Neuroscience. "In a series of experiments, we saw [that] this observation remained true when we compared screaming to singing and speaking, even across different languages. The only exception--and what was peculiar and cool--is that alarm signals (car alarms, house alarms, etc.) also activate the range set aside for screams." [paper pdf]
posted by not_the_water at 3:52 PM PST - 16 comments


A Redditor posted a picture of their mother holding a painting. Someone else posted a picture of themselves holding a painting of the first picture... [more inside]
posted by zamboni at 2:55 PM PST - 26 comments

The Baghdaddies: Balkan melodies, Latin grooves, elements of English ska

The Baghdaddies (official site) are purveyors of Baltics-via-Britain party-starting off-beat gypsy-ska-blues-funk, and have been going strong for more than two decades (Narc Magazine interview). Their official blurb is that their "exuberant and rampant brand of world music is an exhilarating cocktail of Balkan melodies, ska and latin grooves and sizzling brass played with furious energy and theatrical humour, making them as unforgettable on stage as they are when performing as wandering brass troubadours." Sounds good, but don't take their word for it. Enjoy their music on Bandcamp and Soundcloud, and check out five short videos from them on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 2:36 PM PST - 5 comments

“Taste the rainbow”

(CW) Rare: Putting edible glitter on your dog’s testicles is a trend now, apparently. Originally posted on a North Carolina salon's Facebook page, the multi-colored edible cake glitter - which is non-toxic - is "applied to the dog's scrotum using corn syrup", making the full ensemble edible (presumably for the dog?). It is unclear whether this results in glitter poop some time later, if this is a career choice, or whether this has yet been tried on cats. (Post title from Facebook comment)
posted by Wordshore at 1:19 PM PST - 82 comments

It has been zero days since Facebook's latest scandal

Last year (previous Metafilter discussion), Facebook got castigated for pushing users to install their VPN that gave FB access to anything they sent through the supposedly-secure VPN. Like a zombie, it's baaaaaack as Project Atlas... with more hoops for users to go through, an offer to pay them as subjects, and the same Onavo code under the hood. For extra evil added to last year's go-around? Recruiting teens as subjects, and being very sloppy about parental consent. Apple, at least, is very unamused that Facebook has been using Apple's Enterprise program to get around the consequences of last year's go-around with this, and just yanked Facebook's certificate. [more inside]
posted by Making You Bored For Science at 12:17 PM PST - 59 comments

You never see the present—you only see the past

“What time is the Super Bowl?” It’s the question on everyone’s mind this time of year. We know this because millions across the globe type this seemingly simple question into their internet search engine of choice, and thousands of websites (including this one) publish a story purporting to provide the answer. But these responses merely scratch the surface of much deeper issues and larger truths. To truly comprehend the scope of the question, and the problems it involves, we need a deeper understanding of just what “time” is... and what it isn’t. What Time Is the Super Bowl? We Asked Theoretical Physicist Carlo Rovelli
posted by everybody had matching towels at 12:14 PM PST - 27 comments

"They always just focused on *it*...”

You Know the Lorena Bobbitt Story. But Not All of It. [Amy Chozick, The New York Times]
Even though the “War of the Bobbitts,” as People magazine called it, happened two years after Anita Hill inserted sexual harassment into the conversation and “Thelma & Louise” turned a housewife and a waitress into renegade icons of female revenge, most people never really thought of Lorena in those terms. Men, speaking from Charlie Rose’s table and Geraldo Rivera’s armchairs, made Lorena seem like an unsatisfied, unhinged wife who had dealt a ghastly blow in the gender wars. And while many women defended Lorena and wondered what John must have done to drive her to it, some feminists argued that she had hurt the cause, making the sisterhood look deranged. “It was like, ‘Oh yeah, so now a lot of women are going to do this,’” remembered Katha Pollitt, who wrote about the trial for The Nation. “I do not remember Lorena Bobbitt, feminist hero.”
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:48 AM PST - 42 comments

20 Instruments Reconstructed to Play Through the Keys of a Vintage Piano

When the Ukrainian band Brunettes Shoot Blondes purchased a vintage, albeit broken, grand piano they decided to recreate this concept in analog form. The group secured twenty instruments to the inside of the piano and its sides so they could effectively play each as they pressed certain keys. [slyt] [via]
posted by ellieBOA at 11:32 AM PST - 5 comments

Has-descendents, Fly-debate, and Tace walk into a church

Puritanism has its roots in the late sixteenth century, after Henry VIII broke ties with the Catholic Church. The Puritans believed that reforms had not gone far enough and advocated for a church entirely divorced from Catholic ceremonies. For over a century, Puritans argued amongst themselves, schismed, predicted the end of the world, and still found time to fight the English Civil War and start colonies in the Northeastern United States.Perhaps their greatest gift to history, however, is their wonderfully strange taste in names.
posted by sciatrix at 10:25 AM PST - 64 comments

If it's cold for you, it's cold for your tauntaun

The Upper Midwestern US, recovering from Winter Storm Jayden, is caught in the grips of a "polar vortex", bringing record setting cold (autoplaying video) across the nation, leading to cities like Minneapolis and Chicago virtually shutting down. Of note, the US Postal Service suspended mail delivery in parts or all of 10 states today. [more inside]
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:24 AM PST - 78 comments

There’s no life there. Not one fish playing in the water.

As Brazil fights to cope with it's second mineral tailings dam disaster in 3 years Piaui magazine publishes a long form investigative report on the first dam failure known as the Mariana disaster. Both mines were at least partly owned by the multinational Vale.
posted by adamvasco at 9:50 AM PST - 7 comments

Want to know what your name tastes like?

Aaron - a stale chocolate bar; Brandon - flat Coke; Charlotte - raspberry lollipop Freelance journalist and Twitter user Julie McDowall (@JulieAMcDowell) specializes in the Cold War and the nuclear threat and happens to have synesthesia. She recently tweeted that she “tastes” words and encouraged people to ask her the flavor of their name. The Mail Online compiled a list of McDowall’s “greatest hits” which McDowall tweeted.
posted by pjsky at 9:00 AM PST - 59 comments

Terabytes of Enron data have quietly gone missing

From Muckrock: Government investigations into California’s electricity shortage, ultimately determined to be caused by intentional market manipulations and capped retail electricity prices by the now infamous Enron Corporation, resulted in terabytes of information being collected by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. This included several extremely large databases, some of which had nearly 200 million rows of data, including Enron’s bidding and price processes, their trading and risk management systems, emails, audio recordings, and nearly 100,000 additional documents. That information has quietly disappeared, and not even its custodians seem to know why. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 7:10 AM PST - 24 comments

Buy faible, sell haute

Making the Times-Sotheby Index; exposing art bidding deceptions: how Geraldine Norman (née Keen) built up the idea of art as an investment commodity and then fell out of favor with the auction system she'd abetted for trying to keep them honest.
posted by cortex at 7:07 AM PST - 6 comments

The Arctic village with very fluffy dogs

Siorapaluk, Greenland is one of the world's northermost inhabited settlements. French photographer Camille Michel spent a month there.
posted by Vesihiisi at 12:52 AM PST - 5 comments

January 29

Boy lost in woods says bear kept him company.

"He made a comment about having a friend while he was in the woods -- his friend was a bear," Maj. David McFadyen with the Craven County Sheriff's Office told CNN Monday. "In the emergency room he started talking about what happened in the woods and he said he had a friend that was a bear with him while he was in the woods."
posted by thirdring at 9:54 PM PST - 100 comments


Harpists spend 90 percent of their lives tuning their harps and 10 percent playing out of tune. -- Igor Stravinsky

I never thought much about harps. To me they were minor instruments that provided dreamy arpeggios for romantic music. But then I heard and watched Amy Turk's transcription of J.S. Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. I stand corrected...
posted by jim in austin at 7:44 PM PST - 51 comments

We will not be trying out for the 2019 Aviators Season.

In 2018, Stephanie Pritchard and Ronnie Eder were rostered by the Los Angeles Aviators, a professional ultimate frisbee team that competes in the American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL). This was the first time, in its 4 years of existence, that the Aviators Organization rostered women.
posted by Etrigan at 5:50 PM PST - 19 comments

Tubes of the sea

SeaTube is a Youtube channel featuring "time-lapse videos of ships arriving at/departing from various ports or transiting throughout different areas around the world." It is not to be confused with Ocean Networks Canada's archival video platform Seatube, a "video player that lets you watch, search and comment on Ocean Networks Canada deep-sea videos." [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 4:25 PM PST - 8 comments

As Schools Ban Kids From Playing Tag, Psychologists Ask Why

Experts agree that kids love tag because the game lets them pretend to be predators. Is that problematic? Maybe not. [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 3:39 PM PST - 116 comments

The last echo of the fabled lost city of Ubar, Atlantis of the Sands

Most people associate Atlantis with a sunken city or continent that is long gone and hidden beneath the waters. However, Arabia has its own legend of a lost city, the so-called "Atlantis of the Sands" (Wikipedia), which has been the source of debate among a number of historians, archaeologists and explorers. The existence of this legendary place remains a controversial subject to this day. Quest For Atlantis Of The Sands – Iram Of The Pillars – A Legendary Lost City (Ancient Pages) Ubar, Fabled Lost City, Found by L.A. Team (Los Angeles Times, 1992) NASA aided in finding the ancient Arab town, once the center of frankincense trade (Facts and Details dot com). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 2:30 PM PST - 14 comments

In Between, Almost Gone

Doreen Fletcher began painting the East End of London in 1983 (her first painting was a doomed building behind a bus stop in Mile End), capturing a city that was fast being demolished and replaced, and giving colour, beauty and a quite dignity to an area often considered grey and run down. [more inside]
posted by Grangousier at 1:42 PM PST - 10 comments

horse latitudes horse latitudes horse latitudes

Stop calling your books "Horse Latitudes"! With a sigh, Katherine Coldiron sat down to read and review 12 different books called "Horse Latitudes."
posted by moonmilk at 1:33 PM PST - 62 comments

A Little Less Conversation

When the New England Confectionary Company (Necco) went out of business last July, production of its original, iconic SweetHearts (a.k.a. conversation hearts or candy hearts) candy ceased. [more inside]
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:29 AM PST - 119 comments

Bendición de Dios

Two decades ago, seven communities in the municipality of Tacuba, in southwestern El Salvador, banded together to build a community water system that was run by democratically elected leaders. In These Times reports that when a right-wing mayor from the ARENA party was elected in Tacuba, he seized control of the water system and redirected supply to neighborhoods that supported him. The elected leaders of the water system were briefly arrested for stealing water from the system they had labored for so long to build; they're still fighting to regain control. ARENA, now in control of El Salvador's national assembly, has introduced a bill to privatize the country's water system. With El Salvador's Presidential elections coming on Sunday, the bill's fate may hang in the balance.
posted by duffell at 11:05 AM PST - 8 comments

An unfolding view of the Thames from source to sea...

... made up entirely of pictures hidden away in storage. Not just paintings you haven't seen in a gallery, but paintings you can't see in a gallery. [more inside]
posted by YoungStencil at 11:01 AM PST - 7 comments

The Wondrous Bread of the Pueblo Nations

The Pueblos’ baking traditions and golden loaves are renowned among the Native American tribes of the Southwest. [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 10:56 AM PST - 18 comments

Modernist Tastemaker? Fascist Snob? Corporate Artist?

“His “Modern Architecture: International Exhibition” in 1932 successfully sold the profession to America by reducing and reframing the architecture of the day into an aesthetic that would come to be known as the International Style. And in his curating, he conveniently omitted architectural modernism’s more populist programs and ideology (the building of affordable housing, schools, recreation centers, and the like). In fact, Johnson, who could afford to fund his own projects and work on commissions for free (a significant advantage over his competitors), had little care for social concerns unless they somehow benefited him: “Social responsibility was boring,” Lamster notes,” and for Philip Johnson, to be boring was an unforgivable crime.” The Boys’ Club: On the myths and enigmas of Philip Johnson’s life and of a supposedly egalitarian architectural culture. (The Nation)
posted by The Whelk at 10:15 AM PST - 9 comments

invisibility woven into the digital fabric of our banner

But until 1998, when Michael Page designed the flag that would become a global shorthand for bisexuality, there was no universal symbol under which the movement could unite. Many bisexual people did not feel a connection to the already iconic rainbow flag, which seemed to belong only to lesbian and gay people. But the rainbow flag had been undeniably effective. In 1998 it was just 20 years old but already an icon, a utensil of mass visibility and a banner under which to rally. The right flag, clearly, could be a potent tool. “We wanted to let the larger world know that we were here, we’re proud, and we demanded respect.”
posted by sciatrix at 9:45 AM PST - 36 comments

The blessing of a rescue dog

She looks like a cross between Groucho Marx and a dust mop, and she’s a bulwark against despair. Millie reminds me every day that life isn’t only a casting off, that it can also be, at times, an accruing. There will always be friends to make and seeds to plant. There will always be ways to help alleviate suffering. This, she reminds me, is no time for despair. This little rescue dog is rescuing me, too.
posted by stillmoving at 9:44 AM PST - 22 comments

"He was the James Brown of punk, the way he whipped his band into shape"

Get your suits off and get your jeans on for The Oral History of The Fall's Mark E. Smith from Vice UK. [more inside]
posted by porn in the woods at 9:34 AM PST - 31 comments

“fucking good luck with that, dude, i’ve got a crissaegrim”

Your Asshole Dad's Castle is Back Again (sl medium)
posted by Caduceus at 9:23 AM PST - 13 comments


"In what can only be described as the smallest of hat tips to diversity and inclusion, U.S. women’s national team hockey player Brianna Decker was brought out to demonstrate the premier passing drill at the NHL All-Star skills event on Friday. [...] As it turns out, Decker not only appeared to complete the drill quickly, she ended up finishing the course with the fastest time out of everyone who participated in it, which included eight NHL players. Her time of 1:06—which was deduced through social media—beat out Oilers center Leon Draisaitl, who completed the course in 1:09. Draisaitl, however, ended up getting the premier passing title and a $25,000 cash prize." Brianna Decker Will Get Her Prize Money After All, Just Not From The NHL [more inside]
posted by everybody had matching towels at 8:52 AM PST - 16 comments

chicken tender fender bender

As part of my Overturned Trucks beat, I encounter a story almost daily about some foodstuff or another spilling into a public roadway: mac ‘n’ cheese, beef roasts, Bagel Bites, you name it. But what distinguishes this week’s report of a chicken tenders spill in Cherokee County, Alabama, and makes it newsworthy in and of itself, is that the county’s Emergency Management Agency has had to issue a declaration: Do not eat those chicken tenders. (Kate Bernot, The Takeout)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:27 AM PST - 35 comments


Crab Rave! [YouTube] “Every year after the most intense tropical storms, thousands of crabs gather on this remote island. Now for the first time, witness all the side-stepping, air-snapping action of the monumental Crab Rave!”
posted by Fizz at 7:57 AM PST - 18 comments

January 28

Now It's On

Do you like sad songs about broken down robots? The robot has a few more things to say. [more inside]
posted by sjswitzer at 11:25 PM PST - 17 comments

More like Meh-loton

Love putting my Peloton bike in the most striking area of my ultra-modern $3 million house: a brief Twitter thread about proper cycle placement by Clue Heywood.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:42 PM PST - 75 comments

Cornish stared down the track, too. “Well,” he said. “Who knows?”

The effort to map the lost footpaths of England & Wales.
posted by Chrysostom at 4:59 PM PST - 7 comments

Just the [french] tip.

Heather comes in every 3 weeks to get tiny dicks painted on her fingers. All nail art by @HeyNiceNails.
posted by phunniemee at 4:56 PM PST - 27 comments


Universe, a Short Documentary from 1960 that Inspired Kubrick’s 2001: "In 1960, the National Film Board of Canada released a short documentary called Universe. The film follows the work of astronomer Donald MacRae at an observatory in Ontario, which is accompanied a special effects-heavy tour of the solar system, galaxy, and universe: 'a vast, awe-inspiring picture of the universe as it would appear to a voyager through space'. Universe was nominated for an Oscar in 1961 and also caught the eye of Stanley Kubrick, who used it as inspiration for 2001: A Space Odyssey." [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 4:07 PM PST - 8 comments

Do the funky cello

Alaska Cello Intensive perform Uptown Funk
posted by scalefree at 4:07 PM PST - 8 comments

10 kg feces/panda/day x 273 pandas = ? tissues

Panda poop tissues
posted by not_the_water at 3:31 PM PST - 7 comments

Break a leg...

Last night's live performance of Rent on Fox was not so live. [more inside]
posted by wellred at 3:22 PM PST - 81 comments

“those cases come at a relentless pace."

Shoot Someone In A Major US City, And Odds Are You’ll Get Away With It , BuzzFeed News and The Trace
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:59 PM PST - 15 comments

Effin' itinerant ferromagnetism, this is how it works

Back in the late 1800s, the 15 Puzzle (also known as Game of Fifteen, Gem Puzzle, Boss Puzzle, and Mystic Square) [Wikipedia] "drove the whole world crazy" (perhaps in part because half of the scenarios were unsolvable) [Geeks for Geeks]. Now, this "child's puzzle" helped uncover how magnets really work, as summarized in the title of Marcus Woo's article for Wired. More specifically, Eric Bobrow, Keaton Stubis, and Yi Li recently described Exact results on itinerant ferromagnetism and the 15-puzzle problem [Physical Review B with the abstract; arXiv with the full paper]. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:55 PM PST - 6 comments

OMG a girl

'So people don't seem to believe me when I say I have to listen to a lot of weird shit when I play games because I'm a girl.' A gamer has recorded her interactions with sexists while playing and posted them in a eight part and ongoing series called OMG a girl. Content warning.
posted by adept256 at 11:54 AM PST - 61 comments

The Hidden Meaning of Laughter

When Sophie Scott was about 6, she came across her parents doing something strange. They were rolling on the floor, helpless with laughter because of a comedy song about what people were not supposed to do in toilets on trains. The lyrics of Humoresque (Passengers Will Please Refrain) include "customers will please refrain from passing water while the train is in the station. Darling, I love you. We encourage constipation while the train is in the station." Today Professor Sophie Scott is a neuroscientist who also does stand-up on occasion. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 11:09 AM PST - 29 comments

Pick a color! Red. Blue. Green. Unionize your media company.

Do you still have a job at BuzzFeed? “For the last two years I’ve done nothing but write personality quizzes. My boss assured me that I could try other things within the department, but she was just laid off.”
posted by ocherdraco at 10:51 AM PST - 45 comments

The Billy Graham Rule Goes Global

Among the mostly male business elites, the #MeToo movement has become a point of concern for them - and many are choosing to respond by limiting their mentorship of women to lessen their exposure. But as critics point out, this is cutting women out of the networks they need to progress their careers in the future. (SLNYT)
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:22 AM PST - 122 comments

not cheese; it's only brains

She doesn’t subject living brains to arrays of electrodes and scanners. She doesn’t divide brains into prosciutto-thin slices and carefully sandwich them between glass slides. She doesn’t seal brains in jars of formaldehyde for long-term storage. Instead, she demolishes them. Each organ she took such great care to protect on her trans-Atlantic journey was destined to be liquefied into a cloudy concoction she affectionately calls “brain soup” — the key to her groundbreaking technique for understanding what is arguably the most complex congregation of matter in the universe. In dismantling the brain, she has remade it.
posted by sciatrix at 9:44 AM PST - 19 comments

Winter is coming?

Punxsutawney Phil isn't the only weather-predicting groundhog. Staten Island Chuck gained fame for biting Bloomberg and fleeing from de Blasio. Georgia has Gen. Beauregard Lee (yes, really), Ohio has Buckeye Chuck (more beloved than fellow Marion native Warren G. Harding), Nova Scotia boasts Shubenacadie Sam (the furthest-east, and thus the first to emerge), and Ontario is home to albino groundhog Wiarton Willie. CBC reports on Alberta's Balzac Billy, who is actually a guy in a groundhog suit. Washington, DC, however, has something truly special: Potomac Phil, a dead, stuffed groundhog who is trotted out every year for the Dupont Festival. He has his own Twitter account, of course. He got his own float in Capital Pride, too. HuffPo reports on Potomac Phil's origins. (Previously on MeFi: Groundhog recipes.)
posted by duffell at 8:42 AM PST - 19 comments

Should I curtsey when I meet the Avocado Toast Whisperer?

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, is the Avocado Toast Whisperer, her former makeup artist Daniel Martin revealed on Instagram. Daily Mail was quick to point out how problematic her choice of sandwich spread is, and the internet had a field day with it. At the same time, across the pond, sports fans fear the worst as the Mexican fuel shortage threatens the supply chain of the staple snack of the sporting competition Super Bowl – but the Association of Producers, Exporters and Packers of Avocados from Mexico assures exports will not be affected. Even further west, one really big avocado causes excitement, dispelling the rumor that avocados are not a thing anymore.
posted by Vesihiisi at 8:14 AM PST - 47 comments

The island has run out of oxygen

Niviaq Korneliussen is a queer writer from Greenland whose work has recently been translated into english. [more inside]
posted by motdiem2 at 7:32 AM PST - 11 comments

no escape from reality

Bo-meme-ian Rhapsody: the entire song reproduced in popular image memes. Here it is as a youtube video synced with the original song - but if you're willing to go to facebook, I think it works even better as the original image slideshow where you sing along in your head. (Made by Luke Maynard)
posted by moonmilk at 7:31 AM PST - 9 comments

“Pac-Man is likened to a predator of children.”

Mall Rats, Vidiots and Addicts: Anti Video Game Propaganda From The 80s by Cat DeSpira [Retro Bitch] “...despite the then negative perceptions of a new technology, 80s anti-video game graphics on video game related articles left an interesting impression of an era when parents were paranoid, even terrified, of not what they knew but only what they thought video games were doing to their children. These neurotic and often mean-spirited images give indication of just how widespread the fear was, and also why conservative coalitions were formed to ban or restrict the use of video games in arcades beginning in 1981.”
posted by Fizz at 6:43 AM PST - 56 comments

The 8th Annual Young Comedians Show hosted by John Candy

The 8th Annual Young Comedians Show hosted by John Candy. A youtube link. With ads. The 8th Annual Young Comedians Show hosted by John Candy took place in 1983. Featuring performances by Paula Poundstone, Bill Maher, Carol Leifer, Steve Sweeney, The Amazing Jonathan and Joel Hodgson.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:38 AM PST - 16 comments

Not as cool as a Super Blood Wolf Moon but...

From Arizona Public Media: “OSIRIS-Rex timeline” (video, 6½ min), OSIRIS-Rex^ being NASA's first automated sample return mission from an asteroid, sent to 101955 Bennu, a carbonaceous near-Earth body, and anticipated to arrive back on Earth in September. 2023 The spacecraft rendezvoused with its target and imaged it in early December, remained in orbit studying the asteroid. Surprising discoveries so far have included the observation of water-bearing minerals and of sizeable impact craters. [more inside]
posted by XMLicious at 5:37 AM PST - 13 comments

January 27

Kirby's Collab Collab

The ever-growing corpus of collaborative piecemeal remakes grows once more with Kirby Reanimated Collab, a collaborative animation about a collaborative animation.
posted by BiggerJ at 7:54 PM PST - 3 comments

Adult Baby Boom

(nsfw) The ABDL (Adult Baby/Diaper fetish) community is bigger and more common than you thought with almost as many brands of ABDL diapers as regular diapers. Some retailers even have storefronts with oversized nursery furniture. Several incontinence supply companies even cater to the ABDL market too. [more inside]
posted by hwyengr at 6:16 PM PST - 21 comments

Chemical Reactions

Mixing Mercury and aluminium
Metal Spoon eaten by very strong acid
Who said salt doesn't grow on trees?
Ink vs Alcohol + Hydrocarbons
"Elephant Toothpaste"
What happens when you add hot water to liquid nitrogen?
Much more at twitter account @HoIdMyBeaker
[more inside]
posted by growabrain at 4:08 PM PST - 30 comments

"Robert and Trude mourned for their son's lonely life in wheelchair."

"In retrospect, I think we should have been more interested in the digital world he spent so much time in. The fact that we did not, robbed us of a possibility we did not understand we had." A longform article informally translated on r/wow from NRK, the Norwegian national broadcaster, about the rich digital life and friendships of Mats Steen, a WoW resident who died from Duchennes muscular dystrophy at age 25.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:55 PM PST - 14 comments

Stayin' Alive !!! While helping others...

He remembered how to CPR, because of an old The Office episode... A guy finds a woman unresponsive behind the wheel of a car. He knows he must save her, but doesn't know how, then he remembers seeing a CPR class played out on a TV show, then The Bee Gees also help out. This is not a daydream, but seems like a Walter Mitty fantasy.
posted by Oyéah at 3:54 PM PST - 11 comments

License plate or parking lot events 3.3%

The Most Common Kinds of Coincidences (SLTA)
posted by not_the_water at 3:20 PM PST - 33 comments

Foxes Cream Crunch: Just a slightly more fancy Chopin.

In an effort to endure the cold, and more importantly, the rest of the week, Oxford Lecturer and fellow cat-enthusiast, Dr. Leah Broad provide us with the ultimate list of Composers as Biscuits. [more inside]
posted by RhysPenbras at 3:13 PM PST - 19 comments

A cat, a bunny, a bed - Panama!

please enjoy 46 seconds of my rabbit claiming the cat’s bed and my cat attempting to muster the courage to confront him about it
[Twitter thread via @TheDreamGhoul]
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:55 PM PST - 20 comments

Thanks, it has pockets!

A Cambridge bride and her wedding party took the internet by storm when their "slightly tongue-in-cheek power pose" was posted on Twitter. [more inside]
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 2:43 PM PST - 21 comments

Katharine Hepburn's personal paintings

If you think of Katharine Hepburn, you probably don't think of paintings, and that's in part because her paintings were mostly personal, and something she treated as a private hobby (Phyllis Loves Classic Movies blog). You can hear more about her artistic background in this clip from Antiques Roadshow (PBS, also available from CPTV).
posted by filthy light thief at 1:53 PM PST - 2 comments

Does LGBT Media Have A Future?

"It’s a dark time for media — LGBT media, especially." " What got us here? And how might we survive?" This long article takes a thorough dive into the rich history of LGBT publications, followed by what's going on today and why.
posted by Twang at 1:16 PM PST - 10 comments

The Mamas and the Papas: How two Ottawa couples became co-parents

Article and CBC radio piece on how two Canadian queer couples had a child together (and have another on the way.) Ontario’s All Families Are Equal law allows for up to four parents to be listed on a birth certificate.
posted by larrybob at 12:47 PM PST - 10 comments

If It Talks Like a Fascist…

Our Increasingly Fascist Public Discourse. Jason Stanley: “Though 'fascism' generally evokes images of jack-booted thugs and mass rallies, fascist movements first politicize language. And, judging by the arguments and vocabulary now regularly used by mainstream politicians and thinkers in the US and Europe, their strategy is bearing fruit.” [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 12:04 PM PST - 33 comments

Do you want Skynets? Because that's how you get Skynets.

A few days ago, Starcraft's Twitch channel posted a series of games between Starcraft professional TLO and an AI known as Alphastar, created by the not-at-all-ominously-named Deepmind research group. It's an interesting watch if you like professional Starcraft or just want to witness yet another vector of human extinction being born.
posted by Laura Palmer's Cold Dead Kiss at 11:09 AM PST - 48 comments

Best Poop Books

What it says on the tin.
posted by Bella Donna at 10:10 AM PST - 15 comments

"Adulthood has always been a trick played on the whole of humanity."

Novelist Catherynne Valente has something to say (SLT thread) On why 'growing up' is a mug's game.
posted by The otter lady at 9:37 AM PST - 63 comments

“....ways that we can circulate wealth within the existing community.”

The project, which is called the Detroit Food Commons and contains the Detroit People’s Food Co-op, builds on a tradition of African-American business cooperatives that were championed by the likes of W.E.B. Dubois as tools for building economic and ultimately political power. Following slavery, African Americans formed co-ops for things like credit and farming to survive under a segregated and exploitative system. Unlike other businesses, co-ops are jointly owned enterprises, focused more on meeting collective needs than turning profits, although profit or “surplus” as it’s sometimes called is necessary to exist in a capitalist system. At the Detroit People’s Food Co-op, each owner will get one vote, creating equality between owners, at least in theory. A Black-Led Food Co-op Grows in Detroit
posted by The Whelk at 7:48 AM PST - 6 comments

Dominions, Faculties, Predilections & Peoples

This is a map of the left hemisphere of the brain, seen through the lens of a 17th Century Explorer.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 7:26 AM PST - 5 comments

Money Laundering 101

What supports high housing prices when the market's in the toilet? Money laundries. A Twitter thread (unrolled) by @CZEdwards, found linked by @CStross (MeFi).
posted by JHarris at 5:00 AM PST - 79 comments

January 26

The Hunt for the Nazi Loot Still Sitting on Library Shelves

Given the scope of the looting, the task ahead remains mountainous. In Berlin, for example, at the Central and Regional Library, almost a third of the 3.5 million books are suspected to have been looted by the Nazis, according to Sebastian Finsterwalder, a provenance researcher there.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:07 PM PST - 3 comments

West of Arkham the hills rise wild

Nicolas Cage Reuniting With ‘Mandy’ Producers for H.P. Lovecraft Adaptation ‘Color Out of Space’ -- Nic Cage Is Getting Downright Lovecraftian for Color Out of Space. [more inside]
posted by valkane at 9:38 PM PST - 31 comments


Is it Possible to Beat New Super Mario Bros. U Without Pressing Right? [YouTube] “Meet the fan who can beat Mario games without moving right. Stefan has a whole YouTube channel [Ceave Gaming] filled with videos of him beating various Mario games in different and difficult ways. He’s beaten Super Mario 3D Word while always crouching, discovered the Minimum Amount of Joystick Inputs Needed to Beat Super Mario Odyssey, figured out a way to upload an impossible level in Mario Maker, beaten Super Marios Bros U using the minimum number of right button presses and avoided every coin in Super Mario 3D Land. [via: Kotaku]”
posted by Fizz at 8:03 PM PST - 15 comments

"The African folktale is not your refuge from skepticism."

Why Marlon James Decided to Write an African “Game of Thrones” (SL New Yorker)
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 3:41 PM PST - 13 comments

A dramatic, multi-level, and increasingly dark scandal

The Dramatic Scandal Swallowing the Bolsonaro Presidency Just Drove an LGBT Congressman to Flee Brazil
tl;dr: President linked to militia suspected of killing Marielle Franco, a LGBT Rio de Janeiro councillor. Beacause of this, and of increasing violence, Jean Wyllys, a LGBT federal congressman, has resigned and fled the country.
posted by Tom-B at 3:26 PM PST - 11 comments

“How often do you feel left out?”

How well can we sense each other’s loneliness? [study abstract] "As the correlation scores show, the participants’ partners tended to be better at judging their loneliness than did their friends and parents.  In fact, there was no significant difference in statistical terms between participants’ ratings of their own loneliness and the ratings given to them by their partners. In contrast, parents and friends tended to underestimate the participants’ loneliness."
posted by not_the_water at 3:05 PM PST - 19 comments

Countries of the World, courtesy of Yakko, Rob Paulsen, and Yung Wind Boi

Yakko's World is a fine song to identify and locate the countries of the world in under two minutes, but as noted in the Genius page for the song, it's from 1993, so it's a bit dated, but also there are some errors. Rob Paulsen, the voice of Yakko himself, updated The Countries of the World song for 2017, tacking on additions and corrections at the end, where monotoning YouTuber Yung Wind Boi merged "fixes" into a 2018 edition, and cites his sources.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:20 PM PST - 5 comments

Thoughts and Prayers: A short story

A new short story looks at how much worse trolling could get. Each month, Future Tense Fiction—a series of short stories from Future Tense and ASU’s Center for Science and the Imagination about how technology and science will change our lives—publishes a story on a theme. The theme for January–March 2019: Identity. [more inside]
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 12:50 PM PST - 9 comments

FYI: Macaque testicles smell the worst!!

Spent months grinding up spiders into powder, filling teeny tiny tin foil cups with the powder, and then rolling it all up into a perfectly smooth sphere. If the ball wasn’t perfect or the spider powder leaked we’d do the whole thing all over again.

Jason Rasgon asks Twitter "What's the weirdest thing you've done for science?"
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:13 PM PST - 40 comments

I C What You Did There

Now in its 35th year, the International Obfuscated C Code Contest celebrates decades of gloriously weird C programs. C gives quite a bit of room for personal style, so why not have a Stereogram generator whose code is itself a Stereogram (code, hint)? Or a game shaped like Flappy Bird (code, hint), or a text adventure game written entirely within the compiler's error messages (code, hint)? Previously: [1], [2] [more inside]
posted by silentbicycle at 11:37 AM PST - 4 comments

Do not snuggle up it is not on bed

Do not snuggle your hedgehog. Do not snuggle your wombat. Do not snuggle a tiger. Do not snuggle your backyard chickens. Do not snuggle your rashy cat. Do not snuggle a naked and blind baby squirrel. Do not snuggle your consulting detective. Do not snuggle your cell phone. Do not snuggle your hormonal cockatiel. Do not snuggle... um?
posted by jessamyn at 8:33 AM PST - 73 comments

Decisions, Decisions

An interesting delve into the process of making decisions.
posted by TruthfulCalling at 7:26 AM PST - 4 comments

Presidential 69, cleared to land

Shaun & Jon are pilots who fly a Gulfstream IV for corporate customers. Join them in the cockpit for a complete flight from Las Vegas to LAX, or a shorter hop from Fort Lauderdale to Palm Beach. [more inside]
posted by jontyjago at 7:25 AM PST - 9 comments

A core sample drilled through the digital crust of platform capitalism

If you've ever returned something to Amazon, it might have ended up as part of someone's Pallet of Assorted Appliances and Home items. The "reverse supply chain", as one liquidation company calls it, is growing in popularity as people hope to get rich quick by buying pallets of returns and re-selling the items for closer to their market price. But if you'd rather not risk getting stuck with five dog hoodies, you can get [some] of the [thrill] of [unboxing] from Youtube.
posted by Vesihiisi at 6:25 AM PST - 29 comments

"I saw some crazy things...Elizabeth took it to a new level."

Theranos (previously, previously, previously), the now-defunct health technology corporation that defrauded investors, doctors and patients, has been back in the news recently after the release of new ABC investigative podcast The Dropout and film festival release of new HBO documentary The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley. Both focus primarily on Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes, who is awaiting trial with a possible 20-year sentence.
posted by rcraniac at 5:09 AM PST - 44 comments

Dead Trees Society

When paper outperforms digital. From car tax discs to whiteboards to police notebooks, sometimes it's more efficient to keep things analogue. (Note: just continue scrolling down after passing the registration box to view the rest of the article.)
posted by Gin and Broadband at 1:05 AM PST - 28 comments

A Day at the Abandoned American Dream

"When I got a text last week from a local friend asking if I’d seen the American Dream, I initially thought she was making a jab at the quickly collapsing state of my home country. Turns out, American Dream Park is a real amusement park — or at least, it was. The park opened in 1996 and closed abruptly in 2001. The whole project seemed doomed from the start: it was too far from families and would-be guests, too expensive, and apparently just poorly managed in general." [more inside]
posted by whitelotus at 12:34 AM PST - 13 comments

January 25

Sure would be ironic if he got hit by a car

"As he’s fond of saying, he has no interest in being average. [Dave] Asprey, who is 45, has made the widely publicized claim that he expects to live to 180. To that end, he plans to get his own stem cells injected into him every six months, take 100 supplements a day, follow a strict diet, bathe in infrared light, hang out in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, and wear goofy yellow-lensed glasses every time he gets on an airplane. So far, Asprey says he’s spent at least a million dollars hacking his own biology, and making it to 2153 will certainly take several million more." [more inside]
posted by Grandysaur at 9:57 PM PST - 80 comments

An amazing young talent on ukulele & guitar

Feng E is an 11 year old from Taiwan and a spectacular musical talent. He went viral last summer playing Classical Gas in a park. He has appeared on Ellen and in Asia's Got Talent. But the real gold is his YouTube channel. Come for an ethereal rendition of The Cranberries' Zombie, stay for a great cover of Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit and much much more. Finally, go back to see where the talent got started in the very first video on the channel, Hey Jude, probably when he was around 5 years old, just starting to learn to play and already darn good.
posted by Long Way To Go at 9:45 PM PST - 6 comments

Having Fun With Elvis on Stage

In 1974, Elvis released what has been called one of the worst albums of all time: Having Fun With Elvis on Stage. The album was thought up by his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, who had recently started his own label to squeeze a little extra money out of Elvis's career. Parker, however, was unable to release any of Elvis's music through the label due to his existing RCA contract. The result is thirty-plus minutes of awkward, disjointed, contextless banter lifted from various stage performances. Mental Floss sat through the entire recording in an attempt to ascertain just how much fun there is to be had (short answer: not much). Ernie Smith of Tedium looks back at the Elvis album alongside some of the best--and worst--on-stage banteristas of all time.
posted by duffell at 8:31 PM PST - 22 comments

terrifying sex organs of male turtles

Of the many unlikeable and inaccurate stereotypes maintained about animals in popular consciousness, among the most frustrating is what I term “old man turtle”. This is the idea that turtles (by which I mean, all members of Testudines) are like decrepit, weak, bony little old men housed inside a box. It’s not fair, and it’s not at all accurate. Here we look at just one aspect of turtle anatomy. In keeping with the stupid “old man turtle” idea, popular culture would have it that turtles are weak, flaccid, crappy organisms with dull social lives, stunted and barely functional internal organs and undersized sex organs. Well, wait a goddam minute… Warning: the following article may be considered unsuitable for viewing by minors.
posted by sciatrix at 8:08 PM PST - 15 comments

“now I’m confiding,”

James Blake' Assume Form: a big, glitchy, swooning, hyper-modern declaration of love [The Guardian] “It’s not hard to see why someone might fall in love with Jameela Jamil – the star around which James Blake’s fourth album, Assume Form, orbits. [...] If one were to pitch Blake’s latest album in a Hollywood elevator, it would be that Assume Form is a soundtrack to that slow reveal: a loved-up paean to finding oneself in another. In that respect, it’s like Father John Misty’s I Love You, Honeybear, stripped of its cynicism and soft porn. (“I’ll use both hands,” is about as far as Blake goes here.) It’s Nick Cave’s The Boatman’s Call – the Bad Seeds’ thinly disguised suite of love songs to PJ Harvey – with way more guest rappers.” [YouTube]["Where's The Catch"]["Mile High"]["Tell Them"]["Don't Miss It"] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 7:10 PM PST - 4 comments

Well of course you do, you rambunctious little pumpkin!

Composer and YouTuber Alex Ball explores the neglected genre of 40s and 50s orchestral Light Music in his continuing series, My Utterly Spiffing Guide to Light Music: Part 1: Harmony Overview, Part 2: Block chords, Part 3: Complex Harmony, Part 4: Woodwinds. [more inside]
posted by mubba at 3:30 PM PST - 13 comments

chuck it around before you chow down

Dolphins beat up octopuses before eating them, and the reason is kind of horrifying: "Dolphins have two basic tactics here. One is to hold the octopus in their mouths, swim up out of the water, then slam back down to force the octopus’ body apart. The second is for the dolphin to move their head sideways and throw the octopus, essentially achieving the same slamming effect. Their reward for this trick is a high-protein meal, which is apparently worth the energy it takes to fully disarm dinner first." [study PDF]
posted by not_the_water at 2:54 PM PST - 38 comments

"The swaggering 2,300-year-old Slonk Hill Man"

"As the U.K. wrestles with issues of identity and nationalism around Brexit, a new exhibit is putting fresh faces on the region's ancient residents." The sculptural facial reconstructions by Oscar Nilsson include the lovely Whitehawk Woman and the piratical Stafford Road Man. [more inside]
posted by Countess Elena at 1:50 PM PST - 23 comments

The discovery demanded something of a interior rethink

The Treasure Behind the Wall: Something in the new Oscar de la Renta boutique in Paris was not what it seemed.
posted by bq at 1:14 PM PST - 10 comments

mark your calendars

The earliest when. "This is a list of earliests. The earliest it can be when as many women as men have won Best Director at the Oscars is 2111. The earliest it can be when as many women as men have won Best Director at the BAFTAs is 2068. The earliest it can be when as many women as men have..." [via mefi projects]
posted by Anonymous at 12:54 PM PST - 10 comments

... the music those guys were making in the 1970s was rawer

Memories of Irish Birdsong "He must have thought I had looked at his sister funny, as he snarled “kerrx-kerrx” at me and started to fling his droppings. I was told afterwards that the whole family was mad. Brothers all musicians in America."
Flash fiction by Liam Heneghan in the Irish Times.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 12:13 PM PST - 2 comments

What's a little fraud between friends?

US Federal District Judge Beth Labson Freeman unseals internal Facebook documents related to a class action lawsuit over a game called "Ninja Saga". [more inside]
posted by tobascodagama at 12:04 PM PST - 26 comments

Friday fun: music mix / found sounds

Haruomi Hosono (Wiki), of Yellow Magic Orchestra fame, produced two minimal electronic pieces for Muji, released on a cassette (Discogs) as Watering a Flower (YT) in 1984. Just yesterday (Jan. 24, 2019), Vampire Weekend released a song titled 2021, sampling the start of the first Muji-inspired song, along with a second track, Harmony Hall, from their forthcoming album. Bonus Vampire Weekend: 120 minutes of Harmony Hall guitars (YT x 3) Extra freebie: Chaz Bear, aka Toro y Moi, has released a surprise new project labeled “SOUL TRASH V1” (Spin) on Dropbox via an Instagram post. Want some noise to scrub your ears, or some more mellowness? Hacker Farm has both, under the tagline "Make do and mend. Broken music for a broken Britain" (Soundcloud, YouTube) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 12:00 PM PST - 5 comments

You're really awful at being an old lady, Myra.

Myra has missed 30 years of her life, due to a coma, but has found a new friendship with her young neighbor, Ossie. Together, they both are searching for their place in this world. What'd I Miss? is a comic by R. Alan Brooks and Cori Redford, published weekly in the Colorado Sun.
posted by asperity at 10:56 AM PST - 5 comments

All ur msg (+ contacts + email + phone + lives) are belong to facebook

Facebook's messaging services - Whatsapp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger - will be "integrated" over the next year to make them interoperable. It seems this has been a long-term plan of Zuck's and a core reason for the abrupt departures of the founders of Instagram and WhatsApp over the last twelve months. [more inside]
posted by humuhumu at 7:49 AM PST - 134 comments

America's Informal Economy

This article is part 1 of a 4-part essay about the informal economy by Pascale Joassart, co-producer of "City Rising: The Informal Economy." Read Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.
posted by infini at 6:22 AM PST - 13 comments

The problem with optimism is that it can be indulgent

"One problem with ecological urban development is that it is too often disjointed and tokenistic. Hipster equivalents of Dig for Victory, however commendable, will not save us. Development needs to be rolled out on city-wide scales; every possible street, rooftop, block utilised. Sustainable building and the use of recycling to move towards a zero-waste culture is admirable but arguably still insufficient." An Architecture That Is More Than Just Green
posted by The Whelk at 3:09 AM PST - 8 comments

Australia's highest mountain is a snow covered volcano.

"It startles me that Australians think of their beaches and red deserts, but they don't know about this other part of their landscape." Surrounded by storms, riven by volcanic blasts, Heard Island is a place that few, ironically, have heard of.
posted by smoke at 2:48 AM PST - 12 comments

Not a West Country furniture guide

Does your MeFitePoop resemble rabbit droppings or chicken nuggets? Perhaps Galaxy Ripple? The Bristol Stool Chart (or scale, or form scale) is a visual way of describing your poop. (Recipe) There are seven classifications of stool, covering a spectrum from Maltesers to chocolate bar to river-running-through-you. Devised in Bristol and referenced in many medical papers, type 3 or 4 (sausage or snake) are the aspirational classes. However, other factors such as color and poop time, and impacts such as diet and hydration are also important. Edible. (If you pass this stool then seek medical assistance)
posted by Wordshore at 2:09 AM PST - 80 comments

January 24

“I have become a soup of the people”

The Cycle of Life is a short animation by u m a m i that is something like an advertisement, full of melancholy and unsettling strangeness.
The soup appeared in previous u m a m i animation The End of an Era.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:12 PM PST - 7 comments

The Vintage Beauty Of Soviet Control Rooms.

What it says on the tin.
posted by k8t at 9:46 PM PST - 29 comments


BuzzFeed will lay off about 15 percent. Vice has instituted a hiring freeze and is seeking to cut its workforce by about 10 to 15 percent this year. Vox, SB Nation and other sites - cut about 50 staffers early last year. Refinery29 dropped about 10 percent of its staff. Verizon Media Group, the owner of HuffPost, AOL and Yahoo, announced its own round of layoffs of about 7 percent. Mic laid off its entired editorial staff in November.
posted by Grandysaur at 9:34 PM PST - 69 comments

Wall Games: Gaming's Forgotten Pre-Video Casual Boom

During the window in the late sixties and early seventies in which TTL and microcontroller technologies allowed more complex game logic but before the industry would standardize on the video displays for which it would come to be known, a public, social, and casual genre briefly rose to prominence: the wall game. [more inside]
posted by always_implicated at 9:05 PM PST - 25 comments

Is Tom Brady a cheater? Ask a 10 year old.

From Yahoo sports Meet Ace Davis, a 10-year-old kid from Lexington, Kentucky who created a science fair project about Tom Brady. While kids in New England might be trying to figure out how to scientifically prove that Brady is the greatest quarterback who ever lived, Ace decided to go in a different direction. He created a science fair project that proves that Brady is a cheater.
posted by gryphonlover at 8:09 PM PST - 33 comments

Relive your middle school fundraiser assembly!

A one-inch craft pom-pom, a pair of googly eyes, a few bits of wire and foam. Sure, they're cheap and they may not sound that impressive, but as Atlas Obscura reports, the tiny promotional items known as Weepuls were a bit of a thing in the '70s and '80s. Of course, if you were ever unfortunate enough to be pressured into selling gift wrap or magazine subscriptions as a school fundraiser in the US, there's a good chance you're familiar with Weepuls already. The Outline calls Weepuls a sales cult: "It is a symbol of inequality, which has gotten so desperate that schools are mobilizing children to sell merchandise to pay for their own education." Weepuls' creator wrote a bit about their origin in an industry blog. If you're just here for a hit of nostalgia, you can take a peek at the Weepul catalog (PDF). Better yet, YouTuber emmymade can help you make your own.
posted by duffell at 8:01 PM PST - 32 comments

"That child is in trauma...and he is not the only one."

The sad, strange life and death of Devonte Hart: the crying black boy who famously hugged a cop. [Warning, child harm and abuse.] He was the black boy who hugged a white cop at a protest of the shooting death of Michael Brown. The famous photo, dubbed “the Hug Heard ‘Round the World,” also known as the “Ferguson Hug,” captured our ailing nation’s attention. Not just in America, but globally, his crying face pressed against a policeman’s chest suggested a spontaneous moment of healing. [more inside]
posted by triggerfinger at 7:20 PM PST - 22 comments

I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll...build your house up

Researchers in Australia believe globally stockpiled sewage sludge could be used to make biosolids bricks, an advance that could boost sustainability in the construction industry. The paper: A Proposal for Recycling the World’s Unused Stockpiles of Treated Wastewater Sludge (Biosolids) in Fired-Clay Bricks. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 5:24 PM PST - 25 comments

#ThrowbackThursday with Weezer

Weezer: The Teal Album (2019) is a collection of song covers the band released today [YouTube Music playlist, no subscription required] in response to the positive reception of their recording of Toto's Africa and also as a lead up to their upcoming The Black Album. Tracklisti: Africa [video], Everybody Wants To Rule The World, Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This), Take On Me, Happy Together, Paranoid, Mr. Blue Sky, No Scrubs [Chilli approves], Billie Jean, Stand By Me [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 5:21 PM PST - 59 comments

This Land is Mine

The powerful video for Gary Clark Jr's latest single "This Land" is directed by Savanah Leaf. [more inside]
posted by the primroses were over at 3:08 PM PST - 8 comments

Facebook and Google Need to Start Paying Journalists What They Owe Us

While news consumption online is at an all time high, newsrooms like Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, and newspapers all over are being forced to cut staff due to low revenue. The problem is that the major online players like Alphabet, Facebook, and Amazon are winding up with the lion's share of advertising revenue from content they did nothing to make, which is choking off the media. But, there are several ideas as to how to force a more fair distribution of funds. (SLSlate)
posted by NoxAeternum at 3:02 PM PST - 46 comments

giraffe lung size has long been a point of controversy

Can giraffes swim?
posted by not_the_water at 2:49 PM PST - 21 comments

“I was just looking for a second chance in a different way.”

Sidney Wants to Be Someone Else by Max Marshall [Sports Illustrated] Rashun Richardson, the 17 year old basketball guard playing for Hillcrest High School is a good player, so good that dropping 30 points or more a game was a common occurrence. He lead his team to the playoffs and was district offensive MVP of the year. There's only one problem, Rashun Richardson was actually 25 year old Sidney Gilstrap-Portley. This is how a man posed as a teenager to become a high school star and was caught by the authorities. [YouTube][RealLyfe Street Starz Interview]
posted by Fizz at 12:27 PM PST - 15 comments

A Tuna called Justice

The 2019 movie Serenity "has a twist that is so out of left field, it feels like you have fallen into some drug-fueled fever dream." [more inside]
posted by Iridic at 11:56 AM PST - 104 comments

Copa de la Diversión: Es Divertido Ser Un Fan

For the 2018 season, 33 Minor League Baseball hosted the first "Copa de la Diversión," or "Fun Cup," a season-long event series specifically designed to embrace the culture and values that resonate most with participating teams' local U.S. Hispanic/Latino communities (MiLB.com). The new initiative culminates more than two years of collaborative work and research with U.S. Hispanic/Latino civic organizations where each of the teams play, per Forbes, who also include the full list of Copa nombres and translations. Ranking The Best Team Names From MiLB's Copa de la Diversión (Sports Illustrated) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 11:51 AM PST - 6 comments


The purpose of this document (pdf) is to provide guidance to DoD program executives and acquisition professionals on how to detect software projects that are really using agile development versus those that are simply waterfall or spiral development in agile clothing (“agile-scrum-fall”).
posted by jenkinsEar at 10:55 AM PST - 137 comments

In doing so set a course for adventure, and later shipwreck.

"I had a whole gaggle of 100-point bucks in my sights, sleeping peacefully on their feet, like cows. The way they were lined up, I could take down the whole clan in a single shot of gun, clean through their magnificent oversized brains. That’d be enough (deer) meat to last Nora and the baby through the harsh Amarillo winter. " Poorly Researched Men’s Fiction
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 10:34 AM PST - 46 comments

A social network just for Vermont

Do you live in Vermont? You already know about Front Porch Forum. Those outside of the Green Mountain state probably haven't heard of it. That's because this 18-year-old community website is only for residents of Vermont. [more inside]
posted by lubujackson at 9:30 AM PST - 14 comments

Remember when your dentist told you to floss?

We may finally know what causes Alzheimer’s: the bacteria that cause gingivitis getting into the brain. Amyloid plaques could well be an immune response. Mouse model tests look promising in showing a causal relationship. Some preliminary human "are you serious is this a thing" trials with a gingivitis toxin blocker do also. Best news: a gingivitis vaccine is on the horizon.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:26 AM PST - 66 comments

Deer Wars: The Forest Awakens

On Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, culling deer is an act of cultural and ecological restoration. [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 5:24 AM PST - 8 comments

We Love Endpapers

Meet the Endpaper Enthusiasts: at The Guardian's books blog, Alison Flood extols the quiet delights of the We Love Endpapers Facebook group, where 'book lovers gather to sigh over the most beautiful decorative pages and compare techniques', while at The New Antiquarian, Simon Beattie (the group's founder) provides a Beginner's Guide to Decorated Book Pages. Elsewhere, at Atlas Obscura, Sarah Laskow writes of The Unsung Delight of a Well-Designed Endpaper, while at Hyperallergic, Allison Meier praises The Lost Beauty of Book Endpapers. Previously at MeFi: ebru; decorated paper.
posted by misteraitch at 5:10 AM PST - 8 comments

книги всех стран, соединяйтесь!

Mir Publishers was a major publisher in the Soviet Union. The short wikipedia entry is not even clear on its mission. The aim of the publishing house was to translate works of eminent Russian scientist into other languages and distribute them around the world. They were very high quality, cheap and "also published in many Indian languages: Hindi, Marathi and Bengali I know for sure" -- all printed in the Soviet Union. The group blog/portal Mir Books used to collect scans of questionable legality (ironically, mostly sourced from the darker corners of the russian web), but since a while, the English collection is also available on Archive.org. Books range from introduction to the sciences aimed at elementary school students to advanced textbooks, mostly in physics, mathematics, chemistry and engineering.
posted by kmt at 4:06 AM PST - 6 comments

Cats are Liquid. Discuss.

Felissimo Nekobu , the "cat club" section of a Japanese online retailer, asked followers on Twitter to help prove that cats are liquid. SLTwitter thread. [more inside]
posted by misozaki at 2:03 AM PST - 29 comments

Oumuamua, empyreal muumuu

Is our tendency to project attributes of intelligence on cosmic phenomenon a reflection (ha) of our desire for telescopes to function as mirrors? Carl Sagan pondered this, and history is littered with examples. Pereidolia, explained. [more inside]
posted by St. Oops at 12:24 AM PST - 3 comments

January 23

Yokokanno Watanabe a Space Cowboy?

A Fistful of Woolongs - A Cowboy Bebop Retrospective (SLYT) Why watch Cowboy Bebop and other Shinichirō Watanabe anime and listen to Yoko Kanno's musical score you ask?
posted by zengargoyle at 9:20 PM PST - 9 comments

Learnability can be undecidable

The Nature of Infinity — and Beyond - "An introduction to Georg Cantor and his transfinite paradise." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 8:56 PM PST - 28 comments

"I am my own size and no words or stares will make me compromise"

"As much as you love a sport, I don’t think love and joy necessarily go hand in hand. I think you can still be in love with the sport but just not happy in it.” After enduring excruciating physical injuries and a toxic culture of body-shaming in elite gymnastics, Katelyn Ohashi eventually found her way to collegiate gymnastics, where she came to rediscover the joy of the sport--along with a passion for writing and activism. Ohashi shared her story with the LA Times. Stay for the video of Ohashi's recent perfect-10 floor routine at the Collegiate Challenge; her playfulness and joy are infectious.
posted by duffell at 7:58 PM PST - 30 comments

Stoker-King model vs Rice model vs Harris-Meyer-Kostova model

Here’s How Long it Would Take for Vampires to Annihilate Humanity
posted by not_the_water at 1:30 PM PST - 105 comments

You know what we need? More standards.

How do you govern the development of artificial intelligence? MIT hosted a three-day gathering with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to help figure that out ahead of the group's release of AI governance guidelines. But academics aren't the only ones getting in on the game. [more inside]
posted by redct at 1:06 PM PST - 14 comments

Entertain me, I'm as blank as can be

Soft Cell, the British duo of singer Marc Almond and instrumentalist David Ball, are viewed differently in the U.S. and the U.K. Stateside, they're a classic one-hit wonder band, which dominated dance clubs and eventually peaked in the pop Top Ten in 1981-1982. In the U.K., the group not only had a longer career, but also influenced a raft of similar performers. Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret, originally released in Britain in the fall of 1981, contained three U.K. hits* (William Ruhlmann, All Music). The original album had 10 tracks (official YT Playlist, audio only), which was later expanded, both with a number of videos and bonus tracks (extended YT playlist), including the Non Stop Ecstatic Dancing EP tracks and thirteen more cuts (Discogs). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 11:33 AM PST - 48 comments

International Correspondence Writing Month

incowrimo-2019 a handwritten letter every day It's almost February, or as some people refer to it - International Correspondence Writing Month! [more inside]
posted by needlegrrl at 11:24 AM PST - 12 comments

Meet the Hagfish

A hagfish will release less than a teaspoon of gunk and in less than half a second, that little amount will expand by 10,000 times—enough to fill a sizable bucket....The slime is one of nature’s more wondrous substances, unlike anything else that’s been concocted by either evolution or engineers... The entire hagfish is effectively a large gut, and even that is understating matters: Their skin is actually more efficient at absorbing nutrients than their own intestines.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 10:00 AM PST - 52 comments

“Nobody is going to believe you.”

The Bohemian Rhapsody director Bryan Singer has been trailed by accusations of sexual misconduct for 20 years. Here, his alleged victims tell their stories. [The Atlantic] “We spent 12 months investigating various lawsuits and allegations against Singer. In total, we spoke with more than 50 sources, including four men who have never before told their stories to reporters. A man we’ll call Eric told us that he was 17 in 1997 when he and Singer had sex at a party at the director’s house; another we’ll call Andy says he was only 15 that same year, when he and Singer had sex in a Beverly Hills mansion. Both men say Singer, who was then in his early 30s, knew they were under 18, the age of consent in California. (They asked The Atlantic to conceal their identity for fear of retaliation, and because they didn’t want certain details about their past made public.).” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 9:49 AM PST - 51 comments

An alpaca walks into a French optician's...

An alpaca has confused and delighted residents of a small French town after wandering into an optician's shop. The fuzzy creature spent half an hour quietly browsing lenses in the town of Hennebont in Brittany...."He was not at all aggressive, he was just doing his thing." More cute photos in this French news article, as well as in this article that incorrectly identified the alpaca as a llama.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:26 AM PST - 60 comments

nothing goes together quite like candles and reading

Millennial, Book and Candle, the new-old reading trend. [NY Times] [more inside]
posted by betweenthebars at 8:55 AM PST - 34 comments

Off-White Game Boy with the Planet Hollywood logo printed on it

Console Variations collects pictures and information about limited-edition versions of video game consoles.
posted by box at 8:52 AM PST - 9 comments

It Turns Out the Industry Values Whiteness

Comps reveal a great deal about the diversity of publishing and the experience of people of color within it. These data should give us pause about any self-congratulatory “strides.” Comp titles show us which books and which authors publishers most value; they become a target at which editors, agents, and aspiring authors aim. The dearth of writers of color as frequent and influential comps — both within and across genres — shows that writers of color still do not enjoy a broad influence behind the scenes. They don’t seem to be shaping acquisitions decisions at a high level. Even best-selling novels by writers of color are highly unlikely to change the decisions that publishers make about which books to acquire and by whom. "Comping White" by Laura B. McGrath in the LARB
posted by chavenet at 7:54 AM PST - 10 comments

I could share that recipe with you..but then I would have to kill you.

Sure everyone has heard of or has a "secret family recipe" or two but how about one so secret it was classified by the CIA for over 50 years? Presenting: The Soviet Army’s 1948 borscht recipe with tips for service and presentation.
posted by Captain_Science at 7:43 AM PST - 33 comments

The UK will attempt to decide something (2019 Eurovision entrant)

As decisions and qualifiers in various countries (France, Netherlands, Spain) take place, and a Finnish singer declines, so the six potential entries from the UK are revealed by the BBC. Being the UK, the decision process is needlessly contorted: 'Each of the three songs will be performed in two different musical styles by two different acts, with three rounds of ‘song-offs’ being performed by six acts in total.' UK Sing-off on February 8th; the final in Tel Aviv, Israel (inevitable question) on May 18th. Last year the UK came 24th out of 26th after a stage invasion.
posted by Wordshore at 7:26 AM PST - 31 comments

Poetry's Millennial Resurgence a Beacon of Hope

An interesting trend in the U.K. shows a dramatic rise in poetry consumption as millennials struggle to gain clarity in a politically tumultuous time. Traditionally, poetry has been used as a graceful way to express complex thought and emotion - while its widespread resurgence to this effect may be hinting at a cultural nostalgia in the younger generation for simpler times in the face of climate disaster, polarization and leadership upheaval, poetry being called upon during times of political strife is not unheard of. [more inside]
posted by TruthfulCalling at 5:53 AM PST - 33 comments

January 22

Curtailing Inequality and Saving Democracy

The Young Left's Anti-Capitalist Manifesto - "Its goal is to remake our economic system — and the Democratic Party." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 8:54 PM PST - 88 comments

More bats, you say?

Dr. Charles Augustus Rosenheimer Campbell, the chief bacteriologist of San Antonio in the early 20th century, wanted to try harnessing bats' appetite for mosquitoes to fight malaria--so he set about designing several stately towers intended to attract and house bats. Sadly, only two Campbell bat roosts remain standing today. Bat Conservation International tells the story of the Hygieostatic Bat Roost in Comfort, TX; Atlas Obscura offers additional background and more photos. The other remaining Campbell bat roost, at Shangri La Gardens in Orange, TX, has disintegrated over the years. Hurricane Irma took down Florida's Sugarloaf Key Bat Tower in 2017; The Architect's Newspaper describes how the picturesque landmark was beloved by locals despite famously containing zero bats throughout its history. Perhaps the most striking of the Campbell bat roosts, in Temple Terrace, Florida, burned down in 1979. The University of South Florida offers a short history video.
posted by duffell at 7:48 PM PST - 12 comments

Livejournal, remembered

“The Linux of social media”—How LiveJournal pioneered (then lost) blogging (Ars Technica), by Steven T. Wright. We had promised to never include ads on the site, and all of a sudden we have our new management telling us, ‘The site needs ads, the site needs ads.’ It was an impossible situation.”
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 6:32 PM PST - 51 comments

you'll never look at cul-de-sacs the same way

EPOCH [Photosensitivity warning: quite blinky.] A stunning two-minute stop-motion collage built entirely out of Google Earth images, by Ireland-based filmmaker Kevin McGloughlin.
posted by cortex at 5:24 PM PST - 35 comments

Here are puffins, sounding like chainsaws.

Animals Keep Creating Mysteries by Sounding Weird (SLAtlantic) (Includes lotsa cool videos)
posted by Grandysaur at 2:54 PM PST - 24 comments

Retro grooves, weird moods

Turning the Tables is a radio show broadcast from the bank of the French Broad River in Madison County, western North Carolina. Every Saturday night, host Drew Dobbs debuts an hour-long custom mix of a particular artist or microgenre. Past shows have spotlighted John Prine, Sidney Poitier, Carl Sandburg, Burning Spear, the semi-musical stylings of Walter Brennan, nature recordings, truck driving songs, Moms Mabley, Thurl Ravenscroft, and the soundtrack of the 1967 Spider-Man cartoon. [more inside]
posted by Iridic at 2:39 PM PST - 9 comments

Some poops are better than others

“Scientists often seem to be on a quest for sacred chalices or sterling ammo. But a group of microbiologists has now set out on a more odorous odyssey—one to find fantastical fæces. With data on poop’s therapeutic potential piling up, scientists have gotten wind of the possibility that some among us may be extraordinary excreters, dropping deuces with divine healing powers. [more inside]
posted by ambrosen at 1:37 PM PST - 57 comments

Puberty at age 2

Patrick Burleigh shares his story, detailing the effect of a rare disease that caused him to go through puberty as a toddler and experience intense hormonal changes in elementary school. As an adult Burleigh is faced with a choice to select embryos without the mutation, which opens the door for he and his father to reflect on the positives that this shared gene had on their lives. CW: child medical procedures some would consider abusive; child sexual behaviors
posted by k8t at 11:19 AM PST - 47 comments

The Chemical Table: An Open Dialog between Visualization and Design

A classroom chart bearing an early version of the periodic table of elements has been discovered in a University of St. Andrews chemistry lab. Printed in 1885, the chart is thought to be the the world’s oldest classroom periodic table, before the discovery of germanium in 1886. This is not the oldest table of elements, but one of the oldest in a form most commonly recognizable. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 10:48 AM PST - 10 comments

What is the value of human life to a divine being?

The disturbing case of Nepal’s famous “Buddha Boy”, and the growing number of accusations of assault, rape and murder levelled at the young Guru and his followers. You may remember Buddha Boy (real name Ram Bahadur Bomjon) from George Saunders’ lighthearted reporting in 2005, or from the 2006 Discovery Channel documentary.
posted by chappell, ambrose at 10:08 AM PST - 9 comments

Drastic and scary

Salmon declines prompt First Nation to take Canada to court over fish farms [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 9:23 AM PST - 5 comments

The High Cost of Hog Waste

North Carolina's hog waste problem has a long history. "In September of 1999, North Carolina found itself facing a foul problem. As Hurricane Floyd battered the coast, floodwaters breached lagoons of animal waste from the state's industrial hog farms, transforming rural counties into seas of toxic, foul-smelling, bacteria-laden sludge. The storm drowned two million chickens and turkeys and 110,000 hogs. It also engulfed their waste, sending a deluge of feces, urine, and animal carcasses into waterways—and causing an environmental hazard that lingered as long as the stench." (SL Pacific Standard) [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 8:37 AM PST - 10 comments


Think you know how much the internet is worth? Try Domain Name Pricing Game. Inspired by this tweet.
posted by backseatpilot at 7:08 AM PST - 39 comments

Why we should be watching the sun, not the clock

Between daylight saving and obligatory early starts, we live at the mercy of ‘official’ time – and many of us feel permanently out of sync [slGuardian Longread]

Social jetlag – are late nights and chaotic sleep patterns making you ill? [slGuardian]
posted by ellieBOA at 7:03 AM PST - 38 comments


MENU: An Homage to Game Title Themes [YouTube][Teaser Trailer] “The music we listen to as we play our favorite games is nice, but what about the music we hear when we aren’t playing? The Materia Collective community celebrates the music of the start screen with Menu: An Homage To Game Title Themes, a 52 track remix album featuring music from Final Fantasy, The Witcher, Mario Kart, Doki Doki Literature Club and more.” via: [Kotaku] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 5:34 AM PST - 18 comments

January 21

I'm done with you rude motherfuckers

I'm Marie Fucking Kondo and You Can Keep All Your Fucking Books, You Ingrates
posted by Artw at 11:22 PM PST - 298 comments

We actually screen-tested different gray cubicle pieces.

Office Space - the oral history.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:17 PM PST - 76 comments

"Clearly, Florence Price's story is far from over."

In 1933, Florence Price became the first African-American woman to have her music performed by a major orchestra. Price died in 1953, and while much of her work was lost over the years, her legacy was not forgotten. Good fortune struck in 2009, when nearly 30 boxes of her manuscripts and papers--including dozens of scores thought to be long gone--were found, as The New Yorker reports. NPR's All Things Considered explores Price's music, which is described as a blend of African-American and European styles, including musical allusions to Dvořák, African folk traditions, and spirituals. Composer Jordan Randall Smith offers an excellent roundup, and cautions against the use of the term "rediscovered." (Previously on Metafilter: Violin videos: Women playing music written by women)
posted by duffell at 7:44 PM PST - 5 comments

If you’re sitting around on MLK Day with 110 minutes to spare…

Historian Kevin M. Kruse recommends: If you’re looking for something to watch on MLK today, check out the fantastic “King in the Wilderness” documentary. Amazing footage, much of it not seen before, about the last, often overlooked chapters of King’s story.

KITW is a 2018 HBO documentary directed by Peter Kunhardt covering the last 18 months of Dr. King’s life. (Some reviews from the LA Times, THR, RogerEbert.com.) It has been uploading to YouTube by the Kunhardt Film Foundation, along with the clips and full interviews edited into the film.
posted by Going To Maine at 4:33 PM PST - 4 comments

Medical Male-practice in the Manstitute of Medicine

I Needed A Hysterectomy At Age 31. Doctors Fought Me Every Step Of The Way. Ace Ratcliff describes six years of unnecessary pain, suffering and medical bills in pursuit of a hysterectomy. "I ran into roadblocks from the start. Doctors refused to take me seriously when I requested a surgical hysterectomy... And nothing I said could change my doctors’ minds, not the stories about my frequently dislocating hips, my mom’s complicated pregnancies or the increased rate of miscarriage and preterm labor for EDS patients." [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 4:01 PM PST - 35 comments

Should I eat this?

A Student Ate 5 Day Old Pasta For Lunch. This Is How His Liver Shut Down.
posted by srboisvert at 2:43 PM PST - 117 comments

From shapeshifting horse sex to Christian spanking fantasies

"I was having a hard time not staring at the tube of flesh wrapped so tightly and held so firmly against his left thigh, as it lay against his firm hairy pelvis and angled up and to the left." [more inside]
posted by jojo and the benjamins at 1:50 PM PST - 51 comments

Why am I publishing these random recollections toward a memoir?

Robert Caro on doing history. Archives, friends, patience, moving house, family, not embarrassing Lady Bird Johnson, the joy of documents, and the power of SU. (SLNewYorker) (Previously on MetaFilter)
posted by doctornemo at 12:38 PM PST - 8 comments

They have both, frankly, beaten the shit out of me.

38-year-old comedian, podcaster, and erstwhile variety show host Chris Gethard on why he competes in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 12:29 PM PST - 9 comments

Five levels to conquer

Two Hamsters Run a Very Clever Maze Created by Their Human With Five Different Levels To Conquer Five different stackable mazes for hamsters to go through. Adorable edible trophies at the end. [more inside]
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:08 PM PST - 10 comments


‘Heroin for middle-class nerds’: how Warhammer conquered gaming How has Games Workshop, a fantasy war games company founded in a London shop 40 years ago, become worth more than £1bn? By ruthlessly recruiting followers, and creating vast, fascinating worlds that diehard players never want to leave
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:41 AM PST - 54 comments

Day 31

The federal goverment shutdown continues. The Trump Shutdown Is an Environmental Crisis, overflowing trash cans are the least of the problems. (New Republic) ’Barely above water': US shutdown hits black federal workers hardest (Guardian) “MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle reported a story Thursday of a pawned wedding ring as part of the #GoodNewsRUHLES segment she ends the show with: “Yesterday, my friend and colleague Hans Nichols, he brought us this story of one furloughed worker who was so in need of cash she pawned her wedding ring. But we have an amazing update to share: When that woman’s family learned that she sold her ring, on their own they contacted the pawn shop owner, Angela Huffman, and they bought the ring back for her. That is who we are as a nation.” There are no “feel-good” government shutdown stories (Vox) Shutdown Stories: How The Government’s Fight Affects Americans (Huff Post) “The following is an open letter from two employees of the federal government. Due to a fear of losing their jobs, they have chosen to remain anonymous.” We Work For The Federal Goverment And It’s Time To Strike (Splinter)
posted by The Whelk at 9:24 AM PST - 211 comments

Engler's Final Act Flops at MSU

After taking the reins at Michigan State University in the wake of the decades-long Nassar sexual abuse scandal, former Governor of Michigan and MSU alumnus John Engler said, "We have an extreme organizational challenge that must be addressed," and praised the courage of the survivors. Less than a year later, as the climate at MSU didn't seem to be getting any better, Engler told a newspaper editorial board that some of the survivors were "enjoying the spotlight". The Board of Trustees had scheduled a meeting to discuss the matter (and likely terminate Engler's interim presidency) when Engler pulled the classic You can't fire me, I quit! maneuver. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 8:37 AM PST - 17 comments


Norway town ready to battle Canadian city for world's tallest moose statue [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 7:19 AM PST - 39 comments

Meet the new plan, same as the old plan

In a few hours, Theresa May is due to give a statement to Parliament about her Brexit Plan B, after a week of even more floundering about than we've come to expect. Gina Miller writes about the need for MPs to use the parliamentary sovereignty that she fought for. David Lammy MP argues that even a Norway outcome would be lose-lose. A backbench effort to rule out a no-deal Brexit is supposedly supported in private by much of the government, who don't want to do it themselves for fear of splitting their party. But might explicitly ruling out No Deal mean that May's deal ends up getting through? [more inside]
posted by rory at 4:03 AM PST - 547 comments


The Largest Vocabulary In Hip Hop (Updated): Some of the newer artists wield a smaller vocabulary comparatively, but this is not because hip hop has “dumbed down.” The genre has evolved; it has moved away from complex lyricism toward elements traditionally associated with pop music: repetitive song structure and singing. [Previously]
posted by chavenet at 3:57 AM PST - 37 comments

Dietary Fibre (or Fiber) is a Good Thing

People who eat higher levels of dietary fibre and whole grains have lower rates of non-communicable diseases compared with people who eat lesser amounts, while links for low glycaemic load and low glycaemic index diets are less clear. Observational studies and clinical trials conducted over nearly 40 years reveal the health benefits of eating at least 25g to 29g or more of dietary fibre a day, according to a series of systematic reviews and meta-analyses published in The Lancet. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 2:41 AM PST - 33 comments

If you could say one thing to everyone in the world, what would it be?

"Aren't you worried that you're gonna miss out on certain important life experiences from being homeschooled?" "Umm, that did cross my mind, but you know, VR is a way to escape, you know? Like, like, like I can be a frog... You know, I can make friends in VR, and they might treat me a bit differently based on my voice, but they won't treat me differently based on my height, or based on the way I look. It's really, I'd say, I think it's the closest form of anonymity that isn't anonymous you could get." Dawabvle talks to Syrmor in VRchat about living with ADHD, bullying in school, and Kermit the Frog. [more inside]
posted by J.K. Seazer at 12:57 AM PST - 4 comments

travel writing from a “radically different” American slave

David Dorr, who in 1853 became the first African American to visit the Holy Land, couldn’t pass up the trip – he was a slave, forced to travel with his owner Cornelius Fellowes. Dorr later wrote about his three-year journey through Europe and the Middle East in a unique travel book, A Colored Man Round the World, which provided white readers with a rare look, before the Civil War, at an educated Black perspective. Slaves back then were erased from history, but Dorr, turning the tables, wrote as if he was traveling alone, and barely mentioned Fellowes except to mock him as clumsy or awkward. [more inside]
posted by LeLiLo at 12:45 AM PST - 6 comments

January 20

disorderly and disruptive and not amenable to discipline or control

"I do not hate my body, because such a thing would be pointless, shortsighted. You cannot hate an animal for what she is, especially one who bears your ungrateful mind through this terrible world. And anyway, how do you hate something who marks her territory so dramatically, with such violence and panache? Who reminds you, with each step, I am here, I am here, I am here?" Carmen Maria Machado on her unruly body. [more inside]
posted by Grandysaur at 11:40 PM PST - 6 comments

When the children seized power, we agreed… MORE BATS!

US-based socialist magazine Jacobin's recent Childhood issue featured a novel insert: Jacobin's first children's book, More Bats, written by Jacob Kramer and illustrated by Malina Omut. Kramer says, "More Bats is a playful reimagining of what might happen if our society prioritized maximizing bat populations, instead of our current model, which allocates most resources to the military industrial complex." He has since collaborated with illustrator K-Fai Steele on Noodlephant, a kids' book about elephants, kangaroos, rebellion, power, and community action. Book trailer here.
posted by duffell at 7:41 PM PST - 12 comments

Untreated chronic pain is a human rights issue

The clampdown on opioid prescriptions is hurting pain patients. "A report released last month by Human Rights Watch paints a cautionary and at times harrowing picture of what pain patients are experiencing today. Because of well-intended efforts to address the overdose crisis, many doctors are severely limiting opioid prescriptions. Patients who rely on opioid analgesics are being forcibly weaned off the medication or seeing their prescriptions significantly reduced. Other patients are unable to find doctors willing to treat them at all." [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 2:32 PM PST - 117 comments

Music For Activities Freaks

You may know True Stories as a 1986 movie by Talking Heads with an accompanying album. What isn't widely known is there is a second album, released on vinyl and cassette only -- Sounds From True Stories: Music For Activities Freaks, a score album from the movie [41m]. It's worth a listen! Side A: Cocktail Desperado (Terry Allen And The Panhandle Mystery Band), Road Song (Meredith Monk), Freeway Son (David Byrne), Brownie's Theme (David Byrne), Mall Muzak: Building A Highway / Puppy Polka / Party Girls (Carl Finch), Dinner Music (Kronos Quartet) [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 2:15 PM PST - 23 comments

⤪ ⤨ ⤧ ⤩ ⤭ ⤮ ⤯ ⤰ ⤱ ⤲

Which way do you draw an X? Colored line being the first stroke. [Twitter]
posted by Fizz at 2:03 PM PST - 157 comments

Crash II: Miss Daisy drives YOU

With a win at the PGA Green Book is now the lead contender for 2019's Academy Award for Best Picture. Oh dear.
posted by Artw at 1:53 PM PST - 54 comments


The Fable Cottage - classic fairytales retold in modern English, French, Spanish, Italian and German, with native-speaker audio and other nice features for language learners. [more inside]
posted by Wolfdog at 12:33 PM PST - 3 comments

The product was so good, it sold itself and went global.

"The Plot Against George Soros." Hannes Grassegger (Twitter) describes how two American political consultants launched an anti-Soros campaign, and how it then went viral. (SLBuzzfeed; originally appeared in German and with some differences)
posted by doctornemo at 12:26 PM PST - 20 comments

Darn good yarn

Cloughmills Crochet Club has been astounded by the attention their wool creation has attracted. Members of the close knit County Antrim group have been interviewed by national and local media and now their story has reached American online magazine, Atlas Obscura, based in New York. [more inside]
posted by cynical pinnacle at 11:41 AM PST - 17 comments


This Science Fiction Novelist Created a Feminist Language from Scratch - "Can a language be designed specifically to express the thoughts and feelings of women? In 1984, the linguist Suzette Haden Elgin wrote a science fiction novel to test this question. The result was Native Tongue, a dystopian tale of a future America that has been widely compared to The Handmaid's Tale. It was a pioneering feminist experiment, sold as a paperback original with a big green alien on the cover." (via; previously)
posted by kliuless at 11:11 AM PST - 23 comments

Once we searched Google, but now Google searches us.

Shoshana Zuboff has a new book published which welcomes us to the age of surveillance capitalism. (LA Times)
The Guardian's tech editor John Naughton has a 10 question and answer session with her.
Once we thought of digital services as free, but now surveillance capitalists think of us as free.
posted by adamvasco at 11:06 AM PST - 13 comments

marvel at the underduck region

if you only look at one picture of a duck today, let it be this one [twitter] [threadreader] [more inside]
posted by moonmilk at 8:16 AM PST - 41 comments

Why wouldn’t the giant robot in pads be there?

“I remember one day, my son, who was 7 or 8, had drawn me a picture of a hybrid robotic football-player-slash-cowboy. He was really sold: ‘You should do this! It would be so cool!’" The secret history of Cleatus, Fox Sports’s bizarre football robot.
posted by How the runs scored at 4:28 AM PST - 25 comments

wet noises intensify

Eels eat pizza
posted by not_the_water at 12:51 AM PST - 69 comments

January 19

Creating While Clean; 9 sober musicians

In the modern pop-culture tradition, being a musician has often come with a series of default lifestyle expectations, ones of indulgence and recklessness, larger-than-life living, and a diligent pursuit of altered forms of consciousness. Some see these expectations as having played a part in what happened to them, though most ultimately see their decisions and actions as also—if not mainly—a matter of their own psychology and personality and predisposition...What they have in common is that they are all, by their own account, for now, living sober. [more inside]
posted by Grandysaur at 11:35 PM PST - 63 comments


What if the Grand Canyon were inverted?
posted by Chrysostom at 8:44 PM PST - 29 comments

Walter Chandoha’s cat models […] must be alert, graceful and beautiful

In the internet age, we are all cat photographers. One study found that in Britain alone, more than 3.8 million photos and clips of cats are shared each day — twice the number of selfies shared (we love our cats more than we love ourselves) and more than twice the number of dog photos shared. Once upon a time, though, there was but One Cat Photographer to Rule Them All. His name was Walter Chandoha. (Hyperallergic)

By the time he died, on Jan. 11, Mr. Chandoha had taken some 90,000 cat photos, nearly all before cats had become viral darlings of social media. He was 98. (NYTimes) (Non-Times link, leaves out some adorable pics) [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:29 PM PST - 12 comments

Guitarist Phil Dürr, 1965-2019

Phil Dürr, best known as the guitarist for '90s Detroit funk/riff rock band Big Chief and later for blues singer Thornetta Davis, died at 53 on January 11th. This obituary sums up his life and work in loving detail. [more inside]
posted by outfielder at 7:58 PM PST - 4 comments

All Roads Lead to the Dog House

Few agree when precisely "old Seattle" died, but wherever you place the period, The Dog House was in many ways emblematic of the old days. It stood for 60 years as a working-class gathering space, offering cheap food and beer in its smoke-filled booths, and camaraderie in nightly singalongs around the organ. Knute Berger recalls how The Dog House "challenged the myth of Seattle nice." Jean Godden and J.A. Jance reminisced during the Dog House's final months in 1993, and Dog House regular Floyd Waterson remembers its last day in 1994. But the soul of the place was really in its people: longtime owner Laurie Gulbransen was remembered in an obituary in 2000; organist Dick Dickerson died in 2006. The corner of 7th & Bell hosted a 24-hour restaurant for nearly a century, with the Dog House's tenure bookended by the Bohemian Continental before it and the Hurricane Cafe after. The Hurricane closed at the end of 2014 and that old building was razed. The site is now known as Amazon Block 21.
posted by duffell at 7:40 PM PST - 34 comments


After Mermaids, a UK charity that provides services to young transgender and gender variant people and their families was awarded a £500,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund, some people complained and the Fund delayed the grant to review the charity. Now a UK gamer and YouTuber is playing through the entire game Donkey Kong 64 on Twitch to raise money for the charity. [more inside]
posted by Is It Over Yet? at 4:25 PM PST - 85 comments

Beans Have a Soul

I believe our best chance at preserving the integrity and dignity of our tradition is to return to our Pythagorean roots. We should become a cult.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 3:59 PM PST - 21 comments

"You won't have to worry about feeling desolate when autumn comes"

Hiroaki Sato (LitHub, 11/5/2018), "Haiku: The Evolution of a Strict Poetic Game": "In simplest terms, haikai meant rejection of poetic diction and adoption of language in daily use. Orthodox court poetry did not tolerate references to quotidian, down-to-earth things like shiru, 'soup,' and namasu, 'fish salad,' so incorporating daily elements was haikai. As Bashō himself explained, harusame no yanagi, 'willow in spring rain,' represented the world of court poetry, but tanishi toru karasu, 'a crow picking pond snails,' was haikai, according to Bashō's disciple Hattori Tohō." [more inside]
posted by Wobbuffet at 3:42 PM PST - 28 comments

Einhundert jahre bauhaus

March 2019 will mark 100 years since the founding of The Bauhaus. Centenary festivities include the opening of the Bauhaus Museum Dessau in September of this year, and a tour by the Bauhaus bus, modelled on Walter Gropius' historic Bauhaus building. The tour began in Dessau at the beginning of January, and the bus will travel to Berlin, Kinshasa, and Hong Kong. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 2:56 PM PST - 5 comments


Entire Machinima YouTube Channel Set To Private [Kotaku] “With no public announcement or advanced warning to many creators, the entire Machinima Youtube channel was effectively wiped from the internet recently. All videos on the channel are now private, making them unable to view. [...] News of the videos began to spread yesterday, but it’s unclear when the switch to private happened. Many creators seemed not to have been aware that their videos would be set to private. “Otter Media really just went and deleted Machinima, Happy Hour, Respawn, Realm, Prime, Inside Gaming, ETC, everything.” Jeremy Azevedo, a former creator and employee of Machinima tweeted after learning about the news. Other former creators were shocked to find years of videos now gone.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 2:00 PM PST - 17 comments

A brief history of secular mindfulness meditation in the West

Deconstructing Mindfulness: Embracing a Complex Simplicity. "There’s been a marked increase in studies of mindfulness and meditation in recent years. I’m worried that many of today’s researchers may think they know what they’re doing. ... [I]t makes all the sense in the world that we deconstruct mindfulness, by which I mean that we understand it to have a history, a 'side view.' It’s not a given or an absolute. It comes from somewhere. Mindfulness has been constructed." [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 11:20 AM PST - 26 comments

Just me and my dog and an impossible view

In 2018, three up and coming singer-songwriters, Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus joined forces to form the supergroup boygenius. Last summer, they recorded a six song EP with a cover evoking a certain other supergroup. In November, Pitchfork filmed a thrilling set of theirs performing at Brooklyn Steel. [more inside]
posted by octothorpe at 7:28 AM PST - 16 comments

January 18

Civilisation (1969) and Civilisations (2015), British views of the past

In 1966, David Attenborough, the controller of the recently launched BBC2, asked historian Kenneth Clark to host a show, which would become Civilisation (Wikipedia), which inspired audiences in the UK and US to go to head to art museums after each of the 13 episodes originally aired, in 1969 and 1970, respectively, as noted in The Seductive Enthusiasm of Kenneth Clark’s “Civilisation” by Morgan Meis for the New Yorker. Almost 50 years later, BBC returned to the theme, now titled Civilisations (Wikipedia), with three presenters, Mary Beard, David Olusoga and Simon Schama, who looked beyond the Great Men of Europe (BBC). And it's all online ... [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 10:00 PM PST - 21 comments

Tea by sea. Cha by land.

History of the word for 茶 (tea). Silk road land based trade led to the spread of 'cha' based words, but 'te' based words come from the sea based trade.
posted by freethefeet at 9:42 PM PST - 26 comments

An alarming, nearly floor-to-ceiling jumble of crumpled papers

The Grolier Club, the nation’s oldest society of bibliophiles, just celebrated the centennial of its grand Manhattan home. Yes, there’s a secret staircase hidden in a bookshelf. No, do not use gloves in its library.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:39 PM PST - 11 comments

Hi, my name is Bill, and I’m a recovering normie.

In which the Boozy Barrister / Boozy Badger (previously) and his online presence lured a hooman into attending a furry convention, and he delivers his subsequent report: How I Realized that Furries are Better than Me (…and just how low of a bar that was) [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 8:38 PM PST - 7 comments

Our team is red hot, your team ain't doodley squat!

Most right-thinking people agree that dogs are better than cats. Some people—those who have been infected with toxoplasmosis, probably—believe cats are better than dogs. Regardless, they can be taught to get along (the animals, that is).
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:47 PM PST - 54 comments

Flash Point

The abysmal failure known as the Fyre Festival (previously) is the stuff of legends. This week, Netflix and Hulu rolled out competing documentaries covering the fiasco. Now, both documentary teams are accusing one another of ethical lapses, while the festival's incarcerated founder and the social media agencies who hyped the festival are profiting off of the films. The Ringer has the story.
posted by duffell at 7:35 PM PST - 38 comments

the brittleness of children and the egos of driven men

In the fall of 1938, Wendell Johnson recruited one of his clinical psychology graduate students, 22-year-old Mary Tudor, who was avid but timorous, to undertake exactly that experiment. She was to study whether telling nonstuttering children that they stuttered would make it so. Could she talk children into a speech defect? The university had an ongoing research relationship with an orphanage in Davenport, Iowa, so Johnson suggested she base her study there. And thus, on Jan. 17, 1939, Mary Tudor drove along the high, swooping bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River to the Soldiers and Sailors Orphans' Home. The study she began that morning became the subject of a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the State of Iowa and the University of Iowa.
posted by sciatrix at 3:51 PM PST - 26 comments

Super Blood Wolf Moon 2019

No, it's not that T-shirt. It's actually a total lunar eclipse and "super moon." NASA: Viewers in North and South America, as well as those in western parts of Europe and Africa, will be able to watch one of the sky's most dazzling shows on Jan. 20, 2019, when the Sun, Earth and Moon align at 9:12 p.m. PST (12:12 a.m. EST), creating a total lunar eclipse. The full moon will also be at its closest point to Earth in its orbit, called perigee. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 2:37 PM PST - 73 comments

To Save the Sound of a Stradivarius, a Whole City Must Keep Quiet

To Save the Sound of a Stradivarius, a Whole City Must Keep Quiet Make sure to read it to the end. I love it when technology is used to preserve art.
posted by riffola at 1:24 PM PST - 19 comments

Big Mac's a Big Mac, but they call it Le Big Mac

"In a landmark decision by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), McDonald's lost the right to the trademark "Big Mac" across Europe to the Ireland-based, fast-food chain Supermac." [more inside]
posted by gauche at 1:11 PM PST - 38 comments

“She decides to leave for Europe, with hopes of a better life.”

Bury Me, My Love [YouTube][Game Trailer] “A powerful interactive tale of one woman’s migration from Syria to France. The game takes place via a WhatsApp-style cellphone conversation between Nour and her anxious husband, Majd, who remains in war-torn Homs, caring for elderly relatives. I play as Majd, responding to my wife’s text messages, offering support and advice through a series of dialogue choices. Nour is a middle-class professional who works in the medical field. She wants to escape the war that has destroyed her life and the lives of everyone she knows. Nour’s journey takes her through many countries, across stiffly guarded borders as well as perilous mountains and seas. She falls in with a variety of fellow refugees and migrants. Some aid her. Others seek her help. Others exploit her.” [Play the Game's Prologue for Free Here] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 1:03 PM PST - 3 comments

Unendowed with wealth or pity

@girlziplocked asks, "What's a dirty secret that everybody in your industry knows about but anyone outside of your line of work would be scandalized to hear?" Twitter responds with dozens of reports of systemic fraud, abuse, prejudice, corruption, incompetence, and precarity from restaurants, heavy industry, non-profits, technology, theatre, shipping, customer service, flower arranging, medicine, law, art, education, government, senior care, agriculture, telecommunications, and virtually every other sphere of modern economic activity. [more inside]
posted by Iridic at 11:14 AM PST - 185 comments

Do unto otters...

Pete (the otter) and Shu-Shu (the Scottie) - in which a Scottie dog convinces an injured otter to try swimming. [Lots of photos and circa 2009 web design]
posted by moonmilk at 10:39 AM PST - 9 comments

‘Our country is in a hellhole right now’—Cardi B

As the partial US government shutdown winds up its fourth week, we learned that President Trump directed his attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about his Moscow Tower Project (BuzzFeed), a bombshell development immediately condemned by Democrats (Politico) as obstruction of justice if not an impeachable offense (Lawfare). House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler both pledged to investigate (AP). Attorney General nominee Bill Barr, writing to DAG Rod Rosenstein last June about "Muller's 'Obstruction' Theory", also declared, "[I]f a President […] suborns perjury[…], then he, like anyone else, commits the crime of obstruction." In other Cohen news, the Wall Street Journal revealed he hired an IT Firm to rig early CNBC, Drudge Polls to favor Trump, subsequently stiffing the firm and Trump (allegedly). Cohen still intends to testify before before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on on February 7th, despite concerns for his family (CNN) after Trump's repeated hostile public remarks. [more inside]
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:40 AM PST - 2215 comments

“purpose paradigm”

“However, the truth is that there is no convincing evidence at all of this supposed success. A fast-growing body of reports, analyses, and research, including reports from Amnesty International, shows how self-regulating business initiatives, including the palm-oil certification scheme of Unilever, make no real impact or worse, inhibit real change with a false illusion of progress. “One of the systemic problems that Unilever’s ‘sustainable’ palm-oil scheme refuses to acknowledge,” says Eric Gottwald from the International Labor Rights Forum, “is that workers on plantations need independent trade unions to improve their working conditions, not corporate-sponsored “certifiers.” A six-month long investigation into Unilever’s supply chain in 2017 by five millennial journalists from Investico, a Dutch platform for investigative journalism, did not find evidence to back up Unilever’s leadership claims either. At the five certified palm-oil plantations that they visited in Indonesia, as part of the investigation, the team encountered the same environmental and labor violations that are known to be pervasive among non-certified plantations.” Big Business Has a New Scam: The ‘Purpose Paradigm’ Multinational corporations are luring millennial workers with empty promises and self-serving slogans. (The Nation)
posted by The Whelk at 9:34 AM PST - 2 comments

That's "one hundred ten", not "six"

Donald Knuth Lectures - a playlist of 110 lectures (most of them about an hour long) on TeX, mathematical writing, algorithms, data structures, hardware, cryptography...
posted by Wolfdog at 6:15 AM PST - 11 comments

Hundreds of thousands of women who aren't driving about it

Women's March AND March for Life Reproductive rights are an often contentious flash point in American politics, and this weekend, in the midst of a the Trump shutdown (current Omnigate catch-all thread on mefi), that flash point will be in Washington, as both the March for Life and the Women's March make their way to the National Mall. The Women's March started in 2017 as a global protest for recognition of women's issues upon the election of Donald Trump, and at 500,000-1,000,000 participants was supposedly the largest march on Washington since the Vietnam War protests, and made pussy hats a thing (although in 2018 they were less of a thing), while the March for Life, though smaller at tens of thousands, is both much older, starting in 1972, and used to draw much bigger crowds, and also tends to be a bit more religiony. Wherever you stand on the issue, this is the weekend they're marching about it in Washington. [more inside]
posted by saysthis at 5:05 AM PST - 48 comments

Puputov Cocktails and Other Shitty Weapons

(SL Vice) People have definitely tried to kill each other with shit. What follows is an (almost certainly incomplete) chronological history of poo as a weapon. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 3:37 AM PST - 17 comments

January 17

A family of drunken tourists has been terrorizing New Zealand

For weeks, a terrible family of unruly tourists has wrought a trail of destruction from Auckland all the way to Hamilton. A large man in red shorts and a white tank top, a woman in a unicorn onesie, and a small, angry boy are the unwilling public faces of this terrible family who number about 12, according to multiple witnesses. [more inside]
posted by thirdring at 10:33 PM PST - 69 comments

With ingestible pill, you can track fart development in real time

Scientists often hope to break ground with their research. But a group of Australian researchers would likely be happy with breaking wind. The team developed an ingestible electronic capsule to monitor gas levels in the human gut. When it’s paired with a pocket-sized receiver and a mobile phone app, the pill reports tail-wind conditions in real time as it passes from the stomach to the colon. [more inside]
posted by cynical pinnacle at 6:20 PM PST - 25 comments

Technological Tristesse

Sad by design. "While classical melancholy was defined by isolation and introspection, today’s tristesse plays out amidst busy social media interactions. Geert Lovink on ‘technological sadness’ – the default mental state of the online billions."
posted by homunculus at 6:10 PM PST - 11 comments

Green Gold

The early 1950s were boom years for chlorophyll. Hailed as a miracle odor-buster, it was added to everything from cigarettes to dish soap, as Tedium's Ernie Smith reports. While the '50s fad eventually fizzled, pseudoscience profiteers are behind a resurgence of chlorophyll in everything from skin care products to anti-cancer treatments.
posted by duffell at 5:46 PM PST - 9 comments

New Truths or Old Traps?

Gideon Lewis-Kraus writes for the NY Times on the promise and problems of ancient DNA: Imagine that the written history of our current era were lost to time, and paleogenomicists of the future were trying to explain the peopling of North America on the basis of a few bones that dated from between the 16th and 20th centuries. If these bones included the descendants of British, Spanish and French colonists as well as those of Yoruba slaves, the researchers might conclude that European migrants arrived together with African migrants and that their “sex-biased admixture” created the people known henceforth as Americans. From our perspective, those geneticists wouldn’t exactly be wrong about all this — but nobody would accuse them of being right, either.
posted by ChuraChura at 5:43 PM PST - 8 comments

Before we go any further: no, Mark Jackson didn’t murder anybody.

If you were an enormous fan of Mark Jackson circa 1990, and you wanted to buy his trading card on eBay in the last few months, you were out of luck. How Two Murderers Were Spotted on an Old Mark Jackson Trading Card.
posted by bondcliff at 5:06 PM PST - 7 comments

Determinedly advance technology better than Germany

Stanford’s Robotics Legacy
posted by cashman at 3:02 PM PST - 5 comments

Athens GA Inside/Out

Dancey post-punk legends Pylon 1980-83
Live: Danger/Feast On My Heart - Volume - Recent Title - Working is No Problem - Crazy - Danger - Weather Radio - No Clocks - Driving School - K
Studio: Beep - Yo-Yo - M-Train - Altitude - Precaution - Read a Book - Weather Radio - Cool - Italian Movie Theme [more inside]
posted by msalt at 2:24 PM PST - 17 comments

"Now I remember why I unfollowed you!"

Jack Dorsey Has No Clue What He Wants: A Q&A with Twitter’s CEO on right-wing extremism, Candace Owens, and what he’d do if the president called on his followers to murder journalists. [Ashley Feinberg, HuffPo]
What do you mean by clearer actions within the product?
"Just, you know, finding the report button isn’t the most obvious and intuitive right now. So that certainly slows things down."
But what’s the alternative to that?
"Making it more obvious? I don’t ... I mean, I’m not going to ... I don’t know what it looks like right now, but we know what’s wrong with it. So, you know, that’s what we’re working on."
In other words, the most the CEO of Twitter was able to tell me about specific steps being taken to solve the rampant, site-wide harassment problem that’s plagued the platform for years is that they’re looking into maybe making the report button a little bigger, eventually.
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:16 PM PST - 71 comments

"Semenly" Harmless Back Pain

In a new case study, Irish doctors report the baffling case of a 33-year-old man who injected his own semen intravenously for a year and a half, a self-developed “cure” intended to treat his chronic back pain. It does not appear to have worked.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:01 PM PST - 89 comments

a fuller range of human sensory apparatus

This essay offers a chronological survey of the range of songs and musical productions inspired by Darwin and his theory since they entered the public sphere some 150 years ago. It draws on an unusual set of historical materials, including illustrated sheet music, lyrics and librettos, wax cylinder recordings, vinyl records, and video recordings located in digital and sound archives and on the Internet. If you'd rather listen than read, ecologist Jeremy Fox has gleefully compiled a dozen evolution- or Darwin-inspired songs for the listening.
posted by sciatrix at 1:42 PM PST - 7 comments

"Selfishness lasts a day; Civilization endures forever"

Tablets from some of the world’s oldest civilisations hold rich details about life thousands of years ago, but few people today can read them. New technology is helping to unlock them. How AI could help us with ancient languages like Sumerian (BBC Future), focused on Machine Translation and Automated Analysis of Cuneiform Languages (Github). There are tens of thousands of Mesopotamian administrative records from the 21st Century BC, and more than 50,000 Mesopotamian engraved seals, yet some 90% of cuneiform texts remain untranslated. Additionally, computers can detect marks too faint for human eyes, and compare stamp marks to identify related works in different collections. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:01 PM PST - 10 comments

the nicest sense of personal honor

CHRIS HAYES [podcast, "Why Is This Happening" 11 DEC 2018, transcript of podcast]: There is a mythos about like, "When we founded the country we broke with the old ways of Europe that were blood-soaked." JOANNE FREEMAN [professor of history and american studies, Yale] [twitter]: Right. CHRIS HAYES: "We created the rule of law and the revered Constitution, where we banished all of that stuff and we ... " And it's bullshit. That moment, that's just Mafia warlord-ism in a committee of Congress. JOANNE FREEMAN: For sure. There is this level of violence. You're absolutely right, that there is a pretty shiny narrative of early America that goes on for quite some time in the way we understand the past, and there wasn't a shiny moment. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:39 PM PST - 3 comments

Sometimes soaring like a dolphin, sometimes skipping like a stone

Bodysurfing — surfing waves without a board — is the most ancient of the wave-riding sports. Easy enough to learn in an afternoon and challenging enough to pursue for a lifetime, it's the sport of presidents and kids. Bodysurfers have been charging heavy waves at spots like The Wedge and Pipeline for decades. But until recently no one took on the world's biggest waves without a surfboard. Now a few bodysurfers have started swimming out at Nazare, Portugal, where surfing world records are regularly broken, and where bodysurfers look like flecks of foam on waves the size of skyscrapers. [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 11:57 AM PST - 17 comments

“Get over here!”

Mortal Kombat 11 [YouTube] [Gameplay Trailer] [Story Trailer] A new level of brutality, plus a peek at the roster.
posted by Fizz at 11:45 AM PST - 15 comments

Canadian government up creek with paddles

Kentucky canoe outfit borrows photo of Trudeau family to market business. You might think the last thing you'd stumble onto on a rural road in central Kentucky is Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. But the owners of Mammoth Cave, Canoe, and Kayak decided to use a photograph of Trudeau and his family to promote their business.
posted by tallmiddleagedgeek at 10:31 AM PST - 13 comments

“It started off fairly mild”

“I was spending hours a day trying to get him to see other people’s views. But the more he would watch these videos, the more he reinforced his opinions. If I said something, he’d just send another video to ‘prove’ his point. He’d shut down conversations if I didn’t relent and agree with him. He wanted to debate things with me — but only up to a point. Eventually, he’d expect me to side with him.”
When YouTube Red-Pills The Love Of Your Life
posted by griphus at 10:13 AM PST - 112 comments

Waves in the Æther

The Route of a Text Message: how it was typed, stored, sent, received, and displayed.
posted by HumanComplex at 10:00 AM PST - 6 comments

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver has died. She was 83. [more inside]
posted by gauche at 9:20 AM PST - 71 comments

Everyone Reinvents Taylorism

“Yet while they introduced some novel details, neither Gantt nor Taylor created the task system. It has a much longer history and was one of the principal methods of organizing labor under slavery. Under the task system, an enslaved person would be assigned a set “task” or quota that he or she was expected to complete by the end of the day; this was in contrast to the gang system, where enslaved people labored under constant supervision for a set period of time. In some cases, slavers who used the task system even gave monetary bonuses for achievement above set targets. They “dangled the carrot” in a way that resembles not just Gantt’s methods but those of the gig economy today. Indeed, except for the base payment and the critically important ability for workers to quit, Gantt’s new system was in nearly every respect the same as the system used by some slaveholders, a fact that Gantt made no attempt to hide. Rather, he acknowledged that the word “task” was “disliked by many men” because of its connection to slavery, and he regarded this negative connotation as its “principal disadvantage.” How Slavery Inspired Modern Business Management
posted by The Whelk at 8:06 AM PST - 29 comments

District of Despair

On a Montana Reservation, Schools Favor Whites Over Native Americans (cw self-harm, suicide) [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 7:42 AM PST - 7 comments

Maybe American mobile phone carriers aren't exactly telling the truth

Ground truthing wireless reality in a rural state Carriers Verizon, AT&T, et al claimed that Vermont was well covered by mobile phone networks. A state employee tested the truth of this by driving through every single town, checking connection strength with a box of phones. The results (mapped) reveal massive coverage voids and big swathes of low signal strength, especially in rural areas.
posted by doctornemo at 6:26 AM PST - 32 comments

it was suddenly so uncool to look rich

“People were dripping in gold. There was bling on clothing, jewelry, accessories,” says Christina Binkley, who covered fashion for the Wall Street Journal. “Fashion had been really loud and it was a huge party, and then that shifted literally overnight.” How the Great Recession Influenced a Decade of Design
posted by everybody had matching towels at 6:18 AM PST - 37 comments

You have to educate them about the basics of the taste first

Saowanit says a proper Sriracha sauce needs to be what Thais call klom klom — the hotness, the sour, the sweet and the garlic all blending together seamlessly, none overpowering the other. The American version, she says, just brings heat.
Saowanit Trikityanukul grew up making Sriracha. She's not impressed with your devotion to the Rooster sauce.
posted by Vesihiisi at 5:12 AM PST - 67 comments

Early Modern Medicine Casebooks

The casebooks of Simon Forman and Richard Napier, 1596–1634 In the decades around 1600, the astrologers Simon Forman and Richard Napier produced one of the largest surviving sets of medical records in history. The Casebooks Project, a team of scholars at the University of Cambridge, has transformed this paper archive into a digital archive.
posted by Lezzles at 2:48 AM PST - 7 comments

Perhaps the blood of MeFites would be better?

A startup is offering a liter of blood of a young person for $8K, 2 liters for $12k. Business Insider: “Because blood transfusions are already approved by federal regulators, Ambrosia does not need to demonstrate that its treatment carries significant benefits before offering it to customers.” Payment is by Paypal (previously), and more previously on Ambrosia. SFGate: “But the science remains unclear about whether infusions of young blood can help fight aging.” Scientific America: “'It just reeks of snake oil,' said Michael Conboy, a cell and molecular biologist at the University of California.” Young blood transfusion on wikipedia, and did Keith Richards? In the UK, 'Ambrosia' signifies a different sticky substance put inside yourself to make you feel good.
posted by Wordshore at 1:41 AM PST - 74 comments

Sheep is life

Sheepfilter, part 3: Churros were the first sheep to come to the New World by way of the Spanish conquerors from Spain in the 1540's. The sheep thrived on the semi-arid Southwest and became an integral part of Navajo culture, tradition and religion. But by 1973, there were fewer than 450 "old style" Churro sheep remaining on the Navajo Reservation. A few individuals took an interest in preserving the rare breed, and--after many twists and turns over the course of a few decades--today the Navajo-Churro Sheep is back from the brink of extinction and once again playing a role in the Navajo economy and way of life (video). [more inside]
posted by flug at 12:28 AM PST - 15 comments

January 16

BBC follows the Bishan Otters

Why this adorable otter family took over Singapore's streets (BBC) After crashing a British otter-fan wedding proposal, the famed Bishan Otter Family have been followed by BBC documentary cameras. Bernard "OtterGrapher" Seah has quickly become the go-to expert at respectfully tracking the Bishan Otters. [more inside]
posted by CrystalDave at 11:53 PM PST - 12 comments

John (Jack) Bogle (1929-2019)

Jack Bogle has died. "If a statue is ever erected to honor the person who has done the most for American investors, the hands down choice should be Jack Bogle. For decades, Jack has urged investors to invest in ultra-low-cost index funds. In his crusade, he amassed only a tiny percentage of the wealth that has typically flowed to managers who have promised their investors large rewards while delivering them nothing – or, as in our bet, less than nothing – of added value. In his early years, Jack was frequently mocked by the investment-management industry. Today, however, he has the satisfaction of knowing that he helped millions of investors realize far better returns on their savings than they otherwise would have earned. He is a hero to them and to me." -- Warren Buffett, 2016 [more inside]
posted by pmurray63 at 11:40 PM PST - 25 comments

Remembering why the backstop is needed

These pictures show what life looked like during the troubles. The future of the Irish border is one of the key issues of the Brexit negotiations. Because of its sensitive history, there are fears over what might happen if a hard border and checkpoints returned.
posted by Long Way To Go at 9:15 PM PST - 37 comments

Bird Box (Abridged)

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross scored the Netflix film Bird Box, and they've done a digital release of an abridged score available now. A full score on physical product will be available later. For now, they've put the track Outside on YouTube for everyone.
posted by hippybear at 8:29 PM PST - 9 comments


Catalog number STUMM433 is a Mute Records box set of John Cage's 4'33" interpreted in sixty different ways by sixty different artists, including New Order, Einstürzende Neubauten, The Afghan Wigs, Goldfrapp, Moby, and Depeche Mode, totaling roughly six hours of music. Each recording will be paired with a video; here is Laibach's (NSFW). [more inside]
posted by ardgedee at 6:15 PM PST - 41 comments

International House Of Champions

The Camaro IROC-Z “There were only 166,976 total IROC-Z's made during the years in production. If you subtract the ones that were totaled in accidents and the ones stolen and parted out, you don't have many left. They are fast becoming the modern era's vehicle of choice among collector's.” [more inside]
posted by nikaspark at 6:13 PM PST - 60 comments

Many of the best stories are waiting to be written

One year after launching its Local Reporting Network to support investigative journalism in small-city newsrooms, independent journalism nonprofit ProPublica examines what they've learned in the process.
posted by duffell at 5:45 PM PST - 6 comments

so far unidentified gene on sheep chromosome 10

The St Kilda Soay Sheep Project. The research project has been running since 1985. Counts "of the whole of Hirta’s Soay sheep population has been conducted most years since 1952". About the sheep.
posted by readinghippo at 2:57 PM PST - 6 comments

Goth as duck

Australia’s Hot Duck Is Goth and Lives in a Sewage Pond.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 2:54 PM PST - 26 comments

tl;dr, it's Falun Gong evangelism

You've seen the ads. But what's the deal with Shen Yun?
posted by Etrigan at 2:20 PM PST - 73 comments

Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening

Through trial and error (mostly error, he says), Vermonter Peter Burke has developed a great way to enjoy fresh greens year-round without special equipment and at low cost. He describes his method in a book and a podcast. Yankee ingenuity at its finest.
posted by No Robots at 12:29 PM PST - 14 comments

Christiana Herringham: artist, campaigner, collector

Christina Herringham (1851–1929) was a founder and benefactor of the National Art Collections Fund in 1903. Her career as an artist and art writer is less well known. Herringham undertook early experimentation with tempera painting alongside her translation of Cennino Cennini’s (c.1370-c.1440) treatise on painting techniques [1st ed., 2nd ed. via Archive.org]. Herringham’s meticulous approach to understanding “medieval art methods” was a catalyst for the foundation of the Society of Painters in Tempera. Her writing for the art press [Burlington Magazine, no free previews] ... reveals her expertise on the technical aspects of connoisseurship. 'The greatest living critic': Christiana Herringham and the practise of connoisseurship [PDF, abstract from University of Sussex]. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 12:15 PM PST - 4 comments

Shaking the Rafters

Mutiny on the Sex Raft “He wants to be very progressive and radical giving power to the women,” says Lindeen, “but when it comes to the crisis of the captaincy he’s very macho.”
posted by CheapB at 12:11 PM PST - 34 comments


Somebody is watching Star Trek TNG using their phone camera. With a cute filter enabled.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 12:03 PM PST - 25 comments

The professional must reshape and expand their service to add value

Merger is a new short film "about the future of work, from cult director/designer Keiichi Matsuda (HYPER-REALITY). Set against the backdrop of AI-run corporations, a tele-operator finds herself caught between virtual and physical reality, human and machine. As she fights for her economic survival, she finds herself immersed in the cult of productivity, in search of the ultimate interface." [Via] [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 11:45 AM PST - 6 comments

"A flock of sheep brings humanity and freedom to the city.”

Paris Pastoral: A City Recultivated Mira Kamdar discusses the history, present and future of urban agriculture in Paris. Including: urban shepherding -- concrete honey, and Paris as a refuge for bees -- biodiversity -- 19th century glass bells for local agriculture -- zoning -- dedicated livestock trams -- and paths for hedgehogs to circulate among suburban gardens.
posted by Hypatia at 11:14 AM PST - 6 comments

“...designed to appropriate any voice activated device.”

Project Alias By BjørnKarmann “Alias is a teachable “parasite” that is designed to give users more control over their smart assistants, both when it comes to customisation and privacy. Through a simple app the user can train Alias to react on a custom wake-word/sound, and once trained, Alias can take control over your home assistant by activating it for you. When you don't use it, Alias will make sure the assistant is paralysed and unable to listen by interrupting its microphones. Follow the build guide on Instructables or get the source code on GitHub.” [Vimeo]
posted by Fizz at 11:09 AM PST - 18 comments

Over here we call that a "Kaiju Pizza"

Westbrook, Maine is a small city (not town! They're very particular about that) in Southern Maine heretofore known primarily as the location of the SD Warren Paper Mill, formerly the world's largest. This week, the town became nationally known as the location of another world's largest: perhaps the biggest rotating ice disk anyone's ever seen.
posted by selfnoise at 10:10 AM PST - 23 comments

Writing Systems

This web site presents one glyph for each of the world’s writing systems. It is the first step of the Missing Scripts Project, a long-term initiative that aims to identify writing systems which are not yet encoded in the Unicode standard. As of today, there are still 146 scripts not yet encoded in Unicode.
posted by zamboni at 9:56 AM PST - 10 comments


Ever have one of those days? (SLYT)(NSFW)
posted by overeducated_alligator at 9:38 AM PST - 14 comments

Minorcan Food of Florida

Way down in St. Augustine, Florida, America's oldest city*, jewel of the First Coast, you'll find a unique and largely unheralded culinary tradition: Minorcan food. [more inside]
posted by saladin at 8:50 AM PST - 11 comments

My ancestors did wrong. It's right here in black and white.

#1 is Edie. She's 45 years old, and valued at $800. And she, her, it's hard to say the word…owner...it's not right. This is my second great grandfather, William Hayes Paxton. #2, Julia. She's 26, valued at $1400. The list goes on. There are 44 names on this list.
After Two White Colorado Women Unearthed The History Of Their Slave-Owning Ancestors, They Turned To Reparations by Ann Marie Awad, Colorado Public Radio (article and audio of radio interview at link). [more inside]
posted by medusa at 8:02 AM PST - 24 comments

not just for students

The Literary Canon Is Mostly White. Here’s an Alternative Latin American Reading List [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 6:31 AM PST - 24 comments

rtyn mbdx: the mysterious modern art of google image search

Type two random 4 letter ‘words’ into google images and you’ll get a set of abstract art paintings. Why? A reddit forum which tries to identify mystery objects has identified a, er, mystery... [more inside]
posted by AFII at 12:59 AM PST - 28 comments

January 15

The Real-life Room of Requirement.

A Three-Act Tribute to Libraries. (slThis American Life): "Five of us went to libraries around the country that day.... And one of the things that we found everywhere were even-tempered, unflappable librarians. Like at the Palo Verde Public Library in Phoenix, a library user named Cindy, in a maroon sweatshirt and fanny pack, broke into song to get the librarian to understand exactly which Amy Grant Christmas album she wanted." [more inside]
posted by storybored at 10:23 PM PST - 6 comments

Namibia is not particularly close to Mount Kilimanjaro

Artist's installation in African desert to play "Africa" forever.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:02 PM PST - 88 comments


Quick-sort with Hungarian (Küküllőmenti legényes) folk dance .
posted by capricorn at 6:47 PM PST - 21 comments

Wheezer or Weezer?

Can you distinguish classic cheerlessness from modern melancholy? Who Wrote It: Edgar Allan Poe or an Emo Band? (Mental Floss)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:30 PM PST - 25 comments


Roy Rogers wore it. Los Angeles Chargers QB Philip Rivers has been known to sport one too. It's the bolo tie, baby--or the bola tie, gaucho tie, mono loop tie, emblem lariat, neck rope, cowboy tie, western tie, thong tie, sport tie, or string tie. Reports of the bolo tie's comeback frequently surface; Bloomberg thinks it's happening now. Santa Fe Monthly looks at the bolo tie's still-murky early days; a recent Heard Museum exhibit on Native American bolo ties examined its antecedents in both Anglo and Native culture.
posted by duffell at 5:30 PM PST - 21 comments

"That should be a national motto for us" - K. Tippett

How can I say this so we can stay in this car together, and yet, explore the things I want to explore with you? This is the question Claudia Rankine asks when Krista Tippett interviews her about race and her 2014 book Citizen: An American Lyric, among other things. They also talk briefly about Eula Biss's questions about whiteness and white debt. (First link contains both an audio interview and its transcript.) [more inside]
posted by platitudipus at 3:22 PM PST - 9 comments

Carol will never go away again

Legendary Broadway actress Carol Channing passes away at 97 Carol Channing died of natural causes at 12:31 a.m. Tuesday in Rancho Mirage, California. She had twice suffered strokes in the last year. Broadway will dim its lights for Channing tomorrow night at 7:45 pm ET, The Broadway League announced today. [more inside]
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 2:37 PM PST - 60 comments

Two million gallons of molasses, to go.

One hundred years ago today, a storage tank burst in Boston, unleashing a thirty-foot wave of molasses that flooded the streets at thirty-five miles per hour. Twenty-one people died, some of them by suffocating in the sweet, sticky mire. Here's a song about it.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:02 PM PST - 68 comments

“Those who do not move, do not notice their chains.”

“Rosa Luxemburg was a shining star of the early socialist movement. As an economist and political theorist, a teacher and public speaker, a comrade and rebel, a revolutionary and martyr of the German Revolution, she was many things to many people. Her legacy today reflects that, stretching across a broad spectrum of the international left.” For the 100th anniversary of her death, ROSA REMIX (PDF) (German) presents essays by contemporary writers on Rosa Luxemburg’s legacy, theories, and how they can be applied today. Kate Evans, writer/artist of RED ROSA (Previously) offers some reflections in her twitter feed.
posted by The Whelk at 11:49 AM PST - 19 comments

How experimental psychology can help us understand art

Whys of seeing. "Experimental psychology is providing concrete answers to some of the great philosophical debates about art and its meaning." [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 10:52 AM PST - 13 comments

"...prions are not an infectious entity; they’re an infectious shape."

“You really want to hope that you’re negative, but the fear that you’re positive keeps interrupting, and it’s a constant psychological dialog,” she says. “Once you know, you start to adapt. What you can’t adapt to is something that keeps changing shape on you.”
When Sonia Vallabh lost her mother to a rare disease, she and her husband, Eric Minikel, set out to find a cure. [more inside]
posted by VeritableSaintOfBrevity at 10:15 AM PST - 19 comments

she kept track of train delays by knitting herself a scarf

A scarf knitted by a German woman to document her frustrations with frequent train delays has sold for €7,550 (£6,720) on eBay, as the country’s biggest railway company announces plans for a punctuality tsar. (The Guardian) Claudia Weber suspected that delays on her daily train commute had been increasing, so in 2018 she knit two colour coded rows per day, with each colour representing a delay of a particular length. She and her daughter auctioned off the resulting scarf for charity after it went viral on social media, and "she is donating the proceeds to Bahnhofsmission, a charity that helps vulnerable passengers or people facing travel emergencies." (CBC) [more inside]
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:03 AM PST - 27 comments

Equality in Women's Wrestling Goes Below the Belt

Late last month, independent professional wrestler Priscilla Kelly had an interesting new move to try out against her opponent: she pulled a "bloody" tampon out of her trunks and shoved it into Tuna's mouth. A clip of it exploded a week later, with various wrestling luminaries weighing in, generally disapprovingly, but with many comparing it to famed indie wrestler Joey Ryan's "dick flip". [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 10:01 AM PST - 8 comments

Is Marijuana as Safe as We Think?

We don’t know that an increase in cannabis use was responsible for that surge in violence. Between 2013 and 2017, [Washington's] aggravated-assault rate rose seventeen per cent, which was nearly twice the increase seen nationwide, and the murder rate rose forty-four per cent, which was more than twice the increase nationwide. [more inside]
posted by mecran01 at 9:54 AM PST - 54 comments

Red Rocker and Blue Bomber "I coulda been a contender"

Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots What more could you want in life, as a youngster, than to field your own robot in the boxing ring? It was a simpler time, perhaps? [more inside]
posted by mightshould at 9:30 AM PST - 10 comments

“I think Nick Fury just hijacked our summer vacation,”

Spider-Man: Far From Home [YouTube][Teaser Trailer]
posted by Fizz at 9:03 AM PST - 119 comments

Punk's only *mostly* dead. There's a big difference...

After 37 years and 400 issues, the seminal punk zine Maximum Rocknroll is ending print publication. Maximum Rocknroll will continue to exist online.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:26 AM PST - 35 comments

Blueberry Earth

On Physics Stackexchange billybodega asked the question: Supposing that the entire Earth was instantaneously replaced with an equal volume of closely packed, but uncompressed blueberries, what would happen from the perspective of a person on the surface? Unfortunately the site tends to frown on fun questions like this, so it was in my opinion prematurely closed while I was working out the answer. So here it is, with some extra extensions.
posted by Wolfdog at 8:07 AM PST - 30 comments

40 512 993 and counting

Meet the world's most popular egg.
posted by Vesihiisi at 6:20 AM PST - 39 comments

But can Trudeau sing?

Afghan wedding singer finds fame as 'Justin Trudeau's lost twin' "Abdul Salam Maftoon, a wedding singer from a village in the remote and impoverished northeastern province of Badakhshan, had never even heard of his more famous doppelgänger until a judge on the popular television music contest Afghan Star pointed out the uncanny likeness."
posted by freethefeet at 5:33 AM PST - 3 comments

January 14

In Fimo Veritas

Latin continues to provide exact and elegant expressions that have become standard in the international scientific community. Think of “in vitro” and “in vivo.” Here, we propose “in fimo” to indicate samples derived from human and animal excrement and examined scientifically. Microbiologist Dr. Aadra Bhatt and classicist Dr. Luca Grillo have been laboring on company time to produce some impressive output: a proposal in the journal Gastroenterology (direct PDF link) for improved terminology in the study of feces.
posted by duffell at 5:29 PM PST - 25 comments

for this was it a glorious, for this was it an honorable undertaking

Three cheesemakers decide to invent a new American cheese: “I suggested that the three of us — Sue, Peter and myself — come up with a cheese that we define ourselves,” says Civitello. A truly new, unique recipe would have to be simple, stripping cheese down to its essential elements. The cheese would show off the unique taste that is indigenous to each creamery. [more inside]
posted by Emmy Rae at 4:19 PM PST - 44 comments

Are you ready for some (smart) football?

American football season is winding down. The college football season is already over, and there are only three more NFL playoff games. (Although the Alliance of American Football will kick off its inaugural season in February!) Now that we don't have games to keep us occupied anymore, let's turn our attention to Xs and Os instead. If you can't tell the difference between a 3x1 spread and a flexbone, jump in to some Xs and Os blogs and start learning. By next season's kickoff, you'll be able to impress all your rowdy friends when you say things like "oh, that's a simple smash concept to the boundary with the H-back check-releasing to the flat, gives the QB an easy hi-lo read". [more inside]
posted by kevinbelt at 2:10 PM PST - 14 comments


FUTURE ZONE is a YouTube channel devoted to full length science fiction movies, many of which are Italian - but not all, I think. Of course there is [more inside]
posted by wittgenstein at 2:07 PM PST - 12 comments

I’m not going to court! #blessed

"Why should you care about this person you’ve most certainly never heard of before? Why are we wasting our time talking about yet another internet celebrity and yet another scam? Well, that’s a lot of questions and the answers will require time, but throughout this post, I hope to paint a portrait of the new age of the ‘influencer economy’, the insidious nature of Instagram’s faux aspirational agenda, and the one woman who exemplifies the trend at its most inept. Caroline Calloway’s scam may not be the biggest on the internet or the most upsetting but it certainly best represents the truth that lies beneath the well-filtered veil." The Empty Mason Jar of the Influencer Economy: The Case of Caroline Calloway and Her Creativity Workshop Tour
posted by everybody had matching towels at 1:44 PM PST - 123 comments

Polish Mayor Dies After Being Stabbed Onstage at Charity Event

It was just before 8 p.m. Sunday, and tens of thousands of people had gathered for a concert to promote the charity. A countdown had begun to signal the start of an extravagant laser light show called “Light to the Sky.” One second before fireworks were set to explode, a young man burst onto the stage and stabbed Mr. Adamowicz several times, including in the heart. Mr. Adamowicz’s injuries included “a deep wound to the heart, a wound to diaphragm and other injuries of internal organs,” doctors at Medical University of Gdansk said. Despite their efforts to save him, he died Monday afternoon. As the city went into mourning, Poland grappled with the question of whether the toxic and aggressive tone of the country’s political debate could have instigated the attack.
posted by M. at 1:27 PM PST - 32 comments

Bunnies. It must be bunnies.

"It's weird seeing a bunny … just kind of getting its head right into the side carcass of another rabbit and consuming meat," said Michael Peers, who wrote the paper. "It's kind of, I guess, not what you'd expect." [more inside]
posted by sardonyx at 12:42 PM PST - 29 comments

The Best a Man Can Get?

Gillette, the razor company, yesterday released a short film titled "The Best a Man Can Be," challenging men to stand up to issues of toxic masculinity such as bullying and harassment in light of the #MeToo movement. In doing so, Gillette joins other companies whose ads have extended into social or political commentary, to mixed results. Reactions to the Gillette ad have been mixed. [more inside]
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 12:36 PM PST - 84 comments

Representation Roundup

A short visual representation of the women of the 116th United States Congress (SLNYT). [more inside]
posted by KleenexMakesaVeryGoodHat at 12:33 PM PST - 5 comments

What a regrettably large head you have. I would very much like to hat it

“Visualizing data through graphs can be an effective way to communicate one’s results. A ubiquitous graph and common technique to communicate behavioral data is the bar graph. The bar graph was first invented in 1786 and little has changed in its format. Here, a replacement for the bar graph is proposed. The new format, called a hat graph [PDF], maintains some of the critical features of the bar graph such as its discrete elements, but eliminates redundancies that are problematic when the baseline is not at 0.”
posted by not_the_water at 10:00 AM PST - 21 comments

Bharat Bandh - “General Strike”

For two days, an estimated 150-200 million workers went on a strike against the Narendra Modi government in India, shutting down schools and public transport.(Quartz India) “Modi’s government is eager to amend the trade unions laws. Tapan Sen, the leader of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), said that the new trade union laws would essentially lead to the enslavement of Indian workers. These are strong words. But they are not unbelievable.” (Common Dreams) “At Jadavpur in south Kolkata, senior Communist Party India (Marxist) leader Sujan Chakraborty along with several other strike supporters were detained by the police. Protestors squatted on tracks in some places to stop trains and burnt tyres on the roads.” Bharat Bandh Highlights: As many as 10 Central Trade Unions with at least 20 crore (ten million) workers affiliated to them have joined the strike.(NDTV) Photos and news of the Bharat Bandh (Economic Times India) [more inside]
posted by The Whelk at 9:15 AM PST - 13 comments

Also, every secondary school would get a librarian

The LA Unified School District is going on strike for the first time in 30 years as of this morning, demanding smaller class sizes, long-term increases in staffing for students, and resources to be able to teach more effectively. Union president Caputo-Pearl asks: What does the future of American public education look like? Denver may join Los Angeles later this week in the first strike there in 25 years. The National Educational Association voted July to include support for demonstrators and a strike fund in its budget, a decision that in retrospect looks wise.
posted by sciatrix at 9:07 AM PST - 63 comments

Skin Cancer vs High Blood Pressure

Is sun exposure harmful or helpful? Outside magazine asks, "Is Sunscreen the New Margarine?"
posted by soelo at 9:05 AM PST - 106 comments

Space-filling curves the hard way

Wacław Szpakowski was a polish artist who made a series of complex drawings using one continuous line turning back on itself repeatedly. More examples viewable here; a few animated versions; some pages from his notebooks. (Those last three links are futzy embeddings from waclawszpakowski.pl, which has Polish- and English-language info about his life and work.) More images still if you click on "IMAGES" at the top right of this page.
posted by cortex at 8:56 AM PST - 14 comments

Winter is yadda yadda

HBO has announced the premiere date for the final season of Game of Thrones, so The Hollywood Reporter looks toward the endgame for the King in the North.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:59 AM PST - 113 comments

Renewable Energy To Remodel World Dominance Patterns

This Report analyzes the geopolitical implications of the global energy transformation driven by renewables. It is the culmination of ten months’ deliberations by the Commission, involving four meetings held in Berlin, Oslo, Reykjavik and Abu Dhabi respectively, as well as consultations with business leaders, academics and policy thinkers. It is informed by a number of background papers drafted by experts in the fields of energy, security and geopolitics. [via CleanTechnica + bonus]
posted by infini at 7:44 AM PST - 16 comments

3. Trying to be an author is a very bad idea.

A year after Ursula Le Guin's death, Alison Smith recalls escorting her during a university conference in 1987. When I met Le Guin, I was in outer space, hovering in that darkness. Cast out from my homeworld, I spent my days orbiting a new world, afraid to land. [more inside]
posted by ALeaflikeStructure at 6:20 AM PST - 27 comments

A waxy Rogen

Chloe Condon, a developer advocate and well-known tech speaker, was linked to an Instagram post where a stolen photo of her at a conference was mis-used. She called the person out on Twitter and the in the ensuing Twitter thread it turned out that the individual involved had a history of faked media (including a photo with a, uh, strangely shiny Seth Rogen and a Pinterest board of photoshopped images of Mitt Romney.) She's since written a post talking about this very strange rabbithole on Medium.
posted by secretdark at 3:39 AM PST - 24 comments

Plato was the embodied form of the prep-jock

"My morning doodle, explained in a thread. I've sorted philosophers along the only axes that matter." (SL Twitter thread)
posted by criticalbill at 3:33 AM PST - 19 comments

January 13

Goodsprings, New Vegas is a place on Earth

A mere handful of photos from the real Goodsprings , which was the opening location for the PC/X360/PS3 game Fallout: New Vegas. [more inside]
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 8:48 PM PST - 7 comments

Link suggested between spikes in child abuse and timing of report cards

Content warning: Abuse of children
Dr. Melissa Bright, an early-childhood research scientist at the University of Florida, wanted to know if there was any truth to pediatricians' stories about child abuse spiking after report cards' release. After analyzing a year's worth of state child welfare data alongside schools' report card release dates, Dr. Bright and her colleagues found no spike in abuse cases when report cards were released Monday through Thursday; however, abuse rates were found to be four times higher when report cards were released on Fridays. (JAMA study abstract.) [more inside]
posted by duffell at 3:43 PM PST - 37 comments

I left my knickers at a house party we crashed

Every Saturday, The Guardian runs a blind date column, and every Saturday, the daters answer the questions about their date pretty coyly. Until this week's, when Joanne & Morgan hit it off pretty successfully. Joanne replied to “Did you kiss?” with “We did. A lot”, and Morgan replied with “Sure did”. It caused enough of a sensation that it merited a follow up article – they'll be in a full-time relationship once Joanne finishes her pottery course. And regular Guardian blind date reviewer Justin Myers reviewed it with sheer delight, saying [more inside]
posted by ambrosen at 12:30 PM PST - 28 comments


Forged and Filed is a video by Jesse Beecher showing the construction of Seth Gould's piece "Coffer", a modern armada chest (more armada chest images).
posted by Stark at 11:16 AM PST - 9 comments

This little piggy liked.... being the subject of artistic expression!

Today in 1625, Jan Brueghel died. Before that, he liked to paint guinea pigs. [more inside]
posted by vespabelle at 10:59 AM PST - 13 comments

What does it take to lead a rooted life?

"While Plato and Aristotle were concerned with character-centred virtue ethics, the Aztec approach is perhaps better described as socially-centred virtue ethics. If the Aztecs were right, then 'Western' philosophers have been too focused on individuals, too reliant on assessments of character, and too optimistic about the individual’s ability to correct her own vices. Instead, according to the Aztecs, we should look around to our family and friends, as well as our ordinary rituals or routines, if we hope to lead a better, more worthwhile existence." Life on the slippery Earth by Sebastian Purcell
posted by lazuli at 9:11 AM PST - 20 comments

Have wheel, will travel

Ed Pratt is a young Englishman who recently finished unicycling around the world. He's currently posting videos of his travels in Southeast Asia. Before that he rode across China in under 90 days, after spending the winter in Kyrgyzstan. Ed's enthusiasm and good cheer are infectious, and he finds amazing hospitality wherever he goes. Also, his soundtracks are always on point.
posted by serathen at 8:27 AM PST - 5 comments

January 12

Lloyd’s of London presents Brainstorm: Coming Soon To a Theater Near You

Thirty-five years ago, a fantastic movie came out that starred four Hollywood legends, three of whom were Oscar winners. It was directed by one of the most important and influential visual artists in film history, and the plot foretold the invention of virtual reality decades ahead of its time. The script was written as a showcase for a new technology designed to change the way we see movies. One of the Hollywood legends died before the movie was finished, a mysterious death, and this ended up being her last movie—And you’ve never heard of it. The True Story of the Lost Sci-Fi Movie 'Brainstorm,' Natalie Wood’s Last Film By Ryan D'Agostino and Eleanor Hildebrandt for Popular Mechanics, Dec. 21, 2018 [original trailer] [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:57 PM PST - 59 comments

Tribal Politics

How Tribal Psychology Makes us Prefer being Wrong. "...and Geoffrey Cohen — this is my favorite experiment that was ever done — he gave people a position on welfare and experimentally altered it so that either the Republicans or Democrats were saying basically the same thing on welfare....And what he found was that he could get people to change their position on welfare, 100 percent, all the way to the other side of the spectrum of policy, just based on what party they were told supported that position.... " [more inside]
posted by storybored at 8:44 PM PST - 72 comments

Police killed an unarmed man-and this time the establishment took notice

Still, more than 13 months later, the FBI remains silent. The victim, Bijan Ghaisar, was a 25-year old accountant killed by the U.S. Park Police on November 17, 2017, after leaving the scene of a minor traffic accident. The FBI is investigating. That is all that is publicly known. [more inside]
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 7:32 PM PST - 18 comments

Twelve Safe Alternatives to the Bird Box Challenge

Veronica Lewis, on Twitter (also on Threadreader and on her blog): "I've seen the #BirdBoxChallenge all over social media lately. As someone with low vision and a blindness cane user, it worries me to see many unsafe and inaccurate videos about doing tasks with no vision. Here is a thread on safe and positive alternatives to the viral challenge."
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:40 PM PST - 25 comments

Everyone's a critic

Padme the cat has strong opinions about art. Baroque portraiture isn't her thing
posted by PussKillian at 6:04 PM PST - 14 comments


Woodies! That's what devotees call cars with wood construction in the bodywork--and the devotees are legion. The whippersnappers among us may be more familiar with "wallpaper woodies" like the '86 Dodge Caravan, which featured woodgrain sheet vinyl. Over at Old Woodies, woodie enthusiast David Miller has exhaustively catalogued the history of the woodie with a zeal redolent of the '90s internet: American woodies, British woodies, French woodies, weird woodies, wicker woodies. Old woodie ads! Woodie miniatures! Thrillist has opinions on the 10 Best Woodies of All Time, while Popular Mechanics looks at 5 classics alongside 5 of the worst. (Previously: Retired French cabinet-maker builds wooden Citroen 2CV)
posted by duffell at 2:46 PM PST - 30 comments

Young Pickers of Note, 2019 Edition

Bluegrass guitarists Billy Strings and Molly Tuttle jam out on the Townes Van Zandt classic "White Freightliner Blues." [more inside]
posted by Pickman's Next Top Model at 1:54 PM PST - 15 comments

Judging the bog passable which hath such things growing there on

It's #Januhairy! Dr Kate Lister of The Whores of Yore (NSFW) gives an overview of the cultural history of female pubic hair. [more inside]
posted by Vesihiisi at 9:50 AM PST - 14 comments

The Testament of Malice

"When the rolling boulder crashes into a solid piece of terrain like a pillar or wall, the boulder sprouts two long triple-jointed clawed arms and an enormous fanged maw. The rolling boulder is in fact an elder mimic that pulls its body along with its lanky arms and attempts to shovel fleeing sisters into its mouth." Testament of Malice is a free collection of 100 traps for dungeon Hell temple crawls. [more inside]
posted by Zed at 9:34 AM PST - 9 comments

A theology that could not have been represented in egg

Jonathan Miller (1998): On reflection A 1998 BBC documentary from Jonathan Miller, on reflections, surfaces, sheen, colour, shine, and the way oils transformed the ability to represent light, and hence darkness.
posted by stonepharisee at 7:37 AM PST - 5 comments

January 11

Higher Steaks

Will 2019 be the year of lab-grown meat? - "After years in the lab, will meats derived from animal cells finally break into the mainstream consumer market? The products could have huge implications for the planet, human health and animal welfare." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 11:42 PM PST - 89 comments

"So that's how unboxing videos looked like in the 1800s. Who knew ?"

Mrs. Crocombe receives a letter, then writes a response and prepares a package.
Mr. Townsend receives a letter and a package.
Mr. Townsend writes a letter and prepares a package.
Mrs. Crocombe receives a letter and a package. [more inside]
posted by Lexica at 10:56 PM PST - 11 comments

But I Don't Do This For You

Lizzo Round-Up -- Since her last EP release in 2016, Minneapolis Good As Hell queen Lizzo has not been silent. Since then she's spoken out a lot: Aug 2017 - Water Me; Sept 2017 - Truth Hurts; Mar 2018 - Fitness; June 2018 - Boys; Nov 2018 - Bye Bitch (Soundcloud, YouTube short link); Jan 2019 - Juice
posted by hippybear at 8:57 PM PST - 20 comments

It's Dau or Never

Thirteen years after production began and roughly eight years after a fascinating GQ article brought it to mainstream attention, the mysterious and controversial Russian film/art project Dau is finally being released. [more inside]
posted by Hey Dean Yeager! at 7:31 PM PST - 26 comments

"It looks like they're not going anywhere real fast."

The town of Roddickton-Bide Arm in Newfoundland has been overrun with seals that may have become disoriented owing to a sudden freeze-up of the inlet through which they arrived.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:29 PM PST - 18 comments

Implicit Attitudes Can Change Over the Long Term

“We provide the first report of long-term change in both implicit and explicit attitudes – measured from the same individual – towards multiple social groups,” says psychological scientist Tessa E. S. Charlesworth of Harvard University, first author on the study. “This research is important because it shows that, contrary to previous assumptions that implicit attitudes were stable features of the mind or society, implicit attitudes appear, in fact, to be capable of long-term durable change.” [more inside]
posted by clew at 5:21 PM PST - 12 comments

Now, with ice dancing

"Reeling in the Years" (Donnie and Marie Osmond cover) [more inside]
posted by msalt at 5:12 PM PST - 49 comments


It was the #bestnine2018 on instagram for piemakers & Pâtisseriers, so here are some random samples:
Cristina MJ of forty nine figs
Helen Nugent of Batterednbaked
Baker Joy Huang
Julie Jones
Best nine by acarriedaffairdesigns
Michelle Lopez
Thida Bevington
Jessica Leigh Clark-Bojin is The Pieous
Heather's Pies
Sugar Artist Liz Joy
Bakers Blondie and rye and Brooklyn sourdough
And then there are professional pastry chefs, like David H Chow, or Pablo Gicquel
Arlene Lott
Previously: Karin Pfeiff Boschek
Or just pig out on #Patisserie or #PieArt
posted by growabrain at 4:37 PM PST - 6 comments

psyduck is my large adult son

FILM CRIT HULK CATCHES THEM ALL. Live-tweeted discovery of the joys of Pokemon in three acts.
Day One I am choosing pikachu because I know what a pikachu is.
Day Two with my strong pet children commences.
Day Three let's have some POKEFUN.
posted by spamandkimchi at 4:28 PM PST - 6 comments


Emily Wick (seen previously on MeFi) is on a quest to encourage new ways of seeing what's hidden in plain sight. In 2010, she created a regulation-size, inverse-color American flag (turquoise, black, and yellow) at an event in her Oakland art space, Smokey's Tangle. The flag makes use of an optical illusion: after staring at the inverted-color flag for several minutes, looking at a blank white surface creates an "after-image" with the flag's proper colors. After the 2017 US presidential inauguration, she took the flag to the Oakland Women's March. From there, she was encouraged to photograph the flag in the context of her daily surroundings. The result is her 2017 project Inverse Universe.
posted by duffell at 2:44 PM PST - 9 comments

Löfven, Lööf and Lövin

After months of impasse and a caretaker government, it seems that Stefan Löfven has forged an agreement with the center-right Annie Lööf and the Center and Liberal parties. With the continued support of the Green party of Isabella Lövin, it would appear that Sweden will soon have a government, albeit one somewhat hogtied with a right-wing budget. The center-right Alliance block appears now to be shattered, leaving Moderaterna and the Christian Democrats in opposition, along with the much-discussed Swedish Democrats. Previously.
posted by St. Oops at 2:25 PM PST - 7 comments

first a GIF, then a YouTube video, of a monkey pissing in its own mouth

Writers from Pitchfork, The New York Times, and others reflect on The Art of the Pan: What’s the Point of a Bad Review in 2019? [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 1:29 PM PST - 18 comments

Let Everybody Sing

"Deep in the antebellum bowels of Southern history, there emerged a style of gospel music called the Sacred Harp. Designed so untrained singers could sing by sight from hymnals, it produced an otherworldly, earthshakingly loud brand of music." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:10 PM PST - 51 comments

Socialism and Self-Care

“This does not at all mean that Marxists oppose self-improvement and self-care as such. There is nothing wrong with many of the activities suggested by either subculture, nor would socialism be a world without individual care and development. On the contrary, we oppose capitalism, in part, because it directly disincentivizes self-enrichment, encouraging the accumulation of capital or higher wages above everything else. Under capitalism, an individual who chooses to prioritize their hobbies and social well-being runs the risk of being “outcompeted” by those more willing to subordinate those needs to the logic of profit motive.” Self-Improvement and Self-Care: Survival Tactics of Late Capitalism
posted by The Whelk at 10:47 AM PST - 35 comments

Learning to Be Present While Fighting for Your Father

When they lose my father’s medicines in the days and weeks, then months, to come, I demand emergency provisions. When it is clear that the wrong pills and the wrong doses have been slipped into the treatment, I am not easily consoled. When they accidentally bring my father someone else’s cure, I am aggressively self-righteous. When the meals that are delivered aren’t the meals my father wants, I knock to the front of farmer’s market lines so that I can hurry back to him with something he might like. An essay by Beth Kephart for Catapult. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 10:37 AM PST - 10 comments

Repurposing flowers

Plants Can Hear Animals Using Their Flowers "In both lab experiments and outdoor trials, they found that the plants would react to recordings of a bee’s wingbeats by increasing the concentration of sugar in their nectar by about 20 percent. They did so in response only to the wingbeats and low frequency, pollinator-like sounds, not to those of higher pitch. And they reacted very quickly, sweetening their nectar in less than three minutes." [EdYongFilter]
posted by dhruva at 9:48 AM PST - 34 comments

"I created a methodology to protect students who want to do this work."

Five intimacy coordinators explain their craft. [via]
posted by jessamyn at 9:34 AM PST - 11 comments

Friday Frivolity: Yippee Ki Yay, thy fornicator of motherhood

Ars Technica's Christmas downtime federal government shutdown special: four movies retold as medieval tales, thanks to the highly enjoyable online Historic Tale Construction Kit, based on the Bayeaux Tapestry (inspired by a tweet from @pinstripedline) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:28 AM PST - 9 comments

"Building a better M.O.U.S.E. Trap"

On a recent episode of the podcast Nerdette, host Greta Johnson interviewed Dr. Mandë Holford on the work she conducts at the Holford Lab where they “use a "learn-from-nature" evolutionarily integrated strategy, Mollusks to Medicine, to discover novel peptides from venomous marine snails that could be used to manipulate cellular physiology pertaining to pain and cancer.” [more inside]
posted by CMcG at 8:26 AM PST - 1 comment

Fifteen Minutes

Fifteen Minutes of Shame
posted by CheapB at 7:54 AM PST - 6 comments

What it felt like when Cat Person went viral

if we could eavesdrop on all the quick, dismissive thoughts that other people were having about us, we would go insane. We are simply not meant to see ourselves as others see us. the assumption was that my own position and history would be identical to Margot’s. I was thirty-six years old and a few months into my first serious relationship with a woman, and now everyone wanted me to explain why twenty-year-old girls were having bad sex with men.
posted by mecran01 at 7:27 AM PST - 30 comments

The strong silent type

The greatest crocheted dinosaur/fox love story of our time. Created by independent Australian filmmakers Andrew Goldsmith and Bradley Slabe, 'Lost & Found' is an adorable stop-motion yarn about a knitted dinosaur on a desperate mission to save a loved one. [more inside]
posted by yours in calendrical heresy at 7:17 AM PST - 13 comments

The Embroidered Computer

The Embroidered Computer is an exploration into using historic gold embroidery materials and knowledge to craft a programmable 8 bit computer.
posted by gauche at 6:49 AM PST - 15 comments

Cyclical reasoning

An interactive introduction to fourier transforms
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 6:06 AM PST - 38 comments

Bright lights, small city

Moving to a new city in my 40s was less about making mistakes I could learn from and more about making choices I believed in [slCurbedLongRead]
posted by ellieBOA at 4:25 AM PST - 19 comments

I Don't Know -- It's All Etruscan To Me!

Lexicity: dedicated to providing online study resources for ancient languages, claims to be "the first and only comprehensive index for ancient language resources on the internet." With links to resources for 30 ancient languages from Akkadian to Ugaritic (a language discovered in 1928!), you can spelunk and meander and amble your way through dictionaries, grammar lessons, charts and aids, ancient texts, and other resources. [more inside]
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 1:06 AM PST - 7 comments

January 10

Katharina Groene had phoned friends to apologize for dying

In October 2018, in northern Washington Sate, Pacific Crest Trail thru-hiker Katharina Groene met Nancy Abell, a local day hiker, on the PCT. Despite warnings from Nancy that she wasn't equipped to handle the final 125 miles of the PCT to the Canadian border in possible snowy conditions, Katharina continued her trek. A few days later, when weather turned bad, a concerned Nancy called called Snohomish County Search and Rescue. She was found and survived. Read the story as it unfolded in the nwhikers.net forum, "The last northbound PCT thru hiker"
posted by ShooBoo at 9:05 PM PST - 37 comments

"It’s mesmerizing, like some kind of x-rated Quidditch."

My senior class 3 years ago spray painted a 22inch dildo gold and put it in the trophy case as part of the senior prank. Apparently the year below us kept the dick for a year so they could put it up during an all school meeting. I can’t believe this went viral lmao. [probably NSFW?]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:34 PM PST - 39 comments

Corned beef is called salt beef over there.

How to eat like an American in London. [more inside]
posted by oneirodynia at 4:34 PM PST - 127 comments

All together now...

Music for 18 Clarinets. Music for 8 Recorders. Quartet for Gold Bullion Coins. SOund Navigation And Ranging (SONAR) - for 20 vibraslaps. Music for 10 Hi Hats. Getasteten Tastenden (for 8 bows & 4 microphones). Triangular Mass. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 4:33 PM PST - 8 comments

OK, but where's my Oni remake?

It all started with a split from Microsoft, and a ten year plan that maybe didn't actually exist. Now, after apparently disappointing sales targets on the new (highly rated) expansion, publisher Activision is setting Destiny (and Bungie) free.
posted by selfnoise at 3:17 PM PST - 24 comments

An ill wind that no one blows good

In 2010, musicologists and artisans from Oxford's Bate Collection of Musical Instruments teamed up and worked for months to faithfully recreate ten instruments depicted in Hieronymus Bosch's famous triptych, The Garden of Earthly Delights. The results were less than successful (though sadly, no audio or video exists), and since I know you're all wondering: it is not possible to play the flute with your bottom. [more inside]
posted by duffell at 2:25 PM PST - 21 comments

Accio Good Pupper!

oh, you trained your dog in German? coolcoolcool
i trained my dog in Harry Potter spells.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:46 PM PST - 20 comments

a joy, a triumph, a delight, a madness

Oh! How the family affections combat
Within this heart; and each hour flings a bomb at
My burning soul; neither from owl nor from bat
Can peace be gained, until I clasp my wombat!

Angus Trumble writes for the Public Domain Review about the mid-19th century wombat craze.
posted by theodolite at 11:59 AM PST - 15 comments


The Original Hacker's Dictionary - "pretty much the original, snarfed from MIT-AI around 1988."
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:15 AM PST - 24 comments

How Slovakians Beat the Oligarchs

Instead of joining Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic in sliding toward authoritarianism, hundreds of thousands of Slovaks have rallied around their fragile democracy.
posted by Hypatia at 10:54 AM PST - 5 comments

The Weight I Carry

By any reasonable standard, I have won life’s lottery. I grew up with two loving parents in a peaceful house. I’ve spent my whole career doing work that thrills me—writing for newspapers and magazines. I married the best woman I’ve ever known, Alix Felsing, and I love her more now than when my heart first tumbled for her. We’re blessed with strong families and a deep bench of friends. Our lives are full of music and laughter. I wouldn’t swap with anyone. Except on those mornings when I wake up and take a long, naked look in the mirror. —Tommy Tomlinson on “what it’s like to be too big in America
posted by chavenet at 10:23 AM PST - 69 comments

Dinosaurs! Well, Okay, Not Really Dinosaurs.

Over the years people have built all sorts of models at all sorts of scales of dinosaurs but these "Terrible Lizards" are often depicted with "questionable accuracy." "For your viewing enjoyment, a collection of photographs from the past century of large-scale mock dinosaurs, constructed to varying degrees of accuracy and based on what was known at the time." [more inside]
posted by brookeb at 9:54 AM PST - 17 comments

Let’s get specific.

“We believe in the socialist principles of common ownership and that worker control over workplaces can only be advanced through the creation and support of worker-owned firms, radical trade unions, workers’ and neighborhood councils, popular assemblies, credit unions and alternative banking systems, community land trusts, and other directly democratic non-state institutions. The power of socialist parties and socialist governments should be subordinated to these more decentralized grassroots formations.”” Dual Power: A Strategy To Build Socialism In Our Time
posted by The Whelk at 9:18 AM PST - 19 comments

'The Sopranos' Debuted 20 Years Ago Today

David Chase on ‘The Sopranos,’ Trump and, Yes, That Ending [New York Times]
What specific TV conventions were you trying to break out of with “The Sopranos”?

Really all of them. I hated commercials and the way they interrupted everything. I wanted to slow the pace of the episode down or speed it up, as we wanted to. Language. I wanted to create characters that felt like real people and behave the way people behave, which I didn’t see on network television.
[more inside]
posted by riruro at 9:03 AM PST - 43 comments

"It's an absolute nightmare between the quads and the glutes"

“Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid has worked his butt off to be the best hockey player in the world. . . . All of that training, however, came with sacrifice: He didn't work his butt off at all. Actually, his lower half became too big to fit into most pants. "Can it be hard for me to find pants? Yes, always," McDavid says. "The waist, you need to get around your thighs and butt, but that doesn't always match how tall you are. I definitely have a hard time finding jeans that fit.”” [more inside]
posted by a fiendish thingy at 7:24 AM PST - 80 comments

Natural Selection or not?

Nature loves beauty too Darwin believed that animals enjoy creating and appreciate beauty for beauty’s sakes. Now, scientists are revisiting the idea that beauty evolves not for survival, but for the eyes of all beholders.
posted by Yellow at 6:12 AM PST - 30 comments

It's good to remember that the World is better than ever!

You may feel like sh**, but things are getting better. Childhood mortality is down, people are wealthier, terrorism is low outside of Iraq and Afghanistan, life expectancy is up by20% in Africa since 2000, etc.
posted by zeikka at 6:02 AM PST - 45 comments

"Rather Boggy and Sad"

Winnie-the-Pooh, it turns out, is a story about mental health. Pathology in the Hundred Acre Wood: a neurodevelopmental perspective on A.A. Milne. [more inside]
posted by paduasoy at 4:27 AM PST - 14 comments

January 9

A Baby With Very Good Hair

Last year, Chanco became famous for being a six month old with amazing hair. (The official instagram.) Now, she has an ad campaing for Pantene.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:48 PM PST - 41 comments

Bowienalia 2019

January 10th marks the anniversary of David Bowie's death. Iman notes David's departure. John Adams conducts the LA Philharmonic in the debut of Philip Glass' Symphony No. 12 "Lodger". (Symphony No. 1 was "Low" and No. 4 was "Heroes". Glass explains the delay to the final installment of the Berlin Trilogy.) [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 9:43 PM PST - 13 comments

The Neverending Brexit Endgame

Britain's parliament is now at war with its government—and it's winning. [more inside]
posted by rory at 6:35 PM PST - 555 comments

Technology, Ranked

The world is filled with amazing technologies, many that are so old we don’t even think of them as technologies at all. Today, we present the definitive list of every important technology ever, ranked by their importance. These aren’t all necessarily good technologies, of course. There are plenty that have made the world a more miserable place for everybody. But they’re still on the list. (Matt Novak, Gizmodo)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:29 PM PST - 59 comments

My cheese toastie brings all the boys to the park

Daily Mirror: “A council has banned cheese toasties from being sold by a new park vendor over fears that a hot food van could attract intimidating motorbike gangs or antisocial yobs.” Bristol Live (same): “It’s hot food rather than fast food. It will be more like cheese toasties.” Metro: “Councillor Claire Hiscott also believes it will ‘lure’ children into skiving off school.” (tweet)
posted by Wordshore at 4:44 PM PST - 137 comments

When the whole world was the cover of an OMNI magazine.

[SLYT] The forgotten art of blank VHS covers, remastered and reimagined.
posted by dmd at 3:43 PM PST - 33 comments

We'd like to do it again...

A little bit of fun by the crew recorded at the end of the first series/season of The Muppet Show in 1976. [more inside]
posted by Catblack at 3:38 PM PST - 18 comments

Discovery of pious Medieval women who quietly painted and wrote books

Anthropologist Christina Warinner of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History and her colleagues took samples of [...] fossilized dental plaque, or calculus, [from a woman who lived sometime between 997 and 1162 CE] in 2014 to check for microscopic remains of plants, which would offer clues about the medieval woman’s diet. But when they dissolved the sample to extract the plant bits, the process also released hundreds of tiny blue particles. [Ars Technica] Medieval women’s early involvement in manuscript production suggested by lapis lazuli identification in dental calculus [Science Advances | Anthropology - full paper] [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 3:06 PM PST - 12 comments

When the Music Stops, Crafting Can Begin

If you’ve got a beloved musical instrument that can no longer accurately be described as musical, it may be time to upcycle that instrument. Got an old, jangly piano? It can become a wall unit, a bookshelf, a shelf, a piano bar, a chandelier, a computer desk, a writing desk, a kitchen island, a kitchen pantry, a coffee table, a workbench, a candle holder, an aquarium, a side table, a mantelpiece, a bench, or a headboard. [more inside]
posted by orange swan at 2:39 PM PST - 11 comments

How it is told is not neccessarily how it is.

RioOnWatch; community reporting on Rio de Janeiro's favelas gives it's opinion on the best and the worst of International Reporting on Rio’s favelas over the past year.
This work is as necessary as ever, as stigmatizing language remains pervasive—hindering productive conversations about favelas. [more inside]
posted by adamvasco at 2:26 PM PST - 1 comment

US Mappers Screw a Family in South Africa

The visitors started coming in 2013. The first one who came and refused to leave until he was let inside was a private investigator named Roderick. He was looking for an abducted girl, and he was convinced she was in the house. John S. and his mother Ann live in the house, which is in Pretoria, the administrative capital of South Africa. ... The outline of this story might sound familiar to you if you’ve heard about this home in Atlanta, or read about this farm in Kansas, and it is, in fact, similar: John and Ann, too, are victims of bad digital mapping. There is a crucial difference though: This time it happened on a global scale, and the U.S. government played a key role. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 1:52 PM PST - 49 comments

Bite enemy tails but don't let them bite yours!

Paper-io is a game that's similar to Splix (previously), but with some additional modes and variations and challenges and stuff. [more inside]
posted by box at 12:32 PM PST - 6 comments

Put some cheese on it

I’ll Fight Anyone Who Says You Shouldn’t Put Cheese on Your Ramyun: "It was like a mangled version of Korean mac and cheese, spicy and tangy... A bowl of ramen at Ramen Shop in Oakland will cost you nearly twenty American dollars. You are paying for the ambiance, and for what their website calls “artistic, organic, and sustainable ramen.” But maybe you don’t want that kind of ramen."
Roy Choi’s instant ramen recipe introduced the notion to (and horrified some of) the wider American public. Cheese-flavored ramen packets.
Korean recipes incorporating cheese include Buldak (fire chicken) with cheese | Tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes) with cheese | Ram’ & Cheese | Kimchi Mac & Cheese | Budaejjigae (Army base stew) historically includes a slice of American cheese, given its origins.
posted by spamandkimchi at 12:05 PM PST - 54 comments

astronomer ... rat catcher ... owns a hockey team

Unusual Professions: These romances feature heroes and heroines with professions that are outside the ordinary.
posted by readinghippo at 11:39 AM PST - 46 comments

There’s No Escape From The Judgment Of The Eldritch One Jolene.

Jolene: Horror Version performed by Elli Jelly. It started as a Tumblr comment and was crowd sourced into something bigger. Now, you can enjoy it in your headphones as you wait for Jolene to awake from her slumber and take everyone's men... straight to the dark realms. Soundcloud version. [more inside]
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:32 AM PST - 12 comments

The Surprising History of the Fortune Cookie

Like many immigrant stories, the fortune cookie's journey is full of mysteries, auspicious relationships, transformations, and unplanned detours. To fully grasp its history, we have to reckon with our own: the good, the bad, and the unlucky.
posted by Etrigan at 11:28 AM PST - 15 comments

The Hell of Beautiful Interfaces

"Like many people my age and older, I miss the pre–social media internet. The new internet knows this, and it capitalizes on my nostalgia as it eats away at the old internet. It amounts to an unforeseen form of technological cannibalism." Kate Wagner, The Baffler
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:07 AM PST - 71 comments

“She came out of nowhere for us and it and it felt like a cavalry.”

When Kate McKinnon Spoofed New York City’s War on Cars. Before Saturday Night Live, the comic starred in a series of shorts for Streetfilms.org as an angry SUV lobbyist railing against the pedestrianization of Times Square, helping to cut the legs out from under the opposition.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:14 AM PST - 6 comments

Earth Mother, Sky Father: 2030

The Congo: 2030. Welcome to this new and mind-bending sci-fi future where the Central African nation is no longer shipping its unrefined rare earth minerals out to sea, but is keeping its wealth for itself—buried deep within the ground. Filmmaker and VFX artist Kordae Henry's powerful Afro-Futurist dance piece conceives of a historical moment when, as the Jamaican-British-American director explains, "the processes and infrastructure of mining have been revalued and ritualized as an important aspect of local culture. This is Africa's future through dance—a ceremony for the God of Rare Earth."
posted by infini at 8:59 AM PST - 4 comments

They’re Gonna Rock It

The First Day Native Women Served on Capitol Hill [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 8:45 AM PST - 6 comments

"If you’re a good person, you have to sign RIGHT NOW"

How upstart Democratic consulting firm is making millions... and lots of enemies in progressive politics Mothership Strategies is probably in your inbox right now, begging you to give money to a progressive cause or Democratic candidate. The Washington Post details how they got their start from the DCCC (who pioneered the all-caps alarmist style of email fundraising) and how their higher than average fees have helped them grow quickly and made their founders rich. Most people don't like this stuff. Previously, they were pilloried by the democracy-reform community for their role in starting End Citizens United, a Democratic PAC that presented itself as a grassroots group... and then that coverage mysteriously disappeared from the internet. But hey, at least we got a funny twitter bot out of it.
posted by jlittlew at 7:40 AM PST - 12 comments

To the Letter

Easter (Pascha) is a big family holiday, and I was a total stranger, a xéni. Dorothy would have cringed if she had heard me trying to keep up my end of the Easter greeting: “Christ is risen,” a person says, and you are supposed to respond, “Truly He is risen,” but I got the ending on my adverb wrong and said, “Really? He is?”
Greek to Me, Mary Queen writes in The New Yorker on the pleasures of learning a different alphabet.
posted by Kattullus at 6:41 AM PST - 16 comments

Goodbye, Mr. Gumpy

In contrast to many of his contemporaries ... [John] Burningham was not by any means a gifted draughtsman. It may be that the absence of mannerism or stylistic trickery in his drawing was key to the purity of voice that connected with so many readers and led to such widespread appreciation, not only in the UK but also across the globe – Burningham’s books are especially revered in the far east. He was never a confident speaker or writer in the traditional sense; his genius lay in an ability to communicate in a childlike but never childish visual language and in his understanding of the mutually exclusive worlds of childhood and adulthood. John Burningham obituary [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 2:27 AM PST - 10 comments

January 8

The Sidmouth Horror

Sidmouth has a fatberg; but what is it?: Sidmouth, Devon is home to a recently-discovered fatberg that is 64 metres long. Fatbergs previously: 1, 2, 3, and 4. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:26 PM PST - 57 comments

"It's a photon blast."

The third Captain Marvel trailer, published yesterday, showing who Col. Danvers is. (previously, previouslier) [more inside]
posted by Mutant Lobsters from Riverhead at 7:38 PM PST - 59 comments

A new way for fighter pilots to pee

There's a new way for fighter pilots (male and female) to pee: the AMXDmax
posted by ShooBoo at 6:54 PM PST - 40 comments

He never tells you the age of the hero

The challenges of editing Proust.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:37 PM PST - 7 comments

Behind the columns: Advice writers tell all

Here's What It's Really Like To Be An Internet Advice Columnist The people behind your favorite internet advice columns tell all. Includes Daniel Ortberg, Captain Awkward, Nicole Cliffe, Dr. Nerdlove, Jolie Kerr, and hosted by Alison Green of ask-a-manager fame. All very different columnists, who talk about their weirdest letters, recurring themes, how to get your letter answered- and more.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 4:16 PM PST - 29 comments

I Gave a Bounty Hunter $300. Then He Located Our Phone.

Whereas it’s common knowledge that law enforcement agencies can track phones with a warrant to service providers, IMSI catchers, or until recently via other companies that sell location data such as one called Securus, at least one company, called Microbilt, is selling phone geolocation services with little oversight to a spread of different private industries, ranging from car salesmen and property managers to bail bondsmen and bounty hunters, according to sources familiar with the company’s products and company documents obtained by Motherboard. Compounding that already highly questionable business practice, this spying capability is also being resold to others on the black market who are not licensed by the company to use it, including me, seemingly without Microbilt’s knowledge. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 12:09 PM PST - 57 comments


What better place than South Africa to celebrate and affirm resistance. As 2018 slid into 2019 and the rain came down on the crowds, AFROPUNK aficionados embodied the mantra #ThePeopleResist with a musical lineup of melanin and Black magic. "When it comes to groove (partying, cutting a rug, etc) South Africans have a saying that goes 'ndiyoyika ukuthi izobamnandi' which means 'I’m scared that it might be a good time.'" [more inside]
posted by spamandkimchi at 11:41 AM PST - 3 comments

Is This Duck Kosher? It’s Complicated

The case of the Muscovy duck cannot be settled because the rules themselves are not really known.
posted by Etrigan at 10:55 AM PST - 83 comments

Our Lady of the Iguanas

Graciela Iturbide’s Photos of Mexico Make ‘Visible What, to Many, Is Invisible’ (SLNYT). Graciela Iturbide, 76, has a photographic opus spanning several decades. Her pictures reveal a fresh perspective on Mexican indigenous personalities, communities and landscapes.
posted by Pfardentrott at 10:48 AM PST - 6 comments

How Lucky Theater Book Nerds Are To Be Alive Right Now

Late last year, the 100-year-old Broadway-scene institution The Drama Book Shop announced it would soon close, a victim of rising rents and the age of its owner. ....But a certain Tony/Grammy/Emmy/Pulitzer/Genius Grant/Kennedy Center honoree said "not if I can help it," and got to work. Today the plan was revealed: Lin-Manuel Miranda and two of his Hamilton collaborators have bought The Drama Bookshop, simply so that it will stay open. [more inside]
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:02 AM PST - 30 comments

Teachers, Hotel Workers, Fast Food Employees and More

“So, this year, American workers decided to use their collective power to improve conditions for themselves and their coworkers in one of the most effective ways possible: refusing to work until their employers met them at least halfway.” 2018 Was The Year Of The Labor Strike. The Punching Out Podcast discusses the changes to the American labor landscape over the past year, and whether workers can hope for better in the future. (1:00:22)
posted by The Whelk at 9:53 AM PST - 8 comments

“Is a kiss about the kiss itself—or the moments leading up to it?”

smooch.click: “Smooch.click is a very short interactive fiction game by Devon Guinn, and it simulates the moments leading up to a kiss (and the moment immediately afterwards). These moments can take place over a few different dates, or one after the other on a single date. They’re pulled from a pool of possibilities, but do involve some choices on your part — are you feeling tense or relaxed? Is your partner’s breath warm or stale? Your attitude in these responses can feed into the quality of the eventual smooch. Just like real life!”[via: Rock Papers Shotgun] [Not optimized for mobile. Not suitable for children.]
posted by Fizz at 9:28 AM PST - 5 comments

"Citizens agenda." Dorky name. It works.

In November, Jay Rosen outlined an alternative approach to covering elections: "The idea was very simple: campaign coverage should be grounded in what voters want the candidates to talk about. Which voters? The ones you are trying to inform." As Rosen clarifies in a new thread, the solution for the "500 or so people who produce campaign coverage in the national press" isn't just "more issues" or "more policy" because the problem is at the level of purpose. WaPo's Margaret Sullivan backs up the call for an overhaul. [more inside]
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 9:22 AM PST - 12 comments

What's cooler than being cool?

"Imagine something really cool, like a fridge connected to a powerwall, powered entirely by solar panels. What could be cooler than that? How about a fridge powered entirely by solar panels without the powerwall? " - joeyh [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:10 AM PST - 42 comments

How Indigenous reporters are elevating true crime

In the podcasts “Finding Cleo” and “Thunder Bay,” First Nations reporters reinvent a common formula. Can they find even bigger audiences? [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 8:35 AM PST - 10 comments

... they didn't stop to think if they should.

I heard you needed some placeholder text. Receive the Jeff.
posted by tocts at 7:28 AM PST - 20 comments

Gone. Gone now. Gone. Gone. Gone. If you could only see.

William Morgan Sheppard, prolific character actor in sci-fi/fantasy television & movies, and father to Mark Sheppard, a successful actor in his own right, passed away on January 6th, 2019 at the age of 86. [more inside]
posted by radwolf76 at 6:16 AM PST - 37 comments

“Where are Hogwarts, Bleak House and the 100 Aker Wood?”

Fake Britain is a map of fictional locations in England, Scotland and Wales by Matt Brown and Rhys B. Davies for the Londonist, featuring places drawn from literature, film and television. Eva Snyder compiled an index [Google Docs].
posted by Kattullus at 5:04 AM PST - 51 comments

January 7

Bowiemas 2019

January 8th is Bowiemas! This year you can celebrate by downloading (not free) the David Bowie Is... museum exhibit onto your smartphone to view in Augmented Reality! Narrated by Gary Oldman, it's apparently gigantic and maybe a bit unwieldy [Guardian review], but it's David Bowie! In your phone! How cool is that? [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 10:20 PM PST - 18 comments

Cats as fonts.

Cats as fonts.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 8:34 PM PST - 15 comments

"I may declare a national emergency dependent on what's gonna happen…"

At the beginning of the third week of the US government shutdown over Trump's demands to fund his border wall—originally a campaign mnemonic device (Forbes)—he announced that on Tuesday evening he would make his first Oval Office address in regard to "the Humanitarian and National Security crisis on our Southern Border" and visit the Mexican border on Thursday (NYT). He also threatened to "declare a national emergency" to build the wall (CNN) if Congress did not allocate $5.7 billion for it. NBC offers a Fact Check: What's a 'national emergency,' and can Trump declare one to get his wall? And Yale law professor Bruce Ackerman writes in the NYT, No, Trump Cannot Declare an ‘Emergency’ to Build His Wall "Not only would such an action be illegal, but if members of the armed forces obeyed his command, they would be committing a federal crime." There are lots of things, however, the President could do if he declares a state of emergency (Atlantic). [more inside]
posted by Doktor Zed at 4:47 PM PST - 2097 comments

How the ‘innocent internet’ died and the 21st century was born

Forget the calendar. Just as the 19th century didn’t really end until Armistice Day in 1918 and the 1960s counterculture lasted well into the 1970s, the 21st century didn’t begin at the end of 2000. It began in 2014. - The Whelk outlines the background to our recent political upheavals. Too heavy? How about a relaxing episode of The Great Post-Brexit British Bake-Off, or destresssing with charming historical fiction. (This is your semi-regular Whelk Projects round-up)
posted by Artw at 4:15 PM PST - 26 comments

"oh, hello."

"She stared at a single set of footprints in the snow ahead of her. She fixated on the tracks and realized they had been made by a pair of sneakers. She silently scolded the absent hiker who had violated normal safety rules and walked on."
posted by bondcliff at 1:39 PM PST - 79 comments

Salvator Mundi: The Art of the Deal

After fetching $450 million (£342M) at auction Salvator Mundi, a once-lost painting by Leonardo da Vinci (or maybe not) has apparently been lost again. Did the buyer simply not read up about how to secure and transport expensive masterpieces , or is something else going on? Something maybe having to do with money laundering, election tampering, and the Trump family? Robert Mueller is investigating. [more inside]
posted by majorsteel at 12:25 PM PST - 24 comments

If Richard Serra Worked in Shit, Say

(SLNYT) There were four giant turds inside the 16,000 square feet of museum space. One mammoth piece of feces was reminiscent of a long, winding steel sculpture by Richard Serra. One was a brown spiral. Another resembled an enormous chocolate chip. Yet another featured intertwined layers with a gap in between that I could have crawled through, if I had been brave enough. All four sculptures of fecal matter sat on elegant Persian rugs, like welcome-home gifts left by a huge, vengeful dog. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 11:40 AM PST - 20 comments


Our Debut Album is the podcast where two comedians have one hour to write a hit song. Once a month, Dave Shumka and Graham Clark of Stop Podcasting Yourself get together and write a song they hope will be a hit. After 12 months, they’ll have a debut album. [more inside]
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:29 AM PST - 8 comments


There's lots of ugliness in the world right now, so I think it's important to share these photos of what happened when my friend Marvin called me & said: "I'm getting married & we can only invite 100 people. You didn't make the cut. But you can come if you come as a drunk clown." Twitter | Threadreader
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:12 AM PST - 65 comments

“Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?”

Carmen Sandiego [YouTube][Netflix][OfficialTrailer] “The series, which is based on the character’s ’80s and ’90s edutainment games and TV series, looks to explore the origins of the international thief. The show will also feature some of her post-school heists, as she travels the world as a thief that only steals from other thieves. The trailer also gives us a brief introduction to both series lead Carmen, who is voiced by Annihilation's Gina Rodriguez, as well as her partner-in-crime, Player, who will provide the voice in her ear on missions — and act as a nod to the original games. He’s voiced by Finn Wolfhard from Stranger Things.” [via: Polygon]
posted by Fizz at 4:50 AM PST - 49 comments


The School of Practical Philosophy promises sustainable happiness at an affordable price, but what is it really selling? [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 4:21 AM PST - 68 comments

January 6

A True Patriot and American Hero

Vic Berger (prev: 1, 2, 3), comedian and media satirist, has become one of the latest targets of alt-right hate gang, The Proud Boys, after exposing the group and its leader for their violent tactics. Not one to be easily intimidated, this was his response. [NSFW]
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 11:13 PM PST - 53 comments

an evolutionary cyclic approach to data-sharing

Alice goes to the hospital in the United States. Her doctor and health insurance company know the details ― and often, so does her state government. Thirty-three of the states that know those details do not keep the information to themselves or limit their sharing to researchers . Instead, they give away or sell a version of this information, and often they’re legally required to do so. The states turn to you as a computer scientist, IT specialist, policy expert, consultant, or privacy officer and ask, are the data anonymous? Can anyone be identified? Chances are you have no idea whether real-world risks exist. Here is how I matched patient names to publicly available health data sold by Washington State, and how the state responded. Doing this kind of experiment helps improve data-sharing practices, reduce privacy risks, and encourage the development of better technological solutions.
- Only You, Your Doctor, and Many Others May Know, Latanya Sweeney . Technology Science. 2015092903. September 29, 2015. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:43 PM PST - 10 comments

Working After 50: Assumption vs Reality

If You’re Over 50, Chances Are the Decision to Leave a Job Won’t be Yours Most economic research assumes that workers choose the retirement age that best suits them. A December 2018 study from the Urban Institute and ProPublica finds that for nearly two-thirds of workers over 50, this assumption is false. The study concludes that their findings are consistent with other research that suggests many employers are reluctant to hire or retain older workers. [more inside]
posted by Altomentis at 5:55 PM PST - 126 comments

Experience Something

If the idea of a German Sparkle Party fills you with anticipatory glee instead of unholy terror, you may like The Something Experience. (If it does not fill you with glee, it is recommended that you not click on the links in this post.) After your sparkle party, you may wish to have a Boys Nite In to celebrate all your new friends--just keep reminding them that I Like Technology (Better than you).
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 4:50 PM PST - 21 comments

hey @britishmuseum give us your best duck

In which [summary article] the Museum Of English Rural Life (@TheMERL) called out one museum by name, but ended up calling out every museum in the world. [Ed. note: it's a really long twitter thread and it starts out a bit slow, but once it gets going, it REALLY gets going.] [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 4:26 PM PST - 31 comments

Shitter's Clogged Already

Numi Intelligent toilet with KOHLER Konnect [Press Release] — Real Life Example (Moments Made Better): In the dark, as you walk up to Numi, the lid will open and treat you to a warm seat; when you walk away, it flushes and closes. Hassle-free for night time trips to the bathroom. Use app or the remote to program personalized presets for different users, and you can use voice to access the preset/profile (in case you misplace the remote). There is probably a difference between you, your spouse, and your children when it comes to washing; this lets you easily program and select personalization using voice and app. Ask Alexa to access your own playlist of songs (if you have Verdera and have Numi set up as an Alexa speaker).
posted by cenoxo at 4:21 PM PST - 83 comments


The source of the high pitched-whine allegedly used by the Cuban government to attack the US embassy in Havana, leading to 'unexplained health problems including ear pain, tinnitus, vertigo, and cognitive difficulties,' may have been traced ... to the song of the Indies short-tailed cricket, Anurogryllus celerinictus. Biorxiv paper by Stubbs and Montealegre-Zapata. Recording of the wee beastie here - headphones recommended. Via The Guardian.
posted by carter at 12:48 PM PST - 35 comments

Northern Objects

A History of Lancashire in 70 objects, including a 23ft shovelboard table, a Thomas splint, a banner from Lancashire Women Against Pit Closures, a painting of mill girls by Harry Rutherford, the world's largest pear drop and a Kindertransport diary.
A History of Yorkshire in 70 objects: Part 1; Part 2; and the objects which just missed out. Objects include Mrs Mudd's butter churn, a Suffragette dress made by Leonora Cohen, an Italian sugar bag linked to the miners' strike, children's clogs and the Skelmanthorpe flag.
A History of the North in 100 Objects, including Patti Mayor's portrait of Annie Hill, a 12 year-old apprentice weaver, and an 1817 attempt by workers to set prices for making scissors.
posted by paduasoy at 9:49 AM PST - 8 comments

The crofter who became a country and western legend

"It was 41 years ago today that the death occurred at the age of 50 of Thomas Fraser, undoubtedly Scotland’s most extraordinary country and western recording artist. For during his lifetime, Shetland fisherman Fraser never released a record nor made any appreciable money from his music, but in recent years he has become something of a legend in the country and western scene – not least in the USA, where his fascinating story is constantly retold."
posted by Lezzles at 8:48 AM PST - 7 comments

Every Tweet is Like Sunday

Your Smiths album name is the mildest complaint you had about the last dining experience you had outside of your home. Mine is The Potatoes Weren't All I Expected [SLTF]
posted by chavenet at 6:53 AM PST - 210 comments

Georgian folk songs

Some folk songs from the hills of Georgia: Tako Mikiashvili (cover of Gafrindi), Lana Gunashashvili, 2, Wutia Wutisofeli & Valeri Qasoevi-Giorgi Gabodze, Irakli Qawashvili
posted by Lanark at 6:34 AM PST - 5 comments

Shit Happens; Business and Science Follow

...One day Chesleigh Fields, the lab's 35-year-old chief scientist with a master's degree in forensic DNA and serology, had an idea: Why not use DNA to figure out which dogs (and dog owners) left pet poop unscooped? She could use her background in forensics to bring awareness to a problem recognized globally as a health hazard. "You take an unknown, and you match it to a known," she says. Dog feces attract rats. She could create the CSI of dog doo! [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 6:33 AM PST - 41 comments

The "greatest raid of all"

WWII saw the development and introduction of many components of war that are, today, considered commonplace (assault rifles, aircraft carriers). And while military forces had always raided, WWII saw the development of the first highly trained and specialized commando units at the order of Winston Churchill who really liked the idea. Jeremy Clarkson, of Top Gear, has produced a short documentary about the first major commando raid of WWII, Operation Chariot.
posted by sotonohito at 5:37 AM PST - 12 comments

There was nothing we could bring back to France from China.

Our Idol Mao Zedong: Europeans and the Cultural Revolution (42½ min. video, alt link, direct .mp4 link) is a 2018 Deutsche Welle documentary depicting the early eras of the People's Republic of China through contemporary film clips, still photography, and interviews with Europeans who lived in and visited the mainland during the mid-to-late Twentieth Century.
posted by XMLicious at 12:30 AM PST - 6 comments

January 5

Who are the Golden Girls of Prospect Cemetery?

What is the story behind an uncommon burial plot in Toronto - with a tombstone that reads "friends" and occupied by four unrelated women? It is a story about the Carpatho-Russians, immigration, the Depression, Communism, the card game hola, and the friendship of four women.
posted by thecjm at 9:20 PM PST - 6 comments

Yiddish Glory: The Lost Songs of World War II

As WWII raged, Soviet ethnomusicologists began documenting Jews' lyrical reactions to their lives—Red Army soldiers, women working in factories on the home front, refugees in Siberia. Now a team of Yiddish scholars, performers, and composers has recorded 17 of the songs, long believed lost. [more inside]
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 9:16 PM PST - 6 comments

Probably the best game since Neko Atsume

Animal Hot Tub: Then shall the fox soak with the ram, nor shall a client be short a towel; as pigs and squirrels calmly daze, a manager cat shall please them all. [more inside]
posted by batter_my_heart at 8:33 PM PST - 50 comments

Monty Don, England's most beloved gardener

Good news! England’s beloved gardening guru Monty Don, is now streaming on Netflix with his make-over show Big Dreams, Small Spaces. [...] Unlike the outdoor make-over shows that HGTV’s programming has devolved to, it’s the right kind of make-over show, produced by people who really know gardening and aren’t trying to fool anyone about how easy it is. (Garden Rant) ‘Big Dreams, Small Spaces’ Is Like A British ‘Queer Eye,’ But With Plants (Decider) But who is Monty Don (personal website), and why to the British love him? [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 7:46 PM PST - 22 comments

Ex-NFLers Aim for the Olympics (In Curling)

But we’ve all thought about it while watching Olympic curling: How hard can it be?
posted by Etrigan at 5:45 PM PST - 34 comments

While the toxicity Ellie received was real, Ellie was not.

Overwatch team discovers female player "Ellie" was an imposter [Bleeding Cool] “Overwatch Contender team Second Wind added a new player to their roster just before the new year, but the player in question quickly received negative attention from Overwatch esports fans. A new player hit the top 10 ranks on the Overwatch NA server and was revealed to be a player known as “Ellie”. Second Wind had recently lost a few players and needed to fill a slot on their roster and were eager to onboard “Ellie” to the team. When “Ellie”‘s placement was announced there were several people in the Overwatch community who questioned the secrecy involved. Ellie was the only player on Second Wind’s roster who did not have her full legal name listed on the official Overwatch Contenders site. Threats to dox her soon followed. Shortly thereafter, Ellie stepped down from the Second Wind roster. As part of their oversight of the Overwatch Contenders league, Blizzard does background checks on all players to assure that they are who they claim to be. The background check done as part of Second Wind’s roster approval revealed that “Ellie” was a faked persona.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 5:44 PM PST - 43 comments

Shut up, already! Damn!

It's an album that nearly needs no introduction -- Prince's 1987 double masterwork Sign "☮︎" The Times [YT Playlist]. Born out of abandoned projects and alter egos, the final funky rocking sexy weird release could arguably be the best album of the 80s. Side A: Sign "☮︎" The Times [video] [BONUS: Nina Simone], Play In The Sunshine, Housequake, The Ballad Of Dorothy Parker [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 4:23 PM PST - 18 comments


Hello, you have reached the Toddler Feelings Helpline. Please choose from the following options:
posted by waving at 4:10 PM PST - 24 comments

The Runners Four

Maybe you are in the Wrong Time Capsule? Deerhoof understands. Do you like a tightly-locked rhythm section? They have got you covered. Maybe you appreciate totally committed drumming? Maybe you won't believe, but if you don't, just look away. If you catch a live show there's a very good chance you will hear a rendition of Panda Panda Panda.
posted by sjswitzer at 3:46 PM PST - 16 comments

For games unplayed and unknown

The Obscuritory, a blog about odd, lesser-known games and software. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:48 PM PST - 8 comments

The main attraction, center of attention

Food: The universal human experience. Heck, sharing food leads to better negotiation outcomes. But if you're eating too much and always feeling the need to clean your plate, a Vanderbilt professor has some tips for you.
posted by cashman at 1:18 PM PST - 5 comments

like a Nascar driver classically trained at the Bolshoi Ballet

Alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin may be the most dominant current athlete in any sport. With her win in Zagreb today in the slalom, her signature event, she has 52 career wins win FIS World Cup events, including 37 in the slalom — at the age of 23. She is the only skier to have won events in six different FIS disciplines: the classic five of slalom, giant slalom, super G, downhill, and combined; plus parallel slalom. She loves to nap. [more inside]
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:12 PM PST - 7 comments

Likely still up to their old tricks

Among the fireworks this week were continuing revelations in the the ongoing trial of Joaquín Guzmán Loera, aka “El Chapo.” What has been left unsaid indeed. Friday, the NYT reported:
While American authorities have acknowledged that Mr. Zambada met with federal agents, they have long denied there was any quid pro quo agreement. In a recent ruling, Judge Brian M. Cogan, who is hearing Mr. Guzmán’s case, said that Mr. Zambada’s claims regarding his cooperation with the Americans cannot be mentioned at the trial.
[more inside]
posted by sudogeek at 10:21 AM PST - 8 comments

How Nur Jahan ruled Mughal India as the only female emperor

In act after act—hunting, advising, issuing imperial orders and coins, designing buildingsshe ensured that her name was etched indelibly in public memory and in history,” the feminist historian Ruby Lal writes
posted by infini at 9:26 AM PST - 1 comment

Being likable is easy.

You should, of course, not be annoying. You must divine what this means. (SLNTAP)
posted by HotToddy at 9:19 AM PST - 20 comments

Grown-Ass Adults

Anne Helen Peterson writes for Buzzfeed on How Millenials Became the Burnout Generation: The more I tried to figure out my errand paralysis, the more the actual parameters of burnout began to reveal themselves. Burnout and the behaviors and weight that accompany it aren’t, in fact, something we can cure by going on vacation. It’s not limited to workers in acutely high-stress environments. And it’s not a temporary affliction: It’s the millennial condition. It’s our base temperature. It’s our background music. It’s the way things are. It’s our lives. That realization recast my recent struggles: Why can’t I get this mundane stuff done? Because I’m burned out. Why am I burned out? Because I’ve internalized the idea that I should be working all the time. Why have I internalized that idea? Because everything and everyone in my life has reinforced it — explicitly and implicitly — since I was young. Life has always been hard, but many millennials are unequipped to deal with the particular ways in which it’s become hard for us.
posted by ChuraChura at 8:49 AM PST - 133 comments

Black Americans Find Out Which African Tribe They Are From

"We lost our names, we lost our languages, we lost the freedom to honor our ancestors, our families were torn apart ..."
posted by gt2 at 6:39 AM PST - 14 comments

The Legend of Zelda has a Minus World

More than 30 years after its release, a hacker has discovered a "minus world" in The Legend of Zelda (NES). Watch YouTuber SKELUX showcase his discovery here including a brief explanation of "minus worlds" (named after the most famous example of the phenomenon, Super Mario Brothers' World -1) and a short walkthrough of the "minus map." This glitched-out 8-bit fever dream of Bizarro Hyrule features such apparitions as the Backwards Armos, the Boomerang Octorok, and the Zora-Ghost Manhandla. [more inside]
posted by duffell at 6:05 AM PST - 24 comments

JOY had always been an idiosyncratic operation

In 2009, Cornell food psychologist Brian Wansink published "The Joy of Cooking Too Much", where "...[he] had examined the cookbook’s recipes in multiple 'Joy' editions, beginning with the 1936 version, and determined that their calorie counts had increased over time by an average of forty-four per cent." In 2018, Buzzfeed News published an exposé on p-hacking at the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, based on work by Wansink's critics, and in light of that, "Joy" decided to investigate more closely.
posted by frimble at 12:23 AM PST - 37 comments

January 4

Wherever you go, there they are: A short history of portable toilets

Quick, what's boxy, blue, and smells like...poo? Let's go spelunking into the history and development of a rugged and aesthetically pleasing cabana construction, the humble portable toilet, aka honey bucket, porta-loo, Johnny-on-the-spot, Spiffy Biff, spivey, or Porta-Potty. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 9:02 PM PST - 38 comments

“I'm so excited because I love mess!”

The Unexpected Joy of ‘Tidying Up With Marie Kondo’ [The Ringer] “Released on New Year’s Day, Tidying Up is very much an extension of Kondo’s internationally renowned persona. But true to Netflix’s notoriously data-driven programming strategy, it also shares DNA with some previous hits for the streaming service. Like the recent reboot of Queer Eye, Tidying Up is an old-school makeover show with a host of modern tweaks. [...] Over eight characteristically efficient installments—the editors of Tidying Up manage to convey the magnitude of each household’s project while also winnowing their journey down to a tight 40ish minutes—Kondo takes tired buzzwords like “gratitude” and “mindfulness” and gives them new life. This is what Tidying Up adds to what’s already on the page: a series of highly specific applications of Kondo’s technique, and with them, proof that anyone, including you, can tidy up their own life in their own way.” [YouTube][Trailer] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 4:35 PM PST - 112 comments

Friday Flash Fun (remember those?)

The Treasure
(from jayisgames:) In March 2018, we got E.X.I.T. II and it was fantastic. This new game is much longer and even better and I'm missing an adjective here - superfantastic, maybe. It's huge. It's smart. It's stylish and good looking, complex and sophisticated. It's epic!
(NB: kept the title for old time's sake, but this is a Unity Player game) For those not familiar, JIG usually has a walkthrough in the comments, and this one is no exception - they tend to use tags to hide spoilers, but YMMV.
posted by solotoro at 2:01 PM PST - 14 comments

How to Make Friends

My wife and I have started a practice we call The Friendship Meal. What happens is something like this: we take a person or a couple and invite them to come have dinner with us. It’s almost always a disorienting thing to begin with — we don’t know them, they don’t know us, and everyone’s pretty shy. And sometimes the meals stay there: shyness and lack of connection, we eat and go separate ways. But sometimes that special spark happens, and, all-of-a-sudden, the conversations last for hours. And that makes the risk worth it! [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 10:22 AM PST - 88 comments

Laser Skin Resurfacing - $1,300-2,330

The secret to great skin? Be rich. (The Atlantic)
posted by The Whelk at 9:01 AM PST - 115 comments

Orange Peels and Fresnel Integrals! Train Sets! The Urinal Problem!

Interesting Esoterica - If, perhaps, you enjoyed the recent "Do Dogs Know Calculus" post, you might also enjoy this page full of ...interesting and unusual papers that I have collected over the years. Many of the references are kept here so I can easily find them again when I want to tell someone about the really interesting idea they contain; others are here only because they caught my eye when I first came across them. Christian Lawson-Perfect has been collecting and tagging these articles for years; with more than 500 on offer, you're likely to find an appealing title or two in the pile.
posted by Wolfdog at 8:36 AM PST - 12 comments

Mini history & walkthrough of the making of PEZ [SLYT: 4 min10sec]

PfeffErminZ aka PEZ (the sweet micro bricks) and thier holders, are older than you think. Every time someone eats a PEZ, you might be surprised to know that creation of the confectionery (and it's holders) involves at least seven different US Patents. [more inside]
posted by Faintdreams at 8:30 AM PST - 13 comments

She has a prosthetic Spiderman arm for powerlifting

Anoushé Husain is a British civil servant and paraclimber. She recently founded Paraclimbing London, and has received a Points of Light Award from Downing Street. On her Instagram account, she documents her daily life as an amateur athlete with multiple disabilities. [more inside]
posted by serathen at 8:23 AM PST - 3 comments

it helps if its the equinox

The talk/workshop I give about computing the distance to the Moon[PDF] uses, it claims, nothing more than a pendulum and a stopwatch. And while it's sort of true that it uses nothing else, it's not really true, because it also uses the period of the Moon, and the size of the Earth. Now it might be possible to persuade you that it's OK to use the period of the Moon, since you can simply look out the window and measure that for yourself, but to use the size of the Earth seems a bit of a stretch. Surely there's no way to compute that from your back garden. Of course, we could claim that since the original definition of the metre was:
"One 10 millionth of the distance from the North Pole to the Equator on the longitude that runs through Paris"
then perhaps we can quite reasonably claim that the Earth's circumference is, by definition, 40 million metres, but even so, perhaps that's not really fair, not really playing the game. But when I showed Distance to the Moon calculation to a friend of mine, it turned out he (a) was really interested, and (b) suggested a method to compute the radius of the Earth from your back garden.
Colin Wright calculates The Radius Of The Earth, from his back garden. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:53 AM PST - 5 comments

Doing the wolf's work in shepherd's dress

'Elizabeth Anderson thinks we’ve misunderstood the basis of a free and fair society.' '[...] Anderson explains in Private Government (2017)[...]: "Images of free market society that made sense prior to the Industrial Revolution continue to circulate today as ideals, blind to the gross mismatch between the background social assumptions reigning in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and today’s institutional realities. We are told that our choice is between free markets and state control, when most adults live their working lives under a third thing entirely: private government."'
posted by TinyChicken at 6:32 AM PST - 25 comments

When your neme culture war backfires

So the big story on Twitter yesterday was Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez getting 'smeared' by some right wing dork for dancing in high school (instead of starting a fascism fanclub like some people). When it took off, most people found it charming rather than damning and so one of the two accounts where this originated from got ratioed so hard they promptly deleted their account and everybody had a good laugh about it.
All of which is not very interesting where it not that the original video was an extract from a meme video AOC was in, part of a trend of such videos all responding to this montage of 80s dance movies with Phoenix's Lisztomania that was rather important a decade ago, as Parker Higgins explains, because it was the catalyst for an important court case about copyright & fair use, involving Larry Lessig. (All links are to Twitter.)
posted by MartinWisse at 1:50 AM PST - 160 comments

Worst of all is just a round potato

The secret to the perfect roast potato? Math.
… instead of the traditional halving and quartering of potatoes at 90-degree angles, [you] should slice the spud into four pieces at 30-degree angles, expanding the potato's surface area by 65% as a result.
posted by Vesihiisi at 12:05 AM PST - 53 comments

January 3

An Artistic Message for Humankind

The High Masters warned her not to show the paintings to anyone. [more inside]
posted by lubujackson at 11:19 PM PST - 10 comments

An Oral History Of The Warren Ellis Forum

An Oral History Of The Warren Ellis Forum -- Kieron Gillen: It was like the CBGB of noughties comics. Matt Fraction: It was a very micro-focused tribe in a lot of ways. Kelly Sue DeConnick: Micro-focused tribe is the most Warren Ellis thing you've ever said. Chip Zdarsky: Warren has changed so many lives just by the act of maintaining that forum for us. Heidi McDonald: Warren was essentially inventing how people build their brands online. Christopher Sebela: It was just like—the internet could be good sometimes. Bryan Lee O'Malley: He's a visionary, and he brought people together basically to complain about stuff, but also, so that they could talk about the future and have a future.
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 5:47 PM PST - 18 comments

'tis the season...

As Brits hopefully eat and don't throw away good cheese, Easter is here (calendar pedants: Good Friday is 15 weeks from today) and with it the range of chocolate egg-shaped products on supermarket shelves. But there'll be problems, such as mass unwrapping, while Australia will have hot cross bun flavoured ice cream. However, UK food news is suddenly dominated by Greggs revealing a sausage roll that is ... vegan. Reaction was mixed, from the anticipation of Jack Monroe to the (expected) negative and deep upset huff of a former hack (maybe rigged). Meat-eaters (response) have also generally welcomed said Quorn-based product (which is not new), while Pizza Hut in the UK launch a vegan pizza. 354 days till Christmas.
posted by Wordshore at 4:39 PM PST - 31 comments

This won’t just affect Mosul, or Nineveh, or Iraq

Iraq’s Post-ISIS Campaign of Revenge The corruption and cruelty of the state’s response to suspected jihadis and their families seem likely to lead to the resurgence of the terror group. By Ben Taub (CW: violence, rape, mutilation)
posted by roolya_boolya at 2:43 PM PST - 10 comments

Birding Like It’s 1899

The first time I see ravens, I flush them out of an alpine meadow carpeted with wildflowers. I pause to watch the flock fly off towards the distant, snow-capped peaks, trailed by their echoing croaks, when a man riding by on horseback bumps into me. Irritated, I shoot the man dead, and take his hat.
- The Audubon Society reviews Red Dead Redemption 2.
posted by jenkinsEar at 12:32 PM PST - 31 comments

I'm a mathematician... all I do all day is write equations on glass

Hello, I'm a professor in a movie, I only reach the main point of my lecture right as class is ending. Then I yell at students about the reading / homework as they leave. [Tweet + replies via @_roryturnbull] [more inside]
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:31 PM PST - 198 comments

Great women in science: their names and stories

Women in Science: 150 Essential Books. As compiled by Dale DeBakcsy who writes and draws the Illustrated Women of Science.
posted by storybored at 11:05 AM PST - 3 comments

Lots of skulls

Ongoing twitter thread of 40 Favorite Historical Objects (they are mainly medical, anatomical or related) by historian and writer Dr Lindsey Fitzharris. Number 14 - '18th-century dildo with plunger to simulate ejaculation' has a spin off thread of its own diverging into information on Penitentials re strap-ons and fish (perhaps not surprisingly, links may be nsfw)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:56 AM PST - 10 comments

The Legacy of Black Hawk Down

Twenty-five years ago, I was drawn to Somalia in the aftermath of Operation Restore Hope, a U.S. initiative supporting a United Nations resolution that aimed to halt widespread starvation. The effort, started in 1992, secured trade routes so food could get to Somalis. The U.N. estimated that no fewer than 250,000 lives were saved. But Operation Restore Hope would be best remembered in the United States for a spectacular debacle that has shaped foreign policy ever since.
posted by infini at 9:56 AM PST - 16 comments

Father Time, by David Sedaris

"I need you to live long enough to see Donald Trump impeached.”
posted by mecran01 at 9:39 AM PST - 28 comments

Queerness in Video Games

Game Studies, Issue 18/03. "The place where queerness meets games is a site of radical potential. This introduction, and this issue, ask how we can push queer game studies beyond desires for inclusion and representation and instead embrace a queer tradition of rejecting the status quo."
posted by seanmpuckett at 9:04 AM PST - 5 comments

1 Woman, 12 Months, 52 Places

"When I started this harebrained experiment in January 2018, to visit and report on the Times’s entire 52 Places to Go in 2018 list, I thought that by stop 48, for sure, I’d be the Wonder Woman of travel... What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned? is a question I often get. I always answer, “That people are fundamentally good around the world.” You see, it was a dream job. It’s just that my idea of what made this dream job dreamy has changed so much." Jada Yuan recaps a year on the road for the New York Times. [more inside]
posted by RedOrGreen at 8:52 AM PST - 18 comments

Change the land, change the world

Civil Eats’ Best Solutions Journalism Stories of 2018 Read about good ideas in food production, management, and distribution from churchland to farmland, expanding co-operative models, Navajo leading the way in expanding traditional foodways, sequesting carbon into farmland, teen-run plant based bakeries, and more.(previously, previously)
posted by The Whelk at 8:50 AM PST - 1 comment

Did Disney Kill Roger Rabbit 2? [SLYT 6min 20sec]

Animation Investigation, deep dives into the many attempts to un-stall the production of a Roger Rabbit Sequel The 1988 mixed animation and live action film "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" was a commercial [$329.8 million box office takings against a reported $50.6 million budget] and critical success. [more inside]
posted by Faintdreams at 7:44 AM PST - 64 comments

"I pass out while everybody else is having a wonderful time"

Bob Einstein dead at 76 of cancer. The actor and writer (and brother of Albert Brooks) was best known for his stuntman character Super Dave Osborne and for his turns on shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm and Arrested Development.
posted by Cash4Lead at 7:20 AM PST - 45 comments

The man who crushed 10,000 groins

They call him ‘Pete The Groin Crusher’, ‘Petey Pressure’, ‘The Groin Guy’, ‘Crusher’, and ‘Pain in the Ass Pete’: Pete Schiavo, hemostasis technician at Pennsylvania Hospital, is the first friendly face that people see when they come out of a coronary procedure, and while his three-finger method is hard enough ‘to be felt in their derriere’, some patients have called him a ‘health care hero’. [more inside]
posted by elgilito at 7:06 AM PST - 9 comments


This Couple Have Been Playing Mario Kart 64 Every Day Since 2001 To Decide Who Makes The Tea [Nintendo Life] “We've all been there, arguing over who has to do the cooking, cleaning, and washing for what feels like the 657th time this week, but this adorable couple seem to have the chore-deciding formula absolutely nailed down. It turns out the answer is simple: Mario Kart 64. Reddit user u/bork1138 has shared the story of their parents' Mario Kart tradition online, noting that the couple have been playing the game "religiously" since 2001 to decide who will be making the next cup of tea. The image appears to depict the game's Battle Mode, with heated, balloon-popping shenanigans clearly being the order of the day.”
posted by Fizz at 6:03 AM PST - 12 comments

Who, me?

The UK Army is recruiting snowflakes, binge gamers, phone zombies and me-me-me millennials. [more inside]
posted by Stark at 4:22 AM PST - 34 comments

Chang'e_4 (Turn and Face the Strange)

Far side of the moon: China's Chang'e 4 probe makes historic touchdown [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 3:38 AM PST - 33 comments

January 2

The best way to recap a year is with laughter

What better way to look back on another mad year with BBC 4's The Big Fat Quiz of the Year? [YouTube] Stand-up comedian Jimmy Carr recently returned to host the 2018 recap, with teams featuring previous panelists, including comic actors Richard Ayoade, Noel Fielding and David Mitchell, and presenter Claudia Winkleman, joined by comedians Mo Gilligan and American comic Michelle Wolf, who appeared on the show for the first time. You can expect the usual mix of pithy one liners, risque jokes and general shenanigans from Carr and the panellists [iNews UK]. And if that's not enough, you can take a jaunt back through time with the BFQotY for 2004-2017. [YT Playlist] But why is it that panel shows [Wikipedia] like this are so ubiquitous in England, but not elsewhere? [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 8:25 PM PST - 78 comments

Let me tell you something mean Gene

Gene Okerlund has passed away. Gene and Captain Lou. [more inside]
posted by vrakatar at 6:42 PM PST - 26 comments

Two stories of foundlings, families, and DNA genealogy

Anthea Ring was found under a blackberry bush on the South Downs in England in 1937. Sharon Elliott, the 'hatbox baby', was found in the Arizona desert in 1931. Both women wanted to know where they came from. [more inside]
posted by Catseye at 3:08 PM PST - 10 comments

9 days after an egg has been fertilised

World's first no-kill eggs go on sale in Berlin "Chick’s sex can be determined before it hatches, potentially ending culling of billions of males" [more inside]
posted by readinghippo at 3:05 PM PST - 36 comments

Flush with data

Statistics Canada is measuring cannabis use by sampling wastewater in five Canadian cities. In the first data release, Halifax has come out on top. The Canadian pilot study is one example of research being carried out in the burgeoning field of wastewater-based epidemiology. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:10 PM PST - 17 comments

8 Women on Choosing Not to Have Kids

We talk a lot about the many shapes families take. So, what about those of us who choose not to parent?
posted by Etrigan at 1:03 PM PST - 147 comments

Drawn from My Life as a Woman

"[O]ne of the first things I had to learn as a girl was how to conform to expectations imposed on me in order to live in safety, and most of these expectations centered around my feminine appeal." It turned out to be a lifelong lesson. Fit modeling, makeup (and lack of it), mortality, conformity, femininity: writer and cartoonist Carolita Johnson catalogues her efforts to maintain her appearance from about 1970 to 2018 in her personal illustrated essay for Longreads, "A Woman's Work: The Outside Story."
posted by MonkeyToes at 12:29 PM PST - 7 comments

The California indigenous peoples using fire for agroforestry

Prescribed burning is the main tool in the Karuk and Yoruk tribes' agroforestry systems, which encourages proliferation of traditional foods, herbs, and medicines. [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 11:58 AM PST - 8 comments

The Works: Complete chronicles of Nintendo consoles

Jeremy Parish is on a quest to chronicle every NES game in order of its US launch date—the good, the bad, and the forgotten gems. He also does this with Game Boy works and Super NES works. He admittedly might be further along in these projects if he didn’t keep breaking out into other consoles, like he just did with Virtual Boy. [more inside]
posted by brett at 10:25 AM PST - 6 comments

...but the wizard did not forget.

Dismissed as creepy pasta trolling for years, a half-remembered cartoon about a menacing kidnapper who came to be known as the Clockman was finally discovered to be About Dressy Sally or O páradivé Sally in its original Czech. The mystery took five years to solve, beginning with the original post in 2012. This great video exhaustively recounts the investigation that turned internet myth into established fact and sheds some light on the in and outs of children's animation production and dissemination in the last half of the century.
posted by es_de_bah at 9:56 AM PST - 11 comments


sharpest cardboard kitchen knife in the world
sharpest milk kitchen knife in the world
sharpest smoke kitchen knife in the world [more inside]
posted by theodolite at 8:40 AM PST - 48 comments

"Fermentation is diplomacy and canning is a massacre"

There is a moment in the life of fruits and vegetables that has always puzzled and fascinated me. Put out a dish of strawberries, and in days some darker spots will appear. Maybe a thin tendril of mold sprouts out from the strawberry’s body. At this point, you can still eat it, simply by cutting off the moldy bit. But all of a sudden, the strawberry has clearly died. It’s inedible, sour. It has passed over in to the world of bacteria, mold, and minerals—it is no longer a self-regulating organism. It has stopped being an individual, but has become multitudes. How does this happen? When is an organism living, and when is it dead? When is an organism living, and when is it dead? Where does death come from, and why does this change of state happen so quickly? Amazingly, we’ve developed some techniques to play with this boundary between life and death, stretch it, and blur it.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:32 AM PST - 54 comments

The problem of increasing returns to scale and public goods provisioning

E. Glen Weyl:[1,2,3] "I believe it is the deepest and most pernicious failure in this philosophy and the one whose solution would require the most systematic rethinking of the whole project, rather than just tweaks along the edges. That issue is the problem of what one might call public goods, but is much broader than how many economists usually think of public goods and thus I will label the issue of increasing returns."[4,5,6] (threadreader; via 'the problem of increasing returns to scale, how little it is addressed, how carefully ignored') [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 6:14 AM PST - 24 comments

January 1

The varsity team

Dogsled racer Blair Braverman introduces the world to her next Iditarod team. Braverman, the "21st century feminist reincarnation of Jack London," gives elaborate details on each pup! Threadreader version
posted by k8t at 10:38 PM PST - 32 comments

More comfortable buildings with less energy use

How having the right ceiling height, floor plan, and building materials lead to more human-friendly temperatures and humidity.
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 10:33 PM PST - 62 comments

Meanwhile Down Mexico Way....

January 1st, 2019 marks the 25th Anniversary of Zapatista Army of National Liberation offensive in Chiapas.
FB video and Magnum photos. [more inside]
posted by adamvasco at 3:51 PM PST - 4 comments

Isaac Asimov's view of the future of 2019, and the fight of man vs robot

35 years ago, Isaac Asimov was asked by the Toronto Star to predict the world of 2019. Here is what he wrote (The Star, Dec. 27, 2018) Here's what he got right (and wrong). -- Some of them were surprisingly astute. (Stephen Johnson for Big Think). Spoilers: accurate predictions about computerization, optimistic about education, environment, and space utilization. Also, his views of an automated workplace were both forward-looking and dated; see: Lordstown Syndrome, a term coined in 1972. Lordstown: Man vs. machine -- and GM was the big loser, recapped as "worker rebellion, including sabotage of products" by Harry Stoffer for Auto News in 2008. Except GM still hasn't learned: GM’s decline truly began with its quest to turn people into machines (Gwynn Guilford for Quartz, Dec. 30, 2018)
posted by filthy light thief at 3:13 PM PST - 21 comments

The Computers of Commodore

Commodore was a calculator company that, under the leadership of charismatic (and sometimes abrasive) founder Jack Tramiel, bought promising microchip foundry MOS Technologies, got into the home computer business. They made some of the most popular machines of the 8-bit era, especially the hugely Commodore 64. But the C64 was actually part of a line of machines, many of which are much less-known. Have you ever heard of the MAX Machine? The Educator 64? The 64GS? The Commodore 16?
Here is a series of extremely informative videos from The 8-Bit Guy that go through the whole line up to Amiga (which is forthcoming): Commodore PET - VIC-20 (warning: William Shatner) - Commodore 64 - Plus-4, C16, C116 (with guest Bil Hurd, former Commodore engineer!) - Commodore 128 Average video length is 30 minutes. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 2:19 PM PST - 46 comments

An Atlas Obscura of Film Locations

Where filmmakers go to find their next film location. Shooting a film and need a covered bridge? Wondering where you can film in front of an impressive public art mural? Do one room school houses still exist? Yes, take your pick! Maybe you want something more industrial: abandoned structures, old factories and mills, or shipyards. How about one of these drive-in theatres in Ohio, Texas, Pittsburgh, or Utah? [more inside]
posted by nightrecordings at 1:14 PM PST - 25 comments

Feeling like a dead duck / Spitting out pieces of his broken luck

My dad painted the iconic cover for Jethro Tull’s ‘Aqualung,’ and it’s haunted him ever since: His quest to receive proper compensation illuminates the struggle for artists’ rights, and how decades-old grievances become coded into rock and roll mythology.
posted by Etrigan at 12:25 PM PST - 41 comments

"Share. Stump. Love."

"Alexis Hillyard has created a unique YouTube cooking show called 'Stump Kitchen' which showcases her love of food, alongside adaptive kitchen techniques for cooking with one hand." Stump Kitchen on Youtube. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:04 PM PST - 1 comment

Happy 60th Birthday

Cuban Revolution, armed uprising in Cuba that overthrew the government of Fulgencio Batista on January 1, 1959. The revolution’s leader, Fidel Castro, went on to rule Cuba from 1959 to 2008
posted by infini at 11:57 AM PST - 15 comments

2019 Neo-Tokyo is about to E.X.P.L.O.D.E.

Akira, the legendary 1982 manga and 1988 anime film (IMDB), takes place this year, before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics ("147 days to the Opening Ceremonies"), a coincidence that didn't elude the attention of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government during an event three years ago. [more inside]
posted by gucci mane at 11:54 AM PST - 30 comments

Each day will allow you to explore another creators' work and thoughts.

#meditationgames: a project by Rami Ismail (@Vlambeer) “One morning in late 2017, I stumbled upon a small game called TEMPRES. It is a simple minimalist puzzle game, and it might have taken no more than five minutes of my time to figure out. I left the game both impressed by developer tak’s clever design, but also by the feeling of having played this short game early in the morning. Since that day, aided by an amazing crew of curators, developers, and support, I’ve collected custom-made games by over 350 developers – one for each day of the year. Every developer was asked to pick a day that means something to them, or just a random day, and to make something inspired by that day. The idea was to create a meditation of sorts, a reflection, or to capture a particular moment. Meditations is a launcher that, every day, loads a small game and an accompanying text as a meditation, distraction, lesson, or inspiration for that day.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 11:05 AM PST - 11 comments

Y-shaped pushers

Today, the 32nd of December 2018, is the 38th anniversary of the maiden flight of Bill Lear’s LearFan aircraft. The LearFan was based on the Planet Satellite, an experimental magnesium aeroplane that nearly became a helicopter. (The LearFan never received approval by the FAA, but the design was later re-used for a more sinister purpose.)
posted by chappell, ambrose at 11:00 AM PST - 8 comments

Queer Kids Wish You a Happy New Year

Transgender vlogger Kovu Kingsrod has curated a compilation of New Years greetings from his subscribers. [more inside]
posted by serathen at 10:20 AM PST - 2 comments

Seeing theory

It's one thing to know statistics; it's another to see statistics. [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura at 9:53 AM PST - 7 comments

Cilia later

This is a single-celled organism in the genus Blepharisma and it is dying. (SLYT)
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 9:12 AM PST - 27 comments

Turning narrative testimonies into quantitative data about genocide

Patrick Ball has developed statistical modeling to map likely sites of unmapped graves and to fill in the blank spots left by hidden genocides. On PacificStandard, All the Dead We Cannot See. [more inside]
posted by bile and syntax at 8:18 AM PST - 7 comments

Time and life may still a writer's hand, but not his voice.

"Star Trek teaches that man will learn the error of his ways and no longer destroy the peoples that he meets, and for Native Americans, then, that's hopeful." The first episode of the Star Trek franchise to win an Emmy was written by Russell Bates (6 June 1941 – 9 April 2018), a Native American sci-fi writer and actor of the Kiowa Tribe. His 1974 animated series episode How Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth, co-written with David Wise, also featured Star Trek's first Native American crew member, Ensign Dawson Walking Bear--decades before Star Trek: Voyager's Commander Chakotay. Trek's history of Native representation, many know, has been cringeworthy when not downright appalling. Bates sought to subvert racist beliefs about Native Americans' civilizations and historical accomplishments. [more inside]
posted by duffell at 8:08 AM PST - 13 comments

Abstraction, Beauty, Math and Applied Category Theory

A quest for beauty and clear thinking. Interviewing John Baez - "John Baez is an American mathematical physicist, and a professor of mathematics at the University of California Riverside, and an activist for the environment. I have been in touch with him via email and through his online course on category theory. Recently, I had the pleasure to met him in person in London, during a conference about Physics and Philosophy dedicated to Emmy Noether."[1,2,3] [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 2:34 AM PST - 7 comments

We May Live In Interesting Times

The Curse famously quoted may be a fiction, but our times do seem more interesting than many of us are prepared for. The question Who Will Run The World is one explored by Foreign Affairs.
posted by CheapB at 1:41 AM PST - 2 comments

Just another weird animal thing in Australia

Combine a 3.5 meter python named Monty, a bunch of really horny cane toads and a torrential downpour. What do you get? Outback Uber.
posted by michswiss at 12:23 AM PST - 13 comments