January 2020 Archives

January 31

'raffes? Dagg!

Anne Dagg has won an Order of Canada for her pioneering (and under-rewarded) studies of giraffes. [more inside]
posted by clew at 8:49 PM PST - 7 comments

100 Days of Art History Jinjins

Artist and Designer Jinjin Sun: "I'm slowly working my way through a personal project to do 100 master studies, faceswapping myself into each one as I go. This started as a 100 Day Project back in 2018 and quickly turned into a longer-term project that helps me express myself, explore my identity in relation to Western art history, and skill up in drawing."
posted by rebent at 6:14 PM PST - 9 comments

How To Write 10,000 Words A Week

In a recent longform piece on Medium, former Deadspin and GQ writer Drew Magary talks about what he enjoys about the act of writing, and how to approach it in a way to keep loving the act. (SLMedium) [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 5:50 PM PST - 18 comments

"ask yourself if what you’re doing is original or edgy in any way"

So many comics get away with this that when I initially released the video, I got dozens of messages from people who knew “exactly who it was about,” and they all said someone different.
24 Comedians on the Comedy Clichés They’d Like to Kill Forever
posted by Lexica at 3:22 PM PST - 97 comments

Samantha Smith, prominent young Citizen Diplomat in the Cold War

In December 1982, Samantha Smith, a ten-year-old girl from Maine wrote a letter to the Soviet leader, Yuri Andropov, expressing her fears about a potential nuclear war. Andropov wrote back in April 1983 (copies of both letters), the main Soviet newspaper Pravda quoted her letter, and the Smith family was invited to visit the Soviet Union during the summer. The Surprising Story of the American Girl Who Broke Through the Iron Curtain (Smithsonian Magazine). That article downplays her impact, but this article suggests that Samantha Smith’s trip was a pivotal moment in the Cold War de-escalation (University of East Anglia). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 2:47 PM PST - 11 comments

“when it’s done, it’s just going to be a big, dumb wall,”

Design and the Green New Deal
Billy Fleming in Places Journal: "If landscape architects want to remake the world, we can start by remaking our discipline." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:17 PM PST - 3 comments

Virtual Pepsi Blue

BBC Holds Interview on Upcoming Video Game Watch Dogs Legion Within the Game Itself [BBC Click] “Here's something you don't see every day. Marc Cieslak, reporter for BBC Click, has conducted an interview about Watch Dogs Legion from within the game's virtual London. The journalist paid a visit to Ubisoft in order to speak with creative director Clint Hocking, but in a brilliant twist, the pair carried out the interview inside the upcoming sequel. Cieslak and Hocking, after both undergoing preparations for full performance capture, have a brief conversation about the game while appearing to be on Legion's near-future London streets. It's pretty cool -- check it out above. According to the BBC, it's a world first, and we can't remember another example of this.” [via: Push Square][Watch Dogs Legion Game Trailer]
posted by Fizz at 12:45 PM PST - 18 comments

Toying With Death

A Dawn special report about landmines in Pakistan
posted by bardophile at 11:40 AM PST - 3 comments

That famous cello prelude, deconstructed

That famous cello prelude, deconstructedWhy Bach’s G major prelude is the perfect piece of music. Vox's Estelle Caswell (previously on MetaFilter) and cellist Alisa Weilerstein detail why the piece is so popular and captivating.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:01 AM PST - 38 comments

Murder, They Scripted

“I only found out at the end — I killed the wrong person,” Wang tells Sixth Tone. “Not only that, all the people I thought were human turned out to be robots." Wang, a Shanghai-based news editor, had been playing a game of jubensha, or “script murder,” a role-playing murder mystery activity that has become highly popular among young urban Chinese. [more inside]
posted by storytam at 9:44 AM PST - 10 comments

“He wants to know if you can make it rain harder.”

The oral history of Prince's XLI Halftime Superbowl Show.
posted by carrienation at 8:06 AM PST - 26 comments

Not With a Bong But With a Whimper

Tonight, at midnight Brussels time, or 11pm UK time, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland formally leaves the European Union, entering a transition period of eleven months in which little will change in most people's everyday lives, yet momentous changes will continue to take shape. The UK government is seeking to downplay the looming impact of 1 January 2021 by calling today the day they "Got Brexit Done", mentioning transition as little as possible, and hoping that most voters will assume that Project Fear has been disproven and that anything that happens in 2021 is all the EU's fault. But at least half of the UK knows otherwise, and parts of it are already making other plans. [more inside]
posted by rory at 3:40 AM PST - 166 comments

Life in a Cubic Foot of My Lawn

In March of 2018, freelance naturalist Charley Eiseman wondered what had neatly cut several goldenrod stems in his recently-returned-to-natural-state lawn, so he dug up a cubic foot of earth and waited to see what emerged.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:27 AM PST - 37 comments

Cold War era rocket ship playgrounds

NASA photographer Lauren Orchowski had been documenting the Cold War era rocket ship playgrounds that were mass produced and installed by rural, suburban, and metropolitan communities on both public and private land at the height of the 20th century Space Race.
Other collections:
Telescopes in the rain
Fireworks stands
Prompted by this photo from Rocketship Park in Torrence.
Via mltshp
posted by growabrain at 1:07 AM PST - 29 comments

One for Your Anxiety Dreams

In honor of the late Flash Fridays, please enjoy this four-way Tetris variant.
posted by DoctorFedora at 12:18 AM PST - 19 comments

January 30

Tracked everywhere? Yes. Tracked everywhere.

It might be your doorbell (Ring Doorbell App Packed with Third-Party Trackers, EFF). It might be your grocery store rewards program (Customer Tracking at Ralphs Grocery Store, Schneier On Security). It might even be your computer anti-virus program (Leaked Documents Expose the Secretive Market for Your Web Browsing Data, Motherboard/Vice). 2020 is an electronic panopticon.
posted by hippybear at 11:14 PM PST - 45 comments

The Little-Known History of Palestine's First Rock Band

The Little-Known History of Palestine's First Rock Band (slVice)
posted by toastyk at 4:56 PM PST - 4 comments

pears, the grunting fruit

ÖBST, or, how fruit would move if fruit moved
posted by cortex at 4:23 PM PST - 32 comments

But they didn't say goodbye.........

Dinosaurs eating people;
Dinosaurs in love....
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 4:21 PM PST - 8 comments

Moonshine is a party for everyone...like the music you like, and be free

For Pierre Kwenders (personal site), Bonbon Kojak (Soundcloud) and the rest of the Moonshine collective (official site), a full moon means it's time for another underground rave in a secret location. Moonshine Brings Diversity and Inclusiveness to Montreal's Underground Party Scene -- "It’s not a black party or a queer party or African party" (Complex). The collective celebrates its celebrates 5th anniversary (Fact Magazine) with SMS for Location, Vol. 3. In proper underground rave style (updated a bit), you can text them or join their Whatsapp group to download the compilation for free, or pick it up from Bandcamp. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 2:44 PM PST - 7 comments

Introducing The Unnamed Temporary Sports Blog Dot Com (From Dashlane)

Sports (and other things) website Deadspin may be dead, the victim of private equity fuckery, but it's spirit (as well as the work of its writers) will live on temporarily for Super Bowl weekend thanks to a pop up blog. [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 2:24 PM PST - 22 comments

They created a goose for your desktop.

What if the Untitled Goose Game was your entire computer [YouTube] “There’s a pixelated goose dragging my cursor all over my computer screen and every time I try to close the program that unleashed it more just pop up, threatening me with bad jokes and a chorus of honks. This is the unnerving magic of game designer Sam Chiet’s Goose Desktop, a riff on last year’s popular animal mischief simulator Untitled Goose Game. Released yesterday on the indie storefront itch.io, the game dumps a goose onto your computer to mess with you until you just can’t take it anymore.” [via: Kotaku] [Previously.]
posted by Fizz at 12:30 PM PST - 24 comments

27,000 pounds of gear

In 2017, The Boston Symphony Orchestra toured Japan. WBUR reporter Andrea Shea embedded with the group to report on the effort involved in moving over 100 people and their gear across the globe, including how to move 27,000 pounds of gear, how to handle performer wellness, and what happens while on tour (start at the bottom, mixed text and audio entries). [more inside]
posted by backseatpilot at 11:46 AM PST - 8 comments

Making a Seat at the Table

Making a Seat at the Table: Women Transform Woodworking was a recent exhibit at the Center for Art in Wood featuring works by 43 women, women-identifying, and gender non-conforming woodworkers. Guest curators Laura Mays and Deirdre Visser discuss the exhibit in this short video. Links to the websites of many of the participants can be found here.
posted by jedicus at 10:58 AM PST - 9 comments

A Very Stable Genius: A Conversation with Carol Leonnig and Phillip Rucker

SLYoutube featuring the authors of the new Trump profile This doesn't fit into any of the current Trump posts, but it is worth viewing. Maybe not so much for new insights into the Trump administration (though there are a few small ones), as for how and why the reporting is always behind the facts and why some Trump staff go along with the madness. Also, what happened with the Mueller Report.
posted by mumimor at 10:16 AM PST - 8 comments

Prepping for a pandemic

In case you need to be indoors for a while, and possibly while sick. Civilization won't fall, but supply chains could be in bad shape. Advice on what to store (with acknowledgement that it's not feasible for everyone) and what to get done sooner rather than later.
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 9:41 AM PST - 79 comments

"an argument that goes all the way back to the founding itself."

The Hidden Stakes of the 1619 Controversy, David Waldstreicher - "Seeking to discredit those who wish to explain the persistence of racism, critics of the New York Times’s 1619 Project [previously] insist the facts don’t support its proslavery reading of the American Revolution. But they obscure a longstanding debate within the field of U.S. history over that very issue—distorting the full case that can be made for it." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:16 AM PST - 24 comments

Pythagoras Punches Proverb

Math proves that Round Peg can Fit into a Square Hole. "If that still leaves you scratching your head, be sure to watch how [Stanford mathematician] Tokieda folds the paper. He does so in a specific manner that transforms the sheet from two to three dimensions. In doing that, he brings two sides of a square together and forms a larger opening for which the coaster can pass through without a problem."
posted by storybored at 8:58 AM PST - 16 comments

Joanna Russ, the Science-Fiction Writer Who Said No

B.D. McClay on a new biography of Russ and her complicated relationship to science fictiona and feminism. Science fiction, Russ once wrote, was poised to “provide myths for dealing with kinds of experiences we are actually having now, instead of the literary myths we have inherited, which only tell us about the kinds of experiences we think we ought to be having.” The form aspired not to fantasy but to reality.
posted by Cash4Lead at 8:12 AM PST - 14 comments

The Biggest Loser Isn't About Wellness

It's About the Spectacle of Fat People's Pain and Tears The Biggest Loser is back. But it’s been given a makeover from its origins in the openly, cheerfully exploitative reality TV environment of the early 2000s. Now it’s about wellness, about lifestyle changes. Or at least, that’s what the producers want you to think, even as the show retains all its original premises. They can wrap this reboot in all the wellness language they want, but it’s the same old shit. [more inside]
posted by Carillon at 8:07 AM PST - 17 comments

Fifteen Minutes of Frame

"Unlike Fifty Shades of Grey, the topic of tilting picture frames is not discussed a lot on the web."
Over three blog posts, Craig Collins nerds out using geometry, calculus, and physics to figure out why hanging picture frames lean forward from the wall, and how to prevent them from doing so. Helpful diagrams and calculators included … [more inside]
posted by Kabanos at 7:47 AM PST - 6 comments

After this yelling disaster, they gave us iPod Nanos

Apple Computer released Aperture 1.0 in late 2005. The $499 photo management tool pioneered a nondestructive, RAW-based workflow for Macs. But reviews noted the program’s shortcomings. The “clusterfuck” led to Apple’s development team breaking up. “The short version is that a tremendous amount of shit hit the fan. One of the best projects ever quickly turned into a nightmare.” [more inside]
posted by Monochrome at 3:51 AM PST - 55 comments

January 29

Meet This Buddhist Cat Who Will Find Buddha Inside You

Haetal the cat renounced from the world
full of cat snacks and became Buddhist saint.
The cat doesn't even crave for fish lol
[more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:32 PM PST - 22 comments

TV's Herman Munster was a Real-Life Artist-Punster

You might not recognize the name, but you'll recognize the face and voice. Perhaps you remember Fred Gwynne from Car 54, Where Are You? (Wikipedia, episode "A Star is Born In the Bronx," which includes Al Lewis, another notable face), or The Munsters (Wikipedia, and a clip from "Hot Rod Herman" with Gwynne and Lewis), or other moments in his acting career (trivia blog). But did you know that the man behind Herman Munster wrote some puntastic children’s books? Atlas Obscura has a great article on Gwynne's punny children's books, part of his artistic hobby / other career (archived fan site). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 2:31 PM PST - 18 comments

My Vote Don't Count

My Vote Don't Count, by YelloPain (SLYT), a 3:48 lesson in civics aimed directly at people who (like YelloPain) have given up on voting. Co-produced by Desiree Tims, who is running for Congress in Dayton.
posted by Etrigan at 1:34 PM PST - 18 comments

The defence roosts.

Aviary Attorney [Game Trailer] “Aviary Attorney, a gorgeous adventure game set in 19th Century Paris featuring the illustrations of renowned cartoonist J. J. Grandville. Cast in the mold of Shu Takumi's Phoenix Wright series, it follows JayJay Falcon, defence attorney (and bird of prey) and his dim-witted assistant Sparrowson as they try to make a name for themselves in the justice system of King Louis Philippe's France. Unfortunately, neither bird is particularly gifted in the field of law; they're renowned for being bungling idiots, in fact. It falls to you to guide JayJay and Sparrowson as they probe each case before defending their client in court. You build said case by combing through crime scenes and interrogating the people (animals) involved, gathering pieces of evidence to call on while cross-examining the prosecution's witnesses.” [via: Eurogamer] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 12:24 PM PST - 27 comments

Catholic Leaders Promised Transparency... They Haven’t Delivered.

Catholic Leaders Promised Transparency About Child Abuse. They Haven’t Delivered.After decades of shielding the identities of accused child abusers from the public, many Catholic leaders are now releasing lists of their names. But the lists are inconsistent, incomplete and omit key details. (ProPublica / Houston Chronicle) [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu at 11:26 AM PST - 19 comments

No questions now, please; it’s time for learning

Students who ask more questions and are more curious do better in school Teachers who concentrate on developing focus and good behavior because of the links to good academic performance, now need to take on board that developing curiosity could be even more important. One nursery in England has replaced their toys with cardboard boxes to invite imaginative play.
posted by stillmoving at 11:10 AM PST - 25 comments

the test reports were locked into the safety deposit box

Wuhan journalist on the lengthy coverup of the coronavirus outbreak, saying that there should not be any praise for the government's "dramatic actions" in quarantining Wuhan.
Shortage of diagnostic equipment could be the main cause, Reuters reports, of the #WuhanCoronovirus outbreak: "testing kits for the disease were not distributed to some of Wuhan’s hospitals until about Jan. 20."
Overcrowding and desperation at Wuhan's hospitals, on-the-ground reports via the Chinese Storytellers network.
"I firmly believe that our people’s right to health should come before all political considerations": Taiwan's President Tsai on China's widely followed demand that Taiwan be excluded from international bodies, including the World Health Organization. [more inside]
posted by spamandkimchi at 7:48 AM PST - 41 comments

"Text WOKE to 88022"

Trump Allies are Handing Out Cash to Black Voters A 'Christmas Extravaganza,' in Cleveland, featured a $25,000 in cash giveaways (largely in increments of $300 to $500--a gift of $600 would trigger a W9 tax filing requirement). Another event, scheduled at HBCU Virginia Uniion University on Martin Luther King Day (the same day as the Virginia pro-gun rallies), was cancelled by the university. Organizers say they plan to roll out a tour schedule featuring more events soon. [more inside]
posted by box at 7:38 AM PST - 31 comments

Caucuses: An Anti-Democratic Tradition (That Needs To Die)

The tradition of primary voting by caucus - where voters cast a series of public votes at a set location and time to determine the winner - is used in several states, most notably Iowa, where caucuses will run in a few weeks. But as the practice gets examined, we can see how the process disenfranchises many groups. From the New York Times, we see how the disabled find themselves without a voice, while Lyz Lenz reports on how the caucus process intersects with women's roles at home to disenfranchise them.
posted by NoxAeternum at 7:29 AM PST - 57 comments

Practice Fusion pushed opioids

Practice Fusion , an electronic health record vendor will pay a $145 million fine as a result of receiving kickbacks for modifying their software to increase the prescription of opioids. Pharma Co. X, not yet identified in the DOJ agreement agreed to give Practice Fusion one million dollars to put a series of alerts in their software that would prompt doctors to ask patients about their pain levels more frequently and to favor opioids as a pain treatment option. [more inside]
posted by rdr at 3:55 AM PST - 35 comments

January 28

The strange death of a Sherlock Holmes fanatic

“I don’t think we’ll ever know for sure what really happened. Unlike in detective stories, we have to live without answers.” [more inside]
posted by blue shadows at 10:39 PM PST - 12 comments

Less like a puzzle and more like a mystery.

Seven years and three weeks ago today, an aging delivery driver named Conway picked up one final haul from Lysette's Antiques and began his search for the underground highway that would lead to his final destination. Today, the magical realist, anti-capitalist, Appalachian adventure game Kentucky Route Zero finally comes to a close with the release of the elusive Act V, plus the newly available TV Edition for Playstation, Xbox, or Nintendo Switch. Haven't heard of KRZ? Launch trailer. Reviews from Kotaku and Polygon. If you're intrigued, maybe try out one of the free interlude episodes? Personally, I would recommend Un Pueblo de Nada (previously) or The Entertainment. They'll give you a little taste of the world of the Zero. [more inside]
posted by JimBennett at 4:27 PM PST - 47 comments

Today You, Tomorrow Me

Today You, Tomorrow Me (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by zinon at 3:22 PM PST - 10 comments

The best way to say “hello” to modern classical music is to listen to it

A beginner’s guide to modern classical music
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:27 PM PST - 47 comments

Generative art, built from genetic code of artificial events

Generative art can be an intimidating topic — it seems like there is a lot of math involved, and art is tricky in itself! But, it doesn’t have to be difficult — you can build some really cool things without a math or art degree. This post will break down what generative art even is and how you can get started building your own generative art. (Free Code Camp) Ready for some next-level stuff? Dig into 22 years worth of papers from Generative Art Conferences. OK, too much? Weave silk, er, create generative art online (previously), or pick up some generative art placeholders [via Mltshp], in patterns made up of colored cells, in the style of Piet Mondrian, Georg Nees, Vera Molnar's Un Deux Trois artwork, Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures album cover, made of colorful triangle mesh, circles packed together, or mazes created using the 10 PRINT Commodore 64 generative art program.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:13 PM PST - 5 comments


Vox and countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo offer a glimpse behind the scenes of the New York Metropolitan Opera's recent staging of Akhnaten, Philip Glass's opera about the monotheist Egyptian monarch, featuring juggling, a twelve-Anthony-sized sun, and a tastefully pixellated slow-motion nude descent of a staircase.
posted by Etrigan at 1:21 PM PST - 18 comments

Libertarians Can’t Save the Planet

John Quiggin, Jacobin: Libertarians Can’t Save the PlanetLibertarians once claimed they had the answer to the environmental crisis. But the reality of climate change has simply exposed the futility of their creed.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:02 AM PST - 68 comments

“You Guys Are Scaring Me”

How a woman processed her rape by New York Mets Dwight Gooden, Vince Coleman, and Daryl Boston, fought for justice, and got discarded as a “groupie” during the “Year of the Woman.” Daniel Engber weaves her story together with the media coverage of Clarence Thomas’ sexual harassment of Anita Hill, William Kennedy Smith‘s rape of Patricia Bowman, and Mike Tyson’s rape of Desiree Washington; sexual and domestic violence by numerous Mets players including David Cone amid the team’s early 90s decline; and the widespread cultural backlash to 1992’s version of the “Me Too” movement.
posted by sallybrown at 10:24 AM PST - 7 comments

*lo-fi music softly playing in background*

Coffee Talk: a chill coffeeshop game where you play therapist to vampires, cat girls, and succubi [Game Trailer] “Coffee Talk is a game about listening to people’s problems and helping them by serving up a warm drink out of the ingredients you have in stock. It is a game that depicts lives as humanly as possible, while having a cast that is more than just humans. Immerse yourself in the stories of alternative-Seattle inhabitants, ranging from a dramatic love story between an elf and a succubus, an alien trying to understand humans’ lives, and many others modern readers will find strongly echo the world around them.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 8:58 AM PST - 34 comments

Becoming an occultist

The western mystery traditions are becoming more and more enticing to millennials. An interview with a DePaul university PhD philosophy candidate on esotericism.
posted by FiftyShadesOfBae at 7:45 AM PST - 53 comments

"So I stare up at the flashing map and pray I’ll make it to Leslie."

Singer Donna O'Regan wrote a song about taking the TTC, and the many trials and tribulations travelers must endure to get to their destination.
posted by cozenedindigo at 7:23 AM PST - 18 comments

Military Maps, 1532-1815

George III's collection of military maps comprises some 3,000 maps, views and prints ranging from the disposition of Charles V's armies at Vienna in 1532 to the Battle of Waterloo (1815). They are now available online. The index map viewer is here. [Story via The Guardian]
posted by carter at 7:16 AM PST - 7 comments

sanda seivom

They call me Arivu/ I’m one of you/Equality is my dream/Ambedkar and Periyar live forever/And my rap is the product of their rationality! [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura at 7:05 AM PST - 4 comments

The Germany Shock: the largest economy nobody understands

How Germany is able to run the world’s second largest export economy in the post-industrial era. Germany is a major outlier among high-GDP developed nations and nobody talks about it.
posted by Jackson at 6:56 AM PST - 31 comments

Netanyahu Officially Indicted

Netanyahu Officially Indicted in Court After Withdrawing Immunity Bid.

Avichai Mandelblit, Attorney General of Israel, has indicted Benjamin Netanyahu on three cases: 4000, 2000, and 1000. [more inside]
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 6:23 AM PST - 14 comments

The computer is a magic box. Many graphic images are hidden inside it.

The Art Of Computer Designing: A Black and White Approach "This book is a beginner's introduction to calling forth these images as author Sato shows how to create figures with basic shapes - i.e., lines, arcs, squares and circles - and does so simply, clearly, and above all very logically. This is an everyday guide to computer illustrating, a collection of design ideas and a compendium of Mr. Sato's own computer art works. All the shapes in this book are black and white, but it is a black and white world full of potential. Just looking at the myriad manifestations of form is a joy, but for those who will use it to begin creating their own shapes this book offers far, far greater pleasure." [courtesy the Internet Archive] [more inside]
posted by Ten Cold Hot Dogs at 4:00 AM PST - 9 comments

Eulogy to last one minute, without hesitation, repetition or deviation

Nicholas Parsons, comedian, actor, radio presenter and host of Just A Minute, has died at the age of 96. Nicholas Parsons on Wikipedia.
posted by Major Clanger at 3:54 AM PST - 24 comments

January 27

Ancient yodel of justice, balance, and goodness

Takeo Ischi and Schmoyoho, of Chicken Attack fame (previously), are back with two new videos for your listening pleasure. Also, pigs and rats. And an accountant. No but wait! They're a CHICKEN accountant. All slyt. (Turn on the subtitles for additional descriptions) Takeo Ischi previously.
posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee at 10:44 PM PST - 6 comments

Goodnight Spitzer Space Telescope

On January 30th 2020, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope will complete its mission.

NASA is saying goodbye to one of its Great Observatories after a successful 16-year mission. The telescope will soon transmit the last of its science data and will be sent commands to power down. It will remain in space indefinitely, slowly drifting away from the earth. [more inside]
posted by peeedro at 10:19 PM PST - 13 comments

Dig through the clinches and burn through the inches

The same 80s Aerobics video with different songs is a Facebook account that does what it says:

Shake it Off
(the original video)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:50 PM PST - 31 comments

Squeeze the hand.

Phillip Agnew's 'With These Hands' – Powerful Bernie Rally Moment. (YouTube 5min16sec) Phillip Agnew works for the Sanders campaign and the clip is a very unique approach to politics that took a turn to something almost spiritual when he asked the crowd to get their neighbours permission to hold their hand. Big but good emotions follow. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, later during her speech, remarked that, Phillip "took them to church". Sen. Sanders wasn't there, as he had to work on the Trump impeachment in D.C. [more inside]
posted by phoque at 3:20 PM PST - 40 comments

Emma Willard: 'mapping time' in the way that cartography mapped space

The current proliferation of visual information mirrors a similar moment in the early nineteenth century, when the advent of new printing techniques coincided with the rapid expansion of education. Schoolrooms from the Atlantic seaboard to the Mississippi frontier made room for the children of farmers as well as merchants, girls as well as boys. Together, these shifts created a robust and highly competitive market for school materials, including illustrated textbooks, school atlases, and even the new genre of wall maps. No individual exploited this publishing opportunity more than Emma Willard, one of the century’s most influential educators. Emma Willard's Maps of Time (Public Domain Review) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 2:04 PM PST - 5 comments

"A preservation of the shady side of the 90s internet in Japan"

Game Urara (ゲームウララ) was a Japanese magazine focused on underground gaming culture (and BBSes and fetish material and warez and hacking and piracy) with a short lifespan of just five issues in the mid-1990s. The content could be described in one word: Madness. Every issue of Game Urara is available online at the Internet Archive [NSFW]. [more inside]
posted by youarenothere at 1:37 PM PST - 12 comments

Don’t leave jazz to the jazz guys

The music is more than a personality trait. (Shuja Haider, The Outline)
posted by Think_Long at 1:12 PM PST - 45 comments

"The Influencer's Ouroborous"

What happens when "relatable" YouTubers quit their day jobs to influence full time?
posted by backseatpilot at 11:00 AM PST - 33 comments

How to design AI that eliminates disability bias

How to design AI that eliminates disability bias (Financial Times, Twitter link in case of paywall issues) — "As AI is introduced into gadgets and services, stories of algorithmic discrimination have exposed the tendency of machine learning to magnify the prejudices that skew human decision-making against women and ethnic minorities, which machines were supposed to avoid. Equally rife, but less discussed, are AI's repercussions for those with disabilities." [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu at 10:37 AM PST - 28 comments

Adam Savage Tests Boston Dynamics' Spot Robot!

MeFi's own Adam Savage gets to play with the best toys. (SLYT) Boston Dynamics previously.
posted by valkane at 10:05 AM PST - 30 comments

ITMFA V: Carry On, Wayward Senate

As Trump’s lawyers begin their defense in the impeachment trial and Republicans rally around the president, an unpublished draft book by John Bolton asserts Trump tied Ukraine aid to the inquiries he sought (reprint), and provides an outline of what Mr. Bolton might testify to if he is called as a witness (reprint). Depending on what comes next, a final vote on whether to remove Donald Trump from office could happen before his State of the Union address on February 4. [more inside]
posted by katra at 8:05 AM PST - 1473 comments

“roguelike” does not mean the same thing in 2020 as it did in 1993.

The “Roguelike” War Is Over by jeremiah This blog post is an open letter (against my better judgment) to the roguelike community and specifically to the r/roguelikes subreddit. And on this subreddit, a war rages constantly. A war of words. [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 7:47 AM PST - 111 comments

The Economics of All-You-Can-Eat Buffets

Is it possible to out-eat the price you pay for a buffet? How do these places make money? Zachary Crockett of The Hustle looks at "the dollars and cents behind the meat and potatoes."
posted by Etrigan at 7:37 AM PST - 72 comments

"Hello, 911? That lady caught me taking a selfie"

Samantha Irby (whole buncha previously), NYT Bestselling author of We Are Never Meeting In Real Life and writer behind the best episode of Hulu's Shrill is featured in The New Yorker with an excerpt from her forthcoming book, Wow, No Thank You.
posted by Maaik at 7:13 AM PST - 8 comments

She was born in spring But I was born too late

She dropped a coin into the cup
Of a blind man at the gate...
“...Probably my favorite Dylan cover on what is easily my favorite Jerry Garcia Band recording. If not my favorite of any of Jerry's live output, The "After Midnight- Kean College 1980" show.
Then watch the show from the next night, 03/01/80 ... Two of his best ever....”
Via late night Local Stain MLTSHP
Dylan's version from Blood on the tracks (and Live from around Rolling Thunder)
Other covers:
Joan Baez from "Diamonds & Rust"
Jeff Twiddy
Diana Krall
wikipedia [more inside]
posted by growabrain at 12:26 AM PST - 6 comments

Disability history

How was school? Disabled people's experiences of education over the last century. Public Disability History, with narratives including depression in Nazi Germany and an amputee in Napoleonic France. Disabled people at Oxford University. Cabinet of Curiosities: How Disability was kept in a Box (performance by Mat Fraser). On Twitter, David Turner posts about disability history. [more inside]
posted by paduasoy at 12:20 AM PST - 4 comments

January 26

The remains of the most famous non-emperor Roman may have been found

Remains Found by Pompeii Really Are Probably are Pliny the Elder, New Tests Indicate Pliny the elder, author/admiral/polymath died attempting to rescue the citizens of Pompeii from the erupting volcano. A skull that was found in the early years of the 20th century on the shores of Stabiae along with a jawbone, jewels and a sword befitting a man of Pliny's stature have recently been re-evaluated and the cranium most likely does belong to one of Rome's most famous citizens. [more inside]
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 7:20 PM PST - 55 comments

The Svalbard Heist

The Bizarre Bank Robbery That Shook an Arctic Town
posted by Chrysostom at 6:30 PM PST - 21 comments

Can surgical masks protect you from getting the Flu?

As coronavirus races around the world, surgical masks are selling out everywhere. But evidence suggests they may not be that effective. Tl;dr wash your hands regularly, and try not to touch your face.
posted by smoke at 6:28 PM PST - 49 comments

Don't be scared for only the dark can show you the stars

Pet Shop Boys are back with their 14th album, Hotspot. This brings to a close their trilogy of albums with producer Stuart Price, who helmed the previous albums Electric and Super. Side A: Will-O-The-Wisp, You Are The One, Happy People, Dreamland (Featuring Years & Years) [official lyric video], Hoping For A Miracle [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 4:59 PM PST - 7 comments


Skooliepalooza is an annual festival that grew out of the skoolie.net forums for people who build, live, and travel in bus conversions. [more inside]
posted by peeedro at 3:56 PM PST - 9 comments

The Girlfriend's Guide to the Gods

This is the first myth: that your boyfriend from when you were fifteen will come and get you out of hell. He might come, but he won’t get you. You will never have an interesting conversation with him, though his haircut will suggest that he should be interesting. [more inside]
posted by Ragged Richard at 1:48 PM PST - 13 comments

Saudi Connection. A discussion of the 9/11 investigations

A NYTimes long read uncovering information about the terrorists that we never knew What did US intelligence know, and when did they know it? This article explores FBI discoveries and why we never got to hear about them. [more inside]
posted by mumimor at 1:22 PM PST - 7 comments

Six Inches Wide

A perfect shot at the indoor bowls championship. An interview with bowler Nick Brett.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:45 PM PST - 13 comments

Goodbye to the Visionary of Vegetables

If you've bought sunchokes (Jersusalem artichokes), dragon fruit, jicama, Stokes Purple sweet potatoes, kiwifruit, habanero peppers, or black garlic in a grocery store in the U.S., you' ll want to eat a fruit or vegetable today in honor of the woman who helped get them there: Frieda Rapoport Caplan, aka "“Kiwi Queen” and “Mother Gooseberry.” “Mushroom Lady” and “the “Mick Jagger of the produce world.” [She] broke the glass ceiling in the testosterone-doused produce world and forever changed the way Americans eat fruits and vegetables." [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 12:14 PM PST - 12 comments

The good and the bad. We have given each other all that we have.

Kobe Bryant, former NBA Star, has died in a helicopter crash. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:06 PM PST - 181 comments

Fantastic beasts and someone to draw them

In Hittite mythology, Illuyanka was a serpentine dragon slain by Tarhunt, the Hittite incarnation of the Hurrian god of sky and storm. Otora gitsune was a one-eyed, three-legged kitsune who lived in Aichi Prefecture. In Lugbaran mythology Adro is the epitome of all evil and the master of witches and wizards for people who live in the west Nile region of Uganda. El Sapo Fuerzo is a mythical toad from Chile. One of the creepier creatures in Scottish folklore, and certainly not something you want to meet on a dark night, is the brollachan. The linchetto is a sprite present in the popular tradition of the province of Lucca. The Sarmatian Sea Snail was a very odd creature that was in a medieval bestiary entitled On Monsters and Marvels, by a French surgeon named Ambroise Pare. The Colo Colo or Colocolo, is a malignant creature of Mapuche mythology. Artist Iman Joy El Shami-Mader is on a mission to illustrate all of the world's mythical beasts.
posted by youarenothere at 8:08 AM PST - 4 comments

learn category theory -- and haskell! :P

Programming with Categories - "In this course we explain how category theory—a branch of mathematics known for its ability to organize the key abstractions that structure much of the mathematical universe—has become useful for writing elegant and maintainable code." (course page; course notes; class summaries; via; also btw: Compositionality)
posted by kliuless at 7:43 AM PST - 59 comments

January 25

People will hear about this.

Yesterday, NPR anchor Mary Louise Kelly sat with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for an interview. Pompeo stormed off when the interview became hard for him, then afterwards, invited Kelly to his office, where he berated her, cursed at her, and bullied her. Today, Pompeo released a statement.
posted by valkane at 8:54 PM PST - 109 comments

Werner Herzog Hears Paul F. Tompkins' Werner Herzog

Werner Herzog hears Paul F. Tompkins' "Yelp Review for Trader Joe's on Hyperion". Madness reigns. (via Studio 360)
posted by Etrigan at 7:01 PM PST - 31 comments

"...with time you will accept that I can sing...and you will listen"

Bertsolaritza is a form of improvised sung poetry traditional in Basque Country. In 2009, Maialen Lujanbio Zugasti became the first woman to win the Bertsolari Txapelketa Nagusia, a competition held every four years covering all regions of Basque Country. In 2017, she became the first woman to win it twice. She was part of the generation of young bersolaris that started to revive the tradition in the 1980s. [more inside]
posted by nangar at 6:38 PM PST - 4 comments

the ballyhooed initiative failed spectacularly

On the failures of charismatic technology, with the MIT Media Lab's "One Laptop Per Child" as a case study: Advocates presented a vision of student-led educational experiences as antidotes to stultifying American-style learning factories or “classrooms” in the Global South, which “might be under a tree.” Nicholas Negroponte explicitly referred to OLPC’s machines as the “Trojan horses” that would introduce the ideology of constructionism into foreign classrooms, undermine government control of education, and “provide a shortcut to social change.” At one point, he even suggested tossing the rugged green laptops out of helicopters and letting children teach themselves. “It’s like a Coke bottle falling out of the sky,” he explained.
posted by ChuraChura at 1:30 PM PST - 66 comments

N. K. Jemisin’s Dream Worlds

[N. K.] Jemisin’s writing process often begins with dreams: imagery vivid enough to hang on into wakefulness. She does not so much mine them for insight as treat them as portals to hidden worlds. Her tendency is to interrogate what she sees with if/then questions, until her field of vision widens enough for her to glimpse a landscape that can hold a narrative. The inspiration for her début novel, “The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms” (2010) [Amazon; Goodreads], was a dream vision of two gods. One had dark-as-night hair that contained a starry cosmos of infinite depth; the other, in a child’s body, manipulated planets like toys. From these images, Jemisin spun out a four-hundred-page story about an empire that enslaves its deities. The book established her as a prominent new voice. Overview and interview with The New Yorker (archived link) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:07 PM PST - 12 comments

Megavalanche Megacrash

Megavalanche (nicknamed "Mega") is a downhill mountain bike race held annually at the Alpe D'Huez ski resort in the French Alps.
The event starts on the glaciated summit of Pic Blanc in Huez and descends to the valley bottom for a total of over 2,600 vertical meters (8530 feet) and a 20 km (12 miles) distance.
The mass-start race is known for its fast speeds and winding turns over varying terrain, with hundreds of riders descending the mountain at once.
Here is the big crash of 2019.
(Here's the Winner's full run, 32 min.)
Previously, the 2018 winner's SLYT
posted by growabrain at 11:30 AM PST - 20 comments

Happy Chinese New Year's!

And now let's eat! [more inside]
posted by storybored at 9:35 AM PST - 32 comments

Google Search Product Bluefilter

Google Dataset Search
Now-it’s-no-longer-in-beta announcement blog post: “Discovering millions of datasets on the web”
posted by Going To Maine at 9:24 AM PST - 11 comments

January 25, 1995. Selhurst Park, London.

The Kick. The press conference. 25 years on. In his own words looking back. [more inside]
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 7:46 AM PST - 11 comments

Asian Americans and anti-blackness

Awkwafina's Past Makes Her a Complicated Icon of Asian American Representation. Who really owns the "Blaccent"? Awkwafina and the trend of Asian American creatives using anti-blackness to enter Hollywood. You can be both brown and anti-black: On Lilly Singh and modern day blackface . Eddie Huang's Misogynistic, Anti-Black Activism.
posted by toastyk at 7:35 AM PST - 19 comments

Would Happen If Stephen King Were Treated Like a Latina Writer

Would Happen If Stephen King Were Treated Like a Latina Writer Alisa Valdes imagines what would happen if America's #1 horror writer faced the same kind of issues latina authors do when they try and promote their books. [more inside]
posted by miss-lapin at 6:20 AM PST - 24 comments

January 24

Mac Miller's posthumous album

Circles - "I ain't coming down, why would I need to. So much of this world is above us baby." (Jon Brion and Zane Lowe - Circles Interview; Mac Miller - Interview with Zane Lowe; via)
posted by kliuless at 11:42 PM PST - 3 comments

The 30-something life crisis

The pressure to hit adult milestones is out of sync for many of today’s 30-somethings...Nearly every therapist I spoke with over email or phone talked about unmet expectations. “One of the main words I listen for in a session is ‘should,’” said Megan Bearce, who sees many 30-somethings. “I should have a child, I should be married by now, I should love my job.” [more inside]
posted by cynical pinnacle at 2:53 PM PST - 91 comments

fun center

EarthsWorld takes candid portraits of people at public events, mostly in the US pacific northwest. (via)
posted by eotvos at 1:22 PM PST - 33 comments

Cheaters never prosper 2017 update: they do sometimes win a world series

The Astro's cheating scandal gets an update as the punishments have been decided by the league office. The Astros manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were suspended for only a year (though subsequently fired), and the team was stripped of it's first and second-round draft picks for 2020 and 2021. Alex Cora and Carlos Beltrán were also fired/resigned from managing the Red Sox and the Mets (though some could argue managing the Mets is punishment enough) [more inside]
posted by Carillon at 12:59 PM PST - 53 comments

Street maps

This tool draws a pared-down map of just the roads in any city. [Via Daring Fireball and Kottke.org]
posted by veggieboy at 12:44 PM PST - 31 comments

“I am not in the entertainment business.”

Co-founder of PBS NewsHour and journalism legend Jim Lehrer has passed away at the age of 85. [more inside]
posted by vverse23 at 12:34 PM PST - 43 comments

“My one ambition is to play a hero.”

One of the First Hollywood Heartthrobs Was a Smoldering Japanese Actor. What Happened? [Atlas Obscura] “If you think about silent-film era sex symbols, you probably conjure up a mental picture of Rudolph Valentino—even if you don’t know his name. Valentino has become synonymous with sex appeal in early films. But he wasn’t the first male star of American movies to make millions of American women go weak at the knees. That distinction goes to Sessue Hayakawa, the Japanese star of Cecil B. DeMille’s cinematic rape drama, The Cheat.” [A Brief Bio & Film History: Who was Sessue Hayakawa?][Career Highlights and Retrospective][IMDB][wiki] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 12:11 PM PST - 9 comments

Spotted while resting: a ruin by a gentle river

Takuma Okada's Alone Among the Stars is a journaling game for one person. You play an explorer encountering strange animals, plants, ruins, and phenomena on far-off planets. All you need to play are a six-sided die, writing implements and a deck of cards. There is an online Twine adaptation, by Adam Roy, and an interactive Twitter implementation, by Matthew R.F. Balousek. [more inside]
posted by Iridic at 11:40 AM PST - 7 comments

"Outdoor public stairways are a window into the soul of a community"

Welcome to PublicStairs.com, the web site devoted to the discovery and documentation of major* outdoor public stairways anywhere in the world. This web site is a labor of love brought to you by Doug and Joan Beyerlein of Mill Creek, Washington. (* "Major" is defined herein as a continuous series of a minimum of 100 stairs.) The Stair Maps show that this is a very US-centric project, but there are some identified in Canada, UK, Germany, New Zealand, Thailand, Iceland, Italy, Saint Helena Island, Australia, Spain, and France, and the extreme list includes some notable stairs in other countries. Also, it's a charmingly Web 1.0 design, if that's a factor you consider for websites.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:36 AM PST - 41 comments

It's all of us caring for each other.

The Feminist Survival Project 2020 Emily and Amelia Nagoski wrote a book about burnout and ways to complete the stress cycle with concrete, specific, and evidence-based methods. Then they made a podcast about it. This podcast is changing my life. [more inside]
posted by faethverity at 11:31 AM PST - 5 comments

Confessions of a Hate Reader

The thing is, in consuming so much criticism, especially the bad faith nitpick-y genre-oblivious sort, I have interalised these critical voices. Much like how others have internalised the voice of a discouraging teacher or an overbearing partner. And it has been bad for my writing.
posted by storytam at 9:58 AM PST - 7 comments

Where there is a fête, there is murder.

Your guide to not getting murdered in a quaint English village: a list of people (e.g. the vicar, the impoverished aristocrat, the local historian who's just found something very interesting) and places (e.g. the village fête, local basements, and anywhere with a vat) to avoid if you find yourself in an English Murder Village and want to make it out alive! [more inside]
posted by andrewesque at 9:36 AM PST - 54 comments

Our knowledge of the past is odourless

In the heritage context, experiencing what the world smelled like in the past enriches our knowledge of it, and, because of the unique relation between odours and memories, allows us to engage with our history in a more emotional way. Smell of Heritage explores the identification, analysis and archival of smells, from determining and describing culturally significant aromas, to the scientific techniques that can help us capture and understand the compounds that make them. [more inside]
posted by youarenothere at 9:20 AM PST - 22 comments

Online Safety Tool and Procedure Kit

All the tools you need to improve your online safety. An easy to read, one-stop checklis of tools and procedure to keep yourself safe online. A nice feature is you can sort them by cost and effort. e.g. start with "quick and easy" for the low-hanging fruit. Security Planner is a project of the Citizen Lab, an interdisciplinary group based at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. Their recommendations are made by a committee of experts in digital security and have gone through a rigorous peer review evaluation.
posted by storybored at 8:02 AM PST - 47 comments

Enhance 34 to 46. Pull back - wait a minute. Go right. Stop.

Police to start using facial recognition cameras in London. The Met Police in London will use the system on a routine basis "overtly" and would warn people by "handing out leaflets". In tests, four in five of the people flagged by the system were innocent - but judges said a deployment in Cardiff was legal. [more inside]
posted by humuhumu at 6:57 AM PST - 21 comments

文言文編程語言 A programming language for the ancient Chinese

文言, or wenyan , is an esoteric programming language that closely follows the grammar and tone of classical Chinese literature. Moreover, the alphabet of wenyan contains only traditional Chinese characters and 「」 quotes, so it is guaranteed to be readable by ancient Chinese people. You too can try it out on the online editor, download a compiler, or view the source code. Wenyan can also render wenyan scripts into the format of ancient printed books.
posted by daisyk at 6:36 AM PST - 20 comments

Crowdsource Bad Drivers

Evolving from the Twitter bot How's My Driving DC, the app Our Streets has been released, allowing vulnerable road users to crowdsource data on dangerous drivers. The app is intended to identify hotspots of dangerous activity like parking in bike lanes, aggressive driving, and speeding. Bicycling magazine provides a breakdown.
posted by backseatpilot at 6:03 AM PST - 49 comments

"We have been trashing the house, and then leaving it to our kids."

Have the Boomers Pinched Their Children’s Futures? The post-war baby boom of 1945-65 produced the biggest and richest generation in British history. David Willetts discusses how these boomers have attained this position at the expense of younger generations. (YouTube, 47m) [more inside]
posted by Acey at 5:38 AM PST - 26 comments

The heroin commuters of Öresund

When Denmark liberalised its drug control regime and opened safe injecting rooms for users, the rate of overdoses and drug-related fatalities dropped. One unintended consequence was an influx of Swedish heroin users into Copenhagen. Unlike Denmark, Sweden takes a zero-tolerance approach to illegal drugs, to the point of prohibiting mitigation measures which could be seen as encouraging drug use. The result of this is that some Swedish heroin users find it better to sleep rough in Denmark, where they have access to safe injecting facilities, than to remain in Sweden. [more inside]
posted by acb at 5:03 AM PST - 4 comments

Sailors and Saints Across the Indian Ocean

A Dhow’s Voyage
posted by Mrs Potato at 3:48 AM PST - 4 comments

Car crash causes first denial of extradition to the UK by US government

No extradition request from the US to the UK had ever been denied. Until teenager Harry Dunn was killed while riding his motorcycle near an RAF base used by the US in Northamptonshire. [more inside]
posted by plonkee at 3:47 AM PST - 67 comments

January 23

It's later than you think

Today, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the Doomsday Clock past the two-minutes-to-midnight mark for the first time in its 73-year history. It is now 100 seconds to midnight. Previously on the Blue: 2016: A few seconds closer to Midnight? 2015: Do you know the time? 2007: I swear it was 7 just a couple of minutes ago...
posted by non canadian guy at 3:27 PM PST - 37 comments

This is very dumb

Daniella Emmanuel at Buzzfeed: “Guys On TikTok Are Putting Soy Sauce On Their Testicles And Claiming They Can Taste It, So I Spoke To A Doctor”
Canéla Lopez at Business Insider: “TikTok users are dipping their testicles in soy sauce ‘to taste it,’ but testes don't have tastebuds”
Whitney Kimball at Gizmodo: “TikTok Teens Are Dipping Their Balls in Soy Sauce and Lighting Their Houses on Fire”
posted by Going To Maine at 1:07 PM PST - 126 comments

Before they found the body behind their sorority house...

Her Sorority Sisters Suspected She Was Pregnant. What Did Emile Weaver Know? For months, Emile Weaver denied her pregnancy. A gruesome discovery forced her to confront the truth. (Elle by Alex Ronan)
posted by crazy with stars at 1:00 PM PST - 45 comments

Into each life some rain must fall …and fall …and fall …and fall

10 years of US weather radar in two hours [YouTube]. This time-lapse movie, starting from January 2010, shows ten years of precipitation in a mosaic of all the NEXRAD radar sites in the contiguous states. NEXRAD is a network of 159 high-resolution Doppler radars maintained by the National Weather Service. Besides precipitation intensity, Doppler radar can also detect the direction and velocity of wind inside a thunderstorm, making it invaluable for tracking tornadoes and detecting straight-line winds caused by downbursts. Many commenters on the YouTube page have identified specific timecodes in the movie where you can see noteworthy instances of severe weather such as tornado swarms, derechos, hurricanes, and nor’easters [see the end of this post for a partial list]. [more inside]
posted by theory at 12:40 PM PST - 11 comments

we will be represented as the 'other' people, the ones you have to kill.

A How-To Guide for Muslim Representation in Video Games [Discussion at GDC from 2018][24:30] “Islam has an image problem. And it's not just recent world events that have led to an undue level of scrutiny and prejudice. The media has been pigeonholing Muslims for years. You need only watch a few episodes of 24 or Homeland to see that Muslims, particularly those of Arab descent, are almost always painted as the enemy. "The current political and cultural climate is the reason in media we are the bad guys right now," said Rami Ismail, a co-founder of Vlambeer, an independent game studio based in the Netherlands. The same broad brush, he says, applies to video games too. The Call of Duty franchise, for example, is rife with Muslim villains -- like Khaled Al-Asad in Modern Warfare. "That's Call of Duty, over and over. Shoot all the Arabs," said Ismail. "Muslim blood is the cheapest in the world." Ismail spoke last week on a panel at the annual Game Developers Conference about Muslim representation in video games. The presentation's tone was a sombre one. [via: Engadget] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 11:41 AM PST - 18 comments

Why would someone build an entire factory for making abandoned buttons?

A photograph supposedly showing “millions” of colorful buttons littering a dilapidated staircase has been circulating on social media for several years, attached to the claim that the image was taken inside an abandoned button factory. Snopes checked out the claim, tracked down the original Instagram post from an urban explorer, and an extensive Greek article with another explorer's photos (Google auto-translation), and the actual factory in Google streetview. The Greek article names the button company/ factory as Nina, that it started manufacturing buttons in the 1940s, and that buttons produced by this company “were placed on the clothes of half of Greece in the 1960s and 1970s.” [Via Mltshp]
posted by filthy light thief at 11:21 AM PST - 15 comments

can be little nuisances when not frozen

Out cold: unseasonal temperatures litter south Florida with stunned iguanas [The Guardian]
posted by readinghippo at 10:54 AM PST - 16 comments

Brain of Glass

Archaeologists have long known that the heat from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE was extreme enough to turn victims' brain matter into soap, a process known as saponification. A new short paper in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that at least one victim's brain was vitrified--fused into glass.
posted by sugar and confetti at 10:37 AM PST - 28 comments

Train Daddy has left the station for good

Andy Byford, Cuomo’s popular subways chief, resigns (for good this time) Andy Byford, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority transit chief credited with leading the turnaround of the New York City subway system, is resigning again, the MTA has confirmed to POLITICO.
posted by SansPoint at 9:42 AM PST - 43 comments

You have to turn on the subtitles to fully enjoy this

A Frisbee, pushed by the wind, rolling on a frozen lake in Maine. I repeat: you have to turn on the subtitles to fully enjoy this.
posted by ShooBoo at 8:20 AM PST - 43 comments

Rupa's Proto-Balearic Bengali Beats

Despite never having set foot in a nightclub, Rupa Biswas made a Bengali disco album on holiday in Canada in the early 1980s, which sank without trace. Decades later, her son discovered that copies were selling online for hundreds of dollars and that one track in particular had racked up millions of views on YouTube. Now the singer is receiving proceeds from the Numero Group reissue and corresponding with fans around the world. [more inside]
posted by rory at 8:05 AM PST - 7 comments

Rise of the Dancefluencer

These L.A. dancers show how the internet is helping nontraditional talent break into the industry
posted by Etrigan at 8:01 AM PST - 2 comments

What if you mixed modern NIN with Talking Heads with Eddie's voice?

Pearl Jam: Dance Of The Clairvoyants. New single ahead of a new album. It's unlike anything they've done before. Music video: Dance Of The Clairvoyants (Mach I). [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 6:29 AM PST - 40 comments

“Can I copy your homework?” “Okay, but don’t make it too obvious.”

There are only 10 types of movies. Twitter or Thread reader (Source).
posted by ellieBOA at 3:53 AM PST - 39 comments

January 22


Facility is a new print-only magazine about bathrooms. One part of the magazine is available online, however: a list of codes for public restrooms in several US cities.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:26 PM PST - 33 comments

how to be a good indigenous ally

How do you cross that invisible line that takes you from being in the Aboriginal 'good books' to being on the s**t list?, writes Summer May Finlay. (SBS NITV) [more inside]
posted by freethefeet at 8:57 PM PST - 14 comments

Houses with names

Welcome to the first edition of the McMansion Hell Yearbook - a year by year account of how the McMansion came to be. We begin our tour of time in the year 1970.
posted by waving at 7:33 PM PST - 69 comments

Better living through caffeination

Systematically Improving Espresso: Insights from Mathematical Modeling and ExperimentConsidering a 25% reduction in coffee mass (i.e., $0.025 saving), and considering the daily coffee consumption in the United States (124,000,000 espresso-based beverages per day), our protocol yields $3.1 million savings per day, or $1.1 billion per year.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 3:47 PM PST - 17 comments

The chicken-or-egg of big gods, morality, and societal complexity

First there were little gods. People then developed complex civilizations, and those people then created big, "morally concerned" gods. That's a very succinct summary of a study using a huge historical database (The Conversation, March 20, 2019), which was published in Nature (abstract; link to full PDF via Nautilus article titled The Worth of an Angry God: How supernatural beliefs allowed societies to bond and spread, which poses a counter-argument to this theory). The huge database is Seshat Databank, named after the ancient Egyptian goddess of wisdom, knowledge, and writing (Wikipedia). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 11:18 AM PST - 37 comments

📴✉️ They designed an envelope to hide your phone from yourself

Envelope - temporarily transform your phone into a simpler, calmer device [YouTube] “A set of envelopes which temporarily transform your phone into a simpler, calmer device, helping you to take a break away from your digital world. Many people feel that they spend too much time on their phones and struggle to find a balance with technology. We have designed a series of special paper envelopes which completely transform the functionality of your smartphone for the time it is sealed inside, allowing you to enjoy fewer distractions for a little while. One envelope turns your phone into a very basic device which can only make and receive calls, while the other turns your phone into a photo and video camera with no screen, helping you to focus on what’s in front of you. Printed buttons which subtly light up allow you to dial and take photographs, creating a calm but magical “Envelope User Interface”.” [Android app](Currently only supports the Google Pixel 3a)[GitHub][.PDF]
posted by Fizz at 10:09 AM PST - 56 comments

"I just want to be happy"

Why Finland And Denmark Are Happier Than The U.S.
(Previously): World Happiness Report
posted by growabrain at 9:52 AM PST - 36 comments

Gutting the IRS

The IRS Decided to Get Tough Against Microsoft. Microsoft Got Tougher. For years, the company has moved billions in profits to Puerto Rico to avoid taxes. When the IRS pushed it to pay, Microsoft protested that the agency wasn’t being nice. Then it aggressively fought back in court, lobbied Congress and changed the law. (SL ProPublica by Paul Kiel)
posted by crazy with stars at 9:47 AM PST - 9 comments

Reality; go home; you drunk

Signed into law Dec 20, 2019, Space Force is alive and has a space force hub named SPOC [more inside]
posted by mightshould at 9:23 AM PST - 78 comments

a way to avoid being, without allowing time itself to end

Online public spaces are now being slowly taken over by beef-only thinkers, as the global culture wars evolve into a stable, endemic, background societal condition of continuous conflict. As the Great Weirding morphs into the Permaweird, the public internet is turning into the Internet of Beefs. [more inside]
posted by Ten Cold Hot Dogs at 8:48 AM PST - 95 comments

Philosophy Twitch

Lefty youtube channel Philosophy Tube drops the politics to talk about what really matters: The Trouble with the Video Game Industry. Previously: 1, 2, 3, 4.
posted by postcommunism at 8:31 AM PST - 9 comments

The Incredible Adventures of Man Spider

This is the story of a spider bitten by a radioactive man and imbued with the powers of being human. This comic is not based on a true story (it’s based on billions of true stories).
posted by Etrigan at 7:58 AM PST - 9 comments

Becoming A Man

P. Carl writes an essay about his experiences with masculinity as a trans man. [SLNYT]
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 7:42 AM PST - 25 comments

The Joy Of Lizzo

[Lizzo] has become a new kind of pop superstar, full of relentless positivity. But it took a long time and a lot of heartache [medium length read] Rolling Stone profiles the top Grammy nominee, also a minor MetaFilter favorite. [NSFW for artful naked/near-naked photography]
posted by hippybear at 6:12 AM PST - 21 comments

No he isn't! He's resting...

Monty Python's Terry Jones has died aged 77.
posted by Cardinal Fang at 5:36 AM PST - 188 comments

January 21

Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before

The most common last name in every country | See also: Why are there so many Smiths in the world?
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 4:23 PM PST - 95 comments

Several reporters, including me, made it a policy not to quote her.

Faith Hope Consolo was a commercial real estate trailblazer in New York City, specializing in flagship retail stores. But shortly after her obituary was published in 2018, its writer "received a message through LinkedIn, the kind that every journalist dreads"... She Was a Star of New York Real Estate, but Her Life Story Was a Lie [NYT, but I promise it's worth it]
posted by Mchelly at 2:22 PM PST - 24 comments

Farewell to America

This is the summer I will leave America, after 12 years as a foreign correspondent, and return to London. My decision to come back to Britain was prompted by banal, personal factors that have nothing to do with current events; if my aim was to escape aggressive policing and racial disadvantage, I would not be heading to Hackney. In 2015, Gary Younge moved back to the U.K. But first he wrote a long read about all the reasons why, as a Black father, moving made sense. (Content warning for violence and racism.) [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 2:15 PM PST - 6 comments

How one move can make climbing more inclusive

We listened as Emily explained the four major elements that are involved in climbing: the mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional. I think my jaw dropped when, partway through the clinic, Emily asked us, “How is anyone going to ‘go for it’ when their heart center is heavy and weighing them down?”

Anaheed Saatchi writes about how the climbing community can become more inclusive and intersectionally aware, starting with one challenging move: the dyno.
posted by daisyk at 12:08 PM PST - 19 comments

awkward pastel drawing of a person peering through a magnifying glass

Somebody figured out where the hell exactly all those WikiHow images come from. (Spoiler alert: low-paying distributed freelance labor.)
posted by cortex at 11:51 AM PST - 25 comments

The Six Levels of Affluence

"If I gave you $100, would that change your life? What about $100,000? How about $100 million? Your answer will depend on many things including age, family situation, and your current net worth. More importantly though, how you change your behavior after receiving such money can tell you a lot about your current financial standing." Climbing the Wealth Ladder
posted by COD at 11:31 AM PST - 64 comments

"not a technical problem"

Will artificial intelligence fix hiring discrimination? Well, no, but what do people think about it? And if AI isn't the answer, what is? In two blog posts, data scientist @ryxcommar discusses the snake oil of HireVue et al, public discourse thereof, and conducts a mini-survey of his own, with disconcerting results. [more inside]
posted by theodolite at 10:06 AM PST - 14 comments

What does it mean to be human? And what does it mean to be… a goose?

The Untitled Goose Game and Philosophy [Sidequest] “The Goose does good, but it is a self-serving good. Were it not a goose but a man, would we not praise the Goose’s efforts? Would we not commend him for disrupting capitalism? For returning the carefully confined garden to its wild and free nature? Perhaps, and yet the Goose is trapped in an earthly, goosely flesh. Each day the Goose drives the humble village further from God’s light and closer to depravity. But is that not what was foretold? Boehme theorized that not only would the Fall of Man occur, but that it was necessary, that it would catalyze man’s evolution. To the villagers, the Goose can do no good. The Goose is devilry and chaos. The Goose is the catalyst.”
posted by Fizz at 9:46 AM PST - 45 comments

Terrifying and heartbreaking stories of the Underground Railroad, sung

Harriet Tubman may be the best-known conductor of the Underground Railroad, but a new album highlights another key figure: William Still [an abolitionist, historian and conductor for the Underground Railroad], who helped nearly 800 enslaved African Americans escape to freedom in the years before the Civil War. He's featured prominently in the new film Harriet [...] and he's the central figure of Sanctuary Road, a new oratorio (official YT playlist) by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Paul Moravec based on Still's 1872 book The Underground Railroad (Archive.org). Kent Tritle deftly leads the Oratorio Society of New York Orchestra, Chorus and a dynamic cast of African American soloists. (NPR) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:42 AM PST - 1 comment

Menses Magazines

Rag mags and monthly issues: Five period zines to stop you seeing red [more inside]
posted by youarenothere at 8:54 AM PST - 4 comments

Het Lam Gods

Eight years into the restoration of the famous Ghent Altarpiece, overpainting has been removed to reveal the face of the Lamb of God as envisioned by the Van Eyck brothers, unseen since it was covered up in the 16th century. [more inside]
posted by Copronymus at 8:29 AM PST - 45 comments

"Mars is awful."

So your local techno-libertarian wants to build a new home off-world. What are the challenges (YT) to supporting human life on Mars? What's most likely to kill you? And even if we can keep people healthy for more than a short period, what would it look like to work on Mars?
posted by backseatpilot at 6:18 AM PST - 100 comments

Animal Antics

Grizzly Bear Fight!
Elephant Investigates Hotel

And because humans are animals: Baby's First Taste of Ice Cream
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:58 AM PST - 14 comments

The Fight Over a Wealthy Biochemist’s Frozen Head

A fraught, multi-million-dollar legal battle over the frozen head of a now-deceased biochemist escalated into fraud claims this week, after four years of wild allegations that at one point involved talk of a wax dummy head and an alleged hidden will.
posted by Etrigan at 5:51 AM PST - 19 comments

January 20

What we still haven’t learned from Gamergate

Gamergate should have armed us against bad actors and bad-faith arguments. It didn’t. It’s natural to assess what sociocultural lessons we’ve learned from the previous decade, now that we’ve entered a new one — and whether they’re the kinds that might help us make the 2020s a better era. No honest attempt at such an assessment can be complete without grappling with the messy human dramas and the increasing trend toward polarized, incendiary conversations that emerged in the latter half of the 2010s. And that means contending with the unlikely, unpleasant, and far-reaching watershed movement that was Gamergate...Six years later, here’s a look at some of the lessons we still need to learn from Gamergate in order to keep its victims safe — and in order to keep the next decade from producing a movement that’s even worse. [more inside]
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 8:59 PM PST - 60 comments

I have no idea how this pianist got their cat wedged into a piano or why

But the cat seems to enjoy it. [more inside]
posted by carter at 6:10 PM PST - 23 comments

A World Without Pain

It is rare, but there are people who are born without the ability to feel pain. Joanne Cameron has never experience pain, but she is unique in that she also has never experienced the extremes of rage, dread, grief, anxiety, or fear. The hours spent staring into the dark, looping around our own personal grand prix of anxieties, are not a waste of time but a fundamental expression of our humanity. And so on. To be a person is to suffer. But what if our worst feelings are just vestigial garbage? ... Pain is what makes joy, gratitude, mercy, hilarity, and empathy so precious. Unless it isn’t. (SLNYer)
posted by ShooBoo at 5:50 PM PST - 31 comments

I can't remember where I left my library card

The Radiohead Public Library is now open for business. [more inside]
posted by Diskeater at 5:31 PM PST - 16 comments

How to Make Sense of an Undrowned Town

Residents of Celles in France were evicted so their village could be flooded. Then, it wasn’t.
posted by cynical pinnacle at 5:25 PM PST - 10 comments

How to Thermal Your RC Glider

First you launch the glider. Then you follow the wind. The birds know what they're doing.
posted by clawsoon at 4:12 PM PST - 9 comments

Content Moderation is Unending Warfare

“I worried about that a lot when it was in the initial stages. The reality is that any app, such as a hookup app, can be used to manipulate and hurt others, primarily women. I figured, isn’t it better to try to foster human connection than not?” ... The woman stares into the pools of bottomless remorse and empathy that are the rapist’s girlfriend’s eyes. She is utterly sincere; the woman can tell. The rapist’s girlfriend truly believes that she and the rapist are making the world a better place." From You Will Never Be Forgotten by Mary South [The New Yorker] [CW: pretty much everything. Rape, gun violence, cannibalism, San Francisco real estate, venture capital, &c. ] [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 1:40 PM PST - 8 comments

To understand Martin Luther King Jr., don't rely on the highlights reel

Reducing King to a teddy bear of a civil rights figure robs him of how much he risked and makes it easier to vilify modern activists, experts said. Perspective on Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy including links to several seminal speeches. [more inside]
posted by jj's.mama at 12:57 PM PST - 13 comments

loving and hating and loving and fighting each other

Queering Shakespeare: Tessa Gratton on Lady Hotspur and her adaptation of Henry IV, Part I. Source material: Project Gutenberg, youtube (edited version).
posted by curious nu at 12:47 PM PST - 3 comments

the leech triumphantly oozed its way back into the hospital

The modern medical leech is not a myth, or a homeopathy you can only find behind the counter at a store selling healing crystals. Indeed, these toothy worms are serious tools for the 21st-century doctor. At Duke and in prominent hospitals around the country, from Johns Hopkins to the Mayo Clinic, leeches have found particular utility in the post-surgical ward doing what they do best: draining blood... “The patients always get a huge kick out of it when we say we’re going to use leeches on something,” says Shammas. “They think it’s the coolest thing in the world.” Bradley Allf writes for Atlas Obscura on The Leech's Journey.
posted by ChuraChura at 11:41 AM PST - 37 comments

Sabbath-sanctioned Sips

Here are several hundred reviews of kosher wine and spirits by Yehoshua Werth. [more inside]
posted by youarenothere at 8:29 AM PST - 8 comments


The state of blackness in games [Eurogamer] “Seeing a black person in a game is still a strange experience more often than not. For the longest time, black characters seemed to fall precisely into two categories, scary and...funky: Your average scary black character is at first glance like so many other men in games. He's buff, and he has a gun. What you need to take into account however, is how this stereotype has affected black men in real life: many people still readily draw the conclusion that a black man who looks a certain way is likely to have a history that includes a council house upbringing and a brush or two with the law. [...] The funky black guy either sports an afro, says "yo" a lot, wears sunglasses indoors, or all three. He's also usually loud, and claims to be a "free spirit" or anything else that makes people think of Chris Rock or Dennis Rodman. He's often a quest-giver, or someone who appears in the background for laughs, such as in Persona 4 or Ni no Kuni 2. There's often at least one character of this type in every fighting game, including Tekken and Dead or Alive.” [Previously.] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 7:49 AM PST - 21 comments

"What's a Smilin' Face When the Whole State's Racist?"

In 1991, rap group Public Enemy released 'By the Time I Get to Arizona,' a song about Arizona's failure to recognize Martin Luther King Day as a holiday. [more inside]
posted by box at 6:36 AM PST - 32 comments

Of Twenty-Two North American Birds

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, What bird are you most like?
posted by jjray at 6:26 AM PST - 103 comments

January 19


OKAY. The Princess Bride. Super well known and beloved film, and I have absolutely no idea what it's about. Now I did initially think it was the one (also not seen) where the lady comes down on a meteor or something but apparently not so, and I think I also got it mixed up with Zorro? Idk i've not seen that one either. So my best guess is 1) there's a princess and 2) she's a bride. Now this seems, to me, pretty standard so idk why this movie is so beloved. […]

So... let's dive in?
Twitter | Threadreader
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:18 PM PST - 155 comments

Tocatta And Fugue In C64

"It struck me that, at least in theory, organ pipes should generate quite primitive sound waves. If so, how come a church organ doesn't sound like a chip tune, which is also built up from simple waveforms? Well, actually it will, if you remove the church."
posted by mhoye at 7:05 PM PST - 25 comments

*hoo* *hee* *hoo*

If you watched the recent streaming series The Mandalorian, you may have noticed that the theme song , by Ludwig Göransson, used as a major element a woodwind not normally featured: the recorder. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:38 PM PST - 30 comments

Sometimes we need a little glimmer of hope for humanity...

If so, you might find “American Flowers” by Birds of Chicago comforting.
posted by HuronBob at 4:28 PM PST - 5 comments

Imagine Herbie

The Imagine Project was a studio album released by Herbie Hancock released on June 22, 2010 The title song was Imagine by John Lennon, a reminder that Lennon was an excellent songwriter. Other songs were Peter Gabriel's "Don't Give Up", Moraes and Baden Powell's "Tempo de Amor", Matthew Moores "Space Captain", Bob Dylans "The Times, They Are A' Changin'", Larry Klein's "The Song Goes On", "La Tierra" by Juan Esteban Aristizabal. While the chosen songs were all international hits, the main point was the international musical collaboration. [more inside]
posted by mumimor at 3:29 PM PST - 4 comments

Making Civic Literacy Fun Again: iCivics

Are the kids in your life asking difficult questions about representative democracy in the U.S.? Asking you to talk about how impeachment and conviction work? Supplement your explanations with iCivics, a free online resource whose goal is to help students become more familiar with citizenship through play. Run a county! Oversee the federal budget! Be a juror! [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 2:48 PM PST - 6 comments

Runaway Train OST by Trevor Jones

Trevor Jones' early film score career was full of 80s rock elements. He is perhaps remembered best from the instrumentals from Labyrinth. His 1985 score for Runaway Train (Jon Voight, Rebecca De Mornay, Eric Roberts) is more of that, only much more. If you like the non-Bowie bits of Labyrinth music, then maybe this propulsive soundtrack album is worth a listen! Side A: Jail Break!, Moving On, Destination Unknown, Clear The Tracks!, Reflections, Runaway Train [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 1:04 PM PST - 2 comments

Macro photos of insects, taken by Sasi Kumar on his smartphone

Sasi Kumar is a 20-year-old university student based in Vellore, India who’s also an amateur photographer in his free time. His passion is to go into the fields around his city and photograph the hidden world of bugs that most people just travel past. [...] “I use various types of lenses to capture tiny insects which provide me with a much closer magnification,” Kumar tells SWNS. “All the photos are captured through my mobile phone.” (PetaPixel | sasikumar_ksk on Instagram) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:03 PM PST - 7 comments

Cunning and Logic: The International Imagery of "Mastermind"

Back before the adults of the Western World depended almost exclusively upon digital sprites for their entertainment and began dressing up as toys and cartoons, one of the world’s most popular games was synonymous with the image of an immaculately groomed, middle-aged Caucasian man and a beautiful Asian woman. Fingers steepled, he sat staring condescendingly down his nose at we, his potential opponents, while she stood behind him, regarding us with enigmatic detachment. ... The game was Mastermind.
posted by Etrigan at 12:45 PM PST - 35 comments

Home-flipping company evicts homeless Oakland mothers and their children

Oakland’s Moms 4 Housing Were Evicted by a Giant Corporation That Runs National Home-Flipping Operation "But where housing activists once faced off against major banks, they’re increasingly coming up against faceless corporations operating with even less transparency. The West Oakland home occupied by Moms 4 Housing was purchased at a foreclosure auction by a subsidiary of Wedgewood Properties, a home-flipping giant that does business nationwide through an alphabet-soup of companies such as HMC Assets LLC and FI-337 LLC." [more inside]
posted by ziggly at 12:11 PM PST - 19 comments

Бортовые Часы Космические

We recently obtained a clock that flew on a Soyuz space mission. The clock, manufactured in 1984, contains over 100 integrated circuits on ten circuit boards. Why is the clock so complicated? In this blog post, I examine the clock's circuitry and explain why so many chips were needed. The clock also provides a glimpse into the little-known world of Soviet aerospace electronics and how it compares to American technology.
posted by zamboni at 11:15 AM PST - 19 comments

"Grace was like, school is so cool, I want to go to more college."

Artist Kristina Wong just released Season 2 of Radical Cram School, a kid-centered web series mixing humor and political critique. In Season 2, the Young Rebels retell the herstory of Grace Lee Boggs, and find how what happens when kids cross the border into Puppetland, where no humans are allowed. In Season 1, Wong brought her comedic verve to episodes like "Media Studies" in which Resistance Auntie finds out why Hello Kitty doesn't have a mouth and "Statistics," in which the Young Rebels learn the bitter taste of wage inequality through sweet sweet cookies.
posted by spamandkimchi at 8:53 AM PST - 5 comments

How much of us is just... random?

There are genes, of course. And environment. And gene-environment interactions. But inside of us there are also molecules bouncing around randomly, sloppy transcription, retrotransposons escaping their jails, and not nearly enough DNA to specify all of our 100 trillion (or 1 quadrillion?) synapses. Nature versus nurture misses the importance of noise. [more inside]
posted by clawsoon at 8:03 AM PST - 30 comments

January 18

Corporate Music - How to Compose with no Soul

In this video I explore how corporatism produces soulless music, some of which is amusingly awful! I also explore how tech and oil companies with dubious business practices use music as part of propaganda campaigns to convince the public that they support ecological activism. With some music theory thrown in along the way, I also compose a few kinds of different corporate styles to show the various tropes that exist. Some of it is blundering nonsense. Some of it is a little more sinister. All of it is garbage. Enjoy! [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:07 PM PST - 97 comments

The women of Shaheen Bagh protest against India's new citizenship law

‘Sea of people’ at Shaheen Bagh as protest against citizenship law nears a month "On Sunday, the streets leading to Shaheen Bagh in southeast Delhi were jam-packed with people, heading to support the women protesting against the citizenship law and the National Register of Citizens. The protest, which started nearly a month ago, is only gaining momentum with time. " More background on the new laws being protested against in this prior post on Metafilter. [more inside]
posted by peacheater at 7:22 PM PST - 11 comments

Always use a designated passenger to look up flowers

Finally, A Practical Guide for Roadside Wildflower Viewing
If you’re a fan of wildflowers, I’m sure you’ve noticed the same thing I have – all the field guides out there have one massive flaw. They’re designed for people who are slowly ambling about in prairies and other natural areas with nothing better to do than stop and stare closely at the minute details of flowers.
... Well, at long last, I have bravely stepped into the void to create the wildflower guide that has been missing for as long as field guides and automobiles have awkwardly co-existed on this earth. Today, I am introducing my new book, “A Field Guide to Roadside Wildflowers At Full Speed“. This free, self-published eBook is available right now at THIS LINK.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:01 PM PST - 24 comments

2nd Amendment freak-out: Civil War 2, Electric Boogaloo (+ accordion)

Virginia Democrats ran gun control ads in tight state races (The Hill, Sept. 23, 2019) and won the House and Senate (CBS News, Nov. 6, 2019). They pledged to pass a series of standard gun control laws, including universal background checks and bans on military-style “assault weapons” and high-capacity ammunition magazines. Some gun owners, believing conspiracy theories, are talking civil war (The Guardian, Jan. 10, 2020), using an odd term that has been kicking around Reddit since 2018: boogaloo, or big igloo (ADL, Nov. 26, 2019). If this has got you down, check out Frontera Bugalu (Bandcamp), a musical project founded by accordionist and composer Kiko Rodriguez in El Paso, Texas.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:50 PM PST - 78 comments

“Actually, it's about sexism in games development.”

Escape from Tarkov creator gives terrible excuse for not including playable female characters [The Verge] “We’re in a brand-new decade, but that hasn’t stopped some video game developers from falling back on inexcusable explanations for why you can’t play as female characters in certain games. This time, it’s courtesy of Escape from Tarkov creator Battlestate Games, which offered two convenient excuses for why — despite the requests of many players — it will not let you play as a female character in its ultra-realistic military survival sim.” [Warning, some talk about suicide] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 11:11 AM PST - 49 comments

Welcome to Mystery Flesh Pit National Park

Tor.com brings us the horrifying tale of Mystery Flesh Pit National Park, the “brainchild of Redditor u/StrangeVehicles, aka designer, illustrator, and writer Trevor Roberts.”
posted by Etrigan at 10:48 AM PST - 13 comments

Zombo.com in VR

Anything is possible. The only limit is yourself. Terry Cavanagh, the game designer behind VVVVVV, Super Hexagon, and Dicey Dungeons, finally found a match for virtual reality’s infinite potential, pairing it with one of the oldweb’s greatest single-serving sites. [more inside]
posted by waxpancake at 9:50 AM PST - 17 comments

intersection of cyriak and that Going To The Store guy

This music video for Very Noise by Igorrr is a hell of a thing.
posted by cortex at 9:16 AM PST - 21 comments

Sure, that might lead to a dystopian future or something, but

SLNYT: The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy As We Know It By Kashmir Hill [more inside]
posted by Monochrome at 8:43 AM PST - 66 comments

'Do Right and Feed Everyone'

Trump to Roll Back Michelle Obama's School Lunch Rules (The Hill, WaPo, LA Times, USDA) In 2019, after reducing regulations about sodium content, whole grains, and flavored milk, the USDA allowed schools to serve potatoes rather than fruit with breakfast. This most recent proposal, which reduces fruit serving sizes and permits potatoes to be served as a lunch vegetable every day, was unveiled on the former first lady's birthday.
posted by box at 7:47 AM PST - 88 comments

Rep. Ayanna Pressley's hair story is both personal and political

Rep. Ayanna Pressley Reveals Beautiful Bald Head. Ayanna Pressley has been wearing wigs lately, a noticeable departure from her signature Senegalese and bomb twists, which have become synonymous with her political brand and made her the hero of little Black girls across the country. Now, the congresswoman has decided to go public as to her reason why: She has alopecia.
posted by vespabelle at 7:42 AM PST - 14 comments

The Asian American Canon Breakers

The Asian American Canon Breakers (SLNYer)
posted by toastyk at 7:03 AM PST - 6 comments

My Journey to Scotland's Most Remote Pub

For decades, the Old Forge was the holy grail of the British outdoors community. The UK's remotest pub, it could only be reached via boat or a three-day walk through one of Britain's last true wildernesses, the Knoydart peninsula in Scotland. A dispute between some locals and a new owner threatened the legend—until they decided to open up a pub of their own. [slOutsideOnline]
posted by ellieBOA at 6:06 AM PST - 15 comments

January 17

There Is A Season (Dog, Dog, Dog)

For seven years, a small pet salon & hotel in the island town of Minamiawaji has been taking pictures of their satisfied canine clients. And two years ago, the photoshoots have included seasonal backdrops and decorations to go along with all the good dogs. The floof of Popotan-chan. The joy of Oji-chan. The extended blep of Kirara-chan. And dozens of other well-coiffed dogs in the oasis that is the twitter account of Pet Salon Barm.
posted by smasuch at 10:29 PM PST - 12 comments

NYT Taps White Nationalist Organization for Immigration Op-Ed

In a recent Op-ed in the NYT, an argument was presented as a "Liberals" arguments against immigration. The author's bio is given as a Jerry Kammer, fellow for the Center for Immigration Studies. Not mentioned in the op-ed or bio is that the CIS is a SPLC documented hate group. [more inside]
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 8:58 PM PST - 44 comments

Humble Australia Fire Relief Bundle

Humble Australia Fire Relief Bundle: There's only about 5 days left to obtain this special one-week bundle featuring over $400 in incredible games for just $25. 100% of the proceeds from your bundle purchase go to help the wildlife and animals affected by the Australian bushfires. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 8:21 PM PST - 9 comments

"Thunderstruck" in the key of baby

Baby's noises edited into a song. The sneezes killed me. Making of
posted by Gorgik at 7:15 PM PST - 22 comments

Headphone Notes

How Headphones are Changing Music. “'Listening to music on headphones is very different to speakers where there is a temporal and spatial difference between you and the music,' says Charlie Harding, one of the hosts of the podcast Switched On Pop and co-author of a new book on music theory in popular music. Harding partially credits the success of podcasting to headphones: listening that way creates a feeling of closeness between the hosts and listener."
posted by storybored at 5:28 PM PST - 36 comments

John Wheeler's very bad night

In the early 50's the Physics community was sharply divided. One camp, led by Edward Teller (previously) thought that the United States had to stay one step ahead of the Soviet Union and so building a fusion weapon was vital to national security. On the other hand, physicists like Robert Oppenheimer thought that it would be madness and genocide. [more inside]
posted by ambulocetus at 4:59 PM PST - 16 comments

an indefinite time while they work to earn money to pay

Think Debtors Prisons Are a Thing of the Past? Not in Mississippi. How the state’s "restitution program" forces poor people to work off small debts. [The Marshall Project] [more inside]
posted by readinghippo at 3:57 PM PST - 8 comments

Nothing I Didn’t Want to See

“By the end of 2019, I half expected to see my own likeness in an ad served just to me — me in minimalist clothing, reading n+1 beside a bar cart. . . . Home-delivery services, loungewear brands, and weighted-blanket manufacturers were all well poised to capitalize.” Dayna Tortorici on the Rear Window world of Instagram.
posted by sallybrown at 2:19 PM PST - 8 comments

Friday Happy

Letter of Recommendation: ‘The Happy Song’ by Imogen Heap
posted by bq at 1:28 PM PST - 8 comments

Some of those that work forces... are the same that draw horses

"Rage Against Vanessa Carlton" [single link YouTube]
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:46 PM PST - 11 comments

A platform for junk science, gibberish, and unproven health claims

The review starts off with a disclaimer (more of a warning):
Disclaimer: This review contains detailed information about the Netflix series the goop lab with Gwyneth Paltrow. If you plan to watch the show (please, don't) and do not wish to know details in advance, this is not the review for you. Normally, we would refer to such information as "spoilers," but in our editorial opinion, nothing in this series is spoil-able.
- ArsTechnica reviews the Netflix series "The Goop Lab" in the style of the New York Times' review of Guy's American Kitchen & Bar in Times Square .
posted by jenkinsEar at 12:37 PM PST - 37 comments

Semantic Noodling And Meaning Machines

"This is a question that has fascinated me for a long time: How Do You Think New Things?"
Christopher Noessel discusses divination, latourex, semiotics, constrained writing, creative matrices, The Official Creebobby Comics Archetype Times Table, John Cage, and more. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:10 AM PST - 4 comments

The right to move freely

History of erosion of the right to move freely in the US "Despite its prominence for centuries, this right began to disappear in the past century. The Supreme Court, beginning in the 1980s, developed a far more expansive conception of private property, holding in a series of cases that the right to exclude others from private land was “essential” to the concept of private property. In addition, in 1968, the court opened the door to far greater intrusions on freedom of movement by police officers, when in the case of Terry v. Ohio, it held that police officers could interfere with citizens’ right to be on the streets, by stopping, questioning, or frisking them, so long as they had reasonable suspicion that criminal activity might be afoot. In doing so, the court succumbed to the tunnel vision fear of urban crime that dominated American politics at the time. It elevated the government’s interest in proactive crime prevention to the same level as a fundamental right whose lineage far surpassed the rise of any organized police force in any Western society. This was a cataclysmic shift—only 10 years before, the court had confidentially asserted that “[u]nder our system, suspicion is not enough for an officer to lay hands on a citizen” in a public space." [more inside]
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 9:28 AM PST - 27 comments

Don't you know you smell like the deep brown earth

As a poet I've followed the footprints of the manongs. I gathered their history from Agbayani Village to Stockton, in the farms and fields that stretched north, south, east, and west. I followed them deep inside fish bellies swimming across the icy cold Pacific waters. Sat down with every single manong and watched as they weaved out dreams from fishnets beneath trees, in the Kauai rains. I cried out to them across the sugarcane fields. Mudfish cut through my mind.

Al Robles was a Filipino American poet, a native of the Fillmore district of San Francisco, an activist who fought to defend tenants of the I-Hotel, a sensualist and keen observer of the jazz rhythms of city life. Poet Barbara Jane Reyes remembers her mentor. [more inside]
posted by sunset in snow country at 9:10 AM PST - 5 comments


The Best Fishing Mini-Games [Kotaku] “Sometimes, between fighting monsters or zombies with swords or guns or whatever, you want to kick back and enjoy a different type of challenge in a video game. Fishing mini-games bring bite-sized blasts of outdoorsmanship to our adventures, and while some players hate them, I’ve found there’s fun to be had when fishing’s done right. Here’s a list of some of the best. The true joy of a fishing mini-game comes from mixing challenge with relaxation. You can relax and watch the rippling waters, but when the time comes and you get a bite, you’ve got to put in some work and battle with a scaley foe. These fights range from being complex simulations of actual fishing to bubbly arcade romps.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 8:13 AM PST - 49 comments

Life Beyond Faith

Life Beyond Faith is a youtube series made by Ex Muslims of North America. "Apostates are hiding no longer, and we at Ex-Muslims of North America are telling their stories. Our mini-documentary series, Life Beyond Faith, pulls back the curtain to show the people behind the label – their lives, their journeys, and their hopes after finding freedom from the confines of faith. It is a celebration of ex-Muslim freethinkers – an exploration into their lives, struggles, and triumphs." It's fourteen 5-10 minutes videos where ex-muslims discuss their lives, why they stopped believing, and difficulties that resulted from leaving Islam.
posted by brandnewday989 at 7:06 AM PST - 15 comments


"Best" trailers of all time:
Raging Bull
Goodnight Mommy
La La Land
The Shining
The Social Network. (And from Screen Junkies, an honest trailer of same)
The Comic-Con Suicide Squad
Citizen Kane
(Trailers tag on M-F )
Similarly, my own random list of 'best' movie scores
posted by growabrain at 5:07 AM PST - 72 comments

"We didn't call it art; we called it survival."

Remembering as an Act of Resistance: Apache Skateboards and the Mystery of Now [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 3:39 AM PST - 1 comment

January 16

Tacos in space: Mexican food in the U.S., and beyond.

"People are not interested in any scientific result of the experiments I performed (NM Space Museum), what fills them with emotion is that something Mexican came into space." The most popular food in the country left Earth 30 years ago to stay. NASA now uses it as one of the basic meals for its missions. “This is one of Mexico's great contributions to the conquest of space,” [Rodolfo Neri Vela] mentions with laughter. (Google auto-translation of article in El Pais) In 2013, Astronaut Chris Hadfield and Chef Traci Des Jardins made a Space Burrito (YouTube), and four years earlier, José Hernández and Danny Olivas made their own burritos in space. "Their feast made the news; a video soon went viral across the Internet, the astronauts’ beaming, proud smiles as they hoisted their fast food for humanity to see. So high in the heavens, up above the world, the burrito not only had become universal—it was now, finally, truly, cosmic." (Latino Magazine) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 7:51 PM PST - 19 comments

I feel ... my lasagna shouldn't have onions or garlic in it

Paris Hilton has a cooking show.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:38 PM PST - 101 comments

When Gonzo meets gonzo

Fear. Loathing. Muppets! (slMcSweeneys)
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 5:20 PM PST - 15 comments

the food is either extremely good, or extremely bad

“gonna do a blog-style open thread here by asking: what is the business in your area that is a transparent front for organised crime” [SL Twitter open comment thread]
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:20 PM PST - 206 comments

Run fast don't stand in the sun/ There's too much work to be done

RIP Norma Tanega: In December 2019, we lost folk singer/songwriter and painter Norma Tanega. [more inside]
posted by frumiousb at 3:44 PM PST - 11 comments

"If you were hungry, wouldn’t you eat them?"

Left alone, a human corpse will soon be feasted upon by maggots. Also, depending on the circumstances, by a cat.

It is one of those pet-owner musings, a conversation topic so dark that it inspired a book by a mortician: Would Fluffy eat me if I dropped dead? The answer, according to small but growing body of scientific literature, is a fairly clear yes.
(Karin Brulliard WaPo | SFGate) [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:26 PM PST - 75 comments

a template for how to feel confident whenever I need to: do the work

The mathematician Arthur Ogus explained Alexandre Grothendieck’s approach to problem solving by saying, "If you don’t see that what you are working on is almost obvious, then you are not ready to work on that yet." I find this quote comforting because it suggests that good ideas—at least for one famous mathematician—do not come into the mind ex niliho. Rather, good ideas come from so deeply understanding a problem that the solution seems obvious. 2700 words from Gregory Gundersen on the benefits of keeping a research blog.
posted by cgc373 at 2:25 PM PST - 3 comments

Christopher Tolkien Has Entered the Halls of Mandos

Christopher Tolkien has died at 95. He was famous for the work he did to maintain the legacy of his father's creation, Middle Earth, including collecting, editing and releasing many unpublished works which J.R.R. Tolkien left at his death.
posted by Alensin at 12:25 PM PST - 61 comments

The facts tag along for the ride!

Rosemary Mosco is a science cartoonist and communicator who draws nature comics! [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura at 10:17 AM PST - 11 comments

"My goal is to be part of the spark that pushes the sport"

Justin Williams Is the Most Important Bike Racer You Don’t Know.
The 2018 USA Amateur Road and Crit champion says we need to move away from the 'boys club' of cycling to achieve greater inclusion and representation. After his stunning dual championships [What it took to win a Nationals championship ] in 2018, Williams [twitter, instagram] 'has created his own racing program without a professional road team' in CNCPT. Justin Williams Can’t Stop Winning Bike Races [including a repeat as USA Criterium national champ in 2019; What It Took To Win Crit Nationals Back-To-Back]
Now Williams is trying to reinvent a corner of the cycling world with a team of his own: Legion, a small, L.A.-based outfit that focuses on fast U.S. races, like Oklahoma’s Tulsa Tough, where Williams won two events in June. Williams serves as kind of Legion’s player-coach, and its roster is a diverse collection of speedsters, including Williams’s 26-year-old brother, Cory, the current California state criterium champ.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:51 AM PST - 20 comments

chilli and chocolate, cajun squirrel and builder’s breakfast

So long, salt and vinegar: how crisp flavours went from simple to sensational
posted by niicholas at 7:46 AM PST - 74 comments

Bart the Mothman

Bart Van Camp has trapped (and released) 500 species of moths in his tiny garden in Flanders and made a poster out of it. He also wants you to see some of the thousands of tiny creatures he has seen in this small space. He also does gardens of other people, mainly politicians and naturalists, like Herman van Rompuy or Fredrik Sjoberg or George Monbiot. Some posters like the one for journalist Tine Hens include the number of moths as well.
Monbiot wrote in the Guardian "Two naturalists from Flanders, Bart Van Camp and Rollin Verlinde, asked if they could come to our tiny urban garden and set up a light trap. The results were a revelation... our failure to apprehend the ecology of darkness limits our understanding of the living world."
posted by vacapinta at 5:38 AM PST - 7 comments

Hey Siri, what does the "S" stand for in "IoT"?

It turns out that the MEMS microphones used in most always-listening voice-activated home assistants are sensitive not only to sound but to modulated light as well. Smarter Every Day explores some of the consequences.
posted by flabdablet at 4:27 AM PST - 48 comments

“May you build a ladder to the stars”

The Starbugs was a musical quintet of five kids from Wellington, NZ, ranging in age from 7 to 15.
In 2011, they released an 11-track CD of Dylan covers, called 'Kids Sing Bob Dylan'.
Here’s their “Forever young
Here’s “Mr Tambourine Man
Here’s “Knockin' On Heaven's Door
Here’s “I shall be released
Here’s “Girl From the North Country
Here’s the rest of their channel, including a previous CD of Beatles covers
- Background
- From
- Via
posted by growabrain at 3:13 AM PST - 2 comments

‘I won't speak to another human until Monday’

'For growing numbers of people the weekend is an emotional wilderness where interaction is minimal and social life non-existent' writes Paula Cocozza at The Guardian on the subject of 'the Agony of Weekend Loneliness'. While at Grazia Daily, Jenny Stallard asks 'Do You Get Weekend Loneliness?', characterizing it as 'the modern malaise of many single women'. [more inside]
posted by misteraitch at 1:27 AM PST - 101 comments

January 15

“Big Bird ain’t got nothin’ on me”

True Facts: The Mating Dance Of The Ostrich
posted by Going To Maine at 10:50 PM PST - 5 comments

Do you wear that when you're home alone?

Yes, I'm Hot In This, the brainchild of Huda Fahmy, is a webcomic about life as a Muslim American hijabi. It chronicles microaggressions (and regular aggressions), assumptions, and misunderstandings, as well as lighter fare such as Ramadan, attempts to connect with your culture, and nerd stuff. [more inside]
posted by sunset in snow country at 9:03 PM PST - 26 comments

The jay, pig, fox, zebra and my wolves quack

GooFonts is a tag index for Google Fonts, organizing a thousand-odd free typefaces into categories like "chalk," "Halloween," and "swirls." [more inside]
posted by Iridic at 7:55 PM PST - 7 comments

Whatever happened to ______?

"When I talk about the difficulties of being a woman writer, a wife and a mother, what I’m actually thinking of is specific. What I mean is that on the evening of the day my publisher and I announced plans for my third book, when my daughter and I were home having dinner, after I’d taken her to swim team, after school, after work, on an otherwise ordinary day — a day when I was simultaneously filling the role of stay-at-home mom and primary wage earner with a creative career on some imagined “side” — on that night my husband, her father, came home and hissed through his teeth, “Your mama…” and he balled up a fist, tightening his pecs. ... But don’t let anyone make this story into a romanticized and gentle slide into domesticity. As for so many women, the silencing was not gentle at all." [tw: domestic violence]
posted by Lycaste at 6:59 PM PST - 38 comments

never bet on the bard

Try and figure out what the hell is happening in FFT Battleground, a twitch stream that's a cross between the classic generative beat-em-up sports betting hijinks of Salty Bet and the turn-based chocobo-adjacent combat of PS1 classic Final Fantasy Tactics.
posted by cortex at 5:09 PM PST - 10 comments

Construct, tessellate, admire!

Mosaic Tilemaker … “introduces students to fundamental concepts of Islamic art and architecture through the exploration and creation of mosaic tile art ”. Includes learning materials and a gallery [more inside]
posted by scruss at 2:11 PM PST - 16 comments

“It just adds that sour, spicy, savory element to any meal,” 🥒

A Brief History Of The Humble Indian Pickle [The Culture Trip] “From selecting the right raw materials to carefully preparing the ingredients, from assembling the pickles to adding spices and then waiting for the pickle to be finally ready – a lasting memory of childhood vacations is that of helping our grandmothers make āchār. Those big ceramic jars filled to the brim with fresh pickles sitting under the sun on terraces evoke memories of carefree holidays. No meal is complete without a spoonful of the sweet, sour, spicy and mouthwatering Indian pickle. Here’s a look at its history. Known by various names across the country – Uppinakaayi in Kannada, Pachadi in Telgu, Urukai in Tamil, Uppillittuthu in Malayalam, Loncha in Marathi, Athanu in Gujarati and Āchār in Hindi – pickle making, as a tradition, goes back thousands of years.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 1:38 PM PST - 41 comments

“time-keeping became universal and linear in 311 BCE”

A revolution in time is a short essay by archeologist and historian Paul J. Kosmin about how the Seleucid Empire invented the practice of an endless year count, still used in calendars today, replacing the regnal or cyclical year naming schemes. And by making it possible to think about the future, it led to the idea of the end of time, the apocalypse. If you want to learn more about Kosmin’s ideas, you can watch his lecture, listen to an interview [iTunes link], or buy his book Time and Its Adversaries in the Seleucid Empire. Finally, here are a couple of reviews of the book, by G. W. Bowersock [PressReader link] and John Butler.
posted by Kattullus at 1:10 PM PST - 40 comments

Binge and Purge

The Rise of Extreme Film Criticism (Noah Gittell, LA Review of Books).
posted by sapagan at 12:41 PM PST - 20 comments


Madonna sings Cesária Évora's famous morna, "Sodade" (with Dino D'Santiago). [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 11:38 AM PST - 23 comments

Miniature 3D glasses test vision in Praying Mantises and Cuttlefish

How do mantises see in 3D? Researchers find out by gluing tiny 3D glasses to a mantis' face and showing the insect movies (Wired, with an embedded 10 minute video; Science News coverage; open access article from Nature Communications). That's great, but what about cephalopods? Scientists put 3D glasses on cuttlefish and showed them film clips. The results were surprising (CNN with embedded 1 minute video; New Scientist coverage; open access article from Science Advances | Neuroscience).
posted by filthy light thief at 10:40 AM PST - 11 comments

Stunning Seaweed from Victorian Marine Biologist Margaret Gatty

The tenderness of feathers meets the grandeur of trees in the otherworldly life-forms of the seas, which offered an unexpected entry point for women in science during Victorian times. [more inside]
posted by youarenothere at 10:35 AM PST - 3 comments

Progress in Professional Wrestling Marred by (Real-Life) Controversy

Over the weekend, Tessa Blanchard won the Impact World Championship, making her the first female champion of a major wrestling promotion in the U.S. The victory -- coming as the culmination of a months-long feud with Sami Callihan that was marked by sexist remarks from Callihan (and from the worst parts of wrestling's notoriously gross fandom) -- should have been a triumph not only for Blanchard but the entire industry. But the result of the fight in the ring was soured by a fight that Blanchard didn't see coming... on Twitter. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 9:27 AM PST - 9 comments

Putin goes after the Constitution

Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and his government have resigned. Medvedev has agreed to take a new role in overseeing defence and security. This comes after President Vladimir Putin Putin 'said Parliament should have the power to choose the country's prime minister - but that the president should still have wide-ranging powers. Protests calling for political reform erupted last year after opposition politicians were barred from running in local elections. Putin said he would hold a referendum on any changes to the constitution.'
posted by Harry Caul at 8:44 AM PST - 30 comments

Tear-Gas Gelato, Foulmouthed Mooncakes and Other Foods for a Revolution

One dessert place invites front liners who are low on cash to “come be food testers.” A steamed-rice crepe shop offers a free meal to anyone who hands in a yellow Post-it that says, “I love Hong Kong”; at one burger joint, you’re comped a meal if you whisper to a staffer: “Hong Kong, ga yau!” — “add oil,” a term of encouragement among protesters.
posted by storytam at 8:23 AM PST - 5 comments

Cats are Weird...ly Helpful

Older sis helps kitten out of a pickle.
posted by QuakerMel at 8:19 AM PST - 13 comments

Kith and Kin

"I have had the privilege of spending my life kneeling before plants. As a plant scientist, sometimes I am collecting data. As an indigenous plant woman, sometimes I am gathering medicine. These two roles offer a sharp contrast in ways of thinking, but I am always in awe, and always in relationship. In both cases the plants provide for me, teach me, and inspire me. When I write as a scientist, I must say, “An 8 cm root was extracted from the soil,” as if the leafy beings were objects, and, for that matter, as if I were too. Writing as an indigenous plant woman I might say, “My plant relatives have shared healing knowledge with me and given me a root medicine.” Instead of ignoring our mutual relationship, I celebrate it. Yet English grammar demands that I refer to my esteemed healer as it, not as a respected teacher, as all plants are understood to be in Potawatomi. That has always made me uncomfortable. I want a word for beingness. Can we unlearn the language of objectification and throw off colonized thought? Can we make a new world with new words?" Robin Kimmerer writes for Orion Magazine on animacy, language, science, and indigineity.
posted by ChuraChura at 6:44 AM PST - 14 comments

Treasure Fever

The discovery of a legendary, lost shipwreck in North America has pitted treasure hunters and archaeologists against each other, raising questions about who should control sunken riches. [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 6:29 AM PST - 15 comments

Not the typical considerations required for speedrunning

Players Are Pushing Their Bodies to the Limit Speedrunning Nintendo's Fitness Game: "Speedrunning is a test of skill and endurance, and while tapping buttons and analog sticks is physically draining in its own right, it’s hardly on the same level as, say, having to perform a plank over and over again. It’s what makes the slowly growing world of Ring Fit Adventure speedrunning so fascinating. In its early days, it’s not one defined by glitching through in the world in weird ways because no one’s discovered anything like that yet. The only “shortcuts” are to scroll the menus faster—a staple of speedrunning JRPGs—and to manage your stamina. A workout that might be more effective at taking out a group of enemies might be more personally draining, forcing you to take a costly break while your energy returns. It’s a very different way to play." [more inside]
posted by J.K. Seazer at 3:50 AM PST - 16 comments

January 14

dropbear safety equipment is full on

While covering the catastrophic bushfires at Kangaroo Island, Scottish journalist Debi Edward was given the chance to hold some local fauna: specifically, a ferocious drop bear. [more inside]
posted by freethefeet at 9:22 PM PST - 32 comments

"Alexa, did Fluffy just drop a dookie?"

LuluPet’s is not the first smart cat litter box, and not even the only one at this year’s CES. But while the majority of smart litter boxes focus on automatic cleanup of the cat’s deposits and the resulting odor, LuluPet’s device is aimed at helping improve the cat’s overall health. It has a built-in camera (apparently you can watch live via its connected smartphone app), as well as infrared and weight sensors to determine whether the cat did number one or number two. The images from the event are compared with images of other cats’ excrement in LuluPet’s database to make sure all is normal. Yes, I just wrote that sentence. (Kim Lyons, The Verge)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:13 PM PST - 33 comments

The Best of the Web

This is one of the strangest sites I've seen in some time. I have no idea how these people got their cats wedged into their scanners, or why.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:08 PM PST - 58 comments

A totally new artistic space was opened up

The Art of Book Covers (1820–1914)
posted by Chrysostom at 2:10 PM PST - 7 comments

“I do wonder if they really understand Korea,”

How An Overwatch Skin Left Some Of D.Va's Biggest Fans Feeling Betrayed [Kotaku]
“Criticisms of D.va’s skins as well as those from other characters since Overwatch’s 2016 launch represent the friction that the game has between its fans and the cultures from which they borrow. Overwatch presents the fantasy of a global village from an overwhelmingly white and Western vantage point, full of stereotypes, jokes, and reductions. For much of the Western fanbase and perhaps to the developers themselves, a skin might seem innocuous. But the Overwatch team has routinely made poor choices with their cosmetics that range from atonal (Brigitte’s riot police skin) to straight up offensive Pharah skin that is a mish-mash of tribal designs. D.Va’s skins, which have alienated some of that character’s biggest fans, add to that pile of problems.”
Nico Deyo examines the ways in which Blizzard has undermined one of its most resonating characters. ['Academy D. Va Skin' Announcement] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 1:13 PM PST - 9 comments

From context collapse to content collapse

First, by leveling everything, social media also trivializes everything — freed of barriers, information, like water, pools at the lowest possible level. A presidential candidate’s policy announcement is given equal weight to a snapshot of your niece’s hamster and a video of the latest Kardashian contouring. Second, as all information consolidates on social media, we respond to it using the same small set of tools the platforms provide for us. Our responses become homogenized, too.
posted by Mrs Potato at 12:21 PM PST - 41 comments

a bridge bolstered by Community and Justice, and also a yogurt truck

From the depths of a roiling Sea of Division rises the purple octopus of Intolerance and the sea-dragon of Bigotry, swimming headlong into a sailing ship of Accomplishment, which is also being engulfed by crashing Squalls of Hate, upon which a squid of Government Incompetence surfs. Looking down upon this chaotic parable, just above a rainbow—sorry, above The Arc of the Moral Universe—is Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York State. He is smiling as if to say, “I feverishly drew this at my dining room table at 1 a.m.”
posted by everybody had matching towels at 11:13 AM PST - 19 comments

Translating a Person

Whom do we become when we inhabit another language? Discussed: The Gringo, Alimentation, A Couple of Brads, Spanish-from-Spain Translations, Operating with the Words One Has, Wickerby, An Infinite Series of Texts, An Arduous Game of Literacy, This Little Art, My English, The Most Interesting Person on the Planet [more inside]
posted by prewar lemonade at 10:48 AM PST - 5 comments

Brain / Salad Misery

A short comic about salads, ennui, meal prepping, time, landfills, and more.
posted by bbqturtle at 10:17 AM PST - 27 comments

And Jerry Mathers as . . . oh wait, no, never mind

Supercut of every guest star on the 1970s TV series Cannon, ever. James Olson, Burr deBenning, Lee Purcell, Clu Gulager, Louise Latham, Anne Francis, Val Avery, James Hong, and more! So many worried/ suspicious/angry/alarmed/searching/ perplexed/concerned faces, except Leslie Nielsen, who clearly was destined for a comedy career. [more inside]
posted by holborne at 9:31 AM PST - 82 comments

Who Killed the Knapp Family?

They were bright, rambunctious, upwardly mobile youngsters whose father had a good job installing pipes. Today, only one of the Knapp siblings is still alive. [more inside]
posted by sobell at 9:14 AM PST - 26 comments

"We are living in the middle of a fascist takeover"

Historian Ruth Ben-Ghiat is a an expert on fascism, authoritarianism, war & propaganda. In a 20 minute podcast hosted by Chauncey DeVega (starts at 0:30), she posits that a fascist, authoritarian takeover is not a future event we should worry about, but an actual process we are living through right now, and that if Trump wins again, America will be ‘ready for full-on authoritarian rule’.
Ben-Ghiat warns that societies often succumb to authoritarianism and fascism not in one dramatic moment, but gradually over time. “Only in a military coup do you really have an instant change. A person leaves the house in the morning and five hours later they are living in a dictatorship and there is mass violence. But otherwise, even Mussolini and Hitler took years to get into power.”
Read on Salon.
Ruth Ben-Ghiat previously on M-F [more inside]
posted by growabrain at 8:40 AM PST - 82 comments

Photos of the Great Migration

Librarians at the Library of Congress have created a new guide to finding photos of the Great Migration* contained in their extensive collection. Here’s a blog post announcing the guide.
via kottke.org [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 8:05 AM PST - 2 comments

A Library Plundered of Treasures

One by one, rare books vanished from the library — the Journal of George Washington; a copy of Isaac Newton’s “Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica” valued at nearly a million dollars; an Atlas by a 19th century German explorer worth $1.2 million. Over a quarter of a century, these printed treasures and hundreds of others were stolen from Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Library. And some of them were heading just around the corner. (SL Washington Post) [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 7:39 AM PST - 14 comments

Perhaps the World Ends Here

Climate disaster at Wounded Knee [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 3:55 AM PST - 3 comments

January 13

It turns out that it's a lot of running

The idea was simple. Break the speed record for “fastest to ever visit all 50 states” but also run a 5k while in each state.
posted by Literaryhero at 11:25 PM PST - 11 comments

These are the largest things on the planet

Deep inside the Earth lurk two gigantic blobs. One hunkers far below the Pacific Ocean, the other beneath Africa. Although they float way down at the boundary between the molten core and the semi-solid mantle, they may play a big role in events higher up in the crust, spawning some of our planet’s most spectacular volcanic features and triggering the occasional mass extinction. These enormous subterranean structures are called large low-shear-velocity provinces, or LLSVPs. While scientists ought to be ashamed of themselvers for tagging the monstrous anomalies with such an unremarkable moniker, they’ve more than made up for it by concocting some gripping origin stories and connecting them with more evocatively-named events such as ‘The Big Splat’ and ‘The Great Dying’. [more inside]
posted by theory at 11:04 PM PST - 33 comments

"Beyond all we can understand lies The Extraordinary"

If you're looking for another mystery program, you might enjoy The Extraordinary (Wikpedia; IMDb), an Australian program that is similar to the U.S. program Unsolved Mysteries, but with more Australian stories and ghosts. TV.com notes that the show focuses on scientific skepticism with host Warwick Moss investigating the unknown, and "The season ends with Moss heading to Roswell NM to get the scoop on the UFO crash landing of 1947 and checking out a ghost that appears in a Melbourne rock band's music video." The show itself is a bit of an internet mystery, with little information online, but luckily a fan of the show has uploaded 47 episodes (playlist).
posted by filthy light thief at 9:52 PM PST - 3 comments

Ethen, Brittany, Janie and Leo are all now thirtysomething

Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskowitz are reuniting Michael and Hope, and Elliot and Nancy in a reboot/continuation of their award-winning 1987-91 series thirtysomething, returning to ABC now under the network program directorship of a true thirtysomething fan, Karey Burke. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 9:47 PM PST - 37 comments

And ... The Most Checked Out Book of All Time Is --

The New York Public Library Celebrates 125 Years According to CNN the New York Public Library is "the second largest in the US after the Library of Congress." NPR Reports "From year to year, books on current events prove popular. The library's top checkout of 2019 was Becoming, Michelle Obama's autobiography." In honor of the 125th anniversary, a team of experts from the Library carefully evaluated a series of key factors to determine the most borrowed books, including historic checkout and circulation data (for all formats, including e-books), overall trends, current events, popularity, length of time in print, and presence in the Library catalog. (And currently on the Blue By all measures, this book should be a top checkout") [more inside]
posted by pjsky at 3:37 PM PST - 27 comments

"The pain we feel is proportional to the love we have."

If you walk past Shannon and Joe Katona's house on a corner of one of Baltimore's busiest roads and turn down the side street, it's hard to miss the 7-foot metal dragon in the yard, standing upright, his massive wings unfurled. He looms just off the sidewalk, a graceful curve to his long neck and a hint of dragon smile. Stop to take him in and you'll notice — dwarfed by his rear claws — a tiny realm of castles and gnome houses, fairies and frogs, lesser dragons and dragonflies and even a miniature baseball diamond, all surrounded by a trickling moat.

Welcome to Xanderland. A fantasy world created by a mother in mourning, Xanderland may seem small, but its borders are as far-reaching as grief and as everlasting as the delight of neighborhood children.
(Sheri Venema, Washington Post; this tweet may bypass the paywall.)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:18 PM PST - 4 comments

More actors got nominated for playing Popes than POCs.

The Unforgivable 2020 Oscars Snubs Prove the Academy Cooks With Absolutely No Seasoning [Esquire] “"Congratulations to these men," Issa Rae said after announcing the list of nominees for Best Director at the 2020 Oscars, which included the names of five male filmmakers. The exclusion of female directors in the category is unforgivable, and indicative of a wider problem with this award season, where women were also snubbed at the Golden Globes and BAFTAs. In a year of excellent, diverse films, the Oscars managed to curate a list of predominately white and predominately male nominations.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 12:32 PM PST - 131 comments

Taiwan's Tsai Ing-wen Wins Re-Election

Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen won a landslide victory against her right-wing, populist, Beijing-backed opponent, with voter turnout reaching 74.9%. Candidates in cosplay, an explanation of each candidate's nicknames, and more inside. [more inside]
posted by storytam at 10:23 AM PST - 13 comments

When a Psychic Reading Costs You $740,000

How much would you pay to protect your family from forces seemingly beyond your control? Is any price too high? Inside the strange, predatory, and lucrative world of psychics who have successfully scammed customers out of their life savings, and the private investigator who's trying to put a stop to it. (SL GQ by SYLVIA VARNHAM O’REGAN)
posted by crazy with stars at 9:58 AM PST - 30 comments

By all measures, this book should be a top checkout

By all measures, this book should be a top checkout (in fact, it might be the top checkout) if not for an odd piece of history: extremely influential New York Public Library children’s librarian Anne Carroll Moore hated Goodnight Moon when it first came out. As a result, the Library didn’t carry it until 1972. [more inside]
posted by Cozybee at 9:05 AM PST - 26 comments

The Price of Dominionist Theology

Those who have been around modern American Protestant culture have likely seen ads for Financial Peace workshops, built on the "financial ministry" of Christian finance guru Dave Ramsey. In a longform piece by Eve Ettinger, she discusses the toxic and bigoted background of the financial education Ramsey sells, as well as the price paid for it by people like herself. (SLLongreads)
posted by NoxAeternum at 7:44 AM PST - 64 comments

An NBA star plans to turn his contract into digital tokens and sell them

It appears that Spencer Dinwiddie, who plays guard for the National Basketball Association’s Brooklyn Nets, may get the chance to be the first professional athlete to “tokenize” his contract after all.
posted by Etrigan at 7:30 AM PST - 21 comments

Come From Away

Away C.E.O. Is Back, Just Weeks After Stepping Down (NYT) "It quickly became clear that her plan to remain at Away — effectively in the same role but with a new title — was not understood inside or outside the company." Suggested soundtrack for this article: How Can I Miss You When You Won't Go Away? [more inside]
posted by fedward at 7:29 AM PST - 14 comments

Low unemployment isn’t worth much if the jobs barely pay

In a recent analysis, we found that 53 million workers ages 18 to 64—or 44% of all workers—earn barely enough to live on.
posted by gwint at 7:22 AM PST - 50 comments

Eye Pixels // Stop Motion

Egypt-based artist dina Amin scoured 'Friday market' in Cairo to collect 179 doll heads in order to find 49 matching eyes in creation of a new studio sign. [YT 02:50; via MAKE] [more inside]
posted by youarenothere at 3:36 AM PST - 16 comments

January 12

What Shia LaBeouf Taught Me About Empathy and Forgiveness

From the moment I learned that “Honey Boy” explored a complex father-child relationship — how pain and abuse can transcend generations — I knew that interviewing Shia LaBeouf, one of Variety’s 10 Screenwriters to Watch, would be an emotional experience for me. I just never expected for it to change me. [Variety, medium read, cw: abuse] [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 9:44 PM PST - 5 comments

New, diverse faces of professional bull riding

When you think of professional bull riding, you probably think of young, white men on furiously bucking bulls, but the best-paying pro bull riding organization, Professional Bull Riders, boasts of international membership (Wikipedia). Look at the list of past champions (Wikipedia), and you'll see it's guys from the U.S., and Brazil who reach the top. Brazil's impact and dominance in professional bull riding (The Culture Trip) has been noted before, as seen in Men's Journal back in 2013. But now Vogue invites you to meet Meet Najiah Knight, the 13-Year-Old Girl Upending the World of Professional Bull Riding. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:01 PM PST - 5 comments

Hooked on Folk Art: Las Rancheritas, a Fiber Arts Cooperative

Want to see some beautiful folk art from the central Mexican highlands? Meet Las Rancheritas, a small-scale women's cooperative from the farming village of Agustín González. Its members re-create scenes from the world around them in handmade rugs, purses, and pillows; the project has provided a sustainable stream of income and a creative outlet for these self-taught fiber artists for over a decade. Here's a video of a Las Rancheritas Rug Show in 2008 (YT; display of rugs begins just after the one-minute mark). Sister hookers in the U.S. send regular shipments of wool, and guilds in the U.S. have included rugs from Las Rancheritas in their shows and sales. The cooperative also has its own store, built loop by loop. Enjoy.
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:40 PM PST - 2 comments

A Leitmotif for Oma Tres

May the Score Be With You: How John Williams Defined the Sound of ‘Star Wars’ (Ben Lindbergh, The Ringer) "The legendary composer was the most consistent part of the franchise. What will happen now that he’s stepped down?" [more inside]
posted by ZeusHumms at 2:46 PM PST - 16 comments

"An extraordinary moment"

Remember two-year-old Parker Curry, who was entranced by Michelle Obama's official portrait? She and her Mom wrote a book about it. (Official Site)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:01 PM PST - 11 comments

No orange skulls, only red.

The divide between Marvel and DC over politics [Polygon] “In the final issue of Frank Miller and John Romita Jr.’s 2019 DC Black Label miniseries Superman: Year One, there’s a framed newspaper on the wall of the Daily Planet offices. Squint and you notice the headline: “MAN BITES DOG: MSM BLAMES TRUMP.” This didn’t come out of nowhere. Over the last 30-odd years, Miller took a public turn from the beloved Mickey Spillane of comics, with The Dark Knight Returns and Sin City, to the right-wing crank who once described Occupy Wall Street as “a pack of louts, thieves, and rapists.” (He walked the statement back in a 2018 interview).” See also 2011’s Holy Terror, initially pitched as a Batman project, and dubbed Islamophobic by critics upon publish. The past year has shown a pattern of writers giving overt voice to their political opinions through superhero comics, or for controversies where they were prevented from doing so. Marvel and DC, the most visible publishers, are at the center of the ideological debate. Based on the decision-making, the two companies appear to have distinct approaches to talking politics in their paperbacks.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 11:44 AM PST - 54 comments

The Most Important Scientist You’ve Never Heard Of

In 1948, Clair Patterson was trying to determine the age of the Earth by measuring the decay of uranium into lead. In doing so, he stumbled on a problem: all of his samples and equipment were contaminated—lead was everywhere that he looked. Patterson spent decades uncovering the extent of lead pollution, collecting samples from the wilderness of Yosemite, the mountains of Japan, thousand-year-old ice below Antarctica, and the tops of volcanoes across the world. He would go on to devote his life to fighting against the oil industry to end epidemic lead poisoning. (Mental Floss, 2017)
posted by Mr. Pokeylope at 10:09 AM PST - 32 comments

I think we can all agree what the Hay Wain needs is a flood rescue team.

This week, my firstborn asked me to teach him photoshop, which means we now have a lot of famous paintings with search and rescue vehicles added to them. [Twitter thread]
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 6:50 AM PST - 18 comments

"How sometimes, we lose: profoundly and without recourse."

In August Stefani Echeverría-Fenn started a homeless encampment called 37MLK [Facebook link] in her neighborhood in Oakland, California. As an article by Vivian Ho in The Guardian recounts, it has been such a success that Oakland city council members have looked to it as a model for temporary housing. Echeverría-Fenn is a classicist who gained prominence after co-founding The Sportula: Micro-grants for Classics Students, which has brought her both positive and negative attention. This fall she was kicked out of her UC Berkeley PhD program. She tells the story of that shock in a powerful personal essay called On Classics, Madness, and Losing Everything. Excerpt: [more inside]
posted by Kattullus at 4:47 AM PST - 29 comments

Why Scarcity Sucks

When we experience emotional deprivation in childhood, this feeling of not being important or lovable enough can persist into adulthood as a “deprivation mindset.” We may never feel as if we have enough of the things we need. This sense of insecurity can harm our close relationships. We may expect our loved ones to let us down, never express our needs directly, or choose romantic partners who are avoidant of intimacy. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 3:16 AM PST - 20 comments

January 11

The Pirate's Lair: no cheesy reproductions here, only cheesy sailors!

The Pirate's Lair is a vintage-feeling website, first online circa 2005 (Archive.org), with U.S. Navy China tableware, silverware, antique naval and nautical furniture, but since has become home to hundreds of restored antique trunks, and a photo with information on steamer factories of the 1880s and 1890s, and even more information on antique rum and water kegs. There's more treasures to be found, happy hunting!
posted by filthy light thief at 7:20 PM PST - 17 comments

The medications that change who we are

They’ve been linked to road rage, pathological gambling, and complicated acts of fraud. Some make us less neurotic, and others may even shape our social relationships. We’re all familiar with the mind-bending properties of psychedelic drugs – but it turns out ordinary medications can be just as potent. From paracetamol (known as acetaminophen in the US) to antihistamines, statins, asthma medications and antidepressants, there’s emerging evidence that they can make us impulsive, angry, or restless, diminish our empathy for strangers, and even manipulate fundamental aspects of our personalities, such as how neurotic we are.
posted by Lexica at 7:01 PM PST - 42 comments

"You think, who would ever consume a root for $220,000?"

American ginseng, found in the forests of the Ozarks and Appalacia, has long been used in traditional and Chinese medicine. National Geographic shares how high prices, loss of habitat, and over harvesting may be putting a native plant at risk. Demand for ginseng is creating a ‘wild west’ in Appalachia.
posted by snickerdoodle at 5:55 PM PST - 15 comments

"We just live our lives."

COUNTRY QUEERS : a multimedia oral history project documenting the diverse experiences of rural and small town LGBTQIA folks in the U.S.A. [more inside]
posted by youarenothere at 2:32 PM PST - 6 comments


"COLORS is a unique aesthetic music platform showcasing exceptional talent from all around the globe, focused on promoting the most distinctive new artists and original sounds." Among the many featured performers are Girl Ultra, Fatoumata Diawara, Kojey Radical, EarthGang, Michael Kiwanuka, Mayra Andrade, Luedji Luna & Phony Ppl. [MLYT]
posted by misteraitch at 1:25 PM PST - 3 comments

It admits its results are "statistical estimates"

A host at CBC's Marketplace and her identical twin sent DNA samples to five DNA ancestry companies. The companies all sent back different ancestry results, and two of the companies - 23andme and Living DNA - gave different results for each twin. Article. Video. [more inside]
posted by clawsoon at 1:24 PM PST - 40 comments

Rusty Rogues

Herbert Wolverson has written an incredibly detailed soup to nuts guide on how to construct a full-blown roguelike game from scratch, in Rust.
posted by jenkinsEar at 12:52 PM PST - 7 comments

Sir Ian, Sir Ian, YOU SHALL NOT PASS, Sir Ian, Sir Ian

Ian McKellen kept an on-set diary while filming the Lord of the Rings films. [Internet Archive version if site is down]
posted by Chrysostom at 11:54 AM PST - 10 comments

Here's how Iowa celebrates a 70-degree day in the middle of March

The journalist Ken Fuson died January 3rd. A writer for the Des Moines Register, Balitmore Sun, and other outlets, he pinned his own poignant and hilarious obituary. [more inside]
posted by dismas at 11:11 AM PST - 11 comments

Rare Earthquake Swarm Strikes Puerto Rico

A swarm of earthquakes ranging up to 6.4 on the Richter scale has struck along the southern coast of Puerto Rico. [more inside]
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 9:15 AM PST - 28 comments

'In 2030, we ended the climate emergency. Here’s how."

What is human civilisation if not the result of all the stories we’ve been told? Centuries of evidence have shown that storytelling can change the course of history. Radical imagination, a term used by US author and social movement organiser adrienne maree brown, describes the power visionary fiction has to change the world. “Once the imagination is unshackled, liberation is limitless,” she writes. Our story of the 2020s is yet to be written, but we can decide today whether or not it will be revolutionary. Radical imagination could help us begin to see that the power to change reality starts with changing what we consider to be possible. […]

This is a story about our journey to 2030 – a vision of what it could look and feel like if we finally, radically, collectively act to build a world we want to live in.
(Eric Holthaus, The Correspondent)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:35 AM PST - 33 comments

New Year, New Tricks

Bike legend Danny MacAskill shows that there are other ways to make your mark in the gym - Danny MacAskill's Gymnasium and Behind the Scenes.
posted by ellieBOA at 3:26 AM PST - 12 comments

Talking American Political History

American Histories is a six episode series of the Talking Politics podcast where host David Runciman interviews academics Gary Gerstle and Sarah Churchwell about American history, focusing on political issues and their historical causes. The episodes are: Impeaching the President, Pornography and the Post Office, Monopoly and Muckraking, The 15th and the 19th Amendments, Deporting Mexicans and The Great Abortion Switcheroo.
posted by Kattullus at 2:26 AM PST - 3 comments

7 Car Myths Stupid People Fall For

7 Car Myths Stupid People Fall For: A professional mechanic, Scotty Kilmer, born and raised in the Niagara Falls area and now living in Houston, TX, tells it like it is with regard to the basic maintenance of your car, and the consequences of ignoring it. He's the Chef John of vehicles.
posted by Slap*Happy at 1:16 AM PST - 91 comments

January 10

Meet the 37-Year-Old Mayor of South Bend, Indiana

Can young Mayor James make a difference in his hometown? The mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is known for keeping a low profile. James Mueller was sworn into office on New Year’s Day at the age of 37, making him much younger than the mayors of other, comparably sized cities in his state. But he’s already familiar with City Hall, having spent four years in the previous administration as the mayor’s chief of staff and the city’s director of community investment...Jorden Giger, an activist with Black Lives Matter South Bend, worked with Mueller in his earlier official roles. “He has an opportunity right now to really make a change and do something different,” said Giger. Giger said Mueller told him his administration will pay attention to “addressing existing disparities along the line of race and class—so we’ll see.” [more inside]
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 8:24 PM PST - 11 comments

Tonight you dine with the fishes

Snøhetta Designs An Extraordinary Underwater Restaurant In Norway [more inside]
posted by hilaryjade at 6:31 PM PST - 14 comments


It was still dark when Ukraine International Airlines flight 752 took off on Wednesday from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini airport. Onboard were 176 people. Most were returning home after holidays spent with families and friends in Iran. They were couples, newlyweds, students. [more inside]
posted by Ahmad Khani at 6:29 PM PST - 62 comments

No, It's The Users Who Are Wrong

Several months after their announcement that they would allow political candidates to openly lie in ads, Facebook has responded to criticism of that decision with another announcement - that they will allow users to opt out of seeing political ads if they choose. (SLArs Technica) [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 2:05 PM PST - 78 comments

Suddenly You Were Gone, From All the Lives You Left Your Mark Upon

Rush drummer and lyricist Neil Peart has died. Neil Peart, long time drummer and lyricist for Rush died from brain cancer on January 7th.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 1:38 PM PST - 176 comments

What makes a place livable for whom?

Livability indexes can obscure the experiences of non-white people. CityLab and sociologist Junia Howell analyzed the outcomes just for black women, for a different kind of livability ranking. [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura at 1:10 PM PST - 11 comments

"...upon a closer look, we realize it’s an actual butt plug."

Thomas Hämén sculpted coprolite from a dinosaur that lived about 140 million years ago to create a device for anal stimulation. Asstral Traveler: A sex toy to connect with “deep time” [more inside]
posted by youarenothere at 12:02 PM PST - 27 comments

The Next Decade’s Technological Tsunami Will Change Life as We Know It

Imagine the world of 2010: no Airbnb (Telegraph, 2012; archived), no Uber (The Street, 2019), no iPad or advanced tablets (Future Timeline), Siri or self-driving cars on the roads (Techno Giants). The technological advances of this decade have happened so quickly that their breadth is difficult to comprehend. The next decade? That, times ten. (Vanity Fair, Dec. 30, 2019; archived) "The best way to know the future is to invent it" (Inside MIT's Future Factory, 2018) Future forecasts: 204 visions of the world in 2030 (Quantun Run's list of predictions, with a slider to move forward in one-year increments, out to 2050)
posted by filthy light thief at 10:44 AM PST - 81 comments

Slayter, Striker, Shooter and the Rise of the Extreme Baby Boy Name

It’s not just Carter and Cooper anymore. Article based on a namerology.com post explores the explosion in "doer" names for boys.
posted by emjaybee at 10:25 AM PST - 162 comments

Adam Neely Reharmonizes Everything!

Do you like your jazz chords that are just a little bit spicy? Do you also like the goddess of pop, Carly Rae Jepsen? You're in luck because it just so happens the Internet's favorite Jazz teacher, Adam Neely, and his crew have reharmonized "Run Away With Me". [more inside]
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 10:04 AM PST - 19 comments

Playtime is Over!

"The modern demand to constantly pretend-play with our kids is exhausting. Is there a better way?" (Rebecca Onion, Slate)
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:54 AM PST - 43 comments

Every film about war ends up being pro-war

The 50 Greatest War Movies Ever Made [slVulture]. [more inside]
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:06 AM PST - 63 comments

"'Attack helicopter' is a gender identity, not a biological sex."

"I Sexually Identify as an Attack Helicopter" is a short story by Isabel Fall, published in the January 2020 issue of Clarkesworld (with an audio version also available). And yes, she knows what she's doing.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:03 AM PST - 124 comments

We are saddened that this [narrow drain channel] is necessary.

My Layoff Letter Ground Up with Text From Meat Processing Trade Magazines "I regret to notify you that following a declaration of [foam buildup in manure pits below the slats] by [Gruel-O-Matic] University, you are being laid off from your [automatic clipping/hanging machine] with the university. This [one-shot humane stunning] has been an extremely difficult one and has been made as a result of [material handling, grinding, blending, and emulsion] below university projections and the impact on the university budget of [chronic or endemic transmission of pathogens]." [more inside]
posted by zenzenobia at 8:49 AM PST - 5 comments

What’s this one for? Who knows!

Admit It: You Have a Box of Cords You’ll Never, Ever Use Again. (To get around paywall, click through this tweet.)
posted by Cash4Lead at 7:42 AM PST - 101 comments

Go to hell and bake bagels

How New York's Bagel Union Fought - and Beat - a Mafia Takeover
posted by gaspode at 7:18 AM PST - 9 comments

🤝🏽 😐 😑

The worst-est handshake in the history of mankind. Also, these other cringe-worthy handshakes moments.
posted by Fizz at 7:05 AM PST - 15 comments

Hot off the Presses

The 1% are much more satisfied with their lives than everyone else, survey finds.
posted by Literaryhero at 3:50 AM PST - 64 comments

January 9

Bowienalia 2020

January 10 marks 4 years since the interdimensional being known on this planet as David Bowie left our presence. Let the bells ring strong! Bowienalia 2020 invites you to revisit his final performance (Heroes, Hurricane Festival, 2004), to examine an old hit through a modern lens (Space Oddity 2019 50th Anniversary Mix), to think about a young David Bowie as he emerged (Stardust will be a film about Bowie's artistic transition in the early 70s, not a music biopic), and to consider how Bowie's sudden departure might have torn someone's universe (Speed Of Life trailer). [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 9:59 PM PST - 7 comments

Making Reservations

Life behind the lines of one of New York’s most iconic restaurants.
posted by Etrigan at 4:35 PM PST - 50 comments

"Sorry about that, Chief"

Buck Henry, Academy Award nominated screenwriter and director, co-creator of Get Smart and creator of Quark, beloved foil of Samurai Futaba, has passed away at the age of 89.
posted by hanov3r at 3:13 PM PST - 62 comments

Margaret McFarland, Mentor to Mister Rogers

McFarland believed that an adequate understanding of child development was, as she wrote, “crucial in the solution of many of the problems with which man is grappling.” Christina Caron for the NYT (Overlooked is a series of obituaries about remarkable people whose deaths were given little notice by The Times.)
posted by bq at 1:54 PM PST - 3 comments

“To me, a short hike is ... probably anything less than 1,000 miles.”

Spend enough time on hiking trails in the United States, and you might have run into Nimblewill Nomad (aka M.J. Eberhart [old site]), from Florida to California, Quebec and beyond: The man who went on a hike – and never stopped walking [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:31 PM PST - 4 comments

$16 billion company sued over free inmate labor

When he was arrested in October 2018 and couldn’t afford bail, Davis was sent back to Santa Rita. He spent the next four months working eight hours a day in the kitchen. Monday through Friday, he prepared trays of food that were wheeled on robotic carts to the housing units or shipped to jails in nearby counties. The work was overseen by employees of Aramark, a $16.2 billion multinational food and facility services conglomerate. Since at least 2006, Aramark has held contracts worth more than $94.5 million to feed Alameda County’s inmates. Neither Aramark nor Alameda County paid Davis for his labor, reports Mother Jones. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 12:34 PM PST - 15 comments

What if Your Abusive Husband is a Cop

Police departments have become more attentive to officers’ use of excessive force on the job, but that concern rarely extends to the home. (cw: abuse, domestic violence) [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 11:07 AM PST - 57 comments

This Is How We Live Now

A year’s diary of reckoning with climate anxiety, conversation by conversation. (SLTHECUT) [more inside]
posted by wowenthusiast at 10:52 AM PST - 3 comments

"Weaponize the outdoor community as a political movement."

With rising global temperatures threatening to limit the skiing season and even warm some resorts out of existence, major ski companies are turning to their customers for help in the fight against climate change. Their goal: turn millions of snow-lovers into climate voters (Powder Magazine, 2018). "The industry's much bigger, much more rabid, maybe more powerful and wealthy than the gun lobby, and yet we have no power," said Aspen Ski Co.'s Auden Schendler, pointing out that 10 million skiers logged about 59 million visits to U.S. resorts last winter. "How do you mobilize that?" he asked. "Weaponize the outdoor community as a political movement." Turning Skiers Into Climate Voters with the Advocacy Potential of the NRA (Inside Climate News, 2019) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 10:33 AM PST - 21 comments

When the sun frames the subject

With an average of 300 bright and beautiful days a year, Namibia is one of the sunniest countries on earth — but for two months, it gets rather cold and people adapt by finding the hotspots. Toufic Beyhum embarked upon a series of photographs documenting these moments of quiet repose.
posted by youarenothere at 9:13 AM PST - 7 comments

In a church of their own, Latino atheists fear no God

It's not easy being an atheist raised in a devoutly Catholic culture. But here in the San Gabriel Valley, you don’t have to doubt God’s existence all alone.
posted by storytam at 8:33 AM PST - 7 comments

“the biggest scandal that has ever hit … Oxford’s classics department”

A scandal in Oxford: the curious case of the stolen gospel by Charlotte Higgins focuses on the sale of a purported 1st Century papyrus fragment of the Gospel of Matthew, allegedly stolen by an Oxford professor of classics, Dirk Obbink. However, it also touches on another papyrus, known as “P. Sapph. Obbink” which was the source of a new poem by Sappho, which has equally murky provenance, as laid out by professors C. Michael Sampson and Anna Uhlig.
posted by Kattullus at 4:08 AM PST - 13 comments

The Case For War, By Someone Whose Kids Won’t Die Fighting In It

The Case For War, By Someone Whose Kids Won’t Die Fighting In It, by Brian Matthew Cohen [SLMcSweeneys]
posted by svenni at 2:37 AM PST - 42 comments

January 8

It's like White Wakanda

The incredibly happy life of Larry David, TV's favorite grouch.
posted by Literaryhero at 11:11 PM PST - 13 comments

New Kid In Town

Gen Z arrives in the work force. Millennials have long held the oft-craved title of youngest and laziest members of the workforce. But there’s a new sheriff in town. Gen Z.
posted by mono blanco at 7:34 PM PST - 71 comments

Digitizing the Paper Brigade

When the Nazis occupied Vilna, Lithuania, they assembled a group of Jewish intellectuals and poets to compile a reference collection of Jewish culture at the Institute for Study of the Jewish Question. Rather than destroy unwanted documents, a "Paper Brigade" smuggled works - poetry, documents, journals - to safety from the Yiddish Scientific Institute (YIVO) into caches around Vilna. YIVO moved to New York after WWII, smuggling books and papers out Soviet-occupied Lithuania. In 2017, a cache of documents was rediscovered in a church basement (nyt). Miglė Anušauskaitė, a Lithuanian woman who is not Jewish, but learned Hebrew and Yiddish, has been involved with translating autobiographies written for sociological contests run by YIVO in Vilna in the 1930s. [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura at 7:00 PM PST - 5 comments

I watched Suspiria for soundtrack inspiration.

I watched 6 aesthetically pleasing horror movies for interior design inspiration. [previously]
posted by Evilspork at 5:48 PM PST - 9 comments

⚘ “Create. Move on to something else. Go back and re-create.” ⛏

Valley Forged: How One Man Made the Indie Video Game Sensation Stardew Valley [GQ] [Game Trailer] “Then there’s Stardew Valley—a humble, intimate farming adventure about the monotony of domestic life, in which you spend dozens of hours parenting cabbages. Eric was a team of one. It took him four and a half years to design, program, animate, draw, compose, record, and write everything in the game, working 12-hour days, seven days a week. His budget was the part-time wage he made as an evening usher at the local stage theater. Games like Minecraft may have paved the way for the democratization of indie-game development, yet despite the tectonic shift in the scene, entirely solo projects like Stardew Valley—financially unviable and creatively overwhelming—are still very rare. And of course they are. Even putting money aside, the demands of making intimate art of this scale are enough to break a person: obsession, isolation, ambition. But as just one man, Eric Barone tested the limits of video-game ambition and unintentionally created something that resonated with an audience of millions.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 2:01 PM PST - 74 comments

I didn't know you could quit being royalty

Prince Harry and Meghan quit the Firm - couple step back as senior members of Royal Family: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex released an announcement saying, "We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen." [more inside]
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:38 PM PST - 338 comments

“Get it done!” and “Women’s rights, human rights!” they chanted.

Virginia's 2020 General Assembly session started at noon Eastern today, with Democratic majorities in both the House of Delegates and the Senate. The new legislature is expected to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, making Virginia the 38th state of the 38 states required to pass a Constitutional amendment. What happens next? Who knows? [more inside]
posted by kirkaracha at 12:50 PM PST - 30 comments

"The astrophysical whodunit of the decade—is it too early to say that?"

A team of astronomers described the shape of a star-forming wave of gas 9,000 light years in length in the sun’s neighborhood in the galaxy, which the solar system passed through earlier in its history. Their findings were announced at the American Astronomical Society Meeting in Hawai’i this Tuesday, Jan 7, 2020, and published in the journal Nature the same day. Oxford University astrophysicist and YouTuber Becky Smethurst posted a summary of the findings and chatted with three of the co-authors, João Alves, Catherine Zucker & Alyssa A. Goodman. [more inside]
posted by nangar at 12:06 PM PST - 3 comments

A portmanteau of "deep learning" and "fake"

Shamook (SHAM00K) is master deepfake artist.
In his latest Youtube video, he partnered with impressionist Jim Meskimen to perform their poem “Deeper metrics of Christmas”, as read by 20 celebrities.
Other “Deepfakers” (some of which were mentioned previously on Metafilter) are:
- Ctrl Shift Face
- Derpfake
- birbfakes
Otherwise: Wikipedia
posted by growabrain at 11:35 AM PST - 18 comments

Staring at Hell

Kate Wagner, of McMansion Hell fame (previouslies), writes on the aesthetics of architecture in a ruined world.
posted by clawsoon at 11:12 AM PST - 7 comments

The Enduring Legacy of Bunnicula

The people who wrote Bunnicula didn’t craft it with a legacy in mind. James and Deborah Howe were two struggling actors in their late twenties, married and underemployed, and they thought the idea of a vampire rabbit was funny.
posted by Etrigan at 9:41 AM PST - 24 comments

Chasing ancient goldbugs

Pyrite fossils can be shiny and sparkly (Fossil Identification), but they can also be very informative. Markus Martin, an amateur paleontologist, returned to Beecher's Trilobit Bed (archived Yale page) in upstate New York, and discovered Martin Quarry, named after himself as the discoverer, where he found ancient arthropods turned into fool’s gold, preserved in exquisite detail (Atlas Obscura). He posts some of his finds and collaborations on Instagram as goldbugsofficial. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:21 AM PST - 7 comments

Department of Good Energy

From 1967 to 1998, Fermilab employed Angela Gonzales as staff artist. Her output includes not only the lab's logo and color scheme, but a wealth of gorgeously detailed pen-and-ink illustration, by turns mystical, psychedelic, and surreal. Another gallery of her work.
posted by theodolite at 9:17 AM PST - 10 comments

Pistachios... kind of look like mangos

Do you know what your produce looks like before you buy it? Well, Do you?
posted by Mchelly at 9:14 AM PST - 45 comments

It was all framed as nothing but good fun

Hugo nominee Alec Nevala-Lee on the unpleasant truth about Isaac Asimov. [CW:sexual assault]
posted by Chrysostom at 8:21 AM PST - 80 comments

Elizabeth, Flush & The Fancy

Celebrated for her sonnets and her long masterpiece Aurora Leigh , [Elizabeth Barrett Browning] is now perhaps best remembered in popular culture for the lines “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” Elizabeth also had a powerful reserve of inner strength. Nobody could have predicted how she would turn the robbery of her beloved dog into a triumph over oppression in her life. The Dognapping of the Century by Olivia Rutigliano [from TrulyAdventurous via LitHub]
posted by chavenet at 8:16 AM PST - 6 comments

The Pervasive Power of the Settler Mindset

More than simple racism or discrimination, the destructive premise at the core of the American settler narrative is that freedom is built upon violent elimination. [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 7:28 AM PST - 7 comments

Old Norse, mystics and race cars

The village of Älvdalen is the place where Swedish witch hunts began – and it still boasts its own language and strange rituals. Photographer Maja Daniels relives three freezing years in a rural cabin for The Guardian. More photos available via The Washington Post. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 6:44 AM PST - 9 comments

50 is the loneliest number

Published in 2010, the Fifty Classic Ski Descents of North America chronicles some of the continent's most iconic ski lines. With the book being a collaboration between three authors, no single person has skied all fifty lines. Cody Townsend is a pro skier attempting to change that, and is documenting his progress in the youtube series "The Fifty". Not content to merely ski down all fifty lines, he's climbing the peaks first (as opposed to using helicopters or snowmobiles), resulting in ski mountaineering videos filled with more risk discussions and planning than sketchy spring skiing. With funding for three years, he's currently starting his second winter and has ticked off approximately twenty of the various peaks, spanning big Alaskan lines to monoski first descents. [more inside]
posted by yeahwhatever at 12:21 AM PST - 10 comments

January 7

Bowiemas 2020

January 8 marks 73 years since the interdimensional being known on this planet as David Bowie was incarnated amongst us. Bowiemas 2020 encourages you to look at art that David Bowie did (4 slides with accompanying article), the art David Bowie has inspired (comic book telling of the life of Ziggy Stardust), the music David Bowie did (writing Under Pressure with Queen, and isolated vocals by Bowie and Freddie Mercury from Under Pressure), and the music David Bowie has inspired (the composer for Little Women was told to do "a mix of Mozart and David Bowie, title music track "Little Women" (perhaps you agree he sort of nailed it)). Merry Bowiemas to everyone!
posted by hippybear at 9:59 PM PST - 17 comments

"Something of a niche interest, but it happens to be my niche"

The Mane Quest is Alice Ruppert's website about horses in video games and video games about horses. "Are modern horse games really as cheap and bad as they look at a glance?" "Where are the horse girls who grew up to be game developers?" And can AAA games feature horses more prominently and realistically "without alienating the players who aren’t actually looking for horse realism, but only see horses in games as a slightly faster way to get somewhere?" [more inside]
posted by Lirp at 9:06 PM PST - 43 comments

A way to sequester plastic

What is an ecobrick? It's a plastic bottle packed with used, clean, and dry plastic until solid and dense, and then used as a building material. It's a way to keep already existing plastic out of the environment, turn it into something useful, and encourage individuals to be mindful of their plastic consumption. Anyone can make an ecobrick, and ecobricks can be used to build all kinds of structures, from garden walls to composting toilets. How to make an ecobrick. Ecobrick building guidelines. [more inside]
posted by sunset in snow country at 9:01 PM PST - 35 comments

"...it’s about feeling vibrations and frequencies.”

A Sonic Pulse [Vimeo, 07:23] explores D/deaf people’s experience of electronic music from a visceral, communal and scientific perspective. [more inside]
posted by youarenothere at 7:14 PM PST - 5 comments

Are We Calculating Maternal Mortality Correctly?

Our narrow focus ignores mental health, substance abuse, and other issues that shouldn’t necessarily be separated from pregnancy. But when you look at the overall deaths for women in and around pregnancy, without regard to whether the cause is traditionally considered “pregnancy-related,” the number of dead women goes up a lot. And the list of causes of death becomes a very different one: motor vehicle collisions, homicide, suicide, substance abuse. There’s more to the maternal mortality crisis in this country then just physical health and our racist healthcare system.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 2:34 PM PST - 3 comments

One woman’s quest to read all of Proust

— out loud, in French, in subway stations. Last December, Nathalie Vanderlinden, a San Francisco chef, read Proust's Du côté de chez Swann, aloud, in San Francisco BART stations, in two-hour stretches. Then she read it in one 19 hour effort, at a performance space in Brussels. Next up? À l'ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs in four parts, again in BART stations.
posted by niicholas at 1:48 PM PST - 17 comments

“Fᴜᴄᴋ ʏᴏᴜʀ ᴀᴇsᴛʜᴇᴛɪᴄs!! Lᴇᴛ ᴍᴇ ʀᴇᴀᴅ ᴜʀ ɢᴏᴅᴅᴀᴍɴ ᴛᴇxᴛ!!”

We Need to Talk About Font Sizes in Games [Push Square] “Considering I’ve spent roughly half my life in dark rooms staring at blisteringly bright screens, my eyesight is decent. Do you know what’s making me feel like I’m going blind, though? Video games. This isn’t a case of my peepers slowly withering away and losing their clarity – all other aspects of my life remain unaffected and unchanged. No, I blame developers who are intent on decreasing the size of their titles' fonts as each year passes by. I’m not exaggerating: the size of text in video games is getting smaller, and as user interfaces increase in complexity, it’s becoming a problem.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 1:09 PM PST - 87 comments

Deep down here by the dark water lived old Gollum...

In 1952, having first exorcized the apparatus by reciting the Lord's Prayer in Gothic, J.R.R. Tolkien made a ten-minute recording of the riddle scene in The Hobbit on a portable tape recorder.
posted by hoist with his own pet aardvark at 12:59 PM PST - 29 comments

Yes, this meal is supposed to make you feel uncomfortable

From kindergarten to culinary school, people made me feel like my family’s food was backward. Now I cook dishes that push diners to confront their own prejudices.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:58 AM PST - 55 comments

David Douglas, of the fir and squirrel

About a hundred years ago, a young Scottish man came to Oregon to collect seeds and plants. Along the way, he named over eighty species and cataloged thousands, including our ubiquitous fir, the cute squirrels who coexist with me, and a lizard.
posted by OneSmartMonkey at 10:32 AM PST - 8 comments

The Land Of The Strong People

It Takes a Village: The Story of Ohkay Owingeh - The earliest photographs of the village, taken in 1877, show a place still recognizable today. The one- and two-story buildings surround four unpaved plazas used for dances and feast days that regularly attract crowds of visitors. Owe’neh Bupingeh, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, isn’t a museum piece; it’s a living village. It serves as the historic core and spiritual center of Ohkay Owingeh, one of 19 federally recognized pueblos, or tribal communities, in New Mexico. A decade ago, however, it looked as if Owe’neh Bupingeh might return to the earth from which it came. The number of inhabited homes had fallen to about 25, from a peak of roughly 200. Visiting families stayed in some of the other residences during ceremonies, for which tribal members return from all over. Many, though, had been abandoned or had slipped into such disrepair that they were unfit for regular habitation. The American Southwest contains many deserted (or nearly deserted) pueblos that only fill with people during tribal gatherings. They remain central to native spiritual practices, but they too often carry the haunted air of half-abandoned ruins. Owe’neh Bupingeh could have followed that path.
It did not because the tribe decided it would not.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:18 AM PST - 3 comments

"I am a con artist and cancer is my final con."

Author Elizabeth Wurtzel has died at 52 (WP) (Daily Beast), following a struggle with cancer. Her 1994 memoir Prozac Nation and her fierce style opened dialogue about clinical depression and Gen X women's lives, despite the derision her celebrity and occasional self-absorption inspired. Wurtzel previously: 1, 2, 3.
posted by Countess Elena at 9:21 AM PST - 38 comments

Big Up Grime in 2019

2019 marked another chapter or two in the grime story, from pirate radio to mainstream (Channel 4 documentary; Fact Magazine review). Brothers Skepta and Jme, still on their own Boy Better Know label, each released new albums. Skepta's Ignorance is Bliss (YouTube playlist) charted in 15 countries (Wikipedia), while Jme's Grime MC (LP sample on YouTube; Discogs) is currently a physical-only album, charted at #26 on the UK album charts, selling out of most shops, as noted in this Pitchfork review. But the biggest event was probably Stormzy's performance (YouTube, full set) as the first black solo British artist to headline Glastonbury (Guardian) in the festival's roughly four decades (Wikipedia). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 8:08 AM PST - 7 comments

This has become his sacred burden

There are national congresses that are less comprehensive than the J! Archive, and Robert Schmidt, a 39-year-old patent attorney and the original architect of the website, tells me over email that the full scope of documenting Jeopardy! requires a near-insurmountable amount of work. Still, he doesn’t think he’s doing enough.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:47 AM PST - 9 comments

Furiously Unhappy: The New Midlife Crisis for Women

"Midlife is when we need to take care of everyone else while we are our most tired, to trust ourselves when we're most filled with doubt. What makes it worse is that many of our midlife fears are well founded. We may, in fact, die alone. Our marriages may never improve. We may never get the number of kids we hoped for. We may never save enough money to make the retirement calculators stop screaming. We may never do a fraction of what we thought we would do in our career." The New Midlife Crisis: Why (and How) It's Hitting Gen X Women, by Ada Calhoun (Oprah.com).
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:27 AM PST - 61 comments

The Zora Canon

"Here we are, almost two decades into the new millennium, with this list made in conversation with, acknowledgement, and praise of others. Made for ourselves. And made here, in this space, where it is accessible to anyone with Wi-Fi and a phone. It is a new digital map for our consciousness and a space to create anew what it means to write and read as a Black woman. I cannot wait to read the works that will come from the people who find this list on their timeline, read the pieces, find the books, and feel called upon to write something in response to the voices calling out to them." Kaitlyn Greenidge introduces Zora's new Canon of African American Women's Literature.
posted by ChuraChura at 6:23 AM PST - 4 comments

January 6

Black Artists / White Spaces

On Aging Black Artists and British Art Institutions [more inside]
posted by jj's.mama at 9:46 PM PST - 9 comments

A History of Buying Books onto the Bestseller List

When Donald Trump Jr.'s book Triggered debuted atop the New York Times bestseller list, there was a dagger next to the listing, meaning the NYT believes the book benefited from bulk purchases rather than a groundswell of individual buyers. Sarah Nicolas at Book Riot explains further -- and tells us that Donald Sr. "helped pioneer the practice among business people.".
posted by Etrigan at 3:37 PM PST - 33 comments

Small aboriginal fires to prevent big fires in Australia

Essentially, the technique involves burning a small patch in mild conditions, such as cool mornings or late afternoons in late autumn and early winter, and when there is little breeze. [more inside]
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 3:22 PM PST - 22 comments

Let's talk about Dark Souls one last time wait where are you going

2010s: The Dark Souls of decades 2 [YouTube] “About 10 years ago, we began our journey into a dark and inhospitable world. A hostile realm where corruption and greed turned kings into monsters, and where hope was a half-remembered dream. Also, some of us played Dark Souls. Yes, it was the Decade of Dark Souls and the Dark Souls of Decades. It totally permeated the collective gamer unconscious. It just couldn’t be ignored. FromSoftware created this new strain of super-hard action RPGs as a deliberate counterpoint to modern design sensibilities. It’s a series that for better and for worse changed the way games are played, made, and talked about.” [via: Polygon] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 12:34 PM PST - 34 comments

Boy, Man, God, SHIT!

Anticipation was high at Madison Square Garden as Phish took the stage shortly before midnight and kicked off their annual New Years Eve theatrical performance or "gag" with an acapella version of Stephen Sondheim's Send in the Clowns Clones. As the four band members stepped onto platforms that lifted them up above the stage and jumped into the opening groove of First Tube they were joined on stage by 40 band member lookalikes who began a song and dance routine below them. The countdown to midnight and Auld Lang Syne went off without a hitch. Everything was going perfectly until... [more inside]
posted by bondcliff at 12:18 PM PST - 33 comments

We're not too low the cloth to weave But too low the cloth to wear

On their 1993 album Kingdom, techno-hippies Ultramarine recruited Robert Wyatt to sing two songs from a radical and lost English past. [more inside]
posted by thatwhichfalls at 11:19 AM PST - 19 comments

brewing trouble

Confessions of a Nespresso Money Mule. Professor Nina Kollars [twitter] stumbled across sellers on eBay seling Nespresso pods for half price. And throwing in a free machine.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:42 AM PST - 38 comments

It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time

The big screen adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Cats (previously) has been a box office trainwreck, with critics and audiences panning it, resulting in an estimated loss of $100M. Given the bad press on the film, the Washington Post asks a simple question - does the film play better while under the influence? (SLWaPo) [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 9:28 AM PST - 149 comments

Policy minus science plus review equals new policy?

While top-level science positions remain vacant, scientific advisory panels have been quietly diminished, disbanded or stacked with industry scientists under the Trump Administration ( Inside Climate News), the EPA's Science Advisory Board (SAB), staffed with Trump appointees, (New York Times; archived) took aim at the Trump administration's rewrite of an Obama-era regulation of waterways, an Obama-era effort to curb planet-warming vehicle tailpipe emissions and a plan to limit scientific data that can be used to draft health regulations, as you can read in draft reports for the upcoming public meeting of the SAB. As summarized by Ars Technica, EPA science board to EPA management: Try using some science.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:06 AM PST - 9 comments

the 12 days

On the FIRST day of Christmas my true love gave to me: ♪♫♫♪ a DRAGON that was really hard to see ♫♪♪♫...
posted by dhruva at 5:35 AM PST - 7 comments

January 5

Can I really even make a difference?

The number one worry of Australians is climate change, according to the Australia Talks National Survey. On average, people are willing to chip in an extra $200 a year to help prevent climate change - which would add up to just over $4 billion per year. Here's some ideas about how that money could make a difference. [more inside]
posted by Athanassiel at 11:18 PM PST - 23 comments

The Teenage Whaler's Tale

When a teenager from St. Lawrence Island, Alaska struck a whale for his Siberian Yupik village in April 2017, he celebrated with his family and elders. Then, the death threats came. [more inside]
posted by charmedimsure at 11:09 PM PST - 17 comments

The Complex Life of Griffith J. Griffith

The Complex Life of Griffith J. Griffith Griffith J. Griffith donated the land for Griffith Park to the city of Los Angeles, and later bequeathed a trust to construct a free observatory to make astronomy accessible to the public. He also shot his wife in the head. L.A. historian Hadley Meares tells the story of Griffith J. Griffith, and it is fascinating.
posted by simonw at 9:26 PM PST - 15 comments

Big blue chonk

“Up until recently, it seemed that our current surfeit of suspension-feeding giants – not just the blue whale, but others like the fin and sei whales – was a recent development. The biggest modern whales seemed to be far larger than their prehistoric counterparts, hinting that baleen whales have been ballooning (despite the fact that the marks of modern human whaling still marks the world’s oceans). But a paper published earlier this year documented a 1.5 million-year-old blue whale that stretched about 85 feet in life, hinting that the cetacean size boom has deep roots. And, coming at the question from another direction, marine biologist Jeremy Goldbogen and colleagues have outlined what might keep whales from getting larger. Namely, how much food they can sift from the seas.” The Biggest Whales Are Yet to Come (Scientific American) [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 5:29 PM PST - 2 comments

Hood Cowboy Bebop

KING VADER presents a live action parody of the animated adventures of Spike Spiegel: Hood Cowboy Bebop (Part Two)
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 12:09 PM PST - 16 comments

No, it wasn’t Snake Plissken

How A Former Green Beret, Black Roadie Cases, And Two Private Jets Got Carlos Ghosn To Lebanon (the fall of Ghosn previously)
posted by Etrigan at 11:40 AM PST - 11 comments

More like if you've eaten these foods you're a normal ass eater

If You've Eaten 38/54 Of These Foods, You're An Adventurous Eater It's just some light relief, we all love food and food fights, don't we? The post title is the whole text of one of the comments [more inside]
posted by mumimor at 10:14 AM PST - 199 comments

You Give Me Something I Can Feel

How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb was U2's 11th studio album, released in 2004. Marked strongly by the then-recent death of Bob Hewson, it's full of reaching toward life and struggling with mortality. It's worth a revisit now, over 15 years since its release. Side A: Vertigo [video], Miracle Drug [background], Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own [video], Love And Peace Or Else, City Of Blinding Lights [video] [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 10:06 AM PST - 39 comments

dogfights and anime

Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown [Trailer] [Opening Cinematic] “What really defines the Ace Combat experience, however, isn't something that can be plastered on the back of the box. No, it's the combination of key elements which draw you deeper into each battle. In my experience, there's a certain dryness to most flight sims and that's OK, honestly - but Ace Combat is something different. There's this atmosphere and sense of excitement in the air - moments when you push your flight skills to the limits as you chase a difficult enemy. You're fully engaged in this air ballet - low on missiles, armour nearly depleted then, just as the music swells and the brilliant colours dance around your peripheral vision, you nail that precision shot. You exhale. It's an emotional experience and anyone that's played through the series will know exactly what I mean.” [via: Eurogamer] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 9:51 AM PST - 9 comments

"They make you smile due to their sheer size and behavior"

For the past four years, photographer Dean Mason has used an unusual model as his muse—a harvest mouse. These pint-sized rodents have large ears and eyes, as well as short whiskers that make them quite photogenic. At just three inches long, the harvest mouse is half the size of a house mouse and incredibly acrobatic. Their curious, charming behavior makes harvest mice fascinating to photograph, as you never know what they’ll get up to in their tiny worlds. (h/t MexicanYenta)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:47 AM PST - 22 comments

"Jeder stirbt für sich allein"

The complicated life story of Hans Fallada (1893 – 1947), Meth head and Insanely maladjusted German author, who wrote “Every Man Dies Alone” (or 'Alone in Berlin'), "the greatest book ever written about German resistance to the Nazis".
Born Rudolf Ditzen, he took his pen name Fallada from the magical talking horse in the Grimm tale 'The Goose Girl'. The horse is killed because it always tells the truth and continues to do so even after decapitation.
German site.
Previously on Metafilter
posted by growabrain at 7:17 AM PST - 10 comments

January 4

Car-lovers for More Transit Options

Last month, Aaron Gordon wrote an article for the car for Jalopnik, the site for people "obsessed with the cult of cars and everything that moves you," pleading for people to stop taking Ubers to the Empire State Building and instead take transit (it's the #1 most-visited location by Uber users, as reported by CNBC). This was noticed on the Facebook group New Urbanist Memes for Transit-Oriented Teens (NUMTOT previously), who include a number of car-lovers who also want better transit options, which lead to a new article from Gordon: It's Time To Let Go Of Commuter (Car) Culture. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 11:19 PM PST - 92 comments

vvvvVVVVvvvv + =^..^=

From the BBC: “9 hours relaxing sounds of cat hoovering around Christmas tree and presents”
posted by Going To Maine at 10:08 PM PST - 17 comments

Bringing Black Feminist Theory into the Non-Vanilla Bedroom

Mistress Velvet took the opportunity to turn race fetishism into a teachable moment and has built her professional work around it. Meet The Dominatrix Who Requires The Men Who Hire Her To Read Black Feminist Theory. [more inside]
posted by loriginedumonde at 6:31 PM PST - 8 comments

"The bad news is that we can't possibly perform the experiment."

Stephen Jay Gould, after proposing the thought experiment of "replaying the tape of life" in his 1989 book Wonderful Life, despaired that his ideas about the role of contingency and chance in evolution could ever be tested. Little did he know that an E. coli experiment started one year earlier (previously, previously) would allow us to do exactly that - well, perhaps a smaller version of that, what with the difficulty of recreating the Cambrian Explosion - and that other biologists would take "can't possibly" as a challenge. 30 years on, where does his thought experiment stand? [more inside]
posted by clawsoon at 3:39 PM PST - 28 comments

Being In Total Charge of Herself

Idelisse Malavé and Joanne Sandler are on Season 5 of their podcast Two Old Bitches.
Lucero Gonzalez – The Feminist Who Could: she spends her time curating the ever-growing virtual Museum of Mexican Women Artists and producing a documentary about the creation of el Colectivo La Revuelta- a feminist newspaper. (Season 5)
Katherine Acey - Will the Elders Please Stand? Acey headed the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice for over 20 years and, most recently, the GRIOT Circle, a people of color LGBTQ elders organization. Now, a senior research fellow at the Barnard Center for Research on Women, Katherine is exploring a new topic, “What’s Age Got to Do With It?” (Season 1) [more inside]
posted by spamandkimchi at 2:21 PM PST - 4 comments

Three shifts at the Scrabble factory

For 20 years the wooden pieces for every Scrabble set in North America were manufactured in Fairfax, Vermont. This is Part 1 of a three-part series that explores the factory’s history through the stories of the people who shaped its fortunes. Read Part 2 and Part 3.
posted by Mrs Potato at 9:11 AM PST - 9 comments

Turns the planet into a living playground. ✈

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 [Announcement Trailer] [Gameplay Trailer][Seasons/Dynamic Weather Trailer][Tour of Cockpit Trailer]“Releasing in 2020, the upcoming Microsoft Flight Simulator looks greater than fiction. Apparently, its hyper-realistic graphics are a product of AI technology and satellite data. “From light planes to wide-body jets, fly highly detailed and stunning aircraft in an incredibly realistic world,” the trailer’s description reads. “Create your flight plan and fly anywhere on the planet. Enjoy flying day or night and face realistic, challenging weather conditions.”” [via: Kotaku] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 8:04 AM PST - 55 comments

T.S. Elliot and Emily Hale

Over 1,000 letters sent from T.S. Eliot to his "muse" Emily Hale have been released, per Hale's wishes, 50 years after her death. In anticipation of this event Eliot prepared a... statement as a rebuttal to his own letters.
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 7:38 AM PST - 102 comments

Colour Wheels, Charts, and Tables Through History

A chronology of various attempts through the last four centuries to visually organise and make sense of colour. From the Public Domain Review, which draws in turn on Sarah Lowengard's The Creation of Color in Eighteenth-Century Europe. [more inside]
posted by carter at 7:20 AM PST - 5 comments

Always look on the bright side of life (despite having no eyes)

Red brittle stars have no eyes, but can still see. Researchers said on Thursday that the red brittle star, called Ophiocoma wendtii, joins a species of sea urchin as the only creatures known to be able to see without having eyes -- known as extraocular vision. They are not simply detecting brightness versus darkness (lots of eyeless creatures can do that), but seeing images. They have a nervous system but no brain. [Lead author's Twitter feed] [Brittlestars previously]
posted by heatherlogan at 6:55 AM PST - 15 comments


The Fabulous World of Karel Zeman (Keith Allison, Diabolique Magazine): "If you took special effects film pioneer Georges Méliès and combined him with stop motion animation genius Ray Harryhausen and surreal fantasist Terry Gilliam, you’d have a filmmaker very close to Karel Zeman. Harryhausen was a contemporary, and so the two men played off of one another’s work. Gilliam names Zeman as one of the biggest influences on the former Monty Pythoner’s exquisitely-designed fantasy films." (Zeman previously) [more inside]
posted by sapagan at 5:26 AM PST - 4 comments

Resisting Smartness

Designing to Disrupt Alexa A cute way to mess with the panopticon. [more inside]
posted by pompomtom at 2:52 AM PST - 24 comments

January 3

Words Used to Describe Genitals In Fanfiction

So at one point someone suggested we start a list of words used in fanfiction to describe genitals. After a particularly great Twilight fic was submitted, I decided to start that list.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:04 PM PST - 55 comments

How to Find a Meteorite

NASA estimates that some 48.5 tons of natural extraterrestrial material, such as dust or small chunks of asteroids, rain down toward our planet each day. Before these space rocks reach our atmosphere, they’re called meteoroids. When they enter our atmosphere, they become meteors—and many burn up, with that telltale shooting trail across the sky. When objects survive to fall to Earth, they’re known as meteorites. [...] The Meteoritical Society records only 1,824 confirmed meteorites found in the United States between 1807 and July 10, 2019. If you want to go for it, though, here’s how you can raise your odds. (Atlas Obscura) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:08 PM PST - 6 comments


Berke Breathed is still back in Bloom County and is at it again with his end-of-year story line, It's Never Too Late For A Wonderful Life. Starring Steve Dallas and Opus The Penguin, it's about life choices and how they affect the world. Episode 1, in which Steve Dallas is confronted with his life circumstances. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 8:46 PM PST - 17 comments

Found on My Bedroom floor. Probably Sandy's.

A selection of images from the meticulous catalogue that Janet Gnosspelius kept of all cat whiskers she found between 1940-1942. Colossal link; images from the Cardiff University Special Collections archive. [more inside]
posted by cpatterson at 3:22 PM PST - 20 comments

“Imagine being arrested for selling poetry!”

Shig Murao: The Enigmatic Soul of City Lights and the San Francisco Beat Scene is a website dedicated to Shig Murao, the first employee at the City Lights bookstore and Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s fellow defendant in the Howl obscenity trial (though he was infamously written out of the movie version). Written and compiled by Murao’s friend Richard Reynolds, the website has a multipart biography of Murao, as well as reminiscences by others. There are also audio clips of Murao and others, as well as photos, and scans of some issues of his zine, Shig’s Review.
posted by Kattullus at 2:51 PM PST - 6 comments

The 1788 Doctors’ Riot and Colonial White Nationalism

As part of a warning against disinformation amplified by the internet and social media in his annual New Year's message, Chief Justice Roberts writes, "In the winter of 1788, New York newspapers reported accounts that medical students were robbing graves so they could practice surgery on cadavers. In April, the chatter gelled into a rumor that students at New York Hospital were dissecting a schoolboy’s recently deceased mother. An angry mob stormed the hospital, and the mayor gave some of the medical staff refuge in the city jail. When the mob marched on the jail, John Jay, who lived nearby, grabbed his sword and joined Governor Clinton to quell the riot. In the ensuing commotion, a rioter struck Jay in the head with a rock, knocking him unconscious and leaving him, according to one account, with “two large holes in his forehead.”" While a rumor may have been the immediate motivation for the riot, a closer review of the history reveals that a colonial idea of white supremacy was the disinformation that helped inspire mob violence. [more inside]
posted by katra at 2:14 PM PST - 9 comments

"So that's what redneck Versailles would look like."

As one of the first "experts" lifted up to megastardom by Oprah, Dr. Phil McGraw has lived a lavish life, complete with his family trust owning a portfolio of properties. Recently, one of those properties - a mansion in LA occupied by his son Jordan - has come on the market, with an interior that has to be seen to be believed. (SLLA Times) [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 1:23 PM PST - 99 comments

Cabbages on canvas and beyond

Why are artists – from George Orwell to Stanley Spencer – obsessed with cabbage? Alexandra Harris, winner of the 2010 Guardian first book award, explains in Top of the crops: cabbages in art [more inside]
posted by youarenothere at 11:42 AM PST - 18 comments

Saudi Arabia warms to Russia's embrace

Trump's first state visit was to Saudi Arabia, where he participated in some weird games. And despite warnings and concerns, he has kept up a warm relationship with Vladimir Putin, the Russian president. At at quick glimpse, these two things seem unrelated, but what if they aren't? [more inside]
posted by mumimor at 9:50 AM PST - 16 comments

(Can you be a labor boss without massive forearms?)

Who Really Killed Jimmy Hoffa? (And was the frozen salmon a red herring?) Filmmaker Errol Morris (many previouslies) talks to former George W. Bush Administration official Jack Goldsmith about Jimmy Hoffa's disappearance in the context of the recent release of Martin Scorsese's The Irishman. [FanFare link] [more inside]
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:42 AM PST - 15 comments

Let it bounce exactly twice for perfect texture

What if you just want one piece of popcorn?
posted by Etrigan at 7:42 AM PST - 51 comments

"Nevertheless, let’s judge them on that irrelevant criterion."

Which emoji scissors close
posted by pol at 7:23 AM PST - 14 comments

This will result in a consensus

Which Subway Seat Is Best? Your Answer Is Obviously Wrong
posted by Literaryhero at 5:39 AM PST - 62 comments

Goodbye, 1-800-BLUE-VAN

RIP SuperShuttle, 2020 Casualty Of Big Tech And Wall Street
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 5:28 AM PST - 47 comments

January 2

A little Joy (Division)

I was just tooling around looking for a qgis function and found Maps Inspired by Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures [more inside]
posted by unearthed at 11:33 PM PST - 19 comments

The Repair Shop and Money For Nothing: making things good again

The Repair Shop’s presenter, furniture restorer Jay Blades, puts the show’s success down to its relatability and heart. “A lot of people are annoyed with TV at the moment,” he says. “There’s too much nastiness, whereas The Repair Shop is all about making things good again. We fulfil people’s dreams. And when we do, they have such wonder written all over their faces.” The Repair Shop: ‘We can fix anything but a broken heart – and Brexit’ (The Guardian). [BBC One and Netflix] Similar, but a bit different -- Sarah Moore, the fairy God-mother of junk (Jolly Volley) sorts through other people's trash and works with collaborators to make them into treasures, in Money for Nothing. [BBC One and Netflix]
posted by filthy light thief at 8:43 PM PST - 30 comments

Republicans call for overturning Roe v. Wade in Supreme Court filing

Two days into the 2020 election year, Republicans are staking their ground: They’re coming for Roe v. Wade. In an amicus curie brief released Thursday, 205 Republican lawmakers, including 39 senators, asked the Supreme Court to consider whether Roe, the 1973 landmark Supreme Court case protecting the right to an abortion, “should be reconsidered and, if appropriate, overruled.” They’re weighing in on June Medical Services v. Gee, a key abortion-related case set to be heard in early March determining whether the state of Louisiana can require abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. Advocates predict that, if the Louisiana law is upheld, two of the remaining three abortion clinics in the state will close down. Abortion rights advocates sounded the alarm Thursday, warning that the legal battle over Roe is now in full swing. “The anti-choice movement is no longer trying to hide their real agenda,” said Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, in a statement. “They are gunning to end Roe, criminalize abortion and punish women. If it wasn’t clear why we fought like hell to stop [Supreme Court justice] Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation before, it should be crystal clear now.”
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 8:13 PM PST - 70 comments

Send lawyers, guns and money

The commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps, Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, was killed in a strike on the Baghdad International Airport early Friday. (NYTimes) The US has claimed responsibility for the attack (WaPo). He was a highly-revered figure, considered to be a potential future leader of the country. Tensions between the US and Iran have skyrocketed.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:17 PM PST - 867 comments

No cows. No farmers. ONLY GRITTY.

“There were skeptics who didn’t think that Butter Gritty would ever come,” said Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “Today is triumphant for any number of reasons.” Behold Gritty, Philadelphia Flyers mascot, beloved meme, and now the Big Yellow Star of the Commonwealth's largest agricultural event: Butter Gritty (and friends) take the PA Farm Show, or how a Twitter joke by a government official got real. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:57 PM PST - 9 comments

Columnist Ella Quittner never wants to eat another egg again

The Absolute Best Way to Fry an Egg, According to 42 Tests
posted by bq at 4:11 PM PST - 74 comments

Cultural appropriation as an antenna

How To Change Your Conversations About Cultural Appropriation: What you’re saying and who you’re saying it to change the meaning of an expression. You should get in the habit of looking up the original context of an expression: what did it mean to the people who created it, who were around at the time? Now, in what other contexts is it likely to appear? What are the similarities and differences? What are the demographics? What are the differences in power and privilege? [more inside]
posted by Conspire at 3:04 PM PST - 32 comments

Mueller Reports Lost Crops

After a curious quest find lost crops in all the wrong places among the ruins, after planting and harvesting, Natalie Mueller has found that growing goosefoot and erect knotweed together gives yields within the range for traditionally grown maize. Previously. [more inside]
posted by clawsoon at 2:13 PM PST - 10 comments

" freighted with both dread and grief. "

The Designated Mourner, Fintan O'Toole in the New York Review Of Books - Joe Biden is the most gothic figure in American politics. He is haunted by death, not just by the private tragedies his family has endured, but by a larger and more public sense of loss. Richard Ben Cramer, in his classic account of the 1988 presidential primaries, What It Takes, wrote how even then it was a journalistic cliché to define Biden by the terrible car crash that killed his first wife, Neilia, and their daughter, Naomi (and injured Beau and his brother, Hunter), in 1972, shortly after Biden was elected to the Senate at the age of twenty-nine. Cramer refers to the “type that fell out of the machine every time they used Biden’s name: ‘…whose life was touched by personal tragedy…’ Joe Biden (D-Del., T.B.P.T.).” ... Yet even if those horrible losses had not befallen his family, Biden would have a very public relationship to the dead. He is haunted by the murdered Kennedys. In his campaign speeches he has evoked the image of himself and his sister, Valerie, weeping openly as Robert Kennedy’s funeral train passed by. For the first decades of his political career, his pitch was essentially that these dead men could rise again through him.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:24 PM PST - 5 comments

You gotta go, even if you don't have to go.

10 Bathrooms You Should Pee in Before You Die
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:21 PM PST - 39 comments

I Am The Passenger

Originally starting as an online pilot, one of the big surprises from Cartoon Network in 2019 was Infinity Train - a show that started as a fantastical adventure with accidental protagonist Tulip that became a meditation on grief and how it is approached, packing a lot of ground into its 10 episode initial run. Both the concept and the original run left the door open for more stories on the Train, and thus with a trailer and preview of the first episode Cartoon Network has announced a second season, titled Book Two. [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 1:08 PM PST - 7 comments

The Perfectly Bad Taste of Uncut Gems

GQ on the so-garish-it’s-gorgeous art, furniture, and decor in the Safdie brothers’ New York thriller.
posted by porn in the woods at 11:58 AM PST - 6 comments

When you drive, you’re basically in a kind of self-imposed purgatory

I can actually feel GOOD about the world when I walk around, because I’m seeing it as it stands now, instead through the horrifying prism of online news and discourse. The sun still shines out there. People are smiling. It’s not bad. You wouldn’t even know we’re all gonna die soon. Drew Magary, he of the annual Hater's Guide to the Williams-Sonoma Catalog (previously, with many more previouslies at the link), muses on the joys of walking.
posted by sunset in snow country at 10:49 AM PST - 33 comments

adding that the wolf mating season was in February

Lone wolf in Belgium gets potential love interest - Potential female mate spotted in habitat of wild male in east of country [The Guardian] "The Flemish Agency for Nature and Forests (ANB) revealed this week the first images of a she-wolf it has christened Noëlla"
posted by readinghippo at 9:52 AM PST - 3 comments

So here are some New Years 2020 time facts

"If you were born in the 1980s like me, a kid today who’s the age you were in 1990 is a full 30-year generation younger than you. They’ll remember Obama’s presidency the way you remember Reagan’s. 9/11 to them is the moon landing for you. The 90s seem as ancient to them as the 60s seem to you. To you, the 70s are just a little before your time—that’s how they think of the 2000s. They see the 70s how you see the 40s. And the hippy 60s seems as old to them as the Great Depression seems to you."
posted by How the runs scored at 7:22 AM PST - 128 comments

If I’ve got a couple making passionate love, I want Sheldon's trumpet

Jazz trumpeter and singer Jack Sheldon has died at 88. Well-known as a master trumpet player and the sidekick for the Merv Griffin Show, he was possibly best known (at least among my generation) as the voice behind Schoolhouse Rock songs including I'm Just A Bill, Conjunction Junction, and the vocal tour-de-force Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla. [more inside]
posted by Mchelly at 7:09 AM PST - 16 comments

(we should almost hire a 12-year-old to help us out with this)

How Canada's military reacted to seeing Pokemon Go players trespassing on its bases
posted by Etrigan at 6:16 AM PST - 10 comments

The Story of Knives

The story of Bernal Cutlery started many years ago in a small kitchen. Josh Donald had recently been laid off. Kelly Kozak was adding up the bills. They didn’t have enough for groceries. Josh was sharpening a knife at the table. Why not offer a sharpening service in the neighborhood to make ends meet? “The Story of Knives” is an illustrated tale about love, overcoming addiction and the resilience it takes to stay together. From San Franciso's Mission Local news site.
posted by Bella Donna at 5:44 AM PST - 15 comments

“It is love, not reason, that is stronger than death.”

Movies, Music, and Books That Enter the Public Domain Today [Center for the Study of Public Domain] “On January 1, 2020, works from 1924 [entered] the US public domain, where they will be free for all to use and build upon, without permission or fee. These works include George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, silent films by Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd, and books such as Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain, E. M. Forster’s A Passage to India, and A. A. Milne’s When We Were Very Young. These works were supposed to go into the public domain in 2000, after being copyrighted for 75 years. But before this could happen, Congress hit a 20-year pause button and extended their copyright term to 95 years. Now the wait is over. The list below may not be completely comprehensive, but it’s a good place to start. (To find more material from 1924, you can visit the Catalogue of Copyright Entries.)” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 5:18 AM PST - 35 comments

Codpiece thrusts its way back into fashion

Fashion has embraced the codpiece again, centuries after it fell out of style.
posted by Literaryhero at 5:18 AM PST - 39 comments

January 1

This is your father's electronica

French soundtrack composer Jean-Michel Jarre burst into the public mind in 1976 with the release of his synthesizer album Oxygène. Presented here in two sides, as originally released. Side A: Oxygène (Part I), Oxygène (Part II), Oxygène (Part III) [18m45s] [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 9:05 PM PST - 47 comments

Looking back at the past decade, plus the last year in science and math

America is still living in the 2000s, don’t let the 2010s fool you. The end of the 2010s might be upon us, at least based on the constraints of linear time and language. Let go of the restrictions of the calendar, though, and it’s a decade that never began in the first place, because the 2000s never really ended. Instead, whatever distinct era we’re in now has been going on for nearly 20 years as a single, lurid blur, shaped by a media landscape that has changed how Americans perceive and understand almost everything. (The Atlantic) And if you're looking for your discussions and photos of the last decade, well ... [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 7:36 PM PST - 37 comments

Back to the Beginning

On Saturday, January 4th, thousands of Jews around the world will complete daf yomi, the 7.5 year cycle of studying the Babylonian Talmud one page at a time. On January 5th, they'll start again. [more inside]
posted by damayanti at 7:01 PM PST - 11 comments

David Stern 1942-2020

David Stern, likely the most important sports businessman of all time, who turned the NBA into an international household name, has died. People, we've lost today a legend! [more inside]
posted by avi111 at 2:24 PM PST - 18 comments

Are there old and forgotten technologies that can be more useful to us?

Applying The Old Ways To New Journeys, Part One
Markus Kittner[blog post, many pictures dead] writes about the history and development of external frame backpacks and backpacking. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:16 PM PST - 24 comments

Medicaid’s Dark Secret

“I can’t think of a single person who has come to me to avoid estate recovery,” Gregory Wilcox[, an elder-law attorney,] says, “because they’re usually not aware of it.” Instead, those who do find out [...] “come to me for estate planning. I tell them, ‘I’ve got good news for you: I can help you avoid probate, and if you avoid that you can also avoid Medicaid estate recovery.’ They’re not even aware of the need to do that.” (SLAtlantic) [more inside]
posted by katra at 12:59 PM PST - 26 comments

Digitalis interdictum

The Analog January Challenge. Read. Move. Connect. Make. Join. Connect: "Hold a real conversation with 20 different people during the monthlong challenge. These conversations can be in person or over the phone/Facetime/Skype, but text-based communication doesn’t count (you must be able to hear the other person’s voice). To hit the 20 person mark will require some advance planning: you might consider calling old friends or taking various colleagues along for lunch and coffee breaks." [more inside]
posted by storybored at 9:25 AM PST - 75 comments

It's Gonna Be a Year

This tweet has become thoroughly viral in the weeks approaching 2020. But it doesn't tell the whole story. For one thing, the two Friday the 13ths; the one in March is the day before Pi Day (3.14), and the one in November is exactly midway between Halloween and Thankgiving. And yes, it gets weirder. [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:45 AM PST - 25 comments

The Middle East is not part of the world that plays by Las Vegas rules

It's never boring in the Middle East, but 2019 was an epic year even by the standards of the region.
London based Middle East Eye's staff pick their favourite articles from a tumultuous year in the Middle East and North Africa. [more inside]
posted by adamvasco at 8:40 AM PST - 6 comments

Best of Suggested Readings from 2019

Well-researched stories about the forest economy, eavesdropping squirrels, and more that bridge the gap between news and scholarship.
posted by Mrs Potato at 8:31 AM PST - 4 comments

Panoramic maps at the Library of Congress

The panoramic map was a popular cartographic form used to depict cities and towns in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Known also as bird's-eye views, perspective maps, and aero views, panoramic maps are nonphotographic representations of cities portrayed as if viewed from above at an oblique angle. The Library of Congress has a large collection of digitized maps, including high resolution scans. You can filter by location, date, subject, etc.
posted by carter at 5:24 AM PST - 12 comments

You’d be surprised how little blood it actually takes to do a painting

Charles Manson masks, made with his ashes, spark outrage in murderabilia community.
posted by Literaryhero at 1:14 AM PST - 11 comments