January 2021 Archives

January 31

What Does the World After Capitalism Look Like?

We can’t and shouldn’t pretend that turning average schlubs into better exploiters and more cunning predators is some kind of shining ideal of progress
posted by CheapB at 9:28 PM PST - 32 comments

This Post is Contractually Obligated to have a Title

Hey, remember that Blazing Saddles TV series that ran for four seasons? [more inside]
posted by GhostintheMachine at 3:01 PM PST - 31 comments

This Parenting Book Actually Made Me a Better Parent

‘How to Talk So Kids Will Listen And Listen So Kids Will Talk’ "The most important thing the Book has done is insist that I put myself in my child’s shoes rather than scream about where she leaves them. ... I have gotten a lot of bittersweet mileage out of the Book’s directive: “Give the child her wishes in fantasy,” a suggestion from the section on “Helping Children Deal With Their Feelings.” She and I conjure up outsize birthday-party ideas for after the pandemic, or a yearlong road trip in an R.V. with every single one of our friends and a lot of animals too. She is planning a sleepover that lasts two weeks or maybe eight! whole! months!"
posted by folklore724 at 1:28 PM PST - 24 comments

you have made me a good deal of trouble & labor by your over-familiarity

All the best--and worst!--presidential pets, ranked. From 44 (a bunch of silkworms), through a small group of non-existent or apocryphal pets, all the way to what is probably a surprising #1: One pet (or set of pets) per President, ranked.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 1:16 PM PST - 29 comments

Knock, knock

Oregon health care workers were stuck in a snowstorm with expiring vaccines. So, they gave shots to strangers caught in traffic. (Pharmacy Today, January 29, 2021) [more inside]
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:42 PM PST - 16 comments

Hooray! I'm the transgender princess of TERF Island!

Abigail Thorn, creator of popular YouTube channel, PhilosophyTube has come out as transgender and released a statement about the joy and fear of being trans in the UK. (also on twitter). [more inside]
posted by death valley compound at 10:30 AM PST - 27 comments

Mini Modern House

My mom and step-dad have spent the better part of quarantine building what they call their "Mini Modern House." It is, quite literally, a miniature marvel, and the world needs to see it. View in Twitter. View in Threadreader. [more inside]
posted by selfmedicating at 6:12 AM PST - 61 comments

It started out as Han's, now it's Lando's

Want something nice and soothing for your Sunday viewing? Here's somebody lovingly cleaning and restoring a battered old, 1978 vintage Millennium Falcon. With bonus X-Wing episode.
posted by MartinWisse at 5:29 AM PST - 29 comments

The Awkwardness Principle

Mefi's Own™ Oliver Burkeman's newsletter this week discusses the awkwardness principle when trying to make a personal change: I keep coming back to a line in the excellent book Already Free, by the psychotherapist Bruce Tift: “The practices that carry the greatest potential for transformative change are usually counter-instinctual.” [more inside]
posted by ellieBOA at 2:50 AM PST - 10 comments

Ya done messed up, A-A-Ron

An oral history of Key and Peele's Substitute Teacher (EW). Keegan-Michael Key on the perfect metaphor for improv and how it works for Substitute Teacher. Previously.
posted by adrianhon at 2:49 AM PST - 18 comments

January 30

Thankfully, it wasn't in 2001: A Space Odyssey

Not only did Stanley Kubrick reject a commissioned alternative film score for 2001: A Space Odyssey, he also rejected a song he commissioned for the movie. 52 years later, you can now listen to 2001: A Garden of Personal Mirrors
posted by ShooBoo at 9:47 PM PST - 56 comments

Regarding The !!!! Beat

The !!!! Beat Volume 1 Show 2 [more inside]
posted by y2karl at 6:39 PM PST - 12 comments

1915 film footage of Monet, Renoir, Rodin and Degas

"In this charming little artifact over a century old, Russian-born French actor, Sacha Guitry, employs newfangled technology, the motion picture camera, to capture some of France's great artists at the ends of their lives."
posted by cgc373 at 3:42 PM PST - 20 comments

A house float is a new invention

New Orleans folks are decking their homes like they would a parade float. "Megan Joy Boudreaux posted what she later called a silly Twitter joke: “We’re doing this. Turn your house into a float and throw all the beads from your attic at your neighbors walking by.” But the more she thought about it, the more she liked it. She started a Facebook group, the Krewe of House Floats, expecting a few friends and neighbors to join. The numbers rose. Thirty-nine subgroups evolved to discuss neighborhood plans." [more inside]
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:12 PM PST - 16 comments

Beware The Groove

This oral history of The Emperor's New Groove delves into the fascinating story of the turbulent production that became one of Disney's most delightful and off-brand animated movies.
posted by merriment at 3:08 PM PST - 28 comments

“Welcome to the end of the world”

Monitoring the Weather at the Edge of the World. It all started with a single sentence in a blog post about Iceland: “A farmer is looking for support at a weather station and sheep farm.”
posted by Ahmad Khani at 2:09 PM PST - 11 comments

"But at least they get a chance.”

At Wet Mountain Wildlife Rehabilitation, Cec Sanders and Tom Sanders have rehabbed over 150 Colorado bears (and other wildlife). Seven orphaned bear cubs were just moved to artificial dens on Pikes Peak for the winter. Cubs climbing fences. Earlier videos on artificial den construction, moving cubs to a den, and cubs emerging in the spring. [more inside]
posted by medusa at 9:18 AM PST - 4 comments

Producer SOPHIE dead at 34

Visionary producer SOPHIE died of a freak accident Saturday morning. SOPHIE first came to prominence for a series of astonishing singles (previously), and released her debut album, Oil of Every Pearl's Un-Insides, to rave reviews and a Grammy nomination in 2018; cuts included It's Okay to Cry, the music video of which also served as a coming-out announcement; [Photosensitivity warning]Faceshopping, another fascinating take on identity and presentation; and Immaterial, an excessively catchy anthem. Last July, she teased new material with her 20-minute HEAV3N livestream. RIP.
posted by rorgy at 9:01 AM PST - 38 comments

Corky Lee's photographs helped Asian Americans see themselves. RIP

Corky Lee was one of the few chroniclers of Asian America in the US during some of its most significant eras - from the sixties, seventies, up through the nineties. He died of COVID-19 at 73. In Junru Huang's short Vimeo film Not On the Menu about his life, he describes the moment he realized that photographs have a role in historical memory - when a picture commemorating the completion of the transcontinental railroad at Promontory Summit showed only the white workers, and not the many Chinese workers who contributed their blood and sweat. [more inside]
posted by toastyk at 8:07 AM PST - 14 comments

January 29

Are you prepared for the unbearable puns?

This is the thankfully long-lost 1983 film Grizzly II: Revenge ..., the proposed sequel to the mediocre but profitable 1976 Jaws knockoff Grizzly, about a huge bear that goes ape, if you will, after its cubs are killed by poachers and conceives a murderous loathing for all humans straying into its forest. Grizzly II was abandoned after filming finished... But its producer Suzanne C Nagy has, after 37 years of legal wrangling, finally got the unedited footage into shape, ... and shamelessly released it, capitalising on the extraordinary fact that the first three kids to be killed by the crazy grizzly are played by a big-haired, denim-clad George Clooney (22 years old), Laura Dern (16) and Charlie Sheen (18). [The Guardian]. Watch the trailer.
posted by ShooBoo at 7:55 PM PST - 46 comments

The Library of Eco

Umberto Eco tracks down a book in his personal library (Twitter video)
posted by adrianhon at 3:21 PM PST - 37 comments

How SoulCycle lost its soul

The boutique fitness phenomenon sold exclusivity with a smile, until a toxic atmosphere and a push for growth brought the whole thing down. "“Your riders should want to be you or fuck you. That was the mantra,” a former instructor I’ll call Bobby says. “And those two concepts are not mutually exclusive.” ... A former employee shared a photo with Vox of a sticky note that hung in the studio’s office. On it, a quote attributed to Janet said that if riders start asking if they were on cocaine or say that they look like they had an eating disorder, it means that instructors are hitting their goal weights."
posted by folklore724 at 12:59 PM PST - 57 comments

"Off-puttingly truthful": growing up in a family with no filters

"After growing up in a family that never lied, I spent decades being off-puttingly truthful."An essay by Michael Leviton, in The Atlantic.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:39 PM PST - 89 comments

Moon Rock in the Oval Office

Apollo 17 Lunar Sample 76015,143: chipped off a lunar boulder in 1972, now sitting on a table in the White House after a long, long journey.
posted by brownpau at 12:35 PM PST - 22 comments

The goal is to automate us.

The Other Coup - NYT today.
We can have democracy, or we can have a surveillance society, but we cannot have both.
Two years ago Shoshana Zuboff published a The Age of Surveillance Capitalism - previous thread - Once we searched Google, but now Google searches us.
An Interview: Surveillance capitalism is an assault on human autonomy.
Twitter @shoshanazuboff.
posted by adamvasco at 12:17 PM PST - 24 comments

"Oh, shit, it's real."

Previously on Metafilter, we discussed how a flaw in an internet-enabled chastity cage could allow for hackers to bring new meaning to "denial of service". Now, Vice reports on active ransomware attacks in the wild, and interviews a victim of the attack.
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:10 PM PST - 38 comments

Happy Birthday To You free stock music

Good morning to all! Some of you are celebrating your birthday right now. Happy birthday to you! Have some free stock music. [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by aniola at 11:58 AM PST - 5 comments

Pocket the Thrush

Death with Dignity: How I Helped My Dad Die “I couldn’t change my dad’s decision about how and when to die. Nor could I honor his right to be in control without surrendering my own. So I helped the man who’d brought me into this world to leave it.“ (Esmé E Deprez In Bloomberg)
posted by SLC Mom at 11:47 AM PST - 8 comments

"We... curate our published content carefully."

When Dr. Amy Barnhorst decided not to follow up on editorial suggestions and withdrew her submission to the Journal of Health Services Psychology, she thought that was an end to the process. (link to Inside Higher Ed) It thus came as a surprise to her when she saw a nearly identical paper published in the journal, ascribed to the editor with who she'd been corresponding and another apparently unconnected nonacademic. [more inside]
posted by jackbishop at 10:46 AM PST - 24 comments

fighting words

How To Eat is a regular column at The Guardian. Today, they took on spag bol And there is no chance that could end well. The links are good, though. Sauce of controversy, THE SPOON QUESTION, OR HOW TO EAT PASTA LIKE AN EXPERT, and more [more inside]
posted by mumimor at 10:30 AM PST - 39 comments


@AAAAAGGHHHH and r/perfectlycutscreams feature many, many short videos that cut off abruptly in the middle of a scream.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:03 AM PST - 6 comments

An Art Revolution, made with scissors and glue

An examination of Cubism, collage, and the society that birthed it. (SLNYT)
posted by PussKillian at 9:56 AM PST - 4 comments

you mean to tell me a stick did this walking

Mike Stinnett carves a walking stick with a lizard and rattlesnake elements. Including some absolutely St. Francis-ass shit with a western fence lizard at one point.
posted by cortex at 9:56 AM PST - 7 comments

Somebody That I Used To Sort-Of Know

"Understandably, much of the energy directed toward the problems of pandemic social life has been spent on keeping people tied to their families and closest friends. These other relationships have withered largely unremarked on after the places that hosted them closed. The pandemic has evaporated entire categories of friendship, and by doing so, depleted the joys that make up a human life—and buoy human health. But that does present an opportunity. In the coming months, as we begin to add people back into our lives, we’ll now know what it’s like to be without them."
posted by cosmic owl at 9:53 AM PST - 28 comments

Using their teeth to cut my intestine and drink my blood

Here is a story all about how one chap's life got turned upside down by 50 parasitic worms. "My worms are alive – & MATING apparently! I’m oddly relieved. My worms dying off before even hitting puberty would’ve been a letdown. At this time the worms are in my intestine... and using their teeth to cut my intestine & drink my blood. I notice nothing." [Original twitter thread] Content warning: worms, inestines, rashes, just ewwwww.
posted by humuhumu at 9:47 AM PST - 14 comments

a celluloid talisman against the vampire of lesbian erasure

On Twitter, Mark Miller shares the story and photographs of his great aunt, her lovers, and their son. Threadreader version
posted by dismas at 9:18 AM PST - 6 comments

Chaotic Good in its Most Pure Form

Last week, [Dakota Johnson] appeared on The Tonight Show and admitted to Jimmy Fallon that she did not actually love limes or think they were great. The truth was revealed when Fallon played a clip of Johnson saying, "I love limes." The host asked his guest, with feigned earnestness, "What do you do with all those limes?" She responded, "I actually didn't even know that they were in there." Two Truths & A Lime: Pulling Apart Dakota Johnson’s Glorious Web Of Lies by Olivia Harrison [Refinery29]
posted by chavenet at 7:08 AM PST - 36 comments

Lying liars who lie: Alberta, Canada edition

(Source link: article by Geoff Dembicki in Vice) Climate change journalists around the world are part of a “disturbing” effort to hype up Greta Thunberg and “distribute propagandized climate change issues in their reporting,” says a new report paid for by an inquiry set up by the government of Alberta. The 133-page report says reporters who focus full-time on climate change are aiding powerful progressive global elites whose goal is to abolish capitalism and create a society in which life “will be constantly monitored, short, cold, and miserable, just like pre-industrial times.” [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 6:13 AM PST - 51 comments

Wombats Like Three Squares a Day

Did you ever wonder why wombats poo cubes? Neither had I. [more inside]
posted by Joan Rivers of Babylon at 5:27 AM PST - 17 comments

Be Right Back

Microsoft has been granted a patent to use the personal information of deceased people to create a chatbot, allowing users to talk to the dead.
posted by adept256 at 4:48 AM PST - 27 comments

[Beef trusts] pride themselves on producing a safe and wholesome product

In 2008 Mexico refused a shipment of beef from the United States because its sampled copper content was too high to meet Mexican food safety standards. Regulators in the US could not prevent the beef from being re-sold to domestic distributors because the US does not have any limits on the copper content in food. A 2010 United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Inspector General report concluded... [more inside]
posted by XMLicious at 12:44 AM PST - 9 comments

January 28

Let's Not Dumb Down the History of Computer Science

How has mathematics managed to escape this so far? I suppose it's because historians of math have always faced the fact that they won't be able to please everybody. Historians of other sciences have the delusion that any ordinary person can understand it, or at least they pretend so. A 2200-word edited transcript of a talk Donald E. Knuth gave in 2014 about historiography in computer science.
posted by cgc373 at 10:43 PM PST - 23 comments

This is the most cheerful video on this topic I've ever seen online

ADHD - "Under The Sea" Parody (SLYT) Penn Holderness does an extremely cheerful song parody. I figured there's enough folks around here with this issue that they might relate.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:36 PM PST - 34 comments

Actress Cicely Tyson dies at 96

In a remarkable career of many decades, she refused to take parts that demeaned Black people and won a Tony, Emmys and an honorary Oscar.
posted by NotLost at 10:14 PM PST - 31 comments

If it ain't broke...

The website of Berkshire Hathaway, one of the largest companies in the world, is a Web 1.0 throwback essentially unchanged since 1997. [more inside]
posted by jedicus at 9:41 PM PST - 50 comments

“That which is made with a minimum of means”

Tom Johnson - The Voice of New Music - New York City 1972–1982
A collection of composer Tom Johnson's columns for Village Voice covering the development of NYC minimalism from the inside. [more inside]
posted by thatwhichfalls at 5:48 PM PST - 7 comments

Can you solve the mystery of these 60-year-old travel photos?

CNN: stunning found-photos from Alaska. Snapshots of everyday life in Alaska-- check out the entire set of photos. Included are people going about their chores, dogs, planes, families at home, Yup'ik dancers, nuns, a parade in downtown Anchorage, and a whole bunch of wiggly kids. [more inside]
posted by blnkfrnk at 3:41 PM PST - 13 comments

Dyatlov Pass Mystery Solved?

From National Geographic, "The bizarre deaths of hikers at Russia's Dyatlov Pass have inspired countless conspiracy theories, but the answer may lie in an elegant computer model based on surprising sources. A 62-year-old adventure mystery that has prompted conspiracy theories around Soviet military experiments, Yetis, and even extraterrestrial contact may have its best, most sensible explanation yet—one found in a series of avalanche simulations based in part on car crash experiments and animation used in the movie Frozen." [more inside]
posted by yasaman at 2:20 PM PST - 22 comments


Meet the TikTok stars using viral videos to save the planet (Euronews Living) - via science communicator Abbie Richards (previously)
posted by bitteschoen at 11:13 AM PST - 1 comment

This is the mashup I needed today

I am constantly amazed at the work folks will put into these videos. This one combines a couple of favorites of mine. I don't want to spoil-it is OK for work and children.
posted by agatha_magatha at 10:53 AM PST - 13 comments

Punk Planet Archives

All 80 issues of Punk Planet are now available in full for free on The Internet Archive. -- Punk Planet was a 16,000 print run punk zine, based in Chicago, Illinois, that focused most of its energy on looking at punk subculture rather than punk as simply another genre of music to which teenagers listen. In addition to covering music, Punk Planet also covered visual arts and a wide variety of progressive issues — including media criticism, feminism, and labor issues. [more inside]
posted by Ufez Jones at 10:38 AM PST - 15 comments


HADO is an augmented reality sport in which two teams of three people use “energy balls” and shields to score points in 80-second games. With tournaments played worldwide, the game has come a long way since its founder “dreamed of throwing hadoken like in comics and on TV.
posted by adrianhon at 9:51 AM PST - 12 comments

Shitty Media Men And Those Who Enable Them

Writing on Medium, former Atlantic managing editor Jennifer Barnett discusses the abusive culture under James Bennet, how it pushed her out of the industry, and how people enabling him allows him - and other like him - to avoid accountability. (SLMedium)
posted by NoxAeternum at 8:17 AM PST - 29 comments

Highly anticipated new CRPG released . . . for the Apple II

A new role-playing game was just released for the Apple II computer that I invented over 40 years ago! [more inside]
posted by fimbulvetr at 7:01 AM PST - 26 comments

Photographs of Edwardians with their Dogs

Sweet and simple, some photos of Edwardians with their dogs. (sl Tumblr, h/t Laura Olin's newsletter.)
posted by tofu_crouton at 6:24 AM PST - 17 comments

“‘I know that one,’ said Vimes. ‘Who watches the watchmen? Me.’”

While Vimes’s “Free Republic of Treacle Mine Road” – a fantasy version of the DMZs we saw in cities across America in 2020 – cannot last, the novel asks the question: why aren’t the police on the side of ordinary people and keeping the peace? What would happen if they turned the light of justice on corrupt leaders? Why can’t we hope for “Truth, Justice, Freedom, Reasonably Priced Love and a Hard-Boiled Egg?”
Hannah Copestake looks at Terry Pratchett as an antidote to copaganda.
posted by MartinWisse at 3:26 AM PST - 42 comments

January 27

Doctor Do-Little

The Case Against Fauci
posted by latkes at 11:42 PM PST - 101 comments

Cloris Leachman, 1926-2021

Actress Cloris Leachman, Who Played Both Silly And Serious, Dies At 94 (NPR) Cloris Leachman, the Miss America contestant who won an Oscar for her work in The Last Picture Show, then collected two of her record nine Emmys for playing the quirky Phyllis Lindstrom on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, has died. Leachman, the bawdy Iowa native also known for her hilarious turns in the Mel Brooks-Gene Wilder classic Young Frankenstein (1974) and on the TV shows Malcolm in the Middle and Raising Hope, died of natural causes Wednesday in Encinitas, California, according to her manager, Juliet Green. (The Hollywood Reporter) (Variety obituary) [more inside]
posted by Iris Gambol at 8:55 PM PST - 52 comments

One Country Has Jumped Ahead on Vaccinations

Israel has vaccinated six times more of its population than the United States.
posted by folklore724 at 7:40 PM PST - 35 comments

If a shrunk-down hand were to squeeze the coronavirus...

Physical virology (SLNYT) Of all the pandemic questions bedeviling scientists, the one that Juan Perilla is asking might be among the strangest: If a shrunk-down hand were to squeeze the coronavirus, would it squish, or would it shatter?
posted by kathrynm at 6:32 PM PST - 13 comments

"No Ocean for Young Women" by Anat Deracine

An essay on learning to surf, on a career as a woman in technology, and on people helping each other: "when someone spreads a myth (such as, perhaps, a half-baked theory about biological predisposition towards shark attacks or software engineering), it acts like an oil spill. It can only be cleaned up to a certain extent. The damage has already been done." Deracine previously on MetaFilter. [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 5:17 PM PST - 6 comments

No, I don't know why all the comments are in Russian

I watched this entire hour-and-thirteen-minute-long wordless video of cakes being made at a commercial bakery in Korea and so should you.
posted by theodolite at 2:45 PM PST - 34 comments

I did not come out of the cupboard under the stairs for this.

Contrapoints on J.K. Rowling.
posted by roolya_boolya at 1:19 PM PST - 87 comments

The pandemic is breaking women

(Source link: Men Yell at Me) Women, America’s only real social safety net, have broken. A declining birth rate in conjunction with the devastating loss of life with a pandemic will further erode America’s social safety net. After all, who is going to pay into Social Security if we don’t have a tax base? But it’s exactly that lack of a social safety net that means women do not want to have children. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 12:43 PM PST - 31 comments

from daily poetry to chicken poo

Lockdown cabin fever? 56 tried, tested and terrific ways to beat the boredom
posted by betweenthebars at 12:35 PM PST - 26 comments

Take Care of Yourself

A train station in Japan's Fukuoka Prefecture posted public service messages about the country's current Covid-19-related state of emergency using a typographical style reminiscent of legendary anime Neon Genesis Evangelion. Japanese social media users have noticed and have been having some fun with it.
posted by May Kasahara at 11:02 AM PST - 20 comments

truth and reconciliation

"To understand what is happening now requires a long lens, but Ethiopia’s pride in its uninterrupted national durée, as evidenced by references in the Bible, the Iliad, Herodotus’ Histories and other ancient texts, can be an impediment to reckoning with that history. It is not enough simply to preface accounts of the current conflict with ancient historical descriptions. Everything is at stake in discussions of Ethiopia’s political present; not only our future, but our past. What might justice look like?" Ethiopian author Maaza Mengiste writes about how Ethiopia's history and national memory inform the present conflict for London Review of Books.
posted by ChuraChura at 10:08 AM PST - 2 comments

hi, you around?

“Imagine calling someone on the phone, going hello! then putting them on hold... 🤦‍♀️” No Hello says we shouldn’t start chats with a “hello”, but instead just ask the question!
posted by adrianhon at 9:48 AM PST - 86 comments

Malign creativity

Kamala Harris abuse campaign shows how trolls evade social media moderation (The Conversation UK) – Alexandra Pavliuc, a researcher in Social Data Science at the Oxford Internet Institute, presents some findings from her and her colleagues’ report on gendered and sexualized disinformation, Malign Creativity: How Gender, Sex, and Lies are Weaponized Against Women Online. Another brief summary available also here – some highlights: [more inside]
posted by bitteschoen at 9:22 AM PST - 10 comments

When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a violin.

Nicolas Bras builds a sympathetic nail violin.
posted by cortex at 8:07 AM PST - 12 comments

Knot fun

A little puzzle game of untangling knots
posted by Stark at 7:48 AM PST - 42 comments

What's historically inaccurate with this picture?

Why are movie swords always wrong? How period drama costume design works. What's wrong with this still from Gladiator?
posted by TheophileEscargot at 7:05 AM PST - 55 comments

January 26

“I don’t understand why I have to be put at risk"

Oregon Assault Case Dismissed After Witness Refuses Court's Demand to Testify Without a Mask "Sanchez asserted his right to meet his accuser face-to-face and, with the support of the Judge, insisted that Fawcett testify without a mask—despite the trial occurring in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic." [more inside]
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:45 PM PST - 39 comments

Taylor Swift Could Use an Editor

"Sometimes, Swift thinks it’s clever to string together clichés: “Every bait-and-switch was a work of art,” she sings on “Willow.”" "Often, she mixes her metaphors until they’re mush, as when the dull “Happiness” asks, “When did all our lessons start to look like weapons / Pointed at my deepest hurt?” ... Any editor might wonder if these are signs of first-draft work."
posted by folklore724 at 7:17 PM PST - 105 comments

Atlas des Régions Naturelles

Atlas des Régions Naturelles, by Eric Tabuchi and Nelly Monnier.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 6:26 PM PST - 12 comments

Audio recordings as a tool for making internet extremism real

An innovative op-ed by Stuart A. Thompson for The New York Times embeds audio clips of QAnon supporters from a Discord(-like?) chat service to make their views palpable: “Three Weeks Inside A Pro-Trump QAnon Chat Room”: There’s a persistent belief that the online world is somehow not real. Extreme views are too easily dismissed if they’re on the internet. While people might say things online they would never do in person, all it takes is one person for digital conspiracies to take a deadly turn… Listening to the conspiracists — unfiltered and in their own voices — makes that digital conversation disturbingly real.
posted by Going To Maine at 3:09 PM PST - 16 comments

Vacate the premises

The Doomsday Clock will be unveiled again, tomorrow. How did it come to be?
posted by cashman at 2:16 PM PST - 33 comments

I Thought I Knew Everything About Miscarriages Until I Had One Myself

This essay by Amanda Allen in Elle Magazine presents powerful and raw look at the author's own miscarriage, a little acknowledged but widely shared experience. TRIGGER WARNING for those who have experienced a loss of pregnancy. Amanda Allen is a reproductive rights lawyer and mother living in Oakland, California.
posted by djseafood at 1:40 PM PST - 22 comments

The Game is not Stopping

Gamestop Stock Has All the Prices at Once. "Of course the chart of GameStop Corp.’s stock price from yesterday[Jan 25/2021] is nuts. It closed on Friday at $65.01, opened yesterday at $96.73, got as high as $159.18 and as low as $61.13, and closed at $76.79. Almost 178 million shares traded, worth almost $17 billion." Matt Levine tackles the question: "If a lot of people on Reddit band together to drive the price of a stock higher, is that illegal?" Especially if some redditors take special pride in buying at the very top? [more inside]
posted by storybored at 12:16 PM PST - 506 comments

Whatever you do on a screen, you can’t light it on fire

People say that kids are rotting their brains and not getting outside, but do you know what we were doing outside? We were lighting our mom’s perfume on fire, right on the stoop. Whatever you do online, at least it doesn’t leave burn marks in front of your door. Of course kids can join terrorists group like the Republicans, or be groomed online, but that stuff was happening anyways, only IRL. It’s not that being online is necessarily safe but, by God, at least it’s not flammable.
Indi Samarajiva is skeptical about the dangers of too much screen time compared to his own childhood.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:34 AM PST - 64 comments

Arcane Fortune, or, What if SimCity and Civilization had a Baby?

Arcane Fortune is, essentially, a grand strategy game inspired by SimCity, Dwarf Fortress,, and the Civilization series, among other inspirations. It's free to play and the source code is available.
posted by Alensin at 10:02 AM PST - 14 comments

The Deplatforming of Father Coughlin.

Slate article about the time Father Charles Coughlin, the frothing anti-Semitic radio priest and spiritual ancestor of, oh, lots of programs today (previously), got kicked off almost all radio by the National Association of Broadcasters in 1939 after inciting his listeners to march on Washington and was sent back to his pulpit by the Catholic Church in 1940. Most were glad to see him go, but a few saw it as a disquieting precedent. "Then as now, the serene pleasure of no longer having to listen to a noxious voice blare incessantly in the ear coexists with a queasy unease at the realization of how suddenly and imperiously the rulers of corporate media can switch off one’s microphone." [more inside]
posted by JanetLand at 9:52 AM PST - 17 comments

The Thing That Gets You To The Thing

Missed out on Halt and Catch Fire, the critically-acclaimed but slightly under-watched TV drama about people working in tech in the 80s-90s, or just hankering for a rewatch? Ashley Blewer has created a syllabus for watch clubs to discuss the show and technology history! (Previously, FanFare) [more inside]
posted by adrianhon at 9:47 AM PST - 24 comments

Which sounds make you want to pull your hair out?

Gizmodo asks which sounds are the most annoying to humans and gets an interesting selection of auditory and acoustic experts to weigh in on the answers. [more inside]
posted by dellsolace at 8:28 AM PST - 83 comments

searching for cave women

"Let's begin at the start. Hold two crumple-faced newborn girls, one human, one Neanderthal, and you’d have to look closely to see differences. Both equally vulnerable, fitting the smallest-size onesies, their skin velvety-soft. The Neanderthal baby doesn’t yet have heavy brows and, lit by a hearth’s dull glow, her eyes are probably as slate-dark and limpid as any human newborn’s. But cradle her downy head, and it will feel slightly longer, with a bony nobble discernible above her neck." Archaeologist Rebecca Wragg Sykes explores what we know about the lives of female Neanderthals for Aeon.
posted by ChuraChura at 8:17 AM PST - 6 comments

The spellbinding history of cheese and witchcraft

(Source link: Tabitha Stanmore in The Conversation) As I was scrolling through Twitter recently, a viral tweet caught my attention. It was an image from a book of spells claiming that: “You may fascinate a woman by giving her a piece of cheese.” The spell comes from Kathryn Paulsen’s 1971 book, The Complete Book of Magic and Witchcraft – and, while proffering a lump of cheddar may seem like an unusual way of attracting a possible mate, Paulsen’s book draws on a long history of magic. It’s a history that has quite a lot of cheese in it. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 8:00 AM PST - 12 comments

Let's hear it for Sauna

UNESCO has added Sauna to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity They made a 10 minute film to justify their decision. Technical terms: vihta: the whisks made of birch twigs: ideally made of both Betula pendula and Betula pubescens one for engineering structure; one for frothiness. The latter probably due to dammarane esters rather than saponins. Löyly: the steam / soul of the experience. [move over hygge?]. Let's hear it for Finland! Kylӓ Vuotti Uutta Kuuta (The Village was Waiting for the New Moon) [more inside]
posted by BobTheScientist at 6:07 AM PST - 29 comments

shocked to death

Electric eels hunting in a group ..."Then groups of up to 10 eels periodically split off to form cooperative hunting parties, not unlike packs of wolves or pods of killer whales. Those smaller groups then surrounded the prey ball and launched simultaneous electric attacks, stunning the tetras into submission." [paper]
posted by dhruva at 6:02 AM PST - 6 comments

Science Fiction Dictionary

What is the history of chrononauts or hyperspace? What about fan fiction? Well, here’s the infodump.
A 2020 reboot of a project from the OED: The Science Fiction Dictionary.
posted by vacapinta at 5:50 AM PST - 11 comments

Are we really engineers?

Hillel decides to interview people, who switched from traditional engineering to software engineering. If you ever used the example of bridge building to explain the differences between software and real world engineering, you are in for a treat: One person talked about how frustrating it is to start work on a bridge foundation, only to find that this particular soil freezes in a weird way that makes it liquefy too much in an earthquake. Back to the drawing board. [Part I], [Part II], [Part III]
posted by kmt at 2:14 AM PST - 57 comments

For Music Theory nerds

A nice, playable way of visualising scales and chords
posted by domdib at 1:29 AM PST - 18 comments

January 25

do the damn thing girl

Nia Dennis - 2021 Floor Exercise (1-23-21) "This routine definitely reflects everything that I am today as a woman," Dennis says in a press conference after the meet. "And of course I had to incorporate a lot of parts of my culture. I wanted to give a tribute to my father, he was Greek, he was in fraternities and stepping is really big so I wanted to incorporate that. I wanted to have a dance party because that’s my personality and of course I had to shout out LA because we out here, UCLA." [more inside]
posted by Gorgik at 11:40 PM PST - 13 comments

Let's watch Sodium and Chlorine do a Line Dance (NaCl) (table salt)

Two novel techniques, atomic-resolution real-time video and conical carbon nanotube confinement, allow researchers to view never-before-seen details about crystal formation.
Crystal close up | The University of Tokyo [more inside]
posted by zengargoyle at 10:56 PM PST - 8 comments

If you followed this thread, you're both a crazy person and I appreciate

Twitter user @bzotto posts a really long thread about manually retrieving data from a 5.25" floppy disk from the Apple ][ era. Here's a threadreader link. Enjoy the 80s nerdiness!
posted by hippybear at 9:29 PM PST - 19 comments

All marriage is gay marriage now. There is no need to file new paperwork

posted by queen anne's remorse at 8:15 PM PST - 42 comments


The override is completely gone and the pattern buffer's been locked into a continuous diagnostic cycle
posted by stinkfoot at 7:36 PM PST - 20 comments

How Nothingness Became Everything We Wanted

"Mass quarantine has represented a final fulfillment of the pursuit of nothingness, particularly for the privileged classes who could adapt to it in such relative comfort" [NYT] For years, an aesthetic mode of nothingness has been ascendant — a literally nihilistic attitude visible in all realms of culture, one intent on the destruction of extraneity in all its forms, up to and including noise, decoration, possessions, identities and face-to-face interaction.
posted by folklore724 at 7:12 PM PST - 20 comments

It Belongs in a Museum!

Indiana Jones with My Cat is not the first film parody featuring OwlKitty. Pulp Fiction, American Psycho, Ghost, and many more on OwlKitty's YouTube Channel. [more inside]
posted by forbiddencabinet at 3:59 PM PST - 10 comments

A Chinese Gazetteer of Foreign Lands

This country is filled with light and is where the sun goes down. In the evening, when the sun enters the city, it makes a rumbling sound louder than thunder. So they always station a thousand men at the city gates to blow trumpets and beat gongs and drums to drown out the noise of the sun. If not, then pregnant women and small children would die of fright upon hearing the sun.
—From the Zhufan Zhi, a geography of Asia, the east and north coasts of Africa, and bits of Europe, written in 1225 CE by Zhao Rukuo. Part one has been translated by Prof. Shao-yun Yang of Denison University.
posted by Kattullus at 1:39 PM PST - 15 comments

Just pull out “Bizarre Love Triangle," and bam, like instant dance party

How Can I Explain An Incomplete Oral History of Asian Americans and our Ineffable Love of New Wave (Esther Wang, Jezebel)
posted by box at 1:21 PM PST - 54 comments

But What Do They Know, Anyway

According to two recent papers, the Dunning-Kruger Effect is probably not real. (Previously and previouslier.)
posted by cosmic owl at 1:06 PM PST - 29 comments

Take a Walk on the Wild Side.

Flamboyant excess: the art of Steven Arnold the 'Prince' of Dali's Court of Miracles.
Less is NOT more, MORE is more, less is less.
His work consisted of drawings, paintings, rock and film poster art, makeup design, costume design, set design, photography and film and The Cockettes.
(Probably NSFW in some environments)
posted by adamvasco at 12:19 PM PST - 2 comments

Editor's Note: Why a Recipe Is More Than a Recipe

The work of food media is inherently political because you're making culture easily consumed, and you're trying to present it in a way that's culturally conscious and thoughtful. A lot of times it works and sometimes it doesn't, and there's a lot of media that doesn't hit that mark. I would love for readers, your readers and food media at large, to think about is how recipes and food are inherently political. The work of sharing food is sharing culture. "In the January issue of Food & Wine, we published a story and recipe for Mole Verde from Norma Listman and Saqib Keval, the chefs and owners of Masala y Maíz in Mexico City. And we made a mistake. When we photographed the recipe in our studio, our team approved the use of hot sauce and limes as garnishes for visual contrast—additions that are neither traditional nor suggested by the chefs." [more inside]
posted by Carillon at 11:36 AM PST - 28 comments

Will There Be a Trump Presidential Library? Don’t Count On It

Will There Be a Trump Presidential Library? Don’t Count On It (Politico): "It’s not because he doesn’t read books (presidential libraries aren’t that kind of library), and not because his presidency ended in a shocking insurrection at the U.S. Capitol fanned by Trump himself, resulting in a second impeachment. Other presidents have stepped down in borderline disgrace—Richard Nixon resigned; Herbert Hoover lost in a landslide, blamed for the Great Depression—and still got their libraries. Trump likely won’t even manage to build a private library, such as the one Nixon finally created for himself. Or the “center” for which Barack Obama has had great difficulty even breaking ground, which will lack a government presence, a research facility, or archives. Presidential libraries are complicated. And if you understand how they work—and how Trump himself works—it’s nearly impossible to imagine him actually pulling it off." Related: National Archives launches website for Trump Presidential Library (Politico); Trump to flee Washington and seek rehabilitation in a MAGA oasis: Florida (The Washington Post)
posted by not_the_water at 10:42 AM PST - 48 comments

The Pill Bottle Project

Kait Sanchez on how TikTok users crowdsourced and manufactured a new pill bottle design that makes it easier for people with Parkinson's disease to dispense tiny pills (The Verge). "[Choi found the device] not only cuts down the amount of time it takes him to grab a pill, but also significantly reduces the frustration and anxiety that usually come with it. Stress makes the symptoms of Parkinson’s worse, but with this bottle, “the anxiety level goes away,” he says. “The time it takes, and your risk of spilling these pills out on the floor in public, it’s almost zero.”
posted by adrianhon at 9:30 AM PST - 25 comments

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me

With Europe and the United States taking strict measures to keep out migrants and asylum-seekers, finding safety abroad had become more difficult. But a few South American countries had relatively lax entry requirements, busting open a route through the Americas. Unlike the passage across the Mediterranean, few images existed on the internet of migrants who had drowned or been murdered crossing the Darién Gap. Benita decided to fly to Ecuador. On a layover in the Istanbul Airport, she found some Cameroonians who told her that after Ecuador, they were planning to go to the U.S. “I asked them, ‘Can you walk there?’ They said, ‘Yes.’ I said, ‘Huh? So after Ecuador is the United States?’ They said, ‘Yes, you will just walk. You pass through the river, you enter the United States.’[more inside]
posted by ChuraChura at 7:32 AM PST - 16 comments

Shut up and dance

Dance 10000 shows a young girl dancing through her day, part of a Swedish project to get kids moving.
posted by Stark at 7:31 AM PST - 8 comments

you will absolutely positively have to break up with actual white people

Tressie McMillan Cottom (sociologist, writer, UNC professor, and 2020 MacArthur Fellow; previously) on the glut of recent stories “about how the recent Presidential contest slash white supremacist insurrection slash Trump legacy has torn apart many families”: Breaking Up With White Supremacy Was Always The End Game. [more inside]
posted by miles per flower at 7:16 AM PST - 47 comments

January 24

"Kong bows to no one"

Godzilla vs Kong - the first full trailer is now out. No dates available for release, but in the US, it'll be on HBO Max.
posted by cendawanita at 7:03 PM PST - 129 comments

Totoro is at 16:35

30 Minutes of Relaxing Visuals from Studio Ghibli (c/o HBO Max)
posted by Going To Maine at 5:13 PM PST - 18 comments

Against “relevance” in art

"I can’t bear the thought that art is a zero-sum game, that we have to choose which kinds of stories are relevant, which lives have value"
posted by folklore724 at 4:38 PM PST - 15 comments

Music for a while

Music for a while
Shall all your cares beguile
Wond'ring how your pains were eas'd... [more inside]
posted by dnash at 2:58 PM PST - 4 comments

"I have chills"

NY Times under fire for terminating editor Lauren Wolfe after pro-Biden tweets
posted by bitteschoen at 1:27 PM PST - 87 comments

"I lived here, I loved here, I thought it was true"

"I studied code because I wanted to do something great like you / And the real tragedy is half of it was true.... If only you could be what you pretend you are." Via Casey Fiesler (who used it as background music for a TikTok video recommending books about tech ethics): "Rät", a song by Penelope Scott "on the promise, failure, and disappointment of technology" and about complicity and vulnerability, available on the album "Public Void". Analysis by Fiesler. "When I said take me to the moon, I never meant take me alone / I thought if mankind toured the sky, it meant that all of us could go / But I don't want to see the stars if they're just one more piece of land / For us to colonize, for us to turn to sand." Lyrics on Genius.
posted by brainwane at 12:22 PM PST - 8 comments

Two Million Cans

Gary Gates, 82, managed a multibillion dollar pension fund for the state of Wisconsin until he retired in 1993. Since then, he has recycled two million cans. He bikes around Madison from dumpster to dumpster, collecting cans. (Student apartments on fraternity-dense Langdon St. are the richest source.) He also moves cardboard and glass he finds in trash cans to recycling bins, and non-recyclables from the recycling bins to the trash. Most of his clothes come from dumpsters. He and his wife give tens of thousands of dollars to charity every year.
posted by escabeche at 11:58 AM PST - 17 comments

The Future Encyclopedia of Luddism

Miriam A. Cherry gives a glimpse of an alternative economic and industrial history and future in which the Luddites were successful in their battle against alienating technology. Part of the Economic Science Fictions book.
posted by adrianhon at 7:37 AM PST - 12 comments

BrachioGraph: the artistic, inaccurate and very cheap pen plotter

BrachioGraph: build one in an hour or so, make wiggly portraits for days afterwards. Built-in software too slow? Render and preview on brachio.me.
posted by scruss at 6:15 AM PST - 38 comments

As ye deal with my contemners so with you my grace shall deal—Julia Howe

161 years ago last month, convicted insurrectionist and incorrigible abolitionist John Brown (PDF) was put to death by the united Commonwealth of Virginia for masterminding his final attempt to ignite an American version of the Roman Republic's Servile Wars: the tactical raid on the United States Armory at Harper's Ferry, an intentional attack on the US Federal Government as a planned first step in unraveling a slave empire founded on notions of freedom. [more inside]
posted by XMLicious at 6:03 AM PST - 65 comments

Saviour of the Streetdogs

An entry in the 2005 Guinness Book of World Records sends comedians and podcasters Alexei Toliopoulos and Cameron James on an increasingly bizarre search for the elusive Lord Sydney Ling - the record holder for the youngest person to direct, write and produce a feature-length movie - Lex, the Wonder Dog (1973). [more inside]
posted by KirkpatrickMac at 4:48 AM PST - 2 comments

An expert guide to Conspiracy Theories

What's the difference between a theory about a conspiracy and a Conspiracy Theory? How to spot a conspiracy theory when you see one begins The Conversation's Expert Guide to Conspiracy Theories, which includes a 6-episode podcast if you prefer audio. [more inside]
posted by harriet vane at 2:00 AM PST - 23 comments

In government reform, there are always more Death Stars

I call this Death Star thinking. Many of us grew up profoundly influenced by Star Wars. What’s the lesson too many people take from that first and most influential episode in the franchise back in 1977? One incredibly well-placed shot into the thermal exhaust port and the entire apparatus of our oppression explodes spectacularly. All we really needed were the plans to the Death Star and a very talented fighter pilot guided by the truth (“the Force”.) Never mind that there are countless Death Stars ahead of us as the Imperial war (and the franchise) continues.
Jennifer Pahlka: Death Star Thinking and Government Reform.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:55 AM PST - 26 comments

January 23

Candles not necessarily included.

What is artificial birthday cake flavor? Ashlie D. Stevens @ Salon.com takes a dive into the history and science of the food flavor that has seen a 29% growth since 2017. [more inside]
posted by soundguy99 at 5:39 PM PST - 61 comments

Family with COVID-19 couldn't smell house fire

Bianca Rivera, 19, quickly evacuated her family, who didn't realize the house was on fire after losing their sense of smell due to Covid-19.
posted by folklore724 at 4:22 PM PST - 28 comments

weaving cultures together

Interaction between Scotland and the Muslim world stretches to over 500 years, with notable individuals including; Michael Scot of Melrose whose translations of the philosophical works of Ibn Rushd were instrumental towards inspiring the Renaissance, John Yahya Parkinson of Kilwinning whose poetry honoured the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and Lady Evelyn Cobbold, the first British woman to make the pilgrimage to Mecca. With such a rich history, Muslims are today recognised as one of the most diverse and vibrant communities, representing an integral part of the tartan fabric of Scotland - and so, there is a Scottish Islamic tartan.
posted by ChuraChura at 2:44 PM PST - 14 comments

"she makes a bid for her sanity, one sentence at a time"

Maeve Brennan was a writer on staff at the New Yorker for three decades from 1949 onwards, but remained almost entirely unknown in her native Ireland, until years after her death in 1993. Her belated return home started with an article by Fintan O'Toole in 1998, reviewing the short story collection The Springs of Affection, then recently published in the US. Eighteen years later, that collection was republished in Ireland, with an introduction by Anne Enright. A biography, a novella, and a collection of her Talk of the Town pieces have been published in the last couple of decades, and now she's slowly entering the Irish canon. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus at 2:14 PM PST - 6 comments

Margaret Marilyn DeAdder, 1942-2021

Margaret Marilyn DeAdder, professional clipper of coupons, baker of cookies, terror behind the wheel, champion of the underdog, ruthless card player, and self-described Queen Bitch, died on Tuesday, January 19, 2021. RIP.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:08 AM PST - 30 comments

Bjork as mushrooms

Threadreaderapp twitter link by @bernoid.
posted by rikschell at 9:05 AM PST - 20 comments

Larry King, 1933-2021

Larry King died this morning at age 87. The host of Larry King Live on CNN for over 25 years, and before that The Larry King Show on nationwide talk radio. Cause of death has not been published but he had been hospitalized with COVID-19 in mid-December. King had previously expressed his intentions to be cryonically preserved.
posted by ardgedee at 9:04 AM PST - 66 comments

The enduring allure of conspiracies

If conspiracy theories are as old as politics, they’re also — in the era of Donald Trump and QAnon — as current as the latest headlines. Earlier this month, the American democracy born of an eighteenth century conspiracy theory faced its most severe threat yet — from another conspiracy theory, that (all evidence to the contrary) the 2020 presidential election was rigged. Are conspiracy theories truly more prevalent and influential today, or does it just seem that way? [more inside]
posted by jquinby at 6:02 AM PST - 50 comments

"what I was really doing, was *hiding*."

"This is a process for me, and I don’t have it totally figured out." Crystal Martin writes about withdrawing and "dimming her light", professional skills and personality, and things we tell ourselves we're doing. "I’m not one to cry in front of people, and most of the mean things people say to me don’t really matter, but what I’ve found…especially in my first year as a developer, is that I fall apart…I mean I…CRACK when someone questions my intellect." (Essay is from 2019 and is on Medium. Please also note the postscript which contextualizes the anecdote at the start of the piece.)
posted by brainwane at 3:59 AM PST - 17 comments

A Visit From The Zune Squad

“Almost a decade after Microsoft terminated the brand, there is a small bastion of diehards who are still loving and listening to their Zunes. If you talk to them, they’ll tell you that these MP3 players are the best pieces of hardware to ever run a Windows operating system. Preserving the Zune legacy has just become another part of the hobby.” Luke Winkie reports on the denizens of r/Zune (The Verge). Previously.
posted by adrianhon at 3:45 AM PST - 31 comments

January 22

The surgery of the soul

Dr. Walter Freeman was obsessed with finding a cure for mental illness. Eventually, he developed a technique which entailed putting a long ice-pick like stick through the eye sockets of patients. [Content Warning: Disturbing material] [more inside]
posted by antihistameme at 9:01 PM PST - 47 comments

This Face Mask Mistake is Worse Than No Mask at All

"Researchers found that people emit more of the COVID-19 virus when breathing through their noses than through their mouths. " "Since mask-wearing is a two-way street—we wear them to protect ourselves from inhaling the virus and to shield others from virus we may unwittingly be transmitting as we exhale—letting a mask slip below the nose is a double failure."
posted by folklore724 at 4:16 PM PST - 124 comments

the marine iguana blows out salty snot rockets

Do Sharks Sneeze?
posted by spamandkimchi at 1:41 PM PST - 12 comments

A cheap means of producing an abundance of artificial cold

From Dr John Gorrie, "a crank down in Apalachicola, Florida, that thinks he can make ice by his machine as good as God Almighty" to the Super Cube, "an absolute unit, at least three times larger than a conventional cube" — the history of packaged ice.
posted by Vesihiisi at 1:22 PM PST - 26 comments

Please Stop Calling Things Archives

An Archivist's Plea [more inside]
posted by niicholas at 12:29 PM PST - 57 comments

Recent short non fiction story from Ann Patchett

These Precious Days (Harpers) An engaging read, serious (cancer) but not depressing.
posted by j810c at 12:15 PM PST - 12 comments

My name is Inigo Montoya

A homemade Princess Bride. Many of the actors are ID’d here. Fbo World Central Kitchen Please feel free to suggest tags.
posted by anshuman at 12:08 PM PST - 19 comments

Drawing a Buddha in the Tibetan style

The Tibetan Book of Proportions is an eighteenth century manual that gives precise iconometric guidelines for depicting the Buddha and Bodhisattva figures. Labels for each image in the book. Clouds. Buddha face and teaching mudra. Earth touching mudra and Tara. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 11:17 AM PST - 11 comments

To say this cake was impossible left me feeling weird

“My sister and her friends had to give a series of lessons on the geological sciences to a class of primary school kids. So she asked me if I could make a spherical cake with all the layers of the Earth inside it. I told her I couldn’t do it. ‘How do you get a sphere inside a sphere inside a sphere?’ I recall saying. ‘Oh yeah,’ she replied, realising what it would involve. I kept mulling it over until I had a breakthrough.” [more inside]
posted by ambrosen at 10:26 AM PST - 32 comments

Twenty years of doubting your commitment to Sparkle Motion

Twenty years of doubting your commitment to Sparkle Motion - an oral history of the making of Donnie Darko. [more inside]
posted by dnash at 8:54 AM PST - 49 comments

Henry "Hank" Aaron (1934-2021)

The one time home run king has passed away at the age of 86. One of the last stars to come out of the Negro Leagues, Aaron played a 24 year career with the Braves, famously beating Babe Ruth's career home run record - for which he faced death threats for doing so. [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 8:35 AM PST - 76 comments

Black magic. Maybe a little red magic, too.

An in depth RF focused teardown and analysis of a Starlink base station antennae.
posted by loquacious at 8:01 AM PST - 18 comments

Each tiny, tiny, tiny part of Girl with a Pearl Earring.

10 gigapixels of a three hundred and fifty year old painting, made up of 9,100 individual photographs of the 17" by 15" canvas. Clicking on specific sections of the individual painting to zoom in and reveal cracks, specks of dust, brush strokes, the tiny shadows cast from a heavier spot of paint in a minor section, and to try and understand some of the creative ability involved was one of the most religious experiences of my last few years. The work even allows a topographical view! I often try to get as close as possible to paintings in a museum to see in detail the work of the artist so this incredible opportunity left me breathless. [more inside]
posted by humuhumu at 4:30 AM PST - 15 comments

RIP Mira Furlan

Mira Furlan, best known for her roles as Delenn in Babylon 5 and Danielle Rousseau in Lost, has died at age 65. Furlan was a member of the Croatian National Theatre and frequently appeared in Yugoslav television and films. She played Ankica Vidmar in the 1985 film When Father Was Away on Business, which won the Palme d'Or at Cannes and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. J. Michael Straczynski's In Memoriam.
posted by adrianhon at 2:22 AM PST - 99 comments

This guy tracked every single piece of clothing worn for three years

Have you ever wondered whether expensive clothes are worth their price? Or had that subtle feeling of guilt when buying something pricey, and then justifying it because you will wear it so many times, even if you have no clue if it’s actually true? If you thought yes, then this is for you. 4800 words from Olof Hoverfält at Reaktor.
posted by cgc373 at 1:01 AM PST - 62 comments

January 21

Time for some cheese, pastries, and potatoes

From Aprikosenwähe and Birchermüesli to Zigerhöräli, Helvetic Kitchen has been posting hundreds of Swiss recipes since 2015.
posted by jedicus at 9:18 PM PST - 6 comments

A Tangent to the Perennial Reminder that Mozart Doesn't Make You Smarter

You Don't Need Science to Tell You Why You Like a Song Musicologist Linda Shaver-Gleason points out that we can like music just because... This from a newsletter of WQXR, the NYC classical station, discussing the (lack of) scientific merit to the claim that Mozart makes you smarter. Mozart's birthday is coming up on January 27.
posted by geekP1ng at 6:56 PM PST - 46 comments

Long-acting injectable PrEP on the horizon

The first injectable treatment for HIV-infected adults has been approved in Europe, Canada, and (as of today) the US. Monthly injections of cabotegravir/rilpivirine (brand name Cabenuva) were found to be as effective as daily oral antiretrovirals at maintaining viral suppression, and injections every other month were effective too. Also, the same drug given every other month is highly effective in preventing HIV but not yet approved. [more inside]
posted by esoterrica at 5:22 PM PST - 10 comments

You are the globally distributed vaccine manufacturing revolution.

Exploring the Supply Chain of COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines Somewhat technical (but fascinating) summary of how the giant poly-dimensional intermeshing of modern industrial and scientific society is used to validate, produce, formulate, package, distribute, administer and monitor COVID-19 vaccines to billions of people. [more inside]
posted by lalochezia at 4:30 PM PST - 9 comments

Not a three hour tour

With seasoned skill, the men hoist the blue-bottomed wooden boat atop a four-wheel drive vehicle that will take it from this inland hideaway to the Western Sahara shore. From there, the boat is meant to take 20 to 30 migrants into the Atlantic Ocean and across what the European Union’s border agency calls “the most dangerous migratory route in the world.”
posted by sammyo at 3:42 PM PST - 4 comments

Adobe Flash update knocks out train system in Dalian, China, for 20 hour

Recently, there was news that the train dispatching system of Dalian Railway in Liaoning Province was directly paralyzed due to the suspension of Flash, after which technical staff installed a reduced version of pirated Flash to solve the problem.
posted by signal at 3:13 PM PST - 31 comments

What does that click mean?

Chris Ramsay likes to solve puzzles. Lots and lots of puzzles. Puzzle boxes, lock puzzles, furniture puzzles, puzzles made from Lego, and very weird jigsaw puzzles.
posted by garrett at 3:04 PM PST - 4 comments

You're wondering now

You're wondering now (Andy and Joey) what to do (The Specials) now you know (The Skatalites) this is the end (Isaac et Nora). [more inside]
posted by biogeo at 2:34 PM PST - 10 comments

Top Games of 2020 but make it about solidarity and kittens

We don't actually need another post to tell us that Hades is very good, right? But Scott Benson, animator and developer on Night in the Woods, spins his list of the best games of 2020 into a surprisingly tender essay on Kentucky Route Zero, capitalism, loss, solidarity, surviving the apocalypse or the post-apocalypse, and Sid the very sick kitten. [more inside]
posted by Jeanne at 2:26 PM PST - 11 comments

"It’s not good enough just to clap for them"

Workers at Hunts Point Market, a Bronx-based food hub that supplies 60% of the produce in New York City, are on day five of their first strike in 35 years. [more inside]
posted by rabbitbookworm at 12:35 PM PST - 12 comments

Nah Nah Nah Nah! Nah Nah Nah Nah! Hey, Hey, Hey...

Goodbye! [SLYT]
posted by haricotvert at 12:24 PM PST - 15 comments

How to photograph squirrels without Photoshop

Belgian photographer Niki Colemont shares some secrets of squirrel photography in this short video (SLYT).
posted by Harald74 at 10:15 AM PST - 12 comments

Beyond Bob Ross

Watching others paint is relaxing, even when the painter is not the beloved Bob Ross and his happy trees and friendly squirrels. Why don’t you try watching someone paint over chill lo-fi beats? Maybe some speed paintings of Ghibli scenes backed by delicate piano music? Or what about more traditional landscapes in oil? How about plein air painting with instructional narration?
posted by tofu_crouton at 8:50 AM PST - 7 comments

"A fever-dream of a hotel"

"In a spark of genius, Holiday Inn saw an opportunity to retrofit existing properties and introduce new ones that would have year-round indoor pools. These pools formed the cornerstone of large indoor atria, which would also feature things like table games (like ping pong, pool, and foosball), restaurants and bars, mini-golf, shuffleboard, and arcade games." [more inside]
posted by brilliantine at 5:29 AM PST - 64 comments

The unreasonable ecological cost of #cryptoart

Cryptoart - the category of art related to blockchain technology - has exploded over the course of the last year. This is in part due to platforms such as SuperRare offering 'tokenised' art pieces. These give people the ability to stake verifiable ownership of digital art works, as well as offering artists the ability to produce 'limited edition' digital art. But as Memo Atken found, the ecological damage of this rising art marketplace is staggering.
posted by secretdark at 3:02 AM PST - 67 comments

Thanks for clarifying my understanding

The finest of Corporate TikTok: @tegaalexander's Every work email thread ever, @cearajane's Every millennial vs. their boomer boss, @charles_rojas' SexySlack.
posted by adrianhon at 2:08 AM PST - 67 comments

HI EXCUSE ME, my online professor is dead

HI EXCUSE ME , I just found out the the prof for this online course I’m taking *died in 2019* and he’s technically still giving classes since he’s *literally my prof for this course* and I’m learning from lectures recorded before his passing ..........it’s a great class but WHAT
posted by LarryC at 12:43 AM PST - 84 comments

January 20

"Don't let 2021 be 2020 part 2 for you"

TOBE NWIGWE | WAKE UP EVERYBODY (Teddy Pendergrass cover)

NYT: Tobe Nwigwe Never Planned to Go Viral. Then He Rapped About Breonna Taylor. (archive version)
Tobe Nwigwe: NPR Tiny Desk Concert (August 26, 2019) [more inside]
posted by Lexica at 6:32 PM PST - 8 comments

The Folding Dutchman

While sea shanties and experiencing joy are in vogue, perhaps you would like to see The Longest Johns, recently famous as seed crystal of The Wellerman phenomenon on TikTok, making the video for their recent song Hoist Up The Thing.
posted by mhoye at 1:05 PM PST - 8 comments


For your consideration: Two deep dives on dithering techniques, from random thresholds to blue noise to error diffusion. Here's a listicle with example animations from a wide range of historical 1-bit games, including one recent and one upcoming game. [more inside]
posted by kaibutsu at 12:37 PM PST - 23 comments

There is a legend which comes from...

Click for a made-up bit of folklore. This page generates two-sentence lore on demand. One sentence describes its origin while the next summarizes the story. For example, "There is a legend which comes from the book The Ghosts of Shildon & Stanley by Cleveland Kendall. In 1841, the Devil himself died of 'rising of the lights', contracted from a witch named Mother Liliana." [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 8:47 AM PST - 27 comments

Money Pleeease!

Joe Biden, Welfare King "Joe Biden's presidency could be one in which the toxic ideological bias against a proper welfare state and active government dies an extremely deserved death. Free money is both good and fun!" [more inside]
posted by schoolgirl report at 8:03 AM PST - 112 comments

Biden / Harris Inauguration

The inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris: Live camera feed from C-Span; live updates from CNN; NYT live updates; NYT live stream and analysis; The Guardian live updates; NPR coverage beginning at 11 a.m. EST; streaming beginning at 10:30 a.m. EST at bideninaugural.org. [more inside]
posted by taz at 6:41 AM PST - 1592 comments

Niche Communities

A report finds that 76% of internet users participate in online communities. (Up from 72% in 2017.) The report also says that 90% of Gen Z and Millennials are part of at least one online community. [more inside]
posted by veggieboy at 4:21 AM PST - 24 comments

Dinosaur Butthole

The first complete, preserved, fossilised dinosaur butthole has been discovered. [single link dinosaur butthole science] [more inside]
posted by prismatic7 at 3:49 AM PST - 37 comments

The Complete List of Trump’s Twitter Insults (2015-2021)

This list documents the verbal attacks Mr. Trump posted on Twitter, from when he declared his candidacy in June 2015 to Jan. 8, when Twitter permanently barred him.
posted by Cardinal Fang at 12:13 AM PST - 27 comments

January 19

Soon May the Wellerman Come

Sea Shanty TikTok is the perfect expression of masculinity for 2021. In shanties, we find something both extremely manly and subversively tender.” Wikipedia entry on the “Wellerman” shanty. Full lyrics and more available here, on The Longest Song wiki.
posted by darkstar at 10:11 PM PST - 85 comments

Bad science, computational imperialism, and the economy of attention

Bad science, computational imperialism, and the economy of attention . Problems with the attempts to predict complex human traits like sexual and political orientations from facial features.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 9:34 PM PST - 7 comments

What'd I miss?

Since last summer, Cesar (also known as Guitar_Knight14) has been painstakingly recreating the musical Hamilton inside of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. After six months of work, he completed all of Act 1, which you can view as a YouTube playlist or a single hour-long video. [more inside]
posted by mbrubeck at 7:29 PM PST - 20 comments

Fold a better samurai

Artist Spends 3 Months Planning and Folding Origami Samurai From a Single Sheet of Paper - "You can see how each of the parts develop in the folding process."
posted by kliuless at 5:43 PM PST - 17 comments

Never share leeches with other people, just to be safe.

Have you ever considered owning a pet leech? You're not alone! While some might keep leeches for medicinal reasons (hirudotherapy, previously) there is a small, but enthusiastic, community of leech fans that sing the praises of these simple to care for creatures. If you are ready to welcome a new bloodsucking friend into your life then Emzotic's video has everything you need to know about leech care.
posted by forbiddencabinet at 4:52 PM PST - 38 comments

Raven Story, Message Monsters, new USPS stamps and rates

The USPS has announced their lineup of new stamps for 2021. Especially exciting is this stamp, Raven Story, designed by Tlingit artist Rico Lanáat’ Worl, this is thought to be the first time such a design has been illustrated by a Tlingit artist. Inspired by this recent post, Forever Leguin [more inside]
posted by winesong at 4:19 PM PST - 26 comments

As a User...

“As a user of Instagram I want to have all the growth features at my fingertips in the tab bar so that I can help the growth PM hit KPIs.” More shit user stories at @shituserstories.
posted by adrianhon at 10:56 AM PST - 65 comments

Guanay Cormorant, Peruvian Pelican, and Peruvian Booby

Because of guano... The Incas were some of the earliest bird conservationists. And for the sake of seabird poo, the U.S. Congress authorized the earliest significant expansion beyond the North American continent in the Guano Islands Act of 1856, which "allowed (and still allows) any American who discovered an island with a large supply of guano to claim that island as an American territory." Haiti continues to demand the return of Navassa Island from the U.S.
posted by spamandkimchi at 10:50 AM PST - 9 comments

Perhaps Too Much Kirsch in the Fondue

For nigh on 7 years this cat has been cataloguing (and drinking, and taking pictures of) "every drink in every [Thomas] Pynchon novel." The latest post is #99 and it's a doozy: a bottle of '76 Lafite-Rothschild made into wine gums in honor, of course, of the "Disgusting English Candy Drill" [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 10:37 AM PST - 19 comments

Finally (9) virgins in space

On Sunday afternoon, Virgin Orbit joined the rare club of companies that have privately developed a rocket and successfully launched it into orbit. [more inside]
posted by sammyo at 10:27 AM PST - 23 comments

“I’m gonna call up Ed and see what he thinks about this business.”

Dial Comes To Town is a twenty-minute educational short film from 1940 by Bell Telephone intended to introduce Americans to phones with rotary dials.
It was uploaded to YouTube from the Prelinger Archives on archive.org.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:04 AM PST - 50 comments

An organized rogue editor network!

One way to hack a scientific journal. A group of researchers convinced a scientific journal to organize a special issue about the “Role of Nanotechnology and Internet of Things in Healthcare.” The content turned out to be bad and the organizers disappeared. [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 8:36 AM PST - 23 comments

All the sugar water you can drink!

Want to just sit back and watch some birds? Enjoy Carole's Hummingbird Feeder Cam, live from Studio City, California.
posted by Katemonkey at 7:25 AM PST - 30 comments

January 18

“The impossible is made possible!”

On Saturday, ten Sherpas and Nepalis became the first team to summit the venerable and formidable K2 during the winter. Starting as two separate teams, they combined forces in the days leading up the the final ascent. A few meters below the pinnacle, they all stopped, sang the Nepali National Anthem, and then summited together. BBC News has video interviewing one of the team's leaders during a break in their descent. The temperature turned out to be a manageable -40℃ that day, with little wind chill.
posted by not_on_display at 9:42 PM PST - 17 comments

How well do you know the movie "Peter Pan"?

Not as well as SungWon "ProZD" Cho [more inside]
posted by Gorgik at 7:55 PM PST - 27 comments

Early radiosonde. Laboratory measuring cylinder. Probe?

The UK's Science Museum Group, which includes the Science and Industry Museum, the National Science Museum, the National Railway Museum, and Locomotion, have digitized a quarter of their collection and made some cool digital tools to explore it, including a traditional search engine, the Random Object Generator and a random object described by machine learning, What the machine saw. Now, you can also be the first person to digitally see an object that's never been seen.
posted by ChuraChura at 6:10 PM PST - 15 comments

“Sometimes, I like to think I get paid to hike”

[Warden Praveed “Abe”] Abraham, 32, is the first full-time warden of color in the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s 115-year history. His path to conservation law enforcement was an unlikely one — he once planned to become a doctor — and it began in the unlikeliest place: Yonkers, N.Y. Abraham, of Indian and West Indian descent — his father was born in India, his mother in Guyana — grew up there with his family. Wildlife in Yonkers consisted of pigeons and squirrels. “Once, I saw a turkey there when I was a kid,” he said. “I didn’t know what it was.”
posted by sepviva at 5:05 PM PST - 9 comments

A small form of resistance

“...'Dilettante' is one of those words which deter people from taking up new pursuits as adults. Many of us are wary of being dismissed as dabblers, people who have a little too much leisure, who are a little too cute and privileged in our pastimes. This seems a narrative worth pushing back against. We might remember, as Vanderbilt points out, that the word 'dilettante' comes from the Italian for 'to delight.'" Margaret Talbot on learning new skills as an adult.

It pairs well with Casey Johnston (Ask a Swoll Woman) "on the extremely difficult chore of getting to know yourself, asking what it is that you want, and giving yourself permission to take yourself seriously."
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:52 PM PST - 33 comments

2020: The Game

A cute game about an awful year.
posted by jenkinsEar at 9:48 AM PST - 33 comments

20 ways to drag your ass outside

(Ways to motivate yourself. Source link: The Guardian) The weather is rubbish, there is nowhere to go and, bereft of the joys of spring, the daily lockdown walk can feel pointless. But, of course, it is not: the mental and physical health perks of exercise are immune to seasonal changes. We need to gallivant around outside in daylight so that our circadian rhythms can regulate sleep and alertness. (Yes, even when the sky is resolutely leaden, it is still technically daylight.) Walking warms you up, too; when you get back indoors, it will feel positively tropical. But if meeting these basic needs isn’t enough to enthuse you, there are myriad ways to add purpose to your stride and draw your attention to the underappreciated joys of winter walking. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 9:42 AM PST - 58 comments

Forever Leguin

For the 33rd stamp in the Literary Arts series, the USPS has chosen to honor science fiction author, activist, and mefi-favorite Ursula K. Leguin.
posted by FirstMateKate at 9:00 AM PST - 46 comments

Goodreads for Film, but Actually Good

Film social media site Letterboxd is growing rapidly amid the pandemic and the explosion of streaming options. Is Letterboxd Becoming a Blockbuster? (NYT/Archive.is) and The Future of Film Talk? (The Ringer). Check out Letterboxd’s 2020 Year in Review, with the site’s highest rated and most popular films, plus weirder categories like most obsessively rewatched and most loved to hate. Previously.
posted by adrianhon at 8:42 AM PST - 31 comments

Le Tic-Toc-Choc

Le Tic-Toc-Choc is a lively little harpsichord piece written by François Couperin (1668-1733) with many performances on YouTube (Elaine Comparone, Jory Vinikour). I happen to like alternative sonorities, so below the fold are some interesting non-harpsichord renditions. [more inside]
posted by mpark at 5:05 AM PST - 17 comments

People Who think [Tabletop] D&D is just like Skyrim..

Solo Video Game RPG's are not like Group Tabletop RPG's.. [SLYT 5min 6sec] 5 min 6 second amusing YouTube video. [more inside]
posted by Faintdreams at 3:22 AM PST - 61 comments


Step 0. Visit justscream.baby
Step 1. Call +1-561-567-8431 Don’t worry! There is no live human on the other end of the line.
Step 2. Scream. Wait for the beep. Scream. Hang up. That’s all there is to it.
Step 3. Listen. Screams are updated daily. Listen now!

Step 4. Read the About page.
posted by Going To Maine at 1:29 AM PST - 16 comments

January 17

Canlis Community College Curriculum

Canlis Community College was an education-meets-dining pop-up Canlis, a long-time Seattle fine dining mainstay, put on to keep busy over the last year.

Now the videos are online (Youtube Playlist) and free, so everyone can learn everything from soba from Kamonegi's Mutsuko Soma, pot brownies with Goodship's Jody Hall, Seattle Black history with LaNesha DeBardelaben, baking with the WSU Bread Lab, aerobics with the PNW Ballet, and much more. [more inside]
posted by CrystalDave at 6:24 PM PST - 7 comments

huge success

Captain Hamster has to escape the dungeon. Captain Hamster is thinking with portals.
posted by fight or flight at 3:41 PM PST - 21 comments

Irene Pepperberg -- Alex and Me

Irene Pepperberg -- Alex and Me [more inside]
posted by y2karl at 2:55 PM PST - 8 comments

Animals Interrupting Wildlife Photographers

Animals Interrupting Wildlife Photographers. A Thread. Threadreader version.
posted by hippybear at 10:59 AM PST - 32 comments

RIP Phil Spector

Creator of the Wall of Sound, murderer, died in prison Harvey Phillip Spector (December 26, 1939 – January 16, 2021) was an American record producer, musician, and songwriter who developed the Wall of Sound, a music production formula he described as a Wagnerian approach to rock and roll. Spector is regarded to be among the most influential figures in pop music history and as the first auteur of the music industry for the unprecedented control he had over every phase of the recording process. After spending three decades in semi-retirement, in 2009, he was convicted for the 2003 murder of the actress Lana Clarkson. At the time of his death, he was serving a prison sentence of 19 years to life.
posted by wellvis at 8:58 AM PST - 104 comments

Think about the future!

Help maintain that healthy tingle. Midcentury designers created the ultimate electric home for Westinghouse and Betty Furness can tell you all about it. [more inside]
posted by kinnakeet at 8:46 AM PST - 29 comments

All Aboard

The Daniel Patrick Moynihan Train Hall has opened, expanding New York's Penn Station into the former General Post Office building. It's been been praised (New Yorker, NYT) for its art-filled spaciousness, and plans have been announced to connect it to the High Line. Sadly, project manager Michael Evans didn't live to see its completion (NYT/Archive.is), having taken his own life in early 2020 amid the stress of the works.
posted by adrianhon at 8:27 AM PST - 13 comments

January 16

RIP Sylvain Sylvain (February 14, 1951 - January 13, 2021)

Sylvain Sylvain, born Sylvain Mizrahi, guitarist for proto-punk band The New York Dolls, has died at age 69. [more inside]
posted by holborne at 10:35 PM PST - 27 comments

Toward a unified theory of the exurbs

The Republican Party’s most Pro-Trump members have been elected by higher income white homeowners in the fast-growing exurban fringe. They feel the social status traditionally associated with their identity as white Christians is being degraded and that left wing political movements pose a threat to their livelihoods and political power. [more inside]
posted by latkes at 9:58 PM PST - 151 comments

Counter-Reformation, 2021 Edition

The techniques of this movement start with insults and propaganda and work their way up through boycotts and demonstrations to discriminatory laws. Then comes stochastic violence followed by planned violence. An important point is that it doesn’t start with atrocities. It begins with scapegoating, stigmatizing, and dehumanizing the targeted group(s); political speech. The true believers incrementally escalate their behavior. By the time they reach planned violence, there is no going back. [more inside]
posted by Joan Rivers of Babylon at 5:21 PM PST - 31 comments

owl spotting

Timber Wars is an eight-part podcast about the history of logging and environmentalism in the Pacific Northwest. It includes some great episodes on the spotted owl and the ecology of old growth forests. The series wrapped up in November, but just a few days ago, in the closing days of a failed administration, a new change to the federal rules placed 3 million acres of Northwest forests on the chopping block, removing protections for the spotted owl. [more inside]
posted by kaibutsu at 3:58 PM PST - 7 comments

22 Orphans Gave Up Everything to Distribute the World’s First Vaccine

In 1803, Spanish health officials wanted to get the smallpox inoculation to the New World. The problem was that it required fresh lymph which wouldn't last the journey across the Atlantic. The plan involved putting two dozen Spanish orphans on a ship. Right before they left for the colonies, a doctor would give two of them cowpox. After nine or 10 days at sea, the sores on their arms would be nice and ripe. A team of doctors onboard would lance the sores, and scratch the fluid into the arms of two more boys. Nine or 10 days later, once those boys developed sores, a third pair would receive fluid, and so on.[SLTheAtlantic]
posted by ShooBoo at 3:37 PM PST - 21 comments

Fighting Baseball - the Full Roster

Having garnered considerable online fandom, the curious player names of Fighting Baseball (previously) have since been researched in depth by redditor Cincinnati Redlegs, who has since published a spreadsheet of the complete list of player names.
posted by CarrotAdventure at 2:51 PM PST - 7 comments

This is what it sounds like when the violet backed starlings cry.

Prince as birds. (Twitter) Avian avatars of the Artist. thread reader link For the Twitter averse (or Donald Trump).
posted by barrett caulk at 10:33 AM PST - 11 comments

R.I.P. Margo St. James

On January 13, Margo St. James, founder of the St. James Infirmary and COYOTE (Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics) died. She was a fighter for sex-workers rights and their health and safety. I remember learning about her as a young person and she was one of the influencers of my feminism--she changed how I think about sex work/workers. Rest In Power.
posted by agatha_magatha at 8:41 AM PST - 36 comments

Wild, white horses

Mr. Frank Watkinson makes beautiful guitar covers. He also posts original music on his channel. I highly recommend listening to his rendition of I Will Follow You Into The Dark.
posted by antihistameme at 6:55 AM PST - 7 comments

Next: DisneySpace?

Tokyo DisneySea is considered by enthusiasts as perhaps the best theme park in the world. Opened in 2001, it includes a “Mediterranean Harbor”, a “Mysterious Island” (complete with volcano), an “Arabian Coast”, an “American Waterfront” and a forthcoming "Fantasy Springs". With no expense spared by owner The Oriental Land Company which uniquely operates Tokyo Disney Resort under licence from Disney, fans have waxed rhapsodical over the sheer scale and quality and immersion of the park (eps 75-77 of The Golden Horseshoe Review podcast). Episode 4 of The Imagineering Story (Disney+) examines the creation of the park. [more inside]
posted by adrianhon at 5:11 AM PST - 16 comments

January 15

Ugh, symbolism.

"The Great Gatsby" has entered public domain as of 1/1/2021, and a Reddit post suggesting a Muppet Great Gatsby adaptation went viral. Now Redditor Ben Crew has written a 104-page Muppet Great Gatsby adaptation, complete with songs and a poster.
posted by skycrashesdown at 10:51 PM PST - 37 comments

The best sandfly repellent: a handy penguin

New Zealand allegedly has no dangerous animals, birds or bugs. But it has one insect that left Cook's expedition with "ulcers like the small pox:" the sandfly. These blackflies, called namu in Māori, commit their dastardly deeds brazenly in the full light of day, using their serrated claws to saw through human flesh. Māori used crushed ngaio leaves to both repel them and soothe bites, while early settlers rubbed rancid bacon on their bodies to keep the critters away. Entomologists note that sandflies will leave humans alone if there is a delicious penguin nearby to feast on; however, the Department of Conservation frowns on the use of a personal penguin as pest deterrent. [more inside]
posted by rednikki at 8:14 PM PST - 35 comments

the red-gold turning gray

“Agriculture needs young people, needs motivation, and no one wants to go out to be confronted by a group of men holding guns,” says Umer Sami, an aspiring Pampore entrepreneur who wants to boost the presence of Kashmiri saffron in the online marketplace. “Young men have either begun to take up arms and stones against the struggle, or just stay home. Think about it — in your 20s, you live in one of the most violent places in the world. Would you do something that ties you to its land, or something that gets you out?” Sharanya Deepak writes for Eater about the intertwined fates of saffron and Kashmir.
posted by ChuraChura at 5:30 PM PST - 5 comments

Dumbest PPE of All Time

The Microclimate Air is the pandemic accessory you do not need. Could be useful for astronaut cosplay though.
posted by COD at 3:59 PM PST - 51 comments

NRA Declares Bankruptcy (Of Several Sorts)

The National Rifle Association has filed for Chapter 11 in bankruptcy court. Beyond the financial woes the organization has faced due to corrupt dealings by NRA leadership, the move is also an attempt by the organization to escape the lawsuit in New York, as the organization is clearly stating their intention to restructure as a Texas nonprofit.
posted by NoxAeternum at 2:22 PM PST - 74 comments

"a miniature world, inhabited by stylish ants"

Ann Wood's house of fabric ants who like midcentury furniture and modern art. And their Christmas preparations. More information about making the Beaumonts and their house. And some ideas for having ideas. And, via a comment from MeFite umwhat in Ask in 2015, Ann Wood's workspace.
posted by paduasoy at 2:14 PM PST - 14 comments

Salt on every table.

"Somewhere in This Brain": Memories of Segregation, Soul Music & Macbeth with Al Bell. While researching the cultural history of the high school literature canon, Andrew Newman came across a reference to Black students memorizing passages of Macbeth at their segregated Little Rock high school 1958. One of the named students was Alvertis Isbell, known today as Al Bell of Stax Records. Bell spoke to Newman about his high school education, his career as student council president and what it taught him about politics and music, and the connection he realized between Macbeth and "I'll Take You There."
posted by mixedmetaphors at 1:49 PM PST - 7 comments

Can this new app filter out Twitter harassment?

BlockpartyApp has opened on producthunt.com Founded and launched by Tracy Chou after her bad experiences on Twitter. Every woman, PoC and queer person on Twitter needs this app.
You can ask a friend for an invite (requires an email address), or you can use this special invite for Product Hunt members for the next 24 hours. Whichever way you join, a phone no. is required for 2fa.
posted by Lanark at 1:41 PM PST - 12 comments

This show sucks

Jenny Nicholson takes a deep dive into the Vampire Diaries.
posted by Pendragon at 12:40 PM PST - 21 comments

Learn How to Create Your Own Comics

Looking for a creative distraction? Want to study with comics luminaries like Mira Jacobs and Ben Passmore? You're in luck--since last April, the Believer Magazine has been hosting hour-long, interactive comics workshops through the Black Mountain Institute YouTube channel, all of which have been archived here. [more inside]
posted by carrienation at 11:39 AM PST - 3 comments

"What to get for the person who has everything?" (2021 edition)

Its not too soon to start planning for next-years Christmas gifts! A little bulkier than your standard DSLR camera, the wine-barrel sized Canon CE-SAT-1 isn't equipped for your next safari or birding trip... instead its Canon's promise of "consumer electronics" satellite camera. Or perhaps you'd prefer to be peddled different wares? From lab-grown human milk, to a robot for every need, to a refrigerator that makes round ice cubes!, there's more tech -real and only imagined- at CES2021.
posted by rubatan at 11:27 AM PST - 17 comments

Are you ready for some alternatives?

DeGoogle. No More Facebook.
posted by aniola at 11:12 AM PST - 31 comments

Saved by the band

A pigeon that Australia declared a biosecurity risk has received a reprieve after a U.S. bird organization declared its identifying leg band was fake. The band suggested the bird found in a Melbourne backyard on Dec. 26 was a racing pigeon that had left the U.S. state of Oregon, 13,000 kilometers (8,000 miles) away, two months earlier. On that basis, Australian authorities on Thursday said they considered the bird a disease risk and planned to kill it. But Deone Roberts, sport development manager for the Oklahoma-based American Racing Pigeon Union, said on Friday the band was fake.
posted by Bella Donna at 11:08 AM PST - 12 comments

Capitol Green Zone: Washington D.C. Prepares for Inauguration

It’s been over a week since the storming of the U.S. Capitol by Republican domestic terrorists. The National Guard has bivouacked around the Capitol in order to maintain security. President Donald Trump has been impeached for a record second time. And there are reports that federal officials are investigating congressional collusion with the insurrectionists.
posted by valkane at 11:02 AM PST - 114 comments

Where the Wild Things Are — The Joy of Harvey’s Sussex Best

"While Harvey’s Brewery, established here in Lewes in 1790, is not actually a house of worship, drinking a pint of its Best can be near to a religious experience. When served in peak condition, topped with a round of foam that imitates the gentle roll of the South Downs themselves, there are few other things that offer similar comfort." - Matthew Curtis in his ode to Harvey's Sussex Best in Pellicle [more inside]
posted by knapah at 10:26 AM PST - 15 comments

A plan to rescue America - President-Elect Biden's Coronavirus response

Following on from two weeks of violent sedition, and the historic second impeachment of the current resident, Joe Biden yesterday laid out his administration's $1.9tn American Rescue Plan in a televised address. Coverage links, and some others from prior megathread inside. [more inside]
posted by MattWPBS at 9:42 AM PST - 1028 comments

"Everyone says to me: why the 70s? And I say: why not?"

Homes that are portals to the past - talking to people who have the interior decor of their homes based on what was popular in the good old days.
posted by Stark at 9:24 AM PST - 39 comments

"I left out a lot, mainly because I'm in pain..."

Hot Pepper History was a YouTube series from the Indiana Historical Society. The concept is simple: a staff member prepares a (short) history lesson and then eats a hot pepper and... tries to deliver it. Explaining that they didn't feel right about doing a Drunk History project, the IHS settled on this method instead. You can learn about the squirrel migration of 1911, the 1909 National Balloon Chapionship, or where the term hoosier comes from (there's even a bloopers reel or two)
posted by jessamyn at 9:20 AM PST - 13 comments

How To Be At Home

Filmmaker Andrea Dorfman and Poet Tanya Davis bring us How To Be At Home, an animated poem about coping in the time of COVID. The short is part of a series by NFB Canada called The Curve that explores the physical and emotional aspects of pandemic isolation. [more inside]
posted by forbiddencabinet at 9:15 AM PST - 8 comments

There Has Been Anöther Murder

Every Single Scandinavian Crime Drama [SLYT, humor]
posted by schmod at 8:57 AM PST - 9 comments

Just a poignant essay about who you think about when big things happen

"I am very persistent about my small, stupid story, about the idea that I’m the main character here, on the couch, looking at my phone, doing nothing at all. All the people I once loved and don’t speak to anymore all crowd in real against the convenient backdrop of these big and horrible days. "
posted by Miko at 7:47 AM PST - 5 comments

i don't have to make stuff anymore

because normies are getting creative during the pandemic! (sl twitter) [more inside]
posted by miles per flower at 7:14 AM PST - 22 comments

Still the Most Magical Place on Earth?

Changes are afoot at Disney's theme parks. Disneyland Resort Annual Passes are being discontinued, Disneyworld Magical Express airport transfer buses are ending in 2022, and veteran Imagineers Joe Rohde and Kevin Rafferty are retiring.
posted by adrianhon at 2:34 AM PST - 46 comments

January 14

When you don't notice there aren't bugs on your windshield anymore

Insect populations suffering death by 1,000 cuts, say scientists - "'Frightening' global decline is 'tearing apart tapestry of life', with climate crisis a critical concern."[1,2] [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 10:04 PM PST - 30 comments

ignorance of history serves many ends

There was no single moment when I began to sense the long shadow that Cecil John Rhodes has cast over my life, or over the university where I am a professor, or over the ways of seeing the world shared by so many of us still living in the ruins of the British empire. But, looking back, it is clear that long before I arrived at Oxford as a student, long before I helped found the university’s Rhodes Must Fall movement, long before I even left Zimbabwe as a teenager, this man and everything he embodied had shaped the worlds through which I moved. Oxford professor Simukai Chigudu gives a personal account of colonialism and decolonialism. [Audio link.]
posted by ChuraChura at 5:14 PM PST - 10 comments

High Frequency Trading on Shortwave Radio

KA7OEI discovered a massive 'intruder' signal, interfering with other transmissions, at the top of the 20m band. It's high frequency trading over shortwave radio, a growing field. [more inside]
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 4:52 PM PST - 28 comments

The knights alone can account for as much as 50% of the cost of a set

What Are You Paying For in a $300 Chess Set? Mostly the Knights (NY Times): The horses in higher-end wooden sets must be hand-carved, a long, specialized process to make sure all four are exactly the same. How Are Hand-Made Chess Pieces Made? -- Making a Giant Chess Set episode 5A: Carving a Knight -- Woodturning a Chess Set - The Knights -- Chess Set Project Making the Knight -- Construction of a wooden horse chess piece using a 4-axis TORGOS CNC machine -- How To Whittle Chess Horse - "The Knight" (Youtube). Related: How the Chess Set Got Its Look and Feel (Smithsonian)
posted by not_the_water at 4:11 PM PST - 29 comments

YourKoreanDad is wholesomeness personified

Meet Nick Cho, an endearingly wholesome internet father figure. Cho is the person behind the 1.8 million-follower YourKoreanDad TikTok account, where he posts videos of himself doing various lighthearted activities with an off-camera child: learning how to longboard, making a gingerbread house, and preparing meals. He also talks openly about how it's okay to express feelings, and that it takes courage to ask for help when you need it. In an interview with Inside Edition Digital, Cho discusses his experiences growing up with racism as a Korean-American, his nurturing and inclusive approach to parenting and relationships, and the surprisingly emotional responses he has received from viewers. [h/t MeFi user DirtyOldTown]
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 4:00 PM PST - 13 comments

Whosever pulleth this splinter from this pebble

BobbyDuke makes a very small sword out of an old rusty nail.
posted by cortex at 1:59 PM PST - 13 comments

Are You Still Scared of Clowns?

A trailer for The Nothing.
posted by chavenet at 1:48 PM PST - 21 comments

Through a Screen, Dully

Oma Keeling deems No Man’s Sky the most boring and inconsequential piece of sci-fi media I’ve ever interacted with … it lives in its own state of self-splitting, believing it is a continuation of the works of authors like Dick, while constantly telling on itself by providing the same types of addictive, capitalist, colonialist play those self-same authors warned of, with a cheeky wink to their corpses.” (Glitchout). Previously. [Link removed upon OP's request. - loup ]
posted by adrianhon at 1:46 AM PST - 72 comments

January 13

The do bits society

Where's your head at? Mine's in Love Island. I've been on a binge recently and it seems like the only thing that's able to keep my outside anxieties at bay is to watch a bunch of (more or less) hot people mug each other off on TV.
posted by antihistameme at 6:25 PM PST - 12 comments

Expecting Lady Luck.

Maximizing the Expected Value of a Lottery Ticket: How to Sell and When to Buy. tldr: "Powerball tickets bought (under the current sales model) with pool sizes between $775.2 million and $1.6656 billion have positive expected value." But that's before everyone read this. P.s.
posted by storybored at 6:09 PM PST - 53 comments

Making Pokemon Not Fun To Play!

Speedrunning is more popular than ever, but inventive/crazy players are finding other unusual ways to play games. One is the search for ways to permanently soft-lock a game, that is, render it non-completable. Like: releasing all your pokemon, except for one Magikarp in the Pokemon League at the end of the game... wait, it's escapable? Fanbyte article: "Meet the Players Who Render Games Unplayable." Youtube playlist, Soft Lock Picking. A video from it, Escaping the Magikarp Trap.
posted by JHarris at 1:14 PM PST - 13 comments

Still good doggos (sort of) tho

Dire wolves: not actually wolves a new genetic study suggests.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:57 AM PST - 25 comments

Quant Fund or Metal Group?

Online test. Can you differentiate Quant Fund Titles from Metal Band names? What is a Quant Fund? What is Metal Music? [more inside]
posted by Faintdreams at 8:14 AM PST - 45 comments

The Inverted World

Mohamed bin Salman (responsible for the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi, amongst other misdeeds) announced THE LINE in a TED-style keynote video, a new 170km long city in Saudi Arabia built in a single straight line using "invisible technology" enabling zero emissions and "30% better quality products".
posted by adrianhon at 1:23 AM PST - 68 comments

January 12

U.S. asking states to speed vaccine, not hold back 2nd dose

U.S. asking states to speed vaccine, not hold back 2nd dose (AP): The Trump administration is asking states to speed delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to people 65 and older and to others at high risk by no longer holding back the second dose of the two-dose shots, officials said Tuesday. Trump administration reverses course and adopts part of Biden vaccine distribution plan (CNN): The Department of Health and Human Services is expected to announce sweeping changes Tuesday in vaccine rollout guidelines in an effort to boost the lagging number of vaccinations in the first month -- effectively adopting the approach proposed by President-elect Joe Biden's incoming administration. Biden's Plan To Release More Vaccine Is A Gamble. Is It Worth The Risk? (NPR): The Biden administration plans to send most of the currently reserved doses out right away, allowing more people to get first doses. For people who've gotten initial shots, the Biden team is making a bet that new doses could be manufactured in time to keep booster shots on schedule. How can countries stretch COVID vaccine supplies? Scientists are divided over dosing strategies (Nature): Researchers worry that efforts to free up limited vaccine doses are driven by desperation rather than data. Related: A Single Vaccine Dose Appears To Protect Against COVID-19. So Why Are We Giving Two? (WBUR)
posted by not_the_water at 3:18 PM PST - 115 comments

The Carpet Merchant of Konstantiniyya

Come, children, and mothers of children;
weavers of wonder, wards of warriors.
Hear me now as I recite
A story, of a lifetime faraway.
Listen. [more inside]
posted by infini at 12:59 PM PST - 7 comments

Man Escapes Cougar: 'Dude, I Don't Feel Like Dying Today'

On a 10-mile run up Slate Canyon in Provo UT, guy sees 4 cougar cubs on the trail. He took out his phone and started filming. When the mother came along he knew he was in trouble. For the next six minutes, he recorded their encounter. The mother cougar followed him — hissing, growling and threatening — as Burgess backed away, keeping his eyes locked on her. Mostly, he alternated between yelling a stream of profanities at the mother mountain lion and calling the animal "dude."
posted by dancestoblue at 11:38 AM PST - 106 comments

I know it...involves an unsettling amount of detached body parts

1. Bad robotics maven Simone Giertz makes Teeth Wall, a midi-powered 12-note xylophone of chattering teeth.
2. Swedish artist Love Hultén runs with the concept with a 25-note sampler synthesizer also made of chattering teeth: the VOC-25.
posted by cortex at 9:19 AM PST - 20 comments

William Pelley and the Silver Legion of America

Before the Oath Keepers, Q Anon and Sovereign Citizens there was Bill Pelley and his far-right, nazi-friendly, occult-adjacent Silvershirts
posted by FiftyShadesOfBae at 9:18 AM PST - 5 comments

Intellectual credibility at wholesale pricing

"... over the past two decades, Books by the Foot’s books-as-decor designs have become a fixture in the world of American politics, filling local appetite for books as status symbols..." Whether it's a movie set, hotel decor, an instant personal library, a "Zoom Room" or pretty much any other reason you might need to fill a whole lot of bookshelves, the Books By the Foot service of Maryland's Wonder Books has you covered. Order by color, order by subject, order by the overall impact you'd like to create (glossy professional anyone?) and the persona you want to imply. Interestingly, the overall volume of orders for this service has remained fairly stable during COVID, but the specific uses seems to have morphed. [more inside]
posted by The Librarian at 8:04 AM PST - 88 comments

Vandalism in the name of science.

Jungle Lab The machete-wielding scientists ventured into the Amazon, hacking through dense jungle as the mid-morning temperature soared past 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 C). Soaked in sweat, the small group of men and women sawed and tore trees limb from limb. They drilled into the soil and sprayed paint across tree trunks.
A Brazil-wide map of secondary forests over the past 33 years can help regrow Amazon rainforest, stop fires, and curb carbon emissions.
posted by adamvasco at 3:27 AM PST - 3 comments

January 11

The Wages of Sedition: Speaker Pelosi will impeach Trump a second time

The storming of the U.S. Capitol has resulted in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi setting a hard deadline for moving forward with a 2nd impeachment of Donald Trump. Meanwhile, many of the insurrectionists caught on film are now under arrest. And the GOP has shifted from attacking the election to asking for everyone to move on and embrace unity.
posted by valkane at 8:28 PM PST - 2009 comments

Why Are You Closed?

...goes metal (slyt)
posted by bonobothegreat at 3:52 PM PST - 20 comments

Don't have vertigo? Are ya sure?

7 minutes and change of first person POV parkour from Storror.
posted by juv3nal at 3:29 PM PST - 31 comments

I Want To Believe

In less than six months, US intelligence agencies must report what they know about UFOs to Congress. December's coronavirus relief and government funding bill began a 180-day countdown for providing the information. This follows the Pentagon's acknowledgement last year of its Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon Task Force, the existence of which they had previously denied.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:32 PM PST - 64 comments

"Get psyched!"

You stand over the guard's body, grabbing frantically for a banana. You're not sure if the other guards heard his muffled scream. Just a few weeks ago you were on a reconnaissance mission of extreme importance. You were to infiltrate the fortress and find the plans for Operation Bad-Boon. Captain William J. "B.J." Blazkowicz, you've got a big plastic ball and eight floors of hell to get through. Good luck! RETURN TO CASTLE MONKEY BALL YouTube demo (CW: Nazi imagery, portrait of Awful Person)
posted by JHarris at 11:46 AM PST - 5 comments

Take it slowly, this book is dangerous

Calliope Mori was supposed to be the rapper in Hololive EN, but her throne got taken by Amelia Watson with her version of Dr. Seuss' Fox in Socks: Pop on Rocks. (Taken from Amelia's Japanese snacks stream, edited and set to music by Holobass Bonus: Calliope Mori's cover)
posted by MartinWisse at 10:41 AM PST - 15 comments

The day r/AITA may have saved a life

A woman wrote into Reddit's "Am I The Asshole" with a question about whether she and he husband should take in his younger brother who displayed some disturbing behavior the last time he was living with them. Her husband's family was trying to gaslight her into taking him in, claiming that the brother's fucked up behavior wasn't so bad and he had grown out of it. After receiving many comments from people screaming that said brother was dangerous and unwell and she should stand up for herself, including some harsh, nasty DMs from awful people, she had a heart-to-heart with her husband who heard her and vowed to address things with his problematic brother. What followed was a crazy, traumatic harrowing set of confrontations and realizations where the whole family needed to reckon with how much they had enabled said brother through denial and not understanding how dangerous he was. [CW: animal abuse, mental health, threatening behavior, violence, bodily fluids, and a minor who is involved but unharmed.] [more inside]
posted by nayantara at 9:39 AM PST - 130 comments

Voices from vehicles

Using lag-free analog electronics and an FM transmitter, Alberta's "Luminous Voices" perform choral music together from their cars.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 8:54 AM PST - 9 comments

Dulce et Decorum

In European cemeteries across India, clues to tough lives, religious politics and a shared history. Taken together, they tell a story of the aspirations, hardships, and the cultural exchange that went into creating a pluralistic India. [text Via]
posted by infini at 5:29 AM PST - 2 comments

Parler Games

Parler got owned. Badly. Whilst scrambling to keep operational as various server providers pulled Parler from their services the admins left open a security loophole that allowed hackers to create administration accounts. They used this to create MILLIONS of admin accounts and to start downloading all of the data that Parler had stored. Amongst this data, discussions planning to attack the US Capitol from verified users (with pictures of their drivers licences etc. ), GPS data, photos with EXIF data. Further info in this Reddit thread.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 3:22 AM PST - 238 comments

January 10

Robson wasn’t looking for a murder-cow when she found the specimen

How bones set aside as a "Weird Thing Found In A Closet" turned out to be the missing link between previously-known hunting grounds of a "terrifying" ancient, omnivorous ungulate.
posted by bixfrankonis at 3:38 PM PST - 12 comments

The Year of Living Meditatively.

21-day Meditation Challenge. Dan Harris author of Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics, is holding it this month for those wanting to explore mindfulness and mental wellness. (Apologies for the a late post, the last day to sign up is today Jan 10th). [more inside]
posted by storybored at 2:37 PM PST - 27 comments


In the midst of Twitter and nearly every other social media website banning disgraced President Donald Trump, alongside much of his sycophants (ongoing thread here), there has been a lot of talk about the book 1984. I'd like to highlight a more modern alternative that may be better suited for explaining our current crisis: 2001's Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. Specifically, we are going to discuss the topics and theme of a particular conversation that occurs at the end of the game.

SPOILERS AHEAD. [more inside]
posted by gucci mane at 2:15 PM PST - 23 comments

Students needed more support, not more surveillance.

"Proctoring software is some of the most outrageous "cop shit" in schools right now." Educational technology critic Audrey Watters on school surveillance.

These tools gather and analyze far more data than just a student's exam responses. They require a student show photo id to their laptop camera, then match that data that to the student's 'biometric faceprint'. They capture audio and video from the session — the background sounds and scenery from a student's home. Some ask for a tour of the student's room to make sure there aren't "suspicious items" on the walls or nearby. Some also capture a student's keystrokes, track location data, pinpointing where the student is working. [more inside]
posted by spamandkimchi at 11:41 AM PST - 43 comments

Do you think the ’90s were five years ago?

Are You A Middle-Aged Millennial? Take Our Quiz & Find Out!
posted by Pong74LS at 7:38 AM PST - 150 comments

The aim of art is to prepare a person for death

Soviet movies online - many of them. [more inside]
posted by thatwhichfalls at 7:38 AM PST - 12 comments

January 9

“Right to repair” survey: Which tech devices/brands break down most?

An online survey that asked 3,201 Canadians about smartphone, laptop and tablet breakdowns and repairs revealed that an overwhelming majority of them are dealing with broken technology that is too difficult or too expensive to repair. In August 2020, CBC consumer advocate show Marketplace conducted the survey to find out which types and brands of devices were most likely to break down, and which were least able to be repaired. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives asks, When will Canadians have the right to repair? [more inside]
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 2:32 PM PST - 56 comments

Tommy Lasorda 1927-2021

LOS ANGELES -- Tommy Lasorda, the fiery Hall of Fame manager who guided the Los Angeles Dodgers to two World Series titles and later became an ambassador for the sport he loved, has died. Thomas Charles Lasorda (September 22, 1927 – January 7, 2021) was an American professional baseball pitcher and manager. He managed the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1976 through 1996. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame as a manager in 1997. [more inside]
posted by goalyeehah at 12:50 PM PST - 19 comments

Old school lock and key

The devilishly difficult locks of Dindigul, Tamil Nadu, India, where they have been handcrafted by artisans for 400 years. The popular kinds of locks created in Dindigul are the Mango lock, Door Lock, Trick Lock, Bell Lock, Drawer Lock, Partner lock, Master lock, Bullet lock and Temple lock with bells that ring at each of the 8 turns of the key. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 12:26 PM PST - 9 comments

Corporate Censorship of a Would-Be Autocrat

After Trump's coup attempt, Twitter has finally kicked the president off rather than give him a stern time out. Apple has threatened to pull Parler from the App store, and Google has already followed through. Despite Trump actually being the government (with a press office), and all of these being private companies, should tech have so much power to censor communication? Does deplatforming work on a whole ideology rather than an individual? [more inside]
posted by benzenedream at 10:15 AM PST - 260 comments

"it’s actually about our tending to one another."

Cultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History and the Human Impulse to Garden, a weekly public radio program & podcast exploring how and why we garden. Episodes feature the founder of the Palestine Heirloom Seed Library, Vivien Sansour; author Jamaica Kincaid on Botany, Geography, History & Power; poet Ross Gay on Structures of Care and so many more.
posted by spamandkimchi at 9:45 AM PST - 5 comments

January 8

You attract the attention of a shark. Maybe they can help you catch fish

You are a new shark in an updated strange blue sea
posted by boo_radley at 6:31 PM PST - 66 comments

RIP Michael Apted

Michael Apted, Director of the "Up Series" films, one of THE great cultural artifacts of the 20th and 21st centuries, dies at 79 years old [more inside]
posted by lalochezia at 2:07 PM PST - 53 comments

You're using your dishwasher wrong

From Technology Connections: dishwasher detergent packs are bad and also you're probably using your dishwasher wrong and also here's how dishwashers work! (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by caek at 1:53 PM PST - 143 comments

The day after the morning after: Trump won't attend inauguration

After telling his followers to storm the Capitol, President Trump releases a video seemingly admitting to losing, and then tells his base he won't be attending President-Elect Joe Biden's inauguration.
posted by valkane at 12:39 PM PST - 1921 comments

Hidden Florence 3D: San Pier Maggiore

Bringing one of Italy’s most important lost churches back to life, using cutting-edge technology and a few fragments of stone
posted by bq at 10:52 AM PST - 3 comments

Hashtag: seashanty

A small way in which 2021 is actually better than 2020, is that TikTok's new add-on feature allows you to take a video of a dude singing a sea shanty and add your own voice (or instrument) to it. (All twitter links)
posted by MartinWisse at 10:10 AM PST - 35 comments

cooking outside the box

"For the past few years, there has been a cookbook on my shelf whose pages I keep returning to: “Cooking Outside the Box,” a slim volume of recipes by people incarcerated in Michigan state prisons... Reading recipes for dishes like Lynda’s Pizza Rolls and Cass’s Noodle Cookie, I kept hoping for head notes and back stories. Who figured out how to turn crushed Doritos and hot water into masa for tamales? I’ve rarely been as impressed as I’ve been by these portraits of ingenuity, born of the utmost constraints." Chef Samin Nosrat speaks to Ear Hustle host Earlonne Wood about prison cooking (nyt), and updates his recipe for chicken and rice (nyt). [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura at 9:23 AM PST - 6 comments


Checkboxes is probably arguably a game. Or something.
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:06 AM PST - 13 comments

Riding the Classics

Frode Kvinge Flatland, also known (?) as Frodello, performs Turkish March by Mozart for stationary bike and swans.
posted by Harald74 at 8:14 AM PST - 8 comments

All across the nation such a strange vibration

For The Last Black Man in San Francisco (Fanfare), Emile Mosseri composed a new version of San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair) with Joe Talbot, Daniel Herskedal, including vocals from Mike Marshall (the voice in the chorus for Luniz’s “I Got 5 On It"). Mosseri also composed music for Homecoming Season 2, Kajillionaire, and his soundtrack for the upcoming Minari has reached the top of many "best scores of 2020" lists.
posted by adrianhon at 6:54 AM PST - 8 comments

Never too late: Fungi edition

From The Guardian, an as-told-to profile of a Pamela come lately who has discovered 20 new species of fungi over the course of her second career. "At the age of 58, after decades of working as a teacher, Pamela Catcheside retrained as a researcher, transforming a lifelong passion into a career. ...After teaching I was looking forward to doing something on my own. Mycology lends itself quite well to being secluded: you go out, collect, bring things back, do a lot of research. I really enjoy that very much."
posted by Bella Donna at 6:01 AM PST - 9 comments

Neil Sheehan, Pentagon Papers reporter, Vietnam author, dies

Sheehan broke the story of Pentagon Papers for The New York Times and won a Pultizer for a “A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam." He died Jan. 7 at age 84. With all the other news going on lately, you might have missed this.
posted by NotLost at 5:59 AM PST - 21 comments

January 7

January 8 -- Bowiemas 2021

Bowiemas is upon us! Jan 8th would have been David Bowie's 74th birthday. So many ways to celebrate! Perhaps begin with David & Cher performing Can You Hear Me, the b-side for the single Golden Years in 1975. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 10:23 PM PST - 16 comments

Mmmmm....Fresh Baked Breakies & Cakies - Courtesy of AI

Everyone truly is baking their way through the pandemic, even AI. The machine learning team over at Google have developed two new recipes. [more inside]
posted by brookeb at 9:36 AM PST - 30 comments

The morning after insurrection

After the first breach of the US Capitol in over 200 years, America is coming to terms with this being driven by the exiting President, rather than an invading power. Continuation of the prior thread. [more inside]
posted by MattWPBS at 8:15 AM PST - 1356 comments

January 6

The Story I Like To Tell About My Father

Charlie Jane Anders writes movingly about the end of her father's life, his dementia, and how he came to accept her transition.
posted by brainwane at 10:47 PM PST - 14 comments

Hong Kong Mass Arrests Chill Democracy Movement

Police detained over 50 people under the 6 month old National Security Law. They were arrested over their involvement with in unofficial primaries last year, including as candidates, and accused of "trying to overthrow the government". [more inside]
posted by toastyk at 10:39 PM PST - 24 comments

Singin' In The Rain (bedecked in tartan and tweed)

Burberry's 2020 Christmas video. This is for an ad campaign, but it's great. (Some) more info. (you know, if you want a break from the news) [more inside]
posted by Gorgik at 8:20 PM PST - 12 comments

Mob breaches Capitol, spurring lockdown

U.S. Capitol is on lockdown as protesters clash with police and breach the building; D.C. mayor imposes curfew.
posted by NotLost at 11:48 AM PST - 1679 comments

OpenAI brings you: Confused Capybara Emoji

DALL·E: Creating Images from Text DALL·E is a 12-billion parameter version of GPT-3 trained to generate images from text descriptions, using a dataset of text–image pairs. We’ve found that it has a diverse set of capabilities, including creating anthropomorphized versions of animals and objects, combining unrelated concepts in plausible ways, rendering text, and applying transformations to existing images. (Note, the examples are interactive) [more inside]
posted by CrystalDave at 10:45 AM PST - 19 comments

It's wintry. It's pandemicky. Why not enjoy a warm summer day!

Inside are 10 little escapes.... [more inside]
posted by ecorrocio at 9:48 AM PST - 6 comments

The Generation That Doesn’t Believe Helen Keller Existed

In May 2020, Isabella Lahoue noticed TikTok was awash with videos doubting the existence and facts of Helen Keller's life. She wonders, "Maybe we [Gen Z] don’t believe in her because we’re growing up in a world of fake news. We know the power of manipulation and lies in the media, and we’re losing faith in the sources everyone once trusted. There’s too much data and too many lies circulating for us to process and believe it all." Interest in this phenomenon was recently rekindled by a viral Twitter thread. Newsweek article.
posted by adrianhon at 9:27 AM PST - 74 comments

An effort to make false confessions much less likely

The exonerated five talk about why they made false confessions and a proposed law against bad police practice. "It’s hard to imagine why anyone would confess to a crime they didn’t commit. But when you’re in that interrogation room, everything changes. During the hours of relentless questioning that we each endured, detectives lied to us repeatedly. They said they had matched our fingerprints to crime scene evidence and told each of us that the others had confessed and implicated us in the attack. They said that if we just admitted to participating in the attack, we could go home. All of these were blatant lies." The proposed law.
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 6:08 AM PST - 25 comments

January 5

A Historic Senator for Georgia

With control of the US Senate and hanging in the balance, two runoff Senatorial elections in the US state of Georgia with major national consequences draw to a close this evening. With 97% of the vote tallies, Decision Desk HQ (Twitter) has called one of the races for Democrat Raphael Warnock. Warnock, the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where Martin Luther King Jr. preached a gospel of social justice, will be the first Black Senator elected by Georgia. [more inside]
posted by darkstar at 9:25 PM PST - 516 comments

I work less than I thought I did and that's OK

Turns out my top three activities of the year are sleeping (7h 45min on average per day and I'm very proud of this), working (6h 20 min on average per day) and socialising (3h 25 min on average per day). It is mostly what I would expect except that it always scares me how much time we actually spend unconscious. I can't decide whether 1h 20 min spent on human function (eating and showering etc) is a lot or not.
All through 2020, Ala Szalapak logged her daily activities at 15 minute intervals. She collected over 35,000 data points.
posted by Vesihiisi at 11:06 AM PST - 54 comments


Synchronized violin players reveal uniqueness of human network "An unusual experiment involving 16 violinists trying to synchronize their playing while wearing noise-canceling headphones yielded some intriguing results, according to an August 2020 paper published in Nature Communications. The study concluded that human networks are fundamentally different from other networks in terms of synchronized behavior because of our decision-making ability."
posted by dhruva at 10:05 AM PST - 13 comments

Death, can I see her for one last time?

Jenny-Jinya is a comic artist who, in her own words, makes people cry with her Loving Reaper comics
TW: As the name implies, the comics are about dying and dead animals due to issues like abandonment, neglect or abuse
posted by simmering octagon at 8:53 AM PST - 34 comments

Something is longer in the state of Denmark

[Caution for innovative Scandinavian genitalia] John Dillermand is an animation aimed at 4 to 8 year olds, broadcast on Danish TV, and centred around a man with the world's most extensive penis. The first series shows him use it to walk dogs, tame lions, cook hot dogs on a camp fire, rescue people, and hang illuminated lights. However, the penis has a mind of its own e.g. stealing ice creams from children. Reaction (from adults on Facebook, and elsewhere) has been mixed [New Straits Times] [entertainment.ie][RTL.lu].
posted by Wordshore at 8:36 AM PST - 59 comments

The Man Who Turned Credit-Card Points Into an Empire

Jamie Lauren Keiles interviews Brian Kelly, aka The Points Guy, on what has become of credit-card rewards and frequent flyer miles amid a global pandemic and delves into the wider history of credit cards and loyalty programs (NYT/Archive.is). "Today the business of selling points is more stable and more reliably profitable than the business of actually flying people places ... There have been transactions in the past where the loyalty program was acquired or sold at a total value exceeding that of the airline."
posted by adrianhon at 8:32 AM PST - 36 comments

Banana pasta and mini macarons prepared by a personal chef...

The Happiest Hamster On Earth. 짧은 햄생..행복하게..🐹 "Golden Hamster who lives in a penthouse her first sister built for her, eats handmade dishes her second sister cooks for her. (Jealous..)" (Single link Youtube episode of a Korean tv show with English subtitles).
posted by spamandkimchi at 8:22 AM PST - 7 comments

The Chances of Drawing a Tripod With Four Legs are a Million to One...

2021 is the 75th anniversary of the death of science fiction writer H.G. Wells, and the UK's Royal Mint is marking the occasion with the issue of a commemorative coin. Unfortunately there are some issues with the design that have led to questions as to whether the designer is actually familiar with Wells' most famous works...
posted by Major Clanger at 7:57 AM PST - 42 comments

A nurse facing viruses, both biological and memetic.

covid, Fox News, America, and me “You know, your parents have been on the receiving end of weapons grade psy-ops for years now, right?” I think about that a lot. Sometimes it’s the only thing that allows me to approach this situation with any equanimity.
posted by bitmage at 6:41 AM PST - 61 comments

January 4

Kangaroo Island documentary

This post from about a year ago was mostly about a prank being played on a reporter, but tangentially ended up being about the Kangaroo Island wildfires (via this comment). The Last Koalas [Vimeo, ~55m, CW: injured animals] is a documentary which starts on about Jan 1 during the wildfires and shows the ridiculous and heroic sweep forward to build the Koala Rescue and save the Wildlife Park.
posted by hippybear at 8:21 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

To be understood, we need to communicate.

Sign is a game about Nicaraguan Sign Language, which was invented by children at Nicaraugua's first school for the deaf in the 1970's and 80's. In the game, players act as the children struggling and then learning to communicate with one another, creating signs to convey their history, hopes, and fears. Notably, the players abandon spoken language for the duration of the game, and mark their hands whenever they make 'compromises' in their communication. Proceeds from printed copies go to the Nicaraguan Sign Language Projects, but there's also a free pdf [booklet and cards]. [more inside]
posted by kaibutsu at 2:39 PM PST - 6 comments

16,938 uses, 12,618 typefaces, and 28,217 registered users, &c.

For 10 years, the “independent archive of typography” Fonts In Use has collected and organized examples of different fonts in the real world.
posted by Going To Maine at 1:44 PM PST - 7 comments

A cruciverbalist's blog

CrossBoss is a blog, launched July 2020, dedicated to the New York Times crossword puzzle. Its proprietor, Morgan Russell, solves every day's puzzle and then posts a review of it, including his personal solve time (4:56 for today's "easy" Monday puzzle); an assessment of its difficulty level ("relative to day of the week. An 8/10 Monday is still much easier than a 4/10 Saturday, unless otherwise specified.); an enjoyability rating; and occasionally, a link to a live-solve video on his YouTube channel. The review commentary in each post is the best part. It includes commentary on the quality of the puzzle's construction as well as comments on what he liked or learned about some of the answers.
posted by beagle at 1:30 PM PST - 25 comments

Slippery fish are a fact of life!

The UK's Health and Safety Executive has no patience for unhelpful "health and safety" excuses. There's no legislation against the staff at a burger van cutting your burger in half, there should indeed be mirrors in disabled toilets, frilly socks do not endanger students, kitchens are allowed to have knives and it's reasonable to ask for your trout to be filleted at a fishmonger's counter. (h/t @ZiziFothSi)
posted by Vesihiisi at 10:06 AM PST - 40 comments

Sea urchins love hats

Sea urchins wear shells like hats so aquarists made tiny hats for them to wear instead. There are 950 species of sea urchins living on seabeds, making them one of the most widespread and common echinoderms in our oceans. The sea urchins not only look stylish, but the hats also help to keep them safe. Sea urchin in a witch hat.
posted by nickyskye at 9:13 AM PST - 17 comments

Just find 11,780 votes

“The people of Georgia are angry,” POTUS said in audio obtained by The Washington Post (Law & Crime). “The people in the country are angry. And there’s nothing wrong with saying that you’ve recalculated.” He asserted he won the state of Georgia, and he repeated baseless conspiracy theories regarding widespread voter fraud as well as sabotage. “All I want to do is this,” Trump said on the audio. “I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state.” Audio and transcript via CNN. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 5:32 AM PST - 507 comments

"But why limit yourself to modern swear words."

Vu Le writes "21 tips to make getting back to work this week more bearable". "5. List out stuff you’re grateful for. It’s important to remind ourselves regularly of our blessings. Make a list of five things you’re grateful for. That feels great, right? That’s a lot of emotional progress. Go ahead and take the rest of the day off from work." His blog, Nonprofit AF (previously), frequently features satirical takes on life working in the nonprofit/NGO sector (previously), such as "Honest email auto-replies you can use during these challenging times".
posted by brainwane at 4:57 AM PST - 7 comments

January 3

We feel language

The surprising grammar of touch A new language centered around touch is spreading within the DeafBlind community and revolutionizing how its members communicate. [more inside]
posted by Toddles at 10:33 PM PST - 13 comments

Why Is Cats?

Why Is Cats? No, but, seriously, Why is Cats?! [Previously: Why Is Cats?] [more inside]
posted by meese at 8:39 PM PST - 39 comments

Immensely more interesting than both Chrono Trigger and Persona 4

"Tokimeki Memorial profound 1995-ish narrative tricks genuinely brought me to actual tears, as a 41-year-old man, living in the year 2020. And these were no simple tears. These were weird, deeply interesting tears. Look at the length of this video, buddy. That's how long it's going to take for me to describe these tears." Tim Rogers reviews Tokimeki Memorial. [more inside]
posted by simmering octagon at 2:12 PM PST - 28 comments

waiter? context, please!

Oakley loves carrots.
posted by kaibutsu at 12:00 PM PST - 11 comments

You better not stop them 'cause they're coming through

For the first time since 1992, The KLF have reissued their music on streaming services and YouTube as an eight-track collection named Solid State Logik 1 including Doctorin' The Tardis, 3AM Eternal, and Justified & Ancient.
posted by adrianhon at 10:19 AM PST - 66 comments

Up & Down

How the Escalator Forever Changed Our Sense of Space. Megan Carpenter at Smithsonian Magazine writes about the history of the escalator, and how the invention not only changed our shopping experience but eventually affected how we think about public spaces.
posted by soundguy99 at 9:10 AM PST - 71 comments

January 2

Open a can and put it in pot

Make some baked beans John Roderick shares the experience of watching his daughter figure out a can opener. (twitter thread linked above, full thread on Threadreader)
posted by jazon at 3:35 PM PST - 591 comments

Eye candy for the maximalist

There isn’t a hint of white in designer Ms Pink’s home, claims the Guardian, above an image of a white and neon-green wall in the London flat of Ms Pink. To be fair, there isn't much white. Liquorice Allsorts, a pair of striped tights, the motion graphics from Top of the Pops and an X-Ray Spex album cover are just some of the surprising visual references that have inspired the kaleidoscopic home of Ms Pink and Mr Black – a creative duo. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 12:44 PM PST - 46 comments

Timelapse through Holland

From Rotterdam to Amsterdam in 10 minutes [more inside]
posted by Kosmob0t at 10:53 AM PST - 59 comments

January 1

Media Vita

From a 1550s Pandemic, a Choral Work Still Casts Its Spell. "We know remarkably little about John Sheppard and his “Media vita.” But it has become a cult favorite of early music." [more inside]
posted by storybored at 6:26 PM PST - 9 comments

Booze Fairies Flit Across America

Neighbors have been donning wings and tutus to deliver adult beverages and other goodies. New York Times: "This year, women around the country have staked out each other’s homes in the name of a quest that gained popularity during the pandemic: raising spirits by giving spirits, anonymously. Booze fairies, as they’re called, bring together the childhood thrill of ding-dong ditch with a side of Secret Santa and a dash of adult beverages. Sometimes, they wear wings and a tutu." [more inside]
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:17 PM PST - 29 comments

Autistic, disability blogger Amanda (Mel) Baggs died Apr 2020

NYTimes obit: Previously on Metafilter, Amanda (Mel) Baggs died in April of 'respiratory failure.' They were (very) famous for short In My Language, ballastexistenz and their Youtube blog silentmiaow.
posted by kfholy at 10:59 AM PST - 30 comments

Fare Well: Good riddance to the last page torn from this scunnered year

"We say Wha’s like us, singing Auld Lang’s Syne. We share the planet’s air. What’s yours is mine." Assembled in the sombre times of a Covid lockdown and an unwanted Brexit - Scotland's Hogmanay this year features Fare Well - a series of drone displays by (part1, part 2, part 3) set to poetry by Scots Makar, Jackie Kay. [more inside]
posted by rongorongo at 9:52 AM PST - 10 comments

find a place to feel good

Harry Styles, dancing with Phoebe Waller-Bridge in matching outfits - Treat People With Kindness
posted by everybody had matching towels at 9:31 AM PST - 27 comments