November 2019 Archives

November 30

Stories of contact retold in music

how Indigenous songs recount deep histories of trade between Australia and Southeast Asia. An essay by Aaron Corn for The Conversation on how historic contacts between the Yolŋu of Arnhem Land, Australia, and the peoples of island South-East Asia are retold in music, law and ritual.
posted by tavegyl at 11:15 PM PST - 9 comments

"It’s Mommy’s friend, Fred"

There’s a lot of talk about Mister Rogers these days. The release of the new feature film with Tom Hanks has prompted renewed discussion about Rogers’s kindness, his groundbreaking approach to children’s programming, about how all of us of a certain age associate him with a gentler, simpler time. But intertwined with all of the current chatter is the implied message that the original “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” series, while loved and appreciated by adults, is part of a bygone era and would never (ever!) fly with today’s iPad-loving, Fortnite-obsessed youth. I discovered just how wrong that assumption is. WaPo | non-WaPo
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:33 PM PST - 14 comments

'So passes Denethor, son of Ecthelion,' said Gandalf

A historian’s look at the Siege of Gondor in Peter Jackson’s Return of the King.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:13 PM PST - 52 comments

Modern midden: one person's trash is another's history book

On the county, state, and national levels, wilderness parks are often beloved for their natural wonders: handsome trees, cantilevered rock formations, shrinking glaciers—and not the things that people leave behind in them. But over time, many park staffers have found themselves caretakers of this historic debris. The older stuff strewn around can be a window into understanding a landscape and how people have used it. That’s how a couple dozen decades-old bottles and cans came to be cultural heritage objects in the custody of Fire Island staff. Sometimes Trash Is Treasured in America’s National Parks -- Bottles, cans, and more can reveal a long history of industry, recreation, and shenanigans. Similarly: Along the Remains of Route 66, Road Trip Trash Has Become Treasure -- Welcome to the “throw zone.” (Atlas Obscura x2) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:59 PM PST - 4 comments

Was the oldest woman in the world a fraud?

Or was she really Jeanne Calment? Or was she really Yvonne Calment? -- Or was a young Russian researcher on to something? -- Or was he a troll? -- Or was this all a matter of French national myth? -- Or was this a con? -- Or was this about the honor of Arles as a city? -- Or were suspicious gerontologists on to something?-- Or was this all an attack on Western science?
posted by Hypatia at 7:24 PM PST - 11 comments

Meanwhile, on a Canadian escalator

Ten years after Bela Kosoian refused to hold the handrail on an escalator, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that police officers have a professional responsibility to act reasonably and know the law. The officer who arrested Kosoian is personally liable for half of the $20,000 award for damages, even though he acted in good faith and in accordance with his training. [more inside]
posted by clawsoon at 3:37 PM PST - 23 comments

“But it’s the memories that matter.”

In 1969, a group of boys played a Thanksgiving football game. 50 years later, they're still at it. [The Journal Times] “The actual competition is totally secondary. It’s all about some old friends gathering for an hour or so, keeping a tradition alive and needling the heck out of each other during games that have ranged from lively to virtually lifeless. As Botzau, a Racine attorney, points out, “Depending on the weather and schedules, participation in the game has ranged from eight to 28 players. Games have been played in weather ranging anywhere from two feet of snow to 50 degrees. Participants have included teachers, lawyers, accountants, X-ray technicians, basketball referees and city bus drivers. Sideline and end zone markers typically consist of empty milk jugs and cardboard boxes.””
posted by Fizz at 3:22 PM PST - 3 comments

Reducing carbon emissions brick by brick

Cement has a carbon problem. Here are some concrete solutions. By Maddie Stone.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:17 PM PST - 14 comments

Little Joe Sure Can Sing

You may know Joe Pesci as an actor (Raging Bull, Goodfellas, Lethal Weapon, The Irishman, etc.) but his main career & interests had always been as a singer and musician. At 16, he was friends with Frankie Valli and in 1959 had a hand in the formation of the Four Seasons. In 1968 he put up a collection of pop songs covers. After My cousin Vinny, came an album by Vincent LaGuardia Gambini (NSFW). His new album of evergreens just dropped yesterday. Much more about it at this Esquire article from today. [more inside]
posted by growabrain at 12:43 PM PST - 12 comments

You Can’t Fire Mark Zuckerberg’s Kid’s Kids

One formerly esoteric aspect of the financial side of Silicon Valley has seen a lot of press in the past few months is the dual-tier stock structure - a system where the founders of a company are granted a special tier of stock that grants them greater voting power, often allowing them to maintain full control of the company votewise with only a minority stake. However, thanks to high profile cases like WeWork and Facebook illustrating the dangers of such systems and how they render leadership untouchable, there has been growing criticism of the practice. Re/Code's Kara Swisher, writing for the New York Times, lays out why the practice continues to endure, even now - the dual-tier structure works - until it doesn't. (SLNYT)
posted by NoxAeternum at 11:14 AM PST - 27 comments

Tales From the Rural North

Rural Michigan is ailing. For years, people have been leaving small towns and moving to urban areas, seeking opportunity in cities with more people, more jobs, more excitement. And the places they leave behind get smaller every year.
The Detroit Free Press presents a five-part series about life in rural northern Michigan. The first three:
Her husband's sudden death left her to run struggling U.P. motel — and she can't walk away
Polka, bingo and fish fries are slowly saving VFW post in Michigan's U.P.
How unique Michigan schoolhouse with 6 students has survived 113 years
posted by Etrigan at 9:13 AM PST - 71 comments

Just motoriking along …

On October 22, 2011 Michael Rother, Camera and Dieter Moebius appeared together at the HBC in Berlin. Video artist Christian Garcia has posted a 26-minute clip of the jam on the web. [more inside]
posted by philip-random at 9:06 AM PST - 9 comments

November 29

Prince, but not Prince... The Time!

The Time is a strange beast. After two albums of being nearly but not quite noticed, they were suddenly blew up on the music scene as the antagonist band up against Prince + The Revolution in the film Purple Rain. Actually being Prince playing most instruments with Morris Day following a Prince vocal track for recording, they were suddenly huge. But they'd already disbanded (for the time being). This third album [38m], Ice Cream Castle, is a minor masterpiece of soft-R-rated funk/rock. Side A: Ice Cream Castles, My Drawers, Chili Sauce [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 9:13 PM PST - 18 comments

Dungeons & Dragons & Cats & Dogs

DM: ‘You come to large wooden door.’
Cat: ‘I knock at the door.’
DM: ‘An orc opens it and asks you to come in.’
Cat: ‘I do nothing.’
DM: ‘He asks you to come inside again.’
Cat: ‘I do nothing.’
DM: ‘Eventually the orc tires and closes the door.’
Cat: ‘I knock at the door.’

Twitter | Threadreader [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:07 PM PST - 16 comments

Hyperdub at 15: that fast-slow sound, several labels within one label

Fifteen years ago, a minimal dubstep (in the melancholy UK sense of the term) cover (Discogs) of Prince's Sign O' The Times (YT) kicked off a new label that championed new UK sound(s), marking Hyperdub's transition from webzine (Archived view) to proper label. Back in 2012, Resident Advisor had a chat with label manager Marcus Scott, where he laid out the history and then-future of the label. To mark their 15th anniversary, Hyperdub recently teamed with Adult Swim to release Hyperswim (streaming compilation). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 7:31 PM PST - 18 comments


The feminist performance ‪#‎UnVioladorEnTuCamino‬, created by the Chilean feminist collective Las Tesis is being performed around the world. The name (trans: #ARapistOnYourWay) is a play on the Chilean Police's slogan "un amigo en tu camino" (a friend on your way), and refers to the multiple rape accusations against the police during the current uprising in Chile. [more inside]
posted by signal at 7:09 PM PST - 11 comments

Greatness ensued

At last: the definitive history of the Mikhail Gorbachev Pizza Hut ad.
posted by Chrysostom at 5:48 PM PST - 12 comments

Portuguese India Armadas

The Wikipedia article on the Portuguese India Armadas contains a wealth of information on the establishment of a trade route which, starting in 1497, transformed the world for better and for worse. For almost a century, the Portuguese were able to keep the details of their path to India secret, until a chance piratical action on the way back from the Singeing the King of Spain's Beard and the work of a Dutch spy revealed the secret to the rest of Europe.
posted by clawsoon at 3:28 PM PST - 12 comments

Right now, the official U. S. Time is: (About this Service)
The U.S. time is provided by NIST and USNO. [more inside]
posted by Going To Maine at 12:50 PM PST - 41 comments

ITMFA III: The Search for Articles of Impeachment

The U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee has invited President Donald Trump to its first impeachment hearing, scheduled for Dec. 4, starting a new phase of the inquiry that could lead to formal charges against the president within weeks. In the meantime, Lawfare has written a Starr Report, based on the impeachment investigation hearings, which serve as "the narrative backbone for the articles of impeachment the House Judiciary Committee will now prepare and on which members will vote." [more inside]
posted by katra at 12:36 PM PST - 1212 comments

Agrarianism in the United Federation of Planets

Dr. Sarah Taber on Star Trek: "time to talk about agrarianism in the United Federation of Planets". (Twitter thread, Thread Reader version) Is corn still a platform in the future? How do the Picards have all that land for growing grapes? Who's the smartest person at Starfleet Academy, anyway?
posted by asperity at 11:01 AM PST - 60 comments

Khoi and San communities to benefit from rooibos products

"On the 1st of November 2019, the Honeybush Rooibos and Honeybush Traditional Knowledge Benefit Sharing Agreement was signed. It accords Khoi and San communities with a one-year pilot providing them with a 1.5% benefit of the farm gate price from those who process Rooibos." The commercial cultivation of rooibos, a South African plant increasingly used worldwide in teas and other products, has been dominated by a few hundred white farmers, while the Khoi and San communities from whom the knowledge of rooibos originated have been almost entirely shut out. [more inside]
posted by Not A Thing at 10:51 AM PST - 4 comments

“Fashion is fun.”

Gamers spend hours customising characters, but don't you dare mention fashion by Victoria Tran [The Guardian] “Ask any gamer and they can likely recount tales of how they spent hours perfecting their look in any video game with character customisation, from The Sims to Dragon Age: Inquisition to any massive multiplayer online game. Customising a character is akin to creating our own animated artwork. It’s arguably one of the best parts of The Sims, for example, and people are ravenous for rare “skins” (better known to the non-gamer as, ahem, “outfits”) in games like Overwatch and Fortnite. Millions of people play video games globally every day, and how they dress in those games matters. So why haven’t we talked about fashion in games more? Games have long been used to explore different facets of life, from fantasy lands to wars, but fashion has fallen by the wayside.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 9:12 AM PST - 51 comments

“There Is An Entity That Cannot Be Defeated”

Former Go champion beaten by DeepMind retires after declaring AI invincible
posted by Etrigan at 8:49 AM PST - 27 comments

“You Can Hear The Suffering”

Nearly every Revver who spoke with The Verge said they were exposed to graphic or troubling material on multiple occasions with no warning. This includes recordings of physical and verbal abuse between intimate partners, graphic descriptions of sexual assault, amateur porn, violent footage from police body cameras, a transphobic rant, and, in one instance, “a breast augmentation filmed by a physician’s cell phone, being performed on a patient who was under sedation.” Transcribers for the gig economy service Rev hate the recently slashed rates, but the disturbing content they deal with is even worse.
posted by The Whelk at 7:52 AM PST - 31 comments

Trump’s base and the Enquirer’s base just so happened to overlap

Bad Romance What happened to the National Enquirer after it went all in for Trump? (slColumbia Journalism Review)
posted by box at 6:46 AM PST - 7 comments

Trump got his wall after all

In the last two years and 308 days, Trump's administration has constructed far more effective barriers to immigration than "Wall". No new laws have actually been passed. This transformation has mostly come about through subtle administrative shifts—a phrase that vanishes from an internal manual, a form that gets longer, an unannounced revision to a website, a memo, a footnote in a memo. Among immigration lawyers, the cumulative effect of these procedural changes is known as the invisible wall. [more inside]
posted by growabrain at 1:39 AM PST - 20 comments

November 28

These claims have not been demonstrated

An Open Letter to the Diplomats With "Havana Syndrome" [Robert Bartholomew in Psychology Today] [more inside]
posted by readinghippo at 8:07 PM PST - 34 comments

9 charts to be thankful for this Thanksgiving

life expectancy and literacy are up, and global poverty is down. For most Americans, these feel like bleak times. We have a president whom a majority of Americans want impeached. Overt, old-fashioned racism is publicly visible and powerful in a way it wasn’t only five years ago. Climate change is exacerbating wildfires and other natural disasters and making air in states like California nearly unbreathable. This is all real, and truly alarming. But it would be a mistake to view that as the sum total of the world in 2019. Under the radar, some aspects of life on Earth are getting dramatically better. Extreme poverty has fallen by half since 1990, and life expectancy is increasing in poor countries — and there are many more indices of improvement like that everywhere you turn. [more inside]
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 6:55 PM PST - 56 comments

We are finding our way back home—“the seed remembers"

Like many heirloom treasures, Glass Gem corn has a name, a place, and a story. Its origin traces back to Carl Barnes, a part-Cherokee farmer living in Oklahoma. Barnes had an uncanny knack for corn breeding. More specifically, he excelled at selecting and saving seed from those cobs that exhibited vivid, translucent colors. (Native Seeds blog) Barnes passed some seeds to Greg Schoen in 1995, and Shoen moved to New Mexico where he crossbred the corn with Pueblo popcorn, then passed some on to Belle Starr and Bill McDorman in Arizona, where they planted some with the Seeds Trust and posted photos to Facebook in 2010. About two years later, pictures went viral (ABC News), and they're popping up again as the poster child for the return to heirloom seeds (NPR). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 2:43 PM PST - 7 comments

Thanksgiving Tradition

This song is called "Alice's Restaurant". It's about Alice... and the restaurant.... (SLYT)
posted by dfm500 at 11:25 AM PST - 58 comments

What's this? A piece of toast? A pretzel stick? Popcorn?

In the coming onslaught of Christmas music, the Vince Guaraldi Trio's "A Charlie Brown Christmas" figures large as both a popular and critical favorite. But Guaraldi doesn't get enough love for the equally excellent music of "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving," with its groovier early 70s sound. Here for your USian celebrating enjoyment are a few of the songs Guaraldi wrote for the 3rd animated TV special featuring Charlie Brown: Thanksgiving Theme, Little Birdie, Is It James or Charlie?, Charlie Brown Blues, and a sightly different setting of Linus and Lucy than the more familiar Christmas-special one. Or just set it and forget it with the complete soundtrack. [more inside]
posted by Miko at 9:25 AM PST - 14 comments

expands canon in a way that only Mac and Me dared to do in the 1980s

The E.T. sequel finally happened ... in the form of a commercial [YouTube] “Thirty-seven years after Elliot (Henry Thomas) made contact with an extraterrestrial, took a magical bike ride through the skies, then sent the otherworldly being back on his way home, “E.T.” returns to Earth in a brand new sequel to Steven Spielberg’s 1982 film. [...] In the four-minute short, E.T. drops down in grown-up Elliot’s backyard and befriends his old pal’s kids just in time for Christmas. As a found family, they have dinner, resurrect dead plants, have snowball fights, play with the family VR headset — it’s 2019! — and introduce E.T. to the wonders of the internet. Specifically, Xfinity high-speed internet. Which kids love.” [via: Polygon]
posted by Fizz at 8:20 AM PST - 53 comments

"American optometrists spend a lot of money on lobbying"

The Great American Eye-Exam Scam
The ordeal led me to look into a fact that has puzzled me ever since I moved to the United States a dozen years ago. In every other country in which I’ve lived—Germany and Britain, France and Italy—it is far easier to buy glasses or contact lenses than it is here. In those countries, as in Peru, you can simply walk into an optician’s store and ask an employee to give you an eye test, likely free of charge.
posted by Not A Thing at 6:48 AM PST - 73 comments

November 27


Dear Ms. Mantis, My husband is a great guy except for this one small thing: he wants his five Sailor Moon sex dolls to sleep in bed with us. What should I do?

Dear Married,

-M A N T I S

Twitter | Threadreader
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:40 PM PST - 38 comments

He really does play ALL the instruments.

If the approaching holidays have you feeling reflective, then perhaps Vangelis can help you with his 1976 album Albedo 0.39, [named thus because the Earth's Albedo (the amount of light it reflects back into space) is 39% of the light]. See, reflecting! It's also a propulsive album of kinetic synth jazz/rock instrumentals which is perhaps more easily interpreted from today's perspective than it was on its release. Side A: Pulstar, Freefall, Mare Tranquillitatis, Main Sequence, Sword Of Orion [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 10:08 PM PST - 14 comments

New Trump administration rules on sexual assault silencing survivors

Some fear the rules, soon to be finalized, will essentially destroy the process of campus Title IX hearings. The final rules, expected to be released before the end of the year, are likely to include a controversial provision requiring schools to allow in-person cross-examination of students who report assault and harassment, as well as accused students. Many activists, as well as school administrators, say cross-examination is traumatic for a survivor of sexual violence; Jordan Draper, assistant vice president for student affairs at the College of New Jersey, called it “completely terrifying” in an interview with Vox earlier this year. She and others say their schools may have to scrap formal sexual assault hearings entirely if cross-examination is required.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 4:38 PM PST - 22 comments

‘I can’t believe I found my dad. … My mom would be so happy.’”

In photo of a 9-year-old girl, a Houston man found his daughter — and a new life. Kenyon Saylor White was driving down a Tennessee freeway on Feb. 25 when a friend sent him the picture that would immediately recast his life. [more inside]
posted by dancestoblue at 4:19 PM PST - 24 comments

A day in the life of an Oxford Astrophysicist

Just what does an Oxford Astrophysicist do? Let's listen to Dr. Becky:
When people find out I’m an astrophysicist - I often get asked: “So, what do you actually do all day?” The easiest way to answer that question is to show you. From data crunching, to seminars, to journal clubs, emails and chatting on the radio; this was my Thursday 14th November 2019.
posted by zengargoyle at 1:59 PM PST - 14 comments

The Red Summer of 1919

This year, 2019, marks an important centennial anniversary in America—but it is one that not only are we not celebrating, it’s also a significant moment most of us aren’t even aware of: the 100th anniversary of the Red Summer of 1919.
David Neiwert has a long, 150 tweet long thread (with links to sources) up on the Red Summer of 1919, a national endemic of white mob violence that swept the US a hundred years ago. TW: depicting of lynching and racial violence.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:57 PM PST - 17 comments

Making cute Pokémon ๑•‿•๑ 3D pen figures with 해보까Haebokka

해보까Haebokka uses a 3D pen to make Pokémon figures (playlist): Ditto, Ditto Pikachu, Ditto Charmander, and Ditto Charmander. But her creations aren't all cutesy. For example, she also made Drogon from Game of Thrones, and a great white shark, inspired by Jaws. And Calcifer from Howl's Moving Castle. OK, so they're mostly cute.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:44 PM PST - 6 comments

A Deepfake Nixon Delivers Eulogy for the Apollo 11 Astronauts

A group from MIT has created a deepfake film of Richard Nixon giving William Safire's In Event of Moon Disaster speech, written for the possibility that the Apollo 11 astronauts were lost during the first moon landing.
posted by Etrigan at 12:18 PM PST - 56 comments

Thank You God, for Black Thanksgiving

On learning how to be black, one family Thanksgiving in Atlanta at a time. [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 12:00 PM PST - 13 comments

In the mouse world, Europe is still divided in East and West

From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, a squeaky curtain has descended across the continent.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:38 AM PST - 6 comments

It can’t hurt. Of that much I can be sure.

Three very different deaths were announced today in the UK. First came TV chef Gary Rhodes, arguably the originator of the modern British TV chef as we know it, and only 59 when he died. Then came news that Jonathan Miller had died at the age of 85. Incredibly widely talented, he was still a practising doctor when he started appearing on the stage. Finally came new that Clive James had died aged 80, robbing us of his high-impact comic phrasing. [more inside]
posted by YoungStencil at 10:56 AM PST - 14 comments

might have been a very late ice-age wolf

Doggone it! How an 18,000-year-old puppy could change everything we know about dogs [The Guardian]
Name: Dogor. Appearance: Sharp teeth, soft nose, fluffy all over, cute as hell. Age: 18,000 years and two months.
posted by readinghippo at 10:39 AM PST - 20 comments

Weiner’s life choices are the butterfly effect of the 2010s

There is a direct line between Anthony Weiner’s penis and the rise of far-right media, the current state of the country’s biggest city, and the election of Donald Trump. (slBuzzFeed)
posted by Cash4Lead at 9:21 AM PST - 25 comments

The Adventures of Sexy Batman

What happens if you swap the Batman and Catwoman character models in Arkham Knight? Or the Quiet and Ocelot models in Metal Gear Solid 5? [more inside]
posted by adrianhon at 9:05 AM PST - 38 comments

"This is no longer limited to middle-aged whites."

It’s Not Just Poor White People Driving a Decline in Life Expectancy: A new study shows that death rates increased for middle-aged people of all racial and ethnic groups. (SLNYT)
posted by crazy with stars at 8:12 AM PST - 13 comments

nuke or don't nuke: limitations of binary choice design in video games

Fallout 3, The Outer Worlds, and the Megaton Problem [Unwinnable]
“The Megaton decision goes like this: You exit your vault to find a postapocalyptic wasteland before you, and you start walking towards the nearest signs of life. The first settlement you come to is called Megaton, so named because a certain cult has ensured that the atomic bomb that stands as the centerpiece of the town was never moved or deactivated. You soon meet people who end up giving you two choices to solve a problem: Blow up the bomb, and thus Megaton and its people, or disarm it and kill the man who suggested that you blow up the town. Setting aside the ludicrous nature of this “choice”, there are two competing inclinations when faced with it: the temptation to blow up the town and get a higher reward, or the guilt of the reality that you just murdered a town full of people.”
For all their increasing openness, games haven’t moved all that far beyond these flattened choices. [...] What RPGs need right now is choices with consequences that matter, something to make you care about what happens to these pretend people we play with in games. [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 8:03 AM PST - 36 comments

The Massacre of Black Wall Street

SLAtlantic: “The equality indicators released by the City of Tulsa every year continue to demonstrate that North Tulsans and South Tulsans are living completely different lives in what seems like two different cities" [more inside]
posted by bunderful at 5:56 AM PST - 10 comments

The Girl Who Silenced the World for 5 Minutes

11 years before Greta Thunberg was born, 12 year old Severn Suzuki raised money to attend the UN Earth Summit in Rio in order to warn the world about our environment being destroyed. In her 1992 speech, she said: “I am afraid to go out in the sun now because of the hole in our ozone. I am afraid to breathe the air because I don’t know what chemicals are in it." (Via) [more inside]
posted by growabrain at 3:12 AM PST - 3 comments

November 26

Twelve Seasons and a Movie and...?

Netflix cancels MST3K after two seasons. Turkey Day has long been the unofficial holiday for Mystery Science Theater 3000 fans, but there is an extra dollop of mourning to go with your turkeys (either on film or on the menu) this year. [more inside]
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 7:47 PM PST - 83 comments

Fad, Fad Wine

By the mid-two-thousands, though, consumers’ tastes were changing. People who shopped at farmers’ markets, drank craft beer, and ate heirloom tomatoes at farm-to-table restaurants were alarmed by reports of lab-made yeasts, grapes doused in the weed killer glyphosate, and enormous corporate conglomerates. The qualities that had once made natural wines seem unsophisticated or suspect—the obscure grapes, the rustic producers, the occasionally funky taste—began to look like authenticity. How Natural Wine Became a Symbol of Virtuous Consumption [The New Yorker] [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 2:39 PM PST - 55 comments

Björk adapted for opera

Vespertine is the fourth studio album by Icelandic recording artist Björk. First released in August 2001.
Björk performed the entire album along with an orchestra at the Royal Opera House in London (1 Hr 34 min) in December 2001.
Now in 2019 the team of Jan Dvořák, Peter Häublein, and Roman Vinuesa together with the opera singer Ji Yoon, have adapted Björk's Vespertine for a full Orchestra using no electronic instruments. [more inside]
posted by Lanark at 1:40 PM PST - 11 comments

The post-Christian culture wars

The Trump administration’s two most revealing speeches weren’t given by Trump. Republicans control the White House, the Senate, and the Supreme Court. They have 27 governorships and governing trifectas in 21 states. But many conservatives — particularly Christian conservatives — believe they’re being routed in the war that matters most: the post-Christian culture war. They see a diverse, secular left winning the future and preparing to eviscerate both Christian practice and traditional mores. And they see themselves as woefully unprepared to respond with the ruthlessness that the moment requires.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 1:15 PM PST - 79 comments

A Discussion Of The First Amendment And Freedom Of Speech

In response to a recent incident at Indiana University wherein the business school openly repudiated the bigotry of tenured professor Eric Rasmusen while noting that they could not fire Rasmusen for his comments because of the First Amendment, Lawyers, Guns and Money (and IU alum) Elizabeth Nelson spoke with Greg Magarian, the Thomas and Karole Greene Professor of Law at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, about freedom of speech, the First Amendment, and how courts have shifted from protecting the speech of the powerless to that of the powerful. (SLLGM) [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:47 PM PST - 54 comments

In the end, there isn't much `there, there' all.

I did it -- I taught "Clash of Civilizations" to my "Intro to IR" students.
A single Twitter thread by Paul Poast on teaching Samuel Huntington's The Clash of Civilizations. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse at 12:39 PM PST - 30 comments

Death And The Family

Jan exhales and texts Andy. Andy exhales and gets ready to broadcast a football game. On this day, they've done what mothers and fathers do all the time: A child presented them with a choice. They talked about it. They made a decision. They followed through. It was, by almost any measure, a fairly ordinary act of parenting. Except for this: Josh is not their son.

This is a story about a terrible accident and the unfairness of life and the ineffable compassion of friends and that spindly, ever-spreading spider web of emotion that we all bring to our own interpretations of family:
Loss, love and a promise kept for the voice of Auburn football (Sam Borden, ESPN)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:29 PM PST - 4 comments

Food access is like a utility, you have to it have for a town to exist

... in many rural, conservative communities struggling to hang on to their remaining residents, ideological arguments about the role of government tend to be cast aside as grocery stores shutter because of population decline and competition from superstores. “Fundamentally, what you have is people that have lived in these rural communities all their lives, and they want these rural communities to survive,” [David Procter, who directs the Rural Grocery Initiative at Kansas State University, told the Post]. “And they realize that without access to food, they’re not going to survive.” When a deep red town’s only grocery closed, city hall opened its own store. Just don’t call it ‘socialism.’ (Washington Post; also available via MSN) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 11:42 AM PST - 26 comments

The Invention of Thanksgiving

Massacres, myths, and the making of the great November holiday. [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 11:37 AM PST - 5 comments

My name no one shall know!

The tenor aria “Nessun Dorma,” from Act II of Puccini’s final opera Turandot, is one of the most famous in music. The prince Calaf has won the hand of the icy Princess Turandot by answering three riddles. But she’s not convinced, so he offers her a deal: if she can guess his name by morning, she can execute him. The song is his response to her decree that none of her subjects shall sleep until they discover his name. (And if they don’t, everyone dies.) First performed in 1926, the aria owes much of its fame to Luciano Pavarotti. It’s a staple of Got Talent shows, including by some surprisingly young singers. It adds drama to soundtracks as varied as Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation and Bend it Like Beckham, and has been performed by everyone from Anohni (formerly of Antony and the Johnsons) to Jeff Beck. But the most poignant performance still has to be Aretha’s Franklin’s last-minute substitution for Pavarotti at the 1998 Grammy Awards.
posted by gottabefunky at 11:20 AM PST - 16 comments

Facebook Politics

“Facebook promised to ban white nationalist content from its platform in March 2019, reversing a years-long policy to tolerate the ideology. But Red Ice TV is just one of several white nationalist outlets that remain active on the platform today. “ White nationalists are openly operating on Facebook. The company won't act (Guardian) “So the fear is that Zuckerberg is trying to appease the Trump administration by not cracking down on right-wing propaganda.” Inside Mark Zuckerberg's private meetings with conservative pundits (Politico) “Internal documents show Facebook’s own marketing strategy was influenced by what it learned from its valued customer, the Trump campaign.” (Buzzfeed) “After the 2016 presidential election, Republican Party officials credited Facebook Inc. with helping Donald Trump win the White House. One senior official singled out a then-28-year-old Facebook employee embedded with the Trump campaign, calling him an “MVP.” Now that key player is working for the other side—as national debate intensifies over Facebook’s role in politics.” (WSJ)
posted by The Whelk at 10:49 AM PST - 45 comments

Beauty Pill: "Most songs are about the mouth of the 21st century."

Recently, Time put out their Ten Best Albums of the Decade list which included albums by Beyonce and other big stars... and Beauty Pill Describes Things As They Are, a 2015 album and "love letter to sound" by Beauty Pill, an "uncategorizeable" DC-area semi-electronic avante garde? funk? art pop? indie band that's been around for almost twenty years, led by Chad Clark, who was in the influential band Smart Went Crazy and a highly-regarded engineer for Fugazi and other DC bands. Just a taste: the earworm Afrikaner Barista [video has flashy lights]. Afropunk's 2015 review says "Here’s the thing about being ahead of your time: if you wait long enough, eventually time catches up." [more inside]
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:56 AM PST - 3 comments

What has Happened to Me

A powerful manga created by a Japanese artist "tells the story of Mihrigul Tursun, a Uighur woman who was detained three times by the Chinese authorities after returning from Egypt." It has been translated into many languages, including english - as told by The Guardian
posted by pol at 9:50 AM PST - 4 comments

How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic

In 2006, Coby Beck wrote a series of articles for The Grist "containing responses to the most common skeptical arguments on global warming." Bookmark for discussion around the dinner table this holiday season as necessary.
posted by Etrigan at 6:59 AM PST - 28 comments

The Real Class War

The Real Class War Julius Krein contextualises inter-class conflict in the United States of America for American Affairs: Everybody’s oxen are gored in the process.
posted by pharm at 4:47 AM PST - 37 comments

Divorced birds

Just some photogenic birds facing a new phase in their lives. [more inside]
posted by severiina at 4:16 AM PST - 6 comments

The search for the Enormous Pippin continues

Botanists scour old Northwest homesteads for long-lost apple varieties. "North America once had 17,000 named varieties of domesticated apples, but only about 4,000 remain... E.J. Brandt and David Benscoter, who together form the nonprofit Lost Apple Project, log countless hours and hundreds of miles in trucks, on all-terrain vehicles and on foot to find orchards planted by settlers as they pushed west more than a century ago."
posted by web-goddess at 1:06 AM PST - 28 comments

November 25

We Regret The Error

In honor of this great GQ correction, what are some of your favorite newspaper/magazine/website corrections of all-time? A twitter thread [ThreadReader link] from @ParkerMolloy about correction reasons given by various publication about various errors they made. The comments also keep on giving. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 7:40 PM PST - 45 comments

Dutch Masters

The roots of Dutch graphic design culture - Each two weeks a new written and illustrated portrait will be published online.
posted by unliteral at 5:44 PM PST - 2 comments

Old Soldier, Young Soldier

A man who served in WWII and a man who served in Iraq and Afghanistan meet... (SLYT)
posted by dfm500 at 4:55 PM PST - 1 comment

“You have no idea what loss is.”

The Last of Us is worth returning to, 6 years later [Polygon] “TheThe Last of Us may be five six years old, but it’s still the best big game story out there. If you have access to a PlayStation 4 and haven’t played it yet, you should definitely get your hands on the The Last of Us Remastered. [...] In the half-decade since, I’ve played plenty of games that are more fun and more tightly constructed. But no big budget game has yet equaled The Last of Us for story. There have been strong contenders among the multi-million dollar production set — Horizon Zero Dawn, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice and Wolfenstein 2 come to mind — but none of them have delivered the levels of depth, sophistication and narrative transgression that we saw with this game, back in 2013. I came back to The Last of Us in recent days, wanting to re-familiarize myself with its characters. It surprised me that I was just as affected by the relationships in this game as I was when it first came out.” [The Last of Us Remastered] [Game Trailer] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 3:24 PM PST - 64 comments

Nineteen days later: How gay are you?

How Earnest Research Into Gay Genetics Went Wrong. When a well-intentioned study led to a dubious DNA test for same-sex attraction, it exposed the need for safeguards on research in the age of big genetic data.
posted by sciatrix at 1:55 PM PST - 26 comments

Can I eat it? Roadkill edition

Is it Safe to Eat Roadkill? (Live Science) Yes, but approach with common sense and knowledge of state regulations. "If it's summertime and that deer has been sitting on the highway — let's just say for more than like 10 or 15 minutes — I would be super leery of it," Meier said. [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 1:37 PM PST - 21 comments

Mammoth tusk gold rush

The climate crisis has sparked a Siberian mammoth tusk gold rush. "The Arctic permafrost is thawing, revealing millions of buried mammoth skeletons. But the rush for mammoth ivory could put elephants in danger all over again." [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 11:52 AM PST - 9 comments

Fighting Food Colonialism in the Hopi Nation

Hopi leaders are restoring food sovereignty for the tribe’s 2,500-square-mile reservation—which has only two grocery stores. [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 10:57 AM PST - 7 comments

Japan's Ghost Wolf, or wild dog? Good pupper, not mythical, 14/10

For more than two decades, Hiroshi Yagi has been searching for the Japanese or Honshū wolf (Wikipedia; Canis lupus hodophilax, whose binomial name derives from the Greek Hodos (path) and phylax (guardian), in reference to Japanese folklore, which portrayed wolves as the protectors of travelers). Believed to be extinct for over 100 years, Yagi took photos of a wolf-like animal in 1996, and recently captured a howl (BBC), which was compared to another wolf howl, and considered a close match. Skeptics see a German Shepherd hybrid (Japan Times), but Yagi isn't alone in seeing and hearing animals that seem more wolf than dog. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 10:44 AM PST - 6 comments

It’s Not Watergate, It’s Reconstruction

“But history does not actually repeat itself, and the differences between that era and ours are perhaps even more important than the similarities. Reading Wineapple’s book, one is struck by the degree to which the Radical Republicans controlling Congress (in the House, especially) were not cowed by the prospect of reprisal at Johnson’s hands. Congress repeatedly acted aggressively and decisively, with no cringing fear of backlash. A Johnson-supporting lawyer, Charles Woolley, refused to cooperate with a House committee investigation into possible corruption in the impeachment vote itself. So the House arrested him for contempt of Congress and locked him in the basement of the Capitol.“ Making Impeachment Matter (New Republic)
posted by The Whelk at 9:16 AM PST - 8 comments

"They make so much money selling these devices"

The TI-83 graphing calculator has barely changed in 25 years and yet still costs $105 new, which can be a not insignificant hardship for students taking the advanced algebra, trigonometry, and precalculus/calculus classes where they are required by the curriculum, and when students can't get them, teachers can be forced to step in and foot the bill for a classroom's supply themselves. A brief look at the history and social costs of US high schools' reliance on Texas Instruments. [more inside]
posted by Copronymus at 7:10 AM PST - 113 comments

"This is not a feminist community center, it’s a for-profit company"

Neoliberal Feminism Has a New Private Club: "Feminism is a movement for the coordination of women for their emancipation as women. If feminism is just women doing stuff with other women vaguely involved, this life-saving capacity is lost. Even if The Wing gave out entirely free memberships, it would still be fundamentally bad for women." [more inside]
posted by Ouverture at 6:07 AM PST - 109 comments

A victory for democracy in Hong Kong

After five months of sometimes violent protests (previously, previouslier), residents of Hong Kong had a chance to vote in district elections over the weekend. The district councillors mostly deal with issues like bus routes and rubbish collection, but the vote was widely seen as a referendum on pro-democracy protestors versus pro-Beijing government and police forces. With record-high turnout of 71.2%, pro-democracy candidates won a massive victory (warning: autoplay video). [more inside]
posted by clawsoon at 4:16 AM PST - 35 comments

The Heroines of America’s Black Press

How many black women journalists from the nineteenth century can you name? For many, the list starts and ends with Ida B. Wells, the pioneering newspaperwoman and activist whose anti-lynching crusade galvanized a movement. Wells was celebrated in her own lifetime, and for good reason—she inspired people on both sides of the Atlantic to pay attention to the atrocities inflicted on black Americans. But far from acting alone, she was part of a much larger network of black women journalists who dared to wield their pens in the names of truth and justice. At a time when all women were discouraged from engaging in “unladylike” activities like politics, the women of the black press were boldly writing about racial justice, gender equality, and political reform. In The New York Review of Books, Maya Millett introduces us to journalists we should know. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 3:39 AM PST - 2 comments

“Bana-nana-nana-na na-na (Ay!)”

Go Bananas, the latest from Little Big (previously), features pigeons, geese, dogs, fish, and a [redacted] used as a musical instrument.
posted by Wordshore at 1:54 AM PST - 7 comments

November 24

Global 5G wireless deal threatens weather forecasts

"5G transmissions will involve many frequencies, but the key one under discussion is 23.8 gigahertz. Water vapour in the atmosphere naturally produces a weak signal at this frequency, which satellites use to measure humidity. Those data feed into weather forecasts. But if a 5G station is transmitting a signal near the 23.8-gigahertz frequency, a weather satellite might pick it up and interpret it as water vapour. And that bad data could degrade forecasts."
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 10:29 PM PST - 22 comments

How to play Call of Cthulhu, 7th edition

Wanted to get into cosmic horror roleplaying game Call of Cthulhu but thwarted by the rulebook? The 7th edition of the game makes combat a lot more rigorous where most attack rolls are opposed, adds more specific procedure to insanity, and beefs up a lot of other areas of the system. It can be a lot for a new player, so CJ has made an entertaining and informative animated series that lays out how the game works, with lots of examples.
1. Introduction — 2. Basic Rules — 3. Combat — 4. Firearms — 5. Insanity — 6. Character Creation — 7. Investigator Development — 8. Chase — 9. Magic [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 8:23 PM PST - 46 comments

The Mashup You Probably Weren't Expecting

Julie & Carol At Carnagie Hall (1962) [51m, Wikipedia, written by Mike Nichols, video quality terrible, but still great]. Julie & Carol at Lincoln Center (1971) [51m, Wikipedia]. Julie & Carol Together Again (1989, filmed at the Pantages) [48m, Wikipedia]. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 7:36 PM PST - 9 comments

For this reason Hume strikes us—correctly—as a snob

The Cinema of Inadvertence, or Why I Like Bad Movies
posted by Chrysostom at 6:41 PM PST - 25 comments

Trader of Stories - Chapter II

Fans of the Trader of Stories series have been patiently waiting for the next chapter of this series from the Rudowski brothers, and it was released today. Play it (and all the previous installments) on their website, Chapter Two is mobile-friendly. [more inside]
posted by invokeuse at 5:58 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Take Away Shows

La Blogothèque - "We film beautiful, rare and intimate sessions with your favorite artists, and the ones you are soon to fall in love with." (e.g. Lianne La Havas | No Room For Doubt & Sigur Rós - Við spilum endalaust) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 5:14 PM PST - 4 comments

I Found A Drain And Drained A Flooded Street During A Storm

A person going by the name post 10 clears blocked storm drains and posts unexpectedly satisfying videos of doing so to YouTube. [more inside]
posted by plastic_animals at 3:57 PM PST - 46 comments

Boogie Woogie is just so... COOL!

Five fabulous boogie woogie piano performances!

Bonus!: Elton John playing "Benny and the Jets" live in Central Park in 1980. (Cool piano solo from 1:07 to ~4:30). Have a lovely Sunday!
posted by dfm500 at 1:58 PM PST - 8 comments


Director Josh Trank Reviews Director Josh Trank's Fantastic Four (2015) [Letterboxd] “Fant4stic... Huh. Okay first of all, I thought it would be GREAT if I searched FF2015 and the shit wasn’t even on here. Low key I kinda was hoping it wasn’t. But it was! And I’m here. Anyway. Where to begin...The movie is ALRIGHT. I was expecting it to be much worse than it was. I literally haven’t seen it since like two weeks before it came out, and I was in a heavily fucking traumatized state of mind. Why? Eh, save that for another time. Anyway, movie review: Great cast.”
posted by Fizz at 12:27 PM PST - 40 comments

Manami Ito

In 2004, Japanese nursing student Manami Ito lost her right arm in a traffic accident. While coming to terms with this life-changing event, she decided to put her dreams on hold. However, when she went to pick up her new artificial arm at a facility, she noticed people with similar disabilities playing basketball. This inspiring sight motivated Ito to overcome her obstacles and set new goals for herself. Since the accident, she has become a nurse (the first in Japan to have a prosthetic), a world-renowned Paralympian swimmer, and a one-armed violinist. [more inside]
posted by growabrain at 12:08 PM PST - 4 comments

YouTube Shifts Another Burden To Creators

This past September, the FTC reached a $170M settlement with YouTube over their knowing and intentional violation of COPPA. In response, YouTube has implemented policies well beyond what the FTC required which are having major negative impacts on content creators, as explained by Dan Olson (a.k.a. Folding Ideas) in his video, What's Gone Wrong With the FTC's COPPA Agreement With YouTube. [more inside]
posted by tocts at 9:42 AM PST - 47 comments

It's beginning to look at lot like Netflix

Vulture has a serious conversation about the NCRCU - the Netflix Christmas Romance Cinematic Universe - and how the The Knight Before Christmas, in which the characters watch Holiday in the Wild, fits in with other movies in the Vanessa Hudgeons-centered universe like the Princess Switch in which characters watch A Christmas Prince. Note that the NCRCU is - as far as we know - entirely separate from the HCCU.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:50 AM PST - 21 comments

The Drag Kings of Taipei

Taipei held its first drag ball in June, the organizers taking cues from American ballroom culture to build a runway of their own. They had big plans: a much larger venue than before, a lip synch battle, and more drag kings than I’d ever seen on stage in Taiwan. [...] “There are very few drag kings in Taipei by comparison to queens. ‘Folks didn’t know there was a place for them,'” according to Skye. “Another aspect is that often AFAB (assigned female at birth) people are taught to be quiet rather than to stand up and be loud. Drag is a place to be loud, so it takes a special kind of courage to take chances and get out there.” The Drag Kings of Taipei, an essay for Autostraddle on "being a diaspora kid and doing drag and how sometimes they feel the same" [via mefi projects]
posted by filthy light thief at 8:15 AM PST - 5 comments

South Carolina wants to ban lifesaving medical treatments for trans kids

It’s part of a bigger push around the country. Trans children have been in the national spotlight in recent weeks, with the governor of Texas stepping in to try to stop a mother from allowing her child to transition. And on Wednesday, South Carolina legislators joined in with a bill that would ban a variety of medical treatments for trans children, potentially even antidepressants for gender dysphoria. [more inside]
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 7:45 AM PST - 31 comments

November 23

Godmother of Rock and Roll

Rock-n-Roll was invented by a queer Black woman born in 1915 Arkansas. Your disordered hardcore punk rock was sanctioned by a kinky-haired Black girl born to two cotton pickers in the Jim Crow South. The electric guitar was first played in ways very few people could have ever imagined by a woman who wasn’t even allowed to play at music venues around the country. The Patron Saint of rock music is Sister Rosetta Tharpe. The original punk rebel from which we were all born, SRT is muva.
[more inside]
posted by peeedro at 10:17 PM PST - 19 comments

Love of music showed in everything we heard

The Lost Chord, a song written by Andrew Sullivan (of "Gilbert &" fame) in 1877 (sung here by Caruso) inspired Jimmy Durante to write I'm The Guy Who Found The Lost Chord for a 1947 film, which was inexplicably released as a single in 1964, which inspired the title of The Moody Blues' 1968 album In Search Of The Lost Chord. A prog/symphonic album all about striving and searching, it remains one of the strongest of its era. Side A: Departure; Ride My See-Saw; Dr. Livingingstone, I Presume; House Of Four Doors; Legend Of A Mind; House Of Four Doors (Part Two) [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 7:33 PM PST - 16 comments

The Writer as Influencer

But the image management that once seemed incidental, or at least parallel, to the literary profession seems now one of its most necessary, integral functions. In the age of Twitter and Instagram, an online presence, which is necessarily public and necessarily consumable, seems all but mandatory for a writer who reaches (or hopes to reach) a certain level of renown, especially for anyone dealing in personal essays or cultural criticism. In the way that the influencer uses her image to sell her swag, the writer leverages her life to sell her work, to editors and audiences.
posted by storytam at 6:14 PM PST - 7 comments

Cat (Con)Fusion

Snapchat dog filter on a cat.
Snapchat people filter on a cat.
Snapchat cat filter on their owner's face: Twitter | Threadreader
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:14 PM PST - 7 comments

I Wanna Be Sedated

with a dulcimer. [more inside]
posted by jocelmeow at 3:20 PM PST - 26 comments

It Takes a Lot to Know a Man

Damien Rice & Cantus Domus One on One in Berlin, during Michelberger Music: The organizers 'kidnapped' a person in the audience between shows and took them to a secret room where the artists were waiting. Lyrics.
posted by doggod at 2:23 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Get treatment or keep your kids? It shouldn't be a choice

Mothers who want to get off drugs usually have to give up their children in order to get treatment, but a residential addiction treatment program in Quebec lets mothers live with their children so that they can build their confidence and skills as a parent while getting clean. (Podcast.) It turns out that it's good for newborns with addicted mothers, too: skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding can be as effective as drugs in combating infants' withdrawal symptoms. (Podcast.)
posted by clawsoon at 10:37 AM PST - 5 comments

Disney Disclaimers

Disney’s new streaming service has added a disclaimer to "Dumbo," “Peter Pan” and other classics because they depict racist stereotypes, underscoring a challenge media companies face when they resurrect older movies in modern times.
Song of the South: the difficult legacy of Disney's most shocking movie
Disney Plus adds disclaimer about racist movie stereotypes
posted by beesbees at 8:28 AM PST - 79 comments

E-scooters, the modern day velocipedes

From the very beginning, though, riders were also mocked as fops pursuing a ludicrous pastime. Pedestrians back then were the prime users of roads and sidewalks, so cycles seemed like dangerous interlopers. A Baltimore newspaper called the bicycle “a curious two-wheeled device...which is propelled by jackasses instead of horses.” One New Haven, Connecticut, newspaper editorial even encouraged people to “seize, break, destroy, or convert to their own use as good prize, all such machines found running on the sidewalks.” What the Fight Over Scooters Has in Common With the 19th-Century Battle Over Bicycles -- The two-wheelers revolutionized personal transport—and led to surprising societal changes [Smithsonian Magazine] [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 7:09 AM PST - 75 comments


“Flirting should start out feeling like warm, friendly conversation. Like you put a hot mug of tea in their hands in a cold day, or a cool refreshing iced tea in summer. It shouldn’t veer toward sex unless that’s a mutual agreement ... Flirting is, in part, the art of, for a second or a longer span of time, making the other person feel like you are a breath of fresh air giving them safety. Like they are the only person in the world.” A twitter thread, by @genderqueerwolf, where flirtation and flirting, why and how to and how not to, is described.
posted by Wordshore at 5:23 AM PST - 46 comments

November 22

Florida Dog takes Florida Man's car for a heckin' fun ride!

After years of tales about the wild and wonderful adventures of Florida Man, it's high time Florida Man's Dog has its day!
posted by Lizard at 11:19 PM PST - 12 comments

I Hate Christmas and I Don't Want You to Change My Mind

I don't want to pretend that I like Christmas. I don't want to pretend to enjoy my family's company. I want to be alone and that is perfectly acceptable. [CW: death, depression]
posted by Etrigan at 8:23 PM PST - 54 comments

Jake The Dog Comes To NPR...

...Howls Along With All Things Considered Theme. When the All Things Considered staff saw a dog that howls only to the theme song of the show, they had to meet him. NPR's Ari Shapiro interviews Jake the dog. [3m]
posted by hippybear at 7:31 PM PST - 14 comments

Seems bad

Internet world despairs as non-profit .org sold for $$$$ to private equity firm, price caps axed -- Sale comes within months of DNS overseer pushing through controversial contract change
posted by Chrysostom at 7:10 PM PST - 22 comments

R.I.P. Gahan Wilson

Born dead, still weird. Legendary darkly funny cartoonist Gahan Wilson (Wikipedia) died at 89.
Reflections from The New Yorker, CBR, The New York Times, Stephen Colbert, and Neil Gaiman. [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 6:44 PM PST - 55 comments

California police brag about breaking law to help ICE

Some officers have recently boasted about breaking state law and collaborating with ICE, according to messages posted in a private Facebook group. California’s state and local police are prohibited from stopping, investigating, or detaining anyone based solely on their immigration status. This sanctuary state policy means that they cannot assist federal ICE agents when they are seeking to arrest and deport undocumented people for immigration violations... Still, some police officers have recently boasted about breaking state law and collaborating with ICE agents, according to messages recently posted in a private Facebook group and obtained by The Appeal. [more inside]
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 6:22 PM PST - 13 comments

Tracing My Dad

Tracing My Dad - The Life and Music of Dennis Davis is a video series by Hikaru Davis, the young son of late former David Bowie drummer Dennis Davis, in which Hikaru interviews his father’s musical colleagues and associates. [more inside]
posted by thelonius at 5:54 PM PST - 3 comments

The moment a Chinese spy decided to defect to Australia

Staring at his own face in a false passport triggered something in Wang Liqiang. After five years as a Chinese spy he was at risk of losing himself. So he decided to defect to Australia. Defecting Chinese spy offers information treasure trove to Australian government.
posted by toastyk at 2:23 PM PST - 9 comments

“Everyone really wants to see it metabolize at some point.”

Tokyo's Nakagin Capsule Tower may have a path forward. But is there a conflict between conservation and a building that was designed to grow and change? [more inside]
posted by chimpsonfilm at 2:14 PM PST - 7 comments

OK Boomer, How Did You Manage to Get to This Age?

There was a time when new mothers were allowed to bring their newborns home from the hospital without a car seat. Then there were other dangers common to the era when Boomers were the use of dry cleaning bags as a waterproof crib liner. Not to mention those moth balls Mom stashed in the closets that looked temptingly like candy. If Mom only knew then what we know now...
posted by Oriole Adams at 12:57 PM PST - 156 comments

This Is Why You Let The Car Finish Rendering

Elon Musk surprised the automotive world in a few ways with the unveiling of the Tesla Cybertruck. Sporting a very angular look, the design immediately set off comments about low polygon counts while Musk hyped up the vehicle's performance with the optional tri-motor configuration and its bullet resistance - which wound up leaving egg on Musk's face when the supposedly "unbreakable" windows failed to live up to that claim. [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 11:21 AM PST - 333 comments

In the sunshine of the morning loft, I thought about borrowed babies

Borrowed Babies Five months into her first pregnancy, one writer pursues a research project about the history of home economics, as she struggles with her own concerns about motherhood. [Longreads, by Jill Christman, Iron Horse Literary Review Spring 2013] [more inside]
posted by readinghippo at 10:56 AM PST - 4 comments

The Child.

Disney made it official: We can talk about that Mandalorian character now [Polygon] “Since Disney Plus launched, the only thing I’ve wanted to talk about online is the big reveal at the end of the first episode of The Mandalorian. But here, in the opening paragraph of a story about spoiler culture, I don’t want to say what fans have been calling the creature — even though we can be reasonably sure that name isn’t accurate — because I don’t want to ruin the reveal for anyone who has yet to see it. [...] It’s a spoiler for The Mandalorian, but it’s also a big selling point for the show. So once again, Disney has provided an official answer to the spoiler question. The company put the character into an official tweet for the first time today, complete with full-on images. So it’s clear we’re allowed to talk about it at this point, with the company’s blessing. [**After this spoiler warning.]**[more inside]
posted by Fizz at 10:45 AM PST - 52 comments

The Jungle Prince

Interesting piece on the death of a former prince living mysteriously in Delhi from the BBC There is a much longer-form version at the New York Times. The BBC link has great photos, and I know folks don’t like the Times’ paywall, but if you have a freebie this would be a good use of it. [more inside]
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 8:42 AM PST - 16 comments

Monetizing Bowser

Although everyone knows the true value of a dog's life is incalculable, a recent study in the Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis attempts to quantify what the authors call the “value of statistical dog life,” or VSDL, following a widely accepted method for putting a price tag on a typical human life. (Herald Net | WaPo)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:10 AM PST - 14 comments

Dial Up!

How the Hmong diaspora use the world’s most boring technology to make something weird and wonderful [more inside]
posted by roger ackroyd at 8:10 AM PST - 10 comments

The greatest propaganda machine in history

"All this hate and violence is being facilitated by a handful of internet companies". Sacha Baron Cohen breaks character to give the keynote address at the ADL Never is Now summit, slamming tech giants and calling for tighter regulations on social media.
posted by adept256 at 5:32 AM PST - 66 comments

Microtasks for microproductivity

Instead of lecturing people about mindfulness and staying focused, what if you engineered work to fit into fractured moments? Last year, the team from Microsoft Research experimented with putting bits of Office work into the faceboook newsfeed. Viewed one way, microproductivity is a clever hack of our frazzled lives. Viewed askance, it seems deranged—digital Taylorism run amok.
posted by mosst at 4:59 AM PST - 30 comments

Alice B. Toklas's Hashish Fudge

Take one teaspoon black peppercorns, one whole nutmeg, four average sticks of cinnamon, one teaspoon coriander. These should all be pulverized in a mortar. About a handful each of stoned dates, dried figs, shelled almonds and peanuts: chop these and mix them together. A bunch of Cannabis sativa can be pulverized. This along with the spices should be dusted over the mixed fruit and nuts, kneaded together. About a cup of sugar dissolved in a big pat of butter. Rolled into a cake and cut into pieces or made into balls about the size of a walnut, it should be eaten with care. Two pieces are quite sufficient. (From. Via)
posted by growabrain at 3:55 AM PST - 33 comments

Deus Ex Automata

A 22 minute overview of Automata and Pi-Man. If known at all, the software house Automata are famous for their indescribable 1984 futuristic art game Deus Ex Machina (feat. Jon Pertwee, Ian Dury and Frankie Howerd). This video by RoseTintedSpectrum gives an overview of their earlier, equally experimental releases leading up to and including it.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 3:21 AM PST - 6 comments

We're on a road to nowhere

A Performance from David Byrne's American Utopia - "David Byrne gives a special performance of 'Road to Nowhere' with the cast of the Broadway musical David Byrne's American Utopia for the Tonight Show audience." (via; David Byrne: American Utopia Tour, nostalgia mix)*
posted by kliuless at 1:50 AM PST - 9 comments

Hit the High Notes singing game

Sing to your browser and see how high you can go compared with 27 famous singers. [via mefi projects]
posted by ellieBOA at 1:34 AM PST - 35 comments

Crossing the Finnish line

Over 60,000 people in Finland are about to go on strike to prevent 700 postal workers from a wage cut, in the biggest labor action seen in years. Unless there is a dramatic resolution over the weekend, on Monday most of Finland’s employees in unions related to the public transit, air travel and ocean travel and shipping industries will go on strike, potentially paralyzing the country and impacting the economy. [more inside]
posted by rednikki at 1:03 AM PST - 18 comments

November 21

The unprecedented repatriation of the center of the Wiyot universe

In February 1860, the Wiyot people were massacred during an annual ceremony on Duluwat island, and in other locations around Humbolt County (American Cowboy Chronicles, with some graphic descriptions), as part of a brutal land-grab by white settlers. On March 28-30, 2014, the Wiyot Tribe held its first World Renewal Ceremony since February 1860 (Lost Coast Outpost), and finally with five simple words on Oct. 21, 2019, it became official — the island was being returned to the Wiyot people (North Coast Journal). "Unanimous yes vote. Motion carries." [via Atlas Obscura] [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:49 PM PST - 7 comments

That Guy Used to Stutter

“But whenever I asked Biden about what appeared to be his present-day stuttering, the notably verbose candidate became clipped, or said he didn’t remember, or spun off to somewhere new. I wondered if I reminded Biden of his old self, a ghost from his youth, the stutterer he used to be.” John Hendrickson of The Atlantic on stuttering, shame, and Joe Biden.
posted by sallybrown at 5:46 PM PST - 32 comments

Red Panda Finder

Red Panda Finder is a database and genealogical reference for red pandas in zoos throughout the world. [more inside]
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 5:40 PM PST - 15 comments


Celine Dion has a gender-neutral line of kids clothing. “They were looking at princesses. And they all wanted to be Minnie Mouse. And then I said, 'But what about Mickey?' ... I end up saying to myself, 'You know what, it's OK.' You know why it's OK? Because they're talking, they're finding themselves.”
posted by clawsoon at 4:37 PM PST - 19 comments

“We said a couple of New York things, and then we let it go.”

"A cloud of notoriety and Schadenfreude surrounds the [Park Slope Food ]Co-op in a way that does not seem entirely fitting for a grocery store. When non-Co-op people think of the Co-op, they picture snobs and brats, self-righteous foodies, hypocritical hippies, bougie mothers who have their nannies do their shifts, adult professionals who melt down like tetchy toddlers when kale is out of stock. [...] Members’ own views on the place vary. 'It’s a user-friendly way of experiencing the pitfalls of communism,' a friend and former member told me." A colorful history and profile of the Brooklyn institution. (SLNew Yorker)
posted by lunasol at 3:51 PM PST - 34 comments

Juliana Hatfield Sings (and plays!) The Police

Juliana Hatfield follows her earlier cover album of Olivia Newton-John songs (Mefi thread) with a tribute to 80's giants The Police. [Bandcamp , Youtube.]. A couple of reviews. [more inside]
posted by thelonius at 3:39 PM PST - 14 comments

Likability as a fig leaf for misogyny

For voters and pundits, worrying about women’s likability is a nice way to express a nasty bias. Since voters aren’t working from any single accepted definition of likability—or coldness, or aloofness, or anger—it seems foolish to try to accommodate them. There is no accommodating them, because their judgments aren’t based on rational metrics. Sexist voters turned off by presidential candidates who just so happen to be women aren’t going to be won over by a pleasant lady who smiles and makes bland pronouncements of unity when faced with a climate apocalypse and a rapacious health care system....The waning of sexism in politics won’t be marked by people starting to like women in leadership but by the decline of likability as a political criterion—by people not liking female candidates, the same way they don’t like male candidates, and voting for them anyway.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 3:09 PM PST - 11 comments

What's the German word for wanting to keep English out of Germany?

Linguistic advocacy groups like Aktion Deutsche Sprache claim they simply want to stem the tide of global capitalism. Critics see a more dangerous, nationalist bent.
posted by Etrigan at 1:12 PM PST - 39 comments

"And next year... toilet paper."

How to use one paper towel
"You use paper towels to dry your hands every day, but chances are, you're doing it wrong. In this enlightening and funny short talk, Joe Smith reveals the trick to perfect paper towel technique."
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:58 PM PST - 49 comments

Capital Knows No Borders But Workers Do

“ When we unite all working people in the country, regardless of immigration status or national origin, our movement will be stronger. We must demand a policy of open borders not simply because it is the only morally defensible position, but also because it opens up an alternate strategy to building workers’ power.” Ten Arguments for Open Borders, the Abolition of ICE, and an Internationalist Labor Movement (Socialist Forum) “ The counterpart of capital, wage-labor, is likewise compelled to push past national constraints, as workers seek employment wherever capital offers it.” The Communist Case For Open Borders (Brooklyn Rail ) (Interview with the author on the Antifada) The West’s Obsession With Border Security Is Breeding Instability (Foreign Policy)
posted by The Whelk at 11:05 AM PST - 21 comments

Failure is Inevitable. What Matters is How You Deal With It.

Play Snake and Tetris on a webpage. Simultaneously.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 10:52 AM PST - 24 comments

One good eye is good enough

Some prisoners in Illinois are being told having one good eye is sufficient. Despite losing depth perception, sensitivity to light, and other problems that come from having only one good eye, some Illinois prisoners are being refused corrective care to allow binocular vision. Documents from an inmate’s lawsuit include affidavits from doctors working for Wexford that say they denied a prisoner's eye surgery because one functioning eye is sufficient for the daily activities of a prisoner.
posted by stillmoving at 9:44 AM PST - 23 comments

BIG badaboom

So, two massive stars a significant fraction of the way across the observable Universe exploded, blasting out death rays into space so energetic that when they reached Earth they created faster-than-light shock waves in our atmosphere.
Phil "Bad Astronomer" Plait writes about two newly observed Gamma Ray Bursts and how incredibly powerful they were. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse at 9:11 AM PST - 13 comments

“It was like stepping into a lost world,”

The Final Days of Anata No Warehouse, Japan's Most Incredible Arcade [Kotaku] “Japan is known for its video arcades, from the tiniest little collections of claw games in basements to entire high-rise buildings packed with floor after floor of video amusements. On Sunday, November 17, perhaps the most elaborately themed arcade in the country, Anata no Warehouse in Kawasaki, will shut down for reasons that remain unexplained. The five-story mega-arcade was the brainchild of Taishiro Hoshino, a set designer for kabuki theater, who opened it in 2009. Far from a simple collection of games, Anata no Warehouse (“Your Warehouse”) was a recreation of the Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong’s New Territories, a gravity-defying mega-slum that had captured the world’s imagination until it was torn down in 1993. [...] Its reincarnation as a Japanese arcade was also a nod to its role as a place of community.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 8:04 AM PST - 5 comments

The View from Somewhere

In 2017, just after covering the inauguration, journalist Lewis Wallace wrote a piece struggling with the election as someone who is transgender and anti-racist: Objectivity is dead, and I'm okay with it. In response, Marketplace fired him. Refusing to sign an NDA, Wallace instead took two years to dive deep into the history of "objective" journalism, activism, and what it means to do reporting during an age of rising fascism and white nationalism. The result is The View from Somewhere, and its companion podcast. Descriptions and links of the episodes so far behind the jump. [more inside]
posted by Four String Riot at 7:16 AM PST - 18 comments

CGP Grey explains the math behind the US electoral college

CGP Grey's videos are often fast-paced and full of detail. His recent video on the US electoral college is no exception. But this time, in a bonus 'footnote' video, he spends 43 minutes walking through the spreadsheet that he created to make the video in the first place.
posted by carter at 5:22 AM PST - 8 comments

Well-tempered chocolate

Nina Notman discovers that controlling crystal structures and emulsions is the key to good chocolate.
posted by exogenous at 4:52 AM PST - 12 comments

Alan Moore's planning to vote for the first time in over 40 years.

Moore explained the reasons for his decision via this tweet from his daughter Amber. "I've voted only once in my life, more than forty years ago, being convinced that leaders are mostly of benefit to no one save themselves," he writes. "That said, some leaders are so unbelievably malevolent and catastrophic that they must be strenuously opposed by any means available. Put simply, I do not believe that four more years of these rapacious, smirking right-wing parasites will leave us with a culture, a society or an environment in which we have the luxury of even imagining alternatives." [more inside]
posted by Paul Slade at 2:26 AM PST - 78 comments

November 20

Koalas and quolls and Bear—oh my!

An obsessive-compulsive dog who was abandoned as a puppy has a new mission: helping find and save koalas injured in Australia’s recent devastating bushfires. Bear, a Cattle Dog cross-breed, is trained to find both koalas and quolls, another small Australian marsupial, in the wild.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:21 PM PST - 12 comments

I Just Want to Ride

Lael Wilcox and the 2019 Tour Divide [SLYT, 38min] [more inside]
posted by god hates math at 8:15 PM PST - 6 comments

November 20, 2019 -- the year the future became the past

Today is the day of the events in Blade Runner, according to this Blade Runner fan site. [Scroll down] But we've lost a lot of other futures to the past, too!. ‘Blade Runner’ and 11 Other Sci-Fi Films Set in a Future That’s Already in the Past (The Wrap) has a round-up.
posted by hippybear at 7:22 PM PST - 38 comments

Houston: we have a door latch problem

Early in the shuttle days there was a huge concern about what to do if the doors did not close and latch properly at the end of the mission. The doors had to be open during most of the orbit stay time for cooling and to allow satellite deployments or other objectives. But during re-entry and the atmospheric part of the flight, the doors had to be firmly shut and latched down. If they were to spring open and rip off, the vehicle would become uncontrollable and catastrophe would ensue.
posted by sammyo at 6:51 PM PST - 24 comments

Attention Atlanta: The Fifth Democratic Debate

On November 20, starting at 9 p.m. EST, ten Democratic candidates meet in Atlanta, Georgia, for a debate hosted by MSNBC and The Washington Post. The debate will be moderated by Rachel Maddow, host of "The Rachel Maddow Show" on MSNBC; Andrea Mitchell, host of "Andrea Mitchell Reports" on MSNBC and NBC News' chief foreign affairs correspondent; Kristen Welker, NBC News' White House correspondent; and Ashley Parker, a White House reporter for The Washington Post. Watch the debate online at or [more inside]
posted by katra at 5:39 PM PST - 304 comments

"Who couldn’t use an AA battery? You had this one in the junk drawer."

“What to do about deliberately bad gifts?” Captain Awkward tackles the subject matter of deliberate bad gift givers and how to handle them, etiquette-wise. [more inside]
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:23 PM PST - 102 comments

The Iran Cables

In an unprecedented leak from one of the world’s most secretive regimes, an anonymous source provided 700 pages of Iranian intelligence reports to The Intercept , saying they wanted to “let the world know what Iran is doing in my country Iraq.” A detailed account of Iranian intelligence at work in Iraq, fighting ISIS, and more. [more inside]
posted by vibratory manner of working at 4:20 PM PST - 11 comments

Are birds dinosaurs?

Don't believe The Hype (SL YouTube, also on Soundcloud).
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 3:23 PM PST - 12 comments

I am a sinister surprise masquerading as an average parking lot.

I am a Trader Joe's parking lot and I am here to destroy you (McSweeney's).
posted by vverse23 at 12:56 PM PST - 118 comments

Emoji Storm

Every emoji being used on twitter, in real time
posted by Etrigan at 11:25 AM PST - 21 comments

New Scientist: Humans placed in suspended animation for the first time

"Doctors have placed humans in suspended animation for the first time, as part of a trial in the US that aims to make it possible to fix traumatic injuries that would otherwise cause death." [New Scientist] [more inside]
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 11:17 AM PST - 49 comments

“Nice guy, good father, loving husband, something about a piano...”

Daniel Mallory Ortberg returns with this year’s instalment of his pop-gothic celeb-horror serial fic People’s Sexiest Man Alive. Emphasis on the alive. This year: underdog John Legend takes on Idris Elba. [previously, previously-er]
posted by sixswitch at 10:34 AM PST - 4 comments

“We need this solidarity desperately now.”

“ The threat of antisemitism is not some abstract idea to me. It is very personal. It destroyed a large part of my family. I am not someone who spends a lot of time talking about my personal background because I believe political leaders should focus their attention on a vision and agenda for others, rather than themselves. But I also appreciate that it’s important to talk about how our backgrounds have informed our ideas, our principles, and our values.” How To Fight Antisemitism by Sen. Bernie Sanders (Jewish Currents) Responses.
posted by The Whelk at 10:27 AM PST - 27 comments

Woman beefriends an wee bee

Wingless Bumblebee and Woman Become Friends [SLYT]
posted by bouvin at 10:00 AM PST - 18 comments

He's back, and he's Bats

Several years after their epic review of Batman: Odyssey [TVTropes] (previously on the blue), Neal Adams' utterly gonzo take on the Caped Crusader, Laura Hudson and David Wolkin are back to review/analyze/goggle at Adams' latest, Batman vs. Ra's al Ghul. [more inside]
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:34 AM PST - 9 comments

The War Criminals I Have Known

"Trump's clemencies were not just to exonerate three trigger-pullers, but to excuse all Americans." [more inside]
posted by Ouverture at 8:47 AM PST - 24 comments

That Nature yet remembers / What was so fugitive!

Ten Ways to Live Forever by Ed Simon [The Millions]
posted by chavenet at 8:23 AM PST - 4 comments

Relighting human captures for placement into arbitrary environments

The Relightables: Volumetric Performance Capture of Humans with Realistic Relighting + Technical Video (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 5:43 AM PST - 7 comments


Lauren Walker of Truthout tweets Bram Stoker's Dracula
posted by um at 5:20 AM PST - 46 comments

Then Annie moved in.

Artist in Residence (SL Guernica) An essay by Lawrence Levi about Annie Ross, adolescence, New York City in the late '80s, ADD, and living with a jazz legend somewhat unawares. [more inside]
posted by miles per flower at 4:14 AM PST - 5 comments

November 19

The city is roaring around these tiny sounds, but it’s not masking them

We've mentioned Visible Cloaks here before - member Spencer Doran makes interesting oddball mixes, and curated Light In The Attic Records’ Kankyo Ongaku compilation of Japanese Ambient music.
As part of the promotion cycle for this year’s Serenitatem album (a collaboration with composers Yoshio Ojima and Satsuki Shibano), Visible Cloaks have released a new mix for FACT of tape experiments, found sound, minimal classical, ambient, and similar things. Recommended if you like to feel happy, and maybe if you have missed The Books. [more inside]
posted by Going To Maine at 11:01 PM PST - 4 comments

Home ownership: politics, consumerism, and selling the American Dream

Before Joseph R. McCarthy said that the State Department "is thoroughly infested with Communists" in 1950 (Ohio County Library), he fought against government-provided housing, such as that provided veterans who returned from World War II and found a housing shortage (Washington Post), as seen in the Housing Act of 1948 (CQ Press). And that's just the opening of The Homeownership Obsession, how buying homes became a part of the American dream—and also a nightmare (Long read by Katy Kelleher for Curbed) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 10:15 PM PST - 20 comments

The Cash Railway Website

The Cash Railway Website.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 6:44 PM PST - 36 comments

No pilot? No problem!

The debate about automated passenger aviation is decades old. What if the computer incorrectly overrides the pilot? What if the pilot's skills degrade through reliance on the robots? One scenario is easier to decide: on a single-pilot flight, what happens if that pilot is incapacitated? Garmin has just announced Emergency Autoland - a one-button-activated system that lands a light aircraft at the nearest airport without any human intervention. AVWeb tries it out. Mentour Pilot has opinions. PR video of plucky mom saving young daughter by big red button.
posted by Devonian at 4:46 PM PST - 26 comments

A slippery situation

This slippery new coating could make toilets less filthy. A slippery new coating could make the crappiest place in your home a little cleaner. Developed by researchers at Penn State University, this two-part product promises to keep your toilet bowl clean, stink-free, and — potentially — set the stage for toilets to use less water in the future.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 4:13 PM PST - 66 comments

DJ Earworm's Early Christmas Present

DJ Earworm, famous for his yearly mashup mix of the 25 hottest tracks of the year has decided to mashup 100 hits of the last decade into one three minute epic.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 2:58 PM PST - 17 comments

The Theban Royal Mummy Project

The Theban Royal Mummy Project presents photographs of, and archaeological data about, mummies buried in the Theban Necropolis. The mummies are organised into galleries by dynasty, with many special exhibits. For some exciting spots to jump in, try reading about the Younger Lady, whom some identify as Nefertiti (she probably isn't) or the Mummy on the Boat, a centuries-old mystery. (Warning: All links contain images of unwrapped mummies.) [more inside]
posted by daisyk at 12:19 PM PST - 3 comments

I have no idea how these people got their cats wedged into their filters

Uncatty valley: Cats' reactions to a cat filter on their humans.
posted by jocelmeow at 11:39 AM PST - 41 comments

Totally pure credit card bills this year

Got your space all decluttered? Got rid of your unneeded and spiritually failing junk, and ready to spark some joy with all-new gear such as a fab tuning fork and striking crystal? Fear not: Kon Mari has got you covered.
posted by thelonius at 11:28 AM PST - 51 comments

The Designers and the Don

The cops and prosecutors considered the case a test of their power to squelch the financial reach of major drug traffickers. But to Alexander and Frank, it was a test of their love.
posted by storytam at 10:56 AM PST - 5 comments

The Quiet Rooms

Children are being locked away, alone and terrified, in schools across Illinois. Often, it's against the law. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 10:41 AM PST - 87 comments

A very specific set of skills

The Lock-Picking Lawyer has created almost 1000 YouTube videos of his hands picking locks or reviewing them, disassembling them, sawing through them, and shooting them. He is a practicing attorney from the Washington, D.C. area. He also has a remarkably soothing voice.
posted by bq at 10:17 AM PST - 27 comments

So You Want To Do A Direct Action?

“ Strikes by unorganized workers led to the founding of unions. Strikes won the first union contracts. Strikes over the years won bigger paychecks, vacations, seniority rights, and the right to tell the foreman “that’s not my job.” Without strikes we would have no labor movement, no unions, no contracts, and a far worse working and living situation. In short, strikes are the strongest tool in workers’ toolbox—our power not just to ask, but to force our employers to concede something.” How To Strike And Win by Labor Notes covering everything from Why Strikes Lose - Ways To Not Quite Strike - Organizing Organizers - and more.
posted by The Whelk at 10:04 AM PST - 11 comments

Hey hey hey hey!

It's well into November, which means we're well into the holiday advertising season. And this ad for Argo's Book of Dreams is going to be hard to top. Featuring Nandi Bushell. [more inside]
posted by Mchelly at 9:36 AM PST - 13 comments

"She's so good-looking but she looks like four men"

The Evolution of Paul [Instagram link]
The Evolution of John [Instagram link]
The Evolution of George [Instagram link]
The Evolution of Ringo [TikTok link]
Video artist Maris Jones dons Fab face and brings the Liverpudlian lads to life.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:32 AM PST - 8 comments

"The Patrician was the Woman; she had the Vote."

BBC America has revealed some of the cast for The Watch, the upcoming television series based on Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels. Most interestingly, it's Anna Chancellor playing Lorde Vetinari.
posted by MartinWisse at 9:18 AM PST - 49 comments

Rise and shine, Mister Threeman

It's official: this Tuesday, Valve will announce Half-Life: Alyx, a new "flagship VR" game. Rumoured to launch March 2020, the game is thought to be a single-player story-driven, linear VR first-person shooter set in the Half-Life universe where you play as Alyx Vance, sometime in the 20-year time gap between Half-Life 1 and 2.
posted by adrianhon at 8:45 AM PST - 52 comments

The cognitive costs of air

Chess players make more mistakes on polluted days. Air pollution is a very big deal. Its adverse effects on numerous health outcomes and general mortality are widely documented.
posted by colinprince at 6:36 AM PST - 43 comments

“Everything is Too Efficient and It’s Exhausting”

The Dating Market: Thesis Overview [PDF] by Dan McMurtrie via Tyler Cowen and Matt Levine [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 2:00 AM PST - 66 comments

American Graves

Erik Loomis is Associate Professor of History at the University of Rhode Island. He blogs daily at Lawyers, Guns, and Money. His series Erik Visits an American Grave has 586 posts so far. [more inside]
posted by growabrain at 1:20 AM PST - 18 comments

Profoundly Unsatisfying

Tetris. Played with gummi. (slyt)
posted by frimble at 12:46 AM PST - 18 comments

November 18

You're The Voice

John Farnham is an Australian institution, who's widely considered to be one of the country’s greatest singers. ‘The only Australian artist to have a number-one record in five consecutive decades’, he’s been crowned King of Pop (1969-1973), King of Moomba (1972), Australian of the Year (1987), made an Officer of the Order of Australia (1996), inducted in to the Australian Recording Industry Association’s Hall of Fame (2003), and holds the record for the highest selling Australian album of all time (24x platinum for 1986's Whispering Jack). [more inside]
posted by brushtailedphascogale at 10:09 PM PST - 13 comments

Come back tomorrow for a new word.

Make guesses ... and I'll tell you if my word is alphabetically before or after your guess.
Hey! People! Guess My Word is back on the Internet!!
[via MeTa]
posted by not_on_display at 8:43 PM PST - 53 comments

The global, omnivorous sonic diet of SVBKVLT, cyber beyond cyber

SVBKVLT is a digital label, based in Shanghai, China, but pulling in artists and fostering collaborations spanning the globe. For example, Indonesia’s Gabber Modus Operandi, who mix metal/noise with Indonesian happy hardcore, to gamelan sounds and everything in between (FACT Mag pick), and Ugandan producer Slikback (Soundcloud), whose sound moves fluidly between influences like trap, gqom, footwork, and a number of East African regional styles (TMT interview).
posted by filthy light thief at 8:39 PM PST - 6 comments

Bogaletch Gebre, The woman who began the rebellion of Ethiopian women

She led the successful campaign to nearly eliminate female genital mutilation in Ethiopia Gebre said that simply demanding people to live a certain lifestyle wouldn’t end discrimination against women. Instead, her philosophy was rooted in the belief that spearheading conversations with communities in safe spaces that nurtured dialogue and debate was the best path forward.
posted by stillmoving at 2:00 PM PST - 3 comments

You're not going to scratch me, are you?

Feral Cat Documentary is a 22m long video of a man in his backyard slowly getting to know a feral cat that hunts squirrels and birds in the wildlife refuge on the other side of his fence. Anyone who has tried to know a cat will know this story. It has a happy ending. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 1:56 PM PST - 10 comments

"We propose a shift from asking ‘Why engage in same-sex sexual behavior'

... to 'why not?' " Julia Monk writes about queering evolutionary theory for the Nature Ecology and Evolution research community. A new review in Nature Ecology and Evolution, An alternative hypothesis for the evolution of same-sex sexual behaviour in animals, identifies the heterosexist biases that underpin decades of investigation in the evolution of sexual behavior. Most tellingly, most scientific investigations that seek to explain how same-sex sexual behavior (SSB) may evolve and persist in a population of animals start from the premise that different-sex sexual behavior was the ancestral position. [more inside]
posted by Made of Star Stuff at 12:44 PM PST - 46 comments

The Supreme Court May Criminalize Immigrant Advocacy

The case could let the government prosecute people for routine legal work or even sympathetic tweets.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 12:20 PM PST - 12 comments

Steamed Hams, Chuck Tingle, plums, Bee Movie, dat boi, Babadook, rainbow

The A.V. Club's 100 best, worst, and weirdest things we saw on the internet in the 2010s [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 12:01 PM PST - 52 comments

GENERAL CONSENSUS: It technically works.

Google Stadia review: the best of cloud gaming is still just a beta [The Verge] “GoogleGoogle Stadia works. [...] All you need is a decent internet connection, a good Wi-Fi router, and your pick of Google’s Chromecast Ultra dongle, Pixel phone, or the Chrome web browser on a laptop or desktop. Oh, and a lot of patience. Google’s cloud gaming service isn’t anywhere near what the company initially promised in March. It’s effectively a beta that Google is charging real money for, and you should wait until 2020 for that to change.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 11:51 AM PST - 45 comments

How the spirit of the indigenous occupation of Alcatraz lives on

In 1969, indigenous activists occupied Alcatraz Island, demanding that their treaties be honored. Fifty years later, they’re still fighting. [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 11:06 AM PST - 3 comments

“Essentially, what we’re doing is kicking the can,”

“Experts say cap and trade is rarely stringent enough when used alone; direct regulations on refineries and cars are crucial to reining in emissions. But oil representatives are engaged in a worldwide effort to make market-based solutions the primary or only way their emissions are regulated.“ Cap and Trade Is Supposed to Solve Climate Change, but Oil and Gas Company Emissions Are Up (ProPublica)
posted by The Whelk at 9:20 AM PST - 22 comments

Long Island Divided

Long Island DividedIn one of the most concentrated investigations of discrimination by real estate agents in the half century since enactment of America’s landmark fair housing law, Newsday found evidence of widespread separate and unequal treatment of minority potential homebuyers and minority communities on Long Island. [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu at 9:10 AM PST - 36 comments

...and not one book by Malcolm Gladwell.

The 50 Best Nonfiction Books of the Past 25 Years. Slate’s list of the definitive nonfiction books written in English in the past quarter-century includes beautifully written memoirs but also books of reportage, collections of essays, travelogues, works of cultural criticism, passionate arguments, even a compendium of household tips. What they all share is a commitment to “mostly truth” and the belief that digging deep to find a real story—whether it’s located in your memory, on dusty archive shelves, in Russian literature, in a slum in Mumbai—is a task worth undertaking.
posted by holborne at 8:48 AM PST - 51 comments

that's just how it tastes

"Maybe meeting a new flavor is alchemy. Today, you can’t stand it. Tomorrow, it’s all you can stand. At home, using books like Sohui Kim’s “Korean Home Cooking,” I cooked stews. Minced garlic. Read about blending the flavors—combining chilies and anchovies until the spice bloomed the way that I liked, simmering until the heat of the red pepper was present without screaming. It was a privilege, I guess, growing to care so deeply about something that had nothing to do with my life. Only now, it did." Bryan Washington wrote and filmed about learning to make Soondubu Jiggae for the New Yorker.
posted by ChuraChura at 8:38 AM PST - 10 comments

Happy Tom's Diner Day!

Thirty-eight years ago this morning, a recent graduate of Barnard College in New York City named Suzanne Vega sat down to write a song at Tom’s Restaurant at Broadway and 112th (Tom’s would become sufficiently famous in other ways to inspire a documentary). A photographer friend of Vega’s had shared that he "felt as though he saw the world through a pane of glass," and inspired by that thought Vega set out to write a song where she was simply an observer. She constructed the lyrics around sitting at a restaurant and watching life happen around her - the man behind the counter greets a regular, a woman outside uses the restaurant's window as a mirror to adjust her wardrobe, bells go off at a nearby church, etc. The song is simple and beautiful. Its story and multifaceted legacy are remarkable. [more inside]
posted by AgentRocket at 8:32 AM PST - 41 comments

constantly being under a magnifying glass

Broadly, code-switching involves adjusting one’s style of speech, appearance, behavior, and expression in ways that will optimize the comfort of others in exchange for fair treatment, quality service, and employment opportunities. Research suggests that code-switching often occurs in spaces where negative stereotypes of black people run counter to what are considered “appropriate” behaviors and norms for a specific environment. We also see examples of guidelines encouraging black people to code-switch to survive police interactions, such as “acting polite and respectful when stopped” and “avoiding running even if you are afraid.” Based on our research and the work of others, we argue that code-switching is one of the key dilemmas that black employees face around race at work. [more inside]
posted by sciatrix at 8:02 AM PST - 5 comments

30-50,000 Feral Hogs

Planet Zoo is, temporarily, a game about mass-producing knackered warthogs (Rock Paper Shotgun). “As the mass-produced offspring of the grindhouses flooded the market, [conservation credit values] for those species plummeted still further ... [for new players] it turned out “low prestige”, “unendangered” and “fast-breeding” boiled down to three creatures: the Indian peafowl, arguably the crappest animal in the game, plus ostriches and warthogs, which had the added bonus of being happy to cohabit, for more efficient mass breeding.”
posted by adrianhon at 4:43 AM PST - 22 comments

Bootlickers and the Civility Police Won

This is not a story about the private equity vampires ruining this specific company. It is about the implications of the fact that Splinter was not allowed to live, and Deadspin is not allowed to be political. Rude media, for lack of a better term, is dying. From The Death of the Rude Press by Alex Pareene in The New Republic
posted by chavenet at 12:54 AM PST - 39 comments

November 17

Oh no, not again

If you like choice and you like adventures, you might enjoy A Heist with Markiplier.
posted by aubilenon at 11:31 PM PST - 9 comments

Ghost ships, crop circles, and soft gold: A GPS mystery in Shanghai

Ghost ships, crop circles, and soft gold: A GPS mystery in Shanghai: A sophisticated new electronic warfare system is being used at the world’s busiest port. But is it sand thieves or the Chinese state behind it?
posted by gen at 7:15 PM PST - 18 comments

"I have to buy containers and pickling salt."

CBC: "Captain Dick Stevenson, a true Yukon original who 'invented' one of the territory's oddest claims to fame — a drink with a severed human toe in it — has died." For more background on the sourtoe cocktail, along with stories about thefts (and donations) of the key ingredient, see Metafilter previously, previously, previously, and also previously.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 4:01 PM PST - 11 comments

Life Day is Star Wars canon, thanks to The Mandalorian (sorta)

Star Geek celebrates Life Day (Wookieepedia; Star Wars canonical databank) with a comparison of The Mandalorian VS. The Holiday Special, the ORIGINAL Mandalorian (including some spoilers for The Mandalorian episode 1), from the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special (previously tagged). If that's not enough Life Day musings, Star Geek has celebrated Life Day in past years: 2018 (40 greatest moments for the 40th anniversary), 2016 (Holiday Special spotlight), 2015 (history of Life Day), 2014 (comedic review) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 3:07 PM PST - 15 comments

“I was always fascinated by cutouts...”

Known as the First Lady of Canadian Animation, Evelyn Lambart is best remembered for her beloved series of brightly-coloured paper-cut animal fables: [more inside]
posted by oulipian at 2:21 PM PST - 4 comments

WeChat, WePay, YouCan't

Welcome to China. You Probably Can't Buy Anything, Though. As China-only apps like WeChat become the way to pay in China, visitors find themselves locked out of society. They can't buy snacks, water, taxi rides, or even get toilet paper in public toilets.
posted by w0mbat at 1:03 PM PST - 79 comments

What a Friend We Have in Jesus, in Samoan

Firefighters from American Samoa sing as they march down a mountain in California. Via.
posted by growabrain at 12:59 PM PST - 6 comments

“Give us more guns!”

Doom creator John Romero on what's wrong with modern shooter games [The Guardian]
“I would rather have fewer things with more meaning, than a million things you don’t identify with,” he says, sitting in a Berlin bar mocked up to resemble a 1920s Chicago speakeasy. “I would rather spend more time with a gun and make sure the gun’s design is really deep – that there’s a lot of cool stuff you learn about it.”
Modern shooters are too close to fantasy role-playing games in how they shower you with new weapons from battle to battle, Romero suggests. This abundance of loot – which reflects how blockbuster games generally have become Netflix-style services, defined by an unrelenting roll-out of “content” – means you spend as much time comparing guns in menus as savouring their capabilities. It encourages you to think of each gun as essentially disposable, like an obsolete make of smartphone.
posted by Fizz at 10:45 AM PST - 41 comments

Orange you glad I posted this in time for the holidays?

From the Public Domain Review, a pithy piece on the art of ornamental orange peeling.
posted by Miko at 10:28 AM PST - 11 comments

Baltimore Museum Goes Women Only for a Year

Next year the Baltimore Museum of Art will only acquire art made by women. In addition to only acquiring art made by women the exhibitions and programs will also focus on women artists. Over the past 10 years only 11% of all art bought by major museums and only 14% of the exhibitions was made by/focus on women artists.
posted by brookeb at 9:53 AM PST - 15 comments

A Shorter Life of Pie

The Shortcut to Crisp, Tender Pie Crust
posted by storybored at 6:56 AM PST - 48 comments

November 16

Last Survivor of 1937 Hindenburg Disaster Dies at Age 90

Last Survivor of 1937 Hindenburg Disaster Dies at Age 90, TIME, Kathy McCormack/AP, November 16, 2019 — "The last remaining survivor of the Hindenburg disaster, who suffered severe burns to his face, arms and legs before his mother managed to toss him and his brother from the burning airship, has died. Werner Gustav Doehner, the last among 62 passengers and crew who escaped the May 6, 1937, fire, was 90. The fire killed his father, sister and 34 others. He was just 8 years old at the time." [more inside]
posted by cenoxo at 10:30 PM PST - 11 comments

“If I’d known I was going to have to say this whole book out loud...”

Your throat hurts. Your brain hurts: the secret life of the audiobook star On what it actually takes to be an audiobook narrator.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:23 PM PST - 60 comments

Can a Woman Who Is an Artist Ever Just Be an Artist?

Rachel Cusk writes about the lives of two painters, Celia Paul and Cecily Brown, who tell very different stories about what it takes to thrive in a medium historically dominated by men.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 5:59 PM PST - 11 comments

You're out of line, child!

Follow Little Runmo, as he discovers the meaning of life. (slyt animated short)
posted by dobbs at 5:48 PM PST - 1 comment

His name is George Cockcroft, and though no longer young, he is alive

Who is the real Dice Man? The elusive writer behind the disturbing cult novel [The Grauniad] [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 4:26 PM PST - 25 comments


We Heard You Need Gloves [more inside]
posted by yeahwhatever at 1:17 PM PST - 7 comments

The Hourglass Runs Out... OR DOES IT?!?

The long-running soap opera Days of Our Lives has scripted a new cliffhanger, this one playing out in the real world, with the entire cast being released from their contracts and production being put on hold. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 12:05 PM PST - 40 comments

Getting acquainted with the geography of the earth, people, and habitats

Happy (almost belated) Geography Awareness Week, from the U.S. Census and National Geographic Society, who have promoted this, the third week in November for decades, since Reagan's presidential proclamation in 1987. For younger explorers, National Geographic has resources for grades K-12, and the National Education Association has resources for Grades K-5, Grades 6-8, and Grades 9-12. And a happy belated GIS Day, from Esri, who has first established in 1999, which provides an international forum for users of geographic information systems technology to demonstrate real-world applications that are making a difference in our society. GIS Geography has some ideas for how to celebrate GIS.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:38 AM PST - 8 comments

A shed full of broken tools

"Mainstream economists nowadays might not be particularly good at predicting financial crashes, facilitating general prosperity, or coming up with models for preventing climate change, but when it comes to establishing themselves in positions of intellectual authority, unaffected by such failings, their success is unparalleled. One would have to look at the history of religions to find anything like it. "
posted by Lycaste at 10:48 AM PST - 20 comments

certain sexually oriented materials or services

Pornhub joins Dreamwidth in the category of "your content is too extreme for PayPal." The money processor will no longer support payments to Pornhub. Performers will have to find a different payment service (sfw text-only link), potentially including cryptocurrency. They use Verge; some are suggesting bitcoin. Pornhub's blog post about the change (also sfw, text only) is simple and informational - "here's how to change your payment info."
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 10:24 AM PST - 22 comments

‘Absolutely No Mercy’: Leaked Files Detail China's Mass Detentions

Absolutely No Mercy’: Leaked Files Detail China's Mass Detentions "The papers were brought to light by a member of the Chinese political establishment who requested anonymity and expressed hope that their disclosure would prevent party leaders, including Mr. Xi, from escaping culpability for the mass detentions." In the meantime, PLA soldiers have appeared for the first time in Hong Kong, doing "voluntary cleanup" of debris left behind by protesters and the Hong Kong Police Force.
posted by toastyk at 10:09 AM PST - 39 comments

“devastatingly clear and almost vulgar.”

“ Under such conditions, the dreamer can clarify what might be too risky to describe in waking life. Beradt recounts the dream of a factory owner, Herr S., who is unable to muster a Nazi salute during a visit from Goebbels. After struggling for half an hour to lift his arm, his backbone breaks.“ How Dreams Change Under Authoritarianism (New Yorker)
posted by The Whelk at 9:52 AM PST - 3 comments

Black fashion of the 1990s was groundbreaking.

Cross Colours, the innovative apparel line that gave shape to today’s trends, is the focus of a retrospective at the California African American Museum.
posted by Mrs Potato at 6:50 AM PST - 4 comments

21-Year Old WWII Soldier’s Sketchbooks Are Visual Diary of War

21-Year Old WWII Soldier’s Sketchbooks Reveal a Visual Diary of His Experiences [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation at 1:41 AM PST - 11 comments

November 15


A true miracle of fan editing, this is probably the video U2 wishes they had done of their Joshua Tree 30 Year Anniversary Tour [2h30m] from 2017. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 10:01 PM PST - 23 comments

"we're talking about a real event in someone's life that happened"

The Problem With Crime Junkie Indianapolis-based Crime Junkie, one of the hottest podcasts in the country, has built a seven-figure business telling stories about true crime. Too bad the tales aren’t their own. [Indianapolis Monthly]
posted by readinghippo at 1:24 PM PST - 55 comments

This St. Louisan Became A Female Priest

She Defied Centuries Of Catholic Tradition Elsie McGrath never thought of herself as a rulebreaker. But in 2007, she broke one of the most fundamental rules in Roman Catholicism when she became an ordained priest.
posted by robbyrobs at 1:17 PM PST - 24 comments

“Tyler is a fully-realized...not reduced to simplistic trans tropes.”

Microsoft introduces first lead trans character in a major video game [The Guardian] “At Microsoft’s X019 event in London on Thursday, the company revealed a range of major new titles for the Xbox and PC. But in an industry which has often struggled with representation and diversity of lead characters, one announcement stood out. The latest narrative adventure game from the acclaimed French studio Dontnod (developers that produced Life is Strange) will have a transgender man as its lead character – a first for a major game release. [...] “Tyler is a fully realised, endearing character, whose story is not reduced to simplistic trans tropes,” said Nick Adams, director of transgender representation at Glaad. “Creating a playable lead trans character – and taking such care to get it right – raises the bar for future LGBTQ inclusion in gaming.”” [YouTube][Game Trailer]
posted by Fizz at 11:43 AM PST - 27 comments

Neutrinos Lead to Unexpected Discovery in Basic Math

In a way, it’s not surprising that a new insight into centuries-old mathematical objects came from physicists. Nature has inspired mathematical thinking ever since humans started counting on 10 fingers. “For math to thrive, it has to connect to nature,” Vu said. “There is no other way.” Natalie Wolchover writes 2000 words for Quanta Magazine.
posted by cgc373 at 8:55 AM PST - 13 comments

He told a kid to slide. Then he got sued.

What happened next in an N.J. courthouse threatened to change youth sports forever.
posted by Etrigan at 7:58 AM PST - 29 comments

an orgasm that transcends time

The inventor of the first electrical vibrator, doctor Joseph Mortimer Granville, called his device “Granville’s Hammer” — and if that’s not obviously named by a man I don’t know what is. It was for male pain relief; he expressly didn’t want women to use it. “I have avoided, and shall continue to avoid the treatment of women by percussion,” he wrote in 1883, “simply because I do not wish to be hoodwinked, and help to mislead others, by the vagaries of the hysterical state.” Joke’s on you, Joseph. We’re all masturbating just to spite you now. Sex toy blogger Epiphora [NSFW] provides a quick history of the vibrator alongside reviews of three vintage vibes, with a few helpful notes from the Antique Vibrator Museum.
posted by sciatrix at 7:43 AM PST - 26 comments

The global crackdown on parents who refuse vaccines for their kids is on

Countries like Germany and Australia are tired of measles outbreaks — so they're moving to fine anti-vaccine parents. There’s a school of thought that refusing vaccines on behalf of your children amounts to child abuse, and that parents should be punished for their decision. We know vaccines are overwhelmingly safe and effective at preventing the spread of disease, and failing to immunize children can put them (and vulnerable people around them) at tremendous risk of illness or even death when outbreaks occur. Now it seems that Germany, Australia, and a number of other countries are fed up enough with vaccine-refusing parents that they’re experimenting with punitive measures. We haven’t quite reached the level of child abuse charges, but moms and dads in these countries may face fines if they fail to give their kids the recommended shots. In Australia, the directors of schools that let in the unvaccinated kids would be fined, too. This marks a pretty aggressive shift in how we manage vaccine refusers and the costly, deadly outbreaks of diseases like measles and whooping cough they help spark. [more inside]
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 7:42 AM PST - 73 comments

The disappearance and upcoming return of John M. Ford

The more I looked into Ford’s career, the more frustrating and mystifying his posthumous invisibility came to seem. Ford had won the Philip K. Dick Award and multiple World Fantasy Awards. He was a beloved and influential peer to writers including Neil Gaiman, Jo Walton, Ellen Kushner, James Rigney (better known as Robert Jordan), Jack Womack, and Daniel Abraham. So why had so few people heard of him? Why wasn’t anyone publishing his books?
Isaac Butler fell in love with John M. Ford's writing, started looking into his career and in the process helped bring his work back into publication.
posted by MartinWisse at 7:41 AM PST - 26 comments

New Clothes for the Old Emperor

The £7,500 dress that does not exist [BBC] [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 7:36 AM PST - 17 comments

Gold makes monsters of men.

Letter from the Amazon
Blood Gold in the Brazilian Rainforest. (Long read New Yorker). [more inside]
posted by adamvasco at 7:19 AM PST - 1 comment

According to the "Experts"

The Best Way to Wipe Your Butt. (SFW but, you know, butts)
posted by bondcliff at 7:18 AM PST - 79 comments

Street Art

Emma-France Raff prints onto clothing and bags by working in the street using ink, a roller and manhole covers as her printing press [last link includes video].
posted by carter at 2:48 AM PST - 14 comments

November 14

Rankin-Bass, 1977, The Hobbit, November 27, 1977

DailyMotion has the full 78 minutes of the original Rankin-Bass animated production of The Hobbit available. Part 1, Part 2. wrote a long article about it about a year ago, too, if one is interested..
posted by hippybear at 9:52 PM PST - 57 comments

Exploring the myths and realities of America’s urban-rural divide

Last year, Citylab presented a six-part series by Richard Florida: The Truth about the Urban-Rural Divide. 1) The Divides Within, and Between, Urban and Rural America -- Economic growth is not only uneven between urban and rural places—it is uneven within them, too. 2) Some Rural Counties Are Seeing a Job Boom, Too -- Economic growth is a mixed bag in urban and rural counties, large and small. 3) Some Rural Areas Are Better for Economic Mobility -- Kids from many rural areas have a better chance at upward mobility than those who grow up in urban areas, but it varies from place to place, and from neighborhood to neighborhood. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:47 PM PST - 5 comments

"Logistics is a bitch, isn't it?"

ADVENTURERS: We're here for your treasure!
DRAGONS: Congrats! Here you go.
ADVENTURERS: What... what is this?
DRAGON: DragCoin. It's my new crypto. Gonna be worth millions, bro
ADVENTURERS: Have you published the blockchain?
DRAGON: HAHAHA listen to little Bill Gates here!

Twitter | Threadreader
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:31 PM PST - 39 comments

Littlewood, Brandolini, Gibson, Goodhart, Dollo, Parkinson, Wiio, Sayre+

Universal Laws of the World
posted by storybored at 7:04 PM PST - 20 comments

Dorktown Goes For Two

The Jon Bois/Alex Rubenstein joint Dorktown has another pairing of text and video, this time centered around running the ball in football. On the video side, we have the story of how Chiefs QB Steve Bono executed the most improbable 76 yard touchdown run ever, while in print the duo discusses Barry Sanders, and his penchant for racking up yardage without getting the ball in.
posted by NoxAeternum at 2:15 PM PST - 7 comments

Green Public Housing Act

“Through a 10-year mobilization of up to $172 billion, the bill would decarbonize and upgrade more than 1 million units of public housing. (To put that in perspective, if those homes formed a single city, it would be the country’s fourth largest—more populous than Houston, slightly smaller than Chicago.) The legislation gives a glimpse of how a Green New Deal could improve lives, attack inequality, and slash emissions. We would know because our think tank, Data for Progress, researched the damn bill.” Green New Deal for Public Housing (The Nation) “ For more details on where new jobs would be created nationally, view our data tables. For more details on where jobs would be created in New York City specifically, see the NYCHA report.” (Data For Progress)
posted by The Whelk at 12:18 PM PST - 32 comments

the sheer quantity of mummified ibises

Experts crack mystery of ancient Egypt’s sacred bird mummies : DNA analysis helps work out origin of nearly 6 million mummified ibises [The Guardian]
posted by readinghippo at 11:04 AM PST - 11 comments

“Long time, no siege.”

The best Age of Empires now has a fitting remaster: Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition [PC Gamer] “Age of Empires 2 is being wheeled out again, not quite new, but definitely improved. It wears its two decades well, but the years are still there, hidden beneath polish and new art and myriad tweaks. The Definitive Edition wavers between remaster and remake, updating nearly everything, from the art to the AI, as well as adding a trio of new campaigns and four more civilisations, but reverence for the original means that the changes, though broad and welcome, are somewhat restrained. Much of that reverence is justified, and what made Age of Empires 2 stand out at a time when there was no dearth of excellent real-time strategy games holds it in good stead 20 years on.” [YouTube][Gameplay Trailer] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 11:00 AM PST - 28 comments

Sponsor: Colin could you... | Colin: Yes

Colin Furze recreates Junkrat's Rip-Tire from Overwatch.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 10:45 AM PST - 17 comments

and now we tear one of them open

A Thermomechanical Material Point Method for Baking and Cooking, or: now we're cookin' with graphs. If you want the gory mathematical details, here's the paper. And, via a bread simulation segue, here's some tearing and breaking stuff.
posted by cortex at 9:22 AM PST - 12 comments

Is online advertising working? We simply don’t know.

The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click on ads.
posted by anastasiav at 9:08 AM PST - 73 comments

3D Scan of Nefertiti Bust Now Available Online

After a three-year freedom of information campaign, everyone can finally see the Egyptian Museum of Berlin’s official 3D scan of the Bust of Nefertiti. A German museum tried to hide this stunning 3D scan of an iconic Egyptian artifact. Today you can see it for the first time, courtesy of Cosmo Wenman. Scan files available here.
posted by gudrun at 8:58 AM PST - 32 comments

a marriage of two independent and equally irritable intelligences

An Overlooked Novel from 1935 by the Godmother of Feminist Detective Fiction "Many histories of feminist detective fiction find foremothers for today’s anti-heroines in the hardboiled sleuths of the nineteen-seventies and eighties—in P. D. James’s Cordelia Gray, for example, and Sara Paretsky’s V. I. Warshawski. But Harriet Vane is an earlier, often overlooked member of the same lineage."
posted by betweenthebars at 8:52 AM PST - 41 comments

Cheating is baseball's oldest profession

A bombshell report in The Athletic (subscription required; secondary coverage here) alleges that the 2017 World Series Champion Houston Astros used a camera mounted in center field at their home park to steal signs, relaying the results to hitters with the sound of a banging trash can. The ensuing investigation figures to involve three current MLB managers. (The Athletic again/Sports Illustrated) [more inside]
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:18 AM PST - 107 comments

I've worn out the stones in front of your doorstep.

Oscar-winning actress Mary Steenburgen went under the knife for a routine surgery in 2009. Hours later, she woke up as a different person — and become a great songwriter.
posted by Etrigan at 7:49 AM PST - 37 comments

Losing my religion

In U.S., Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace. An October 2019 report by the Pew Research Center identifies rapid declines in Christian identification among American adults, down 12 percentage points overall to 65% over the past 10 years and replaced mainly by growth in "nothing in particular". The decline is particularly sharp among American Millennials, of whom only half (49%) now identify as Christian. [via The Wild Hunt] [more inside]
posted by heatherlogan at 5:31 AM PST - 163 comments

To Be Or Not To Be?

“Adherents view life not as a gift and a miracle, but a harm and an imposition.” In February, a 27-year-old Indian man sued his parents for begetting him. “It was not our decision to be born,” he told the BBC. “Human existence is totally pointless.”
posted by kinnakeet at 5:09 AM PST - 39 comments

The Most Pessimistic Town in the World

In Puolanka, Finland's ‘best worst’ dying town, some citizens held a meeting to figure out if they could hold some fun events. “One man said that nothing works out here”, said Riitta Nykänen, “not even pessimism.” And so Puolanka decided to celebrate Pessimism Days. That has spawned a popular YouTube channel hosted by Tommi Rajala, and is the subject of a five minute video report by the BBC.
posted by Kattullus at 1:56 AM PST - 17 comments

November 13

Punk/ Industrial/ Black Quantum Futurism/ Poetry of Moor Mother

2019 has been a busy year for poet, musician, activist, Moor Mother (Red Bull Music Academy interview, 1 hr), who collaborated with Roscoe Mitchell (1 hr, YouTube) in a sparse pairing of woodwind and poetry, and with the London Contemporary Orchestra (The Line of Best Fit review) on a free verse poem ... about colonialism, slavery and commerce in British empire, and a realisation of her desire to “fuck up some classical music.” Before she released Analog Fluids of Sonic Black Holes, the follow up her 2016 debut album of confrontational, punk-industrial Afrofuturism (NPR via Genius), Fetish Bones, she was the vocalist on Zonal’s debut album, Wrecked (Bandcamp x3), itself a collaboration between metal musician Justin Broadrick (Napalm Death, Godflesh, Jesu) and electronic producer Kevin Martin (The Bug/Ming Midas Sound). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:37 PM PST - 4 comments

Mouse deer

Mouse deer. (Mouse deer.)
posted by clawsoon at 8:32 PM PST - 24 comments

From Veronica Mars to toxic vapes

Cannabis-focused website Leafly (age verification window appears, no login is required) examines The rise and fall of Honey Cut, the secretive business selling adulterating agents for THC oil vape cartridges, who likely introduced vitamin E acetate oil into the supply and injured/killed unwitting users.
posted by hippybear at 7:55 PM PST - 14 comments

“Bros should be around bros, not in the luggage."

They said he was too fat to fly instead he would have to ride in the cargo hold along with the other luggage flying that day from Moscow to Vladivostok. Determined to let him ride in the cabin, his press secretary, Mikhail Galin, came up with an cunning plan: [more inside]
posted by some loser at 6:14 PM PST - 27 comments

A video about being less precious about your creative endeavors.

Perfectionism by Zee Bashew
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 6:00 PM PST - 10 comments

Who will be this year's Australia's bird of the year?

So what's the big deal about the Australian Bird of the Year? There have already been voting irregularities, lobbying by special interests, endorsements by politicians across the spectrum and jockeying to make the cut into the final 10. But now it's almost over! A month of heavy campaigning finally comes to an end today at 5pm AEDT in The Guardian's second annual (except we skipped last year) Bird of the Year poll. Hurry to make sure your vote counts!
posted by mosessis at 5:21 PM PST - 26 comments

Sea-thru Brings Clarity to Underwater Photos

Photographing coral reefs is difficult because even shallow water selectively absorbs and scatters light at different wavelengths, washing out colors. This makes it difficult to use computer vision and machine-learning algorithms to identify, count and classify species in underwater images. But a new algorithm called Sea-thru, developed by engineer and oceanographer Derya Akkaynak, removes the visual distortion caused by water from an image. The effects could be far-reaching for biologists who need to see true colors underneath the surface.
posted by Lexica at 4:44 PM PST - 11 comments

Dogs and Beer in Fargo

If you were putting together a list of the most loved things on the planet, dogs and beer would be right up at the top of it. So when I tell you a brewery has put out a limited edition six-pack featuring the faces of adoptable dogs, I don’t want you to be embarrassed about how excited you get. (Set adblocker on maximum, this is Pleated Jeans)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:54 PM PST - 6 comments

git stash

If you've created or contributed to a public project on GitHub, now's a great time to tidy up those TODOs: on February 2, your code will be snapshotted, printed on polyester film, placed in a steel-walled container, and deposited inside a sealed chamber within a decommissioned coal mine on the remote Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, just down the road from the Global Seed Vault.
posted by theodolite at 2:48 PM PST - 33 comments

Eats nuts, kicks butts

After 58 issues and one stand-alone graphic novel, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl -- by far the most critically and popularly acclaimed comic series ever written about a computer science undergrad with squirrel powers who fights-slash-befriends everybody from a brain in a jar to Galactus -- came to an end today. Polygon has an oral history of the comic with writer Ryan North (previously) and original artist Erica Henderson. Also check out this AV Club exit interview with North and artist Derek Charm, who followed Henderson for the book's last 19 issues. [more inside]
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:15 AM PST - 41 comments

relied on this faulty concept of memory

False witness: why is the US still using hypnosis to convict criminals? "For decades, US law enforcement has used ‘forensic hypnosis’ to help solve crimes – yet despite growing evidence that it is junk science, this method is still being used to send people to death row." [The Guardian]
posted by readinghippo at 11:00 AM PST - 13 comments

The BBC's "100 Novels That Shaped Our World"

The BBC has asked a panel to come up with a list of 100 Novels That Shaped Our World. [more inside]
posted by paduasoy at 10:30 AM PST - 44 comments

“We hope to see you again!”

Pokemon Sword & Shield: ambitious in places, seemingly unfinished in others [VG24/7] “In some ways, Pokemon Sword & Shield is the most ambitious Pokemon title ever. In other ways, it is a definitive step back. It’s a strange game. The promise of Pokemon Sword & Shield was always that it’d be a return to form. I really liked Pokemon Let’s Go for what it was – a simplified, streamlined remake of a classic designed to work as a gateway for lapsed fans and Pokemon Go players. Many of the ideas expressed in that title deserve to be carried back to the main series, but there was understandably a hardcore element that was missing there. The promise was that the next games would remedy that. This is the strangest thing about Sword & Shield: after all those promises, I’m not really sure it does.” [YouTube][Game Trailer] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 9:43 AM PST - 27 comments

The Education of Natalie Jean: Mormon Mommy Blogger to Divorced Feminist

For the past ten years, Natalie’s job was being a lovably quirky wife and mother who documented her idyllic life online. It was tough to explain the long gap in her resume to potential employers. It was tougher to explain to herself, her loved ones, and her audience that the honeyed image she’d banked on had been an illusion for a long time. “I had to reckon with the fact that I’d been lying to people,” Natalie (who now uses her maiden name, Lovin) tells me now. “I had to go back on my word and say ‘Just kidding, I was actually miserable, I just didn’t tell you.’” All those years curating and cropping her life, she says, “I was erasing evidence. I was erasing myself.”
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:39 AM PST - 49 comments

This is Narwhal. He was born with an extra tail on his forehead

Narwhal is a pupper with a small tail growing from his forehead. He's in fine health and humor, but no the tail does not wag.
posted by sjswitzer at 9:06 AM PST - 21 comments

Several Candidates He Spoke To Were Moved To Tears

“Examples like that are a frightening demonstration of why Barkan’s advocacy is so powerful: Americans who could be alive are dead now, silenced by the policy decisions we have made together. We could cover long-term care, but we don’t. Medicaid has a complicated set of requirements for who is eligible for long-term care coverage, one that’s led some couples to forsake their marriage vows or live apart from one another, all in the hopes of lowering their assets in order to maintain or regain the eligibility.“ Ady Barkan Is Running Out of Time to Speak (The New Republic)
posted by The Whelk at 8:59 AM PST - 5 comments

Inside the Strange, Unlikely Battle for Clever Ticker Symbols

Startups like Slack have gone public with the cutesy tickers. Do investors care?
posted by Etrigan at 7:47 AM PST - 31 comments

Megaflashes: Just How Long Can a Lightning Discharge Get?

Using the Geostationary Lightning Mapper on GOES 16 and 17 (Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites), Lyons and colleagues probe the limits of how long a lightning discharge can get. [more inside]
posted by jjray at 5:32 AM PST - 11 comments

“Look, this is either the Clash, or it's the Rolling Stones...”

As librarians help registration (more libraries), it is time, yet again, to vote (December 2019 edition) with another exciting UK General Election. As Alexander Boris de Pfeffel endorses Jeremy Corbyn and demonstrates his popular culture experience (YouTube), so parties outline NHS funding plans and struggle to try and form alliances or pacts (progressive)(right wing)(SNP-Labour)(Northern Ireland). Though, previously. Some past MPs stand down or turn; new candidates, either reluctantly, some complicatedly, others angrily making it legally interesting. The BBC is under suspicion of bias, the PM won't release the Russian report (Hillary), people still say 'cyber', and the past haunts candidates (more)(yet more)(another)(endless). But will megaphone man win? The current bookmaker odds. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore at 12:03 AM PST - 490 comments

November 12


An advertisement for the Ramen Joy Cookbook
posted by Going To Maine at 9:23 PM PST - 49 comments

Ever want to Office Space some old equipment?

After upgrading the website to the cloud, some of the hardware was just not usable. So we have this video of what happened. (SLYT)
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 5:01 PM PST - 22 comments

Does Transparency in Moderation Really Matter?

Shagun Jhaver writes about his research into the effect of moderator deletion commentary on Reddit users. Using a sample of 32 million Reddit posts he characterizes the removal explanations that are provided to Redditors and links them to measures of subsequent user behaviors — including future post submissions and future post removals. [more inside]
posted by pharm at 2:57 PM PST - 32 comments

Metafilter's favorite librarian has opinions about Comic Sans

"The childlike, cartoonish typeface Comic Sans is the most hated font in the world." The introduction to today's Studio 360 With Kurt Andersen continues: "Twenty-five years after its release, it’s become notorious for showing up in seemingly inappropriate contexts, from office memos to newspapers and government documents." [more inside]
posted by QuakerMel at 9:29 AM PST - 113 comments

This is a car commercial that may make you cry

Renault is a company that sells cars. In the course of that aim, they have recently produced a short film about a multi-decade love story told over the course of two minutes.
posted by gwint at 9:12 AM PST - 43 comments

"The food computers weren’t even deployed at the Azraq camp"

MIT Media Lab Scientist Used Syrian Refugees to Tout Food Computers That Didn't Work [more inside]
posted by Not A Thing at 9:10 AM PST - 46 comments

Rot At The Bottom. Rot At The Top.

“ Rousseau, a Boy Scout and high school journalist before he founded Patriot Front, has much the same profile as the accused gunman in El Paso, Patrick Crusius: both grew up in middle-class suburbs of Dallas — Crusius in Allen, Rousseau 35 miles away in Grapevine; both were seen as unremarkable teenagers before being inculcated in their racist ideology online; both talk of a desire to reclaim America for “true” or “pure” patriots; both regard immigrants as a poisonous and present danger.” They Are Racist; Some of Them Have Guns. Inside the White Supremacist Group Hiding in Plain Sight. (ProPublica) “ In the run-up to the 2016 election, White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller promoted white nationalist literature, pushed racist immigration stories and obsessed over the loss of Confederate symbols after Dylann Roof’s murderous rampage, according to leaked emails reviewed by Hatewatch... Miller’s perspective on race and immigration across the emails is repetitious. When discussing crime, which he does scores of times, Miller focuses on offenses committed by nonwhites. On immigration, he touches solely on the perspective of severely limiting or ending nonwhite immigration to the United States.” (SPLC)
posted by The Whelk at 8:51 AM PST - 39 comments

“Begun the streaming wars have.”

Your Guide to the Streaming Wars [The Verge] “The launch of Disney+ in November 2019 is ushering in a whole new era of streaming, one where established industry leaders like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, and Amazon Prime Video are facing growing competition from major new players in the industry. Apple is building its own streaming service, Apple TV Plus. AT&T’s WarnerMedia streaming service is in beta. And that’s not counting the many smaller, niche-oriented streaming services, like The Criterion Channel, Crunchyroll, and Shudder. [...] We’ll sift through the deluge of content for the worthwhile films and TV, analyze the technology and consumer costs behind these services, help you choose which services matter, and cover how the streaming wars are changing the media landscape.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 8:47 AM PST - 140 comments

Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit smoking

Side-by-side comparison: Zero Hour! (1957) Vs Airplane! (1980) (SLYT)
posted by bondcliff at 8:00 AM PST - 25 comments

"I’m the original spicy a-hole cat." #freeQuilty

A cat named Quilty has been sentenced to solitary confinement for continually letting other cats out of their enclosures at his shelter after multiple warnings failed to curb the problem. The serial offender was caught by staff at Friends For Life Animal Rescue and Adoption Organization jail-breaking other felines out of the senior room 'repeatedly, several times a day'. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:35 AM PST - 44 comments

Please respect the tiny whisk

I will admit that, at first, I only wanted the whisk because it was adorable and hilarious. In the years since, though, the whisk has proven to be one of the most used utensils in my kitchen. Tiny whisks are the perfect size for mixing most things, if you’re cooking for yourself or a small group.
posted by Etrigan at 6:28 AM PST - 96 comments

Getting The Dynasty We Deserve

The Heir: Ivanka was always Trump’s favorite. But Don Jr. is emerging as his natural successor.The Atlantic, McKay Coppins, October 2019 issue. “...Some of the scion’s schemes pay off. Others prove disastrous. But his signal achievement is forging the Donald Trump persona itself—that high-flying playboy, that self-made man, that larger-than-life titan the tabloids can’t resist. It’s a creation of both father [Fred] and son [Donald], and it will do more for the family business than any casino or skyscraper. Today a photo of Fred sits in the Oval Office, looking out on an empire much vaster and more powerful than even he could have imagined. And while the president writes his chapter in history, the next generation waits in the wings, jockeying for position, feuding over status, knowing only one of them can be the heir.”
posted by cenoxo at 5:20 AM PST - 53 comments

November 11

Now you are perfect.

"While in the waters of Lembeh, Indonesia, diver Pall Sigurdsson and friends encountered a tiny veined/coconut octopus who had made a home inside a disposable plastic cup. [...] Rather than leave the octopus to a cruel fate, Sigurdsson and friends spent a great deal of their diving time searching for a new shell. They tried several shells, but the octopus didn’t respond until the perfect one was found." (via Laughing Squid)
posted by katra at 9:04 PM PST - 28 comments

everyone is a badass until there’s a knock at the door

Shenzhen Tech Girl Naomi Wu, Part 3: Defunding, Deplatforming, and Detention. After her run-ins with Vice, as she had documented previously, and the fallout from that, Naomi Wu finds herself once again being used by Western entertainment-journalism (this time Hasan Minhaj's show) in a China-critical piece that she had no say over. Sometime later, she was detained. Was it related? Who can say?
posted by cendawanita at 8:55 PM PST - 37 comments

'What does the Radiant Baby mean?'

Keith Haring's 'Hidden' Mural Heads To Auction, Sparks Emotion Haring painted a stairwell mural for a NYC kids' organization. The mural has now been removed, and is heading for auction, to fund capital projects at the church at which it was located. [more inside]
posted by Capt. Renault at 4:19 PM PST - 4 comments

Pink tides and right-wing waves

An English-language snapshot of what's going on in Latin America: Latin America's Bitter Stalemate (Jacobin interview with Mabel Thwaites Rey); Latin America's Decade-Long Hangover (America's Quarterly); Why Latin America Was Primed to Explode (Foreign Affairs); Latin America’s Protests Are Likely to Fail (Foreign Policy); Latin American left rising? First stop Mexico for Argentina's Fernandez (Reuters) [more inside]
posted by chappell, ambrose at 2:57 PM PST - 57 comments

The Right Trousers

Have you ever seen the mid nineties live action adaptation of Wallance and Gromit?
posted by MartinWisse at 2:23 PM PST - 51 comments

Let's Read TSR

Let's Read TSR reviews a popular line of Extruded Fantasy Product novels from the early 1990s. These include such hits as R.A. Salvatore's Drizzt Do'Urden and Cleric Quintet novels ("Say what you like about the forces of evil, but at least they’ve put a lot of effort into creating a diverse workplace"). There are also sneaky successes like the Wodehousian The Wyvern's Spur and the thoughtful Elfshadow. And, of course, there are plenty of photorealistic late '80s-style cover paintings.
posted by Countess Elena at 10:08 AM PST - 96 comments

Great Chafing Moonboots!

Friends Again... ...that terrific wee Glasgow band of the mid-late eighties -wiki here- are to have their sole and debut album "Trapped and Unwrapped" given the thirty Year anniversary treatment from those wonderful people at Cherry Red Records [more inside]
posted by Wrick at 7:28 AM PST - 5 comments

"As usual, we're looking at true stories."

Martin Simpson is a British folk/blues songwriter, a virtuoso guitarist & a great raconteur. Here he is relating two of the surprising and touching tales behind songs on his new album Rooted. The capsule descriptions of each song are Simpson's own, taken from this article. "Ken Small salvaged a Sherman Duplex Drive tank from Start Bay in Devon, which led to the story of the tragic Operation Tiger of 1944 off the Devon coast being recognised and told," he explains. "More Than Enough was written by Robb Johnson and it was in the repertoire of my late father-in-law, Roy Bailey for many years."
posted by Paul Slade at 6:10 AM PST - 6 comments

Ghosts of War in a Wisconsin Forest

An Afghanistan veteran's struggle with ecology and memory, by Bryan Box (CW: suicide, descriptions of violence in war)
posted by Etrigan at 4:46 AM PST - 9 comments

"They were good, they were young"

Concert by Young Marble Giants is a 44 minute live performance shot in black and white on video in Vancouver in November 1980, just weeks before the hugely influential post-punk band split up. [previously on MeFi]
posted by Kattullus at 4:28 AM PST - 7 comments

Thanks to life

Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto
Me dio dos luceros que cuando los abro

Perfecto distingo lo negro del blanco
Y en el alto cielo su fondo estrellado
Y en las multitudes el hombre que yo amo

posted by growabrain at 2:31 AM PST - 13 comments

November 10

Guerra Guerra

Maestro by Illogic Studios and Bloom Pictures "is a lush, short film about beautifully animated woodland creatures putting aside creature differences, to perform together a gorgeous, revolutionary operatic aria under a full moon. [...] The aria, “Guerra Guerra”, comes from the Vincenzo Bellini opera Norma and tells of the coming of revolution." (via Laughing Squid)
posted by katra at 7:35 PM PST - 3 comments

He saw the singing, dancing beach mob and feared for his life

"I didn't go fast to run anybody over, but I wasn't gonna stay and let them do something to my truck." [slyt, trigger warning: descriptions of gun violence] White supremacist shoots gun and triggers another round of violent street protests* in Chilean coastal city. [Warning: Graphic descriptions of gun violence. Links to sensitive materials are marked with *] [more inside]
posted by ipsative at 7:27 PM PST - 13 comments

I Was the Fastest Girl in America, Until I Joined Nike

In a gutwrenching video, Mary Cain describes the destruction of her body and mind at the hands of Nike coaches - and her belief that the sport can be made better.
posted by clawsoon at 6:58 PM PST - 28 comments

Does this 128-year-old tool still cut it?

Lyndon B. Johnson carried one. MacGyver never leaves home without his. A Swiss Army knife can scale a fish, remove a splinter, help start a fire, or sew a ripped seam shut. Now available in impressively specific varieties such as the Equestrian and the Presentation Master, including some models that feature USB flash drives, the 500 millionth tool rolled off the line in 2017. In this age of never-ending technology upgrades and improvements, the “Original Swiss Army knife” is still a best-seller. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:30 PM PST - 110 comments

“You people...”

Don Cherry sparked online backlash on Saturday night for his comments about immigrants not wanting to wear poppies ahead of Remembrance Day. [CBC] “Don Cherry is in the limelight yet again, this time for complaining that he rarely sees people he believes to be new immigrants wearing poppies ahead of Remembrance Day. The 85-year-old Hockey Night in Canada personality said on Saturday on his weekly Coach's Corner segment that he's less frequently seeing people wearing poppies anymore to honour fallen Canadian soldiers, and he singled out those he believes are immigrants in Toronto, prompting a swift online backlash. [...] Cherry made his comment prior to running his annual Remembrance Day video montage, where he is seen walking through a military cemetery in France visiting the graves of Canadian soldiers who went to battle in the First World War.” [Full Coach's Corner recording of offensive comment.] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 4:21 PM PST - 138 comments

Life in a different light

Life in a different light "A few weeks ago, I modified my microscope to be able to use polarized light to illuminate my samples. This gives some incredibly beautiful and alien-like footage, so I of course made a video with this technique."
posted by dhruva at 4:11 PM PST - 3 comments

Bloomberg’s run makes no sense- for him or for moderates

Poaching older white voters from Biden won’t “check” the left. Michael Bloomberg’s renewed interest in running for president seems motivated in large part by intellectual and emotional hostility to the prospect of an Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders nomination. But — to the extent that the billionaire philanthropist manages to garner any support at all — the actual effect of him entering the race is likely to be the reverse: undermining frontrunner Joe Biden to some extent without materially damaging Warren or Sanders or having any realistic chance of winning himself. [more inside]
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 1:33 PM PST - 141 comments

Switched-on Bach, exploring the potential of electronic music in 1968

This ground-breaking album seems to not be available for sale or streaming anywhere. So I’d purchased a used LP and digitized it for all to enjoy! Switched-On Bach by Wendy Carlos on Internet Archive (via Sarah Wallin Huff on MltShp). The first classical music LP ever to be certified for a Platinum Record Award, by selling to hundreds of thousands of mostly younger listeners who didn't normally buy classical recordings. Carlos saw the Moog voice as valid on its own terms, which may be one reason why this album still stands out today, when compared with some of the more flamboyant work that followed from others (AllMusic review). More on the album from Wendy herself.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:55 AM PST - 52 comments

November 9

On bringing something more to the table in D.C. food writing

The D.C. Region Doesn’t Have Full-Time Food Critics of Color. Why That Matters. By Laura Hayes (Washington City Paper).
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:25 PM PST - 11 comments

"Do we want that 'click-click-click' sound when we open it?"

Via KQED's The California Report Magazine, listen to (and read about) five blind people living in or visiting California: Geerat Vermeij, an evolutionary biologist who studies the evolution of mollusk shells, Noel Runyan, an engineer who builds his own accessible technology (including a vibrating gun sight), guitarist Ioana Gandrabur, architect Chris Downey, and sensory consultant Hoby Wedler, who helps design the sound of everyday products from food packaging to doors. The stories come from Chris Hoff and Sam Harnett, who have partnered with San Francisco's LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired (previously) to produce The World According to Sound podcast where people can explore the sounds of beer brewing, mosquitoes doing their thing, arachnids getting amorous, cheese making, Spanish lottery numbers being sung out, giraffes after dark, Voice Over run through its paces, and a sonification of Wikipedia's data among over 90 others to date in short, 90-second episodes.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 4:56 PM PST - 8 comments

A straight flush of stable-pair-bonding qualities

The Feminist. From n+1 Issue 35, fiction by Tony Tulathimutte. "Now that he’s self-conscious, he realizes he can’t compete along conventional standards of height, weight, grip strength, whatever. How can he hope to attract anyone with his narrow shoulders?" via Carmen Maria Machado, who tweets: I want to teach this story in a horror class.
posted by jokeefe at 4:44 PM PST - 102 comments

“The problem is, it’s fun and it’s really well made.”

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare – great game, shame about the politics [The Guardian] “It doesn’t take long for the guilt to set in. You’re holding a handgun in London’s Piccadilly Circus as terrorists run wild with assault rifles and flames bloom from a recently ignited suicide vest. As terrified civilians run past, screaming and wounded, you’re thinking: “Where is the next mission checkpoint?” Call of Duty is perhaps the most divisive mainstream gaming brand of all time; a gung-ho, partisan blockbuster combat romp selling us a vision of rough and ready spec-ops superstars travelling the globe with their guns and their competence, helping freedom fighters while killing rogue paramilitary groups, without pausing too long to consider the differences between them. [...] The story is a pulpy, mashup of real-world proxy wars and brutal localised conflicts that panders to US sensibilities. Urzikstan could be Syria, it could be Afghanistan, it could be the Ukraine or Chechnya. It doesn’t matter.” [YouTube][Launch Trailer][Story Trailer] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 3:44 PM PST - 47 comments

All about the madeleines - or not

Archeology of Taste is a project about childhood memories Specifically, food memories. Jan Whitaker is an author and blogger who works with social history. The Archeology of Taste project is a series of interviews with people about their food memories. Like Arthur, age 69
It seems like everybody starts by talking about what Mom made and eating at home, that sort of thing. Which in my case is a little different. My mother taught home economics in high school, but she was not a good cook.
[more inside]
posted by mumimor at 2:51 PM PST - 11 comments

Cops Turned Her Into A Facebook Meme.

On May 31, Meghan Burmester became a meme. She was featured, along with four other women, on the Harford County Sheriff’s Office “Ladies’ Night” Facebook post for alleged theft under $1,500.... Burmester, a 28-year-old restaurant server in South Carolina, was in fact at the height of her heroin addiction at the time of the photo. She’d stolen something to resell so she could feed her habit, she told BuzzFeed News. She is now five months clean, she said, but this post with her photo and her residential address remains on the sheriff’s Facebook page as a digital repository of shame.
posted by Etrigan at 2:14 PM PST - 36 comments

The Communist Pleasure Activism Helping Erase Medical Debt in Appalachia

Mutual Aid Lube, a “vegan plant-based lube made by queers for queers,” partners with RIP Medical Debt, an organization committed to buying up and forgiving medical debt all across the country. So far, they have been able to help forgive $55,000 of medical debt in Appalachia.
posted by Lexica at 12:00 PM PST - 13 comments

Show the Dogs!

"Ever look at Cassius Marcellus Coolidge's seminal chef d'oeuvre Dogs Playing Poker and think, 'this is okay, but wouldn't it be nice if I could see the painting with any of 6.6 quadrillion possible card combinations?' No? Too bad, buddy: because here it is."
posted by Copronymus at 11:23 AM PST - 17 comments

Turning off intergenerational trauma in mice

A "memory of fear" of a predator's odour can be passed on to baby mice via their father's sperm. However, giving the fathers "'extinction learning,' which is very akin to cognitive behavioural therapy in humans," the transmission of that fear can be prevented. Paper (paywalled).
posted by clawsoon at 10:24 AM PST - 12 comments

How Santa Anna's gift of chicle lead to modern chewing gum

Antonio López de Santa Anna (Wikipedia) was a Mexican politician and general who fought to defend royalist New Spain and then fought for Mexican independence. He greatly influenced early Mexican politics and government, and he was an adept soldier and cunning politician who dominated Mexican history in the first half of the nineteenth century to such an extent that historians often refer to it as the "Age of Santa Anna" (History Mix, with a focus on Texas). He captured the Alamo, gave away Texas, and was exiled from Mexico. He ended up in a modest residence on Staten Island, where he helped invent modern chewing gum (Atlas Obscura). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:20 AM PST - 14 comments

A TikTok Exquisite Corpse

It's brooms all the way down [more inside]
posted by Gorgik at 8:29 AM PST - 24 comments

The Life And Adventures Of Nicholas Nickleby

In 1980, Royal Shakespeare Company created The Life And Adventures Of Nicholas Nickleby, an 8 1/2 hour long adaptation from David Edgar of the 900-page novel by Charles Dickens, directed by John Caird and Trevor Nunn. A very theatrical production with a lot of momentum and an outstanding cast, originally presented across two nights or one very long day, it was filmed for television in four parts. [YT playlist, 4 videos, very long watch]
posted by hippybear at 7:15 AM PST - 14 comments

Happy Honeybee Harmonies

For your Saturday cartoon enjoyment, here’s Honeyland (1935), one of the MGM Happy Harmonies available on YouTube. More about the Technicolor 10-minute short at WP, and production details at Cartoon Research.
posted by cenoxo at 6:20 AM PST - 7 comments

from gopher to p-plates

A Bardi/Nyiyaparli great grandmother from Port Hedland in Western Australia's Pilbara region obtained her provisional licence for the first time last week, despite many people within her community suggesting she may have left it too late. [more inside]
posted by freethefeet at 4:05 AM PST - 2 comments

Sam Porter Bridges? Look, it's not subtle

Death Stranding is out now. In Hideo Kojima's latest technically-accomplished game for PS4 (PC coming summer 2020), you play a porter named Sam Porter Bridges who builds bridges for the Bridges organization in a post-apocalpytic world filled with ghosts and terrorists. Described as "the most advanced walking simulator the world has seen" (Polygon), "a great movie" (Engadget), and "unashamedly political" (The Guardian), it has received qualified praise from critics despite its army of distracting celebrity cameos. [more inside]
posted by adrianhon at 2:56 AM PST - 46 comments

November 8

Take it to the table

Because there's just not enough to argue about these days, Paste Magazine presents its absolutely accurate and unassailable list of the 25 best board games of the decade.
posted by vverse23 at 8:42 PM PST - 37 comments

😬 🤣 😍 ? 💖💖💖! 🗄️ 📻 📱? 💤💤💤

New Emoji Are So Boring—but They Don't Have to Be: A new data set on the popularity of emoji reveals a problem with Unicode's approval process, along with a way to fix it.
Many of the most popular existing emoji would not have passed Unicode's search criteria if they'd been in place at the time: smiling face with smiling eyes, face with tears of joy, loudly crying face, sparkle heart, eggplant, smiley poo, devil face, see-no-evil monkey, party popper, bicep, crossed finger, and shrug. None of these have anywhere near the benchmark 500 million results when you search for them in Google, even in 2019 when those results have been juiced by many pages about the emoji themselves—instead, they got in by being on Japanese phones before Unicode started taking over the decision-making process.
[more inside]
posted by Not A Thing at 7:19 PM PST - 40 comments

My Asian Mom Bought Me a Blonde Wig

And other adventures in internalized racism
posted by cynical pinnacle at 5:44 PM PST - 4 comments

She had a stillborn baby. Now she’s being charged with murder.

Her case is part of a nationwide problem, advocates say. California is one of dozens of states around the country where a person can be charged with a crime for harming a fetus through behaviors like using drugs while pregnant....These laws are intended to prevent harm to a fetus, but they can backfire, making people less likely to seek prenatal care. A recent study found that laws defining drinking during pregnancy as child abuse were actually associated with worse health outcomes for babies, possibly because they discouraged pregnant people from going to the doctor.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 3:33 PM PST - 13 comments

Like Desert Bus, But Even More Soul Sucking

Airplane Mode is an upcoming game from AMC (yes, the channel) in which the player gets to simulate a six hour transatlantic flight in real time. Not as the pilot, mind you. As a passenger in a window seat in economy. [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 2:26 PM PST - 50 comments

Why Doctor Manhattan’s big blue penis matters.

Doctor Manhattan has often been defined by or reduced to just his penis and blazing cerulean nudity, like what happened toward the end of this episode. But thinking his nakedness is just a matter of sex is a shallow fallacy. His constant, shameless nudity has prompted deeper conversations among readers about something that seems so superficial. And as we see in this episode, even a gigantic vibrator meant to recall Doctor Manhattan can tell us a lot about another character: Laurie.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:02 PM PST - 29 comments

Green Book didn't make the cut

The writers at have released their list of the best 25 films of the 2010s with essays on each of the top 10:
  1. Tree of Life
  2. Moonlight
  3. Inside Llewyn Davis
  4. Mad Max: Fury Road
  5. Phantom Thread
  6. The Wolf of Wall Street
  7. Under the Skin
  8. Roma
  9. Get Out
  10. The Master
[more inside]
posted by octothorpe at 12:52 PM PST - 115 comments

This list is very obviously wrong

As a part of their "Decade in Review", Polygon has published their list of the 100 best games from 2010-2019 (link goes to the bottom half). [more inside]
posted by hanov3r at 11:28 AM PST - 59 comments

and many other creatures

The week in wildlife – in pictures [The Guardian]. Bears, starlings, dormice, a kookaburra, a stranded sperm whale, various other creatures.
posted by readinghippo at 11:19 AM PST - 3 comments


It’s that time of year again — fall is here and packs of robot dogs are frolicking in the leaves. [YouTube] “Each one weighs about 20 pounds (or nine kilograms), is powered by 12 electrical motors, and can reach speeds of around six miles per hour (or 2.5 meters per second). As you can see in the video, they’re all being steered manually using what look like RC controllers. [...] “Mini Cheetah is just about the perfect size. Twenty pounds (9 kilograms) is not too small but not so big that it’s dangerous or fragile,” said Sangbae. “We designed the machine to be able to absorb the impacts, jumping and landing and so on.”” [via: The Verge]
posted by Fizz at 10:50 AM PST - 58 comments

Excel drum machine

Dylan Tallchief made a drum machine in Excel (2019 / 365). You can download it here, if you're willing to enable a stranger's macros.
posted by chappell, ambrose at 10:12 AM PST - 7 comments

"More likely than not, if you are reading this, this is about you."

"I often think of groups like this during evenings I spend on my couch. As I fold laundry half-heartedly, I watch TV and clutch my phone. I refresh my Twitter feed to keep up on the latest political crisis, then toggle over to Facebook to read clickbait news stories, then over to YouTube to see a montage of juicy clips from the latest congressional hearing. I then complain to my family about all the things I don’t like that I have seen. What I’m doing, that isn’t politics." Politics is for Power, Not Consumption: Political hobbyism takes well-meaning citizens away from pursuing power. (Boston Review)
posted by The Whelk at 10:03 AM PST - 36 comments

The Dating App That Launched A Thousand Queer Love Stories

IN SEARCH OF soft femmes, butch emotional laborers, power bottoms, tender genders, QTBIPOC gnc godx, switch witches, etc. Lex is a text-only dating app based on old-school personal ads. [more inside]
posted by storytam at 10:01 AM PST - 16 comments

Your friendly food history research service since 1999

The Food Timeline [more inside]
posted by youarenothere at 8:26 AM PST - 7 comments

(Please don’t “ok boomer” me just yet.)

Why Was Pop Music So Mild And Inoffensive In The 2010s?
posted by Etrigan at 7:58 AM PST - 98 comments

November 7

Trying to read the Greek upon the stars, the alphabet of feeling

Indigo Girls meditate on death and loss and the strength of those still around on their fifth album from 1994 (25 years ago), Swamp Ophelia. Possibly one of their strongest releases (and the mirror bookend to Rites Of Passage [previously] in many ways), it's worth a relisten or a new listen if you don't know it. Side A: Fugitive, Least Complicated [video], Language Or The Kiss, Reunion, Power Of Two [video], Touch Me Fall [only video available, truncated version] [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 11:10 PM PST - 9 comments

I Still Don't Recommend People Blocking Shots With Their Teeth

The ugly, gory, bloody secret life of NHL dentists ( ...While tooth enamel might be the hardest biological substance on earth, it's no match for the sport of hockey. With pucks, sticks and fists flying in all directions at players who famously refuse all means of protection, tooth trauma and trips to the dentist -- most people's worst nightmare -- are as inherent to hockey as ice. The relentless assault on such a specific body part, especially one as socially and aesthetically important as teeth, has transformed NHL dentists into the unsung heroes of the sports world. [CONTENT WARNING: Lots of descriptive injury language and toothless athletes. Might want to skip if mouth stuff makes you queasy...]
posted by JoeZydeco at 8:04 PM PST - 21 comments

Weaponised Boomer Memes

How the boomer meme industrial complex won the 2019 Australian federal election.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 7:14 PM PST - 28 comments

Don't confront me with my failures/I have not forgotten them

"I’m a mystery writer and this mystery tugs at me: Why do friendships end? Why did this friendship end? How do any friendships survive a lifespan? Do any friendships last a lifetime? Do I have any real friends? How bad a friend am I? Pretty bad, actually." "The Art of Losing Friends and Alienating People" is Laura Lippman's Longreads essay on failing as a friend. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:55 PM PST - 16 comments

I made a boo-boo, yeah

"In March 1991 Kid Pix 1.0 was released, and things started to get really good. Sales were significantly above expectations and the reviews were exceptional. Very positive reviews appeared in MacUser, The San Jose Mercury News, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and The Whole Earth Review. A MacWorld Magazine review stated, 'Pros: Brilliant; hilarious; innovative; inexpensive. Cons: None.'" Craig Hickman, author of Kid Pix, recounts its prehistory, inspiration, guiding principles, early development, publication by Broderbund, and stunning success. [more inside]
posted by J.K. Seazer at 2:37 PM PST - 18 comments

Meshuga Beluga

ATTENTION SEA CREATURE TWITTER: we have a whale playing catch! whale! playing! catch!!! Twitter | Threadreader
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:45 PM PST - 19 comments

À la recherche du temps perdu

Across the US, people received text messages that were originally sent on Valentine’s Day Something strange is happening with text messages in the US right now. Overnight, a multitude of people received text messages that appear to have originally been sent on or around Valentine’s Day 2019. These people never received the text messages in the first place; the people who sent the messages had no idea that they had never been received, and they did nothing to attempt to resend them overnight.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 11:10 AM PST - 87 comments

hornless, parrot-beaked plant-eaters closely related to the Triceratops

Victoria researcher unveils B.C.’s first unique dinosaur discovery Royal BC Museum palaeonotologist confirms discovery of ‘Ferrisaurus sustutensis’ [Trail Times]. [more inside]
posted by readinghippo at 10:09 AM PST - 8 comments

coding, chemistry, mechanization, and alchemy

An interview with Zach Barth, Head of Zachtronics [HyperX Gaming] Zach Barth designed and developed Infiniminer, SpaceChem, TIS-100, Shenzen I/O, Opus Magnum, and other video games in a genre that has been termed ("Zachlikes"). His company Zachtronics also developed a line of educational games. Zach answers some questions about how he designs his games, and his opinions about the mindset that goes into developing them. [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 9:45 AM PST - 24 comments

Straight From The Boss’ Mouth

“ Ricketts is representative of a different, and far less chronicled, American elite — plutocrats who are culturally conservative, who don’t live on the coasts (having spent most of his life in Nebraska, he now lives in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, about as far from the major cities his news sites covered as one can get), who don’t embrace fame or glamour, whose businesses aren’t particularly hip, but who form the real base for Trump and other Republicans. Subjecting ourselves to Ricketts’ own self-conception can help us understand what the media industry, and democracy itself, are up against.” The Heartland Billionaire Destroying the Working Class (Medium: Gen)
posted by The Whelk at 9:33 AM PST - 29 comments

Watch out!

"The woman had just rounded a corner while running along a steep trail in coastal California in February 2018 when she charged face-first into an unpleasant surprise: a swarm of flies. The pesky bugs quickly engulfed her, forcing her to swat them away from her face and even spit some out of her mouth. But little did she know, things were about to get much worse." (Washington Post; or here's the same story in Gizmodo. Be warned that even the URLs are not safe for life.) [more inside]
posted by RedOrGreen at 9:22 AM PST - 31 comments

Sounding off: an appreciation of and guide to nautical noises

"People who are land-bound will never get to see, they will only look at those sound signals as irritants, noise pollution, something that they could live without. But when you're out there in the fog, and you're completely encased with visibility 10 to 15 feet, when you hear that sound signal, then you know you have a friend out there in the fog." Unnamed East Coast mariner, in Alvin Curran's "Maritime Rites" (YouTube), the title track from his collection of ten environmental concerts for radio (YT playlist). Don't have your sea-ears yet? [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:04 AM PST - 9 comments

That’s hydrogen. A hymen is the song they sing in church.

That’s a hybrid. A hymen is the first element on the periodic table . [more inside]
posted by signal at 8:57 AM PST - 29 comments

My Friend Mister Rogers

Tom Junod, The Atlantic: My Friend Mister RogersI first met him 21 years ago, and now our relationship is the subject of a new movie. He’s never been more revered—or more misunderstood.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:44 AM PST - 30 comments

The city burning is Los Angeles’s deepest image of itself.

Why did no one warn the housekeepers about the Getty fire? First, zoom out from the flames. Show the neighborhood where wealthy homeowners, having fled themselves, have inexplicably forgotten to warn their domestic workers not to come in. Pan over the hill that those workers, largely Latina women, must climb from the bus stop.
posted by FirstMateKate at 8:21 AM PST - 16 comments

Facebook's Pentagon Papers Moment

A legal case between FACEB...err, Facebook and app developer Six4Three had resulted in a massive corpus of documents released in discovery and sealed by the judge in the matter - which would then receive more time in the spotlight when British MP Damien Collins used his legal authority to seize control of the documents. Wednesday, investigative reporter Duncan Campbell released his copy of the full leaked corpus of documents. [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 7:11 AM PST - 43 comments

Destroying the Ancient Dick

"It says that in order for the men to thrive, women must be kept in line and controlled. It says, This starts now. It says women are worth something great to us, and because of that we must say that they are less than us, and we must never let them know what it is about them that we are trying to take for ourselves. It says, Women can’t. They must not. It says, Women are property. Men decide what women can do with their bodies. Men own women. We are all separate and must stay divided. Women are beneath, less than, but also, watch out for them, really do watch out! But act like you are not 'watching out' or scared—act like a good guy who is protecting the holy object." The Code of Hammurabi: Jenny Slate watches a documentary, eats curry, and envisions the end of patriarchy.
posted by HumanComplex at 7:05 AM PST - 20 comments

I broke a world record for hugs in one day

West High School security assistant Marlon Anderson returned to work Tuesday after his firing and reinstatement last month that brought a spotlight to the Madison School District’s zero tolerance practice for the n-word. Anderson was fired Oct. 16 for using the n-word in an Oct. 9 incident in telling a student not to call him that word. The incident drew international ridicule and anger, and sparked a walkout of students and staff. Arne Duncan weighed in. Cher offered to bankroll a lawsuit.
posted by eirias at 6:37 AM PST - 3 comments

Florida's Wild Macaques

In 1938, Colonel Tooey, a tour boat operator on Florida's Silver River, released somewhere between six and twenty rhesus macaques on a small island in the river* in order to jazz up the scenery on his "Jungle Cruise." The macaques were off the island "within minutes," and today there are several hundred wild monkeys roaming the Silver Springs State Park area. [more inside]
posted by saladin at 6:27 AM PST - 10 comments

The Great British Dildo Heist

BBC: “Sex toys worth £1m were stolen from a lorry parked in a lay-by.” Northampton Chronicle: “The incident happened on Wednesday, September 18, between 1am and 6.30am, in the layby between the A14 and Broughton village, and involved a lorry travelling from Felixstowe to Kettering in order to deliver its load to Rocks Off Ltd, based at the aptly-named Satisfaction House in Cunliffe Drive.” [more inside]
posted by Wordshore at 5:05 AM PST - 50 comments

happy. ball. want. outside.

Stella, an 18-month-old dog, can use a sound board to communicate using the 29 words she knows in short phrases. Christina Hunger, human and speech-language pathologist, documents her progress on instagram. [more inside]
posted by freethefeet at 12:42 AM PST - 74 comments

November 6

Scrollin' scrollin' scrollin', keep those pages scrollin'

Scroll bars through the ages. Plus: scroll bars reviewed.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:00 PM PST - 31 comments

Playing With Light

Christopher Short is a Santa Fe-based artist who likes to play with light. His physical creations include stylized agave [detail video of the light tubes], hanging boxes, and little fire tubes. He has created award winning laser shows. He also plays with ultraviolet lasers on glow-in-the-dark screens. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 9:10 PM PST - 4 comments

The most taxing work in the kitchen is brain work

The Instant Pot Understands The History Of Women's Labor In The Kitchen In an excerpt from a forthcoming book, Women on Food: Charlotte Druckman and 115 Writers, Chefs, Critics, Television Stars, and Eaters, journalist Bee Wilson writes on the history of women's labor in the kitchen. For example, cooking instructions used to include such phrases as, "beat long enough to weary one person or two" [more inside]
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 4:54 PM PST - 66 comments

Hark! from those shadowy depths thy voice / Mournfully echoes, "AUTH".

Fair is the Lake, and bright the wood,
With many a flower-full glamour hung:
Fair are the banks; and soft the flood
With golden laughter of our tongue
Poems written by the GPT-2 neural network, with copious notes on methodology. [more inside]
posted by whir at 2:44 PM PST - 23 comments

Imaging, Reconstruct, Erase, Noise, Etc. - IRENE finds words

"A lot of Native people chose to work with linguists in the ‘50s and ‘60s, and [linguist Andrew] Garrett believes that they did so because they wanted to save Native knowledge for themselves and later generations" An article by Xiaxun Ding about the project to scan and digitize unplayable and/or damaged Edison cylinders to recover Native language data. "[A]ccess to the digitized files is limited to indigenous community members and approved researchers only. Garrett says that approximately 95 percent of requests for access to cylinder recordings come from community members."
posted by jessamyn at 2:42 PM PST - 7 comments


"Very concerned about this horse. He appears to be missing several lumbar vertebrae and an old injury to the gaskin has healed improperly, leaving left rear leg bent at an unnatural angle. Appears comfortable, but likely only pasture-sound." Writer Jelena Woehr rates the horses in various popular emoji systems (TWITTER).
posted by JHarris at 2:23 PM PST - 23 comments

The Brimley/Cocoon Line

When 'Cocoon' reached theaters on June 21, 1985, Wilford Brimley was 18,530 days old. This account makes note of people who have reached that age. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 12:19 PM PST - 54 comments

The Cult of the Imperfect

An essay by Umberto Eco: "many of the works we call cults are such precisely because they are basically ramshackle, or “unhinged,” so to speak." [more inside]
posted by sapagan at 10:54 AM PST - 34 comments

The Day Today and On the Hour

'You've lost the news!' How The Day Today changed satire forever Full of immaculately prepared insanity, The Day Today scrambled the brains of television news in a way never seen before. Chris Morris and Armando Iannucci made a satirical news show whose target was the news show itself, with every one of its conventions and excesses lovingly recreated in bent form. [more inside]
posted by argybarg at 10:50 AM PST - 12 comments

The Priests Of Market Fundamentalism

“The title of the book refers to a period that Appelbaum defines as being between 1969 and 2008. For him, this was a time when the policies that economists almost universally endorsed—tax breaks, austerity, deregulation, free trade, monetarism, floating exchange rates, reduced antitrust enforcement, low inflation, among others—were enacted. It is a period when market fundamentalism triumphed.” The Tyranny of Economists: How can they be so wrong, so often, and yet still exert so much influence on government policy? (New Republic)
posted by The Whelk at 9:01 AM PST - 34 comments

Hasta la Victoria, siempre!

Founded in Havana in 1966 Ospaaal - the Organization of Solidarity with the Peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America closed it's doors earlier this year.
During this time it produced some remarkable revolutionary poster art.
An exhibition of Cuban propaganda posters and magazines in London shows the support Fidel Castro gave to African liberation movements during the Cold War.
posted by adamvasco at 8:59 AM PST - 3 comments

Sudan Archives: North African style violin + West Coast RnB, funk, soul

Sudan Archives (stage name of Brittney Denise Parks) is a self-taught musician, who blends North African inspired violin (naming Asim Gorashi and Francis Bebey as notable influences) with wonky and experimental R'n'B. She moved to Los Angeles to pursue her musical career, where she signed to Stones Throw, who put out her two EPs, and now her debut album, all of which is up on her Bandcamp account. Sudan Archives talked with Stereogum and shared the story behind every song on her new album Athena, an autobiography documenting her tribulations and her successes. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 8:51 AM PST - 9 comments


As part of today's presentation on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's newest fighter, Terry Bogard, series director Masahiro Sakurai spoke briefly about the younger generations' lack of knowledge surrounding the character, Fatal Fury, and developer SNK.
“"Since we have the opportunity, I want to talk about Terry using a lot of SNK lingo... meaning, in this discussion, the younger generations may feel a little out of the loop. But there's nothing to worry about. "When we released the original Nintendo 64 version of Super Smash Bros., I was often asked, 'Who is Samus?!'"Whether or not the character is fun to play as is more important than whether the character is new or old, or whether the character is recognisable to everyone."”
[via: Nintendo Life] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 8:39 AM PST - 32 comments

An ancient cat mummy scam organized by unscrupulous priests

Inside Ancient Egyptian Cat Mummy, Archaeologists Find the Remains of 3 Cats (Live Science): It's unclear why the Rennes cat mummy (image) held the partial remains of three different cats, but some researchers believe that it was part of an "ancient scam organized by unscrupulous priests," Nicolas said in the statement. Priests could have "resorted to less elaborate preparations, impossible to detect by sight" for rituals which "gradually lead to mummies whose cat shape represents a visible reality beyond the real content," he told Live Science. But Nicolas and his team don't think that's necessarily true. "We believe on the contrary that there are innumerable ways to make animal mummies," he said in the statement. This transparent 3D-printed version (image) of the cat mummy shows the textile ball and bones from multiple cats. [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 7:56 AM PST - 21 comments

Purchasing the virtuous triangle

"It wasn’t very long ago that a banana was just a banana – just a curved, yellow fruit. All you knew, if you bought a bunch in 1986, was that they cost around 97p per kilo. You weren’t told if they were organic or pesticide-free. You didn’t know if they came from Costa Rica or the Dominican Republic. And you certainly weren’t invited to worry about the farmers who grew them – or if their children went to school, or whether their villages had clinics. You just picked up your bananas and walked to the next aisle for your coffee or tea or chocolate, none the wiser about where they came from either, or about the people who farmed them. Back then, the countries that grew these commodities and many others were still known as the Third World, and the habit of not caring about their farming conditions was a legacy of their colonial past. For centuries, trade propelled the colonial project, and exploitation was its very purpose." Samanth Subramanian writes about fairtrade, label fatigue, and what it means when large companies set their own ethical trade standards.
posted by ChuraChura at 7:51 AM PST - 5 comments

Air Safety Video, K-pop style

Korean Air's latest air safety video features K-pop supergroup SuperM, with narration by K-pop legend BoA. [more inside]
posted by needled at 7:27 AM PST - 7 comments

Consider the potato

How do you prefer* yours? Noted for its occasional rudeness, the humble potato is a powerhouse of foods. Take a workshop in peeling one, and then cook! Steamed, boiled, fried (cast iron, oven), mashed with gravy, roasted and crispy, or microwaved. Nostalgic? Perhaps the potato of your childhood. Alternately, get some (UK) chips or French fries or fries or frites, or make some finger chips. Perhaps cook some Hasselback** potatoes, Dauphinoise potatoes, vegan sweet potato curry*** or roasties for Christmas instead? Or, traditionally, visit the UK and go to a chippy (maybe even buy one) and get some chips and associated foods - note that prices and regional variations exist, with options in Canada and elsewhere. (be careful) [more inside]
posted by Wordshore at 4:40 AM PST - 105 comments

Voyagers in the Vault of Heaven: Ships in the Sky in Mediaeval Ireland

Essay by Michael McCaughan. The Seamus Heaney poem referred to is Lightenings viii.
posted by paduasoy at 3:31 AM PST - 7 comments

November 5

Because The Future Has Arrived

An Oral History Of Blade Runner's 2019 Los Angeles, a long-ish read from LAist, featuring screenwriter Hampton Fancher, visual futurist Syd Mead, production executive Katy Haber, and art director David L. Snyder about creating the the future that will soon be the past.
posted by hippybear at 7:40 PM PST - 20 comments

A new Trump administration rule could hurt LGBTQ youth in foster care

Foster care agencies could soon turn away prospective foster parents because they are gay or trans, thanks to a rule proposed by the Trump administration on Friday. The rule would remove language protecting LGBTQ people and others from discrimination in programs funded by grants from the Department of Health and Human Services, according to the Washington Post. The change would apply to a wide range of programs, including those aimed at HIV prevention and treatment for opioid addiction and other substance abuse. But advocates say it appears targeted at the child welfare system, where it could have devastating effects, including keeping children from finding homes and even funneling them into the prison system. “If you turn away a qualified, loving family that wants to open their home to a child, then you’re not placing a child,” Denise Brogan-Kator, chief policy officer of Family Equality, a group that advocates for the rights of LGBTQ families, told Vox. Because the change is broad, it would also allow programs to discriminate on the basis of religion — for example, by refusing to allow non-Christian couples to adopt or foster children. It could also allow foster care agencies to refuse to take in gay or trans youth. [more inside]
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 1:03 PM PST - 31 comments

The touchdown did not count, of course

A black cat appeared on the playing field during a Dallas Cowboys–New York Giants game. Announcer Kevin Harlan's call was purr-fect. (Cindy Boren, WaPo). Youtube also has Harlan's call, along with another video of fan reactions (including non-human fans).
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:42 PM PST - 31 comments

Gimme some money

After indications that a settlement was close, Harry Shearer, Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Rob Reiner have settled their copyright and royalties dispute with Universal Music Group over the soundtrack to This is Spinal Tap. The dispute previously: Sadly, Reiner already made the "up to 11" joke.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:18 AM PST - 22 comments

Australia Needs a Green New Deal

Australia is a climate wrecker on a global scale. With a government long beholden to mining interests, calls for climate justice fall on deaf ears. But plans for a Green New Deal are not just necessary — they’re achievable. Dino Varasso for Jacobin. [more inside]
posted by Acid Communist at 8:59 AM PST - 9 comments

Michael Gillespie, the the Ransomware Superhero from Normal, Illinois

At Nerds on Call, [Michael] Gillespie was known as the Swiss Army Knife for his versatility. So when a client was hit by TeslaCrypt ransomware in 2015, Gillespie was assigned to recover the files. That's the brief origin story of the Ransomware Superhero from Normal, Illinois (ProPublica), who has created 90% of the decryptors available on BleepingComputer, and is the coder of ID-Ransomware, where his log of ransomware decryption requests has helped the FBI, particularly in last year’s indictment of two Iranian hackers ( wanted in connection with SamSam ransomware. [MalwareHunterTeam previously.]
posted by filthy light thief at 8:44 AM PST - 10 comments

"It's a health issue, an environmental issue, a child care issue..."

Too many American have no vacation days, or very few, or they are not paid enough to enjoy them properly. Too many Americans work hundreds of hours of unpaid overtime, or are forced to choose between parenthood and employment. Too many Americans are spending their twilight years in front of a cash register because they can’t afford a real retirement. But it doesn't have to be this way. The Leisure Agenda : a set of policy platforms designed to decrease overwork and increase personal time. Agenda in brief. Related: " 4-Day Workweek Without A Drop In Pay Boosted Workers' Productivity By 40%, Microsoft Japan Says." Previously
posted by The Whelk at 8:36 AM PST - 45 comments

Caps Lock: Cruise Control For Rebranding

It has not been a good year for the beleaguered Facebook - with critics highlighting the power the company wields, their policy to allow candidates to lie blowing up in their face most spectacularly, and a general sense by the public of distrust, the firm's image is in need of repair. Thus, we have Facebook looking to FACEBOOK. (SLThe Guardian)
posted by NoxAeternum at 8:01 AM PST - 68 comments

“And the Oscar goes to...Robert Pattinson’s French accent.”

Robert Pattinson: The Movie Star Who Became a Character Actor [The Ringer] The narrative of Pattinson’s rebranding from multiplex sex symbol to art-house axiom is by now well-established: Both he and Kristen Stewart have, largely through their own confident and self-possessed artistic decisions, emerged from the Twilight zone as critically acclaimed actors. Their incredible successes at a young age mean they’ve had the career security to follow their whims. While some might wince at Pattinson’s after-the-fact contempt for his star-making role, the choices he’s made since the franchise came to an end are those of an actor less interested in living something down than measuring up to standard: In his best work, Pattinson stands tall.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 7:11 AM PST - 47 comments

I Said Marvel Movies Aren’t Cinema. Let Me Explain.

Martin Scorsese explains his views on the difference between cinema as art and the superhero-industrial complex: “aesthetic, emotional and spiritual revelation”—“confronting the unexpected on the screen and in the life it dramatized and interpreted, and enlarging the sense of what was possible in the art form.” [NYT]
posted by sallybrown at 5:12 AM PST - 457 comments

Don’t Be a Jerk to Your Online Humor Editor

Since 2007 I have been the editor of McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. I receive anywhere from 200 to 300 submissions a week, and I try to read and respond to each and every one of them within five to seven days. A small percentage of my replies are acceptances, but the overwhelming majority are not. I’ll be the first to admit that sending rejections is a lot easier than receiving rejections, but just the same, “killing dreams” is not something I look forward to. Even less fun is when I receive the occasional vitriolic reply from an angry writer.
The Ultimate Rejection Letter.
One Job Candidate’s Response to a Rejection Letter.
posted by growabrain at 5:04 AM PST - 38 comments

Teens explaining historical events to each other in 15 second videos

literally obsessed with teens posting history tiktoks so here’s a thread (Twitter thread by Nadia Jaferey). The Guardian’s Poppy Noor asked her old history teacher Izzy Jones what she thinks of teens making short videos about history.
posted by Kattullus at 3:42 AM PST - 29 comments

The ThreeBeeps rule the charging station by the Met Museum of Art

“We’ve been safely coexisting with the feral self-driving scooters for over a decade. They’re part of the cityscape now, the last remnants of the scooter craze of 2021, sky-blue scooters that cruise the streets in solitude or cluster around their charging stations on the edge of Central Park, rippling their rainbow LEDs and beeping occasionally. It’s true that the scooters have developed survival strategies that may not always prioritize the safety of their riders. But as a behavioral ecologist, I’m convinced that humans and scooters can adapt to each other and that removing the feral scooters from Central Park would be a mistake.”
Janelle Shane (previously: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) writes a New York Times op-ed from 2031: We Shouldn't Bother The Feral Scooters Of Central Park:
posted by acb at 2:21 AM PST - 5 comments

November 4

"Seeing what's right in front of us in portraits from the past"

Patricia A. Matthew, "Look Before You Leap" (Lapham's Quarterly, 11/4/2019): "Louise-Renée de Kéroualle, Duchess of Portsmouth, is the subject of fifteen portraits in London's National Portrait Gallery. She is alone in fourteen of them ... In the one National Portrait Gallery painting where the duchess is not alone she stands next to a black child. A curatorial note suggests the little girl is primarily there as a status symbol" [via @Bigger6Romantix]. By the same author: "AbLit: Course Materials" (, 2/7/2019), "Serving Tea for a Cause" (Lapham's Quarterly, 2/28/2018), "On Teaching, but Not Loving, Jane Austen" (The Atlantic, 7/23/2017), "What Is Faculty Diversity Worth to a University?" (The Atlantic, 11/23/2016), and "Teaching While Black" (The New Inquiry, 2/18/2014).
posted by Wobbuffet at 9:03 PM PST - 2 comments

what on earth is this: ‘⋮’?

"[I]f the character in question is a vertical ellipsis then it has endured one of the most precipitous falls from grace I’ve yet come across. Every other symbol on Sholes’ original QWERTY keyboard survives in one form or another, and yet the vertical ellipsis, if that is what it was, has effectively disappeared from typographic use."
posted by jessamyn at 6:39 PM PST - 40 comments

The water is safe. It's only dangerous when it comes out of the taps.

A massive cross-Canada investigation has revealed multiple cities with lead levels comparable to Flint, Michigan. Given the number of people affected, there's particular concern about lead levels in Montreal tapwater. There is no known safe level of lead exposure.
posted by clawsoon at 4:59 PM PST - 36 comments

Don't You Forget About Christmas...

And lo, with Halloween over, Christmas ads arrived. Mariah Carey for Walkers Crisps, Northern Light theft for Asda (in labour dispute), Iceland won't let it go while an online shop of some repute goes Blues Brothers - but Argos go nostalgic Scottish Soft Rock. The John Lewis Christmas Ad - who is the singer - is ... here? Maybe not, but the Very animated one is. Elsewhere, there's a million less lights in Turves, but foods include tempura sprouts and roast dinner Yorkshire pudding. Or buy a hamper of food and booze. However, outrage concerns the number of potatoes per Christmas diner. Maybe just get it all delivered instead. Or enjoy drinking what's behind the windows. Can't wait till the big day for satisfaction? Here's an impressive hot twelve inches to swallow. (previously)
posted by Wordshore at 12:55 PM PST - 69 comments

"But these look like the real courtroom colors"

The Women Who Sketch Justice at Work [WNYC News] Article about "three courtroom artists with long careers in New York City: Williams, Jane Rosenberg and Aggie Whelan Kenny [...] all women with decades of experience — whose work is used by TV stations, websites and newspapers because cameras aren’t allowed in federal courts."
posted by readinghippo at 11:42 AM PST - 5 comments

It's no stranger to you and me

Completing her series of seasonal covers for 2019 (previously), Lucy Dacus has released two singles to mark Halloween and Christmas, respectively: "In the Air Tonight" and "Last Christmas". An EP with all of the seasonal covers comes out Friday.
posted by Cash4Lead at 10:02 AM PST - 7 comments

Tattooing and the art of sensing within the skin

Sensors worn on the surface of the skin -- aka temporary e-tattoos -- can measure a variety of electrical and biomechanical signals in the human body. But now researchers have discovered how to make inks inside the skin alter their color when blood chemistry changes (Wiley Online Library). Researchers created tattoo inks that progressively change from yellow to blue (image) as pH levels change. Inks that target glucose levels transition from pale green to dark green and albumin-sensing inks go from white to pale blue. [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 9:31 AM PST - 13 comments

Greetings Comrades, Like And Subscribe

Since Leftist Youtube has become a thing as Breadtube or Leftube, why not pull some smaller and lesser known accounts? On Strategies for Post-Capitalism by Mexie "Even if we take all their money we still have to deal with the super-rich as people." - Capitalist Realism by Radical Reviewer - "Anti-Capitalism is popular within capitalistic art. We need to talk about Cyperpunk" by Yaz Minksy on science fiction's trans, queer, anarchic roots - The Cult Of Work and why Frank Grimes is the bad guy by Renegade Cut - So, What is Good Praxis? by Bemundolack - Neolberalism, The Highest Stage Of Capitalism by Ray Ramses - What does Totalitarianism look like in mass media? by Tash Renyolds - The Paradox of Punishment by The People's Bayonet (with additional ASL work) - Well There's Your Problem "The Hyatt Regency Walkway Collapse" with special guest Kate "McMansion Hell" Wagner- "So what happens when I find a text which isn't a euphemism? And what would it feel like to close the loop? To act on those ideas?" Subtlety is Dead: Communism and 'A Bewitching Revolution'
posted by The Whelk at 8:24 AM PST - 42 comments

Pakistanis of TikTok

What TikTok tells us about Pakistan. Sanam Maher writes in the Dawn about TikTok's exploding popularity in Pakistan, and how, in a radically unequal society, it serves as a way for those who are otherwise unseen to make their voices heard. [more inside]
posted by tavegyl at 8:22 AM PST - 2 comments

Maria Orosa, Filipina food technologist, chemist, humanitarian, war hero

She Invented Banana Ketchup & Saved Thousands of Lives. Why Have We Never Heard of Her? The legendary story of María Orosa, the Philippines' greatest war hero. (Amelia Rampe for Food52). Freedom fighter María Y. Orosa and her life-saving ‘darak’ cookies. Orosa incorporated darak (rice bran) not only in cookies but also in hotcakes and muffins. It was considered an effective treatment for those with beriberi, a disease caused by lack of thiamine. (Norma Chikiamco for the Philippine Daily Inquirer) Advances in modern Filipino food technology owe a great deal to the creative researches and salutary inventiveness of a woman chemist and pharmacist from Batangas – María Y. Orosa (archived PDF). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 8:15 AM PST - 13 comments

When Hyperemesis gravidarum is treated as Hysteria

Hyperemesis gravidarum is dangerous, and treatable. Why does the medical community still ignore it? It wasn’t until the third OB-GYN discounted my symptoms with a casual, “Morning sickness is a doozy isn’t it?” that I started feeling mildly conspiratorial. It had only been three weeks since my positive pregnancy test, but I had already lost 17 percent of my body weight. My urine was orange. I constantly felt dizzy and lightheaded and was unable to keep water down without vomiting. Food was out of the question. Somehow, all these symptoms were met with cheery suggestions to “try ginger” or “power through.” [more inside]
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 8:03 AM PST - 27 comments

runa simi

Student in Peru makes history by writing thesis in the Incas’ language [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 6:22 AM PST - 5 comments

"The way we cover crime is intrinsically broken."

Crime is at its lowest rate in four decades. Yet it remains the number one topic on local news. Given racist patterns in law enforcement, the Columbia Journalism Review asks what responsibility journalists have in reporting on arrests and allegations - especially given so little reporting on exoneration (related: the trailer for Out of Omaha, the film mentioned in this piece). [more inside]
posted by entropone at 5:41 AM PST - 28 comments

Can't see my nose in front of my face

What is the longest (potential) sightline on Earth?
posted by Literaryhero at 3:28 AM PST - 46 comments

November 3


Think back to a devastating break-up. Sum it up in one sentence. [more inside]
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:43 PM PST - 113 comments

“As a matter of urgency, we need to move approximately 1000 hens,”

$1.50 for 1000 hens. “A man is desperate to re-home 1000 hens after he accidently bought them in an online auction for $1.50. Steve Morrow from Hamilton said he saw the "urgent sale" on Trade Me and thought he was bidding for only one bird. But when he won the auction at 11am on Sunday, he was told by the seller, Matthew Blomfield, that he had in fact bought 1000 of them. The ad read that a small free-range egg farm based in Massey, West Auckland, was closing down and needed to be vacated by Monday. [...] He said he put in an auto bid for $20, thinking he could at least get two hens. "When the auction closed, I thought 'this is great', I could take as many birds as I wanted," Morrow said. "But when I spoke to the man and he said it was for 1000 hens ... holy moly, I was stunned, I can tell you that." He said he had read the ad more than three times and admitted the "wording was confusing".”
posted by Fizz at 9:36 PM PST - 30 comments

Dave’s scandal was ahead of the curve

Ten Years Ago, I Called Out David Letterman. This Month, We Sat Down to Talk. By Nell Scovell, former writer for the Late Night with David Letterman show, for Vanity Fair
posted by cendawanita at 8:39 PM PST - 13 comments

Imagine your Labrador’s smile on a lion

We've already seen how AI image-processing algorithms can be dumb and smart at the same time, and that's on full display with NVIDIA's latest interactive demo. "GANimal" lets you take a picture of your favorite pet and transfer its expression to any random animal or breed including pugs, hyenas, bears and lions. That creature will then "smile" or pose just like your Fluffy or Fido.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:22 PM PST - 12 comments

Bound For Nowhere

MAK and Owen have been on the road for a little over three years. Overlanding has overtaken Vanlife, and it seems to be a thing that doesn't require so much sell-out. Not that there aren't setbacks.
posted by valkane at 6:30 PM PST - 16 comments

These are the Stories of the Starship Raptor

From the maker of Blades in the Dark comes Lasers and Feelings: a one-page RPG based on the songs of the Doubleclicks. Play as a member of the Starship Raptor, whose Captain Darcy has been overcome by the strange psychic entity called Something Else.
posted by dinty_moore at 5:24 PM PST - 13 comments

Limited edition release and is not licensed for public sale

If you, like many others, bought the 1982 soundtrack album for Blade Runner and found it disappointing (as it wasn't a full score and wasn't the music used in the movie), then you might be delighted to know about the Blade Runner Esper Edition soundtrack [Full album, 2 cds, 2h6m]. Lovingly assembled from various sources, this fan-made bootleg [track listing and "production notes"] continues to stand as the definitive musical score recording for this landmark film. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 1:58 PM PST - 17 comments

Should this tree have the same rights as you?

Around the world, a movement is gaining momentum that grants legal rights to natural phenomena, including rivers, lakes and mountains. On 26 February 2019, a lake became human. For years, Lake Erie – the southernmost of the Great Lakes – has been in ecological crisis. Invasive species are rampant. Biodiversity is crashing. Each summer, blue-green algae blooms in volumes visible from space, creating toxic “dead zones”; the algae is nourished by fertiliser and slurry pollution from surrounding farms. In August 2014, phosphorus run-off so fouled Erie that the city of Toledo, at the lake’s western tip in Ohio, lost drinking water for three days in the hottest part of the year. [more inside]
posted by Ahmad Khani at 1:05 PM PST - 22 comments

Shakedown Smackdown

Last week, WWE presented its second Crown Jewel event in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. This was the fourth of 20 planned biannual events in the Kingdom, for which the House of Saud was allegedly ponying up as much as $2 billion. The deal is part of Saudi Vision 2030, a program by Crown Prince Mohammad Bin-Salman to modernize the Saudi economy and improve the repressive regime's public image. That PR effort probably wasn't helped when flight delays held most of the wrestlers on the ground for more than 24 hours... or possibly the wrestlers were hostages in a disagreement between WWE owner Vince McMahon and the Crown Prince over payment. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 12:56 PM PST - 23 comments

The Kim Foxx Effect: How prosecutions have changed in Cook County

The state’s attorney promised to transform the office. Data shows she’s dismissed thousands of felonies that would have been pursued in the past.
posted by queen anne's remorse at 12:55 PM PST - 10 comments

Dirty Money Farming

How EU farm subsidies support oligarchs and populists, destroy the environment, and disrupt foreign markets.
posted by blue shadows at 12:24 PM PST - 2 comments

Disco Elysium - No Truce With The Furies

Disco Elysium [Launch Trailer] "is a detective RPG of improbable depth. It's part Planescape: Torment, part police procedural, part psychodrama. Your fatally hungover detective peels himself off the carpet, naked except for a pair of soiled underpants, and begins the laborious process of piecing his broken mind back together, while simultaneously attempting to solve a gruesome murder on the wrong side of the tracks. (PC Gamer)" — GOG - Steam, PS4 and Xbox ports announced for next year [more inside]
posted by Memo at 10:29 AM PST - 27 comments

"The End of Friendly Generational Relations"

"Now it’s war: Gen Z has finally snapped over climate change and financial inequality." [more inside]
posted by Ouverture at 7:17 AM PST - 349 comments

RIP Grandpa of ‘Grandpa Kitchen’, 73

While the world was busy lighting diyas and relishing sweets on October 27, the internet’s favourite chef Narayana Reddy, aka Grandpa of ‘Grandpa Kitchen’, took his last breath on Diwali. The 73-year-old grandpa shot to fame because of his unique and interactive style of cooking and noble idea behind running the YouTube channel that he started in 2017 and within two years managed to have over 6 million subscribers in India and abroad. He used to cook meals for orphans and helped fill the hungry stomachs of children who didn’t have money to eat food.
posted by growabrain at 3:08 AM PST - 12 comments

November 2

Covfefe trumps in Breeders' Cup

Remember "covfefe"? Well, a few months after a certain U.S. President launched that famous meme, a Thoroughbred filly was purchased at the 2017 Keeneland September Yearling Sale and named by owner Jaime Roth of LNJ Foxwoods. This year Covfefe has been one of the top three-year-old fillies in North America. Today she capped a nearly flawless season when she posted a three-quarter-length victory in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) at Santa Anita Park.
posted by e-man at 9:50 PM PST - 14 comments

The Food Flow Model, a web of connections across the continental U.S.

All Americans, from urban to rural are connected through the food system. Consumers all rely on distant producers, agricultural processing plants, food storage like grain silos and grocery stores, and food transportation systems. [...] Now, residents in each county can see how they are connected to all other counties in the country via food transfers. Overall, there are 9.5 million links between counties on our map. The first map of America’s food supply chain is mind-boggling -- Most of our food is moved across great distances—and through many different forms of transit—before it reaches our plates. (Fast Company write up on Food flows between counties in the United States, an open access scholarly article) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:00 PM PST - 7 comments


The Last McDonald's in Iceland [more inside]
posted by peeedro at 7:49 PM PST - 18 comments

Punk Visuals, Restored

Ears, Eyes and Throats: Restored Classic and Lost Punk Films 1976-1981 Includes short films by Richard Gaikowski, DEVO's "The Truth About De-Evolution", The Residents's "Third Reich 'N' Roll", "Hello Skinny", and "One Minute Movies", and more. Full details by restorer Peter Conheim. Part of byNWR's You Ain't No Punk, You Punk issue.
posted by SansPoint at 5:53 PM PST - 12 comments

All about Kenneth Sean Carson's junk

Ken was not merely dickless by default; the bulge was the result of careful strategizing to which his inventors, businessmen, a psychologist, and Japanese manufacturers all contributed. Despite all this planning, Ken still came to represent things his parent company never intended, as icons tend to do. The story of Ken’s crotch is not merely one of PR, manufacturing, and/or branding—it’s about which realities our culture deems acceptable, and which that it seeks to keep hidden. This goes not just for the doll, but for the man he was named after, Ken Handler, who died in 1994 with major parts of his life airbrushed out of public view. (Rich Juzwiak, Jezebel)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 4:41 PM PST - 14 comments

Why can't they see they're just like me

Ministry released an acoustic version of their classic track "Everyday is Halloween" after performing it live in December 2018. Featuring Dave Navarro (of RHCP & Janes Addiction). [more inside]
posted by symbioid at 3:57 PM PST - 7 comments

Bring out your dead. BONG. Perl 6: I'm not dead! BDFL: BONK.

The programming language named 'Perl 6' is dead. Long live 'Raku'. After almost 20 years of development Larry Wall (Perl's Benevolent Dictator For Life) has pulled a 'Rule 2' on changing the name of 'Perl 6'. At a relatively recent conference, Larry phoned in a message, Larry Wall greeting PerlCon attendees in Riga 2019 that implied that he's now OK with changing the name. [more inside]
posted by zengargoyle at 2:13 PM PST - 53 comments

"a fragile being that finds great strength within himself"

The NYT has published the NYT and New York Public Library 2019 Best Illustrated Children's Books. Take a look inside to see the list of illustrators (and authors and more of their work). [more inside]
posted by CMcG at 2:10 PM PST - 3 comments

Rising Tide?

Tuesday’s Election Could Be a Second Blue Wave : On November 5 voters can reject Trump and embrace criminal justice reform, rent control, and democracy in states and cities nationwide. Important races hit the ballot in Tucson, Seattle, New York, San Fransisco, Pittsburgh and more. (The Nation)
posted by The Whelk at 10:12 AM PST - 179 comments

The Understudies

Nige Tassell at The Guardian interviews a Formula One test driver, a warm-up comic, a second-choice goalkeeper, a guitar roadie, and an understudy about what it's like to work in someone else's shadow. "With standup, the crowd has come to see you, or at least a night you are part of. With warm-up, you’re not an expected part of the evening – you’re an appendix or footnote. It’s not the place to experiment with quirky material – the warm-up has to fit with the tone of the show."
posted by adrianhon at 4:37 AM PST - 9 comments

November 1

A Very Vangelis November

The opening scene from Blade Runner but with shots of current-day Los Angeles. Via Boing Boing.
posted by Cash4Lead at 6:32 PM PST - 45 comments

For Those About to Rock

VICE follows two NY-based air guitar champions, Matt 'Airistotle' Burns and Brittany 'Georgia Lunch' Diaz as they go head-to-head for the Air Guitar National Champion title in Nashville, Ten
posted by SansPoint at 4:50 PM PST - 8 comments

He needed a gender-affirming procedure. The hospital said no.

As rural hospitals shutter, and faith-based care grows, “religious refusals” are leaving some patients without options. In the summer of 2016, Evan Minton was preparing for his scheduled hysterectomy at Mercy San Juan Medical Center in Carmichael, California, just outside Sacramento. The procedure, part of his gender-affirming care, should have been routine. But the day before, the hospital abruptly canceled his surgery; the hospital was Catholic, and a procedure that results in sterilization is a violation of the Ethical and Religious Directives that, with rare exceptions, govern Catholic hospitals. Minton had experienced what’s known as “religious refusal,” a growing — and divisive — phenomenon in which health care is denied on the basis of religious beliefs. [more inside]
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 3:09 PM PST - 62 comments

What's going on with the Notre Dame restoration?

Notre Dame cathedral fire could ease France's shortage of artisans
"I had been playing with the idea for a while, but the fire was the final straw that convinced me to become a stonemason" [more inside]
posted by exceptinsects at 2:48 PM PST - 15 comments

“Damn all publishers...”

Doris Lessing correspondence deepens insight into The Grass is Singing by Harry Ransom Center I spent a month at the Ransom Center last year, working mainly with the extensive Doris Lessing archive. It is a wonderfully diverse selection of materials from across her career, and an almost complete collection of her typescripts from the 1970s to 1999. I found three references to Lessing in the Knopf collection. The first two were mundane letters related to the editorial processes for two of her novels. The third related to The Grass is Singing, Lessing’s first novel, which was published in 1950—but not by Knopf. Lessing recounts why in the second volume of her autobiography, Walking in the Shade: [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 2:39 PM PST - 2 comments

a unique case of predator-prey role reversal

Amphibians, such as frogs, typically prey on insects including ground beetles and their larvae. The Epomis larva has impressive double-hooked mandibles that look like they came right out of a horror movie. It waves them around along with its antennae until the movement attracts a hungry amphibian, which approaches quickly and tries to eat the larva. In a surprising turn of events, the larva is able to dodge the predator’s attack only to leap on the unsuspecting amphibian and sink its jaws into its flesh. These larvae begin by sucking blood from the wound and eventually consume the frog altogether.
posted by sciatrix at 12:35 PM PST - 31 comments

Un altar de sonido para el Día de Muertos para este año, y seis más

It's that time of year, when NPR's Alt.Latino constructs an audio ofrenda, full of pan de muerto (Mexico in my Kitchen), papel picado (Mexican Folk Art Guide), melodic treats for the departed, to guide them back to this world so we may celebrate with them. Alt.Latino's Sonic Altar For Día De Los Muertos, 2019. Prior years: 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, and 2014, 2013 (hosted by Felix Contreras, except for 2015 and 2013, which were hosted by Jasmine Garsd).
posted by filthy light thief at 11:14 AM PST - 2 comments

it's not literally just famous CGI green monsters

Shrek does a good job at the dog show. Mike Wazowski rides a pony. Many more sundry weird edits from @chanbanhi on twitter.
posted by cortex at 10:47 AM PST - 10 comments


“In a handbook,” he explains, “there has to be a single name, because it’s useful. But no name is more appropriate than another. Birds have different names depending on when they are seen, how old they are, where they are found. There is no correct name, only many names.” An anthropologist in the Faroe Islands: "what is at stake in practices of naming is a habit of paying attention to the environment, premised not on lexical expertise or ideas of knowledge but on a singular hedonism of taking pleasure in the thing named." [more inside]
posted by Hypatia at 10:12 AM PST - 4 comments

"When I am sick, I eat Spaghettios. I know. But it makes me feel better"

What Makes Good Comfort Food? (LitHub) A conversation with writers Mira Jacob, Maile Meloy, Emily Raboteau, and Diana Abu-Jaber.
posted by not_the_water at 10:11 AM PST - 41 comments

You rang?

Giant Skeletons Emerge from the Streets of Mexico for Día de los Muertos
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:04 AM PST - 9 comments

The Wrong Goodbye

This is a pretty severe case of mistaken identity. But it happens more often then you’d think. Pro Publica writes about Freddy Williams and Raheme Perry.
posted by SLC Mom at 9:42 AM PST - 4 comments

Elizabeth Warren proposes how she will pay for Medicare for All

She has a plan to pay for Medicare for All, with no new taxes on the middle-class. Elizabeth Warren plans to pay for Medicare for All with a mix of taxes on the rich, and having corporations/businesses switch over the premiums they're paying now for health insurance to funding Medicare. Do the numbers add up? [more inside]
posted by toastyk at 9:04 AM PST - 154 comments

Blood From A Stone

“ Financialisation, Blakeley convincingly argues, is the unique way in which capital responded to the crisis of the 1970’s, and the order on which its power has been built ever since. By increasing the “role of financial motives, financial markets, financial actors and financial institutions,” capital reengineered the economic system to run on a bubble of debt.” Socialism or barbarism: a review of 'Stolen' by Grace Blakeley (Open Democracy) “ The economic malaise we have experienced since the crash – characterised by stagnant wages, falling investment, the growth of international monopolies, rising consumer debt and huge increases in inequality – simply represents a deepening of trends visible before it.” Class politics is reemerging in response to the huge inequality caused by the 2008 crash, Grace Blakeley (Guardian) The next crash: why the world is unprepared for the economic dangers ahead (New Statesmen) Trashfuture Podcast interview with Grace Blakeley. (1:03:00)
posted by The Whelk at 8:54 AM PST - 6 comments

Josh Sundquist, Halloween enthusiast

A Pixar lamp, a flamingo, a Xmas tree and more. Josh Sundquist is a paralympian, a motivational speaker, but more importantly, a man with great Halloween costume ideas. Previously on mefi: 1, 2.
posted by of strange foe at 8:31 AM PST - 6 comments

1979-1983: A very abbreviated musical history

The Hood Internet presents 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, and 1983; concluding a series of 5 3-minute mashups, featuring 50+ songs from each year. [more inside]
posted by schmod at 7:27 AM PST - 13 comments

Halloween Night's Alright (For Fighting)

Hong Kong’s Halloween masquerade protest: 'It's our freedom to wear masks'Al Jazeera News, Hong Kong, China, 10/31/2019 - Carrie Lam turned Joker. Xi Jinping turned Winnie the Pooh. Other politicians turned devils. On Thursday night, Hong Kong protesters revelled in irreverence as they marched in a city-wide Halloween masquerade, dressing up in defaced masks of unpopular leaders in spite of the city's controversial mask ban. [WaPo report, Reuters pictures, videos].
posted by cenoxo at 6:43 AM PST - 5 comments

Why you need a physicist on staff

Electric utility New Brunswick Power paid Florida company Joi Scientific CAD$13 million to license a technology that claims it can generate hydrogen gas from sea water for a net 200 per cent electrical efficiency. But this past summer, after the roll-out date for a demonstration unit had been pushed back two years to 2020, Joi Scientific CEO Traver Kennedy revealed to shareholders that Joi had been calculating power incorrectly, and the technology in fact has "poor system efficiencies". They were, of course, warned that "Joi's claim that it can get more energy out of its secret hydrogen process than it puts in — a process the company itself has called "magic" — is too good to be true."
posted by heatherlogan at 4:44 AM PST - 114 comments

dingo delivery

Eagle drops rare dingo into Australian back yard. (cute fluffy dingo puppy pics included) [more inside]
posted by freethefeet at 3:57 AM PST - 11 comments