November 2020 Archives

November 30

Volcano charges filed

A year ago 47 people, mostly tourists, were on Whakaari / White Island when the volcano erupted killing 22 people and injuring most of the rest. Today New Zealand authorities filed 13 safety violation charges against 10 organizations and three individuals. Each of the organizations faces a maximum fine of NZ$1.5 million (US$1.1 million). Each individual charged faces a maximum fine of NZ$300,000 (US$211,000).
posted by Mitheral at 2:53 PM PST - 23 comments

Ben Bova, 1932-2020

Ben Bova, six-time Hugo-Award-winning editor and author of 140 futurist fiction and non-fiction works has died. [more inside]
posted by mhoye at 2:47 PM PST - 56 comments

A New Jazz Century

From the Adult Swim Festival 2020, a remarkable performance by saxophone player Colin Stetson, which includes two unreleased tracks, "The love it took to leave you" and "Strike your forge and grin." [more inside]
posted by yasaman at 1:59 PM PST - 27 comments

Earliest Known Uses of Some of the Words of Mathematics

These pages attempt to show the first uses of various words used in mathematics. Research for these pages is ongoing, and a citation should not be assumed to be the earliest use unless it is indicated as such. Mathematical Words: Origins and Sources by John Aldrich is an excellent article and companion to this web site.
posted by smcg at 12:41 PM PST - 7 comments

A Mission to Make Virtual Parties Actually Fun

Gretchen McCulloch explores the rapidly-growing world of proximity-based chat platforms (Wired) like Gather, CozyRoom, Spatial.Chat and Rambly. "What makes a party feel like a party, I've concluded, is that there are multiple conversational options that you can move between." Previously.
posted by adrianhon at 11:24 AM PST - 24 comments

Sweet Land of Liberty

94 years ago in May, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down its 1927 pro-eugenics 8–1 decision Buck v. Bell, which found that, if it is in the compelling interests of the state, governments may involuntary sterilize “unfit” people who “sap the strength of the State”—that this is in keeping with the United States Constitution and other United States law. The SCOTUS ruling would be cited at the Nuremburg Tribunals by a fugitive Nazi party official charged with war crimes in his defense. It has never been overturned. [more inside]
posted by XMLicious at 11:23 AM PST - 17 comments

DeepMind "solves" protein folding

AlphaFold: a solution to a 50-year-old grand challenge in biology : "This will change medicine. It will change research. It will change bioengineering. It will change everything"
posted by gwint at 8:55 AM PST - 38 comments

How old, ambient Japanese music became a smash hit on YouTube

Seven out of 50 video clusters the researchers identified are deemed "situational" music. This designation doesn't operate under the standard concept of genres but rather the context in which the music takes place. This includes relaxation music like "Ambient/Chillout," "Sounds of Nature," and the ASMR-affiliated "Hair Dryer Sound." The paper concludes that situational music, sometimes deemed trivial by musicologists, is growing in popularity. They also found a cluster of "Ethiopia/South Sudan Music," suggesting the context of a local scene comparable to '80s Japanese ambient music. 2800 words from Catherine Sinow on YouTubecore for Ars Technica.
posted by cgc373 at 8:18 AM PST - 23 comments

Prehistoric rock art in Colombia

'One of the world’s largest collections of prehistoric rock art has been discovered in the Amazonian rainforest' writes Dalya Alberge at The Guardian. [more inside]
posted by misteraitch at 6:46 AM PST - 11 comments

The Nova Scotia - Boston Tree

This tree from Nova Scotia is now in Boston Common. The Nova Scotians send one every year. Why? [Twitter][Threadreader] [more inside]
posted by jazon at 6:39 AM PST - 15 comments

A Whale Dismantling Building Site

The National Museum of Ireland - Natural History in Dublin (known affectionately as the Dead Zoo) needs a renewal of its leaky roof. However, accessing the roof means first de-installing two whale skeletons suspended from the ceiling. Updates of the ongoing work are being reported on Twitter under the hashtag #DeadZooDiary. [more inside]
posted by scorbet at 6:28 AM PST - 6 comments

November 29

Longitude Essays

He listed the viable projects for determining the longitude at sea. One was proposed in 1713 by William Whiston and Humphry Ditton, involving rockets released at fixed times from ships moored at sea. Newton actively supported both men and met Ditton in March 1714. But in June he told the committee of the scheme's difficulties since it would only help tell navigators their position near the coast. Newton also mentioned the design of a watch to keep exact time, but said such a watch had not yet been made, that two such watches would be needed, and that any watch would have to be checked against astronomical observations. Both rockets and exact clocks could keep longitude once known, not find it from scratch. Only astronomy would. [more inside]
posted by smcg at 12:24 PM PST - 9 comments

god of every humble beauty

From artist Maeve Travis, a lovely fan-made graphic novel adaptation of a collaborative short story posted on tumblr, for the prompt "Temples are built for gods. Knowing this a farmer builds a small temple to see what kind of god turns up." [more inside]
posted by yasaman at 11:45 AM PST - 14 comments

This will be a day long remembered. It has seen the end of...

...David Prowse. [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 10:40 AM PST - 69 comments

There’s a creepy guy on the other end at Google!

Google as people · Google as equipment · Google as connections · Google as a physical space · Google as an interface · Google as codes · children 10–14 draw their conceptions of Google (alt link)
posted by XMLicious at 8:39 AM PST - 7 comments

It's an alien ship, we took it apart for scrap.

RUSSIAN CYBERPUNK FARM // РУССКАЯ КИБЕРДЕРЕВНЯ They say that Russia is a technically backward country, there are no roads, robotics do not develop, rockets do not fly, and mail goes too long. It’s a bullshit. (SLYT satire from birchpunk)
posted by storybored at 7:42 AM PST - 13 comments

No boxes as of yet

Meet Miri, the newest addition to the house of Maru and Hana. A two-month kitten that was rescued from a gutter, Miri will probably soon join Maru and Hana on their scientific investigations of how many tiers of toilet paper rolls you can jump over, how many plastic balls before a walkway is impossible to cross, and how many litres is a liquid cat. (Maru still isn't sure what to make of her yet.)
posted by Katemonkey at 2:42 AM PST - 18 comments

November 28

See Canada Now!

Directed by Gerald Potterton - better known, perhaps, for the 1981 film Heavy Metal, whose soundtrack included Don Felder and Sammy Hagar, and Yellow Submarine, whose soundtrack included... well, you've heard of them - Buster Keaton stars in one of the last films of his long career, crossing Canada on a railway track speeder in a short film called "The Railrodder". [more inside]
posted by mhoye at 7:51 PM PST - 12 comments

Potatoes, Potatoes, the Magical...Vegetable

However it's spelled, it's a famously versatile ingredient - or even a dish on its own! [more inside]
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:25 PM PST - 94 comments

The Outsiders Guide to Life

“Well this is rather snazzy! Casually making into into the ‘Best books of 2020: Science’ in the Financial Times reading list,” said biochemist and neurodiversity advocate, Dr Camilla Pang who, at 28, is the youngest ever winner of the Royal Society Insight Investment Science Prize for Explaining Humans: What Science Can Teach Us about Life, Love and Relationships, the book she needed and began writing as a child through the perspective of her autism and her love of science.
posted by Thella at 4:56 PM PST - 6 comments

To keep up, one must upgrade to the status of a "SuperLearner"

Speed Reading Sucks (LA Review of Books): Seen in tandem with other popular companies like Blinkist, Joosr, and Shortform, which offer bullet-pointed, summarized versions of books so customers don’t have to spend time actually reading the books themselves, speed reading is part of the emergent market of “cram reading” and represents the latest heights to which our skill-obsessed, workaholic society aspires. I have little doubt that following lines of text with a pencil or scheduling specific times to focus on the task of reading (both “techniques” advised by Kwik) could aid in the reading process. But a more pressing matter is why such odd, over-achiever exploits are so alluring in the first place. Just why, exactly, is everyone suddenly so behind on reading, so gripped by the need to read more and faster than ever before? ¶ For the answer we need only survey the structure of our techno-capitalist civilization, with its grinding, hyper-competitive dynamism...
posted by not_the_water at 4:22 PM PST - 87 comments

Regular Americans

55 Ways White People Say ‘White People’ Without Actually Saying ‘White People’ (Very Smart Brothas/The Root)
posted by adrianhon at 3:50 PM PST - 45 comments

Circus Girl, The Hunter, and Mirror Boy

I wasn't planning to leave this life that I'd built purely on some intangible warning from a boy who was half a dream. I liked what I had now: the mindless, fuss-free job; a roommate who was reasonably clean and had no drunk boyfriends to bring over; the little pockets of weird I'd found in the neighborhood, places where I didn't feel quite out of place. For the first time in my life I could see myself continuing down this path towards the future, gray in my hair, a box flat to call a home, a collection of books, half a dozen cats. A tidy and quiet picture that brought me little jolts of pleasure when I thought of it. [more inside]
posted by smcg at 10:57 AM PST - 6 comments

"Scented candles: An unexpected victim of the COVID-19 pandemic"

On Twitter, Terri Nelson noted the proliferation of complaints on Yankee Candle's website about the lack of scent in their scented candles. Kate Petrova responded (Threadreader version) with a tweet thread analyzing Amazon reviews for scented candles before and during the pandemic, and the results are interesting (and very easy to understand). [more inside]
posted by ardgedee at 3:56 AM PST - 90 comments

November 27

See how Adolf Hitler and the Nazis rise to power.

Rise of the Nazis [Ep. 1, 2, 3] - "In 1930 Germany was a liberal democracy. Just four years later democracy is dead, Germany's leader is a dictator and its government is in the hands of murderers. This series tells the story of how this happened. Leading historians and experts get inside the heads of some of the key players, whose political plotting, miscalculations and personal ambitions helped to destroy democracy and deliver control to Hitler." (via; BBC; previously)
posted by kliuless at 11:27 PM PST - 43 comments

Space Junk!

Since 1957, nearly 10,000 satellites have been put into earth orbit. The approximatley 2700 of them still functioning have been joined by another 26,000 catalogued pieces of space debris, along with countless pieces too small to track. There is an ever increasing risk of chain reaction collisions, especially with massive fleets of new communications satellites starting to be launched. (New Yorker) [more inside]
posted by blue shadows at 10:19 PM PST - 24 comments

Inside The Baking Bubble

With the finale of The Great British Bake-Off Baking Show having been aired, one might wonder what it was like inside The Bubble that made the show possible? Vanity Fair has a lengthy article from September. Likewise The Guardian. has an article from just last week. No spoilers, but for me this was one of the best finales ever.
posted by hippybear at 7:51 PM PST - 29 comments

♬ vibes ♬

Italian singer Adriano Celentano released a song in the 70s with nonsense lyrics meant to sound like American English, apparently to prove Italians would like any English song. It was a hit, and resulted in this: THE GREATEST VIDEO I HAVE EVER SEEN.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 7:23 PM PST - 79 comments

Today We're Going To Talk About Rice and Tea

Follow me down a Joyce Chen rabbit hole. Joyce Chen was born in 1917, a Beijing daughter of a high ranking official. She and her husband and children were on the second to last boat leaving Shanghai after the communist revolution. Chen found herself a housewife in the US, a huge change from her job as an insurance broker back in Beijing. But in time, she started to focus on creating a career from her cooking... [more inside]
posted by frumiousb at 6:52 PM PST - 9 comments

Animal Crossing IRL

Wildlife bridges — AKA animal crossings, animal passings, ecoducts, etc. — can be pricey (costing US$2-4 million each, but one crossing can save thousands of animals lives every year. Common in Europe since the 1950s, they have become much widespread around the world. [more inside]
posted by darkstar at 5:11 PM PST - 20 comments

Doonesbury Turns 50

Garry Trudeau, 72, launched ‘Doonesbury’ as a syndicated comic strip 50 years ago. [more inside]
posted by freakazoid at 5:07 PM PST - 40 comments

Show these ads their place

Banners Begone! is a clicker quest to purge banners from your homepage. Unlike others in the genre, there’s not much idling in this game – it’s a clicker to the core at a tight 1-2 hours in length.
posted by adrianhon at 2:57 PM PST - 14 comments

The real-life Queen's Gambit

How Georgia's Nona Gaprindashvili conquered the chess world (SL Calvert Journal). [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:56 AM PST - 10 comments

“A bath is not an alternative to a shower: it is a hot lie-down”

One in four Britons don’t shower every day: “A Shower is where you get completely into the shower and also wash your hair. A man shower is where you get your hair wet but don’t wash it. And a shower (lower case, no stated gender) is where you just stand at the sink, splashing yourself ... If you spray deodorant on and call that a shower, that’s a Sure-er (you have to say it, not spell it). If you spray deodorant on and spray dry shampoo into your hair, you’ve had a Febreze. If you can’t be bothered to shower and instead get into the sea because you are near it, you’ve had a Sea Febreze.”
posted by Wordshore at 8:07 AM PST - 151 comments

November 26

"I love it when people sing my songs!"

If you are having a tough time right now, here is Dolly Parton watching people cover her songs on YouTube and being, well, completely Dolly Parton about it.
posted by mightygodking at 10:58 PM PST - 41 comments

The dream-work makes the waking work possible.

Such dream-sharing societies seem to possess a great deal more self-consciousness about the nature of dreaming—a much greater ability to make use of it, manipulate it, interrogate its function and purpose—than we do. We have been blinded to the splendor of their achievement by the dismissive judgment, so long promulgated in the West against other societies, that to assign dreams a cosmological and spiritual significance is to be enslaved to superstition.
Dreams are instances where the imagination unfurls its full power over us: An essay by Matthew Spellberg about societies in which dreaming is a shared, social act.
posted by Rumple at 3:37 PM PST - 17 comments

That Doesn't Sound So Bad

“His handlers, who are basically all old Obama staffers, believe in something called the Great Reset of capitalism,” Ingraham said in a November episode of her show. “It’s a plan to force a more equitable distribution of global resources.” from The Biden Presidency Already Has Its First Conspiracy Theory: The Great Reset [Daily Beast] [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 2:42 PM PST - 101 comments

Take the Nightline through an infinite Metropolis

Inspired by late nights on the Tristate area MTA system, Nightline (Win/Mac/Linux) is a gorgeous procedural subway experience by @colorfiction, free for the next three days.
posted by adrianhon at 2:13 PM PST - 14 comments

Poems in a Scottish Setting

The Poetry Map of Scotland has more than 350 poems, each linked to a specific place in Scotland. The map is a standard Google map, and you can zoom in and click on the title of poems, which takes you to the poem itself. The map is a project of the Stanza Poetry Festival, and the poems have been submitted by living poets.
posted by Kattullus at 12:47 PM PST - 5 comments

animal illusions

Which optical illusions can animals see? "Visual illusions remind us that we are not passive decoders of reality but active interpreters. Our eyes capture information from the environment, but our brain can play tricks on us. Perception doesn’t always match reality. Scientists have used illusions for decades to explore the psychological and cognitive processes that underlie human visual perception. More recently, evidence is emerging that suggests many animals, like us, can perceive and create a range of visual illusions."
posted by dhruva at 12:27 PM PST - 8 comments

DJ Cummerbund

DJ Cummerbund: A purveyor of cursed, powerful mashups such as The Devil Wap Down to Georgia and Play That Funky Music Rammstein (2020 Webby Award). Come for songs that you may not know how to feel about individually yet are strangely compelling when bound together, stay for the restrained yet hilarious video editing and persistently recurring Macho Man. [more inside]
posted by automatic cabinet at 11:07 AM PST - 18 comments

Take the Indian Out of the Child

Residential Schools were part of a system set up to "assimilate" First Nations people in Canada by taking their children to schools where they lived and were taught and were often abused. Some children died and were buried in unmarked graves. Started in the 1800s, the last residential school closed in 1996. The government has officially apologized but not everyone thinks residential schools were a bad thing [tiktok].
posted by aclevername at 10:15 AM PST - 26 comments

A Racial Justice Guide to Thanksgiving

As we enter this holiday season, this resource is intended to support educators and families as we address the true story of Thanksgiving. This guide provides resources that range from lesson plans to narratives that uplift the perspectives and contributions of the Native American community.
posted by aniola at 9:30 AM PST - 2 comments

Thank frontline workers by staying home today

Midwest Nurses Say Their Hospitals Are On The Verge Of Collapsing — And Leaders Aren’t Listening. For Tammy Tate, a nurse at a Missouri hospital, this wave is like watching a train about to crash, knowing that it could be stopped in time — if people would listen. [more inside]
posted by supercrayon at 9:09 AM PST - 43 comments

Discretely assembled mechanical metamaterials

Versatile building blocks make structures with surprising mechanical properties - "The subunits could be robotically assembled to produce large, complex objects, including cars, robots, or wind turbine blades." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 8:08 AM PST - 7 comments

The passive engagement of ambient television

By the end of its second episode, I knew that Netflix’s new series “Emily in Paris” was not a lighthearted romantic travelogue but an artifact of contemporary dystopia. [SLNewYorker]
posted by litleozy at 5:38 AM PST - 43 comments

How to Socialize in the Cold Without Being Miserable

From CityLab: The still-raging pandemic means social activities will stay outdoors as the temperature plummets. Here’s what experts say about the art of keeping warm.
posted by Bella Donna at 5:35 AM PST - 27 comments


What it says on (and about!) the tin | In which the estimable Mr. John Moon reveals that he Has Opinions On This Topic.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 3:27 AM PST - 75 comments

Can the Gävle Goat get through to the end of 2020?

It is that time of the year, it is tweeting and it is reborn! Through webcam, see the 2020 Gävle Goat being constructed and guarded. After last year (larger goat survived, smaller goat did not), the Wikipedia page details the various attacks on (both) Yule straw goats over the decades ("2005: Burnt by unknown vandals reportedly dressed as Santa and the gingerbread man, by shooting a flaming arrow at the goat"). Some previously on MetaFilter: 2017, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2009.
posted by Wordshore at 3:22 AM PST - 40 comments

When I was young I played video games

A lovely paper animation [more inside]
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 1:18 AM PST - 5 comments

November 25

Sexy nails

Two guys talk life, the universe and lacquer over their monthly manicure. A comedy about being married, being single, and being best friends. [more inside]
posted by severiina at 8:25 PM PST - 8 comments

You have to pay for the dirty dream I had about you last night

The Polish-born Romantic-era composer Frédéric Chopin, who lived most of his adult life in exile while the country was partitioned and incorporated Polish folk motifs into his compositions, is a national cultural icon in his country of birth, giving his name to a prestigious music competition, several festivals, Warsaw's international airport and a video game reimagining him as a supercool rock star saving the world, among other things. Now, a radio programme aired on the Swiss public broadcaster SRF reveals ardent letters Chopin wrote to male companions, suggesting that he may not have been, as previously assumed, heterosexual. [more inside]
posted by acb at 5:27 PM PST - 13 comments

"When I die, I don't want people to be sad. What a life!"

For drivers who’d notice the “Pasta King” sign from the rural Sonoma County road and pull into Art Ibleto’s driveway, the door to the kitchen was always unlocked. The fridge was always full of penne, marinara, pesto and lasagna. And when Ibleto wasn’t around to take people’s money, the desk was nearly always covered with folds of cash next to the yellow touch-tone landline phone and old Rolodex, accompanied by notes of appreciation. Ibleto, who died Tuesday morning at the age of 94, was the kind of person for whom this honor system was natural, instead of novel. For all of Ibleto’s philanthropy and civic service to the Sonoma County community he adopted as a young immigrant from Italy, it’s this fact that sticks with many of the Pasta King’s fans most: he trusted you.
[more inside]
posted by Lexica at 4:32 PM PST - 10 comments

Hector Plays Piano

Swedish Kitchen Sink Sci-fi artist Simon Stålenhag (whose book Tales From the Loop was recently serialised by Amazon) has moved on from creating sumptuous art books (previously) to directing a pop video starring a somewhat mournful robot called Hector and some rather large fish...
posted by Chairboy at 3:19 PM PST - 10 comments

widening gyre, errant falcon, blood-dimmed tide, slouching beast

A whistle-stop tour of W. B. Yeats quotations in popular culture (Lit Hub): “You can’t beat a good W. B. Yeats quotation, especially in these dour, doomscrolling days. (“The Second Coming”—with its widening gyre, errant falcon, blood-dimmed tide, and slouching beast—has been the English-speaking world’s go-to apocalypse lyric for 100 years now. Whether it’s the Nazis swarming Europe, Trump capturing the White House, or a morose A. J. Soprano attempting to drown himself in a swimming pool, as long as the world continues to be shit, Yeats’ most famous poem will continue to evoke a sense of paralyzing existential terror in its readers.) Though I have absolutely no hard data to back this up, I’d wager that Yeats is the most quoted and referenced (non-Elizabethan) writer in contemporary popular culture.” [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 3:06 PM PST - 28 comments

Gnarly... Tubular... Way Cool

Herald of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Nov 21st marked the 30th anniversary of Super Mario World. [more inside]
posted by Zargon X at 2:45 PM PST - 13 comments

Just can't get enough guy

Infinite Bad Guy Using machine learning the YouTube team has analyzed all the covers of Billie Eilish's Bad Guy and aligned them to within a quarter beat of each other, allowing you to seamlessly move between cover versions while the song plays continuously.
posted by GuyZero at 2:39 PM PST - 8 comments

"Very simple, but powerful images with a beautiful clarity."

A collection of photographs of teenagers dressed up for proms cancelled due to Covid-19 wins this year's photographic portrait prize. See the winners and the other finalists in the virtual exhibition.
posted by Stark at 2:24 PM PST - 2 comments

Tainted Earth

Alexis Okeowo on the heartbreaking tale of the many rural households in America lacking safe sewage systems – and how entrenched poverty and unusual geology have created a public-health disaster in Alabama (The New Yorker)
posted by adrianhon at 2:12 PM PST - 8 comments

American artist Helen LaFrance, November 4, 1919 – November 22, 2020

Black folk artist Helen LaFrance, who painted memories of her life in rural Kentucky, has died at 101. [more inside]
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:05 PM PST - 3 comments

Grass-fed beef is full of Omega 3s, like sardines that moo.

Bill McKibben first wants to establish: I Do Not Have A Cow In This Fight. McKibben then takes us on a short tour, the pros and cons of how we grow and eat meat, and what it costs us.
posted by dancestoblue at 11:24 AM PST - 9 comments

“Nothing Is Stranger To Man Than His Own Image”

O Human Star is a 505-page, eight-chapter web comic melodrama by Blue Delliquanti about a roboticist who is mysteriously reincarnated (as a robot) many years after his death and must find out why. It’s a story about gender and the self. It’s a bad guide to how the academic funding process works or appropriate employer/employee relationships, but is otherwise an optimistic, speculative vision of how the future might be.
This is the first page.
Samantha Reidel’s review in Polygon (August, 2020)
An interview with Delliquanti about their comic at Multiversity Comics (January, 2019)
Previously from 2014
posted by Going To Maine at 10:48 AM PST - 17 comments

Come with me if you want to love

David’s Dad’s Movie is a heartwarming comic by comedian and artist Doogie Horner about a little boy whose curiosity about his dad’s favorite violent R-rated sci-fi action movie gets the better of him.
posted by chinese_fashion at 9:14 AM PST - 25 comments

Transfer deal done: Gimnasia de La Plata to...

Diego Maradona, FIFA's player of the 20th Century, scorer of the greatest World Cup goal of the 20th Century, has died following a heart attack at the age of 60.
posted by MattWPBS at 9:11 AM PST - 34 comments

an obscure lawyer from west Michigan stood on principle

We must not attempt to exercise power we simply don’t have,” declared Van Langevelde, a member of Michigan’s board of state canvassers [more inside]
posted by gt2 at 5:36 AM PST - 46 comments

November 24

Raising Cane

Sugar candy tasted better than bitter truth: A long and beautiful read by Shane Mitchell on sugar cane. SL The Bitter Southerner
posted by frumiousb at 11:25 PM PST - 9 comments

Minecraft Accessibility Plus

Minecraft is probably not the game that most people think of when they think about accessibility to the blind, but this mod is working on improving that situation. [more inside]
posted by Alensin at 8:06 PM PST - 5 comments

lofi smash mouth radio - beats to relax/study to

Courtesy Griffin McElroy and the game Fuser, an extremely cursèd DJ set: lofi smash mouth radio - beats to relax/study to [more inside]
posted by yasaman at 7:11 PM PST - 22 comments

Latria Graham: On Being Black in the Outdoors

In May of 2018, journalist and avid explorer of the outdoors Latria Graham wrote an essay for Outside Magazine, We're Here. You Just Don't See Us. "We are doing it. We are out there. We always have been. My Instagram feed is filled with people of color tackling V12 climbs, ascending mountains, teaching their children how to read the sky," she wrote. Responses to her essay overwhelmed her, and readers wanted to know how they could be safe in spaces that aren't always welcoming to people of color. In September of 2020, Graham answered: "The unraveling of this country in the summer of 2020 has forced me to reckon with my actions, my place in the natural world, and the fact that as a Black woman writer in America, I am tasked with telling you a terrible truth: I am so sorry. I have nothing of merit to offer you as protection." Out There, Nobody Can Hear You Scream. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:28 PM PST - 22 comments

Extremely Online

A week long series of comics about the internet hellscape.
posted by macrael at 3:01 PM PST - 10 comments

Two reports raise questions on early autism treatments.

Hot on each other's heels, an umbrella review from Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism (based in Australia) and a meta-analysis from Boston University have flagged a range of concerns. [more inside]
posted by bixfrankonis at 2:56 PM PST - 12 comments


Today was the release date of Ready Player Two, Ernest Cline's sequel to Ready Player One. Reactions have been strong. Without having read it, one can only say that, well, these are certainly excerpts of a book that exists (live tweeting by Jacob Mercy). But there are of course now fake excerpts that would pretty much pass.
posted by Countess Elena at 2:34 PM PST - 171 comments

Chinese American

While most Chinese Americans vote Democrat, right-wing Chinese Americans have been spreading conspiracy theories and disinformation among Chinese-language speakers (Foreign Policy), aided in part by Steve Bannon (NYT). Shen Lu reports how sites like Chinese American and North America Headlines are starting to fight back; what happens when you’re kicked off Weibo; and the new wave of Chinese-language progressive podcasts. [more inside]
posted by adrianhon at 2:08 PM PST - 18 comments

Email a dumpster fire. Literally.

1. Send an email to with whatever you want to torch. Use plain text or an image attachment. PG-13 rules apply. // 2. Watch on the live feed as your message is created, conveyed, and then dropped into the rolling flames. // 3. Experience catharsis.
posted by nebulawindphone at 1:05 PM PST - 47 comments

Underwater statues for the environment

In a bid to stop illegal trawling, an Italian fisherman persuaded sculptors to create huge marble artworks – then dropped them in the Mediterranean
posted by Cozybee at 11:24 AM PST - 5 comments

i remember my life as if it's just some dreams that i don't trust

Microphones in 2020 is a 45 minute long autobiographical song (with accompany 35mm photograph slideshow lyric video), a self-described "spooling out repetitive decades-long song string" detailing the life and times of Phil Elverum's early band The Microphones in the late 90s and early 2000s.
posted by dng at 10:29 AM PST - 3 comments

Terza rima yes; the letter "e"? no.

Lipogrammatical translations of the beginnings of Dante and Proust, by Kinton Ford. Move over, the quidnunc kid.
posted by kenko at 9:09 AM PST - 10 comments

A tangled bank heist

Charles Darwin's notebooks reported stolen from Cambridge university (The Guardian). Two of Darwin's notebooks, including the one containing his famous "tree of life" sketch, went missing in 2000. For twenty years, curators believed they had simply been mislaid, but have now determined that theft is more likely. The notebooks were digitized immediately prior to their disappearance.
posted by biogeo at 8:17 AM PST - 31 comments

Reba! Come here and look at this!

When you woke up today, you probably didn't expect to read a deep dive on the coloring and recoloring of Garfield comics by cartoonist David Malki. But here it is anyway.
posted by theodolite at 7:46 AM PST - 13 comments

Australian art, and Americans who don't understand it

The Uncanny Valley of Culture "This article contains spoilers for Necrobarista (2020) and The Dressmaker (2015). The Dressmaker is kind of a banger of a movie so I recommend checking it out if you got the time. Necrobarista is pretty good too, but I’m biased on that one." "Hello! Today we’re gonna talk about the stifling effects of American cultural imperialism on popular media across the world, and why creators in colonial countries feel creatively asphyxiated. Strap in." [more inside]
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 6:19 AM PST - 47 comments

Its origin and purpose still a total mystery

The Utah Department of Public Safety has found a monolith in Utah.
posted by Stark at 2:28 AM PST - 141 comments

November 23

Common Descent

Common Descent, an utterly charming and fascinating podcast hosted by paleontologists David Moscato and Will Harris, recently posted their 100th episode. The topic? The origin of life on Earth. [more inside]
posted by brundlefly at 6:20 PM PST - 2 comments

It's Official

The G.S.A. Administrator Has Told Biden the Administration Is Ready to Begin the Transition. Read the letter.
posted by shoesfullofdust at 4:26 PM PST - 1691 comments

We need to talk about Gerald

Molly Flanagan met Gerald about three years ago, during one of her visits to Oakland’s Morcom Rose Garden, a miniature valley tucked off Grand Avenue where volunteer gardeners tend beds of flowers blooming among giant oaks and redwoods. She described him as a “magnificent individual,” alternately friendly and stoic. Gerald, a wild turkey of the Meleagris gallopavo species, would occasionally puff up his chest and display his feathers in her presence. Flanagan said she never felt intimidated. She watched him saunter about the garden and sometimes stand near her in line for one of the casual carpools that pick up passengers on Oakland Avenue. Gerald had become such a regular neighborhood presence that Flanagan considered him a member of her community. But something changed in the winter of 2019: the bird’s once-friendly relationship with people turned hostile.
[more inside]
posted by Lexica at 2:36 PM PST - 38 comments

Handkerchief flirting codes of the far future

Behold! There is no one: How might one update Victorian flirting codes? Janelle Shane (previously) to the rescue, teaching a neural network how to send and decode naughty signals "with fans, parasols, gloves, and handkerchiefs." [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 2:05 PM PST - 8 comments

A Love Letter to Colonialism

Bret Deveraux critiques Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla’s sanitisation of history, including Viking colonialism, slave trading, gender roles, and its continuation of the Fremen Mirage trope. “It blushes at showing the player anything like the reality of this historical period and in the process constructs a deceptive apology for colonialism. It is a decently fun, but deeply irresponsible game.” [more inside]
posted by adrianhon at 2:04 PM PST - 22 comments

IT’S A ~V~I~B~E~

“Chasing Light” (2020 “calming multisensory experience” for Moog)
“Star Gazing” (2020 music video)
warm winter alone (2018 experiment)
All by Emily A. Sprague, who also records folkish indy rock as Florist
posted by Going To Maine at 1:49 PM PST - 6 comments

"Can You Hear Me?" is waiting for you to discover on Netflix

If "Trailer Park Boys" briefly transported you to a slice of Nova Scotia and "Letterkenny" did similar with a version of rural Ontario, get on board with "Can You Hear Me?" for a trip to Quebec. I cannot think of anything I've seen recently that seems so real, in terms of friendships among women. I just made it to the end of the first season (2 seasons available on Netflix) and I'm scared to keep watching. I'd greatly appreciate recommendations for similar if you've seen this series and share my deep appreciation for it.
posted by elkevelvet at 11:12 AM PST - 13 comments

My kingdom for a mason jar!

"[T]here may be no better barometer of the state of our economy than the mason jar." Mason jars have been difficult to find this year, leading to counterfeits, fights on social media and price gouging. Here's a history of how the iconic mason jar was invented, and the factors that lead to a shortage about once per decade.
posted by rednikki at 10:38 AM PST - 62 comments

Judith Jarvis Thomson

The philosopher Judith Jarvis Thomson (1929-2020) has died. She was a philosophical giant. You may know her from her landmark 1971 paper in defense of abortion or for one of her papers on the trolley problem. Or maybe you know the 1997 amicus brief on assisted suicide she co-authored with Dworkin, Nagel, Nozick, Rawls, and Scanlon. [more inside]
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 8:21 AM PST - 17 comments

¡Sí Se Puede!

As Americans begin preparation for Thanksgiving, United Farm Workers takes to twitter to show people how their favorite components of their Thanksgiving meal are harvested. Parsley - Cranberries - Brussels sprouts - Squash - Turnips - Onions - Apples- Sweet potatoes - Celery - Garlic - and more
posted by ChuraChura at 6:46 AM PST - 19 comments

"In the year of my greatest harvest, I had many hopes"

"In 2012, back when I was young and the world was a different place, I planted a plum tree in my back yard." A funny, loving, bittersweet story of one woman's fruit tree, with reflections on mortality and gardening. "There was one memorable year when the lectionary had the story of Jesus and the fig tree and no fewer than three pastors of my acquaintance asked my permission to use my bitter, hopeless plum journey as a sermon inspiration. Oh pastors, consider this permission to use anything I put on my blog in your sermons."
posted by brainwane at 6:15 AM PST - 12 comments

Some holiday love for the Annus Horribilis.

Little Big, a comedy singing group from Russia, who had a very promising entry for this year's Eurovision Song Contest (which got cancelled because of You Know What), have released a holiday song and video. Actually, it's an anthem for all that is 2020. (WARNING: Ever-So-NSFW. Seriously.)
posted by JanetLand at 5:44 AM PST - 16 comments

We have to be here at the end

Maralinga testing was the first contact with the world of the white man for Nyarri Morgan, a young man in the late 1950s. Imagine just walking along in your ancestral lands and hey, boom - atomic bomb! Now represented in VR immersive video, his experience will live on as a part of the collective memory. Found on Reddit TIL. FREE bonus links (YT): Contemporary British Movietone Reel telling us how jolly good it was / Australian Atomic Confessions (full documentary) / Living with the legacy of British Nuclear testing: Bobby Brown / Maralinga, Midnight Oil.
posted by Meatbomb at 4:19 AM PST - 3 comments

November 22

We Have Glimpsed Our Streaming Future, and It Sucks

With Wonder Woman 1984, Hamilton, and Soul all launching away from movie theatres this year, Sam Adams worries that smaller movies will be drowned out by online blockbusters and the algorithmically-recommended firehose of mediocre content from streaming giants.
posted by adrianhon at 1:57 PM PST - 101 comments

What the White Witch from Narnia’s apartment would smell like

How do you make the forthcoming stuck-at-home holidays feel a little more special and less... well, exactly like the preceding eight stuck-at-home months? The answer, my friends, is scented candles. Here are some that smell like a tree, a party, the White Witch’s condo, bedtime, children’s makeup, real and fake babies, cocktails, and Denise Huxtable’s best outfits. [more inside]
posted by babelfish at 12:24 PM PST - 27 comments

How Steve McQueen Pulled Off the Year's Best Movie Scene

Lovers Rock, the second installment in Steve McQueen's Small Axe film anthology, is about one such night in 1980, when a few dozen Black Londoners congregate at a house party to hold each other close and sway and thrash and grind. On paper, the film is a dreamy series of party scenes; onscreen, it's a passionate, restless achievement. Love, frustration, togetherness are communicated in small gestures and details - a gently horny ass-grab, a yearning gaze from across the room, a delightfully chaotic line for the bathroom. The rest of the Small Axe films feature racist cops, racist bosses, racist courts. Lovers Rock shows what happens when white people aren't looking - the rapture in Black joy, experienced privately. [more inside]
posted by smcg at 7:36 AM PST - 14 comments

Dune as a measure of our discontent

Daniel Immerwahr at the Los Angeles Review of Books writes about the renewed popularity of Dune, the influence of Native American cultures on Frank Herbert’s novels, his libertarianism and how his politics fit in the 21st century. [more inside]
posted by maskd at 6:32 AM PST - 81 comments

November 21

"Move slowly, and mend things."

Over in the Fleets thread, Nelson mentioned the erstwhile Facebook, and general techbro, motto of "move fast and break things", and it reminded me of this terrific 2013 speech (annoying Issuu link) by high school teacher Rebecca Hong I stumbled upon earlier this year. [more inside]
posted by bixfrankonis at 7:28 PM PST - 25 comments

On Not Meeting Nazis Half way

"There are situations in which there is no common ground worth standing on, let alone hiking over to." [more inside]
posted by ichomp at 2:32 PM PST - 155 comments

it is powerful enough to set the tone of our political life

The Pseudo-Conservative Revolt by Richard Hofstadter (1954) These considerations suggest that the pseudo-conservative political style, while it may already have passed the peak of its influence, is one of the long waves of twentieth-century American history and not a momentary mood. I do not share the widespread foreboding among liberals that this form of dissent will grow until it overwhelms our liberties altogether and plunges us into a totalitarian nightmare. Indeed, the idea that it is purely and simply fascist or totalitarian, as we have known these things in recent European history, is to my mind a false conception, based upon the failure to read American developments in terms of our peculiar American constellation of political realities. [more inside]
posted by mecran01 at 2:03 PM PST - 17 comments

Did a Human Write It?

A popular Obama book was published this week – no, not that one, but Barack Obama Book: The Biography, a 61-page title probably composed by an A.I. “I don’t think [it] was written by a human being, but I do think the A.I. that excreted it made some decent points about Barack Obama.”
posted by adrianhon at 1:41 PM PST - 10 comments

TikTok Mansions Are Publicly Traded Now

A business trying to make money off mansions full of TikTok influencers has gone public on the stock market through an unusual deal. It involves a former Chinese health care company, and if that sounds confusing, well, we can explain ... The deal was a reverse takeover, in which a private company (in this case, West of Hudson) is acquired by an already-public one (Tongji Healthcare) but ends up in control. The deal closed on Wednesday ... Before the reverse merger, Tongji itself was acquired by the investors who control West of Hudson, a New Jersey real estate operator named Amir Ben-Yohanan and his business partners.
posted by geoff. at 10:50 AM PST - 27 comments

Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newslet

The journalist Ellie Shechet is the author of the substack newsletter Horrible Lists. [more inside]
posted by medusa at 8:12 AM PST - 15 comments

Lomuto's Comeback

Yet a very practical--and very surprising--argument does exist, and is the punchline of this article: implemented in a branch-free manner, Lomuto partition is a lot faster than Hoare partition on random data. Given that quicksort spends most of its time partitioning, it follows that we are looking at a hefty improvement of quicksort (yes, I am talking about industrial strength implementations for C++ and D) by replacing its partitioning algorithm with one that literally does more work. [more inside]
posted by smcg at 5:40 AM PST - 25 comments

November 20

“he convinced the cops it was a promotion for the theatre (it wasn't)”

Please enjoy the many adventures of Matt. [Twitter] [Threadreader]
when i was a movie theatre projectionist, the other projectionist, Matt, would bring clam chowder for lunch every single day, refusing to put it in the fridge even though the projection hallway was well over 100° ...
Matt's favorite thing to do (after seeing FIGHT CLUB) was cut a single frame of a titty into kids movies at a random spot and not tell anyone, so the rest of us projectionists would have to wait until he left for the day then run the entire film to find and cut the frame back out
[more inside]
posted by Countess Elena at 5:49 PM PST - 112 comments

'You’re talking to someone at the very end of things’

RIP Jan Morris, Travel Writer and Journalist extraordinaire.
In March The Guardian published what was to be her final interview.
Obituary - NYT.
posted by adamvasco at 1:58 PM PST - 21 comments

How to Stop a Power Grab

Andrew Marantz examines the work of civil-resistance experts and activists like Erica Chenoweth, Maria J. Stephan, and Kifah Shah (The New Yorker), including the Nonviolent and Violent Campaigns and Outcomes database and Hold The Line: A Guide to Defending Democracy. ”For a long time, there have been those of us who had a philosophical commitment to nonviolence, or an intuition that nonviolence puts you at a strategic advantage. Erica and Maria took that intuition and empirically proved it.” [more inside]
posted by adrianhon at 1:40 PM PST - 16 comments

World's Smallest Office Suite

Did you know you can use a browser window as a basic scratch pad/text editor with one simple command? Wait, you didn't? In that case, Serge Zaitsev shows you how.
posted by carter at 11:35 AM PST - 29 comments

Shameika said I had potential

“Sweetie, you got potential. You don’t have to worry about these girls, Fi. Come sit with me at my table.”—Shameika Stepney recounts the advice she gave a young Fiona Apple [more inside]
posted by komara at 10:44 AM PST - 15 comments

hiding in plain sight

Chinese flower has evolved to be less visible to pickers "Scientists have discovered that the colour of the plant’s leaves has become more camouflaged – matching the background rocks on which they grow – in areas where there is more harvesting pressure from people."
posted by dhruva at 9:31 AM PST - 19 comments

People who drink juice don’t need a handle!

Vexed by those milk cartons? Curious about strawberry baskets? Comedian Jimmy Rees may have the answer.
posted by Monochrome at 9:05 AM PST - 29 comments

"Asking for help is a sign of strength"

In Illinois, USA, Crisis Nursery creates an "Island of Safety" dedicated to the prevention of child abuse and neglect by providing 24-hour emergency care for children and support to strengthen families in crisis. Crisis Nursery is the only emergency-based child care facility in Champaign County that is open 24 hours, 365 days a year for the entire community to access with no fees or income eligibility. [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 8:37 AM PST - 11 comments

It's Anti-Bullying Week. Or is it?

November 16-20 is Anti-Bullying Week in the UK. ... [more inside]
posted by Cardinal Fang at 6:17 AM PST - 30 comments

TELEVISION is here again...

The BBC Motion Graphics Archive is a showcase of the history and development of motion graphics across the BBC and includes examples of opening titles, promotion trailers, stings, idents and programme content sequences. [more inside]
posted by Grangousier at 12:42 AM PST - 12 comments

November 19

Kim Ng: a Baseball First, at Last

Kim Ng's Hiring Could Be The Start Of Something Special In Miami - "Long-overdue baseball history was made late last week when the Miami Marlins announced they had hired Kim Ng as general manager. Ng is MLB's first female GM, as well as the sport's first Asian American GM, and she is also the first woman to serve as general manager in any major North American men's league." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 11:56 PM PST - 14 comments

A 32-year-old man marrying a barely 20-year-old woman isn’t a fairy-tale

This season of The Crown highlights how very young Diana was during all of this — and it’s uncomfortable to look at that through a modern lens [more inside]
posted by roolya_boolya at 4:12 PM PST - 128 comments

The free dataset in the maw of FAANG

OpenStreetMap (OSM) is now at the center of an unholy alliance of the world’s largest and wealthiest technology companies. The most valuable companies in the world are treating OSM as critical infrastructure for some of the most-used software ever written. [more inside]
posted by k3ninho at 3:38 PM PST - 33 comments

How the U.S. Military Buys Location Data from Ordinary Apps

How the U.S. Military Buys Location Data from Ordinary Apps "Through public records, interviews with developers, and technical analysis, Motherboard uncovered two separate, parallel data streams that the U.S. military uses, or has used, to obtain location data. One relies on a company called Babel Street, which creates a product called Locate X. U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), a branch of the military tasked with counterterrorism, counterinsurgency, and special reconnaissance, bought access to Locate X to assist on overseas special forces operations. The other stream is through a company called X-Mode, which obtains location data directly from apps, then sells that data to contractors, and by extension, the military."
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 3:26 PM PST - 11 comments

What we think is worth knowing

"Actress Gardner (3)" or "Director DuVernay (3)"? The Pudding dives into the data on minority representation in crossword puzzles, and explains why the USA Today puzzle is more current and diverse than any other major crossword. [more inside]
posted by theodolite at 2:56 PM PST - 19 comments


In The Rise and Fall of Getting Things Done (The New Yorker), Cal Newport examines David Allen’s productivity system, but focuses a deeper question: why do we leave office workers to figure out on their own how to get things done? Cal adds context on his blog.
posted by adrianhon at 1:37 PM PST - 44 comments

"They drop a bomb on the headquarters, I say it's unimportant"

The Fifth Seal [SLTYT] is an award winning Hungarian movie (with subtitles) from 1976 by Zoltán Fábri. The central question of the movie is how to act ethically under oppression - a problem American viewers may find surprisingly relevant. [more inside]
posted by kmt at 12:25 PM PST - 4 comments

Meat Clown

The meat clown isn’t the ghoulish nightmare the internet would have you believe. [MEL] [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 11:40 AM PST - 27 comments

Call them in, with love

Radical Black feminist scholar Loretta J. Ross, "an unlikely figure in the culture wars," is profiled in the NY Times: "What if Instead of Calling People Out, We Called Them In?"
posted by PhineasGage at 10:43 AM PST - 20 comments

Arecibo Observatory to be decomissioned

The National Science Foundation has announced that Arecibo Observatory will be decommissioned. The 305 m (1000 ft) diameter radio telescope, located in Puerto Rico, was damaged by Hurricane Maria. In August of 2020, a support cable snapped, cutting a gash through the dish. Then, on November 7, a second cable snapped, raising the danger of a possible cascading failure. Having found no way to repair the telescope without endangering workers, the NSF will decommission the telescope, concluding with a controlled disassembly. [more inside]
posted by miguelcervantes at 10:21 AM PST - 73 comments

Mission Control's Big Display

Fran Blanche explains how Mission Control's Big Displays worked during the Mecury, Gemini, and Apollo era. (SLYT)
posted by lharmon at 9:43 AM PST - 20 comments

November 18

If You Could Read My Mind

Robbie Fulks dives headfirst into the strangely messy world of Gordon Lightfoot. [more inside]
posted by blue shadows at 8:28 PM PST - 67 comments

Brereton Report into war crimes by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan

The Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force (IGADF) has released the Brereton Report, which includes evidence that Australian soldiers committed war crimes in Afghanistan between 2005 and 2016. [more inside]
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 6:35 PM PST - 20 comments

You owe me royalties on these books. #DisneyMustPay

Last year, a member came to SFWA’s Grievance Committee with a problem, which on the surface sounds simple and resolvable. He had written novels and was not being paid the royalties that were specified in his contract. The Grievance Committee is designed to resolve contract disputes like this. As part of our negotiating toolbox, we guarantee anonymity for both the writer and the publisher if the grievance is resolved. When it is working, as president, I never hear from them. When talks break down, the president of SFWA is asked to step in. We do this for any member. In this case, the member is Alan Dean Foster. The publisher is Disney.
posted by Catblack at 5:10 PM PST - 96 comments

“That’s an interesting act. What do you call it?

Act I (via McSweeny's. May be not safe for work.) [more inside]
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 4:28 PM PST - 16 comments

*rolls eyes*

AI researchers made a sarcasm detection model and it’s sooo impressive (Venture Beat): "Researchers in China say they’ve created sarcasm detection AI that achieved state-of-the-art performance on a dataset drawn from Twitter. The AI uses multimodal learning that combines text and imagery since both are often needed to understand whether a person is being sarcastic. [...] On a dataset drawn from Twitter, the model achieved a 2.74% improvement on a sarcasm detection F1 score compared to HFM, a multimodal detection model introduced last year. The new model also achieved an 86% accuracy rate, compared to 83% for HFM." Previous research from 2016: Researchers have developed an extremely effective “sarcasm detector” (Quartz). Also: Inside the surprisingly high-stakes quest to design a computer program that ‘gets’ sarcasm online (Washington Post) [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 3:44 PM PST - 43 comments

"auditioning for browser icon"

ball of fluff (via metafilter chat). Please post your round cute things.
posted by aniola at 1:44 PM PST - 21 comments

Fleets Ahead

Twitter yesterday launched “fleets”, ephemeral tweets that disappear after 24 hours (similar to Stories in other social media apps), and it’s testing voice-based chat rooms (similar to Clubhouse, previously). Casey Newton muses on what this means for the future of the company, while Neven Mrgan reveals Norton Commander’s Stories.
posted by adrianhon at 1:35 PM PST - 49 comments

The world's first gay magazine

Die Eigene was published from 1896 - 1932. The Man Who Made Magazines Gay. University of Toronto's Fisher Library acquires copies of Der Eigene. Project Gutenburg.
posted by adept256 at 9:49 AM PST - 5 comments

"Why would you tell me to read a book about poor people?"

Ivanka Trump was my Best Friend. (SLVanity Fair)
posted by box at 9:10 AM PST - 76 comments

1 in 1000 dead from COVID-19 in North Dakota

"North Dakota currently has the highest daily mortality rate...of any domestic state or country in the world" That's not one out a thousand infected have died, that's one out of thousand from the total population - 769 of the roughly 762,000 residents of North Dakota are dead after testing positive for COVID-19
posted by Paladin1138 at 6:46 AM PST - 294 comments

Stencil Archive

The Stencil Archive is a searchable archive for thousands of photographs, videos, and more, related to stencil art from around the world.
posted by carter at 6:41 AM PST - 4 comments

November 17

Meet the Cat Who Turned Four Seasons Total Landscaping into a Virtual Re

Meet the Cat Who Turned Four Seasons Total Landscaping into a Virtual Reality Hangout for Furries "“When I’m hanging out with my friends we’re like, ‘we should make this into a VRChat world, all these stupid things,” says Coopertom, a New Jersey-based furry."
posted by hippybear at 8:52 PM PST - 11 comments

Kabbalah and Communism

Aside from a small circle of students and admirers, Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag was an unknown figure at his death in 1954. Today, religious schools and New Age “educational centers” around the world are actively spreading his ideas, and his writings are being analyzed by professors and graduate students. After spending an hour in the rabbi’s stone mausoleum, the pop-diva Madonna emerged with tears in her eyes. Who was this person to whom scores of pious (and impious) Jews and non-Jews are turning for inspiration?--Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag: Scholar of Kabbalah and progenitor of the Kabbalah [more inside]
posted by No Robots at 6:04 PM PST - 22 comments

Will you Stay?

Stay? is an interactive fiction game where you always get a second chance. From the description: "Welcome to Elaia, a magical city nestled in a high valley. It's the end of your first year at university & time to choose your major." It's a choose your own fantasy adventure that's part dating sim/part avert the apocalypse(s). [more inside]
posted by Wretch729 at 5:36 PM PST - 57 comments


Do you remember the 1987 animated movie The Chipmunk Adventure? More specifically, do you remember The Girls of Rock and Roll? Of course you remember, it’s been in your head off and on for over thirty years. Then perhaps you would like to see what it looks like when performed by humans?
posted by supercrayon at 2:42 PM PST - 30 comments

Laundry requires so little, and I despise it so much

Rachel Sugar explores the history of washing clothes (Vox) and recent attempts to outsource it (again) or “luxify” the process.
posted by adrianhon at 1:32 PM PST - 62 comments

All ye lovers take heed of me, for I was once as lusty as ye

The Distinguished Medieval Penis Investigators In fourteenth-century England, one of the only ways a woman could get a divorce was if her husband was impotent. But first, she had to prove it in court.
posted by Gilgongo at 12:18 PM PST - 33 comments

The Earth is Our Canoe

The traditional Polynesian outrigger, Hōkūleʻa, and revitalizer of traditional Polynesian wayfinding, Nainoa Thompson, are no stranger to the blue (1) (2) . Until the end of November, the new documentary from the Polynesian Voyager Society, He Wa’a, He Hōnua - The Earth is Our Canoe, along with 4 previous documentaries spanning 5 decades, is available for free (requires registration) from the 40th Hawai’i International Film Festival.
posted by rubatan at 10:25 AM PST - 3 comments

Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vacciiiiiiiiiiiiiine

After hearing that Dolly Parton donated $1MM to help fund Moderna's research into a COVID-19 vaccine, WIRED magazine's resident linguist Gretchen McCulloch wrote the lyrics to Vaccine Jolene, and Ryan Corell performed them late last night, with the family sleeping.
posted by jenkinsEar at 10:20 AM PST - 36 comments


Dehd is a 3 person band from Chicago Illinois. They make minimilast post-punk pop music with hints of surf rock, dream pop, and Roy Orbison. Here they are performing songs from their 2020 album Flower of Devotion on KEXP Live at Home. They also make music videos: Loner - Haha - Letter - Flood
posted by ericost at 8:41 AM PST - 7 comments

Twenty years of federal planning for pandemics

Lots of plans, no coordination or authority "To summarize, the acronyms of those agencies that are supposed to organize a response to a communicable disease crisis include, but are not limited to, the ASPR, CDC, DGMQ, NCEZID, USSG, HHS, FEMA, FDA, NIAID, DOD, DHS, NSC, CTF, and associated sub-agencies and divisions and offices. Inside these agencies, there are dozens of intelligent and accomplished individuals, often from bipartisan or civil service backgrounds, who are supposed to lead in a crisis. The problem is that those people have no clear lines of authority about who is supposed to coordinate them or be in charge, and no clear plan to follow even if such authority were provided."
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 6:20 AM PST - 24 comments

November 16

Head-stabilized video of a hurdler (SLYT)

Grant Holloway's Head Stabilized Through the Hurdles. It looks unreal. I think this is the run.
posted by Gorgik at 9:43 PM PST - 32 comments

It’s much more easy to lose digital history than we think.

A short history of Flash & the forgotten Flash Website movement. A transcript of a talk by Nathalie Lawhead about the era of Adobe Flash and the loss of cultural memory that came with the death of Flash as a medium. [more inside]
posted by Kybard at 6:01 PM PST - 66 comments

Hot dogs, grapes, cookies and whipped cream

For all your raccoon-watching needs. A Nova Scotia man gets mobbed by over two dozen raccoons during a nightly feeding session. Toward the end of the video he dons a crocheted raccoon hat. In this video, he introduces the raccoons to (non sugar-based) whipped cream in a can. (That section starts around the 9:30 mark. It takes the furballs a while to get used to having dairy products sprayed into their mouths, but they do get the hang of it, especially one guy. Earlier in the video, he explains there are no local laws prohibiting him from feeding the animals.)
posted by sardonyx at 1:37 PM PST - 91 comments

The Glory of Motion

Praised by Italo Calvino as “one of the finest essays in English literature”, Thomas De Quincey’s 1849 The English Mail Coach describes his opium-tinged perceptions of riding on the coach (which at the time represented the ultimate in speed and power); a near-accident with a young couple on a “frail reedy gig”, and a lengthy dream fugue. Commentary by Robin Jarvis (Public Domain Review) and Dan Chiasson (The New Yorker). Previously.
posted by adrianhon at 1:22 PM PST - 12 comments

a song takes on meaning when its own heartbeat is strong

When New York City Ballet cancelled their in-person Fall 2020 season, they asked five choreographers to choreograph site-specific works for small groups of New York City Ballet dancers. new song by Andrea Miller. pixellation in a wave by Sidra Bell. Solo for Russell by Pam Tanowitz. Water Rite by Jamar Roberts. Thank You New York by Justin Peck. [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura at 12:39 PM PST - 3 comments

Shine On, You Crazy Duckbill

In addition to being a “duck-billed, beaver-tailed, otter-footed, egg-laying aquatic [venomous mammal]”, platypii are also bioluminescent! Vice, National Geographic, The New York Times,, The Cut, and Science News have reportage on the forthcoming paper in Mammalia
posted by Going To Maine at 12:35 PM PST - 35 comments

Pikachu's Basilisk

Matthew Rayfield, a programmer who makes mobile and web-based toys, created 3,000 new Pokémon using open-source AI models. Via Vice
posted by chavenet at 11:31 AM PST - 11 comments

The Substackerati

Did a newsletter company create a more equitable media system—or replicate the flaws of the old one? (SL CJR)
posted by toastyk at 9:21 AM PST - 30 comments


Fergal Scahill's fiddle tune a day, Day 86 "The New Mown Meadow" Reel. Joined by Emma O'Sullivan, the mighty sean-nós dancer from Renvyle in Connemara.
posted by Cozybee at 8:18 AM PST - 13 comments

The overfitted brain

How Artificial Neural Networks Paved the Way For A Dramatic New Theory of Dreams “ The goal of this paper is to argue that the brain faces a similar challenge of overfitting, and that nightly dreams evolved to combat the brain's overfitting during its daily learning. That is, dreams are a biological mechanism for increasing generalizability via the creation of corrupted sensory inputs from stochastic activity across the hierarchy of neural structures.”
posted by dhruva at 5:56 AM PST - 64 comments

Ancient Clippy from the Deep

Ancient squid-like creature with paperclip-shaped shell may have lived for hundreds of years - "D. maximum was a large, squid-like creature (its shell was over 1.5 meters tall), an ammonite that was part of a now-extinct group of tentacled cephalopods. It went extinct at the same time as the dinosaurs, presumably for the same reason: the Chicxulub asteroid strike. What made D. maximum stand out was the unique shape of its shell. The top portion bent back and forth, resembling a paperclip."
posted by kliuless at 4:44 AM PST - 26 comments

November 15

An Insipid Intrigue

A reposted Twitter thread. The link below has the entire Twitter thread drama regarding the David Southwick social media fakery in easy one page post form. (David Southwick is a Liberal MP in Caulfield, Melbourne, previously of padded resume fame)
This is a reposted Twitter thread in its whole.
Bonus threatening tweet to the author by David Southwick.
By gomichild aka Cerebral Soup aka Crowbar Jones
posted by Alnedra at 11:08 PM PST - 26 comments

Ratatouille the Musical

Okay I'm going to try to explain this, so bear with me. On Tiktok, an entire community has come together to create Ratatouille the Musical. What seemed like a joke has become an incredible undertaking...In all seriousness, the Ratatouille musical has been an incredible outlet and source of joy for theater students, who are living through the worst time in their industry's history.
posted by gottabefunky at 4:33 PM PST - 50 comments

Why The Giving Tree Makes You Cry

The book opens with scenes of childhood happiness. The boy plays with the tree every day: running, climbing, swinging, pretending. They are happy. But every good story thrives on conflict, and that is exactly what we encounter when we turn the page. We now read the book to our children, as it was read to us before we knew the loss age brings, back when the story was about nothing more than a tree’s tender love.
posted by jenkinsEar at 4:28 PM PST - 50 comments

Por otro lado, no se puede apartar la mirada

The potato head of Palencia: defaced Spanish statue latest victim of botched restoration (The Art Newspaper, Nov. 11, 2020) Conservation experts in Spain are once again calling for stricter regulations within the sector after yet another work has been irreparably damaged by an amateur restorer. Adorning the facade of a high street bank in the north-western city of Palencia, the statue, first unveiled in 1923, once depicted a smiling woman carved among a pastoral scene of livestock. Behold the latest art "restoration" gone completely wrong in Spain: A melted face with two round cavities standing in for eyes, a misshapen lump approximating a nose, and an agape maw of a mouth (NPR, Nov. 11, 2020). [more inside]
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:49 PM PST - 26 comments

Duel of the Takes

Before J. J. Abrams took over Star Wars: Episode 9, Colin Trevorrow wrote a complete script for the movie, originally named Duel of the Fates. The alleged script is online and includes notable differences from the final movie (e.g. no Palpatine, greater roles for Finn and Rose) as well as some similarities. A rich set of concept art of the movie also leaked. [more inside]
posted by adrianhon at 1:11 PM PST - 51 comments

Leap second hiatus

Leap seconds exist because the Earth takes (very roughly) about a millisecond more than 24 * 60 * 60 seconds to rotate each day; when we have accumulated enough extra milliseconds, a leap second is inserted into UTC to keep it in sync with the Earth. At the moment the Earth is rotating faster than in recent decades: these shorter days, with a lower length-of-day, means the milliseconds accumulate more slowly, and we get fewer leap seconds. [more inside]
posted by smcg at 12:45 PM PST - 18 comments

#GeorgiaRaising virtual door-knocking

For your holiday shopping, buy a present from Georgia instead of Amazon—or donate to a Georgia school or non-profit—and leave a positive #GeorgiaRaising note letting them know you're donating/buying in support of senatorial candidates Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock, and then optionally share on social media. [more inside]
posted by joannemerriam at 9:50 AM PST - 11 comments

Riding the Circle of Light

The Radiophonic Workshop has always broken new sonic ground, from the Doctor Who theme to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Now they’re at it again — this time using the internet as a musical instrument. [more inside]
posted by terrapin at 9:03 AM PST - 5 comments

Raspberry Pi 400

The compact single board computer is now available inside a keyboard, turning any TV into an affordable all-in-one computer. Explaining Computers review.
posted by adept256 at 5:55 AM PST - 67 comments

November 14

Meeting Mr. Kid Pix

"I wanted it to kind of expand people's idea of what, say a drawing program could do or what a computer could add to that." A reflection on 30 years of Kid Pix, software tools as art, and the process as the joy of art, rather than the result.
posted by wesleyac at 7:37 PM PST - 15 comments

The Prestige Trap

"I left in the middle of my junior year during the peak of on-campus recruiting, the process by which Harvard students compete for internships at a narrow list of companies. I say "narrow" to emphasize the fact that just three industries captured the attention of my peers: finance, big tech, and consulting (FTC). When you subtract out the students attending grad school or who don't immediately enter the workforce, nearly half choose one of these fields. Why? ... The average Harvard student would probably prefer to work on Google Maps over Kraft Mac & Cheese, but this doesn't explain why students have such narrow interests within FTC. Why are Google and Facebook so attractive to prospective engineers while Stripe and Nvidia are never brought up? Or why do aspiring consultants obsess over McKinsey, Bain, and BCG to the exclusion of more boutique firms with similar compensation structures?"
posted by geoff. at 6:40 PM PST - 70 comments

Robert S. is dying today. He wants to share his thoughts.

Robert S., on Reddit. [more inside]
posted by cotton dress sock at 5:13 PM PST - 29 comments


Animals Keep Evolving Into Crabs, Which Is Somewhat Disturbing: "groups of crustaceans have evolved into crabs in five completely different contexts, giving rise to a meme that the long arc of history truly bends toward the crab." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 4:26 PM PST - 40 comments

7.8 billion people living in the ruin of the old world

What must we do to rebuild? Metafilter's favourite German bank has some thoughts about what global society might take to rebuild 'democratic capitalism' in the wake of Covid-19. For starters, a 5% tax on anyone who enjoys the privilege of working from home. [more inside]
posted by biffa at 3:28 PM PST - 58 comments

Moving beyond remote

Slack surveyed 9000 "knowledge workers" over six countries about their experiences working remotely in 2020. Among the findings include a preference for a hybrid office-home model, an increase in work-life balance but a small decrease in "sense of belonging", with a significant discrepancy by gender and those with and without children.
posted by adrianhon at 1:05 PM PST - 39 comments

Team-mates in love

Dr Payoshni Mitra, an athletes' rights activist, who has worked on the cases of South Africa's champion mid-distance runner Caster Semenya and Indian sprinter Dutee Chand, believes it's the latter. She calls the environment in a women's sports team "a safer space compared to men's teams". That is possibly why women's teams are spaces where women who are not considered stereotypically feminine feel welcome. [more inside]
posted by smcg at 11:52 AM PST - 5 comments

You Are the Light of the World

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II sees the shining light of Kamala Harris as the light of a star, born long ago, taking many years to reach us, a sign that darkness cannot prevail, in his sermon last Sunday. [more inside]
posted by kristi at 9:41 AM PST - 44 comments

November 13

No one is listening to us

“In the imminent future, patients will start to die because there simply aren’t enough people to care for them. Doctors and nurses will burn out. The most precious resource the U.S. health-care system has in the struggle against COVID-19 isn’t some miracle drug. It’s the expertise of its health-care workers—and they are exhausted.” [SL Atlantic]
posted by supercrayon at 10:48 PM PST - 86 comments

When the Damned toured with T. Rex

Capt. Sensible talks about when Marc Bolan asked the Damned to join T.Rex on tour. "Unlike some of his fellow ’70s rock stars, Marc saw some worth in punk rock. He was certainly smart to hitch his ship to the coming new wave. Most of the punks dug T. Rex too - and glam rock in general for that matter. There were no 10-minute drum solos there to moan about, that’s for sure." [Also, Bolan inspired "Smash it up"!]
posted by goofyfoot at 10:16 PM PST - 19 comments

THE VIRUS REACHES STAR CITY (Polina Ivanova for Reuters)

Within weeks of Russia’s first confirmed case, the coronavirus had penetrated the closed walls of Star City and crossed the high-security gates of its cosmonaut training center. It had radiated across Russia’s revered space program during a moment of international attention and national pride, and had, potentially, come within an inch of glass away from traveling to space in a cosmonaut. In Star City, with the clinic in the grip of the outbreak, a hunt was launched for someone to blame, the doctor at the clinic said.
posted by bq at 4:55 PM PST - 9 comments

"Waters' Closets"

John Waters Has Pledged to Donate His Art Collection to the Baltimore Museum Once He Dies—So Long as It Names Its Bathrooms After Him. CBS Baltimore: Waters first became interested in art when he visited the museum as a boy in the 1950s, buying a poster at the gift shop. CBC: Waters spoke to As It Happens host Carol Off about the collection, the museum and the "ridiculous elitism" of the art world. Here is part of their conversation [includes link to full audio of the interview]. Baltimore Sun: All hail the John Waters' restrooms.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 4:28 PM PST - 25 comments

The Boundless Banality of Beige

Gloria Jaroff is against beige (Common Edge). “I am tired of design magazines and paint companies trying to sell me on dull ‘neutral’ colors. They claim ‘Beige Is Back,’ that there is a historical elegance and calming effect to monochromatic off-whites. I don’t buy it. A minimalistic approach to color in modern buildings and interiors doesn’t relax me—it puts me to sleep.” (via The Browser)
posted by adrianhon at 12:53 PM PST - 81 comments

The People v. Donald J. Trump

The criminal case against him is already in the works — and it could go to trial sooner than you think. To assess the odds that he will end up on trial, and how the proceedings would unfold, I spoke with some of the country’s top prosecutors, defense attorneys, and legal scholars. For the past four years, they have been weighing the case against Trump: the evidence already gathered, the witnesses prepared to testify, the political and constitutional issues involved in prosecuting an ex-president. Once he leaves office, they agree, there is good reason to think Trump will face criminal charges. [more inside]
posted by Ahmad Khani at 11:52 AM PST - 205 comments

How Baseball Was Solved, And Where It Got Us

Your favorite team could improve its chances of winning. It won’t, because it doesn’t believe it’s worth it. Franchises are no longer forced to rely on winning to create profit. The era of baseball as pure competition is over.
posted by Carillon at 11:20 AM PST - 47 comments

The Black Music History Library

This is a living collection of books, articles, documentaries, series, podcasts and more about the Black origins of traditional and popular music dating from the 18th century to present day.
posted by girlmightlive at 11:16 AM PST - 9 comments

Everything's Meant To Be Broken

It started with an offhanded joke on Instagram by Austin from the band Loud Letters — what would it sound like if Phoebe Bridgers had written the song "Iris" by the Goo Goo Dolls. Bridgers herself conditionally promised to make it happen, and after some notable pressure being applied, we now have an answer. A gorgeous cover of that song from that Nic Cage/Meg Ryan movie and a duet between Bridgers and Maggie Rogers, available on Bandcamp for 24 hours as a fundraiser for Stacey Abrams' Fair Fight organization. Good job, internet!
posted by Maaik at 5:19 AM PST - 31 comments

November 12

"We didn't mention copyright."

Penelope Farmer's children's timeslip novel, Charlotte Sometimes (1969), was the inspiration for a song by The Cure. Farmer writes about her experience of this here and here. [more inside]
posted by paduasoy at 10:29 PM PST - 32 comments

“Who in their right mind would...” covid cruise ship edition

The number of passengers who have tested positive on the Caribbean cruise ship ("while enjoying a safe environment onboard") has increased to five. The sailing, with 53 passengers and 66 crew, was the first in the Caribbean by any cruise vessel since the coronavirus crisis was declared a pandemic in March. There were a few minor changes in onboard facilities and passengers socially distanced, with several tests before the ship set sail. Passengers are currently confined to cabins, with menus slid under their doors. (title)
posted by Wordshore at 2:31 PM PST - 169 comments

The first multi-racial Vice President.

Charles Curtis, who served as vice president to Herbert Hoover from 1929 to 1933. Curtis’s mother was a Native American who belonged to the Kaw Nation, and he was raised on a reservation by his maternal grandparents. There are reasons he is not embraced by Native Americans today.
posted by JanetLand at 1:57 PM PST - 18 comments

What Makes The Difference Between Getting Out of Prison and Staying out?

Adam Gopnik on the work of the Fortune Society, a nonprofit helping people cope with the aftermath of incarceration, and Sam Rivera, the charismatic leader of its main residential wing (The New Yorker)
posted by adrianhon at 12:18 PM PST - 3 comments

“The blast blasted blubber beyond all believable bounds.”

50 years ago today, it was decided that half a ton of dynamite was the best tool to deal with the carcass of a Pacific Gray Whale that had washed up on the beaches of Florence, Oregon. The famous “exploding whale” news report from KATU has been remastered and put on YouTube in 4k. [previously]
posted by Kattullus at 11:32 AM PST - 58 comments

The World's Best Baseball Punk Band

"Magic Loogie" (off of Nuclear Strikezone) is a Seinfeld homage track by the self-proclaimed "World's Best Baseball Punk Band" and named after a sports team in the Simpsons: The Isotopes (sometimes "Isotopes Punk Rock Baseball Club", based in Vancouver, BC). Lyrics filled with deep baseball references and humor, they came back to Seinfeld with "Rochelle, Rochelle" (on 1994 World Series Champions) about George's run into Bette Midler. They took a year off from touring (one year they planned 81 road shows) in 2018 to start a baseball league and released their most recent single shortly after the intended start of the 2020 baseball season: "The Invisible Hand of the MLB is Meddling".
posted by skynxnex at 11:13 AM PST - 2 comments

Here comes the sunflower

It's a stressful time. Perhaps you'd like to watch a sunflower being born (83 days timelapsed into 2mins 20seconds) [more inside]
posted by gwint at 10:52 AM PST - 23 comments

"Other countries have social safety nets. The U.S. has women."

Sociologist Jessica Calarco about her recent research on mothers grappling with parenting, partners, anxiety, work, and feelings of failure during the pandemic. [***Content Warning*** description of sexual assault and coerced pregnancy ] The corona virus has illuminated the structural inequities that women face. Women are carrying the weight and dealing with the fall-out. Real help is (found via Kottke)
posted by zerobyproxy at 10:41 AM PST - 17 comments

Barack Obama: I’m Not Yet Ready to Abandon the Possibility of America.

An excerpt from Barack Obama's book, A Promised Land. (SL The Atlantic)
posted by bluesky43 at 8:50 AM PST - 90 comments

The Donald John Trump Presidential Library

The Donald John Trump Presidential Library An excellent satire that expertly melds truth, the whole truth, and a great sense of humour.
posted by parmanparman at 8:07 AM PST - 44 comments

If guys with guns are talking about collapse, why can’t we?

"But the real prepper story is not about rich people building bunkers in the middle of nowhere. Nor about conspiracy theorists getting ready to defend their kids from nanobots sent by, um, Bill Gates. No, the real prepper story is that our own militaries are prepping."
posted by simmering octagon at 7:24 AM PST - 30 comments

Painters think he is a sculptor. Sculptors are sure he is a painter.

Georgy Kurasov is a Russian who paints in a contemporary Cubist style.
His teachers initially thought he had a total lack of feeling for color. His website does not do justice to his paintings.
(Art - NSFW in prudish places).
posted by adamvasco at 7:06 AM PST - 13 comments

Find the bathtub.

A lot of people look at real estate house tours for fun. But the 3D tour for this house in Louisville, Kentucky is something else altogether. For one thing, it feels like a vertigo-inducing Escher drawing. It has 3 bedrooms, 4 half-baths, and one enormous crypt-like bathtub room. If you can find it. It's been called "the best accidental video game of 2020". [more inside]
posted by Mchelly at 6:35 AM PST - 73 comments

Gammons For London

Dr Peter Gammons is UKIP's candidate for London Mayor. [more inside]
posted by Cardinal Fang at 6:25 AM PST - 23 comments

November 11

Like, bro, it’s just not gonna happen.

Parliament even tweeted this out, when this whole thing was kicking off, they were like, “Well, it does enshrine the rights of the people in opposition to the king.” And I was like, “What the fuck are you talking about!” It does not! Like, even parliament is lying about what Magna Carta does, because they still want the story. The historiography of it is like, “Oh, yeah, the king can’t just come in here and walk all over you.” But the king 100 percent can come in here and walk all over you and there’s nothing you can do about it, and Magna Carta is not going to help. The king simply cannot go into 25 barons’ houses. You are not 25 barons! [more inside]
posted by medusa at 7:21 PM PST - 46 comments


VIDEO: Puffin burrow cam · puffin burrow - exterior view · puffin loafing ledge cam · puffin boulder berm cam · Extended description includes: audio, about, did you knows & photos. [more inside]
posted by aniola at 7:07 PM PST - 20 comments

What is a hole?

Generally, people don't know what a hole is. [more inside]
posted by Stark at 2:51 PM PST - 162 comments

The Curse of the Buried Treasure

Rebecca Mead tells the tale of two British detectorists who, in 2015, discovered an astonishing Viking hoard – and flouted the Treasure Act to hide their find from the authorities (The New Yorker)
posted by adrianhon at 11:50 AM PST - 10 comments

Truly a credit to the team

How Eldritch Sports Sim “Blaseball” Inspired A 20-Person Rock Band (Bandcamp) As of press time, two of the best-selling Seattle rock albums on Bandcamp are by The Garages, a global 20-member (and counting) collective of musicians and writers who, over the past 14 weeks, have released 13 EPs of various concepts, lineups, and styles—all united around the thread of Blaseball. [more inside]
posted by CrystalDave at 11:22 AM PST - 20 comments

"The price of food keeps us from realising our desires"

"The basic materialist approach to history and politics starts from a concept of man as a material being, and begins explaining everything else about society from there. That puts important emphasis on the connection between the ‘natural world’ and human society. Historically, this has often meant a focus on how humans have appropriated natural resources to wage competitions for status and control among themselves. But as the compound crisis of climate change and COVID-19 accelerates, we should be humbled by the emphatic reassertion of nature’s own causal powers. There’s never been a better time to get back to basics."
posted by Ouverture at 11:15 AM PST - 4 comments

The Hidden Structure of the Universe

An End to the Most Famous Paradox in Physics - "In a landmark series of calculations, physicists have proven that black holes can shed information." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 8:42 AM PST - 36 comments

Bear Dogs to the Rescue

Japan’s Karelian Bear Dogs help save lives, reduce injuries and educate both people and bears. Thousands of black bears roam Japan’s forests, sometimes causing problems for humans and for themselves. That’s where a group of highly trained Karelian Bear Dogs comes in. Part of the Picchio Wildlife Research Center’s bear conservation team, they’re responsible for the safe relocation and redirection of dozens of burly bruins each year. Plus, they’re super-charming! (SLtheBark)
posted by Ufez Jones at 8:10 AM PST - 19 comments

A Sick Swan Is Saved

Ariel Cordova-Rojas had planned to spend last Thursday afternoon immersed in nature. It was the day before her 30th birthday, and her intention was to ride her bike to Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Queens, watch birds fly overhead and hike amid the vibrant fall foliage.

Ms. Cordova-Rojas had been trained to spot a bird in distress...

So when the swan did not move or make a sound when she approached, she knew something was not right.
A Sick Swan Is Saved After a 23-Mile Odyssey by Foot, Car and Subway
posted by y2karl at 5:26 AM PST - 20 comments

November 10

a B low-high dum-dum-diddy

"The Definitive Guide to the Doctor Who Theme Music," it claims to be. A website featuring analysis and discussion of the familiar theme music's bassline, melody, structure, using the original Delia Derbyshire version of the theme as the model and featuring audio files to illustrate the various points made. MeFi fave Delia Derbyshire previously and previously and previously.
posted by the sobsister at 8:20 PM PST - 34 comments

Apple unveils M1, its first system-on-a-chip for Mac computers.

Apple is unveiling its first Apple Silicon Macs today at its event that marks the beginning of the end of Intel inside Apple notebooks and desktops. "Apple is gambling the future of the Mac on a chip design pioneered in the iPhone, and it could pull off something the PC industry has been trying to do for years" - Business Insider. "John Hodgman returns as Apple’s PC punching bag
posted by geoff. at 6:35 PM PST - 202 comments

Ewww...Sinclair? Oh, you mean a *different* Sinclair.

Take a journey back to 1982 with the Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Re-introducing the world of the ZX Spectrum, "Speccy", the UK's favorite tape-based BASIC computer system. [more inside]
posted by Khazk at 4:41 PM PST - 31 comments

How To Destroy Your Thanksgiving Day, Palate and Liver in Just 8 Hours

As Thanksgiving Day approaches, there are those who will be hosting company even in this time of COVID-19, and seek a new, easy-to-prepare, fulfilling recipe for preparing a turkey and stuffing that your friends and family will enjoy. Morton Thompson's Black Turkey Recipe is, most emphatically, not that recipe. [more inside]
posted by delfin at 3:48 PM PST - 31 comments

Betty Dodson, womens' guide to self-pleasure, died on Halloween

See NYT obit for Betty's life details Some of us were so fortunate to discover her 'hands-on' wisdom decades ago. It is never too late to finally learn how to enjoy living in a human body. Though it might be for those already assimilated into the borg virtual reality. Thanks for being here, Betty, and thanks for sharing!
posted by Mesaverdian at 2:23 PM PST - 20 comments

Kindness at work

Ask A Manager says: let's talk about kindness at work. "Now let’s talk about times at work when people have gone out of their way to do good or be kind. Please share stories of kindness at work in the comments." Lots of appreciation, generosity, and people stepping up in hard moments -- and "a coworker who, if I was detained by crap commute on our monthly free bagel Friday, would save me a fresh, still warm chocolate chip bagel that would otherwise have been snatched up".
posted by brainwane at 12:26 PM PST - 36 comments

The Worst of Both Worlds

The Digital Nomads Did Not Prepare for This (NYT). Erin Griffith on those who moved to exotic locales to work through the pandemic in style, but now face tax trouble, breakups and Covid guilt. [more inside]
posted by adrianhon at 11:41 AM PST - 92 comments

Plain Paper Pilots

How to build the world's best paper airplane. (SLYT) John Collins, also known as 'The Paper Airplane Guy,' teaches us how to fold and fly our very own version of his "world record" paper airplane. John attempts to make the greatest paper airplane on the planet, and takes us along for the ride. [more inside]
posted by storybored at 11:34 AM PST - 14 comments

God does not want us to understand

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks has died. The former Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom, Rabbi Sacks was an intellectual and a leader, but most of all a scholar and teacher respected by Jews of every denomination. He spent most of his life's work focusing on the question of how humanity can do better to one another, the importance of interfaith communications to prevent religious-based violence, and the struggle to find meaning in an unjust world. [more inside]
posted by Mchelly at 9:20 AM PST - 26 comments

Everyone wants to see St Paul's Cathedral

Why is there a cluster of tall buildings in London?
posted by Stark at 3:40 AM PST - 29 comments

November 9

Tortoise Power

The Gopher Tortoise Council The Gopher Tortoise Council was founded in 1978, to learn more about these creatures; teach about them, and preserve them. They are found in the American Southwest, burrow, these burrows provide housing for more than 350 other species. There is some controversy about how to perserve their habitat, but being endangered is because their pine forrest ecostystem has not been taken care of. This is a good explainer The 2020 meeting of the Council has been disrupted because of Covid, so the theme is "stay in your burrow" There is merch
posted by PinkMoose at 10:13 PM PST - 10 comments

"The only organ that is a non-Newtonian fluid and magnetically active!"

HUMAN ORGAN TIER LIST "Skin? Truly horrendous. F tier at best." Medlife Crisis (aka Dr Rohin Francis) stayed up too late watching Tier Zoo on YouTube and decided to rate the human organs. [more inside]
posted by Lexica at 7:53 PM PST - 16 comments

Tuneful, cheeky, glamorous & geeky

The Lounge Kittens are a (recently defunct) comedy/lounge cover band from Southampton, England. Their youtube channel features such treats as full music videos of Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, a swingin' cover of Alice Cooper's Poison, a tango version of Don't Want to Miss a Thing, an earnestly soft version of Party Hard, a medley of reggae artist Sean Paul, and their last ever performance from February.
posted by CrunchyFrog at 12:16 PM PST - 5 comments

"Something much weirder has happened."

Why do people often vote the weird ways they do? What can Democrats learn from that? David Shor, a college Marxist turned into one of the most influential data scientists in Democratic politics, has some thoughts (and a lot of data). [more inside]
posted by Ouverture at 9:42 AM PST - 93 comments

A Journey to the Center of a Spicy Dunkin’ Donut

One man’s quest to eat Dunkies’ new Spicy Ghost Pepper Donut proves to be euphorically strange—and simply life-affirming (The Ringer)
posted by adrianhon at 9:16 AM PST - 34 comments

A FIYAHCON Retrospective

L. D. Lewis writes "A FIYAHCON Retrospective": a detailed narrative of why and how organizers put together an online convention for BIPOC+ in speculative fiction. Included: "Below, you’ll find a fairly extensive overview of the costs associated with set-up of our virtual convention, as well as some notes on what worked and what didn’t." Including how much it cost to set up two "Calm Room" live cams with Monterey Bay Aquarium. [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 7:58 AM PST - 5 comments

1st COVID-19/SARS2 Vaccine

Pfizer announces it will seek emergency use authorization in UK on the announcement of a 90% effective vaccine tested in 43500 volunteers. This comes as somewhat expected news after Pfizer stated in September it would fight a US FDA EUA after US Administration Officials announced they might seek one before Phase 3 trials were complete before the November 3 US elections. The FDA has stated it would like more 2-month follow-up data on half of volunteers. [more inside]
posted by rubatan at 7:18 AM PST - 160 comments

November 8

Slash in Short Pants (Several LYT)

Green Child O' Mine by GunsNHelmets, aka The Merkins [more inside]
posted by Gorgik at 10:27 PM PST - 5 comments

Space is big.

The Size of Space - from astronaut to the observable universe. A visualization by Neal Agarwal.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 3:25 PM PST - 43 comments

US Election: The Party after the After-party

As President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris claim a mandate to lead and seek to unite a divided America, Democrats begin to wrestle with what comes next for the Party. Biden and Harris begin the work of transition even as Trump rejects the election results, and plan executive actions to roll back the Trump agenda. [more inside]
posted by invincible summer at 10:33 AM PST - 1499 comments

Alex Trebek has died at age 80.

Alex Trebek has passed after being treated for pancreatic cancer. [more inside]
posted by honeybee413 at 9:53 AM PST - 203 comments

And hold you in the palm of His hand

The victory speech that President-Elect Joe Biden gave yesterday evening contained a poignant moment as he was ending when he recalled the hymn "On Eagle's Wings." a song that was important to his family and that was sung at his son Beau's funeral. Biden quoted the hymn's chorus: And He will raise you up on eagles' wings/ Bear you on the breath of dawn/ Make you to shine like the sun/ And hold you in the palm of His hand Biden is the second Catholic to be elected to the American presidency (after JFK) and "On Eagle's Wings" is widely considered a "Catholic hymn." In 2017, the Jesuit-published America magazine took a look at “'On Eagle’s Wings': The simple origin of the song that makes the world cry." [more inside]
posted by Ranucci at 9:27 AM PST - 40 comments

Just One More Thing...

Joe Dator’s short, sweet comic on Columbo’s renewed popularity and what made the show so special (The New Yorker)
posted by adrianhon at 8:58 AM PST - 47 comments

remember you can have what you ask for, ask for everything

Poet, one of the few surviving members of the Beat generation, feminist, activist, Diane di Prima died this week. Revolutionary Letters #48, #9-11, #4, Influence (Wooing)
posted by theora55 at 8:01 AM PST - 14 comments

For all your holiday feasting needs

This Recipe Does Not Exist. Specializing in the finest, most select Googlewhacked recipe searches. Also on Twitter.
posted by Miko at 6:36 AM PST - 37 comments

November 7

Return to Yes

Remember The Creatures of Yes (trailer, particularly good example, previously), the beautifully weird and weirdly beautiful puppet show made using 1970's equipment and techniques? Last week, it returned with an epic short film, Shadow of a Splintered Mind, which leads directly into today's new video, The Road Follows the Undulations of the Countryside, the first in a weekly (Saturday morning, in fact) series.
posted by BiggerJ at 4:14 PM PST - 7 comments

Global Covid-19 news and analysis

Global COVID-19 total clears 49 million, experts weigh in on mink variant [more inside]
posted by roolya_boolya at 2:57 PM PST - 34 comments


Introducing Joe Biden, The 46th President of the United States MSNBC Says Biden is President Elect Saturday morning
NYTimes calls it for Biden
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 8:40 AM PST - 1374 comments

Generation 9

The long-awaited updates to the Xbox and Playstation are out this month. While both consoles have been praised for their jump in performance, the Xbox Series X (Digital Foundry, Polygon) boasts expansive backwards compatibility, Quick Resume game switching, and the popular Game Pass subscription; and the Playstation 5 (Digital Foundry, Polygon) has a “revolutionary” new haptic DualSense controller and highly-rated launch titles including the pack-in controller showcase Astro’s Playroom and Spider-Man: Miles Morales.
posted by adrianhon at 8:31 AM PST - 31 comments

it was very clean, not low-cut and trashy like Madonna.

November 7, 1987, Tiffany's cover of I Think We're Alone Now hit #1 on the Billboard Charts. The cover of the Tommy James And The Shondells song from 20 years before was propelled to the top by a tour of shopping malls. This oral history of The Beautiful You: Celebrating The Good Life Shopping Mall Tour is a great little distracting read for a weekend morning.
posted by hippybear at 7:36 AM PST - 32 comments

Meet an Intrepid Texan Who Spends Winters at the South Pole

Wayne White has worked for much of the last three years as site manager of the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in Antarctica, where temperatures of minus 100 degrees [Fahrenheit/-73C] don’t keep him from taking his daily walk or jog. [Texas Monthly]
posted by ellieBOA at 2:50 AM PST - 6 comments

November 6

US Election 2020 : Part 4

It’s the final count-down! As the last few battleground states try to wrap up counting their ballots from various tranches, pots and buckets, the weary nation watches with glazed eyes as former Vice President Joe Biden seems poised on the edge of the verge of the precipice of the brink of reaching the 270 Electoral Vote threshold needed to win the Presidency. With the second election thread passing 1500 comments and starting to bog down, (previous FPP here), this post is to give some relief to MeFi servers and mobile devices everywhere. May they, and all of us, get to rest soon. [edit to add: collaborative "Neverending Tuesday MF Mix" on spotify via cyndigo]
posted by darkstar at 6:45 PM PST - 712 comments

US Election 2020: Some politics is local

This week's US election included thousands of local decisions: city councils, district attorneys (as in Los Angeles), state legislatures, county recorders, school boards, judges, ballot measures (such as universal preschool in Multnomah County, Oregon), Congressmembers, and more. Queer and first-time candidates saw several victories. [If you'd like to talk about the Presidential and Senate races, please do that in the general US election thread.] [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 12:57 PM PST - 64 comments

Biking With Babies

Biking With Babies
posted by aniola at 12:27 PM PST - 15 comments

time passes very slowly when you're in a whale's mouth

'It was crazy,' says California kayaker who was engulfed in a whale's mouth Julie McSorley says she has learned her lesson about getting too close to feeding humpbacks [CBC]
posted by readinghippo at 11:17 AM PST - 21 comments

Unbearable whiteness of Bey-ing

First published in 2017, the Colour of Power was developed to graphically illustrate the lack of female and BAME representation in the upper echelons of the UK’s most powerful institutions. With thumbnails! Of course, these 1,000ish positions are top heavy with patriarchs; but some cohorts are whiter and blokier than others. CEOs NHS Trusts? Leaders of political parties? Managing Partners of law firms? Chief Constables? Disclaimer: GreenPark are head-hunters and management consultants.
posted by BobTheScientist at 10:06 AM PST - 9 comments


WordPerfect for DOS has been updated to run on modern Windows and macOS with new printer drivers, euro symbol support, and more. The creator refers to XKCD for the burning question of why some people still use a DOS-era word processor.
posted by adrianhon at 8:27 AM PST - 105 comments

Use this audio to show the world...

Over on TikTok, users often post an audio and encourage others to use it in their videos. A licensed therapist using the handle @recollectedself made an audio track encouraging fellow women to show things they have to do because you're a woman in order to feel safe. [more inside]
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 7:36 AM PST - 5 comments


Over 35 years after the concept album, and 34 after its London debut, the musical Chess is going through its debut in Moscow, in a new Russian translation. The musical has a long production history, and a story that has changed over the years, but the music has kept it beloved. The Russian production includes rewrites that humanize its KGB antagonist and has received at least some positive notice. [more inside]
posted by graymouser at 7:10 AM PST - 14 comments

Well, yeah, of course she is.

"Why couldn’t a cis person relate to a trans person? Modern trans struggle might be unique in its details, but it is definitely not alien to the human condition. We are people." Maddy Thorson writes about the protagonist of Celeste in their blog. (spoilers about the game) [more inside]
posted by simmering octagon at 6:09 AM PST - 18 comments

November 5

After Fifteen Years

System Of A Down - Protect The Land & Genocidal Humanoidz We as System Of A Down have just released new music for the first time in 15 years. The time to do this is now, as together, the four of us have something extremely important to say as a unified voice. These two songs, “Protect The Land” and “Genocidal Humanoidz” both speak of a dire and serious war being perpetrated upon our cultural homelands of Artsakh and Armenia.
posted by CrystalDave at 10:45 PM PST - 4 comments

The Forgotten History of Home Video

What video technology lay between the invention of commercial videotape in 1965 and the first camcorders in 1983? (SLYT, 30 min)
posted by solarion at 8:27 PM PST - 9 comments

COVID surges, Republicans, and Democrats

This mesmerizing time-lapse graph by Dan Goodspeed shows COVID cases since June by state partisanship. The AP reports that counties with worst virus surges overwhelmingly voted Trump. [more inside]
posted by kristi at 7:26 PM PST - 46 comments

US Election 2020 : Part 3

As the US 2020 national elections head into their third day of counting and updating vote totals in the remaining battleground states, a nation waits anxiously to see if mail-in ballots will be enough to allow former Vice President Biden to clinch the Presidency. [more inside]
posted by darkstar at 5:46 PM PST - 1596 comments

Woman the hunter

Woman the hunter: Ancient Andean remains challenge old ideas of who speared big game "The researchers report that the burial was indeed that of a female, challenging the long-standing “man the hunter” hypothesis. Her existence led them to reexamine reports of other ancient burials in the Americas, and they found 10 additional women buried with projectile points who may also have been hunters."
posted by dhruva at 3:09 PM PST - 10 comments

Let’s talk about how words sound

You’re Probably Butchering These Hard-to-Pronounce American City Names [more inside]
posted by supercrayon at 2:13 PM PST - 186 comments

Dying for movies

Suicide highlights labour issues in Canada's visual effects sector. Efforts to unionize have so far only produced a single success, though that success did come with a 98% to 2% vote in favour of unionization.
posted by clawsoon at 1:56 PM PST - 8 comments

The Faces of Americans Living in Debt

(New Yorker article) [A] good deal of the power in the new book “The Debt Project: 99 Portraits Across America,” by the photographer Brittany M. Powell, comes from a kind of transgressive mundaneness. Powell set about photographing ninety-nine Americans who owe money ... and asked them to handwrite accompanying text about how much they owe, and to whom. [more inside]
posted by MiraK at 12:31 PM PST - 14 comments

The Ultimutt Pawlitical Showdown of 2020

Meet Wilbur, the New Mayor of Rabbit Hash KY Wilbur received 13,143 votes, the highest winning total ever. Overall, there were 22,985 votes, the highest total ever for a Rabbit Hash election, according to the Rabbit Hash Historical Society. Rabbit Hash has a population of under 500 people. Organizers claim to run the "only honest election in the country." The town trades votes for cash in the mayoral election that traditionally goes to the dogs. [more inside]
posted by pjsky at 12:08 PM PST - 5 comments

Cretaceous geological upheaval and African American voting patterns

How are ancient geological forces reflected in African American voting patterns? "Look at the electoral maps by county for the last few decades of US presidential elections. You’ll notice that the South goes almost uniformly Republican red every time ... But if you look closer, there's something else there - a Democratic blue swoosh running through the heart of the South.
posted by gp_guy at 11:23 AM PST - 12 comments

I close my eyes and hear a flock of birds

BirdNET: automated bird identification based on audio recording. [more inside]
posted by runcifex at 11:21 AM PST - 18 comments

Presentations on fictional naval forces

An evening of science fiction, naval analyses, and FICINT delivered right to your computer. Join NAVYCON 2020-A to explore parts unknown. (Signup free via Eventbrite). [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation at 8:22 AM PST - 8 comments

It became the main source of inspiration for my songs.

Why I Painstakingly Built My Own Analog Drum Machine. interviews Sam Dust aka LA Priest on the years-long process of creating a drum machine from scratch, which served as both the rhythmic center of his new album's songs and its namesake. He named it Gene. [more inside]
posted by soundguy99 at 8:15 AM PST - 19 comments

1.d4 d5 2.c4

The Queen’s Gambit is a hit seven-part Netflix adaptation of Walter Tevis’ 1983 novel, following the life of an orphan chess prodigy during her quest to become the world’s greatest chess player, set in the 50s and 60s. Created by Scott Frank (Out of Sight, Minority Report, Logan) and starring Anya Taylor-Joy, it has impeccable chess credentials with Garry Kasparov and Bruce Pandolfini as consultants, along with gorgeous costumes featured in a Brooklyn Museum online exhibition. agadmator breaks down the most important chess matches in the show (1, 2, 3); a chess expert on what the show gets right (NYT). [more inside]
posted by adrianhon at 6:28 AM PST - 84 comments

No more mink

Denmark announces cull of 15 million mink over Covid mutation fears Mink furs are a big part of the Danish economy, and the decrease in tax income + the expense of compensating the farmers is going tome a big blow to the budget. But it has to happen. The main point is that the virus is mutating fairly rapidly in mink, which may lead to the current line of vaccine research being ineffective, globally. Or in other words: a new strain of COVID-19 has developed, and we have to start over. The regions where the farms are located are ordered into total lockdown. [more inside]
posted by mumimor at 3:29 AM PST - 45 comments

November 4

A Twenty-Year (And Counting) Mission

Amid all the terrestrial chaos, an anniversary slipped past almost unnoticed: humans have occupied space for a solid twenty years, courtesy of the International Space Station, a joint project of NASA, Roscosmos, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (ASC or CSA, depending). Since 2000, over two hundred astronauts, cosmonauts, and space tourists from various nations have taken turns flying above our heads. [more inside]
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:27 PM PST - 6 comments

No More Presidents

Do we need a head of state? Does the United States of America need a president? Renegade Cut: In the US the president is both the head of state (the public representative whose duties vary depending on the nation's constitution) and the head of government (the chief officer of the executive branch). This is unusual, even unique, in the Global North (the term associated with rich nations) this consolidation makes the president arguably the most powerful and influential individual in the world. [more inside]
posted by AlSweigart at 5:17 PM PST - 46 comments

Be still, my beating heart!

Heartstopper is a webcomic -- and now series of books -- by Alice Oseman. It tells the story of Charlie and Nick, two teenage boys at an all-boys school in the UK who fall in giddily in love -- though the story is as much about their worlds and how their unfolding relationship fits into those worlds as it is about the relationship itself. While the tone is generally gentle and upbeat, it does delve into issues of bullying, self-harm, and eating disorders (and episodes that might be have upsetting content have warnings at the top). [more inside]
posted by treepour at 1:36 PM PST - 14 comments

US Election Day 2020: The Sequel

Because of the ongoing vote counting in the US Elections which may take additional days to resolve, and the groaning size of the original US Election 2020 thread (excellent FPP here), this post is “Part Deux”. Let the MeFi servers and mobile devices everywhere rejoice!
posted by darkstar at 12:09 PM PST - 1736 comments

Spoopy Streaming Sensation

Phasmophobia (Win/VR via Steam Early Access) is the latest Twitch videogame sensation, “a truly terrifying psychological online co-op ghost hunting experience” (PC Gamer), “a nice, cozy kind of horror that’s light on gore but still offers genuine thrills and chills” (The Verge).
posted by adrianhon at 6:14 AM PST - 9 comments

November 3

A Different Perspective

What things look like from above ... can be utterly revealing, or rather abstract instead: the 2020 Aerial Photography Awards.
posted by Stoneshop at 11:43 AM PST - 19 comments

U.S. Election Day

It's Election Day in United States. Some 95 million people have voted early. For people voting today or helping voters: the Election Protection Hotline is run by the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and partner organizations and has staff available to help in several languages. If someone has a problem voting, call 866-OUR-VOTE. [more inside]
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:25 AM PST - 1830 comments

Imagining the End of Capitalism

Derrick O’Keefe interviews Kim Stanley Robinson (Jacobin) on his latest book, The Ministry for the Future (Bookshop), climate change, geoengineering, capitalism, co-operatives, politics, space exploration, and science fiction. Gerry Canavan’s review (LARB). [more inside]
posted by adrianhon at 6:12 AM PST - 29 comments

Everything Is Going To Be Fine

Come relax with Jon in the cabin. We're making Scotch Collops and Hot Chocolate. [SLYT, Townsends]
posted by CCBC at 1:37 AM PST - 33 comments

Designed to delight

Stop doomscrolling, start joyscrolling. Let's enjoy some Vintage Lighting... or a lot of it. Do you like Chandeliers and Pendant Lamps, or Flush Mounts and Ceiling Lamps, or Table Lamps? Maybe you'd enjoy looking at Desk Lamps, Lamps In The Movies or Floor Lamps? Perhaps Wall Lamps and Sconces are your thing, or Bedside Lamps. Possibly even Industrial Lighting is the thing that gets you going. Whatever it is, Vintageinfo – All About Vintage Lighting has you covered. [more inside]
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:58 AM PST - 11 comments

November 2

"I'm worried about The Future..."

Two years after continuing the saga of the animated Mystery Skulls gang (previously) with Hellbent, Ben "MysteryBen27" Mangum and the band have released the follow-up (and apparent penultimate episode) - The Future - this Halloween. [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 8:13 PM PST - 3 comments

Microservices — architecture nihilism in minimalism's clothes

Some recent backtracking from what we have been calling “Microservices” has sparked anew the debate around that software architecture pattern. It turns out that for increasingly more software people, having a backend with (sometimes several) hundreds of services wasn’t that great an idea after all.
posted by geoff. at 8:07 PM PST - 42 comments

the big little migration

Have you ever wondered what British Columbian tadpoles do all day? For the three million of them living in one remote Vancouver Island lake, the first challenge is the morning commute. Each day, they make a daring round trip journey, congregating in dense swarms to migrate from the deeper parts of the lake to their shallow feeding grounds and back again. Those who survive the hungry leeches and other hazards will eventually lose their baby tails and make their own way as full-grown toads. Diver-filmmaker Maxwell Hohn took a break from his scuba gear for this unusually shallow challenge: Documenting the unexpectedly lovely journey of the western toad tadpole.
posted by cnidaria at 6:19 PM PST - 13 comments

Singing together, separately

Driveway Choir
What is it? In 2020, musical groups are looking for ways to sing and play together while following social distancing recommendations. We've tried Zoom/Skype and we've tried virtual choirs, and they are better than nothing...but it doesn't compare to making music together live. With the Driveway Choir project, Bryce and Kathryn Denney have found a safe way to sing together live, with no latency, using audio gear.
[more inside]
posted by Lexica at 11:36 AM PST - 13 comments

Serene, Afloat

Last November, Venice experienced the second-worst flooding in its history. Last month, Venice’s MOSE flood barriers (the system of 78 inflatable gates, designed in 1984, begun in 2003, plagued by delays, and now expected to be completed in 2021) were successfully deployed. [more inside]
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:06 AM PST - 12 comments

A fresh Schnoodle! The awwsome poetry of r/Aww

Because you needed this today. Denizens of r/Aww and similar subreddits are familiar with the extremely wholesome poems of user SchnoodleDoodleDo. If you aren't one of those persons, and you need a little positive emotional boost today--and let's be honest, that's pretty much everyone--spend some time perusing these touching, poignant, and funny little epigrams.
posted by mikeand1 at 9:31 AM PST - 8 comments


"One Day More!" from the Les Misérables 10th Anniversary Concert at London's Royal Albert Hall, 8th October 1995.

Note: official results will not be confirmed for an uncertain, but finite, number of days more

posted by argonauta at 8:12 AM PST - 38 comments

"Bring Hearts and Souls Back."

Dr. Amy Acton , former director of the Ohio Department of Health, gives her first interview since leaving government service to Paige Williams at The New Yorker. She was the first woman to hold the position. [more inside]
posted by soundguy99 at 7:43 AM PST - 6 comments

And love dares you to change our way of caring about ourselves

Karen O and Willie Nelson cover Under Pressure (Spotify/Apple Music). O explained how the duet came about and how she was inspired by the song’s political message. “I never knew if it was actually going to happen but you must dare to dream. I hope the song brings as much light to the listener as it has to me in dark times.” [more inside]
posted by adrianhon at 5:25 AM PST - 27 comments

Kimetsu no Yaiba anime sets Japanese box office record despite pandemic

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba (鬼滅の刃) went from manga to anime to feature film in just a few short years as it quickly gained a large following in Japan. Since the second feature film, 鬼滅の刃 無限列車編 (Kimetsu no Yaiba: Infinity Train) was released domestically on October 16, despite the ongoing COVID threat, it already set a box office record by reaching the ¥10 billion mark twice as fast as any other movie. [more inside]
posted by p3t3 at 5:08 AM PST - 17 comments

November 1

This week in strange animal news.

Cougar checks itself into rehab. Monkey-slavery causes Costco to stop selling coconut milk. Man surprised by face head eating mauling leopard. Science says watching cute animals is good for human health.
posted by sardonyx at 6:00 PM PST - 31 comments

A sort of meta-newsletter, if you will

You've noticed the trend of high-profile authors switching to email bulletins. Everything old is new again, of course: authors were leaving papers for newsletters decades ago. But what if you aren't attached to any particular one and just want to see what's popular? You could subscribe to Winning The Internet, a newsletter that collects the most talked-about links from other newsletters.
posted by Monochrome at 2:58 PM PST - 33 comments

Tanks come in two forms: dangerous, deadly kind and the liberating kind

RIP Robert Fisk a giant among foreign correspondents.
1982 Sabra and Shatila massacre revisited in 2012
1996 Bin Laden interview.
2004 The Legacy of Iraq.
2005 Interview: War is the “Total Failure of the Human Spirit”
2011 For 10 years, we've lied to ourselves to avoid asking the one real question.
2015 Interview
Books on Amazon.
posted by adamvasco at 2:04 PM PST - 34 comments

Getting better at ballots

Design makes a difference. Some simple changes to US ballot designs would prevent unnecessary errors. "Here's a typical mail-in ballot package a voter might see, it is rife with design problems that cause voters to make mistakes and overlook races." More info here at the Center for Civic Design.
posted by storybored at 8:22 AM PST - 36 comments

Joey Moss, 1963-2020

Tributes have been pouring in for Joey Moss, long-time locker room attendant for the Edmonton Oilers. Wayne Gretzky, who brought him to the club, talked about him for 20 minutes. People who knew him are remembering his singing of the national anthem, his "smartass attitude", his legendary wrestling matches, his dancing, his empathy, his work ethic, and the way he flirted even after getting dementia and breaking his hip. There's general agreement that he deserves a permanent tribute that's significant, substantial, and soon.
posted by clawsoon at 8:16 AM PST - 13 comments

The “Jump Ball” of American Politics

Deep State, Deep Church: How QAnon and Trumpism Have Infected the Catholic Church by Kathryn Joyce [Vanity Fair] [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 8:10 AM PST - 45 comments

Pay to Work

Large corporations like Disney and Airbnb have outsourced their customer service to Arise Virtual Solutions. In turn, they’ve subcontracted work to “agents” who have to buy their own equipment, pay for their own training and certification, and pay monthly service and platform fees, before finally getting paid themselves (Propublica & Planet Money).
posted by adrianhon at 5:23 AM PST - 38 comments

The Great Fox-Spider is a Night-Time Hunter...

Presumed extinct since 1993, the British great fox-spider has been spotted again! Add this one to your 2020 bingo cards, folks.
posted by Slinga at 4:41 AM PST - 18 comments