December 2016 Archives

December 31

Introducing the Second Avenue Subway

Introducing the Second Avenue Subway. Almost 100 years in the making, New York City's Q train will now leave 57th St. and 7th Avenue and go uptown on the East Side, stopping at Lexington and 63rd and then 2nd Avenue at 72nd, 86th and 96th, as part of Phase One. The new subway stations feature art installations as well, including artist Vik Muniz’s “Perfect Strangers”, which depicts two men, Thor Stockman and Patrick Kellogg, a married couple who are shown holding hands.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:20 PM PST - 33 comments


What Did We Get Stuck In Our Rectums In 2016? (Deadspin) Previous years: 2015; 2014; 2013. h/t [MeFi's Own] Miss Cellania [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:37 PM PST - 70 comments

This final day in 2016

Father Mulcahy ---William Christopher, the actor best known for playing Fr. Francis Mulcahy on the smash sitcom “MASH,” has died, CBS Los Angeles reports. He was 84. [more inside]
posted by shockingbluamp at 7:15 PM PST - 87 comments

Goodbye 2016

Having taken so many we admire. Will 2017 be better? [more inside]
posted by raider at 4:33 PM PST - 84 comments

Florida Man Checks Out 2,361 Books, Doesn't Exist

Chuck Finley appears to be a voracious reader, having checked out 2,361 books at the East Lake County Library in a nine-month period this year. But Finley didn't read a single one of the books, ranging from "Cannery Row" by John Steinbeck to a kids book called "Why Do My Ears Pop?" by Ann Fullick. That's because Finley isn't real.
posted by Knappster at 4:08 PM PST - 58 comments

The Vigil

Houston musician and Episcopal priest Kemper Crabb released his album The Vigil [40m] in 1982. It's a soundtrack to a medieval squire's overnight prayers before being knighted. If you prefer your New Year's Eve more contemplative than party-filled, then this legendary Christian music album might be what you're looking for!
posted by hippybear at 3:05 PM PST - 3 comments

Books, movies, turtle paperweights, and more

A lot happened in 2016 that was regrettable, but there were some good moments too—and not just moments. Who better than David Rees to tally up the best of 2016?
posted by kenko at 2:51 PM PST - 9 comments

The Mysterious Virus That Could Cause Obesity

"...people who had been infected with SMAM-1 were on average 33 pounds heavier than those who weren’t infected."
posted by MythMaker at 2:10 PM PST - 41 comments

"...It has a unique taste, not like ovens..."

Baking bread, with lava.
posted by dfm500 at 1:20 PM PST - 11 comments

A feast of international Google food search trends

The Rhythm of Food is a collaboration between Google News Lab and Truth & Beauty. From the rise and fall of recipes over diets and drinks to cooking trends and regional cuisines. But it turns out that we can learn even more from analyzing search patterns. We collected weekly Google Trends data for hundreds of dishes and ingredients, over twelve years and plotted the results on a year clock to investigate the seasons and rhythm of food around the world. (There's tons more data if you keep digging down!)
posted by Room 641-A at 1:06 PM PST - 5 comments

Der 90 Geburtstag

It's Silvester ( New Year's Eve, the Feast of Pope Sylvester I) which means families all across Germany will be having Dinner for One tonight [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:04 PM PST - 17 comments

In some ways, the exact opposite of Dave Barry's year-end roundup

Alan Bennett publishes excerpts from his diaries each year, and the 2016 review is available for online users now. Relive previous years: 2015, 2014, 2013. Note: moderate amount of swears, frank discussion of the news. Audio material included, but not compulsory.
posted by blnkfrnk at 11:44 AM PST - 7 comments

"I wondered if that was the reason."

His parents live together but haven't spoken to each other in 23 years. Can they find a way to start again?
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 8:36 AM PST - 36 comments

We're Most Certainly Post-Something

The Morning News asks a collection of editors, journalists, writers, and activists: what were the Most and Least important stories of the year?
posted by The Whelk at 8:07 AM PST - 11 comments

Raise a Red Solo Cup to Robert L. Hulseman (1932-2016)

Robert L. Hulseman, a corporate executive who developed the sturdy red Solo cup that became indispensable at picnics, tailgate parties and barbecues and inspired a song by the country singer Toby Keith, died on Dec. 21 at his home in Northfield, Ill. He was 84. Obits in NYTimes and Chicago Tribune. [more inside]
posted by Shmuel510 at 7:57 AM PST - 16 comments

2016 wasn't exactly the most stellar year but 1916 was worse

The History of the Great War is a podcast [iTunes link]that goes "week by week through the War to End All Wars". It started in the summer of 2014 and has mostly kept to a weekly schedule since.
posted by Kattullus at 7:43 AM PST - 8 comments

Concluding 2016 with some LEGO greatness

The Brothers Brick has been showcasing the best LEGO creations on the Internet since 2005 (witness this six-years-in-the-making beauty posted just yesterday), but it wasn't until 2016 that the site decided to do a Best Creation of the Year competition, which this year went to this stunning Batman vs. Joker diorama. Here are the nominees, and here is the winner in all it's motorized action splendor.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 6:20 AM PST - 3 comments

One Man Band, Amsterdam Style

Playing a French horn while operating a player pipe organ while steering a boat at the same time (SLInstagram) It's a beautiful piece of music to boot.
posted by lawrencium at 5:07 AM PST - 22 comments

Half-spider, half-goat, half-car

Meet the Swincar, a tilting 4-wheeler electric vehicle with independent appendages that looks like "a spider doing leg stretches". Also used as an off-road wheelchair for disabled riders.
posted by elgilito at 4:29 AM PST - 19 comments

December 30

The Adventures of Donkey Ollie, or, The Greatest Anime of All Time

Beloved YouTuber Cr1TiKaL (aka penguinz0) has teamed up with Kaya Orsan to provide commentary on the serialized Christian CGI animated series (with an unexpected live-action segment) Donkey Ollie. After the break, every single episode three ways each - Cr1TiKaL's cut-down version, Kaya's full version and the official version (funded and made available for free by the charity Boat Angel). To start, Episode 1 (abridged with commentary, uncut with commentary, original). The series has a surprising history, as revealed in the comments of the Boat Angel videos (e.g. Episode 4's) - animated in the 00's, but recorded in the late 80's and early 90's. [more inside]
posted by BiggerJ at 11:38 PM PST - 8 comments


15 Ideas That Are So Goddamn Crazy, They Might be Genius (compiled from r/CrazyIdeas). [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:19 PM PST - 47 comments

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

In Animal Sentience this year, Brian Key's "Why fish do not feel pain" provoked over 40 replies, including intriguing comments on tigerfish, rays and cichlids, mormyrids, invertebrates, plants, and robot fish but also comments written or co-authored by people who've been on the blue before: Lynne Sneddon (previously), Antonio Damasio (previously), and Culum Brown (previously). Less controversial threads of related interest include those on animal mourning and insect subjectivity.
posted by Wobbuffet at 8:37 PM PST - 4 comments

Forget Alien vs. Predator, I want to see Housecat vs. Predator

Thermal Imaging Cat Video, featuring Lekki and Leo [CC] [more inside]
posted by radwolf76 at 8:18 PM PST - 19 comments

Knit 1, purl 1, dismantle white supremacy

The Knitting Mission of Ferguson, MO
posted by Lycaste at 6:21 PM PST - 17 comments

click click click click click clickclickclickclickclick

@joebloggs8040: Wait for it…
(Yes, it's a video in a tweet. But what a video!)
posted by Going To Maine at 5:52 PM PST - 28 comments

Healthcare Triage: accessible health videos

Need to explain current healthcare and medical research topics to people around you? Healthcare Triage offers informative and accessible videos on youtube: Obamacare * Is Marijuana Harmful to Health? * Why You Don't Need to Drink Milk * Exercise is NOT the Key to Weight Loss * GMOs * Is Organic Food Better for Your Health? * The Benefits of Paid Sick Leave for Workers, Employers, and Pretty Much Everybody
posted by Foci for Analysis at 11:55 AM PST - 7 comments

A Stubborn Language

They don’t borrow from English or French.[...] The word they use for automobile means “that it has wrinkled feet,” which is, incidentally, an example of how the words you have reflect your culture. If you’re a tracker, you’re going to be noticing the tire tracks—the focus of that particular word.
Language Leakage: An Interview with Sarah Thomason
posted by Rumple at 11:42 AM PST - 29 comments

Barack Obama still loves babies....2016 (and final) version

The White House Photos
posted by bluesky43 at 11:36 AM PST - 78 comments

"LiveJournal represents social media without borders."

As of a few days ago, the IP addresses for blogging service LiveJournal have moved to 81.19.74.*, a block that lookup services locate in Moscow, Russia. Now users -- especially those who do not trust the Russian government -- are leaving the platform and advising others to leave. [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 10:48 AM PST - 88 comments

The Empire Splashes Back

Real-life Star Wars speeder bike chase using water jets for the speeder bikes. Via Jim C. Hines.
posted by Lexica at 10:23 AM PST - 14 comments

i see the blade in your hand/what you waitin' for

Since 2014, Corbin (f/k/a Spooky Black & Lil Spook) has not been slacking. He is part of the Stand4rd with fellow Minnesota musicians Bobby Raps, Allan Kingdom, and Psymun and has been releasing solo material and touring as well. A short mix under the cut. [more inside]
posted by griphus at 9:23 AM PST - 2 comments

A Utopia for the Deaf in Martha's Vineyard

Once upon a time, in Martha's Vineyard, everyone spoke sign language. The nearly forgotten story of Martha's Vineyard Sign Language. (Via Atlas Obscura)
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:19 AM PST - 5 comments

Why Your New Years Eve Celebrations will Probably Suck [3min 34sec SYTL]

Remember: NYE is only 0.273972603% of the entire year. Quick draw Youtube Channel AsapScience explains why the expectations and the reality of New Years Eve celebrations so rarely match. [more inside]
posted by Faintdreams at 7:59 AM PST - 49 comments

New Perspectives

TIME Magazine selects the Best Drone Photos of 2016. (Deslided version)
posted by capricorn at 7:32 AM PST - 12 comments

Dr Didg's final jam

Graham Wiggins was a researcher in solid-state physics who contributed to the technologies in MRI scanners, though he was better-known as Dr. Didg. He passed away in September this year after leaving us a demonstration of didgeridoo playing on a vacuum cleaner tube (interview and music), the invention of the keyed didgeridoo (interview and music), and a lot of good music fronting Outback and Dr. Didg. An occasional fixture on the jam band circuit (taking breaks for the sake of his day job), he managed to both perform at Glastonbury and with the Grateful Dead. (Captioning in all videos is auto-generated; all videos are music-only unless noted) [more inside]
posted by ardgedee at 6:54 AM PST - 7 comments

Be Healthy Or Else

How Corporations Became Obsessed with Fitness Tracking [more inside]
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 6:03 AM PST - 82 comments

It's all coming to an end, or is it?

You probably counted down and welcomed it into your home. 2016 doesn't care. "It's just locker-room talk."
posted by pashdown at 5:41 AM PST - 28 comments

Bernard Fox: 1927-2016

A star whose passing we missed earlier this month, Fox was famous for his roles in Bewitched and Hogan's Heroes.
posted by bryon at 5:07 AM PST - 24 comments

December 29

Felines, Canines and Tiny Humans

Cats meeting babies for the first time (mostly "WTF?"). Dogs meeting babies for the first time (mostly "WTF!"). (h/t Miss Cellania)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:49 PM PST - 26 comments

Prince, Carrie Fisher, and Gene Wilder riding on a white horse....

JPL says the comet may be visible as people welcome in 2017 on Saturday. Even if you're not a fan of New Year's Eve fireworks, you'll have another reason to look to the skies. NASA says as we ring in the new year, a comet will near the moon and be visible to those looking west. But here's the catch - you'll need a pair of binoculars to see it. NASA says comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková, named after the astronomers who discovered it in 1948, takes 5.25 years to complete its orbit. [more inside]
posted by shockingbluamp at 6:36 PM PST - 14 comments

"Your itinerary of self-destruction is a stellar one"

What happens when your sabbatical tenant refuses to leave? A professor decided to rent her Berkeley-area home while she took a semester's sabbatical to conduct research in France. When her tenant, another professor, stopped paying rent, and her neighbors reported concerns about how her property was being treated, she tried to evict him. It was a far more difficult process than she imagined. Renowned scholars Judith Butler and Wendy Brown offered their support in the form of scathing emails.
posted by TwoStride at 5:43 PM PST - 109 comments

They're all good animals.

Bored Panda is compiling 100s of photos of People Posting Pics Of Their Animals Before And After Being Called A Good Boy. (Click the "show 10 more" link after the last pic.)
posted by Room 641-A at 5:29 PM PST - 48 comments

"You aren't offering anything back to the public."

How Pittsburgh became Uber's Kitty Hawk: Gov't emails reveal the promise, pitfalls of alliance — PennLive reports on the often chummy, sometimes adversarial relationship between Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and Uber senior executives, including co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick. [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu at 4:33 PM PST - 31 comments

"The busy world before you is unfurled": early BBC television

The test transmission from August 1936 is shown in the documentary Television Comes to Bradford, followed by a 1986 interview with the singer, Helen McKay. Regular broadcasts began in November 1936. One of the early programmes was a documentary, Television Comes to London. First part is about the work to convert Alexandra Palace into a broadcasting station. From 12.40 the film shows the first night of broadcasting. [more inside]
posted by paduasoy at 1:53 PM PST - 6 comments

The diverse patchwork of Southern food styles is beginning to blur

The Surprisingly Recent Story of How Shrimp and Grits Won Over the South. This isn't a new article, but damn did it make me want some shrimp and grits.
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:43 PM PST - 44 comments

A huge man screamed about Cream for 2.5 Minutes

Hey, people who watch pro wrestling: give me your favorite most ridiculous wrestling thing that I can immediately accuse you of lying about asks Maddi Gonzalez on Twitter.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:41 PM PST - 24 comments

Hey, Willrow. Where you goin' with that ice cream machine in your hand?

The bewildering array of disk formats clearly confuses consumers in the Star Wars universe. In A New Hope, Luke Skywalker, who is tech-savvy enough to be trusted to help purchase a droid and then clean it up, seems to be stumped by the disk drive on R2-D2. “You’ve got something jammed in here real good,” he says to R2-D2, as though he doesn’t know it’s a disk. If it’s a disk drive, wouldn’t it obviously be a disk, and wouldn’t he know to push a button to eject it?
From Tape Drives to Memory Orbs, the Data Formats of Star Wars Suck
[⚠️ Contains spoilers for Rogue One ⚠️]
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:01 PM PST - 129 comments

"When your local place closes up, you're pretty much lost."

Rural resident pool cash to save last bars, gathering sites Once-bustling Renwick, Iowa, lost its grocery, hardware store, school and Ford dealership years ago, but when its sole bar closed last June, it seemed to some residents there wasn't much of a town left. So a group of seven friends and spouses who had met for beers at the bar for decades took matters into their own hands.
posted by Michele in California at 12:38 PM PST - 54 comments

The Classic Concordance of Cacographic Chaos

"The Chaos represents a virtuoso feat of composition, a mammoth catalogue of about 800 of the most notorious irregularities of traditional English orthography, skilfully versified (if with a few awkward lines) into couplets with alternating feminine and masculine rhymes. The selection of examples now appears somewhat dated, as do a few of their pronunciations, indeed a few words may even be unknown to today's readers (how many will know what a "studding-sail" is, or that its nautical pronunciation is "stunsail"?), and not every rhyme will immediately "click" ("grits" for "groats"?); but the overwhelming bulk of the poem represents as valid an indictment of the chaos of English spelling as it ever did." [more inside]
posted by amnesia and magnets at 10:06 AM PST - 18 comments

Shut up and calculate...

What does any of this have to do with physics? An excellent long form essay on graduate school in physics.
posted by kaibutsu at 9:48 AM PST - 22 comments

This platform stuff is getting out of hand

Amazon's latest idea: Airdrop Packages From Floating Blimp Warehouses.
posted by storybored at 8:27 AM PST - 87 comments

Should life be hard?

MeFi's own Mark Rosenfelder answers a reader question about whether "the idea that life needs to suck" is true. TL;DR, he doesn't think it is, but it's worth reading on for more.
posted by SansPoint at 8:24 AM PST - 17 comments

ugly rotten mean punk scum

City Cat (possibly NSFW?) was a Serbian TV adaptation of Bane Kerac's vigilante superhero comic Cat Claw.
posted by griphus at 8:22 AM PST - 2 comments

What's happening in Chicago

More than 750 people have been murdered in Chicago in 2016. It has become dangerous enough that more than a fifth of Chicago’s 652 public schools have Safe Passage routes to help children travel safely.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:12 AM PST - 69 comments

A steam train chugs and tootles through the Worcestershire countryside

After previous shows on buses, boats and sleighs, this season's Slow TV offering from the BBC is a one hour train ride on the Flying Scotsman (trailer), plying the Severn Valley Railway from Bridgnorth to Kidderminster. Locomotive 4472, built in 1924, was the first train to exceed 100mph (in 1934) and, post-restoration, hauls carriages around various lines while drawing substantial crowds and train enthusiasts (extremely English scene). More: big steam, with a news helicopter, leaving a station, ascending Shap, and again, and steaming past.
posted by Wordshore at 4:57 AM PST - 11 comments

December 28

The Gay Blade: An Independent Publication Serving the Gay Community

Through an ongoing partnership with the DC Public Library, digitized issues from the first decades of LGBT newspaper The Washington Blade (1969-) are now freely available online. [more inside]
posted by waninggibbon at 11:02 PM PST - 7 comments

“...the platform that could.”

PlayStation Vita: Is It Better to Burn Bright Than to Fade Away? [Playstation Lifestyle] “For PlayStation Vita, Sony hasn’t cut ties with its beloved handheld just yet. Third-party AAA support may be dwindling, but perhaps out of necessity the device has become more of a thriving hotspot for indie darlings, quirky Japanese titles and tactile platformers, and less a platform that boasts console gaming on the go. It’s been a funny old road for Sony’s handheld, though signs point to the PlayStation Vita motoring on for the foreseeable future, even if the Japanese platform holder’s attention, marketing and stage time will soon be occupied by PlayStation VR. The install base may have plateaued, but so long as the two-fold relationship between developers supporting the device and consumers picking up those ports — not matter how long they take to arrive — Vita will continue to exist as “the platform that could.” Let’s just hope we’ll be saying the same when its 5th birthday rolls around.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 9:01 PM PST - 34 comments

The blood you’ve donated could be in somebody’s boner right now.

Shower Thoughts is a tumblr that often steals from r/showerthoughts. Best Of Shower Thoughts has some classics. (previously)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:32 PM PST - 52 comments

"Neo-Sithism and Neo-Imperialism are the same ideology."

Leia Organa: A Critical Obituary
Leia Organa, the politician and revolutionary who led the defeat of the Galactic Empire, died after a short illness. She was 60 years old. Hers was a life laced with controversy concerning everything from her tactics to her very ancestry, but her intelligence, commitment to the Republican cause, and place at the heart of the Rebellion, and later the Resistance against Neo-Imperialism, remains the indisputable core of her legacy.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:14 PM PST - 31 comments


Debbie Reynolds has died at the age of 84.
posted by DRoll at 6:12 PM PST - 171 comments

Weather forecasts, uncensored

Adam Evans, New Hampshire's Hillbilly Weatherman gives it to you straight, no expletives deleted. Current storm report. Semi-disjointed website with past reports. Randomly organized YouTube channel. Facebook page. Better chronological set of videos. Is he for real? View this profile, in which he tries out at his local TV station.
posted by beagle at 4:57 PM PST - 17 comments

If it’s a tenuous connection going back many years he should state that.

Author Joseph Boyden defends Indigenous heritage after investigation. [more inside]
posted by kneecapped at 4:20 PM PST - 24 comments

Scout Law says: a Scout must be kind. Mostly. Sometimes. Or not.

NJ Boy Scouts kick out 8-year old Joe Maldonado who is transgender. “It made me mad,” Joe, said. “I had a sad face, but I wasn’t crying. I’m way more angry than sad. My identity is a boy. If I was them, I would let every person in the world go in. It’s right to do.” [more inside]
posted by Mike Mongo at 2:53 PM PST - 129 comments

Musical Chord Progression Arpeggiator

Here's a cool tool for trying out various chords.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 1:44 PM PST - 18 comments


A video of a man passing out repeatedly on a rollercoaster becomes magnificent with the addition of Windows shutdown/startup sounds. (SLYT)
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:12 AM PST - 37 comments

"Never ever, ever, ever, ever... Not in this universe or any other."

Rafaël Rozendaal's mysterious website/artwork, a virtual safe with a combination lock, has stood unopened since its creation in 2009. The artist has released a definitive statement regarding the combination on his website, about which he is asked frequently. This would seem to imply that there there is a combination, and that it can be unlocked, however that may not necessarily be the case. [more inside]
posted by Krazor at 10:45 AM PST - 17 comments

What to Do When Grandma Has Dementia

Working while caregiving can take a big toll on you. Caregivers who have full-time day jobs suffer from poor health, low work productivity, and emotional burnout and breakdowns. The important thing is to always get enough sleep, and keep your nutrition up—take vitamins. You have to keep a disciplined schedule. Wake up at this time, do you, then do Grandma, then do you again, then do Grandma once more and be off to work. After work, come home and do Grandma, then do you, then do Grandma till she falls asleep, then do yourself once more and go to bed. Somewhere in-between the Grandma and the you and the work, don’t forget to do God. [more inside]
posted by narancia at 9:50 AM PST - 17 comments

The Best Medicine

2016 was a very, very bad year no matter how you slice it. In tough times, comedy is often a form of escape that people turn to when they need comforting. With that in mind, [Splitsider] asked our contributors to pick the one piece of comedy in any form that they turn to when they really need cheering up. We’ll be sharing their choices throughout the week in a package we’re calling “The Best Medicine.”
posted by Etrigan at 9:44 AM PST - 11 comments

Watching you watch

50 maps of the U.S. cultural divide (NYT) - based on Facebook "likes" of TV shows.
posted by hilaryjade at 5:55 AM PST - 73 comments

Through a Glass, Dark Enlightenment

The World's Largest Hedge Fund Is Building an Algorithmic Model of Its Founder's Brain - "Mr. Dalio has the highest stratum score at Bridgewater, and the firm has told employees he has one of the highest in the world. Likewise, Bridgewater's software judges Mr. Dalio the firm's most 'believable' employee in matters such as investing and leadership, which means his opinions carry more weight. Mr. Dalio is always in search of new data with which to measure his staff. He once raised the idea of using head bands to track people's brain waves, according to one former employee. The idea wasn't adopted." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 4:04 AM PST - 80 comments

December 27

A good laugh is sunshine in the house.

21 Photos That Get Funnier the Longer You Stare at Them. Mostly true. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:26 PM PST - 68 comments

A day in the life of Auschwitz today

"After" is a stark and haunting short film by Polish director Lukasz Konopa In 1947, the Polish government established the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, which has since been visited by about 1.72 million people from around the world. Konopa deftly captures a setting where the horrors of the past and the activities of the present exist side by side.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 4:59 PM PST - 18 comments

It be filled with my LOVE always

"One of the most enigmatic objects on display in the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture is "Ashley's Sack." On loan from South Carolina's Middleton Place, this unbleached cotton sack features an embroidered text recounting the slave sale of a nine-year-old girl named Ashley and the gift of the sack by her mother. Until now, Ashley's identity has been unknown. New research by Mark Auslander traces Ashley's Sack from the initial gift during the era of slavery to the present."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:09 PM PST - 43 comments

Carrie Fisher (1956-2016)

Carrie Fisher passed away this morning after suffering a cardiac event on Dec. 23rd [more inside]
posted by Carillon at 10:09 AM PST - 547 comments

“My heart has joined the Thousand, for my friend stopped running today.”

Richard Adams, author of Watership Down, has died aged 96. Read this article on "the power of not-quite-appropriate children's books".
posted by transient at 10:06 AM PST - 126 comments

Flying the Itchy Skies

American Airlines issued new uniforms to its front-line employees in September, the first such redesign in decades. Almost immediately, though, flight attendants reported hives and headaches, and despite AA claiming that three separate tests had revealed no issues, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants has filed a grievance (2-page PDF) demanding that employees be given the option to wear the old uniforms. AA executives have responded by wearing the new uniforms themselves. Union representatives are not amused.
posted by Etrigan at 9:35 AM PST - 41 comments

Midwinter Middle English

The language of Chaucer and Malory, Middle English can be surprisingly approachable for modern English speakers even 800 years later (although knowing a little French or German doesn't hurt). Let's dive in! [more inside]
posted by jedicus at 8:29 AM PST - 10 comments

The Rooms They Left Behind

Quiet Places: After the deaths of these 10 notable people, The New York Times photographed their private spaces — as they left them. (Mitch Epstein, NYT) [via]
posted by Think_Long at 7:09 AM PST - 13 comments

December 26

6,944km, 17 restaurants, many stories

Chop Suey Nation (Globe & Mail) - Ann Hui
I became determined to find Huang, to understand how she ended up running a Chinese restaurant on Fogo Island. I wanted to know how she wound up there alone. So I set out a plan: to drive across the country, visiting as many small-town Chinese restaurants as possible. I’d start on the West Coast, where the earliest wave of Chinese settlers began arriving in 1858. From there, I would make my way east across a 2 ½ -week period, roughly tracing the path of the railway. [more inside]
posted by CrystalDave at 9:11 PM PST - 32 comments

"[their] real gender that has [long] been hidden will become visible"

In the Islamic Republic of Iran — unlike any other country in the Persian Gulf region — sex reassignment is not only allowed, but also subsidised by the government. Unfortunately, it's not as rosy as it sounds.
posted by AFABulous at 6:27 PM PST - 24 comments

A trail that ends in shimmering Sparkles

The Two-Year Mystery Is Over: This Is Frog Fractions 2. [more inside]
posted by oulipian at 5:43 PM PST - 39 comments

Britain's favourite grandmother, Liz Smith (1921-2016)

Actress Liz Smith, who played "Nana" in the Royle Family (and Mrs Cropley in the Vicar of Dibley) has died aged 95. Smith appeared in the sitcom as Norma ‘Nana’ Jean. She also had roles in 2point4 Children, Lark Rise to Candleford, Bottom, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles and Lovejoy, films such as A Private Function and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and was the voice of Mrs Mulch in Wallace and Gromit's The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. She was awarded an MBE in 2009; Ralf Little and Richard E Grant pay tribute. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore at 4:02 PM PST - 22 comments

We've made it to another Zelda Day

Back in the days of the Super Famicom (Japan's version of the SNES), there was a peripheral, only released in Japan, called the Satellaview, that allowed games to be broadcast and downloaded through a satellite broadcast service. Some games were only made available through this service, and many are lost today, including a number of very obscure Kirby games. Two games available on Satellaview were special versions of The Legend of Zelda (Previously), and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. More info is available at the BS Zelda homepage, as is, for the first time, a completely recovered, translated and playable version of the Satellaview LttP remix, Ancient Stone Tablets, complete with voice acting! There's quite a bit [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 4:00 PM PST - 17 comments

Both famous and not famous enough

Earlier this year seldom seen photos that Gisele Freund took of Frida Kahlo were published. (Amazon).
Freund now has her own archival website.
There are the writers; the Artists and the actors.
She was the first female member of Magnum in 1947 and was described by the New York Times as both famous and not famous enough.
She has been on the Blue previously.
posted by adamvasco at 3:35 PM PST - 3 comments

gadji beri bimba glandridi laula lonni cadori

From Revolutionary to Normative: A Secret History of Dada and Surrealism in American Music is an overview by composer Matthew Greenbaum of music influenced by dada and surrealism, focusing on the American context, but by no means limited to it. You can hear some dada music over at UbuWeb. If you want an overview of dada itself, Alfred Brendel wrote about The Growing Charm of Dada. [First two links via Open Culture.]
posted by Kattullus at 3:22 PM PST - 12 comments

Green Lanterns

Noah hits 240 green lights Noah Forman is a NYC ride-share driver and used to drive a yellow cab. Here he attempts a record run at hitting consecutive green lights while driving in Manhattan NY. He gets an estimated 240 of them. What the record is we have no idea. But I'm going to call it this run of 240 of them unless someone shows us video proof of someone beating this one.
posted by chavenet at 2:46 PM PST - 29 comments

Not even one chiptune

For his Gamembient mix, German producer Basco pulls together tracks from fifteen different video game scores to create a wistful, melancholic soundtrack to your day. [more inside]
posted by Going To Maine at 2:16 PM PST - 12 comments

Next year might be better / but I don't see any proof

Mac McCaughan (Superchunk, Portastatic) delivers a bitter valediction to 2016 with his new song "Happy New Year (Prince Can't Die Again)."
posted by Maaik at 1:06 PM PST - 17 comments

More mysterious and more complex than we had imagined.

Astronomer Vera Rubin (1928-2016), discovered the presence of dark matter in galaxies by observing their rotation. Her groundbreaking observations demonstrated that the rotation of galaxies is faster, especially in their outskirts, than what is expected from the gravitational pull of all of their normal, luminous mass (stars, gas, etc). This pioneering observation revealed that a large part of the mass of galaxies is in the form of dark matter. [more inside]
posted by kms at 1:02 PM PST - 31 comments

What can be more amazing than having a best friend?

Before & After Pics Of Animals Growing Up Together (SLBoredPanda). That is all.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:30 PM PST - 10 comments

Who’s the narc that gave him the pink

"The Anish Kapoor / Stuart Semple pigment war is simultaneously modern art's greatest and pettyest feud" [more inside]
posted by griphus at 11:02 AM PST - 34 comments

A Bit Late for Your Christmas Ghost Story, but...

Around Halloween, the BBC 3 series The Essay took a break from its program(me) of short audio musings on issues of art, philosophy, and similar topics for a short and creepy audio drama, the Stroma Sesions. [more inside]
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:56 AM PST - 6 comments

George S. Irving

George S. Irving has died. Irving first appeared on Broadway in 1943 in Oklahoma!, only to be drafted into service two days later. He spent more than 60 years on stage, recently reprising a role he created in "So Long, 174th Street", which has been retitled, "Enter Laughing."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:29 AM PST - 13 comments

Revisiting "Children of Men" Ten Years On

An in-depth retrospective of the troubled production of Alfonso Cuaron's bleak modern masterpiece of speculative fiction, Children of Men, a decade after it bombed in theaters.
posted by killdevil at 9:49 AM PST - 121 comments

It's a secret to everybody

Original design documents and sketches for the first Legend of Zelda game
posted by The Whelk at 9:37 AM PST - 3 comments


The farmer who built her own broadband
posted by Michele in California at 8:06 AM PST - 31 comments

December 25

You make the sun shine brighter than Doris Day

George Michael, dead at age 53
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 3:57 PM PST - 278 comments

Gun Jesus Apocrypha: The Gospel of Browning

A brief Christmas reading by Youtube's amazing Forgotten Weapons.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 3:40 PM PST - 8 comments

Can the Queen of Tupperware Hang On to Her Throne?

The Long Island drag queen Aunt Barbara was North America’s top Tupperware-seller — until she came out as trans
posted by Etrigan at 2:28 PM PST - 8 comments

Egg, Egg, Egg, Egg, Egg, Egg, Fence

2016 Year friends was a (sort of) monthly web series from some of the best young talent in British comedy. Now complete, the show was a labor of love created after the BBC failed to pick up the group's TV pilot People Time, which featured the sketch Sexy American Girls.
posted by dagosto at 2:11 PM PST - 5 comments

The Widowhood Effect

What it’s like to lose a spouse in your 30s. Christina Frangou talks about the experience of losing her husband to cancer at the age of 36.
posted by mrbill at 1:20 PM PST - 24 comments

This Holiday Season…eh, screw it.

In 2008 my mother called and told me since I was away at school, I wouldn’t be in the Christmas photo that year. She jokingly suggested I “sober up” and send out my own Christmas cards.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:15 PM PST - 8 comments

A very edgy Denis Leary Christmas special, straight from 2005

Old St. Nick’s got bourbon breath, It’s so cold you could catch your death, A cop sold me some crystal meth, It’s a Merry f**king Christmas ♫ And thus opens Denis Leary's Merry F**king Christmas, an explicit holiday special from Comedy Central in 2005, for all those who love Christmas—and for those who can’t wait until December 26th. Obscene parodies of holiday classics and celebrity guests including Charlie Murphy, Carmen Electra, William Shatner, and the Barenaked Ladies, plus a GWB impersonator -- something to upset everyone.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:53 AM PST - 10 comments

Have a Very Inessential Christmas and a Superfluous New Year

The (Onion) A. V. Club presents "From Train to Star Wars electronica, this is 2016’s least essential music" [more inside]
posted by koavf at 8:43 AM PST - 4 comments

Guys, I’m eating junk and watching rubbish!

It’s the perfect movie-within-a-movie: a one-minute-and-20-second noir-in-a-nutshell that feels like a fleeting glimpse of a long-lost classic.: Angels With Filthy Souls
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:28 AM PST - 16 comments

Merry Christmas from six letters

"Holidays 2016 (Day 3) Warm Climates" is today's Google Doodle. Created by Gerben Steenks.
posted by doctornemo at 7:38 AM PST - 8 comments

I'll pass on the mistletoe

Thanks to the magic of video editing, we can have a Peacock Spider Christmas (SLYT). Aw, look at all the tiny little eyes.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 6:23 AM PST - 19 comments

December 24

Welcome to Australia

Australian kids draw 'welcome' artworks for newly-arrived migrants and refugees. Refugee or migrant families who come to Australia are given a welcome pack but while it contains a lot of important information for parents, there is nothing for their kids. So ABC TV's news program for kids, Behind the News, teamed up with non-partisan not-for-profit group Welcome to Australia to fill that need. BtN invited their viewers to draw a picture showing what people love most about living in this country. They received 12,134 artworks, 100 of which will be published in a Welcome Book. Most of the rest have been scanned and compiled into an online gallery at the BtN website.
posted by valetta at 10:28 PM PST - 18 comments

Prometheus 2

Alien: Covenant - Official trailer
posted by Artw at 9:59 PM PST - 143 comments

“the beat breaks and your teeth break”

It's a Christmas F*cking Miracle: Run The Jewels Just Dropped 'RTJ 3' [Noisey] The long-awaited third album from Killer Mike [@killermike] and El-P [@therealelp] is here ahead of schedule. With Christmas Day minutes away on the East Coast, Run The Jewels [@runthejewels] have released their long-awaited third studio album, RTJ 3. It's a Christmas Fucking Miracle [YouTube].
posted by Fizz at 8:56 PM PST - 22 comments

"Hi, I’m Jimi Hendrix. I’ve been watching you guys...

and I think your guitarist is better than me." The guitarist Hendrix was referring to was Terry Kath. Here is an hour & thirty five minutes of Chicago, live from 7/21/1970 at Tanglewood, Lenox, MA. [more inside]
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:27 PM PST - 45 comments

A Frozen Fracas

11,000 Penguins. 4,000 Santa Clauses (with candy cane cudgels). Epic Battle Simulator seeks to answer the question: who would win?
posted by codacorolla at 5:16 PM PST - 33 comments

My father’s fence

It has often been said that when an Igbo man’s wife makes a request of him, he will move mountains to achieve it. Thus it was that when my mother, who lost her father, and some of her brothers, on the same, rainy day, in October 1967, asked my dad to do a memorial to them, he obliged, and did the memorial on his fence. The pix you’ll see next are the result, and I’ll do a sort of story guide…
posted by infini at 1:11 PM PST - 10 comments

Vesna Vulović, the stewardess who fell to earth (1950-2016).

Vesna Vulović, an air stewardess who survived the highest ever fall without a parachute after her plane broke up at 33,000ft (10,000m), has died aged 66. She was not scheduled to be on that flight, being mixed up with another flight attendant named Vesna. Trapped in the plane’s tail cone, she plummeted to earth in sub-freezing temperatures and landed on a steep, heavily wooded slope. She had a fractured skull, two crushed vertebrae and a broken pelvis, ribs and legs. She went on to put her celebrity at the service of political causes, protesting against Slobodan Milošević’s rule in the 1990s and later campaigning for liberal forces in elections. The MythBusters investigation, later questions about the circumstances and height of fall, and more. (previously)
posted by Wordshore at 12:20 PM PST - 28 comments

They're absolutely haunted by what they're not

The Ad and the Ego (1997; 57mins; transcript; study guide [PDF]) is a classic documentary featuring sound design by Negativland; it incorporates many well-known ads to ask "Where does advertising end and myself begin?" Aileen Farrar's beginner's introduction (2015; 25mins) to Jacques Derrida's "The Animal That Therefore I Am (More to Follow)" [PDF] offers oblique suggestions regarding the "mixed and confused messages" of Orangina's anthropomorphic animal ads to address another matter of self and difference--how "human identity ... rests upon following the animal."
posted by Wobbuffet at 12:13 PM PST - 5 comments

R.E.M. Disco?

Laughing – R.E.M.; or, Bill Berry takes Peter Buck to the disco without Peter even realising it*
posted by josher71 at 11:01 AM PST - 18 comments

Another One Gone...

Rick Parfitt, guitarist with Status Quo, has died aged 68 of complications following a shoulder injury. [more inside]
posted by 43rdAnd9th at 10:03 AM PST - 21 comments

Trump Eggs: They're All White!™

Yolkless eggs are actually common enough that chicken keepers have a number of names for them—fairy egg, witch egg, rooster egg, oops eggs, dwarf egg, wind egg, and, most commonly, fart egg. This is but one of the myriad ways an egg can go wonky. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:25 AM PST - 32 comments

December 23

To be...

In which Paapa Essiedu, Tim Minchin, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dame Harriet Walter, David Tennant, Rory Kinnear, Sir Ian McKellen, Dame Judi Dench and HRH the Prince of Wales get into a philosophical discussion involving Shakespeare. [6m25s]
posted by hippybear at 9:16 PM PST - 40 comments

A Thaw in the Matrix

Virus, Coal, and Seed: Subcutaneous Life in the Polar North: Anthrax, Coal, Flu, and the Global Seed Bank on Svalbard. The 2016 average annual temperature on Svalbard is projected to be above freezing for the first time ever. [more inside]
posted by Rumple at 7:13 PM PST - 18 comments

And we're off...

Not christmas till you see the King William's College Quiz? Then Christmas is here! Take time out to have your mind blown and be reminded how little you know! [more inside]
posted by biffa at 4:31 PM PST - 169 comments

NYC's Graveyard Shift

The men and women who work while the rest of the city sleeps. [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 2:21 PM PST - 38 comments

Oh geez. Gonna need more scrapers.

"The barge-tug combo Great Lakes Trader-Joyce L. VanEnkevort arrived in Duluth on Tuesday morning to pick up a load of iron ore pellets. It already was carrying a cargo of ice". Alternate YT link (ambient sound only, no narration). On Monday of this week, the US Coast Guard began ice-breaking operations on the Great Lakes. Here in photos.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:50 PM PST - 15 comments

Perfect, firm, well rounded, flavourful tomatoes

The Top 30 Greatest Classic Bollywood Films of All Time
posted by infini at 11:31 AM PST - 32 comments

Shake it off, Shake it off

It's time for the best mashups of 2016! The very talented Adrian & Mysterious D have assembled a phenomenal album of the best mashups of 2016. Freely available to stream and download, with an archive of many previous years. Some sweet tunes to help you shake off those troubles. [more inside]
posted by LegallyBread at 10:28 AM PST - 12 comments


As Rogue One plays, the US Electoral College, despite possible rebellions and protests, votes: 304 for Donald Trump, 227 for Hillary Clinton, 3 for Colin Powell, and 1 each for Faith Spotted Eagle, Bernie Sanders, Ron Paul and John Kasich. On the squawk mortar, the former obsessive green ink letter writer tussles with POTUS #42 and gets nuclear (more), while the current POTUS restricts offshore drilling and stays a figure of hope. With the inauguration and ball less than a month away, the stage is being built while performers are still being negotiated. Retrospections and speculations on what the wounded Democratic Party and liberals do next, and who leads, abounds. Meanwhile, liberals are arming, Pence is interpreting, Estonians are worried, North Carolina is undemocratic and funding signs are ominous. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore at 10:00 AM PST - 3521 comments

"I don't think the schools assign enough homework."

BoredPanda presents an array of real-life snowmen, many of which pay homage to the winter creativity of young Calvin and his friend Hobbes.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:25 AM PST - 16 comments

...and yet Henry remains in possession of all ten fingers.

Dwyer Murphy and LitHub bring us the story of The Last Bookbinder on the Lower East Side, a man who is called Henry, after his shop at 135 Henry Street.
posted by Etrigan at 7:03 AM PST - 10 comments

Forgotten Weapons

Ever wondered how a minigun works? Professional gun nerd Ian McCollum shows you how. And again in slow motion. There is not usually so much mayhem in his videos, Early Automatic Pistol Cartridges or Development of the Luger are more typical.
posted by Bee'sWing at 6:01 AM PST - 40 comments

Homosexuality in Dutch debates on Islam and multiculturalism

A queer nodal point: Homosexuality in Dutch debates on Islam and multiculturalism. [more inside]
posted by stonepharisee at 5:40 AM PST - 10 comments

Why time management is ruining our lives

All of our efforts to be more productive backfire – and only make us feel even busier and more stressed. [SLGuardian]
posted by forza at 5:08 AM PST - 39 comments

December 22

Haaa, haaa, ha ha ha ha haha ha ha...

The members of the Lost Media Wiki have been relentless in their pursuit of lost TV show episodes and the like... for better or for worse. The entirety of the infamous 1950's TV animated series Paddy the Pelican (although there is no evidence that this incarnation of the show, previously a puppet show, ever actually aired) has been rediscovered and put up on YouTube, including better versions of the previously YouTubed Piggy Bank Robbery and Two Wet Bears. [more inside]
posted by BiggerJ at 11:46 PM PST - 20 comments

A word, if you will. ".... is a new kind of word reference that can help you write about anything! Unlike a thesaurus, which groups words by their meaning, we group subject-related words by parts of speech...." [more inside]
posted by storybored at 9:05 PM PST - 7 comments

Communities founded on shared delusion: Prepper Edition

SHTF: Shit Hitting the Fan | "Preparation is something you do now that isn’t for now. It’s defined by what isn’t, yet... And for preppers that something is: disaster. A big one."
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 7:13 PM PST - 75 comments

The archaeology of the recent past

Please enjoy In Transit, a short film documenting the work of archaeologists as they excavate a 1991 Ford Transit Van. John Schofield, the project's principal investigator, specializes in the archaeology of the recent past.
posted by Morpeth at 4:09 PM PST - 10 comments

Ba-Be-Bi-Bo-Bu, the Cuz's Anthem

What song connects new-wave rock with American vaudeville and William Caxton, England's first printer and publisher? Why, it's Swingin' the Alphabet [text link], which was based on The Alphabet Song, otherwise called Ba-Be-Bi-Bo-Bu and The Cuz's Anthem.
Here it is performed by The Three Stooges, and by Oingo Boingo. [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:01 PM PST - 6 comments


The City That Knows How To Eat A short essay by a food critic reflecting on Melbourne, its food culture and life more generally.
posted by wilful at 3:59 PM PST - 45 comments

Roko's Basilisk: Like Sithrak, but more dour

Superintelligence: The Idea That Eats Smart People (Maciej Cegłowski) So we've created a very powerful system of social control, and unfortunately put it in the hands of people who run it are distracted by a crazy idea.
What I hope I've done today is shown you the dangers of being too smart. Hopefully you'll leave this talk a little dumber than you started it, and be more immune to the seductions of AI that seem to bedevil smarter people.
We should all learn a lesson from Stephen Hawking's cat: don't let the geniuses running your industry talk you into anything. Do your own thing!

posted by CrystalDave at 3:47 PM PST - 110 comments

The Ultimate Guide To Winning Your White Elephant Gift Exchange

Just in time for the holidays, FiveThirtyEight devises a simple method to "winning" a white elephant/Yankee swap gift exchange.
posted by reenum at 2:53 PM PST - 49 comments

Buckwheat Groats fried in schmaltz FTW

Everything You Know About Latkes Is Wrong . But why let that stop you? Up the ante with Brisket Latkes. Ready to ditch the potatoes? Here are some options. Or go Sephardic with buñuelos. [more inside]
posted by Mchelly at 1:34 PM PST - 37 comments

Single women and precarity

"Overcoming single women’s vulnerabilities will require organization, transformation, and re-imagining traditional forms of care. ... If we want to create a society of mutual care and respect, rather than one that rewards the rapacious and self-oriented, we must stop acting like dependence is a degraded state, or like real independence is even possible."
posted by Lycaste at 1:20 PM PST - 26 comments

Obviously, much to criticize in SA. But

"The structural forces oppressing the most marginalized Saudis in the streets and prisons, it turns out, do not wither in the presence of a 4G data connection. The most popular Saudi accounts on Twitter aren’t bold young entrepreneurs challenging the social order; they’re hardline preachers who tell those young people that they should be put to death if they lay with someone of the same sex. The people who want to punish sinners don’t end their pursuit of heresy once they log on. In fact, Saudi Arabia shows how easily the tools tech entrepreneurs imagine will liberate the world can be bent to the service of oppression of the vulnerable." Felix Biederman in Deadspin: Your App Isn't Helping the People of Saudi Arabia
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:18 PM PST - 16 comments

"We weren’t meant to win."

"That line, ‘you were only meant to blow the bloody doors off’, it’s true. The plan was to run the remain side close enough to scare the EU into bigger concessions. None of us thought we were ever going to win. With the possible exception of Dominic Cummings, who just wanted to drive a car into the Camerons’ living room. It’s all such a mess. I want a second referendum now." Quote from a pro-leave Tory who worked closely with Michael Gove. Thirty Things You Didnt Know About The EU Referendum [more inside]
posted by devious truculent and unreliable at 12:47 PM PST - 29 comments

What the government giveth, the government taketh away.

So How is the demonetarisation going? For a start the Police have been kept busy.
How do you think I can pay the workers with a cheque if they don’t have a bank account?" India's small businesses facing 'apocalypse' amid biggest financial experiment in history. Demonetisation revolution hits firms and workers as cash runs out; the next stage – making all salary payments digital. [more inside]
posted by adamvasco at 11:43 AM PST - 22 comments

a knee on the United States of America’s trachea

Last year’s big winner was hate. Just think about that: Hate won in 2015. In my have-only-voted-for-a-president-that-I-loved mind, 2015 was as bad as it would get, and then 2016 would be like the part at the end of San Andreas where The Rock says, “And now … we rebuild.” But no, this year was more like a scene from one of the Fast and Furious movies where you think Tyrese has maxed out the speed in his car, but then he flicks the switch to turn on the NOS, and then he starts going so fast that if he were to hit a pebble in the road, he’d probably flip his car over and die. Who Won Didn't Lose 2016? the annual, extremely scientific bracket to determine who lost the least this year, by Rembert Browne
posted by everybody had matching towels at 11:43 AM PST - 14 comments

How Barack Obama Failed Black Americans

"My Brother’s Keeper is a program premised on the view that young black men constitute a social problem." - Sandy Darity on how the country’s first black president never pursued policies bold enough to close the racial wealth gap.
posted by AceRock at 11:28 AM PST - 24 comments

True or False

2016: A Pop Quiz for White Women Who Think Black Women Should Be Nicer to Them in Conversations about Race [more inside]
posted by amnesia and magnets at 11:19 AM PST - 33 comments

"I do not want to be in the cars. The cars are my prison."

It was me and Leno puking our minds out while we drove around Los Angeles. It seemed like things couldn’t get any worse, but then while we were stopped at a traffic light, the backseat of the car opened up and in climbed my comedian friend Steve Harvey and without saying anything Steve Harvey started vomiting right along with me and Leno. The three of us filled the 1979 Porsche with vomit and then Steve Harvey opened the door and left the car as silently as he had entered it, leaving Leno and I alone in the ruined Porsche.
Every Day I Am Carsick by Jerry Seinfeld (but not really)
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:08 AM PST - 16 comments

"I expected that the poor and the disadvantaged would be done down"

The man who coined "meritocracy" envisioned it as a a dystopia. [more inside]
posted by clawsoon at 10:34 AM PST - 29 comments

The Story of the Star Wars Spin Off Movie Without the Movie

It was the 90's and anything was possible, including Lucasfilm's first venture into multi-platform storytelling, large shoulder pads, and a dashing smuggler named....Dash. Why yes, we're talking about Shadows of the Empire. Via
posted by Atreides at 9:46 AM PST - 31 comments

Fully Charged Christmas Roundup

Boats, trucks, bicycles, Turbines, Batteries, Bio-gas, policy changes, and a rapidly burgeoning number of cars. The world of Electric Vehicles is one of the more optimistic contexts in which to review 2016 - which is what Robert Llewellyn's Fully Charged Christmas Special does. [more inside]
posted by rongorongo at 9:37 AM PST - 4 comments

A long awaited Nine Inch Nails post

After 3 years, Nine Inch Nails is back with Burning Bright (Field On Fire). [5m50s, possible seizure warning?] This first single is the closing track from the suddenly-announced EP Not The Actual Events, which Trent has described as "an unfriendly fairly impenetrable record that we needed to make". [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 9:23 AM PST - 23 comments


How a Pen and Paper RPG Brought 'Star Wars' Back From the Dead
posted by prize bull octorok at 8:57 AM PST - 39 comments

"Christmas is a Time for Joy"

Chance the Rapper and Jeremih released a surprise Christmas mixtape this morning, also featuring Noname (previously), Lud Foe, and Hannibal Buress.
posted by Copronymus at 8:35 AM PST - 7 comments

Virtual reconstructions of lost Frank Lloyd Wright buildings

Spanish architect David Romero is rebuilding lost Frank Lloyd Wright masterworks in new color visualizations, created using 3D rendering software and Photoshop. So far he has posted highly realistic color pictures of Wright's Larkin Administration Building in Buffalo, and the Rose and Gertrude Pauson House in Phoenix. [more inside]
posted by beagle at 8:33 AM PST - 5 comments

And auld acquaintance not forgot

"When I was 13 a new boy called Matthew Arnold arrived at my secondary school. It wasn’t the beginning of the year, just some random autumn day—not even a Monday. 15 minutes before the bell went for school Ms. Bolton brought him to me through the drizzle, told me his name, and told me to look after him and introduce him to people." From Crooked Timber, and from the heart's memory: Welcoming the new boy at school.
posted by MonkeyToes at 8:20 AM PST - 5 comments

Kratom, controversy and harm reduction (Part 2: Federal Ban-aloo)

Kratom is a name for the product of the tree Mitragyna speciosa, which is native to Southeast Asia. The leaves of the tree are made into a tea or chewed by users. Initially it was scheduled to be banned on the 30th of September however significant public response prompted an extension. The Washington Post, Wired, Scientific American, and many other outlets have commented on the situation. [more inside]
posted by whorl at 2:03 AM PST - 24 comments

December 21

"It's like the taste of my Grandma's sofa."

Washington Post writer Monica Hesse ruminates on an annual office party snack tradition (The giant tri-flavor holiday popcorn tin sends a message, which is, “I was thinking of you, but not until I was already in the checkout aisle of Big Lots.”) and speaks with the CEO of one of the major producers (“If you lined up all of our holiday popcorn tins that we produced in 2016, you could start at the White House and end at Fenway Park in Boston.”). Meanwhile, Post staffers compare an expensive tin to a cheap one to answer the culinary question "Is there really a difference between holiday popcorn brands?" (video, no captions).
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:29 PM PST - 95 comments

Your performance this year gave us paws

A guide to giving your cats their annual performance review.
posted by smoke at 9:51 PM PST - 44 comments

the early seasons look pretty rough

Simpsons All Movie References 8 Seasons
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:39 PM PST - 9 comments

“Cheers love, the calvary's queer.”

A New Overwatch Comic Celebrates the Holidays and Establishes That Tracer is Gay [PC Gamer] “The newest Overwatch digital comic, entitled Reflections, follows the high-speed holiday adventures of Tracer as she races through the streets of London in search of the perfect gift for her partner. Because yes, as it turns out, Tracer has a partner in Blizzard's official lore, and her partner is a woman. The comic itself is a fairly straightforward heartwarming tale of what really matters during the most hectic season of all. But the reaction to Tracer's identity has been anything but. Messages decrying Blizzard's "mistake" have cropped up all over the Overwatch forums and other social media, countered by others praising the studio for explicitly stating—in a low-key fashion—that the face of one of the biggest games of the year is gay.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 8:55 PM PST - 77 comments

The David Foster Wallace disease

He had the brain that ate itself | Wallace was depressed, and so his terribly powerful intelligence was, in fact, his terrible master. [more inside]
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 7:07 PM PST - 73 comments

The World's First Māori emoji app

Touted as the first indigenous voice to the emoji application, the app contains some 200 Māori and Kiwi cultural icons.
posted by vac2003 at 5:01 PM PST - 12 comments

"I have a crazy laugh."

2016 sucked for most of us, for many reasons, but there was one thing that consistently made me laugh or smile, no matter how bad things were:

Amy Poehler's Laugh Is The Best Laugh

Amy Poehler Laugh Tribute

Both contain scenes from Parks and Recreation blooper reel laughs
posted by Room 641-A at 4:52 PM PST - 23 comments

Distributed Algorithms

‘Why is it,’ [Henry] Ford complained, ‘every time I ask for a pair of hands, they come with a brain attached?’ Ant colonies and radical possibilities for human societies.
posted by Rumple at 4:31 PM PST - 14 comments

Ullevaalsalléen 5, Oslo

The Baby in the Plastic Bag. A non-fiction story in nine chapters, translated into English from Norwegian. Each chapter contains a brief autoplaying sound.
posted by zarq at 3:27 PM PST - 12 comments

We wish you a scary solstice (mlyt)

Cthulhu mythos + Winter solstice means its time for Cthulhu carols [more inside]
posted by otherchaz at 3:25 PM PST - 2 comments

A murder of dancers and crows

French dancer Marie-Laure Agrapart performs beautifully choreographed routines that most notably involve her dance partner, an exceptionally trained black crow. [more inside]
posted by _Mona_ at 2:55 PM PST - 6 comments

"I just want Bruce Lee to hold me as long as he can"

Jackie Chan recollects being injured by Bruce Lee on the set of Enter the Dragon (SLYT)
posted by griphus at 2:12 PM PST - 13 comments

Jeopardy Champion

When Cindy Stowell was called by the Jeopardy producers about having earned a chance to audition, she told them it would have to be fast; she had Stage IV colon cancer and an estimated six months to live. Stowell passed away on December 5, eight days before the first day of her winning streak began to air. After Tuesday night's show Cindy’s six-day total is $103,803 (U.S.), which she donated to cancer research.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:14 PM PST - 42 comments

All the NOPE

CW: nightmare fuel
posted by scratch at 11:09 AM PST - 82 comments

Cahokia was bigger than Paris—then it was completely abandoned.

"The more they dug, the more obvious it became that this was no ordinary place. The structures they excavated were full of ritual objects charred by sacred fires. We found the remains of feasts and a rare earthen structure lined with yellow soils. Baires, Baltus, and their team had accidentally stumbled on an archaeological treasure trove linked to the city's demise. The story of this place would take us back to the final decades of a great city whose social structure was undergoing a radical transformation." Annalee Newitz for Ars Technica: Finding North America's lost medieval city [more inside]
posted by amnesia and magnets at 10:55 AM PST - 31 comments

Furiosa’s Cat Feeder

“This will be great,” I thought to myself. “I’ll get one of those high-tech automated cat feeders!”
posted by nevercalm at 10:12 AM PST - 131 comments

Yes, Heinlein is the progressive one.

Walter Cronkite Discusses Apollo 11 with Robert A. Heinlein & Arthur C. Clarke (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by Huck500 at 10:07 AM PST - 32 comments

Why do you care so much about lunar phase, anyway?

Do you have a sweet 1989 ST:TNG calendar in your attic? Good news: it will totally work in 2017, except for Riker looking really strange without the beard. Or if your grandma's Sei personaggi in cerca d'autore calendar from 1922 is still hanging in the kitchen, you're in luck. Check what other old calendars are still useful at
posted by Etrigan at 10:03 AM PST - 13 comments

“He doesn’t do much plumbing, or talk about his heritage”

The Economist: How Super Mario became a global cultural icon.

Children—and their parents—lost days of their lives inside Mr Miyamoto’s kingdom. “Super Mario Bros.” sold 40m copies and the Mario franchise never looked back; it went on to produce more than 200 games, several television shows and one memorably lousy movie. By 1990 American children were more familiar with Mario than with Mickey Mouse.
posted by porn in the woods at 9:55 AM PST - 8 comments

Is YouTube changing how young children act and see the world?

"For the youngest members of the next generation, sometimes called Generation Z, the distinction between the online world and real life is fading."
posted by MythMaker at 9:10 AM PST - 58 comments

Zapp Lazerbeem (Second Baseman, Atlanta Braves, 92-99)

David J. Roth asks: What are the most egregiously George-Lucas-ass names in baseball? [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 8:37 AM PST - 64 comments

The physics of melanin; the joy of colors

Technically, melanin is a set of biomolecules that we think are synthesized by enzymes and that are notably very visibly colored. There are three types of melanin: the most common, eumelanin, which appears black or brown and occurs in skin and hair; the less abundant pheomelanin, which is on the yellow-to-red spectrum; and neuromelanin, which appears in high concentrations in the human brain, but the function of which we essentially don’t understand at all. For the most part, it seems, we don’t understand melanin. Despite this lack of scientific understanding, the social consequences of melanin are understood intimately by many of us.
posted by ChuraChura at 8:06 AM PST - 15 comments

Good news, everybody! Seriously. Good news!

From any perspective, the progress humanity has made in recent history is astonishing, as this fantastic analysis by Oxford economist Max Roser shows. Economically, 130,000 people have exited extreme poverty every day since 1990. In 1800 1-in-10 people were literate, now it is 85%. Child mortality has dropped a 100x in the same period, even as populations levels are expected to peak in 2075. The stats for education are no less impressive. There is a nice infographic summarizing these and other trends as well. You can put together your own interactive own charts using the amazing data gathered by Prof. Roser's Our World in Data site.
posted by blahblahblah at 7:45 AM PST - 41 comments


Jim Estill put up $1.5 million to bring 58 families to Canada. He found them homes, gave them jobs and even bought one man a dollar store. How the mild-mannered CEO of an appliance company became the Oskar Schindler of Guelph. [slTorontoLife]
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 6:50 AM PST - 14 comments

Why tell your lover you aren’t into them when you can just fadeaway?

A fadeaway is when someone quietly disappears from someone they are dating; Ignoring texts and never fessing up to their disinterest. The fadeaway is a close cousin to ghosting: the act of totally cutting off communication with someone you are dating but no longer wishes to date.. [more inside]
posted by rageagainsttherobots at 6:38 AM PST - 77 comments

Meet New York's 11-year-old subway therapist

If you’re in need of some emotional advice, but have neither the time or the money to waste on a qualified therapist, this 11-year-old kid has you covered. Also see the Daily Telegraph link.
posted by tallmiddleagedgeek at 6:25 AM PST - 10 comments

it's all about the light.

A sacred light in the darkness: Winter solstice illuminations at Spanish missions. [more inside]
posted by adamvasco at 5:32 AM PST - 17 comments

Captain *William* Trigger, not just Captain Trigger

Poynter's Best Corrections of 2016 (previously 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011) [more inside]
posted by Stark at 2:59 AM PST - 15 comments

Practical philosophers

The Early Sports and Pop Culture History Blog discusses the history and etymology of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ nickname in The Grim Reality of the “Trolley Dodgers”. Don't miss the link to Jeff B's A Trip Down Market Street 1906 With Street Sounds with its first-person view from a trolley in San Francisco, filmed days before the famous earthquake of 1906.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:40 AM PST - 4 comments

December 20

"My sister and my Mommy/They just eat edamame"

Conan Writes Chicago Blues Songs With School Kids. (SLYT, no captions)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:52 PM PST - 8 comments

A dozen (and more) demons for December

If you're looking to tell your own ghost stories this winter (or anytime, really), you may enjoy reading about a dozen demons from around the world: 1. Bā Jiāo Guǐ, 2. Buruburu, 3. Crocotta, 4. Daeva, 5. Kallikantzaros, 6. Kalma, 7. Pishtaco, 8. Penanggalan, 9. Redcap, 10. Rogarou, 11. Shtriga, and 12. Vetala. If you want more than a sampling of mythical creatures referenced in Supernatural that weren't fabricated for the show, you may then enjoy ... [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 10:43 PM PST - 12 comments

the best telescope is the one you have with you

What's that? A bong? A trench mortar? A thermos? A bomb? No, it's a parabolic Newtonian reflector on a ball type cast aluminium altazimuth mount.
It's an Astroscan! [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:15 PM PST - 24 comments

Happy Holidays from the US Mission in Japan

Ambassador Caroline Kennedy and the staff of the United States Mission in Japan (from Tokyo, Sapporo, Nagoya, Osaka, Fukuoka, and Naha) perform the Koi Dance. [more inside]
posted by Sokka shot first at 8:51 PM PST - 14 comments

Quality ~ Progress ~ Service

From the Farm to the Factory: A video from the American Peanut Shellers Association shows how peanuts are harvested, processed, and used to make a variety of products.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 4:39 PM PST - 9 comments

That’s not supposed to happen, right?

"The Venus Effect" by Joseph Allen Hill is "a story of stories, a metafictional experience that sees the narrator seeking to create a story where the main character can take part in big SFF adventures and not, well…not get shot by police." [more inside]
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:19 PM PST - 16 comments

"Not today, Apocalypse," she said.

Outside, the quarantine train was unblemished white. Black, Their Regalia, a fantasy short story by Darcie Little Badger.
posted by mixedmetaphors at 3:33 PM PST - 5 comments

“The racism allegory in Mankind Divided is already clear,”

A History of Deus Ex's Racism Controversies [New Normative] “With futuristic, sci-fi sequel Deus Ex: Mankind Divided [YouTube], developer Eidos Montreal has once again found itself walking atop the fiery coals of controversy. The developer first landed itself in trouble by referring to the game’s poor treatment of augmented humans (‘augs’ are treated as second class citizens, forced to live in ghettos) as the ‘Mechanical Apartheid.’ Apartheid is the term used to describe the horrific, and very real, period of segregation and oppression faced by black South Africans during the 20th century (1948-94). Many have questioned whether it is appropriate for the term, which is based on the South African language of Afrikaans (which is itself based upon the Dutch language, introduced to the territory by Dutch settlers) to be adapted and used as a slogan in a video game. In subsequent marketing materials – concept art created to further depict this oppression – the movement in favour of better treatment of augmented people is referred to as ‘Aug Lives Matter. It’s an unmistakeable and questionable nod of the head to the real-world movement for the better treatment of black people, Black Lives Matter.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 3:20 PM PST - 51 comments

The Libertarian Holiday Gift Guide

Reason TV suggests Christmas gifts for that special someone in your life.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 2:46 PM PST - 13 comments

Last Call for Chicago PD Explosives Dog

Chicago Cops Honor Dying Police Dog With Touching Last Call In her lifetime, the dog had protected the president, first lady and foreign dignitaries, reported the Chicago Tribune, which also has audio of the touching last call. “All units standby,” a dispatcher said Sunday. “7323 canine Rachel. 7323 canine Rachel. No response for canine Rachel. This is a final call for Chicago Police Explosives canine Rachel.” She was put down 15 minutes later. Officer Charles Kocanda had trained Rachel. “Our condolences go out to her handler, Officer Chuck Kocanda, who worked with her daily to make sure she was the best she could be,” the police department said in its Facebook post.
posted by Man with Lantern at 1:59 PM PST - 37 comments

They did not pass.

100 years ago the battle of Verdun came to an end. On December 18/19, 1916, the German assault on Verdun is completely defeated after 300 days of some of the most horrendous fighting in World War I. French forces triumphantly led by commanders soon to become notorious (Nivelle and Pétain) regained all the land that the enemy had taken. 11,000 demoralized German soldiers surrendered. "France had won her most brilliant victory since the Marne." (Horne) [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 1:48 PM PST - 21 comments

Sherlock's "The Six Thatchers" episode will air on 1 January

Sherlock Returns! The first installment of the much-anticipated Season 4 kicks off the new year. [more inside]
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 12:56 PM PST - 35 comments

Christmas Music for People Who Hate Christmas Music

Want the humbugs to hum along? Amelia has been making Christmas mixes for a long time. She started sixteen years ago with cassettes. CD-Rs forced her to adopt another technology. Now she has adopted Mixcloud which loses a bit of personalization, but more of us can benefit can benefit from her good holiday music selections.
posted by christopher.taylor at 12:53 PM PST - 15 comments

90-year-old Jerry Lewis gives precisely zero fucks

Watch the Most Painfully Awkward Interview of 2016: 7 Minutes With Jerry Lewis
posted by bologna on wry at 11:46 AM PST - 106 comments

Pillar of the community struck down at the age of 138

Augusta, Georgia's Haunted Pillar, has been a downtown landmark since Broad Street's Old Lower Market was razed by a freak winter cyclone on February 8th, 1878, leaving just the pillar standing. Local legend holds the column to be cursed, bringing death to any who touch it. On the morning of December 18th, 2016, an auto accident slammed a car into the Haunted Pillar, toppling it. [more inside]
posted by radwolf76 at 10:29 AM PST - 20 comments

"remember and honor the history, but live in the [steampunk] present"

The Polish artist Jakub Rozalski, who goes by the sobriquet “Mr. Werewolf,” has produced an amusing series of steampunk-ish canvases in which serene and idyllic rustic landscapes of what seem to be Eastern Europe (Rozalski’s very back yard, you might say) in the early decades of the 20th century feature the prominent and inexplicable existence of completely fictitious giant mecha robots.
[more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 9:44 AM PST - 17 comments

Homer and Harold

In 1924, Connecticut prosecutor Homer Cummings saved accused murderer Harold Israel from a death sentence. Their shared story didn't end there.
posted by mudpuppie at 9:42 AM PST - 17 comments

Dick Latessa

Dick Latessa, Broadway star of Follies, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Hairspray and The Lyons, among many other productions, passed away at the age of 87. Latessa won the 2003 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:51 AM PST - 4 comments

Hidden Reads

Hidden gems of 2016: the best books you may have missed. Writers and critics at the Guardian point out the ones that you may have missed or not even heard about. [more inside]
posted by storybored at 8:49 AM PST - 2 comments

Why Teen Vogue is killing it

"Everyone loves rainbow highlighters. They make you look like a beautiful pixie who fronts a glam-rock band. Also, white nationalism is a cancer on our democracy. Women are capable of holding both of these truths in their minds, and prioritizing them accordingly." The true story of how Teen Vogue got mad, got woke, and began terrifying men like Donald Trump
posted by olinerd at 8:34 AM PST - 125 comments

Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhh

Sometime in the past week, IMAX uploaded a trailer for the new Mummy movie. It was not quite the correct version. Don't miss some of the mashups in the replies. [more inside]
posted by kmz at 8:33 AM PST - 59 comments

A cat is a cat is a cat

Siberian tigers investigate a drone sent to investigate them. Tigers aren't the only ones curious about drones. Cheetahs [cc speech] are all about the chase. Housecats have had more success with flying objects. Male lion don't care but (captive) lionesses are more curious. Token pupper. [all vids music/ambient noise only unless specified] [more inside]
posted by AFABulous at 7:00 AM PST - 28 comments

ASL Hamilton

ASL Hamilton Leah Coleman (daughter of Rachel Coleman, who created Signing Time so more of the world could communicate with Leah) is intending to make videos to make Hamilton accessible to the deaf community. This is the first of hopefully many more.
posted by plinth at 6:13 AM PST - 12 comments

5 Forgotten Christmas ghost stories

"Having experienced both sides of Christmas, there is but one constant I am aware of that serves you well both in the merriest of times and in the darkest: the classic English Christmas ghost story.
posted by smoke at 2:52 AM PST - 23 comments

December 19

Unbearably cute but totally unkoalified

It turns out this Koala covered in burrs just needed a hug. Or a very cautious brushing from a distance while wearing motorcycle gloves, anyway. Yes, there's video. (No, it's not in landscape orientation.)
posted by lollusc at 11:18 PM PST - 29 comments

ITs love Christmas too

Sophos IT Christmas (single link Xmas ad but fun anyway).
posted by CCBC at 10:52 PM PST - 4 comments

Unicorn meat appears twice

Can't figure out what to get your least-favorite friends and relatives? You probably can't find any of these creepy vintage toys, but there many classy gift ideas in these brilliant and useless lists.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:35 PM PST - 13 comments

I'd rather ... just ... sing ....

Analysis of fossilized Antarctic bird's 'voice box' suggests dinosaurs couldn't sing. Which is to to say:
The discovery of the Mesozoic Era vocal organ (Nature, paywalled) -- called a syrinx -- and its apparent absence in non-avian dinosaur fossils of the same age indicates that the organ may have originated late in the evolution of birds, and that other dinosaurs may not have been able to make noises similar to the bird calls we hear today.
Dinosaurs didn't quack or cluck, but may have sounded more like an ostrich (more samples). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 10:12 PM PST - 10 comments

I Think We're ALL Bozos On This Bus

Worried about the future? Concerned about targeted advertising? Does virtual reality or augmented reality seem threatening? Is the spectre of Artificial Intelligence something that alarms you? Don't worry, Firesign Theatre covered all this for you 45 years ago in their fourth album I Think We're All Bozos On This Bus [38m]. Let the air out of your shoes (if you wear them) and discover what you forgot you knew!
posted by hippybear at 9:34 PM PST - 27 comments

Pauvre sapin

In downtown Montréal, a balsam fir has become the object of snark and controversy. Twitter accounts for the tree have been set up in both French and English. The tree's presence in Montréal's Quartier des Spectacles is the result of an attempt to erect North America's largest Christmas tree to mark Montreal's 375th anniversary. Through no fault of its own, Montréal's tree has garnered coverage by the New York Times since, to date, Rockefeller Center's tree is still the tallest.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:50 PM PST - 47 comments

Wine is good, I told myself. Hot chocolate is good.

Red Wine Hot Chocolate Is a Thing, and It’s (Surprisingly) Delicious [The New York Times] Frosé? That’s a summer drink. Hot toddies, eggnog, mulled wine? Please, those are for your parents. No, no, the must-have drink of winter 2016, at least according to a small but dedicated circle of food blogs, is red wine hot chocolate. A post this fall on Martha Stewart’s official Facebook page called it “spectacular.” Soon after, Cosmopolitan magazine called it “the best of both worlds.” The Kitchn, a popular recipe site, called it “the answer to your cold-weather blues.” And last month, The Daily Mail had an “exclusive” on a version of the recipe that had grown popular on Pinterest.
posted by Fizz at 1:05 PM PST - 112 comments

Ode to an Unknown Engineer

John Pennycuick: The man who built the Mullaiperiyar dam
posted by infini at 12:57 PM PST - 8 comments

wobble sproing run gambol frisk cavort

Newborn fawns are fitted with expanding radio collars to track their movements as they learn to walk. Radio active?
posted by ChuraChura at 12:26 PM PST - 14 comments

Objects of the class “Objects of the class”.

Statistician Andrew Gelman's list of "Objects of the class":
Objects of the class “Foghorn Leghorn”: parodies that are more famous than the original. (“It would be as if everybody were familiar with Duchamp’s Mona-Lisa-with-a-moustache while never having heard of Leonardo’s version.”).
[more inside]
posted by rollick at 12:13 PM PST - 85 comments

Let’s have a festival of light

The Maccabeats sing about Hanukkah - Hamilton style!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:50 AM PST - 11 comments

Bobcat snags fresh salmon for Christmas

Earlier this week, Ranger Lee Snook took a morning stroll down to Taft Creek, a tributary of the Hoh River, to look for salmon that were spawning. But when Snook arrived at the river, she wasn’t alone. A female bobcat was out fishing, which is not your everyday sighting in the park, since the cats are usually elusive. [more inside]
posted by fraula at 10:49 AM PST - 49 comments

Spoilers, obv.

Rogue One: an Engineering Ethics Story.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:45 AM PST - 50 comments

California Prop 47, Two Years Later

Ventura County Star published a five-article series on the effects of California Proposition 47. Article 1: Former felons find new jobs and new hope after Prop 47: Proposition 47 reduced nearly 200,000 felonies to misdemeanors. Every downgraded conviction brings former felons closer to better jobs and better lives. [more inside]
posted by cynical pinnacle at 10:20 AM PST - 12 comments

A stitch in time saves nio

"Household Objects and Appliances Cross-Stitched. Swedish designer Ulla Stina Wikander uses household appliances and cooking tools as the base to her cross-stitched sculptures, bestowing outdated objects with a new life. Most of the items come from the 70s, yet the patterns she covers their bodies in are much older. The cross-stitch designs come from the 59-year-old artist’s vast collection, allowing Wikander to give a new context to each blowdryer, rolling pin, and typewriter she covers."
posted by Celsius1414 at 9:04 AM PST - 15 comments

We’ll tweet how the German word for “mansplaining” is “herrklären"

Ah, 2016, what words can describe you? According to Merriam-Webster, the 2016 Word of the Year is "surreal". Notable too, Merriam-Webster's decision to make their Twitter feed into a "sassy" voice about language.
posted by Mr.Pointy at 8:48 AM PST - 21 comments

At least it doesn't star Shia LaBeouf

The teaser trailer to Denis Villeneuve's Blade Runner 2049 is out.
posted by octothorpe at 8:43 AM PST - 178 comments

Fear of a cuck planet

So what does it mean, then, to be a cuckold? In the Red Pill framework, it’s easy to slot in: liberals and progressives have sacrificed their masculinity, their ‘manhood’ (whatever that is) and their time-honoured place in the world, undergoing a metaphorical castration and degradation to appease their ‘Blue Pill’ phantasms of equality. Yet surely metaphor cannot fully account for the use of a term so rooted in racialised (or out-and-out racist) pornography and, further back, the insecurities of white slave owners. It is here that the connection between frustrated sexuality, white-pride race hatred, and distrust of liberal society (and all its permissive permutations) intersect most clearly. [more inside]
posted by modernserf at 8:18 AM PST - 174 comments

No, none of us is worth what we are paid.

Perhaps in the end the problem is that people want to pretend that they are filling a valuable role in the societal division of labor, and are receiving no more than they earn--than they contribute. [more inside]
posted by hawthorne at 5:43 AM PST - 70 comments

To The Wonder

Yes, 2016 has been a rough, rough year. But Slate has the cure: An incredibly arbitrary, but necessary, salute to Stevie Wonder. [more inside]
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 4:50 AM PST - 23 comments

Cat Rapper. =^..^=

Moshow raps about cats. [more inside]
posted by Stewriffic at 4:14 AM PST - 13 comments

A magician, a glass pitcher and your childhood fears walk into a VCR...

Old stuff is always being rediscovered, but it's not every day an entire genre is unearthed. Behold: the Video Almanac/Babysitter. Dr. Misterio's Patented Video Almanac of Fun (opening, Volume 1, Volume 2). Wacky Zany Video, from Kool-Aid and Kay Bee Toys (here's an ad for it). Vitsie the Videositter - opening - Dinosaurs (complete video, parts 1 2 & 3, excerpts) - Vitsie Visits Space (excerpts, Job on the Moon song, Solar System song). (Credit for finding Dr Misterio goes to Rangoon of PoeTV.) Anyone know of any others?
posted by BiggerJ at 2:52 AM PST - 2 comments

December 18

“I’m looking for something that says ‘Hobo Likes Leather’.”

The Old Leather Man was a proto-hobo who has been preserved by history because (as mefites learned back in 2007) His legacy today is a place in the hearts of Connecticutuckians, an academic work by Dan W. DeLuca, the Pearl Jam song “Leatherman”, and The Road Between Heaven & Hell, a very sincere, oddball, thirty-minute public television documentary from 1984 narrated by a large, bearded man.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:46 PM PST - 28 comments

the spice must flow

The Strange Roots Of Globalization (And Its Discontents) - "Today's global economy has its roots in the frivolity of spice."
posted by kliuless at 10:49 PM PST - 22 comments

It's all Sting's fault

Pizzas, Pot & Fields Of Gold: 7 Important Firsts In Online Retail History
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:24 PM PST - 14 comments

Mountain Stage's Favorite Performances Of 2016

Mountain Stage gives their favorite performances from 2016 in alphabetic order, 33 songs in total. Single song listening links on the page, links to full episodes go to the iTunes podcast store. where there is a wealth of listening.
posted by hippybear at 9:07 PM PST - 9 comments

Zsa Zsa Gabor, dead at age 99

The epitome of old Hollywood glamour While Gabor had multiple acting credits, her greatest performance was playing herself: She was famous for her accented English (calling everyone “darling,” which came out “dah-link”), eccentric name, offscreen antics (including a 1989 incident in which she slapped a Beverly Hills cop) and one-liners about her jewels, nine marriages and ex-husbands. Despite her glamorous image, her life, especially in later years, was marred by battles between her much-younger husband Frederic Prinz von Anhalt and her daughter.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 4:42 PM PST - 83 comments

♫ Send in the hounds... they're alllreadddy heeere (with beees). ♫

Tumblr user Depsidase does edits of classic quotes and jokes from The Simpsons, but doesn't get them quite right. That's OK. Pobodie's Cromulent. Occasionally not safe for work.
posted by codacorolla at 3:51 PM PST - 18 comments

"we are the only consistent black presence in their lives"

3 journalists and a sociologist talk about the black person’s burden: once you have attained some level of visibility as a black writer, there are people who think you become a kind of MLK surrogate. [more inside]
posted by spamandkimchi at 1:24 PM PST - 22 comments

Women pose with Christmas trees

Women posing with Christmas trees circa 1950s & 1960s.
posted by slipthought at 1:19 PM PST - 94 comments

I'm a Mac. I'm a PC.

"Obviously I read for the PC, which I found to be a little bit surprising, because at that point I was about to turn 35—I still considered myself to be a 24-year-old thin, cool person." An oral history of "Get A Mac." (via
posted by capnsue at 12:45 PM PST - 42 comments

Bruce Springsteen's Desert Island Discs

Desert Island Discs. This BBC radio programme tells guests they're about to be marooned alone on a desert island and asks them to name the eight records they'd like to take with them. In between hearing their choices, we get an interview touching on every aspect of their lives. Guests are also asked to choose a book and a luxury to take with them into exile. Springsteen's episode went out this morning and you can hear it at the link above. Here's what he plumped for: [more inside]
posted by Paul Slade at 12:17 PM PST - 44 comments

Only her hairdresser knows for sure...

As of January 1st, Illinois will require hairstylists, barbers, nail technicians, and other aestheticians to receive one hour of training on how to recognize and report domestic violence. The law will not make them mandatory reporters.
posted by Etrigan at 11:47 AM PST - 31 comments

Ranking the Most Popular Writers & Media Sites on the Internet

Priceonomics and Digg combined to find out which websites and authors appeared most often on Digg's front page between 2013 and 2016.
posted by reenum at 11:44 AM PST - 8 comments

The Strange Cases of Oscar Zahn

The Strange Cases of Oscar Zahn (from the beginning) by Tri Vuong, a webcomic about a friendly skeleton investigating the paranormal, with artwork borrowing both from Mike Mignola and Hayao Miyazaki. The creator answers questions.
posted by JHarris at 11:22 AM PST - 6 comments

Dr. Henry Heimlich, 1920-2016

Dr. Henry Heimlich, inventor of the Maneuver that bears his name, has died. [more inside]
posted by mhoye at 11:04 AM PST - 28 comments

Bhangra for the shoveling season

The Maritime Bhangra Group, based in Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia, takes the drudgery out of shoveling snow. Their other routines include Mannequin challenge, M.O.P., and Bhangra at Peggy's Cove.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:05 AM PST - 53 comments

December 17

Woven lace held in place/By whispers made of thunder

In the sticky jungles of South America, a mysterious spider crafts towers out of silk—confounding scientists with its intricate creations…Now, a new video of spiderlings hatching from one of the towers collected in Ecuador's Yasuní National Park might provide some clues about these spiders' secret lives. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:19 PM PST - 27 comments

This holiday, bake some bleeps and bloops with your family

Acid Techno/House producer TB Arthur (@jeparleacid) made a minor splash in 2014/15/16 due to a mysterious/contrived backstory, periodic single releases, a mix for Boiler Room Upfront, and a live session at Smart Bar.
For the holidays, Mr. (Ms.?) Arthur has a new release for all the producers out there: “Psychedelic Cookbook” is a 100% Royalty Free Sound Library created in TB Arthur's analog studio: over 900 MB of basslines, beats, percussion, synths, vocals, tops & more. All the inspiration you need for building your own original tracks in any DAW or hardware sampler.
Need ideas? Try Bandcamp’s list of 30 tracks to celebrate the 30th anniversary of acid house or FACT’s list of the 20 best Acid House records ever made.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:11 PM PST - 17 comments

The Eagle Huntress

13-year-old Aisholpan's quest to capture and tame a golden eagle - " 'This afternoon we are going down the mountain to steal an eagle for Aisholpan. Do you want to film that?' ... It's a heart-stopping scene: a young girl with plaits jauntily tied with pink ribbons makes a terrifying descent while an angry mother eagle circles menacingly overhead." (via)
posted by kliuless at 9:41 PM PST - 16 comments

The Painter

John Michael Talbot and his brother Terry Talbot teamed up with the London Chamber Orchestra to merge classical guitar, folk music, Gregorian chant, Queen-style layered vocals, and full orchestral arrangements into a Christmas album that I've been listening to since the early 80s: The Painter. [YT playlist, ~30m, so sorry about the commercials] [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 9:04 PM PST - 3 comments

I Just Want to be Canadian

Wonder and worry as a Syrian child in Canada transforms [slNYT] The Mohammads were from a particularly conservative village in Daraa Province. Their union was arranged by their families and governed by clear tenets. Back home, Eman Mohammad, 36, did not leave the house without asking her husband’s permission. She did not socialize with men who were not relatives. Women in the village did not drive. Against the odds, and Abdullah’s initial reluctance, she had worked as a nurse, one of only a few women in her circle to be employed outside the home after having children... [more inside]
posted by modernnomad at 8:06 PM PST - 31 comments

"He killed it for the 5 minutes he was on stage"

Comedy clubs name their top moments from 2016.
posted by anothermug at 7:27 PM PST - 15 comments

Baby It's Still Cold Outside

Often referred to as The Date Rape Song, these singers have renovated Baby It's Cold Outside. Lydia Lisa and Josiah Lemansky's remake of Baby it's Cold Outside. and this: Another couple with a slightly different take on the song.
posted by BoscosMom at 4:58 PM PST - 70 comments

Boy, the way Glenn Miller played

Sony Pictures Television and Norman Lear are in talks to remake episodes of All in the Family and three other classic Lear sitcoms.
The idea currently being discussed by Lear and Sony executives would be to have new actors recreate classic episodes of the shows, working from the original scripts, and package them as short, six-episode anthologies.
Lear has some experience remaking All in the Family episodes. Three pilots were filmed for the show, only one of which made it to air. [more inside]
posted by Knappster at 3:43 PM PST - 26 comments

A Fiction About a Petition as a Poem, and Poets and Prizes and Pensées

Pardon Edward Snowden is not about Edward Snowden. A short story by Joseph O’Neill, in this week's New Yorker [more inside]
posted by Stanczyk at 1:42 PM PST - 9 comments

CIA Declassifies Lots of Cool Maps

The CIA has put a bunch old maps onto flickr. [more inside]
posted by MoonOrb at 12:55 PM PST - 9 comments

The wheels, they turn slowly. But they do turn.

The Prenda Law Saga has finally turned criminal. John Steele and Paul Hansmeier were arrested Friday and charged with 18 counts of fraud, perjury, and money laundering in a wide-ranging indictment [.pdf]. Prosecutors allege "an elaborate scheme to fraudulently obtain millions of dollars in copyright settlements by deceiving state and federal courts throughout the country". [more inside]
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:42 AM PST - 27 comments

Make your own Enigma Machine

Build a fully functional electronic replica of the world famous German Enigma machine. Enjoy this documentary playlist related to the Enigma.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 11:19 AM PST - 6 comments

The Forbidden Music of the Cape Verde Islands

Legend of Funaná The funaná sound is a specific one, an important one to the islands of Cabo Verde, and one never better than coming from the fiery, masterful hands of Bitori. One origin story states that funaná developed when the Portuguese tried to spread Western music styles by introducing the accordion, an attempt to pull Cabo Verde closer, culturally, to Europe. If that is the truth, it’s a plan that backfired gloriously.
posted by infini at 11:12 AM PST - 5 comments

Open your eyes: 2017 is the year to return to Hyrule

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a forthcoming sandbox game for the Nintendo WiiU (maybe not) and (forthcoming) Switch consoles. Originally revealed in 2014, this 19th Zelda game is much anticipated; the more recent trailer (recommended) adds detail, a few more demos here, and a glimpse of playability, with much more analysis previously. Zelda games often review-score highly; previous. (Oh, and Happy Snowboarding Holiday)
posted by Wordshore at 10:48 AM PST - 20 comments

Bang! Crash!

Team of guys forging a giant metal flange, using a giant hammer. (SLYT)
posted by bonobothegreat at 9:46 AM PST - 51 comments

How Tennis Balls Are Made

A short video , without music or voiceover, showing how tennis balls are manufactured.
posted by Fig at 7:23 AM PST - 50 comments

Time to put your feet up

... and get settled in with Longread's best stories of 2016.
posted by carter at 6:03 AM PST - 6 comments

Breaking things is easy

Breaking things is easy. "Machine learning has not yet reached true human-level performance, because when confronted by even a trivial adversary, most machine learning algorithms fail dramatically. In other words, we have reached the point where machine learning works, but may easily be broken."
posted by escabeche at 3:49 AM PST - 36 comments

December 16

Cat burglars

Dogs will steal your heart; cats will steal your money. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:14 PM PST - 27 comments

It's not just the NSA...

After film student Anthony Van Der Meer had his phone stolen, he decided to take a peek into the life of a phone thief (SLYT, 21’29”).
posted by pompomtom at 10:10 PM PST - 10 comments

Hopefully Fox Won't Take This One Down

Episode 1: Jedi Party. Episode 2: The Friend Zone. Episode 3: Revenge of Middle Management. Episode 4: Laser Moon Awakens. And now, Episode 5: Attack of the Phantom Past. (previously) Also, Star Wars Minus Williams 2.
posted by BiggerJ at 6:32 PM PST - 24 comments

"Hand wash only" is a tool of the patriarchy.

Women discuss how frequently (or, more likely, infrequently) they wash their bras.
posted by katie at 6:20 PM PST - 127 comments

Hwæt, Hrodulf readnosa hrandeor

This Anglo-Saxon Version of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” Might Be More Epic Than Beowulf. Maybe, maybe not, but: Via Etymonline on Facebook, who says “An Internet classic; but I can no longer find it where I first found it (Cathy Ball’s Old English reference pages). [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 5:38 PM PST - 11 comments

The Monty Python jokes in the Python programming language

See the big ones broken down here. Python is named after the British humor troupe, Monty Python. In fact, its creator resisted snake imagery for a long time. This young Canadian programmer breaks down the big jokes and then previews her efforts to find more.
posted by BradyDale at 5:29 PM PST - 5 comments

I may love this red clay land, but it doesn't always love me.

North Carolina governor Pat McCrory has signed the first bill limiting the power of governor elect Roy Cooper, the state's current Attorney General. [more inside]
posted by joycehealy at 3:47 PM PST - 70 comments

Immigrant Or Real American?

Billy Eichner's Billy On The Street quizzes Kevin about immigrants and real americans. [3m]
posted by hippybear at 3:47 PM PST - 30 comments

Speculating Futures

Speculating Futures looks at past speculative narratives, like those of Ursula K. Le Guin, and past attempts at creating technological utopia, like Chile's Cybersyn. [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus at 3:36 PM PST - 3 comments

Everything is better with Legos

The Tampa Bay Times figured out a better way to explain a complicated transportation story...with Legos!
posted by agatha_magatha at 3:28 PM PST - 17 comments

Edible Arrangements

There are lots of exciting ways to eat an apple. You can bake it in a pie, you can slice it up into small pieces, you can eat it whole, or, for some added flavor, you can do what this couple is doing and eat it straight from the loins of your lover. [SLC] [more inside]
posted by beerperson at 2:47 PM PST - 94 comments

BMJ Christmas Edition

Every year the British Medical Journal publishes a special Christmas edition. [more inside]
posted by alby at 12:49 PM PST - 8 comments

Boots on ice

"You'd think winter boots would be adapted for winter, but they're not." A team of researchers at the WinterLab of the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute found that, of 98 models of boots the lab tested on ice and wet ice, only nine passed a slip test. In an audio interview with CBC Radio, researcher Geoff Fernie said, "When you actually talk to people in the industry, most boots and shoes are designed almost just solely by graphic designers, who are trying to make them look sexy, look efficient, with colours and dramatic tread looks."
posted by clawsoon at 11:50 AM PST - 97 comments

life is like a hurricane, here in duck boots

A Rain Boot Roundtable [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 10:36 AM PST - 29 comments

airborne dildos to the rescue

"With the gun, he walked in. I just thought he was trying to be funny, to scare us," she said. "But then I saw the gun and it was like, really? I don't have time for this." Sex Toys Used to Chase Off Armed Robber at San Bernardino Shop (via @erinscafe)
posted by everybody had matching towels at 10:11 AM PST - 41 comments

Delegate decision day: does Dudley Dudley derail Donald's dystopia?

In yet another week of "surely this...", Russia is accused of helping him win the US election to a Senator's dismay and possible retaliation, Mitt loses out to Tillerson, Rick Perry is nominated for can't remember oops, other people are nominated, and librarians and science come under attack, with net neutrality possibly next. The Electoral College is but a few days away, with lobbying, labels, opinions and angry celebrities. However, the chances of a shock are low. Elsewhere, the public vote gives Hillary a large lead with comparisons to previous elections, Louisiana voted, the 2018 midterms are underway, Barack is interviewed, contemporary capitalism, Putin's revenge, un-democracy in North Carolina, latest odds, and piñata. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore at 10:00 AM PST - 2700 comments


The cast of the new ducktales sings the original themesong. (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 9:22 AM PST - 45 comments

But there's no vinegar in there!

It's one thing when your new recipe doesn't work out in the privacy of your kitchen. It's another when you bring it to work and have your colleagues try it. On live TV. (autoplay video)
posted by nubs at 8:25 AM PST - 51 comments

Approximately 1,200 dots

The Government Finally Has A Realistic Estimate Of Killings By Police [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 8:21 AM PST - 43 comments

Andy Cirzan's Warblings from the Enchanted Forest

It's time once again for holiday music connoisseur Andy Cirzan to melt your (snowman's) face off with the rare and bizarre on Sound Opinions Holiday Spectacular 2016. The accompanying mix will soon be available for free download until the end of the year: watch this space for Andy Claus' visit. Or mine the archives for prior holiday weirdness. [more inside]
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 8:10 AM PST - 4 comments

100 * of Dance

Very much in the spirit of "Where the Hell is Matt" (previously), another Matt—Matt Bray of ProjectOneLife—does a lot of dancing in his room and around the world... [more inside]
posted by howling fantods at 8:07 AM PST - 3 comments

The Rotorua Maori Choir – A History, Discography and Analysis

The June 2016 issue of The Discographer Magazine 3(6) has an extensive article on the 1930 recordings of the Rotorua Maori Choir.
Examples of the recordings can be heard on Youtube.
Further information about Maori song can be found at the NZ Folksong site. [more inside]
posted by OmieWise at 5:54 AM PST - 5 comments

Thank (insert suitable gif) we are here.

How news sites’ online comments helped build our hateful electorate.
On the heels of a presidential election that has been called unprecedented in terms of its incivility, the nonpartisan National Institute for Civil Discourse has an important message for the president-elect and Congress.
2014 PEW Research & Statistics
posted by adamvasco at 3:22 AM PST - 59 comments

December 15

“Otus is presented as an agent, not as a victim or a puppet—”

Owlboy Is A Masterful Tale of Transcending Disability [Kill Screen] “It is striking, to say the least, that a game which has the levity and freewheeling inventiveness of a Studio Ghibli film introduces its hero with a sequence of cold abuse. But this is the unlikely balance that Owlboy [YouTube] achieves. From its unforgettable opening sequence to its equally devastating conclusion, the game never lets us forget that its hero is an unusually vulnerable one. He can’t even defend himself when the local owl bullies—cheekily named Fib and Bonacci—tease him. Nor does Otus gain fabulous new powers as the story goes on to deal with all the strife; the most he can do is stun foes with a stylish twirl of his cloak and escape.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 9:11 PM PST - 8 comments

Hella Grits - In Maps

The great American word mapper
Where the top 100,000 words are used the most, as seen through Twitter data
[more inside]
posted by hilaryjade at 8:05 PM PST - 45 comments

What happened to the gold from the S.S. Central America?

Thompson’s investors, who originally expected to make tens of millions of dollars from the venture, said that they believe he had hundreds of gold coins secreted in a trust account for his children. At first, their search for the coins looked promising. Thompson pleaded guilty to contempt of court in April 2015, according to the Columbus Dispatch. He said the coins were in Belize and agreed to reveal their exact location.

But that didn’t happen.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:41 PM PST - 8 comments

"That's where all my farts go."

Adam Rosenberg talks in his sleep. After several of his friends told him about it, he decided to start recording himself. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:14 PM PST - 43 comments

Collateral Beauty is a real movie that actually played in theaters

Maybe you'll be at a dinner. Maybe nobody will believe you. Or maybe they will, and someone will say, "Hollywood is terrible at making movies about trauma." The Village Voice reviews Collateral Beauty. [cw: death of a child, may contain spoilers] [more inside]
posted by teponaztli at 6:33 PM PST - 81 comments

Good Grief! More Entropy

In an email to its users, Dropbox has announced that their Public folders would be made private. Problem is, there's a game that's exclusively hosted in such a way: the completely insane Mastaba Snoopy (previously). Fortunately, the Internet Archive (which recently made the news by being serious about moving to Canada, previously) has a copy, as it does of a ridiculous number of things. If right-clicked and downloaded, the formatting is slightly altered, but no biggie. You may also choose to download it from the original source while you can (everything past first space in filename including .html will be removed - easily fixed by hand). (Content warning: body horror, sorta-sexual-kinda reference.) (Official game thread - creator's last reply was just last October, wow) [more inside]
posted by BiggerJ at 6:21 PM PST - 8 comments

A ‘Stonehenge’ in Brazil’s Jungle

A ‘Stonehenge,’ and a Mystery, in the Amazon. "The conventional belief is that only small tribes could have inhabited the Amazon jungle, but new discoveries call that into question."
posted by homunculus at 3:47 PM PST - 25 comments

Just a normal guy, among normal guys

Man with burn scars goes out on Halloween (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by sively at 3:30 PM PST - 20 comments

Classicists in Interesting Times

Eidolon is a general-audience webzine about the Greco-Roman classics. Subjects covered include a comparison by modern American and ancient Roman foodie cultures by Ben Thomas, Alexander Hamilton's self-identification with Catiline by Joanna Kenty, re-queering Sappho by Ella Haselswerdt, classical references in rap by Dan-el Padilla Peralta, and the contemporary popularity of ancient stoicism by Chiara Sulprizio. But by far the biggest splash was made by editor Donna Zuckerberg's How to Be a Good Classicist Under a Bad Emperor, about resisting the alt-right interpretation of Greco-Roman culture and society.
posted by Kattullus at 2:33 PM PST - 29 comments

here's my number (6.022×10^23) so call me tasty

hi hello this is avocado. tyvm for asking. Avocado is a fruit. It tweets. At first for about 10,000 years avocado was just a fruit and didn't tweet, and tbh that was fine too, but now it tweets and plays with other human technology at a shockingly amateurish level that people still seem to enjoy; for example, avocado's Twine game, the time it made guacamole with Michel Foucault, and, which just launched to several retweets' worth of acclaim tyvm.
posted by not_on_display at 1:22 PM PST - 24 comments

Damn it, Jim, I'm a doctor not a...oh! Right! "Two Star Trek 'Tricorders' Have Made It to the Final Round of XPRIZE. This week, Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE officials announced that two teams of finalists have made it to the last round of the competition, having designed tricorder-style medical devices that are actually pretty space-age in look and function. Weighing in at less that five pounds each, the devices can diagnose and interpret 13 different health conditions within minutes, while continuously monitoring five different vital sign metrics." [more inside]
posted by Celsius1414 at 1:12 PM PST - 27 comments

Now here's something we hope you'll really like

Moonlight Gliders: flying squirrels amaze with aerodynamic and cuteness
posted by exogenous at 12:56 PM PST - 17 comments

Almost all the victims were girls. The youngest were 6 years old.

A nine-month IndyStar-USA TODAY Network review of hundreds of police files and court cases from across U.S. shows that at least 368 American gymnasts have alleged some form of sexual abuse at the hands of their coaches, gym owners and other adults working in gymnastics in the last 20 years. That’s a rate of one every 20 days. It's likely an undercount. Many predatory coaches appear to have been protected by USA Gymnastics, one of the nation’s most prominent Olympic organizations. (TW: Child Abuse, Sexual Assault, Molestation and Rape)
posted by zarq at 9:06 AM PST - 96 comments

Knots on Mars

Knots on Mars : "It might surprise most people to learn that multitudes of knots tied in cords and thin ribbons have probably traveled on every interplanetary mission ever flown. If human civilization ends tomorrow, interplanetary landers, orbiters, and deep space probes will preserve evidence of both the oldest and newest of human technologies for thousands, if not millions of years."
posted by dhruva at 8:55 AM PST - 32 comments

Which version of "A Christmas Carol?" ALL OF THEM.

Over the last 18 months, YouTuber Heath Waterman has edited 400 versions of A Christmas Carol in film, television, songs, comics and more into one new, amazing supercut adaptation. [h/t]
posted by Room 641-A at 8:44 AM PST - 19 comments

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary

Neil Gaiman reads Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Raven'.
posted by Artw at 8:33 AM PST - 4 comments

New Day rocks (and rocks, and rocks, and rocks...)

Earlier this week, the New Day's reign as WWE Tag Team Champions became the longest in the company's history at 479 days (and counting). To commemorate the occasion, New Day member Big E tweeted a picture of his team with Cruiserweight Champion Rich Swann and Women's Champion Sasha Banks titled "#BlackExcellence" (Swann and the three members of the New Day are African-American; Banks is biracial). A "What if the white champions did this" backlash predictably ensued. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 8:17 AM PST - 29 comments

Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda

"Former congressional staffers reveal best practices for making Congress listen" [Single Link Google Docs] A guide, based on the Tea Party playbook, on how to use the tools of government to resist the Trump agenda.
posted by SansPoint at 8:11 AM PST - 54 comments

A survival guide for travellers in a hostile land

The Green Book , a guide which informs you where you can safely fill up your car, where to eat without being attacked or where you can can sleep without fear on your dangerous journey. It may sound like something from a post-apocalyptic fantasy novel but the hostile land in question is segregation-era America and the book is real. First published in 1936 by a Harlem postal worker, Victor H Green - in his words, "to give the Negro traveller information that will keep from him running into difficulties and embarrassments". These embarrassments included lynching. (SLBBCdoc) [more inside]
posted by Shatner's Bassoon at 1:03 AM PST - 26 comments


P-Model was amazing They were a Japanese band, formed by Susumu Hirasawa in 1979. Over the next two decades their sound spanned everything from new wave, alternative, industrial, techno, and whatever style this is .
posted by Italian Radio at 12:20 AM PST - 10 comments

December 14

GM Mosquitoes: What Could Go Wrong?

Inside the insectary - "These gene drives, they're able to copy themselves. So instead of half of the offspring inheriting the gene drive, almost all of them do. So what happens is that it spreads and it spreads and it spreads. And this is the fantastic thing. Because it allows that gene to be selfish in a population. And in a very short amount of time you can actually transform an entire wild population into a modified population. It's powerful." (previously: 1,2,3)
posted by kliuless at 10:04 PM PST - 37 comments

“You wake up thirsty.”

This Is Your Life, Brought to You by Private Equity [The New York Times] Since the financial crisis, the private equity industry has become hugely influential. As part of our series on what that means, here’s how the industry’s influence plays out in your daily life. [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 8:52 PM PST - 19 comments


Pentatonix We can spend this time debating "best versions", or we can enjoy the diversity... This one made me smile...
posted by HuronBob at 8:19 PM PST - 40 comments

Laissez Prayer: When American business got religion

So a bunch of American business leaders go to a meeting in a fancy New York City hotel. They don't know that they're about to become warriors for the salvation of the American economy in a battle against the forces of the New Deal, but there they are: the newly-minted Christian-Libertarian soldiers of Rev. James Fifield's Spiritual Mobilization movement. It's 1940, and this is what happened next. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:45 PM PST - 16 comments

Do you take cream and sugar in your goatse?

McDonald's is challenging Starbucks this year, not with a new coffee drink but with an unfortunate cup design. And if you poke a hole in the cup, it becomes—well, let Fake Morgan Freeman show you. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:35 PM PST - 55 comments

“Leaks do not invalidate government secrecy; they depend upon it.”

What’s striking… is that the man who defined the modern category of whistle-blower was the sort who gave career advice to Henry Kissinger. Ellsberg was an insider—and that fact puts him in stark contrast with the man who has come to be seen as his heir, Edward Snowden.
Writing for The New Yorker and heavily referencing David E. Pozen’s HBR paper “The Leaky Leviathan”, Malcolm Gladwell compares and contrasts the “leaker” and “hacker” attitudes of these two activists and how their choices fit the politics of their moments: “Daniel Ellsberg, Edward Snowden, and the Modern Whistle-Blower”
posted by Going To Maine at 6:34 PM PST - 25 comments

"California will launch its own damn satellite."

With Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson as one of the few people in the incipient Trump Cabinet who even acknowledges climate change, and Trump planning to shut down climate science, and building enemy lists of federal workers, California Governor Jerry Brown stands up at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union to proclaim that "truth will prevail". And promises a California space program if necessary. Video.
posted by SandCounty at 5:59 PM PST - 66 comments

Romance and 'Romantic Fantasy' in Tabletop Roleplaying Games

"What I want to call attention to is this: for almost eight hundred years, English used the same word for 'a fantastical tale of true love' and for 'a fantastical tale of magic and adventure', and that word was romance." [more inside]
posted by Caduceus at 4:41 PM PST - 15 comments

I'm designed to be superficially damaged.

[Audio Link] "You Had One Job" by Scott Brown is a short story about MILES (Mobile Intermediary Legate - Extreme Situations), a cheerful bomb disposal robot who likes helping people. The story was read by Jeremy Shamos as Act 3 of the December 2 episode of podcast This American Life, "Once More, With Feeling." SPOILERS for "You Had One Job" inside. [more inside]
posted by nicebookrack at 4:24 PM PST - 12 comments

It's not cold outside; you just don't know how to dress

How do humans deal with and survive extreme cold? Your best defense is knowing how to dress. "The Protective Combat Uniform emphasizes durability and functionality and has been described as the best cold weather clothing system ever developed. The primary operational theory for how it works requires some understanding of physics, so buckle in." [more inside]
posted by AFABulous at 3:39 PM PST - 99 comments

Simply Having a Ghost-Induced Nervous Breakdown

Action star Lunge Dolphin counts down his favorite Christmas films to help you get in the holiday spirit. (SLYT)
posted by Parasite Unseen at 1:42 PM PST - 13 comments

Brain, Word, and Man: Machine

The story of how Google Brain improved Google Translate using neural networks. In nine months, the new technique was able to improve translations more than a team of human engineers had managed in ten years. This article describes how this was possible, and what it means for the future of artificial intelligence. Featuring a crash course in the history of A.I.; supercillious cats; and a cameo by John Searle. (SLNYT).
posted by Diablevert at 1:36 PM PST - 19 comments

Enigmas, Logogriphs, Charades, Rebuses, Queries and Transpositions

It is thus confidently hoped, that the volume now offered to the public will prove an interesting and cheerful companion for a Christmas fire-side, and be employed among the innocent and rational of Christmas festivities...
Selections from The Masquerade collects hundreds of riddles and literary word puzzles from the late 18th and early 19th century. [more inside]
posted by Iridic at 1:28 PM PST - 6 comments

A public service announcement

If you don't talk to your kids about quantum computing ... someone else will!
posted by AndrewStephens at 1:04 PM PST - 14 comments

One Room

Make a game in 48 hours, by yourself, from scratch. Or as a team, in 72 hours. Ludum Dare 37 ran last weekend, on the theme of "One Room". Thousands participated, from seasoned developers to complete novices. Some common topics included Roombas (123456) and Donald Trump (123). See inside for recommendations... [more inside]
posted by Zarkonnen at 11:32 AM PST - 9 comments


Noclip made a documentary about the challenges of making Doom 2016: To Hell and Back 🕱 Designing a First Impression 🕱 Guns, Guitars & Chess on Mars
posted by Foci for Analysis at 10:59 AM PST - 13 comments

Programs aren’t models of the world but takes on the world

Programming is Forgetting: Toward a New Hacker Ethic - Allison Parrish In the process of programming, or scanning or sampling or digitizing or transcribing, much of the world is left out or forgotten. Programming is an attempt to get a handle on a small part of the world so we can analyze and reason about it. But a computer program is never itself the world. [more inside]
posted by CrystalDave at 10:26 AM PST - 19 comments

Homo erectus has clitorises, too.

You've probably heard that humans are lacking a penis bone, the baculum. But did you know that we also lack a clitoral bone?
posted by ChuraChura at 9:58 AM PST - 32 comments

Made in China 2025

China has launched a high-tech revolution: Beijing has devised an industrial masterplan named "Made in China 2025" and is investing billions to turn China into one of the leading industrial countries by 2049. As the latest MERICS Paper on China shows, China's ambitious strategy is starting to bear fruit. Industrial countries like Germany and the United States have to be prepared for strong competition.
posted by infini at 9:50 AM PST - 25 comments

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?

Pigs!!!! In!!!! Spaaaaaaaaace!!!!!!!!! For the first time in over 20 years, First Mate Piggy, Captain Link Hogthrob, and Dr. Julius Strangepork come back to the screen with an all-new adventure that will get under your skin.
posted by hippybear at 9:22 AM PST - 17 comments

The Destruction of the Kelp

Kelp is a large seaweed that grows in underwater forests along temperate coasts, sustaining many marine species in turn. The Kelp Highway Hypothesis postulates that Pacific Rim kelp forests and the wealth of fish, mammals and birds that they supported sustained maritime hunter-gatherers spreading into the New World 16,000 years ago. Kelp species play an important role in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean cuisines, and fuelled the production of soda ash in the Scottish Highlands and islands until the industry's collapse in the 19th century, which in turn fuelled emigration to North America and beyond. Charles Darwin wrote of the kelp forests of Tierra del Fuego that "if in any country a [terrestrial] forest was destroyed, I do not believe nearly so many species of animals would perish as would here, from the destruction of the kelp". [more inside]
posted by rory at 9:15 AM PST - 7 comments

Masaki C. Matsumoto on the queer experience in Japan

Maybe it’s cool to be accepting of queerness in your state. Or you may live in an area where it’s cool to call someone “faggot.” [...] like, do you identify as a “cool” ally or a “cool” bigot? [...]I think that’s a huge difference between Japan and the U.S. In Japan, LGBTQ+ people are a joke. It’s “fun” to act like a bigot. It’s “boring” to be accepting.
Anime Feminist [previously] interviews Masaki C. Matsumoto, Japanese vlogger and queer activist.
posted by Sokka shot first at 8:28 AM PST - 17 comments

Cicada 3301 is a years-long internet enigma

The journalistic what, who, when, where, why are mysterious here. It might be a game or a puzzle or a recruitment tool. There is a website. The first clue was in January of 2012. There have been clues posted, mostly in January, mostly on internet discussion boards although in 2016 it was on twitter. Mark Molloy in The Telegraph on 16 January 2016 might have the best two minute summary: Who is behind Cicada 3301? A brief history of the hardest puzzle on the internet. [more inside]
posted by bukvich at 8:22 AM PST - 9 comments

4-4 should happen twice before the end of the world

Jon Bois, America's greatest living poet, presents a more analytical piece from his "Chart Party" series: Scorigami, or the story of every NFL final score that has ever happened. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 7:48 AM PST - 16 comments

"I remember being impressed with myself."

How to Be Cool — A comic by Meghan Lands
posted by Elementary Penguin at 7:19 AM PST - 20 comments

Christmas Songs You Won't Hear At The Mall

This seems like a good start. I'm sure we can add to the list!
posted by COD at 6:27 AM PST - 88 comments

Texting W. V. O. Quine...

Fluent in emoji? Please apply here. [more inside]
posted by progosk at 6:03 AM PST - 12 comments

'Death in L.A. can be an odd undertaking'

"So here you are, dead and alone. Chances are you didn’t want this, but your wishes were ignored. Whatever happens to the part of you that you recognize as somehow quintessentially you (call it soul, self, spirit, spark), the other part isn’t finished yet—the fleshly part, the limbs and guts that ached and pleased you in so many ways, the meaty bits that you vainly or grudgingly dragged around for all those years. That piece is still of interest to the bureaucrats. It is still a potential source of profit. In your absence its journey is just beginning." ~ What Really Happens After You Die?
posted by zarq at 5:58 AM PST - 19 comments

I Wanna Be In the Thread Where Data Analysis Happens

An Interactive Visualization of Every Line in "Hamilton"
posted by Ipsifendus at 3:53 AM PST - 8 comments

December 13

Technically it's a concrete mixer, not a cement mixer

Disco ball mixer. Candy striped mixer. Football mixer. Street art mixers. Mixer art, various. Concrete Products fleet graphics awards. Christmas light mixer. Sunshine mixer. Ocean flame (?) mixer. Matroyshka mixer. Polka dot mixer. Shoe mixer. Asparagus, strawberry, and corn mixers.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:26 PM PST - 23 comments

CSI: Audubon

Audubon Magazine profiles Pepper Trail, Forensic Ornithologist. [more inside]
posted by zamboni at 7:54 PM PST - 10 comments

Alan Thicke Dead at 69

The Canadian actor died of a heart attack on Tuesday in Burbank while playing hockey with his son.
posted by Tenacious.Me.Tokyo at 6:18 PM PST - 81 comments

An Imagined Date Between Two Straight Men

MATT: It’s nice to finally meet you! I like your flannel shirt that smells like whatever soup you had for lunch.
(SL New Yorker by Rebecca Caplan and Shea Strauss.)
posted by Going To Maine at 5:11 PM PST - 81 comments

2) You were never actually accomplishing anything by watching the news

After eight years of not watching TV and internet newscasts, David Cain posts Five Things You Notice When You Quit the News. [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 4:14 PM PST - 112 comments

“—you only look as good as your horse does.”

The Best Horse in PC Gaming [PC Gamer] “And no one understands the value of a loyal, healthy horse companion better than PC Gamer. They’ve helped us scale vertical cliffsides in Skyrim, disable tanks with their poops in Metal Gear Solid 5, and be less angry than normal when we couldn’t fast travel The Witcher 3. They’re also very pretty and I like the noises they make. But the time for sharing the love is over, as we've decided to declare the best horse in PC gaming through rigorous horse analysis. Tuck that shirt in, champ your bit, and let’s ride.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 4:03 PM PST - 56 comments

#FuckThisShit: An Advent Devotional

Day Sixteen So as you ask “Where is your God?”, Michael Brown looks you [in the] eye. He smiles. He says, “Fuck. This. Shit.” [more inside]
posted by Deeleybopper at 3:39 PM PST - 12 comments

"This is my dream ... Nobody ever jumped a car a mile."

In the 1970s, Canadian daredevil Ken Carter had a plan: He wanted to jump a rocket-powered car over the St. Lawrence River. Ultimately, the stunt's promoters put another driver behind the wheel and the jump was unsuccessful. But there's more to the story. The Devil at Your Heels, posted online courtesy of Canada's National Film Board, is a feature-length documentary that chronicles the five-year lead-up to the jump and the eleventh-hour betrayal that cost Ken Carter a chance at his larger-than-life dream. [more inside]
posted by compartment at 2:01 PM PST - 31 comments


One of Joe Howard's students asked him a question and he couldn't stop thinking about it. After some research, he provided an answer in this charming video: How loud would it be if all of the cats in the world meowed at the same time? (h/t Miss Cellania) [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:56 PM PST - 31 comments

The legend of the Milkwalker

It's a sentient milk carton that has grown arms and the legs of an Imperial AT-ST walker from Star Wars. Is it mechanical or organic? Is it full of milk? What does it want with us? [more inside]
posted by deathpanels at 1:39 PM PST - 16 comments

Béguinages: women-only communities from the 13th century

The Béguines was a women's movement that appeared in the Low Countries in the 13th century. They founded béguinages in cities like Brugges and Amsterdam, which were convent-like, women-only communities where women could live like nuns without the religious vows. [more inside]
posted by colfax at 1:04 PM PST - 34 comments

Now it is raining. Bombs a little bit calmer.

Syrian government close to complete control of Aleppo. More civilians, including women and children, killed by government forces as they attempt to flee the city amidst "a complete meltdown of humanity." Many civilians tweeting goodbyes online. Russia claims deals in progress to evacuate city safely.
posted by stillmoving at 12:48 PM PST - 47 comments

"No. I don't think they ate her."

In N.K. Jemisin's "The Evaluators: To Trade With Aliens, You Must Adapt," an extrasolar investigative team has disappeared, but the United Communities of Earth wants to go forward with a trade agreement. This short story is a part of Wired's first ever issue dedicated to science fiction.
posted by mixedmetaphors at 12:44 PM PST - 19 comments

A show about clinical depression... with laughs‽

The Hilarious World of Depression. A new podcast with host John Moe that focuses on talking to funny people who have dealt depression. Its first full episode, Peter Sagal Opens Up, was released yesterday and features guest Peter Sagal (host of NPR's Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me) talking about his depression publicly for the first time.
posted by skynxnex at 12:41 PM PST - 4 comments

2016 in music: some brightness for dark days

There’s been no shortage of pessimism about 2016—a year that was plagued with fear, hatred, and confusion.... There was plenty to mourn over within music itself, as we said farewell to David Bowiepreviously, Princeprev., Leonard Cohenprev., Phife Dawgprev., Sharon Jonesprev., and too many others. But nevertheless, we found comfort in song: Solange’s meditationsprev., twice, Chance the Rapper’s spirituality, Bruno Mars’s throwback levity. Frank Ocean resurfacedprev., and the Avalanches finally returnedprev.. For the most part, music in 2016 remained good. The 50 Best Albums of 2016 from Spin, or you can go to Album of the Yearprev., twice to see an aggregated list of top albums or browse individual lists, listed alphabetically. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 11:09 AM PST - 26 comments

Watson, come here!

A Secret Ops AI Aims to Save Education This AI professor couldn’t keep up as his classes grew and grew. So he built himself an extra teaching assistant: Jill Watson!
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 10:46 AM PST - 18 comments

Reporting Archaeology in the Post-Truth Era

2016 was an epic year for failures of archaeology. This was the year of the ‘Nazi gold train’, the ‘Mayan city’ discovered by a kid using Google Earth, whatever the fuck Semir Osmanagić said about a stone sphere, and ‘Nefertiti’s Tomb’... But the problem is not that we don’t have enough fact-checkers... “The media scandal of 2016 isn’t so much about what reporters failed to tell the American public; it’s about what they did report on, and the fact that it didn’t seem to matter.
posted by ursus_comiter at 10:28 AM PST - 14 comments

Less Food Waste? It's a Wrap.

An (Edible) Solution to Extend Produce’s Shelf Life. "Using leaves, stems, banana peels and other fresh plant materials left behind after fruits and vegetables are picked or processed, Apeel has developed a method for creating imperceptible, edible barriers that the company says can extend the life of produce like green beans and berries by as much as five times. Apeel can even deliver a day-of-the-week bunch of bananas, each ripening on a different day." Apeel has won a $100,000 award from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. [more inside]
posted by storybored at 9:34 AM PST - 25 comments

The Grand Old Train Of York (Okay, Nevada)

Sisyphus's Train Set. ARES (Advanced Rail Energy Storage) proposes to store energy in places where water turbines aren't possible. In train form.
posted by Mchelly at 7:52 AM PST - 40 comments

RIP Patricia Kutteles, Gold Star mother and political activist

In 1999, U.S. Army Private First Class Barry Winchell was murdered by a fellow soldier because Winchell was dating a trans woman. His mother, Patricia Kutteles, refused to accept the Army's official line of a drunken brawl gone wrong and got her son's killer sent to prison for life, and his roommate (who goaded the killer on) sent to prison for six years. She then sued the Army for wrongful death because her son's chain of command had not interceded in the harassment, and became one of the driving forces in the overturning of the U.S. military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. Patricia Kutteles died last month, five years after DADT was repealed.
posted by Etrigan at 7:21 AM PST - 25 comments

My President Was Black

"The dream Ronald Reagan invoked in 1984—that “it’s morning again in America”—meant nothing to the inner cities, besieged as they were by decades of redlining policies, not to mention crack and Saturday-night specials. Likewise, Obama’s keynote address conflated the slave and the nation of immigrants who profited from him. To reinforce the majoritarian dream, the nightmare endured by the minority is erased. That is the tradition to which the “skinny kid with a funny name” who would be president belonged. It is also the only tradition in existence that could have possibly put a black person in the White House." by Ta-Nehisi Coates
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:19 AM PST - 29 comments

ok ok we got this

Something to pick you up this morning: 99 Reasons Why 2016 Was a Good Year (SLMedium)
posted by leibniz at 1:08 AM PST - 75 comments

December 12

Radio Around the World A browsable map of streamable radio stations around the world.
posted by zabuni at 9:46 PM PST - 22 comments

Don't you boys know any nice songs?

It's April 1, 1980. Frank Zappa, legendary composer, performer, and noted political troublemaker arrives at the San Francisco airport. Representatives of the US Navy are waiting for him as he exits the aircraft and the encounter was captured on video. Full story at the Navy Times.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 9:19 PM PST - 32 comments

Buffers Overflowing with Pixels

The Hi-Bit Era (D-Pad Studios) While these games may be paying homage to the 16-bit era that started with the Super Nintendo (1990) and Sega Mega Drive (1988, a.k.a. Genesis), they're working beyond the limitations of the tech in the 90s. It's got me thinking, that pixel art games have entered a new era.
posted by CrystalDave at 6:38 PM PST - 19 comments

His smile makes you feel like there's still some good in the world

Tiny Desk Concert: Gucci Mane
posted by R.F.Simpson at 2:01 PM PST - 12 comments

the ticket explodes again each time you load the page

23 Random Paragraphs From Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs William S. Burroughs reads 23 random sentences from Naked Lunch [wiki] [Previously.].
posted by Fizz at 1:09 PM PST - 16 comments

Raw is Jericho

"This man’s skull was ritualistically transformed 9,000 years ago in Jericho. To flesh out the features on the so-called Jericho Skull, archaeologists at the British Museum have worked for more than two years to reconstruct the face of a man whose skull had been reshaped by ritual throughout his long life. While he was an infant, his head had been bound tightly with cloth to change its shape. After he died at a ripe old age, his skull was then plastered, decorated, and put on display."
posted by Celsius1414 at 12:08 PM PST - 32 comments

Outrunning The Tide

Each summer, the Passage du Gois (a submersible causeway in the Bay of Bourgneuf) is host to a foot race known as the Foulées du Gois. The professional portion of the race is notable in that it begins at the moment the tide crosses the road. The leaders often finish in knee-deep water, and those further back may have to swim to the finish line.
posted by tocts at 12:08 PM PST - 9 comments

Call It F8, Call It Luck, Call It Karma

The first trailer for The Fate of the Furious was released last night, and Shea Serrano has 9 extremely important questions to ask about it. [more inside]
posted by Copronymus at 10:06 AM PST - 146 comments

To Control the Wheel of Fortune Master the 17 Principles of Achievement!

The father of self-help was a pathological fraud, abuser and super right-wing. He also lent his guidance to a cult that claimed they would raise a baby to live forever. And despite a lifetime of dozens of creative scams, such as "colleges" where students paid to work on factory assembly lines and selling stock in Mormon silent movies, he was near broke his entire life. On the other hand he did reveal to businessmen The Mystery of Sex Transmutation. [more inside]
posted by blankdawn at 10:05 AM PST - 32 comments

How to eat a scorpion in style

The Futuristic Utensils Designed to Help You Eat Bugs (Atlas Obscura). From the designer's project page:"The product is meaningful to be joyful for eating insects and stretch food culture." [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:36 AM PST - 34 comments

Dilatant Compound 3179 + Graphine = Hypersensitive pressure detector

Dilatant Compound 3179 (previously), better known to kids young and old as Silly Putty, may finally have a proper scientific use (besides the other semi-proper uses). Add graphene to the polymer, you get a very sensitive electro-mechanical sensor that can measure breathing, pulse and even blood pressure when placed on a person's neck or chest, and even detect the footsteps of small spiders (via NPR; abstract, paywalled article on Science Mag: Sensitive electromechanical sensors using viscoelastic graphene-polymer nanocomposites).
posted by filthy light thief at 9:08 AM PST - 14 comments

AA Gill Obituary: Renowned restaurant critic earned fame and infamy

The journalist AA Gill, who has died aged 62, less than a month after revealing he was seriously ill with cancer The Sunday Times journalist, who was regarded by many on Fleet Street as one of the great newspaper stylists, opened his restaurant column three weeks ago with the abrupt declaration he was suffering with “an embarrassment of cancer”. He went on: “There is barely a morsel of offal that is not included. I have a trucker’s gut-buster, gimpy, malevolent, meaty malignancy.” He wanted readers to know, he said, in case it affected his judgments about food. [more inside]
posted by helmutdog at 8:21 AM PST - 38 comments

Out of 4706 UK panel shows. Only 1 was 100% female.

UK Panel Show Gender Breakdown! Generally, panel shows on UK television include few female guests. Most have male hosts and male captains/regulars. Even omitting the regulars, the guests are mostly men too. It is a problem that half the population are under-represented in these long-running TV and radio shows. [more inside]
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 6:52 AM PST - 67 comments

2017 goals

Nike announced this morning that they are embarking on a plan to break one of running’s most formidable barriers—the two-hour marathon, in 2017. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:44 AM PST - 42 comments

Distributional National Accounts: Trading Places

Economic growth in the United States: A tale of two countries - "An economy that fails to deliver growth for half of its people for an entire generation is bound to generate discontent with the status quo and a rejection of establishment politics." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 6:32 AM PST - 20 comments

Pop. Pop. Popopopopopopopop.

Last week, MalwareHunterTeam discovered code for new ransomware under development called Popcorn Time (no relation to the streaming app). Like most ransomware, it is designed to encrypt the victim's files and withhold the decryption key until a ransom is paid. However, Popcorn Time adds a nasty twist: if the victim is able to infect two others using a referral link, they can get their decryption code free of charge if payment is successfully extracted. The discovered code is still incomplete, and it's not known how far it might be from completion. Further reading: a history of ransomware from Wired.
posted by duffell at 6:17 AM PST - 25 comments

No, really, it's FINE.

Is this always a bad thing? Tight-lipped, frosty and fake, the passive-aggressive person never quite takes the blame. [more inside]
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 2:27 AM PST - 80 comments

An Enemy of the Kremlin Dies in London

A longform article from The Atlantic: Who killed Alexander Perepilichny?
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:24 AM PST - 5 comments

December 11


Historic alternate suggestions for the U.S. 50 star flag.

Possible designs for a 51 star flag (plus, design your own for 51 and greater).
posted by Chrysostom at 8:09 PM PST - 27 comments

To Build A Better Ballot

No, this is not about the 2016 U.S. election. Not just that, anyway. First, I need to explain a weird glitch in our voting system…
Nicky Case Previously -who you may remember from his (and vi hart’s Previously, 2, 3, 4) “playable post” Previously about the Schelling Segregation Model Previously- has made a new playable post about different voting systems.
posted by Going To Maine at 6:10 PM PST - 30 comments

GOTY 2016

Wait in line. Move. Jump literal inches in the air. Try to stay awake by punching yourself in the face (but not too much). Waiting in Line 3D is the hot new 2.5D FPS by Rajeev Basu.
posted by codacorolla at 5:58 PM PST - 23 comments

Women at Work

"A truck driver, butcher and firefighter are some of the subjects in the latest project by the photographer Chris Crisman. This series portrays women at work and focuses on occupations traditionally seen as male dominated. Crisman’s children were part of the inspiration for Women’s Work - to show them that they could be anything they wanted to be, and to illustrate that gender should not define employment possibilities"
posted by byanyothername at 12:34 PM PST - 19 comments

Happy Teri Garr Appreciation Day

On the March 9, 1975 episode of The Cher Show, Cher, and her guests The Pointer Sisters, Teri Garr and Freddie Prinze perform a medley of songs from the big band/swing era. [more inside]
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:31 PM PST - 39 comments

We Got a Call From Australia

"M’Lynn needed help. Her husband, Paul, was a big guy with a quick wit, a kind heart and a deep passion for the outdoors. Last July, Paul passed away. Next to a full backpack, he left his three polished sets of hiking boots. We took those boots for a long walk. Together, the boots and those that carried them, covered the length of the Appalachian Trail." Paul's Boots. (YT) [more inside]
posted by bondcliff at 12:01 PM PST - 7 comments

It’s an unruly mess, but what else could it be?

In 2013 Leath Tonino traveled the length of Vermont from Massachusetts to Québec via various modes of locomotion. Seven Lengths of Vermont: hike, hitch, ski, bike, paddle, swim, flight.
posted by jessamyn at 7:45 AM PST - 6 comments

Movies Where The Cat Just Fucks Everything Up

Letterboxd is a social network for movie lovers where you can rate films, keep track of what you’ve watched, and create collections based on whatever categories you want. Here are some of the best collections.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:13 AM PST - 75 comments

This invention helped me write again

BBC Stories brings us Emma Lawton, a graphic designer diagnosed with Parkinson's disease at age 29, and inventor Haiyan Zhang who helps her draw a straight line for the first time in years. [3m20s]
posted by hippybear at 6:40 AM PST - 7 comments

Cut your hair. The buffalo are never coming back.

One hundred years ago, the US government oversaw the slaughter of millions of buffalo in its effort to settle the West. That meant separating Indian tribes from their historic dependence on the buffalo, or bison, for food, shelter, and also for their spirituality. Indians see buffalo and all living things as sacred. Now, in cooperation with Canada, the US government has returned buffalo to the Blackfoot tribes, who say they are celebrating their long-denied sense of feeling whole again. Correspondent Lucky Severson reports from northern Montana, where Ervin Carlson, president of the Intertribal Buffalo Council says, “They’re just a part of our being, our spirituality—not only the buffalo, but all animals are very spiritual to the Indian people.”
posted by XMLicious at 4:36 AM PST - 12 comments

Every country in the world (part one)

Learn a little bit about half the world's countries in fifteen minutes. [more inside]
posted by smoke at 2:28 AM PST - 16 comments

December 10

“Did you know that it took them 7 years to make this game.”

The Last Guardian [YouTube] [Video] [NSFW - Explicit Language] by videogamedunkey
posted by Fizz at 10:15 PM PST - 40 comments

American Life Expectancy Drops’s hard to deny that something truly dire has ensnared a large chunk of the country. In a country as big, complicated, and diverse as the United States, that “something” is actually a great many things, but I would argue they can be broadly summed up by one idea: what I call the “one-bad-break test.” ... In societies that function well, there are various safety nets in place to prevent a bad break from leading to a tailspin for particularly vulnerable victims. Compared to many other rich nations, the U.S. is not such a society — all too often, when vulnerable Americans encounter a bad break, there’s nothing underneath them to stop their slide. Instead, devastation follows, sometimes in the form of bankruptcy and addiction and death.
posted by Bella Donna at 8:58 PM PST - 60 comments

A DIY Telecine

When Joe Herman's uncle uncovered a trove of more than 130 reels of film shot by Joe's grandfather, some as old as 1939, he decided to digitize them for preservation and to share with their family. With commercial digitization being fairly costly, Joe decided to build his own, out of an old projector, a Raspberry Pi, and some home modifications. The results are quite impressive. [more inside]
posted by fings at 8:20 PM PST - 25 comments

Blimey, if it don't look like mutton again tomorrer

Why do Dwarves Sound Scottish and Elves Sound Like Royalty?
posted by Chrysostom at 7:54 PM PST - 36 comments

The Art of Learning

Visualizing the Riemann zeta function and analytic continuation (slyt)
posted by kliuless at 7:42 PM PST - 10 comments


posted by Grandysaur at 5:57 PM PST - 41 comments

Bob's Other Voice

On a day when a nervous Patti Smith served as Bob Dylan's voice in Stockholm, imagine a world where the new Nobel laureate sang three semitones lower.
posted by Knappster at 5:21 PM PST - 14 comments

Alright, Dad.

John Peel - Punk Rock Special, 10th December 1976 (Direct mp3 link)
posted by gwint at 5:21 PM PST - 7 comments

Miniature Books from the Lilliput Oval Saloon

Tiny Tomes from the World’s First All-Miniature Bookstore: As the 450 lots show, [The Lilliput Oval Saloon] carried a range of finely crafted miniature tomes, from British almanacs with gilded covers to leather religious texts to books celebrating vices — like a tiny one from 1905 with 50 recipes for popular cocktails or 1866’s The Smoker’s Textbook, which features illustrations of water pipes and tobacco plants on an engraved title page. There are works of fiction and poetry, too, penned by names like Mark Twain, Edgar Allen Poe, and William Butler Yeats — whose “Song of the Wandering Aengus” unfolds on tiny pages kept between a carefully embroidered cover. The variety of material used by publishers to construct these diminutive books exemplifies their status as miniature works of art: one 1840 prayer book for children boasts a white bone binding, a vellum spine, and gilded edges.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:18 AM PST - 12 comments

Deddeh Howard's Black Mirror

‘Black Mirror’ project highlights lack of diversity in the fashion industry NSFW [more inside]
posted by Michele in California at 10:07 AM PST - 10 comments

No one escapes the microbiome

What’s Lurking in Your Showerhead-An examination of the microbial habitat inside a showerhead that might be a lot like yours.
posted by nevercalm at 8:06 AM PST - 35 comments

Hooked for life

From the outside, the NFL looks like one of the jewels of American capitalism. It remains the most profitable sports enterprise in the world, with $12 billion in revenue in 2015. But a closer look at the trend lines reveals that the NFL’s financial and cultural dominance may be at risk. In response, the NFL has initiated a campaign to secure the next generation of fans that is unprecedented in the history of professional athletics. [more inside]
posted by cynical pinnacle at 7:54 AM PST - 69 comments

Greg Lake dead at 69

General write ups abound. The Financial Times does a nice write up of I Believe in Father Christmas (audio version here.) Original version here With Ian Anderson here . [more inside]
posted by BWA at 5:48 AM PST - 47 comments

From Russia, with love.

The CIA has concluded that Russia intervened to help Trump win the US election. It's part of a long game. [more inside]
posted by Sleeper at 3:50 AM PST - 834 comments

Big Phat Band

Numerous and busy - The Jazz Police. Their ancestors - Gene Krupa / Buddy Rich drum battle and a classic - Sing, Sang, Sung.
posted by vapidave at 1:50 AM PST - 8 comments

Wanna get away?

What is the loneliest place on planet Earth? (slyt)---Point Nemo is the furthest place in the world from any sort of human. it is not actually a bit of land. It’s the spot in the ocean furthest from land, in any direction. Other poles of inaccessibility include the Eurasian pole, in China, or the Southern Pole of Inaccessibility in Antarctica — a very difficult place to visit [more inside]
posted by shockingbluamp at 12:49 AM PST - 17 comments

Your Name in Gum

Spell your name. In gum.
posted by MoonOrb at 12:37 AM PST - 7 comments

December 9

A pebble into the pond

In 2012 the Pebble Smartwatch, a pioneer in wearable technology, made Kickstarter history, reaching its funding goal within 2 hours, and ultimately raising over $10M from nearly 70,000 backers. On Thursday, Pebble announced that the company was ceasing operations, and the majority of the company was being sold to Fitbit, maker of fitness and activity trackers. [more inside]
posted by Cheese Monster at 11:21 PM PST - 30 comments

"Sometimes I tell myself, 'Well, what would a guy do? He'd take it.'"

The Tina Fey Interview, by David Letterman (Hollywood Reporter)

THR's Sherry Lansing Leadership Award honoree confesses to a fellow late-night pioneer her fear of bombing onstage (his response: "It's like I have a twin") as two comedy greats talk Trump's feud with Alec Baldwin ("dignity of a seventh-grader"), the "endless anxiety" of parenting and why TV is "better than movies."
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:33 PM PST - 9 comments

A Beautiful Exercise in Trust

In November, a gentleman named Karim Sulayman was filmed in Central Park West, enjoying his day, thanks to many, many others in the park. Watch (and have your Kleenex handy): S/L Vimeo (3:14). (more inside) [more inside]
posted by Silverstone at 6:29 PM PST - 29 comments

the joy of editing in the light of the mind

Princeton University has just launched a new archive showcasing the photographic works of Minor White. White, a founding editor of Aperture Magazine, found inspiration in Steiglitz' concept of Equivalence, as well as in his own complicated sexuality.
posted by selfnoise at 5:06 PM PST - 9 comments


Rogue One: A Star Wars Story teamed with Globe Telecom's #CreateCourage campaign in the Philippines. [SLYT 2:02]
posted by bluecore at 4:02 PM PST - 5 comments

Tokyo by Train

Spend an entire day riding trains and trams all over Tokyo.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 2:45 PM PST - 17 comments

The history and lasting impacts of Acclimatization Societies

In 1854, a French anatomist named Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire established La Societé Zoologique d’Acclimatation, the first acclimatization society, headquartered in the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, where he held a senior position. By 1860, the society had over 2,500 members, including diplomats, scientists, foreign heads of state, and military men. In another forty years, there were over fifty societies around the world, swapping species everywhere from Algiers to Tasmania. Some transplants died quickly, while others thrived, with European rabbits multiplying like, well, rabbits in Australia, European starlings taking down planes and ruining crops in the United States, while the English now battle American grey squirrels (previously). [via Presurfer] [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:25 PM PST - 17 comments

The scariest thing about snow in Seattle... the Seattleites who drive in it. With the news that an actual measurable amount of snow fell in the Pacific Northwest, The Stranger is here with a few short films of low speed local failures to navigate a light dusting of the white stuff.
posted by Existential Dread at 1:04 PM PST - 71 comments

Dissociative Identity ________

Ariadne, Jacqueline, North, and others unnamed are all part of the same system. They share a single body. They take turns “fronting” the body, controlling it. And when they’re not fronting, the system members are free to roam an infinite landscape, a pocket reality that they call the “in-world”.
”Redwoods of the In-World” is an episode of the Here Be Monsters podcast recorded after the system got in touch with producers Jeff Emtman and Bethany Denton.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:43 PM PST - 5 comments

If these monkeys could talk

For years, the standard line in Ling 101 courses has been "Monkeys and apes can't make human speech sounds because of the shape of their vocal tract". A new paper is challenging that idea; NPR write up here. [more inside]
posted by damayanti at 12:28 PM PST - 18 comments

Divorcees of the Nile God

Alsarah and the Nubatones performed a Tiny Desk Concert at NPR.
posted by ChuraChura at 11:45 AM PST - 8 comments

Best of Bandcamp 2016

Since it first started getting major buzz and attention around the start of the decade, Bandcamp has become the go-to place for anyone and everyone (that is to say, artists without agents and established labels) to release their albums. Musicians point to an artist-friendly approach to business and design, allowing for direct relationships with listeners and minimal interference. And there's been a treasure trove of undersung gems ever since. But the sheer breadth and volume could be hard to navigate, to say the least, leaving many to just wander around the "aisles" aimlessly (some would argue this is a good thing). This year Bandcamp launched Bandcamp Daily (previously) as an attempt to provide some curation around this vast catalog of releases, with a crack staff of knowledgeable, respected music critics. Now they've put out their Best Albums of 2016, and it's a stunner. [more inside]
posted by naju at 11:23 AM PST - 69 comments

Capturing The Know-It-All Demographic

Writing at the lefty quarterly journal The Baffler, Stanford Social Innvoation Review editor (and former Boston Review editor) David V. Johnson offers a critical look at Ezra Klein's and Matt Yglesias's He labels it "explatainment" and considers its relative sucess at one of its intended central missions, to become an authoritative source of information (not merely journalism) in the style of Wikipedia. Vox's well-known penchant for liberal-educated-white-guy mansplaining is addressed, as well the biases (hidden and not-so-hidden) inherent in modern hybrid information-entertainment delivery.
posted by briank at 11:01 AM PST - 46 comments

You can’t count votes that never got a chance to be cast

With six weeks to the inauguration of the current President-elect, the son of a Hebridean continues to make the press. Across a smorgasbord of controversy, Boeing and China and a union leader are tweet-called out, Taiwan are on the phone, Ben Carson has (awkward) a top job, Flynn jnr is out but Flynn snr stays in while Goldman Sachs is further in, Mr Coal is given the EPA, Coulter wavers, his wall may not be built after all, and conflicts of interests (one picked at random). Problems with the recent election such as interference and voter suppression (post title) (also, game) continue to be discussed while Jill et al continue with their recount battle. Elsewhere, think pieces about the Democratic party abound, and Hillary continues to stack up the votes. Also California, Biden for 2020, a large bipartisan bill heads Obama's way, some Federal bureaucrats are waiting to see what happens and a prophecy. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore at 10:00 AM PST - 2694 comments

No. 37, Wall-ſtreet, nearly oppoſite the Tontine Coffee-houſe

Here’s the front page of the inaugural edition of the American Minerva (“Patroness of Peace, Commerce and the Liberal Arts”), New York’s first daily newspaper, published on December 9, 1793 (SLPR)
posted by Celsius1414 at 9:37 AM PST - 13 comments

Kind of like putting a humidifier and a dehumidifier in the same room

An Amazon Echo and a Google Home talk to each other. Via Hackster.
posted by Cash4Lead at 9:32 AM PST - 32 comments

Well jel

Businessweek have published their annual list of the stories they are most jealous of in other titles. [more inside]
posted by garlicsmack at 8:10 AM PST - 12 comments

Still Doing Whatever a Spider Can

The trailer for the third movie incarnation of Spider-Man, Spider-Man: Homecoming, was released via Jimmy Kimmel Live!, which featured a few additional Spider-Men on the show. The movie will feature Tom Holland as Peter Parker, and Michael Keaton as a menacing costumed version of a winged creature (no, not that one, nor that one, either). [more inside]
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:01 AM PST - 50 comments

The Feminine Mystic

"The Golden Dawn (and Spiritualism) fostered women’s rights activists, activists against poverty, educators, anti-colonial revolutionaries, and radicals of all stripes. And the way they broke through the despair of daily life was through magic." Jessa Crispin looks at what magical thinking actually does for a person.
posted by Think_Long at 7:50 AM PST - 14 comments

You gotta get it done in five minutes

Meet The Machinists Who Keep the New York Times Running is a short video from Motherboard. The video initiates a new series, State of Repair, which will look at the work involved in keeping legacy industrial infrastructure functioning.
posted by carter at 5:40 AM PST - 22 comments

Tastes like

Restaurant reviews are a dime a dozen on Youtube, but what the world still lacked was a guy going around London chicken shops rating them on wing crispiness, chip consistency, burger buildup and value for money (anything over two pounds fifty is stretching it). Fortunately, now there's Chicken Connoisseur's The Pengest Munch to fill the gap.
posted by MartinWisse at 5:17 AM PST - 18 comments

He's Spartacus!

Issur Danielovitch Demsky, aka Kirk Douglas, turns 100 today. [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 2:32 AM PST - 30 comments

December 8

Oh good. Let's just get all of our holiday nightmares out at once.

30 Creepy Mall Santas. (Distractify) 16 more. (Buzzfeed) Another 14. (The FW) 10 more. (Top Tenz) Last one. (Macy's) [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:02 PM PST - 13 comments

I Am…You Are….He/She/It Is….

A Polish ad (in English) is winning the Christmas viral video war by a landslide. [more inside]
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:18 PM PST - 119 comments

Lode Runner in HTML5

The classic action puzzle game Lode Runner is now on the web, implemented in HTML5 by Simon Hung using CreateJS! It has all 150 the levels from the original and the 50 from Championship (VERY HARD), plus some more collections. Here's the source on GitHub. More info. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 3:40 PM PST - 44 comments

Prince’s Closest Friends Share Their Best Prince Stories

"And you knew when he was there because you'd turn around and go, 'Holy shit, I smell Prince.' And then, ten seconds later, you'd see him."
posted by apricot at 2:44 PM PST - 17 comments

Expect Cheese

"Anyone in the area of the intersection between Bergsgatan and Almbacksgatan in the southern Swedish city should pay attention to where they walk: hidden at ground level lies a French nut store named 'Noix de Vie' selling a range of nuts for the city’s mice. Next door, an Italian restaurant called 'Il Topolino' has moved in, complete with a pin-sized menu attached to the wall detailing its range of cheese and crackers." [more inside]
posted by effbot at 1:50 PM PST - 15 comments

John Glenn, dead at 95

WASHINGTON (AP) — John Glenn, whose 1962 flight as the first U.S. astronaut to orbit the Earth made him an all-American hero and propelled him to a long career in the U.S. Senate, died Thursday. The last survivor of the original Mercury 7 astronauts was 95.
posted by Man with Lantern at 1:11 PM PST - 155 comments

The least influential images of all time

These 100 photographs did not change the world and had no influence whatsoever (unlike these ones), but we should be thankful for their existence anyway. Includes hamsters, Sarah Bernhardt's foot (and dog), lovers, a large balloon, a kangaroo, some clouds and various types of human beings. (short article about this collection, in French)
posted by elgilito at 12:53 PM PST - 36 comments

Dinosaur Tail Discovered Trapped in Amber

"The tail of a 99-million year old dinosaur has been found entombed in amber, an unprecedented discovery that has blown away scientists....The amber adds to fossil evidence that many dinosaurs sported feathers rather than scales. " [more inside]
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 11:24 AM PST - 128 comments

The Future of Privacy

"It’s true that states and corporations often desire privacy, they just as often desire that I myself have less privacy. What does it mean, in an ostensible democracy, for the state to keep secrets from its citizens? ... In the short term, the span of a lifetime, many of us would argue for privacy, and therefore against transparency. But history, the long term, is transparency; it is the absence of secrets." - William Gibson [more inside]
posted by gregr at 10:53 AM PST - 37 comments


posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:39 AM PST - 29 comments

Star Wars/DC mashup trailer.

Black hood=dubious parentage
posted by HuronBob at 7:48 AM PST - 16 comments

2015 U.S. Transgender Survey Report

The 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey (USTS) is the largest survey examining the experiences of transgender people in the United States, with 27,715 respondents from all fifty states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and U.S. military bases overseas. (Full report. Executive Summary) The USTS was for all trans-identified people, including genderqueer and non-binary people, at any stage of their lives, journey, or transition. Participants had to be currently living in the United States or a U.S. territory, or be living abroad on a U.S. military base.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:12 AM PST - 33 comments

Lots of flowers for the seasonal mood

An A.I. wrote a Christmas song and...yeah.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:53 AM PST - 47 comments

December 7

a perfect superposition of tragedy and farce

How the Soviets invented the internet and why it didn't work - "Soviet scientists tried for decades to network their nation. What stalemated them is now fracturing the global internet." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 11:42 PM PST - 25 comments

Cat Hulbert: How I got rich beating men at their own game

Cat Hulbert: How I got rich beating men at their own game In her own words, Cat Hulbert describes how she got rich beating male opponents - and the casinos - and explains why in her view women are innately better at poker than men.
posted by jouke at 9:44 PM PST - 60 comments

It is said that the present is pregnant with the future.

The World Of Tomorrow: A Tribute to the Post-Apocalyptic Cinema (SLVimeo)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:26 PM PST - 20 comments

“Reading one book is like eating one potato chip.”

100 Notable Books of 2016 [The New York Times] The year’s notable fiction, poetry and nonfiction, selected by the editors of The New York Times Book Review. This list represents books reviewed since Dec. 6, 2015, when we published our previous Notables list. [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 9:13 PM PST - 14 comments

Peace, love, unity, respect, and rave with Kutski

DJ Kutski is keeping the rave alive via podcast mixes, "representing 360 degrees of the harder styles of dance music," an hour at a time. He's up to 244 episodes, and if you check out a few, you'll quickly notice a pattern in the shows. They generally feature a mix of old and new tracks, a cheeky check to see "does it sound good at 170 BPM", a bit of sample mania, and a guest mini-mix from such names as Dune and Charlie Lownoise & Mental Theo from the living history of the scenes, with folks like Sound Rush and AniMe representing the new generation. PLUR! [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 8:51 PM PST - 3 comments

Not an Onion Title: Rehab for Millennials Aims to Turn Them Into Adults

"Yellowbrick was founded a decade ago specifically to treat 'emerging adult' brains. It helps its patients navigate the extended period between childhood and adulthood." At a cost of $27,500 per month and a minimum commitment of 10 weeks, parents of prospective patients are paying dearly - and some would say being sucked dry - in the name of launching their failed-to-launch 20 or 30-something child.
posted by tafetta, darling! at 8:12 PM PST - 74 comments

smash the state, pet the pups

An American in Syria: The young United States florist headed to Raqqa, Syria, as a volunteer with the People’s Defense Units, or YPG, is known to most of Weird Twitter as PissPigGranddad.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:05 PM PST - 24 comments

I am proud to be brown

The other day on the bus , my kiddo was being teased about her dark brown skin. it wasn't the first time and it won't be the last. this morning we did a little self-love exercise. i wrote some positive things on sticky notes and had her stick them to her mirror. BuzzFeed interview with Alexandra Elle.
posted by Lanark at 2:48 PM PST - 7 comments

The World Sees Me as the One Who Will Find Another Earth

The star-crossed life of Sara Seager, an astrophysicist obsessed with discovering distant planets. A long read NYTMag article about a scientist that touches on exoplanets, starshades, daily commutes, love, loss, widowhood, and aliens. (As an aside: the WFIRST mission, and the proposed starshade.)
posted by RedOrGreen at 2:43 PM PST - 14 comments


The Bones Brigade’s The Search for Animal Chin — the most successful skateboarding video of all time — turns 30 next year. YouTube. Previously.

Under the guidance of Tim Payne, the original Animal Chin ramp builder, a new Chin Ramp has been erected at Woodward West Skatepark in Tehachapi, California. The outcome was a near-identical ramp complete with extensions, channels, mini ramp on top of the deck and a full vert spine – a feature that hasn't been attempted again since its original creation. [more inside]
posted by porn in the woods at 2:41 PM PST - 18 comments

"the rule was to keep patients until their insurance ran out"

When people called in to ask for help or inquire about services, internal documents and interviews show, UHS tracked what a former hospital administrator called each facility’s “conversion rate”: the percentage of callers who actually came in for psychiatric assessments, then the percentage of those people who became inpatients. “They keep track of our numbers as if we were car salesmen,” said Karen Ellis, a former counselor at Salt Lake Behavioral.
How treating psychiatric care as a profit-driven business has led to predictably horrifying results.
posted by jeather at 1:40 PM PST - 27 comments


Choir singing cat tunes.
posted by whimsicalnymph at 1:39 PM PST - 18 comments

Environmental Noxiousness, Racial Inequities and Community Health

Investigating Environmental Racism is the essence of The ENRICH Project, a unique and innovative project established in 2012 to address the health and socio-economic effects of NIMBYism on Mi’kmaw and African Nova Scotian communities. Their work is the subject of the documentary In Whose Backyard?
posted by Michele in California at 1:37 PM PST - 1 comment

Everyone good died.

it's time for this year's edition of everyone's favorite holiday tradition: The 2016 Hater's Guide to the Williams-Sonoma Catalog! [more inside]
posted by Old Kentucky Shark at 1:00 PM PST - 125 comments

Four podcasts with episodes mostly under five minutes long

  • Random Tape is a podcast of random audio recorded by producer David Weinberg.
    (The last two episodes are longer than five minutes. Don't start there.)
  • Sidewalks is a podcast of short interviews and other audio recorded on the sidewalk.
    (The most recent episode is longer than five minutes. Don't start there.)
  • Poetry Now is a podcast of modern poets reading poems, from the Poetry Foundation.
  • Poem of the Day is a podcast of poems from throughout history read by poets and actors, also from the Poetry Foundation.
[more inside]
posted by Going To Maine at 12:48 PM PST - 9 comments

Fossil fuels are doomed

A meta-assessment by Rembrandt Koppelaar argues that "Solar is able to generate 14 times the energy invested to create the panels" while "oil and gas now generate roughly 11 times the amount of energy invested" in the U.S., due to declining reserve quality.
posted by jeffburdges at 12:06 PM PST - 54 comments

Is Your T-shirt Clean of Slavery?

Business of Fashion: "Is Your T-shirt Clean of Slavery? Science May Soon Be Able to Tell. Shoppers lured by a bargain-priced t-shirt but concerned about whether the item is free of slave labor could soon have the answer — from DNA forensic technology." [more inside]
posted by Celsius1414 at 11:37 AM PST - 6 comments

The Clam That Sank a Thousand Ships

What adorable animal is this? It's a type of clam called a shipworm. One of the most destructive forces in the ocean and scourge of explorers. They eat boats, and apparently taste ok. These infamous clams are invading new areas, buoyed by climate change and the 2011 tsunami in Japan (PDF).
posted by joelf at 11:26 AM PST - 15 comments


A subreddit r/Dogberg collects clips of dogs Goldberg spearing humans, animals, and other dogs.
posted by burgerrr at 11:16 AM PST - 11 comments


What features make languages most difficult for native English speakers?
posted by Chrysostom at 10:57 AM PST - 16 comments

Inside Quebec’s Great, Multi-Million-Dollar Maple-Syrup Heist

In 2012 (previously), $18.7 million of maple syrup was stolen from a storage facility in St-Louis-de-Blandford, Quebec (Modern Farmer's illustrated account here). Much of the stolen syrup was eventually traced and recovered (previously). In November of this year, Richard Vallières and two others were found guilty of the crime. This was not the only maple syrup heist of its kind. Quebec produces 72 per cent of the world's supply, with quotas, prices, and quality standards set by the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers. Rich Cohen, writing in Vanity Fair, asks: "Have there been side effects to all this success? Has the federation, with its quotas and its methods of control (quotas must be enforced), reaped its own sticky harvest?"
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:15 AM PST - 52 comments

Food for thought at my own office.......

How To Tell Your Boss To Kiss Your Ass, And Get Away With It No description necessary.
posted by strelitzia at 9:59 AM PST - 13 comments

“A new president, new justice appointees changed the dynamic"

House Bill 493, a so-called "heartbeat" abortion bill, has cleared Ohio's House and Senate. [more inside]
posted by pullayup at 8:46 AM PST - 101 comments

First off, you have to make ALL the cookies

What Christmas means, when you're the mom. [more inside]
posted by A Terrible Llama at 8:36 AM PST - 72 comments

Arty G. Schronce and the Price of Chicken

Are chicken prices artificially high? “I have come to question the validity of some of the information provided,” [Schronce] wrote [PDF] in September in preparation for a meeting at the Georgia Department of Agriculture. “I do not think I am getting actual weighted average prices from some companies.” [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 7:42 AM PST - 11 comments

Her Hobbies Include Restoring Deadly Weapons

Today marks the release of Marvel Comics' Dr. Aphra #1, the first ongoing Star Wars comic to be headlined by an Asian character. Created by Kieron Gillen for the highly praised Darth Vader title run, Aphra has been described by her creator as a morally "inverse Indiana Jones" and represents the rare breakout character with no connection beyond the comic universe. After all, who wouldn't love someone who makes it a hobby of finding and restoring weapons of mass destruction? WARNING: Links and below the fold contain spoilers for the Darth Vader comics! [more inside]
posted by Atreides at 7:34 AM PST - 29 comments

Donald Trump is Time's 2016 Person of the Year

"For reminding America that demagoguery feeds on despair and that truth is only as powerful as the trust in those who speak it, for empowering a hidden electorate by mainstreaming its furies and live-streaming its fears, and for framing tomorrow’s political culture by demolishing yesterday’s, Donald Trump is Time Magazine's 2016 Person of the Year." [more inside]
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:52 AM PST - 147 comments

I was going for small, specific and good.

2016 was a very punishing year for a variety of reasons. We lost a lot of good people. The election certainly was divisive. I wanted to remind people that there are these moments scattered throughout the year where something good came out of popular culture. (Audie Cornish interviews Glen Weldon of Monkey See)
Once a day until December 25, the Monkey See blog is highlighting a small good thing that happened in pop culture this year. (the Pop Culture advent calendar)

posted by BekahVee at 5:46 AM PST - 12 comments

Block by block

An Atari 2600 Emulator in Minecraft built by Youtube user SethBling. After the initial 'wow' response this is actually a fascinating under-the-hood model/demo/explanation of how video game cartridges and displays functioned.
posted by carter at 5:27 AM PST - 8 comments

December 6

Survivors speak highly of it

Austrian ski resort Obergurgl-Hochgurgl has three live webcam feeds to its guest rooms; in 2015, "some idiots" photobombed all three. The photobombing is now under control, so this year's video shows the new extreme ski run.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:22 PM PST - 19 comments


I Fucking Live For Haunting Covers Of Literally Any Song In Movie Trailers - the comments have some great additions too.
posted by divabat at 8:08 PM PST - 88 comments

This isn't Amsterdam.

There's a futuristic sort-of new highway in Paris.
posted by aniola at 7:50 PM PST - 22 comments

Ear of the Year

100 Outstanding audio stories of 2016. The best podcast episodes & audio journalism of the year, as chosen by the Bello Collective team, in categories including: Investigative journalism; politics & history; first-person storytelling & interviews; out of the ordinary; human behavior, love, & other feelings; science, nature & technology; cool collaborations & serialized stories; audio drama; documentary-style. [more inside]
posted by storybored at 7:09 PM PST - 19 comments

“To them, the gray jay is a stranger.”

We give you the gray jay. Also known as the whiskey jack or Canada jay, it is Canadian Geographic’s official choice for National Bird of Canada. [Canadian Geographic] There are more than 450 species of birds across Canada, but until now, not one of them has been designated as our national bird. In 2015, the team at Canadian Geographic decided it was time to change that, and founded the National Bird Project with the aim of declaring an official bird for Canada by 2017, the 150th anniversary of Confederation. [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 3:49 PM PST - 65 comments

Cooking In Russia

Greg Easter and his Youtube channel, CookingInRussia, are one of the internet's greatest (and growing) repositories of culinary knowledge. I was reminded again of his unequalled excellence when he recently posted his unbelievable recipe for Persian Rose Chicken. Everything he teaches is directed at the home cook, but he will never dumb it down or simplify anything to sacrifice flavor. If a stock cube will make it taste just as good as stock from scratch, he's absolutely fine with that. But if stock from scratch is what's required, he will quite directly tell you to start roasting those bones, buster. [more inside]
posted by macross city flaneur at 2:15 PM PST - 12 comments

What your social-media news feed could look like if things go wrong

The Pessimist’s Guide to 2017. Donald Trump and Brexit shocked most of the world in 2016. But not readers of last year’s Bloomberg Pessimist’s Guide, which warned that the unthinkable could happen in both cases. Now the authors are turning their attention to 2017. (SLBBW)
posted by slogger at 1:16 PM PST - 107 comments

Your Cure for Luposlipaphobia

Tales from The Far Side.
Tales From the Far Side II. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 12:03 PM PST - 22 comments

The Sweethome Guide to Menstrual Cups

This week, the Sweethome (previously) tackles the question of finding the best menstrual cup for a first-time user to try out. With menstrual cups (previously) quickly increasing in popularity from relatively unknown status, it can be difficult to figure out what models to try and what size your vagina even is, so the article includes some helpful tips on guesstimating size and cervix height. Cups don't work for everyone and there's definitely a learning curve, so making sure to start with a model that's probably not completely the wrong size can be surprisingly important! Of course, testing out cups in an evidence-based way meant designing an artificial vagina to keep things consistent--which turned out to be a bit more difficult than previously expected.
posted by sciatrix at 10:38 AM PST - 70 comments

I'm a stupid moron with an ugly face and a big butt and my butt smells

The Best Simpsons Faces
posted by griphus at 10:00 AM PST - 13 comments

It was four a.m. when we arrived in the lot...

But one day I realized recruiter emails were something else altogether: writing prompts. From a captive audience. [more inside]
posted by acb at 9:05 AM PST - 38 comments

Don't ask a question you aren't prepared to have answered

Sid the Science Kid asks: Where did I come from? (SLYT)
posted by Small Dollar at 8:55 AM PST - 29 comments

The Best Southern Albums 2016

"So, if 2016 left you feeling crappy, you can turn to our music for solace and inspiration. We hope you find both inside this list, and we expect you will." (SL Bitter Southerner)
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:42 AM PST - 23 comments

That is when I say, oh yes yet again, can you stop the cavalry?

It is the time of year when the voice of Jona Lewie, a musician since school and a composer and performer across several genre for over half a century, becomes frequently heard in shops and on radio. Stop the Cavalry is a single from 1980 (live: [1] [2] [3]); the arguably anti-war protest song was not originally intended to be a Christmas single, and was kept off the #1 UK chart spot by songs from the recently deceased John Lennon and the St Winifred's School Choir. The tune, often covered by brass bands, is more well-known in the USA through the cover by The Cory Band with The Gwalia Singers (also Gwalia Singers on own and background). However, Jona was successful before this... [more inside]
posted by Wordshore at 5:45 AM PST - 20 comments

This land is our land

Gillan Alexander's seed drill is on the fritz. So the winter wheat he’d hoped to get in the ground this early-October morning will have to wait until a parts dealer more than 80 miles away locates the necessary ball-bearing housings. Alexander, 59, who also grows sorghum and soybeans in rural Nicodemus, Kansas, puts the hassle in perspective: “My grandfather farmed wheat here using mules. I’m grateful to carry on that tradition, though it’s hard, even with modern equipment, and it does put pressure on me. I feel like I need to do an exceptional job, not only because that’s what farmers do, but because I’m one of the few black farmers left—in this town, the state, and the nation.”
posted by ChuraChura at 4:46 AM PST - 10 comments

RIP Czech rock guitar legend Radim Hladik (1946–2016)

Hladik, who died Sunday from lung disease, would have turned 70 next Tuesday. He was considered his country’s equivalent of a Jeff Beck or Eric Clapton, but performed in relative obscurity behind the Iron Curtain. [more inside]
posted by LeLiLo at 1:27 AM PST - 5 comments

Socialize Finance

The economic geography of a universal basic income - "An underdiscussed virtue of a universal basic income is that it would counter geographic inequality even more powerfully than it blunts conventional income inequality. By a 'universal basic income', I mean the simple policy of having the Federal government cut periodic checks of identical dollar amounts to every adult citizen, wherever they may live. Importantly, a universal basic income would not be calibrated to the local cost of living. Residents of Manhattan would receive the same dollar amount as residents of Cleveland. But a dollar in Cleveland stretches much farther than the same dollar in Manhattan..." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 12:06 AM PST - 52 comments

December 5

“No te quiero ilusionar,” she’d say.

Whoever he’d been before, whoever he still was inside, to the world around him, he was now a human riddle, a blank slate on which to write a thousand possible names and stories. He needed a name for the forms and the charts and the billing, and so he was assigned one — a strange name whose origins have been lost in the nearly 17 years since the accident. It might have come from an auto shop to which the truck was taken or near where the accident occurred; some people heard it came from the truck’s route, or it was simply random. However it happened, legally he became Sixty-Six Garage.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:21 PM PST - 3 comments

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but 4500 apples...

Creating a clone army of apple trees. A tiny non-profit in Molalla, Oregon, is working to save a private collection of 4,500 rare apples.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:11 PM PST - 24 comments

LiartownUSA: When in doubt, go for the dick joke.

Birds with Human Penises Collector Plates, 2016 (Rock Pigeon, Cedar Waxwing)
Selections from New York Dick Pics and Classic Dick Pics
Dick Sleeves No.17
The Occult Art of Dildomancy by Purina Blackthorne
Unwanted Thoughts (1981)
The What? How? Wonder Book of Dicks of the Great Explorers
[more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:17 PM PST - 22 comments

Luis Carlos Montalvan

Capt. Luis Carlos Montalván, an Army veteran and advocate for veterans with PTSD and traumatic brain injury (TBI), died Friday night. After serving in Iraq and suffering a TBI, Montalvan was paired with a service dog, Tuesday. He and Tuesday crossed the country over the past few years, advocating for the use of service dogs for injured vets. Capt. Montalván was 43. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:36 PM PST - 24 comments

"...and we'll have a burial for him tomorrow.”

William Callagan was captain of the USS Missouri, when she was hit by a kamikaze pilot. The only casualty was the pilot. Callaghan buried the pilot at sea. With dignity.
posted by dfm500 at 5:27 PM PST - 11 comments

Feature design versus trolling

“Harassers are very clever. They take advantage of tools that are very innocuous and use them as vectors for abuse,” Ehmke told me. “If you’re creating products and not thinking about how it could be used for abuse, you are not doing your job.” - How Github is dealing with its troll problem.
posted by Artw at 2:22 PM PST - 49 comments

The Real U.S. Embassy in Accra is White, not Pink

Mobsters ran a fake U.S. Embassy in Ghana for 10 years, flying the flag and issuing visas for $6,000 [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 1:37 PM PST - 8 comments


Amazon has opened a corner store where customers can pick up their groceries and just walk out without having to queue up and pay at the checkout. [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus at 1:27 PM PST - 166 comments

I'm sending in more trains!

This morning in Montréal. (SLYT 1:47)
posted by bonehead at 1:19 PM PST - 74 comments

Here comes the Santa Claus (Ladies and gentlemen!)

Hamildolph (An American Christmas Story) An a capella re-singing of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer in the style of Hamilton, by Eclipse 6. (The antlers are the perfect icing on the cake.)
posted by current resident at 12:51 PM PST - 10 comments

At least 30 dead in Oakland warehouse fire

A warehouse, artists colony and music venue known as the "Oakland Ghost Ship" went up in flames Friday night during a concert promoted by the house music record label 100% Silk, featuring several musicians from its roster. "People who previously lived there recalled a building that lacked fire sprinklers and had a staircase partly made of wooden pallets. Partygoers recalled a rabbit warren of rooms crammed with belongings — pianos, organs, antique furniture, doors and half-finished sculptures" (L.A. Times). A Reddit user who identified himself as a survivor of the fire posted about his escape from the inferno. The whereabouts of Ghost Ship owner Derick Ion Almena, who apparently lived in the building with his wife and children, are unknown.
posted by Clustercuss at 11:41 AM PST - 234 comments

The Persistence of Memory (lots of copies keep stuff safe)

"The history of libraries is one of loss." After receiving a second National Security Letter, the Internet Archive, already concerned by some of Donald Trump's statements on the campaign trail have announced plans to build a copy of the archive in Canada, so that "no one will ever be able to change the past just because there is no digital record of it. The Web needs a memory, the ability to look back." [more inside]
posted by TwoToneRow at 11:39 AM PST - 8 comments

This is the Injustice Boycott.

Today We Launch the Injustice Boycott in Standing Rock, San Francisco, and New York City

Intro: Here is how we will boycott injustice and police brutality in America
posted by andoatnp at 11:18 AM PST - 30 comments

Better far to live and die, under the brave black flag I fly

After placing third in the October election (previously), and following the failure of talks between other parties to form a coalition, the Pirate Party of Iceland has been invited to form government. [more inside]
posted by mrjohnmuller at 11:00 AM PST - 30 comments

Time keeps on slippin', drippin', meltin', into the future

As you look to the end 2016, you might think of New Years Eve celebrations, including the iconic Times Square Ball, "probably the greatest single moment of public timekeeping in the world." Digging in, you'll find that it's really just a glorified time ball, an antiquated tool for sea-farers to set their chronometers and discern their longitude by means of celestial navigation. The first time ball went into use 1829, pretty late in the time-keeping game, so let's re-fill the ol' water clock and take this way back. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 10:57 AM PST - 14 comments

The Great Animal Orchestra

The Great Animal Orchestra, an intense auditory exploration of the natural world. (Headphones recommended)
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 9:42 AM PST - 3 comments

A Critique of the Mindfulness Movement

"Actually, Let's not Be in the Moment" "Mindfulness is . . . a special circle of self-improvement hell, striving not just for a Pinterest-worthy home, but a Pinterest-worthy mind." Ruth Whippman, The New York Times, 11/26/16.
posted by A. Davey at 8:40 AM PST - 146 comments

To say rap is not work is ludicrous, whoever said it must be new to this

Adult Rappers is a documentary that chronicles the lives of 30 rappers stuck in between obscurity and making it, including battle rappers, retired legends, new blood, and many others from the U.S. and Canada who have achieved various levels of success, and explores what it means to chase your dream while simultaneously trying to earn enough just to get by. Trailer (Vimeo). Full documentary (also Vimeo). [more inside]
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:09 AM PST - 11 comments

Stalking & harassment in the classic arcade gaming community

"I am now his designated excuse for every failure he’s ever had, past or present. I will become his everlasting excuse for the next four years. When he fails to obtain respect from the classic gaming community he desperately seeks adoration from, I am his reason for why that is so. When he fails to convince others to buy into his ludicrous delusions that playing the NES professionally is a skill worthy of being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for, I am the reason why that is not so. And when he fails to make national headlines for taking a world record on an NES game title, like Home Alone, Jaws or Duck Tales, his delusions of grandeur are never to blame. I am." -- When Harassment Becomes a Game
posted by Theta States at 7:58 AM PST - 25 comments

My lumps, my lumps, my Anglo-Saxon lumps

"Scientific analysis reveals origins of odd 'lumps' in Anglo-Saxon grave. How did bitumen from Syria wind up in a buried Anglo-Saxon boat?" [more inside]
posted by Celsius1414 at 7:43 AM PST - 11 comments

No recipes, just looking

Wikipedia's List of Cookies of the world. List of Cakes. List of Candies.
posted by Mchelly at 7:40 AM PST - 19 comments

Clickspring Chris has completed his clock

Clickspring Chris, mentioned several times previously on Metafilter (1 2 3), has posted his last clock build video. The final results are stunning. [more inside]
posted by carter at 5:19 AM PST - 35 comments

I identify with that feeling of wandering the seashore, looking baleful.

Kate Washington at LA Review of Books discusses her feelings as a caregiver prompted by Anne’s House of Dreams, the fifth book of L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables series.
posted by ellieBOA at 4:11 AM PST - 16 comments

December 4


Waypoint is's rebranded gaming segment comprising a veritable supergroup of game critics led by EIC Austin Walker (Streamfriends, Friends at the Table & Giant Bomb), and featuring Patrick Klepek (1up, Giant Bomb, Kotaku) and Danielle Riendeau (Idle Thumbs/Weekend, Polygon). They inaugurated their launch on Halloween weekend with a stream of 72 games in 72 hours. [more inside]
posted by juv3nal at 11:17 PM PST - 13 comments

The camera cannot lie, but it can be an accessory to untruth.

Strange Creatures Appear On Kansas Police Cameras. At least they were clothed, unlike the primate filmed by Virginia Tech.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:02 PM PST - 11 comments

"One’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone."

Satanic Temple Says Texas's New Rules on Fetal Burial Violate Their Religious Freedom
In December, Texas will impose new rules requiring all fetal remains to be buried or cremated, a sneaky way to impede abortion access and make patients feel just a little worse, all at the same time. The Satanic Temple, the nation’s best and foremost trolls, declared today that under federal religious freedom laws, their members must be granted immunity from the new rules.
[more inside]
posted by XtinaS at 8:26 PM PST - 100 comments

“Tofu was a tough sell"

In what remains a QVC record, Ina Garten — the only guest who Mr. Venable says made him feel like a crazed teenager at a rock concert — sold out of 30,000 copies of her latest book in 25 minutes 4 seconds. And that doesn’t take into account what the publishing industry calls the QVC effect. That is, the extra sales and marketing power that rises up through Amazon sales and bookstore orders because QVC has deemed a book worthy. -- QVC’s David Venable: The Man Who Helps America Cook by Kim Severson, New York Times
posted by Room 641-A at 1:22 PM PST - 16 comments

Peepaw's Christmas Party!

Every winter Katie Faflik's Peepaw throws a holiday party, with one guest dressed as Winter Man. Is it Gregg this year [Facebook]? Snaps from Peepaw's Thanksgiving party, with all the trimmings [also Facebook]. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla at 1:11 PM PST - 23 comments

David Bowie's final three songs

When the Original Cast Album of Lazarus was released, it contained a bit of a bonus: three studio tracks of songs from the show recorded as out-takes from his final album ★. No Plan, Killing A Little Time, and When I Met You. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 12:06 PM PST - 5 comments

How the Circle Line rogue train was caught with data

The MRT Circle Line was hit by a spate of mysterious disruptions in recent months, causing much confusion and distress to thousands of commuters. Like most of my colleagues, I take a train on the Circle Line to my office at one-north every morning. So on November 5, when my team was given the chance to investigate the cause, I volunteered without hesitation.
posted by infini at 11:29 AM PST - 27 comments

The Distribution of Users’ Computer Skills: Worse Than You Think

"Across 33 rich countries, only 5% of the population has high computer-related abilities, and only a third of people can complete medium-complexity tasks. "
posted by Confess, Fletch at 11:25 AM PST - 137 comments

Google, democracy and the truth about internet search

"I feel like I’ve fallen down a wormhole, entered some parallel universe where black is white, and good is bad. Though later, I think that perhaps what I’ve actually done is scraped the topsoil off the surface of 2016 and found one of the underground springs that has been quietly nurturing it. It’s been there all the time, of course. Just a few keystrokes away… on our laptops, our tablets, our phones. This isn’t a secret Nazi cell lurking in the shadows. It’s hiding in plain sight." [SLGuardian]
posted by roolya_boolya at 9:25 AM PST - 143 comments

Marcel Gotlieb est mort

Marcel Gotlieb est mort à 82 ans. Known as Gotlib, founder of the comic magazine Fluide Glacial, creator of Gai-Luron, SuperDupont and many more. Author of the Rubrique-à-brac serie, considered a masterpiece of french humor.
posted by CitoyenK at 8:18 AM PST - 18 comments

We've really got to get back to writing about Back To The Future

Signs Of A Creepy Government Conspiracy At Standing Rock is a bit of investigative journalism from, er, Cracked, covering various cybersecurity attacks that have been launched against the protest camp at Standing Rock.
posted by whir at 8:16 AM PST - 27 comments

December 3


Mass Effect: Andromeda [YouTube] The journey to Andromeda begins now. Navigate the uncharted reaches of the Andromeda Galaxy to unravel its mysteries, discover vivid alien worlds, and lead the charge to find a new home among the stars. How far will you go to become humanity’s hero? [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 9:56 PM PST - 52 comments

“I just want the system to follow the rules,” he said.

An investigation by The New York Times of tens of thousands of disciplinary cases against inmates in 2015, hundreds of pages of internal reports and three years of parole decisions found that racial disparities were embedded in the prison experience in New York.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:00 PM PST - 11 comments

Gerudo Valley

Gerudo Valley (alternate), composed by Koji Kondo, is part of the soundtrack of the popular 1998 Nintendo 64 title: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. The valley itself lies to the west of Hyrule and can be traversed by jumping across on Epona. Recently, an Unreal Engine 4 recreation of the location was produced. The tune has been covered quite a lot (more below the fold) or reworked by DJs or given a full orchestral interpretation (alternative). Also, the original as a 10 hour loop. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore at 5:11 PM PST - 10 comments

It's like having an extra U.S. on the planet

Earth warming to climate tipping point, warns study. Writing in the journal Nature, they project that an increase of 1C (1.8F) will release an additional 55 billion tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere by 2050...previous assessments have not taken carbon released by soil into account. This could trigger a "positive feedback" and push the planet's climate system past the point of no-return. [more inside]
posted by whistle pig at 4:31 PM PST - 75 comments

Now That's What I Call Alt Right!

WHITE NOISE - the best of the AltRight. "It's not that fringe, okay?"
posted by philip-random at 4:28 PM PST - 15 comments

28. Tuareg guitar players really like Dire Straits

Tom Whitwell of Fluxx lists 52 things I learned in 2016. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:58 PM PST - 18 comments

Why we don't really want to be nice

"Setting out to try to become a nicer person sounds like a deeply colourless and dispiriting ambition. In theory, we love niceness of course, but in practice . . . "(SLYT)
posted by the hot hot side of randy at 1:02 PM PST - 26 comments

Turning a blind eye to what’s happening on the Earth

"Turning a blind eye to the Earth wouldn’t just stifle basic research. It would leave us more vulnerable to all sorts of weather and climate-related disasters, from drought-fueled famines in Ethiopia to devastating wildfires in Alberta to the ceaseless march of sea level rise in South Florida and the South Pacific. These, and many other environmental challenges that NASA’s Earth science division helps us to understand, have enormous economic and national security implications for all of humanity." [more inside]
posted by puffyn at 11:09 AM PST - 20 comments

Hello, Wayne Knight.

Hey, Aren't You... is a short (15 min) DVD extra featuring interviews with many of the actors who played supporting characters on Seinfeld and the impact the show had on their life.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:20 AM PST - 18 comments

Seagulls vs. Yoda

More bad lip reading, to an unbelievably catchy tune.
posted by gryphonlover at 9:39 AM PST - 14 comments

It was just meant to be played once, on that day.

Noel Gallagher talks about the making of Be Here Now, and why D'You Know What I Mean? needed to be remixed.
"So you've got this huge desk the size of Bradford, you've got a tape machine which couldn't handle the amount of tracks so you had to get another tape machine. It's the only time I've ever seen it in the history of music... When we separated all a hundred guitars, all doing the same thing, and got the key elements, and then did that remix, it sounds amazing. You can actually hear the strings, the bass guitar, and you can actually hear everything."
[more inside]
posted by Juso No Thankyou at 7:21 AM PST - 25 comments


Can you figure out the mystery inside this remarkable ad about high school love? (Do watch the ad before scrolling further.)
posted by carrienation at 7:02 AM PST - 66 comments

To all the women who've had to fight

"With "Fight," Magnets put her finger on the pulse of the feminist revenge fantasy" [more inside]
posted by misfish at 3:21 AM PST - 49 comments

December 2


Wherein the soothing nostalgia of vaporwave is combined with the hallucinatory, corrupted-VHS ennui of Marge and the gang. [more inside]
posted by Existential Dread at 10:24 PM PST - 19 comments

Not quite a billion years in Banjul

The Gambia’s autocratic president, Yahya Jammeh, who once claimed a “billion-year” mandate to rule, has conceded defeat after a shock election loss to a real-estate developer who once worked as a security guard in London. "Hello, are you hearing me?” Jammeh asked Adama Barrow, grinning widely on his mobile. “I wish you all the best. The country will be in your hands in January. You are assured of my guidance. You have to work with me. You are the elected president of The Gambia. I have no ill will and I wish you all the best.” [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura at 9:21 PM PST - 39 comments


Actor Andrew Sachs, best known for his beloved portrayal of a hapless Spanish waiter named Manuel on the British sitcom Fawlty Towers, has died at 86...
posted by jim in austin at 7:16 PM PST - 63 comments

To condense fact from the vapor of nuance

It’s no accident that many people who appreciate VR and AR are also fans of scifi books, movies, and TV shows. Technology has imitated art and the other way around, with science fiction writers coining terms like “virtual reality” and “the metaverse,” and tech companies using science fiction writers as in-house futurists and advisers.

If you’re looking to immerse yourself in books with significant AR and VR presence, this is the reading list for you. Also on Goodreads.
posted by timshel at 6:52 PM PST - 15 comments

Salterns for the better

Aerial Images of Salterns That Blur the Line Between Photograph and Painting "Photographer David Burdeny [...] began the series SALT: Fields, Plottings and Extracts in 2015, using aerial photography to explore some of the world’s most vibrant salterns in Utah, Mexico, and Australia. Gazing upon the images it’s difficult to determine whether the expressive boxes of color are produced with a camera or paintbrush, or if the gestures were made by hand or nature."
posted by Celsius1414 at 3:59 PM PST - 7 comments

Before the Fantasy Finalized

An electric company, a college dropout, a DOG, a Bohemian musician, an up and coming artist, spies, robots, Aliens™ and "Erotic Space Adventures": The (Early) History of Squaresoft [more inside]
posted by byanyothername at 3:14 PM PST - 8 comments

Here comes a regular

Why not eat steak tartare at the same restaurant seven nights a week? It’s not because I’m boring; I’m just saving my exciting stuff for other areas of my life.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:14 PM PST - 125 comments

Living at the Edge of Feasibility

Making the Geologic Now is an online book in the form of a Zuihitsu, in which short chapters that are part science, part interview, part engineering, part art, part culture, and part whimsy mingle with each other to reflect upon the Anthropocene. It can be browsed on the web, downloaded for a price you choose (including free), or bought as a hardcopy.
posted by Rumple at 1:10 PM PST - 2 comments

Some phone numbers are more equal than others

I Dialed a Wrong Number and Stumbled Into International Phone Fraud. "Cuba is one of the most expensive countries to call from the U.S. […] To get around this tightly restricted market, a great many fraudulent and ingenious ways of making money have sprung up around calling to Cuba. Global capitalism abhors a vacuum. And so, of calls from North America and Europe, the ones to Cuba are the most likely to be fraudulent in some way, according to the Communications Fraud Control Association’s 2015 global survey. And telecommunications fraud is no small thing. In all, fraud costs the telecommunications industry an estimated $38.1 billion a year." [more inside]
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 1:09 PM PST - 20 comments

And Gene Kelly. I also have Gene Kelly. And his beautiful, perfect ass.

"But seriously. If you're going to create a world where an entire town of Puritanical eighteenth-century Scots(wo)men have their town converted into a forward-motion-only time machine that will, in the span of just one year in their eyes, deposit them in the year 38235 — that's thirty-eight thousand two hundred thirty five — in what frickin universe does it make any sense whatsoever to make your story about a guy one of the village girls develops a crush on, on day goddamn two!?!"
posted by MartinWisse at 11:21 AM PST - 82 comments

Olivia! (&ABBA&Gibb!)

"Olivia!" 1978 ABC TV special with Andy Gibb & ABBA This is the concert segment IN TRUE STEREO from the 1978 special "Olivia!"
posted by OmieWise at 11:10 AM PST - 32 comments

Is rock the new jazz?

PopMatters thought so in 2012. Now Brooklyn Vegan blames it on The Strokes. [more inside]
posted by grumpybear69 at 11:03 AM PST - 107 comments

(this feels like the future I was promised)

The Police but every time they say "roxanne" it gets faster (single link Twitter video)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:12 AM PST - 80 comments

"He has neither the temperament nor the judgment to be president"

The interval between the 2016 US election and inauguration of POTUS #45 continues. Donald likes an avid reader, but claims many bogus votes were cast and others believe it. Romney (previous, post title, transcript) emerges full of chocolate cake and glowing praise. The "swamp" continues to be filled, and despite 'leaving business' there are conflicts (multiple, many) of interest. There's recount news in Michigan, Nevada and Wisconsin. Amongst voter suppression news (more, more, again), recent tactics arguably worked (more), Michigan is trying to pass tougher ID laws, legal issues continue in North Carolina, and the fight will be a hard and an unavoidable one. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore at 9:37 AM PST - 2343 comments

Into Pieces

It's here! It's December which means it's time for the yearly DJ Earworm: United State of Pop 2016. [more inside]
posted by Talez at 8:40 AM PST - 29 comments

"A Stir‐Fried Masterpiece"

Peng Chang-kuei, the inventor of General Tso's Chicken, has died at the age of 98. Peng first made the dish in the 1950s while working for the Nationalist government in Taiwan, naming it for Zuo Zongtang, a statesman and military leader from the Qing dynasty famous for having put down the Taiping Rebellion (previously). When the dish made it to the U.S., the New York Times' Mimi Sheraton raved about it using the words in the post title. [more inside]
posted by Cash4Lead at 8:15 AM PST - 33 comments

Students make pricey drug for 2 bucks per pill; pharmabro has tantrum

A group of Australian high school students have managed to recreate a life-saving drug that rose from US$13.50 to US$750 a tablet overnight after an unscrupulous price-hike by former hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli. The Sydney Grammar students reproduced the drug, Daraprim, used to treat a rare but deadly parasitic infection, in their high school laboratory with support from the University of Sydney and global members of the Open Source Malaria consortium. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 7:59 AM PST - 53 comments

(Includes the Chasm of Ignorance)

The Map of Physics : "Everything we know about physics - and a few things we don't - in a simple map." (SLYT, via Kottke)
posted by gwint at 6:28 AM PST - 11 comments

December 1

Don't forget the paper clip

Handgun Safe Research is a vimeo channel where various handgun safes are effortlessly defeated with zip ties and paper clips.
posted by fleacircus at 7:15 PM PST - 80 comments

Striking Portraits of Lonely Cars in 1970s New York

Nighttime scenes of parked cars and deserted streets, photographed by Langdon Clay (1974-76).
posted by philip-random at 5:13 PM PST - 47 comments

Jon Sudano Vocal Covers

Jon Sudano has covered a diversity of groups from the Village People to Adele . . . but all his songs have one thing in common. It's not his beard or his dedication to his craft; every song he covers has the lyrics and melody replaced with Smash Mouth's "All Star". [more inside]
posted by chainsofreedom at 4:14 PM PST - 35 comments

Hoping to find some long forgotten words or ancient melodies

Toto's "Africa" with vocals one step out of key and off-beat
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 4:03 PM PST - 116 comments

A Mammoth (or Mastodon) Discovery at Wilshire and La Brea

LA Times: Remains of ancient elephant unearthed at L.A. subway excavation site "The first discovery, made just before Thanksgiving, was of a 3-foot section of tusk fragments, as well as fragments of a mastodon tooth, found at a depth of 15 feet at the Wilshire and La Brea excavation site, said Metro spokesman Dave Sotero. [more inside]
posted by Celsius1414 at 2:52 PM PST - 27 comments

Black Gold: where and who hair extensions come from

The New Zealand Herald's extended report on the hair extension industry and how hair gets from rural China to first world salons
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 2:38 PM PST - 20 comments

In a different world, that would be the end of it, but this is academia.

In his 2005 book Gnostic Philosophy: From Ancient Persia to Modern Times, Churton challenged this scholarly consensus, acknowledging the likelihood that Baphomet originated as a botched transliteration from Arabic to French, but offering a few alternate etymological routes that it may have traveled to get there.
What’s In A Name: How A Medieval French Typo Might Have Come To Represent Satanism
posted by griphus at 2:17 PM PST - 28 comments

It can’t come as a surprise that the ending left fans wanting more.

The Gilmore Girls: A Year In the Life postmortem with Amy Sherman-Palladino (major spoilers) (FanFare threads: Fall, Summer, Spring, Winter)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:52 PM PST - 12 comments

Hayden James Makes House Music

Aussie Hayden James makes extra awesome house music, if you're into that kind of thing. See Permission to Love, in all of its 8-bit glory. Also listen with your ears to Something About You and (my favorite) Just a Lover.
posted by JPowers at 12:58 PM PST - 7 comments

Hot Knife vs.

Tired of RHNB? Does ruining the plumbing with sodium and mercury not do it for you any more? Does dry ice leave you cold? Get your ASMR on with Will It Melt! (YT channel) [more inside]
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:42 PM PST - 18 comments

The Exhibitionist

The Dallas World Aquarium is one of the eminent tourist destinations of Texas. Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums through 2017, the aquarium has recently come under scrutiny owing to some of the more cavalier acquisitions and future plans of its bombastic owner, Daryl Richardson.
posted by Krazor at 12:30 PM PST - 3 comments

It was just salt.

When you emigrate, you end up the last person to touch a lot of your family history. Somewhere along the line, we’ll forget my mom’s maiden name. We’ll forget what her actual name was before she changed it when she moved. We’ll lose language and the way to make a candle from ghee and a cotton ball. I can’t pull all of this information out of her, and I can’t carry all of it after she’s gone, and I panic when I think about how impossible it feels to one day not need her. But at least I can try to cook.
posted by ChuraChura at 11:46 AM PST - 17 comments

Zooming down alleyways in China.

Two guys, one British, one American, both married to Chinese women, ride motorcycles around Guangdong talking about what it is like to live there. Why is everything in China falling apart? China's lost generation. You will never be Chinese. Part of the interest is just seeing what China looks like on the street level. They talk about some things that have been discussed here lately.
posted by Bee'sWing at 10:05 AM PST - 39 comments

Thanks, we'll call you...

Is it possible for those who are tone-deaf to appreciate music or become better singers? Author and journalist Tim Falconer- a self-confessed “bad singer” — is one of only 2.5 percent of the population that has been afflicted with amusia (he is scientifically tone-deaf). [more inside]
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 9:12 AM PST - 63 comments

Mystery is at the heart of creativity. That, and surprise.

Merry Christmas from Elefant Studios [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:50 AM PST - 2 comments

Women at at punk shows are done with your shit

Australian indie-punk band Camp Cope has spearheaded a call to action for bands, venue staff, and concert-goers to stand up against sexual harassment at shows, in part because of incident that went viral at their gig this past may. Their hashtag, #ItTakesOne, has been picked up by other Aussies in the music scene, including Courtney Barnett, and Luca Brasi-who notes the importance of strong male presence in the movement:
"It shouldn't solely be the responsibility of women to fix the problem," they wrote. "We feel it's important for men to speak too, and speak out against other men's behaviour and be positive role models to other men."
The band has been sending this message since the beginning- their cardinal song Jet Fuel Can't Melt Steel Beams is an anthem exploring the ideal of female safe spaces. [more inside]
posted by FirstMateKate at 8:43 AM PST - 22 comments

Avalon Emerson -Natural Impasse

All of the clips are from my personal phone video archive taken over the last half a year or so. I trimmed each video, turned them into gifs, and processed them into various emojisaic gifs using a ruby script created by my friend Lucas Mathis (github: @lilkraftwerk), then edited them all together using Adobe Premiere, a process that took me about two months.
posted by DynamiteToast at 8:31 AM PST - 2 comments

Now you really can be the very best there is

Our long Pokemon nightmare is over! The much talked around in-game tracker is now live in all of the continental United States and spreading to the UK, just in time for the eighth migration.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:06 AM PST - 128 comments

A woman's face with Nature's own hand painted

Hillary Clinton forgoes makeup following the election
posted by BaffledWaffle at 4:56 AM PST - 111 comments

The Indonesian Throughflow: The Fifteen Thousand Rivers

If Indonesia did not exist, the earth’s day would be significantly shorter than the approximately twenty-four hours to which we have become accustomed.
This would have a dramatic impact on the clock industry.
(In case you forgot what a Sverdrup was. - It is equivalent to 1 million cubic metres per second or 264,000,000 USgal/s)
posted by adamvasco at 3:43 AM PST - 14 comments


The End of the Anglo-American Order
posted by infini at 2:26 AM PST - 22 comments

I don't see color

Watching Trevor Noah on The Daily Show cover the last month or so of the election, one could feel he was beginning to find his footing. But Trevor shows he has claws (and uses them playfully, like a cat batting around a mouse) during his interview with Tomi Lahren. (SLYT)
posted by hippybear at 1:54 AM PST - 74 comments