December 2017 Archives

December 31

How cold is it in Canada?

Too cold for penguins, Calgary Zoo decides (Calgary Herald). Ottawa concert cancellation is proof of concept: it can be too cold for Canadians (The Guardian). Parts of Canada colder than Mars and Antarctica (CTV News). The Toronto Polar Bear Dip is cancelled for the first time in 13 years. In Photos [and videos]: Here’s what an extreme cold snap looks like in Canada (Global News, shaggy page alert). It's so cold, even parts of Niagara Falls are freezing (Ottawa Citizen).
posted by sylvanshine at 11:46 PM PST - 145 comments


Comic Book artist Bill Sienkiewicz Remembers Those We Lost In 2017.
posted by storybored at 11:00 PM PST - 14 comments

"death of the public personal essay and the return of email newsletters"

The year we wanted the internet to be smaller [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:51 PM PST - 55 comments

No-waste boro: Mending is better than ending

"Hand-woven indigo dyed cotton patches are hand stitched to both sides of this apron, and the tie is also patched together from two types of cotton. In its simple utility, this apron embodies the Japanese mottainai, or waste nothing, aesthetic." On the beauty of boro. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:49 PM PST - 18 comments

The Hidden World of Mexican Nuns

Photographer Marcela Taboada: "In Puebla, Mexico, where I grew up, some Catholic churches are more than 400 years old. The first sisters here helped the Spanish spread Catholicism in Mexico. But many of the nuns stay secluded in their convents, forbidden to engage with the world. When I was a kid they seemed like legends to me. Gaining access to their world wasn’t easy. When I’d knock on a convent door, they’d tell me to go away—then slam the door in my face. But I was stubborn and persistent, and eventually they let me in." [more inside]
posted by roger ackroyd at 4:27 PM PST - 7 comments

No more library police?

This October, the New York Public Library, along with the Brooklyn Public Library and the Queens Library, forgave the overdue fines of all patrons under age 18 as a one-time amnesty. One month after the amnesty, at least 11,000 kids who had not used the library for at least a year had come back to the library. Now, NYPL chief Tony Marx is proposing to go further: eliminate overdue fines altogether. [more inside]
posted by metaquarry at 4:10 PM PST - 60 comments

There are no rules for good photographs; there are only good photographs

National Geographic has announced the winners of its 2017 Nature Photographer Of The Year Contest. They have also chosen their fifty-seven Best Photos Of 2017.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 4:00 PM PST - 9 comments

Lace up your fastest track shoes and run

It was a banner year for advice columns. From wearing a princess costume to a corporate meeting to answering the question of why "cat ladies" get a bad rap - people across the country gave the Green a run for it's money. [more inside]
posted by Toddles at 3:52 PM PST - 14 comments

Same procedure as every year?

Dinner for one is a comedy sketch, recorded for the German Norddeutscher Rundfunk in 1963. It went on to become a New Years' Eve tradition, not only in Germany, but also in other European countries. Despite being in English, written by a British author and performed by British actors, it is mostly unknown in the English-speaking world. Happy New Year.
posted by frimble at 2:48 PM PST - 12 comments

2017 was full of great comics, and here's where to find them

The best comics of 2017: The Verge - The 10 best comics of 2017, Wired - Extremity and 5 More of the Best Comics of 2017, Uproxx - The Best Comics Of 2017 As Selected By Dan Seitz, Polygon - Our definitive list of the best comics in 2017, The Hollywood Reporter - The Best Comics of 2017. Not linked: a lazy, insulting and arguably rather sexist list from Vice.
posted by Artw at 10:44 AM PST - 28 comments

*ring* *ring* this is birdphone

Kiwi the Budgie Talks up a Storm [SLYT]
posted by dephlogisticated at 9:26 AM PST - 26 comments

Black and White photos of a mall, people, places and stars

Stephen DiRado is a photographer who is known for large format black and white photographic portraits and landscapes. Shot mostly around Massachusetts, his website galleries include a mall in the 1980s, a poignant series taken of his dad over time, and dinner. Some photos on his site might be considered NSFW because of nakedness. [more inside]
posted by SteveInMaine at 7:38 AM PST - 24 comments

Rebuilding a roundhouse

Decades after it was destroyed, Yosemite’s last Native American village is returning [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 4:44 AM PST - 8 comments

'You Can't See the Join!'

How a previously lost episode of the tv show Morecambe and Wise was recovered involving a 'diseased' film, a trip to Nigeria, dentistry, lasers, X-ray tomography, algorithms and some goo 1, 2, 3
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:34 AM PST - 12 comments

"a 'wall of sound' made from voice alone"

The Making of 10cc's "I'm Not in Love" [more inside]
posted by fairmettle at 12:46 AM PST - 56 comments

December 30

WW I Women Photographers & Ambulance Drivers

These women broke new ground everywhere, both when photographing dead soldiers from Russia to Spain. Also, when driving ambulances on the Western Front under bombardment and in rain and mud. Ambulances. A fictional character, Phryne Fisher, was one of these drivers and, in one of the novels by Kerry Grenwood, painted a horrific picture of what it took and what they endured.
posted by MovableBookLady at 5:57 PM PST - 12 comments

COLD FIRE, which burns on the MARSH WASTE, can DESTROY the LANDWERES

Halcyon Dreams: The Legacy of Dragon's Lair (slyt, 43 minutes)
posted by fleacircus at 3:59 PM PST - 34 comments

Slip the surly bonds of symmetry

Top Ten Asymmetric Aircraft
posted by jjray at 3:31 PM PST - 41 comments

Larkin Poe

Larkin Poe covers Spoonful, Teardrop, Hey Sinner/Black Betty, The Thrill Is Gone, Come On In My Kitchen, Preachin' Blues, One Way Out, No Particular Place To Go. [more inside]
posted by cult_url_bias at 2:57 PM PST - 20 comments

Mysteries, codfathers, and cuttlefish brawls

The Last Trial of the Codfather: "Since his release from prison in the 1980s, Carlos Rafael has ruthlessly run his Massachusetts seafood business with little regard for the law. But is there any other way to survive the gauntlet of restrictions on the New England fishing industry?" This feature is part of Hakai Magazine's Best of 2017. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 2:06 PM PST - 7 comments

This world crucifies you again and again

Massivivid was a Christian industrial rock band active from 1996 to 2003, the brainchild of Wally Shaw and a spin-off project from Deitiphobia, the Christian Industrial band he had founded with Brent Stackhouse in the late 1980s. [more inside]
posted by suetanvil at 1:57 PM PST - 10 comments

A sea of imprecision and lies cloaked by an authoritative UI

Jane Lytvynenko has encapsulated much of her and other folks' reporting this year in a single quiz: "If You Get 41/55 on this quiz, Fake News Didn't Fool You This Year"
posted by Going To Maine at 12:34 PM PST - 67 comments

“Hey, computers could be more. They should be.”

‘Halt and Catch Fire’ Is the New ‘The Wire’ [Motherboard] “When HBO’s The Wire finished its run in 2008, it became a topic you couldn’t escape at parties. Inevitably, some dude would walk up to me and we’d start talking about prestige television and they’d ask if I’d seen The Wire. “No,” I’d reply and they’d get this look in their eyes. It’s not the incredulous look I receive when I tell people I don’t watch Game of Thrones. (Note, I watch Game of Thrones . I just like to mess with people at parties.) When I told people I hadn’t seen The Wire, they’d get excited, as if they were about to reveal a great and primal truth. “What’s it about?” I’d ask. “Everything,” they’d say, unhelpfully. AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire just finished up its fourth and final season. The whole show is now on Netflix. Prepare yourself. It’s the new The Wire.” [Halt and Catch Fire as Discussed on FanFare] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 12:02 PM PST - 64 comments

How To Solve Two Stubborn Murder Cases In One Night, Chicago PD–Style

How To Solve Two Stubborn Murder Cases In One Night, Chicago PD–Style The two murders were proving difficult to close — until Detective Reynaldo Guevara, who has been accused of framing at least 51 people, showed up for duty. Here’s how, over the course of one night, with questionable evidence, two men who say they did nothing wrong ended up charged with murder.
posted by supercrayon at 11:44 AM PST - 14 comments

The Mind of a Fool

In 2002 David Bowie and Danish film maker Thomas Vinterberg sat down for a 25-minute long conversation. Thomas Vinterberg had just come off the tail end of theDogme 95 movement (which he had founded together with Lars von Trier). David Bowie had just released Heathen. What started as a conventional interview became a meandering conversation about creativity, anxiety, loneliness, art, and exile.
posted by kariebookish at 10:34 AM PST - 12 comments

Reasons to feel better about the year that was

99 Reasons 2017 Was A Great Year
posted by StrikeTheViol at 10:13 AM PST - 31 comments

Not forts and not always on a hill

Maiden Castle is the largest and one of the most impressive Iron Age hill forts in Britain, rising dramatically above the Dorset countryside and enclosing an area of 19 hectares. The peak of its occupation was from 400-200BC, when it was the politcial centre and preeminent settlement of the Durotriges tribe, although it was built on top of earlier Neolithic remains. After the Roman invasion, a shrine was built in the fort and it became a site of pilgrimage. Here are nine more impressive hill forts in Britain. Earlier this year, Oxford University created the Hill Fort Atlas mapping over 4,000 known hill forts in Britain and Ireland.
posted by Helga-woo at 9:11 AM PST - 23 comments

December 29

Give me a lever long enough and I can move the garage

Nice trick, but what's with that truck? The Tool Tank!
posted by Chuckles at 10:49 PM PST - 56 comments

Visions of a world where every neighbor is a friend

This is an album I listen during every New Year's season because it has a bittersweet New Years song on it, and I love those. It's also about the pressures of fame and a document about couples breaking up. It's heartbreaking and beautiful and bittersweet and ABBA only did one more (very surreal) album. it's worth a listen. ABBA -- 1980 -- Super Trouper [YouTube playlist, ~40 min]: Side 1 [22m30s] -- Super Trouper; The Winner Takes It All; On And On And On; Andante, Andante; Me And I [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 10:35 PM PST - 16 comments

Season of the Witch

The Enduring Power of Stevie Nicks
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:40 PM PST - 37 comments

Vintage Muse du Jour: The Queen of Mars

Outlandish and stupendous costumes from the 1920s for stage and screen. Many of these designs were by Erte, the quintessential Art Deco designer. Here's a link showing his fashion designs for everyday, which are almost as outre as his designs for movies. Erte Haute Couture. Everything is a feast for the eyes and also illustrates the rapid changes in women's fashion from the corseted years to the flapper era and beyond.
posted by MovableBookLady at 5:48 PM PST - 10 comments

The Diamond Cartel

With Minecraft, with the economy, for us, there was no story to tell. There was only money.
posted by bq at 5:11 PM PST - 31 comments

As far as we in the family are concerned, the alphabet now ends at Y

Sue Grafton, a prolific author of detective novels known for an alphabetically titled series that began in 1982 with “A Is for Alibi,” has died on Thursday night in Santa Barbara, Calif. She was 77. [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 4:02 PM PST - 64 comments

Modular for the masses

Over the past few months, VCV Rack has been gaining an enormous amount of buzz and excitement in the electronic music production community. What is VCV Rack? It's a modular synthesizer (think: someone hunched over a mess of cables, patching them into jacks on an arcane-looking device to alter and modulate sound signals in complex ways). But it's virtual, and it runs entirely in your computer. If you want to get started with VCV right away, you're in luck: here's a gentle primer suitable for people who are new to modular synths. Or read on for more. [more inside]
posted by naju at 2:24 PM PST - 44 comments

“We terminated the most precious American asset..."

Who killed Benazir Bhutto? 10 years after the assassination of former Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto, the first woman to head a democratic government in a Muslim majority nation, EOS Magazine (a division of Pakistan's Dawn News) has published an investigative report into her death, concluding that she was killed by Al-Qaeda. The report appears to largely rely on a confession made by retired Pakistani special forces commando and former Al-Qaeda operative Major Haroon Ashiq. Ashiq allegedly planned the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai and is described as “one of the most influential Al Qaeda strategists and ideologues in the organisation’s history.” Via. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 1:31 PM PST - 6 comments

A 12 step guide to a perfect non-apology

Sorry if... sorry you... - A 12 step guide to a perfect non-apology. (Toby Morris, The Spinoff) [more inside]
posted by Start with Dessert at 1:08 PM PST - 15 comments

Doggos & Kiddos

Even in these trying times, there is a constant: doggos. They help Baltimore kids improve their reading skills and compassion. One helps a girl with a rare genetic disorder get around (video). They help the families of children with disabilities live more comfortably in a challenging world (video). And one helps an autustic child simply be comfortable.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:37 PM PST - 16 comments

“Nobody knew what those people were doing, if they were doing anything”

The Most Expensive Mile of Subway Track on Earth How excessive staffing, little competition, generous contracts and archaic rules dramatically inflate capital costs for transit in New York. (SLNYT by Brian M. Rosenthal)
posted by crazy with stars at 12:15 PM PST - 35 comments


Marvel wants you to write comics with no farts, death, aliens, gossip, or ‘social issues’ [The Verge] “In a press release today, Marvel announced Create Your Own [YouTube], a new platform that allows fans to create original comic strips using Marvel characters and stock background illustrations. The tagline is “Your Own Marvel Universe.” Fans don’t have access to the platform yet, though details are “coming soon.” Whether the version of the Marvel Universe you create is “Your Own” is arguable, however, given that the terms and conditions state that users are forbidden from distributing the content off-platform or using it for any commercial enterprise.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 11:16 AM PST - 103 comments

Evangelizing climate science

How to persuade Evangelical Christians to take Climate Change seriously.
posted by Artw at 10:33 AM PST - 31 comments

Literally Anything Is Possible

Yes, 2017 went off the rails. But what pushed it? We asked 29 of our favorite journalists, writers, and thinkers: What were the most important events of the past 12 months, and what were the least?” - The Morning News on the year was and wasn’t (previously)
posted by The Whelk at 9:12 AM PST - 19 comments

Inspect from a distance

Russian Artist Makes Huge Sculptures Out Of Animal Farm Poo
posted by orrnyereg at 7:02 AM PST - 22 comments

SPFBO3 puts self-published fantasy books and reviewers in the spotlight

The scoreboard for the 3rd annual Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off has been updated to show that a 10th novel was chosen as a finalist this morning. A denser page charts the history of the event, linking to reviews of the 300 submissions, noting semi-finalists with a + sign, and highlighting finalists in green. The event is administered by Mark Lawrence, whose novel Red Sister ( review) is among the most popular traditionally-published fantasy novels of 2017. 10 fantasy fiction bloggers work throughout the year to select 10 self-published novels that all 10 will read. Their criteria can be quirky. Their favorites in the end can be near unanimous or a bit mixed.
posted by Wobbuffet at 5:37 AM PST - 2 comments

An explosion of shaving cream below the nose

National Geographic reveals how biologists feel about animal emojis. [more inside]
posted by Stark at 2:56 AM PST - 36 comments

December 28

a different northern soul

No-one knows how, no-one knows why, but it's become a tradition in Wigan to take to the streets in fancy dress on Boxing Day night. Some say it's a tradition started by German workers at the local Heinz factory, others claim a more ancient tradition derived from Elizabethan mumming. Regardless, costumes range from ridiculous to tasteless to downright clever. [more inside]
posted by girlgenius at 10:47 PM PST - 9 comments

The Cat In The Hat Songbook

Perhaps you'd like to hear the 1967 album Dr Seuss Presents The Cat In The Hat Songbook: Seuss-Songs For Beginning Singers [YT playlist, ~30m] -- Side A: Let Us All Sing, The Super-Supper March, My Uncle Terwilliger Waltzes With Bears, In My Bureau Drawer, The No Laugh Race, Plinker Plunker, Hurry Hurry Hurry!, Cry A Pint [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 8:02 PM PST - 6 comments

I thought that I had to decide between [how I] identify and [my] career.

Ben Barres, the first openly transgender scientist elected to the National Academy of Sciences, has died. He is known for having written from his perspective about gender discrimination in science and been a tremendous advocate for women. Barres was diagnosed 20 months ago with pancreatic cancer. “I’m really not too bothered about dying,” he says. “What’s frustrating is that there are so many things I won’t be able to work on. There are so many things I wanted to know.” [more inside]
posted by lab.beetle at 7:05 PM PST - 43 comments

Rose Marie of 'Dick Van Dyke Show' fame dies at 94

Heaven just got a whole lot funnier | She was born Rose Marie Mazetta of Italian-Polish parentage in New York City on Aug. 15, 1923. When she was 3, her mother entered her in an amateur talent contest in Atlantic City as Baby Rose Marie. Nominated three times for Emmys, Rose Marie had yet to turn 40 when she joined the Dick Van Dyke Show cast as Sally Rogers, but had been an entertainer for more than 30 years. [more inside]
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 6:16 PM PST - 55 comments

Nothing Golden Brown and Fried Can Stay

As 2017 comes to an end, the lights will go down on Flavortown for good. Pour one out in remembrance of better times.

Previously, yet more previously.
posted by rewil at 4:42 PM PST - 58 comments


But questions must be asked: What constitutes someone being “grabbed” in their attention? What is the editor’s “subjective tastes” that bar them from not liking a piece enough? Who is this “us” and “we” who are not looking for a piece at the moment? My essay probably didn’t appeal to these folks for whatever reason. Fair enough. The subjective, though, is the personal, and the personal is always connected to the body which produces subjective tastes. Our tastes are not created in a void.
- Marcos Santiago Gonsalez
posted by the man of twists and turns at 4:23 PM PST - 7 comments

The high cost of being in the slammer

The Big Business of Prisoner Care Packages Yet another reason to stay out of trouble.....
posted by strelitzia at 2:59 PM PST - 21 comments

Why We Fell For Clean Eating

With Instagram nutritionists peddling diet advice that purports to cure disease and beautify, the Guardian explores why millions of "vulnerable and lost" dieters are falling for clean eating.
posted by chrchr at 1:35 PM PST - 91 comments

Twitter Picked the Nazis

NYT Opinion: Confessions of Digital Nazi Hunter. In which the creator of a bot that succeeded at taking down Impersonation Accounts gets shut down by Twitter itself.
posted by snortasprocket at 12:44 PM PST - 59 comments

"Aaand... commercials! Two minutes to Forrest Trump sketch..."

But the more of SNL I watched this year, the more I felt like I was watching a different show than everybody else was. I was tempted to call it the worst show of 2017, but I’m not sure that’s what I mean. It’s certainly made with a certain degree of love and affection that marks it as the work of talented people.

No, what SNL was was the emptiest show of 2017, and the fact that it was so over-praised makes me worry we’ll learn nothing at all from this particular moment in pop cultural history. And there’s no better way to talk about that emptiness than to consider just how poorly SNL handles the current occupant of the White House, even as it clearly wants to say something daring.
Saturday Night Live’s current cultural cachet is built on a mirage [Todd VanDerWerff, Vox]
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:39 AM PST - 87 comments

Main Job: Mathematician. Hobby: Secret Street Photographer

The eminent mathematician, Carl Stormer, had a secret hobby as a 19-year-old student. He hid an early camera in his clothes and took photos on people on the streets of Oslo in the 1890s. Supposedly, he took a shot of Henrik Ibsen but there are no identifications of the people in the photos. In his later years, he exhibited many of his photos at a show in Oslo. Here is his wikipedia page.
posted by MovableBookLady at 9:16 AM PST - 17 comments

“this just looks like a scheme to keep standards low.”

Who Would Pay $26,000 to Work in a Chicken Plant? Chicken plants have recruited thousands of foreign workers in recent years through a little-known program to fill jobs they say Americans won’t do. (SLProPublica by Michael Grabell)
posted by crazy with stars at 8:35 AM PST - 33 comments

This is definitely not the place for more of your narcissism.

If you're feeling low on your general schadenfreude levels this day, you could do worse than ponder the editor's comments on Milo Yiannopoulos's autobiography, Dangerous. Or read them for yourself in full in the court documents [PDF]. [more inside]
posted by signal at 7:31 AM PST - 108 comments

Kenji Dreams of Sausage

Can the nerd king of home cooking conquer the restaurant world? Jonah Weiner writes for New York magazine about the cult of food writer and cook J. Kenji Lopez-Alt and his preparations for opening his first restaurant, called Wursthall, in San Mateo, California.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 6:43 AM PST - 83 comments

Cricket, football, fire and snow

The best photographs of 2017 – by the people who shot them
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:17 AM PST - 4 comments

December 27

Baked eggs with added faff

You can tell a lot about a culture by the food that fuels it – and in the annals of culinary progress, 2017 has not been an altogether glorious year. If you thought 2016’s avo toast was bad, take a look at these horrors. (Although the linked story about raindrop cake makes it sound kind of awesome.)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:50 PM PST - 90 comments

Les Filles de Illighadad

"Fatou Seidi Ghali is a pioneer of guitar in West Africa. She lives in Illighadad, a small scrubland village in the desert country of Central Niger, located outside of the Tahoua region—and she is one of only two known Tuareg women guitarists in Niger." [] [more inside]
posted by Buntix at 6:33 PM PST - 19 comments

“And that was the end of everything. But it was also a beginning.”

Four Years Later, Destiny's Music Of The Spheres Has Leaked [Kotaku] “Composed by O’Donnell, his partner Michael Salvatori, and former Beatle Paul McCartney, Music of the Spheres was envisioned as a musical companion to Bungie’s ambitious Destiny. But Bungie and O’Donnell spent nearly a year battling over, among other things, publisher Activision’s failure to use O’Donnell’s music in a trailer at E3 2013. In April 2014, Bungie fired O’Donnell, and despite O’Donnell’s hopes, the company indefinitely shelved Music of the Spheres. He has made several public comments on the work since, and last month, he implicitly encouraged people to share it. “Years ago, when I was Audio Director at Bungie, I gave away nearly 100 copies of Music of the Spheres,” O’Donnell tweeted on November 30, 2017. “I don’t have the authority to give you permission to share MotS. However, no one in the world can prevent me from giving you my blessing.”” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 5:00 PM PST - 4 comments

"The things that make us different. Those are our superpowers."

In 2017, the world asked Google “how.” Google's Year in Search:
posted by zarq at 4:18 PM PST - 47 comments

Comedians who died during 2017

Some well-known ones that most people have heard of (Don Rickles, Jim Nabors), some that you know if you followed standup (Ralphie May), and some you (well, I at least) had never heard of before (alas, Ken Shapiro). List with links to fuller bios.
posted by anothermug at 4:04 PM PST - 13 comments

Working for the church while your family dies

Arcade Fire's Intervention as interpreted by St. Peter's Male Voice Choir Drogheda, and Musical Director Edward Holly, with the Lourdes Youth Choir. Annual Christmas Concert 2013.
posted by philip-random at 2:15 PM PST - 4 comments

We don`t know the half of it !

The Top Ten Ocean Stories of 2017 from the Smithsonian.
From wind turbines to massive sunfish to octopus cities, the seas proved full of surprises this year.
posted by adamvasco at 1:28 PM PST - 3 comments

The winding road to fully automated cars passes more milestones

Driverless cars became a reality in 2017 and hardly anyone noticed. As Timothy B. Lee notes on Ars Technica, "there are now actual driverless cars on the roads in Phoenix. That’s a big deal." In fact, Waymo has a pilot program that is currently running in Chandler, AZ, thanks in part to a 2015 executive order from Gov. Doug Ducey that guided Arizona to be "hands off" with the burgeoning autonomous and connected vehicle industry, making Arizona a test bed for technology, despite having no in-state auto manufacturing. Earlier this year, Uber’s self-driving cars started picking up passengers in Tempe, AZ, after California ordered Uber to shut down its new self-driving car service in San Francisco. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:23 PM PST - 117 comments

The chronic capitalism of Christmas movies

Elizabeth King : The way Christmas movies tell it, the generosity of individual tycoons is sufficient to mitigate the harms of class inequality. Tanya Gold: All I want for Christmas is a film that doesn’t preach capitalism. Jacqueline Isaacs: A Christmas Carol: A Capitalist Story. Counterpoint: C.D. Carter: ‘Christmas Vacation’ provides a Marxist critique of capitalism.
posted by Rumple at 1:07 PM PST - 34 comments

The Scene is on Soundcloud Now

The AV Club investigates: Has indie rock reached a midlife crisis?
posted by CatastropheWaitress at 12:52 PM PST - 61 comments

Procedural Planet Generator

Procedural Planet Generator Make some rad-ass freakin' planets and watch 'em spin calmly in space, unaware of all the bullshit over on this planet. [via mefi projects]
posted by ignignokt at 12:01 PM PST - 14 comments

Kubrick: Barry Lyndon

Barry reacts to Quin's announcement by throwing a glass in his face. Again, when love is on the line, and social mobility at stake, Barry's only recourse is violence. Another way to put it is, Quin represents one level of violence (that of state against state) while Barry represents a highly personal level of violence, one that Quin doesn’t seem to be prepared for. He recoils as though poleaxed. Startled and horrified by Barry's outburst, he, again, threatens Nora's family and demands that Barry be punished. "I'm an Englishman and a man of property!" he splutters, thinking his social status should protect him from this kind of violence. Later, we'll see how social status, in this narrative, is nothing but a scam, created specifically to protect the wealthy from the poor. [more inside]
posted by smcg at 9:37 AM PST - 39 comments

I am the queen of the 🐈 💩 📦

"I've been dealing with stolen packages for the last couple of weeks. But the week before Christmas, things got really crazy," Wood told Bustle over the phone. "The delivery person would drop off the package, and before I could even get to it, someone would steal it from my doorstep."

"I realized I had a lot of old Amazon boxes lying around and had an idea," she told Bustle. "You see, my cat is sick and on antibiotics, so the litter box smells *especially* terrible. So, I decided to put my cat's stinky poop in the extra boxes and place those boxes on my doorstep."
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:05 AM PST - 118 comments

nobody ever came from nowhere more completely than you

The Improbable Time When Orson Welles Interviewed Andy Kaufman (1982) In case you need to see Orson Welles guest hosting the Merv Griffin show, wearing a leisure suit, and incidentally, interviewing Andy Kaufman in front of a live studio audience.
posted by mumblelard at 8:48 AM PST - 17 comments

In the Late Anthropocene

Why Birds Matter (Jonathan Franzen for National Geographic)
posted by box at 8:07 AM PST - 6 comments

Named after a famous Finnish programmer

Tampio is an object-oriented programming language that looks like a natural language – Finnish. [It] is an object-oriented language that compiles to JavaScript. Its syntax is directly inspired by the Finnish language and is therefore based on inflecting words. [more inside]
posted by Soi-hah at 6:28 AM PST - 15 comments

How to Say ‘Orgasm’ in 27 Different Languages

It is not often that one comes across a human sexuality paper with a Biblical reference in the title, but lo, “Behold, I am Coming Soon! A Study on the Conceptualization of Sexual Orgasm in 27 Languages” does just that. Published in the Journal of Metaphor and Symbol, the study examined linguistic expressions of orgasm in native speakers of languages representing over half of the world’s population. Their work included an investigation of words and phrases we use to describe one of our favorite biological pastimes.
posted by ellieBOA at 4:53 AM PST - 16 comments

December 26

Travel, Budget Beds, and the Homeless

Back in January, Rick Steves donated the Trinity Place transitional housing complex in Edmonds, WA, which he had owned and operated in partnership with the Rotary and the YWCA since 2005, to the YWCA. On his blog, Steves discusses the history of the project—and his reasons for donating it now—at some length. (Rick Steves previously)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:16 PM PST - 30 comments

"Don’t be a troublemaker. Check your dignity at the door."

The #MeToo movement comes to sports, a reckoning long overdue — sports journalist Lisa Olson, writing for The Athletic, reflects on her own highly-publicized sexual harassment story and shares stories of what some of her female colleagues have had to endure, ultimately concluding with some guarded optimism about how the #MeToo awakening is bringing more of these stories to light.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:34 PM PST - 11 comments

My Past Is Warpaint

Moody, philosophical, synth-based music -- Happy Rhodes' 1991 album Warpaint [YouTube Playlist ~55m] Individual track links under the fold. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 10:01 PM PST - 7 comments

This is a great opportunity for you to write your own problematic joke!

Cards Against Humanity takes the pulse of the nation.
posted by tivalasvegas at 8:25 PM PST - 76 comments

To live with thee and be thy love

" 'Love = Destroy life of many people who belong to you,' Dawinder texted me one evening. Later, another message came in: 'What is the point of any of this?' " Writing for Harper's, Mansi Choksi explores what's at stake when a northern Indian couple marries for love - which is permitted by law but not by tradition. Social consequences can be severe. Honor killings, for instance, go virtually ignored by the federal government, in part because politicians are hesitant to anger khaps, local councils of unelected elders who enforce traditional rules of the caste system. [more inside]
posted by desert outpost at 3:36 PM PST - 12 comments

"Well, our question was: What's home? Let's try to answer that."

This is the story of a dozen women who aren't waiting for the end of the prison sentences imposed on them to start building their new lives. [more inside]
posted by queen anne's remorse at 2:53 PM PST - 5 comments

Phil Freelon, Humanitarian Architect

Extensive article on the man who designed the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
posted by MovableBookLady at 2:52 PM PST - 4 comments

Zelda Day 2017: Breath of the Wild & romhacks

Link trolls the Yiga Clan (Twitter video links: you may want to unmute them): Basic level - Advanced level - Expert level - Overkill level - Assistance: On - But make sure you set it up right....
That's right, it's Zelda Day 2017! There's more.... [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 2:36 PM PST - 22 comments

The NY State Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act

A proposed New York State law could offer justice to women who fight back against abusive partners. [TW: Descriptions of physical, verbal, and sexual violence.] In 1989, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence found that the average prison sentence for men who kill their female partners was two to six years; the average for women was fifteen. The NYS Domestic Violence Justice Act would allow judges to sentence domestic violence survivors to fewer years behind bars or to alternative-to-incarceration programs. The legislation could also lessen the sentences of survivors who were forced into criminal activity by abusive partners. Kim Dadou, who served 17 years for killing her abusive partner, is working to help pass the bill. “I don’t get paid money to do this, but I want to prevent survivors from losing years of their life like I did,” she said.
posted by stillmoving at 9:52 AM PST - 25 comments

one of the devil’s great engines of human misery

"Today the glowing, fry-colored marquee is the de facto greeting for anyone coming into the capital from the east. It does not say “Welcome to Washington,” or “Behold, the Majestic Seat of the Republic.” It says: W ARM UPWITH A BACO ATOR" The story of Washington’s weirdest traffic circle.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 9:05 AM PST - 45 comments


"The story of the Chibok girls, as it is commonly understood, reflects a landmark moment in world history. A simple hashtag on Twitter spurred seven nations to dispatch billions of dollars in armed forces, drones, satellites and sophisticated surveillance equipment. That combination of digital activism and international cooperation cut through the battle lines of a near decade-long civil war and helped Nigeria bring the girls home. The full story says otherwise." [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura at 8:49 AM PST - 14 comments

Chinese Food, Movies, and ...Museums!

Jewish Americans and Chinese food on Christmas: James Deutsch of Smithsonian Folklife discusses how it evolved. Though the classic day's entertainment for many is movies, it's also a big day for many Jewish-heritage museums, like the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia, the Museum at Eldridge Street in NYC, and the Contemporary Jewish Museum in SF.
posted by Miko at 8:03 AM PST - 34 comments

"Home Alone" is so much better if Kevin McCallister is dead

"Home Alone" is so much better if Kevin McCallister is dead. Ever wonder why Macaulay Culkin's family hated their cute little 8-year-old so much in the Christmas classic? Here's why.
posted by gudrun at 7:00 AM PST - 57 comments

If Sadako was a magician this would be her

The winner of the latest Asia's Got Talent, Indonesian magician The Sacred Riana, spooks both audience and judges alike with her horror-themed illusions and quiet, twitchy character - one that she maintains even in interviews.
posted by divabat at 2:55 AM PST - 19 comments

December 25


Originally performed at Eastertide in 1742 in Dublin,Handel's Messiah has become a Christmas staple. In a strange way, the ubiquity of Handel’s Messiah this time of year can actually cause us to lose sight of its incredible spiritual and artistic power. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:49 PM PST - 34 comments

"The arctic: here, everything is frozen. This bit, this bit..."

"The chamelion's tongue is one of the wonders of the natural world. Unless you're an insect, then you'd call it the death rocket." This is natural history, but not as you know it. Narrated by off-kilter natural history doyen 'Armstrong Wedgewood' – played by the inimitable Matt Lucas – this is blue-chip rebooted. This is Round Planet, a Planet Earth parody that uses stunning BBC footage with amusing narration, and it's on Netflix (at least in the US). [IMDb] [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 8:45 PM PST - 14 comments

Until one has loved an animal a part of one's soul remains unawakened

Officer Edith: I almost forgot one of my favouritest thing: please send me picture of your animals in, on and under your christmas trees and make my heart soar


Y'all have done me proud. What a magical thread of glorious seasonal beasties. Thank you so much.

posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:38 PM PST - 11 comments

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Merry Christmas, it's a new politics thread. In the week that was: [more inside]
posted by box at 5:25 PM PST - 1276 comments

There's Something About "Merry" (revisited)

Have yourself a merry little Christmas/It may be your last When Hugh Martin wrote the original words for "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" for Meet Me In St. Louis, the lyrics were "so depressingly sad." Judy Garland said, "If I sing that to that sweet little Margaret O’Brien, they’ll think I’m a monster" so Martin did a rewrite for Garland to sing in the movie. [more inside]
posted by kirkaracha at 2:16 PM PST - 10 comments

The Silver Snipers

You're probably not old enough to join (but I am).
posted by MovableBookLady at 12:01 PM PST - 15 comments

This is not happening

Stand up comics doing long form storytelling at a Los Angeles shoe show. ...for folks who want to like stand up but need something with a little more plot.
posted by mumblelard at 11:05 AM PST - 8 comments

Oh my God, I can’t wait to see his face.

Shanquis loves Charles. Charles loves Shanquis. Charles and Shanquis love wrestling. (SL Washington Post). [more inside]
posted by 4ster at 9:43 AM PST - 3 comments

The Adopted Black Baby, and the White One Who Replaced Her

The Sandbergs were talking about expanding their family. They hired a lawyer who found a newborn and when she arrived, what they saw surprised them. She was black. Immediately, Mr. Sandberg said, he thought of the burning crosses and racist taunts, the upheaval in their community over the prospect of black people moving in. Interracial adoptions were far less common then. “I said at that point that I wasn’t going to go forward with it,” Mr. Sandberg, now 89, recalled. “I thought, ‘My God, how are you going to raise a child in this neighborhood with the way people are feeling about this thing?’” said Mr. Sandberg, the owner of a prosperous manufacturing company. “It just wouldn’t have been great for her.” The Sandbergs returned the child. A few months later, they adopted a newborn white girl and named her Amy.
posted by stillmoving at 7:13 AM PST - 33 comments

A brief history of the petroleum business in Texas.

The Dark Bounty of Texas Oil SL New Yorker
posted by Bee'sWing at 6:48 AM PST - 10 comments

Happy Norwegian Train Driver's POV Day!

Real time cab povs in the snow. Because log fire videos are so passé.
posted by carter at 6:33 AM PST - 19 comments

December 24

Maria Bamford's 12 gifts for the holidays

Ave Maria Bamford! Maria Bamford (previously, more previously) stars in this 12-part holiday special about the silver linings within everything from substance abuse to bankruptcy and existential despair. [more inside]
posted by Space Coyote at 7:45 PM PST - 19 comments

The Grinch needs a good cardiologist

It’s almost Christmas. And so researchers at Johns Hopkins, Georgetown University and other learned places are bringing their expertise to some of the holiday’s classic tales.

Georgetown professors answered questions such as: Does Santa use big data to find the perfect gift for every child? Why doesn’t Claus age? And they even wondered — Grinch-like — whether there might be some toy-licensing violations going on in Santa’s workshop.

Bonus, just because: A Peacock Spider Christmas shamelessly stolen from a previously.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 4:19 PM PST - 2 comments

A better shortcut to the genetic code?

A popular theory holds that life emerged from a rich chemical soup in which RNA was the original self-replicator. But a combination of peptides and RNA might have been more effective.
posted by Rumple at 4:10 PM PST - 3 comments

Repairing Willie Nelson's Trigger

Since the mid-seventies, Mark Erlewine has been patching up Willie Nelson's guitar Trigger to keep it going for another year. Here he shows the sorts of things this entails: fixing a crack, cleaning and applying laquer. In part two he glues the top where it is separating from the body, restrings and gives it a test. Previously.
posted by 445supermag at 3:48 PM PST - 36 comments

“Praise Jah, It’s Christmas.”

If you want a change from that great Christmas jazz from the 60s, or if you need a soundtrack for your Caribbean Christmas black cake party, Dev Sherlock has put together a 28-song “Vintage Jamaican Yuletide Mixtape” over at Aquarium Drunkard. It Includes island versions of traditional numbers like White Christmas (The Wailers) and Winter Wonderland (Joe Gibbs Family), plus songs adapted to local circumstances, like Santa Ketch Up Eena Mango Tree. “Why Santa always coming down a chimney? We don’t have chimneys in Jamaica!” composer/singer Faith D’Aguilar explains. “So we decided it should be a mango tree instead.”
posted by LeLiLo at 2:31 PM PST - 14 comments

Dueling Jingle Bells

Dueling Jingle Bells [more inside]
posted by BWA at 11:27 AM PST - 3 comments

Wiggle He

In 2006 a british man named Dave Bulmer went on the Something Awful forums and wove what is undoubtedly the silliest Christmas story ever told. [more inside]
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 10:59 AM PST - 7 comments

Have A Black & White Christmas

10 Christmas Movies From Over A Hundred Years Ago
posted by The Whelk at 10:24 AM PST - 7 comments

moments of majesty and resonance

Why I prefer Christmas Eve to Christmas Day - an emotional story from the Yorkshire poet Ian McMillan
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:10 AM PST - 10 comments

It wouldn't be a Caribbean Christmas without black cake, and more treats

Black cake is a rich, molasses-spiced cake filled with drunken dried fruits is a part of Christmas festivities throughout the Caribbean. NPR cites a recipe that includes "currants, raisins, cherries, prunes and the peels of oranges and lemons [that] are soaked in rum and wine for roughly six months in airtight jars, in order for the fruit to become properly saturated for the cake," while Chowhound says you only have to let the fruit macerate for 1 week before proceeding with the recipe, and the Washington Post allows for 2 days to a full year to soak the dark fruits. But the key ingredient in the black cake is burnt sugar syrup, which can be used in an Old Fashioned. More recipes below the break. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 7:55 AM PST - 23 comments

Nothing Is Real - Pop's Struggle with Authenticity

Nothing Is Real - Pop's Struggle with Authenticity : Five short radio essays on popular music in the early 21st century (and the late 20th) from veteran music journalist David Hepworth, former Old Grey Whistle Test presenter and editor of Smash Hits, founder of Just Seventeen, Q, Mojo and other magazines. [more inside]
posted by Grangousier at 6:20 AM PST - 18 comments

Fashion purchases fantasy versus reality

'Get a pashmina they said. So versatile they said. I ordered it in cream. I looked like the only steerage passenger to make it off the Titanic.' Fashion purchase expectations cruelly dashed, courtesy of mumsnet (thread)
posted by low_horrible_immoral at 1:27 AM PST - 61 comments

December 23

Healthcare's wasted $

A Prescription for Reducing Wasted Health Care Spending. "It’s been estimated that the U.S. health care system wastes about $765 billion a year — about a quarter of what’s spent. We’ve identified ways that tens of billions of dollars are being wasted, some of them overlooked even by many experts and academics studying this problem." A ProPublica article series. [more inside]
posted by storybored at 10:33 PM PST - 46 comments

Baby It's A Red Flag Day

Red Flag Day is, I feel, the song that best encapsulates the new U2 album, Songs Of Experience. Inventive arrangements (morphing across the song), the feeling of four guys playing in a band, clarity in the production like never before... It's rock and roll for now, and old U2 fans might appreciate it.
posted by hippybear at 10:10 PM PST - 26 comments

Marche’s decision to aim his dildos at a female market was a bold move

Before sex toys were a click away on Amazon, they were a product that few took seriously. Once only the domain of porn purveyors, in the 1960s dildos were poor quality devices available only on the floors of sleazy XXX stores. But one man gazed at the floppy rubber phalluses and saw a business opportunity. He realized that dildos were in need of a makeover: If they were made with high quality materials and manufactured on a large scale, they could be big business. The pioneer of such dildos was an unlikely sex-toy hero: ventriloquist Ted Marche. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 4:03 PM PST - 37 comments

Death Rattle

There is a technical term for the kind of instrument it is, a wonderful word: idiophone. An idiophone is something that you hit to make a distinctive sound. That’s all there is to it. No strings, no flute-holes, just an object that you strike. A triangle would be the most obvious example. The root “idio” here means singularity or itself-ness or sole, as in, “alone.” Think idiosyncratic—not in sync with others, obeying its own rhythm. Or idiom—an expression that makes sense only in the language to which it belongs.
In the African-influenced musics of Latin America one often hears a uniquely electrifying percussion instrument known as la quijada, the jawbone.
posted by Rumple at 3:18 PM PST - 15 comments

“As a waltz plays, the doggos chew up the boxes under the tree,”

Hulu’s Alternative to the Yule Log Is a Bunch of Adorable Doggos Destroying Christmas [YouTube][Video Preview] “Like a certain deity popular this time of year, the internet giveth, and the internet taketh away. In the case of Hulu’s “Puppies Crash Christmas,” the thing being forced on us, before being magically dissolved, is stress. Released just before the holiday weekend, the hypnotic, wordless movie(?) is a half-hour of wholesome carnage, to be enjoyed by even the Grinchiest among us (but only those with Hulu accounts). Simple footage of five to 10 dogs ripping apart all the presents and lightly destroying the furniture in a tastefully appointed upper-middle-class living room, it brings together our purest instincts: to coo at adorable creatures, and to watch the world burn.” [via: Slate]
posted by Fizz at 2:47 PM PST - 30 comments

"Oh my god I never thought spies could be so boring."

The Strange Story Of Extended Random - "Those fossilized printers confirmed a theory we’d developed in 2014, but had been unable to prove: namely, the existence of a specific feature in RSA’s BSAFE TLS library called “Extended Random” — one that we believe to be evidence of a concerted effort by the NSA to backdoor U.S. cryptographic technology."
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:29 PM PST - 23 comments

Happy Birt Jesus

"Christmas in America is a 7-year unvarnished, photographic exploration of the nation’s largest holiday. It's an investigation to discover and reveal what compels so many to devote thousands of hours to hanging lights, to carving and painting figurines, to building miniature villages, to converting their homes, yards, garages, and cars into monuments to merriness." More photos here on photographer Jesse Rieser's website, where the photos are also downloadable.
posted by capricorn at 2:17 PM PST - 13 comments

You scumbag, you maggot

The Story Of The Pogues & Kirsty McColl Fairytale of New York (slyt) (previous)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:06 AM PST - 99 comments

Vintage Los Angeles Christmas

Vintage photos show LA all dressed up for the holidays (h/t helloknitty)
posted by jjray at 8:51 AM PST - 9 comments

Book of the Month Club reinvents itself for the 21st Century

Founded in 1926, the Book of the Month Club catered to an audience of middle-class Americans who wanted to stay abreast of literary trends but didn't necessarily have access to bookstores. Although subscribers were sacandalized by the first selection, the club was wildly successful, helping to launch popular novels like Gone with the Wind and at its peak boasting an audience of 1.5 million members. The concept seemed hopelessly outdated in the era of chain big-box bookstores and then Amazon, and the BoTMC closed in 2014. New owners quickly reopened it, with a new concept. Taking a cue from subscription services like Birchbox and and Loot Crate, Book of the Month Club has been reinvented as a subscription book service for women in their 20s and 30s. [more inside]
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:25 AM PST - 17 comments

December 22

'I'm Rhoda Young, live on the scene'

Citizen reporter Rhoda Young is live on the scene and in charge at a house fire in Norfolk, Virginia on Monday, November 27, 2017 [more inside]
posted by ActingTheGoat at 11:10 PM PST - 57 comments

Everybody needs a hug

The Dark Origins of Conjugal Visits "The origin story of conjugal visits in America, however, is a chapter of American racism. In 1904, Parchman Penitentiary was a 19th century plantation recreated, with its black, convict labor force working in the prison’s cotton fields like slaves. Conjugal visits were a paternalistic, ad-hoc reward system. If black convicts worked hard, they got to have sex on Sunday." [more inside]
posted by bendy at 11:07 PM PST - 6 comments

The fabulous dancing, singing, acting Nicholas Brothers

The Nicholas Brothers, Fayard (born 1914) and Harold (born 1921), grew up in Philadelphia, the sons of musicians who played in their own band at the old Standard Theater. Fayard absorbed the Vaudeville acts he saw and made those acts his own, teaching himself how to tap dance with style. Harold joined him, and together, they were amazing, even at a young age. We Sing, We Dance: The Nicholas Brothers Story (YouTube; earlier documentary of the same name copied from VHS, on YouTube; credits on TMC for the second documentary) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 10:16 PM PST - 15 comments

2 ↓ 4 0

Elton John/Bernie Taupin, 1983, Too Low For Zero: Side one: Cold As Christmas (In The Middle Of The Year), I'm Still Standing, Too Low For Zero, Religion, I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues [Ed. note: harmonica by Stevie Wonder] [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 9:15 PM PST - 16 comments

Grape Hull Pie

A forgotten dessert of eastern North Carolina.
posted by MovableBookLady at 9:11 PM PST - 34 comments

Do you like board games?

Happy Meeple is a site where you can play a bunch of neat two-player board games, including the highly awarded Lost Cities and Keltis, the well-regarded Glastonbury and Hanamikoji, and many more, all for the low low price of zero dollars. There's a lobby where you can play against fellow humans, but also bots at several difficulty levels to take you on at each game.
posted by Panthalassa at 8:26 PM PST - 10 comments


Most of the time the expression is expressionless, it’s a set look, which crosses the human face. It’s an awful, beautiful, knowing mask, which says ‘Oh s…t!’ Fourth by Tracey Moffatt
posted by Start with Dessert at 7:58 PM PST - 4 comments

No more dirt, germs, guns... and there is an unbelievable laundry room

Since our previous commentary in February on Ali Dorani aka Eaten Fish, an Iranian refugee and cartoonist who was suffering a tortuous existence and near death in an Australian off-shore gulag on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea, a secret cabal of international cartoonists and advocates have been on Ali's case. Last week friend and supporter Andrew Marlton, aka Australian cartoonist First Dog on the Moon, received a phone call. They'd done it. Ali was safe, free and in the air on his way to Stavanger, Norway. [more inside]
posted by Thella at 7:49 PM PST - 13 comments

Minutemen Acoustic Blowout

D. Boon died 32 years ago today. Please enjoy this 1985 Public Access TV acoustic set from The Minutemen. [more inside]
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 6:57 PM PST - 18 comments

In Florence, bringing the works of women artists out of the basement

Eike Schmidt became director of the Uffizi Gallery Museum in Florence in 2015. A group of feminist art activists called the Guerilla Girls told him that many museums have the works of women artists, but they're kept in storage. Schmidt says once he got to the Uffizi, he discovered “that we are the museum with the largest collection of works of arts by women before the 19th century.” He set to work getting as many of these paintings out of storage as possible. [more inside]
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:55 PM PST - 5 comments

Stupid Cupid, stop picking on me

OkCupid's ending usernames, and will start enforcing real-name rules. From the article: "The feature will only display first names, and OkCupid says no outside-service verification will be used to confirm that the name matches your actual identity. An OkCupid spokesperson tells Ars Technica that the only requirements are a two-letter minimum without numbers, symbols, or emojis and that it will operate a "banned word" list, whose contents it did not disclose." [more inside]
posted by Iris Gambol at 5:45 PM PST - 105 comments

67 New Colours I Invented Recently

18 Awesomely Weird BuzzFeed Posts A 7-Year-Old Wants Me To Write [SL BuzzFeed]
posted by Countess Elena at 4:35 PM PST - 22 comments

Origins of inequality include chance

Inequality in nature and society is a recent paper by Scheffer, van Bavel, van de Leemput, and van Nes in the journal PNAS that argues that both natural and economic inequality can arise by chance: [more inside]
posted by medusa at 4:00 PM PST - 7 comments

Wyatt Ingraham Koch

An heir to the Koch fortune goes into the schmatte trade. As the 99.9% contemplate what the Koch family has wrought on Capitol Hill, scion Wyatt has launched an eponymous line of shirts down in Palm Beach. "Be bold" is his motto. [more inside]
posted by GrammarMoses at 3:38 PM PST - 49 comments

So many Americans have different dreams – many just dream to survive

"I can’t think anymore, George. I can’t think anymore. It hurts." - The nightmarish darkness of It's a Wonderful Life
posted by Artw at 3:28 PM PST - 50 comments


Why The Customer Is Not Always Right In France [The Local] “As a veteran of fondues I know what I want in there: Comté, Beaufort and Appenzel. Forget Emmental, it's not strong enough. But my usual Paris cheese monger put a spanner in the works this week. When I asked him for some Beaufort he just looked at me and shook his head. The conversation went roughly like this.” [Twitter Thread]
posted by Fizz at 12:38 PM PST - 348 comments

Inside Reality Winner

‘The World’s Biggest Terrorist Has a Pikachu Bedspread’
posted by maggieb at 12:24 PM PST - 27 comments

"Originally it was Joulupukki."

Santa in Finland, Where Marketing Triumphs Over Geography: "Fifty years ago, travel marketers got the idea to attract tourists to remote Lapland and settled on Rovaniemi for its train station and airport. For many years, though, the Santa Claus attraction jostled for visitors with tours to see the Northern Lights or go on reindeer safaris; most of those who came were from countries with a strong Christmas tradition, bringing children along on the ultimate Santa’s Grotto experience." Today, well over 300,000 people come to Rovaneimi (population 50,000) each year to visit Santa Claus Village.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:10 PM PST - 5 comments

There's no business like snow business

How is snow made in movies? Here's a behind the scenes look. Did you know they used to use asbestos? Yes, really. For It's a Wonderful Life, they invented foamite (the stuff in fire extinguishers). In Dr. Zhivago, they used marble dust. Salt and flour were used in Charlie Chaplin's silent film The Gold Rush. Nowadays they use snowcel or CGI. Not going to have a White Christmas where you are? You can make your own snow at home! [more inside]
posted by AFABulous at 11:43 AM PST - 10 comments

I come from Earth, a planet of outlaws.

Dear NASA,

My name is Jack Davis and I would like to apply for the planetary protection officer job. I may be nine but I think I would be fit for the job. One of the reasons is my sister says I am an alien, also I have seen almost all the space and alien movies I can see. I have also seen the show Marvel Agents of Shield and hope to see the movie Men in Black. I am great at video games. I am young, so I can learn to think like an Alien.


Jack Davis
Guardian of the Galaxy
Fourth Grade

posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:05 AM PST - 21 comments

"Like someone spray-painted their pigs to look like sheep"

Modern Farmer's Sheep Week 2017 does not disappoint. Check it out: The 12 Sickest Sheep Breeds in the World, 8 Sheep That Don't Require Shearing, and 6 Fun Facts About Sheep You Might Not Know.
posted by gueneverey at 9:54 AM PST - 39 comments

Girl on Fire

“Your girlfriend beside you is a ball of fire, and you’re now a ball of fire, and boom boom boom boom boom boom boom, they’re all balls of fire.” How fashion intersected with sexism and technology to literally immolate women in the 19th century. Also: how the cage crinoline helped break down class barriers.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 9:45 AM PST - 18 comments

The ones to decide what happens next

One year later, why have an army of young people joined the Democratic Socialists? - Anna Heyward, The Nation.
posted by The Whelk at 9:39 AM PST - 40 comments

Take a photo of your main street at midday.

Does the picture show more people than cars? Across cultures, over thousands of years, people have traditionally built places scaled to the individual. It is only in the last two generations that we have scaled places to the automobile. We've actually embedded this experiment of suburbanization into our collective psyche as the "American dream," a non-negotiable way of life that must be maintained at all costs. The way we achieve real, enduring prosperity is by building an America full of what we call Strong Towns.
posted by vs at 9:32 AM PST - 15 comments

New York, in other words, needs London. But what about Bethlehem, Pa.?

What Happens When the Richest U.S. Cities Turn to the World? As the economy has changed, so have the relationships between places, to the disadvantage of smaller cities and rural areas. (SLYNYT)
posted by crazy with stars at 9:12 AM PST - 6 comments

X-Men Comics, X-Tremely Condensed

X-Men: Grand Design, a new Marvel comic miniseries by Ed Piskor, will condense nearly 300 issues — 40 years' worth — of convoluted X-Men continuity into a single, streamlined, six-issue story. Each book will be entirely written, drawn, inked, colored, and lettered by Piskor. [more inside]
posted by D.Billy at 6:28 AM PST - 22 comments

All I want for Christmas is a crapton of jazz

These eight albums from the 1960s will put the jazz in your jingle, the soul in your Solstice, and the bop in your Boxing Day: The Ramsey Lewis Trio - Sound of Christmas (1961), More Sounds of Christmas (1964) *** Jimmy McGriff - Christmas With McGriff (1963) *** Jimmy Smith - Christmas '64 (1964) *** Don Patterson - Holiday Soul (1964) *** Bobby Timmons - Holiday Soul (1964) *** Kenny Burrell - Have Yourself A Soulful Little Christmas (1966) *** Duke Pearson - Merry Ole Soul (1969) [more inside]
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 6:20 AM PST - 21 comments

R.I.P. Keely Smith

Singer Keely Smith, who was primarily known for her partnership with bandleader Louis Prima throughout the 1950's, passed away this past Saturday at the age of 89. The manic energy that Prima always brought to their comedic/musical stage performances was countered by Smith, who would often react with a deadpan sideye and mocking of his exuberance (when she wasn't busy dissolving into giggles herself). But she could sing too. Boy, could she sing.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 5:50 AM PST - 35 comments

December 21

Best Southern Albums of 2017

Bitter Southerner's site has gotten a little wonky lately but their album list is very interesting anyhow. Scroll on down to find the list. There ought to be a picture and maybe a soundcloud sample beside each album but it didn't show up for me. However, just reading the list gives you a good idea of each album and recommends some rewarding listening.
posted by MovableBookLady at 9:06 PM PST - 18 comments

Iqaluit Rock City Magazine's Northerners of the Year are the musical group The Jerry Cans. Known for songs like Ukiuq, (featuring throat-singing band member Nancy Mike) (English Version), the Celtic-tinged Mamaqtuq, the anti-domestic violence song Arnalukaq, the jaunty Iqanajarumanngittunga and Pai Gaalaqautikkut, the anti-PETA song Dear PETA, and the love song Aakuluk. But The Jerry Cans are not the only musicians heating up Canada's Arctic, many of them signed by the Iqaluit-based Aakuluk Recording Label. [more inside]
posted by Rumple at 7:44 PM PST - 15 comments

It's here: the King William's College Quiz 2017!

The 2017 King William's College General Knowledge Quiz is here! Let's get together and solve this lovely list of obscurities! [more inside]
posted by andraste at 4:59 PM PST - 166 comments

The Next Bechdel-Wallace Test

"Still, 30 years on, we’re not exactly sitting on a superior answer for measuring the movie industry’s gender imbalance. What does the next Bechdel Test look like? The time is ripe for a successor. Is there a short, punchy test we can apply? One that, if movies start passing it, would indicate that the industry is actually becoming better for both the women who make movies and the people who watch them? Is there a new test that could pull the modern film business in the right direction? And if there is, where on earth do we find it?" We pitted 50 movies against 12 new ways of measuring Hollywood’s gender imbalance. [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 3:22 PM PST - 57 comments

Gravy Day

December 21st is Gravy Day - an unlikely Christmas song by Paul Kelly. [more inside]
posted by freethefeet at 2:55 PM PST - 12 comments

The Browns Live In Hell

In the season finale of Chart Party, MeFi favorite Jon Bois discusses in detail the suffering that is the Cleveland Browns. (SYLT) [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 2:13 PM PST - 24 comments

A gorgeous little jewel of the Muppets at their best

On the 40th anniversary of Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas, an oral history of Jim Henson's holiday musical from muppeteers Frank Oz and Dave Goelz, and songwriter Paul Williams.
posted by drlith at 12:46 PM PST - 32 comments

"The Road Runner's response is insane and also involves a wig."

Almost all of the Road Runner cartoons are available via the @BoomerangToons app.

I subscribed for $5 & decided I'm gonna watch & tweet about 'em all in chronological order, even the later, terrible ones, for which I have an irrational affection.

Here we go.
Actor/Comedian Connor Ratliff (Search Party, Orange is the New Black) is attempting to watch and tweet about every Warner Bros. Road Runner/Coyote cartoon ever made. [Twitter thread]
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:21 PM PST - 94 comments

The Portrait Trilogy of operas by Philip Glass

Einstein on the Beach, first performed in 1976, is the first of Philip Glass's "Portrait Trilogy," followed by Satyagraha (1980), loosely based on the life of Mahatma Gandhi and sung in Sanskrit, and Akhnaten (1984), based on the life and religious convictions of the pharaoh Akhenaten (Amenhotep IV) and sung in the original languages of the source material. Where Einstein was revolutionary for its music and its form, Satyagraha and Akhnaten were scaled down and more traditional operas due to performance and financial necessities, allowing them to become repertory operas since their premieres. Together, the trio have become a sort of modern 'Ring' Cycle. More thoughts on and samples from the operas below. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 12:09 PM PST - 23 comments

“Looking beyond just the worlds of the Tolkiens and Martins...”

Why TV studios should stop playing it safe when it comes to fantasy. [The Verge] “While I’m personally intrigued by what a TV version of Lord of the Rings might look like [Previously], the announcement poses a very reasonable question: we already have Peter Jackson’s trilogy, so do we really need another take on Tolkien’s epic? I’m going to withhold judgment on the show until it actually materializes, but Tolkien’s Middle-earth is vast, with a rich history and backstory to plumb for season after season, and I suspect that there’s a good TV show in there somewhere. But going back to the well to revisit Tolkien feels like a missed opportunity, because there are a ton of other works that are equally deserving of the wider audience that television can bring.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 12:04 PM PST - 113 comments

*cue palm-muted wah-wah guitar and reverb*

"Tantric" and "sexy" are not generally the first words that spring to mind when thinking about chess, but the logo for the 2018 World Chess Championship has provoked an unusual reaction.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:49 AM PST - 33 comments

First J20 defendants not guilty!

The first set #J20 defendants were just found not guilty on all charges, as reported by Unicorn Riot on Twitter. NOT GUILTY immediately began trending on Twitter, and I've heard personally about whooping and celebratory yelling in a few otherwise-dignified office settings around the country. WNYC previously wrote about what's at stake, but Unicorn Riot probably has the most complete coverage from over the course of the trial. Defendant Alexei Wood's comment may be my favorite hot take. Don't forget, though, that nearly 200 defendants still have trials for the same charges pending. [more inside]
posted by moink at 10:38 AM PST - 33 comments

how America moves its homeless

“Once they get you out of their city, they really don’t care what happens to you.” Every year, American cities give free bus tickets to homeless people to leave the area. The Guardian looks at what happens next. [more inside]
posted by quadrilaterals at 10:18 AM PST - 50 comments

Erykah Badu & The Roots X Fela Kuti

Last night on The Tonight Show, Erykah Badu performed a medley of On & On and Sorrow Tears and Blood by Fela Kuti. It is fabulous. [SLYT]
posted by OmieWise at 9:22 AM PST - 10 comments

Ideology Discovery

Politiscales - a free, 117 question survey to determine your political and philosophical outlook.
posted by The Whelk at 9:17 AM PST - 98 comments

Alright mods, you can go ahead and close this economy now

The Long Island Ice Tea Corporation is exactly what it sounds like: a company that sells people bottled iced tea and lemonade. But today the company announced a significant change of strategy that would start with changing its name to "Long Blockchain Corporation."
posted by Slinga at 8:59 AM PST - 119 comments

Fill your buckets

A Bucketful of Happiness... Merry Christmas from Lord Buckethead
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:35 AM PST - 9 comments

Incubating a humane dynamic medium

Dynamicland is an attempt by Bret Victor and Alan Kay to enable Douglas Engelbart's ideals with a physical space.
posted by a snickering nuthatch at 8:21 AM PST - 6 comments

"So anyway, here's Wonderwall."

In honor of the London opening of Hamilton, Lin Manuel Miranda and the cast (and orchestra/band) perform a mashup of Hamilton songs and British pop songs. It's delightful.
posted by lunasol at 8:20 AM PST - 7 comments


How Tough Is It to Change a Culture of Harassment? Ask Women at Ford. In August, Ford announced it would pay up to $10.1 million to settle a racial- and sexual-harassment investigation at two Chicago plants. More than a dozen women have now came forward to detail accounts of harassment, racism, groping, intimidation and coerced sex by coworkers and supervisors. The bigger picture: blue collar women of color like those who work at Ford's factories aren't getting the same attention at white celebrities, but they face similar harassment and assault at work. After the #MeToo movement opened a global floodgate of accounts of mistreatment, a former Chicago worker proposed a new campaign for unseen women: “#WhatAboutUs.” [more inside]
posted by zarq at 7:51 AM PST - 8 comments

Jingle Rock Bell

Bell jingle rock jingle rock rock bell [more inside]
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 6:36 AM PST - 63 comments

Happy Brexmas to all, and to Britain good night.

"The only thing the government will find between Norway and Canada is the wreck of the Titanic." As the UK hunkers down for what could be its penultimate Christmas in the EU, the real price of Brexit begins to emerge, and it's uncannily close to that infamous figure of £350m a week—before the UK has left. While preparing to enter the most difficult stage of negotiations, Theresa May has reaffirmed her commitment to prior, fundamentally irreconcilable positions (and sacked a key ally). Despite what was touted by the press as a successful conclusion to Phase One, analysts argue that the UK is about to discover that you can’t always get what you want—unless you want a transition deal not a day longer than two years, in which case, here, have 21 months. [more inside]
posted by rory at 5:47 AM PST - 116 comments

Spoiler: Zelda is the boy.

Today, I schooled some total dinguses who didn’t know which character was Zelda. [via]
posted by signal at 5:18 AM PST - 198 comments

“He told me they are just ‘things’”

The Nib interviewed evacuees from the Thomas fire (previously) asking them what they grabbed as they fled their homes.
posted by Stark at 3:56 AM PST - 12 comments

December 20

Opening up the black box

New York City's bold, flawed attempt to make algorithms accountable.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:04 PM PST - 38 comments

Billiards in Movies / TV

This blog reviews billiards in all aspects on movies and tv, with lots of historical info as a bonus.
posted by MovableBookLady at 9:00 PM PST - 15 comments

Christmas is coming, the wind is come to you

And Santa baby bore sweet Jesus Christ, And the chimney the angels sing - Christmas Carols, generated by a neural network [previously]
posted by unliteral at 7:59 PM PST - 23 comments

“If she is lying about this, her performance is Oscar-worthy”

It’s so much easier to think that an attractive blond woman is sleeping her way to the top. Believing her claims against Payne means believing that she was forcibly raped and then forcibly coerced into having sex for two years to keep her job, that she cried in the shower and then wrote fake flirtatious emails because women write fake flirtatious emails every single day, because that is being a woman in America today.
Why Doesn’t Anyone Believe Scottie Nell Hughes? Cari Wade Gervin writes for the Nashville Scene about the aftermath of conservative pundit/Trump surrogate Scottie Nell Hughes going public with her rape allegations against Fox Business News host Charles Payne
posted by The Gooch at 5:45 PM PST - 55 comments

3000 Malagasy Ariary (MGA) = 1.19 Canadian Dollars (CAD)

Ralalitra seems like a rough gig... [more inside]
posted by honor the agreement at 5:34 PM PST - 4 comments

F*ck if Jack cared that Rose had frozen snot plastered to her face

We’re a generation that happily blogs and Tumblrs and inspo-boards across the messy, dorky spectrum of female-focused retro-fandom, from My So-Called Life to Mean Girls to Buffy to Hocus Pocus, but if someone mentions Titanic at a three-bellini brunch, every woman in attendance will suddenly receive a crucial text message the length of Billy Zane’s fake widow’s peak.
Titanic is the one we don’t talk about—the middle-school boyfriend with the bad mustache whose picture we keep buried in the sock drawer.
posted by Rumple at 4:38 PM PST - 70 comments

We think the property is owned by the city plus about 257 other parties.

United States of America v. 15.919 Acres of Land (More or Less). Susie Cagle, writing and drawing for Pro Publica and The Texas Tribune, documents just one story about one parcel that the Bush (II) Administration seized to build a section of border wall in Brownsville, TX in 2006. 11 years later, the eminent domain case is still not settled, in part because the government never did the proper title research before taking the land and building that section of fence. We can expect a lot more stories like this in the near future.
posted by suelac at 12:24 PM PST - 18 comments


So it turns out that porgs, Star Wars: The Last Jedi's answers to tribbles, were created because the filming location for Ahch-To,Skellig Micheal island, is completely overrun by puffins. Digitally removing them would've been a pain, so they got remade into merchandising gold instead. (via).
posted by MartinWisse at 12:20 PM PST - 65 comments

Santa Class

How does one become a Santa? Well, of course, the original has a proper origin story, but what of his numerous body doubles/"helpers"? Well, AARP (the average age of aspiring jolly old elves is 65) got to the bottom of this, diving down the chimney of Santa University. [more inside]
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:44 AM PST - 7 comments


Every other motherfruitcakin' day.
posted by emjaybee at 11:33 AM PST - 6 comments

Apex Retail Predator

Customer Service Wolf works in a bookstore and occasionally eats customers. [more inside]
posted by oulipian at 11:10 AM PST - 33 comments

The 1980s... The Decade Where Everybody's Dancing

Alessandro Maggia of Starlight Video Productions has created a five-minute video of about 250 short but mostly recognizable clips from '80s movies to the tune of "Sunset” by The Midnight.
SPOILER: Over 75% dance, including many people who shouldn't be dancing, and it starts with the insertion of a CD/DVD
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:49 AM PST - 11 comments

Every con has its pros.

OCEAN'S 8 [YouTube][Trailer] Starring Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, with Rihanna and Helena Bonham Carter.
posted by Fizz at 10:40 AM PST - 98 comments

Like Céline Dion, poutine was once mocked and underappreciated in Quebec

Poutine is sparking a culture war in Canada: After first appearing in the 1950s in rural Quebec, poutine came to be sneered at by some gastro-snobs as a late-night nosh whose name dare not be spoken in a province that has long fetishized French cuisine. Its greasy simplicity was served up at hockey arena snack bars and seen as reflecting a working-class Quebec more inclined to cheese fries than foie gras. […] Poutine’s rags-to-riches transformation was cemented when Martin Picard, a maverick of Canadian, or shall we say Quebecois cuisine, helped raise it to an art form in 2001 when he made poutine with foie gras the signature dish at his now-celebrated Montreal restaurant Au Pied de Cochon. (SLNYT)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:36 AM PST - 39 comments

Power, not pity

Janet Benshoof, litigator, activist, and fierce proponent of women's rights, dies at 70 Janet Benshoof, a human rights lawyer who campaigned to expand access to contraceptives and abortion. As a litigator for the American Civil Liberties Union, she argued sex education and abortion cases before the Supreme Court. She founded the Center for Reproductive Rights and the Global Justice Center to defend clients that included abortion providers facing bomb threats as well as rape victims in war zones. She died at home on December 18 from cancer.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 9:36 AM PST - 17 comments

Winter is coming

'The Climate of the world of Game of Thrones' (pdf) an academic paper by Samwell Tarly (also available in Dothraki and High Valyrian) [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:24 AM PST - 47 comments

The Donna Summer Special

On January 27, 1980, ABC aired The Donna Summer Special. Here is the video. Come for Donna, stay for the soulful lounge rendition of Bridge Over Troubled Water by Robert Guillaume.
posted by OmieWise at 8:16 AM PST - 7 comments

" strike three or four of them out and, you know, it's alright."

Baseball pioneer Mamie Johnson (previously on MetaFilter), the first woman to pitch in the Negro Leagues, dead at 82.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:10 AM PST - 14 comments


How far ahead of Apple Maps is Google Maps? A rather fascinating analysis of Google Maps' present and future, by Justin O’Beirne.
posted by slogger at 6:07 AM PST - 84 comments

“‘Cause I wanna learn more, about letters!”

Tom7 explores the potential of anagrams that use individual parts of letters, rather than limiting ourselves to only whole complete letters.
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:57 AM PST - 13 comments

We're gonna have us a time

Those fan-made videos that you come across on YouTube, the ones that throw up a different photo for every line of a song (you know what I mean) are usually, um... not my cuppa tea. But sometimes they get it so right that they really help you comprehend the songwriter's intentions, especially if the song is as long and wordy as Choctaw Bingo by James McMurtry. Check it out. This song is so kickass. And, oh yeah, hilarious. Oh, and here's a live version. And, like I said, it's wordy, so you might wanna check the lyrics here.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:58 AM PST - 36 comments

the happiest place on the internet

It’s nearly Christmas, and you know what that means — it’s time for New Zealand’s nationwide secret santa, the sweetest and purest expression of love and national pride of all time, probably . For the past seven years, New Zealand has been holding a nation-wide secret santa. Complete strangers send their fellow kiwis gifts, after parsing their twitter feeds for hints about what they'd like. [more inside]
posted by girlgenius at 2:57 AM PST - 9 comments

An octopus in the knitted Nativity

"Christmas is a time of year where normal standards of aesthetics go out the window. I'm very pleased to report that England's Cathedrals have not disappointed in this regard when constructing their Nativity scenes."
(Twitter thread. Don't miss the other examples in the comments.)
posted by Catseye at 2:54 AM PST - 21 comments

Gideon Mantell & Early Palaeontology

This small and rather unprepossessing object is one of Te Papa's most valuable treasures - a fossil dinosaur tooth with a worn crown. It is the first fossil ever to be recognised as dinosaur and its discovery marked the beginning of dinosaur studies. [more inside]
posted by Start with Dessert at 12:23 AM PST - 4 comments

"Roob" for Short

Reindeer Boob is the new (NSFW) holiday trend you need in your life.
posted by Literaryhero at 12:13 AM PST - 24 comments

December 19

Dude's got a filigreed submarine

Mikey Neumann of Movies with Mikey gets some friends together to watch watch 2003's The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen and discovers it might actually ... be ... good?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:55 PM PST - 23 comments

Cardinal Bernard Law dead at 86

Cardinal Bernard Law, Boston archbishop at center of church sex-abuse scandal, dies at 86 [more inside]
posted by Barack Spinoza at 9:34 PM PST - 41 comments

Siberia Siberian Cats

A farm for Siberian cats, with them floofed out against the snow. Photographs by the farm owner. Magnificent beasties.
posted by MovableBookLady at 8:50 PM PST - 51 comments

Norwegian Gothic Zoetrope Boogie

Persistence of Vision III is an animated short film by Ismael Sanz-Pena. Made with just one image, it explores the dancing potential of the repeating still sculptures at Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, Norway.
posted by carter at 3:33 PM PST - 9 comments

'Vanilla,' Indeed

The 1997 British pop music charts saw four Spice Girls songs reach number one (and not even the one or two that you know). Elton John's dreadful "Candle in the Wind"/Princess Diana song was the biggest hit of the year (it's the #2 selling single of all time), and *the Teletubbies* had a #1 song for two weeks in December. That silliness (allegedly, though likely apocryphally) led two British music veterans - one of whom went on to bigger things - to make a cynical bet over whether they could create a group and score a hit with an objectively bad song. Spoiler alert: they could. [more inside]
posted by AgentRocket at 3:27 PM PST - 71 comments

I saw my estranged father on the train & all I got was this lousy column

The New Statesman's Stephen Bush writes – “On the Tube, I saw the father I’d never met – and was happy to find that I had nothing to say to him. I looked at my feet and walked past the man who had no idea that I was his son.” More importantly, though – “He couldn’t know, close to 30 years ago, that the child he was walking out on would have the good fortune to be born into a country about to experience close to two decades of uninterrupted, low-inflation growth, most of that presided over by a Labour government firmly committed to improving the condition of the poor.” [more inside]
posted by ambrosen at 2:22 PM PST - 5 comments

Deliverance from 27,000 feet

"One climber stepped on the dead man and apologized profusely ... Another paused on his descent to hold a one-sided conversation with the corpse stretched across the route. Who are you? Who left you here? And is anyone coming to take you home?" [more inside]
posted by compartment at 12:14 PM PST - 100 comments

Rich People Should Be Good Not Rich People Shouldn’t Be

George Orwell on the morality and class consciousness of Charles Dickens
posted by The Whelk at 12:02 PM PST - 30 comments

Ask a Manager's Alison Green on harassment: "I didn't get it right then"

Until now, despite working as a management guru who advises women on things like handling creepy men in the office, she had not addressed charges that she had enabled a boss’ inappropriate behavior." (Washington City Paper). Alison Green of Ask A Manager breaks her near-decade of silence on her role as unofficial HR manager in the multiple harassment complaints against Rob Kampia of the Marijuana Policy Project. [more inside]
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:53 AM PST - 77 comments

Doing what it says on the tin

Facebook would like your faces, please. You might well be asking, "should I be afraid of face recognition technology?" Well, arguably the time for that has already passed. This rollout is separate from Facebook's recently announced (and roundly mocked) "anti-revenge-porn" tool. Facebook's keeping participation in its face recognition system optional (at least for now), though they have been using selfie captchas for a while.
posted by halation at 11:42 AM PST - 31 comments

"Birds’ eggs have an erotic aura all of their own"

As ornithology became a more rigorous science in the 1800's, egg collecting, or oology, took off as both a hobby and a lucrative career. Egg collection is now a dying hobby – it has been illegal since 1954 - but egg collecting is still a thriving crime. [via]
posted by jessamyn at 10:59 AM PST - 6 comments

In the Maze

"But the most persistent and least logical complaint came from men — men I knew and men in the media. They could not speak. And yet they were speaking. Near the end of 2014, I remember, the right to free speech under the First Amendment had been recast in popular discourse as the right to free speech without consequence, without reaction."
posted by Kitteh at 10:50 AM PST - 19 comments

The uncanny valley of babies

A woman posts a photo of knitting supplies she bought but people on Twitter are concerned about the baby in the background. I should say "baby," since it's not an infant human but a werepup. What's a werepup? Glad you asked. Can't afford to adopt? Make your own. Many more, uh, "babies" inside! [more inside]
posted by AFABulous at 10:28 AM PST - 47 comments

Villages, Hubs and Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities

As life expectancies increase around the world, more people think about how to age in place, or stay on their own as they grow older. One such organization that supports communities of people who want to live on their own with support is the Village to Village Network, and NPR recently looked at the growing Village Movement: How The 'Village Movement' Is Being Adapted In Rural Areas | Chicago Neighborhoods Are Trying To Adapt The 'Village Movement' Structure [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:31 AM PST - 21 comments

They are trying to steal your libraries to use in their own code

I call this system "Drone Versioning". Under this scheme, version numbers convey almost no useful information whatsoever.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 8:53 AM PST - 41 comments

An Unfortunate Typo

Anomaly London presents Dear Satan, the tale of a child's letter with an unfortunate typo. Narrated by Sir Patrick Stewart. [more inside]
posted by Catblack at 7:51 AM PST - 15 comments

Definitive recipe for Yorkshire Puddings

If you celebrate Christmas, you should have Yorkshire Puddings with Christmas dinner. If you don't celebrate Christmas, you should make roast beef and have Yorkshire Puddings. Or chicken, or lentil loaf, and Yorkshire Puddings. They're popovers, they seem difficult and look impressive but are manageable if you can cook at all.
posted by theora55 at 7:28 AM PST - 54 comments

“That fantasy, of the world itself being a puzzle,”

The Puzzle Of A Lifetime [YouTube][Trailer] “A wordless, hand-drawn puzzle game in which people, objects, and places move across time and space; a game requiring you to let go of your perception of reality. It all sounded a little big. I couldn’t wrap my head around it. Also I kept forgetting its name. [...] Gorogoa, released on December 14 for Windows, iOS, and Switch, was created almost in its entirety by Jason Roberts, a 43-year-old former software engineer. He drew the game’s gorgeous, intricate artwork in pencil. He learned how to animate. He painstakingly put together the puzzles, in which seemingly disparate objects and places across different scenes are made to meld together as if by magic. Roberts has been working on Gorogoa for over seven years. It is his first video game.” [via: Kotaku] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 7:20 AM PST - 22 comments

Tony Stark was able to build this in a cave...with a box of scraps!

X-ray your finger with scotch tape. Or run ADSL over a wet string.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:11 AM PST - 13 comments

‘I found the poems in the fields / And only wrote them down’

John Clare (1793-1864) was a poet: a peasant poet [PDF]; a nature poet; a dialect poet; a mad poet [PDF]. He was 'everywhere an exile'; 'a man out of time' who 'found the poems in the fields' . [more inside]
posted by misteraitch at 7:06 AM PST - 7 comments

Beyond the mountain is a valley. There will be my abode forever.

The 10 men step into their white polypropylene coveralls, zip them up, and then snap on latex gloves. Some knot plastic bags around their running shoes. Others fashion white funeral palls into makeshift surgical caps. One worker fishes out a pack of menthol cigarettes from his pocket and offers them around. Another twists open a mickey of rum, tips back a bracing slug and hands it to the man beside him, who does the same. They are steeling themselves for the grisly task ahead. It is 11 on a hot September morning in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and the men have come to collect the unclaimed dead, abandoned in the morgues of the biggest funeral parlor on downtown’s Rue de l’Enterrement — Burial Road. [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura at 5:52 AM PST - 7 comments

Women's March 2018. It's on. 1/20/2018. Planet EARTH.

Be there. Raleigh, Vegas, Bay area, Chicago, LA, Sacramento, and more coming online. The Mother Site has yet to update.
posted by yoga at 5:25 AM PST - 50 comments

December 18

Well, you needn’t listen. But you should.

“Who needs Monk?” A few months after what would have been Thelonious’s 100th birthday, All About Jazz provides young musicians with four lessons they should learn from the great pianist’s life and work (in addition to “the not particularly helpful insight that it's good to be a genius”). Also in honor of The Monk Century, pianist Ethan Iverson of The Bad Plus, in The New Yorker, tells us to “Think of Thelonious Monk” (while recommending this video performance in particular as “glorious”). [more inside]
posted by LeLiLo at 10:56 PM PST - 17 comments

The Frog, The Dog, and The Devil

The Frog, The Dog, and The Devil (1986) (7’10) [more inside]
posted by Start with Dessert at 10:35 PM PST - 6 comments

We make money, not art

Regine interviews Vladan Joler about his exhibition Exploration Forensics, which is "a collection of maps and documents created as a result of investigations conducted in the last few years by the SHARE Lab. The maps will help visitors explore the invisible layers of contemporary technological black boxes and their fractal supply chains, exposing various forms of hidden labour and the exploitation of material resources and data." This is an exhibiton of SHARE Lab at Aksioma, in Ljubljana. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:44 PM PST - 5 comments

Riding a Time Capsule Up & Down

Elevators! Manually operated with attendants. Wood paneling. Seats. Mirrors. A look into the past with those few elevators in NYC that are still manual and the operators who've been up and down in them for decades. And if you love elevators and mysteries, you must read The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead. You'll be drawn into the Intuitionist school of elevator inspectors pitted against the Empiricist school. Fascinating.
posted by MovableBookLady at 8:24 PM PST - 32 comments

Are these places holy or unholy?

We drive and walk every day over the places where somebody once wept or bled; the earth is a repository of invisible pain. Only in extremely rare instances are these places deemed historically important enough to be commemorated, and only in harmony with contemporary politics that can identify clear moral contours. Think of the secular holy ground of the World Trade Center site, the swan-white memorial over the wreck of the USS Arizona, the marble obelisks looming over any number of Revolutionary War battlefields.
But what of those places that are too ethically ambiguous or nationally embarrassing to remember? Tom Zoellner reviews the book Marked, Unmarked, Remembered: A Geography of American Memory by Alex and Andrew Lichtenstein.
posted by Rumple at 6:33 PM PST - 11 comments

Statcast produces several terabytes of uncompressed data per game

Statcast is an amazing tool created by Major League Baseball that provides immense amounts of game data and statistics that had never been previously available. So why are sabermetricians so concerned about it?
posted by Chrysostom at 4:47 PM PST - 20 comments

“Pop”-peroni Pizza

Grandiosa is the most popular brand of frozen pizza in Norway: per Wikipedia, they sell twenty-four million pizzas each year even though the population of Norway is just over 5 million. With offerings like a "Hot Nacho" variety, complete with little baby tortilla chips on top, it’s little wonder why. (By comparison, the most popular brand in the US makes around 90 million pizzas for a population of 325 million.) Grandiosa is so popular that two of their advertising jingles reached #1 on the Norwegian pop charts. [more inside]
posted by AgentRocket at 2:03 PM PST - 45 comments

Korean pop idol Kim Jonghyun dies at 27 years

Kim Jonghyun (김종현) of K-Pop boyband SHINee dies at age 27. ((Talk to someone now)) [more inside]
posted by one teak forest at 1:39 PM PST - 35 comments

Not so melancholy elephant

Orphan elephant brings her newest baby to show off to the people who rescued her back in 1999.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:11 PM PST - 27 comments

I Use a Wheelchair. And Yes, I’m Your Doctor.

Cheri Blauwet, MD, a former Team USA Paralympic medallist, three-time winner of the women's wheelchair division in the Los Angeles Marathon, and two-time winner of both the Boston and New York City marathons, writes about representation in medicine, her clinical experience as a doctor who is also a wheelchair user, and her relative privilege in the New York Times: "In my busy outpatient clinical practice, I witness the spectrum of patients’ reactions when they find out that their doctor is, herself, disabled. Typically those first few seconds after entering an exam room — before the patient’s guard goes up — are the most informative."
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:09 AM PST - 7 comments

The fabled San Buenaventura river: it must exist because it had to

In 1776, two Franciscan missionaries Atanasio Domínguez and Silvestre Vélez de Escalante sought to find a land route between Santa Fe in Nuevo México to Monterey in Alta California. They were part of a ten-man expedition including Bernardo de Miera y Pacheco (Meira) acting as the cartographer. On September 13, they encountered a southwest-flowing tributary of the Colorado and named it San Buenaventura after the catholic saint Bonaventure. From there, the initial depiction of the river (large copy) was repeated and warped, extending west to the Pacific Ocean, repeated in various forms up through 1844 (Google books preview). Given the lengthy history of the river's existence on maps, even President Polk was reluctant to let the fabled river disappear. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:25 AM PST - 11 comments

" In 2017, tech workers are the world’s villain."

The Other Tech Bubble Erin Griffith, formerly of Fortune, writes at Wired about the technology bubble we're not talking about—the one insulating Silicon Valley and its startup founders and funders, from criticism.
posted by SansPoint at 9:18 AM PST - 59 comments

Corporations are robots, my friend

Sci-fi writer Ted Chiang on how Silicon Valley misdiagnoses the AI threat: “The idea of superintelligence is such a poorly defined notion that one could envision it taking almost any form with equal justification: a benevolent genie that solves all the world’s problems, or a mathematician that spends all its time proving theorems so abstract that humans can’t even understand them. But when Silicon Valley tries to imagine superintelligence, what it comes up with is no-holds-barred capitalism.”
posted by Phire at 9:17 AM PST - 40 comments

May the bots have mercy on us all

How machines learn. (Main video plus Footnote video.) Explained for laypersons by C. G. P. Grey.
posted by beagle at 9:07 AM PST - 12 comments


It's the 1980s, and under your tree is the hottest gift of the decade, the home PC! Why not fire it up and run a Christmas demo to get in the holiday spirit? [more inside]
posted by castlebravo at 8:47 AM PST - 20 comments

A Real Menace To Public Health

Corruption! Big city politics! Democrats! Republicans! Developers! And pork! Wait - not that kind of pork - these are the Philadelphia Pig Wars of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries[more inside]
posted by carter at 8:10 AM PST - 3 comments

Call Your Momma | By Gabriel Jesus

Whenever I score for Manchester City, my mother calls me. As soon as the ball hits the back of the net, the phone rings. It doesn’t matter if she’s back home in Brazil or if she’s in the stadium watching me. She calls me every time. So I run to the corner flag, and I put my hand to my ear, and I say, “Alô Mãe!” When I arrived at City, people thought this was really funny, and they kept asking me what it means. There’s a quick answer, which is that I love my mother, and she’s always calling me. And there’s a longer answer, which starts when I was a boy with a dream.
posted by appleses at 7:58 AM PST - 9 comments

Johnny Fox, sword swallower, 1953-2017

Johnny Fox, adept sword swallower and slight of hand expert, had his final "dance" with cancer and Hep C Sunday morning at the age of 64. After being diagnosed, he began treatment and was unsure if he could return to performing. This fall, he was able to do a limited number of performances with no sword swallowing at the Maryland Renaissance Festival: but did include balloon swallowing. The stage he performed there had been named in his honor before the 2017 season. (Squeamish warning: almost all the videos/stories show sword swallowing and other similar acts.) [more inside]
posted by skynxnex at 7:44 AM PST - 15 comments

"pixel spider boat game"

Just Type Stuff
posted by rorgy at 7:33 AM PST - 51 comments

December 17

Taonga Pūoro - Singing Treasures

Put on your headphones, close your eyes, and listen (08’54) [more inside]
posted by Start with Dessert at 10:26 PM PST - 6 comments

If you can't be with the one you love…

Sexual interactions between snow monkeys and sika deer could be a new behavioural tradition within a group of monkeys observed in Japan, researchers have suggested. While the first report of a male Japanese macaque, or snow monkey, and female sika deer taking to each other was revealed earlier this year (previously), scientists say they are now confident the behaviour is sexual after scrutinising adolescent females suggestively interacting with stags at Minoo in Japan.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:51 PM PST - 56 comments

"Please answer after the beeeeeep-u!!!"

Four hardcore anime fans are forced to confront their own mortality at the worst convention ever. A series about emotional trauma, awkward situations and a terrible weekend at an anime convention. Facebook page.
posted by Lurch at 8:35 PM PST - 17 comments

“...this is Santa, and this is Santa's husband.”

How a Tweet About a Gay, Black Santa Turned Into a Children's Book [Motherboard] Less than a year after they were first posted, the tweets you see above are now a children’s book. What started as a joke became an idea, then a collaboration, then some concept art, and ultimately a book deal—all contained on that Twitter thread. The plot of Santa’s Husband [Amazon] seems like it’s reverse-engineered from a homophobic racist’s nightmare. The story itself is the very innocent and sweet (and true, according to the book) tale of Santa and his husband and their life together, complimented by detailed and playful watercolor illustrations. [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 8:15 PM PST - 19 comments

Incan Khipus Newly Understood

In 2016 an undergraduate student of Prof. Urton, the expert on khipus, offered to help analyize a set. And the results have been termed "thrilling." Manny Medrano wasn't an archeology student but he was interested in it. He studied economics, which helped him in his data analysis (Excel spreadsheets). He spent spring break looking at a particular set of khipus and came back with some ideas. Urton was impressed enough that they began working on it together and Urton thinks they've made a breakthrough. I know the khipus were posted about back in 2003 but this is new info, to be published in early 2018
posted by MovableBookLady at 8:14 PM PST - 24 comments

“Now I’ve shot so many Nazis, Daddy will have to buy me a sable coat.”

The extravagant life of Neil Munro "Bunny" Roger, erstwhile couturier, wit, dandy, landowner, and social ornament. [more inside]
posted by Hypatia at 4:33 PM PST - 24 comments

An index of over 1000 composers, improvisers and sonic artists. is an active index dedicated to collecting and curating women artists working in the avant-garde, electronic, experimental, noise, classical, jazz and other non-mainstream audio/music arts. "As of December 12th, 2017, there are 1,205 artists listed in this index."
posted by loquacious at 4:17 PM PST - 11 comments

From agorism to neozapatismo

Tired of political quadrants? Try the Political Sextant [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:58 PM PST - 140 comments

Wear and Tears

"Clothes are relatively easy to pack and transport, less breakable than other objects, and perhaps that is why I have held on to so many of them; they provide a line of continuity between these multiple places and selves. They remind me who I am, where I have come from, where I have been, for better or worse. On the days the black dog visits and brings down that transparent wall of grey between myself and the distant land of the living where people walk around feeling things, where things matter, these belongings with history — any kind of history — remind me that life has been lived and felt, that maybe it will be again." Kirsten Tranter reflects on depression, connection, and how clothing lives not only in the closet, but in our hearts and minds as well. Even when they seem past all feeling. (SL Los Angeles Review of Books.)
posted by MonkeyToes at 9:46 AM PST - 8 comments

Amazon, Apple, Facebook, And Google should be broken up.

"We break these guys up because we are capitalists" At Business Insider's IGNITION conference, Scott Galloway gave a blistering presentation on why "The Big Four" — Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google — should be broken up. [more inside]
posted by mecran01 at 6:59 AM PST - 119 comments


Melvyn's Abrupt Opener
posted by alby at 3:20 AM PST - 37 comments

December 16

Poor cow

Exploding cows, baby killers and death rays (Dylan Owen, National Library of New Zealand blog)
posted by Start with Dessert at 9:27 PM PST - 6 comments

Let's hope they have limited memory.

Every time Boston Dynamics has abused a robot.
posted by codacorolla at 7:10 PM PST - 51 comments

Longreads Best of 2017 Food Writing

A list of the most interesting food writing from the past year, and it starts with the food culture of Appalachia.
posted by MovableBookLady at 3:10 PM PST - 7 comments

The violence of looking away

A journey through a land of extreme poverty: The UN’s Philip Alston is an expert on deprivation – and he wants to know why 41m Americans are living in poverty. The Guardian joined him on a special two-week mission into the dark heart of the world’s richest nation by Ed Pilkington
posted by The Whelk at 2:55 PM PST - 26 comments

The house that Edek built - and the secret suitcase kept inside

When Edward "Edek" Herzbaum and his wife Teresa designed and built their family home near Woking, they created a daringly modern building full of light. It was the 1950s. Young architects were in the vanguard of imagining a new, post-War Britain. Edward died in 1967, Teresa in 2002. It was not until then that their daughter Krystyna found a small suitcase full of papers that revealed her father, his story and his art. [more inside]
posted by cynical pinnacle at 2:29 PM PST - 4 comments

Jólabókaflóð: Merry Christmas, book lovers! Xoxo, Iceland

Jólabókaflóð ("Yule flood of books") is a delightful holiday tradition from one of the most book-loving nations in the world:
Every year since 1944, the Icelandic book trade has published a catalogue...sent to every household in the country in mid-November during the Reykjavik Book Fair. People use the catalogue to order books to give friends and family for Christmas. During the festive season, gifts are opened on 24 December and, by tradition, everyone reads the books they have been given straight away, often while drinking hot chocolate or alcohol-free Christmas ale called jólabland.
[more inside]
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 1:30 PM PST - 24 comments

You *can* do that on television.

25 Comedy Writers Pick Their Most Influential TV Episodes - Part 1, Part 2 (Josh Sorokach & Joe Reid, We had no idea what to expect when we reached out to 25 successful comedy professionals — the minds behind some of the best shows on TV, from The Good Place to You’re the Worst to Playing House — and asked them to write about the TV episode that inspired them to pursue a career in comedy. Their responses were passionate, insightful, nostalgic, and emblematic of the fact that inspiration comes in all forms. Were they motivated by a character? A concept? A clever turn of phrase? We’re presenting their answers to you in full, in their own words.
posted by Room 641-A at 1:27 PM PST - 18 comments

The beauty of Stardew Valley is that you cannot fail and you cannot die.

How Stardew Valley helped me cope with depressive episodes [VG24/7] “Games provide us with productive, hands on work away from dreary reality. We like to be challenged and stimulated in a way we control. However, when I’m not in the right frame of mind, I’m often overcome with guilt that I should be doing something ‘purposeful’ with my free time and sometimes my favourite games just don’t fulfill that need. If I spend countless hours playing competitive matches and somehow manage to lose rank, or lose an established Sims family in a fire, it feels as though those hours have been wasted and I have nothing to show for it. I come away more stressed than I was when the session began, like a bad day at work. There’s other times when I simply don’t feel up to the challenge of competitive games but don’t want the monotony of repetitive simulators. It’s a fragile line to balance. However, when it comes to indie farming-simulator Stardew Valley, there is none of that guilt or stress.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 1:05 PM PST - 40 comments

Fear of the state, fear of home: To be black and queer in America

Living in my truth as a black queer person comes with the understanding that I may also be quickening my death. I was sold a false narrative. I was told “it gets better,” as if becoming an adult would change the years of ridicule I had endured my entire life, and introduce me to a world that would be fully accepting of my gender and sex identity. At 32, I now know that I take my life in my hands when I dress a certain way, or have mannerisms not accepted by a masculine-centered society.
posted by stillmoving at 12:21 PM PST - 18 comments

You Call. We Sing!

Dial-A-Carol at the University of Illinois Dial-a-Carol is the longest running tradition in University Housing (57 years - but who's counting?) The idea is quite simple. For one week only, anyone from anywhere can call us round the clock and request any holiday tune, and we'll do our best to sing it over the phone. The best part? It's completely FREE! 24/7 from December 14 until December 20, 2017. [more inside]
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:28 AM PST - 20 comments

You Know You Want To Believe

The Pentagon’s Secret Search for UFOs [Politico] Glowing Auras and ‘Black Money’: The Pentagon’s Mysterious U.F.O. Program [NYT] 2 Navy Airmen and an Object That ‘Accelerated Like Nothing I’ve Ever Seen’ [NYT]
posted by chavenet at 11:23 AM PST - 30 comments

practical and tactical

Leafy Neckdowns: Cornstarch, Water & Leaves Reshape Unsafe Intersection. Like the snowy neckdowns, or 'sneckdowns' of years past, light, quick and cheap elements are used to shape public space. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:15 AM PST - 11 comments

I want to get those stories recognized

Stories from a real (imaginary giant animal) community: in which Boozy Badger (previously, also) was in a car accident that shattered his hip and he's convalescing and he's had furries giving him and his family unexpected support, and so he poses the topic on twitter, Tell me about a time the furries reached out and helped you. I want to get those stories recognized.
posted by hippybear at 11:07 AM PST - 6 comments

Sweetness! Utah, Letter to The Editor Salt Lake Tribune

A Blanche Dubois moment....the kindness of strangers. We all have moments, especially if we have small children, when the only solitude might just be a trip to the store, while everyone else is safe and engaged. Then in the privacy of the family car we might be the person we have always been, the person just learning to drive, a new college grad out for a ride, realizing what took you to this moment, also comes with the full weight of all you carry and Stopping by the Store on a Snowy Evening is not quite the moment Robert Frost described.
posted by Oyéah at 10:09 AM PST - 3 comments

Women Composer Database

Women Composer Database In an era where the music of women composers continue to be underrepresented and programmed too infrequently, this is such a great resource for discovering the music of women composers, both living and dead. [more inside]
posted by bkpiano at 9:12 AM PST - 8 comments

Merry Christmas!

Danish boy choir sings Christmas carol angelically, and a second time with a kick.
posted by growabrain at 9:12 AM PST - 11 comments

Macchu Picchu is essentially a pile of rubble

With the story of a disappointing zoo in China (it helps to have real animals not inflatables) the Guardian asked its readers for their overrated tourist locations.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:52 AM PST - 179 comments

This Week in Tech Scandal

Uber Engaged in ‘Illegal’ Spying on Rivals, Ex-Employee Says For years, Uber secretly spied on key executives, drivers and employees at rival ride-hailing companies as part of a larger intelligence-gathering operation that spanned multiple countries, according to a letter made public in a federal court on Friday. Uber security employees occasionally impersonated drivers to gain access to chat groups, illegally recorded phone calls, and secretly wiretapped and tailed executives at rival companies over the course of 2016, the letter said. [more inside]
posted by Toddles at 6:26 AM PST - 35 comments

BMJ Christmas Edition

Every year the British Medical Journal publishes a special Christmas edition. [more inside]
posted by alby at 3:17 AM PST - 4 comments

December 15

Everyone loves a clumsy owl

Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2017 The winners & runners-up in this year’s competition. Treat it like a few minutes of well earned self care.
posted by faceplantingcheetah at 11:34 PM PST - 15 comments

Bennelong by-election plunges Australia's government into danger

This evening, the Australian government's fate rests with the middle-class, multicultural voters of Bennelong, an electorate covering a handful of suburbs on Sydney's lower north shore [PDF]. If the government loses the seat, they will lose their majority in the House of Representatives and have to govern in minority. Fighting to retain the seat for the Coalition government is incumbent MP John Alexander, former tennis pro, who triggered the byelection by resigning when it was revealed he was a dual British citizen, against the provisions of the Australian Constitution (previously 1 2). Trying to wrest it out of government hands is the high-profile challenger from the main opposition party Labor: American native, Sky News Australia host and former NSW premier Kristina Keneally. There's been many gaffes, much mud thrown and a lot of time, money and effort poured into the campaigns—Labor is widely expected to secure a swing to them of some magnitude, but will it be enough? We'll find out when the polls close in 60 minutes... [more inside]
posted by Panthalassa at 10:01 PM PST - 25 comments

The Best Podcasts of 2017

Medium's picks for the year's top podcasts. Sarah Larson's shorter take on it over at the New Yorker. And here is Wired's list.
posted by storybored at 9:11 PM PST - 71 comments

Adult coloring books, perceptual lattices, and Altair Designs

Where did adult coloring books come from? Well, The Little Folks Painting Book (1879) begat Buster’s Paint Book (1907) begat A Coloring Book: Drawings By Andy Warhol (1953) begat The Executive Coloring Book (1961) begat The Gay Coloring Book (1964)...and so on, right down to the amazing Altair Designs of the 1970s. And that's where close packing of circles, the tile makers of Morocco, and perceptual lattices come in, thanks to the authorial partnership between an aspiring mathematician and a practicing psychologist. Roger Burrows remembers the origin of Altair Designs. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:34 PM PST - 14 comments

Your Reality Is Driven By Marketing

Yesterday, some people noticed that The Mozilla Foundation hijacked their own in-browser "Shield Studies" program to distribute "Looking Glass", an Alternate Reality Game based on the TV Show Mr. Robot for Firefox 57 users. This was discovered as a fresh add-on with the entire description being "MY REALITY IS JUST DIFFERENT FROM YOURS.", leading some to suspect their browser had been hacked. Surprisingly, privacy-conscious users were not amused.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 3:20 PM PST - 110 comments

"The Book That Made Me a Feminist Was Written by an Abuser"

So, what to do with this once-beloved book? I’ve read it once since Greyland spoke out, and I don’t know if I will read it again. Probably not, I’m guessing. Discovering that powerful men are predators is disturbing, but not surprising. Learning that the author who introduced me to feminine spirituality and the hidden side of history abused children — girls and boys, her own daughter — was horrifying in an existential kind of way. I’m a writer and an editor and I know that characters can exceed their creators. I would go so far as to say that that’s the goal.
So I can keep Morgaine — what she has meant to me, what she has become in my personal mythology — while I reject Bradley.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:44 PM PST - 66 comments

Your Favorite Restaurant Sucks

Ranking America’s top 10 chain restaurants
posted by bq at 1:18 PM PST - 159 comments

"The camera is always on..."

22. Facebook wants you to send it your nudes, so it can block other people from posting those nudes as revenge porn.
As a revenge-porn prevention measure, you can upload your nudes to Facebook through Messenger, then Facebook will digitally scan them using machine learning and block anyone else from uploading that exact same photo. Facebook says they're not storing the photos anywhere; they'll only store a digital "hash" of it (basically a 1s and 0s version). least one employee has to see the photos to moderate it and verify it's actually a nude and not like, a photo of Trump.
35 Times Privacy Was A Lie In 2017 [Katie Notopoulos, BuzzFeed]
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:32 PM PST - 77 comments

Sin Luz

Sin Luz: A multimedia essay on the state of Puerto Rico from the Washington Post. Puerto Rico’s apagón, or “super blackout,” is the longest and largest major power outage in modern U.S. history. Without electricity, there is no reliable source of clean water. School is out, indefinitely. Health care is fraught. Small businesses are faltering. The tasks of daily life are both exhausting and dangerous. There is nothing to do but wait, and no one can say when the lights will come back on.
posted by dinty_moore at 11:48 AM PST - 13 comments

Charter & Voucher Schools & "Education"

A two-part investigation (by HuffPo) into the taxpayer-funded schools Betsy DeVos supports. Voucher Schools Championed By Betsy DeVos Can Teach Whatever They Want. Turns Out They Teach Lies. These schools teach creationism, racism and sexism. They’re also taking your tax dollars. Part Two: Inside The Voucher Schools That Teach L. Ron Hubbard, But Say They’re Not Scientologist. Betsy DeVos wants to expand school voucher programs throughout the U.S. Get ready for that list to include schools that promote Scientologist doctrine. [more inside]
posted by MovableBookLady at 11:44 AM PST - 7 comments

“ how many of us are there?”

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse [YouTube][Trailer] “Into the Spider Verse will be in theaters Christmas 2018, and will star Miles Morales in what the promo material is calling a “fresh vision of a different Spider-Man universe.” The elegant visual design of the trailer, with its realistic CGI environments and wiry, acrobatic Miles Morales, certainly feels fresh. The trailer doesn’t contain much except for a showcase of Miles being an excellent young Spider-Man, though it continues Black Panther’s fine tradition of soundtracking Marvel trailers with Vince Staples. The film will star Shameik Moore as the voice of Miles Morales, with Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali (Moonlight) voicing his father, Jefferson Davis, and actor Brian Tyree Henry (Atlanta) voicing Miles’s uncle, Aaron Davis, aka The Prowler.” [via: io9]
posted by Fizz at 11:20 AM PST - 30 comments

“You’re not being too paranoid.“

For the blissfully unaware, Anglin is a neo-Nazi troll and propagandist who runs The Daily Stormer, one of the more prominent sites of the white supremacist web. The passages selected by Vox Day in his blog post suggested that Anglin is persnickety about detail and presentation ― except on the subject of the Jews, who are to be blamed “for everything.”

HuffPost has acquired the 17-page document in its entirety, as well as transcripts from an IRC channel where the document was shared in an effort to recruit new writers. It’s more than a style guide for writing internet-friendly neo-Nazi prose; it’s a playbook for the alt-right.
posted by The Whelk at 10:50 AM PST - 59 comments

Are there no workhouses?

The World Inequality Report published [pdf] on Thursday by French economist Thomas Piketty, warned that inequality had ballooned to “extreme levels” in some countries and said the problem would only get worse unless governments took coordinated action to increase taxes and prevent tax avoidance. The economists said wealth inequality had become “extreme” in Russia and the US. The US’s richest 1% accounted for 39% of the nation’s wealth in 2014 [the latest year available], up from 22% in 1980.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 9:44 AM PST - 16 comments

desegregation never happened

School segregation didn’t go away. It just evolved. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:57 AM PST - 39 comments

The legal battle for segregation is won but the community battle goes on

African-American mayor in Georgia can't get the keys to get into his own office [auto-playing video] [more inside]
posted by runt at 7:42 AM PST - 5 comments

The analogue upgrade

We’re living in a digital world, but analog is making a comeback. "Digital isn’t always better. Sure, there are enormous benefits to working with media, files and devices in the digital domain, but we are, after all, still living in an analog world. As human beings, we still touch things with our hands, hear things with our ears and see things with our eyes — all of which are decidedly (and beautifully) analog reception devices." [more inside]
posted by Juso No Thankyou at 7:42 AM PST - 111 comments

“That was live, 7. Not taped”

52 years ago today, the joint NASA mission of Gemini 6A and Gemini 7 marked a milestone: the first time that two orbiting objects successfully rendezvoused with one another in space. The Gemini 6 command pilot and Mercury Seven astronaut Wally Schirra (and onboard computers) brought the capsule within 1 foot of Gemini 7 and the two spaceships stayed in close orbit for four-and-a-half hours. Shortly after their separation, they gleefully marked another milestone: the first song transmitted from space. [more inside]
posted by AgentRocket at 7:08 AM PST - 4 comments


Same-Sex Native American Couple Hopes to Break Barriers Through Dance A same-sex couple who fell in love while performing on the pow wow dance circuit is hoping they can bring confidence to other young Native Americans grappling with their sexual identities.
posted by hippybear at 6:21 AM PST - 14 comments

The Mesopotamian Pantheon

Ancient Mesopotamian Gods and Goddesses is an overview of the pantheon originating among the Sumerians which was then taken up by various later cultures, including Babylonians and Assyrians. The site has entries on the fifty most important deities, from the obscure (Papsukkal, Geshtinanna, Tashmetu) to the well-known (Tiamat, Enki, Ishtar). The site also includes a glossary and a timeline of Mesopotamian history.
posted by Kattullus at 5:37 AM PST - 11 comments

When We Fight, We Have Our Children With Us

Friends ask me about being a parent who also remains politically involved. They ask me what it’s like to bring my kids with me to demonstrations, meetings and trainings, to breastfeed while facing a cop in riot gear, to be peed on by my baby at a direct-action training, to carry my toddler piggyback while marching through the streets. They want to know what it was like to bring my two young children to Standing Rock.
posted by ellieBOA at 5:15 AM PST - 13 comments

China’s big brother: artificial intelligence

China’s big brother: how artificial intelligence is catching criminals and advancing health care Zhu Long, co-founder of pioneering Yitu Technologies, whose facial-recognition algorithms have logged 1.8 billion faces and caught criminals across China, says AI will change the world more than the industrial revolution. [more inside]
posted by whitelotus at 3:14 AM PST - 39 comments

December 14

Hey Alma!

Welcome to Alma (, a website geared toward Jewish millennial women focusing on topics of cultural interest and forging a virtual community for those seeking a connection to others grappling with common “Jew-ish” issues. [more inside]
posted by elsietheeel at 4:15 PM PST - 12 comments

I aint one of yall peers, I'm the sum of all fears

The Roots' Black Thought unleashes a blistering freestyle on Funkmaster Flex's show on Hot 97 (NSFW language) for 10 minutes straight, doing everything from flipping words to talking about his position on late night television, to referencing a multitude of rappers from Rakim, the D.O.C., Kanye and Dr. Dre, to Kendrick Lamar, to talking about his mother and his upbringing and the current crop of rappers.
posted by cashman at 2:37 PM PST - 47 comments

Because a chicken does not have a penis.

What's the egg industry's biggest logistical challenge right now? Distinguishing whether a seconds-old chick is a male or a potential egg-layer. That's where chicken sexers come in; they're essential, and accurate sexers are prized in the industry. But how do they know what they know? And what can their well-developed pattern recognition teach us? James McWilliams, for Pacific Standard: The Lucrative Art of Chicken Sexing.
posted by MonkeyToes at 2:07 PM PST - 55 comments

Stopping By the Ruins

"One of the most interesting places my ruins research has taken me is into the world of ancient Arabic poetry. So here's the story of how a tiny fragment from the opening of ancient poems became one of the most enduring poetic tropes in history:" (Twitter thread)
posted by Paddle to Sea at 1:50 PM PST - 10 comments

Penguin Nest Cam! Eggs hatching soon!

Welcome to the nest! Streaming live from the National Aviary's Penguin Point, we are pleased to bring you the soon-to-be newest members of our African Penguin colony. Watch the penguin parents care for their eggs, and then their chicks, as they hatch and grow. [more inside]
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:32 PM PST - 22 comments


Why millennials are facing the scariest financial future of any generation since the Great Depression. Reality for many people in this country is the inability to afford rent, buy a home, pay for healthcare, and get a steady job. Why is this often the rule rather than the exception, and what effects does it have on millennials and the future?
posted by holmesian at 1:26 PM PST - 169 comments

Shirley Jackson reads The Lottery

Shirley Jackson was born on this day in 1916. In 1960 Folkways Records issued an LP of her reading The Lottery. Listen here.
posted by OmieWise at 1:26 PM PST - 15 comments

Miss Mary Hamilton and Ms. Sheila Michaels, claiming titles for women

Mary Hamilton and Sheila Michaels were civil rights activists in the '60s. We know their story in part because Sheila Michaels recorded hours of interviews with Mary Hamilton in the '90s, and in part because Mary Hamilton fought to be referred to as Miss Hamilton in court, in a case that went all the way to the Supreme Court where her case was decided without hearing any oral arguments in 1964. Sheila Michaels was inspired by a piece of mail addressed to her roommate, Mary Hamilton, to be the champion for the title of Ms. starting in in 1961 (previously). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:23 PM PST - 7 comments

The Younger Miss Bennets Expose Themselves at the Netherfield Ball.

Pride and Prejudice reimagined. TL: DR version: Just check the tags.
posted by ALeaflikeStructure at 12:36 PM PST - 14 comments


Spinning coins or tops is not random, but there is an algorithm to correct for this in playing dreidel.
posted by clew at 11:48 AM PST - 24 comments

Lost rivers, buried creeks, and disappeared streams

Hidden Hydrology is an occasional blog that investigates the history of disappearing and disappeared examples of water-based topology and infrastructure in urban settings. A recent post, The Water in the Wood, looks at the use of wooden water and sewer pipes in 19th century cities.
posted by carter at 11:20 AM PST - 10 comments

We Must Do Politics Or Have Politics Done To Us

The Communications Workers of America reached a tentative deal with AT&T for 21,000 workers who had been without a contract since February. New Media giants Vox and Buzzfeed are fighting attempts of workers to unionize, with Vox accused of union busting (Vox Media Union response) and Buzzfeed’s Jonah Peretti continues his opposition to organization. [more inside]
posted by The Whelk at 10:12 AM PST - 21 comments

"Ms. Faulkner is not a student at Middlebury College and never has been"

Last month Jame's O'Keefe, the conservative backed agent provocateur who had just failed in an attempt to discredit accusers of Roy Moore, spoke at Middlebury College to a crowd of around 50 people. His largely unwanted presence at the Vermont liberal arts college (or at least in its vicinity) would be a standard piece of Culture Wars agitation except for one thing: Nobody at the college seemed to know who had invited him. And the more they delved into it, the weirder it got.
posted by Artw at 9:30 AM PST - 63 comments

Lisa Simpson is now a Disney Princess

It's official: Disney has bought 21st Century Fox 'Disney now has its hands on Fox’s key franchises including “X-Men,” “Alien,” “Predator,” “Avatar,” “Die Hard,” “Planet of the Apes,” “Kingsman” and “Fantastic Four” (which is listed in the press release). Disney now also controls the full rights to all “Star Wars” films with the previously Fox-owned 1977 original likely to go back to Disney’s Lucasfilm – meaning theatrical re-releases and a potential home video version of the original theatrical cut.' [more inside]
posted by cendawanita at 9:28 AM PST - 82 comments

The Journal of Prince Studies

The Journal of African American Studies devoted its September 2017 issue to Prince. You can read and/or download all the articles at the journal's site.
posted by goatdog at 7:47 AM PST - 7 comments

tensions between the ephemeral and permanent

It's 30 years old: Snowman 1987/2016 (multimedia)
posted by jjray at 7:46 AM PST - 2 comments

Are we nearly there yet?

- Why Planes Don't Fly Faster [SLYT 11:32] "Nowadays American Airlines Flight 3 still leaves JFK daily at noon, but the difference is that today Flight 3 is scheduled to arrive at LAX at 3:27 p.m, 44 minutes later than in 1967." So what's going on? [more inside]
posted by Juso No Thankyou at 6:50 AM PST - 47 comments

That's No Moon...

When the moon hits your eye like a big...pancake? Photographer Robert Pufleb and designer Nadine Schlieper have created some astonishingly realistic images of possible lunar surfaces in their new book Alternative Moons using PANCAKES. [more inside]
posted by briank at 6:18 AM PST - 6 comments

“Yeah, I’m all in.”

When Phil came back in November, he wanted so badly to stay sober, and for the next three months he did. But it was a struggle, heartbreaking to watch. For the first time I realized that his addiction was bigger than either of us. I bowed my head and thought, I can’t fix this. It was the moment that I let go. I told him, “I can’t monitor you all the time. I love you, I’m here for you, and I’ll always be here for you. But I can’t save you.”Mimi O’Donnell Reflects on the Loss of Philip Seymour Hoffman and the Devastation of Addiction
posted by timshel at 2:28 AM PST - 39 comments

Papercraft Refugees

Eat Your Cake; I'm a Vietnamese Refugee (2010) (10’09) This documentary is about courage and survival and having the will and perseverance to succeed despite considerable obstacles. The story of Mitchell Pham's remarkable journey is told through the evocative use of stop-frame animation, created from a Vietnamese traditional folded paper craft, mixed with live action to show an innovative account of his harrowing but ultimately inspirational journey from Vietnamese prison camp, to a life in New Zealand after the Vietnam war. [more inside]
posted by Start with Dessert at 12:26 AM PST - 2 comments

December 13

Platform Democracy and Governance

Estonia, the Digital Republic - "Its government is virtual, borderless, blockchained, and secure. Has this tiny post-Soviet nation found the way of the future?" [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 11:43 PM PST - 10 comments

Yacob and Amo: Africa's Precursors to Locke, Hume and Kant

The African Enlightenment: The highest ideals of Locke, Hume and Kant were first proposed more than a century earlier by an Ethiopian in a cave [more inside]
posted by Panjandrum at 10:47 PM PST - 20 comments

... self-deprecating comedic humility balances the gravity of life...

“Heavyweight,” the Podcast That Contends with Our Regrets "When the writer, radio producer, and humorist Jonathan Goldstein set out to create his Gimlet podcast, “Heavyweight,” whose second season concluded on Thursday, he considered introducing each episode with a subway P.A. system that would talk to him like the voice of God. On the podcast, Goldstein—a longtime producer at “This American Life” whose radio show “Wiretap” aired on the CBC for more than a decade—acts as a kind of social instigator and meddling therapist. With gumption, empathy, and comic awkwardness, he ventures into people’s lives and tries to help them resolve things from the past: an unsolved human mystery, lingering guilt, a falling-out, hurt that’s turned to grievance." (slNewYorker)
posted by crazy with stars at 8:15 PM PST - 16 comments

the cake is a lie.

The All-Consuming Emotions of Food in Video Games [US Gamer] “Food is often seen in games as a means of survival, mostly as health. A piece of bread stolen off a vendor's table in Skyrim will grant you two health; the cabbage stew at the tavern will grant you 10. In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the spicy pepper steak will take the edge off of cold weather. A game like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night has a huge inventory of food items, many of which are dropped after knocking out enemies. While the enormous variety adds an element of immersiveness into Castlevania, it's often nothing health or a novelty. Though none of these games' food systems could be considered simplistic, they have a narrow view of eating; food is health, and eating is the mechanic in which it's used. It's easy to see food only as a function of survival, but there’s a whole breadth of games—” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 6:57 PM PST - 43 comments

In a crisis, play "Don't Stop Believin'"

The Bar [And Bat] Mitzvah Party Starters
posted by zarq at 3:19 PM PST - 16 comments

What? A swallow carrying a coconut?

Coconuts in mediaeval England weren't as rare as you'd think, no matter what Monty Python would have you believe. They were a common item in wills, fashioned into elaborate drinking cups.
posted by Helga-woo at 3:04 PM PST - 14 comments

The digital arms race in DDoS is inexorably linked to Minecraft

How a Dorm Room Minecraft Scam Brought Down the Internet (Wired) “They just got greedy—they thought, ‘If we can knock off our competitors, we can corner the market on both servers and mitigation,’” Walton says. In fact, according to court documents, the primary driver behind the original creation of Mirai was creating "a weapon capable of initiating powerful denial-of-service attacks against business competitors and others against whom White and his coconspirators held grudges.” [more inside]
posted by CrystalDave at 2:55 PM PST - 23 comments


"Rock-comet" 3200 Phaethon is approaching the Earth and it's closest point of approach will be a mere 6,407,618 miles away. That means it's time for the best meteor shower of the year, the Geminid meteor shower, expected to peak at maximum tonight under a very slim and late-rising Moon [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:18 PM PST - 18 comments

"I think you overestimate their chances."

USA Today lists the 40 best Star Wars movie characters. [more inside]
posted by hanov3r at 1:44 PM PST - 79 comments

In case of nuclear war, check under left arm

Inspired by this comment, I thought I would learn a little more about blood type tattoos. [more inside]
posted by TedW at 12:39 PM PST - 13 comments

the matter of false confessions

"As soon as they start pushing an interrogation into a predetermined answer, as opposed to the truth, the outcome is inevitable." Amanda Knox on Life After Wrongful Conviction. Of further interest, False Confessions.
posted by Armed Only With Hubris at 11:33 AM PST - 29 comments

The Best Days of Our Lives

Are you having a bad day? Would you like to see some videos of people having a GREAT day and share in their excitement? How about some kids getting into college? Warning: there is screaming. Lots of it. Big article with many examples of the genre. More below the fold, if your eardrums can handle it. [more inside]
posted by Elly Vortex at 11:04 AM PST - 21 comments

Doftana Red: the Disappeared Prison Newspaper

A prison in Romania, Doftana, spawned an intellectual newspaper for prisoners only. And then it was gone. It had been written in code on cigarette paper or foil, and pages from library books. When the prison closed, the ephemeral paper was lost. But it nurtured political activists who took its ideas to the outer world.
posted by MovableBookLady at 10:58 AM PST - 3 comments

A Navajo Night Chant in Photographs

The most sacred of all the Navajo ceremonies, the Yébîchai cheremony, aka the Night Chant , is a healing ritual that takes place over many days. Masked figures chant and perform ritual dances around the ill person in a sweat lodge, to restore "order, harmonize and re-establish and situate social relations." Sandpaintings (2) and Ye’b’tsai-tsa’pas, circle kethawns, are also employed to help heal the sick. [more inside]
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 10:14 AM PST - 4 comments

2017 in music: more light to fight the darkness

Music and politics have a long history and in 2017, a new chapter in their fraught and complicated relationship burst open (related, previously) .... It was a strong year for guitar rock, the best of it coming from relatively younger bands dominated by women (related).... 2017 was also a year when much beloved artists abandoned the sounds their fans first fell in love with to try something new.... There was so much more that happened in 2017 .... but let's try to wrap our heads around some of it, or at least take some time to read year-end lists, or skip the words and listen to the music. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:41 AM PST - 28 comments

United State of Pop 2017 (How We Do It)

The Earworm 2017 has landed, as is tradition. [more inside]
posted by Talez at 9:29 AM PST - 36 comments

im a soviet refugee singing for salam

Orgonite are a Middle Eastern Rave group from Tel Aviv with lyrics in Hebrew, Russian, English and Arabic: Habibi Yaeni, HAMSA, Adibass, Kayfuyem (feat. Arsen Petrosov) [more inside]
posted by griphus at 9:24 AM PST - 7 comments

Basically, anything that can be fancied, we attempt to fancy.

"Nichole Perkins was parched. 'The thirstiest,' she offers. And who could blame her? The writer had been scrolling through Twitter when she came across it—a photo of Luke Cage actor Mike Colter, seated, smoldering. She paused. And then she wrote 'I bet he mashes his cornbread in his greens, eats it with his fingers, then looks at you like 'you next.' Elsewhere, Bim Adewunmi read Perkins' tweet and gasped for air. She was scandalized, appalled, horrified! She was in love: 'I was like, 'It's so disgusting! It's disgusting. Oh my god, it's amazing.' She had known Perkins for years, but the tweet was a revelation. Perkins wasn't just a likeminded woman on the internet. She was the rarer breed: a friend in filth." And thus - Thirst Aid Kit, a buzzfeed podcast, tumblr, and twitter, was born. [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura at 8:55 AM PST - 31 comments

Cake Breakers, Marrow Spoons, and Ice Cream Sporks

Odd and unusual utensils -- Odd and unusual -- Historically odd and currently unusual.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:50 AM PST - 27 comments

No jokes, just a new politics thread

People in high profile government jobs share commonly held view of multiply bankrupt toupee model [more inside]
posted by Emmy Rae at 8:31 AM PST - 2070 comments

By case 3, Dr Brown Bear displays signs of "burnout"

The BMJ asks "Does Peppa Pig encourage unnecessary use of primary health care resources? [more inside]
posted by threetwentytwo at 8:14 AM PST - 20 comments

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away

Trailer for The Star Wars based on the concept art of Ralph McQuarrie (SLVimeo)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:31 AM PST - 21 comments

In the room when it happens

Andrés Forero, drummer for the musical Hamilton, demonstrates his drum parts from two songs in the show.
posted by thelonius at 5:12 AM PST - 12 comments

Harry Potter and the Portrait of What Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash

Botnik runs the Harry Potter books through predictive keyboards. It is a thing of laughter.
posted by Kitteh at 4:37 AM PST - 35 comments

How the Index Card Cataloged the World

Yet it never occurred to me, as I rehearsed my talking points more than a decade ago, that my index cards belonged to the very European history I was studying. The index card was a product of the Enlightenment, conceived by one of its towering figures: Carl Linnaeus, the Swedish botanist, physician, and the father of modern taxonomy. But like all information systems, the index card had unexpected political implications, too: It helped set the stage for categorizing people, and for the prejudice and violence that comes along with such classification.
posted by ellieBOA at 4:29 AM PST - 15 comments

“We warned him we weren’t very good with hits.”

All 218 U2 songs ranked from worst to best.
posted by Sebmojo at 3:39 AM PST - 98 comments

Origin of Species with bonus pictures

Darwin's young children sometimes painted pictures and wrote stories on the back of draft manuscripts for Darwin's books & notes. They are very sweet.
posted by Lezzles at 3:01 AM PST - 4 comments


Shell Climate Solutions Roadshow: UK-based artist and political cartoonist Darren Cullen responds to Shell's Make the Future campaign. [more inside]
posted by Juso No Thankyou at 1:25 AM PST - 4 comments

December 12

The Anarchist Bikers Who Came to Help

In November, the artist and writer Molly Crabapple spent a week in Puerto Rico documenting grassroots efforts by communities to rebuild after Hurricane Maria. Here are excerpts from her sketchbook
posted by Artw at 10:51 PM PST - 2 comments

The Doomsday Diet

As the 1950s unfolded, it became clear that buying a few extra cans of food at the grocery store wasn’t going to feed the entire country sufficiently. In urban areas, high-rises, and many southern states where homes lacked basements, there would need to be larger government-run shelters. People couldn’t be expected to bring their own supplies and food; everything they would need had to be ready and waiting inside a shelter when nuclear war arrived. The Eisenhower administration embarked on the quest to develop the perfect “Doomsday food.”
Meet the all-purpose survival cracker, the US government's Cold War-era nutrition solution for life after a nuclear blast.
posted by Rumple at 10:33 PM PST - 27 comments

The essence of joy and heartbreak

"He channeled the essence of joy and heartbreak into hook-laden three minute pop songs infused with a lifelong passion for rock & roll." Pat DiNizio, lead singer and songwriter of the Smithereens, has passed away at the age of 62. [more inside]
posted by litlnemo at 10:24 PM PST - 39 comments

Is this a stain I see before me? Out, out damned spot!

How to Clean up Holiday Party messes. "TH: What other tips or tricks for the holiday party season can you give us? JK: If I had to tell people to carry just one thing with them to handle stains on the fly, it would be hand sanitizer. Weird but true. It has a high concentration of alcohol in it, which is a very good stain remover and will work on everything from pen to food spills to blood. Not that you’d need to get blood stains out of anything during the holidays, of course."
posted by storybored at 10:07 PM PST - 10 comments

Theater Of War

The Healing Power of Greek Tragedy: Do plays written centuries ago have the power to heal modern day traumas? A new project raises the curtain on a daring new experiment [Smithsonian Magazine lengthy article, lightly discusses PTSD from war or police violence]
posted by hippybear at 9:56 PM PST - 4 comments

The name is Finland. Tom of Finland.

Earlier this year, Finland submitted the eponymously-titled Tom of Finland as its foreign-language film entry for the 2017 Academy Awards. The film - directed by Dome Karukoski and starring Pekka Strang - is a biopic chronicling the life and artwork of Touko Laaksonen, better known as Tom of Finland. It is currently screening on selected dates in the United States and Canada (direct link to trailer here) . Some links likely NSFW. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:53 PM PST - 22 comments

Which famous Toronto raccoon are you?

Raccoons are some of Toronto's most famous residents. Their exploits and adventures frequently make the news. Now you can answer that age old question: Which famous Toronto raccoon are you? [more inside]
posted by thecjm at 7:52 PM PST - 10 comments

Do not need Ultraman

Rusborg (Русборг) is the largest international festival of military reenactors in Russia. Last May, during the Battle For The Bridge, one of the participants spotted a sky demon and brought it down with a mighty spear cast. The heroic deed was immortalized with a runestone. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:51 PM PST - 20 comments

Foundation and Empire

Jim Simons, noted mathematician (winner of the Veblen Prize) and founder of ungodly-successful quant hedge fund Renaissance Technologies, is spending his retirement running an institute focusing on data analyses in support of tough scientific problems. Simons made more than $1.5 billion in 2015, despite being retired from the fund. Some of that money is going to support the private foundation the Flatiron Institute. Its mission is "to advance scientific research through computational methods, including data analysis, modeling and simulation." But what do we think of a world where patronage of science is once again passing into the capricious and unaccountable hands of the uber-wealthy? [more inside]
posted by praemunire at 6:35 PM PST - 28 comments

“I created this game for a certain kind of hurt them.”

Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy [YouTube][Gameplay Trailer] “Getting Over It is a game where you play as an at least partially nude man in a giant pot who navigates the world by using a sledgehammer. This is controlled entirely with the mouse, making for a rather curious control scheme as you try to drag or push yourself along. It was developed by the eponymous Bennett Foddy, who's best known for games like QWOP and CLOP and says it's meant as an homage to the 2002 game Sexy Hiking. But as you can see in the video above, playing it is a maddening, hilarious experience. You're meant to ascend a mountain to find "great mysteries and a wonderful reward," but doing so is much easier said than done. ” [via: Gamespot]
posted by Fizz at 6:20 PM PST - 13 comments

Nope nope nope nope nope

Nematomorpha - The Parasitic Worm That Turns Crickets Into Suicidal Maniacs (Matt Simon, Wired) [more inside]
posted by Start with Dessert at 6:19 PM PST - 14 comments

Yusuf is this year's Lucia at school, as a robot

In Scandinavia, children make a Lucia procession every December 13th. This year Yusuf was able to lead the procession even though he cannot leave his home (Facebook video link) A school teacher and a pedagogue at a special needs school in Copenhagen have a 13 year old student with a genetic mutation that has forced him to stay home in order to avoid infections. Together, they built a robot for Yusuf, so he can not only attend class online, but also go along on school outings and participate in some physical activities. [more inside]
posted by mumimor at 1:29 PM PST - 9 comments

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee dies in office

At the age of 65, the Mayor of San Francisco died unexpectedly Tuesday morning. Ed Lee was a tireless advocate for San Francisco values, and was a huge supporter of the city's Sanctuary policies. He was the first mayor of Chinese descent, a huge deal in a city with a large Asian population that has not always reckoned with its racist past. He will be missed. He is replaced until a special election by London Breed.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 12:15 PM PST - 51 comments

Computron does not enter sleep mode for 10:36:02:22

Fandom for Robots, by Vina Jie-Min Prasad (Short Story) Computron feels no emotion towards the animated television show titled Hyperdimension Warp Record (超次元 ワープ レコード). After all, Computron does not have any emotion circuits installed, and is thus constitutionally incapable of experiencing “excitement,” “hatred,” or “frustration.” It is completely impossible for Computron to experience emotions such as “excitement about the seventh episode of HyperWarp,” “hatred of the anime’s short episode length” or “frustration that Friday is so far away.”
posted by CrystalDave at 11:06 AM PST - 8 comments

See two aitch six ohhh

Buzzfeed's Eugene Lee Yang and Kelsey Darragh drink every state's most iconic alcohol, although the definitions of "most" and "iconic" are frequently stretched to breaking (video; contains strong language). [more inside]
posted by uncleozzy at 10:29 AM PST - 113 comments

We're HR and We're Here to ... Ahem ... Help

The New York Times reports on the growing dissatisfaction with HR departments' responses to sexual harassment allegations. Inspired by the #MeToo movement, more victims of harassment are coming forward to report incidents after they've taken place. But story after story suggests that HR may not only be ineffective, but actually be part of the problem. [more inside]
posted by zooropa at 9:53 AM PST - 74 comments

[Puts down snifter]

Time once again for our holiday tradition: The Hater's Guide To The Williams-Sonoma Catalog by Drew Magary. [more inside]
posted by Chrysostom at 9:41 AM PST - 92 comments

It's basically about the weiner dog

Earlier this year, Southern California-based sister band Haim released a video for their single "Want You Back," which demonstrated an effortless sort of swaggery cool. The video inspired parodies, most of which only highlighted how well done the original was: Some are very (intentionally?) bad. Some are bad, but earnest. Some are brief, but endearing. And one, featuring a weiner dog who transcends time and space, is very, very good. [more inside]
posted by mudpuppie at 8:52 AM PST - 13 comments

Kipple Field Notes

Things We Carry , by Hillary Predko [Archive]
Kipple Field Notes is a work of independent research by Hillary Predko. This work is a self directed exploration of the question: "How might we use design to reframe systems of production, products, and methods of consumption to create a paradigm of resource stewardship which could protect the biosphere and build more resilient human communities?" This work explores the concept of kipple, or useless objects, in the context of maker culture, gentrification and mass production. The following five essays explore this question in a few different ways
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:47 AM PST - 8 comments

A few scenes of holiday shopping from yesteryear

Losing Ourselves in Holiday Windows
posted by jjray at 7:29 AM PST - 9 comments

Struggle for the Heart of Dixie

One month ago, Alabama's sleepy special election to replace Jeff Sessions in the U.S. Senate was rocked by bombshell underage sexual assault allegations against far-right firebrand Roy Moore, lifting Democratic challenger Doug Jones into an unthinkable lead. But after state leaders resisted calls for Moore to drop out, GOP opposition eroded, with the most toxic elements of the party eventually giving full-throated endorsement (and $$$) to the twice-impeached theocrat. Polls showed Moore rebounding, but the unique confluence of scandal, tribalism, enthusiasm, and high stakes in this deep red state makes turnout impossible to predict. Polls are opening now, and close at 7PM central time -- stay tuned to see if the Yellowhammer state elects a radical child abuser... or the first Democrat in a quarter century. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi at 5:02 AM PST - 1244 comments

Spotify Playlists Are Extremely My Shit

Grace Spelman is obsessed with ultra-specific playlists. [All non-YouTube links are to Spotify] [more inside]
posted by ellieBOA at 4:15 AM PST - 21 comments

We add songs and they start playing all over the world

Meet The Music Nerds Behind The Tunes You Hear At Starbucks [more inside]
posted by Juso No Thankyou at 12:55 AM PST - 27 comments

All borderlands hum with the frequencies of the unconscious.

Paul Scraton walks a stretch of the Irish border and reflects on the visible and invisible, past and current, borders of Europe. [more inside]
posted by Helga-woo at 12:42 AM PST - 6 comments

December 11

The Coast Guard's 'Floating Guantanamos'

"In an expansion of the war on drugs, the U.S. Coast Guard is targeting low-level smugglers in international waters — shackling them on ships for weeks or even months before arraignment in American courts." (SLNYTM) [more inside]
posted by Chutzler at 9:35 PM PST - 13 comments

Nothing Says Appetizing Like Freeze-Dried Mice Holding Champagne

Competitive tablescaping: it's intense, it's a little weird, and it's growing. [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:42 PM PST - 14 comments

Fiery the angels fell

The 10 Best Music Videos of 2017
posted by Artw at 7:21 PM PST - 24 comments

Only one Lucas won an Oscar for Star Wars.

David Welsh breaks down how Star Wars was saved in the editing room during the three months leading up the the release in May 1977. In February of that year, George Lucas had screened a rough cut of his new science fiction epic for some of his closest friends including Brian DePalma and Steven Spielberg. The reviews were bad, very bad. Lucas and his editing team headed by his wife Marsha Lucas went back and massively re-cut for the next ninety or so days to produce a coherent and exciting film from what had been confusing and flat.
posted by octothorpe at 7:05 PM PST - 97 comments

“DDR is now in this renaissance because we can be competitive again,”

The rise, fall and return of Dance Dance Revolution in America [Polygon] ““The lament of the DDR player in America [has always been] you find a machine, you’re just thrilled to play it, and the down arrow just doesn’t work at all,” says Felker, who placed third overall at KAC. “The sensors are just totally busted. You go to the tech and he says ‘Well, it works. It turns on.’ You’re like, ‘That’s not the point.’ I used to tell techs the arrow needs to be cleaned out a bit, and they would take some Windex and spray the top of the panel and wipe it. I’m like ‘dude, that’s not how this works,’ but they don’t want to do any work.”” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 5:38 PM PST - 24 comments

All Japanese persons, both alien and non-alien

Earlier this year a film curator at the Internet Archive digitized a 16mm color film reel shot by an unknown cameraperson which captured 17 minutes of footage from a concentration camp for Japanese-American citizens in Jerome, Arkansas in June 1944, showing the daily lives of detainees and camp personnel and their families. [more inside]
posted by XMLicious at 2:14 PM PST - 16 comments

Abortion clinic procedure room as sacred space

"I don't put basic reproductive health needs of women beyond the reach of compassion that I derive from my Christianity, whereas other people simply do." In a Radio Boston interview with host Meghna Chakrabarti, Dr. Willie Parker explains how his Christianity called him to help women who need abortions. "Even if I conceded that a fetus is a person on par with the woman carrying it, the problem still remains: How do you give rights to a fetus, to a person that's inside of a person, without taking rights from the person that the person is inside of?" [more inside]
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 1:03 PM PST - 69 comments

Let's be Wizards!

So you want to be a wizard? (PDF) Julia Evans (aka @b0rk, possibly MeFi’s own?) is a programmer, debugger, ‘zine author, speaker, and prolific blogger. Julia does a great job of pulling back the curtain on how computers work at a lower level than most people (including many in tech!) are familiar with, and by doing so is introducing systems programming to a much wider audience in an enthusiastic and approachable way. [more inside]
posted by yeahwhatever at 11:59 AM PST - 14 comments

Dark lipstick looks amazing until it doesn't

"You’re badly dehydrated and starving, but check out those smoochers! Just…don’t…move and you’ll maintain the hotness. Sure, your friends will eventually notice that you haven’t participated in their conversation for hours, but when they inquire into what’s up with you, strike a sexy, mysterious pose and their concerns will sail out the window." (slReductress) [more inside]
posted by Kitteh at 11:06 AM PST - 77 comments

C ya laterrrrr

Dan Hett, whose brother Martyn was killed in the Manchester Arena bombing, has created a hypertext game based on his experience in the aftermath of the attack. [CN: terrorism, death, grief]. [more inside]
posted by threetwentytwo at 9:58 AM PST - 7 comments

Descent Fanzine (5 vols, 1994-1999), by Stephen O'Malley

"DESCENT MAGAZINE was a fanzine published between 1994-1999 by Stephen O'Malley [Sunn O)))], many issues were in great collaboration with Tyler Davis (The Ajna Offensive). You can now download a free PDF portfolio (360mb) compilation of all five issues of DESCENT MAGAZINE. The issues are also individually available for download [on his site]. Please read the notes on each issue as well. There are related goodies on that site as well."
posted by OmieWise at 8:58 AM PST - 3 comments

Cooking with The Onion

Instructional cooking videos are all the rage these days, and the fine folks at The Onion are getting in on the action. Learn how to make a Perfect One-Pot, Six-Pan, 10-Wok, 25-Baking Sheet Dinner. Or How To Sharpen Your Knife With Your Sword. Here's one for How To Make Slow-Cooked Russet Potatoes That Fall Right Off The Bone. Too hard? Can You Hapless Fuckwits At Least Handle An Omelette?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:41 AM PST - 61 comments

View From 30,000 Feet

View From 30,000 Feet. Airport runways, reinterpreted as minimalist art, drawn to scale. [via mefi projects]
posted by bondcliff at 7:38 AM PST - 16 comments

He takes shots other people haven't even tried before

“Pistol” Pete Maravich vs. George “Iceman” Gervin — H-O-R-S-E
posted by timshel at 6:43 AM PST - 22 comments

You Can Go With This OR You Can Go With That

Among internet-based quizzes, some of the most interesting ask you to decide which of two categories various similar-sounding-or-looking things fit into. John Atkinson's very literate comic Wrong Hands has gotten into it with...
Renaissance Artist OR Coffee?
Greek Philosopher OR Ailment?
Font OR Dog Breed?
and he's not the only one... [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:38 AM PST - 21 comments

Obi's Nightmare

Ramón Esono Ebolé is a cartoonist from Equatorial Guinea who has been jailed by the state since September for the publication of a graphic novel satirizing Equatorial Guinea's dictator, Obiang Nguema. "Obi's Nightmare" imagines Obiang forced to live as an ordinary Equatorial Guinean, "A sort of gleefully gross-out Christmas Carol with a serious moral message about the damage corruption had caused." You can read the graphic novel online (and here's an excerpt, translated to English). You can also play Obi's Nightmare, the game! This year, Ebolé was the recipient of the Courage in Cartooning award from the Cartoonists Rights Network International.
posted by ChuraChura at 6:31 AM PST - 2 comments

The Last Aztarac

One of the rarest arcade games out there is a color vector machine from Centuri, one of their few in-house titles, called Aztarac (more info - gameplay video). Designed by Tim Stryker, it was a color vector game and only saw a production run of 500 machines (some say more like 200). It is ultra-rare, and almost no units are known to exist intact. The machine failed in the market and Stryker got out of games, eventually finding success as the creator of the MajorBBS bulletin board software before tragically taking his own life at the age of 41.
This is the story of how Tim Stryker's lost, personal Aztarac machine was found for sale in an ad, and how it was restored.
posted by JHarris at 3:19 AM PST - 38 comments

Johnny Marr & Maxine Peake's The Priest.

Two Manchester greats have teamed up to make a album about homelessness. The Guardian has its excellent first track (The Priest) and a background article that's well worth reading.
posted by Paul Slade at 2:35 AM PST - 6 comments

Extreme tort reform - NZ’s ACC

Would you give up the right to sue for personal injury actions if all of your injury treatment costs, rehabilitation costs, lost wages/salary, and family support were paid for? Tort Reform, Kiwi-Style (Peter H. Schuck, 2008) Yale Law School Faculty Scholarship Series. 1679. [more inside]
posted by Start with Dessert at 1:01 AM PST - 26 comments

You may make it, though LEGO most definitely won't

Why Lego won’t ever make military-related toys. "While you’ll see a lot of spaceships and weaponry like swords or tiny 18th-century muskets, you’ll (sic) definitely won’t ever see military-related Lego toys. Plastic toy soldiers have never gone out of fashion among grade-schoolers, yet adhering to a strict internal policy Lego chose to forfeit some pretty good profits because it doesn’t think war should be seen as child’s play." [more inside]
posted by Juso No Thankyou at 12:47 AM PST - 51 comments

December 10

Weird Arby's Guy, also Weird Satanist Guy, wasn't actually interviewed

In 2011, former 7 Action News Reporter Julie Banovic did a story about a car smashing through an Arby's in Royal Oak, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. Then in March 2016, the story circulated again, this time with a much more entertaining interview. "I thought perhaps the end of days was upon us. But it turned out it was just a disoriented old lady in a champagne-colored Toyota Avalon, crashing into my world like DNB circa 1996," said the fake Arby's employee. That "weird Arby's guy" is Andrew Bowser, who also edited himself as "weird satanist guy" in a WDIV story on the satanic statue unveiling in Detroit. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:36 PM PST - 4 comments

Yes, it's an 𝘢𝘥𝘰𝘳𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦 spider, dammit

Lucas the Spider is a test character being developed by animator Joshua Slice, voiced by his nephew (also named Lucas). He has produced two brief videos so far: in which he introduces himself and in which he politely asks to come inside.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:34 PM PST - 22 comments

Live In a Blissful Bubble For Your Own Safety

A 13-year-old girl managed to become a writer for on-line sports publications. She pretended to be a man and kept up the masquerade for eight years. [more inside]
posted by CCBC at 4:47 PM PST - 51 comments

Why these friendly robots can't be good friends to our kids

MIT's Sherry Turkle writes about the new wave of "sociable robots" we're seeing. "These machines are seductive and offer the wrong payoff: the illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship, the illusion of connection without the reciprocity of a mutual relationship. And interacting with these empathy machines may get in the way of children’s ability to develop a capacity for empathy themselves."
posted by forza at 3:42 PM PST - 66 comments

' “spit” here refers to a horizontal rotisserie '

A baumtorte, or baumkuchen, is a traditional German cake, so-called because the thin layers of batter resemble tree rings when sliced. This 'king of cakes' is traditionally made on a cake spit, or rotisserie, the baumkuchen is one of several so-called "spit cakes": "The exact origin of Baumkuchen, like that of so many other food specialties, seems murky. One theory is that it began as a Hungarian wedding cake. Another is that it was invented in the German town of Salzwedel, in the early nineteenth century, where it quickly became a favorite of the visiting Prussian king. Polish sekacz, Lithuanian sakotis, and Swedish spettekaka are other regional versions of what are classified as spit cakes, a term that might give pause in this era of blood-and-guts chefs. Fortunately, “spit” here refers to a horizontal rotisserie (now powered by electricity) that spins constantly above or in front of a wood or gas fire as the baker ladles over it anywhere from ten to thirty-six layers of sunny batter, which has the consistency of a foamy liquid custard." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:30 PM PST - 44 comments

Be calmly aware that this may periodically expand, contract or combust.

"[Songs from the Edges] is a playlist of this week's top 100 or so fan discoveries from the 1500+ microgenres I help track at Spotify. Some of the styles you will know, some you won't. Some you won't like. Some may make you lunge towards the Skip button after 4 seconds. But see if you can keep yourself from hitting it quite yet. That song may sound weird, but there's a group of people somewhere for whom it's the most exciting thing happening right now. Maybe they have a point. " [more inside]
posted by peppercorn at 2:12 PM PST - 24 comments

Hi everyone. I'm happy to share with you an announcement about Lyrebird.

Researchers at the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms present ObamaNet, the first architecture that generates both audio and synchronized photo-realistic lip-sync videos from any new text. Contrary to other published lip-sync approaches, theirs is only composed of fully trainable neural modules and does not rely on any traditional computer graphics methods. [more inside]
posted by sockermom at 1:35 PM PST - 74 comments

“Sizzling circuits!”

Mega Man 11 Announced [YouTube][Video Game Trailer] “Mega Man 11 is coming to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One in 2018, Capcom announced today. The game is a side-scrolling action platformer in the vein of the previous 10 Mega Man games, but with 3D visuals. Capcom said Mega Man 11 will be released in “late 2018,” in time for the Blue Bomber’s 30th anniversary. Working on the title are producer Kazuhiro Tsuchiya and director Koji Oda, both veterans of Capcom and the Mega Man series. The pair talked about their goals for the new Mega Man, referring to the game as something of a rebirth for the character. The game’s art director and character designer, Yuji Ishihara, created a new look for Mega Man, which “leaked” earlier this year on the Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 release. Here’s a peek at the character art for Mega Man 11.” [via: Polygon] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 1:22 PM PST - 14 comments

Josephine Baker, Hero

Dancer, French Resistance spy, Philanthropist, Civil Rights activist: she did it all. Her story is full of astonishing events. The main link is a good overview with some good videos, illustrating her spoofing stereotypes of "savages" and her comedic style. Then there's her cheetah, her rainbow tribe, her secret messages, her castle, her speech at the Washington March with Dr. King, her honors from the French government, and more. This next link is from a magazine for teenagers but the story on Ms. Baker is well done with a few details not in the main link. Hero [more inside]
posted by MovableBookLady at 11:49 AM PST - 5 comments


Jon Bois, author of MeFi-celebrated multimedia narrative 17776 and creator of Breaking Madden, Chart Party, and Pretty Good, has written dozens of pieces (fictional and nonfictional) about class, feminism, aging, sports, politics, wonder, education, and art. Following the jump, a collection of links. (previously) [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 11:27 AM PST - 25 comments

Poetry And Music For Christmas

Centerpoint: Poetry And Music For Christmas [Bandcamp link, album can be streamed there] is an album by musician Jeff Johnson and poetry by Keith Patman read by Dallas McKennon. It's meditative and quiet and insightful and perfect for the Advent season.
posted by hippybear at 10:08 AM PST - 1 comment

"A Muppet Family Christmas" is extremely my shit

The Muppet Christmas Carol is a beloved holiday classic, but many may not be as familiar with A Muppet Family Christmas, a television special broadcast in 1987 and 1989, but never released on home media in its original and complete version due to various rights issues. It's noteworthy as one of the few Muppet vehicles with appearances and references to characters from the four major franchises (The Muppet Show, Muppet Babies, Sesame Street and Fraggle Rock) and for featuring a cameo by Jim Henson as himself. You can watch John Lagomarsino explain why the special is extremely his shit. You can watch a version of the special via YouTube.
posted by girlmightlive at 8:31 AM PST - 80 comments

Cats go well with the holidays

Simon's Cat has the right spirit And, as always, they do love the wrapping paper. (If you must resort to the easy out of wrapping for the holiday with cat help, gift bags are acceptable diversions, too.) [more inside]
posted by mightshould at 7:10 AM PST - 9 comments

Trump, punch, golf and bird

The Atlantic's top 25 News Photos of 2017, 2017: The Year in Photos 1, 2, 3 (some possibly nsfw)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:29 AM PST - 17 comments

December 9

New Zealand’s First Christmas

The Christian origins of Christmas meant that before European contact, the celebration had no place in the calendar of Aotearoa. The first celebration of Christmas in New Zealand coincided with Abel Tasman’s voyage to New Zealand in 1642. Unfortunately, things did not get off to a good start.
New Zealand’s First Christmas [more inside]
posted by Start with Dessert at 11:54 PM PST - 8 comments

Psion, the Next Generation

Gemini: An in-depth look at the successor to the original Psion Series 5 PDA. [more inside]
posted by Juso No Thankyou at 11:28 PM PST - 25 comments

The lines are all the same shape

A New Optical Illusion Was Just Discovered, And It's Breaking Our Brains - "Researcher Kohske Takahashi calls it the 'curvature blindness illusion' and it's very trippy." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 11:12 PM PST - 40 comments

There are only two styles of portrait painting—the serious and the smirk

Learning something new can be challenging, but sometimes, it can take you places you’d never imagine. Kimiko Nishimoto was 72 years old when she picked up a camera, and it’s transformed her life over the past 17 years. Now at 89, she's enjoying wide-spread attention for her creative self-portrait photography. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:50 PM PST - 4 comments

What's College Good For?

If schools aim to boost students’ future income by teaching job skills, why do they entrust students’ education to people so detached from the real world? "As a society, we continue to push ever larger numbers of students into ever higher levels of education. The main effect is not better jobs or greater skill levels, but a credentialist arms race." [more inside]
posted by mecran01 at 7:36 PM PST - 67 comments

Everything was creaky and it was just so crowded with books

Call Me Ishmael, a "novel way to celebrate books and life." The Call Me Ishmael project is simple: Leave a voicemail at (774) 325-0503 about a book you loved and a story you have lived. Your voicemail will be transcribed, typewritten, and posted on the site for other readers to enjoy your story and your book. The project has expanded to include rotary phones in bookstores for patrons to listen to selected voicemails. [more inside]
posted by hexaflexagon at 3:12 PM PST - 8 comments

Margot met Robert on a Wednesday night…

“Cat Person” is a short story by Kristen Roupenian in the latest issue of The New Yorker. It’s about a brief modern relationship.
The magazine has also published an interview with Roupenian on the story. [more inside]
posted by Going To Maine at 12:49 PM PST - 170 comments

“Hold infinity in the palm of your hand / and eternity in an hour.”

Here's the full World Premiere of Hideo Kojima's Death Stranding from The Game Awards. [Youtube][Trailer] “Tonight we got an extended look at Hideo Kojima’s next big project, Death Stranding. It appears that Norman Reedus’ character has crash landed somewhere dangerous, where invisible creatures roam the land. The whole thing gives off a horror game vibe, so maybe we don’t have to be sad about never getting that Silent Hills collaboration anymore. The footage is flippin’ bonkers. There are giant shadow men, a fetus, golden deteriorating skulls, suicides, and an apparently pregnant Norman Reedus. “Once there was an explosion, a bang that gave rise to life as we know it,” Reedus growls. “Then came the next explosion. An explosion that will be our last.”” [via: Kotaku] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 11:44 AM PST - 43 comments

Sufi Soul

William Dalrymple is a Scottish historian and writer who lives in India. He has featured now and again on the blue (see below the fold). A good place to start is the documentary he made about Sufi music: Sufi Soul [more inside]
posted by stonepharisee at 10:25 AM PST - 6 comments

A lot of information about kefir (and other homemade natural foods)

This is the homepage of Dominic Anfiteatro, which contains a lot of information about kefir, kombucha, soy milk, and other hippie foodstuffs. Enjoy the non-ironic retro design!
posted by 8603 at 9:29 AM PST - 21 comments

“There was a real sense of a kind of moral corruption around the media”

“This means there's no commercial justification anymore for producing broad generalist news packages. It means we can expect private sector media to narrowly target people who are well-off and well-educated, because they are the ones who are the most interested in news, the ones most able to pay subscription costs, and the ones advertisers most want to reach. That's not great for democracy: We can expect to see a growing gap in political knowledge and participation.” PUBLIC BROADCASTING: ITS PAST AND ITS FUTURE - the argument for public funding of news media.
posted by The Whelk at 9:22 AM PST - 9 comments

Big lizard in my noodles

On Wednesday, Twin Cities' renowned Asian grocery store United Noodles found a surprise guest lurking in their produce. The chill critter has since found a permanent home with the Minnesota Herpetological Society. In honor of this happy ending, please enjoy these videos of lizards eating noodles. [more inside]
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 9:19 AM PST - 24 comments

Forever Professor

"Forever Professor" is a 30-minute documentary about Mark McKinley, a psychology professor at Lorain County Community College in Ohio who collects talking clocks and watches. In fact, he holds the Guinness World Record for the largest collection of talking clocks. He has also attempted to be recognized for the largest collection of talking watches, an endeavour that has yet to bear fruit. His Youtube channel contains close to 200 short videos of some of the clocks in his collection. He also maintains the online International Society of Talking Clock Collectors Museum. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:17 AM PST - 2 comments

no Dr. Chandra

In 1961, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign created a computer networking system that would have messaging, avatars, online gaming (and most famously, Empire), smileys, doodles, and message boards: How the PLATO system, a pre-internet online platform that first came to life at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in the 1960s, quietly fostered some of the first digital natives. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:06 AM PST - 10 comments

Looks like a fun guy

The largest living thing on Earth is a humongous fungus. via BBC Earth [more inside]
posted by dogmom at 9:02 AM PST - 20 comments

Art, awareness and the refugee crisis

"Irregulars" - a symbolic documentary about a refugee's journey, by Fabio Palmieri and Cyrille Kabore. "Human Flow" (trailer) - a film about current refugee migration, by Ai Weiwei. "Amadou Sumaila (portrait)" - from Passengers, a series by photographer César Dezfuli. "Molti" - an installation, by artist Antonio Biasiucci. [more inside]
posted by progosk at 8:56 AM PST - 1 comment

Patriotic trolling

What Happens When the Government Uses Facebook as a Weapon? In Bloomberg News Lauren Etter dives deeply into how trolls, targeted abuse, fake news, fake accounts, and Facebook help strengthen Philippine president Duterte and go after his enemies. [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 8:55 AM PST - 3 comments

"Their Spirits Were Trapped In Those Masks"

At the end of the Southern Plains or "Red River" wars in 1875, the U.S. War Department shipped seventy-two Kiowa, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Comanche, and Caddo Nations prisoners of war held without formal charges or trial from Fort Sill, Oklahoma, to Fort Marion in St. Augustine, Florida. In 1878, the Smithsonian commissioned “life masks” — faces molded from clay — to be made of the Fort Marion prisoners. An American war trophy, the masks would become part of the United States' nationalistic propaganda effort to "depict indigenous peoples as vanishing, as nearly 'extinct,' and thus worthy of museum dioramas, not political rights." The masks are now stored in the Peabody Museum of Anthropology and Ethnology's collection at Harvard University. But to whom do they really belong? [more inside]
posted by zarq at 8:11 AM PST - 7 comments

Cat memes from 1911

Kittens and Cats; a Book of Tales by Eulalie Osgood Grover.
posted by bile and syntax at 7:45 AM PST - 8 comments

The Chimney Map

The chimney map is one of only three known copies of a 17th century map of world produced by the Dutch engraver Gerald Valck, which was found stuffed up a chimney in Aberdeen and saved by the National Library of Scotland. The story of its finding, conservation and unravelling has been told across three short films, as well as in the library's magazine (pdf, pages 15-18).
posted by rory at 4:55 AM PST - 10 comments

Silent Night, Bloody Night

Every Christmas Horror Movie, Ranked. [more inside]
posted by sapagan at 1:27 AM PST - 28 comments

Jurassic Bunk

“It’s either really a new dinosaur, which would be awesome, or it’s been tampered with and I really hope that’s not the case" Ed Yong on the case of the bogus bones (SL The Atlantic). [more inside]
posted by Gin and Broadband at 12:24 AM PST - 7 comments

December 8

Do I know you? Facebook seems to think so. But how?

"Behind the Facebook profile you’ve built for yourself is another one, a shadow profile, built from the inboxes and smartphones of other Facebook users. Contact information you’ve never given the network gets associated with your account, making it easier for Facebook to more completely map your social connections." [SL Gizmodo] [more inside]
posted by Juso No Thankyou at 9:43 PM PST - 62 comments

Don’t blame the election on fake news. Blame it on the media.

The Columbia Journalism Review did an analysis of election 2016 election coverage and found "the various Clinton-related email scandals—her use of a private email server while secretary of state, as well as the DNC and John Podesta hacks—accounted for more sentences than all of Trump’s scandals combined (65,000 vs. 40,000) and more than twice as many as were devoted to all of her policy positions." Meanwhile"the breathlessly repeated numbers on fake news are not as large as they have been made to seem when compared to the volume of information to which online users are exposed." [more inside]
posted by mrmurbles at 9:37 PM PST - 34 comments

Protest music, past and present, from Pitchfork

The Year in Protest Music 2017 -- A list of 20 urgent tracks that spoke truth to power this year. Pitchfork has had a few other lists of protest songs in the past few years: We Shall Overcomb: Music as Protest at the Women’s March (Jan. 25, 2017) and 15 Ways to Protest Trump by Buying New Music (Jan. 20, 2017), and earlier with Protest Soul: Music for Healing a Broken World (Dec. 14, 2016), Sounds of Black Protest Then and Now (Sept. 15, 2016), and The Sounds of Black Lives Matter (Oct. 17, 2016). Handy song links listed below. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:24 PM PST - 6 comments

It's A Beautiful Day

Truly delicious psychedelic rock from 1969: It's A Beautiful Day. [full album] Side A: White Bird, Hot Summer Day, Wasted Union Blues, Girl With No Eyes [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 8:52 PM PST - 30 comments

Mary H-G: Inventor of Visual Instruments / Pianist

The "light organ" and "light piano" are the instruments. As I understand it, in the early 1900s Mary Hallock-Greenewalt devised a method of creating light instead of sound when playing these instruments. "Nourathar" is her name for this visual music (the name honoring her Beirut heritage). Here is another photo of the organ, (an earlier version) early organ showing the non-linear rheostat she invented and patented (and which General Electric and other companies stole and used, but she sued them and won). [more inside]
posted by MovableBookLady at 8:34 PM PST - 5 comments

Behold: the Leidenfrost Maze

Making water run uphill.
posted by Sebmojo at 4:53 PM PST - 14 comments

Anime Eyes

The first trailer for Battle Angel Alita (US version) is here
posted by Artw at 12:16 PM PST - 219 comments

600 hrs -> Norwegian; 1200 hrs --> Zulu; 2200 hrs --> Japanese

How long does it take an English speaker to learn a foreign language? The map shows the number of weeks required for European languages. Scroll down to see the global results (from the Foreign Service Institute).
posted by storybored at 11:59 AM PST - 93 comments

“And the riot be the rhyme of the unheard”

RIOT - Civil Unrest [YouTube][Gameplay Trailer] “In 2013, Riot - Civil Unrest was announced by developer Merge Games and went on to have a successful Indiegogo campaign. Four years later the game has finally arrived on Steam Early Access. Riot is a real-time riot simulator that puts you in control of either a large group of rioters or the police. As the rioters, you attempt to hold a position or reach a specified destination. As the police, it’s your job to hold back or disperse the crowd. Riot was an interesting idea back in 2013, and it now holds even more weight with 2018 on the horizon. Set in real world political conflicts like The Arab Spring, the game establishes the context for each riot prior to jumping in. However, it doesn’t do much beyond telling you what happened or what strides have been made as a result.” [via: Kotaku] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 11:22 AM PST - 7 comments

Cry Ho Ho Ho, and Let Slip the Hornéd Deer of War

Twitter's #WarOnChristmas is different this year: Sam Sykes has created an avalanche of atrocities. Peppermint-tinged, sleighbell-ringing atrocities.
SamSykesSwears: I have but one request this Christmas, guys. Take the #WarOnChristmas hashtag and fill it with accounts of the horrors of battling elves across snowy fields and firing anti-aircraft missiles at sleds streaking overhead.
[more inside]
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 10:58 AM PST - 65 comments

Willis Tower: sold at $1,050 million, assessed at $580 million.

How the Cook County Assessor Failed Taxpayers: Joseph Berrios’ error-ridden commercial and industrial assessments punish property owners, benefit lawyers. (slProPublica)

"In 2014, for instance, a building on Oak Street in the Gold Coast neighborhood sold for $14.9 million. The next year, the assessor’s office valued the building at $3.6 million — less than a quarter of the sales price. A year after that, in 2016, the building sold for even more: $23 million.

Eight miles west, a small industrial shop in the working-class Belmont Central neighborhood sold for $110,000 in 2015. The assessor’s estimate that year was $207,140, nearly double the sale price."
posted by crazy with stars at 10:45 AM PST - 20 comments

Tuned Up in the Spirit

Tuned Up in the Spirit: Lined out hymnody with the Old Regular Baptists "the oldest English-language religious-music oral tradition in North America, a tradition with roots stretching back to parish churches in England in the early 1600s and perhaps further still. Some people find it a strange sound. One researcher who went hunting for descriptions of lined-out singing from turn-of-the-century travelers in Appalachia told me that a few words kept popping up: mournful, wailing, confusion."
posted by OmieWise at 10:41 AM PST - 9 comments

"This began as a way to annoy friends whenever this song played"

Beyond thrilled 2 share my holiday single "All I Want For Christmas Is You But Just The Alto 2 Part From When My High School Chorus Sang It" [Twitter]

Writer/performer Natalie Walker draws on memories of high school choir to sing her own highly-specialized version of the Mariah Carey hit "All I Want for Christmas is You". [YouTube version] [more inside]
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:35 AM PST - 38 comments

I care about you as a person./Especially, your values.

Want to take over a city?

You’re in luck.

I’ve built a couple of hyper-local membership models.

I’ve even managed seven city memberships at one time.

Number of members?

Over 5,000 people. [...]

LinkedIn power users are gaming the social network with elongated self-help posts that look like poems. We're calling them broetry. [SLBF]
posted by not_the_water at 9:28 AM PST - 23 comments

The Perfect Crime Was When They Took My Money

"Perfect Crime" is the longest-running play in New York, and its star, Catherine Russell, is in the Guinness Book of World records for playing the same lead part since its premiere in 1987. And by many, many accounts, it's awful. [more inside]
posted by knownassociate at 9:18 AM PST - 21 comments

Anyone for sirkkaleipä?

A "Gold rush" for cricket snack startups as Finland legalises edible insects. At the beginning of November, Finland's food safety authority allowed the sale of insects as food. Entocube is a Finnish company that builds insect farms out of shipping containers, and established Finnish food giant Fazer has already begun selling bread made from cricket flour (sirkkaleipä). Insects as a food source previously here and here. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:52 AM PST - 34 comments

Hawaiian treasure preserved in Massachusetts

Interested in historical curiosities from Hawaii, but prefer New England's climate? You're in luck! The American Antiquarian Society, located in Worcester, Mass., is "a hotbed of Hawaiiana," with archives housing and preserving an extensive collection of early Hawaiian engravings, newspapers, "laws, brochures, broadsheets, hymnals, almanacs, cookbooks, primers and spelling books." The Honolulu Civil Beat brings us the story behind the collection. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 8:51 AM PST - 6 comments

Celebrate the Fragile Beauty of Endangered Coral Reef Ecosystems

Artist and ocean advocate Courtney Mattison creates large scale ceramic installations and sculptures inspired by science and marine biology. Her intricate hand-crafted porcelain works celebrate the fragile beauty of endangered coral reef ecosystems and promote awareness to conserve and protect our natural world. [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation at 6:51 AM PST - 5 comments

Happiness for Headline Hacks

Slovenian Spies Stage Secret Strike.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:45 AM PST - 12 comments

Dance Square Dance Revolution

PUT YOUR TIN FOIL HATS ON, we are about to go on a VERY wild ride.

I haven't been this excited since I first found out about the incredibly strange world of quicksand porn.
Let Robyn Pennacchia tell you about the conspiracy to make square dancing the national dance of the US and how it originated as part of an even madder ploy by Henry Ford to destroy Black, Jewish jazz with folk music. Quicksand porn briefly discussed here.
posted by MartinWisse at 5:50 AM PST - 93 comments

The pipes are calling

Irish uileann pipes have been recognised as an important and unique cultural heritage symbol by UNESCO. But not many people know that there is a long tradition of uilleann pipe playing among Irish Travellers. [more inside]
posted by night_train at 5:32 AM PST - 11 comments

I’m drawing in the sand a line

The woke Slim Shady – understanding Eminem in the age of Trump (previous)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:28 AM PST - 29 comments

"…he will be our friend for always and always and always."

Russian photographer Andy Seliverstoff loves dogs and the kids who love them. His recent series, Little Kids and their Big Dogs, showcases both. (Instagram | 500px | Facebook)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:48 AM PST - 6 comments

Mataku - Māori Tales of the Unexplained

Mataku is basically the Māori X Files, and it’s a national embarrassment that this show isn’t every part as much cultural canon as The Lord of the Rings or Outrageous Fortune.
[more inside]
posted by Start with Dessert at 12:37 AM PST - 7 comments

December 7

it's anti-fascist, not anti-fashion

The New York Times Style section has latched onto the most recent of trendiest trends, and present a guide to anarchist fashion: What To Wear To Smash The State, Rick Paulas [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:48 PM PST - 37 comments

Noshing in Asia

Take your husband and child across China and Mongolia in a small RV (one of six available to rent). Really fun article on what it's like to encounter Mongolians when traveling in your RV. They're friendly people and invite the travelers into their yurts to sample their traditional foods. Next is an introduction to the foods of Georgia 10 Georgian Dishes And now I'm hungry.
posted by MovableBookLady at 7:37 PM PST - 8 comments

Black Mothers Keep Dying After Giving Birth

Shalon Irving's story shows how it happens: The researcher working to eradicate disparities in health access and outcomes had become a symbol of one of the most troublesome health disparities facing black women in the U.S. today: disproportionately high rates of maternal mortality. The main federal agency seeking to understand why so many American women — especially black women — die, or nearly die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth had lost one of its own. From Nina Martin, NPR
posted by Dashy at 6:06 PM PST - 38 comments

You know what they put on French fries on Vulcan instead of ketchup?

Following the news that Quentin Tarantino is developing a new Star Trek movie for J.J. Abrams, it is being reported that both Abrams and Paramount have agreed to Tarantino's condition that the movie be rated R. [more inside]
posted by entropicamericana at 2:38 PM PST - 140 comments

Anyone who was watching that night was shrieking, I promise.

I Think About This a Lot: When Kimberly Shaw Ripped Off Her Wig on Melrose Place. It would not occur to me until years later that Kimberly’s revenge plot was a more sane reaction to her circumstances than I’d given her credit for. Watching today, Kimberly’s anger feels righteous and well earned.
posted by roger ackroyd at 2:21 PM PST - 14 comments

It's an Ultraviolet Kind of Day

Pantone has named its color for 2018: Ultraviolet. [more inside]
posted by Elly Vortex at 2:08 PM PST - 38 comments

“You don’t take a photograph. You ask quietly to borrow it.”

Flickr's Top 25 Photos of 2017. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 1:54 PM PST - 30 comments

Nancy gets hit one time and the world shits. For me it was all the time.

The new movie I, Tonya offers the complete story of Tonya Harding, a woman who was "a punchline, her name alone providing a bitter shorthand for scandal." According to Vogue: "The result is a dark (more like pitch-black) comedy that makes you feel uneasy about laughing, a mockumentary that casts doubt on the mechanisms by which documentaries—or journalism more generally—purport to enshrine the truth, a demented, doomed love story that’s mostly about abuse." The Roger Ebert web site: 3-1/2 stars.
posted by Melismata at 1:39 PM PST - 65 comments

Patreon to shift payment processing fees from creators to patrons

Patreon has sent an email to patrons today stating that, "Starting December 18th, we will apply a new service fee of 2.9% + $0.35 that patrons will pay for each individual pledge. This service fee helps keep Patreon up and running." [FAQ] Vice: It will now cost patrons around $1.38 to give a creator $1 per month, instead of $1, which some creators believe could lead serial backers—those who support a lot of projects but at a very low monthly fee—to pull support. [more inside]
posted by Existential Dread at 1:37 PM PST - 130 comments

“Bleak But Gorgeous, Like Light Through Ice”

Prize-winning author-critic William Gass dead at 93 [AP] [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 12:21 PM PST - 14 comments

Solidarity Not Charity

What Is Mutual Aid and how does it differ from charity or Not-For-Profit? The Mutual Aid Toolbox.
posted by The Whelk at 11:48 AM PST - 23 comments

Letters From WWII found in a storage locker

Four siblings wrote hundreds of letters to each other during World War II. The story they tell of service, sacrifice and trauma was hidden away in an abandoned storage unit — until now.
posted by COD at 8:40 AM PST - 6 comments

I, for one, etc., etc.

Given only the rules and four hours to practice, the algorithm AlphaZero (by Google and DeepMind) proceeded to defeat the reigning engines in chess, shogi, and Go. [more inside]
posted by starman at 7:06 AM PST - 91 comments

Cult 2.0 is upon us

Sedona, AZ has been infiltrated by a polyamorous tech bro cult leader with a massive following. His devotees are everywhere. They believe he can control the weather with his mind. He talks about aliens & government conspiracies, sleeps with and verbally abuses students and believes he is an awakened God not responsible for his actions. He loves expensive scotch and has a sweet spot for cigars, but not Cubans. I spent one month embedded in his group under the alias “Shakti Hunter.” This is my report.

Tech Bro Guru: Inside the Sedona Cult of Bentinho Massaro
posted by timshel at 5:59 AM PST - 133 comments

Something broke, is breaking still

The use of sexual frustration and weaponized misogyny in the radicalization of young men is consistent across ideologies, and the entitlement that underlies it is not exclusive to fascist movements. - The Consent of the (Un)governed, Laurie Penny on #metoo, neoliberalism, the alt-right and the breaking point the world finds itself at today.
posted by Artw at 5:35 AM PST - 150 comments

Marriage equality law passes Australia's parliament in landslide vote

Australia’s parliament has legislated for marriage equality, passing a bill almost unanimously to allow two people, regardless of sex, to marry. [more inside]
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:32 AM PST - 66 comments

Have you, in fact, got any cheese here at all?

In an extraordinary moment in a week full of them, it became clear yesterday that the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union David Davis has been bluffing on Brexit, and that the 58 (or 57, or 50-60) impact assessments he has alluded to for months, and which were requested by Parliament six weeks ago, do not, in fact, exist. [more inside]
posted by rory at 2:54 AM PST - 161 comments

If you go down in the woods today

Out Came the Girls - Adolescent Girlhood, the Occult, and the Slender Man Phenomenon (previous)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:22 AM PST - 24 comments

December 6

There is No Depression in New Zealand

There is No Depression in New Zealand (03’12) (1981) [more inside]
posted by Start with Dessert at 11:51 PM PST - 6 comments

Chariots Of Fire

Vangelis, 1981 [YT playlist] Side A: Chariots Of Fire; Five Circles; Abraham's Theme; Eric's Theme; 100 Metres [which on the album runs directly into] Jerusalem. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 10:56 PM PST - 15 comments

the hominid

Don’t write off Sasquatch. Let’s research him
Bigfoot Anatomy - "Sasquatch is just a legend, right? According to the evidence, maybe not, argues Jeffrey Meldrum--a position he holds despite ostracism from his fellow anthropologists and university colleagues" [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:16 PM PST - 56 comments

La plus grande bête qu’on ait jamais vue

In late-1820s Paris, women wore their hair in towering horn shapes, people pasted giraffe-themed wallpapers on their homes, fabric was manufactured in spotted patterns, and one of the most popular colors was “giraffe yellow.” Everything was “la mode à la girafe.” The cause of this frenzy for the African mammal was the arrival of a dainty young creature from Sudan: the first giraffe in France.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:26 PM PST - 8 comments

It really is a plastic model of a severed tongue

Just as Facebook’s algorithm rewarded shocking, useless news in the past year, it’s doing the same to Wish, an app now known for selling what its CEO calls ‘plastic tongue things.’ Over the past few months, Wish ads have dominated Facebook by hawking bizarre items like hamster leashes, giant human-sized balls of yarn, toenail extenders, mysterious car goo, and a myriad of other strange things for extremely low prices. But to those businesses who rely on Facebook ad inventory, Wish ads are no laughing matter: Facebook’s Algorithm Hijacked This $8 Billion Company to Sell Cat Blindfolds
posted by not_the_water at 9:18 PM PST - 35 comments

“It gave you information about controls, but it did more than that,”

A Eulogy for the Video Game Manual [Cultured Vultures] “There is something quite cold and sterile about video game packaging today. Sure, the artwork is occasionally nice and cases are becoming smaller, sleeker – easier to store on the shelfs. But there is just something a bit off about them. They are merely methods of storing the disc or cartridge, which sounds an odd thing to criticise, given that is their primary function, though it seems justified. I think most would agree that the removal of the instruction booklet is one thing that is missed most.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 7:44 PM PST - 46 comments

America's Radical Asian Activists

Well-written article about the role Asian activists have played, both in defense of their group and in explanation of it. Stereotypes abound: hard-working, educated, etc. versus conformist, weird. The newspaper "Gidra" played a very visible role for the activists, starting in the 1960s. I've pulled the link to the Densho Archives that preserves the issues. Gidra archives
posted by MovableBookLady at 6:38 PM PST - 5 comments

Farmer suicide crisis in the US

Suicide rates for agricultural workers in some states five times that of general population; similar trends found worldwide. (SL Guardian)
posted by stillmoving at 6:16 PM PST - 27 comments

Sir Toby Toblerone, purest cat of the internet

Sir Toby Toblerone the cat [Facebook page] cannot walk at all. He was adopted by a British couple who makes sure he has a happy and adventurous life. Toby is often seen around town bundled up (complete with bobbly tam o'shanter), eagerly watching for trains and construction equipment. He likes trainspotting, chicken slices, and "booby cuddles," and dislikes "soggy moggy days." Sometimes his dad sings him songs about trains [Facebook video].
posted by dayintoday at 5:04 PM PST - 17 comments

The Sounds Of Silents

Can you hear this silent gif bouncing? Try some of the others at /r/noisygifs.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:48 PM PST - 38 comments


The Cambridge News, a small local paper thought they had a big, lurid headline splashed over their latest issue about "sex lair" schools. Instead, what they got was the printing instructions for the headline, in 100 point font as specified. [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 3:29 PM PST - 26 comments

Traffic flow measured on 30 different 4-way junctions

A soothing six minutes of traffic flow simulations using traffic mods for the game Cities: Skyline. (slyt)
posted by bondcliff at 12:42 PM PST - 51 comments

One man's quest against debt collectors and resellers

When the scammers started to hound Therrien, he hounded them right back.
posted by boo_radley at 12:40 PM PST - 45 comments

Streaming NOW: 50 Hours of Electronic Music

Always On is a 50-hour Youtube livestream of electronic music and beats featuring female, nonbinary, and transgender performers from 17 countries, sponsored by Moogfest. The NYTimes has more on Moogfest in May, the livestream, and celebrating these amazing artists. (Stream started at 12PM EST, so should run until 2 PM EST on Dec. 8.)
posted by kristi at 12:13 PM PST - 7 comments

DEVO, Eno, Bowie, Holger Czukay

Mark Mothersbaugh says he's found tapes of (most of) DEVO jamming with Brian Eno, David Bowie, and Holger Czukay. The news dropped at a Bowie-focused even Mark spoke at in New York City. Daniel Maurer was there and has the details. Holger Czukay, bassist for Can, recounted his experience of the session in a short essay on his website. In addition, Mark also claims to have found the 24 track tape and Brian Eno's production notes for Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are DEVO!, which include additional tracks with Eno's synth, and additional vocals by David Bowie. No word on any potential release yet.
posted by SansPoint at 12:10 PM PST - 22 comments

On Reading and Books

On Reading and Books
Nineteenth-century philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer digs deeply into reading, writing, and publishing from his idiosyncratic perspective in this essay from his book Parerga and Paralipomena. (Alternate link)
posted by springo at 11:38 AM PST - 9 comments

Today is the One hundredth Anniversary

The Halifax Explosion. Previously. The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic has some good links. Another previously.
posted by Bee'sWing at 10:39 AM PST - 18 comments

FPPs Full of Women

Who wants to learn about some rad women from history? I do! Here are some sources to get your daily dose of women across the ages, in whatever format your eyes, ears or brain prefers. If no other, give The History Chicks a whirl, but there are lots more ways to learn the stories of women who have made an impact. [more inside]
posted by Liesl at 9:44 AM PST - 6 comments

The best restauraunt in London

Eggs a la Peds? no problem! How to get to #1 on Tripadvisor while actually not serving actual food.
posted by pjern at 8:19 AM PST - 99 comments

Mailsploit: now is the time for increased email dilligence (and fakes)

‘Mailsploit’ Lets Hackers Forge Perfect Email Spoofs (Andy Greenberg for Wired) -- as summarized on the Mailsploit website
TL;DR: Mailsploit is a collection of bugs in email clients (over 30 applications) that allow effective sender spoofing and code injection attacks. The spoofing is not detected by Mail Transfer Agents (MTA) aka email servers, therefore circumventing spoofing protection mechanisms such as DMARC (DKIM/SPF) or spam filters... In addition to the spoofing vulnerability, some of the tested applications also proved to be vulnerable to XSS and code injection attacks.
[more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 8:03 AM PST - 26 comments

People who live in glass villages...something something

Finland has long been home to a vibrant glass industry and renowned glass artistry. To take one example, there are the glass birds of Oiva Toikka. Watch a three-part interview about his art here : Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. The Nuutajärvi glass village was established in 1793, and remains a centre of Finnish glass artwork and production today. The glass company Iittala was founded in 1881 and is known for - among other work - Alvar Aalto 's designs. Aalto was also an architect of some note. You can watch the creation of an Aalto vase here. Iittala also holds a biennial international glassblowing competition, the Iittala Cup. Watch as glassblowing gets competitive, below the fold... [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:23 AM PST - 8 comments

"When you go under 4mph it'll explode!"

'Welcome to Milk Float Corner, to the best of my knowledge the only site on the web dedicated to "our friends electric" - the humble milk float. Designed for reliability, durability, and quietness of operation, milk floats are also pollution-free as they glide around during the early hours...' [more inside]
posted by misteraitch at 5:55 AM PST - 36 comments

Lightning in a bottle

Transient is a short film by Dustin Farrell, with an arresting mix of dramatic weather timelapses and super-slow-motion lightning strikes. (via Colossal)
posted by Stark at 3:03 AM PST - 4 comments

Sunday Night, after Ed Sullivan and competing with Bonanza

50 years ago, the hot new TV show was "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour". Many of the people involved (Tom, Dick, the producers, writers Rob Reiner, Steve Martin, Mason 'Classical Gas' Williams, Bob Einstein before Super Dave, and a host of others) have contributed to an 'oral history' of the show, most famous for being cancelled after 3 seasons for being "too controversial". [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:35 AM PST - 24 comments

December 5

Please do not bite the books

‘Please do not bite the books’ and other comical library rules. (Martin Lewis, Te Papa Blog) [more inside]
posted by Start with Dessert at 11:17 PM PST - 23 comments

Guilty Giraffe & Desmond And The Tutus

It's time once again for the AV Club's Year In Band Names. [previously, previously]
posted by Chrysostom at 9:23 PM PST - 21 comments

"Kelsey Grammer’s voice sounds like a reassuring pat on the head,"

How ‘Frasier’ Found a Second Life on Streaming [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:48 PM PST - 70 comments

a true piece of art is a window into the transcendent

Dissect is a musical podcast "created by Cole Cuchna, "one person, working in his spare time, in a garage in Sacramento." It is also a moving and illuminating deep look into the music and genius of Kanye West, via a deep dive into his album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Even if - Especially if you are a music fan who has found Kanye to be insufferable and unpleasant, it is worth your attention, because there is a good chance that the experience will be relevatory, and you might find yourself encountering some surprising moments of grace (at 26:20). [more inside]
posted by beisny at 7:53 PM PST - 7 comments

“...often undervalued, the paper bag will keep doing its job.”

The Secret Feminist History of Brown Paper Bags [Eater] “Few things are as useful as the paper bag. In the United States, people use (and reuse) 10 billion of them every year. Who among us has gotten through life, likely as a child, without opening up a brown paper bag filled with a sandwich, juice box, and a piece of fruit? Or, later in life, enjoyed an alcoholic beverage in a public place with the illegal item safely ensconced inside a bag? But paper bags have been around for so long, and in so many forms, that few have ever stopped to wonder where they came from in the first place. Even fewer know that paper bags were involved in not one but two feminist crusades.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 7:00 PM PST - 18 comments

not roxanne

AC/DC but every time they say "thunder" it gets faster (previously) [via]
posted by phunniemee at 6:57 PM PST - 14 comments

Sophy Hollington's mind makes star poop

"In some Inuit cultures, meteors are colloquially known as Ulluriat Anangit which roughly translates as 'star poop.' Illustrator, printmaker, and Linocut artist Sophy Hollington has published a new creation: My Mind Hides a Friendly Crater, the result of her “almost morbid fascination with asteroids.” [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:39 PM PST - 3 comments

Patlabor on the production line

Smets handed me a power tool, flipped a physical switch on the arm of the vest, and told me to raise my arms over my head as though I was on an assembly line. At some point during my movement, the exosuit kicked into action, its spring mechanism lifting my arms the rest of the way. I could leave my arms in place above my head, too, fully supported. My fingers started to tingle after awhile in that position. Are exoskeletons the future of physical labor?
posted by Artw at 4:09 PM PST - 38 comments

Puppies Meet Baby Animals: Cuteness Ensues

HuffPo partnered with Puppy Chow and created a series of videos that show a few of the "firsts" in a puppy's life. Meeting new species, for example. [all videos have cheery music]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:40 PM PST - 6 comments

Banner Ladies

Fascinating human billboards
posted by MovableBookLady at 3:19 PM PST - 18 comments

With a compass, you're never lost.

Japanese family crests are known for their tasteful design and simplicity, but what might surprise you is the incredibly simple geometric principles used to create even complex ones. (No English in the narration, but give it a moment and you won't need it.) [more inside]
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:04 PM PST - 17 comments

How Vladimir Lenin Became a Mushroom

How Vladimir Lenin Became a Mushroom: The fake news that took the former Soviet Union by storm.
posted by brundlefly at 2:40 PM PST - 12 comments

Éliane Radigue, drone music pioneer

Éliane Radigue is a French composer who is one of the pioneers of drone music, and is still active at 85. She worked with Pierre Henry and other musique concrète pioneers in the 50s, but her experiments with feedback and tape loops in the 60s drifted too far from the scene, so she moved to New York in the 70s. She is perhaps best known for her synthesizer based compositions in the 70s through early 2000s. A representative piece is Trilogie De La Mort, one of several pieces inspired directly by her conversion to Tibetan Buddhism: I. Kyema, II. Kailasha, III. Koumé. Since 2004 she has composed entirely with acoustic instruments, e.g. Movement 3 of Naldjorlak I, written for cello; if you're in a hurry, here's a 1:30 live clip from Naldjorlak III. [more inside]
posted by advil at 2:01 PM PST - 8 comments

Polka, coming at you live from Valkenswaard!

Spin the globe and it will start playing live radio wherever you stop. You can also click on a specific place. Libyana 100.1 FM is playing some bangers! Radio Thailand 97 has some good chillout music. Catavento Radio (Brazil) got my hips shaking. There are hundreds (thousands?) of stations. If you get static, just be patient, it will likely snap to the nearest station.
posted by AFABulous at 1:36 PM PST - 24 comments

kindness shines through

Twitter offers its most unlikely trending topic yet: hope. (sl new yorker)
posted by kneecapped at 12:44 PM PST - 6 comments

The Christian Legal Army Behind ‘Masterpiece Cakeshop’

The Nation investigates the Alliance Defending Freedom. An in-depth look at one of the most powerful anti-gay-rights legal groups in the country, with ties to the Department of Justice, Congress, multiple state legislators and state departments of justice, thousands of attorneys who will work pro bono, and donors including Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and noted puncher of journalists Representative Greg Gianforte (R-MT).
posted by mephron at 12:08 PM PST - 80 comments

Never underestimate the self-delusion of a Hollywood professional

In two weeks, Netflix will premiere Bright. Starring Will Smith and Joel Edgerton – real movie stars – directed by David Ayer – a real movie director – the film is said to have cost somewhere in the time zone of $120 million – real money. So why does Bright not feel like a real film? [more inside]
posted by roger ackroyd at 11:52 AM PST - 106 comments

Surveillance has never been more affordable

Gizmodo: Don't buy anyone an Echo A light switch also doesn’t keep track of everything you’re doing and send the data to Amazon or Google or Apple. What happens between you and the switch stays with you and the switch. [more inside]
posted by selfnoise at 10:29 AM PST - 198 comments

100 Finns in 100 Years

Happy Birthday Finland! Here are pictures of one Finn for every year of Finnish independence photographed by Hannu Pakarinen.
posted by vespabelle at 9:14 AM PST - 20 comments

Little House on the Locust Swarm

Charles Ingalls must have heard of the grasshoppers; newspaper columns were full of them. Yet when the Ingallses settled on Plum Creek in 1874, the land was cloaked in spring green. They may have believed, as others did, that the grasshoppers had moved on. In fact, the previous year’s swarm had laid their eggs before departing. While Charles Ingalls plowed his fields, grasshoppers flew and marched in columns again, leaving destitute farmers in their wake with no seed to plant the next season.
posted by ChuraChura at 9:09 AM PST - 47 comments

The first butt time capsule

While restoring an 18th century Spanish statue, preservationists found that Jesus' butt was hollow, containing two hand-written letters describing daily life in the region, including descriptions of food, games, diseases and the Spanish Inquisition. The original letters will be archived and copies replaced in the butt hole to preserve the priest's intentions.
posted by jeather at 8:14 AM PST - 66 comments

#ThomasFire (Ventura) and #CreekFire (Sylmar) burning in SoCal

There are two fires raging in SoCal right now, the Thomas Fire in the Santa Paula area of Ventura County, and the Creek Fire in NE Los AngelesCounty, not far from the Ventura County line. [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A at 8:10 AM PST - 66 comments

Cyndi Lauper slays on the Appalachian Mountain dulcimer

My favorite thing discovered on the internet research rabbithole is how Cyndi Lauper is widely-regarded by Appalachian Mountain Dulcimer enthusiasts as one of the finest straight-up performers on the obscure instrument.
Says @JMMcDermott. Proof: True Colors, Time after Time, Fearless.
posted by MartinWisse at 7:18 AM PST - 69 comments

A List of Words You Can Argue About

Featuring 374 titles and filterable on a laundry list of criteria, NPR's 2017 Book Concierge isn't the typical end-of-year best-of list. [more inside]
posted by uncleozzy at 7:08 AM PST - 12 comments

"The Joys and Sorrows of Watching My Own Birth"

"I want so much for that newborn baby crying alone in a plastic bin. I want to pick her up and make her feel welcome and wanted. I want to soothe her and gently rub her little head of ginger hair and tell her everything’s okay. I want to tell her stories about the life she is about to live. I want to warn her. I want to share what I know now with her. I want to tell her never to be ashamed of who she is, to be loud and proud of her red hair, to know that she will someday love the beautiful color she’s been blessed with." Journalist and essayist Shelby Vittek reflects on the bittersweet experience of watching herself be born — and her now-divorced mom and dad become parents — again and again.
posted by zarq at 4:35 AM PST - 13 comments

Live forever

Trailer for Altered Carbon the new Netflix series based on the Richard K Morgan books.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:23 AM PST - 52 comments

December 4

Best TV Shows of 2017

The NYT gives us a list of the Best TV Shows of 2017
posted by storybored at 10:59 PM PST - 87 comments

A Generation in Japan Faces a Lonely Death

Every evening around 6 p.m., before retiring for the night, Mrs. Ito closed the paper screen in the window. Then in the morning, after her alarm woke her at 5:40 a.m., she slid the screen back open. “If it’s closed,” Mrs. Ito told her neighbor, “it means I’ve died.
posted by Memo at 9:29 PM PST - 43 comments

(Not) The Patron Saint of Finland

In 1956, tired of being hassled by his Irish friends about why the Finns in town didn't have a patron saint to celebrate, Richard Mattson invented one on the spot: St. Urho, whose legend evolved to claim he drove the grasshoppers out of Finland and saved the wine crop, and whose saint's day was celebrated by drinking on March 16 -- right before St. Patrick's Day. His legend has grown and spread across Finnish-American and Finnish-Canadian communities in the upper midwest. [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:15 PM PST - 19 comments

Korerotia to reo kia rangona ai tona ataahua

Recent controversies in New Zealand have brought the threatened state of the Māori language back into the spotlight - New Zealand broadcasters refuse to stop using Māori words (Eleanor Ainge Roy, The Guardian) [more inside]
posted by Start with Dessert at 8:57 PM PST - 37 comments

"this terrible thing we're witnessing now is / not unique you know"

Antigonick, a "comic book" of Sophocles' tragedy, is one of Carson's strangest works. It dramatises its own eccentricity, evoking a portrait of the author in a state of distraction; the words of the translation are printed in handwriting (Carson's own), almost entirely without punctuation, in tiny capital letters that are both neat and a little frantic. The illustrations (by the artist Bianca Stone) are a surreal assortment of icy landscapes, domestic interiors, gothic houses, unravelling spools of thread, precarious staircases and drowning horses, which are printed on transparent vellum that overlay the text, and which relate only occasionally to what is happening in the play.
Anne Carson's take on Antigone is impressively powerful [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:38 PM PST - 5 comments

two great tastes

Rogue Puzzles
posted by faethverity at 8:21 PM PST - 10 comments

It's a birdy job, but someone's gotta do it

"In an era of tight budgets, why don’t we just drag deer off to the side of the road—far enough away so that scavengers don’t become roadkill themselves—and then let the scavengers and decomposers provide their clean-up services for free? Why do we dedicate so much time, money, and sheer physical exertion to transforming carrion into trash?" Jonathan L. Clark, for Discard Studies: Consider the Vulture: An Ethical Approach to Roadkill. (Includes photos of roadkill). [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:12 PM PST - 44 comments

Boomhauer Drums

Boomhauer drum mashup. [more inside]
posted by klausman at 6:09 PM PST - 7 comments

He came dancing across the water

Neil Young Archives (registration, but no credit card/payment method, required) is a high-quality archive of Neil's entire back catalog, accessible for free until June 30 (via OpenCulture) [more inside]
posted by juv3nal at 5:43 PM PST - 18 comments

“Nodes represent dynasties and vertices represent a killing...”

Crusader Kings 2 player records 700-year NPC game to find who gets “most kills” and “most children”. [Rock Paper Shotgun] “Royal incompetence simulator Crusader Kings 2 is one of the best games ever. Over hundreds of years, sultans and kings create new empires and murder their families. Today a data science man gets in touch to say he recorded a 700-year game in ‘observation’ mode, pulled out all the data like a big reel of cassette tape, shoved it through some kind of magical process I won’t pretend to understand, and came up with statistics on several rulers. This also resulted in detailed “networks” of kills and marriages. The important thing is: this lets us see who had the most babies. James Nagle is a data scientist. He’s previously mapped relationships between figureheads of the Easter Rising in Ireland using documents from the National Archive. This time, he dived into CK II, writing a script to pull out all personal data about the thousands of in-game characters – births, deaths, marital status, etc. Basically it was like doing a giant census for 691 years in a row. He’s since done a write-up of his project and produced various visualisations of the data.”
posted by Fizz at 5:25 PM PST - 10 comments

The Situationist Guide to Parenting and other Books of the Year

It's that time of year of top-10 lists, and if you're behind on reading, you might want to catch up with this list by Darran Anderson writing for literary website 3:AM Magazine, which includes such titles as Reclaimed Territory: A post-Brexit Britain Household Companion, The Situationist Guide to Parenting, and The Russian Bot’s Wife, and other books you will never have to worry about not having time to read because they don't actually exist.
posted by larrybob at 5:03 PM PST - 11 comments

Ow My Balls

Hot Ones is a Youtube series where people eat sequentially hotter wings while doing interviews. See Neil deGrasse Tyson get his comeuppance. Watch Terry Crews cry. There is something for everyone (all previous links are to Youtube). (Wikipedia about show for those who don't want to/can't watch videos)
posted by Literaryhero at 4:55 PM PST - 18 comments


Thomas the Tank Engine Train Stunts. The first couple stunts are a little ho-hum, but then it...*sunglasses*...goes off the rails.
posted by cortex at 4:42 PM PST - 19 comments

I'm-a teach you how to make lasagna

Brandon Scott is gonna teach you how to make lasagna (slYouTube) [more inside]
posted by Kitteh at 4:25 PM PST - 13 comments

How Dollar General Became Rural America's Store of Choice

The more the rural U.S. struggles, company officials said, the more places Dollar General has found to prosper. “The economy is continuing to create more of our core customer,” Chief Executive Todd Vasos said in an interview. [Alternate link] [more inside]
posted by box at 2:55 PM PST - 90 comments

Sad news for MilSF fans

The Navy’s Much-Hyped Electromagnetic Railgun May End Up Dead In The Water
posted by Artw at 1:30 PM PST - 53 comments

The Untold Story of Japan’s First People

In the 20th century, Japanese anthropologists and officials tried to hide the existence of the Indigenous Ainu. Then the Ainu fought back like their cousins, the bears.
posted by infini at 12:42 PM PST - 9 comments

“That didn’t work.”

The Pontiac Silverdome, once home to the Detroit Lions - and Wrestlemania III (previously) - has been in a state of decay ever since its closure. On Sunday, an attempt to demolish it with explosives failed, prompting a range of hot takes and Detroit Lions-related jokes. The Pontiac Silverdome previously: 1, 2. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:36 PM PST - 26 comments

What is money, anyway?

How bitcoins became worth $10,000 $11,317
Bitcoin Is a Delusion That Could Conquer the World
You Don’t Understand Bitcoin Because You Think Money Is Real [more inside]
posted by gwint at 11:36 AM PST - 211 comments

Zero Context Theater presents...

The lightsaber duel from Gumby: The Movie (1995). [more inside]
posted by Iridic at 10:41 AM PST - 29 comments

This is just to say

Plums. Ice box. Baby Shoes Forgive me.
posted by theora55 at 10:27 AM PST - 171 comments

Now We Have a Competition!

Top 25 Films of 2017: a perfectly edited video montage of David Ehrlich's annual favorites (SLVimeo). Via kottke.
posted by Maecenas at 10:14 AM PST - 16 comments

To be fair, both ends look alike

'My mum had a go on the VR and was so scared she grabbed the wrong end of the dog.' 😂🐶 (SL twitter video)
posted by moonmilk at 9:46 AM PST - 13 comments

Have You Seen This Fabric?

Since 1999, Missing Fabrics has offered a free*, crowd-sourced service for locating hard-to-find fabrics for quilters, upholsterers, and other crafters who need just a little more fabric in order to complete a project. It is also a glorious example of early web design and community. [more inside]
posted by jedicus at 9:43 AM PST - 13 comments

Imbécile, Warren est MORT!

In Parc Pie-XII in Montreal there is a natural cavern, the Cavernicole Cave or St.-Léonard Cavern. It was discovered early in the nineteenth century and its most famous moment was as a hiding place for weapons and patriotes during the 1837 Rebellion in Lower Canada. After being largely forgotten for many years, the cave was turned into a historical tourist attraction. some forty years ago. Earlier this year, two cavers from la Société québécoise de spéléologie, Daniel Caron and Luc Le Blanc, sent a small camera through a hole in a limestone wall in the cavern to verify suspicions that there was another section and discovered a far larger cavern hidden below the streets of Montreal. [more inside]
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:41 AM PST - 6 comments

Finnish Tango is Serious Business

A 10-year-old 60 Minutes story on Finnish tango (terrible sound quality). Fascinating. I remember seeing this and, as a dancer myself, was riveted by the national character versus the dance and its origin. Morley Safer (I think) talks with local Finnish celebrities about insight to local mores. Here is a list of 67 videos of Finnish tango, some classical, some instrumental, all interesting. popular Finn tangos. The first video seems to be about Argentine musicians going to Finland to play tango. And just for fun, I found this video by Frank Zappa: Satumaa performed live in Helsinki 1974.
posted by MovableBookLady at 9:37 AM PST - 2 comments

Glitch Forever Wiki

Glitch Forever Wiki [via mefi projects] I have, with some help, revived the Glitch Strategy Wiki for the long-gone and much-mourned MMO, Glitch. The wiki was rebuilt from an older archive augmented with a lot of copy-pasting from Wayback pages. It will serve as a resource for gamers in Eleven alpha and hopefully Children of Ur revival projects, along with various other spinoff creations, or for those who just want to revel in nostalgia.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:54 AM PST - 33 comments

Moonlight, slanting through the window, became a white pattern...

'The Glass That Laughed' a new story by Dashiell Hammett
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:32 AM PST - 8 comments

December 3

I don't care who's a good boy—back away from the baby, bud

When it comes to babies, dogs are quite protective [lots of barking]. Cats (with notable exceptions) are more about the snuggles [h/t Miss Cellania].
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:16 PM PST - 30 comments

Refugees Are Welcome Here

The Story of Seven-Hundred Polish Children (1966) (18’05, Black & White) [more inside]
posted by Start with Dessert at 7:07 PM PST - 7 comments

Have another Christmas song to argue about

Xmas Express was a series of commercials for Japan Rail that ran from 1988-1992, with a reboot in 2000. They featured the Japanese Christmas song "Christmas Eve," recorded by Tatsuro Yamashita in 1983, and a different up-and-coming actress each year. In each, the main character is shown meeting her boyfriend at a train station - because if you didn't know, Christmas is a romantic holiday in Japan, where the traditions include going out to a romantic dinner, seeing the lights, and sharing KFC and a Christmas cake. (Other holidays are outside the scope of this post, but if that piques your interest, you might also want to read about Valentine's Day and White Day in Japan.) [more inside]
posted by sunset in snow country at 6:39 PM PST - 10 comments

“Are those big spots his... ears?”

The Investigation Into Toad's Head Continues [Kotaku] “In case you didn't know Toad is at the center of a heated, ongoing debate. On one side are the people who think the mushroom on his head sits there like a hat. On the other side are people who think the mushroom is part of his head. Thanks to the latest Boundary Break video [YouTube], we have some new evidence to consider. While the debate has been raging for aeons, it was recently brought back to the fore thanks to Super Mario Odyssey. There are a bunch of toads in the game and some of them are wearing hats. Like, real ones. On top of their mushroom part. This seemed to suggest the pro-head people have been right all along. A post over at Dorkly [Dorkly] that laid out the debate in detail earlier this month also explained that Toad's mushroom can't be a hat because Cappy, Mario's companion in the game, can only possess creatures who aren't already wearing hats. Mario can possess toads in the game, ergo the mushroom must not be a hat.”
posted by Fizz at 4:27 PM PST - 51 comments

Seasons' Greetings from the Steinbeck Family

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! It has been another dry and brutal year in the Salinas Valley. In case you do not have our previous holiday letters on hand, I will remind you that the Salinas Valley is a lush depression winding through the mountains west of the San Joaquin Valley. There is enough sunlight and enough rain in the Salinas that just about any crop a man plants should grow and flourish. A man could live off the land, if he put his mind to it. He could sell enough beans or corn or, hell, oranges even, that he could keep his belly tight and his flask full, and he could put a roof over his head, and once in a while, if he got the urge to, he could even go into town and lie with a woman. Of course I (John) am only joking about that last part!!
posted by ChuraChura at 2:45 PM PST - 9 comments

Play it.

"I truly believe this remains the greatest scene ever filmed." - David Youngblood on La Marseillaise in Casablanca
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:26 PM PST - 66 comments

The invisible struggle for autistic women

I recoiled in silence, knowing no amount of explanation would break her stereotypes of autism.
For too many, though, that crucial diagnosis may never come. People who struggle with executive abilities tend to get ignored. The spectrum is labeled through the ability to communicate and socialize; adapting to daily life is not often factored into the diagnostic process. Difficulty with executive function is treated as a byproduct of autism, not a defining feature.
[more inside]
posted by Cheerwell Maker at 10:34 AM PST - 72 comments


"Santa going down the chimney, catching on fire." Last year, Tate Lovett and his dad built a 4 foot high gingerbread house. This year they went to 15 feet and made the news. [more inside]
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:46 AM PST - 13 comments

Every dude with a copy of Breakfast of Champions on his nightstand

20 Authors I Don’t Have to Read Because I’ve Dated Men for 16 Years, or, if you’ve spent enough time around dudes, you’ve basically already read these.
posted by acb at 9:45 AM PST - 273 comments

Hi, my name is Tony…

Postmortem: Every Frame a Painting After a year and a half without new content, the film analysis channel, Every Frame a Painting (YouTube, Vimeo) is officially over. Tony Zhou, the narrator and creator of the video essays, along with his now disclosed collaborator, Taylor Ramos, discuss the reasons for shuttering their channel and the process they used to create the essays. (via Medium) Previouslys: 1., 2., 3., 4., 5., 6., 7.
posted by coolxcool=rad at 9:10 AM PST - 25 comments

Look What You Made Them Do

In a now-viral tweet, @xnulz asked twitter to: “Name a badder bitch than Taylor Swift.” Here are just a few of those badder bitches: [more inside]
posted by melissasaurus at 8:57 AM PST - 101 comments


Two Spirit [yt] - "Two Spirit: A Native American possessing both a male and female spirit. An umbrella term used to describe the fluidity of Native American gender identity and sexuality with respect to traditional tribal roles." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 6:41 AM PST - 4 comments


Defunctland is a notional amusement park comprised of defunct rides and attractions from actual parks, but more interestingly it's a series of entertaining short videos about the stories of vanished rides- why they were built, what they were like, and why- be it changing tastes, entertainment conglomerate politics, poor quality, or terrible engineering- they became defunct. Episode list inside. [more inside]
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:10 AM PST - 15 comments

Wintergatan melody - Minecraft cover

You like the Wintergatan Machine (right?) - and you like Minecraft (right?) - then you'll definitely like the Wintergatan song in Minecraft, automated with note blocks and redstone! [more inside]
posted by carter at 5:21 AM PST - 4 comments

The story of the Rastafarians

On the day Emperor Haile Selassie visited Jamaica, a powerful storm broke out. The country, prior to the Emperor’s arrival, had been ravaged by famine and starvation. There had been no rain to water the crops for decades. The first time, in a long time, that it rained was when the Emperor set foot out of his aeroplane in that country. Jamaicans, from that time on, started to see the Emperor in a new light, they started to assume that maybe he was not just a person, but a messiah of some kind. Maybe even the messiah himself.
[more inside]
posted by infini at 4:27 AM PST - 20 comments


Historian Dr Bob Nicholson complained on twitter about the incorrect use of massive headlines in newspapers in historic dramas such as the recent film The Man Who Invented Christmas, about Dickens writing A Christmas Carol. The tweet went viral and was, ironically featured in a couple of newspaper stories (The Times - firewalled and The Mail) as well as elsewhere. Dr Bob himself recommends this article on Dickens.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:15 AM PST - 17 comments

December 2

Voyager 1 fires TCM thrusters for the first time in 37 years

"Since 2014... the thrusters Voyager 1 has been using to orient the spacecraft... have been degrading". These attitude control thrusters perform small but critical adjustments that keep the spacecraft's communication antenna oriented with the Earth. A group of JPL propulsion experts assembled by the Voyager team proposed an "unusual solution" - to test the trajectory correction maneuver (TCM) thrusters Voyager used during planetary and moon encounters as it passed through the solar system. But the last time these thrusters had been used was during the Saturn flyby - in November 1980. [more inside]
posted by nanojath at 10:47 PM PST - 45 comments


"Let dogs be dogs and do zoomies to their heart's content."
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:46 PM PST - 49 comments

North Pole Toy Factory outsources catalog mail services to Anchorage

Letters from [and to] Santa must be received by the Anchorage, AK, Postmaster no later than December 15. Santa’s helpers in Anchorage, AK, will take care of the rest!
posted by not_on_display at 8:08 PM PST - 8 comments

Milk and sugar, you infernal harpy?

It's tea time! "Please, go die." "No one likes you." "Kindly fuck off." "Stop talking." "We hate your baby." "I could poison you." "You are tedious." "I hope you choke." Oh, and let's not forget "Wretched", "Tedious" and "Loathsome".
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:56 PM PST - 17 comments

In difficult times, lift up your voice and sing.

Earlier this year, Toronto's drop in singing event Choir!Choir!Choir! invited LA-based singer MILCK to sing her women's protest anthem "Quiet" with a crowd of 1300 choir members; all proceeds went to the American Civil Liberties Association. Established by Daveed Goldman and Nobu Adilman in 2011, Choir!Choir!Choir! meets twice weekly at Clinton's Tavern to build community and give people a place to sing without judgment, with a side of social activism. [more inside]
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 4:29 PM PST - 11 comments

“There are geometrical shapes that make us feel happy,”

Engare, a videogame about the mathematical beauty of Islamic art [Kill Screen] “Engare started out life as a question posed by Bahrami’s high school geometry teacher. This teacher asked the class what shape would be traced by a point attached to a ball if the ball was rolled across a surface (it’d probably be a series of loops). Years later, this same question essentially serves as the concept for Engare, except it asks you to experiment with more than just a ball, becoming more complex as you progress. Each level gives you an incomplete pattern and you have to figure out how to, well, complete it. To do this, you attach a point to one of the objects in the level and then, when you press play, hope that the point’s movement upon that object draws the shape you’re after. If it doesn’t, you rewind, move the point somewhere else, and so on—.” [Gameplay Trailer][YouTube] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 3:33 PM PST - 18 comments

Bill and Ted's Excellent Online Adventure, circa 2002 into the future

You might think it's most heinous that we have yet again failed to celebrate Bill and Ted day on June 9th (6/9), but there's always the excellent Bill and Ted (dot org) to help you celebrate those two excellent dudes year 'round. Beyond the two movies, the well-documented Excellent Adventure (1989, sci-fi buddy comedy) and lesser detailed Bogus Journey (1991, another cult hit), as well as the two seasons of the cartoon series (1990-1991, with and without Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, George Carlin, and Bernie Casey reprising their film roles), the live-action series (1992, with 7 episodes aired), various comics, a musical theater adaptation of Excellent Adventure, a fan art gallery, a fan fiction library, and more. Whoa! [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 3:01 PM PST - 19 comments

ctrl-c, ctrl-v

Emma Cline sued and countersuing over spyware and plagiarism claims surrounding her best-selling novel, The Girls. [more inside]
posted by jeather at 3:00 PM PST - 14 comments

Sex isn't chromosomes

Sex Itself is a comprehensive demolition of the very term “sex chromosomes” – a taxonomy from nearly a century ago, stumbling along half-alive in the public’s imagination but long overdue a visit to the glue factory
posted by latkes at 1:50 PM PST - 45 comments

A . for CompuServe

CompuServe's forums -- which still exist -- will be shutting down [more inside]
posted by misskaz at 12:30 PM PST - 43 comments

Stop trying to make fetch happen

Ten Long Years of Trying to Make Armie Hammer Happen , Anne Helen Peterson for Buzzfeed
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:09 PM PST - 110 comments

Nearly 20% of NYC's sexual misconduct reports happened on MTA alone

We Need to Talk About the MTA’s Sexual Assault Problem. Every time women take public transit, they risk sexual assault. Can't take the train. Can't ride the bus. Can't use ride-sharing apps. Unsurprisingly, this has a negative effect on women's mobility. (pdf) [more inside]
posted by AFABulous at 11:53 AM PST - 27 comments

How gun violence affects kids across America

John Woodrow Cox has spent the year reporting for the Washington Post on children affected by gun violence. "Did your father die?" For a 2nd grader, gunfire, lockdowns, then the worst violence of all. Almost two dozen kids are shot every day in the US. This 4-year-old was one of them. Twelve seconds of gunfire: school playground shooting still haunts the first graders who survived. He'd been shot at 15. Now, amid Chicago's relentless gunfire, he had one goal: stay alive. The Las Vegas shooting: six teens and the wounds they carry.
posted by ChuraChura at 11:46 AM PST - 7 comments

although my voice was very unlike the soft music of their tones

Coditany of Timeness Two technologists trained a neural network to produce a black metal album.

They started with a pre-existing recording, cut it into tiny tracks, then taught the software to arrange the clips into convincing music. Here's their paper. [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 10:45 AM PST - 10 comments

In 1973, the Goat faced an uncertain destiny.

Dear friends, family, and farm animals: the Gävle Goat has been erected for 2017. Since the 1960's the Swedish town of Gävle has erected a giant (13 meters tall and 7 meters long) Yule Goat constructed of straw over a Swedish pine frame. Nearly every year, the goat has been destroyed, usually via arson. Will 2017 be one of the vanishingly rare years that the Gävle Goat survives the holiday season? Keep up with the Gävlebocken Twitter to find out.
posted by angeline at 10:29 AM PST - 74 comments

“We are in a golden age in HIV vaccine science.”

On the eve of World AIDS Day, the NIH announced two new large clinical trials. HPTN 084 will test the efficacy of a long-acting injectable drug in volunteers in southern and eastern Africa. Imbokodo will recruit women in southern Africa to test the efficacy of a mosaic vaccine designed to induce immune responses against a variety of strains of HIV. Also see the South African Medical Research Council announcement. [more inside]
posted by esoterrica at 10:28 AM PST - 5 comments

"I'm mostly a puddle."

Raising a Teenage Daughter, by Elizabeth Weil. With comments and corrections by Hannah W. Duane.
posted by zarq at 10:12 AM PST - 23 comments

also known as the death metal album cover fox

The gray fox of the American Southwest is 2.5-3.5 ft long, weighs about 7-15 lbs, and by the way, it drags skeletons up into the trees. [modestly graphic photo]
posted by moonmilk at 10:09 AM PST - 12 comments

Michael W. Smith - Christmas

In 1989, CCM artist Michael W. Smith was at the peak of his career, achieving minor mainstream success while being one of the biggest Contemporary Christian artists of the time. He released an excellent, orchestra+choir, Steamroller-influenced, rather introspective-feeling album of original holiday music titled simply Christmas. The opening track is Overture/O Come All Ye Faithful. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 8:39 AM PST - 14 comments

These, then, are the stakes.

When it comes to the border on the island of Ireland, the coming days will stretch the politics of Brexit to the limit. RTE's Tony Connelly continues his deeply informed coverage with an outline of the main issues that need to be addressed in the coming days for an agreement on the Irish border to be reached and for Brexit talks to move to Phase II. [more inside]
posted by roolya_boolya at 4:40 AM PST - 82 comments

"I'm not a curmudgeon, I'm just a scientist's daughter."

Writing Nameless Things: An Interview with Ursula K. Le Guin (via)
posted by kliuless at 3:34 AM PST - 16 comments


'Nada' was the comic book adaptation of Ray Nelson’s short story 'Eight O’Clock in the Morning'. You might know the story better from the film version.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:56 AM PST - 6 comments

Pup pet

Amazing dancing wolf (single link Twitter video)
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 1:15 AM PST - 20 comments

December 1

single and writing sad poems//on the internet.

"And so Collin, with his cigarettes and typewriter and goofy smile, continues to share poems on Instagram (at least when you were with me, you were an artist/now you’re just someone’s girlfriend/I’m not sure who that hurt more, goes a recent poem). 'It shouldn’t matter if your ‘poetry’ sucks,” he said. “You wrote it. You created something, you molded words together and it means something personal to you… to me, poetry is simply being pure and honest with yourself.'" A conversation with the most hated poet in Portland.
posted by Grandysaur at 11:46 PM PST - 67 comments

"I thought probably I would just fade away."

At 102 years old, Florence Wheeler never expected to share her life story with a 16-year-old stranger, but it turned out to be an experience they will both cherish. As part of a program run by Allity Aged Care at her nursing home in Walkerville in Adelaide's inner south-east, Mrs Wheeler sat down with year 10 student Nathan McCarthy once a week for 10 weeks to co-write her memoirs. (video)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:38 PM PST - 6 comments

Something Silly

The SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket is set to finally launch on its maiden flight early in the new year all going well. Elon Musk had told us to expect the first cargo to be something silly. Today he announced just what it would be.
posted by Long Way To Go at 9:18 PM PST - 72 comments

Collusion Course

Day 316: former National Security Advisor to Trump, Michael Flynn, has pled guilty to lying to the FBI, widely believed to be a sign that Flynn has rolled on either senior administration officials or Trump family members. In particular, CNN is reporting that Flynn's plea bargain implicates Jared Kushner, and Buzzfeed suggests that he was working for both Russia and Turkey. Meanwhile, Senate Republicans are coming to the end of their shambolic process to put together a tax bill, and are preparing to vote. [This is a US politics catch-all thread: please read these important rules about how they work. Also, enjoy refreshing MetaFilter chat for your hot takes and instant reactions.] [more inside]
posted by Merus at 7:29 PM PST - 2109 comments


First Look At The Batman Ninja Anime [Kotaku] “When the Batman Ninja anime was first announced this October, a short clip was shown at New York Comic Con. Now, the animated feature’s first footage has been uploaded online, and it’s glorious. Story writer Kazuki Nakashima (Kill La Kill) and character designer Takashi Okazaki (Afro Samurai) have created a Batman unlike any we’ve seen previously. There are two teasers—one with English subtitles and one without. Batman Ninja will be released on DVD and Blu-ray next year.”
posted by Fizz at 2:37 PM PST - 38 comments

Mr. Sandman, bring me a horrible nightmare

Sound Designer Jeans rose to prominence with his "uncomfortably meaty" rendition of Mr. Sandman. Since then he has gone on to destroy Mr. Sandman in just about enough ways to make a whole album, including an unsettling one, one that bridges the divide between cute and horrifying, an even more unsettling one, a wavy one, an existentialist hellscape, and the version that you hear on a slow train through the afterlife when you die in your sleep. If you're not into increasingly disturbing renditions of Mr. Sandman, let Jeans take you uptown. Or to the town of Ween. Or to Flavortown.
posted by Jeanne at 2:00 PM PST - 23 comments

Last Christmas... I lasted three days

It's December 1st! Whamageddon has begun. [more inside]
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 12:14 PM PST - 210 comments

A story with Russia and a lot of bed-wetting

The groups for the 2018 FIFA World in Russia were drawn. [more inside]
posted by lmfsilva at 11:56 AM PST - 55 comments

My whole life has been a parade of aunties

"I have a lot of aunts. Eleven on my dad’s side and six on my mom’s. I also have a lot of cousins and, now that my cousins are all having babies, a lot of second-cousins — a hundred, or four hundred, or four million, something like that. I attended a cousin’s bridal shower recently where she stood up during speech time and told a funny story about how when she was young she didn’t understand that in other families moms had friends who weren’t their sisters, and kids had friends who weren’t their cousins." In praise of aunties.
posted by ChuraChura at 10:47 AM PST - 20 comments


Elizebeth Friedman was even more important to cryptanalysis and history than we knew (previously), and some serious FOIA research by Jason Fagone went into a new biography of her, The Woman Who Smashed Codes. [more inside]
posted by clew at 10:41 AM PST - 13 comments

Chapelier Fou, the musical mad hatter from France

Chapelier Fou (; Mad Hatter via auto-translation) is the stage name of Louis Warynski, a multi-instrumentalist who composes complex pieces on violin, mandolin, harp and various electronic pieces and synthesizers, as you can see in this live clip of "Darling, Darling, Darling" as a solo piece in 2009, and for some proper madness, an augmented live video, featuring more artists accompanying Warynski and delightfully weird, surreal animations. You can find more videos from his YouTube channel, and most of his discography (Discogs) on Bandcamp.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:24 AM PST - 5 comments

Forgiving the unforgivable, to salve generational trauma

After 30+ years fighting the US military and American settlers, Chiricahua Apache medicine man Geronimo surrendered to the US government in 1886. Geronimo and 341 other Chiricahua then became permanent prisoners of war at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where their children were sent to schools designed to strip them of their language and cultural identity. Journalist Anna Badkhen recently traveled to a small town in the Sierra Madre Occidental of northern Mexico, where Geronimo's descendants performed the Ceremonia del Perdón — a Ceremony of Forgiveness, celebrated their lineage and honored their roots in the very mountains where their ancestors denounced and hid theirs to survive. As the Apache try to forgive, Badkhen tries, in her words, “to learn what forgiveness is and whether it is possible.” (Via: 1 and 2)
posted by zarq at 8:24 AM PST - 3 comments

If All I Was Was Black

"I have a mind to bury them whole,” Mavis Staples sings on her new album, If All I Was Was Black (YT playlist). It is not a very Mavis-like thing to hear the perpetually upbeat gospel legend sing. But after a lifetime devoted to fighting injustice through her music, such is the singer’s recent mood toward a renewed wave of bigotry and racial violence. Mavis Staples has had it. [more inside]
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:38 AM PST - 21 comments

Still grumpy, but loves Instagram

This Korean Grandpa Learned To Draw Again For His Grandchildren "He has made hundreds of drawings and hasn't stopped."
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 2:22 AM PST - 17 comments


'A tale of decay': the Houses of Parliament are falling down As politicians dither over repairs, the risk of fire, flood or a deluge of sewage only increases. But fixing the Palace of Westminster might change British politics for good – which is the last thing many of its residents want. Behind the scenes in Britain's crumbling Houses of Parliament – in pictures
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:16 AM PST - 98 comments

A weird bit of financial history

Tom Scott explains the strange case of Yale having a 367 year old bond originally issued by a Dutch waterschap in its archives, that's still paying interest. (slyt)
posted by MartinWisse at 2:01 AM PST - 14 comments

Drinking Pace Indicated, Not Recommended

Titus Jones' Mashup Power Hour 206 songs. 159 artists. 60 mashups. 60 minutes. 60 shots. Because everybody could use some disturbingly good-but-how-did-you-think-to-try-this micromixes to start their Friday off right.
posted by CrystalDave at 1:19 AM PST - 12 comments