December 2018 Archives

December 31

I didn’t know how much I didn’t know

My mother learned to read at 63 - she was still the smartest woman I know “Honey, your mama never went to school a day in her life,” she said. “I don’t know how to read or write. And I don’t want nobody to know but you.”
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:04 PM PST - 15 comments

Is There Really Such a Thing as a "Simple" Percussion Instrument?

Kashakas (also known as Patica, Kosika. Asalato, Kes Kes, Tchangot Tche, etc.) create both shaking sounds and percussive clicks by swinging the balls around the hand, making them hit each other. This enables a variety of rhythms to be created. It's like clackers and egg shakers had a baby that grew up to be a musical prodigy! [more inside]
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:30 PM PST - 7 comments

Here's to another year of good dogs

Undisputed best Twitter account of all time @dog_rates (previously) has posted the best video of the past year: The Dogs Of 2018 (YouTube link, because good dogs deserve 720p).
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:01 PM PST - 14 comments

What is brand can never die.

Lindsay Ellis: Death of the Author
posted by Pendragon at 5:37 PM PST - 40 comments


2008 Reunion. An hour-long extended DJ Earworm mash/mix of 90+ songs from 2008.
Also released: United State of Pop 2018 (Turnin' It Up) [more inside]
posted by zarq at 3:05 PM PST - 6 comments

Far Out

Want to end or begin your year with a visit to the Kuiper Belt? Tonight, you can vicariously do so through NASA's New Horizons spacecraft as it flies by minor planet 2014 MU69, making it the furthest ever visited by a spacecraft. [more inside]
posted by subocoyne at 2:42 PM PST - 42 comments

2018: Escalation

“Everything felt exactly as urgent as everything else did, which is probably why I continue to feel existentially tired...” “We can’t speak truth to power, we have to destroy power.” “Ten years after the financial crash, every day has been a swarm of mystified praise and self-serving proclamations about an economy whose “booming” booms without us. ” “the 1% will hoard everything, leaving the rest of us to fight amongst ourselves and die.” We asked more than two dozen of our favorite journalists, writers, and thinkers: What were the most important events of 2018, and what were the least? (The Morming News)
posted by The Whelk at 10:27 AM PST - 23 comments


Kenny's Quest [YouTube] “Undertale creator Toby Fox’s latest project is something of a surprise: a match promo video for New Japan Pro Wrestling star Kenny Omega. The wrestler teamed up with Fox to promote NJPW’s upcoming pay-per-view event, Wrestle Kingdom 13, but according to the video’s Star Wars-esque opening crawl, “circumstances beyond [the creator’s] control” will prevent it from airing officially.” [via: Polygon]
posted by Fizz at 10:10 AM PST - 5 comments

Another year down, and so many music lists come up

Another year down, another round-up of Best Music Of The Year, from all corners of the internet, from the 100-strong, store-specific lists from Bleep (100 best tracks) and Bandcamp (100 best releases), to specific genres (The 100+ Best New Kpop Songs Of 2018, Ranked By Fans and Best K-Pop MVs in 2018; 15 Best Country Songs and 10 Best Country Albums of 2018). If you want the best of the best, Album of the Year aggregates broadly, and you can dig down into the 122 individual year-end lists. If those lists start looking too familiar, try Best Hindi Hits of 2018, or more broadly, OkayAfrica's "Best Of 2018" tagged posts, including The 35 Best South African Hip-Hop Albums, EPs & Mixtapes of 2018 and The Best Nigerian Music Videos of 2018.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:22 AM PST - 8 comments

No longer as straight as an arrow

Lars Andersen demonstrating turning arrows. (Previously: 1, 2.)
posted by em at 8:49 AM PST - 13 comments

The many moods of your refrigerator

Whether it's a flintlock above your fireplace or a Warhol above your washer, let 1968 Westinghouse refrigerators Match Your Mood! Courtesy of Jam Handy, former Olympic swimmer/water polo player, industrial communications maestro, and MST3K favorite. (Previously: 1, 2, 3)
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 8:38 AM PST - 21 comments

It's always OK to punch a Nazi.

Keeping an eye on the Far Right: Hannibal is a head of a right-wing German nationwide underground network with direct connections to State Authorities.
Meanwhile in Mayfair a dinner that brought Europe's far right together. [more inside]
posted by adamvasco at 8:24 AM PST - 7 comments

"It is only adults who ever feel threatened by Sendak’s work."

In the Night Kitchen is Maurice Sendak's most-banned work (#24 on the ALA's top-banned/challenged list for 2000-2009), and certainly the most censored. In classic Sendak fashion, the 1970 book revels in its absurdity, featuring a city skyline made from pantry items and a plane fashioned out of bread dough (both seen in this 2013 Google Doodle). It also features frontal nudity of young Mickey, the book's protagonist, leading at least one school librarian to burn the book; Sendak's legendary editor, Ursula Nordstrom, replied with characteristic grace and wit. [more inside]
posted by duffell at 7:48 AM PST - 20 comments

keeps getting worse with the passage of time

"In 1998, Congress extended the terms of copyright for works published before 1978 from 75 years to 95 years. In practical terms, this meant that works of art first published in the United States in 1923—which would otherwise have entered the public domain in 1999—got an extra 20 years of copyright protection. On Tuesday, those twenty years will finally be over, and a large number of movies, books, songs, paintings, and at least one work of choreography (Ellen Tels’ Persisches Ballett) will be entering the public domain for the first time." According to Critics From 1923, Here’s the Worst of It.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 7:04 AM PST - 8 comments

"a cruel, cruel task"

Paste Magazine makes its choices for The 50 Best Comic Book Covers of 2018.
posted by taz at 6:24 AM PST - 13 comments

What lady would take mathematics instead of Latin?

NASA Astronomer Nancy Grace Roman has died at 93. Pioneering astronomer Nancy Grace Roman fought to earn her place in a field dominated by men, and led the way in convincing ground-based astronomers that space astronomy was worthwhile. She developed and planned the Hubble Space Telescope, which is famous for its stunning images of space.
posted by stillmoving at 5:14 AM PST - 17 comments

The Vimes Boots Theory: Further Reflections

"These boots," I said gesturing at what I was trying on, on my feet, "cost $200. Given that I typically buy a pair for $20 every year, that means these boots have to last 10 years to recoup the initial investment." That was on January 17, 2005. They died earlier this month – that is in the first week of December, 2018. So: almost but not quite 14 years. So, purely as an investment, they returned a bit under $80, which is a 40% ROI. However, I would like to propose that this is not the only financial value that I realized from investing in more durable boots.
posted by Cozybee at 1:17 AM PST - 91 comments

December 30

Knife, Paper, Octopus

Paper cutting art requires tremendous patience and a steady hand, and Japanese artist Masayo Fukuda has mastered the craft. Known as Kirie in Japanese (translated as “cut picture”), the traditional art form involves cutting intricate forms from a single sheet of white paper and then contrasting it against a black background to reveal the design. Fukuda has been practicing Kirie for 25 years and has recently revealed what she believes to be her best work of 2018—an incredible life-sized paper octopus. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:59 PM PST - 14 comments

The FBI of the NPS

The 33 special agents assigned to the Investigative Services Branch handle the most complex crimes committed on NPS land. When a day hike in Rocky Mountain National Park ended in a grisly death, ISB veteran Beth Shott hit the trail, where she began unraveling a harrowing case.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:42 PM PST - 20 comments

Recent reviews of reviews

Aaron Bady (Popula, 12/20/2018), "Milkman: I Have Not Finished This Very Good Novel (Though I Probably Will)": "Why would I get mad at [Dwight Garner] for the structural impossibility of the genre he's paid to write in?" Nicola Griffith (, 4/2/2018), "How Ableism Affects a Book Review": "So Lucky's first review ... epitomises the bias faced by novels about disabled characters written by disabled authors and it's time this bias was called out." Mark Brown (The Guardian, 10/7/2018), "Kate Atkinson calls authors reviewing their peers a 'callous art'": "Atkinson called Dee's review bizarre. 'He was making a whole article out of me not being Rachel Cusk.'" [more inside]
posted by Wobbuffet at 4:49 PM PST - 8 comments

Cold Genius

"What Power art thou, Who from below, Hast made me rise, Unwillingly and slow..." (playlist.) "The Frost Scene" from Act 3 of Henry Purcell's 1691 semi-opera King Arthur, or The British Worthy, performed here as a comedy by the French ensemble Le Concert Spirituel. Also called the "Cold Genius Scene", it's probably best known for the "Cold Song," which was reintroduced to modern audiences by Klaus Nomi's haunting rendition. [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 3:20 PM PST - 14 comments

"imagine Holes but without the holes"

When young men arrive at Pine Grove Youth Conservation Camp—California’s first and only remaining rehabilitative prison camp for offenders sentenced as teens—they first notice the trees.
posted by queen anne's remorse at 12:20 PM PST - 1 comment

“I grew up on the crime side, the New York Times side”

City Council Approves Street Co-Naming For Woody Guthrie, Notorious B.I.G. & Wu-Tang Clan [Gothamist] “In its final meeting of the year, the New York City Council voted 48-0 to honor three music icons in their home boroughs: famed hip hop artists Biggie Smalls/Notorious B.I.G. (a.k.a. Christopher Wallace) and the Wu-Tang Clan, as well as folk singer Woody Guthrie. Christopher Wallace Way would be located on St. James Place, between Fulton Street and Gates Avenue in Brooklyn, the same block where the late rapper Biggie Smalls grew up. [...] And in a nod to the city’s folk tradition, Woody Guthrie Way would be located on Mermaid Avenue between West 35th and West 36th streets in the Coney Island section of Brooklyn, where the singer moved with his wife in 1943.”
posted by Fizz at 9:46 AM PST - 15 comments

Iconic Hong Kong director, producer, and screenwriter Ringo Lam has died

R.I.P. Veteran Hong Kong Director Ringo Lam (AV Club obituary) "A veteran of the Hong Kong film scene, Lam exploded into the world of action and crime films with his 1987 feature City On Fire—still held up as both a codifying film in the “bad men with guns and honor” sub-genre of crime pictures, and the unofficial inspiration for Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs. Although his later films—including multiple American movies with Jean-Claude Van Damme, many of them weirdly obsessed with duplicates and doubles—failed to capture that same initial burst of style or creative energy, Lam’s influence on the modern action picture is impossible to discount." [more inside]
posted by soundguy99 at 8:54 AM PST - 9 comments

"Tunisian techno, Xitsongan rap and Satanic doo-wop"

The Guardian suggests 50 new artists and bands you might want to check out in 2019. All the names there are new to me, so I made a Spotify playlist to help me (and you) investigate them further. I'm only about a dozen tracks into it myself so far, but already I love Saweetie, Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard and The Manor.
posted by Paul Slade at 5:43 AM PST - 16 comments

December 29

Good Grief

Tell Me One More Time What to Do About Grief. "Accept the lasagna. Do not start reading that Joan Didion book." [NYT]
posted by storybored at 9:53 PM PST - 48 comments

Stonewall: an hour of oral history

Gay USA's Andy Humm and Ann Northrup look forward to Stonewall 50 with a panel discussion [58m]: Eric Marcus of the Making Gay History podcast [previously], Martin Boyce (present at Stonewall), Carla Jay (original member of Gay Liberation Front), and Jamie Adams (Park Service Ranger in charge of the Stonewall National Monument). Looking to the past to contemplate the future, including Stonewall 50 observances and the Reclaim Pride movement. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 9:23 PM PST - 2 comments

I've never seen it before and I pray I never see it again

Paul F. Tompkins as Dame Sir Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber provides critical commentary for the 1925 film The Phantom Of the Opera. [more inside]
posted by dephlogisticated at 7:00 PM PST - 11 comments

Banging out

Guardian journalist and all-round awesome Twitter egg, Simon Ricketts, has died from cancer, less than a month after announcing in a typically beautiful and unself-pitying article that he would soon be gone. [more inside]
posted by penguin pie at 3:33 PM PST - 35 comments

2018 was a year that happened

WaPo's Alexandra Petri briefly covers The Year That Was. Sample: "The Parker Solar Probe, seeing how things were going on Earth, demanded to be shot into the sun, and we obliged." (NYT).

MeFi's Own Miss Cellania is busy producing year end lists. Sample: Year-end Lists 2018: Animals.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:29 PM PST - 10 comments

Tulsa Offers Cash to Attract New Residents

From CityLab by Sarah Holder, NOV 16, 2018. Stop Complaining About Your Rent and Move to Tulsa, Suggests Tulsa Starting this week, remote workers from all over the country can apply to move to Tulsa (Oklahoma) in exchange for $10,000 in cash, a housing stipend for a fully-furnished apartment in a building downtown, and a desk at a local co-working space. The program, called Tulsa Remote, is being fully funded by the George Kaiser Family Foundation, a Tulsa-based philanthropy ..., and was planned with the city’s cooperation. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 12:16 PM PST - 97 comments

When Robot and Crow Saved East St. Louis

A new short science fiction story from Annalee Newitz in Slate. Each month in 2018, Future Tense Fiction—a series of short stories from Future Tense and ASU’s Center for Science and the Imagination about how technology and science will change our lives—will publish a story on a theme. The theme for October–December 2018: Work. [more inside]
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 12:15 PM PST - 13 comments

Hampsterdance, an oral history

It was just supposed to be a quick assignment — a hit of kitschy Y2K memories for anyone who remembered a weird website or a goofy novelty song or even just some gag from Are We There Yet? But with every person who agreed to be interviewed, the Hampsterdance turned into one more thing: a hairy beast of a saga.
posted by clawsoon at 12:09 PM PST - 40 comments

Strumming my pain with his fingers

Norman Gimbel, lyricist known for Killing Me Softly and Girl from Ipanema, has died He was also well-known for work in television and film, including Laverne & Shirley, Wonder Woman, HR Puffnstuff, and Happy Days.
posted by stillmoving at 11:44 AM PST - 18 comments

For Gwich’in people, Arctic drilling poses a threat to caribou & culture

The Trump administration, eager to explore Alaska’s oil reserves, is planning seismic tests on the calving grounds of animals Indigenous people depend on economically and spiritually. Here’s a closer look at the ones with the most to lose. [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 9:45 AM PST - 3 comments

What would Mollie do?

"two people from two different Americas — one immigrant, the other native — whose lives were upended by the same moment of violence and then plunged into the center of another divisive national debate about immigration. . . . Two people who were, each in their own way, mourning the loss of family members, with little in common beyond raw need. Two people now trying to translate this unspoken need into something familial..."
posted by drlith at 8:19 AM PST - 2 comments

The global history of stuffed triangular pastry

Long promised, here we will take a walk through the humble samosa's global journey of belonging to everyone, everywhere. FPPs are too brief to list every culture who believes it to be their very own, so I'll simply fill this up with links to stories and recipes for you dive deep into yourself.
posted by infini at 6:53 AM PST - 28 comments

“Fear prophets and those prepared to die for the truth“

“The mysterious 8chan poster known as “Q” promised on multiple occasions that “2018 will be GLORIOUS.” For people who genuinely believe that Q is a government insider close to President Trump, that “glory” was supposed to come in the form of mass arrests of some equally dramatic event that would expose the so-called “deep state.” But even as QAnon community broke into mainstream awareness, vindication remained elusive.” The Year In Q (The Contemplator) “2018 was a year in which right-wing pundits and self-proclaimed “prophets” made a variety of predictions and proclamations that never came true“ 2018: The Year in False Prophesies and Failed Predictions (Right Wing Watch)
posted by The Whelk at 6:49 AM PST - 58 comments

The man who reinvented Donald Trump

"We walked through the offices and saw chipped furniture. We saw a crumbling empire at every turn. Our job was to make it seem otherwise." Mark Burnett is the TV producer of "The Apprentice", the show which revitalised Donald Trump's public persona and paved the way for his Presidency.
posted by epo at 5:37 AM PST - 66 comments

December 28

The best films of the year ... 1928

Since 2007, film critics and scholars Kristin Thompson and David Bordwell have posted the ten best films of the year 90 years before the current one. So this year is they've posted the ten best of 1928, a great year for motion pictures but almost the end of the line for the silent film. [more inside]
posted by octothorpe at 10:11 PM PST - 14 comments

um . . . Comfort Foods

What we eat at funerals can be a symbol for the departed, a balm in hard times, or a reminder that eating means we are still alive. A wonderful essay for the end of the year.
posted by MovableBookLady at 9:49 PM PST - 15 comments

So, a shipment of crickets for the lizard arrived via FedEx today.

It was my first time ordering bulk crickets off the internet, and I naively assumed that they would be in like, a bag or some other contraption to facilitate easy transfer to another container. They were not. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 9:14 PM PST - 71 comments

The early days of AIDS

“Ruth Coker Burks cared for hundreds of dying people, many of them gay men who had been abandoned by their families. She buried more than three dozen of them herself, after their families refused to claim their bodies. For many of those people, she is now the only person who knows the location of their graves.” From OUT
posted by HuronBob at 8:01 PM PST - 10 comments

Ain't it funny how they joke about their wives as if they hate them?

Good Citizens is the fourth album from Melbourne band Cash Savage and the Last Drinks. Their most uncompromisingly political release it is turning heads as a whole, with the titular single getting coverage on its own. If you like no bullshit say-it-like-is rock and roll, dig in. If you can, see them live they rock. [more inside]
posted by deadwax at 6:29 PM PST - 3 comments

“—the action’s the thing.”

Police Story & Police Story 2 [Vimeo][4K Restoration Trailer] “When it comes to death-defying stunt work, if anyone could give Tom Cruise a run — or a punch, kick, leap, or unfathomable fall — for his money, it’s Jackie Chan. For proof, look no further than the Police Story series, the first two installments of which were recently restored in 4K by Fortune Star at L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory in anticipation of a Criterion Collection release, with the announcement of a full theatrical run, a brand new trailer, and poster debuting exclusively on Polygon. Directed by and starring Chan, as hot-shot Hong Kong police officer Chan Ka-Kui, Police Story (1985) and Police Story 2 (1988) contain some of the most audacious stunts ever seen, and are long overdue to be seen in theaters again.” [via: Polygon]
posted by Fizz at 12:42 PM PST - 32 comments

CCGS Captain Molly Kool

Canada has taken command of the icebreaker CCGS Captain Molly Kool, named after Captain Myrtle "Molly" Kool. In 1939, "she became the first woman in North America to become a deep sea Captain, and only the second woman in the world to obtain that title. She sent a telegram home saying "Call me Captain from now on." Born in New Brunswick, Kool lived out her life in Maine, where she died in 2009. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:39 AM PST - 7 comments

besa mafia

The unbelievable tale of a fake hitman, a kill list, a darknet vigilante... and a murder. Hitman-for-hire darknet sites are all scams. But some people turn up dead nonetheless. [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 9:24 AM PST - 43 comments

Aurora Astorialis

Last night, for several minutes, the night sky over New York City was illuminated with brilliant electric blue light. The NYPD insists that it wasn't aliens, but you can draw your own conclusions.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:34 AM PST - 82 comments

Børge Ring (1921-2018)

Danish cartoonist and animator Børge Ring has passed away. To say merely that his films "won awards" is to understate their exquisite beauty and craftsmanship.
posted by overeducated_alligator at 6:26 AM PST - 3 comments

December 27

NPR Music Staff Picks: The Best Of 2018

We all process a year differently. That's why, as we wave goodbye to 2018, even though NPR Music has already published our collective lists of the best albums and songs of the year, we're sharing some favorites that are a little more personal. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 7:53 PM PST - 9 comments

Madame Walker's Villa Has a New Life

The villa will become a training center for women of color entrepreneurs. The New Voices Foundation, which helps women of color entrepreneurs achieve their vision through innovative leadership initiatives, will spearhead the stabilization of the structure and planning for future uses. The acquisition was facilitated by the Dennis Family, including entrepreneur, investor, and social impact innovator Richelieu Dennis, who once owned Shea Moisture and currently owns Essence Magazine. [more inside]
posted by MovableBookLady at 7:18 PM PST - 3 comments

The Origins of Hogmanay, lang may yer lum reek!

Until 1599 in Scotland, the New Year began on the 25th of March, which was in line with England. However, on the 17th of December, 1599, King James VI, via an act of his Privy Council, decided that Scotland should come into line with other “well governit commonwealths.” The date for New Year's Day was changed from the 25th of March and imposed as the 1st of January, 1600. With this change came a shift in the celebrations ofHogmanay, which are still big in Scotland, particularly Edinburgh. If you want to bring some Scottish celebrations to your home, here's a collection of practices and traditions. If you want the 5 minute summary, here's a short take, and 5 Scottish Hogmanay traditions that are probably new to you. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 6:11 PM PST - 11 comments

Christmas cheer

Hercules, the dog, was rescued from a certain death in Buenos Aires. When picked up, he was in truly bad shape (Warning!) but he recovered nicely.
posted by growabrain at 4:48 PM PST - 10 comments

The inside of this mirror undulates like the sea

The first 100 dreams that the sixteenth-century Ottoman Turkish sultan Murad III sent to his Sufi teacher have been translated and posted by Ozgen Felek and Walter G. Andrews. [more inside]
posted by yarntheory at 4:34 PM PST - 11 comments

Uncovering the blackness of the People's Temple

Discussions of the Jonestown Massacre typically note that most of the victims were African-American, but subsequent accounts have mostly focused on Jones, who was white, or on testimony of white survivors. Jamilah King, who grew up in a predominantly-black San Francisco neighborhood that she now realizes was deeply scarred by the massacre, explores an online archive of the People's Temple, mostly administered by survivors of the movement and relatives of people who died at Jonestown. She discusses what we can learn from the People's Temple and from efforts to keep alive the memory of those who were drawn to it. [more inside]
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:25 PM PST - 46 comments

fake back story - amazing music

This Krautrock Olympics Soundtrack Will Blow Your Mind. "This triumphant, all-instrumental collection of (mostly) synthetic baubles, bubbles, hums, whistles, and moonscapes may also be one of the 10 best Krautrock albums ever released. It’s so good that it’s largely irrelevant that it’s the fruit of a well-executed hoax." Youtube Playlist for Kosmische Lauder Volume 3 (The Secret Cosmic Music Of The East German Olympic Program 1972-83). [more inside]
posted by philip-random at 2:16 PM PST - 7 comments

Patriarchy is a negotiation.

"Life is just a shock to the system. It turns out that the man I have spent 50 years believing to be my father is not my father. My mother lied to me about who my father is." Elizabeth Wurtzel: Neither of my parents was exactly who I thought they were.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 1:42 PM PST - 36 comments

Infernal Topography

Dante's Inferno. Now clickable.
posted by Miko at 12:39 PM PST - 8 comments

Waldos are so twee

Could you light two disposable lighters with a forklift? Could you do it if they're sitting on eggs?

If that's not tricksy enough, try it with an excavator: The Easy Way | The Hard Way
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:37 PM PST - 15 comments

"It started as a lark then became some type of thing."

The Tournament of Books shortlist has been announced (see also the longlist). In related news, Largehearted Boy continues to track 'Best of 2018' Book Lists. And Emily Temple at LitHub has produced a meta-analysis of 52 lists from 37 sources in an attempt to create "the last best-books-of-2018 list you’ll ever have to read." [more inside]
posted by Wobbuffet at 12:34 PM PST - 8 comments

‘I bring forth DOOMBA, a half-goat, half-script creature’

This Roomba can create its own Doom levels. [Polygon] “Game developer and designer Rich Whitehouse gave the world an unusual present this Christmas Eve. It’s called Doomba, and it uses the popular Roomba vacuuming robots to create levels for Doom, the classic first-person shooter. [...] To do the work, some Roombas use a creepy little electronic eyeball to create detailed maps of your home. Doomba takes that map and makes it into a level of Hell.”
posted by Fizz at 11:08 AM PST - 7 comments

The Wrath of a Gorgon Wronged

Medusa con la cabeza de Perseo - Medusa holding Perseus’ head (possibly nsfw) The story behind the Medusa statue that has become the perfect avatar for women’s rage: "This vision of a re-imagined Medusa myth is a sculpture by Luciano Garbati, a 45-year-old Argentine-Italian artist based in Buenos Aires who has watched in amazement lately as a piece of art he made in 2008 has gone viral across social media, as the perfect avatar for a moment of female rage." [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 10:55 AM PST - 25 comments

Other People Being John Malkovich

The Chicago photographer Sandro, using John Malkovich as a medium, reinvents photography.
posted by PinkMoose at 8:50 AM PST - 21 comments

The truck is not alone. Not by a long shot.

Heather Oelklaus keeps a yellow box truck parked outside her Colorado Springs home, a “big, yellow monstrosity” she calls “Little Miss Sunshine.” It also happens to be a pinhole camera. (What is pinhole photography?)
posted by asperity at 8:43 AM PST - 11 comments

Oh sugar, pour a little sugar on it honey

“The Sugar Association is proud of our long research history and believe that sugar is best enjoyed in moderation, a fact that is supported by decades of scientific research.” "Internal documents reveal that from 1967 to 1971, the Sugar Research Foundation sank $188,000 in today’s money into a study to compare the effects of a high-sugar diet versus a high-starch diet in rats. Led by a scientist in the UK, the project aimed to evaluate the effects of sucrose on heart health. But as Kearns’ team reported last year, the experimental data suggested that sucrose consumption actually increased levels of an enzyme associated with bladder cancer in humans. The trade group halted the study and never published the unfavorable findings; its research director described the project’s value as “nil.”
posted by mecran01 at 6:16 AM PST - 28 comments

December 26

Economic haruspicy

An Honest Stock Market Update. Finally! A clear yet economically-sound explanation of what's been going on with the stock market lately.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 10:55 PM PST - 22 comments

He made it!

(previously) In 54 days, about 11 fewer than he'd hoped, Colin O'Brady walked across Antarctica, unsupported. He's the first to do so.
posted by kneecapped at 7:36 PM PST - 35 comments

Zelda Day 2018

An interesting physics glitch discovered in Zelda: Breath of the Wild:
  • Jump towards a monster, preferably from a height.
  • Still in the air, get your shield out and start riding it.
  • Get out your arrows and aim, starting "bullet time."
  • While riding your shield and in bullet time, land on the monster.
Result: Wheeeeee! [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 7:12 PM PST - 50 comments

Art cannot be fully experienced without our cooperation

Sister Wendy, BBC presenter of art history, has passed at 88.
posted by PussKillian at 3:50 PM PST - 47 comments

In Seattle, Nostalgia Flows as an Old Highway Nears Its End

The viaduct, the last remaining 1.4-mile stretch of this city’s elevated highway through downtown, has been a sublimely ugly and stoutly utilitarian force of engineering since 1953. After years of planning for an alternative, the viaduct will be demolished and hauled away early next year. [more inside]
posted by bq at 1:00 PM PST - 81 comments

When Chairs Become Extraordinary Sculptures

When does a chair become something more than just a chair? When Attitudes Become Chairs features chairs of all descriptions by a diverse group of artists, architects, and designers. The exhibition complicates the artificial boundaries separating art, design, and craft. What category do you pick for a well-designed, finely constructed, artfully inspired chair? And does it really matter? While you’re not allowed to sit on any of the chairs in the exhibition, they are all chairs. Marrying form and function, they reveal how a decidedly utilitarian object can be transformed into something inspirational and new. [more inside]
posted by MovableBookLady at 12:51 PM PST - 11 comments

What A Renaissance Man Was Larry!

Larry Eisenberg, electrical engineer, science fiction writer, and prolific commenter on NY Times articles, has died at age 99. Between 2008 and a date the Times obit does not include, Eisenberg submitted more than 13,000 comments to the paper, all of which were in verse, and most of which were limericks. [more inside]
posted by ALeaflikeStructure at 12:47 PM PST - 17 comments

Blast-Door Art: Cave Paintings of Nuclear Era

At the back of what looks like an enclosed porch of an unpretentious ranch house near Wall, South Dakota, a steel-runged ladder leads down a 30-foot concrete access shaft. At the bottom, a massive, eight-ton steel-and-concrete door is painted the red, white and blue image of a Domino’s Pizza box, with a slightly altered phrasing of the chain’s familiar promise: “World-wide Delivery in 30 Minutes or Less; Or Your Next One is Free.” (via NuclearAnthro)
posted by eotvos at 12:21 PM PST - 5 comments


100 Years of Periods by Allure [YouTube][8:20] “Take a look back at the last hundred years of menstruation products, from the homemade cloth pads of the 1910s and the sanitary belts of the 1940s, to the adhesive pads of the 1970s and the new super absorbent tampons of the 1980s.”
posted by Fizz at 10:49 AM PST - 41 comments

Peter's cautionary tale

O Human Being - a day late, but an animated holiday treat. [more inside]
posted by bluefly at 10:31 AM PST - 3 comments

What to make of a diminished thing

From Outside Magazine. Excellent article about aging through the lens of losing the ability to run recreationally.
posted by Kemma80 at 9:27 AM PST - 29 comments

Shell Mounds Show a Long History of Sustainable Oyster Harvests

Indigenous peoples in the Chesapeake harvested oysters sustainably for thousands of years—until the introduction of new techniques by Europeans decimated the stocks. [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 9:07 AM PST - 17 comments

All cats

Forty years ago, China introduced major economic reforms - lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty and leading to it becoming the second-largest economy in the world. Here's the story of how China changed - in pictures
posted by infini at 9:02 AM PST - 11 comments

Remembering the Dakota 38

The Dakota Sioux Execution Was The Largest In U.S. History — But America Has Forgotten It. [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 8:58 AM PST - 24 comments

On Leftovers

“When table scraps break down, they release methane, a potent greenhouse pollutant, into the atmosphere. Because organic waste makes up by far the largest segment of materials sent to California’s landfills each year, state leaders see a lot of opportunity in learning how to harness its energy.” Already a Climate Change Leader, California Takes on Food Waste : The state’s innovate programs and laws to tackle excess food and reduce greenhouse gas emissions could be a template for the nation. (Civil Eats) The Pros and Cons Of NYC’s New Composting Program (NYT) (Find a GrowNYC compost drop off location near you or sign up your building, school, or business )
posted by The Whelk at 8:17 AM PST - 23 comments

fake-clicking on fake websites

"Everything that once seemed definitively and unquestionably real now seems slightly fake; everything that once seemed slightly fake now has the power and presence of the real. The “fakeness” of the post-Inversion internet is less a calculable falsehood and more a particular quality of experience — the uncanny sense that what you encounter online is not “real” but is also undeniably not “fake,” and indeed may be both at once, or in succession, as you turn it over in your head." How Much of the Internet Is Fake? Turns Out, a Lot of It, Actually.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 8:11 AM PST - 27 comments

Vox Populi, Vox Gritty

That Gritty can simultaneously be a high-fivable hockey mascot whom kids adore and an advocate for the radical dismantling of capitalism might still feel like a reach to many. But I think Harris is right that Gritty just looks like he’s about to tear everything down. In the same way that Pepe the Frog somehow became a symbol of the alt-right (to his creator’s irritation) because he looked like the kind of bored online troll who would check out of society and laugh at the prospect of sowing chaos, Gritty looks like somebody who’s realized that the world can’t be saved without an earnest attempt to grapple with everything in it that’s broken. Gritty’s evolution from googly-eyed hockey mascot to meme to leftist avatar, explained [more inside]
posted by Frayed Knot at 8:03 AM PST - 29 comments

December 25

Christmas Pet Pics

@OfficerEdith (previously) says
Guess what time it is? It's time for you to fulfill my one Christmas wish and send me your pictures of your pets in, on and under your Christmas tree. I will also accept pictures of said pets in amusing holiday themed hats. YAAAYYY
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:03 PM PST - 5 comments

"Good night, sir. Happy Christmas."

"The year is 1957. An RAF pilot is heading home from Germany for Christmas. Fog sets in and all radio communication is lost." This is The Shepherd, the Frederick Forsyth aviation-themed Christmas story, a gift for his wife, of a pilot's unexpected journey home. CBC radio tradition is to play 'Fireside' Al Maitland's reading of the story every year on Christmas [direct MP3, transcript]. But now we can consider evolving the tradition a little with BBC Radio 3's 2016 adaptation and its rich sound design. [more inside]
posted by zachlipton at 9:03 PM PST - 4 comments

Searching for Bobby Fischer

20-year-old Bobby Fischer created a chess masterpiece in only 21 moves against Robert Eugene Byrne, an International Master, at the 1963/1964 United States Chess Championship. In this brilliancy, Fischer demonstrates how to inject multiple imbalances into a highly symmetrical position, how to properly highlight these differences to benefit oneself, and how to accurately assess the true value of the pieces as they rest on the board. [more inside]
posted by growabrain at 1:56 PM PST - 20 comments

as always: objects are sorted by orifice, working south

It’s here! It’s finally here! Every year it seems like the big day will never come, but it’s here. It’s the day to gather with your family and friends ‘round the hearth, warm beverages and sweet treats at the ready, and have a hearty chortle over the things America stuck inside itself and couldn’t remove without the help of trained medical personnel.
posted by sciatrix at 1:35 PM PST - 128 comments

I got 5 on it

The first trailer for Us. A new nightmare from the mind of Oscar winner Jordan Peele (Get Out), starring Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o (Black Panther, 12 Years a Slave) and Winston Duke (Black Panther). [more inside]
posted by nicebookrack at 8:55 AM PST - 84 comments

“Don't hug me. Go play with it!”

The gift of gaming: the joys of getting a console for Christmas [The Guardian] “We all remember that one Christmas present we got as a kid. The one we’d begged our parents for all year, the one we’d looked up 100 times in the Argos catalogue or on Amazon, depending on our age … For many of us, that present was a games machine. Whether it was a ZX Spectrum or a PlayStation 2, the process of unpacking these technological marvels, getting our mums and dads to set them up, then finally playing with the whole family, was magical.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 7:51 AM PST - 35 comments

you may ask, "how did this tradition get started?"

The history of Jews, Chinese food, and Christmas, explained by a rabbi [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 6:30 AM PST - 32 comments

Travel Photography of the Year

Photographers from 142 countries submitted more than 20,000 entrants. More info at tpoty website
posted by MovableBookLady at 6:27 AM PST - 2 comments

From Antarctica: Merry Christmas 1929 & Happy New Year 1930

Warm Greetings from a Cold Country – Christmas in Antarctica — USN veteran Richard Kontner, accompanied by a well-travelled ukulele, joined Richard Byrd’s 1928 South Pole Expedition and sent ~1500 Christmas cards in 1929 while aboard the The City Of New York anchored near Little America, Antarctica.
posted by cenoxo at 5:18 AM PST - 2 comments

December 24

Season's Streamings

Puppies Crash Christmas, courtesy of the kind folks at Hulu.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:50 PM PST - 22 comments

Gather 'round the glowing screen

If you're craving a bit of that holiday mood but you don't have a fireplace, you don't need to tune into WPIX (previously) or limit yourself to a traditional HD virtual fireplace. Thanks to Virtual Fireplace™ and others on YouTube, there are hundreds of hours of quiet fires for your enjoyment! Crackling Fireplace with Thunder, Rain and Howling Wind Sounds, or a more soothing Japanese garden fire bowl, lakeside campfire with nature sounds, crackling campfire on the windy tundra of Norway, campfire by the sea, with crickets and waves, or a campfire on the beach sans crickets. If you're looking for a bit of slow TV that takes you somewhere, spend almost 10 hours on a train journey to the Norwegian Arctic Circle, in winter.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:26 PM PST - 20 comments

No, wait, actually he is a dark elf, and...

So it turns out that Saint Nicholas discovered a foundling, long ago, and took him in and raised him as his servant. This guy is dressed in rags, carries a bag of ashes, and deals with the kids on Santa's naughty list... [more inside]
posted by Meatbomb at 7:57 PM PST - 14 comments

School for Santas

Want to be Santa? You'll have to go to Santa School [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 5:23 PM PST - 5 comments

Now I Am

Christy Williams wrote a powerful piece, published in The Rumpus, about people's assumptions. (CW: racism, sexism.)
posted by larrybob at 2:32 PM PST - 5 comments

It’s the Season for Ghost Stories... and Quizes!

The hosts of A Podcast for the Curious have a quiz to test your knowledge of the stories by the Master of the Christmas Ghost Story. [more inside]
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:00 PM PST - 23 comments

How banks finance mass shootings

A New York Times examination of mass shootings since the Virginia Tech attack in 2007 reveals how credit cards have become a crucial part of the planning of these massacres. There have been 13 shootings that killed 10 or more people in the last decade, and in at least eight of them, the killers financed their attacks using credit cards. Some used credit to acquire firearms they could not otherwise have afforded.
posted by stillmoving at 12:03 PM PST - 79 comments

a New Hebrew Bible to Rival the King James

After More Than Two Decades of Work, The pre-eminent scholar Robert Alter has finally finished his own translation. “A sachet of myrrh is my lover to me,/All night between my breasts”
posted by bq at 9:43 AM PST - 21 comments

As we all knew, Santa is Canadian.

Santa Claus lives and pays taxes in Canada, government affirms.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 7:15 AM PST - 30 comments

The Makokis method

CBC features a Cree doctor who focuses on caring for transgender patients.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:10 AM PST - 13 comments

The Soulful Strings deliver a groovy Christmas

Led by the talented Richard Evans and comprised of members of the Chess/Cadet label house band, the Soulful Strings brought skilled musicianship to their distinctive blend of soul, jazz, funk, exotica and sleazy listening. Their fourth album, The Magic of Christmas, was released in 1968: [more inside]
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 6:30 AM PST - 6 comments

“Is it a fad or not? Will it still endure in five years’ time,”

How ‘Fortnite’ Conquered Gaming and Mainstream Cultures Like Few Before It [The Ringer] “Fortnite’s continued presence in the spotlight is partly attributable to Epic’s efforts to keep plying players with content; the company has found ways to tell a story in a game that ostensibly lacks one, and it’s continued to add content and tinker with the gameplay. Epic “knows their fan base better than just about any developer out there,” says Dustin Hansen, author of the video-game history book Game On! “They engage with the fans with contests to pick new emotes, they promote popular streams, and their quick response time allows them to jump on trends and topics while the joke is still hot.” The game is also sticky to its core, roping in players with a savvy incentives structure based on nabbing loot; snagging limited-time, status-displaying items; and rewarding skill while still mixing in enough randomness to give lesser players hope.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 6:13 AM PST - 54 comments

Let buttons pop and colons strain; it's (almost) Christmas Dinner time

As singers are watched and children handle the truth, if not substituted for bangers and chips, what's yours? Is it boozy? Spuds mashed or roasted? Parsnips? Is it photo-worthy? Outdoors? In Doncaster, captive diners enjoyed beef bourgignon; in County Durham, there's a dainty little dinner; in Manchester there's chicken and jollof rice. But in Grimsby: Turkey Rage. To drink? Blossom Hill topped up with lemonade or Brussels sprout margarita. Pudding? Speck and parmesan muffins or banana bacon trifle. Perhaps a mince pie: popular, ice cream, beer, ...but is his poo...? From Devon to Dunkeld, they deep-fry it - or just the pud in Edinburgh. [bonus]
posted by Wordshore at 5:42 AM PST - 31 comments

С Рождеством, товарищи!

Little Timo's Christmas Tree -1966 Russian silent animation (slyt)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:41 AM PST - 5 comments

Beware The Holiday Candy Bowl

As we enter into the season where we are presented with candies and confections of various sorts, I suggest we all take a moment to read this short excerpt from Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow, affectionately known as the Disgusting English Candy Drill. It is short, it is hilarious, and it should serve as a warning to us all. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 1:30 AM PST - 30 comments

December 23

Giant Robot Post-It Art Show

World’s Top Artists Create Affordable Art on Post-It Notes for Annual Gallery Show. So how does this gallery get such big names to draw on Post-it notes? Eric Nakamura, the owner and operator of Giant Robot’s Universe, nurtures his friendships with both influential and emerging artists and shares his love with fans and curious onlookers. Nakamura is able to do this because he’s authentic, has a discerning aesthetic style, and understands how to promote and support both new and established artists and art lovers. The Post-It Show is a fan favorite because it makes the art extremely affordable and accessible. Over four hundred artists are challenged with Post-it notes as canvases (roughly 3,000+), and they are for sale for only $25 each. [more inside]
posted by MovableBookLady at 9:46 PM PST - 7 comments

Dylan and Saint Nick

Bob Dylan recites 'Twas the Night Before Christmas'. [SLYT]
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:17 PM PST - 4 comments

History of deliciously askew but charming world of Mr Copp's Kid's songs

Jim Copp lived an interesting life, from being invited, at fourteen, to play a Mozart concerto with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, to performing around New York City in the 1940s as "James Copp III and His Things." Drafted into World War II, where "during the liberation of Paris, he and another officer took command of the Eiffel Tower, which provided a conveniently tall base for their radio antenna." Back stateside, he moved to Los Angeles, where he wrote a society column for the L.A. Times entitled “Skylarking with James Copp” (PDF, sample), before finding his way back to music. With all that history, this is all just a preamble to his now-faded peak: Jim Copp, the Forgotten Virtuoso of Children’s Storytelling (David Owen for The New Yorker, December 12, 2018) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:08 PM PST - 3 comments

UCB’s development deal with Seeso had "masked two years of deficits"

Earlier this month, the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre laid off an unknown number of employees, including most of its sales and marketing staff. [NYT] Seth Simons obtained audio recordings of a meeting with UCB leadership (including three of the four founders: Matt Besser, Amy Poehler, and Ian Roberts) that paints the "UCB 4" as having "no cogent vision for the theatre’s future." But of course, performers will still not be paid.
posted by Etrigan at 7:00 PM PST - 36 comments

One Emergency Begets Another

I read 1,182 emergency room bills this year. Here’s what I learned. — A $5,571 bill to sit in a waiting room, $238 eyedrops, and a $60 ibuprofen tell the story of how emergency room visits are squeezing patients. [Sarah Kliff, Vox 12/18/2018]
posted by cenoxo at 1:55 PM PST - 45 comments

my relationship with him is that of a mother to her son

News that a Christian child was ‘forced’ into Muslim foster care in a British council estate caused a furore last year. But, despite the challenges, these families play a vital role in bringing up vulnerable children. Here are some of their stories.
posted by sciatrix at 1:38 PM PST - 13 comments

The best lose all conviction

A set of related essays on consumerism, searching for "the best", and the `paradox of choice'. Of these, the essay discussing the paradox of choice and the consumer construction of identity is most comprehensive; the rest of them are worked examples, as it were, from either the producer's point of view or the consumer's (in both cases, people at the bottom of the top, which is great clickfodder but also annoying in all the Metafilter-annoying ways).
posted by clew at 12:18 PM PST - 19 comments

Christmas Candles

I heard this Christmas story on the radio this morning and it brought a tear to my eye. So of course i thought I would share it with you. From storyteller Jay O'Callahan, with both audio and transcript at the first link.
posted by TedW at 11:08 AM PST - 5 comments

A dialect with an army

Who decides what words mean , Lane Green - "Bound by rules, yet constantly changing, language might be the ultimate self-regulating system, with nobody in charge" [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:45 AM PST - 60 comments

Glamour and gentrification go hand-in-hand in artsy ranch town Marfa

In Marfa, thanks to the vacation-home owners and retirees who have flocked to this artsy outpost in the West Texas desert, adobe also has become fashionable, a building material befitting the town’s cool mix of culture and desert aesthetic. But for many of Marfa’s longtime residents, the gentrification of the adobe home has made living in one rather expensive. [more inside]
posted by nightrecordings at 7:10 AM PST - 25 comments

You've been ....gayageum struck! *string plucking intensifies*

It's Sunday, it has been yet another stressful week (because let's face it, it's still 2018 for a few more weeks) so you deserve to treat yourself to Luna Lee's gayageum cover of AC/DC's Thunderstruck [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse at 6:55 AM PST - 17 comments

The Ault & Wiborg Poster Album

Ault & Wiborg were a leading US printing ink manufacturer and distributor around the turn of the 20th century. To promote their business, they produced a sample book with beautiful posters showcasing potential uses of their products. The full album has been digitized by the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, and individual posters can be downloaded as high res scans. [more inside]
posted by carter at 5:41 AM PST - 9 comments

December 22

I have a degree in chemical engineering.

A Very Spidey Christmas [11m30s] is not a Holiday album. It's not even a Holiday EP. It's hilarious. Performed by the original voices of Spiderman: Into The Spiderverse.
posted by hippybear at 8:33 PM PST - 9 comments

Best Southern Albums of 2018

Music that touches our collective desire, as Southerners, to learn about, to understand, and to have empathy for others. That said, we saw the South’s music evolve in meaningful ways in 2018. Music trails culture, it seems, by about a year. In 2016, the whole nation ran headlong into significant change (some would say trauma). We expected musicians to respond, but in 2017 they were just beginning to write songs in reaction. It takes a while to get albums finished and released. [more inside]
posted by MovableBookLady at 8:10 PM PST - 11 comments


posted by cortex at 5:59 PM PST - 47 comments

if yi canny unnirston thim jiss clear aff then

Glaswegian poet Tom Leonard has died. Here he is reading perhaps his most famous poem “Six O'Clock News” (text). [more inside]
posted by scruss at 2:14 PM PST - 14 comments

“...Jefferson Davis, helped organize the rumbustion,”

The Great West Point Eggnog Riot [The Daily Beast] “Long before Eggnog was just a boxy carton at the supermarket, one that turned up in the dairy case around Thanksgiving, people cared enough about the drink that they were willing to riot over it. And not just anybody, but the disciplined cadets of West Point. It was Christmas Eve, 1826, and at the U.S. Military Academy it was anything but a silent night. Scores of cadets were in open, mutinous defiance of an order, of all things, that their holiday beverage be alcohol-free. The cadets nearly pulled the place down, and all because the officers denied them a proper drink of Christmas Eggnog.”
posted by Fizz at 11:32 AM PST - 19 comments

Laura Makabresku

Photographer Laura Makabresku Captures Spellbinding Images Inspired by Fairytales. [Via, nsfw]
posted by homunculus at 11:11 AM PST - 4 comments

Well, that's fun...

The Try Guys Try Knitting (SLYT)
posted by jacquilynne at 9:40 AM PST - 24 comments

The Number Ones

Since late January, Tm Breihan has been writing a long-term project for Stereogum: starting with The Platters' "Smoke Gets In My Eyes" - the first ever Billboard #1 Single, in 1958 - Breihan is going through each #1 single, in order, posting a write-up, review, reassessment and musical history lesson, every single weekday. He's now into 1970. The latest is "American Woman," by the Guess Who?
posted by Navelgazer at 9:02 AM PST - 38 comments

"But last night… Fam, you tried it. You really, really did."

Author Candice Marie Benbow attempts a culinary solution to a noise problem: "I wanted the best way to tell my neighbor that he tried it with his late night party. So I wrote him a letter and baked him a cake." Twitter | Threadreader
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:21 AM PST - 21 comments

“My Spanish isn’t very good, but I could see it was a Christmas list”

“We now have friends for life,” Heiss said. “And, for a day, that border fence with its concertina wire melted away.” A girl in Mexico attached her Christmas list to a balloon. A man across the border found it. By Amy B Wang Washington Post
posted by pjsky at 6:38 AM PST - 14 comments

2^82,589,933 − 1

The world has a new largest prime number! The number is known as a Mersenne prime and was discovered by a computer on December 7. Mathematicians have spent the past two weeks verifying the 24.8 million digit number.
posted by stillmoving at 6:32 AM PST - 38 comments

It’s not just a meat snack, It’s a way of life!

Surprisingly, the UK Christmas Number One is the charity single by, youtuber and 'Celebrity Dad Of The Year', LadBaby: 'We Built This City' - a cover of the Starship song that's also a homage to the sausage roll. (Sausage rolls previously)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:10 AM PST - 15 comments

“...people who seem inbred telling us that diversity is bad...”

(NSFW, dark satire, CW) In which Frankie Boyle reviews 2018, especially covering Brexit (“...there was the general impression that European leaders had agreed to end freedom of movement just to stop Theresa May from visiting them”), the murder of Jamal Khashoggi (“ future, when a Saudi diplomat orders a pizza, the Deliveroo rider will kick it the last few feet to the front door”), US politics (“Donald Trump trundled out in front of the cameras like a corpse on a Segway”) and climate change (“...will be to change the lyrics of America The Beautiful to '…from sea to boiling sea'”).
posted by Wordshore at 1:57 AM PST - 34 comments

December 21

duckduckgo Pyotr Kropotkin

Pyotr Alexeyevich Kropotkin was born December 9, 1842 (OS)1. A member of the nobility by birth, and a scientist, philosopher, revolutionary and anarchist, he developed his understanding of Mutual Aid while on military assignment in Siberia.The Prince of Evolution. Where Is Kropotkin When We Really Need Him? [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:58 PM PST - 17 comments

A final Holiday album post for 2018

December [40m] is the fourth album by pianist George Winston, released in 1982. Perfect for atmospheric reflection as we enter [Northern Hemisphere] Winter and our season of Celebrations. Perhaps the most famous Holiday album you've not yet heard. Happy Solstice! Side A: Thanksgiving; Jesus, Jesus, Rest Your Head; Joy; Prelude/Carol Of The Bells; Night -- Part One: Snow, Part Two: Midnight, Part Three: Minstrels [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 8:32 PM PST - 15 comments

The First Earthrise

Apollo 8’s Earthrise: The Shot Seen Round the World (SLNYT) [more inside]
posted by lharmon at 6:31 PM PST - 14 comments

A “book” is just the endpoint of a latticework of complex infrastructure

The ‘Future Book’ is here, but it’s not what we expected. [more inside]
posted by Elementary Penguin at 5:02 PM PST - 8 comments

Meet the Hurdy-Gurdy Man

A hand-cranked medieval instrument with 80 moving parts. “In the Middle Ages, it was known in Latin as the organistrum and the symphonia, and in French as the vielle à roue (the vielle with the wheel).” With a sound produced by a “rosined wooden wheel, turned by a crank” that set “a number of strings in continuous droning vibration,” the hurdy gurdy can, it's true, give off a bit of a folk horror vibe.
posted by MovableBookLady at 2:01 PM PST - 23 comments

Public Transit Utopianism

“With this in mind I sought to plan out a system expansion which would be as cost effective as possible by addressing current service bottlenecks, train car issues, current ridership and population growth.” What would an ideal NYC subway system look like?
posted by The Whelk at 1:09 PM PST - 17 comments

The subway crush transformed New York into what it is today

It’s Time to Fall in Love With Stuffy, Crowded Subways: Why Elon Musk is wrong about the future of transportation. "Ubers, self-driving cars, and hyperloops titillate the imagination by promising a speedy, comfortable, and isolated vision of transportation — but all these promises are illusory. If we’re ever going to make cities work, we need to accept, and come to love, a fundamental truth: Packed urban transit is good urban transit." [more inside]
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:42 PM PST - 77 comments

Mostly plastic, and often from New Jersey

"Aluminum metalized polyethylene terephthalate settles over store windows like dazzling frost. It flashes like hot, molten gold across the nail plates of young women. It sparkles like pure precision-cut starlight on an ornament of a North American brown bear driving a car towing a camper van. Indeed, in Clement Clarke Moore’s seminal Christmas Eve poem, the eyes of Saint Nicholas himself are said to twinkle like aluminum metalized polyethylene terephthalate (I’m paraphrasing). In homes and malls and schools and synagogues and banks and hospitals and fire stations and hardware stores and breweries and car dealerships, and every kind of office — and outside those places, too — it shines. It glitters. It is glitter."
posted by Lycaste at 11:47 AM PST - 34 comments


2018 in Gaming: The Year in Under 2 Minutes [YouTube] “2018 was a momentous year for the gaming industry. Blockbuster games broke new ground, artful indies abounded, and online sensations reached new heights of popularity. It is impossible to feature every worthwhile title in one 2 minute video. I try to select a balanced variety of titles that convey a sense of the totality of the year in gaming. Some well loved games will be missing, and some divisive ones are included.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 11:24 AM PST - 44 comments

Hemp Nation

Tucked into the recently passed farm bill is a somewhat surprising provision: Hemp is now legal in the United States. The plant has long been classified as a Schedule I drug, indistinguishable from marijuana. Regulations will now have to be drafted, but already the CBD industry and the state of Kentucky (Sen. Mitch McConnell was a major backer of hemp legalization) are already looking to take advantage of the new environment. Hemp previously.
posted by Cash4Lead at 10:49 AM PST - 45 comments

Monologue by an unnamed mage, recorded at the brink of the end

I wanted to tell you, in case opportunity absents itself forever, that it doesn’t matter. That your magic is algorithmic, that mine is an abstraction of reality. That yours demands cartographic soliloquies, every verse a phrase and a phase of mathematics and momentum, every word you speak a part of the map, and you build the rules as you recite them. That mine is raw sensation, synesthesic, sinewy as sex, worthless with context, worth everything on the ledge at the end of time.


We have to hold the line. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 10:22 AM PST - 19 comments

Teach them how to say goodbye

The last #Hamildrop remix: One Last Time featuring Chris Jackson, Bebe Winans and Barack Obama.
posted by storytam at 9:55 AM PST - 12 comments

"I believe the people of California would like a respite from me..."

In 1982, then California Governor Jerry Brown said, "I believe the people of California would like a respite from me, and in some ways I would like a respite from them." Now, after another two-terms, Brown is making the rounds, giving exit interviews and reflecting on a long political career. What a long, strange trip it's been. [more inside]
posted by kendrak at 9:52 AM PST - 27 comments

Public Domain Day 2019

For the First Time in More Than 20 Years, Copyrighted Works Will Enter the Public Domain [in the United States]. [more inside]
posted by jedicus at 9:38 AM PST - 43 comments

Abandoned Frank Lloyd Wright in Iran

A tour and history of Shams Palace in Iran, now abandoned. Shams Palace (or Pearl Palace) was designed by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation by William Wesley Peters, Wright's son-in-law and protégé, for the older sister of the last Shah. The palace has been given national recognition, but likely won't ever be restored.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:43 AM PST - 9 comments

Around the World in 145 Days

Back in 2017, Shaesta Waiz made a record as the youngest female pilot to fly solo around the world in a single-engine aircraft. She's also the first woman in Afghanistan to hold a pilot certification. She gave a talk at the Smithsonian earlier this year about the trip and her non-profit, Dreams Soar.
posted by backseatpilot at 7:43 AM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Cheer Up, Mate.

Good news stories of 2018 you probably missed.
posted by storybored at 7:40 AM PST - 10 comments

That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

The Christmas weed (No, not that kind of weed) adorning a West Toledo intersection has grown from curious holiday delight to impromptu collection drive.

Or, as resident Luci Baumberger said at the site, “I think it is just the most Toledo thing to ever happen,” she said. A circle of donations now surrounds the decorated plant at West Alexis and Secor roads. Canned goods, scarfs, socks, and sneakers all sit at the pedestrian island for those in need. It is not clear who started the gift giving, but the curb has quickly become a “take-what-you-need” dropoff site. [more inside]
posted by Stanczyk at 7:25 AM PST - 9 comments


posted by clawsoon at 5:17 AM PST - 68 comments

Return of the King William's College General Knowledge Quiz, 2018!

It's the most wonderful time of the year: The 2018 edition of the King William's College General Knowledge Paper has been posted (.pdf). Let's take a whack at solving it together! [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:56 AM PST - 57 comments

From Pontypridd to Edinburgh

Vice's Homecoming is a series in which photographer Chris Bethell accompanies writers to their hometowns and learns about what they used to do, where they used to hang out and who they used to know, to see what it reveals about how the UK is changing.
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 2:50 AM PST - 5 comments

Just add flour, wine, salt, and the F#add9 chord

Hello Dan, it's Joe here,
I hope you're keeping well.
It's the 21st of December,
And the ABC are investigating the big issues and asking the toughest question of all at this time of year:
"Who's gonna make the gravy, now?"
posted by MarchHare at 1:14 AM PST - 14 comments

December 20

"Did you think that you were deserving of this dog?"

It was late—an indistinguishable, bleary-eyed hour. The lamps in the living room glowed against the black spring night. In front of me was a large dog, snapping his jaws so hard that his teeth gave a loud clack with each bark. His eyes were locked on me, desperate for the toy I was holding. But he wasn’t playing—he was freaking out.

Rebecca Frankel, author of War Dogs: Tales of Canine Heroism, History, and Love, relates her experiences with Dyngo, a retired war dog she took in.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:08 PM PST - 13 comments

Internet-enabled authoritarianism

Machine Politics: The rise of the internet and a new age of authoritarianism. "By justifying the belief that for-profit systems are the best way to improve public life, it has helped turn the expression of individual experience into raw material that can be mined, processed, and sold." [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 7:07 PM PST - 15 comments

You can never quarantine the past

"The Silver Jews and Pavement members along with WTJU’s General Manager share how the station has shaped the sounds of Charlottesville and beyond." [more inside]
posted by jjray at 6:46 PM PST - 5 comments

shánax dís

A full moon and a meteor shower will happen on the winter solstice, 21 Dec, the longest night of the year .
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:34 PM PST - 17 comments

"A Kafkaesque bureaucracy with bad writing"

Amazon built systems to protect brand-identity, punish review-spammers, and protect consumer safety, and then they were weaponized by unscrupulous sellers. Behind the state-sized commercial venue that is Amazon Marketplace, there's a shadow judicial system, with alarmingly inflexible systems and policies. Blacklisted sellers report that finding out what they ostensibly did wrong is frustrating, and the appeals process isn't designed to determine innocence. Now sellers are framing their rivals to thrust them into this system, and a class of seller advocates has sprung up to monetize the process of getting disentangled from it. (via Schneier on Security).
posted by jackbishop at 5:02 PM PST - 27 comments

You have been removed from the email list POSTDOC_ SUCCESSFUL_​ APPLICANTS

"During my presentation, a senior panel member put his head in his hands and muttered 'death, death, death.'" "The chairperson vomited into a wastepaper basket, slowly wiped her mouth before asking the candidate to describe a challenging experience he faced." Inside Higher Ed compiles "worst academic job interview" stories.
posted by Ralston McTodd at 4:10 PM PST - 61 comments

"We need wall"

Did you want a quiet week? Events in US politics are occurring at an impossible to comprehend pace. Today, the President announced that Secretary of Defense Mattis will be "retiring" at the end of February. The Secretary's resignation letter cites differences of opinion with the President on "treating allies with respect and also being clear-eyed about both malign actors and strategic competitors." The President announced he will not sign any government spending bill that does not include funding for a border wall (WaPo), leaving the government headed toward a partial shutdown. New work requirements could take food stamps away from 750,000 people (Vox). A new policy will require asylum-seekers to be turned away and wait in Mexico (Vox) as they wait months or years for their applications to be processed. Ethics scandals around the Mueller investigation developed for both the acting (WaPo) and prospective (WSJ) Attorneys General. [more inside]
posted by zachlipton at 3:08 PM PST - 2314 comments

"I was one of those very classic literature trans people"

Eventually, when I did find an organization that might help, it was the Transsexual Counseling Unit, which was a part of the police department in San Francisco. A woman there tried very, very hard to discourage me from transitioning by walking me around the Tenderloin [neighborhood of San Francisco] and showing me every possible horrible thing about [being] transgender that she possibly could. I took it differently. It didn’t discourage me, it just made me angry that the transgender people I saw were being neglected and abused in the ways that they were.
Zackary Drucker interviews Sandy Stone, pioneer in transgender studies and in the seventies, sound engineer for Olivia Records. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse at 1:50 PM PST - 8 comments

That was an incredible catch!

posted by Pendragon at 1:37 PM PST - 57 comments

Gluten Free Antarctica

The Russians are seasick, homesick, and lacking in sympathy for the unique challenges that confront the Antarctic tourist. Repeated trips to the Ross Sea have brought them no closer to understanding why people would pay money—tens of thousands of American dollars!—to stare at ice. Maciej Ceglowski returns with a third installment of his Antarctic series (Previously)
posted by Memo at 1:30 PM PST - 18 comments

"A living museum in which Solid Snake can eat curry and vomit fire..."

What Your Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Main Says About You!
posted by Navelgazer at 1:30 PM PST - 15 comments

The Moonlight Sonata but the bass is a bar late and the melody is a bar early

The Moonlight Sonata but the bass is a bar late and the melody is a bar early [via mefi projects]
posted by bondcliff at 1:22 PM PST - 34 comments

“Eu quero que ela se ferre em verde e amarelo”

The Itsy-Bitsy, Teenie-Weenie, Very Litigious Bikini
posted by zarq at 1:20 PM PST - 9 comments

The War In Iraq Outlasted The Weekly Standard

“From the Weekly Standard’s April 28, 2003, issue — that is, a month after the U.S. invasion of Iraq — this may simultaneously be the worst, funniest, and most terrifying writing ever published in the English language. For instance, its opening paragraph includes the phrase, “Now that the war in Iraq is over.” You must read it for yourself; it cannot be explained, only experienced.” The 10 Most Appalling Articles In The Weekly Standard’s Short and Dreadful Life.
posted by The Whelk at 12:06 PM PST - 8 comments

Disruption in the skies

Drones flying over London's Gatwick Airport have shut down all flights A drone has flown in and out of the airport's perimeter for nearly 24 hours and the airport is now closed until at least 6 a.m. tomorrow. Thousands of passengers have been stranded, all flights in and out of Gatwick have been cancelled, and sniper teams and the military have been called in to try to disable the drone. Some methods for disabling drones include lasers, nets, and birds of prey. [more inside]
posted by stillmoving at 11:52 AM PST - 107 comments

"When they slipped on the burqa, we strapped on the holster.”

Footsteps in a Marked House: The Complex Role of Women in Pakistan’s Police Force . An article in Guernica by Nazish Brohi.
posted by tavegyl at 11:51 AM PST - 5 comments

Science Fiction Fandom Photos

In the 1960's and 1970's, Jay Kay Klein photographed the goings on at science fiction conventions. The photographs are now online at Calisphere, an online consortium of California universities. These photos document events such as Discon 1, BayCon, and other events. There's shots of parties, dealer rooms, stacks of pulps, boxes of comic books and art shows. Also some famous faces like Anne McCaffrey, Gregory Benford, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Alicia Austin, Isaac Asimov, and Forry Ackerman. If you're into this sort of thing, be prepared to spend some time here.
posted by marxchivist at 9:47 AM PST - 14 comments

Jarndyce v Jarndyce

These wealthy neighbors have been at war for nearly 25 years -- In a beachfront enclave north of Boston, the battle has been waged with harsh words, pricey lawyers, and smelly porta potties.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:22 AM PST - 17 comments

Why did the scarecrow win a prize?

Nihilist Dad Jokes (SL McSweeney's).
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:22 AM PST - 35 comments

The Artist Models

Artist Matthew New draws on his own experience to create this comic about the joys and pitfalls of working as a fine art model. [Comic contains non-explicit figure drawings, so maybe NSFW depending on your W]
posted by merriment at 9:06 AM PST - 4 comments

An Oasis of Open Water

Inuit in Canada and Greenland want to protect an ecological wonder—a massive Arctic polynya—at the center of their world. [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 8:25 AM PST - 4 comments

A rye-soaked husk of a man who simply must keep his whiskey strong

No More Whiskey Stones: A Holiday Plea from Your Boyfriend
posted by griphus at 7:21 AM PST - 176 comments

Dazzle Them with Brilliance

HOW International Design Awards: 2018 Winner GalleriesBest of ShowAdvertisingAnnual ReportsAppsCoversEditorialIdentityIllustration/PhotographyInfographicsInvitationsKiosks/InteractiveMiscellaneousPackagingPostersSignage & Environmental GraphicsStudentVideoWebsites3D [more inside]
posted by cenoxo at 6:52 AM PST - 2 comments

You have died of Influenza A.

This year, the CDC is commemorating the 1918 influenza pandemic that killed 675,000 people in the US and at least 50 million people worldwide. One of their commemorations is the Oregon Trail-style 1918 PANDEMIC TRAIL!
posted by ChuraChura at 6:24 AM PST - 30 comments

Die Hard Data

Like it or not, the association between Die Hard and Christmas is fast increasing and in years to come its Christmassyness will be beyond question. Future generations will read in wonder that Die Hard was ever thought not to be a Christmas movie and articles such as the one you’re reading now will be seen as nothing but a massive waste of everyone’s time. From Using data to determine if Die Hard is a Christmas movie by Stephen Follows [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 4:32 AM PST - 69 comments

"They began calling him Big Brother (dage), with a note of affection."

Recently, the Beijing police took my brother sightseeing again. Nine days, two guards, chauffeured tours through a national park that’s a World Heritage site, visits to Taoist temples and to the Three Gorges, expenses fully covered, all courtesy of the Ministry of Public Security.
China’s Bizarre Program to Keep Activists in Check by Jianying Zha. This is a portrait of her brother, democracy activist Zha Jinguao, whom she wrote about eleven years ago for The New Yorker (with a short postscript).
posted by Kattullus at 12:44 AM PST - 5 comments

December 19

Yes, I believe in a better world

The Moody Blues' final studio album in 2003 was, oddly enough a Holiday album [YT playlist ~42m]. December featured the core of the group (Haywood, Lodge, and Edge, still together since the 60s). It feels like it might tip over into kitsch at any moment, but always avoids it and ends up feeling more poignant than anything else. CD: Don't Need A Reindeer, December Snow, In The Quiet Of Christmas Morning (Bach 147), On This Christmas Day, Happy Xmas (War Is Over), A Winter's Tale, The Spirit Of Christmas, Yes I Believe, When A Child Is Born, White Christmas, In The Bleak Midwinter
posted by hippybear at 10:44 PM PST - 8 comments

“Have you ever arrested a governor before?” he asked.

The Day They Came for Rod Blagojevich: "Our alarms went off at 2 a.m. We put on suits, as did all the other members of the operation who would have contact with the public. We were tired, but it didn’t matter: Our adrenaline was flowing. At 3:25 a.m., the two of us met in the parking lot of the FBI office in west suburban Lisle and headed into the city. We didn’t talk much in the car. We were both quietly contemplating the significance of what was about to happen and thinking about the scenarios that could unfold during the operation. We were arresting Blagojevich at his home. What if a family member got emotional and the scene turned volatile? What if word had gotten out and reporters were camped outside? What if Blagojevich refused to let us in? Would we have to break down the door of the governor?" -- Chicago Magazine with a fascinating narrative from the two FBI agents tasked with arresting Blagojevich.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:44 PM PST - 35 comments

“It smashes things real good.”

Hellboy (2019) [YouTube][Official Trailer] “The first trailer for Neil Marshall’s Hellboy reboot is here and it’s probably nothing like what you’d expect from the movie, but trust that it’s exactly what you need. Interestingly, this Hellboy film borrows elements from creator Mike Mignola’s Darkness Calls, The Wild Hunt, and The Storm and the Fury series and introduces us to a somewhat petulant Hellboy (David Harbour) working alongside his still-living father Trevor Bruttenholm (Ian McShane) at the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Development.” [via: io9]
posted by Fizz at 6:04 PM PST - 102 comments

Why Not This Idea: Dogs Can Talk For 25 Minutes Per Day

Kelly Conaboy (previously and previously) writes: I was thinking about this last week. Why aren’t dogs able to talk for 25 minutes per day? They should be allowed. It’s not much to ask. This way you would be able to check in and see how their day was, among other things.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 4:44 PM PST - 53 comments

Alessandro Sicioldr

The Surreal Art of Italian Visionary Artist Alessandro Sicioldr. [Via]
posted by homunculus at 2:30 PM PST - 2 comments

ArkDes Gingerbread House Competition

ArkDes has a yearly gingerbread house competition. Enjoy all the contestants and the winners (larger photos available via right-click open in new tab).
posted by Foci for Analysis at 1:59 PM PST - 5 comments

Faking faking

"But transitioning from an average Instagram or YouTube user to a professional “influencer”—that is, someone who leverages a social-media following to influence others and make money—is not easy. After archiving old photos, redefining your aesthetic, and growing your follower base to at least the quadruple digits, you’ll want to approach brands. But the hardest deal to land is your first, several influencers say; companies want to see your promotional abilities and past campaign work. So many have adopted a new strategy: Fake it until you make it."
posted by clawsoon at 1:25 PM PST - 67 comments

"9/11 simply never happened in the Hallmark universe"

A Past That Never Existed, a Future That Will Never Arrive—Lessons from watching every single Hallmark holiday movie
"That hauntology is perhaps stronger for millennial viewers, for people who didn’t grow up in Hallmark’s America and can never move there because they lack the money and the time machine required. If homeownership, leisure, and making a comforting living doing crafts and blue-collar work remain a fantasy, they are an even more powerful fantasy for people with postgraduate degrees, six-figure debt, cratering industries, and no help on the horizon. It is a cruelty of America that the nostalgia that reared us all is one that only ever truly applied to one demographic in one span of time; that every story we tell ourselves about the possibility of this country is one that ends with the home, family, community, and security depicted in these movies; and that, for a lot of people, this is the closest they’ll get." [Jeb Lund, Medium]
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:59 PM PST - 48 comments

I'm Bad

An Honest Evaluation of LL Cool J's Entire Career (Pete Tosielli, Vulture) [more inside]
posted by box at 11:13 AM PST - 17 comments

I Felt Like an Imposter

'Passing for white’ was a complicated feeling at home in Ohio. In Chad, it was a whole different experience. Every time I crossed the courtyard, walked past the well in the corner and slipped out of the baby blue gate nestled into the high brick wall that surrounded my Chadian host family’s house, I instantly became nasara. It’s a Ngambay word that means both “foreigner” and “white person” at the same time. A little pack of children would follow me down the red-dirt street, chanting “nah-sa-rah, nah-sa-rah” and laughing. [more inside]
posted by MovableBookLady at 10:48 AM PST - 10 comments

I'm sure they're sorry again and will continue to do better

In the latest installment of the Facebook privacy scandals, it's been continuing to share far more data with other tech companies than it has been admitting.
posted by blue shadows at 8:32 AM PST - 104 comments

Not My Territory

Perspectives From Urban Indigenous People Across Canada [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 7:56 AM PST - 1 comment

Look, I'm not on trial here

Dad And The Egg Controller
posted by Chrysostom at 7:38 AM PST - 15 comments

A Christmas miracle.

Editors investigate after science journal publishes study with Trump's face on monkey feces It appears that some of our scientific scholars have, perhaps unintentionally, joined the thrum of world leaders, activists, and others who have mocked U.S. President Donald Trump. And they’ve done it in their own way.
posted by waving at 4:25 AM PST - 48 comments

I Was Looking For a Club and Now I Found a Club

Miserable Jose Mourinho Covers The Smiths [SiLlYT]
posted by chavenet at 3:40 AM PST - 9 comments

December 18

Dories, Dumplings, Dinos, Delta-Vs, and Dunes

The list of nominees for best animated short film is out and some of them are online!
For your consideration, five of the ten nominees: Age of SailBaoLost & FoundOne Small StepPépé Le Morse
Trailers and clips for the others: Animal BehaviourBilbyBird KarmaLate AfternoonWeekends
posted by Going To Maine at 11:27 PM PST - 25 comments

If you're reading this, you're part of the illusion

"Threatin had become an international laughing stock, after a small army of internet sleuths revealed that he had tried to fake his way to stardom using paid Facebook likes, YouTube views and bots. He had uploaded deceptively edited film footage that appeared to show him playing to sold-out crowds, lied about a non-existent award and album sales, completely fabricated an entire US tour, and used it all to secure a 10-city tour of Europe and the UK. As it would turn out, that was all just the tip of the iceberg."
posted by Grandysaur at 6:11 PM PST - 65 comments

“...there is more evidence that she is transgender than cisgender.”

Metroid’s Samus Aran is a Transgender Woman. Deal With It. [The Mary Sue] “Representation for transgender people is equally tough to find in gaming. Both Dangonronpa and Persona 4 managed to blunder transgender representation. One of the most famous transgender video game characters, Poison from Final Fight, is empowered but blatantly oversexualized. Characters and stories like this reinforce the harmful idea that transgender women only have societal value in their sex appeal. That’s why I’m thrilled to tell you that one of the most famous women in videogame history happens to also be a transgender woman! It’s none other that Nintendo’s Samus Aran! It’s true!” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 5:55 PM PST - 31 comments

Children, it turns out, "do not scale"

CW for new parents of >1: Three Australian researchers find that yes, having a second child is much, much harder than just having one. Depressing conclusions include mental health - especially for mothers - and more entrenched gender roles. [more inside]
posted by 8k at 5:17 PM PST - 74 comments

He's Speaking in Code

The source code of Leisure Suit Larry livestreamed. At noon Friday, MetaFilter's own jscott began reading the full source code of the original Leisure Suit Larry from 1987 live on Twitch. In a leisure suit. He's seven hours and forty five minutes in and still going. This public performance follows a DMCA copyright takedown from Activision that halted the sale of Leisure Suit Larry source code by programmer Al Lowe even though Activision doesn't own the rights to the game. This spoken codeathon is raising money for the EFF, Internet Archive or the Video Game History Foundation.
posted by rcade at 4:45 PM PST - 23 comments

The Recollectors

The Recollectors features the memories and stories of “children and families left behind by parents who died of AIDS”. Max Mueller remembers growing up with his mom Cookie Mueller, who was one of the John Waters’ Dreamlanders and a frequent subject in Nan Goldin’s photos. [more inside]
posted by Cuke at 3:20 PM PST - 7 comments

She made all her dreams come true.

In a league of her own. RIP Hollywood trail blazer Penny Marshall, 75, due to complications from diabetes. While hosting legendary joint birthday parties with best friend Carrie Fisher, she was the first woman to direct a movie that grossed $100 million. With Big, A League of Their Own, and Awakenings, Marshall blazed a trail for women directors: Penny Marshall’s groundbreaking directing career, explained in 3 movies. Also: she wrote a 2012 memoir My Mother Was Nuts. Her mother wanted her to be a dancer, which "didn't take," and yet what can I say about her dancing here, here, and here. And despite physical comedy being mostly male, she was brilliant at that too! The top 5 Laverne & Shirley physical comedy moments. Also: Penny on her famous brother Garry. The Hollywood tributes are pouring in.
posted by Melismata at 2:02 PM PST - 84 comments

Why we're all children of the corn now

I absolutely guarantee you every meal you have eaten in the last 365 days has been made with corn.
SwiftOnSecurity explains that corn's in everything.
Corn is a platform with both limitless purposes, and one purpose: to turn rural land into a dependable & infinitely fungible financial asset.
Dr Sarah Taber explains why this is so.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:11 PM PST - 96 comments

It's small but it loves it the most!

Little puppies sliding down a stair's steps divider (SLTwitterVideo) [more inside]
posted by numaner at 12:36 PM PST - 12 comments

A People's Guide to AI

Free PDF download A People’s Guide to AI is a comprehensive beginner's guide to understanding AI and other data-driven tech. The guide uses a popular education approach to explore and explain AI-based technologies so that everyone—from youth to seniors, and from non-techies to experts—has the chance to think critically about the kinds of futures automated technologies can bring. Free PDF and paid zine (!!) available.
posted by jlittlew at 12:20 PM PST - 10 comments

The Future of Work

8 Sci-Fi Writers Imagine the Bold and New Future of Work. "[C]harts and white papers only capture so much. Facts need feelings, and for that we turn to science fiction. Its authors are our most humane, necessary futurists, imagining not just what the future holds but how it might look, feel, even smell. In the following pages are stories from eight sci-fi specialists. Some are set in the near term; others, a bit farther out. All remind us that, no matter the inevitable upheavals, we don’t struggle alone—but with and for other people. And robots." [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 10:50 AM PST - 27 comments

German for "definitely not getting any work done this afternoon"

𝖘𝖆𝖓𝖉𝖘𝖕𝖎𝖊𝖑 [more inside]
posted by Ten Cold Hot Dogs at 10:06 AM PST - 66 comments

Let’s Get To Work

With a new nationally representative survey of registered voters shows that 81% support a “Green New Deal” for the U.S and strong bipartisan support, what even is The Green New Deal? A Primer on the Green New Deal—the Plan to Literally Save the Planet (Paste) “CJA says any jobs plan should restore and protect workers’ rights to organize and form unions, and it should be predicated on non-extractive policies that build “local community wealth that is democratically governed.” Any deal must ensure “free, prior and informed consent by Indigenous peoples,” CJA insists, and should be directed by those communities bearing the brunt of the “dig, burn, dump” economy.” We Have To Make Sure the “Green New Deal” Doesn’t Become Green Capitalism. (In These Times) “There is an uncomfortable scientific truth that has to be faced: economic growth is environmentally unsustainable.” ( Is there any green policy plan that can go far enough or be global enough (Naked Capitalism) considering the U.S Military is one of the largest polluters on the planet?
posted by The Whelk at 9:03 AM PST - 35 comments

Not a whale! The Nantucket Sea Serpent of 1937

A SEA MONSTER: Bill Manville says he saw one off Nantucket. Insists he was not dreaming. Hopes it appears again to verify his story. Thus began the 1937 Nantucket Sea Monster Scare, complete with additional sightings, huge footprints, and lots of media coverage. Except it was all a hoax, created by local artist and puppeteer, Tony Sarg, to promote a new, huge rubber balloon creature, which would appear in the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade that year. Unlike some other publicity stunts, the media was in on it, presenting fiction as fact. [via The Nantucket Sea Monster: A Fake News Story, an educational tale from Mims House; preview on Google Books]
posted by filthy light thief at 8:54 AM PST - 6 comments

Music To Listen To Tuesday

Me And My Friends releases their latest album, "Look Up" (Bandcamp). The sound of English folk colliding head-on with the golden-era music of 1970s West Africa and the Caribbean, this 5-piece band from Bristol, UK captures a unique sound that I find absolutely delightful. (Soundcloud)
posted by rebent at 8:41 AM PST - 7 comments

"Naked mole-rats are so weird you just never know"

After Bloodbath, The National Zoo’s Naked Mole-Rats Finally Choose Their Queen: The National Zoo in Washington recently acquired a colony of naked mole-rats (previously). Besides being naturally cancer-free, resistant to most poisons, and physiologically young for most of their lifespan (up to ~30 years), naked mole-rats are also eusocial, meaning they are ruled by a queen, who is the only female allowed to reproduce. (We're not quite sure how that works.) The colony at the National Zoo, as of Monday, has settled the question of which of the mole-rats will be the queen, with one of them giving birth to a brood of two. The process was not peaceful, however: of the 17 adult mole-rats that arrived at the Zoo, only 13 remain. More on why the naked mole-rat is so weird.
posted by Cash4Lead at 6:46 AM PST - 30 comments

“Nothing matters. Nothing matters. Nothing matters. It became my mantra.

Holding hands with a chimp Jesse Bering brings perspective from his reflection brought on while caring for a chimpanzee named Noelle.
posted by Yellow at 6:10 AM PST - 2 comments

Everybody Has a Box

Santore does not shy away from these questions: He has the word temptation tattooed on his right forearm. It’s a reminder, he told me. “What do safecrackers do?” he once asked. “They crack safes. It’d be better if they do it legally, but the game is the fucking game. I’m just saying, it takes a certain mindset to want to do this stuff, to have the patience for it, and some people can channel that in a positive way and other people fucking can’t.” Meet the Safecracker of Last Resort
posted by chavenet at 3:33 AM PST - 47 comments

December 17

Lass Mich Dein Sklave Sein!

Kraftklub's not particularly new song Sklave , which gloriously lifts from both Die Artze's Bitte Bitte [NSFW] and DOF's Codo [Live-ish TV performance] [more inside]
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 8:52 PM PST - 1 comment


There is not one of us here who would not gladly suffer death to rid this country of the Romans once and for all. [slyt]
posted by heatherlogan at 5:05 PM PST - 71 comments

"Your dragon display is only marginally acceptable at Halloween."

Author Diana Rowland likes dragons. One humorless neighbor, it seems, does not approve. You can imagine the response to someone telling you to take down your dragon display, right? Bored Panda write-up if the images don't come through on the other link. Rowland's twitter thread about the matter.
posted by TwoStride at 4:22 PM PST - 112 comments

Seven of the funniest transport videos

Seven of the funniest transport videos: Australia's Climate Council have rounded up some amusing ads on the subject of transport issues, road safety etc, possibly attempting to go viral with the power of laughter while promoting their newly released report into Australian Transport vs Global Warming. One of the seven is missing but you will find it here.
posted by Coaticass at 3:13 PM PST - 10 comments

Package Thief vs. Glitter Bomb Trap

Tinkerer Mark Rober gets revenge on package thieves with his overengineered glitter bomb.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 1:59 PM PST - 292 comments

All the cats join in for a rendition of “That Sweet, Sweet Hand Blood”

Hyper-Realistic Scenes Cut from “Cats” the Musical That They Should Put in the Movie (Sarah Hutto, New Yorker)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:51 PM PST - 7 comments

2018 Mashed

2018, measured in relative time, was approximately 137 years long, so what better way to celebrate a year of temporal density than by experiencing every chart-topping hit of the past chronological year with Bootie's list of the best year-end mega mashups. [more inside]
posted by subocoyne at 12:01 PM PST - 9 comments

308) John Scalzi

You already know who's number one, but here's Adam Whitehead's SFF All-Time Sales List (revised) anyway.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:05 AM PST - 68 comments

“Bayani” is the Filipino word for hero

Remixed Filipino history inspired this fighting game [Polygon] “When fighting games pull cultural inspiration for characters, often the byproduct is merely skin deep. It’s true that some classic franchises have based characters off real-world fighters, but the influences hardly encourage a second thought. A small studio in the Philippines hopes to change that, with a fighting game that remixes the personalities and histories of some of the country’s greatest heroes. Bayani, currently on Kickstarter, is a project by the Ranida Studios games division, which pulls inspiration directly from the nation’s most notable figures. Those figures include Filipino revolutionary leaders, politicians or explorers mostly from the country’s Spanish colonial era.” [YouTube][Game Trailer]
posted by Fizz at 10:57 AM PST - 2 comments

"Delivered via Purr-olator..."

Baloo the cat is headed home to his owner in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia after stowing away in a parcel bound for Alberta. He didn't get that far - Baloo was intercepted by a Purolator employee in Montreal after clawing his way out of the box he was in.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:30 AM PST - 22 comments

"But I'm no hero. I'm more of a last resort, a scorched-earth policy..."

The elevator pitch was “an Indigenous Mad Max: Fury Road”. It’s a story that takes place in a post-apocalyptic world after cataclysmic climate chance where one of the few places still intact, and doing pretty well, is the Navajo reservation, now called by its ancestral name, Dinétah. Within Dinétah the gods and heroes of Navajo legend walk the land again, but so do the monsters, and it’s up to our protagonist, Maggie Hoskie, to take on those monsters, both physical and metaphorical. Rebecca Roanhorse on her debut novel, Trail of Lightning, a breathtaking Native American urban fantasy adventure where "Indigenous culture and characters don’t take a backseat to white protagonists" (Andrew Liptak, The Verge). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 8:47 AM PST - 36 comments

One thousand origami cranes

Christian Marianciuc is a Romanian artist creating elaborate variations on the origami crane. From 2015 to 2017 he folded a different crane every day, a nod to senbazuru, and has continued the practice at a slower rate since. [more inside]
posted by serathen at 5:23 AM PST - 12 comments

The Fall of the House of Ghosn

Not everybody at Nissan was happy with their rock-star chairman, Carlos Ghosn. His high-living ways gave the company ammunition to take him down. (SLWSJ)
posted by Etrigan at 4:56 AM PST - 27 comments

Indigenous journalists speak up

Different forms of journalism existed long before settlers arrived in North America. And sometimes, people forget that these types of storytelling, documentation and news sharing have always existed in Indigenous cultures, says Tristan Ahtone. [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 4:21 AM PST - 2 comments

Peter, a man who finds himself kidnapped by a family of trees

a dark tale about Christmas trees aligned with some recent studies on plants ability to feel pain, going much further than the voices asking for no more sheep sacrifice during religious celebration ''Eid Al Adha'' in muslim countries
posted by sophieJu at 4:16 AM PST - 19 comments

Cats resist attempts at being randomly generated

None of these people are real . NVIDIA's latest iteration of its image generator is getting pretty (creepily?) good at creating human faces. This is not rendering technology: these faces are generated from real ones distilled into high-level attributes (pose, glasses, hair length...) and then combined and subjected to random variations. More information is available in the paper A Style-Based Generator Architecture for Generative Adversarial Networks and in the video. The technology also works on cars and bedrooms, less so on cats due to "the high intrinsic variation in poses, zoom levels, and backgrounds".
posted by elgilito at 1:53 AM PST - 70 comments

December 16

Betye Saar, Assemblagist of the Mystical

"I am intrigued with combining the remnant of memories, fragments of relics and ordinary objects, with the components of technology. It's a way of delving into the past and reaching into the future simultaneously. The art itself becomes the bridge."—Betye Saar. Mystic Window for Leo (1966). Personal icons. Black Girl's Window (1969). Betye Saar: Reflecting American Culture Through Assemblage Art. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:56 PM PST - 3 comments

Byrne’s Euclid

Nicholas Rougeux spent two months recreating the first six books of The Elements Of Euclid, Oliver Byrne's celebrated work from 1847 that illustrated the geometric principles established in Euclid’s original Elements from 300 BC. [more inside]
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 4:02 PM PST - 46 comments

52 things I learned in 2018. What did you learn?

Peppa pig big in China? I'm clever because I use my middle initial. Vice's audience is middle-aged. Fortune cookies sell us things for a reason. Thermal breadboxes are the bomb. Medium gives us the hits.
posted by youdontmakefriendswithsalad at 3:54 PM PST - 51 comments

Helping Authoritarian Governments Around the World

The NYT investigates management and consulting firm Mckinsey & Company's role in helping autocracies like China, Russia, Saudia Arabia and others. At a time when democracies and their basic values are increasingly under attack, the iconic American company has helped raise the stature of authoritarian and corrupt governments across the globe, sometimes in ways that counter American interests.
posted by blue shadows at 1:06 PM PST - 46 comments

Pitch tent! Pitch tent!

Ah, it's that time again. John Denver gets together with his Muppet friends to have a great holiday together. Except, wait! It's summer, John is taking everyone camping, and it's a Rocky Mountain Holiday! [48m] Break out the tent stakes and build a fire pit!
posted by hippybear at 12:16 PM PST - 13 comments

Pookey Blow never made it big.

Pookey Blow - Get Up (And Go To School) [12" single] By 1983, the musical career of 15-year-old Pookey Blow, born Jerry Pearson, was over. A couple of the teenage rapper's cuts earned regional recognition, but fame and profits that his uncle/producer envisioned never materialized. [more inside]
posted by nightrecordings at 12:02 PM PST - 7 comments

"My mind drifts to that time when Paris didn't resemble the USA at all"

In "Nadja à Paris" (New York Review of Books, Apr. 29, 2015), Nadja Tesich offers an account of starring in Éric Rohmer's short film Nadja in Paris (1964; 13 mins., available in two parts): "Over the years it had become like an official version of my life, obliterating the rest. While real life was bigger, it was chaotic and shapeless. The film had a structure, and I could see myself." In an epilogue, Tesich says, "We were many things for each other ... but for [Éric] I was always 'Nadja' from André Breton's novel [PDF]." Filmmaker/theorist Richard Misek had briefly wondered about these issues in Rohmer in Paris (2013; 67 mins.), but his documentary remains of interest as a larger meditation on cinephilia, Paris, coincidence, and obsession.
posted by Wobbuffet at 9:56 AM PST - 2 comments

Who gets the right to dress women?

McCardell’s creations contained an alchemy that so many of us still seek: the ability to command the narrative of our own bodies, and to be seen not as mere eye candy but as a person to be reckoned with. [sl WaPost]
posted by Lycaste at 8:54 AM PST - 20 comments


Fight Crab [YouTube][Game Trailer], a game where two feisty crustaceans enter a battlefield and take each other on with various weapons. Coming in 2019.
posted by Fizz at 8:33 AM PST - 30 comments

And she won't come down

Rhiannon Giddens has a stunning new song called Mama's Cryin' Long. It's based on a heartbreaking old slave narrative, and the link will take you to Smithsonian Folkways' eight-minute film of the recording session (SLYT). The album is out next February.
posted by Paul Slade at 7:20 AM PST - 4 comments

December 15

The most screwed-up employee perk in America

Gawande, who has been writing and speaking on the problems of the US healthcare system for most of his adult life, has long bemoaned the field’s resistance to innovation...His ideas are about to be put to their biggest test yet. In January, three of the biggest and most powerful American companies—the tech juggernaut Amazon, banking giant JPMorgan Chase; and Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway holding company—announced they were forming a joint healthcare venture; in June, they chose Gawande to run it. (slQZ)
posted by meaty shoe puppet at 9:19 PM PST - 44 comments

How to Design Safer Public Housing

Most low-income housing isn't a magnet for crime. Why do we think it is? Scenes like the one Mr. Mata describes also form the prevailing media image of low-income housing developments. But a new study of San Antonio suggests that, despite its fearsome reputation, most low-income housing isn’t dangerous at all, either to residents or neighbors who live nearby. The great majority of crime in the city’s projects is concentrated in just a few high-risk developments. [more inside]
posted by MovableBookLady at 6:58 PM PST - 30 comments

Give Me Somebody to Dance With

Nine Tonys and a Pulitzer came out of discussions by 25 dancers in a living room in New York City about their lives and histories. Marvin Hamlisch (previously) was the composer, book by James Kirkwood Jr and Nicholas Dante, lyrics by Edward Kleban. A Chorus Line opened in 1976 (warning, poor video quality, decent audio) and closed after 6,137 performances - at that time, the longest ever Broadway run. [more inside]
posted by wellred at 4:00 PM PST - 31 comments

"A river of new language which has its tide and ebb"

Passing English of the Victorian Era: A Dictionary of Heterodox English, Slang and Phrase is James Redding Ware's cheerful, informal, and often fascinating 1909 attempt to capture some of the then-vanishing vernacular language of the 19th century. [more inside]
posted by ryanshepard at 3:32 PM PST - 17 comments

Showering Has a Dark, Violent Period in its Long History

When looking a brief history of bathing (Lecia Bushak, Medical Daily), there's a missing story: the dark, violent interlude where showers were used as a way to treat—and control—psychiatric patients (Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic).
posted by filthy light thief at 2:55 PM PST - 5 comments

Searching for love while making a documentary about the Civil War

Sherman's March: A Meditation on the Possibility of Romantic Love In the South During an Era of Nuclear Weapons Proliferation (1986) [Trailer: Youtube] At the beginning of Sherman’s March, director Ross McElwee, "has just received a prestigious grant to make a historical documentary about Sherman’s March; but en route to the South, his girlfriend ends their relationship. Heartbroken, Ross heads to his family’s home in North Carolina. No one there wants to talk about Sherman; they want to find him a wife. And so begins Ross' sharp turn from Sherman to an exploration of Southern womanhood and the quest for love." [Documentary Magazine] [more inside]
posted by nightrecordings at 11:05 AM PST - 19 comments

“Simply put, Gris is absolutely gorgeous.”

Gris: a stunning animated movie that you can play [The Verge] “Gris opens in a world devoid of color. As a nameless, silent young woman, you traverse the desolate landscape, filled with crumbling ruins and a bleak sky, with an almost balletic sense of movement. You float and glide through the world. Slowly you’re able to bring color and light back, and as the world morphs, so does the main character. Gris starts out simple and stark, but ends as one of the most beautiful games ever made.” [YouTube][Game Trailer] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 8:26 AM PST - 26 comments

In USA, the $how Watches You

Why Taylor Swift Is Using Facial Recognition at Concerts — Swift’s security team has used the cutting-edge technology at recent shows to keep her safe from stalkers [Rolling Stone, 12/13/2018]. Taylor Swift fans mesmerized by rehearsal clips on a kiosk at her May 18th Rose Bowl show were unaware of one crucial detail: A facial-recognition camera inside the display was taking their photos. The images were being transferred to a Nashville “command post,” where they were cross-referenced with a database of hundreds of the pop star’s known stalkers, according to Mike Downing, chief security officer of Oak View Group, an advisory board for concert venues including Madison Square Garden and the Forum in Los Angeles.
posted by cenoxo at 7:28 AM PST - 92 comments

My dad and Charles Barkley

When Charles Barkley's mother, Charcey Glenn, passed away in June 2015, Barkley's hometown of Leeds, Alabama, came to the funeral to pay respects. But there was also an unexpected guest. Barkley’s friends couldn’t quite place him. He wasn’t a basketball player, he wasn’t a sports figure and he wasn’t from Barkley’s hometown. Here’s what I can tell you about him: he wore striped, red polo shirts tucked into khaki shorts and got really excited about two-for-one deals. He was a commuter. He worked as a cat litter scientist in Muscatine, Iowa. In short, he was everyone’s suburban dad. More specifically, he was my dad. "You know, it was obviously a very difficult time," Barkley told me recently. "And the next thing I know, he shows up. Everybody’s, like, 'Who’s the Asian dude over there?' I just started laughing. I said, 'That’s my boy, Lin.' They’re, like, 'How do you know him?' I said, 'It’s a long story.'"
posted by ChuraChura at 4:47 AM PST - 42 comments

I've always wanted to say that! Happy little trees!

For 24 hours, NBC is live-streaming an hour long video of Terry Crews painting a Christmas scene. [Edit: Recorded version available here]
posted by Katemonkey at 3:49 AM PST - 26 comments

P+P £5

The Nine Lessons and Carols of Christmas food.
posted by mippy at 3:30 AM PST - 5 comments

Difficult Women

The Pleasure of Difficulty by Davis Smith-Brecheisen [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 3:26 AM PST - 7 comments

December 14

"Learning is as important in Finnish society as politics"

Helsinki's new central library, Oodi, opened on 5 December 2018 – the eve of Finland's Independence Day. The building, designed by ALA Architects, boasts not only 100,000 titles but also a workshop with 3D printers, tools and sewing machines – and living black olive trees. Finns – the world's most literate nation – do love their public libraries. They can even imagine going on a date there.
posted by Vesihiisi at 11:53 PM PST - 15 comments

He's got you covered

Greg Dulli (of The Afghan Whigs, The Twilight Singers and the Gutter Twins w/Mark Lanegan [who has also played with a few bands]) has released a cover of "Have Yourself a merry little Christmas". Dulli has been known to cover a song or two in his day, often times completely changing the arrangement. A few examples below the fold. [more inside]
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 10:15 PM PST - 11 comments

Well, do they?

Upon observing the behavior of his Welsh corgi, Elvis, when chasing a thrown tennis ball, Professor Tim Pennings asked: Do Dogs Know Calculus? [PDF] [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:13 PM PST - 22 comments

"The audience went nuts for it." [citation needed]

The single for the Captain and Tennille's song Muskrat Love featured a locked groove in the 45 which would play little pitter-patter muskrat mating sounds, forever. Other albums with locked grooves. [via]
posted by jessamyn at 8:47 PM PST - 49 comments

Look Before You Leap

Parachute use to prevent death and major trauma when jumping from aircraft: randomized controlled trial. Parachute use did not reduce death or major traumatic injury when jumping from aircraft in the first randomized evaluation of this intervention. [British Medical Journal Christmas edition]
posted by hawthorne at 8:33 PM PST - 22 comments

He's…a pretty good boy. Lots of spirit.

In addition to offering training services for pets, Double H Canine Training Academy produces service dogs. Some dogs, however, just aren't cut out for the service life.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:05 PM PST - 40 comments

Candle candle, are the children safe now?

Christmas carols with a twist, but not the twist you might expect. Tori Amos' 2009 release Midwinter Graces is both familiar and new, and is every single bit old-school Tori, symphonic and surprising. Recommended for those who love holiday music but who are sick of holiday music. CD: What Child, Nowell; Star Of Wonder; A Silent Night With You [video]; Candle: Coventry Carol; Holly, Ivy, And Rose; Harps Of Gold; Snow Angel; Jeanette, Isabella; Pink And Glitter; Emmanuel; Winter's Carol; Our New Year
posted by hippybear at 5:20 PM PST - 9 comments

To titrate a dose correctly is the essential skill of pharmacy.

For the murder to make sense, it must be true that somebody isn’t who we think they are – but who do we think they are? How do we know who is and who isn’t what they seem to be? How do the characters know? In essence, that is what detective fiction is: a mystery about which of a particular cast of characters isn’t who they say they are. And that, I suggest, is a, perhaps even the, core reason for Christie’s appeal to so many readers in so many different times and places. [more inside]
posted by chappell, ambrose at 3:09 PM PST - 30 comments

"I find systemic racism exists in TBPS at an institutional level."

Ontario's independent police watchdog says systemic racism exists throughout the Thunder Bay Police Service (TBPS). Its report, Broken Trust: Indigenous People and the Thunder Bay Police Service (pdf), concludes that the investigations into the deaths of Jethro Anderson, 15, Curran Strang, 18, “C.D.,” 18, Marie Lynette Spence, 30, Christina Gliddy, 28, Reggie Bushie, 15, Kyle Morrisseau, 17, Jordan Wabasse, 15, and “I.J,” 57, were grossly inadequate and should be reopened. Thunder Bay, with a population of just over 100,000 people, accounted for one-third of the total reported anti-Indigenous hate crimes in Canada in 2015. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 2:45 PM PST - 14 comments

to make people conscious of the cyclical time of the universe

Nancy Holt (1938-2014) was an American artist. Over the course of five decades, her work encompassed films, videos, photography, audio works, concrete poetry, and artists’ books, but Holt is best known for her large-scale, public art installations. [more inside]
posted by Iris Gambol at 2:20 PM PST - 2 comments

There is no fear in love

Brandan Robertson writes about his experience trying to "pray the gay away".
posted by clawsoon at 1:47 PM PST - 3 comments

Warning Signs

Michelle was 31 and 5'6, the perfect age and the perfect height. She had thick, straight hair, which wasn't a must-have, necessarily, but it was certainly nice. She smiled in every picture, a wide, inviting smile. She had a fine sounding job as a Project Manager and went to a college he had heard of. He messaged "Hey." This wasn’t his best work but it was usually good enough. [more inside]
posted by smcg at 1:29 PM PST - 36 comments

Data is Beautiful!

Simulated Dendrochronology of U.S. Immigration
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 12:30 PM PST - 5 comments

Focus on the Science, Not the Scientist

Astronomers gathered in Baltimore recently to complete the annual Telescope Allocation Review for the Hubble Space Telescope. Last year, despite efforts made to reduce bias, proposals for medium and large programs on the Hubble Space Telescope had an acceptance rate of 24% for programs led by men and 13% for programs led by women, an imbalance largely in keeping with the telescope's history. This year, in one of the most competitive cycles ever, that suddenly changed to a near-equivalent 8.7% acceptance rate for women and an 8.0% acceptance rate for men, reversing the trend seen over the past 15 cycles. What happened? Anonymized proposals. [more inside]
posted by kyrademon at 11:54 AM PST - 18 comments

To Protect Migrants From Police, a Dutch Church Service Never Ends

Under an obscure Dutch law, police may not disrupt a church service to make an arrest. And so for the past six weeks, immigration officials have been unable to enter Bethel Church to seize the five members of the Tamrazyan family, Armenian refugees who fled to the sanctuary to escape a deportation order. The service, which began in late October as a little-noticed, last-gasp measure by a small group of local ministers, is now a national movement, attracting clergy members and congregants from villages and cities across the Netherlands. More than 550 pastors from about 20 denominations have rotated through Bethel Church, a nonstop service all in the name of protecting one vulnerable family. (SLNYT)
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:48 AM PST - 22 comments

“This is one of the most important films I’ve come across.”

They are on screen for less than 30 seconds, a couple in simple embrace. The man, dressed in a suit and bowtie, and the woman in a frilled dress. They hug and kiss, swing wide their clasped hands, and kiss again. Titled Something Good-Negro Kiss, the newly discovered silent film from 1898 is believed to be the earliest cinematic depiction of African-American affection. [more inside]
posted by Pater Aletheias at 11:40 AM PST - 9 comments

No matter what we write, white people can turn our stories into weapons.

Native American Lives Are Tragic, But Probably Not in the Way You Think [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 10:38 AM PST - 2 comments

Blue, Blue, My World is Blue

Nancy Wilson, jazz singer who turned songs into stories, passed away yesterday at 81. (No, not that Nancy Wilson.) [more inside]
posted by widdershins at 9:33 AM PST - 18 comments

Underground psychedelic therapy

Welcome to the trip of your life: the rise of underground LSD guides. "Some Americans searching for alternative paths to healing have turned to psychedelics. But how does one forge a career as a guide when the substances are illegal?" [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 9:18 AM PST - 50 comments

The internet spawned Uber and Amazon, not the Paris Commune

“In times in which financial institutions and even whole political entities may just dissolve into fluffy glitter, investment in art seems somehow more real. Moreover, as alternative currency, art seems to fulfill what Ethereum and Bitcoin have hitherto only promised. Rather than money issued by a nation and administrated by central banks, art is a networked, decentralized, widespread system of value. It gains stability because it calibrates credit or disgrace across competing institutions or cliques. ” If You Don’t Have Bread, Eat Art!: Contemporary Art and Derivative Fascisms (e-flux)
posted by The Whelk at 9:14 AM PST - 3 comments

10,000-foot-tall, carrot-chomping, gay cocaine addict

"What we learn from that finding is that 'mischievous responders' think some responses are funny but not others. For example, a 12-year-old saying that he has used heroin over 40 times has a certain panache to it compared to, say, disclosing suicidal ideation. But that could have the net effect of making it seem like gay and bisexual boys are abusing substances at much higher rates than they actually do." These Teenage Trolls Are Pretending to Be LGBT, and Screwing Up Scientific Studies [SLTheDailyBeast]
posted by Grandysaur at 8:56 AM PST - 39 comments

Minimalist City Maps with a Twist

Every city has a defining feature that acts as a cultural shorthand for those in the know. Peter Gorman is the designer behind Barely Maps, a series of illustrated maps that turn these design features into wonderfully opaque visual riddles. [more inside]
posted by MovableBookLady at 8:36 AM PST - 27 comments

—for years, Steam has been the only digital games store for many players

Epic Games takes on Steam with its own fairer game store [The Verge] “Epic Games, the developer of Fortnite and the widely used game-making software Unreal Engine, is about to start selling other companies’ games, too. Epic is launching a new online store like Valve’s Steam that will similarly feature third-party games, marking yet another substantial threat to Steam’s dominant position as the lead distributor of PC titles. Epic’s store, which is set to launch soon, will start with a select number of PC and Mac games, and it will open up to more developers next year.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 7:28 AM PST - 51 comments

Rejoice Greatly indeed

Trinidadian soprano Jeanine DeBique performs 'Rejoice greatly' from Messiah (SLYT) People are gagging over her ability to accurately and gorgeously render the challenging coloratura of this piece at near breakneck speed, with such warmth and expression. Her slow sections are equally beautiful. At the 2:25 mark, her use of straight tone is devastating. DeBique is in a class by herself. [more inside]
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 3:25 AM PST - 34 comments

December 13

Celebrating Avril 14 four months early

As the darkness of December descends, why not celebrate April 14th four months early? Aphex Twin dropped a few new gifts recently, expanding his 2001 album Drukqs with two newly available versions of Avril 14 (a 3rd was briefly available, long enough that someone got it and posted it to Soundcloud). Richard D. James isn't one to talk about song titles or inspirations, but there's a theory that he's marking a rather dark day, or repeating date, in history. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 8:55 PM PST - 13 comments

Quod me nutrit me destruit

What's the most dangerous food of all time? Experts give and explain their answers: Durian (physical accidents, sulfur content); lookalike mushrooms; domesticated livestock (zoonotic diseases); alcohol; food-spoiling fungi; beef (global warming); raw food; and sugar (x4). [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:32 PM PST - 83 comments

Humble Bachelor who is Prone to Conniptions

19th Century Character Trope Generator
posted by spamandkimchi at 5:25 PM PST - 52 comments

Why Are So Many People Suddenly Allergic to Meat?

More and more people are becoming allergic to mammal meat, and worryingly, mammal products such as cheese, wool, and even the gelatin in pill capsules “This increasingly common sensitivity seems to result from a certain type of tick bite. The fact that we’ve figured that out is the result of some amazing coincidences in scientific research.” It’s called an Alpha-Gal allergy, and due to climate change, it’s becoming a problem worldwide.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 2:23 PM PST - 78 comments

Of the 385,000 electric buses worldwide, 99% of them are in China

Bloomberg: Electric buses are hurting the oil industry. Buses consume 30x more fuel than cars, so 84% of the fuel displaced by electric vehicles so far has come from the usage of electric buses, compared to just 16% attributed to the use of electric passenger vehicles such as those produced by Tesla or Nissan. [more inside]
posted by xdvesper at 1:40 PM PST - 56 comments

The biggest news in Australia that Australians don't know yet.

While the news is available to the rest of the world, the majority of Australians don't know that the most senior catholic in the country, Cardinal George Pell, is now a convicted paedophile. At the request of the prosecution, a suppression order forbids the media from reporting this, in an effort to preserve impartiality in further trials. The trial inspired a Tim Minchin song two years ago, it's popularity indicating the public interest.
posted by adept256 at 1:04 PM PST - 64 comments

The trident is superfluous at this point.

At the blue carpet premier of Aquaman last night, Jason Momoa joined Kiwi costar Temuera Morrison and some other cast members in a performance of the Haka dance (Youtube link). It should be noted that this is not Momoa's first foray into this traditional Maori performance.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 11:23 AM PST - 38 comments

The Secret Origin of the Secret Society of Secret Santas

What to do when your children stop believing in Santa: teach them to become him. [slImgur] [more inside]
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:33 AM PST - 24 comments

"I'm confused, I'm not sure where to go, but I know my door is blue"

"We had a traffic jam of wheelchairs and walkers because everyone was so excited to come and see how the doors were going to turn out." Trying to find their own room among identical beige doors can be confusing and stressful for care home residents with dementia. Some memory care facilities are trying a new approach: large decals that transform each featureless beige door into the distinctive front door of a real house. The decals are based on the final art school thesis of Marieke van Diepen, who worked with a social development organization to figure out how to use the door decals to help people with dementia. The Amsterdam-based company even offers custom decals based on the actual front door of a person's former home.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:25 AM PST - 20 comments

Architectural Drawing Of The Year 2018

The drawings are created by architecture students from around the world and the competition is held by Aarhus School of Architecture.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 9:59 AM PST - 5 comments

Chocolate Spills Out Into German Street

"A ton of chocolate" has brought a local road to a standstill in Germany, according to local authorities. "The chocolate quickly solidified. About 10 sq m (108 sq ft) was cleared by 25 firefighters using shovels, hot water and blowtorches."

Additional links:
NBC News
posted by grobertson at 9:47 AM PST - 20 comments


Project Drawdown is a book edited by Paul Hawken, and a plan, that ranks the top 100 solutions to global climate change. "The list is comprised primarily of “no regrets” solutions—actions that make sense to take regardless of their climate impact since they have intrinsic benefits to communities and economies." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:41 AM PST - 18 comments

Chicago's mass school closings

A Generation of School Closings. Since 2002, Chicago has closed or radically shaken up 200 public schools. Public radio station WBEZ takes a look at who the shakeup helped, who it hurt, and where the city’s schools stand now. [more inside]
posted by goatdog at 8:41 AM PST - 5 comments

Don't tell me it's raining

Insect pee: Ultrafast fluidic ejection from sharpshooters - Sharpshooters are agricultural pests that “suck” copious amounts of fluid from plants and spread Pierce’s disease which threatens California’s multi-billion agricultural industry. A single sharpshooter can ingest up to 300 times their body weight per day in xylem fluid making them extreme biological pumps. To prevent fluidic build-up, they constantly have to release droplet excrements before ejecting them in the form of “pee” at ultra-high speeds. These insects, nicknamed the "pissing fly," have left passersby wondering if it's raining. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:01 AM PST - 15 comments

Hair Today, Gone... Never?

For almost fifty years, the increasing emphasis on dramatic mourning in the English-speaking world spurred an unlikely medium for art: severed human hair. Hair could be prepared for art, jewelry, or keepsakes in four different ways depending on texture. Hairwork isn't dead, however. There are still artists who work with human hair--and some of them even teach classes in the Victorian style. [more inside]
posted by sciatrix at 7:34 AM PST - 3 comments

I asked someone how they were and they actually told me.

Londoners troll New York Times with deluge of 'petty crimes'
An appeal for victims of petty crime in the UK’s capital has been met with sarcasm.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 7:05 AM PST - 37 comments

Dense rings of dust

ALMA Campaign Provides Unprecedented Views of the Birth of Planets. ALMA‘s first large-scale, high-resolution survey of protoplanetary disks. Fantastic pictures. Because what is astronomy if not fantastic pictures?
posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee at 6:32 AM PST - 4 comments

“He’s probably in his room right now, stuffing Lego in the hole”

It is the season of goodwill, of delivering gifts and presents, and the traditional British Santa's Enchanted Adventure That Isn't. Santa has been getting into the festive rage/spirit in Cambridge (the county of interesting school plays), while in Thornaby he gets a parking ticket. In Hull, the elderly spend the night cutting their neighbour's flashing lights, while in Reading “the lights were flashing and it is so in your face, you cannot help staring at it - I was in complete disbelief.” Though in Chard, some residents will become familiar with Baby Shark. And in Yorkshire, a shepherd was sent to the school nativity with a ... multi-purpose ... sheep. Should you charge your relatives to eat Christmas dinner, or just let them tuck into marmite sprouts? Happy Christmas, MetaFilter.
posted by Wordshore at 2:28 AM PST - 45 comments

December 12

Handel's Messiah - the best in New York.

What the New York Times has described as the best Messiah performance in New York will be live-streaming here on Sunday Dec 16th at 3pm.
posted by storybored at 10:09 PM PST - 19 comments

Art of a water shaped planet

Water · Shapes · Earth "A project that combines power of aerial photography and storytelling to rediscover the beauty of our planet, and to show how water shapes Earth and influences our lives." [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 9:32 PM PST - 6 comments

“The numbers don’t lie,”

Elizabeth Rowe has sued the BSO. Her case could change how orchestras pay men and women. [The Washington Post] The Boston Symphony Orchestra is one of the country's "big five" orchestras. There are 95 musicians in the orchestra — 63 men and 32 women. Principal flutist Elizabeth Rowe sits next to principal oboist John Ferrillo. She's paid $64,451 less than him a year.
“Money is the one thing that we can look to to measure people’s value in an organization,” Rowe says. “You look at the number of women that graduate from conservatories and then you look at the number of women in the top leadership positions in orchestras, and it’s not 50-50 still. Women need to see equality, and they need to see fairness in order to believe that that’s possible.”
posted by Fizz at 8:39 PM PST - 70 comments

National Geographic 2018 Winners & More

The winners and honorable mentions of the 2018 photography competition. These are just a few of the many winners/honorable mentions. If you go to the NatGeo website NG Photo Contest, you can poke around in different categories to see more.
posted by MovableBookLady at 7:05 PM PST - 3 comments

A Demon Underneath

Long before Elon Musk, a visionary automaker showed how ugly the American Dream could be. Long before the rise of utopian tech billionaires and Silicon Valley mountebanks, John DeLorean blazed the trail they would eventually follow. The Outline explores DeLorean's apocalyptic, quintessentially American life.
posted by Naberius at 6:05 PM PST - 27 comments

The Island the Left Neglected

Imagine a small, peaceful, progressive island in Asia about the size of Maryland. Ruled until the Cold War’s very end by a military dictatorship, it is now a robust democracy, although it endures incessant hostility from its giant neighbor. Its people treasure their hard-fought equality, free press, and vibrant civil society. [By Jeffrey C. H. Ngo in Dissent Magazine] [more inside]
posted by FJT at 5:57 PM PST - 19 comments

The Cosplay of Nations 2018: Miss Japan Makes Title More Literal

Arriving earlier than expected this year, it's the Miss Universe national costume pageant, better known as The Cosplay of Nations - a title that was more literal than usual, thanks to Miss Japan. Female empowerment seemed to be an unofficial theme this year, with costumes paying tribute to a Kenyan village that empowers and shelters women and to the suffergette movement being of note, as well as a number of outfits that bring to mind angry deities or superheroes and supervillains. [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 4:27 PM PST - 54 comments

Lithotomy? You barely know me!

Extremely detailed surgical illustrations [SO NSFW] from two 19th-century medical texts. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:46 PM PST - 29 comments

Ghost Ship

Max Harris and the aftermath of the Ghost Ship fire A look at one of the two men who have been named culpable in the Ghost Ship artist's collective fire. (SLNYT) Previously
posted by PussKillian at 2:13 PM PST - 109 comments

here's hoping for a consistently dense thread

Got some fabric, want to check it for thread count or imperfections, and you can only use the power of moire? Looks like you need a Lunometer! The device was invented, patented in 1929, and eponymously branded by one Hans Peter Luhn, who also invented the goddam hashing algorithm among other things.
posted by cortex at 1:49 PM PST - 13 comments

Humongous fungus: ancient invaders of old-growth forests

In 1992, Anderson and his colleagues estimated that the honey mushroom, which is growing in a forest on Michigan's Upper Peninsula, was 1,500 years old, weighed 100,000 kilograms (~220,460 pounds or ~110 tons) and covered 15 hectares (~37 acres). Based on additional samples taken between 2015 and 2017, the new estimate is that this mushroom is at least 2,500 years old, weighs 400,000 kilograms (881,849 lb or ~441 tons) and covers about 70 hectares (~173 acres) ( According to the researchers, "any temporally continuous forest could support large , old Armillaria individuals," and this isn't the biggest, or oldest (BBC; previously). Worse, Armillaria doesn't share well, and tends to kill off trees. The Secrets of the 'Humongous Fungus' (The Atlantic).
posted by filthy light thief at 1:47 PM PST - 10 comments

Look at these animals

A cat attends college and dates on campus. | A smart golden retriever which runs errands | Dog giving birth to a kitten...? | Genius dog Hoya, the PR ambassador for going against smoking | A few most excellent videos from South Korea's SBS TV program "Animal Farm x Look at Animals" 동물농장x애니멀봐 ( previously)
posted by spamandkimchi at 1:26 PM PST - 5 comments

Intersectional sustainable crop science, and GIFs

Dr. Sarah Taber is an aquaponics and agricultural consultant and food safety scientist, Doctor of Plant Medicine, Plant Protection and Integrated Pest Management, and science communicator who's attracted a Twitter following and is writing a book. Following the jump, a collection of links. [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 12:56 PM PST - 21 comments

Revealed: Google's 'two-tier' workforce training document

Guardian exclusive: internal document shows how Google employees are trained to treat temps, vendors and contractors. (SLGuardian by Julia Carrie Wong)
posted by crazy with stars at 10:54 AM PST - 99 comments

Police Play Video Games with Tenants After Responding to Noise Complaint

Neighbors called the police on Jovante M. Williams and his friends playing video games. Police responded appropriately. “We got a lot of cops. We’re telling them this is the same noise level we’ve been having,” Williams tells us. “They confirmed, a few times, that we weren’t even loud.” Eventually, one police officer asked the young men what they were playing. “I’m like, ‘Y’all wanna play Smash?!’ And two of them literally raised their hand and walked up. They’re like, ‘How do you jump?’ They were acting; one of them was playing Pikachu!” Williams says, laughing, alluding to the fact that the officers knew how to play very well.
posted by grobertson at 9:40 AM PST - 14 comments

Amazon Warehouse Workers in Staten Island Go Public With Unionizing Push

Employees at a newly-opened Amazon warehouse in Staten Island went public with a campaign to unionize last night. In the face of the company’s hyper-aggressive, global anti-union campaign, the new push is a pretty huge development for workers in other parts of the country—and other Amazon-owned companies like Whole Foods. The Staten Island employees’ complaints are familiar—mainly, that Amazon treats them like shit for not enough money.
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 8:34 AM PST - 41 comments

Photosynthesis Makes a Sound

The ping of algae turning sunlight into energy adds to the soundscape of marine ecosystems. [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 7:56 AM PST - 4 comments

Forget eagles. All hail the Broiler Chicken!

A team of researchers from several institutions in the U.K. and one in South Africa has come to the conclusion that the broiler chicken offers perhaps the most striking evidence of the rise of the Anthropocene... []
posted by jim in austin at 6:58 AM PST - 24 comments

How the Paradox of 'Original Series' Explains the Video Industry

Using the phrase "Original Series" (or some similar label) was superfluous for the first sixty years of TV. Until a series hit syndication (which took at least five years), ABC shows were on ABC, NBC shows were on NBC, and so on. [...] This raises the question of what, exactly, is an "Original" - and how could Netflix possibly produce several times more than HBO, Amazon, Hulu, Starz and Showtime combined? The answer is simple: "Original" isn't a technical definition but a marketing one. And thus not only is the definition of "Original" vague, it also differs from network to network. And no one has a wider definition than Netflix. [more inside]
posted by smcg at 6:50 AM PST - 30 comments

The four elements: Water, Wind, Fire and Soap

Handheld inverted fire tornado bubble (slyt)
posted by Stark at 3:03 AM PST - 24 comments

December 11

I must keep reliving this beautiful year!

The New York Times (or its Styles Desk) invites you to relive 2018, now blessed with cheevos. (Best on mobile, ok on desktop.)
posted by Going To Maine at 11:32 PM PST - 16 comments

Confederate monuments and their legacy

Why do so many people refuse to believe that the Confederacy was built on slavery?(WaPo) The Myth of the Lost Cause is a strong one and supported by tens of millions of public dollars spent to maintain Confederate monuments and sites. (Extended Radio Version) As much as many local governments would like to take down these down, there are laws in many states preventing cities from removing them. In the wake of this, more Confederate monuments have been recorded or erected than taken down in the past year. [more inside]
posted by Hactar at 8:14 PM PST - 69 comments

“This report is definitely not news to the black community,”

A Black person is 20 times more likely than a white person to be fatally shot by Toronto police [Vice News] “A Black person in Toronto was nearly 20 times more likely than a white person to be shot and killed by the Toronto Police Service between 2013 and 2017. The numbers were uncovered as part of an interim report by the Ontario Human Rights Commission released on Monday into racial profiling and discrimination of Black people, who comprise only 8.8 percent of Toronto’s population, by one of Canada’s largest police forces. The data confirms long-standing concerns of members of the Black communities in the city that they are over-represented in incidents of serious injury and deadly use of force involving Toronto police officers. It also raises broader concerns about transparency, accountability, and officer misconduct with the police service.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 5:55 PM PST - 16 comments

“The cake to cheese ratio is all important....”

As documented in “The Studies in Nidderdale”, in t'northern county of Yorkshire (Leeds!), Christmas cake is eaten with cheese. Emma Stokes, from Tadcaster, says: “Until I moved down south I didn’t realise some people think it’s weird to have cheese with your Christmas cake”, as the nation is further divided. Perhaps pair with Piave cheese, or cranberry-infused cheese, or a Harrogate Blue? “You can't beat a bit of Stilton with a piece of Christmas cake.” Though a wedge of Wensleydale is traditional and unbeatable and lovely. (Monterey!?!) Americans, and others, can vote on this and other British foods.
posted by Wordshore at 4:18 PM PST - 41 comments

People are emailing trees

Melbourne City Council gave 70,000 trees an email address so that people could report on the health of the trees. But they have now received over 4,000 emails to the trees, including 'love letters, existential queries and sometimes just bad puns'.
posted by AnnaRat at 12:56 PM PST - 28 comments

20 minute video I accidentally watched all of after all, vol. XVII

Leo (of Leo Makes) makes, or rather remakes, a plate reverb unit out of an Ikea shelf. He made one before, too, but the new one is better.
posted by cortex at 12:08 PM PST - 14 comments

A painting as habitat: art as food to eat and protect, by microbes

If you could zoom in for a microscopic look at an oil painting on canvas, you would see many thin, overlapping layers of pigments—powdered bits of insects, plants, or minerals—held together with oils or glue made from animal collagens. Many of those pigments and binding materials are surprisingly edible to bacteria and fungi. Each patch of color and each layer of paint and varnish in an oil painting offers a different microbial habitat. So when you look at a painting, you’re not just looking at a work of art; you’re looking at a whole ecosystem. What’s eating this 400-year-old painting? A whole ecosystem of microbes (Kiona N. Smith for Ars Technica, on a study of the microbes on a Renaissance painting called “Incoronazione della Virgine,” by painter Carlo Bononi) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 12:02 PM PST - 2 comments

Subverting Number 1 with Number 2

Everyone on the set of The Magnificent Seven had diarrhea and what that says about toxic masculinity (slMedium)
posted by backseatpilot at 10:53 AM PST - 53 comments

Orlando, FL is named after a man who may have died by stampede

Last night, Nicole Cliffe asked people to tell her their favorite weird fact (twitter) (kottke)
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:39 AM PST - 52 comments

Population Mountains

What stands out is each city’s form, a unique mountain that might be like the steep peaks of lower Manhattan or the sprawling hills of suburban Atlanta. When I first saw a city in 3D, I had a feel for its population size that I had never experienced before. 1000 words from Matt Daniels at The Pudding with lots of images.
posted by cgc373 at 10:01 AM PST - 32 comments

O you, beloved of my twenty-seven senses, I love your!

Anna Blume Fan Club is a Dada fanpage in Spanish with many photos and photomontages.
It includes a page on Dada in Barcelona and another on the wonderful Art Nurse.
Kurt Schwitters original 1919 poem An Anna Blume and a little prize winning film.
posted by adamvasco at 10:00 AM PST - 1 comment

“I am not a Marxist” - Karl Marx

“What Marxism teaches us is simply to approach questions of society from a material basis: how does human life persist? Through production of the goods and services needed to live. How are these things produced under capitalist society? Through exploitation of the labor of the working class, that is, by requiring one class of people to sell their labor as a commodity to another class to produce values. What is the result of this system? That workers are “alienated” from their labor, meaning from much of their waking life, constantly required to produce more and more with an ever-precarious access to the means of subsistence.” What It Means to Be a Marxist (Jacobin) “ If we want to avoid the mistakes of the 20th Century, we must not drive away those who largely agree with us over small ideological distinctions.” I’m A Socialist But Not A Marxist (Midwestern Socialist)
posted by The Whelk at 9:56 AM PST - 30 comments

I have always preferred things that work in spite of themselves

How To Poach An Egg And Leave A Marriage
posted by griphus at 7:15 AM PST - 60 comments

Beautiful, disturbing paintings

Roberto Ferri appears to have grown up looking at Robert Mapplethorpe pictures. If you are easily disturbed by cruelty, distorted bodies, and Catholicism, or are at work, pass by. If not, he will at least stimulate your imagination, and may educate it. His paintings are some combination of Renaissance religious art, high-end magazine advertising illustration, fetish porn, Ovid's Metamorphoses, and body dysmorphia anxiety. They are beautiful. [NSFW] [more inside]
posted by ckridge at 7:03 AM PST - 11 comments

The uncertain new world of labour

New world of work leaves 'precariat' living on edge [Reuters] - "In 1997, Pierre Bourdieu[1] argued that the 'precariousness' of modern work was a big problem. The French intellectual claimed that the decline of secure jobs and clear career paths led to 'the destruction of existence … to the degradation of every relationship with the world, time, and space'. Everyone, he said, was affected, because no one could escape the fear of being rendered precarious." (previously) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 5:49 AM PST - 23 comments

How the IRS Was Gutted

An eight-year campaign to slash the agency’s budget has left it understaffed, hamstrung and operating with archaic equipment. The result: billions less to fund the government. That’s good news for corporations and the wealthy. SL ProPublica/The Atlantic by Paul Kiel and Jesse Eisinger (previously)
posted by crazy with stars at 5:38 AM PST - 23 comments

Unexpected item in the bagging area

This was the day Parliament was supposed to have its "meaningful vote" on the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated between the UK government and the EU - a supposedly "soft Brexit" that is anything but. But Theresa "Contempt of Parliament" May has postponed the vote, supposedly to renegotiate the backstop designed to prevent a reemergence of a hard border on the island of Ireland, possibly to "focus minds" by running down the clock (108 days and ticking), and possibly because she seriously believes that cherry-picking is still possible. The EU's response is that the Withdrawal Agreement and its backstop are as good as they will get. [more inside]
posted by rory at 2:41 AM PST - 527 comments

December 10

In Sighisoara, the story of Emil & Xaver

The other day I promised you that I would explain the mystery that lies behind this tombstone in which two soldiers of the Austro-Hungarian Empire who fought and died in the First World War... and who were buried together. By Guillem Clua (translated) [more inside]
posted by CrystalDave at 10:49 PM PST - 21 comments

If you can read this, leave me alone I'm watching Hallmark movies.

Why an ad for bootleg Hallmark socks is one of the most ubiquitous of the holiday season. Have you been bombarded with strange online ads for socks about Hallmark movies? It's not a clever marketing ploy by the network. It's all about drop shipping. [more inside]
posted by dw at 9:33 PM PST - 38 comments

Obviously burritos, corn dogs, dumplings, Pop-Tarts are all calzones

Earlier this year @Phosphatide stepped into the (apparently never, ever, ever ending) "what is a sandwich" debate with the Cube Rule of Food, a six-part classification system for dishes based on the location of the starch. @indirect then stepped in to clarify the finer points. Therefore, according to the Rule: nigiri sushi should be categorized as toast, stacked toast as a sandwich, a hot dog as a taco, pigs in a blanket as sushi, and cheesecake as quiche. via Kottke [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 7:52 PM PST - 82 comments

Reconsidering the Jewish American Princess

Jamie Lauren Keiles writes for Vox on Jewish American Princesses: The JAP, as a figure, is a paragon of nuance, as complex as the Jewishness and womanhood she draws from. At worst, she is the dybbuk of the upwardly mobile, the ever-haunting spirit of the Jewish nouveau riche as it tries to find its place in the American class system. At best, she performs her own kind of Jewish drag, reclaiming the anti-Semitic tropes of yore as a positive ideal of Jewish womanhood. I see her as a queen of multitudinous existence.
posted by ChuraChura at 7:17 PM PST - 15 comments

"It’s like finding a whole new reservoir of life on Earth"

A multidisciplinary team of scientists affiliated with the Deep Carbon Observatory are nearing the end of a decade of collaboration to explore and study life in Earth’s subsurface. After sampling microbes from hundreds of boreholes as deep as 5 km underground and 2.5 km below the seafloor, the researchers have begun reporting some of their findings [scroll down for illustrations below appendix]. [more inside]
posted by theory at 4:46 PM PST - 25 comments

Bizarre "Dark Fluid" with Negative Mass

Our best theoretical model can only explain 5% of the universe. The remaining 95% is famously made up almost entirely of invisible, unknown material dubbed dark energy and dark matter. The two have always been treated as separate phenomena. But my new study, published in Astronomy and Astrophysics, suggests they may both be part of the same strange concept – a single, unified “dark fluid” of negative masses.
posted by MovableBookLady at 3:28 PM PST - 30 comments

Thy Flesh Consumed.

John Romero Celebrates Doom's 25th Anniversary With Nine New Levels [Kotaku] “The original Doom first came out 25 years ago, on December 10, 1993. To commemorate the cruel, unceasing passage of time, designer John Romero is revisiting his beloved demonspawn baby. Today, Romero announced Sigil, a Doom “megawad” containing nine new single and multiplayer levels. It’s basically a big mod, but from one of the original game’s creators. The goal, Romero said on Sigil’s website, was to pick up where Doom’s original episodes left off in terms of both design and story. Sigil is coming out in February and will be free to download.” [YouTube][25th Anniversary Trailer] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 3:27 PM PST - 32 comments

Gallup's Migration Research Center

Measuring our world in motion - How many people want to leave their country? Where do they want to go? How do people feel about migrants living in their communities? How do migrants feel about their own lives?
posted by unliteral at 1:46 PM PST - 2 comments

All The Time I've Wasted Watching Better Versions of Me

“I feel so crowded,” I wrote to a friend, “so many people are trying not just to be a person — but trying to be the exact person I want to be.”
posted by perplexion at 11:40 AM PST - 45 comments

Minneapolis fights housing segregation

On Friday, the Minneapolis city council passed a 481-page plan called Minneapolis 2040, "a comprehensive plan to permit three-family homes in the city’s residential neighborhoods, abolish parking minimums for all new construction, and allow high-density buildings along transit corridors." Single family home zoning is a major contributor to housing segregation.
posted by soelo at 10:57 AM PST - 69 comments

The challenge was to capture my knowledge into a computer program.

CastlevaniaBot is a plugin for the Nintaco NES emulator that plays Castlevania. It "is a system that simulates the same decision-making process that I perform when I have a controller in hand. Creating it involved articulating in elaborate detail the physics that govern Simon Belmont’s 8‑bit world and all the tactics required to be an expert vampire killer."
posted by a snickering nuthatch at 10:42 AM PST - 7 comments

Reflection as a self-congratulatory proxy for action

"Conservative funders focus on the big picture, act quickly, do not micromanage, provide significant general operating funds, fund for twenty or thirty years, support leaders and movements, engage in policy and politics, and treat grantees as equal partners. Progressive funders—with a few exceptions—intellectualize, are severely risk-averse, focus narrowly, fund isolated strategies and programs, avoid politics, and treat grantees like parasites and freeloaders." 10 things progressive funders must learn from conservative ones, or we are all screwed.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:31 AM PST - 30 comments

“It feels like someone is following me, personally.”

The New York Times investigated location tracking in apps, and the results are creepy. The app-makers themselves appear to be unmoved by the findings: “You would have to be pretty oblivious if you are not aware that this is going on," says one CEO. Yet plenty of recent research indicates most people are unaware of how common location-tracking via mobile app has become, and app-makers aren't in a rush to clue us in. [more inside]
posted by faineg at 8:12 AM PST - 45 comments

we are the descendants of the grandmothers who wouldn’t die

These Mayan Weavers Could Be Paving the Way For Indigenous Communities to Trademark Their Work [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 6:49 AM PST - 3 comments

New Autocrats in Eastern Europe

The New Autocrats by Griff Witte (@griffwitte) is a photoessay about the Czech Republic, Poland, Rumania, and Hungary.
posted by kingless at 5:21 AM PST - 8 comments

Mr. Eisenstein Goes to Hollywood

Eisenstein versus Sinclair: H. W. L. Dana and “¡Que Viva México!” (Angela Shpolberg, LA Review of Books). [more inside]
posted by sapagan at 5:06 AM PST - 2 comments

December 9

"I am a scavenger salvaging lost aesthetics"

Carrie Ann Baade [NSFW] paints pictures that link “the power of historical masterworks with [her] own experience as a contemporary artist.” Her work is fragmentary using an image bank culled from Renaissance and Baroque art which is used to contemplate “the ageless issues of morality, politics, and the individual quest for self-expression.[NSFW] She describes herself as “a kind of Dr. Frankenstein attempting to piece together the sublime.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:09 PM PST - 2 comments

après nous, l'enfer

The 2018 fire season in California has been the deadliest and most destructive in the state's history, and made visible smoke across the USA. The Carr Fire, in and around Redding, killed eight as it burned 359 square miles over a month and a week, whose deadliest day came from a fire tornado, a long 150 Minutes of Hell
The tornado signified with horrifying clarity the reality California faces. As wildfire season intensifies, conflagrations will increasingly defy efforts to control them, becoming more powerful and erratic as they race into communities, striking in ways that once seemed unfathomable. “As much as I hate to say it, this is what the future of wildfires looks like[ed],” said Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at UCLA. “Except the acceleration hasn't ended yet.”
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:06 PM PST - 30 comments


Rémy Métailler rides Mountain Bikes with a mounted GoPro.
Here he is taking the Medellín Challenge in Colombia.
Photos from the same race.
Here he is @ The RedBull Valparaiso Urban DH 2014
posted by growabrain at 5:49 PM PST - 17 comments

The Mother of All Demos turns 50

On December 9, 1968, Douglas Engelbart gave a demo of NLS, the "oN-Line System", to the Fall Joint Computer Conference of the ACM and IEEE. Later dubbed The Mother of All Demos, it demonstrated many concepts that would later become fundamental elements of personal computing, including the mouse, windows, hypertext, graphics, video conferencing, and word processing. [more inside]
posted by ckape at 3:45 PM PST - 21 comments

Smita Patil: The First Feminist In Indian Cinema

In a time where the feminist movement was fairly nascent in India and the film-industry was struggling between exploring social themes and conventional ones, Smita Patil was like the missing puzzle piece who fit just right. [more inside]
posted by nightrecordings at 12:59 PM PST - 3 comments


Dimensions.Guide is a comprehensive and beautiful database of dimensioned drawings documenting the standard measurements and sizes of all kinds of objects and spaces. [more inside]
posted by Foci for Analysis at 10:51 AM PST - 15 comments

“a violence that continues to dehumanize and perpetuate racist ideas...”

Red Dead Redemption 2's Redface Proves How Far Games Haven't Come [Paste Magazine] “It’s nearly the end of 2018, and I have to write an article about blackface and redface in Red Dead Redemption 2. That sucks. It sucks, because it means no one bothered to interrogate the casting. It sucks, because I know the pushback I’ll get for being the one to call out readily apparent racism in a game that opened to $725 million in sales. It sucks, because we’re still having to have conversations about why the perpetuation of racist stereotypes and the dehumanization of people of color is bad. It sucks, because didn’t we just do this with Uncharted: The Lost Legacy? And it sucks, because I hoped maybe we could do better than Charles, and as a Native woman who got her start pleading with games journalists and developers to do better, I wouldn’t need to keep writing these articles.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 10:49 AM PST - 19 comments

We Don't Wants It

Andy Serkis joins the debate on Brexit by expressing Theresa May's inner Gollum. (slyt)
posted by Eleven at 9:55 AM PST - 22 comments

Arch history

The History of Architecture in Eleven Arches
posted by infini at 9:52 AM PST - 27 comments

twelve songs for the twelve days of christmas

1995 saw the release of You Sleigh Me, a compilation album of Holiday songs which featured an interesting selection of artists and many really good performances. Cassette Side A: Run Rudolph Run - Mary Kartzen, Blue Christmas - Collective Soul, Little Drummer Boy - Tori Amos, Christmas Lights - Donna Lewis, The First Noel - Billy Pilgrim, Make It Home - Juliana Hatfield [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 9:29 AM PST - 4 comments

The Smithsonian's 'Whale Warehouse'

A behind-the-scenes tour of the large facility that houses cetacean specimens for the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.
posted by carter at 7:47 AM PST - 2 comments

Hoping for a better world

Today is the 70th anniversary of the United Nation's passage of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. (Tomorrow will be the 70th anniversary of the proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.) 45 nations have yet to ratify it. "Genocide" is a relatively new word, having been coined in 1943 to describe the Jewish Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide, but the practise is depressingly ancient and common. Biblical scholars argue about whether the Canaanites and Amalekites suffered genocide; Rome and Athens both committed genocides. A two-volume Encyclopedia of Genocide is available. The definition of genocide in the Convention is broader than the conventional usage, and Canadians might be dismayed to realize that forcing First Nations children into residential schools probably counts as genocide under the Convention.
posted by clawsoon at 6:15 AM PST - 14 comments

Uber is headed for a crash

What has made Uber a good deal for users makes it a lousy investment proposition. The notion that Uber, the most highly valued private company in the world, is a textbook “bezzle” — John Kenneth Galbraith’s coinage for an investment swindle where the losses have yet to be recognized — is likely to come as a surprise to its many satisfied customers. ... Uber’s new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi effectively admitted that Uber isn’t profitable in any market when you factor in corporate overheads.
posted by mecran01 at 6:07 AM PST - 86 comments

"Route involved disappearing bridge over lake of fire. One star, no tip"

Uber engineers build an AI that can reliably beat 80s videogame classic Montezuma's Revenge.
posted by panama joe at 6:07 AM PST - 5 comments

December 8

Including "Ten Books to Help You Become a Librarian"

In "A Nella Larsen Reading List" (Lapham's Quarterly, Nov. 12, 2018), Jaime Fuller takes note of what the author of Passing and Quicksand herself seemed to enjoy reading: "The Harlem Renaissance novelist has faded in and out of focus ... although recent years have seen several biographies and an overdue obituary in the New York Times. Here is a list of books that flitted through her life." The third article in a series, its predecessors are "An Emily Dickinson Reading List" and "A Flannery O'Connor Reading List."
posted by Wobbuffet at 10:06 PM PST - 1 comment

Kittens to the left, kittens to the right, every friggin' night!

A lesbian metal song about kittens? Yes please. For something a bit more holiday-themed: Krampus Bitch. (From L.A.'s Sapphic Musk)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:26 PM PST - 9 comments

Photos of Isolated Tribes

In 2018, Jimmy Nelson published his second major project titled "Homage to Humanity." He visited 34 indigenous cultures in five continents, revisiting some from his previous journey. While his first book was a collection of pictures, this time the photographer decided to expand and added travel journals, maps, local facts, and personal interviews, shifting the focus of his story from the objects he captures to the journey itself. [more inside]
posted by MovableBookLady at 8:34 PM PST - 19 comments

Ready Player Two?

Back in 2009, the first Mario AI competition was held, using Markus Persson's Infinite Mario. Robin Baumgarten won, but the contest fizzled out after a couple of years. Then in 2015, youtuber SethBling (best known for his Minecraft and Mario hacks) coded a machine learning Lua program to play Super Mario games, cleverly named MarI/O. What was revolutionary is that this neural net was evolutionary. (Good explainer if you don't want to watch video.) But what was really meant as a demo took on an extra life of its own with Luigi/o, a livestream that's been running for months, improving the code, and finally completing every level of Super Mario Brothers. [more inside]
posted by rikschell at 7:47 PM PST - 3 comments

Disappearing Acts - An elegy on loss

Disappearing Acts A crushingly sad article about the mass extinction we are all participating in, with photos from Nick Brandt and others. [more inside]
posted by specialk420 at 3:19 PM PST - 18 comments

Liminal: Sigur Rós as a living, breathing eco-system

Welcome to Liminal. Liminal is an ‘endless’ Sigur Rós ambient playlist which is live today [May 8, 2018], brought to you by Jónsi, Alex Somers and Paul Corley. It will be built over linear time into a never-finished project. Albums will be released, volumes added to. Liminal, both live and locally, takes the listener to a place neither here nor there; a “liminal" space. Liminal + Liminal 2 + Liminal 3 = approximately 3 hours of ambient "chill-out" music from Iceland, both original compositions and remixes of works by this trio and others. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 2:11 PM PST - 12 comments

“It had never been done before on a system using the Z80 processor"

Joystick: The Untold Story of Ottawa's Coke-Fueled 1980s Video Game Industry. "Quest for Tires would become the first cartridge video game produced in Canada, and was a hit, winning 'Game Of The Year' from Video Game Update magazine who said 'B.C.’s Quest for Tires isn’t so much a computer game as it is an interactive cartoon'. Hailed as a game that is not another 'shoot the aliens and save the world scenario', and had 'first rate' animation." [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:01 PM PST - 25 comments

Black Grooves

Black Grooves is a monthly online music magazine highlighting the latest releases - often reissues of classic, underground, lost or simply underrated albums - by black musicians. It is edited by the staff at Indiana University's Archives of African American Music and Culture (AAAMC). [more inside]
posted by nightrecordings at 12:17 PM PST - 4 comments

The Hard Border And The Forever War

“And, in the intervening decade since that photo was taken, there hasn’t been a holiday season in which the United States was not at war. This is a fact so utterly banal that it barely warrants mention anymore. When that photo was taken, we’d been at war in Afghanistan for almost as long as the Soviet Union was.” Deployed for the holidays: Troops at the border missed Thanksgiving to carry out an ill-defined and unjustifiable mission. They weren’t alone. (Outline)
posted by The Whelk at 10:35 AM PST - 18 comments

Skibidi: PART DEUX, errm, два!

Little Big's "Skibidi" (previously) now has its own Everything Wrong With video as well as a Making Of the Music Video (Russian language). More ominously, a #skibidichallenge has been virally propagating the "Macarenova" ("Gangnamevich"?) over the Web. (Many YouTube links) [more inside]
posted by zaixfeep at 9:34 AM PST - 14 comments

“I’m gay, black, a furry—pretty much everything a Republican hates—”

SonicFox Steals The Show at The Game Awards [YouTube] Dominique “SonicFox” McLean took home the award for Best Esports Player tonight at The Game Awards in Los Angeles. The 20-year-old full-time student and fighting game ace gave a candid acceptance speech that was one of the night’s more heartfelt moments. Stepping on stage in his now-iconic fursuit, McLean gave an acceptance speech that was funny, honest, and worth watching. [via: Kotaku] [YouTube][The Game Awards Full Show] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 9:23 AM PST - 22 comments

Pikachu vs Eevee

If we're going to live in a world of ruthless competition, let it be like this.
posted by storybored at 8:54 AM PST - 16 comments

I wasn’t going anywhere except the airport.

I walked to the airport simply to see if it could be done. It was an expedition, like Magellan circumnavigating the earth or Lewis and Clark trekking to the Pacific Ocean, except we were heading to a place that had already been thoroughly discovered—by some 30 million passengers a year—and is only five miles, as the crow flies, from midtown Manhattan.
posted by gyusan at 8:12 AM PST - 58 comments

December 7

I bless the [covers] down in Africaaaaaa

Toto's Africa played on Japanese traditional instruments - koto, tsugaru-shamisen and steel drum (via NHK Blends). [more inside]
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:44 PM PST - 25 comments

"Leave it to a zombie show to take deadnames seriously."

To Zombie Land Saga's Lily Hoshikawa, The Best Trans Girl I've Seen In Anime: I’ve been watching anime for as long as I can remember and I never really found a character I could relate to over my gender troubles. That’s why I’m so grateful to know that you’re here. These days, I’m settled a little more comfortably as a trans person, but I saw a lot of myself in you and the turmoil we shared. You gave me a little push to be more expressive with my gender identity. I’ll always appreciate that. [more inside]
posted by one for the books at 9:57 PM PST - 11 comments

"This is probably a good idea, and I feel fit and confident!"

National Treasure Alexandra Petri (previously and ubiquitously) has compiled a list of 100 holiday songs, ranking them from Most Especially Heinous to Best. (She expounded upon the worst holiday song of all a few years ago.)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:15 PM PST - 189 comments

“[F]rom chocolate chips to Sriracha.”

Just in time for the MetaFilter Cookie Swap, the Washington Post has put together a Holiday Cookie Generator!
(Or, really, an ingredient-based cookie search.)
Mmm, cookies.
posted by Going To Maine at 7:59 PM PST - 19 comments

Fantastical Piñatas

The artist’s most recent series Illuminated Piñata pulls characters from the Luttrell Psalter (c. 1325-1335). Works from his Bosch series will be on view at the Riverside Art Museum in Riverside, CA in the group exhibition BEAST, opening February 2, 2019.
posted by MovableBookLady at 5:40 PM PST - 7 comments

Australia's national drink?

Lemon, lime, and bitters - a staple of golf, bowling and other clubs in Australia, could be considered the default non-alcoholic beverage. But how did it get this way when most other countries are unfamiliar with its piquant delights?
posted by smoke at 4:48 PM PST - 55 comments

It's Friday, Wanna Fight About Football?

The Offside Rule and The Guardian name the best 100 female soccer players of 2018.
posted by Tentacle of Trust at 2:13 PM PST - 17 comments

Browser wars update: Microsoft gives up

In 2015, Microsoft announced Internet Explorer would no longer be actively developed, in favor of their new web browser, Edge featuring a new proprietary rendering engine, EdgeHTML. In 2017, MS ported Edge to Android and iOS; instead of EdgeHTML they used Chromium (on Android) and WebKit (on iOS), both wrapped in Microsoft's UI. Chromium is an open-sourced browser platform for which the development is lead by and the project is hosted by Google.

Yesterday, Microsoft announced the termination of their proprietary browser technology in favor of Chromium. [more inside]
posted by ardgedee at 11:06 AM PST - 84 comments

"That dead fly just makes me want to look away. And wash my hands."

Who Wore It Best? US book covers vs. UK book covers for 2018 (SLLitHub)
posted by not_the_water at 10:09 AM PST - 29 comments

9 and 3 or 8 and 4

"For decades, the standard instruction was that drivers should hold the steering wheel at the 10 and 2 positions, as envisioned on a clock. This, it turns out, is no longer the case. In fact, driving that way could cost you your arms or hands in particularly gruesome ways if your airbag deploys." Get with the times: You’re driving all wrong (NBC news) [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 9:52 AM PST - 73 comments

"why is this a WHOLE ASS bop" -YouTube comment

Botnik feat. Morrissey – Bored With This Desire To Get Ripped
posted by josher71 at 9:39 AM PST - 13 comments

“...we retract the lips and cheeks using an OptraGate lip retractor.”

Disney Has a Horrifying New Method to Create Video Game Teeth [YouTube] “The ideal teeth appearance depends on the social and cultural context of the subject, as well as on their age since teeth appearance changes over time,” Disney researchers said in a paper titled Appearance Capture and Modeling of Human Teeth [.pdf]. “We present a system specifically designed for capturing the optical properties of live human teeth such that they can be realistically re-rendered in computer graphics. To capture the beauty of both the teeth and the oral cavity, Disney researchers needed their volunteer to remain still while a barrage of 54 different lights blasted at his face for 10-15 second intervals while a camera snapped pictures.” [via: Motherboard]
posted by Fizz at 8:47 AM PST - 39 comments

"Very legal & very cool"—Individual 1

The Special Counsel's office has been busy lately, beginning with Michael Cohen's surprise court appearance last Thursday to plead guilty to lying about the Trump Tower Project in Moscow (PDF) and then Michael Flynn's heavily redacted sentencing memo on Tuesday (PDF). While Cohen's guilty plea filing was expansive—finally linking "Individual 1" (Donald Trump) formally to the Special Counsel investigation (WaPo)—here's how to read between the lines of Mueller's blacked-out memo on Flynn (CNN). Mueller’s sentencing memo for Flynn doubles as a warning to Manafort (Natasha Bertrand, The Atlantic), and it should worry Kushner and Trump (Bloomberg). But what's behind those lengthy redactions? One clue: As Flynn case winds down, investigation of Turkish lobbying persists (NYT). It's all leading up to a big day Friday (CNBC), with expectations of Michael Cohen's sentencing memos, new details in Paul Manafort's case, James Comey's closed-door testimony on Capitol Hill, and George Papadopoulos's release from prison. [more inside]
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:10 AM PST - 2157 comments

The Last Chess Shop In New York City

King of the Night is a short documentary about Imad Khachan, the owner of Chess Forum, the only remaining chess shop in New York City. (SLYT, published by The Atlantic)
posted by carter at 6:19 AM PST - 16 comments

Part of the journey is the end.

Avengers: Endgame The epic conclusion to Avengers: Infinity War
posted by Fleebnork at 5:53 AM PST - 151 comments

Solas means "Pride"

Thursday night, BioWare's official blog posted a teaser for the next game in the Dragon Age series, possibly subtitled "The Dread Wolf Rises."
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:16 AM PST - 62 comments


Two images of the miners' strike, an instant apart: so which is the classic? The great photographers Don McPhee and Martin Jenkinson both shot a miner in a policeman’s helmet confronting cops at Orgreave – but whose image became iconic, and who decides? (previously)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:13 AM PST - 5 comments

December 6

"…about as likely to happen as your brain falling out of your butt."

On Tuesday, The New England Journal of Medicine tweeted the most recent addition to its photo series of the most visually arresting medical anomalies. The image is of a mysterious, branchlike structure that, posted elsewhere, would probably pass for a cherry-red chunk of some underground root system or a piece of bright reef coral. But this is no creature of the deep. It’s a completely intact, six-inch-wide clot of human blood in the exact shape of the right bronchial tree, one of the two key tubular networks that ferry air to and from the lungs. And it was coughed up in one piece. (SLTheAtlantic)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:52 PM PST - 63 comments

All men Believe They Are Good

Hannah Gadsby has had it with "good men" talking about bad men, especially in Hollywood. Previously, and on Fanfare. Via WaPo.
posted by Alensin at 7:45 PM PST - 52 comments

Amazon vs. Brands

An Amazon revolt could be brewing as the tech giant exerts more control over brands. The next time you buy a PopSockets cellphone grip from Amazon, be forewarned: It likely won’t come with a manufacturer’s warranty — because it won’t be coming from PopSockets or one of its authorized sellers. That’s one of the trickle-down effects of a power move that Amazon recently made against PopSockets and other brands that sell their goods through the largest online store in the U.S. Amazon is taking more control over where and how product manufacturers can hawk their wares on Amazon.
posted by MovableBookLady at 5:15 PM PST - 29 comments

I have no idea who stuck these eels in here or why.

Young monk seal, this is not how to fish for eels. This phenomenon, eels getting stuck in seals' noses, is rare; the team has observed only three or four cases of eel-nose in the past four decades.
posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee at 3:17 PM PST - 38 comments

you can dance if you want to, that'll be $9.50 please

Rapper 2 Milly is suing Epic Games for including his signature dance moves in Fortnite without his permission. [more inside]
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:41 PM PST - 39 comments

Homosapien too

Pete Shelley, front man for The Buzzcocks has died today of a heart attack. You want words? Honestly, I don't really have much to say. Follow the links, listen to the music. Youngs, form your own opinions, olds, do what you do. As for me, him and his band formed an important background of much of my misspent youth. If you've got more and better links please add them otherwise... . [more inside]
posted by evilDoug at 1:40 PM PST - 106 comments

How we waste time!

“People say that their loved ones matter the most, but the way they divide their time doesn't bear that out. This is because of how the brain works: we are programmed to avoid thinking about the time left to us to live.” - Why a Christmas drinks advert has all of Spain sobbing [more inside]
posted by beisny at 11:45 AM PST - 45 comments


The bizarre, touching story behind Rocky IV's robot butler "Designed, controlled and voiced by Robert Doornick, the founder of US company International Robotics, the robot has had a more successful acting career than many of his fellow cast-members. Known as Sico, it is the first non-human member of America’s Screen Actors Guild." [more inside]
posted by Servo5678 at 11:38 AM PST - 13 comments

One Weekend

The theme for Reno's Biggest Little Furcon in 2018 was Broadway Musicals. So, some furry musicians and writers came together to write a musical, over the internet, over the span of just a few months. Here's a documentary about that process -- Making A Musical Tail [25m] [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 10:56 AM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

What's up with the Comanche "savages" in The Ballad of Buster Scruggs?

How the Coen Brothers handle Native American representation in The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs is, to put it mildly, not great...The caricatured Native American characters in Netflix's The Ballad of Buster Scruggs [are] part of the satire, but is that portrayal responsible? Anishinaabe filmmaker Lisa Jackson and Métis director Shane Belcourt join film critic Adam Nayman in a roundtable about race, representation and making space for non-white voices in film. (Radheyan Simonpillai, Now Toronto) Warning: This article contains plot spoilers for The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. [more inside]
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:17 AM PST - 41 comments

" trying very hard to have the good time they paid thousands for,"

Laurie Penny spends Four Days Trapped at Sea With Crypto’s Nouveau Riche
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:06 AM PST - 98 comments

Here Comes A New Challenger!

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the very best of the Smash Bros. series. [Kotaku] “Some say Smash is a party game for tweens idling away a Friday night with a two-liter of Pepsi on their parents’ sectional sofa. Others, myself included, say it’s a fighting game. I think that because I’ve played Smash competitively, obsessively, and adoringly, for a very, very long time, and know that after crossing its childishly low barrier to entry, there is a world of knowledge and sport so in-depth that it’s spurred its own language: “edge-guarding,” “DI” (directional influence), “fast fall.” I think of controllers—GameCube controllers—thrown furiously across a couch after a missed, and subsequently punished, attempt at a grab. I think of crowds of hundreds or thousands thrusting themselves out of folding chairs to bellow at a Smash pro who, after minutes of cat-and-mouse, deftly dodged, threw, and spiked an opponent deep into the void.” [YouTube][Game Trailer] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 7:47 AM PST - 27 comments

"A kind of dark realism"

Why the climate change problem is starting to look too big to solve (SL WaPo) [more inside]
posted by whistle pig at 7:25 AM PST - 151 comments

Smitten By Mittens

Typology of 100s of old Swedish mittens. [via]
posted by Room 641-A at 6:54 AM PST - 11 comments

he also attac

Officials from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources risked life and limb to return Mister Murderbritches to the wild.
posted by ChuraChura at 6:53 AM PST - 37 comments

December 5

One photo, seven atmospheric phenomena

Halo. Parhelic Circle. Sundog. Parry Arc. Upper Tangent Arc. Sun pillar. Crepuscular rays.

Steve LeBaron of the New Hampshire Department of Transportation’s Highway Design Bureau captured a stunner of a sky atop Cannon Mountain while skiing.
posted by ShooBoo at 9:19 PM PST - 22 comments

Africa, So Cal doo-wop musicians' surprising detour into Latin psych

Just when you thought it was safe to listen to your records again, along comes another roller coaster ride through the torturous labyrinth of West Coast group members. This is the story of the Sabers, Chavelles, Valiants, Untouchables, Electras, Alley Cats, Africa, and a few other things along the way. Just the intro to the story of The Valiants, from Marv Goldberg's R&B Notebooks, based on interviews with Rip Spencer .... except as Africa, a bunch of former doo-wop cats came together to make some slinky Latin-tinged psychedelic soul covers on the album Music From "Lil Brown", putting their own twists on The Rolling Stones and The Doors, mashing up Richard Berry and Bobbie Gentry, and spinning some original cuts (YouTube; Spotify). [via Johnny Wallflower].
posted by filthy light thief at 8:09 PM PST - 3 comments

The death certificate ... listed his profession as chef

Drew Magary, writing for GQ’s Men of the Year brings us The Last Curious Man, an oral history take on the life and death Anthony Bourdain as told by friends, family, and colleagues.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:05 PM PST - 18 comments

You're an Iridescent Moonbeam!

I love Hue: a "gentle journey into colour and perception" The makers, Zut! games, say "I Love Hue is a minimalist, ambient puzzle game [...]The game has a very simple concept - players must arrange grids of coloured tiles into perfectly ordered spectrums. It was designed from the start to be a meditative, chilled experience with no timers, no move limits and no punishments for failure. " [more inside]
posted by prewar lemonade at 4:24 PM PST - 43 comments

🎵 This is how we do iiit 🎵

Internet Boy Band Database
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 4:00 PM PST - 10 comments

Where Our Views of Reality Go Wrong

A thought experiment has shaken up the world of quantum foundations. That quantum mechanics is a successful theory is not in dispute. It makes astonishingly accurate predictions about the nature of the world at microscopic scales. What has been in dispute for nearly a century is just what it’s telling us about what exists, what is real. There are myriad interpretations that offer their own take on the question, each requiring us to buy into certain as-yet-unverified claims — hence assumptions — about the nature of reality. [more inside]
posted by MovableBookLady at 2:48 PM PST - 50 comments

A Return to Form

Justin and Griffin return to Polygon as guests to make a new Monster Factory. You KNOW it’s Soul Calibur 6.
posted by DoctorFedora at 2:12 PM PST - 40 comments

Man, oh man, I hate those fancy lads!

“This Is Just So Sh**ty, We Gotta Watch”: The Beautiful, Inspirational Disaster of ‘Cabin Boy,’ 25 Years Later
posted by Chrysostom at 12:59 PM PST - 46 comments

The #D5 Cheesecake Wars

The Cheesecake Factory's free cheesecake deal ends in chaos, furious customers, and reports of battling delivery people
posted by Etrigan at 12:25 PM PST - 56 comments

But Zuck's emails!

UK MP publishes internal Facebook documents, including correspondence between Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg.
posted by tobascodagama at 10:58 AM PST - 38 comments

Question: Why use Quora?

The question and answer website Quora has been hacked, leaking data on over 100 million user accounts. But there are other reasons not to use the service argues MeFi's own Andy Baio.
posted by gwint at 10:49 AM PST - 45 comments

Clickhole's Oral History Of The Hunt For Osama Bin Laden

It is my profound regret to present you with yet another installment (so, so many times previously) of Clickhole's "An Oral History of..." series: "The Most Wanted Man In History: An Oral History Of The Hunt For Osama Bin Laden." It is certainly Not for Everyone™, but I hope that current fans of the series and uninitiated lovers of the absurd may delight in this nonsensical, wholly fictitious account of the hunt for bin Laden and, more importantly, John Wayne's ruby.
posted by Krazor at 10:38 AM PST - 12 comments

Put it on the front burner

Front Burner is a new(ish) podcast from CBC that goes in-depth on a issue currently in the news. Being from CBC, there is a focus on Canadian news, but many of the stories cover global issues. [more inside]
posted by kmkrebs at 9:25 AM PST - 2 comments

The Tulalip Tribes bet big on beavers

In western Washington, a nation looks to rodent restoration as a natural, ecological engineer. [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 9:16 AM PST - 17 comments

I posted this to MetaFilter, and Sibelius crashed

Music Software & Bad Interface Design: Avid’s Sibelius [YouTube] - In this video, I take a detailed look at the design of Avid's Sibelius - a popular music notation application. Sibelius is the embodiment of what not to do as a user experience designer and this video covers a range of examples of inappropriate design patterns and bad user interface choices. Then I go insane. [more inside]
posted by Wolfdog at 8:08 AM PST - 45 comments

Slow Earthquake

These waves didn't just zip by; they rang for more than 20 minutes. And yet, it seems, no human felt them. Was it a meteor strike? A submarine volcano eruption? An ancient sea monster rising from the deep?
posted by Mr.Pointy at 7:30 AM PST - 21 comments

Bring Democracy To America

“There is a solution, however, that could gain immediate popular support: Abolish the Senate.” I Served in Congress Longer Than Anyone. Here’s How to Fix It. John D. Dingell, former Michigan Representative. (Atlantic)
posted by The Whelk at 7:26 AM PST - 101 comments

Schizophrenia, Poetry and the Everything In Between

The remarkable story of a woman diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, who manages to find her voice again through poetry. Amy Willans is now an award winning social support worker herself, and has given the radio program 'White Coat, Black Art' this candid interview about how writing helped her rediscover herself.
posted by TruthfulCalling at 7:19 AM PST - 3 comments

What they're up to, only Heaven knows!

20 years ago, Cyndi Lauper released her delightfully sensitive, playfully zydeco, also rather traditional [full album, 42m] sixth studio album, Merry Christmas... :P Have A Nice Life! It's mostly original songs with a few very strong covers or traditional carols mixed in. Quality stuff, IMO! (When has Cyndi ever NOT released quality stuff?) Side A: Home On Christmas Day, Early Christmas Morning, Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree, Christmas Conga, Minnie And Santa, Feels Like Christmas [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 6:15 AM PST - 6 comments

"his collections of things — cats, rocks, beanbags, books"

Edward Gorey's enigmatic world. Article in The New Yorker by Joan Acocella. Lots of Gorey previously.
posted by paduasoy at 5:19 AM PST - 20 comments

The Modernization Sequence, Regional Divergences and Mobility

How to Get Growth in the Places That Need It Most - "The 2017 tax reform law gave the wrong kinds of incentives to help struggling urban areas and regions." (thread) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 4:59 AM PST - 15 comments

The work is never finished. The work will never be finished.

Alexandra Rowland writes about Hopepunk “But once in a while, the people toward the middle of the heap manage to look down and see the mass of wretched bodies below, the base of the pyramid that’s supporting them, and for a moment, they see the instability of their own position, that their pyramid isn’t built on solid ground but on human flesh and human pain. For a moment, they see, and the illusion of niceness is wrenched away from them, and they weep, but still, still not for the people below them whose suffering has gone on so long. They weep like children over the teddy bear that’s been snatched out of their hands. They weep only because the world suddenly isn’t as nice as they thought, and it’s hard to deal with that.“
posted by Gilgongo at 12:11 AM PST - 19 comments

December 4

Stop stacking stones and painting rocks in natural places

The balancing of stones is an elementary kind of creation, not unlike the building of sand castles. Stone stacks, or cairns, have prehistoric origins.... Contemporary stone stackers, then, are taking up the mantle of an ancient and artistic tradition. In the past decade or so, though, there has been an explosion of cairns around the world.... Park rangers, environmentalists, and hikers have all become alarmed, to varying degrees. The movement of so many stones can cause erosion, damage animal ecosystems, disrupt river flow, and confuse hikers, who depend on sanctioned cairns for navigation in places without clear trails. People Are Stacking Too Many Stones (Sophie Haigney for The New Yorker) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 7:39 PM PST - 75 comments

“Silflay hraka, u embleer rah!”

Watership Down [YouTube][Trailer] “It’s a tale of survival, pain, and the unyielding power of hope that rings just as true now as it did almost half a century ago. The first trailer for BBC One’s Watership Down is here, boasting an A-level cast and a powerful message about doing whatever it takes to seek a better life.” [via: io9]
posted by Fizz at 4:20 PM PST - 79 comments

A picture-perfect Hebridean island

Scottish islanders are buying out their lairds (The Economist) [more inside]
posted by bq at 1:49 PM PST - 11 comments

Nothing could be finer than North Carolina... this year's Oxford American Music Issue. Notes on songs include: Tift Merritt on Elizabeth Cotten's "Holy Ghost, Unchain My Name," Rhiannon Giddens on Joe and Odell Thompson's “Lights in the Valley,” Michael Park on Ruby Johnson's “Don’t Play That Song (You Lied),” Mark Powell on Malcolm Holcombe's “You Don’t Come See Me Anymore,” and Harmony Holiday on Sun Ra and His Arkestra's (feat. June Tyson) "Somebody Else's World." [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:21 PM PST - 13 comments

"It’s a good video, I think you’ll be at least fine with it."

Kelly Conaboy (previously) ranks the top five parts of this sloth and kangaroo video.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:14 PM PST - 10 comments

The Case of the Missing Meerkitten

Was it a bird of prey? Was it a plane? The day before it was to be introduced to the public, a baby meerkat vanished from its enclosure. Perth Zoo appealed to the public. [more inside]
posted by Hypatia at 1:03 PM PST - 15 comments

Woman Astronomer's Firsts Not Credited

Cecelia Payne wrote her PhD thesis on the composition of the sun. Everybody poo-pooed her idea that it was composed of hydrogen and helium, as were other stars. Fellow astronomer Henry Norris Russell, who had doubts about her theory, persuaded Cecilia not to present her thesis, only to publish her discovery in 1930 as his own discovery. Cecilia’s 200-page long research was ignored and she was robbed of her of her due credit. [more inside]
posted by MovableBookLady at 12:57 PM PST - 16 comments

Thoughtful, Compassionate, Wrong

Ozy Frantz, who writes the blog "Thing of Things," asked their readers to list "thoughtful and compassionate people you disagree with." Here are the results. [more inside]
posted by HoraceH at 11:44 AM PST - 65 comments

I’m going to talk about abortion! ABORTION!

An interview and biography of Pat Maginnis, the founder of Society for Humane Abortion, whose legal branch would become NARAL. [more inside]
posted by zenon at 11:02 AM PST - 6 comments

Thousands of Untold Resistance Stories

Freedom on the Move from Cornell University is the first major digital database of fugitive slave ads from North America. [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus at 10:14 AM PST - 6 comments

I miss my harp

Give in to the understated allure of genteel Twitter with the self-proclaimed 20-something seabird adrift on the tides of London, Bougie London Literary Woman. [more inside]
posted by roger ackroyd at 10:03 AM PST - 23 comments

We're Here - Get Used to It

It's that time of year again! While the world continues to descend into a garbage pile, amazing music continues to be made. This is the best albums lists of 2018 round-up. [more inside]
posted by Lutoslawski at 9:54 AM PST - 65 comments

Best mimicry ever

Best mimicry ever "It’s all done with color and shading: nature’s smoke and mirrors."
posted by dhruva at 9:03 AM PST - 19 comments

Remaining seeded

Native Seeds/SEARCH preserves indigenous food strains [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 8:29 AM PST - 5 comments

A noble warrior hero

Kree! Skrulls! Young Nick Fury! Mohawk helmet! It's all there in the new Captain Marvel trailer!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:29 AM PST - 90 comments

Irony is dead: UK food bank edition

Happy food poverty!” On BizarroIsland, Conservative MPs have been using food banks as a PR exercise. Newsworthy Claire Perry is particularly jovial, while Ross Thomson is hypocritical. The pictures have not gone down well; recently, the now-former Brexit minister said a typical food bank user is ‘someone who has a cashflow problem episodically’. Context: the UK is the 5th or 6th largest economy by GDP. Since 2010, food bank use has greatly increased; Universal Credit rollout has led to higher demand, and 4.5 million children live in poverty. Recent UN investigation: “14 million people, a fifth of the population, live in poverty. Four million of these are more than 50% below the poverty line, and 1.5 million are destitute, unable to afford basic essentials.
posted by Wordshore at 2:53 AM PST - 41 comments

Finding another person to love is finding another person to lose

Viv Albertine on Dating Again in Her 50s | Groundbreaking Slits guitarist Viv Albertine writes about dating, aging, and how it feels to be a woman of a certain age in a world that we never saw coming. [more inside]
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 2:30 AM PST - 71 comments

Chasing away individual academics is so 20th century

CEU has been forced out,” said CEU President and Rector Michael Ignatieff. “This is unprecedented. A U.S. institution has been driven out of a country that is a NATO ally. A European institution has been ousted from a member state of the EU. “ [more inside]
posted by kmt at 1:12 AM PST - 25 comments

December 3

Raycipes. Resippies. Re— Recipes.

All ten episodes of Bee and Puppycat are now available for the public to watch! At last!
posted by DoctorFedora at 8:48 PM PST - 27 comments

"very much in the spirit of Seuss’ extravagant verses."

I Am Eating Everything on IHOP's 'The Grinch' Menu, by Matt Singer [more inside]
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:05 PM PST - 10 comments

Classical Art & Real-Life Doppelgänger

In which costumer and historical sewing enthusiast Bernadette Banner recreates the dress from Jacques-Louis David's "Portrait of a Young Woman in White": Making a Regency-Bodied petticoat. Making the gown. Bringing the portrait to life.
posted by Lexica at 5:06 PM PST - 6 comments

"the universal signifier of .... gloom and crime"

Mansard and gabled roofs, decorative ironwork, gingerbreaded porches and towers: Why are Victorian houses so creepy? [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:15 PM PST - 47 comments


What kind of world would people prefer? "We asked people to imagine that they had responsibility for the well-being of a child. However, they didn’t know anything about the specific child: nothing about the child’s health, or its intelligence, or talents. Moreover, they had to imagine they were not taking care of the child themselves, and that they had no control over the kind of family the child would grow up in. However, they had one important decision to make: Which world will the child be born into?"
posted by clew at 2:07 PM PST - 37 comments

“Can you black it up? Can you make it blacker … more street?”

From ‘Dawson’s Creek’ to ‘Buffy’ to ‘Frasier’ to ‘Seinfeld’ — what happened to those lone, ‘token’ black actors? [The Undefeated] Eight talents tell stories of offensive scripts, stunt people in blackface and the heartbreak — and hope — of portraying Thug No. 2 and the dope dealer’s girlfriend.
“It’s there in the memories of the stars below: There were “black shows” and there were “white shows.” If you were a black actor appearing on a white show, you were usually alone. For some of the most visible black actors coming of age in the 1990s, it’s clear that along with the triumphs came isolation, blatant racial stereotyping and biased casting calls. As for “crossing over” to the mainstream, in the mostly segregated worlds of Seinfeld, Frasier, Melrose Place, Saved by the Bell: The New Class, Felicity, V.I.P., Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dawson’s Creek and more, blacks were usually relegated to bit parts or were there for a short time.”
posted by Fizz at 11:54 AM PST - 24 comments

Tumblr Bans Reason Most People Have Heard of Tumblr

As of December 17th, Tumblr will ban "adult content", which "primarily includes photos, videos, or GIFs that show real-life human genitals or female-presenting nipples, and any content—including photos, videos, GIFs and illustrations—that depicts sex acts". The Verge gives some further context.
posted by Etrigan at 11:20 AM PST - 308 comments

Sky high

Pov real time, unedited, video of the French Spider-Man, Alain Robert, climbing the Sky Habitat Melia Hotel tower in Barcelona. Need more? Here's Marcin Banot edited climb of the same building. (mlyt)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:03 AM PST - 8 comments

"I’ll write things that’ll break your heart"

Charlotte Flynn's recent story "Lunch With My First Love, 20 Years Later" (The Cut, 28 November): "Where does the history go when the relationship ends? Is there a storage locker in the unconscious that keeps the memories until you meet up decades later at a McDonald’s in the middle of nowhere?" [more inside]
posted by bent back tulips at 10:00 AM PST - 20 comments

Stage Six: Process-Analyzing Thinkpiece; Stage Seven: MetaFilter Post

A Guide to the Content Cycle, looking at how online content goes from minor meme to major news network outrage, using the model of last week's most pressing issue according to the right-wing media, whether the SJWs are trying to ban Rankin-Bass Christmas specials.
posted by Copronymus at 9:37 AM PST - 23 comments

100 Variations

100 Variations presents a collection of 100 grey-scaled Rubik's Cubes arranged in 100 different symmetrical configurations within a 6x6x? cube volume. Click through the individual photos for explanatory captions. More from artist Roula Partheniou.
posted by cortex at 9:06 AM PST - 9 comments

Spike in hate crimes for the third straight year.

“To this day, it is unclear if the FBI talked with Arthurs or what steps it took to shut down Atomwaffen. The FBI declined repeated requests to discuss the case. But this much is clear: Within months of Arthurs’ warnings, Atomwaffen members or associates had killed three more people.” An Atomwaffen Member Sketched a Map to Take the Neo-Nazis Down. What Path Officials Took Is a Mystery. (ProPublica) “Within the confines of a secure chat room viewed by VICE, Spear and his burgeoning global web of terror cells are networking, creating propaganda, organizing in-person meet-ups, and discussing potential violence or “direct action” against minority groups, especially Jewish and black Americans. An extensive online library contains a trove of manuals with instructions on lone wolf terror-tactics, gunsmithing, data mining, interrogation tactics, counter-surveillance techniques, bomb making, chemical weapons creation, and guerilla warfare.” Neo-Nazis Are Organizing Secretive Paramilitary Training Across America. (VICE) “True enough: the fascists (or proto-fascists, or neo-fascists, or whatever you want to call them) are ridiculous—but so too were many of their predecessors.” Scary Clowns. (Baffler)
posted by The Whelk at 9:02 AM PST - 31 comments

"I Hereby Confess Judgement"

Sign here to lose everything How an obscure legal document turned New York’s court system into a debt-collection machine that’s chewing up small businesses across America. [more inside]
posted by lalochezia at 6:52 AM PST - 23 comments

State of the Slice

The 27 Pizza Spots That Define New York Slice Culture [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 4:03 AM PST - 35 comments

December 2

All I Want for Christmas is Darkness and Dread

It's that time of year again, to share the clip of cybergoths raving to Christistmas music (related, previously). And this isn't dance-shaming the fact that goths can dance to anything around 160 BMP (The Verge), but a goofy intro to gothic music for winter holidays. Happy Gothmas! Top 10 Goth Christmas songs (Houston Press). Post-Punk dot com has more Christmas songs for Goths, while Darklinks provides Dark and Dreary Goth/ Industrial and Steampunk Songs for a Macabre Christmas Holiday Season. Or skip the descriptions and justifications for song selections and enjoy a YouTube playlist of 50 Gothic Christmas music tracks/ videos plus some bonus links to albums and compilations.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:57 PM PST - 24 comments

Dispatch from the Land of Enchantment

New Mexico's statehood questioned during marriage license application in the District of Columbia. [more inside]
posted by Iris Gambol at 5:17 PM PST - 148 comments

My parents own this, I own it, if I had kids, they'd probably own it too

1962 saw the release of a truly classic Holiday album -- The Glorious Sound of Christmas, from the Philadelphia Orchestra [44m]. Lush playing under Eugene Ormandy and creative arrangements by Arthur Harris lift the familiar carols well above most holiday fare that has come before or since. With the Temple University Concert Choir. Side A: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, O Little Town Of Bethlehem, Joy To The World, Oh Holy Night, O Come O Come Emanuel, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Ave Maria [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 3:30 PM PST - 12 comments

HUMAN the movie

HUMAN the movie is a series of interviews with people from around the world. [more inside]
posted by Cozybee at 11:13 AM PST - 2 comments

Very Young Dancers

One reason City Ballet’s 1954 production of “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker” remains enchanting has to do with the delightful children who appear in it: 126 students, ages 8 to 12, from the City Ballet-affiliated School of American Ballet are participating this year. They all carry their share of responsibility - but here's what it's like to be the Nutcracker Prince, and Marie in New York City Ballet's Nutcracker.
posted by ChuraChura at 10:46 AM PST - 2 comments

How Global Warming Works

For anyone not completely swamped by climate change news, Michael Ranney, professor of Education at the University of California, created this informative website with a series of short videos explaining the basic mechanisms of global warming. As explored by this article , misinformation, along with ulterior motives, selective evidence scanning, and an overly fatalistic mindset, is one of the biggest reasons some still deny climate change is happening.
posted by TruthfulCalling at 10:22 AM PST - 11 comments

Can you imagine Charlie filling Wonka’s shoes? That passive, naive boy?

Violet Beauregarde should’ve won Wonka’s chocolate factory SLTumblr
posted by Etrigan at 8:50 AM PST - 107 comments

What if Doggerland had survived?

Only a few degrees of temperature separate us [more inside]
posted by Morpeth at 8:37 AM PST - 12 comments

Democracy. Sustainability. Soildarity.

The rising tide of fascism cannot be defeated through liberal reformism. We will win the battle for our lives, our dignity, and our planet by coming together as working people to form a global movement -- a new popular front -- to end capitalism once and for all. Video (Via Means Of Production) for The Progressive International.
posted by The Whelk at 8:28 AM PST - 20 comments

When Soviet Industrial Designers Imagined a Better World

Thanks to tireless work by the Moscow Museum of Design, a forgotten institute’s lost work is being introduced to a new generation of designers.
posted by infini at 7:46 AM PST - 6 comments

Think of us as a walk down a dark alley.

Creepbay: the weird side of online shopping. “Sometimes, with an emphasis on actual creepy and scary stuff. If it is creepy, fantastic, weird, crazy, stupid, hilarious, or strange, and it is for sale, we are all over it. The awesome stuff too. We also explore weird paranormal news.”
posted by Fizz at 7:25 AM PST - 8 comments

“They gave us one night a week, and they called it ‘Soul Night.’”

Despite rink closures, the mostly black skate scene thrives underground. [NYT] “Skating goes deep for us,” said Brandon Young, 27, a custodial worker in the Newark public school system, who skates at Branch Brook most Sundays and who teaches others the form. “It’s a whole culture.” The connection between African-Americans and adult skate nights is deeply linked to the country’s wrenching history of segregation. That relationship, which includes racist policies and the rich culture that rose up in reaction, is the subject of “United Skates,” a documentary that opened this weekend in New York and Los Angeles and will be shown on HBO in February. [more inside]
posted by nightrecordings at 7:02 AM PST - 11 comments

the right to global citizenship

Left-wing Critics of Mass Immigration Have a (Weak) Point - "Mass immigration creates problems for the left. Tighter borders can't be the solution." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 6:55 AM PST - 43 comments

December 1

"I could only imagine what kind of unholy cacophony it would create"

Born in the Manitoba prefecture of Canada, Steve-san Onotera, a.k.a. samuraiguitarist, answers the age-old question: What do 37 guitar pedals sound like when played at the same time?
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:31 PM PST - 30 comments

Mouse on the Keys: synesthesia feeling in geometric, grooving music form

Mouse on the Keys is a (mostly) instrumental band consisting of the trio Akira Kawasaki (drums), Daisuke Niitome (piano/keyboard) and Atsushi Kiyota (piano/keyboard), who describe their sound "a mix of post-hardcore, techno and contemporary music, among others." John D. Buchanan wrote that "their intention was to combine the aggression and intensity of hardcore punk with artistic piano compositions inspired by jazz, contemporary classical, the work of Godzilla composer Akira Ifukube, and the well-known Ryuichi Sakamoto," and notes that their band name is inspired by the ragtime song Kitten on the Keys by Zez Confrey. Here's an hour-long live show from November 13, 2016; Reflexion @ Kaputtmacher Sessions; and 最後の晩餐 (Last Supper) music video. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 7:29 PM PST - 7 comments

The Christmas Light War

The long, strange story of the four-year-battle over Christmas lights that drove Hayden, Idaho insane. Featuring: a camel named Dolly, a dog named Ronald Reagan, the Three Percenters of Idaho, homeowners' assocations dragged into court, Fox and Friends, "Larry Bird threatened to murder me in front of my family," "Bolsheviks have taken over the school board," and much, much more. Reported by Daniel Walters at The Inlander.
posted by escabeche at 6:10 PM PST - 65 comments

Settling scores

Because it's raining, and without further ado:
Bernard Herrmann's last film score, the Theme from Taxi driver
Jerry Goldsmith's Chinatown soundtrack
Miles Davis for Louis Malle's 1958 Ascenseur pour l'échafaud
Ennio Morricone's Cinema Paradiso
Hand Covers Bruise by Trent Reznor for The Social Network
Ryuichi Sakamoto's Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence
Vangelis Blade Runner
Up by Michael Giacchino
Hans Zimmer's You're so cool from True Romance
[more inside]
posted by growabrain at 6:01 PM PST - 57 comments

A Quote met a Quote on the Avenue One Day

And held a conversation In their own peculiar way Critic David Garner has emptied out his commonplace book, and arranged his favorite quotes in the form of a conversation. However jaded you may be by Bartlett's and its hundred sisters, you're sure to find something new here.
posted by Modest House at 2:09 PM PST - 12 comments

Palm Oil Was Supposed to Help Save the Planet; It Unleashed Catastrophe.

It was startlingly efficient, extremely profitable and utterly disastrous. The uniformity of the world he was growing up in was striking, like the endless plains of drilling rigs in an East Texas oil field. It was, in a way, an astounding achievement, the ruthless culmination of mankind’s long effort to extract every last remaining bit of the earth’s seemingly boundless natural wealth. SLNYT
posted by blue shadows at 1:12 PM PST - 15 comments

A Soap Label To Save The World From Future Hitlers

Emanuel Bronner didn’t just want to make soap. He wanted to unite the world. "In this light, the bottle’s breathless monologue reads more like a doomful love letter from the past. A warning to humanity rising up from the sorrows of loss at the hands of a despot. Woven between incoherent maxims are the raw wounds of a man incapable of communicating just how horrific his pain was. He discloses his grief in a desperate, almost childlike way—on a soap label. A soap label that has become the iconic face of a $120 million soap company. A soap label the Bronner family will never change." [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 11:50 AM PST - 82 comments

Gilets Jaunes

In the past number of weeks a French protest movement, the gilets jaunes (yellow vests), has sprung up and amid violent clashes with police in Paris today a car near the Jeu de Paume art gallery has been set on fire. [more inside]
posted by roolya_boolya at 10:39 AM PST - 127 comments

Singularly discriminatory.

"If you are divorced, widowed or never married and develop cancer, watch out. You may get less aggressive treatment than your married friends." Joan DelFattore on how the medical system quietly shortchanges single patients.
posted by Ralston McTodd at 10:34 AM PST - 28 comments

More nutritious than 25 days of chocolate

And we're off and running with the 2018 edition of Advent of Code, December's greatest nightly programming puzzle adventure game. Make friends with a new programming language you want to learn (but keep the old) and head on over to day 1 to collect stars and save Christmas! No CS degree or fancy computer necessary. [more inside]
posted by waninggibbon at 6:40 AM PST - 340 comments

My Beautiful Death

"I spent up to 12 hours a day grinding and sanding the shells." Artist Gillian Genser writes about art, shells, death and heavy metal poisoning. (SL Toronto Life)
posted by frumiousb at 2:29 AM PST - 52 comments