December 2019 Archives

December 9

"Are you an alien?" "The jury's still out."

"Hi, welcome to Under a Rock with Tig Notaro. I'm Tig Notaro. I'm a comedian and I don't follow pop culture. I don't watch a lot of TV or movies. So I have a really hard time recognizing famous people. And on this show I interview famous people to try and figure out who they are. Please welcome… this person."
[more inside]
posted by Lexica at 5:05 PM PST - 47 comments

Killer grandmas

A review of 36 years of data on pods of killer whales in the Pacific Northwest has found that "grandmothers who were no longer able to reproduce had the biggest beneficial impact on the survival chances of their grand-offspring." Press release, paper. Previously.
posted by clawsoon at 4:09 PM PST - 5 comments

Rose Mackenberg, Houdini’s Secret ‘Ghost-Buster’

Mackenberg investigated more than 300 psychics and seers in the two years she worked for Houdini and many more after that. Gavin Edwards for the NYT
posted by bq at 2:45 PM PST - 8 comments

How William Gibson Keeps His Science Fiction Real

He didn’t know what it might be, but it sounded cool, like something a person might explore even though it was dangerous.
posted by gryftir at 1:27 PM PST - 37 comments

Confessions of an Adjacent Geek

When I think about the current rules of engagement/consumption for fandom and what they’ve evolved into, I do sometimes wonder if there’s a room for the person I am now: a “lightly geeky,” casually interested fan with a history of being more highly engaged. [more inside]
posted by storytam at 11:01 AM PST - 53 comments

“I ain't the sharpest fruit in the shed...”

Smash Mouth’s “All Star” played with melons and Toto’s “Africa” played with sweet potato and squash by YouTuber Pupsi.
posted by Fizz at 10:34 AM PST - 19 comments

Farewell to the ‘Guru of Doo Doo'

Remembering Los Angeles' 'wizard of compost': Working steadily for decades, Tim "Zeke the Sheik" Dundon turned a suburban yard into a green oasis and the base for a massive composting operation before his death this past summer. [more inside]
posted by ryanshepard at 9:55 AM PST - 2 comments

Was it a virtual AOL or was it a Tuna Colada

Verizon announced (previously) that December 14 is the deadline to archive all Yahoo Groups content, and is actively preventing archival efforts. Verizon has blocked semi-automated scripts, disabled the PGOlffine backup tool, and banned the email addresses of volunteer archivists. The Archive Team estimates that will result in an 80% loss of the total Yahoo! Groups they where attempting to rescue. Once again, Yahoo! has found a way to destroy the most massive amount of history in the shortest amount of time with absolutely no recourse. [more inside]
posted by zenon at 9:51 AM PST - 20 comments

"It is not a heroic tale. It is about New Orleans."

“Your Honor, Can I Tell The Whole Story?” - A murder in New Orleans, a trial that lasted less than a day, and the lives they entangled for the next three decades. Nick Chrastil at The Atavist and The Lens [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:18 AM PST - 2 comments

The Urgent Realism of Radical Change

The American Prospect devotes an entire issue to the Green New Deal, focusing on topics including - Getting the Carbon-Free economy - How the first New Deal remade America - The role of Public Capital - How cities can lead the way - Green Economic Development for old-industry workers - Fixing Public Works - Turning Trade Green - and more.
posted by The Whelk at 8:54 AM PST - 1 comment

The Afghanistan Papers

From 2014 to 2018, the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction conducted a deep investigation into the failures of the US war in Afghanistan, entitled "Lessons Learned". The investigation included candid interviews with more than 600 people with firsthand experience in the war. After multiple FOIA suits, the Washington Post has now published those interviews, revealing that the public was consistently lied to about the state of the war from its inception. [more inside]
posted by jedicus at 8:25 AM PST - 44 comments

The Languages of NYC

New York City is one of the most linguistically diverse places in the world. The Endangered Language Alliance has just published a map of 637 of them, just in time for the end of the UN's International Year of Indigenous Languages. [more inside]
posted by damayanti at 6:53 AM PST - 12 comments

December 8

The best thing you can do is not buy more stuff

Adam Minter is an opinion columnist with Bloomberg where he writes about China, technology, and the environment, an author (Goodreads), and self-described junk man (personal website, Shanghai Scrap), as seen columns and books. In 2013, he wrote Junkyard Planet (Amazon; Goodreads), as covered in a long interview with NPR where he described how Christmas lights in the U.S. were turned to slippers in China. With his new book, Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale (Amazon; Goodreads), he talked to NPR again at length, about a range of topics, from the rise of "cleanup" companies, to how unwanted donations from the U.S. end up for sale in Asia and Africa (a separate, short NPR story). More on the the impacts of, and attempts to stop, importing used clothes in Africa below the break. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:24 PM PST - 59 comments

He Had One Question

Lovers in Auschwitz, Reunited 72 Years Later. For a few months, they managed to be each other’s escape, but they knew these visits wouldn’t last. Around them, death was everywhere. Still, the lovers planned a life together, a future outside of Auschwitz. They knew they would be separated, but they had a plan, after the fighting was done, to reunite. It took them 72 years.
posted by Toddles at 8:23 PM PST - 13 comments

How I Get By: A Week in the Life of a McDonald’s Cashier

Cierra Brown is trying to do all she can on her own, but it rarely feels like she’s doing enough. This is the first in what Vice says will be “A regular series in which people lay out what it’s actually like to work at some of the country’s most powerful companies.”
posted by Etrigan at 6:34 PM PST - 27 comments

From the past until completion

The official trailer for Wonder Woman 1984 appeared. The new Wonder Woman movie, a/k/a WW84: Wonder Woman, is scheduled to appear next summer.
posted by doctornemo at 5:34 PM PST - 70 comments

René Auberjonois 1940-2019

René Auberjonois, veteran of stage, screen, and voice acting for over half a century, has died of metastatic lung cancer, per his family. [WaPo] [Twitter] [more inside]
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:30 PM PST - 117 comments

My Back Pages, 2019

"I made an effort to read more books in 2019 and mostly succeeded (I think). But there are so many good books out there I couldn’t get to, which is at once both panic-inducing (OMG, the endless bedside stack of books) and exciting (so much to look forward to reading). It’s in this spirit that I went through a bunch of end-of-the-year books lists to pull out some of our collective favorite books of the year for 2019." Jason Kottke rounds up some of this year's page-turners. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:41 PM PST - 5 comments

She rescinded her letters of recommendation

I Told My Mentor I Was a Dominatrix
posted by bq at 2:37 PM PST - 52 comments

All of us who live here can taste the fire and feel it in our throats.

Australia Burns Again, and Now Its Biggest City Is Choking - NYT. Psychologists describe a creeping sense of impotence and dread. “The stress based on the fact that thick smoke can accelerate pre-existing cardiovascular conditions is one thing,” said Frans Verstraten, who holds the McCaughey Chair of Psychology at the University of Sydney. “But the other kind of stress, based on the realization that there is not much we can do — helplessness; the realization that you can’t do anything about it — makes it worse.[more inside]
posted by Acid Communist at 2:21 PM PST - 31 comments

THIS is ending. The world will go on.

Ugandan journalist Kalundi Serumaga writes about Brexit in March of 2019. "Being in the EU has failed to suppress the UK establishment’s nostalgic fantasies of the return of Empire. Understanding this is to recognise that the nature of Britain’s current politics has no answers for the future. To confront the future would first require a recognition that the global Empire economy, which the EU also feeds off of, must be restructured"
posted by glasseyes at 2:18 PM PST - 5 comments

Decline & Fall of the 5-Gallon Flush

Nostalgia for the power and glory of the 5-gallon flush has driven activism and trans-national smuggling, while quantified flush power ratings and consumer satisfaction (pdf) with low-flow toilets have both risen. However, reduced water usage is challenging municipal systems' ability to transport solids downstream and replacements for flush toilets are gaining traction, at least with some researchers. [more inside]
posted by head full of air at 2:04 PM PST - 64 comments

We were silent again and listened to the data center moaning.

"Which was also, in a sense, the sound of us living: the sound of furniture being purchased, of insurance policies compared, of shipments dispatched and deliveries confirmed, of security systems activated, of cable bills paid. In Forest City, North Carolina, where some Facebook servers have moved in, the whine is the sound of people liking, commenting, streaming a video of five creative ways to make eggs, uploading bachelorette-party photos. It’s perhaps the sound of Thallikar’s neighbor posting 'Has anyone else noticed how loud it’s been this week?' to the Dobson Noise Coalition’s Facebook group." (Bianca Boster, The Atlantic, Nov. 2019) [more inside]
posted by Not A Thing at 12:25 PM PST - 7 comments

To Canadians, love CBC. Happy holidays! (Crafting with Mr. Dressup)

The CBC posted a clip of beloved Canadian children’s show host Mr. Dressup making holiday crafts, and Twitter went wild with nostalgia. If you’d like to spend some time with a kind man with a soothing, gentle voice and a way with construction paper, this clip is for you! Mr. Dressup, starring Ernie Coombs, ran for 29 years, from 1967 to 1996, for over 4000 episodes. It was voted Canada’s favourite English TV show in an informal but hotly debated 2017 online poll. (Delightfully, Coombs and Fred Rogers of Mr. Rogers fame were friends and worked together on CBC children’s programming in Toronto, before either of them became famous.)
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:46 AM PST - 23 comments

A Farewell to Disruption in a Post-Platform World

Bright Simons is President of mPedigree and a member of CGD’s Study Group on Technology, Comparative Advantage, and Development Prospects. This note is part of a special series authored by members of CGD’s Study Group on Technology, Comparative Advantage, and Development Prospects. Learn more at
posted by Mrs Potato at 10:44 AM PST - 5 comments

Christmas Past Nostalgia

The Story Behind Vintage "Shiny Brite" Christmas Ornaments. 2019 responds.
posted by theora55 at 10:02 AM PST - 12 comments

to finally see Mr. Hooper once more

Carrol Spinney, who performed as Big Bird for over fifty years, has passed at 85. Spinney retired from the role last year after his struggles with dystonia prevented him from performing any longer. Spinney on the blue previously: [1], [2], [3].
posted by mightygodking at 9:54 AM PST - 107 comments

God mode is on by default.

I Am Jesus Christ [YouTube][Game Trailer] “There have been Christian video games for nearly as long as there have been video games, with devout parents desperately trying to keep the devil at bay by feeding their kids a steady diet of Bible Adventures, Dance Praise, and dozens of other off-brand, Bible-friendly Mario wannabes. And yet, we’re not sure we’ve ever seen anything quite like I Am Jesus Christ. [...] After all, even extremely religious games rarely put players in the sandals of the Nazarene himself, on account of, well, the blasphemy. But I Am Jesus Christ appears to just go for it, featuring scenes of you and your big white hands curing the blind, calming storms, and making fish appear where fish were not.” [via: A.V. Club] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 7:10 AM PST - 75 comments

It probably all started with a Bailey's commercial 20 years ago

A decade ago, Moby analyzed his album from a decade previous, Play, for Rolling Stone. He had intended for it to be his last album. It turned out to be a global album superstar [YT Playlist, 64m]. It was Christmas season 20 years ago when the world first started taking notice. Side A: Honey [video], Find My Baby [video], Porcelain [video (eye), video (car)], Why Does My Heart Feel So bad? [video] [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 5:32 AM PST - 32 comments

Starving Artist

"The banana is the idea": Performance Artist Eats $120,000 Banana Off Wall at Art Basel Gallery [Daily Beast] [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 3:02 AM PST - 73 comments

December 7

The Morning The Music Died

The Fate of the USS Arizona Band – “On December 7th, 1941, on the coast of Oahu, those stationed at the naval installation of Pearl Harbor were unaware that they would soon become a part of history. Just before 8 AM, their lives were changed forever and many of them became forever engraved in America’s history. Among the 1,177 sailors who perished aboard the USS Arizona during Japan’s attack were a group of 21 notable heroes who were there for one reason – at 8 o’clock that morning, they were scheduled to ring in the morning with the national anthem.” (Photo gallery of Pacific Fleet Band #22 members at
posted by cenoxo at 8:09 PM PST - 7 comments

New advance in clean energy.

There's been an advance in generating power from the natural mix of fresh and salt water. The idea has been around for quite a while. In 2013 a French Team made a membrane that could do that. It's a completely passive effect. They use Boron Nitride Nanotubes embedded in a Silicon Nitride membrane. The charge on the Nanotubes preferentially sorts the positive and negative charges of the salt water and only lets one polarity through to the fresh water side. This creates a Voltage difference across the membrane. The French Team's estimate was:
"...researchers estimated a single square meter of the membrane—packed with millions of pores per square centimeter—could generate about 30 megawatt hours per year." [more inside]
posted by aleph at 4:27 PM PST - 53 comments

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Metafilter Post

Inside the Rise of Skywalker article and photos. (No leaks or major spoilers in this post.) [more inside]
posted by medusa at 3:08 PM PST - 37 comments

T'ain't a good idea

Our ancestors had a secret to happiness we are just now rediscovering. Between hunting and gathering, drawing little horseys on cave walls, and discovering exciting new ways to die, they would roll onto their backs, grip their dirty hands around their dirty ankles, and expose their nether regions to the life-giving eye of the sun. (Reid McCarter, AV Club) [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:44 PM PST - 67 comments

Saint Nick and the barrel boys, a real pickle of a (Christmas) story

It's that time of year when people celebrate Saint Nicholas, whose feast day is December 6 (Wikipedia). If you're looking through images of his saintly actions, you will likely see him depicted with three men, often young, in a barrel or tub (WTF Art History). This was a particularly popular medieval legend (Google books preview), as seen in this ornate carving (Met Museum). More modern interpretations have expanded Nicholas' domain to include brewers, based on these images, but in fact, he is resurrecting pickled boys (Beliefnet). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 2:42 PM PST - 9 comments

Measuring and ranking "is our children learning?"

The website uses standardized testing scores to rate schools nationwide. The claim is that this data helps all parents, but principally those in poorer families. However, a recent report by Chalkbeat and Vox has shown that rather than ratings schools by how much they educate children, GreatSchools has been echoing the common assumption that the best schools are white/Asian and rich. [more inside]
posted by Hactar at 1:34 PM PST - 19 comments

I Do Not Want This Post on a T-shirt

The insanely specific T-shirt has been a staple of Twitter dunkings and Facebook "What the..." posts for a couple of years now, but the bots have recently stepped up from data mining to art theft, scanning for tweets like "I want this on a T-shirt!" and turning the picture or text in the tweet it's replying to into a T-shirt faster than you can say "The original artist doesn't get paid". Sometimes they even steal the idea from an actual T-shirt that someone else had created. The creators getting ripped off are fighting back creatively, including enlisting people to reply with "I want this on a T-shirt!" on every post on Disney's Twitter accounts to try to point the wrath of the Mouse's lawyers at offenders.
posted by Etrigan at 1:19 PM PST - 24 comments

My So-Karen Life

On Karens By Sarah Miller [NYT]
posted by latkes at 12:45 PM PST - 73 comments

The debate over whether to ban “virginity testing,” explained

New York State is considering barring the practice after T.I.’s comments about his daughter. The rapper T.I. sparked nationwide controversy last month when he said he takes his 18-year-old daughter to the doctor every year to check if she is a virgin. While he later said his comments had been misinterpreted, experts say “virginity testing” is a real thing that happens in the US. Now, one state is taking steps to ban it. [more inside]
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 9:48 AM PST - 56 comments

A Diary of a Young African Man

To be young is to have hope. So all these hindrances did not deter Kagwa from pursuing his interests. He was a keen member of the very local soccer league, replete with its own legends, and of their occasional jogging gang. He also knew where to buy the most lethal strains of moonshine, which was to be his undoing. By Kalundi Serumaga
posted by Mrs Potato at 9:42 AM PST - 2 comments

“Dominic Cummings ... has the air of a startled testicle ...”

(CW swears, savage satire) Frankie Boyle on the UK election. “Boris Johnson, who looks like something you’d keep your pyjamas in, and who no reasonable person would choose to lead them into a chorus, has a strangely hunched demeanour; perhaps from all the time he spends crammed inside married women’s wardrobes, like a randy jack-in-the-box. This confused sex yeti has been booed by nurses: people who can remove a dressing, examine a festering wound, and still look up at you with a smile ... He doesn’t even seem to enjoy it; throughout the campaign he’s sported a face that looks as if it’s been kneaded by a baker going through a particularly bitter divorce ...”
posted by Wordshore at 5:24 AM PST - 41 comments

“It wasn't enough for them to have their cake. They ate ours too.”

What a YouTube Copyright Strike From 2015 Has to do With 'Mario Maker 2' in 2019 by Patrick Klepek [Vice Gaming] “The same week Nintendo released Super Mario Maker in 2015, Nintendo launched a copyright strike at Mario video uploaded by Andi McClure, a designer of numerous web curiosities. [...] Corporations have enormous power on YouTube if they choose to wield it. Your video can instantly disappear, with few options to fight back. But what made things curious was the news Nintendo announced on Monday: Super Mario Maker 2 - The Master Sword & Ninji Speedruns [YouTube][3:30]. What makes the connection between McClure and Nintendo curious is the video Nintendo directed a copyright strike at on McClure’s channel. The video is “Many-Worlds Mario: Kaizo level 1,” and you can view here in archived form.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 5:11 AM PST - 4 comments

December 6

The Performative Horniness of Dawn of X

Adjoining bedrooms. That was all it took for the X-Men’s most infamous love triangle to suddenly become a canon poly triad in the minds of fans everywhere. Elsewhere in the same issue, we bore witness to Corsair’s partner hitting on Rachel Summers, his granddaughter, another character generally accepted as queer despite only the most subtextual information.
Nola Pfau examines the latest X-Men miniseries and what it says about mutant sex lives and who is and isn't allowed to be horny on page.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:38 PM PST - 16 comments

Moment by moment, the work goes on.

The youngest Vuntut Gwitchin chief in recent history only moved back to his home community six years ago after a difficult childhood on the streets of Whitehorse. Now, he's sharing his story of hardship and hope. Dana Tizya-Tramm is our Northerner of the Year.
posted by Rumple at 9:23 PM PST - 6 comments

negative b over 2 plus or minus the square root of, uh, something

How to solve quadratic equations with a method (slmb*) instead of just using the quadratic formula. This helps folks like me who more easily remember steps than formulas. *single link math blog
posted by otherchaz at 8:14 PM PST - 22 comments

30 years after the Montreal Massacre, an acknowledgement of misogyny

[On] Dec. 6, 1989, a gunman opened fire in the engineering school at École Polytechnique in Montreal. He told the men to leave and then he killed 14 women before killing himself. In his final letter, he laid bare his intentions: “I have decided to send the feminists, who have always ruined my life, to their Maker.” ...In 1989, conveying the tragedy to Canadians coast to coast did not include examining the ongoing consequences of misogyny. It has taken 30 years to officially acknowledge the misogyny behind the attack. But this year, on the eve of the anniversary, “Montreal changed a plaque in a memorial park that previously referred to a “tragic event”–with no mention that the victims were all women. The revised text unveiled on Thursday describes an “anti-feminist attack” that claimed the lives of 14 women.”
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 5:01 PM PST - 13 comments

Daycare, paid maternity leave: Why US is still bad for working parents

Though the stay-at-home share of U.S. parents was almost identical in 2016 to what it was in 1989 (Pew Research), paternal leave (especially maternity leave) and support for daycare are increasingly important to families, if not the United States at large. America's parents want paid family leave and affordable child care. Why can't they get it? USA Today looks at the impacts of raising a child in the U.S. today, the private efforts to court in-demand workers by offering better family support, compared to the range of political proposals, none of which seem to be any closer to passing. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 2:12 PM PST - 13 comments

native people have always had a pulse on pop culture

What happens when Indigenous people across Canada and the United States adopt Baby Yoda as one of their own? He gets placed in a cradleboard. Maybe wearing a ribbon skirt. He gets a pair of beaded earrings. He might even become a pair of beaded earrings. Since a new television installment to the Star Wars franchise, The Mandalorian, premiered on Nov. 12, the Baby Yoda character has been taking social media by storm.
posted by sciatrix at 1:59 PM PST - 18 comments

They shouldn't be allowed to have orgasms on principle

The Real Reason People Won't Date Across The Political Divide ‘The people who say ‘it’s just politics’ are the people for whom bigotry poses no real risk to their jobs, relationships and lives.’ This was posted today at Miss Cellania , an excellent mix of fun and serious.
posted by twentyfeetof tacos at 1:31 PM PST - 141 comments

"I always tell my students that you rise when you lift others"

Michael Clark Jr. is a rambunctious, gregarious 5-year-old who makes friends with almost everyone, which is why it's really no surprise that his entire kindergarten class came to his adoption ceremony on Thursday. (Brianna Sacks, BuzzFeed)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:17 PM PST - 7 comments

"Sneaks the Cat" played by Edith from Circulation

Michael Gannon, COO for Support Services at Prince George's County Memorial Library System, is having fun. In the low-budget but charming "Hard Hat Librarian" video series touting library construction and renovation, Gannon not only offers informative updates--he also provides architectural history lessons, unfiltered opinions of 1970s interior decoration choices, and a plethora of puns. Recommended viewing for lovers of wholesome fun, local government, and Maryland accents. [more inside]
posted by sugar and confetti at 1:15 PM PST - 3 comments

100 years of Red Vienna

100 Jahre Rotes Wien
Mit dem Wahlsieg der Wiener Sozialdemokratie vor 100 Jahren hat die Ära des Roten Wien begonnen - eine Mischung aus politischem Pragmatismus und Utopie. Dem Jubiläum widmet sich eine neue Ausstellung, zum Teil mit bisher unbekannten Objekten.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:04 PM PST - 2 comments

Godspeed, Charlie X.

RIP Robert Walker Jr., 79. Syfy ranked him #6 in their list of The 17 best TOS guest stars. Rare 1983 interview. The spitting image of his father, he was the son of Jennifer Jones and Robert Walker, who had a turbulent relationship. Walker senior died tragically at age 32 in 1951.
posted by Melismata at 12:53 PM PST - 11 comments

Whitman's Cane

For me, it was the cane. Leaning in the corner. A simple, crooked cane. I desperately wanted to grasp it. I wanted to lean my weight on it. My hand itched. I yearned. I tended toward. I still do. I don’t want to be obsessed with Whitman’s cane. It isn’t dignified. I’d rather not have these feelings, in spite of having read Whitman, and having recognized his direct addresses to me (to anyone) from out of his poetry. I never hoped to meet him, in a supermarket or elsewhere. But again—who am I to refuse the way this room, and in particular this one object, prodded, poked, and knocked me over? From Whitman’s Cane: Disability, Prosthesis, and Whitman’s Leaning Poise by Bethany Schneider
posted by chavenet at 12:17 PM PST - 2 comments

"Ma'am, this is a Netflix"

Netflix challenged the world to tell them something you can say during sex but also when you manage a brand twitter account. The Internet (and, by that, I mean, a bunch of brands) responded.
posted by hanov3r at 11:06 AM PST - 67 comments

If the new pill works as well in women as it does in pigs

Once a month contraceptive pill in development [NHS Behind the Headlines] "Researchers in the US are developing a pill that can stay in the stomach for a month, slowly releasing hormones to prevent pregnancy." [more inside]
posted by readinghippo at 10:14 AM PST - 22 comments

The Consultants Behind Every Crisis

“ McKinsey has faced mounting scrutiny over the past two years, as reports by The New York Times, ProPublica and others have raised questions about whether the firm has crossed ethical and legal lines in pursuit of profit. The consultancy returned millions of dollars in fees after South African authorities implicated it in a profiteering scheme. The exposure of its history advising opioid makers on ways to bolster sales induced the usually secretive firm to declare publicly that its opioid work had ended. Last month, the Times reported that McKinsey’s bankruptcy practice is the subject of a federal criminal investigation.“ How McKinsey Helped the Trump Administration Detain and Deport Immigrants (ProPublica/NYT) “ From top to bottom, the post-1970s job insecurity, legitimated by #McKinsey ideas, intertwined with the industrial undocumented workforce that made #Silicon Valley possible.” (Twitter)
posted by The Whelk at 9:19 AM PST - 63 comments

Puerto Rico, my heart's devotion

Over 26 months after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico has received only 14 billion (NYT) in aid, in contrast to the 40 billion claimed by the White House on its website and the massive 91 billion dollars promised. [more inside]
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 9:07 AM PST - 6 comments

The things they carried

A janitor photo documents the items seized by US Border Patrol “Deemed potentially lethal or nonessential by border officials, the...personal belongings were thrown away during the first stages of processing at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility in southern Arizona. While working as a janitor at the same facility from 2003 to 2014, photographer Tom Kiefer secretly collected the belongings and later began shooting them.” [more inside]
posted by zinful at 8:38 AM PST - 19 comments

On Mutant Allegory and the Rise of the Black Cop Trope

"Blackness is a superhero origin story." says David Dennis, in a Medium post contrasting how HBO's Watchmen series looks at race with the X-Men franchise shying away from its own racial allegory. On the other hand, Steven Thrasher (the inaugural Renberg Chair of social justice in reporting at Northwestern's Medill School) notes in a Twitter thread that "we have a LOT to consider (in terms of news, politics, history, law & culture) to think about WHY we are getting the Black cop, how they exist, and how this figure is rising in our collective consciousness."
posted by Etrigan at 7:50 AM PST - 17 comments

Ironically, the eel code was written in Python.

Miguel Wattson, an electric eel that lives at the Tennessee Aquarium, is a multitasker. He eats. He tweets. And for his most effortless trick this season, he lights up a Christmas tree.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 7:14 AM PST - 14 comments

Architectural Gingerbread Houses

No big weekend plans? Try one of these architecturally inspired gingerbread house designs. [more inside]
posted by hilaryjade at 6:26 AM PST - 10 comments

Privacy Analysis of Tiktok's App and Website

Matthias Eberl inspects Tiktok's communications traffic and discovers not just serious breaches of privacy, but outright GDPR law breaking.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:03 AM PST - 16 comments

December 5

Top-Selling Singles by Decade, 14,500s BCE - 2010s CE

Archie Henderson is a musical historian. In this twitter thread, working with Adrian Gray, he lists top-selling singles of selected decades starting with the 2010s and going back from there. Way back.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:18 PM PST - 23 comments


Hey, what happens if you use the GPT2 text generator as a dungeon master/zorkbot? Only one way to find out! [more inside]
posted by kaibutsu at 7:08 PM PST - 32 comments

A little bit of work and a whole lot of love

Hair Love, a short film about a father learning to do his daughter's hair for the first time. (SLYT)
posted by numaner at 4:13 PM PST - 18 comments

All I Want For Christmas Is Another List To Argue About

The 50 greatest Christmas songs – ranked! (SLGuardian) What it says on the tin - unfortunately not a lot of links to versions of the songs, so you might have to do some searching to figure out exactly how Wrong this list is . . .
posted by soundguy99 at 3:42 PM PST - 87 comments

The Deep Sea

Scroll down... Keep scrolling. By Neal Agarwal. More here.
posted by motty at 2:32 PM PST - 67 comments

Never work for your dream brand. It'll kill you.

Life working at Away is, in a word, hell.
posted by COD at 1:46 PM PST - 96 comments

She can reach the pedals a little better now

Bulls On Parade, drum cover by Yoyoka Soma [more inside]
posted by Gorgik at 1:40 PM PST - 12 comments

Pickleball: it's a Big Dill.

Though it started as a home-made game to entertain bored kids (YouTube), Pickleball has grown to be an internationally played sport (USAPA history), and this year marks a decade of the USA Pickleball National Championships. Despite the effort to (again) make the sport appeal to younger players (Wilson), Money's profile on the sport opens with the question: Are You Really Retired If You Don't Play Pickleball? [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 12:51 PM PST - 28 comments

🍅 — are all those materials worth 0.32 ounces of fry dip?

I’m Upset: Do not give me ketchup packets [The Outline] “Plastic cutlery, straws, napkins — these accompaniments are assumed to be necessary for eating a delivered meal. But when you don’t end up using these items, they pile up, leaving you with a collection of utensils and single-serving condiments that’s one motivated chore day from being actual trash. One member of this collection is more bothersome than the rest, however: the ketchup packet. At the moment, I have three ketchup packets nestled in a bowl, containing pens and other items on my kitchen table. Will I ever use them? No, because they’re aggravating and useless. The alleged purpose of a ketchup packet is to complement fries or whatever else you ordered that might be close enough to a food that goes well with ketchup. I am brave enough to say it: the ketchup packet is gross. [...] In addition to being annoying, ketchup packets are unsustainable —” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 12:37 PM PST - 75 comments

Give a Sh*t for Science!

If you don't need a reason to send photos of your poop to strangers, skip the article and go to on your phone to upload a photo of your best bathroom work - for Science!
posted by figment of my conation at 12:20 PM PST - 18 comments

Snoopy doesn't sing anymore.

The original print vs. the subsequent edition of "A Charlie Brown Christmas." (SLYT) For all you lovers of Peanuts, classic animation, Christmas, goof nerdery, and of course the special itself. (A huge Venn diagram on Metafilter, I'm guessing.) Check out Sally's hearts! (The special previously)
posted by Melismata at 12:01 PM PST - 23 comments

the only T-shirt that outsold Cats was the Hard Rock Café’s

How Cats Changed Broadway (Now and) Forever. By the time Cats opened at the Winter Garden on October 7, 1982, it had a record-breaking advance sale of $6.2 million. Predictably, the reviews were mixed. Michael Feingold, in the Village Voice, wrote, “To sit through [the show] is to realize that something has just peed on your pants leg.” Frank Rich, in the New York Times, said the show was full of banalities and catnap stretches of boredom, but praised its “theatrical magic” and accurately predicted it would “lurk around Broadway for a long time to come.” [more inside]
posted by roger ackroyd at 9:53 AM PST - 43 comments

D.C. Fontana, 1939-2019 🖖

Dorothy "D.C." Fontana, most famous as a writer for The Original Series, has died. Starting as a writer in an era when it was typical for women to use initials to hide their gender, she became a story editor on The Original Series, wrote several classic episodes, and helped shape many more. She then went on to write for many other shows, including 3 Star Trek spinoffs. She also taught and mentored aspiring screenwriters, and served on the Writers Guild of America's Board of Directors. A true trailblazer.
posted by Automocar at 9:49 AM PST - 64 comments

Anthony Hopkins Talks to Brad Pitt

About Movies, Mortality, and Mistakes.
posted by sapagan at 9:11 AM PST - 7 comments

What Does Collective Ownership and Universalism Look Like?

“ In an institutional setting, the socialist ethos is represented by the idea of common ownership, that powerful institutions should be owned and controlled by those with a stake in them. Michael Walzer expresses this principle in the form of a classic maxim: “what touches all should be decided by all.” How To Build Socialist Institutions “ The leftist vision for how institutions should operate frequently involves taking money out of the picture, not just because we find it grubby but because it gets in the way of what we really want out of life. ” The Importance Of Making Everything Easier : Why universal access is good and means testing is terrible. (Current Affairs)
posted by The Whelk at 9:09 AM PST - 37 comments

Baboon High School

How Living With Baboons Prepared Me for Living Through High School. "The world of mean girls and cliques was a startling change from working alongside my primatologist parents. Fortunately, I’d learned a bit about navigating vicious social structures." [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 8:50 AM PST - 7 comments

This Peloton commercial needs to calm down

As a new commercial from Peloton makes clear, one of the best ways to accomplish this goal is to give your loved ones stationary bikes that hold them hostage for at least a year of anxiety-soaked daily exercise. A darkly hilarious new commercial makes a Peloton bike seem less like a Christmas present and more like a nightmare. [more inside]
posted by Carillon at 8:02 AM PST - 134 comments

Boxes of magic

Kagen Sound (formerly Schaefer) is a full-time artist known for his complex secret opening boxes. His website. (Previously on Metafilter)
posted by growabrain at 6:48 AM PST - 10 comments

Howard Cruse, RIP

He was a major gay (and underground) cartoonist. "Howard Cruse, a pioneer of LGBTQ comics who served as the founding editor of Gay Comix — one of the first series to feature work by and for openly gay men and women — and who later published “Stuck Rubber Baby,” an acclaimed graphic novel inspired by his early years in Jim Crow-era Alabama, died Nov. 26 at a hospital in Pittsfield, Mass. He was 75." Previously
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 6:42 AM PST - 20 comments

Brölk != mjölk

The Swedish dairy lobby is fighting alternative milks, like Oatly, as if they’re an existential threat.
posted by Etrigan at 6:41 AM PST - 49 comments

Pachelbel's Train

Pachelbel's Canon, on train horns. (SLYT)
posted by EvaDestruction at 5:28 AM PST - 41 comments

December 4

Bad news, everyone!

New study suggests previous estimates of ocean microplastics were off by 5 to 7 orders of magnitude:
We successfully developed and tested a new method for collecting and counting the smallest microplastic pieces in seawater and ingested inside the guts of salps, a planktonic species at the base of food webs and key to transport of carbon and particles from the sea surface to the deep sea. We determined that the true abundance of these tiniest microplastics far outnumber previously reported counts, and that every salp we examined had ingested plastic.
[more inside]
posted by Not A Thing at 9:53 PM PST - 42 comments

If it doesn't bounce, it's a bad fishball

So let's say you're interested in food security, Southeast Asian cuisine, agriculture minutae, economic justice, deep dives on how climate change/labor rights/international treaties/[insert variable] affects global and regional food chains, and you're interested in getting that information in a serial 45-minute episode news-food-travel-documentary form from a chef, from September 2019. Well For Food's Sake, you won't believe what I have for you. Through the lens of food security as it relates to Singapore, because of the 10% food price increase there in recent years. Each episode focuses on a specific food item or two. SSYP (Single Series YouTube Post) [more inside]
posted by saysthis at 2:10 PM PST - 11 comments

Rethinking the Colonial Mentality of Our National Parks

The parks were created by removing Indigenous people from the land. Thaidene Nëné begins to repair the damage. [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 12:29 PM PST - 4 comments

Analog Africa's journey through Somali cassette and radio archives

In 2007 John Beadle, digitized a cassette and uploaded MP3s of 'Mystery Somali Funk' (previously) to his Likembe blog. He had been given the tape twenty years earlier by a Somalian student, and Analog Africa founder Samy Ben Redjeb take the reverse path, heading to travel to in Mogadishu in November of 2016 to track down the original music. This lead to his meeting Dur-Dur and hearing the stories behind their fusion of traditional Somali music with whatever rhythms would make people dance (Bandcamp): funk, reggae, soul, disco and New Wave were mixed effortlessly with Banaadiri beats, Daantho and spiritual Saar music. Samy also went through the archives of Radio Muqdisho (Somali and English news), now compiled in Mogadisco: Dancing Mogadishu (Somalia 1972​-​1991) (Bandcamp). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 12:04 PM PST - 7 comments

“History isn’t kind to men who play God.”

No Time To Die [YouTube][Official Trailer] “Bond has left active service and is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica. His peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter from the CIA turns up asking for help. The mission to rescue a kidnapped scientist turns out to be far more treacherous than expected, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.”
posted by Fizz at 11:17 AM PST - 107 comments

Esther Eng directed the 1st film Bruce Lee was in; he played a baby girl

Esther Eng had a lot more firsts than that though: first woman to direct a Chinese-language film in the US; first woman to direct a film in Hong Kong; first woman to film in color. Unfortunately, all her films are lost, but there is a documentary about her, Golden Gate Girls (review). [more inside]
posted by larrybob at 10:46 AM PST - 3 comments


More than eight hundred million chess games at depict opening moves and their responses in visual graphs.
posted by cgc373 at 9:57 AM PST - 11 comments

When the Apple Curtain descends on your friends and colleagues

Brent Simmons Names It: "The Apple Curtain" Writing on his inessential blog, Brent Simmons notes a strange/sad set of events that happens when someone you know goes to work at Apple: "I’m always happy for a friend when they start a job at Apple — but I’m also sad when it means they have to stop their community activities: no more podcasting and blogging, developer meetup organizing, presenting at conferences, writing side-project apps, contributing to open source things."
posted by zooropa at 9:37 AM PST - 44 comments

A More Dangerous Workplace Than Sawmills, Coalmines

“ She started the job in April 2018, and within two months, or nearly 100,000 items, the lifting had destroyed her back. An Amazon-approved doctor said she had bulging discs and diagnosed her with a back sprain, joint inflammation and chronic pain, determining that her injuries were 100% due to her job. She could no longer work at Amazon. Today, she can barely climb stairs. Walking her dog, doing the dishes, getting out of her chair – everything is painful. According to her medical records, her condition is unlikely to improve.” Amazon’s internal injury records expose the true toll of its relentless drive for speed (Reveal) "We already knew that the facility had serious problems with injuries, but what we now know is Amazon is fully aware of these problems” New Report Shows 'Shockingly High' Number Of Injuries At Amazon's Staten Island Warehouse (Gothamist) Amazon’s On-Site Emergency Care Harms Those It’s There To Protect (Intercept)
posted by The Whelk at 9:01 AM PST - 14 comments

"Good God, I don't know how you did it."

The record for the Cannonball Run is now 27 hours and 25 minutes.
At least two dozen attempts are known to have been made by others since the last record was set in 2013, but only one managed to break 30 hours. Toman, Tabbutt and Chadwick succeeded not just in breaking a record many people thought would be difficult or impossible to break. They utterly destroyed it, making the trip in less than 27 and a half hours.
The Cannonball Run previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.
posted by Sokka shot first at 8:50 AM PST - 88 comments

NPR's Book Concierge 2019

NPR's Book Concierge is back with 350 reads in 33 categories that you can mix and match. If you're still not able to find the perfect book for your next read, you can also explore the books from the last seven years, or look at Metafilter discussions from 2017 or 2015.
posted by dinty_moore at 8:48 AM PST - 26 comments

From My Ranch to your Home

Nothing says Christmas in Mexico like Atole and Buñuelos, (Atole is a corn meal/masa hot drink and buñuelos are fried dough, dipped in sugary syrup with cinnamon) prepared here by Doña Angela from De Mi Rancho a Tu Cocina. Doña Angela (Youtube, FB, Insta) is a star, She started her channel only a few months ago, showing viewers how to make traditional Mexican recipes from her rustic kitchen in Michoacan, Mexico. She has millions of viewers and is beloved by Mexican media for her unpretentious grandmotherly vibe. [more inside]
posted by vacapinta at 8:43 AM PST - 13 comments

what it means to be French and Chinese

“French identity is an incredibly powerful idea. Being French is a notion that is inculcated within us from the earliest days at primary school, and it’s a really attractive principle: a project of assimilation to push aside cultural origins to create one single nationality, one people. But the problem is that differences persist, and as my teenage years went by I suddenly began to think there’s something missing, some part of myself that is not acknowledged, and that’s when I began to interrogate the Chinese part of myself, and learn how to be culturally Chinese as well as French." (SL The Guardian) [more inside]
posted by devrim at 8:27 AM PST - 8 comments

The Wild Ones

People said that women had no place in the Grand Canyon and would likely die trying to run the Colorado river. In 1938, two female scientists set out to prove them wrong. [SL Atavist Long Read]
posted by ellieBOA at 6:46 AM PST - 7 comments

These are the Plays of the Year

From 1984-2007, George Michael, not that one, or that one, hosted The George Michael Sports Machine (typical opening), a syndicated sports highlight television show that was noted for his enthusiasm and his wide range of sources, from high school sports to pro, from the major sports to dog racing. While many of his individual episodes are on-line, his best sports plays of the year episodes having many jaw-dropping moments. [more inside]
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 5:55 AM PST - 16 comments


Yesterday, on a 2,500 comment AMA, Jimmy Wales announced the launch of a new social network concept, independent from Wikipedia or Wikia and an as outgrowth and continuation of the WikiTribune pilot project
posted by growabrain at 4:45 AM PST - 64 comments


Stuart "Ashens" Ashen (extra channel where most of these videos go), that beloved reviewer of gubbinses and tat, has an annual Christmas tradition, starting in 2012, of reviewing the contents of unusual advent calendars one day and door at a time. In 2015, this evolved into Ashens and fellow YouTuber Nerdcubed reviewing multiple calendars each year and comparing their contents. This year, there's an additional twist: each reviews a different calendar, and each day, whoever has the losing door-contents must partake of that day's edible - and spicy - offering from a dreaded forfeit calendar (to say nothing of the final punishment for being the Mega-Loser). Days One, Two and Three are already up. Links to the whole previous shebangs are after the jump. [more inside]
posted by BiggerJ at 12:55 AM PST - 6 comments

December 3

For some, however, the potassium-packed phallus is a source of loathing

"I get this creepy crawly feeling, where the hairs on my arms stick up, and I get all shuddery. Whenever I smell one I have to seek it out. Once I locate it, I have to remove myself from close range. I don't want be able to see it, but I like to know where it is so I can keep my distance."

What, short of a rotting carcass or a rabid dog, could elicit such repulsion? If you're someone who hates bananas, it's likely you know the answer.
(Britt Mann, stuff)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:00 PM PST - 69 comments

Did a million years of rain jump-start dinosaur evolution?

Something strange happened in the Late Triassic — and not just in Somerset. About 232 million years ago, during a span known as the Carnian age, it rained almost everywhere.
posted by shoesfullofdust at 6:07 PM PST - 29 comments

No, that's not where it goes

A mouse tidies up an electrician's mess
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:56 PM PST - 37 comments

Clift’s Revenge

Joey Clift is a comedian and a gamer. He was thrilled to be invited to guest on How Did This Get Played, a podcast about bad video games. Then he found out the episode was a Thanksgiving episode about Custer's Revenge (known as one of the worst games ever made for a variety of reasons) and he was being invited because he is an enrolled member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe. Rather than turn down the offer, Clift decided to confront the hosts about tokenization (episode linked in story; discussion starts around 24:00).
posted by Etrigan at 3:53 PM PST - 41 comments

The Potato Park

Agri-park high in the Andes preserves the expertise to breed strains fit for a changing climate
posted by bq at 1:46 PM PST - 2 comments

The one-traffic-light town with some of the fastest internet in the U.S.

Subscribers to Peoples Rural Telephone Cooperative (P.R.T.C.), which covers all of Jackson County and the adjacent Owsley County, can get speeds of up to one gigabit per second, and the coöperative is planning to upgrade the system to ten gigabits. [SLNYorker]
posted by Chrysostom at 12:03 PM PST - 41 comments

The way to a nation's brain is through weaponized feel-good tweets

On August 22, 2019, @IamTyraJackson received almost 290,000 likes on Twitter for a single tweet. Put in perspective, the typical tweet President Trump sends to his 67 million followers gets about 100,000 likes. That viral tweet by @IamTyraJackson was innocent: an uplifting pair of images of former pro football player Warrick Dunn (Wikipedia) and a description of his inspiring charity work building houses for single mothers. For an anonymous account that had only existed for only a few months, “Tyra” knew her audience well. [...] For “Tyra,” however, inspiring messages like this were a tool for a very different purpose. That Uplifting Tweet You Just Shared? A Russian Troll Sent It (Darren Linvill & Patrick Warren for Rolling Stone) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 11:59 AM PST - 83 comments


Gromm•It is "an [unsettling] art/media project by journalist Paul Lukas, exploring the juxtapositions resulting from the installation of metal grommets in unlikely surfaces, especially foodstuffs."
posted by jedicus at 10:50 AM PST - 29 comments


“Public transit is one of the most powerful sites of struggle that we have in our cities, given it’s the backbone of how many people get to work, grocery stores, schools, and social activities. The physical nature of the service – requiring strangers to congregate in bus shelters and train stations, often anxious about delays and costs – represents a site of highly effective collective power if harnessed.“ The demand for free transit is just the beginning
posted by The Whelk at 8:53 AM PST - 64 comments

“I wondered what was happening in that silver box.”

The PlayStation is 25 Years Old! [YouTube][Documentary: Memories of Play] [Every PlayStation Startup Sound] “On December 3rd, 1994, Twenty-five years ago, the original PlayStation went on sale for the first time in Japan. With a lineup led by Ridge Racer and the promise of a 3D future, Sony quickly outpaced Sega and Nintendo and went on to dominate the video game console market. Rather than focus on games, we wanted to highlight the business and technology behind Sony’s hardware. So we brought together former Sony executives Makoto Iwai and Shuji Utsumi alongside tech experts Kazuyuki Hashimoto (Final Fantasy 7) and Masanori Yamada (Tekken) to reflect on the challenges Sony and its developers overcame getting PlayStation off the ground. From working with temperamental visionary Ken Kutaragi, to the limited memory available for games, to not being allowed to leave their office without permission due to tight deadlines, the group came prepared with stories to tell.” [via: Polygon] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 8:25 AM PST - 28 comments

If this were any more deadpan, it'd be a murdered skillet

A short video history of developments in the speedrunning strategies for that very famous video game, the intro sequence to American Dad.
posted by cortex at 7:41 AM PST - 13 comments

Old Crone Medicine Show

The rise of the witchy, independent, beauty-redefining, problem-solving, post-reproductive woman has the potential to change the world. Hello patriarchal predations, we crones see you, and we will check you.
posted by drlith at 5:38 AM PST - 16 comments

The gap keeps growing

A report from CBS on a study from the Brookings Institution reveals that “ 44% of U.S. workers are employed in low-wage jobs that pay median annual wages of $18,000.”
posted by Ghidorah at 2:47 AM PST - 41 comments

Living in NYC makes me nostalgic for my childhood town

I grew up in an extremely normal suburb in central Connecticut. It was big enough that we had more than one Dunkin’, but small enough that we didn’t have a Starbucks. As a teen, my friends and I spent a lot of time in cars, idling outside our crushes houses until someone came to the front window and then we’d peel away, a blur of manicured lawns disappearing behind us. My town was fine, but as a dramatic teenager I found it lacking the cultural cache (re: Starbucks) that could elevate my tortured existence.
posted by growabrain at 2:09 AM PST - 45 comments

I've got red in my ledger, I'd like to wipe it out

Marvel Studios' Black Widow teaser trailer is out now, starring Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, alongside David Harbour, Florence Pugh, O-T Fagbenle, and Rachel Weisz, with the same cinematographer as Mission: Impossible – Fallout. And no, she hasn't been resurrected (yet); the story takes place after Captain America: Civil War and before Avengers: Infinity War.
posted by adrianhon at 2:01 AM PST - 81 comments

Nothing lasts forever— not even on the internet.

A Better Internet Is Waiting for Us - My quest to imagine a different reality. SLNYT opinion piece featuring mefi's own jscalzi.
posted by ellieBOA at 1:51 AM PST - 33 comments

December 2

There once was a note, pure and easy...

Forty years ago today, 11 young people lost their lives outside Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati waiting to see The Who. The Who Tragedy, as it was known, was one of the worse incidents in the history of rock and the fallout resulted in wide-ranging changes to the concert industry that reverberate to this day. [more inside]
posted by codex99 at 11:22 PM PST - 35 comments

Tom Hanks as the human equivalent of a Labrador retriever

My dog Winston, a 1-year-old pit bull mix, is a sleek, muscular beast at the peak of his physical abilities. According to the well-known rule by which we convert one dog year into seven human years, Winston is about the same developmental age as my 6-year-old twins. But in contrast to Winston’s athleticism, the twins are clumsy, cuddly little goofballs with a lot of growing up to do. Now, new research by a team of geneticists and biologists at the University of California, San Diego and elsewhere explains the discrepancy. […] By their calculation, Winston isn’t 7; he’s pushing 30. Wapo | non-Wapo
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:49 PM PST - 5 comments

What are we doing this week to ruin sports for men?

ESPN's Katie Nolan finally joins the secret society of women in sports media.
posted by ChuraChura at 10:19 PM PST - 8 comments

The Best Of Jon And Vangelis

Yes singer Jon Anderson and Greek synth pioneer Vangelis did a few albums together in the 1970s and 80s before releasing the compilation The Best Of Jon And Vangelis. It's a pretty good overview of their time of collaboration, although certainly people will have favorite album tracks not featured here. Side A: Italian Song, I'll Find My Way Home, State Of Independence, One More Time, A Play Within A Play [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 7:53 PM PST - 17 comments

Riot Games Settles Sexism and Harassment Suit

Riot Games will pay every female employee of the last 5 years out of a $10million settlement fund. [more inside]
posted by rhizome at 4:04 PM PST - 19 comments

Adam's Apples

Adam's Apples is a blog by someone who is a really big fan of apples. My favorite thing is dipping into any of the over 300 reviews of apple varietals, with loads I've never heard of like Evercrisp (honeycrisp x fuji mix?!), the Canadian Strawberry, or a three-star exceptional apple worthy of a quest: the Macoun. The best part might be the comments sections, where other fans of apples post their lengthy tasting notes as well.
posted by mathowie at 3:12 PM PST - 28 comments

A Disney Monopoly Is A Problem (According To Disney's Recess) [18:31]

Disney nearly has a monopoly in the film industry. Let’s talk about that with a little help from TJ. Excellent additional reading in the description of the video as well.
posted by ef99 at 2:53 PM PST - 5 comments

Warning: Take in small doses

Things that everyone in your field knows and nobody in your industry talks about because it would lead to general chaos. - Twitter thread started by Myk Bilokonsky. [more inside]
posted by tommasz at 2:22 PM PST - 92 comments

Jamie Lee Curtis Has Never Worked Hard a Day in Her Life

The actress on addiction, beauty standards, famous parents, writing kids’ books, and her encounters with Bette Davis. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 12:25 PM PST - 29 comments

Ecce magnum opus

Researchers in Germany have been working on the Thesaurus Linguae Latinae since the 1890s. They hope to finish in 2050, but that might be optimistic. [SLNYT]
posted by Chrysostom at 11:45 AM PST - 16 comments

Does Who You Are at 7 Determine Who You Are at 63?

In 1964, with “Seven Up!” Michael Apted stumbled into making what has become the most profound documentary series in the history of cinema. Fifty-five years later, the project is reaching its conclusion.
posted by Mrs Potato at 11:29 AM PST - 13 comments

Lil BUB has gone home

The runt of a feral litter in rural Indiana, Lil BUB brought joy to people around the world with her unique and adorable appearance and demeanor, and squonks. After a fight with a "persistent and aggressive" bone infection, BUB went peacefully in her sleep on December 1st. [more inside]
posted by jzb at 10:36 AM PST - 55 comments

Open Upstair's

'Laziness has won': apostrophe society admits its defeat (The Guardian): "Fewer organisations and individuals are now caring about the correct use of the apostrophe in the English Language. We, and our many supporters worldwide, have done our best but the ignorance and laziness present in modern times have won!" The Apostrophe Protection Society was started by John Richards, a former newspaper reporter and sub editor, in 2001. "When I first set it up I would get about 40 emails or letters a week from people all over the world. Many were saying how it was about time that we had something like this," he said. "But then two years ago it started to tail off and nowadays I hardly get anything." (BBC) The APS site will remain online " for some time for reference and interest." [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 9:48 AM PST - 48 comments

How The Alt-Right Is Like An Abusive Relationship

Innuendo Studios, the YouTube channel run by Ian Danskin, has been focusing on a single project - The Alt-Right Playbook, in which he dissects the strategies the alt-right uses, with his most recent episode focusing on recruitment. In a recent session recorded at Solidarity Lowell, Danskin discusses his research on the topic, as well as how the alt-right emulates both abusive relationships and cults - and how it differs. (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 9:33 AM PST - 5 comments

Live in Lesotho

On December 28, 1980, Hugh Masekela and Miriam Makeba performed before a crowd of 75,000 in Lesotho, an enclaved country entirely within the borders of South Africa, in a historic concert that confronted and unnerved South Africa's white supremacist regime. Masekela and Makeba, long exiled from their home country, would not return home to South Africa for another decade. The initial print-run of the concert record was only a few hundred and soon fell into obscurity; today, nearly 39 years after the historic concert took place, the concert record is being re-issued.
posted by sugar and confetti at 8:02 AM PST - 3 comments

AI dictionary, from cybertriumph to wringie, and beyond!

AI Dictionary is a Twitter bot that tweets a . I wanted to see how much OpenAI's language model actually knew, so I tried to get it to define words... but I accidentally had it set to 'random', not 'best'. [via mefi projects] Semi-related: OpenAI’s GPT-2: the model, the hype, and the controversy (Towards Data Science), and Experimenting with OpenAI’s Improved Language Model (short post on Medium), which notes "The public at large will need to become more skeptical of the content they consume online." [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 7:30 AM PST - 27 comments

a morbid fascination with their strange appearance

“Vomit Art” or resin inclusion pieces are frequently found in thrift stores. Once a popular mid-century home décor item, the pieces went out of fashion and were left to collect dust on secondhand store shelves. Until now.
posted by sciatrix at 7:05 AM PST - 51 comments


Stay comfy: games you can play with a hot mug in one hand [Rock Paper Shotgun] “Winter brings out a part of me that immediately seeks a mountain of blankets in which to burrow. Even in my seasonally confused state of Texas, the weather has tended towards the chilly and left me with little excuse not to have a kettle boiling interminably as I layer on socks and pull the biggest comforter from the top of the closet. But this presents a problem likely familiar to other cozy connoisseurs: how does one game while properly bundled? I will admit it does limit possibilities considerably. That’s why I’ve curated a small selection of games perfectly playable while your other hand keeps coffee or tea always within sipping range.”
posted by Fizz at 5:17 AM PST - 14 comments

December 1


posted by They sucked his brains out! at 11:18 PM PST - 20 comments

"One does not simply animate a meme."

"Bring forth the meme, Frodo."
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:39 PM PST - 18 comments

Cooking With Wool: Stop motion animation of a tiny felted kitchen

Cooking With Wool: a charming short stop-motion animation of a tiny felted wool kitchen. More of Andrea Love’s charming animation can be found on Andrea Animates, her professional website. Examples include Bazaar Girls Yarn ShopFinnriver Farm and CideryBoulton Farm Engaging Conservation Leaders: Northwest Straits Initiative
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 4:05 PM PST - 10 comments

Does it still count as 100 years if it's really two different bookshops?

The Secret Feminist History of Shakespeare and Company "Revisiting the story behind Shakespeare and Company’s creation reveals that its roots lie in early twentieth-century feminist activism and, in particular, Beach’s own deep-rooted conviction that women had a right to an intellectual life." [more inside]
posted by betweenthebars at 2:14 PM PST - 3 comments

Animal Magic

How My Pet Saved Me. (SLTG) Come for the great stories. Stay for the wonderful pet + owner portraits. [more inside]
posted by kinnakeet at 12:59 PM PST - 23 comments

Advent Calendar of Curiosities

The Advent Calendar of Curiosities begins another year. [more inside]
posted by zamboni at 12:49 PM PST - 6 comments

The bonkers, bristly story of how big toothbrush took over the world

In a few decades, two warring toothbrush giants have carved out a market worth billions, with the help of a little science and some clever marketing. But where does it go next?
posted by Etrigan at 11:28 AM PST - 33 comments

Carrie Fisher: From film star to "savage" writer...

Excerpted from Carrie Fisher: A Life on the Edge, by Sheila Weller
posted by dfm500 at 10:27 AM PST - 7 comments

Meanwhile — in another part of the galaxy — later that same day

The venerable Spaceballs was not the first Star Wars parody. That honor goes to the 13-minute Hardware Wars, the Wikipedia synopsis of which begins - "A household steam iron flies through space, fleeing a toaster, which fires toast at it." Also featuring multi-platinum award-winning music producer Scott Mathews saying "Gol-ly!" a lot. Better than 10 hours of Bork Wars. You're welcome. [more inside]
posted by saysthis at 9:57 AM PST - 45 comments

The Carbon Cloud That Might Kill Us All

“The collaboration between Big Tech and Big Oil might seem counterintuitive. Culturally, who could be further apart? Moreover, many tech companies portray themselves as leaders in corporate sustainability. They try to out-do each other in their support for green initiatives. But in reality, Big Tech and Big Oil are closely linked, and only getting closer. “ Oil Is The New Data (Logic) previously
posted by The Whelk at 7:06 AM PST - 29 comments