December 2019 Archives

December 31

Have you noticed I have changed lately?

It's reporting that feels like near future fiction. An AI is trained with love and respect, and it starts to interact differently. Raising Devendra, from Invisibilia [30m]. Transcript (skip a bit to get past the fundraising at the beginning to start reading the actual episode).
posted by hippybear at 8:52 PM PST - 22 comments

“a real vacation, the kind where you get on a train and go somewhere“

In the morning before I set out [from Harper’s Ferry], the innkeeper said to me: If you go into the olde-timey candy store in the Lower Town, the woman who runs it will ask you if you have been there before. SAY YES, YOU HAVE. This is very important. If you say no, she will start explaining the olde times to you and she won’t stop, and you will never be able to leave. She warned me this the way Marya Morevna in The Death of Koschei the Deathless warns Prince Ivan not to open a certain dungeon door in her castle, and if he does, not to do anything asked of him by a man he might find chained up inside.
This is an excerpt from the latest post on Wolf Tree. If you like that excerpt you’ll like the rest of this post and the other posts too.
posted by Kattullus at 5:33 PM PST - 16 comments

Litla Dimun has a fluffly little cloud cap, and floofy little sheep

Lítla Dímun (Atlas Obscura) is an isolated island (Google maps) is often with a fluffy, lenticular cloud (Skybrary) cap (Flickr). This is the only island in the Faroes archipelago that is unpopulated, at least with people. But it is home to domesticated short-tailed type sheep, who replaced the Lítla Dímun sheep (Wikipedia), an extinct species similar to the Soay sheep, a tough breed descendant from feral stock (Wikipedia).
posted by filthy light thief at 4:49 PM PST - 11 comments

“A Question of Silence”: Why We Don't Read Or Write About Education

Nothing in the public debate on schooling suggests that education matters. Whether test scores do or don’t measure learning; whether schools should be privatized; whether Wikipedia will replace the teacher; whether we will ever escape Algebra; whether we can measure the ways in which kids of color “fail” or “succeed” on exams; whether to teach like a “champion”, a “guide”, or a “pirate”; whether the arts are a right or a privilege: all these questions owe their importance to the system of schooling that turned them into questions in the first place. The entire debate keeps folding back onto itself. It takes its own parameters for granted. The more one asks such self-referential questions (without, say, asking what on earth sets “success” apart from “failure”), the more one contributes to the education system as is—a system that has stagnated for seven generations. [more inside]
posted by jshttnbm at 4:06 PM PST - 62 comments


Antiques Roadshow expert drinks 180-year-old urine, rusty nails and a human hair after mistaking liquid for port [Video][2:50] “An Antiques Roadshow expert, Andy McConnell, accidentally drank 180-year-old urine, rusty nails and a human hair during an appearance on the show. The glass specialist had mistaken the mystery liquid for 1840s port or red wine when he drank from the bottle in a 2016 episode of the BBC series. Inserting a syringe in the bottle’s cork, McConnell tasted some of the “very brown” liquid and remarked: “I think it’s port – port or red wine... or it’s full of rusty old nails and that’s rust.” Host Fiona Bruce has now revealed, in the latest episode of Antiques Roadshow, that the bottle was filled with urine and a single human hair. [...] So [this] was not a bottle of port or wine, but a witches bottle. “So buried in the threshold of the house as a talisman against witchcraft, against curses, against misfortune coming into the home.”” [via: The Independent]
posted by Fizz at 3:07 PM PST - 53 comments

When I felt the sun on my skin I felt free

Escape from Iran (~30min audio, .mp3 link)—A woman and her family, members of the Baháʼí Faith, flee persecution in the aftermath of the 1979 Revolution and emigrate to Australia; recounted in a radio program 40 years later narrated and produced by her daughter, an episode of The History Listen from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
posted by XMLicious at 2:42 PM PST - 2 comments

Well, that was some weird shit.

Howard Stern interviews Hillary Clinton about the election, politics, her time as Secretary of State, her first date with Bill and more. 1 2 3 4 5
posted by Mchelly at 2:36 PM PST - 14 comments

Four Yayoi Kusama Paintings Newly Discovered in Manila Envelope

Archivist Anna Rimel came upon the four pieces, executed in watercolor, ink, pastel, and tempera paint, in a manila envelope while sifting through the museum’s Joseph Cornell Study Center [more inside]
posted by jj's.mama at 12:08 PM PST - 5 comments

The Decade That Professional Wrestling Died

The demise of professional wrestling -- an ancient and storied, highly competitive, 100% legitimate sporting endeavor -- began with the Most Illegal Thing I've Seen in the History of Wrestling! in February 2011 (co-murderer Ophidian recently apologized for his heinous crime). [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 11:53 AM PST - 39 comments

As I slowly shrink and transform into a GPT-2 model

Bot technology may finally have advanced to the point where it can seamlessly replace Weird Twitter. Can you tell the difference between dril and an AI pretending to be dril? [more inside]
posted by babelfish at 11:26 AM PST - 11 comments

"deep in thousands of pages of court records spread across two states"

He’s a Liar, a Con Artist and a Snitch. His Testimony Could Soon Send a Man to His Death., Pamela Colloff, Pro Publica, outlines the career of a prolific jailhouse informant, who has provided testimony crucial to securing several murder convictions. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:58 AM PST - 2 comments

Biological sex is amazingly complicated

It's not a binary. It's not a simple spectrum. We are spaghetti code. Lots about the biology of sex, and somewhat about the legal and social implications. [more inside]
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 10:17 AM PST - 8 comments

Never trust an expert

The Worst Political Predictions of 2019. 12. House Democrats and Senate Republicans will “secure a number of legislative victories … [and] meet on middle ground” Predicted by: Orrin Hatch
posted by philip-random at 8:57 AM PST - 15 comments


Sonny Mehta, Visionary Head of Alfred A. Knopf, Dies at 77 [NYT/AP] [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 7:31 AM PST - 18 comments

Galvanic Skin Response Bracelets

Another decade-end list. This one is about educational technology and pedagogy the author claims have failed.
posted by eotvos at 7:31 AM PST - 35 comments

December 30

"I found election interference and no one cared"

"Goldsmith is the Vietnam Veterans of America’s chief investigator, a job the organization created for him after he showed an uncanny ability to sniff out online scams and fake accounts that exploit or target American veterans. In this role, he has had to deal with the apathy of decision-makers and the intransigence of social media companies. He’s also worked to overcome a lack of understanding among veterans about how their community is being targeted, and he’s done it all with little support. [...] With the 2020 US election fast approaching, his concern is that if the public, the government, and the platforms can’t come together to protect a widely respected community like veterans from information operations and exploitation, then perhaps they can’t protect the election itself." [more inside]
posted by J.K. Seazer at 11:37 PM PST - 5 comments

How Long is Right Now?

Shayla Love on how we’re all living in the past (at least a little): “Our sense of right now—whichever one you mean—isn't passively measured and tracked and the brain, but constructed by it . . . . If people could be swayed into thinking that now is shorter, could they also be more invested in making bigger, societal, choices that are future oriented?”
posted by sallybrown at 6:09 PM PST - 31 comments

Ouroboros of insta

Who is samsara?
posted by latkes at 3:59 PM PST - 5 comments

Syd Mead, visionary artist of the future, has died.

Syd Mead, the visionary artist and designer behind Blade Runner, Tron, Aliens, and Star Trek, has died.
posted by pashdown at 3:18 PM PST - 59 comments

the masterworks of the earliest years of animation

The Surprise and Wonder of Early Animation (Richard Brody, New Yorker)
posted by bq at 2:45 PM PST - 4 comments

From the dream of EPCOT, to the failing reality of Celebration, Florida

Between Disneyland being the only place safe in Orange County for black tourists in the 1960s (OC Weekly, recounting the Green Book entry), to Disney's Dream called EPCOT (1970s promo film, described in an official Disney Parks blog), you might think that a Disney-built town would be a glorious, inclusive place. But that Disney dream died in Celebration (The Guardian), and Disney's community of tomorrow became a total nightmare (The Daily Beast). Rob Plays has another recounting of the history, development, and failure of the perfect town of yesteryear in Celebration Florida: Disney's Not So Perfect Town. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:40 PM PST - 36 comments

Another Parade has Passed By

Jerry Herman, American composer and lyricist, passed away on December 26, at age 88. He is probably best known for writing the scores for Hello, Dolly! and La Cage aux Folles, both of which won him Tony awards. He was a 2010 Kennedy Center Honoree, and received 2 Grammy Awards. [more inside]
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 1:28 PM PST - 12 comments

“desperate to escape the unrelenting nature of a corporeal exisence”

In this week’s issue of The New Yorker, author Jamil Jan Kochai shares his short story, 'Playing Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain'.
“In the process of reading, “I,” the reader, becomes “you,” the addressee. I’ve always had a similar feeling of intimate alienation while playing video games, especially first-person shooters, where, in certain moments of intense gameplay, like a fire fight or a raid, you become totally immersed and feel as if it were “you” in the game, shooting and running and being shot. For me this sense of becoming the shooter in first-person gameplay was often disrupted by the depiction of the enemies in video games like Call of Duty. There I am in the game, playing as a white soldier, and all of a sudden I’m murdering an Afghan man who looks just like my father. Or even like me. My status as the hero facing the enemy, as the subject facing the object, falls apart. “I shoot you” becomes “I shoot me.” I wanted to capture that sort of alienating intimacy in my story.”
In a follow up interview, Jamil expands on his thoughts on the intimate alienation of video games.
posted by Fizz at 12:17 PM PST - 6 comments

Ladies and gentleman, I've suffered for my music, now it's your turn.

Musician and actor Neil Innes, who joined the boys of Monty Python for their films (singing "Brave Sir Robin"), their stage shows (From the Hollywood Bowl: "I'm the Urban Spaceman", "How Sweet to be an Idiot", "Protest Song") and their side projects ("The Rutles"), passed away yesterday at the age of 75.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 12:05 PM PST - 58 comments

Spoilers: 7 Wonders & Scythe

While we've already discussed the definitive list of best board games of the 2010s, gamers are naturally also interested in the most influential games of the decade, so Polygon assembled four leading game developers to "weigh in on a decade that changed tabletop forever". [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 11:47 AM PST - 27 comments

VLA on the move

The aptly named Very Large Array is an astronomical radio observatory consisting of 27 25-meter dish antennae (plus a spare kept in a shed) laid out on three spokes radiating from a central point. Every four months, the antennae are moved into a different configuration, covering a diameter of 1 km at their closest (Configuration D) to 36 km at their widest (Configuration A). For regular observations, they're mounted on piers sunk 9.7 meters into the ground, but to change configurations, they ride the rails—a double set of train tracks, carried on a custom built transporter. When a dish reaches its new position, the whole antenna + transporter assembly is jacked up, the wheel bogies are rotated 90°, and they then traverse a short rail spur into place (video bookmarked to the interesting part.)
posted by adamrice at 11:41 AM PST - 15 comments

Journalistic crystal ball gazing

At the end of every year, NiemanLab asks "some of the smartest people we know" to provide predictions about what's ahead for journalism in the next year. Here's this year's crop. (90 posts so far, more are still being added.) [more inside]
posted by beagle at 11:29 AM PST - 5 comments

Ma jeunesse ne fut qu'un ténébreux orage... is dedicated to the French poet Charles Baudelaire (1821 - 1867) and his poems Les Fleurs du mal (Flowers of Evil). The definitive online edition of this masterpiece of French literature, contains every poem of each edition of Les Fleurs du mal, together with multiple English translations.
posted by dobbs at 11:22 AM PST - 3 comments

Some GIFs make a sound. This one says, “bloop!”

Metafilter favorite Jon Bois looks back on the least consequential athletes of the last decade. [more inside]
posted by firechicago at 9:36 AM PST - 25 comments

The eight primates of Chanukah

#8PrimatesOfChanukah on Twitter . Celebrate Chanukah with Metafilter's own ChuraChura and learn a little more about the holiday and eight amazing primates [via mefi projects]. Eight Twitter threads within. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:42 AM PST - 8 comments

Bathrooms are prone to ghost snail infestations

Discover the merrily macabre world of woodcut illustrator Lydia Puddicombe. Skulls sprout like buds, ghosts haunt pies, and the fearful dreams of doggos are revealed in the collected works of a visionary Central Illinois artist.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 12:44 AM PST - 6 comments

December 29

How Rose B. Simpson’s lowrider is an homage to Pueblo potters

While studying automotive science, Rose B. Simpson built a moving piece of art: “Maria,” a black, refurbished 1985 Chevrolet El Camino named for famed Pueblo potter Maria Martinez. [more inside]
posted by jj's.mama at 10:13 PM PST - 15 comments

Happy 20th Anniversary Galaxy Quest! Why weren't you a bigger hit?

DreamWorks "Screwed Up" Galaxy Quest (Never Give Up! Never Surrender!) was released 20 years ago on Dec. 25, 1999, but it did not make an immediate splash. “Most films fall off during the second weekend and we were seeing Galaxy Quest climb in its second weekend and climb again during its third weekend,” Parisot says. “Jeffrey (Katzenberg) called me during the second weekend and said, ‘I think we screwed up the advertising for this. I’m sorry.’” [more inside]
posted by pjsky at 8:11 PM PST - 89 comments

From one of the stranger areas of the universe.

Has some new gamma ray behavior in one of the faster pulsars known. And some very hard to grasp numbers.
Pulsars are rapidly spinning, magnetized neutron stars left behind at the end of a star’s lifetime. Pulsar J0952-0607, a pulsar in a binary orbit with a very low-mass companion star, has the second-fastest known pulsar spin, rotating 707 times each second. For comparison, that’s about 70 times faster spin than the fastest helicopter rotors — and it’s an object that’s 10 km across and weighs more than the Sun!
posted by aleph at 7:58 PM PST - 15 comments

Users of every type were confused by the Programs folder

The Windows 95 User Interface: A Case Study in Usability Engineering
posted by Chrysostom at 7:11 PM PST - 46 comments

The dog is a metaphor

White Women LOL: A short story by Curtis Sittenfeld
posted by Conspire at 6:58 PM PST - 30 comments

Accelerates great, but runs rough

John from Houston calls into Car Talk with an unusual problem with his vehicle.
posted by borkencode at 3:06 PM PST - 9 comments

Designer Gone to Heaven

Vaughan Oliver has passed away. As longtime designer for 4AD, Oliver created record covers for Cocteau Twins, Colourbox, Dead Can Dance, Throwing Muses, Pixies, the Breeders, Lush, Red House Painters, His Name Is Alive, the Mountain Goats, TV on the Radio, and many more. Rest in peace. [more inside]
posted by shortfuse at 1:59 PM PST - 25 comments

ITMFA IV: Then the door was open and the wind appeared

At a time when local newspapers are struggling and misinformation is widespread, access to reliable information is the thread that keeps our democracy intact. Pelosi may have had the last word in 2019, but if we've learned anything from the past year, Trump won't take long to respond in 2020. Trump, Mulvaney, Sondland, and Giuliani are not saying they didn’t do the things that Trump was just impeached for ordering. They’re saying they did, but it’s fine. The Republican-run Senate will have to decide if they agree. [more inside]
posted by katra at 11:47 AM PST - 1002 comments

“I see your Baby Yoda and raise you a BABY SONIC!”

Make some room, Baby Yoda: Japan's Sonic The Hedgehog trailer introduces Baby Sonic [AV Club]A certain mossy-toned, pint-sized Jedi Master waddled into the pop culture zeitgeist at an auspicious time, when Disney+’s The Mandalorian and anticipation for The Rise Of Skywalker worked in tandem to bring maximum attention to the Star Wars franchise. In addition, some would say that before Baby Yoda, there was a troubling dearth of tiny, adorable versions of larger-than-life cultural icons. (It’s us. We’re saying this.) Since November, the lil’ bub has been prospering, delivering meme after meme and cornering the market like a frog-eating, mug-wielding boss. But before he gets too comfortable, there may be a new contender aiming to dethrone him as the Biggest Cutie Of The Moment. The Japanese film trailer for Sonic The Hedgehog, which dropped yesterday, opens with a brief origin story featuring a young Sonic—or Baby Sonic.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 11:13 AM PST - 18 comments

Hashtag, history: growing appetite for online archives from South Asia

Stories, photographs, audio visual recordings — the history of the subcontinent is being curated carefully with the help of social media [more inside]
posted by Mrs Potato at 11:10 AM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Clementine Paddleford's high-flying, deep-sea culinary adventures

Clementine Paddleford was the Nellie Bly of culinary journalism, a go-anywhere, taste-anything, ask-everything kind of reporter who traveled more than 50,000 miles a year in search of stories in a day when very few food editors strayed far from their desks. She went to sea on the submarine Skipjack to see what sailors ate, rode the Katy railroad in the Midwest to see what its passengers were served and flew to London to attend a luncheon given at the Guildhall to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. But mainly [...] she poked into home and restaurant kitchens in almost every corner of the United States, building up a picture of American regional cooking in the 1950s. Rediscovering culinary pioneer Clementine Paddleford (Chicago Tribune). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:43 AM PST - 7 comments


‘Here We Go. The Chaos Is Starting’: An Oral History of Y2K - Once upon a time, we all thought the world was going to end on January 1, 2000. Two decades after the panic of the century, it’s time to finally hear from the people who spent years—and billions of dollars—making sure it didn’t.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:52 AM PST - 73 comments

You should be reading romance.

Fantasy writer Casey Blair brings a brilliant introduction and reading list to the romance novel genre for readers of SF/F. The SFWA is opening its arms to romance authors disillusioned by the ongoing clusterfuck at RWA, and while this poast could focus on that badness, instead I thought we could recommend romance (whether SF/F intersectional or not) authors and books to each other.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:47 AM PST - 21 comments

Work as if you live in the early days of a better nation

Alasdair Gray , Scottish author and artist died aged 85. A late starter, his first novel, the post-modern borderline fantasy Lanark, was published when he was 46. [more inside]
posted by thatwhichfalls at 4:47 AM PST - 34 comments

“I’m starting to sweat with the amount of info you’ve got on me!”

Brian Linehan was a Canadian celebrity interviewer known for his exhaustive pre-interview research. Perhaps some may only remember him from the SCTV parody interpretation, "Brock" Linehan, performed by Martin Short. [more inside]
posted by fairmettle at 1:49 AM PST - 11 comments

December 28

Wizards' Rui Hachimura is the NBA rookie with the biggest following

“One of my jobs is to represent Japan. People want to see me right now. I’m everywhere right now in Japan on TV, newspapers. I am doing it for my country and the little kids watching me.” Rui Hachimura takes pride in representing Japan as a mixed-race Japanese basketball player, the son of a West African father and Japanese mother. [more inside]
posted by jj's.mama at 10:01 PM PST - 9 comments

What rescue dogs can teach us about vulnerability

Since I got Daisy in May, she’s given me all the things I hoped to find in a dog: love, companionship, a friend to go on long walks with during the day and snuggle with on the couch at night. […] At the same time, as a rescue dog who needs a fair bit of emotional support herself, she’s made me more cognizant of the everyday presence of fear, trauma, and stress—and the importance of accepting the dark and needy parts of ourselves rather than trying to deny them. Which is to say that she’s given me a lesson in how to be vulnerable, and how to see vulnerability in others in a new way.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:20 PM PST - 8 comments

The Devastating Allure of Medical Miracles

After sepsis forced the amputation of Sheila Advento's hands, an intricate transplant technique made her whole again. Then came the side effects. CW: pictures and descriptions of various medical issues, including transplanted and amputated limbs
posted by Etrigan at 8:29 PM PST - 8 comments

Not Everyone Wants To Tan

Recently, a woman in Sacramento, California was found to have mercury poisoning from her long time use of skin whitening creams. Rather than being a solitary case, these creams are used all over the world. [more inside]
posted by loriginedumonde at 8:00 PM PST - 19 comments

Welcome To The Fumble Invitational

In previous episodes of The Fumble Dimension, hosts Jon Bois and Kofie Yeboah have worked to break basketball and football. Now, they're back to break golf, and they want the public's help. Thanks to their discovery of a golf game with an overly robust course editor, they're looking for input from fans to create a course that would make a Las Vegas miniature golf course look sedate. (SLSBNation) [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 3:04 PM PST - 27 comments

2010-2019 in 20-20

The New Republic is re-assessing The Decade From Hell, and its conclusions are not pretty. Events we thought were so cool are not so cool in hindsight.
The Daily Show’s Rally to Restore Sanity Predicted a Decade of Liberal Futility
A Decade of Liberal Delusion and Failure
The Collapse of Neoliberalism
The other aricles in the series
Jonathan Chait thinks that TNR’s authors downplay the scope of Obama's success
posted by growabrain at 12:53 PM PST - 58 comments

Daring Dolly Deep Dive During December's Demise

Dolly Parton's America (trailer, 1m30s) is a 9-part podcast from Jad Abumrad and Shima Oliaee, assembled over 2 years, which goes further and deeper into Dolly Parton than you ever knew you wanted to go. But in the end, you realize it was something you needed all along. Start with Episode One: Sad Ass Songs - "[W]e dive into Dolly’s discography, starting with the early period of what Dolly calls “sad ass songs” to find remarkably prescient words of female pain, slut-shaming, domestic violence, and women being locked away in asylums by cheating husbands." [59m] [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 12:32 PM PST - 10 comments

The film best-of list everyone's been waiting for

The annual best films of 90 years ago by Kristin Thompson and David Bordwell. 1929 was a transitional year in film and thus Bordwell's and Thompson's best 10 + 1 are a mix of both silents and talkies. Links to view the films below the fold (previously 1928) [more inside]
posted by octothorpe at 12:14 PM PST - 5 comments

Scientific events that shaped the decade

The 2010s have seen many important scientific discoveries. National Geographic has their list of the top 20 breakthroughs of the last decade in science. Of course, it is not all good news, and some science stories may be more interesting than earth shaking.
posted by blue shadows at 11:44 AM PST - 1 comment

their mission: not publishing ads or taking money from gaming companies

Game Hihyō (ゲーム批評) / Game Criticism Magazines [Gaming Alexandria] “Gaming Alexandria recently acquired a large number of issues of the Japanese gaming magazines known as Game Hihyō (ゲーム批評, which translates to Game Criticism). The magazine’s main goal was to be a truly independent voice in the gaming magazine space. The “Criticism” in the magazine’s title meant, first and foremost, the ability to clearly declare whether games were good or bad, as well as the desire of the writers to write whatever they wanted. In addition, the magazine published without hesitation negative industry news articles (for example, reports on legal trouble), that were regarded as taboo subjects for regular game magazines. Eventually however, the magazine slowly and gradually changed its direction from these initial ideals which likely led to its eventual demise. To see what we currently have scanned in high resolution, check out the collection on” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 9:25 AM PST - 4 comments

Juanita Guccione, 1 of the most intriguing “lost” figures in modern art

Juanita Guccione's life (June 20, 1904–December 18, 1999) spanned all but four years of the 20th Century (overview of her art). Cubist, realist, abstract, surrealist, and abstract surrealist strains are all to be found in her work, but by 1970 she was painting electrifying works in watercolor and acrylic that elude the most considered categorization. For the better part of her career she had been imperceptively referred to as a surrealist, but her later work abandoned the human figure and the observed world. This later work, lyrical and astral, reflected a painterly independence hinted at earlier in her career. This is the opening of the biography of Juanita Guccione. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 8:57 AM PST - 4 comments

This is why we can have nice things

Meet Marten Berger, a young sound engineer who has been driving his rolling recording studio around Europe for 2 years. He's covered 40,000 km and 25 countries, and he's recording the best street musicians he can find. [more inside]
posted by Cobalt at 5:37 AM PST - 11 comments

December 27

Around we go

Earth and Sun . With the end of the year approaching, perhaps you'd like to brush up on your understanding of how days, seasons, and years are calculated with this interactive essay.
posted by gwint at 10:11 PM PST - 20 comments

"You’re so engaging, but we’re both aging"

At age 99 Alan Tripp wrote a poem called “Best Old Friends” to celebrate the many new friends he made at Beaumont at Bryn Mawr, the Pennsylvania retirement community where he lives. As a gift for Alan’s 100th birthday, his younger friend and neighbor, 88 year-old Marvin Weisbord, set the poem to music. That was the spark that launched Senior Song Book with this dynamic songwriting duo, and inspired a whole community to sing, dance and perform along with them. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:14 PM PST - 5 comments

Step 5: Wake Up In Alternate Universe

Skywatch is a slickly produced short film about two teens who-- holy shit, is that Jude Law? Wait, how do you get Jude Law for your short film? (via
posted by Etrigan at 6:07 PM PST - 9 comments

Not Your Hypothetical: 150 years of Japanese American history & culture

In 1869, twenty-two Japanese immigrants settled on Gold Hill outside Placerville, California, planting silk-producing mulberry trees and tea. Japanese Americans and their distinct culture have been in the United States ever since. This week, many will celebrate Oshogatsu (the Japanese New Year celebration) with community mochitsuki and osechi recipes handed down through generations, surviving war, internment, and dramatic social change. Sean Miura sums up the Japanese American experience in his spoken-word piece Yonsei. [more inside]
posted by sunset in snow country at 5:01 PM PST - 17 comments

The Dodgers declined requests to participate in the survey.

Good luck getting a family of four into a professional sport for $100 — not in good seats, but any seats. Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times on a typical Southern California family being priced out of attending live games of virtually all major professional sports leagues.
posted by The Gooch at 1:51 PM PST - 55 comments

Teardrops On My Firewall: An Introduction To SwiftOnSecurity

Swiftonsecurity is an anonymous American who works in the information security and networking industries. They share their philosophies on technology and security, give advice, snark , and sarcasm through memes featuring the musician. They also coordinate a personal website with guides and recommendations for laypeople to secure and configure their home computers and routers. [more inside]
posted by fizzix at 12:44 PM PST - 13 comments

The Case for Open Borders

Libertarian economist Bryan Caplan has been arguing for open borders for awhile now. Caplan's latest effort is a graphic book, Open Borders: The Science and Ethics of Immigration, illustrated by Zach Weinersmith of SMBC. [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 10:49 AM PST - 40 comments

one of the problems w/evolutionary views: they create rigid typologies

'Civilization' and Strategy Games' Progress Delusion [Vice Gaming] “And what do we find in most historical 4X games? A largely uniform tech tree that all factions will progress through in a unilateral direction. Even non-historical 4X games feature uniform tech trees, they just use the present as a starting point and not an endpoint. But what is progress in an historical 4X game? To be blunt, it’s the elimination of difference. [...] Games are supposedly a series of interesting decisions, but one of the dirty tricks of social evolution is to obfuscate political decisions under the guise of progress. Effectively your only decisions are how to advance through a predetermined trajectory culminating with “us”, "the US”. [...] They create rigid typologies (the rungs of the ladder) that break down very quickly given the incredible diversity of human populations.”
posted by Fizz at 8:39 AM PST - 37 comments

Won't you be my neighbour?

Guys Beg The Neighbor To Let Them Play With Their Dog, Get A Hilarious Response From ‘The Pup’ A very sweet story from the UK: four guys see a dog and want to make a new friend, so they leave a letter for the good boy/girl. Much to their excitement, the dog responds -- and her name is Stevie Ticks!
posted by wicked_sassy at 6:34 AM PST - 18 comments

Fukushima cleanup delayed again

Japan Times reports that the cleanup of the Fukushima nuclear power plant has been delayed for up to five years. Plant owner TEPCO hopes to complete the cleanup in 30 to 40 years. [more inside]
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:00 AM PST - 36 comments

December 26

Early portraits of African American Activists in the late 19th century

African American women and men assumed civic responsibilities in the decades after the Civil War. William Henry Richards (1856-1941) was active in several organizations that promoted civil rights and civil liberties for African Americans at the end of the nineteenth century, and he collected portraits of numerous fellow activists in the suffrage and temperance movements and in education, journalism and the arts. In honor of women’s history month (in 2017), the U.S. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division staff digitized selected photographs from the collection showing women who were identified by name. These photographs show the women at earlier ages than most portraits previously available of them online. [via Jessamyn on Mltshp] [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:11 PM PST - 3 comments

Gotta Go Fa(n/st)!

Sonic the Hedgehog is unique. Not only is Sega one of the only two companies with a fangame community that it tolerates (the other being Capcom via Mega Man fangames), but it can be argued that Sonic IS its fandom - a fandom that thrives despite multiple unpopular games while other franchises can be killed by just one. Will there ever be a good 3D Sonic game? The answer: Sonic Robo Blast 2, the Genesis-inspired 3D Sonic fangame (over 20 years of devtime - begun before Sonic Adventure came out!) using a modified Doom source port, recently getting its biggest update yet. In addition to the main game, with its action, exploration, SA-style emblems, Chaos Emeralds and unlockables, mods have been made for it, too - see a bunch after the jump, plus instructions for running them. [more inside]
posted by BiggerJ at 7:07 PM PST - 23 comments

Cooking and healing 🦐 🐖

Cooking and healing in my mother's Vietnamese kitchen In the midst of misunderstandings and estrangement, one woman and her mother found solace in making spring rolls.
posted by Bee'sWing at 6:26 PM PST - 5 comments

Dog Memes, Cat Schemes

Here Are The Best Dog Tweets Of 2019. Compare these good-natured creatures to 17 Cats Who Are Either Plotting A Murder Or World Domination. (DLBuzzFeed)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:03 PM PST - 14 comments

The Legend of Zelda Day

It's Zelda Day (Dec 26) again! Here's the news from Hyrule: Romhacker Mark Kurko has made some awesome hacks putting Banjo & Kazooie into multiple other games, most notably Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask and The Wind Waker.
Speedruns of Breath of the Wild have gotten crazy. Here's one done in 27:29. Or instead, watch this comedy animation of the general idea, of which more is accurate than you might think.
Super Mario Maker 2 recently had an update that put the Master Sword into the game, which lets you play as Link. Link has a wide variety of moves that empowers players a lot. This video demonstrates the new abilities. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 4:48 PM PST - 18 comments

"Really, I’m writing to say ‘thank you’."

Dear Friend is a letter-writing project, based in Manchester, UK, "celebrating women in public life and struggles for liberation". It seems to be dormant now (last letter dated March 2018, last tweet dated October 2017). Letters on the site include ones to Eva Gore-Booth (writer, suffragist and lesbian activist), Margaret Humphreys (social worker), Margaret Blair Ramsey (social reformer), Jan Bridget (youth worker and lesbian activist), Ada Nield Chew (suffragist), Phyllis Monk (teacher) and Sharon Creech (author). Other letters are to friends and family members.
posted by paduasoy at 12:48 PM PST - 1 comment

There are a few pockets of Ainu spaces online.

Ainu Instagram. English language Ainu museum websites. Via this page whose 'more you might like' offers an excellent curation of Ainu related content on Tumblr, better than a direct search.
posted by Mrs Potato at 9:06 AM PST - 14 comments

The swingers, the fist fight, and other stories of holiday chaos

“We had an office fist fight over some particularly smelly cheese." Earlier this month, Alison Green of Ask a Manager invited readers to share their most amusing holiday office party stories. Here are ten of her favorites plus links to others.
posted by Bella Donna at 8:36 AM PST - 81 comments

"Patient unsure how it got there"

What Did We Get Stuck in Our Rectums Last Year? The only essential end of year round-up, courtesy Barry Petchetsky, has moved from Deadspin (RIP) to Vice.
posted by Gin and Broadband at 3:02 AM PST - 94 comments

December 25

Warren Ellis RSS Starter Pack

Start Your Blog Diet Famed comic writer, professional beard-wearer and all round counter-culturist Warren Ellis has compiled a list of eclectic blogs he follows, along with the relevant RSS links for each For those looking for something deeper than social media can provide this makes a great jumping off point
posted by mrbenn at 11:32 PM PST - 33 comments

Mark Hamill In Conversation With Frank Oz

In Which Frank Oz answers only one question and maybe only asks a dozen but Mark Hamill talks (and talks) and is charming and delightful and open about his life experiences, and it's 1h30m of joy and anecdotes and great storytelling from one of the masters. Recorded at the 92Y on 3-23-18, published 12-5-19.
posted by hippybear at 11:30 PM PST - 14 comments

"I Was in the Black Eyed Peas. Then I Quit"

The BEP before Fergie [more inside]
posted by jj's.mama at 11:03 PM PST - 11 comments

Just as appropriate now as it was last year

2018 Dumpster Fire Yule Log. Exactly what it says on the tin, nothing more. (SLYT)
posted by zaixfeep at 9:51 PM PST - 4 comments

Believe in Santa

Rapsittie Street Kids: Believe in Santa Featuring the vocal talents of Mark Hamill, Jodi Benson, Nancy Cartwright, and Walter Emanuel Jones, Rapsittie Street Kids aired during the holiday season of 2002. It was supposed to be the first of a new series of holiday specials from Wolf Tracer Studios. Instead, it was never heard from again. [more inside]
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 5:27 PM PST - 16 comments

They steal the eggs of large birds and wish them into people.

YouTuber Ewa U describes an imaginary world with unreliable magic in five episodes. Her voice-overs for the series are entirely in Lojban with English subtitles. Videos below the fold. [more inside]
posted by nangar at 4:34 PM PST - 7 comments

The Ultimate New Podcast Directory

Do you have a lot of travel time over the holidays? Do you want to fill it with some podcasts? Do you have enough podcasts about news or true crime or comedians talking to each other? Do you not want to have to jump into a show with years of accumulated history to catch up on? Then check out the Cambridge Geek’s list of more than 600 audio drama podcasts that debuted in 2019, sorted by genre. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 2:51 PM PST - 12 comments

Santa’s Post Office was built for Eleanor Roosevelt

If you write a letter to Santa Claus/Father Christmas, chances are it’ll end up in a post office in Rovaniemi, a town in Finland that straddles the Arctic Circle. The whole town was burned to the ground by the German army in 1944, and was rebuilt in the shape of a reindeer’s head, as planned by architect Alvar Aalto. Part of the funds came from a UN agency headed by Eleanor Roosevelt, who visited in 1950. She sent the first letter from its post office, and over the years it became the place letters to Father Christmas were sent, hundreds of thousands each year, of which about 40 thousand get replies. The podcast All Points North went to Rovaniemi to find out about Santa’s Post Office, which includes, of course, an interview with Santa.
posted by Kattullus at 2:19 PM PST - 5 comments

It's About to Get Lit, Y'all

Kwanzaa 101 for the Uninitiated, Self-Conscious, or Confused [more inside]
posted by loriginedumonde at 12:36 PM PST - 4 comments

Is it boiling hot?

Readers Of A Certain Age will remember one if the internet’s early viral videos, featuring the bloodthirsty and rapping Radiskull and Devil Doll. Their creator, Joe Sparks, has a tendency to disappear from the internet for years at a time, but can currently be found at with new content including a remastered advertisement from the aughts, an alternate script, and an animated music video.Previously, previously, previously, previously.
posted by bq at 12:09 PM PST - 7 comments

Xmas Mixes

Nils Frahm Xmas Mix 2019 For your listening pleasure, German classical/electronic artist Nils Frahm does an annual Christmas mix--2019 marks his 16th. [more inside]
posted by box at 11:02 AM PST - 2 comments

Distant Sky Live

As a Christmas gift to fans, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds have made their full-length concert video Distant Sky Live in Copenhagen free to view.
posted by carrienation at 7:52 AM PST - 6 comments

Custom bras can't be automated-- they're too difficult

You can't automate something that isn't well understood, and making custom bras isn't well understood. The article includes a description of the difficulties the startup faced (a lot of variation in breast and body shape) and advice on where to find bras. [more inside]
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 5:41 AM PST - 64 comments

1939 MGM cartoon by Hugh Harman

Peace on Earth (archive) - "After mankind is wiped out in the final war, forest animals re-build for a better tomorrow." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 4:32 AM PST - 10 comments

It’s Not Christmas for Them Without Us

Christmas service at the Princess Garden Chinese restaurant in Kansas City is an all-hands-on-deck family affair [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 3:51 AM PST - 17 comments

December 24

Hail Santa

Disturbing Vintage Christmas Cards That Aren’t Around Anymore For A Reason (SLPleatedJeans)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:34 PM PST - 31 comments

3 months drinking from the firehose of trans literature/art/poetry/music

Towards the beginning of the fall, I found myself—galvanized by the publication of Lou Sullivan's diaries—drawn to read/watch/listen to as much art as I could find by trans people, especially (although not exclusively) by queer trans men. [more inside]
posted by protondonor at 10:18 PM PST - 13 comments

The adventures of Monique (chicken) and Guirec (person)

Guirec Soudee sails around the world (official site) on his own (Great Big Story video clip), except for his unusual traveling companion, Monique. She's a chicken, who is a travel partner as Goirec has sailed from the North Pole to the South Pole. You can also follow their adventures on Facebook and Instagram, and clips of news coverage, showing her in the surf and the snow. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 10:04 PM PST - 4 comments

Tamales: A Christmastime tradition

Who should be making and selling tamales? [more inside]
posted by jj's.mama at 10:01 PM PST - 48 comments

I've always associated Elfman's scores with Christmas

A Musical Conspiracy Theory: The Finale To The Nightmare Before Christmas
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:56 PM PST - 1 comment

Merry Christmas, Australia

Eamon Sandwith of The Chats (previously) weighs in on our beloved Prime Minister's trip to Hawaii as bushfires rage out of control all over the country.
posted by flabdablet at 8:41 PM PST - 44 comments

Maybe Mariah is at Number One, but check this out

If you want to have fresh ears on an overly familiar song, Charly Bliss does All I Want For Christmas Is You. NPR: "The band scales back the euphoric production for something more handmade, like a macaroni-and-glue holiday card — effervescent power-pop swung to an early '60s rock 'n' roll drum beat (think "That Thing You Do") and led by Eva Grace Hendricks' rosily pinched voice." [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 8:20 PM PST - 7 comments

To the next generation

Chinese restaurants are closing. That's a good thing, the owners say. [SLNYT]
posted by Conspire at 7:40 PM PST - 14 comments

Romance Whiters of America

Calling out racism continues to be worse than actually being racist. Courtney Milan, who is well known for calling out problems in both Romancelandia and the legal world, was the subject of complaints from people she publicly accused of racism. The Romance Writers of America has now suspended her from the organization for a year and banned her from holding executive positions for life. She was previously a member of the RWA Board. Judges for the RWA's RITA awards are resigning in protest. [Racism in Romancelandia, previously]
posted by jacquilynne at 12:08 PM PST - 109 comments

These ones go to eleven

Eleven Raccoons Stuck Inside Porch (SLYT).
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:56 AM PST - 37 comments

The Wretched World Is Run By Ox And Ass

Back in 2017, researcher Janelle Shane trained a neural net on Christmas carols, and got confused musing on the season, as we discussed previously. Now it's 2019, and she's letting GPT-2 take a crack at it with decidedly weirder results, especially when asked about Rudolph. [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 11:40 AM PST - 74 comments

Roses are red...

Why then are violets/ Not purple in song?
posted by Cozybee at 9:31 AM PST - 29 comments

Hypnospace Outlaw has delivered this year's hot Christmas jam!!

The Chowder Man - "Christmas Pain in Christmas Town" (feat. Dave Pino) [YouTube] “The biggest musical surprise of this Christmas is not the back-to-back Christmas Number Ones for songs about sausage rolls but a monster jam coming in hot from Hypnospace Outlaw. The Chowder Man, a faded rockstar you might have encountered when surfing the information sleeperhighway, released a Christmas song over the weekend. It’s named Christmas Pain In Christmas Town and here’s the thing: it’s an absolute banger. A proper great Christmas song. A friend who doesn’t know Hynospace likened it to a Carly Rae Jepsen song, which is one of pop’s highest compliments. And the Hynospace-y music video, oh my!” You can listen Christmas Pain to on Bandcamp and Spotify too, where you’ll find more of Hot Dad’s music. [via: Rock Paper Shotgun] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 9:06 AM PST - 6 comments

“She never understands me,” he said. He sighed and poked at the device.

A Conversation With Rudy Giuliani Over Bloody Marys at the Mark Hotel, by Olivia Nuzzi, New York Magazine: “Giuliani is emotional. He reads his own press and sees that his friends, these “sources close” to him, are being weaponized by the conspirators, helping to paint a public portrait of a man unglued. ... As he spoke, he fixed his gaze straight ahead, rarely turning to make eye contact. When his mouth closed, saliva leaked from the corner and crawled down his face through the valley of a wrinkle. He didn’t notice, and it fell onto his sweater.”
posted by mwhybark at 7:20 AM PST - 100 comments

The True Meaning of Santacon

The Christmasmen arrived in Copenhagen in December of 1974. First, a parade with a giant goose through the streets, singing carols and dispensing hot drinks to onlookers. [more inside]
posted by Hypatia at 5:56 AM PST - 7 comments

The Ugliest Painting of Jesus, Mary and Joseph Ever Made

Just in time for Christmas, @IronSpike (previously, etc.) explains how much "Christ in the House of His Parents" by Sir John Everett Millais was hated by just about everyone in 1850, and why that was precisely the point.
posted by How the runs scored at 5:22 AM PST - 28 comments

December 23

A deeply needless book

The Most Scathing Book Reviews of 2019
posted by Chrysostom at 10:15 PM PST - 23 comments

Zip Code Debug

Fix a Zipper that Doesn't Close. Fix a Zipper that is Stuck on one side of the Track. How to Put a Slider back on the Zipper Chain. With these new powers you may rescue Articles of Clothing that would previously have been discarded. But lest you become arrogant, consider the Zipper Problems that Cannot Be Fixed.
posted by storybored at 10:10 PM PST - 16 comments

Aggregated Year-End Music Lists, plus some more lists for diversity

If you're looking for the best of the best (by certain criteria), Album of the Year has their annual rating aggregation for all genres, or you can browse by genres and year-end lists. These lists skew English-language and western, so here's some additional lists: Alt.Latino looks back at the best music of 2019 (NPR) and Afropop runs down 2019, both covering a lot of geographical and stylistic territory in limited web-space. For a more focused look back, here's 10 best K-Pop songs from 2019, from South China Morning Post and another 10 from Desnudo Magazine, a top 20 from Dazed Digital, and 29 from Refinery29 .
posted by filthy light thief at 8:35 PM PST - 6 comments

Who knew this would be appealing? On Juicy Couture

The "Juicy Suit" was all the rage in the mid-2000s, in large part to Paris Hilton's influence. [more inside]
posted by jj's.mama at 7:14 PM PST - 10 comments

What a story. What a fucking story.

"Vicious Cycles" , an essay by Greg Jackson in Harper's Magazine, presents "theses on a philosophy of news".
What is the news? That which is new. [...] But what is important? What's in the news.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 6:34 PM PST - 10 comments

The Japanese 80s ambient comp at #38 is particularly good

Unlike most other year-end best music lists, Bandcamp Daily's 100 Best Albums of 2019 lets you listen for free to every recommended album in its entirety. The site's best-of-2019 lists for specific genres like Contemporary Classical, Hip-Hop, Jazz, Punk, Electronic, Soul, Metal and Experimental also let you listen for free to all of the recommendations in full. [more inside]
posted by mediareport at 6:20 PM PST - 5 comments

Dance Of The Sugarplum Good Boys

From the people who brought you the viral sensation Dancers & Dogs comes an even more heartwarming project, this one based around helping homeless pets get adopted. Aptly titled “The Muttcracker,” the yearly endeavor from Kelly Pratt and Ian Kreidich features animals from Stray Rescue of St. Louis and teams them up with the St. Louis Ballet — longtime collaborators with the duo who perform "The Nutcracker" each winter.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 4:43 PM PST - 6 comments

Hear the Drummer Get Wicked

"In a country with violent history and violent politics, Brazil’s first all-female, Afro-Brazilian percussion group drums and dances and changes lives." (via Longreads) [more inside]
posted by loriginedumonde at 1:25 PM PST - 2 comments

“The practical recourse is to monitor these groups for fraud.”

Trump campaign plagued by groups raising tens of millions in his name Outside entities are raising huge money in Trump's name, despite disavowals from the campaign, and spending little of it on 2020. As Trump raises money for his reelection campaign, he’s competing for cash with a growing mass of pro-Trump PACs, dark money groups, and off-brand Facebook advertisers neither affiliated with nor endorsed by Trump’s campaign. And they have pulled in over $46 million so far. (Maggie Severns for Politico) [more inside]
posted by box at 12:31 PM PST - 57 comments

You know what they say: all toasters toast toast!

To the growing list of cartoons with collaborative reanimations (previously), we can now add the cutscenes from Hotel Mario, that classic source of memes and not-so-classic video game for the Philips CD-i. Definitely check out the originals first if you haven't seen them yet.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 11:44 AM PST - 1 comment

If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is

Kurt Vonnegut, one of the best writers of any lifetime, once wrote a sentence that—if you recite it—can literally expand your capacity for experiencing and retaining happiness. What Kurt Vonnegut Taught Us about the Science of Happiness
posted by COD at 10:14 AM PST - 35 comments

Even the vegetables don't like him.

"When we first encounter Gonzo and Rizzo in a Muppetized Victorian marketplace, Rizzo immediately takes issue with Gonzo’s claim that he’s equipped to embody Dickens. “I know the story of A Christmas Carol like the back of my hand!” Gonzo boasts, and when Rizzo demands he prove it, this most unusual Dickens proceeds to describe the back of his hand. The gag may be different, but the effect is the same: this story will be told by a fancifully obtrusive narrator committed to making himself as much the star of the show as Scrooge. If the book’s effects depend as much on groaners as insights, there could be no greater Dickens than Gonzo." Ethan Warren provides his Grand Yuletide Theory that The Muppet Christmas Carol is the best adaptation of A Christmas Carol to Bright Wall/Dark Room.
posted by ChuraChura at 8:52 AM PST - 76 comments

A Christmas Bluffing Game

Comedian Sean Lock is reluctantly forced to play the holiday party game known as Carrot in Box
posted by interogative mood at 8:23 AM PST - 44 comments

Brutalism is magic.

'Control' Imagines 'The X-Files' as an Eerily Thrilling Action-Horror Game [Vice Gaming] “It opens on a young woman named Jesse Faden arriving at the New York headquarters of the Federal Bureau of Control. She’s searching for her long-lost brother Dylan, but beyond that we have no idea why she is there, or what this agency is that she thinks might know something about Dylan. You’re just there, in the empty lobby of an apparently empty brutalist office building. It turns out that Jesse has stumbled into The Oldest House, which is both headquarters to the Bureau of Control and a supernatural hellmouth that the bureau attempts to prevent from corrupting reality. It is, as one character puts it, the place where the apparitions and dreads of popular culture’s collective unconscious have been brought into being and imbued with arcane powers.” [Game Trailer] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 8:21 AM PST - 28 comments

That’s just not how birds operate.

Chad Underwood, one of the Navy pilots who encountered the "Tic Tac" that the Navy officially acknowledged was a UAP (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena), talks with NY Magazine about the events of November 10, 2004, over San Clemente Island. He doesn't call it a UFO and would very much like not to have his name “attached to the ‘little green men’ crazies that are out there.”
posted by tommasz at 7:01 AM PST - 10 comments

The "Sleepy Hollow"-ing of "American Gods"

Last week, Orlando Jones tweeted some news about his departure from American Gods, the Starz television adaptation of the Neil Gaiman novel. The series has suffered extensive turnover in front of and behind the cameras, and Clarkisha Kent says "There is still time for American Gods to avoid its impending implosion, but if Sleepy Hollow taught us anything, it's that we probably shouldn't hold our Black-ass breaths."
posted by Etrigan at 6:50 AM PST - 22 comments

The King of Quizzes is here for another puzzling year!

The King William's College General Knowledge Paper 2019-20 has arrived! It's that time of year again, when all you lovely nerds get to pull out your most obscure bits of knowledge and put them together to make a big beautiful trivia pie! Here are the questions to the 115th King William's College quiz, and here is a spreadsheet upon which to record our collective efforts. Go forth and populate!
posted by andraste at 3:01 AM PST - 102 comments

Like Secret Quonsar, but for reddit

/r/secretsanta and Reddit Gifts were started in 2009 to provide a Secret Santa for the Reddit community. Yesterday, user szor discovered that Bill Gates was her secret Santa. Here she's showing her gifts.
Here are u/Szor account and the main Secret Santa link.
posted by growabrain at 2:08 AM PST - 18 comments

December 22

Remember Be Here Now

Richard Alpert , Ram Dass , is dead [more inside]
posted by hortense at 9:54 PM PST - 69 comments

Luminarias and Farolitos, Christmas decorations in New Mexico

Visit New Mexico in the winter and you'll see glowing brown paper or plastic bags adorning walkways around businesses, homes and churches, as part of a tradition that 400 years in this area. This local tradition began when the Spanish villages along the Rio Grande displayed the unique and easy to make lanterns, called luminarias, as ways to guide people to people to Christmas celebrations (Visit Albuquerque). But, as is the case with so much of history and tradition in New Mexico, there's a debate on what to call these winter decorations. “They’re farolitos,” folks north of La Bajada Hill insist. “Luminarias,” everyone south says. (New Mexico Tourism) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 8:04 PM PST - 25 comments

Spirituality for gender equality

Swords swirl around their bodies, coming perilously close to piercing flesh. Blades flashing in the morning sun, the young women twirl, cartwheel and then kick in unison, finishing their graceful movements in a centuries old kung fu fighting stance. Dressed alike with matching shaved heads, the women and girls finish their daily exercise and move on to their other duties as part of the Kung Fu Nuns of the Himalayas, a name they have proudly adopted. They have a Twitter. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:13 PM PST - 3 comments

All the Equivalence That's Unfit for Print

Jay Rosen, Dec 14 tweet: "This is it, people. This is all they got. ... Asymmetrical polarization is just too much for the institution as currently led. So they changed it to 50/50 polarization and put it on page one.", in reaction to "The Breach Widens as Congress Nears a Partisan Impeachment" (New York Times, Dec 13), the latest chapter in 'the Times's Long-Running Identity Crisis' (Vanity Fair), a misguided infatuation with "Both Sides" reporting (Columbia Journalism Review) that keeps repeating itself (previously, August 19). [more inside]
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:56 AM PST - 79 comments

culled from deeply toxic material without anything interesting to say

I think we’re all set on Lovecraft games for a while [VG24/7] “And before I start, let me just say that I’m not talking about Lovecraft’s racism which, let’s be honest, is real bad. The dude was racist. He was like my mom in a foreign country racist. This isn’t an argument about whether or not Lovecraft was just “of his time.” Better people have had that argument and I’m not here to cancel Lovecraft. Rather, I want to talk about H.P. Lovecraft games. I think we’ve got enough for a while. But we have to be honest with ourselves: Cthulhu isn’t scary anymore. At this point, he’s a cartoon villain like Darth Vader or, I dunno, Ursula the Sea Witch. I don’t know why Ursula came up in my head, but let’s go with it. The point being that, as an audience we know Cthulhu is supposed to be scary, but because we’re so familiar with him as a concept, he’s not actually scary. Literally nobody is afraid when they see Cthulhu pop up on screen. The whole purpose of cosmic horror is to be confronted by something so vast and incomprehensible that our minds break. [...] And that shit just isn’t happening anymore when I hear the word “Necronomicon.” It’s just a brand now.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 7:07 AM PST - 106 comments

"I’m in law school Kelsey.”

In 2017, Kelsey Devois was contacted by Marc Goldener of Golden Bell Studios. He was interested in her recipe-themed card game that was currently on Kickstarter. They were enthusiastic about publishing the game and getting it to as wide an audience as possible. Devois was thrilled and signed up with them, but that was before the company had developed a notorious reputation in the crowdfunding and board game community.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 6:57 AM PST - 15 comments

If I cannot bring you comfort, then at least I bring you hope

What to do when one of the biggest music producers in the world joins with one of the biggest movie composers in the world to create the soundtrack for a truly brilliant and bizarre sort of artistic failure of a movie? Have it mentioned here as a joyous and introspective album for the turning of the seasons! Trevor Horn and Hans Zimmer scored Barry Levinson's 1992 movie Toys, and left us with this beautiful document: Cassette Side A: Winter Reveries (Excerpt From Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 1), The Closing Of The Year (feat. Wendy & Lisa and Seal) [video, long single version], Ebudae (Enya) , The Happy Worker (Tori Amos), Alsatia's Lullabye (Julia Migenes/Hans Zimmer), Workers, Let Joy And Innocence Prevail (Instrumental) (Pat Metheny) [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 4:58 AM PST - 27 comments

December 21

Screaming tomatoes

According to research by Itzhak Khait and colleagues at Tel Aviv University, tomato and tobacco plants produce high-pitched sounds when they're injured or lack water. These sounds are too high for humans to hear, but some animals can. Summary by Nicoletta Lanese at Live Science. [more inside]
posted by nangar at 10:53 PM PST - 34 comments

beige in colour and in spirit

What is the Path? Where did it come from? What’s it like to work there? Daniel Vila: 'A classist dystopia'?: inside the world’s largest underground shopping complex
posted by frimble at 9:53 PM PST - 63 comments

“We wear those floors almost like a badge of honor,”

Community Plumbing - How the hardware store orders things, neighborhoods, and material worlds. Shannon Mattern
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:51 PM PST - 9 comments

DeBeers, source of blood diamonds, and now ocean floor gems

Unlike most UN bodies, the [International Seabed Authority] receives little oversight. It is classified as “autonomous” and falls under the direction of its own secretary general, who convenes his own general assembly once a year, at the ISA headquarters. For about a week, delegates from 168 member states pour into Kingston from around the world [...] not to prevent mining on the seafloor but to mitigate its damage—selecting locations where extraction will be permitted, issuing licenses to mining companies, and drafting the technical and environmental standards of an underwater Mining Code. History’s Largest Mining Operation Is About to Begin -- It’s underwater—and the consequences are unimaginable. (The Atlantic)
posted by filthy light thief at 7:30 PM PST - 10 comments

The Warmth of Beauty, the Beauty of Warmth

"Parkas have been here for centuries. And now people around the world are starting to clue into what Northerners have always known: if you want to stay warm, there’s nothing better than a northern parka." Jessica Davey-Quantick's "The Art and Science of Staying Warm" (Canada's Up Here) explores the great beauty and utility of handmade parkas. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:41 PM PST - 11 comments

Twitterbot Killed the Video Star

"when journalists ask permission to use a tweet, a robot posts it here" BBBreaking News is a bot by Corey Johnson inspired by Andy Baio [via.]
posted by chavenet at 4:22 PM PST - 6 comments

Choosing justice over punishment

"With the 2020 cannabis referendum fast approaching, New Zealanders have a unique opportunity to let the government know what they want from drug reform." The current laws adversely affect the most vulnerable people in NZ society, particularly Māori communities. Repealing prohibition is an opportunity to undo some of the country's systematic racism. (CW: discussion of sexual abuse/trauma)
posted by Gin and Broadband at 12:56 PM PST - 4 comments

Brittany Murphy Still Deserves Your Attention

On the tenth anniversary of the actress’ untimely death, her legacy lives on—though not as potently as it should.
posted by Etrigan at 11:30 AM PST - 23 comments

WFMU's 2019 Specials Roundup

Independent freeform radio station WFMU lists some radio specials you might have missed in 2019 — freely available for online listening, complete with playlists. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:54 AM PST - 8 comments


42 years after beginning as a DIY fanzine created by San Jose State students, Lowrider Magazine will cease printing "One of the most important contributions of Lowrider Magazine is the creation of a medium/tool that not only spread lowrider culture globally, but also created an intimate, cross-generational, and multicultural community for all lowrider lovers. The early issues of the magazine in the late 1970s and 1980s were also an important Chicana/o history book of events, people, and community." - Denise M. Sandoval (note, link has mildly NSFW images) Lowrider culture previously on metafilter: Lowrider influenced music, Japanese Lowriders
posted by vespabelle at 9:11 AM PST - 5 comments

Will they be called “spacemen”?

Space Force becomes the newest US military service after Trump signs defense bill. Initially, the new Space Force will be composed of 16,000 active duty Air Force and civilian personnel currently serving with the Air Force's Space Command.
posted by blakewest at 8:31 AM PST - 73 comments

Nobody knows anything

The 84 Biggest Flops, Fails, And Dead Dreams Of The Decade In Tech "This is the decade we learned that crowdfunded gadgets can be utter disasters, even if they don’t outright steal your hard-earned cash. It’s the decade of wearables, tablets, drones and burning batteries, and of ridiculous valuations for companies that were really good at hiding how little they actually had to offer. It’s the decade of Google filling up its product graveyard, Apple stubbornly denying obvious missteps, and Microsoft writing off billions of dollars."
posted by octothorpe at 6:52 AM PST - 69 comments

The story of your life, the story you tell yourself

In This Is All - "There is another kind of memory that develops considerably later in human children, and never (as far as we know) in nonhuman animals. This is called autobiographical memory. What is the difference between episodic and autobiographical memory? In autobiographical memory, you appear in the frame of the memory."
posted by kliuless at 1:49 AM PST - 28 comments

Believe in justice, one more time

This is a prayer for the darkest day; this is a prayer for Resistance.
This is a prayer for the longest night; this is a prayer for defiance.
[more inside]
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 12:05 AM PST - 8 comments

December 20

Diaspora in an asian shopping mall

Finding Eden and Myself in a Vietnamese Shopping Center: As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found myself searching for my reflection in my mother’s aging, heart-shaped face. I’ve tried to figure out what part of me is her, what part of me is Vietnamese. Until I experienced feeling like an outsider at the Eden Center, it didn’t occur to me how isolated my mother must have felt as a new immigrant; how not using her native language could have made her feel like her tongue had been clipped.
posted by Conspire at 8:46 PM PST - 6 comments

There's More Than Just the Joy Luck Club

The 20 best Asian American films of the last 20 years. (SLLATimes)
posted by loriginedumonde at 7:51 PM PST - 12 comments

And here's something to talk about at the dinner table

Cleaning up the dishes. It is/is not complicated. But Dawn dish soap says you're doing it wrong.... [more inside]
posted by mightshould at 7:15 PM PST - 78 comments

What Philosophy Can Teach Us About Endurance

To train athletes to truly push their limits, it helps to draw inspiration from the French social theorist Michel Foucault. Seriously.
posted by smoke at 4:43 PM PST - 7 comments

Black Med Students At Former Slave Quarters: This Is About Resiliency

"I wanted this photo to just show: We're here," Ledet says of the plantation photo. "This place is meant to destroy us. This place is meant to devalue us. But we here." [more inside]
posted by jj's.mama at 4:12 PM PST - 14 comments


The complicated pang of nostalgia that you feel while scrolling through the GeoCities-izer isn’t necessarily for the objects themselves — it’s for the context in which they were made, for the promises of an inclusive and utopic web that they were enmeshed in, yet have since failed to materialise. Hit counters, auto-playing midi files and scrolling marquees are rendered kitsch the same way that, say, Lana Del Rey kitschifies the failed aesthetics of the American Dream. from We found love in a fictional place by Emma Madden [The Outline]
posted by chavenet at 4:00 PM PST - 5 comments

But they left out Becky Chambers!

2010-2019: A Decade of Change in Science Fiction & Fantasy Four writers from the website discuss trends in SF/F over the 2010s, and just generally get real excited about books.
posted by exceptinsects at 3:50 PM PST - 20 comments

How a Cree Trapper Found Canada's Most Wanted (with the RCMP)

The Globe and Mail story of the search for two fugitives in remote Manitoba. The manhunt was long and hadn't found many clues, and the remote area of Manitoba on the Fox Lake Cree Nation had many places to hide. The discovery of the suspects took a lot of sleuthing and local hunting knowledge.
posted by ldthomps at 2:37 PM PST - 5 comments

Welcome to the "Elements of AI" free online course!

Our goal is to demystify AI - Are you wondering how AI might affect your job or your life? Do you want to learn more about what AI really means — and how it’s created? Do you want to understand how AI will develop and affect us in the coming years?
posted by dobbs at 1:58 PM PST - 8 comments

Indian Relay

"Fast Horse[YouTube, CBC]: [a documentary that] follows the return of the Blackfoot bareback horse-racing tradition in a new form: the Indian Relay. Siksika horseman Allison Red Crow struggles to build a team with second-hand races and a new jockey, Cody Big Tobacco, to take on the best riders in the Blackfoot Confederacy at the Calgary Stampede." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:47 PM PST - 2 comments

"Because you, like, obviously got it in someone’s bedroom."

Stick-and-Poke Tattoo Culture Isn’t What You Think | /r/sticknpokes/ | | The Things People Get Wrong About Stick and Poke Tattoos | The Rise of Stick and Poke Tattoos [more inside]
posted by youarenothere at 12:20 PM PST - 17 comments

It's not just her blatant transphobia on Twitter but in her fiction too.

JK Rowling's Transphobia Wasn't Hard to Find, She Wrote a Book About It [Vice] “Fans and critics alike have been calling out Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling for years for her history of playing online footsie with noted transphobes. This week, she finally made explicit what a lot of those fans and critics have argued: She's an aggressive biological essentialist, and vocally supports known transphobes and their beliefs. It's the latest stage of the slow-burning, deepening estrangement between Harry Potter readers and a woman who has often been as ill-suited to the role of pop culture celebrity as she is eager to play it. But this latest turn in the conversation also underscores the degree to which Rowling has been successful in downplaying the peevish condescension and personal conservatism that she has flaunted in her writing outside the saga of the Boy Who Lived.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 11:13 AM PST - 95 comments

Fast Fashion At The End of the World

Fast fashion is both a global environmental problem, and a human rights issue. The NYT did an expose of the conditions and sweatshop labor that contribute to the success of one of Instagram's most successful fast fashion companies - Fashion Nova, which has partnered with stars like CardiB. This was territory previously covered by independent media LATaco last year. [more inside]
posted by toastyk at 10:57 AM PST - 10 comments

Dogs Should Trust Ireland After This

This year we combined toy donations from our staff & amazing supporters, lined them up and let the dogs in our Rehoming Centre pick their own Christmas present. We hope this makes you smile as much as we did recording the dogs have so much fun! #SantaPaws #HappyDogs :feet: :gift: (SLTwitter)
posted by Etrigan at 10:48 AM PST - 18 comments

Fascism is synonymous with backsliding and barbarism.

On 1 January Jair Messias Bolsonaro will have been President of Brazil for a year.
2019: the year my worst nightmares came true, a reflection, plus a lot more from OHCHR and of course Deforestation and Evangelicals.
posted by adamvasco at 9:56 AM PST - 3 comments

"I am definitely not the next [Ocasio-Cortez]. I am me."

Jackie Fielder is a DSA member, a San Francisco State ethnic studies lecturer, a 25-year-old queer woman of Mexican and indigenous (Lakota and Hidatsa) descent, a leader in the divestment movement, a cofounder of the San Francisco Public Bank Coalition, and an unhoused person who sleeps in her van when not crashing with friends. She's also running for a seat in the California State Senate, hoping to unseat incumbent Democrat Scott Wiener, author of controversial rezoning bill SB 50. Frank Hopper interviews her for Last Real Indians. [more inside]
posted by sunset in snow country at 8:51 AM PST - 36 comments

The Gerrymanderer’s Daughter

The Gerrymanderer’s Daughter: “LEXINGTON, KY. – Almost a year and a month to the day after Stephanie Hofeller turned American politics on its head by reaching out to Common Cause North Carolina about her family affairs, she stood in the middle of her small Kentucky apartment with a Marlboro Light hanging from her lips and a glass of red Kool-Aid in her hand. She exhaled a thick haze of white smoke and then took a deep breath before delving into what her life has been like in the aftermath of releasing the personal files of her dead father – notorious GOP mapmaker Tom Hofeller.” [more inside]
posted by mwhybark at 8:09 AM PST - 7 comments

Painting parallels between the Star Wars narrative and Native cultures

At first glance the traditional Hopi maroon-and-tan patterns are a surprising look for the famous droid (FB video). But [Duane] Koyawena says it makes total sense for R2. "A lot of elders, or our uncles or friends, always tell us in ceremony or something going on 'nahongvitah,' which means to give it your all, or just to be strong and to persevere. So, I feel like the Hopi R2 kind of fits in that same line," he says. Koyawena is one of 25 artists from more than a dozen Southwestern tribes taking part in the art exhibit "The Force Is With Our People." 'The Force Is With Our People' Connects Indigenous Culture To A Galaxy Far Away (NPR) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 7:27 AM PST - 5 comments


The Roomba that screams when it bumps into things. (NSFW: swearing - lots of swearing)
posted by Stark at 3:26 AM PST - 35 comments

December 19

mistikôsiwak (Wooden Boat People)

Kent Monkman "is a Cree artist who is widely known for his provocative interventions into Western European and American art history. He explores themes of colonization, sexuality, loss, and resilience—the complexities of historic and contemporary Indigenous experiences—across a variety of mediums, including painting, film/video, performance, and installation." Starting today, his diptych, mistikôsiwak (Wooden Boat People) will be on display at the Met Fifth Avenue's Great Hall until April 2020. His Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience is currently on display at the Winnipeg Art Gallery [some links potentially NSFW owing to mild artistic nudity]. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:51 PM PST - 10 comments

Turkish internet celebrities

Burak Özdemir, nicknamed CZNBurak is a Turkish Chef & restaurateur. His technique for preparing and presenting Turkish and Lebanese recipes made him an Internet celebrity (13M instagram followers).
Previously: Salt Bae (25M followers)
Previously still: Mahir Çağrı
Next up ASMR barber Anil Çakmak
CW: meat!
posted by growabrain at 3:50 PM PST - 11 comments

"I want to use my art to spread some positivity."

"The Happy Broadcast was born as a way to deal with my social anxiety caused by the constant stream of negative news." Created by illustrator and master of whimsy Mauro Gatti, the project highlights one positive news story every week. [more inside]
posted by rednikki at 2:47 PM PST - 3 comments

A Decade of Black Twitter

The Root Looks Back at a Decade of Black Twitter. [more inside]
posted by loriginedumonde at 2:32 PM PST - 3 comments

no job is too big, no pup is too small

"What's Paw Patrol's secret? How it captivated children and conquered the world" Or is it actually a megalomonicial show that is ruining parent's lives with it's depiction of a dystopian and undemocratic failed state that misleads about rescue work, marginalizes its female characters, and exists to sell an increasing pile of toys. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:16 PM PST - 86 comments

Cinematic History as Only the Winners Can Tell It!

Tom Breihan (previously) has a column for the A/V Club. Well, actually, he has several, but currently his once-or-twice monthly efforts go to chronicling the highest-grossing movie of each year, starting from 1960's Spartacus, and currently up through 1975's Jaws. Some of the featured entries are no surprise. Some of them are utter surprises. But like his work generally, all of it is a fascinating plunge into 20th Century U.S. History through the lens of pop culture. The Popcorn Champs.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:29 PM PST - 12 comments

Underpaying teen babysitters may contribute to the gender wage gap

Female babysitters often make less than male counterparts and are expected to do extra unpaid tasks. The price you pay for a teenage babysitter is often lower per hour than for other jobs often filled by young people, and it could be contributing to the gender wage gap in those workers' adult years, according to researchers. (Link goes to print article that includes the more in-depth “Cost of Living” CBC podcast segment.)
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:21 PM PST - 36 comments


The trailer for Christopher Nolan’s new film - TENET - was released today.
posted by lalochezia at 12:12 PM PST - 68 comments

“rough-around-the edges, yet refined”

"He doesn’t actually know anyone named Tessa. He just likes the way it sounds, what it conveys. “I always thought of it as a nice, comforting name,” he says. “It seems to suggest a loving, female touch.” In Greek, Tessa translates to “born fourth,” and as the father of three daughters — the deli his figurative fourth — that made sense. Also, he adds, it’s a kind of ham." In 2019, Men Named Their Restaurants After Women
posted by everybody had matching towels at 11:59 AM PST - 7 comments

"I am the Joneses. You cannot ever keep up with me."

Ex-Deadspinner Drew Magary (previously) has published the 2019 edition of his annual Hater’s Guide to the Williams-Sonoma Catalog. Previouslies: 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012
posted by tonycpsu at 11:29 AM PST - 39 comments

Freaked Out about Location Tracking? You should be.

An investigation into the cellphone location tracking industry by the NY Times. The NY Times got a hold of a data set including "more than 50 billion location pings from the phones of more than 12 million Americans as they moved through several major cities, including Washington, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Each piece of information in this file represents the precise location of a single smartphone over a period of several months in 2016 and 2017. " [more inside]
posted by suelac at 11:06 AM PST - 63 comments

136 Internet Videos That Blew My Mind (at some point or another)

Joe Sabia is a digital artist and SVP of Creative Development at Conde Nast Entertainment. He has assembled a Google Doc of "internet videos which left some sort of impression on me since the dawn of the internet video explosion (which I'll define as 2006)". (found via
posted by Etrigan at 10:42 AM PST - 9 comments

“There are very few Jewish protagonists in video games.”

About Jewish Stereotypes And Video Games... [Kotaku] “I've found a lot of resonance in games like The Shivah, the point-and-click adventure about a struggling rabbi. Less so with B. J. Blazkowicz, although there's always something special about mowing down Nazis. And I've always wanted to see more games explore issues in Judaism: there's a veritable smorgasbord of topics worth discussing, from intermarriage to fundamentalism to the difficulties of maintaining a Jewish identity in a very non-Jewish culture. So when I saw game designer Dean Evans—the creative director of Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon—poke fun at Jewish stereotypes in an article on Polygon today, I took notice. [...] Instead of imagining, say, a stealth heist game about a protagonist who happens to be Jewish, and maybe struggles reconciling his career with the rules of his religion, Evans chose to go with the easy joke—the stereotype of a bearded guy with a black-rimmed hat and payos who likes money...” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 10:34 AM PST - 16 comments

This movie needs to be made ASAP!!!

The queer Jewish holiday film of our dreams: announces the winner of their Hanukkah Holiday-movie pitch challenge, because Jews want silly rom-coms too, especially if they are deep-fried. Inspired by last year's hilarious pitches by Kate Shulman. [more inside]
posted by jb at 9:17 AM PST - 11 comments

Imagining Titan: creating an otherworldly molecular mineral on Earth

Morgan Cable crafts alien environments in miniature. She can stir up a shot-glass-size lake, unleash gentle spritzes of rain, and whip up other wonders to mimic the bizarre surface of Saturn’s moon Titan. In this far-flung world, temperatures plunge hundreds of degrees Fahrenheit below zero, and rivers of liquid methane and ethane sculpt valleys into a frozen landscape of water ice. “We can, in a way, touch Titan here in the lab—even though it’s millions of miles away,” says Cable, who is a scientist in the Astrobiology and Oceans Worlds Group at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. New kind of alien 'mineral' created on Earth (National Geographic, with a spiffy virtual sphere of Titan) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 7:10 AM PST - 12 comments

Blue and white cups!

It's me, the Hanukkah display in your grocery store! And for a limited time, it comes with a lovely matching shower curtain. [more inside]
posted by Mchelly at 6:45 AM PST - 45 comments

Circle World

Cyriak is back with a new offering, a perfect palate cleanser for the end of the year. [6m] [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 6:23 AM PST - 25 comments

December 18

A Glimpse Of Paraguay's Japanese Community

Ricardo Nagaoka's photographs focus on the Japanese community in Paraguay When he returned for a month last year, he made these images while visiting the small towns, called colonias, where the Japanese initially settled, recontextualizing Japanese people within the Latin American setting. [more inside]
posted by jj's.mama at 11:29 PM PST - 4 comments

A therapist that looks like me

People of color write about the importance of finding therapists that look like them. Stephen W. Thrasher: Why I see a black gay therapist. Jacy Topps: Choosing my therapist by race. Gloria Olapido: Why I need a woman of color therapist. Resources are emerging: This app matches marginalized communities to therapists who share their background.
posted by Conspire at 9:10 PM PST - 9 comments

The Art of Dying

I got the preliminary word from my doctor by phone while driving alone upstate from the city to join my wife, Brooke, at our country place. After the call, I found myself overwhelmed by the beauty of the passing late-August land. At mile eighty-one of the New York State Thruway, the gray silhouettes of the Catskills come into view, perfectly framed and proportioned. How many times had I seen and loved the sight? How many more times would I? I thought of Thomas Cole’s paintings, from another angle, of those very old, worn mountains, brooding on something until the extinction of matter.
posted by latkes at 9:10 PM PST - 18 comments

A Contract For The Web

With concerns over the behavior of Internet giants like Facebook and Google growing in the public eye, there has been a growing question as to what can be done to fight back. In an editorial for the New York Times, Sir Tim Berners-Lee puts forth his proposal - the Contract For The Web, which proposes a set of obligations for governments, corporations, and users to improve the health of the Internet. [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 6:23 PM PST - 28 comments

season one of a podcast is over

haha yeah cool. hyperlink and sel (two users of web site ) are here to have a delightful little sort of discussion :) it is show about making it all up as you go along while keeping a bit of a smile on your face and making sure to say haha yeah [more inside]
posted by mammal at 3:43 PM PST - 5 comments

Shigeru Miyamotörhead

Fuck it, let's just make a Super Mario World guitar out of popsicle sticks.
posted by cortex at 3:24 PM PST - 10 comments

Good news, everyone! No, really…

If we want to change the story of the human race in the 21st century, we have to change the stories we tell ourselves: 99 Good News Stories You Probably Didn't Hear about in 2019. (Good news previously)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:01 PM PST - 15 comments


The Auralnauts do The Mandalorian. Previously.
posted by Cash4Lead at 1:17 PM PST - 14 comments

"What's the point of all this?"

Beau Miles attempts to Run the Line of abandoned railway between Warragul and Noojee (in Victoria, Australia)
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:27 AM PST - 6 comments

🤙🏾 “When the telephone rang, friends and family gathered ’round,” ☎️

How the Loss of the Landline Is Changing Family Life [The Atlantic] “My tween will never know the sound of me calling her name from another room after the phone rings. She'll never sit on our kitchen floor, refrigerator humming in the background, twisting a cord around her finger while talking to her best friend. I'll get it, He's not here right now, and It's for you are all phrases that are on their way out of the modern domestic vernacular. According to the federal government, the majority of American homes now use cellphones exclusively. “We don't even have a landline anymore,” people began to say proudly as the new millennium progressed. But this came with a quieter, secondary loss—the loss of the shared social space of the family landline.” Bonus: [YouTube][Supercut of People Answering Phones in Film] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 10:05 AM PST - 184 comments

U.S.A! U.S.A!

Kamaru Usman is a Nigerian American MMA Fighter. He won his match in the main event of UFC 245, shutting down his MAGA-themed opponent. But what's more impressive is how he carried himself after the fight. [more inside]
posted by ishmael at 9:28 AM PST - 43 comments

One additional suggestion: shut up

Damn, You're Not Reading Any Books by White Men This Year? That's So Freakin Brave and Cool (Jia Tolentino, Jezebel) Justification for obviously rewarding acts is always unnecessary, and in the case of reading “diverse” writers, the reward can be meaningfully deflated by the announcement of the act itself. The people most excited to say, “Uh, I’ve actually been reading a lot of Nigerian writers lately?” tend to be white people; the space taken up by being interested in one’s own Here’s Why I’m Only Reading X Minority Group project is often counterproductive to the point.
posted by sunset in snow country at 8:48 AM PST - 37 comments

the relatively short history of the American workday lunch

"...if you define the power in “power lunch” more like the power in “power walk”—an activity defined by arm-pumping and joyless, ruthless efficiency—Cuozzo’s wrong. Millennials have that kind of power lunch mastered. For many young urban professionals in the U.S., the typical mid-day meal involves shoveling in a lightly-dressed salad alone at a desk, or maybe on a curb outside listening to a podcast on double speed." What Have We Done To Lunch?
posted by everybody had matching towels at 8:46 AM PST - 41 comments

"I am aware what a scrapyard is."

Comedian John Mulaney's latest Netflix special is his take on the children's celebrity variety specials from his youth, co-starring (among others) David Byrne, Natasha Lyonne, André De Shields, and Jake Gyllenhaal, and the titular kids in John Mulaney & the Sack Lunch Bunch (trailer). New York Magazine sent a 10 year old Mulaney superfan to interview him and the results are something special.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:36 AM PST - 19 comments

Hop Woo Restaurant, En Español

When he's not busy leading his cooking staff, he works the room like a Chinatown Wolfgang Puck greeting diners with nǐ hǎo, hello, and como estas from table to table.
posted by storytam at 8:26 AM PST - 2 comments

Digging up Cotten

When Canadian blockchain whiz Gerald Cotten died unexpectedly last year, hundreds of millions of dollars in investor funds vanished into the crypto ether. But when the banks, the law, and the forces of Reddit tried to track down the cash, it turned out the young mogul may not have been who he purported to be.
In the wake of the revelations, investors want to exhume Cotten's body to be certain that he's actually dead. And Drew Millard argues that It should be easier to fake your own death, at least for people who don't have millions to spend on it. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 8:11 AM PST - 54 comments

Living Inside The Vast Wasteland

“ Our imaginations can no longer absorb a narrative in which Guy Montag is the hero, television the enemy, and his wife the tragic warning. The portals to this world were never on center stage, but they existed, in newsstands and zine racks, in books, in leaflets, in the boomboxes of high school parking lots. HBO, which has done more than most to make this world vanish, did nothing brave with its production of Fahrenheit 451. By scrubbing TV from Bradbury’s story, it papered over its own pixelated reflection and ours, sparing us from reckoning with the fact that we are all Mildred Montag now.” The history of the anti-TV movement, the backlash, and the lack of anti-blacklash R.I.P Kill Your TV (Baffler) How TV Became Respectable Without Getting Better (Current Affairs)
posted by The Whelk at 7:19 AM PST - 31 comments

Can you rewrite a museum?

"Welcome to the Royal Museum for Central Africa. Although one of the largest museums anywhere devoted exclusively to Africa, it is thousands of miles from the continent itself. The tall windows, pillared facade, rooftop balustrade, and 90-foot-high rotunda of the main building give it the look of a chateau. That impression is only enhanced by an inner courtyard and a surrounding park: formal French gardens, a reflecting pool and fountain, ponds with ducks and geese, wide lawns laced with hedges, and carefully groomed paths that sweep away to majestic trees in the distance. A visitor here is a long way from Africa, but not from the fruits of the continent’s colonization." Adam Hochschild, author of King Leopold's Ghost, revisits Belgium's "newly decolonized" Royal Museum of Central Africa for the Atlantic.
posted by ChuraChura at 5:39 AM PST - 6 comments

It's Fly Time!

Gravity-Defying Photos of Determined Dogs Catching Frisbees in Mid-Air (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 12:48 AM PST - 10 comments

December 17

Mixed / Multiracial Me

"All Mixed Up: What Do We Call People Of Multiple Backgrounds?" [more inside]
posted by jj's.mama at 11:20 PM PST - 28 comments

Aerial views of (human-modified) landscapes, and the art it inspires

In addition to their scientific value, many satellite images are simply intriguing to look at. Satellites capture an incredible variety of views of Earth. See the mesmerizing beauty of river deltas, mountains, and other sandy, salty, and icy landscapes. Some might even remind you of actual famous works of art! Six galleries of Earth as Art from U.S.G.S.. See also: 30 satellite photos, mostly of human development patterns, from Bored Panda. Want some more art in your aerial photography? Turning Images of Earth Into Abstract Art -- With help from satellites, artificial intelligence, and a painter born in the 1800s, a cartographer has created remarkable images of human-altered landscapes. File under aerial landscape art (Wikipedia)
posted by filthy light thief at 9:54 PM PST - 9 comments

I'm Miss World

For the first time in history the winners of the five major beauty pageants are all Black women. [more inside]
posted by loriginedumonde at 8:32 PM PST - 5 comments

My mentor was denied tenure. Why should I stay in academia?

Ruben Reyes Jr. discusses the impact that Harvard denying Lorgia García-Peña tenure has had on black and brown students . García-Peña is a scholar of romance languages and literature, and was the only latina professor on the tenure track at Harvard. Especially as she was expected to head Harvard's ethnic studies department, which still does not exist at the university despite a 50-year push, her tenure denial has been met by widespread uproar and protest.
posted by Conspire at 5:38 PM PST - 29 comments

For the new year, something different. How about a little off the top?

sl_boing_boing above the fold doing the heavy lifting. NSFW/Heresy below. Depending on job and beliefs YMMV extremely. But to be safe... [more inside]
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 5:20 PM PST - 25 comments

"Ethics is the Esthetics of the Future" - Lenin

"Songs for Lines/Songs for Waves" (1977), an early performance work by Laurie Anderson is on YouTube thanks to MinimalEffort. The performance showcases Laurie's work with film and tape manipulation, including her tape-bow violin, with compositions that would become parts of her landmark United States I-IV. The video also includes At the Shrink's (a fake hologram). [more inside]
posted by SansPoint at 4:34 PM PST - 6 comments

Two Steps On The Water

Folk Horror and the work of Kate Bush Daniel Pietersen's presentation of his paper on Folk Horror elements in the works of Kate Bush was presented at the Edinburgh College of Art's Kate Bush Symposium [more inside]
posted by supermedusa at 3:08 PM PST - 18 comments

“The first website debuted only a couple years prior to my retirement”

The Far Side has a new website, Gary Larson explains why now in a letter. While the website is in its beginning stages, there is a daily selection of comic strips, plus sections for themed collections and scans from Larson’s sketchbooks.
posted by Kattullus at 1:28 PM PST - 81 comments

Grandma was just making a sweater. Or was she?

The Wartime Spies Who Used Knitting as an Espionage Tool
posted by bq at 1:27 PM PST - 13 comments

A Case Study of the Audiovisual Translation of Wordplay

The Dubbing of Wordplay: The Case of A Touch of Cloth is a paper by Lana Camilli at Dublin University examining the translation of the wordplay and puns in Charlie Brooker's A Touch of Cloth into French.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 11:52 AM PST - 11 comments

dissuaded demand?

15 major cities around the world that are starting to ban cars[BI] in an effort to reduce emissions[Bloomberg], speed transit[Vox] and remove deadly vehicles from city streets[Guardian]. Cities Worldwide Are Reimagining Their Relationship With Cars[NYTimes]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:22 AM PST - 41 comments

haystack in the needle

Embroidery renderings of aerial views, and other landscapes and such, by English textile artist Victoria Rose Richards.
posted by cortex at 10:40 AM PST - 18 comments

🍦 An emotional journey about ice cream and poop. 💩

Wattam is a touching, whimsical playground from the creator of Katamari [The Verge] “It’s difficult to explain what Wattam is and also make it sound interesting. The latest release from Katamari Damacy creator Keita Takahashi, Wattam is a whimsical adventure about... well, it’s kind of hard to say. There are puzzles, and there’s a story, but mostly, Wattam is about playing around with 100 anthropomorphized creatures and objects, and seeing what happens when you mix them together. It’s about letting your inner child loose and experimenting. It’s playful in the extreme. But instead of feeling aimless, the result is freeing in a way that’s increasingly rare in video games. And it’s all wrapped up in a surprisingly touching world and story. It’s a game about playing with virtual toys, but by the end, Wattam might make you tear up a little.” [YouTube][Game Trailer] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 9:29 AM PST - 8 comments

"Hey! You got cartography in my art!" "You got art in my cartography!"

Anton Thomas, an artist and cartographer from New Zealand, has drawn a very big cartoon map of North America. [more inside]
posted by compartment at 9:18 AM PST - 13 comments

Putting a Bird on the Decade

As part of its decade-end coverage, Vulture brings us their unranked list of the top 50 comedy sketches of the 2010s (that are readily available to American audiences).
posted by Etrigan at 6:23 AM PST - 54 comments

Milestones: journeying through adulthood

A blog post from the Office of National Statistics about the ages at which life events happen for adults: women having their second child, highest earning period, divorce, providing unpaid care, becoming a grandparent, stopping working, and greatest happiness period.
posted by paduasoy at 5:55 AM PST - 23 comments

December 16

Gotta Get Up Gotta Get Out

Haunted Metaphors - A Russian Doll Video Essay (43:00) A video essay on Russian Doll's influences, themes, feminism, story structure, the lower east side, depression, addiction, Bohemia, Judaism, generational trauma, catharsis, and cats. (Spoilers)
posted by The Whelk at 11:49 PM PST - 8 comments

Is This a Game?

Is This a Game? was an unusual gaming exhibition that just wrapped up in Japan. It contained games and game-like experiences from a variety of designers, ranging from a fairly conventional party game, to a secret video, to experiences that take a year or longer, to a massive team-based tactical extravaganza. The question "What is a game, really?" was a central theme of the exhibition. [more inside]
posted by CrunchyFrog at 11:25 PM PST - 5 comments

Rock with the lobster, or stick with the squirrel, your pick

Take a ride with Lobsterdamus as he (unwillingly) journeys from his home planet of Lobtropolis to Earth, embarking on a quest to save humanity from itself. More importantly, he's looking for Lobby Dame. Dillon Presents: The Tails of Lobsterdamus. Also, there's videos: Claws Up (Lobby Dom's Theme), Ride With Lobsterdamus, and Lobsterdamus - The Shell Shocker. If you just want to chill, here's a 26-track collection of unreleased instrumentals from Evidence of Dilated Peoples, packed full of emotive melodies woven into hard-hitting drum breaks. Each beat transports the listener to a hypnotic state of nostalgia, perfect for study sessions or writing your own hits. Squirrel Tape Instrumentals Vol. 1
posted by filthy light thief at 9:42 PM PST - 4 comments

Clusterfucks hold a special place in public life

Clusterfucks being defined as “those debacles and disasters caused by a deadly brew of illusion, impatience, and incompetence that afflicts too many decision-makers, especially those in powerful, confident, and prestigious groups.” The difference between a snafu, a shitshow, and a clusterfuck.
posted by philip-random at 8:51 PM PST - 41 comments

What do you tell people you do for a living?

@LindaColumbus, of Columbus Labs, says:

The dreaded party killer.
Them: what do you do?
Me: can we skip this part.
Them: really, what do you do?
Me: *sigh* I’m a chemistry professor
Them: oh *awkward silence*

Why do I always tell the truth? I need to make something up. What do you all do/say?
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:17 PM PST - 172 comments

The Limits of Empathy

Why the Burden of Empathy Shouldn’t Rest on the Oppressed: Empathy is useful but we must be mindful of how it can be harmful. There is dialogue and then there is self-immolation. I welcome the former, but I will never embrace the latter as a way forward. I am no one’s sacrificial lamb, the altar of White Liberalism will finally have to learn to do without.
posted by Conspire at 5:27 PM PST - 18 comments

Gershon Kingsley, Moog Synthesizer Pioneer (1922-2019)

The original author of "popcorn" and one of the very first electronica mainstream artists, 1966 with Jean-Jacques Perrey (which was ripped of by Smashmouth). He was 97.
posted by avi111 at 4:12 PM PST - 28 comments

“You’re My Present This Year”: An Oral History of the Folgers Incest Ad

Ten years ago, Folgers coffee first aired their now-infamous “Coming Home” ad. Little did they know, it would go on to inspire everything from parody videos to severely NSFW fan fiction.
posted by blithers at 1:56 PM PST - 120 comments

How To Fillet Every Fish

34 minutes of how to fillet many kinds of fish.
Part of Epicurious Magazine extensive YouTube collection [more inside]
posted by growabrain at 1:11 PM PST - 6 comments


The Battle of the Bulge began 75 years ago today. "On 16 December 1944 at 05:30, the Germans began the assault with a massive, 90-minute artillery barrage using 1,600 artillery pieces across a 130-kilometer (80 mi) front..." The final Nazi offensive crashed into American lines with initial surprise and success. After weeks of brutal fighting - the Malmedy massacre, the siege of Bastogne, Patton's relief drive - its ultimate failure by January 1945 spelled the end of the Third Reich's power in the west. [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 12:58 PM PST - 18 comments

Like "Sentimental Man" or "Mr. Cellophane"

That Song In Every Musical That No One Likes by Sarah Smallwood Parsons at UCB East.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:29 AM PST - 68 comments

Who Decides What Makes a Food "Authentic"?

What did authenticity in food mean in 2019? In the foodie world, there's a constant mad dash to eat the most authentic cuisines possible. What does that mean when recipes are ever changing? [more inside]
posted by loriginedumonde at 9:18 AM PST - 65 comments

Alternative Timeline Dinosaurs

Alternative Timeline Dinosaurs, the View From 2019: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3: The Dinosauroid and its Chums
posted by brundlefly at 8:54 AM PST - 8 comments

hold onto that .exe you downloaded

games as found objects & virtual relics by Natalie Lawhead “There’s this type of play experience that’s unique to freeware. It’s been part of the internet ever since Dial Up. That past time of finding weird things to download, from sites that you might more or less trust, and running them. Games, software, weird small things… It’s a pastime that I remember fondly when our modem “could do” 64 kbit/s. I used to spend hours on Downloads dot Com searching for DOS games. I found Chickens 2 that way, and still have the original copy on my machine. I never had the heart to delete it. PC Gamer used to give away demos in a CD that you got with the magazine. Every month you would be excited to get it and try to figure out how to “get more” out of this free object intended as a demo. Like hacking the GTA 1 demo to disable the counter so you could play longer. As long as you had the .exe the game was yours. It was an object to dissect and play to death and discover every tiny error detail or bug. It’s about the weird things you discover and make your own.”
posted by Fizz at 8:52 AM PST - 15 comments

Why the ‘Queen of Shitty Robots’ Renounced Her Crown

“One of the things that I've been trying to figure out is: Was building shitty robots in some way a method for me to minimize myself, to make myself smaller?” Giertz says. “Because that's what I notice—a lot of women being really scared to step up and be an expert.” Giertz's older videos are full of congeniality and persistent self-deprecation, which doesn't feel so charming to Giertz anymore. “I think that's one of the reasons that a lot of male audiences didn't really come after me,” she says. “Because I wasn't puffing up my chest and saying, ‘I know what I'm doing.’ In some ways that makes me really sad.”
posted by clawsoon at 8:41 AM PST - 31 comments

"waggle dance inexplicably happens mid-air and follows made-up patterns"

Bee Videogames Reviewed by Accuracy
posted by RobotHero at 7:39 AM PST - 21 comments

Ohrwürmer über die Mathematik.

DorFuchs makes catchy songs about universal, heart-touching themes such as the quadratic formula, complex numbers, the derivative of the sine function, partial fractions, geometric series, and basic combinatorics. [more inside]
posted by Wolfdog at 6:37 AM PST - 7 comments

A Personal Act of Reparation

The long aftermath of a North Carolina man’s decision to deed a plot of land to his former slaves. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 6:12 AM PST - 8 comments

Send it to me next year

The Christmas card sent between two friends since 1956 Eunice Baily was 16 in 1956 when she first gave a Christmas card to her school friend Clare Brazil. More than six decades later, that very same Christmas card is still being sent back and forth between the two women.
posted by Fence at 5:02 AM PST - 10 comments

40 Years Of John Denver And The Muppets

Dec 5 1979 (missed it a bit!), ABC, John Denver And The Muppets: A Christmas Together [50m]
posted by hippybear at 1:50 AM PST - 22 comments

Dems in Disarray™, Alabama-style

The Alabama Democratic Party has long been controlled by Joe Reed (head of the Alabama Democratic Conference), who allied himself with Nancy Worley, the chairperson of the state party. Podcast Reply All's Emmanuel Dzotsi does a three part investigation into what happened after Doug Jones won his Senate seat, reinvigorating the party but disturbing the status quo.
posted by benzenedream at 12:51 AM PST - 14 comments

Understand the struggle / healing spaces

Why people of color need spaces without white people. Organizations who hold PoC only spaces struggle with pushback from White people. A post on why these spaces are crucial. [more inside]
posted by jj's.mama at 12:25 AM PST - 29 comments

December 15

name a concept funnier than "Brecht in LA." I'll wait

"Indeed, at no time, perhaps, was the city’s surreal admixture of improbable light and equally improbable darkness (sunshine and noir, in other words) more startling than during that very time, the thirties and forties, when hundreds, perhaps thousands of Weimar-era German-speaking exiles (Brecht, Theodor Adorno, Alfred Döblin, Fritz Lang, Peter Lorre, brothers Thomas and Heinrich Mann, Arnold Schoenberg and Salka Viertel, among them) fled the killing fields of World War II Europe and found themselves in a city of angels nestled along the cerulean pool of the Pacific." [more inside]
posted by Rich Text at 10:10 PM PST - 9 comments

A Space Age Xmas soundtrack from Esquivel!

"Welcome to my Space Age Bachelor Pad. I'm so glad you could make it. My, you look ravishing tonight. I love the boots. And you? You look so dashing. The cut of that suit is impeccable. Now please, come in and make yourselves at home. You'll find the bar over there. There's a lovely view of Venus tonight. And I'm sure your ears will take you to where the band is playing. " (YouTube playlist) Thus opens Merry Xmas From The Space-Age Bachelor Pad (Discogs), a compilation of music by Juan García Esquivel, and featuring his final recording. New to Esquivel!? Saunter on in! Boing boing! [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:19 PM PST - 7 comments

Invisible Logistics: How home delivery is rearranging the world

"The great trick of online retail has been to get us to do more shopping while thinking less about it – thinking less, in particular, about how our purchases reach our homes...It is as if we have forgotten that a product is an object moving through space, fighting gravity, air resistance and other forces of nature. Companies, though, are only too aware of it. While we choose and buy our purchases with mere inch-wide movements of our thumbs, they are busy rearranging the physical world so that our deliveries pelt towards us in ever-quicker time." How our home delivery habit reshaped the world, by Samanth Subramanian (Guardian longread).
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:23 PM PST - 11 comments

No Gritty, so this list is invalid

Writing for Buzzfeed News, Katie Notopoulos, Julia Reinstein, and Ryan Broderick have identified the top 100 memes of the 2010s and put together 14,000 words elaborating on them. The list within, for easy complaining about.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:57 PM PST - 43 comments

"We are here because we cooperated."

Yes, I'm Feeling Bad About Climate Change. Let's Discuss., Andrew Winston
Despairing about the Climate Crisis? Read This. Laurie Mazur interviews Susanne Moser
posted by the man of twists and turns at 5:00 PM PST - 7 comments

Bundesrepublik Casiotone

YouTube channel Keen On Keys is an (ASMR-worthy) review channel for '80s and '90s electronic toy keyboards. Specimens are introduced, touched up, and capably demonstrated by an unidentified Berlin musician in hands-only videos. The germinal Casio VL-1 gets four of its own, including an in-depth investigation into the origins of "that Casio demo song". Other delightful moments: a tour of VL-1 beats; the presenter gleefully pitch-bending low on their first keyboard (a keytar!). Keen On Keys also have a bandcamp and a soundcloud full of songs made on these instruments.
posted by Chef Flamboyardee at 4:17 PM PST - 10 comments

Anna Karina (1940-2019)

Anna Karina, French New Wave cinema legend dies aged 79. Peter Bradshaw writes that she was an actor of easy charm and grace whose presence radiated from the screen. In a 2016 interview to Film Comment, Karina spoke about about embodying Nana, Jacques Rivette’s La Religieuse, and the eternal fusion of fiction and autobiography in the films of the pioneer who invented her as an actress and reinvented her as a woman. Watch the documentary Anna Karina - Souviens-toi from Arte.
posted by sapagan at 12:05 PM PST - 19 comments

Hockey player reviews strategic maple syrup reserves

The Canadian Internet Registry Authority has got together a set of somewhat Canadian stock images (title, and a play on a meme)
posted by Wordshore at 11:24 AM PST - 28 comments

What was under the plain white walls

In the 1930s, a series of WPA-style murals were painted on hallway walls at the San Francisco Art Institute. Some time later, they were painted over. (Perhaps not too much later, because when recently rediscovered, they had up to 12 layers of wall paint on them.) Eighty years later, the Art Institute is now uncovering the murals. (Meanwhile, elsewhere in San Francisco, another 1930s-era mural will potentially be destroyed.)
posted by beagle at 8:36 AM PST - 19 comments

Want to own a local newspaper in Alaska? Here's your chance...

“The owner, the editor, the reporter, the publisher, the subscription-taker has got to be the same person, who is part of the community, lives there year-round.”
posted by Chairboy at 6:59 AM PST - 8 comments


Can the New Mac Pro Actually Shred Cheese? [iFixit][YouTube] The repair website iFixit decided on Friday to actually test whether new Mac Pro could act as cheese grater. Unfortunately, the product's aluminum casing doesn't perform as well as users might have hoped.
posted by Fizz at 6:46 AM PST - 46 comments

Celebrity Endorsement Primary

538's Endorsement Primary tool is great, but it doesn't have a category for Megan Rapinoe, Ariana Grande, and Michael Chiklis. Luckily, the LA Times and Elle magazine have this beat covered. [more inside]
posted by box at 6:45 AM PST - 5 comments

Peanuts + Classic Rock = A Solid Gold Christmas

The Peanuts Gang Cover Don't Stop Believin' [more inside]
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 5:46 AM PST - 12 comments

Don't trust anyone over 30.

Since the financial crisis, voting in the United Kingdom (2018) (2019) and the United States (2018) has become increasingly polarized by age. Why is the divide so large? And is the divide actually important? Maybe. Maybe not.
posted by durandal at 5:40 AM PST - 63 comments

December 14

Goodbye Baby: RIP Jack Scott

Jack Scott, the "quiet elder statesman of Detroit rock ‘n’ roll", died of a heart attack at the age of 83. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 9:06 PM PST - 5 comments

Around the World in Forty Days

The marriage of Austronesian outrigger designs with modern "foiling" has been smashing sailing records. In the past three decades, times for many unrestricted sailing records have been cut more-or-less in half. [more inside]
posted by clawsoon at 6:21 PM PST - 36 comments

"the nexus of various intersecting social realities of privilege"

In 2014, Patrick Blanchfield took a deep look at the report of the Connecticut Office of the Child Advocate (OCA) on the killing of 20 schoolchildren and 6 adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut: Sandy Hook, “White-on-White Crime,” and How Privilege Kills [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:27 PM PST - 13 comments

Admittedly, the connection to Christmas is pretty thin.

Saturday matinee: Silent Night, Bloody Night (4:3 SD 16:9 HD on YouTube, widescreen on Wikipedia, or enhanced widescreen from came out in 1972 and was a precursor to the slasher films of the late 1970s and 1980s (Horror News), but still in between genres, with an unusual mix of old dark house thriller, small town secret mystery, and ax-murdering mania (Culture Crypt). If this public domain isn't scratching your itch, Daily Dot currently lists another 44 free films on YouTube with brief descriptions so you're not clicking blindly, with guidance on how to find more movies.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:23 PM PST - 9 comments

Obviously a Metaphor For Something

Octopus and eagle square off at Canadian fish farm [SL BBC]
posted by chavenet at 2:43 PM PST - 26 comments

Bisexuals of the Blade

After a wedding photo shared by a guest blew up on Twitter, the brides created their own twitter account to respond to their admirers, answer questions, and post more photos.
posted by mbrubeck at 10:50 AM PST - 33 comments

The Great And Terrible

“ These days, I cannot bring myself to sell my students any kind of American rhetorical goods which claim to be equally available to all of them. I cannot bring myself to tell them about the technicolor future, to say, I see you there, and I see you there, because there is a chance that even if I see it, and I believe in it, someday we’re all going to wake up and I will have betrayed them by dreaming too vividly at the front of the room. ” The Man Behind the Curtain (Electric Lit)
posted by The Whelk at 9:26 AM PST - 13 comments

♞ “Justice in Spades!” ♖

The Seven-Year Saga Of Shovel Knight Is Finally Over [Kotaku] “This week, Yacht Club Games launched Shovel Knight: King of Cards and Shovel Knight: Showdown, the final two entries in what’s become a five-game saga. As part of a now-finished compilation, Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove, they mark the end to an odyssey that started nearly seven years ago. And now, in December of 2019, Shovel Knight is finally complete. The compilation, Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove, contains all four campaigns and the multiplayer mode. It’s over. Done. No more widening the scope, no more adding just a few more levels here and there. “We promised ourselves: Nothing after this,” said Velasco. “We’ve gotta be done, move on to something else.”” [YouTube][Game Trailer] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 6:05 AM PST - 10 comments

Hosting an Orgy?

This 1970s Cookbook Has You Covered (Lizzy Saxe, LitHub).
posted by sapagan at 4:47 AM PST - 35 comments

No one will RTFA

What is the best Adam Sandler movie? This is a ranking of the best Adam Sandler movies, as opposed to Adam Sandler’s best movies — that would imply a universal value, which I reject; this is about relative value. I ranked Sandler’s movies not by which was the best movie (again, whatever that means!) but by which was the best at being an Adam Sandler movie.
posted by Literaryhero at 4:20 AM PST - 63 comments

The Suits of James Bond

The Suits of James Bond is a site created by Matt Spaiser, which aims to be the "ultimate resource for James Bond style and the first catalogue of all of 007’s outfits". Its many articles include (00)7 Rules to Wearing a Suit with a James Bond Mentality; A Guide to English Bespoke Suit Style; Ian Fleming: The Wardrobe Model For James Bond; and What Kind of Underwear Would Bond Wear?. There's also an initial Sartorial Guide to the forthcoming movie No Time to Die. [more inside]
posted by misteraitch at 3:39 AM PST - 14 comments

December 13

Stephen A. Smith Is Never Satisfied

He's a giant of sports media. A self-made man who's overcome tremendous odds to become the biggest star at ESPN. But now that he's reached the top, where does Stephen A. Smith go from here? To find out, Drew Magary attempts to keep up with the take-master himself. [more inside]
posted by ominous_paws at 11:06 PM PST - 12 comments

Who gets remembered? Who gets paid?

Soraya Roberts recounts the complicated history and enduring legacy of the feminist blogosphere (2001-2009). [more inside]
posted by Ouverture at 10:01 PM PST - 14 comments

The Infograhpic Strikes Back - Lightsaber Duels in the Star Wars Saga

"Reuters Graphics has taken a close look at the franchise's iconic weapon..." The data is presented in a unique way - keep scrolling to see lots of neat tidbits. [more inside]
posted by Paladin1138 at 9:17 PM PST - 27 comments

The people united will never be defeated.

El Pueblo Unido was written by Sergio Ortega and Quilapayún as for Salvador Allende's government. The song went on to become an anthem of resistance for Chileans in exile and opressed people the world over (wiki) . Today, 7 weeks into what is being called a new Chilean Awakening, Inti Illimani sang the song in front of half a million people in la Plaza de la Dignidad (ex Plaza Italia) in downtown Santiago. [more inside]
posted by signal at 8:52 PM PST - 4 comments

“If you’re frightened of dying, and you’re holding on...’ll see devils tearing your life away. But if you’ve made your peace, the devils are really angels, freeing you from the earth.“ RIP Danny Aiello, 86.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 4:51 PM PST - 46 comments

'the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken'

Elastic Terrain
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:15 PM PST - 12 comments

Ain't no big deal.

This is Mike Haduck's masonry Youtube channel, and he's gonna show you how he did it. [more inside]
posted by RobotHero at 1:49 PM PST - 5 comments

Dancing chimpanzees?

The first case of spontaneous whole-body entrainment between two chimpanzees could help reconstruct the proto-stages of hman dance [more inside]
posted by Transl3y at 12:18 PM PST - 26 comments

What sounds or musical passages subconsciously trigger memories for you?

When you hear the old WGBH techno-electronica station intro, does your mind immediately start "singing" the Sesame Street theme? When a classic rock radio station plays ELO's "Fire on High" do you recall weekend afternoons watching a CBS Sports Spectacular? Does the whistled version of "The Colonel Bogey March" remind you of The Breakfast Club or the film The Bridge on the River Kwai? Does this trumpet fanfare remind you of ABC's Wide World of Sports and the "agony of defeat"skier Vinko Bogotaj?
posted by Oriole Adams at 12:13 PM PST - 99 comments

The intricate, beautiful, and sometimes humorous temari of Fusako Aizawa

Fusako Aizawa started learning Temari in her 60s, later getting a diploma in the art, then teaching as a volunteer every Saturday. She made hundreds of them, each more intricate than the last, in vivid colours and elaborate geometric designs. Depending on the complexity of each piece, she could spend anywhere from two weeks to three months to complete them. [In April 2009,] On Fusako’s 88th birthday, her family put together an exhibition of her temari balls. [...] Her granddaughter – graphic artist NanaAkua – decided to individually photograph nearly 500 of her temari balls as a special gift to her. NanaAkua posted some photos to Flickr, but they weren't noticed much until 2013, when her grandmother's stunning work went viral (The Guardian). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 11:43 AM PST - 7 comments

Rocket is Nowhere Near so Central as One Would Suppose

Visualizing Gravity's Rainbow by Martin Paul Eve using TextPlot
posted by chavenet at 10:47 AM PST - 16 comments

for grip and balance as it lives in the stalk zone of tall plants

Harvest mice found thriving 15 years after reintroduction efforts [The Guardian]
posted by readinghippo at 10:43 AM PST - 6 comments

Aw, you should see it from out here!

How A Christmas Story Went from Low-Budget Fluke to an American Tradition
posted by Chrysostom at 10:43 AM PST - 22 comments

False Idol

Why the Christian Right Worships Donald Trump. Ex-evangelical journalist Alex Morris writes for Rolling Stone about the merging of American Christian conservatism with the militant white nationalism that animates Trump's base. It's also a deeply personal essay in which she describes her own journey away from that militancy while her family embraces it. (CW: Lots of quotes from anti-LGBT and anti-abortion people about how much they hate those things)
posted by treepour at 10:02 AM PST - 35 comments

Never, Ever, Ever, Ever Sell the Rights

When the Streaming Platform Dies, What Happens to Its Shows? (the demise of Machinima previously)
posted by Etrigan at 9:22 AM PST - 9 comments

Impeaching Racist Mofos is a Good Thing

Novelist, poet, and journalist Michael Harriot posts a twitter thread on the impeachment of Andrew Johnson [threadreader] which shows how dangerous it is to have a racist in the white house and how Lincoln's most serious error may have been his attempt to compromise with racists by selecting Johnson as VP. (n.b., while Johnson was successfully impeached, the Senate failed to convict him)
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 9:14 AM PST - 11 comments

The Age Of The Instagram Face

It's a young face, of course, with poreless skin and plump, high cheekbones. It has catlike eyes and long, cartoonish lashes; it has a small, neat nose and full, lush lips. It looks at you coyly but blankly, as if its owner has taken half a Klonopin and is considering asking you for a private-jet ride to Coachella. [more inside]
posted by storytam at 8:41 AM PST - 23 comments

On the 13th day of Fishmas my true love gave to me...

...Lepomus cyanellus. Three years ago, Notre Dame PhD candidate Katie O'Reilly (@DrKatfish on Twitter) spawned a celebration called #25DaysofFishmas. Now an annual tradition, it celebrates the aquatic diversity of the Great Lakes and points beyond. For invertebrate aficionados there's also a #25DaysofCrustmas.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:35 AM PST - 6 comments

The Power of the Earth

The use of geothermal heating goes back thousands of years, with bathing culture built around the latent energy from the earth. However, the history of the ground source heat pump is far more recent. [more inside]
posted by Lord Chancellor at 7:03 AM PST - 16 comments

“...he had all these followers—all these big businessmen”

“ For many, Modi’s reëlection suggested that he had uncovered a terrible secret at the heart of Indian society: by deploying vicious sectarian rhetoric, the country’s leader could persuade Hindus to give him nearly unchecked power. In the following months, Modi’s government introduced a series of extraordinary initiatives meant to solidify Hindu dominance. The most notable of them, along with revoking the special status of Kashmir, was a measure designed to strip citizenship from as many as two million residents of the state of Assam, many of whom had crossed the border from the Muslim nation of Bangladesh decades before. In September, the government began constructing detention centers for residents who had become illegal overnight.” Blood and Soil in Narendra Modi’s India (New Yorker) Hindu Nationalism with Achin Vanaik (The Dig Radio)
posted by The Whelk at 7:00 AM PST - 12 comments

Electric Bugaloo

Breakin' 1984 [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 5:49 AM PST - 23 comments

It’s a big, black box. █ And it will play video games.

Meet Microsoft's PC-like Xbox Series X [Engadget] “Last night, The Game Awards was a showcase for industry stars and served as an unveiling for Microsoft's next Xbox... box. [...] Previously known as Project Scarlett, the next-generation Xbox resembles a PC tower, and it arrives holidays 2020. Xbox chief Phil Spencer wrote in a blog post that the Series X design allows Microsoft to pack in four times the processing power of Xbox One X "in the most quiet and efficient way." It's said to be no louder than an Xbox One X, helped by a single fan that pushes air through the top. Microsoft says the Xbox Series X can handle 4K visuals at 60 frames per second, and potentially up to 120 fps. The console will also offer hardware-accelerated ray tracing and variable refresh rate, along with 8K capability. It's compatible with software going back to the original Xbox and will work with Xbox One controllers.” [YouTube][Reveal Trailer] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 5:45 AM PST - 57 comments

The Fall of the City

'The city of masterless men will take a master. There will be shouting then: Blood after!' The Fall of the City by Archibald MacLeish is the first American verse play written for radio. The 30-minute radio play was first broadcast April 11, 1937, at 7 p.m. ET over the Columbia Broadcasting System (today CBS) as part of the Columbia Workshop radio series. The cast featured Orson Welles and Burgess Meredith. Music was composed and directed by Bernard Herrmann. It is an allegory on the rise of Fascism
posted by Harry Caul at 4:33 AM PST - 2 comments

How to play

Games have always been a part of human culture. Alone or in groups we play games to amuse ourselves, pass the time and even meet new people. Game designer Holly Gramazio invites you to turn your mind to play whether you're at work, on a train, in a museum, or even drunk. Each article is packed with ideas for games to play, wherever you are. [more inside]
posted by smcg at 4:24 AM PST - 15 comments

The Call is Coming from Inside the House

Refinitiv deployed filter to block Reuters reports as Hong Kong protests raged. Under pressure from the Chinese government, the financial information provider that distributes Reuters news to investors has blocked over 200 stories on the mainland that could paint Beijing in a negative light. The censorship began earlier this year after Refinitiv feared its China operation would be suspended.
Refinitiv and Thomson Reuters remain close: Reuters sells news to Eikon, and Thomson Reuters retains a 45% stake in Refinitiv. Refinitiv is by far Reuters’ largest client, providing nearly half its revenue.
posted by Literaryhero at 1:58 AM PST - 2 comments

I was always working steady / But I never called it art

I was always working steady
But I never called it art
I got my shit together
Meeting Christ and reading Marx
It failed my little fire
But it’s bright the dying spark
Go tell the young messiah
What happens to the heart
posted by growabrain at 12:54 AM PST - 7 comments

December 12

What harm can it do.

Rosa Lyster uses a seemingly innocuous occurence with her mother on Facebook to reflect on the warping power of new media: "There is no sense to be made of it, no logic to be derived, no sophisticated or intelligent interpretation ... There’s just something fundamentally unsound about it, something scary and weird and emblematic of these scary and weird times." The Year in 5.
posted by codacorolla at 9:16 PM PST - 53 comments

“Ernie! You are annoying me!” / “Ladies…”

For Vanity Fair, Sesame Street Characters Do Impressions of Each Other” (Previously they read movie quotes, Elmo described his day, and Big Bird took a lie detector test.)
For The New Yorker, Sesame Street Enters The New Yorker’s Cartoon-Caption Contest”
posted by Going To Maine at 9:02 PM PST - 6 comments

How Reese Witherspoon Took Charge of Her Career and Changed Hollywood

"That message — that you shouldn't dream a little, girls, that you got enough of your pie already — is not OK," she says. And she's done staying quiet about it. So, to little girls everywhere, "when people try to tell you to stay in your lane, don't listen," says Witherspoon, settling into a smile as she repeats herself: "Do not listen." [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 8:23 PM PST - 15 comments

"We're brands...throwing out or incinerating clothes"

"Do you order different sizes of clothing online, knowing you can return the one that doesn't fit? Did you know the ones you return are sometimes sent straight to landfill?"
posted by clawsoon at 8:16 PM PST - 35 comments

RetroArch for the Blind

Video games for the blind are perhaps a contradiction in terms, but this upcoming project hopes to improve the situation.
posted by Alensin at 6:46 PM PST - 4 comments

Herbert died

You probably don't know Herbert Pundik, but he was a keeper of dreams Herbert lived with his fate as a refugee. He made it clear that once one had been forced to flee ones home, normality never returned. But he was determined to work for a better world. In the beginning he fought for Israel, even as a spy. But he learnt to expand his ideals beyond one nation, and also suffered from great losses. [more inside]
posted by mumimor at 4:06 PM PST - 3 comments

"What does Sueñito mean?" "It means Little Dream."

The first trailer for the film adaptation of Lin Manuel Miranda's first Broadway show, In the Heights, is out. [more inside]
posted by the sockening at 3:07 PM PST - 20 comments

No Domain For Old Men

How a feud over a website address led to a bloody shootout: "He slammed the door behind him and braced for impact. Moments later, the intruder kicked through the doorway and grabbed Deyo by the neck. 'Where’s your computer?' he demanded."
posted by Gin and Broadband at 2:17 PM PST - 19 comments

Thousands of "Penis Fish" wash up in Point Reyes

Also known as "fat innkeeper worms," this burrowing creature is found from southern Oregon to Baja but mostly around Monterey. This time, they landed on Drake's Beach.
posted by agatha_magatha at 1:48 PM PST - 42 comments

Whom My Soul Loves

Osnat went back to talk to the dybbuk again... [more inside]
posted by fast ein Maedchen at 12:59 PM PST - 6 comments

Numbers average up but words pile on.

Combining Probability Forecasts: 60% and 60% Is 60%, but Likely and Likely Is Very Likely. "... imagine that you are purchasing a plane ticket for your next vacation and you check two websites, Kayak and Hopper, to see if they predict any future price changes. If both websites say that there is a 60% chance that prices will increase, you would typically average the two and also believe there is a 60% chance. However, if both sites say that it is “likely” that prices will increase, you would act as if you are “counting” each prediction as a positive signal, becoming more confident in your prediction and believing that a price increase is “very likely.” " Also: Verbal probabilities: Very likely to be somewhat more confusing than numbers.
posted by storybored at 12:00 PM PST - 14 comments

where the record is unclear about the number of eels due

English Eel-Rents: 10th-17th Centuries and So you're a medieval landlord, collecting property rent from your peasants in eels (Surprised Eel Historian on Twitter)
posted by readinghippo at 10:40 AM PST - 27 comments

As members of Christ’s body, we are called to cancel debts.

This North Carolina Church Is Doing Something Radical: Paying Off People’s Debts. Anne Helen Petersen writes: On Wednesday night at Jubilee Baptist Church in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, a group sits around the same sort of rickety conference table you’d find in churches all over the town, the state, the country. In the cabinets behind them, there are old Baptist tracts and stacks of New Testaments with covers declaring GOOD NEWS AMERICA, GOD LOVES YOU. But no one’s reading Galatians tonight. They’re reading Karl Marx. [more inside]
posted by Cash4Lead at 10:04 AM PST - 32 comments

No ancient emperor ever lived so well

We talk about energy production and consumption in terms of watt-hours, joules, horsepower and calories. But what if we talked about it in terms of people? What if we followed Buckminster Fuller's framing of "energy slaves?"
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:02 AM PST - 32 comments

Harbinger households: neighborhoods that reliably buy products that fail

In The Surprising Breadth of Harbingers of Failure (Sci-Hub mirror), a trio of economists and business-school profs build on a 2015 Journal of Marketing Research paper that claimed that some households' purchasing preferences are a reliable indicator of which products will fail -- that is, if households in a certain ZIP code like a product, it will probably not succeed. The original paper calls these "harbinger households."
posted by Etrigan at 8:50 AM PST - 60 comments

44,000-Year-Old Indonesian Cave Painting Is Rewriting The History Of Art

In the 1950s, scientists evaluated primitive rock art discovered in caves on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia (Google maps), but assumed it younger than 10,000 years old because they thought older paintings could not survive in a tropical climate. Then, as reported in 2014, more recent analysis of the pictures by an Australian-Indonesian team has stunned researchers by dating one hand marking to at least 39,900 years old (The Guardian; paywalled article in Nature), placing it close to, if not pre-dating, art from the Chauvet Cave in France (Archeologie.Culture.Fr) that is dated as old as 37,000 years (PNAS). In 2017, the scientists in Indonesia found a massive hunting scene, stretching across about 16 feet of a cave wall. And after testing it, they say it's the oldest known figurative art attributed to early modern humans (NPR). They published their findings in the journal Nature (paywalled).
posted by filthy light thief at 8:35 AM PST - 22 comments

Who will Winalot today? A European country votes.

Today, the bit of Europe between France and Éire takes walkies to vote in a General Election. There are pictures of large queues and important visitors and surprise visitors at polling stations. Final campaigning has occurred. How the results will come in, and live updates from the Guardian and BBC online coverage. Wikipedia page on the election. For political balance (previous).
posted by Wordshore at 7:29 AM PST - 349 comments

unexpectedly confronted with circumstances

A west Clare man fled naked across the seaside resort of Kilkee to his granny’s house after being found in bed with another man’s fiancée. [more inside]
posted by roolya_boolya at 5:37 AM PST - 21 comments

“I just like talking, writing about, and playing games,”

The Game Awards: How Geoff Keighley helped create The Oscars for gaming [The Washington Post] “ In 2014, Keighley created The Game Awards, which the New York Times once called the “Oscars of gaming.” But that undercuts Keighley’s ambition. He wants The Game Awards to be the best awards show on the planet. [...] “As a 14-year-old kid, sitting next to [The Sims creator] Will Wright and have him talk about science and life, I felt like I was meeting Albert Einstein," Keighley said. "It’s always driven me. How do we recognize these people?” The Game Awards were borne out of this question, and his view that prior awards shows seemed to prioritize marketing product over the games’ creators. [...] The entire show is only available online, streamed on a dozen platforms, including Twitch, YouTube, Twitter and Steam, without any assistance from cable networks.” [The Game Awards Nominees] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 5:20 AM PST - 31 comments

On the troubling trail of psychiatry’s pseudopatients stunt

From 1969 to 1972, an extraordinary experiment played out in 12 psychiatric institutions across 5 US states. Eight healthy people — including David Rosenhan, a social psychologist at Stanford University in California, who ran the experiment — convinced psychiatrists that they needed to be committed to mental hospitals. The ensuing paper, published in Science in 1973 (free access), opens with the words: “If sanity and insanity exist, how shall we know them?” It claimed that the psychiatric establishment was unable to distinguish between the two. Rosenhan’s study had far-reaching and much-needed effects on psychiatric care in the United States and elsewhere. By the 1980s, most psychology textbooks were quoting it. However, Susannah Cahalan’s investigation of the social-psychology experiment in her book The Great Pretender finds inconsistencies that appear to indicate it was all an unelaborate fraud.
posted by Blasdelb at 4:40 AM PST - 32 comments

December 11

Line cooks of the world, unite!

Over at Eater, Jaya Saxena writes about the growing push for unionizing kitchen workers. It’s not only about the stagnant low wages, it’s about creating a safer work environment, where the dangers are taken seriously.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:45 PM PST - 13 comments

The Ballad of Kathy Scruggs

The Ballad of Kathy Scruggs The latest Clint Eastwood movie, "Richard Jewell," depicts the events surrounding the Centennial Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta in 1996, and the scrutiny of Jewell, who was initially hailed as a hero but then became the prime suspect. The movie is said to imply that Kathy Scruggs, the real-life journalist who broke the story of the FBI investigation into Jewell, slept with her source. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution denies this and has asked for a disclaimer to be added to the movie. Olivia Wilde, who portrays Scruggs, has defended the depiction.
posted by girlmightlive at 8:42 PM PST - 57 comments

Marilyn Manson is a kind of love, actually

Are you wishing for a festive yet disturbingly dystopian Christmas tune? Look no further. Musical mashup master Bill McClintock (previously) has just released a mashup of Marilyn and Mariah Carey singing "All I Want For Christmas Is The Beautiful People" (SLYT, NSFW: the usual provocative Marilyn Manson imagery and lyrics)
posted by zaixfeep at 5:01 PM PST - 17 comments

"Vertical, expansive, ecologically minded, expensive ... and surveilled"

Anna Wiener, who files the New Yorker's "Letters from Silicon Valley" explores the five and a half acre rooftop park developed in the shadow of Salesforce Tower, Salesforce park, writing about the juxtaposition of the plants called "dinosaur food" and the tech companies ringing the park. [more inside]
posted by sobell at 4:26 PM PST - 16 comments

Icebound: The climate-change secrets of 19th century ship's logs

An eccentric group of citizen-scientists called Old Weather has transcribed millions of observations from long-forgotten logbooks of ships, many from the great era of Arctic exploration. As the polar regions grow ever warmer, the volunteers have amassed a rich repository of climate data in a 21st century rescue mission.
posted by ShooBoo at 2:58 PM PST - 11 comments

We got here yesterday, we're here now, and I can't wait to leave tomorra

Groundbreaking NY Poet and performer John Giorno -- creator of Dial-A-Poem (call now: +1-641-793-8122!) and Giorno Poetry Systems, landlord to Wm. S. Burroughs, star of Andy Warhol's Sleep -- died in October, aged 82. Thanx for Nothing. [more inside]
posted by dobbs at 12:39 PM PST - 10 comments

Sea monsters ravage the Pacific at the end of WWII

May 1945: An enormous octopus is sighted several times outside of Puerto Vallarta, given the nickname "El Pulpo." American attention is mostly focused on the end of the war in Europe
posted by gottabefunky at 12:09 PM PST - 33 comments

These Musicians Were 'Canceled,' But People Kept Listening

Rich Juzwiak Writes for Jezebel: Looking at the raw data of streaming music is enough to expose the conceptual fallacy of “cancel culture.” To subscribe to the notion that the public readily exerts its power to defrock a celebrity is to believe in a black-and-white binary, the absolute polarity of good and bad, the neat societal organization of punished and free. The truth is messier. Those who believe in and decry cancel culture also miss a crucial point: In order to enact its power, the public must have the will to do so.
posted by SpiffyRob at 12:05 PM PST - 21 comments

Despite its mediocre reputation in New York's food world

The Complicated, Problematic Influence of TripAdvisor Restaurant Reviews [Eater New York]
posted by readinghippo at 10:25 AM PST - 28 comments

"...they didn’t stop to think if they should."

Every Movie of the 2010s, Ranked.
"Our critics pored over 5,279 of the decade’s films. Here’s the best, worst, and mehst." [David Edelstein, Alison Willmore, Bilge Ebiri, and Angelica Jade Bastién—Vulture] [more inside]
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:17 AM PST - 64 comments

Dalio & Diddy

Diddy & His Mentor Ray Dalio | Inside a Meeting [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 9:50 AM PST - 1 comment

Mind the Gap

The story of Margaret McCollum and Oswald Lawrence, and of loss and hope, and the power of a voice. Via John Bull, who says it better than I possibly could.
posted by Gilgongo at 9:31 AM PST - 6 comments

War Hoover

The Making Of A Submarine Hunting S-3 Viking Crewman - "This is what it took to become a sub hunter tasked with protecting America's carrier battle groups at the twilight of the Cold War." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:28 AM PST - 16 comments

No babies born in Britain in 2016 were named Nigel.

British motorways, Korean dog clones, and harbingers of failure: 52 Things I Learned in 2019 from Tom Whitwell
posted by everybody had matching towels at 9:04 AM PST - 27 comments

the title is a misdirect

Bad Gays is a podcast series about bad gay men in history... mostly. ("Bad" and "gay" can both be slippery terms when discussing historical figures, as the hosts are often quick to point out.) With episodes ranging from Ernst Röhm to J. Edgar Hoover to Fredrick the Great, hosts Huw Lemmey and Ben Miller argue that telling the story of why complicated figures do terrible things can allow us to host better conversations about what it means to be gay--and good.
posted by sciatrix at 8:39 AM PST - 11 comments

Inside the Indy 500 of Lawnmower Races

Sure, you can use a riding lawnmower to cut grass. But you can also slap on a helmet, put together a pit crew and race. Yes, lawnmower racing is a thing, and it is extraordinary. Think NASCAR or Formula 1—just a bit slower. In England, the British Lawn Mower Racing Association oversees the sport. Great Big Story followed the members of the Who’s Racing team as they compete in a grueling 12-hour endurance race in Five Oaks, England. Get ready to witness the Greatest Show on Turf. via
posted by Etrigan at 8:33 AM PST - 5 comments

The zebroid, a new beast bred by Uncle Sam, after James Ewart

In 1904, Ethopia's Emperor Menelik II (Wikipedia) presented two monkeys, two ostriches, one zebra, and one lioness to President Theodore Roosevelt (New York Times archive). The zebra, later named Dan, was paired with a number of female horses, in the goal of making a more docile saddle and pack animal that could also survive in Africa. Dan would have none of it, and stopped an ill-fated government breeding program in its tracks (Smithsonian Magazine). But this wasn't the only attempt to make a zebroid (Wikipedia). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 8:25 AM PST - 4 comments

It Must Have Been Love: Farewell, Marie Fredriksson

The voice of Roxette, Frediksson died on the 9th of December. Roxette sold more than 75 million albums and were the best-selling Swedish act after ABBA. Not bad for a group who only broke out internationally after an American exchange artist passed on their cassette to a radio station. [more inside]
posted by Gin and Broadband at 8:08 AM PST - 26 comments

Get Sick, Go To Jail

“ In jurisdictions with lax laws and willing judges, jail is the logical endpoint of a system that has automated the steps from high bills to debt to court, and that has given collectors power that is often unchecked. I spent several weeks this summer in Coffeyville, reviewing court files, talking to dozens of patients and interviewing those who had sued them. Though the district does not track how many of these cases end in arrest, I found more than 30 warrants issued against medical debt defendants. At least 11 people were jailed in the past year alone.” Welcome to Coffeyville, Kansas, where the judge has no law degree, debt collectors get a cut of the bail, and Americans are watching their lives — and liberty — disappear in the pursuit of medical debt collection. (ProPublica)
posted by The Whelk at 6:24 AM PST - 38 comments

How Much Of (The New Yorker’s View Of) The Decade Do You Remember?

Culturally speaking, the twenty-tens were an age of abundance—of proliferating streaming services and “peak TV,” of Twitter and Instagram, YouTube and TikTok. And it wasn’t just new media: books are as abundant as ever, the supposed death of print be damned. All of this may test our cultural recall: How can we make sense of an era that we struggle even to remember? Here’s an actual test to get you started.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:26 AM PST - 84 comments

December 10

"There's something changing in these winds"

Kehinde Wiley's Rumors of War unveiled in Richmond [more inside]
posted by peeedro at 10:33 PM PST - 14 comments

“Almost everyone is gone now. Maybe at last it will be my turn next.”

35 years later, the Bhopal disaster continues to destroy lives: “It would be better if there was another gas leak which could kill us all and put us all out of this misery,” said Omwati Yadav, 67, who can see the Union Carbide factory from the roof of her tiny one-room stone house, painted peppermint green with orange doors. Her body shaking with sobs, she cries out: “Thirty five years we have suffered through this, please just let it end. This is not life, this is not death, we are in the terrible place in between.” [Photos] [more inside]
posted by Ouverture at 5:54 PM PST - 15 comments

The Year of “They”

The nonbinary pronoun “they” has been named Merriam-Webster's 2019 word of the year. [more inside]
posted by Kadin2048 at 3:07 PM PST - 72 comments

I Want To Die, But I Want To Eat Tteokbokki

But in South Korea, a generation of frustrated young people is reclaiming the idea of frivolous expenses—from cab rides to expensive sushi—as a psychological survival tool dubbed shibal biyong. Loosely translated to “fuck-it expense,” the term is a compound noun combining shibal (a swearword for frustration) and biyong (expense). [more inside]
posted by storytam at 1:14 PM PST - 36 comments

Antiquity is the unknown, unanticipated galaxy.

Out the window, I watch a white landscape that turns pale green, dark green, yellow and red, brown under bare branches, until snow falls again. "However alert we are, however much we think we know what will happen, antiquity remains an unknown, unanticipated galaxy. It is alien, and old people are a separate form of life. They have green skin, with two heads that sprout antennae. They can be pleasant, they can be annoying—in the supermarket, these old ladies won’t get out of my way—but most important they are permanently other. " Donald Hall, the late poet laureate's meditation on aging. [more inside]
posted by storybored at 11:56 AM PST - 2 comments


The great Christmas tree debate: Are real or fake firs better for the environment? [The Independent] “For many of us, the first shivers of that festive feeling come as we meander through the pines and firs at the local Christmas tree stall. Yet, while we become evermore conscious of the environmental impact of our spending, the question of whether artificial or real Christmas trees have a lower carbon footprint has become top of the eco-friendly Yuletide agenda. Do we opt for a lifelong plastic tree we can dust off and reuse every year, or do we embrace the urge for that real Christmas tree smell, buying one freshly felled and dumping it in a landfill come January? The obvious answer may be to shirk buying any tree at all – but bah humbug!” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 11:21 AM PST - 136 comments

Modesty is for them. You’re in a better space now.

Welcome to your 40s, Kelsey. Welcome to not giving a s**t at the gym. (NSFW for language and pixelated nudity.) The Baroness von Sketch Show tackles that magic moment where you hit your 40s and stop caring so much about what others think in the gym locker room. Also: Perimenopause and what would happen if women ran the world. The subversive appeal of Baroness von Sketch, feminist-and-queer-friendly comedy by four Canadian women in their 40s.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:36 AM PST - 43 comments

“when you ... take a 50,000 ft view of it, it kind of seems inefficient"

Buying from Amazon, or Target, or Wal-Mart online? Your packages may pass through the small town of Roundup, Montana on a circuitous journey from warehouse to prep center to warehouse to prep center to your home [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:26 AM PST - 12 comments

The 2020 Olympics: One Major Loser Announced

After the scandal that came out in the aftermath of the Sochi Winter Games, where it was revealed that the Russian anti-doping agency had, under orders from the Russian government, engaged in egregious tampering of anti-doping testing, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had been deliberating on how to properly sanction Russia. Today, they announced their decision - for the next four years, including the next Summer and Winter Games and the next World Cup, Russia will be banned from competing in all major sporting competitions. (SLBBC) [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 8:14 AM PST - 42 comments

14 feared dead in New Zealand volcano eruption

Search and recovery operations are ongoing after a volcanic eruption on White Island (also known as Whakaari) in New Zealand. Every burn unit in the country is at capacity treating the victims, who included tourists and guides visiting the normally uninhabited island. Authorities announced, then walked back, a criminal investigation.
posted by Etrigan at 7:45 AM PST - 36 comments

"Designing something just powerful enough is an art."

Susan D'Agostino recently interviewd Barbara Liskov, looking back at her work as a computer scientist with a mathematics background, working in the late 1960s when computing power had outpaced the abilities of programmers. Her response was data abstraction (Medium), as used in the CLU programming language (Wikipedia) that she and her students at MIT developed between 1974 and 1975, when AI was in its infancy. The Architect of Modern Algorithms. Barbara Liskov pioneered the modern approach to writing code. She warns that the challenges facing computer science today can’t be overcome with good design alone. (Quanta Magazine) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 7:15 AM PST - 11 comments

“You want the true version?” he joked. “I have much better versions.”

He smiles as he shows it to me. “At that time it was very easy to lie, because the Internet was not invented.” So that first formal communication to Nintendo was a lie? “Yeah,” he laughs, “of course.”
The Lie That Helped Build Nintendo by Joe Skrebels
posted by juv3nal at 2:11 AM PST - 22 comments

Visualizing Moore’s Law

In 1965, [Gordon] Moore wrote that the number of components in a dense integrated circuit (i.e., transistors, resistors, diodes, or capacitors) had been doubling with every year of research, and he predicted that this would continue for another decade. Later on in 1975, he revised his prediction to the doubling occurring every two years. Today’s animation comes to us from DataGrapha, and it compares the predictions of Moore’s Law with data from actual computer chip innovations occurring between 1971 to 2019. Visualizing Moore’s Law in Action (1971-2019) [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 1:47 AM PST - 37 comments

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 - 112 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 - 7 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 - 18 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 - 58 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 - 56 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 - 20 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 - 4 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 - 29 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 - 3 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 - 2 comments

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 - 53 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 - 13 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 - 66 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 - 15 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 - 29 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 - 72 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 - 53 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 - 50 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 - 6 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 - 70 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 - 11 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 - 106 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 - 29 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 - 89 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 - 52 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 - 43 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 - 64 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 - 18 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 - 25 comments

My So-Karen Life

On Karens By Sarah Miller [NYT]
posted by latkes at 12:45 PM PST - 72 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 - 57 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 - 44 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 - 12 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 - 16 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 - 138 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 - 64 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 - 21 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 - 69 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 - 26 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 - 35 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 - 81 comments

The Deep Sea

Scroll down... Keep scrolling. By Neal Agarwal. More here.
posted by motty at 2:32 PM PST - 69 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 - 100 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 - 27 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 - 74 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 - 17 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 - 44 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 - 65 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 - 30 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 - 136 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 - 41 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 - 43 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

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

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 - 67 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 - 68 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 - 40 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 - 71 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 - 62 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 - 18 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 - 18 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 - 30 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 - 91 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 - 53 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 - 31 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 - 13 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