December 2020 Archives

December 31

I'm so happy that it's over now. The pain is gone.

Many Bothans died to let us learn that the best way to say farewell to this year 2020 is to watch the "I'm Han Solo" dance from Kinect Star Wars. [SLYT]
posted by J.K. Seazer at 10:36 PM PST - 22 comments

No one would have believed, in the last month of 2020

An interesting signal from space. Astronomers working at the Parkes Observatory detected a narrow radio emission (982 MHz) coming from the direction of the Proxima Centauri system. [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 4:41 PM PST - 166 comments


"What a year it’s been! From a question-asking parrot to how we could all have ended up answering the telephone, here are Haggard Hawks’ Top 30 tweets of 2020" (SingleThreadLanguageTwitter). A small bit of wordy fun for the end of 2020. May your 2021 bring respair!
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:19 PM PST - 14 comments

Got more soul than a sock with a hole

The parents of Daniel Dumile, better known as MF Doom, announced today that he passed away on October 31 of this year. [more inside]
posted by nushustu at 2:10 PM PST - 95 comments

5, 4, 3, 2

2020 final boss. Exhale. [more inside]
posted by aniola at 11:42 AM PST - 11 comments

In the run-up to the Georgia run-off election for the Senate, one man has stepped forward as a self-proclaimed "pattern recognition expert", claiming to be on "approximately about 12 billion devices globally", and erstwhile "full-blown treasure hunter" (dig it--the Ark of the Covenant is on Oak Island!), and most notoriously, the inventor of the :CueCat. Brace yourselves, America, here comes Jovan Hutton Pulitzer--again. [more inside]
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:29 AM PST - 37 comments

Answers you may not want to know the answer to

"About 2 degrees Celsius of our body heat comes from the metabolism of microorganisms helping us digest our food." @baym - Michael Baym asks "What something that’s commonly known in your field but would probably make people outside your field uncomfortable to know?"
posted by Mitheral at 8:25 AM PST - 74 comments

NYE Sydney - #Party at Yours

Due to COViD, Sydney stayed home and watched the fireworks on TV. Shorter duration this year, but glorious as ever.
posted by valetta at 6:17 AM PST - 4 comments


PunHub "Bringing you HD original puns from hot amateurs." (also on Facebook, Instagram).
posted by misteraitch at 1:54 AM PST - 41 comments

December 30

Careful who your friends are

Musician Lubalin turns random internet drama into songs. Part 1 and Part 2.... and more seriously.
posted by Toddles at 10:12 PM PST - 12 comments

Let's take a look at the design of the bra and the limits it imposes.

"As the only person in North America with a master's degree in lingerie design, I've spent a lot of time studying bras." - Laura Tempesta gives a TEDx talk about bra design and fit (YouTube). Also in this post: why are bralettes so popular? [more inside]
posted by Emmy Rae at 6:18 PM PST - 34 comments

Why Did This Crazy Kitplane Kill So Many Pilots?

The tiny plane was called the BD-5 Micro. More than 3,000 people—many of them, like me, with imaginations fired but zero experience building airplanes—eventually purchased BD-5 kits. A handful of factory prototype BD-5s made test flights, triggering paroxysms of excitement among us kit-buyers. But plagued by the lack of a reliable engine and reckless financial mismanagement, Bede never delivered a single complete BD-5 kit.
posted by ShooBoo at 4:55 PM PST - 71 comments

Am Ontario Politician Takes a Vacation During COVID

But he made these plans months ago! [more inside]
posted by juiceCake at 1:13 PM PST - 82 comments

Rest In Peace, Mary Ann

Dawn Wells, Mary Ann on 'Gilligan's Island,' dies of Covid-19 complications at 82.
posted by darkstar at 12:20 PM PST - 83 comments

The Dogs of 2020

(SLTwitter) Our friends at Dog Rates have released their 2020 compilation video. Don't know about your climate, but it got really dusty in here while viewing.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 10:38 AM PST - 37 comments

Argentina has legalized abortion

Argentina on Wednesday became the largest nation in Latin America to legalize abortion, a landmark vote in a conservative region. The high-stakes vote in the Senate gripped the nation into the early morning, and the measure’s approval — by a wider-than-expected tally of 38 to 29, with one abstention — came after 12 hours of often dramatic debate, exposing the tensions between the long-dominant Roman Catholic Church, whose influence is waning, and a growing feminist movement. [more inside]
posted by stillmoving at 7:12 AM PST - 15 comments

The Year That Was and Wasn't

To see 2020 out, the Morning News asked: what was the most important thing to happen in 2020? And what was the least important? [more inside]
posted by Gin and Broadband at 4:15 AM PST - 19 comments

December 29

Dave Barry’s Year in Review: 2020 was a year of nonstop awfulness

We’re trying to think of something nice to say about 2020. OK, here goes: Nobody got killed by the murder hornets. As far as we know. That’s pretty much it. In the past, writing these annual reviews, we have said harsh things about previous years. We owe those years an apology. Compared to 2020, all previous years, even the Disco Era, were the golden age of human existence.
posted by dancestoblue at 11:41 PM PST - 125 comments

Pexachu VS Godzilla

MootroidXProductions makes stop motion animations with toys and lego. Pexachu VS Godzilla.
posted by adept256 at 9:57 PM PST - 10 comments

a year of pond

One year of animals walking across a beaver dam in northern Minnesota.
posted by ChuraChura at 6:13 PM PST - 38 comments

"They dance now!?" "They dance now..."

The Boston Dynamics parade of horrors continues...
posted by Krazor at 12:21 PM PST - 165 comments

Bernie will be the Dem nominee, the GOP will retake the House

Everything we know remains wrong. Politico's Worst Predictions of 2020 is always an infuriatingly amusing read -- this year more so than ever.

Scott Adams, Gianno Caldwell, James Carville, Mick Mulvaney, Paul Begala, Richard Epstein, Maxine Waters, Fortune Magazine, Jesse Watters, Nancy Pelosi, Hugh Hewitt, BD Holly, Mike Pence, Elon Musk, Karl Rove, Adam Parkhomenko, Kayleigh McEnany, Jeanne Pirro, Rachel Maddow, Ted Cruz, Greg Locke, Angus King, Dr. Irwin Redlener, Bernie Sanders, Helmut Norpoth, Amy Siskind, Kristin B. Tate, Carl Beijer, Brad Parscale, Scott Walker, and of course, Donald f***ing Trump -- y'all need to retire your crystal balls.
posted by philip-random at 9:18 AM PST - 84 comments

Totinos Fortnite Training Room

Wherein videogamedunkey introduces us to the 100 Thieves Cash App Compound. Short SLYT (3:22), but hoo boy is there a lot to unpack here. Some gold in the top comments.
posted by jklaiho at 2:49 AM PST - 57 comments

December 28

The Hall of Portraits from the History of Machines

Currently on display at the VisArts gallery in Rockville, MD, is San Francisco artist Sue Johnson's satyrical take on 1950's advertising, "The Hall of Portraits from the History of Machines". In it, she collages the objectified women and the items they were used to sell as a single object, for example, a woman who’s hips and torso have been replaced by a blender. [more inside]
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 5:47 PM PST - 10 comments

The Plague Year

The mistakes and the struggles behind America’s coronavirus tragedy. [SLNewYorker]
posted by Ahmad Khani at 5:42 PM PST - 90 comments

This is actually happening

Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical is actually happening as a show. "Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical will stream on Friday at 7 p.m. ET for 72 hours." [more inside]
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:09 PM PST - 9 comments

Not so ordinary vanilla

The high price of vanilla: a tale of botanical mystery, colonialism, slavery, food trends, and rank capitalism.
posted by blue shadows at 1:38 PM PST - 26 comments

Throat Notes

Felix Colgrave, creator of Double King (previously) and other interesting cartoons, returns with Throat Notes, a charming and bizarre story about frogs and frog sounds.
posted by JHarris at 12:21 PM PST - 13 comments

What the Hole Is Going On?

The very real, totally bizarre bucatini shortage of 2020.
posted by rewil at 11:32 AM PST - 122 comments

CD Projekt Ded

Not content with the bug-ridden release of Cyberpunk 2077 (previously) that resulted in Sony pulling the game from the PlayStation Store, CD Projekt Red decided to pull Taiwanese horror game Devotion (previously) from its own GOG store. Internally, staff are… unhappy. Bonus self-own by defensive fan.
posted by adrianhon at 11:16 AM PST - 45 comments

The Big Bang

The Four Black Deaths , by Monica H. Green, a historian of medicine and global health, proposes a new interpretation of the Black Death based on DNA evidence. "Together, the documentary and genetic records support the idea that there were four Black Deaths: four explosive proliferations of Yersinia pestis into new environments." The article is available on open access until 31 December, and has already been stirring up some excitement on Medieval Twitter. [more inside]
posted by verstegan at 10:20 AM PST - 23 comments

A Dark Day for Bluegrass

Master bluegrass picker Tony Rice dies aged 69 [Grauniad] [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 9:56 AM PST - 22 comments

Wild Scotland

Videographers Kim and Del Hogg, document the country they live in: a month of camping in Wild Scotland (background) and a winter trip to some bothies (background). Their emphasis is on evoking the experience through images, captured sound and music - but they do introduce themselves at the end of each video. [more inside]
posted by rongorongo at 4:13 AM PST - 5 comments

NSFW: Artists, vaginas, and tampons, oh my

It's a holiday art mashup, including a brief history of hairless vulvas in art. (CW for nudes both hairy and hairless.) The dream of the fisherman’s wife (1814) by Hokusai is a famous example of this, showing a carefully detailed portrayal of the main subject’s pubic hair. This is far from the only example, though, and looking at works from this era is extremely refreshing after the insidious hairlessness of almost all of art history. Not only did these images have pubic hair, but they were enjoyed by people from all classes and by no means relegated to the margins. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 3:24 AM PST - 16 comments

December 27

Messiah with a new Handle

Messiah/Complex..... is a "daring new interpretation of Handel’s Messiah, a truly cross-Canada performance — in Arabic, Dene, English, French, Inuktitut, and Southern Tutchone, and accompanied by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra." Streaming free from now until Jan. 7th. (Trailer). In collaboration with Against The Grain Theatre.
posted by storybored at 7:05 PM PST - 3 comments

The Winterqueen's Gambit

That Netflix Show may have created a bit of a chess craze in 2020, but back in the fall of 1995 four young chess enthusiasts toured the country, playing the game against thousands of opponents night after night, relaxing between moves by playing some music. After winning the first game, the young men, Jonathon, Michael, Page and Ernest, resigned after losing their queen during the second game at Madison Square Garden on New Years Eve. Yesterday, nearly 25 years after that crushing defeat, in a video featuring noted chess historian Dale Rook, ChD, and a chess playing cat, the four now middle-aged men have demanded a rematch, to be played on-line this New Year's Eve. [more inside]
posted by bondcliff at 7:01 PM PST - 13 comments

Genres keep us in our boxes

Bartees Strange's debut LP Live Forever is a wildly omnivorous cross-genre blend of indie rock, hip hop, R&B and folk music. It was released in October 2020, seven months after his EP Say Goodbye To Pretty Boy, which featured five covers of songs by indie rock group The National. [more inside]
posted by valrus at 5:55 PM PST - 5 comments

"I was full of appreciation for all that I had seen."

Barry Lopez, author and story-teller, has passed away at the age of 75. (NYT, WP, NPR, ADN) Best know for his 1986 book Arctic Dreams detailing five years spent as a biologist in the Arctic, he wrote widely about environmental issues and travel, in addition to fictional works. [more inside]
posted by kmkrebs at 4:12 PM PST - 19 comments

Giving 2020 the sendoff it deserves

2020 could not have been worse. So, let's give it the send-off it deserves. #EFF2020: A Holiday Campaign (NSFW, F-bombs galore (but are you really at work?)) to benefit The Mental Health Coalition. #EFF2020.
posted by zardoz at 2:40 PM PST - 25 comments

"By the blade of Knights, mankind was given hope."

As part of the celebration of the 15th anniversary of the franchise and in recognition of the growing worldwide popularity of tokusatsu shows, the creators of GARO are releasing a remastered version of the original 2005 series with English subtitles on Youtube, with the first two episodes available currently. [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 2:10 PM PST - 1 comment

New Kanji on the Block

Highlights of Japan’s new Kanji of the Year include ingenious neologisms for social distance, laptop, web conference (incorporating a “Z” for Zoom), and sign language, presented by Eileen Cheng-yin Chow. Contest website.
posted by adrianhon at 10:12 AM PST - 20 comments

Darth by Darthwest

Episode I. Episode II. Cary Grant as Roger Thornhill in a galaxy far, far away.
posted by BungaDunga at 9:24 AM PST - 14 comments

May my wrongs create No trouble, no trouble in thy breast

Dido's Lament (slyt) - Annie Lennox and The London City Voices perform a version of When I am Laid in Earth, from Henry Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, in support of Greenpeace.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 8:03 AM PST - 7 comments

Chicken? Ok. Duck? Sounds good. Seahorse? Maybe not.

The Thermopolium of Regio V, a Roman-era fast-food stall, has been fully excavated at Pompeii and its well preserved frescoes are amazing.
posted by Mitheral at 7:56 AM PST - 29 comments

December 26

[secret found jingle]

It's Zelda Day 2020! Here's some video links on various things about Legend of Zelda games: [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 3:07 PM PST - 27 comments

A colorful life, summed up in a punchline

Swaggering Jewish Gangster Mayor Hennadiy Kernes, Reluctant Savior of Kharkiv [Ukraine] Is Felled by COVID. "Known for his weightlifting and trash-talking, the gangster mayor was an intense and canny political survivor who had found himself starting out on the wrong side of two Ukrainian political revolutions, both of which he somehow managed to survive politically. A diminutive, physically brave wise-guy hoodlum, he enjoyed posting pictures of his jacked up pecs on Instagram." He owned 27 dogs and was the survivor of an earlier assassination attempt by a sniper.
posted by Kabanos at 2:03 PM PST - 11 comments

"But this infrastructure attack, that's more abstract...more dangerous."

A Christmas Day bombing in downtown Nashville has damaged historic buildings, injured 3, and caused ongoing telecommunications issues. We still don't know who did it or why. [more inside]
posted by joannemerriam at 11:29 AM PST - 194 comments

The Fall of Caliphate

The New York Times has admitted serious editorial failings over its award-winning podcast series Caliphate and reassigned reporter Rukmini Callimachi. In September, the central character of the story, Shehroze Chaudhry, was charged by Canadian police with perpetrating a terrorist hoax, saying his account was entirely fabricated. With other shows in the broader true crime genre accused of plagiarism and sourcing, perhaps the podcasting gold rush requires extra scrutiny
posted by adrianhon at 10:10 AM PST - 29 comments

Our own Coldchef

'Humans need the ritual of saying goodbye' : the Covid life of a small-town funeral director Being a funeral home director in Zachary, Louisiana, means sometimes your neighbor calls when they see cars in the parking lot, to ask: “Who died?”
posted by infini at 5:27 AM PST - 34 comments

December 25

Bill Murray Admits a Painting Saved His Life

In which Bill Murray describes the aftermath of his disastrous first acting audition, which found him despondently wandering the streets of Chicago and finally at the Chicago Art Institute. Here he describes what he saw to reporters at a London Press conference in answer to the question, "What do you think the world would be like without art in it? (from 2014, via YouTube) [more inside]
posted by Glinn at 3:27 PM PST - 41 comments

Up On The House (Music) top, click click click…

Finn is a Manchester DJ and producer who specializes in party sounds. You might know him for the track “Sometimes The Going Gets A Little Tough” from two years ago.
India Jordan is a London DJ and producer who specializes in party sounds. You might know them for the track “For You” and the associated album from this year.
Last year, they put out Joy To The World, a mix of “underground dance records that generate a festive feeling.” This year, they’re back with Joy II The World: “70 minutes of underground dance records - some naughty, some nice - to inspire joy and goodwill to all. Merry bloody Christmas!”
posted by Going To Maine at 3:10 PM PST - 1 comment

Snowball fight, 1897: 52 seconds of joyful carnage

A viral clip of old-timey French people pelting one another with snowballs perfectly distills our current mayhem.
posted by blue shadows at 2:04 PM PST - 27 comments

2020: A Year Full of Amazing AI papers- A Review

A curated list of the latest breakthroughs in AI by release date with a clear video explanation, link to a more in-depth article, and (when available) code. (Also available on Medium) Even with everything that happened in the world this year, we still had the chance to see a lot of amazing research come out. Especially in the field of artificial intelligence. Many important aspects were highlighted this year, for example, the ethical aspects, important biases, and much more. Artificial intelligence and our understanding of the human brain and its link to AI is constantly evolving, showing promising applications in the near future. [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation at 1:58 PM PST - 13 comments

Classic Rock for the Holidays

The White Stripes Animated Yule Log YT, 90 minutes.
posted by betweenthebars at 10:58 AM PST - 4 comments

...And an NCC-1701-D

Ryan's Edits (previously) shares The Twelve Days of Star Trek: a Sci-Fi Christmas Carol!
posted by adrianhon at 10:09 AM PST - 4 comments

“A different kind of soundtrack for a different kind of Christmas”

A Very Chilly Christmas is a collection of Christmas tunes reimagined in a minor key by piano virtuoso Chilly Gonzales, with contributions by Feist, Jarvis Cocker, and cellist Stella Le Page. Chilly breaks down his reinterpretation of Silent Night and how he “hacked” holiday classics for a very strange year.
posted by oulipian at 8:56 AM PST - 11 comments

Cat Spa ASMR

A 4-part expose into suspicious business practices in the feline beauty industry [Comedy; Youtube] Poor Miss Tteoksoon! All she wanted was some self-care, but her "bougie (but suspicious!)" cat spa keeps upselling her more treatments. [All videos are in Korean but with equally delightful English captions. Possible TW for the usual bodyshaming language aestheticians employ, but it's clearly ridiculous in this case as it's directly applied to cats] [more inside]
posted by cendawanita at 7:26 AM PST - 13 comments

Nerdy Christmas Lights

Matt Parker: I wired my tree with 500 LED lights and calculated their 3D coordinates.
posted by Pendragon at 6:57 AM PST - 10 comments

"Merry Christmas," the man threatened

“…anyone who doubts the evidence need only visit this locked room in Croton where lunacy and organization struggle with one another. But after all that’s what both books are about.” from “Lunacy and Organization” in the William Gaddis Papers by Joel Minor [Part 1] [Part 2] [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 3:25 AM PST - 2 comments

This is the Yule!

Theme from “Apocalypse Yule” Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey intones the dark tale of the Krampus Corps vs those goddamn elves and their leader up on the Pole. [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by Gotanda at 1:01 AM PST - 1 comment

December 24

Gin I were a wise loon, Ah'd duly play ma pairt

Iona Fyfe sings a Scots translation of Christina Rossetti's In the Bleak Midwinter. [more inside]
posted by Not A Thing at 7:14 PM PST - 3 comments

That's what's most important.

We had a case last week! Get on the beers SLYT silliness from down under :)
posted by slater at 6:58 PM PST - 9 comments

Consequence Of Sound Composers Of The Year: Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross

“It’s Been an Intimidating Journey” With Mank and Soul, the two musicians stepped out of their comfort zone in 2020. Medium-length insightful interview with Trent and Atticus about their movie score journey and where they are in life right now.
posted by hippybear at 6:50 PM PST - 16 comments

All I Want For Christmas (Is A Pardon From The President)

Since pardons are getting handed out like candy canes for the wicked, why not one for Nick Lutsko? Nick's other catchy earworms made in grandma's basement: RNC Official Theme Song 2020 Spirit Halloween Theme Song Where Did The Gremlins Go? The (surprisingly touching) Ballad of Don Jr and Give Me A Show On Nick Jr (h/t AV Club's Best of Internet 2020)
posted by benzenedream at 5:28 PM PST - 1 comment

*slaps roof* this Nieman Lab can fit so many predictions

Nieman Lab asked some of the smartest people in journalism and media what they think is coming in the next 12 months, including Meredith D. Clark on The year journalism starts paying reparations; Doris Truong on Indigenous issues get long-overdue mainstream coverage; John Saroff on Covid sparks the growth of independent local news sites; Taylor Lorenz on Journalists will learn influencing isn’t easy; Ryan Kellett on The bundle gets bundled; and many, many more.
posted by adrianhon at 8:06 AM PST - 15 comments

Brexit is done (or is it?)

At the beginning of this year, the UK formally left the EU, initiating a transition period that will end by January 1, 2021. Before the end of the transition period a deal between the UK and the EU was needed to prevent total chaos. Today that deal has been made. [more inside]
posted by Kosmob0t at 8:02 AM PST - 169 comments

Fauci’s Christmas Eve: Turning 80 and fighting the pandemic

“There is no option to get tired. There is no option to sit down and say ‘I’m sorry, I’ve had enough.” Anthony S. Fauci celebrates a big birthday on Christmas Eve. He’ll be 80. He says he has worked every day since January, often late into the night, laser-focused on fighting the coronavirus pandemic. He enters his ninth decade with remarkable vigor, and attributes his youthful appearance to genetics. His father lived to 97 and never looked his age. [more inside]
posted by dancestoblue at 6:40 AM PST - 30 comments

Christmas is a moo point

The War on Christmas: A Measured Response
posted by Pendragon at 6:21 AM PST - 19 comments

You do not do, anymore, black shoe

Plath reads 'Daddy'. I've read the poem many times, but to actually hear it in her voice is an entirely new experience.
posted by antihistameme at 3:14 AM PST - 6 comments

December 23

He actually tried it at home

A montage of Travis Pastrana taking a Subaru STI on a joyride through his hometown. Please drive safely these holidays.
posted by adept256 at 7:17 PM PST - 85 comments

The _Best_ People slash hamburger

While President Trump takes a break from getting as many people off Federal Death Row as possible (not in the good way) he is busy fueling the corruption train pardoning or commuting the sentences of many close associates, family members and hangers on. Yesterday he issued pardons for such deserving persons as former campaign aide George Papadopoulos; former US congressmen Duncan Hunter and Chris Collins; and four Blackwater/Xe employees convicted of participation in a civilian massacre in Iraq. Today he added another 26 pardons, including for longtime ally Roger Stone, former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner's father, Charles.
posted by Mitheral at 6:34 PM PST - 206 comments

Captain Jean-Luc Picard doesn't want a lot for Christmas.

There is just one thing he needs. [more inside]
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 4:35 PM PST - 30 comments

King William's College Quiz 2020-2021

The King William's College Quiz 2020-2021 is ready for your christmassy quizzing. Scire ubi aliquid invenire possis ea demum maxima pars eruditionis est - The greatest part of knowledge is knowing where to find something. Let's have all of your obscure knowledge, musings and guesses in the annual Google Spreadsheet
posted by BigCalm at 3:34 PM PST - 40 comments

Bad octopus!

A li’l Twitter thread by Eduardo Sampaio on his (& his coauthors’) paper, “Octopuses punch fishes during collaborative interspecific hunting events”.
A video of eight times an octopus punched a fish without cause (direct link to 124 MB video)
posted by Going To Maine at 10:59 AM PST - 37 comments

More than a few fairy lights...

xLights is an open-source package that allows users to synchronise Christmas lights to music, and every year, there's a community run "xLights Around The World" project - A team sequences a song (2 this year), people take video of it on their own displays, and a huge montage is built. This year's features 970 displays across 29 countries, and is about as festive as flashy lights get. [more inside]
posted by PeteTheHair at 9:02 AM PST - 21 comments

masters-in-creative-writing-gamer-swiftie-fangirl bad

How Bad Is Your Spotify? This sophisticated A.I. judges your awful taste in music.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 8:49 AM PST - 133 comments

Sir, this is a DuckTales

When Larry King asked Danny Pudi what luxury he couldn’t live without, he wasn’t satisfied with the answer, leading to a perfect retort from Pudi (cleaner video) and the first of undoubtedly many good memes.
posted by adrianhon at 8:04 AM PST - 112 comments

The Lonely Legacy of Spam

"...when you’re 10, you don’t have the words yet to explain to your classmates the social and historical nuances of why Spam has a completely different reputation in your parents’ home country than it does in the States, and that, as an Asian American, it has the ability to transport you home wherever you are in the world." Eric Kim, writing for Food52. [more inside]
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:50 AM PST - 45 comments

Answered the Phone, said Yes, Cleared Some Stuff Out and Made it Happen

The Full(est Possible) Story of the Four Seasons Total Landscaping Press Conference by Olivia Nuzzi for New York Magazine
posted by chavenet at 2:57 AM PST - 30 comments

December 22

Simpsons Jokes Explained... somewhat

Simpsons' writer Josh Weinstein invited fans to ask about the jokes they never got and he'd take a swing at explaining them. This being the internet, he got a lot of responses. And yes, someone asked about Ralph Wiggum and sleep vikings.
posted by neilbert at 9:22 PM PST - 96 comments

There Will Be Another Christmas

Award-winning novelist John Scalzi has co-written a Christmas song with Matthew Ryan. You can download it for free from Matthew Ryan's Bandcamp page. The story behind their collaboration is worth a read - but you might like to listen to the song first. [more inside]
posted by kristi at 5:12 PM PST - 9 comments

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

They have released 8 bit retro games, virtual reality simulations, and even dating sims. But now, the folks at KFC are creating a console. [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:06 PM PST - 39 comments

Parks and Rec is, 30 Rock isn't.

"Kindness is a separate paradigm from genre, tone, or even basic ideas of good and evil. For instance, Superman and Captain America are Kind Heroes (at least, outside of Zack Snyder movies), while Batman and Iron Man aren’t, even though they’re all good guys. And Kind Movies are also distinct from comfort food, escapism, or guilty pleasures. Romantic comedies are my go-to feel-good viewing, but they aren’t always Kind Movies. (The Wedding Singer is, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days isn’t.) Kind Movies can feature moments of violence or tragedy, and they don’t necessarily have happy endings. The most important thing is that they view the world through a gentle, empathetic lens and largely center on gentle, well-meaning characters." 2020 is the Year of the Kind Movie - and It Couldn't Have Come at a Better Time, by Caroline Siede for Polygon.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:01 AM PST - 214 comments

shinrin-yoku lets you tune into the sounds of different forests from around the world. The sounds are taken from this crowdsourced forest soundmap. via kottke
posted by lazaruslong at 10:11 AM PST - 7 comments

Slow video for our times

Meet Escapista, a collection of slow video for our times. My name is Cristiano, I'm a designer & developer who for a few years has been in love with the concept of Slow TV, but not doing much about it. Since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, I started gathering YouTube Channels specialized in this content and I was impressed with how there was so much more than I ever thought! So along with a friend, we started sketching ideas for a website to help popularize Slow TV and help all the quarantined people around the world feel better. Choose a channel and let your mind wander with the great Slow TV and ambient videos we handpicked for you. Relax with the natural images and sounds while you work, put on your TV or invite your friends to watch together. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 9:49 AM PST - 14 comments

Little Boxes

An artist pretended to be a billionaire to infiltrate New York’s most elite apartments and take ‘ugly pictures of very fancy buildings[more inside]
posted by saturday_morning at 8:13 AM PST - 54 comments

Longform’s Best of 2020

Longform has released its top ten articles of the year, including My Mustache, My Self by Wesley Morris (NYT/; On Witness and Respair: A Personal Tragedy Followed by Pandemic by Jesmyn Ward; The Last Children of Down Syndrome by Sarah Zhang; and The Store That Called the Cops on George Floyd by Aymann Ismail. [more inside]
posted by adrianhon at 8:01 AM PST - 3 comments

Mysterious phishing scam targets unpublished manuscripts

Someone is faking publisher email addresses to get access to unpublished manuscripts. It’s been happening a lot. There is no apparent effort to monetize the manuscripts. It seems to me that it would be a simple thing to add a warning to email when the address is similar to an existing address. Not extremely simple, but quite feasible with modern computing power. [NYT]
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 5:41 AM PST - 38 comments

December 21

Sensible Progressive Reform

Mr Medlock and the Classics - "It seems helpful to begin with an outline of what some social democratic goals might be. One description might be competitive egalitarianism. This has two components. Firstly, it recognises that people deserve equal worth, having been brought into this world by the arbitrary lottery of birth - as such, inequality can only be justified on the basis of the Rawlsian difference principle.[1] Secondly, it notes that markets do not exist ab ovo, but instead are moulded by the laws and norms of the land. As such, we can use those laws to produce markets which serve the public interest.[2]" (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 11:59 PM PST - 14 comments

Virginia removes Confederate Statue from US Capitol

In July, an eight-member Commission of the State of Virginia voted unanimously to remove their statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from the US Capitol building. It was removed this Sunday and will be replaced by a statue memorializing civil rights activist Barbara Johns. In 1951, Johns was 16 when she “led a walkout at her high school to protest poor and unequal school conditions. The moment is one that many historians believe helped launch the desegregation movement in the US.” [more inside]
posted by darkstar at 11:48 PM PST - 25 comments

Chicago improv group does a laid-back holiday show on Zoom, raises money

Holidays from Hell might become a tradition in our household. The improv group Devil's Daughter (a leading Harold team of the recently-closed IO theater - they used to perform every Friday night) has stuck together after the pandemic and the closure of its host theater, funneled money to causes they care about, and put together this mostly-scripted, laid-back show by livestreaming together for about an hour. [more inside]
posted by amtho at 9:05 PM PST - 1 comment

Stardew Valley 1.5

Sometimes 2020 brings good things too. The new Stardew Valley update is out with big content updates. (Verge and engadget) As much as you can read about Stardew Valley, especially the massive wiki. Previously posted is a profile of Eric Barone, the creator.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 8:28 PM PST - 28 comments

i can no longer easily tell humans apart

Thousand Year Old Vampire is a solo role-playing game in which you play a vampire gaining and (mostly) losing memories over the course of a millennium, more or less. It won three Ennie awards including a Gold for 'Best Rules' and silver for 'Product of the Year', which probably makes it a contender for the first 'break-out' solo RPG in the already incredibly small world of indie rpgs. What's a solo RPG, you ask, and how do they work? Well, let me spread out some newspapers, and let me explain... [more inside]
posted by kaibutsu at 6:47 PM PST - 8 comments

A Long Time Ago When They Was Fab

Peter Jackson has released a preview of his upcoming documentary The Beatles: Get Back due for release next summer (but who really knows?).
posted by octothorpe at 4:31 PM PST - 127 comments

The bizarre case of the sexy butt-flap onesie

Why are ads for pajamas with a butt flap taking over the internet? Kate Taylor investigates for Business Insider. (CW: nudity [butt cheek, singular])
posted by uncleozzy at 2:27 PM PST - 84 comments

Even Russian FSB Assassins Have to Submit Performance Reviews

"Bellingcat can now disclose that it and its investigative partners are in possession of a recorded conversation in which a member of the suspected FSB poison squad describes how his unit carried out, and attempted to clean up evidence of, the poisoning of Alexey Navalny. The inadvertent confession was made during a phone call with a person who the officer believed was a high-ranking security official. In fact, the FSB officer did not recognize the voice of the person to whom he was reporting details of the failed mission: Alexey Navalny himself."
posted by benzenedream at 1:52 PM PST - 52 comments

"baking stories are another of my go to story types"

Two Ladybusiness contributors "explore their feels about 'soft' or low-stakes SFF short fiction, and rec a whole bunch of stories for you to enjoy." Links to twenty-two science fiction and fantasy stories that make the recommenders feel soft or hopeful, especially "domestic stories and stories that are good people doing their best".
posted by brainwane at 1:18 PM PST - 17 comments

this is weird I'm out

Neon Genesis Evangelion In 5 Minutes (LIVE ACTION) (Sweded), courtesy of Mega64.
posted by fight or flight at 1:04 PM PST - 22 comments


"[S]ome movies fall off of your radar just because, and that’s what happened for me and “Love Actually.” However, "Love British Style" is now regarded as a Christmas perennial within the online yuppie subdomain, and the content beast must be fed. Hence, I had no choice but to break my accidental embargo and watch it for the first time, end to end. It will not shock you to learn that I enjoyed “Love Actually.” I am, after all, the exact kind of person I routinely mock. But, as in the movie itself, I have a few romantic misunderstandings that must be addressed. Allow me to stammer them out with my trademark plucky charm." "I'm the Last White Person Alive to See Love, Actually and I Have Questions." An exploration by Drew Magary
posted by Navelgazer at 10:43 AM PST - 98 comments

The Great Conjunction

Jupiter and Saturn will be doing a planetary dance tonight, resulting in The Great Conjunction. This will be the closest they have appeared in 400 years. It has also been nicknamed the "Christmas Star". [more inside]
posted by toastyk at 10:37 AM PST - 43 comments

2020 Headline of the Year contest

From putting potatoes up your butt to the self-blinding bankrobber, University of Calgary researcher Paul Fairie (who brought Cronk back to life) is preparing for a poll/tournament for 2020's headline of the year. (twitter thread, threadreader link inside). [more inside]
posted by nubs at 9:58 AM PST - 19 comments

Confessions of a Kindle Convert

Mefi-fave author of The Library Book Susan Orlean confesses she does most of her reading on a Kindle. “I read a lot of books, and I take chances on a lot of them: I’ll come across a promising review and take a plunge. The Kindle has made me more daring that way.” (Medium)
posted by adrianhon at 6:53 AM PST - 136 comments

Happy Birthday Frank

Inventionis Mater is an Italian duo who interpret the music of Frank Zappa on classical musical instruments. [more inside]
posted by Cardinal Fang at 6:45 AM PST - 8 comments


Fifteen years ago,'s fictional video game company Videlectrix released Stinkoman, a Flash platformer game starring the "20X6" version of their characters. Eventually the game would end up with nine levels and a promised 10th that was never finished. UNTIL NOW, literally days before browser support for Flash dies forever. The ridiculousness of this timing is not lost on them. You might need to use these instructions to reenable Flash support--very temporarily, of course. (Note that the Flash install page still tries to install bullshit McAfee stuff if you don't uncheck those boxes.) Fortunately you don't need Flash to view the trailer.
posted by JHarris at 1:51 AM PST - 15 comments

December 20

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Talks About Mental Well Being

Jacinda Ardern, has revealed she suffers “imposter syndrome” and watches “bad crime shows” to wind down. (YouTube, 35 minutes). The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, chats with All Black legend Sir John Kirwan about sleep, self-care and her approach to mental wellbeing and what keeps her well in a high pressure role. With a passion for cooking and recipe books, the Prime Minister covers off how she fares with the six key ingredients Kirwan and Mentemia use for wellbeing - Chill, Connect, Do, Move, Celebrate and Enjoy.
posted by vac2003 at 11:55 PM PST - 9 comments

The Journalist and the Pharma Bro

Why did Christie Smythe upend her life and stability for Martin Shkreli, one of the least-liked men in the world?
posted by brundlefly at 7:58 PM PST - 108 comments

Highest resolution photos of snowflakes ever

Former Microsoft CTO Nathan Myhrvold (previously) spent a year and a half building a custom 100-megapixel carbon-fiber super-cooled sapphire-lensed LED-lit super camera to take pictures of snowflakes. It turns out that taking pictures of snowflakes is hard. Really hard. Interview with Myhrvold about the project (transcript).
posted by ShooBoo at 7:04 PM PST - 23 comments

“You’ve proven in training you can manage a forklift”

Staplerfahrer Klaus – Der Erste Arbeitstag (Forklift Driver Klaus - The First Day On The Job) is a short German homage to workplace safety videos from 2000 directed by Jörg Wagner and Stefan Prehn.
(Previously, in 2004 but the link is dead. Also previously in 2008, but the link is dead and that’s really about something else.) [more inside]
posted by Going To Maine at 3:53 PM PST - 19 comments

Naismith International Park

ESPN NBA Analyst Kirk Goldsberry (previously on MetaFilter) has created a wonderful topographic map of an NBA court (direct image link) that highlights some of the most iconic figures and moments in basketball history. [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu at 9:27 AM PST - 17 comments

The truth in Black and white: An apology from The Kansas City Star

Today we are telling the story of a powerful local business that has done wrong. For 140 years, it has been one of the most influential forces in shaping Kansas City and the region. And yet for much of its early history — through sins of both commission and omission — it disenfranchised, ignored and scorned generations of Black Kansas Citians. It reinforced Jim Crow laws and redlining. Decade after early decade it robbed an entire community of opportunity, dignity, justice and recognition. That business is The Kansas City Star. Today The Kansas City Star, a McClatchy-owned daily in Missouri, published a brief apology at the top of a sordid airing of its dirty laundry in a letter from its editor. The letter is one of six articles today on the newspaper's racist history. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 9:21 AM PST - 15 comments

Learning from Nature's Gift Economy

"This abundance of berries feels like a pure gift from the land. I have not earned, paid for, nor labored for them. There is no mathematics of worthiness that reckons I deserve them in any way. And yet here they are—along with the sun and the air and the birds and the rain, gathering in the towers of cumulonimbi. You could call them natural resources or ecosystem services, but the Robins and I know them as gifts. We both sing gratitude with our mouths full." Botany professor and enrolled member of the Citizen Potowatomi Nation Robin Wall Kimmerer on abundance, scarcity, community, and gifts.
posted by ChuraChura at 9:15 AM PST - 7 comments

We tried all the hot colors, red, yellow. We went with Pantone 2735c.

They're big, they're blue, and they never expire. And you probably have one in your house right now. The oral history of the world's biggest coupon [NYT] - from Bed Bath and Beyond.
posted by Mchelly at 8:10 AM PST - 32 comments

New, more infectious, strain of Covid-19 circulating in the UK

Several European countries including Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands have reacted to the discovery of a fast-spreading strain of Covid-19 in England by announcing bans on flights carrying passengers from the UK, with similar plans reportedly being considered by France and Germany. [more inside]
posted by roolya_boolya at 7:26 AM PST - 163 comments

Jewish representation in medieval costuming -with less historical trauma

What did medieval Jews wear? 13th and 14th Century Hair and Veil tutorial [SLYT] Snappy Dragon discusses Jewish identity, whiteness, erasure of diversity, representation, distinguishing between internal vs external markers of identity even when externally mandated by gentile governments, and the traditional draping of 13th and 14th century Ashkenazi Jewish women's hair coverings. Bonus information about red hair and ancient seafood dye.
posted by Salamandrous at 6:18 AM PST - 17 comments

Good News, Everyone! (Really)

MacKenzie Scott has given $4 billion to charity over the last four months, mostly to smaller organisations and colleges. Her donations eschew the usual pattern for billionaires who spread out their donations over decades and favour wealthy and prestigious institutions. “They came like gifts from a Secret Santa, $20 million here, $40 million there, all to higher education, but not to the elite universities that usually hog all the attention. These donations went to colleges and universities that many people have never heard of, and that tended to serve regional, minority and lower-income students.” (NYT/
posted by adrianhon at 5:24 AM PST - 62 comments

December 19

There's a mask on this mouth (slyt)

"Wear a mask please" Aliza Rosen's (and other Johns Hopkins personnel) WAP parody, WAmP. Got a shoutout from Cardi B. More here
posted by Gorgik at 9:11 PM PST - 5 comments

So you want to live to be 100?

Why Japanese Live So Long The answers to living a long and happy life may come from Japan which has the longest average life expectancy in the world (83.84 years) and where 2 million people are over the age of 90. Believe it or not, 6 of the top 10 oldest people alive are from Japan including Nabi Tajima of Kagoshima who is 117 years old and the last human alive born in the 19th century!
posted by dancestoblue at 6:20 PM PST - 51 comments

Jean-Pierre Gorin on Chris Marker's Sans Soleil

Like a good magician, he's blatantly telling you what he's going to do to you, and then he does it and he does something else on top of that so the magic is constantly explained and constantly reaffirmed.

Jean-Pierre Gorin on Chris Marker's Sans Soleil. Chris Marker previously.
posted by juv3nal at 5:23 PM PST - 6 comments

Astropanel - Astronomy program for the terminal

This program will help you decide when to bring out your telescope. Command-line software by Geir Isene.
posted by cgc373 at 5:07 PM PST - 5 comments

In years past we've had the entire Santastic series here. Well, now we have, the home of the entire Santastic series! Everything all on one page, to help save your sanity from Normal Christmas Music during these trying times.
posted by hippybear at 3:15 PM PST - 2 comments

“I begin quietly eating the butter off of my hands.”

In a fine entry into the genre of recounting-trying-to-do-things-while-high, Rachel Handler writes for Vulture about trying to recreate the croissant making scene from the [Nancy Meyers] movie It’s Complicated at home: “I Got High and Made Croissants Like Meryl Streep”:
[W]atching this scene feels like putting my own brain in a pastry oven, setting it to high, and letting it crisp. I especially enjoy it as someone who is deeply incompetent at cooking and baking and… doing anything whatsoever while stoned, save for watching Nancy Meyers movies. Which is why… one of the first ideas I presented [for Nancy Meyers Week] was re-creating this scene as a self-punishing stunt.
posted by Going To Maine at 2:50 PM PST - 11 comments

"An awesome sonic encounter"

Bassmasse is a chamber orchestra consisting of between 13 and 50 double basses. It was founded in 2012 by German double bassist/composer Sebastian Gramss. [more inside]
posted by mykescipark at 11:45 AM PST - 17 comments

A Celebration of Atomnation Compilations

Atomnation, an Amsterdam-based label for electronic music primarily in the house/techno/ambient vein, has been releasing excellent pay-what-you-want year-end compilations for six years running: 2020 - 2019 - 2018 - 2017 - 2016 - 2015. Enjoy. [more inside]
posted by ropeladder at 10:44 AM PST - 1 comment

Schools and the Path to Zero

Strategies for school reopening: building trust, infection control, OSHA, vaccines are recommendations made by experts at Pandemics Explained, a blog from Brown School of Public Health. They've issued guidance here. [more inside]
posted by toastyk at 10:20 AM PST - 35 comments

It's a Kate Bush Christmas! with Peter Gabriel, dancing violins & more!

Kate The Kate Bush Christmas Special is the antidote for those who are tired of the same maudlin, schmaltzy, saccharine, holiday specials on TV. The show (which aired December 28, 1979) has only one holiday song, December Will Be Magic Again, but Kate answers the age-old question: “what would happen if the BBC gave a Christmas special to an incredibly ambitious 21-year-old art rocker who also smokes a ton of weed?”
posted by vespabelle at 8:58 AM PST - 17 comments

Food Nostalgia

The ’90s Issue of Taste The 1990's were in some ways the best decade of the 20th century. It had its wars and tragedies, but the Cold War had ended, the music was great, and there was still hope for a better future. And the food was becoming more and more interesting. [more inside]
posted by mumimor at 7:33 AM PST - 59 comments

"I've come to a legitimate swamp"

I Crossed Delaware in a Straight Line (SLYT) "My line was 12 miles through fields, woods, backyards, highways, and swamps."
posted by mdonley at 7:20 AM PST - 19 comments

“Everything now is pretty steady.”

How employee ownership helped Phoenix Coffee survive Covid-19. From The Land, a new non-profit journalism site covering Cleveland, Ohio, and its inner ring suburbs. A long piece on how a 20-year-old local coffee roaster and cafe chain Phoenix Coffee may have found the recipe for pandemic stability and post-pandemic success by becoming an employee-owned co-op (a business model comparatively rare in Cleveland and the US Midwest), with the help of co-op incubator Evergreen Cooperatives. [more inside]
posted by soundguy99 at 6:19 AM PST - 9 comments

China 2098: First Time Abroad

Fan Wennan’s digital illustrations have caught fire on Chinese social media, depicting the world of 2098 where China is a high-tech superpower, with a humbled US that’s embraced communism; Wall Street is draped with hammer-and-sickle flags celebrating the “30th anniversary of the People’s Union of America”. The illustrations come amid China’s Communist Party claiming the pandemic has shown the superiority of its authoritarian model (NYT/
posted by adrianhon at 3:11 AM PST - 54 comments

December 18

Data from "Star Trek" has a rip on the Hammond B3 organ

That's right (SYTL)
posted by CarrotAdventure at 4:08 PM PST - 43 comments

Untold Dylan -- Every Bob Dylan song reviewed & then some

Untold Dylan [more inside]
posted by y2karl at 3:53 PM PST - 15 comments

Tales from Shakespeare

Tales from Shakespeare by Charles Lamb and Mary Lamb: "The following Tales are meant to be submitted to the young reader as an introduction to the study of Shakespeare, for which purpose his words are used whenever it seemed possible to bring them in; and in whatever has been added to give them the regular form of a connected story, diligent care has been taken to select such words as might least interrupt the effect of the beautiful English tongue in which he wrote: therefore, words introduced into our language since his time have been as far as possible avoided."
posted by jim in austin at 1:54 PM PST - 12 comments

Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice: Inhale the Darkness. Nina MacLaughlin, author of Wake, Siren, here introduces Part One of her latest column for The Paris Review: "On moving into winter, on the dark getting darker, on swans and hawks and spiders, on the great cosmic tug. The first of a four-part series I’m writing for the @parisreview about the Winter Solstice. Part One asks: what’s death in a world of stories?" [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 1:18 PM PST - 8 comments

Retrogaming? I'll give you retrogaming

Not a remake, not a homage, not a clone but the original 1962 Spacewar! running on a virtual PDP-1.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:37 PM PST - 12 comments

Christmas Che(e)r

Cherilyn Sarkisian, aged 74, has never been predictable. [Grauniad] [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 12:26 PM PST - 7 comments

Some Covid Carols

Stuck at home, frustrated by the lack of social gatherings? Maybe By Next Christmas things will have changed and you can finally go to a party (though that might be a reversal of your previous stance). [more inside]
posted by Acari at 11:54 AM PST - 11 comments

The Long Fucking Winter (satire)

(Excerpts from Laura Ingalls Wilder's The Long Fucking Winter by Sharon Goldman in McSweeney's.) Morning was bright and clear but there was no school. There would be no more in-person classes until COVID-19 cases went down again. Carrie gazed out the window while she wiped the breakfast dishes, and drearily Laura sloshed the cooling water in the dishpan. “I want to go somewhere!” Carrie said fretfully. “I’m tired of staying in this old kitchen!” “We were thankful enough for this warm kitchen yesterday,” Mary gently reminded her. “At least we aren’t superspreaders like Mr. and Mrs. Boast, who had the whole family over for Thanksgiving and gave each guest a ball of butter from their last churning. At least five people were infected.” [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 11:32 AM PST - 23 comments

The mommies are ready for the return of the Messiah

Mormon mommybloggers are a window into the deranged heart of America. For Jewish Currents, Alexandra Tanner writes about her fascination with following Mormon moms on Instagram as they hawk water filters with one hand and antivax lizard people celebrity baby eater 5G conspiracies with the other. [more inside]
posted by babelfish at 11:06 AM PST - 52 comments

Feather Dustup

Over the past two decades, eBird has become the go-to online platform for scientists and hobbyists alike to upload and share bird observations. But it has also transformed the process and etiquette of birding. [previously]
posted by Ouverture at 10:26 AM PST - 11 comments

Literally playing with fire

How to play Snapdragon, a Victorian Christmas party game!
posted by Stark at 9:26 AM PST - 27 comments

2020 has been a year like no other

Nature presents their selection of the best science images of 2020: A new virus, wafer-thin solar cells, gene‑edited squid and more.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 9:23 AM PST - 1 comment

Implode Trump Plaza for Charity!

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to bid on the right to push the button to implode Trump Plaza, Atlantic City, NJ. [more inside]
posted by Cardinal Fang at 7:30 AM PST - 21 comments

Reddit’s 2020 Year in Review

Reddit interviewed moderators of r/coronavirus, r/blacklivesmatter, r/weddingplanning, r/frugal, r/applyingtocollege, and r/amitheasshole about how their communities faced some of 2020's most unprecedented moments.
posted by adrianhon at 2:04 AM PST - 15 comments

Lockdown Rachael

A 1:8 Airfix construction kit in the form of a single-panel gag cartoon (SL: Twitter). Find more of Rachael Smith's cartoons here.
posted by Paul Slade at 1:18 AM PST - 17 comments

December 17

The magic of cheap energy

Why I'm so excited about solar and batteries - "Instead of the Jetsons future, we got the cyberpunk future. Why did that happen? ... I blame the slowdown in energy technology... we didn't get anything better than oil during this time. Nuclear fission provided a bit of a boost to electricity generation (and a big boost in France), but nobody ended up driving fission cars around or flying fission planes through the sky."[1] [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 11:56 PM PST - 44 comments

whether visuospatial, phonological, conceptual or emotional

"Flight from one, toward differing focus. Then, the suspended-semi-mixture of the two; absence and prospect." The content management/site-building platform Cargo has a weird blog.
posted by brainwane at 8:14 PM PST - 4 comments

Small, quiet types get drowned out. Unless they cheat the system.

Small, quiet crickets turn leaves into megaphones to blare their mating call "A carefully crafted leaf can double the volume of a male’s song, helping it compete for females" [SLScienceNews]
posted by hippybear at 8:13 PM PST - 20 comments You're one of 1 countries pwned by Cozy Bear

The computer networks of a large number of United States government agencies and private sector companies have been infiltrated in a massive cyberattack that has been attributed by US Government officials to the Russian advanced persistent threat actor APT29, also known as Cozy Bear. [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu at 5:57 PM PST - 50 comments

In his pockets were 35 cents and a lighter.

Arresting a serial arsonist. [more inside]
posted by eotvos at 5:22 PM PST - 21 comments

Drop the N

Iconic Bayview sign comes down for vital community center: Here’s its surprising history India Basin Industrial Park's Manwaring Letters have deep artistic roots. Now stored, their future remains uncertain.
posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 4:22 PM PST - 4 comments

A Celebration of John Fahey and American-Primitive Guitar

...Fahey was nonetheless in enviable form. There’s sweating! A Charley Patton demonstration! Furrowed brows! And, of course, almost an hour of beautiful guitar-playing. ''Fahey, who did not suffer strangers nor fools, suffered both with us, and gave us a private concert.''
John Fahey -- Santa Monica (1981) Via A Celebration of John Fahey and American-Primitive Guitar by Amanda Petrusich [more inside]
posted by y2karl at 3:23 PM PST - 19 comments

A Historic Pick for Secretary of the Interior

Representative Deb Haaland (D-NM) is Joe Biden's pick to be Secretary of the Interior. Haaland, a member of New Mexico's Laguna Pueblo, will be the first Native American ever to serve as a US Cabinet Secretary. Her nomination to the post was endorsed by Nancy Pelosi yesterday, and represents a win for "liberal members of Congress, climate activists, Hollywood celebrities and tribal groups," who had been calling for a Native American appointee.
posted by Ipsifendus at 3:00 PM PST - 18 comments

Song for a Winter's Night

The indie folk group The Good Lovelies have done a beautiful cover of "Song for a Winter's Night." The song was originally written in 1965 by Gordon Lightfoot on a very hot summer evening when he was playing clubs in Cleveland, USA, missing his wife back home and thinking of snowy Canadian winters. It has been covered many times, often in a slower, more melancholy tempo than Lightfoot's original: Sarah McLachlan's ethereal 1990s cover; a rare Harry Belafonte live cover; Blue Rodeo's gentle country-rock cover. Bonus: a charming French bluegrass version by The Confinement Band, four musicians recording in four different French cities.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 2:54 PM PST - 11 comments

Will there be another video or not?

Julie Nolke does a fourth video of Explaining the Pandemic to my Past Self This time December Julie is quite drunk and sad....but why, when there's actual good news to share? Last mentioned here.
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:28 PM PST - 29 comments

Shouldn't Have Gone to Barnard Castle

I’ve never had a story like this, not even close. I’ve had about one or two front pages, and they were minor August jobs. This was the biggest story by a country mile I’d ever done. I knew it was going to be big, but I was also really nervous about how it would go down. An Oral History of Dominic Cummings’s Barnard Castle Scandal [Vice] [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 11:55 AM PST - 6 comments

I called 911; they hanged up on me—my girlfriend, her father called 911…

On September 17th, the twenty-first anniversary of the Marshall Decision, Sipekneꞌkatik First Nation on Nopa Sko'sia declared a “moderate livelihoodfishery (photos) as a community exercise of their rights as Indigenous people. In response, non-Indigenous have escalated campaigns of harassment against First Nations people, the Mi'kmaq fleet, and their supporters, cutting lobster traps, firing flares at fishing vessels, engaging in arson, plundering catches, scattering improvised caltrops on shore to burst the tires of cars and trucks, discriminating against Mi'kmaq fishermen in retail stores, and making violent threats on social media. [more inside]
posted by XMLicious at 11:19 AM PST - 6 comments

Childhood in an anxious age

But how do you prepare a child for life in an uncertain time—one far more psychologically taxing than the late-20th-century world into which you were born? To protect children from physical harm, we buy car seats, we childproof, we teach them to swim, we hover. How, though, do you inoculate a child against future anguish? For that matter, what do you do if your child seems overwhelmed by life in the here and now? Too many kids show worrying signs of fragility from a very young age. Here’s what we can do about it. (The Atlantic) Related: How to help kids build resilience amid COVID-19 chaos (PBS); Five Ways To Boost Resilience In Children (BPS Research Digest); How Parents Can Help Children of the Pandemic Cope (Discover metered paywall); How To Help Your Kids Reframe Their Anxiety (NPR)
posted by not_the_water at 8:27 AM PST - 43 comments


Jack Kirby’s The Fourth Dimension is a Many-Splattered Thing (via Linkmachinego). More on Kirby’s trips to the fourth dimension.
posted by adrianhon at 1:16 AM PST - 27 comments

December 16

This year has lasted a million years and also 12 minutes

Each year since 2016, Australian film critic and journalist Marc Fennell releases The Year in Sound, an audio mashup track summarising the events of the year. In 12 intense minutes, here is 2020 in Sound. [more inside]
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:39 PM PST - 16 comments

A Major Correction

Major League Baseball is reclassifying the Negro Leagues to include them part of the major leagues.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:39 PM PST - 56 comments

Landmark ruling that toxic fumes killed nine-year-old

From The Guardian: Until now, the statistics on air pollution deaths have been presented in black and white – numbers on a page that estimate between 28,000 and 36,000 people will die as a result of toxic air pollution every year in the UK. But the life and death of nine-year-old Ella Kissi-Debrah is in full colour: from the pictures of her wearing her gymnastics leotard hung with medals, to the image of her mother and siblings holding aloft her photograph, when they no longer had her to hold on to, as they campaigned for the truth. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 12:31 PM PST - 33 comments

That's when you go away and turn off your email.

Cory Doctorow discusses implementing danah boyd's "email sabbatical" A week in advance, she warns everyone again that she's going offline and shuttering her inboxes. Close family members and her network administrator are given instructions for reaching her while on break, but no one else is. [more inside]
posted by mecran01 at 10:04 AM PST - 135 comments

"...if you’re wealthy and ignorant enough, life never has to change..."

Drew Magary has put out this year's Hater's Guide to the Williams-Sonoma Catalog, and it is the thing of beauty that we have come to expect. Previously, with links to even previouslier.
posted by hanov3r at 9:50 AM PST - 88 comments

2020 Mashed

DJ Earworm's United State of Pop, the annual amalgamation of chart-topping songs returns for 2020 with Something to Believe In. [more inside]
posted by subocoyne at 9:42 AM PST - 15 comments

Wu-Tang is Forever!

Twenty two years after Texas and Wu-Tang Clan first joined forces on Say What You Want (live or audio only) they are back with Hi. 'Sharleen is my homegirl' - how Texas and Wu-Tang Clan became pop's weirdest pals.
posted by ellieBOA at 7:22 AM PST - 1 comment

Live everyday like it’s Taco Tuesday

The Ultimate Texas Tacopedia No further description needed.
posted by TedW at 3:52 AM PST - 23 comments

"The Modern Point of View and the New Order"

What comes after smartphones? - "We've spent the last few decades getting to the point that we can now give everyone on earth a cheap, reliable, easy-to-use pocket computer with access to a global information network. But so far, though over 4bn people have one of these things, we've only just scratched the surface of what we can do with them." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 2:35 AM PST - 61 comments

The sudden death of a hero is the work of a traitor

Talking About Trees (Letterboxd) is a documentary film about the Sudanese Film Group’s efforts to reopen a cinema amid censorship and bureaucracy. Winner at the Berlin International Film Festival last year, it was filmed in secret by Suhaib Gasmelbari. Richard Brody at The New Yorker: “What results is some of the best talk, and some of the most dedicated collaborations, and some of the warmest friendships that I’ve seen in a movie in quite a while.”
posted by adrianhon at 1:12 AM PST - 4 comments

December 15

Car-eating Monsters

Car-eating monsters. They're very dangerous. They will come for your car in the snow. They will come for your car in the desert. They feast at car rallies. They will lure you in. They're everywhere. Be safe. Now is the time. Learn how to ride a bicycle. [more inside]
posted by aniola at 7:56 PM PST - 22 comments

and all that jazz

"When I think of Ann Reinking, I see legs (nyt). Legs in shimmering black tights. Legs in heels. Legs that extend effortlessly to a 6 o’clock extension. They weren’t the only thing that made her dancing so resplendent, but they were the anchor to her daring. Aside from their shape, they had a strength that rooted her body, giving her pelvic isolations a silky sort of groove and her precision a natural, teasing sensuality. Even stretched out on a bed, her legs could tell a story." Tony Award-winning actor, dancer, and choreographer Ann Reinking died on Saturday at age 71. [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura at 7:27 PM PST - 25 comments

"Who lives in a pineapple at 30 yards?"

With a number of issues both recent (the injury and illness decimated 2020 season) and ongoing (the CTE scandal), the NFL has seen its younger viewer base decline. So in an attempt to get more young fans watching, the NFL is going to hand over the broadcast of a wild card Nickelodeon. [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 4:40 PM PST - 47 comments

Great Picture Book of Everything

A Great Wave of Hokusai Drawings Resurfaced at the British Museum IN 1829, WHEN THE CELEBRATED Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai was almost 70 years old, he created more than 100 drawings of a dazzling array of subjects: playful cats, serene landscapes, even severed heads. Hokusai’s fame continued to grow after his death in 1849, and the suite of small, elaborate drawings was last purchased a century later, at a Paris auction in 1948. Then it disappeared from the public eye. Now, a total of 103 drawings have resurfaced. (...) The British Museum is planning to exhibit the newly acquired drawings in the future. In the meantime, anyone can view all 103 works online, in high-resolution images made freely accessible on the museum’s website. (previously)
posted by bq at 3:02 PM PST - 4 comments

Lycoperdons, the tiny deadly puffballs, are on the march again

An AI riffs on 2020. Janelle Shane (previously; Twitter) fed GPT-3 headlines from this annus horribilis to see what kind of 2020ish titles it would generate. [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 2:08 PM PST - 24 comments

Metafilter loves a list

Polygon's 50 Best Video Games of 2020
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 2:05 PM PST - 58 comments

"it hit a nerve—especially with the scrubs"

"TLC always held the position that non-scrubs shouldn’t be bothered by 'No Scrubs.'" In response to TLC's 1999 song "No Scrubs" (video), as Julian Kimble wrote for The Ringer, Sporty Thievz released the "contemptuous" track “No Pigeons.” "Now Sporty Thievz had the opportunity to build an entire song around the word, all while inserting themselves into a conversation initiated by one of the biggest groups in music on a chart-topping song."
posted by brainwane at 11:38 AM PST - 64 comments

Blob Opera

Blob Opera is a machine learning experiment by David Li in collaboration with Google Arts and Culture.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 10:21 AM PST - 28 comments


Composer David Bruce has posted a delightful video of The 12 Days of Christmas in the style of twelve (actually, thirteen) 20th-century composers, from most to least tonal. Play along and see if you can guess the composers! (Answers at the end of the video.) [more inside]
posted by Johnny Assay at 9:42 AM PST - 13 comments

December 14

The Antikythera Mechanism: Evidence of a Lunar Calendar

A new examination of some old evidence shows that the 2000 year old astronomical computer uses a 354-day lunar calendar, rather than the previously suspected 365-day Egyptian civil calendar. [more inside]
posted by wesleyac at 11:22 PM PST - 26 comments

Seth Rogen's Pottery and How the World Wants You to Monetize Your Hobby

Interview with Seth Rogen on his ceramic vases Seth Rogen started a pottery habit early on in the pandemic so he could make his own ashtrays. [more inside]
posted by elvissa at 5:43 PM PST - 66 comments

What kind of evidence is portraiture?

How Scientists Use and Abuse Portraiture (Hyperallergic). Many scientific studies assume that painted faces are factual representations of flesh-and-blood countenances. Yael Rice and Sonja Drimmer explain why this isn’t just false - it’s preposterous.
posted by adrianhon at 4:09 PM PST - 29 comments

Nonjustice System: a tool that may help reduce gun violence

James Kimmel and his colleagues at the Yale Collaborative for Motive Control Studies have developed the NonJustice System or "Miracle Court," a role-play exercise to help people manage their desires for revenge. A pilot study [...] showed that the Nonjustice System was effective in decreasing revenge desires among study subjects and increasing benevolence toward their transgressors—outcomes that could help prevent violence. Importantly, the findings held up weeks after the intervention. Kimmel and his colleagues hope that the project can be used to reduce grievance-focused gun violence. Kimmel speaks to Erin Schumacher about the childhood bullying that started him on this research path [warning, mention of pet death]. [more inside]
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 2:30 PM PST - 10 comments

"Blended Learning" with the Yes Men

Igor Vamos of the Yes Men (previously: 1 2 3 4 5) and his students share a video of their blended learning classroom at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. It gets weird. (19 minutes)
posted by jshttnbm at 1:36 PM PST - 13 comments

Exposed: the longest exposure found

The 'longest-ever photo exposure' has been found -- inside a drink can
posted by tiny frying pan at 1:08 PM PST - 15 comments

promises and cautionary tales of vaccination

Joel Gunter and Vikas Pandey from the BBC find lessons on vaccination from the life of Waldemar Haffkine, a Ukranian Jewish microbiologist who developed cholera and plague vaccines in British-governed India in the 1890s: "Years of top-down medical programmes by the British government had sowed distrust among the population, and to many the very concept of vaccination was still alien. Haffkine's solution was to work with a team of Indian doctors and assistants, rather than the British - Drs Chowdry, Ghose, Chatterjee, and Dutt, among others. And he had a new trick up his sleeve in the world of vaccinology: publicly injecting himself to prove he thought his preparation was safe."
posted by ChuraChura at 11:59 AM PST - 5 comments

“Stick that gorgeous vaccine in my eyes and up my arse...”

[Contains frequent British profanity] In which Flo and Joan return for their tribute to the year 2020. Previously: the 2016 song. Also, a song for anti-vaxxers.
posted by Wordshore at 10:05 AM PST - 13 comments

Our entire economy is only a "click to share" away from exposure

This morning, several Google services, including Gmail, YouTube, and Google Docs, went down for about an hour. A good reminder that, as Vicki Boykis has put it, Google Drive is production: it’s wormed its way into the operational systems of companies where it now lives like a very dangerous Swiss army knife, used for anything and everything without thought given to the implications.
posted by Cash4Lead at 9:26 AM PST - 57 comments

“there’s nothing more human than handmade pornography”

America’s hidden world of handmade pornography (The Conversation): But one type that has been largely hidden and forgotten is the pornography people make for themselves. Unlike pornography for profit, handmade pornography is crude and funny and subtle. It, too, contains multitudes. The Pleasure Crafts: A new history of pornography before it became commercial (NY Review of Books paywall): “These objects—in all their incoherent, libidinal, confusing strangeness—remain acts of individual testimony that can and should be entered into the historical record,” she writes. “They tell us about how people understood sexuality through what they could visualize.” Poking Fun (History Today): An archive of handmade erotic objects made over two centuries of American history tells a story of hidden desire that has often been overlooked.
posted by not_the_water at 8:50 AM PST - 18 comments

Rowing across the interstellar sea

Physicist and Historian of Science Jim Woodward may be getting tantalisingly close to developing a propellantless thruster that can accelerate up to lightspeed. Just very slowly...
posted by Chairboy at 7:44 AM PST - 42 comments


BLABRECS is like SCRABBLE, except that every word must resemble an English word (according to a simple Markov-based AI) without actually being one.
posted by theodolite at 7:15 AM PST - 56 comments

December 13

I drink until I feel like I’m going to throw up water.

How John Foley, Peloton Co-Founder, Spends His Sundays [more inside]
posted by Toddles at 9:27 PM PST - 55 comments

Death of the Perfect Spy

John le Carré, pen name of David Cornwell, writer of spy novels for over 50 years, has passed away at the age of 89. HE is probably best known for the character of George Smiley, who was the protagonist of many of his Cold War novels. HE also wrote The Constant Gardener, among several other stories set closer to the present. [more inside]
posted by Alensin at 7:28 PM PST - 92 comments

Biogen Boston Superspreader Event Tied to 300K+ COVID-19 Cases

Biogen Conference in Boston Now Tied to More than 300,000 Coronavirus Cases (NBC, Dec. 11, 2020; latest research paper; NYT link). On February 1, Massachusetts confirmed its first, and the USA's eighth, coronavirus patient (NBC). The Biogen leadership conference, held February 26-27 at the Boston Marriott Long Wharf, drew approximately 175 US and international attendees and was linked to eight cases of COVID-19 on March 6 (STAT News), 100 cases on March 17 (Biospace), and 20K cases by August 26 ( Biogen has about 7,500 employees around the world. [more inside]
posted by Iris Gambol at 6:14 PM PST - 36 comments

Don't get together for Christmas

Covid loves the holidays. A short, funny, nightmare-fuel video from the Government of Alberta. [more inside]
posted by russilwvong at 5:59 PM PST - 13 comments

Endless Creation Out of Nothing

A universe is the greatest gift that an experimentalist could hope to get out of the vacuum. Inside, the gift might contain early atomists who consider the vacuum as empty, followed by scientists who end up creating a new universe out of it. What a spectacular interpretation that would be of Rilke’s phrase: "inexhaustible creation, enduring beyond the fate of earth."
Endless Creation Out of Nothing
posted by y2karl at 3:44 PM PST - 13 comments

Fucking Cameras, How Do They Work?

Bartosz Ciechanowski explains how cameras and lenses work by building a simple camera from first principles, aided by plenty of interactive simulations.
posted by adrianhon at 2:28 PM PST - 13 comments

And then they turned her into a frog

Representation Without Transformation: Can Hollywood Stop Changing Cartoon Characters of Color?
posted by Chrysopoeia at 2:12 PM PST - 17 comments

BDSM as a healing modality

New study on LGBTQ kinksters reveals BDSM's healing capabilities. NSFW reporter Ana Valens writes: "The age-old claim that 'BDSM is abuse!' has haunted online social media platforms like Tumblr and Twitter for years, much to kinksters’ dismay. But that argument now has one less leg to stand on. A new study reveals the myriad positive experiences LGBTQ people have within queer kink spaces and recommends therapists become more 'kink-aware' ..." [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 2:11 PM PST - 30 comments

The most popular museum on TikTok

From The Guardian: The Black Country Living Museum is an open-air attraction that tells the story of Britain’s early manufacturing history, set in the defiantly unstarry town of Dudley, in England’s industrial Midlands. Among the exhibits that have earned it a clutch of awards are two mine shafts, a lime kiln and a collection of postwar trolley buses. This month the visitor attraction gained another, more unexpected accolade, becoming – it believes – the most popular museum in the world on TikTok. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 11:24 AM PST - 7 comments

Space Mail

General Horse and the Package of Doom is a full motion video space adventure. Marvel at the trailer! Features method acting and wigs galore. Here's a review at Buried Treasure, for a more in-depth look! [more inside]
posted by kaibutsu at 10:57 AM PST - 9 comments

Fully and robustly tested and meets the banking industry standards

For years the UK Post Office denied there were any fundamental problems with the Horizon software, provided by IT specialist Fujitsu. Instead, it blamed mistakes on dishonesty from sub-postmasters, who run most of its 11,500 branches. Introduced in 1995 as a PFI deal costing £1 billion, problems with the system were first reported in early 2000. Hundreds of post masters and other Post Office employees have since been jailed and financially ruined.
In 2019, class action civil litigation, brought by 550 sub-postmasters was settled by the Post Office.
In December 2020 the first sub-postmasters wrongly accused of theft and fraud have finally had their convictions quashed.
posted by Lanark at 8:12 AM PST - 60 comments

I think the mountains have meant more to me than people.

Given recent tragic news, perhaps a small celebration of one of the UK's other famous authors and climbers is in order: Gwen Moffat (Wikipedia). Deserting the military after World War II, she lived a life of adventure, becoming Britain's first female certified mountain guide, and supporting herself with whatever came to hand. This included writing 1961's bestseller Space Below My Feet (Google preview), and, ultimately, some 34 other books. You can see excerpts from an interview with the author herself in Jen Randall and Claire Carter's absolutely delightful 2015 short film Operation Moffat (skip to 2:15 to avoid the ridiculous RedBull intro) (acrophobia warning: the film itself contains cliff climbing. Nothing bad happens!). Bonus text interview.
posted by SunSnork at 7:54 AM PST - 5 comments

The Injustices that Arise from the Accumulation of Wealth by One Person

How a real-life monopoly made Monopoly the world’s biggest board game by Mark Dent [The Hustle]
posted by chavenet at 4:27 AM PST - 20 comments

December 12

"I'm just making this up as I go"

"Now that his retirement is imminent, we must start working on a festschrift for our distinguished colleague Prof Henry Walton 'Indiana' Jones, Jr., provisionally titled 'You Call This Archaeology?'. Submit chapter proposals here"
A Twitter thread by Almost Archaeology. [more inside]
posted by thatwhichfalls at 8:53 PM PST - 12 comments

Kiss An Angel Good Morning: Charley Pride 1934-2020

1971 Country Music Entertainer of the Year Charley Pride has died at age 86 from covid-19 complications. [more inside]
posted by superna at 7:30 PM PST - 46 comments

I Was Alone in a Canoe. But It Was a Magic Canoe

Rest in Peace Wa’xaid, Cecil Paul. Wa, for river; xaid for good. Good River. Cecil Paul, he of the Killer Whale Clan of the Xenaksiala people of the Haisla Nation of the Kitlope Valley.
Wa’xaid had an enormous influence on conservation efforts on the British Columbia coast, and was a recently inducted Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society as recipient of the Louie Kamookak medal, and authored the 2019 memoir, Stories from the Magic Canoe of Wa’xaid (excerpt). Wa'xaid passed away on December 3rd, 2020 at the age of 90.
posted by Rumple at 3:51 PM PST - 9 comments

Velvet Underground Redux -- Live MCMXCIII

Velvet Underground Redux -- Live MCMXCIII [more inside]
posted by y2karl at 2:36 PM PST - 15 comments

No Fairytale Ending

Unexpected indie success stories grab people's attention, but more often than not, games are released without anyone noticing (Vice). Patrick Klepek talks to the devs of Ray’s the Dead (PS4/PC), a crowdfunded game that spent seven years in development and released to a lukewarm reception.
posted by adrianhon at 2:26 PM PST - 22 comments

“And I asked my father if he would build me a dolls’ house....”

In The Guardian, by the author Kate Mascarenhas: 'Dad was an alcoholic, and violent and destructive with it. But when I was nine, he painstakingly created a thing of beauty, which I have kept to this day.'
posted by Wordshore at 1:29 PM PST - 16 comments

Dole-Bayh turns 40

The Dole-Bayh Act turns 40.
posted by one weird trick at 12:30 PM PST - 15 comments

"It might have been simpler and quicker and cheaper to build a new boat"

"Hi. My name's Leo, and I'm a boat builder and a sailor, and I'm on a mission to rebuild and restore this 110-year-old classic sailing yacht, Tally Ho." Over 3 years and 87 episodes (and counting), Leo Sampson Goolden and an ever-changing team of volunteers have documented the process of tearing down the old keel and deck, raising money by piloting and building other boats, milling live oak and casting bronze, and explaining what all the words mean. One man’s mission to save a historic ship built a digital community
posted by clawsoon at 10:52 AM PST - 22 comments

Friends of fairies wear boots too.

A welcome warm story about real life fairies and their environs. I just stumbled on this heartwarming twitter thread about fairy life... [more inside]
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 10:13 AM PST - 13 comments


What is LitRPG and why does it exist? When MMOs become fantasy novels, stats and all. As Wikipedia puts it: "LitRPG, short for Literary Role Playing Game, is a literary genre combining the conventions of computer RPGs with science-fiction and fantasy novels... [I]n LitRPG, games or game-like challenges form an essential part of the story, and visible RPG statistics... are a significant part of the reading experience... Typically, the main character in a LitRPG novel is consciously interacting with the game or game-like world and attempting to progress within it." Below the fold is a bit about the few LitRPG stories I've read part or all of so far: Azarinth Healer, Delve, Skyclad, Vainqueur The Dragon and The Wandering Inn. [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 10:00 AM PST - 54 comments

Ibex Climbing

The incredible ibex defies gravity and climbs a dam
posted by aniola at 7:36 AM PST - 46 comments

December 11

The only antidote? Yentl and The Chosen on VHS.

A great Hanukkah movie would be a miracle: Will Feinstein of The A.V. Club asks "What does it look like when Hanukkah has the rare chance to take center stage in holiday films? And why don’t we see more Hanukkah movies?" [more inside]
posted by dannyboybell at 7:49 PM PST - 48 comments

C is for печенье, that's good enough for me

Impersonating a Property Owner, a Man Paid an Artist to Paint a Cookie Monster Mural in Peoria. The Town—and the Internet—Have Questions The case of the mystery mural commission has gone viral. [more inside]
posted by ActingTheGoat at 7:17 PM PST - 63 comments

LinkedIn is the fucking worst

Fadeke Adegbuyi on LinkedIn’s alternate universe and how it makes professional networking weird with its bizarre inspirational copypasta, never-ending InMail, copycat features (stories! audio messages!), and rockstar recruiters.
posted by adrianhon at 2:15 PM PST - 89 comments

And Now, a Sinkhole Full of Rats

"Here is my yearly roundup of headlines I screen shotted in 2020." [2019, 2018, 2017]
posted by Ouverture at 12:45 PM PST - 43 comments

Time of the Signs

It appears that cipher Z340 of the cryptograms sent by the so-called Zodiac Killer in 1969 has finally been solved.
posted by Rumple at 11:34 AM PST - 37 comments

Put a scale symmetry exactly on top of a rotational symmetry. Enjoy.

SuperSym: A symmetry-based doodling toy. Draw symmetrical things. Feel soothed by them. [via mefi projects]
posted by jacquilynne at 8:22 AM PST - 14 comments

December 10

Fantasy and Comic artist Richard Corben has passed away at 80

Best known for his contributions to Heavy Metal magazine, his underground comix work, and that Meatloaf album cover, Corben's style was always immediately recognizable. It was both realistic and outlandishly fantastic. His particular use of exaggerated anatomy and innovative color technique set him apart from other artists in the comic world and imprinted the minds of viewers for decades. More here via Boing Boing.
posted by Liquidwolf at 7:40 PM PST - 37 comments

Prêt-à-manger? Manger away.

Away in a Meat Manger: "The Meat Manger, created at the annual Brooklyn SausageFest. A nativity scene created with bacon, various sausages, cold cuts, pretzel sticks, and on a bed of sauerkraut." There's also a Flickr photo set.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 3:23 PM PST - 31 comments

“She do the bereaved in different voices”

A Part Song is a poem by Denise Riley about the death of her son from cardiomyopathy in adulthood. Poet Ange Mlinko wrote an essay about Riley in the latest issue of the London Review of Books, which she discussed with Joanne O’Leary on the LRB podcast, in a conversation that ranged from Riley’s poetry to their personal experiences of losing loved ones. You can listen to Riley read A Part Song either in the first link or on the LRB podcast.
posted by Kattullus at 2:17 PM PST - 3 comments

The legend of The Legend of Zelda

The Game UI Database launched this week, joining Interface in Game and Videogame Interfaces in documenting the ever-growing complexity and variety of in-game user interfaces, from A Short Hike’s retro pixel aesthetics to Firewatch’s 3D real world maps and journals and Destiny 2’s “Flat 2.0” menus.
posted by adrianhon at 2:14 PM PST - 10 comments

Ah! Hello Adventurer!

Epic NPC Man is a web series by New Zealand comedy group Viva La Dirt League "parodying the gameplay, glitches, bugs and physics of a range of role-playing games such as World of Warcraft, Skyrim and the Witcher. Set in the fictional world of Azerim in the fictional MMORPG called Skycraft, the series features a range of recurring non-player characters with varying levels of self-awareness." Also: chickens. [more inside]
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:09 PM PST - 13 comments


"Adventure Calendar" is a holiday-flavored RPG project from Grant Howitt. [more inside]
posted by Ipsifendus at 1:19 PM PST - 6 comments

"We all love Scrooged, but it doesn't count."

A Grand Yuletide Theory: The Muppet Christmas Carol is the best adaptation of A Christmas Carol - Ethan Warren, for Bright Wall/Dark Room
posted by Navelgazer at 10:58 AM PST - 103 comments

Breaking is golden

Breaking, elite breakdancing, will make its Olympics debut at Paris 2024, officials announced earlier in the week. According to CNN, it will be the first Dance Sport (no, I don't know why that was capitalised, either) event to appear at an Olympic Games, after having been staged at the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires two years ago. The International Olympic Committee executive board also announced that skateboarding, sport climbing, and surfing (three events that were due to debut at the postponed Tokyo Games) will be featured in Paris, too. "Today is a historic occasion, not only for b-boys and b-girls but for all dancers around the world," said Shawn Tay, president of the World DanceSport Federation). [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 9:47 AM PST - 70 comments

The Tail End of The Simpsons’ “Golden Age”

An Oral History of How Stupid, Sexy Flanders Got Such a Stupid, Sexy Ass [Mel]
posted by chavenet at 2:33 AM PST - 61 comments

December 9

Better Days

Joaquin Baldwin (@joabaldwin) [who is a "Disney Feature Animation layout artist and supervisor: Zootopia, Moana, Ralph, Frozen, BH6, etc."] has posted his music video for the Radical Days song Better Days. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 11:00 PM PST - 11 comments

2020: The Year of the Infodemic

In 2020, Disinformation Broke The US: Lies about science, civil rights, and the vote itself have turned Americans against one another. "Disinformation and its fallout have defined 2020, the year of the infodemic. Month after month, self-serving social media companies have let corrosive manipulators out for dollars, votes, and clicks vie for attention, no matter the damage..." [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 7:01 PM PST - 47 comments


"Meteors are raining down, zombies marching through your town, tidal waves are heading right your waaay..." Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy wrote and performed a song about Christmas in 2020, and @JoshFlowers on Twitter edited clips of RiffTrax Christmas videos into it. It's APOCALYPSE CHRISTMAS. HO HO HO
posted by JHarris at 3:48 PM PST - 11 comments

"And the closest person to that point is actually up in space."

"You're three or four months on the boat... you're three or four months alone... and you're in the most rough and inhospitable areas in the world. You sail past the point... that is the furthest away from land." Pieter Heerema talks about competing in a previous edition of the Vendée Globe, a quadrennial round-the-world solo sailing race. [more inside]
posted by clawsoon at 3:42 PM PST - 11 comments

Dark Side of the Moon as College Ensemble Pice

An amazing performance , in its entirety, of Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" by students at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Via the A.V. Club.
posted by Ipsifendus at 12:31 PM PST - 28 comments

The States V. Facebook

Today, a coalition of 48 states lead by NYS AG Letitia James have filed a lawsuit against Facebook, asserting the company has violated the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. (SLAssociated Press) [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:25 PM PST - 86 comments

The Incredible Lightness of Being

Aerial cable cars aren’t just for tourists and expos - they’re a legitimate city transport mode worthy of serious evaluation. Long Branch Mike at London Reconnections tours examples from Rio de Janeiro, Medellin, La Paz, Brest, Toulouse, Marseille, Paris, Vancouver, Portland, London, and beyond, looking at the different families of aerial cableways, cabin and tower design, and more.
posted by adrianhon at 12:08 PM PST - 32 comments

Someone will remember us I say …….even in another time

What We Know about Sappho - Judith Schalansky in The Paris Review
posted by Chrysopoeia at 9:53 AM PST - 12 comments

"I'm a song catcher."

The Guardian interviews Chris Strachwitz, founder of Arhoolie Records. Just in advance of a free stream of the documentary 60 years of Arhoolie (on Thursday Dec 10, 8 pm EST/5 pm PST), a discussion with the 89-year-old founder of one of the record labels instrumental in capturing, documenting, and popularizing many styles of folk and working-class music. [more inside]
posted by soundguy99 at 8:38 AM PST - 6 comments

Covid vaccines set to begin rollout

Governments around the world are beginning to implement COVID-19 vaccine programs. Most people will experience mild reactions if any to injections however the UK warns people with a history serious allergic reactions shouldn't receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine after two people experienced adverse reactions to the inoculation. [more inside]
posted by Mitheral at 8:01 AM PST - 127 comments

Coup or counter?

Turkey, Poland, or America? Zeynep Tufekci argues that Trump is attempting a coup to stay in power after losing last month's election. She then invites MetaFilter's own Maciej Ceglowski to offer an opposing perspective and hosts his rebuttal in her same Substack transmission. [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 6:55 AM PST - 95 comments

This Person Exists

A website showing the real faces of real people used to train This Person Does Not Exist, without their knowledge or consent. [more inside]
posted by wesleyac at 1:37 AM PST - 32 comments

December 8

64 Reasons to Celebrate Paul McCartney

"His finest work is undoubtedly frontloaded by the miraculous accident of The Beatles, but there are gems scattered throughout his career, right up to the present day. For sheer fecundity, I can’t, with the exception of Bob Dylan, think of any other songwriter who comes close. There are very few artists in history, in any field, who have produced so much work at a high level over such a span." -64 Reasons To Celebrate Paul McCartney.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:12 PM PST - 84 comments

Man, Pinky And The Brain Got Dark

A single twitter link of a video [1m52s] of two voice actors reading a script for which their characters were never intended. And yet...
posted by hippybear at 10:44 PM PST - 11 comments

Bingeworthy TV series

Wondering what series to binge next? Try This listing shows the Top 100 Shows as nominated by users of Bingeworthy.IO with at least 25 ratings. 4/4 is the best you can get. This site was created by Dave Winer (of RSS fame), and built by site users. If you login (linking your Twitter account) you can vote for shows. You can also add new shows via Metacritic. Some of the title names are a bit dodgy, and there's little granularity (eg. all seasons of Dr Who are listed as one title, but Battlestar Galactica series are listed twice (1978 and 2003)). Could be useful if you think you've seen all the good shows... [more inside]
posted by joffaboy at 8:05 PM PST - 44 comments

Distant Thunder

Very sorry to report Harold Budd has passed away. [more inside]
posted by Dean358 at 3:58 PM PST - 46 comments

Testing future pandemic vaccines in advance

"You may be surprised to learn that of the trio of long-awaited coronavirus vaccines, the most promising, Moderna’s mRNA-1273, which reported a 94.5 percent efficacy rate on November 16, had been designed by January 13." [more inside]
posted by clawsoon at 3:09 PM PST - 32 comments

Like, how much else is pretend, if the debt isn’t real?

A Student-Debt Researcher Fucks Me up With America's Broken Promises
posted by sir_patrick_o'veal at 1:59 PM PST - 53 comments

you didn't know you needed to see penguins going to the cinema

Aquarium staff in Chicago, USA, take the penguins on field trips around the city. Lots of cute video footage of curious penguins exploring theatres, sports stadiums, and art museums. Previously: penguins go for a hike in the woods.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 1:42 PM PST - 11 comments

I promised MeFi some information about singing mice a long time ago...

I promised MeFi some information about singing mice a long time ago... [via mefi projects]
posted by aniola at 11:58 AM PST - 14 comments

The Skeletons at the Lake

In a story bringing together archaeology, anthropology, genomics, history, hailstorms, and religion, Douglas Preston investigates the multiple mass-death events at Roopkund lake in the Himalayas, and the many differing and inconclusive theories about what happened there several centuries ago (The New Yorker) [more inside]
posted by adrianhon at 11:38 AM PST - 17 comments

Boom Time

How a small theater in Amsterdam became the most influential American comedy factory you’ve never heard of.
posted by Pendragon at 10:27 AM PST - 5 comments

Outrageous Predictions for 2021

After an extraordinary year, the SaxoStrats are back with Outrageous Predictions for 2021. The events of 2020 have sent nearly every underlying social and technological supertrend into overdrive, bringing a once-distant future a quantum leap closer. But which "Future is Now" forecast do you think is most likely? [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 9:37 AM PST - 19 comments

"I feel so complete. Like really complete."

Decolonising The Arctic, One Tattoo At A Time (The Polar Connection): If Inuit tattooing once teetered on the brink of being lost, it is now returning as an integral part of Indigenous identity and culture in the Arctic. And this re-membering of not only tradition, but also a painful past, is a profound aspect of decolonisation. “We are just getting back to it, so give us a little bit of space to do that, to find what it is for us now. And then also, going forward, with the women we want so desperately to heal. If you are ‘woke’ and you admire the chin tattoos, understand that that’s because we need that healing and that we want it to be special for us.” The revival of Inuit hand-poke and skin-stitch tattooing has also lead to a book, Hovak Johnston's Reawakening Our Ancestors' Lines: Revitalizing Inuit Traditional Tattooing (Bookshop) -- which recently won an American Indian Youth Literature honor -- and documentaries like Tupik: Inuit Ink (Youtube) and Alethea Arnaquq-Baril's Tunniit: Retracing the Lines of Inuit Tattoos (Vimeo). More on Tunniit here. [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 8:35 AM PST - 10 comments

Doug Scott CBE, 29 May 1941 – 7 December 2020

Doug Scott, legendary British Mountaineer, has died of brain cancer at the age of 79. [more inside]
posted by bondcliff at 7:33 AM PST - 9 comments

Ikea catalog 1951-2020

The Ikea catalog is dead. Citing the rise of digital media over print, among other factors, Ikea says their 2020 print catalog will be its last annual edition. But with their browsable archive of seventy years of interior design, long live the Ikea catalog.
posted by ardgedee at 6:43 AM PST - 47 comments

December 7

The Right Stuff

Chuck Yeager, arguably America's best pilot has died at the age of 97 “The fastest man alive,” “the guy with the right stuff,” “Mr. Supersonic,” Charles E. “Chuck” Yeager has been called a lot of things in his 80 [97] years, but none is more fitting than the title, “a true American.” Despite a youth in the poverty-stricken backwoods of West Virginia, Yeager became a fighter ace, a legendary test pilot, a leader of men, and an icon for generations, all while doing what he loved: flying. His is an American story, one that inspires us and teaches us to always look to the skies. [more inside]
posted by AugustWest at 8:32 PM PST - 84 comments

Gentle Giant "Proclamation" Official Fan Video

Fans from around the world celebrate their love of music and Gentle Giant with their powerful and glorious rendition of Proclamation from the album The Power & The Glory.

And do pay close attention. The video marks the first time in 40 years that all members of Gentle Giant appear on screen and play together in a ‘virtual reunion’. Other notable fans include Jakko Jakszyk of King Crimson, Billy Sherwood of Yes, E.L.O. bassist Lee Pomeroy, Dan Reed of the Dan Reed Network, Richard Hilton of Chic and Mikey Heppner of Priestess. [more inside]
posted by philip-random at 12:00 PM PST - 14 comments

Feelings can creep up just like that

This year marks the twentieth anniversary of Wong Kar-wai’s masterpiece, In the Mood for Love. Starring Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung, the movie won Best Actor and Technical Grand Prize at Cannes, and is frequently listed as one of the greatest films of all time. The movie is a spiritual sequel to Days of Being Wild, with 2046 and the upcoming Blossoms Shanghai considered followups. 20 Years On, In the Mood for Love Remains the Ultimate Fashion Romance (Vogue); Celebrating 20 years of being In the Mood for Love (i-d/Vice). Roger Ebert’s review. Bonus dancing scene cut from the movie. [more inside]
posted by adrianhon at 11:24 AM PST - 13 comments

Into The Wood

Chill out to some stunning Japenese wood joinery videos from Dylan Iwakuni:
- Shihou Kama Tsugi (four-way goose neck joint)
- Kane Tsugi
- Ari Shiguchi
- Sumidome Hozo Sashi
- Kanawa Tsugi
posted by cortex at 10:48 AM PST - 11 comments

Money Doesn’t Talk, It Swears

Bob Dylan Sells Songwriting Catalog In Nine-Figure Deal [NPR] [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 9:22 AM PST - 169 comments

A Recipe for Seduction

KFC & Lifetime team up for a holiday mini-movie. The movie will premiere at noon on December 13, and will be available on streaming on Lifetime and video on demand. Additionally: KFC and Uber Eats are offering a special promotion in conjunction with the film -- six free extra crispy tenders with a purchase of $20 or more -- that will be available between December 13-19 via the mobile food delivery app. [more inside]
posted by toastyk at 9:11 AM PST - 39 comments


From Disney Jail to ‘Emperor’s New Groove’: A Patrick Warburton Story. Just ahead of the 20-year anniversary (Dec 15) of the film The Emperor's New Groove, The Daily Beast has a conversation with Patrick Warburton (with a cameo from his sons) on the creation of his "reticent henchman" character. Linked in the piece is a Polygon article on the long difficult road of creating the film in the first place, and how a box-office loser of a film found new life and appreciation in the 20 years since.
posted by soundguy99 at 8:35 AM PST - 28 comments

Go young or go home.

Batman Beyond: The Classic That Nobody Wanted [more inside]
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:48 AM PST - 24 comments

December 6

Pumpkin spice bologna sounded like a stupid idea to everyone but me

Oscar Mayer may not actually make Pumpkin Spice Bologna, but Jim, who runs the website Sandwich Tribunal, decided to give it a serious try.
posted by Maaik at 6:23 PM PST - 40 comments

Women in Pinball: Flipping the Male-Dominated Script

TL;DR Despite common reports of sexism in pinball and the lack of female representation among the top 100 players, women are taking the space they deserve. [more inside]
posted by beastelyse at 3:27 PM PST - 20 comments

They Silenced Journalists, they won't silence the stories.

Murder in Mexico: journalists caught in the crosshairs. The 2012 killing of Regina Martínez, who was investigating links between organised crime and politics, began a wave of violence in the most dangerous country to be a reporter. The Forbidden Stories project, a network of journalists whose mission is to continue and publish the work of other journalists facing threats, prison, or murder and whose goal is to keep their stories alive and to make sure a maximum number of people have access to uncensored news on such crucial topics as the environment, health, human rights, or corruption.
posted by adamvasco at 12:32 PM PST - 8 comments

What are we doing to get people into housing?

According to Need is a new five-part documentary podcast from 99% Invisible: "The way homelessness has exploded in California over the last decade, you’d think there was no system in place to address it. But there is one – it just wasn’t designed to help everyone." Produced by Katie Mingle, the Prologue covers her arrival in Oakland last year, Chapter 1 focuses on Tulicia's experience sleeping inside her car with her son, and Chapter 2 spends a day in the 211 "homelessness hotline" call center to find out why it's a dead-end for so many people.
posted by adrianhon at 10:47 AM PST - 28 comments

Respawn of the Dead (or: Cookie Crypter)

Incremancer: it's like an ant farm except the ants all get out and also the ants are zombies and also this is a good thing. Idly grow yourself an army of adorable tiny undead brain-hungry zombos and consume increasingly large and dangerous groups of humans, one overflowing graveyard at a time.
posted by cortex at 7:47 AM PST - 116 comments

a delicate balance.

THE EGG. Play with your spoon before breakfast, uneat a few eggs, and follow up with a glass of what could be wine. And, finally, swords. [more inside]
posted by kaibutsu at 12:33 AM PST - 8 comments

December 5

Asteroid Apophis Could Hit Earth. Here's How We Could Get to It First

99942 Apophis is a near-Earth asteroid with a diameter of 370 metres that will pass within 31,000km/19,000 miles (lower than geosynchronous satellites) of Earth on April 13 2029. In 2062, it could get a bit too close to Earth. In advance of the 2029 event, the Lunar and Planetary Institute recently held a virtual workshop called “Apophis T-9 Years: Knowledge Opportunities for the Science of Planetary Defense” with discussions on how best to observe Apophis's characteristics from Earth and from spacecraft. Gizmodo's George Dvorsky gives the details of the workshop in Asteroid Apophis Could One Day Hit Earth. Here's How We Could Get to It First. [more inside]
posted by ShooBoo at 1:04 PM PST - 70 comments

Spandex is a right, not a privilege.

For the 25th anniversary of the release of Hackers, London's Horse Hospital is hosting an exhibit of the costumes that Robert K Burton designed for the film. Dazed magazine features an interview with Burton as well as previously-unseen set Polaroids of the actors in costume. [more inside]
posted by subocoyne at 1:00 PM PST - 43 comments

In and around the solar system this week

Humanity and its machines have been busy finding stuff in space. The Chinese Lunar Exploration Program's Chang'e 5 landed in the Oceanus Procellarum, looked around, collected samples, and fired off a sample-laded return rocket towards an orbiter. (previously) [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 9:35 AM PST - 4 comments

Aston Martin behind debunked anti-electic vehicle "study"

A recent report questioning the emissions benefits of electric vehicles has been convincingly debunked, but not before several media outlets ran with it. After some extensive digging into the companies and individuals behind the study, it has become clear that Aston Martin, despite attempts to distance themselves from the report, used a sock puppet PR firm registered to the wife of the company's Director of Global Government and Corporate Affairs. Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield details some of the many flaws in the report in a video for Transport Evolved. [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu at 9:23 AM PST - 67 comments

All Eyes on Georgia

The key to passing Biden's agenda and disabling Mitch McConnell rests on Georgia. There could not be a more consequential runoff election. While incumbents Loeffler and Perdue run a "Save Our Majority" campaign in the midst of election fraud claims, Rev. Warnock and Jon Ossoff form a Black-Jewish coalition that could be key to opening a new era of civil rights in America, beginning with the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Whether the U.S. becomes more or less democratic hinges on the Georgia runoffs on Jan. 5, 2021. [more inside]
posted by ichomp at 1:45 AM PST - 155 comments

The Trick of Orthodoxy

Economics truly is a disgrace - "This is very personal post. It is my story of the retaliation I suffered immediately after my 'economics is a disgrace' blog post went viral. The retaliation came from Heather Boushey–a recent Biden appointee to the Council of Economic Adviser and the President and CEO of Equitable Growth where I then worked. This is not the story I wanted to be telling (or living). Writing this post is painful. I am sorry." (via; previously) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 12:45 AM PST - 52 comments

December 4

Doris Akers

Despite being honored by the Smithsonian Institution as "the foremost black gospel songwriter in the United States", and being inducted into the Nashville Gospel Music Hall of Fame, "Nobody talks much about Doris Akers, or even gives her credit for her considerable part in shaping Post-War gospel music composition." (PDF) [more inside]
posted by clawsoon at 8:22 PM PST - 2 comments

It was fifty years ago today...

And in the end: inside the heartbreak, the brotherhood, and why the Beatles' music still matters. (Rolling Stone) [more inside]
posted by blue shadows at 7:31 PM PST - 38 comments

Being Black in Sociology

Urban ethnographers do more harm than good in speaking for Black communities. They see only suffering, not diversity or joy. [...] Too many sociologists treat their carefully crafted representations of reality as fact, rather than fact-like.
Dr. Robyn Autry on Sociology's Race Problem.
posted by Rumple at 5:29 PM PST - 3 comments

Inside the New York Public Library’s Last, Secret Apartments

"There used to be parties in the apartments on the top floors of New York City’s branch libraries. " When the Carnegie Libraries were built, the buildings required caretakers, until modernization meant that live-in furnace-minders were no longer needed. Surprisingly for New York City, the apartments were left empty, or used for storage, though with space at a premium, they're starting to be used again.
posted by kalimac at 5:20 PM PST - 15 comments

Where you live is who you are: Erin O'Toole and the new culture war

CBC journalist Aaron Wherry looks at Canadian politics through the lens of Somewheres and Anywheres. [more inside]
posted by sardonyx at 11:40 AM PST - 56 comments

Interactive - Your Vax Priority

Find Your Place in the Vaccine Line interactive NYT piece. [more inside]
posted by theora55 at 11:19 AM PST - 115 comments

Flim Flam Man

Love him or hate him, but he's playing Flim on drums blind.
posted by saladin at 11:13 AM PST - 7 comments

Clarinet, no harmonica.

Daveed Diggs has a new single about getting everything he ever wantedkah: a Puppy for Hanukkah.
posted by ChuraChura at 9:37 AM PST - 32 comments

walking taco, walking Frito pie, Petro; cf. Dorilocos, Tostilocos

Oaxacans, Mormons, And A Bag Of Chips: A Brief History Of The Walking Taco (Heavy Table): You might as well know, right at the outset, that Alice Waters does not approve of walking tacos. [...] But I can’t help but wince at her broader critique: “As perfect a symbol of a broken culture as I can imagine.” Because while a walking taco may not be, like, good for you in a nutritionist-approved way, if you look at the deeper cultural perspective, it turns out there’s much to savor—it’s less about how things fall apart than how they come together.
posted by not_the_water at 8:01 AM PST - 61 comments

Cave exploration robot contest

An Australian team has a combined robot on tracks and drone team for cave exploration Sometimes it's more competent on its own, sometimes the human operators do better. It's not just that it can cover terrain (like steep slippery slopes) that people can't, its navigation skills are sometimes excellent. [more inside]
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 5:32 AM PST - 10 comments

Your Personal Cloud

“Tell me your name and the name of your cloud and I'll send you a photo of your personal cloud from the skies above my home.” Name your own cloud, and check out the gallery of clouds others have named, like “Dustbunny”, “Floaty Friend”, and “Bartholomew.”
posted by wesleyac at 4:39 AM PST - 15 comments

Hafod Hardware Christmas Advertisements

Situated in the centre of Rhayader [Mid-Wales] is one of the oldest businesses in the town- Hafod Hardware. The shop is a traditional old fashioned ironmongers with wooden flooring and walls and ceiling lined in pine. "The shop is not 'Open All Hours', but we have been open since 1895." [more inside]
posted by Thella at 2:54 AM PST - 9 comments

December 3

With fewer tourists to entertain, it has found a much more important use

An empty Paris hotel now shelters the homeless - "In normal times the Hotel Avenir Montmartre is a tourist magnet with its views of the Eiffel Tower and the Sacre Coeur church, but COVID-19 has scared off the usual guests. Instead, the hotel has opened its doors to the homeless." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 11:26 PM PST - 11 comments

RIP Alison Lurie, Pulitzer-winning novelist, 1926 - 2020

Alison Lurie, a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist who blended mordant wit and boundless empathy to chronicle the lives of women searching for self-knowledge and self-fulfillment while going about the business of everyday life, died Dec. 3 at a hospice facility in Ithaca, N.Y. She was 94. The death was confirmed by her husband, Edward Hower. He did not cite a specific cause. [more inside]
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 8:33 PM PST - 21 comments

Visualizing the R-value in yarn

Want to see a crocheted illustration of the importance of reducing the R-value? Norwegian biostatistician Kathrine Frey Frøslie explains in this 4-minute video.
posted by Quietgal at 7:14 PM PST - 19 comments

Like beggars by the wayside dressed in gay attire

Born in 1822 to a prominent family in Talbot County, Mary Elizabeth Banning moved with her older sister and widowed mother to Baltimore in 1855. Alongside tending to her ailing family members, she cultivated her penchant for the study and illustration of natural objects, especially mushrooms. After some correspondence with leading botanists of her time, in 1868 she began to write and illustrate a complete catalogue of the fungi of Maryland. The project took her more than twenty years and resulted in a manuscript of scientific descriptions accompanied by 175 detailed, 13" by 15", original watercolor illustrations of mushroom species, many of which previously unknown. [more inside]
posted by progosk at 4:36 PM PST - 13 comments

The Social Life of Forests

Trees appear to communicate and cooperate through subterranean networks of fungi. What are they sharing with one another?
posted by Ahmad Khani at 2:36 PM PST - 43 comments

Every Mr. Darcy (that you care about), ranked

Traditionally, people who click on articles ranking various Mr. Darcys are one of two types: a MacFadyen through the mists person or a Firth in the drink person. Therefore, I must apologize now, as both are tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me. Don’t @ me, Firth-hive. In honour of the 25th anniversary of the beloved 1995 BBC production of Pride and Prejudice, Emily Temple ranks all the Mr. Darcys she cares about in LitHub. Features (among others) a life-sized Mr. Darcy cake and Mr. Darcy as played by a Jack Russell Terrier.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 2:28 PM PST - 57 comments

1872 Equine Flu

In 1872 the U.S. economy was growing as the young nation industrialized and expanded westward. Then in the autumn, a sudden shock paralyzed social and economic life. It was an energy crisis of sorts, but not a shortage of fossil fuels. Rather, the cause was a virus that spread among horses and mules from Canada to Central America.
posted by ShooBoo at 1:22 PM PST - 5 comments

New apple variety discovered in UK

Archie Thomas stumbled across solitary windfall fruit that could be cross between cultivated apple and European crab apple. Thomas admitted he may be biased, but said he thought the apples tasted great. “Tart but not wincingly-so, and with enough sweetness to eat raw … They speak of the terrain of Wiltshire; unimproved chalk grassland and chalk streams,” he added. As for the name, Thomas said he felt pressure to get it right: “I have too many ideas. My seven-year-old son wants me to call it Cristiano Ronaldo but that’s not happening. My wife, Hannah, is the apple of my eye, so she’s in contention.” (via The Guardian)
posted by Bella Donna at 12:04 PM PST - 23 comments

Glad I dropped Disney+ and not HBO Max

Warner Bros. will launch every 2021 movie on HBO Max at the same time they hit theaters -- CNBC; Warner Bros. Smashes Box Office Windows, Will Send Entire 2021 Slate to HBO Max and Theaters -- The Hollywood Reporter; ‘Dune,’ ‘Matrix 4,’ and Every 2021 Warner Bros. Film to Debut on HBO Max and in Theaters at Same Time -- Indiewire
posted by valkane at 11:36 AM PST - 93 comments

some bragged about children; others threw them to the wolves

Shedd, Oregon. December 25, 1948. “Dear Friends,” wrote Marie Bussard, a homesick mother of three. “Now that Christmas is here again... we find that there is too much news to fit into a note on each card. We have borrowed this idea of a Christmas News Letter from our friends the Chambers and the Danns.” So they’re the ones to blame. A year-end ritual we have learned to love and hate simultaneously, the holiday newsletter has always been Americanish—efficient, egalitarian and increasingly secular.
posted by sciatrix at 11:21 AM PST - 13 comments

“A neo-Buddhist sci-fi romp through the embryonic Gaian hive mind” is an audio-visual experience for meditating on space, and the earth, and us.
If you’d like a more structured, user-friendly experience check out the library of texts and audio excerpts used to create the site.
Curated by u/CuratorOfTheLibrary
posted by Going To Maine at 10:36 AM PST - 7 comments

Bro Culture, Fitness, Chivalry, and American Identity

Imperial wars overseas always come home eventually, and they do so in complex ways. The fact that millions of people listen to Jocko Willink, buy Black Rifle Coffee Company merchandise, and dabble in more extreme fringes is a product of decades spent elevating not just military service writ large but violent combat overseas against ill-defined Others. For every Jocko Willink, there’s an Eddie Gallagher, the SEAL who was convicted of and then recently pardoned for war crimes after becoming a cause célèbre for large swathes of the online right [more inside]
posted by Carillon at 10:17 AM PST - 38 comments

Arecibo collapse

Arecibo observatory collapse video footage Incredibly a drone was conducting a remote inspection of the Arecibo observatory support cables at the exact moment it collapsed. (video on twitter)
posted by GuyZero at 9:24 AM PST - 39 comments

"...she does not belong in talk radio as practiced in North America"

A host on a morning talk-radio news show quits after racist threats. Supriya Dwivedi, host on Toronto AM talk-radio station 640 CFMJ, resigned after enduring increasingly aggressive threats from listeners. Her resignation follows months of online harassment which she contends in a complaint to the Canadian Human Rights Commission was feebly-addressed by her employer Global and its parent company Chorus Entertainment.
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 9:07 AM PST - 25 comments

The Beirut Port Explosion: Forensic Architecture

"Mr Collett contended that from an engineering perspective, the arrangement of goods within the building was the spatial layout of a makeshift bomb on the scale of a warehouse, awaiting detonation." Forensic Architecture, a research group based at the University of London, investigates the Beirut Port explosion and publishes its findings. (Forensic Architecture previously on the blue) [more inside]
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:03 AM PST - 9 comments

"I may have just found my new favourite content discovery mechanism"

Oisín Moran explains how he made his self-quoting tweet
posted by Stark at 8:46 AM PST - 5 comments

Now we know where the toilet paper went

"Hi... Two Zero Two Zero?"
"Please, call me 2020."

posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 8:20 AM PST - 8 comments

The Hypocrisy of Dave Chappelle’s Power Play

“He convinced Netflix to pull his old sketch show from streaming by saying it made him feel bad. Funny how that works.” (Medium)
posted by girlmightlive at 8:14 AM PST - 31 comments

100 Tampons

Yes it's that Sally Ride story, put to beautiful song. [previously]
posted by phunniemee at 7:55 AM PST - 9 comments

"choose who joins your conversation"

"BBC Dad" Robert E. Kelly (previously, previously) "knows something about interruptions" so he made an ad for Twitter (1-minute subtitled video) to help advertise Twitter’s new conversation settings. (People can mark individual tweets so that "Everyone", "People you follow", or "only people you mention" can reply (which means that, if desired, a user can make a tweet un-reply-able). Twitter started testing this feature early this year and now it's apparently available for all users.) Yes, his kids are in the ad.
posted by brainwane at 6:27 AM PST - 9 comments

December 2

Sanna Marin: The feminist PM leading a coalition of women

They were all women. At the time the photo was released, only one leader of the five-party coalition was over the age of 34.

Previously on MeFi...
posted by dfm500 at 7:27 PM PST - 9 comments

Admit it. You're Fascinated

Do Rats Have Orgasms?
posted by BadgerDoctor at 3:47 PM PST - 39 comments

Solar is 89% cheaper and wind 70% cheaper than it was in 2009

Why did renewables become so cheap so fast? And what can we do to use this global opportunity for green growth? A new report from Our World in Data.
posted by Cash4Lead at 2:12 PM PST - 83 comments

What Is the Sound of Thought?

What Is the Sound of Thought? (The MIT Press Reader): Why do we include the sounds of words in our thoughts when we think without speaking? Are they just an illusion induced by our memory of overt speech? Related: That Little Voice in Your Head, If You Have It, May Be Aligning Your Thoughts (Neuroscience News)
posted by not_the_water at 8:38 AM PST - 56 comments

Castles in the Sky

While renovating a house in San Francisco, a couple discovered a diary, hidden away for more than a century. It held a love story—and a mystery. [SL Atavist]
posted by ellieBOA at 6:27 AM PST - 26 comments

Stephen Biesty, take note

Salvage operations on the SS Golden Ray: In September 2019, the SS Golden Ray left the port of Brunswick, Georgia carrying a load of cars. It capsized shortly thereafter in the shallow waters of St. Simons Sound. Salvage operations have now begun, and it is fascinating to see how such a massive object is moved. The star of the show is the VB 10000, a massive gantry crane built on two barges. The wreck will be cut into eight sections, and a few days ago the first section was removed. (Facebook photo album) [more inside]
posted by Johnny Assay at 5:04 AM PST - 29 comments

Metal Kenneth Copeland

Andre Antunes creates metal versions of popular music. His most recent work adapts the preaching of Kenneth Copeland and Paula White to the genre.
posted by adept256 at 2:33 AM PST - 19 comments

December 1

My Neighbor, Miguel

A short documentary about a magical San Francisco resident and artist (SL Vimeo) (CW: while not the majority of the film, he does talk about his experience of living through the AIDS crisis)
posted by treepour at 4:30 PM PST - 5 comments

kindred spirits

"I love Anne of Green Gables. I have for years. That’s one of my favourite things. She’s such a can-do kind of girl, that’s why I’m crazy about her. And that Gilbert Blythe? He’s a charmer. And Marilla, a lady who knows just how she wants things to go? Oh yes, I think I can appreciate that as well.” Aretha Franklin loved Anne of Green Gables, and Canadian author and journalist Evelyn C. White explores why that might be.
posted by ChuraChura at 1:07 PM PST - 16 comments

Correlation, causation or curse?

In 2017, a 29 year-old woman in Mexico City was given an MRI while undergoing an exorcism. Then things got weird: 8 out of 13 participants (61.53%) [in the research] had accidents and sudden events that put their lives in danger. [pdf paper] via Tom Whitwell's annual list
posted by gottabefunky at 12:04 PM PST - 46 comments

Elliot Page Is Trans

Oscar-nominated actor Elliot Page announces that he is transgender. Variety also posted an article about his announcement.
posted by Tabitha Someday at 10:35 AM PST - 92 comments

*slaps roof* this bad boy can fit so many fucking polyhedra in it

You looking for Platonic solids? Maybe some versi-regular polyhedra? How about some regular hexagonal toroidal solids? We've even got self-intersecting quasi-quasi-regular duals, though we can't legally insure those.

We got all this and more down at dmccooey's visual polyhedra site, your one-stop shopping destination for HTML5 polyhedral renderings.
posted by cortex at 9:48 AM PST - 27 comments

A century-old entomological mystery solved

He Was a Stick, She Was a Leaf; Together They Made History — A surprise clutch of eggs has solved a century-old leaf insect mystery. (SLNYT)
posted by beagle at 9:36 AM PST - 8 comments

"I was never in your--"

The Supernatural Finale Aired, And Tumblr Exploded - a longform video dissection of the long-running CW show Supernatural, its exceptional fandom, their favorite ship (Destiel), and the controversial finale, by vlogger Sarah Z. [YT, 1:45:34; video has spoilers for virtually the entirety of the fifteen-season show] [more inside]
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:22 AM PST - 34 comments

Nut Cracker Suite

The Best Ways to Remove a Rusted Nut from a Bolt. It's an aggravating DIY challenge. And it turns out that the most commonly used techniques (WD-40, simple wrench, Vise-grips) aren't the most effective. The simple wrench in fact, makes things worse. (SLYT). The video lists sixteen (!) ways to conquer the rusted nut, from easiest to hardest.
posted by storybored at 8:52 AM PST - 55 comments

Roadmap for autonomous vehicles

Tesla has released a re-written version of its "Full Self Drive" software. Beta testers has been posting enthusiastic reviews. The company has pulled off the trick of getting customers to pay for and test software where they still bear responsibility as drivers. Others, such as Waymo, prefer to run trials in carefully mapped areas with driverless vehicles. Autonomy promises fewer cars on the road and , less space dedicated to parking. Perhaps manufacturers will prefer to profit from their own vehicle networks rather than by selling cars to the public? Tesla talks (contentiously) about providing systems which are much safer than imperfect human drivers - but the developing technology must cross a chasm of "edge cases" to succeed. This can be painful: there have been fatalities associated with driver's employing Tesla's auto-pilot and FSD, to date. A world of Robotaxis will also end numerous transport related jobs. But can we be confident it will never happen? The technology will surely tempt governments and planners.
posted by rongorongo at 7:08 AM PST - 102 comments

Apple, Nike and Coca-Cola Lobby Against Xinjiang Forced Labor Bill

Business groups and major companies like Apple have been pressing Congress to alter legislation cracking down on imports of goods made with forced labor from persecuted Muslim minorities in China. (previously: 1, 2, 3)
posted by - at 5:19 AM PST - 21 comments

A US immigrant on racism and shame

One of the surprises of the 2020 Presidential election was that Trump’s percentage of immigrant votes grew. By this I mean that my white friends were surprised. I was not surprised. Let’s talk about immigrant racism. To look at me, I am white. I have certainly benefited from my skin color throughout my life, but that whiteness was a suit I had to learn to wear. When my family moved to Philadelphia in 1970, they were moving into one of the most racist cities in America at the time, presided over by racist mayor Frank Rizzo. Mike Monteiro on Medium: My People Were In Shipping. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 4:47 AM PST - 41 comments