December 2021 Archives

December 31

"The universe does not come equipped with a debugger."

"Last year, my good friend and colleague Matt Ward challenged me to implement a quantum computer emulator in SQL... Challenge accepted!"
posted by tonycpsu at 11:31 PM PST - 13 comments

‘Crazy’ omicron surge could peak soon

But the virus is unpredictable as the pandemic enters its third year The seven-day average of new, officially confirmed daily cases soared to more than 300,000 Wednesday. Then came the eye-popping Thursday numbers from state health departments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — 562,000 new cases, pushing the seven-day average to 343,000. The official number captures only a fraction of the true number of infections. People who use rapid tests at home may not report positive results. Many others never get tested when sick. And some people are infected but asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic. Shaman estimates the number of infections is four to five times the official count. Given that people remain infected for many days, that translates to many millions of active infections across the United States. “We’re talking somewhere up to maybe 10 million people,” Shaman said. “Maybe not all of them are contagious yet. Crazy numbers. Crazy, crazy numbers.”
posted by folklore724 at 9:31 PM PST - 284 comments

South African court blocks Shell's oil exploration

Environmental groups and local communities who rely on marine life to make their living, won a significant court battle against Shell, halting seismic blasting on the South African east coast. [more inside]
posted by Zumbador at 9:07 PM PST - 4 comments

Frank Herbert, the Republican Salafist

"Collapsing Herbert’s ideas of American and non-Western traditions, particularly Islam, is discombobulating." [more inside]
posted by Kabanos at 8:56 PM PST - 17 comments

Many Reflections On The New Year!

It's Just Another New Year's Eve (Barry Manilow), Happy New Year (ABBA), My Dear Acquaintance (A Happy New Year) (Regina Spektor), New Year's Eve In A Haunted House (Raymond Scott), What're You Doing New Year's Eve (Harry Connick, Jr.), Toast To The New Year (Carbon Leaf), The Closing Of The Year (Wendy & Lisa)
posted by hippybear at 7:55 PM PST - 12 comments

Blob Opera, Auld Lang Syne edition

Enjoy performances from adorable AI blob singers and create your songs: Blob Opera, from David Li and Google Arts & Culture. (Previously, when it may have been set more for Christmas carols.) [more inside]
posted by kristi at 7:44 PM PST - 3 comments

Cruising into the new year like

Monke Dreams. Let the world's chillest orangutan chauffeur you into 2022. SLYT
posted by oulipian at 7:36 PM PST - 9 comments

The worst mountaineering disaster in modern history

Marching through the mountains in winter, what could go wrong? In 1902, Japan was anticipating war with Russia. A training march through the mountains, planned for a single day, went horribly wrong when the unit was overtaken by a blizzard. This is now known as "The Mount Hakkoda Incident". Jirō Nitta wrote a documentary novel about the event which was translated into english (reviewed here). A movie based on his book was produced in 1977. Another documentary novel, "Tragedy in a Blizzard" by Koshu Ogasawara was used for another film made in 2014. [more inside]
posted by coppertop at 7:30 PM PST - 4 comments

The Greatest Guitar Solos of All Time

The thorny subject of the greatest guitar solo of all time has long been a fiercely contested debate, probably because every solo is different. How do you compare, say, “Comfortably Numb” with “Crazy Train,” or “Stairway to Heaven” with “Sultans of Swing”? It’s impossible. Still, public opinion ebbs and flows, and we wanted to find out which solos currently rank among our readers as the greatest of them all. [more inside]
posted by dancestoblue at 4:56 PM PST - 145 comments

The Case of The Second Egress and the Missing Middle

McGill University architecture student Conrad Speckert's thesis, The Second Egress: Building a Code Change, takes aim at an obstacle to building midrise housing that would fill in the "missing middle" between single-family houses and tall condo towers: a building code requirement for more than one exit in housing taller than two storeys. [more inside]
posted by metaquarry at 3:22 PM PST - 75 comments

Unusual and strange musical instruments

Unusual and strange musical instruments , part 2, part 3 (all YT).
posted by rjs at 1:59 PM PST - 10 comments

United State of Pop 2021

DJ Earworm's 15th anniversary of year-end mashups is upon us: United State of Pop 2021 (Strawberry Ice Cream) (SLYT)
posted by subocoyne at 1:41 PM PST - 3 comments

Who's a Good Dog? The Dogs of 2021 Are

We Rate Dogs offers up their annual compilation of the doggos of 2021 (Spoiler alert: they're all good girls and boys.) [more inside]
posted by kitten kaboodle at 11:46 AM PST - 26 comments

Thank you for being our friend

Betty White has passed at 99. TMZ breaks the news
posted by St. Peepsburg at 11:21 AM PST - 165 comments

Laurie Anderson: Spending the War Without You

Via the Mahindra Humanities Center's YouTube channel: Laurie Anderson presents Spending the War Without You, a series of six lectures looking at the challenges we face as artists and citizens as we reinvent our culture with ambiguity and beauty. The talk will consider spending time in the slowdown – time in music and stories. [more inside]
posted by carrienation at 11:17 AM PST - 5 comments

Come and sing and dance to sausage rolls with me

Mark Hoyle and Roxanne Hoyle are the duo behind the YouTube channel LadBaby (YT) (previously). Their song Sausage Rolls for Everyone, a collaboration with lesser-known artists Ed Sheeran and Elton John, is the 2021 UK Christmas Number 1 song. This is their fourth song at the top spot, tying LadBaby with another UK-based band, The Beatles, for the most Christmas Day #1 songs. [more inside]
posted by kimberussell at 8:50 AM PST - 17 comments

The Inky Depths #1: The Whalefish

More than a century ago, in 1895, two Smithsonian scientists described a new kind of deep sea creature living at least 1000 m (3,280 ft) below the ocean’s surface. (This section of ocean is called the Bathyal zone, or "midnight zone.") The scientists named their find the whalefish because of its whale-like appearance. Little did they know that this fish would become one of the prime suspects in a mystery that took scientists from around the world decades to solve. [more inside]
posted by tiny frying pan at 7:43 AM PST - 29 comments

Title: “I…ebb & flow with how valid and important it is, what I do.“

Please enjoy the work of Lisa Zolandz. Zolandz is a ceramic artist who explores the use of Crystalline and Iridescent Ceramics. [more inside]
posted by CMcG at 6:15 AM PST - 16 comments

December 30

They say no two procedurally generated snowflakes are alike.

Click to make a snowflake.
posted by AlSweigart at 7:44 PM PST - 25 comments

"We wish to plead our own cause. Too long have others spoken for us."

The early pioneers of Black printing and publishing daily risked their lives to make their voices heard: through countless pages of poetry, philosophy, science, religious instruction, tales of heroism and horror, international affairs, stories of Black accomplishments, of Black pride and community building. Black print culture, then, is considerably more than the sum of its extant printed artifacts. It is the complex and unfathomably rich interplay of all its parts, and a reflection of a people, determined, proud, and unwavering in their conviction that Black lives matter.
A history of African-American print and publishing culture, from pamphleteers to The Freedom Journal to the AME Book Concern.
posted by youarenothere at 3:15 PM PST - 9 comments

there are just marriages, made up of people

If that is not at all a unique type of marriage, in the history of marriages, it nevertheless is not What Marriages Are Like. If I believed that marriages were like that, that marriage, categorically, was just Like That—that a marriage was doomed to sadness and failure and guilt and dissolution—then I would never have gotten married in the first place. Thankfully, there are other types of marriages. There are good ones. Maybe your marriage just sucks. [via the Defector].
posted by sciatrix at 2:59 PM PST - 109 comments

Queen Clarinet

"I wasn’t interested in jazz at all. You know, the jazz clarinetists that I had heard, like George Lewis and others, I appreciated their tones and I respected them, but that was not my concept of tone at all. Their styles at the time were against what I was studying, trying to get a perfect classical clarinet tone." from Ben Redwine's interview with Doreen Ketchens [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 2:54 PM PST - 4 comments

A Divorce Story

HOW I DEMOLISHED MY LIFE: A home-improvement story. By Honor Jones
posted by crazy with stars at 2:43 PM PST - 12 comments

They loved us long before they looked domesticated.

How Dogs Went From Wolves to Man's Best Friend, According to Scientists
posted by dancestoblue at 2:27 PM PST - 14 comments

Movie special effects

A couple short videos on movie special effects: The Death of Green Screen, by Mr. Sunday Movies, covers the history of special effects from King Kong to The Mandalorian. Thomas Flight explains Why Dune's Visual Effects Feel So Different.
posted by russilwvong at 1:30 PM PST - 11 comments

Lil Nas X is the boundary-smashing pop revolutionary of 2021

Lil Nas X is the boundary-smashing pop revolutionary of 2021 [NPR medium read] "Nas' creative output is fully on trend with today's renaissance in Black LGBT+ pop culture that includes everything from ball culture TV series Pose, risqué HBO teen melodrama Euphoria and the irreverent, sexually-frank, Black gay Pulitzer Prize-winning musical A Strange Loop."
posted by hippybear at 1:24 PM PST - 8 comments

The World Needs Slides

Smart Business and Challenge of Change are just two examples of a nearly-forgotten media format collected by the AV Archaeology channel: computer-synchronized multi-projector slide shows (via). [more inside]
posted by OverlappingElvis at 12:24 PM PST - 17 comments

Beats the heck out of a ball or a squeaky toy

For Christmas, the residents of Saveafox get a camera-equipped RC car to chase. And chase it they do. [more inside]
posted by zaixfeep at 8:49 AM PST - 10 comments

A new, low-cost COVID vaccine gets approval for use in India

A COVID-19 vaccine created at the Texas Children's Hospital Center for Vaccine Development in Houston has received emergency use authorization in India. The "Corbevax vaccine is cheap, has no patents and uses traditional protein-based vaccine technology", which will make it easier for lower/middle-income countries to produce and distribute, according to Dr. Peter Hotez, co-director of the Texas Children's Hospital Center for Vaccine Development and dean at Baylor's National School of Tropical Medicine. [more inside]
posted by toastyk at 8:00 AM PST - 15 comments

Piano with tuning forks instead of strings

The idea is to have a piano which won't go out of tune. Mattias Krantz is humble and persistent and has a fair amount of money to throw at the problem. I thought the big challenge would be the price of the tuning forks. It's a problem, but little did I know. It all seemed like a good idea at the time.
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 7:24 AM PST - 38 comments

Where Do I Start?

Over at, science fiction author Jo Walton has a delightful series where she wanders through her bookshelves, letter by letter, and recommends which book to start with for each author. Start here. [more inside]
posted by wittgenstein at 7:14 AM PST - 33 comments

A Measure Of Justice For Epstein's Victims

After a month long trial in New York, socialite and close confidante of Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell, has been found guilty of five out of the six charges she was indicted on regarding her acquiring and grooming victims for the wealthy financier. [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 6:42 AM PST - 51 comments

"I Know What I Saw"

The BBC have decided that the weird and the spooky gets listeners, and released a podcast series called The Uncanny presented by Danny Robins, which has grown a community of listeners who listen along live on Twitter or comment between episodes. This follows the success of Robins' 'The Battersea Poltergeist' (podcast link), which combined narration, interview and drama reconstruction to explore one of the UK's best known poltergeist cases and became the number one drama on Apple podcasts. [more inside]
posted by reynir at 1:07 AM PST - 9 comments

December 29

You won't believe this guy's crafting skills! So cool!

"I had a photo of the throne in front of me to use as a reference while building this. I didn't have any measurements though, I just kind of 'wung' it, and worked on each individual piece as I saw it in the photo."
Watch Boylei Hobby Time scratch build a statue of Boba Fett. Watch him build a diorama for each episode of The Mandelorean. Watch him make scenes and adventures for his Wild Imaginary West setting.
posted by rebent at 7:35 PM PST - 9 comments

Pottery sherds, illuminated manuscripts, islands. Tasty!

Design historian Dr. Ella Hawkins makes, among other things, amazing biscuit art.
posted by Gorgik at 7:32 PM PST - 10 comments

“I look for ways to escape the worry by using saturated colors…”

Please enjoy the work of Paula Kovarik. You may want to start with her work featured here as part of Rhodes College’s Domestic Studies. [more inside]
posted by CMcG at 6:24 PM PST - 23 comments

...a child is born, and then 2 years later, that child is mean to you.

The Canadian comedian I would most like to hug (and I suspect I'm not alone): Chris Locke. [more inside]
posted by Dr. Send at 5:49 PM PST - 1 comment

Google Maps is pretty sure you wanted Suicide Road

A cell phone tower maintainer requires an impressive mountainside Jeep rescue.
posted by circular at 2:19 PM PST - 53 comments

What Is This Thing?

The Royal Horticultural Society are doing some cleaning and could use some help: what are these items and what do they do?
posted by BungaDunga at 1:59 PM PST - 16 comments

It's all about 'non-fun-gynable tokens'

A normal person explains cryptocurrency Any questions?
posted by Insert Clever Name Here at 1:26 PM PST - 36 comments

Articulating Mr. Blobby’s Genius is an Almost-Impossible Feat

Mr Blobby Is the Anti-Capitalist Agent of Chaos Banksy Never Was
posted by chavenet at 12:50 PM PST - 25 comments

Biden's Economic Performance Has Proved Unbeatable

America’s economy improved more in Joe Biden's first 12 months than any president during the past 50 years
posted by folklore724 at 12:38 PM PST - 49 comments

Free downloadable binder sewing pattern and tutorial

An ally of the PEI [Prince Edward Island] Binder Project, Canadian clothing company Ureshii is providing a free downloadable binder sewing pattern and tutorial: You may have read before about us offering binders to trans masculine and non-binary community members… We are releasing the pattern for our most sturdy binder for free. We feel that this is a binder [that] is safe and comfortable to wear and not too sweaty. My hope is that those with crafty parents, grandparents, friends, or a diy spirit will have a starting point for making their own safe and affordable binders. This pattern is free and I would encourage people to make binders for others, if you want to sell the binders themselves, go ahead. I hope that you will share the pattern with anyone who asks. [more inside]
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:19 PM PST - 8 comments

HarDCore Videos

As a teenager, Sohrab Habibion made videos of dozens of shows by bands in the late-80s DC hardcore scene. Now, with the help of Roswell Films and the DC Public Library, he has digitized them and uploaded them to YouTube. Bands include Fugazi, The Lemonheads, Dag Nasty, GWAR, Beefeater, Shudder to Think, and more. [h/t Brooklyn Vegan]
posted by Cash4Lead at 9:49 AM PST - 11 comments

What Lois Lowry Remembers

Literature, for all of us, is a way that we rehearse life.
posted by toastyk at 7:47 AM PST - 8 comments

The Voice of Football Falls Silent

Professional football coach and commentator John Madden has passed away at the age of 85. [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 2:16 AM PST - 40 comments

December 28

Sorry, Steve, but we'll use your scene in the DVD's bonus footage

The aurora borealis, Comet Neowise, and the Milky Way in a two-row panorama. Special appearance by STEVE.
posted by not_on_display at 8:50 PM PST - 7 comments

40 miles one-way.

Former Senate leader Harry Reid is dead at 82 [more inside]
posted by clavdivs at 7:24 PM PST - 40 comments

Yes Sir, They Can Boogie

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra plays Yes Sir, I Can Boogie For entirely convoluted reasons, a 1977 Euro Disco hit performed by two Spanish ballerinas has become the unofficial anthem of Scottish football. Since the original is exceptionally heavy on the strings, why not have a symphony orchestra tear it right up?
posted by scruss at 6:32 PM PST - 10 comments

The challenge is simple:

OMFG My 10 year old just asked Alexa on our Echo for a challenge and this is what she said. (from Twitter) [more inside]
posted by RobinofFrocksley at 4:54 PM PST - 63 comments

The Einstein of Palmistry

Christmas movie season may be coming to an end, but watching movies of sheer romantic exuberance needn't be as Tollywood has you covered. The trailer for the upcoming release Radhe Shyam promises all that and then a bit more. (The trailer is in Telugu with some English, but the sheer excess of it speaks for itself.) [more inside]
posted by gusottertrout at 1:40 PM PST - 20 comments

Every mass shooting in the US since 2014

A visual database by Alvin Chang in The Guardian based on data from the Gun Violence Archive.
posted by Bella Donna at 1:10 PM PST - 36 comments

Stookie Bill

(Television pioneer John Logie) Baird originally planned to broadcast a human, but the system he threw together was so primitive he couldn't do it. His 1925 equipment wasn't sensitive enough to pick up the contrasts of a human face, so a person appeared as a blob. When he saw this, he rolled with the punch by getting a ventriloquist's dummy that was painted so that the features stood out even with a blurry low-contrast camera system. That's how Stookie Bill became the first TV star. [more inside]
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 11:50 AM PST - 24 comments

Good to see you!

An American idiom speaks to the thrill of seeing and being seen in the age of social distancing. "In true American fashion, Good to see you! can express both something sincere and something casual. Americans use it in conversation with close friends just as often as with people they’re seeing for only the second or third time. In my early years in the States, I found this type of social ambiguity frustrating. It meant I never quite knew where I stood with people: Did they really care or were they just being polite? In my native Finnish, words of affirmation are reserved for true friends, or ystävät, not acquaintances, or tuttavat. Finns don’t throw around emotionally loaded words in small talk — ever. Yet in America, the line is blurred. The cashier will call me “darling,” and the barber will say I’m his brother."
posted by folklore724 at 11:33 AM PST - 50 comments

Smarter Than the Average Bear

Smarter than the Average Bear [more inside]
posted by y2karl at 11:32 AM PST - 21 comments

Against Nostalgia: Jason Isbell on Moving Southern Music Forward

"[Singer/songwriter Jason] Isbell has long been waging war against the way nostalgia has been weaponized. ... A white Southern man from Alabama, he is resentful of the ways a fictitious version of the past has been deployed to keep people like him — “white Southern rural men,“ in his words — from seeing how things really are. But this story is only a little bit about Jason Isbell. If Isbell does his job right, it’s not about him at all. It’s about what happens when white men attempt to unhook themselves from the tentacles of nostalgia and engage with the world as it is, not as they’ve been told it is." Jason Isbell Is Tired Of Country’s Love Affair With White Nostalgia, a lengthy, excellent piece from Elamin Abdelmahmoud for Buzzfeed. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 11:09 AM PST - 17 comments

Interestingly, this hair Pokemon had two variations

Morgan Donner tried 500 years of haircuts. More from Morgan Donner here. [more inside]
posted by Mchelly at 8:55 AM PST - 14 comments

in case you're missing spreadsheets during your week off work

There's a little something for everyone in this twitter thread of spreadsheet-based games designed by a class of aspiring game designers. (Some individual games linked inside.) [more inside]
posted by Stacey at 8:02 AM PST - 13 comments

Biologist E.O. Wilson Dies at 92

BBC obituary, NY Times obituary. E. O. Wilson on the Blue.
posted by Bee'sWing at 6:59 AM PST - 38 comments

Haters Gonna Hate

The Most Scathing Book Reviews ... [2021] ... [classics] ... [ever] ... [collected]
posted by chavenet at 4:28 AM PST - 8 comments

December 27


This Ball is a Drum Machine? Playing a Titanic Tuba.
posted by clavdivs at 6:23 PM PST - 9 comments

Singing Lake and Dragon’s Mouth

Escape to the Yellowstone sound library, full of public domain recordings of sounds taken at the park. Enjoy the blorps and whooshing of geysers, the raucous chorus of frogs, the eerie crackling of a frozen lake, the percussive sounds of avian courtship dances. [more inside]
posted by Mizu at 6:03 PM PST - 6 comments

Amazing Gra e

What a broken harp string sounds like when it breaks.
posted by ShooBoo at 4:47 PM PST - 31 comments


Cello strings on a bass. A very different cello strings on a bass experiment.
posted by not_the_water at 2:58 PM PST - 13 comments

From L2 to the Moon and points elsewhere

The last two weeks of 2021 in space. Starting with the Earth area: Zhai Zhigang and Ye Guangfu, two taikonauts of the Shenzhou-13 mission on board the Tianhe space station, completed a second EVA lasting six hours. [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 2:45 PM PST - 7 comments

We, as a nation, are insane. But we knew that.

Dave Barry's 2021 Year in Review MeFi's least-favorite Pulitzer Prize winner (previously) (but probably not our least-favorite celebrity libertarian) is back with another year in review.
posted by box at 12:12 PM PST - 81 comments

The Case Against the Trauma Plot

The prevalence of the trauma plot cannot come as a surprise at a time when the notion of trauma has proved all-engulfing. Its customary clinical incarnation, P.T.S.D., is the fourth most commonly diagnosed psychiatric disorder in America, and one with a vast remit. Defined by the DSM-III, in 1980, as an event “outside the range of usual human experience,” trauma now encompasses “anything the body perceives as too much, too fast, or too soon,” the psychotherapist Resmaa Menakem tells us in “My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies” (2017). The expanded definition has allowed many more people to receive care but has also stretched the concept so far that some 636,120 possible symptom combinations can be attributed to P.T.S.D., meaning that 636,120 people could conceivably have a unique set of symptoms and the same diagnosis.
posted by folklore724 at 11:28 AM PST - 33 comments

Anti-apartheid hero Archbishop Desmond Tutu dies aged 90

Desmond Tutu, the South African cleric and social activist who was a giant of the struggle against apartheid, has died aged 90, prompting tributes from religious leaders, politicians and activists from around the world. [more inside]
posted by Ahmad Khani at 10:38 AM PST - 61 comments

“The tools would lack something in sophistication”

Cow Tools (previously) is a cartoon from Gary Larson's The Far Side, published in October of 1982. Immediately upon the cartoon's publication Chronicle Features was inundated with queries from readers and newspaper editors seeking an explanation of the cartoon. According to the general manager of Chronicle Features, “the phone never stopped ringing for two days.” “So many people didn’t get it that “Far Side” creator Gary Larson drafted a statement Thursday afternoon, explaining the cartoon’s meaning.” Today’s internet has finally caught up with Larson’s imagination. A growing flood of cow tools memes has helped modern readers explore the uncharted depths of a 39 year old cartoon: Getting cow tools off the streets. “I guess you’re not ready for that one yet.”  For sale: cow tools, barely worn. “hey kid. wanna buy some cow tools.” When mom finds the cow tools. “now I know you were the cow and I was the tool.” “I’d like to borrow two dollars” kicks off a survey thread from Konstantin Boristovich. Readers are “ecstatic to discover there's a FB group dedicated to churning out Cow Tools memes regularly.”
posted by migurski at 9:34 AM PST - 49 comments

December 26

Zelda code dives and Breath of the Wild shenanigans

For Zelda Day 2021:
[more inside]
posted by JHarris at 4:56 PM PST - 25 comments

Empire State

Building [via OpenCulture]
posted by chavenet at 10:39 AM PST - 24 comments

May the new year bring us respair

The German schadenfreude – pleasure in the misfortunes of others – is now all too familiar. But how many of us know its near opposite in English, “confelicity”, which is joy in another person’s happiness? As we exchange hatred on our screens, how about sharing some “fellowfeeling”, 16th-century speak for kindness and compassion? From lexicographer and etymologist Susie Dent in The Guardian.
posted by Bella Donna at 10:01 AM PST - 25 comments

Tangled in each other's arms in Room 229

Emily Scott Robinson's If Trouble Comes a Lookin' is one of the most beautifully-written songs I've come across in quite a while. Country music's good at story songs - especially poignant ones - and this is a stunner. Turns out there's a Fleabag connection too.
posted by Paul Slade at 8:33 AM PST - 5 comments

Our hapless, bungling attempts to love one another.

The Unbearable Sadness of Your Parents’ Bad Holiday Gifts "When Mom gave me a gray-and-white snowflake-pattern sweater one Christmas, I took it across the country with me to Seattle, where I staged photographs of myself wearing it with friends, one of whom then posted the photos to her Facebook page and tagged me so that Mom would be sure to see them. Later that afternoon, we returned the sweater to Macy’s. I often thought the sweater must have wondered what that was all about." (SLNYT)
posted by storybored at 7:58 AM PST - 86 comments

Big Bada Boom

Finnish Man Passes on Paying $22,600 to Replace His Tesla's Battery, Blows Up Car Instead – A Tesla repair shop told a Model S owner that replacing the battery would cost more than $22,600. He decided to stick 66 pounds of dynamite on the car., Gizmodo, Jody Serrano, 12/24/2021. There is a tragic loss of vehicle.
posted by cenoxo at 5:53 AM PST - 64 comments

It's the End of the World

For the twelfth year in a row Louis Plamondon releases a lookback mashup of trailers from the past year; The Sleepy Skunk 2021 Movie Trailer Mashup [more inside]
posted by Molesome at 3:38 AM PST - 1 comment

Zelda and Chill.

What if Link took a day off from trying to save the world and laid down some super chill lo-fi hiphop beats? You'd probably get something like Zelda and Chill and its sequel.
posted by kaibutsu at 1:41 AM PST - 5 comments

December 25

New York City bans natural gas in new buildings

New buildings in the biggest U.S. city with 8.8 million residents will have to use electricity for heat and cooking, according to the council vote that was streamed on its website. Almost half of the power generated in New York State so far this year came from burning fossil fuels (45% from gas and 4% from oil), with another 24% from nuclear and 22% from hydropower, according to federal energy data.
posted by folklore724 at 11:04 PM PST - 61 comments

Michael Caine Loves The Muppet Christmas Carol as Much as You Do

Michael Caine Loves The Muppet Christmas Carol as Much as You Do [GQ Interview] "I had never made a movie that a 7-year-old can see. And so a man mentioned the Muppets and I said, “That’s it! I’ll do that!” And it’s A Christmas Carol, it’s a fabulous tale! You’ll be old Scrooge, it’ll be marvelous! And it was absolutely perfect at that time for what I wanted. I could make it, and my daughter could see it. That’s why I did it. And it was lovely."
posted by hippybear at 8:30 PM PST - 18 comments


Dr. Evermor, the persona of artist Tom Every, envisioned that one day the massive sculpture would move beyond its static state, “power on” and whisk travelers to alternate universes. “To begin with, the Forevertron’s purpose is to perpetuate me into heaven in a glass ball inside a copper egg on a magnetic lightning force beam.” Imagination is the heart of Dr. Evermor’s Sculpture Park [...] this fantastical place of scrap metal shapes and its 300-ton centerpiece, the Foreverton, have come closer to realizing the hope of its late creator [...] a newly installed colorful light display is helping illustrate Every’s dream. previously-er-er-er-er [more inside]
posted by nTeleKy at 4:26 PM PST - 7 comments

From slow shutter speeds to the Google streetview car

Empty street photography, a view from the pandemic: an historical photo essay from Stanford Art Historian Kim Beil.
posted by Rumple at 2:22 PM PST - 8 comments

You're a mean one, Mister Spock

The Enterprise's Doctor McCoy has some animated words for Mr. Spock this Christmas - this year's offering from the amazing (MeFite!) John C. Worsley. (previously) [more inside]
posted by kristi at 1:56 PM PST - 5 comments

A River So Long

Fifty years after it was released, Joni Mitchell has debuted the first official music video for 'River.' In her words, 'River expresses regret at the end of a relationship... but it's also about being lonely at Christmas time... A Christmas song for people who are lonely at Christmas! We need a song like that.' [more inside]
posted by box at 10:51 AM PST - 21 comments

“17th Century Iceland was a cruel place”

The long and underappreciated history of male witches – and the countries where more men were prosecuted for witchcraft is a short article by historian Dr. Kate Lister. The country with the most lopsided ratio of male to female witches was Iceland, where 20 out 22 executed witches in the 17th Century were men. Though a colony of Denmark, whose king was an anti-witchcraft fanatic, burning witches came late to the island. The Icelandic Museum of Sorcery and Witchcraft has a good overview of the subject. And if you want to go deeper, Prof. Suzannah Lipscombe interviews fellow historian Dr. Ólina Kjerúlf Þorvarðardóttir, a specialist in what Icelanders refer to as “the burning century”, on the Not Just the Tudors podcast, and explains why Icelandic witches were mainly men.
posted by Kattullus at 6:59 AM PST - 29 comments

Best of The Webb -- To You!

Happy JamesWebbLaunchMass! (Other holidays may apply in your household.) NASA have the live stream ready to go from 6.0am USA Eastern Time for and enduring piece of human legacy -- both the insights into the cosmos around us and for the management and funding processes which got this device where it is today. [more inside]
posted by k3ninho at 2:06 AM PST - 95 comments

KWC Quiz 2021-22

It's finally here: The best part of Christmas!
posted by CCBC at 12:33 AM PST - 86 comments

December 24

overheard on the interwebs: "I'd probably go to this church "

Carol of the bells Trans Siberian Orchestra live. There are two kinds of people in the world. This goes out to one of them. Happy Merry. [Strobe warning] [more inside]
posted by philip-random at 11:12 PM PST - 9 comments

Neuroscience says listening to this song reduces anxiety by up to 65%

Sound therapies have long been used to help us cope. The 10 songs found to be the most relaxing on earth: “We Can Fly,” by Rue du Soleil (Café Del Mar) “Canzonetta Sull’aria,” by Mozart “Someone Like You,” by Adele “Pure Shores,” by All Saints “Please Don’t Go,” by Barcelona “Strawberry Swing,” by Coldplay “Watermark,” by Enya “Mellomaniac (Chill Out Mix),” by DJ Shah “Electra,” by Airstream “Weightless,” by Marconi Union
posted by folklore724 at 10:20 PM PST - 21 comments

Even A Garbage Can Deserves A Day Out

Aussie Carl Stanojevic got a text from his neighbor asking him if he would take out his neighbor's garbage bin. Being a conscientious neighbor, Stanojevic proceeded to do so. (SLGrauniad) [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 7:06 PM PST - 12 comments


Auralnauts Star Wars (previously), the Star Wars parody dub. Episode SEVEN. That is all.
posted by BiggerJ at 3:12 PM PST - 8 comments


O welcome, ye faithful, to the annual celebration of the desert-borne. Shi-halud-mass begins with the gathering of the clans, the ritual exchange of water, the gifting of crysknives to the children, the mastery of the Worm, and (after they go to bed) a tau-orgy to bring a prescient vision of the year to come. Blessed be the Maker and his water!
posted by metametamind at 1:28 PM PST - 24 comments

"Research is in my wheelhouse. But not, like, John Oliver level."

'A For-Profit Company is Trying to Privatize As Many Public Libraries As They Can' (A CounterSpin interview with librarian Caleb Nichols about his TruthOut article about Library Systems & Services)
posted by box at 10:41 AM PST - 13 comments

Wordle: A daily word guessing game

Wordle is a daily word guessing game by artist, product manager, and engineer Josh Wardle. You have six tries to guess a five letter word. Each time, you get clues about the correct letters—if a letter is in the correct place, it turns green; if the letter is in the word but in the wrong place, it turns yellow; if it’s not in the word at all, it turns grey. You can play it here. And if you want, you can post an obscured version of your results on Twitter (just coloured squares, no letters revealed so you don’t spoil it for others) via a share button that generates an emoji.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:49 AM PST - 251 comments

"Anything out of the ordinary?" Yes, if you'd like, every week!

The short, light fantasy story "Scales and Fire" by Jeff Soesbe features a dragon who needs to track down who tried to poison her. "After I roasted the apothecary, his wife started talking." It's in Abyss and Apex, which you can follow via RSS feed. In fact, while I'm at it.... [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 8:29 AM PST - 17 comments

What to Watch If You Like the MCU

"... for those that enjoy the MCU or those seeking alternatives, I’ve collected a recommendation corresponding to every MCU movie. Some will be obvious, some less so. Regardless, they will be connected in some way that will make you a better moviegoer and, hopefully, be fun for you to watch—whether you liked their MCU equivalent or not."
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:01 AM PST - 56 comments

Who's been good? You!

Please enjoy this video from Santa Paws Day 2021 at Dogs Trust Ireland, when the dogs get to choose their own gifts. (SLTwitter) (Previously)
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 6:21 AM PST - 17 comments

—Christmas is almost down our throats.

Christmas Eve, 1955, Benny Profane, wearing black levis, suede jacket, sneakers and big cowboy hat, happened to pass through Norfolk, Virginia. [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 5:55 AM PST - 7 comments

The Lost Scrolls of Frosty

*warning: extreme blasphemy*
"eat of this snow, it is my body."
Over twenty years ago, in a manger made of cubits, a group of canadians revealed to us a story about the very first Christmas.
Part 1
Part 2

As the years passed, the Church of Frosty formed and reformed and in pandemic isolation Reverend Wes Borg recorded the scrolls again:
Scroll the first.
Scroll the second.
Scroll the third.
Scroll the fourth.

posted by fzx101 at 5:47 AM PST - 1 comment

“This company proposes to operate a metaverse”

What The Hell Is This Company The 76ers Just Partnered With? by Maitreyi Anantharaman and Chris Thompson for Defector, is an investigation info basketball team Philadelphia 76ers’ newest partner, Color Star, whose CEO, sir Lucas Capetian, almost certainly doesn’t exist.
posted by Kattullus at 4:59 AM PST - 22 comments

December 23

Many Proposals, but Little Desire to Act

Does it have to be yours?” she asked recently. “Is that what it’s gonna take to get it? TW: This story discusses a child’s fatal case of food poisoning. [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation at 10:37 PM PST - 2 comments

It's official: A beach is coming to Williamsburg

Developed by Two Trees Management, the massive project, years in the making, was just approved by the New York City Council and construction is expected to kick off by 2024. According to plans, the 2.9-acre waterfront park will feature a circular esplanade that extends into the East River, plus an amphitheater, a boating cove, some nature trails, a play area for kids and, of course, the sandy shore.
posted by folklore724 at 9:45 PM PST - 11 comments

Eve Babitz, chronicler of LA in the 70s and 80s, passes at 78

Called the "dirty Joan Didion" she dedicated her first book to “the Didion-Dunnes, for having to be what I’m not.” Called a "child of Hollywood," and "voluptuous bard" Eve Babitz, famous for playing naked chess with Marcel Duchamp, taking drugs, and dating famous men wrote 7 books that influenced a generation of writers culminating in a renaissance at 76. [more inside]
posted by Word_Salad at 2:39 PM PST - 11 comments

Bad smells.

Amazon Yankee Candle reviews are mirroring the COVID-19 surge — again: Northeastern University professor Nick Beauchamp [...], who specializes in natural-language processing and machine learning, used a scraping tool to pull reviews from the top three Yankee Candles that included the words "no smell" or "no scent." The pattern he found almost eerily resembles the current COVID-19 surge.
posted by arcolz at 2:20 PM PST - 36 comments

Bolivian indigenous skaters

El País photo-essay of indigenous women skaters in Cochabamba, Bolivia I always enjoy reading/watching people find that certain thing that brings them a little joy in life... spotted on Deb Cachras twitter feed, a fantastic slideshow of Bolivian indigenous women skaters. Related from October 2020 - Bolivian Women Skateboard in Aymara Garb to Showcase Culture and related video from the AP story.
posted by phigmov at 1:27 PM PST - 5 comments

Joan Didion has died.

Her obit can be found here. As always with something like this, I don't what to say other than she will be missed.
posted by ivanthenotsoterrible at 11:52 AM PST - 61 comments

street fighter, more like, uh, sheet...highlighter

Fabien Sanglard looks into when Capcom stopped laying out CPS-1 arcade sprite sheets by hand with scissors.
posted by cortex at 11:45 AM PST - 11 comments

If you don't have a bird pun in that line, you're missing out

Tom Scott Asked 64,182 People About “Jingle Bells, Batman Smells”. Here's What He Found Out. (SLYT)
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:00 AM PST - 73 comments

"I am horrified; I am delighted."

Two speculative stories about women whose adventures don't go the way they think they will. “So I’m your only hope,” Sabeena presses, “which means there’s bonus pay, ain’t it? "The Prince and the Pirate" by Andrea Tang (previously) is a fast-paced science fiction story of a sarcastic, galaxy-weary contractor rescuing an old acquaintance. She said we were only going to ask for a minor demon, one who could help us with our homework and harangue our exes. "The Exorcism of Lily Quinn" by Claire Schultz (published this year) is a spooky fantasy/horror story involving a not-great friendship and a student who doesn't know whether she's possessed. [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 8:26 AM PST - 4 comments

Japan has invented a lickable TV screen

Tasty programming for the future. “Another step towards creating a multisensory viewing experience.”
posted by kinnakeet at 8:08 AM PST - 26 comments

Three French Heads

Tired of maids a-milking and lords a-leaping? Time to make revolutionary shifts in your Christmas gift-giving, with the Twelve Days of Thermidor. (Cute kid cameo too.)
posted by homerica at 5:46 AM PST - 11 comments

December 22

Astronomia IV: The Eclipses Of Algol

Nick Rhodes & Wendy Bevan Release the Final Album in the ASTRONOMIA Series [, but more insightful than just a press release] Astronomia is a 52-song, 4-volume project being released as 4 albums. Astronomia IV: The Eclipses Of Algol [YT Audio playlist] came out on December 21, 2021. It can be heard (or purchased) on these online services. (Previously: Astronomia I, Astronomia II, Astronomia III) [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 9:54 PM PST - 3 comments

That Fun TikTok Video? It’s Actually an Ad.

Brands are flocking to the platform like never before, drawn by its more than 1 billion users and its algorithm, which can make an ad seem like just another video. In reports shared with advertisers and obtained by The New York Times, TikTok said Gen Z users, defined as 18- to 24-year-olds, watched an average of more than 233 TikToks a day
posted by folklore724 at 9:09 PM PST - 37 comments

Don't We Know Archaic Barrel

A Walt Kelly Christmas Carol as sung by the Walt Kelly Memorial Choir or Lambert, Hendricks & Ross [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 2:35 PM PST - 13 comments

you have been infected with the anti-coronavirus, COVID+19

Interpreting Rapid Test Results (SLXKCD)
posted by Quasirandom at 2:13 PM PST - 33 comments

Why do people despise critics?

The Question Dave Hickey Dared to Ask. What are critics good for? There’s certainly no lack of commentary today; if anything, the current online environment is a flowering of critical prose. On platforms like Twitter, the shorthand of “the discourse” (trickled down from Foucault, but never applied with so much seriousness as to seem uncool) is pervasive. We’re having a conversation out here, and it would behoove you to pay attention, subject aside—perhaps there is a much-hyped novel or a possibly offensive artwork you need to become aware of (or, just as often, something even more fleeting: an image, a meme). “Takes,” hot or cold, follow; if we’re analyzing television, where the real man-hours are spent consuming culture, “recaps” regurgitate screen time into the following day: Writers are hard at work extending, reiterating, dissenting, providing nuance and context.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 12:20 PM PST - 5 comments

FDA authorizes 1st antiviral pill for COVID

Finally some good covid news. "In a highly anticipated decision, the Food and Drug Administration authorized the first antiviral pill to treat COVID-19 at home. The pill, called Paxlovid, is made by Pfizer. [...] The results from a Pfizer study involving more than 2,200 people at high risk for developing serious COVID-19 found Paxlovid reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 89%, compared with a placebo, when taken within three days of first symptoms of illness. When taken within five days, the drug reduced the risk of hospitalization and death by 88%."
posted by bbqturtle at 11:18 AM PST - 93 comments

41 million borrowers, $5 billion per month

Biden-Harris Administration Extends Student Loan Pause To May 1, 2022 [more inside]
posted by box at 10:54 AM PST - 78 comments

Um something has come up... HOOOOOLLLYYY SHIIIITTTTTTT

The Christmas Bird Count (which does not happen on Christmas) has been going on this week. Birders in Massachusetts were treated to a very rare view of a Steller’s sea eagle (whose habitat is the Eastern coast of Russia) which has been traipsing around the US and Canada and was seen, a huge muppet-ass looking bird, loitering in a tree with some plain old bald eagles. Please enjoy The Birdist's eight-tweet thread of waking up in Maine for a normal CBC, only to hustle down to Massachusetts to hope to glimpse this bird.
posted by jessamyn at 9:48 AM PST - 31 comments

"a drawing of a horse, an orchid, or in fact any related object"

"Mother, if I see another insipid line drawing of the wonders of Twinklebed Falls, I don't know what will happen, but I know it will be disgraceful." "The Watercolors of Elfland" by Marissa Lingen (previously) is a gentle comedy-of-manners fantasy story involving a party with light refreshments, a botanical discovery, and just-out-of-frame Sidhe. [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 8:24 AM PST - 2 comments

Indy Tabletop RPGs: Extremely Niche End-of-Year Lists

Table top roleplaying games are more popular than ever. A lot of interesting work is being done outside the confines of D&D. Polygon and Dicebreaker list their choices for the best games or supplements to have come out this year.
posted by Ipsifendus at 7:43 AM PST - 17 comments

What about us quitters?

Our culture fetishizes resilience. The people who persist. The people who persevere. Despite all the odds. Etc. Etc. But what about us quitters? The ones who stopped? The ones who cried uncle? The ones who had enough and just couldn’t anymore? The ones who walked away? Or were forced away and then refused to come back. I don’t think we like those stories because we want to see people triumph over the mess of our society as a roadmap for our own triumphs. But, also, I think our culture fetishizes triumph because it makes it easier to pretend our system isn’t broken. If that person can succeed, we reason, our society is not so bad. But it is so bad. Lyz Lenz on the year of breaking and mending in Men Yell at Me.
posted by Bella Donna at 7:14 AM PST - 71 comments

historical (fake ((fake news) news))

If you weren't reading Colorado papers in 1899, you might not have learned that a cabal of Chicago business leaders were secretly negotiating to dismantle the Great Wall of China and use the stone to build US roads. If you weren't reading the The National Review [paywalled] in 1939, you may not have learned that this was all a newspaper hoax. If you haven't been reading the right uncritical books about hoaxes, attending the right sermons, or listening to radio announcer Paul Harvey, you might not have realized that international outrage over this lead directly to the Boxer Rebellion. That's because it's almost entirely untrue. The Constant podcast presents a nice hour long audio summary. [more inside]
posted by eotvos at 5:38 AM PST - 7 comments

Not Your Everyday Pet

Keeping A Grocery Store Lobster As A Pet Brady Brandwood bought a live lobster from the grocery store to see what would happen if it was kept as a pet in a saltwater tank. Watch as Leon gets accustomed to a new home and new lease on life. [more inside]
posted by tommasz at 5:07 AM PST - 27 comments

Which came first, the theropod or the egg?

Meet 'Baby Yingliang': Exquisitely preserved dinosaur embryo is discovered inside a 72 million-year-old fossilised EGG in China. , Ian Randall, Daily Mail, 21 December 2021 • Unearthed in Shahe Industrial Park in Ganzhou City, Jiangxi Province • Species of toothless, beaked theropod dinosaurs, or 'oviraptorosaurs' [WP] • One of the most complete dinosaur embryos known, 10.6 inches long • Posture is closer to embryonic modern-day birds than among dinosaurs • Tucking behaviour aids hatching, arose first in theropods. (The cutaway egg video and illustration are striking.)
posted by cenoxo at 2:38 AM PST - 10 comments

December 21

Cover Me's 50 Best Cover Songs of 2021

The 50 Best Cover Songs of 2021 [more inside]
posted by Gorgik at 9:51 PM PST - 23 comments

Don't worry, he brings in a LOTR reference

Stephen Colbert talks Cancel Culture, Dave Chappelle and the Insurrection [50m YouTube video, Offline Podcast, hosted by Jon Favreau (the speechwriter, not the actor/director)] Honestly, he talks about so much more than those things, and it feels like a really open conversation from a talent about what is going on in his mind about his career and a lot of things. Worth a watch!
posted by hippybear at 9:31 PM PST - 5 comments

The Texan Who Saved the Beatles

So when Preston strolls into Apple Corps wearing a cool, black leather jacket, he’s hardly starstruck. He doesn’t know the band has been looking for a keyboardist; he’s just there to hang. Earlier in the recording sessions, the band was hoping to gain some momentum by hiring a keyboard player so they could record live, rather than having to pause so one of them could lay down a track. Preston’s arrival was so perfect that Lennon casually offered him the gig: “If you’d like to do that, you’re welcome to, and then you’d be on the album.”
posted by dancestoblue at 7:44 PM PST - 15 comments

Au revoir, Shoshanna

A detailed breakdown of the camera angles and compositions used in the 134 shots and 47 setups which comprise the harrowing first scene from Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, by YouTuber emotiondesigner, aka Markus Madlangbayan (@emotiondesigner). [more inside]
posted by Rumple at 3:49 PM PST - 13 comments

Before The Fictional Artist Inevitably Burns Out He's Always Fading Away

That writing fiction may finally be incompatible with adequately describing a work of art is the worry that shadows many of these novels. But, like Bergotte’s dying realization, they also suggest that the knowledge of this shortcoming is what makes writing worthwhile. From The Lives and Deaths of Fictional Artists by Sam Thorne
posted by chavenet at 2:17 PM PST - 4 comments

Is America Really Running Out of Original Ideas?

The nation’s crisis of originality isn’t in our minds, but in our markets. Take movies, for example. In the essay, I observed that the share of Hollywood blockbusters that are sequels, adaptations, or reboots has increased steadily this century. But is this evidence that today’s screenwriters are “running out of ideas”? Not really, and suggesting that they are innately less capable of conceiving of non-sequels than they used to be is kind of absurd. (And I’m a little embarrassed that I implicitly made that suggestion!) [more inside]
posted by folklore724 at 1:51 PM PST - 76 comments

For the Apogee of Night, a Solstice Weird Podcast Roundup

It’s the darkest night of the year (well, for half the planet), so here’s yet another roundup of weird audio dramas! They may help you spend time while isolating through omicron, dealing with the holidays, or just hunting out that perfect holiday shiver. Most of the series are audio dramas with paranormal elements, but anthologies, fantasy, and science fiction are included. Just to get a link above the fold, I will point out that Believer, mentioned in a previous roundup, is back “on the air.” [more inside]
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:23 PM PST - 4 comments

Barbados Today

Govt plans universal income for all - "It appears that the Government is moving ahead with a plan to provide Barbadians with a universal basic income, which may come in the form of a 'citizen's dividend.'"[1] [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 12:21 PM PST - 7 comments

The icy sky at night...

THE 2021 Northern Lights photographer of the year. "Buckle up because this trip is going to take you from the remote boreal forests of the Arctic to the far landscapes of the Southern Hemisphere, passing by spectacular frozen forests, volcanoes, mountains, and beaches along the way…always with the Northern [or Southern - ed.] Lights dancing in the sky."
posted by Lyme Drop at 10:45 AM PST - 7 comments

The Human Toll of America’s Air Wars

Airstrikes allowed America to wage war with minimal risk to its troops. But for civilians on the ground, they brought terror and tragedy. [NYT investigation] [more inside]
posted by Ahmad Khani at 8:47 AM PST - 19 comments

"My sister is not going to be into something so sepulchral"

"I have my own personal banshee. Most mornings, usually during my second bowl of cereal, she lets out a soul-melting wail to give me a heads-up on my impending death that day. I used to get worried, but it’s been going on awhile. And I’m still here." "Keening" by Josh Denslow is a short fantasy story in which it is frustrating and edifying to have a banshee as a constant companion. [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 8:22 AM PST - 6 comments

On the charts

Practical advice on visualizing scientific data, from Nature Methods
posted by Gyan at 6:30 AM PST - 5 comments

December 20

Volunteer Responsibility Amnesty Day

Volunteer Responsibility Amnesty Day is December 21. "[It] is about checking with yourself, and ending the commitments you need to end – maybe by taking a break, or by rotating it on to someone else, or by sunsetting a project." [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by sibilatorix at 11:11 PM PST - 16 comments

“Every Chinese immigrant has a wound in their heart”

Fascinating three part story on local San Francisco website Mission Local by Yujie Zhao about elderly immigrants from China that she met in a food pantry line. Part 1: For survivors of Mao’s Great Leap Forward (and resultant famines that killed millions), the pandemic has been a cakewalk
Part 2: As younger Asians earn degrees, elders consider lost opportunities - while some missed out on education in China due to Mao’s policies, or did not have time for ESL classes due to work, some women never learned to read Chinese.
Part 3: 'They said America was heaven, but now I regret coming'
posted by larrybob at 9:23 PM PST - 10 comments

"[...]a thought processor, headware for the computer generation." -- TL

In recent years,'s famous re-releases of games long ignored by their publishers have petered out, although never quite stopped (largely thanks to rights-buyers like Piko, Ziggurat and Throwback). Recently, they rediscovered a game now owned by a book publisher: Timothy Leary's Mind Mirror, the 1985 party game designed to enable 'digitizing' and playing with/as any person, thing or concept imaginable - including in a collection of choice-based text adventures. (RPS article from years before the re-release)
posted by BiggerJ at 5:43 PM PST - 10 comments

This Could All Be Stoner Nonsense, Of Course

Elves in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction by Lyta Gold
posted by chavenet at 1:36 PM PST - 31 comments

colour countdown

The colour countdown "To celebrate the end of a dark and difficult year, we’re rejoicing in all things colourful! Join us on our journal blogs to discover how jellyfish see colour, why animals have iridescence, whether copycats actually catch out predators and much more!" [more inside]
posted by dhruva at 12:10 PM PST - 5 comments

More on the economics of the US Supply Chain and a possible improvement

Clogging up the ports is a $150 billion business, but a bipartisan bill to re-regulate the sector is moving through Congress. Why is Congress about to do the right thing? From BIG, Matt Stoller's newsletter about the politics of monopoly. Discusses the "trucker shortage" and the economics behind container shipping.
posted by elmay at 11:13 AM PST - 19 comments

"It doesn’t feel like a win."

"Some Kind of Blood-Soaked Future" by Carlie St. George is a short story playing with/within the horror genre, involving found family and a sort-of-chosen career protecting others. "Here’s the thing about surviving a slumber party massacre: no one really wants you around anymore. All your friends are dead, and your mom is dead, and you get shuffled off to live with your miserable Aunt Katherine, who blames you for getting her sister killed because she’s an awful human being like that." [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 8:19 AM PST - 9 comments

How COULD a Trailer Pander More To My Interests?

A Trailer for Robert Egger's "The Northman". (SLYT)(Metal AF).
posted by Ipsifendus at 6:45 AM PST - 76 comments

December 19

¡Viva Chile mierda!

Gabriel Boric wins run-off presidential election in Chile against José Antonioo Kast, our own hard-right Bolsonaro/Trump clone. [more inside]
posted by signal at 5:48 PM PST - 48 comments

I thought it was an endearing little ditty

“For many years. I never talked about it. I didn’t want anyone to know it was me. Because all they wanted to talk about was my relationship with her.”
Kate Mossman interviews Cary Raditz, the "mean old daddy" of one of Joni Mitchell's best known songs.
posted by Rumple at 2:26 PM PST - 14 comments

A 3rd Rock from the Sun Cast Reunion at Vulture Festival

A 3rd Rock from the Sun Cast Reunion at Vulture Festival [56m] Tom, Dick, Harry, Sally, Don and Mary all join to reminisce. Delightful and joyous.
posted by hippybear at 8:28 AM PST - 16 comments

"You’ve got to get out clean when the mission’s over."

"The lieutenant is not stupid; she is one of the smartest people I’ve ever met, so I’ll have to be extra careful about how I rewire this security door panel so she doesn’t notice I’ve inserted something that shouldn’t be there, a tiny chip that someone from outside can activate to open the door without triggering any of the ship’s notification systems." "How to Defeat Gravity and Achieve Escape Velocity" by Miyuki Jane Pinckard (published this year) is a short science fiction story involving a crush, sabotage, abandoned asteroid miners, and a heist or two nested within a scheme. [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 8:18 AM PST - 12 comments

The Hugo Awards for 2021

2021's Hugo Award winners have been announced. See: Martha Wells's Network Effect on Fanfare; complete voting stats [PDF]; annual "In Memoriam" list; and the complete ceremony (some light moments: Michael Schur's recording at 1:21 and Ursula Vernon's slime mold facts at 1:44 and 2:03). Under section 3.3.19 of the WSFS Constitution [PDF], DisCon III awarded a unique Hugo for Best Video Game. This year's awards were sponsored by Google and Raytheon. The site of Worldcon 2023 has also been selected: Chengdu, despite a special resolution. On Twitter: Jeannette Ng; Michi Trota; James Nicoll (NASFiC defined); Chengdu's bid team / fandom.
posted by Wobbuffet at 12:57 AM PST - 72 comments

December 18

I’ll have what he’s having

Avi Dresner tells the story of his 92-year-old rabbi father’s last trip to Lower East Side standby Katz’s Deli. Sy Dresner, who had been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, also had on his final bucket list to see a Broadway musical and visit Central Synagogue in Manhattan. He had been a friend of Martin Luther King Jr, and his civil rights activities led to him being dubbed "the most arrested rabbi in America.”
posted by larrybob at 8:48 PM PST - 3 comments


Maybe you have heard that Taumata​whakatangi​hanga​koauauota​mateaturi​pukakapi​kimaunga​horonu​kupokai​whenua​kitanatahu is the longest place name in Aoatearoa, perhaps the world. But if you don't know te reo rangatira, you probably don't know how to pronounce it. Let Te Hamua guide you. [more inside]
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 8:39 PM PST - 17 comments

"I imagine Essie as a subtle and moderately skilled cutlery thief"

Archaeologist Gabe Moshenka says "This short ‘presentation’ in linked tweets is a mini-investigation of my late grandmother’s collection of stolen airline cutlery and the life stories it might tell". Threadreader unroll and original tweet. Moshenka also links to A Mini-History of Modern International Aviation as Told in Stolen Spoons by Dennis Schaal, and Why airlines should invest in branded #PinchablePaxEx soft product by John Walton.
posted by paduasoy at 5:02 PM PST - 22 comments

Good corona news

For the first time in history, a spacecraft has touched the Sun. NASA’s Parker Solar Probe has now flown through the Sun’s upper atmosphere — called the corona — sampling particles and characterizing magnetic fields in this dynamic environment. The second video has footage from within the corona itself.
posted by curious nu at 12:56 PM PST - 35 comments

The Ministry for Everyone

Interested in climate disaster? Human nature? Freedoms in the future? Let me recommend two books, which appear to be written as point and counterpoint. These authors are in each others' heads, and they are both at the top of their game. Kim Stanley Robinson vs. Dave Eggers. In The Every Eggers is focused on the horrifying downside of removing freedoms in order to save the planet. In The Ministry for the Future Robinson is focused on the horrors of not doing exactly that. There is a lot of symmetry. Both books are more sketches of the future than plot driven. Both consider the pros and cons before taking a stand. Here's a take-home question: should we have credit scores, and should we create a carbon score to go with it? Discuss. [more inside]
posted by TreeRooster at 10:01 AM PST - 38 comments

"It reminded me of a dandelion seed"

“The Last Ship Out of Exville” by Phoebe Barton is a short sci-fi story that's quick and angry and loud, like a punk rock song. "They call me the Sorceress, because holding together a community like Exville takes a little magic. We’ve got outcasts from Earth and Luna, Martian dustpunks, Venusian hotshots, and Belter wanderers, and all of them with their own ideas of how to live together. It’d be even harder if we didn’t have all those fascists on Callisto growling at our door."
posted by brainwane at 8:15 AM PST - 6 comments

Websites as shrines

Character Shrines Visit these fantastic character shrines/fan listings for Angelic Pretty, Alpacas, RPG Shrine Directory, Update Log, Princess Allura of Voltron Legendary Defender, Allen Ridgeley of Xenosaga, Ziggurat 8 of Xenosaga, Prompto Argentum of Final Fantasy XV, Rosa Farrell of Final Fantasy IV [more inside]
posted by beesbees at 12:52 AM PST - 5 comments

December 17

Then I went back up the stairs — well, I fell back up the stairs —

I Drank Too Much by comedy sister act Flo & Joan The night just keeps going... and getting worse... in this hilarious, brisk, jaunty tune [involving drinking too much, btw] that brightened my Friday.
posted by sixswitch at 9:02 PM PST - 7 comments

‘No evidence’ Omicron less severe than Delta, say UK researchers

One government insider described the Omicron data as “pretty bleak”. Another described the threat of the variant as “potentially pretty terrifying”.
posted by folklore724 at 8:30 PM PST - 210 comments

If The Fates Allow

The Fates of the Broadway show Hadestown want to share some holiday joy with you. Jewelle Blackman, Yvette Gonzales-Nacer and Kay Trinidad are joined by the entire cast of Hadestown in If The Fates Allow: A Hadestown Holiday Album [YouTube playlist], a mix of traditional songs and new offerings. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 7:43 PM PST - 6 comments

There have been rumours of an owl... but it hasn't been seen in 155 years

The Search for Lost Birds, launched today, focuses exclusively on rediscovering birds that have become enigmas (no documented sightings in 10+ years) in ornithology. It is a sub-project of the Search for Lost Species project. And these projects work, not only to track down species like the black-browed babbler in Borneo (not documented for 180+ years), but also to find and document new species and raise awareness to conserve their habitats.
posted by jessamyn at 1:58 PM PST - 11 comments

Insert coin to continue driving

Toyota charges a monthly fee to remote start your car with your key fob. They're not alone: automakers are moving toward subscriptions for everything from GPS to lane-keeping assist to heated seats. With billions of dollars in potential revenue at stake, car companies want to change from "an industry that sells products to an industry that sells services and products."
posted by Gerald Bostock at 10:24 AM PST - 152 comments

Enter 'The Devil's House'

In a challenge that redefines the limits of wingsuit flying, see Sebastián Álvarez fly in and out of Villarrica, one of Chile's most famous volcanos. [Single Link Red Bull]
posted by chavenet at 9:08 AM PST - 27 comments

"It isn’t uncommon for this particular demon to be summoned"

Two short fantasy pieces from the points of view of the monsters. In an untitled horror piece by synchronmurmurs, you are the haunted house: "...humans began running away from you just because you’d opened a shutter to let in some light, or when you’d open doors for them to allow passage through your lonely halls." And in this heartstring-pulling Tumblr collaboration among many writers, "An old and homely grandmother accidentally summons a demon. She mistakes him for her gothic-phase teenage grandson and takes care of him. The demon decides to stay at his new home." [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 8:14 AM PST - 22 comments

Worth meeting: poet and author Saeed Jones

SAEED JONES is our guest on this edition of VERY FINE DAY. Saeed is a writer and poet who has won numerous awards for his work. His memoir, “How We Fight For Our Lives” is both brutally real and pure while also carrying itself in some kind of way. That’s really the easiest explanation I can give you. Saeed writes in some kind of way. It just works. It seems easy. It’s not. It wasn’t. And we certainly talk about that in our conversation. But still, there’s a certain kind of beauty in all that. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 7:50 AM PST - 1 comment

North London's angry & witty protest stickers: a gallery of lamp-post art

North London's angry & witty protest stickers: a gallery of lamp-post art [via mefi projects]
posted by zennie at 5:12 AM PST - 14 comments


"Their images show adult milkweed butterflies tearing into the thin skin of nearby caterpillars, then drinking from the wounds... Tea and his colleagues even found a recording of an adult butterfly attacking another adult, slashing at and drinking from its wings." Study PDF.
posted by clawsoon at 4:45 AM PST - 20 comments

A Conspiracy Carol

They're not just naughty, they're neo-naughtsies! The Late Show presents A Conspiracy Carol.
posted by adept256 at 12:47 AM PST - 8 comments

December 16

Millipede is no longer a lie

Until now, the leggiest known creature on Earth clocked in at a mere 750 appendages. This one has 1,306. (SLAtlantic - or
posted by ShooBoo at 8:33 PM PST - 40 comments

Washington Post Grasps for New Direction as Trump-Era Boom Fades

News outlet’s audience is down sharply, amid sector-wide declines; subscription growth has stagnated as readers look beyond politics Aging readers are another area of focus, according to a document from May viewed by the Journal. Titled “Industry Insights: Younger Audiences,” it says that only 14% of Washington Post subscribers are under 55, compared with 61% of the U.S. adult population. The document summarizes five groups of potential subscribers to the Post, including “contented and uninvolved,” “middle grounders,” “practical mavens,” “engaged intellectuals” and “confident strivers,” and estimates their interest in the Post. “Our paid product is not attractive to younger people,” the document reads. Of those groups, the only one listed with a “high” level of interest in the Post are “confident strivers,” which the document describes as “affluent, urban married men with kids, more multi-ethnic, skew liberal/Democratic.”
posted by folklore724 at 7:00 PM PST - 90 comments

FDA Lifts Restrictions on Abortion Pill

The FDA has just announced that key restrictions on abortion by medication (a regimen of two pills, but popularly known as the "abortion pill") have been relaxed. Medication abortion is proven to be safe and effective for early termination of pregnancy. Now patients will no longer be required to pick this medication up at a doctor's office or clinic, allowing healthcare providers to prescribe through telehealth consultations and mail abortion pills to patients. [more inside]
posted by kimdog at 2:52 PM PST - 22 comments

Ted Lasso and the Missing Christmas Mustache

An animated Ted Lasso Christmas special , no Apple TV subscription required, although it's only 4 minutes long. And animated. (SLYT)
posted by Ipsifendus at 12:51 PM PST - 15 comments

worldwide gross of almost three billy

Stephen Colbert and Jon Batiste celebrate the 20th anniversary of the release of “The Fellowship of the Ring” with some special guests. [more inside]
posted by skycrashesdown at 9:45 AM PST - 53 comments

Scrabnite? Fortble?

Like Scrabble? Yes? Sick of battle royale games yet? No? Try Babble Royale! [more inside]
posted by backseatpilot at 9:35 AM PST - 25 comments

Turing completeness strikes again

JBIG2 doesn't have scripting capabilities, but when combined with a vulnerability, it does have the ability to emulate circuits of arbitrary logic gates operating on arbitrary memory. So why not just use that to build your own computer architecture and script that!? That's exactly what this exploit does. Using over 70,000 segment commands defining logical bit operations, they define a small computer architecture with features such as registers and a full 64-bit adder and comparator which they use to search memory and perform arithmetic operations. It's not as fast as Javascript, but it's fundamentally computationally equivalent. How does the NSO Group zero-click iMessage exploit (NSO Group previously) actually compromise an iOS device? Google's Project Zero security researchers dig in.
posted by figurant at 9:11 AM PST - 47 comments

"threads the ends of her hair in like pouring a sacrament"

"Today one of the minders rolls one Veena Kaur Chan into my hairbay for a shampoo and cut. New client, transferring in from Palliative....I’m programmed to be autonomous, so I can access the public domain base for hair puns—hey, if I get a client who’s responsive, it can cheer them up." "Coiffeur Seven" by Kiran Kaur Saini, published this year, is a short science fiction story in which a piece of technology learns to care better for an Indian woman. [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 8:04 AM PST - 11 comments

A moment in time, as viewed by the sci-fi community

Nat Tilander found a two-page spread in the June 1968 Galaxy. Each page of the spread was a list of names of fantasy and sci-fi authors, including most of the major luminaries of the day; one page listed those who signed their name to a petition to end the war in Vietnam; one page listed those who signed a petition to continue the war. All in all, a fairly stark indication of who was on which side in one of the most pressing political issues of the day, with many of the positions you'd expect (no surprises about, e.g. Jerry Pournelle and Ursula K. Le Guin), but a few appearing in an unexpected camp.
posted by jackbishop at 7:34 AM PST - 66 comments

We’ll All Meet Again in Spaceballs 2: The Search for More Money

There's no sequel yet, but Mel Brooks reminisces about the genre he hadn’t wrecked yet and "the Making of Spaceballs"
posted by chavenet at 7:17 AM PST - 23 comments

Processing #53 for non-compliance

✨NO. 1 FILIPINO GIRL ✨ A comic about social expectations in a dystopian Philippines. [Threadreader, PDF on Gumroad]
posted by simmering octagon at 5:48 AM PST - 10 comments

It's here; haters gotta hate, hate, hate

The 2021 haters guide to the Williams-Sonoma catalogue In case anyone has been waiting for the yearly guide; it's here!
posted by mightshould at 3:24 AM PST - 64 comments

December 15


Taking advantage of a bug in Apple's PNG display code, this image says something different if you're using an Apple or a non-Apple renderer.
posted by JHarris at 11:07 PM PST - 18 comments

The Falls by George Saunders (New Yorker fiction January 22, 1996)

Sometimes he wasn’t entirely sure that he wasn’t even a wacko of sorts, although certainly he wasn’t a pervert. Of that he was certain. Or relatively certain. Being overly certain, he was relatively sure, was what eventually made one a wacko. So humility was the thing, he thought, arranging his face into what he thought would pass for the expression of a man thinking fondly of his own youth, a face devoid of wackiness or perversion, humility was the thing. (archive) [more inside]
posted by dancestoblue at 9:27 PM PST - 12 comments

A plus-sized Jewish lady redneck died in El Paso on Saturday

Renay was preceded in death by her ex-boyfriend, Larry King. A more disrespectful, trash-reading, talking and watching woman in NC, FL or TX was not to be found…. Please think of the brightly-frocked, frivolous, funny and smart Jewish redhead who is about to grift you, tell you a filthy joke, and for Larry King's sake: LAUGH.
posted by majorsteel at 8:53 PM PST - 16 comments

How Black women reclaimed country and Americana music in 2021

Want some really amazing good news about the state of the world today? How Black women reclaimed country and Americana music in 2021 [medium read NPR article with links and YouTube videos] is a month-by-month look at the process and progress of remarkable artists this past year. I'm going to be tapping into this for artists to check out for a while!
posted by hippybear at 6:33 PM PST - 12 comments

Leave fact-checking to the fact-checkers

Does telling your readers “No, 5G towers don’t give you Covid” make them more likely to associate 5G with some cloud of suspicion that wasn’t there before? While fact-checkers might assume that their work is inherently neutral — they’re only interested in facts, after all — in the U.S. environment, fact-checking both as a journalistic genre and as done by third-party organizations is anything but. People use fact-checks to dunk on the other side, to cherry-pick information, and to counter-fact-check other fact-checks. In addition, the decisions fact-checkers make on which claims to check — and which to ignore — is a form of gatekeeping that can enrage partisans.
posted by folklore724 at 6:28 PM PST - 15 comments

Old-school rave to make you happy

DJ Chrissy (mentioned before here on the blue) has a new album out, and it's a glorious throwback to old-school rave. Resident Advisor has nice things to say. Available to listen on most (all?) streaming platforms.
posted by Runes at 6:24 PM PST - 16 comments

May all your days be merry

The Christmas Blues by ChimyTina. ChimyTina are bassist Dan Chmielinski and vocalist Martina DaSilva 
posted by otherchaz at 3:10 PM PST - 4 comments

parmessiah, chantonym, spelunkiss, journocrat, beekeepress, sneerature

Portmanteaur is a portmanteau generator.
posted by Kattullus at 1:52 PM PST - 25 comments

The Soviets turned the Volga into a machine. Then the machine broke.

Olga Dobridova in MIT Technology Review writing about the environmental toll on the Volga River, the Volga matrushka of the Russian people, caused by Soviet-era dams and industrialization of the river, and the current Healthy Volga initiative to attempt to mitigate the damage.
posted by briank at 12:17 PM PST - 23 comments

Amanda Huber Remembers Her Husband Jon

Amanda Huber , of All Elite Wrestling's Community Outreach Team, shares her memories of her husband Jon, aka Huberboy #2, aka Luke Harper, aka Mr. Brodie Lee. Who, by the way, really had a gift for extracting comedy from a rolled up bunch of paper.
posted by Ipsifendus at 11:50 AM PST - 10 comments

My Sweet Lord, It's Full of Celebrities!

Just dropped: A new, official music video for George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord", the first single off of his first post-Beatles 1970 solo album, All Things Must Pass. [more inside]
posted by Hey Dean Yeager! at 11:00 AM PST - 66 comments

love is an action, never simply a feeling

Author, social activist, feminist and professor bell hooks has died aged 69.
posted by fight or flight at 9:33 AM PST - 125 comments

"It's fine, whatever, everybody should have a thing"

Tony looks down, and -- "Oh," he says. "That's Scabby the Union Rat." "Average Avengers Local Chapter 7 of New York City" by hetrez is a Captain America/Iron Man slash story in which "Steve and Tony accidentally start a national do-gooders association and fall in love." (I'm linking here per the permission mentioned in the author's profile.) [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 8:02 AM PST - 13 comments

December 14

HR weighs in: can we butter cats to keep them out of our printers?

Yesterday on Reddit's popular "Am I the Asshole" sub, someone asked 'AITA for ‘enforcing an ethnic stereotype’ by joking that orange cats are often dumb?' about a work conflict between the poster and another (human) employee over potential unfair treatment of new [feline] employee Jorts vis a vis existing [feline] employee Jean. HR stepped in and a recent update shares the resolved situation: mediation has ended with all parties happy with the outcome. Jorts will receive an apology, a new photo of himself to accompany his official staff bio rather than a photo of a sweet potato, and all employees will vow to refrain from buttering other employees in the future, no matter how good their intentions.
posted by sciatrix at 8:27 PM PST - 109 comments

Natalie Sideserf's made a DIE HARD Christmas cake

Equal parts breathtaking talent, amazing skill... and nightmare fuel*. [more inside]
posted by zaixfeep at 6:00 PM PST - 23 comments

Sooner or later, it had to be done

Nic Cage as...Nic Cage (slyt) Just what it says on the tin. Previously
posted by Insert Clever Name Here at 6:00 PM PST - 39 comments

Are you a good person?

There’s an easy way to tell, according to the internet at least, and it’s based on what you do with a shopping cart when you are done with it. If you put it in the designated shopping cart collection area in the parking lot, you’re good. If you leave it to drift off into parking spots, you’re bad. ... for a date you need to take them to a restaurant and do the waiter test & then later go to the store with them & do the shopping cart test.
posted by dancestoblue at 12:24 PM PST - 263 comments


"Hello, my name is Virginia, and in the past five weeks I have purchased 50 pairs of jeans. I have returned 48 pairs...American jeans brands are failing American consumers across the board. And they are especially failing fat consumers who want to buy women’s clothing. There are many complicated reasons for this, and quite a few of them are rooted in fatphobia. And yet: we keep buying, and hoping, and returning, and buying more. Because we can’t stop believing in a myth that is ostensibly about the “perfect jean,” but also about the bodies we think we should have." Virginia Sole-Smith: That Time I Bought 50 Pairs of Jeans. For Science (Substack; Part 1, more essays to follow).
posted by MonkeyToes at 10:22 AM PST - 103 comments

RIP Bob Jervis

Bob Jervis (1940-2021). Jervis was the preeminent scholar of International Relations. His contributions revolutionized how scholars and practitioners think about nuclear weapons, perception, and complexity in the international sphere. [more inside]
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 9:58 AM PST - 15 comments

From my country, they will only take me out feet first

Vicente Fernández, arguably the most famous ranchera/mariachi singer in the last fifty years, died last weekend. His life was not without controversy, and his politics were never inspiring. But, he sure could sing.
posted by eotvos at 9:21 AM PST - 13 comments

A24 Version of the Multiverse

"Everything Everywhere All at Once" , the trailer. Starring Michelle Yeoh! (SLYT)
posted by Ipsifendus at 7:57 AM PST - 63 comments

"BarrowBoy marked this as a stretch"

"Child transcribed twenty verses, and a twenty-first got added later (and is included here for some unknown reason—I keep writing to the Lyricsplainer mods to get someone to delete it or include it as a separate entry, but nobody responds, and all they’ve done is put brackets around it. Sometimes I hate this site.)" "Where Oaken Hearts Do Gather" by Sarah Pinsker, published this year, is a short fantasy story in the form of a lyrics website page about a folksong, and the accompanying discussion thread. Plus a recording of the song.
posted by brainwane at 7:55 AM PST - 9 comments

History will talk about you: An army of volunteers inocculated Ontario

It required both a lottery winner’s luck and a project manager’s organizational skills to figure out where and when you could get a shot. The province’s befuddling, temperamental online booking system often resembled a choose-your-own-adventure game where every choice seemed to be a dead end. The excitement and hope generated by the arrival of the vaccines gave way to anger around their deployment. Into this, stepped Andrew Young, creating VaccineHuntersCanada, the network of volunteers responsible for getting 1.2 million Canadians -- more than 3% of all Canadians -- vaccinated. [more inside]
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 7:22 AM PST - 54 comments

The Oral History Of Mars Attacks!

The Oral History Of Mars Attacks!, Tim Burton's Misunderstood Sci-Fi Masterpiece [Inverse] By the mid-1990s, Tim Burton had reached a level of fame few other filmmakers every will -- but he was about to come quickly crashing down to earth.
posted by hippybear at 6:05 AM PST - 41 comments

Yeah, actually I know a joke about this

A study finds that brain surgeons and rocket scientists are not necessarily more intelligent than the general population. [more inside]
posted by sy at 4:30 AM PST - 67 comments

December 13

they can team up to catch their next meals, like ground squirrels

The badger and coyote buddy movie we always wanted. The duo went through a culvert near Gilroy California and were caught on video as part of Peninsula Open Space Trust's project to better understand how wildlife interact with the major roadways that surround the southern end of the Santa Cruz Mountains. [more inside]
posted by spamandkimchi at 8:24 PM PST - 6 comments

You just found the ‘central branch’ Book and Zine TRADING Library!

While weeding old travel books from the Greater Victoria Public Library’s central branch collection in August, she discovered something truly unexpected hiding in the 1984 book Handpicked Tours of North America: A Motorist’s Guide to Scenic Routes and Fascinating Places in Canada and the USA. Pulling the book off the shelf, she hadn’t noticed that it was missing a barcode or that it was lighter than one might have expected for a hardcover of its size. She did, however, notice a couple of zines tumbling to the floor… When she finally opened it, she was astonished: a library within the library revealed itself.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:05 PM PST - 25 comments

Q: What's a Meta Worth? A: $60 Million, Same As in Town

Facebook owner is behind $60 mln deal for Meta name rights [Reuters] [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 3:46 PM PST - 52 comments

Milkshakes: the fidget toy for commuters

Almost half of all fast-food milkshakes were purchased in the morning, by commuters who wanted something to do during their drive. Harvard Business School professor Clay Christensen explains the job of a milkshake (YouTube). (text article)
posted by meowzilla at 2:35 PM PST - 29 comments

Roblox Pressured Us to Delete Our Video. So We Dug Deeper.

Earlier this year, the People Make Games YouTube channel released an investigation (previously) into Roblox, detailing the shady methods (including literal child labor) that have, in part, made the company worth billions. Well, turns out there's more to report, so they're back with a new video, and it's even more disturbing than the first one.
posted by jklaiho at 11:07 AM PST - 13 comments

Oklahoma Governor Cancels Hunting and Fishing Compacts with Tribes

In 2016, the state of Oklahoma entered in to a series of compacts with the two major tribes over hunting and fishing licenses. Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt has decided not to renew these compacts. [more inside]
posted by Quonab at 10:22 AM PST - 17 comments

and did those feet in ancient time, queue upon England's pavements grey

As the PM faces criticism for breaking his own government's lockdown rules last year, the UK government has suggested that estimated COVID infections in the country may be running at 200k a day (official case figures are currently averaging out at around 50k per day), with over 50% of all London cases expected to be from the Omicron variant within the next 48 hours.

Though authorities in South Africa have maintained that Omicron is a mild illness for most people, the UK has nevertheless stepped up its booster vaccination programme (ahead of news that 2 doses of AZ/Pfizer may not provide as much antibody protection as first estimated against Omicron, making boosters more important than ever), leading to 4+ hour long queues in some places across the capital.
posted by fight or flight at 9:59 AM PST - 70 comments

"a rock with googly eyes" or "a mysterious and complicated ritual"

which early hominid are you? A project by student saredmon19. She writes "This is a quiz made as a final project for my Biological Anthropology class. All information is based on data from the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History's human fossils information. So, which early human are you?" Via one of her professors, Marc Kissel.
posted by paduasoy at 9:20 AM PST - 35 comments

"They just . . . don’t seem to hear it."

A dystopian horror story. "The Sound of" by Charles Payseur (published 2017): "Diego packs more insulation into the walls. The work’s itchy as hell and the insulation isn’t enough to cut out the whine of the Sound, not entirely, but he likes to think it helps." Content note for noise torture and police brutality.
posted by brainwane at 7:54 AM PST - 4 comments

December 12


"Unless we dramatically transform our way of life, climate change and other man-made perils will cause our civilisation to crash. Earth’s Black Box will record every step we take towards this catastrophe… The purpose of the device is to provide an unbiased account of the events that lead to the demise of the planet, hold accountability for future generations, and inspire urgent action. How the story ends is completely up to us. Only one thing is certain, your actions, inactions, and interactions are now being recorded.” [more inside]
posted by Thella at 11:36 PM PST - 32 comments


Dutch flugelhornist and barrel organist Reinier Sijpkens accompanies himself on Philip Glass's Etudes 1 and 2 . [more inside]
posted by waninggibbon at 5:37 PM PST - 19 comments

Ashe, the Power to Make Things Happen

A giant in the study of African art has left us. Yale art historian Robert Farris Thompson - also known as "Funky Bob" and "Master T" - has died at 88. A legendary scholar as well as lecturer, Thompson coined the phrase "Black Atlantic" civilization and was widely known for decades for his advocacy of the importance of the arts of Africa and its diaspora.
posted by PhineasGage at 4:24 PM PST - 10 comments

Jingle Hell

"This is the true dark side of Christmas, the proper soundtrack to the lights that flash in call centres and the marriages that end in the kitchens of family gatherings." Tariq Goddard reviews this year's Christmas Music for The Quietus.
posted by misteraitch at 2:31 PM PST - 40 comments

Max Max Max Super Max Max Max Super Super Max Max Max

Max Verstappen is the 2021 F1 World Champion. Sergio Perez brilliantly blocked Lewis Hamilton for over two minutes turning an 8.5 second gap between Verstappen and Hamilton into a 1.05 second gap and the final lap with that incredible overtake and subsequent defense.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 11:59 AM PST - 93 comments

A Strange Loop

A gay black man working as an usher on Broadway is writing a musical about a gay black man working as an usher on Broadway who is writing a musical about a gay black man working a an usher on Broadway writing a musical. This recursion forms the basis for A Strange Loop [Wikipedia, trailer, 2m30s], a musical that won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Drama [] but only just NOW is headed to Broadway thanks to COVID [NPR, article with listen link]. Here is the Original Cast Album [YouTube playlist]. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 11:29 AM PST - 20 comments

The Four Corners potato

Solanum jamesii, aka the Four Corners potato, has sustained Indigenous people in the American Southwest for 11,000 years; USDA is now studying its 8-year shelf life, and its resistance to disease, heat, and drought. The future of this remarkable little potato remains unwritten.
posted by ShooBoo at 11:27 AM PST - 17 comments

The Underground Railroad to Mexico

In 1829, Mexico's black president Vicente Guerrero, abolished slavery. Unlike going to the North where slaves legally had to be returned, slaves in the U.S. and Texas could travel south to complete freedom. A sort of underground railroad to the south formed. [more inside]
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:26 AM PST - 17 comments

"I don't know how long I've been at this now."

Two short fantasy comics: "HSTHETE" by Melanie Gillman is a comic about "our goddess of mishaps" and someone who seeks her. "A Hero" by Madeline Sharafian (also on Twitter) shares glimpses the thrills and lows of an older hero's life.
posted by brainwane at 7:53 AM PST - 6 comments

"These things might destroy me. But then again, they might not."

Anne Rice Dies at 80 She was the author of more than 30 novels, including 1976's Interview With the Vampire, which was adapted into a 1994 movie starring Kirsten Dunst.
posted by box at 6:50 AM PST - 71 comments

December 11

Largest Vehicle-To-Grid Charging Project On The Planet?

Utrecht is working towards becoming the first bi-directional city in the world and in his recent trip Robert Llewellyn visited a huge solar powered car park and charging station to see how EVs and Vehicle-To-Grid charging are being integrated together. (Fully Charged, YouTube, 16m26s)
posted by flabdablet at 8:52 PM PST - 42 comments

Laws as Trolling

Gavin Newsom calls for bill modeled on Texas abortion ban to crack down on gun manufacturers “If the most efficient way to keep these devastating weapons off our streets is to add the threat of private lawsuits, we should do just that,” said Newsom, a longtime advocate of strict gun control laws.
posted by tiny frying pan at 8:22 PM PST - 65 comments

Wow’en Wilson: The Quiz

Hear the “wow” and guess the movie.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 6:53 PM PST - 11 comments

Please Come And Be Fat

"I don’t want to be standing here as a model of fat transness but I am glad to be because nobody else is." S. Bear Bergman writes about doing an "extremely peculiar community service" at a trans conference.
posted by merriment at 4:20 PM PST - 7 comments

In the Mountain West, the ‘Dirty’ Soda Rush Is On

With locations now numbering in the hundreds, regional soda-shop chains are spreading far beyond Utah, where they first found popularity. “Some people say, ‘Oh well, it’s just a Utah trend,’ and we kind of proved that wrong when we went to Oklahoma, and proved people like their soda everywhere,” said Nicole Tanner, who founded Swig with her husband, Todd. “It may sound so weird to some people who have never been, but it’s happiness in a cup. I’ve always known from the start that this is something that can and should go everywhere.”
posted by folklore724 at 3:24 PM PST - 62 comments

Adventures in the Universe of Ambiguous Morality

Liked Yahtzee's (of Chzo Mythos and Zero Punctuation fame's) Adventures in the Galaxy of Fantabulous Wonderment and/or Studio Spektar and Porcupine Parkour's General Horse and the Package of Doom (previously), the epic sci-fi adventure games that combine adventure game sequences with RPG and simulation elements, but want something bigger and more serious? Then these are the voyages of... The Captain.
posted by BiggerJ at 2:23 PM PST - 5 comments

Clickbait Disinformation

How Facebook and Google fund global misinformation. The tech giants are paying millions of dollars to the operators of clickbait pages, bankrolling the deterioration of information ecosystems around the world.
posted by blue shadows at 12:18 PM PST - 10 comments

"The paradox of the “u up?” text is that its nonchalance is belabored. "

At McSweeney's, Miriam Jayaratna imagines what it would be like to get "u up?" texts from famous male authors. Come for the rhyming couplets from Poe and Seuss, stay for David Foster Wallace's extensive footnotes.
posted by firechicago at 11:45 AM PST - 36 comments

Usually even Microsoft is not so bad as to endanger its users

Oh hey, no biggie, but if you have an Android phone and Microsoft Teams installed, you may not be able to dial 911.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:19 AM PST - 26 comments

The bird could say “What’s up?” and “I’m fine” and “a lot of swear words

A friendly, if somewhat foul-mouthed, crow became a temporary mascot at Allen Dale Elementary School in November when the bird took up residence at the Grants Pass school.
posted by ShooBoo at 8:34 AM PST - 25 comments

"the opportunity for interaction her infection has provided"

Magazine archives week concludes! "A Programmatic Approach to Perfect Happiness" by Tim Pratt (audio version) is a snappy and somewhat unsettling science fiction story involving sex, a robot, a family, an infectious disease, and scheming. [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 7:53 AM PST - 1 comment

December 10

"Luminous language, imperishable lines."

Sofia Samatar (The White Review, 11/2021), "Standing at the Ruins": "Placing these poems together, juxtaposing these different landscapes, gives me a sense of planetary mourning. Their elegiac power has intensified over time, for the world they assume will never change is no longer here today ... Imru al-Qays helps me imagine a capacious, crackling spiral, flexible enough to survive ..." English & Arabic versions. The Wanderer Project. "Climate Change in the Age of Numbing." Frankenstein 1818 & 1831 (diffs). Vesuvius in Eruption. Frankenstein in Baghdad excerpt 1 & 2. The Ruins. "Letter from Joanna." "Feeling Kinky about Environmentalism." Hydriotaphia, Urn Burial. Samatar previously.
posted by Wobbuffet at 11:12 PM PST - 5 comments

Want out?

Quiz: Where Should You Live? (SLNYT) [more inside]
posted by mosst at 1:43 PM PST - 78 comments

"His drone has a dummy crow attached to the undercarriage"

While all right-thinking people know that birds are real (these folks nonwithstanding) there are some birds that are not real, including a variety of robotic birds such as RoBird which looks like a raptor and can increase safety at airports by decreasing bird strikes and increase output at vineyards by decreasing grape-eating birds. Watch it flap. Other bird drones include the ProHawk Bird-X and, of course, MetaBird. [via]
posted by jessamyn at 12:04 PM PST - 13 comments

So long, Nez. Michael Nesmith, Monkees Singer-Songwriter, Dead at 78

“With infinite love we announce that Michael Nesmith has passed away this morning in his home, surrounded by family, peacefully and of natural causes,” Monkees singer and guitarist Michael Nesmith, a pop visionary who penned many of the group’s most enduring songs before laying the groundwork for country rock with the First National Band in the early Seventies, died Friday from natural causes. He was 78.
posted by freakazoid at 10:56 AM PST - 137 comments

Chill Out

28 Chillest Albums of All Time [more inside]
posted by box at 10:12 AM PST - 69 comments

Omicron appears to be spreading among the immunized population

In South Africa, the U.K., and Denmark—countries with the best variant surveillance and high immunity against COVID—Omicron cases are growing exponentially. This is the simple math we have to keep in mind: A tiny percent of a huge number is still a big number. A largely mild but uncontrolled Omicron wave could cause a lot of pain, hospitalizations, and death across a country. The ultimate impact of Omicron will depend on how tiny that tiny percent is and how huge that huge number is. [more inside]
posted by mecran01 at 9:40 AM PST - 183 comments

The loose boys are back

Need a reason for the season? If you live in certain parts of the northern hemisphere, try the annual return of the undisputed champion of citrus (dispute welcomed in comments). Maybe yours will come from Louisiana, where Jesuits first planted them in 1712—and where they are still revered by locals. Maybe you're lucky enough to be in California's fruitshed and can land a specimen from the legendary (and organic) Johansen Ranch, whose founder smuggled in his budwood in the 60s.

Wherever you can get them, eat them while you can because, like all good things, they are endangered by climate change effects: Hurricane Katrina destroyed half of all trees in Louisiana's top growing county, Isaac wiped out 75%, and citrus canker threatens the rest. When you fall in love with this seedless, easy-to-peel wonder (and you will), you can grow your own: buy a tree from the Becnel family who have been propagating satsumas for 160 years—a new variety tolerates chilly nights as low as 12ºF.
posted by rossmeissl at 9:08 AM PST - 34 comments

"And if your boyfriend has wings: how?"

"This is a story about how you are not supposed to knit a sweater for your boyfriend." "Entanglement, or How I Failed to Knit a Sweater for My Boyfriend," is a short story by Carrie Vaughn featuring the dreaded "sweater curse" and how to knit for the man who has wings. Interview with the author about the story's origins can be found here. [more inside]
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:57 AM PST - 4 comments

How Lena Dunham Found Her Happily Ever After

A personal essay About 20 minutes into our date he told me he didn’t drink, and I asked why. “Do you really want to get this intense?” he asked. “Always,” I responded. He began to tell me a story of trauma, of generational pain and rebuilding of the self, but he did it with laughter in his eyes, like he wasn’t mocking me but the absurdity of what the universe can dole out to two people in their brief 35 years on earth. And that was the moment I understood that I was likely sitting across from my soul mate, if that’s a term we want to use.
posted by folklore724 at 8:17 AM PST - 16 comments

"I smiled grimly. Modern ideas."

"There were no guests expected, and just before the dinner hour is not considered an appropriate time for casual calls, yet Dearing was greeting this presumptuous fellow as a prodigal son." In the short fairy-tale fantasy story "Thorns" by Martha Wells, the auntie of a family notices an intrusive threat. [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 7:50 AM PST - 9 comments

Jelly Cam

A live view of the jellyfish at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Light on plot, heavy on jellyfish. [more inside]
posted by veggieboy at 7:35 AM PST - 17 comments

"More pedantic nonsense"

Where is the comma in "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen" supposed to go?
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 6:52 AM PST - 28 comments

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

NME's 50 best albums of 2021. [more inside]
posted by signal at 5:39 AM PST - 21 comments

I’m thinking about it, and I’m telling you.

CW: Suicide/suicidal ideation
Actor, comic and presenter Joe Tracini is thinking of killing himself. He doesn't want to, and he's telling us about it on Twitter so he can't. He's funny, kind and incisive, whether showing what BPD is like for him, protecting himself and others from suicide, writing songs about his erectile dysfunction, or providing insightful sports commentary. All links except the last contain references to suicide and suicidal ideation.
posted by howfar at 3:15 AM PST - 9 comments

December 9

Who comes to bury you. Greg Tate, 1957-2021

A Note in Praise of Greg Tate, by Hanif Abdurraqib "Greg Tate knew the secret America hasn’t ever been able to keep up with: the multitude of ways black folks communicate, and it ain’t all spoken, but it’s all language." [more inside]
posted by SoundInhabitant at 8:22 PM PST - 16 comments

The Jurassic Park / Home Alone crossover looks excellent

Knitwear Fit for a T. Rex : "There is nothing more funny than a jumper fitted for a dinosaur that has the tiniest arms in the world." (SLNYT)
posted by carolr at 7:59 PM PST - 13 comments

Of all sad words of tongue or pen

the saddest are these: "It Might Have Been." In an emotional excerpt from her MasterClass on resilience, Hillary Clinton reads parts of the victory speech she hoped to deliver in 2016. "In this lesson, I’m going to face one of my most public defeats head-on by sharing with you the speech I had hoped to deliver if I had won the 2016 election," Clinton says.
posted by MiraK at 5:39 PM PST - 59 comments

The War on Christmas is Real

CNN Airs Brutal Supercut Of Fox News Being More Upset About Their Christmas Tree Catching On Fire Than The Capitol Riot On January 6. (From Digg, seen on NextDraft)
posted by Literaryhero at 5:34 PM PST - 50 comments

Also, she's wearing a great outfit. A peach flowy jumpsuit.

Your Fat Friend and Maintenance Phase podcast cohost Aubrey Gordon reviews Positive Moves, Angela Lansbury's fitness home video (1988) & book (1990). There is a transcript tab! "I don't feel compelled to try in fact check, Angela Lansbury saying, it's good for you to putter around the house."
posted by spamandkimchi at 5:17 PM PST - 8 comments

Everything is taller or shorter than the capybara.

CapybaraFilter: Sandra Beasley's Unit of Measure. [more inside]
posted by storybored at 4:25 PM PST - 36 comments

Let's Explore Zugunruhe* With Owls

"It's hard to find anyone who is ambivalent about snowy owls. These huge, white Arctic raptors, with their riveting lemon-yellow eyes, have an unmistakable charisma," writes Scott Weidensaul. But until relatively recently, we didn't know much about their lives outside of the Arctic. How the Aftermath of an Owl Invasion Became a SNOWstorm. (See the project here.) [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:25 PM PST - 4 comments

Timelapse: from seed to 600kg pumpkin

Apropos of absolutely nothing (slyt) Exactly what it says on the side of the box.
posted by dfm500 at 2:41 PM PST - 18 comments

"None of it was here before, and time is short."

"I load up the interface, drilling straight down to the zygote’s chromosomal level. Hayden’s been a bit careless, like he always is on the rare occasions he actually gets in the wet lab. I get to work, fixing his mistakes." "Best for Baby" by Rivqa Rafael takes us into an unusual workday for a geneticist fixing a mess under time pressure -- and under a pressure she had not expected. [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 7:49 AM PST - 2 comments

Read My Pins

Read My Pins: The Madeleine Albright Collection features more than 200 pins, most of the costume variety, which Secretary Albright wore to communicate a message before, during, and after her years of public service, including the years she led the Department of State, from 1997 to 2001. Sometimes demure and understated, sometimes outlandish and outspoken, these pins were used as gentle implements of statecraft.
posted by jrb223 at 6:52 AM PST - 15 comments

December 8

RIP Robbie Shakespeare

Wickedest Bass in Reggae Dead at 68. Alongside his Riddim Twins counterpart Sly Dunbar, the bassist played with everyone from Black Uhuru to Bob Dylan across more than four decades. [more inside]
posted by Lyme Drop at 10:03 PM PST - 33 comments

Fusion, Shmusion

Read the papers and it seems like a fusion power plant is imminent—we’re just a few years away from our first fusion generator and then to widespread commercialization. After all, that’s what the fusion companies themselves are saying. Tokamak Energy: A working power plant connected to the grid by 2030 • General Fusion: Demonstration power plant beginning operations in 2025 • Helion Energy: We’ll do it in 2024 • First Light Fusion: Yeah, 2024 • Zap Energy: 2023—so there! But if we’ve learned anything from the Theranos debacle, it’s that we can’t take any company’s claim at face value when “fake it till you make it” is a standard corporate motto. (Slate)
posted by ShooBoo at 9:11 PM PST - 55 comments

Lawless loggers

This report from the redoubtable Australian Broadcasting Corporation uses some really nice data visualization to reveal the extent to which the Victorian State Government's own logging company has been illegally logging steep slopes in Melbourne's water catchment. [more inside]
posted by flabdablet at 5:00 PM PST - 8 comments

Everybody But Your Dog

GAYLE sings abcdefu
posted by chavenet at 2:10 PM PST - 18 comments

Bro. ... Bro. *Bros.*

We headed to the restaurant with high hopes — eight of us in total, led into a cement cell of a room, Drake pumping through invisible speakers. It was sweltering hot, and no other customers were present. The décor had the of chicness of an underground bunker where one would expect to be interrogated for the disappearance of an ambassador’s child.
Geraldine DeRuiter's review of Bros, a Michelin-starred restaurant that chose not to serve actual food. ((Medium | original site)
posted by rewil at 1:25 PM PST - 719 comments

HHS investigation into Covid test failure at CDC

Secret Investigation Documents Reveal How The CDC’s First COVID Test Failed In the Pandemic’s Early Days. "Federal investigation records obtained by BuzzFeed News show how one of the most pivotal mistakes of the pandemic fell on an overburdened CDC lab with only three full-time employees." By Dan Vergano. [more inside]
posted by russilwvong at 12:42 PM PST - 8 comments

Love and Economy. The Business of Marriage

Linda Besner Takes a Look at the Marriages of Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and John Maynard Keynes. Romance is famously a form of lunacy, irrational to the core. But historically, marriage is a business deal. Building a shared life seems to demand a sophisticated form of double-entry bookkeeping, in which a column counting cash and a column counting feelings are somehow reconciled. [more inside]
posted by 15L06 at 12:19 PM PST - 19 comments

Winning as a first-time candidate

I've worked in politics for a long time and all the candidates that I've worked for in the past were always much older than me. They're in their fifties or sixties and they have much more established careers. And so when they call up a friend who is also a senior-level executive, and they ask, ‘Hey, can you cut me a check for $2,700 bucks?’ They're like, sure, I can do that. For me, I was calling my friends who were all younger and being like, can you chip in a hundred dollars? And can I call your mom? From a Q&A with Delegate-Elect Elect Irene Shin, Virginia House of Delegates in Campaigner, a new weekly newsletter exploring the tactics that drive winning political campaigns. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 11:55 AM PST - 5 comments

the least we can do is involve patients in the analysis

Immunologist Dr. Akiko Iwasaki explains the possible mechanisms of long COVID (aka Post-Acute Sequelae of Covid-19, aka PASC) in a October 29, 2021 webinar for the National Institutes of Health. Links to timestamps on: post acute infection syndromes in general; two types of long COVID (including the fatigue syndrome associated with mild infections); disease hypotheses (2 possible causes); treatments for symptoms (including vaccines); three different cohort studies; and on long COVID patient involvement in the research. [more inside]
posted by spamandkimchi at 10:47 AM PST - 14 comments

Shrek and the ‘Digital Postracial"

Jamie Loftus, known among other things for detailed scholarly discussions of popular media, offers a review of a recent academic conference about the films Shrek. (previous stuff by loftus)
posted by eotvos at 10:29 AM PST - 3 comments

Sanna Marin: Finland's PM sorry for clubbing after Covid contact

Finland's Prime Minister is 36 years old, went out clubbing till 4am, left her work phone at home and was therefore unreachable to get a text telling her she needed to quarantine. Sanna Marin went on a night out in Helsinki on Saturday, hours after her foreign minister had tested positive.
posted by folklore724 at 9:54 AM PST - 59 comments

"on the inside I was screaming curses to Jupiter"

“And to the Republic” by Rachel Kolar is a fantasy story about an alternate civic religion for the US and one sister frantically trying to persuade another: "I didn’t hurry out the door, since that would raise suspicion. Instead, I stopped at the shrines as I always did, lighting my incense to Mercury for a safe commute and to Washington, Lincoln, and the paters patriae for the health of the Republic, before sliding behind the wheel of my car and punching my sister’s number into my cell phone." [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 7:46 AM PST - 7 comments

Amor es Amor

Yesterday, Chile's congress finally approved equal marriage rights for all, including adoption rights. [more inside]
posted by signal at 6:25 AM PST - 8 comments

VTubing as a safer way to stream

“It’s kind of like an escape. You have artistic freedom to present yourself however you want,” she says. “It's like a mirror, but it shows you what you want to see. It’s powerful, but also comforting.” - How trans women are finding safe spaces on Twitch and YouTube
posted by simmering octagon at 6:01 AM PST - 11 comments

"A person cannot consent to what amounts to fraud and torture"

Bill C-4 will make conversion therapy illegal in Canada once the formality of royal assent has been completed. After a couple of earlier failures to get the bill through Parliament and some intra-party strong-arming by Conservative leader Erin O'Toole, it passed both the House and the Senate with unanimous consent. Bill C-4 goes beyond the government’s previous attempts at a ban by making it a crime to make anyone undergo conversion therapy, regardless if they consent. [more inside]
posted by clawsoon at 4:17 AM PST - 13 comments

December 7

Fun Home

A lesbian coming-out story, a father's suicide, life in a funeral home... Perhaps not the most likely subjects for a Broadway musical, but in 2015, the truly transcendent play Fun Home opened, and broke all expectations. Written by Tony-winnters Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron, based on a graphic memoir by Alison Bechdel [author reading and Q&A, 51m], the show is touching, hilarious, tragic, and ultimately very very human. Here is an edited audience bootleg (several sources, really good) of the original Broadway Cast [Vimeo link, 1h41m], including Michael Cerveris, Judy Kuhn, and Beth Malone. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 7:39 PM PST - 35 comments

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it

I Am The Horrible Goose That Lives In The Town. You cannot anticipate me because your brain is so big and weighty and far from the ground, but my brain is aerodynamic and small and ground-sure and I have all I need in my wicked goose-body, and also I have your radio. [more inside]
posted by vibratory manner of working at 1:24 PM PST - 40 comments

The Driver Who Hit Me Got Two Years in Prison. But I Got a Life Sentence

A driver hit Andrew J. Bernstein with his car, very nearly killing him, and ran from the scene. Years later, the driver is finally caught, reaches a plea deal, and is sentenced. But what is two years of jail time against the lifetime consequences faced by the victims of reckless drivers? What does "justice" mean when the legal system puts only the most egregiously dangerous drivers in prison but refuses to take steps to prevent this kind of violence in the first place? [more inside]
posted by threementholsandafuneral at 1:18 PM PST - 93 comments

Rothko at the Inauguration: A story of America in three scams

"The story I ended up with is at once the story of the largest art fraud of the late 20th century, the greatest betrayal in the history of the New York art world, and the inauguration of Donald Trump." An astonishing long form essay by Richard Warnica about Rothko, fatherhood, the depravity of the very rich, the Trump inauguration, and more than I can list here….but mostly about the mystery at the heart of great works of visual art. Richard Warnica previously on Mefi.
posted by jokeefe at 12:42 PM PST - 25 comments

Tilda Swinton as Libraries

Tilda Swinton as Libraries
posted by Tom-B at 12:22 PM PST - 21 comments

I Hate It

I Moved to a Remote Cabin to Write, and I Hate It From Outside Magazine, it's Iditarod musher Blair Braverman's advice column "Tough Love" dealing with what happens if you actually live out your COVID fantasy and run away to write a book in the woods.
I haven’t written anything. I’m bored with the little trail by my house, and the only wildlife I’ve watched are geese.
Blair Braverman previously on MeFi
posted by hydropsyche at 8:57 AM PST - 59 comments

"Cindy had a wonderful ability to be amused by things."

"Against Babylon" by Robert Silverberg -- published May 1986 in OMNI (previously) -- is an atmospheric science fiction story of brushfire season in Southern California and a pilot who misses his wife. [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 7:43 AM PST - 13 comments

Down Here Among the Living, Things Are Not So Simple

A worn face crusted with sores in the mirror, old before its time. Memories of a man’s flying fists visit every room. A belly swells with the inevitability of another life. Slut. An infant squalls. Wheezing. Laughter. Cigarette smoke. Young voices inside and out. The screen door opens and slams shut. And the undefiled border blooms with seductive promise as she sings to herself and carefully irons her blouse for school. from The Scapegoat: Siri Hustvedt on the Torture and Murder of Sylvia Likens [CW: pretty much everything awful]
posted by chavenet at 7:34 AM PST - 9 comments

Less than two hours, December 7, 1941

Attack on Pearl Harbor: December 7, 1941 , fold3 HQ, Jenny Ashcraft, December 2, 2021. Eighty years ago this month, a surprise attack by Japanese forces occurred at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The attack killed more than 2,000, injured 1,178, and led to America’s entry into WWII. During the attack, six U.S. battleships were sunk, and more than a dozen others were damaged. The Japanese also destroyed 300 airplanes. The attack lasted less than two hours, and the following day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war on Japan. The volunteers at Stories Behind the Stars are working on an ambitious project to tell the story of each Pearl Harbor casualty. As we mark the 80th anniversary of that fateful day, here are a few stories they’ve gathered:
posted by cenoxo at 6:51 AM PST - 21 comments

December 6

NO Tannenbaum

Popular Mechanics asks Why the Hell Is There a Christmas Tree Shortage?
posted by ShooBoo at 10:09 PM PST - 95 comments

The Era of “This Isn’t Working” May Stick Around.

"How This All Happened, 5000 words tracing the boons and busts and expectations in the US since World War II.

"Things were very uncertain, then they were very good, then pretty bad, then really good, then really bad, and now here we are. And there is, I think, a narrative that links all those events together. Not a detailed account. But a story of how the details fit together."
posted by MrGuilt at 8:53 PM PST - 36 comments

Creating Get Back in Get Back

John's late, and Paul's fucking around on his guitar, and suddenly magic occurs. Paul McCartney Composing Get Back (Jan 7, 1969) [2m33s] From Get Back, directed by Peter Jackson, now on D+. It's long long long, but that's because it has to be. The Beatles: Get Back Is an Eight-Hour Love Story [Slate, medium read] [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 1:53 PM PST - 111 comments

Seeing Beauty Right in Front of You

At Block Club Chicago, Ariel Parrella-Aureli covers Allison Robicelli's recent overnight stay at O'Hare International Airport.
posted by Ipsifendus at 12:47 PM PST - 31 comments

Feel-Bad Politics Stories

Barton Gellman,
who was right in his September 2020 Atlantic cover story
when he made you feel bad about a coming election and democracy in America
has a new Atlantic cover story
to make you feel bad about the coming election and democracy in America.
Read it to feel bad!
Like Pandora keeping hope alive inside her box,
David Atkins writes in The Washington Monthly about steps to take to feel good about American democracy, and the reasons to believe those steps are conceivable.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:06 AM PST - 76 comments

"The cat’s silence was less heavy than her parents’ silence"

"Yiling was riding home on her motorcycle when she saw the cat. It was late evening and the air was thick with smells, but the scent of the cat rang out like the clang of a temple bell, cutting through the stench of exhaust and the oil-in-the-nose smell of fried food wafting from the roadside stalls." "The Guest" by Zen Cho is a short, sweet, funny fantasy story in which a young woman meets a cat and takes on a small magical job. [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 7:42 AM PST - 10 comments

The question of genre

The whole question of genre is something that female writers of all stripes have to contend with far more than their male counterparts. Just look at people’s obsession with categorising Sally Rooney. The idea that a young woman’s pastel-covered novels about millennials falling in love might qualify as literary fiction causes a fair few commentators to start frothing at the mouth: in 2019, Will Self dismissed her work as “very simple stuff with no literary ambition” during an interview to promote (and I swear I’m not making this up) a line of macarons for the restaurant Hakkasan. Emma Hughes (@emmahdhughes) writes on women's commercial fiction in The Guardian. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 3:36 AM PST - 37 comments

These crimes are preventable

Warning signs present in 1 in 3 homicides of intimate partners, CBC investigation finds. CW: Descriptions of graphic violence. [more inside]
posted by Alex404 at 2:05 AM PST - 43 comments

Live Like Line: The Story of Caroline Found

If you think that girls high school volley ball sounds like a nice little game, then you haven't been to Iowa City. Here girls volley ball is serious business, with some of the best girls in the country going head to head. The girls who come through here have reached the heights, big-time college scholarships, with dreams of national titles and Olympic medals. This is a story about a girl who achieved none of these, but might be the most celebrated of them all.
posted by dancestoblue at 1:04 AM PST - 6 comments

December 5

Star Trek: Coda

Author James Swallow: “It’s been twenty years since Star Trek fiction took a gigantic leap of faith, out from the universe established by the TV shows and movies, and into the new, ongoing continuity that avid readers nicknamed ‘the litverse.’ ... But nothing lasts forever.” [more inside]
posted by bryon at 10:56 PM PST - 30 comments

Peter Cundall

Peter Cundall, the host (1990–2008) of the ABC's Gardening Australia, and host of gardening programs since 1967, has died. [more inside]
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 7:36 PM PST - 11 comments

Standing at the Limit of an Endless Ocean

Rolling Stone Australia has released its list of the 200 Greatest Australian Albums of All Time. [more inside]
posted by jjderooy at 7:25 PM PST - 76 comments

"It's on, motherfuckers!"

L’Chaim! With the last night of Hanukkah wrapping up, Dave Grohl and Greg Kurstin also wrap up their second year of The Hanukkah Sessions with a song by two young Jewish men: Chaim Witz and Stanley Eisen. [more inside]
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 4:56 PM PST - 19 comments

'Fun' sleepover after a massive snowstorm strands 31 people in IKEA

Employees and customers spent the night sleeping in beds in the showroom. Around 11pm members of the group chose where they wanted to sleep, having their pick of IKEA's vast showroom of beds and sofas. "Everybody found a nice and comfortable bed and could test and try out our range," he said.
posted by folklore724 at 4:26 PM PST - 43 comments

a hundred people respond when one person calls

On November 13, delivery couriers working for food delivery company Foodpanda in Hong Kong went on strike as a response to pay cuts, work-related injuries, arbitrary account suspensions, long waits at restaurants, app issues and more. The strike was led by South Asian immigrants and supported by ethnically Chinese Hongkongers, and was self-organized without the aid of the (largely disbanded) trade unions. On November 18, workers and the company reached a deal on pay. [more inside]
posted by spamandkimchi at 2:41 PM PST - 2 comments

Medical illustrations in full colour

"I’ve literally never seen a black foetus illustrated, ever." [SLTwitter]
posted by clawsoon at 1:35 PM PST - 11 comments

The Kid Should See This Gift Guide

A nice set of STEAM oriented, often sustainable gifts for kids A product of the the blog: The Kid Should See This, which was linked previously. Has affiliate links, generally includes Amazon alternatives like bookshop, etc.
posted by rockindata at 1:31 PM PST - 9 comments

Jonathan Larson's Sunday

Sunday is a Sondheim pastiche from Rent composer Jonathan Larson that is featured in Lin-Manuel Miranda's film tick, tick... BOOM. The star-studded filming took quite a bit to pull off. [How “Tick, Tick…Boom!” Pulled Off Its Surprise All-Star Musical Number HarpersBazaar, medium-long read, oral history format] [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 1:17 PM PST - 8 comments

Food Sleuth

Ages ago, Ruth Reichl interviewed Ian Dengler about American food culture Now, Reichl has a blog/newsletter at substack and she has posted that article. [more inside]
posted by mumimor at 12:45 PM PST - 15 comments

“Because we’re not special,” I say.

"The tuktuk driver... Piter is telling me a story about digging a hole to hell, which is also the story of his life, and I am trying to explain to him why his life is meaningless, while he does the same to me." "Dharmas" by Vajra Chandrasekera is a witty fantasy story in which a taxi passenger futilely argues about cosmology. "What kind of psychology meets a new species and says—do what I want, or I’ll kill the lot of you?" "Anna Saves Them All" by Seth Dickinson is a very dark science fiction story about first contact and "how to do what must be done." [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 7:40 AM PST - 5 comments

The future, for me, has always felt intangible

I could never picture myself growing old or reaching life milestones. Now I know it's a trauma response called ‘a sense of foreshortened future’. [UK Glamour]
posted by ellieBOA at 6:12 AM PST - 70 comments

flyheccing with the cheez grip

Tetris players recently discovered an unusual way to use the NES controller, which is leading to new records being set.
posted by lazaruslong at 2:28 AM PST - 25 comments

December 4

The latest in the bonkers Ebay stalking case

Amazon. Etsy. eBay. Lots of companies appeared in David and Ina Steiner’s E-commerce newsletter. Only one tried to take them out. Previously 1, Previously 2, and Previously 3.
posted by momochan at 7:05 PM PST - 10 comments

The Secretive Prisons That Keep Migrants Out of Europe

Tired of migrants arriving from Africa, the E.U. has created a shadow immigration system that captures them before they reach its shores, and sends them to brutal Libyan detention centers run by militias. [slNYorker] [more inside]
posted by Ahmad Khani at 5:42 PM PST - 16 comments

The Beatles - Love

It began as the soundtrack to a Cirque du Soliel Vegas show, but became something much more. With George Martin and son Giles Martin at the helm, The Beatles 2006 album Love became much more than just a rehash of familiar material. It became a massive mashup project covering the entire Beatles career. [George & Giles Martin: Remixing The Beatles Sound On Sound, medium read] Here's the full album on Vimeo [1h20m,], probably the preferred listening experience. But also a YouTube playlist with each track separated. Oh, and here are the original liner notes to the album. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 12:57 PM PST - 17 comments

Putting the Indiana in Indiana Jones

Don Miller, a resident of rural Indiana, spent a lifetime collecting of tens of thousands of archeological artifacts, showing it off to visitors. His method of obtaining the artifacts though was not quite legal. How the FBI Discovered a Real-Life Indiana Jones in, of All Places, Rural Indiana.
posted by borkencode at 10:08 AM PST - 25 comments

"one of the only insurance providers to include a kaiju damages plan"

"They had asked about the top-tier package, with full coverage from any damage incurred from acts of kaiju. The yearly cost was more money than I’d ever made in my life." "One Hundred Seconds to Midnight" by Lauren Ring (published this year; available as audio and text) is a suspenseful speculative story about air travel and human decency. Naomi Shihab Nye's short poem about those same subjects, "Gate A-4", starts: Wandering around the Albuquerque Airport Terminal, after learning my flight had been delayed four hours, I heard an announcement: "If anyone in the vicinity of Gate A-4 understands any Arabic, please come to the gate immediately." [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 7:37 AM PST - 11 comments

A brazen, complex web of fuckery

How A NYTimes Reporter Collects Royalties From Hundreds of Musicians (slyt)
posted by BungaDunga at 6:57 AM PST - 49 comments

The Webb Space Telescope Will Rewrite Cosmic History. If It Works.

"Now we’re going to put our zillion-dollar telescope on top of a stack of explosive material and turn things over to fate." Current scheduled launch date December 22 To look back in time at the cosmos’s infancy and witness the first stars flicker on, you must first grind a mirror as big as a house. Its surface must be so smooth that, if the mirror were the scale of a continent, it would feature no hill or valley greater than ankle height. Only a mirror so huge and smooth can collect and focus the faint light coming from the farthest galaxies in the sky — light that left its source long ago and therefore shows the galaxies as they appeared in the ancient past, when the universe was young. [more inside]
posted by dancestoblue at 4:27 AM PST - 63 comments

Great Art Explained

The face that started a revolution. The Sistine Chapel of impressionism. A new kind of hero. A troubled vision. More explorations of what make other famous works of art great from James Payne's YouTube channel.
posted by blue shadows at 2:49 AM PST - 5 comments

December 3

Blender 3D: Deform Modifier Stack tutorial by Notorious B.I.G & Frends

Ever wish you could learn about Blender 3D from Notorious B.I.G.? Sometimes all it takes is a little AI here, a little hip hop there, and before you know it, you learned something. Also making appearances: Eminem, Jay-Z, Kanye, Snoop, Tupac...RIP
posted by circular at 3:08 PM PST - 8 comments

“All good things must begin.”

The thing that has surprised me most was really how cash poor she was. She’d journal just about every single day. She would write something in her journals and then she would work on her novels or a story or whatever. She would be doing calculations in the margins — word counts and how much she would be paid per word for something, how much money she had to get through the week, or how much or how little food she could purchase. Her shopping lists down to the penny. Which meant she had to go without a lot of things to produce the writing that we have been gifted. And it was kind of heartbreaking. From Tracing Octavia Butler’s Footsteps: An Interview with Dr. Ayana A. H. Jamieson [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 3:07 PM PST - 6 comments

If you list a book as published in 1602, it's in a different aisle.

SLNYT: What Happened to Amazon’s Bookstore? The state of Amazon today.
posted by Melismata at 10:20 AM PST - 76 comments

No knowledge of German required

Since its first release in 1961 the hymn “Danke” by Martin Gotthard Schneider has been one of Germany’s most popular Christian songs. But in 1993 comedian and theater director Christoph Marthaler made it a comic centerpiece of his popular play Murx den Europäer, often reprised. Marthaler’s version has itself been covered, such as by the Hafnarfjörður Brass Band and the male choir Voces Masculorum.
posted by Kattullus at 9:41 AM PST - 5 comments


You find yourself standing outside your college dorm hall. All of your friends are complaining about your Composition and Rhetoric Professor. He assigned a 10 page paper on Monday. The paper is due tonight...before midnight. [more inside]
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:38 AM PST - 18 comments

"They aren’t supposed to be used for frivolous things, she knows that"

"(emet)" by Lauren Ring is a speculative novelette involving surveillance technology, a tech worker who's "not even a cog in a machine, she’s just a drop of oil that helps the cog turn," and the programming of golems. It "was originally published in the July/August 2021 issue of the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, edited by Sheree Renée Thomas, and is temporarily available on this page for the purposes of awards consideration." Ring's stories on the intersection of tradition and sci-fi futures also include "The Best Latkes On the Moon" ("This is how to make latkes when you’ve just turned eleven and it’s the first night of Hanukkah and you are alone on the moon.") and “Three Riddles and a Mid-Sized Sedan” ("I teach my daughter to chalk runes around the house, double yellow lines that forbid the cars from crossing."). [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 7:35 AM PST - 5 comments


Home Video: Your Kid Performing in Your Living Room at Christmas by Desi Domo, part of the rotating troupe of comedy performers at Characters Welcome NYC. [more inside]
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 6:58 AM PST - 6 comments

December 2

A Couple Of Lists Of Christmas Music

15 unconventional Christmas albums from the past 50 years,from KTVZ, Bend, OR. Also, 20 New-ish Christmas Albums That Actually Rule from Esquire. I will admit to ordering an album from one of these lists and expect to be pleased.
posted by hippybear at 10:31 PM PST - 66 comments

Now imagine paying for all those things completely on your own.

If you live by yourself — or as a single parent or caregiver ... this is your life. All the expenses of existing in society, on one set of shoulders. For the more than 40 million people who live in this kind of single-income household, it’s also become increasingly untenable. When we talk about all the ways it’s become harder and harder for people to find solid financial footing in the middle class, we have to talk about how our society is still set up in a way that makes it much easier for single people to fall through the cracks. [SL Vox]
posted by Lycaste at 10:22 PM PST - 73 comments

Come on baby, let me whisper in your ear

Before the Seattle sound grunged its way to the top of the charts, a power pop trio from Chicago dropped their debut album, International Pop Overthrow. Now a documentary by a filmmaker born four years after lead singer Jim Ellison died by suicide is tells the story in Out of Time: The Material Issue Story. It premieres in Chicago tonight at Lincoln Hall. [more inside]
posted by cyndigo at 5:14 PM PST - 27 comments

Just some tranquil DJ Mixes

Four new, mellow 70-ish minute mixes from Traumprinz, the anonymous/multi-aliased German DJ: To All Dreamers, To All Dancers, To All Lovers, To All Believers
Unlike earlier mixes, these incorporate a significant number of pieces by artists other than Traumprinz, from Hildegard Von Bingen to death's dynamic shroud.wav, from SHXCXCHCXSH to Underworld, from Jefre Cantu-Ledesma to Justin Bieber.
posted by Going To Maine at 4:27 PM PST - 4 comments

"Dazy keeps it simple: heart rot, butt rot, root rot."

Author Mary Roach's new book Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law has many excellent chapters on human/wildlife interaction. Here is one chapter about "danger trees," trees that are "dead soft" but not yet "dead fallen" and she talks to tree faller (or faller blaster) Dave "Dazy" Weymer about his work blowing up the tops of trees so that they don't come down unannounced and kill people. Here are a few Dazy Weymer videos from YouTube: an intro to being a faller blaster, felling a big spruce (no explosives) and blasting a small snag.
posted by jessamyn at 3:50 PM PST - 22 comments

As a Species, H. Sapiens Is Extraordinarily Samey

The signs are already there for those willing to see them. When the habitat becomes degraded such that there are fewer resources to go around; when fertility starts to decline; when the birth rate sinks below the death rate; and when genetic resources are limited—the only way is down. The question is “How fast?” from Humans Are Doomed to Go Extinct by Henry Gee
posted by chavenet at 2:27 PM PST - 123 comments

Belfast-based art collective wins Turner Prize

Meet the 2021 Turner Prize-winning Array Collective (via The Guardian). One banner in the síbín reads: “Prepared for peas, ready for sausage war” – a reference to perhaps the most notorious of Belfast’s paramilitary murals which, accompanied by a sinister image of armed, hooded men, reads: “Prepared for peace, ready for war.” Array’s rewording is a dig at the “sausage war” and the DUP’s concern earlier this year that British bangers would struggle to find their way to Northern Ireland owing to Brexit. It’s a typical move from Array – to disarm, in all senses, the violent symbols of the region’s past. “Sometimes the culture here just hands you a joke on a plate,” says Campbell.
posted by Bella Donna at 11:58 AM PST - 8 comments

Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

In recent years Canadian news media has been saturated by PR professionals. Are they doing so to advance public discourse, or to advance their client interests?
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 10:12 AM PST - 13 comments

"Young Americans are sounding the alarm."

According to the most recent Harvard Youth Poll (NPR, Politico, The Harvard Crimson), 52% of 18-29 year-olds in the U.S. believe that the country's democracy is either "in trouble" or "a failed democracy."
posted by box at 9:51 AM PST - 79 comments

An Invitation to a Country House

Feeling the need to escape to the country and relax with some friends? May I suggest the Golden Age Mystery: a genre that grew in the wake of the trauma of World War I, providing readers with puzzles, excitement, and wise and/or witty detectives (and the occasional oaf) to watch at work. [more inside]
posted by PussKillian at 9:09 AM PST - 28 comments

Failing to Treat a Malevolent Force

Opinion: The bombshell about Trump testing positive also implicates the Trump family , Greg Sargent, Washington Post, 12/2/2021. The Trump family has long treated rules and laws as nuisances that are only for the little people. And the news [*] that Donald Trump tested positive for covid-19 before the first 2020 presidential debate shows that this tendency may be even more depraved and malevolent than you thought. *Trump tested positive for coronavirus before first debate with Biden, three former aides say… six days before he was hospitalized for covid-19 at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center., WaPo, 12/1/2021.
posted by cenoxo at 9:06 AM PST - 47 comments

License to Ill

Havana syndrome resembles many other “contested illnesses,” only its sufferers — and promoters — are professional disinformation producers "Sometimes these communities can coalesce around unsubstantiated theories (as with Morgellons, an unfounded belief by some that mysterious fibers are growing out of their skin), but other times such networks can unearth tangible malfeasance (as with the childhood leukemia clusters in the late 1970s in Woburn, Massachusetts that were eventually traced to groundwater contamination from a local factory)."
posted by schmudde at 8:23 AM PST - 34 comments

The Man Who Introduced F1 Racing to America

Robert Daley: The Journalist Who Broke the Biggest Story in Motorsport History. He was also deputy commissioner of the NYPD and wrote 31 books (his official site), among them Prince of the City.
posted by goatdog at 7:42 AM PST - 3 comments

"Now, what was this case about? Missing plums, was it?"

"From the icebox, he removes a small burlap sack with half a dozen plums inside it, places the bag on the counter next to the sink, and closes the icebox.... " The short fantasy story "This is Just to Say" by Timothy Mudie (previously) features a world-weary and idiosyncratic private eye, a worried wife, and the back story behind a couple of poems.
posted by brainwane at 7:32 AM PST - 5 comments

Fisher Price's Iconic Toy Telephone Now Actually Makes Phone Calls

Remember the classic toy Chatter Phone made by Fisher Price? It now has a version with bluetooth and can make calls. Gizmodo reports. The Onion reflects. [more inside]
posted by ShooBoo at 7:31 AM PST - 29 comments

"why he might just be the forgotten Shakespeare for our times"

John Lyly: The Queer Shakespeare is an episode of the Not Just the Tudors podcast where Dr. Suzannah Lipscomb interviews fellow historian Dr. Andy Kesson about the Elizabethan playwright John Lyly, who was "even more keen than Shakespeare on genderbending characters and unconventional love affairs". On the Before Shakespeare website, Kesson has written a lot about the works of John Lyly, as well as a book and several journal articles. He's also working with theater director Emma Frankland on a staging of Lyly's best known play, Galatea. They, and other people involved in the production, talk about the play and performing it in the 21st Century, through trans, queer, deaf, and other lenses, in a series of videos.
posted by Kattullus at 2:56 AM PST - 4 comments

December 1

How I Became The Internet's Most Notorious Bike Thief

How I Became The Internet's Most Notorious Bike Thief: A globetrotters guide to stealing the same bike in the same laneway, over and over again. []
posted by hippybear at 10:23 PM PST - 13 comments

Shout Your Abortion: the Good News

Following 2015 efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, Amelia Bonow’s unapologetic abortion disclosure prompted an outpouring of abortion stories on social media via the hashtag #ShoutYourAbortion. There's a book. But there's also an action starting today to publicize the availability of abortion pills, medical help, and legal help. There are flyers, posters, etc. in the downloadable toolkit. Previously
posted by rikschell at 6:42 PM PST - 8 comments

Amazon poised to pass UPS, FedEx to become largest US delivery service

Amazon has been steadily building up vast logistics and fulfillment operations since a 2013 holiday fiasco left its packages stranded in the hands of outside carriers. Bank of America analysts predicted Amazon delivered 58% of its own packages in 2019, making it the fourth-largest delivery service nationwide, according to Digital Commerce 360. By last August, Amazon was estimated to be delivering 66% of its own packages. Amazon’s in-house delivery operations have become a major advantage during this year’s holiday shopping season, which has been particularly challenging due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, a global supply chain crunch and labor shortages. Beyond leveraging its own trucks and planes, Clark said Amazon has been shipping goods to new ports to avoid blockages.
posted by folklore724 at 6:28 PM PST - 28 comments

Don't try to understand it. Feel it.

I used to be able to understand 99% of the dialogue in Hollywood films. But over the past 10 years or so, I've noticed that percentage has dropped significantly — and it's not due to hearing loss on my end. It's gotten to the point where I find myself occasionally not being able to parse entire lines of dialogue when I see a movie in a theater, and when I watch things at home, I've defaulted to turning the subtitles on to make sure I don't miss anything crucial to the plot. [more inside]
posted by octothorpe at 5:32 PM PST - 127 comments

It's Only a Little Stale

A recipe for an ancient cookie "If cookies go 1,300 years without getting eaten, they get carefully preserved in a case at the British Museum." [more inside]
posted by kathrynm at 4:20 PM PST - 8 comments

Deadlock Empire (Single-link Web puzzle/game)

Slay dragons, master concurrency! Fun little puzzle solving game playing around with all the ways parallel processes can go wrong under the guise of an epic battle between Sequentialists and Parallelists The skills you need are your intelligence, cunning, perseverance and the will to test yourself against the intricacies of multi-threaded programming in the divine language of C#. Each challenge below is a computer program of two or more threads. You take the role of the Scheduler - and a cunning one! Your objective is to exploit flaws in the programs to make them crash or otherwise malfunction. [more inside]
posted by mincus at 1:56 PM PST - 8 comments

"When I open it and it's not broken, it's Christmas!"

Musician Rob Scallon (previously) sits down with Musician/Historian Dennis James (wiki) as he sets up, explains and demonstraits a glass armonica.
posted by bondcliff at 1:37 PM PST - 9 comments

For much of Amazon’s history, people thought of it as a retailer.

Amazon’s Toll Road A new report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) a nonprofit organization and advocacy group with a focus on sustainable community development. [more inside]
posted by Lanark at 12:45 PM PST - 21 comments

if human: kill()

Slaughterbots 2. The Future of Life Institute follows up on their 2017 video about autonomous killer drones. (previously)
posted by doctornemo at 11:34 AM PST - 4 comments

My life as a Turkey (vimeo link)

I came to realize that these young turkeys in many ways were more conscious than I was. Had I known what was in store—the difficult nature of the study and the time I was about to invest—I would have been hard pressed to justify such an intense involvement. [more inside]
posted by mightshould at 11:04 AM PST - 9 comments


"David," a short film directed by Zach Woods, starring Will Ferrell, William Jackson Harper, and Fred Hechinger.
posted by Quonab at 10:57 AM PST - 8 comments

The british do take their wars seriously, don't they?

"A report has come in from the Soemba,
That their salvoes go off like a Rhumba,
Two guns, they sound fine,
But the third five point nine,
He am bust and refuse to go boomba."
When the Dutch gunboat Soemba needed a new gun just a month before D-Day or it wouldn't be able to participate, it stood no chance to get one, until Rear Admiral A.D. Nicholl thought to raise the request in verse rather than prose. That was the start of a long chain of limericks as various departments put their oar in, but in the end the Soemba got her boomba. (Via Niels Henkemans.)
posted by MartinWisse at 10:19 AM PST - 8 comments

December, in my memory, is white as Lapland

"There were the Useful Presents: engulfing mufflers of the old coach days, and mittens made for giant sloths; zebra scarfs of a substance like silky gum that could be tug-o'-warred down to the galoshes;….and books that told me everything about the wasp, except why." A recording of Dylan Thomas reading 'A Child's Christmas in Wales'. The story of how the recording came to be. "Though they did not hear from Thomas himself, they did hear from his manager who encouraged the duo to call Thomas at his New York hotel, the Chelsea. According to Holdridge, “And we called and we called and we called.” Eventually, Holdridge began rising early, phoning at 4:30 or 5 in the morning, hoping to catch Thomas just as he was coming in from the night before. That worked."
posted by bq at 10:19 AM PST - 8 comments

chrome extensions to help you study a foreign language while you netflix

SL Vulture
posted by wowenthusiast at 10:13 AM PST - 7 comments

Opt Outside

Outdoor Advent Calendar from 1000 Hours Outside. Includes cold and warm weather activities such as 20 minute bird count, holiday decorations walk, red & green picnic dinner, and hot cocoa hike. Happy December!
posted by carolr at 9:58 AM PST - 5 comments

Those Cute Cats Online? They Help Spread Misinformation.

We may have no idea how these people got their cats wedged into their scanners — but we now know why. (SLNYT) A mainstay of the internet is regularly used to build audiences for people and organizations pushing false and misleading information. [more inside]
posted by Text TK at 9:49 AM PST - 17 comments

"What’s your name, and what’s your age, and what’s your trade, good man?"

Three speculative tales of suspense and escape. “The Passing Bell” by Amy Griswold (also available in audio): “It’s kind of you to put me up,” I said, jingling pennies in my pocket to encourage such generosity. In a town so small it had neither pub nor inn, I considered myself fortunate to be offered the chance to sleep in the blacksmith’s loft. "Authenticity Soup" by by Alison Wilgus (previously): She had not put the tent together outside the pressurized dome of the city. And she had not been wearing a surface suit. Or gloves. "I Am Tasting the Stars" by Jennifer R. Donohue (published this year) features a list, champagne, a boat, and a mutiny: "We’re good at finding what we need, having enough. It’s why they still humor me, and my list; I’ve brought them years of plenty, no matter how ridiculous the ask."
posted by brainwane at 7:32 AM PST - 1 comment

Frank Williams 1942-2021

Sir Francis Owen Garbett 'Frank' Williams, founder and long-time principal of the Williams Formula One team and (probably) the world's longest lived tetraplegic died on Sunday aged 79. [more inside]
posted by Urtylug at 6:26 AM PST - 11 comments

prepair too wante too TIPE LYKE DIS A LOTT

15 years ago, Something Awful Forums poster Dave Bulmer (Twitter) began a multi-year attempt to fill the hearts of his fellow posters with childlike joy at Christmastime - epically silly serialized, illustrated and even musical stories filled with crossovers inspired by British childhoods past and present. And it worked. On the tenth anniversary of each, he has been preserving them on their own site. Today, the sixth and final year begins (currently only via the next/previous buttons), but to avoid spoilers, you'd better start at the beginning of Year 1. (Also, Year 5 is a special case.) It's time... to WIGGLE HE. Mannie infoes beloe the foldey! (Full disclosure: yes, that's me in the archived comments from a decade ago, but I wasn't involved in production.) Previously. [more inside]
posted by BiggerJ at 4:18 AM PST - 2 comments

David Dalaithngu

David Dalaithngu , acclaimed Australian actor, died on November 29 at the age of 68. [more inside]
posted by greenhornet at 3:12 AM PST - 24 comments