February 2017 Archives

February 28

Combining pop, hip-hop, funk, spoken word and musical theater

New Orleans group Tank and the Bangas is the winner of the 2017 Tiny Desk Contest! The band conveys its freewheeling spirit through a sound that combines pop, hip-hop, funk, spoken word and musical theater. The band’s entry video — set in an art classroom — won over our judges with its undeniable, joyful energy. Lead vocalist Tarriona “Tank” Ball has a playful way with words, thanks in part to her roots in New Orleans’ slam poetry scene. The band has played festivals all over the country, and has opened for artists like Big Freedia and Lianne La Havas.
posted by tunewell at 10:24 PM PST - 6 comments

Leave me alone. I ain't going home.

As Carnival, Mardi Gras, Paczki Day and related Lenten celebrations wind down, let us bask in Calypso Rose's song, "Leave Me Alone," which is being hailed in Trinidad & Tobago as a feminist anthem for protesting men's aggressive sexual harassment of women Carnival-goers.
posted by palindromic at 6:42 PM PST - 5 comments

“Then my imagination just left me.”

Trump, Putin and the new Cold War [more inside]
posted by triggerfinger at 4:08 PM PST - 82 comments

Japan Yesterday and Today: A Tourism Promo

A website that is a video. I don't know how to pause or stop it but I didn't want to.
posted by Michael Tellurian at 3:21 PM PST - 11 comments

Someone once told me that culture was meat wrapped in dough

"Impossible Foods has created something extraordinary : a vegan burger catered to the most voracious of carnivores. It is the next chapter in America’s proud and disgraceful history with the burger, our most important cultural export. It promises to do a lot of good — but is it any good?" [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:16 PM PST - 45 comments

Cake or Dea^wbiscuit?

There is no record of the 20th Century philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein, ever tasting a Jaffa Cake, though there is evidence that he was partial towards a bun. But his ideas are relevant to the Jaffa Cake puzzle.
David Edmonds uses the eternal question of whether a Jaffa Cake is actually a biscuit (it calls itself a cake for tax purposes) to look into the problems with insisting on a strict binary gender identity.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:04 PM PST - 62 comments

A Millennial Reviews: ‘Seinfeld'

Jerry’s dating life consists of a revolving door of physically perfect women whom he beds before casting aside over various superficial imperfections. Perhaps people have man hands because we’ve worked a day in our life. Rosie the Riveter had man hands. Jerry cares not. Jerry surrounds himself with failsons like George Costanza and opportunists like Elaine Benes yet holds women to an impossible standard of not being a “low talker” or a phone sex worker, or someone who laughs like Elmer Fudd or has jimmy legs. Women in Seinfeld are treated as disposable and renewable sex objects for our upper-class protagonists. Costanza burns down a woman’s cabin. Even Elaine finds herself complicit in a plot to discover whether a woman’s breasts are real and thus of higher value.
posted by josher71 at 12:54 PM PST - 128 comments

Can the drones deliver my packets?

It's not just you: Massive internet outage is sweeping the East Coast Amazon S3 in US-EAST-1 is experiencing "High Error Rates" affecting services from Time, inc. to Netflix to Proquest.
posted by aspersioncast at 12:16 PM PST - 99 comments

Now you can quantify your sense of inadequacy

The Good Houskeeping Institute Ultimate Cleaning Checklist. Our cleaning experts are always being asked exactly how often we should clean things – from beds and curtains to hobs and toilets. Frankly, housework can feel like a neverending task, and nobody wants to overdo it! So here, by popular demand, is the GHI’s guide to what to clean when... via
posted by Miss Otis' Egrets at 11:53 AM PST - 155 comments

I, Robot. You, Weakling.

Handle is the latest research robot from Alphabet, Inc. It's capabilities are stunning (SLYT).
posted by storybored at 11:07 AM PST - 67 comments

OMG Kitties

Naomi Kritzer's Hugo Award winning short story of AI and cats, "Cat Pictures Please", is to become a YA novel.
posted by Artw at 10:52 AM PST - 20 comments

Orphans across the colour line

Children were packed like sardines into the miserable dormitories: The Indianapolis Asylum for Friendless Colored Children
posted by Rumple at 10:48 AM PST - 8 comments

70 minutes of heaven

In The Air Tonight drum fill for 1 hour 10 minutes except it's tripled and one is played .1% faster and one is played .1% slower
posted by dfan at 9:48 AM PST - 46 comments

America Last

The case for moral disengagement from politics in the age of Trump.
posted by R.F.Simpson at 8:53 AM PST - 225 comments

If only you could see what I've seen with your eyes

Cloudbeats is the latest music video from musician Shana Falana. The first-person, day in the life film can be seen as a quiet contrast to much of the history of first-person music videos, which more often than not take their inspiration from FPS video games. Example A: The Weeknd's latest False Alarm (if the style seems familiar, it's because the video was directed by Ilya Naishuller, who made the similarly ultra violent Biting Elbows - 'Bad Motherfucker', and later the first person feature film Hardcore Henry.) Other examples include Cinnamon Chasers's Luv Deluxe which adds multiple timelines, while Logic's Under Pressure is more of the same. The granddaddy of the f'd up FPS music video turns 20 this year: The Prodigy's Smack My Bitch Up.
posted by gwint at 7:32 AM PST - 2 comments

Female engineer sues Tesla, cites 'culture of pervasive harassment'

A female engineer at Tesla has accused Elon Musk’s car company of ignoring her complaints of “pervasive harassment”, paying her a lower salary than men doing the same work, promoting less qualified men over her and retaliating against her for raising concerns. [...] Vandermeyden, 33, shared her story with the Guardian at a time when Silicon Valley is reeling from the explosive allegations of former Uber engineer Susan Fowler.
posted by ellieBOA at 7:28 AM PST - 77 comments

State of a divided union

Does Trump know he’s president? Tonight, President Trump will address Congress; "GOP lawmakers want guidance on how to handle Obamacare and tax reform." Trump's guests for his address: Scalia's widow, a private-school success story, three people who lost someone to an illegal immigrant. This morning, an interview with the president aired on Fox & Friends, where Trump discussed the leaks coming out of the White House, slain Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens, who died in the Yemen raid, and the protests around the country that he believes President Obama is behind. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:27 AM PST - 2645 comments

World's Simplest Electric Train

A cool little science project to try out. How it works.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 6:20 AM PST - 14 comments

Turning back time to Cher's Era

If there were rules for how to be a serious actress, she would rewrite them | During her brief ’80s reign as one of film’s biggest stars, Cher didn’t disappear into roles—she brought her indelible presence to bear on women thought to be invisible and cast them into the light. [more inside]
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 4:38 AM PST - 9 comments

February 27

The dog was created specially for children. He is the god of frolic.

Watch Three Minutes of Awesome Dogs Being Awesome at 1000fps. That is all.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:52 PM PST - 7 comments

Alt-hug, Inc.

So a Nazi walks into an iron bar: the Meyer Lansky story.
posted by BrotherCaine at 9:25 PM PST - 38 comments

Every kiss begins with Kay, but maybe ends in binding arbitration

Washington Post: Hundreds allege sex harassment, discrimination at Kay and Jared jewelry company. Declarations from roughly 250 women and men who worked at Sterling, filed as part of a private class-action arbitration case, allege that female employees at the company throughout the late 1990s and 2000s were routinely groped, demeaned and urged to sexually cater to their bosses to stay employed. Sterling disputes the allegations. The arbitration, first filed in 2008 and still unresolved, now includes 69,000 women. [more inside]
posted by RedOrGreen at 8:43 PM PST - 24 comments

Robot Cat (slyt)

is a very friendly machine/animal. but he doesn't like if somebody is unfriendly for animals. Beware of my ROAR! [more inside]
posted by shockingbluamp at 8:15 PM PST - 12 comments

A pink fluffy reverse funnel

Timeless Vie is a parody-MLM turned blog aimed at exposing the issue within the MLM industry, and particularly in how it targets women. Starting out as a thread on Mumsnet, it aims to debunk claims and share stories.
posted by mippy at 2:58 PM PST - 56 comments

The Cloud is Listening (And Permeable)

Data from connected CloudPets teddy bears leaked and ransomed, exposing kids' voice messages [Parents] don't necessarily realise that every one of those recordings – those intimate, heartfelt, extremely personal recordings – between a parent and their child is stored as an audio file on the web. They certainly wouldn't realise that in CloudPets' case, that data was stored in a MongoDB that was in a publicly facing network segment without any authentication required and had been indexed by Shodan (a popular search engine for finding connected things). Unfortunately, things only went downhill from there.
posted by CrystalDave at 1:59 PM PST - 65 comments

In other words, please be true

SpaceX have announced the first space tourism mission to the Moon, launching next year. The two private citizens will be flying in the new Dragon 2 spacecraft and launched by the Falcon Heavy, which will undergo testing this summer. With the launch of a Falcon Heavy priced at $90 million, the mission as a whole will likely cost in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
posted by adrianhon at 1:54 PM PST - 97 comments

“The 'Great Deceiver' has returned to Middle-earth...”

Middle-earth: Shadow of War [Trailer] [YouTube] A new ring is forged in this sequel to Shadow of Mordor. [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 12:37 PM PST - 61 comments

Did I mention I like his egg paintings

Scott Conary is an oil painter in Portland, Oregon. He paints eggs. Gorgeous, glowing eggs. Also other things, sure. Meat sometimes. But also eggs.
posted by cortex at 11:41 AM PST - 29 comments

Barcelona Is Really Serious About Its War On Tourism

A new strategic plan from Mayor Ada Colau to ease the swarm of tourists in the city will raise property taxes on short-term rentals and increase costs for day trippers.
posted by hippybear at 10:19 AM PST - 33 comments

From drug sniffing wasps to football playing bumblebees

The fact that bees and wasps can be trained to sniff out items is not news, and has thoroughly been researched. But the ability of bumblebees to learn from (and even improve upon) the example of others to perform more complex tasks for rewards is a more recent discovery. And because the research is from Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), the promotional demonstration video is all about the potential for bees to play soccer (YT video with captions and instrumental music). Abstract available from Science magazine, full article is paywalled.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:13 AM PST - 15 comments

Reddit is Being Manipulated By Big Financial Services Companies

Reddit is being regularly manipulated by large financial services companies with fake accounts and fake upvotes via seemingly ordinary internet marketing agencies. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 10:11 AM PST - 59 comments

Love and Cheeseburgers (and Tacos)

Claire McNear of The Ringer takes a look at the weirdly burgeoning "fast-food wedding industrial complex".
posted by Etrigan at 10:00 AM PST - 15 comments

Shower Orange

Messy eater? Hot water getting your beer warm? Try the shower orange. [more inside]
posted by backseatpilot at 9:20 AM PST - 52 comments

Make no mistake: Everything about Casablanca is indelible

The End of a Beautiful Friendship - Laura Miller reviews Noah Isenberg's We'll Always Have Casablanca and tracks the movie's recent loss of prestige among critics and fans.
posted by Think_Long at 7:53 AM PST - 110 comments

Yesterday's bureaucracy is today's curiosity.

Passports from countries that no longer exist. (Original site)
posted by ellieBOA at 7:25 AM PST - 9 comments

Top secret winner's envelope

"It was also the last Oscars ceremony for which the names of winners were released to the press, or anyone for that matter, before the onstage announcement.... The academy's official history lays blame on The [Los Angeles] Times for breaking an embargo and publishing the winners in the paper's evening edition before the ceremony was underway. Think of it as the era's equivalent of a tweet that scooped everyone else. " [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:57 AM PST - 150 comments

"Draw, podnuh!" Or not.

The iconic western image cultivated by TV and film includes one ubiquitous element. The large (.44 or .45) handgun carried on a belt made for the purpose, in a low slung holster strapped to the leg for fast draw. This means of carrying a firearm is called the "Buscadero Rig." We have all seen it worn by Roy Rogers, Hopalong Cassidy, Gene Autrey, John Wayne, James Stewart, Henry Fonda, Clint Eastwood, the Magnificent Seven, Pallidin, and every member of the Cartwright family. It didn't exist in the 19th Century. [more inside]
posted by Repack Rider at 12:08 AM PST - 50 comments

“Behind the eyes, we feel ourselves shrink”

Airport security: Building a digital wall "We had already been through boarding pass checks, passport checks, scanners, and pat downs. At the gate, each passenger had already had their tickets scanned and we were all walking on the jet bridge to board. It’s at this point that most people assume that it is all done: finally we can enjoy some sense of normalcy..."
posted by beesbees at 12:01 AM PST - 97 comments

February 26

Record set February 25, 2017 in Finland

The people behind the Hydraulic Press Channel have peeled (and optionally sliced) an apple faster than anyone, ever. By a significant margin, probably.
posted by DoctorFedora at 8:32 PM PST - 45 comments

Hush, little Cyberdyne, don't you cry

Millenium FX is a U.K. special effects company that creates work for film, television, commercials, music promos, theatre and corporate projects. Also terrifying animatronic babies. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:48 PM PST - 13 comments

We are here to keep watch, not to keep.

When Things Go Missing is a wonderful essay on the habit and art of losing things. But it's more than just about a misplaced set of keys or a lost wallet (or even a truck). In this New Yorker piece, Kathryn Schulz lures us in with a lighthearted take on the everyday annoyance of misplaced objects (and practical tips to find them!), then invites us to ponder the cognitive process behind the lost-and-the-found. But then she surprises us by stepping candidly from there into more personal and touching territory. At the end, when losses threaten to erase all hope, she ends the essay with two powerful paragraphs that gives meaning to it all. [more inside]
posted by storybored at 2:02 PM PST - 28 comments


In which McDonalds in the UK advertise [alternative] [vimeo] their coffee via illustration of some aspects of purchasing coffee from contemporary gentrified, hipsterfied or otherwise artisanal establishments. The music is Madness by Prince Buster; the song, song title and artist were an inspiration for a future group.
posted by Wordshore at 12:02 PM PST - 102 comments

“Why don't you put her in charge?”

Bill Paxton, Actor Who Starred in Aliens and Titanic, Dies at 61 [The Guardian] “The actor Bill Paxton has died at the age of 61. The star of films including Aliens, Titanic and Apollo 13 died after complications from heart surgery, according to a statement released by his family. “It is with heavy hearts we share the news that Bill Paxton has passed away due to complications from surgery,” the statement said. “A loving husband and father, Bill began his career in Hollywood working on films in the art department and went on to have an illustrious career spanning four decades as a beloved and prolific actor and filmmaker. “Bill’s passion for the arts was felt by all who knew him, and his warmth and tireless energy were undeniable. We ask to please respect the family’s wish for privacy as they mourn the loss of their adored husband and father.””
posted by Fizz at 8:02 AM PST - 184 comments

I'm Poppy

I'm Poppy. [more inside]
posted by Pyrogenesis at 4:52 AM PST - 71 comments

The richly illustrated scenario of The Andromeda Strain

The scenario of the '71 movie The Andromeda Strain is marvelously illustrated. It uses sketches, diagrams, animations and multi-screen effects so as to better convey the complexity of the vision of Crichton’s novel. The article gives backgroud to the scenario and includes a full copy.
posted by jouke at 3:09 AM PST - 18 comments

outlay layout

yt-er kaptainkrisitan on Adapting the Unadaptable Watchmen.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:14 AM PST - 16 comments

February 25

The truly villainous font is the ubiquitous Times New Roman.

It turns out the ongoing joke about the idiocy of Comic Sans is ableist.
posted by Rumple at 9:34 PM PST - 118 comments

Safety Pins and Swastikas

The frameworks of liberal identity politics and “alt-right” white nationalism are proving curiously compatible. Jacobin's Shuja Haider explores the co-opting of progressive methods by the alt right.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 7:09 PM PST - 76 comments

Call me, Ishmael.

Station 51000, a buoy, came unmoored in 2013. It's still reporting, and some Eddystone Light-hearted genius has hybridized the data with Moby Dick. ( Or possibly it isn't lost at all? NOAA still lists it with lat-long. )
posted by clew at 3:31 PM PST - 16 comments

"It’s imperative to make sure that these manuscripts are safe"

The monk who saves manuscripts from ISIS "Rescuing the world’s most precious antiquities from destruction is a painstaking project—and a Benedictine monk may seem like an unlikely person to lead the charge. But Father Columba Stewart is determined. Soft-spoken, dressed in flowing black robes, this 59-year-old American has spent the past 13 years roaming from the Balkans to the Middle East in an effort to save Christian and Islamic manuscripts threatened by wars, theft, weather—and, lately, the Islamic State."
posted by Hypatia at 3:28 PM PST - 4 comments

Dogs are like kids. Cats are like roommates.

Enjoy the smile-inducing spectacle of this dog buying his own treats. Now watch this cat trying to help with taxes. [both videos ambient sound only]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:17 PM PST - 25 comments

When Your Greatest Romance Is a Friendship [SLNYT, will make you cry]

When Your Greatest Romance Is a Friendship [more inside]
posted by limeonaire at 2:07 PM PST - 17 comments

I Hate eBays

@ebaygarfield is a twitter account that posts eBay Garfields
posted by cortex at 2:06 PM PST - 17 comments

I accidentally bought a giant pig

The vet that said if Esther really was six months old, she was possibly a sick runt and would grow to about 200lb, the size of a very large dog. But by her first birthday she had blown past 250lb; she was on track to be at least 500lb.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:44 PM PST - 68 comments

Well, there never was a hat!

As Jake Gyllenhaal begins his stint as the lead in Sondheim's Sunday In The Park With George, he's posted on Facebook a video of him singing Finishing The Hat, filmed by Cary Fukunaga. [Ed note: I think he does a pretty good job!]
posted by hippybear at 11:19 AM PST - 21 comments

Doubling the RDA for Fruits and Veggies

New research indicates we should eat 10, not 5, fruits and veggies a day. Here are some real people who talk about how they manage it.
posted by Michele in California at 11:09 AM PST - 106 comments

Do a Pubmed search after talking to your doctor

When evidence says no, but your doctor says yes [more inside]
posted by peacheater at 10:41 AM PST - 26 comments

Turning electronic waste into tiny robot pendants

Romanian artist 11pixeli (Andreea Strete) turns electronic waste headed for the landfill into tiny robots you can wear around your neck. (You can see all the robots on a single page here.) Artist's Instagram.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:22 AM PST - 7 comments

Meet The Man Who Stopped Thousands Of People Becoming HIV-Positive

A few days before Christmas 2016, a phone call took place that no one could have predicted. One of the world’s most esteemed HIV doctors, Professor Sheena McCormack – whose life’s work as an epidemiologist has been to track and fight the virus – picked up the phone to deliver a message that would make headline news: In the space of 12 months, the number of gay men in London being diagnosed with HIV had dropped by 40%. The man McCormack credited with this unprecedented reduction in HIV transmissions was not a fellow doctor, nor the head of a charity, nor even a politician. Greg Owen is unemployed, a former sex worker, and homeless. [more inside]
posted by cynical pinnacle at 9:08 AM PST - 50 comments

19 TripAdvisor User Who Are 100% Done with Scotland

Edinburgh Dungeon: "I don't like it. The actors have Scottish accents and its very hard to understand." [SLBF]
posted by DarlingBri at 4:58 AM PST - 65 comments

Online art community Deviantart bought by Wix.com for (reported) $36mill

Wix.com - primarily a WYSIWYG Web hosting company - buy DeviantArt Established in 2001, the art community / noticeboard DeviantArt (aka DA) has long been the place to see some of the best hobbyist, and professional fandom and original digital art. [more inside]
posted by Faintdreams at 4:22 AM PST - 29 comments

February 24

blacks swans, the dragon king, and the power law

How Dragon Kings Could Trump Black Swans, MIT Technology Review, 4 AUG 2009.
Sornette goes on to identify a number of data sets showing power laws with outliers that he says are the result of positive feedback mechanisms that make them much larger than their peers. He calls these events dragon kings. What’s interesting about them is that they are entirely unaccounted for by a current understanding of power laws, from which Nassim Nicholas Taleb built the idea of black swans.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:35 PM PST - 9 comments

“...the dogs run on about ten acres of her family’s 142-acre farm.”

Our Lady of Strays [Outside] “The world's greatest dog sanctuary is on a small farm in Costa Rica, where hundreds of canines run wild over the land — eating huge piles of food and slobbering happily on Lya Battle and her small band of dedicated volunteers.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 9:17 PM PST - 8 comments

The Jobs Americans Do

Popular ideas about the working class are woefully out of date. Here are nine people who tell a truer story of what the American work force does today — and will do tomorrow. [slNYT]
posted by ellieBOA at 8:59 PM PST - 13 comments

Caesar, ironically, was born the usual way

C-sections are a boon for humans, who can have very complicated birth situations due to their big heads. But they're not the only mammals with C-sections! (Note: ALL VIDEOS ARE GROSS.) [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:37 PM PST - 14 comments

Democrats: Now what?

Which way, Democrats?
What Democrats should learn from 2016
The wrong way to rebuild the Democratic Party
posted by latkes at 4:11 PM PST - 539 comments

"The concept of being able to do literally anything is hard to grasp"

Arbitrary Code Execution Glitches in video games have allowed creators of Tool-Assisted Speedruns break open a game entirely, using nothing more than the controller inputs that are normally used to guide in-game actions.

Originally used just to skip to the end credits screens, since then ACE has been used to program games to run other games. One recent example by MrWint, begins as a demonstration of running Pokemon Gold from within Pokemon Yellow, and quickly escalates from there. [more inside]
posted by radwolf76 at 3:37 PM PST - 26 comments

April the Giraffe

April the Giraffe is due to give birth to her fourth giraffe baby at the age of 15. Zookeepers have set up a live stream of her pen in the days approaching its arrival. [more inside]
posted by Suffocating Kitty at 2:21 PM PST - 27 comments

The photography of Maria Svarbova

Maria Svarbova is a Slovakian photographer who specializes in white and pastel compositions with bright accents, featuring people in carefully static and sometimes eerily affectless poses. The Dining Room. Pool Without Water. Healthy Teeth, Good Mood.

Standing apart somewhat from the rest and visually remarkable in its own right is (n.b. nudity) God's Mirror.
posted by cortex at 1:59 PM PST - 6 comments

Or eight legged Proclaimers?

Numerous pictures of animals that look like they're about to drop the hottest albums of the year.
posted by howfar at 1:00 PM PST - 29 comments

A real Great Escape

Double-sided ramps were built inside the pits. One crew hauled stretchers filled with corpses up the ramp, and another crew pushed the bodies onto the pyre. In a week, the Burning Brigade might dispose of 3,500 bodies or more. Later, the guards forced prisoners to sift through the ashes with strainers, looking for bone fragments, which would then be pounded down into powder.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:44 AM PST - 18 comments

Portions of the Following Program Have Been Pre-Recorded

Live from 1981, it's the 53rd Academy Awards—complete with original commercials! [more inside]
posted by Iridic at 8:54 AM PST - 40 comments

My conclusion: I really don’t understand why dancers turn CW.

Ballet photographer Kent G. Becker asks, Why Do Ballet Dancers Turn Clockwise? While he doesn't come up with a good reason other than "tradition", it's an interesting look at how little variation there is, even compared to other spinning endeavors -- athletes seem to turn mostly counterclockwise, but not as overwhelmingly as ballet dancers.
posted by Etrigan at 8:45 AM PST - 35 comments

Lo Mein and Plantains

Take a trip to Manhattan's Upper West Side and you might come across a ungentififed relic of naturally occurring fusion cuisine - La Caridad 78 - the last remaining Cuban-Chinese restaurant in town.
posted by The Whelk at 7:58 AM PST - 29 comments

We can fly with our spirit

Miyazaki Dreams of Flying by Zach Prewitt. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 7:56 AM PST - 30 comments

The Competing States Hypothesis

How Europe became so rich - "In a time of great powers and empires, just one region of the world experienced extraordinary economic growth. How?" (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 6:32 AM PST - 63 comments

Feel The Pulse Of The Morning Once Again

When was the last time you read Maya Angelou's 1993 Inaugural Poem "On The Pulse Of The Morning"? It might be time to experience that inspirational poem [6m25s] again. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 3:53 AM PST - 6 comments

February 23

To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily

In 1969 a young danish girl had been given permission to travel the countryside alone (on foot), which apparently was considered highly unusual at the time. She even had a document with a stamp from the local police chief. In this video a reporter asks what she would do to protect herself if harrassed. [speaking only]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:06 PM PST - 57 comments

Triumph of the Will and the Cinematic Language of Propaganda

Folding Ideas is a Youtube channel that analyzes movies and video games. By popular demand, the latest video is on Triumph of the Will and how it reflects fascist ideology and the historical context in which it was made.
posted by RobotHero at 7:18 PM PST - 22 comments

Cloudflare not happy times

Cloudflare CDN has been dumping uninitialized memory from its reverse proxies, including all sorts of things that are supposed to be under HTTPS. Like passwords and private messages from dating sites and cookies and online password manager data. [more inside]
posted by hleehowon at 5:57 PM PST - 135 comments

Archaeogenomic evidence reveals prehistoric matrilineal dynasty

For societies with writing systems, hereditary leadership is documented as one of the hallmarks of early political complexity and governance. In contrast, it is unknown whether hereditary succession played a role in the early formation of prehistoric complex societies that lacked writing. Here we use an archaeogenomic approach to identify an elite matriline that persisted between 800 and 1130 CE in Chaco Canyon, the centre of an expansive prehistoric complex society in the Southwestern United States. We show that nine individuals buried in an elite crypt at Pueblo Bonito, the largest structure in the canyon, have identical mitochondrial genomes. Analyses of nuclear genome data from six samples with the highest DNA preservation demonstrate mother–daughter and grandmother–grandson relationships, evidence for a multigenerational matrilineal descent group. Together, these results demonstrate the persistence of an elite matriline in Chaco for ∼330 years. (fulltext)
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 5:42 PM PST - 6 comments

“It doesn't ring like anything I know,”

Anonymous Sources, Pharmacy Pills, and Gang Wars: Inconsistencies raise questions about "Pill City," a Baltimore tale of drugs and murder. [City Paper] “But there are inconsistencies that raise questions about the veracity of "Pill City." After The Sun's Justin Fenton reported neither local nor federal officials could confirm many claims in the book, Deutsch responded in a post on Medium. "Until last week, I never knew what it felt like to be on the other end of reporters' barbed — and biased — questions," he wrote. Then he goes on to call out: Fenton; David Simon, who said the book is "by and large, a wholesale fabrication" on Twitter; and Baltimore City Paper, whose story, which you are reading, had not yet been published.”
posted by Fizz at 2:45 PM PST - 24 comments

Hi-Phi Nation

Hi-Phi Nation is a new podcast that uses narrative storytelling to explore ideas in philosophy, featuring thoughtful interviews with philosophers and nuanced storytelling, created by philosopher Barry Lam. [more inside]
posted by latkes at 1:05 PM PST - 9 comments

Metrics for Community Toxicity

From Google, Perspective API for scoring comments Perspective is an API that makes it easier to host better conversations. The API uses machine learning models to score the perceived impact a comment might have on a conversation. [...] We’ll be releasing more machine learning models later in the year, but our first model identifies whether a comment could be perceived as “toxic" to a discussion. [more inside]
posted by CrystalDave at 11:22 AM PST - 116 comments

Naoki Urasawa's Manga Exertions

Urasawa Naoki no Manben is a NHK documentary series in which mangaka Urasawa Naoki (20th Century Boys, Yawara, Master Keaton) goes around talking to and filming other cartoonists at work. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse at 10:27 AM PST - 4 comments

Get Out

“Get Out” Lets Black Men Be Scared Instead Of Scary: "Not until films like the Purge trilogy and Peele’s Get Out have black men been allowed access to the countryside, and depicted as vulnerable — a privilege they are rarely afforded in real life — rather than caricatured by the associations usually attached to their mythic bodies or the rumors of their sexual prowess. These films grant black men a rare aura of grace precisely by staging their moments of vulnerability in a suburban landscape, traditionally depicted as pristine and white." [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:01 AM PST - 38 comments

Apolitical old-timeyness

How to make a wooden bucket. 6th generation cooper George Smithwick charmingly discusses his craft as me makes a bucket. [more inside]
posted by OHenryPacey at 9:38 AM PST - 18 comments

If your beers have sexist names, it's clear your beers aren't for me.

It's time to take a stand against sexist beer marketing. [more inside]
posted by Kitteh at 8:29 AM PST - 178 comments

Is your commute insufficiently terrifying? Good news.

The Washington Post brings us a tool to check which of your local bridges might be "structurally deficient" or "functionally obsolete". [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 8:21 AM PST - 49 comments

The Last Supper

Alien: Covenant | "Prologue: Last Supper" [4m45s]
posted by hippybear at 3:45 AM PST - 84 comments

Good for the arts

Slate is publishing short stories that "imagine the dystopian future of Trump's America" in the Trump Story Project. Direct links plus a bonus below the fold. [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:42 AM PST - 32 comments

UKIP's moment of truth?

Voting gets underway in the Stoke-on-Trent and Copeland by-elections today. [more inside]
posted by threetwentytwo at 1:13 AM PST - 70 comments

No professional actors were harmed in the making of these commercials

Enjoy these 80s-drenched low-budget ads from Okanagan television station CHBC-TV (now a Global affiliate). You can spend an hour watching the whole series, but here's some prime cuts: Spaniard hairRad DoctorsMagical Savings • Gift RapO.K. Welders (Of Course) • And finally, the Downtown! Trilogy: 1, 2, 3.
posted by smasuch at 12:36 AM PST - 32 comments

February 22

An escalator can never break, it can only become terrifying

These pictures won't make you even slightly nervous about escalators
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:58 PM PST - 94 comments

Ser Pounce

Boer has never put a mouse in the armor, but he has put one of his cats inside and has "the scars to prove it."
posted by ActingTheGoat at 9:02 PM PST - 14 comments

In the greatest Hellmouth in the world

Hamilton in Sunnydale: Buffy the Vampire Slayer screencaps with Hamilton lyrics.
posted by jeather at 5:33 PM PST - 31 comments

It's Constituent Work Week!

It's Constituent Work Week, a time when, traditionally, members of Congress return to their districts and hold in-person townhall meetings. This year, however, more than 200 Republicans are skipping townhalls, despite calls from their constituents to hold them. [more inside]
posted by triggerfinger at 4:56 PM PST - 2547 comments


Night In The Woods (yt trailer) is a story-focused adventure/exploration game about the adventures of Mae Borowski after she drops out of college and returns home to the crumbling former mining town of Possum Springs. It is the creation Infinite Fall a development team consisting of Alec Holowka (Aquaria), Scott Benson (Late Night Work Club, But I'm A Nice Guy), and Bethany Hockenberry with a game-within-a-game rogue-like by Adam Saltzman (Canabalt). [more inside]
posted by juv3nal at 3:21 PM PST - 20 comments

Data Driven Depression

Much of Radiohead’s music is undeniably sad, and this post catalogs my journey to quantify that sadness, concluding in a data-driven determination of their most depressing song. Spotify’s Web API provides detailed audio statistics for each song in their library. One of these metrics, “valence”, measures a song’s positivity. ... So valence provides a measure of how sad a song sounds from a musical perspective. Another key component of a song’s sentiment is its lyrics, and it just so happens that Genius Lyrics also has an API to pull track-level data. To see how sadness evolved across all nine albums, I calculated the average gloom index per album and plotted each song by album release date.
posted by incomple at 2:39 PM PST - 69 comments

Caught in the closed fist of the bean.

This is Coffee, Comforting video for uneasy times.
posted by hot_monster at 2:27 PM PST - 15 comments

The Man Who Broke Ticketmaster

The scourge of ticket bots and the immorality of the shady ticket scalpers using them is conventional wisdom that's so ingrained in the public consciousness and so politically safe that a law to ban ticket bots passed both houses of Congress unanimously late last year. But no one actually involved in the ticket scalping industry thinks that banning bots will do much to slow down the secondary market.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:20 PM PST - 32 comments

Theory 7: Putin is named Vladimir

At no time in history have more people with less knowledge, and greater outrage, opined on the subject of Russia’s president [...] And what does Putinology tell us? It turns out that it has produced seven distinct hypotheses about Putin. None of them is entirely wrong, but then none of them is entirely right (apart from No 7). Taken together, they tell us as much about ourselves as about Putin. They paint a portrait of an intellectual class – our own – on the brink of a nervous breakdown.
Killer, kleptocrat, genius, spy: the many myths of Vladimir Putin
posted by griphus at 12:03 PM PST - 55 comments

Set Course for TRAPPIST-1, Make 12 Parsecs Joke Now

Astronomers have never seen anything like this before: Seven Earth-size alien worlds orbit the same tiny, dim star, and all of them may be capable of supporting life as we know it, a new study reports. The exoplanets circle the star TRAPPIST-1, which lies just 39 light-years from Earth — a mere stone's throw in the cosmic scheme of things. So speculation about the alien worlds' life-hosting potential should soon be informed by hard data, study team members said. Major Discovery! 7 Earth-Size Alien Planets Circle Nearby Star [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 10:45 AM PST - 80 comments

Shakeup at the Oscars

In June, the Academy released a list of six hundred and eighty-three new members—a record number; forty-six per cent of them were female and forty-one per cent were nonwhite, representing fifty-nine different countries. They included the actors John Boyega, America Ferrera, Ice Cube, Idris Elba, Daniel Dae Kim, and Gabrielle Union; the directors Ryan Coogler (“Creed”), Marjane Satrapi, and the Wachowski siblings; and three Wayans brothers, Damon, Marlon, and Keenen. “I think they were just, like, ‘Man, there are six thousand members. We’ve got to put at least two Wayanses in!’ ” Marlon told me. “You want diversity, just go to the Wayans tribe.” Led by Cheryl Boone Isaacs, its first black president, the Academy tries to solve its diversity problem.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 10:13 AM PST - 28 comments

Jumping the air gap silently

Malware lets a drone steal data by watching a computer’s blinking LED The pinpoint flickers, emitting from the LED hard drive indicator that lights up intermittently on practically every modern Windows machine, would hardly arouse the suspicions of anyone working in the office after hours. But in fact, that LED was silently winking out an optical stream of the computer’s secrets to the camera floating outside. [more inside]
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 10:07 AM PST - 30 comments

Menses or Men Says?

Laydeez! Wish you had more options to deal with your period? Mensez can help! A Kansas chiropractor has invented a product that is an adhesive in lipstick (get it? lip-stick?) form that is "used to seal the vagina during menstruation until the woman goes to urinate". [more inside]
posted by chaoticgood at 8:37 AM PST - 96 comments

"...and still the viol shrieked on without slackening."

Revel in the mad piping errrr... foot stompin' rock of The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets' newest opus, "The Dukes of Alhazred". The Lovecraftian-inspired jam-masters have been at it for aeons now (25 years in linear time), and this is their first full length release since 2007's "The Shadow out of Tim". [more inside]
posted by FatherDagon at 6:57 AM PST - 14 comments

"Abhorrent [...] blatant violation of academic freedom"

An Iowa senate bill would require candidates for professor positions to disclose their political party registrations, and would prohibit state universities from hiring professors who would skew the "partisan balance" of the faculty by more than 10 percent in either direction. [more inside]
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 5:40 AM PST - 93 comments


"In one occupational boogeyman, Bangaloreans can see their future and their fears." IT worker as hated yet envied figure in India. Is this about class divides, cultural gaps, ecological stress, spousal abuse, or something else? (SLBloomberg)
posted by doctornemo at 5:36 AM PST - 8 comments

Does the hydrogen atom offend you? Then pluck it off.

Derek Lowe on the first synthesis of triangulene by a team of researchers at IBM Zürich using a scanning tunneling microscope:
This is a molecule that we’ve known for a long time could exist, but no chemist had ever seen it or been able to make it. Now we can reach in and tug on individual atoms, though, and that does the trick – just the thought of direct mechanical synthesis being the way to make an elusive species like this is enough for me.
[more inside]
posted by metaquarry at 4:48 AM PST - 17 comments

We've Got Movie Sign!!!

Netflix has announced a release date for the new MST3k. AVClub also did a cool interview with Joel and some of the new cast. (previous mst3k)
posted by valkane at 3:52 AM PST - 103 comments

Instrumental music from Brazil

Programa Instrumental SESC Brasil is an on-going series of videos (each ca. 50-55 minutes long) on YouTube of live performances of Brazilian instrumental music, much of it more-or-less jazz-tinged. See for example: veteran percussionist Wilson das Neves leading a 14-piece band; or accordionist Renato Borghetti (with Arthur Bonilla on guitar), a virtuoso exponent of gaucho music; or Drummer Vera Figueiredo & her trio, joined part-way through their set by the trombonist Bocato; or guitarist Renata Montanari & her quartet; or São Paulo pianist Louise Woolley & 12-piece band; or the funk outfit Black Mantra… but that merely scratches the surface: there are dozens of other fine performances to be found. [more inside]
posted by misteraitch at 2:12 AM PST - 5 comments

February 21

“No friends. Nothing else to do. Nothing to fill the cold hour.”

One of them had to die, so the other could live a normal life. They did everything together, until one, or the other, wrote "We have become fatal enemies in each other's eyes. We feel the irritating deadly rays come out of our bodies, stinging each other's skin. " [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:35 PM PST - 12 comments

Beatbox Dog

Check out the elegant original version (the dog is not stressed or angry; dogs do this). Here's the Drum'n'Bass edit. Finally, Trololo. [all videos contain growling and music] [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:00 PM PST - 15 comments

“It was just another piece of bread cooking in the oven.”

Canadian Inventor of Hawaiian Pizza Defends Pineapple After Iceland's President Disses Fruit Topping [CBC.ca] “The president of Iceland has made a bold, shocking statement about a Canadian invention. President Guoni Johannesson recently told a group of high school students during a Q&A that he was fundamentally opposed to pineapple on pizza — and that's not all. He went on to say if he could, he would ban pineapple as a pizza topping. We demanded an interview with the president.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 8:32 PM PST - 120 comments

Where's... Willow?

UN Women Egypt commissioned some adorable 'Where's Wally'-style illustrations of three workplaces, representing technology, science, and politics. There are some women hidden in the pictures, and finding them neatly demonstrates the unbalanced ratio.
posted by Joh at 7:17 PM PST - 12 comments

Fun Time da ya Time Fit da Bus-Rida

An oldie but a goodie: All 25 of the G.I. Joe PSA parodies, made by Eric Fensler circa 2003, Remastered in HD and Compiled in one youtube video (previously, previouslier)
posted by mannequito at 5:33 PM PST - 46 comments

No idea how these people got their cats wedged into their neural nets

pix2pix-tensorflow uses machine learning to allow you to draw an outline and get back an image, constructed by mashing up pieces from a database of thousands of stock photos. In other words, you draw a outline of a cat, and you get back an image of a cat. Output ranges from the fairly straightforward to the horrifyingly twisted to the terrible mistake. The algorithm has also been turned loose on building facades, shoes, and handbags.
posted by zachlipton at 3:43 PM PST - 44 comments

I guess you could call it (puts on shades) a Glock-enspiel

Vitaly Kryuchin performs some popular melodies using Glock pistols
posted by pjern at 2:29 PM PST - 31 comments

The Age of Female Dominance, Brought to You by Robots

There’s a lot of speculation on how robots taking over people’s jobs could impact the economy. After all, if nearly half of American jobs are automated in the next 20 years, what will people do? And while automation does include losses of jobs, it could also change what we value when it comes to skill sets. For example, care-related work, like nursing and education, will likely remain human. Jerry Kaplan, a futurist and professor at Stanford University, thinks that automation could place a premium on the type of work that women tend to be good at, like person-to-person interaction, reading human emotion, collaboration, and creativity.
posted by Glibpaxman at 1:10 PM PST - 38 comments

Annoyed Elephant Chases Tourists for Miles

Going on a safari affords you the chance to see amazing animals out in their natural habitat. It's thrilling, but there's also an underlying sense of nervousness. These tourists on a safari ride through Kruger National Park in South Africa fully realized this when an elephant decided to chase after their vehicle for several miles. What started out as an awe-filled sighting quickly became more of a edgy slow-speed chase. "He's coming! He's coming!" one of the tourists says. "Oh my god, please go!"
posted by grobertson at 12:54 PM PST - 9 comments

Open Source Flatpack Urban Farm Pavilion

Ikea's Space10 lab has released open source plans for the Growroom, a 2.8 x 2.5 meter spherical garden.
posted by romakimmy at 11:19 AM PST - 49 comments

Sure, Mark 4:9 and Matthew 11:5, but Luke is oddly silent on the issue

Those edit boys at Auralnauts (of whom previously, previously, pre— oh just do a bloody search) are at it again, with an edited dub of Star Wars: A New Hope in which R2-D2 has a speaking voice. (Specifically, that of voice actor Scheiffer Bates.)
posted by cortex at 10:52 AM PST - 17 comments

Cora searches for a place outside of racism's insidious grasp

In Strange Horizons, Na'amen Gobert Tilahun reviews Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad and Ben H. Winters's Underground Airlines, two recent novels that integrate speculative fiction and fictional slave narratives. His critique includes an interlude asking (and answering), "How can you tell if a narrative is meant for a white audience?"
posted by mixedmetaphors at 10:18 AM PST - 15 comments

The integrity of the game is at steak

In the 84th minute of his team's 0-2 loss to Arsenal yesterday, Sutton United's reserve keeper Wayne Shaw was shown eating a pie on the bench. With all of Sutton's substitutes used and the non-league side happy just to be in the fifth round, it seemed to be, as Shaw would later describe it, "a bit of fun". It wasn't. [more inside]
posted by 7segment at 9:32 AM PST - 67 comments


Pretty much exactly what you imagine. Yes, it's a real hashtag. [Some NSFW illustrations there.] [more inside]
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:48 AM PST - 33 comments

identify, capture and quickly deport

"The Department of Homeland Security issued a sweeping set of orders Tuesday that implement President Trump's plan to increase immigration enforcement, placing the vast majority of the nation's 11 million undocumented immigrants at risk of deportation." (SLtheUSAToday) [more inside]
posted by Huck500 at 7:49 AM PST - 301 comments

But we planned that obsolescence ourselves!

Nebraska Will Become A 'Mecca For Hackers' If Right To Repair Bill Passes. As "right to repair" bills continue to gain traction, Apple lobbies against them in the cornhusker state. [more inside]
posted by aspersioncast at 7:12 AM PST - 53 comments

The Next Financial Crisis Might Be in Your Driveway

[U.S.] auto debt hit a record in the fourth quarter of 2016, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, when a rush of year-end car shopping pushed vehicle loans to a dubious peak of $1.16 trillion. ... It’s an alarming number, big enough to incite talk of a bubble.
posted by Etrigan at 6:46 AM PST - 82 comments

"We were work proximity associates."

How To Keep A Healthy Distance From Your Terrible Co-Workers - in which Dante Jordan sets out a case for avoiding interaction with one's colleagues at any and all cost.
posted by ominous_paws at 5:46 AM PST - 83 comments

150+ gravesites vandalized at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in Missouri

The gravesites of more than 170 Jews were vandalized at a Jewish cemetery in University City, Mo., sometime over the weekend. [more inside]
posted by listen, lady at 4:59 AM PST - 75 comments

Europe's child refugee crisis

At an age when most kids need supervision to do their homework, hundreds of thousands of minors are crossing continents alone. [SL The New Yorker]
posted by The Illiterate Pundit at 12:35 AM PST - 15 comments

February 20

“Everything starts as somebody's daydream.”

SFWA Announces 2016 Nebula, Norton, and Bradbury Award Nominees! [SFWA.org] The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America is pleased to announce the nominees for the 51st Annual Nebula Awards, the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation, and the Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book. [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 7:30 PM PST - 43 comments

The Time Of Your Life

The Time Of Your Life is a 30 minute play/dance piece showing a man being swept quickly through the iconic moments of his life. Written and performed by the Gecko theatre company, The Time Of Your Life was one of the last programmes ever recorded at BBC Television Centre and was broadcast live on BBC Four in November 2015, as part of a two hour farewell to the studio. [more inside]
posted by dng at 6:02 PM PST - 1 comment

"Midlife Divorced Lady Cliche"

Scrubbing a Stranger
posted by R.F.Simpson at 5:29 PM PST - 59 comments

He finds the corsets very uncomfortable.

Christian Fuchs: The man who dresses up as his ancestors.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:36 PM PST - 32 comments

Leaves of Crass

"Readers who picked up The New York Times on March 13, 1852, might have seen a small advertisement on Page 3 for a serial tale set to begin the next day in a rival newspaper. “A RICH REVELATION,” the ad began, teasing a rollicking tale touching on “the Manners and Morals of Boarding Houses, some Scenes from Church History, Operations in Wall-st.,” and “graphic Sketches of Men and Women” (presented, fear not, with “explanations necessary to properly understand what it is all about”). It was a less than tantalizing brew, perhaps. The story, which was never reviewed or reprinted, appears to have sunk like a stone. But now comes another rich revelation: The anonymously published tale was nothing less than a complete novel by Walt Whitman.
Grad student Zachary Turpin discovers a long lost Walt Whitman novel, about a year after he discovered a long lost Whitman self-help treatie. [more inside]
posted by Stanczyk at 12:15 PM PST - 29 comments

"Why drink alone when you can drink with your pet?"

Cat wines are the latest manifestation of a growing trend of pet owners treating them like people. Over the past 15 years, “the pet market has been transformed by humanization of pets,” said David Sprinkle, the research director at marketresearch.com....“The term ‘pet parent’ has increasingly replaced ‘pet owner,’” Mr. Sprinkle said. Cat products and supplies make up 30 percent of the $40 billion United States pet market, excluding services, he said. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:13 AM PST - 78 comments

The Stuff of Fiction

Over the next few months, the Public Theatre in New York will present "A Well Ordered Forum", four evenings which will be livestreamed, featuring :artists, thinkers, journalists, performers, and politicians will come together at The Public to consider what it means to be responsible citizens and how culture can respond to politics". Tonight's panel, "The Stuff of Fiction", which will kick off at 7:30pm Eastern, includes playwright Tony Kushner; poet, essayist, and playwright Claudia Rankine, acclaimed author Salman Rushdie, and moderated by David Remnick, "to make sense of an American moment when truth can feel stranger than fiction." [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:23 AM PST - 4 comments

I’m a commis in a Chinese restaurant kitchen, this is what I do

The dude at the chopping board has already pushed the lettuce, diced seafood, and salted fish from his side to our side of the table. We take a quick glance at the order sheet. First, we grab a medium-sized portion of rice. Then we transfer everything from our side of the table to the table directly accessible to the wok guys. We tell him, “no MSG, not too oily”. We then fetch a serving tray, six small plates, a small rice bowl, and a metal dish. The wok guy makes the fried rice, dumps it in the metal dish, then we portion the fried rice using the small rice bowl (so that every portion is in a neat little mound). This fried rice example is a very simple example involving a bit of communication between our section and the wok line.
posted by destrius at 6:40 AM PST - 43 comments

You, a Mac, the world.

The Enduring Appeal of Macintosh Picasso Artwork
posted by timshel at 6:27 AM PST - 17 comments

Coloured by Regional Grammar

Because of where the structurally unemployed live, what they’ve done, or the skills they lack, employers can’t or won’t hire them. The problems that keep today's jobless stuck on the sidelines are different than those of past recoveries: a complex web of often interrelated issues from disability and drug use to criminal records.
Jeanna Smialek and Patricia Laya, The New Face of American Unemployment, Bloomberg (7 February 2017). [more inside]
posted by Sonny Jim at 5:54 AM PST - 80 comments

February 19

Food Wishes with Chef John!

Food Wishes with Chef John - Do you want to learn how to cook fancy meals? Simple meals? Was Alton Brown a bit too high-concept? An actual chef, with a puckish voice and self-deprecating humor and dedicated to education, tackles your questions on "How do I cook...(dish here)?" on the Food Wishes youtube channel. [more inside]
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:04 PM PST - 42 comments

“Perseverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages.”

17 Great Books About American Presidents for Presidents’ Day Weekend [The New York Times] “There’s nothing like a big juicy presidential biography when you’re looking for guidance about history’s long and hard lessons. We’ve selected some of our favorites by and about presidents from the past few decades — and including one that reaches back into the 19th century. Here’s to an inspiring Presidents’ Day weekend.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 7:00 PM PST - 11 comments

Reflecting On One Very, Very Strange Year At Uber

Susan Fowler, a former site reliability engineer at Uber, recounts her year of employment at the company , including stories of sexual harassment, retaliation by managers, and a pattern of inaction or coverups by the human resources department. [more inside]
posted by bluecore at 5:26 PM PST - 171 comments

Giving the magic away

Many of Pixar's films can seem like magic, and while much of that relies on storytelling, the art of animation has many, many, many skills in it. Pixar has partnered with the Khan Academy to provide a free practical introduction to how the best-of-the-best do their job. Because who doesn't want to understand how you simulate hair?
posted by petrilli at 5:14 PM PST - 3 comments

Hobbits, Hooligans and Vulcans

Or, a brief exploration of why politics makes us mean and dumb.
posted by the hot hot side of randy at 5:14 PM PST - 25 comments

The Russian Thread Reset

With the White House insisting that Air Force One won't be a prop, Trump pulled up to his airport hangar rally in Air Force One with the Air Force One theme playing in the background. [more inside]
posted by Talez at 3:00 PM PST - 1654 comments

"it’s hard not to admire and be grateful for Tracey’s hubris"

Amanda Petrusich writes about a collector of African folk music named Hugh Tracey whose collection of more than ten thousand recordings has been digitized and partly made available online as the International Library of African Music on the South African Music Archive Project website. Petrusich also writes about the Singing Wells project, which aims to return copies of Tracey's recordings he made in Kenya and Uganda to the places where they were recorded, though their main focus is to make new recordings. Petrusich focuses on a recording of Kipsigi girls singing about a half-man half-antelope called Chemirocha, who turns out to have a rather surprising origin.
posted by Kattullus at 2:20 PM PST - 8 comments

The Colors of Japanese Internment

Similar questions might have echoed in the mind of the internee Bill Manbo, a car mechanic from Riverside, California, when he picked up a camera to document his surroundings after months of captivity at the Heart Mountain camp, in Wyoming. Though internees were initially prohibited from bringing cameras into the camps, that rule was loosened at Heart Mountain in 1943. The photographs of another internee, Toyo Miyatake, who was sent to Manzanar, in California, and assembled a makeshift camera from a lens that he had smuggled inside, have become essential records of the incarceration. But of all the most famous images of Japanese internment by either internees or government-hired photographers, only Manbo’s were in color. [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 12:46 PM PST - 19 comments

The Rise of the Weaponized AI Propaganda Machine

There’s a new automated propaganda machine driving global politics. How it works and what it will mean for the future of democracy.
posted by a_curious_koala at 11:12 AM PST - 40 comments

February 18

You can't go wrong with pizza, unless it's terrible pizza.

9 Things We Learned About A Guy Who Claims He’s Only Eaten Pizza For The Past 25 Years—one of 30 times that pizza news has made Consumerist very happy. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:31 PM PST - 148 comments

For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you

For two years, filmmaker Jennifer Crandall has crisscrossed this deep Southern state, inviting people to look into a camera and share a part of themselves through the words of Walt Whitman. The 19th century poet’s “Song of Myself” is a quintessential reflection of our American identities.
Welcome to Whitman, Alabama. [more inside]
posted by Lexica at 8:24 PM PST - 23 comments

The Collaborator

The final, sad fate of Jar Jar Binks has been revealed by Chuck Wendig in the latest of his pre-Force Awakens Star Wars: Aftermath books.
posted by Artw at 4:55 PM PST - 89 comments

I got carded in whole foods

What's in this $5 kombucha anyway?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 4:41 PM PST - 76 comments

Clyde Stubblefield (1943–2017)

The Original "Funky Drummer" Clyde Stubblefield has died at age 73. (Okayplayer, Rolling Stone, NY Times, Washington Post) [previously] [more inside]
posted by Songdog at 2:55 PM PST - 45 comments

When I was your age, I got my first guitar....

The Boss (slyt) I realized it wasn’t about how well you played it, it was how good you looked doing it. [more inside]
posted by shockingbluamp at 12:01 PM PST - 32 comments

"The Straight Men Who Made America's First Gay Record"

Like a magic mirror held up to America's heteronormative postwar culture, its music reflected a dignified, and seductive, vision of gay life. Just below the album's title read the teaser: "For adult listeners only—sultry stylings by a most unusual vocalist."
55 years ago Lace Records released "Love Is a Drag", where a male vocalist sang standards written for female singers. The people behind it were a mystery until one of them contacted J. D. Doyle of Queer Music Heritage in 2012 and was interviewed (transcript, mp3). YouTube has a few tracks: 1, 2, 3, 4. Doyle put the LP in context in an interview with Color Magazine.
posted by Kattullus at 11:49 AM PST - 16 comments

Nijntje's 'Spiritual Father' has passed away

On Thursday, Dick Bruna died in Utrecht. He was 89 years old. CBC obit, WaPo obit. The Dutch artist created Miffy in the 1950s. [more inside]
posted by Rash at 10:52 AM PST - 14 comments

RIP Jane Roe

Norma McCorvey passes away at 69... Ms. McCorvey, the iconic Roe in Roe v. Wade, just passed away in an assisted living facility at the age of 69.
posted by Samizdata at 10:08 AM PST - 23 comments

Hygge is so 2016

Meet kalsarikannit, the word for drinking at home without pants on.
posted by infini at 9:22 AM PST - 53 comments

Ice Dragon boat | Bateau dragon sur glace

This weekend, Ottawa is hosting the first North American ice dragon boat festival. Ice dragon boating has its own international federation, and Ottawa is the latest addition to its international series. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:45 AM PST - 11 comments

CRS-10 Launching!

T-Minus 2 minutes! SpaceX is hosting a webcast of today's launch of CRS-10. This is a historic launch for two reasons. The first is that it's the first time launch pad LC-39A has been used since the space shuttle. The second is they're doing a return to launch site in the day time.
posted by Talez at 7:00 AM PST - 29 comments

You must always caulk the wagon.

The Forgotten History of 'The Oregon Trail,' As Told By Its Creators (Previously, previouslier, previousliest) [more inside]
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:45 AM PST - 34 comments

Interactive Julia Set Generator

Oooh! [Via the (ever wonderful) Kottke]
posted by carter at 5:52 AM PST - 20 comments

February 17

In these words I often think you'd recognize me

Midnight Oil has announced dates for the Great Circle 2017 reunion tour [more inside]
posted by ZenMajek at 7:51 PM PST - 34 comments

The Kids Think I'm A Shoe

Stan Smith and the iconic shoe that bears his name are profiled in New York Magazine.
posted by chrchr at 7:43 PM PST - 16 comments

A president's words. A supervillain's mouth.

Behold the Red Skull-Donald Trump mashup. D.M. Higgins replaces a classic Marvel villain's dialogue with choice president Trump quotes. [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 7:29 PM PST - 19 comments

"Al is unique. There’s nothing like him in the history of funny music."

WaPo: Was ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic the real star all along? After nearly 40 years of parodying celebrities, the accordion-playing nerd has become a legend in his own right.

"Pac-Man," a spoof of The Beatles' "Tax Man" from the new Weird Al box set, Squeeze Box.
posted by porn in the woods at 7:10 PM PST - 73 comments

Sit Down or Get Out of the Way

Why Does This One Couch From West Elm Suck So Much?
posted by gyc at 5:51 PM PST - 106 comments

Slow death on Manus, the sad story of Eaten Fish

(Content warning: attempted suicide, sexual assault, other awful stuff that goes on in Australia’s offshore gulags). Eaten Fish is the nom de plume of a 24-year-old Iranian cartoonist who has been imprisoned in a detention center in Papua New Guinea since trying to seek asylum in Australia by boat in 2013. Fish — real name Ali — has severe OCD and anxiety, and says he has been abused and sexually assaulted while in the prison camp. [more inside]
posted by retrograde at 5:38 PM PST - 16 comments

If 60's Were 90's

In 1993, UK music collective Beautiful People released Rilly Groovy [official video], the first single from the electronica/EDM/house album If 60s Were 90s, an album built largely around Jimi Hendrix samples. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 3:47 PM PST - 8 comments

That outward sign of an inward or unseen calamity.

The Age of Rudeness. An essay by Rachel Cusk. "Society organizes itself very efficiently to punish, silence or disown truth-tellers. Rudeness, on the other hand, is often welcomed in the manner of a false god. Later still, regret at the punishment of the truth-teller can build into powerful feelings of worship, whereas rudeness will be disowned. Are people rude because they are unhappy? Is rudeness like nakedness, a state deserving the tact and mercy of the clothed? If we are polite to rude people, perhaps we give them back their dignity; yet the obsessiveness of the rude presents certain challenges to the proponents of civilized behavior. It is an act of disinhibition: Like a narcotic, it offers a sensation of glorious release from jailers no one else can see." [more inside]
posted by storybored at 3:30 PM PST - 30 comments

“Without stories, we wouldn't be human beings at all.”

Philip Pullman Unveils Epic Fantasy Trilogy The Book of Dust [The Guardian] “The as-yet-untitled first volume of The Book of Dust [Amazon], due out on 19 October, will be set in London and Oxford, with the action running parallel to the His Dark Materials trilogy [wiki]. A global bestseller since the first volume, Northern Lights, was published in 1995, Pullman’s series has sold more than 17.5m copies and been translated into 40 languages. Pullman’s brave and outspoken heroine, Lyra Belacqua, will return in the first two volumes. Featuring two periods of her life – as a baby and 10 years after His Dark Materials ended – the series will include other characters familiar to existing readers, as well as creations such as alethiometers (a clock-like truth-telling device), daemons (animals that are physical manifestations of the human spirit) and the Magisterium, the church-like totalitarian authority that rules Lyra’s world.” [Previously.]
posted by Fizz at 2:48 PM PST - 52 comments

Une Femme Coquette

An early and rare Godard short film, Une Femm Coquette, has been uploaded to youtube. [via].
posted by Think_Long at 1:29 PM PST - 4 comments

Calculating inequalities at math camp

Equations and Inequalities: Math, Race and Fellowship looks inside a math summer camp aimed at low income non-white and non-asian kids in New York. This program aims to scoop up kids who have a natural aptitude for math, but don't have a privileged family background. Fighting against systemic inequalities like family income, race, parental education, and media portrayals of who is a mathematician. Francis Su, the outgoing President of the Mathematical Association of America (and the first non-white holder of that title) addresses similar issues in his beautiful outgoing speech. [more inside]
posted by Joh at 1:23 PM PST - 10 comments

James Hogue - Alexi Santana

He woke up one morning and decided to become someone else. (SLNewYorker)
The questions I was asking him weren’t real questions, he explained. They were the products of a story line in my head, whose relation to his life was at best coincidental. [more inside]
posted by zinon at 1:16 PM PST - 4 comments

Turnbuckles everywhere sigh in relief - RIP George "The Animal" Steele

Wrestling legend George "The Animal" Steele (real name Jim Myers) has died at the age of 79. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 1:10 PM PST - 24 comments

“Keeping Up With The Kattarshians.”

An Icelandic news website has released a live, reality-style YouTube show featuring four, nine-week-old kittens living in a dollhouse stocked with bunk beds, toys and of course cameras.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:43 AM PST - 43 comments

This question of library handwriting is an exceedingly practical one

In September 1885, a group of librarians spent four days discussing major issues for libraries, including handwriting. Though typewriters had been commercially available for over a decade, librarians were still handwriting their catalog cards to catalog their expanding collections, but their writing was without consistency . Thomas Edison was cited for his described handwriting style for telegraph operators (paywalled source), and from this, Melvil Dewey and his crew of “a dozen catalogers and librarians” hashed out the rules of library hand, a precise, almost mechanical style. If you enjoy that summary, you may enjoy The (Lengthy) Context and History of Library Hand, with ample notes and references. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 11:43 AM PST - 25 comments

Tinkertoys CEO Peg Wheelsticks declined to comment

How many ways can you stack six 2x4 lego bricks? In 1974, LEGO said it was 102,981,500. But! High school student Mikkel Abrahamsen and mathematician Søren Eilers revisited the problem and got 915,103,765. Here's the paper [pdf] with the details and some nice graphs and illustrations. And if that's not enough for you, see also On the entropy of LEGO [pdf] by Eilers and Bergfinnur Durhuus.
posted by cortex at 11:39 AM PST - 6 comments

Remembering the SS Mendi

"In February 1917 the SS Mendi, a First World War troopship, was carrying 802 men of the South African Native Labour Corps (SANLC), bound for the Western Front. Many had never seen the sea before. The men had signed up because they believed that, despite being oppressed by the white South African government, if they demonstrated loyalty to the British Empire, it would gain them a voice in their deeply divided land." so writes Historic England writing about one of the more tragic events in British history:
"On 21 February 1917, the British ship, the SS Mendi was sunk off the Isle of Wight. It was hit not by a German torpedo, but by another British ship, the Darro, in thick fog....The Darro made no attempt to rescue the men in the water, and the Mendi’s Royal Navy escort ship was able to find only a very few." [more inside]
posted by vacapinta at 10:18 AM PST - 9 comments

Moving the heaviest item in the museum's collection

Did they build the building around it? No, they did not.
posted by dfm500 at 10:02 AM PST - 24 comments

4chan: The Skeleton Key to the Rise of Trump

In which Dale Beran traces the rise of 4chan and how a bunch of lulz-loving guys in their parents' basements seized on the loser-winner Trump as the ultimate prank on an outside world they had long abandoned. Long, but full of insights and well-worth the read. Ends with a challenge and note of hope for the left.
posted by criticalbill at 10:02 AM PST - 73 comments

The Anton Chekhov-George Saunders Humanity Kit

A little over three years ago I asked George Saunders whether I could sit in on one of his MFA classes at Syracuse, and, flabbergastingly, he said okay. In an effort to transmit the benefits of the taking the class to readers more widely, Maria Bustillos put together the Chekhov–Saunders Humanity Kit.
posted by AceRock at 6:54 AM PST - 8 comments

"It's almost like the oceans are getting ready for a heart attack."

A new study published in Nature says that the overall oxygen content of the ocean has declined by 2% over the past 50 years. Because oxygen is always unevenly distributed in the ocean, that 2% average represents a larger drop in some areas than others. Bacteria in areas of low oxygen tend to produce nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas that has risen in a way similar to CO2 over the decades since the industrial revolution. Low O2 leading to more N2O from the ocean is another likely global warming feedback loop. Projections indicate that we could lose 7% of the ocean's oxygen by 2100. [more inside]
posted by Sleeper at 4:29 AM PST - 54 comments

February 16

The first chapter is omitted for the time being.

Soviet attempted calendar reforms. Featuring the five and six day weeks.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:04 PM PST - 16 comments

Get a job, you lazy hipster.

Cats are weird. Or so says Jeff Wysaski of Obvious Plant (previously)
posted by QuakerMel at 8:03 PM PST - 12 comments

Counting your Kegels? There's an app for that!

The game has a downloadable app and a pink device with sensors that is inserted into the vagina to play. Users play games on the app, which are powered by movements of the pelvic floor muscles made around the controller inside the woman. In at least one level, for instance, contracting pelvic floor muscles will cause a butterfly on the game screen to fly upward.
posted by waving at 4:04 PM PST - 49 comments

Fans of Love | Love Has No Labels [YouTube] [Ad Council] For years, kiss cams have been a big part of American sports culture. This year, Love Has No Labels puts a twist on the kiss cam by turning it into a symbol for unbiased love. In the stadium, fans cheered for love in all its forms - regardless of race, gender, disability, age or religion.
posted by Fizz at 2:41 PM PST - 10 comments

Good Good Goofs

The first episode (content warning: tarantulas) of the TV Show based on the podcast My Brother, My Brother And Me has dropped. What's MBMBAM, other than "an advice show for the modren era"? Well there's this long and very thoughtful meditation on the McElroy Brothers' brand of goofy kind humor. Or you could find out from the fans directly. Or just listen to some classic bits like Amelie, I Hate You, Ron, or Tim McGraw's Krav Maga. [more inside]
posted by kmz at 1:49 PM PST - 93 comments

Technically it's the middle of the Afsluitdijk

Rarely is the question asked: what point in the Netherlands is the furthest away from any buildings and how far away can you get from people?
posted by MartinWisse at 1:20 PM PST - 20 comments

We Are Only One Menstrual Cycle in and There Is Blood in the Water

Here we go. Good afternoon, everyone. As you just saw, the President was honored to host a press conference just a short time ago. [more inside]
posted by Talez at 1:00 PM PST - 2367 comments

What Do You Do After Surviving Your Own Lynching

On August 7, 1930, three black teenagers were lynched in Marion, Indiana. James Cameron was one of them. He lived.
Cameron, the only known survivor of an American lynching, lived to 92 and committed his life to antiracism work, including founding the American Black Holocaust Museum. (Cameron previously on MetaFilter.)
posted by Etrigan at 12:53 PM PST - 7 comments

‘It’s a problem we need to hate more’

No place like home: America’s eviction epidemic Office Susie had told her to ask her family for rent. She often heard a similar line at the crisis centres. When the social workers behind the glass asked her, “Well, don’t you have family that can help?” Larraine sometimes would reply, “Yes, I have family, and, no, they can’t help.”
posted by Michele in California at 12:23 PM PST - 30 comments

"a device that rides in the butt-crack, for lack of a better term"

NASA's Space Poop Challenge is over, and we have a winner. [NASA press release]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:09 PM PST - 18 comments

The Angriest Dog in the World (not a Westminster Dog Show post)

From 1983 to 1992, David Lynch published a cartoon in independent papers. The images were supposedly always exactly the same. [more inside]
posted by janey47 at 9:50 AM PST - 30 comments

Nothing would make us happier than going out of business

"As hard as polio is, malaria is harder. As hard as reproductive health is, nutrition is harder than that. As hard as it is to save children under five, saving newborns is the hardest test of all. Still, we’re optimistic. Polio will soon be history. In our lifetimes, malaria will end. No one will die from AIDS. Few people will get TB. Children everywhere will be well nourished. And the death of a child in the developing world will be just as rare as the death of a child in the rich world." Bill and Melinda Gates respond to Warren Buffet's request for an update on the work of the Gates Foundation, ten years after the biggest single gift anyone ever gave anybody for anything. Profusely illustrated and hand-annotated, a rare uplifting moment for your 2017.
posted by RedOrGreen at 9:36 AM PST - 19 comments

Skeletal Archiporn

Scaffoldage is a blog of photographs of large structures covered in scaffolding. (slTumblr)
posted by Going To Maine at 9:28 AM PST - 10 comments

What harm could ever befall a woman as strong as Big Mama?

The Thinning of Big Mama: If you want to see “Big Mama” Thornton singing the blues in her prime, look up her performance of “Ball and Chain” with Buddy Guy and his band, filmed at Boston public television station WBGH’s studio in 1970, when she was forty-four. The occasion was a music show called “Mixed Bag.” (SL Oxford American/Youtube)
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:02 AM PST - 5 comments

"Mimosa-sipping Manhattanites and liberal witch hunters"

How Sportswriting Became a Liberal Profession
posted by selfnoise at 9:00 AM PST - 17 comments

Beware of the man who never dies

Lee Falk's hero the Phantom made his comic book debut in February 1936, but he also appears on dozens of traditional war shields made by people from the Central Highlands of Papua New Guinea between the 1960s and 1980s. [more inside]
posted by palindromic at 8:58 AM PST - 7 comments

What happens when privacy violations are committed by devices inside us?

Ross Compton of Ohio was charged with arson based partly on data collected from his pacemaker. A Florida woman's claims of sexual assault were undermined by data from her FitBit. Gizmodo explores what happens when privacy violations are committed by our personal electronics, including implanted medical devices.
posted by Existential Dread at 8:56 AM PST - 41 comments

And a doll's house, that doubles as shelves.

The Square Meter Challenge Fitting more and more people into less and less space? Ikea has some design suggestions. But will they actually work?
posted by Mchelly at 8:47 AM PST - 22 comments

Dr. Death did not win

After what should have been routine spinal surgeries, Texas neurosurgeon and entrepreneur Christopher Duntsch left a horrifying trail of maimed humans and bodies.
Anyone close to me thinks that I likely am something between god, Einstein and the antichrist. Because how can I do anything I want and cross every discipline boundary like its a playground and never ever lose. But unfortunately, despite the fact I am winning it is not happening fast enough.
On Tuesday, after just four hours of deliberation, a Dallas County jury convicted Duntsch of aggravated assault for deliberately maiming his patient. He faces life in prison.
posted by Dashy at 8:22 AM PST - 35 comments

Leave offerings - cream cheese packets or whipped cream vodka or butter

Coexisting With The Fair Folk Who Have Taken Up Residence In/Around/Beneath Your University: A How-To Guide. (slTumblrcomic)
posted by Kitteh at 7:50 AM PST - 8 comments

"an English-language home for subtitled audio from around the world"

Radio Atlas is a website with radio documentaries from around the world, subtitled in English. It has pieces from countries such as Finland, France and Argentina. So far there are 22 different pieces, with more being added.
posted by Kattullus at 6:48 AM PST - 6 comments

Maybe you could find Planet 9

A fun new citizen science project called Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 launches today! The goal is to look for fast-moving but very faint substellar objects in the solar neighborhood. The sensitivity is good enough that you could even potentially spot the theoretical ninth planet in the dataset! [more inside]
posted by Rob Rockets at 6:30 AM PST - 14 comments

Tango Americano

The database at TV Tango allows you to see the American TV schedule for any day since 1950. You can check out your birthday or any other significant date. They also include TV show ratings going back to late 1982. [more inside]
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:26 AM PST - 16 comments

Question Your Answers

As part of a campaign highlighting their commitment to asking tough questions, The Atlantic created a short starring Michael K. Williams (known predominantly for his roles in 'The Wire' and 'Boardwalk Empire'). It's an introspective, quiet examination of whether he's being typecast.
posted by secretdark at 5:02 AM PST - 18 comments

February 15

And the Arthur Award goes to...

We do this thing. We open our hearts to the world around us. And the more we do that, the more we allow ourselves to love, the more we are bound to find ourselves one day... standing in the kitchen of our life, surrounded by the ones we love, and feeling empty, alone, and sad, and lost for words, because one of our loved ones, who should be there, is missing. Stuart McLean, host of CBC Radio's The Vinyl Cafe, died today of melanoma. [more inside]
posted by e-man at 8:39 PM PST - 39 comments

Look to the trees. Look to the rock. Look to the river.

Justin Trudeau is the latest person to create a video for the We Matter Campaign, a campaign started by two indigenous siblings, which hopes to communicate to indigenous youth their importance in the world. Suicide is the leading cause of death in indigenous youth.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 8:32 PM PST - 12 comments

Were you rushing or were you dragging?

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: How 'La La Land' Misleads on Race, Romance and Jazz
posted by Artw at 6:02 PM PST - 65 comments

“Pewdiepie will have to face some consequences of his own.”

Disney Drops Pewdiepie Over Anti-Semitic Jokes [Kotaku] Maker Studios, a division of Disney, just severed their deal with YouTube megastar Pewdiepie, Felix Kjellberg. They pointed to a (now-deleted) January 11 video in which Pewdiepie paid two men to hold up a sign that read, “Death To All Jews.” The Wall Street Journal reports that Pewdiepie had editorial independence in his deal, but this was a bridge too far. “Although Felix has created a following by being provocative and irreverent, he clearly went too far in this case and the resulting videos are inappropriate,” said a spokeswoman for Maker Studios. [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 2:22 PM PST - 243 comments

They're good dogs, Brent! Especially this one!

The 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show was won by Rumor, a German Shepherd who took Best in Show. She is a very good dog. There are also many other good dogs. The handlers, however, are another story. Surely someone can teach these people how to dress themselves?
posted by Naberius at 12:56 PM PST - 79 comments

Why does the Wingdings Font Exist? [SYTL 3min]

What is Wingdings and why was it created? Wingdings is a font made entirely out of symbols. Buy why? [more inside]
posted by Faintdreams at 12:30 PM PST - 43 comments

It's kind of a mess up there

Stuff in Space is a realtime 3D map of objects in Earth orbit, visualized using WebGL.
posted by figurant at 12:18 PM PST - 19 comments

A Martian volcano may have erupted for two billion years straight

A meteorite from Northwest Africa named "NWA 7635" has been dated at 2.4 billion years old by a team at Purdue University. [more inside]
posted by Secretariat at 12:05 PM PST - 20 comments

"The body never lies"

Swan, Late: "My inability to dance became a matter of faith, something I believed in unquestioningly for the next two decades. "
posted by Lycaste at 11:11 AM PST - 10 comments

The price of light has fallen by 500,000 times since prehistory

Tim Harford tells us about how economist William Nordhaus determined how much better we are at making light nowadays in a transcript of an episode of the BBC World Service's podcast series 50 Things That Made the Modern Economy.
posted by Etrigan at 9:45 AM PST - 20 comments

Old French Crime

A daily pic of crime, accident or dirigible disaster from French tabloids circa 1890-1920. Created by journalist Marie Gilot, who started the project to "highlight sensationalist--and often inaccurate--journalism of the past so we can feel better about the sensationalist--and often inaccurate--journalism of today."
posted by Cash4Lead at 9:32 AM PST - 15 comments

So hold me, Mom...in your long arms

In November, Poole Hospital in Dorset, England, announced in a press release that its preemies were seeing beneficial effects from simply cuddling a crocheted octopus. Daniel Lockyer, matron of neonatal services at the hospital, said moms and dads are thrilled to see their preemies find comfort with the little aquatic pals. The idea originated with the Danish Octo Project (which offers a pattern).
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:08 AM PST - 39 comments

No criminology suspected

Who was Sergei Krivov? And how did he really die? Ali Watkins looks into a death in the New York Russian consulate.
posted by doctornemo at 9:05 AM PST - 1 comment

Castervxnlu 2: Slmqn's Oa35t

Save on your art budget: use neural networks to generate new 8-bit pixel art! From a series on machine learning by Adam Geitgey; the whole series is good, but of particular use for some context here are the bits on generating Super Mario levels and convolutional neural networks.
posted by cortex at 9:01 AM PST - 8 comments

A Sinful Waste of Time

Today is the 75th Anniversary of the NY Times crossword puzzle. To celebrate, the Times have posted a brief history of the puzzle. Also, celebrity solvers are pairing with experienced creators to produce some celebratory puzzles. Today's was by Jesse Eisenberg. Currently the first month of subscription is free on several digital platforms here. So brush up on the difference between eyelets and aglets, memorize your four letter Middle Eastern ports, and waste some time...sinfully.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 8:31 AM PST - 18 comments

Mental illness?

Depression Is an Unlikely Advantage in the Fight Against Fascism Life under the yoke of depression is frighteningly similar to life in Trump’s America, and knowing one can teach you how to approach the other.
posted by strelitzia at 8:30 AM PST - 32 comments

The Future of the Body

The Future of the Body: Just as individual bodies change with time, so does the body collectively. How long we live, how we conceive of dis/ability, how we eat and sleep and use technology—all are influenced as much by our moment in history as by our individual life stories. This month our writers take a look at the cultural and technological patterns that shape our somatic selves and cast their minds into the future, to think about the human body not simply as it is, but as it’s likely to be. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:23 AM PST - 4 comments

Basil Kirchin: The forgotten genius of UK music

‘Basil Kirchin (1927-2005) was a maverick musician and pioneering composer who is credited as a founding father of ambient music. Yet despite being hailed by acts such as Brian Eno and St Etienne, he remains an obscure figure. Now a festival in Hull is casting a light on a man regarded by many musicians as a genius.’ (Previously: i, ii). [more inside]
posted by misteraitch at 6:27 AM PST - 2 comments

Finally, Trainers, FINALLY

Pokemon Go addicts, warn your spouses and work. Generation 2 will begin dropping sometime later this week, along with new Evolutions, new Encounter Gameplay, new Berries, new Avatars and Expanded Wardrobe. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:35 AM PST - 109 comments

This guy watches Daesh videos so you don't have to.

An astonishingly comprehensive analysis of the development of the suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device.
posted by pompomtom at 5:30 AM PST - 13 comments

My dog sniffs at it and then runs headlong into a fence.

I like a lot of the people here, but the people I like most are those that have worked hard for things. Every one of them has a quiver of interesting stories that they fire with the straightness and sharpness of honesty, a straightness and sharpness that makes any writer jealous. Astonishing long read about Stardew Valley/Slough/love/life/money/despair by Paul Dean
posted by Sebmojo at 1:26 AM PST - 23 comments

Tradition is based on religion; religion is based on tradition

How did Indonesia and Malaysia become majority-Muslim when they were once dominated by Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms? This extensive (with citations!) answer by PangeranDipanagara on r/AskHistorians is worth every gold star it received. [more inside]
posted by cendawanita at 12:27 AM PST - 17 comments

Dust off that R.E.M. record: this is gonna hurt.

It turns out ASLR (address space layout randomization) can be universally defeated. By javascript. Running in a browser. This is likely to greatly increase the number of javascript exploits in the coming days. In all browsers, on all systems. Arstechnica has an end-of-the-world article here. [more inside]
posted by lastobelus at 12:09 AM PST - 103 comments

February 14

This beetle bites an ant’s waist and pretends to be its butt

The Atlantic reports on scientists studying Army Ants making a new discovery of a beetle species: Nymphister kronaueri, which hitchhikes on the ants whilst pretending to be their own backsides. [more inside]
posted by jzed at 10:41 PM PST - 31 comments

I give you my heart (and other organs)

Valentine's Day is almost over across the world, but if you've forgotten a card for your loved one, it's not too late to send An ecard inspired by that most romantic of filmmakers.
posted by smoke at 4:30 PM PST - 8 comments

"All the German Shepherds are dead, but then again so is everybody else"

American Anarchists Join YPG in Syria Fighting Isis [more inside]
posted by R.F.Simpson at 2:03 PM PST - 63 comments

Tracking Congress in the Age of Trump

An updating tally of how often every member of the House and the Senate votes with or against the president. The "votes" tab, organized by bill/nomination, is particularly useful.
posted by materialgirl at 1:48 PM PST - 35 comments

South Korean and Japanese perspectives on North Korean missile launch

On Feb 8th, Hwang Kyo-ahn, the acting president of South Korea, warned that the possibility of strategic provocation by North Korea in the month of February was "very high," because (among other things) Kim Jong-il's 75th birthday would have been on Feb 16th. North Korea launched a missile on Feb 13th. According to the Japanese newspaper, the Asahai Shinbun, some experts believe North Korea will launch another missile around April 15th, which would have been Kim Il Sung's 105th birthday. [more inside]
posted by colfax at 11:30 AM PST - 12 comments

Weirdly Cozy

How To Score A Seat On The Subway
posted by griphus at 10:17 AM PST - 81 comments

"Nudity was never the problem because nudity isn't a problem."

After a year, Playboy magazine has decided to bring naked women back to its pages. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 9:22 AM PST - 72 comments

Love is in the air

Got a roach for ya, baby ----- New Yorker 2/14/2017 Daily Cartoon ----- Happy Meal
posted by strelitzia at 7:51 AM PST - 18 comments

"Kellyanne, that makes no sense."

10 unanswered questions after Michael Flynn’s resignation: #1: What, if anything, did Trump authorize Flynn to tell the Russians before his inauguration? Today is day 26 of the Trump presidency; this morning, Matt Lauer eviscerated Kellyanne Conway on the Today show regarding the resignation of General Michael Flynn, which Paul Ryan is now claiming President Trump asked for. The AP is reporting that the North Korea leader's brother, Kim Jong Nam, was slain at airport in Malaysia, and Fox News is reporting that a Russian spy ship is patrolling off the East Coast of Delaware. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:46 AM PST - 2790 comments


Dogs hunting your dinner. Cats hunting your dinner. Hunting dog dinnerware.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:19 AM PST - 20 comments

Ooooooohhh... On the TLC tip

The Quietus revisits TLC's debut album for its 25th anniversary.
posted by threetwentytwo at 7:09 AM PST - 4 comments

No one said this was going to be easy

It isn't easy to determine the source of a river. [more inside]
posted by Literaryhero at 7:01 AM PST - 7 comments

Only the very best

SOS d'un terrien en détresse is a power ballad from the French-Québecois rock opera (1976) Starmania (aka Tycoon). Originally sung by Daniel Balavoine, the octave-leaping (and a little bit maudlin) song has been covered several times, notably in English as Only the very best by Peter Kingsbery, but the most epic cover was provided last month by Kazakh singer Dimash Kudaibergen for the Hunan TV Show I am a singer. Below the fold: prophetic tidbits about Starmania and the ongoing political situation in the US. [more inside]
posted by elgilito at 4:13 AM PST - 12 comments

Numerosity: The Baker Segments

Numerosity was one of the earliest series of filmed segments to appear on Sesame Street. "The first batch of ten were all in the same style. They began with Jim’s hand-drawn animations accompanied by children singing to a melody by Joe Raposo [PREVIOUSLY]. Examples of the given number were revealed, ranging from body parts and shapes to toys and animals, and each film ended with the dramatic entrance of a baker, played by Alex Stevens, carrying the appropriate number of cakes, pies, or ice cream sundaes. In Jim’s voice, he announced what he was carrying and immediately tumbled down the stairs. While these films aired on the early seasons, they were eventually deemed to be too violent and dropped from the rotation."[via]
posted by not_on_display at 12:14 AM PST - 40 comments

February 13

European Tree of the Year

"The purpose of the European Tree of the Year is to highlight the significance of old trees in the natural and cultural heritage that deserves our care and protection. Unlike other contests, the European Tree of the Year doesn't focus on beauty, size or age but rather on the tree's story and its connection to people. We are looking for trees that have become a part of the wider community."
Get your votes in now for the 2017 European Tree of the year!
The current leader is The Brimmon Oak of Wales, a beloved tree that has been in a family for generations - although a fierce contender is an 800-year old Lime tree that guards a Czech village. Past winners include an Oak tree that lives in the middle of a football field in Estonia and an old Lime tree in Hungary which is said to protect the forest with its magic power.
posted by vacapinta at 11:38 PM PST - 17 comments

He's wishing he'd seen it now though.

The 10Foot6 East Street Bridge in Westwood, Massachusetts is a magnet for mayhem. Click here to find out what's burning. [more inside]
posted by ActingTheGoat at 11:10 PM PST - 33 comments

This stationery and design blog is Present & Correct.

The store Present & Correct has a "long-term obsession with stationery ... Paper and office objects which are inspired by homework, the post office and school." Their blog is a well-curated collection featuring delightful links to animation and film, graphics, packaging, edibles (previously), and much more. Nice Instagram, too.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:57 PM PST - 10 comments

#unitygames NJ 5th Graders Provide Hope that the Kids Will Be Alright

Fifth-grade Catholic youth team forfeits season rather than kick girls off For several years, a Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) basketball team in New Jersey had included a pair of girls. But recently the squad, now in the fifth grade, was presented with a difficult choice: Drop the girls, per the archdiocese’s rules, or forfeit the season. The team’s decision was unanimous. It was also courageous and inspiring. [more inside]
posted by pjsky at 6:55 PM PST - 33 comments

The Preacher and the Sheriff

Many of the beatings took place in the prison’s chapel — not because the officers had accepted God into their lives but, the indictment claimed, because the chapel was one of the few places in the prison without surveillance cameras.
A story about racism and police brutality in a good-ol-boy Louisiana Parish, a "Houdini suicide" in the back of a squad car, and one father's search for justice.
posted by AceRock at 2:03 PM PST - 9 comments


At last night's Grammy Awards, Laverne Cox's introduction of Lady Gaga was preceded by an apparently unscripted exhortation to google Gavin Grimm, the 17 year old whose case is going to SCOTUS next month. Represented by the ACLU, Gavin's case involves whether or not trans children should be allowed to use the bathroom and locker room facilities that correspond to their gender identity. Gavin responds to Laverne's shoutout [autoplaying video]. In related news (but a different case), "The Trump administration has elected not to contest a Texas federal judge’s injunction barring the federal government from implementing Obama administration guidelines that protect transgender kids in schools." [more inside]
posted by AFABulous at 12:42 PM PST - 36 comments

To the quick!

The first nail clippers weren't patented until the late 19th century, so how did people trim their nails before that? Nail care was important in many ancient cultures. In the Iron Age, nail files were a critical feature of the Viking grooming toolkit, important because the Gods would sail on a ship made of dead men's nails to Ragnarok. There was also a lot of attention paid to nail care in ancient Egypt, Rome Greece, and China (take a look at this Egyptian spa painting). Elaborate nail customs persist, including very specific Jewish traditions about the order in which nails are cut, and in traditional nursery rhymes. Whatever you do, apparently you shouldn't bite or pick them.
posted by blahblahblah at 12:15 PM PST - 40 comments

Revenge of the Lunch Lady

How an unassuming bureaucrat outsmarted Jamie Oliver and pulled off an honest-to-god miracle in one of America's unhealthiest cities. One West Virginia turns her school lunch program around; plus a brief history of school lunches in America featuring the National Frozen Pizza Institute.
posted by Hypatia at 11:06 AM PST - 67 comments

An Interview with Substantia Jones

Bold Nude Photos Celebrate The ‘Fat Love’ Affairs That Go Unnoticed (NSFW) “There’s this curious misconception that fat people don’t experience love, sex and romance,” Jones explained in an email to The Huffington Post. “Or perhaps that they aren’t worthy of having satisfying relationships.” [more inside]
posted by Michele in California at 10:54 AM PST - 30 comments

Justin Cyr's pixel art

Justin Cyr makes pixel art, and has done a number of 32x32 portrait studies using the 16 color MSX palette. Here's 16 portraits. Wait, here's a timelapse of 16 portraits. Hold on, geez, here's 500 portraits. No, wait, shit, here's over a thousand. Also, hey, an animated 8-bit kraken.
posted by cortex at 9:23 AM PST - 7 comments

Where on earth has your Member of Congress gone?

In the past three months, the newly energized American left has been taking the advice to contact their local members of Congress with great gusto. Between phone campaigns that tie up phone lines and fill up voicemails, postcard campaigns, and most recently several Republican members of Congress who are outright refusing to hold town hall or public meetings, many angry constituents are meeting with a slightly unexpected problem. Elected officials who bravely claim to the media that the angry callers are paid provocateurs appear to have decided that actually facing local crowds is too intimidating. Consequently, the Indivisible Guide (previously) has published a helpful guide on what to do if your members of Congress appear to have gone into hiding rather than meet with you.
posted by sciatrix at 8:37 AM PST - 90 comments

Big River

This past week, City Center Encores! mounted a production of the 1985 Broadway musical Big River, a musicalized version of Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which most recently enjoyed a revival in 2003, mounted by DeafWest . The New York Times review prompted Artistic Director Jack Viertel to pen this response. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:00 AM PST - 14 comments

Feel free to pet the lion! It is soft and fluffy

The Beginner's Guide to Chinese Lion Dance tumblr user irenydraws draws a quick primer to what the lion dance is all about. And if you'd like to see one in action, here's the winning troupe of the 2016 Genting World Lion Dance Championship, the Kun Sek Keng Lion and Dragon Dance Association. They were also the stars of this video about the artform. Perhaps it's not a surprise to see Malaysians dominate the competition circuit, they did invent the acrobatic pole dancing (#5) that is now practically synonymous with the art. [Previously] [more inside]
posted by cendawanita at 6:56 AM PST - 13 comments

February 12


Cats seeking human interaction? A dog whining about not getting a bath? [h/t Miss Cellania]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:14 PM PST - 18 comments

That is a dam big (spillway) hole

The Oroville Dam is the tallest in the United States, located about 1 hour north of Sacramento, California. With recent rains, the reservoir behind the dam is full. California Department of Water Resources (DWR) opened the spillway, which releases water from the dam, but a crater formed in it so DWR opened the emergency spillway (for the first time ever) in an attempt to take the pressure off the main spillway. But now the emergency spillway is eroding at an alarming rate, and the risk of it failing is high. Evacuations of more than 160,000 people have been ordered. [more inside]
posted by OrangeDisk at 8:39 PM PST - 157 comments

He got his boogie down.

Singer Al Jarreau has died at 76. CNN has this remembrance. Time magazine once called him "the greatest living Jazz singer." [more inside]
posted by 4ster at 6:59 PM PST - 43 comments

It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.

The Web Field Manual is a curated list of resources focused on documenting only the best knowledge for designing experiences and interfaces on the web. It is an ever-expanding collection of knowledge and inspiration for web designers, by web designers.
posted by unliteral at 6:00 PM PST - 48 comments

It feels good inside to know that you can make your mouth do that

Bag your face!! Who is 1982's ultimate Valley Girl?! Join us at the Valley Girl contest live at the Galleria in Encino to find out! Ohmygod!!!
posted by timshel at 3:55 PM PST - 24 comments

The Fire Walk With Me side of the Twin Peaks Universe

TWIN PEAKS Isn’t As Funny As You Remember: "The series is sold as something strange, whether it’s being explained by a friend or summarized in a '90s retrospective. And it is. It’s one of the strangest things you’ll ever watch. But just like Twin Peaks plays with the cliches of soap operas to tell a far more nuanced narrative, it also immerses itself in the bizarre to create a dreamlike world of darkness and light, with both forces warped around the struggle for a lonely teenager’s life." [Content Warning: Some description of sexual violence, and major spoilers for Twin Peaks in the FPP article and below the jump.] [more inside]
posted by codacorolla at 3:23 PM PST - 63 comments

Nesting Bald Eagles Return in PA

A pair of bald eagles has returned to the nest established three years ago near Codorus State Park, Hanover, York County. [more inside]
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 1:28 PM PST - 17 comments

"I don't want your pity"

Asperger's Are Us is a Massachusetts sketch comedy group featured in the eponymous documentary currently on Netflix. All four members are autistic and while the documentary explores how autism affects them creatively and personally, its mainly about funny guys making funny stuff. Their website -- where a mention of The Big Bang Theory links to the Wikipedia article for Minstrel Show -- features the first episode of their ten second podcast with guest Mark Proksch a.k.a. K-Strass (previously), their favorite comedian. Their guest appearance on DJ Douggpound's Poundcast showcases their love of puns, "scripting", victim-less humor, and their intriguing chemistry. You can also watch some of their older sketch performances on Youtube: I'm Pregnant and Foster Parents.
posted by Hume at 12:50 PM PST - 10 comments

The origin and linguistics of "shitgibbon"

Ben Zimmer's The Rise of the Shitgibbon, and a followup piece discussing that linguists care about shitgibbons too, by Taylor Jones.
posted by bile and syntax at 10:31 AM PST - 51 comments

Angry birds. And dogs. And cats. And frogs. And fish. And more cats.

128+ Of The Angriest Animals Ever That You Wouldn’t Want To Meet In Your Way
posted by Room 641-A at 10:23 AM PST - 10 comments

For-Profit Law School Faces Crisis After Losing Federal Loans

Charlotte School of Law Loses ABA Accreditation, Students Lose Access to Federal Student Loans According to A.B.A. data, only 26.3 percent of recent Charlotte Law graduates had full-time jobs that required passage of the state bar and another 10 percent were in jobs where a law degree was preferred. [more inside]
posted by A. Davey at 9:20 AM PST - 61 comments

An incalculable pleasure

Calc-Man is a MSDOS-era Pac-Man clone that looks like a spreadsheet, written by Dan Tobias. You can play the DOS version here, or if that's too fancy for you, the older Apple II release.
posted by cortex at 9:16 AM PST - 12 comments

Problems at a Food Science Laboratory

Brian Wansink has been mentioned previously on the blue. In a post on his own blog, he described the genesis of a series of four articles on pizza consumption in terms that sound very much like p-hacking. This has led to some problems.
posted by Pararrayos at 5:57 AM PST - 36 comments

Far more than a simple translation

ON DRACULA’S LOST ICELANDIC SISTER TEXT "Certainly the most surprising and intriguing Dracula-related discovery of this still-young century is the unearthing of the novel’s Icelandic sister. Its title, Makt Myrkranna (Powers of Darkness), has been known to Dracula experts since 1986, when literary researcher Richard Dalby reported on the 1901 Icelandic edition and on its preface, apparently written specifically for it by Stoker himself. "
posted by aldurtregi at 5:47 AM PST - 26 comments

February 11

Hopper College!

Yale University is renaming Calhoun College after Grace Murray Hopper, mathematician, computer scientist, rear admiral of the US Navy, renowned teacher, developer of COBOL and the first working code compiler, and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. [more inside]
posted by miles per flower at 6:41 PM PST - 61 comments

Fighting Gerrymandering with Mathematics

A 5-day summer school will be offered at Tufts University from August 7-11, 2017, with the principal purpose of training mathematicians to be expert witnesses for court cases on redistricting and gerrymandering. How gerrymandered is your congressional district, anyway? You can use geometry as a proxy: compare the perimeter of your district to the perimeter of a circle with the same area. The Washington Post suggests what non-gerrymandered districts might look like. Previouslies, especially compactness
posted by leahwrenn at 1:31 PM PST - 71 comments

Measurement error and the replication crisis

Why traditional statistics are often “counterproductive to research in the human sciences” A Retraction Watch interview with Andrew Gelman. [more inside]
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 12:17 PM PST - 7 comments

Dammit, I gotta pee!

Broadway’s Bathroom Problem: Have to Go? Hurry Up, or Hold It
posted by strelitzia at 10:28 AM PST - 50 comments

Insight into how the Victorians visualised the Shakespeare world

Featuring over 3000 illustrations from four Victorian-era editions of the Complete Works of William Shakespeare, the Victorian Illustrated Shakespeare Archive allows you to browse images not only by specific plays or characters, but also by motif (like dogs). "By being able to visualize Shakespeare's plays in this way," says creator Michael John Goodman, "we can appreciate how the plays are like a hall of mirrors — they reflect certain ideas back to each other."
posted by mixedmetaphors at 9:45 AM PST - 3 comments

Tears In The Rain

Tears In The Rain is an 11 minute short film set in the Blade Runner universe, a fan-made prequel of sorts. The Creators Project has an article about it, if you like to read those sorts of things.
posted by hippybear at 8:46 AM PST - 18 comments

Enjoy dessert.

What Can I Do? A Guide to Doing, Not Despairing A charming and helpful comic [via mefi projects].
posted by ignignokt at 6:58 AM PST - 13 comments

The AI threat isn't Skynet, it's the death of the middle class

“I am less concerned with Terminator scenarios,” MIT economist Andrew McAfee said on the first day at Asilomar. “If current trends continue, people are going to rise up well before the machines do.” McAfee pointed to newly collected data that shows a sharp decline in middle class job creation since the 1980s. Now, most new jobs are either at the very low end of the pay scale or the very high end. He also argued that these trends are reversible, that improved education and a greater emphasis on entrepreneurship and research can help feed new engines of growth, that economies have overcome the rise of new technologies before. But after his talk, in the hallways at Asilomar, so many of the researchers warned him that the coming revolution in AI would eliminate far more jobs far more quickly than he expected. [Wired]
posted by forza at 3:39 AM PST - 130 comments


A City Is Not a Computer This seems an obvious truth, but we need to say it loud and clear. Urban intelligence is more than information processing
posted by infini at 3:24 AM PST - 12 comments

February 10

Talia is right here and says 'awful, I can’t breathe'

Quantity of Care Pt 1: A Lost Voice (Seattle Times investigative report) Talia Goldenberg emerged from the fog of anesthesia. The 23-year-old wiggled her toes. She wagged her feet. Good signs for a patient coming out of spinal surgery.
But as the anesthesia faded in Talia’s system, she realized that not everything was perfect, despite the confident assurances of her surgical team. [more inside]
posted by CrystalDave at 10:14 PM PST - 39 comments

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.

Worst Kitchen Fails (SLS&U)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:07 PM PST - 39 comments

“can you hear my heart beat / tired of feeling never enough”

Skaters Are Recreating Stunning Yuri On Ice Routines In Real-Life [Kotaku] This isn’t a post about people dressed as Yuri on Ice [wiki] characters. It’s about people who can skate recreating some of the anime’s most famous routines. [Previously.] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 8:42 PM PST - 11 comments

Repeat to yourself, "It's just a show, I should really just relax."

Could the MST3K Logo Fit on the Moon?
posted by Chrysostom at 6:29 PM PST - 13 comments


A woman who lives near Chennai, India, recently woke up with a severe headache and labored breathing. She went to the hospital, and they performed an endoscopy to determine the cause: A cockroach had entered her nasal cavity and burrowed into her skull.
posted by 1367 at 4:00 PM PST - 79 comments

This post needs no title.

A logician approaches two men, knowing that one always tells the truth, and one always lies. She does not know which is which.
She asks the man on the left "Would your fellow tell me that Raymond Smullyan has died?"
The man replies "no."
The logician weeps.
Raymond Smullyan (1919–2017) [more inside]
posted by Shmuel510 at 3:36 PM PST - 56 comments

Manny The Selfie Cat

This Savvy Cat Is Extremely Good At Taking Selfies. Of course, he isn't actually taking pictures of himself. According to his human, he's just fascinated with GoPro cameras. Thanks to his good looks and technological finesse, Manny has earned over 47,000 followers on Instagram.
posted by gudrun at 3:27 PM PST - 9 comments

Do You Hear the People Sing?

As artists, we can no more claim to be above politics then claim we are avoiding air. Politics is killing us. It’s the fish denying the existence of water. How to get people on our side with an idea of a compassionate social order? How do we get people riled up for justice and equality? How do we, as artists and designers and writers, go about spreading our message? Learning How To Scream Again: Promoting Leftism for Artists and Writers [via mefi projects]
posted by Artw at 1:36 PM PST - 23 comments

"And he basically frolicked, for want of a better word"

The thrown baguette, customised bus, and fateful Avicii concert that led to social start-up Fling losing $21 million in under three years. [more inside]
posted by Gin and Broadband at 1:21 PM PST - 36 comments

If it wasn't on the last funny list it's probably on this one.

Vulture: 100 More Jokes That Shaped Modern Comedy: A second look at bits, sketches, one-liners, and even modern art that have influenced American humor for the past 170 years.

On this list you’ll still find traditional setup–punch-line zingers and acts of physical comedy, but we no longer demanded that a joke be performed. This time we considered passages from novels, cartoon images, and even pieces of art. (previously)
posted by Room 641-A at 1:06 PM PST - 16 comments

Black lives matter, Theo L's life matters

Protests spreading across Paris to protest brutal police beating and rape of young, innocent black man [TW: Description of police attack on man]. Now on the sixth night of protest, a group of 150 has been teargassed in the area where Theo L was arrested, beaten, and raped after an ID check. An update from this evening is here (in French). [more inside]
posted by stillmoving at 12:40 PM PST - 16 comments

Sadly, Reiner already made the "up to 11" joke

The surviving members of legendary rock group Spin̈al Tap (Nigel Tufnel, David St. Hubbins, and Derek Smalls) have teamed with filmmaker Marty DiBergi to sue Vivendi for $400 million. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 10:47 AM PST - 45 comments

"Maybe it is the news we deserve, but is it the news we need?

Alexandra Petri at The Washington Post: "Leave Mr. Darcy Alone"
posted by Going To Maine at 10:41 AM PST - 19 comments

“Bust 'em or dust 'em, noble mon"

James Lee Burke has written about one book a year since 1986, for a current total of 37 including short-story collections. Twenty of these novels feature his Dave Robicheaux character, who has in turn inspired a literary festival in New Iberia, Louisiana, slated to happen again this year. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:32 AM PST - 14 comments

Solved Mysteries

An unidentified man who was found wandering along a Brazilian highway near Manaus has been identified. He is Anton Pilipa, a Canadian who went missing from his home in Scarborough, Ontario in 2012 and apparently walked and hitchhiked the approximately six thousand miles over the course of 5 years. His family has taken him back home to Toronto, where he is apparently doing well and recovering from the ordeal.
posted by Copronymus at 9:31 AM PST - 22 comments

"What happened to her is not fiction"

The BBC aired a new drama this week about the disappearance of Shannon Matthews in 2008. The drama has been criticised for fictionalising a real child's life. [more inside]
posted by threetwentytwo at 9:14 AM PST - 6 comments

More Carla Bley Live!

It's been a few years since we last had a Carla Bley post, so why not warm up your wintery days with some fiery, insightful, and fun live performances posted since then? Begin with The Steve Swallow Quintet during their European tour of 2013, with Heineken Jazzaldia (Part 2) [~1h total] and Jazz A Junes [1h10m]. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 8:37 AM PST - 7 comments

If those with talent, too,/ must die/ surely they make/ a better manure?

My parents didn’t give me a name; they simply never got around to choosing one. On April 7, I nearly died after choking—and they saddled me with that date as a moniker, a sort of inescapable memento mori. Parting Shot - “Famous last words” and Japanese death poems (Angela Chen, the Paris Review). [via]
posted by Think_Long at 7:12 AM PST - 4 comments

The Devil Went Down To Georgia (Washing Machine Cover)

The Devil Went Down To Georgia (Washing Machine Cover) (SLYT)
posted by bondcliff at 6:59 AM PST - 39 comments

You Patriotic Junkies

Depeche Mode ask the musical question: Where's the Revolution? It is the band's 56th single; they have been releasing records now for 36 years. Video directed by longtime collaborator Anton Corbijn.
posted by the bricabrac man at 2:50 AM PST - 40 comments

February 9

Thaipusam Valthukal!

The Men Who Carry Thaipusam In honour of the religious festival of Thaipusam (which was yesterday in this part of the world), Malaysia's The Star prepared a multimedia piece on a little-known aspect of the festival, the kavadi porters. What is Thaipusam? A quick primer. And an interesting list for those who already have some familiarity: Do you know what this day is all about? [previously]
posted by cendawanita at 11:40 PM PST - 5 comments

Uganda Cowries Stamps

"In 1895 Ernest Millar, a young Cambridge graduate, sat in a hut in the depths of the bush in Uganda, making stamps on his typewriter. Uganda had just become a British Protectorate and George Wilson, the first government official posted there, decided that this called for an issue of stamps and a postal service to use them. The Church Missionary Society was the only organisation with a network across the country, and Millar was the only missionary with a typewriter. So it fell to him to design, and make, the first stamps."
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:20 PM PST - 14 comments

"Stupid" being the operative word here

21 Wonderfully Stupid Life Hacks
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:31 PM PST - 82 comments

Retro-future electro-hip-hop-alien-abduction-funk from Barclay Crenshaw

If you're into house music, you might know the name Claude VonStroke for his "punchy percussive basslines that sound like a giant rubber ball being dropped on the roof of the club." He has toured extensively, released numerous mixes and three albums under that moniker. But he has shifted gears, musically speaking, and recently released a self-titled debut album as under his birth name, Barclay Crenshaw. And he gets weird, exploring themes of alien abductions and inquiries of time and space, set to electronic with hip hop reminiscent of the 1990s. His music videos and album art / liner notes (PDF) point to hidden messages about extra terrestrial artifacts, discovered in 1884, which indicated alien abductions. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 7:37 PM PST - 7 comments

Food of the Enslaved

Michael Twitty (previously) and Jas. Townsend and Son present Food of the Enslaved, a series that focuses on historic foods of the enslaved African community of North America. The first two episodes are available online, covering the histories and preparation of barbecue and okra soup. [more inside]
posted by sp160n at 6:49 PM PST - 7 comments

Green thumbs up!

How To Buy Plants And Keep Them Alive. "Plants are great. You’re going to want to own a plant and keep it in your apartment. Why? They can clean the air, increase productivity and most importantly, they will cheer you up. Honestly, when has a plant ever made you feel grumpy? Yeah, exactly.​ But even though they’ll never run away, cry or make a mess — plants are still a handful. It’s not always clear which ones to buy, where to put them or even how to keep them alive. Thankfully, within the last 10,000 years or so, humans figured out how to care for plants. And Christopher Satch, the in-house plant specialist at The Sill, is here to pass along that knowledge to you. "
posted by storybored at 6:20 PM PST - 39 comments

“...American history wells up when Aretha sings.”

Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin Announces Her Retirement [The Guardian] ““I must tell you, I’m retiring this year,” the 74-year-old told the Detroit TV station WDIV Local 4, saying she wanted to spend more time with her grandchildren before they left to go to college. First, though, she will record an album part-produced by Stevie Wonder to be released in September, about which Franklin said she felt “exuberant”. Stepping back from performances was bittersweet, she said. “This is what I’ve done all of my life.” But she added: “I feel very, very enriched and satisfied with respect to where my career came from and where it is now.””
posted by Fizz at 2:45 PM PST - 21 comments

Back. Better. Still hates Mondays.

Lasagna Cat (more up to date YouTube channel) was a bizarre homage to the syndicated comic strip Garfield, produced by the digital content house FatalFarm (previously). After a decade in hiatus, Lasagna Cat is back! Content Warning: Some comic gore and disturbing imagery throughout, slightly NSFW. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla at 1:42 PM PST - 25 comments

How to stop an autocracy

The danger isn’t that Trump will build an autocracy. It’s that congressional Republicans will let him. "If Congress, tomorrow, wanted to compel Trump to release his tax returns, they could. If Congress, tomorrow, wanted to impeach Trump unless he agreed to turn his assets over to a blind trust, they could. If Congress, tomorrow, wanted to take Trump’s power to choose who can and cannot enter the country, they could." The problem is that the different branches of government, instead of balancing things out by being important checks on each other's power, have instead become simply different manifestations of one of two major parties. Our granfalloons are out of alignment. [more inside]
posted by Sleeper at 1:37 PM PST - 62 comments

Society of Automotive Engineers of Japan, Inc.

The members of the Automotive Legacy and Collections Board studied a total of 2234 episodes in the history of Japanese automotive technology...
We are honoured to present the results here:
the 240 Landmarks of Japanese Automotive Technology
posted by timshel at 1:34 PM PST - 8 comments

The defense of liberty can't do without identity politics

After ably re-butting claims that a backlash against political correctness was responsible for Trump's election political scientist Jacob Levy offers a broader celebration of what’s sometimes (and usually derisively) called “identity politics. [more inside]
posted by layceepee at 12:29 PM PST - 51 comments

Demoralizing and disheartening times.

Almost three weeks into his presidency, President Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch, has allegedly been telling senators that comments that attack judges are "demoralizing" and "disheartening." This morning, the president "[told] airline CEOs they—& govt.—are using “obsolete” equipment “the airports give you.” Trump says his pilot, “a smart guy,” told him." This evening, the Senate will vote on Trump's nomination for HHS Secretary, Tom Price. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:27 AM PST - 2878 comments

Party on Wayne, party on Garth

Did You Know There Was a “Wayne’s World” Board Game? Did you know said Wayne’s World game had a videocassette that was used for game play?
posted by Artw at 11:11 AM PST - 20 comments

Serial Killers Should Fear This Algorithm

Building software to find killers Data analyst Thomas Hargrove believes each major city has a "few" serial killers.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 11:01 AM PST - 27 comments

“The key is, you have to love them like your own."

'I know they are going to die.' This foster father takes in only terminally ill children
posted by cwest at 9:23 AM PST - 22 comments

Mushrooms. Racism. Murder

When it comes to poisoning, there is one mushroom that kills more than any other. Amanita phalloides, more widely known as the death cap, is said to taste delicious. Its symptoms often don't surface until a day after it is eaten, initially seeming like a mild stomach illness, even as the death cap quietly destroys the diner's liver. Some years, the mushroom might kill a few elderly foragers in France, and a few more in the U.S. and Italy. But in reality, the vast majority of people killed because of mushrooms die before they ever get a chance to empty their basket and eat DEATH IN THE FOREST by Jousha Hunt: the story of Oregeon's mushroom hunting boom and the crime that followed.
posted by The Whelk at 7:40 AM PST - 39 comments

Every Jason Statham Punch. Ever [Up to and including Furious 7] SLYT 4m

Every jason Statham Punch. Ever [Up to and including Furious 7], for 4min 26 seconds Pretty much 4 minutes straight of Messieur Statham enthusiastically punching people * [more inside]
posted by Faintdreams at 6:25 AM PST - 23 comments

February 8

Whoever said you can't buy happiness forgot little puppies.

sadanduseless.com cast its digital net and caught a bunch of Dads Who Didn’t Want The Damn Dogs In Their Lives.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:24 PM PST - 72 comments

It is the little gray cells, mon ami!

A few moments of appreciation for Agatha Christie's finest creation, fastidious Belgian Hercule Poirot -- and David Suchet, the man who most memorably brought him to life across 70 episodes and 13 series, all streaming on Netflix. Poirot was the first fictional character to have an obituary in the New York Times; he rated the front page.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:21 PM PST - 61 comments

Shark jumps shark in this Smash Mouth-Santana monstrosity

The A.V. Club says it better than I could: Here is the song “All Star” by Smash Mouth, but it is sung to the tune of “Walking On The Sun,” also by Smash Mouth. It’s sort of hard to tell where one ends and the next begins, a quality exacerbated by the fact that it is set to the video for Santana’s “Smooth,” because why not. There’s an uneasy body horror element to the whole thing, an unnatural embodiment being forced to perform against its will—as if there is a mind trapped somewhere deep within this monstrosity begging only to die.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:53 PM PST - 83 comments

Sleeping Rough Just Got A Little Less Rough In Manchester, UK

‘Anti-homeless’ spikes removed in Manchester, UK after locals kept covering them with cushions
posted by Michele in California at 5:52 PM PST - 43 comments

The Invisible Workload That Drags Women Down

Like much of the feminized work done more often by women than men, thinking, worrying, paying attention, and delegating is work that is largely invisible (warning: autoplay video), gets almost no recognition, and involves no pay or benefits. [more inside]
posted by Fish, fish, are you doing your duty? at 5:44 PM PST - 108 comments

O Rio de Janeiro e Cidade Linda

Nine young people were given iphones as cameras and sent back into their communidades more commonly known as Favelas.
See the communites of Alemão (frequently a war zone), Babelonia, Borel, Cantagalo, Mineira, Prazeres, Providencia (The first Favela), Rocinha (the largest), and Santa Marta through the eyes of youth who are from these neighbourhoods and have no photographic training, just unbounded enthusiasm.
posted by adamvasco at 4:08 PM PST - 4 comments

Cowbird to enter archive-only mode

"We know this news will feel sad to many of you, especially our regular authors." On March 1st digital storytelling site Cowbird will become a read-only archive. [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 2:55 PM PST - 5 comments

The 5th wall is the ceiling

Ever wondered what it'd be like to work at Dunder Mifflin, Pearson Hardman or the Department of Parks and Recreation of the city of Pawnee?

A few months back, our love for Sunday afternoons spent binge-watching led us to start a side project that we are proud to share with you today. As a team, we decided to use our 3D skills to recreate some of our favorite TV show work spaces, down to a lot of little details that will not go unnoticed by hardcore fans. After marathon-viewing these shows for weeks and more than 200 hours of work, here are the results...
Detailed 3D renderings of workplace floor plans from popular TV shows (from the Drawbotics blog)
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:16 PM PST - 16 comments

“From Nothing Comes A King”

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword [Trailer] [YouTube] “The young Arthur runs the back passages of Londinium with his crew, not knowing his royal lineage until he draws the sword Excalibur from the stone. Instantly confronted by the sword’s influence, Arthur is forced to decide where to become involved with his power. Throwing in with the Resistance and an enigmatic young woman named Guinevere, he must learn to master the sword, face down his demons and unite the people to defeat the tyrant Vortigern — who murdered his parents and stole his crown — and became king.”
posted by Fizz at 1:57 PM PST - 73 comments

Slight vibration on my way up... Measured as below average

Kone elevators communicate constantly with their analytics cloud to help the company keep tabs on their condition. They have a real-time page that translates this communication into human language, from elevators around the world. [warning: this page talks to you as it relays the conversation, but it is in a quiet and calm voice. There is a mute option.] The analytics cloud is run by IBM's Watson, "which uses natural language processing and machine learning to reveal insights from large amounts of unstructured data." (pdf, p. 20). IBM's Harriet Green: "Our systems reason and create hypotheses about what may be happening, and, crucially, they learn. That means, the more data these systems ingest, the better they get. . . . [T]hese technologies will help engineers to figure out in advance when a part in an elevator may need servicing or replacing, enabling predictive maintenance" (20).
posted by SpacemanStix at 12:40 PM PST - 42 comments

Cheaper than water for 25 years and counting

A 23-ounce can of AriZona Iced Tea is $0.99. It says it right there on the can. That is, in most gas stations and corner stores where you find such a can, cheaper than water. It's been sitting at that price point since its introduction in 1992. How the hell can you sell iced tea for less than water? [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 11:58 AM PST - 67 comments

Zambia is ahead of many nations with the new law

You don’t have to have children to take advantage of Mother’s Day in Zambia. The country now uses the term to refer to a law that allows women the day off when the symptoms of menstruation become too painful. In effect for a year, the law’s consequences are sparking debate about women in the workplace and how to create a gender-sensitive work environment.
posted by infini at 11:32 AM PST - 23 comments

A rare bear - the golden Brown Bear of the Gobi Desert

At a global glance, the awe-inspiring brown bear is the most widely distributed bear in the world. Of the eight bear species*, only the brown bear and American black bear are listed as of least concern. But some of the brown bear sub-species are critically endangered, including the rare Gobi bear (Ursus arctos gobiensis), one of the few larger animals to call the extreme desert its home, where they have adapted to be shaggier and smaller than their North American relatives in order to survive a far harsher climate (YouTube / National Geographic). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 10:35 AM PST - 12 comments

And you can issue commands using a half shell

"We finally have a computer that can survive the surface of Venus ... one of the most inhospitable places in the solar system. Descending through the clouds of boiling sulphuric rain is actually the easy bit—the hard bit is not being cremated by the surface temperature of 470°C (878°F) or crushed by the atmospheric pressure, which is about 90 times that of Earth, the same as swimming 900 metres under water. [more inside]
posted by Celsius1414 at 9:32 AM PST - 30 comments

W. E. B. Du Bois' Infographics from 1900

Over 50 infographics on African-American life created by a team led by W. E. B. Du Bois to show at the American Negro Exhibit for the 1900 Paris Exposition. Jacob Alonso at Seeing Complexity puts these century old infographics into design-historical context while Ellen Terrell puts them into the context of the Paris Exposition. [via Public Domain Review]
posted by Kattullus at 7:54 AM PST - 7 comments

Least Used Train Stations in the U.K.

Geoff Marshall (of Londonist) has a growing video playlist on the least used train stations in the U.K. It's turning into a quirky and entertaining exploration of some quiet corners of the network, including a surprise guest appearance! More info on Geoff's blog. [more inside]
posted by carter at 7:40 AM PST - 19 comments

Introducing Open Access at The Met

All 375,000 images of public-domain works in The Met collection are now available to use, share, and remix—without restriction.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:36 AM PST - 21 comments

Graphically Prufrock

The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock in comic form.
posted by Death and Gravity at 7:30 AM PST - 22 comments

Actually just a monkey with a Slap Chop

Whole Foods' latest Manhattan location, near Bryant Park, will feature a produce butcher. [more inside]
posted by uncleozzy at 6:33 AM PST - 106 comments

The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss

While regular dancing has jumps, twirls and spins, indoor skydiving allows flyers to make astonishing movements in the air. The winning performance (FB video) (YT video) in the freestyle category of the 2017 Wind Games was by Kyra Poh who is fourteen years old. She also won gold in the solo speed category (completing a set of moves in the fastest time), despite this being her first time competing against adults.
posted by Stark at 5:40 AM PST - 21 comments

Victorian Realities: Water Closets and Hooped skirts [6min 27sec SYTL]

Victorian realities - How did they use the toilet??! If you ever wondered "How did Victorian Era women use the facilities with all those extravagant undergarments?", then this is the video for you. Note: No nudity. SFW simulated toilet use, with a chair as a prop. [more inside]
posted by Faintdreams at 4:32 AM PST - 39 comments

The universe Richard Dawkins imagines couldn't exist for five seconds

Robert Newman has won an award for his late 2015 radio show and book, Robert Newman's Entirely Accurate Encyclopaedia of Evolution which tackles several issues regarding evolution, particularly neo-Darwinism. He isn't much of a fan of Dawkins. [more inside]
posted by 1head2arms2legs at 4:04 AM PST - 32 comments

"Colette, whose work is a window wide open on life"

Colette (in full Sidone-Gabrielle Colette 1873–1954) was a popular and critically-acclaimed French novelist whose works included: a homoerotic Girls’ School coming-of-age story (for which her unscrupulous first husband initially claimed sole credit); an account of life as a music-hall performer (drawn from first-hand experience); a recounting of a middle-aged courtesan’s affair with a much younger man (which echoed her own scandalous relationship with her stepson); and the tale of a fifteen-year-old girl being groomed for a life of sex-work by her elderly relatives (later adapted into a Broadway play and a Hollywood musical). Please note that some links will be mildly NSFW. [more inside]
posted by misteraitch at 3:14 AM PST - 12 comments

February 7

The School Kids Who Built Us A Race Bike.

The Design & Tech students of Adam's Grammar School in Shropshire, UK built a race bike from scratch and then watched as it was raced in a criterion.
posted by shimmerbug at 9:42 PM PST - 8 comments

You've Made Me So Very Happy

David Axelrod, A&R and producer for Capitol Records, arranger and composer, has finished his walk on the edge, passing at the age of 83. Pitchfork has a fantastic article about the Axe. [more inside]
posted by ashbury at 9:08 PM PST - 16 comments

World's Foremost Authority dies at 102

We'll all miss you, Professor Irwin Corey (1914-2017). • Why do you wear tennis shoes? (1966, on the Smothers Brothers Show) • At the Cutting Room, 2008At Lord Buckley's Birthday Bash, 2007Being interviewed by Christopher Lydon, from WGBH's 10 O'Clock News, sometime in the 1980'sAccepting the 1974 National Book Award on behalf of Richard Python for Gravity's Rainbow; transcript provided by irwincorey.org [more inside]
posted by not_on_display at 8:54 PM PST - 23 comments


Richard Hatch, best known as Captain Lee Adama (Call sign Apollo) in the original version of Battlestar Galactica and Tom Zarek in the remake of Battlestar Galactica has died at the age of 71.
posted by Rob Rockets at 6:25 PM PST - 48 comments

I’ve never seen so much publicity. It was madness.

I Helped Create the Milo Trolling Playbook. You Should Stop Playing Right Into It. In which Ryan Holiday [former director of marketing for American Apparel] writes for The Observer about creating desire and popularity by courting dissent and scandal, how effective it is, and how possibly to combat it with defined strategies.
posted by hippybear at 6:06 PM PST - 270 comments

Don't Panic

Hans Rosling (prev), Swedish statistician, medical doctor, media presenter, and co-founder of the Gapminder Foundation, has died of pancreatic cancer. [more inside]
posted by 2N2222 at 5:58 PM PST - 27 comments

"…cats do not need moral instruction."

What cats can teach us about how to liveOne of the most attractive features of cats is that contentment is their default state. Unlike human beings – particularly of the modern variety – they do not spend their days in laborious pursuit of a fantasy of happiness. They are comfortable with themselves and their lives, and remain in that condition for as long as they are not threatened. When they are not eating or sleeping, they pass the time exploring and playing, never asking for reasons to live. Life itself is enough for them.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 4:22 PM PST - 51 comments

Dialing Up the Pressure

Congress’ Phone System Is Broken—But It’s Still Your Best Shot.
posted by storybored at 4:21 PM PST - 23 comments

We are Condemned to be Free

Shows like Rick and Morty and Bojack Horseman are explicitly existential in their philosophy and others such as Black Mirror and Westworld dip their toes in the water. Is it fair to say that society itself might be going through a kind of existential crisis? [more inside]
posted by Glibpaxman at 2:57 PM PST - 60 comments

get a thousand miles lower

Ever wondered how 50 Cent's In Da Club would sound with Yellowcard's Ocean Avenue? How about Nelly's Country Grammar and Fall Out Boy's Sugar We're Going Down? Wonder no more! The Magic iPod is here for all your Get Low/A Thousand Miles needs.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 1:56 PM PST - 15 comments

Now that's what I call a gooooood dog.

Ziggy Trixx gets ready for a walk: with captions or without captions.
posted by amnesia and magnets at 12:56 PM PST - 15 comments

Doesn't this make you the real Nazi?

"Has violent resistance ever solved anything?" it asks, along with a Yes or No option. The Nazi, by the way, is still pumping bullets into me. Thinking of the American Revolution and the French Revolution, I hesitantly click "yes." I fire off another shot at the Nazi, but then there was another popup:
"Wait, wait, isn't it important to protect their free speech as well?" -- introducing the modern nazi fighting game: Wolfenstei Dialogue 3D.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:52 PM PST - 40 comments

Two-armed Bandits

...the operatives use their phones to record about two dozen spins on a [slot machine] they aim to cheat. They upload that footage to a technical staff in St. Petersburg, who analyze the video and calculate the machine’s pattern based on what they know about the model’s pseudorandom number generator. Finally, the St. Petersburg team transmits a list of timing markers to a custom app on the operative’s phone; those markers cause the handset to vibrate roughly 0.25 seconds before the operative should press the spin button.
Russians Engineer a Brilliant Slot Machine Cheat—And Casinos Have No Fix
posted by griphus at 12:47 PM PST - 52 comments

1. g4 d5 2. f3 e5 3. d3 Qh4 4. Kd2 h5 5. h3 hxg4 (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

Current Women's World Chess Champion Hou Yifan (侯逸凡) resigned after five (horrible) moves in the tenth and final round of the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival, in a protest against being paired against seven women in the previous nine rounds of the open (not segregated into male and female players) tournament. Organizers "firmly reject the suggestion of any 'fixing' of pairings". [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 9:10 AM PST - 90 comments

Building Type: The airport as public square and protest central

"I can’t say I’ve ever covered a scene quite like the one that played out last weekend at LAX and other airports across the country. ... If the rush to enact the order and the outraged response from protesters seemed similar in their freneticism, which may well be the default tone of this administration, what was new about the airport demonstrations was the way they used urban space — specifically, how they used what we think of as airports’ architectural deficiencies and turned them to their political advantage."
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:29 AM PST - 43 comments

boxer crabs

This Crab Clones Its Allies by Ripping Them in Half "It wields sea anemones like boxing gloves; if it loses one, it makes another by bisecting the remaining one."
posted by dhruva at 7:10 AM PST - 34 comments

February 6

UBI in India

India's demonetisation pathway to universal basic income (alt) - "Well over 1bn Indians now have biometric identification cards, known as Aadhaar. The system can handle money, usually by diverting incoming payments to a bank account linked to an Aadhar number. A blast of cash to all citizens enrolled in the scheme would be a feasible way to distribute the money." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 10:21 PM PST - 41 comments

From the personal to the political

Back in the early '70s a bunch of Melbourne students got together ... and the rest is history, as outlined in Out of the Closets, Into the Streets. This short [12.22m] documentary by Wind & Sky productions for Culture Victoria explores the moment in the early 1970s when Melbourne’s gay and lesbian people found their voice through the Gay Liberation Movement. [more inside]
posted by valetta at 10:08 PM PST - 2 comments

“Weakness and ignorance are not barriers to survival, but arrogance is.”

A Brief Introduction to Chinese Science Fiction by Regina Kanyu Wang [Mithila Review] “Chinese science fiction has remained largely mysterious to the outside world until recently. In 2015, Liu Cixin (刘慈欣) [wiki] won the first Hugo Award for Asia with his novel The Three-Body Problem (《三体》) and in August 2016, Hao Jingfang (郝景芳) [wiki] won the second with her novelette Folding Beijing (《北京折叠》) — both translated by Ken Liu [wiki], a Hugo-winning Chinese-American author. Ken Liu’s multiple award-winning short story, “The Paper Menagerie,” [io9] (2012) explores the conflict between the narrator’s Chinese and American cultural identities. Now, as more and more Chinese science fiction is translated into English and other languages, it is the perfect time to explore its history.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 9:50 PM PST - 60 comments

"It always seems bad at first, but then I find a way" ... Samurai Jack

"50 years have passed but I do not age. Time has lost its effect on me, yet the suffering continues." It may feel like that long, but Samurai Jack will return for a fifth and final season, airing first on March 11, 2017, 12 years, 5 months and 14 days since Season 4 ended, leaving fans wondering how it all would end. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 7:50 PM PST - 18 comments

We need a capybara for president

Mashable explains What is a Capybara and Why is it So Chill?. Here's a capybara playing with puppies. Here's Cheesecake the capybara fostering puppies. Here's a capybara playing with a couple of collies. (Capybaras previously). [Mashable and Cheesecake have narration and music; other two are ambient squee]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:53 PM PST - 45 comments

Feline Force Protects a NATO Headquarters

The Feline Force Protection Program at NATO's Resolute Support headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan vaccinates, spays, and neuters cats that are used to keep other unvaccinated cats from the base. Unfortunately, "[t]he increasing domesticity of the cats, and a number of recent cat bites has resulted in calls for the program to be scrapped."
posted by Rob Rockets at 3:37 PM PST - 9 comments

Restart a heart near you

If someone had a heart attack right next to you, could you get to your nearest automated external defibrillator, grab it, and use it within 3-5 minutes of their collapse? More and more, the answer is yes, because of Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) programs (that statement is from 1995; 2015 update to AHA guidelines). [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 12:53 PM PST - 14 comments

a feeling of wanting to punch people when I heard them eating

Researchers have discovered a biological basis for misophonia (previously): "Brain imaging revealed that people with the condition have an abnormality in the emotional control mechanism which causes their brains to go into overdrive on hearing trigger sounds." [more inside]
posted by amnesia and magnets at 12:48 PM PST - 79 comments

doonaldjtrump dot com

doonaldjtrump.com is an endless time capsule of the unnerving present. Created by avant garde animated gif artist Zach Scott, of ConferenceCall.biz fame (previously)
posted by silby at 10:25 AM PST - 26 comments

When I hear "the art of the possible" I reach for my revolver

Why Republicans Are Impressive: "Republicans don’t look at polls and think 'we need to moderate our platform because Americans don’t support starving the poor to death, and we’ll get negative media coverage'; they work hard over the course of many years to shape public opinion until it says what they say. They know that if a major US political party puts out a consistent and coherent message for long enough, the polls will change and the media coverage will change." [more inside]
posted by mondo dentro at 9:37 AM PST - 102 comments

I thought these were jeans!

I Work From Home by Colin Nissan [The New Yorker]
posted by Mchelly at 6:53 AM PST - 110 comments

NSFW \__

You could kick off your Monday with the music video for Brendan MacLean's House of Air, but not if you're already at work. [more inside]
posted by postcommunism at 6:05 AM PST - 26 comments

February 5

"Fairness is the unspoken promise of most video games. "

How Designers Engineer Luck Into Video Games
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:14 PM PST - 93 comments

An interesting week of protests in Romania

In January, Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu's government announced emergency decrees to commute sentences for certain non-violent criminals, including many public officials convicted on corruption charges. It was set to take effect 10 February. Protests in the streets started soon thereafter, and continued until hundreds of thousands had been protesting in Bucharest and other cities for five consecutive days last week. [more inside]
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:30 PM PST - 28 comments

me at a party

White Noise Sounds of Frozen Arctic Ocean with Polar Icebreaker Idling - Creating Delta Waves [slyt]
10 hours video of Arctic ambience with frozen ocean, ice craking, snow falling, icebreaker idling and distand howling wind sound. Natural white noise sounds generated by the wind and snow falling, combined with deep low frequencies with delta waves from the powerful icebreaker idling engines, recorded at 96 kHz - 24 bit and designed for relaxation, meditation, study and sleep.
The video, of the unmoving icebreaker puffing smoke as snowflakes whip around it, is also charming.
posted by grobstein at 6:47 PM PST - 28 comments

HAL: Apple’s Other Super Bowl Commercial

In 1999, while the world was gripped in fear of the Y2K bug, Apple's advertising firm TBWA/Chiat/Day had an inspiration for the perfect representative to reassure everyone their Macintosh computers would be fine: HAL 9000. With Stanley Kubrick's blessing, Apple aired their third Super Bowl commercial, "It Was a Bug, Dave", 15 years after their most famous one.
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:44 PM PST - 13 comments


Sin City

This old town's filled with sin
It'll swallow you in
If you've got some money to burn
Take it home right away
You've got three years to pay
But Satan is waiting his turn [more inside]
posted by OverlappingElvis at 4:57 PM PST - 15 comments

Happy Waitangi Day

On February 6th, 1840, New Zealand's founding document was signed. The Treaty of Waitangi was a contract between the British government and the chiefs of the iwi (tribes) of New Zealand (although many didn't sign). It has a complicated history. [more inside]
posted by reshet at 4:29 PM PST - 13 comments

Why Is Poop Brown And Pee Yellow?

The folks at MinuteEarth are more than happy to tell you. [chipper narration, non-intrusive music] [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:51 PM PST - 16 comments

The Book of The Homeless

From the title page:
The Book of the Homeless
( Le Livre des Sans-Foter )
Edited by Edith Wharton
Original articles in verse and prose Illustrations reproduced from original paintings & drawings
The book is sold for the benefit of the American Hostels for Refugees (with the Foyer Franco-Belge) and of the Children of Flanders Rescue Committee. [more inside]
posted by Stanczyk at 1:27 PM PST - 3 comments

Putting My Foot Down

A while ago, I put up a fake book on Amazon. I took a photo of my foot, uploaded to Amazon, and in a matter of hours, had achieved “No1 Best Seller” status, complete with the orange banner and everything.
posted by eotvos at 11:48 AM PST - 72 comments

“almost always the highlight of my RSS feed”

Kev, the curator of long-time MeFi favourite aggregator of silliness Nothing To Do With Arbroath (previously) has passed away. [more inside]
posted by scruss at 11:03 AM PST - 19 comments

Law, Oppression, Focus, Compete, and Ruin

5 Ways Powerful People Trick You Into Hating Protesters. The "system" comes with a number of refined and subtle processes designed to make sure the complaints of the few get ignored by the many. First, all you have to do is ...
posted by blue_beetle at 10:23 AM PST - 40 comments

Do you hear that whistle down the line?

Collector's Weekly examines How Model Trains Transformed From Cutting-Edge to Quaint.
posted by Rob Rockets at 10:12 AM PST - 43 comments

You wonder what the thing is that’s gonna be the moment you’re proud of

"The blackout happened not long after halftime. There were 10 of us in the room. I was sitting in a swivel chair, holding a pulled pork slider. And it was, boom. I spun around and looked at the guys and said, 'We should probably do something.'" The definitive oral history of the Oreo "You can still dunk in the dark" Super Bowl tweet.
posted by How the runs scored at 6:07 AM PST - 44 comments

oh no

Webcomic Name is a webcomic by Alex Norris that prominently features a certain running joke. Despite its formal limits, it is often topical, spiritual, and/or experimental.
posted by HeroZero at 5:03 AM PST - 32 comments

The Trump roundup

"Yes, all this happened." NPR's good, brief summary of the events of each day of Trump's first two weeks in office. There's a flurry of news and discussion about the new president, and I appreciate efforts to streamline and make sense of it. So here's three. #2: On Reddit, there is a good overview of how critics would respond to the question, "What's so bad about Donald Trump?"--broken down by category. #3: The Summary section of Indivisible is the best overview I've seen of methods for concerned US citizens to become politically active in this new era. [more inside]
posted by Sleeper at 4:12 AM PST - 2953 comments

"Brother, I appreciate all the opportunities you have given me."

Jackie Chan reunites with his original stunt team In the January 20th episode of the variety show, The Negotiator, a segment that started with Jackie Chan introducing the newest members of his JC Stunt Team, took a heartwarming turn, when it turns out the original team has been standing behind him all along. Singapore's The Strait Times has a summary.
posted by cendawanita at 3:49 AM PST - 14 comments

February 4

Protip: search for “kaninhop”

Rabbit jumping as a sport started in Sweden in the late 1970’s In 1993 we started here in Denmark on a small scale. Previously, Previouslier
Newsish videos: 2011 Dortmund Lokalzeit story, 2011 VJii Productions AG story, 2011 Uzoo story, 2012 VICE story, 2014 ODN story, 2016 shz.de story, kaninhop.de explanatory video
Some videoos of the Danish champions: 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
How To Get Started
posted by Going To Maine at 11:15 PM PST - 9 comments

Reading in the dark

In 1938, a New York Times reporter warned: “When and if fascism comes to America it will not be labelled ‘made in Germany’; it will not be marked with a swastika; it will not even be called fascism; it will be called, of course, ‘Americanism’.” An excellent reading list, that we should add to. And if all else fails, try not to be too non-catastrophist.
posted by a non e mouse at 7:08 PM PST - 18 comments

A goddamn feast of classical Chinese poetry

The Library of Chinese Humanities is a series of translations of classical Chinese literature. It was launched in 2015 with Stephen Owen's complete Poetry of Du Fu, an 8th Century poet who is central to Chinese literature. Last year saw the publication of Paul Rouzer's translations of The Poetry of Hanshan (Cold Mountain), Shide, and Fenggan, three Buddhist poet-monks. The translations are very readable, are accompanied by plenty of explanatory material, and the whole series is open access, with more volumes to follow. [Du Fu link via languagehat]
posted by Kattullus at 2:25 PM PST - 9 comments

Trump: Metafilter is now illegal

Trump is working hard on making everything illegal.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 2:12 PM PST - 46 comments

*rustle, chop, chop, sizzle*

Peaceful Cuisine is a soothing vegan cooking channel on YouTube, out of Japan. No dialogue or harsh noises—just the pleasant sounds of kitchen tasks, sometimes accompanied by music. Foods prepared include pad Thai, bubble tea, blueberry cake, and traditional Japanese foods like soba noodles and natto. Potentially ASMR inducing. [more inside]
posted by Gymnopedist at 12:06 PM PST - 30 comments

The origin story of Ingvar Kamprad from Elmtaryd, Agunnaryd, aka IKEA

Ingvar Feodor Kamprad was born on 30 March 1926, on a small farm called Elmtaryd near the village of Agunnaryd, in the Swedish province of Småland. Kamprad was selling matches when he was six, and at ten, he was selling Christmas decorations, fish and pencils in his neighborhood by bicycle. At 17, Kamprad’s father rewarded him with a small sum of money for doing well in school, despite being dyslexic. With this funding, Ingvar founded a business named IKEA, an abbreviation for Ingvar Kamprad from Elmtaryd, Agunnaryd, his boyhood home. From this humble beginning, he grew his small business into an international company, and is now one of the richest men in the world (more or less).
posted by filthy light thief at 9:03 AM PST - 92 comments

Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.

Jokgu the Chicken is an accomplished soloist and a member of The Flockstars ("Now available to perform for New Year's Parties, Weddings, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, Birthday Parties or any special occasion lol"). [videos contain clucking, ambient music and fulsome praise]. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:33 AM PST - 11 comments


The Ultimate GameBoy Talk
posted by curious nu at 7:34 AM PST - 14 comments

There Have Only Been Readers

“I’ve always said that my ideal reader would be someone who, after finishing one of my novels, would throw it out the window, presumably from an upper floor of an apartment building in New York, and by the time it had landed would be taking the elevator down to retrieve it.” --Harry Mathews, 1930-2017 (RIP, OULIPO) [Previously]
posted by chavenet at 7:25 AM PST - 15 comments

In defense of facts

William Deresiewicz's review of a trilogy of books on the essay, eloquent and savage: "What we really seem to get in D’Agata’s trilogy, in other words, is a compendium of writing that the man himself just happens to like, or that he wants to appropriate as a lineage for his own work. To be sure, there does appear to be a kind of prose that he’s particularly partial to and that is mainly what he seems to have in mind when he talks about the lyric essay. We find it, especially, in many of his more modern selections, including the bulk of the first anthology, The Next American Essay, which covers the period from 1975 to 2003. We find it, that is, when he isn’t limited by the literary record of older ages and can show us what his taste is like when granted full indulgence." [more inside]
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 5:30 AM PST - 24 comments

Signs and Symbols: The Warburg Institute

The Warburg Institute Iconographic Database. "The Warburg Institute is the premier institute in the world for the study of cultural history and the role of images in culture. It is cross-disciplinary and global. It is concerned with the histories of art and science, and their relationship with superstition, magic, and popular beliefs. Its researches are historical, philological and anthropological. It is dedicated to the study of the survival and transmission of cultural forms – whether in literature, art, music or science – across borders and from the earliest times to the present." [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:27 AM PST - 10 comments

And I thought, maybe I could hike this trail one day.

Exit Interview: I Was a Black, Female Thru-Hiker on the Appalachian Trail. [via]
posted by ellieBOA at 12:04 AM PST - 45 comments

February 3

SmellsLike Teen Spirit x1000

Rockin'1000 (previously: 1, 2, 3), made up of 1000+ musicians from around the world, performed a full concert in Cesena, Italy in July 2016. They've just released the official video to Smells Like Teen Spirit; drummer Lorenzo Setti has a playlist of some of the other songs from his camera.
posted by divabat at 10:08 PM PST - 19 comments

On Love

"Its strength is in transcending structure, in working around it. Hatred is only a structure."
posted by e-man at 8:44 PM PST - 6 comments

There are some songs that we wish weren’t still relevant.

Certainly, if most of us had our druthers, “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, And Understanding
posted by freakazoid at 5:24 PM PST - 73 comments

I don't want to get into your politics, but Boris Johnson is a big wan…

Somewhat miffed that The Netherlands got in first (previously), German late night show Neo Magazin Royale decided to give every European country a chance to pitch to take second place. Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Lithuania, Netherlands & Portugal with more to come after they're aired. Videos in English with subtitles, introductions in local languages, some jokes pretty gross (looking at you, Belgium).
posted by ambrosen at 12:45 PM PST - 33 comments

Teach a robot to fish and you'll be obsolete

MIT invents hydrogel robot fingers that can safely grab a live fish. Video of the fingers in action.
posted by GuyZero at 12:29 PM PST - 22 comments

IMDB message boards RIP

The Internet Movie Database, one of the oldest sites on the Internet, will disable its message boards on Feb. 20. IMDB, which was purchased by Amazon in 1998, says the boards are “no longer providing a positive, useful experience” for the vast majority of its users. The Film Stage laments the loss of "critical cinema discourse."
posted by Clustercuss at 12:21 PM PST - 64 comments

"Sit down and talk to me as if I were your sister."

"I get so upset when people talk about people on welfare, mooching off of the system, but if they would just understand how hard it is to survive on welfare they would realize that no one enjoys being on public assistance."
posted by amnesia and magnets at 11:26 AM PST - 47 comments

Together, the two robots moved only three millimeters.

By far the best crappy thing to happen last year was HEBOCON 2016, an annual terrible-robot competition held in Japan in which unskilled amateurs build shitty robots that are bad at fighting. It's wonderful. A bit more from IEEE Spectrum. Previously, the first HEBOCON.
posted by cortex at 10:41 AM PST - 12 comments

There's some... things... on the wing!

Love Twilight Zone marathons? Pressed for time? Watch them all at the same time. (SLYT. Warning: Loud!)
posted by loquacious at 10:35 AM PST - 10 comments

Hearts and minds

Calling a truce in the political wars. According to the experts who study political leanings, liberals and conservatives do not just see things differently. They are different—in their personalities and even their unconscious reactions to the world around them. ...“These are not superficial differences. They are psychologically deep,” says psychologist John Jost of New York University, a co-author of the bedroom study. “My hunch is that the capacity to organize the political world into left or right may be a part of human nature.” [more inside]
posted by triggerfinger at 10:05 AM PST - 127 comments

I see lonely old men more now, now that I'm horribly free. And like them

"But in these rural Pennsylvanian communities wanders the end result of social isolation that I fear: The lonely old man." Mr. Regular of Regular Car Reviews on the effect of two years of living off of Youtube. Audio version. [more inside]
posted by velouriaw at 9:26 AM PST - 85 comments

She Received 65 Proposals, but Never Married

She Received 65 Proposals, but Never Married: "Called the “shy bride” by reporters, Miss Baker appears to have been anything but: Throughout the 1920s, she went through lovers like General Sherman blazing a path to the sea and provided excellent copy while doing so. (Mr. McCormick abandoned his pursuit of Miss Baker in 1923, opting instead for a more compliant wife based in London)." via Committed: 165 Years of Love (and War) in The New York Times Wedding Announcements
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:23 AM PST - 3 comments

This one has wheels!

The imagineers at Boston Dynamics have built a new metal friend. (via)
posted by theodolite at 8:23 AM PST - 31 comments


"Eventually Atari came to us and said, 'What do you guys really want out of this?'" On the thirty-fifth anniversary of the popular arcade game, Benj Edwards chronicles the rise of Ms. Pac-Man and how a few MIT students created the next big thing off the back of the previous big thing in 1980s arcade history. [more inside]
posted by Servo5678 at 7:07 AM PST - 17 comments

Since we're already in the toilet, on so many levels

What Your Poop Says About Your Health An infographic [contains pictures of poo]. Here's more info, colorcoded, that also includes pee. Poop, previously. [more inside]
posted by Mchelly at 7:00 AM PST - 45 comments

The dust is very different

Let's talk about this whole Moon vs. Mars thing for human spaceflight Jason Davis at the Planetary Society explores the differences in landing, mining and survival technologies required for the very different conditions space travelers would encounter on the two celestial bodies.
posted by mediareport at 4:31 AM PST - 15 comments

February 2

1 - 2 - 3 - 4, I declare a Boop War

Enjoy this massive GIF of an interaction between a cat and a praying mantis. Now watch the original video in which the praying mantis kills the cameraman [FAKE]. Source: reddit. (h/t Miss Cellania)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:39 PM PST - 19 comments


Spicer: Hurt Feelings Are Dangerous [more inside]
posted by My Dad at 9:45 PM PST - 22 comments

I am a girl, a tree in the sun, I am a messenger from the land of hope

The Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM) was established in 2010 to revive the musical culture in Afghanistan. Four years later, they formed the Afghan Women's Orchestra with fewer than ten players. That group has expanded to more than 30 young women, who pursue their passion in the face of family hostility and threats. The young women traveled to Switzerland in January of this year to perform as Zohra at the Davos 2017 World Economic Forum (51 minute recording with background and introduction, with the concert starting about 8 minutes in). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:19 PM PST - 2 comments

Martian Immigration Nightmare

Martian Immigration Nightmare [via mefi projects] An online game specifically made to call out Elon Musk on his collaborationism with the Trump regime. Will you manage to board the Mars rocket, or will you be crushed by an unsympathetic bureaucracy?
posted by Apoch at 9:05 PM PST - 30 comments

“The best books... are those that tell you what you know already.”

Why '1984' is a 2017 Must Read by Michiko Kakutani [The New York Times] “1984” shot to No. 1 on Amazon’s best-seller list this week, after Kellyanne Conway, an adviser to President Trump, described demonstrable falsehoods told by the White House press secretary Sean Spicer — regarding the size of inaugural crowds — as “alternative facts.” It was a phrase chillingly reminiscent, for many readers, of the Ministry of Truth’s efforts in “1984” at “reality control.” To Big Brother and the Party, Orwell wrote, “the very existence of external reality was tacitly denied by their philosophy. The heresy of heresies was common sense.” Regardless of the facts, “Big Brother is omnipotent” and “the Party is infallible.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 8:29 PM PST - 55 comments

also, the Simpsons should count in base 8

"do you ever wonder why we're always, like, wearin' gloves?" [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:13 PM PST - 9 comments

One note spelled L I T E

In these troubled times, sometimes a ray of joy can enter your life. Here's an unfortunately brief clip of 6500 British children singing Birdhouse in Your Soul. slyt
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 7:39 PM PST - 38 comments

A Lifetime of Listening

Studs Terkel (1912-2008) was an American broadcaster and historian best remembered for his long-running radio show in Chicago and his oral histories of common Americans. Hundreds of his interviews are now online, thanks to WFMT's Studs Terkel Radio Archive (pages include faulty auto-generated transcripts) and the Internet Archive. [more inside]
posted by kristi at 7:14 PM PST - 16 comments

When Pete Seeger isn't enough

Those who know funk already know we’ve got to impeach the president. But thankfully for those who give a damn, the well of leftist funk runs deep. [more inside]
posted by vathek at 4:00 PM PST - 20 comments

"He just died, that's all"

Wiarton Willie is one of Ontario's Groundhog Day mascots. When he died two days before Groundhog Day in 1999, organizers couldn't find a replacement and displayed him in a coffin dressed in a tuxedo with coins over his eyes, and a carrot between his paws. [more inside]
posted by jessamyn at 3:07 PM PST - 22 comments

Can Johns be taught not to buy sex?

In Seattle, some men convicted of attempting to purchase sex from underage prostitutes are placed in Stopping Sexual Exploitation: A Program for Men, designed to teach men about "healthy relationships, about gender socialization and victim-blaming and toxic masculinity" (Quote from GQ, not the program). This program is different than the typical "johns' school" which seeks to scare men into no longer patronizing prostitutes. [more inside]
posted by Hactar at 1:00 PM PST - 58 comments

Tyrants v. the endurance of those whom they oppress.

The second week of the Trump administration is wearing Trump out, it seems, and triggering him during liasions with long-standing, key allies. In more positive news, he implied that Frederick Douglass is still with us, and this was confirmed by his Press Secretary. The nation awaits his reappearance with bated breath. [more inside]
posted by Coventry at 12:41 PM PST - 2136 comments

“Surely the worst SF novel ever written.”

James Gleick on "the father of science fiction," Hugo Gernsback.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:39 PM PST - 16 comments

I Could Not But Wonder at It

Seeing the Invisible: a short animated film directed by Flora Lichtman and Sharon Shattuck about Dutch merchant-scientist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek's serendipitous 1674 discovery of microbial life. Part of the Animated Life series which uses papercraft puppets to depict outstanding discoveries and scientists in the history of biology. See also the Coelacanth and Mary Leakey.
posted by byanyothername at 9:48 AM PST - 5 comments

Sewing, Blogging and Feeling Fabulous

The Curvy Sewing Collective is a group blog that addresses the particular needs of curvy sewists. [more inside]
posted by jacquilynne at 7:06 AM PST - 14 comments

I'm more Jungian than Freudian

A few days away from Superbowl LI, here's a A Bad Lip Reading of NFL in this season (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by lmfsilva at 6:44 AM PST - 19 comments

Mirror, mirror on the...waaaahh

A kestrel takes a shine to a Highways England CCTV camera at Junction 11a of the M5 in Gloucestershire. First spotted by traffic officers in October 2016, the kestrel is seen on separate occasions checking its reflection in the camera, struggling against high winds and being assailed by a magpie and a raven
posted by moody cow at 5:48 AM PST - 23 comments

February 1


Want to see a bunch of stuff blown up? In a controlled fashion? With New-Age music? Then the CDI Demo Reel is for you! [in-your-face music]. Perhaps you're a purist who prefers to watch only chimneys collapsing [all videos boom crash rattle]. Lots more on the Controlled Demolition, Inc. YouTube channel
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:01 PM PST - 19 comments

Like a horse in a noodle factory

Detective Skip Tobey in... The Scales of Justice [more inside]
posted by a car full of lions at 7:21 PM PST - 8 comments

Every. Single. One

Barry White, Jr., a fifth grade English teacher at Ashley Park PreK-8 School in Charlotte, North Carolina, has an elaborate, personalized handshake with every one of his students.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 6:52 PM PST - 31 comments

u mad bro?

Felix Biederman and Virgil Texas expand on their taxonomy of online anger. [more inside]
posted by Joseph Gurl at 4:50 PM PST - 42 comments

“I’m caught in it ... It’s killing me. [. . .] I’m losing my mind”

How Thomas Pynchon Turned Seattle Into Nazi Germany by Tim Appelo [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 2:32 PM PST - 54 comments

Telescopes from Telescopes

"Here I give you photos of telescopes taking pictures of space taken by telescopes in space taking pictures of Earth."
posted by bondcliff at 1:17 PM PST - 26 comments

The Titanic going down packed with adorable pups

How much for your mom? Cartoonist Mrs. Sasquatch illustrates a story they were told about the kinds of ethical dilemmas potential White House staffers are asked to solve.
posted by emjaybee at 12:38 PM PST - 72 comments

Is Your Band Sexist, or Are Womxn Just Annoying?

As we are two ladies with music criticism jobs, we’ve spent years of our lives working in the industry (no need to mansplain its complexities to us, nor the innate tautological structure of this sentence, designed especially for you, dear reader). We’ve crossed paths with just about every kind of band name that exists, including many of the “chick shit” variety, by which we mean any band name capitalizing on the use of terms originally deemed only necessary to describe womxn, ladies, chicks, bitches, sluts, whores, and girls.
posted by josher71 at 12:28 PM PST - 117 comments

"What am I supposed to do with all of these guys?"

Grayce the rescued pitbull carefully relocates all eleven of her newborn puppies to her foster mom's lap. [SLFBvideo]
posted by amnesia and magnets at 11:20 AM PST - 34 comments

Oh, the irony of it all

Pope Francis is the Anti-Trump
posted by strelitzia at 10:26 AM PST - 79 comments

The quiet death of College Music Journal and its annual Music Marathon

RIP CMJ, if You Are in Fact Dead, Which You Seem to Be, so RIP (1978 - 2016). It looks a lot like CMJ (College Music Journal) is down for good. Back in October 2016, the annual CMJ Music Marathon just didn't happen, then the website went stagnant as of December 6, 2016, and a week or so later, two former full-time employees of Abaculi Media, CMJ's parent company, alleging that they had not been paid since the fall of 2015. Now, the word on the street that the last CMJ employee has left the building, so what's next? Mondo.NYC, a music business summit / music festival, came along and pre-filled the void of the Music Marathon in New York City, and Spinitron is growing to address goals for non-commercial radio stations, including charting new music plays. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:17 AM PST - 23 comments

"Sharkwater" filmmaker missing

Rob Stewart, "Sharkwater" filmmaker, is missing. Canadian filmmaker and marine conservation activist Rob Stewart, 37, is missing in the ocean after a difficult dive in the Florida Keys on Tuesday, Jan 31. Stewart is best known for the multi-award winning 2006 documentary Sharkwater (trailer). [more inside]
posted by spraypaint at 8:20 AM PST - 12 comments

Not, alas, interrobangs

"38,000-year-old carving includes enigmatic 'punctuation' pattern" We know little about the early Homo sapiens who migrated to Europe from Africa and the Middle East more than 70,000 years ago, but we've just found a new piece of the puzzle. A group of archaeologists has just described the discovery of a distinctive rock carving of an aurochs, a kind of extinct ox, its thick body peppered with dozens of carefully created, shallow holes called "punctuations." What's truly fascinating is that the markings on this limestone slab, carbon dated to 38,000 years old, strongly resemble other rock carvings from the same era scattered across France and Germany.
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:19 AM PST - 20 comments

A balance between what is revealed and what remains concealed

Looking for Mr. Darcy: The Role of the Viewer in Creating a Cultural Icon. Mr. Darcy's two proposals to Elizabeth Bennet are put under the microscope as Henriette-Juliane Seeliger examines how three screen adaptations of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice negotiate (or trample over) one of Austen's well-deployed narrative techniques: the information gap created by a narrator's unreliability.
posted by mixedmetaphors at 7:39 AM PST - 33 comments

This television makes me hiss in anger.

Some product reviews don't requires data and charts and graphs. [more inside]
posted by wenestvedt at 5:49 AM PST - 80 comments

Fight For Your Right... To Fight Back!

In recent days, the technology sector has responded to the so-called #MuslimBan in a variety of ways, from Jeff Bezos pledging legal action to Uber... well, being Uber. As the ACLU turns its massive uptick in donations into tech skills, 'artist-empowering' digital music service Bandcamp is putting its money to work in service of the cause. On Friday 3rd February, Bandcamp will donate 100% of their share of all purchases to the ACLU. [more inside]
posted by prismatic7 at 4:07 AM PST - 54 comments