March 2021 Archives

March 31

Malign Directive

Ryan’s Edits (previously) investigates the mysterious cases of Where Does Starfleet Get All Those Ancient Artifacts? and A Critical Analysis of Fashion in Star Trek.
posted by adrianhon at 3:55 PM PST - 49 comments

More Fun Than Fun: How Do Insect Societies Deal With Infectious Diseases

...Colonies of social insects such as those of ants, bees, wasps and termites present parasites with a paradise of sorts: they contain densely packed individuals that are also rather genetically similar and hence of similar susceptibility. Not surprisingly, parasites are the scourge of insect societies. But insect societies have not only survived this scourge but are among the most evolutionarily successful and ecologically dominant members of Earth’s terrestrial fauna.
More Fun Than Fun: How Do Insect Societies Deal With Infectious Diseases?
posted by y2karl at 2:41 PM PST - 6 comments

(Don't) stop your good time dancing

If you can only follow one music podcast focused mainly on early eighties electropop (and Sheffield based early eighties electropop in particular), follow Martyn Ware's. The co-founder of Heaven 17 and The Human League not only talks to old pals like Martin Fry or Midge Ure, but also musicans as different as Sandie Shaw and Elly Jackson.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:53 PM PST - 2 comments

Rep. Matt Gaetz & DOJ trafficking inquiry

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz faces investigation over relationship with teen girl (USA Today, March 31, 2021) Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., said he is under investigation for his sexual conduct after a report Tuesday that the Department of Justice is looking into whether he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl, and he claimed the investigation is related to an effort to extort him. The New York Times reported that, according to three sources briefed on the issue, an inquiry seeks to uncover whether Gaetz violated sex trafficking laws by paying for a teen girl to travel with him. Charges have not been filed against the Florida congressman. [more inside]
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:07 PM PST - 175 comments

The Curve on the Letter M Has Also Been Changed Slightly

“The designer told me it’s not just about a square becoming a circle. It’s about the brand having a massive change in its inner spirits and personality.” from Xiaomi Replaces Its Logo With A New One in Vice. [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 11:56 AM PST - 34 comments

Face it, nobody watched 'Mank'

Although the pandemic has left households paying for more streaming services than ever, the majority of the best picture nominees at the Oscars are unknown to entertainment consumers. According to a recent survey, the most known best picture nominee was “Judas and the Black Messiah,” the HBO Max drama about Black Panther Party leader Fred Hampton, with just over 46% awareness. Netflix’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7” was second with 39% awareness, followed by Searchlight Pictures’ “Nomadland” with 35% awareness. [more inside]
posted by Clustercuss at 11:29 AM PST - 67 comments

"It is up to you to keep your potatoes out of my pig."

The Pig War of San Juan Island Posted at the American Camp trailhead, the following message: "The area is a reminder that senseless wars over insignificant causes do not need to happen." [more inside]
posted by RobinofFrocksley at 10:26 AM PST - 9 comments

"to reshape our sense of ourselves and our societies across generations"

"The culture has given up on the novel as a central art in part because we’ve given up on metaphysical stakes: It has to matter to the universe, or it won’t long matter to us." says Joseph Bottum in a conversation with Phil Klay about whether the novel is in decline, on Pairagraph (a set of structured conversations). Klay replies: "as long as humans need not only a metaphysics but also a sense of belonging in structures larger than ourselves, whether those be communities or churches or nations, humans will seek out those art forms that help us to knit together our disparate, broken solitudes." Even if the topic doesn't particularly interest you, you may find Bottum's introduction funny; I laughed out loud.
posted by brainwane at 8:53 AM PST - 21 comments

“In internet terms, UbuWeb is antediluvian”

Your hat sucks is an essay by Gill Partington about the venerable web repository of avant-garde literature and art, UbuWeb, and its founder Kenneth Goldsmith. She discusses and expands on her essay in a wide-ranging podcast interview with Thomas Jones.
posted by Kattullus at 8:40 AM PST - 12 comments

The Unshakable Allure of the Celebrity House Tour

From ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous’ to ‘Cribs’ to ‘Open Door,’ what’s behind closed gates never loses its appeal. [Vice] Bonus: 40 Things You Totally Forgot Happened on MTV's 'Cribs' [Cosmopolitan]
posted by ellieBOA at 2:52 AM PST - 36 comments

March 30

Do you like...pancakes?

I’ve resisted trying neural net pickup lines again, because more competent means more humanlike, which in this case means worse. Or the new neural nets might even copy existing pickup lines from internet lists, which would also be terrible. Human-written pickup lines are that bad. But with my paperback coming out, it seemed like it might be time to just try it and see. GPT-3 tries pickup lines, by AI Weirdness (previous AI weirdness).
posted by Hairy Lobster at 10:26 PM PST - 51 comments

The Possibility of Life Between Us

Women and Honor: Some Notes on Lying. Adrienne Rich (1977).
posted by storybored at 6:27 PM PST - 12 comments

15 minutes of plot twists

Almost anything I could say about the short film Chicken/Egg would spoil the many entertaining twists and turns it crams into 15 minutes. It was written by James D'Arcy and stars (in order of appearance) Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones), Max Fowler (Powers) and Hayley Atwell (Agent Carter). {SLYT}
posted by rednikki at 5:02 PM PST - 9 comments

The Collapse at Arecibo

Daniel Alarcón on the collapse of Puerto Rico’s iconic telescope (The New Yorker). "Many Puerto Ricans ... fear that Arecibo will be yet another illustration of the abandonment and neglect that have colored many aspects of life on the island. It’s been decades since Puerto Rico was the prosperous tropical outpost of American capitalism, used as a contrast and a cudgel against socialist Cuba. The brightest years of the island’s economy corresponded with the golden age of Arecibo, when the observatory was buzzing and the science was at its most revolutionary." (Previously)
posted by adrianhon at 2:00 PM PST - 20 comments

John Fahey -- Live 1997 -- Full Show

John Fahey -- Live 1997 -- Full Show
posted by y2karl at 12:47 PM PST - 7 comments

How Bears Cross a Road

It gets complicated. [SLTwitter]
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:29 AM PST - 38 comments

All. The. Time.

Turn on MTV—on any day, at any time—and you’re likely to find an episode of Ridiculousness, a home-videos-ripped-from-the-internet-style show hosted by skateboarder Rob Dyrdek ... It is on all the time. All. The. Time. ALL THE TIME. John Gonzalez of The Ringer asks: How Did MTV Become the ‘Ridiculousness’ Network? [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 9:45 AM PST - 85 comments

Techno, from Detroit to now

Beatport's Definitive Guide to Techno As part of Beatportal’s new series on the history of electronic dance music, Marcus Barnes explores the rich history of techno, from the 1970s through to today. A long-form article packed with samples and tracks.
posted by hackwolf at 8:57 AM PST - 9 comments

The State of Minnesota vs. Derek Chauvin

The State of Minnesota vs. Derek Chauvin (PDF) It has been ten months since the world watched George Floyd die under the knee of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin. The jury has been selected and seated. The trial began at the Hennepin County Courthouse in downtown Minneapolis on Monday, March 29th and is expected to last about a month. The trial for the other three officers is scheduled to take place later in the summer. [more inside]
posted by Gray Duck at 7:50 AM PST - 135 comments

'It’s Impossible to Reduce Me'

Noam Shuster-Eliassi isn't what you think she is Recently, comedian Noam Shuster-Eliassi gave one of her most fraught standup performances, in East Jerusalem, before an entirely Palestinian audience. After the standup comedian who had invited her there, Amer Zahr, introduced her to the audience (“Today for the first time we have a Jewish sister with us”), the tension reached a peak, she says. “I go up, in front of an audience of 300 people, and in front there are two guys sitting with their arms crossed, looking at me angrily. I looked straight at them and said: ‘Don’t worry. I’ll be here for seven minutes, not 70 years.’ That broke the ice immediately. I left the stage in tears – I hadn’t expected such love.” [more inside]
posted by dancestoblue at 6:29 AM PST - 12 comments

Robbed of its Refreshing Elegance?

The Milk Protest: What will your pint remind you of? [more inside]
posted by biffa at 6:08 AM PST - 18 comments

Ways to research the modern and ancient worlds

Historian Bret Devereaux (previously) discusses "the nature of our evidence for the ancient world and its limitations". Programmer Hillel Wayne asks: "why do interviewers like to ask linked list questions?" and uses that question as an example of some ways to research the history of the software industry.
posted by brainwane at 4:10 AM PST - 35 comments

Who will blink first? Not me

Fed up with doing all the housework, this woman decided to just stop doing it. And documented it on Twitter. [more inside]
posted by essexjan at 1:54 AM PST - 169 comments

March 29

“It’s insulting because it’s not meeting the standard.”

Edith Prentiss, Fierce Voice for New York's Disabled, Dies at 69 [more inside]
posted by praemunire at 9:14 PM PST - 15 comments

Mining is like a search-and-destroy mission

For What It's Worth - photographer Dillon Marsh takes photographs of South African mines and superimposes computer visualisations of how much of each resource has been extracted. [more inside]
posted by thatwhichfalls at 7:53 PM PST - 9 comments

This is not my beautiful house

Can you guess how a neighborhood voted in 2020, just by looking at it? [more inside]
posted by theodolite at 2:14 PM PST - 99 comments

And you don't seem to understand...

Q: I'm confused about the game
A: Amazing! That means the game is working properly.
Serial Experiments Lain was a mind blowing, confusing anime. The Playstation game based on it was even moreso. If you want to experience this confusion first hand, it is now available in a browser emulator. (Best played in a Chromium browser).
posted by MartinWisse at 1:16 PM PST - 18 comments

Redefining "American Gothic"

From the Unusual Properties file, we have a 1500 square foot home in Maryland with a style that is...particularly monochromatic and and morbid. (SLRedfin) [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:39 PM PST - 189 comments

"There is no doubt wool dogs underpinned a robust weaving industry"

The Dogs That Grew Wool and the People Who Love Them: Indigenous communities in the Pacific Northwest bred little, fluffy white dogs that provided for them, both materially and spiritually (Hakai Magazine) - The first Europeans to visit the region seemed intrigued by the numerous little white dogs. In May 1792, Captain George Vancouver noticed the dogs and weavings—he’d not encountered such an industry elsewhere in North America. He wrote about the animals, struck by these dogs that resembled large Pomeranians. “They were all shorn as close to the skin as sheep are in England; and so compact were their fleeces, that large portions could be lifted up by a corner without causing any separation.” Indeed, he noted the dogs’ “very fine long hair [was] capable of being spun into yarn.” And the captain quickly put two and two together. “This gave me reason to believe their woolen clothing might in part be composed of this [dog] material mixed with a finer kind of wool from some other animal …” [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 11:07 AM PST - 17 comments

Bartending 101, or breakfast with style.

How to serve thirsty and demanding customers (SLYT)
posted by bluesky43 at 10:28 AM PST - 16 comments

Every Given Every Ywhere

"Why should the Suez Canal have all the fun? From the comfort of home you can get the Ever Given stuck wherever you want it."
posted by CarrotAdventure at 10:20 AM PST - 25 comments

And his bio sounds like the worst dog in the world!

My name is Chowder
posted by jacquilynne at 8:36 AM PST - 41 comments

Maybe my love for Reacher is as simple as thrilling to vengeance

Brandy Jensen on her year with Jack Reacher: Around this time last year, as it became clear I would have to spend some significant time staying in my apartment, I told myself there could be an upside: I could finally get around to reading all the books I had been putting off for one reason or another. Some neglected American classics, the Victorian doorstoppers I skipped over in school in favor of different Victorian doorstoppers, the less famous Russians. I have not read any of those. What I have read is 24 books about an enormous drifter with comically large hands who is good at dispatching bad people. Related: How Jack Reacher author Lee Child improvises his way through writing.
posted by Cash4Lead at 7:54 AM PST - 73 comments

It's like 1984 but worse — maybe 1985 or even 4000.

Danny Lavery at it again. I’m waiting for my interview subject with a certain degree of trepidation. We’re both early, and neither of us are here yet, but Sarah Hagi (a former chess reporter who studied interpretational technique at Zaytuna College and used to date the Duolingo owl) is used to being on my side of the table, asking hard-hitting questions and describing other people’s lunches (today: Irish beef salad, hold the soup, turnip milk). You might have listened to her podcast, Recant and Deliver, which she runs out of her boyfriend’s mother in Brooklyn.
posted by snerson at 6:42 AM PST - 57 comments

March 28

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl and Memory of Utopia

How a Ukrainian Computer Game Transfigured Folkloric Processes of Remembering [more inside]
posted by glonous keming at 6:38 PM PST - 14 comments

"A more accurate retelling of my own story could include..."

"When somebody asks me how I got to where I am, there are a few words I use generously: luck, serendipity and kind people. .... But that mythology I find myself trying to build up is probably harmful to others as well as myself." Zara Rahman (previously) thinks about the work she's done to make career success more likely, and how eliding those efforts in her narratives of "how I got to where I am" is "charming, but not threatening. It’s also an incredibly gendered approach to talking about myself." and says, "I want to be more fair to myself, and to others, about the stories I tell myself."
posted by brainwane at 6:19 PM PST - 9 comments

Six-Dinner Sids, or Cats Gonna Be Where They're At

"The neighbours just put the house up for sale. Couldn't resist checking it out on Zoopla." [Photo of orange kitty, stretched out on a bed in a staged room.] "That's our bloody cat." A Twitter thread full of pictures and stories of cats making themselves at home wherever they please. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:29 PM PST - 32 comments

Eurovision 2021 Preview

Like most events these days, the Eurovision Song Contest's 2021 edition has been uncertain. The European Broadcasting Union plans to go ahead with "Scenario B", a modified in-person contest with guidelines that permit "live on tape" entries (recorded live staged performances). [more inside]
posted by daisystomper at 11:13 AM PST - 12 comments


The forgotten medieval fruit with a vulgar name - "The polite, socially acceptable name by which it's currently known is the medlar. But for the best part of 900 years, the fruit was called the 'open-arse' – thought to be a reference to the appearance of its own large 'calyx' or bottom."
posted by kliuless at 9:41 AM PST - 42 comments

A Thing Of Immense Importance Happened, No One Is Reporting It.

Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador quietly rocked the agribusiness world with his New Year’s Eve decree to phase out use of the herbicide glyphosate and the cultivation of genetically modified corn. His administration sent an even stronger aftershock two weeks later, clarifying that the government would also phase out GM corn imports in three years and the ban would include not just corn for human consumption but yellow corn destined primarily for livestock. Under NAFTA, the United States has seen a 400% increase in corn exports to Mexico, the vast majority genetically modified yellow dent corn. [more inside]
posted by WalkerWestridge at 9:27 AM PST - 39 comments

Why Would Someone Put Penises All Over the Beach?

The Suicide Squad trailer has dropped.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 8:43 AM PST - 62 comments

"Morally dubious, technologically limited, and potentially dangerous"

"In a 13-minute video posted to YouTube by user 'AI Addict,' we see a Tesla Model 3 with Full Self Driving Beta 8.2 fumbling its way around Oakland. It appears hapless and utterly confused at all times, never passably imitating a human driver."
posted by clawsoon at 7:40 AM PST - 144 comments

Celebrating Irish Twitter's greatest late-night movie club

Like everybody else this time last year, Irish Film Twitter was newly in lockdown, bored and scared. So #BeyondFriday was launched, a celebration of cult classics and genre movies. To celebrate the 50th instalment last week, Dean Van Nguyen ranked all fifty movies featured.
posted by MartinWisse at 4:49 AM PST - 8 comments

March 27

Keep Good Company

Louvre puts entire collection online: ici and here. [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 4:06 PM PST - 21 comments

Opioid Industry Documents Archive Launched

On March 24, UC San Francisco and Johns Hopkins University announced the launch of "the Opioid Industry Documents Archive, a digital repository of publicly disclosed documents from recent judgments, settlements, and ongoing lawsuits concerning the opioid crisis. The documents come from government litigation against pharmaceutical companies, including opioid manufacturers and distributors related to their contributions to the deadly epidemic, as well as litigation taking place in federal court on behalf of thousands of cities and counties in the United States." [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 10:47 AM PST - 14 comments


The Ancient Method That Keeps Afghanistan's Grapes Fresh All Winter - "Afghans developed this method of food preservation, which uses mud-straw containers and is known as kangina, centuries ago in Afghanistan's rural north. Thanks to the technique, people in remote communities who can't afford imported produce are able to enjoy fresh fruit in winter months. But even in villages like Ahmadi's, near the capital, the tradition is kept alive for good reason. 'Have you ever seen another method that can keep grapes fresh for nearly half a year?' Ahmadi asks with a laugh."
posted by kliuless at 8:16 AM PST - 24 comments

The internet does a good thing.

Dude, where's my couch? Zoë Weiner, an editor at a wellness Web site, received an e-mail last week from ABC Carpet & Home, the high-end furniture store near Union Square. “It’s never easy to deliver an update like this,” it began, “but we are experiencing production and delivery delays.” It would be about six weeks before she received the sofa that she’d ordered during a Black Friday sale last year—a sectional from ABC’s Cobble Hill line, custom-upholstered in a deep-pink velvet called Vance Blossom. This time, she was unfazed. Of greater consequence was the e-mail itself—an apologetic note signed by ABC’s C.E.O., Aaron Rose—on which two hundred and three other couch-expectant recipients were cc’d instead of bcc’d.
posted by bluesky43 at 7:40 AM PST - 38 comments

"Clean it like it's your house."

What the ‘Invisible’ People Cleaning the Subway Want Riders to Know an article from the NY Times [more inside]
posted by RobinofFrocksley at 5:49 AM PST - 9 comments

March 26

Travel the Universe with a sheet of A4

Metric Paper & Everything in the Universe (SLYT by CGP Grey) See also (some previously): Powers of Ten, The Super Zoom, The Known Universe, Timelapse of the Entire Universe, The Size of Space
posted by gwint at 7:42 PM PST - 39 comments

Beverly Cleary has died at 104

Children's Author Beverly Cleary, Creator Of Ramona Quimby, Dies At 104 [more inside]
posted by skycrashesdown at 7:37 PM PST - 99 comments

Televised Worlds Part 4: The Children of Pynco

Two orphans of unknown species, the sole survivors of a spaceship crash on an vast desert planet, meet two bumbling bounty hunters, and together, they discover abandoned technology, a distant world with more wonders - and hope - than it first appears to have... and each other. Oh, and did I mention it’s a series of Australian stop-motion shorts from 1997? This is PLASMO. (Note: eps 3 & 4 are listed in reverse order. Also included: the earlier pre-reboot special Happy Hatchday to Plasmo.)
posted by BiggerJ at 7:05 PM PST - 5 comments

But how badly will it kill you?

Do you have a young nature nerd in your life? Would they like to watch an enthusiastic older nature nerd, Dr Ann Jones, react to viral videos of Australia’s cute and deadly critters? Would they like to hear scientific tidbits about the animals we love, and those we love to fear? Then you've come to the right place. You've come to How Deadly | Australia. [more inside]
posted by Thella at 5:23 PM PST - 12 comments

We Celebrate All Cultures

Fashion outlet Tory Burch tries to pass off traditional fisherman's sweater from Portugal as Mexican poncho, gets busted. Also maybe scamming Portuguese cabbage-shaped plates. [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 3:18 PM PST - 25 comments

Renewables met 97% of Scotland's electricity demand in 2020

What it says on the tin.
posted by clawsoon at 2:38 PM PST - 44 comments

Whispers to the Overburdened Heart

The Artists' Grief Deck. "These cards were made by artists and by caregivers experienced with supporting people in processing loss, to help so many of us who have lost someone or something, and who may not be able to safely grieve together. There is no one correct way to use these cards, but we have these suggestions: [more inside]
posted by storybored at 2:37 PM PST - 4 comments

That Zoom Call with the Lawyer-Cat, Explained

The surprising reason why the “cat” filter, made famous by the lawyer Ron Ponton’s cameo during a court hearing, was installed as the default on thousands of Dell computers.
A ten-minute film from The New Yorker explains why it happened.
posted by Going To Maine at 1:23 PM PST - 20 comments

Kanye West but make it Disney

Kanye West but make it Disney
posted by Start with Dessert at 12:56 PM PST - 4 comments

Annie's Mac and Cheese is based in the Bay Area, but Annie is not.

Here's her story. Withey’s face was almost plastered on the original early '90s rollout of mac and cheese boxes, but she “promptly put an end to that idea,” she says. She went with her bunny named Bernie instead. Withey has a keener eye for the business side of things than she allows herself to admit (or lets on). “There's nothing more powerful than word-of-mouth advertising,” she wrote to me. She employed “guerilla marketing” tactics and would drop off Annie’s boxes anywhere she could, really. “Physically putting boxes in the hands of people was so much fun for me,” she says. [more inside]
posted by schoolgirl report at 12:55 PM PST - 21 comments


Louis Coulon was a metal worker with a 6 foot long mustache and an 11 foot long beard. Sometimes he would pose for novelty postcards with his cats.
posted by adept256 at 11:09 AM PST - 18 comments

better machine readability for knowledge

Wikidata is "Wikipedia's not so little sister": "a free and open knowledge base that can be read and edited by both humans and machines." Wikidata aims to be "accessible to everyone in their language without privileging any particular language by design". Also: "A lot of technology today is trying to simplify the world by hiding necessary complexity and nuance. Conflicting worldviews need to be surfaced. Otherwise we take away people’s ability to talk about, understand, and ultimately resolve their differences. Wikidata is striving to change that by not trying to force one truth but by collecting different points of view with their sources and context intact. This additional context can, for example, include which official body disputes or supports which view on a territorial dispute." [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 9:12 AM PST - 5 comments

call me when you need

Billboard record breaking hip hop artist and queer pioneer Lil Nas X has just dropped the video to his seventh single, MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name). The release was accompanied by an emotional note to his 14 year old self.
posted by fight or flight at 7:52 AM PST - 56 comments

suburban retrofitting

The People the Suburbs Were Built for Are Gone. Shayla Love @ interviews architecture professors June Williamson and Ellen Dunham-Jones on their new book, Case Studies in Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Strategies for Urgent Challenges. "Since the 1990s, Williamson and Dunham-Jones have been watching the suburbs evolve. They have found that much of the suburban sprawl of the 20th century was built to serve a very different population than the one that exists now, and so preserving what the suburbs once were doesn't make sense." [more inside]
posted by soundguy99 at 7:40 AM PST - 23 comments

"Too toxic to ignore"

Thierry Henry, one of the greatest players in football history, has had enough of racism and bullying on social media. [more inside]
posted by Cardinal Fang at 7:15 AM PST - 25 comments

Fewer Octop(i/uses/odes) than I would have expected

Game Jams are, of course, not a new thing and there are plenty to choose from[] if you're looking to participate in one. But it's possible, likely even, that's you've never heard of Octojam.[] For the past seven years a small group of enthusiasts have spent the month of October writing games for the CHIP-8. [more inside]
posted by Mister_Sleight_of_Hand at 2:55 AM PST - 2 comments

March 25

Canada's climate plan survives legal challenge

This morning the Supreme Court of Canada handed down a long-awaited decision, ruling 6-3 that the federal carbon tax - a key part of Canada's climate plan - is constitutional. Twitter commentary by Andrew Leach. The provincial governments that challenged it in court - Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Alberta - are rethinking their plans. Meanwhile, the Conservative opposition leader is still promising to scrap it if he forms government, and his party is split over the issue, voting down a resolution stating "climate change is real" 54-46. The legal battle may be over, but the political battle continues. [more inside]
posted by russilwvong at 6:10 PM PST - 36 comments

a trove of data on children, a group famously difficult to track

This online reading platform that mines kids’ preferences to create new books is deeply creepy (LitHub): "Maybe it’s just because I am an Old, but when I read about the data collection activities of Epic—an online reading platform that, in fairness, is free to schools and has helped kids access digital library books during the pandemic—I was extremely creeped out. [...] The company is using this data to customize reading recommendations, but also to create its own children’s books, including a series called “Cat Ninja,” which has subsequently inspired a spin-off about the eponymous Ninja’s owl sidekick (whose appearance generated a lot of clicks)." [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 2:45 PM PST - 63 comments

I Don't Know Why You Invited Us

The Great Midsommar Bake Off [SLYT]
posted by chavenet at 1:07 PM PST - 16 comments

The vice presidential salute is not a thing

The vice presidential salute is not a thing and neither is the presidential salute. Task & Purpose reminds us that such salutes, like so many bad ideas, originated with Ronald Reagan. Elected officials who do not return a salute are not being disrespectful, according to trustworthy sources responding to the professional gasbags wringing their hands over the US Vice President’s salutation indifference to the various on-duty military folks who is salute her on the regular.
posted by Bella Donna at 12:55 PM PST - 52 comments

"If this is an obituary, I won't hear it and I won't respond to it."

She was Lucille Bluth and Malory Archer and Fran Sinclair. Jessica Walter has passed at 80.
posted by mightygodking at 12:37 PM PST - 112 comments

What's under the Lincoln Memorial?

122 concrete pillars in a 43,800 square foot and three stories tall cavern. 360 video tour. Another tour. Forgotten and undisturbed for almost 60 years, the cavern was rediscovered in 1975. Sealed to the public in 1989, there are now plans to reopen the undercroft in 2022 for the centenary celebration.
posted by adept256 at 11:05 AM PST - 28 comments

The Witches Are Out

Bewitched: It was Gay All Along? [more inside]
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:01 AM PST - 20 comments

Finding public domain art from world museums

A new visual search web service. Museo searches images hosted by a group of museums from two nations so far, including "the Art Institute of Chicago, the Rijksmuseum, the Harvard Art Museums, the Minneapolis Institute of Art and the New York Public Library Digital Collection." [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 8:10 AM PST - 3 comments

Part of this nutritious breakfast!

Some people love it. Others liken it to fish tank gravel. But Grape Nuts have a loyal following. They went missing during the pandemic. People paid ridiculous amounts for them during the shortage. But now they're back on the shelves - and Post is even willing to reimburse loyal fans who overpaid. [more inside]
posted by caution live frogs at 7:51 AM PST - 95 comments

Do you want Planet of the Apes? This is how you get Planet of the Apes.

Molecular switch makes human organ three times larger than great apes’, study finds. "Tinker with the switch and the human brain loses its growth advantage, while the great ape brain can be made to grow more like a human’s."
posted by irrelephant at 7:43 AM PST - 24 comments

ئارام ئېلىش ئۈچۈن ئۇيغۇر مۇزىكىسى

Uighur lofi hip hop chill music [more inside]
posted by ardgedee at 7:35 AM PST - 6 comments

Televised World Part 3: The Monster Who Ran With Good People

An ordinary young couple share their condo with a wacky slacker, and the couple’s nephew and niece show up in later seasons. Sounds like a standard sitcom, right? Except it’s smarter and wiser than you’d expect, the slacker becomes less slack over time, and the new characters are well-received... partly because the show’s nasty villain, having not spent years messing with THESE ones, sees his chance to take a risk, try acting kindly toward them, and maybe, just maybe, become a better person. This is The Raccoons, now on YouTube for free in its entirety (Seasons 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Come run with them.
posted by BiggerJ at 3:40 AM PST - 8 comments

Hope and Climate Change

Is it wrong to be hopeful about climate change? In the dark movie theatre, I felt a new bond with the scientists carrying baby corals and the filmmakers chasing after them. We are, indeed, losing this battle. They understand that, I believe, but in a tropical gulf thousands of miles away from where diplomats and politicians decide our carbon policies and international accords, a group of stubborn biologists and documentarists were refusing to give up. They were earning their own hope, one coral at a time. [more inside]
posted by Alex404 at 2:03 AM PST - 13 comments

Joni Mitchell A Life Story: Woman of Heart and Mind

One of the great talents of her or anyone else's generation gets the royal treatment with this superb documentary. It's all here (via interviews, including conversations past and present with Mitchell herself, photos, generous helpings of concert footage, and more): her Saskatchewan childhood, her lovers, her painting, her reunion with the daughter she had left behind at age 19... and, of course, her music, the songs, recordings, and performances, so intensely personal yet so universally accessible, that comprise one of the most extraordinarily original and significant (if not always wildly popular) bodies of work any artist has ever produced. Even true fanatics are likely to find revelations here; the rest of us can simply rejoice in the life and artistry of Joni Mitchell. --Sam Graham
posted by dancestoblue at 1:50 AM PST - 15 comments

March 24

[excited Alvin noises]

Alvin Zhou makes slow food. Like 48-hour cookies, a 6-hour cheeseburger, and 72-hour beef Wellington.
posted by theodolite at 2:48 PM PST - 22 comments

"This is going to make a big mess!"

Liz Henry made a coronavirus piñata and cheerfully details how you can too. "All the diagrams of the shape of the virus that I’ve seen have a round shape with at least 3 different sizes of 'protein spikes' coming out from the middle, with each kind being a different height. Each spike has an extra bit on top like a flat top or a sort of flower shape. This is not too hard to make, but doing the 'protein spikes' was a little bit of a challenge." [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 1:07 PM PST - 18 comments

LEGO knows where you live

The LEGO Group Joins Forces with Former Astronaut Dr. Kathy Sullivan to Launch New LEGO® NASA Space Shuttle Discovery Set (LEGO press release, March 21, 2021). The LEGO Group announces new LEGO® NASA Space Shuttle Discovery set – aimed at adults; Officially revealed by former NASA Astronaut Dr Kathy Sullivan who was part of the original NASA STS-31 mission, over 30 years ago, which launched the Hubble Telescope - capturing images of our universe, to help us understand more about the great beyond. [more inside]
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:03 PM PST - 21 comments

Cholets, neo-Andean pop art architecture

I Went On A Trip to El Alto, Bolivia, And Discovered A New Style Of Architecture. Houses that represent success in the Andean region, a growing economy and a renewed sense of indigenous pride. Previously. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 12:41 PM PST - 31 comments

"Stallman’s 'that’s how it is' is not how it has to be."

At the end of his recent online presentation for LibrePlanet, Richard Stallman announced his reinstatement to the board of the Free Software Foundation, a year and a half from his removal from said board in response to his history of misogynistic behavior triggered by his response to victims of abuse by Jeffrey Epstein. The announcement was met with condemnation from other open source groups, with groups like Outreachy banning the FSF from participating in their programs. [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 8:29 AM PST - 195 comments

Shrimp Heaven Now

Jensen Karp, a comedian and writer, found something that did not belong in his bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch yesterday morning. Cinnamon Toast Crunch (or its social media team) has responded, and the Internet At Large is having a ball as the situation only grows weirder. [more inside]
posted by punchtothehead at 8:15 AM PST - 104 comments

"Underestimating the Challenges of Avoiding a Ghastly Future."

The headline was itself a train wreck: six dully innocuous words piling up in front of a modifier more suitable to a 1950s horror comic than a sober, academic journal. But there it was: The 17 scientists who co-wrote the article, the experts who peer-reviewed it, and the journal’s editors did not consider the word “ghastly” too sensational, subjective, or value-laden to describe the future toward which our society is advancing with all the prudence and caution of a runaway locomotive. The article’s message was simple: Everything must change.
posted by Ouverture at 5:07 AM PST - 100 comments

March 23

Beste Freunde für immer

Every Sunday, Betty Grebenschikoff and Ana María Wahrenberg have a scheduled phone call. The weekly calls are only a recent ritual. In fact, just four months ago, both women believed the other had died in the Holocaust. “For 82 years, I thought my best friend from Germany was dead,” Grebenschikoff said. “I’d been looking for her for all those years, and I never found her.” The women first met when they were 6. They attended school and synagogue together. The last time the two women saw each other was in the spring of 1939, when they were 9. (SLWaPo)
posted by ShooBoo at 10:02 PM PST - 10 comments

You Gaze First, Then It's Time To Drink

Scientists have noticed that different types of evaporating American whisky leave patterns (repeatable but not identical) on slides as they evaporate. Scotch, alas, and other types of whisky aged in reused barrels don't seem to exhibit the same tendencies. But the patterns are interesting, and if they lead to improvements in whisky, well then who can complain? Points to North Carolina State University for this vital research.
posted by Shotgun Shakespeare at 6:54 PM PST - 17 comments

Multiple Destroyers Were Swarmed By Mysterious 'Drones'

The disturbing series of events during the summer of 2019 resulted in an investigation that made its way to the highest echelons of the [US] Navy.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 6:31 PM PST - 34 comments

Listening with our hands

A short film about music write Art Dudley, who passed in 2020, and a deaf audiophile who bought his speakers Bob Lichtenberg is a deaf audiophile who has found a unique way to listen and enjoy music even though he is completely deaf. This short film follows the Altec Lansing Flaminco loudspeakers of Stereophile Art Dudley and his speakers that were acquired from his estate by a deaf audiophile fan of his writing. Stereophile has a blog post with more details.
posted by ShakeyJake at 5:02 PM PST - 4 comments

It's stuck

A 200,000 ton container ship is jammed sideways in the Suez Canal. A crew member on the ship behind has posted the view on Instagram of the MV Ever Given, one of the largest container ships in existence, stuck firmly across the canal. An excavator can be seen trying to dig the colossal bow of the 400m ship out of the east bank. Every available tug has been scrambled to assist, but it's now been several hours and the ship remains firmly stuck. AIS tracking data shows a traffic jam is forming at both ends of the Suez canal. Unless the stricken vessel can be freed, millions of tonnes of shipping will face a 5,500 mile diversion around the entire African continent.
posted by automatronic at 3:54 PM PST - 578 comments

"I signed an employment contract without reading it. Lesson learned."

Andrew Callaghan, 23, built a following with his YouTube series “All Gas No Brakes.” This month, he announced that he’d left the show. Here’s what happened. [NY Times]
posted by riruro at 1:07 PM PST - 28 comments

More Net, less Flix

Just a decade ago, the physical media library possessed by Netflix was well beyond 100,000 titles strong, offering a staggering degree of diversity that essentially made it the equivalent of the best-stocked video store in the world. At its peak, in fact, the number of DVD titles possessed by Netflix would have dwarfed the entire streaming libraries of all the major streamers today … combined.
A lost treasure we will never see again. By Jim Vorel.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:15 PM PST - 77 comments

Janis Joplin sings the Bee Gees

Janis Joplin, To Love Somebody (The Dick Cavett Show, July 8, 1969) [more inside]
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:11 PM PST - 18 comments

"Love those who love you"

"Blessed are the proactive, for they shall achieve success. Blessed are the cheerful, for when you laugh, the whole world laughs with you. Blessed are the assertive, for they shall win friends and influence people." is the start of one "reading from the Gospel according to the GOP." For Lent, artist and writer Tealin (who is a Christian) is posting each day to "tell the Bible stories as if they had been written about the version of Jesus that Republicans seem to believe in". Her satirical series inverts the wedding at Cana, the Prodigal Son, turning the other cheek, the birth of Jesus, the lilies of the field, the woman caught in adultery, and more. [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 11:33 AM PST - 22 comments

New physics, sigma>3.1?

LHCb has produced evidence for an unknown mechanism in muon decay. (The Guardian). At a confidence level of 3.1 sigmas, meaning a roughly one-in-a-thousand chance of being due to normal statistical fluctuations, the results currently fall short of the 5 sigma gold standard used in particle physics, but are nevertheless a tantalizing hint that there may be new physics beyond the Standard Model, within reach of our current particle accelerators.
posted by biogeo at 10:59 AM PST - 8 comments

When the heroes go off the stage, the clowns come on.

Guardian Long Read. Boris Johnson is the archetypal clown, with his antic posturing and his refusal to take anything seriously. So how did he end up in charge?
“From the people who brought you The Crown – the epic saga of the Queen – now comes the ridiculous story of this guy, a notorious buffoon at the head of a country … The Clown.”
posted by adamvasco at 10:18 AM PST - 22 comments

William Shatner is Still Alive

It was William Shatner's 90th birthday on March 22. As a gift, he gave himself to the future.
posted by chavenet at 9:32 AM PST - 34 comments

Less a river of news than a reservoir

Fraidycat (Mac/Windows/Linux/Chrome/Firefox) is a "feedspeeder" for following blogs, Twitter accounts, Twitch streams, and more. Unlike RSS readers or social media news feeds, heavily active follows are given equal weight with less active follows, letting you scan several follows quickly. You can also tag your follows and organize them by how frequently you want to check up on them. (h/t Robin Sloan)
posted by Cash4Lead at 8:21 AM PST - 9 comments

Forget about the worry, just press on.

a note of encouragement written by Douglas Adams to himself.
posted by RobinofFrocksley at 7:48 AM PST - 11 comments

"who is this Chinese lady with this big Jamaican accent?"

The 4-Foot-11 Grandma Who Rules Reggae. takes a look at the 50+ year career of Patricia Chin, the co-founder of VP Records, the largest independent reggae record label in the world. “What Berry Gordy was to Motown, Patricia Chin is to VP Records and the reggae industry.” [more inside]
posted by soundguy99 at 7:25 AM PST - 3 comments

The 32 Greatest Character Actors Working Today

We asked critics and Hollywood creators: Which supporting players make everything better? [Vulture]
posted by ellieBOA at 5:44 AM PST - 71 comments

Tous les meres

Pierre-Yves Roy-Desmarais bringing the realness of modern contact with your mom. (slYouTube) [more inside]
posted by Kitteh at 4:48 AM PST - 9 comments

March 22

The Maritime Law Edition

What if roads worked like maritime law? [more inside]
posted by aniola at 7:44 PM PST - 46 comments

ProZD personal top 10 list

SungWon "ProZD" Cho has been producing hilarious skits featuring his great voicework for years. Now—after numerous requests—he's released a compilation of his favorites with some backstory. (Watching his own work is evidently quite painful for him.) My Top 10 Favorite Skits (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 6:09 PM PST - 26 comments

A very special order of broccoli tempura

The request came in late on a Thursday afternoon to (Balitmore) restaurant owner Steve Chu. One of his customers had terminal cancer, and her son-in-law wondered if it would be possible to get the recipe of her favorite broccoli tempura entree so he could make it for her at her home in Vermont... He read the email on March 11 and instantly knew that he could do better... “Thanks for reaching out,” he wrote. “We’d like to meet you in Vermont and make it fresh for you.” (SLWaPo)
posted by ShooBoo at 6:01 PM PST - 16 comments

technically this is the opposite of a walkthrough

How to beat The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, a game in which you walk all over a sprawling world and through the dungeons and houses therein, but without ever actually walking anywhere. A whirlwind (see what I did there) 50 minute annotated tour through alternate forms of locomotion in the classic RPG adventure.
posted by cortex at 2:33 PM PST - 9 comments

The Man With The Most Valuable Jewelry Collection You Never Knew Existed

"I choose for one reason: beauty. I select masterpieces." Surprisingly, even though he is a lifelong resident of Japan, the vast majority of his collection consists of jewels from the western world, from antiquity to the Renaissance and beyond. Previously.
posted by nickyskye at 1:04 PM PST - 15 comments

Somehow this man is still alive

French "speedrider" Valentin Delluc skis and soars through a deserted alpine resort.
posted by gottabefunky at 11:29 AM PST - 42 comments

Victor Ambrus, illustrator, 1935-2021

The prolific artist Victor Ambrus, who illustrated nearly 300 books during his sixty-year career, and brought archeology to life for twenty years on the tv show Time Team, has died. A good obituary in the Guardian; an extensive obit by a fan covers his youth in war-torn Hungary, his early influences, escape on foot from Soviet troops (as a refugee he chose England because of the English illustrators he had admired), and his later work. Video tribute from Time Team.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:02 AM PST - 20 comments

"an empty crib and a raven with a scroll in its beak"

"I am concerned that you did not receive my previous missive, although my raven reports that you took the letter and appeared to read it." "The Ransom of Miss Coraline Connelly" by Alix E. Harrow, an epistolary short story published last year in Fireside. Content note [spoiler, so, in extended description]. [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 8:53 AM PST - 17 comments

March 21


The book is made of: 4 colours 16 elements 400 colour combinations 219.647 stitches.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 4:09 PM PST - 23 comments

Connecticut Zoning Atlas

The Zoning Atlas is a first-in-the-nation interactive map showing how all 2,620 zoning districts and 2 subdivision districts in Connecticut treat housing. With a total of 32,378 pages of regulations read and analyzed, the Zoning Atlas is cumulative and illuminating. This type of project has never been done before on a statewide basis.
posted by aniola at 3:23 PM PST - 13 comments

"They said, 'You are a savage and dangerous woman.'

"I am speaking the truth. And the truth is savage and dangerous." So wrote Nawal El Saadawi, who has died at the age of 89, according to Egyptian media reports. She was imprisoned by Anwar Sadat. Her work was censored and her books banned, but she never backed down. When BBC presenter Zeinab Badawi suggested during an interview in 2018 that she tone down her criticism, El Saadawi replied: "No. I should be more outspoken, I should be more aggressive, because the world is becoming more aggressive, and we need people to speak loudly against injustices. I speak loudly because I am angry." [more inside]
posted by clawsoon at 3:13 PM PST - 21 comments

“There are no bands anymore”

Maroon 5’s Adam Levine was scoffed at for suggesting there ‘aren’t any bands any more’ – but if you look at the numbers, he’s right. (SLGuardian) [more inside]
posted by holborne at 11:51 AM PST - 128 comments


A recent Twitter campaign is trying to draw attention to numerous accessibility issues on Ravelry, the largest social network for knitters and fiber artists in the world. CW: potential headaches. [more inside]
posted by Alensin at 11:04 AM PST - 116 comments

"...not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends"

The 5D's of Bystander Intervention. Hollaback is giving free training sessions in Bystander Intervention to Stop anti-Asian/American and Xenophobic Harassment. You can sign up to be notified of future sessions. [more inside]
posted by storybored at 10:09 AM PST - 11 comments

March 20

EXT. THE OCEAN - DAY. WE OPEN on a man on a motorboat

@SortaBad: no matter what you think is gonna happen in this video, you’re wrong
posted by Going To Maine at 9:15 PM PST - 29 comments

How the Strand Lost Its Workers

The bookstore’s owner says it’s hanging by a thread — and staff say they’re the ones paying the price. The Strand, with its flagship on Broadway and on East 12th Street, is the city’s most iconic bookstore. For a certain kind of New Yorker, it’s an equally iconic place to work — one where job applicants have to take a literature quiz matching books’ titles with the corresponding author’s names to prove their chops. Luc Sante worked there. Patti Smith too, for a hot minute. (She found it unfriendly.)
posted by folklore724 at 11:23 AM PST - 82 comments

Fagradalsfjall Watch

Live video of Fagradalsfjall, Iceland's newest volcano. High quality Livestream of the (currently) adorable volcano erupting about 5 miles away from the famous Blue Lagoon hot springs. At the moment, one can see people wandering around at the edge of the lava flow, as well as numerous helicopters buzzing about.
posted by kokogiak at 10:37 AM PST - 89 comments

Blood on the Moon over Zoom

How To Play Werewolf Over Zoom.
posted by storybored at 7:52 AM PST - 6 comments

The CBC's Q interviews legendary music producer Daniel Lanois

From the CBC's program Q:

From gospel quartets to cattle barns, 10 things we learned about Canadian record producer Daniel Lanois [more inside]
posted by y2karl at 7:03 AM PST - 15 comments

The Iraq war turns 18

Plaid and Bob Jaroc - crumax rins An extra on the "Greedy Baby" dvd, also featuring "Super Barrio', the video for crumax runs is a time lapse of CNN from March 19 to April 17th, 2003, covering the initial invasion of Iraq. A time capsule of a pivotal time in US modern history.
posted by scodger at 4:32 AM PST - 3 comments

March 19

Gonna Grab a Bunch!

In order to do things like automatically type ligatures, OpenFont files are technically programs, so anyway someone built a whole video game called Fontemon into a single font [more inside]
posted by DoctorFedora at 11:54 PM PST - 17 comments

An $80,000,000 Glass Mansion with Everything Left Inside

An $80,000,000 Glass Mansion with Everything Left Inside. That is all.
posted by slater at 8:19 PM PST - 102 comments

“[P]eople usually assume that the two men are a married gay couple.”

[W]hen the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges established same-sex marriage as a constitutional right, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote a dissent arguing that… existing marriage restrictions must similarly “disrespect and subordinate people who find fulfillment in polyamorous relationships.”
Andrew Solomon has a long piece in The New Yorker profiling a number of poly- individuals, and reviewing the state of the law for non-monogamous and non-nuclear family groups in America: “How Polyamorists and Polygamists Are Challenging Family Norms”
Within, please find a list of people Solomon interviews or mentions in the piece.
[more inside]
posted by Going To Maine at 5:50 PM PST - 62 comments

Oh... Oh, Aqualung

The Aqualung 50th Anniversary Special livestreamed a few hours ago (SLYT). Ian Anderson comments on the album and individual songs: "a social documentary, social realism, and touches on subjects of the everyday street scenario, people in a landscape." [more inside]
posted by jaruwaan at 5:24 PM PST - 14 comments

GTF up out my face, or I just might become a felon (SLYT)

9 to 5 parody She's answering comments on the video [more inside]
posted by Gorgik at 2:24 PM PST - 9 comments

It's not aliens. It's never aliens.

It was likely knocked off the surface by an impact about half a billion years ago and thrown out of its parent system," Jackson said. "Being made of frozen nitrogen also explains the unusual shape of 'Oumuamua. As the outer layers of nitrogen ice evaporated, the shape of the body would have become progressively more flattened, just like a bar of soap does as the outer layers get rubbed off through use.
Alien space craft it wasn't, but Oumuamua's real origin as proposed by Arizona State University astrophysicists Steven Desch and Alan Jackson is if anything even more awe inspiring.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:01 PM PST - 50 comments

Doubt on the Old Copper timeline

Ancient Native Americans were among the world’s first coppersmiths. The dates show that early Native Americans were among the first people in the world to mine metal and fashion it into tools. They also suggest a regional climate shift might help explain why, after thousands of years, the pioneering metallurgists abruptly stopped making most copper tools and largely returned to stone and bone implements.
posted by Alex404 at 11:52 AM PST - 16 comments

A Trip Down Crooked Old Peanut Brittle Lane

"Candyland is a masterpiece of game design that designers should be studying and dissecting as one of the best examples EVER of game design craft for specific audiences." A rant through the history of one of the most ubiquitous and overlooked board games, but John Brieger.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:04 AM PST - 77 comments

Shinigami Eyes

Shinigami Eyes is a browser addon that highlights transphobic and trans-friendly social network pages and users with different colors available for Chrome and Firefox.
posted by simmering octagon at 10:52 AM PST - 18 comments

"The era of genius worship must end with James Levine."

[tw: sexual assault, abusive asshole] James Levine, whose career at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City spanned 50 years, died March 9 at age 77. The Boston Globe, well known for its Spotlight investigation team and blowing wide open the abusive priest situation in the Catholic church for the first time in 2002, has its take on Levine: "In the maestro’s thrall." (Longform article, has all the ugly details.) Fired in 2018, he sued the Met and a settlement was announced for $3.5 million. A good article in the Globe today: The era of genius worship must end with James Levine. (Limited articles for Boston Globe) From this NY Times obituary: "'No artist in the 137-year history of the Met had as profound an impact as James Levine,' Peter Gelb, the company’s general manager, said in a statement. 'He raised the Met’s musical standards to new and greater heights during a tenure that spanned five decades.'"
posted by Melismata at 9:10 AM PST - 37 comments

The Only New Friends I Made This Year Were My Children

Lyz Lenz writes for Glamour about parenting during the covid pandemic. [more inside]
posted by Spathe Cadet at 9:08 AM PST - 28 comments

The legendary fabric that no one knows how to make

Dhaka muslin: Was it woven by mermaids? No, but it was combed with fish teeth. Was it spun underwater? No, but on boats in the middle of rivers. Were you really clothed if you wore it, or were you just walking around naked? Was it beautiful? Everyone thought so, especially Prof. Sunny Singh's mom. And can it be made again?
posted by Hypatia at 8:57 AM PST - 13 comments

Legitimate Disinterest

How fast can you beat the Cookie Consent Speed Run?
posted by adrianhon at 6:52 AM PST - 35 comments

SF stories where kindness wins

The link has five stories. There are plenty more in the comments.
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 6:43 AM PST - 12 comments

On flavored potato chips (crisps)

Until I talked to Berenstein, I had never thought of a chip, potato or otherwise, as a tabula rasa for gastronomic artistry, but the truth is it’s not really self-evident that they should taste like ketchup, or spicy dill pickles, or late night cheeseburgers. Their inimitable texture, crunch and salt-load, though, provides a perfect, flattering backdrop to any particular flavour combination the mad scientists of the food industry could cook up. This infinity of possibilities is inescapably captivating. Which is all to say I’ve been thinking a lot about chips lately. I suspect many of us are, as we take our homebound comforts where we can. Mark Slutsky on potato chips, featuring chip reviewer @professorchip.
posted by Bella Donna at 5:18 AM PST - 68 comments

Calling Doctor Peyo to Ward Everywhere

'Doctor' Peyo is a French horse with an uncanny empathy. He can tell when people need him, and is able to soothe the pain of those at palliative stage. Look at this photo collection in The Guardian. Watch this video from a few years ago (he's 17-18yrs old now). Here's a longer, discursive video in French without the music and better resolution (19min), and another one (37min). And an article in Ministry Earth magazine. Friendship is magic.
posted by Thella at 12:11 AM PST - 23 comments

March 18


There were 3800 anti-Asian racist incidents, mostly against women, in the past year. On Tuesday, 8 people were shot dead by a murderer who targeted Asian spa businesses and Asian women in Atlanta. On Wednesday, two elderly Asian people were attacked unprovoked in San Francisco; one of them went viral for turning the tables on her assailant. [more inside]
posted by toastyk at 9:56 PM PST - 55 comments

Could Trump Be The 1st U.S. President Charged With A Criminal Offense?

...but if Trump did commit crimes of some sort, even if they're kind of, you know, sort of ordinary business crimes, if he did, it's important that there not be a culture of impunity in this country, that there needs to be a message sent that there are consequences, no matter how rich and important you are, if you break the law, and that that message is more important almost than anything else when it comes to protecting democracy.
Could Trump Be The 1st U.S. President Charged With A Criminal Offense? [more inside]
posted by y2karl at 5:50 PM PST - 59 comments

Making it easier for published scientists to change their names

Science said last month: "Today we are pleased to announce a seamless, discreet procedure that authors can follow to change their names in previously published papers across the Science family of journals. We join multiple other publishers that have adopted similar initiatives, including the American Chemical Society, Public Library of Science, Royal Society of Chemistry, and Wiley. Authors may have occasion to change their names for various reasons, but recent outreach by, and on behalf of, transgender scientists has impressed upon us the importance of respecting authors’ privacy and autonomy in correcting the scientific record."
posted by brainwane at 1:14 PM PST - 23 comments

In a Zoom meeting you don’t want to be in? This will get you out of it

You can make your connection seem spotty or take your pick of artificial distractions: baby crying, man weeping, or urination. Or a mash-up of all three. A new tool, Zoom Escaper, takes the pressure off your acting and stillness skills. Following a few simple steps, you can sabotage your own audio streams, “making your presence unbearable to others,” according to the description by the developer, Sam Lavigne. It creates fake, noisy background distractions that sound like they’re emanating from your living space. There’d be little realistic recourse on the part of your colleagues other than excusing you from the meeting to shut off the terrible din and deal with the perceived interruption.
posted by folklore724 at 11:57 AM PST - 48 comments

The Cultural Borders of Songs

Mapping #1 Songs in 3000 Cities [Pudding]
posted by ellieBOA at 11:54 AM PST - 6 comments

Practical Astronomy

what if the Banana was the same distance as the ISS
posted by Going To Maine at 10:34 AM PST - 51 comments

Dick Hoyt, 1940-2021

The Boston Marathon/triathlon legend and one half of Team Hoyt has passed away. Together, Team Hoyt completed 234 triathlons, 67 marathons, and 6 Ironmans. [more inside]
posted by jquinby at 8:51 AM PST - 18 comments

They paid a secret group of writers...

"Substack has an editorial policy, but no accountability. And they have terms of service, but no enforcement." Annalee Newitz describes Substack as a scam (and a predatory publishing model). They link to Jude Doyle's discussion of the way the platform promotes TERFs.
posted by yarntheory at 8:22 AM PST - 139 comments

Televised Worlds, Part 2: Lands of Dreams and Nightmares

There's an important shiny rock, and the bad guy orders his minions to go get it. Sounds like a normal cartoon, right? But the is The Dreamstone, the gorgeous British animated series set in a full-blown fantasy universe, officially available on YouTube in its entirety (click Playlists to see everything in order). Stick with it after Season 1 - the heroes and villain may become more complacent, but impressively, they gradually improve, the heroes moreso. A miniatures game and a tabletop RPG based on the series are currently in production at Oakbound Studio.
posted by BiggerJ at 5:37 AM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

March 17

Americanisms are uniquely American thoughts, beliefs, or actions

The MIT International Students Office offers a guide to cultural adjustment. Besides for a breakdown of the phases of cultural adjustment, it also offers extensive primers on Americanisms and idioms. The contents may be of interest to Americans as well. [more inside]
posted by cosmic owl at 8:52 PM PST - 315 comments

Dropkick Murphys to Livestream (Second) Annual St. Patrick’s Day Show

A year later, the Drop Kick Murphy's live stream their St Patrick's day show. [more inside]
posted by Carillon at 4:24 PM PST - 6 comments

"This ‘tip line’ appears to have operated more like a garbage chute"

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) asks Attorney General Merrick Garland to look into matters which precede Garland's tenure "but have evaded oversight" -- including Justice Brett Kavanaugh [more inside]
posted by Iris Gambol at 4:00 PM PST - 53 comments

Embryons desséchés

Shrimp eating broccoli | carrot | watermelon and other peaceful meditations on the planted aquarium
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 3:19 PM PST - 11 comments

A.G. Cook's remix of Describe by Perfume Genius

Perfume Genius has released Immediately Remixes, a set of remixes from his 2020 album Set My Heart On Fire Immediately. A.G. Cook's remix of Describe is accompanied by a video [content warning for flashing lights] by the animator Jack Wedge
posted by hermanubis at 1:59 PM PST - 2 comments

The History of English Literature from Sumeria Onwards

Literature and History is a podcast by Dr. Doug Metzger about the literature of the English speaking world from the year 2000 BCE until … well, in the five years since he's now up to 300 CE, and in about a year's time, in episode 100, he'll get to the first Anglo-Saxon books. The plan is to cover all the major influences on Anglophone literature, and the main influences on those influences, before diving into literature written in that language. The episodes are generally between an hour and two hours and half long, and leaven serious literary history with jokes and silly songs. All episodes have transcripts and quizzes available, and if you've listened to all the free episodes, 84 so far, you can also buy some more. [via Emma Hine in The Paris Review]
posted by Kattullus at 1:37 PM PST - 15 comments

Larnell Lewis Hears "Enter Sandman" For The First Time

Sickening as it is watching Larnell Lewis hearing "Enter Sandman" for the first time and immediately nailing the drums when you yourself struggled for three years learning to play "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" on the guitar --badly--, you can't deny the man's talent, not just in being able to play a song perfectly after hearing it once, but also in how he breaks it down beforehand while listening to it. (Via.)
posted by MartinWisse at 12:33 PM PST - 57 comments

I feel like my rage might eat me alive.

Dear EMSTBC, No one is taking care of you, and it hurts. Normally I’d start with something much more empowering than that. Because most of us don’t have anyone taking care of us! We don’t each get our own private Mommy who listens and empathizes and makes things better. Hell, many of us don’t even get that when we’re babies. But you know what? It’s still so sad to feel like you’re completely on your own. And when you’re enraged, sometimes that’s just the sadness of needing so much that you don’t have.
posted by snerson at 11:55 AM PST - 39 comments

Ben Eater Builds Terrible Video Cards

Ben Eater builds the world's worst VGA video card and installs it in a puny computer that he also built himself. [more inside]
posted by dmh at 11:48 AM PST - 27 comments

Xavier Lozano

Xavier Lozano playing a flute made from a street barricade. Check out the TED talk which is in Catalan but includes lots of fun fluting on unconventional flutes.
posted by latkes at 10:53 AM PST - 4 comments

The weather and the phase of the moon, in ascii, as services

Visit (or curl it) to get the weather where you are
Visit to get the weather somewhere
Visit to get the phase of the moon.
This website turns wego and pyphoon into services.
Thanks, @schachmat and Igor Chubin!
posted by Going To Maine at 10:28 AM PST - 15 comments

I tell you something, I do that lap time in a van

Celebrated racecar driver Sabine Schmitz, Queen of the Nürburgring Ring and two time winner of the 24 hours of Nürburgring but probably best known for embarrassing Jeremy Clarkson with a sub ten minute lap at the wheel of a Ford Transit, has died of cancer. She was 51. [more inside]
posted by Mitheral at 9:16 AM PST - 43 comments

The Original Nerdy-Sexy-Commie-Girl

The Charming Hostess lost its frontwoman, Jewlia Eisenberg, last week. An article in the Forward (originally known in Yiddish as the Forverts) provides a good introduction to the life of Jewlia Eisenberg, who created music she called "Nerdy-Sexy-Commie-Girly" by blending blues, folk music, and Jewish piyyut. [more inside]
posted by Flight Hardware, do not touch at 8:12 AM PST - 10 comments

Illegal Content and the Blockchain

Apparently anyone can put anything in the Bitcoin blockchain, including illegal material, and it can't be removed without forking the chain and thus diminishing the coin value. This could be the downfall that stops the immense waste of energy maintaining the blockchain. Maybe start by adding in pictures of Winnie the Pooh?
posted by hypnogogue at 8:12 AM PST - 69 comments

Building a log cabin

A year alone in a forest in Sweden, building a log cabin [YouTube, ~2 hours]. [more inside]
posted by Westringia F. at 7:10 AM PST - 11 comments

March 16

Televised Worlds, Part 1: Colonies of Color and Gloom

ReBoot wasn't quite the first all-CGI half-hour animated series. Earlier that year, French studio Fantôme released Insektors, an epic soft sci-fi romp about the conflict between two civilizations of insect-people (Engadget article featuring insights from a co-creator and an animator). The series had two dramatically different English dubs, available on YouTube in their entirety: the more faithful if somewhat unsubtle American dub and the more comedic UK dub. The former playlist also includes some originally unlocalized extras: a Christmas special, a Making Of special and a short about a fictional VR game.
posted by BiggerJ at 9:34 PM PST - 5 comments

I used to like this song

Youtube channel There I Ruined It take your favorite songs and transform them into new genres of music. E.g. Folsom Prison Blues as disco, Enter Sandman as a kid's song, We Will Rock you as Dixieland
posted by borkencode at 2:27 PM PST - 58 comments

You can go ahead and skip this one...

Shields and Yarnell, Captain and Tennille, The Carpenters, Donny and Marie. One toke over the line.... Why? I don't know. It just seemed important for some reason. That kinda day
posted by GernBlandston at 1:36 PM PST - 129 comments

Safe to be Black

Alexandra Shungudzo Govere, better known as Shungudzo, wants a world where it's safe to be Black. [more inside]
posted by FirstMateKate at 1:18 PM PST - 2 comments

The network routes internet traffic according to the logic of the sun

Solar Protocol is a web platform hosted across a network of solar-powered servers set up in different locations around the world.
posted by eotvos at 1:05 PM PST - 5 comments

Import Yeti

Search 60 Million U.S. Customs Sea Shipment Records Instantly [more inside]
posted by aniola at 11:38 AM PST - 16 comments

Roadside Architecture

2700 pages containing 60,000 images, still updated regularly, and all in glorious circa 2000 web design.
posted by COD at 10:42 AM PST - 17 comments

Kiss and Makeup

Elsevier & University of California (UC) reach publishing and open access "deal" after negotiations were suspended 2 years ago. UC says they won 7% savings, but a far cry from the open access arrangement that had been hoped for public and government funded science. Does this bellwether of future negotiations between institutions and publishers just promise a continuation of the status quo pay-to-publish pay-to-access publish-or-perish codependent relationship we've seen in the past? [more inside]
posted by rubatan at 9:10 AM PST - 28 comments

This one's for the old-school analog television fans.

Why was there no channel 37? It's pretty darn technical, but the upshot is, apparently, aliens.
posted by JanetLand at 9:03 AM PST - 25 comments

A Comedy Of Errors, East Rutherford Style

In the latest edition of Dorktown, Jon Bois and Alex Rubenstein discuss a 97 yard drive that contained less than a first down's worth of actual played yardage, and how that one drive reshaped the destinies of two teams, and thus the NFL. [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 8:16 AM PST - 14 comments

Yaphet Kotto, 1939-2021

Actor Yaphet Kotto has died at the age of 81. He was known for a variety of roles, including Alonzo Mosely in "Midnight Run", Parker in "Alien", Al Giordello in "Homicide: Life on the Street." Also, a few years ago he posted a heck of a story about a road trip he took with Robert Mitchum.
posted by rmd1023 at 6:16 AM PST - 95 comments

March 15

The Voice Goes Electric

Michael Winslow impersonates Jimi Hendrix playing “Purple Haze” at Montreal’s “Juste Pour Rire” festival using his mouth as an electric guitar.
Previously -but postdating this recording- we had posts about Winslow performing “Whole Lotta Love” and “The History of the Typewriter”
A short clip from Viceland of Winslow and a DJ playing together
posted by Going To Maine at 10:47 PM PST - 22 comments

You'd have me down, down, down, down on my articulation points

Transformers cover Barracuda [more inside]
posted by Gorgik at 9:26 PM PST - 9 comments

Welcome to You can do anything at

... as long as it involves relatively low quality deep-faked lip-syncs on your mobile device.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 2:49 PM PST - 23 comments

Beyond Weimar

Queer as German Folk is an online exhibition offering an insight into the history of queer movements in the Federal Republic of Germany, the German Democratic Republic, and reunited Germany since the 1960s
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 1:26 PM PST - 3 comments

GothamChess vs Dewa Kipas

Wired Magazine recaps some recent online chess drama [more inside]
posted by interogative mood at 1:09 PM PST - 52 comments

Sorry, Elvis's birthplace!

(looks to the left) (looks to the right) (takes a deep breath)
Gizmodo, The Guardian, The Independent, Engadget, WREG out of... you know, that town.
posted by JHarris at 1:05 PM PST - 36 comments

Live Now, Die Later

Do you want a break from feeling worried? Do you want to live in an alternate reality of upbeat funk mixes and Geocities aesthetics? Then you want, a site with no context, no signature, just hours and hours of curated grooves.
posted by ictow at 12:05 PM PST - 11 comments

The Chicago Poison Plot

In February of 1916, George Mundelein was ordained the country's youngest archbishop in Chicago, and the city held a banquet in his honor. Anarchist Jean Crones used his position as assistant cook at the University Club to lace their appetizers with arsenic. Former mayors and industry titans fell sick, though his plan ultimately failed. He was never caught.
posted by FiftyShadesOfBae at 12:05 PM PST - 5 comments

"A billion dollar company cant deal with one person?"

Cariad Keigher: Twitch chat harassment remains unaddressed despite complaints and evidence of potential fraud - If you're a streamer on Twitch and are being harassed by someone in your chat, what can you do about it? Very little, it turns out, and Twitch itself doesn't seem to have any interest in helping protect you. [CW: Sexual harassment, abusive language]
posted by benluttrull at 10:18 AM PST - 3 comments

Which was the stylus at the time

The finest Simpsons history posting group on Facebook - since that story of the rocks painted as copper last week - is just emerging from an extremely intense exploration of how many jokes they can get from that 1750 BC cuneiform complaint tablet to a guy called Ea-nasir
Or, how to remake classic Simpsons memes into jokes about Sumerian copper merchants delivering substandard ingots.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:12 AM PST - 39 comments

Chin up.

Worse Things Happen At Sea [via mefi projects]
posted by aniola at 9:46 AM PST - 8 comments

Is consciousness everywhere?

"Accounting for the nature of consciousness appears elusive, with many claiming that it cannot be defined at all, yet defining it is actually straightforward. Here goes: Consciousness is experience." Christof Koch, at MIT Press, discusses what Integrated Information Theory (IIT) has to say about consciousness: "Some level of experience can be found in all organisms, it says, including perhaps in Paramecium and other single-cell life forms. Indeed, according to IIT, which aims to precisely define both the quality and the quantity of any one conscious experience, experience may not even be restricted to biological entities but might extend to non-evolved physical systems previously assumed to be mindless — a pleasing and parsimonious conclusion about the makeup of the universe."
posted by beagle at 9:27 AM PST - 112 comments

Only Some People Get Full Dimensionality and Representation

Many people made money from what happened in that U.S. Bank in suburban Cleveland in April 2011. New York editors and go-betweens, Hollywood agents and filmmakers, and others, all sticking their hands into the big “Cherry” pie and pulling out green. That the underlying story at one point included real people and real victims: This was erased through careful, diligent inattention. From Crime and Hollywood by Matt Gallagher in The Intercept
posted by chavenet at 7:42 AM PST - 10 comments

The literal body politic? Appearance and political affiliation

Democrats and Republicans Can Be Differentiated from Their Faces because Political Attitudes Vary with Physiological Traits. That may sound far-fetched, but associating physiology with ideology is consistent with findings from behavior genetics that political orientation exhibits genetic heritability. See Genetic Variation in Political Participation and Are Political Orientations Genetically Transmitted?
posted by BadgerDoctor at 2:16 AM PST - 45 comments

March 14

healing trauma with art

An unlikely match, comedian Magda Szubanski and Will "egg boy" Connolly team up to bring art therapy for long term mental health problems associated with trauma. (ABC news link.) (Content Warning: bushfire, associated mention of farm animal harm.) [more inside]
posted by freethefeet at 9:41 PM PST - 9 comments

What went wrong at Gimlet

What went wrong at Gimlet? Vulture explains that it wasn't just about The Test Kitchen miniseries, and the complaints of racism and power imbalance in the Spotify-acquired podcast company went beyond PJ Vogt and Sruthi Pinnamaneni. In a separate recent article, the NYTimes also substantiates that the problems went much deeper. (Previously on Metafilter: Reply All is having its own reckoning now.)
posted by splitpeasoup at 12:21 PM PST - 52 comments

Why no SOLAR powered cars? Well why not?

At first glance, Sion doesn’t look much different than any other black compact car roaming the streets in European cities. But upon closer inspection, it becomes clear that the car’s exterior is made up of hundreds of solar cells molded into polymer. These solar cells (which total 248 in all) convert sunlight into energy, which is then stored in the vehicle’s battery. Based on average weather in Munich, solar cells on a Sion can generate up to 1.2 kilowatts a day, which translates into 21 miles of driving range.
posted by sammyo at 11:07 AM PST - 90 comments

Only Your Boss Can Cure Your Burnout

People refer to various forms of malaise as “burnout,” but it’s technically a work problem. And only your employer can solve it.
posted by folklore724 at 10:14 AM PST - 66 comments

Meow Meow Meow

If you're of a certain age, you probably still remember learning Señor Don Gato [sheet music .pdf link] in elementary music school class. Perhaps this animated video will remind you if you've forgotten. You may not know that the lyrics are translated from a Spanish song, but the melody has an entirely different source [lyrics with translation]. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 10:10 AM PST - 33 comments

there is a lot of poo woo on the internet

Going Through the Motions A perfect bit of bathroom reading from The Guardian.
posted by RobinofFrocksley at 9:23 AM PST - 11 comments

The murder of Sarah Everard and the complicity of the police

Sarah Everard was allegedly murdered by a police officer as she was walking home from a friend's house on 3rd March 2021. The response has been a national outpouring of rage and grief. CW: murder of a woman, violence, patriarchy, police complicity Police Constable Wayne Couzens was charged with Sarah Everard's murder on 12th March. A campaign on social media took place where women spoke out about the steps they needed to take to feel safe in public. [more inside]
posted by Laura_J at 6:32 AM PST - 42 comments

The pinnacle of canine design

How do people live without dachshunds? If you don’t have a dachshund in your life, you could always stream the Disney classic ’The Ugly Dachshund,’ with Dean Jones and Suzanne Pleshette, and (presumably) a bunch of cute dachshunds. Or, study up your US Presidential history, and thrill to the factoid that Grover Cleveland had three dachshunds - one of which was described by the Chicago Daily Tribune as ’A bow-legged, squat-figured dachshund, with long flapping ears!’ Politics not your thing? Well, a Spanish fella named Pablo Picasso achieved international fame through his dachshund companion! Likewise, Pittsburgh man Andy Warhol achieved notoriety through his two dachshunds, Archie and Amos. Some people in Munich had a little sporting event in 1972 and were worried no one would come. The solution - invent a mascot for the event, and make it a dachshund! Would you like to be notified of mail in your mailbox by anxious yapping? Consider a dachshund.
posted by Tchozz at 6:21 AM PST - 24 comments

March 13

I Wish They All Could Be California Bagels

The Best Bagels Are in California (Sorry, New York) West Coast bakers are driving a great bagel boom, producing some of the most delicious versions around and finding ways to expand during the pandemic. (SLNYT)
posted by The Gooch at 12:50 PM PST - 124 comments

“Adapt or die; resist and perish… Agriculture is now big business”

On the death of my family's dairy farm "I do think it may have been possible to save the family dairy farm at some point, probably through a supply management program similar to what Canada has. There are all sorts of arguments to be made for or against such a system but by all accounts Canadian farmers and consumers are generally happy with their setup up there. [...] But at this point for America, the cow is out of the barn so to speak and it’s too late for our family dairy farmers."
posted by bitmage at 12:40 PM PST - 18 comments

Jane Le Carré

“But what would I do?” Jane Cornwell asked. She is less well-known than her husband, who passed away late last year. Now that she, too, is gone, her son writes this tribute to her and the work they did together.
posted by Alensin at 11:15 AM PST - 13 comments

"I told her that I didn’t want any of it"

How to Practice | The New Yorker's Ann Patchett writes about the decision she and her husband made to purge their lives life of possessions, after the death of her best friend's father. [more inside]
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 11:09 AM PST - 59 comments

A Staggering $50 Trillion

That is how much the upward redistribution of income has cost American workers over the past several decades—the amount they would have made had inequality held steady. (SL TIME)
posted by blue shadows at 10:34 AM PST - 18 comments

Yo La Tengo Is Still Murdering the Classics

Today at 3pm Eastern is the annual Yo La Tengo request show. If you donate $100 to the great independent radio station WFMU, Yo La Tengo will try to play any song you request. (check your timezone here). [more inside]
posted by roll truck roll at 8:28 AM PST - 32 comments

March 12

Daniel Tiger welcomes new autistic character to the Neighborhood

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, a popular PBS Kids series is introducing Max, Teacher Harriet's autistic nephew. Max is voiced by a 13-year-old autistic boy, Israel Thomas-Bruce, and will make his debut in April. [more inside]
posted by brook horse at 5:12 PM PST - 19 comments

The Indignities and Mediocrity of Brute White Patriarchy

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is under investigation by his own Attorney General and is facing possible impeachment for two colliding scandals: mounting allegations of sexual misconduct, and allegations that he deliberately under-reported COVID-related nursing home deaths. Today, New York Magazine published a lengthy, exhaustively researched, and incredibly damning exposé about the toxic culture of Cuomo's Albany. Despite calls for his resignation from a majority of state lawmakers and New York’s Congressional delegation, Cuomo says he's not going anywhere.
posted by showbiz_liz at 4:22 PM PST - 134 comments

Does it matter if it was a nurse shark?

Wyoming Wormboy asks what happens if you get your first covid shot, but then a shark bites your arm off just above where the needle went in, like about 47 minutes after you got the shot? He's a scientist; he needs to know.
posted by ALeaflikeStructure at 3:02 PM PST - 28 comments

Vaccine Scarcity: A Policy Choice That Prolongs the Pandemic

Major international NGOs from Amnesty International to Human Rights Watch to Oxfam are calling-out a group of governments (EU, UK, US, Switzerland, Canada, Australia, Japan, and others) and major pharmaceutical companies for “prolonging the pandemic” by blocking the waiving of some intellectual property rules at the World Trade Organization to allow wider-spread production of the coronavirus vaccine. The waiver proposal is also backed by 80 other countries and the head of the WTO. [more inside]
posted by ZenMasterThis at 12:52 PM PST - 63 comments

A Monarch Named Henry

Meet Henry, "an unexpected guest." Make that "an early, unexpected guest who was given a warm welcome and an even warmer send-off." Henry is a Marin County winter monarch butterfly. [more inside]
posted by Lexica at 12:27 PM PST - 7 comments

It's a Magical World

The Untold Truth of Calvin and Hobbes [more inside]
posted by fimbulvetr at 12:08 PM PST - 17 comments

From bog to table

The Jubilee Oak is a five-thousand-year-old, perfectly preserved 42-foot long bog oak, discovered in 2012. Now it's being turned into a really, really long table. Just drying the wood was in itself a multiyear process. The wood has the density of ebony, and the individual planks take 18 people to move. Here's the story of Hamish Low, the craftsman leading the project. The project blog has lots of cool detail on every part of the process.
posted by kaibutsu at 11:43 AM PST - 19 comments

Best rainbows on Earth are in Hawaii, scientist says

There are many words for rainbows in the Hawaiian language. The Hawaiian words for rainbows describe different manifestations of rainbows that are possible. “There are words for Earth-clinging rainbows (uakoko), standing rainbow shafts (kāhili), barely visible rainbows (punakea), and moonbows (ānuenue kau pō), among others. In Hawaiian mythology the rainbow is a symbol of transformation and a pathway between Earth and Heaven, as it is in many cultures around the world"
posted by folklore724 at 10:42 AM PST - 9 comments

Justseeds Activist Posters

Justseeds Artists' Cooperative is a decentralized network of 41 artists committed to social, environmental, and political engagement. They have a huge archive of activist posters that are available for noncommercial use. Topics include the protests against DAPL, the Poor People’s Campaign, antifascism, the Zapatista uprising, and prison abolition.
posted by goatdog at 10:37 AM PST - 4 comments

Lucha Libre Wrestler "enforce" mask and sanitizing rules in Mexico

In Central de Abasto market, Mexico City, Mexico, a group of lucha libre wrestlers are "enforcing" mask and sanitizing rules... perhaps that's a bit too strong. Let's just say (jokingly) encouraging the use of masks and hand sanitizers. Would never happen in the US, of course.
posted by kschang at 10:33 AM PST - 8 comments

St Patrick’s Festival TV is now live

Irish comedian / twitter person Michael Fry kicks off the event with his one person indie band's music video. The festival is here. [more inside]
posted by mrzarquon at 9:54 AM PST - 3 comments

Drawing Together With Lynda Barry

Want to take a workshop with MacArthur Foundation "genius" Lynda Barry? You're in luck--a two-hour version of her workshop, given through Graphic Medicine's online series Drawing Together (archive), is now online!

Hat tip: Open Culture, who includes a sneak preview of the class, along with a delightful musical playlist, here.

[more inside]
posted by carrienation at 9:51 AM PST - 17 comments

Hearts and Hummingbirds

Consider the hummingbird for a long moment.”
posted by oulipian at 9:37 AM PST - 6 comments

Maybe it was always going to be about the grift

Conceived as a full-time attack machine against Mr. Trump, the Lincoln Project’s public profile soared last year as its founders built a reputation as a creative yet ruthless band of veteran operators. They recruited like-minded colleagues, and their scathing videos brought adulation from the left and an aura of mischievous idealism for what they claimed was their mission: nothing less than to save democracy. They also hit upon a geyser of cash, discovering that biting attacks on a uniquely polarizing president could be as profitable in the loosely regulated world of political fund-raising as Mr. Trump’s populist bravado was for his own campaign. Then it all began to unravel.
Inside the Lincoln Project’s Secrets, Side Deals and Scandals (New York Times) [more inside]
posted by Glegrinof the Pig-Man at 8:25 AM PST - 58 comments

"Love all, trust a few, Do wrong to none."

The Ethics Litmus Test - A Card Deck. "The deck and activities help build up our ethics capacity and vocabulary — as individuals and as part of a team. Use the prompts to practice grappling with the grey, inconvenient, or ambiguous challenges in our everyday work." Also: The Tarot Cards of Tech - a set of provocations to help creators and designers consider the impact of their work. "...instead of 'move fast and break things', slow down and ask the right questions."
posted by storybored at 8:08 AM PST - 11 comments

March 11

No rolls for Battleshock while the Glottkin holds the field, Gore my boy

ORSON: I have only had one real enemy in life that I know about, and that is John Houseman. Everything begins and ends with the hostility behind that ministerial benevolence. [Rolling unsuccessfully for charge on The Great Unclean One] Now I have two: John Houseman and the Great Horned Rat.
Gore Vidal and Orson Welles play Warhammer.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:39 PM PST - 19 comments

The One in a Million Cardinal

Bird week continues on MetaFilter with the spotting of a rare yellow cardinal in western Illinois. It is believed there are around a dozen of these cardinals in the eastern US and Canada at any given time out of a population of 50 million.
posted by JoeZydeco at 7:29 PM PST - 16 comments

Ducks are OUT

One of the main characters on Twitter today is the pink-necked green-pigeon (Treron vernans), a photo of which went viral overnight. Yes, it’s real. Yes, it’s stunning.
Steph Harmon in The Guardian: “What is this ‘hot pigeon’? Is it even real?”
posted by Going To Maine at 2:03 PM PST - 45 comments

The Tulare Basin of California's Central Valley

The Tulare Basin had four lakes. The Tulare Basin is a land of superlatives. Long story short, the Tulare Basin was a huge and healthy wetlands ecosystem with diverse flora, fauna, and people. Then new people showed up, did the genocide thing (what's it called when it's a genocide of people AND environment?), and now it's a polluted agricultural "breadbasket of the world" (previously). Until the water runs out. But a U-turn is possible. [more inside]
posted by aniola at 10:58 AM PST - 24 comments

The Void

This is the most beautiful painting I’ve ever seen. I know this with the kind of certainty that’s only possible in dreams, and I also know some divine truth is there, if only I can see exactly what the image is.
A short story by Leigh Alexander.
posted by skymt at 10:37 AM PST - 9 comments

They Would Prefer Not To

Nobody Knows What To Do About NEETs
NEET stands for “Not in Employment, Education or Training.” These are individuals in their mid-20s or older, adrift in life, often living at home with parents. Some are struggling to integrate into society because of past trauma, mental illness or disability; others sound more like Herman Melville’s fictional scrivener, Bartleby, who flatly refuses to do anything on the grounds that he “would prefer not to.”
posted by SansPoint at 9:57 AM PST - 123 comments

Disappearing Works and Cancel Culture

Why disappearing works matter in the conversation about cancel culture (with a digression into the wolf-kink erotica DMCA takedown issue) An interesting take on cancel culture by Daniel Takash... "There’s never a bad time to discuss the interlocking problem of long copyright terms and disappearing works. While certainly a good idea, fixing the former won’t do anything about the latter and ignores reforms to copyright law that could more effectively address these issues. To be blunt, I’m not optimistic that much can be done to address the issues created by our current copyright terms, let alone reduce them to thirty years. Our current terms of life plus seventy (95 years for other works) is too long, and the retroactive extension of copyright terms by the Sonny Bono (or “Mickey Mouse” if you prefer) Copyright Term Extension Act remains an unforgivable power grab by legacy rights holders. However, even modest changes like former Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante’s suggestion to return to the pre-1998 terms of life plus fifty would face legal constraints, to say nothing of the herculean political effort it would take to make such changes a reality."
posted by burningyrboats at 9:27 AM PST - 52 comments

Cowboys, Outlaws, Buffalo Soldiers, Lawmen....

Freelance writer Zaron Burnett is producing a podcast on Black figures of the Old West, Black Cowboys. [more inside]
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:25 AM PST - 8 comments


The inventor of the cassette tape, Lou Ottens, has died at the age of 94. Ottens led a creative life, from designing his own directional antenna to avoid Nazi radio jamming during WW II to participating in the development of the digital compact disk. Ottens also designed the cassette player's precursor, the Philips EL3585 (here's a good photo), which was a portable reel-to-reel player that used 10cm diameter reels and 9-volt batteries.
posted by ardgedee at 5:14 AM PST - 86 comments

The Door Problem

Doors are complicated to have in games and have all sorts of possible bugs. Mostly because they're a dynamic funnel and block in the pathfinding, potentially locked, potentially destructible, but in general because they sit potentially between any game interaction or character to character situation from here to there. [twitter thread] [more inside]
posted by Pyrogenesis at 12:24 AM PST - 28 comments

March 10

An opthalmologist marries a banker

Banker, princess, warlord: the many lives of Asma Assad. "How a girl from West London became the unlikely winner of Syria's war." A long read from the Economist's 1843 Magazine.
posted by russilwvong at 10:24 PM PST - 6 comments

Bad Birds in Quarantine

'The chestnut-bellied seed finch, known in Guyana as the towa-towa, is at the center of a lucrative underground trade that culminates in Queens, New York, where immigrant Guyanese men engage the birds in elaborate, secretive competitions.' [CW: animal abuse]
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 7:57 PM PST - 6 comments

Why Cornel West’s Tenure Fight Matters

I wrote letters for West’s hire and renewal at Harvard. The school’s administrators completely miss the point of tenure. Noted scholar Robin D.G. Kelley explains why tenure matters, and why he thinks West was denied tenure.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 7:19 PM PST - 37 comments

Alive in the Hot Zone - music for the modern dark age

When you are a country/Americana musician (with crustpunk roots) trapped across the ocean from your home and family during a global pandemic, why not make an album about anti-fascism and the American uprising? Alive in the Hot Zone [more inside]
posted by Seamus at 2:54 PM PST - 6 comments

Google HR: Dissent Is Poor Mental Health

In a recent report from NBC News, a number of current and former Google employees report that in response to their claims of racist and sexist behavior, the company's HR department would in response advise them to take medical leave to "deal with their mental health" while doing nothing to deal with the actual complaint. Furthermore, several employees would find themselves transferred out of a job after returning from said leave. [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 2:31 PM PST - 42 comments

it’s like having a neighbour who’s really into clowns

'Only one of those things has a future, and it’s the one with the Netflix deal." Patrick Freyne on Meghan, Harry, and Oprah. (SLIrishTimes) [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 12:18 PM PST - 76 comments

“We’re all walking around with some mild cognitive impairment”

Late-stage pandemic is messing with your brain by Ellen Cushing in the Atlantic.
I’ve started keeping a list of questions, remnants of a past life that I now need a beat or two to remember, if I can remember at all: What time do parties end? How tall is my boss? What does a bar smell like? Are babies heavy? Does my dentist have a mustache? On what street was the good sandwich place near work, the one that toasted its bread? How much does a movie popcorn cost? What do people talk about when they don’t have a global disaster to talk about all the time? You have to wear high heels the whole night? It’s more baffling than distressing, most of the time.
[more inside]
posted by medusa at 11:13 AM PST - 164 comments

For Creators, Everything Is for Sale

Digital stars are coming up with new ways to make money. Yet fans still hold the power. Recently, a platform called PearPop has become popular for allowing fans to pay for interactions with their idols on social media. For $250, for instance, the TikTok star Griffin Johnson will comment on your video. If you don’t have $250 to spare, you can offer your best bid.
posted by folklore724 at 10:30 AM PST - 52 comments

Who Can Get Your Book?

From the "yet another reason to hate Amazon" desk, Fight for the Future's Who Can Get Your Book addresses the problem of book access when a publisher refuses to make a title available to libraries or schools. Via Geoffrey Fowler's column at the Washington Post (a Post subscription may, ironically, be required). [more inside]
posted by fedward at 9:43 AM PST - 34 comments

Let's smelt some plants!

The NYT covers phytomining - the process of retrieving metals from certain types of plant. Their sap can contain a higher concentration of nickel than regular ore, bringing the prospect of planting over abandoned mines, slowly cleaning the soil and extracting the remaining metals at the same time - phytoremediation. (hat-tip to Boing Boing)
posted by Stark at 7:00 AM PST - 14 comments

Self-decapitating slug

Two species of sea slugs take their own heads off and regenerate their bodies. "Heads of young Elysia cf. marginata sea slugs can pull themselves free from their bodies and just keep crawling around while growing a new body, report ecologists at Nara Women’s University in Japan. Within a few hours, some separated heads start nibbling on algae again, Sayaka Mitoh and Yoichi Yusa report March 8 in Current Biology. And within about 20 days, a third of the young sea slugs they watched had grown their bodies back, heart and all." [more inside]
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 3:24 AM PST - 28 comments

Tell me that you're coming throuuuuuugh....

In the year 2021, when we've all been locked in and closed off, it's time to Leave the Door Open and allow Silk Sonic to save the day. (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 3:15 AM PST - 2 comments

Photography Then and Now in The Guardian

A series of Then and Now photographic essays from The Guardian With a cool interactive slider feature that lets you scroll the view from Then to Now. Trigger warnings: includes some images shot immediately after various natural and manmade disasters, cities before and after COVID and documentation relating to the extent of Uighur burial grounds in China.
posted by Chairboy at 2:06 AM PST - 3 comments

March 9

“That moment really encapsulates what you would never do nowadays”

'So inappropriate': This Calif. man is calling out some of Disney's politically incorrect videos
Like many Disney fans who have an emotional attachment to his work, Jack Plotnick also acknowledges the questionable parts of the man’s history. The difference is, he’s doing something about it, in a way that both makes him feel connected to Disneyland during its closure and moves the needle on attitudes towards some of those often-overlooked problems. He’s editing himself into old Disney videos from the 1960s and adding commentary, akin to Mystery Science Theatre 3000, providing a progressive perspective to footage that could easily be canceled into the “we can’t do that anymore” annals of history.
[more inside]
posted by Lexica at 4:24 PM PST - 20 comments

I've laid papers on the table in the other room sometimes.

Oblivion NPC Dialogue (YouTube Live Stream). It's better if I don't describe it, but you can read about it first at Kotaku if you prefer.
posted by straight at 3:04 PM PST - 15 comments

Bryant-Lake Bowl FPV

Right Up Our Alley - The best drone shot you'll see today, or maybe ever.
posted by dobbs at 2:20 PM PST - 57 comments

To my unfolding lend your prosperous ear.

The Latest Wrinkle in Crumple Theory. "Crumpling belongs to the family of “compaction” questions, which probe, for instance, how viral RNA is packed in a protein capsid. And understanding how and why materials fail is vital, whether those materials are new metallic alloys or the thin-walled structures of cars and silos." [more inside]
posted by storybored at 1:49 PM PST - 5 comments

"Nevada's Democratic Party belongs to the socialists now."

Entire Staff of Nevada Democratic Party Quits After Democratic Socialist Slate Won Every Seat. While the departure of the staff was not unexpected with Alana Mounce being appointed to political director of the DNC, $450,000 was transferred from the party to help fund the 2022 election fight for Senator Catherine Cortez Masto.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 1:33 PM PST - 97 comments

"Then we can talk about building the first prototypes"

Nothing like enthusiasm and self-belief when you're aiming for the impossible (and probably need to keep the funding flowing). Proxima Centauri - round-trip in eight years. Abstract talks about using existing science, and materials that already exist so that makes a nice change. Erik W Lentz, 2021. Breaking the warp barrier: hyper-fast solitons in Einstein–Maxwell-plasma theory, Classical and Quantum Gravity. [more inside]
posted by unearthed at 12:24 PM PST - 35 comments

Norton Juster has passed away. He was 91.

NPR obituary for the author of The Phantom Tollbooth and The Dot and the Line, which were made into cartoons by Chuck Jones. Norton Juster at Wikipedia. Quotes from The Phantom Tollbooth at Goodreads.
posted by Rash at 12:19 PM PST - 75 comments

2.3 million

Incarceration in real numbers [more inside]
posted by latkes at 11:17 AM PST - 20 comments

Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC), FKA Long-Haul Covid

The National Institutes of Health has announced the first phase of its four-year, billion-dollar initiative to learn more about why some Covid-19 survivors have long-term symptoms, even after the virus has left the body. The group of patients is known as the "long-haulers," though the NIH is calling the condition "Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection," or PASC. (The word "sequelae" comes from Latin, meaning a condition that occurs following a disease. The word "sequel" has the same origin.) -- NBC News, Feb. 24, 2021 [more inside]
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:34 AM PST - 24 comments

Witness intimidation at a remote court hearing

Drama unfolds during a preliminary domestic violence hearing conducted over Zoom, when a perceptive lawyer notices her client may be in the same room as the perpetrator. It seems the judge had anticipated this and had police ready to intervene.
posted by adept256 at 10:01 AM PST - 38 comments

Extinct Bird Re-Evolved Itself Back Into Existence

Once the bird became extinct, it took only 20,000 years for it to return and evolve into a flightless bird again. [more inside]
posted by aniola at 8:23 AM PST - 18 comments

Will the real Tom Cruise please stand up?

Tom Cruise Isn’t On TikTok: It’s a Shockingly-Realistic DeepfakePetaPixel explains how VFX/AI artist Chris Ume, creator of the real TikTok deeptomcruise account, faked it. Hint: it helps to have a Tom Cruise impersonator.
posted by cenoxo at 6:12 AM PST - 36 comments

Ahead of her time

A treasure trove of women's intellectual history has been discovered in a Cambridge college library after being forgotten for nearly 300 years. The astonishing collection comprises 47 books and pamphlets owned and annotated by the philosopher Mary Astell (1666–1731), viewed by many as “the first English feminist”.
posted by verstegan at 1:43 AM PST - 6 comments

March 8

How I cut GTA Online loading times by 70%

"GTA Online. Infamous for its slow loading times. Having picked up the game again to finish some of the newer heists I was shocked (/s) to discover that it still loads just as slow as the day it was released 7 years ago. It was time. Time to get to the bottom of this." [more inside]
posted by Pyrogenesis at 11:08 PM PST - 45 comments

Government is back: The first 50 days of the Biden-Harris administration

The administration is putting Congress to work: confirmations, COVID relief, and voting rights take shape halfway through the first 100 days. [more inside]
posted by ichomp at 10:18 PM PST - 165 comments

Anti-Hauntology: Mark Fisher, SOPHIE, and the Music of the Future

Fisher essentially sees that contemporary music has been trapped in a cycle of repetition which has allowed the capitalist culture industries to trap listeners in a state of suspended animation; a state through which novel and new ideas are not being created or even expected by the listener. Here, in some respects, Fisher is harking back to Adorno and Horkheimer’s critique of the culture industries and their subsumption of cultural forms into the machine of late capitalism. [more inside]
posted by antihistameme at 10:14 PM PST - 29 comments

"American adverts make me feel like I’m in some post-apocalyptic world"

british people reacting to american pharmaceutical ads during the harry/meghan interview [SLTwitter; threadreader link]
posted by clawsoon at 3:20 PM PST - 119 comments

To Thyne Own Self Be True

Allan McDonald, who refused to approve the Challenger launch has died. He was 83. [more inside]
posted by AugustWest at 12:47 PM PST - 63 comments

"live and thrive" rent

Jo Guldi on the birth of rent control in 1881: "After decades of theory, in 1879, Irish political leaders launched a simultaneous plan of parliamentary advocacy and grassroots marches, encouraging tenants to refuse to pay rent in districts where rent had escalated. Landlords retaliated, calling upon the police to evict tenants for non-payment. Tenants, in turn, responded by organizing massive sympathy rent strikes, where even those able to pay deliberately withheld rent in solidarity with other tenants."
posted by spamandkimchi at 10:58 AM PST - 92 comments

Expecto Reductio

Aaron Timms on How to Become an Intellectual in Silicon Valley (The Baffler). "For any post you publish, a lengthy acknowledgment should list the mentors and colleagues who’ve read over drafts of your work and contributed feedback, all of whom should be Silicon Valley intellectuals in their own right. Altman’s Ratio states that the amount of text in a blog post to the amount of text in the post’s acknowledgments section should be exactly 1:1."
posted by adrianhon at 8:40 AM PST - 59 comments

March 7

Global Warming Could Stop Relatively Quickly After Emissions Go to Zero

“It is our best understanding that, if we bring down CO2 to net zero, the warming will level off. The climate will stabilize within a decade or two." The idea that global warming could stop relatively quickly after emissions go to zero was described as a “game-changing new scientific understanding” by Covering Climate Now, a collaboration of news organizations covering climate. “This really is true,” he said. “It’s a dramatic change in the paradigm that has been lost on many who cover this issue, perhaps because it hasn’t been well explained by the scientific community. It’s an important development that is still under appreciated.”“It’s definitely the scientific consensus now that warming stabilizes quickly, within 10 years, of emissions going to zero,” he said.
posted by folklore724 at 2:51 PM PST - 133 comments

finding a voice

Erica Kastner has spent the pandemic putting together The Weimar Project, an effort to collect and translate articles from The Third Sex, a magazine published between 1930 - 32 in the Weimar Republic, written for and by trans and gender variant people living at that time which "provided a platform to share experiences and dream of a life of being fully authentic." (Content warning for period appropriate language and accounts of transphobia.)

A couple of the articles translated so far:
My First Outing as a Woman by Hans Hannah Berg
Afraid by Anonymous
posted by fight or flight at 1:47 PM PST - 17 comments

Create Escape

Bob Ross hosts this video project showing Banksy installing his latest piece. [2m53s] Create Escape depicts Oscar Wilde escaping from Reading Prison, on the wall of Reading Prison.
posted by hippybear at 5:45 AM PST - 25 comments

No one is ugly. No one is really fat. Everyone is beautiful.

I defy you to find a mainstream film with a moment as horny and gay as the Sexy Saxophone Solo from The Lost Boys. Everyone is Beautiful and No One is Horny, a pretty great look at how movies have moved from depicting idealized, yet reasonably attainable lives and their attendant messiness into what happens when you accidentally change the channel to informercials for the wealthy, glistening and perfect, but nothing lived in or liveable. [more inside]
posted by Ghidorah at 3:56 AM PST - 151 comments

The Space Between Life and Death

What do near-death experiences mean, and why do they fascinate us? / 'The clouds cleared': what terminal [paradoxical] lucidity teaches us about life, death and dementia [Guardian]
posted by ellieBOA at 3:25 AM PST - 14 comments

March 6

More Textile Eye Candy

Pushing the Limits is a group show exploring the range of creative expression in shaft-loom weaving. Assembled into a virtual exhibition by textile artist Olivier Masson, you can navigate on your own or be flown-through to visit all the works and charming slideshow of photos of the weavers and their looms. The virtual show is admittedly not a great experience on a phone, so you might also enjoy the abridged catalog (PDF) with photos of the works. For a little context, here's a writeup of the show by weaver Stacey Harvey-Brown, whose work "Shoal" is included in the show. [more inside]
posted by janell at 9:14 PM PST - 5 comments

Pass the pepper.

Wondering how to safely pass the pepper while socially distancing? Kinetic artist, Joseph Herscher of Joseph's Machine's has the answer for you. What about if you need to pass the salt? He's resolved that too. Considering taking up one-man cricket? He destroyed his house showing you how. Tired of taking out the compost? A couple compost bags to the face, and he got it right. That sibling bothering you? After accidentally making a "mean machine", he figured it out - fart spray and all. [more inside]
posted by Toddles at 8:21 PM PST - 6 comments

Looking Closely

From a Single Cell to a Salamander "In this six-minute time lapse video, you can watch a single cell grow into an alpine newt salamander. I got this via Craig Mod’s post about looking closely, in which he asks: when precisely does this collection of cells become a salamander?"
posted by kathrynm at 5:01 PM PST - 43 comments

The emerald jewel wasp is a cockroach’s worst nightmare

The parasitoid emerald jewel wasp, Ampulex compressa, makes zombies (and worse) out of the American cockroach.
posted by ShooBoo at 2:20 PM PST - 21 comments


Dog. A poem by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. "The dog trots freely in the street/ and sees reality/ and the things he sees/ are bigger than himself/ and the things he sees/ are his reality./
posted by storybored at 1:39 PM PST - 10 comments

"Has everyone become oblivious of who supports athletics??"

You cannot get away. The University of Texas-Austin has played "The Eyes of Texas" after its football games for years. Recently activists, students, and student-athletes have called for stopping the practice, citing its origin as a Lost Cause riff on a Robert E. Lee quote and its being played in minstrel shows. In response some donors have urged it being taken more seriously, especially by student-athletes, and have threatened to cease donating. [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 1:01 PM PST - 39 comments

The quest to save "the floppy goblin," the Blakiston’s fish owl

"When I was 19, in the summer of 1995, I fell in love with an owl." Johnathan Slaght is a wildlife conservationist who has devoted a large part of his career to help maintain and secure the habitat of the Blakiston fish owl, the largest owl in the world. The piscivorous owl lives primarily in the Primorye Forest in Russia, and is "the size of a fire hydrant with a six-foot wingspan" (pix). His quest to find and preserve the habitat of this bird is documented in his book Owls of the Eastern Ice, much of which was written in the back of a Russian GAZ-66 flatbed truck equipped with a wood stove (but no bathroom).
posted by jessamyn at 9:31 AM PST - 8 comments

Hungry yet? A deep dive into the #fetapasta phenomenon

What Makes a Food Go Viral? Inside the Explosive Popularity of TikTok’s Feta Pasta (Vogue) - see also: The TikTok Feta Effect: Cheese suppliers have been swept up in the video recipe phenomenon known as baked feta pasta. (New York Times) [more inside]
posted by bitteschoen at 8:37 AM PST - 62 comments

March 5

Zebra mussels? In my moss balls?

Petco and Petsmart have pulled all Marimo moss balls from shelves following the discovery that they are infested with invasive zebra mussels. They were first discovered in Washington state, but believed to be present in the moss ball supply chain nationwide. Washington Fish and Wildlife officials are particularly concerned, because the Columbia River watershed is the last watershed in the lower 48 states that is currently free of zebra mussels.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 9:15 PM PST - 35 comments

Engineering Marvel

The biggest mirror telescope ever has come closer to completion! tells us Sixth mirror cast for Giant Magellan Telescope. The casting process will take 2.5 months before it reaches room temperature, and then begins 4 years of polishing. The lab where this is happening is under the UArizona football stadium. Here's a video from UArizona's Mirror Lab talking about the process, with footage of the process. [2m52s] [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 8:49 PM PST - 12 comments

But where does Eddie fit in?

Enter Sandman is actually an Iron Maiden song. We have the proof! It's them, in the flesh, performing the song as originally written and recorded. It's not actually just a Finnish guy reimagining the song as if it were done by Iron Maiden.
posted by NoMich at 6:41 PM PST - 24 comments

Can you beat 1024 bytes of JavaScript?

The Kilobyte’s Gambit 1k chess game: I adapted an impressive 1.25KB chess engine to remove display code and get it down to 1024 bytes, then created a separate interface using pixel art of The Queen’s Gambit. It won’t win any tournaments, but if you’re a chess novice brace yourself for a challenge. [via mefi projects]
posted by not_the_water at 4:31 PM PST - 51 comments

Sorry, I Missed Your Call

I was dancing to the ringtone. (YouTube)
posted by kfholy at 10:16 AM PST - 32 comments

"I learned all their songs on the airplane."

Backup Singer Dolette McDonald on Her Years With Talking Heads, the Police, and Don Henley. The latest article in Rolling Stone's Unknown Legends series (which seems to have ramped up considerably during the pandemic) - long interviews with veteran musicians who have played and recorded with icons and stars for decades, but who remain largely unknown to the general public. [more inside]
posted by soundguy99 at 7:33 AM PST - 49 comments

"It’s part of the same pseudoscience as measuring people’s skulls"

'They become dangerous tools': the dark side of personality tests – The Guardian on the new HBO Max documentary, Persona: The Dark Truth Behind Personality Tests, which "investigates America’s infatuation with personality testing, revealing the surprising origin story behind the MBTI while surfacing ethical questions and criticisms that these seemingly harmless instruments are profoundly discriminatory and reflective of larger troubling issues of who exactly is considered worthy and valuable in society."
posted by bitteschoen at 6:51 AM PST - 119 comments

March 4

"Will my grandmother have, like, laser guns?"

"So your grandmother is a starship now: a quick guide for the bewildered" by Marissa Lingen [more inside]
posted by sibilatorix at 10:52 PM PST - 36 comments

Tough times up North

It's been a tough few weeks up in Canada. Not just delays with covid-19 vaccinations, but the revelation that maybe Canadian butter is being boosted with palm oil. Now there's a full-on debate as to whether Buttergate is real. Even if palm oil is a normal feed supplement, do we want it to be? The icing on the cake is the (unrelated) scandal of the NY Times publishing a photo of Nanaimo Bars with TOTALLY WRONG proportions.
posted by GuyZero at 8:31 PM PST - 82 comments

On Looking Closely

Looking Closely is Everything "The point being: Looking closely is valuable at every scale. From looking closely at a sentence, a photograph, a building, a government. It scales and it cascades — one cognizant detail begets another and then another. Suddenly you’ve traveled very far from that first little: Huh." [via]
posted by dhruva at 6:08 PM PST - 15 comments

The Punchline

John Scott (previously) was a hockey player in the NHL. He wasn't a particularly skilled player, no he was a goon. As a joke some people started an internet campaign to get him in the All-Star Game. The league tried their best to prevent him from going but he went and ended up being the game MVP. Here's how it all went down in his own words.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 5:26 PM PST - 33 comments

Being a cyborg is cool right now, but using a bionic arm can suck

I have one of the most advanced prosthetic arms in the world — and I hate it.
posted by latkes at 5:16 PM PST - 25 comments

How The Muppet Show Turned Kermit, Piggy & Co. Into Style Icons

Vulture interviews Polly Smith, costume designer on the Muppet Show and other Henson productions. Includes: getting the right size buttons, what a frog needs in a tuxedo, crocheting tiny rat gloves, and the perils of dressing the world's most glamorous pig. [more inside]
posted by Hypatia at 7:18 AM PST - 24 comments

The Secret Life of Tim

Enjoyed The Secret Life of Machines? Tim Hunkin is back with a new series, The Secret Life of Components – starting with a 47 minute episode on CHAIN (previously)
posted by adrianhon at 7:13 AM PST - 11 comments

Coyote & Crow - the Roleplaying Game of an Uncolonized Future

Coyote & Crow, "A science fiction and fantasy tabletop RPG set in a near-future where the Americas were never colonized, created by a team of Natives", as their KS page puts it, with a promotional video featuring music by A Tribe Called Red that will give you shivers. Judging by the KS page, this team is skilled and this game is something to watch out for. [more inside]
posted by Mogur at 6:56 AM PST - 38 comments

March 3


Atlantic Ocean circulation at weakest in a millennium, say scientists - "Decline in system underpinning Gulf Stream could lead to more extreme weather in Europe and higher sea levels on US east coast." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 11:56 PM PST - 65 comments

Your vibes are not compliant with festival policy

KRAZAM is a YouTube channel making sketches about living in the internet era. From attending socially-distanced Coachella in VR to the fine art of standing table mat design to the daily grind of lifestyle hacks, the comedy troupe of Benjamin Burke and Shiva Kilaru satirize Silicon Valley real good. Best of: highlights from the competitive Microsoft Excel scene, the love and angst amongst microservices, and videochatting woes (made pre-pandemic!). Unlock the secrets to ETERNAL DIGITAL LONGEVITY
posted by Apocryphon at 8:15 PM PST - 5 comments

The timing of this seems suspicious

Buckingham Palace to investigate after Meghan Markle accused of bullying staff The Windsor War continues. [more inside]
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:46 PM PST - 299 comments

the first example of memory in an organism with no brain

A memory without a brain (Science Daily): "The striking abilities of the slime mold to solve complex problems, such as finding the shortest path through a maze, earned it the attribute "intelligent." The decision-making ability of Physarum is especially fascinating given that its tubular network constantly undergoes fast reorganization -- growing and disintegrating its tubes -- while completely lacking an organizing center." How the Brainless Slime Mold Stores Memories (Smithsonian Mag): "When placed in a new environment, a slime mold sends out a fractal net of oozing tendrils to explore its surroundings. According to the new research, published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the slime mold encodes information about what it finds during these searches by changing the diameter of its exploratory tubes." Single-Cell Organism's Memories Twists Our Understanding Of Intelligent Life (Inverse): "But this isn't just a one-time response. Rather, the slime mold has "irretrievably changed" the flow patterns of its tubes, according to the study — a sign of long-term memory formation." [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 2:35 PM PST - 30 comments

Teaching Jake about the Camcorder, Jan '97

Never press the rewind button or else you may record over a precious memory.
posted by simmering octagon at 10:30 AM PST - 24 comments


Decolonizing Electronic Music Starts With Its Software. "In 2004, Khyam Allami was ready to give up on electronic music. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t write melodies that sounded like the music in his head. “It felt like the software was leading me somewhere that wasn’t my intention, and I couldn’t understand why that was,” he recalls. Born in Syria to Iraqi parents, Allami had grown up in London playing guitar and drums in punk bands. He was exploring Arabic music for the first time—or at least trying to, but the music’s distinctive quarter-tones were proving difficult to emulate. The software simply wasn’t made for him." Now he has partnered with creative technology studio Counterpoint to create two free browser-based pieces of software - Leimma to create and explore microtonal tuning systems, and Apotome to create music with the tuning systems the artist selects in Leimma. Link to both. (Note that Apotome appears to work only in Chrome or Firefox, and the tutorials are rather long and maybe a bit heavy on the theory and music tech for the average non-musician.) Use of the software was premiered at this year's (mostly virtual) CTM Festival in Berlin. [more inside]
posted by soundguy99 at 7:41 AM PST - 39 comments

[Insert winning post title here]

they're good posts Bruce: Ottawa Public Health's twitter and facebook feeds have been a guiding light of thoughtfulness, good humour and grace under pressure during the pandemic. Meet Kevin -- not Bruce -- the man behind North America's most popular public health social media accounts.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:27 AM PST - 12 comments

A ticket on the ecodisaster train

In response to ongoing discussion of the ecological cost of cryptoart, Superrare (a platform for hosting and selling cryptoart) has written a post "clarifying" the ecological impact of NFTs. It argues that Ethereum (as it currently stands) uses huge amounts of energy regardless of their involvement, and that their business model is tantamount to buying a ticket on a train that "will keep running at the same speed and with the same energy consumption whether or not there are any seats filled." [more inside]
posted by secretdark at 2:17 AM PST - 122 comments

March 2

Chloé Zhao Is About to Be Huge

With the intimate, Oscar-tipped Nomadland streaming and the Marvel epic Eternals set for the fall, this might be the filmmaker’s big year. "So then I end up with a hundred grand, making my first film. The question is, what do you have that people with $10 million don’t have? Then make that as big onscreen as possible. Because that’s your only chance to stand out. I’m very grateful for those years."
posted by folklore724 at 5:59 PM PST - 25 comments

The State Birds Are Garbage (SLYT)

Not the fauna themselves, but rather their selection. Not only is the content compelling, the author uses a totally novel (to me) low-tech fake-high-tech "this is a unix system" style presentation medium. To me it's as interesting as the content! I had to keep asking myself: why is this good? It's like a layer cake of nostalgia and... is that irony? I can't tell! Keep it comin'... [more inside]
posted by pol at 5:08 PM PST - 53 comments

One love

RIP Neville Livingston a/k/a Bunny Wailer. Wailer's high tenor, almost a soprano, lent an otherworldly quality to the Wailers' early work, contrasted with Bob Marley's gritty tenor and Peter Tosh's grounding baritone. He was seventy-three years old and had been in and out of the hospital for a while following a second stroke last year. [more inside]
posted by Sheydem-tants at 4:07 PM PST - 33 comments

Got a box full of letters, think you might like to read

The Brienne Collection (previously) is an astonishing trove of thousands of undelivered 17th century letters, many still sealed since the moment they left their writers' hands. A new paper in Nature explains how a high-resolution dental x-ray, combined with a painstakingly-researched knowledge of letter folding techniques, makes it possible to read these letters without ever opening them.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 1:04 PM PST - 20 comments

"Comfort knows its own intelligence. Kindness too. It needs no reason."

SLYT - and read by the author. “How to Belong Be Alone” by Pádraig Ó Tuama is part of our “Poetry Films” series, which features animated interpretations of beloved poems from our archive. [more inside]
posted by snerson at 11:03 AM PST - 8 comments

Young Marble Giants Live

Young Marble Giants -- Searching For Mister Right

Young Marble Giants -- Include Me Out

Young Marble Giants -- Credit In The Straight World

[more inside]
posted by y2karl at 8:56 AM PST - 28 comments

The Best American Novelist Whose Name You May Not Know

When her first novels were published, in the mid-1970s, Gayl Jones’s talent was hailed by writers from James Baldwin to John Updike. Then she disappeared. Jones’s early novels were shepherded by Toni Morrison, then an editor at Random House, who’d dedicated herself to publishing Black writers, especially women. To put things in perspective, at the time Corregidora came out, Morrison had only recently published her first works of fiction, The Bluest Eye and Sula. She had yet to hit her stride as a writer, while Jones burst forth in her early 20s all but fully formed and requiring little editing. Jones needed a champion, however, someone who could understand and appreciate the sophistication of her approach to subject matter as well as language. “No novel about any black woman could ever be the same after this,” Morrison declared after reading the manuscript of Corregidora. [more inside]
posted by plant or animal at 8:09 AM PST - 7 comments

The Wentworth Golf Club Rebellion

[I]t wasn’t like Wentworth hadn’t seen money before.... Beginning in the 80s, in particular, the Island attracted people with a high order of wealth – all of whom have found, over the past decade or so, that they, in turn, are being inconveniently supplanted by people with an altogether more stratospheric order of wealth. (SLGuardian)
posted by gauche at 5:59 AM PST - 38 comments

Anxiety screen added to US checkups for gals

From Soo Youn in The Lily: On Jan. 1, women and girls in the United States became eligible for an additional check on their health. Now, starting at 13, they can be screened for anxiety as part of a routine checkup or physical with a primary care doctor or OB/GYN as a preventive service under the Affordable Care Act. “This is a real breakthrough because we’re now saying that the mental health conditions that women suffer from are extremely important and they need to be screened for,” said Maureen Sayres Van Niel, a psychiatrist and the president of the women’s caucus of the American Psychiatric Association. “Some mental health issues are as important as the physical health things we screen for, like cancer.”
posted by Bella Donna at 1:15 AM PST - 42 comments

March 1

A Late Night Talk Show With Primal Appeal

What happens if you cross Planet of the Apes (the originals) with the comic sensibilities of Space Ghost Coast to Coast and the style of The Tonight Show in its heyday? You get Hanging With Doctor Z. [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 9:17 PM PST - 33 comments

A little cartoonish classical education

Vincent Alexander (@NonsenseIsland) has posted a lengthy twitter thread of classical music used in classic cartoons, giving title and composer name, and each entry is accompanied with a short (generally less than 2 minutes) video full of examples of that piece being used. It's a delightful little classical music education lesson that brings back a full blast from the past, if these cartoons were a part of your childhood. Threadreader link.
posted by hippybear at 7:09 PM PST - 30 comments

When should you end a conversation? Probably sooner than you think

People Literally Don’t Know When to Shut Up—or Keep Talking, Science Confirms (Scientific American): We are really bad at navigating a key transition point during one of the most basic social interactions. "Mastroianni and his colleagues found that only 2 percent of conversations ended at the time both parties desired, and only 30 percent of them finished when one of the pair wanted them to. In about half of the conversations, both people wanted to talk less, but their cutoff point was usually different. Participants in both studies reported, on average, that the desired length of their conversation was about half of its actual length. To the researchers’ surprise, they also found that it is not always the case that people are held hostage by talks: In 10 percent of conversations, both study participants wished their exchange had lasted longer. And in about 31 percent of the interactions between strangers, at least one of the two wanted to continue." When should you end a conversation? Probably sooner than you think (Science)
posted by not_the_water at 1:30 PM PST - 262 comments

Creating a world where there is no oppressor

From this, then, we can extract the three aspects of my Jewish identity which I believe shape my politics, and that of many, but of course not all, other Jews: fragile privilege and what that means for how we are to be safe; uprootedness, which can become a positive internationalism; and abhorrence of dominating power. These three ideas lead me to a deep appreciation for and belief in interdependence, which, in my view, is the beating heart of green, ecological politics.
Ecology, Citizenship and Jewish Identity, a speech given to the Australian Association of Jewish Studies conference by Tim Hollo, about the experience of the Jewish diaspora and its influence on a progressive, ecologically-based politics of bottom-up democracy, interdependence, mutualism and opposition to dominating power, citing Hannah Arendt, Emma Goldman and Murray Bookchin.
posted by acb at 1:22 PM PST - 9 comments

Trader Joe's Fearful Flyer

Trader Joe's employee fired for advocating better safety in stores
Ben Bonnema, who worked at the store’s 545 branch on the Upper West Side in New York city, said he wrote to the company’s CEO Dan Bane in February, pointing to new studies about aerosol transmission of Covid-19 and calling for a series of safety measures – including better air filtration, limits to store capacity based on CO2 levels and a “three strikes policy” for customers who refuse to wear a mask.
[more inside]
posted by benzenedream at 11:49 AM PST - 64 comments

Helmets Yes. Helmet Laws No.

Cycling groups call for an end to helmet laws after a study showed inequity of enforcement
posted by aniola at 8:11 AM PST - 215 comments

Go with the $flow$

Personal Income Spending Flowchart. From Reddit's personal finance subreddit. US-specific tax vehicles may or may not be available in equivalent forms in your country.
posted by storybored at 8:10 AM PST - 85 comments

but I want you to do it right this time

My First and Last Proclamation as the Child Freed and Crowned Queen of Omelas
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:06 AM PST - 7 comments