April 2005 Archives

April 30


Lightning On Demand is a volunteer organization of engineers, artists, scientists and machinists. Our key objective is to produce a controllable discharge of lightning at the greatest physical scale imaginable using modern technology. They've built the worlds biggest Tesla coil, Electrum, a Taser Cannon and some other projects
posted by warbaby at 9:32 PM PST - 18 comments

Tim Boucher, Occult Investigator

Hey Everybody! Since I became an occult investigator, my life has turned into one non-stop party! I'm having so much fun, and learning all kinds of cool things about myself and the world. It's really an absolute blast!
Tim Boucher isn't a paranoid occult-conspiracy theorist, a strident anti-occult crusader, or a neo-pagan or New Ager, but he is an occult investigator. That is, he's a fun-loving guy with a penchant for reading and writing about cool or weird things humanity has done in a search for a higher purpose.
posted by CrunchyFrog at 8:47 PM PST - 16 comments

Up, Up, and Away

10,000 kltes to be flown ”on both sides of the 500-kilometer long barrier that separates Israelis and Palestinians” on my birthday (but not in my honor). Inspiring, or just silly?
posted by LeLiLo at 8:44 PM PST - 26 comments

"Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust..."

Raymundo Punongbayan, Retired Philippine Volcanology Chief Dies in a Chopper Crash. They were unschooled; he was a scientist. But when the Aeta of Zambales province reported through a nun Mount Pinatubo's initial signs of unrest in April 1991, Dr. Raymundo Punongbayan listened and trusted their indigenous mastery of their environment. It was through that mutual faith between the Aeta tribesmen and Punongbayan that efforts to save lives began for what turned out to be the world's worst volcanic eruption in the second half of the 20th century.
posted by azul at 7:02 PM PST - 5 comments

Insert obvious George Santayana quote here

"We are here to hand over to you the power in order to avoid bloodshed." Today is the thirtieth anniversary of the Fall of Saigon.

A secret plan to end the war. After the rewarding the Vietnam war's technocratic architect with the Presidency of the World Bank, after the twin failures of President Nixon's "madman plan", to scare the Soviet Union into concessions over Vietnam out of fear of Nixon's insanity, and of "Vietnamization", turning over responsibility for the war to the South Vietnamese, the North nevertheless won the war.

Disposable helicopters. Operation Frequent Wind, the chaotic evacuation of the American Embassy, brought to a close fifteen years of American hubris. Karl Marx, who got little else right, observed "History repeats itself, the first as tragedy, then as farce."
posted by orthogonality at 4:41 PM PST - 50 comments

"I Punched Saddam in the Mouth"

"I Punched Saddam in the Mouth" • A man known only as "Samir" worked as an Arabic interpreter for United States Special Forces in late 2003 when Saddam Hussein was captured in Tikrit: "I was so angry. I began cussing at him, calling him a motherfucker, a son-of-a-bitch -- you name it. I told him I was Shiite from the south and was part of the revolution against him in 1991. I said he murdered my uncles and cousins. He imprisoned my father. In Arabic, Saddam told Samir to shut up. And when Saddam called him a traitor, an enraged Samir silenced his prisoner with a flurry of quick jabs to the face. I punched Saddam in the mouth."
posted by dhoyt at 4:18 PM PST - 81 comments


Machine by SymmetryLab: fixed points, spinners, pistons, elastics, and connectors. Dig the frictionless world.

SymmetryLab's other stuff is noteworthy as well.
posted by gramschmidt at 4:01 PM PST - 5 comments

Tragic Tale of the Christian Cucumber

How Bob the Tomato got squashed by Barney the Dinosaur
Phil Vischer, creator of those Veggie-Tales cartoons gives a reflective account of why he did not become "The Christian Disney". So why did Big Idea Productions fail while other "Holy Cultural Warriors" are thriving? (Maybe this guy was too sincerely Christian?)
A shorter version of this Tale from "Christianity Today" magazine here.
via the spiritual center of animation on the web: Cartoon Brew

posted by wendell at 3:00 PM PST - 21 comments

The Lion Sleeps Tonight

a-wimoweh a-wimoweh..
In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight.
posted by peacay at 2:45 PM PST - 15 comments

Lee and Dan's Excellent Adverts

The truth behind the spin? - three party political broadcasts (.wmv) made by Lee and Dan, the men behind the VW Suicide Bomber advert, and commissioned by the UK's Channel 4
posted by Navek Rednam at 2:23 PM PST - 10 comments

10 most bizarre employment cases of 2004

10 most bizarre employment cases of 2004 - At least two of these cases were previously discussed on Mefi. (1), (2)
posted by madamjujujive at 1:51 PM PST - 8 comments

Tony's Rap

Tony's rap. Blair, Bush, Blunkett and co, with a little help from Michael Jackson. By way of Counterpunch, where Alexander Coburn has unearthed a woodpecker conspiracy. Someone is being kept out of the news, he says, because it doesn't make a good story to have an extinct bird discovered by a member of the NRA.
posted by TimothyMason at 10:24 AM PST - 15 comments

"The white dragon which is hurt had rested the body on the grass."

Tsuga Recreational Area: abandoned Japanese amusement park photos (translation here).
posted by moonbird at 10:20 AM PST - 27 comments

Wilderness Survival

Wilderness Survival Lesson: How to make fire from a can of Coke and a chocolate bar. If, for some reason, you'd ever need to...
posted by jenleigh at 9:38 AM PST - 12 comments

Doe v. Unocal

A Big Win for Human Rights. A settlement was reached in the case of Doe v. Unocal (previously discussed here), just in time for Unocal to be acquired by CevronTexaco.
posted by homunculus at 9:27 AM PST - 7 comments

Spit is good

Spit is good for your health. An experimental drug made from gila monster saliva may help with type 2 diabetes.
posted by C17H19NO3 at 9:27 AM PST - 6 comments

No soup for you!

The "Soup N***" has Rules or "No soup for you!". The Soup Man has no imitators. Coming Soon: 1000 franchises at food courts across America.
posted by stbalbach at 9:06 AM PST - 28 comments


The Goatse Tribute Page [nsfw at all]
posted by srboisvert at 8:45 AM PST - 21 comments

Tiger Unleashes You!

Today's the day for Mac OS X Tiger (10.4). Operating systems have come a long way, baby (what about the future?), and Tiger presents a couple of features that are worthy of mention because of their design approach. The approach is to let "tiny-scale developers," developers that might not be able to write an entire application, even a small one, develop plug-ins and extensions for core system functionality. Dashboard has a budding user community (check dashboard exposed, apple's official gallery) as does Spotlight (and not just a way to add filetypes, check this out!) and Automator. It's interesting to note that the most hyped features of the new operating system will all have end-user-submitted extensions and additions making them even more essential.
posted by zpousman at 6:15 AM PST - 44 comments


A Florida court has blocked a thirteen year old girl's abortion. The judge's ruling comes in spite of Florida state law which specifically does not require a minor to seek parental consent before an abortion.
posted by thirteenkiller at 12:41 AM PST - 170 comments

April 29

What Blogs Are vs What They Are Not

What Blogs Are vs What They Are Not Doc Searls' closing keynote at Les Blogs, Paris, 25 April 2005 A succinct set of 25 slides that articulate the debate raging in the blogosphere about blogs, free speech, the media, citizen journalists . Slides link courtesy Gaping Void.
posted by infini at 9:19 PM PST - 33 comments

Click Click

"The number of secret court-authorized wiretaps across the country surged by 19 percent last year, according to court records which also showed that not a single application was denied."
posted by knave at 6:52 PM PST - 20 comments

Whatcha doin' tonight?

Whatcha doin' tonight? Me, I think I'll mosey over the block and a half to the Pit and take in the vibes at the Gathering of Nations Pow-Wow. Might even try to score some peyote. No, I'm not trying to reinforce a stereotype; I'm truly interested in the experience. Besides, I'm descended from Sequoyah - we're on the Dawes Rolls and everything. Ha! Who am I kidding? I'm just another stupid white girl.
posted by postmodernmillie at 5:55 PM PST - 10 comments


This ain't your grandma's DIY crafting. (most links NSFW)
posted by heatherann at 5:41 PM PST - 30 comments

The Dance of the Manakin

Manakins (Manacus sp.) are small, colorful sparrow-sized birds found all over Central and South America. Manakin males engage in elaborate courtship dances, including rhythmic sounds they produce with their wings. No one really knew how the birds made this sounds, until Kimberly Bostwick, Curator of Birds and Mammals at the Cornell University Museum of Vertebrates, went into the jungles of Ecuador to film the birds at 1000 frames per second. As it turns out, different species of manakin use entirely different motion to produce the sounds. The Journal of Experimental Biology has published the results, complete with videos. Mark Barres, who studies avian genetic population structures at the Univ. of Wisconsin, has also filmed the mating dance of the Manakins [.mov].
posted by monju_bosatsu at 4:38 PM PST - 8 comments

Meat Packer

School Mistakes Huge Burrito for a Weapon Ok, now it's time to get away from the computer after a long week.
posted by terrier319 at 3:26 PM PST - 42 comments

Sticks and Stones

Sticks and Stones - exploring the US news media from a Canadian perspective, a great documentary produced by CBC's "The Fifth Estate" has been made available for viewing online. I hope the CBC starts doing this more often.
posted by Space Coyote at 2:45 PM PST - 40 comments


posted by kafziel at 2:40 PM PST - 18 comments

Filibustering The Frist Center

Princeton Students and Polticians Stage Filibuster -- Princeton students started a filibuster at the Frist Campus Center at Princeton University to protest the impending unloading of the "nuclear option" in the United States Senate. Bill Frist is a Princeton alum and his family donated the building the filibuster is in front of. It's been going on for a whopping 78 hours already and looks to at least go through the weekend. Congressman Rush Holt (D-NJ) spoke earlier today, and NJ Assemblyman Reed Gusciora was there yesterday. They've even got physicists (one and two) and a Nobel Prize winner.
posted by nathanrudy at 1:50 PM PST - 17 comments

Your father was a hamster!

Castle Attack 2 ... Protect your castle from the attacking horde onslaught. You can use your archers, or lob rocks, dump boiling oil, or crush under burning logs. Extra points for accuracy. [note: shockwave, loud music, death, destruction]
posted by crunchland at 1:15 PM PST - 19 comments

What Would Jesus Drive?

Buy the (new) Pope's (old) Mobile
I used Babelfish to translate it (Google's translation apparently doesn't work on eBay).
Only 1.7 million pageviews so far.
posted by fenriq at 12:03 PM PST - 8 comments

Synthetic Bacterial Computers

Multilingual bacteria are being used in synthetic biology techniques to display computer functionality.
posted by peacay at 11:19 AM PST - 9 comments


50 Million Firefox Downloads. At 8:58 AM PST this morning, we rolled over the 50,000,000 downloads line.
posted by jikel_morten at 10:24 AM PST - 46 comments

Toady overlords

Toads that go bang; toads bang; toads ka-BANG!
posted by of strange foe at 9:51 AM PST - 22 comments

It's about damn time.

It's about damn time. Since 1966, Daylight Saving Time has not been in use in Indiana. After decades of attempts to change it, it came down to one flip vote at the proverbial last second to make it happen. Next up, Central Time Zone?
posted by internal at 9:33 AM PST - 76 comments

"Sometimes wanting to be famous is really the downfall of people."

"Sometimes wanting to be famous is really the downfall of people." Funny how initial news reports often don't tell the full story. It seems the gents who claimed to have found buried treasure in their back yard actually found it while doing paid repair work on someone else's house. If they'd only kept their yaps shut...
posted by twsf at 9:16 AM PST - 26 comments

Beat me, Daddy!

Friday Flash Fun. Take out your aggressions on this little guy, earn $$$, then spend it on more interesting ways of hurting him. I like putting a George Bush skin on him, laying down some mines (tip: they also stick to the walls), and handing him a grenade.
posted by Daddio at 9:05 AM PST - 12 comments

Here Come The Sharks

Huntington Beach, California (Surf City, USA) is home to surfing's walk of fame and the International Surfing Museum. See the Duke with the Duke, other legends, pioneering photographers, and kings of the surf both local and international alongside other icons in the collection and exhibits.
posted by breezeway at 8:57 AM PST - 12 comments

Fundamentalism v. Doubt

Conservatism of faith v. conservatism of doubt- Andrew Sullivan's take on how "fundamentalism is splitting the GOP." An interesting article that is, I think, worth reading for how it characterizes recent changes in the Republican party. He doesn't exaclty see a schism, but he isn't exactly sanguine about the future of the GOP either.
posted by OmieWise at 8:41 AM PST - 38 comments

big red button

Actually this is the flash version of hell. I'm sorry
posted by jeremias at 8:39 AM PST - 18 comments

Like in my nightmares..

Like a flash vision of Hell. Poke around with earphones on for best results. (via)
posted by Dr_Octavius at 8:13 AM PST - 7 comments

Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798 - 2004

Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798 - 2004 This report lists hundreds of instances in which the United States has used its armed forces abroad in situations of military conflict or potential conflict or for other than normal peacetime purposes. It was compiled in part from various older lists and is intended primarily to provide a rough survey of past US military ventures abroad, without reference to the magnitude of the given instance noted. The listing often contains references, especially from 1980 forward, to continuing military deployments especially US military participation in multinational operations associated with NATO or the United Nations. Most of these post-1980 instances are summaries based on Presidential reports to Congress related to the War Powers Resolution. A comprehensive commentary regarding any of the instances listed is not undertaken here.
posted by Postroad at 6:55 AM PST - 28 comments

Bridging the gender gap in computer gaming.

Bridging the gender gap in computer gaming. Computer games often portray women as victims or prizes . But things seem to be changing. Some see hope in the growing number of games where women play the leading character, especially when the game (NSFW) completely focuses on the character herself. Change, however, may be more apparent than real. If this is real change, it may reduce gender drift (.pdf) in gaming. Women are getting out of the closet (discussed here). Their motto: They grow stronger !
posted by joaovc at 6:48 AM PST - 44 comments

Some bristle at facial hair.

Jesus had a beard, so when people come to my church with a beard or mustache, I don’t condemn them. Apparently the Canadian Navy is not so accepting, going back on a previous decision quoting safety regulations. Don't they realize that a beard is a man's token of superior nature?
posted by debralee at 6:37 AM PST - 30 comments


Rock on. classic concert photosets. [via waxy]
posted by srboisvert at 6:36 AM PST - 23 comments

The Thousand-Year Spa

Hotel Godwin. Five-star luxury in Berchtesgaden, Hitler's mountain retreat.
posted by matteo at 6:20 AM PST - 7 comments

Future Computer?

Future Computer: Atoms Packed in an 'Egg Carton' of Light?
posted by dfowler at 6:10 AM PST - 11 comments

Videoletters from the former Yugoslavia

Hello to the Krilcic family. Ten years after we last saw you we are alive and well. And I hope you are. We would like to hear from you and see you. Goodbye.
In each episode of Videoletters, two former neighbors, friends or colleagues separated by the Bosnian war exchange video messages. Since 1999, two filmmakers have been helping people from across the former Yugoslavia find and reconnect with one another in this way, often with heart-breaking results. Watch a sample episode here about two young men, Vlada (a Serb) and Ivica (a Croat), whose families were close friends when the war began. [Bit more inside]
posted by Ljubljana at 2:29 AM PST - 3 comments

But they have no oil!

North Korea has the ability to arm a missile with a nuclear device. "The Pentagon's top military intelligence officer said yesterday that North Korea has the ability to arm a missile with a nuclear device, stunning senators he was addressing and prompting attempts by other defense and intelligence officials later to play down the remarks." Was Bill Clinton right or just an an appeaser?

But don't worry! Our CIA and our military have never failed us yet, and we have wise leaders: "No terrorist state poses a greater or more immediate threat to the security of our people and the stability of the world than the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq." -- Donald Rumsfeld, testimony to Congress, Sept. 19, 2002. So, will we be protecting America from WMDs, that is, giving the "Gift of Democracy" in Pyongyang, or just buying off Mr. Kim again?
posted by orthogonality at 12:52 AM PST - 33 comments

April 28

The Tao of Skinny-Dipping.

The Tao of Skinny-Dipping. [nytimes reg required] After long days spent defending their positions atop New York's most competitive fields, Manhattan's alpha males need to unwind. From mistresses to treadmills, these men have as many forms of relaxation as sources of stress. But some of the city's titans have a secret. They meet around private pools in private clubs and swim together, naked.
posted by jba at 10:29 PM PST - 27 comments

Maurice Strong

Some people call me the space cowboy. Yeah, some call me the ganster of love. Some people call me Maurice.
posted by thedailygrowl at 9:10 PM PST - 16 comments

Capturing the Unicorn

Capturing the Unicorn : How two mathematicians helped the Met to digitally stitch together the Unicorn Tapestry. (via)
posted by dhruva at 9:09 PM PST - 20 comments

Rock, Paper, Scissors

Rock, Paper, Scissors: 11 year-old twins close 12 million dollar deal.
posted by alms at 8:41 PM PST - 25 comments

Sticks and Stones (and words)

Want to see the results of all the hateful anti-gay rhetoric? While other forms of crime continued to fall, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs has documented a 4% increase in anti-LGBT crime in 2004, coming on the heels of a 26% increase in the last half of 2003. This spike in violence parallels the exact same period since the Right went into demonic, anti-gay hyperdrive following the Supreme Court's Lawrence v. Texas decision in July of 2003. Since then, church pews and the public airwaves have been awash in ugly, anti-gay rhetoric and fear-mongering. "These words obviously do not just vanish into the ether - as intended, they are absorbed and become fuel and justification for violence. To say otherwise defies reality. -- The Matt Foreman, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (via think-bomb)
And these are just the reported incidents.
posted by amberglow at 8:20 PM PST - 114 comments

BBC Question Time

BBC - Question Time Leaders Special [Windows Media or RealMedia]
- Panorama: Iraq, Tony and the truth [transcript]
posted by Pretty_Generic at 6:39 PM PST - 23 comments

No More Hot Dogs

Hasil Adkins passes. Farewell to this wonderfully bonkers rockabilly legend.
posted by jonmc at 5:58 PM PST - 23 comments

Why am I so angry about this?

Munch's "The Scream" destroyed. (?) According to the paper Dagbladet, it has been. "The Madonna" as well.
posted by absalom at 5:42 PM PST - 75 comments

This episode of Alam Simsim was brought to you by the letters U, S, and A

Muppet Diplomacy - USNews and World Reports has a new must-read article: "The White House has approved a classified new strategy, dubbed Muslim World Outreach, that for the first time states that the United States has a national security interest in influencing what happens within Islam. Because America is, as one official put it, "radioactive" in the Islamic world, the plan calls for working through third parties--moderate Muslim nations, foundations, and reform groups--to promote shared values of democracy, women's rights, and tolerance." This means surprising US-funded initiatives such as restoring historic Sufi (i.e. moderate, non-Wahhabist) mosques, saving 11th Century Uzbek Korans, and convincing Pakistani madrassah teachers to quietly add science and math to the curriculum. Oh, and it means we're funding secular and independent media, including "in what boosters are calling Muppet Diplomacy", an Arabic version of Sesame Street. Can cultural revitalization, increased educational access, nascent democratic movements, and adorable lil' Elmo--all paid for with US tax dollars--be an effective innoculant against the tentacles of Radical Islam? Daniel Pipes, The Progressive Muslims' Union, and Reason magazine weigh in. See also a related RAND Corporation report from March, 2004.
posted by Asparagirl at 5:42 PM PST - 28 comments

Support the troops?

Capt. America and Spiderman support the troops, how about you (pdf)? America Supports You! Get a free comic book, dogtag, or maybe even a free body bag.
posted by fixedgear at 2:07 PM PST - 39 comments

Ethan Acres

Ethan Acres demonstrates the Rapture. The Reverend Acres is both a preacher, who wants to "put the fun back into fundamentalism" (turn the sound down) and an art school graduate. He will christen your children if they so desire (and if they are flowers). And he really, really likes Thomas Kinkade. I just wish I could show you his pigs, but you'll have to go to the library.
posted by TimothyMason at 1:37 PM PST - 14 comments

Not My Pyramid

MyPyramid.org (parody). Not to be confused with MyPyramid.gov. Well, maybe just a little.
posted by CrunchyGods at 1:14 PM PST - 15 comments

God-damn!! This is the job for me!!

Focus on the family is looking for a Macintosh specialist...
"This position is responsible for overseeing the smooth performance of the Macintosh systems and network, serving the needs of the users, and implementing necessary changes. Responsibilities:
Is a consistent witness for Jesus Christ; maintains a courteous, Christ-like attitude in dealing with people within and outside of Focus; adheres to the Standard of Moral Conduct and Statement of Faith; upholds Focus on the Family's ministry in prayer. Demonstrates behaviors aligned with FOF core values."

[via Macintouch]
posted by jpburns at 12:56 PM PST - 85 comments

Did you find the alien?

Safeplaces is an interactive playground. Mushrooms twitch and squeak, trees react and the environment shifts between day and night. It even has its secrets. Further, less adorable work can be found here.
posted by Alison at 12:26 PM PST - 8 comments

Forced Marriage

A week after Saudi Arabia banned the practise of forced marriage, Hamid Karzai followed suit, announcing he would seek the same freedoms for young women in Afghanistan. In the UK, a special unit within the Foreign Office has handled almost 1000 cases of forced marriage since it was set up in 2000, and this year a special joint Forced Marriage Unit was launched by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office for outreach & awareness purposes. While a law barring forced marriage is expected to publish in the UK later this year, some take umbrage at the often-misleading "forced marriage" terminology and are worried that its criminal-offence status could actually deter women from speaking out against it.
posted by jenleigh at 12:09 PM PST - 25 comments

Photographs by Kenneth Parker

Kenneth Parker - photographer.
posted by Gyan at 10:47 AM PST - 23 comments

Have you seen this child?

Have you seen this child? LATimes article about the Toronto Sex Crimes Unit's search for the Disney World Girl. The article is haunting, horrifying and fasinating. They are looking for a child who is being actively molested and photographed. It's a disturbing read, but probably SFW. Previous background info discussed here before. Also note the odd additional Trekkie factoid
posted by theora55 at 10:16 AM PST - 162 comments

Al hits another one out of the park

Al Gore calls it like he sees it - It is no accident that this assault on the integrity of our constitutional design has been fueled by a small group claiming special knowledge of God's will in American politics. They even claim that those of us who disagree with their point of view are waging war against "people of faith." How dare they?
posted by beth at 10:15 AM PST - 53 comments

Metafilter is a dense shrubbery.

Can't see the forest for the trees? This mildly interesting java app generates a graphical representation the structure of a website's html coding.
posted by crunchland at 10:06 AM PST - 8 comments

1968 vs 2002

Bullitt location images in San Francisco then and now. Some haven't changed at all . Others are radically different.
posted by Mitheral at 9:27 AM PST - 19 comments

Cultists taking over a monopoly?

"Mr. Reed's policies are not the policies of Washingtonians, nor should they be the policies of a world-class leader like Microsoft." On the heels of a controversial decision to take away its support of equal protection statutes for gays, bisexuals and lesbians, Microsoft continues its odd and seemingly inexhorable realignment with fundamentalist Christian moral policy with the payment of $20K per month to former Christian Coalition head Ralph Reed. What exactly does this man know about software, again?
posted by AlexReynolds at 8:03 AM PST - 47 comments

Desktop Fusion

Putterman also suggests the crystals could be used as microthrusters for tiny spacecraft. By accelerating deuterium in one direction, the spacecraft would be propelled in the opposite direction.
Ok, so I know nothing about physics, apart from what I learned getting beat up in grade school, but this seems both legit and cool. Here's a MeFi discussion of the other kind of desktop fusion, you know, the kind with the bubbles. A picture of the bubble machine.
posted by OmieWise at 7:34 AM PST - 11 comments

Thinking machine

Play chess against the computer & Watch it think.
posted by growabrain at 7:15 AM PST - 23 comments

All roads lead to...

The Nexus of Evil So it seems as though the Chairman of the Colorado College Republicans (Jay Bob Klinkerman, no really, no kidding, that's his name) seems to be the one responsible for the removal of three Democrats from a Bush Social Security Sideshow. For some reason, and possibly it was always the case, all roads in this administration frequently lead to back to the same places, with the same names. What do all of the high profile actors in the current GOP have in common? Some sort of activity or affiliation with either the College Republicans or Young Republicans. If you are wondering about the names - how about Karl Rove, Jack Abramoff, Grover Norquist, Ralph E. Reed, Jr., Tennessee Gov. Don Sundquist, Lee Atwater, and the central organizer, Morton Blackwell. College Republicans have been the footsoldiers for the right since the Draft Goldwater campaign, and have been rewarded for their service throughout the Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush#41 and#43 . You can also find their fingerprints all over the various thinktanks, the direct-mail industry, and fundraising. I strongly recommend taking some time to read up on the history of the College Republicans (PDF).
posted by rzklkng at 7:06 AM PST - 42 comments


Waverly Films are "a Brooklyn-based production company." MeFites have already seen their kitten-filled video for Fatboy Slim's Joker. They've also produced off-kilter videos for Slim's Wonderful Night and Jason Forest's Stepping Out, as well as an evocative-if-not-quite-as-cool promo for The Thrill's The Irish Keep Gatecrashing (embedded quicktime in all three of those video links. Real and WindowsMedia streams for the Fatboy Slim videos can be found at AstrarlWeks;click on "Video Gallery").
posted by yankeefog at 7:01 AM PST - 2 comments

Dam, that's big.

The Grand Coulee dam in northeast Washington state is the largest concrete structure in the United States. First conceived as a smaller dam, the idea of a large project won out and the Coulee's size was limited only by the fact that, if bigger, we'd flood Canada.

It wasn't until the New Deal philosophy of putting folks to work (even songwriters) materialized that the dam was given a green-light. The project, 30 years in development and 9 years in construction, was by all means a rousing success. Unless you were a displaced native. Or a fish.
posted by DeepFriedTwinkies at 6:01 AM PST - 14 comments


Screw bigfoot. Researchers at Cornell say they have found the ivory-bill.
[K]nown as an ornithologist's "Holy Grail," [r]esearchers from Cornell University, along with others, reportedly have found the ivory-billed woodpecker in the Big Woods of Arkansas, a rare bird that was last seen in the United States in the 1940s and was believed to have become extinct.
More on the story here. A digression into the legend here.
posted by piskycritter at 5:20 AM PST - 34 comments

April 27

Great Coffins

Sex sells everything, even in the afterlife. [NSFW] Be sure to check out the high quality "Fashion Line" coffins from this Italian company, featuring scantily clad models on caskets. Don't miss April in the 2005 Calendar, which is disturbing for oh so many reasons.
posted by MattS at 10:45 PM PST - 34 comments

Franken 2006

Al Franken, senate contender for Minnesota in 2006? He's got name recognition out the wazoo, a national radio program, and is returning to his blue state home to try and take Norm Coleman's republican seat in the US Senate. Is there any way he can lose? Are Howard Stern and Rush Limbaugh next for making senate bids?
posted by mathowie at 10:31 PM PST - 60 comments

Why Isn't My Life This Cool?

Peter BeardFamous Photographer, Jet Setting Playboy, Animal Conservationist, African Adventurer
posted by Staggering Jack at 10:02 PM PST - 6 comments

Out of left feild

I ran into this article on the The Progressive website. Upon reading it, I said, "Who is this guy and why haven't I heard of him?" You Vermonters know him. He's your congressman, Bernie Sanders. Does anyone else (besides the Vermonters, of course) think this guy's got the right ideas?
posted by Jon-o at 9:44 PM PST - 27 comments

The future of Rx?

Target introduces first new Rx bottles in almost 50 years. But they might be the only one for some time to do so. I have a couple in my bathroom already and as a designer I have to say they are brilliant example of thoughtful, careful design that can be extremely usable. If you are a design geek, or a wannabe, this other article is a great read about that explains the design and thought processes, as well as some prototypes, they went through with the NYC School of Visual Arts to get this new design. On page two you can see the new bottle with a detailed features list. I personally like that it wont roll off a table, better readability, and the color coded rings for each family member. One more way design makes your life easier.
posted by Dome-O-Rama at 9:23 PM PST - 27 comments

Alan Cross - He's really smart.

Alan Cross is a name that is known in Toronto. He's the guy from 102.1 Edge who has the best rock'n'roll show in the business, called The Ongoing History of New Music. His knowledge is so encyclopedic it's creepy. He's personable. He's interesting. He's current. He's uber-cool. And you can either podcast his shows or read them yourself. I'm no rock newbie, but I'm currently enjoying Building A Record Library: Part I. The History of Selling Out is interesting enough to provoke the question, did REM, Husker Du and Sonic Youth really do it for the bling bling? Speaking of Husker Du, are they possibly the fathers of Emo? Do yourself a favour: give him a listen and a read. note: the site's a bit rough on the browser
posted by ashbury at 8:51 PM PST - 28 comments

Death of Environmentalism, or Just a New Generation Finding its Way

Environmental Heresies: A founder of the Whole Earth Catalog, Stewart Brand, says the environmental movement will soon reverse its opinions on population growth, urbanization, genetically engineered organisms and nuclear power. Other advocacy for nuclear power is coming fast and furious. Meanwhile others aren't questioning contemporary environmentalism's core principles, but they are questioning the movement's effectiveness , while established leaders fire back. Is it time to reevaluate environmentalism's core beliefs, or the movement's techniques?
posted by twsf at 8:37 PM PST - 57 comments


Absolutely Del.icio.us - Complete Tool Collection The always-cool del.icio.us, purveyor of internet virals, memes, and other assorted internettery (and offshoot of the quirky memepool) can now be supercharged with this set of handy tools. Also check out populicio.us, a re-organization of popular del.icio.us.
posted by nervestaple at 8:19 PM PST - 7 comments

A blog for people who like art.

Art Dorks. (slightly NSFW art)
posted by dobbs at 5:07 PM PST - 13 comments

William Gedney, photographer

What Was True. From the mid 1950s through the early 1980s, William Gedney (1932-1989) photographed throughout the United States, in India, and in Europe, and filling notebook after notebook with his observations. From the commerce of the street outside his Brooklyn apartment to the daily chores of unemployed coal miners, from the lifestyle of hippies in Haight-Ashbury to the sacred rituals of Hindu worshippers, Gedney was able to record the lives of others with clarity and poignancy. Gedney's America is a nation of averted eyes, and broken automobiles, and restlessness, a place Edward Hopper would recognize, but so, also, Walt Whitman.
posted by matteo at 4:38 PM PST - 11 comments

autistic != empathetic

Could autism be a result of "extreme male" mind? A UK scientist has devised an intriguing theory as to the character and cause of autism. and yeah, this is my first FPP, for those who care about that kind of thing
posted by telstar at 4:06 PM PST - 52 comments

From Now On, The First Thing To Tell Your Kids When You Want Them To Do Yard Work

Buried Treasure Found In Backyard. (Google cache) "The men were digging holes to plant trees in a friend's back yard when Crebase hit a wooden crate buried less than a foot below the surface. Inside were seven rusted cylindrical cookie tins, including one where 'National Biscuit Company,' and the word 'Ginger,' were legible through the thick rust. They flipped one of the tops, which was fastened with two hooks, and found it 'jammed' with the money."
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:25 PM PST - 34 comments

Blair government attacks the BBC, while attempting to "plant" the news.

Blair government attacks the BBC, while attempting to "fix" the news. In the aftermath of the Hutton Report fallout, Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott reopened the war of words between Labour and the BBC by accusing the BBC of slanting their news coverage of the war in Iraq. Apparently, an Iraqi friend of Prescott's, Shanaz Ibrahim, was refused a (unscheduled) interview. What Prescott fails to mention, however, is that Ms. Ibrahim has lived in London for over 30 years, and is married to Abdul-Latif Rashid, the brother-in-law of Iraq's president. So... where have all the *real* Iraqis gone, anyway?
posted by insomnia_lj at 1:47 PM PST - 18 comments

It doesn't do Tibetan

Sick of ▯? Try Code2000.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 1:25 PM PST - 9 comments

romance across the aisle

"I repeated every Karl Marx quote I could think of until I reached my own ‘historic inevitability’...." If you've ever wanted to see a liberal antagonist make Ann Coulter squirm, this may be as close as you ever get. (text & url NSFW.)
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 12:32 PM PST - 85 comments

Pakistani truck art

Trucks for those who like art that moves.
posted by TimothyMason at 12:25 PM PST - 11 comments

Talabangilists have taken over the GOP

Republicans; defending the rights of rapists to sue since 2005. Did you just impregnate your 13 year old daughter? Never fear, the GOP is here! They'll defend your right to keep your "little secret" from crossing state lines.
posted by EmoChild at 12:20 PM PST - 54 comments

Students go 'phishing' for user info

Students go 'phishing' for user info.
Indiana University grad students conducted an e-mail experiment showing the ease of login, username theft. The "hack" outraged some, but raised questions about privacy and the public sphere. A blog was created specifically to provide a forum for students involved in the study. The site lists comments -- some grateful that they have learned about phishing, but most are furious.
posted by ericb at 11:57 AM PST - 12 comments

Lets wade in the water

Lets wade in the water, Coded slave songs.
posted by sgt.serenity at 11:34 AM PST - 15 comments

Does humor belong in music?

Forty years ago this week the public was introduced to the works of P.D.Q. Bach at a concert in New York's Town Hall. It's as good a time as any to look at the one-of-a-kind output of Peter Schickele. (A lot more inside)
posted by soyjoy at 11:06 AM PST - 25 comments

Leap of Faith

"And the University of Chicago cried unto the Lord, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee." The Templeton Foundation recently gave U of C researchers a $1.8 million grant to study connections between religious beliefs and health. Those researchers have already done studies that suggest that religious faith helps reduce depression. It's not exactly faith healing, but some people aren't quite ready to shout "Amen!".
posted by goatdog at 11:02 AM PST - 20 comments

Nokia vs iPod

Nokia's iPod killer. Nokia today introduced their new N-series multimedia-centric phones (dropping the 4-digit model numbers they've been using for ever). The N91 in particular looks like it's shooting straight for the iPod crown: 4GB hard drive, 3G, global GSM, WiFi b/g, Bluetooth, USB mass storage, FM radio and a claimed 12.5 hrs of battery time. The N90 isn't too shabby either.
posted by costas at 10:12 AM PST - 86 comments

mathowie + recumbent bike + Flicker = hilarity

Looks like someone got themselves a new recumbent bike. Original photo here, apologies to Matt, thanky to waxy
posted by 40 Watt at 9:12 AM PST - 55 comments

Any creature great or small.

The Skeldale Boys. Like the works of James Herriot? Would you like them better if some failed english major wrote the stories in the third person omniscent and filled them with homosexual longing? Me neither, but it's still interesting to know it exists and ask "why?".
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:52 AM PST - 10 comments

The Boeing 737, Nose to Tail

All things 737: aircraft systems, pilots' notes, deliveries and fleet movements, production methods, technical photographs, blended winglets, rudder news, illustrated history, accident reports, Q's and A's. Know it all? Take the quiz.
posted by breezeway at 8:49 AM PST - 17 comments

If you only knew the power of the Darth Side

The Darth Side: Memoirs of a Monster. Vader blogs from under the helmet. Best read out loud in a tinny James Earl Jones voice with mechanized breathing. First post is here. (Historian's note: the blog starts shortly before Empire Strikes Back, and his current entry is written during the storming of Hoth.)
posted by brownpau at 8:26 AM PST - 20 comments

Class action!

Who here hasn't been a bit short before payday? Jacob Ayrton of Calgary took out a payday loan of $500. Two weeks later he owed Payroll Loan Canada $606.32 (a $95 "brokerage fee" and 59% interest for a whopping 15,000% per annum charge.) Yesterday, an Alberta judge certified a class-action suit against so-called payday lenders with Mr. Ayrton as lead complainant. "These companies really exploit people who are vulnerable," said his lawyer. A fast-growing franchise opportunity for investors, payday loan operations are facing increased scrutiny in Canada and the U.S. (NC, NV, IL.)
posted by docgonzo at 7:54 AM PST - 43 comments

Birdsong Evolution

How A Young Bird Learns its Song [+]
posted by dfowler at 7:52 AM PST - 15 comments

Streaming Teeth

Free stream of Nine Inch Nail's "With Teeth". Trent and the boys have set up a free stream of next week's long-awaited With Teeth album over on MySpace. More and more major label artists are taking the Wilco approach to giving away content to try and increase sales, with Rachael Yamagata and Deftones side-project Team Sleep also using MySpace.
posted by TheDonF at 5:09 AM PST - 36 comments

Remedial economics for the WSJ editorial board

Remedial economics for the WSJ editorial board An April 26 Wall Street Journal editorial argued that "the overall tax burden grew more progressive" in the last 25 years because upper income taxpayers pay a larger share of total taxes than they did in 1979. But the Journal failed to explain why upper income taxpayers pay a larger share today: The wealthiest Americans earn a much larger share of total income than they did in 1979. [see, too: http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2005_04/006194.php]
posted by Postroad at 4:33 AM PST - 106 comments


Diagram "we're interested in representations. In naming. In indicating. In schematics. In the labelling and taxonomy of things. In poems that masquerade as stories; in stories that disguise themselves as indices or obituaries." (via)
posted by dhruva at 2:56 AM PST - 5 comments


This is good From RLG, an international not-for-profit organization of libraries, museums, and other research institutions, comes this incredibly useful research tool. Start with as vague a query as you like, it'll provide an ordered list of search limiters to help you zero in on the resources you need in a far more organic and rapid fashion than similar tools I've seen. An invaluable resource for students, librarians, and the curious.
posted by Grod at 1:09 AM PST - 10 comments

Their programs control your bank account

DailyWTF is a "Programming Bloopers" repository and forum, collecting, dissecting and making good fun of badly written code. Programmers can appreciate their fellow coders' strange or plainly funny problem solving techniques. Sometimes programmers will square the wheel while reinventing it. Or take the best practices to the insanity level.
Some programming knowledge required.
posted by nkyad at 1:08 AM PST - 21 comments

Unconscious Racist Reviews

"I don't think I saw one white person besides the people in my girl scout troop..." and other unconscious racist reviews about Atlanta, Georgia. Don't believe me? Just ask Chiquita, she'll direct you away from all those filty, dirty, unworthy homeless people (but hey, if you're gay and do not prefer those club going Queens then A-town is for you, playa)!
posted by Hands of Manos at 12:05 AM PST - 98 comments

April 26

ArticleBot Broohaha

I clicked this link today while perusing this MSNBC blog (which is occasionally amusing). It seems that ArticleBot's hackles have been raised, and they are on the defensive against mainstream media (aka MSM). I'm not exactly sure what their point is, but I really hate it when people "overuse" the "quotation" marks in their "unique content". I would have totally left it alone if they had not called attention to themselves by responding in this manner. Plus the assistance they are offering reminds me a little of these MIT geniuses (previously discussed on MeFi here and here) except designed to spider search engines. I'm sure it's completely legal, but the ethics are questionable to say the least.
posted by shoppingforsanity at 11:35 PM PST - 89 comments


L I V E W R O N G : is right. The purveyors, or perpetrators, of LIVEWRONG suggest you represent what you want, when you want, how you want. Buy a bracelet. It is what it is. The creators of the LIVEWRONG armband do not oppose any person, pet, or living thing that have cancer, nor do we oppose any charity that supports a cure for cancer.
posted by RockyChrysler at 9:08 PM PST - 47 comments

Concerning crops

Concerning crops. Pesticides are good and/or bad. Organic is good and/or bad. And what about organic pesticides? Maybe organic might not even mean what you think it means. Let's strap on our pesticide gear and grow something--or die trying! (headlice.org, what a nice resource!)
posted by gunthersghost at 8:13 PM PST - 8 comments

Shruti, Tunga, and Goudy Stout.

Rules For the Library - Satirical relief for those who suffer or have suffered under an oppressive, Orwellian library atmosphere:

1) There will be absolutely no reading of any kind in the library.
2) No breathing in the library.
3) No walking or moving in the library.

posted by nervestaple at 7:28 PM PST - 69 comments

Easy books for imbeciles

Infected warthog anus boogers!Author and iconoclast; or freak? If you spent any time in downtown Toronto in the 80's you likely saw Crad Kilodney, Dead Man Talking.
posted by arse_hat at 7:20 PM PST - 12 comments

Guess the Google!

I searched and searched, but couldn't find a single post about the Guess the Google game. Even his Montage-a-Google project can't be found.
posted by absalom at 5:05 PM PST - 15 comments

Welcome to Mars City, marine.

Mars City. An amazing case inspired by Doom 3.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 3:22 PM PST - 39 comments


Serenity The trailer online. This makes me soooo happy. I've been watching and re-watching the DVD set far too many times to be healthy.
posted by rexruff at 2:02 PM PST - 129 comments

the fun and safe way to electioneer

Political Friendster. Because before Senator James Inhofe, R-Oklahoma, declared Global Warming a "hoax" he met with his friend ExxonMobil, taking $249,000 from one friend to another.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 1:11 PM PST - 12 comments

Another happy couple denied their human rights

Texas House votes to ban gay unions. A layout editor for The Dallas Morning News has some fun with it. [via TheAgitator]
posted by casu marzu at 12:02 PM PST - 61 comments

Everybody Sees Something Different

Rashomon ... I thought about posting a link to the distinctive art style of Sam Weber, or the 25 greatest comic book covers ever made, or avante-garde Hungarian photographer László Moholy-Nagy, or this collection of Russian and Ukrainian posters--but instead, I decided to tell you all about the site where I found every one of these links: Rashomon, a new and (thus-far) consistently interesting collection of interesting visual arts links.
posted by yankeefog at 11:55 AM PST - 15 comments

Haggis in Pyongyang

"The haggis was pronounced excellent by all that ate it, foreigners and Koreans, including the Vice-Minister." A diplomat describes opening the British embassy in Pyongyang. Direct link (rtf) here.
posted by stonerose at 9:50 AM PST - 16 comments

Cracking 101

Fighting a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent. [Via MoFi]
posted by AlexReynolds at 9:47 AM PST - 35 comments

Leeches Are Your Friends

Society has been using leeches among other things for bloodletting in order to treat diseases for thousands of years. In fact, the word leech may derive from the olde english word for physician. Leech treatment peaked in the early 1800's and then waned. But it's become fashionable again in recent times. FDA approval was given last year allowing leeches to be raised for medicinal use. So there's no need to be scared of them anymore. You can buy them in bulk for about $7 a suck pop and have them delivered in their own leech mobile home. Consider also replacing your viagra and massage oil.
posted by peacay at 9:15 AM PST - 15 comments

Still a dick, only now there's two of them

How about a little deus ex machina to lighten up your Tuesday? By now, we all know that Superman is a dick. Did you also know that he was a crypto fascist who was not above a little water supply tampering?
Apparently, even for superman, being super smart does not make you super wise [via]
posted by Capn at 8:13 AM PST - 21 comments

McLuhan/The Medium is the Massage

The Medium is the Massage [mp3s]. Marshall McLuhan, the Canadian Professor of English Literature who coined phrases such as "the medium is the message" and global village in the 1960s, and who talked about coming global connectivity, saw media such as the printing-press and television as changing not only the information we received, but the ways in which we understand information and the world. His publishing style often involved the collection and juxtaposition of quotations and observations in a ways that were fast and cut-up, including collage and typographic experiment, and a sound collage lp released in 1967 which sounds as if it was recorded today.
posted by carter at 8:13 AM PST - 13 comments

If the shoe fits

Feet Me. Celebrity shoes live onstage: from assertive Beastie Boys and PJ Harvey to sporty Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Neil Young, from old skool Claudio Abbado and Nick Cave to minimalist, shoeless David Bowie.
posted by matteo at 7:50 AM PST - 17 comments

The year the stars fell: Lakota Winter Counts

Lakota Winter Counts. Lakota and other plains tribes counted time by winters. An appointed recorder would choose one major event to mark the year, depicting that event by name and symbol. Early records dating back to the 10th century were often painted on buffalo skins; more recent winter counts were recorded as text journals. These fascinating records offer insight into natural and historic events for our land that precede accounts of European settlers. - more -
posted by madamjujujive at 7:47 AM PST - 12 comments

Share Your County Fair Experience Here

You goin to the COUNTY FAIR? Don’t miss the Tractor Pull!!
posted by dfowler at 7:46 AM PST - 26 comments

Poetry Crit

An insightful piece of poetry criticism by Adam Kirsch encapsulates the work of Charles Bukowski, popular poet with MeFi's and others. Camile Paglia has a go at poetry crit in her latest, Break, Blow, Burn. I read the Kirsch piece because I have a passing familiarity with Bukowski, and if I saw someone reading a volume, I'd have some snap insight into what their interests may be. Though I often judge a reader by their book's cover, I could do this with very few poetry books, and I can't remember seeing anyone with a poetry book, or telling me about a poetry book in a long time. While some of us read for pleasure, we probably aren't reading poetry. The slam poetry movement of a few years ago seems to have lost its media fire. The death of poetry is periodically announced, and others disagree. My casual observation is that many poetry lovers actually write poetry, and are not students of the genre. Poems are short, it's easy to call something a poem, and it may make the writer feel better to write one out. Rarely are they good, and rarer still will they find an audience outside of web communities of other poetry writers. Can vigorous and accessible poetry criticism revive poetry readership? Does anyone who does not write poems read poetry, especially unfamiliar poetry? Will anyone cop to writing it but not reading it? And should we care?
posted by rainbaby at 7:40 AM PST - 39 comments

“Living Memorial”

The winning design for the National AIDS Memorial Design Competition has been announced. Janette Kim and Chloe Town's "Living Memorial" references forest fires, and will be located in the National AIDS Memorial Grove in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Walter Hood, a juror, called the design a “gutsy anti-landscape element that reflects anger, death—and eventual healing and renewal.”
posted by R. Mutt at 6:48 AM PST - 13 comments

MSN inflates search results

Looks like MSN upped their search count results for items that return more than about 2million hits, a lot of entries have grown more than 500% in the last few days. unfortunately this site (which graphs the number of results in the engines at any time for different search phrases) was down the last couple of days. Sounds like MSN are inflating their results, why this happened is yet unclear
posted by leighm at 6:27 AM PST - 11 comments

A ballad of dwindling flesh

MyGastricBypass.com "This doctor feels that I have 25 to 30 lbs of excess flesh to come off. All the dieting the world won't remove that, so now I have some major decisions to make....Never did I think that this would be happening to me....Granted, it's better than weighing 500 lbs, but it's pretty nasty looking....The frightening thing is what happens to this skin when I get in the pool. OMG! It floats!!" - A long and actually heroic saga of self-disclosure, somehow Zen too, of one woman's successful attempt to remake her body and so her life - this rises at times to sublime heights : "I believe in a force called the Cosmic Shoe....Moorings are loosened and our boat feels adrift. When that doesn't get us moving, the Cosmic Shoe finally KICKS our ass into the direction he was trying to nudge us in the first place."
posted by troutfishing at 6:26 AM PST - 96 comments

Hi, I'm calling from the Dem.... NO CARRIER

CITEL, an entity of the Organization of American States, is the main forum in the hemisphere in which the governments and the private sector meet to coordinate regional efforts to develop the Global Information Society according to the mandates of the General Assembly of the Organization and the mandates entrusted to it by Heads of State and Government at the Summits of the Americas.

No Democrats allowed.
posted by bashos_frog at 6:14 AM PST - 44 comments

Dude Falling

Dude falling.
posted by BirdD0g at 6:04 AM PST - 38 comments

Last words

Dear Mother, Just a wee note. I am “going over the parapet”, and the chances of a “sub” getting back alive are abut nix.

A letter home written by Canadian soldier Hart Leech in 1916.
posted by DeepFriedTwinkies at 5:49 AM PST - 21 comments

Somebody's gotta do it

Got Conscience? His company did $22 million in business last year, moving American manufacturing plants offshore. "It's not right," Hosea says. "But if I don't do it, someone else is gonna do it." Interesting, if it’s true, is that he tells his potential clients that what they’re about to do is wrong.
posted by tizzie at 5:26 AM PST - 21 comments

Alan Macfarlane

Alan Macfarlane is a historian cum anthropologist. You can find some of his writings and videos on witchcraft, on the family and on English individualism on the site. There is also a collection of video-interviews with anthropologists such as Frith, Geerz, and Richards. In fact, there is so much to read and hear that you won't miss your television.
posted by TimothyMason at 5:20 AM PST - 5 comments

He's not the Messiah... +1 Damage

Monty Python meets Magic the Gathering.
posted by seanyboy at 4:45 AM PST - 9 comments

bumper stickers

What is on your bumper? Are bumper stickers a relic of the past? Are they more/less prevalent by region/country?
posted by robbyrobs at 4:40 AM PST - 72 comments

A job well done

Woman stoned to death for adultery ... ... in Afghanistan.
posted by magullo at 3:02 AM PST - 63 comments

interview with Satrepi (author of Persepolis)

Great Salon interview with Marjane Satrapi (author of Persepolis). via
posted by Tlogmer at 2:13 AM PST - 6 comments

April 25

Gettin the johnson retooled.

My Vasectomy, in pictures and word. It may be old, and the design difficult to look at, and there's some bad jokes and advertising, but interesting nonetheless. And topical. Need I mention, NSFW?
posted by ashbury at 8:49 PM PST - 11 comments

Free money. Ask me how.

Need cash to make your own blockbuster? Edward Jay Epstein, author of The Big Picture, reveals how they do it: by taking a popular franchise and turning to immediate write-offs in tax shelters such as Germany, so that money starts coming in even before the movie enters production. No wonder we've been seeing so much crap as of late, with poor box office figures not hurting studios the way they really ought to.
posted by Goblindegook at 6:50 PM PST - 29 comments

Financial sensibility... in America? Wow!

This is not science fiction. It's really happening. (Links to Slate article) Apparently contrary to expectations, Americans seem to be exercising financial sense and paying down their credit card debt. Well, how about that! :) Anyone else here doing this?
posted by zoogleplex at 4:16 PM PST - 116 comments

For young deserters, refuge is hard to find

For young deserters, refuge is hard to find It seemed like a drastic but simple solution: a step over the border into a country that had offered sanctuary before to Americans fleeing their homeland. Instead, the growing band of US soldiers who have sought political refuge in Canada after defying orders to serve in Iraq have found themselves in a political limbo.
posted by Postroad at 3:53 PM PST - 79 comments

Name me a herd animal that hunts.

A contrarian review of Thomas Friedman's "The World is Flat" - "It is a tale of a man who walks 10 feet in front of his house armed with a late-model Blackberry and comes back home five minutes later to gush to his wife that hospitals now use the internet to outsource the reading of CAT scans." Having watched Friedman flog this book on seemingly dozens of talk shows in the last month, I can't say I disagree...
posted by GriffX at 3:33 PM PST - 54 comments

Steve's Home Theater

When he says "home theater" he means home theater. If you're going to ignore TV Turnoff Week, you may as well do it in style.
posted by LeeJay at 3:26 PM PST - 39 comments


A couple years ago, they did SILENCE! the musical version of Silence of the lambs, now they're working on "RoboCop The Musical" with this track uploaded as a preview entitled "Murphy, It's You" performed by RoboCop and Anne Lewis.
posted by mathowie at 2:44 PM PST - 24 comments

Fred Anderson's Velvet Lounge

The Velvet is moving! Fred Anderson's Velvet Lounge, one of the best places in Chicago to see avant garde jazz, has to move. To help fund the construction of a new club, they're having a couple of fundraisers (pdf) at the Hot House and at the Velvet in late May. If you don't know Fred, you should get to know him. If you find yourself in Chicago in May, check him out at the 40th anniversary of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, which he helped found. If you find yourself far from Chicago, a lot of his music is available on CD, including my favorite, the 2003 disc Back at the Velvet Lounge.
posted by goatdog at 1:38 PM PST - 11 comments

What do people eat with maple syrup?

Learning English with the CBC. Learn about Canadian history and improve your English skills with a series of audio and video clips, as well as quizzes and exercises. Topics include Terry Fox: A Marathon of Hope, Arctic Winter Games: The Olympics of the North, and Maple Syrup: A Taste of Canada, among others.
posted by livii at 1:30 PM PST - 9 comments

Golf carts in the maze of academe... Will this be on the test?

"Declining by Degrees:" Five Univeristy of Arizona students try to survive the megauniversity
A provocative NYT article summarizes an upcoming PBS special (1, 2) on undergraduate education at large public universities. The average time to complete the BA is 4.7 years. Students describe acquiring "maze smart" skills for navigating institutions where they are completely anonymous. Professors are castigated for striking a grade-inflating "bargain" with underachieving students so they can attend less to teaching and more to research. Assistant coaches patrol the campus in golf carts looking for student athletes playing hooky. Millions of high school grads humiliated every year across the country--should they even bother with the "paper"?
posted by ~rschram at 1:22 PM PST - 84 comments

Experiments in the Revival of Organisms

Experiments in the Revival of Organisms 'Of course technique is everything...' Introduced by renowned Marxist scientist and geneticist JBS Haldane, this Soviet film depicts the artificial maintenance of individual organs, a severed dog's head, and finally a dog in toto (excuse the pun).
posted by derangedlarid at 1:04 PM PST - 8 comments

Chic kitsch

The Scopitone, the 1960s French video jukebox, has been mentioned before on MeFi, but I don't think this site from New York's Spike Priggen was up and running then. He's collected many Scopitone and Cinebox vids from the likes of Nino Ferrer, Francoise Hardy, Procul Harum and - naturellement! - Serge Gainsbourg. It's a marvellous well of '60s chic kitsch. (Navigation can be a tad confusing as there are numerous sections to the site and many links are duplicated throughout, but it's well worth clicking away to see where you end up.)
posted by TiredStarling at 1:01 PM PST - 7 comments

The Nuclear Option

The Nuclear Option is a tool Sen. Frist would like you to believe is a plan of the Democrat Party to bring chaos to the Senate. In fact, it is a tool coined by Republicans. Republicans are, as we speak, pressuring news media to claim that “the nuclear option” is a Democrat term. Some have already fallen in line. Some Republicans are pissed. Nearly all Dems are as well. Luckily, the Republicans plan, won’t work.
posted by futureproof at 12:48 PM PST - 26 comments

CNN: Comment spam News Network?

"I just read about CNN Headline News in us weekly. Those guys at the football game were total jerks." --Thoth
posted by jca at 12:00 PM PST - 42 comments

Open Source Culture

Culture by the people, for the people. We all know that there are a gazillion blogs out there, with people talking about anything and everything, frequently to an audience of one. Those same text based blogs are incorporating video as well. People are beginning to organize their internet not through search engine algorithims, but by their own tags. There's also a dedicated cadrey of partisan and non-partisan "amateur journalism" sites. Then you have full fledged communities focused to specific subjects, holding an unbelievable depth of knowledge and opinions. With entire encyclopedias available online, and with smaller topic-centric wiki's available, can the creation and dissemination of audience authored content be far behind? Witness the growth of Flickr, the probable success of Vimeo, people programming their own radio stations and/or shows, the increasing awareness and use of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by plain ol' citizens, the courting of TiVo by Google and Yahoo (to share homemovies and pictures, perhaps?), open source news sites like Take Bake the News, NowPublic (for royalty free images to accompany content), Downhill Battle, Our Media ( a place to store your content), and open-source sounds and sights. Could there eventually be enough worthwhile content to break us free of a corporate-delivered culture?
posted by rzklkng at 11:16 AM PST - 35 comments

nancy nancy links

RAISING NANCIES : "Their most unexpected attribute was a weird, screeching noise they relentlessly emitted — A cross between a high-pitched belch and the sound produced by rubbing the suface of a balloon!" Amonia hazed humor from comics artist Howard Cruse, based on Ernie Bushmiller's classic, odd, and still-subversive character NANCY — who it seems for the sake of conversation was herself based on another (real life) Nancy ...(And as long as the subject is Nancy, here's one other related parody and a very addictive dada-like game).
posted by Peter H at 11:04 AM PST - 16 comments

Utile pour apprendre le français

French In Action is now available for free, online. (click on the "VoD" link to the right of each episode; free registration required ) Long a staple of high school French classes and late-night PBS broadcasts, French In Action is notable for teaching French without translating it; meaning is made clear through context and repetition. It's an approach some people find useless and others consider "so excellent it almost justifies the invention of television ". If you'd rather learn Spanish, there's Destinos and for German, there's Fokus Deutsch--but neither one features Valérie Allain, subject of intense fascination (and occasionally creepy obsession.) ( Unfortunately, free streaming of French in Action doesn't seem to be available outside the US and Canada; Destinos and Fokus Deutsch have no such restrictions.)
posted by yankeefog at 10:35 AM PST - 43 comments

Lomax Archive

The Alan Lomax Database is a free multimedia catalog of the audio and video recordings and photographs made by Alan Lomax from 1946 to 1994.
posted by liam at 9:39 AM PST - 8 comments

Yes, this is something you'd need to own a TV to understand.

TV Turnoff Week starts today. Read a book, go outside. Sweeps week will be waiting on your TiVo when the week is over.
posted by mosch at 9:09 AM PST - 171 comments

German media goes english

"The main thing was that in West Berlin, we really thought it would've been great to witness the end of the world." A great interview with Einstürzende Neubauten co-founder Alexander Hacke from signandsight.com, a website that translates German arts and letters writing into English. Just part of what seems a larger trend of German outlets wading into the English market.
posted by jasonsmall at 8:42 AM PST - 12 comments

Yet another tax break...

If you own a gas-guzzling SUV, Uncle Sam just might pay for your gas...that is if you use it 100% for business.
posted by C17H19NO3 at 8:20 AM PST - 41 comments

Hubble Birthday Gallery

Hubble's 15th Birthday Image Gallery
Reports about birthday.
NASA Hubble site.
(previous) via
posted by peacay at 8:00 AM PST - 12 comments

Kick Anxiety/Depression With Reality

Shut down the computer, turn off the cell, kick back a minute and see the world in a whole new way.
posted by dfowler at 7:36 AM PST - 8 comments

Sergeant Fluffy, at your service

Looking for that perfect gift for your favorite dog-loving military buff? How about a picture of Rover in uniform?
posted by Katemonkey at 7:28 AM PST - 11 comments

Which one gets the pants fish?

Celebrity Mefi? Arianna Huffington is starting a "celebrity group blog." Contributors will include Walter Cronkite, David Mamet, Albert Brooks, Nora Ephron, Warren Beatty, James Fallows, Vernon Jordan, Rob Reiner, Diane Keaton, Norman Mailer, Bobby Kennedy, Tina Brown, John Cusack, Gary Hart, Mike Nichols...etc. According to a leaked email, Arianna is pitching the "Huffington Post" (ugh) to contributors as "a collective endeavor that can enliven — and possibly even shift — the national conversation."
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:22 AM PST - 104 comments

Necessary and Collectible

A comprehensive catalog of airsickness bags from airlines worldwide, Rune's Barf Bag Collection has pictures and descriptions for each one (none are shown used).
posted by breezeway at 7:21 AM PST - 3 comments

fake or photo?

Fake or Photo? Can you tell the difference between a photo and a CG render?
posted by crunchland at 5:03 AM PST - 42 comments

For whom these vile shackles, These long-prepared irons?

Vive la Revolution. Are DVD Copy Protection technologies now illegal in France? (via techdirt).
posted by seanyboy at 4:08 AM PST - 5 comments

Svetlana Alexievich

Svetlana Alexievich is a Russian writer-cum-journalist who 'constructs her narratives out of "live voices"', and finds her subject matter in Big Events lived by ordinary people. Extracts from her book on Chernobyl appear here.
posted by TimothyMason at 12:42 AM PST - 5 comments

April 24

Joe Millionaire: 1, Battle of the Network Stars: 0

Don't catch all the West Wing Dialogue? Me either... The idea so offended my NPR supporting cum aging grad student sensibilities that I had to read why "Watching TV Makes You Smarter" (nyt, reg. req.). Am now completely sold on the argument for the Sleeper Curve.
posted by Wash Jones at 8:02 PM PST - 70 comments

-- . ..-. .. / -- . ..-. .. / -.. . / . ...- --- / . ...- --- / -- ... --. / .... .- ...- . / .--. .- -. -.-. .- -.- . ... / -.-. .- -- . .-. .- ... / . -. -.. / . .

posted by eriko at 7:47 PM PST - 18 comments

And Bolton hasn't even started yet

UN investigator who exposed US army abuse forced out of his job.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 7:06 PM PST - 46 comments

Bolton in trouble

Bush nominee to the U.N. John Bolton center of Washington controversy. Bolton is being characterized by many witnesses as being, in essence, a bully. Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CN) says that Bolton should simply step down, as the damage to his potential effectiveness at the U.N. is already done.

Pshaw! say conservatives. This is just a political Borking of Bush's pick by bitter Democrats.

posted by zardoz at 6:44 PM PST - 87 comments

Intimate Insects

An Insect's View (via Boing Boing)
posted by Gyan at 5:28 PM PST - 14 comments


Food-Force • An educational video game from the U.N.'s World Food Programme. Screenshots & overview: "An aircraft circles over a crisis zone. War. Drought. People are hungry. This is the virtual world of the Food Force video game. It represents our real world, where 852 million people lack enough food to eat and World Food Programme teams deliver food aid every day using not only airplanes but a fleet of ships and thousands of trucks." Available for both Mac & PC.
posted by dhoyt at 4:52 PM PST - 7 comments

Hitch-Hiker's guide to iTunes

iTunes Music Store users can listen to the Hitch-Hiker's Guide to, Blogging, Deadlines, How to be cool, and Technology. And various other cash-in tracks.
posted by Mwongozi at 3:03 PM PST - 16 comments

Happy Passover

How to make matzah. Not the square Manischewitz stuff, mind you, but the real deal! Sure beats buying it for $15-30 a pound. And don't forget to give some to your gorilla.
posted by greatgefilte at 2:58 PM PST - 43 comments

...there’s nothing that suggests this is the beginning of an epidemic...

Updatefilter: Remember all the uproar over the new AIDS superbug? Well, think again. NY Magazine tells all about the "medical panic attack": ... After the frenzy died down, however, the new epidemic began to look a lot less fearsome. In fact, on closer examination, almost everything about this case seems murky. An investigation by the Department of Health turned up no evidence that the New York man passed the virus to anybody. And on March 29, the department put out a press release saying that the patient was responding well to his medications. ... “I thought this sounded familiar, so I Googled ‘superbug’ and ‘AIDS,’” said GMHC’s Gregg Gonsalves. He found two cases reported in 2001 by a noted Vancouver AIDS specialist, Dr. Julio Montaner. The Vancouver Sun quoted Montaner about the cases, but he could have been describing the newest Patient Zero ... March post on it here
posted by amberglow at 1:09 PM PST - 14 comments

Jack Spencer -- Photographs of the Rural South and Mexico

Aparicioñes. Somewhere along the back roads of small towns dotting the Louisiana and Mississippi and Mexico landscape is Jack Spencer, a self-taught photographer, searching for beauty. More inside.
posted by matteo at 12:21 PM PST - 17 comments

“Welcome to our website of the rock-band, The Trumpet Call!”

“Welcome to our website of the rock-band, The Trumpet Call!” No sir, this ain’t yer daddy’s apocalyptic Russian-American-Born-Again-Christian-Neocon hair metal. Rock out to "September 11", "Britain Say NO! to Brussels," and the wholly inexplicable “Sacramento" - "Musical sacred place of the USA!
posted by MaxVonCretin at 10:22 AM PST - 22 comments


Cute Animals Blog- Japan style
posted by srboisvert at 10:15 AM PST - 27 comments

Welcome, fear-mongering overlords

Ernst Becker proposed terror management theory to explain toxic leaders (among other things.) The war on terror provides many examples of how fear-mongering enables the rise of authoritarian regimes. Some have even found that self-inflicted fear mongering can cause permanent cognitive and behavioral impairment. Does this mean that conservativism is actually a form of mental disability? Others disagree. (previously in comments here and here)
posted by warbaby at 8:43 AM PST - 50 comments

Gregory Crewdson

The photographs of Gregory Crewdson are variably described as disturbing (nsfw,) otherworldly, filmic and sometimes just technically stunning. He readily acknowledges the influence of David Lynch and Steven Spielberg, so it's no surprise that some of Hollywood's finest are queuing up to appear in his big budget images of skewed suburbia.
posted by fire&wings at 7:41 AM PST - 24 comments

So it begins...

Confessions Of A Super Hero : "Seems I’ve misplaced my cape again. Gamma Girl says I should get one of those gizmos from Sharper Image that you attach to your keys and whistles when you push a button on the base station. Anesthesia said I wasn’t about to “buy a gizmo”, as I had a perfectly good Super Lab in the Hero Cave. Sometimes she can be such a nudzh. Like I know how to make a key whistle."

Best read chronologically, although it is your 20 minutes =)
posted by deemer at 5:41 AM PST - 12 comments

The 'Bali nine'.

The Australian media is calling them the 'Bali nine'. Nine young Australians are being held in Bali under suspicion for attempting to smuggle 8.3 kg (or 11.25 kg depending on what you read) of heroin through Bali's airport. They were caught with the drugs allegedly strapped to their bodies while accomplices were apprehended at a nearby hotel. Most of the nine Australians are now cooperating with police enquiries even though they fear doing so will further endanger the lives of their families (e.g. drug lords punishing them for talking). Don't get this latest case mistaken, however, with the other high-profile Australian drugs case in the Australian media right now. Beauty therapist Schapelle Corby, 27, is also being held in Bali for the 4.1 kg of top-notch marijuana found in her bodyboard bag some months ago. Prosecutors in that case have asked for a life sentence to be handed down to Corby. She has supposedly escaped death by firing squad. Her legal team and family, though, say she was a victim of dodgy baggage handlers and an Australian interstate drug smuggling operation that uses unknowing interstate Australian travellers as drug mules. Most Australians are worried about this, too. Of course, the strain of the case on Corby is beginning to show. But getting back to the 'Bali nine'. What will their fate be? Another Australian was just given an execution order in Vietnam for also smuggling Heroin. It's all nasty stuff, hey. News reports indicate that Australian officials will seek clemency for those involved in the latest Bali bust. Yeah, but how much good will that do? Indonesia is well known for enforcing strong anti-drug laws. And who can blame them?
posted by sjvilla79 at 3:43 AM PST - 41 comments

Big Ass Shark!

Giant Mako Shark Video
On Friday some fishheads in Pensacola, FL, cruising only 300 yards off the beach came up on a 10' mako shark that happened to be munching on what might have been (before it got munched) a world record tarpon. The video is almost 8 min. long and there are some good shots of the shark near the boat. It is also rich in loud, NSFW language. BTW, the mako is the only shark known to jump when hooked.
posted by wsg at 3:42 AM PST - 27 comments

The Game of Mao

The only rule I can tell you is this one. In the vein of self-modifying games such as Nomic, 1000 Blank White Cards, Fluxx, and Cosmic Encounter, comes Mao: the game where the only way to learn the rules is by banging your head against them. Repeatedly.
posted by Ironwolf at 1:21 AM PST - 32 comments

April 23

The Amber Room

The Amber Room : [flash] Stolen by the Nazis in WWII from the Catherine Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia, the Amber Room remains one of the greatest missing treasures of Europe. The room has now been reconstructed, and the search for the original may have come to an unhappy end.
posted by dhruva at 8:26 PM PST - 15 comments

Free live performances of Magnolia Electric Company

Jason Molina's Magnolia Electric Company are posting full audio of recent live performances in FLAC format. Twelve shows so far. More to come.
posted by dobbs at 8:17 PM PST - 6 comments

Get your own POD, this one's mine!

On April 4, New Jersey and Connecticut were attacked by terrorists. Nearly 6,000 people were killed. mathowie has the video. (85 MB via bittorrent) [MI]
posted by graventy at 6:06 PM PST - 19 comments

HRW report

A year after the Abu Ghraib photos were widely circulated, and a few days after most of the low-ranking officers blamed were let off, Human Rights Watch releases a report clearly implicating the entire chain of command, and strongly urges the investigation of Donald Rumsfeld and George Tenet. (Full report here) Just some bad eggs, eh?
posted by bumpkin at 4:47 PM PST - 31 comments

On The New American Militarism - How Americans Are Seduced By War 2.0

At the end of the Cold War, Americans said yes to military power. The skepticism about arms and armies that pervaded the American experiment from its founding, vanished. Political leaders, liberals and conservatives alike, became enamored with military might. The ensuing affair had and continues to have a heedless, Gatsby-like aspect, a passion pursued in utter disregard of any consequences that might ensue. Few in power have openly considered whether valuing military power for its own sake or cultivating permanent global military superiority might be at odds with American principles. Indeed, one striking aspect of America's drift toward militarism has been the absence of dissent offered by any political figure of genuine stature...

The Normalization of War and New Boys in Town - The Neocon Revolution and American Militarism are two excerpts from Andrew J. Bacevich's just released The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War, concerning who and which there was a previous post here.
posted by y2karl at 4:33 PM PST - 36 comments

Friends help you move. Good friends help you move bodies...

It's good to know that we have friends willing to do the dirty work for us.
posted by stenseng at 4:10 PM PST - 10 comments

Top 10 in Greenwashing

Greenwashing is a term for "Disinformation disseminated by an organization so as to present an environmentally responsible public image." The Green Life recently released their annual America's Ten Worst Greenwashers list. It's a good overview of companies and organizations that talk the talk but don't quite walk the walk. [via treehugger]
posted by mathowie at 1:25 PM PST - 20 comments

"Speaks strange language? Check. Ethnic-style dress? Check. Very suspicious".

Terrorists from Antarctica. Two Seaworld penguins flying out of San Diego airport are sent walking through the metal detector. Better safe than sorry. via BoingBoing, via Schneier
posted by matteo at 10:36 AM PST - 43 comments

Wikipedia anywhere

Wapedia is Wikipedia for your WAP phone or PDA. Alternatively, why not just download the whole thing and carry it with you?
posted by Mwongozi at 8:57 AM PST - 13 comments

Massive-breasted heiress, 38, seeks ...

The London Review of Books lands on my doormat twice a month, and is packed with erudite and entertaining essays. But I suspect I am not the only subscriber who turns to the remarkable personals section first.
posted by handee at 5:15 AM PST - 43 comments

The shortest, cheapest variety show in the history of entertainment.

He's been on Star Trek and Deep Space Nine, the only Treks of quality out there. He's really geeky looking, but manages to score bit parts in lots of films. He's Opie's brother. And now he's got his own variety show, something that died when Carol Burnett went off the air (or, maybe Viva Variety). So three cheers for The Clint Howard Show! via Blue's News
posted by WolfDaddy at 4:32 AM PST - 33 comments


1000 white cards The game is fairly simple. You take a lot of index cards, cut them in half, draw your own cards and play them on each other.
posted by srboisvert at 4:12 AM PST - 25 comments

April 22

R.F. Burton

Burton had his time. Now "R.F. Burton", a long time pseudonymous expat in Saudi Arabia, is writing occasional pieces on the place he calls the Magic Kingdom. They are by turns appalling, alarming, fascinating, outrageous, odd, dispiriting, interesting, depressing, enlightening, and provoking. Eleven so far. The index (along with the latest entry, if you have the stomach for it) is here. Request to those who know Saudi first hand- is the brush too broad or are the pieces nicely observed? Or something in between?
posted by IndigoJones at 6:03 PM PST - 27 comments

April 22: Earth Day or Peak Oil Day?

Today the Saudi Oil Minister announced that they are setting aside OPEC production quotas. Is the end for OPEC? More importantly, when the Texas Railroad Commission did the same thing in 1971, it signaled the peaking of US oil production. Oil prices keep rising, and the Main Stream Media blames it on tight refinery capacity. But simple economics tells us that this should actually cause crude prices to drop. So what is happening? Is this the peak of global oil production? President Bush is concerned, and he is hosting Crown Prince Abdullah at the Crawford Ranch this week. Leading Oil & Gas investment banker Matt Simmons thinks that the peak is upon us, and even the Saudi Oil Minister admits that they probably won’t find any more light, sweet crude…
posted by DAJ at 5:34 PM PST - 81 comments

Tactical Voter

Tactical Voter has resurfaced just in time for next month's British general election. Thanks of the large number of elected representatives in the UK (659), vote swapping promises to have a more widespread effect on the contest than similar exchange networks did in the the last two US Presidential Elections. Indeed, most political analysts believe that, during the last General Election in 2001, vote swapping accounted for the demise of at least two Conservative Members of Parliament. Other vote swapping sites want to sack Blair, while musicians Billy Bragg and Brian Eno (the latter previously posted) are waging tactical voting campaigns of their own. What is this type of activity going to do to the future of elections? Is this type of activity restricted to the UK and USA? And are there any historical ancendents to online vote swapping?
posted by MrMerlot at 5:34 PM PST - 27 comments

Return of Lollapalooza

Lollapalooza returns to Chicago this summer with a line up that I'm actually a little excited about. Presented by Parkways Foundation it looks like the damage that might be done to Grant Park by the two day festival might just be covered by the proceeds.
posted by FlamingBore at 4:31 PM PST - 87 comments

Documents suggest Canadian involvement in Arar interrogation

Some eighteen months ago, I posted a link detailing the case of Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen scooped up at an American airport and sent to Syria by the American governement. A month later, Arar released a frightening statement describing the conditions of his torture at the hands of the Syrian government. And now comes word that not only was the response of the Canadian government wholly lacklustre, but "Canadian officials failed to act to prevent Arar's deportation – and once he was in Syria, Canadian authorities appeared more interested in Arar's interrogation than his treatment."
posted by The God Complex at 1:52 PM PST - 24 comments

House of M...adrid?

More Photoshop mischief? After raising a spot of trouble in the British election campaign, use of that most ubiquitous piece of software may now have landed some egg on Marvel Comics' face. Or was the offending picture traced? The answer to that question could have some relevance in the copyright infringement lawsuit which Spain's less than amused Royal Household is more than likely to start against Marvel, according to the Spanish press. (First FPP...please have some mercy)
posted by Skeptic at 1:36 PM PST - 35 comments

Tour of the English canal system

On the revival of a forgotten piece of infrastructure: Britain's massive canal system was constructed in the late 18th century to move goods throughout the country and provided an extensive logistical network for the industrial revolution. Since the rise of rail and truck transport, the canals were left to decay for generations. Today many are being restored, providing revenue for local communities and acting as a catalyst [PDF] for urban renewal.

One group of fun-lovin' Brits has been touring these man-made waterways since the 1970's and documenting their journeys in copious detail. The canals traverse every conceivable type of landscape, and evince some pretty amazing engineering.
posted by pieisexactlythree at 12:52 PM PST - 14 comments

Get Back in the Box

Get Back in the Box says Douglas Rushkoff in his upcoming book of the same name. Kris Krug interviewed Rushkoff last week just after he wrapped up writing. Apparently the author is going to explore how we're undergoing a renaissance of collaboration where identity is defined by connection to others. Douglas seems to be pulling together a lot of ideas that have been bubbling up in the blogosphere (a connected creative/technology class, social networks) but is business ready to hear his message? Sounds like he'll be well received by many webby people, but it remains to be seen how long the traditional definitions he challenges will remain - one generation, two maybe?

You may remember Rushkoff from the PBS Frontline series' Merchants of Cool and Persuaders. He's been discussed quite a bit before here on MeFi, 9 times in fact.
posted by will at 12:40 PM PST - 19 comments

It's Okay to put a fish in your, er, pants.

Todd Parr, the inspiring children’s author whose artwork has been compared to Keith Haring, was nominated for the Outstanding Children's Animated Program Emmy for his series, Toddworld. His books teach kids about love, inclusiveness and how to be silly. Warning: some links include flashy animation and sound.
posted by grateful at 11:29 AM PST - 10 comments

Business Card Etiquette

Business Card Etiquette. Do not play or fiddle with people's business cards - treat them with respect. A Western businessman once famously lost a big deal for picking his teeth with one of his colleagues' business cards, and was never given the opportunity to do business with the company again. (more inside).
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 11:14 AM PST - 47 comments

RIP Eduardo

RIP Eduardo PAOLOZZI, gifted POP artist has died at 81.
posted by Lanark at 11:08 AM PST - 3 comments

Virtual Marching Against Global Warming

The Stop Global Warming Virtual March on Washington starts today in Fairbanks, Alaska. You can join in.
posted by liam at 10:41 AM PST - 10 comments

Lion Heart -- A Photo Essay

Lion Heart is the nickname given to Saleh Khalaf, a nine year old boy maimed by an explosion in Iraq. Deanne Fitzmaurice's photo essay about his ongoing recovery won the 2005 Pultizer Prize for Feature Photography.
posted by McGuillicuddy at 10:37 AM PST - 19 comments

[to do: think up weak "choppers" pun]

Reclaiming the economic usefulness of the American worker as patriarch is a lot of weight for a little pizza cutter to bear. [via]
posted by Capn at 10:17 AM PST - 21 comments

'Our beautiful and advantageously situated city'

Civil War Richmond: an online research project designed to collect documents, photographs, and maps pertaining to Richmond, Virginia, during the Civil War.
posted by breezeway at 9:57 AM PST - 8 comments

Liquid cannabis

The Lesson of Sativex - By approving liquid marijuana, the Canadian government has just certified that virtually everything our own (American) government has been telling us about marijuana is wrong. A little more on Sativex from GW Pharm. (via The Media Awareness Project ... and the MPP)
posted by mrgrimm at 9:27 AM PST - 50 comments

We love you Tania

Recently scanned article from the April 29th, 1974 Newsweek detailing Patty Hearst and the Symbionese Liberation Army. Like many, I was vaguely aware that this had happened by had never read the details. (Direct page links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
posted by dirtylittlemonkey at 9:00 AM PST - 33 comments

Herbert O. Yardley and the Birth of American Codebreaking

The Reader of Gentlemen's Mail In the spring of 1919, when the father of American cryptography, Herbert O. Yardley, drew up a plan for a permanent State Department codebreaking organization — a "black chamber — he estimated that a modest $100,000 a year would buy a chief (Yardley) and fifty clerks and cryptanalysts. Yardley rented a three-story building in New York City: on East 38th Street just off Fifth Avenue, he put two dozen people to work under civilian cover—as the Code Compiling Company. His summary dismissal happened in 1929 at the hand of incoming Secretary of State Henry Stimson, who closed down the Cipher Bureau with the casual observation that "gentlemen do not read each other's mail". The son of a railroad telegrapher, a man with a lively Jazz Age interest in money, good-looking women, and drinks at five, Yardley not only taught his country how to read other people's mail but wrote two of the enduring American books—the memoir The American Black Chamber (1931), and The Education of a Poker Player (1957).
posted by matteo at 8:47 AM PST - 6 comments

Bap ba da da duh.............

Shakespeare was a barber? Possibly, possibly. Not a bad way to make a farthing if true. Barbers have collected in their long and colorful history their own medical ailments, their own mathematical paradoxes, heck, they've even picked up one or two patron saints along the way.
Their members include singers, dancers, psychics, psychopaths, and cross-dressers. Ol' Will may have had tonsorial talent, but I suspect he'll never replace America's sweetheart.
posted by DeepFriedTwinkies at 8:44 AM PST - 4 comments

Time wasting chaos is fun!

Sometimes Friday Fun doesn't have to involve Flash. Take, for example, the Random Vin Diesel Fact Page, or other existing ones, some serious, some not so serious. There's also random news generators and even random band name generators. Plenty of reloading, time-wasting fun for your Friday.
posted by twiggy at 8:42 AM PST - 21 comments

Saunders Mac Lane, 1909--2005

Saunders Mac Lane, mathematician, has died, age 95. Winner of the National Medal of Science, Vice-President of the National Academy of Science, President of the American Mathematical Society, author of three of the canonical texts in algebra [reg. maybe req., here's a local copy], Mac Lane was also mathematical ancestor to over a thousand mathematicians, father of category theory and homological algebra, and expert in topology, topos theory, group cohomology, logic, and applied mathematics. He was one of the towering figures of postwar mathematics. Remembered by his students and all of us who were affected by his work and his life.
posted by gleuschk at 7:31 AM PST - 7 comments

Nanjing, Unit 731

Japanese PM Koizumi has apologized for causing “tremendous damage and suffering for the people of many countries, particularly those of Asian nations,” but made no direct acknowledgement of atrocities like those committed at Unit 731.
posted by dfowler at 7:30 AM PST - 73 comments

Your Daily Art

Your Daily Art is a weblog that provides a short and sweet art history lesson on a daily basis.
posted by sciurus at 7:21 AM PST - 12 comments

Simpsons Music

All the music from the Simpsons collected on one handy dandy page. What more needs to be said? All the songs performed on the Simpsons since season 1, categorized by character. Some of my personal favorites: Happy Birthday Lisa by Michael Jackson/asylum inmate, Cletus, the slack-jawed yokel and See my Vest by Montgomery Burns. Please say a prayer for the bandwidth hosting bill.
posted by jeremias at 7:17 AM PST - 44 comments

Matisyahu Revisited

Matisyahu Revisited: While he's been mentioned here before, a new AP profile on Matisyahu finds Brooklyn's reggae Hasid still hard at work. Catch his performance on Jimmy Kimmel, then give a listen to his amazing new live album from Jewish-oriented JDub Records — currently streaming its *entirety* on Heavy Radio.
posted by MaxVonCretin at 7:09 AM PST - 13 comments

35 Years of Pretending We Care

Happy Earth Day! Today is the 35th celebration of the world's biggest secular holiday--a time for platitudes and complacency. Of course, beyond global warming, there's also an ongoing mass extinction. Might such tokens as "Earth Day" be serving more to make us ignore our environmental problems than focusing on them?
posted by jefgodesky at 7:02 AM PST - 25 comments

LilyPond: Free Music Engraving Software

LilyPond is a free, mature, actively developed "automated engraving system" for the production of beautifully formatted musical scores. Essay and examples from the site. All major platforms are supported.
posted by teleskiving at 6:41 AM PST - 9 comments

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi pop-art sculptor dies

Leading Scottish pop-art sculptor/artist Sir Eduardo Paolozzi dies aged 81. obituary, works, images, works/book review, wiki, 1971 interview
posted by peacay at 5:51 AM PST - 3 comments

Once more, with Moonies

A tale of marriage and, eventually, sex in the Unification Church. One of Nerve's 'personal essays' section. (much of Nerve may be NSFW)
posted by iffley at 4:57 AM PST - 24 comments

Public Lectures at the London School of Economics

Public Lectures at the London School of Economics are mostly free and cover a wide variety of topics. For those of you that can't attend, there's a list of transcripts from most of the lectures.
posted by mikeanegus at 12:12 AM PST - 17 comments

April 21

Alternate Reality Advertising?

Alternate Reality Advertising? I noticed this peculiar advert on this morning's commute. Seems it's part of an immersive ad campaign. Since when do gamers have enough money to buy luxury rides?
posted by gnutron at 10:14 PM PST - 12 comments

Yeah, but can it cook?

Skynet is a go - step one is complete. Cyc (pronounced psych) is an AI with a new twist. "Cyc's creator says it has developed a human trait no other AI system has managed to imitate: common sense." - New Scientist (via)
posted by tvjunkie at 8:51 PM PST - 26 comments

How to Beat a Speeding Ticket

How to Beat a Speeding Ticket , for those feeling rebellious. Work the system to your advantage.
posted by zardoz at 8:29 PM PST - 58 comments

We may have to drill

Research at Purdue University yields answers to one of the world's largest unsolved mysteries.
posted by Ron at 8:10 PM PST - 12 comments

7 minutes in heaven?

Prime Minister Paul Martin addresses the sponsorship scandal with a televised speech to the Canadian people. The Opposition is calling for Liberal blood. Here's some political fun from North of the Border. Will the Gomery Inquiry reveal the Liberals as a crooked party or did they just get caught for something every party does? This is stuff I though only happened to other countries...boy, was I wrong!
posted by LunaticFringe at 8:03 PM PST - 43 comments

The Beginning of the End Already?

While blaming Democrats still seems to be the rule, cracks appear to be forming in the far right's support of the Republican party. Some advocate a boycott on donations. Others want the party to take its cues from the new Pope. But, with some already paying the price for going to far out of the mainstream, is it feasible to think that a demand to be 'more conservative' or 'more Christian' will be heard?
posted by UseyurBrain at 6:58 PM PST - 13 comments


All roads lead to Apache. From Bert (.mp3) to Nas (.mp3), surf (.mp3) to electronica (.mp3), the audio genealogy of one influential tune. (via Soul-Sides)
posted by numlok at 6:25 PM PST - 26 comments

Jesus--that's J-E-S-U-S...

Early Readers or Proselytizing? ...Her father apparently agrees. "There is so much history here for Christians to enjoy," he says. "It's hard to believe that Egypt is a Muslim nation." Dr. Ibrahim asks his daughter what she thinks of Christianity. Sana replies, "I want to know why Allah let my mother die."--From Escape From Egypt, one of the Accelerated Reader series of books put out by Renaissance Learning, Inc., and in many many public schools around the country. A review of Escape From Egypt says this: ... In addition, to promoting Protestant Christianity, Morgan advocates home schooling. The story addresses the strengths of "home schooling" as opposed to public school instruction. ...Escape from Egypt is an addition to a multicultural curriculum as long as the reader understands the religious biases of the author and publisher. The publisher: Bethany House, whose purpose is to help Christians apply biblical truth in all areas of life--whether through a well-told story, a challenging devotional, or the message of an illustrated children's book.
Public elementary school students across the country are getting rewards and prizes for reading this book on their own, without teacher supervision or involvement and taking Renaissance Learning's reading comprehension quiz on a computer, again without any teacher involvement. +
posted by amberglow at 6:22 PM PST - 12 comments

Vote out every incumbent in 2006

Recording a movie in a theater is now likely to get you more time in jail than if you are found guilty of involuntary mansaughter.
posted by Mr_Zero at 5:05 PM PST - 46 comments

Can you hear me now?

Ear candling is touted for removing earwax build-up, clearing sinuses, and even dislodging alien implants. This New Age version of Q-Tips has been around for centuries, yet the controversy over ear candling remains a burning issue. There are those who believe in its virtues while others warn that it's all bupkiss, and that's no dope.
posted by debralee at 4:50 PM PST - 40 comments

Pick a key - any key, just not the 'any' key

One key games. Retro Remakes, a reverse-engineer gaming siteand One Switch, an accessibility site, have launched a competition for the best game that can be played with a single key. There's still time to enter, and some entries have already been posted to the forums.
posted by Sparx at 3:19 PM PST - 11 comments

American Concentration Camps.

U.S. Concentration Camps: FEMA and the REX 84 Program. There over 800 prison camps in the United States, all fully operational and ready to receive prisoners. They are all staffed and even surrounded by full-time guards, but they are all empty. These camps are to be operated by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) should Martial Law need to be implemented in the United States and all it would take is a presidential signature on a proclamation and the attorney general's signature on a warrant to which a list of names is attached.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 2:31 PM PST - 74 comments

Microsoft refuses to support gay rights bill

Microsoft pulls support for gay rights. Under pressure from a local conservative church, Microsoft - long honored for their progressive stance on GBLT rights - quietly pulled its support for a Washington State law that would have made discrimination based on sexual orientation illegal. Today, the Washington State Senate killed the bill by a vote of 24-25.
posted by falconred at 1:37 PM PST - 91 comments

Britain's new opposition party?!

Britain's new opposition party?! Despite outraising and outspending all other parties, Britain's conservative Tory party is falling in the polls to P.M. Tony Blair's "New Labour" party. This collapse seems likely to increase; just days after conservative media mogul Rupert Murdoch indicated his love of cheap labour, his paper "The Sun" is endorsing Blair. What isn't being pointed out, though, is that the Liberal Democrats are gaining former Labour voters just as fast as Labour is gaining conservative voters. A British public opinion site indicates that 43% of its visitors support LibDem policies, while the Guardian's unofficial "poll-u-like" shows 45% support for the LibDems, even though The Guardian has encouraged its readers to "hold their nose" and vote for Blair. Given that prior election polls in Britain have been off by as much as 19%, could there be a major shift here?
posted by insomnia_lj at 12:40 PM PST - 32 comments

PapaRatzi - no soup for you!

Did the new Pope swing the Presidential election last year? After brown-nosing the Vatican on the grounds of being pro-life President Bush convinced then-Cardinal Ratzinger to work on the American Catholic Church on his behalf. Ratzinger's response? This memo where Ratzi claimed that anyone (especially a Catholic politician - like Kerry) who campaigned and voted pro-choice was not only on the side of evil but was unworthy of receiving Communion and Americans probably shouldn't vote for him. According to Salon, this was perhaps what was behind Bush's 6 point increase in Catholic support from 2000, and the difference in the 2004 election.
posted by tsarfan at 12:23 PM PST - 47 comments

Exotic performing electronic music instruments

Dewanatron : a family of electronic instruments ‘which hazard unpredictable behaviors and self playing tendencies.’ See, for example, the Alphatron, the Dual-Primate Console, and the Courtesy Modulator. Besides his work as an instrument- and furniture-maker, the Dewanatrons’ co-creator, Brian Dewan, is a musician and singer who has collaborated with They Might Be Giants, among others. He is also a visual artist, who has created numerous filmstrips, and who was responsible for the ‘flying victrola’ design for the the Neutral Milk Hotel album ‘In The Aeroplane Over the Sea.’
posted by misteraitch at 12:12 PM PST - 9 comments

Some of us like them fat.

Art by Showchicken Also showcases his work on Flickr and on Fotolog.
posted by quasistoic at 11:10 AM PST - 5 comments

Surviving the Attack

How to Survive a Zombie Attack. Here goes nothing: If you've ever wanted to have a full plan of surviving an impending Zombie attack, via k5.
posted by virga at 10:51 AM PST - 24 comments

Operation Vibration

We Come In Peace. "The following letters were written by employees of Playtime, an adult toy store in Edison, New Jersey, to accompany thirty-six vibrators sent as gifts to Iraqi women last October." Here's the original Operation Vibration website, what a wonderful thing!
posted by gsb at 9:04 AM PST - 39 comments

Visitors from the Carboniferous

Melissa Kaplan's site is not just about green iguanas. Anapsid.org provides information on behavior, health, prey and feeding, captivity issues, and more regarding Cyclura (blue) iguanas, chelonians, amphibians, crocodilians, lizards, snakes, and even invertebrates and arachnids.
posted by breezeway at 9:02 AM PST - 5 comments

Charging U.S. taxpayers twice for weather forecasts

Sen. Rick Santorum, (R-Pa) introduced a bill in the Senate last week that would prohibit federal meteorologists from competing with companies such as AccuWeather and The Weather Channel which offer their own forecasts through paid services and free ad-supported Web sites. He says that as he reads the bill, a vast amount of federal weather data would be forced offline. "I believe I've paid for that data once. ... I don't want to have to pay for it again," said Scott Bradner, a technical consultant at Harvard University. The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
posted by spock at 9:00 AM PST - 86 comments

World ; Humanists, ex-Muslims say Europe weak on Islam rights

"European governments are allowing Islamic fundamentalists to trample on the rights of Muslim women under the guise of respecting different cultures, campaigners said Monday, citing instances of forced marriage, domestic violence and genital mutilation. The activists, including outspoken Dutch parliamentarian Ayaan Hirsi Ali, called on European countries to do more to combat human-rights abuses in Muslim immigrant communities, particularly those directed against women." [+]
posted by jenleigh at 8:53 AM PST - 72 comments

Global gag rule...enough to make you sick.

"The Global Gag Rule Impact Project is a collaborative research effort ... the project's objective is to document the effects of the Global Gag Rule on the availability of life-saving family planning services, as well as efforts to address other major threats to public health, including HIV/AIDS and maternal deaths due to unsafe abortion." This interactive database allows you to explore the impact that the Mexico City Policy has had on healthcare worldwide.
posted by OmieWise at 8:17 AM PST - 2 comments

Don't say vagina

You can't say vagina in one Minnesota high school. A button bought at a production of the Vagina Monologues brings some students into conflict with the school.
posted by valis at 8:08 AM PST - 98 comments

The killer is....

Hitchcock's infamous shower scene from Psycho overlayed with the '98 remake by Gus Van Sant: .mov (via Waxy)
posted by dirtylittlemonkey at 7:58 AM PST - 22 comments

Biodiversity, Speciation & Genetic Drift

Competition gave rise to the robber fly, to trap-weaving tree ants, an ‘homosexual’ fungus, robot jockeys, logic-checking software, and to custom-made brass knuckles.
posted by dfowler at 7:23 AM PST - 14 comments

A Wiki RPG

Lexicon: An RPG - The basic idea is that each player takes on the role of a scholar, from before scholarly pursuits became professionalized (or possibly after they ceased to be). You are cranky, opinionated, prejudiced and eccentric. You are also collaborating with a number of your peers -- the other players -- on the construction of an encyclopedia describing some historical period (possibly of a fantastic world).
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:12 AM PST - 45 comments

Google is not your friend.

Google is watching you.... "My Search History lets you easily view and manage your search history from any computer." Given the continuing concerns about Google's respect for privacy, is this a good thing?
posted by jefgodesky at 6:50 AM PST - 42 comments

Flickr Tricks-of-the-Trade

I recalled a few of the Flickrazzi's who post the "how-to's" of their daily lives. For example, 7-how-7 works for a production company that produces blow-up dolls for the entertainment film and commercial industry (via BoingBoing today), underbunny works as a mortician, rickenbacker documents his life in fast food, and then there's a variety of active duty military folk who are documenting the mundane "over there", like ob1left, nevadog, At Ease, Doc Torres, enlisted cowboy, Nukeit1, JeffG, Luodanli, and the homsar. But if blogging at work can be bad, than I'm sure taking photos at work and sharing them with the interweb HAS to be worse.
posted by rzklkng at 6:36 AM PST - 35 comments

Behavior modification schools under intense scrutiny.

WWASP stung by alleged victims, goverment and watchdog organizations. The WorldWide Association of Specialty Schools, a program that manages a series of domestic and overseas behavior modification schools for "troubled teens" is under intense scrutiny right now by a lawmaker in Calfornia who just filed legislation requesting more oversight, officials in New York investigating various claims against their Ivy Ridge Academy (PDF) & Utah looking into Majestic Ranch, recently having an offer turned down to purchase property for a school in Boonville, Missouri, and having to file a lawsuit against the International Survivors Action Committee, a watchdog organization closely monitoring WWASP and its large network of educational consultants, recruiting companies, transport services, real estate ventures, and lots of Limited Liability shell companies.
posted by bkdelong at 5:33 AM PST - 11 comments

hand portraits

No time for Idle Hands :25 original paintings and drawings commemorating 19th-Century Women of the Plains & Prairies. (via)
posted by dhruva at 5:11 AM PST - 2 comments

The Sims 3?

Teenage Mum. A public information film for the gaming generation (embedded Quicktime movie). [via Edge]
posted by davehat at 2:50 AM PST - 14 comments

Don't Tax You... Don't Tax Me...

Who was Henry George? Now that those of us in the US are between tax day and Tax Freedom Day® I thought it would be useful to highlight an interesting alternative that for some reason never gets debated, the land value tax. As a quasi lefty libertarian I think the LVT is a near-perfect refinement that substantially mitigates the moral inconsistencies/failure modes of traditional neolibertarianism. Remember, to prove legal title to your land you must trace it back to the person who stole it!
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 1:49 AM PST - 18 comments

April 20

so the PSP is supposed to be Kefka?

SEGA Fantasy VI - Our intrepid band of console heroes battle the evil of the Playstation Portable. [Flash, long, extremely nerdy]
posted by neckro23 at 11:27 PM PST - 15 comments

Tales of Armada

"I want them to remember me with a shudder." Filthy's mind often wanders when reviewing films in his hometown of Armada, Colorado, regailing us with occasional snippets of wage slavery, sympathy, Larry, Jimmy, Gooden, the Harelip of the Armada Tavern, and growing up.
posted by AlexReynolds at 11:06 PM PST - 11 comments

Submitted For Your Approval

A Shadowy Museum of the Outre - "Good evening, and welcome to a private showing of paintings, displayed here for the first time. Each is a collector's item in its own way - not because of any special artistic quality, but because each captures on a canvas, suspends in time and space, a frozen moment of a nightmare." [ Click on "The Paintings". ]
posted by mischief at 9:04 PM PST - 7 comments


Whats on your ipid play list? You are what's on your playlist Experts say digital music library reflects listener's personality
posted by halekon at 7:35 PM PST - 83 comments

Oh-Oh, Erwischt!

Maude Flanders fan site.
posted by sohcahtoa at 7:33 PM PST - 21 comments

Hey, this tastes like chicken!

Abstinence splained. (NSFW)
(Or the new Pope)
posted by DeepFriedTwinkies at 7:20 PM PST - 27 comments

How Rich is Too Rich For Democracy?

How Rich is Too Rich For Democracy? At what point does great wealth held in a few hands actually harm democracy, threatening to turn a democratic republic into an oligarchy? It's a debate we haven't had freely and openly in this nation for nearly a century, and last week, by voting to end the Estate Tax, House Republicans tried to ensure that it wouldn't be had again in this generation. But it's a debate that's vital to the survival of democracy in America. In a letter to Joseph Milligan on April 6, 1816, Thomas Jefferson explicitly suggested that if individuals became so rich that their wealth could influence or challenge government, then their wealth should be decreased upon their death. He wrote, "If the overgrown wealth of an individual be deemed dangerous to the State, the best corrective is the law of equal inheritance to all in equal degree..."
posted by mk1gti at 4:22 PM PST - 65 comments


The Oops List. Enjoy the pure pleasure of the misfortune of others.
posted by srboisvert at 3:51 PM PST - 23 comments

Oh Oh, Spaghettios!

In a rare move , the Prime Minister of Canada, Paul Martin, will address the nation at 7:45 pm EDT on CTV this Thursday. [mi]
posted by shepd at 3:25 PM PST - 80 comments

Son of the USB 2.0 Hi-speed Flash drive roundup

Ars Technica has an updated review of ten different USB 2.0 flash drives. In the market for a floppy drive replacement? Have you just purchased a flash drive and want to know how it stacks up to the competition? Read on to see which drive meets your needs and what extras you get for the cash. With which USB drives have Mefites been most satisfied?
posted by johnnyace at 3:21 PM PST - 30 comments

if you build it, will they come?

Metropolis ex nihilo? Construction of New Songdo City, South Korea, is now underway. Within 10 years, a fully planned city of 100,000 people will spring up on a man-made island. It is intended to be a new, multi-national commercial hub for its booming Asian region. The developers say all the right things - cultural facilities, mixed use buildings, ample greenspace, etc. - but can a diverse, livable city really be so easily manufactured?
posted by Urban Hermit at 2:48 PM PST - 16 comments

A Sweet Tart Taste

"It tastes like cough syrup."
posted by isol at 2:34 PM PST - 53 comments

gnk... gnk... :cough: ...ere

Happy 420 day! Although many have (wrongly) believed that 420 had something to do with police code relating to marijuana offenses or 4/20 being the dates that Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrisson, and John Belushi died; this infamous number really was simply the time that several San Rafael high school students would meet after school to get baked.
posted by tsarfan at 11:51 AM PST - 105 comments

Super Size Me!

New federal study released today finds that overweight folks —not the obese, though—have a lower risk of death than those who are average weight. Some welcome these findings as the death knell for “fat hysteria.” The study also concluded that deaths related to obesity are actually a third of what has been reported by the CDC. Seems rather counterintuitive, no?
posted by Sully6 at 11:50 AM PST - 42 comments

The Foster Agenda

"It is our responsibility to make sure that we protect our most vulnerable children and I don't think we are doing that if we allow a foster parent that is homosexual or bisexual." The Texas state House has approved legislation that would prohibit homosexuals and bisexuals from becoming foster parents.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 11:34 AM PST - 134 comments

Ivor Cutler

Ivor Cutler - poet, musician, Glaswegian. I first enjoyed Cutler's touching, funny, and often surreal performances on the John Peel Show; and so I was delighted to find a small group of Cutler fans dedicated to spreading the Word of Ivor online. There's some audio links here, including Questionnaire, Little Black Buzzer, and Good Morning How Are You Shut Up. For Ivor fans, there's much more over at Yahoo Group's ivor-list.
posted by carter at 11:33 AM PST - 16 comments

Satchmo Spears

Oops I Did It Again: The Original. "'Oops! I Did It Again' was recorded in April, 1932 in a Chicago studio, most likely Nearlie's or West and Fourth ... The song remained all-but-forgotten until sixty years later when a young Britney Spears sent her interpretation of the Armstrong tune all the way to the top of the charts." (via Stereogum).
posted by adrober at 11:33 AM PST - 47 comments

But who is Tom DeLay?

John Adams is back. In a surprising twist that should amaze pundits, today's prominent politicians turn out to be reincarnations of guys from the Continental Congress. Meanwhile, in an unrelated development, 36 dead presidents are sending messages from beyond the grave. As Bill Clinton said, "Thank you for the engraved copy...It looks fascinating!”
posted by inksyndicate at 10:22 AM PST - 21 comments

Deconstructing the Strip Joint

The lap dance deconstructed: It’s a relationship built on deception, of course, but the con at its center exerts a serious, subrational pull.
posted by oldleada at 10:18 AM PST - 47 comments

Parody is the sincerest form of flattery

Snobsite: Online home of the Rock Snobs Dictionary. Includes: Rock Snobbery Explained, and other excerpts.
posted by jonmc at 9:51 AM PST - 48 comments

"(One over all)" is the official Air Force Motto. Is that one named Jesus?

"Filthy Jew." "'They are calling me a [expletive] Jew, and that I am responsible for killing Christ.'" But so what if at a private Christian school the "official academy newspaper runs a Christmas ad every year praising Jesus and declaring him the only savior, [signed by nearly] 200 academy staff members, including some department heads," and "[t]he academy commandant... a born-again Christian, said in a statement to cadets in June 2003 that their first responsibility is to their God"?

But it's not a private Christian school. It's a school run by the United States of America, a school where all the students swear to defend the U.S. Constitution against all enemies. It's the United States Air Force Academy, training the nation's future military leaders. [more inside]
posted by orthogonality at 9:38 AM PST - 178 comments

Obviously, I am now too cool for the likes of you

Tired of people sending you links you've seen weeks before? Old News Baby lets you create a list of urls you've seen, so you can refer back to your inherent coolness when people are talking about them. via ResearchBuzz
posted by Katemonkey at 9:28 AM PST - 14 comments

You can't beat your cocks, but you can sure beat your spouse!

Cock-fighting may soon be punishable by 5 years in prison in South Carolina. The House Judiciary Committee of the SC General Assembly this week passed out a law making cock-fighting a felony. Some folks are angry, however, that the same committee killed a bill elevating domestic violence from a misdemeanor to a felony, thereby potentially granting more protection to chickens than to people with abusive spouses and partners. To complete the hat trick, a state representative on the committee recorded an interview in which he called people who thought domestic violence is a more serious problem than cockfighting "not very smart" and directly insulted the intelligence of the reporter.
posted by socratic at 9:01 AM PST - 31 comments

Shooting in Atlanta

Cop shoots from patrol car. Beautiful and fascinating photos taken by an on-duty police officer in southwest Atlanta. Thumbnails are cropped, click to see full photo. (via things)
posted by cali at 8:44 AM PST - 23 comments

Little Instant Houses for You and Me (and the World)

Styrofoam + Ceramic Spray = Profit Instant Housing
A styrofoam house sounds like a really stupid idea but, when the styrofoam is sprayed with a special ceramic spray called Grancrete (pdf), it becomes twice as strong as structural concrete.

It is also cheap, $10 a square foot to build a house as opposed to $150 a square foot for a regular home. And, where regular concrete can take up to three weeks to fully cure, Grancrete dries in a single day.

The potential impact of this product for developing countries and natural disaster prone areas could be truly incredible.
posted by fenriq at 8:16 AM PST - 38 comments

Ma ma ma my Sharapova!

Happy 18th Birthday Maria Sharapova! A music video by ESPN's Bristol Bob and the Page 2 Crue, made in honor of Maria Sharapova's 18th birthday. Make sure you crank the volume knob up to 11, because now you, too, can sing along to the tune of The Knack's "My Sharona."
posted by MmmKlunk at 7:50 AM PST - 25 comments

Solar System Atlas

Mathematicians are creating an atlas of solar system highways along which spacecraft can coast using no fuel. First stop: Mars, where new findings have revealed the locations red planet’s ancient poles. Onward to distant galaxies, and debate over whether a fundamental physical constant has actually changed over time.
posted by dfowler at 7:18 AM PST - 17 comments

ST vs. CSA

Get your hand off me bo-ah Star Trek characters have been invading Civil War reenactments and they're not even in the dictionary.
posted by sleepy pete at 6:53 AM PST - 19 comments

Things that go bump in the night.

As predicted and previously discussed, the world's largest collision took place in Antarctica when a 115km (71mile) long iceberg collided with the Drygalski ice tongue in McMurdo Sound. The resulting satellite photographs show the results of the collision quite clearly, but somehow fail to convey the sheer scale of the event.
posted by bap98189 at 4:40 AM PST - 24 comments

I love quizzes...

Are you a Neo-Conservative? Another well designed and researched quiz that gives results you might not expect. Even at only ten questions, it's surprisingly accurate because the density of possible responses serve to counter transparency. Consider taking some other less silly online quizzes when you're done. Try staples like the Myers-Briggs and World's Smallest Political Quiz or some Blue flashbacks like the BBC's Sex ID, Belief-O-Matic, or the Europa Dart game.
posted by trinarian at 1:17 AM PST - 55 comments

Ted Nugent is insane

Is this a joke? I'm sorry, can you repeat that Mr. Nugent?
posted by shoppingforsanity at 12:49 AM PST - 94 comments

April 19

Streaming Cartoon Fun!

Cartoon Fridge has streaming episodes of the Simpsons, Family Guy, Futurama, and King of the Hill, among others. They have quite a comprehensive listing of shows, (The Simpsons has all the episodes up to Season 12) and if you're on broadband, they load pretty fast. Mozilla and Opera supported as well!
posted by banished at 10:55 PM PST - 50 comments

A bit of silly fun.

Just another collection of silly internet videos (most NSFW.) But many very funny. Some strange. Some just sad. Want to hear a play by play of a lady beating a guy with a bible? Or how about the kid that things everything is so gay he has to sing about it? And let's not forget the simple pleasure of an air horn.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 9:48 PM PST - 22 comments

Trinken Pabst!

Wir haben einem Deutschepabst! Meine Deutsche ist schlecht, aber ich denke daß ich genug von dieser Netzplatz verstehe. Und sie lerhnen ihr alle holperig Melodien. Weil nichts so gut als ertönt, als es auf Deutsch gesungen hat!
[My German's not too great, but I think I understand this site enough. And they teach y'all doggerel melodies! Because nothing sounds so good as when it's sung in German.]
Fun for those who speak German, and for those who can fake it. (I found this helpful for words I didn't know).
posted by klangklangston at 9:44 PM PST - 13 comments


BenedictXVI.com registered a few weeks ago by our very own rcade. He hedged his bets by registering six domains in all, and now is being called out for popesquatting.
posted by riffola at 9:24 PM PST - 64 comments

Salute a Real Fallen War Hero

Marla Ruzicka, RIP
Compared to the pomp and circumstance that mainstream America lavished on an NFL player pointlessly cut down by friendly fire in Iraq, the death of Mara Ruzicka has been largely ignored. Marla gave her life in Iraq fighting peacefully to protect and preserve the lives of average Iraqis--the reason we're supposed to be there in the first place. You can visit the Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict to pay tribute to Marla and to the movement she's left as a legacy.
posted by Neologian at 7:50 PM PST - 23 comments

Country's Namesake to be Sunk

Former Carrier, USS America, CV-66, leaves port for the last time The conventional powered aircraft carrier, USS America, CV-66, of the Kitty Hawk class, previously docked at the former Naval Base in Philadelphia (photo), has left for her date with Davy Jones. The Navy intends to "attack" the America with a variety of tactics and munitions, in order to measure the hardiness of US carriers, especially against unconventional terror attacks. Personally named by President John F. Kennedy and having seen active duty through much of the Cold War, from 1961 until 1996, it's suprising that the Navy decided to dispose of the country's namesake in this way. Veterans who served aboard the America are sad to see her go, and mounted an effort to save her from the bottom. Their efforts have been unsuccessfull - she left port for the last time today.
posted by rzklkng at 7:42 PM PST - 22 comments

World's Best Restaurant

World's best restaurant serves up molecular gastronomy.
(parallel thread)
posted by peacay at 7:07 PM PST - 17 comments

Down at the Dinghy

No sir! I didn't see you playing with your dolls, sir! [NSFW]
posted by kenko at 6:17 PM PST - 21 comments

The Postman Always Rings Twice

smashTheTONES! Don't pay for an MP3 ringtone -- or worse, a MIDI file that's been floating around on the net for years. Provide the sound file, and this site will automatically format it to play on your phone, free of charge. If you are a nerd like me, this is your big chance to get some polyphonic video game themes on your cell phone with a minimum of fuss.
Be advised that your phone must be able to receive text messages and download ringtones to get your free ringtone goodness.
posted by jenovus at 5:33 PM PST - 37 comments

How do you convert a slinch to a pat?

Measuring beauty through arson and ships launched. Introducing the Helen as a unit of beauty. There are plenty of odd units of measure. Some are natural extensions of physical measures, like the microcentury or the pico-parsec, while others are constantly being invented. Can't figure out how large your apartment is? Use a handy converter to measure its area in terms of Wales (or whales, or the Prince of Wales). Of course, despite a long history of odd changes, units are still the subject of political fights and even human rights monitoring.
posted by blahblahblah at 5:17 PM PST - 16 comments

90% Matematch guaranteed or your money back

The Mathematics of Love - predicting, with 90% accuracy, what will happen to a relationship over a three-year period.
posted by daksya at 11:08 AM PST - 33 comments

FemDefence: A Protection Against Rape

FemDefence: A Protection Against Rape • "Femdefence is an on-going project first presented in 2003. The project includes the creation of an imaginary product, which bears the project’s name. The 'product' is a kind of protection against rape, somewhat similar to a tampon in that its user carries it inserted in her vagina. In it there is a sharp pin which has a penetrating effect on the perpetrator’s penis in the event of a rape."
posted by dhoyt at 10:52 AM PST - 79 comments

Shadows Under the Snow

The Jura's made of karst limestone and, in many places, riddled with holes. Luckily, hidden holes that surprise hikers are tucked away in the dark forests -- on the open pastures, where cows of economic value wander all about, there are far fewer holes, and those holes that remain are curtained all about with barbed wire and, sometimes, stone walls.
posted by breezeway at 10:40 AM PST - 22 comments

I'd like myPyramid with fries, please.

USDA releases new food pyramid(s). Instead of one cogent nutritional guideline for all Americans, the USDA has released a dozen because "one size doesn't fit all." Dietitians have advocated revision for a while now but change has been slow. According to author Marion Nestle, the nutritional guidelines have become highly politized by industry lobbyists: "My first day on the job, I was given the rules: No matter what the research indicated, the report could not recommend 'eat less meat' as a way to reduce intake of saturated fat." Newspeak for sweets appears to be discretionary calories; are we doing any better?
posted by fatllama at 10:15 AM PST - 29 comments


Old lady versus bobcat. Old lady wins. Don't mess with Maine's rural elderly-- Mildred's a badass.
posted by Mayor Curley at 10:13 AM PST - 21 comments

He won't be named 'Pope Peter'. Let the invective begin!

Habemus Papam!
posted by orthogonality at 9:16 AM PST - 341 comments

I scream, you scream

Free Scoop Night. For the last two years we've announced this blessed event here on MeFi. Don't forget to get your free scoop.
posted by psychotic_venom at 9:00 AM PST - 11 comments

Energy is an eternal delight

Big Oil fosters skepticism about climate change, years after the vast majority of scientists agree that it's happening. From 2000 to 2003, ExxonMobil spent more than eight million dollars funding some forty think tanks and organizations, whose pundits dutifully propagate the idea that today's man-made C02-emissions aren't really a threat to the future.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 8:42 AM PST - 37 comments

How America Works

How America Works

In the tradition of They Rule, Jonathan Schwarz from A Tiny Revolution provides some context in regards to the 1996 funeral of Thomas Enders.
posted by lilboo at 8:15 AM PST - 4 comments


The South West Volcano Reasearch Centre: While it may not have the most attractive site design, SWVRC is full of interesting information, including a status report on restless volcanos around the world, current eruptions and research on volcanos around the world. Their updates page contains their most recent news and information. Enjoy!
posted by dazed_one at 7:38 AM PST - 2 comments

Deafness In White Cats

Genetics of the white cat is a fascinating subject.
posted by debralee at 7:28 AM PST - 12 comments

Ancient Catalhoyuk

"A skull coated in plaster, colored in red, and cradled in the arms of a female skeletonis among the latest discoveries at the 9,000-year-old site of Catalhoyuk, located on Turkey's Anatolian plain.
posted by dfowler at 7:06 AM PST - 12 comments

Sand Art for a new century?

Electronic Sand Painting (Artiste sur sable très doué) -- embedded video, from France, and Korean TV
posted by amberglow at 6:11 AM PST - 13 comments

OKC: Ten years ago today

9:02 AM CST 4/19 1995. Ten years ago today. Do you remember where you were when the federal building in Oklahoma City was bombed? It was then the biggest act of mass murder in U.S. history. Shocking to a people unaccustomed to domestic terrorism. What followed was an outpouring of volunteer support and grief for the victims, a manhunt for suspects presumed to be Arabic, and calls for a 'war against terrorism'. Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were eventually arrested for, and convicted of the crime, but since McVeigh was put to death in 2001, a steady stream of new evidence has called into question both the government's handling of the investigation and the official version of events. Survivors and victims' family members gather today to remember and to reaffirm demands for truth.
posted by airguitar at 5:56 AM PST - 79 comments

H.P. Lovecraft

"It is here, however -- perhaps 50 pages into this 800-plus page anthology -- that something begins to shift, and what was supposed to be sublime (but is actually ridiculous) becomes something that was supposed to be ridiculous, but is actually sublime."
Why H.P. Lovecraft is scary after all.
posted by Tlogmer at 5:11 AM PST - 40 comments

Piss up ?

Taking a (the) piss. Handy hints from MoFi.This takes the cake. *efficiently urination for males: first of all, learn to urinate while in a seated position. It is more relaxing, less spray intensive, and the spreading of the loins allows for a relatively thorough emptying of the bladder. Spread legs slightly for optimal effect.(There's a lot mi)
posted by johnny7 at 5:05 AM PST - 28 comments


Art of Living! Subud, its origin and aim, meant everything to my recently deceased 99-year-old uncle Latif. He was not attracted to organized religion. He never saw these links , because he never got online - his Subud brothers came to him to do the latihan , with him, at the end of his life.
posted by goofyfoot at 1:37 AM PST - 9 comments

Say No To Toast

Bread is dangerous Research on bread indicates that: More than 98 percent of convicted felons are bread users. More than 90 percent of violent crimes are committed within 24 hours of eating bread. Bread has been proven to be addictive. Subjects deprived of bread and given only water to eat begged for bread after as little as two days. (More research inside)
posted by growabrain at 12:44 AM PST - 34 comments

April 18

The Legend of Dixie Square Mall

Dixie Square Mall , in the mostly-blighted "inner ring" Chicago suburb of Harvey, Illinois, opened in 1966. It suffered gradual decline, until it closed in 1978. A year later, film crews gave the mall a brief makeover and Jake and Elwood Blues drove through the place. Then, nothing. For 20-plus years, the mall sat and decayed. Renovation plans (even a planned baseball stadium for the White Sox) were popular over the years, but never panned out. In 1993, a rape and murder took place in the JC Penney's space. From space, the mall looks beat up. From the ground, it looks even worse. Human fascination with deserted space has borne a number of websites and spelunking trips (along with some excellent then-and-now comparisons), and a documentary is apparently in the works. Finally, at long last, there's renewed hope for the site. Previously seen here and here.
posted by AgentRocket at 9:55 PM PST - 21 comments

Mom's up on the roof and she won't come down.

The Zucker Abrahams Zucker Comedy Glossary and Comedy Writer's Jargon (via johnaugust.com).
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:45 PM PST - 6 comments

Sorry, can't hear you, there's a probe in my ear.

Wearing a shiny red hard-hat could be the latest way to gauge brain activity on the cheap, Aussie researchers report.
posted by greatgefilte at 9:39 PM PST - 5 comments


Flickr Doubles the Stakes with their new offerings for Pro users. People with existing Pro accounts will have two GB of upload capacity per month, a subscription length of double what they paid for, and two free pro accounts to gift to friends.
posted by quasistoic at 9:24 PM PST - 49 comments

Black Market Press: Back Again

Black Market Press: Back Again The Popular Tri-State Area Zine Team, Black Market Press is back again, older, wiser, and broadcasting to a much wider readership thanks to the popularity of the Blog. Social and political commentary from the pamphleteering team that brought you Media Blitz back in 1995. We encourage you to send us links, news, or hate mail.
posted by Mroz at 8:33 PM PST - 2 comments

1 + 2 = high drama

The Mathematical Fiction Homepage is a collaborative attempt to "collect information about all significant references to mathematics in fiction." Feel free to add classic or recent works in any medium to the collection, or rate existing entries on their mathematical content and literary quality.
posted by mediareport at 7:58 PM PST - 8 comments

O Canada! Our Home and Taxated Land!

Will Canada's proposed 25% tax on music downloading kill legitimate music sales over the internet, or will it spur people to buy more online? via slashdot
posted by shepd at 6:28 PM PST - 18 comments

I wailed and rent my son

RentMySon is a subsidiary of ChildNet Services, with its corporate headquarters in San Diego, CA. In addition, we also maintain 4 regional offices across the United States.
RentMySon provides safe and trustworthy child-rental services in multiple metropolitan areas.
posted by kenko at 4:53 PM PST - 41 comments

The Ultimate "Sith" Spolier!

The ultimate spoiler! Download the complete, illustrated screenplay for "Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith" here for $4.99. completely legal.
posted by JPowers at 3:10 PM PST - 25 comments

"growing up to become a Pope is a lot of fun"

Poetry by James Tate. Here are also: some thoughts by John Ashbery, an audio file of Tate reading a poem [real], an interview and finally, a dissenting view of James Tate by Dan Schneider (not the guy who was on Head of the Class). But all that is merely an excuse to link to today's most appropriate poem, James Tate's How the Pope is Chosen. Here's a brief excerpt:

After a poodle dies
all the cardinals flock to the nearest 7-Eleven.
They drink Slurpies until one of them throws up
and then he's the new Pope.

posted by Kattullus at 2:32 PM PST - 19 comments

Kinematic Models

19th century mechanical models for teaching the principles of kinematics, the geometry of motion. Includes images and descriptions, QT movies of some of the models in motion, javascript simulations, and an online library of historical mechanical and engineering texts in html and pdf, including da Vinci's Madrid Codices, and Charles Babbage on On a Method of Expressing by Signs The Action of Machinery.
posted by carter at 12:22 PM PST - 9 comments

US Anti-Espionage Posters

Loose lips sink ships!!!1 (There be images, some quite big here) I suspect a lot of MeFi shares my obsession with propaganda (and propaganda-style) posters, both domestic and foreign, as well as the photoshops that the Something Awful or Fark crowds generate. CoolGov has a link today to the Office of the National National Counterintelligence Executive and their Anti-Espionage poster collection. Some are great, some are almost pure propaganda, and some show how obsessed with secrecy our government has become. That lead me to Google to look for posters on the *.gov and *.mil domains. Check out the posters for "Venemous Snakes of Afghanistan and Pakistan", or what the well dressed airmen is wearing (*note the "Essentials"), posters from the NOAA telling you that "lightning kills", the Code of Ethics for Government Officers and Employees, and this one telling GI's why smoking could kill them.
posted by rzklkng at 11:36 AM PST - 22 comments

motion induced blindness

Motion induced blindess. Be sure to check out the other really cool stuff
posted by elemenopee at 11:11 AM PST - 20 comments

to export violence to the four corners of the globe

Now here's an interesting story. And well worth the read. It mentions some disturbing facts - he reloads and starts shooting again - but is still sympathetic to our hero. Of course if you compare it with this... "nothing to see here folks, keep moving right along!" Oh, and is "frought" a word?
posted by milkwood at 11:02 AM PST - 25 comments

I prefer AskMe

Ask and ye shall receive - Another forum in which to ask questions. It appears to operate somewhat like Ask Metafilter. I think I'll stick with AskMe, but perhaps I will try some of my questions that never really got answered over at Wondir. (via Boing Boing)
posted by caddis at 9:59 AM PST - 26 comments

Can Jewish settlers live as Palestinians?

Can Jewish settlers live as Palestinians? A series of essays from Bitterlemons, which regularly features Israeli and Palestinian commentary on the significant issues of the conflict, with the goal of maintaining a constructive dialogue.
posted by Ty Webb at 9:58 AM PST - 5 comments

A veritable flood of information awaits

Vanport was once Oregon's 2nd largest town. Built by shipbuilder Henry Kaiser during World War II to accommodate his workers, Vanport was the first Oregon city to house black Americans in significant numbers. (Blacks had a rough time in Oregon, even being legally prohibited to enter the state via the state constitution's exclusion law).
The city of Vanport was destroyed by a flood in 1948, displacing more than 18,000 citizens. Of these, over 25% were black. Although the city was never rebuilt, Vanport was Oregon's catalyst into racial integration and enlightenment. And dams.
posted by DeepFriedTwinkies at 9:39 AM PST - 19 comments

Beautiful, Tsunami-Battered Nais Island

Located west of the Indonesian island of Sumatra, the tropical Island of Nias is renowned for its traditional buildings and archaic stone sculptures. In the 1920's, Danish doctor Agner Møller studied the local culture and language and created a unique collection of art, artefacts and photographs from Nias for the National Museum of Denmark.
posted by breezeway at 9:16 AM PST - 4 comments

More Mass Graves discovered

More mass graves unearthed in Iraq | Investigators have discovered several mass graves in southern Iraq that are believed to contain the bodies of people killed by Saddam Hussein's government, including one estimated to hold 5,000 bodies, Iraqi officials say. If the estimated body counts prove correct, the new graves would be among the largest in the grim tally of mass killings that have gradually come to light since the fall of Saddam's government two years ago. At least 290 grave sites containing the remains of 300,000 people have been found since the U.S. invasion two years ago, Iraqi officials say. In the aftermath of Saddam's fall, thousands of Iraqis overran mass-grave sites, digging for their relatives' remains with backhoes, shovels, even their bare hands. More evidence of genocide was discovered in Spring 2003, and though the numbers were disputed, the number of buried bodies discovered has continued to rise.
posted by jenleigh at 9:05 AM PST - 160 comments

Rwandan Genocide

Eleven years ago this month a genocide of horrific proportions nearly destroyed a country. We must never forget.
posted by ScaryShrink at 8:31 AM PST - 15 comments

'Nearly Perfect' Liquid

Physicists working at Brookhaven National Laboratory have created what appears to be a new state of matter.
posted by dfowler at 6:50 AM PST - 26 comments

What does a nude suit, the naked cowboy and Santa Clause have in common?

What does a nude suit, the naked cowboy and Santa Clause have in common? Remember the guy who freed (maybe killed) the fish? That's not all he's done.... Click around some and you'll see wet T-shirt contests with chicken broth, naked ice-swimming in the artic, prostitutes, the list goes on and on. I was mad about the fish, then I wasted my Sunday laughing. Wonder what his mom thinks... PS—Did I do this right?
posted by RightsaidFRED at 6:17 AM PST - 34 comments

Peace Activist Killed in Iraq

Numbered Among the Dead The life's work of Marla Ruzicka, a 28-year-old American activist, had become door-to-door polling in Iraq to assess the number of civilian casualties of the war. She became one on Sunday, dying in a suicide bomb attack. "The Marines have nicknamed me Cluster Bomb Girl because I would hear of places where they had gone off," she said in a 2003 interview, "and I would ask them to help me clear the area."
posted by rcade at 6:03 AM PST - 55 comments

A'vast and be swabbed, me matey. Part II

The Truro (Cape Cod) murder and DNA sweep was discussed here earlier. Well, the DNA sweep worked....Sort of.
Worthington's alleged killer was no mystery man, as the prosecutor has so often implied. Christopher McCowen was hiding in plain sight. Police interviewed him within weeks of the slaying because of his regular visits to the victim's home as a trash collector. He lived on the Cape. He had a criminal record. He had been accused repeatedly, in restraining orders on file in the local courts, of threatening other women.
Will police and prosecutors use this case as proof that general sweeps work, and in turn come to favor them over conventional investigative methods?
posted by a_day_late at 6:03 AM PST - 22 comments

Longhorn, schlonghorn

Blogger Thomas Hawk gets a glimpse of Microsoft's new OS, codenamed Longhorn. Finding those files won't be a problem anymore: Longhorn is going to be fast. It will be as impressive as new operating systems always are claimed to be. Here's Paul Thurrott's review of Windows 98 (”...you must understand that this is the ultimate Windows. It's the best it's ever going to be, and yes, that's quite good”).
posted by Termite at 3:30 AM PST - 83 comments

Adobe to buy Macromedia

Adobe to buy Macromedia I almost choked when I saw this press release, Adobe is going to buy out Macromedia for $3.4 billion in stock. Adobe is paying about $9 over the current share price, which means the investors will make out nicely. With the two largest design software companies becoming one, the new Adobe will be a monopoly (if it isn't already with Photoshop). I just hope they remove the ability to make really annoying Flash movies...
posted by jonknee at 1:03 AM PST - 89 comments

April 17

A mouse is no substitute

(all links safe for work) Some once hypothesized that as pornography became more accessible and more mainstream, men in turn would become uncontrollable, ravenous sexual beasts. I always thought this myself: a man will see something in porn that a real woman won't give him—Internet porn now caters in a click to every fetish you can imagine—and he will find a way to get it.
My ex-girlfriend, observant and intelligent beyond her years, always used to tell me the opposite: it wouldn't turn men into beasts, having their way with every woman they saw. No, it would turn them away from women completely, libidos and their ability to connect with real females weakened by the hardcore acts and impossible bodies that only porn stars could give them. The porn would crave some intrinsic desire, but leave both people in the couple lonelier and less fulfulled.
Now I think she was absolutely right.
posted by symphonik at 10:45 PM PST - 207 comments

Kuroki Mio Will Eat Your Soul

Billyuns and billyuns of years ago, or at least a fair while back, there used to be a kingdom on the moon. The kingdom had a princess named Serenity, and she was guarded by representatives of nearby planets. Things being as they were, said representatives were all, teenagers in sailor suits. Look, no one said it was going to be sensible.
posted by Johnny Assay at 9:02 PM PST - 10 comments

Iraq: The Real Election

If the election was to mark the point from which Iraqis would settle their differences through politics and not through violence, it failed; for those responsible for the insurgency— not only those planting suicide bombs but those running the organizations responsible for them and the leaders of the community that has shown itself sympathetic enough to the insurgents' cause to shelter them—did not take part. The political burden of the elections was to bring those who felt frightened or alienated by the new dispensation into the political process, so they could express their opposition through politics and not through violence; the task, that is, was to attract Sunnis to the polls and thereby to isolate the extremists. And in this, partly because of an electoral system that the Sunnis felt, with some reason, was unfairly stacked against them, the election failed.

Iraq: The Real Election. See also Iraq: Without Consensus, Democracy Is Not the Answer. (pdf)
posted by y2karl at 2:45 PM PST - 34 comments

If Euripedes papyri, so help me...

Oxford University has just announced that they and Brigham Young University have developed a technology to read the previously illegible papyri of Oxyrhynchus collection. More info here and here.
posted by Kattullus at 2:10 PM PST - 26 comments


The Academic JFK Assassination site is an unbelievably thorough compendium of information on the Kennedy assassination. It's an excursion into conspiracy theories without any crackpottery. Some of the articles are immensely readable. See, for example, Richard Popkin's 1966 New York Review of Books article The Second Oswald.
posted by painquale at 2:01 PM PST - 21 comments

They really do like hockey in Florida...

Lightning begin their Stanley Cup Defense During the lockout and cancelled season, a Tampa Tribune sports writer has been using a popular hockey simulation game to play out the 2004-2005 season, and has been covering each game as if it were real. Yesterday the SimBolts took a 2-0 lead in their first round match, on the strength of Ruslan Fedotenko's hat trick. Final standings and league leaders. ¶ The Virtual Ottawa Senators have a 2-0 lead over the SimLeafs. I'll be checking back to see faux Ottawa choke.
posted by KS at 1:54 PM PST - 14 comments

...shock therapy on countries in various states of shock for at least three decades...

The Rise of Disaster Capitalism --...Although hotels and industry have already started reconstructing on the coast, in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia and India, governments have passed laws preventing families from rebuilding their oceanfront homes. Hundreds of thousands of people are being forcibly relocated inland, to military style barracks in Aceh and prefab concrete boxes in Thailand. The coast is not being rebuilt as it was--dotted with fishing villages and beaches strewn with handmade nets. Instead, governments, corporations and foreign donors are teaming up to rebuild it as they would like it to be: the beaches as playgrounds for tourists, the oceans as watery mines for corporate fishing fleets, both serviced by privatized airports and highways built on borrowed money....
Naomi Klein on "reconstruction" money after natural disasters--and who benefits. (Makes Wolfowitz seem like a less unlikely choice to head the World Bank after reading, too.)
posted by amberglow at 1:43 PM PST - 35 comments

"He suggests living is language".

The Language of Saxophones At 55, L.A. musician and poet Kamau Daáood is finally beginning to acknowledge the possibility of his own place in local letters with his debut book of poetry, The Language of Saxophones, a 30-plus-year retrospective published by City Lights. Though he’s recorded a solo CD and read nationally and internationally, Daáood had never seen fit to collect his material in a book. Until now. “I never liked the idea of poetry sitting on a shelf somewhere, lost in all those book spines”.
posted by matteo at 1:01 PM PST - 2 comments

make my dELay

The US house majority leader, a long-time supporter of an armed citizenry, jokes about weapons as the great equalizer in his battles with critics. “When a man is in trouble or in a good fight, he wants all of his friends around him, particularly armed,' said Delay to the NRA convention.
posted by found missing at 11:02 AM PST - 46 comments

Alliance Against Urban 4x4s

Alliance against Urban 4x4s (SUVs) Facts, figures and references covering the environment, safety issues, bull bars, and possible new taxes.
posted by Lanark at 10:45 AM PST - 16 comments

I'm Hungry

Are you thinking what we're thinking? Make your own Tory party election poster. I did. Also happening in real life.
posted by armoured-ant at 10:01 AM PST - 33 comments

Each of us a cell of awareness

The mitochondrion, the Krebs cycle and other cell biology animations. Flash.
posted by Wolfdog at 8:55 AM PST - 13 comments

Paul Krugman: The best places to get sick

Paul Krugman: The best places to get sick A dozen years ago, everyone was talking about an American health care crisis. But then the issue faded from view: A few years of good data led many people to conclude that HMOs and other innovations had ended the historic trend of rising medical costs. But the pause in the growth of health care costs in the 1990s proved temporary. Medical costs are once again rising rapidly and the U.S. health care system is once again in crisis. So now is a good time to ask why other advanced countries manage to spend so much less than we Americans do, while getting better results.
posted by Postroad at 8:52 AM PST - 62 comments

April 16

The Man Who Planted Trees

"The Man Who Planted Trees" (story) There's also a short note on the copyright, and the original French version.
posted by Space Coyote at 10:16 PM PST - 13 comments

sometimes there's good news

Doris Eaton Travis. Doris Eaton returned to Broadway 87 years after her premiere. Her film debut was only 84 years ago. She wrote her award-winning autobiography when she was only 99.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 9:41 PM PST - 3 comments


seriously, your sandcastle sucks
posted by elemenopee at 6:54 PM PST - 29 comments

Gibby's Game Room

On the trail of The Collector comes The Game Room. What a rubbish television.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 6:04 PM PST - 13 comments

Anti-Japan protests in China

Reports of recent Anti-Japanese demonstrations in China lack any details about the content in the disputed history text books. Is it related to the Nanjing Massacre, which Iris Chang wrote about in her much contested book "The Rape of Nanking"? The Chinese government is certainly not acting as a shining example of upholding human rights by any means, but does that deprive its people from the right to have part of their history at least adequately remembered ? And is the Chinese Government using this collective wound to further its own national interests such as keeping Japan from joining the UNSC?
posted by threehundredandsixty at 5:04 PM PST - 52 comments

...the abyss also looks into you.

Explore the Abyss... where the Vulcanoctopus shares its garden with the unsung stars of Alien vs. Predator and those glowing worms you dream about after drinking tequila, and the pressure, my god, the pressure!
posted by naomi at 4:57 PM PST - 26 comments

People have a problem with me, cause I ain't lazy...

"I Ain't Lazy" (lyrics NSFW) featuring Skratch Bastid, John Smith & Pip Skid. A day-in-the-life indie hip-hop video directed by Jason Lapeyre featuring another top notch crew of PCRs.
posted by boost ventilator at 3:27 PM PST - 15 comments

It's the Culture of Life run amok!

  Even after McVeigh was arrested and the government identified two white males as perpetrators, CNN correspondent Wolf Blitzer insisted that "there is still a possibility that there could have been some sort of connection to Middle East terrorism. One law enforcement source tells me that there's a possibility that they (the Caucasian suspects) may have been contracted out as freelancers to go out and rent this truck that was used in the bombing."

From William Krar to Timothy McVeigh, the issue of domestic terrorism has earned little serious, substantive coin in mainstream media coverage over the last two decades, beyond doses of rabble rousing against Muslims, Jews, gays, abortion rights activists and health practitioners, and anyone else who doesn't fit the evangelical Christian mold, from convicted murderers like Eric Rudolph to future presidential candidates like Jeb Bush all the way up to active three-star generals. When domestic terror doesn't sell, it's business as usual in the "left-wing" mainstream media...
posted by AlexReynolds at 3:23 PM PST - 39 comments

The House that Levine Built

Goodbye Yankee Stadium. At least the Red Sox get it.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:15 PM PST - 29 comments

We are winning the war on Terror? Not.

Don't like what the annual report on International Terrorist activity says? Just kill it--forever (never mind that the law requires it) -- The State Department decided to stop publishing an annual report on international terrorism after the government's top terrorism center concluded that there were more terrorist attacks in 2004 than in any year since 1985, the first year the publication covered. ... other current and former officials charged that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's office ordered "Patterns of Global Terrorism" eliminated several weeks ago because the 2004 statistics raised disturbing questions about the Bush's administration's frequent claims of progress in the war against terrorism. "Instead of dealing with the facts and dealing with them in an intelligent fashion, they try to hide their facts from the American public," ...

(Previous post on their lying report on 2003's incidents here)
posted by amberglow at 10:58 AM PST - 64 comments

Do As I Say

Do As I Say and Not As I Do. Go Military R&D. It took less than 4 months to develop a laser that is safe to shine at airplanes.
posted by gonadostat at 10:27 AM PST - 10 comments

Do you want to see a photo of Tony Danza in the nude?

Do you want to see a photo of Tony Danza in the nude? It's from when he was younger... and he's uncut. Ok, talk to you later.
posted by davebug at 10:10 AM PST - 149 comments

Reith Lecture 2005

Reith Lecture 2005: The Triumph of Technology Lord Broers -In the five lectures, he sets out his belief that technology can and should hold the key to the future. He says: "It is time to wake up to this fact. Applied science is rivalling pure science both in importance and in intellectual interest. We cannot leave technology to the technologists; we must all embrace it. We have lived through a revolution in which technology has affected all our lives and altered our societies for ever."
posted by srboisvert at 8:21 AM PST - 8 comments

you can hear them in the halls at night...

This post got me thinking about a couple of places on Long Island, NY, that are pretty scary. The Kings Park Psychiatric Center, for example. I've been there at night, and I tell you, knowing some of the history, it's terrifying. It's also strangely beautiful.
posted by exlotuseater at 8:05 AM PST - 16 comments

"To attract today's generation, glass boxes and yellow labels may not be enough".

"Calling it a museum is really a misnomer". The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum opens today in Springfield, Ill., with a silicone Lincoln posing in the rotunda and Tim Russert introducing mock TV attack ads from the campaign of 1860. In the Union Theater, an abolitionist roars "Lincoln was no friend of the black man" as hologram cannons boom to signal the start of the Civil War. Strobe lights flash; the plush seats jerk and rumble like a ride at Universal Studios. When Atlanta burns, the air feels hot. This is history, Hollywood style: A $90-million look at Honest Abe's life and times — with special effects created by the "Jurassic Park" and "Terminator 3" team of Stan Winston Studios (link with sound).
posted by matteo at 7:44 AM PST - 12 comments


Trent Reznor (fan site) has just released his latest single as a GarageBand file so that his fans might "create remixes, experiment, embellish or destroy what's there." I loved the Grey Album and hope to see more of this. [Jay-Z and Dangermouse previously discussed.]
posted by jmgorman at 7:07 AM PST - 25 comments

Thief Pumps $900 Worth Of Stolen Gasoline

Gas Pump Hacker. "CHICAGO -- In a bold and outrageous theft staged in broad daylight, a driver pumped about $900 worth of gasoline at a suburban gas station. The man removed the panel of a pump in Country Club Hills and manipulated the mechanics of the pump so that it would continue to pump gas without registering inside the station... Other cars then pulled up to the pump and, apparently, cut deals with the thief, who then filled up their tanks and took off..."
posted by azul at 6:42 AM PST - 30 comments

Intolerable Beauty — Portraits of American Mass Consumption

Intolerable Beauty — Portraits of American Mass Consumption "these images take the viewer on a tour behind the façade of the American Dream into the underbelly of our consumer society, where the vast cumulative effects of our individual consumer choices are more visible."
posted by dhruva at 2:54 AM PST - 56 comments

April 15

peace pooping

Poop is the one experience all human beings have in common. Did you "take some time to think when you take your time to stink" on Poop for Peace Day? Well, if not, the day after is a perfect time to properly honor this noble holiday. Sure is hard to argue with this: "We all poop, which means we're all human, which means we're all brothers and sisters." [via skimble]
posted by mediareport at 10:23 PM PST - 34 comments

Mother, there is no other.

Treat your mother right, fool (windows media file, mid-80's synth, mohawked and bejewelled b-list celeb).
posted by moonbird at 10:05 PM PST - 17 comments

Print Ads archive

adflip - "world's largest archive of classic print ads"
posted by Gyan at 9:33 PM PST - 14 comments

It's a big coffee mug - no!..it'a bong....

Teen steals corpse head for use as bong ? : "Police at first could not believe what they had heard" - some reporters just have a gift for understatement.
posted by troutfishing at 9:15 PM PST - 36 comments

Amityville Horror, revisited

The house in Amityville with the fan-shaped windows making an inhuman face is the Godzilla of haunted house movies. The town and current owner of the house where the DeFeo family was murdered try to downplay (registration required) its signficance. The trademark windows in the original have been replaced to disguise its identity, and lawsuits force studios to use a house-double. Although latest remake claims the status of "true story," the case has been widely dismissed as a hoax and the 2005 film has even rased the ire of George Lutz for how he is portrayed as the haunted father-figure. Other people involved in the case including convicted murder DeFeo are unhappy with the new attention. Still, the story has its true believers and psychics who argue the debunkers have their own agenda. Then again, Texas Chainsaw Massacre was also claimed by the same production company to be "inspired by a true story."
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:55 PM PST - 12 comments

Something's rotten in Canada

Dissent against police tactics and possible corruption leads to a raid and confiscation of a Calgary man's computer. IP's of former officers who may of accessed the site and passed along complaints of racist and sexist behavior about the current management are also being tracked. Is free speech still alive in Canada?
posted by TetrisKid at 8:46 PM PST - 9 comments

George Bush Loves The Melvins

George Bush Loves The Melvins
Are you sitting down? Good, because what you are about to see may both shock and titillate. I know that most MeFites don't think they have much in common with the President and his family, but oh, you are mistaken. Just like you, George W. Bush is a total f*cking metalhead. And so are lots of other people.
posted by mannythedog at 6:06 PM PST - 28 comments

I think it's safe to say I'm the only 18-year-old in Britain with his own airline

Introducing alphaOne Airways: Probably the world's first budget airline with a Geocities website.

The brainchild of British teenager Martin Halstead, alphaOne will offer twice-daily shuttle flights between Oxford and Cambridge - that's only 70 miles as the crow flies.

Is Martin a pimply megalomaniac, the next Richard Branson, or just another harmless flight sim fanatic? No doubt Stelios is on the case...
posted by runkelfinker at 5:37 PM PST - 9 comments

Scalia questioned on sodomy at NYU

Justice Scalia faces probing question at NYU due to previous dissenting opinion in Texas sodomy case. Questioner responds to the controversy. via
posted by peacay at 5:09 PM PST - 54 comments

Fuck Fuck Motherfucker Ass

Edits of NWA's Straight Outta Compton and Fuck the Police... with anything not offensive removed. Just the swears, ma'am. via /dev/null
posted by Jimbob at 5:08 PM PST - 13 comments

Organismal biology

BIODIDAC A bank of digital resources for teaching biology: And much, much, more, including B&W and color diagrams (with annotations), photographs, and some videos. Copying the material is permitted with conditions. Also available en français.

And if that is not enough taxonavigation for you, head over to Wikispecies.
posted by piskycritter at 3:30 PM PST - 5 comments

"Independent" Film. What is it?

I don't know what "independent film" means. At a time when the Weinsteins are trying to extricate themselves from Disney, it seems an appropriate question to ask. There are Indie films (non-industry money) that are supposed to imitate fancy hollywood films, there are new studios being opened outside of LA by Wealthy Christians in Denver hoping to convert through CS Lewis movies and there are Garden State, Lost in Translation, Eternal Sunshine etc. which are like other Hollywood films: have stars, and studio money but are marketed as "Independent Films." What makes these independent? Finally, and seemingly too infrequently, there are privately financed and self-distributed unusual films like Assisted Living which despite their obvious merits and the critic's adoration are presumably ignored by the studios, blasted by the brain-numbing EW and distributed instead by the two young first-time filmmakers Why can't we see more non-hollywood and non-hollywood espousing independent ART on the screen? Why do we let every other multi-million dollar romantic comedy be sold to us as "indy" just because it has a quirky soundtrack or aesthetic sensibility. What can we do about it? I'm going to the movies. You?
posted by tallbuildings at 3:08 PM PST - 27 comments

Workers of the world... relax!

Why work? Why not play instead? And live simply somewhere life's a calm pleasure? And don't forget to blow your kids' college funds on vacations.

For further inspiration, there's The Abolition of Work and The Play Ethic.
posted by iffley at 2:07 PM PST - 30 comments

zaba dabba doooo.

ZabaSearch.com, a stalker's new best friend! Is lack of privacy a good thing?

(Extra "bizarre points" in second link, noting the site's Heaven's Gate connection.)
posted by miss lynnster at 1:30 PM PST - 51 comments

Acapella Nintendo

8 bit goes a capella A Madison Wisconsin a cappella group (Redefined) sings (and acts out) the greatest Nintendo backing tracks in this video of a live performance. The Zelda and Tetris ones are priceless. There's a Windows Media version as well.
posted by eljuanbobo at 1:17 PM PST - 32 comments

The Ultimate Warrior

Earlier this month, the Young Republicans of UConn invited WWE wrestler The Ultimate Warrior to speak at their school, but things got a little out of hand: (via ComicCon) "People started yelling at Warrior as he spoke. Warrior at one point started yelling and stomping his feet, telling everyone to not talk while he is and to ask questions after his speech. Officers were eventually called in to calm things down. The group that brought Warrior in, the College Republicans, apologized heavily for bringing Warrior in after the speech ended. Statements that really got the crowd upset were when Warrior said queering don't make the world work and told an Iranian girl to get a towel." A week later, The Ultimate Warrior has strong, often-hilarious words for hecklers and Young Republicans alike. Not content with threatening college students, Ultimate Warrior also threatened libel against SomethingAwful last week.
posted by dhoyt at 12:46 PM PST - 55 comments

strange reaction

Strange Reaction is a music blog that serves up mp3s from obscure and out of print old school punk records. Don't miss The Damned on John Peel, Bad Brain's first 7", and The Neon Boys (pre-Television Richard Hell and Tom Verlaine!).
posted by mcsweetie at 12:18 PM PST - 27 comments

At least it's better than B.C.

Inside the process, Francesco Marciuliano, writer for Sally Forth and Medium Large, blogs about the world of comic strip writing. [link via Comics Curmudgeon]
posted by drezdn at 11:17 AM PST - 11 comments

The best of the worst of the week on television.

The best of the worst of the week on television. The Parents Television Council, a U.S.-based watchdog organization trying to stamp out indecency on the airwaves, is doing their part in the war against moral turpitude. How? By creating a website where they host videos of the most offensive scenes on television... inadvertently creating some of the most amusing content on the internet!
posted by insomnia_lj at 10:05 AM PST - 80 comments

If a job's worth doing, it's worth overdoing.

For Sale: Wothahellizat? It's definitely not built for speed, but this weird off-road truck is truly a labor of love.
posted by naomi at 7:53 AM PST - 20 comments

Technology? Aye-Aye, sir.

Research suggests parents give unattractive children less attention, so I’m packing up my Minority Report computer interface (in development for US Military) and that Bomb-sniffing polymer, and Aye-Aye’m outta here.
posted by dfowler at 7:44 AM PST - 25 comments

There's a random painted highway

Painted beehive panels (accompanying article here) from the Museum of Apiculture [virtual tour, flash] in Radovljica, Slovenia.
posted by Wolfdog at 5:33 AM PST - 14 comments

Rap Month!

April is Rap Month on Michaelpella. Watch and listen [avi files] as some internet guy (and an occasional friend) butcher some rap classics by the likes of Ice Cube and Public Enemy. I don't know much about rap, so I enjoy perusing the 50+ song archive chock full of chestnuts like "Runaway," "Rawhide," and "Love Shack." Send in your requests now.
posted by marxchivist at 5:00 AM PST - 7 comments

Dems vs. faith

Frist-led Telecast: Dems vs faith. Are we paying attention? [NY Times link]
posted by yoga at 4:46 AM PST - 93 comments

Cruel and unusual?

The Lancet publishes a research letter that finds inadequate anaesthesia is used in executions by lethal injection
posted by magullo at 4:11 AM PST - 40 comments

Hare lips can kiss, or so they say...

Jake Thackray doesn't have a lot of fans but the fans that he does have are loyal and devoted.

A dominant inspiration to the modern English Chanton music scene, from the end of the sixties until the early eighties, Jake was never off the television as resident troubadour on shows like the Braden Beat, and That's Life A schoolteacher and a devout Roman Catholic, his songs express an openness and tolerance for dissident sexualities that is rarely associated with modern Christianity. [more]
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:03 AM PST - 29 comments

April 14

The lookaside buffer might not be the panacea.

MIT students pull prank on conference. "In a victory for pranksters at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a bunch of computer-generated gibberish masquerading as an academic paper has been accepted at a scientific conference." The paper's title? "Rooter: A Methodology for the Typical Unification of Access Points and Redundancy."
posted by adrober at 11:17 PM PST - 24 comments

AB 1147: Good for Cali

What's Matt Smokin'? (In response to "Dumb as a Potted Plant.")
posted by xowie at 10:57 PM PST - 31 comments

Traditional Crafts of Japan

Traditional Crafts of Japan is an incredibly detailed web site maintained by the Association for the Promotion of Traditional Craft Industries of Japan. It covers textiles, pottery, wood, metals, stationary and even tea whisks! It also includes detailed explanations of the background of each individual craft, in depth descriptions of production processes for each item, photo galleries for each product, contact information for manufacturers, interviews with craftsmen, tourist spots to visit in Japan to see each of the crafts being practiced and even quick time videos of these master craftsman at work. Truly a must see for anyone into anything old world Japanese.
posted by grandcrewno2 at 9:12 PM PST - 5 comments

The Minstrel Show 2.2 - On "Love and Theft" and the Minstrel Boy

On "Love and Theft" & On On "Love and Theft" and the Minstrel Boy & The Annotated Love And Theft...    In melody, Bye and Bye comes by way of Billie Holiday's Having Myself A Time and Floater by way of Bing Crosby's (& Eddie Duchin's & Kate Smith's & Isham Jones's...) Snuggled On Your Shoulder--and lyrically, by way, in part, of Junichi Saga's Confessions Of A Yakuza, which was not a crime novel, as StupidSexyFlanders once surmised, but an outright As told to memoir, which makes it four or five degrees from Yakuza to Dr. Saga to translator to Dylan to Plagiarism in Dylan, or a Cultural Collage?

Oh, who's going to throw that minstrel boy a coin ?
posted by y2karl at 8:25 PM PST - 18 comments

Google Video Search

So Google is now accepting video submissions to their Google Video search. But according to this blogger, Google's terms of service (which you have to create an account to view) are excessive. And I think he might be right.
posted by JPowers at 8:07 PM PST - 21 comments

Water on earth's moon?

Come and get it? Some researchers believe there's water on the Moon in reach of human explorers. ...as we look towards the Moon with thoughts of setting up a permanent home there, one new question is paramount: does the Moon have water? Although none has been definitely detected, recent evidence suggests that it's there.
posted by Cranberry at 4:01 PM PST - 23 comments

People of the United States, why is everyone yelling at you???

Beware! We will take over television studios, kidnap so-called commentators and broadcast calm, well-reasoned discussions of the issues of the day. The manifesto of the Unitarian Jihad.
posted by Capn at 3:00 PM PST - 79 comments

Hitchcock's Trailers

MURDER! MYSTERY!! TREACHERY!!! ROMANCE!!!! Hounded by spies… Hunted by police… Double crossed by the woman he loves… in THE 39 STEPS.
Alfred Hitchcock's trailers, 1934-1956
posted by matteo at 2:59 PM PST - 6 comments

Behold the power of the Fly!

Laser-controlled headless zombie flies.
I, for one, welcome our remote-controlled headless zombie fly overlords.
posted by crankydoodle at 2:58 PM PST - 17 comments


"I am your favorite horse." No More Workhorse Blues dir. Harmony Korine
posted by onkelchrispy at 2:48 PM PST - 19 comments

The Berkeley Pit Mascot

"The Auditor", an amazing dog, lived a long life in one of the harshest environments, the Berkeley Pit in Butte, Montana. The mine site has no vegetation, the water in the pit is full of heavy metals and very acidic (pH 2.5) and yet the Auditor held on long after mining operations halted. He has inspired a web site and even an art project.
posted by 445supermag at 2:28 PM PST - 39 comments

Captain Grunge Flies Again!

Captain Grunge Flies Again!
The first trailer for Gus Van Sant’s “Last Days” has just been posted (with sub-titles). “Last Days” is inspired by the tortured final days in the life of Kurt Cobain. Of the film, Van Sant says, “There are a lot of hypotheses about what happened, but I don't know of any full eyewitness account, just tiny momentary ones. Everyone has a different opinion, but there's not one true, authoritative account. He was just kind of missing." Much like the Cobain biography “Heavier than Heaven,” the film takes the stance that Kurt, who has grown increasingly uncomfortable with his fame, is resigned to his death, not accelerated into it by a chain of events concluding with his suicide. Leonardo look-alike Michael Pitt (“Hedwig and the Angry Inch”) plays the lead role, with Asia Argento playing the Courtney Love-like character. And here’s a good article about the film.
posted by mannythedog at 1:52 PM PST - 20 comments

Out of the frying pan and into the fire.

I know this has been on everyone's mind, but I just read this article today and was astounded at my lack of foresight. Silly me, here I was worrying about global warming when what I need to be fretting about is the decrease in fuel's impact on the structure of international banking! Will we run out of fossil fuel before it's too late to save the environment from pollution and greenhouse gasses? The abiotic nuts think we've got plenty more. Personally, I think we can kiss the marvel that is suburbia goodbye and start contemplating the fact that the focus on the post-post industrial revolution will not be information, but rather agriculture. And since solar panels and windmills and the like are made of materials that are extracted, transported, and fashioned by using oil-powered machinery, my money's on the folks who're stockpiling uranium for all those shiny new nuclear plants we're going to need. So, do we have a plan? You bet we do! Oh. Well, we'll just rely on the advancement of technology to allow us to weasel out of it! Me? I've actually always wanted a horse.
posted by Specklet at 1:04 PM PST - 67 comments

make fancy comics!

Plasq, a software collective who have been responsible for a great number of free and inexpensive audio tools for OSX (the musolomo realtime software looper being very worthy of note) have created Comic Life, a really smooth application that allows anyone with a camera or some drawing skill to create very high quality comics (I am creating one featuring my kid right now.) This is one of those programs that has to be used to be believed. Humbly submitted as software and developers that are best of the web. (via macintouch.)
posted by n9 at 12:49 PM PST - 18 comments

Thinking Urbanly

This year's Shaugnessy Cohen Prize goes to Jane Jacobs, a social critic and commenter on urban planning. She's probably best known for her book, Systems of Survival. [previously here]
posted by warbaby at 12:30 PM PST - 10 comments

My favorite government agency

More than 16,000 photos related to the USGS from the years 1868 through 1992 are now available online where they may be easily searched, viewed, and downloaded free of charge. These are old stereo pairs, sites drowned by dams, geologists and surveyers in horse drawn wagons, petroglyphs, national parks, Mount St. Helens, John Wesley Powell, hoodoos, arches, ruins, mines...
posted by the Real Dan at 12:27 PM PST - 16 comments

Rock the vote

In 21 days the UK will be holding a general election, and people around the country will be voting for the next government. Can't choose between the different parties? Who should you vote for?
posted by Mwongozi at 11:44 AM PST - 55 comments

Go, man, go!

Buddy Rich ain't got nothin' on this cat! [note: sound, flash] swiped from J-walk
posted by crunchland at 11:18 AM PST - 27 comments

I'm gonna keep going, Reege.

Who Wants to Be An Earth Space Scientist? Complete with three separate lifelines, the Maryland Space Grant Consortium gives you the chance to test your knowledge ala WWTBAM. Plus they do a lot of other cool things, too.
posted by grateful at 11:04 AM PST - 6 comments

Remember the Armenian Genocide

"Between 1915 and 1918 the Ottoman Empire, ruled by Muslim Turks, carried out a policy to eliminate its Christian Armenian minority. This genocide was preceded by a series of massacres in 1894-1896 and in 1909, and was followed by another series of massacres beginning in 1920. By 1922 Armenians had been eradicated from their historic homeland." Since the early 1920s, successive Turkish governments have maintained an ostentatious silence on the subject, broken only to issue denials that the genocide ever occurred, and denunciations of those who assert that it did. In 1990, for example, the Turkish ambassador to the U.S. dismissed the holocaust as resulting from "a tragic civil war initiated by Armenian nationalists."

This Sunday in NYC, thousands will gather to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the genocide and protest the Turkish denials.
posted by jenleigh at 10:39 AM PST - 74 comments

Grain Power!

Why should the UN spend money to feed the hungry when they can simply pay a software company to create a video game about feeding the hungry? "In an exciting and dynamic form, Food Force will generate kids' interest and understanding about hunger, which kills more people than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined,” says Neil Gallagher, the World Food Programme’s Director of Communications.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 10:28 AM PST - 15 comments

The new Doctor Who reviews

The new Doctor Who series has been airing on BBC Television for three weeks now. And it is "good TV" Most all of the reviews are startlingly positive, far more than I've seen for a television series in a long, long time. What is most striking is that many of the commentaries about the "New Who" state that it is just plain ole' good television that combines something intelligent, something scary, something mysterious and something balls-out fun. In our world of reality television, what other series would you classify as being "good tv"? What makes for "good TV"? (Link goes to a fan site that has re-printed and linked to numerous reviews)
posted by tgrundke at 10:06 AM PST - 90 comments

No 'dead babies' in my beer? Oh my...

In a surprise move, Anheuser-Busch has gone up against some of the biotech firms that would like to grow genetically-modified (GM) rice containing human DNA. The biotech firm that grows it says that their rice contains synthetic human genes which the company hopes to harvest and refine for use in medicines to fight diarrhea and dehydration.

Anheuser-Busch's concerns are not with the science of biotech, but rather the risk of crop-contamination, as has happened with farmers not only in the U.S. and Canada, but all over the world. The USDA has issued rice-tweakers Ventria Bioscience and 300 other biopharmers permission to plant various augmented plants around the country since 1995, but Anheuser-Busch is the first large corporation to threaten a boycott - unusual, because poultry and beef stock (PDF) are fed this kind of thing every day, and have been for the past 20 years. I guess the Budweiser brewers just don't want to see 'dead people' in their suds...

On the flip-side of this occurrence, the response of the anti-stem cell activists has been nothing short of sensory-deprivation. Shouldn't six-packs, cornfields and Porky be given the same human rights as the unborn?

Also related: Contaminated: The New Science of Food (quicktime movie)
posted by vhsiv at 9:52 AM PST - 31 comments

You put your right hand in, and you shake it all about.

The Business of Touch. Ever wonder the proper way to greet someone in, say, Korea? Australia? How about the Czech Republic? Here you can learn the proper (business) ways to greet people in 15 countries (including the U.S.).
posted by C17H19NO3 at 8:22 AM PST - 18 comments

April 13

MeFi On The Radio?

We've talked about these folks before. However I don't think any of us realized exactly how much influence we had on the story by helping it spread so fast. This American Life covers the group, and our part in help spreading the news about the Best.Gig.Ever. Real Audio link to the TAL show.
posted by pwb503 at 10:00 PM PST - 30 comments

The end of "Can you here me now?"

Robot planes may make phone towers obsolete "...it's a "Stratellite", and its makers believe it will revolutionise the broadband and wireless industry; if it ever gets off the ground.

Wisconsin communications company Sanswire on Tuesday unveiled its almost-finished prototype of a hard-framed, unmanned airship designed to fly in the stratosphere 21km above the earth and send broadband and cellphone signals to an area the size of Texas."

This in my opinion is an example of truly innovative technology.
posted by jaydedx at 9:32 PM PST - 25 comments


Asidonhopo hits! --more--

--------                                -----------
|...d.%|         -----                  |.....%.%.|
|K.....-#####    |..<|      ############-...%??!))|
|..@@.%|    #####+.%.|      #           |.!%..(%.+|
|.>...%|       # |%..|      #           -----------
|K..KKK|       ##-...-#######
|F.KK%.|         -----

posted by felix at 8:51 PM PST - 93 comments

Freesound Project

The Freesound Project - a collaborative database of Creative Commons licensed sounds.
posted by signal at 8:02 PM PST - 8 comments


This monkey business has finally gone too far [warning: cackling].
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 7:49 PM PST - 16 comments

don't judge me!

Tired of searching for thinspiration? Why not turn your attention to a new lifestyle choice?
posted by scrim at 7:02 PM PST - 22 comments

I enjoy making fire, because it makes people feel warm

Lauris is the spirit of the office, irrespective weather those are the numerous jokes for any occasion he has in his luggage or a basket of autumn apples, which he has picked in the morning to remind the colleges about the beauty of the autumn.

Zane has chosen to live in a beautiful world of internal and external beauty, where fragrances and aromas are of importance, however the uppermost value are harmonious relations with the closest people.

We are all fans of mangled English translations from Asia, but there is a certain added beauty in this site for a Latvian law firm, which boasts "professional, fast and qualitative translations" while "introducing a spirit of poetics in the daily routine of the office".
posted by szechuan at 6:22 PM PST - 11 comments

Senatorial Drama

Another republican, Sen. Paul Koering, comes out of the closet after voting yes for an amendment setting out to legally define marriage in Minnesota. Meanwhile other Minnesotan senators, like Michelle Bachmann (R), are finding one way or another to land themselves in scandal, one of which was getting caught hiding in the bushes behind a rally contesting the anti-marriage amendmant. And yes, here are the pictures to prove it. (Anonymous login available for articles)
posted by taursir at 5:08 PM PST - 53 comments

DDR + juggling?

Oh, sure, you've got moves. But can you JUGGLE? [embedded wmv][via]
posted by monju_bosatsu at 5:05 PM PST - 16 comments


The Papal conclave will soon begin, and at least two blogs have appeared that offer news and commentary on the process.
posted by the_bone at 4:48 PM PST - 24 comments

Cops engage in ID thefy - legally!

Cops engage in ID thefy - legally! [sorry - reg. required was all I could find] Cops in Ohio were putting together a sting in a strip club. They paid a 24-year-old informant a $100 a night to work as a stripper in the club (What? After tips?) But in order to carry out the sting, they gave the informant a false identity. Instead of creating a new one, they simply plucked the details off of some poor girl’s drivers license and social security card, such that this girl now has being paid as a stripper on her record. And according to the law, this is PERFECTLY LEGAL — in fact the Ohio police’s right to do this was included as a provision in a new Ohio law that was aimed at stopping ID theft. Which also makes me wonder — was this a commonplace practice in Ohio or anywhere else? Is that why they sought to protect it in the law? Is some guy using my ID to infiltrate NAMBLA right now?
posted by Heminator at 2:50 PM PST - 31 comments

How many foxes you got? Lots.

Foxes and many more foxes.
posted by Wolfdog at 2:20 PM PST - 21 comments

Bye, Bye Johnnie

Rock and roll pioneer Johnnie Johnson died today. Chuck Berry wrote "Johnny B. Goode" in tribute to Johnson. Johnson composed many of Chuck Berry's greatest songs on the piano. Berry then adapted them for guitar and wrote the lyrics.
posted by fixedgear at 1:47 PM PST - 16 comments

These are a few of my favorite things...

"Michael Lohman is sick" read the email to students in MAT 308: Theory of Games, explaining why the Princeton mathematics graduate student had not yet graded their homework. Not sick as in "flu"-sick, but sick as in "squirting his bodily fluids into unsuspecting women's drinks and cutting off locks of their hair for unspeakable acts involving mittens"-sick. And not just any women, but exclusively Asian women. An extreme case, to be sure, but the Western"otaku" lusting after (and often having much success with) Asian women is a quite familiar and often disturbing trope for those of us who have spent much time among the disaffected English majors, anime fans, martial artists, dirty old men, and various other Asiaphiles. Yet decidedly non-nerdy folks have expressed a definite preference for Asian women as well. Where does this preference (which certainly goes both ways) come from? As such interracial couplings increase, should we even try to distinguish relationships based on "Suzie Wong" stereotypes or even outright economic exploitation, and relationships that are somehow more "acceptable?" Or will non-Asian guys with Asian girls constantly be forced to prove it's not just a case of "Yellow Fever?"
posted by banishedimmortal at 12:49 PM PST - 147 comments

This is my Viagra Amendment, ladies

"Now members. Let me firm up my position..." --from part of a speech in the Texas Legislature, by the unfortunately named Gene Seaman. Practice What You Preach will be airing this ad (with commentary) in Texas, trying to stop the proposed Anti-Gay-Marriage Amendment. (embedded WMP)
Practice What You Preach believes that the institution of marriage is under assault in Texas from the twin epidemics of divorce and domestic violence. We are not a gay-rights group. We are mainstream, straight Texans who want the legislative leadership to stop making cheap political points by ignoring real problems.
posted by amberglow at 11:55 AM PST - 39 comments

ADX Florence

During the 1990s, both the federal government and many state governments experimented with a new type of prison dedicated to maximum security prisoners, known as a "supermax." Such prisons are formally known as "Administrative Maximum" (ADX) prisons at the federal level, and the only federal ADX is in Florence, Colorado - ADX Florence. On top of confining inmates to their cells for 23 hours a day, such prisons usually feature soundproofed cells, near-total deprivation of human contact, and a routine policy of solitary confinement.

The text is from here, which isn't really related but got me searching for ADX-Florence, and lead me to the HRW site that inspired me to share.
posted by taumeson at 11:46 AM PST - 35 comments

Regarding Blood And Oil

Whereas, in the past, national power was thought to reside in the possession of a mighty arsenal and the maintenance of extended alliance systems, it is now associated with economic dynamism and the cultivation of technological innovation. To exercise leadership in the current epoch, states are expected to possess a vigorous domestic economy and to outperform other states in the development and export of high-tech goods. While a potent military establishment is still considered essential to national security, it must be balanced by a strong and vibrant economy. 'National security depends on successful engagement in the global economy,' the Institute for National Security Studies observed in a recent Pentagon study.

Regarding Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Petroleum Dependency by Michael T. Klare, here is an excerpt from the book and here is his most recent article--Oil and the Coming War With Iran. Well, at least he has been consistent--consider The Geopolitics of War, Wars Without End, Oiling the Wheels of War, and Imperial Reach from his articles for The Nation alone. Here is an excerpt from his previous Resource Wars and here is Scraping the bottom of the barrel and Bush-Cheney Energy Strategy: Procuring the Rest of the World's Oil. Well, as to his position on current events, I don't think we need to draw a picture here.
posted by y2karl at 11:27 AM PST - 52 comments

Creative Archive Licence Group

Creative archive licence group at The Beeb. Today sees the launch of the Creative Archive Licence Group, a joint venture between the BBC, the Open University, Channel 4 and the BFI to provide legal content to the (initially UK only) public under a series of licences that are quite similar to those by Creative Commons. Although at present only a trial, the project timetable looks as though some good material will be made available.
posted by TheDonF at 10:29 AM PST - 6 comments


The Passion of the Morrissey [previous mefi](via)
posted by peacay at 10:21 AM PST - 28 comments

The Red Piano

The Red Piano designed and directed by David LaChapelle featuring Elton John, now showing at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Some clips are burlesque (2mb qt), weird (1.5mb qt) or meaningless out of context(12.5mb qt), but this most beautiful dance sequence(20mb qt) makes it all worthwhile.
posted by quiet at 9:58 AM PST - 10 comments

A New Approach

Unexpected Features in Acrobat 7: A company called Remote Approach offers a feature to PDF authors to allow them to track the dissemination of their documents. Linux Weekly News reports, "After doing a little research, we found that Adobe's Reader was connecting to http://www.remoteapproach.com/remoteapproach/logging.asp each time we opened the document."
posted by knave at 9:06 AM PST - 35 comments

Who were your first ancestors

Who were your first ancestors? Tracking ancient ancestors and the migration of ancient peoples through DNA. Progressive maps from 200,000 years to 10,0000 years ago show the movement of our "tribes" since Adam.
posted by adamvasco at 8:56 AM PST - 39 comments

J. Robert Oppenheimer, a "productive dilettante"

He was fond of reading Proust and Dostoevsky. He studied the Bhagavad Gita in Sanskrit, painted landscapes in oil, and flirted with Marxism. His mannerisms -- such as saying "Gee!" when pondering some scientific marvel -- were contagious. And when the US government decided to incinerate hundreds of thousands of fishermen, housewives, cooks, potters, and Zen monks as a decisive blow for peace in 1945, he told the commanding officers on the mission, "Don't let them detonate it too high . . . or the target won't get as much damage." He was J. Robert Oppenheimer, the mild-mannered destroyer of worlds who led the Manhattan Project, portrayed in a new biography called American Prometheus.
posted by digaman at 8:45 AM PST - 126 comments

Robot Friend Ancient Music Fish

With My Special Partner, I can drink my way back to the 7th Millenium BCE for ancient music, and the fish’ll tell me how to get home.
posted by dfowler at 7:57 AM PST - 13 comments

A very large explosion

NASA scientists say that a large gamma ray explosion within our own galaxy may have triggered a mass extinction hundreds of millions of years ago.
posted by C17H19NO3 at 5:42 AM PST - 25 comments

Why won't homos let us hate and just accept their Hell-bound fate?

April 14, 2005: The Day of Truth. On April 13th thousands of students will don black-and-red t-shirts and remain quiet for the ninth Day of Silence in order to "recognize and protest the discrimination and harassment--in effect, the silencing--experienced by LGBT students and their allies." But this year the Alliance Defense Fund, "a legal alliance defending the right to hear and speak the Truth [yes, "Truth" is capitalized] through strategy, training, funding, and litigation," plans to add a twist to the occasion by following up with its so called Day of Truth in order to protest the homosexual agenda and promote their interpretation of Christianity. Though in their "Hostile Questions" section they claim they're not Day of Silence copycats, in addition to the silent treatment like their DoS foes students who register will receive t-shirts and explanation cards to distribute to inquiring minds, albeit with a slightly altered message. But will it draw participants? Well, Clint Armstrong can't wait--he staged a protest of his own last year.
posted by Anonymous at 2:33 AM PST - 43 comments

The culture war continues...

An antidote to theocracy - A celebration of rational thought over government-sponsored, populist ignorance, religious tolerance over an encroaching theocracy, it's just one more salvo in the constantly shifting culture war within America.
posted by AlexReynolds at 2:24 AM PST - 44 comments

Gwen Stefani's appropriation of Japanese stuff

Salon (with letters) on Gwen Stefani's clueless appropriation of Japan-ness.
posted by Tlogmer at 2:19 AM PST - 69 comments

April 12

Just Plane Crazy

"When stewardesses were sexy and the world was sexist" is the tagline of this years-in-making musical by Suzy Conn, who also runs the blogway baby musicals log (which talks about this musical quite a bit). It's meant to be based around the early 1960's, when airlines were truly a luxury, not unlike a sea cruise or a first-class train ride pre-Amtrak. (The website spends some time going on about Braniff International, and it's worth it to check out the history of that airline. This is also laid out on top of the era of Women's Liberation, although it does so using the aesthetic of 1960's music and phraseology, which was, basically, designed by male-dominated hollywood. For everyone who sits in the cheap seats, if you let the flash animation at the beginning of the site load, it plays the entire opening title song for you. Hey, free show!
posted by jscott at 9:56 PM PST - 27 comments

Google Talk

Google talk is a great way to Connect: with your angels and guides to help you make your own website. in minutes! Free day did did did did did?
posted by signal at 7:36 PM PST - 88 comments

``I'm not your regular person, I guess.'

Down doesn't mean out. There were great expectations for Bill Pulsipher, and then a great crash. After leaving baseball to mow lawns, he's worked his way back -- becoming perhaps the only ballplayer to talk about the stigma attached Anxiety and Depression. He has returned as a loogy with last year's NL champs the Cards. But how will he do this year?
posted by sohcahtoa at 6:47 PM PST - 10 comments

Airline bag lounge

Airline Bag Lounge Retro airline bags from around the world.
posted by ColdChef at 6:19 PM PST - 11 comments

The Shot (about to be...) Seen Around The World

If it didn't happen on national television [wmv] (mirror [wmv]) you would have thought it was faked like that LeBron ad.

Well if Wieden+Kennedy isn't already working on it, they surely will be shortly. "... they have a Nike-sponsored golfer wearing a Nike shirt, a Nike hat, Nike golf shoes, using Nike clubs, held in hands covered by Nike gloves, hitting a Nike prototype golf ball that was chipped onto the green, rolled, turned, rolled some more, then teetered on the edge of the cup with that Nike "Swoosh" turning and facing the television cameras for a full 1.5 seconds."
posted by pwb503 at 5:02 PM PST - 58 comments


If A tree falls Google Maps will see it
posted by srboisvert at 4:57 PM PST - 31 comments

Regenerative braking in a shoe

"...this effort has examined devices that can be built into a shoe, (where excess energy is readily harvested) and used for generating electrical power "parasitically" while walking."

Regenerative braking in a shoe for powering small personal electronics, courtesy of MIT's Media Lab. With video. [via Hack A Day]
posted by scarabic at 4:44 PM PST - 13 comments

Idle hands

Ever have those moments when your hand refuses to obey your commands? Scott Adams fills everyone in on the wonder that is focal dystonia in his latest newsletter (look under the "Who's Drawing Dilbert lately?" section) The topic was slightly touched on here
posted by riffraff at 2:39 PM PST - 19 comments

Holy Day

Holy Day Monsignor Moose informs all G-d fearing Americans that Wednesday, April 13th is the most sacred day in the Republican moral calendar. Brothers and Sisters and all ye of faith, fall to your knees and genuflect at the altar of the almighty dollar! This is a time for deep and reflective prayer. For tomorrow, the Godly Republican Cardinals will gather in the House to provide eternal life for the blessed sacrament of the GOP - the permanent elimination of the estate tax for the ultra-wealthy.
posted by Postroad at 2:05 PM PST - 83 comments

Have Harley-Davidson -- will travel!"

"Trinkle did not possess a legal mind. He was a mental grasshopper, an intellectual kangaroo, a mind wallaby."
The Lionel Fanthorpe text library. Random snippets from the extensive writing career of one of the greatest human beings who has ever lived. Anglican priest, comprehensive school headmaster, TV personality, biker, Fortean. Just reading his biography page makes me feel tired.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 1:38 PM PST - 4 comments

Vote for this bill. Or vote for Pedro.

Idaho House Resolution 29 WHEREAS, any members of the House of Representatives or the Senate of the Legislature of the State of Idaho who choose to vote "Nay" on this concurrent resolution are "FREAKIN' IDIOTS!" I wish all legislation were worded this way.
posted by adamrice at 1:28 PM PST - 30 comments

Teachers gone Wild

Teacher gone wild. Again. While not as crazy as this, (discussed here previously) Mrs. Miller definitely needs some therapy. Perhaps these 4th graders should have had camera phones like these kids... Though at least the U.S. isn't as tolerant of teachers behavior as Moroccans. Frankly my dear, they don't give a damn!
posted by Debaser626 at 1:01 PM PST - 48 comments

Moral boon or immoral boondoggle?

A new Texas bill seeks to give pharmacists the right to object to dispensing emergency contraceptives. The bill was spurred by over a year's worth of debate about an incident in Denton where a rape victim was denied a morning-after pill by a pharmacist at Eckerd's. Supporters say that pharmacists should be able to opt out of dispensing drugs that are used for abortions, but the opposition points out that the bill's definition of emergency contraceptives can be construed to include all birth control. Should pharmacists be allowed to morally object, or is this an anti-birth-control boondoggle?
posted by rush at 12:21 PM PST - 115 comments

A man in the closet

Honey, there's a man living in our closet! How could a man live in your closet withou you knowing it?
posted by dov3 at 11:31 AM PST - 42 comments

Like, For Real

What's the difference between reality and unreality? In real life you have no options. It's like when JFK is assassinated and you're in a method acting class, trying to become a mourning American citizen. Thomas De Zengotita's (reality is so passé) new book is out.
posted by prozaction at 10:45 AM PST - 8 comments

Tony Wheeler: The Woody Allen of travel

The Parachute Artist. In the New Yorker's Journeys issue, Tad Friend explains how Lonely Planet's founders, Tony and Maureen Wheeler, changed travel. Tony Wheeler has a travel blog.
posted by matteo at 9:59 AM PST - 12 comments

Cat Hunting

Wisconsin considers legalizing cat hunting. For the Sid Vicious in all of us.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 9:15 AM PST - 152 comments

What's The Matter With Kansas?

An open letter to the Citizens of Atwood. This past week, the residents of the small town of Atwood, Kansas voted 984 to 113 to deny gay couples any rights for their relationships (including hospital visitation). Now, the man who set up the town's newspaper website has not only left Atwood, but taken down the website and posted a (mostly) measured response to the town in place of it. Will putting a human face on those being discriminated against ever change the minds of some people, or is one passage in the bible enough for some people to keep justifying their bigoted ways?
posted by almostcool at 8:47 AM PST - 111 comments

what we do is secret

Thought you knew the first wave L.A. punk scene? Knew Belinda Carlisle was a Germs drummer, Pat Smear became Nirvana's guitarist, Henry Rollins was not the lead singer of Black Flag? Think... Again. New book out today.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 8:15 AM PST - 150 comments

Who Wants to Be a Hamburger Millionaire?

If you won a hamburger for every ten seconds of a feature film, you'd be a hamburger millionaire.
posted by bigbadem at 8:15 AM PST - 4 comments

Mark Stivers

Mark Stivers is a piano tuner in Sacramento and a very funny cartoonist
posted by growabrain at 7:56 AM PST - 18 comments

Ancient Hominids

Ancient toothless skull possible first sign of early human compassion
New evidence of early human ancestry in Africa
Skill employed by early hominid tool makers
posted by dfowler at 7:46 AM PST - 8 comments

Top Google Ads

This is a story about some yahoo who registered several domains to spread his story about developing Peritoneal Mesothelioma after having Laser Hair Removal in Washington DC. For some reason he thought Wisconsin Lemon Laws were in his favor and he'd soon get a huge settlement paid with Best Buy gift cards. It turns out he should have had temporary medical insurance. Now he is looking for a Personal Injury Solicitor.
posted by Mick at 5:58 AM PST - 45 comments

ipod one

"This is basically boomer rock 'n' roll and more recent music out of Nashville made for boomers. It's safe, it's reliable, it's loving. What I mean to say is, it's feel-good music. The Sex Pistols it's not." 3 things dear to mefites hearts. The music (NYT) on George W's ipod.
posted by DelusionsofGrandeur at 4:59 AM PST - 58 comments

Shake Hands with the Devil

There was no honour to be had in Rwanda.
11 years ago this week, the Rwandan Genocide began and didn't end until almost a million Rwandans, mostly Tutsis, were dead - killed by their own countrymen in the span of 100 days.

Romeo Dallaire was the Force Commander of the UN troops in Rwanda at the time. Increasing unrest and killings along with intelligence obtained from an informant led him to conclude that the genocide was coming and that it could be stopped if action was taken quickly and decisively enough. He requested 2000 additional troops and the authority to plan and execute an operation to halt the genocide before it began.

The UN Security Council denied both requests, and reduced the UN force in Rwanda to 260 troops. One million Rwandans died. Romeo Dallaire and 260 Canadian, Ghanian, and Dutch soldiers are directly credited with saving over 20,000 Tutsis that would have died.

Dallaire's career as a soldier is over. But he knows that if the effort is not made, another genocide like Rwanda will happen. It may already be too late to stop the next one.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 12:10 AM PST - 41 comments

April 11

Robot camel jockeys

DUBAI (AFP) - The United Arab Emirates is to mount robot jockeys on racing camels later this year after a ban on using children in the region's popular sport.
posted by Tlogmer at 11:57 PM PST - 7 comments

Everybody wants to rule the world

The 25 largest empires. The influential British were first, of course. But the original Axis of Evil never beat the Mongols, and Canada holds more territory than Rome at its peak. Watch some amazing animations of the rise and fall of the Mughals in India. (or other examples). Only one official empire remains today, but speculation on new candidates abound.
posted by blahblahblah at 11:43 PM PST - 21 comments

A gallery of walls with stuff written on

Pictures of Walls. A gallery of interesting grime, complete with joy, paranoia, politics, good advice and the stupidest graffiti ever. Only one rule for submissions: "No 'proper' graffiti or nazi crap obviously." [via Bifurcated Rivets]
posted by mediareport at 11:40 PM PST - 18 comments

Marathon of Hope

"His life was just beginning, and he was simply a slightly nerdy, nondescript youngster sitting at a desk in Grade 8, so short his feet didn't reach the floor." but Terry Fox would go on to grab the heart of Canadians and 25 years on, the world. Also seen before.
posted by arse_hat at 11:14 PM PST - 34 comments

Wasting Precious Time

Make a story using public-domain images on this quirky little site. If you like that, you may like Inventing Situations which is a haven for people who used to frequent The Sci Fi Channel's now defunct Caption This! site. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, don't worry... it was all just a very lucid dream.
posted by E_B_A at 10:14 PM PST - 2 comments

Good Muslim, Bad Muslim

...The presumption that there are 'good' Muslims readily available to be split off from 'bad' Muslims masks a failure to make a political analysis of our times. This book argues that political Islam emerged as the result of a modern encounter with Western power, and that the terrorist movement at the center of Islamist politics is an even more recent phenomenon, one that followed America’s embrace of proxy war after its defeat in Vietnam. Mamdani writes with great insight about the Reagan years, showing America’s embrace of the highly ideological politics of 'good' against 'evil.' Identifying militant nationalist governments as Soviet proxies in countries such as Nicaragua and Afghanistan, the Reagan administration readily backed terrorist movements, hailing them as the 'moral equivalents' of America’s Founding Fathers. The era of proxy wars has come to an end with the invasion of Iraq. And there, as in Vietnam, America will need to recognize that it is not fighting terrorism but nationalism... Here is an excerpt of Chapter 1 of Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: America, the Cold War, and the Roots of Terror, and with one review, two review, three reviews hereafter. And here is author Mahmood Mandmani interviewed by AsiaSource.
posted by y2karl at 7:19 PM PST - 38 comments

Creating an organizational system

How do you make a “trusted system”? A planning and organisational system which can be relied upon to contain your events, tasks, projects and thoughts?... One of the biggest obstacles for many people is how to create a system that is always there, at the ready, and worthy of your trust.
posted by ColdChef at 6:14 PM PST - 16 comments

She's lost control?

"I was just besotted." Rock music does not lack for tragic heroes; perhaps none more doomed than Ian Curtis, lead singer of Joy Division, the post-punk precursor to Madchester's New Order. Debilitating epilepsy, depression, charges of Naziism, an impending divorce -- 25 years ago, the day before the start of a US tour, Curtis hanged himself in the kitchen of his flat while Iggy Pop's "The idiot" played. His widow Deborah speaks in this new interview in The Guardian; is she drumming up interest for the new starring-Jude-Law biopic?
posted by docgonzo at 6:11 PM PST - 61 comments

but tweakers still suck

I told you Ecstasy was good for you. "The study of Ecstasy for the terminally ill will involve 12 cancer patients who have less than a year to live. They'll receive varying doses during two strictly supervised therapeutic sessions. The drug, once hailed as 'penicillin for the soul,' is a chemical cousin to amphetamines that reportedly induces feelings of profound empathy. It will be combined with traditional psychotherapy, and, [Dr.] Halpern hopes, 'enable them to open up in therapy so they can talk about challenging issues and resolve their grief.'" (reg rq'd)
posted by tsarfan at 5:09 PM PST - 45 comments

25 Favorite Sesame Street Memories

“Because if Mr. Snuffleupagus is real, anything is possible.”
25 Favorite Sesame Street Memories
posted by anastasiav at 4:22 PM PST - 64 comments

Those crazy academics

The World Multi-Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics sends email so aggresively to academics in computer science that they are thought of as no better than spammers. It doesn't appear you can make them stop sending you email. Worse, it's clear they are a place for "dead wood" faculty who just need a paper count for their yearly reviews. So, recently, the academics have been taking things into their own hands by generating bogus submissions. Some with a sophisticated fake paper generator and others with more direct statements.
posted by about_time at 4:10 PM PST - 19 comments

tech filter

Robo-tractor: Let the GPS do it!
posted by shino-boy at 3:34 PM PST - 8 comments


! En ce moment on ecoute ........sounds from vince.
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:31 PM PST - 4 comments

Money Counter

Money Counter, based on this Parade article, makes comparisons (science vs. the arts, business vs. safety, nuclear energy vs. cleanup, and the Whitewater/Lewinsky vs. 9/11 investigations) based on how much tax money is budgeted to various agencies. [via kottke]
posted by kirkaracha at 3:28 PM PST - 9 comments

Andrea Dworkin,

Andrea Dworkin, feminist icon and scourge of pornographers, has died aged 58.
posted by Holly at 1:37 PM PST - 138 comments

Talking History

Talking History is a radio show where historians talk about their latest work. The archives include MP3 and (sometimes) Realplayer streams, with discussions on topics like the Influenza Pandemic of 1918, George Washington and his slaves, and the history of "Boston Marriages" (today called same sex-unions). Some programs feature interesting archival audio, such as this speech by Elijah Muhammad.
posted by LarryC at 1:18 PM PST - 8 comments

Now It's Personal

If you had any doubt, "homeland security" is not being used as an excuse to silence dissent in today's America, I submit to you the case of Willie Fontenot. A personal hero of mine and others, Willie has worked for decades, gently and with integrity, from inside Louisiana's state corporate government for the cause of environmental justice. But no more, he has been forced to resign from the state Attorney General's office for refusing to capitulate to corporate goons (literally!) harassing a group of students taking pictures of an oil refinery. [via BoingBoing]
posted by If I Had An Anus at 12:59 PM PST - 34 comments

Jeffords' Theory

Jeffords' Theory: "U.S. Sen. Jim Jeffords, the Vermont Independent, may face a clear field right now in a 2006 re-election bid, but his March 22 performance on Vermont Public Radio's Switchboard program raised a few eyebrows. I think it was all done to get oil, Jeffords said of invading Iraq. And the loss of life that we had, and the cost of it, was to me just a re-election move, and they're going to try to live off it. Probably start another war, wouldn't be surprised, next year. Probably in Iran, said Jeffords, echoing Seymour Hersch's words from January.
posted by jenleigh at 11:46 AM PST - 82 comments

Because it hurts more than cards or matches

Penny stacking - build pillars, bridges and domes from your worthless change.
posted by Orange Goblin at 11:05 AM PST - 13 comments


Home Economics Archive: Research, Tradition and History (HEARTH). From Cornell University, HEARTH is an internet resource collecting home economics texts from 1850 to 1950, including Meals that cook themselves and cut the costs, by Christine Frederick (1915), and The young woman's guide to excellence, by William A. Alcott (1852), as well as the Journal of Home Economics from 1909 to 1980.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 10:53 AM PST - 6 comments

The internet? F*ck Yeah!

America (F*ck Yeah), We Stand As One This was inevitable, right? The theme song from Team America: World Police, cut together with the (enhanced) images from America We Stand as One, recently discussed here. (Audio is possibly NSFW, if your coworkers don't like cursin')
posted by billysumday at 10:01 AM PST - 34 comments

The Shahs of Old

The Epic of Kings. Dr Charles Melville, a lecturer of the University of Cambridge is compiling a list of all the world’s handwritten and illustrated versions of the Shahnameh, the masterpiece of Iranian poet Ferdowsi. “In the first step, I began to search libraries and museums in Iran, Turkey, the United States, India, and a number of European countries. After finding the sources, I traveled to the countries to study the versions that I had found in my search”. Ferdowsi's epic poem (English translation here) has 62 Stories, 990 Chapters, and contains 60,000 rhyming couplets -- making it more than seven times the length of Homer's Iliad.
posted by matteo at 9:41 AM PST - 6 comments

Notions of Expenditure

Huff & Puff Energy "Think about it. We go to the gym every day, get on a machine and expend great amounts of energy. Multiply that by everyone in your gym, in all the gyms in all the world and what have you got? a lot of power! This project is a request "for speculative proposals to re-design exercise equipment to generate and store energy; and/or to retrofit gyms to function as local power sources linked to the grid." It envisions a redesign of gyms into power hubs and a linking together of the power hubs into a massive power network. All this and get fit too." [via Treehugger]
posted by azul at 8:45 AM PST - 54 comments

latera ecfututa

Can't hack Catullus in Latin? How about Brazilian Portuguese, Catalan, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, French, German, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Rioplatense, Romanian, Russian, Scanned, Serbian, South African, Spanish, Swedish, or Welsh? You can also compare two languages side by side.
posted by kenko at 8:40 AM PST - 15 comments

Cooking by analysis

Cooking for Engineers - "Have an analytical mind? Like to cook? This is the site to read!"
posted by Gyan at 6:55 AM PST - 22 comments

Sutra_of_the_Heart of_Perfection of_Wisdom

Teachings of the Dalai Lama: some are available online alongside texts by other Buddhist monks. INDEX.
posted by dfowler at 6:03 AM PST - 32 comments

Toying with ya...

Ever played Operation or Mouse Trap or any one of 100 other games? Then Marvin Glass is the man behind your childhood fun. And while he may not be a house-hold name, he is a toy industry name. Kaboom!
posted by meech at 12:57 AM PST - 8 comments

April 10

Google Montage Art Tool

SleepyGeek has a fun tool that creates montages from Google image search results.
posted by willnot at 10:48 PM PST - 6 comments

In God We Trust

"In the Name of Politics" (NYT) Rev. John C. Danforth, the outgoing US ambassador to the UN, Republican Senator for 18 years, native Missouran and Episcopal minister worries that the Republican Party is turning very literally theocratic. In this short editorial he states "the only explanation ... is the extension of religious doctrine into statutory law."
(Just as a side note, we're taking applications.)
posted by blacklite at 9:03 PM PST - 52 comments


The professor of tipping with tips (pdf) on the age old art of tipping(pdf)
posted by peacay at 5:47 PM PST - 72 comments

let's waste some time and be friends

622 Music Videos (mixed media, mostly QT, many classics)
posted by moonbird at 5:13 PM PST - 63 comments

Let sleeping cats lie...

Let sleeping cats lie... in the most artistic poses. Or alternatively here's a rival for pancake-balancing bunnies, the ancient western art of Cat Buckaroo!
posted by Flitcraft at 4:12 PM PST - 21 comments

Mountain Voices

Mountain Voices. 'This website presents interviews with over 300 people who live in mountain and highland regions round the world. Their testimonies offer a personal perspective on change and development.'
posted by plep at 12:10 PM PST - 2 comments

"Wow, CBS News kind of speaks to me."

How would you remake CBS News? Lizz Winstead has some interesting ideas, while Don Hewitt and Al Primo stick to what they know. Meanwhile, Mark Burnett's take is the most hilariously stereotypical piece ever written by a sleazy television producer. So, does anyone else have any ideas?
posted by fungible at 11:53 AM PST - 40 comments

hipper than you

"Stray Prose" of Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth fame. Semicoherent Bob Dylan review, a paean to Kerouac, and an entertaining interview with William Burroughs. Pretentious, but, uh, you know, if you're into that sort of thing... There's some more stuff of his around his official site
posted by ITheCosmos at 11:13 AM PST - 12 comments

Before Asimov, before King...

Ellis Parker Butler (1869 - 1934) American author, speaker, humorist. Author of more than 30 books and more than 2,000 stories and essays, Ellis Parker Butler is most famous for his short story "Pigs is Pigs" in which a bureaucratic stationmaster insists on levying the livestock rate for a shipment of two pet guinea pigs that soon start proliferating geometrically. This website is a loving tribute to a prolific author you've probably never heard of. Most of the stories and articles available on this web site have not been reprinted or reproduced since their original publication. Be sure to also check out the extensive library of vintage magazine covers.
posted by crunchland at 10:49 AM PST - 5 comments


_grau | robert seidel - KunstFilmBiennale 2004; the jury assigns the movie «_grau» by robert seidel an honorary award, because of the technological mastership which is used to show never seen phenomena in the borderland of science and aesthetics.
quicktime - cached 50Mb; cached 160Mb
posted by andrew cooke at 9:36 AM PST - 17 comments

Another World: photography by Frederik Ödman

The dark and unsettling photography of Swedish photographer Fredrik Ödman who explores "the meeting point between logic, imagination and madness." Don't miss his nature portfolios. via The Cartoonist)
posted by madamjujujive at 9:36 AM PST - 16 comments

Short Animation

Pixar has the name recognition, but plenty of other folks do some mighty fine animation. Thanks to Mike Judge and Don Hertzfeldt the Animation Show aims to bring them to your town. A celebratory selection of shorts inside.
posted by sciurus at 7:12 AM PST - 19 comments

Free stock image galleries

Finding free stock photographs and images
posted by daksya at 3:22 AM PST - 14 comments

Make your own annotated multimedia Google map

If you liked the Craigslist/Google Maps combo, you'll be happy to hear that the boys and girls over at Engadget have a tutorial on how to make your own annotated multimedia Google map. Pretty sweet!
posted by JPowers at 12:42 AM PST - 3 comments

April 9

Real-Money Pope Pools

PopaPOOLooza – a capitalistic approach to Popapalooza (discussed here).
posted by pruner at 11:21 PM PST - 1 comment

the politics of handshakes

Handshakes are an important: They've signaled new eras in international relations, but this week they reaffirmed the sad realities of our time.
posted by trinarian at 9:41 PM PST - 15 comments

At least it's still forty-two...

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy isn't sounding too flash. "This is a terrible, terrible film and it makes me want to weep." At least we enjoyed the trailer!
posted by channey at 6:37 PM PST - 94 comments

Deconstructing Cassell's Illustrated History of India

Rajkamal Kahlon makes stunning gouache paintings directly onto the pages of a 130 year old history book. Her style and technique are similar to Tom Phillips' treated novel A Humument (previously discussed here)
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 5:23 PM PST - 10 comments

An amalgamation appropos of nothing

Saturday night and nothing to do? No worries, just kick back your heels, have a glass of wine, and Tesh your cares away.
posted by DeepFriedTwinkies at 5:06 PM PST - 8 comments

Our Victory, Day by Day - a project of RIA Novosti

Our Victory, Day by Day. Russian news agency RIA Novosti counts down to the 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, with songs, posters, photos, and stories. Be sure not to miss the first-person accounts in English (under "Frontline Album").
posted by gimonca at 3:27 PM PST - 19 comments

Old Newspapers and their coverage of American events

HistoryBuff - facsimiles of old newspapers that covered important events in American History.
posted by Gyan at 2:59 PM PST - 5 comments


Why can't I pay attention anymore? Maybe I have ADT or NADD. Did we already discuss this? I can't remember. I need to be more mindful.
posted by homunculus at 2:29 PM PST - 28 comments

It surrounds us. It binds all things. It flows through us. It gives us life... Free Food. There. Can you smell it?

Will Mike Slackenerny ever graduate? It looks like long-time readers of PhD -- a comic strip about graduate students -- will have to buy the book to find out. Some people aren't taking the news so well.
posted by casu marzu at 2:03 PM PST - 17 comments

DC Basketball shots

Amazing basketball shots from the DC training facility.
posted by driveler at 1:51 PM PST - 27 comments

He declined further comment on the wedding

The Wedding of Roy Cohn's spiritual heir (or one of them anyway) was celebrated in Massachusetts in December, and revealed yesterday. The groom, an influential political consultant who has made a practice of defeating Democrats by trying to demonize them as liberal did not invite any of the people he helped bring to power, often on an anti-gay platform. In fact, he didn't even tell any of them (the list includes Jesse Helms and many many more). The happy couple, together for 40 years (since the groom was 19), live in Ipswich, MA with their 2 children. No information on the other groom was provided, nor on honeymoon arrangements.
(More on Finkelstein, "The Godfather of dirty politics", here.)
posted by amberglow at 11:09 AM PST - 46 comments

Meet Vernon

Meet Vernon | "I designed this blog to allow you to meet Vernon Lee Evans, the next person to be executed on Maryland’s death row. I will print out the emails and mail them to Vernon who is currently in a maximum security cell in Baltimore, Maryland. Vernon will mail me back his responses and I’ll post them here." TalkLeft enthuses: "Meet Vernon even has a blogroll, and TalkLeft is proud to be included on it. This is an experiment, but wouldn't it be great to see every death row inmate with a blog?" In 2003, imprisoned serial killer Jack Trawick taunted his victims from a website published with the help of an admirer. Other prison blogs here and here. [via BuzzMachine]
posted by jenleigh at 9:41 AM PST - 38 comments

Not That There's Anything Wrong With That...

Going on a "Man Date" (NYT link, reg. required). Two (presumably) heterosexual guys who knew each other from college go to the museum and dinner without partners -- and apparently this qualifies as a "man date," although (again presumably) there's no kiss at the end of the night or promises to call the next day. Maybe I'm cranky, but back in my day, we simply called this "spending time with a friend" and didn't plaster a thin veneer of gay panic/defensive het rationalization on it. Is the social behavior of straight males now so circumscribed that a guy having one-on-one time with a male friend outside a bar or sporting merits an article in the NYT?
posted by jscalzi at 7:20 AM PST - 178 comments

April 8

Old Style Computing in Starbucks

Man brings entire desktop computer into a Starbucks and sets it up.
I took these pictures tonight of this guy who appears to have lugged his whole computer system into the Starbucks on 41st and Madison. I don't see any coffee anywhere either... After much speculation about the person, Stephanie and Chris interview him.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 11:56 PM PST - 31 comments


myData=myMondrian is an interactive art interface in which the personal data provided by viewers is translated into a Piet Mondrian-like composition. Here's an example image.

Related: Rhizome.org: myData=myMondrian
posted by sjvilla79 at 9:58 PM PST - 29 comments

The return of the Bnei menashe

The return of the Bnei menashe : Israel's Chief Rabbi has decided to recognize the members of India's Bnei Menashe community as descendants of the ancient Israelites. Previous discussion.
posted by dhruva at 9:49 PM PST - 5 comments

So are we at high tide or low tide?

Fossil records show Biodiversity comes and goes in a 62 million year cycle. The analysis, performed by researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and UBC, has withstood thorough testing so that confidence in the results is above 99-percent.
posted by furtive at 9:29 PM PST - 36 comments

The art of Double Dutch

The art of Double Dutch: Whatever happened to the that tricky urban past time Double Dutch? The savvy dames from Harlem made it famous and continue to keep it competitive. How about the Double Duchess' jumping in schoolgirl plaids and kitty suits? Even Fat Albert can keep the legacy hip. Video's galore.
posted by Viomeda at 6:35 PM PST - 25 comments

Wall Street

Wall Street - How it Works, and for Whom, by Doug Henwood. Sold over 20,000 copies as paperback. Acclaimed by Crooked Timber. Available for free under a Creative Commons license (Amazon).
posted by andrew cooke at 5:10 PM PST - 8 comments

Stephen Glass, Jayson Blair, meet Mitch Albom

Mitch Albom, one of the most decorated sports columnists ever and a best selling author, has been busted for fabricating information in his latest Detroit Free Press column. Albom has apologized, but this has set the sports journalism field abuzz, many happy to the star of the Freep squirm. The President of The National Society of Newspaper Columnists has called the column "bogus" and an "egregious ethical lapse." Others wonder why he wasn't suspended or fired, thinking his status as an author and TV / radio personality is allowing him special favors. The Freep has started an investigation and may look into previous articles. To top it all off, here's the pot calling the kettle black.
posted by bawanaal at 4:16 PM PST - 34 comments

Free! Free! Free! Free!

Free Online Wine Course from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA). We’ll give you a sample of our in-depth, on-site courses by taking you on a virtual journey through three of the world’s top grape varieties.
posted by crunchland at 4:12 PM PST - 2 comments

The Perfect Housemate! (*twitch*)

Wanted: the perfect housemate! You just need to meet a few, um, requirements.
posted by brownpau at 3:33 PM PST - 39 comments

Google Maps and Craigslist Sitting in a Tree

You got Google Maps in my Craigslist! This is some incredible RESTfu. This is the future, folks.
posted by bbrown at 3:26 PM PST - 42 comments

Once upon a time

Evolution - a fairytale for grownups! "Clearly" proving that such amazing inventions must have been designed. Silly Darwin.
posted by Mwongozi at 2:28 PM PST - 51 comments

In your face

How well do you read faces? Better than this baby, I hope.
posted by homunculus at 2:15 PM PST - 13 comments

7,000 year old sex-artifact

Archaeologist Finds 'Oldest Porn Statue'
Article claims that "until now, the oldest representations of sexual scenes were frescos from about 2,000 years ago", BUT...
posted by dfowler at 1:30 PM PST - 29 comments

Because Businesses Don't Care Enough About Profits

A Pro-Evil Mutual Fund? For centuries, the argument in favor of laissez-faire capitalism has been simple. If you step back and let businesses pursue profit without restraint, legitimate needs and desires will be taken care of in an efficient manner. Moral concerns, the argument goes, are better handled by consumers and investors voting with dollars than governments coercing with legislation. Now, Cato Institute scholar and Fox News columnist Steven Milloy is worried ideologically motivated investors might be putting business profits in danger. He's forming a new mutual fund to fight their leftist influence.
posted by verb at 1:26 PM PST - 33 comments

The Story and Stories of Bruno Schulz

"For ordinary books are like meteors. Each of them has only one moment, a moment when it soars screaming like the phoenix, all its pages aflame. For that single moment we love them ever after, although they soon turn to ashes. With bitter resignation we sometimes wander late at night through the extinct pages that tell their stone dead messages like wooden rosary beads."
posted by felix betachat at 12:56 PM PST - 6 comments

If you don't know Ricky by now...

The Only Website Dedicated to Seona Dancing, the 80's New Romantic pop duo featuring Ricky Gervais. With sounds and pictures.
posted by mr.marx at 11:20 AM PST - 19 comments

Memory Maps at Flickr

Memory Maps at Flickr. Personal history annotated on Google Maps. via Grand Text Auto
posted by signal at 11:13 AM PST - 32 comments

ugly or handsome ?

Are you ugly or handsome? So Much for That Merit Raise: The Link between Wages and Appearance. Hey what about the phrase beauty is in the eye of the beholder?
posted by halekon at 9:58 AM PST - 46 comments

Strawberry's Warren is Carthage

The heroes flee their doomed city. The first new place they arrive in is not the proper one, and they must leave. When they finally arrive at their destined land, they must steal women to set up their colony, and then fight the local military power with the help of new allies. Am I talking about the Aeneid? Or Watership Down? With correspondences much greater than, say, those between The Wizard of Oz and The Lord of the Rings, I’m not the only one who thinks there’s a connection. (Want real proof? Ask yourself why rabbits keep having to cross water, and compare where that happens in the story to the ship journeys of Aeneas.)
posted by kyrademon at 9:46 AM PST - 27 comments

The "Constitution Restoration Act"

The "Constitution Restoration Act". `Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the Supreme Court shall not have jurisdiction to review, by appeal, writ of certiorari, or otherwise, any matter to the extent that relief is sought against an entity of Federal, State, or local government, or against an officer or agent of Federal, State, or local government (whether or not acting in official or personal capacity), concerning that entity's, officer's, or agent's acknowledgment of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.'

This article claims that this bill is almost certain to pass, and that if it does that no Federal court or judge will have jurisdiction over any Federal, State, or local government entity or official who claims God's law.

Are these claims true? Why isn't there a fuss?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:05 AM PST - 71 comments

The Ultimate Surveillance Team: Microsoft + Police

Microsoft collaborates with the Department of Homeland Security, Interpol, and the Canadian Mounties to produce the ultimate people-tracking database, mining email aliases, "chat room" logs, and arrest records. This open-source software developed by MS Canada will be given away free to police departments, says the company. "The initiative was the result of a January 2003 e-mail sent to Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates from a member of the Toronto Police Service sex-crimes unit, asking for help in battling child pornography," reports the Seattle Times. "The billionaire, known for his philanthropy in the area of AIDS research and education, called on Microsoft Canada to develop software that would aid police officials." Buried in the enthusiastic accounts of how the Child Exploitation Tracking System (CETS) will nail "child sex fiends" is any consideration of how such a system could -- and will undoubtedly someday -- be used against such lesser offenses as drug use, sharing illegal music files, or discussion of political beliefs that could be construed as supporting "terrorism."
posted by digaman at 7:55 AM PST - 36 comments

Frank Conroy Dies at 69

Frank Conroy Dies at 69 The author of "Stop-Time," jazz pianist, scallop fisherman, and Iowa writers workshop guru disappears into the divine...
posted by lilboo at 7:15 AM PST - 5 comments

Busting your ass CAN pay off

Becoming a '??' (tradesman) in Japan. A 'gaijin' entrepreneur has been detailing his woodblock printing craft and business in a self-published quarterly journal over the past 15+ years. I found his series of autobiographical essays to be a very worthwhile read, reminiscent of Pirsig's first novel for some reason.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 2:28 AM PST - 13 comments

April 7

Echoes From The Sky

First built in the 1920's, and predating the use of Radar in World War II, early warning "sound mirrors" were used to provide some means of detecting incoming enemy aircraft. First used in World War I to listen for Zeppelins, their vestigial remnants dot the English coastline. The bizarre legacy of the sound collectors lives on through some decidedly nerdy enterprises.
posted by basicchannel at 11:52 PM PST - 26 comments

Nunc hic aut nunquam

Doctor Ammondt. When Jukka Ammondt is not too busy teaching European Romantic Literature at Finland's Jyväskylä University, he enjoys recording rock'n'roll covers in Latin. For Dr. Ammondt's 1997 CD, "Rocking in Latin", he has covered, among others, Shake, Rattle and Roll (Quate, Crepa, Rota) and All Shook Up (Nunc Distrahor). More recently, Dr. Ammondt has released an EP in which he sings Sumerian, featuring a cover of the Elvis hit "Blue Suede Shoes" ("E-sír kusv-za-gìn-g-á", which roughly translates to "On my sandals of sky-blue leather do not step!"). Live, he wears a leather kilt, blue sandals and is "backed up by musicians dressed as Sumerian governors". He has received the Pope's Medal in 1994. Ammondt will release a single, Codex Fluitans, and dedicate it to the Pope on the day of his funeral. (Previous Metafilter mention here.)
posted by ori at 11:50 PM PST - 1 comment

See the Sights from Satellites

Google Sight-Seeing Being seen from space isn't just for the Great Wall of China anymore. See Las Vegas, Area 51 and some impressive graffiti. (via)
posted by frecklefaerie at 10:57 PM PST - 46 comments

Contenders to the throne

Hi-Tech's New Day - Since the collapse of the Nasdaq bubble and the dotcom fizzle, the last five years have been particularly hard on technology entrepreneurs. But lately, there's been a bit of a resurgence (what with the Google IPO and Apple's second wind and all). Not that the boom is going to resume, by any means, it's just encouraging that tech innovation continues apace and is again being rewarded in the marketplace! [really i'm just posting this cuz there seems to be a new intarweb celebrity power couple on the block (via a.whole #1) :]
posted by kliuless at 9:59 PM PST - 2 comments

Australia's "Loch Ness"

In Warburton, a town not too far from Melbourne, Australia, there's allegedly something not quite right swimming around in a humble trout farmer's catchment. Is this Australia's Nessie? Some selected quotes from the linked articles.
A giant eel, believed to be around 13ft-long with a head the size of a football has been spotted at the trout farm at Warburton.
It is believed the eel washed into the farm's ponds during this month's record breaking storms.
"We hope to catch him alive and take him to the Melbourne Aquarium."
I reckon it's true. Might even go and throw a line in myself, hey. It's just a shame that there are no pictures or film evidence thus far. Oh, this is my first front page post on MeFi. Hello world!
posted by sjvilla79 at 9:50 PM PST - 12 comments

Journey to the Center of the Earth?

Hole Drilled to Bottom of Earth's Crust, Breakthrough to Mantle Looms --Should we be doing this? What will happen? The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) seeks the elusive "Moho," a boundary formally known as the Mohorovicic discontinuity. It marks the division between Earth's brittle outer crust and the hotter, softer mantle. (the creamy nougat center?)
posted by amberglow at 9:24 PM PST - 49 comments

Autechre Radio

Autechre Radio - Sounds like Autechre will be doing a radio broadcast of experimental sound on Sunday, April 10th from 3 PM EST until late. The feed already connects to some really weird stuff. Stay tuned, should be fun!
posted by AlexReynolds at 8:57 PM PST - 25 comments

Pity the Blowfish.

And you thought Hootie had sold out already. Onion hula-hoops, burgers growing on trees, and lots of suggestive sauce licking. [via]
posted by gottabefunky at 6:56 PM PST - 48 comments

Follow Follow Follow Follow Follow the Paths of the Dead

Did The Wizard of Oz inspire Lord of the Rings? "The first film version of L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz was released in the summer of 1939, less than a month before World War II officially began. Though started as early as 1937, The Lord of the Rings was largely composed during the war years, but not published until somewhat later. Therefore, it is by no means impossible that J.R.R. Tolkien saw the magnificent MGM movie before he wrote most of his magnum opus. Could Oz have influenced his tale somehow, consciously or unconsciously?"
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:41 PM PST - 35 comments

Polygamy in the Heart of Texas

Who is Warren Jeffs? A look inside the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints, who have built what is believed to be the first polygamist temple in Texas. Led by a doomsaying prophet, the members of the FLDS are taught that wives are expected to be completely submissive, and outside cultural influences are forbidden (links via this post on LiveJournal's exmormon community).
posted by May Kasahara at 6:18 PM PST - 14 comments

The Long Emergency

The Long Emergency is coming, according to James Howard Kunstler. Welcome to the new agrarian future. Buy 40 acres, a mule, and maybe some stock in the railroads.
posted by QuestionableSwami at 6:08 PM PST - 105 comments

Just in time for Mother's Day

Star Wars geeks lined up months in advance blocking the door to your favorite taqueria? Clear the sidewalks with your new Imperial Walker (.wmv) from Sakakibara Machine Co. of Gunma, Japan.
posted by planetkyoto at 4:42 PM PST - 16 comments

Google adds very cool Q&A feature

Google adds very cool Q&A feature: What is the population of Texas? When was Jason Kottke born? When did Hunter S. Thompson die? Google says it works for "celebrities, countries of the world, the planets, the elements, electronics, movies, and anything else we've thought of so far".
posted by JPowers at 2:50 PM PST - 60 comments

Everything old is new again.

Flashcii is a tool for creating ascii animations. Flaschii converts image files into ascii art, and provides a Flash-inspired interface for building animated sequences. Windows 2000 or Windows XP.
posted by crunchland at 2:48 PM PST - 6 comments

I'm gonna world-premeire my song that I just got finished writing/producting with Michael Damien

Strange Findings, circa 1985: "Please welcome our very charming guest host—Mr. Corey Feldman!" (Quicktime req.)(NSFA: Not Safe for Anyone)
posted by dhoyt at 1:03 PM PST - 14 comments

Self Experimentation is Credible Science??

"Chance favours the prepared mind" (Pasteur) but can a science of n = 1 be credible? Seth Roberts is a UCBerkeley Psychology Professor who is into generating novel scientific ideas from self-experimentation. He has written a very serious journal article (abstract) in Behaviour and Brain Science in which he alleges: Seeing faces in the morning on television decreased mood in the evening and improved mood the next day . . . Standing 8 hours per day reduced early awakening and made sleep more restorative . . . Drinking unflavored fructose water caused a large weight loss that has lasted more than 1 year.. among other things. The entire paper was published along with formal peer reviews and a response from Roberts [warning: 63page .pdf] (Peers came down about 50:50 in support/dissenting) A short review/discussion of the article and followup and a short followup Roberts paper with experimental replications (pdf) via
posted by peacay at 11:11 AM PST - 26 comments

An enduring and beautiful People

Faces young and old, mothers and children, dolls; hunting rabbit, making fire, dancing: Archived photographs of Arizona's Indians from the turn-of-the-twentieth. Plus reference materials.
posted by breezeway at 10:52 AM PST - 8 comments

Al Queda pays with $2's?

Best Buy's highly skilled staff of cashier-working counterfeit detectors, "a little nervous in the post-9/11 world", has the Baltimore police department put customer Mike Bolesta in handcuffs and leg irons after he uses uncommon but legal US currency to pay his bill.

"Meanwhile, everybody's looking at me. I've lived here 18 years. I'm hoping my kids don't walk in and see this. And I'm saying, 'I can't believe you're doing this. I'm paying with legal American money.'" Bolesta was then taken to the county police lockup in Cockeysville, where he sat handcuffed to a pole and in leg irons while the Secret Service was called in.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 10:30 AM PST - 171 comments


Sony patent takes first step towards real-life Matrix
posted by semmi at 10:24 AM PST - 17 comments

Garbage, garbage everywhere, and not a drop to drink!

The Garbage House is a bizarre but all-too-common phenomenon. Garbage houses often seem to be a product of a particular type of obsessive-compulsive disorder called compulsive hoarding. The hoarding [wmv, direct] may be of garbage, animals, (the neighborhood "cat lady") or perhaps even "collectibles" from eBay. The most compulsive hoarders seem to be the Collyer Brothers[*], even prompting a book.
posted by afiler at 10:18 AM PST - 29 comments

John Lautner's Chemosphere: part Jetsons, part Bond and vintage L.A. Modern.

The most modern home built in the world. "From the outside it looks like a spaceship you cannot enter. But if you go inside, it feels very cozy… very Zen and calming. Maybe because you are floating above the city, in the sky". John Lautner's Chemosphere residence is the product of a fortuitous union of architect, client, time and place. Leonard Malin was a young aerospace engineer in late-1950s L.A. whose father-in-law had just given him a plot north of Mulholland Drive, near Laurel Canyon. The only catch: at roughly 45 degrees, the slope was all but unbuildable. Lautner sketched a bold vertical line, a cross, and a curve above it. "Draw it up," he told his assistant. Now publisher Benedikt Taschen owns Chemosphere (NSFW), and after 20 years of neglect the house has been beautifully restored (.pdf) by Frank Escher.
posted by matteo at 9:21 AM PST - 24 comments

Thought I'd put on a drag show.

Ladies and germs, please meet my new best friend - Mrs. Betty Butterfield.
posted by tristeza at 9:09 AM PST - 11 comments

Oh Canada! (click)

Canuck shutterbug E-zine debut issue. A Canadian photographer and his wife have just launched a new eZine that features Canuck photographers and their work. The first issue features four great photographers (actually, there’s a fifth featured, but he doesn’t seem to have a personal Web site).

Very impressive for a debut issue; worth a look for those who enjoy capturing the world one RAW file at a time.
posted by Darkman at 9:00 AM PST - 4 comments

The following synopsis and suggestions will help you make the grades you obviously deserve.

Your Homework Done For Free! Don't have time to finish that Tolkein book report? Leave your worrying to the experts at rec.arts.books.tolkein.

First they are attacked by evil Orcs in the woods; next they are driven into the dark forest of Lothlorien, where they are imprisoned by the beautiful but evil Queen Beruthiel. They make their escape when Beruthiel's good sister, Galadriel, frees them from their prison-cell and floats them down the river in barrels ... however, they face a terrifying setback when they are found by the evil wizard Radagast. Gandalf sacrifices his life to destroy Radagast the Balrog, and the others escape the mountains while the battle rages.

(via Making Light)
posted by grabbingsand at 7:16 AM PST - 19 comments

Seven redux

The final scene of "Seven" performed by stuffed animals.
posted by oldleada at 6:23 AM PST - 48 comments


Adding images to words makes things easier to remember. The 14 defining characteristics of Fascism as a flash movie. I know, I know, it's been discussed quite a few times at MeFi, but I only post this as Thursday fun. Only. Really. Fun.
posted by acrobat at 3:40 AM PST - 31 comments

...and a robber button is?

"Before, during and after the upcoming [United Kingdom] general election campaign, Channel 4 FactCheck will provide the most reliable analysis of what the political parties and their leaders are saying. The site will scrutinise interviews, speeches and manifesto pledges - informing public debate by creating a popular resource for an information-hungry electorate." A UK cousin to FactCheck.org.
posted by nthdegx at 2:14 AM PST - 7 comments

Camouflage cell towers

Camouflage Cell Towers hidden in trees, buildings, and crosses.
posted by adzm at 12:46 AM PST - 7 comments

April 6

Dennis for Pope

Dennis for Pope His name is "sinned" spelled backwards. He has a kick-ass platform. He's been hard at work on the campaign trail for the job since 2004. Heck, he even meets the criteria for being eligible for the gig (see Qui uxorem, 19, caus. 33, Q. 5). He's on a *cough* papabili list that puts him right up there with Bono and U.S. Senator Sam Brownback as potential candidates. On April 18, vote Dennis for Pope "and good things will happen!"
posted by runningdogofcapitalism at 11:24 PM PST - 8 comments

New proposed Florida law

Don't pick up a ten dollar bill on the ground at Disney World You may be shot, legally, of course!
posted by lee at 10:00 PM PST - 101 comments

Another one bites the dust!

Easytree.org has been shutdown. Easytree, for those unfamiliar, was a tracker site for legal (apparently not) live music and video bit torrents, similar to Archive.org's Live Music collaboration with etree.org. Other discussions of File-sharing on MeFi (specifically the MGM vs. Grokster SCOTUS case) here and here. [more inside]
posted by schyler523 at 9:47 PM PST - 22 comments

Hipgnosis Album Art

The art of Hipgnosis defined the look of album covers during the 'classic rock' period. The first work of lead designer Storm Thorgerson was Pink Floyd's A Saucerful Of Secrets. Other familiar works include Led Zeppelin's Houses Of The Holy and Montrose's infamous Jump On It (marginally NSFW). I discovered these galleries while trying to pin down the identity of #3 in this week's entry of Stylus Magazine's Album Art Challenge. [via Owl-Stretching Time]
posted by mischief at 8:53 PM PST - 15 comments

Do the Schiavo

Did you think that it couldn’t get worse than 'The Terry Schiavo blog' ? Think again. Amanda Egge is “doing the Schiavo”. (Stronger than usual Bad Taste Warning required)
posted by growabrain at 8:48 PM PST - 48 comments

Baudrillard couldn't be happier

Lifestyle centers are open-air malls designed to look like an urban street or a contemporary residential area. But don't be fooled. Among the activities not allowed in the center are: excessive staring or taking photos, video or audio recording of any store, product, employee, customer or officer. Oh, and "non-commercial expressive activity" is not allowed either. Hopefully, that doesn't include talking.
posted by Tlahtolli at 8:06 PM PST - 37 comments

Get Particular!

Get Perpendicular! (flash, sound, crossdressing bits)
Hitachi introduces their new magnetic storage tech in this groovy 'toon.
posted by Evstar at 7:18 PM PST - 24 comments

Cognitive biases and other fun tricks

You are very bad at making decisions. Welcome to the world of cognitive biases. They are why it is so easy to see conspiracies in the death of microbiologists, to be unaware of how incompetent we are, to regret our bids on eBay, and to be superstitious rationalists. Perhaps you should learn to use them before you are taken in. Finally, cognitive biases are why you will remember the end of this po
posted by blahblahblah at 6:13 PM PST - 26 comments


posted by brownpau at 3:17 PM PST - 63 comments

Next up: Remote cockfighting!

Poultry Internet!? YES! Though poultry have been known to have high levels of cognition and feeling many of us with busy lifestyles have a hard time fulfilling their needs. And some poor souls can't even be near poultry as a result of allergies. What to do? Why not a cybernetics system allowing for network-enabled remote haptic stimulation and feedback of poultry? Confused? Well, there's "The Office System where user fondles with the doll." and then that hooks up to "The pet (rooster) with pet dress." hopefully recapturing "our sense of togetherness with our animal friends, just like times gone by on the prairie, village, or jungle.". A bit of oddity brought to you by the Singapore Mixed-Reality Lab, who actually do a lot of cool stuff like AR human pacman; and they've got the videos to prove it.
posted by nTeleKy at 2:25 PM PST - 5 comments

More On Anti-Semitism at Columbia

More On Anti-Semitism at Columbia My interest in this story is primarily about how the New York Times, considered one of the great newspapers world-wide, in fact sucks!---"A week ago, Deacon and the Trunk posted on the release of a report by Columbia University on its investigation of students' charges of anti-semitic conduct by several of the university's professors. The report mostly exonerated the professors, while, at the same time, recording behavior by them which was appalling. One of the points we noted was the craven behavior of the New York Times, which said that it agreed not to report the viewpoint of the complaining students in exchange for early access to Columbia's report. The Trunk wrote: But what about the New York Times? Is it conceivable that the Times would enter into an agreement not to talk to the subjects of a report in exchange for being given access to the report a few hours before it is made available to the public? [The Times admits it!]
posted by Postroad at 1:49 PM PST - 50 comments


It's not Yahoo, it's not Google... it's Yagoohoogle! Quickly prove or disprove your favorite search engine conspiracy theories!
posted by AlexReynolds at 1:17 PM PST - 17 comments


The Blogger Annotated New York Times
posted by srboisvert at 11:44 AM PST - 14 comments

Papal conclave

The conclave of cardinals will soon start the process of choosing a new pope. Have you filled in your brackets yet?
posted by Davenhill at 11:14 AM PST - 49 comments

Because Distractions are Fun!

Better known for their modernist take on contemporary furniture design, Minneapolis furniture studio Blu Dot has just introduced a series of film shorts entitled Blu Dot Shorts. Their first short film, Seven Twenty (embedded Quicktime warning), was directed by Christopher Arcella (Flash warning). While is is not earth shattering conceptually, it is a jaunty and fun little piece of cinema.
posted by ScottUltra at 11:06 AM PST - 15 comments

Gawker Media Launches Drudge-type blog

Sploid.com , a new tabloid style website aimed at the Drudgereport, is launched by Lockhart Steele founder of Gawker Media, home of Gawker and Wonkette. Looks a lot like the recently relaunched National Enquirer (Will 'enquiring minds' accept The Equirer's move to New York and British editorial makeover?
posted by Duck_Lips at 10:05 AM PST - 44 comments

Alicia Patterson, I think I love you...But I want to know for sure.

"The Alicia Patterson Foundation Program was established in 1965 ...[it awards] one-year grants...to working journalists to pursue independent projects of significant interest and to write articles based on their investigations for the The APF Reporter."
Almost all of the articles are online, with stories on everything from the death of New Burlington, Ohio (1973), to a 2003 series on cancer in Alaska and a mid-70's series on the Westpoint class of 1969. Lots more at the first link!
posted by OmieWise at 10:04 AM PST - 3 comments

Manteca to Nirvana

The latest additions to the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress have just been announced. This year's additions of "culturally, historically or aesthetically important" works include "Swanee'" by Al Jolson, Edward R. Murrow's radio reports from London during WWII, and "Fear of a Black Planet" by Public Enemy. View the full registry here, selection criteria and nomination information here.
posted by me3dia at 10:00 AM PST - 17 comments

Liberty takes a bow

Liberty ship bow art of Sausalito.
posted by breezeway at 9:36 AM PST - 6 comments

The Most Charming Trailer I've Ever Seen

A few of you may have seen this trailer on Kottke's site yesterday, but its just to wonderful to miss. "Mad Hot Ballroom" is a new Paramount Classics documentary about a junior competitive ballroom dancing circuit up north. To state the completely obvious, its like a "Spellbound" with the kids dancing instead of spelling.
posted by JPowers at 8:26 AM PST - 12 comments

Redshift 10 Territory

Earth Has Unsymmetrical Auras?!! BFD.
Light from summa the very first stars in the Universe observed : b
posted by dfowler at 7:38 AM PST - 27 comments

Low Power FM Religion Radio

Religion radio co-opts low power FM. Remember the fight over low power FM? It was supposed to help establish community radio stations. It seems that some Christian broadcasting stations have been snapping up low power FM licenses to implement translators, which extend the broadcast area of their main signal. Some groups have been speaking out about this, yet the FCC only acted after it appeared that some of the licenses were being obtained fraudulently for resale. (via Jorn)
posted by caddis at 7:32 AM PST - 55 comments

Online outlets for gourmet goods

Online outlets for gourmet goods : Chef's Warehouse | iGourmet | ChefShop | Earthy Delights | L'Epicerie (french) | Ethnic Grocer| La Tienda (spanish) | French Feast (french) | Gustiamo.com (italian) | Pacific East West (japanese/chinese) | Import Food (thai) . . . (via NYT)
posted by crunchland at 7:17 AM PST - 40 comments

Sue de Beer

"From March 3—June 17, 2005, the Whitney Museum of American Art presents Sue de Beer: Black Sun. Black Sun, a new two-channel video installation viewed within a large-scale wooden house environment, furthers de Beer’s exploration of the construction of feminine desire and unfulfilled longing." + "Sue de Beer’s art is a mature reflection on the complex interior lives of disaffected suburban American teenagers. Her video installations, photographs, and sculptures are littered with references to the pop culture detritus central to our adolescent search for identity." + "By using the computer and constructing sets to contain the action, de Beer’s enigmatic images make any fiction appear as reality."
posted by jenleigh at 6:13 AM PST - 7 comments


Google wants your porn Google co-founder Larry Page has announced that the company wants the public to send in its homemade videos - and he doesn't mind how mucky they are. "There might be an adult section, or something like that. I don't think that is going to be a big issue,"
posted by halekon at 6:01 AM PST - 32 comments

5 Minte Shoe Shine

Hot on the heels of the 'wet shave' it's the five minute shoe shine.
posted by fixedgear at 3:13 AM PST - 34 comments

Snap Your Fingers, Here He Comes

Ladies And Gentlemen, The Teeny Little Super Guy - not quite a meme, but more of a collective, "Oh man, I had totally forgotten about that" from the internet. This obscure 80s Sesame Street character's nostalgic resurgence has taken the form of a Livejournal Community, countless blog entries and even an indie rap video homage. Could Captain Vegetable be far behind [.wav file]?
posted by StopMakingSense at 2:19 AM PST - 20 comments

April 5

Behind the curtain of public radio

It's All Pledge Drives Considered. This is Coordinated Fundraising Week, where stations pull Ken Jennings out of a hat and go for all the gimmicks in the book, while your favorite shows subtly change formats. All this, by the way, mainly to reach the so-called "Cheap 90" percent of people that listen but don't contribute. Because we couldn't do it without you!
posted by calwatch at 10:49 PM PST - 51 comments

Indie Pop Hearts Generosity

Indie pop cares a lot! Sure, you could buy a tsunami relief album from famous or even religious folks, but wouldn't you prefer to get a free cd as a reward for your generosity instead? South Asia still needs your help, and some fabulous indie rockers (including a number of songfight celebrities) have pitched in to entertain your earhole.
posted by equipoise at 9:00 PM PST - 24 comments

Cirque du DeLay?

Watch as the GOP eats its own! Thrill as the media is fed more and more damaging info! Stare in Awe at the inside information calculated to get rid of him! Marvel at the downfall (and eventual Gingrichian comeback?) of Representative DeLay!
posted by amberglow at 8:40 PM PST - 136 comments

A pleasant day of sailing on the bay...

Pictures of a not so pleasant day of sailing on the bay...
posted by H. Roark at 7:57 PM PST - 47 comments

Hooray for freedom fighters

After decades of denial, official honors for terror bombers of Lavon Affair infamy. See also Liberty, USS.
posted by greatgefilte at 6:54 PM PST - 36 comments

Saul Bellow is Dead

Novelist Saul Bellow is dead. "Goodness is achieved not in a vacuum, but in the company of other men, attended by love." Interviews: 1965, 1982, 1987. Partial bibliography. Saul Bellow Society. Wikipedia entry.
posted by Mo Nickels at 5:09 PM PST - 53 comments

Via Con Dios, Doc.

Hunter S. Thompson's ashes WILL be blasted from a cannon mounted inside a 53-foot-high sculpture of the journalist's "gonzo fist" emblem. You can see Hunter & Ralph Steadman plan these details in the BBC documentary Fear & Loathing in Gonzovision.
posted by helvetica at 4:41 PM PST - 22 comments

Belinda Bedekovic

Croatian keyboardist Belinda Bedekovic is quite a spectacle (video). According to her biography, "on her public appearances with her virtuosity and performance she 'demolishes everything in front of her', and they are regularly accompanied by enthusiastic applause, sometimes even leading to euphoria."
posted by mert at 3:35 PM PST - 57 comments

The British and Irish Lions

The British and Irish Lions tour the remote South Pacific nation of New Zealand once every 12 years. Rugby is like a religion on these islands and the rich history and intense rivalry between the Lions and the All Blacks will combine to make this the single biggest event in New Zealand’s history. New Zealand will be bursting at the seems during the tour and the economy, already buoyant will get another boost.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 3:31 PM PST - 33 comments


Sasha-Frere Jones writes a New Yorker column on Slint, who reunited this year for a tour: "During the nineteen-nineties, [Slint's album] 'Spiderland' sold steadily, a rare feat for an obscure, independent band that no longer existed and had performed live fewer than thirty times. In 1991, [producer] Steve Albini reviewed 'Spiderland' for Melody Maker, a popular British weekly, calling it 'flawless' and awarding it ten fucking stars." Mp3s from the recent tour can be found at MySpace & transmission3000.
posted by dhoyt at 1:45 PM PST - 48 comments

How came any reasonable being to subject himself to such a yoke of misery?

Confessions of an EBay opium addict - Like anyone trolling the Internet at 4 a.m., I had been looking for some kind of temporary drug fix. I found it on eBay under Crafts>Floral Supplies>Flowers, Foliage>Dried. (via Alternet)
posted by mrgrimm at 1:27 PM PST - 74 comments

I forgot my future woman

Mirapuri - City of Peace and Future Man
posted by Captaintripps at 12:45 PM PST - 10 comments

Oh, Luscious Drupe!

Olives have a taste that is older than wine.
A stand-alone appetizer, these drupes are fine.
One of the first accomplishments of civilized man,
Now they are harvested in many a land.
This fruit of the tree that feeds the child,
Are oft' sour and tangy, definitely not mild.
Olives are known to make you look and feel great.
While those who don't love them are prone to debate.
They're artsy and craftsy, some virginal, some not.
And you can stuff 'em with just about anything you've got.
posted by debralee at 12:35 PM PST - 35 comments

I'm a damn sucker for flash games.

Gyroball. [Flash, Addictive]. Remember Marble Madness? At least the controls on that game were orthogonal.
posted by psychotic_venom at 12:06 PM PST - 24 comments

this is not the line you are looking for

The Good News: you're one of the first in line at Mann's Chinese for the last Star Wars movie ever. The bad news: the movie isn't scheduled to screen there. Logical conclusion: stay put. Out of protest.
posted by tsarfan at 11:54 AM PST - 32 comments

The word unblowupable is thrown around a lot these days.

HeiDeas' “Beyond embiggens and cromulent” explores the linguistic humour that appear in The Simpsons.
posted by riffola at 11:26 AM PST - 32 comments

Book describing US teen religious beliefs

"Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers" documents the findings and authors' conclusions from interviews conducted across 45 states.
A major theory in this study is called Moral Therapeutic Deism, a rather simplified belief system in which:
"God wants little more for us than to be good, happy capitalists...and to be good, happy capitalists, we should be good, unless if being good prevents us being happy." via via
posted by peacay at 11:12 AM PST - 13 comments


America We Stand as One. Can't stop watching. For all the wrong reasons. [.mov]
posted by adampsyche at 10:12 AM PST - 141 comments

AK's got a real cool tunnel.

The U.S. Army Permafrost Tunnel provides researchers a unique opportunity to study the composition and behavior of ice structures, ice-saturated soils and frozen bioorganics dating over 40,000 years before present.
posted by breezeway at 9:28 AM PST - 4 comments


Scrolling LED Belt Buckles. My mind runs away with me about what to use those 256 characters to say.
posted by 13twelve at 9:06 AM PST - 47 comments

Mass Expulsions

300+ High Schoolers Expelled You don't go to school here, you live too far away...
posted by AMWKE at 8:46 AM PST - 175 comments

Indie Coffee

The mission of delocator.net is to assist the public in finding and supporting independently owned cafés. There's a thinly-veiled stance against a certain coffee company, but the site's a great community-driven toolkit for finding yourself a good cup of joe anywhere in the US.
posted by mkultra at 7:53 AM PST - 49 comments

Mencken and Hatrack

Today is the anniversary of the famous Hatrack case, in which H.L. Mencken was arrested for selling indecent literature in Boston. (Herbert Asbury, the author of the Hatrack story, was largely forgotten, except for this incident, until Scorsese made his novel in Gangs of New York.) The case was just one episode in the career of an American literary giant, reporter, columnist, and editor. Gore Vidal said, "Mencken is a nice antidote. Politically, he is often right but seldom correct by today's stern standards." This is perhaps the best website devoted to Mencken, with extensive links. Particularly recommended are The Hills of Zion, part of his coverage of the Scopes trial; and his obituary savaging William Jennings Bryan. If you've never read Mencken it's almost impossible to convey how well-written, incisive and funny his writing really is.
posted by OmieWise at 7:41 AM PST - 17 comments

Star Cluster and You

First Super Star Cluster detected in Milky Way, while in the Andromeda Galaxy (M31), MYSTERY Star Clusters are found.
Unique? Us? Haw. Plenty of Earth-like planets await discovery, say researchers.
posted by dfowler at 7:38 AM PST - 6 comments

my hummingbird summer

A woman’s story of bonding with baby hummingbirds. (3.5 min. audio) From NPR's All Things Considered.
posted by found missing at 5:32 AM PST - 6 comments

Going underground

What is it with the London Underground and the internet? As many MeFi posts have noted before, no other subway system in the world has quite as many websites and applications devoted to it (why is this?). Until now the bulk of these applications have been based around maps, but the 'tube' has just got an independent site that is story-based. The brand new site at www.yourstation.co.uk wants you to write stories about the networks famous stations. Each gets its own homepage, you fill it with stories or simply read those that have gone before. Want to know how Mudchute got its name? You now know where to look.
posted by MrMerlot at 4:53 AM PST - 20 comments

Coldplay's new album

British band Coldplay revealed the artwork to their new album X and Y. It's cryptic cover has the record company bosses hoping for public intrigue. No clues from the thread at the official forum. I know it's viral marketing, but what could it mean?
posted by kenaman at 4:36 AM PST - 106 comments

April 4

Do your damn taxes

Do Your Damn Taxes (flash video) is an amusing little movie about a dude and his 1040 form, getting ready for the big day. From the same guy that did merry christmas from james.
posted by mathowie at 11:38 PM PST - 8 comments

Freaky cool or just freaky?

Google Maps now does satellite images which is pretty cool (zoom all the way in), and what everyone predicted they would do with the Keyhole software company they bought. The part that freaks me out is finding my own house with my own car in the driveway, taken last fall (by the looks of construction in the neighborhood). I guess it's time for all of us to have our Streisand moment and wonder when satellite imagery has gotten too good. [via]
posted by mathowie at 9:56 PM PST - 132 comments

Googlewhack is so, like, whenever

What's hot in technogeekery? Match your predictions with Yahoo's ongoing search stats using $10,000 fake dollars as investment capital. Is this how Yahoo is going to steal Google's mindshare - or just another pointless thing to do with search engines?
posted by Sparx at 9:36 PM PST - 6 comments

The Minstrel Show 2.1 - William Henry Lane & Pattin' Juba

Single shuffle, double shuffle, cut and cross-cut; snapping his fingers, rolling his eyes, turning in his knees, presenting the backs of his legs in front, spinning about on his toes and heels like nothing but the man’s fingers on the tambourine. Dancing with two left legs, two right legs, two wooded legs, two wire legs, two spring legs–all sorts of legs and no legs–what is this to him? And in what walk of life, or dance of life does man ever get such stimulating applause as thunders about him, when, having danced his partner off her feet, and himself too, he finishes by leaping gloriously on the bar-counter, and calling for something to drink, with the chuckle of a million of counterfeit Jim Crows, in one inimitable sound!

Dancing Across The Color Line.   In 1842, Charles Dickens came to New York City, where initally, he was wined, dined and theatrically entertained by the upper crust. Afterwards, he then went slumming and soon saw William Henry Lane, aka Master Juba, a man of whose dancing a number of historians say is where tap dance began, step lively in a cellar in the neighborhood called Five Points--the very same neighborhood creatively misrepresented recently by one Martin Scorcese in Gangs of New York. The dance he did was known as Pattin' Juba and the first time it's rhythm--which we think of as the Bo Diddley beat--was used on a sound recording was in 1952, when Red Saunders and his Orchestra, with Dolores Hawkins and and the Hambone Kids recorded Hambone. Continued within
posted by y2karl at 9:29 PM PST - 3 comments


neurobion [note: flash]
posted by crunchland at 9:12 PM PST - 6 comments

Torture Inc.

Torture Inc. Americas Brutal Prisons Savaged by dogs, Electrocuted With Cattle Prods, Burned By Toxic Chemicals, Does such barbaric abuse inside U.S. jails explain the horrors that were committed in Iraq? Warning: tiny, NSFW, embedded Windows Media file.
posted by Doug at 8:35 PM PST - 40 comments

SaveKaryn Part 2?

My Million-Dollar Year. "One million dollars. 365 days. Yes, she's serious." Performance art goes commercial.
posted by growli at 5:16 PM PST - 55 comments

Are there dog supermodels? No, really, are there any?

Dye pets! That's right, for those of you who have always longed to color your furry friends in all the shades of the rainbow, Pet Ésthe rides to the rescue. Just look at those happy doggies! And when you've feasted your eyes why don't you head on over to one of their affiliated stores to watch the canine runway fashion show (embedded vid and awesome music)
posted by Kattullus at 4:22 PM PST - 35 comments

No Accidents in Over 30,000 Years!

Pro-forma nuclear safety is harder than ever to sell. There's ass-kissing to the sci-fi community (.pdf, download it), the instructional video (warning, boring .wmv, > 12 mins long). But... The design lifetimes of Yucca Mountain and the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant won't protect future generations from groundwater absorbing transuranic waste (Pu239 and like toxins, deadly when ingested for 240,000 years). Do you have this stuff in your back yard today, and how will it get there safely? On top of that, the capacity problem, which looks intractable as long as we keep relicensing plants. If I didn't know better, I assume the only way the government could succeed in getting this done would be to hoodwink us.
posted by nj_subgenius at 3:55 PM PST - 34 comments

Electronica History

By a weird coincidence, after reading this interview in New Scientist with three of the engineers who made electronic music possible, I walked by a poster for a documentary film about Bob Moog. One of my earliest memories of electronic music in the 1970s was an elementary school music teacher who was really into Wendy Carlos' and Isao Tomita's early arrangements of classical works for synthesizer. Of course, electronic music history goes back to the 1920s with the theremin developed as a classical instrument. It has its own web portal filled with lots of good stuff. And now for something slightly different, Conlon Nancarrow wrote piano compositions that could not be performed by human hands, demanding the use of a player piano.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 3:53 PM PST - 20 comments

Augmented Reality at the Media Lab.

Augmented Reality at the Media Lab. Via Bruce Sterling.
posted by signal at 3:04 PM PST - 17 comments

Help Save Peer-to-Peer!

Help Save P2P! The United States Supreme Court is currently considering the legality of peer-to-peer file sharing programs in a case called MGM v. Grokster. Rumor has it that the Justices have set up a computer, in the court, with Grokster on it. If you have legal P2P files to share, blogger Death in the Afternoon suggests that you move them to Grokster immediately, as this might help convince the Justices that P2P is good for more than just illegal filesharing. (If you doubt that, think Diebold). If you don't have any legal files, you can get some here. (More inside).
posted by gd779 at 2:44 PM PST - 42 comments

Provacateur, Lunatic or Revolutionary?

Provacateur, Lunatic or Revolutionary? (great WashPost story) "Hello Everyone, my name's Andy. I killed a Police Officer in Red Bluff, California in a motion to bring attention to, and halt, the police-state tactics that have come to be used throughout our country. Now I'm coming forward, to explain that this killing was also an action against corporate irresponsibility." Andrew Mickel, AKA Andrew McCrae - a student at Evergreen State College and former Army Ranger is charged with killing a police officer in Red Bluff, California. He freeley admits that he did it. His defense? He is starting the revolution! Mickel believes, as does the prosecution, that he isn't insane. He is also the "CEO" of Proud and Insolent Youth Incorporated
posted by punkbitch at 1:45 PM PST - 167 comments

The 30-Year Secret Revealed

With this year's Pulitzer Prizes announced, the award for Investigative Reporting went to Nigel Jaquiss of Williamette Week, a Portland alternative newsweekly. Jaquiss' story revealed the "30-year Secret" that led to the downfall of one of Oregon's most influential politicians, helped foster a public backlash against corporate greed, and exposed a conspiracy of silence, favoritism, and scandal among the powerful in Oregon.
posted by ..ooOOoo....ooOOoo.. at 12:34 PM PST - 13 comments

"I am the only woman in the room with shirt on at the VIP Strip Club"

Showing Off a Little (Inner) Cleavage. Author Geralyn Lucas wore bright, red lipstick to her mastectomy. "It was my way of saying I knew I would still be a woman when I woke up with a blood-soaked bandage where my breast used to be... women have sacrificed breasts and hair to try to save their lives. We have traded in our beauty for some kind of cure. But something strange often happens when we lose the bling — the big boobs and big hair — of womanhood. We're left with what I call 'inner cleavage,' and no plastic surgeon can sculpt it. It is the beauty that exists when everything else has been stripped away".
Lauren Greenfield photographs here. More inside.
posted by matteo at 11:59 AM PST - 19 comments

Something else to do with a scalpel.

Peeled Photographs : British artist Richard Galpin creates unique images out of photographs by selectively stripping them with a scalpel.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 11:29 AM PST - 16 comments


Manscouts.com (some images NSFW) versus Manscouts.org.
posted by debralee at 11:21 AM PST - 19 comments

The Serial Killer Who Hugged Me

Life and Death: an extraordinary post from Chris Clarke about his connection to serial killer Stephen Peter Morin. His family chimes in meaningfully in the comments. Morin's execution is often pointed to as proof of the cruelty of lethal injection.
posted by Cassford at 10:50 AM PST - 20 comments

Get slick

How to wet shave
posted by iffley at 10:31 AM PST - 92 comments

Practice makes perfect

The babbling of baby birds "Hear a baby wren and the author"s own daughter babble as each learns its local dialect. Listen to the mockingbird by night and by day and count how many different songs he can sing. Marvel at the exquisite harmony in the duet of a wood thrush as he uses his two voice boxes to accompany himself." The Singing Life of Birds: The Art and Science of Listening to Birdsong, by Donald Kroodsma, with accompanying audio CD.
posted by troutfishing at 10:29 AM PST - 6 comments

There's a world going on, underground.

Detroit: city of auto manufacture, crime, Motown and... mining? Take this with a grain of salt, but beneath the city of Detroit Michigan, there is a vast underground mine.
posted by Capn at 10:18 AM PST - 13 comments

We owe our human condition here to the intervention of insects?

Behind the Dark Door [Google cached copy] might prove a valuable resource to science fiction aficionados, or interesting to fans of quality television drama. It provides insight into the mind of Nigel Kneale, writer of The Quatermass Experiment. Last Saturday's gripping and technically impressive update was based largely on his original scripts, and was the BBC's first live TV drama in more than twenty years. Another chance the pimp David Tennant, The Quatermass Experiment 2005 was much more satisfying than the BBC's other science fiction drama with which Tennant has been linked.
posted by nthdegx at 8:55 AM PST - 5 comments

Here we go again

Adobe announces new round of design applications. Inspring groans from designers everywhere who just got used to the CS apps, Adobe announced today CS2, 18 months after the last version. Included in the updates are Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator, Golive and a new component called Bridge. The only hitch in the planned obsolescence model is that all the applications will now require product activation, thereby inspiring crackers everywhere to get busy.
posted by jeremias at 8:10 AM PST - 55 comments

First extrasolar planet photo

Orbiting GQ Lupi: first confirmed images of extrasolar planet
posted by dfowler at 7:37 AM PST - 14 comments

Tsunami toll among women 3 times higher than men

The boxing day tsunami in Asia is said to have killed 3 times (3/4 of the way down the page) more women than men.
"Many of the losses are being tied to gender roles and styles--such as women's long hair, confining saris, extreme sense of modesty and selfless commitment to husbands and children--that hindered their ability to escape."
There have been reports of abuse (cache) and forced marriages in Refugee Camps as a consequence. Oxfam briefing note (.pdf) and summary.
via (previous tsunami threads)
posted by peacay at 6:35 AM PST - 14 comments

UTNE Independent Press Awards

The UTNE Magazine Indepenent Press Awards: The 16th annual roster of the best, liveliest, wisest, most provocative periodicals we’ve seen in the past year: General Excellence: Magazine ; General Excellence: Newsletter ; General Excellence: Zines ; Best New Title; Best Essays; Design; International Coverage; Arts & Literary Coverage; Cultural/Social Coverage; Local/Regional Coverage; Spiritual Coverage; Environmental Coverage; Personal Life Coverage; Political Coverage; Science/Technology Coverage; Online Political Coverage; Online Cultural" Coverage; The complete list of the nominees.
posted by fluffycreature at 5:25 AM PST - 4 comments

Go tell my baby sister never do like I have done...

There is a house in New Orleans... A recent archeological excavation in the French Quarter reveals that a hotel called the "Rising Sun" operating in the early 1800s may have been the ruin of many a poor girl. Clues include suggestive newspaper ads from the period and artifacts such as "a large number of liquor bottles... Alongside... an unusually dense collection of rouge pots". [more...]
posted by taz at 2:34 AM PST - 34 comments

Not Your Ordinary Knife.

Not Your Ordinary Knife. With the post about how nasty those sharp edges can be, I'l like to show you they can have beauty, too. (From here)
posted by Balisong at 12:11 AM PST - 31 comments

April 3

Knives the FBI doesn’t like

Knives (and their X-rays) the FBI doesn’t like (PDF, .htm here). Some plastic, some not; Some widely manufactured, others handmade. None of them seem likely to go the way of the "non-existent" all-plastic gun.
posted by hellbient at 8:02 PM PST - 55 comments

U.S. Army Female Attire

U.S. Army Uniforms for Females. While searching for late 50's and early 60's formal wear I came across this gem.
posted by snsranch at 8:01 PM PST - 21 comments

Our whole history is treason; our blood was attained before we were born -- Theodore Parker

"Hanoi Jane" Fonda: the traitor stands in worse case of woe. "… sitting on an enemy aircraft gun was a betrayal," she said.
Treason or higher loyalty: her country right or wrong? Each man must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, which course is patriotic and which isn't. You cannot shirk this and be a man. To decide against your conviction is to be an unqualified and excusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country, let men label you as they may. --Mark Twain
posted by orthogonality at 7:23 PM PST - 80 comments

DJ Format meets Dance Dance Revolution

DJ Format meets Dance Dance Revolution Director Keith Schofield turns out a blazing video for British DJ Format and his top notch crew of pasty Canadian rappers, turning their song "3 Feet Deep" into a high adrenaline arcade hi-score smashing rampage.
posted by w0mbat at 5:20 PM PST - 19 comments

The Making of the Twenty-First-Century Soldier (Part 1)

The Making of the Twenty-First-Century Soldier (Part 1) "In which a dope-smoking, valet-parking skateboarder living at home makes his way into the infantry, and into Iraq." By Colby Buzzell, author of the My War weblog we've discussed previously. The Army Times mentioned his blog in a recent article on weblogs by military personnel. Buzzell stopped posting personal accounts to the weblog after getting busted by the Army (Google caches are still available), but he's writing a book.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:36 PM PST - 15 comments

Manufactured Beachfront Paradises

The World Islands
A man-made island project from the folks that brought you the Palm Islands (mentioned in the blue here).
Think 250 to 300 small private artificial islands ranging in size from 250,000 to 900,000 square feet with the key cool factor of the islands being arranged into the shape of the world's continents. It is located four kilometres off the shore of Jumeirah, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (Also the subject of an FPP).
Starting at a mere $6.85 million, you can find your place in The World (QT video sales pitch and the WMV version), construction should be completed by the end of 2005. Thinking about relocating to Dubai? It is a cutting edge city with a strong economy, imagine Maine generating $57 billion a year from oil production primarily.
posted by fenriq at 1:03 PM PST - 39 comments

Blind student earns M.D.

Blind student earns M.D. A fascinating article about a guy who overcame innumerable obstacles, not the least of which was people's preconceived notions about what a visually impaired person is capable of. [via linkfilter.]
posted by bicyclingfool at 12:48 PM PST - 21 comments

Here There Be Monsters

Thomas L. Friedman, award winning NY Times columnist and author of The Lexus and the Olive Tree, Longitudes and Attitudes, and From Beirut to Jerusalem, will publish his fourth book, The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century, this week. An article adopted from the book, "It’s a Flat World After All", was printed in the NY Times Magazine today:

In 1492 Christopher Columbus set sail for India, going west. He had the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. He never did find India, but he called the people he met 'Indians' and came home and reported to his king and queen: 'The world is round.' I set off for India 512 years later. I knew just which direction I was going. I went east. I had Lufthansa business class, and I came home and reported only to my wife and only in a whisper: 'The world is flat.'
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 10:08 AM PST - 52 comments

Alexander the Corrector

The Man Who Unwrote the Bible. In the mid-1720s, Alexander Cruden took on a self-imposed task of Herculean proportions: he decided to compile the most thorough concordance of the King James Version of the Bible (777,746 words). The first edition of Cruden's Concordance was published in 1737. Every similar undertaking before or since has been the work of a vast team of people. Cruden worked alone in his lodgings, writing the whole thing out by hand. Cruden's day job was as a "Corrector of the Press" (proofreader). He would give hawk-eyed attention to prose all day long. Then he would come home at night to read the Bible—stopping at every single word to secure the right sheet from the tens of thousands of pieces of paper all around him and to record accurately the reference in its appropriate place. He had no patron, no publisher, no financial backers: his only commission was a divine one.
Cruden's Concordance has never been out of print. A new book tells the tale of Alexander the Corrector's bizarre, sad life (scroll down to about half page).
posted by matteo at 10:03 AM PST - 10 comments

Bare NESessities

I am 8 bit is a celebration of the pixelated graphics of 80s videogames, at LA's Gallery Nineteen Eighty Eight. A hundred artists have produced paintings, sculptures and designs inspired by the two-dimensional imagery of the pre-PlayStation era. The exhibition runs from April 19 until May 20. More information, including highlights from the gallery, appear at Game Informer. It remains to be seen if the other ninety-nine artists can match the quality of Sean Clarity's exceptional reworking of the cover to NES classic Excitebike.
posted by nthdegx at 8:54 AM PST - 17 comments

We're all living in Murakami's world.

The Murakami Method : hailed as the Japanese Andy Warhol, Takashi Murakami (previously discussed here) lives in his factory wherein he "makes art and sleeps." Murakami spans the artistic spectrum as both a proponent of Japanese otaku culture - the "geek" culture of manga and video games and the author of a PhD dissertation of Nihonga - a style of Japanese painting whose name literally translates to "Japanese painting." Further bridging the gap between "high and low culture," Murakami shows his work in museums and in the Louis Vuitton store in Tokyo.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:38 AM PST - 5 comments

All the News

Adam Steele was not a loved or lovable guy in his hometown of Bemidji, Minnesota. But is lovableness a requirement for journalists? Part 2 here.
posted by maryh at 6:01 AM PST - 16 comments

April 2

We're Going Where You're Going

Alternative Rapid Transit Looking for a funky way to get around town? Try Detroit's People Mover (warning, embedded earworm). For 50 cents you can travel 2.9 miles through 13 stops in 15 minutes, and see some fantastic art along the way. People movers and modified Personal Rapid Transit systems were built in various cities in the 1970s, such as Miami, Jacksonville, and at West Virginia University. The dream of true Personal Rapid Transit has not yet been achieved, and its viability and economic benefits are still up for debate, but the People Mover, at least, is still hanging on.
posted by livii at 9:02 PM PST - 32 comments


The invention of the Hindu : "Hinduism is largely a fiction, formulated in the 18th and 19th centuries out of a multiplicity of sub-continental religions, and enthusiastically endorsed by Indian modernisers."
posted by dhruva at 8:52 PM PST - 72 comments

What happens if the U.S. invades Iran in June and there is failure?

Interview with Scott Ritter on Iran June Invasion What do you think the world's reaction will be if the U.S. invades Iran in June and fails, inciting an invasion of Iraq with well-equipped and trained Iranian troops and equipment, retaliation from Iran with missile attacks against the oil fields in the mid-east and Israel as well as southern Europe and Turkey. How will life in this country change?
posted by mk1gti at 8:10 PM PST - 41 comments

Yes, you are biased.

Who do you unconciously hate? The Harvard University implicit bias tests allow you to discover your own implicit stereotypes: age, gender, religion, race -- even politics and presidents. Each test takes about ten minutes, and the results are sometimes surprising. Perhaps announcing your biases should this be the equivalent of the geek code for policy threads.
posted by blahblahblah at 7:49 PM PST - 66 comments

Which are the better hospitals?

Hospital Compare: which are the better hospitals in your area?
posted by daksya at 7:08 PM PST - 8 comments

Creepy? Yes! Criminal? Maybe.

Man who got others to strip convicted An Indianapolis man who posed as a disc jockey and tricked men into disrobing was convicted Wednesday of six felonies.
posted by kmtharakan at 5:27 PM PST - 59 comments

The Pentagon's Secret Stash

The Pentagon's Secret Stash. "...There can be narratives of things that are much worse, but if they aren't accompanied by photos, they somehow don't register....The Abu Ghraib photos are sort of the military equivalent of the Rodney King case....And I hate to attribute motives to people I don't know, but it is easy to imagine that the officials who are withholding these images have that fact in mind."
posted by gsb at 4:38 PM PST - 16 comments

Kali yuga or science fun?

Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again!
posted by koeselitz at 3:10 PM PST - 3 comments

Spooky Coincidence

Comics sure suck these days.....days.
posted by helvetica at 2:17 PM PST - 18 comments

Toilets of New Orleans

Toilets of New Orleans. An anthropological journey for the lost and weary.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 1:19 PM PST - 7 comments

The Pope is dead

Its official, Pope John Paul II has died at age 84 in Vatican City. "The Holy Father died this evening at 21.37 in his private apartment"
posted by SirOmega at 12:07 PM PST - 324 comments


I LOVE SHREDDED WHEAT: A collectible site for The shredded Wheat Company, niagara Falls, NY - and its predecessors and successors - [A collectors’ Site, with no connection to any corporation]
posted by mwhybark at 11:51 AM PST - 10 comments

Black day as EU fools with place names

The Scotsman's contribution to April Fool's yesterday was a satirical bit on Political Correctness: "European bureaucrats will push forward legislation today to force the Scottish Executive to change place-names that offend or discriminate on the grounds of race and gender. The commissioners in Brussels have demanded 'race and gender-sensitive' names found for towns such as Motherwell, Blackburn, Helensburgh, Fort William, Campbeltown, Peterhead, Lewis and Fraserburgh be changed."
posted by jenleigh at 9:52 AM PST - 16 comments

Halftime Show Of Slow

Simply The Best... Better than all the rest.
posted by AMWKE at 9:49 AM PST - 28 comments

ikeonic design

The 21 most significant influences on contemporary design? British magazine Icon makes a list with IKEA at #1 and blogs at #9. Readymades, Rei Kawakubo and Easyjet are also in there. Have at it.
posted by liam at 8:49 AM PST - 21 comments

'Why are things as they are and not otherwise?' -- Johannes Kepler

"Do not bind the mouths of the kine that treadeth out the grain." "Do not eat the seed corn." Ancient warnings ignored in Bush Administration science policy
posted by orthogonality at 8:03 AM PST - 23 comments

from whence they came?

there have been grass roots campaigns. there have been various petitions. some even tried reverse psychology to try and convince fox to renew arrested development for a third season. now, 15 episodes into the shortened 18-episode season, fox got around to starting its own "save a.d." website. is it too little too late?
posted by Silky Slim at 5:42 AM PST - 32 comments

Logo game

Play the logo game. If you have any doubts left about the ubiquity of advertising, this quiz should remove them. How many can you get, and in what categories?
posted by fixedgear at 4:53 AM PST - 28 comments

Only Wayne

Only Wayne. A racist bullying case study in wiki format.
posted by plep at 3:52 AM PST - 22 comments

April 1

R.I.P., Fred Korematsu

R.I.P. Fred Korematsu Fred Korematsu, who unsuccessfully fought Japanese American internment camps during World War II before finally winning in court nearly four decades later, has died. He was 86. Seattle Times...New York Times (reg. req'd)
posted by gleenyc at 8:09 PM PST - 26 comments


Mathematics Awareness Month - April 2005: Essays, DVD, Links. Prior MAMs.
posted by Gyan at 7:11 PM PST - 7 comments

Top of the Popes

112 Popes Saint Malachy's "Prophecy of the Popes" holds that we only get 112 Popes before everything goes all "revert to saved", and John Paul the Second is #110. Although it's now thought to be a Jesuitical forgery (circa 1600), given the speed with which Popes can switch, it might not be long before we find out.
posted by paul_smatatoes at 2:24 PM PST - 48 comments

Harmon mutes, F attachments, and afterburners

Air Force Wind Ensemble Music About 70 pieces are here, almost all in MP3, recorded by Air Force bands. If you played concert band or wind ensemble in high school, some of these will really take you back:
  • Lincolnshire Posey, Grainger
  • First Suite in Eb for Military Band, Holst
  • The Planets, Holst
  • George Washington Bridge, Schuman
There are links to other genres performed by the bands: Country, Dixieland, Jazz, March, Patriotic, Pop, and Winter Holidays. The list isn't exhaustive (no Thunderer?) but there are some gems that are not easy to find recordings of.
posted by kurumi at 2:21 PM PST - 15 comments

Your smile is the key to universal domination.

Comic book motivational posters. [via the website at the end of the universe]
posted by arto at 1:40 PM PST - 14 comments

mary evans picture library

The Mary Evans Picture Library 'is a family business, which started in 1964. Hilary and Mary Evans began collecting historical material, in the form of books, loose prints and ephemera, in the 1950s and through various media contacts they turned their hobby into a thriving business.' (free reg req) If you open just about any non-fiction book from the past 50 or so years, you are sure to see Mary Evans' name beside many unusual and important pictures. And for April Fool's. Its all rather extraordinary. (Note: This is my 1st FPP. Thanks guys!!)
posted by shipbreaker at 1:23 PM PST - 4 comments

This begs the question, when will it stop?

March To End "Beg The Question" Abuse! For too long this logical fallacy has been misused! Today we take the matter in to our own hands, and march on Washington to demand legislation to preserve the sanctity of language!
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 11:31 AM PST - 66 comments

he swims with the fishes

Blogger goes to a nyc chinatown fish market, buys a fish, and then sets the twenty pounder free. A photo essay. but the question is, will it live?
posted by tsarfan at 11:30 AM PST - 63 comments

Some of them can read

"Rats that survive to the age of four are the wisest and the most cynical beasts on earth. A trap means nothing to them, no matter how skillfully set. They just kick it around until it snaps; then they eat the bait. And they can detect poisoned bait a yard off. I believe some of them can read." Also, they're athletes
posted by Shanachie at 11:11 AM PST - 58 comments


The rights to Pokey the Penguin(archive)-the entire body of work, characters, likenesses, etc.- are for sale on eBay. Is this the end of an infrequently updated and incoherent era that spanned nearly seven years?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 10:48 AM PST - 21 comments

Sit down and stay put!

Ms. Wheelchair Wisconsin stripped of title for standing up. Candidates for the crown have to "mostly be seen in the public using their wheelchairs or scooters," said Judy Hoit, Ms. Wheelchair America's treasurer. "Otherwise you've got women who are in their wheelchairs all the time and they get offended if they see someone standing up. We can't have title holders out there walking when they're seen in the public." Reminds me of the joke of the kid who won the "Most Humble" award at his school, was given a badge, and then had it taken away from him when he put it on.
posted by billysumday at 10:15 AM PST - 25 comments

Bass Wolf dead at age 38

Farewell, jet generation. "This is never easy. Please excuse me if I start making no sense. Hideaki Sekiguchi, AKA Billy, has left this world this morning, due to a heart attack at the age of 38. Billy was a brother, one of the wolf pack. He rocked harder than anybody in the room...." --Seiji, Guitar Wolf. Fans from all over the world respond. Oh, Bass Wolf, you will be in my heart forever.
posted by jennanemone at 9:48 AM PST - 32 comments

Folklorist Alan Dundes dead at 70

Alan Dundes dies while teaching. The world-renowned folklorist, 70, tackled everything from religion to political jokes with an infectious enthusiam that endeared him to students, academics, and laymen alike. Dundes was often contacted by reporters looking for scholarly explanations of popular culture. His warmth and humor shined through in his speech to UC Berkeley's Class of 2002, characteristically full of wise words and wisecracks. Those wishing to share thoughts and memories of Prof. Dundes can do so at this forum.
posted by Aster at 9:17 AM PST - 14 comments

Amazing Mr. Bickford

The Amazing Mr. Bickford. Most Zappa fans know of Bruce Bickford for his claymation work in Baby Snakes and other Zappa movies. Recently a documentary was made of him and now he has his own web site which features a small sampling of his story board work. For some other claymation samples (not by Bruce Bickford), try here.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 9:16 AM PST - 10 comments

http colon slash slash

Strictly speaking, yourassgotserved.com should really be yourassisserving.com, but, well, you get the idea. (Flash, NSFW, preparing for my first deleted FPP)
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:14 AM PST - 15 comments

A tabla stack etch.

Ipso Floral is some Friday Flash Fun (SFW). Probably the most amazing, hypnotic, computer generated animation I've ever seen. It's the best thing since Electric Sheep.
posted by mosch at 8:45 AM PST - 28 comments

papal succession

Pope John Paul II has had a heart attack. Soon, the College of Cardinals will assemble to choose his successor. Even in death, however, this pontiff will exert extraordinary control over the process, having elevated an unprecedented number of clerics to this body.

The choice of Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino, archbishop of Havana, would continue John Paul II's legacy of opposition to communism and totalitarianism. Another frontrunner is the socially conservative Nigerian Cardinal Francis Arinze. Arinze would continue John Paul II's cultural legacy while recognizing the demographic reality of modern global Catholicism. Also mentioned as a frontrunner is Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras, a strong proponent of third world debt relief. Progressives would welcome the elevation of German Cardinal Walter Kasper, an advocate for religious tolerance and pluralism, or the moderate Italian Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, a frequent stand-in during the Holy Week ceremonies. Conservatives favor Columbian Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos. Hoyos shares the Pope's traditionalist vision of a church at odds with modernity. But the smart money, is on Dionigi Tettamanzi.
posted by felix betachat at 8:44 AM PST - 226 comments

A Swift Bickerstaff, sir!

Jonathan Swift and April Fool's. In March of 1708 Swift published a pamphlet (under the name Isaac Bickerstaff) predicting the death of a popular astrological charlatan (John Partridge) who had predicted the demise of the COE. On March 29th, Swift published an account of the fulfillment of the prophecy and of the man's death, convincing people, despite Partridge's protestations, that the man claiming to be Partridge was an imposter. The Bickerstaff-Partridge Papers.
Ben Franklin used a similar prank when he started Poor Richard's.
HP Lovecraft used the name Isaac Bikerstaff Jr., in 1914, when attacking "a quack named Hartmann, a devotee of the pseudo-science of Astrology."
posted by OmieWise at 8:37 AM PST - 7 comments

150m year-old termite eater

Who ate termites first?
Ancient rat-like, mammals.
posted by dfowler at 8:17 AM PST - 7 comments

"Hey, don't they know they can drive up?"

The Formosan Fat Tire Association allows us to see a side of Taiwan that often can't be seen from the roads.
posted by breezeway at 8:10 AM PST - 10 comments

Your great-great-grandmother didn't have to surrender her children. What happened?

The Underground History of American Education
You aren't compelled to loan your car to anyone who wants it, but you are compelled to surrender your school-age child to strangers who process children for a livelihood.... If I demanded you give up your television to an anonymous, itinerant repairman who needed work you'd think I was crazy; if I came with a policeman who forced you to pay that repairman even after he broke your set, you would be outraged. Why are you so docile when you give up your child to a government agent called a schoolteacher?
posted by anastasiav at 7:10 AM PST - 89 comments

Why this is art, Jimmy.

Is this important? Take a narrated pop tour through an exhibit of Bill Barminski's art. More Barminski. (via riley dog)
posted by madamjujujive at 6:43 AM PST - 4 comments

People played it with bottle tops

Pool checkers, an ancient game and staple of black culture, is dying.
posted by xowie at 6:40 AM PST - 4 comments

Economics and race.

Economics and Race: "Twenty-seven-year-old Harvard economist Roland Fryer grew up poor and black, in a family that was falling apart. His mother abandoned him. His father drank heavily and beat him. Fryer sold drugs and carried a gun. Then, at age 15, after he got pulled over by the police and then let go, he decided he wanted something different."
posted by yoga at 6:11 AM PST - 8 comments

Viva Buchanan!

WMU to Buchanan: Come to K-zoo, get dressed! Pat Buchanan gets hosed with Caesar dressing. Beautiful, beautiful video here.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 5:29 AM PST - 88 comments

Let's Make a McDonald's Run

McDonald's has apparently offered to pay rappers for promoting its food, specifically the Big Mac. The rap world has responded.
posted by monaco at 4:50 AM PST - 18 comments

Boing is boring?

BoringBoring a directory of dull things. [not via BoingBoing]
posted by dabitch at 3:12 AM PST - 38 comments

You can't top the Nano-Top.

Toshiba develops rechargeable battery that can charge in one minute. The battery can achieve 80 percent nominal charge 60 times faster than conventional Lithium Ion batteries, and only loses 1 percent of its life cycle every 1,000 charges. In comparison to any other type of battery in existence, that is amazing.
posted by Dean Keaton at 12:11 AM PST - 38 comments