April 2019 Archives

April 30

A bozo of a baboon

There is a scene where some chimp had just pulled off a brilliant Machiavellian maneuver, and the guy next to me turned and said, "Christ, that is what a baboon would be like if it had a shred of discipline or gratification-postponement."
posted by Cozybee at 11:53 PM PST - 25 comments

It took a couple days to wrap my head around just how amazing this was

Stuart Dahlquist never thought he would become friends with the new family who moved in next door to his Seattle home. Crow Family Thanks Man Who Helped Them With Tiny Gifts
posted by hippybear at 8:35 PM PST - 56 comments

And this little goat had a house of rocks

The Nubian ibex (Capra nubiana) is a desert-dwelling goat species (Wikipedia), famed for their ability to climb sheer rock faces from a young age (YouTube). They not only climb rock walls, they sometimes inhabit them (Imgur GIF, stick for the ending).
posted by filthy light thief at 6:32 PM PST - 17 comments

change it back

Tom & Jerry interpolated to 60fps
posted by A god with hooves, a god with horns at 6:21 PM PST - 64 comments

Sabika's Story

Sabika Sheikh, a Muslim exchange student from Pakistan with dreams of changing the world, struck up an unlikely friendship with an evangelical Christian girl. The two became inseparable—until the day a fellow student opened fire. (Skip Hollandsworth, Texas Monthly; audio version available) [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:16 PM PST - 32 comments

Going to School with Grandmother

Many small, rural schools in South Korea are in danger of closing due to low birth rate and rapid industrialization. One community had a novel idea: running out of children to enroll, Daegu Elementary school enrolls women such as Mrs. Hwang, aged 70, who never had the opportunity to attend school as a child. (slNYT) Non NYT Link (ABS-CBN News from the Philippines). Like many first graders on their first day, Ms. Hwang cried. But these were tears of joy. "I couldn't believe this was actually happening to me," she said. "Carrying a school bag has always been my dream."
posted by Gray Duck at 2:01 PM PST - 13 comments


Creative people at the intersection of punk, birding, and deep ecology. The founder of BirdPhilly is one among many who apply the DIY ethic to serious birding: “You could start a band, put out a fanzine, or teach yourself about birds with your friends."
posted by Miko at 1:27 PM PST - 18 comments

PrEP vs. Privacy

When you’re a young adult on your parents’ insurance, your health decisions are a family affair. And that’s a problem for HIV prevention. Although Salvador is 23 years old and lives halfway across the country, his parents back home in the Carolinas always know when he visits his doctor. He doesn’t even need to tell them: Their health insurance provider, which also covers his health care, does that for him. After each medical appointment, an explanation of benefits arrives at his parents’ place detailing every billable procedure, test, and prescription he received during the visit. So, whether Salvador likes it or not, his parents always have a sense of the state of his health. But Salvador is gay, and his parents don't know it. What happens when Salvador wants to go on PrEP to protect himself, knowing if he does, his parents will be the first to know? [more inside]
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 11:41 AM PST - 29 comments

"dark ruby red in color … and valued at $1 million"

On a rainy afternoon in September 2018, the FBI gathered national media in its Minnesota headquarters for an important announcement. Jill Sanborn, special agent in charge of the Minneapolis division, stood in front of a packed room and said, “We’re here today to share with you the recovery of one of the most significant and cherished pieces of movie memorabilia in American history: Dorothy’s ruby slippers from the 1939 movie ‘The Wizard of Oz.’ ”
The Case of the Stolen Ruby Slippers
posted by peeedro at 11:36 AM PST - 9 comments

“when the nuts were falling like manna from heaven,”

The American Chestnut Tree: A GMO Story [YouTube] “"The American chestnut, once a dominant species in eastern North American forests, was decimated in the first half of the 20th century by a fungal blight (Cryphonectria parasitica, also referred to as chestnut blight) and logging. Researchers at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry are developing a genetically engineered (GE) blight-resistant American chestnut (AC), and hope to win government approval for its unregulated release into the environment. If they are successful, the GE AC will be the first GE forest tree species planted specifically to spread freely through forests.” [via: NPR's On Point] [.PDF "Biotechnology For Forest Health? The Test Case Of The Genetically Engineered American Chestnut] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 10:22 AM PST - 21 comments

the revolution will be livestreamed

President of the National Assembly of Venezuela [Juan] Guaido calls for troops to support uprising against [President of Venezuela Nicholas ] Maduro
Venezuela opposition leader [ Juan Guaidó ] claims coup is under way - Guardian liveblog, see also CNN y El Nuevo Herald
Juan Guaidó and Leopoldo López appear together with military forces in Caracas [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:05 AM PST - 101 comments

I will do my absolute best to describe everything in a non-technical way

Electrical engineer Samson March made a smartwatch from scratch and illustrated it with a conversational walk through his process. (Be sure to click the "Load 27 more images" button to see the whole thing.). He posted about it on /r/diy.
posted by a snickering nuthatch at 8:43 AM PST - 18 comments

The Markup suffers editorial shakeup

The Markup is an attempt at bringing data-driven journalism to bear on Silicon Valley. Julia Angwin and Jeff Larson of ProPublica teamed up with Sue Gardner, the former executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation to start the site, and they secured $20 million in funding from Craig "Craigslist" Newmark. The site was intended to start publishing this year, but last week, Angwin was fired and five of the site's seven reporters resigned in protest. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 7:26 AM PST - 62 comments

The 2019 Sonic The Hedgehog film trailer has finally landed

and yeah it's a .. uhm.. trailer. Due for release in December 2019, the film features - as part of an ensemble cast - James Marsden, Jim Carrey, and Ben Schwartz as the voice of Sonic. [more inside]
posted by Faintdreams at 6:59 AM PST - 164 comments

The largest music streaming service in Africa

Boomplay is the largest music streaming service in Africa offering more than 5m tracks from mostly African artists. Don't know where to start? Check out some of their curated playlists such as Collabo-nations, Femme Hits, Monday Morning Blues and Party Vibes.
posted by mosessis at 5:43 AM PST - 8 comments

'Lost' book of exquisite scientific drawings rediscovered

'Decades of searching uncovered the brilliantly illustrated plants and detailed notes made by a U.S. woman living in Cuba in the 1800s.' writes Czerne Reid at National Geographic. We can now see A. K. Wollstonecraft's Specimens of the plants and fruits of the island of Cuba (1826?) on-line in full. Via reddit. [more inside]
posted by misteraitch at 5:40 AM PST - 9 comments

US Workers Are Highly Taxed If You Count Premiums

Universal Health Care Might Cost You Less Than You Think - "We don't think of the premiums we already pay as taxes, but maybe we should." (via; cf. "Only the Netherlands has a higher average compulsory payment wedge than the US." viz.)
posted by kliuless at 12:00 AM PST - 33 comments

April 29

“[I]t was very important to me to show that women are gross.”

Tuca and Bertie is a new Netflix show about two bird women in their thirties living in the big city! You might recognize its general vibe thanks to creator Lisa Hanawalt, just profiled in The New York Times by Amanda Hess.
Hanawalt is probably best known as the artist who makes Bojack Horseman look deceptively cute and fills it with puns, but she’s also a co-host of the Baby Geniuses podcast, the author of two comics collections (Hot Dog Taste Test and My Dirty Dumb Eyes, in which Tuca and Bertie first show up) and the graphic novel Coyote Doggirl, and a former member of the now-defunct Brooklyn-based Pizza Island art studio.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:46 PM PST - 17 comments

A field guide to cereal

Evan Lorenzen creates art. He creates tiny books, such as Big Changes, or Life's Lil Pleasures. He has other books, too. He also has paintings and miniatures. I like his tiny art. Maybe you will too.
posted by hippybear at 8:31 PM PST - 3 comments

Tom Ellis, Boston Anchorman, 1932-2019

Legendary Boston Anchorman Tom Ellis has died at the age of 86. He was a very familiar, constant face on local Boston television news, from the 1970's through the 2000's—a fast-shifting era in the history of TV journalism. [more inside]
posted by not_on_display at 7:38 PM PST - 9 comments

“Brooks, is this book about humping?”

David Brooks’s Conversion Story: In recent years, the conservative columnist has divorced, remarried, broken with Republicans over Trump, and explored Christianity. How deep was his transformation? (SLNewYorker By Benjamin Wallace-Wells)
posted by crazy with stars at 6:26 PM PST - 69 comments

The insulin pump hacking underground.

Obviously, you can’t just call up Medtronic to order a discontinued pump with a security flaw. The security issue doesn’t bother Boss, whose day job is in IT. There’s a tiny, theoretical risk that someone who knows his pump’s serial number and gets physically close can take over. But, he says, “if I drink coffee in the morning and forget to enter it into my phone, my blood sugar is going to be higher than normal.” The everyday risk of making such a mistake outweighs the remote risk of someone else hacking his pump.
posted by bitmage at 6:04 PM PST - 30 comments

Militarized cetaceans - Russian reconnaissance and more

Evidence suggests that the Russian Navy has been looking for new ways to leverage what amounts to the original underwater "drone"—militarized cetaceans. Norwegian fishermen discovered a friendly beluga whale in the Barents Sea off the northeast coast of Norway on April 25. Belugas are native to the Barents, so the whale's presence wasn't the surprise—the surprise was that it was fitted with a camera harness with Russian markings. (YouTube) Ars Technica coverage, with more stories of Russian and Soviet military use of whales and dolphins, and a reference to the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program.
posted by filthy light thief at 5:03 PM PST - 10 comments

Hail, Columbia!

When America Was Female: Uncle Sam's older, classier sister Columbia fell out of favor after women got the vote. Maybe it's time to bring her back. Columbia is the feminine historic personification of the United States of America, and was prevalent throughout America until the 1920s. The figure was recently portrayed by Laura Bell Bundy on American Gods. [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 4:52 PM PST - 43 comments

The Bob Emergency

In a brand new Chart Party Internet sports statistical bard Jon Bois discusses an unnoticed crisis in the world of sport: the decline of the number of people named Bob. (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:46 PM PST - 49 comments

A People's History of Shade

Shade is often understood as a luxury amenity, lending calm to courtyards and tree-lined boulevards, cooling and obscuring jewel boxes and glass cubes. But as deadly, hundred-degree heatwaves become commonplace, we have to learn to see shade as a civic resource that is shared by all.
Sam Bloch on the legal and social forces that keep Los Angeles' sidewalks treeless, bright, and hot. [more inside]
posted by Iridic at 12:14 PM PST - 42 comments

The Consultant Crisis

“We listened to their estimates,” said Quentin Kopp, who was chairman of the rail board in 2008 but has since become an ardent critic. “They were clearly wrong.” How California’s faltering high-speed rail project was ‘captured’ by costly consultants (LA Times) [more inside]
posted by The Whelk at 10:41 AM PST - 22 comments

“...the equivalent of 1,700 years of research data on Alzheimer’s.”

A Video Game Developed To Detect Alzheimer’s Disease Seems To Be Working [Kotaku] “Sea Hero Quest is a video game developed in partnership with Germany’s Deutsche Telekom, game studio Glitchers and several European universities and it is designed to identify individuals who might have early and mild symptoms of dementia that medical tests aren’t able to detect. [...] In Sea Hero Quest, which is a VR game, players have to navigate and control a virtual boat. They are given a map and shown checkpoints, then the map is taken away and players must navigate to these checkpoints in the game world without the map. According to researchers, every two minutes spent playing the game is equal to five hours of lab-based research.” [YouTube][Game Trailer] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 9:34 AM PST - 21 comments

A lot of people in that building were pretty fragile

The Stolen Kids of Sarah Lawrence What happened to the group of bright college students who fell under the sway of a classmate’s father? (Ezra Marcus and James D. Walsh for New York, includes descriptions of violence and abuse) [more inside]
posted by box at 9:24 AM PST - 49 comments

"And then she was gone"

Saige Earley was gone in stages. To her mother, Ellen, the 22-year-old grew increasingly detached within weeks of returning from the dentist with a fateful prescription for opioid painkillers. The young woman with long dark hair and a broad toothy smile was gone physically a few months later when she walked out on her young son and left Ellen wondering if her daughter was even alive. Then last September, Saige was gone for good, found dead of a heroin overdose in a toilet stall at Syracuse airport, clutching a plane ticket to drug rehab in California. (Chris McGreal, Guardian) [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:29 AM PST - 64 comments

Critical Intimacy: An Interview with Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak:

Steve Paulson interviews Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak When she first started working on a translation of Derrida’s treatise, Spivak was an unknown academic in her mid-20s — “this young Asian girl,” as she says, trying to navigate the strange world of American academe. Spivak was a most unlikely translator. She had no formal training in philosophy and was not a native English or French speaker, so it was an audacious — almost preposterous — project to translate such a complex work of high theory. She not only translated the book; she also wrote her own monograph-length preface that introduced Derrida to a new generation of literary scholars.
posted by gusottertrout at 7:47 AM PST - 9 comments

April 28

Australia's war on feral cats

Feral felines are driving the country’s native species to extinction. Now a massive culling is underway to preserve what’s left of the wild. [CW: painful animal death, hunting] [more inside]
posted by alloneword at 11:55 PM PST - 69 comments

Finding more than 419 National Parks

The death of a loved one carries with it a profound effect: For Mikah Meyer, his father's passing in 2005 inspired a three-year, 75,000-mile journey...
posted by dfm500 at 10:06 PM PST - 2 comments

Tongue Drum Music

An hypnotic loop of 8 year old playing the tongue drum endlessly.
Musician Tyrone Douglas plays 'Water drops'.
And there are instructional Youtube vids of how to build and make them.
posted by growabrain at 7:24 PM PST - 5 comments

Spoiler Alert!: It's about spoilers

"Why are the movies and TV shows we most worry will be spoiled for us always the most predictable ones?" [more inside]
posted by XtinaS at 3:10 PM PST - 214 comments

Ancient Skies, Ancient Trees, Diamond Nights

See the world’s oldest trees by starlight. "Beth Moon slept under ancient baobabs and waited out the clouds to photograph Earth’s arboreal beauty at night." Catherine Zuckerman (@CatherineZDC) writes about the photography of Beth Moon (previously) for National Geographic.
posted by homunculus at 1:30 PM PST - 6 comments

A Monument to Shirley Chisholm

The She Built NYC public arts program (part of the women.nyc initiative, and funded by the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs), launched in 2018 “to honor women who have shaped New York City while addressing the absence of female statues in our public spaces,” has chosenOur Destiny, Our Democracy,” the design from artists Amanda Williams and Olalekan Jeyifous, to honor trailblazing congresswoman Shirley "Unbought and Unbossed" Chisholm. [more inside]
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:22 PM PST - 8 comments

Before the internet grew up, there were pay-per-minute 1-900 numbers

In 1987, AT&T turned the premium rate telephone numbers (Wikipedia) in the 1-900 series into an interactive, proto-internet of sorts, when they allowed the content providers to get a cut of the pay-per-call and per-minute charges, leading to an overnight boom in businesses, from dating and personals and pyschics (2x archived directories), to messages from celebrities like The Coreys and Warrant, plus sports news and video game tips, and a range of oddities and mysteries (YT x5), only $2.00 for the first minute and $0.99 for every additional minute. In 1993, there were more than 10,000 900 numbers in operation. But then the FTC cracked down (FTC.gov) and the internet grew up. This is the rise and fall of the 1-900 numbers (Priceonomics). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 11:43 AM PST - 30 comments

The atmosphere in raisin town became tense.

“I don’t think you guys are understanding the supply and demand dynamics here,” the Sun-Maid chief thought. So, on October 22, he pulled Sun-Maid out of the Raisin Bargaining Association. The death threats started that month. [SLNYT]
posted by Horace Rumpole at 11:37 AM PST - 60 comments

Wikipedia's ongoing diversity problem

Wikipedia’s Refusal to Profile a Black Female Scientist Shows Its Diversity Problem You’ve probably never heard of Clarice Phelps. If you were curious, you might enter her name into Google. And, if you had done so anytime between September of last year and February of this year, you would likely have found her Wikipedia entry. The nuclear scientist is thought to be the first black woman to help discover a chemical element; she was part of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory team that purified the radioactive sample of berkelium-249 from which the new element, tennessine, was created. But on Feb. 11, in the middle of Black History Month and on the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, Phelps’ page was deleted. The optics, as they say, weren’t good. [more inside]
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 11:37 AM PST - 109 comments

Sunday Listening: Easy & Affirming Edition

Jerry Garcia takes the Hampton Coliseum on a 25-minute cruise through the clouds in this gorgeous cover of The Manhattan's Shining Star. (SLYT)
posted by stinkfoot at 10:39 AM PST - 13 comments

Power to the tiddies

Anatomically correct diagram of muscle on chest wall takes internet by storm. Internet is simultaneously awed and, disappointingly but unsurprisingly, disgusted. Other good reflections below the fold. [more inside]
posted by stillmoving at 10:34 AM PST - 29 comments

Lunachicks on the “girl-band” quota

Members of the band Lunachicks, formed in NYC in 1987, speak out about the sexism they encountered during their 1990s heyday. Venues, music publications, radio stations, and record labels would pit them against other all-women or mostly-women bands of the era like L7, Hole, and Babes In Toyland.
posted by larrybob at 8:26 AM PST - 5 comments

A civilization that sacrifices ancient peoples and cultures is an amoral

European and North American Companies Support Soy, Cattle, and Timber Companies Responsible for Recent Surge in Amazon Deforestation. Full report (pdf).
Members of more than 300 indigenous groups marched for land rights and protested against the right-wing government of Jair Bolsonaro. As on the same day the Supreme Court rejected an injunction challenging as unconstitutional a Bolsonaro administration provisional measure that transferred the authority over the demarcation of indigenous lands to the Ministry of Agriculture. [more inside]
posted by adamvasco at 8:01 AM PST - 7 comments

That's strange, sir. I don't have any recollection of that at all.

Everywhere at the End of Time is an "upsetting" and "almost irrationally ambitious" six-part album by The Caretaker AKA Leyland Kirby, musically interpreting the progressive dementia of that character from The Shining. The full album on YouTube, Bandcamp. From the Fluid Radio review of volume 6: "For The Caretaker, the end is inevitable. Permanent. The ballroom glows. Submerged, decomposing melodies grow in volume." (CW: mental health) [more inside]
posted by heatvision at 5:26 AM PST - 7 comments

Controlling the tanks is kinda cumbersome, but they are tanks, after all

“When playing our game, for the first 5-10 minutes many players don’t understand that it is not fictional. They message us saying: ‘You have cool texture, you have good graphics, your designer is good, well done. You have a cool operating system.’ People then reply: ‘It is not an operating system, it is real,’ and the player can’t believe it is real.” Chernobyl comes back to life in Ukrainian computer game, Isotopium: Chernobyl.
posted by Evilspork at 5:15 AM PST - 18 comments

April 27

Would I be whining if I said I needed a hug?

For many, it's her second album. (It's really her fourth.) Featuring a cover which lines out the Eight Precepts Of Buddhism, Alanis Morrisette's 1998 album Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie proceeds to break all of them across it's phenomenal 71 minute length, and it does so with still surprising wit and charm and transparency of soul. Side A: Front Row, Baba, Thank U [video], Are You Still Mad [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 11:23 PM PST - 22 comments

But Really, Don't We ALL Need a Tattle Phone?

A preschool teacher installs a "tattle phone" for kids to tattle into, instead of coming to her. A parent who works for This American Life records it (with permission of everyone involved). Transcript
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:22 PM PST - 50 comments


1,550 years ago, someone ate a rattlesnake whole—and we have poo to prove it [Ars Technica] “Sometime around 450 CE in the Chihuahuan Desert, one brave soul ate a whole rattlesnake raw. If you think that takes guts, imagine passing an 11mm (0.43 inch) fang afterward. The desiccated coprolite—archaeologists’ term for ancient poop—contained the scales and bones of the snake along with remnants of a small rodent and an assortment of edible desert plants. It’s a great example of how coprolites can give archaeologist a direct (sometimes unnervingly direct) look at what ancient people ate.”
posted by Fizz at 2:16 PM PST - 46 comments

Killing Patient Zero

A new documentary, Killing Patient Zero, sheds more light on the erroneous demonization of Gaëtan Dugas: "Based on Richard A. McKay’s landmark book, Patient Zero and the Making of the AIDS Epidemic (2017), the film features 38 interviews with friends and colleagues of Dugas and [Randy] Shilts, as well as doctors, scientists and gay men and women who lived through the epidemic, notably the sardonic Fran Lebowitz. They include [William] Darrow, who laments how his study was skewed, and Michael Denneny, Shilts’ editor and publisher, who takes the blame for igniting the Patient Zero hysteria with a shameless publicity ploy to sell And the Band Played On." Killing Patient Zero: Official Trailer. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:21 PM PST - 9 comments

A Minimal Gmail

Michael Leggett, a former lead designer for Gmail and the creator of Inbox has made a Chrome extension that strips out the bells and whistles from Gmail's recent redesign: simple.fyi/gmail
Mark Wilson has a little puff piece about the project in Fast Company: "The former lead designer of Gmail just fixed Gmail on his own"
posted by Going To Maine at 10:39 AM PST - 61 comments

Bowing out

Here is Yehudi Menuhin playing Bruch Violin concerto no 1, 1961. SLYT
posted by growabrain at 10:20 AM PST - 7 comments

Pettson and Findus

When Findus was Little and Disappeared - one of the animated shorts based on Sven Nordqvist's series of storybooks about an old man and his cat and their life in the country. The animated series was a joint German and Swedish production, and later appeared in many other languages. [more inside]
posted by Wolfdog at 5:56 AM PST - 5 comments

Carpet Bag / Backpack

The metrics of backpacks. A bay area native's account of the outsider's precarious view from the inside of the tech industry.
posted by grubby at 4:42 AM PST - 46 comments

April 26

Orbital's The Box

Not a long album post, but can we just take a minute to bask in the utter glory of developing and shifting soundscapes that is the full 28m30s version of Orbital's 1996 track The Box? It's a thing unto itself.
posted by hippybear at 11:19 PM PST - 35 comments

“I was gonna keep going... But you blew it for me."

First, there was the sedated bear that was not named Ron, because "No one would name a bear Ron. I’m done here. No more silly questions." Then, there was the professional juggler to teach kids how to juggle knives and fire. Does the anti-vax community really want to host these fairs? (The previous sentence constructed with a healthy dose of Betteridge.)
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 4:52 PM PST - 53 comments

"Chronic inflammation is uniformly damaging and is absolutely causal"

In 2017, two cardiologists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, who suspected such a link, published the results of a human clinical trial that will forever change the way people think about inflammation. The trial, which involved more than 10,000 patients in 39 countries, was primarily designed to determine whether an anti-inflammatory drug, by itself, could lower rates of cardiovascular disease in a large population, without simultaneously lowering levels of cholesterol, as statin drugs do. The answer was yes. (Jonathan Shaw, Harvard Magazine) [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:51 PM PST - 57 comments

Masters of the art of hyperbole

Rich guys are most likely to have no idea what they’re talking about, study suggests [more inside]
posted by peeedro at 12:08 PM PST - 60 comments

The point of this game is *not* to up the body count...

Autonomous cars and the trolley problem: We've talked about self-driving cars and the trolley problem before, but now there are adorable interactive graphics of people being squashed by a moving vehicle.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:47 AM PST - 104 comments

The End Of The Neoliberal Experiment?

"Like coal, capitalism has brought many benefits. But, like coal, it now causes more harm than good."(The Guardian) "First, as the recent American experience with hyper-capitalism has demonstrated, there are several functions that the public sector actually does more efficiently and more equitably than the private sector." (American Prospect)"....we must also invest in selective growth in certain sectors, from renewable energy to organic farming, as well as low-carbon, socially necessary activities such as education and the caring professions. This will involve reversing the neoliberal capitalist dogma that has imposed austerity for decades (In These Times). Jamie Dimon runs JP Morgan Chase, a bank with $2 Trillion in assets. Representative Katie Porter asked him to create a livable budget for a single mom working at his bank. He couldn’t do it. (Twitter) Why American CEOs are worried about capitalism: Fearing a backlash against business if a Democrat wins the White House, some chief executives are pushing for pre-emptive reforms (FT)
posted by The Whelk at 10:45 AM PST - 51 comments

#RedCupProject | More Protection for Active Transportation

In cities around the world today, cyclists and transportation advocates are placing cups along the paint lines of unprotected bike lanes. This was a bit of flash activism spurred by the death last week of DC cycling activist Dave Salovesh. Check the FPP downstream to see why active transportation is making more vocal demands for specialized infrastructure.
posted by SoundInhabitant at 10:42 AM PST - 36 comments

AI, Indigenous Epistemologies and the Circle of Relationships

Making Kin with the Machines. Last year, MIT Media Lab's Journal of Design and Science (JoDS) had an essay competition for pieces responding to Media Lab director Joichi Ito's essay Resisting Reduction: A Manifesto. The essays "explore machine intelligence in light of diverse ecosystems in nature and its relationship to humanity." This piece, which brings Indigenous epistemologies to bear on the AI question, was one of the winners. [Via] [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 10:30 AM PST - 7 comments

'Builds up a hand of steam like no other'

SteamWorld Quest: Letting Off Some Steam [Gamespot] “It's easy to be immediately charmed by SteamWorld Quest's colorful fantasy world and the band of merry heroes you'll journey across it with. Their plight is simple and straightforward, making its adventure of confronting evil and its tightening grip on the kingdom around you palatable without feeling overbearing. Underneath this whimsical veneer, however, is a daunting strategy game, one which uses its clever take on turn-based card combat to create a wickedly complex system of decision-making opportunities. But it's also one that is designed intelligently enough to make each part easy to learn and engage with. With regard to gameplay, SteamWorld Quest bears no resemblance to the rest of the games in the series. This is first and foremost a turn-based strategy game, with a light sprinkling of role-playing thrown into the mix...” [YouTube][Game Trailer] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 9:39 AM PST - 11 comments

I didn't want to be the only straight person on the team

Metafilter's Own Alison Wilgus on coming out late
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:46 AM PST - 46 comments

UFO sightings by the US Navy

How angry pilots got the Navy to stop dismissing UFO sightings “It’s very mysterious, and they still seem to exceed our aircraft in speed,” [former deputy assistant secretary of defense for intelligence and staffer on the Senate Intelligence Committee] said, calling it a “truly radical technology.” [more inside]
posted by last_fall at 8:43 AM PST - 104 comments

Scoot The Future

Last year, people took 84 million trips on shared micromobility (ie bike and scooter share) in the United States, more than double the number of trips taken in 2017. This infographic-heavy report from the National Association of City Transportation Officials shows where and how these rapid increases are happening - including the stunning fact that almost all of that increase came from scooter share programs, which didn't even exist the year before. How are our cities grappling with this trend? And could it ultimately reshape the design of our streets?
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:23 AM PST - 48 comments

Did a vigilante ROM leaker go too far to “preserve” a lost Atari ROM?

[W]hat started as a rare-game reveal has turned into a credible "heist" tale, perpetrated by an alleged MAME vigilante, no less. Betteridge's Law may still apply, but someone appears to have gone rogue to release the first-ever ROM image of the ultra-rare Akka Arrh ("Also Known As Another Ralston Hally") arcade game, of which only two or three exist.
posted by Etrigan at 7:27 AM PST - 74 comments

Overwatch Workshop

Blizzard recently announced a new feature in Overwatch - the Workshop. This allows anyone on PC or console (currently only on the Public Test Region) to create new game modes using the existing maps and art, which can be debugged and then shared using a short code. [more inside]
posted by Stark at 4:51 AM PST - 13 comments

Greenland's annual ice mass loss has increased sixfold since the 1980s

Greenland Is Falling Apart - "Since 1972, the giant island's ice sheet has lost 11 quadrillion pounds of water." (cf. Forty-six years of Greenland Ice Sheet mass balance from 1972 to 2018; viz. chasing ice) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 12:12 AM PST - 21 comments

April 25

I´m not made for such complexity.

It'd be a pity not to recognize what's at stake..... ....Deadwood The Movie, Full Trailer.
posted by lalochezia at 7:56 PM PST - 51 comments

Mother and Daughter

Some comics by Julia Wertz for The New Yorker about her relationship with her mother:
2017: “Conversations With Ma” (September 21)
2018: “Harry Potter and the Internet” (January 4), “Cheez Wizz And Tree Climbing” (February 27), “Life Advice”, “Health Advice”, “Dietary Advice” (November 22)
2019: “Modern Germ Theory”, “Alternative Uses” (January 2), “My Mother’s Daughter” (February 27), “Spring Cleaning” (March 18), “A True Story About Reading Pet Sematary as a Ten-Year Old” (April 2), “Making Wreaths and Having Kids” (April 25) [more inside]
posted by Going To Maine at 6:40 PM PST - 12 comments

all wrapped in cellophane, the feelings that we had

Yesterday, FKA twigs released the gorgeous video for Cellophane, her first single since 2016. [Epilepsy/migraine trigger warning for flashing lights] Twigs says "when I wrote cellophane over a year ago a visual narrative came to me immediately, I knew I had to learn how to pole-dance to bring it to life, and so that’s what I did." [more inside]
posted by yasaman at 4:46 PM PST - 9 comments

"Green Balloons is every version of myself that I've been so far" -Tank

New Orleans' Tank and the Bangas (previously) are back to NPR with a first listen of their sophmore album, Green Balloons. NPR's summary is that this is "music without boundary on instruments ranging from sax, flute, cello, vocal scratches, keyboards, synths, real drums, fake drums, a djembe and, of course, the poetry, philosophy, comedy and voice that is Tarriona "Tank" Ball," who called the new album the older sister to the prior album, Think Tank (YouTube playlist; official links to other platforms).
posted by filthy light thief at 2:03 PM PST - 7 comments

We All Scream

How did ice cream get so expensive? Economy, regular, premium, super-premium -- Faux-European sophistication vs. cheerful American stoners -- "These ice creams have pornographic amounts of butterfat"-- What is a batch, anyway? -- "collect the ice cream as it snakes out of the spigot like cold, bloated toothpaste being squeezed out of a tube" -- "Ice cream should get better if you scale up" -- Who's afraid of stabilizers? -- Air, ice, and crystals -- But is it un-American? -- Nostalgia.
posted by Hypatia at 1:57 PM PST - 111 comments

The question we came to dread

Why, when people learn we have one child, do they ask whether we’re thinking about another? The Question throws you, every time. It is meant well, sometimes, of course. But in my experience, it is nearly always thoughtless. (CW: miscarriage, pregnancy loss) [more inside]
posted by stillmoving at 1:36 PM PST - 46 comments

It was a total accident

“I’ve had them killed by alligators and snakes but never by a bird like that. I know ostriches and emus have their moments, but cassowaries are an extremely, extremely dangerous bird. You don’t want to fool around with them. They have no sense of humor.” A Giant Bird Killed Its Owner. Now It Could Be Yours. [NYT]
posted by Mchelly at 12:37 PM PST - 37 comments

Funny or Not Funny

How "Liberal" Late-Night Talk Shows Became A Comedy Sinkhole This derangement presumably stems from a refusal to face the America that propelled Trump to the White House. For all they hate him, they yearn, as he does, for a “lost” country that younger generations view with skepticism. “No one wants to confront the fact that they grew up in a time that was pretty sexist and racist because then they’d have to stop being nostalgic for everything,” this writer says. “See: Aaron Sorkin.”
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:55 AM PST - 151 comments

Keys to Lovely Piano Music

5 Minutes That Will Make You Love the Piano. The NY Times asked their favorite artists and writers for 5 minute piano pieces that exemplify the joys of piano.
posted by storybored at 8:57 AM PST - 22 comments

When rivers were trails

R Oregon Trail series computer game of the 1980s and ’90s had narratives from the point of view of settlers traveling from Independence, Missouri to Oregon, it neglected the stories of the very people who lived on those lands. Enter a new game: When Rivers Were Trails, a Native-themed decision-based RPG created with the help of the Indian Land Tenure Foundation and Michigan State University’s Games for Entertainment and Learning Lab and financial support from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. In the game, an Anishinaabeg player in the 1890s is displaced from Fond du Lac in Minnesota due to the impact of land allotments. They make their way to the Northwest and eventually venture into California.You can download and play it now. [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura at 8:52 AM PST - 4 comments

What the Scientists Who Photographed the Black Hole Like to Read

"We had decided that at each telescope we would play a song of our choosing for the final minutes." Rebekah Frumkin talks to Team Black Hole about life, the universe, and everything.
posted by princessmonster at 7:40 AM PST - 5 comments

I still go by the frogs...

Solving maple syrup's sticky situation: knowing when the season ends
posted by jacquilynne at 6:47 AM PST - 20 comments

How Instagram and YouTube disrupted child labor laws

'“I don’t care if it’s simply unboxing presents, that’s work,” said Sheila James Kuehl, a former child star and co-author of the 1999 law that overhauled California’s labor protections for child performers. “It is not play if you’re making money off it.”' [Note: some mentions of child abuse in the article.]
posted by Catseye at 6:28 AM PST - 46 comments

“...it’s about creating human habitats amidst climate chaos.”

Lichenia: A city building game for the Anthropocene. [Release Notes] “Lichenia is a new web-based game from game designer Molleindustria (Paolo Pedercini) that’s about “reshaping the natural and built environment, reclaiming dead cities, and growing sustainable ones.” It takes a few minutes to get going, but what else would you expect? Resurrecting a poisoned world is hard. Presented in an isometric perspective (and playable online for free), Lichenia tasks its player with placing some strange tiles on a polluted and ruined landscape. We don’t know what these tiles do. [...] Playing Lichenia is all about trial and error, but that’s because Pedercini wanted there to be an unclear relationship between what you were doing and the effects you had on the world.” [via: Waypoint]
posted by Fizz at 6:03 AM PST - 14 comments

April 24

Hi Simon, I'm Theo. You're my best friend.

Simon would wait all day for the cat in the window. Then one day, Simon asked the cat his name, and a beautiful love story began. Now, Simon and Theo will have their first date on Thursday, April 25th.
posted by gladly at 7:24 PM PST - 30 comments

Very Thin Ice

To celebrate the 10 year anniversary of Autotune the News, Schmoyoho a.k.a Andrew Gregory has traveled back in time to finish his duet with Katie Couric about Climate Change. [more inside]
posted by vibratory manner of working at 2:20 PM PST - 22 comments

The Mercury 13, the First Lady Astronaut Trainees

Before Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova (Space.com) became the first woman in space (previously), 25 women were privately tested with the same rigorous criteria as the original Mercury Seven (Wikipedia), and thirteen candidates were identified for further evaluation (The Ninety-Nines), before NASA forbid the testing from continuing. They didn't stop fighting for the right to be considered beside the male candidates, but it wouldn't be until 1983 that Astronaut Sally Ride became the first American woman in space. Last year, Netflix released a Mercury 13 documentary (YT, trailer), and they received mroe attention recently with the passing of Jerrie Cobb, an aviation pioneer and advocate for women in space (Ars Technica). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:53 PM PST - 13 comments

Less moon, more scapes

The Sudbury Effect: Lessons from a regreened city (CBC Ideas) discusses ongoing attempts to undo the damage from over a century of mining and smelting activity in and around Sudbury, Ontario. A combination of extensive scientific study, government regulation, citizen activism, and some eventual, begrudging industry cooperation would result in long-term remediation efforts that have transformed Sudbury's once-notorious "moonscape" and recognized as a success story around the world. Watch 32 years of Sudbury re-greening from space with Google Timelapse. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:26 PM PST - 11 comments

What Has Irony Done for us Lately?

I believe—like religion—that the glimmer, the metaphor, if you will, knows a great deal more than I do. And if I stay out of its way, it will reveal itself to me. (A 2019 Pushcart Prize winner) [more inside]
posted by mecran01 at 1:05 PM PST - 12 comments

Why bother with nearly three months of effort to collect this data?

I found two identical packs of Skittles, among 468 packs with a total of 27,740 Skittles [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 12:20 PM PST - 54 comments

"then surely the song would be your best friend"

Why Do People With Depression Like Listening To Sad Music? (British Psychological Society): A new study in the journal Emotion (abstract) reports people diagnosed with major depressive disorder don't listen to sad music to maintain their negative feelings, but rather that they find sad music relaxing, calming or soothing. The research replicated a 2015 study that found people with depression had a far greater preference than controls for sad, low-energy music. However, when they heard these clips again, they reported that they made them feel more happiness and less sadness. [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 11:58 AM PST - 61 comments

A Internet Argument Ender about local tax rates

A Internet Argument Ender about local tax rates [via mefi projects] (in Ontario).
posted by sardonyx at 11:55 AM PST - 29 comments

"Look at yourself and a hand and a shelf in the wind…"

The country soon-to-be-classic "You Can't Take My Door" is part of the upcoming album The Songularity, by Botnik Studios (previously). To write the lyrics, we are remixing all the best text we can find: Scottish folk ballads, Amazon reviews, Carrie Underwood, The Elements Of Style and more. Our predictive text computer program suggests lyrics in the style of these influences. We set the results to original music. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:46 AM PST - 13 comments

Enjoy your spot in antiquity! Say hi to westerns for me!

Romantic comedy is the only genre committed to letting relatively ordinary people — no capes, no spaceships, no infinite sequels — figure out how to deal meaningfully with another human being. Rom-Coms Were Corny and Retrograde. Why Do I Miss Them so Much? [SLNYT]
posted by Mchelly at 11:24 AM PST - 50 comments

Moon mode is not what it seems

Have Huawei developed an AI that cleverly enhances your pictures of the moon? Or is it just adding artefactual moon-things to your shaky blurry snap cos it wants you to be happy? A user, Wang Yue, puts it to the test at Zhihu (Chinese language article), and Huawei respond to questions at Android Authority. [more inside]
posted by Joeruckus at 10:48 AM PST - 37 comments

Treatment was noninferior to "it's just a phase"

Medical visits for suicide-related issues among adolescents has doubled from 2007 to 2015, and is now over a million annual visits in the US. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among American youths age 10 to 18 years and attempted suicide is the strongest predictor of subsequent death by suicide (journal article). What can be done? [more inside]
posted by zenon at 9:57 AM PST - 32 comments

Myopia - ugh.

The Impact of Myopia and High Myopia. (PDF) A WHO report. "The prevalence of myopia and high myopia are increasing globally at an alarming rate, with significant increases in the risks for vision impairment from pathologic conditions associated with high myopia, including retinal damage, cataract and glaucoma. The impact of myopia is difficult to determine, because there are no standard definitions of myopia and high myopia, and recognition that myopia can lead to vision impairment is limited by the absence of a defined category of myopic retinal disease that causes permanent vision impairment. A further impediment to progress in this area is insufficient evidence of the efficacy of various methods for controlling myopia."
posted by storybored at 8:46 AM PST - 46 comments

“But perhaps it is we who need to defrag.”

LonelyStreams Shows You What Happens In Twitch Streams With Zero Viewers “But Twitch isn’t just star gamers; it’s pirate streams, bizarre Tim and Eric-style broadcasts, and average Joes just streaming their Overwatch matches. [...] All that anyone really needs to stream on Twitch is a computer and one of the various capture programs, like OBS or Fraps. If there are really thousands of unviewed streams hiding in the tall grass, it stands to reason that for the dozens of Fortnite players streaming, there’s plenty of weird shit in there too. And LonelyStreams gives me the perfect sieve to find them.” [via: Kotaku]
At any given point in time there are about 3000 livestreams on twitch alone with 0 viewers. Most of the creators are making great efforts of setting everything up and making sure their stream runs properly. It's a shame that nobody is watching. So feel free to browse around and appreciate their hard work.
[more inside]
posted by Fizz at 5:20 AM PST - 35 comments

Soviet Mosaics and More

Monumental Almaty is a project to document, research, and preserve works of monumental art in Almaty, Kazakhstan. [more inside]
posted by frimble at 1:03 AM PST - 9 comments

April 23

Life Gave Me Fifteen Lemons

"I got fifteen lemons in the mail from a California friend with a lemon tree. This is what I did with them." An illustrated essay by MeFi's Own jessamyn (further story background on mefi projects). Includes secret messages, ideas for a lemon menagerie, and a variety of foods/meals. Also features community, and friends near and far. 🍋
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 9:49 PM PST - 52 comments

The Black Feminists Who Saw the Alt-Right Threat Coming

Before Gamergate, before the 2016 election, they launched a campaign against Twitter trolls masquerading as women of color. If only more people had paid attention. In 2014 Shafiqah Hudson noticed an odd hashtag purporting to be from black feminists arguing against father's day. But the language these accounts were using read to her as a parody of AAVE, and some of the photos were of people she knew didn't use twitter. This led her and I’Nasah Crockett down a racist rabbit hole that led to 4-chan, right before gamergate. [more inside]
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 7:59 PM PST - 54 comments


Post-human creatures interact via immersive social network. [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:05 PM PST - 15 comments

Monkey business

Two gorillas have been photographed posing for a relaxed selfie with the rangers who rescued them as babies... Because they've grown up with the rangers who rescued them, they are imitating the humans and standing on two legs is their way of "learning to be human beings".
posted by growabrain at 4:53 PM PST - 30 comments

Generational Theory, As Exemplified by The Avengers (MCU)

"Steve also comes out of the ice as a 27 year old. In 2012. Steve’s also an emotional Millennial, with similar experience of economic collapse & attack and disaster." Author CZ Edwards provides a deep dive into generational theory (and callouts of its bullshit) through insightful character analysis supported with plenty of historical details.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 4:21 PM PST - 33 comments

Close To Home: A Conversation About Beyoncé's 'Lemonade'

We asked Professor Regina Bradley and writer dream hampton to share their dialogue about the visual album with us, to show the many directions Lemonade is sending people, knowing the two of them don't come to the art or the artist from the same place, knowing they require different things if they're to feel represented, knowing that feeling is a major factor in what's happening right now culturally, but it's not the only thing.
Close To Home: A Conversation About Beyoncé's 'Lemonade'
posted by hippybear at 3:02 PM PST - 9 comments

Hillside Letters in the Western Landscape

In the western part of the United States, whole communities succumb to the urge to display their school or community pride by stamping their initial on the sides of mountains. Some are painted on stone, some are overlaid with painted concrete or rocks, and some are created by strategically clear-cutting dense vegetation. [more inside]
posted by zinon at 2:41 PM PST - 43 comments

American Mexican Food

The United States of Mexican Food is a project by Eater and Gustavo Arellano about the wonderful varieties of Mexican food in the US that are uniquely American.
Welcome to the United States of Mexican Food: The canonical dishes of regional Mexican-American food, from ACP to hot tamales, plotted from California to Georgia [more inside]
posted by vacapinta at 11:58 AM PST - 50 comments

"It was then that I realized the true power of the yodel."

Back in the early 1990s, Wylie Gustafson was the go-to yodeler for quirky TV ads, when the fad was yodeling and surf music. A little start-up that was first known as Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web (Wikipedia) and became the biggest internet index site (1996 site capture on Archive.org) wanted to get in on the action, and Wylie was hired for the Ya-HOOO-ooo! Yodel (YT), in what was supposed to be a regional commercial, for a one-time payment of $590.38. Then Gustafson heard his yodel on a superbowl ad (YT) and realized it wasn't just a one-off regional commercial clip he provided. So requested an appropriate payment for his ubiquitous yodel, but after he was offered another $590, he became the yodeler who sued Yahoo! (The Hustle). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 11:49 AM PST - 20 comments

“Did he just call us g--d--- communists?”

“There are definitely days when I wake up now and I am, like, I am not equipped to do this,” Innamorato said later. “But I’ll figure it out. It’s a system. There are rules. It’s imperfect because it’s run by human beings, and I’ll figure it out.” These Women Were Elected As Democratic Socialists, Now They’re Trying To Figure Out What That Means (Washington Post)
posted by The Whelk at 11:00 AM PST - 19 comments

Baby T rex goes on sale on eBay, sparking paleontologists' outcry

YOUNG (BABY) T-REX TYRANNOSAURUS DINOSAUR FOSSIL US: $2,950,000.00, Free Expedited Shipping: Most Likely the Only BABY T-Rex in the World! It has a 15 FOOT long Body and a 21" SKULL with Serrated Teeth! This Rex was very a very dangerous meat eater. It's a RARE opportunity indeed to ever see a baby REX... [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 9:43 AM PST - 32 comments

Perhaps the fabella will soon be known as the appendix of the skeleton.

Textbooks will tell you that the human body contains 206 bones. But sometimes, there are 208. The fabella, a small bone in a tendon behind the knee, was lost over the course of early human evolution, but these days it’s becoming more common, according to a study published this week (April 17) in the Journal of Anatomy.
posted by Etrigan at 9:38 AM PST - 13 comments

Snot’s dripping. I’m honestly looking for a small dark place.

The main difficulty lies in the fact that the body, which is smarter than the mind, does not want to consume these peppers. Giri Nathan writes on tasting the Carolina Reaper pepper (clocking in at 1,560,000 Scoville heat units) at the NYC Hot Sauce Expo.
posted by Cash4Lead at 8:32 AM PST - 63 comments

"a chill of arctic iciness down the spines of the many people"

The Anarchists Who Took the Commuter Train, Amanda Kolson Hurley writes about the Stelton colony, founded 1914, near New Brunswick, New Jersey. An anarchist intentional community, the Stelton colony centered around the Ferrer Center and Modern School. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:40 AM PST - 6 comments

A normal failure

How the Boeing 737 Max Disaster Looks to a Software Developer (Gregory Travis, IEEE Spectrum)

Boeing produced a dynamically unstable airframe, the 737 Max. That is big strike No. 1. Boeing then tried to mask the 737’s dynamic instability with a software system. Big strike No. 2. Finally, the software relied on systems known for their propensity to fail (angle-of-attack indicators) and did not appear to include even rudimentary provisions to cross-check the outputs of the angle-of-attack sensor against other sensors, or even the other angle-of-attack sensor. Big strike No. 3. None of the above should have passed muster.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:45 AM PST - 165 comments

Do you really want to know?

My Search for a Boyhood Friend Led to a Dark Discovery A surfeit of ugly knowledge is a feature of our age. But when information is everywhere, some things are better left buried.
posted by bongo_x at 3:16 AM PST - 82 comments

April 22

The Top Ten Numbers Between One and Ten

On September 22, 1989, minutes before going onstage, David Letterman had second thoughts about the Top Ten List planned for that evening's show. In "about two minutes," Late Night head writer Steve O'Donnell improvised a new one and dictated it directly to the show's chyron operator. The result was possibly the most surreal bit ever aired on this very surreal show. (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by How the runs scored at 8:04 PM PST - 79 comments

Robert Caro’s Blind Spot

Why does the exhaustive biographer overlook Lyndon Johnson’s virulent misogyny? Remarkably, Caro neglects to mention how LBJ repeatedly invaded the physical boundaries of his female employees by groping them. This curious omission by America’s preeminent biographer, whose work is otherwise so thorough and sensitive, points to the depth of the problem that the #MeToo movement is trying to redress—that the sexual violence endured by generations of working women has long been nearly completely buried.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 7:31 PM PST - 27 comments


“I made a PC out of pasta and it WORKED!” [YouTube] “Steve Jobs, Dennis Ritchie, Bill Gates—all are visionaries that have shaped modern computing technology. With that in mind, YouTuber Laplanet Arts decided to take computing somewhere that it’s never been before—inside of a lasagna. Micah Laplante, whose YouTube channel Laplanet Arts has 315 subscribers, mostly uploads product reviews and image-retouching tutorials. But after his wife made an off-handed joke about a PC made of pasta, he decided that he could actually make that ridiculous idea a reality.” [via: Motherboard]
posted by Fizz at 3:15 PM PST - 33 comments

Civilizations Lost in Deep Time

“Wait a second,” he said. “How do you know we’re the only time there’s been a civilization on our own planet?” [...] There are fossils, of course. But the fraction of life that gets fossilized is always minuscule and varies a lot depending on time and habitat. It would be easy, therefore, to miss an industrial civilization that only lasted 100,000 years—which would be 500 times longer than our industrial civilization has made it so far. [more inside]
posted by ragtag at 2:06 PM PST - 100 comments

It was the best of timelines, it was the worst of timelines

Josh Futturman is Future Man. A janitor by day/world-ranked gamer by night is tasked with preventing the extinction of humanity after mysterious visitors from the future proclaim him the key to defeating the imminent super-race invasion. [more inside]
posted by No Robots at 2:04 PM PST - 20 comments

“The Earth is in need of a good lawyer.”

Polly Higgins, lawyer who fought for recognition of 'ecocide', dies aged 50. Campaigner and barrister attempted to create a law to criminalise ecological damage. "Polly Higgins, one of the most inspiring figures in the green movement, has died aged 50. Higgins, a British barrister, led a decade-long campaign for 'ecocide' to be recognised as a crime against humanity. She sold her house and gave up a high-paying job so she could dedicate herself to attempting to create a law that would make corporate executives and government ministers criminally liable for the damage they do to ecosystems..." Higgins died yesterday of cancer. [Via] [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 1:25 PM PST - 30 comments

The Crack Monster: the mystery of Sesame Street's creepy lost short

[Jon] Armond was haunted by the video for decades. He mentioned it to other Gen X’ers who’d been brought up watching Sesame Street but no one else seemed to remember it. Did the the video even exist, or was his memory just playing tricks on him? Finally, after decades of looking, in the earlier days of the internet, he found Jennifer Bourne, a cartoonist who also grew up fearing the crack monster. She began poking around on Muppet-themed message boards and Snopes, and, little by little, an odd congregation of people started to form online, a virtual support group for people who were terrorized by the clip. Slate link includes a text article, video of the short, and audio with more details from PRI's Studio 360. [more inside]
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:50 PM PST - 87 comments

In the pines, where the sun don't shine

It's known by many names: In the Pines, Black Girl, Where Dd You Sleep Last Night. Studio 360's producer, Lauren Hansen tells the story of how In the Pines originated from the English murder ballad tradition and has been interpreted over the years through Appalachian bluegrass, 40's blues, 70's country, in grunge via Kurt Cobain's Unplugged and reinterpreted today through the lens of Black Lives Matter. [more inside]
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 12:24 PM PST - 11 comments

The Stolen Child (a tale told in tales)

The Stolen Child (a tale told in tales) [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by Caduceus at 11:45 AM PST - 1 comment

20 Years Later

Why Do We Get Columbine So Wrong? And how should the media cover acts of mass violence? (Ask A Mortician) , 13:48 cw: discussion of suicide, mass shootings.
posted by The Whelk at 10:25 AM PST - 14 comments

The worlds of sand, salt and pepper are far from monotone

When most people hear "sand," they think of fine grains of white to tan, but the word "sand" is actually used for a "particle size" rather than for a "material." Sand is a loose, granular material with particles that range in size between 1/16 millimeter and 2 millimeters in diameter. And that's where the similarities end, and the diversity begins. Sand isn't a boring material if you know what you are looking at! (Geology.com - sand grains from around the world) Hawai'i alone has at least , black, green and whitish sand, while Business Insider lists pink, red, orange, violet, black, grey and white sands found around the world. But if you're storing bottles of sand at home, don't confuse them with your different colored salts (Wide Open Eats) and peppercorns (Food Republic).
posted by filthy light thief at 9:45 AM PST - 25 comments


Evan Dahm published the thousandth page of his fantasy comic Vattu yesterday. Set in the same variegated world as Rice Boy and Order of Tales, Vattu is about a girl from a nomadic culture and her reckoning with an empire: how, and whether, she can live within it, escape it, fight it, reform it, or survive it. [more inside]
posted by Iridic at 8:13 AM PST - 6 comments

What's The Matter With Kansas, Tech And Education Edition

With school budgets stripped thanks to mismanagement at the state level and test scores dropping, Kansas schools saw an online education system by Summit Learning as a potential way forward, allowing students to learn at their own pace while not needing as much support as traditional models. But soon after implementing the Summit system - developed by Facebook engineers and backed with Facebook money - problems with both the system and the education it was providing cropped up, and soon lead to a grassroots revolt against the system, with students and parents rejecting Summit. (SLNew York Times)
posted by NoxAeternum at 7:56 AM PST - 51 comments

“I was reviewing a novel. Then I found myself in it.”

Who Owns a Story? is an essay by Katy Waldman in The New Yorker about the experience of reviewing a book, Trinity by Louisa Hall, and finding that an essay she wrote about her anorexia and family [previously] has been mined by the author.
posted by Kattullus at 12:09 AM PST - 34 comments

April 21

The Hotshots of Helltown

The November 2018 Camp Fire in northern California destroyed the town of Paradise and would have consumed the nearby, ironically named Helltown except for a few brave homeowners who went to heroic lenghts to protect a one mile stretch of road as the fire crept in from all sides. This is the story of the hotshots of Helltown.
posted by vrakatar at 6:07 PM PST - 12 comments

“We are creatures that should not exist.”

True Detective Pikachu [YouTube] “Take the upcoming Ryan Reynolds lightning rat vehicle Detective Pikachu, fill it with a lot of grisly murders and HBO=friendly monologues about time being a flat something or other, knock it out in five minutes, and reap the likes in peace.”[via: A.V. Club] [Official Trailer]
posted by Fizz at 3:01 PM PST - 4 comments

Parochialism in Western philosophy & engaging with non-Western thought

Led willingly by Fate: Peter Adamson considers how to combat parochialism in philosophy. "Philosophy has a problem. It is an academic field that is strikingly non-diverse, at a time when universities and their students are increasingly concerned with diversity..." This is an excellent and engaging essay by Peter Adamson (@HistPhilosophy, previously) on the need to engage with non-Western philosophy and thought. [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 11:55 AM PST - 30 comments

Felt cute might arrest you later

Tweets that joke about arrests and “free housing” in jail won’t make communities trust law enforcement more. “Please help! My name is 10 Pounds of Weed. I am lost and looking for my owner. I was sent to the wrong address yesterday in Columbus and now the police have me locked up in the evidence room. Please get me out of here soon, you will need your ID. Thanks a bunch,” reads a tweet last year from the Columbus, Indiana, Police Department. Hilarious … There’s nothing funny about being arrested, which could lead to jail, legal fees, or time away from work and family, all for possessing a substance that’s legal in 10 states. [more inside]
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 10:51 AM PST - 42 comments

I Can't Make a Better Title than "Pharaoh-noid"

Tom Saw Ya is a Christian parody of "Tom Sawyer" written and performed by Rush. Want more biblically rewritten rockers? No One Likes YouGod's ZealotHit Me With Your SlingshotBroke A Loaf of BreadPharaoh-noid – well, honestly, there's really quite an awful lot more if you're inclined; these guys have been working tirelessly for a long time.
posted by Wolfdog at 10:36 AM PST - 14 comments

A win-win for pie crusts and purses

The Best Butter for Baking Is Also the Cheapest
posted by bq at 10:34 AM PST - 45 comments

Rejoice! He is r̶i̶s̶e̶n̶ not dead yet!

The vet told my dad on the phone (??) that his dog had to be put down and he’d come to his house and do it. My dad dug the dog’s grave AND LET THE DOG WATCH. Then the vet came and checked the dog and said it was a false alarm. Oops! Dog’s fine! Everything about this is insane. Twitter | Threadreader
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:27 AM PST - 11 comments

How 'Bout That Jive

Let's listen to Ernestine "Tiny" Davis and the integrated, all women's band the International Sweethearts of Rhythm tear it up with a body-positive love song from 1947, How 'Bout That Jive. [more inside]
posted by jedicus at 7:27 AM PST - 8 comments

Pysankas, or, Ukainian Easter Eggs

They have a history. And, with the right tools and patience, they can be made at home. (TLDR version) Happy Easter.
posted by BWA at 7:25 AM PST - 15 comments

April 20

"Where would we be without the words of Japanese women?"

Works by Japanese Women is a 12 part series by Kris Kosaka for The Japan Times on Japanese female authors, starting with an introduction. The articles all focus on writers who've been translated into English. The contemprary authors are Hiromi Ito, Mieko Kawakami, Yuko Tsushima, Kaori Ekuni, Takako Arai, Nahoko Uehashi and Yoko Tawada. Earlier writers featured in the series are late 19th Century short story writer Ichiyo Higuchi, feminist playwright and novelist Fumiko Enchi and the series ended with an encouragement to read the thousand year old works of Sei Shonagon and Murasaki Shikibu. The series also included a profile of the pioneering feminist magazine Seito.
posted by Kattullus at 3:08 PM PST - 9 comments


"It can be taken quite seriously and even has its own set of official rules, drawn up over 30 years ago by the ... (WEJA). The world championships are held annually every Easter Sunday and the coveted title is competitively fought over by contestants of all ages. Apparently there are certain breeds of hen which lay harder egg shells and competitors have been known to feed their hens calcium-rich foods in the run up to the competition." Jarping is a North Eastern (uk) egg-cracking tournament. Here's another summary from the Guardian. And here is the finals of the World Egg Jarping Championship from Peterlee in 2013 (SLYT)
posted by glasseyes at 2:54 PM PST - 13 comments

Secrecy, Self-Dealing, and Greed at the N.R.A.

The NRA is millions of dollars in debt, but seems to have deeper troubles. Most of their money is spent on high salaries and high living for NRA insiders, much of it funneled through a public relations firm, Ackerman McQueen, which kicks back much of the money those same insiders. It's similar to the executive pay scandals at the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the Red Cross, but carried to a whole new level. Previously, there were thoughts and prayers for them here.
posted by Bee'sWing at 12:40 PM PST - 57 comments

Star Trek episode, Dave Eggers book, or Mountain Goats song?

Test your Trekkie / literary / indie rock cred with this quiz: Star Trek episode, Dave Eggers book, or Mountain Goats song? As its MeFite creator duffell wrote, "there's no real joke except that all three of these things tend to have delightfully overwrought titles." [via mefi projects]
posted by filthy light thief at 12:19 PM PST - 34 comments

Fixing Up Waco

Chip and Joanna Gaines, stars of the hit TV show Fixer Upper are not the only people investing in the physical and spiritual "restoration" of Waco, Texas. In a long article for Buzzfeed, Anne Helen Petersen investigates who is being included and who is being left out of efforts by members of the Gains's Antioch Baptist Church to transform Waco. [more inside]
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:59 AM PST - 29 comments

“Now you are playing with power! PORTABLE POWER!”

The Game Boy Turns 30 [The Verge] “On April 21st, 1989, Nintendo unleashed the Game Boy on the world, forever changing video games. The unassuming gray brick may not have been a technical powerhouse, but it helped take the idea of portable gaming mainstream, paving the way for the world of mobile gaming and hybrid devices like the Switch.” [YouTube][Original Gameboy Commercials] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 10:44 AM PST - 22 comments


“Make it work, then make it beautiful, then if you really, really have to, make it fast. 90% of the time, if you make it beautiful, it will already be fast. So really, just make it beautiful!” Joe Armstrong, inventor of the influential (and beautiful) Erlang programming language, has died. [more inside]
posted by swift at 9:29 AM PST - 26 comments

Ask And Listen

“What set worker’s inquiry apart from these other empirical studies was the belief that the working class itself knew more about capitalist exploitation than anyone else. It is the “workers in town and country,” Marx thought, who “alone can describe with full knowledge the misfortunes from which they suffer.” The Worker’s Inquiry (Viewpoint) “No one wants to talk, but everyone’s got something to say. I can feel it, a shared heaviness sitting on all of us, invisibly filling the room like a gas leak. But no one really knows how to articulate it or what to do with it.“ Can The Working Class Speak? Maximilian Alvarez on what talking to other workers, and his own father, taught him - Working People episode with his father (Sequel) - “I always thought it was just going to be the younger people, but no, it’s a lot of people my age or older, and it’s sad. ” excerpts from Alvarez’s interviews with working people. The Working People Podcast
posted by The Whelk at 9:21 AM PST - 1 comment

How Dungeons & Dragons somehow became more popular than ever

Yes, D&D is back. But it’s cool now (sort of). And legions are into it, including an unprecedented number of adult and female players, attracted by a popular recent revamp and new online playing options. It’s the ultimate sign that nerd culture is now mainstream. The game’s popularity has waxed and waned over its 45-year history. But in 2018, its developers, Wizards of the Coast, sold more units than ever before.
posted by octothorpe at 7:52 AM PST - 56 comments

"They says it’s a phase, but a phase becomes a life"

Toad, a 20-year-old Danish woman living in Copenhagen, has been lonely her whole life. She is autistic, and as a child, did not have any friends. When she moved from the country to the city, not much changed. “They says it’s a phase, but a phase becomes a life,” she says, surrounded by six other young adults in a cozy apartment in Copenhagen—all of whom are working on becoming less lonely. Toad is among the attendees of Ventilen, or “friend to one” in Danish, a 20-year-old organization set up to bring 15-to-25-year-olds together twice a week with two or three volunteers. Together, the people in the group play games, make meals, go to the cinema, and build the human connections that many feel they lack. (Jenny Anderson, Quartz)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:43 AM PST - 6 comments

Looks good enough to eat... but don't.

German LEGO fan Beryll Roehl has a fascination with a period in LEGO's history when the company sought to improve the quality of their bricks. These rare fifty-year-old-plus bricks come in some fascinating colors and textures. LEGO fan site The Brothers Brick has an interview with the artist here.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 6:39 AM PST - 4 comments

"Super Mario Bros. 64"

After seven years of work, a reasonably accurate port of Super Mario Bros. has been made for the Commodore 64. YouTube.
posted by JHarris at 2:35 AM PST - 30 comments

April 19

Daikon on Instagram

I didn't know that there are so many kinds of daikon
posted by growabrain at 10:30 PM PST - 12 comments

What is best for your kids is what works for you

"Many of the benefits cited do have some basis in evidence, just not always especially good evidence. And even when the evidence is good, the benefits are smaller than many people realize." An economist looks at the statistical evidence for three hot-button "best practices" in baby-rearing.
posted by drlith at 6:35 PM PST - 33 comments

The World We Live In and The World We Dream Of

In 2010, singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell released a folk opera concept album called Hadestown, based on live performances by Mitchell, her collaborator Michael Chorney, and a 22-person cast. Nine years later, after an off-Broadway production at the New York Theatre Workshop in 2016 and revised productions in Edmonton, Canada and London, England, Hadestown opened on Broadway on March 17 of this year. It was developed for the stage and directed by Rachel Chavkin, best known for directing the musical Natasha, Pierre, & The Great Comet of 1812. The NYTW production was also recorded, and released under the title Hadestown: The Myth. The Musical. [more inside]
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 11:50 AM PST - 25 comments

that which man had made to hunt himself

an entire pack of Boston Dynamics robot dogs [more inside]
posted by numaner at 10:00 AM PST - 96 comments


Respect Is Coming
Respect World.
posted by hippybear at 9:40 AM PST - 19 comments

Lip Liners: Writers on the Power of Red Lipstick

"I have worn lipstick since long before he was born; every day, for many years. I can’t remember, though, when habit became ritual. I feel as though if I could, if I could pin down the moment that commenced a daily ceremony, I might demarcate between girl and woman with clear, metaphoric ease. But when and how do you become a woman? It is a long, raw process that doesn’t seem to end." That's Jessica Friedmann, one of a dozen writers included in this round-up from Longreads: When Lips Speak for Themselves: A Reading List on Red Lipstick. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:38 AM PST - 43 comments

"Derry tonight. Absolute madness"

Northern Irish journalist Lyra McKee killed by gunfire amid clashes between police and dissident republican forces in Derry. Northern Irish police believe the New IRA are responsible for the killing and have opened a murder investigation. McKee had been a rising journalistic star: She had been named one of Forbes Europe's 30 under 30 in media in 2016 and had a two-book deal with Faber. Her writing focused on, among other things, her own memories of growing up gay in Belfast (which became a short film), the surge in suicide rates in Northern Ireland in the years following the Good Friday Agreement, efforts by families of those killed during the Troubles to find answers, and the still-fragile power-sharing agreement between unionist and republican factions in Northern Ireland. McKee was 29 years old. [more inside]
posted by Cash4Lead at 7:38 AM PST - 59 comments

A Brief History Of Cooties

A Brief History of Cooties, courtesy of the Smithsonian Why a 100-year-old game is still spreading across our playgrounds. (Reading this article reminded me I actually had this game when I was a kid. How odd.)
posted by gudrun at 7:34 AM PST - 31 comments

it wasn’t really sci-fi because it was beautifully written

Why are authors still sniffy about sci-fi? Ian McEwan’s latest novel, Machines Like Me, is a fiction about science – specifically, artificial intelligence. It is set in an alternative reality where Alan Turing does not kill himself but invents the internet instead; where JFK is never assassinated and Margaret Thatcher’s premiership ends with the beginning of the Falklands war. The near future of the real world becomes the present of the novel, giving McEwan the space to explore prescient what-ifs: what if a robot could think like a human, or human intelligence could not tell the difference between itself and AI? Machines Like Me is not, however, science fiction, at least according to its author. “There could be an opening of a mental space for novelists to explore this future,” McEwan said in a recent interview, “not in terms of travelling at 10 times the speed of light in anti-gravity boots, but in actually looking at the human dilemmas.” There is, as many readers noticed, a whiff of genre snobbery here, with McEwan drawing an impermeable boundary between literary fiction and science fiction, and placing himself firmly on the respectable side of the line.
posted by octothorpe at 7:22 AM PST - 140 comments

“Hotline Miami redone as a side-scrolling action-puzzle-platformer,”

A Cyberpunk Ninja Game Where You Manipulate Time [Kotaku] “Katana Zero, a 2D action-platformer out today for Switch and PC, revolves around a time-manipulation idea that cleverly envelops both the story and the way you play. You play as a bathrobe-clothed samurai in a grimly pessimistic future city, a contract killer dependent on a drug dispensed by a sympathetic-seeming psychiatrist. The drug gives you the power to see forwards and backwards in time, letting you rewind after every death and slow down time to deflect bullets, but also prompts distressing hallucinations.” [YouTube][Game Trailer] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 5:03 AM PST - 11 comments

The appropriate place for regulation is where there is market failure

A Regulatory Framework for the Internet - "There are, in Internet parlance, three types of 'free'... Facebook and YouTube offer 'free as in speech' in conjunction with 'free as in beer': content can be created and proliferated without any responsibility, including cost. Might it be better if content that society deemed problematic were still 'free as in speech', but also 'free as in puppy' — that is, with costs to the supplier that aligned with the costs to society?" [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 1:01 AM PST - 51 comments

April 18

They Got Magic and Flair

Critical Role, a 4 year old web series airing 7pm PDT Thursday nights in which a bunch of nerdy ass voice actors play Dungeons and Dragons, launched a Kickstarter on March 4th to fund an animated special. [more inside]
posted by booksherpa at 11:59 PM PST - 49 comments

Tell me about a complicated man

Pour One Out For Ulysses S. Grant, Adam Gopnik inThe New Yorker:
Though he [Ron Chernow] does the usual justice to the military saga of the Civil War, and Grant’s decisive part in it, his book aims to rehabilitate Grant as a politician and as President. He makes a convincing case that Grant actually behaved nobly, even heroically, while in the White House. He pressed the cause of black equality under the law, and was consistently on the right side of Reconstruction-era issues—winning more heartfelt praise from Frederick Douglass than Lincoln ever did.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:18 PM PST - 33 comments

"This is stressing me out!"

If you've ever tried a recipe and wondered why it wasn't as easy as the video made it seem, you may appreciate the Behind Tasty series on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by Lexica at 8:36 PM PST - 10 comments

In Kākāpō breeding season news…

Kākāpō (previously on MetaFilter) are having a record breeding season: more than 76 chicks have hatched from 49 out of the 50 breeding females. Since there are only 147 adult Kākāpō on the planet (so few that Wikipedia lists every one of them by name) this is a very big deal. And in breaking Kākāpō news, Solstice just laid another 3 eggs last night - her third nest this year!
posted by simonw at 8:03 PM PST - 21 comments

Why I Take All My First Dates to Olive Garden

When I meet women on dating apps, I always want to know if I can take them to the Olive Garden, my treat. It’s a solid opener; a way to know if we’re compatible. If they’re the right kind of woman for me, they’ll respond with an enthusiastic yes.

The right kind of woman for me is someone who won’t give me a hard time about the things I like. The kind of woman who will let me pocket all the leftover breadsticks and doesn’t care if we only discuss our favorite sexual positions and what kind of appetizers look best off the limited-time-only menu. We’re at Olive Garden because it’s kitschy and cute. Nothing that happens needs to be a serious thing. It’s no big deal.
[more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:59 PM PST - 130 comments

What is a lot of money?

Last week, James Holzhauer absolutely crushed the single-day winnings record for Jeopardy! [more inside]
posted by allkindsoftime at 3:06 PM PST - 63 comments

The Secret City and the Return of Heroes

On November 30, 2012, the MMORPG City of Heroes shut down after a three-month sunset period; its owner, NCSoft, refused to sell the IP to someone else to continue the game, or even keep legacy servers up. Rumors of sale of the IP since then haven't come to anything, and there's been some work on reverse-engineering of the servers with various projects. However, all such efforts were rocked recently at the revelation that the game was only mostly dead--a private server running a bootleg copy of the server code has been in operation for six years. [more inside]
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:01 PM PST - 28 comments

A glimpse into the OTHER side of a true renaissance man; Greg Popovich

Michelin restaurants and fabulous wines: Inside the secret team dinners that have built the Spurs' dynasty [more inside]
posted by indianbadger1 at 11:51 AM PST - 35 comments

Like a black cat sitting on top of her paws

A Perfectly Normal Interview with Carmen Maria Machado Where Everything Is Fine
The connection between narratives of vampires and narratives of women—especially queer women—are almost laughably obvious. Even without Carmilla, they would be linked. The hunger for blood, the presence of monthly blood, the influence and effects of the moon, the moon as a feminine celestial body, the moon as a source of madness, the mad woman, the mad lesbian—it goes on and on. It is somewhat surprising to me that we have ever imagined male vampires at all.
posted by chappell, ambrose at 11:39 AM PST - 26 comments

The Latin Typo That Gave Us the Temple of Ridicule; One Letter Matters

In the 1800s, French abbot-scholar Pierre Danet wrote a "complete dictionary of the Greek and Roman antiquities" that served as the basis for multiple dictionaries in European languages (Wikipedia). It included an entry on Aedicula Ridiculi (Google books; UMich text version), or a Little Temple of Ridicule, raised to the God of Joy and Laughter after the Romans laughed at the failure of Hannibal to lay siege to Rome. The building definitely exists (Google Streetview panorama), except it isn't a Temple of Ridicule. It's probably the tomb of Annia Regilla (Wikipedia), built nearly 400 years after Hannibal's invasion of Italy (Your Guide to Italy). The Latin Typo That Gave Us the Temple of Ridicule (Atlas Obscura)
posted by filthy light thief at 11:30 AM PST - 9 comments

The Radical Egalitarian Politics Of Weird Al’s "UHF"

There are days when I doubt that socialism will win. There are days when I think that running a print magazine on a shoestring budget with a group of oddballs is a doomed endeavor, that we will inevitably be crushed by the forces of rapacious capitalism. But then I think about UHF and I become more certain than ever that it can be done. Channel 8 will be driven off the air, and U-62 will emerge triumphant. Nathan J. Robinson (previously here, here, here, here, and here) of Current Affairs explains why 1989 cult classic UHF shows how collective enterprises succeed and why socialism produces superior culture. [more inside]
posted by duffell at 11:07 AM PST - 72 comments

Teen vandals' sentence: to read and write about literature

"The community blew up. Understandably. But you know, some of the kids didn't even know what a swastika meant. So I saw a learning opportunity. With children you can either punish or you can rehabilitate and these were kids with no prior record and I thought back to what taught me when I was their age, what opened my eyes to other cultures and religions… and it was reading." Two years later, prosecutor Alejandra Rueda reflects on the "reading disposition" she assigned to teens who painted racist and anti-Semitic graffiti on the Ashburn Colored School, a historically significant building in Virginia (now undergoing restoration and turned into a museum). The linked BBC article includes excerpts from a final essay by one of the teens. [more inside]
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:27 AM PST - 23 comments

Mapping Gothic France

Mapping Gothic France is a treasure trove of images of various types of Gothic structures (mostly churches) in France and England. There are other features, too. Narratives and historical tracking and comparison tools. It's a deeply textured website with a bit of an opaque interface. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 9:18 AM PST - 4 comments

hanging on by a thread

"O.K. Well, my name’s Vivian Zwick, and I’m 101 years old. And I came to this issue quite a long time ago." Did you know about abortion? "No, I’d heard about it, but I really didn’t know much about it. I didn’t start really working for it until about the early ‘60s, just the time that Governor Rockefeller in New York signed the bill to have abortion available to everybody — not in Missouri, but in New York State. So we were just delighted that there was actually a place where you could get an abortion here in America." As a growing number of states are introducing, moving, or enacting 6-week abortion bans, the NY Times Daily Podcast visits the Last Clinic in Missouri (transcript) and explores the Illinois option. [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura at 6:46 AM PST - 12 comments

(Less Than, Approximately, Greater Than)

Why does Roman Mars' voice make some car stereos lock up and restart? In order to find out, Reply All creates the best lineup of podcasts in the business.
Less Than, Approximately, Greater Than, a cooking show with Samin Nosrat || 88% Parentheticals, hosted by Sara Koenig (it's about her mail (and her day)) || Carrot Space Carrot, a trek into the universe of carrots || 100% Related?, where Judge Goldman Sr. promulgates paternity pedantry || Blank + Blank = FUN, a very frank investigation into relationships with Kalila Holt
[more inside]
posted by rebent at 5:55 AM PST - 69 comments

April 17

Major report finds NZ's environment is in serious trouble

'Decades of denial': major report finds New Zealand's environment is in serious trouble (Eleanor Ainge Roy, Guardian)
A report on the state of New Zealand’s environment has painted a bleak picture of catastrophic biodiversity loss, polluted waterways and the destructive rise of the dairy industry and urban sprawl.
[more inside]
posted by Start with Dessert at 9:58 PM PST - 13 comments

The █████████ Mueller Report

Attorney General William Barr to hold press conference Thursday as Mueller report expected to drop (CNN) Your guide to Mueller's report on Trump: What's in it, what's not and what comes next (NBC); Marcy Wheeler’s primer How to Read the Mueller Report (“The first step is to know what is supposed to be in there and what isn't supposed to be in there -- something a lot of people get wrong.”); Justice Dept. to release two versions of redacted Mueller report (CNN); 25 Subplots to Watch in the Mueller Investigation (Politico); Memo to the Press: How Not to Screw Up on the Mueller Report (Lawfare); Maxing It Out for Trump Josh Marshall (TPM) on how the fix is in. This is the US politics megathread. [more inside]
posted by zachlipton at 9:26 PM PST - 1931 comments

Now, Tracey, let's not rehash the coroner's report.

Heathers, the classic dark comedy, has turned 30.

AV Club: Heathers' director, writer, and star reflect on its legacy after 30 years
AV Club: How the Heathers team crafted the definitive teen satire
New Yorker: “Heathers” Blew Up the High-School Comedy
Variety: Why Winona Ryder’s Agent Begged Her Not to Do the Subversive Teen Movie
The Independent: Will this kind of movie ever be made again?
posted by Chrysostom at 8:36 PM PST - 57 comments

The Truth About Dentistry

"It just adds to the whole idea that you go to a physician feeling bad and you walk out feeling better, but you go to a dentist feeling good and you walk out feeling bad.”
posted by trillian at 6:51 PM PST - 76 comments

A subjective photographer

Heinz Hajek-Halke - (NSFW) - was an experimental photographer who joined the newly founded German post war Fotoform group.
Picking up where Bauhaus left off.
posted by adamvasco at 6:07 PM PST - 5 comments

When Panoramas Backtrack

Who doesn't love a good panoramic shot - this phone technology is perfect for capturing gorgeous meadows, hilltops or colorful deserts. Still landscapes can be captured with ease at just a touch of a button and scan with a steady hand - but what happens when you want to photograph an object that has a little bit more trouble sitting still - like your precious pets - well, you end up with a creature that has eight legs, two heads, and six tails! (SLBoredPanda)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:38 PM PST - 28 comments

studies British big cats alongside mythical creatures

On the trail of Britain’s wild big cats [The Guardian] "Hundreds of big cat sightings have been reported in Britain in the last three years. But is it pumas and panthers running wild – or our imagination?"
posted by readinghippo at 1:18 PM PST - 20 comments

"without first getting some kind of serious ethical guidance."

Scientists revive pig brains somewhat in the lab. "a surprising amount of cellular function was either preserved or restored." (Caution: does involve some discussion of animal slaughter, not gratuitous)
posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee at 12:35 PM PST - 47 comments

I just really like this genre

Lucy Lang, former Manhattan prosecutor, reviews 30 courtroom scenes from TV and movies
Alex Honnold, only person to free solo El Capitan, Breaks Down Iconic Rock Climbing Scenes
Dr. Ali Mattu, clinical psychologist, Reviews Mental Illness In Movies
Bear Grylls Reviews Survival Movies
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:09 PM PST - 39 comments

Looking back at Taiwan's White Terror, 38 years of Martial Law, in games

Taiwan's White Terror (Wikipedia) was a period of martial law lasted for 38 years and 57 days from 19 May 1949 to 15 July 1987, following the February 28 Incident (Wikipedia), also known as the 228 Incident. Fear of discussing the White Terror and the February 28 Incident gradually decreased with the lifting of martial law in 1987, and Hou Hsiao-hsien's A City of Sadness (Harvard Chinese Film and Culture course handout; trailer and full film on YouTube) was the first movie dealing with the events, released in 1989. Still, this period of Taiwan's history is not broadly discussed. More recently, a mobile game is reopening a closed chapter in Taiwan’s history (Ars Technica, with a broader summary of the White Terror period). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 11:18 AM PST - 5 comments

“History belongs to everyone.”

Heaven’s Vault review: an archaeology video game actually about archaeology [Polygon] “Diving into a game is akin to learning a new language. In each game, we first learn the basics: how to navigate the map, to attack enemies, to uncover new details in this world. With languages, we start with vocabulary, grammar, and syntax. In both, we slowly master individual components, entwining them to convey complex ideas. Heaven’s Vault, the latest game from Inkle, challenges its players to master a game and a language at the same time. [...] The adventure is meticulous and thoughtful, standing in stark contrast with most games that have put me in an archaeologist’s boots. In Heaven’s Vault, I’m not slaughtering hordes of enemies with a bloody pickax, or sniping at sentries with a makeshift bow. I’m performing the actual job.” [YouTube][Game Trailer] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 10:39 AM PST - 17 comments

Are Prisons Obsolete?

“As prison abolition moves from margin to center, it's important to spotlight those who have theorized and practiced it, like Ruth Wilson Gilmore, so we don't, to paraphrase Beth Richie "win the mainstream and lose the movement." Is Prison Necessary? Ruth Wilson Gilmore Might Change Your Mind (NYT magazine) “Prison abolitionist Mariame Kaba wants us to explore some truly radical notions that force us to inspect those instincts towards punishment. Hear her dismantle what she calls the current "criminal punishment system" and instead employ the ideology of restorative justice.” (Chris Hayes’ Why Is This Happening?) “Outspoken opponents of abolishing the prison industrial complex typically portray abolitionists as politically inactive academics who spout impossible ideas. None of this could be further from the truth. ” Jailbreak Of The Imagination (Truth Out) Prisons and Class Warfare: An Interview with Ruth Wilson Gilmore (Verso) “They Are Trying To Kill Us In Here. (The Appeal) “Abolition is both a practical organizing tool and a long-term goal.” (Transform Harm)
posted by The Whelk at 10:37 AM PST - 34 comments

Per Wikipedia,"the name roughly translates as 'Joe's Hole' from Italian"

In Bon Appetit, Priya Krishna tells the story of the rise and near-fall of Buca di Beppo, discussing how a Midwesterner with no connection to Italian culture built a restaurant empire based on red sauce served under decor out of the wildest Italian-American sterotypes.
posted by Copronymus at 10:31 AM PST - 70 comments

Fifteen Months of Fresh Hell Inside Facebook

In early 2018, Mark Zuckerberg set out to fix Facebook. Here's how that turned out. [more inside]
posted by vitout at 9:29 AM PST - 64 comments

Taxes: A Public Record -- Pro and Con

Everyone's Income Taxes Should Be Public - "Disclosure of tax payments would make it easier to hold politicians accountable. It also would help to reduce fraud and economic inequality." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 6:24 AM PST - 56 comments

April 16

Siamese Jets

What's bigger than an American football field and flies? The Stratolaunch. April 13 saw its first flight, a two and half hour shakedown over the Mojave. Previously.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:19 PM PST - 45 comments

I have sailed around here and your compass will spin erratically...

Long day at the studio, pouring a drink, and we should probably talk about this thing sitting at the bottom of Lake Ontario Thats marked on my navigational chart no one really wants to talk about....who’s in for a discussion about an extra terrestrial impact? (single-link Twitter thread)
posted by JamesBay at 7:41 PM PST - 44 comments

Transforms Hearing Aids Into Smart Wearables

AI hearing aid translates 27 languages in real-time and also doubles as a hands-free earpiece. The language translation works in conjunction with a smartphone app. If an English speaker wearing the device says something to a Chinese speaker, the Livio AI system would translate the words and display them in Chinese characters on the English speaker’s smartphone screen. If the Chinese speaker said something in return, those words would be directly translated into spoken English in the ears of the hearing aid wearer. [more inside]
posted by dancestoblue at 6:10 PM PST - 40 comments

"[unable to catch breath] eereeess um pizza"

Twelve years ago, after a mid-game rain delay, a couple of front-row fans grabbed a pop foul, ruining an easy out for fielder Garret Anderson. Unremarkable play, not worth remarking on. But then, 1.62 seconds later, here comes the pizza.
posted by cortex at 3:59 PM PST - 66 comments


A Common Policy, Anna Aslanyan writing at LRB Blog
La Disparition, a lipogrammatic classic, turns 50 today [29 March 2019]. You probably know who it’s by; if not, you can look it up to find out why I’m unwilling to say who did it. From its first publication on 29 March 1969, this book built a cult following. It’s primarily famous for what’s missing from it, a basic but important thing that forms a part of words you can’t usually do without. Staying strictly within this tight constraint, it says what it wants to say about its protagonist, Anton Voyl, and his vanishing act – a conundrum for his companions – in a grippingly ludic, rigidly formulaic way.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:15 AM PST - 74 comments

Game of Thrones lied! Obsidian casting is not a thing!

Dragonglass (Game of Thrones wiki), the common name in Westeros for volcanic glass also known as obsidian, was recently forged or cast in Game of Thrones, but don't try that at home. While you can knap obsidian, trying to cast an obsidian sword is a very hot, messy process, and glass blowing and bending a obsidian knife doesn't go much better, if your goal is to make an actual weapon (How To Make Everything YouTube videos x3).
posted by filthy light thief at 11:12 AM PST - 133 comments

So, two Shoggoths walk into an opticians…

In Cultist Simulator, Death Is Only The Beginning [Kotaku] “The most fun thing to do in Cultist Simulator is die. Cultist Simulator is a new game about running a cult, interpreted as a virtual card-based board game. There are no instructions for what to do, really, so you begin picking up cards, putting them in different slots, and hoping for the best. Sooner or later, you’ll die—usually as a sacrifice. Then the game opens up. You play the game by putting cards in slots and then waiting for them to resolve.” [YouTube][Trailer] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 10:26 AM PST - 35 comments

Free reign on global trade is what corporate titans hope for

“Much of the modern economy, pioneered by Walmart, is reliant upon increasingly complex supply chains that push production costs down onto subcontractors, giving them incentive to wring every cent of profit out of workers and protecting large corporations from responsibility. This must end. Companies claim they cannot patrol their supply chains but this is a choice. They do a great job of controlling for cost and quality, yet when it comes to labor standards, they plead ignorance. That is not acceptable. If a Walmart supplier refuses to pay its workers the minimum wage, then Walmart is responsible for that by choosing that contractor. Holding Walmart financially accountable for its supply chains through U.S. courts would alone raise global workplace standards.” The Democrats’ Yawning Silence on Trade (Boston Review)
posted by The Whelk at 10:16 AM PST - 11 comments

Mice in Spaaace

In zero G, it helps to have a tail – NASA scientists have now published the first detailed study of how mice behave in the NASA Rodent Hardware System, which has housed almost a dozen experiments on the International Space Station since 2014. They found that the rodents engaged in all the typical mouse behaviors, even in the “weightlessness” of the microgravity environment [video at end of article].
posted by cenoxo at 8:10 AM PST - 16 comments

"Viewers 'don’t want to hear about science from a woman.'"

The AV Club takes a look at why there are so few science and nature documentaries narrated by women.
posted by sardonyx at 8:07 AM PST - 49 comments

TELL "\"It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue."

<SETG SCORE <+ ,SCORE 25>> <SETG MARVIN-COUNTER 4> <MOVE ,MARVIN ,PANTRY> <MOVE ,TOOL-REQUIRED ,MARVIN> <TELL "Marvin fiddles inside the " D ,MECHANISM " with the " D ,TOOL-REQUIRED " for about three-tenths of a second. He limps away. \"And me,\" you hear him mutter ashe goes, \"with this terrible pain in all the diodes down my left side.\"" CR>)
A whole bunch of Infocom's original source code is now available on github. [more inside]
posted by jenkinsEar at 7:26 AM PST - 76 comments

Face the ball to be the ball to be above the ball

Introducing Speedgate, a sport created (mostly) by AI. [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong at 7:03 AM PST - 34 comments

eBay Robbery = Bayrob

In which ZDNet puts together a pretty good summary of a Romanian malware gang whose members were found guilty by a US federal court just this last week -- The Bayrob malware gang's rise and fall: The story of how a talented computer science student and his friends created and ran a multi-million dollar botnet. [medium length read, pretty fascinating really]
posted by hippybear at 6:08 AM PST - 9 comments

On all other nights we eat many kinds of fruits... On this night...

The shape of the jelly, like the shape of the McDonald’s McRib, pays homage to something that it is not - The Secret History of those Passover Jellied Fruit Slices. Still don't appreciate them? Economy Candy says Don't Diss Passover Fruit Slices (audio) [more inside]
posted by Mchelly at 5:41 AM PST - 44 comments

April 15

My god, it's full of STARS!

In astrophotography, the longer your camera's shutter is open, the more light you get. Five amateur astrophotographers challenged themselves to capture a world-record exposure. Result: The 1060-hour Large Magellanic Cloud [more inside]
posted by flug at 9:44 PM PST - 43 comments

Homestuck: The Epilogues

Ten years after the debut of Homestuck, and 3 years after the end of Homestuck, The Homestuck Epilogues begin - following the core team as jaded young adults making sense of canon, relevance, and the aftermath of their mission. [more inside]
posted by divabat at 7:18 PM PST - 34 comments

I Wanna Meet Richard Dreyfuss

I wanna see how his bald head shines
How the light reflects on his moustache
Did you ever see Mr Holland's Opus?
God Richard Dreyfuss, he fucking crushed that [more inside]
posted by stinkfoot at 5:34 PM PST - 10 comments

Paying a lot more and getting a lot less

Today is Tax Day in America. The IRS is intentionally starved for resources, forced to make filing taxes as complicated as possible so a predatory industry can make even higher profits, focuses its audits on poor and black people, and can't recover the billions owed by the very wealthy people who push for its gutting. But if there could be a worst of all in this dismal maelstrom, it is this: American workers effectively pay some of the highest taxes in the world but don't get much in return. [more inside]
posted by Ouverture at 3:50 PM PST - 60 comments

Spira, Spera - Victor Hugo

Notre-Dame de Paris, the French Gothic cathedral on the Île de la Cité in Paris, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, has burned in a conflagration unrivalled since at least WWII, started accidentally, perhaps in the renovation work. But "spira, spera" -- breathe, and hope -- there has been no loss of life, only one reported injury, and the shell of the building appears (at this hour) to have been saved. "Cette cathédrale, nous la rebâtirons," declares Emmanuel Macron. ("The Cathedral, we will rebuild it.") [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:37 PM PST - 267 comments


A tattoo is a decision you have to live with for the rest of your life. But what about after that? [more inside]
posted by jacquilynne at 1:20 PM PST - 38 comments

The Half Decent Football Magazine

When Saturday Comes is an independent football magazine focused on giving fans a voice. And on the 30th anniversary of Hillsborough, it's worth going back and reading their original editorial on the disaster. [more inside]
posted by kendrak at 11:33 AM PST - 6 comments

Them's the Frakes

Jonathan Frakes telling you you're wrong for 47 seconds (SLYT, perfection)
posted by duffell at 10:21 AM PST - 48 comments

City Killers

“The automobile is the paradoxical example of a luxury object that has been devalued by its own spread. But this practical devaluation has not yet been followed by an ideological devaluation. The myth of the pleasure and benefit of the car persists, though if mass transportation were widespread its superiority would be striking. The persistence of this myth is easily explained. The spread of the private car has displaced mass transportation and altered city planning and housing in such a way that it transfers to the car functions which its own spread has made necessary. An ideological (“cultural”) revolution would be needed to break this circle. Obviously this is not to be expected from the ruling class (either right or left).” The social ideology of the motorcar - André Gorez, 1973. (Uneven Earth)
posted by The Whelk at 9:56 AM PST - 55 comments

A great sun has set.

Gene Rodman Wolfe, 1931-2019. A titan of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and American literature has passed. [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 9:39 AM PST - 116 comments

if it fits your macros....

Counting Your Calories? It Might Not Be The Best Way To Track Nutrition
Death of the Calorie [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:07 AM PST - 30 comments

But now I didn’t want to avoid them.

I was also in the middle of a divorce, and receiving a barrage of emails from my ex-husband telling me in no uncertain terms how horrible I was. That season, I read the news, the emails, the pieces for my job. I couldn’t escape the constant torrent. A Greek chorus of women across America spoke with a single voice. “Men are bad. Men are trash,” the women said. And yet, all I wanted to do was touch men, taste them—I craved them.
I Wanted to Fall in Love With Men. I Also Wanted Men to Leave Me the Hell Alone.
posted by griphus at 8:45 AM PST - 42 comments

The End of General Civility, and the Rise of Selective Empathy

... there's a point at which empathy doesn't even look like the kind of universal empathy I was taught in school. There is a natural way that empathy gets triggered in the brain — your pain centers light up when you see another person suffering. But out in the world it starts to look more like tribalism, a way to keep reinforcing your own point of view and blocking out any others. The End of Empathy is part of NPR's Civility Wars series, in which NPR has been traveling the United States to explore how people are grappling with the idea of civility in polarizing times. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 8:34 AM PST - 31 comments

Berlin Transit Map -- now with pleasing Curves

Pasha Omelekhin experimented with the Berlin Transit Map Design. A detailed case study shows which considerations went into the new design.
posted by katta at 5:55 AM PST - 29 comments

Nice Canadian boy goes up and down stairs

Andy Anderson wears a helmet. Andy Anderson goes up and down stairs.
posted by clawsoon at 5:38 AM PST - 9 comments

“Dealing with these themes requires caution and care,”

A Cancelled Board Game Revealed How Colonialism Inspires and Haunts Games [Waypoint] “On April 7th, prominent publisher of board wargames GMT Games released a statement announcing that they’d pulled a game from their pre-order list: Scramble for Africa. The game, portraying the eponymous invasion of the African continent by European powers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, seemed like one that portrayed the colonial period in Africa in a simplistic way, ultimately rewarding players for being the best at recreating a piece of history that included genocide in Namibia and mass enslavement in the Belgian Congo Free State. It had come under heavy critique from board gamers for, in the words of GMT’s own statement, “both topic and treatment” of its colonialist historical setting. ” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 5:18 AM PST - 62 comments

No Measure of Health

No Measure of Health profiles Kyle Magee, an anti-advertising activist from Melbourne, Australia, who for the past 10 years has been going out into public spaces and covering over for-profit advertising in various ways. Recently, he painted over the advertising video screens at Melbourne Central station with a modified fire extinguisher.
posted by bashism at 4:37 AM PST - 16 comments

RELENTLESS DOPPELGANGER \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/

Neural network generating technical death metal, via livestream 24/7 to infinity. [more inside]
posted by Ten Cold Hot Dogs at 2:11 AM PST - 25 comments

Identity is Always a Negotiation

We had this very Scandinavian-looking child, and for the first time in my life what I now call the fiction of race was thrust into my consciousness. It’s an experience that most people, black or white, don’t have to have because most people don’t live on the racial margins and don’t see how ridiculous it is to say something like, “My father is black, and my daughter is white, but they have the same smile.” And my daughter is blond-haired and has blue eyes and white skin, but she’s of 20 percent West African descent. Most people don’t actually have these kinds of contradictions. So, her birth really set me down this path. An interview with Thomas Chatterton Williams in the LA Review of Books [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 2:08 AM PST - 18 comments

April 14

Tonight, I want to introduce my house

A typhoon is in Japan, but PiroPito would still like to give you a tour of his house.
posted by KChasm at 9:04 PM PST - 12 comments

The King of Russian Salmon Pies

Kulebyaka is a type of Russian pirog usually filled with salmon or sturgeon, rice or buckwheat, hard-boiled eggs, mushrooms, onions, and dill. The pie is baked in a pastry shell, usually of brioche or puff pastry. [more inside]
posted by growabrain at 9:00 PM PST - 11 comments

Large Hadron Collider Begins Curling Metal

It looks like you're creating a music video. Would you like some help with that?
posted by benzenedream at 11:40 AM PST - 19 comments


Grandpa’s Beer: Sarah Miller of Popula reflects on the life, personal quirks, and beer preferences of Bob G., her boyfriend’s grandfather. “Bob G. may have loved to stop and smell the flowers but he also loved to correct people, and to be right.” [more inside]
posted by sallybrown at 11:35 AM PST - 26 comments

"Why does my nose hurt after concerts?"

GCHQ cracks Frank Sidebottom's secret codes
posted by dfm500 at 8:02 AM PST - 6 comments

April 13

The Return key isn't working

With tax day (in the USA) just around the corner, time for a dive into the 'tech' of the Internal Revenue Service. LGR posts on How the 60-Year-Old IRS Computer System Failed on Tax Day 2018. (IBM System/360 previously)
posted by KirkpatrickMac at 10:28 PM PST - 22 comments

I'll dance at your quinceanera, wedding. . . divorce party.

Fictional Houston personality Tio Choko creates delightful and thoroughly silly dance videos largely filmed in privately-owned public spaces and the street. He also occasionally dabbles in celebrity impressions, live events, holiday greetings and public transit advertisements.
posted by eotvos at 6:40 PM PST - 10 comments


Do you want the vicarious joy of watching one of the best current media critics meet for the first time one of the best animated series of all time? Film Crit Hulk live-tweets Avatar.
posted by persona at 5:21 PM PST - 22 comments

An unforgettable iPhone data recovery

In 2017, Jessa Jones, a smartphone logic board repair expert, received a particularly difficult case. Earlier that year, a brutal hate crime (NY Times) had ended the life of Srinivas Kuchibhotla. Hoping to recover as many memories as she could, his widow, Sunayana Dumala, contacted Jones's business to determine if the data from Kuchibhotla's ruined phone could be recovered. Jones documented the painstaking repair (YouTube; video includes close-ups of dried blood), ultimately restoring the phone and recovering all his data for Dumala. [more inside]
posted by biogeo at 4:41 PM PST - 26 comments

The new and improved Oroville Dam spillway is up and splashing.

The test spills are pretty spectacular. Quick and dirty explanation of the project. LA Times article from just before the tests. The scary and messy previously.
posted by Bee'sWing at 4:20 PM PST - 21 comments

"I'm Peggy Olson. I want to smoke some marijuana"

"The work is $10. The lie is extra" (S05 E4)
"It's Toasted" (S01 E1)
The Jaguar pitch (S05E11)
In Greek, Nostalgia literally means “the pain from an old wound” (S01 E13)
"When I say I want the moon, I expect the moon" (S03 E9)
"who cares?" (S01 E12)
The seven defining pitches of Mad Men
posted by growabrain at 3:17 PM PST - 29 comments

Reading Vonnegut in Iraq and Becoming Unstuck in Time.

It’s April 11, 2019, as I write this and Vonnegut has been dead for 12 years, though a Tralfamadorian would take issue with that characterization. One of his legacies is a famous passage in “Slaughterhouse-Five.” It’s about planes flying in reverse, where shrapnel flies out of people, back into the bombs and the planes take off backward from their runways, and so on, until everyone is just a baby again. Vonnegut is saying it would be nice if the wisdom learned from a war could be used to reverse engineer the entire thing and keep it from happening at all. That is a nice thought.
Reading ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’ in Baghdad: What Vonnegut taught me about what comes after war, by Alex Horton (WaPo)
posted by Stanczyk at 12:52 PM PST - 15 comments

Guava Island

Donald Glover (Childish Gambino) and Rihanna (Rihanna) star in the ~1h long film Guava Island [clip], which premiered at Coachella this year. It's available to stream for free on Amazon until 9pm EST TODAY (after that, available on the Amazon Prime video streaming service). It features several new songs, and new takes on old songs. If you appreciated This Is America, this is for you [NPR article].
posted by hippybear at 12:27 PM PST - 8 comments

"The Sci-Fi Comic That Reimagines Utopia"

On a Sunbeam is a science fiction webcomic by the Eisner Award winning comics artist Tillie Walden. The story, 20 chapters long, is complete, and has been published as a book, but remains free online. Stephanie Burt raved about it in the New Yorker, calling it "the kind of story that adults can and should give to queer teens, and to autistic teens, and to teens who care for space exploration, or civil engineering, or cross-cultural communication" and "also a story for adults who were once like those teens."
posted by Kattullus at 12:24 PM PST - 15 comments

The Terrifying Rise of the Abortion Abolition Movement

The anti-abortion movement itself appears to be taking more cues from its far-right fringes—groups that reject the term pro-life and call themselves “abortion abolitionists” instead. Not satisfied with the continuing assaults on women's healthcare going on in red state after red state, a new breed of pro-life activists are rejecting the title of pro-life in favor of "abortion abolitionist". To these activists, there are no exceptions, and women who abort should be charged with murder.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 12:18 PM PST - 52 comments

Trump - the Cantonese opera

The all singing all dancing Chinese Trump opera (BBC video) Just for grins...and a perspective on Trump from Hong Kong.
posted by mono blanco at 11:33 AM PST - 1 comment

Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast

Animals reacting to music. Hope everyone is having a nice weekend! [more inside]
posted by kinnakeet at 9:41 AM PST - 9 comments

There’s actually a pretty decent bus system

Vox, March 26, 2019: Moving from Seattle to Cedar Rapids cost nearly $6,000, and I’m so glad I did it. By Nicole Dieker [more inside]
posted by Monochrome at 9:37 AM PST - 87 comments

Life After Hate

“He added, “Everyone said in the run-up to Charlottesville that ‘if you just ignore them they’ll go away.’ That is by far the biggest mistake you can make with this crowd.” ‘What we’re trying to teach is empathy’: The grassroots strategies to de-radicalize the far right (Think Progress)
posted by The Whelk at 9:13 AM PST - 11 comments

A Palace for the People

Years ago, I lived in a remote mountain town that had never had a public library. The town was one of the largest in New York State by area but small in population, with a couple thousand residents spread out over about two hundred square miles. By the time my husband and I moved there, the town had lost most of its economic base. [...] The town board proposed a small tax increase to fund a library, something on the order of ten dollars per household. It was soundly defeated. The dominant sentiments seemed to be “leave well enough alone” and “who needs books?” Then there was the man who declared that “libraries are communist.” [more inside]
posted by ragtag at 4:29 AM PST - 46 comments

Living Out Loud

Lizzo interviews Janelle Monae for them.us
posted by ellieBOA at 12:37 AM PST - 18 comments

April 12

Thanks to Galperin, install antivirus. And it may actually do some good.

With a series of revelatory investigative articles on stalkerware by the tech news site Motherboard (When Spies Come Home) in the back of her mind, Eva Galperin, director of cybersecurity at EFF, posted a message to Twitter, and it invited any victims of sexual violence who had also been threatened with hacking to contact her for help. That tweet, to Galperin's surprise, would end up taking over a significant portion of her life. Now Hacker Eva Galperin Has a Plan to Eradicate Stalkerware (Wired). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:28 PM PST - 5 comments

Do you want to play a game?

Crowd source investigating images of tiny capillaries and shorten thousands of hours of Alzheimer's research to one afternoon. The Megathon is a “mega catching marathon” in Stall Catchers – a citizen science game that anyone can play to help speed up Alzheimer's research. Learn more about the game here. "Catchathons" gather communities worldwide for intense "catching marathons", breaking records while analyzing new data from Cornell University. With everyone pitching in, we can accelerate the research by orders of magnitude. [more inside]
posted by waving at 7:22 PM PST - 22 comments

Advanced Sci-Fi Civilizations Too Stupid To Really Exist

Media Zealot talks about your faves: The Engineers from Alien? The Humans in Avatar? Idiots. The Prawns from District 9? Morons. But wait. What about The Kryptonians (with bonus dubstep)? Total Doofuses. The Borg? (Klutzes). But let's not forget the Daleks (Cretins) and The Empire (Nazis).
posted by valkane at 6:35 PM PST - 29 comments

"The truth is being buried in double talk and misleading court numbers"

Following a multi-year investigation by housing complex reporter Morgan Baskin, the Washington City Paper has published a bombshell story detailing efforts by the management of DC's Child and Family Services Agency to meet performance improvement benchmarks required by a federal lawsuit--by fudging the stats, cutting corners, and overcrowding social workers' caseloads past the breaking point. The article (published in print with the subhead Social workers at DC's child welfare agency live and work in breathtaking fear) describes devastating consequences for DC's at-risk children and families as well as frontline agency staff. Content warning: descriptions of child neglect and abuse.
posted by duffell at 4:45 PM PST - 4 comments

The Rule Of Law

The Punishment Bureaucracy: How To Think About Criminal Justice Reform , Alec Karakatsanis, Yale Law Journal [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:25 PM PST - 5 comments

Bolsonaro Out of AMNH!

When a natural history museum hosts a president bent on destroying nature – Critics say that a planned event at the American Museum of Natural History honoring Jair Bolsonaro is antithetical to the institute’s mission and values.
posted by Tom-B at 2:30 PM PST - 12 comments


On November 3rd 1957 the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 2 into Space. On board the satellite was the first Earthling to go into orbit. (SLV).
posted by bouvin at 12:52 PM PST - 26 comments

Come for the Walrus, Stay for Leaping Icebergs

David Attenborough's Scariest Moments The cliff climbing walrus caught my eye, and not a lot of good can come from this shenanigan. David Attenborough describes some thrilling experiences out on the wild Earth. The most captivating concerned leaping ice... [more inside]
posted by Oyéah at 12:51 PM PST - 4 comments

Green is the new Orange

Four years ago, Alberta's NDP won a historic election. This year's Canadian election surprise looks like it might come from Prince Edward Island. [more inside]
posted by clawsoon at 11:46 AM PST - 91 comments

"No One's Ever Really Gone"

The first trailer for Star Wars - Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker has been released (SLYT)
posted by New Frontier at 10:34 AM PST - 292 comments

Prerequisites: Trig 1001, Geometry 1001

Catriona Shearer: Maths teacher and fan of geometric puzzles.
posted by Think_Long at 9:25 AM PST - 11 comments

New York City And The Green New Deal

“If passed, the bill would likely be the largest single legislative mandate to cut climate pollution by any city in the world. The legislation, by one estimate, would create a demand for more than 3,600 jobs construction jobs per year and another 4,400 jobs in maintenance, services and operations, fueled by the sheer magnitude of the investment required to meet the emissions goals. ” New York City Charges Ahead With Its Own Green New Deal (HuffPost) “This rally marked the launch of the Public Bank NYC coalition, more than 20 grassroots groups seeking a banking alternative. Because public banks are not run for the benefit of private shareholders, the banks can offer lower rates and fees, and profits can be reinvested into the community rather than trickling up to the already-wealthy.” Public Banking Can Fund The Zero-Carbon Economy (In These Times) Rally Photos “The group envisions a future where the industrial waterfront accommodates not only artisanal wine and candle shops, but the assembly of solar panels and wind turbines, which would provide thousands of good-paying green-collar jobs for local residents.” Industry City: A Green New Deal Vs. Gentrification in Sunset Park
posted by The Whelk at 9:03 AM PST - 17 comments

Shopping stopped at Stop & Shop

Roughly 31,000 employees of the grocery store chain Stop & Shop launched the largest private-sector strike in the U.S. in years, walking off the job at 240 stores across New England on Thursday. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 8:22 AM PST - 62 comments

Preserving and restoring computer history

Marc Verdiell is an engineer with an interest in restoring old computers and test equipment and documenting the process in detailed and fun YouTube videos. He has restored a Xerox Alto, a mechanical calculator from 1956, a Model 19 Teletype, and an HP Spectrum Analyzer, among other things. He often works with colleagues from the Computer History Museum of California, including Ken Shirriff who was recently featured on the blue. The team's current project is restoring an Apollo Guidance Computer, of all things. I never thought there could be so much drama in poking around in aged computers but here we are. (Oh, and he made his own R2-D2. Don't miss Marc's tour of R2LA, featuring adorable children in droids.)
posted by smammy at 8:01 AM PST - 13 comments

The Most Interesting Man In Baseball

Chris Davis is flailing his way to a dubious piece of baseball history, setting records for futility on a fledgling Baltimore Orioles team that will likely find its way toward the bottom of the standings again in 2019. Davis hit a double off James Shields last Sept. 14, but doesn’t have a hit to his name since. He ended 2018 on an 0-for-21 slump, and entered Thursday at 0-for-29 in 2019. The 0-for-50 for Davis is the longest hitless streak by a non-pitcher in major league history. [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 5:33 AM PST - 61 comments

April 11

"For my daughter, elevators were 'uppy rooms.'"

My friend’s 5-year-old just saw a crow and called it a “Halloween eagle.”
Also kids:
He's 8 now, but when my son was 3, he stood in front of the meat section at walmart and said "Ah, the future of us all."
(Pleated Jeans, ad blocker recommended)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:51 PM PST - 83 comments


Geraldine DeRuiter has thoughts on being nominated for a James Beard award. "I told Rand that while I realize that this nomination is already a remarkable thing, I very much want to win for one very specific reason: I’m pretty sure the award is a round medal on a ribbon. Which means you can wear it to a fast food restaurant. While still in your pajamas. And when people ask what it is, you say that it is a James Beard Award for culinary excellence which you got because you were really mad at institutionalized sexism and also Mario Batali’s cinnamon rolls." [more inside]
posted by Gorgik at 9:17 PM PST - 24 comments

We must always believe in ourselves at any cost. It's our story, Sancho.

It’s been 30 years since Terry Gilliam first dreamt of making a movie about the foolish, windmill-chasing knight Don Quixote — and it’s been roughly 29 years since it became his nightmare.... But now he’s finally broken the spell (Rolling Stone), and The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (YouTube, trailer) last year received a marathon standing ovation at Cannes (Slate). Gilliam fared better in his dream to film Don Quixote better than Orson Welles, whose version was posthumously released in 1992 (YouTube), but this result is a travesty that will please no one (Variety). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 8:48 PM PST - 30 comments

"Weightlessness posed particular challenges for a human research program

The NASA Twins Study: A multidimensional analysis of a year-long human spaceflight. Astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly were the two members of NASA's yearlong 'Twin Study' to determine the effects of long-term living in microgravity. Are Humans Fit For Space?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:15 PM PST - 39 comments

can lose visits indefinitely for substance-abuse violations

When Prisons Cut Off Visits—Indefinitely [The Marshall Project] "It's been nearly 25 years since Michigan adopted a controversial visitation policy. Families have been fighting it ever since."
posted by readinghippo at 2:49 PM PST - 11 comments

Here is a vector of the first nine natural numbers...

Conway's Game of Life in APL [more inside]
posted by vibratory manner of working at 1:22 PM PST - 21 comments

“It all started with my balls.”

Instead of seeing the urologist, I would now need to see an oncologist. For a few days I comforted myself by pretending that, because of my abiding interest in the mysteries and niceties of Being, I had to see an ontologist. Nobody except one of my fellow Irish novelists thought this was funny.
Instead of shaking all over, I read the newspapers. I listened to the radio. I had my lunch, an essay by Colm Tóibín about getting cancer.
posted by Kattullus at 1:16 PM PST - 23 comments

7 Rings - Lizzo

Lizzo performs an acoustic cover of Ariana Grande's "7 Rings" on Elvis Duran's show. [more inside]
posted by mhum at 12:55 PM PST - 11 comments


Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy Review [US Gamer] “A judicial system where literally any old scrub can practice law. A court that's apparently never heard of being in contempt. A courtroom in which playground insults can be hurled around and witnesses can be cautioned for "wanton winking." Welcome to the world of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, the first three games of which have been repackaged in glorious, non-pixelated HD for the Ace Attorney Trilogy. Phoenix Wright is a detective series of games consisting of collecting evidence and interrogating suspects, as much as it is a courtroom showdown of proving contradictions and errors in witness testimonies. Practicing law in the anime world is a hell of a good time.” [YouTube][Trailer] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 12:09 PM PST - 31 comments

"That’s not true, but O.K."

Isaac Chotiner interviews Bret Easton Ellis, who thinks the left is "overreacting" to the Trump presidency. [more inside]
posted by Kybard at 9:26 AM PST - 103 comments

Pinkertons 2: Climate Change Boogaloo

NYT: Climate Chaos Is Coming—and the Pinkertons Are Ready. The Pinkertons, perhaps the world's first private security firm, has long been known for its role breaking strikes for Andrew Carnegie in the 19th century. As it sails past its 150th anniversary and attempts to reinvent itself for 21st, it's relying on a simple pitch. "As Jack Zahran, the president of Pinkerton, put it to me, Pinkerton is a 150-year-old start-up, still pitching the same basic vision: You aren’t prepared enough, and the government is too clumsy to save you." [more inside]
posted by redct at 9:04 AM PST - 43 comments

Copy. Paste. Legislate.

USA TODAY found more than 4,000 bills benefiting industry were introduced nationwide during the eight years it  reviewed. More than 80 of those bills limit the public’s ability to sue corporations, including limiting class-action lawsuits, a plaintiff’s ability to offer expert testimony, and cap punitive damages for corporate wrongdoing. “No citizens are saying, ‘Hey, can you make it harder to sue if … low-paid (nursing home) orderlies happened to kill or injure my parents,’ ” Graves said. “That’s not a  thing  citizen are clamoring for. But you know who is? The nursing home industry, and big business in general.” You Elected Them To Write New Laws. They’re Letting Corporations Do It Instead. “More than a year ago, I was asked to do the impossible. Help build an algorithm that could tease out what statehouse bills were created from model legislation (ie copy-paste legislation). Along with a terrific team @USATODAY and @azcentral. We did it. Here’s how. (THREAD)”
posted by The Whelk at 8:49 AM PST - 8 comments

Charles Koch Institute Trains Future Journalists

Who is now in the business of training young journalists? Why the Charles Koch Institute, that's who, along with the (potentially puzzling) assistance of the Poynter Institute. "The Media and Journalism Fellowship program is for aspiring and entrepreneurial journalists and storytellers. Our program offers media and creative professionals the opportunity to refine their skills and accelerate their careers while learning about the crucial role of free speech and a free press in our society. The year-long fellowship starts its next session in June 2019." [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 8:26 AM PST - 15 comments

A minor fix to calculus notation

"The problem is well-known but it has been generally assumed that there is no way to express the second derivative in fraction form. It has been thought that differentials (the fundamental “dy” and “dx” that calculus works with) were not actual values and therefore they aren’t actually in ratio with each other. Because of these underlying assumptions, the fact that you could not treat the second derivative as a fraction was not thought to be an anomaly. However, it turns out that, with minor modifications to the notation, the terms of the second derivative (and higher derivatives) can indeed be manipulated as an algebraic fraction." Paper (pdf).
posted by clawsoon at 6:55 AM PST - 32 comments

“The parties used to be great,” Nancy said. “Until the explosion.”

Moving Day at the Hells Angels Clubhouse [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 6:32 AM PST - 19 comments

Just threw the video up on the web, like

didn't even give it a title. default filename tv displays videos uploaded to youTube that have not been given their own filename. It's a little like browsing the web pre algorithm-driven content management. [more inside]
posted by From Bklyn at 4:58 AM PST - 29 comments

But his cat? Who will feed his cat, now?

While twitter worries and his cat (possibly) looks on, Julian Assange leaves the Ecuador Embassy in London and is arrested. BBC News: “Mr Assange took refuge in the embassy seven years ago to avoid extradition to Sweden over a sexual assault case that has since been dropped. The Metropolitan Police said he had been taken into custody and will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court 'as soon as is possible'.” Guardian: “The home secretary, Sajid Javid, said: 'Nearly seven years after entering the Ecuadorian embassy, I can confirm Julian Assange is now in police custody and rightly facing justice in the UK. I would like to thank Ecuador for its cooperation & @metpoliceuk for its professionalism. No one is above the law.'” (Previously and look after your cat)
posted by Wordshore at 2:59 AM PST - 374 comments

Urwienerisch, oida

The public utilities department in Vienna (die Wiener Stadtwerke), who maintain the Vienna Central Cemetery and the funeral museum, started, in 2016, creating Lego kits for funeral and burial-related things. (Note: Most links are in German, but come with pictures) [more inside]
posted by frimble at 2:25 AM PST - 10 comments

April 10

"The rising reptiles turned to stone, each one decapitated"

Tales from English Folklore #1: St Hilda and the Snakes Whitby Abbey, on the coast of North Yorkshire, is the setting of a curious English legend. It is said that the curly ammonites that erode from the cliffs there are snakes, which were turned to stone after a local abbess prayed for God to banish them. [more inside]
posted by Lexica at 10:29 PM PST - 1 comment

Oklahoma's not OK

Oklahoma! was greeted as jingoistic entertainment in 1943, perhaps in part because a wartime audience didn’t want to see that the musical’s celebration of the platonic ideal of Great America was qualified by a brutal acknowledgment of how cruelly America can fall short. In the context of 2019, Fish’s restoration of the show is a timely refutation of the lie that America can be made great by turning back the clock to some immaculate America of the past. A great America has always been a work-in-progress. The Great America of nostalgic, reactionary fantasy, beatific and white and welcoming to all, never existed in the first place — not even, it turns out, in the bright, golden meadows of Oklahoma!
posted by ChuraChura at 8:12 PM PST - 26 comments

"Surplus energy" economics and the decline of the automated car wash

"In the early 2000s, automated car washes were a common add-on service to tens of thousands of filling stations around the UK. Today only a fraction of them survive. In their place there has been a quiet regression to a far more primitive service – tens of thousands of hand car wash services have mushroomed across the British Isles." How falling surplus energy and labour exploitation have led to an unexpected regression in technological complexity – according to Tim Watkins – and what it might mean for the future.
posted by sylvanshine at 6:58 PM PST - 35 comments

My, what small teeth you have! All the better to ... eat giant rats?

A new species of ancient human, thought to have been under 4ft tall and adapted to climbing trees, has been discovered in the Philippines, providing another twist in the story of human evolution (Wikipedia). The diminutive Homo luzonensis fossils were found in a Luzon island cave, dating back up to 67,00 years (The Guardian). This newly discovered species is possibly related to the previously discovered "hobbit," Homo floresiensis (Anthropology.net) (previously on MetaFilter), slayer of giant rats (NatGeo). The two species share a mix of modern and older traits (Ars Technica). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 6:54 PM PST - 6 comments

Bobby Kotick Is Counting Periods

Activision Blizzard has been pushing a new health benefit for their employees - the reproductive health tracker Ovia, the use of which the company was giving employees $1/day. Of course, what wasn't being said was how Ovia was disclosing the data captured by their app back to Activision Blizzard, and all the privacy, legal, and employment issues tied to that. (SLWaPo) [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 2:35 PM PST - 56 comments

Buster Keaton, Anarchitect

Keaton’s comedy derives largely from the positioning — and constant, unexpected repositioning — of his body in space, and in architectural space particularly. An exploration of how Buster Keaton used and created physical environments to maximum comic effect .
posted by Mchelly at 2:07 PM PST - 13 comments

whether any of those items were hidden inside a book

Corrections officials’ claims of contraband in used books mailed to Washington inmates don’t add up [The Seattle Times] "Last week, corrections officials faced a backlash after banning nonprofit groups from mailing used books to prisoners. This week, their math is raising eyebrows. In defending the ban, the Washington Department of Corrections (DOC) said last week it was a necessary step to tamp down on contraband that ended up in inmates’ hands."
posted by readinghippo at 1:27 PM PST - 20 comments

Loud noodles

THUD (The Harvard Undergraduate Drummers) are "a student-run organization at Harvard College that likes to get together on Monday evenings and hit things." Those things include buckets and boomwhackers. The logical end-point of this perpetual percussive play is a cover of Darude's 1999 trance hit Sandstorm, played on boomwhackers.
posted by duffell at 12:45 PM PST - 13 comments

🐦🐧 🕊 🦅 🦆 🦉 🦃 🐓

Video game birds are having a good year: • Falcon AgeFeatherA Short HikeSkateBIRDToriponUntitled Goose GameThe Pathless [via: Polygon] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 11:08 AM PST - 24 comments

Americans received a record-breaking 47.8 billion robocalls in 2018

"With more than 100 million calls placed every day, robocalling might well be the most ubiquitous, most hated, and least punished crime in the country."
On the Trail of the Robocall King
posted by VeritableSaintOfBrevity at 10:51 AM PST - 84 comments

For most spiral ham fans, the glaze is essential.

"In the 1930s, Harry J. Hoenselaar was just another ham salesman in Detroit trying to find an edge. He spent his days handing out samples of honey-glazed ham and teaching drugstore clerks how to slice it for sandwiches. Although he was a master at knifing ham from the bone, he knew there had to be a better way." The Sweet Success of the Spiral-Cut Ham
posted by everybody had matching towels at 10:33 AM PST - 31 comments


Who Is Ryo Fukui? A self-taught jazz pianist and staple at Sapporo's Slowboat who passed away in 2016 and whose albums have become a Youtube sensation. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:11 AM PST - 7 comments

The charming habits of bees

What was originally thought to be an eye infection turned out to be something far worse. Instead of treating an infection, doctors at the University Hospital in Taiwan were shocked to find four bees embedded in the eye of a 29-year-old Taiwanese woman named He. The bees were reportedly feeding on her tear ducts under her swollen eyelids, according to CTS News.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:13 AM PST - 79 comments

A Very Offensive Rom-Com

A young woman discovers a pattern in her dating habits that disturbs her - a pattern that challenges her very conception of who she is and what she believes in. The realization sets her off on a quest to change her attractions. But is this even possible? And should we be hacking our desire to match our values?
Invisibilia tells the story of several Asian women and men who don't find Asian men attractive... and what they try to do about that. (transcript) [more inside]
posted by rebent at 7:52 AM PST - 27 comments

this is the level of pettiness I aspire to 11/10 would read again.

Buckle Up Twitter threads tend to proceed from two assumptions. The first is that no one but the author of the thread has ever read a book, and the second is that no one actually ever needs to read a book in order to understand anything, because what do you need a motherfucking BOOK for when you have ALL THE INFORMATION YOU COULD POSSIBLY NEED RIGHT HERE IN THIS GODDAMN BITCH OF A THREAD.
Writing for The Outline, Rosa Lyster goes off on a particular kind of Twitter affect: "Listen Up Bitches, It's Time To Learn Incorrect Things About Someone You've Never Heard Of"
posted by Going To Maine at 7:24 AM PST - 100 comments

Where we're going, we won't need eyes to see.

We’re about to see the first ever photo of a black hole. The image is set to be unveiled at 9am EST today. You can watch the event live here. [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong at 5:43 AM PST - 139 comments

"Extraordinary" 500-year-old library catalogue discovered

From The Guardian: It sounds like something from Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s The Shadow of the Wind and his The Cemetery of Forgotten Books: a huge volume containing thousands of summaries of books from 500 years ago, many of which no longer exist. But the real deal has been found in Copenhagen, where it has lain untouched for more than 350 years. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 2:53 AM PST - 25 comments

April 9

"stop exoticizing our tech-fueled wealth boom"

In San Francisco, Making a Living From Your Billionaire Neighbor’s Trash (NYT), or as re-titled by The Independent, War veteran who raids Mark Zuckerberg’s bins talks treasure hunting in Silicon Valley, is both "a signpost of the extremes of US capitalism" as reported in the NYT, and as rebutted by the SFist, "an example of the income diversity that still manages to exist in close proximity in the Mission, despite escalating rents." Jake Orta, called "The Finder" by his friends, is also an example of waste pickers, who are represented elsewhere by the Global Alliance of Waste Pickers "with groups in more than 28 countries covering mainly Latin America, Asia and Africa."
posted by filthy light thief at 6:39 PM PST - 42 comments

Hot air balloons, griffins, and goldfish

A fish chandelier in the collection of the Getty Museum. "The chandelier is a work of extreme novelty: it has 18 candles for illuminating a room after dark, and includes a glass bowl intended to hold water and small goldfish."
posted by moonmilk at 4:37 PM PST - 11 comments

Science and Futurism with Isaac Arthur

"SFIA is a YouTube channel which focuses on exploring the depths of concepts in science and futurism." As Trump rampages and the world burns, sometimes something surfaces on the internet that makes you remember, "Oh yeah, we're humans and we're potentially pretty awesome." These are smart, 30-minute long deep dives on real-world future possibilities raised by science fiction that don't try to sell you things (except Audible, at the end, but y'know), preach a theory, or fearmonger, organized in satisfyingly comprehensive playlists. They are also sedate, full of pretty animations/stock footage, and an ASMR-ey narrator. [more inside]
posted by saysthis at 3:51 PM PST - 4 comments

Think about how much there must be in that sample to override fish DNA!

I just got the results back from my class' foray in sequencing fish samples. ARE YOU READY? They're a mind-bender. (twitter thread) (threadreader)
posted by OverlappingElvis at 2:25 PM PST - 68 comments

Was Socialism Sexy?

80% of women living in communist East Germany always reached orgasm during sex, according to the Hamburg magazine Neue Revue in 1990. For West German women that figure was only 63%. [...] In short, they claimed, women had better sex under socialism than under capitalism because socialism treated women better.
posted by infini at 11:39 AM PST - 68 comments

A Massive Giveaway to the Tax Preparation Industry

ProPublica reports on the Taxpayer First Act, which, far from putting the taxpayer first, permanently blocks the IRS from providing for free taxpayer filing of income taxes. This is one of the few bills in the House with actual bipartisan support, including such liberal lights as Ron Wyden and John Lewis. [more inside]
posted by suelac at 10:44 AM PST - 65 comments

Zora, Langston, and Sassy Susie

When Zora Neale Hurston invited Langston Hughes to join her expedition to Tuskeegee in her little old Nash coupe, nicknamed “Sassy Susie,” Langston happily accepted. (The car looked a lot like a Model T Ford, and could only seat two.) Langston adored the company of entertainers, and Zora was as entertaining as they came. Langston did not know how to drive, but Zora loved driving and didn’t mind a whit. They decided to make a real trip of it, “stopping on the way to pick up folk-songs, conjur [sic], and big old lies,” as Langston wrote. “Blind guitar players, conjur men, and former slaves were her quarry, small town jooks and plantation churches, her haunts. I knew it would be fun traveling with her. It was.”
posted by ChuraChura at 10:41 AM PST - 5 comments

An embrace of fluidity can be difficult to grasp

“The part of me that grew up feeling straight still feels like there’s this unlived dream of being with a man,” says Herzig. “But when you let go of that, you’re opening up space for this totally other big thing, which is the energy of myself with another woman. I have developed this appreciation for an expansion of attraction.”
Women Over 30 Are Leaving Their Husbands and Boyfriends For Other Women
posted by griphus at 9:56 AM PST - 132 comments

We are living in the midst of a strike wave

“The ramifications of Taft-Hartley have been wide-reaching. Decades of case law that progressively curbed the rights of workers were built on Taft-Hartley’s back, and expanded public sector bargaining rights in the 1960s and 1970s were largely modeled on the Taft-Hartley regime (or structured even more restrictively). The NLRA—labor’s “Magna Carta”—is no longer recognizable as what labor hoped it would be: a permanent power shift toward American workers and away from the vested interests that crashed the American economy, sinking the world into a global depression.” Labor has opposed Taft-Hartley for decades. Here’s why it’s time to repeal it. (Strikewave)
posted by The Whelk at 9:46 AM PST - 3 comments

caress that precious ivory, smell its irate fragrance ...

A recipe for Garlic Jam by Jack Monroe, via The Jam Lady. (Title excerpt from Pablo Neruda)
posted by taz at 9:24 AM PST - 16 comments

Fundamental Law of Ice Cream Congestion

Time for the annual Ben & Jerry’s seminar in transportation economics: Substitute “freeway” for “free cone” and you’ve got a pretty good description of how transportation economics works. When it comes to our road system, every rush hour is like free cone day at Ben and Jerry’s.
posted by asperity at 9:02 AM PST - 21 comments

as above

Declassified U-2 spy plane photos are a boon for aerial archaeology. Emily Hammer and Jason Ur created an index for photos publicly available in the National Archives. Enter the U2 Spyplane Aerial Photography. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:51 AM PST - 6 comments

“accessibility means options, not easy gameplay.”

'Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice' Needs To Respect Its Players And Add An Easy Mode [Forbes] ““It's time, once again, to revisit an old saw. It was true of Dark Souls 3, it was true of Bloodborne, it was true of all the other From Software games and will keep being true until the only acceptable conclusion: one of these games finally puts in an easy mode. That hasn't happened yet, and so here we are. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice needs an easy mode. Hello, old saw. I'll be honest, it's not that nice to see you again.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 8:25 AM PST - 298 comments

"Her brother was not keen on her surfing at all."

Shamali Sanjaya, a confident, 30-year-old mother and surfer from the small Sri Lankan town of Arugam Bay, serves as the president of the country's first all-female surf club. She leads group meetings, organizes beach cleanups and coordinates surf trips for the small-yet-growing group of 17 local women surfers. But just a few years ago, Shamali's experience as a surfer in Arugam Bay looked very different than it does today.
posted by Etrigan at 5:57 AM PST - 3 comments

A Tale Of Two Suburbs

An article by Claire Malone of FiveThirtyEight about two suburbs of Cleveland, OH, Parma and Shaker Heights, both traditionally Democratic. In 2016, Shaker Heights turned bluer and Parma voted narrowly for Trump. (Malone grew up in Shaker.)
posted by nangar at 3:46 AM PST - 12 comments

April 8

Norfolk State University after game tunnel

The Spartan Legion marches on. [more inside]
posted by Foci for Analysis at 9:46 PM PST - 17 comments

50,000+ Times Going Knee Deep in the Dead Just To Get Out 1 Sec. Faster

Karl Jobst gives analysis and commentary on Doom speeedruner 4shockblast's 23 Feb 2019 world record "8 Second"* run of Doom's first map, "E1M1: Hangar", which broke the previous Ultra-Violence Speed Category two-decade-old record of "9 Seconds"* set by Thomas "Panter" Pilger on 28 September 1998. [more inside]
posted by radwolf76 at 8:47 PM PST - 31 comments

If I were not Alexander the Great, I would like to be Shen Wei

Shen quickly became an antihero for those tired of trying to climb social and economic ladders in a country obsessed with youth, novelty, education, fame, wealth and good looks. But Shen’s virtual fame became all too real in mid-March. One video showed a road sign pinpointing Shen’s location, and visitors soon started flooding into the otherwise unremarkable neighborhood in Shanghai’s suburban Pudong district. (SLWAPO) [more inside]
posted by Ndwright at 6:47 PM PST - 9 comments

Finding Redoshi

"A researcher has discovered the identity of the last-known survivor of the trans-Atlantic slave trade in the United States. Redoshi, later given the slave name Sally Smith, was kidnapped at the age of 12 from Benin in West Africa, in 1860. She was sold into slavery, making the journey to Alabama on the Clotilde, the last-known slave ship to arrive in the U.S." WBUR's Here and Now talks with Newcastle University researcher Hannah Durkin about "Sally Smith," the slave ship Clotilde, and Alabama's Africatown. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:05 PM PST - 6 comments

The digital world is very ephemeral; we see how much we might be losing

The million dollar homepage is still online, a snapshot of the internet circa 2005, but many of its links are dead, or point to different websites, their owners reaping the rewards of prior investments. Archive.org captured some iterations of the website, and the linked sites from there, and Web Archive.org.uk has been capturing UK sites since 2004, but not all sites are so lucky, either predating Internet Archive's start in 1996 (the first webpage exists only as a copy, reposted a year after the first one went up in 1991), or missed by web crawlers (Wikipedia). These are some of the reasons why there's so little left of the early internet (BBC).
posted by filthy light thief at 5:03 PM PST - 22 comments


It was the 80s, the decade of workout videos. Everybody was making them & Hollywood veteran Debbie Reynolds was at the top of the heap with her star-studded video Do It Debbie's Way. Dionne Warwick, Teri Garr, Florence Henderson - & the video's true star, Shelly Winters. Dressed in a baggy black sweatsuit with "I'M ONLY DOING THIS FOR DEBBIE" blazoned across it, Shelly alternates between at least trying to fake it enough to get by, just plain not having any more fucks to give & actively fomenting revolt among the other exercisers with impromptu lines including "HOW MANY GIRLS HERE HAVE SLEPT WITH HOWARD HUGHES?" & "I DID THESE MOVES IN A MOTEL IN VEGAS". A true tour de force.
posted by scalefree at 3:47 PM PST - 27 comments

This is when the Smile of Placation comes into play.

"Women do this calculus everyday, whether you are a reporter or not: How do I dress so I can be comfortable but also taken seriously, but also I want people to want me in the room?" What to Wear When You Don't Want People to Hate You, a three part series (part 2, part 3) from Lyz Lenz, Anne Helen Petersen, and Molly Priddy.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 12:35 PM PST - 19 comments

Leave No Trace

Lost-children stories and Australia's uneasy mythology. Discussed: Migrating Clothing, Nonspecific Evil, Shrilling Cicadas, Indigenous Displacement and Massacre, The Quest for Oblivion, Starchy Pinafores and Straw Hats, Lost-Child Stories, Terra Nullius, The White Vanishing Trope, The Cult of Mateship, Weird Melancholy, The Female Register, Risk Perception, Feminine Agency and Feminine Recklessness, Bloodless Murder [more inside]
posted by zeptoweasel at 10:08 AM PST - 10 comments


Kyle Korver of the Utah Jazz in the Player's Tribune: What I’m realizing is, no matter how passionately I commit to being an ally, and no matter how unwavering my support is for NBA and WNBA players of color….. I’m still in this conversation from the privileged perspective of opting in to it. Which of course means that on the flip side, I could just as easily opt out of it. Every day, I’m given that choice — I’m granted that privilege — based on the color of my skin.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 10:04 AM PST - 19 comments

Why is this haggadah different from all other haggadot?

The Jewish Worker has compiled a list of haggadot for your social justice seder (twitter) [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura at 9:36 AM PST - 15 comments

The Death of an Adjunct

Thea Hunter was a promising, brilliant scholar. And then she got trapped in academia’s permanent underclass.
posted by infini at 9:33 AM PST - 47 comments

As American As Apple Pie

“Schoonover is tall, blond, and ruddy-cheeked, with a goofy sense of humor that probably comes in handy during her day job teaching children about agriculture at a local museum. She’s finishing up her second year as the co-chair of the Central Iowa DSA, a position she sees as a way “to actually do something instead of being mad and upset every day after Trump became president.” Iowa’s Democratic Socialists Are Organizing To Go Beyond 2020 (The Atlantic) Chicago socialists cleaned house in last night's municipal elections, winning as many as six socialist city council members. The city's left has a historic opportunity to push back years of gentrification, police brutality, and austerity. (Jacobin) “For much of the 20th century, Milwaukee was run by socialists—and Time magazine called it “one of the best-run cities in the U.S.” (The Nation) Midwestern Socialism previously, Green Corn Rebellion, Radicalism 101
posted by The Whelk at 9:26 AM PST - 17 comments

Justin Trudeau and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad [Year]

Justin Trudeau, imposter [Maclean's Magazine] The phoniness of the Prime Minister’s handling of the SNC-Lavalin file is a trait he shows the Canadian people all too often
“Long story short, the government of Canada was telling one story to itself and another to Canadians. To themselves, they said they were protecting jobs. To the rest of us, they said they were getting tough. A government that indulges in that much sustained double-talk clearly thinks it has something to hide. It’s being disingenuous. It’s being phony. And since the lot of them never stop calling themselves #TeamTrudeau on Twitter, I guess we can, without fear of contradiction, say the Prime Minister of Canada has been the phony-in-chief.”
[Previously.] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 8:11 AM PST - 103 comments

Please let me roll once again

Wowaka, a popular vocaloid producer and vocalist for the band Hitorie, has passed away at the age of 31 due to heart failure. He was known for his unique and instantly recognizable style and for his relatable lyrics. Lluvia has a thread on twitter mourning his passing and commemorating his work. His songs are available on his official Youtube channel, but there are no English translations. So here are a few of his more popular vocaloid songs with English subtitles: [more inside]
posted by anthy at 7:46 AM PST - 3 comments

Where did these three men go?

120 years later and still searching for the missing First men to man the lighthouse on Flannan Isles worked hard against the elements, but three of the four men simply disappeared.
posted by Yellow at 7:03 AM PST - 19 comments

Fibreglass shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo

"Any system of control must make some small place for the dynamic, the unexpected, the downright quirky. I therefore recommend that the Headington shark be allowed to remain." RIP Bill Heine, broadcaster, journalist, and the man behind one of Britain's best-loved pieces of public art.
posted by verstegan at 4:48 AM PST - 12 comments

April 7

Slab Crappie Hyperactive Minnow

Beginner fly-tying videos: The Pheasant Tail Nymph Euro Style, The Infamous Mop Fly ("The Mop Fly has this really bad reputation because it's tied from strands from a mop. I have to admit, I don't like it. yet it catches fish, so here it is"). More beginner fly-tying videos here. More advanced fly-tying videos: Latex Scud, Chewie Trout Streamer, Schroeder's Parachute Caddis Fly, Sonic Boom Fly, Darling Darting Damsel, Sugar Pop Fly, and Slab Crappie Hyperactive Minnow.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:18 PM PST - 13 comments


Caterpillars – the shapes and sizes that they come in and for many the urge to touch, pick up and hold is almost irresistible. Yet although most butterfly and moth larvae are quite harmless, preferring to curl up in a ball when threatened, some will make it quite plain that they do not like to be touched. They will sting: here is a selection of the stinging caterpillars of the United States.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:27 PM PST - 27 comments

turns utopian & technical, brilliant & cockamamie, syncretic & specific

An Appalachain Trail: A Project In Regional Planning - But the original concept for tracing out a hiking path along the spine of the Appalachian Mountains, dreamed up almost a century ago by the planner, forester, and idiosyncratic social reformer Benton MacKaye, was so radical that MacKaye himself feared it would be dismissed as “bolshevistic.” What MacKaye envisioned when he first proposed the trail in a 1921 article for the Journal of the American Institute of Architects was something far beyond a woodsy recreational amenity. This “project in regional planning,” as MacKaye called it, was meant to be a thoroughgoing cultural critique of industrial modernity
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:19 PM PST - 6 comments

With age comes Wizdom

They are likely the only NBA dance team "presented by AARP" (tweet with short video clip), but that's because the Wizdom members are all over 50 (NPR). The Road to Wizdom (YT playlist) was tough, taking more than 50 applicants and narrowing it down to 19 women and one man, who range in age from 50 to 76. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 4:39 PM PST - 9 comments

Iconic consoles of the IBM System/360 mainframes

Although the S/360 models shared a common architecture, internally they were completely different to support the wide range of cost and performance levels. Low-end models used simple hardware and an 8-bit datapath while advanced models used features such as wide datapaths, fast semiconductor registers, out-of-order instruction execution, and caches. These differences were reflected in the distinctive front panels of these computers, covered with lights and switches. [more inside]
posted by jenkinsEar at 2:26 PM PST - 52 comments

our band could be your band? (the spreadsheet)

New York Times Magazine editor Nitsuh Abebe compiled this spreadsheet which catalogs cover versions of ’80s and ’90s indie rock songs, performed by other ’80s and ’90s indie rock bands. (hat tip: Spin)
posted by Drab_Parts at 2:00 PM PST - 22 comments

Short stories always seem to cost me blood...

A Personal Anthology: "Each week a guest is invited to pick and introduce twelve of their favourite short stories and, where possible, link to them online." [more inside]
posted by thatwhichfalls at 1:49 PM PST - 2 comments

A lot of research into things that really have very little meaning

"The original pokerap is a travesty" — Brian David Gilbert, Unraveled LIVE. (previously) (even more previously)
posted by Memo at 12:10 PM PST - 25 comments

An unserious scholar

The Barely Hidden Flaws in Jordan Peterson's Scholarship "Simply reading the books you find in the religion section of your local used bookstore does not make you a religious scholar, no matter how many YouTube videos you post." [SLMedium]
posted by heatherlogan at 10:49 AM PST - 93 comments

Tea dragons do not require play, they require entertainment

The Tea Dragon Society is a short (46 page), cute webcomic created by Katie O'Neill. Set in a friendly world of high fantasy, it tells the story of how Greta, a young blacksmith's apprentice, joins a circle of friends dedicated to art of raising tea dragons. [more inside]
posted by CrunchyFrog at 10:27 AM PST - 19 comments

Killing time with beauty

La Petite Mélancolie
Killing time with beauty one click at a time (NSFW) mainly in french but hey pictures don´t need words!
I'm not even going to start. Just get in there and enjoy your timesink.
posted by adamvasco at 9:30 AM PST - 5 comments

But I'm not a lawyer. I'm an agent.

In another example of collective action at work, the Writer's Guild of America (WGA) is not backing down in its fight with the major talent agencies. Representatives from four major talent agencies blinked three hours ahead of a midnight deadline, conceding that their common business practices constitute a conflict of interest in exchange for an extension until April 12th. David Simon explains the evils of the major agencies' practices as inherently at odds with an agent's fiduciary duty to their clients, in the way only David Simon can, by telling the story of how he got screwed on Homicide: Life on the Street. He also thinks it's a major RICO case waiting to happen. [more inside]
posted by schadenfrau at 9:26 AM PST - 23 comments

The Fearless Benjamin Lay

Decades before the anti-slavery movement took root in the US, radical Quaker Benjamin Lay published his book All Slave-Keepers That Keep the Innocent in Bondage, Apostates, which demanded an immediate and unconditional end to slavery. Lay arrived at the 1738 Yearly Meeting of Philadelphia Quakers three weeks later with a message for his Friends. Declaring slaveholding the gravest sin in the world, Lay ran his sword through a book--rupturing a concealed animal bladder filled with red pokeberry juice and showering nearby slaveholders with fake blood. Writing for Aeon, historian Marcus Rediker examines the origins of Lay's radicalism and asks why so few have heard of him today. Eugene Grant (previously) looks at Lay's legacy as an activist and dwarf.
posted by duffell at 6:22 AM PST - 13 comments

Doctor Mix recreates Jean-Michel Jarre's Oxygène Part 4

Producer and musician Claudio Passavanti - from Doctor Mix - recreates Part 4 of Jean-Michel Jarre's Oxygène. [more inside]
posted by rongorongo at 1:03 AM PST - 9 comments

April 6

Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (A.S.M.R.)

How A.S.M.R. Became a Sensation. "The brain-tingling feeling was a hard-to-describe psychological oddity. Until, suddenly, it was a YouTube phenomenon." [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 8:04 PM PST - 77 comments

The pottery wheel scene is particularly poignant

Little Big - Skibidi (Romantic Edition). The band recently released a music video for a remix of their hit earworm (previously, previously) to publicize their upcoming tour. [more inside]
posted by zaixfeep at 7:50 PM PST - 12 comments

"Little Miss Colfax" Kept the Light on -- for Ann

Harriet Colfax was appointed keeper of the Michigan City Lighthouse in 1861 at the age of 37, a patronage appointment from her cousin Congressman (later Vice President) Schuyler Colfax; she served for 43 years in the physically-demanding and frequently dangerous position, retiring at the age of 80. She is noted by historians for her detailed log entries. Along with the job came a house, where she lived with her companion and fellow spinster Ann Hartwell, a teacher, librarian, and bookseller. The two lived together for more than 50 years, and died within a couple of weeks of each other. [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:23 PM PST - 12 comments

New bills would ban pelvic exams without consent. TW: sexual assault

“It’s a pure violation to find out after the fact that you had individuals examining you for no medical benefit” [more inside]
posted by a strong female character at 5:51 PM PST - 45 comments

DIY DIY diddle dee diddle...

Bagpipes are normally made like this. Homemade bagpipes can be made from a bunch of recorders, rubber gloves, duct tape and straws, condoms, and PVC piping.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 5:27 PM PST - 14 comments

Happiness is a warm dog

Dog owners are much happier than cat owners, survey finds WaPo | Gainesville Sun
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:45 PM PST - 91 comments

Give 'Em Enough Rope

The Ladies' Scottish Climbing Club of 1908. No harnesses, crampons, or boots: "To be decent, they would start their climbs in their restrictive, long skirts. However, when no men were around they would often discard these to climb in knickerbockers: knee length trousers that could be hidden under dresses." (Via Feminist Friday)
posted by Gin and Broadband at 1:09 PM PST - 9 comments

What makes a country song country enough for charts?

Back in November 2001, the Billboard Country Charts were topped by "I Wanna Talk About Me" (YouTube), Toby Keith's "country-rap" single (Washington Post, archived). Recently, an unlikely cross-over from Lil Nas X, "Old Town Road" (YT) charted on Billboard's Hot 100, Hot Country Songs and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts simultaneously, until Billboard removed the track from its Hot Country Songs list (NPR), and later provided its justification to Rolling Stone, which sparked further reactions (Okay Player) and rebuttals (The Guardian). Then Lil Nas X scored a remix with Billy Ray Cyrus (YT), who defended the song's country cred (People).
posted by filthy light thief at 12:27 PM PST - 72 comments

The Sahara has become an open-air cemetery

“The Gatekeepers of Europe: Outsourcing Border Controls to Africa” (42½min video, .mp4, magnet) Across North, West and East Africa billions of € in aid is directed by European nations to border enforcement and rounding up migrants and refugees. More people now die in the desert en route to Europe than drown in the Mediterranean. The Janjaweed militia who participated in the genocide in Darfur now carry out border security operations as part of the Sudanese Rapid Support Forces paramilitary. [more inside]
posted by XMLicious at 12:12 PM PST - 12 comments

Where's the bovine lipid extract surfactant?

How an inconspicuous slaughterhouse keeps the world’s premature babies alive (Content Warning: descriptions of animal slaughter which get fairly visceral about two-thirds of the way into the story.)
posted by jacquilynne at 11:55 AM PST - 5 comments

“So tell whoever got it locked that Nipsey Hussle stole the key”

Nipsey Hussle: a hip-hop samaritan who lifted up Los Angeles [The Guardian] “Ermias Asghedom, the rapper better known as Nipsey Hussle, knew his worth and implored his community to know theirs. Raised in Los Angeles, where he also died on Sunday afternoon in a shooting outside his Marathon Clothing store,” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 11:41 AM PST - 15 comments

ASMR For White Liberals

"You're one of the good ones... all the black people at your job love you." [SLYT]
posted by nightrecordings at 9:40 AM PST - 25 comments

The Wolfman Museum - A rest stop for the weary internet traveler

The Wolfman Museum - An Art Museum... IN SPACE A bit of a mad cross between a link aggregator and an old point-and-click adventure game. [more inside]
posted by Wretch729 at 7:25 AM PST - 3 comments

1,000 Years of Literary Tradition

The Library of Congress has digitized the Rare Persian-Language Manuscript Collection. Some highlights are presented on the About this Collection page. From Atlas Obscura.
posted by maurice at 3:34 AM PST - 1 comment

April 5

A Random Walk Through The Library of Congress

LOC Serendipity: Curated and Randomly Generated Selections from the Library of Congress is a website that simulates the experience of exploring a library and skimming eye-catching or interesting titles using the vast troves of digital resources held by the Library of Congress. It was designed and created by Metafilter's own metasunday. [via mefi projects]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 3:18 PM PST - 18 comments

Gutting the IRS

The IRS Tried to Take on the Ultrawealthy. It Didn’t Go Well. Ten years ago, the tax agency formed a special team to unravel the complex tax-lowering strategies of the nation’s wealthiest people. But with big money — and Congress — arrayed against the team, it never had a chance. (SLProPublica by Jesse Eisinger and Paul Kiel; previously in this series)
posted by crazy with stars at 2:48 PM PST - 48 comments

Super Mario

As if it was a plagiarism
posted by avi111 at 1:04 PM PST - 36 comments

Lux Prima

Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Danger Mouse have released an album called Lux Prima. The film clip for Woman, directed by Spike Jones and performed live on The Late Show. Full album on youtube.
posted by adept256 at 12:22 PM PST - 19 comments

April 6, 2019 is Y2K (or 8/21/99) all over again, for old GPS devices

If you use your smartphone for GPS navigation, or pretty much any other GPS receiver released in the past decade you can probably ignore this next link -- but if you have an older GPS receiver, it may malfunction on or around April 6, 2019. (Liliputing) GPS “rollover” event on April 6 could have some side-effects -- GPS’s UTC clock, used for more than navigation, is about to reset. There might be some surprises. (Ars Technica) It's no Year 2000 Problem (Wikipedia) ... well, it is, in a way. It's another time formatting and storage bug (Wikipedia), and this particular GPS hiccup already happened, at 23:59:47 on Saturday 21 August 1999 (more details from 1998, PDF). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 12:04 PM PST - 26 comments

Erynn Brook met a girl last night

She’d been looking at me and I hadn’t really noticed. Her lips were barely moving, but I took out one earbud and said “pardon?” And she said “are you getting off soon?” And I said yes. The train was mostly empty. But then I noticed she was holding a laminated sheet of paper out.
At the top it said “my seizure plan” [more inside]
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 10:47 AM PST - 41 comments

It's Never Too Late.

How To Get Strong. A guide from the NYT.
posted by storybored at 10:44 AM PST - 50 comments

"Who’s this beautiful angel?"

An infant did not have any hospital visitors for five months. So this nurse adopted her. WaPo | MSN [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:38 AM PST - 9 comments

Immersed in a game

Immersed is a podcast about board games by Chris and Suzanne Zinsli, the designers and bloggers of Cardboard Edison. Each episode delves into a single game, its play and design and inspiration -- as well as an interview with someone who works in the real-world field that the game distills into an hour or so of tabletop enjoyment. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 10:27 AM PST - 2 comments

Isolated, aging, alone, and online

“ Four recent studies found that older Americans are more likely to consume and share false online news than those in other age groups, even when controlling for factors such as partisanship. Other research has found that older Americans have a poor or inaccurate grasp of how algorithms play a role in selecting what information is shown to them on social media, are worse than younger people at differentiating between reported news and opinion, and are less likely to register the brand of a news site they consume information from. “ Old, Online, and Fed On Lies (Buzzfeed) YouTube Executives Ignored Warnings, Letting Toxic Videos Run Rampant (Bloomberg) “I might recommend adding Facebook poisoning to the diagnoses as well. In the tiny town in which I grew up, there’s no local paper anymore and nothing in the way of culture or things to do period. “
posted by The Whelk at 9:41 AM PST - 56 comments

"You sell 10m albums... I coulda made this much working at Starbucks"

The Boy Band Con [YouTube] is a new documentary about Lou Pearlman, the man who created the Backstreet Boys and N*SYNC then ripped them off for millions, told by the boy band members themselves. [more inside]
posted by Gin and Broadband at 9:32 AM PST - 12 comments

There Are Two Ways to Tell the Story of Sandy Fawkes

The first is how it’s always been told, as a joke, as dark comedy, making her out into a villain, a vixen, a barfly, an object of derision and then, later, pity .... The other way—the way I want, I need, to tell it—is as a story of trauma. Of tragedies never fully recovered from, of terrible decisions leading to other terrible decisions, of alcohol as self-medication, and of some degree of contentment achieved after the largest possible toll. A sensational story, yes, but underneath the sensation was something more complicated, and thus, more interesting. Sandy Fawkes: The Reporter and The Serial Killer by Sarah Weinman [CW: Murder, Rape, Abuse, Suicide, Alcoholism]
posted by chavenet at 9:15 AM PST - 10 comments

I do not consider my disability a ‘special request.’

"Accessibility is more than whether a door frame is wide enough for a wheelchair. It’s equally about the hospitality diners with disabilities receive when they come in for a meal, including whether employees are nimble in accommodating them so they can have the same experience as other diners. One in four U.S. adults—61 million people—have a disability that impacts major life activities, according to a 2018 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. The most common disability type, mobility, affects one in seven adults."
posted by everybody had matching towels at 7:47 AM PST - 41 comments

She's coming with me to the end now

Dean Nicholson was planning to explore the world solo by bike. Little did he expect when he crossed paths with a scruffy little companion in Montenegro that she would worm her way into his handlebar bag and his heart.
posted by drlith at 6:59 AM PST - 31 comments

April 4

He Stopped Counting at 4500

The joke that has ended thousands of relationships (SLYT). Here's a follow-up interview.
posted by zaixfeep at 6:41 PM PST - 71 comments

How does a person lose track of their diary?

“The act of the diary strikes me as so deeply human.” a longform comic on lost and found diaries.
posted by Grandysaur at 4:55 PM PST - 20 comments

"I briefly amuse myself by mashing the Help and Please buttons"

“The ten hour shifts can be pretty grating on your mind. What worked for me was trying to completely zone out — think about nothing — and let my cerebellum take over.” Advice given to a new Amazon warehouse employee. In his own words, Postyn Smith recounts the roll-out of games on the warehouse floor designed to help keep workers "engaged" and lower turnover. Not to be confused with the similarly dystopian game that came out earlier this year where you play as an Amazon warehouse worker, created by Australia's ABC News.
posted by Snacks at 1:50 PM PST - 37 comments

Bird conservation in the Great Lakes

"Fight for Flight" is a 15 minute video about conservationists helping birds in the Great Lakes region (SLVimeo)
posted by rebent at 12:54 PM PST - 2 comments

“...but how realistic is it really?”

Could We Blow Up the Internet? [Motherboard] “About six years ago, when I told people I was writing a novel about a group of activists destroying the internet, they would always ask me two questions. The first was always “why?” Tellingly, that’s not a question I get asked anymore. More often than not I’m met with a “nice,” a “right on,” or just a knowing, appreciative nod. It seems like everybody has their own reasons for destroying the internet: Trump, gamergate, Brexit, Facebook, the alt-right, revenge porn. Take your pick, it’s been a wild six years. The second question remains the same though: “how?” [...] It’s both an exciting and frightening idea, that activists and protest groups—rather than military, paramilitary, or nation state forces—might be able to cause disruption and chaos via DIY methods of attacking internet infrastructure,”
posted by Fizz at 12:13 PM PST - 68 comments

the futility of all human striving

The Unintended Impact of Academic Research on Asset Returns: The CAPM Alpha, Alex R. Horenstein - "This paper explores a channel whereby asset-pricing anomalies can appear as investors alter portfolios according to findings in academic research. In particular, I find that assets with low realized CAPM alphas [wiki] outperform those with high ones, but only after the CAPM’s publication in the 1960s." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:03 PM PST - 40 comments

Delores: love story of how a man who had gas in his veins went electric

Rich Benoit, who is a mix of a gear-head and a techie, fell in love with an electric car, but wanted to rebuild a Tesla instead of buying one. So he did. (Boston Globe) “We’re in a society where if you need to know something you Google it, but there was nothing out there, no one who knew how to fix them.” Benoit started with one flood-damaged car, then got a second that had been totaled in a crash. He figured it out from there, posting his progress to YouTube as Rich Rebuilds. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 11:11 AM PST - 26 comments

will dispense free one, three and five-minute stories

Short story vending machines to transport London commuters [The Guardian]
posted by readinghippo at 10:11 AM PST - 12 comments

If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be called research would it?

From squeaking sand to the etymology of the word "abracadabra" to whether time really moves in one direction, Wikenigma: An Encyclopedia of Unknowns has been established to catalog the "known unknowns" -- things we don't (yet) understand about the world around us and our places in it.
posted by Etrigan at 9:58 AM PST - 17 comments

My Adoptive Parents Hid My Racial Identity From Me For 19 Years

Melissa Guida-Richards's parents told her and her brother that, like them, they were ethnically Italian and Portuguese, and did not tell them they were actually adopted and had been born in Colombia.
posted by larrybob at 9:31 AM PST - 40 comments

“When You’re Poor, Everybody Thinks You’re Lying”

“Hayes and Burton want to create a service that not only offers more humane treatment of its creative community but also gives leftist and left-curious viewers a single home for everything from animated comedy to scripted and reality shows to quick explainers, produced explicitly without the kind of restrictions or corporate watering down more prevalent elsewhere. Means TV will be a subscription streaming service that will cost $10 per month, but it plans to publish content across social and YouTube to counter the legions of right-wing content creators on those platforms.” The team behind Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s viral campaign is aiming to create a home for quality leftist entertainment and media without a corporate leash. (Fast Company) “ “Basically, it’s a cooperatively-run, anti-capitalist Netflix,” said co-founder Naomi Burton, the goal of which is “to help create the cultural foundation and support needed to build socialism in the U.S.” (The Intercept) MEANS TV: For All Of Us - Parenting under Capitalism - Slavery, Colonizlism, And Capitalism - Lifehacks! How to literally stay alive! - Health Justice Is What We Deserve - Freedom Under Capitalism with Streetfight Radio - Youtube Channel
posted by The Whelk at 9:30 AM PST - 18 comments

They called her Felicia. She cost $35.

Why Physicists Tried to Put a Ferret in a Particle Accelerator
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:33 AM PST - 50 comments

They're Not White!

In which Full Frontal With Samantha Bee gets The Lucas Brothers to go to The Met to investigate how Greek and Roman white marble statuary has fed into white supremacist thought without any historical basis. [6m30s]
posted by hippybear at 7:00 AM PST - 31 comments

"Cats understand human cues better than many people think"

Researchers in Japan have demonstrated that cats can recognize their own names in a string of words. However, they noted that "it was not clear the cats realised their name was a name. 'There is no evidence that cats have the ability to recognise themselves. So I think they just associated words—here, names—with rewards or punishment.'"
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:47 AM PST - 52 comments

Fifty Shades of White

For the Guardian, Lois Beckett does a deep dive into recent efforts to address racial exclusion in the romance novel community. [more inside]
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:05 AM PST - 31 comments

You're it!

World Chase Tag is the playground game of tag made competitive and played out using parkour techniques one on one in a closed jungle gym-like arena with 20 seconds on the clock. Medium interview with Damien Devaux, brother of founder Orlando. Their youtube channel has a ton of videos as does their instagram.
posted by juv3nal at 1:06 AM PST - 5 comments

April 3

Guido, James, Anders, and Larry sitting on a stage

PuPPy Presents its ANNUAL BENEFIT in Seattle: A conversation with Language Creators. A historic discussion of language creators about the past and future of language design. [more inside]
posted by zengargoyle at 10:07 PM PST - 5 comments

Rethinking seeds, from the ground up

"Michael is a squash breeder. I said, “If you're such a great squash breeder, why don't you figure out how to make a butternut squash taste good? Instead of chefs doing these heroics of roasting, caramelizing, adding maple syrup and gastriques, just create the thing and make it great.” And what he said to me was probably what changed my appreciation for the work that breeders do and also got me thinking about how to engage them more. He said that in all of his years of breeding, no one had ever asked him to select for flavor." Chef Dan Barber talks with The Splendid Table's host, Francis Lam, about rethinking seeds. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:12 PM PST - 51 comments

“There will be plenty of unfavorable things about the president

in the full report, which we think will eventually come out, so let’s not go overboard saying there’s no wrongdoing,” said a senior White House official to Olivia Nuzzi @NYMag. "In interviews with New York, White House officials and people familiar with internal events have described mood swings rippling through the administration: First came relief, in the form of smiles and tears and bottles of Champagne; then, the catharsis of “righteous anger,” with fuck yous to the press, Democrats in Congress, and members of the intelligence community; as the excitement waned, “cooler heads” emerged in the White House with brand-new anxieties about a president inclined to inflict self-harm by taking things too far." [more inside]
posted by Little Dawn at 5:08 PM PST - 1173 comments

Even growing in a filthy pond, the white lotus never gets dirty.

In the great inland city of Chongqing in southwest China, as aerial tramways arced overhead and the towers of the wealthy loomed, French filmmaker Hendrick Dusollier documented the Last Days in Shibati (十八梯) slum before it was demolished. [more inside]
posted by XMLicious at 2:51 PM PST - 5 comments

A 'magic bullet' to capture carbon dioxide?

A technology that removes carbon dioxide from the air has received significant backing from major fossil fuel companies. British Columbia-based Carbon Engineering has shown that it can extract CO2 in a cost-effective way. It has now been boosted by $68m in new investment from Chevron, Occidental and coal giant BHP. But climate campaigners are worried that the technology will be used to extract even more oil.
posted by Atom Collection at 2:48 PM PST - 56 comments

These insects seem almost fearless in their predation

According to the latest research, giant water bugs flex like Popeye, eat ducks and snakes, force their males to take an active role in parenting, and are tasty either fried or boiled. [more inside]
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:47 PM PST - 13 comments

Nobody parks in L.A.

When chicken tikka mariah (@Mrhflrs) noticed a stalemate over a parking space she decided to tweet about it. It went on a little longer than expected.
posted by Room 641-A at 1:23 PM PST - 74 comments

Robinson Jeffers, Poet and Prophet

"Poet Against Empire" from Chronicles. The article explores the life and poetry of Jeffers. "Just how big Jeffers had once been is hard to convey today, and so is the depth of his collapse in reputation." Previously and previously on the Blue (with lots of links in the OPs and comments).
posted by Fukiyama at 12:51 PM PST - 12 comments

Charges dropped in 2015 Texas biker brawl that left nine dead

It took four years to do what everyone knew should happen. Previously.
posted by Bee'sWing at 12:32 PM PST - 28 comments

"Dedicated to streaming important classic and contemporary films..."

The Criterion Collection will officially launch its new Criterion Channel on April 8. Recently, they announced their first lineup, along with the most thorough explanation of the channel so far. Official trailer is here (initial announcement trailer here) and discounts for Charter Members in affect until April 7 after which point the price goes up. Service will work for Canadians and Americans but as yet not outside those two countries.
posted by dobbs at 12:04 PM PST - 16 comments

Change the titles, change the story

Every student of art history will at some point come across Édouard Manet’s Olympia (Wikipedia), a painting widely considered as a foundational work of modern art. Denise Murrell recalls the moment the lecture slide first flashed up on the screen when she was a graduate student at Columbia. “My heart started beating a little bit faster,” Murrell says.... But her professor focused on the white nude, the prostitute Olympia, and didn't mention the black servant at all. That motivated Murrell to learn about the black figure in the painting. A Student Thesis Has Become a Groundbreaking Show About How Black People Have Been Pictured Across Art History (Art News), which is now an exhibit at Musée d'Orsay in Paris, where French masterpieces are renamed after black subjects (CNN). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 10:26 AM PST - 7 comments

“Just make it as weird as you possibly can.”

It has been 20 cycles since a human astronaut John Crichton shot himself through a wormhole and found himself in a world inhabited by aliens, criminals and puppets. An io9 article looks back on the origins and influence of Farscape. For those wanting to review individual episodes, AV Club did a rewatch a few years back, as did FanFare.
posted by sardonyx at 10:24 AM PST - 41 comments

House hunters are deterred from evicting incumbents by strong vibrations

How hermit crabs shake off competitors for shells [The Guardian] - Research article Get off my back: vibrational assessment of homeowner strength by Louise Roberts and Mark E. Laidre.
posted by readinghippo at 9:59 AM PST - 2 comments

“Do you want to know how I got these scars?”

Joker [YouTube][Teaser Trailer] “The first teaser for Todd Phillips’ upcoming standalone Joker movie brings Joaquin Phoenix’s take on the iconic villain to life. Unlike previous iterations of the Joker, this movie carves out an origin story for the character — the Joker before he was the Joker, exploring the life of Arthur Fleck as he descends from small-time stand up comedian to the clown prince of crime. The movie is said to lean hard on Martin Scorsese influences, particularly the director’s 1982 dark comedy The King of Comedy.” [via: Polygon]
posted by Fizz at 9:50 AM PST - 98 comments


How do past rumblings and claims of crisis compare to now? Is the shit hitting the fan? ‘Oh, the shit’s hitting the fan. Operation Green Fence was the 2013 effort to just start getting exporting countries to clean their recycling, their plastics in particular.’” America’s new recycling crisis, explained by an expert (Vox) It’s Time to Rethink How Recycling is Done: China doesn’t want to sort your trash anymore (The Nib)
posted by The Whelk at 9:14 AM PST - 23 comments

sea water will just go under a wall, like a salty ghost

“The scientists, economists, and environmentalists that are saying this stuff, they don’t realize what a wealthy area this is.” She said that she lived here and wasn’t leaving, and that the people selling Miami were confident, and all working on the same goal as a community to maintain this place, with the pumps and the zoning and raising the streets. There were just too many millionaires and billionaires here for a disaster on a great scale to be allowed to take place.
Heaven or High Water - Selling Miami's last 50 years
posted by griphus at 8:15 AM PST - 79 comments

Wait, astronauts pooped on the moon and just left it there?!

Apollo astronauts left their poop on the moon. We gotta go back for that shit.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 7:47 AM PST - 46 comments


It has long been commented that discussing [social] class is basically taboo in American culture. This presents a problem for Americans because social class is a real phenomenon, an important phenomenon around which huge amounts of American policy, politics, and culture organizes. It's the elephant in the American living room. Social class is taboo to discuss, but economic class is not, and that presents an obvious "solution": Americans conflate social and economic class so they can talk about social class under the guise of talking about economic class. (previously)
posted by Memo at 7:01 AM PST - 51 comments

Maps of historic public transit systems and their modern equivalents

Artist Jake Berman maps old public transport systems and their modern equivalents, and generates 'swipe' images that allow you to compare them with each other. Jake's web site.
posted by carter at 6:20 AM PST - 35 comments

We’re going to teach her if she gets elected...

Lori Lightfoot elected first African-American female mayor of Chicago Running on a platform against the city’s corrupt machine, she swept all 50 districts for an historic victory, and is also the first openly gay mayor of one of America’s biggest cities.
posted by stillmoving at 4:50 AM PST - 53 comments

Building 4D polytopes

Years ago I stumbled upon the convex regular 4-polytopes - four-dimensional analogues of the Platonic solids. I did not understand the mathematics behind these structures back then - but recently I decided to figure out how this works. A richly illustrated and interactive page (that probably won't work well on mobile devices).
posted by Wolfdog at 4:03 AM PST - 2 comments

Spooning Fox Cubs

Wildlife Aid rescues orphaned fox cubs every year. This year they've had a single young cub for about a month but just recently have brought her a much-needed new friend. Now you can watch them snuggle and play together on their webcam!
posted by Mizu at 12:54 AM PST - 9 comments

April 2

Even A Stopped Clock Is Right Twice A Day

Through random internet poking I found this page on the proverb "Even a stopped clock is right twice a day" which I found to be supremely interesting. I thought maybe you might also find it interesting.
posted by hippybear at 10:49 PM PST - 31 comments

"It is 100 percent not a fact-based business"

Susan Deren sat at her kitchen table, carefully propped a cordless phone in front of her and a notepad to her side, and opened up her iPhone to look at a photo of a small dog, a pug in a pink harness named Luna. Then Deren, who calls herself an “animal communicator,” picked up the cordless phone and dialed Luna’s owner so she could begin communicating with the dog. Over the phone. Mind-to-mind.
(Billy Baker, Boston Globe)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:47 PM PST - 23 comments

The hypothetical losses of the women he might have harmed

Irin Carmon on unsuccessful efforts to publish a story later broken by Ronan Farrow (previously) a about CBS leadership sexual harassment allegations. “The system,” I said from the stage, “is still powerful men getting stories killed that I believe will one day see the light of day.”
posted by lab.beetle at 8:39 PM PST - 4 comments

How the South Won the Civil War

During Reconstruction, true citizenship finally seemed in reach for black Americans. Then their dreams were dismantled. [more inside]
posted by Barack Spinoza at 7:23 PM PST - 21 comments

"Mad weave is triaxial"

And a triaxial fabric can support cross-stitch representations of symmetry groups that warp-and-weft fabric can't.
posted by clew at 4:42 PM PST - 43 comments

Maybe Joe Biden Is Not Going to Handle This Well

Joe Biden seems to have a problem with how he interacts with women. And judging by how he's reacting to some relatively tame accusations, it's only going to get worse. When accounts like Flores’ and Lappos’ come out, Team Biden is going to rhetorically acknowledge that women have the right to discuss their experiences—but they’re not going admit to any wrongdoing, and then they’re going to try to undermine the women’s credibility by subtly questioning their memories and motives. [more inside]
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 12:43 PM PST - 317 comments

Balancing three protagonists in The Favourite

Our attitudes toward the characters change time and again. The scene in which Sarah starts letter after letter to Anne, trying to regain her favor, encapsulates all three women's mercurial behavior. Her openings range from violent resentment ("I dreamt I stabbed you in the eye") to fondness ("My dearest Mrs Morley"-her pet name for the Queen). The latter is the one she sends, but Abigail consigns it to the fire, finally making any reconciliation between her rival and the Queen impossible. [more inside]
posted by smcg at 11:36 AM PST - 4 comments

R.I.P. Vonda N. McIntyre

Vonda McIntyre, the science fiction author who helped found the Clarion West Writers Workshop has died at age 70. (previously)
posted by rmd1023 at 10:17 AM PST - 63 comments

The Boston Public Library 78rpm Collection

Internet Archive: "Following eighteen months of work, more than 50,000 78rpm record 'sides' from the Boston Public Library’s sound archives have now been digitized and made freely available online by the Internet Archive."
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:01 AM PST - 33 comments

Archaeology isn’t just for primates anymore

Expanding the already growing scope of archaeology from primate archaeology (Academia.edu): Sea otter archaeology exists, and it’s awesome (Ars Technica). Sea otters' tool use leaves behind distinctive archaeological evidence. (Phys.org) The paper in question: Wild sea otter mussel pounding leaves archaeological traces (Nature Scientific Reports, open access)
posted by filthy light thief at 9:29 AM PST - 10 comments

“Heyyyyy. Morning!”

Peppered egg on a bed of blackberries and vegetables? BBC News: “Imagine waking up in the morning, walking down to your stylish kitchen and finding actor Tom Hiddleston making breakfast for you.” Mashable: “Despite Western confusion, though, the ad has been wildly successful - and several writers have already made arguments for why it's a fit for its intended market.” Guardian: “You’ve seen that face before, that time you caught your dog eating raw sausages out of the fridge. What has Hiddleston done, exactly?” ABC Australia: “While Western fans found the advertisement 'creepy' and 'uncomfortable', the video with many romantic elements - tailored to the Chinese market - seemed to work like a charm on the targeted audience.” Maybe this version works better for some?
posted by Wordshore at 9:29 AM PST - 68 comments

What comes after “open source”

Steve Klabnik muses about a conflict within open source, and what comes next.
posted by a snickering nuthatch at 8:55 AM PST - 27 comments

You're a Hugo Finalist! and you're a Hugo Finalist! And you're...

The 2019 Hugo Awards Finalists have been announced and the most interesting nomination is that of Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works. Does that mean that everybody that has stories published there can now call themselves a Hugo Finalist?
posted by MartinWisse at 8:45 AM PST - 65 comments

Some come back, some don’t.

How BioWare's Anthem Went Wrong Jason Schreier writes a long form piece about the 7 year long development of their new game Anthem. Bioware's response. [more inside]
posted by zabuni at 8:39 AM PST - 45 comments

The brain isn't an exact science

The fifth (and final) season premiere of Jane the Virgin featured a huge revelation: [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 8:36 AM PST - 7 comments

Don’t Despair, Organize

“This summary of the predicted outcome of Marx’s immiseration thesis is oft dismissed as incorrect and economically deterministic. For now it is sufficient to show that, in recent decades, the immiseration thesis itself—not the predicted final outcome—has been proven correct: real wages have decreased in proportion to the overall increase in productivity and enrichment of the capitalist class. Whether this, in turn, moves the wheel of history in a direction of widespread upheaval—a scenario that think tanks are warning of and the intelligence communities are preparing for—will be a matter of time and destiny. ” The Actuality of Marx’s Immiseration Thesis in the 21st Century (Regeneration)
posted by The Whelk at 8:10 AM PST - 7 comments

Towing the Line

There's Something Fishy A-boot Chicago's Towing Program "The city sells one in four towed vehicles. It pays a contractor with residents’ cars, yet the city... barely makes money. Someone should look at this." [more inside]
posted by xingcat at 5:24 AM PST - 25 comments

Trash Panda Tacos

Yesterday, CBC Radio Toronto listeners were introduced to a new food truck created by April Lee Falls. "The raccoons that we'll be sourcing come from a wilderness farm... they're eating organic fruits and vegetables.... They've got more space than most people living and renting in this city." [more inside]
posted by clawsoon at 5:16 AM PST - 10 comments

“A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.”

Melee Player Quits Match Over Opponent's Jigglypuff Stalling [Twitter] "Over the weekend, an entire venue of Super Smash Bros. competitors and spectators lost their collective minds over the actions of one Jigglypuff player. Did he cheat in some way? Go overboard after a win? Destroy a CRT? Yell obscenities at the audience? No, he simply played to the Pokémon’s strengths in a favorable matchup, causing his opponent to get so frustrated that he unplugged his controller and left in a huff." [via: Kotaku] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 5:01 AM PST - 92 comments

Well they're not not Nazis.

A recent Guardian article has shed light on an intelligence report provided for US law enforcement agencies, authored by the Regional Organized Crime Information Center. From the article: Experts say the report mischaracterizes the dynamics of the street violence that was emerging at that time, and is mistaken in characterizing white nationalist groups as “anti-antifa”, suggesting they act in opposition to leftwing groups or out of a sense of anarchism rather than having their own political and violent agenda. The report was made public by Property of the People and is available on their website. [more inside]
posted by Telf at 1:46 AM PST - 20 comments

April 1

Randy buys a bookshelf off Gumtree

Randy buys a bookshelf off Gumtree Randy is a purple puppet. From Australia. Who swears a lot while telling funny stories.
posted by gottabefunky at 11:42 PM PST - 11 comments

"there’s actually a waiting list of dogs"

Jason “Jay” Hardesty, a UPS driver in New Orleans, recently became an Instagram hit because of his selfies with the dogs on his route.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:00 PM PST - 22 comments

"It was built on our watch and it needs to burn on our watch"

"Twitter never built in a way to deal with harassment because none of the people designing it had ever been harassed, so it didn't come up. [...] If your reply is that we didn’t design and build these things to be used this way, then all I can say is that you’ve done a shit job of designing them, because that is what they’re being used for. These monsters are yours, regardless of what your intentions might have been." A book extract published in Buzzfeed News from Mike Monteiro.
posted by automatronic at 7:26 PM PST - 34 comments

When we all fall asleep, where do we go?

Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O'Connell is 17 years old. She lives with her parents in a small 2 bedroom house, has Tourette's, makes music at home with her brother, and recorded her first song when she was just 13. Since then, she has already had over a billion plays, and just released a debut album that is rapidly climbing the charts. She has gotten praise from Thom Yorke, Sporty Spice, and Paul McCartney. Dave Grohl compares her to Nirvana, and showed up for her recent appearance on Ellen. With a colorful gothic horror aesthetic that is somewhere in between NIN, Bjork, Sesame Street , and Lana Del Rey, she's an up-and-coming phenomenon (all links to her songs). Watch out, Despacito.
posted by weed donkey at 5:55 PM PST - 32 comments

You ain't never had 5 friends like me

To celebrate the 5th anniversary of Aladdin on Broadway, 5 current and former Genies stopped the show following today's matinee with a medley of Aladdin hits at the New Amsterdam Theatre.
posted by ChuraChura at 5:30 PM PST - 4 comments

Not April Fools

Reddit’s r/Games closes on April Fools’ Day to protest bigoted, ‘vitriolic’ users
posted by allkindsoftime at 2:50 PM PST - 31 comments

Woo me

Get your summer gear ready and all three hearts pumping, Splatoon Island splashdowns on to your mobile device! (SLYT)
posted by lucidium at 11:25 AM PST - 7 comments

“It was a labour of love”

Behold an anatomically correct replica of the human brain knitted by a psychiatrist [more inside]
posted by bq at 10:06 AM PST - 12 comments

Octopuses can ‘see’ with their skin

Octopus skin can detect light and respond to it — no eyes or brain required. "Tests of fresh skin samples from California two-spot octopuses (Octopus bimaculoides) show this ability clearly for the first time in any cephalopod. White or blue light prompts the pale skin’s tiny quick-change color organs, or chromatophores, to expand, creating waves of yellows and browns."
posted by dhruva at 9:58 AM PST - 15 comments

For cramped New York, an expanding dining scene

No one associates New York, a city in the eastern United States, with good restaurants. That's beginning to change. -- For cramped New York, an expanding dining scene, Los Angelees Times
posted by Room 641-A at 9:43 AM PST - 70 comments


The first trailer has dropped for “The Dead Don't Die”, an upcoming American zombie horror comedy film, written and directed by Jim Jarmusch. It stars Adam Driver, Bill Murray, Selena Gomez, Iggy Pop, Chloë Sevigny, Carol Kane, Rosie Perez, Steve Buscemi, Austin Butler, Tilda Swinton, Tom Waits, Danny Glover, RZA and Caleb Landry Jones. It is scheduled to be released on June 14, 2019. [IMDB]
posted by Wordshore at 9:22 AM PST - 47 comments

Housing policy is climate policy (but it's bigger than just housing)

In California, home prices are pushing people farther from their jobs, which means more traffic and more pollution, to the point that increased vehicle emissions will outweigh the gains in reducing emissions from electricity generation (Los Angeles Times), and Californians aren't alone. The U.S. Department of Transportation touted record-setting vehicle-miles traveled (VMT) in 2018 as proof of a strong economy (FHWA), without mentioning the increase in emissions. And with past trends of more trucks and SUVs purchased over sedans and other cars (NPR, 2016) continuing into the latest year-end data (Car and Driver via Yahoo News), you start to see Why Housing Policy Is Climate Policy (New York Times Opinion). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:03 AM PST - 53 comments

Pipdig's peculiarities

Jem Jabella found that third-party WordPress plugin Pipdig Power Pack contains malicious code (summary). Pipdig responded with great sadness. Others independently confirmed Jem's findings. Pipdig wiped its repo and posted one without the offending code or an accessible version history. But the Internet Archive remembers...
posted by a snickering nuthatch at 7:19 AM PST - 41 comments


The Japanese government announces the name of the incoming imperial era. The period of the reign of the incoming Emperor Naruhito, which begins on 1 May, will be known as the Reiwa period, meaning “decree of peace” or “orderly command of peace”. It follows the Heisei era, which began in 1989, with the ascent of Emperor Akihito. The choice of the name Reiwa is not without controversy; it is the first era name taking its characters from Japanese, rather than Chinese, classical literature. Meanwhile, some have pointed to the characters, and the fact that the second one appears in “Yamato”, an archaic name for Japan with militaristic connotations, as having authoritarian overtones.
posted by acb at 6:50 AM PST - 28 comments

Every way to cook an egg

From prairie oysters to blowtorch to frittata... 59 ways to love your eggs (note: exploding method not recommended)
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 1:41 AM PST - 68 comments