August 2008 Archives

August 31

Final Days

"On the weekends, he favors two-hour bicycle rides at a Secret Service training facility outside Washington, where he sometimes asks companions and agents to ride behind him so that he can have the illusion of riding alone." With all the focus on the upcoming election, what of George W. Bush?
posted by djgh at 9:46 PM PST - 102 comments

Haven't heard from your Mummy lately?

Mummy News : All that's new with mummies. Well... not exactly "new." [more inside]
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:34 PM PST - 8 comments

Roger Williams

The First Founder: The American Revolution of Roger Williams. [Via 3quarksdaily]
posted by homunculus at 9:20 PM PST - 8 comments

Modular robot takes a kickin' and keeps on tickin'

Self-assembling robot. A self-assembling chair. A swarm of robots attempting to assemble. (All you-tube links.)
posted by pyramid termite at 8:40 PM PST - 14 comments


In 2002, Miles White died in a car crash. The car was being driven by his friend Adam Jacoby, and the accident occurred after they were chased by Deputy Scott Lawson of the Polk County, Florida Sheriff’s Office. The St. Pete Times now claims that “sexual pervert” Lawson hit them, causing the accident. [more inside]
posted by tomierna at 7:04 PM PST - 23 comments

Slovenian farm-league analysis

FreeDarko: the intersection of basketball and everything else worth talking about. Witness the 2008 U.S. Presidential election as seen through the lens of the UNC/Duke rivalry, and a look inside the noir world of Pat Riley.
posted by saladin at 3:51 PM PST - 3 comments

A massive asteroid from outer space heads straight for earth...

The End Of All Things.
posted by grippycat at 1:40 PM PST - 101 comments

Bigger than a breadbox.

Tiny Houses - Design Boom compiles a nice list of tiny residences around the world.
posted by dobbs at 12:05 PM PST - 25 comments

Human Rights Blogger Killed by Russian Police

Magomed Yevloyev, who blogged human rights abuses committed by police in Russia's volatile Ingushetia region, was shot in the temple while in police custody today. The site, (English version), reported the brutal anti-insurgent "Dirty War" tacticts committed by police against Ingushetia's civilian population.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot at 12:04 PM PST - 17 comments

Banksy does New Orleans

Three years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the gulf, London street artist Banksy travels to New Orleans to put up some commemorative pieces, saying the city's levee wall offered "the best painting surface in the state of Louisiana." Some of the pieces are statements on the clean up effort, and some are protests against Fred Radtke, New Orleans' Grey Ghost, who has been described as a street artist and an anti-street art crusader.

Like him or hate him, expect more of the same from Bansky: propaganda, magical realism, cartoon rats, a lot of technical finesse and a complete lack of subtlety. See the pictures on his site with irreverent/poignant commentary and then go to the flickr pool to see it from a few local perspectives.
posted by elr at 11:00 AM PST - 74 comments

Minnesota nice

The Unconvention wants Twin Cities residents to make an effort to help the Republicans feel comfortable while visiting a city that might not be full of people who think or look like they do. (multilink YouTube post.) [more inside]
posted by ardgedee at 9:04 AM PST - 24 comments

Celebrity Do-Gooder Does Actual Good

During last year's Toronto International Film Festival, there were stories about Colin Farrell taking a local homeless man on a shopping spree. This year, the Toronto Sun follows up. via
posted by jacquilynne at 6:57 AM PST - 19 comments

Better red than dead

With the potential 'crisis' with Russia, Georgia, Europe et al, the BBC tries to imagine what a new Cold War would be like starting with a tour of the budding Moscow tourist attraction called the Confrontation Cold War Museum. Sold off in an auction last year, the underground bunker now belongs to a private company that plans to turn it into an entertainment complex with a museum about the Cold War, a restaurant and even a spa. But it is already possible to hold fashion shows around the 600-meter-long network of bare, cavernous tunnels.
posted by infini at 1:01 AM PST - 6 comments

August 30

Mythbusters Gagged

Mythbusters has been gagged about doing a new episode on the ease of hacking the new rfid enabled credit cards.
posted by DJWeezy at 11:55 PM PST - 120 comments

natural beauty

The People of the Omo Valley, Ethiopia, use their faces and bodies as canvases, using natural elements at hand in an especially beautiful, natural fashion show. These photographs [flash] were taken by Hans Silvester, a German photographer who spent 10 months in the Omo Valley. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 10:27 PM PST - 21 comments

Guardian's Top 50 Arts Videos

The Guardian has compiled a list of their top fifty arts videos, the majority being from either rare or obscure sources and uploaded onto YouTube.
posted by djgh at 9:42 PM PST - 13 comments

The forgotten Holocaust

In 1943, while the Allies were busy battling the Axis Powers and the Nazi Regime, there was another kind of war that was being waged against a helpless populace (living on the Indian Sub-continent). A war that has been largely ignored by the mass media and the history books of our time. It is known as the Great Bengal Famine, and ended up causing the death of an estimated 1.5 million to 4 million people.
posted by hadjiboy at 6:10 PM PST - 34 comments

Brooklyn Signs

Signs that point to both a tenuously emerging future, as well as the dusty fingerprints of the neglected past. Brooklyn Signs.
posted by netbros at 4:22 PM PST - 18 comments

Love At First Byte

From darkness, she rose into the light... Meet Ela, young warrior princess! This short uses tacky CG technology to pay homage to our most wicked '80s fantasies. [via]
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 3:17 PM PST - 33 comments

Glorious Colour

Between 1908 and 1931, French philanthropist Albert Kahn funded The Archive of the Planet. He sent out still photographers and motion picture cameramen who returned with 72,000 Autochrome colour plates, 4,000 steroscopic views, and 600,000 feet of film. BBC4's startling series allows us all to see Edwardians In Colour.
posted by chuckdarwin at 2:50 PM PST - 25 comments

Major Hurricane Gustav heads for Louisiana

Hurricane Gustav is headed for landfall in Louisiana in the next 48 hours, with currently around an equal chance of being a category 3 storm or a category 4 storm. Gustav has 150 mph winds at the moment as it begins to enter the gulf of Mexico and a million people evacuate. After failing in their response to Hurricane Katrina three years ago, Fema is trying to be more proactive. Of course, some people are staying in harm's way, live blogging, and once again, there's the cry "bring it on". [more inside]
posted by cashman at 2:30 PM PST - 228 comments

Facebook the Movie

Facebook the Movie by Aaron Sorkin
posted by meech at 2:17 PM PST - 20 comments

Flowers For Algernon - The Blog

Daniel Keys' classic 1959 Science Fiction story "Flowers for Algernon", which takes place in a series of diary entries, has been posted online as a blog. Of course, you'll need to read it backwards, from the earliest entry to the latest, to avoid giving away the ending... [via]
posted by Asparagirl at 1:41 PM PST - 25 comments

Bust Em Before They Bite

Since at least February, the St, Paul police and the FBI have been trying to infiltrate protest groups planning to demonstrate and the RNC. Apparently they were successful because they have begun arresting protestors before the convention actually starts. They even went after the press. I have to wonder if any MeFites were busted?
posted by Xurando at 1:33 PM PST - 57 comments

Seek the Six

Seek the Six / "We want information." / "You won't get it." / "By hook or by crook, we will." [more inside]
posted by Koko at 1:05 PM PST - 38 comments

Katanga, Iago!

When a top black entertainer reaches 50, of course he's going to want to add The Moor to his repertoire... [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:35 AM PST - 14 comments

Marie-Thérèse will have her revenge on Milborough

Two kids. Dentist husband. New kid. Gay guy. Dead dog. Not-So-Secret wedding. Successful writer. First Nations. Another wedding. For Better. For Worse.
posted by infinitewindow at 10:06 AM PST - 56 comments

Billys and Charleys

In 1857, hundreds of strange objects suddenly started appearing in London antique shops: coins and medals, vases and statues, all made out of soft metal with weird designs and cryptic lettering. They were the work of two illiterate London mudlarks, William Smith and Charles Eaton, who managed to fool some of the leading archaeologists of the day into accepting their forgeries as genuine medieval antiquities.
posted by verstegan at 10:03 AM PST - 15 comments

Lard: The New Health Food?

As I sent my friends home bathed in the warm glow of hog grease, I felt sure that our generation would pass the test of lard. We might not cook with it every night—natural lard is expensive and (all right, I'll admit it) deep-fried foods are often loaded with calories, no matter which fat you use. But we won't live in fear of it, either. When we want deep-fried excellence, we'll reach for the best fat for the job: lard. [more inside]
posted by jason's_planet at 9:36 AM PST - 30 comments

The Myth of the Tragedy of the Commons

The Myth of the Tragedy of the Commons. `The author of "The Tragedy of the Commons" was Garrett Hardin, a University of California professor who until then was best known as the author of a biology textbook that argued for "control of breeding" of "genetically defective" people (Hardin 1966: 707). In his 1968 essay he argued that communities that share resources inevitably pave the way for their own destruction; instead of wealth for all, there is wealth for none....Given the subsequent influence of Hardin's essay, it's shocking to realize that he provided no evidence at all to support his sweeping conclusions. He claimed that the "tragedy" was inevitable -- but he didn't show that it had happened even once. Hardin simply ignored what actually happens in a real commons: self-regulation by the communities involved.`
posted by stbalbach at 9:16 AM PST - 50 comments

The artist without eyes

The artist without eyes
posted by konolia at 7:50 AM PST - 12 comments

Look at all the MAPLE SAP I got!

The worst comic strip ever? Thrill to the stilted, unfunny adventures of Uncle Funny Bunny and Chumpy, brought to you by Jerry Beck, of Cartoon Research fame.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:17 AM PST - 95 comments

Making their mark

Lightmark Cenci Goepel and Jens Warnecke of Germany create fabulous fine art images via light painting. In a word: beautiful. [more inside]
posted by bwg at 3:21 AM PST - 5 comments

"Photography lost its innocence many years ago."

Photo Tampering Through History. A regularly-updated collection, from 1860 to present, of examples of photo manipulation. Sometimes the changes are made for historical revisionism, sometimes for political maneuvering, and sometimes it's just a "wtf?" The page is part of a larger body of work by Dartmouth's Hany Farid, who has some other interesting goodies online. [Warning for the Pepsi Blue detectives: In some of his pages, he's shilling for his consulting services]
posted by amyms at 1:20 AM PST - 29 comments

Geoffrey Perkins is dead

Legendary British comedy producer Geoffrey Perkins died in a freak accident yesterday. Chances are if you watched some British comedy over the last 20 years, and liked it, Geoffrey Perkins had a hand in it.
posted by humblepigeon at 1:11 AM PST - 34 comments

August 29

Assessing digital formats for preservation and use

Sustainability of Digital Formats : a repository of mostly technical information about digital content file formats related to storing images (moving and still), text, sound and websites
posted by Gyan at 11:52 PM PST - 9 comments

All our battery are belong to you

"A Smart Garage energy paradigm could simultaneously reduce the environmental impact of both the transport sector and the electricity sector. Driving a vehicle that uses electricity creates fewer greenhouse-gas emissions than driving a vehicle that uses gasoline, even if the electricity is made from fossil fuels (such as coal)."
posted by flabdablet at 10:46 PM PST - 8 comments

Fascination with the Dodo Bird, by Adam Savage

Adam Savage's talk at The Last HOPE: Fascination with the Dodo Bird
parts:  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  A  B  C
(YouTubeFilter with a great audience Q&A session) [more inside]
posted by Chuckles at 9:20 PM PST - 36 comments

Roger Ebert to Jay Marriotti

An open letter to sports columnist Jay Mariotti , who resigned from the Sun-Times and lashed out during a TV interview announcing that newspapers were dead. (via Sports Filter)
posted by An Infinity Of Monkeys at 9:02 PM PST - 25 comments

An Inconvenient Wolf

Enemy of the State. Wolves in Alaska are gunned down from the air for cash bounties, their orphaned pups often discovered by agency biologists in the field and killed. Alaskans soon vote on proposition 2 to stop the controversial slaughter that serves the interests of large game hunters.
posted by Brian B. at 7:34 PM PST - 30 comments

London from Above, at Night

London from above, at night.
posted by cerebus19 at 6:50 PM PST - 31 comments

The Joy of Chickens?

The Big Book of Lesbian Horse Stories needs your vote.
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year, The Bookseller is pleased to announce the "Diagram of Diagrams" – a public vote to find the oddest book title of the past 30 years.
Direct link to poll page is here. There are only a few days left to do your part for world-wide (literary) democracy!
posted by yhbc at 6:37 PM PST - 39 comments

'An ode to developers everywhere...'

[slyt] Hug a developer today.
posted by sunshinesky at 12:58 PM PST - 31 comments

Rumors of Steve Job's Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

Steve Jobs hangs on.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 9:43 AM PST - 81 comments

The last American Maoist in China

In the 1950s, American Communists fled to China. The idealists returned home and got book deals. But one pragmatist remained behind. [more inside]
posted by shii at 9:21 AM PST - 21 comments

Cramp Free

They're everywhere; languishing on doorsteps, hanging out in the middle of the road, dangling off street signs, peeking out of piles of garbage, reclining in the middle of the sidewalk, riding the bus for free. London Bananas.
posted by netbros at 8:26 AM PST - 28 comments

Sarah Palin as McCain's running-mate

Fox, the BBC and CNN have all revealed that Republican US presidential candidate John McCain has picked Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate on his 72nd birthday on the eve of the start of Republican National Convention. Despite being wildly popular in Alaska, Palin has recently been involved in an investigation over whether she dismissed a public safety commissioner because he refused to dismiss her former brother-in-law.
posted by HaloMan at 7:52 AM PST - 5463 comments

I just want your extra time, and your... Mix.

Classic tracks: Can't seem to face up to the facts? Searching for the heart of Heart of Gold? Mix Online delves deep into your favorite jams, to find out what was in the air when they were conceived. Know what I mean? via
posted by Eideteker at 6:21 AM PST - 24 comments

An outlaw view of the underbelly of the beast during the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

Fear and Loathing in Denver, Colorado - August 24-28, 2008.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:16 AM PST - 56 comments

The Futility of Flogging Music

The Futility of Flogging Music "I was pondering the other day whether I actually have a field of expertise. I thought for ages, and couldn't come up with anything, and then in a blinding flash I realised, with a slight sense of despondency, what it might be: being in bands that people have never heard of." Actually you may have heard of Rhodri Marsden if you're caught the current Scritti Politti line-up in action, if you've ever followed the broadcasts of the late DJ John Peel, or if you've read Rhodri's technology column in UK newspaper the Independent. This week, in a speech to the Oxford Geek Night, Marsden shared his caustic yet heartfelt observations on DIY music from the early 90s through to the digital age, sighing "I can think of nothing more soul destroying" than social networking and quoting post-punk icon of Pere Ubu as saying musicians should "screw the audience".
posted by skylar at 3:58 AM PST - 43 comments

Rat Sound, the original punk rock sound company

Rat Sound Systems is the original punk rock sound company. Started in LA in the early 80s, it was a stalwart of the early LA punk scene (posters: it did happen). Starting in the 1990s, Rat Sound has been supplying sound for some of rock's biggest acts. They even went corporate, with a client list including Paris Hilton. Since May 2006, founder Dave Rat, who mixes the Red Hot Chili Peppers for the audience, has been keeping a tour blog. [more inside]
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 2:35 AM PST - 10 comments


Friday Flash Fun — Boombot.
posted by BrotherCaine at 2:12 AM PST - 45 comments

color is relative

Color Is Relative, pretty and interesting eye candy created by Gabriel Mott, is a website dedicated to showing luminosity achieved through simple color combinations. On the site, the image is interactive. By moving the mouse over a single swatch the background color of the page will change to the same color. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 12:58 AM PST - 13 comments

Conversations about Quest, the Battery,Jungle Brothers and Q-tip

Juan Epstein is the unaffiliated project of HOT 97 Radio DJ's Peter Rosenberg and Cipha. In this episode they talk with Qtip about how he[YT] got his start. They also interviewed Latarian the Elementary schooler who stole his grandmother's car [YT] [more inside]
posted by Rubbstone at 12:17 AM PST - 3 comments

August 28

Swastika Tube

Spiegel TV has tracked down rare Nazi TV footage, complete with everything from bizarre cabaret acts to interviews with people like Albert Speer. Pop culture done by Nazis, the banality of showbiz evil. [more inside]
posted by hortense at 11:43 PM PST - 29 comments

Republicans just can't get away from this stuff even if they wanted to

If you were asked to design the perfect weapon to exploit this vulnerability as it manifests itself in attractive, urban gay men, you’d want something that would intensify our isolation, exaggerate our propensity to objectify each other, and persuade us to objectify ourselves -- by encouraging us to believe that our purpose is to look good and have lots of sex. Manhunt would be your perfect weapon
"Has Manhunt Destroyed Gay Culture?". It's a great article, but what happened after its publication may be just as interesting. [more inside]
posted by Weebot at 11:35 PM PST - 49 comments

Mythbusters and the Mona Lisa Overdrive

Mythbusters and the Mona Lisa in Overdrive. In a demonstration at Nvidia's NVISION show, Jamie and Adam provide a graphic demonstration of the power of multicore processors vs. a single CPU.
posted by Dave Faris at 7:43 PM PST - 44 comments

I hurt myself today, pa rum pum pum pum

Nine Inch Noels. From MeFi's own.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:37 PM PST - 29 comments


Oddstrument is a blog about unusual musical instruments and other interesting acoustic technologies.
posted by Upton O'Good at 4:36 PM PST - 15 comments

Ready for take-off, Tiddles?

Catwings. Some Chinese cats seem to have sprouted wings. (No, it is not April 1.) [more inside]
posted by ottereroticist at 4:31 PM PST - 31 comments

ABC reporter arrested in Denver

ABC reporter arrested in Denver on a sidewalk after filming senators and VIP's at a private meeting with big-money donors. Video here. Asa Eslocker, the reporter in question, is now remaining mum, though he has been working on stories about the influence of lobbyists who throw some pretty lavish parties, including a private performance by Kanye West.
posted by waraw at 4:08 PM PST - 74 comments

She's laying in pieces on the hangar floor.

The Memphis Belle, the first B-17F Flying Fortress to complete 25 combat missions, is in the process of being restored. [more inside]
posted by god hates math at 3:59 PM PST - 17 comments

Cat heaven

We all know what 130 cats look like, but what about 700? Welcome to Cat House on the Kings, California's largest non-profit cat sanctuary.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 3:20 PM PST - 51 comments

Fly the Not-So Friendly Skies

It started earlier this year with airlines charging fees for checked baggage. Then came charges for pillows and blankets, not to mention paying for bottled water or an inflight meal on international flights. Now one carrier has decided to remove life vests to save on weight and fuel. What's next? Fees for overhead storage, reclining your seat or access to a restroom?
posted by ericb at 2:33 PM PST - 67 comments

Here's looking at you/me, kid

More good stuff for people who like visual ("optical") illusions (previously): A nice Scientific American article, a particularly creepy illusion, and a link to the "Best visual illusion of the year" contest. Given that the eye/mind/brain is so easy to trick, a person might wonder what's really out there in the world.
posted by cogneuro at 2:31 PM PST - 26 comments

Wilder Penfield

Wilder Penfield, Neural Cartographer.
posted by homunculus at 1:15 PM PST - 14 comments

Pharma reps from another planet

Feast your senses (including, perhaps, your sense of outrage) on this Merck Vioxx sales training video, presented in 3 parts without commercial interruption (heh) by the often interesting Pharmalot. [more inside]
posted by Mister_A at 1:07 PM PST - 42 comments

Je me souviens ... l'accord de partage de l'utilisateur

Facil, an open-source community based in Québec, is suing the Québec government for buying Microsoft software when free alternatives are available. Facil's press release says, in part, "From February to June 2008, FACIL has noticed sales of proprietary software for more than 25 million dollars. These purchases were made for products offered by large multinational enterprises, with no regard to suppliers in Quebec. ... While most of the developed countries have started, a few years back, migrating their technological infrastructures to Free Software, Quebec's public administration is far behind." Some applaud Facil's move. Others, not so much.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:53 PM PST - 47 comments

Hill races on.

Phil Hill, the only American ever to be winner of the Formula One Championship, a mulitple time winner of the 24 Hours of LeMans races in 1958, 1961 and 1962, and automotive journalist, has died at age 81.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 12:43 PM PST - 18 comments

The Middler

Your Gmail account isn't secure. Announced at Defcon 16, Jay Beale's tool, The Middler (man-in-the-middle) to steal session ID from not only Gmail users, but LinkedIn, LiveJournal, Facebook, and presumably any site that uses a session-based cookie. Enable https permanently. (previously)
posted by sluglicker at 10:48 AM PST - 53 comments

This Is Me

The aim of Self-Portrait Challenge is to create an online community of people participating in a continuous artistic self-expressive art project; self-portraiture. (images in the nude category obviously NSFW) They also participate in the Flickr: self portrait tuesday group.
posted by netbros at 8:18 AM PST - 34 comments

We Could Be Heroes...

A Serbian village erecting a statue to reggae superstar Bob Marley? Sure, why not? A Bosnian town with a statue of kung-fu legend Bruce Lee? Hell, yeah! And how 'bout, say, a Serbian monument to Rocky? Er, well.. ok. But the British Museum displaying what they say is the largest gold statue built since ancient Egypt, of... Kate Moss? Um... I dunno. I prefer the Russian monument to the enema.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:24 AM PST - 32 comments

Finally, there's a game that just is a database!

mySQLgame. Naturally, it's an alpha build. [via]
posted by Smart Dalek at 5:44 AM PST - 32 comments

Will the Dalai Lama reincarnate?

As the health of the Dalai Lama seems uncertain, the question remains: will he be reborn this time? and, if so, where?
posted by twoleftfeet at 5:28 AM PST - 64 comments

Gilbert Alter-Gilbert

An interview with translator (and critic and literary historian) Gilbert Alter-Gilbert.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:54 AM PST - 10 comments

Silly pencil pushers! You can't KILL Physics! What's that? Oh, physics *research*. You've won this round!

RIP Bell Labs "After six Nobel Prizes, the invention of the transistor, laser and countless contributions to computer science and technology, it is the end of the road for Bell Labs' fundamental physics research lab."
posted by Eideteker at 4:20 AM PST - 56 comments

Those markets? Well, it seems they work like they are supposed to ...

Are funds calling a bottom to the US housing market? Even as house price declines are beginning to slow, home sales may have stablised and resales look healthy, big money - $5B here, $3B there, over there $2B and lots and lots of smaller amounts - is being deployed to take housing assets off banks balance sheets.

Meanwhile, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are actually booking the biggest profits on new mortgages since 1998. It ain't over 'til it's over, but in the markets you take what you can get.
posted by Mutant at 4:14 AM PST - 39 comments

August 27

female fighters and strongwomen

Female Single Combat Club [nsfw]. An extensive site about women fighters around the world and in history. In English and Russian. Previously.
posted by nickyskye at 11:36 PM PST - 27 comments

I'll cross that bridge when -- HOLY CRAP!

Nine amazing bridges. (Via.)
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:01 PM PST - 40 comments

Their culture goes to eleven

Our editorial slant is big tent right-of-center -- as open-minded about what we publish as The New Republic, The New Yorker or The New York Times Magazine, but on the center-right rather than the center-left. A new conservative online magazine and community, Culture11, quietly debuted on Wednesday. [more inside]
posted by Knappster at 10:47 PM PST - 60 comments

retrovirally transforming pancreatic cells from adult mice into insulin-producing beta cells

Scientists Repurpose Adult Cells - "Scientists have transformed one type of fully developed adult cell directly into another inside a living animal, a startling advance that could lead to cures for a variety of illnesses and sidestep the political and ethical quagmires associated with embryonic stem cell research." [nature abstract, nature writeup, audio announcement]
posted by kliuless at 7:51 PM PST - 21 comments

NFB v. Target: Web Accessibility and business

An important class action lawsuit was settled today when Target agreed to pay $6 million in damages to the plaintiffs (National Federation of the Blind, et al.) because these disabled users could not shop on the site. Here is a collection of legal mumbo jumbo materials. [more inside]
posted by Ky at 7:29 PM PST - 108 comments

No "Preacher" for you.

No "Preacher" for you. Many of you did not think a "Preacher" miniseries would end well. Would fans prefer to be disappointed by the aborted attempt at an adaptation than disappointed at its not meeting viewers' expectations?
posted by Four-Eyed Girl at 6:57 PM PST - 83 comments

How Buildings Learn

How Buildings Learn--Stewart Brand, 1997, BBC, 6 Parts; Flow, The Low Road, Built For Change, Unreal Estate, The Romance of Maintenance, Shearing Layers. "What happens after buildings are built? Why do some buildings get better over time and others get demolished? Stewart Brand says architecture is a prediction, and all predictions are wrong, so the more monumental the architecture, the more wrong the building is. The buildings that thrive are those that can adapt to how people actually use them. The worst buildings for inhabitants are usually statement architecture -- buildings that look like art. The best buildings are often non-descript, and pick up character as they evolve. In other words they grow into art." Kevin Kelley
posted by vronsky at 6:52 PM PST - 15 comments

Obama nominated by acclimation after all

In Historic Vote, Obama Officially Claims Democratic Nomination (Washington Post) With a theatrical flourish, the roll call vote was rushed to allow Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to suspend the vote and "in the spirit of unity, with the goal of victory," declare Obama the nominee by aclaimation. "Let's declare with one voice that Barack Obama is our candidate," Clinton said to thunderous applause.
posted by FlyingMonkey at 4:14 PM PST - 268 comments

Obitfilter: Del Martin

Del Martin, with her partner Phyllis Lyon, were pioneers in so many fields that it's hard to do justice to all of it in one post. [more inside]
posted by gingerbeer at 3:25 PM PST - 77 comments

Whatever "a good walk spoiled" would be in Korean

English, Motherduffersdo you speak it?
posted by emelenjr at 3:19 PM PST - 34 comments

You wanna rock 'n' roll, or you wanna throw stuff?

Last weekend, (22-24 August 2008) saw the fantastic Reading Festival take place (dodgy timeline). Emerging from the National Jazz Festival in 1961, it mutated into the National Jazz, Blues and Rock Festival festival in the 70s, and on into the eclectic festival it is today. My personal faves were 1989 and 1992, but the best moment was seeing Meatloaf bottled off stage in 1988! Due to the combined force of the BBC and the interwebs, most of this year's performances - many complete - are available online for your delictation... [more inside]
posted by the_very_hungry_caterpillar at 3:18 PM PST - 19 comments

Another week, another benefit

We all know that marijuana has some medical uses. It has been discussed on Mefi many times before. Earlier this month a group of pharmacists and chemists published a study in which they found that cannabis is a source of antibacterial chemicals for multidrug resistant bacteria. If you are a pharmacists or chemist here is the actual study. A synopsis of the study for everyone else.
posted by Mr_Zero at 1:55 PM PST - 48 comments

Camouflage art

Two artists that paint humans so that they blend into their surroundings: Liu Bolin and Emma Hack (click 'body art' and then 'exhibitions' to get into the image galleries)
posted by Kattullus at 1:36 PM PST - 16 comments

30 Days Until the Silence Takes Over

What would you do if you only had a month left to hear? With a disease that put tumors on her brain stem, Jessica Stone was given a month to savor the sounds in her world before surgery took away her hearing for good. Her story ran on Good Morning America. [more inside]
posted by sjuhawk31 at 1:34 PM PST - 23 comments

China's Wild West

Documentary about China's Wild West: an area on the west frontier of China's Gobi Desert named Xinjiang (New Land) by the Chinese, but populated by a Muslim minority known as Uighurs who believe they should be an independent Uighur nation.
posted by Surfin' Bird at 1:30 PM PST - 7 comments

Thick in size but thin in content

Quebec clothing chain Simons has pulled its newest catalogue after getting hundreds of complaints that the models in it were too thin. The genesis of the complaints may have been a story about the catalogue (and complaints) on Radio-Canada (Canada's French-language national broadcaster) about a week ago. [more inside]
posted by Shepherd at 12:47 PM PST - 74 comments

Pascal Bernabe breaks a scuba record – 330 meters below the Mediterranean!

Three summers ago, Pascal Bernabe strapped on a scuba tank, stepped off a boat and descended 330 meters into the Mediterranean. This is his account of the dive. [more inside]
posted by jason's_planet at 12:09 PM PST - 35 comments

Den Vaffel Bike

Waffle Bike is a fully weaponized waffle-making machine. (SLYT)
posted by photoslob at 10:08 AM PST - 49 comments

Don't Ask, Don't Tell -- Kill

The Surge is working [tm] -- but for gay Iraqis who face a murderous new spate of violence by theocrats and militiamen, notsomuch. "More than 430 gay men have been murdered in Iraq since 2003... [but] many officials say they feel that in a country at war, there are more pressing concerns than gay rights."
posted by digaman at 9:15 AM PST - 57 comments

They're already using Ubiquity as a verb

Ubiquity is a Mozilla Labs experiment into connecting the Web with language in an attempt to find new user interfaces that could make it possible for everyone to do common Web tasks more quickly and easily. Check out a video demonstration of Ubiquity. And here's a tutorial. [more inside]
posted by sveskemus at 7:39 AM PST - 70 comments

Are you there, God? It's me, Medvedev

Why I had to recognise Georgia’s breakaway regions, by Dmitry Medvedev.
posted by stammer at 6:58 AM PST - 135 comments

If information is power, then access is empowering

In a recent Roundtable on Creative Capitalism hosted by TIME, CK Prahalad, author of "The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid" brings to our attention the insight that "the essence of poverty is the assymetry of information" and that this asymmetry was now changing due to the availability and affordability of mobile phones in developing nations. Jeffery Sachs supports him by pointing out that the digital divide was being closed by market forces not civic efforts. Global leader Nokia has already leapt into the breach by opening a Research Center in Nairobi, Kenya in order to develop concepts and products that are of value and relevance for those at the Base of the Pyarmid. The ubiquitious little cellphone has now been spotlighted as a key tool for poverty alleviation, although the debate continues. [previously]
posted by infini at 5:24 AM PST - 55 comments

August 26

middle earth has no monopoly on miming

Seems like China isn't the only country faking performances during Olympic ceremonies.
posted by randomstriker at 10:47 PM PST - 57 comments

It's going! It's going! It's ... time to check the video

Starting Thursday, Major League Baseball umpires will use instant replay to review disputed home run calls.
posted by Knappster at 10:38 PM PST - 72 comments

"Science is an integral part of culture"

The Unofficial Stephen Jay Gould Archive, an online library dedicated to the Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002). Includes an excellent selection of videos. And The Official Stephen Jay Gould Archive [still under development], which includes two of his books and his Harvard course online. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 10:31 PM PST - 40 comments

Larry Summers lays it out for the next President

"There are half a dozen [economic] issues today, each one of which is as important as the most important issue at the beginning of most presidential terms." Larry Summers became so well-known during his brief and contentious tenure as President of Harvard that it's easy to forget about his real job, as a much-lauded academic economist with a history of real-world service at the World Bank and in the Clinton Administration. In this month's Harvard Magazine, he summarizes his view of the economy (grim) and what the next president is going to have to do about it (a lot.)
posted by escabeche at 8:29 PM PST - 41 comments

Say Cheese!

Photos that Changed the World (more #1, more #2)
posted by blue_beetle at 7:18 PM PST - 72 comments

So, you've probably heard of Songfight...

So, you've probably heard of Songfight by now. It's a competition in which every week or so, musicians submit a song based on a given title. Anyone can enter. What you probably didn't know... [more inside]
posted by LSK at 6:49 PM PST - 39 comments

Sexy People

girls with large glasses, men with large glasses, school pictures, Sexy People (via)
posted by fleetmouse at 5:33 PM PST - 80 comments

A new kind of application

Like those "going to Berkeley, have an empty seat" bulletin boards on campuses everywhere, but real-time. I think this is a new kind of application, enabled by the iPhone's location awareness and ease of programming. Last Sunday, encountering traffic in an area not covered by Google's very cool traffic-monitoring service, I thought "gee, I should write an iPhone app that alerts people of upcoming traffic problems, submit new ones, and clear old ones." As the ubiquity of iPhones grows, entirely new categories of social/location-aware applications are bound to emerge.
posted by dylanjames at 4:45 PM PST - 52 comments

Sound Collage

Orchid Spangiafora - Flee Past Ape's Elf
posted by vronsky at 3:59 PM PST - 3 comments

The nearest thing to being alive

The Wall of Death is a great song by venerable British folkie Richard Thompson (covered by REM among others) concerning a carnival sideshow attraction involving a large wooden cylinder and at least one motorcycle (previously on metafilter). The Wall of Death is also the latest permutation in mosh pit chaosity.
posted by philip-random at 3:50 PM PST - 23 comments

Indiana Jones' Temple of Doom Theme Song

If adventure has a name, it must have an electric violin solo!
posted by dhammond at 3:33 PM PST - 23 comments

What a beautiful rocketship

Direct from the World's Fair in Chicago! [more inside]
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 2:10 PM PST - 9 comments

US Military Presence Worldwide

Mission Creep: "Bush and Rumsfeld may be history, but America's new global footprint lives on." [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 1:35 PM PST - 33 comments

MeFi: The Game

Playcrafter is now in open alpha. Playcrafter allows you to easily create Flash games with a drag-and-drop online toolkit. Some of the neater ones to play include games like Unstack and Matcheroo, and, of course, my original creation MeFi Plate of Beans. Do you think you can do a better MeFi game? [God, I should hope so.]
posted by blahblahblah at 12:15 PM PST - 24 comments

Social Engineering in the Facebook Era

‘Forgot your password?’ may be weakest link. Herbert Thompson, chief security strategist of People Security, "asked some of his acquaintances for permission to break into their online banking accounts. The goal was simple: get into their online accounts using the information about them, their families and acquaintances that is freely available online." [more inside]
posted by ericb at 11:34 AM PST - 72 comments

(Comic) Con Anti-Harassment Project

In the wake of some pretty nasty harassment directed towards women at San Diego Comic-Con, Rachel Edidin from the Inside Out blog at Girl Wonder has established a means of constructively dealing with the problem: the Con Anti-Harassment Project. [more inside]
posted by at 11:18 AM PST - 413 comments

It tastes like burning

Pixifoods: Any food substance that is highly pleasant to the taste as a child and tastes shockingly unpleasant once you become an adult.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 10:06 AM PST - 262 comments

Last days of the old North (of England)

Last Days of the Old North (of England). A fascinating selection of photographs - mostly from the late sixties/early seventies documenting an era when it truly was grim up north. Made all the more interesting by the erudite and comprehensive commentary by the photographer.
posted by idiomatika at 7:35 AM PST - 36 comments

Did earthquakes give rise to Rome?

A Jared Diamond-like theory of history - did earthquakes contribute to the rise of ancient civilizations? Thirteen of 15 major ancient civilizations were clustered mostly along tectonic boundaries. "It's not a connection that seems to make much sense at first glance. But you can't ignore the pattern--look at a map, and it just jumps out at you." (Abstract). [more inside]
posted by stbalbach at 7:31 AM PST - 46 comments

Making the Wire

Making the Wire. [more inside]
posted by chunking express at 6:56 AM PST - 67 comments

Ronsheim's lectures on 20th century music

Course materials and taped lectures (nearly 70 hours worth) from John Ronsheim's classes on 20th century music at Antioch College.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:36 AM PST - 13 comments


While Muxtape is temporarily down, Opentape has come to fill in. [more inside]
posted by Korou at 2:42 AM PST - 31 comments

"A national debt will be to us a national blessing." Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of Treasury,1780

Even as I.O.U.S.A, a documentary looking at the United States' $53T national debt, is to be shown at both the Democratic and Republican conventions, economists are beginning to openly discuss the previously unthinkable - should America should default on some or perhaps all it's obligations? [more inside]
posted by Mutant at 2:30 AM PST - 84 comments

Eno/Byrne Everything that happens

After 30 years, a new collaboration between Brian Eno and David Byrne. Stream it all there or download the free MP3.
posted by twoleftfeet at 12:53 AM PST - 53 comments

August 25

Cows as compasses

Using images from Google Earth, scientists have determined that grazing cattle and deer align themselves with the Earth's magnetic field.
posted by Knappster at 10:03 PM PST - 88 comments

40 MPH Heat

Jericho Scott throws a 40mph fastball. Okay, not that fast. But too fast for a nine-year old, apparently. That's why he's been banned from playing little league.
posted by jabberjaw at 9:37 PM PST - 56 comments

Boiling water, all over my crotch.

How not to get laid. Because we learn from our failures. [more inside]
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 9:28 PM PST - 35 comments

Dear Adobe,

Dear Adobe is a site that allows users to rant/rave (mostly rant) about all things adobe, and to vote the rants & raves of others up or down (top 25). Apparently Adobe is taking notice.
posted by sero_venientibus_ossa at 8:04 PM PST - 80 comments

If not in your backyard, then whose?

Newcomers, with the zeal of recent converts, are often the most vocal in resisting change to the neighborhood they have just discovered. An exploration of NIMBYism. If not in your backyard, then whose? Probably a low-income minority group. Opposition to affordable housing is often thinly-veiled racism. How NIMBYism affects a seven-year old boy on LA's skid row. [more inside]
posted by desjardins at 5:54 PM PST - 61 comments

H.H. Cool J

Helen (Hunt) Jackson was an author and an activist. Her mom died when Helen was 14, her dad 3 years later. Helen's first child died at 11 months, her second at 10 years old. In 1879 she was inspired after hearing Chief Standing Bear describe how the U.S. government took Native Americans' land. She began to publish in support of Native American rights. 1881 brought her book A Century of Dishonor [pdf], branded with the words "Look upon your hands! They are stained with the blood of your relations". In 1883, she published her most famous work, Ramona, a novel about racial discrimination set in California. If that's too much to take in, and now you need some kitties, she's still got you covered. Letters from a Cat (1879) is being featured at today. [more inside]
posted by cashman at 4:47 PM PST - 7 comments

Julie, Don't Go!

While England had the Two Ronnies (earlier today), Canada had, more or less simultaneously, its own hit comedy duo in Wayne and Shuster. Johnny Wayne was the manic engine and Frank Shuster the perpetual straight man, and even if they weren't to your taste, you have to admit they never underestimated their audience -- with sketches like Shakespearean Baseball, (full versions on YouTube, in 1950s and 1970s flavours!) Rinse The Blood off My Toga (excerpt), and Frontier Psychiatrist (the latter being the sample base for a surprising hit by Melbourne-based band The Avalanches) combining the sciences, classical literature, pop culture and ancient history simultaneously. [more inside]
posted by Shepherd at 4:18 PM PST - 24 comments

Save Everyone!

Last Guy - input a website, any website, and save the survivors. [more inside]
posted by knowles at 4:07 PM PST - 12 comments

Book repair

The Dartmouth College Library hosts a Simple Book Repair Manual, which teaches you how to repair common problems such as torn pages and wet books. For more complicated procedures, the Alaska State Library put together a training manual, with illustrations of repair procedures. (Full PDF here.) There is also a book conservation dictionary hosted by the Stanford conservation department, which explains many of the terms used.
posted by Upton O'Good at 3:35 PM PST - 17 comments

You've got to follow your balloon...

Do you ever ask yourself "Why doesn't the internet have more videos of exploding bananas and guys shooting balloons with handguns?" Today is your lucky day. The work of William Lamson.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 3:00 PM PST - 15 comments

Hands on a Hard Body

"It's a human drama thing." This is a documentary film about a group of people in Texas who enter a competition to win a new "hardbody" pickup truck, merely by keeping one hand on the truck the longest. (via Kottke via waxy) [more inside]
posted by acro at 2:31 PM PST - 44 comments

Nun of the Above

Are nuns keeping up with the times and are they having fun? From blogs to running, to the arts and union disputes, nuns are busy. Even a beauty contest is being planned. But, the old ways persist. [more inside]
posted by Xurando at 1:29 PM PST - 42 comments

Why there are still monkeys

Why are there still monkeys?
posted by homunculus at 1:15 PM PST - 110 comments

Don't forget to do your play time.

A recent LA Times Piece bemoans the lack of freedom today's children enjoy. Given the rise of such articles, is this a shared consensus? Judging by the reaction's to Lenore Skenazy's child rearing practices, maybe not. The explosive popularity of The Dangerous Books for boys suggests there is a real movement to get kids outside. The New York Times and Reason magazine aren't so impressed. The American Enterprise Institute and Rush Limbaugh seem to think it's a Boy/Girl problem. Gever Tulley (TED talk video) of The Tinkering School thinks a little bit of danger is good; he lets kids play with power tools. (Youtube Videos) [more inside]
posted by Telf at 12:14 PM PST - 60 comments

And it's a goodnight from me too

Any Top 100 list of UK comedy shows has the famous Two Ronnies "Four Candles" sketch in the top ten. Silly word play, songs and Ronnie Barker's fabulous timing, made them TV blockbusters for 16 years. Presenting a brief youtube linkdump... [more inside]
posted by twine42 at 12:12 PM PST - 13 comments

So you want to be a hero?

The remake of Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire is finally finished [more inside]
posted by Glow Bucket at 12:11 PM PST - 50 comments

How to run the LHC

CERN has published the full technical details of the design and construction of the LHC and it's six detectors (1589 pages, 115MB). [via]
posted by alby at 11:10 AM PST - 40 comments

Exercise and the Placebo Effect

Cleaning hotel rooms is a strenuous business. However, when Alia Crum and Ellen Langer talked to 84 maids, most were under the impression that they did not get enough exercise. Furthermore, when they were measured for tests such as BMI and blood pressure, their results were typical of couch potatoes. The researchers let half the group in on the knowledge that they were getting more than enough of a daily workout and kept the rest in the dark. After a month results showed the former group were healthier on every single one of the objective health measurements tested - despite claiming to have been doing no more exercise or to have changed their diet. The study raises the possibility that mindset alone can influence our metabolism. Christopher Shea in the New York Times and Ben Goldacre in The Guardian have articles discussing the original paper.
posted by rongorongo at 9:48 AM PST - 47 comments

Women and children, depending on credit rating

"Women and children, first," is a familiar cultural refrain, with its popular roots in the gallant sacrifice made by the male contingent aboard the doomed Titanic. Their sacrifice has inspired poetry, sculpture, male social clubs, and, of course, cinema. Yet, this sacrifice of near-mythic scale was in some respects a myth, with survival statistics skewing well in favor of men of higher social and economic class than children (and, to a lesser extent, women) of lower status.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:29 AM PST - 70 comments

Moving maps of American elections

'Cinematic maps' of American elections a project from the Digital Scholarship Lab at the University of Richmond [more inside]
posted by imposster at 6:04 AM PST - 5 comments

"You meet a better class of people in pubs"

Oliver Reed. Movie star or hellraiser? Actor or alcoholic? But it was probably not as simple as that... The Real Oliver Reed (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) (Poss. NSFW Brief nudity) [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:10 AM PST - 28 comments

August 24

Robot Guitar Technicians 2008 A.D.

Having always found the process of setting up a guitar slightly intimidating, I am so glad that there's now a robot that can do it for me. Plek is a German-designed system for mechanically adjusting the setup of your guitar. Short video here. I wonder what happens when the robot guitar tech meets the robot guitar?
posted by awfurby at 10:17 PM PST - 20 comments

You don't take a photograph. You ask, quietly, to borrow it.

Amazing Olympics recap photos [slightly NSFW, due to an accidental bare ass or exposed boob] [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu at 10:04 PM PST - 143 comments

Teaching philosophy to high school students

A Sydney Morning Herald article about the teaching of philosophy in Australian high schools. Today, this article appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald. Finally I might be able to get a job with my philosophy major! [more inside]
posted by robotot at 5:29 PM PST - 32 comments

Speedy Entangled Photons:

Whether Einstein's "spooky science" or quantum weirdness, the Geneva tests that show entangled photons traveling at 10,000 times the speed of light are stirring up challenges and "Alice in Wonderland" discussions about "subatomic particles communicating nearly instantaneously at a distance." [more inside]
posted by Surfurrus at 5:00 PM PST - 73 comments

oh hai!

lol-qats, a Pakistani-English blogger (author of the amusing Islamicist) pokes gentle fun at the coca-leaf like addiction to Qat (alternate spelling, Khat), which is common in Yemen and several East African countries. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 3:38 PM PST - 58 comments

Ancient Oases

10 Incredible Ancient Oases.
posted by homunculus at 1:12 PM PST - 21 comments

Me I'm 74% savvy

Are you savvy metaboffs?
posted by chelegonian at 12:59 PM PST - 99 comments

Wrong Door grows out of Web

The BBC has a new sketch show, called Wrong Door. It's very heavy on CGI - indeed, the official blurb calls it 'a parallel world where the effects you see in TV and movies are real'. And it's funny - check out the trailers on YouTube. And it has Brian Blessed and a spaceship shaped like a giant silver cock and balls. Really, what's not to love? But the best bit isn't in the show, [more inside]
posted by Devonian at 11:54 AM PST - 32 comments

Holiday in the Sun

That young British tourists vacationing in Europe, especially (but not exclusively) in southern Europe during the summer months, often have a nasty reputation for disorderly displays of public drunkenness , lewdness and hooliganism is not exactly news (see here, here, and--for a somewhat related old mefi thread--here), but lately the situation may be getting worse (see here, here, and here). But should the British be singled out? Some say yes.
posted by ornate insect at 10:23 AM PST - 116 comments

Isfahan's Ancient Pigeon Towers

Isfahan's Ancient Pigeon Towers were fabulously intricate works of architecture meticulously designed for the manufacture of pigeon guano. [more inside]
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 8:55 AM PST - 20 comments

The low-down

Two 20th century additions to the comparatively small body of concertos for double bass and orchestra: Einojuhani Rautavaara's Angel Of Dusk (II, III), from 1980, and the 1948 concerto of Eduard Tubin (II, III). Those are courtesy of YouTube, but if you're not sated you can hear still more from bassist Phillip Serna, and a great deal more, from the fine Contrabass Conversations podcast.
posted by Wolfdog at 8:51 AM PST - 4 comments

Biker puppy rescue

Awww-Filter: Tattooed bikers, puppies, and tiny kittens. What's not to love? The New York Times goes for a ride-along with Rescue Ink, complete with awww-inducing slideshow. [more inside]
posted by Forktine at 7:10 AM PST - 19 comments

Small World After All?

The circumnavigators are out there. In February, Mike Beaumont completed the fastest circumnavigation of the globe by bicycle. Tomorrow, Rosie Swale, age 62, finishes her 4 1/2 year run around the world. As posted previously, Zac Sunderland is now attempting to break the record for the youngest sailing circumnavigation of the planet, now held by Jesse Martin.
posted by Xurando at 5:50 AM PST - 9 comments

Death by organ donation?

Is it time to redefine death? In a recent article in the NEJM, a team of doctors described decreasing the period after cessation of heart function in order to collect donations and increase their viability. This has spiked some debate over the definition of brain death and the "irreversibility" of asystole after removing life support. An introduction to the situation and the arguments. An interesting round table discussion, chaired by Atul Gawande. "The ethically relevant precondition is valid consent...with such consent, there is no harm or wrong done in retrieving vital organs before death, provided that anesthesia is administered." "This means that under current law, it is not possible to procure a transplantable heart after cardiac death. There are two possible ways out of this dilemma. Both involve legal changes." "To what extent should society permit manipulation of an organ donor or alteration of the determination of human death for the good of organ recipients?" Previously [more inside]
posted by shokod at 4:42 AM PST - 26 comments

Seeing in four dimensions

Mathematicians create videos that help in visualizing four-dimensional objects. Science News writes about it: seeing in four dimensions.
posted by Surfin' Bird at 2:56 AM PST - 26 comments

August 23

The worst colleges in America?

Radar Magazine Online's Worst Colleges in America including honors for The Most Degenerate Student Body, the Biggest Rip-off, and Most Intolerant.
posted by longsleeves at 11:53 PM PST - 91 comments

HHS baits, switches

Not just for religious pharmacists anymore: the Department of Health and Human Services proposes a rule that protects anyone who refuses to provide medical services on moral or religious grounds. [more inside]
posted by casarkos at 11:42 PM PST - 201 comments

King of the blues one-man bands

Presenting Jesse Fuller and his fotdella: San Francisco Bay Blues; Red River Blues; John Henry.
posted by Knappster at 11:36 PM PST - 9 comments

"When I get done with this they can put me on my f****** pension."

On March 9th, 1987, Wesley MacDonald was a Canadian National Railway engineer. His job for the day was to switch some loaded ore cars at the Brunswick Mine. Due to a communications foulup, he took a terrifying 20 minute ride on a runaway train. There's audio of the incident from start to finish. Transcript of the tape. Photos of the Aftermath More. [more inside]
posted by pjern at 9:53 PM PST - 20 comments

First among equals

The Economist issues a glowing report on efforts made by Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the first woman in Africa to become a democratically elected head of state, at the halfway mark through her presidency of Liberia. Already considered 'my hero' among the young, her determination, her resolve and her unstinting efforts to bring peace and economic development to her nation are an unexpectedly welcome counterpoint to the usual 'war, famine, disease, corruption' stories that tend to emerge from her continent.
posted by infini at 9:47 PM PST - 17 comments

Barriers crumble, empires fall, the Murderdrome's inside us all

Is the iPhone the future of comics? Artist P J Holden demonstrates the interface for Murderdrome, which uses the rather slick new Comic Reader from Blue Pilot Software, and discusses the iPhone as comics platform. Also: Manga on the iPhone, How to read .CBR files on your iPhone, iPhone/iPod touch emulator for comic creators.
posted by Artw at 9:45 PM PST - 16 comments

Not-so-faded glory

Perhaps you think you've had your fill of photographs of decaying architecture and abandoned buildings. If so, the rich color and play of light in Michael Eastman's beautiful body of work from Cuba, Europe, and the U.S. may change your mind. His site is flash - for non-flash folks, the Duane Reed Gallery has additional works, including his B&W portfolios on horses, landscapes, and succulents. (no relation to the Kodak family; via BB-Blog)
posted by madamjujujive at 9:07 PM PST - 15 comments

Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Brown

Forbes Magazine has compiled a ranking of the top 569 undergraduate institutions in America. Designed to compete with the venerable U.S. News and World Report rankings, Forbes offers a different methodology and some controversial results. [more inside]
posted by sy at 9:00 PM PST - 60 comments

Hands On A Hard Body

Sex at the Olympics. "I am often asked if the Olympic village . . . is the sex-fest it is cracked up to be. My answer is always the same: too right it is." Table tennis Olympian Matthew Syed dishes the dirt. (possibly NSFW, TimesOnline).
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:58 PM PST - 113 comments

Oops! The magnet was an accident.

NASCAR as little as they like it, has it's roots in Moonshine. Junior Johnson, one of the early heroes who is considered the greatest to never win a championship, has even gone legal with it after getting his start running Moonshine for his father. He was even the subject of a 1965 Tom Wolfe Essay as the Last American Hero. The latest cheating scandal to hit NASCAR? Junior just says they were doing their job, being creative, and just got caught.
posted by Eekacat at 7:22 PM PST - 27 comments

Mayan Ruins Filter: Possible Portal to the Underworld Found in Mexico

Mayan Ruins Filter: Possible Portal to the Underworld found in Mexico. Included in the underwater tunnels (video) are two underground temples and human bones - possibly the remains of human sacrifices. [more inside]
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:02 PM PST - 17 comments

The winner in anti-medals?

Joel Stein on a new scoring system to improve the Olympic Games.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:31 PM PST - 69 comments

Guess size doesn't matter.

Pink Barbie fishing rod hooks record-breaking 21 pound catfish.
posted by miss lynnster at 1:49 PM PST - 34 comments

Room 641A

The Secret Room: EFF Designer's Cartoon on Illegal Spying. [Via] [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 1:05 PM PST - 11 comments

whole lotta uploading.

Who needs Photoshop when you can have Pixlr ? [more inside]
posted by sgt.serenity at 12:25 PM PST - 64 comments

It's sort of like Minority Report, I guess.

the first full release of Photosynth. Stonehenge. Venice. Previously 1,2,3. PC only.
posted by signal at 9:27 AM PST - 65 comments

Before I die I want to make a cool polaroid project.

Before I die I want to...
posted by Lutoslawski at 9:22 AM PST - 72 comments

Alligator takes boys arm, boy takes alligator's head

"Get me a robot arm that looks like the Terminator." Slidell, LA boy recounts fight with 'Godzilla' gator [more inside]
posted by ColdChef at 8:35 AM PST - 39 comments

Live from Daryl's House

Live from Daryl's House A monthly webcast wherein Daryl Hall invites musical friends and colleagues to play with him at his home and on the road. The current episode features Montreal-based electrofunk band Chromeo. Free signup required to view previous episodes: (1) Daryl Hall (2) Daryl Hall and John Oates (3) Daryl on a Wurlitzer (4) Travis McCoy of Gym Class Heroes (5) KT Tunstall (6) Daryl and T Bone Burnett in Austin (7) Chuck Prophet and Mutlu (8) Daryl, T Bone and Nick Lowe in London (9) Monte Montgomery
posted by Turtles all the way down at 6:05 AM PST - 40 comments

WashPost on graphic novels

"Drawing Power", by Bob Thompson of the Washington Post. "What I want to know is: How did this formerly ghettoized medium [graphic novels] became one of the rare publishing categories that's actually expanding these days?"(single page)
posted by stbalbach at 6:02 AM PST - 40 comments

Separating the wheat from the chaff

More than seventy civilians killed in a US attack in afghanistan. Including many women and children. Last month, the US forces put an end to a wedding, and killed 47 persons. Figures are disputed, but Hamid Karzai asks for the Nato strikes to stop. A few days ago, French soldiers suffered from the strikes that were supposed to help them. How is it covered in the US ? I just checked CNN, and there is a small article about this incident. Foxnews page for Afghanistan : I guess it's self-explanatory.
posted by nicolin at 3:49 AM PST - 62 comments

23C3 Body Hacking

What happens when we leave behind cosmetics and societal norms to modify our bodies and minds to enhance who we are and what we can do? In this talk, journalist Quinn Norton explores how technology and flesh are coming together.
posted by Hypocrites at 12:47 AM PST - 10 comments

August 22

Biden Wins Veepstakes!

VP newsfilter (because someone’s got to do it) The Times just confirmed that the Obama Campaign has chosen Delaware’s 65-year-old Senator Joe Biden as the presumptive nominee’s Vice Presidential running mate. With decades of foreign policy experience (including a recent stint in war-torn Georgia), and as the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, can Biden help pull the ticket out of a neck and neck tie with Senator John McCain [more inside]
posted by punkbitch at 11:12 PM PST - 450 comments

Beren Patterson Travel Photography

Tribalcog is the travel photography site of Beren Patterson. Includes simple and easy to use tutorials and his collection of travel pictures that are integrated as a digital postcard system.
posted by netbros at 9:15 PM PST - 4 comments

Free Mickey?

His is the most vigorously defended copyright in history, the reason behind the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act. But Mickey Mouse may already be in the public domain. (Via)
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:02 PM PST - 56 comments

Small collection of National Geographic photos

Nothing but a few pretty pictures.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:17 PM PST - 29 comments

Say It Aloud

Norfolk & Holmes is no ordinary estate agency. [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin at 5:02 PM PST - 10 comments

Face transplants possible

Lancet reports say partial face transplants are a reality. Face transplant before and after pictures here.
posted by NikitaNikita at 3:26 PM PST - 28 comments

Inside the Olympics Stadium in 360 degrees

Beijing Olympics Stadium, about 30 minutes before the the men's 100m final. A 360-degree view (including overhead) from the stands by Finnish photographer Kari Kuukka.
posted by lou at 3:20 PM PST - 25 comments

Juno no no

What to Expect When You're Aborting: I'm 23. I'm knocked up. And I don't want to keep it. You can fuck yourself, Judd Apatow.
posted by Rumple at 1:17 PM PST - 187 comments

Songs For Eating And Drinking.

Songs For Eating And Drinking is a new project by photographer Chase Jarvis. [more inside]
posted by blaneyphoto at 12:30 PM PST - 1 comment

[this is bad]

"Beat It," as reenacted by the Pedal Pusher Society, Milwaukee's finest all-girl-and-tranny bike gang. Oh, did I mention the co-founder is Metafilter's Own™ binocularfight?
posted by designbot at 10:30 AM PST - 35 comments

Ohio: L33T Wanted

David Byrd, the President of Premier (formerly Diebold), has acknowledged that an error in touch-screen voting machines used in half of Ohio's counties may cause some votes to be "dropped". Oh, and there's no time to fix the problem before the elections. Premier Election Solutions and Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner are issuing guidelines to counties for how to avoid the problem.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:19 AM PST - 115 comments

Pregnant Goldfish

A book by children's author Jacqueline Wilson is to be removed from the shelves of British supermarket chain Asda and re-edited due to the inclusion of one 'rude' word. Is this an over-reaction?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:50 AM PST - 74 comments

The notion of situationism is obviously devised by antisituationists.

Ken Knabb's Bureau of Public Secrets, a huge online archive of copyright-free Situationist and other radical texts, turns 10 years old today. (pre vio usly)
posted by nasreddin at 8:39 AM PST - 15 comments

Storyteller in Song

Frank Harte is considered to be one of the greatest balladeers and song collectors in the Irish musical tradition. He specialized in the songs of Dublin City and saw himself as a "storyteller in song". [more inside]
posted by LN at 8:35 AM PST - 13 comments

Social tagging by museums

Seeing Tibetan Art Through Social Tags - An interesting paper on social tagging. What can tags tell us about how images are perceived by diverse cultures? [more inside]
posted by tellurian at 8:34 AM PST - 6 comments

Thomas Jefferson Papers

The Massachusetts Historical Society has a nice collection of Thomas Jefferson's papers online. It includes two catalogs of Jefferson's books, a draft of the Declaration of Independence and his Garden Book. Architectural Drawings too! [more inside]
posted by marxchivist at 8:33 AM PST - 6 comments

Grammar Nazis Booted

Typo Eradication Advancement League (TEAL), a couple of 28-year old "grammar vigilantes" who traveled the U.S. correcting errors on signs. On a visit to the Grand Canyon, they appear to have gone too far. [more inside]
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:12 AM PST - 145 comments

US Presidential Campaign Videos

The evolution of the US presidential campaign ad, 1952 to 1996... 1952: Eisenhower-Nixon (We Like Ike, The Man from Abilene) vs Stevenson-Sparkman (I Love the Gov [apologies for the intro], Ike... Bob..., Vote Stevenson/The Music Man, (Remember the Farmer, Back to the Days of '31). Bonus: Newsreels dealing with the campaigns. 1956: Eisenhower-Nixon (Eisenhower Answers America: The Cost of Living [excerpt], Corruption (california spot)) vs Stevenson-Kefauver (How's that again, General?, The Man from Libertyville [same annoying intro], Ad-lee, Ad-lie). Bonus: Election Day newsreel, including a santa Claus arriving in a flying saucer; Eisenhower, Suez, and hungary in 1956. [more inside]
posted by flibbertigibbet at 12:03 AM PST - 46 comments

August 21

Now you see the violence inherent in the system

Working Hard, Drinking Hard is a book about structural violence in Honduras by Adrienne Pine. In it, she "explores the daily relationships and routines of urban Hondurans in light of globalizing forces and extreme social inequalities." [more inside]
posted by lysdexic at 11:22 PM PST - 13 comments

Rap is all about the booty

The Frequency of Body Parts in Songs, by genre. NSFW [more inside]
posted by graventy at 11:06 PM PST - 27 comments

When celebrities and language collide. In Japan!

Puzzled by sugary J-Pop bands and their eccentric (and failed) TV shows? Frustrated and confused by the complexity of Japanese and want to see what your inchoate blustering looks like from the other side? Then join "perennially unpopular" gaijin celebrity Thane Camus (grand-nephew of Albert Camus), as he walks a class of fellow pop star clichés through an endearingly awkward English conversation class.
posted by Rhaomi at 10:25 PM PST - 22 comments

Transvestite Wives

Transvestite Wives is a documentary: Part 1, and Part 2.
posted by chunking express at 9:07 PM PST - 30 comments

Fuelly tracks your gas mileage.

Fuelly tracks your gas mileage over time, helping you save fuel and expenses as you drive.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:26 PM PST - 52 comments

Sienfeld wants you to buy Vista, Shatner wants you to buy a Vic 20

Celebrity computer endorsements throughout the ages.
posted by Artw at 5:07 PM PST - 65 comments

Reporter Catches Bullet

Turkish journalists were caught in a war zone while on the job. The Turkish team was in between the town of Gori and breakaway South Ossetia where Georgian and Russian forces have collided. The video is from the inside of the car being shot at with automatic weapons.
posted by Surfin' Bird at 3:15 PM PST - 49 comments

The Catorialist

The Catorialist. For fans of The Sartorialist and/or cats.
posted by Cochise at 1:51 PM PST - 26 comments

John Curran posts Great Diagrams in Anthropology, Linguistics, and Social Theory

Who said structuralism was dead? John Curran posts Great Diagrams in Anthropology, Linguistics, and Social Theory - an illustrated assortment of sociology's greatest hits, arranged neatly for your viewing pleasure.
posted by puckish at 1:39 PM PST - 15 comments

The Political Cartoons of Clifford K. Berryman

The political cartoons of Clifford K. Berryman lampooned American politics from the era of Grover Cleveland to the Truman administration. If he's known today it's mostly for having originated the teddy bear. While some of his cartoons have scant relevance today, many remain surprisingly relevant. Of the many historical events he drew there are women's suffrage, the 1948 election and the 1912 Republican primaries between Taft and Roosevelt.
posted by Kattullus at 1:17 PM PST - 10 comments

The Peloton

The Peloton. A gallery of professional bike racers taken just moments after they crossed the line after a brutal long stage of 2006's Giro d'Italia. After a hundred miles of racing, the rider dumps their bike on a team soigner and enters a makeshift tent for a quick photo among the finish line chaos. The photos showcase the pain and suffering well, but some photos also capture a bike racer's most damaging feeling: doubt.
posted by mathowie at 12:42 PM PST - 47 comments

Mayan Muons and Unmapped Rooms

Ghost Particles & Pyramids: How physicists and archaeologists “see” inside ancient monuments.
posted by homunculus at 12:34 PM PST - 11 comments

MLB blog city

Torre's Stories. As part of their ever-expanding blog empire, Major League Baseball has invited Joe Torre to take up the noble habit of blogging. He joins the likes of Kevin Slowey, Bengie Molina, and Mark DeRosa as guys who apparently have time to blog between games. [more inside]
posted by mattbucher at 12:33 PM PST - 19 comments

The home of Elves and Sprites found

Elves in the upper atmosphere. Weird phenomena and not well understood, they are observed in the upper atmosphere. More can be found here and here.
posted by dibblda at 12:01 PM PST - 18 comments

Appliance internals

Disassembled household appliances.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:30 AM PST - 34 comments

Kids love Coltrane

A cool tale about second graders at P.S. 178 in Queens falling in love with John Coltrane, and raising funds to help restore the house in nearby Dix Hills [previously on mefi] where the saxophonist (and saint?) composed his spiritual masterpiece A Love Supreme [last four links go to Youtube].
posted by the_bone at 10:27 AM PST - 18 comments

Who Watches the Watchmen?

In February President Bush issued an Executive Order changing the role & reporting structure of the PFIAB, the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. At the time the order was criticized & analyzed as a move to consolidate power within an organization that was already full of Bush cronies. But it now looks like all the pundits were wrong. The real reason? There was a spy in the PFIAB.
posted by scalefree at 9:51 AM PST - 33 comments

Sentry Removal Techniques

"Grandmaster" Ashida Kim has always been a controversial figure in the martial arts world, with his claims to Ninjitsu fame. Most who are familiar with him have read his book, Secrets of the Ninja, now freely available from his site. Modern times have made it pretty easy to establish him as a fraud, but even better, you can now view his Ninja Sentry Removal Techniques via youtube. Now you can learn to be a ninja, too!
posted by MysticMCJ at 8:52 AM PST - 62 comments

Where's my image?

TinEye is the first image search engine on the web to use image identification technology. [more inside]
posted by monospace at 8:30 AM PST - 34 comments

Interestingly, I'm reading Lifehacker while posting this

"Multitasking messes with the brain in several ways. At the most basic level, the mental balancing acts that it requires—the constant switching and pivoting—energize regions of the brain that specialize in visual processing and physical coordination and simultaneously appear to shortchange some of the higher areas related to memory and learning. We concentrate on the act of concentration at the expense of whatever it is that we’re supposed to be concentrating on." [more inside]
posted by jbickers at 8:29 AM PST - 27 comments

Ten French soldiers killed in afghanistan

Ten French soldiers killed in afghanistan. A ceremony for the 10 soldiers took place today in Paris.. Caught in an ambush, the soldiers have been fired upon during several hours. Nato strikes are told to have been inaccurate. Survivors' testimonies seem to imply that the situation has been dealt with in an awkward way. The President's decision to send more troops in Afghanistan is discussed.
posted by nicolin at 8:00 AM PST - 18 comments

Olympic logos from 1896 to present

Olympic logos from 1896 to present. Tons of trivia too.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:24 AM PST - 96 comments

Listen Explore Discover Create

SoundJunction is all about music. You can take music apart and find out how it works, create music yourself, find out how other people make music and how they perform it, you can learn about musical instruments and voices, and look at the backgrounds of different musical styles. Over 40 musicians talk on film about their experiences. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 4:09 AM PST - 3 comments

Morgues for an era that well knows what to do with them

Atlantic Yards is the largest project Frank Gehry, now seventy-eight, has ever undertaken. And if it proves to be his last large project, it will be a fitting capstone to a career utterly blind to the public function of architecture. For how better to assert your dedication to personal expression over context than to have your distinct visual style serve as the emblem for the death of two Brooklyn neighborhoods?
Charles Taylor discusses the anti-humanism of Modern architecture. [Via] [Previously]
posted by Sonny Jim at 3:34 AM PST - 61 comments

August 20

Suicide by intracerebellar ballpoint pen and other fascinating tales from PubMed

A Good Poop is an entertaining blog by an occupational and environmental health student who enjoys finding oddities in medical and scientific research from PubMed. (via Look at This...)
posted by madamjujujive at 9:15 PM PST - 42 comments

A Better Place

Shai Agassi's Audacious Plan to Put Electric Cars on the Road. Now it's Agassi's turn. He starts off uncharacteristically nervous, stammering a bit. He's got something different, he says. A new approach. He believes it just might be possible to get the entire world off oil. For good. Point by point, gaining speed as he goes, he shares for the first time in public the ideas that will change his future—and possibly the world's. [more inside]
posted by destrius at 8:33 PM PST - 68 comments

The Chinese Are Coming (Again)

The book 1421 was a publishing sensation, selling over a million copies in several languages. Its author, Gavin Menzies, despite being roundly criticized and thoroughly debunked, is back with a new book. [more inside]
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 8:23 PM PST - 39 comments

Pastor Rick's Test

At the risk of heresy, let it be said that setting up the two presidential candidates for religious interrogation by an evangelical minister -- no matter how beloved -- is supremely wrong. [more inside]
posted by finite at 7:02 PM PST - 151 comments

Her changeable smile

A collection of riffs on the Mona Lisa.
posted by prefpara at 6:08 PM PST - 12 comments

No, it won't have the pirate comic...

Who watches The Watchmen? Kevin Smith has, Dave Gibbons has, Alan Moore won't (Gibbons hopes he'll watch the DVD), and if Fox has its way maybe YOU won't either.
posted by Artw at 5:00 PM PST - 109 comments

muslim nerd awesome

slyt: Two perpetrators of a poetic internet theology flamewar recite aloud, with hilarious, barbed, awesomely dorky results. Brother of Few Words vs Yasir Qadhi.
posted by By The Grace of God at 4:58 PM PST - 7 comments

A little light calligraphy

Julien Briton draws calligraphy with light. [Via]
posted by gottabefunky at 4:52 PM PST - 11 comments

impending shark food

"Why the fuss? Well, Colin's a baby whale..." Oh no. They named the doomed little thing ('little' meaning about the size of a large car). Mal Holland's report from the Daily Telegraph gives a very illuminating rundown of the nervous breakdown that "Sydney's booming whale watching industry" is experiencing right now... [more inside]
posted by ZachsMind at 3:31 PM PST - 77 comments

Enjoy Life, Eat Out More Often.

Food Porn Daily. Brought to you by Amanda & Tyler from What We're Eating and Nicole from Pinch My Salt. Click, Drool, Repeat. [more inside]
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 3:25 PM PST - 23 comments

Flying the flag upside down - evil!

Frustrated with recent political developments, Malaysian blogger Kickdefella started an online protest of posting the Malaysian flag upside down on his blog, reflecting the use of an upside down flag as a sign of distress. Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi decries the move as 'evil'. More information at Global Voices Advocacy.
posted by divabat at 2:17 PM PST - 22 comments

The Archive, Still Unsold

The Archive. A short film by Sean Dunn and Ed David. "The world is dead out there. They have their ears closed. They don't understand what's going on at this moment. It's gonna take them 10, 15, 20 years to wake up and realize what they missed." Nobody has more records than Paul Mawhinney. He's ready to sell the whole thing for 6 cents on the dollar of their worth. 3 million records for $1 each. And nobody is buying. (Previously on Mefi.) [more inside]
posted by grabbingsand at 1:25 PM PST - 24 comments

Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Huddled Masses

A People's History for the Classroom [pdf] is a high school history lesson plan/workbook based on Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States. The entire 124-page workbook available for free as a downloadable PDF, as part of the Zinn Education Project, supported by Rethinking Schools and Teaching for Change. You must enter an email and agree to take a later survey to download.
posted by Miko at 12:28 PM PST - 60 comments


Can the Burmese people rescue themselves? A powerful piece by George Packer in the New Yorker on the recent history and current conditions in Burma.
posted by homunculus at 12:24 PM PST - 32 comments

Yorktown Improved

Artist Joseph Griffith, whose work draws from fantasy and mythology, has also turned his attention to one of America's most significant historical moments: "I painted this for the 225th anniversary of the Battle of Yorktown when George Washington and the Continentals traunched the British. The county would not dignify it with a response, however, George Washington's Mount Vernon estate kindly wrote me an e-mail saying they would 'pass it along to the staff'."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:25 AM PST - 51 comments

Your unborn child as produce

Your unborn child as produce - You'll never look at chard the same way again.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 10:30 AM PST - 45 comments

Alexander Shulgin could save our planet.

Bar Surya in London was the first. Now Club Watt in Rotterdam is recycling dancers' energy. Brought to you by the Sustainable Dance Club.
posted by gman at 8:33 AM PST - 22 comments

Quack, Quack, Lick

It's the law: "No person who has attained the age of sixteen years shall take any migratory waterfowl unless at the time of such taking he carries on his person an unexpired Federal migratory-bird hunting and conservation stamp". The Federal Duck Stamp turned 75 this year. [more inside]
posted by Deathalicious at 8:25 AM PST - 11 comments

avec eric

Le Bernardin chef Eric Ripert's got a blog where he serves up demos of recipes he makes in his toaster oven.
posted by contessa at 7:57 AM PST - 39 comments

Spam, what is it good for? Apparently something.

Spammers helping with the New Orleans recovery efforts. [more inside]
posted by jourman2 at 7:55 AM PST - 13 comments

Well, there's a surprise

Some of the female Chinese gymnasts are apparently under-age. It wasn't their skulls, their chins or their eyes that gave them away: it was the internet.
posted by chuckdarwin at 7:51 AM PST - 130 comments

Art Imitates Life

When art imitates life. The Onion once again.....
posted by djseafood at 7:29 AM PST - 44 comments

Hungry like the (neo-colonial) wolf

Worried about food prices? Don't be, if you've got capital! You can lease land from starving countries like Sudan to ease your own food problems. This ain't Food Force (previously), but the gamesmanship (via) is underway (pdf). On the bright side, let them eat lobster!
posted by cal71 at 6:43 AM PST - 5 comments

Death By Chocolate

Selections from H.P. Lovecraft's brief tenure as a Whitman's Sampler copywriter.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:22 AM PST - 47 comments

The Material Girl is now a tangible investment

Follow the money: for the past year, the big trade was short bank stocks, and use the cash to go long oil. Massively profitable, but now that trade is unwinding. So where is the big money being invested now? Lots of places: diamonds, fine art, guitars, and Madonna.
posted by Mutant at 2:50 AM PST - 36 comments

There She Is - Step 4

The latest part of Doki and Nabi's attempt to find happiness. Previously on Metafilter. The top link takes you to the home page, select 'English" and then "amalloc" in the side bar. Will they find happiness? Perhaps Yoda knows?
posted by fallingbadgers at 1:52 AM PST - 8 comments

TSA security theater

Two commercial pilots find themselves on the no-fly list. One pilot sues after having his flight privileges revoked, while the second pilot (and a five-year old sharing his name) note they can bypass the watchlist by checking in using their initials instead of their full names. TSA has also found themselves in the news this week for disrupting 40 flights and damaging 9 planes during an overzealous security check.
posted by grippycat at 12:03 AM PST - 73 comments

August 19

Nitrogen: when good elements go bad

China's Olympic beaches, choked by a plague of green algae. Sez David Suzuki: This is not an unusual occurrence, but it is a symptom of an underlying problem with potential repercussions far more serious than hampering Olympic events. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu at 10:31 PM PST - 10 comments

Individual Google

Things [blank] people like. New search engine RushmoreDrive is a first step into the waters of Identity Based searching. Specifically, it weighs your demographic heavily when ordering your search results.
posted by tkolar at 9:47 PM PST - 32 comments

Mr. Hollander's Opus: A Trilogy of Antifeminist Lawsuits

"Roy Den Hollander, a graduate of the Ivy League university’s business school, contends Columbia's Institute for Research on Women and Gender is discriminatory and unconstitutional because there is no equivalent 'men’s studies' programme." So Mr. Hollander is suing Columbia, thereby completing his "trilogy of antifeminist lawsuits." More at Gothamist.
posted by milquetoast at 9:43 PM PST - 44 comments

LeRoi Moore dead at 46

Dave Matthews Band saxaphonist LeRoi Moore dead at 46 Died unexpectedly from complications of an ATV accident back in June. DMB is apparently going ahead with their concert tonight at the Staples Center in LA. Can't imagine them withour LeRoi, though. Here is one of my favorite DMB tracks featuring LeRoi.
posted by Bluecoat93 at 8:08 PM PST - 59 comments

Music and the Brain

Cockatoos are much better dancers than macaws. Well that was my clear conclusion after watching the first two vid clips linked to why animals dance in this Guardian feature. And since this is from a serious researcher I don't think they are faked. For those with much more time, this site has an interesting podcast on the topic of music and the brain.
posted by binturong at 7:18 PM PST - 21 comments

Once in a lifetime

And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile | And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife | And you may ask yourself... Well...How did I get here?
posted by unSane at 7:02 PM PST - 68 comments is Bryan Lee O'Malley's website

RADIOMARU is (award-winning Canadian cartoonist) Bryan Lee O'Malley's website. Several free comics are in the offering, ranging from the quirky to strange to inexplicably bizarre. [more inside]
posted by CrunchyFrog at 5:15 PM PST - 8 comments

Swim, swim little fish, swim on...

The Pisces Effect is a statistician's find that birth sign may predict likelihood of Olympics medal victories relating to Zodiacal attributes. Past statistical studies indicate Pisceans may be bad drivers...with perhaps some fluctuation for hemisphere. One columnist feels Washington, D.C.'s problems (and potential) may be attributable to being Pisces. Maybe Pisceans [flash; auto/unstoppable sound] have more luck as horses. Previously: [post] [comments]
posted by batmonkey at 4:15 PM PST - 54 comments

Le Cerveau á Tous Les Niveaux. The Brain from Top to Bottom

Get your learn on. 180+ ways of investigating the human brain = hours of fun for the whole family. Thanks to an innocuous question by a 5 year old, my entire evening is now being spent investigating and discussing the structure and workings of the human brain. This flash site lets you explore the workings of the brain according to 12 subject areas (each with subtopics which are not included in the "180" count), within each of which are 5 levels of organization from social to molecular, within each of which are three levels of explanation (beginner, intermediate, and advanced.) discovered via Wikipedia.
posted by ThusSpakeZarathustra at 3:27 PM PST - 10 comments

Emily brings us out of the Uncanny Valley

Emily is considered to be one of the first animations to have overleapt a long-standing barrier known as 'uncanny valley' (watch the video) - from the team who, in part, brought you GTA4. [more inside]
posted by nitsuj at 3:13 PM PST - 101 comments

Beloit the belt

It's that time of year again. College students are buying supplies and returning to classes, as their prospective professors prepare syllabi for their budding new pupils. It also means it's time for Metafilter's semi-annual "get off my lawn" snarkfest blowout, which can only be sparked by the release of Beloit College's Mindset List for incoming Freshman. Now with webcast goodness!
posted by bjork24 at 1:11 PM PST - 76 comments

Hot Rocks

Google goes geothermal with EGS.
posted by Artw at 1:06 PM PST - 15 comments

Baseball in the Japanese internment camps

Baseball behind barbed wire. Japanese-Americans brought baseball with them when they emigrated to America. The game had been introduced to Japan, so the story goes, by American Professor Horace Wilson in the 1870s. When Japanese nationals and Japanese-Americans were relocated to internment camps during World War II, playing baseball was one of the few freedoms allowed them by camp directors. [more inside]
posted by nanojath at 12:54 PM PST - 4 comments

Cannibal Corpse called -- they want their song title back

Tim Kreider (previously) tells the tale of telling the tale of getting stabbed in the throat. [more inside]
posted by griphus at 12:32 PM PST - 23 comments

No Place to Play

Hawaii 70s-80s Punk Museum Back in the late '70s and early '80s, Honolulu had a small but close-knit punk scene. Poi Dog Pondering started out in Hawaii before relocating to Austin, then to Chicago. Two members of Boston's Dambuilders started out as the eXactones. Many other bands -- such as The Wrong and Cringer -- would relocate to the Mainland, hoping to seek an audience they couldn't quite find back home (embedded autoplay audio). Dave Carr was involved with a lot of these bands, and the Hawaii 70s-80s Punk Museum was curated from much of his own collection. [more inside]
posted by NemesisVex at 12:28 PM PST - 9 comments

The Limits of fMRI

Picturing our thoughts. "We're looking for too much in brain scans." [Via]
posted by homunculus at 12:20 PM PST - 16 comments

Reformat the Planet

It started with sequencing 8-bit chipsets on Nintendo Game Boys, but the Chiptune scene has now expanded well beyond game systems. Reformat the Planet is the essential introduction to this awesome new genre, and proves it's more than just a blip. This week only you can watch the feature length documentary in its entirety on [more inside]
posted by sveskemus at 7:15 AM PST - 67 comments

Jon and his TiVo

In a strange and incestuous twist of the space-web-time continuum, a fascinating comment about the mechanism by which The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (previOusly.) records every bit of daily news appeared inside a post on PVRBlog, the red-headed stepchild blog of our selfless benefactor, user 1.
posted by jckll at 6:23 AM PST - 26 comments

Aw, and I'm turning 21 in three months!

A group of 100 college presidents has come together to state that the 21 year-old drinking age is not working, and, specifically, that it has created a culture of dangerous binge drinking on their campuses. They want to encourage a dialogue about lowering the drinking age. They face opposition from Mothers Against Drunk Driving and from other college presidents, who accuse them of 'not wanting to deal with the problem'.
posted by showbiz_liz at 5:45 AM PST - 165 comments

No Echo from Echo

The Echo Label (splash page, site offline) a subsidary of Chrysalis, is "an independent creatively driven record company which nurtures artists before they sign deals with major labels." Blaming a "challenging macroeconomic environment" for hampering sales of CDs, a decline in synchronisation revenues from music used in TV programmes, films and advertisement, Chrysalis recently warned its investors that the Echo Label has performed below management expectations, with "marginally higher" write-offs for new unproven artists, noting that it had not "upstreamed" any artists to major labels in the third quarter.
posted by three blind mice at 5:22 AM PST - 26 comments

"I Still Aten't Dead"

After Terry Pratchett's Alzheimer's diagnosis made the news, a group of knitters banded together to make him a gift. The result was The Pratchgan, which -- after several months of organization and knitting -- made it into Pratchett's hands this past weekend. There's a Flickr pool of individual squares and the construction of the afghan. [Via Cleolinda] [more inside]
posted by pxe2000 at 4:45 AM PST - 22 comments

3 Star Dine & Dash

A Swiss gourmet - who was on a world tour of Michelin three-starred restaurants when he mysteriously disappeared before paying the bill at El Bulli - has just been spotted in Geneva. [more inside]
posted by gomichild at 1:13 AM PST - 24 comments

August 18

science and futurism overlap

One Pill Makes You Autistic -- And One Pill Changes You Back. It might also lead to recreational autism, where people who want to take a break from having messy emotions about other people decide to unplug and enter a state where human relationships are no more important than inanimate objects. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 9:43 PM PST - 62 comments

Fighting the flu for 90 years

Inspired by an episode of the short-lived TV series Medical Investigation, researchers have found that survivors of the 1918 influenza pandemic continue to make antibodies against the virus.
posted by Knappster at 9:05 PM PST - 12 comments

Make a Pancake (Make Make a Pancake).

Make make a pancake from Atlanta all the way to the Great Lakes! [via]
posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:16 PM PST - 8 comments

"Please remove this script, it can only contribute to getting the site shut down." The RIAA has taken action against

The RIAA has taken action against the much-beloved muxtape. Alas, the many predictions regarding's inevitable demise have proven to be true.. With the recent speculation regarding Pandora, who else is next? [more inside]
posted by crazyray at 8:13 PM PST - 53 comments

Lego Olympics

The Hong Kong Lego Users Group created an exhibition called Lego Sport City, a recreation of the Olympic Village in Lego. It's 3m x 8m, and has over 300,000 bricks; you can read more about it here and here. Brickshelf has a very comprehensive collection of photos here, including a lot of shots showing the construction and the smaller details. [Via /.]
posted by Upton O'Good at 7:36 PM PST - 8 comments

Hearts and Minds

The US military has been putting more attention into brain science research, covering such potential applications as mind reading, mind control, cognitive enhancement and brain-machine interfaces. This is detailed in the report "Emerging Cognitive Neuroscience and Related Technologies" (also available in an abridged PDF version), authored by a National Research Council committee convened by the Department of Defense.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:53 PM PST - 28 comments

signage from a bygone era

Society In Decline Project: Intrastate Commerce
posted by Dave Faris at 3:59 PM PST - 15 comments

Google Search Engine Ranking Factors v2

Google Search Engine Ranking Factors v2 "represents the collective wisdom of 37 leaders in the world of organic search engine optimization. Together, they have voted on the various factors that are estimated to comprise Google's ranking algorithm." The highest ranked factor is Keyword Use in Title Tag.
posted by Soup at 3:37 PM PST - 56 comments

Yearbook Yourself

Yearbook Yourself. Have you ever thumbed through an old yearbook and wondered what you'd look like if you were part of that class? Wonder no more! Try on a 50s beehive hairdo, become a 60s flower child or prepare to join the cast of "That 70s Show".
posted by scalefree at 2:10 PM PST - 23 comments

Ghaith Abdul-Ahad's Killing Fields

An Iraqi national with a fascinating background, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad has been documenting the situation in Iraq. His video report is in three parts on YouTube (1, 2, 3). Of particular note is the cemetery on the outskirts of Sadr City (at 2:13 of segment 2), which is disturbing beyond words.
posted by dbiedny at 1:53 PM PST - 14 comments

Psych Securities LLC

Psych Securities LLC. "With future forecasts declaring ultimate doom from all components of the man-altered world, it seems there is a clog in the conduit of information transmitted between those in control and the public at large. Black Ops, psychological torture, acoustic weapons, Project Starfire, and a multitude of other state sponsored programs exist, well-hidden in plain sight, shrouded in a stigma of conspiracy and diluting any significant public inquiry. Psych Securities LLC is an ongoing exploration of this aforementioned covert reality, most clearly seen while in an alternative psychological state. By compiling declassified documents, historical narratives, and psychedelic conjecture, a visual world is pieced together; undermining strategies of deception and concealed truths." [Via]
posted by homunculus at 12:12 PM PST - 40 comments

Digital Apoptosis -- Photography from Montreal and the world

Digital Apoptosis is a photoblog, with a new photo posted pretty much daily. You can also browse photos by topic/location. Many are fairly stunning. Via (second bullet item).
posted by cog_nate at 11:39 AM PST - 7 comments

Richard Wilkinson's illustrations

Richard Wilkinson's illustrations - modern, melancholy pictures with a subdued palette but vivid identity.
posted by nthdegx at 11:27 AM PST - 6 comments

"708ers. What do you expect?"

Then I imagined what my friends would say if I got killed: I kept hearing them retell the story of how I went out to O'Hare to get a cat and instead met my doom wandering down the middle of a highway in a blizzard. I could just hear them saying, It's how he would have wanted to go ... [more inside]
posted by enn at 11:18 AM PST - 89 comments

On the Ground in Gori

"Magnum photographer Thomas Dworzak is in Georgia for The Wall Street Journal. His photographic essays from the region span two decades and tell a moving story of the people and now war there." [more inside]
posted by chunking express at 10:13 AM PST - 29 comments

"Telescopic Text"

I made tea. {Flash, I think. Via notcot.}
posted by dobbs at 9:30 AM PST - 59 comments

Tourist Planning

A View of America ― Aquariums, beaches, gardens, monuments, parks, zoos, etc. This site aims to describe American attractions that tourists may find interesting. Listings are sorted by state and by category. Also includes recipes, jokes, and puzzles. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 7:19 AM PST - 27 comments

Bacevich speaks to Moyer about the American Empire

Ret. Col. Andrew Bacevich speaks to Bill Moyers (transcript) about the American empire and his new book "The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism."
posted by geos at 7:00 AM PST - 80 comments

Year of Da Cat

Year of Da Cat: Known as surfing's "Black Knight" or "The Angry Young Man of Surfing" (even "the consummate surf nazi") for his attitude, but more famously as "Da Cat" for his feline grace on a wave, Miki Dora defined the soul of surfing when it exploded into 60's popularity via Gidget (a historical moment in which he had no small part). Cashing in as the go-to stunt surfer for beach party movies even as he decried surfing's commercialization, Dora parlayed his notoriety in the surf media (including a highlight in The Endless Summer) to icon status, venerated even more since his death in 2002. [more inside]
posted by bonefish at 6:22 AM PST - 7 comments

After that day, your life is never the same. "That day" is the day the doctor tells you, "You have cancer."

Journalist Leroy Sievers has lost his fight with cancer. He passed away Friday night. He was 53. His blog, My Cancer, and his commentaries on NPR, documented the progression of his disease while creating a community of those touched by cancer themselves.
posted by Toekneesan at 4:23 AM PST - 19 comments

10 Futuristic User Interfaces

10 Futuristic User Interfaces. [...] we present 10 recent developments in the field of user experience design. Most techniques may seem very futuristic, but some of them are already reality. And in fact, they are extremely impressive. Keep in mind: they can become ubiquitous in the next years.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 2:33 AM PST - 57 comments

Sokal and beyond

Truth's Caper : essay by Simon Blackburn on Sokal's Hoax.
posted by Gyan at 1:22 AM PST - 163 comments

August 17

Congratulations! It's a locomotive!

Following up to this post, the people at the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust recently completed their 18-year project to build a new steam locomotive. Congratulations are in order.
posted by pjern at 9:23 PM PST - 32 comments

Escaped a disaster? Tell everyone!

Whether you're fleeing tropical storm Fay - which is currently heading for Florida - or you've just been airlifted out of the Grand Canyon due to the the recent flooding due to a dam breach, or even "none of the above/other", the American Red Cross has a way for you to let folks know you're Safe and Sound. You can search for people in the list by family name, pre-disaster phone number, and pre-disaster address. Also, the American Red Cross has a twitter feed. But I don't think twitter being down counts as a disaster...
posted by rmd1023 at 9:03 PM PST - 11 comments

Félix Fénéon's "Novels in Three Lines", via Twitter

There's the emergent practice of the posthumous diary blog (e.g. Mr. Pepys) and there's the recent adaptation of Hamlet as a Facebook feed.

Now comes Twitter, which is spooling out Félix Fénéon's "Novels in Three Lines" at some irregular clip. Translated by Luc Sante, described as narratives compressed into a single frame, these 3-line news items from Le Matin 'are the poems & novels Fénéon never otherwise wrote.'
posted by cloudscratcher at 8:26 PM PST - 24 comments

African Kings photoset

African Kings, by Daniel Lainé
posted by stbalbach at 7:57 PM PST - 21 comments

pye dogs in India

Are you a Pariah Dog fan? A blog about Indian stray and street dogs. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 3:10 PM PST - 24 comments

Bluegrass Grows in Golden Gate Park.

Bluegrass Grows in Golden Gate Park. The line-up for the 8th annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival has been announced for the first weekend of October in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, its traditional location since its inception in 2001. [more inside]
posted by Senor Cardgage at 2:36 PM PST - 22 comments

It's all pepe, all the time

The Afterlife of American Clothes. "From 2003 to 2007 [filmmakers Hanna Rose Shell and Vanessa Bertozzi] visited rag yards in Miami, dug through archives in London and Washington, D.C., and traveled to Haiti to see the international secondhand markets for themselves. The result is the recent documentary Secondhand (Pepe), which explores the global trade in used clothing."
posted by Knappster at 12:35 PM PST - 12 comments

Carolyn Drake Photography

Carolyn Drake Photography. Pictures of Central Asia and Eastern Europe. [Via]
posted by homunculus at 12:02 PM PST - 7 comments

All we have to do is touch it

Pac-Man The Movie (SLYT).
posted by cashman at 7:02 AM PST - 31 comments

Who is Alexander Grothendieck?

Who is Alexander Grothendieck? [PDF] This lecture is concerned not with Grothendieck's mathematics but with his very unusual life on the fringes of human society. In particular, there is, on the one hand, the question of why at the age of forty-two Grothendieck first of all resigned his professorship at the Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques (IHES); then withdrew from mathematics completely; and finally broke off all connections to his colleagues, students, acquaintances, friends, as well as his own family, to live as a hermit in an unknown place. On the other hand, one would like to know what has occupied this restless and creative spirit since his withdrawal from mathematics.
posted by Wolfdog at 5:49 AM PST - 31 comments

Disaster Capitalism

"Like the dotcom bubble, the disaster bubble is inflating in an ad-hoc and chaotic fashion." Journalist Naomi Klein discusses how corporations and governments are working together more closely than ever, using the mandate of catastrophe — whether natural or man-made — to further concentrate power in fewer hands, with less oversight: from illegal sales of American police technology to China to avert hypothetical tragedies during the Beijing Olympics, to the privatization of water supplies in post-tsunami Sri Lanka.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:35 AM PST - 50 comments

George Carlin, 1957 - 1970.

George Carlins early career is often overlooked, though every veteran comedian worth his salt will tell you that it takes years, sometimes a decade or longer, until you have amassed enough stage time to fully develop your character, act, and jokes. [more inside]
posted by mediocre at 5:17 AM PST - 26 comments

Jerry Wexler

Legendary record man and music producer Jerry Wexler died on August 15, at the age of 91. His keen insight, and his deep love and appreciation for the artists he worked with resulted in an extraordinary enriching of American music. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:17 AM PST - 16 comments

August 16

It's the end of the world as we know it... lalala

Upclose and personal on the man, Nouriel Roubini, who predicted the subprime crisis. Apparently we're in for a long long haul out of this mess. Oh, and it may be the end of America (reg req'd) as we know it. [more inside]
posted by blahblah at 11:23 PM PST - 99 comments

Found It

Place Spotting ― Try to solve this Google map quiz. In the upper part of the page you see a satellite picture. Drag and zoom the map in the lower part of the page until it shows the same location as the upper map. Here's how.
posted by netbros at 9:40 PM PST - 32 comments

Learn from us, very much...

Some Velvet Morning When I'm Straight - the "Cowboy Psychedelia" of Lee Hazlewood in duet with Nancy Sinatra, and its many, many, covers.
posted by Artw at 6:51 PM PST - 31 comments

Get Your Animated Series On

David Rees clip-art masterpiece Get Your War On has been featured here before, but now you can enjoy it without reading. So far:
posted by Who_Am_I at 6:06 PM PST - 43 comments

Political Ephemera from the Vietnam War Era

The University of Washington has put a collection of Vietnam War era printed ephemera (posters, flyers, pamphlets, magazines, mostly cheap mimeographs or photocopies) online. The browsable collection ranges from Defend the Black Panthers to How to Make a Revolution in the U.S. to the Planetary Citizen Human Manifesto to plain old Do Something. The collection offers a fascinating insight into the passion, energy and graphic sensibilities of grassroots, home-front politics in late 1960s and early 1970s Seattle. [more inside]
posted by Rumple at 3:55 PM PST - 18 comments

At least its not fully operational.

The Death Star rises over San Francisco. A video. Just some footage shot during Imperial Fleet Week in SF.
posted by uaudio at 2:17 PM PST - 51 comments

Lost in the Forster

"Room With A Screw: My 45-day quest to convince a craigslist scammer to write me a poem-- and how she lost her mind and tried to become my friend"
posted by not_the_water at 1:40 PM PST - 44 comments

Lo-Fi Video Game Anti-Piracy

Long before user authentication and online validation became a thorn in the side of software pirates, copy protection techniques were a little more friendly and a little more lo-fi: packaged with Infocom's interactive fiction games, "Feelies" (primary link, click on the boxes)were assorted physical items that acted as accompanying illustrations (fake magazine covers, in-game currency, decoder slides, and even scratch-n-sniff cards for specific points during game play) to worlds made entirely from text. [more inside]
posted by Damn That Television at 12:27 PM PST - 30 comments

Lost Tribes of the Green Sahara

Lost Tribes of the Green Sahara. "How a dinosaur hunter uncovered the Sahara's strangest Stone Age graveyard."
posted by homunculus at 12:00 PM PST - 9 comments

that little cup of sadness

Jon Stewart just might be the most trusted man in America. (NYT article)
posted by blue_beetle at 10:57 AM PST - 109 comments


Usain Bolt is (still) the fastest man in the world. [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin at 9:04 AM PST - 98 comments

"An already difficult journey has become dangerous."

Long before people called themselves Muslims or Hindus, long before they fought and died over these or any labels... water dripped and froze inside the Amarnath Cave at the heart of Kashmir. Amarnath Cave official site. Amarnath Cave pilgrimage. Amarnath virtual tour. Wikipedia's page on the Amarnath land transfer.
posted by amyms at 2:49 AM PST - 14 comments

August 15

The Open-Source Train Moves Forward

What could be less important to the blue than a news item involving model railroading and Java? Yet in an important decision, a U.S. Appeals court has ruled that that the terms of the Artistic License are enforceable copyright conditions. "For non-lawgeeks, this won't seem important but this is huge," said Stanford Law Professor Larry Lessig. [more inside]
posted by Artful Codger at 8:04 PM PST - 41 comments

Quad Quadricycle

Destined for display at this year's Burning Man, a very impressive quadricycle is out and about in an early appearance. (via) [more inside]
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 7:09 PM PST - 36 comments

Animated Knots

Knot, knot
Who's there?
Bowline who?
I'm going bowline ... wanna go too? [more inside]
posted by netbros at 6:22 PM PST - 28 comments

A break from the Olympics

A comedic break from the Olympics. Plus a mildly amusing advertisement. [more inside]
posted by five fresh fish at 6:11 PM PST - 30 comments

A Beautiful Place to Die

"STOP. The area ahead has the worst weather in America. Many have died there from exposure, even in the summer. Turn back now if the weather is bad."

A Boston Globe piece on the White Mountain National Forest, the common disregard for danger of those who hike in it, and the people who often go and get them when things go wrong.
posted by rollbiz at 5:51 PM PST - 44 comments

Walk Like a Russian (oh whey oh)

This year alone, over 20,000 Russian Orthodox pilgrims followed an icon of St. Nicholas from Kirov to Velikoretskoye on foot. The 180km-long pilgrimage through the Russian countryside dates back to the 14th century. Sergey Kozmin's photos. Some extra info here.
posted by ersatz at 5:41 PM PST - 6 comments

Great Showdowns of the 8-bit Era

Great Art of your favorite 8-bit characters If you are a fan of retro arcade and 8-bit classic video games check out this interpretation of some of the greatest rivalries in old style gaming. How many can you name?
posted by metaboy at 5:05 PM PST - 33 comments

A unique sideshow

Waterboarding at Coney Island
posted by djgh at 3:18 PM PST - 20 comments

O Hangout, My Hangout

The vault at Pfaffs where the drinkers and laughers meet to eat and drink and carouse
While on the walk immediately overhead pass the myriad feet of Broadway
As the dead in their graves are underfoot hidden
And the living pass over them, recking not of them,
Laugh on laughers! Drink on drinkers!

posted by Miko at 2:21 PM PST - 9 comments

Rhetorical Questions

Rhetorical Questions. "Who will win the presidential debates? What does each candidate’s use of words say about how he would govern as president? Can Obama’s rhetorical skills lift him to the heights of Lincoln, FDR, and Reagan—or will his speechmaking do him in? After watching all 47 (!) of the primary season’s debates, our correspondent has the answers—and some harsh criticism for the moderators."
posted by chunking express at 1:25 PM PST - 86 comments

God-like powers, at last

Flash Friday Fun! Excellent, physics-based game wherein you control the sun, trying to grab planets and keep them in orbit. Any game that includes the admonition not to "go hyperbola" is OK by me.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:39 PM PST - 41 comments

Dalek prototype

Rise of the rat-brained robots. [Via]
posted by homunculus at 11:50 AM PST - 39 comments

Credo Quia Absurdum

E Clampus Vitus is a fraternal organization rooted in the California Gold Rush. Although some of its primary functions are beer drinking and implicitly poking fun at stodgier fraternal orders, it has also developed into a locally important benevolent organization. [more inside]
posted by mudpuppie at 11:49 AM PST - 13 comments

Masterpieces of early photography

More than 5000 masterpieces of early photography gathered by German site Here they are arranged by photographer. Among the photographers are Eadweard Muybridge, Louis Daguerre, Timothy H. O'Sullivan, Jacob Riis and Lewis Carrol. There are way too many interesting photographs in here to mention, so here are but a few: Tolstoy brandishing a pen at Chekov, dapper German, running soldier, old guy and typewriter and men dressed for a costume party.
posted by Kattullus at 11:26 AM PST - 24 comments

National Geographic Map of the Day

National Geographic Map of the Day. Previously featuring maps that run the gamut from automotive discovery and exploration; through literary, witchhunts and imaginary; to historical and Olympic.
posted by Mitheral at 10:57 AM PST - 9 comments

Sir King Penguin

Nils Olav has been a member of the Norway's King's Guard since 1972. Today, in a grand ceremony, he was knighted, becoming Sir Nils Olav. [more inside]
posted by Alex404 at 10:12 AM PST - 34 comments

Video of Lenin without so much Trotsky, please...

Enhancing video using photos "Using Photographs to Enhance Videos of a Static Scene" sounds a bit dry, but watch the demo video. Not only are exposures correctable, resolution can be enhanced enough to do a flawless digital zoom in post, and objects can be undetectably changed or removed from shaky handheld video. This is amazingly cool for video people, but also turns the slippery slope of "Can I trust what I see?" into a gaping chasm.
posted by lothar at 9:49 AM PST - 41 comments

Blocky 2 - Return of the Damn Smilies

Blocky 2. Simple kiddie game with cutesy graphics and annoying sound effects, or addictive puzzle with surprising depth and strategy? Both? Either way, I've played it too often; now it's your turn. [more inside]
posted by yhbc at 9:42 AM PST - 22 comments

King Curtis

So, there was this little rock band from England, and they got pretty famous and all, so famous that they initiated the era of stadium concerts, back in '65, at a little place in Queens called Shea. But there was an opening act that night, led by a sax-blowin' fellow name of King Curtis, and he kicked total muhfukkin ass, and it wasn't even with his baddest band! You can hear them here. Jump Back! [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:35 AM PST - 25 comments

Da gebt der Natur die Ehre/ Froh, an Aug' und Herz gesund/ Und erkennt der Farbenlehre/ Allgemeinen ewigen Grund!

Goethe's Theory of Colors: example of a "research style" that has "played a crucial role in the history of physics", or "tedious heap of mythical, uninformed or impressionistic color anecdotes"? Learn more about "Goethian science", then miss the point entirely by viewing a PDF recreating his experiments photographically, or playing with his triangle online. [more inside]
posted by No-sword at 6:27 AM PST - 16 comments

What, you know him too?

Where Is Bob? We have a manager — Bob. Bob is incompetent, overweight, unattractive, uncouth, socially awkward, and generally, not a very nice person at all. For a while, we were convinced that Bob had no redeeming qualities whatsoever. But then, something happened — Bob stopped showing up for work on a regular basis. Sometimes he wouldn’t even bother explaining his absence, acting as if spontaneous five-day weekends were simply the norm. And that is how everyone came to wonder — where is Bob?
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 2:23 AM PST - 116 comments

Theatres of Machines

Database Machine Drawings - Early modern machine drawings from the late Middle Ages up to 1650. Traced by engineers (or by their order), some are inscrutable, others Escherian.
posted by tellurian at 12:39 AM PST - 18 comments

Solo-circumnavigating the world at 16.

Sixteen-year-old Zac Sunderland can't drive a car legally, but he's hoping to become the youngest person to sail around the world alone. Zac departed from Marina Del Rey, California on June 14, and right now he's blogging from somewhere off the Marshall Islands. If you have Google Earth, you can chart his latest position here. Here's the route he plans to take. Links to video and more press stories here.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 12:12 AM PST - 41 comments

August 14

Can Cause Itchy, Flaky Spine

Ever secretly harbor a dream to create slick promos for pharmaceutical companies? Have at it, both in TV and print form. (Via Adfreaks)
posted by Weebot at 10:49 PM PST - 25 comments


Here are some words about unicorns and dolphins (for you to poop on). They a graceless arrangement of YouTube comments, chatroom drivel, and spam subject lines often called "flarf". Rule of thumb: if it sucks, it's flarf. Titles range from Abnormal Discharge to I am So Stupid. Someone got the idea to read flarf aloud and it reminds me of nothing if not a Fragmaster reading. If it exists at all, flarf is a link-clicking collage to match our miniscule attention spans.
posted by shii at 9:30 PM PST - 20 comments

I love cheese

Swiss Alps Cheesemaking
posted by Mr_Zero at 8:58 PM PST - 17 comments

iHitch = web2.0 + hitchiking (possibly)

iHitch is to hitchhiking that CouchSurfing is to hotels. iHitch is just an idea, but key technologies (GPS phones, GPS in cars, Web2.0) are coming available in critical mass that could transform 'hitchhiking' into a mainstream, safe, reliable and cheap form of transportation. Some metro area carpool websites have already successfully started down this road.
posted by stbalbach at 7:38 PM PST - 21 comments

Happy Friday!

Coign of Vantage is an unassuming, soothing kind of game - manipulate and move around a 3d cloud of pixels until they line up and melt into a simple image. Easy, zone-outtable, quite addictive.
posted by peachfuzz at 7:25 PM PST - 13 comments

Make your own Manga

Manga! Your
posted by ColdChef at 7:03 PM PST - 95 comments

Historiography of Alan Moore

"In Wells, God writes the human narrative, in Moore's version, it is humanity that ghostwrites its own story and credits it to God. The decision left to humanity is whether it will script its own history consciously, or allow the narrative to be shaped secretly by leaders and figures of authority..." The historiography (alternate, longer explanation) of Alan Moore. Warning: long. [more inside]
posted by flibbertigibbet at 6:15 PM PST - 14 comments

Why is the Joker Batman's archenemy?

The Joker is Batman's main nemesis. Why him? Why not some other villain?
posted by painquale at 5:34 PM PST - 118 comments

Mandatum novum do vobis: ut diligatis invicem

White Americans No Longer A Majority By 2042. The nation will be more racially and ethnically diverse, as well as much older, by midcentury, according to projections released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Minorities, now roughly one-third of the U.S. population, are expected to become the majority in 2042, with the nation projected to be 54 percent minority in 2050. By 2023, minorities will comprise more than half of all children.
posted by plexi at 5:20 PM PST - 90 comments

Woody Allen vs. Jean-Luc Godard

Meetin' WA "At once sublime and witty, the 26 minutes of Meetin' WA consist of an interview Jean-Luc Godard conducted in 1986 with Woody Allen, the director of What's Up, Tigerlilly and Men of Crisis: The Harvey Wallinger Story (and soon to be featured in the final moments of Godard's abortive Cannon Pictures' King Lear). The chat itself is amiable enough; certainly avoiding any conceivable adversarial notes; but this, along with the New York setting (giving Allen the home field advantage as it were) does nothing to prevent a visible anxiety from growing on the part of the filmmaker as the interview goes on."
posted by vronsky at 5:14 PM PST - 6 comments

Circus Sideshow Cemetery

Eyesuck Ink is the art work of illustrator Alex Pardee. His unique style is one conceived through watching years of horror movies, writing graffiti, and listening to gangster rap. His work best represents that of a circus sideshow cemetery.
posted by netbros at 5:09 PM PST - 7 comments

It was wrapped in white paper, I am loosing my mind paniking because that was almost my whole pay how could I possibly recoop that you know|?

I found your money. It's uncanny: the next guy emailing to claim the money that Rob "found" always describes it precisely as Rob described the money to the previous emailer.
posted by orthogonality at 3:27 PM PST - 78 comments

The Booze of Attraction

Science! "[S]cientists have proven that 'beer goggles' are real — other people really do look more attractive to us if we have been drinking. Surprisingly, the beer goggles effect was not limited to just the opposite sex among the ostensibly straight volunteers recruited for the study — they also rated people from their own sex as more attractive."
posted by ericb at 3:20 PM PST - 49 comments

Life in a Northern Town

Policy Exchange, the same British conservative think tank who brought you reports such as the tastefully titled The Hijacking of British Islam (previously), have released a new report, Cities Limited (pdf), which states that the only solution for people living in the North of Britain - where unemployment and poverty are high - is to abandon their homes and move south. Leader of the Conservative Party, David Cameron, minced no words in his response: "This report is rubbish from start to finish. I think the author himself said it might be a bit barmy. It is barmy. I gather he's off to Australia. The sooner he gets on the ship the better." Conservative bloggers have been very quick to distance themselves from the report, some going as far as to blame it on Liberal Democrats. Co-author of the report, Tim Leunig, a lecturer in economic history at the London School of Economics, defends his position.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:33 PM PST - 32 comments

Photos from North Korea.

Photos from North Korea. Photographs from a 2 week long trip to North Korea by photographer Eric Lafforgue.
posted by chunking express at 12:58 PM PST - 27 comments

Something exploded over and under Lake Huron near the US/Canadian border. Nobody knows what it was.

Something exploded over and under Lake Huron near the US/Canadian border on July 31, 2008. Nobody knows what it was. Initial published reports identified the cause as a meteor shower (without attribution). A week later more details emerged and meteors were ruled out. So what was it? [more inside]
posted by maxpower at 12:47 PM PST - 52 comments

Reaching for the Heavens

Mimar Sinan; 16th century Ottoman Architect Mimar Sinan born a Christian in Anatolia, from either a Greek or Armenian background, was conscripted into Ottoman service in 1511, and converted to Islam. He was the chief Ottoman architect to four sultans. Sinan worked in seismic, as well as political, fault zones, and his buildings are famous for their earthquake resistance. His extraordinary output included 146 mosques. [more inside]
posted by adamvasco at 12:38 PM PST - 7 comments

Norbert Kox

The Apocalyptic Art of Norbert Kox
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 12:30 PM PST - 3 comments

Non-news for nerds, stuff that doesn't matter is slashdot's place for off-topic videos/humour/viral web junk. Official announcement.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:04 PM PST - 40 comments

Bricks from ashes

Superstruct: An alternate reality game of future survival from the woman who brought you I Love Bees. Starting soon.
posted by klangklangston at 11:55 AM PST - 10 comments

Professor loses it at debate event

The Cross Examination Debate Association meets regularly for debate tournaments. Things often get heated, but this year, professor Bill Shanahan of Fort Hays State went nuts. More here and here.
posted by Crotalus at 11:50 AM PST - 151 comments

The American Military Crisis

Illusions of Victory: How the United States Did Not Reinvent War… But Thought It Did. Is Perpetual War Our Future? Learning the Wrong Lessons from the Bush Era. Two excerpts from The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism, the new book by Andrew Bacevich (previously: 1, 2, 3, 4).
posted by homunculus at 11:40 AM PST - 21 comments


Like shiny things? Bill Owen has a step by step tutorial on getting a mirror paint finish on objects with paint and wax.
posted by Mitheral at 10:38 AM PST - 35 comments

Tuesday night [his] gradfather died. He invented rewinding.

Tuesday night [his] gradfather died. He invented rewinding.
posted by GuyZero at 8:52 AM PST - 58 comments

War by Miscalculation?

The Russo-Georgian War and the Balance of Power- the Russian invasion of Georgia has not changed the balance of power in Eurasia. It simply announced that the balance of power had already shifted. [more inside]
posted by notsnot at 8:48 AM PST - 75 comments


The New Yorker interviews Josh Fruhlinger, a.k.a. The Comics Curmudgeon. [Previously.] Josh also writes a weekly political cartoon post for Wonkette, and recently appeared on Jeopardy!
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 8:30 AM PST - 24 comments

Asian socities drive like this...

David Brooks, Social Psychologist, Mark Liberman at Language Log looks at the science behind David Brook's latest column in which he claims there is a fundamental differences between the thought processes of individuals in Asian "collectivist" societies and Western "individualist" ones. (via)
posted by afu at 7:57 AM PST - 68 comments

What is the solar potential of your roof

Have you ever thought about putting solar panels on your roof? Would you like to know how much power you can generate and what it would cost. RoofRay is a fun site that will calculate it for you and then let you know how much it would cost and how many years you'd need to recoup your investment. You enter an address into a version of Google Maps, and then draw where you want to put the array on your preferably southern facing roof.
posted by willnot at 7:22 AM PST - 47 comments

Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest

A grotesque comparison of a steamy love affair to a New York City street has won a Washington man this year's grand prize in an annual contest of bad writing.
posted by rtboo at 6:30 AM PST - 34 comments

Meta Documentary

BBC's Lost Land of the Jaguar puts Guyana's unspoilt rainforest into sharp focus. [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin at 6:26 AM PST - 8 comments

Gentlemen, We Have Wood

Johnna Klukas makes science fiction wood carvings, sculpture and furniture. She has also detailed her techniques (with more "coming soon").
posted by DU at 4:51 AM PST - 13 comments

At least he was trying to use utensils.

Forkdog. (SLLNF) Single link local newsfilter.
posted by yoga at 4:34 AM PST - 45 comments

Low-tech high-dive

At the Beijing Olympics this summer there is a camera that follows divers through the air until they hit the water's surface in glorious high-definition. The DiveCam was originally invented by Garrett Brown, the inventor of the Steadicam, and was first used in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. What new technology made this innovation possible? The power of gravity and pulleys.
posted by HaloMan at 2:52 AM PST - 21 comments


It's the middle of August, and chances are pretty good that it's HOT where you are. Let's lend our ears, then, to some of the most cooling music around, from the Indian bansuri. Air conditioning for your soul. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:13 AM PST - 38 comments

August 13

World's tallest woman dies

"It is needless to say my social life is practically nil and perhaps the publicity from your book may brighten my life," she wrote to Guinness World Records as a teenager. Sandy Allen, recognized in 1974 as the tallest woman alive, has died.
posted by Knappster at 10:07 PM PST - 44 comments

Images of Afghanistan

A few hundred photos of Afghanistan by a Canadian photographer. Some from the 1970s, some since 2000. Just a reminder there's more to the country than a testing ground for military technology and terrorist tactics. Some beautiful images and some scenes of everyday life. Accompanied by the photographer's personal commentary.
posted by binturong at 9:01 PM PST - 14 comments

Julia Child, Superspy

Julia Child apparently liked to mix cooking and covert operations. What did the beloved chef have in common with Arthur Schlesinger and baseball's Moe Berg? A career with the OSS, that's what. The CIA precursor's papers have recently been released, revealing Child's involvement in the agency. [more inside]
posted by mynameisluka at 8:55 PM PST - 45 comments

Googly Eyebot

"Double-Taker (Snout)" by Golan Levin with Lawrence Hayhurst, Steven Benders and Fannie White " in a whimsical manner with the themes of trans-species eye contact, gestural choreography, subjecthood, and autonomous surveillance. The project consists of an eight-foot (2.5m) long industrial robot arm, costumed to resemble an enormous inchworm or elephant's trunk, which responds in unexpected ways to the presence and movements of people in its vicinity...." Googly Eyebot. (via) [more inside]
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 7:56 PM PST - 3 comments

The Chameleon from Nantes

Frédéric Bourdin can be anyone he wants.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 5:36 PM PST - 36 comments

Middle Eastern Body Art

Staining the nails, skin and hair with henna is the favorite way of enhancing beauty amongst women in the Middle East. It is used as a hair treatment as well as a dye to make decorative designs on the skin. The art is known as mehndi. Henna markings remain on the skin for about twenty or thirty days. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 5:01 PM PST - 35 comments

Kings (and Queens) Of Their Own Domains

Josiah Harlan, first American in Afghanistan, Commander-In-Chief of the Afghan Army, Quaker, and Prince of Ghor; the inspiration for Rudyard Kipling's short story "The Man Who Would Be King" (and thus the John Houston film). The title was gained for himself "and his descendants in perpetuity" and never rescinded, making actor Scott Reiniger (Dawn of the Dead), Harlan's great, great, great grandson, technically a prince of Afghanistan. (previously)
Ursula Graham-Bower, an English archeology student who ventured to India in 1939 "to putter about with a few cameras and do a bit of medical work, maybe write a book" and ended up in the jungle on the Burmese border as "Queen of the Nagas", leading headhunting tribes against the advancing Japanese Army. (Real Audio BBC Radio history segment, extended MP4 video interview from 1985, shortly before her death, online archive).
The "White Rajas" of the Kingdom of Sarawak, a dynasty of the Brooke family, who ruled a region of Brunei for over a century; the progenitor of the family, James Brooke, was likely an inspiration for Joseph Conrad's "Lord Jim". [more inside]
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 3:53 PM PST - 18 comments

Arkansas Democratic Party Chairman Killed

Bill Gwatney, Chairman of the Arkansas Democratic Party, has been killed by an unknown gunman, who himself later died in a shootout with police. [more inside]
posted by 235w103 at 2:59 PM PST - 56 comments

Every. Single. MST3K. Episode.

All MST3K episodes available in .avi format. That is all. I need to lie down.
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 2:38 PM PST - 99 comments

Chemistry without those blasphemous isotopes!

In response to the 2005 lawsuit, ACSI v. Stearns, a federal court has upheld the decision of the University of California to deny college credit for science courses that utilize texts with a religious slant. Official statement from the UCOP (PDF).
posted by cgomez at 2:11 PM PST - 67 comments

Memory remembered.

Memory remembered. Does writing seek out words the better to stir and un-numb us to life—or does writing provide surrogate pleasures the better to numb us to experience? [more inside]
posted by semmi at 1:27 PM PST - 15 comments

Quoth the raven, "Halloa old girl!"

"On the clock striking twelve he appeared slightly agitated, but he soon recovered, walked twice or thrice along the coach house, stopped to bark, staggered, exclaimed 'Halloa old girl!' (his favorite expression) and died... The children seem rather glad of it. He bit their ankles, but that was play..." So wrote Charles Dickens, describing the death of his pet raven "Grip," in a letter to a friend. Grip has an interesting legacy. Having served as an eponymous character in Dickens' Barnaby Rudge [full text] and subsequently inspiring Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven [full text], Grip has the distinction of being named a literary landmark. His taxidermied body is on display in the Rare Book Department at the Philadelphia Free Library.
posted by amyms at 12:02 PM PST - 19 comments

Gooooood morning Norway!

Share your innermost feelings with Dalsfjord, Norway. [more inside]
posted by mecran01 at 11:41 AM PST - 33 comments

Shadow Casting Panels

*relativity by Drzach & Suchy. "Our work explores the relativity of perception and the dependence of appearance on the surroundings. It illustrates the fact that the message communicated to the observer can dramatically change with varying external conditions. Multiple images are encoded within a single physical object — a white panel, which displays the separate images under appropriate lighting conditions. The underlying principle of our technique is based on a simple observation: the shadow cast by an object depends not only on the object itself, but also on the light; therefore the same object under changing lighting conditions can totally change its appearance." [Via]
posted by homunculus at 11:35 AM PST - 11 comments

The Drugs Don't Work

VerveFilter: The Verve in Turmoil After Bust-Up on Stage in Osaka The Verve's future is yet again thrown into turmoil after (an apparent onstage squabble) at the Osaka Summer Sonic festival which resulted in guitarist Nick McCabe allegedly being admitted to hospital It is unsure whether or not McCabe will rejoin the Verve to perform at an upcoming festival in the UK. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu at 11:16 AM PST - 26 comments

Radiodiffusion Internasionaal -- popular world music of the 60's and 70's

"Radiodiffusion Internasionaal is devoted to the evolution of popular music from Africa, the Middle East, India and Asia and the proliferation of Western influences on these non-Western cultures. The focus is primarily the music from the mid 60's to the mid 70's." (Description from the front page of the site.) Slightly differently formatted version of the website here. Nice set of links, too (scroll down to the Words and Pictures section).
posted by cog_nate at 10:51 AM PST - 8 comments

Curfew is declared in a 10 block area of a small Arkansas town

Curfew is declared in a 10 block area of a small Arkansas town. [more inside]
posted by Daddy-O at 10:04 AM PST - 89 comments

oh, god.

This is the moment Hungarian weightlifter Janos Baranyai's first Olympics ended in agony when he dislocated his right elbow in the ugliest moment yet of the Olympic weightlifting competition. Video, for the foolish.
posted by R. Mutt at 10:00 AM PST - 82 comments

Grifters, Oil Men, Tabloids, The Scrappy Ingenue, The Titans and the Hardass: An American Story

Corrupt U.S. Government officials leased the Teapot Dome oil field to one Harry F. Sinclair in 1922 in a sleazy no-bid contract.

Turn back the clock. 27 years earlier, suspected grifter Gilmer Bonfils had seized control of the Denver Post; he and his family turned it from a sleepy, staid paper into a wild, brazen broadsheet. So brazen they were shot by a furious lawyer. For an editorial page, Tammen and Bonfils substituted invective, raked up so much scandal—a good deal of it true — that they kept a loaded shotgun in their office to discourage reader complaints. As the Post grew in power and prosperity, its proprietors branched into other fields; the Post became the first and last U.S. daily ever to own a circus (Sells-Floto), run a burlesque house and sell coal." [more inside]
posted by felix at 9:09 AM PST - 33 comments

Rub-a-dub-dub, thanks for the grub. Yeah, BK!

Timothy Tackett (aka Mr.UNST@BL3) decided to celebrate his birthday by taking a bath in the utility sink at the Burger King where he worked in Xenia, Ohio and videotaping the stunt. He then posted the footage to YouTube [video | 3:44]. [Slideshow]. Health officials found out about the "Burger King bather" video. They and Tackett's employers weren't very happy with the four-minute clip. All of the employees involved have been fired. [more inside]
posted by ericb at 8:55 AM PST - 78 comments

Pink foam walls reveal national character.

Tunnels no Minasan no Okage Desu is a Japanese game show where contestants strike poses to fit through cutouts in pink foam walls. International reproductions of this game show reveal much about national character; reproductions exist in Italy, Russia, France, Denmark, Hong Kong, Korea, and Australia. [more inside]
posted by Alison at 7:47 AM PST - 19 comments

Pacemaker vulnerable to remote hacking

Serious as a heart attack: A collaboration of various medical researchers in the academic field has led to proof that pacemakers can be remotely hacked with simple and accessible equipment. This is a proof of concept, but the real question is: How many other pacemakers and medical devices are similarly vulnerable? (Writers may note a new twist available for the assassination of characters in their novels and screenplays.)
posted by spock at 7:00 AM PST - 39 comments

Conducting an orchestra. How hard could it be?

The theory is one thing - but if you have ever dreamed of having the chance to conduct a full, professional orchestra at a major concert then you are almost certainly (*) out of luck. Sorry. Unless you are a celebrity in which case the BBC might fix it for you (full program trailer on YT). Giving it their first go are actors Jane Asher and David Soul, Drum and Bass star Goldie, Blur bassist Alex James, broadcasters Katie Derham and Peter Snow, and comedians Sue Perkins and Bradley Walsh as they compete to be the "Maestro" [i-player link for UK only unfortunately]
posted by rongorongo at 4:14 AM PST - 25 comments

August 12

Executed Today

Executed Today offers "each day the story of an historical execution that took place on this date, and the story behind it."
posted by Knappster at 10:04 PM PST - 18 comments

"I don't kill them because they're bad people. I kill them because I hate them."

The Punisher MAX #60 hits comics stores this week, marking the end of Garth Ennis's run on the series. His earlier Punisher work on the series put the character back on track after some disastrous wrong turns, but it was the Marvel MAX series that striped the Vietnam vet turned vigilante's war on crime of all extraneous elements and turned it into something dark and brutal. The evocative covers of Tim Bradstreet (also leaving the series) matched the interior darkness, with Ennis toning down his humor to let the Frank Castle become a monomaniacal psychopath in a corrupt world. Adversaries included the resourceful and violent Barracuda, a kind of anti-Punisher based on the song Stagger Lee. It's not over for the Punisher - screenwriter Gregg Hurwitz and artist Laurence Campbell are taking over the series, and Ennis will be returning to the character with a miniseries in the lighter tone of his Marvel Knights work or The Punisher Kills The Marvel Universe.
posted by Artw at 10:00 PM PST - 49 comments

I think you'll find this is the real deal

A group of three men claim they have found the body of a bigfoot somewhere in the state of Georgia. A press conference is set for this Friday in Palo Alto, CA. Enthusiasts are skeptical but not completely dismissive. Get your Friday flash fun with video overlaid overtop of an advancing slideshow and two separate sources of annoying music at their website which has the press conference announcement. [more inside]
posted by cashman at 9:26 PM PST - 135 comments


Weeks before physical bombs started falling on Georgia, security researcher Jose Nazario of Arbor Networks in Lexington, Massachusetts was watching an attack against the country in cyberspace: a stream of data directed at Georgian government sites containing the message: win+love+in+Rusia.
posted by plexi at 7:05 PM PST - 33 comments

a bookshelf full o' sorrows

Starting with Frank McCourt's "Angela's Ashes" and Dave Pelzer's "A Child Called 'It'" "misery lit" has blossomed into a peculiar genre all its own, one especially popular with the British.
posted by freshwater_pr0n at 6:36 PM PST - 56 comments

Giant Inflatable Dog Turd Wreaks Havoc

You know it's a good day to be a reporter when you can use the phrases "giant inflatable dog turd" and "wreaks havoc" in the same story.
posted by yhbc at 6:26 PM PST - 67 comments

Omer Fast

CNN Concatenated by Omer Fast
posted by vronsky at 5:18 PM PST - 52 comments

...and that little boy's smile... with that slow southern style

With black velvet paintings of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Donald Rumsfeld, Jack Abramoff, Phil Spector, Jon Benet Ramsey, Jesus and a Big Rig, Erik Estrada, Charles Nelson Reilly, Wil Wheaton as Wesley Crusher, and everyone's favorite physicist, Stephen Hawking, velvet paintings aren't just of Elvis, Unicorns, and Aztec Indians anymore.
posted by premiumpolar at 4:42 PM PST - 37 comments

You Still Can't Write About Muhammad

Asra Q. Nomani writes in The Wall Street Journal on Sherry Jones's new historical novel, "The Jewel of Medina" about Aisha, the young wife of the prophet Muhammad. Random House has pulled the book for fears of a political and extremist nature. In a statement, Random House said: "We stand firmly by our responsibility to support our authors and the free discussion of ideas, even those that may be construed as offensive by some. However, a publisher must weigh that responsibility against others that it also bears, and in this instance we decided, after much deliberation, to postpone publication for the safety of the author, employees of Random House Inc, booksellers and anyone else who would be involved in distribution and sale of the book." Over at the Guardian, you can read more about the controversy.
posted by Fizz at 4:02 PM PST - 140 comments

The Assassination of John Glenn

"Operation Northwoods [pdf], which had the written approval of the Chairman and every member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called for innocent people to be shot on American streets; for boats carrying refugees fleeing Cuba to be sunk on the high seas; for a wave of violent terrorism to be launched in Washington, D.C., Miami, and elsewhere. People would be framed for bombings they did not commit; planes would be hijacked. Using phony evidence, all of it would be blamed on Castro, thus giving Lemnitzer and his cabal the excuse, as well as the public and international backing, they needed to launch their war." [YouTube] [more inside]
posted by blue_beetle at 3:03 PM PST - 54 comments

Hell hath no fury like Clive Barker scorned

Clive Barker's new film The Midnight Meat Train has become a famous casualty of the recent regime change at Lionsgate, which relegated the feature to limited release (and to hit DVD shortly after). Fans (and Barker himself) tried to force Lionsgate to reconsider, whick ultimately backfired. Despite plenty of non-terrible reviews, the company's "limited release" eschewed major cities, shoving MMT into out-of-the-way $1 cheapie cinemas. Horror fans are furious-- but they've found a way to get their point across.
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 2:54 PM PST - 91 comments

Elizabeth Turnbull's Tiny House

Elizabeth Turnbull, an incoming graduate student at Yale's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, is bringing her own housing.
posted by dchase at 2:30 PM PST - 64 comments

I can’t believe that posting corrections to comments takes that much time away from real work.

So apostrophree corrects these kinds of errors before people see them, preventing employees from spending time posting corrections and engaging in online flame wars about English usage?
posted by blasdelf at 11:59 AM PST - 92 comments

The Image Mill

Canadian writer, actor, and director Robert Lepage, whose work has included Jésus de Montréal and Le Confessional, has recently turned his attention to - of all places - the Bunge Grain complex in Quebec City. In celebration of Quebec's 400th anniversary, Lepage turned the complex into a vast movie screen 30 meters tall and 600 meters wide. This project is known as the Image Mill. If you happen to be in Quebec City, you can watch it at the Port of Québec, every night at 10 PM, until August 24.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:57 AM PST - 10 comments


A New State of Mind. "New research is linking dopamine to complex social phenomena and changing neuroscience in the process."
posted by homunculus at 11:30 AM PST - 24 comments

Take a look at the Nigerian film industry

Pieter Hugo photographs the Nigerian film industry, where a digital camera, 2 lights, nine days and $20k translates into a feature film. NSFW. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:08 AM PST - 19 comments

Mother Seacole

When Jamaican-born Mary Seacole, an experienced nurse, volunteered her services to the British Army during the Crimean War, she was rejected. Undaunted, she travelled to Crimea at her own expense and built a "mess-table and comfortable quarters," which she called the "British Hotel," and began taking care of soldiers. Her work was snubbed by Florence Nightingale, who called Seacole "a woman of bad character" and insinuated that the convalescent hotel was little more than a bordello, but Mary was beloved by the men in her care who called her "Mother Seacole." Her autobiography, Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands [link goes to full text and illustrations], was published a year after the war ended. Mary, who was feted by high-ranking military men and high-born civilians, went on to other nursing-related pursuits, including a stint as personal masseuse to Alexandra, Princess of Wales. Her work in Crimea was but one highlight in a very interesting life. [more inside]
posted by amyms at 10:05 AM PST - 11 comments

God is In the Details.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder? Or is it simply a near fetishy love for a supercar? I guess if you're going to drive something like this, you're going to want to take good care of it. I picked this link because of the amazing amount of detailing he went into... um... detailing. The pictures themselves are worth it. I think this guy ended up with a car that's cleaner than when it first left the factory. [more inside]
posted by jcterminal at 9:24 AM PST - 108 comments

How renters work the system to live for free in one of America's most expensive cities

"In fact, [Getzow] was one of the most successful 'serial evictees' in San Francisco, a select group of tenants who take advantage of the city's lenient courts and tenant-support nonprofits to tie up landlords in court for months while they live practically rent-free in one of the most expensive cities in the country."
posted by geoff. at 8:47 AM PST - 92 comments

The cars of tomorrow

The cars of tomorrow, today. Link goes to NYT, you may need to use BugeMeNot. [more inside]
posted by fixedgear at 8:32 AM PST - 9 comments

Our Phony Economy.

Our Phony Economy. [more inside]
posted by chunking express at 7:57 AM PST - 102 comments

The Bedlam Cometh

A film adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Hugo Award winning novella, Coraline will be out (in 3D) in early 2009. [Previously] [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin at 4:24 AM PST - 27 comments

August 11

Rhapsody in Pepsi Blue?

Yes, it's an advertisement, but this commercial for United Airlines is really extraordinary. (Link goes directly to a .mov file. If you don't want to open it directly, go here and click on "New Work", then "TV".) [more inside]
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 11:53 PM PST - 98 comments

GBATemp's Nintendo DS homebrew bounty.

GBATemp is offering a generous monthly bounty for the best Nintendo DS homebrew: $200, plus donations (currently up to $200), plus $50 from for the runner-up. This move will hopefully bolster an already thriving homebrew community. [more inside]
posted by archagon at 11:08 PM PST - 13 comments

19th century Romantic poem with illustrated books

`The Eve of St. Agnes` (1819) is a poem based on a Medieval folktale by Romanticist John Keats. One of Keats most beloved poems, in the 19th and early 20th centuries it became a popular source of inspiration with at least 6 well-known painters such as William Holman Hunt and Arthur Hughes. There were also many beautifully illustrated books produced during this period, some of which are online. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach at 9:58 PM PST - 8 comments

Rumsey Revisited

Beijing in 1930. First mentioned on the blue back in 2001, the David Rumsey Historical Map Collection now has over 18,460 maps online—120 of them viewable as Google Maps overlays.
posted by Knappster at 9:56 PM PST - 8 comments

No More Perfect 10.

No More Perfect 10s. The new Olympic scoring has rendered the Perfect 10 obsolete. Let's remember what it looked like: Nadia Comaneci - Balance Beam & Uneven Bars - 1976. Balance Beam - 1980. Mary Lou Retton - Vault 1984. Lavinia Milosovici -Floor Exercise 1992.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:48 PM PST - 79 comments

Lame Duck v. Bald Eagles

Cross another item off of President Bush's to-do list before he leaves the White House: hobbling the Endangered Species Act and allowing federal agencies to gauge the environmental impact of their projects for themselves. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne said the changes were needed to ensure that the ESA would not be used as a "back door" to regulate greenhouse gases.
posted by digaman at 8:43 PM PST - 50 comments

No word on cat ears, tentacles.

So you want to look like an anime character? Because wide eyes are more attractive, and, ahem, easier. And blue eyes are more attractive, but only to blue-eyed men. [more inside]
posted by orthogonality at 8:41 PM PST - 30 comments

Pourquoi tant de haine ?

Anti-French sentiment still runs high in the USA. Thankfully, Miquelon monitors French bashing activity since 2003. To gain some perspective, some even venture into the belly of the beast...Oh Paris Paramus, where art thou? [more inside]
posted by Oneirokritikos at 8:18 PM PST - 62 comments

Portable Film Festival

Voting is open for the Portable Film Festival. A curated collection of the year's best short films, music videos, animation, and features, from high-quality amateur films to hard-to-find professional releases. The international festival is delivered completely online: all entries are available for download, with awards decided by user ratings.
posted by harriet vane at 7:02 PM PST - 5 comments

Remember Tibet during the Olympic Games. Jonathan Barnbrook and Pedro Inoue raise awareness through this new site. [Via Computer Love]
posted by wundermint at 6:27 PM PST - 72 comments

AirBed and Breakfast

AirBed and Breakfast connects people who have a spare bed (or couch, or whatever) with people who need one. Hosts can set the price (or a charity donation), throw in breakfast (or not), and refuse any guests they want. Guests can find available options by date range, location and any other criteria (e.g. WiFi), pay by credit card, and leave reviews. Not quite enough locations yet, but otherwise looks pretty useful.
posted by scottreynen at 5:40 PM PST - 37 comments

Rowan Oak

Rowan Oak: In 1930, William Faulkner purchased what was then known as "The Bailey Place," a large primitive Greek Revival house that pre-dated the Civil War standing on four acres of cedars and hardwoods. Take a virtual tour of the home that housed this great American writer.
posted by Fizz at 3:50 PM PST - 11 comments

Villa Leopold Fetches $750 Million

The most expensive home ever sold, Villa Leopolda (wiki here) on the French Riviera today fetched an estimated $750 million from an anonymous Russian tycoon (more about the sale here, here, here, and here). Formerly owned by banker Edmond Safra, whose mysterious death by fire in his Monaco home in December 1999 resulted in a murder conviction, the Villa's name refers to its original owner, Belgium's King Leopold II (and we all know how he made his fortune), and was reputedly built for his mistress.
posted by ornate insect at 3:46 PM PST - 53 comments

Two effect they're effluent capitol.

Confusing Words is a collection of 3210 words that are troublesome to readers and writers. Words are grouped according to the way they are most often confused or misused.
posted by blue_beetle at 2:29 PM PST - 75 comments

MIT Hackers Restrained

Three MIT students planned to reveal to Defcon how to make counterfeit "Charley Cards" - the electronic passes that allow access to Boston's MBTA transit system. The MBTA sued for a restraining order, and a judge has granted it. [more inside]
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:09 PM PST - 98 comments


Springfield Punx. In his spare time, Dean Fraser Simpson-izes pop icons and posts them on his blog. Some examples include Batman, Moth Man, Donnie Darko, and Tobias Fünke.
posted by jabberjaw at 12:37 PM PST - 11 comments

Olympic fireworks digitally faked.

Olympic fireworks digitally faked. Giant, stomping footsteps were created by digital trickery. [more inside]
posted by Dave Faris at 12:07 PM PST - 111 comments

Wim Delvoye's Gothic Art

When Gothic Art and Radiology Collide: The Gothic Work of Wim Delvoye (previously). [Via Medgadget]
posted by homunculus at 11:20 AM PST - 15 comments

Domestic Violence and Russian Women

Every hour a woman in the Russian Federation dies at the hand of a relative, her partner or former partner. Russian judge rules sexual harassment okay as it ensures humans breed. Domestic violence: Russian women speak out. NPR: Domestic Violence A Silent Crisis In Russia.
posted by agregoli at 11:04 AM PST - 31 comments

your own little piece of rock history... and a grape.

Surely one of the most memorable musician photos ever is this one: Johnny Cash, making his feelings known with customary aplomb. But did you ever notice he was wearing a jumpsuit in that photo, and not his more standard black shirt/trousers ensemble? Well, that very jumpsuit just went for a handsome $120,000 at auction. Someone else just paid $300,000 for one of Elvis' peacock-emblazoned jumpsuits. And remember that little necklace John Lennon wore on the cover of Two Virgins? Yep, the only thing he wore. Fetched a cool $528,000. Meanwhile, in Japan, a bunch of grapes just went for $910. What a bargain! [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:24 AM PST - 21 comments

Major League Couch Potato

Animated Divots ― comprehensive resource on the history of animation including important events such as new techniques, studio history, and pioneers in the field. Also includes a bibliography of books and journals and filmographies of significant animators, directors, and studios.
posted by netbros at 8:34 AM PST - 1 comment

But where will I get the 100 pieces of gold?

So, they're making invisibility cloaks. previously.
posted by jimmythefish at 8:03 AM PST - 49 comments

Empire Poster Thread.

Can you guess these movies from just one letter of the poster? Empire has put together a little quiz to test your movie font knowledge. Guess the movies from just one letter in the film's poster title. Via Neatorama
posted by daHIFI at 7:02 AM PST - 40 comments

Herbie Popnecker's Powerful Lollipop

"Herbie Popnecker is unique among superheroes. While looking less like a superhero than any other, he may also be the most powerful.
     Herbie can "fly" by walking through air, or space, or water.
     Herbie can travel through time, or the ground, or through walls (some damage occurs), sometimes breaking the fourth wall.
     Herbie is the least emotional of any super hero, and one of few words.
     Herbie defeats many of his opponents by looking at them, but sometimes, he bops them with this here lollipop."
Herbie's further powers are examined thoroughly at Herbie Popnecker: Examples of Recurring Themes. [more inside]
posted by carsonb at 12:40 AM PST - 31 comments


Braid is the latest videogames-are-art posterchild. The mind-bending, time-twisting platformer is currently the most critically acclaimed XBLA game. Jonathan Blow, the designer, is something of a games philosopher. You can listen to a fascinating talk he gave on game design last year here.
posted by empath at 12:01 AM PST - 96 comments

August 10

Musical pioneer Roy Shirley has died . . .

Roy Shirley has died. Who's Roy Shirley, you ask? He was one of Jamaica's best-kept musical secrets. When Jamaica's summer of 1967 proved too hot to dance to frenetic ska sounds, Shirley came to the rescue with what's widely acknowledged as the first "rocksteady" hit, the Joe Gibbs-produced Hold Them. Despite scant commercial success, he played at the Apollo Theatre and Madison Square Garden in the early 70s, as well as baptizing the legendary King Tubby's studio with his brilliant boxing tribute, Joe Razor. In 1973, Shirley moved to the UK and deeper obscurity, but there's a happy ending. A Trojan Records double CD of his classic work was released a couple of years ago, and a bunch of reggae fanatics arranged for him to play the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival early this summer. Shirley's health was poor, but he put on a fine show and won over a host of new fans. (Scroll down a bit to see his final performance.) Recently, a clip of Shirley at his musical peak started making the rounds. (Scroll to 1:14 to see part of his oddly James Brown-inspired live performances.) Shirley's vocals, lyrics and overall sensibility may be an acquired taste. It's a shame the world mostly missed him in his time. His odd humor, crazy talent and good-nature made him unique.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 9:16 PM PST - 16 comments

"Purple Is A Fruit"

Saving D'oh: How one blogger learned about "cheap, healthy eating" by watching The Simpsons. The readers' comments are fun too. Via.
posted by amyms at 8:22 PM PST - 38 comments

Hazel Eyed-Chic-Sleek-gorgeously glamorous twinkle Toed Charmer of the Silver Screen

Bollywood, the 1960s and 70s: "For years, the favorite setting for the big dance number has been a cabaret, with its atmosphere of forbidden liquor and sexual permissiveness, with its mixed audience of privileged Indians, industrialists, playboys, princes, and its foreign decadence..." And no one was more at home this exotic milieu than an Anglo-Burmese refugee who began dancing in films at 13 to support her family. Her pale skin and vaguely foreign looks, along with a collection of colored contacts and wigs, allowed her to play white women, Asian women, whatever titillating role was called for. She was Helen, Queen of the Nautch Girls (part 2, part 3, part 4). [more inside]
posted by bookish at 5:58 PM PST - 24 comments

The 4th degree

80 percent of Americans say global warming is real and poses a threat to humanity. Which is good because if the global temperature raises by 4 degrees we're all dead. However only 44 percent would be willing to face any financial hardship in the name of a solution.
posted by Artw at 5:38 PM PST - 89 comments

Robert A. Talbot's Wooden Guns

Robert A. Talbot makes guns out of wood.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 5:06 PM PST - 14 comments

A literary Metamorphosis into a monstrous vermin?

"These are not naughty postcards from the beach. They are undoubtedly porn, pure and simple. Some of it is quite dark, with animals committing fellatio and girl-on-girl action... It's quite unpleasant.... Academics have pretended it did not exist.... Everything [he] wrote, every postcard he ever sent, every page of his diary... is regarded as a potential Ark of the Covenant... Yet no-one has ever shown his readers Kafka's porn."
posted by orthogonality at 4:17 PM PST - 61 comments

Keep your cool

levelHead is a spacial memory game by artist Julian Oliver, using a hand-held solid-plastic cube as its only interface. On-screen each face of the cube contains a little room, each of which are logically connected by doors through which you guide your character. Take a look at a demonstration or build your own levelHead setup.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:24 PM PST - 6 comments

Who is the Man -- Dead at 65

Known for many musical hits such as Shaft to being the voice of Chef on South Park, Isaac Hayes has died. Let them enjoy his "Chocolate Salty Balls" in Heaven.
posted by ericb at 1:21 PM PST - 147 comments

Not being a geologist, I can't get very technical but it just went kaboom

Wall Arch in Utah's Arches National Park has collapsed. [more inside]
posted by Knappster at 12:01 PM PST - 36 comments

Galactus is here!

The king of comics - Jack Kirby
posted by vronsky at 10:51 AM PST - 31 comments

More impressive than the Kessel Run

posted by Cobalt at 10:41 AM PST - 33 comments

Life without parole: Child prisoners in the US

"In the US, there are 2,270 prisoners [report, news release, with testimonies] who were sentenced as children to life without parole. They will die behind bars. Ed Pilkington asks five of them - from a 21-year-old to a 70-year-old - how do they cope?" [more inside]
posted by flibbertigibbet at 9:46 AM PST - 56 comments

Most countries treat tourists better than citizens

The Perpetual Traveller wields Five Flags in the quest for personal freedom.
posted by Mutant at 9:27 AM PST - 22 comments

People Power

It was a mass protest held outside the halls of Washington. Led, or at least it was supposed to be, by Martin Luther King Jr. (before he was assassinated) it was going to show the world the glaring divide that existed between the Rich and the Poor of America. Black, White, Red, Yellow--they all gathered from all over the US, to stay together for six weeks, outside the Capitol, and inform the public about what life in America could sometimes mean, if you were not considered economically, socially or racially acceptable. Unfortunately, the problem still persists, even today.
posted by hadjiboy at 8:45 AM PST - 8 comments


A large series of explosions erupted this morning from a welding chemical storage facility in North York (a suburb of Toronto) at approximately 4am EST. The highway 401, North America's busiest, has been closed in sections, and thousands of local residents are still being evacuated, with several of them injured. Police and fire officials are currently not sure of the possibility of further explosions and are taking precautionary measures. The whole situation has produced some apocalyptic-looking pictures.
posted by tehloki at 8:40 AM PST - 38 comments

Fine Art Travel Photography

Andre Gunther Photography ― The galleries of photographs are certainly beautiful, but this site shines also for its technique tutorials and camera reviews.
posted by netbros at 8:19 AM PST - 1 comment

Stone Grease

The history of Chicago's greaser gangs of the 1960s and 70s is an interesting one. Greaser gangs were street gangs made up of young white men who emulated the style of 1950s Fonzie-esque greasers, and existed in opposition to the perceived threat of Latinos and other minorities who were moving into their formerly Irish/Italian/Greek/etc. neighborhoods. Gangs such as the Simon City Royals and the Almighty Gaylords (previously) fought amongst themselves and against Latino gangs such as the Latin Kings and the Vice Lords throughout the late 60s and 70s, even employing racist/extremist logos and imagery to intimidate their enemies. Racial divides became less important with the advent of the drug trade, as formerly bitter enemies untied under the People and Folk nations and graduated from comparatively innocent Outsiders-style street battling to violent warfare. Read all about this real-life version of The Warriors directly from the people who lived it.
posted by DecemberBoy at 7:00 AM PST - 35 comments

Pavement to the people!

Hooray for New York City! They just had their first (of three) car-free days along a long stretch of Manhattan roadway: it's the Summer Streets program. How refreshing! [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:42 AM PST - 25 comments

Getting It Right

Denmark: Flush With Energy.
posted by chuckdarwin at 4:26 AM PST - 47 comments

I would have sworn he was 6' 3" and 225 lbs...

Yang Wei, the 2006 and 2007 mens gymnastics world champion, and number 13 on Time Magazine's 100 Olympic Athletes to Watch in Beijing 2008, is a symbol of absolute power and coordination. He stands 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighs 121 pounds.
posted by clearly at 12:26 AM PST - 27 comments

Things to do with skips

New uses for skips. Skip recipes. Find a skip. Public domain occupation with skips. Guerrilla art skips. Skipcar. [Via]
posted by parudox at 12:21 AM PST - 11 comments

Will no one think of the zygotes?

Millions of women have had abortions and didn't even know it.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 12:16 AM PST - 172 comments

August 9


Superbugs. "The new generation of resistant infections is almost impossible to treat."
posted by homunculus at 10:16 PM PST - 54 comments

Tilman Riemenschneider

Tilman Riemenschneider (1460-1531) was one of the great late medieval sculptors. Riemenschneider worked in both wood and stone, although his specialty was limewood sculpture. (Not surprisingly, he had imitators.) His greatest achievements, however, are his exquisitely carved and spectacular altars, of which the most famous is the Altar of the Holy Blood (Heilig-Blut-Altar). [more inside]
posted by thomas j wise at 10:09 PM PST - 9 comments

Had To Shoot An Elephant Today. Mood: (,_,)

GYOB: George Orwell's Blog, brought to you by The Orwell Prize. "August 9, 1938: Caught a large snake in the herbaceous border beside the drive..." [more inside]
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:32 PM PST - 11 comments

Games are Art

Pathologic sucked. Everyone said so. That doesn't mean it isn't worthwhile, of course; some art is flawed. (Games are art, right?)
posted by sonic meat machine at 8:58 PM PST - 63 comments

Yes, the same port that fell into the ocean off Jamaica

port-royal - Musicians from Genova, Italy who specialize in a distinct blend of cinematic guitars and synthesizers. Experience rather than merely listen:
jeka, roliga timmen, putin vs. valery (NSFW), anya: sehnsucht, bahnhof zoo, stasi, flares pt. 3
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 8:50 PM PST - 2 comments

Virtual Tourism FTW

Google now has the megacity of Tokyo photographed at the street level. Coverage is reasonably impressive, from the end of the road a couple of hours out of Musashi Itsukaichi, itself a couple of hours from Tokyo by train, to Narita Airport, down to Enoshima, and many, many, many, many, many points in between. . .
posted by yort at 7:49 PM PST - 49 comments

Woking Walker

"Once the tripods start to move, no more news comes out of that area..." Fortunately Michael Condron's tribute to The War of the Worlds, put up on its centenary, will continue to remain in place.... [more inside]
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 6:24 PM PST - 21 comments

A murder clouds the olympics

A chinese man killed Todd Bachman in Beijing today before jumping to his death from an ancient tower. Todd Bachman was the father-in-law of Olympic Men's Indoor Volleyball Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon, his wife is still in hospital for her injuries. Not part of the curse of the fuwas.
posted by dabitch at 4:09 PM PST - 66 comments

Mahmoud Darwish dies

Mahmoud Darwish, Palestinian poet, has died. [more inside]
posted by RogerB at 2:36 PM PST - 21 comments

We'd lava to stay, but...

Stop me if you've heard this one. An Icelandic sea captain, an Alaskan reporter, and a bunch of Russian amateur radio enthusiasts try to get to a remote island in the Aleutians to set up a ham-radio outpost as part of a DXpedition (wiki). From the preliminary report, it sounds uninteresting. They landed on the island, and the resident volcano, Mount Cleveland (wiki), erupted. Solution? Bring on the vodka and big bags of croutons. (WMV or RealAudio)
posted by greatgefilte at 1:41 PM PST - 11 comments

Quantum Xrroid Consciousness Interface, The Musical

Quack and fugitive from justice Professor Bill Nelson, inventor of the Quantum Xrroid Consciousness Interface, sings of his noble struggle against the evils of conventional medicine! Via Ben "Bad Science" Goldacre. [more inside]
posted by jack_mo at 11:06 AM PST - 35 comments

Return of the Beat Generation

Binaural Beats have been mentioned before, but that was when they were innocent, before someone thought of the children.
posted by tkolar at 10:43 AM PST - 77 comments

Sky-high gardens and rooftop oases

Rich people's rooftops in NYC offers a fun birds-eye view into a few sky-high secret decks and gardens. Roofs are the new frontier for innovative urban architects, but they aren't exclusive to the wealthy. All kinds of people and organizations are starting rooftop gardens. See the impressive results that two Chicago denizens had growing heirloom vegetables on their roofs (2). [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive at 10:24 AM PST - 39 comments

Something Of Boris

Adam Buxton and Joe Cornish of Adam & Joe fame put forward their proposals for the theme tune for the upcoming Bond film Quantum Of Solace
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:30 AM PST - 14 comments

Your Learning Tube

Yobler. A video repository and community for instructional learning. Also includes still developing audio and article directories.
posted by netbros at 7:26 AM PST - 3 comments

Bernie Mac Dead at 50

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Bernie Mac has died. Bernie Mac most recently seen at a Obam campaign event and King of Comedy has died at 50-years old. Known for his tv show based on his own life as caretaker of his sister's kids. .
posted by Duck_Lips at 5:55 AM PST - 131 comments

Hang down your head

Guitarist and banjo player Erik Darling died last Sunday at age 74. His arrangements of traditional songs played a significant role in the folk music revival of the late 1950s and early 1960s. [more inside]
posted by Knappster at 1:15 AM PST - 4 comments

A long time ago, in a galaxy far away...

Since Georges Melies' 1902 'Trip to the Moon' cinema has been in love with science fiction. The romance has been rocky though, with many potential classics lost to spiralling budgets or studio whim. David Hughes the author of a new book, The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies Never Made, shares his favourites with us - The Top 10 Greatest Sci Fi movies never made Via The Times online
posted by infini at 1:05 AM PST - 48 comments


Sold all over the world but banned in the US in 1997 under a law passed in 1938. Kinder Surprise are now under attack in Germany. No magicodes for you!
posted by tellurian at 12:52 AM PST - 53 comments

Penis anybody?

Garry Linnell eats hot cock at a local Beijing penis restaurant [SFW]. Suddenly tripe doesn't sound so gross.
posted by wumpus at 12:28 AM PST - 43 comments

August 8

Home Pig

The art of Joe Vaux. [Via Changethethought]
posted by homunculus at 9:55 PM PST - 6 comments

Here there be hand drawn tygers

When you need to find your way through Taoist Hells, head over to the wand testing wing or navigate the blurry straits of east and west buttock, the hand drawn map association is there. Maybe you want to contribute your own hand drawn map. Even if you don't, thanks to the HDMA now you know how to get from bp to dobbies. Psst...there are also free buttons involved.
posted by cashman at 9:36 PM PST - 4 comments

3...2...1... COUNTDOWN.

Opening the Olympic Ceremony with a bow to ancient Chinese tradition, 2,008 Drummers on the traditional Fou drums. [more inside]
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:29 PM PST - 116 comments

Coco offers fairgoers an enlarged look at a myriad of colon disease

This year at the Indiana State Fair: Coco the Colossal Colon.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 9:01 PM PST - 19 comments

Friday Java Fun

Two slimes. One circle. Infinite addiction. Welcome to the world of Slimeball. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi at 8:45 PM PST - 16 comments

Target Practice

“It’s amazing how many people are shooting. This is probably the heaviest shooting we’ve witnessed, and although it’s Memorial Day, you can’t just blame it on the United States. France, Denmark, Ireland, UK, Canada, so it’s not one place – almost global shooting.” [previously]
posted by oldleada at 6:29 PM PST - 2 comments


The Genius of Charles Darwin [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin at 6:08 PM PST - 66 comments

The engines cannae be built that way Cap’n

Scotty is spinning in his gr- the stratosphere: "Every Federation starship has a chief engineer, right? And the chief engineer's job is to keep everything running and solve problems, right? Right, but unfortunately, that's about the only thing they get right." An essay on how "Star Trek" ignored fundamental principles of engineering.
posted by orthogonality at 5:14 PM PST - 50 comments

Foam Dome

Styrofoam dome homes
posted by vronsky at 3:47 PM PST - 50 comments

Durn kid. Git off my genre!

In 2006 Nell James was a teenage prog rocker, writing, playing and singing all instruments, and self-producing an album in her bedroom studio that paid homage to 1970s English art rock, a genre that arguably passed its zenith when her parent were in kindergarten. The result, Tempus, received positive reviews in the re-emging prog rock press. Also impressive was her cover/re-arrangement of Gentle Giant's On Reflection. [more inside]
posted by Herodios at 2:42 PM PST - 15 comments

Idle hands are the Devil's tools

May be NSFW, but mostly innocent fun, a crafty way to spend part of your weekend.
posted by agatha_magatha at 2:40 PM PST - 14 comments

The Kid Is Not My [Daughter].

John Edwards admits affair with campaign staffer. John Edwards did not father a love-child by Rielle Hunter, a 42 year-old campaign videographer. That was Andrew Young, a married Edwards campaign staffer. Edwards has not taken a paternity test, but he says that the timing of his own affair with Ms. Hunter rules out the possibility that he is the father. [more inside]
posted by Slap Factory at 2:31 PM PST - 219 comments

Has the US peaked and is in decline?

Some books you might want to read about the US and recent political developments in the world. [more inside]
posted by yoyo_nyc at 2:24 PM PST - 18 comments

The Tombs of Asciiroth

The Tombs of Asciiroth : A puzzle/adventure game you can play in your browser
posted by boo_radley at 1:43 PM PST - 13 comments

Reporting on crises the world over

Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting supports journalists covering dangerous areas and underreported issues on all continents except Antartica, as is shown by this handy Google map showing all 45 projects. Among the projects are Caucasus, focusing on the easternmost part of Europe where just today conflict broke out, Scars and Stripes: Liberian Youth After the War, The Soybean Wars, about the booming demand for soybeans in South America, Alaska, global warming and its effects on Alaskan glaciers, Understanding Iran looks at ordinary Iranians, and Iraq: Death of a Nation? (Revisited). Links to stories are generally in sidebars on the left and right. The Pulitzer Center also has a blog called Untold Stroies which is frequently updated and keeps tabs on all 45 projects as well as related events, such as the recent TED Talk by PRI CEO Alisa Miller on the paltry reporting of international issues in American media with arresting graphs and visuals, which serves to place the mission of the Pulitzer Center in context.
posted by Kattullus at 1:32 PM PST - 5 comments

A black militant, a white supremacist, and a time-travel device tangle in a fight to rewrite history and eternity!

We all know about pulp fiction. But how about some trash? [more inside]
posted by scrump at 12:46 PM PST - 16 comments

on your third broken window

Aurora is a concept video exploring one possible future user experience for the Web.
posted by plexi at 12:30 PM PST - 33 comments

Clones and Kidnapped Mormons

When the publicity hit that a South Korean cloning lab duplicated 5 copies of Californian Bernann McKinney's late pitbull Booger from a piece of the dog's ear tissue, people all over the UK said Bernann McKinney looks very similar [slightly NSFW] to the infamous fugitive Joyce McKinney who has been on the lam for 30 years for kidnapping and raping a Mormon.
posted by MythMaker at 12:13 PM PST - 71 comments

The Year of Net Neutrality, Part 2

It seems that previous MeFi post heralding The Year of Net Neutrality may have been frighteningly accurate. Between the recent CRTC and the FCC filings on Bell's illegal throttling practices in Canada, and FCC ruling against Comcast to "Stop Blocking Internet Traffic" in the USA, it seems the issue is finally sparking action, and we may be seeing much more to come. For those interested, there is an open-source documentary called Human Lobotomy which discusses the way this issue weighs on freedom of press and freedom of speech, and also an activist blog, Save the Internet which promises to stay abreast of the issue.
posted by tybeet at 12:08 PM PST - 5 comments


In Utah, mob mentality rules. A gay man either kidnapped his next-door-neighbors' two children, or he took them in because they couldn't sleep during an all night party at their own house -- depending upon who you ask. The children were gone from their own home for only ten minutes. What is certain is that a retaliatory mob broke into drag queen David Bell's house and brutally attacked him and his lover. But no charges will be filed against the mob. [more inside]
posted by punkbitch at 12:03 PM PST - 40 comments

One tricky Dick deserved another

Richard Nixon had his nemisis and his name was Dick Tuck . Is Inventive, high quality campaign pranking a thing of the past? [more inside]
posted by salishsea at 10:33 AM PST - 26 comments

Anyone for the Global War on Flu?

The UK's national risk register is made public. It is kept updated by the secret squirrels in the Cabinet Office, and was previously kept under wraps. Pandemic flu and flooding beat out terrorism as the major risks facing the UK at the moment. Both are seen as less likely than a terrorist attack, but more devastating. The full pdf has a chart on page 7 showing the main risks on a grid.
posted by athenian at 9:41 AM PST - 18 comments

It doesn't matter if you're black or white

Friday Flash Fun: Switch is a game where you are collecting black and white balls. The catch? If you are collecting the black balls, you can't touch the white balls and vice versa. You can, however, switch colors by clicking. In later levels there is an alien that enjoys trading. Enjoy!
posted by schyler523 at 9:32 AM PST - 11 comments

You may ask yourself, how do I work this? David Byrne on robots

David Byrne writes three thoughtful essays on robots, song, and the uncanny valley on the occasion of the creation of a robot which sings in his voice at a Madrid museum: Visiting the robot factory in Texas, regarding the uncanny valley, on machines and souls.
posted by whir at 8:50 AM PST - 15 comments

Literary Voyeurism

Writer's Rooms, portraits of the spaces where authors create: Martin Amis. Simon Armitage. Diana Athill. Jane Austen. Berly Bainbridge. JG Ballard. John Banville. Nicola Barker. Ronan Bennett. Alain de Botton. William Boyd. Raymond Briggs. Charlotte Bronte. Carmen Callil. Jung Chang. Roald Dahl. Charles Darwin. Margaret Drabble. Geoff Dyer. Anne Enright. Joshua Ferris. Jonathan Safran Foer. Margaret Forster. Antonia Fraser. Michael Frayn. Esther Freud. Simon Gray. Mark Haddon. David Hare. David Harsent. Seamus Heaney. Russell Hoban. Eric Hobsbawm. Michael Holroyd. Siri Hustvedt. AL Kennedy. Judith Kerr. Rudyard Kipling. Hanif Kureishi. Penelope Lively. David Lodge. Michael Longley. Hilary Mantel. Eamonn McCabe. Charlotte Mendelson. John Mortimer. Kate Mosse. Andrew Motion. Julie Myerson. Edna O'Brien. Andrew O'Hagan. Adam Phillips. Caryl Phillips. Craig Raine. Ian Rankin. John Richardson. Michael Rosen. Will Self. George Bernard Shaw. Alan Sillitow. Posy Simmonds. Helen Simpson. Ahdaf Soueif. Graham Swift. Adam Thirlwell. Colm Toibin. Claire Tomalin. Sue Townsend. Barbara Trapido. Rose Tremain. Sarah Waters. Jacqueline Wilson. Virginia Woolf. (Step into the reading room for a wee bit more...) [more inside]
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 8:16 AM PST - 28 comments

West Point: Combating Terrorism Center publications

The Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) at the United States Military Academy, West Point, has published another report in their analysis of captured al-Qa'ida documents: Bombers, Bank Accounts, and Bleedout: al‐Qa`ida’s Road In and Out of Iraq [pdf] (note to UK readers). [more inside]
posted by acro at 8:10 AM PST - 1 comment

Russian tanks and jets roll into Georgia

Reports are coming in of up to 150 armoured vehicles entering South Ossetia. [more inside]
posted by Happy Dave at 7:52 AM PST - 372 comments

Il Diabolico Vendicatore!

In the wake of The Scarlet Pimpernel, countless figures have flamboyantly stalked the night. Among them were the scofflaw Arsene Lupin and his more violent contemporary, Fantomas. So influential was the latter that imitators soon arose, plying their merciless wiles on others. Among them were Fu Manchu, the nefarious Dr. Mabuse, the hooded Diabolik, and Matt Wagoner's Grendel. Not even Donald Duck was immune from the seductive lure of crime. [more inside]
posted by Smart Dalek at 7:50 AM PST - 9 comments

Friday Java Fun

Reset Generation : made by the makers of Trials 2, it's a web and mobile game that mixes advance wars and puzzle games. Rescue the Princess! Fire your Cannon! Beat your enemies! [more inside]
posted by darkripper at 7:42 AM PST - 5 comments

80 Things That Make Men Cry

No option to see how many of these you can guess in five minutes, but that's the only thing missing from this list of 80 things that make men cry (includes a link back to the original list of the top 10). No mention of Field of Dreams, strangely.
posted by SportsFan at 7:19 AM PST - 105 comments

Olympics-Filter 08

Misc-Olympics-Filter. Google's 2008 Olympics page (gadget can be added to your Google homepage). Former Sudanese refugee chosen as US flag bearer for opening ceremonies. And a scandal after (now shut-down) fails to deliver tickets that they sold:
posted by allkindsoftime at 5:44 AM PST - 32 comments

Retro Olympics: 1972 Munich olympic design

The Munich Olympics through Otl Aicher and his teams’ iconic designs. Amazing posters, cute mascot and even tickets that look great. Not to forget the medals.
posted by dabitch at 5:07 AM PST - 13 comments


In 1969, Italian animator Osvaldo Cavandoli and voice performer Carlo Bonomi created "Agostino Lagostina", an animated pitchman for the Lagostina line of cookware. This "sharp little man with a truly expressive nose" evolved into "La Linea", one of the most viewed animated characters in the world. In the jazzy series of 225 cartoons that bore his name, La Linea took on a role similar to that of Daffy Duck in Chuck Jones's famous "Duck Amuck" meta-animation, aware of his status as an animated character and asking Cavandoli to draw things into the frame for him. Those who grew up in the 1980s will remember these shorts from their frequent appearances on The Great Space Coaster...though La Linea's offshoots, "Eroslinea" and "Sexilinea" [those last two NSFW; boobies] did not see broadcast in that venue. [more inside]
posted by pxe2000 at 4:11 AM PST - 13 comments


808 808 808 808 808 808 808 808 808 808 808 808 808 808080808
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:28 AM PST - 49 comments

Times are hard for Mom and Pop

Manhattan's bodegas are struggling to survive, and Brooklyn's butcher shops are vanishing. But don't worry, New Yorkers are in no danger of running out of Dunkin' Donuts outlets. [more inside]
posted by Knappster at 1:03 AM PST - 36 comments

Drew's Documentaries

"The First Gaze" - Armed with a rudimentary portable movie camera, Robert Drew captured JFK's presidential campaign with unprecedented candor. The resulting film, 1960's Primary, helped introduce cinéma vérité to American journalism. [more inside]
posted by needsnoprosecutor at 1:00 AM PST - 1 comment

August 7

Buzz is forever?

Lord of the Memes : Now that MeFi has taught me how to beat the hipsters, how do I beat the poseurs? David Brooks says "prestige has shifted from the producer of art to the aggregator and the appraiser;" the cultural elite are early adopters and, more importantly, early discarders, of culture. [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 11:18 PM PST - 69 comments

Bad medicine

The owner of a California medical marijuana dispensary has been found guilty of violating federal drug laws. [LA Times] FTA: ...jurors had a clear sense that Lynch was not an ordinary street-corner drug dealer, but the fact that he was dispensing medical marijuana didn't matter under federal law. [...] "It was a tough decision for all of us because the state law and the federal law are at odds." Detailed coverage of the trial by Reason TV. Federal raids on California's medical dispensaries were recently featured on MeFi.
posted by kid ichorous at 10:46 PM PST - 80 comments

If it's not bleeding, it all sounds like clicks and whistles to me.

Protectors of the Earth. Also, the Hipster Government. All of this courtesy of Your Girlfriend. Via.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:22 PM PST - 5 comments

The Mascot

The Mascot - Complete and Uncut (1933). [Via ECTOPLASMOSIS! and MONSTER BRAINS]
posted by homunculus at 9:50 PM PST - 2 comments


Andre Perkowski has remixed various classic silent films, including The Bat and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari to create a silent 1920's version of Batman: Origin Story, Rogues' Gallery.

Also: Adam West in The Dark Knight Returns.
posted by EarBucket at 6:23 PM PST - 11 comments

Police raid mayor's house, shoot dogs, recommend land war in Asia.

A SWAT team in Maryland raids a city's mayor's house and kills his dogs. Oh, and the warrant was wrong.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 6:11 PM PST - 117 comments

1300 Rats.

Thirteen Hundred Rats : a short story by T. Coraghessan Boyle on the importance of choosing your pets. [more inside]
posted by grapefruitmoon at 5:32 PM PST - 27 comments

Comics Artist Jack Kamen Dies at 88

EC Comics great Jack Kamen (probably best known today as the father of inventor Dean Kamen) has died at 88. [more inside]
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:26 PM PST - 11 comments

Black Confederates

Black Confederates are becoming the subject of a growing argument on what will be the legitimate history of black men in the confederate states. [more inside]
posted by screenname00 at 4:44 PM PST - 63 comments

Goats = Dowry

How many goats are you worth? You've always wondered. Take the quiz and find out.
posted by blue_beetle at 1:53 PM PST - 154 comments

So hit me, hit me, with a little chickpea

Hummus: The Rap (SLYP) Annoying ironic hipster? Earnest hummus lover? Who cares, hummus deserves phat beats. [more inside]
posted by TungstenChef at 1:28 PM PST - 24 comments

08 08 08 = luck x3

08-08-08 is not only the start of the Olympic games in China. It's also an extremely lucky date, given that the number 8 is considered fortuitous in Chinese culture, being associated with wealth and prosperity. Due to this unlikely (but very lucky) confluence of events, upwards of 9,000 Chinese couples will be getting hitched on 08-08-08. Note that not everybody agrees with the astrological implications of this particular date, but that just sounds like mumbo-jumbo to me. [more inside]
posted by baphomet at 12:19 PM PST - 62 comments

Hey, That's Mine!

Dude, You Stole My Article They say everyone's a critic, but in this case, the critic is everyone. Today in Slate, Jody Rosen uncovers what just might be "in purely statistical terms ... the greatest plagiarism scandal in the annals of American journalism". Via Stolen from Zoilus.
posted by Paid In Full at 12:19 PM PST - 92 comments

Jimmy's Lost His Toilet Paper

Jimmy's Lost His Toilet Paper is a new independent game from the brilliant creator of Crayon Physics.
posted by cerebus19 at 12:05 PM PST - 16 comments

Why yes, I do have a diorama of the JFK assassination in my house...

So you're Roland Emmerich, Hollywood super producer/director, and you buy an apartment in Knightsbridge, London. Friends tell you the neighborhood is a bit "staid." Not caring, you tell your interior decorator to make it so "that when the neighbors peek in, they might want to call the police or something."
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth at 12:02 PM PST - 84 comments

There Will Come Soft Rains

1984 Soviet animation based on Ray Bradbury's shot story "There Will Come Soft Rains". WARNING: Depressing view on the future of mankind.
posted by Surfin' Bird at 11:50 AM PST - 22 comments

A Tale of Two Airplanes

"Once Upon A Time... there were two very special airplanes that lived.... far.... far.... away on a tiny island in the Bering Sea. One was named Rivet Ball and the other was named Rivet Amber. Very few people knew anything about these two planes or the men that flew them. Even family members knew very little. That's because their mission was... TOP SECRET." (some photos and language within are NSFW) [more inside]
posted by kurmbox at 11:35 AM PST - 18 comments

Orville Schell on Chinese nationalism

China: Humiliation and the Olympics. Orville Schell discusses China's angry reaction to foreign criticism, the film Dark Matter (based on the 1991 Lu Gang shooting in Iowa), and the Beijing Olympics. ... what gives Dark Matter wider significance is the filmmakers' use of the Iowa incident to explore—indirectly—some important psychological dynamics between China and the West: China's deeply felt sense of historic injury by foreign nations, and the ways its often thwarted efforts to gain acceptance among leading world powers have exacerbated such sentiments. In the past, feelings of injury have arisen from such events as the Opium Wars and the Japanese occupation; and most recently after the Tibetan demonstrations this spring and during the run-up to this summer's Beijing Olympic Games. From the New York Review of Books.
posted by russilwvong at 11:11 AM PST - 41 comments

Floating World

Viewing Japanese Prints is an encyclopedia of Floating World art (or ukiyo-e) and related genres. It has lots of images to go with the articles. Once you've gone through the site and familiarized yourself with pre-modern Japanese printmaking you might want to browse through the humongous image archive of Tokyo Metropolitan Library. Here are a few images that caught my eye: musicians attempt to keep a lady entertained, samurai pirate jumps into the water, crazed sea-captain wields very big axe, two samurais in combat, elfin man watches split-tailed cat dance while a giant feline stares angrily and giant toad belches up samurai while another samurai fights a gigantic fish and a third samurai observes the action from the banks of a river.
posted by Kattullus at 11:07 AM PST - 15 comments


Mike the headless chicken was a rooster who lived for 18 months after he was beheaded. In that time he grew from 2 1/2 to almost 8 pounds. When the veracity of this was questioned, the owner brought it to the University of Utah to have it's authenticity confirmed.
posted by quin at 11:06 AM PST - 30 comments

Back Dat Ass Up

Sick and tired of sitting at home, eating a pint of ice cream, watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians and wondering why you can't have the success that Kim Kardashian has had? Have you always wondered if you could take her in a fight? Do you need to prove that your butt can take her butt? Well, now you can. [more inside]
posted by Stynxno at 10:27 AM PST - 53 comments

Jerry Clower: A superb Southern storyteller

Jerry Clower (Wikipedia article) started telling his funny stories to boost sales when he was a seed and fertilizer salesman. He went on to become a successful comedian and Grand Ole Opry star. [more inside]
posted by Daddy-O at 9:33 AM PST - 16 comments

The Man Who Invented Stereo

In a single 1931 document, electrical engineer Alan Blumlein patented stereo records, stereo movie sountracks and surround sound. His equipment was used to make some of the first stereo recordings at EMI's Abbey Road studios - several decades before the technology came into popular use. Blumlein went on to pioneer 405 line TV (the first wholly electronic format which won out over John Logie Baird's rival system) and to produce the equipment that made the first outside TV broadcast possible. At the outbreak of World War 2 he was a key architect of the secret H2S radar project. Unfortunately he was killed in a plane crash while testing the technology and the whole incident was kept secret. Hence he remains an obscure figure despite his achievements. A recent BBC Radio 4 program contains a lot of the archive stereo footage and tells his story.
posted by rongorongo at 9:10 AM PST - 5 comments

In the First Person -- an index to letters, diaries, oral histories and personal narratives

In the First Person "is a free, high quality, professionally published, in-depth index of close to 4,000 collections of personal narratives in English from around the world. It lets you keyword search more than 700,000 pages of full-text by more than 18,000 individuals from all walks of life. It also contains pointers to some 4,300 audio and video files and 30,000 bibliographic records." (Description from website.) You can also browse by repository, collection, subject and several other ways.
posted by cog_nate at 9:01 AM PST - 9 comments

The Jim Jones Gospel Hour

The music of the People's Temple. Five years before Jim Jones coerced 900 of his church members to commit suicide in Guyana, the People's Temple cut an album. [more inside]
posted by Bookhouse at 8:36 AM PST - 24 comments

I Didn't Know That

Science Hack is a unique search engine for science videos focusing on Physics, Chemistry, and Space. For example, things to do with sulfur hexafluoride. Still growing, the editors are presently indexing other scientific fields of study including Geology, Psychology, Robotics and Computers. Ever wonder why things go bang?
posted by netbros at 8:11 AM PST - 6 comments

Past Present Future Me You Someone Else

Like Philip K. Dick said, "It's not just 'what if?', it's 'my god, what if?'." By all major accounts, the Zombie War (was | will be) a real bitch. And Fitzpatrick didn't do much better. If some writers have anything to say about it, the future probably wont look too good. Some hit a little close to home. On the other hand, some other writers think our future might be a little brighter. Who knows? It's just a guess. So is looking backwards and wondering "what if?". And if that's not enough, maybe you wonder what it's like to be someone else...
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 8:05 AM PST - 32 comments

The Internet Movie Firearms Database

If you've ever wondered which guns were used in a movie, which movies a gun has appeared in, or even which guns an actor has ever used, then the Internet Movie Firearms Database (probably) has you covered. [more inside]
posted by jedicus at 7:13 AM PST - 28 comments

Black July

Groundviews has posted a collection of writing about the July 1983 and 1958 riots in Sri Lanka. [more inside]
posted by chunking express at 6:28 AM PST - 3 comments

Its our ten year anniversary, my future girlfriend...

Handy Internet Meme Timeline
posted by allkindsoftime at 4:27 AM PST - 54 comments

Stay Classy, Ingrid.

While Greyhound pulled their own ad campaign, PETA has created a new ad comparing the Greyhound bus attack last week, outside of Winnipeg, to slaughtering animals.
posted by gman at 4:25 AM PST - 186 comments

Oh, they'll pay.

Calvin and Jobs.
via Dark Roasted Blend, by way of Gizmodo.
posted by JHarris at 2:07 AM PST - 43 comments

Locked up and blue

Men in Women-in-Prison [Films]
"This dynamic — of eroticized male exclusion from, and investment in, female relationships — was the defining feature of a handful of women-in-prison films from the 1970s. In these movies, female sisterhood, generally in the face of oppression, is itself fetishized — feminism is turned into a kind of masochistic male wet dream. How this unlikely cathexis occurred, and how it functioned, is the subject of this essay." [more inside]
posted by carsonb at 12:08 AM PST - 23 comments

August 6

Things they should have told you.

Things they don't tell you.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 11:59 PM PST - 71 comments

England's Rock Art

England's Rock Art. "Amongst the outcrops and boulders of northern England keen eyes may spot an array of mysterious symbols carved into the rock surfaces. These curious marks vary from simple, circular hollows known as 'cups' to more complex patterns with cups, rings, and intertwining grooves. Many are in spectacular, elevated locations with extensive views but some are also found on monuments such as standing stones and stone circles, or within burial mounds. The carvings were made by Neolithic and Early Bronze Age people between 3500 and 6000 years ago." [Via Life in the Fast Lane]
posted by homunculus at 9:45 PM PST - 17 comments

The public advocate wants to know . . .

Are you a beloved uncle or trusted coach?
posted by Crotalus at 9:21 PM PST - 47 comments

Maps of India

India is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. Fortunately, somebody has rendered the whole sub-continent down to a series of maps. Want to know who speaks what, where, or maybe the AIDS prevalence by state? Or how about the history of India (Flash). Or (if you're on vacation) a map of the average rainfall and some travel maps might help. Dozens, if not hundreds, of Indian political, climate, historical, and cultural maps to check out.
posted by Panjandrum at 8:52 PM PST - 14 comments

Its a digital world after all

OneGeology is an international initiative of the geological surveys of the world which is taking the data from the individual surveys and combining their data into a consistent format to produce the first digital geological map of the world. [more inside]
posted by shothotbot at 8:35 PM PST - 6 comments

I have a boot in my eye! And I am shaped like a boot! To boot!

Satirical maps of Europe from 1914-15.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:39 PM PST - 25 comments

Toilet Confessions

Tired of getting busted for illegally peeing* in New York City? Try, a toilet search engine that "helps you find quality public toilets from your mobile phone." [more inside]
posted by dhammond at 7:36 PM PST - 39 comments

Big Bad Wolves Need Not Apply

The first little pig built his house out of straw [previously]. The second little pig built his house out of sticks. The third little pig built his house out of bricks; but the relatively unknown fourth little pig built several structures of all sizes out of mud (and straw), and he wasn't a hippy. [more inside]
posted by 5MeoCMP at 7:07 PM PST - 24 comments

Happy Hundredth, Mr. Hooper

Will Lee was born on this date in 1908, and died December 7, 1982. Nearly a year later, Big Bird was informed of his death. [more inside]
posted by Knappster at 6:40 PM PST - 45 comments

Great fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite 'em / And little fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum.

All cancers are parasitical, but most cancers aren't contagious. But some evolve to be. Most viruses parasite cells, but some then make their own "cells", and othr viruses evolve to parasite those. Evolution is stupidly clevererer. [more inside]
posted by orthogonality at 6:40 PM PST - 19 comments

K2: "The night will be long but beautiful."

A few days ago on K2 in the Pakistani Karakoram mountains an icefall trapped climbers more than 8 kilometres above sea level. Eleven died, from the cold and lack of oxygen, from falling or being hit by debris. The expedition website of Nicholas Rice provides an intimate and compelling account of the entire season of activity on K2 and neighbouring Broad Peak.
posted by Flashman at 5:11 PM PST - 19 comments

The Strange Case of Aafia Siddiqui

For the last five years, the whereabouts and sudden disappearance in 2003 of former MIT graduate, Pakistani national, and alleged terrorist Aafia Siddiqui (wiki) have remained mysterious. Accused by the U.S. of terrorist ties, earlier today she appeared (having been recently wounded) in a NY courtroom to face trial for attempted murder of American officers and FBI agents while being held in Afghanistan. But the facts behind the case are conflicted. For years she was rumored to have been held in the U.S. prison at Bagram base in Afghanistan. In Pakistan, her disappearance has proved to be a lightning-rod on the issue of the hundreds of others who have been rounded up as terrorist suspects--only to disappear without any trace, let alone any due process or criminal trial. A preliminary hearing for Siddiqui is set for Aug. 19.
posted by ornate insect at 3:44 PM PST - 25 comments

RIP Robert Hazard

He's no longer riding the escalator of life. RIP Robert, it was a good ride.
posted by fixedgear at 3:18 PM PST - 20 comments

Bone Marrow Donation

Using YouTube to find a bone marrow donor A 26 year old woman is using YouTube to help find a bone marrow donor. If nothing else, take some time to learn a little about matching.
posted by socalsamba at 3:01 PM PST - 17 comments

Skirmish at Greenbrier, Maryland

A Deadly Skirmish at Greenbrier, Maryland. A little-known engagement of the American Civil War. This bucolic crossroads was visited by the hard hand of war. The Confederate Artillerymen await, then unleash leaden death on the Hoosier troops. Carnage ensues in the gathering gloom. The Butcher's Bill.
posted by marxchivist at 1:31 PM PST - 7 comments

A new beast

Roller coaster enthusiasts, stop your grinnin and drop your linen. Cincinnati's Kings Island has unveiled Diamondback. A 5,282 foot steel maniac with open air seating whipping at speeds up to 80 mph over 10 acres. Careen down 10 vertical drops including the first one at a 74 degree angle from 215 feet. With two helixes and at over 3 minutes long it might remind you of something. The videos are momentarily buggy, but the ride splashes down in 8 months.
posted by cashman at 12:26 PM PST - 57 comments

Life and death of a black and white

Texas executes Mexican national who was denied consul visit. [more inside]
posted by mrducts at 10:47 AM PST - 119 comments

Miracle Plant?

In 1991, the New York Times reported on the development of a new salt-water crop called salicornia that produced seeds rich in high-quality protein and oil. While it was acknowledged as having great potential for becoming a valuable crop in subtropical areas, the LA Times talks about a farmer who thinks the crop could help solve world hunger, provide abundant clean fuel for vehicles and slow global warming. This particular farmer has been touting salicornia for quite some time now, and he seems to have been successful in small-scale operations he's been allowed to lead.
posted by SportsFan at 10:45 AM PST - 20 comments

Al-Jazari's Elephant Clock and other Islamic Inventions

Al-Jazari is the best-known Islamic inventor of the Middle Ages, famous for his waterclocks and automata. The wonderful History of Science and Technology in Islam has articles on him as well as other subjects. A medieval manuscript of Al-Jazari's masterwork, a book generally known in English as either Book of Knowledge of Mechanical Devices, can be perused in its entirety in flash form. It includes 174 illustrations. If you want to see working copies of his most famous automaton, the Elephant Clock, you can go either to the Ibn Battuta Mall in Dubai (Flickr pictures), the Musée d'Horlogerie du Locle in Switzerland (Cabinet of Wonders post about visiting the museum) or Institute for the History of Arab-Islamic Science in Frankfurt (article about the institute from a feature in Saudi Aramco World magazine called Rediscovering Arabic Science).
posted by Kattullus at 10:14 AM PST - 13 comments

From Shock and Awe to Culture Shock

Leaving Baghdad: Culture Shock in America. Personal reflections on coming to America from Iraqi sculptor and blogger, Ahmad Fadam, who recently took up a visiting fellowship at the University of North Carolina. (Via the NY Times' Baghdad Bureau.) [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman at 10:02 AM PST - 21 comments

Metafilter wrote on your Wall.

Hamlet as a Facebook News Feed
posted by blue_beetle at 9:36 AM PST - 48 comments

Fleming, Ian Fleming...

He wrote the childrens book Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, a travel guide called Thrilling Cities, a study of Diamond Smugglers... and created James Bond. Ian Fleming, who died of a heart attack at 56, was born a century ago this past May. He led a fascinating life. Born the son of an MP, educated at Eton and Sandhurst, he served in the Black Watch, and then in Naval Intelligence. His time in naval intelligence led to his most famous creation, and the writing of Casino Royale. An immediate best seller in the US when President Kennedy listed 1957's From Russia With Love as one of his favorite books, Fleming eventually wrote twelve novels and nine short stories featuring 007, leading to one of the most successful movies empires of all time. Fleming returned the favor, suggesting to Kennedy over a dinner ways in which the CIA could work to discredit Fidel Castro. Not only a prolific writer, Fleming was also a talented bibliophile and collector, amassing a collection of books now held by the Lilly Library at Indiana University, Bloomington.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 7:49 AM PST - 36 comments

Past a certain age, to paraphrase Catherine Deneuve, it’s either your fanny or your face.

How Plastic Surgery Can Give An Older Woman The Face Of A Baby:
She looked a little like … Madonna? Strange, I know, since Madonna and my friend have little in common, at least physically. But when I saw the Big Ciccone on the cover of Vanity Fair a couple of months later, I couldn’t help but notice the similarities: the Mount Rushmore cheekbones, the angular jawline, the smoothed forehead, the plumped skin, the heartlike shape of the face. Their faces didn’t seem pulled tight in that typical face-lift way; they seemed pushed out. Looking at Madonna, I kept thinking of the British expression for reconditioning a saddle: having it "restuffed." Perhaps that’s where she got the idea to have some work done. After the hunt, Madge dismounted her trusty steed and thought, My saddle needs restuffing. And, by George, so does my face!
[more inside]
posted by beaucoupkevin at 7:03 AM PST - 47 comments

Paris = Hot, McCain=Old Guy

Paris Responds John thought he would be clever and use Paris in his campaign ad... Paris one-ups him with an even BETTER ad..(slyt) maybe NSFW if females in bathing suits are frowned upon..
posted by HuronBob at 6:42 AM PST - 178 comments

How to Dress Twee. And maybe become a MPDG!

How to Look Twee. And maybe become a Manic Pixie Dream Girl!
posted by mattholomew at 6:21 AM PST - 83 comments

That ain't doubling on flute. This is doubling on flute.

Two flutes at once. Two guitars at once. (Honorable mentions.) Two recorders at once, 100% nose-powered. Two trumpets at once (breakdown at three).Two harps at once. Two saxophones at once. (Bonus: Clarinet/sax unos.) [more inside]
posted by No-sword at 5:58 AM PST - 18 comments

the is and it are you of

The 100 Most Common Words In The English Language

see how many you can guess in 5 minutes
posted by clearly at 1:42 AM PST - 122 comments

August 5

Magic in Mind

How magicians control your mind. "Magic isn't just a bag of tricks - it's a finely-tuned technology for shaping what we see. Now researchers are extracting its lessons (PDF)." [Via BB and MH]
posted by homunculus at 9:20 PM PST - 34 comments

The Little Colonel

Annie Fellows Johnston wrote The Little Colonel books. Kate Seston Matthews, her friend and neighbour, took photographs depicting characters from the series.
posted by tellurian at 8:49 PM PST - 1 comment


"People with synaesthesia can’t help but get two sensory perceptions for the price of one. Some perceive colours when they hear words or musical notes, or read numbers; rarer individuals can even get tastes from shapes." (previously) Neuroscientist Melissa Saenz of the California Institute of Technology has discovered a new form [pdf] of synaesthesia. Can you hear the dots? (QT)
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 8:30 PM PST - 74 comments

Translation with a time limit

Adventures in European subtitling. "With films like these I often feel like I am some sort of firefighter trying to salvage as much as I can from an immense burning mansion. You take out the expensive furniture and artwork and all the people and you leave behind the wallpaper, the rugs, the goldfish tank and the occasional poodle. Sorry, folks, no time." via
posted by Knappster at 5:00 PM PST - 77 comments

“The counter-argument to that, which I concurred with, was that this is a medical textbook that could save lives.”

“I’m ashamed to say that there were folks even in the medical department who said, Over my dead body will American civilians see this”
posted by orthogonality at 4:58 PM PST - 85 comments

So...what are we doing there? Anyone? Anyone?

In a new GAO report it's noted that the Iraqi government will have a $79 billion dollar surplus by the end of the year (accumulated from 2005-2008). All of this is on top of the $48 billion dollars that the US has contributed to Iraq since 2005. [more inside]
posted by jourman2 at 1:54 PM PST - 39 comments

Superman meets Little Nemo

"I've recently been reading the whole run of I've recently been reading the whole run of Superman comics from the relaunch in 1987 through the end of 1999... There's some very wonderful stuff in there amidst a lot of frustrating and very often muddled and boring storytelling, but I will say that THIS find in particular was just stunning; Artist/writer Stuart Immonen - who is great - composed the lead story for a 1998 "Secret Files" comic - which are usually quite boring - focusing on the origin stories of Superman's 90's-era Rogues Gallery. -- What makes it more than just a flashback or recap is that Immonen told them by way of Lex Luthor telling fairy tales to his infant daughter Lena, and illustrated the origins in one- or two-page comics fashioned after Winsor McCay's Little Nemo in Slumberland." ~v
posted by vronsky at 1:25 PM PST - 57 comments

Clearly unprotected

Clear passenger data stolen. A unencrypted laptop with the personal data, including name, address, SSi number, passport number, date of birth, etc. of every one of the 33,000+ users of the the Clear system has been stolen. The Clear system allows travelers who register and pay an annual fee to bypass airport security lines by using a smart card in some airports. TSA has suspended new registrations until Verified Identity Pass, Inc., a subsidiary of GE, figures out how to install PGP. VIP is the only private contractor allowed to register users to the Clear system. Via
posted by dejah420 at 11:43 AM PST - 99 comments

Sky Hawk is watching you...

You may know of Kitundu as a sound artist (previously on Mefi). But did you know he also takes amazing pictures of birds? [more inside]
posted by rtha at 11:40 AM PST - 10 comments

Vintage retro sporn

You may be excited about the upcoming Maxis game Spore. But don't forget about two other primo games named Spore - a 1987 C-64 title and a 1991 DOS title, which looks like somebody put Zork and Breakout into Creature Creator and mashed them together. [more inside]
posted by jbickers at 10:46 AM PST - 10 comments

Global Domination: The Missing Manual

Learning from history's mistakes? In the summer of 2002, the Pentagon's Office of Net Assessment (ONA), run for 35 years by a man nicknamed Yoda, published an 85-page report titled "Military Advantage in History" (PDF). Drawing on Sun Tzu, Jared Diamond and Roman historian Titus Livius, the book analyzes the rise & fall of the empires of Alexander the Great, Imperial Rome, Genghis Khan, and Napoleon's France and attempts to plot a course for a Pax Americana that can avoid the pitfalls that led to the collapse of those earlier kingdoms. (via)
posted by scalefree at 10:32 AM PST - 36 comments

"We're not supposed to get more than one injury a day. I usually get three or four."

The Tinkering School. "A 'real project' is where you make a thing that isn't a pretend something else. If the kids want to make a boat, that's fine, but we're going to take it down to the harbor and put it in the ocean." [via NPR, no transcript yet] [more inside]
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 10:28 AM PST - 14 comments

Women and the Holocaust

Women and the Holocaust is a site about women's experiences in the Holocaust. It has poetry, testimonials, personal reflections, tributes, essays and more.
posted by Kattullus at 10:06 AM PST - 10 comments

I'm living the Florida 70s nightlife life!

Who can forget when Harmony and Grits played at Nero's Nook? This is a big stack of pics that I scanned as a single collection. Most are 8"x10", but a few are snapshots. They represent something of a snapshot of the bar and entertainment scene in the Gulf Coast resort town of Fort Walton Bch, FL, circa 1970s. Most are of bands, entertainers and a few strippers. If you are from this area, you may well recognize some of the faces. They are in no order. (Via.)
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:05 AM PST - 13 comments


Realist Fiction by George Saunders:
"Last night, in a biker bar, I overheard two men discussing what distinguished “realist” fiction from more “experimental” work. Although one shouldn’t generalize, I never expect bikers to be literary critics. Well, these were literary critics, and good ones—in fact, they’d bought their “hogs” with royalties from a book they’d co-written, Feminine Desire In Jane Austen."

Experimental Fiction by George Saunders:
"Experimental fiction is the art of telling a story in which certain aspects of reality have been exaggerated or distorted in such a way as to put the reader off the story and make him go watch a television show."
posted by plexi at 8:46 AM PST - 37 comments

Librarians on Parade

It's that time again. While they aren't otherwise occupied maintaining an open and informed society, and keeping an eye on our first amendment rights, librarians across the country are apparently... breaking out their dance moves. [more inside]
posted by froggmaiden at 8:45 AM PST - 20 comments

Ron Suskind Says White House Forged Iraq-Al Qaeda Letter

In his new book, 'The Way of the World' "Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind claims that, after the Iraq war began, the White House ordered the CIA to forge a back-dated, handwritten letter from the head of Iraqi intelligence to Saddam Hussein, in an attempt to tie Hussein to the 9/11 attacks."* Suskind writes: "'It said that 9/11 ringleader Mohammad Atta had actually trained for his mission in Iraq' and that Iraq bought yellowcake uranium from Niger with the help of al Qaeda. Suskind also claims that the Bush administration had information from a top Iraqi intelligence official "that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq – intelligence they received in plenty of time to stop an invasion." After the fake letter was released in late 2003, press outlets reported it as evidence of a Saddam/al Qaeda link. "Now, if this is true, that blows the lid off al Qaeda—Saddam," said Bill O’Reilly at the time. [more inside]
posted by ericb at 8:04 AM PST - 126 comments

More gorillas exist than previously thought

A previously unknown population of 125,000 lowland gorillas have been discovered in the swamps of the Congo Republic. Enjoy them while they last.
posted by Daddy-O at 8:03 AM PST - 53 comments

Doesn't everyone exaggerate the size of Lake Ontario?

Humorist and candidate for the US Senate for Minnesota Al Franken draws a map of the United States from memory.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:40 AM PST - 83 comments

Nightmare on Sesame Street

Goosebumps. Rotten School. Mostly Ghostly. The Nightmare Room. Fear Street. If you were born after about 1980 and had nightmares, there's a good chance R.L. Stine had something to do with it. (And he's certainly had a number of his own.) He's been called the Stephen King of children's literature, one of Forbes' top-40 best paid entertainers (beating out Michael Douglas, U2, and Bill Cosby, among others), and America's best selling author. It's an interesting place to end up for this Ohio State grad, who was editor of the campus humor magazine, The Sundial, and who has written humor under the pen name Jovial Bob Stein (including The Ghostbusters 2 Storybook and How to Wash a Duck and How to Do Everything Else). The very prolific author (who shares some credit with Tom Perrotta), plans to be around until the day the "kids stop reading." Until then, might I suggest getting them a nightlight?
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 7:27 AM PST - 30 comments

The 11th inning rule.

The Olympics buys a one-way ticket to bizarro world with its new "11th inning rule." Critics are fuming. [more inside]
posted by Gordion Knott at 6:27 AM PST - 102 comments

Veri Angry

John H. Summers taught at Harvard. He didn't like the students much. And said so. Lots of Harvard students respond. Let the Wild Rumpus Start! (via AL Daily) [more inside]
posted by MarshallPoe at 6:24 AM PST - 78 comments

book (design) stories

book (design) stories: modernist book design in germany and switzerland 1925–1965 (and beyond)
posted by carsonb at 1:31 AM PST - 5 comments

August 4

The Shire is in Foreclosure

Subprime crisis worse than we thought... The Shire, an Oregon housing development based on Tolkien's Hobbit village, is in foreclosure.
posted by jrochest at 10:52 PM PST - 52 comments

Library of Dust

Library of Dust depicts individual copper canisters, each containing the cremated remains of patient from a state-run psychiatric hospital. The patients died at the hospital between 1883 (the year the facility opened, when it was called the Oregon State Insane Asylum) and the 1970’s; their bodies have remained unclaimed by their families.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:39 PM PST - 17 comments

tropical fish off Long Island!

Tropical fish in New York? The Gulf Stream sweeps immature tropical fish up north, and aquariums scoop them up off Long Island. "Catching the fish up north is cheaper and less disruptive to ocean ecosystems than trapping them in the tropics. And the collections are rescue missions of a sort, because these Gulf Stream travelers are unlikely to survive the winter." (New York Times) [more inside]
posted by moonmilk at 9:44 PM PST - 11 comments


Persia: Ancient Soul of Iran. "A glorious past inspires a conflicted nation."
posted by homunculus at 9:05 PM PST - 35 comments

All you need to know, really...

The BBQ Song
posted by konolia at 8:33 PM PST - 46 comments

Typewriter sculptures

I disassemble typewriters and then reassemble them into full-scale, anatomically correct human figures. I do not solder, weld, or glue these assemblages together- the process is entirely cold assembly. {flash, sound}
posted by dobbs at 6:51 PM PST - 60 comments

Rollin' on the River

The Big River Show. So, you've decided spend your summer floating down the Mississippi River. You're going to need a 35-year-old pontoon boat, the proper attire, and something to snack on. Oh, and you might not want to go during a 500 year flood. [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:59 PM PST - 14 comments

Symmetry Explorer

Symmetry Explorer grabs photos from Flickr on any subject you like (e.g. kittens, hamsters, whatever) and then presents them as pairs of mirrored halves. Other cool examples; Pencils, Owls, Babies. [via mefi projects]
posted by Effigy2000 at 5:22 PM PST - 43 comments

I've Just Seen a Face Search Interface

facesaerch uses Google Image Search's &imgtype=face parameter to saerch search for faces. via
posted by Knappster at 4:56 PM PST - 14 comments

Richard Jenson

Getting Off The Mat - After losing 15 years of his life to drug addiction and prison, Richard Jensen was reborn as a 36-year-old college wrestler.
posted by thisisdrew at 3:45 PM PST - 15 comments

Are we THERE yet?

The BEST summer vacation EVER!!! [more inside]
posted by pearlybob at 2:17 PM PST - 57 comments

New York on Tap Bar Map

Want to find a bar in New York near you? Try New York on Tap's Google mashup map. Most entries have pithy homegrown reviews attached, and all entries have links to reviews from other websites.
posted by shivohum at 1:39 PM PST - 39 comments

Flag This Post!

Flag Identifier: Flag Identifying Tool and Vexillologic Database. Search for flags by various characteristics: by area division, by shape of the flag, by main colors on the flag, by device on the flag, by geographic descent, by usage, by history. Each find points you toward the flag's corresponding page on the venerable Flags of the World website. For example, here are the search results for flags with three yellow animals on them. [FOTW previously, but with dead links]
posted by not_on_display at 1:27 PM PST - 23 comments

Ten Reasons It Would Rule to Date a Unicorn

Ten Reasons It Would Rule to Date a Unicorn
posted by empath at 1:13 PM PST - 72 comments

Taking "please,won't someone think of the children" to a whole new level

Cuckhold Pregnancy: the ultimate expression of a lifestyle. Being deceived into raising another man's child would be a nightmare for most men. For other's, it's the ultimate hot fantasy. Taking it to the extreme of having your wife bear another man's child is a suprising (to me) twist on the Cuckhold fantasy. Interestingly, it seems to dovetail with another sexual fetish previously discussed on Metafilter. Oh yeah, NSFW !!!!
posted by echolalia67 at 1:05 PM PST - 82 comments

Spaceships are pretty cool.

A concept spaceship and experimental aircraft art blog. [more inside]
posted by Divine_Wino at 12:33 PM PST - 21 comments

The Colors of Decay

Keith Thorne has stunningly colored pictures of decaying urban spaces on his Flickr stream, including some taken at an abandoned German military hospital that once treated Adolf Hitler. A few pictures feature himself. Via.
posted by Hollow at 11:46 AM PST - 26 comments


posted by Taksi Putra at 10:10 AM PST - 8 comments

What is the ideal woman of the moment?

"We replicate what the perfect girl is." (SLYTP) No nudity, but may be NSFW.
posted by desjardins at 10:10 AM PST - 58 comments

The Vinkhuijzen Collection of Military Costume Illustration

The Vinkhuijzen Collection of Military Costume Illustration has drawings of uniforms and regimental regalia from all over the world. Assembled by one of these great, eccentric collectors of the late 19th Century, Dr. H. J. Vinkhuijzen, a Dutch medical doctor who started out as an army physician and eventually rose to the position of official court physician to Prince Alexander of Netherlands. He pulled plates out of books, colored in black and white drawings and painted his own watercolor illustrations. His collection includes pictures of the soldiers of many different nations and eras, from military superpowers like the Roman Empire, France and Great Britain, to lesser known, but no less formidable forces, like Byzantium and Persia and even taking in such minnows as Luxembourg, Monaco and Montenegro. Due to Vinkhuijzen's unusual classification system it can be hard to find some of the more interesting images, such as pictures of Etruscan cavalry, Spanish military musicians and 1830's Belgian ambulance.
posted by Kattullus at 10:05 AM PST - 11 comments

I see wizardry

Attach syringes full of oil to the temples of a pair of double-lensed magic Harry Potter eyeglasses and let poor people see.
posted by orthogonality at 9:53 AM PST - 57 comments

On royal curiosity and language deprivation experiments

Frederick...made linguistic experiments on the vile bodies of hapless infants, "bidding foster-mothers and nurses to suckle and bathe and wash the children, but in no wise to prattle or speak with them; for he would have learnt whether they would speak the Hebrew language (which had been the first), or Greek, or Latin, or Arabic, or perchance the tongue of their parents of whom they had been born. But he laboured in vain, for the children could not live without clappings of the hands, and gestures, and gladness of countenance, and blandishments." [more inside]
posted by voltairemodern at 8:23 AM PST - 27 comments

What Book Got You Hooked?

What book got you hooked? For Scarlett Johansson, it was Fantastic Mr. Fox. For Stephen Colbert, it was Swiss Family Robinson. Neil Patrick Harris? Bridge to Terebithia. And it was Franny and Zooey for Ira Glass. These and dozens of other celebs have shared their answer to this question with First Book, a charity that has distributed more than 60 million free and low cost books to children to spur their interest in reading. What book got you hooked? (Via the always fantastic Get Rich Slowly)
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 7:09 AM PST - 184 comments

Found You

Seemingly, customer service isn't what it used to be, if you can even find them. Well, no more hiding. Enter Hard to Find 800 Numbers, an alphabetic list that eliminates the scramble for contact information. Waiting on hold for customer service or tech support is painful enough.
posted by netbros at 6:02 AM PST - 29 comments

An anthropological introduction to YouTube

Anthropologists in the digital domain tend to be a day late and a dollar short as far as us early adopters are concerned, but Michael Wesch managed to capture the popular imagination with his YouTube video, The Machine is Us/ing Us. He recently gave a presentation to the Library of Congress titled An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube in which he talks about the best of the web (not to be confused with The Best of The Web.)
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:34 AM PST - 29 comments

August 3

The Pigeon

Designer Jeff Staple may have his name on Levis but he really made his name in 2005 when, in conjunction with Nike, he put a pigeon logo on 200 pairs of Nike Dunks. Today they sell for up to $3000. In June The Pigeon made a special appearance on a camera and now The Pigeon returns on 650 pairs of New Balance shoes that are released globally on Wednesday. Nike probably wont be impressed.
posted by meech at 11:49 PM PST - 48 comments

Put simply: it could be taken out by a WWII Japanese kamikaze pilot.

What's as big as a battleship, looks like a star destroyer, and can't do much of anything? [more inside]
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:24 PM PST - 62 comments

"Are we in the midst of a coup?"

2009: A True Story. "My name is Sara Ford and I am 18 years old. I moved to California at the end of last year. Before the first attacks... before everything changed." [Via] [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 8:50 PM PST - 74 comments

Graffiti for Butterflies

Graffiti for Butterflies [via mefi projects] Making signposts and rest areas to help monarch butterflies on their journey.
posted by NikitaNikita at 7:09 PM PST - 16 comments

Fairy Tale Geometry

Among the works exhibited at the Whitney Museum's Buckminster Fuller exhibit is his Tetrascroll, a fairy tale based on Goldilocks and the Three Bears written for his daughter. Tetrascroll, as you might imagine from the name, is not an ordinary book, but a musing on life and geometry in the form of "a booklike artifact of twenty-six pages, each a thirty-six-inch equilateral triangle."
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:34 PM PST - 13 comments

The Walking Dead

Warren Ellis on the grim future of science fiction magazines. Some of the previous posts he mentions, and response to one from Cory Doctorow (unsuprising short summary: Blogs!). Jason Stoddard on 5 small things and 5 big things Science Fiction can do to improve its image.
posted by Artw at 5:20 PM PST - 66 comments

Solzhenitsyn dead at 89

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn has died. ( BBC ) The great author and opponent of totalitarianism lived to see the end of Communism in the Soviet Union and almost everywhere else. He survived WWII as a commander in the Soviet army before being put into gulags where he spent 20 years. He went on to write the Gulag Archipelago and win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1970.
posted by sien at 3:18 PM PST - 75 comments

More was Lost than Just the Rocket

Lost with yesterday's third failure of Space Exploration Technologies' Falcon 1 rocket were the ashes of actor James "Scotty" Doohan, who, along with astronaut Gordon Cooper and over two hundred other cremains, attempted to reach orbit not once, but twice.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot at 1:26 PM PST - 38 comments

International Patient Dumping

MexCare offers "An Alternative Choice for the Care of the Unfunded Latin American National." [more inside]
posted by Knappster at 12:14 PM PST - 16 comments

iC Hexapod

The iC hexapod is a robot built by Matt Denton which tracks and photographs human faces then uploads the images to a website. It was one of the featured pieces at the recent Monster Mash FX exhibit in London.
posted by Tube at 11:00 AM PST - 11 comments

You talk funny

Can you guess where my accent is from? A flash game from the Language Trainers' Group -- listen to lines of poetry recited by people from different countries and try to guess their origin.
posted by camcgee at 10:50 AM PST - 72 comments

Video Vigilante

I am Jimmy Justice and your days running around this city like a cowboy are over! [video | 2:45]. "He calls himself 'Jimmy Justice,' a self-styled 'cop-arazzi,' armed only with a video camera as he prowls the streets of New York looking for law enforcement officers who are breaking the law. His targets are illegally parked city government vehicles -- particularly cars of traffic cops blocking bus stops, sitting in 'no parking' zones or double-parked. Cop cars blocking fire hydrants make him particularly incensed....He posts his best videos on YouTube and sends regular e-mail to the union representing the city's traffic enforcement agents, pointing out the most egregious parking offenses. And he has gotten results, he said, with some parking enforcers being fined because of his videos. "* [more inside]
posted by ericb at 9:51 AM PST - 90 comments

Japanese American Relocation Digital Archives

JARDA: Japanese American Relocation Digital Archives is a collection of photographs, diaries, letters, camp newsletters, personal histories and a wealth of other material relating to the relocation and internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. The site is divided into four categories: People, the men, women, and children who were incarcerated. Places, prewar neighborhoods and wartime camps. Daily Life, eating, sleeping, working, playing, and going to school. Personal Experiences, letters, diaries, art and other writing by internees. Among the photographers hired by the War Relocation Authority was famed dust bowl photographer Dorothea Lange. 855 of her photos are on the site. Even though she was working as a propagandist many of her images captures a starker reality, for instance this picture of a glum little girl.
posted by Kattullus at 8:53 AM PST - 10 comments

A new kind of waterfall

水の落ちる絵 (Pictures in Falling Water) [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:23 AM PST - 38 comments

Page 75 - Dirty Talk, Page 80 - Bible, Page 199 - Bought Cig./Beer

There are many opinions about the nature of Irony. Some think it is having too many spoons. Sometimes it is found in far off places. However, closer to home, we now have an example of Recursive Irony. (YT)
posted by Lord_Pall at 8:10 AM PST - 34 comments

So Easy, Even a Mefite Can Do It

The Idiot Test. [not idiot-ist]
posted by netbros at 5:47 AM PST - 58 comments

August 2

Pied Piper of Pacific Palisades

Fear of rats is one of the most common specific phobias. Perhaps this is related to their historical role as carriers of disease including the spread of the Black Death. Nonetheless, many people believe that rats can make excellent pets. Unless, of course, you're feeding hundreds of them in the heart of Pacific Palisades.
posted by Slothrup at 11:24 PM PST - 71 comments

Smoking is one of the leading causes of statistics

Caught smuggling, tobacco firms pay $1-billion in penalties. Two of Canada's big three tobacco companies will pay more than $1-billion in criminal and civil penalties for orchestrating the wholesale shipment to the United States of cigarettes that were smuggled back into Canada and resold at bargain prices. Tax-free cigarettes poured south (from Canada to the US) by the truckload, most commonly through the porous St. Regis Mohawk Akwesasne reserve, near Cornwall, Ont., which straddles the U.S.-Canadian border. From there they were distributed to smugglers who brought them back to Canada to be resold on the street and in convenience stores (tax free). [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu at 10:09 PM PST - 52 comments

Unusual Public Offering

When a young company is in need of some dough, they often will issue an IPO. But what if, instead of a company, an author decides to sell shares of his book royalties? Tao Lin is doing exactly that. [more inside]
posted by thatbrunette at 8:50 PM PST - 45 comments

The Changing Face of the Inner City

Are you a young middle-class creative type (probably white) who has chosen to live in an urban neighborhood that your parents would have shunned? Have the families that formerly lived in your neighborhood (probably not white) been pushed out by soaring rents and real-estate prices to the city fringes or suburbs? The New Republic on demographic inversion.
posted by digaman at 8:43 PM PST - 63 comments

Sculpture by Samuel Stimpert

Sculpture by Samuel F Stimpert. [Via]
posted by homunculus at 8:40 PM PST - 4 comments

"Artifacts, Specimen, and Ephemera salvaged from the Wonderlands"

Livejournal user absinthetic's girlfriend is having a birthday, so he made her a Wonderland Expedition Kit.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:02 PM PST - 60 comments

The sound of close harmony

Close Harmony is one of the most distinctive sounds in traditional country. Hank Wangford's A to Z of Country and Western looks at the Louvin Brothers music in this style. [more inside]
posted by nola at 6:56 PM PST - 22 comments

Brainless Barnyard Keyboards: The Short Saga of Royal Quiet Deluxe, Chicken Band

[via MetaFilter Music] "This is a live recording of Royal Quiet Deluxe, my band from 1998. The track features manipulated drum machines and vocals, bass, and two chickens playing keyboards. The band was short-lived and a (very) minor local legend in Virginia in the late 1990s. This is our story." [more inside]
posted by not_on_display at 6:55 PM PST - 19 comments

"They'll have their diamonds, and we'll have our pearls."

1995 versus 2008. Thirteen years later, the media once again devours its own tail reacting to "I Kissed a Girl." [more inside]
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 5:29 PM PST - 137 comments

Am I a boy or a girl?

If you're like me, you've often forgotten what gender you are and wished you had a convenient way for your web browser to tell you. Well, look no further.
posted by empath at 2:53 PM PST - 113 comments

And it probably won't destroy the universe.

Stunning photos of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the 17 mile long particle accelerator that probably won't destroy the universe. [previously]
posted by bukharin at 2:40 PM PST - 62 comments

Stanley Kubrick's Boxes

Stanley Kubrick's Boxes: is it possible to get to understand such a man – and his extraordinary working methods – by looking through the hundreds of boxes he left behind? [more inside]
posted by carsonb at 2:40 PM PST - 18 comments

Reading The OED

Nicholson Baker reviews Reading The OED: One Man, One Year, 21,730 Pages "And the lovely-ugly words, words that Shea didn’t know existed, leap up to his hand. Acnestis — the part of an animal’s back that the animal can’t reach to scratch. And bespawl — to splatter with saliva. In Chapter D, Shea encounters deipnophobia, the fear of dinner parties; Chapter K brings kankedort, an awkward situation."
posted by vronsky at 1:19 PM PST - 27 comments

6.6 Degrees of Separation

Using data from the Microsoft Messenger instant-messaging network, researchers have concluded that "any two people on average are distanced by just 6.6 degrees of separation." [more inside]
posted by Knappster at 11:55 AM PST - 28 comments

Soldier's Legacy

"The blogger Andrew Sullivan linked to the Blade account and encouraged readers to complain to the Post. “I can see why outing someone who is alive and closeted is unethical,” he wrote. “Inning someone who is dead and was out is a function of utterly misplaced sensitivity, rooted in well-intentioned but incontrovertible homophobia.”" A Soldier's Legacy.
posted by wittgenstein at 11:22 AM PST - 15 comments

Danieal Kelly

Sadfilter: The death of Danieal Kelly. Danieal was a 14-year-old Philadelphia girl, born with cerebral palsy, who was denied care and neglected by her mother until her death of starvation, thirst and bedsores, shut away in her bedroom from her siblings. What had social services done to help her? Nothing -- until she died, and a scramble to falsify documents began. Nine people have now been indicted on various charges relating to her death and its investigation, including two case workers. The sight of one of her autopsy photos led the then mayor, John Street, to fire the acting commissioner of the DHS. [more inside]
posted by Countess Elena at 10:21 AM PST - 65 comments

ah, ah, ah, ah, staying alive, staying alive...

Remember Dr. Strangelove's brilliant plan for the survival of the human race? Well, ol' Erich Honecker, leader of the former East Germany, had a little something kinda like that, for himself and about, oh, 400 of his dearest friends, deep underground, just north of Berlin. And now you can see it!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:09 AM PST - 21 comments

"Fit" to report?

In a recent Wall Street Journal story asking if Obama is "too fit" to be president, the reporter uses a Yahoo! message board to find sources (Google cache of the post). (via DF)
posted by starman at 5:36 AM PST - 146 comments

Is there [potential for] Life on Mars?

According to Aviation Today and Universe Week, the US President has been briefed on the discovery of "something more compelling [than the confirmation of water], completing another piece of the puzzle in the search for the correct conditions for life as we know it to survive on Mars". It's not life, or evidence of past life, but it's something. Via Jasohill.
posted by liquidindian at 3:25 AM PST - 74 comments

insert extremely clever title here

Fortunes are rarely won by playing it safe. On the contrary, the biggest fortunes have been won by those willing to step outside the box and change the way the game is played. Following are twenty-five business innovators of the past, present, and future whose stories are different in many respects, but all point to the same truth: Ingenuity, improvisation, and daring are more important than following the rules (even though you might find yourself on the wrong side of the law once in a while). Via Fortune. [more inside]
posted by infini at 1:40 AM PST - 31 comments

It's more free maths!

Online Encyclopedia of Mathematics Edited by Michiel Hazewinkel (CWI, Amsterdam), and originaly published in dead tree form in 2002, now free to browse and poke into. [more inside]
posted by Iosephus at 1:00 AM PST - 7 comments

August 1

Stem Cell Breakthrough

Scientists report a breakthrough in stem cell production: Stem cells created from ALS patient and used to make neurons. [Via]
posted by homunculus at 8:32 PM PST - 39 comments

Ray Underhill, RIP

Ray Underhill, once a top professional skater for Powell-Peralta, died today. He was featured in several of the Powell-Peralta videos and had been the webmaster for Tony Hawk.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 7:48 PM PST - 12 comments

Segway killer

Toyota has a "Segway killer" called the Winglet (still being refined) including a hands-free version steered with the knees. Test riders say its fun, but Toyota has not decided to commercialize it yet (ie. no price info). Segway owners weigh in.
posted by stbalbach at 6:46 PM PST - 48 comments

The Terracotta Army of Qin Shi Huang

The Terracotta Army (a tiny part of which is now visiting Southern California) occupies the mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang, where they have resided for over two thousand years. Flickr hosts some outstanding photographs of the army in place, such as these sets and this panorama (see also the UNESCO site in the main link for a QuickTime panorama and brief video). Thanks to Google, you can see a satellite view of the tomb. And while the subtitling leaves something to be desired, YT hosts a documentary on the warriors. (The warriors have made brief appearances in other posts here and here.) [more inside]
posted by thomas j wise at 6:03 PM PST - 10 comments

Relax. This Really Is The End of The Internet.

The End Of The Internet
posted by rooftop secrets at 5:44 PM PST - 53 comments

I.O.U [next to] noooooothin'

"'49:00' is a 43-minute-long album in the form of one long recorded track that claims to be six minutes longer, and insists in its subtitle on grabbing exactly that portion of your time/life." To commemorate his upcoming 49th birthday, ex-Replacement Paul Westerberg released his first digital album on 'June 49th.' He's worked out an exclusive arrangement with Amazon, selling it at a price that's all shook down: $0.49.
posted by scarylarry at 5:21 PM PST - 21 comments

Run from anything that stimulates youthful lust

Christian Sex Retailing. Christian Sex Toy Retailing There's a new sexual revolution happening, and the people driving it are not exactly a bunch of free-love libertines. Many people probably think of evangelical Christians as being more preoccupied with denying the pleasures of the flesh. Christianity has always had a lot to say about sexuality. But attitudes are changing and new approaches to Christian sex are emerging. Dagmar Herzog was interviewed today on CBC's The Current (second segment, requires Flash Player), and, who says in a recent interview with Salon: For liberals, sex has become the problem that has no name; one simply does not hear liberals articulate a defense of sexual rights. Instead, what we have witnessed is a coalescing of conservative evangelical and mainstream secular perspectives on sex. The conversation on sex in America -- when sex is discussed in a serious and earnest way at all -- tends largely to adopt the parameters set by the Religious Right. Herzog's new book. A collection of print interviews with Herzog can be found here. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu at 4:22 PM PST - 44 comments

Holy Shit. Holy Fucking Shit.

An article deep in this week's "Economist" comments on an intriguing, rather megalomaniac project: twin "Cities of Light" at both sides of the Bab al-Mandib strait, the entrance to the Red Sea, linked by a bridge. [more inside]
posted by Skeptic at 2:46 PM PST - 29 comments

lolcatting all the way to the bank

goatse hijacked my bank account
posted by quonsar at 1:11 PM PST - 53 comments

Phoenix Confirms Martian Water, Mission Extended

"We have water," said William Boynton of the University of Arizona, lead scientist for the Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer, or TEGA. "We've seen evidence for this water ice before in observations by the Mars Odyssey orbiter and in disappearing chunks observed by Phoenix last month, but this is the first time Martian water has been touched and tasted."
posted by finite at 12:22 PM PST - 52 comments

Go Play Outside!

Can you identify these common plants and animals? A study shows that increasingly, 9- to 11-year-old children can't. Quoth David Attenborough: "The wild world is becoming so remote to children that they miss out, and an interest in the natural world doesn't grow as it should. Nobody is going protect the natural world unless they understand it."
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 11:52 AM PST - 164 comments

Posters from 1880-1918 in huge resolution

Art of the Poster 1880-1918 has high-quality scans of 162 posters. The images can either be viewed through a zooming window in the browser or exported in enormous resolutions (export image link in top left corner of image page). Here are some of my favorite posters: Scribner's Fiction Number, Between the Acts All Tobacco Cigarettes, Palais de la Danse, Starnberger-see, Read the Sun, Cercle Artistique de Schaerbeek, Bosch-licht, XXV Ausstellung Secession and Cabaret du Chat Noir.
posted by Kattullus at 10:00 AM PST - 21 comments

Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran

Bush administration officials held a meeting recently in the Vice President's office to discuss ways to provoke a war with Iran. [more inside]
posted by ryoshu at 9:45 AM PST - 109 comments

To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.

Women Explorers and Travellers of Asia and the Middle East - In an age where women struggled for basic human rights, these individuals were literal trailblazers. Leaving their homelands for varying motivations (but often due to dissatisfaction with their social lot in life), they devoted their lives to "explore these antique lands before they are irretrievably caught up in the cacaphonic whirl of the modern world." [more inside]
posted by ikahime at 8:41 AM PST - 10 comments

Spy Music

Spy music! Whether it's Lalo Schifrin's theme for Mission Impossible, or Jerry Goldsmith's theme for Man from U.N.C.L.E., or the greatest of them all, John Barry's iconic James Bond theme, you know it when you hear it. Now, for my money, the best spy music in recent years wasn't from a spy movie at all, but an animated superhero film: the action-packed theme and soundtrack for The Incredibles, in which the very talented Michael Giacchino was clearly (and brilliantly) channeling John Barry. And of course, you'll all want to head over here and see what your fellow MeFiers have lately been doing with the genre. [note: see hoverovers for link descriptions] [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:18 AM PST - 52 comments

Hipster - The End of Wester Civilization

Self-described 'culture-jammers' Adbusters identify the greatest threat to our way of life - the hipster. [more inside]
posted by Happy Dave at 6:59 AM PST - 280 comments

Catskills Monolith

"One of the largest and most beguiling works of art on the entire continent." So said Brendan Gill In the March 1989 edition of Architectural Digest. What was he describing? This place. [more inside]
posted by essexjan at 6:22 AM PST - 15 comments

There There Square

There There Square: The desire to own and name land and the pleasures of seeing from a distance color this personal survey of the history of mapmaking in the New World. There There Square takes a close look at the gestures of travelers, mapmakers, and saboteurs that determine how we read - and live within - the lines that define the United States. Jacqueline Goss is a videomaker and new media artist whose work explores muted personal and historical narratives and negotiates the slides and snags one encounters while moving between written and spoken communication. She currently teaches in the Film and Electronic Arts Department at Bard College. Winner of the 2007 Alpert Award for Film/Video from the Herb Alpert Foundation
posted by Fizz at 6:14 AM PST - 4 comments

The Butterfly Ball (and the Grasshopper's Feast)

In 1975, Roger Glover of Deep Purple staged a rock opera based on William Roscoe's poem "The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper's Feast". (The book had been reprinted the previous year, with illustrations by popular record sleeve artist Alan Aldridge.) The performance -- which featured such talent as Judi Dench, Vincent Price, Twiggy, and Ronnie James Dio (!) -- and subsequent recording met with enough interest that British animation company Halas & Batchelor had planned a feature-length animated adaptation. While the full animated movie never materialized, a Max Fleischer-influenced three-minute short accompanying the opening song, "Love is All", was broadcast frequently around the world. (Stateside viewers might remember it from such disparate programs as"The Great Space Coaster", "Pinwheel" and, uh, "Night Flight".) [Previously on MeFi: Alan Aldridge.]
posted by pxe2000 at 5:15 AM PST - 8 comments

Calling King

Director Mathieu Ratthe has created in a scene from Stephen King's The Talisman in the hope of convincing those holding the rights to let him make a full film version. See also his short film Lovefield. More King: 25 episode 'graphic video' adaptation of his short story N.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:55 AM PST - 23 comments

All Night Long

MIT researchers have overcome a major barrier to large-scale solar power: storing energy for later use. [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin at 4:51 AM PST - 52 comments


Buzkashi in Afghanistan and Tajikistan; Kokburu, or Ulak Tartysh in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. The ancient game of Goatgrabbing is still played on the Central Asian Steppes. It's more modern derivative polo is played from India to Argentina and is known as the Sport of Kings. Previously pre YouTube [more inside]
posted by adamvasco at 3:08 AM PST - 9 comments

Rolex watches for Allied POWs

"This watch costs to-day in Switzerland Frs. 250 – but you must not even think of settlement during the war." Rolex's remarkable offer to British P.O.W.s in Nazi camps during WWII. [more inside]
posted by ikkyu2 at 12:45 AM PST - 34 comments