August 2010 Archives

August 31

Tube map . . . of science

500 Years of Science, Reason & Critical Thinking via the medium of gross over simplification, dodgy demarcation, glaring omission and a very tiny font.
posted by IvoShandor at 11:50 PM PST - 10 comments

It's time to get laid.

Time to get laid. Yep, we've seen Kate Micucci before, but, the addition of William H. Macy makes this all worthwhile. (DLYT which I've promised not to ever do again but, what the hell!) How did I miss this movie?
posted by HuronBob at 9:54 PM PST - 28 comments

Toy Soldiers: Paper, Plastic, Metal

Tin Soldiers. Lead Soldiers. Plastic Army Men. But if you like your toy soldiers not so harmful to the environment and a little more do-it-yourself, you can get paper soldiers. Here are some Print-fantry soldiers you can download for free. [more inside]
posted by marxchivist at 8:40 PM PST - 19 comments

Domino magazine, back online

Much-mourned shelter magazine Domino has a new online home for its archives. Stories will be added on an ongoing basis.
posted by Anonymous at 8:34 PM PST - 8 comments

Owning up.

Fidel Castro takes blame for persecution of Cuban gays. 'Fidel Castro has said that he is ultimately responsible for the persecution suffered by homosexuals in Cuba after the revolution of 1959.' 'The former Cuban president told La Jornada the persecution of gays, who were rounded up at the time as supposed counterrevolutionaries and placed in forced labor camps, was a "great injustice" that arose from the island's history of discrimination against homosexuals. He said he was not prejudiced against gays, but "if anyone is responsible (for the persecution), it's me." "I'm not going to place the blame on others," he said.' But 'there is a Castro who is fighting to introduce radical changes in Cuba.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 5:25 PM PST - 112 comments

Football or neutron bomb?

São Paulo, Brazil. With a population upwards of 11 million people and a population density of more than 7,000 people per square kilometre, it is a pretty crowded place. But on July 2, 2010 during the second half of the Brazil-Netherlands World Cup quarterfinal, the streets were completely deserted.
posted by salishsea at 4:17 PM PST - 33 comments

Kick off your (Tuesday) shoes

A montage of movie dance scenes set perfectly to "Footloose"
posted by desjardins at 1:26 PM PST - 103 comments

Homebrew Cray-1A

Lots of people remember the Cray-1A. And how could you not, it was a supercomputer with built-in seats. But Chris Fenton has done more than just reminisce, he he built his own 1/10 scale Cray-1A. It's not just a model, it actually runs Cray software. The only problem is there doesn't seem to be much Cray software on the net, so if you have some let him know.
posted by tommasz at 12:52 PM PST - 66 comments

War of Every Man Against Every Man

Alan Jacobs laments the Hobbesian reality that is modern Internet discourse in his article "The Online State of Nature" at Big Questions Online.
A now-famous cartoon on the xkcd “webcomics” site shows a stick figure typing away at his computer keyboard as a voice from outside the frame says, “Are you coming to bed?” The figure replies: “I can’t. This is important. . . . Someone is wrong on the Internet.” I have thought a lot about why people get so hostile online, and I have come to believe it is primarily because we live in a society with a hypertrophied sense of justice and an atrophied sense of humility and charity, to put the matter in terms of the classic virtues.
posted by ob1quixote at 12:15 PM PST - 81 comments

"He did not believe he could lose."

Laurent Fignon, French cycling champion, two-time winner (1983-84) of the Tour de France, has died of cancer at 50. [more inside]
posted by toodleydoodley at 11:07 AM PST - 34 comments


Vintage calculator museums [more inside]
posted by get off of my cloud at 10:56 AM PST - 26 comments

Higgs, Higgs, glorious Higgs

The CERN Choir sings about the Higgs Boson in the Particle Physics Song (slyt).
posted by Lutoslawski at 10:29 AM PST - 11 comments

Lou Gehrig may not have had Lou Gehrig's Disease

According to a new study [abstract] by doctors at Boston University and the VA Medical Center, repetitive head trauma suffered by athletes is linked to the motor neuron disease CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy), which may have been previously misdiagnosed as ALS, a.k.a. Lou Gehrig's Disease. This result may explain the extreme prevalence of ALS-like symptoms among former athletes and people in the military and suggests that Gehrig himself may not have suffered from Lou Gehrig's Disease. [more inside]
posted by albrecht at 9:54 AM PST - 36 comments

Oval and Out

A New Look for the Oval Office Obama makes his mark on the First Office. It is a different look than the office of George W. Bush and the presidents before him. And yes, the rug is gone (previously).
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:13 AM PST - 165 comments


Shinya Kimura likes motorcycles. (A short film about a custom motorcycle engineer.)
posted by dobbs at 9:07 AM PST - 11 comments

Beep Do Doot Repeat

The Creator's Project unleashes The Eclectic Method’s (previously) latest video, Super Mario Mashup onto the world with a bonus genre-exploding montage and Q&A trying to put it all together.
posted by The Whelk at 9:00 AM PST - 8 comments

Each of us a cell of awareness, imperfect and incomplete

Rhetorical analysis of Rush's "Free Will"
posted by jtron at 8:49 AM PST - 85 comments

Chicago's last Tuberculosis Sanitarium

"Why TB you ask. The house I grew up in, from 1961 to the 1974, faced the grounds of the Municipal Tuberculosis Sanitarium. There was a fence around the property and it was patrolled by security guards daily. That was all I knew." Via.
posted by bibliogrrl at 8:08 AM PST - 9 comments

Book Buzz

"Freedom" by Jonthan Franzen: is one of the most hyped, most anticipated literary novel in years and it goes on sale today. Jonathan Franzen's new book Freedom is being hailed as "The Tolstoy of the Internet Era" [slate]. "The novel of the century" [guardian]. "a novel that turns out to be both a compelling biography of a dysfunctional family and an indelible portrait of our times." [nytimes] "Jonathan Franzen: one of America's greatest living novelists?" [telegraph] Jonathan Franzen is best known for his award winning book The Corrections [nytimes]. Maybe you're wondering why his name is familiar, [Oprah Book Club sticker incident].
posted by Fizz at 7:56 AM PST - 157 comments

the only words I've written that will outlive me

Wanted: Someone to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. P.O. Box 322, Oakview, CA 93022. You'll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. Safety not guaranteed. I have only done this once before.
posted by 445supermag at 6:42 AM PST - 83 comments


Swarmation is a collaborative game (a bit like Everybody Edits) in which each player controls a pixel. The goal is to create formations with other players before the time expires.
posted by sveskemus at 4:36 AM PST - 29 comments

Why is it, if there's such a shortage of oil, it keeps appearing on my trouser bottom?

Britain's longest running sitcom Last of the Summer Wine came to an end on Sunday, gathering 5.4 million viewers rather than the 20 million of its heyday. Filmed in Holmfirth, Yorkshire it followed the exploits of playful, cantankerous retirees for 37 years. Though the last bathtub has rolled, Britons can watch the final episode on Iplayer. Location map, some quotes, scriptwriter Roy Clarke interview. We won't see its like again, but you can hear Ronnie Hazlehurst's theme tune set to words for Compo's funeral.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 2:34 AM PST - 22 comments

I'll drink to that

Heavy drinkers outlive nondrinkers
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:34 AM PST - 137 comments

August 30

335 versions of "The first time ever I saw your face"

So, I was looking for a version of "The first time ever I saw your face" to send to a friend. [more inside]
posted by willF at 10:03 PM PST - 28 comments

Electric powered airplanes

Electric airplanes are not a new idea, but there have been recent developments in building affordable production electric sport aircraft. They are super quiet, low vibration, highly reliable, simple and gas-free. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach at 8:54 PM PST - 52 comments

Number One Song After Number One Song

All-girl a cappella group tackles "Bitches Ain't Shit". [more inside]
posted by hermitosis at 8:45 PM PST - 146 comments

Chill Hop

So it's only the start of the week and already you feel sucky and stressed? Maybe you should lay back, take a sippy, or light a spliffy, and get lost in some French down-tempo chill-hop from Wax Tailor, then some slicky Tricky, and let's finish off with Bonobo Ketto. That's right, I said Bonobo Ketto. So very much more from goldNskilL, Like Chopin and Stand By Me.
posted by puny human at 8:44 PM PST - 17 comments

Notes From The Stall

Notes From The Stall
posted by sciurus at 7:42 PM PST - 44 comments

Teach me to meet my desires with some grace...

Interpol have a new, self-titled album coming out September 7 (the 13th in the UK). Hey, guess what! It sounds like Interpol, so this is the kind of thing you will like, if you like this kind of thing. "Lights" (and here in HD) already has me imagining doing a thousand-yard stare out of a bus window on a cold, late November night. The second video, "Barricade" is here (and here in HD).
posted by jackrational at 6:03 PM PST - 43 comments

Dog dances merengue

Have you taedium vitae? Watch then, as: Dog dances merengue
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:28 PM PST - 49 comments

The Taxi Gourmet

The Taxi Gourmet Every week, I get in a taxi, ask the driver to take me to his or her favorite restaurant. [more inside]
posted by jontyjago at 5:05 PM PST - 98 comments

Life of a woman

Life of a woman. Bare, simple line drawings. Many open to interpretation.
posted by twirlypen at 4:11 PM PST - 102 comments

Japan World Cup Horse Racing

Once you have met the entrants, you can watch the race: Japan World Cup horse racing. [more inside]
posted by maxwelton at 3:36 PM PST - 10 comments

Friendly Wagers Are Friendly!

Pitchfork counts down the top 200 tracks of the 1990's this week. Strippertweets invites you to play pretend Pitchfork editor and predict the songs and order of the top 10 in their Pitchfork Pool. [more inside]
posted by incessant at 3:16 PM PST - 157 comments

Fragapatti, Son of Jehovih!

Oahspe is what might have resulted if L. Ron Hubbard took so much ketamine he time-phased into 1882. The product of an automatic-writing ex-prospector dentist, the 900-page tome includes submerged continents, bizarre dictionaries, and plenty of space travel. [more inside]
posted by theodolite at 3:08 PM PST - 19 comments

National Smile Week

National Smile Week is celebrated in the second week of August, but it's not too late to start smiling. Perhaps you can get some inspiration from this gallery. My favorite, so far I think, is number 21 (NSFWish).
posted by lauratheexplorer at 2:48 PM PST - 11 comments

Need a new secret lair? On a budget?

Want a new secret lair, but don't like the Adirondacks? On a bit of a budget? How about a Kirkbride design State Hospital in Fergus Falls, Minnesota? It comes with it's own Flickr set, for your informed shopping
posted by pjern at 2:24 PM PST - 30 comments

Gourmet Quick Kitchen- "Special Editions" of Gourmet Magazine to hit newstands

Conde Nast to revive Gourmet- sort of. A gesture of contrition? An attempt to appease unrefunded subscribers? Yet another attempt to cash in on the Gourmet brand? Only time will tell, but Conde Nast will apparently take another stab at repackaging the magazine- by publishing a few "Special Editions" of the much mourned Gourmet Magazine.
posted by Lisitasan at 2:21 PM PST - 12 comments

Tragic birthers

Pennsylvania Outlaws Shackling of Prisoners Giving Birth. Amnesty International has tried to raise awareness of this issue in the past. [more inside]
posted by whimsicalnymph at 1:52 PM PST - 41 comments

And I say hey

Fabulous Secret Powers
posted by Avenger50 at 1:10 PM PST - 12 comments

Kinda Epic.

While the rest of Europe was expressing itself mainly in the medium of poetry1, focused largely on romantic exploits of the aristocracy, the people of early Iceland were trying something different. At the Icelandic Saga Database you can read of the explots of the late Viking era, in Icelandic or English translation. If you seek a more direct experience, you can view scans of original collections at Saganet. [more inside]
posted by kaibutsu at 12:59 PM PST - 28 comments

I like big books and I cannot lie -- or maybe I don't.

The third edition of the OED will not come out in print -- or will it?
posted by angrycat at 12:58 PM PST - 74 comments

The Man behind the curtain

David Addington is coming out of the shadows and joining the Heritage Foundation as vice president of domestic and economic policy studies which is financed by the normal culprits. Addington was the legal mind behind the White House’s war on terror and normally lurks in the shadows.
posted by adamvasco at 12:42 PM PST - 15 comments

Global Warming and its Discontents

You've heard of the IPCC, but have you heard of the MEA? The term "global warming" has been with us for 35 years. The idea that CO2 would cause the planet to heat up has been with us significantly longer, discovered in the early 20th century by the Swedish scientist, Svante Arrhenius (previously). However, the concept of global warming is not without its problems (and this has nothing to do with solar flares). [more inside]
posted by outlandishmarxist at 12:01 PM PST - 25 comments

Nearly a full century of Russian history

RussianFilter: Historical Chronicles with Nikolai Svanidze is an ongoing Russian television documentary series which, starting with 1901, picks out one person per year, every year, of the 100 years of the 20th century in Russia. It's entirely in Russian, of course, but for them as speaks it, it's one fascinating perspective on Russian history, with excellent narration, copious detail, and fascinating interconnections of events, people and places. All of the episodes that are available through Google Video and various other sources, and [more inside]
posted by cthuljew at 11:38 AM PST - 8 comments

Lots of Streaming Sufjan

Out of the blue, Sufjan Stevens, most famous for his epic indie symphony Illinois (which can be streamed from this link), released an "EP" called All Delighted People. It's 60 minutes long, you can play it all online for free, and the title track is a deliriously gorgeous 12-minute epic. He's also announced an upcoming new album, scheduled for release this October, called The Age of Adz. You can stream its first single, I Walked. [more inside]
posted by Rory Marinich at 11:07 AM PST - 51 comments

Haiku Quest an indie RPG featuring haiku poetry and Christopher Walken

Haiku Quest is an indie rpg featuring voiceover from Christopher Walken. Yes, really. (windows only) [more inside]
posted by juv3nal at 10:51 AM PST - 30 comments

Smoke your little smoke, drink your little drink..

Our Universe consists of between thirty to fifth billion trillion stars, arranged in eighty to one-hundred-forty billion galaxies. Our nearest neighboring star is called Proxima Centauri and it's four light years away. We need some bread, but it's really hot outside and I can't be bothered to walk around the corner. Try to make sense of the things that you think.
posted by Lord_Pall at 10:37 AM PST - 47 comments

Buy your own prison

For Sale: historic Adirondack camp with 48 buildings on 92 acres of parkland. Camp Gabriels is truly a multi-purpose property and has been used as a tuberculosis sanitarium, college campus and most recently as a minimum security prison. Now it can be yours.
posted by cedar at 9:40 AM PST - 28 comments

The Wilderness Downtown

The Wilderness Downtown is an interactive film featuring a new Arcade Fire song. (HTML5 & Processor intensive)
posted by gwint at 8:17 AM PST - 76 comments

Want Your Bad Romance [SLYT]

Iowa State University students have been campaigning on Facebook for Professor Tin-Shi Tam to play Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" on the carillon. On Friday, Gaga's desire for leather studded kisses in the sand rang out across campus.
posted by magstheaxe at 7:57 AM PST - 50 comments

Roger Ebert on Anime, with a focus on Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli

"In Japan, animation is not seen as the exclusive realm of children's and family films, but is often used for adult, science fiction and action stories, where it allows a kind of freedom impossible in real life. Some Hollywood films strain so desperately against the constraints of the possible that you wish they'd just caved in and gone with animation." -- Roger Ebert on anime, with this excerpt being related to Tokyo Godfathers. Ebert has been a fan of anime for a while, especially the works of Hayao Miyazaki. Ebert has reviewed 6 of the 18 Studio Ghibli films released to date, and even interviewed Miyazaki with a bit of fanboy glee. More reviews and videos inside. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 7:46 AM PST - 92 comments

Well, isn't that spatial?

The Spatial History Project at Stanford University creates striking visualizations of historical data, including an 1850 yellow fever epidemic in Rio de Janeiro, and prostitution arrests in Philadelphia in the teens.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:25 AM PST - 7 comments

"All you have to do is push a few little buttons."

yep yep yep yep yep yep commmmmpewwwwtorrrr! butttonnsss. buttttttonssssss!
posted by Fizz at 7:04 AM PST - 55 comments

August 29

Säkkijärven polkka

Säkkijärven polkka. YouTube.
posted by Anything at 10:50 PM PST - 40 comments

The Scary Door

Lost Rod Serling Video Interview
posted by Artw at 10:15 PM PST - 20 comments

It Couldn't Happen Here

GBH was a seven-part British television drama written by Alan Bleasdale [previously1] [previously2] shown in the summer of 1991 on Channel 4. The protagonists were Michael Murray (played by Robert Lindsay), the Militant Labour leader of a city council in the North of England and Jim Nelson (played by Michael Palin), the headmaster of a school for disturbed children. The series was controversial partly because Murray appeared to be based on Derek Hatton, former Deputy Leader of Liverpool City Council - in an interview in the G.B.H. DVD Bleasdale recounts an accidental meeting with Hatton before the series, who indicates that he has caught wind of Bleasdale's intentions but does not mind as long as the actor playing him is "handsome". [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu at 8:16 PM PST - 22 comments

Yes We Scan

10 Rules for Radicals Video link. (Transcript in a variety of sources) Carl Malamud, public domain advocate extraordinaire, describes lessons learned from his years of bringing government documents into the true public domain. (via Boingboing)
posted by zabuni at 7:59 PM PST - 6 comments

Dave Pike Set

Dave Pike: Jazz For The Jet Set
posted by puny human at 7:02 PM PST - 7 comments

"...we had no idea…"

The contraption was "created from a mishmash of lenses and computer parts and an old Super 8 movie camera." It was the size of a toaster, ran off "sixteen nickel cadmium batteries, a highly temperamental new type of CCD imaging area array, an a/d converter implementation stolen from a digital voltmeter" and took 23 seconds to record an image to cassette tape. But when Steve Sasson and his team of Kodak technicians presented the world's first digital camera to the public in 1975, they were asked: 'Why would anyone ever want to view his or her pictures on a TV?' [more inside]
posted by zarq at 6:27 PM PST - 56 comments

Learn to: Blow things up extremely well

Gallery: 30 Awesome College Labs
posted by andoatnp at 5:14 PM PST - 25 comments

Gun control and suicide rates.

In the wake of the Port Arthur massacre, in 1997 Australia implemented a gun buyback program that reduced the stock of firearms by around one-fifth, and nearly halving the number of gun-owning households. Leigh and Neill (2010) find that the buyback led to a drop in the firearm suicide rates of almost 80%, or about 200 lives per annum (with no significant effect on non-firearm death rates). This translates into an annual benefit of $500M, or $800 000 per weapon destroyed. However, Baker & McPhedran (2006) have previosuly concluded that there was no impact on homicides.
posted by wilful at 5:08 PM PST - 131 comments

It was in tune when I bought it...

Danny Gatton, 'the greatest unknown guitarist in the world' has been eulogised here previously, but that was before someone had digitised and uploaded his instructional video and put it on You Tube. Here it is: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
posted by mhjb at 4:52 PM PST - 13 comments

Time Traveler

A Search Service that Can Peer into the Future. A Yahoo Research tool mines news archives for meaning—illuminating past, present, and even future events. Showing news stories on a timeline has been tried before. But Time Explorer, a prototype news search engine created as a venture of Yahoo's Research Lab and the Living Knowledge Project, generates timelines that will stretch into the future as well as the past. Here is what a search for MetaFilter produces. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 1:40 PM PST - 27 comments

My First Period

"My First Period" is a spoken performance Staceyann Chin, the author of the memoir The Other Side of Paradise, at the 2009 Campus Progress Conference.
posted by lauratheexplorer at 1:19 PM PST - 24 comments

Falling Apart

The 20-day Expedition Titanic will use remotely operated submersibles to complete an unprecedented archaeological analysis of the two- by three-mile (three- by five-kilometer) debris field, including Titanic's two halves. The ship's bow and stern separated before sinking and now lie a third of a mile (half a kilometer) apart. [more inside]
posted by gman at 12:19 PM PST - 17 comments

RSA Animate

21st century enlightenment - "Matthew Taylor explores the meaning of 21st century enlightenment, how the idea might help us meet the challenges we face today, and the role that can be played by organisations such as the RSA." (via br; previously) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 12:00 PM PST - 8 comments

“Too ugly to prostitute. Spare some change.”

How panhandlers use free credit cards-"What would happen if, instead of spare change, you handed a person in need the means to shop for whatever they needed? What would they buy?"
posted by nevercalm at 11:54 AM PST - 75 comments

Won't You Take a Ride With Me?

They Might be Giants geeks out about electric cars in a new song (slyt)
posted by Glibpaxman at 10:48 AM PST - 34 comments

Reflections of Fidel

Fidel Castro has a blog. via
posted by lazaruslong at 10:26 AM PST - 17 comments

He drills three holes in the bridge, then penetrates each in order to guarantee fertility

Balkan sexual supersititions (NSFW) [more inside]
posted by swimming naked when the tide goes out at 9:48 AM PST - 64 comments

Mr Controversial

Mr Controversial (video, transcript): an in-depth report by Dateline (SBS One, Australia) on Geert Wilders, and the most comprehensive English-language profile of him I have seen to date.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:16 AM PST - 35 comments

Don't forget to follow your dreams, unless your dreams are stupid

"Good news -- this is the point in the graduation speech where I tell you a personal anecdote about perseverance and then quote a song." Lexington High School in suburban Boston is the alma mater of comic theorist Scott McCloud, evironmentalist Bill McKibben, a winner of Survivor, an SNL cast member, thinky writer Melanie Thernstrom, and MetaFilter favorite Amanda Palmer. But when it was time to choose a commencement speaker they wisely went with Eugene Mirman, LHS class of 1992. (SLLOLYT) (Eugene Mirman battles the pink robots, previously on MetaFilter.)
posted by escabeche at 8:57 AM PST - 24 comments

The WEIRD ones

Westerners vs. the World: We are the WEIRD ones
posted by bardophile at 7:19 AM PST - 81 comments

90 years from the streets of Budapest

Fortepan is a collection of 4973 found amateur photos sourced mainly in Budapest. Pick a year and browse - photos are organized in chronological order from 1900 to 1990, accessible via a slider. "Users are encouraged to use, copy, send to friends, clip or paste the photos, which are free for they are not our property." (via Szanalmas, sometimes nsfw)
posted by madamjujujive at 7:01 AM PST - 19 comments

Lviv and the Center for Urban History of East Central Europe

Lviv Interactive, a project of the Center for Urban History of East Central Europe, is mapping the history, architecture, and human landscape of the City of Lions - including locations no longer there. [more inside]
posted by mdonley at 4:38 AM PST - 10 comments

Goodbye Heyoka

John Kay’s Heyoka Magazine project January 2005 though June 2010 is now completed. All 34 volumes are online.
The Interviews section is a treasure trove from Shirin Neshat to Rick del Savio to David Michael Kennedy
Many reference Native American culture today: Tommy Lightening Bolt and Mala Spotted Eagle and William Under Baggage and Pete Catches
The range is great from Photos of the Apatani in Arunachal Pradesh to extreme bikram yoga and Leonard Cohen Everybody knows. The list goes on. Heyoka has morphed into non duality magazine
posted by adamvasco at 4:30 AM PST - 2 comments

Wealthy young Chinese enjoy a classless society

The “Rich Second Generation” (富二代) refers to people who mostly were born after 1980s, Children of early China’s first generation of private entrepreneurs “Rich first Generation” after China’s “opening door policy”. Now they are wealthy because of the inheritance. They enjoy roses, wine tasting, marriage opportunities, studying abroad, 43 luxury vehicles, and legal privileges.
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:12 AM PST - 16 comments

"Do you feel good about yourself?"

Smarties Australia paired 8 kids up with 8 artists to create art based on each Smarties colour. Here's orange video art, a song about moonwalking under the deep blue sea, the spoken word saga of a disco karaoke'ing duck, an upside-down red pop art world, The Pink Moon, photos of the purple Filecian dancers, a green tree sculpture, and the dance of insects burrowing through brown earth.
posted by divabat at 1:02 AM PST - 28 comments

August 28

"Australia would not send forces here; that's impossible."

Death of a Nation – East Timor. [more inside]
posted by cthuljew at 11:10 PM PST - 12 comments

Destroying One Childhood At A Time

Those old Disney cartoons too slow-paced for you? BLAM! (Original.) Are you confounded by physical humor? BLAM! (Original.) BLAM! (Original.) Does a cartoon without wisecracks leave you unsatisfied? BLAM! (Original.) BLAM! (Original.) BLAM! (Original.)
posted by griphus at 7:32 PM PST - 99 comments

Designers'Couch Community

Designers'Couch is a new community of creatives whose goal is to create a vibrant community of passionate writers, artists and designers by providing them a space to showcase their work - encouraging them to network and share critiques. They also feature helpful articles to inspire, teach, and inform artists.
posted by fantodstic at 6:24 PM PST - 5 comments

This volcano used to have INTEGRITY!

Hipster Dinosaurs
posted by Artw at 4:51 PM PST - 78 comments

An Amazing 3D Light Show From Russia

An Amazing 3D Light Show From Russia (watch in 480p)
posted by empath at 4:17 PM PST - 30 comments

The Metal Mermaid

Meet Arria, a new sculpture which is also the new figurehead of Cumbernauld, Scotland. Links to the construction phases here and here. Via
posted by lizbunny at 3:16 PM PST - 29 comments

...and other affairs of plain living

From the Wikipedia article:
Founded by Eliot Wigginton in the 1960s, Foxfire has published Foxfire Magazine continuously since 1966, and the highly popular Foxfire books since 1972. Both the magazine and books are based on the stories and life of elders and students, featuring advice and personal stories about subjects as wide-ranging as hog dressing, faith healing, blacksmithing, and Appalachian history.
[more inside]
posted by hanoixan at 3:02 PM PST - 30 comments

A Young Rabbit, Wishing to Escape the Oppressiveness of its Bedroom

In May, Jacob Lambert wrote in The Millions about the subversive messages hidden in classic children's books in the essay Are Picture Books Leading Our Children Astray? His conclusion: "What I previously considered whimsical trifles now reveal themselves as other things entirely: thinly-veiled endorsements of chaos, malfeasance, naïveté." Now Lambert's back, with: Again, I Ask: Are Picture Books Leading Our Children Astray? [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 2:15 PM PST - 48 comments

travel to cities in Europe

europe-cities is a beautifully organized, practical site for information about traveling to cities in Europe. All the information is in one place: info about specific cities, cuisine, history, overview information, weather, a variety of cultural interests from English Christmas Markets to Hungarian culture. And, best of all, finding the cheapest/best places to stay. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 2:13 PM PST - 15 comments


Bull-Killer, Sun Lord. "Foreign religions grew rapidly in the 1st-century A.D. Roman Empire, including worship of Jesus Christ, the Egyptian goddess Isis, and an eastern sun god, Mithras."
posted by homunculus at 2:12 PM PST - 28 comments

Parking Malware

The page served by Network Solutions for parked domains was serving malware until two weeks ago. Apparently it had been like that for months without anyone taking notice.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 1:41 PM PST - 19 comments

The Twin Who Didn't Make It

The Twin Who Didn't Make It is an excerpt from Alexa Stevenson's memoir Half Baked: The Story of My Nerves, My Newborn, and How We Both Learned to Breathe.
posted by lauratheexplorer at 1:10 PM PST - 12 comments

It's not every day that you hear the proof of the century

1996 BBC documentary of the proof of Fermat's last theorem is now a Google video. John [Lynch] began researching the project, but Wiles was being very elusive. Although John did not know it, the flaw in Wiles's proof had been found, which is why Wiles was in hiding. Eventually the existence of the flaw emerged, and the TV project was abandoned A year or so later, the flaw was fixed... More at
posted by Obscure Reference at 12:04 PM PST - 11 comments

Like Mom, Like Dad

Recreating pictures of your parents on (Previous Project) [more inside]
posted by gman at 10:32 AM PST - 24 comments

Stuffed Animals

Ravishing Beasts is a blog about all kinds of taxidermy. From taxidermy as fashion to pet taxidermy to taxidermy dioramas.
posted by Thin Lizzy at 10:12 AM PST - 5 comments

Fried Beer

Fried Beer. As the Dallas Morning News reports, the Fried Beer was the result of a painful process of trial and error for creator Mark Zamble. His initial efforts kept exploding once they hit the fryer, and he kept getting burned. Zamble has already applied for a patent and trademark for Fried Beer, which appears to be a pocket of pretzel dough filled with its signature beverage.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:59 AM PST - 53 comments

Lone Wolf choose-your-own-adventure series

The Lone Wolf 'choose your own adventure' series [previously] is considered by many to have been the best of its kind. Author Joe Dever licensed the books in 1999 to be distributed for free online. Project Aon, the organization which distributes the books has now released a dedicated client for playing Lone Wolf, automating all record keeping and randomization. Kieron Gillen, comic book writer and games journalist, writes an appreciation of the series and review of the new client. If you don't want take the time to go through it on your own, had a 'let's play' series starting here (index here). But go play it yourself, epic fantasy adventure awaits!
posted by Kattullus at 8:24 AM PST - 49 comments

Enticing beyond measure the eyes of the beholders

On the 18th June 1912 workmen burst through the floorboards of a disused London tenement at 30-32 Cheapside and discovered "Probably the most remarkable find ever recovered from British soil." The stock of an early Stuart goldsmith - the most astonishing array of precious and semi-precious stones from around the world - hidden c.1630, The Cheapside Hoard is the finest collection of Elizabethan jewellery in the world. [more inside]
posted by fire&wings at 7:20 AM PST - 15 comments

March in August

Today is the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous, "I have a dream speech". The Rev. Al Sharpton, NAACP, National Action Network and others will hold a rally starting a Dunbar High School. Glenn Beck and conservative leaders will hold a rally of their own on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Graduate students studying journalism and the media at American University are covering the events with a team of embedded bloggers.
posted by humanfont at 6:19 AM PST - 287 comments

Better than the Borg Queen

A gynoid is a humanoid robot designed to look like a human female, as compared to an android modeled after a male. NSFW; includes Photoshop work of famous female faces on robot bodies. [more inside]
posted by bwg at 4:51 AM PST - 89 comments

Not "It"

The Gender-Neutral Pronoun: 150 Years Later, Still an Epic Fail. Wordsmiths have been coining gender-neutral pronouns for a century and a half, all to no avail. Coiners of these new words insist that the gender-neutral pronoun is indispensable, but users of English stalwartly reject, ridicule, or just ignore their proposals. [Via].
posted by amyms at 12:19 AM PST - 121 comments

August 27

Dhan dhan dhan dhan!

The dhol has traditionally been played by men at Punjabi weddings and sufi shrines. Rani Taj, the first professional British-Kashmiri female dholi, trained by the Dhol Blasters and Azaad dhol, plays the dhol at public events.
posted by bardophile at 10:44 PM PST - 15 comments

90 Days

She agreed to be filmed for 90 days. A woman with AIDS is filmed briefly, every day, for 90 days, and the changes she undergoes are dramatic. The very end may make you weep, but perhaps not for the reasons you expect... [Link is a single video hosted on Vimeo.]
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:12 PM PST - 51 comments

Rave On

The Fender Musical Instruments Corporation loved Stevie Ray Vaughan. (SLYT)
posted by Huplescat at 3:48 PM PST - 46 comments


Tony Washington, an NFL prospect, has a black mark on his record. At the age of 16, he was convicted of incest for sleeping with his then 15 year old sister, and forced to register as a sex offender. Washington feels this is the reason he is being ostracized by the NFL.
posted by reenum at 3:34 PM PST - 119 comments

The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to turn on, tune in and drop out

What if Lovecraft had Lived into the 1960′s? - recording from a 1978 WorldCon panel featuring Fritz Leiber, and S.T. Joshi. Bonus files: A reading by Donald R. Burleson of his story The Last Supper, and a reading of Fungi from Yuggoth. (via)
posted by Artw at 2:27 PM PST - 31 comments

Your other North!

What language obliges us to think about. The NYTimes has a fascinating article on how language affects thought, from the gender-specificity of many European languages to the pure geographic directions of Guugu Yimithirr.
posted by bitmage at 2:09 PM PST - 57 comments

The Benign Violation Theory of humor from HuRL

The "Benign Violation Theory" posits that for something to be funny, three conditions must be met. First, there must be a violation of the norm. Second, the violation must be perceived to be benign. Last, both these perceptions must occur simultaneously. [more inside]
posted by cosmac at 12:47 PM PST - 102 comments


La Roux Auditions for Harry Potter. Ke$ha Auditions for Glee.
posted by lauratheexplorer at 12:39 PM PST - 26 comments

Facebook Chooses to Pass

Facebook, and initially Reddit, have refused to run an ad campaign for the marijuana-legalizing Prop 19 in CA, to much controversy from users. However, Reddit has decided to run the ads for free, since their owner Conde Naste has gone on the record saying they oppose profiting from "this issue" (while they have run ads opposed to prop-19, and controversial organizations like this one for an anti-gay right wing organization). Facebook has said they will consider running an ad which does not include a hemp leaf.
posted by mccarty.tim at 12:04 PM PST - 271 comments

Mama, just killed a man

"In 1500 the first Bohemian Land Ordinance was completed, and within it was an article that forbade anyone from hunting with a firearm. However, only twenty-four years after the 1500 constitution firearms had apparently been involved in so much social violence that a specific firearms Ordinance was promulgated in 1524. Ultimately, the handgun had shifted from a rural nuisance, to a violent, social problem." Between Menace and Utility: Handguns in Early Sixteenth-Century Bohemia [PDF]. (From Bad Behaviour in Medieval and Early Modern Europe)
posted by not_the_water at 11:08 AM PST - 13 comments

Revisiting King Tutankhamun's Tomb

Ten thousand tourists have tramped above the spot where the latest find has just been made. Other archeologists, looking for the needle entrance to the royal tomb of Tutankhamen in the limestone haystack of el Qorn, came within a few feet of where, after sixteen years of labor, the late Lord Carnarvon and Mr. Howard Carter found their reward. National Geographic republished the photos (flash gallery) and the text of the 1923 account of the opening of the tomb of King Tutankhamun. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 11:06 AM PST - 12 comments

Turns out the plane isn't crashing...

Crew on a British Airways flight from London to Hong Kong accidentally trigger a message to the cabin that "This is an emergency. We may shortly need to make an emergency landing on water." The pilot then had to get on the PA and calm everyone's nerves. This probably caused even more panic than the famous message on BA Flight 9 in 1982, when the caption announced "Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We have a small problem. All four engines have stopped. We are doing our damnedest to get them under control. I trust you are not in too much distress."
posted by kaszeta at 11:06 AM PST - 51 comments

World's largest solar power plant

The world's largest solar power plant will probably be cleared for construction in California. At 1GW it is the size of a nuclear power plant and nearly doubles the US installed base of commercial-scale solar power. It will take 6-years, $6-billion and 7,000-acres. Proposed site (on Google maps). It will use parabolic trough's (video). It is being built by a German company (construction video / operation animation). There are many other CSP (Concentrated Solar Power) projects.
posted by stbalbach at 10:51 AM PST - 67 comments

Luke Powell's photographs of Afghanistan

Photographer Luke Powell captures the beauty and dignity of Afghanistan from the cities in the news to remote villages reachable only on horseback. He photographed the country extensively throughout the 1970s as a tourist and again from 2000 – 2003 in the employ of the United Nations to document minefields, mine victims, and demining efforts. Glimpses: Boys in the Bazaar l Koochie Tents (nomadic pastoralists). [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 10:40 AM PST - 7 comments

China's Got Talent

"Pianist Liu Wei sits quietly to compose himself before plunging into the music. Then he takes off a sock. The 23-year-old, whose arms were amputated after a childhood accident, plays the piano with his toes."
posted by gman at 10:23 AM PST - 16 comments

Now will you say something about my new hat?

"A Collection of the Best Marriage Cartoons by the Foremost Comic Artists" from 1955. Part Two. The good old days, when you could beat your husband and bash your wife. Selected for the web by a 2010 cartoonist who's better than that.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:57 AM PST - 18 comments

You're trying to be cool...

Earlier this week, the Mounties arrested Khurram Sher along with two other Ottawa men and charged them with terrorism related offences. This is where it gets complicated… [more inside]
posted by Brodiggitty at 9:00 AM PST - 39 comments

Before there was Beck, there was Coughlin

"Many of his speeches were rambling, disorganized, repetitious, and as time went by, they became increasingly full of bigoted rhetoric. But as a champion of the poor, a foe of big business, and a critic of federal indifference in the face of widespread economic distress, he spoke to the hopes and fears of lower-middle class Americans throughout the country." His popularity rivaled that of the President, and he used his pulpit to not only attack Washington's progressive agenda, but America's enemies as well, who he blamed for being anti-family and making divorce too easy. [more inside]
posted by mkultra at 8:57 AM PST - 33 comments

Why You Got Fat

Why You Got Fat An insightful 3 minute look into how fat is stored and utilized by your body. [more inside]
posted by christonabike at 8:45 AM PST - 58 comments

Do good, buy cheap.

If only IKEA furniture could be assembled this quickly. The Swedish furniture chain's catalog has surpassed the Bible as the most published print in the world (previously), but did you know that all of your furniture purchases are actually charitable? [more inside]
posted by eenagy at 8:09 AM PST - 32 comments

Chicago is the place

Sounds from Tomorrow's World: Sun Ra and the Chicago Years, 1946-1961 is an exhibition drawn from the collections of the University of Chicago's Chicago Jazz Archive.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:20 AM PST - 18 comments

How many sips

Unwise: Hungover Owls. (SLTumblr)
posted by CheeseLouise at 7:07 AM PST - 61 comments

Ötzi's Funeral

A new study mapping the locations of artifacts around Ötzi the Iceman's final resting place suggests he was transported there for a ceremonial burial, and did not die alone as previously suggested. Via.
posted by jjray at 6:51 AM PST - 26 comments

The President's Economic Team

A detailed exposition of the roles of the White House economic team. This isn't a discussion of Obama's team per se, but rather an explanation of the mechanics and relationships of the various economic advisers to the President.
posted by OmieWise at 6:51 AM PST - 4 comments

Three-day weekend? Write a three-day novel.

Labor Day Weekend is coming up. You could have a barbecue. Or you could write a novel. Previous winners of the International 3-Day Novel Contest, which has been running since 1977.
posted by escabeche at 5:45 AM PST - 20 comments

Pleased as Punch

May of 1662. Thence to see an Italian puppet play that is within the rayles there, which is very pretty, the best that ever I saw.. The story changes a bit over the ages and is still definitely not PC.
Amongst the puppets is a hangman, a policeman and a crocodile.
Some videos; some galleries 1; 2; and a hall of fame. (First introduced to Metafilter by thomas j wise).
posted by adamvasco at 3:47 AM PST - 6 comments

Zero Views

Zero Views: The best of the worst of YouTube.
posted by sveskemus at 2:44 AM PST - 29 comments

August 26

Soon, America's pole-sockers will be out of work, replaced by a machine.

A robot puts a sock on a pole.
posted by empath at 10:23 PM PST - 56 comments

What Motivates Us?

Challenging the notion that humans are motivated by monetary reward, Dan Pink presents a variety of studies that test this notion. Inspired by his newest book, Drive
posted by fantodstic at 10:15 PM PST - 34 comments

Decorated Paper

The Decorated and Decorative Paper Collection (University of Washington) offers digitized examples of "Western marbled paper, paste papers and decorative papers, such as Dutch gilt and lithographically or linoleum block printed paper." Marbled paper, which many of you will have seen in the endpapers of nineteenth-century books, developed independently in Japan (suminagashi) and Turkey (ebru), although the Turkish form is best known in the West. Some very striking endpapers have been known to crop up in unexpected places. For further historical examples, see the Salem Athenaeum, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the Koninklijke Bibliotheek.
posted by thomas j wise at 9:54 PM PST - 9 comments

That's not racially transcendent

President - White
V-President - Black
Sec-Treas - White
Reporter - Black

The racial categories for Nettleton Middle School's next class election.

posted by nestor_makhno at 8:21 PM PST - 117 comments

"It usually sounds ridiculous when opponents to video game describe them as murder simulators..."

"Serial Killer Roguelike" is exactly what it sounds like. Here's a video of it in action. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla at 7:53 PM PST - 46 comments

Whack-a-mole climate denialism

Investigative reporting continues to attack the credibility of the IPCC reports on climate change, as well as vicious personal attacks. These stories gain wide coverage in the denialist echo chamber, yet several months down the track, after thorough independent investigation, they are found to be false. Weak retractions are published in newspapers, but the damage is done.
posted by wilful at 6:51 PM PST - 35 comments

the idea of a fully operational zero...

"Michel de Montaigne, whose essays transformed Western consciousness and literature, was not capable of solving basic arithmetic problems. And most other people would not be able to do so either, if not for the invention of decimal notation by an unknown mathematician in India 1500 years ago." The Greatest Mathematical Discovery? (expanded pdf) a paper written for the US Dept. of Energy makes this assertion based in part on the work of Georges Ifrah. [via] [more inside]
posted by jessamyn at 6:36 PM PST - 43 comments

best magazine covers of 2010

The American Society of Magazine Editors and have announced the finalists for best magazine covers of the year. There are 12 categories: News & Business; Most Controversial; Sport & Fitness; Lifestyle; Science, Technology & Nature; House & Home; Fashion & Beauty; Funniest; Entertainment & Celebrity; Most Delicious; Sexiest; and, Best Vampire. Favourites: Obama with Google-eyed glasses, Colbert looking crazy on skates, Ryan Reynolds's abs, and a couple of great-looking hotdogs.
posted by anothermug at 6:20 PM PST - 24 comments

And a little one for KG

New York voice teacher Claudia Friedlander provides a classical analysis of 5 male heavy metal singers.
posted by ivey at 5:20 PM PST - 125 comments

It is the map that engenders the territory

Radical Cartography has made a lot more maps since greasy_skillet posted it in 2005, including maps showing housing prices and segregation of all kinds in New York, Chicago, DC and elsewhere, counties named for Presidents, the night sky, the US in agriculture, the US as projected to other spots on the globe, and a physical atlas of the world.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 4:09 PM PST - 4 comments

seriously, don't try this at home

Hay Baling Fun (NSFW) [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu at 3:00 PM PST - 63 comments

Eleven Million Dollars

How much does it cost to run a country? Somalia's Prime Minister released the government budget for 2009 (PDF) today. They had $11 million dollars to spend. That's million. With an M.
posted by DangerIsMyMiddleName at 2:54 PM PST - 41 comments

The Financial Documents Baseball Doesn't Want You To See

Today, Deadspin leaked financial documents detailing the finances of several MLB teams, including a few that are getting revenue sharing money. They show that several of MLB's "poorest" franchises turned a profit due to these cash infusions. [more inside]
posted by reenum at 2:05 PM PST - 56 comments

User-driven discontent

Yesterday morning, social news juggernaut finally unveiled its much-ballyhooed redesign: Digg 4.0. More than a simple cosmetic makeover, the new edition of the popular link-sharing platform fundamentally alters the underlying mechanics of the site. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi at 1:38 PM PST - 133 comments

Asteroid Discovery From 1980 - 2010

Asteroid Discovery From 1980 - 2010: an animation of the solar system that highlights asteroids as they are discovered. I would suggest watching it in a high resolution.
posted by brundlefly at 1:14 PM PST - 26 comments

Reflections on Judging Mothering

(pdf) Chris Gottlieb writes in the "Baltimore Law Review" about judging parents. The article discusses instances of racism and classicism in the family court systems. An adaptation of the "Baltimore Review" article appears in the New York Times. [more inside]
posted by zizzle at 12:27 PM PST - 55 comments

You talkin' to me?

Yu Ming Is Ainm Dom [more inside]
posted by Dim Siawns at 11:02 AM PST - 46 comments

Where am I?

If your brain and body were separated, which one would be "you?" Philosopher Daniel Dennett explores what might happen in that event. (Previously)
posted by Obscure Reference at 10:50 AM PST - 210 comments

Z for Zine Editor

The early days of british comics fanzines, by Dez Skinn, one time head of Marvel UK and founder of Warrior.
posted by Artw at 9:48 AM PST - 3 comments

Used games, the letters of marque of the gaming world?

THQ's Cory Ledesma opened the flood gates in his interview about used games. Penny Arcade sides with publishers on the issue, citing issues with the used game market. [more inside]
posted by Carillon at 9:29 AM PST - 169 comments

You probably don't even know what you like

Choice blindness occurs when subjects are unaware that the choice they made is opposite their previously stated preferences. In this recent paper, subject preferences were reversed between tastes of jam and scents of tea. Overall, only a third of all the manipulated trials were detected by subjects whose preferences had been switched by the experimenters. [more inside]
posted by scrutiny at 9:28 AM PST - 31 comments

♫ When they're scared go and comfort them! ♫

There are 100 ways to love a cat. [more inside]
posted by BeerFilter at 9:00 AM PST - 100 comments

Dowling Duncan redesign the US bank notes

Dowling Duncan redesign the US bank notes . [more inside]
posted by domnit at 8:08 AM PST - 170 comments

The Work of Art in the Age of Digital Reproduction

Pictures of people taking pictures of the Mona Lisa (non-Flash but still annoying interface warning)
posted by silby at 7:48 AM PST - 55 comments

How I Wonder?

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star - Desi Style. [SLYT]
posted by Fizz at 7:42 AM PST - 17 comments

Chick Lit v. the NYT

Best selling authors Jennifer Weiner and Jodi Picoult speak out about how the New York Times treats "chick lit": "when a man writes about family and feelings, it's literature with a capital L, but when a woman considers the same topics, it's romance, or a beach book - in short, it's something unworthy of a serious critic's attention." [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:36 AM PST - 82 comments

You made him sandwiches in the middle of the night. You took away his manhood.

My assignment for the day was to photograph Jerry Stiller in front of The Costanza House in Astoria, Queens. As we pulled up to the house he decided to ring the doorbell not knowing if anyone would answer. Story from the Daily News.
posted by thisisdrew at 7:33 AM PST - 34 comments

I think we are all winners here.

Street Dance vs Ballet - Dance It Up (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:49 AM PST - 20 comments

It isn't every airline offers flights for 50p...

Cheap Flights by Fascinating Aida is a new song from a trio of satirical women who have been making people laugh for over a quarter of a century. As they say on their homepage "It started by going fungal, then it went bacterial, and is in severe danger of going viral. Hurrah! We write a hit - it's only taken 27 years!". Other notable songs include their ode to viagra Getting it, White's Blues, and an old gem Time, from 1987.
posted by handee at 5:29 AM PST - 9 comments

You're awesome!

How great would you feel if a real person called you every day to tell you, "You're Awesome!"?
posted by sveskemus at 1:15 AM PST - 68 comments

Because Top 10 lists are for cowards

11 scandalous stories about Saved By The Bell, from Dustin "Screech" Diamond's autobiography.
posted by Rory Marinich at 1:10 AM PST - 108 comments

August 25

pointy clicky stuff

Submachine: 32 Chambers is the winner of the Jay is Games 8th Casual Gameplay Design Competition (theme: sandbox). It's by Mateusz Skutnik. You may be familiar with some of his other flash games. In other news, there's Grow Valley which is a new Eyemaze game.
posted by juv3nal at 11:22 PM PST - 22 comments

The reds are coming.

Four years after being spawned Fraser River Sockeye salmon return to the same creeks in which they were born to mate, spawn and die. Salmon have a strong preference for heavier returns every four years. Prior to 1913 this cycle peaked every second odd year (IE: 1905 - 1909 - 1913). However in 1913 (a year that had a record high 31 million fish harvested) construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway along side the Frasier river resulted in massive rock slides that prevented most of the returning fish from making it to their ancestral streams. Clean up efforts in subsequent years and the construction of fish ladders at Hell's Gate saved the Salmon from extinction and switched peaked returns to every second even year (IE: 2010 - 2014 - 2018) but numbers of fish returning were way down. Until now. This year's projected returns are the highest since 1913's record year and not far short of it. This is bound to make the organizers of Salute to the Sockeye very happy. [more inside]
posted by Mitheral at 9:45 PM PST - 34 comments

And the winner is ... Beetlebaum

Announcer Larry Collmus calls the 7th at Monmouth Park, 8/22/10 (slyt)
posted by pyramid termite at 8:48 PM PST - 28 comments

A Very Lucky Wind

Do we live in a world where there is magic and meaning, or is it all just chance? Radiolab meets two young women who share a nearly unbelievable story of coincidence and fate. Then they consult with statisticians for a very different take on the same story. This short audio documentary is charming and delightful. A Lucky Wind won a Best Documentary: Honorable Mention Award in the 2009 Third Coast / Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition as well as the 2009 AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award (Radio Documentary). [more inside]
posted by storybored at 8:45 PM PST - 87 comments

Eugene Von Bruenchenhein, baker, painter

Eugene Von Bruenchenhein was born in Wisconsin on July 31, 1910. He lived in a small house in Milwaukee with his wife Marie, and he worked in a bakery. Between 1954 and 1963 he used his fingers, combs, quills and bakery tools to create hundreds of explosively colorful semi-abstract landscapes that evoke primordial soup biology, Lovecraftian horror, scifi weirdness and hellish alien beauty ('Full-Screen View' and its zoomable interface increase the pleasure dramatically). The 12 galleries of paintings at his memorial site are all available for free hi-res download, you can hear him talking about drugs, brain chemistry and visions at the 'Listen' link, and there's currently an exhibit honoring the centennial of his birth at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore.
posted by mediareport at 8:10 PM PST - 24 comments

“Toro is junk food for low income earners.”

"The Japanese Tradition" was a series of nine short, parody "How To" videos that gently mocked the formality of Japanese culture, from comedy duo Rahmens (ラーメンズ) and Japan Culture Lab. They're available on DVD, but nearly all of them can be seen on YouTube, including Sushi and Ocha (tea). [more inside]
posted by zarq at 4:26 PM PST - 54 comments

Brief Interviews With Hideous Men

Director John Krasinski's film adaptation of David Foster Wallace's Brief Interviews With Hideous Men is available on Hulu. [more inside]
posted by puddleglum at 4:18 PM PST - 26 comments

Be the envy (and the fear) of all your friends with DIY glow sticks!

Make your own glow sticks! No, not like that! With complete chemical recipes for different colors, information on how fluorescent dyes work, and bonus fun camera light balance behavior. [via]
posted by phunniemee at 4:14 PM PST - 11 comments

Ken Mehlman comes out.

Ken Mehlman, the former Republican Party chairman who ran George W. Bush's gay-bashing 2004 presidential campaign, has come out of the closet. He does not apologize, but says he will now work to legalize gay marriage.
posted by CunningLinguist at 4:02 PM PST - 233 comments

Digital Devices Deprive Brain of Needed Downtime

YOUR BRAIN ON COMPUTERS “Almost certainly, downtime lets the brain go over experiences it’s had, solidify them and turn them into permanent long-term memories,” said Loren Frank, assistant professor in the department of physiology at the university, where he specializes in learning and memory. He said he believed that when the brain was constantly stimulated, “you prevent this learning process.”
posted by wherespaul at 3:55 PM PST - 42 comments

Women Who Hit Hard

Top female tennis stars hitting the ball in slow motion. [more inside]
posted by gman at 3:21 PM PST - 89 comments

Theocracy at the end of a Pipetman

With the passing of Executive Order 13505, Removing Barriers to Responsible Scientific Research Involving Human Stem Cells, in 2009 President Obama expanded federal funding and rescinded George W. Bush's policies that eliminated most federal funding and restricted human embryonic stem cell research to the use of existing, contaminated cell lines. On Monday, federal judge Royce C. Lamberth blocked this new order after protestations from James L. Sherley, a former scientist with the Boston Biomedical Research Institute, and Theresa Deisher, who operates the Ave Maria Biotechnology Company, which aims to do "pro-life" therapeutic research without the "taint of embryonic or electively aborted fetal materials". [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:11 PM PST - 43 comments


Nova Roma is an international organization dedicated to the study and restoration of ancient Roman culture. From its founding until it ceased to be the center of Imperial authority Rome laid the foundation for our modern Western civilization. Founded 2,750 years after the Eternal City itself, Nova Roma seeks to bring back those golden times, not through the sword and the legions, however, but through the spread of knowledge and through their own virtuous example.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:29 PM PST - 23 comments

The Great Internet Migratory Box Of Electronics Junk

The Great Internet Migratory Box Of Electronics Junk [more inside]
posted by MustardTent at 1:36 PM PST - 13 comments

Hoverboards sold separately

Nike has filed a patent for the power-lacing sneakers from Back to the Future II. There have been false alarms before, but this time there are Nike-made descriptions and diagrams.
posted by cashman at 12:50 PM PST - 62 comments

Hurricane Katrina, five years later

Katrina: Then and Now. Comparing scenes of devastation after Hurricane Katrina struck 5 years ago and what they look like now.
posted by nomadicink at 12:29 PM PST - 34 comments

Hey! Listen!

The message of Majora's Mask. Majora's Mask was always the strangest of the Zelda series for me and if you also felt like there was something going on in that game that you couldn't quite put your finger on, this analysis should shed some light. Or will at least make you want to play it again.
posted by litleozy at 10:43 AM PST - 47 comments

tsunami in the sky

Cloud surfing the strange and marvelous looking Morning Glory. This film shows at 2:07 an animation of how the cloud is formed. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 10:41 AM PST - 4 comments

Independent Political Blog has been absorbed by the New York Times is no more! Long Live Five Thirty Eight! Independent political statistics blog has been absorbed by the New York Times. Nate Silver, the stats genius, baseball freak and predictor of 49 of 50 states in the last presidential election began his blog on DailyKos. As of this morning, the blog has moved to the New York Times. [more inside]
posted by Ironmouth at 10:27 AM PST - 55 comments

TJ Secrets

Inside the secret world of Trader Joe's. [more inside]
posted by AceRock at 10:20 AM PST - 127 comments

I Was with Coco

I Was with Coco. "If you’ve ever seen a criminal standing before a firing squad and felt jealous of all the attention he was receiving, then you would have loved writing for Conan O’Brien." [via] [more inside]
posted by kirkaracha at 10:06 AM PST - 29 comments

Been There. Done What?!

Jillian Lauren recently wrote a book about her experiences as a harem girl in Brunei. LA Weekly also went in-depth into her story. [more inside]
posted by reenum at 9:32 AM PST - 87 comments

I promise, it'll be different this time, baby....

Reznor got angry, Springsteen got angry, everyone is Ticketmaster finally responds. But will anything really change?
posted by mikoroshi at 9:30 AM PST - 105 comments

A Letter To My Students

A Letter To My Students A letter from Michael O'Hare, professor of Public Policy at UC Berkley to his students. He lets them know about how the world of his generation cheated them, both by their own and their choices in government leaders, who all fell along the wayside due to the swindle, and how they can pick themselves up by the bootstraps to right it.
posted by deezil at 8:33 AM PST - 77 comments

Fink Different

... Apple will know who you are, where you are, and what you are doing and saying and even how fast your heart is beating. ... This patent is downright creepy and invasive— certainly far more than would be needed to respond to the possible loss of a phone.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:26 AM PST - 158 comments

The deer head and the memory card

How to Lose A Legacy - a curator writes about the problem of what to do with stuff after death. (via.) Professional organizers give advice. [more inside]
posted by mippy at 7:56 AM PST - 35 comments

Mike Snook's Police Patch Collection

Mike Snook collects police patches from all over the United States, including state, local, federal, and many K-9 units. Yes, the site design is unfortunate but the collection is really cool.
posted by Gator at 7:03 AM PST - 11 comments

MI6 employee murdered in London

A man believed to be a MI6 employee has been found murdered in a flat in Pimlico. [more inside]
posted by acb at 5:00 AM PST - 83 comments

Still a failed state

Ahmed Rashid writes about The Anarchic Republic of Pakistan as amid the flooding the CIA resumes its drone campaign and Pakistan is to clamp down on Islamist militant charities while the Chinese give Military Assistance. [more inside]
posted by adamvasco at 4:53 AM PST - 17 comments

danyk's Electromagnetic Shenanigans

(MLYT) Danyk666 and his microwave oven, danyk and his unshielded Source, danyk's little jacob's ladder, danyk heats water, zaps a CD, uses wrong AC power. Also hairspray high-volt abuse, his flyback transformer no workee (wait for it), carbon scoring on your droids? And danyk's small shaded-pole motor ...OF DEATH!!! [more inside]
posted by billb at 12:47 AM PST - 34 comments

August 24

Journeyman Pictures

Journeyman Pictures has uploaded nearly 4000 videos to YouTube. Many of these are trailers for the documentaries they sell, but they have also posted hundreds of full-length videos. Most are for short documentarie, but there are a lot of features too. It's somewhat daunting to explore, but the playlists are a good place to start, and so are the shows: Features, Shorts, News and Savouring Europe, a European travelogue series. Here's a few interesting ones: Gastronauts, about French culinary students working to make astronaut food more palatable, Demon Drummers, about student Kodo drummers, India's Free Lunch, about the effects of free school lunches on Indian society, The Twitter Revolution, about YouTube and Twitter's role in the 2009 Iranian uprising, Europe's Black Hole, about Transnistria, the breakaway region of Moldova, Small Town Boy, about a gay male carnival queen in a small town in England, The Vertigo of Lists, Umberto Eco talks about the ubiquity of lists in modern culture and Monsters from the Id, about scientists in the science fiction films of the Fifties.
posted by Kattullus at 11:06 PM PST - 9 comments

The strange case of solar flares and radioactive elements

Solar flares may be affecting radioactive decay rates
posted by Confess, Fletch at 9:29 PM PST - 57 comments

Australian election non-result

The people have spoken mumbled a bit. The Australian Federal election held last Saturday has produced an extraordinary result. A minority government with the support of 1 Green and (maybe) 4 very independent independents will should result, but which way will it fall, left or right? Every Westminster-style government, claimed to produce strong stable majorities, now has a hung parliament. Even though results may not be known for several days yet, we can acknowledge the outstanding work of the Australian Electoral Commission. (Previously).
posted by wilful at 8:51 PM PST - 131 comments

Haunted Houses

The list of New York artists who died of AIDS over the last 30 years is countless, and the loss immeasurable. Last Address uses images of the exteriors of the houses, apartment buildings, and lofts where these and others were living at the time of their deaths to mark the disappearance of a generation. The film is a remembrance of that loss, as well as an evocation of the continued presence of these artists work in our lives and culture. (via)
posted by Horace Rumpole at 8:32 PM PST - 26 comments

not to be confused with the pinball pirate

The Pinball Ninja has assigned himself a daunting task: repair 500 pinball machines in the 365 days of the year 2010! He's a little behind at the moment (#289 at last count), but the journey is still entertaining, and filled with insights into pinball repair. [more inside]
posted by luvcraft at 8:21 PM PST - 14 comments

Satoshi Kon, director of Perfect Blue and Millennium Actress, dead at 47

Satoshi Kon, the director of such celebrated anime movies as Perfect Blue, Millennium Actress, and Paprika, has died (reportedly of cancer) at the age of 47. Kon's movies dealt with the slipperiness of the boundaries between performance and reality, truth and illusion. His death leaves the status of his next movie, The Dream Machine (Yume miru kikai), in doubt. As outsourcing and a long recession have taken their toll on Japan's increasingly insular anime industry, David Cabrera notes, I cannot think of a single person alive in the Japanese animation industry who would have been a greater loss than Mr. Kon.
posted by Jeanne at 7:10 PM PST - 99 comments

Jackanory time

Web of stories - "There are few things more interesting or more pleasurable than to watch someone tell a good story. And one story always leads to another."
posted by unliteral at 6:53 PM PST - 5 comments

Squeal Like a Pig

This year is the 40th anniversary of the publication of Deliverance. "Dickey wrote about men, neither dudes nor (although they were fathers) dads. The men in “Deliverance” meet real monsters and recognize their ability to become, in Dickey’s phrase, countermonsters."
posted by Xurando at 5:33 PM PST - 68 comments

He's not Haggard, though the economy is

Do you feel overwhelmed trying to understand the driving forces behind our economic collapse. When listening to the latest Planet Money podcast, do you find yourself yearning for something a bit more toe-tappin'? Meet Merle Hazard. "He is the first and only country singer to write about mortgage-backed securities, derivatives, and physics."
posted by mkultra at 4:21 PM PST - 8 comments

4625 kHz

UVB-76 has sent a new message.
posted by Artw at 4:08 PM PST - 120 comments

Early color film tests

Early color film tests : 1912, Chronochrome, Deauville, France :: 1922, Kodachrome, Paragon Studios, Fort Lee, New Jersey (details)
posted by crunchland at 3:04 PM PST - 23 comments

The Book of Imaginary Beings, Illustrated

Fantastic Zoology - A graphical interpretation of J.L. Borges "Book of Imaginary Beings" [more inside]
posted by carsonb at 2:58 PM PST - 13 comments

Miniature Mythological Man

One-Button Arthur: Puzzles, quick thinking, and a lot of clicks. [more inside]
posted by lholladay at 2:56 PM PST - 10 comments

Keep your eye on the ball...

It was revealed today that on July 20th about 1.8kg of yellowcake uranium was seized in Chisinau, Moldova. The asking price was 11 million dollars. [more inside]
posted by atypicalguy at 2:37 PM PST - 54 comments

Quality over quantity

The Perfect Five posts five songs per week(ish): a recent hit, a cover, a classic, a remix, and a wildcard. "A music blog for people who don't have time for music blogs."
posted by theodolite at 2:05 PM PST - 10 comments


Pinball - a fun brainstorming and decisionmaking online tool from the BBC.
posted by Miko at 1:34 PM PST - 4 comments

Choose Your Own Occupation

Human society cannot be rationally understood until what it is seen it for what it is: The Story of Your Enslavement. [more inside]
posted by at the crossroads at 1:17 PM PST - 340 comments

I don't know why it's called Hipmunk

Hipmunk is a new easy-to-use flight search tool from the co-founder of Reddit and the author of AppleScript: The Missing Manual, funded by Y Combinator.
posted by grouse at 12:15 PM PST - 48 comments

Rape as a tool of war in eastern DR Congo

Rape used as a tool of war: 200 women gang-raped near Congo base U.N. says. UN Chief outraged, FWIW. All links to news articles, but not for the weak of stomach.
posted by allkindsoftime at 12:00 PM PST - 52 comments


AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’ Trailer. What's the 'The Walking Dead'? Previously.
posted by Fizz at 11:36 AM PST - 108 comments

YouTube Cat Lady has been identified.

This past Saturday evening a woman dumped a rescue cat into a garbage bin on the side of a residential street in Coventry, U.K. Fifteen hours later owner Darryl Mann: "I came down to feed Lola on Sunday morning but couldn’t find her anywhere. It was really hot day outside and I searched nearby alleyways but suddenly heard a tiny meowing coming from the bin. I looked inside and I found her in the bin, she was terrified and covered in her own mess....At first I thought she’d somehow climbed inside the bin herself but when I checked the CCTV I was gobsmacked to see some a woman had done it deliberately." Mann posted the video to YouTube and Facebook in an effort to find the perpetrator. As a result, the woman was identified by this morning. [more inside]
posted by ericb at 10:11 AM PST - 236 comments

The 1951 Pont-Saint-Esprit poisonings

On August 16th 1951 a number of people in the quiet southern French town of Pont St.Esprit began to fall ill. Stomach pains were soon followed by violent and often terrifying hallucinations. Local hospitals were soon overwhelmed and more than thirty people were taken to asylums in nearby towns. It was soon decided that the cause was bread poisoning and the evidence pointed to just one Bakery. The reason, it was believed was 'ergot', a fungal infection found in Rye bread which had often caused mass poisonings in Medieval times. Journalist Hank Albarelli, however, claims that a recently released CIA memo shows that the CIA were in fact testing LSD on the inhabitants of the town. [more inside]
posted by dng at 9:48 AM PST - 56 comments

Barry Goldwater's photographs of the West

In addition to being a five term US senator, Barry Goldwater was an accomplished photographer, particularly of people and landscapes of the American West. [more inside]
posted by Nelson at 9:34 AM PST - 27 comments

120 days in the hole

After 17 days, 33 Chilean miners have been found alive 2,300 vertical feet underground in a gold and copper mine. Now the only thing left to do is get them out safely -- in about four months.
posted by Gilbert at 8:59 AM PST - 115 comments

Quicksand is deeper than I knew

Quicksand is deeper than I knew. [more inside]
posted by everichon at 8:43 AM PST - 26 comments

Soon, there may be no more bats.

Nine species of bats have been affected by White Nose Syndrome so far, and it has killed over one million bats to date. [more inside]
posted by bibliogrrl at 8:31 AM PST - 36 comments

The weeks long traffic jam

A 60-mile traffic jam in northern China has entered its tenth day, and could last for weeks longer.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 8:01 AM PST - 88 comments

Ranking Colleges on Educational Quality

Washington Monthly has released its annual college rankings, which focus on a univerisity's contribution to the public good, including the number of ROTC and peace corps graduates relative to size, the percentage of work study spent on community service, the percentage of students served recieving Pell grants, and quality of research. UCSD, Morehouse College and St. Mary's University of Texas were big winners. Alongside it, feature articles on college dropout factories, the bare-bones education experience at University of Minnesota-Rochester and the ever-increasing amenities and costs of George Washington University.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 7:29 AM PST - 91 comments

Justice Department Seeks Ebonics Experts

The Smoking Gun has come into possession of an unusual RFP from the DEA: they want 'Ebonics experts' to help decipher wiretaps.
posted by reenum at 7:13 AM PST - 75 comments

Electrons are the new photons.

Electron microscope images of insects and other tiny critters. Art embedded in your microchips, under an electron microscope. Zooming in on a tooth, with the help of an electron microscope. Electron microscope checks out a record's grooves.[previously] A flower so small only those with electron microscopes can see it! Raspberry under an electron microscope! Zoom in on an ant's head, with the power of electron microscopy! An electron microscope makes a self-portrait! An electron microscope examines a leaf! Want to see something else under an electron microscope? Send it to these guys!
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:50 AM PST - 18 comments

Now That's a Light Cycle

TRON-a-Sutra (NSFW), or Geeks. [more inside]
posted by bwg at 6:34 AM PST - 17 comments

The 72-Hour Expert

"If you spend 72 hours in a place you’ve never been, talking to people whose language you don’t speak about social, political, and economic complexities you don’t understand, and you come back as the world’s biggest know-it-all, you’re a reporter." - PJ O'Rourke visits Kabul
posted by TheOtherGuy at 4:03 AM PST - 54 comments

No comment

Have you ever found yourself frustrated while reading some stupid comments written on a website? We've all been there. This addon, CommentBlocker, is the perfect solution for us who get annoyed daily on comment posts. Firefox only. (via)
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:09 AM PST - 37 comments

It doesn't mean gold, it means thousand!

You've read the press release, watched the video, and checked out the how-to blog. You, too, could follow in the tracks of the Space Squid folks by publishing your prose in clay tablets, immortalising it for the ages.
posted by rodgerd at 3:07 AM PST - 11 comments

A preventable tragedy?

25 Hong Kong tourists were held hostage in Manila in a 12-hour bus siege that ended with ten dead and six injured. [more inside]
posted by monocot at 1:20 AM PST - 30 comments

Homo novus

The comic series Ex Machina [PDF preview] was started in 2004, created by Y: The Last Man writer Brian K. Vaughn and artist Tony Harris. The main character, Mitchell Hundred, is an ex-superhero who hangs up his jetpack and successfully runs for mayor of New York City in an alternate post-9/11 timeline. The last issue (#50), released this week, concluded the series with a harsh yet wonderfully written view of Hundred's political fate. BKV talks about the final issue with IGN [Spoilers].
posted by benzenedream at 12:56 AM PST - 10 comments

Teeny little blocks of art

There are 9 Lego Certified Professionals. Nathan Sawaya, Rene Hoffmeister, Sean, Kenney Nicholas Foo, Dan Parker* , Robin Sather, Adam Reed Tucker, Beth Weis and Dirk Denoyelle. [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor at 12:43 AM PST - 23 comments

August 23

Icons of the Web

The area of each icon is proportional to the sum of the reach of all sites using that icon. ... The largest icon (Google) is 11,936 x 11,936 pixels, and the whole diagram is 37,440 x 37,440.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:47 PM PST - 21 comments

Ted Leo by way of Scharpling with Tompkins, Hodgman, and Klausner

Bottled in Cork is a new video for a song by Ted Leo and the Pharmacists. It was written and directed by Tom Scharpling, and features the comedic talents of Paul F. Tompkins, John Hodgman, and Julie Klausner. It is, therefore, the most important thing that has ever happened ever.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 8:20 PM PST - 42 comments

The unpleasant hyperrealistic artwork of Karl Persson

The unpleasant hyperrealistic artwork of Karl Persson ( nsfw ) "My intellect doesn’t come into play when I am channeling something subconsciously. There is plenty of time for interpretation after a painting is finished. Whenever I look at my finished paintings it is like analysing a dream"
posted by boo_radley at 8:02 PM PST - 42 comments

Pynchon in Poland

"What I loved, as I sped through the rest of Pynchon’s oeuvre, was that unravelling prose. Lines like the following got me through those long books, their difficult sections, the vertiginous moments when I was no longer sure what was happening (let alone to whom) ... Perhaps it made us feel that we were more than pale and pitiful creatures who worshipped the books of a man we would never see, let alone meet, about whom we knew almost nothing," Nick Holdstock on attending International Pynchon Week in Poland. [more inside]
posted by geoff. at 7:09 PM PST - 63 comments

"...endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved."

Our minds boggle at how the wolf could become the chihuahua, the Saint Bernard, the poodle and the Komondor. Artificial selection was likewise responsible for transforming the humble wild mustard plant Brassica oleracea into cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and the breathtaking fractal Romanesco, all in the span of a few centuries. [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator at 6:36 PM PST - 52 comments

Blurry People, a safer, more comfortable, and less superficial take on social chat

Blurry People is perhaps best summarized as a combination of ChatRoulette and a dating site. On Blurry People, you engage in random video chats with people like you would in ChatRoulette. The significant difference here is that both video portraits start out blurred and sharpen over time as - or if - your conversation goes on. [more inside]
posted by blook at 4:28 PM PST - 42 comments

Dude, Where's My Kestrel?

Canadian carmaker Motive Industries Inc has announced a new electric vehicle, the Kestrel, with body parts made of a hemp composite. [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 3:54 PM PST - 40 comments

"We weren't here to watch the race, though. We were here to watch Hopper blow himself up."

Remembering an Explosive Encounter with Dennis Hopper. Edited video footage and brief account of Dennis Hopper's performance(?) of the "Dynamite Death Chair Act" in 1983. Another account of the event.
posted by unknowncommand at 3:07 PM PST - 9 comments

Fancy tea.

'They have a pattern of lawbreaking, political manipulation, and obfuscation. I’ve been in Washington since Watergate, and I’ve never seen anything like it. They are the Standard Oil of our times.' 'The Kochs are longtime libertarians who believe in drastically lower personal and corporate taxes, minimal social services for the needy, and much less oversight of industry—especially environmental regulation.''Their combined fortune of thirty-five billion dollars is exceeded only by those of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.''The brothers have funded opposition campaigns against so many Obama Administration policies—from health-care reform to the economic-stimulus program—that, in political circles, their ideological network is known as the Kochtopus.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 2:59 PM PST - 88 comments

Russian Types

"During the 1860s, several photographers based in Moscow and St. Petersburg produced series of cartes-de-visite showing Russian 'types.' These remarkable portraits provide a fascinating record of working-class townspeople, artisans, street vendors and peasants, some staged performing an activity, such as drinking tea or gaming, and some photographed in the performance of their occupation."
posted by gman at 1:55 PM PST - 22 comments


"We could have reprogrammed it to steal votes, but that's been done before, and Pac-Man is more fun!"
posted by griphus at 1:30 PM PST - 25 comments

Part Art, All Parts

Auto-wrecker turned artist James Corbett makes amazing things out of old parts.
posted by jacquilynne at 11:54 AM PST - 9 comments

Emo Philips is on both lists.

One-liner artist Tim Vine has won the award for the funniest joke told at the 2010 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, but you'll have to click the link to find out what it was. The BBC's article lists the top ten best jokes and a selection of the worst.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:36 AM PST - 232 comments

Apocalypse and Amnesia

How "The Last Washington Painting" Became "The Lost Washington Painting": Losing- and finding again- Alan Sonneman's "apocalyptic image of nuclear doom".
posted by jjray at 11:35 AM PST - 12 comments

Honest to blog!

Pay Up! "Got a blog that makes no money? The city (Philadelphia) wants $300, thank you very much." [...] "After dutifully reporting even the smallest profits on their tax filings this year, a number — though no one knows exactly what that number is — of Philadelphia bloggers were dispatched letters informing them that they owe $300 for a privilege license, plus taxes on any profits they made."
posted by Fizz at 11:30 AM PST - 95 comments

They Keep Coming Back

Police Arrest Zombies. Zombies go to Appeals Court. Zombies settle out of Court for $165,000.
posted by Xurando at 11:27 AM PST - 34 comments

Sock puppets in love: ‘The Perfect Match’ by Tom Diamond, Keith Klassen, Peter MacGillivary

And then, from across the room, their sewn-on eyes meet. Why do socks fall in love? (Single-link Flash video player. And it’s a park, not a room)
posted by joeclark at 11:11 AM PST - 3 comments

... And The Damage Done

"It would have been quite a news conference, and it very nearly happened. Last fall, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, after months of intense, private talks, agreed to face the media together to declare their agreement that research shows the 'benefits' and 'positive impacts' of supervised injection sites for intravenous drug users. For the RCMP, making such a statement would have been a turning point: the Mounties would have had to distance themselves from dubious studies, commissioned by the force itself, that were critical of Insite, Vancouver’s pioneering safe injection facility."

But it didn't happen.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:49 AM PST - 50 comments

Paper shadows

Please enjoy one of collage artist Lewis Klahr's haptic, romantic meditations on materiality and mortality, False Aging, and a look at his process.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:37 AM PST - 2 comments

The Juche View of the World is a New Man-centred View

North Korean Tourism Video
posted by KokuRyu at 10:30 AM PST - 16 comments

Death Shadow of the Blood Dragon

The annual Orbit books survey of Fantasy cover art: Fantasy Art, The Changing Fashion of Urban Fantasy Heroines, Color trends in Dragons, Title Trends and Fonts.
posted by Artw at 10:24 AM PST - 74 comments

The Stone Forest of Madagascar

The Stone Forest of Madagascar: Huge, spectacular pictures of another world by National Geographic photographer Stephen Alvarez. A non-Flash version of the site is also available.
posted by Gator at 8:12 AM PST - 22 comments

How many spoons do you get?

The Spoon Theory. A story specifically about living with lupus but which also applies to many other chronic diseases. From the site, a resource for those with chronic illnesses and invisible disabilities. [more inside]
posted by kmz at 7:53 AM PST - 41 comments

"Because I'm worth it."

From the BBC blog of documentary filmmaker Adam Curtis: Experiments in the Laboratory of Consumerism 1959-67: "I have quite a lot of film from the archives that was shot in the Madison Avenue agencies in the mid 1960s, and I thought I would put some sections up. It is great because it shows some of the major advertising men and women of the time, many of whom are the real-life models for characters in Mad Men." Includes a 9-minute video interview with the late Herta Herzog. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 7:43 AM PST - 17 comments

Reading Around The World

A photo essay by Steve McCurry of people reading books all over the world.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 7:29 AM PST - 17 comments

Stitchy tree

The Oxford Reading Tree was a set of books for reception-age children to learn how to read, staring Biff, Chip and their dog Kipper. One blogger has decided to keep the memory of teaching her kids by embroidering her own versions.
posted by mippy at 6:30 AM PST - 3 comments

C'mon Mom, Go Away Already!

When Parents Won't Cut the Cord. As a reaction to helicopter parents (who read books about the stages of grief so they can cope with their kid's growing up), colleges are literally shutting the gates on parents who can't let go.
posted by dzaz at 4:01 AM PST - 271 comments


"If, through this deluge, there emerges a last man, a Noah to carry on, that Noah must be all of us. Even then the outcome is uncertain. All we know for sure is that the 40 days and 40 nights of this deluge of pollution and erosion began centuries ago. Now we are living through--and dying through--its last hours on this Ark." [more inside]
posted by maxwelton at 3:18 AM PST - 5 comments

August 22

Movies From An Alternate Universe

Movies reimagined by way of their poster. Movie posters are sometimes considered art and we've had posts on Metafilter about movie posters being redesigned and reimagined but, these posters appear to be from another universe. I want to be there.
posted by DaddyNewt at 11:06 PM PST - 39 comments

James Patterson Inc.

James Patterson Inc.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:30 PM PST - 154 comments

Food Days

I was a bit disheartened to discover that one of my favorite frozen treats, the Creamsicle, has an "official" day (August 14th) and that I'd missed it. Well, that will never have to happen again thanks to the handy Food Holidays Calendar, part of the Bizarre American Holidays page (Warning -- the graphic design will make your eyes bleed). Today (August 22nd) was Be an Angel Day, but for most of you reading this, I wish you a frabjous National Spongecake Day
posted by Deathalicious at 7:47 PM PST - 37 comments

Magda Boreysza

Art by Magda Boeysza. She's a graphic artist living in Scotland. Her sketchbook.
posted by nickyskye at 4:06 PM PST - 12 comments

Q to the E to the D

Futurama has always been a haven for geek humor, but last week's episode "The Prisoner of Benda" pushed things to the next level. First hinted at in an American Physical Society interview with showrunner David X. Cohen (previously), staff writer and mathematics Ph.D. Ken Keeler devised a novel mathematical proof based on group theory to resolve the logic puzzle spawned by the episode's brain-swapping (but no backsies!) conceit. Curious how it works? Read the proof (in the show or in plain text), then see it in action using this handy chart. Too much math for a lazy Sunday? Then entertain your brain with lengthy clips from the episode -- including two of the funniest moments in the series in the span of two minutes.
posted by Rhaomi at 1:46 PM PST - 125 comments

When Fortuna spins you downward, go out to a movie and get more out of life

john Kennedy Toole was an American novelist from New Orleans, Louisiana, best known for his Pulitzer Prize–winning novel A Confederacy of Dunces. Joe Sanford directed a documentary about the departed writer, John Kennedy Toole: the omega point [more inside]
posted by nola at 12:45 PM PST - 49 comments

A.D. 79

AD 79: Destruction and Re-discovery is full of information about the Roman cities wiped out by Vesuvius in Titus' reign.
posted by moonbiter at 12:38 PM PST - 22 comments

"This is the CBGB of video games."

The indie music and indie games scenes collide in a Brooklyn bar.
posted by empath at 12:35 PM PST - 17 comments

Better Than Jet Packs

Jet Trains! Jet Trains! The Americans built one, so the Soviets had to build one, too. The Soviet one appears to be in disrepair now.
posted by klausness at 11:40 AM PST - 16 comments

Indian voting machine researcher arrested

The Indian government describes their electronic voting machines as 'perfect', but has never permitted an independant evaluation. A team of three academic researchers received access to a machine from an anonymous source, and demonstrated several flaws. Concerns are being expressed in India. At 5:30 this Saturday morning, police arrested Hari Prasad, one of the research team, at his home, transporting him to Mumbai. [more inside]
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 10:30 AM PST - 31 comments

If You Can't Buy 700 Bicycles, Don't Buy Any

The Hughes family does a good deed and gets beaten up by some in the international development community, reigniting the debate on poverty tourism. (previously)
posted by Xurando at 10:27 AM PST - 83 comments


Introducing CATFIGHT! Battle for the Internet's Favourite Feline. The Bracket. Round 1: Old School Cats. Round 2: Eight Down, Eight Return to Duke It Out. Round 3: The Final Four. Last Round: The FINALS! And the Winner is...
posted by Fizz at 10:13 AM PST - 18 comments


ROWR. Chewie's dialogue coach must be proud. [more inside]
posted by neetij at 10:07 AM PST - 9 comments

The Scorsese of the Midlands

This is England '86, the television series sequel to the film This Is England by director Shane Meadows will broadcast in the UK next week. Meadows started his career with a number of ultra-cheap short films on borrowed equipment, a couple of which have found there way onto the internet. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:25 AM PST - 22 comments

One giant leap for goonkind.

Some people make DIY drones. Some people build WiFi-hacking UAVs. Somethingawful members build their own submarines, floating launch-platforms, and tow their own manned spacecraft out to sea.
posted by fake at 8:37 AM PST - 34 comments

What a shame

An oral history of DIY pioneers CRASS - with details about the court battle that may soon mar 30+ years of advocacy for anarchism, permaculture, workers' rights, and free thinking. [more inside]
posted by ryanshepard at 7:43 AM PST - 39 comments

From Basics to Technical

100 Helpful Photography Tutorials for Beginners and Professionals. Photography as both a profession and a hobby is an expansive topic that covers a vast range of subjects from science and art. No matter where you lie on the spectrum, there is always more to learn. From the folks at Tuts+.
posted by netbros at 7:34 AM PST - 15 comments

The hooligan problem and the football violence that just won't go away.

The hooligan problem and the football violence that just won't go away. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad at 7:10 AM PST - 36 comments

Scholarship in the service of poetry

It's about ethnomusicology, immigrants, and a tiny bit about depression. Read about Ian Nagoski and the music he discovered in a box of records that survived a foreclosure (WaPo link - register or bugmenot). Listen. Podcast. Buy some.
posted by ersatzkat at 6:43 AM PST - 9 comments

It is these that the vendor suggests may have been dreamed up while sitting on the toilet.

Author JD Salinger's toilet put on sale for $1m.
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:53 AM PST - 36 comments

American Apparel unravels

American Apparel, the clothing company which became synonymous with the "hipster" look of the 2000s, is facing bankruptcy. [more inside]
posted by acb at 2:10 AM PST - 137 comments

I was born, for starters ...

What Happened in My Birth Year? If you have the patience for the slow onscreen text printout, you might find some interesting tidbits. [more inside]
posted by bwg at 12:59 AM PST - 43 comments

August 21

Sterling Hall, 40 years on

“No, no. Academia is now part of the real world. Everything goes.” Just before dawn, on August 24, 1970, Dwight and Karl Armstrong, Leo Burt, and David Fine parked a van outside Sterling Hall at the University of Wisconsin. The van was filled with ammonium nitrate and fuel oil, and when it blew, it killed Robert Fassnacht, a young physicist working through the night. The Army Mathematics Research Center, the bombing's target, was untouched. The bombers, known as the "New Year's Gang," went underground, and enthusiasm for the radical movement in Madison was permanently dampened. The University of Wisconsin collection of transcribed interviews about the Sterling Hall Bombing. [more inside]
posted by escabeche at 10:02 PM PST - 32 comments

Colors of antiquity

Richard Meier [...] once declared that “white is the most wonderful color of all, because within it one can find every color of the rainbow.”
"We think of white marble figures as aesthetic monuments ... frozen in a museum installation."
Most scholars haven't paid much attention to the light traces of pigment that remained on the surface of marble statues, but a flood of recent exhibitions has set out to put their color back.
Listen to Helen of Troy, in the Euripides play that bears her name:
My life and fortunes are a monstrosity,
Partly because of Hera, partly because of my beauty.
If only I could shed my beauty and assume an uglier aspect
The way you would wipe color off a statue.
It is a wonder how it took us as long as it did to realize the colorful truth behind some of Man's oldest artistic relics. [previously] [via]
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:49 PM PST - 41 comments


Hercule: Sunday Morning Fever + Little Green Man. "One of the most valuable and rare Italo Disco 7" of all time gets a timely reissue on DJ friendly 12" vinyl. what you have here is a remastered, cleaned up version of this quirky funk disco nugget that sounds as dope today as when it was released back in 1978." Produced by Jean-Pierre Massiera.
posted by puny human at 6:39 PM PST - 13 comments

If you want Yours, take a short piece of Lead Pipe and go out and Collect.

Although Fables in Slang were written in 1899, they describe people who are clearly recognizable today. Partly because of his style, though, George Ade (1866-1944) is forgotten as H.L. Mencken predicted he would be. From 1890 to around the close of WWI, Ade was widely known within the US as a humorist and playwright. [more inside]
posted by jet_silver at 5:48 PM PST - 6 comments

Homeboy got a mind that a map couldn't find

The Rap Map is a mashup of notable places and geographical lyrics in rap and hip-hop. It's brought to you by Rap Genius, a site that explains rap lyrics like "I'm getting jacked, I'm breaking myself" (Warren is getting “jacked” (robbed) and “breaking himself” (generally befuddled)) and "One day you're cruising in your 7, next day you're sweating, forgetting your lies" (Street life can be tough — one day you’re riding high in your BMW 7 Series luxury car, the next day you’re arrested and cracking under pressure. The rest of this verse is a classic warning that the hustling lifestyle is not for everybody)
posted by desjardins at 5:36 PM PST - 43 comments

Hang 'em all!

In what seems to be a growing trend, Australian voters have spoken a resounding "meh". Rejecting both major parties, the most likely result of yesterday's election is a hung parliament.
posted by coriolisdave at 4:44 PM PST - 186 comments

Everybody and Hobbes

A Star Wars/Calvin & Hobbes mashup t-shirt has gotten a lot of buzz, but the 'relentlessly cheerful' James Hance did it first (and it went semi-viral just a few days earlier). But Calvin and Hobbes have gotten 'mashed-up' before... a lot.
« Cthulhu and Hobbes.
« Batmin and Robbes.
« Fight Club (spoiler) illustrated and in text (previously).
« The controversial (for here) Calvin and Jobs.
« Calvin Rockwell
« Kraven the Hunter from Ryan Dunleavy's mashup collection (previously).
« Buddy Cops (incorrectly labeled as P.I.s).
« Semi-related: C&H meet Christopher Robin & Pooh, Hobbes Meets Tony and Role Reversal.
« And, of course, Calvin and Hobbes. [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:24 PM PST - 26 comments

The Most Isolated Man on the Planet

The Most Isolated Man on the Planet.
posted by homunculus at 2:40 PM PST - 68 comments

The Church of Fear of the Stranger in Me

Christoph Schlingensief is dead. [more inside]
posted by Glow Bucket at 2:21 PM PST - 4 comments

Little North Korean girl playing guitar.

Little North Korean girl playing guitar. North Korean children playing guitar.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:33 PM PST - 34 comments

Set the kids free!

Do we worry too much? Lenore Skenazy, who let her 9-year old ride the subway on his own and wrote about it, says yes. A lot of people were very unhappy about it. Now she finds herself at the head of a movement, complete with its own manual, to let kids be more self-reliant. [more inside]
posted by TNLNYC at 12:15 PM PST - 124 comments

The American Great Plains rival the Serengeti

The American Great Plains rival the Serengeti, according to National Geographic, but unlike in apparently more progressive Africa, the USA never protected the plains on a large scale. Now private interests under the The American Prairie Foundation are buying up land in Montana hoping to create a multi-million acre preserve that would be the largest privately funded conservation land venture on the planet, bigger than Yellowstone National Park, that one day may see the return of great migrating herds of bison, pronghorn antelope, deer and elk. Not all Montana ranchers are happy with the new Serengeti neighbor.
posted by stbalbach at 12:14 PM PST - 33 comments

The Tragic Death of Practically Everything

The Tragic Death of Practically Everything -- a sad litany of technological defeatism and FUD.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:49 AM PST - 31 comments

I wish I could tell you about the South Pacific...

Tomorrow after 37 previews and 1000 performances, Broadway will bid farewell to the critically-lauded, award-winning, first-ever revival of the classic Rodgers & Hammerstein musical South Pacific. [more inside]
posted by cvp at 8:05 AM PST - 17 comments

The Small Person Acquisition Project

j and Bear have a baby. The Small Person Acquisition ProjectMP3.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:58 AM PST - 19 comments

Hulk Smash!

Macho Salad. [SLYT]
posted by Fizz at 6:31 AM PST - 33 comments

Dirty tricks, but by whom?

Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, is wanted by the Swedish police, for a rape charge, according to the BBC. WikiLeaks has, of course, been highly controversial, since it published 91,000 documents on the war in Afghanistan. [more inside]
posted by ijsbrand at 4:52 AM PST - 520 comments

August 20

The Fate of the Universe

Fate of Universe revealed by galactic lens [spoiler alert] [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese at 10:16 PM PST - 43 comments

Rock the Bells

The Rub have completed their Hip Hop History series, creating a mix for every year between 1979 and 2009. Most mixes are average two hours in length. For some golden age hip hop, try a mix from 1987, 1994 or 1996.
posted by mattgeeknz at 10:03 PM PST - 38 comments

Why yes, the wording & paperwork matter. A lot.

Over 62 million mortgages are now held in the name of MERS, an electronic recording system devised by and for the convenience of the mortgage industry. A California bankruptcy court, following landmark cases in other jurisdictions, recently held that this electronic shortcut makes it impossible for banks to establish their ownership of property titles--and therefore to foreclose on mortgaged properties. The logical result could be 62 million homes that are foreclosure-proof.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 9:46 PM PST - 54 comments

How does this make you feel?

"Earth From Above" is the result of the aerial photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand's five-year airborne odyssey across six continents.
posted by seagull.apollo at 9:32 PM PST - 19 comments

RIP, Mr. Horkheimer. We'll keep looking up!

Jack Horkheimer, host of "Star Gazer" (formerly known as "Star Hustler") has died. See this excellent post on Horkheimer's work.
posted by achmorrison at 6:20 PM PST - 106 comments

Friday Flash Fun on the slopes

Solipskier. Fri Flash Fun - Draw Snow, do tricks, ski fast don't crash and burn. Might want to mute the music.
posted by edgeways at 5:25 PM PST - 20 comments

I Guess He's an X-Box and I'm More Atari

Gnarls Barkley vocalist Cee-Lo Green has emerged as a music interview show host and a soloist with a distinctly funk style. His cover of Band of Horses' No One's Gonna Love You was featured on the Twilight soundtrack and his new single Georgia was featured in a recent episode of This American Life. His newest single is called Fuck You (lyrics NSFW, obviously).
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 4:32 PM PST - 83 comments

Gay Marriage: Not So Great?

Not all queer or LGBT people are for legalizing gay marriage. The Against Equality collective argues that legalizing marriage values one type of relationship over another (.pdf), doesn't do enough for queer people of colour, and plays into the larger class struggle. Beyond Marriage calls for "access to a flexible set of economic benefits and options regardless of sexual orientation, race, gender/gender identity, class, or citizenship status". Queer activists in Maine consider the marriage issue a "distraction from improving the lives of gay people", and Questioning Transphobia argues that "marriage by its very nature is an exclusive practice, its purpose is to ennoble some relationships and by default render other relationships to be less meaningful and less worthy of legal and social recognition". Mainstream queer women's website Autostraddle ponders all this and asks: does gay marriage make gays straight?
posted by divabat at 4:12 PM PST - 232 comments

Serving the Lifestyle

Friday food sites for your weekend feast. eatingRD — from a registered dietician · A Conscious Feast — features cooking for company · Steamy Kitchen — focusing on fast, fresh, and simple Asian · Veggie Belly — something for the vegetarians. If that isn't enough, try Project Foodie, a one-stop, independent recipe search site with over 100,000 recipes all in one place. All found because of this cute trailer for Baked Explorations.
posted by netbros at 3:05 PM PST - 4 comments

Facebook knows where you are.

Facebook Places is the latest creation of the Facebook team. Similar to Foursquare, it seeks to make it easier for people to share their location with their friends. Perhaps predictably, people are publicizing steps for how to disable it on your Facebook account. Over at Slate, writer Farhad Manjoo debates the impact Places might have on society. Ready, set, go!
posted by elder18 at 2:41 PM PST - 68 comments

Classrooms, Customized by Computer.

A Warm Hug from a Cold Algorithm: Ta-Nehisi Coates checks out an inner-city school where every student takes a diagnostic test daily, and then is assigned individual work and tutelage based on a computer's nightly re-assessment.
posted by darth_tedious at 1:52 PM PST - 29 comments

Spirit of the Game?

Ultimate Frisbee as a Business model? [PDF] - An interesting take on the latest corporate scandal - the Christian Science Monitor points out that Spirit Of The Game could/should apply to big business. It's long been part of the Tech Startup world (google Cache Only - sorry). [previous Ultimate Thread]
posted by Metheglen at 1:43 PM PST - 27 comments

I pay, you pay, we pay

How to be frugal and still be asked on dates Though saving and overall frugality are making a comeback in all areas of life, dating remains the one area where it is (probably) not acceptable to be cheap.
posted by The1andonly at 1:39 PM PST - 42 comments

Global Cities

Beyond City Limits: The age of nations is over. The new urban age has begun. "The 21st century will not be dominated by America or China, Brazil or India, but by the city. In an age that appears increasingly unmanageable, cities rather than states are becoming the islands of governance on which the future world order will be built. This new world is not -- and will not be -- one global village, so much as a network of different ones."
posted by homunculus at 1:10 PM PST - 31 comments

Stranger than a strange land

The online anthology of SciFi Strange.
posted by Artw at 12:08 PM PST - 17 comments

Beware the Electronic Automatic Sound-Spectrograph Computing Digit Translator Playback Recognizer Machine

Telephoneme: Even if your Alphabet Conspiracy succeeds and you destroy the books, machines have no minds of their own. They are easily confused by different voices and different accents. It is the brain of man that tells them what to do. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 11:14 AM PST - 10 comments

Does the Past Still Exist?

Is our present defined by decisions we make in the future? And maybe we don't know who killed JFK because the universe hasn't decided yet. A Huffington Post science blogger discusses the nature of history from a quantum perspective. To quote Stephen Hawking, "The histories of the universe depend on what is being measured, contrary to the usual idea that the universe has an objective observer-independent history." [more inside]
posted by GnomeChompsky at 10:35 AM PST - 91 comments

The Kid Who Sold Crack to the President

"This is crack cocaine," Bush solemnly announced, holding up a plastic bag filled with a white chunky substance in his Sept. 5 speech on drug policy. It was "seized a few days ago in a park across the street from the White House . . . . It could easily have been heroin or PCP." In 1989 the White House came up with the idea of having George H.W. Bush hold up a bag of crack on national television in order to illustrate how bad the US drug problem had gotten. They decided to have a drug buy set up in Lafayette Park, directly across the street from the White House, to obtain the props for his speech. They contacted a DEA agent who set up a drug buy with a Spingarn High School senior with no prior arrest record, but things didn't go as planned: [more inside]
posted by Challahtronix at 10:26 AM PST - 82 comments

LA Times publishing data on individual teacher performance

In coming months, The [Los Angeles] Times will publish a series of articles and a database analyzing individual teachers' effectiveness in the nation's second-largest school district — the first time, experts say, such information has been made public anywhere in the country. This article examines the performance of more than 6,000 third- through fifth-grade teachers for whom reliable data were available. [more inside]
posted by Anything at 9:59 AM PST - 53 comments

"Berlin is rather a part of the world than a city"

Postcards from Berlin is a call from a Berlin (Germany) design studio for virtual postcards from all of the places in the US named Berlin.
posted by mkb at 8:25 AM PST - 29 comments

in pursuit of mappiness

Mappiness is a free iPhone app that allows you to keep track of your happiness. It's also a research tool for London School of Economics scholars Susana Mourato and George MacKerron, who are using it to learn "how people's feelings are affected by features of their current environment—things like air pollution, noise, and green spaces." [more inside]
posted by By The Grace of God at 8:11 AM PST - 15 comments

Ketamine lifts depression, grows synapses, study says

More research into into the effects of ketamine on depression published today in the journal Science [abstract]. [more inside]
posted by yoHighness at 7:58 AM PST - 28 comments

P is for Privacy

MetaFilter users are
    55% male
    68% 18-49
    83% Caucasian
    54% >$60k/yr

How do I know? Perhaps a little zombie told me.
posted by DU at 7:48 AM PST - 91 comments

Tambal byuyun, no es fácil!

Linguistics Challenge Puzzles! (Difficulty ranging from green circles to double black diamonds...Friday fun for all!) [more inside]
posted by iamkimiam at 7:38 AM PST - 34 comments


A lot of old advertising, like the copy here, reads like literate AOL kids. They spell and capitalize and punctuate, but they're still hype machines stuck on exclamation marks and shouting and… boldface and underlines. Today, the fashion is for much shorter ad copy. If sound came along today, we'd come up with a catchphrase and call it a day. "Hear the difference." In 1929, if you didn’t have at least five catchphrases, some capitalized buzzwords, and several exclamation marks, you just weren't with it. [more inside]
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 7:38 AM PST - 6 comments

Steal this Gründerzeit!

"German authors during this period wrote ceaselessly. Around 14,000 new publications appeared in a single year in 1843. Measured against population numbers at the time, this reaches nearly today's level ... the majority of the works were academic papers. The situation in England was very different ... we see deplorable progress in Great Britain. Even more startling is the factor Höffner believes caused this development -- in his view, it was none other than copyright law, which was established early in Great Britain, in 1710, that crippled the world of knowledge in the United Kingdom." (Related, Hoffner's presentation)
posted by geoff. at 7:28 AM PST - 5 comments

We Are Running Out Of Helium and It's Worse Than You Think

Tyler Cowen wonders if there will be a helium crisis. Nobel Prize Winner Robert Richardson says Yes, because in 1996 Congress passed an act requiring that this strategic reserve, which represents half the Earth's helium stocks, be sold off by 2015. As a result, helium is far too cheap and is not treated as a precious resource. The problem has been around for years. Most helium is NOT used for balloons but rather in industry, and in the US most helium comes from a few natural gas fields in the mountain states.Only 15 commercial plants worldwide have the ability to separate helium from other gases and to purify it. [Previously, see also LHC Accident]
posted by Blake at 5:33 AM PST - 44 comments

Yes, I like eating junebugs/ No, I'm note very tall

brentalfloss is a comedian, musician, and gamer. He first gained notoriety when he added lyrics to the title theme from Mega Man 3 and created the "With Lyrics" series on his Youtube channel, though his most recent hit is Dr. Mario With Lyrics. [more inside]
posted by ShawnStruck at 12:44 AM PST - 16 comments

Celebrating the Over-celebrated

It's Pelé Week on The Run of Play. Following some public spats between Maradona and Pelé (previously) at the recently concluded World Cup, Brian Phillips of The Run of Play (previously featured) observed that "it's bizarrely hard to care about [Pelé]", despite his unquestioned legendariness and unimpeachable skill with a football. But why? He and other writers attempt to address that question. [more inside]
posted by WalterMitty at 12:19 AM PST - 9 comments

August 19

Ligers and Tigons

Liger cubs attack a zookeeper while an uncle and nephew have a conversation. Liger Channel has a number of videos, so does Big Cat Rescue's ligers, tigers and lions section. For answers to the basic liger and tigon questions, Timothy J. Fuller has got you covered. I leave you with these tigon cubs: 1 and 2.
posted by Kattullus at 11:49 PM PST - 39 comments

Crazy About the All Blacks and Airline Safety

Air New Zealand's new on-board safety video has been released and this time it features the All Blacks. (YouTube) Following on from its last innovative safety video (previously), Air New Zealand has produced another quirky safety video, this time featuring the national rugby team, the All Blacks. And the soundtrack features the iconic hit, "Why Does Love Do This To Me?" (YouTube) by the The Exponents. Pure kiwiness.
posted by vac2003 at 11:36 PM PST - 26 comments

Las Vegas architectural drawings

Las Vegas as it almost was, as it was going to be, as it never will be, and as it still might.
posted by Joe Beese at 10:08 PM PST - 40 comments

Turtles All The Way Down

"The idea behind this game was to push how large of a single Movieclip I could make each level, and in the process pay tribute to my absolute favourite game on the PS2, Shadow of the Colossus."
posted by griphus at 9:50 PM PST - 21 comments

Rock Band, now with more actual rock

Rock Band 3 features something new called "Pro Mode." What makes it Pro? Well, first of all, instead of the little colored flashers, the guitar and bass lines will stream down in tablature. Second, the guitar tracks in the game can also be played on the new Fender Squier Stratocaster (embedded video contains a couple of swear words), which is an actual guitar with Rock Band controller functionality.
posted by KathrynT at 9:29 PM PST - 80 comments

Krull Weddings.

It's a nice day for a KRULL WEDDING. Back in 1983, a dozen lucky couples were married as a promotion for the 1983 scifi swashbuckler Krull. This is weird enough, but what's even more baffling is that Columbia Pictures scheduled this wedding before Krull even came out.
posted by Strawman at 9:08 PM PST - 84 comments

How big is it really?

The BBC's Dimensions site lets you view a range of phenomena overlaid on different parts of the Earth. What if the moon was sitting on Alice Springs? What do the Pakistan floods look like if placed on England? What would the walls of Beijing look like around London? Much more to explore.
posted by Jimbob at 5:09 PM PST - 11 comments

The Official Simon's Cat Website.

Now get all your Simon's Cat needs fulfilled in one handy website. There's a new film (yay!) that would make Maru weep with envy, plus various downloads, as well as the inevitable online store and book. There's even an app for that cat. Sadly, I haven't been able to find a simple audio file of the PRRRRP! of accomplishment.
posted by maudlin at 5:04 PM PST - 31 comments

Did what's-his-name get at you yesterday?

"Ever since the time of dinosaurs, man has told jokes. Humor has been evolving for literally millions of years. And many historians now believe that the current era may very well be the funniest time in the history of history. We’ve moved from an era of knock-knock jokes to a more sophisticated and mature form of comedy that represents the culmination of man’s struggle to evolve: The Deez Nuts Joke." [more inside]
posted by dhammond at 4:08 PM PST - 83 comments

Who isn’t familiar with that wonderful yellow frame?

The Timeless Beauty of National Geographic (and it's not about the photographs!)
posted by desjardins at 4:05 PM PST - 25 comments

Don't open the elevator

Is the Trailer for 'The Shining' the Actual Film? [more inside]
posted by philip-random at 3:27 PM PST - 132 comments

All Get Out

Immigration crackdown creates insecure communities. The Makers of DeportationNation have a new report out calling into question the idea behind Secure Communities. Meanwhile, more immigrants are deported under Obama than Bush.
posted by history is a weapon at 3:26 PM PST - 19 comments

Smithsonian to exhibit videogames as art. Jason Scott Completes GET LAMP. Can this day be any better?

The Art of Videogames, a Smithsonian American Art Museum exhibit set to open in March 2012, has been featured on CNN today. But you don't have to wait until 2012 to get your fix of gaming history. CNN has let the cat out of the scanner: our very own Jason Scott (jscott) has finished GET LAMP. It's now shipping! [more inside]
posted by honest knave at 3:08 PM PST - 16 comments

The Tornado History Project

The Tornado History Project: Google Maps meets historical data Tornado data turned into Google Maps that you can slice and dice any way you want: By State, by Date range, by Fujita number. Even records the path of long-track tornadoes. Hours of fun for weather weenies (like me!) and those interested in investigating trends over time. [more inside]
posted by spock at 2:46 PM PST - 14 comments

Record Collection 4 Sale

88-year old selling 400k record collection [more inside]
posted by msconduct at 2:44 PM PST - 39 comments

It's the sassiest camera money can buy.

A comparison between my two new cameras: The $1,800 Canon 7D versus the brand new $50 Barbie Video Girl... available in the girlie aisle of your local Toys R Us. [more inside]
posted by heyho at 2:42 PM PST - 33 comments

The Light. The Dark. The Crystite.

Archon and M.U.L.E. Two of the best 8-bit games ever made, in the elder days when Electronic Arts was the best gaming company around. Play them again in modern re-creations.
posted by bitmage at 2:02 PM PST - 33 comments

KFC's Skinwich Is Only A Tasty Illusion

Yesterday, reports leaked out that KFC was releasing a new sandwich, consisting of 5 layers of fried chicken skin between two (bread) buns. Sadly, it was later revealed to be a hoax. Undaunted, some people at the Chicago Tribune went ahead and made the sandwich anyway.
posted by reenum at 2:02 PM PST - 92 comments

"Impossible is a word only to be found in the dictionary of fools."

Climate change and the vuvuzela leave mark on Oxford Dictionary of English. Other words and phrases introduced for the latest edition include 'toxic debt', 'staycation', 'cheesebal' and 'national treasure'. To balance them out among the 2,000 or so new items there are a few more left-field choices. Among them are 'cheeseball', which refers to someone or something lacking taste, style or originality, and the more disturbing phenomenon of 'hikikomori', the Japanese word for the acute social withdrawal that occurs in some teenage boys.
posted by Fizz at 1:47 PM PST - 18 comments

"Does it count number of smashed watermelons?"

Can a stand-up comedian's performance be objectively evaluated and ranked? In the recent documentary I Am Comic [imdb | clips], Steve Roye demonstrates his product, the Comedy Evaluator Pro. A "Positive Audience Response" (PAR) score is the percentage of PAR during the time the comedian is on the stage (not taking into account other factors such as venue size, etc.). Of course, this method stirs controversy about the art vs. science of stand-up. Ritch Shydner, the protagonist of I Am Comic, thinks that booking agents shouldn't rely on PAR scores to choose who gets to be on stage, while the director of I Am Comic, Jordan Brady, disagrees, seeing PAR as a way to elevate the quality of stand-up. So, drum roll, please: Who is the world's funniest comedian? According to PAR score, it's J.R. Redwater, during this bit at the Pow Wow Comedy Jam. [agree | disagree]
posted by not_on_display at 1:38 PM PST - 112 comments

Seaman Ship! Seaman Ship!

Japanese navy recruitment vs. American navy recruitment. American military advert vs. a Swedish one. Just for fun, a Ukrainian military ad. All links from this Reddit thread.
posted by Rory Marinich at 12:56 PM PST - 35 comments

After Stanley Kubrick....

Christiane Kubrick is interviewed by Jon Ronson on the sad events of her life since her husbands death in 1999... After a triumplant screening of Paths of Glory in central London's Somerset House Christiane Kubrick speaks to Jon Ronson, the producer of the revelatory 'Stanley Kubrick's Boxes' documentary. Various Kubrick resources can be found on the web but one of the oldest, academicly themed resources can be found here. Previously on the blue here and here. If you are in or visiting London then the fantastic University Of The Arts archive is amazing. These developments make me sad but let's look forward.
posted by Mintyblonde at 12:46 PM PST - 16 comments

The reanimated zombie gene

Noncoding "junk" DNA is a signature part of the genomes of eukaryotes. Scientists have now identified a case of such DNA causing a genetic disease (Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy) in certain genetic backgrounds by stabilizing the messenger RNA of a gene.
posted by jjray at 12:42 PM PST - 19 comments

Generation Ech

The Gray And The Brown - why the baby boom generation's concerns about race may mean that it's stabbing itself in the back as it moves into retirement.
posted by Artw at 12:04 PM PST - 66 comments

Ascending Sound

What different sorting algorithms sound like. "[...] audibilization is just one of many ways to generate sound from running sorting algorithms. Here on every comparison of two numbers (elements) I play (mixing) sin waves with frequencies modulated by values of these numbers." Two older [previously] attempts (with code).
posted by spiderskull at 11:28 AM PST - 24 comments

And now, let's go see what the Stig is up to...

Perhaps following the original Stig, the current masked driver on Top Gear announced they would write an autobiography. Un/fortunately the secrecy clause of his contract has been brought up, and the lawyers rear their heads. There is talk-talk of 'human rights' issues. British radio talk shows seem to be amused (no links fellows, alas)
posted by LD Feral at 11:27 AM PST - 26 comments

rage YT playlists: for Australians (and other folks) who don't hate music

rage is a weekend-only night-time music video show on Australia's ABC1 that started back in 1987. The presentation was minimal, with an intro, hours of music videos, and then the outro, no adverts, and a few variations from this no-frills format. The format remains largely unchanged to date, and you can check the archive of playlists (back to 1998) and see a mix of local talent and international hits, but one thing was missing: the videos. Enter the rage YouTube playlist generator. [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 11:02 AM PST - 26 comments

Do you remember the time?

There comes a time in every child's life when they must dance to 'Thriller' at a roller rink dance party
posted by jtron at 10:49 AM PST - 10 comments

Futurama, baby

Goodwill: Monetary policy for the 21st century
Here's my proposal. We should try to arrange things so that the marginal unit of CPI is purchased with "helicopter drop" money. That is, rather than trying to fine-tune wages, asset prices, or credit, central banks should be in the business of fine tuning a rate of transfers from the bank to the public. [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 9:56 AM PST - 20 comments

Game theory and hangman.

'Jazz' is the best word to use in hangman.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:26 AM PST - 95 comments

"She can't be all bad. No one is." "Well, she comes the closest."

Over the course of four months earlier this year, Dave at Goodfella's Movie Blog posted 100 (!) sharply written analyses of a wide range of classic Noir films. The top position was a bit of a surprise amid the obvious standards, but the real meat is in his informative takes on dozens of lesser-known gems. [more inside]
posted by mediareport at 5:43 AM PST - 62 comments

Picard's third ear

Space Settlements collects various resources relating to the human colonisation of space: online books (including NASA studies from 1975, 1977 and 1992), a contest for schoolkids (so NASA can steal their ideas, natch), but most importantly, kitschy 70s pictures of proposed space colonies (toroidal, spherical, OR cylindrical!).
posted by Dim Siawns at 4:57 AM PST - 17 comments

Tastes like convenience

Although Americans' appetite for local, grass-fed beef is growing, regional livestock farmers face a nagging problem: a shortage of slaughterhouses. Now some of them are turning to mobile operations to butcher their animals on their own farms. Mobile slaughter units feed the local food movement
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:40 AM PST - 62 comments

Expat parent

Reflections on expat parenting in China
posted by bardophile at 3:08 AM PST - 23 comments

Mutant Viral Video

Yeasayer's first album was so deeply 'World Musicky' you'd be forgiven if you thought they were from Kathmandu or Uzbekistan rather than Brooklyn. Their second album is somewhat more accessible, but their videos...well, "Ambling Alp" is full of people without clothes (semi-blurred NSFWness!) or without faces or made of clay or liquid metal, and "O.N.E." is a visit to a sci-fi rave and a game of tetra-dimensional-backgammon with a CGI morphing dude. But their newest, "Madder Red" features Veronica Mars' Kristen Bell and her pet... uh... welll... WTF IS THAT THING?!?
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:52 AM PST - 27 comments

Operation Iraqi Freedom Has Ended

The last combat troops have left Iraq. Civilian contractors are expected to continue the effort.
posted by mccarty.tim at 2:18 AM PST - 162 comments


The Story of Hanny So Far [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:10 AM PST - 12 comments

A half-hour in 1990

On August 28th 1990, between 3:15 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. a devastating tornado ripped a 16.4 mile-long path through portions of Kendall and Will counties in northern Illinois. At its strongest, the tornado was rated F5, the highest rating a tornado can be given. A total of 29 people were killed and 350 more were injured. [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor at 1:40 AM PST - 22 comments

Well-Scrubbed Marauders

Health, Grooming, and Medicine in the Viking Age. "John of Wallingford, the abbot of St. Albans Abbey wrote in his chronicles that the Norse invaders in England were far more attractive to Anglo-Saxon women since, unlike Anglo-Saxon men, they combed their hair daily, took baths weekly, and laundered their clothing regularly."
posted by rodgerd at 12:28 AM PST - 48 comments

August 18

He has compelled her to submit to laws, in the formation of which she had no voice.

For 133 years, over half its citizens remained disenfranchised, merely because of an accident of their birth. The Supreme Court ruled that the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause did not grant them rights. But ninety years ago yesterday -- within living memory --, a minority majority finally gained its rights.
posted by orthogonality at 11:48 PM PST - 51 comments

Vintage Racing Bicycles.

Le blog de VelosVintage is a gorgeous French blog chock full of detailed photographs and history of beautiful vintage racing bicycles from older to newer.
posted by loquacious at 11:30 PM PST - 10 comments

The Google Graveyard

Let's take a walk through the Google graveyard.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:58 PM PST - 45 comments

Couldya put more sprinkles on that?

Japanese Ice Cream Robot (Warning: opera music in videos done circus style.)
posted by LeLiLo at 9:47 PM PST - 9 comments

How to keep from being sued

How to avoid visiting any Stephens Group publications even by accident, if you use FireFox. The Stephens Group (AKA Righthaven) has been suing bloggers who link to and quote any of their publications' web sites. (Such as.) So now there's a FireFox plugin you can use to make sure you don't visit any of them. Use it in good health.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:54 PM PST - 31 comments

everyone's a critic

After nearly a decade in dark blue, the entertainment review aggregator site launched its first major redesign last week, abandoning its old data- and list-heavy format for graphics, features and a more professional white background. The site invited users to comment on the changes on its blog, where they are being almost universally panned. [more inside]
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 7:56 PM PST - 65 comments

Swim the warm waters of sins of the flesh

This is CTRL+W33D it is a gay weirdness tumblr blog. It is NSFW.
posted by The Whelk at 7:34 PM PST - 39 comments

whiskey biofuel

Scottish researchers have developed what they call a “super” biofuel using by-products of whiskey production. Given the enormity of Scotland’s £4 billion ($6 billion) whiskey industry, scientists say there is the potential for whiskey biofuel to emerge as a significant source of fuel for cars and even airplanes.
posted by stbalbach at 6:36 PM PST - 39 comments

A Soviet Space Odyssey

Road to the Stars (Doroga k Zvezdam, 1958) was a remarkable Soviet documentary about the future of space exploration, directed by the "Godfather of Star Wars" and still admired for its impressive miniature effects. Watch the entire film.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot at 5:30 PM PST - 7 comments

Marcel is a friendly young shell with pink sneakers

Marcel is a friendly young shell with pink sneakers A very cute stop-motion short by filmmaker Dean Fleischer-Camp. Via The Daily
posted by Morrigan at 5:14 PM PST - 8 comments

it was a musical thing.

the unsettling truth about life (slyt), via trey parker and matt stone
posted by Avenger50 at 4:58 PM PST - 33 comments

Nobody Ever Pays Me In Gum

Today, Mexico announced new, tighter tariffs on American goods, including restrictions on U.S. chewing gum. Some say it's because of Teamsters, but the hatred of American chewing gum may harken back to a 19th century military coup. Exiled after numerous attempts to rule Mexico as a military dictator, General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna (yes, that General Santa Anna) spent part of his time in exile in -- of all places -- Staten Island. Santa Anna planned to fund his new army with a secret asset: he intended to sell chicle to the Americans. Although the General thought it had more uses, inventor Thomas Adams found the stuff fun to chew on. A few years later, Adams flavored his gum, inventing Black Jack Gum, the oldest continually-made chewing gum in the United States. Sadly, due to recent tariffs, General Santa Anna's army-building Black Jack chewing gum will now cost 20% more to export to Mexico.
posted by AzraelBrown at 4:53 PM PST - 15 comments

Joseph Gordon-Levitt covers "(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman"

Joseph Gordon-Levitt covers an iconic song that does not belong to him. [via Katie West's NSFW tumblr]
posted by cgc373 at 4:02 PM PST - 65 comments

A Collection a Day, 2010

"This is a blog documenting a project that will span exactly one year, from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2010. On each of those 365 days, I will photograph or draw (and occasionally paint) one collection. Most of the collections are real and exist in my home or studio; those I will photograph. Some are imagined; those I will draw or (occasionally) paint."
posted by gman at 3:33 PM PST - 11 comments

"Israel is our only hope as the post-American president is aiding and abetting a nuclear Iran. Barack Obama is enabling Iran’s Islamic bomb" - Pamela Geller

As the "ground zero mosque" story approaches bipartisan consensus, thanks to unexpected statements by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (joining a growing opposition), several journalists trace the origins of how the Park 51 community center became(warning: CNN) a toxic subject. What they found was Pamela Geller, a blogger at Atlas Shrugs, who has some very interesting vlogs. You may previously know her from this cozy 2006 interview with Bush's infamous anti-UN UN ambassador John Bolton.
posted by mek at 2:27 PM PST - 413 comments

What Is It About 20-Somethings?

Twenty-somethings today don't quite fit the definition of adolescence or adulthood. This has thrown the human development gurus for a loop. [more inside]
posted by reenum at 1:51 PM PST - 132 comments

2010 Miss Universe national costumes

2010 Miss Universe national costumes. "Because there is nothing more cracktastic than the national costumes portion of the Miss Universe Pageant. It makes competitive figure skating costumes look understated and minimalist."
posted by arielmeadow at 1:46 PM PST - 99 comments

nom nom nom OH MY GOD

You know what's great about Hawaii? Its isolation can produce interesting forms of life, such as Eupethecia staurophragma i.e. carnivorous caterpillars! Don't believe it? Watch the video or view the photos (via boingboing).

Aww, are you giant carnivorous centipede lovers feeling neglected? No, problem Mefi has covered that.
posted by nomadicink at 1:35 PM PST - 21 comments

JPEG slideshows of the print editions of magazines are the future!

The Web is dead. Or maybe it isn't.
posted by Artw at 11:59 AM PST - 73 comments


"You know that moment when you are at your favourite restaurant and you bite into a juicy steak? Well, we create those steaks by sharing the wine with the cattle." So says the mission statement for Sezmu Meats. You've probably heard of Kobe beef which according to popular belief is fed one beer per day, massaged with sake daily, brushed to set their fur, and fed on grain fodder. "The cattle at Semu Meats are raised in the beautiful Okanagan Valley located in British Columbia, Canada. They enjoy a diet of grass until they reach a desirable size at which point their diet matures. Then they are fed a proprietary blend of grains with a cow sized glass of red BC wine every day until production. A cow sized glass is well over a bottle of wine! Then the beef is dry aged for 21 days to achieve maximum flavour." Check out their blog: Okanagan Daily Special to view some pictures that compare beef fed without wine and those with.
posted by Fizz at 11:50 AM PST - 46 comments

I am the man who arranges the blocks

A Complete History of the Soviet Union through the eyes of a humble worker, arranged to the melody of Tetris by Pig With The Face Of A Boy. (previously)
posted by HumanComplex at 11:33 AM PST - 12 comments

Urban Horsemen: Philadelphia

Once as a youngin, I got mad lost trying to drive home in Philadelphia and thought I saw a horse looking at me from a knocked out window of what appeared to be an abandoned warehouse. I wasn't hallucinating. [more inside]
posted by WeekendJen at 11:17 AM PST - 29 comments

The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!

'In 1951, there wasn't a more passionate rivalry in sports than the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants. Giants fans hated Dodger fans. Dodger fans hated Giants fans. Fathers passed it on to sons. In August, the Giants were thirteen and a half games out of first place. That's insurmountable. Your season's over. But mnh-mnh. Giants come back from thirteen and a half games, fall into a first-place tie with, guess who -- the Brooklyn Dodgers. Now, they play a playoff game to see who gets to go to the World Series and the Dodgers have it won, right? Until a guy named Bobby Thomson hit what they called "the shot heard 'round the world."' -- Sports Night. Bobby Thomson, who hit the possibly the most famous home run in baseball history, has died at age 86. [more inside]
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:24 AM PST - 43 comments

"One thing just happens after another."

Tao Lin will have the scallops.
posted by TheWash at 10:19 AM PST - 40 comments

The Disappearance of John Lurie

"For friends and fans of John Lurie, there’s a disturbing article in the current issue of The New Yorker. The title of the piece is Sleeping With Weapons (sadly, abstract only for non-subscribers) and it's a strange and sad tale. John has been in hiding for the past 18 months to avoid a former friend who is supposedly stalking him. In addition, he has a mysterious illness that kept him a virtual prisoner in his apartment for six years." [more inside]
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 10:02 AM PST - 60 comments

Type specimen printed in author’s blood

Fraktur mon amour: Ruud Linssen’s Book of War, Mortification and Love is a collection of “essays on voluntary suffering” that works as a specimen of the Fakir blackletter typeface issued by merry pranksters Underware. Bored already? Well, try this on for size: It’s “printed in the author’s blood.”
posted by joeclark at 9:59 AM PST - 10 comments

Quick, get that man an "I'm Somebody's Fetish" t-shirt

As weird themed tumblrs go, this one is a weird, themed tumblr. (Some images NSFW, all images Not Safe for Your Sanity)
posted by jacquilynne at 9:37 AM PST - 40 comments

"Calling the job market 'rather bad' was akin to calling Katrina 'a bad storm'"

One psychology professor, looking at the oversupply of PhDs for a very limited number of academic jobs, thinks that programs should simply stop admitting PhD students, and has decided not to add any others to her own lab.
posted by grouse at 8:09 AM PST - 118 comments

A Separate Reality

The surreal art of Alex Andreyev. The Invincible - Eden - Metronomicon - Kin-Dza-Dza [more inside]
posted by BeerFilter at 7:26 AM PST - 8 comments

Jelly Belly

Did you ever wonder how they come up with new Jelly Belly™ flavors? Me neither, but this article's actually kind of interesting. Did you know that Blueberry was invented for the 1981 Presidential Inauguration? Some people review the flavors (even the awful ones). Of course, you can mix the flavors (previously) - but some people take it so much further than others. And the inventor's story has been made into a film! [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:42 AM PST - 35 comments

Alalalalalalalala ACTION!!!

Who Killed Captain Alex - Uganda first action movie (Possible NSFW if offended by the most unrealistic cgi blood in the history of cinema)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:17 AM PST - 26 comments

Japanese B Movie Master

After making his 1967 gangster film Branded to Kill, director Seijun Suzuki was fired from the Nikattsu studio and didn't find work again for ten years. He sued for wrongful termination, but was still blacklisted. Still, he has managed to amass an impressive body of work. [more inside]
posted by dortmunder at 4:00 AM PST - 12 comments

Reading Racism Right to Left: Tim Wise on Race and Politics

In a series of two essays, author Tim Wise (previously) discusses similarities and differences between how the American political right and left manifest racism. [more inside]
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 1:24 AM PST - 58 comments

Kurzweil vs. Myers

Ray Kurzweil: Reverse-Engineering of Human Brain Likely by 2030. PZ Myers: Ray Kurzweil does not understand the brain.
posted by homunculus at 1:11 AM PST - 195 comments

August 17

A simple, minimalist approach to getting things done.

This will be helpful if crossing out to-do lists and calendars work for you when you want to get organized... [more inside]
posted by fantodstic at 11:56 PM PST - 14 comments

A Series of Questions

A Series of Questions is an ongoing photo project that "explores the power dynamics inherent in the questions asked of transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, gender non-conforming, and gender-variant people."
posted by lullaby at 10:51 PM PST - 36 comments

Lost Boys return home to build schools

Valentino Achak Deng was a young Dinka boy in southern Sudan in the 1980s when his village was destroyed by government militia. He became one of the over 25,000 refugee children collectively known as the "Lost Boys of Sudan." Valentino spent nine years living in refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya before emigrating to the US in 2001. In 2003, he met American writer Dave Eggers, and the two collaborated on the fictionalized "What Is the What: The Autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng." The two always intended for the proceeds from the book to support Valentino's hometown of Marial Bai in Sudan. They created the Valentino Achak Deng Foundation as a vehicle for this. In May 2009, the Foundation opened the Marial Bai Secondary School, the only "fully functioning secondary school in the entire region." The school is free and admissions policies favor orphans. However, many families wouldn't let their daughters attend, so Valentino built a girls' dormitory, and now 100 girls are able to live on-campus and focus on school full-time. The school has 260 students total. [more inside]
posted by bluedaisy at 10:33 PM PST - 12 comments

jetBlue Unlimited Flights for 30 days $499

jetBlue Unlimited Flights for 30 days $499 (or $699) [more inside]
posted by MrBCID at 10:22 PM PST - 58 comments

Star Trek Panel + DJ Mixing Board

Töken Experience It's only a prototype, but I think the video more than makes up for it. Via
posted by fizzzzzzzzzzzy at 10:19 PM PST - 12 comments

Rush Limbaugh on TV in 1990

Rush Limbaugh with an audience. [SLYT]
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:43 PM PST - 59 comments

Your data on the ocean floor.

Greg's Cable Map: the world's undersea data-cable architecture.
posted by jjray at 9:43 PM PST - 21 comments

Hey Boo-Boo!

Bears guarded B.C. grow-op: RCMP
posted by joannemerriam at 7:43 PM PST - 55 comments

Seen around the world?

2010 yo-yo chamion. (SLYT)
posted by twirlypen at 7:22 PM PST - 28 comments

Don't Get Me Started!

Blago walks, mostly. Short and sweet: Jury was hung on 23 counts, convicted him on 1. That count was "lying to federal investigators" when he told them that he didn't care about nor was involved with fundraising. Max jailtime for this one is 5 years. They were, reportedly, 11-1 on all others. [more inside]
posted by gjc at 6:52 PM PST - 57 comments

"Our gays are more macho than their straights!"

In an unusual about-face for such a public Conservative personality, Ann Coulter (the "Right-Wing Judy Garland") will be headlining an upcoming gathering of Gay Conservatives called HOMOCON 2010. Reaction on all sides of the aisle is mixed, to put it charitably. [more inside]
posted by Azazel Fel at 6:44 PM PST - 94 comments

A Kindle, iPad and printed book are magnified 400x

A Kindle, iPad and printed book are magnified 400x.
posted by stbalbach at 6:17 PM PST - 53 comments

Not any more it's not.

This document is confidential.
posted by scalefree at 5:32 PM PST - 53 comments

All these worlds are yours except... etc.

The Ice Fracture Explorer is Joseph Shoer's concept for an unmanned expedition into the oceans of Europa. [via]
posted by brundlefly at 5:08 PM PST - 19 comments

X-Japan embarks on first ever American tour

X-Japan, arguably Japan's most famous rock band ever, is touring America for the very first time. The founders of the musical movement known as Visual Kai, X-Japan are virtually unknown outside of the kotaku and metalheads with a penchant for the dramatic. But their distinctly Japanese fashion and dramatic, theatrical speed metal music proved to make them enormously popular in Japan during their hayday. Former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi even is an admitted fan of the band. Over the course of 6 studio albums the band presented everything from raw speed metal to 30 plus minute epics. And now, for the first time ever, be touring North America after a featured spot on Lollapalooza's main stage this summer.
posted by mediocre at 4:35 PM PST - 40 comments

Twinkie Time

The Twinkie is made up of 37 or so ingredients and this is what they look like. (previously) [more inside]
posted by gman at 3:22 PM PST - 63 comments

We Pledge Allegiance to King Ludd

Is It Okay to Be a Luddite? Thomas Pynchon wants to know. In an essay from 1984, Pynchon responds to the 25th Anniversary of C.P. Snow's "The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution." [more inside]
posted by outlandishmarxist at 3:20 PM PST - 38 comments

"All we have to do is get up Dixie Mountain and we’ll be ok.”

"This is the best day of my life. I want a cold beer and a shotgun. I’m definitely losing my mind." The third annual NW Rapha Gentleman’s (Bicycle) Race took place this past weekend. Featuring a punishing route that follows the northern base of Oregon's Mt. Hood from Forest Grove to Portland, six-person teams traverse 125 miles over a 6400 foot elevation gain. It's 20% dirt and many miles of gravel climbs. Route Map. Another Recap. Photos. Background. A Saturday in Hell. (Via mathowie)
posted by zarq at 1:32 PM PST - 19 comments

Sans Soleil

Sans Soleil is a pseudo-documentary meditation on memory by Chris Marker (of La Jetée fame)
posted by juv3nal at 12:42 PM PST - 14 comments

Hey, Atheists!

Don't be a dick, you're speaking with God's voice!
posted by jtron at 12:32 PM PST - 156 comments

The flash fiction of Warren Ellis

Gifts from The King of the Internet. Observe, Falconer; the great consulting detective and pervert. His early years as a male prostitute had quite ruined his spine, although they'd also gifted him with his sharp senses and preternaturally strong tongue. Consider also, Cathcart Zen; chemical atrocity and monument to manhood. [more inside]
posted by Lorc at 12:11 PM PST - 13 comments

The Cult of Less

When all your information is digital, meals are takeout, and your daily wardrobe consists of a black turtleneck and jeans, what’s the point of having, well… stuff? Meet the ultra-minimalists, people who have decided to purge their possessions down to a hundred items or less.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 12:05 PM PST - 203 comments

Have Spacesuit, Will Travel

Robert A. Heinlein: The Blog Symposium - a series of blog posts commemorating the publication the first half of a new biography of Robert Heinlein. Interview with the Biographer.
posted by Artw at 11:53 AM PST - 23 comments

Learning Resources (things to make you look like you are working)

The first time I met ERIC, I fell in love. Maybe you will, too. The Education Resources Information Center is a project of the US Department of Education. Some of you may especially be interested in the wide variety of language learning materials, journal articles, and more, that go way beyond even the public domain Foreign Services Institute offerings, from Aymara for Spanish speakers (English, too) to Uzbek study for Peace Corps volunteers. There is also non-language stuff of all kinds like World Myths and Legends in Art and teaching (or learning) buckyballs. Best results when using advanced search for their full-text links only.
posted by whatzit at 11:46 AM PST - 11 comments

You have a drinking problem. We have data.

John Billes—whose extracurricular exploits as an undergraduate at UT Austin brought us iPhone-controlled dance floor lights, R/C cars, and yes, even full-size automobiles—has created the KegMatea keg-mounted, Arduino-controlled data-logging suite with an iPad-based user interface—in his spare time, while working at Yelp.
posted by defenestration at 9:46 AM PST - 8 comments

Fill your mouth you sonofabitch!

“That’s what the badge says.” Dear God, celebrity had already wreaked havoc on me. —A single-link Paris Review blog entry in which voice actor Colin Nissan tries to find himself in Red Dead Redemption.
posted by kipmanley at 9:25 AM PST - 48 comments

"What's wrong with that? I don't understand."

"I did not humiliate those detainees. I didn't hit them, I didn't act toward them unpleasantly. It's completely different than the American soldier some are trying to compare me to," she told Israel Radio. The IDF has condemned her behavior. Meanwhile, this is not the first time Facebook has caused an issue for the IDF.
posted by griphus at 9:23 AM PST - 45 comments

"I'm Still Here"

In October 2008 Grammy and Golden Globe award winner Joaquin Phoenix announced his retirement from acting in order to make his name in the world of hip-hop, with the help of Sean 'P-Diddy' Combs and brother-in-law Casey Affleck, who documented the effort on film. No word on whether footage from the very strange Letterman appearance is included (previously) although other, odder behavior does play a role. Now watch the teaser trailer for I’m Still Here: The Lost Year Of Joaquin Phoenix.
posted by waraw at 9:18 AM PST - 50 comments

The Machiavelli Myth

"Psychologists refer to this as the paradox of power. The very traits that helped leaders accumulate control in the first place all but disappear once they rise to power. Instead of being polite, honest and outgoing, they become impulsive, reckless and rude." Jonah Lehrer for The Wall Street Journal writes about recent findings on power, corruption, and authority and what can be done about it.
posted by The Whelk at 9:08 AM PST - 28 comments


The 25 Most Disturbing Films Ever. Starts at #25, but the full list with links can be found below the fold. Some pages NSFW. [more inside]
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 8:36 AM PST - 252 comments

Shostakovich Symphonies, oh, and also Bruckner

If you have some time that needs to be filled with music, you might want to listen to all the symphonies of Shostakovich and perhaps all of Bruckner's as well - Bernard Haitink's recordings of these two cycles are available for listening on myspace (of all places).
posted by Wolfdog at 8:34 AM PST - 8 comments

Death and The Slow-Mo Effect

Dr. David Eagleman, a neuroscientist at Baylor College of Medicine, wanted to find out how the human brain processes time in a near death situation. [more inside]
posted by two lights above the sea at 8:20 AM PST - 24 comments

A tall post about Starbucks, anger and language

Even though Starbucks was founded by an english teacher, history teacher and writer, the company has grown to have a particular relationship with language, especially with its drink menu. Notably, the sizes of drinks defies commonly understood usage as it attempts to engage customers on multiple levels while providing a new experience. Said experience has resulted in a glossary of terms and even step by step instructions on how to order and decode the lingo.

All of this helps to explain the recent trouble English professor Lynne Rosenthal had at a Starbuck's on New York City's Upper West Side when she ordered a plain multigrain bagel. [more inside]
posted by nomadicink at 6:51 AM PST - 332 comments

The Minds Behind the Mind-Set List

Who comes up with that annual list of generational markers that aims to help college faculty better understand their incoming freshmen? These guys do. [more inside]
posted by Miko at 6:24 AM PST - 77 comments

Sanctuary! Sanctuary!

Real-life Quasimodo uncovered in Tate archives. A new discovery appears to reveal the real-life inspiration behind the character from Hugo's seminal novel, which tells the story of the deaf bell-ringer of Notre Dame and his unrequited love for the gipsy girl Esmeralda.
posted by Fizz at 6:10 AM PST - 6 comments

Not like an Extra-Virgin

Tests indicate that imported “extra virgin”olive oil often fails international and USDA standards. (pdf) The UC Davis Olive center reports that "69 percent of imported olive oil samples and 10 percent of California olive oil samples labeled as extra virgin olive oil failed to meet the IOC/USDA sensory (organoleptic) standards for extra virgin olive oil." [more inside]
posted by three blind mice at 4:18 AM PST - 60 comments

Kindergarten Teachers Are Priceless

The Student Teacher Achievement Ratio (STAR) project was a large-scale, four-year, experimental study of reduced class size. This year researchers examined the life paths of almost 12,000 children (now adults) from Project STAR. They found [PDF] the kids who learned more in kndergarten were more likely to go to college, less likely to become single parents, more likely to be saving for retirement and they were earning more. They estimate that a standout kindergarten teacher is worth about $320,000 a year in extra income for the entire class. The NYT Has More.
posted by Blake at 4:16 AM PST - 32 comments

Epic Pop

Justin Bieber's 'U Smile', played 800 time slower. Sounds like Sigur Ros doing Vangelis covers in a cathedral being washed away by the sea. The original song.
posted by Happy Dave at 3:25 AM PST - 174 comments

How Green is Your Golf Course?

One more thing to ease our collective guilt: Organic Golf. "Opened eight years ago, the club is thought to be the only completely organic golf course in the United States, its 18 holes groomed without the use of a single synthetic pesticide, fertilizer, herbicide or other artificial chemical treatment."
posted by Xurando at 3:07 AM PST - 7 comments

"We just play stuff that the other stations won't touch"

Rice University to sell student-run radio station KTRU 91.7FM for a reported $9.5million to the University of Houston. [more inside]
posted by unknowncommand at 12:33 AM PST - 38 comments

Neil Peart never needed all that shit

Plastica, covering some of your favorites - on toy instruments. Metallica, Rush and a decent stab at Dream Theater.
posted by lifeless at 12:24 AM PST - 19 comments

August 16

I'd just been eaten by a giant rainbow-colored moth

Chantix (aka Champix) is a drug developed to help people quit smoking. It works by binding nicotine receptors in the brain. It has side effects -- nausea, gas, suicidal ideation, and strange dreams. "Strange dreams"? Yep, it's right there in the official side-effects from Pfizer (17.13). Here's a strange dream. Here's another. Here's some more. [more inside]
posted by CCBC at 10:25 PM PST - 62 comments

The man who walked around the world

The man who walked around the world. SLYT of actor Robert Carlyle advertising scotch whisky, elegantly and entertainingly done in a single take.
posted by wilful at 9:17 PM PST - 89 comments

Off-road crash victim hailed as hero

8 poeple died on Saturday, August 14th when an off-road truck race driver accidentally veered into the crowd of spectators in California's Mojave Desert. Andrew Therrien , 22, was there and pushed three people out of the way when the truck jumped off course, saving their lives. One of them was his three-year-old daughter. Therrien was killed instantly.
posted by Tenacious.Me.Tokyo at 8:58 PM PST - 74 comments

Wordpad > photoshop?

"databending is, in essence, the artistic misuse of digital information." [more inside]
posted by codacorolla at 8:09 PM PST - 13 comments

Check out her golden apples of the sun

Ray Bradbury is one of the most celebrated among 20th and 21st century American writers of speculative fiction. Now, his reputation is complete, with a work-inappropriate music video about sleeping with him. [more inside]
posted by audacity at 8:01 PM PST - 57 comments

What am I myself but one of your meteors?

"A moment, a moment long, it sail’d its balls of unearthly light over our heads, Then departed, dropt in the night, and was gone" Walt Whitman wrote these words in the poem Year of Meteors, 1859 ’60. Not until this year did a team of forensic astronomers at Texas State University, with the assistance of a painting from the Hudson River School, figure out what he was really talking about. [more inside]
posted by jessamyn at 7:55 PM PST - 15 comments

On the precipice of the largest decrease in biomedical science funding ever.

Having taken on the biggest job in biomedicine — leading the US National Institutes of Health — Francis Collins must now help his agency over a funding cliff.
posted by jjray at 7:22 PM PST - 19 comments

Franzen, Freedom, and video

Jonathan Franzen makes a video partially about why he doesn't like making videos.
posted by anothermug at 7:10 PM PST - 11 comments

Look. Look at me.

John Campbell, of Pictures for Sad Children fame, had an art show.
posted by JimBennett at 6:32 PM PST - 8 comments

112 Sleeps To Go!

Last Friday, prop 8 supporters filed an emergency stay of Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling with the 9th circuit. Today the stay was granted but the appeal has been expedited and oral arguments will be heard on the 6th of December, less than four months from now. [more inside]
posted by Talez at 5:22 PM PST - 138 comments

Hell is other people. Who are clients.

I want something like Facebook. And don’t try to rip me off, I know that Facebook is free.
A collection of anonymously contributed client horror stories from designers. [more inside]
posted by i_cola at 3:16 PM PST - 141 comments

"Twilight for boys!"

(MeFi's own) defective yeti popularized the Bad Review Revue, but I think Scott Pilgrim vs The Critics may have perfected it!
posted by straight at 2:26 PM PST - 130 comments

What Killed Kevin Morrissey?

"It was two final actions in the weeks before Mr. Morrissey's death that his family and friends believe pushed him over the edge. First, Mr. Genoways sent an e-mail message to Mr. Morrissey in mid-July, 10 days before his death (a copy of which The Chronicle has obtained), telling Mr. Morrissey that he had "engaged in unacceptable workplace behavior." [Second,] On the morning of Mr. Morrissey's death, Friday, July 30th, Mr. Genoways sent Mr. Morrissey another e-mail message, says Mr. Morrissey's sister, accusing Mr. Morrissey of ignoring a plea for help from a man who had worked under dangerous conditions to help VQR with a recent story. Ms. Morrissey says Mr. Genoways wrote that in ignoring the man, Mr. Morrissey had put the man's life at risk." A look into the death of Virginia Quarterly Review editor Kevin Morrissey. (Previously)
posted by geoff. at 2:25 PM PST - 45 comments

Hey, what's on the radio?

Radio, RIAA: mandatory FM radio in cell phones is the future. 'Music labels and radio broadcasters can't agree on much, including whether radio should be forced to turn over hundreds of millions of dollars a year to pay for the music it plays. But the two sides can agree on this: Congress should mandate that FM radio receivers be built into cell phones, PDAs, and other portable electronics. The Consumer Electronics Association, whose members build the devices that would be affected by such a directive, is incandescent with rage. "The backroom scheme of the [National Association of Broadcasters] and RIAA to have Congress mandate broadcast radios in portable devices, including mobile phones, is the height of absurdity," thundered CEA president Gary Shapiro. Such a move is "not in our national interest." "Rather than adapt to the digital marketplace, NAB and RIAA act like buggy-whip industries that refuse to innovate and seek to impose penalties on those that do." But the music and radio industries say it's a consumer-focused proposition, one that would provide "more music choices."' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 2:22 PM PST - 91 comments

A Road Trip to Find Love…

30 Dates. 30 Days. 30 Cities. "Kevin Richberg, a 32-year-old gay man (and good man) from Boston, is looking for the love of his life. He’s picked an unusual way to find him." (Interview with Kevin.) [more inside]
posted by andoatnp at 2:17 PM PST - 20 comments

France asked to repay Haiti billions in reparations.

Many have pointed to the debilitating payments that Haiti had to make to France to compensate slave owners at the begining of the country's history as the key reason why it has been mired in poverty ever since - in stark contrast to it's neighbour the Domican Republic. Now there are calls for France to repay $23 Billion via an open letter. Of course, the US has had it's own debate over this sensitive issue for a while now.
posted by helmutdog at 12:34 PM PST - 41 comments


Persona. Jason Travis creates diptychs of people and the stuff in their bags.
posted by chunking express at 12:09 PM PST - 38 comments

Please Don't Leave

The great jazz photographer Herman Leonard is dead at 87. Leonard took photos of some of the best, including Art Tatum, Dizzie Gillespie, Sarah Vaughan, Charlie "The Bird" Parker, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday and Miles Davis -- to name a few. He led an interesting life, which included losing thousands of prints (though not, fortunately, the safeguarded negatives) to Hurricane Katrina. Here are a few of his shots. Previously on Metafilter.
posted by bearwife at 12:02 PM PST - 6 comments

Everyone's favorite browser

Microsoft’s IE turns 15. Starting as a licensed version of Mosaic, it is now up to version 8 and a platform preview of version 9 was recently released. Don't expect everyone to migrate over to 9 in a hurry though: It's for Vista and Windows 7 only. Meanwhile, despite everyone's best efforts, IE6 grimly hangs on to life.
posted by Artw at 11:49 AM PST - 93 comments

holy shit!

Energy shortages and poor sanitation are two of the most serious problems in refugee camps. Now engineers say they can solve both problems by harvesting energy from human excrement.

Refugee camps to use gas from human waste.
posted by Lutoslawski at 11:27 AM PST - 34 comments

Yo dawg so I heard you like meta...

Umineko no Naku Koro ni (warning: that entire description is possibly a lie) is a dojin visual novel (or, as the creators prefer, a sound novel) that has recently reached its seventh chapter Japanese. In addition, a group called the Witch Hunt has recently released an English patch for the sixth chapter. Forming the third and fourth part of the When They Cry series that began with Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Umineko cranks the concept of metanarrative up to 11 and then breaks the knob. [more inside]
posted by charred husk at 11:10 AM PST - 9 comments

"This is just the beginning."

China is now the world's second-largest economy.
posted by knave at 9:26 AM PST - 70 comments

Chaos Reigns, Class of '82

The Plague Dogs (can also be watched instantly on Netflix) is a gory animated feature adapted from Richard Adams' novel about two escapees from an animal research lab. It was released in 1982 but effectively vanished because of its spotty video release history and its mature content. Enjoy the trailer. [more inside]
posted by hermitosis at 9:22 AM PST - 66 comments

I am a Bammi Master

Bammi is an easy little distraction game I've had saved to my bookmarks bar for a couple years now. It just occurred to me that others might like it, too. [more inside]
posted by phunniemee at 8:16 AM PST - 45 comments

Does technology mash our brains?

Scientists go off the grid to see what happens to their brains. A group of experienced brain scientists come together and take a rafting and hiking trip in wild Utah. Their experience is enlightening (though perhaps not transformative).
posted by GnomeChompsky at 7:51 AM PST - 44 comments


FACTUM. To produce the series of works collectively titled FACTUM (2010), Candice Breitz conducted intensive interviews with seven pairs of identical twins and a single set of identical triplets in and around Toronto during the summer of 2009, footage from which she then edited seven dual-channel video installations (and one tri-channel video installation). Like Robert Rauschenberg's near-identical paintings FACTUM I and FACTUM II (both 1957), from which the series borrows its title, each interviewee in FACTUM is an imperfect facsimile of their twin: their apparent identicality is soon disrupted by a host of subtle differences. FACTUM KANG, FACTUM TREMBLAY, FACTUM MISERICORDIA, FACTUM TANG, FACTUM McNAMARA.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:31 AM PST - 11 comments

“It’s a little bit like the shooting gallery at the arcade. It’s hard to tell which rabbits are real and which aren’t. You have to have the discipline of not shooting at the wrong rabbit."

Washington, We Have a Problem. On the heels of a New Yorker feature exploring the question, "Just How Broken Is The Senate," Vanity Fair publishes a look at the (mindboggling) day-to-day life of the modern US Presidency.
posted by availablelight at 6:36 AM PST - 121 comments

Long lasting prejudices

In 1939, psychologists Kenneth and Mamie Clark performed an experiment with dolls which was instrumental to Brown vs Board of Education, a case that struck down black/white segregation in American education. Earlier this year, CNN's AC360 aired the results (update, also) of a follow up statistical study on racial bias in today's children. Anderson Cooper himself explains his motives. [more inside]
posted by knz at 12:04 AM PST - 72 comments

August 15

April 14, 2012 - A date with history

Relatives of the passengers, survivors, and crew of the RMS Titanic are planning a Centenary Cruise on April 8th, 2012, 100 years after the sailing of the ill-fated liner. (The actual centenary of the sailing is April 10th.) [more inside]
posted by pjern at 9:12 PM PST - 54 comments

Jetting through the Grand Canyon

Jetting through the Grand Canyon in a Lockheed T-33 in 1959. RAF pilot Ron Dick flies a Lockheed T-33 through the Grand Canyon in 1959. Video hosted by Air and Space magazine. Music by Joe Satriani. [more inside]
posted by smcameron at 7:44 PM PST - 96 comments

The alarming thing is the casual way his vision of the future slips between u- and dystopia

Kevin Warwick plugged his nervous system into his wife's. [more inside]
posted by mhjb at 7:33 PM PST - 55 comments

A Singer Scarred for Life

Sixth-grader Jackson C. Frank was horribly burned when the boiler at his Cheektowaga, New York, elementary school exploded March 31, 1954, killing fifteen of his classmates. While recovering from his injuries, Frank was introduced to the guitar, and the insurance settlement he received a decade later helped fund a trip to England, where he recorded his first and only album. [more inside]
posted by Knappster at 6:30 PM PST - 34 comments

"A journey into the wilderness is the freest, cheapest, most nonprivileged of pleasures"

Journey Through Canyons — a stunning HD time-lapse of the canyonlands in Arizona and Utah, featuring the Grand Canyon, Glen Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and Zion Canyon. A thorough way to explore these magnificent geologic marvels is to follow The Hayduke Trail, one of America's Best Adventures.
posted by netbros at 5:47 PM PST - 11 comments

Why Architects Drink

In all my years of architecture school and practice, there seems to be a pervasive myth that my job is pretty and easy. Here, I reveal the painful, ugly truth about why it takes so long to build a building, what it is exactly that we do, and why that's not creamer you smell in my coffee.
posted by Joe Beese at 5:35 PM PST - 47 comments

Glass Candy

Glass Candy is singer Ida No, whose vocal stylings have been compared to Nico and Debbie Harry, and producer Johnny Jewel, who cites as his influences Italo disco, freestyle, Krautrock, hip hop, new wave, and '80s cop show and John Carpenter soundtracks. "The group has also said that stores could appropriately file their music between Olivia Newton-John, Suicide and Schoolly D." Here for example, they mash up 'Mind Playing Tricks On Me' by the Geto Boys with 'Iko Iko'. And here is a cover of Kraftwerk's Computer Love. [more inside]
posted by puny human at 5:03 PM PST - 27 comments

Too Awesome for the iPad

Need something energetic and fun on a lazy sunday? Consider this amusing flash toy. [more inside]
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:38 PM PST - 26 comments

If I had an octopus and you were a haenyo...

The Haenyo divers: Korea's women of the sea [more inside]
posted by grounded at 3:32 PM PST - 11 comments

Are you a tree frog?

Earlier this week, on August 11th, the street performer, musician, and actor Bruno Schleinstein passed away. After spending much of his youth in mental institutions, "Bruno S" became famous when German filmmaker Werner Herzog cast him as the lead character in two seminal German New Wave films, The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser and Stroszek.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 3:17 PM PST - 17 comments

The straits of Rick Roll

Marketing firm Flowtown has an Updated 2010 version of the Social Networking Map first created by xkcd.
posted by Phire at 3:05 PM PST - 35 comments


Welcome to Culturebot, a NYC-based website all about performing arts and culture locally, nationally and around the globe. is a multidisciplinary, contemporary arts + culture blog, launched in December 2003. Based in NYC we cover contemporary cultural news, events and ideas from NYC and around the world. Culturebot was envisioned and created by founding editor Andy Horwitz. It was initially made possible from a grant to Performance Space 122 by the National Performance Network. [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 3:00 PM PST - 1 comment

Emotional eavesdropping

StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit fostering and preserving meaningful conversations between two people who are important to each other. The vignettes are addictive little heart-grabbers, some unearthing long-held secrets. Here's a sampling: I don't know anything about white people; A son's premonition; Bathtub gin; Adoption; Two canoes; Where's the colored section?; Good hugger; Court every day; A schmear; Stonewall memories; and one video animation - a charming talk between a 12 year old with Asperger's and his Mom. There are hundreds more. [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive at 1:57 PM PST - 28 comments

Darwin Fest Videos

"Darwin Fest" videos of talks given at the 50th anniversary of the Darwin Conference at the University of Chicago in 2009. [more inside]
posted by AceRock at 1:32 PM PST - 15 comments

Your Lucky Day

Your Lucky Day. A short film involving a lottery situation in a convenience store that gradually escalates out of control. Rather grim, but very well made.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 12:54 PM PST - 29 comments

At the Death Camps, Muslim Leaders Grapple With Jews’ Pain

"We pray to God that this will not happen to the Jewish people or to any people anymore." -- a group of American imams visits Dauchau and Auschwitz.
posted by empath at 12:35 PM PST - 38 comments

Run and tell that

WAFF-TV reported the story of how Antoine Dodson saved his sister Kelly from a rapist intruder in her bed. Antoine's passionate sound-bite becomes an internet sensation as the "Bed Intruder" meme. Things go to the next level when the Gregory Brothers auto-tune it and turn it into a surprisingly good hit song. [more inside]
posted by w0mbat at 12:23 PM PST - 63 comments

A few notes on The Culture

The Culture, in its history and its on-going form, is an expression of the idea that the nature of space itself determines the type of civilisations which will thrive there ... The thought processes of a tribe, a clan, a country or a nation-state are essentially two-dimensional, and the nature of their power depends on the same flatness ... The contention is that our currently dominant power systems cannot long survive in space; beyond a certain technological level a degree of anarchy is arguably inevitable and anyway preferable. [more inside]
posted by memebake at 11:57 AM PST - 75 comments

One Big Interdependant System

How are heatwaves in Russia and flooding in Pakistan related? Both result from a kink in the jet stream that has frozen in place. (Previous coverage of the disasters in Russia and Pakistan on the blue.)
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 11:42 AM PST - 19 comments

Music, Art and Literature at

Scott Horton writes at on most weekends posts about music and literature. Typically he'll post poems or philosophy (and often translate same from one of the many languages he's, apparently, fluent in) and link to youtube clips of music to complement the passages he writes about, along with images of classical paintings. Pretty neat. This weekend the clips are Glenn Gould playing Beethoven's Sonata No. 17, op. 31, no. 2 (1802)(the “Tempest”) tied to a passage by Hegel. And Beethoven's Choral Fantasy and its lyrics which were written by someone named Kuffner. Check it out.
posted by fartknocker at 10:18 AM PST - 15 comments

In Praise of Fast Food

In Praise of Fast Food: A historian takes on the "Culinary Luddism" the fresh/local/natural food movement. Originally published in the journal Gastronomica and featured as part of a series on food culture from the Utne Reader. [more inside]
posted by donovan at 9:19 AM PST - 117 comments

Don Ringe on Indo-European

The Linguistic Diversity of Aboriginal Europe (and what happened to it) [more inside]
posted by nangar at 8:04 AM PST - 35 comments

Oh! That's what they mean by browned...

For the more visually-directed chef: CookBlast - a search engine for cooking and recipe videos. [via mefi projects]
posted by The Whelk at 8:00 AM PST - 2 comments

Nettie Broomfield Ministries is kind of soothing to just have in the background

The website for LA 36 Public Access [WMA plugin required to view shows] is where you should be when you want incredibly diverse programming to come at you right this second. And by "incredibly diverse programming," I mean "what the hell is this." Absorbing niche programming is offered together with some of TV's greatest inexplicabilities.

Particularly recommended is The Roots of the Earthman, a full-length movie produced by the Unarius Academy of Science of El Cajon (previously) without a script, starring cult members who "relived past lives" in order to bring you this historical reenactment. [Youtube clip of intro, 3:44] [more inside]
posted by Countess Elena at 7:58 AM PST - 4 comments

The Sinica Podcast

What's China up to in Africa? What books should I read on the world's most populous nation? How's their environment doing? This, and much more from the weekly updated Sinica podcast. Hosted by Popup Chinese.
posted by klue at 6:53 AM PST - 5 comments

When the sun goes down

Solar physicists may have discovered why the Sun recently experienced a prolonged period of weak activity. Apparently it was just a faulty conveyor belt. The solar minimum of 2008 is gone but not forgotten.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:53 AM PST - 7 comments

August 14

News Arts Argument is a tasteful, politically right-on and truly curatorial take on aggregating web content. Careful, combined with an MF habit, this is going to eat up a lot of hours. Although the site is MetaFilter-inspired, all links are the fruit of one intrepid reader whose work, it must be admitted, sometimes grinds to a halt for up to a week at a time.
posted by Roachbeard at 10:59 PM PST - 36 comments

I prefer the view I had yesterday.

Raising Chicago: An Illustrated History. Lilli Carré takes a look at an unusual civic project: 'Mid-19th-century Chicago was an emerging titan of agribusiness, a burgeoning transit hub, a potential star of the Midwest—and a disease-infested swamp in danger of being reclaimed by Lake Michigan. By 1855, with roads knee deep in sludge, city hall faced a massive undertaking: hoisting Chicago out of the muck by raising the streets and structures as much as 14 feet.' More about the raising of Chicago. (via)
posted by shakespeherian at 10:33 PM PST - 12 comments

Elderly and missing

“Living until 150 years old is impossible in the natural world,” said Akira Nemoto, director of the elderly services section of the Adachi ward office. “But it is not impossible in the world of Japanese public administration.” Up until the end of July, no one knew how many people over the age of 100 were missing in Japan. Now, officials are scrambling to check on the elderly. [more inside]
posted by Ghidorah at 9:25 PM PST - 57 comments

You'll Be Missed, Ms. Lincoln

Not just a singer, but a songwriter. Not just an actress, but an activist. Abbey Lincoln helped to push the expectations that the jazz loving public had of jazz vocalists beyond the stereotype of sexy chanteuse delivering someone else's lyrics. From sexy and sultry (as in this clip from "The Girl Can't Help It") to quirky and passionate to elegant and expressive, Ms. Lincoln was a true original in every sense of the word. [more inside]
posted by jeanmari at 8:19 PM PST - 21 comments

Is it a bird? Is it a plane?

Max Fleischer's Superman (1941-1942) In the early 1940s, Max Fleischer's Superman cartoons gave the Man of Steel an Art Deco flair and plenty of robots to defeat. Here's a brief history and some episodes of the cartoon (Previously)
posted by Artw at 8:14 PM PST - 40 comments

That Was the This Week's Finds That Was

The 300th issue of This Week's Finds in Mathematical Physics will be the last. It is not an exaggeration to say that when John Baez started publishing TWF in 1993, he invented the science blog, and an (academic) generation has now grown up reading his thoughts on higher category theory, zeta functions, quantum gravity, crazy pictures of roots of polynomials, science fiction, and everything else that can loosely be called either "mathematical" or "physics." Baez continues to blog actively at n-category cafe and the associated nLab (an intriguingly fermented commune of mathematicians, physicists, and philosophers.) He is now starting a new blog, Azimuth, "centered around the theme of what scientists can do to help save the planet."
posted by escabeche at 7:19 PM PST - 17 comments

The Language of Food

The Language of Food is a blog with only four entries, but each one is an excellent, well-researched essay on, yes, food and language: ketchup, entrée, dessert, and ceviche. The author, Dan Jurafsky, teaches a parallel course at Stanford, the syllabus for which you can peruse here. via (mefi's own)
posted by Rumple at 5:42 PM PST - 9 comments

ABBA spelled backwards...

(TYLM) There are actually many ABBA fans who believe their songs sound good even played backwards (and ABBA haters who think they sound better backwards). So, of course, there are now Backwards ABBA music videos on YouTube*: "eM nO ecnahC A ekaT", "emaC uoY erofeB yaD ehT", "emaG ehT fO emaN ehT", "llA tI sekaT renniW ehT", "sleeH revO daeH" "suoV-zeluoV", "yenoM yenoM yenoM" [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:37 PM PST - 65 comments

21st Century Vampires

True Blood: The First 21st Century Vampires. [Spoilers, Previously, Via]
posted by homunculus at 12:38 PM PST - 203 comments

"These are like pioneer times in publishing"

Dorchester Publishing (an original paperback publisher that distributes the Hard Case Crime series and is home to Leisure Books, which is "the only mass-market house with dedicated lines for Westerns [four books a month] and horror [two books a month]," and which also publishes a romance line that features six to eight titles monthly) will transition to an e-book only model. Perhaps only temporarily? Perhaps not so temporarily after all! Currently, e-book sales account for just 12% of Leisure's business, and their overall sales saw a 25% loss over the course of 2009. Popular horror novelist Brian Keene has already jumped ship from the house, citing lack of payment for his work.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 11:24 AM PST - 18 comments

Not exactly pole dancing.

Indian Pole Gymnastics [more inside]
posted by empath at 11:23 AM PST - 45 comments

Monster Commute

Monster Commute: A webcomic about the hell that is driving to work in the cute Orwellian steampunk monster-infested mirror universe of Monstru. [more inside]
posted by Gator at 11:20 AM PST - 2 comments

Free-as-in-beer jazz

NPR is streaming the sets from the Newport Jazz Festival. Highlights include Dave Douglas' Brass Ecstasy, Marshall Allen with Joe Morris and Matthew Shipp, Ken Vandermark's Powerhouse Sound, and Rez Abbasi.
posted by kenko at 11:12 AM PST - 7 comments

Among the Flutterers

Among the Flutterers: In this long, thoughtful essay for the LRB, Irish novelist Colm Tóibín examines the relationship between the Catholic church and homosexuality.
posted by puny human at 11:04 AM PST - 38 comments


Ving Rhames gives a rather eccentric radio interview to promote his latest film. (SLYT) (Pepsi Piranha)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:52 AM PST - 19 comments


Introducing: Lady Java. (Follow-up to the almost SFW "Java 4-Ever".) [more inside]
posted by iviken at 9:19 AM PST - 37 comments

I Was Raised Right

Quayle v2.0 [more inside]
posted by hermitosis at 9:07 AM PST - 44 comments


Retroblog - the web version of one American student's year abroad, 1988-89
posted by mippy at 9:01 AM PST - 8 comments

Beans and ?

Ampersand Food Groups by Dan Beckemeyer.
posted by sveskemus at 9:01 AM PST - 11 comments

Gay Jewish Magicians Kill Nazis

Of Course I've Read This, Way Easier to Watch Than Read, This Is The First Book I've Read In Six Years and more delightful Better Book Titles.
posted by griphus at 7:49 AM PST - 21 comments


The Menstruation Machine: an invention created by artist Hiromi Ozaki. "As a female designer I had one big problem I wanted to solve. "It’s 2010, so why are humans still menstruating?" "Fitted with a blood dispensing mechanism and lower-abdomen-stimulating electrodes, the Menstruation Machine is a device which simulates the pain and bleeding of an average 5 day menstruation process of a human (As a female designer I have done my best to simulate my own, at least)." Also: Menstruation Machine - Takashi's Take is a music video about a boy ‘Takashi’, who builds the menstruation machine in an attempt to dress up as a female, biologically as well as aesthetically, to fulfill his desire to understand what it might feel like to be a truely 'girly' girl. He determinedly wears the machine to hang out with his kawaii friend in Tokyo, but…"
posted by Fizz at 6:49 AM PST - 78 comments

Reverse evolution?

posted by aqsakal at 5:39 AM PST - 14 comments

New old photos from behind the scenes at Twin Peaks

Paula K. Shimatsu-u, who worked behind the scenes at Twin Peaks, has a book coming out with previously unpublished photos from on and off the set. Wired has a gallery that boasts, among other delights, Michael Horse reading a book beside a deer's head, and Sheryl Lee with Sherilyn Fenn wearing, respectively, a lovely bobble cap and a very fetching jumper.
posted by Stan Carey at 3:43 AM PST - 14 comments

Pro Wrestler Lance Cade Dead at 29

Another professional wrestling death. Former WWE wrestler Lance Cade has died at age 29 of apparent heart failure. This brings the number of professional wrestling performers who have died before the age of 50 since 1985 to 77.
posted by Tenacious.Me.Tokyo at 1:39 AM PST - 48 comments

No takebacks!

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process. [more inside]
posted by WalterMitty at 1:21 AM PST - 12 comments

August 13

Magic highway

Magic highway
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:30 PM PST - 47 comments

Advancing the Art of Magic

Theory 11 is your source for the latest and greatest magic tricks, instructional magic videos, and playing cards. [more inside]
posted by ColdChef at 9:25 PM PST - 23 comments

How to operate the first digital computer.

Learn how to operate the world's first fully electronic digital computer in this helpful instructional video. No, not ENIAC - the Atanasoff Berry Computer. Here's an operator's manual. More information about the reconstruction.
posted by loquacious at 8:49 PM PST - 23 comments

The Age of Uncertainty

The Age of Uncertainty is my new favorite blog. It's by a gentleman bookseller who works in a warehouse in Sussex processing lorryfuls of used books. He shares the most interesting things he finds, commenting with wit and sensitivity. He also writes entertainingly about his everyday life. Let me point you towards his series of extracts from a diary that came to his warehouse, detailing the life of Derek, an employee of the government who converted to Mormonism. It was a fairly normal life, but the excerpts are fascinating. Here are the entries in order: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. He also posts beautiful images he finds, such as Victorian color plates: 1 and 2. Still, it is the remains of ordinary lives washing up on his shores that most enthralls me, such as this tear-inducing post about a family photo album which was sent to his used books warehouse.
posted by Kattullus at 8:33 PM PST - 26 comments

Is sexism gone-dola?

After 900 years, Giorgia Boscolo has become the first female to pass Venice's rigorous gondolier examination, something she has been trying for years to accomplish.
posted by karminai at 6:58 PM PST - 32 comments

The Defund ACORN Act is Constitutional

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that the Defund ACORN Act of 2009 is not a Bill of Attainder (pdf). [more inside]
posted by thesmophoron at 6:12 PM PST - 102 comments

Best of the YouTube

Devour seems to have good taste in videos. Hand-picked videos from YouTube isn't really a new idea, but Devour seems to be executing it really well.
posted by scottreynen at 5:44 PM PST - 15 comments

Livin' Small

It's an important topic for many of us: how to live well in a tiny apartment. You can be seriously organized, or use Ikea furniture in unusual ways. You can do it with modular walls, or you can build an awesome loft. It's a topic that many people care about: Apartment therapy has an annual contest devoted to small apartments, there's a Flickr group devoted to it, and of course Metafilter has covered some of this ground before. (Inspired by.)
posted by jiawen at 4:58 PM PST - 25 comments


The Call of Cthulhu in Under 2 Minutes (SLYT)
posted by Artw at 4:42 PM PST - 34 comments

Intrigue! Mystery! Doom! Dungeon Escape!

Animated danger! Flashing lights! Exciting sounds! Dungeon Escape! Quick reflexes or DOOM! Happy Flash Friday, from MeFite luvcraft [via mefi projects]
posted by filthy light thief at 3:28 PM PST - 22 comments

Free's Gold

Record label Fool's Gold, run by DJs A-Trak and Nick Catchdubs, has just put their entire catalogue online for free streaming with links to paid downloads for each track. [more inside]
posted by battlebison at 1:44 PM PST - 9 comments

Omar Khadr

The Memory Hole: The real tragedy of the Omar Khadr trial.
posted by homunculus at 12:25 PM PST - 35 comments

d'ohhhhh... ahh... d'ohhhhh... ahh...

Now playing in Star Wars Reenactment Theater: "Homer Simpson IS Darth Vader"! [via]
posted by ardgedee at 12:20 PM PST - 18 comments

Little Feat co-founder Richie Hayward lost his battle with liver cancer

Richie Hayward, who, along with Bill Payne and Lowell George founded arguably the greatest jam band in history succumbed to complications from liver cancer. In addition to his contributions to Little Feat, Hayward sat in on sessions with a veritable Who's Who of contemporary musicians, from Joan Armatrading to Warren Zevon. Previously on the Blue: Ready, Willin,' and Able. [more inside]
posted by spacely_sprocket at 11:24 AM PST - 33 comments

27 comments - This was by far the largest reaction I'd ever received.

Bringing It All Back Home. The relatively long-running (since 2006) webcomic Bellen! will come to a close in early September as its author goes on to other things (pdf). In preparation for the end of the series, the creator is taking "a longer eye-opening look into the origin of Bellen!" which dispenses with the strips regular old timey-yellowing paper style "because there are no more veneers in Bellen! it’s the pure unadulterated truth from here on out." An interesting look at the creative process in the digital age.
posted by ND¢ at 10:53 AM PST - 11 comments

So please you, something touching the Timelord Hamlet. Captain Picard.

The Royal Shakespeare Company presents Hamlet, starring David Tennant as Hamlet, Sir Patrick Stewart as Claudius and the Ghost, Oliver Ford Davies as Polonius, Mariah Gale as Ophelia, and Edward Bennet as Laertes. Directed by Gregory Doran. [more inside]
posted by Ndwright at 10:47 AM PST - 102 comments

[Insert joke about Ayn Rand dealbreaker here]

Looking for love among the bookstacks? Try Alikewise, a dating site based on book tastes, instead. [more inside]
posted by peripathetic at 10:32 AM PST - 52 comments

Meet aliens, create life, watch the polar ice melt

12 Events that Will Change Everything is an interactive article from Scientific American that offers rich information on potential major discoveries or cataclysms that could change the world, as well as their chances of happening. The list is a surprisingly sane look at future discontinuities as these sorts of lists go: it includes human cloning, artificial life, asteroid collisions, ice caps melting, and room temperature superconductors. For less sanity, see fifty or so ways the world could end at Exit Mundi.
posted by blahblahblah at 10:24 AM PST - 50 comments

Affectionate Men

Bob Bragman has been collecting images of men being affectionate with each other for many years. Here is a small part of that collection posted on sfgate. Some are tender, some are awkward and some are from long ago.
posted by agatha_magatha at 10:00 AM PST - 34 comments

Hindenberg Omen - In Effect

Yesterday the conditions for the Hindenburg Omen, a combination of technical analysis indicators suggesting an increased probability of a market correction were all met (maybe) for the first time since 2008. Fortuitous timing for the soon to be released movie of the same name, if no one else. (Previously).
posted by BigSky at 9:50 AM PST - 23 comments

Tonight, I keel u.

Fur-ocious Pics From The Cat Fashion Parade
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:35 AM PST - 54 comments

Traveler to the undiscovere'd country

Roger Ebert on Christopher Hitchens, illness, medicine, religion, and death. [via] [more inside]
posted by AceRock at 7:56 AM PST - 84 comments

Science as Fan-Fic

Back in January, Dr. Megan Argo and an international team working at Jodrell Bank detected a powerful jet of energy from supernova 2007gr. Her way of announcing it? Doctor Who fan fiction describing the event from a TARDIS eye view. [via]
posted by quin at 7:48 AM PST - 22 comments

What a save!

When greedy sports team ban press photographers, cartoonist saves the day. Southampton Football Club decided to ban press photographers from their home matches, and sell their own photos to the press. Plymouth Herald hires a cartoonist instead. [more inside]
posted by iviken at 7:14 AM PST - 31 comments

"All that is visible must grow beyond itself, and extend into the realm of the invisible."

Cyglo Tires Will Help You Live Out Your Light Cycle Fantasy. Just in time for the release of Tron: Legacy, a British firm is gearing up to release a bicycle tire embedded with LED bulbs. While these lighted rubber tubes won’t lay down trails for your opponents to crash into, they may very well keep you safe. Cyglo tires are intended to create a highly visible ring of light to maximize cyclists’ visibility on busy roads. No pricing has been set yet, but we understand that the flying disc to destroy MCP will be sold separately. Watch Cyglo in motion.
posted by Fizz at 6:21 AM PST - 58 comments

Mind the gap

Minor Delays - a short story for every station on the London Underground. [more inside]
posted by mippy at 6:04 AM PST - 5 comments

Hopes and Prospects

Noam Chomsky A brief interview with Chomsky. Starts with some I/P stuff, then talks about Bush and Obama and then his new book. "The ones you are concerned with are the victims, not the powerful, so the slogan ought to be to engage with the powerless and help them and help yourself to find the truth. It’s not an easy slogan to formulate in five words, but I think it’s the right one."
posted by marienbad at 5:39 AM PST - 31 comments

Matt Simmons passes away

Matt Simmons, investment banker to the oil industry, has passed away unexpectedly. (Previously, previously) Simmons was a vocal proponent that peak oil is at hand and authored an influential analysis of Saudi oil reserves that lends credence to his view. An energy policy advisor to Dick Cheney, and regular on financial media, Simmons believed emergency action to counter peak oil is required, beginning with independent audits of global reserves.[PDF] [more inside]
posted by bystander at 5:10 AM PST - 53 comments

Going (London) Underground

The London Underground. Every Londoner has used it, but has everyone really seen it? The old map is looking a bit dusty. Perhaps its time for Geographic precision or maybe 3D projection. If we add bicycles to the map, is it still an underground? [more inside]
posted by 0bvious at 4:47 AM PST - 33 comments

prettymaps from Stamen Design

prettymaps from Stamen (requires safari/firefox and patience) [more inside]
posted by shoepal at 3:38 AM PST - 9 comments

The stuff that dreams are made of ...

"... some guests turn off all the room lights, turn on the train set lights and play with the diorama until dawn." Room 1304 of the Akihabara Washington Hotel in Tokyo (Japanese link) used to be a twin, but the second bed was removed to make room for a train set featuring 30 meters of track and a model Tokyo Tower. The room is available for 'only' 23,000 yen (weeknight rate), but be warned, you are expected to bring your own trains to run on the track (rental trains apparently also available). See some video of the room in this TV news report, read about it in this (English) news story, or follow along with the room's own Twitter feed (also in Japanese).
posted by woodblock100 at 3:25 AM PST - 8 comments

Make Art! Change the World! Starve!

Make Art! Change the World! Starve!: The Fallacy of Art as Social Justice
posted by divabat at 3:08 AM PST - 40 comments

All you ever wanted to know about print processes

"Graphic Atlas is a new online resource that brings sophisticated print identification and characteristic identification tools to archivists, curators, historians, collectors, conservators, educators, and the general public."
posted by lucia__is__dada at 2:20 AM PST - 2 comments

The Devil's Dictionary X!

"Repairing the English Language since 1998." Based on Ambrose Bierce's Original Devil's Dictionary [more inside]
posted by fantodstic at 12:19 AM PST - 18 comments

August 12

Up the down staircase

Before the development of rubber technology and tubing made medical gavage feasible for the average patient doctors used to feed people through the ass. [more inside]
posted by XMLicious at 10:31 PM PST - 55 comments

Ridiculous otterly

It's an otter playing with a rock!
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 8:07 PM PST - 84 comments

Lint In My Pocket - American Civil War poetry

S Thomas Summers teaches writing and literature, and writes poetry about the American Civil War. Some of my favorites. Hat tip: The Atlantic.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:04 PM PST - 1 comment

Man, that unicorn really is a jerk!

A Unicorn Being a Jerk
posted by empath at 7:49 PM PST - 58 comments

My eyes! They do everything!

Nintendo's latest handheld console will display images in 3D, without glasses (and also without burning your eyes out. Again.) How? Jeff Grubb explains. [more inside]
posted by griphus at 7:33 PM PST - 55 comments

Gamma rays from novae detected

Astronomers using NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have detected gamma-rays from a nova for the first time, a finding that stunned observers and theorists alike. (via)
posted by Joe Beese at 7:10 PM PST - 18 comments

Red turf at Eastern Washington U. (It’s not unusual at all)

Of course our new football field is cranberry red. What do you think we are – savages? Watch paint dry Eastern Washington University install its forearm-staining turf on its TurfCam. Hey, for a million bucks what do you expect – something that looks like grass? (Via)
posted by joeclark at 6:17 PM PST - 33 comments

Dr. Laura's N-Word Rant

Tuesday on her radio program Dr. Laura Schlessinger took a call from a woman who wanted advice about her mixed-race marriage. Things quickly degenerated. Dr. Laura repeatedly used the N-Word, told the woman she was being too sensitive and suggested that maybe she shouldn't entered into a mixed marriage. The blogosphere responds. Dr. Laura apologized that day.
posted by Bonzai at 6:10 PM PST - 222 comments

Holy moleeds

Am I supposed to be laughing or taking notes? Comic Charles Fleischer, who played Carvelli on Welcome Back, Kotter and voiced Roger Rabbit, gives a Ted talk which degenerates into what appears to be a dissertation about the number 37 and its relationship to string theory, delivered in a rapidly shifting sequence of accents; watch the audience get more and more uncomfortable as they try to figure out whether they're watching a stand-up routine, a Kaufmannesque prank, or a guy going crazy right before their eyes. TED should have known what they were getting; Fleischer has been performing some form of this routine for decades. (Warning: numbered suit.) Transcript of the routine. Fleischer's strange myspace page. (Warning: strange music/talking on click which I can't figure out how to turn off.)
posted by escabeche at 5:45 PM PST - 17 comments

An Indictment by the Indicted

IF there were such a thing as Chapter 11 for politicians, the Republican push to extend the unaffordable Bush tax cuts would amount to a bankruptcy filing. Remember David Stockman? Reagan's budget director, recently indicted for fraud? It is he who is the author of this searing NYT op ed piece about the GOP's responsibility for disastrous U.S. economic policy decisions.
posted by bearwife at 5:39 PM PST - 18 comments

We are all going to die!

New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase has been found in India and Pakistan, Sweden, the Netherlands, Australia, Canada and the US. "Medical tourism, family travel and international migration have combined to import a potent new form of antibiotic resistance halfway around the planet—and the physician-researchers who have tracked its rapid spread say it is already on the verge of becoming untreatable." You hear that? UNTREATABLE!
posted by vidur at 5:09 PM PST - 34 comments

Go Screw Yourself

Getting screwed, even in death. [more inside]
posted by bwg at 4:39 PM PST - 40 comments

Mayor Bloomberg: "I hope [Wilders] spends a lot of money. We need the sales tax revenue."

Dutch MP and vehement Islam critic Geert Wilders will travel to New York to speak at a Sept. 11 protest against Park51, the so-called "Ground Zero mosque", sparking controversy in the Netherlands where he is currently taking part in negotiations to form a new government. Dutch diplomats are worried. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:38 PM PST - 151 comments

Ending the trilogy with a teddy bear luau.

Did 'Star Wars' become a toy story? Producer Gary Kurtz looks back “The toy business began to drive the [Lucasfilm] empire. It’s a shame. They make three times as much on toys as they do on films. It’s natural to make decisions that protect the toy business, but that’s not the best thing for making quality films.” He added: “The first film and ‘Empire’ were about story and character, but I could see that George’s priorities were changing.” (via) [more inside]
posted by octothorpe at 3:18 PM PST - 120 comments

May the Force Be With Us

You know that real-life Light Saber you always fantasized about getting as a kid? Good news! It's finally here! Sort of. And for only $299 USD. Oh, wait, no--turns out, it's not a light saber at all and any resemblance is purely coincidental. No, this thing is actually more like a sharp-pointed laser stick for poking people's eyes out and setting things on fire from as much as a mile away. [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman at 3:11 PM PST - 91 comments

Curved couches of the autocrats

Inside the private jets of African dictators and other heads of state. (Slideshow of photographs by Nick Gleis.)
posted by WPW at 3:03 PM PST - 29 comments

Plugging the Leaks

Shane Harris of the Washingtonian looks at the increasingly aggressive pursuit by the Obama administration of people (especially journalists) who leak sensitive information to the public.
posted by reenum at 2:39 PM PST - 23 comments

Dress 'em how you like.

At the 1938 Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme in Paris. each of fifteen artists were given a dressmaker's mannequin as their canvas and encouraged to transform the figure in any way they desired.
The artists included (in order of appearance in this video) Salvador Dalí, Óscar Dominguez, Marcel Duchamp, Léo Malet, André Masson, Joan Miró, Wolfgang Paalen, Kurt Seligmann, Yves Tanguy, Marcel Jean, Max Ernst, Espinoza, Maurice Henry, Sonia Mossé, and Man Ray. Here are some stills.
posted by adamvasco at 2:36 PM PST - 3 comments

It was going to be a very scientific evening, until the robot revolted!

A couple decades after the first appearance of Steam Men in the 19th century, and a few years after the word "robot" was coined, one Professor Harry May from London toured around the US with Alpha the robot. The one ton mechanical man was built from a combination of modern inventions that granted Alpha certain skills, from product model and vocal promoter of the automatic electric toaster, to gunslinger. The problem with giving Alpha a gun was that the robot revolted (PDF, via), shooting his master and creator in 1932. After this incident, Alpha became Mary Ann (via), complete with new hair, a dress, and a soprano voice.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:58 PM PST - 16 comments

It didn't turn out minimalist

And it doesn't suck. The Jeff Koons BMW art car is out. Here's Wired's take on it, and Autoblog with a little piece of video from the unveiling. [more inside]
posted by Nabubrush at 12:26 PM PST - 52 comments


HELVETICTOC A time-full tribute to a timeless typeface.
posted by Venadium at 12:00 PM PST - 49 comments

Green meets green

Interested in how businesses can be more environmentally responsible while maintaining profitability? is "the leading source for news, opinion, best practices, and other resources on the greening of mainstream business," with sections focusing on climate, buildings, design, and green computing. [more inside]
posted by albrecht at 11:47 AM PST - 7 comments

Hello, monkey. Goodbye, monkey

New "cat-sized" monkey discovered! The Callicebus caquetensis (a type of titi monkey) was just discovered, pre-endangered for your convenience.
posted by mikoroshi at 11:00 AM PST - 39 comments

A tax on people who are bad at math

Improve your grades, win big money. Ultrinsic allows students in 36 colleges and universities in the US to place bets on their grades, and sends them cash for doing well. Will it motivate students to do better, or just encourage more grade-grubbing? Is it legal?
posted by MrVisible at 10:30 AM PST - 19 comments

What Happened at Yahoo

Paul Graham weighs in on what happened at Yahoo. TLDR: too much money and adult supervision.
posted by swift at 9:56 AM PST - 89 comments

McStatin -- I'm Neutralizin' it!

"The risk reduction associated with the daily consumption of most statins is more powerful than the risk increase caused by the daily extra fat intake associated with a 7-oz hamburger (Quarter Pounder®) with cheese and a small milkshake...Although no substitute for systematic lifestyle improvements, including healthy diet, regular exercise, weight loss, and smoking cessation, complimentary statin packets would add, at little cost, 1 positive choice to a panoply of negative ones." Is having free statin drugs at the fast food counter by the napkins and ketchup packets a good idea? Some doctors think the idea has merit (original paper .pdf). Hmmm... maybe if they were minty flavored.
posted by cross_impact at 9:31 AM PST - 68 comments

"He liked a cigarette, he liked a bottle of beer - he drank a bottle of beer like any man "

World War II was a time that called for many things from many different people. However, one Polish soldier stepped above and beyond the call of his nature. He carried ammunition, he helped his squad members get better at wrestling, and he drank and smoked with the rest of them - Wojtek, the soldier bear. [more inside]
posted by lizarrd at 9:07 AM PST - 44 comments

The Riddler Strikes Again!

Anderson Cooper attempts to reason with the wild-eyed Debbie Riddle, a Texas State Representative who wants to save the US from bomb-throwing "anchor babies".
posted by hermitosis at 8:25 AM PST - 234 comments

Minority Graduation Rates

Using its College Results Online database, The Education Trust has released two reports examining the black-white and Hispanic-white college graduation gap. The worst offenders? Wayne State University in Detroit, where fewer than one in ten African-American students graduate in six years, and CUNY Brooklyn College, where 19% less Hispanic students graduate on-time than whites. [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 7:54 AM PST - 28 comments

In our house we no longer say, "Who is John Galt?" Instead we say, "Who's our little princess?"

Our Daughter Isn't a Selfish Brat; Your Son Just Hasn't Read Atlas Shrugged. [more inside]
posted by Chipmazing at 6:55 AM PST - 113 comments

Like postsecret, but more unsettling!

"I have started an archive of photographs deemed "too hard to keep." The reason you can't live with the photo or photo album I do not need to know..."
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:38 AM PST - 36 comments


Ack! [more inside]
posted by mecran01 at 6:17 AM PST - 121 comments

A Home Movie Featuring Adolf Hitler (SLYT)

A family traveled to France and Germany in 1938 and shot this footage which features two appearances by Adolf Hitler. It's creepy seeing this Nazi spectacle shot by an amateur. It's a perspective I don't know if I've ever seen. The video opens in France and the Nazi footage starts around 1:45.

The collector writes: "The Basement Collection presents: An 8mm film bought at an estate sale back in the 90's. This reel is part of a series of a family vacation movies to Europe in 1938. On this reel the family visits France and then Germany. The footage of Hitler is from a celebration in the Berlin Stadium on what I think is a May Day celebration (May 2, 1938) then another celebration at Berlin's Lustgarten. (on May 1st). (I think the reel was edited together out of order)."
posted by zzazazz at 5:14 AM PST - 93 comments

"The Fifth Heart"

A message from Dan Simmons. Dan Simmons SFF author shares some thoughts in his most recent blog post on publishing, writing, and the latest ideas for an upcoming novel: "The Five of Hearts" - In December of 1880, Henry Adams and his wife Clover moved into a rented house at 1607 H Street on Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C.. That was also the year they became lifelong friends with two men who had previously been mere acquaintances -- assistant secretary of state John Hay and the hazel-eyed bachelor, explorer, surveyor, mining expert, and general man-of-action in the West, Clarence King. The two, along with Hay's wife Clara, became constant callers at the Adamses small but wonderfully select 1607 H Street salon. In the words of one biographer, the five "delighted in their delight of one another" and began calling their little daily tea-time group "the Five of Hearts." Henry James and Sherlock Holmes will also make appearances.
posted by Fizz at 4:44 AM PST - 74 comments

August 11

Architectural Stationary

Around the late 1800s and early 1900s, receipts, envelopes, letterheads, and other corporate correspondence often featured drawings of a factory or storefront. Columbia University's Biggert Collection of Architectural Vignettes on Commercial Stationery contains over 1600 examples. Why not browse through? [more inside]
posted by Guernsey Halleck at 10:39 PM PST - 15 comments

the other drug war, in that other place

While most of the attention in the war on drugs has been focused on Mexico of late, the opium trade in Afghanistan is still alive. Though perhaps not as well this year, as Tajikistan reports far less opium crossing the border, attributed to more use within Afghanistan as well as an unexplained poppy blight. With yields dropping and prices rising, US-backed efforts to encourage farmers to grow alternate crops (previously) may be derailed, despite a trade agreement with Pakistan which promises to open the country's borders to more trade in legitimate consumer goods with India. Meanwhile, people are looking into ways to turn the poppy fields into biofuels.
posted by jackflaps at 9:18 PM PST - 21 comments

Live again the days gone by

Retrospace will bring back all those memories. '70s home decor. '80s teen comedies. Lifestyle magazines from 1977. And so much more. So very very much more. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 8:14 PM PST - 60 comments

Rich Girls Give It Away

Meet Sara and Clare Bronfman. Their father is rich. Their brother is sort of dumb. Their nephew is married to MIA. Sara is a poet, and Clare an equestrian. Now they have handed over $100 million to a cult called NXIVM.
posted by oldleada at 7:06 PM PST - 78 comments

I Call it Catsup. You Call it Ketchup

Got a lot of tomatoes? Looking for some thing different to DIY? How about DIY ketchup? "Whether it's pickles or preserves, DIY food is all the rage. But when I told a group of food-loving friends that I was planning to make my own ketchup, their response was muted. First, there was an awkward pause. Then, one piped up with the question that everyone must have been thinking: Why? Ketchup, apparently, is an exception to the everything-is-better-if-you-make-it-yourself ethos. "
posted by Xurando at 5:54 PM PST - 61 comments

My ( )( ), My ( )( )

"My Humps" translated into sign language. (SLYT) via Reddit
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 4:21 PM PST - 45 comments

Stop the Boats?

In a couple of weeks there will be a Federal Election in Australia. One of the key issues is migration policy, and policy relating to the processing of refugee claims, particularly those who escape from their home country and travel to Australia by boat. This one-page web comic is the most detailed examination of the issue I've seen anywhere in the media.
posted by awfurby at 4:20 PM PST - 45 comments

Perseids Meteor Shower

The Perseids Meteor shower will peak Thursday night through early Friday morning. Use the Dark Sky Finder to find a good place to watch. The Perseids is visible every year, but it's easier to see during the new moon. [more inside]
posted by NoraReed at 4:16 PM PST - 30 comments


Few phenomena have the power to confound as many different types of people as pareidolia. It doesn't discriminate by culture or religion. It causes Christians to see Jesus and Mary, Muslims to see the names of Allah and the Prophet, Jews to see the Star of David, Hindus to see the monkey-god Hanuman, and Buddhists to see — you guessed it — the Buddha. Even atheists who haven't devoted themselves to skepticism have puzzled long and hard over the famous face, and more recently, Bigfoot, on Mars. Now video has surfaced on YouTube of pseudoscientist and perennial attention-seeker Richard Heene (yes, Balloon Boy's dad) seeing things on the red planet too. If you'd prefer the filler edited out, the remix is highly entertaining. [more inside]
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 3:58 PM PST - 20 comments

London, 1845

A two-part panorama of London originally made in 1845 by the Illustrated London News, later updated with text descriptions. Other formats can be found on the blog post. [more inside]
posted by gman at 3:04 PM PST - 8 comments

The shredding secretary and the unrepentant embezzler

In the wake of high-profile "take this job and shove it" reenactors Steven Slater and Jenny Fictional, New York magazine sought out some other amusing walkouts.
posted by GrammarMoses at 3:00 PM PST - 29 comments

Buttons, how to sew on

(Sewing Filter) Judith Neukam explains how to sew on a button [more inside]
posted by IndigoJones at 3:00 PM PST - 25 comments

Heeeeeere's a searchable online database!

Carson Entertainment Group, which owns the archive of the late-night host's 30 years on "The Tonight Show," is set to announce Wednesday that it has digitized all 3,300 hours of existing footage from the program and created a searchable online database for producers and researchers. (way previously) [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese at 2:24 PM PST - 24 comments

It doesn't need to be pretty, it needs to be good.

[Cooking Filter] Serious Eats' Kenji Lopez-Alt explains what to look for in a meat cleaver.
posted by BZArcher at 2:00 PM PST - 20 comments

MLYT Japanese Club Jazz Madness

Mid-week pick-me-up, straight outta Japan: Soil & "Pimp" Sessions, live in 2009 at the annual North Sea Jazz Festival. If those live clips are a bit noisy, check out Pop Korn, My Foolish Heart~Crazy on Earth~, and My Foolish Heart ~Foolish in Mind~. And for a cool-down, try Welsh producer Doc Daneeka's bassy slowed down house version of Pop Korn (image source: Fotos+Mono, from the Chilean artist Relleno De Mono). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:26 PM PST - 6 comments

Nick Cave Does Not Take Himself as Seriously as You Think He Does

Grinderman - Heathen Child SLYT NSFW via Dangerous Minds
posted by xod at 1:24 PM PST - 22 comments

A rat race is for rats. We're not rats. We're human beings.

Scottish trade unionist, journalist and broadcaster Jimmy Reid has died aged 78. Often described as the best MP Scotland never had, Reid was the instigator of the 1971 Upper Clyde Shipbuilders famous work-in, where rather than striking, workers demonstrated the viability of the shipyards by working to fill the orders on the books, drawing national and international support (including a fat cheque from John Lennon). The year after, he was elected as rector of the University of Glasgow, where he delivered a speech (behind a paywall, sadly) that the New York Times (which saw fit to print it in full) called one of the finest since the Gettysburg Address [more inside]
posted by Len at 1:03 PM PST - 40 comments

They're connected because of what we've called them.

Words can change the way we think and feel. An exploration of how language connects our inner thoughts to the outside world. [more inside]
posted by Narrative Priorities at 12:30 PM PST - 23 comments

Artisinal Pencil Sharpening

Artisinal Pencil Sharpening That is all.
posted by grateful at 12:15 PM PST - 61 comments

The School Time Jet-Powered School Bus

"I built the bus for two reasons. The first is to entertain people because, come on, it's a jet bus. The second is to keep kids off drugs. Jets are hot, drugs are not." [more inside]
posted by dephlogisticated at 11:30 AM PST - 59 comments

Swimming, or the lack of, in the Black American community

A recent drowning tragedy in Shreveport, Louisiana has brought to light a startling statistic in America: a majority of black youth can not swim. [more inside]
posted by nomadicink at 11:00 AM PST - 206 comments

The Point of No Return

The Point of No Return. In the gap between Washington’s and Jerusalem’s views of Iran lies the question: who, if anyone, will stop Iran before it goes nuclear, and how? As Washington and Jerusalem study each other intensely, here’s an inside look at the strategic calculations on both sides—and at how, if things remain on the current course, an Israeli air strike will unfold.
posted by lullaby at 10:37 AM PST - 84 comments

Christiane reminisces about Stanley

Christiane Kubrick, widow of film director Stanley Kubrick, talks with the Guardian about her marriage to the film director, his lost project about the Holocaust, and his love of the waltz [via | Flash req'd].
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:21 AM PST - 4 comments

Overrated Writers

The 15 Most Overrated Contemporary American Writers by Anis Shivani [more inside]
posted by shotgunbooty at 10:09 AM PST - 162 comments

Your tires sold you out, man!

Traffic cameras aren't required to track your driving. Researchers from Rutgers and USC have determined that low-pressure sensors in car tires can be passively read, tracking a vehicle's route.
posted by boo_radley at 9:55 AM PST - 62 comments

...or their 1845-6 war with America.

Do not be alarmed if South Africans announce that they were held up by robots.
Aimed at warming the welcome for the 2012 Olympics tourist explosion, VisitBritain, has released a number of helpful tips on being social, internationally. Prepping for Serious Business? You can visit Executive Planet and learn all about being courteous across the world. And here are some reasonable solutions for your 112 gripes about the French (Previously). [more inside]
posted by griphus at 9:49 AM PST - 24 comments

Yes, but how is Hermione in the ring?

Inspired by the cage matches between popular characters over at Suvudu, Random House's SF/fantasy blog, Heather Zundel and friends have started a YA Fantasy version. At least 3 of the characters' authors are involved in the fight write-ups, although one author reacted differently. All I know is that I have a lot of books to check out.
posted by booksherpa at 9:41 AM PST - 17 comments

Tokyo Twitter Techno

Dommune is a fairly new nightclub in Tokyo. It's only open Sunday through Thursday night and they close at midnight. The room only holds 50 people. Nevertheless, the place attracts top-flight talent; Jeff Mills, Derrick May, Claude Young, Prosumer, and Shed have all performed. What's the gimmick? Every party is streamed live. (from mnml ssgs) [more inside]
posted by mkb at 9:36 AM PST - 20 comments

Cincinnati, Ohio. September 1848. 1:55pm.

Eight daguerreotypes from 1848, taken by Charles Fontayne and William Porter, which comprise a panorama of the waterfront of Cincinnati, Ohio, at the city's zenith have recently been restored revealing astonishing detail for photographs of that era, like a legible clocktower 1mm wide in the original, and people walking the streets of the city. [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco at 9:09 AM PST - 18 comments

QWERTY keyboard, how do you plead? - Gluty!

QWERTY keyboard, how do you plead? Gluty! (Stephen) Fry's English Delight tackles the sociotechnical history of the QWERTY keyboard. [more inside]
posted by carter at 8:40 AM PST - 42 comments


Wikileaks Attack Data by Year and Type Projected on Afghanistan Regional Map [more inside]
posted by Hammond Rye at 8:19 AM PST - 6 comments

"As I recall, she was quite excited..."

Actresses Mia Farrow and Carol White have cast doubt on supermodel Naomi Campbell's version of a story involving midnight mystery men, a sack of blood diamonds, and ex-Liberian president Charles Taylor. [more inside]
posted by hermitosis at 8:10 AM PST - 44 comments

He likes to keep himself to himself

After years of "If You Suspect It, Report It" (the more Big Brotherly British equivalent of "See Something? Say Something."), it has been finally been determined what level of encouraging people to turn in their neighbours is just too much.
posted by 256 at 6:53 AM PST - 46 comments

The Prince Of Post-Pub

A pioneer of UK late night television The Word is twenty years old. From the sublime (Television debut of Nirvana's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit') to the ridiculous (Snoop Dog vs Rod Hull and Emu) to the down-right disgusting (The Hopefuls) it was always memorable. (Much NSFWness) [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:34 AM PST - 29 comments

Make Music Anywhere

Pocket music apps are letting composers and artists create music anywhere - and they're developing fast. [more inside]
posted by Stark at 4:51 AM PST - 51 comments

Cooking Issues

Cooking Issues (mentioned here and here previously), from French Culinary Institute Instructors Dave Arnold (previously) and Nils Norén (former Executive Chef at NYC's Aquavit and Top Chef Masters participant) is a blog exploring cutting-edge cooking techniques. While some techniques they describe require expensive and specialized equipment like liquid nitrogen dewars, a 1750°F custom-made loggerhead (also profiled here), a wet grinder (for ketchup "chocolate", of course!), or a turkey whose leg bones have been replaced with aluminum tubes through which an immersion circulator pumps hot oil, many others are well within the reach of the motivated home cook: gin-infused cucumbers, clarifying lime juice with agar, using enzymes to dissolve citrus pith for zest and supremes, quick-infusing liquor with a whipped cream maker, or making the world's best french fries (part 1, part 2). Here they are demonstrating some of their techniques on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. [more inside]
posted by joshuaconner at 3:34 AM PST - 25 comments

Excursions 13: The Director's Cut

We're all familiar with extremely disturbing fanfic by now. But steamy Hermione/Snape fantasies are tame compared to the depths of madness that are explored in the latest installment of Excursions into Madness, in which our anonymous author reimagines his favorite movie characters through the lens of absolute psychosis. Part I: Star Wars, E.T., Interview with the Vampire. Part II: The Fellowship of the Ring, Back to the Future. From the same twisted mind that produced The Obama Proxy.
posted by ELF Radio at 2:16 AM PST - 14 comments

August 10

Or: Merry, the abuser.

Eminem's new video, featuring Rihanna, makes domestic violence sexy as only a (literally) smoldering Megan Fox can. [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura at 5:46 PM PST - 197 comments

Where Does Our Alphabet Come From?

We see it every day on signs, billboards, packaging, in books and magazines; in fact, you are looking at it now — the Latin or Roman alphabet, the world’s most prolific, most widespread abc. Typography is a relatively recent invention, but to unearth the origins of alphabets, we will need to travel much farther back in time, to an era contemporaneous with the emergence of civilisation itself. The origins of abc.
posted by netbros at 5:26 PM PST - 24 comments

It's the end of space-time as we know it, and I feel fine.

Those wacky New Scientists are reporting on a "new challenge" to part of Einstein's theory of special relativity that changes the relationship of Space to Time. No, this has nothing to do with Conservapedia's laughable challenge to the theory*. Petr Hořava** won't replace Einstein*** in scientific importance in this new Century, but maybe Hendrik Lorentz whose theories on symmetry apparently take a beating****. Remember kiddies, Science (especially Physics) doesn't have Absolute Truths, it just keeps getting closer to them. And even ol' Albert E. can and WILL be improved upon. [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:20 PM PST - 37 comments

Black people tweet like THIS

How do black people use Twitter? Why is Twitter more popular with black people? (The Root asks, "Really?") What were black people talking about on Twitter last night? [more inside]
posted by desjardins at 4:13 PM PST - 88 comments

"You play football with your heart not your feet"

Pelé and Maradona: the glorious, ludicrous feud between soccer's two biggest stars. In the summer of 2000, FIFA, which does not understand computers, decided to celebrate the arrival of the millennium by hosting an online poll. Its object: to determine the best soccer player of the past 100 years, with the victor to be fêted at a gaudy banquet in Rome. The organizers of the vote assumed it would be won by Pelé, soccer's silky ambassador, who'd been cheerfully ensconced in his Greatest of All Time sinecure for 40 years.
posted by Fizz at 3:59 PM PST - 30 comments

Morality Play

Scandal brewing at Harvard. Marc Hauser, evolutionary biologist/psychologist who is an authority on how animals think, is taking a year's leave of absence because a university review has concluded that there were "irregularities" in the conduct of his research. One article is being withdrawn. Others under suspicion. Hauser is well-known for his studies of cotton-top tamarin monkeys. Not clear if he will be required to give up his page. His most recent book is about morality (previously).
posted by cogneuro at 3:36 PM PST - 117 comments

Top 10 Web Design Trends for 1993

How did the World Wide Web look before this Internet boom,(1) before it became a riot for star backgrounds, bouncing envelopes and under construction signs?(2) Before web design, there was Prof. Dr. Style. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:01 PM PST - 43 comments


Huge solar storm triggers unusual Auroras.
posted by gman at 2:53 PM PST - 18 comments

Piracy Funds Fashionistas

Stop Fashion Piracy! Senator Chuck Schumer and ten co-sponsers have introduced the Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act (Govtrack). Similar to legislation from previous Congressional sessions, this would extend copyright protection to fashion designs. Currently, the fashion industry does have trademark protection, which allows legal recourse for designers and brands to go after counterfeiting, but designs and concepts are free to be imitated. The bill has the support of the Council of Fashion Designers of America and the American Apparel and Footwear Association. This is the cumulation of a multi-year effort to extend copyright protections to fashion designers (that included sidestops where they tried to co-opt Michelle Obama into their efforts and where one of the top fashion copyright proponents gets caught copying other people's designs), and would change an industry that historically has worked within a dramatically different culture from other creative industries. [more inside]
posted by Weebot at 2:24 PM PST - 53 comments

It's been great to sing and play together.

Soul Toons: DeStorm Power creates a one-man a cappella soul medley of cartoon theme songs.
posted by Lutoslawski at 2:07 PM PST - 2 comments

Yes to XXXXXAct ofXXXX!

The XXXXXXAct ofXXXX bill passes the United States Senate.
posted by swift at 1:43 PM PST - 55 comments

Norwegian Lundehunds

The Puffins of Norway make their home in nests along cliffs and in caves. These nests were inaccessible to human hunters. The hunters needed a special kind of dog. A spelunking dog. [more inside]
posted by dogmom at 1:36 PM PST - 18 comments

Yakuza Accuracy Test

Yakuza video game reviewed by actual Yakuza [more inside]
posted by BZArcher at 1:30 PM PST - 31 comments

100 Square Miles and Drifting

On August 5, 2010 in the north-east corner of Greenland, about 100 square miles (251 square kilometers) of the Petermann Glacier broke off (or calved, see: glacial geology terminology), and in time for the 35th anniversary for the coining of the term "Global Warming". The glacier has been showing signs of breaking up in the last few years, but this is the most dramatic loss for the Petermann Glacier in ten years, yet still far from being the largest calving event in recorded history. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:20 PM PST - 22 comments

Fuckin’ nerds. How do they work?

Abhay Khosla reviews comics for the Savage Critics. —In April of 2008, he posted “Why Do Nerdy Things Work? Abhay Rereads Blue Beetle, Episode I,” the first post in an “irregular, multipart series” that ended up being about much, much more than the John Rogers era of the most recent retooling of the Blue Beetle. [more inside]
posted by kipmanley at 12:53 PM PST - 15 comments

An epic and bizarre story of American power in an unsettled age.

Newt Gingrich: The Indispensable Republican. In the twelve years since he resigned in defeat and disgrace, he has been carefully plotting his return to power. As 2012 approaches, he has raised as much money as all of his potential rivals combined and sits atop the polls for the Republican presidential nomination. But just who is Newton Leroy Gingrich, really? (SLEsquire)
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:35 PM PST - 89 comments

Sen. Ted Stevens has died in a plane crash.

Ted Stevens has died in a plane crash near Dillingham Alaska. [more inside]
posted by Nabubrush at 12:10 PM PST - 121 comments

More hot stats from OKCupid

OK Cupid statistics fun: We collected 552,000 example user pictures. We paired them up and asked people to make snap judgments. Here's what we found.
posted by nomadicink at 10:39 AM PST - 109 comments

The Seat Monopolizer

The three annoying train monsters shown in the poster are Nesshii (the sleeping monster), Asshii (the leg-crossing monster), and Shinbunshii (the newspaper-reading monster). Tokyo Subway Manner Posters, '76-'82
posted by griphus at 9:43 AM PST - 55 comments

Now Bugs Bunny and Porky Pig Can Both Be Happy

Carrot Bacon. More or less exactly what it says. [Single Link Flicker Set]
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:41 AM PST - 51 comments

Q. And is there any significance to "new fags"? [...] What about "b tard"?

moot explains 4chan to a jury [PDF], via The Smoking Gun. [more inside]
posted by BeerFilter at 8:21 AM PST - 122 comments

MF: Open browser and go to

Andrew Hussie's latest comic enterprise at (previously), Homestuck, has been hurtling along at a truly absurd pace. Designed as a pastiche and parody of videogames in general and text-based graphical adventures in particular, updates are structured as a hypothetical game's response to your typed commands, such as "Examine room." The art may not look like much up front, but it enables AH to maintain his multiple-updates-every-day pace for weeks at a time; it also lets him modulate the quality where appropriate for the storytelling. It's sort of a multimedia extravaganza: the story is told using static and animated gifs, narrative text, dialogue presented as instant messaging chat transcripts (click the Show Pesterlog button to see the text), flash-based static animations with music and/or sound effects, interactive vignettes reminiscent of console RPG-style combat, interactive sound mixers and animation compendia, GameFAQs walkthroughs, an enormous hyperlinked synopsis presented by the author himself during a highly indulgent self-insertion into the story, multiple webcomics within webcomics, and in at least two cases, an entire miniature action/adventure game. [more inside]
posted by jsnlxndrlv at 7:58 AM PST - 22 comments

"Dr Karen explores healthcare in afghanistan"

Dr. Karen Woo, one of the 10 medical aid workers slain in Afghanistan, kept a blog of her experiences. I've spent the last two days doing Afghan medicals - en masse I have been terrifying Afghan men with my femaleness and daring use of the stethoscope. [more inside]
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:43 AM PST - 45 comments

Maybe the first thing about DeviantART that doesn't suck

To celebrate its tenth birthday, popular site DeviantART unveils Muro, a gorgeous HTML5 drawing tool that handles multiple layers and a variety of artistic brushes. No account required.
posted by Rory Marinich at 6:13 AM PST - 25 comments

Small-time true crime from New Castle, PA

Unsung Joe has had a lot of worthwhile updates since previously seen on MetaFilter, including adding a true-crime sister blog called Small Town Noir.
posted by DU at 5:24 AM PST - 3 comments

Shaft in Space

Could there have been plans for a "black Star Wars"-type film in the late '70s? Further details have emerged recently and now a trailer has been found for Blackstar Warrior.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:23 AM PST - 38 comments

Spinal-Fluid Test Is Found to Predict Alzheimer’s

Spinal-Fluid Test Is Found to Predict Alzheimer’s "Researchers report that a spinal fluid test can be 100 percent accurate in identifying patients with significant memory loss who are on their way to developing Alzheimer’s disease."
posted by rageagainsttherobots at 2:47 AM PST - 55 comments

August 9

Russia is Burning

The worst heatwave in 1000 years has led to half of Russia being on fire.
posted by divabat at 10:37 PM PST - 104 comments

Then other people find out she is the chihuahua lady — and it’s out of control.

“I think she was a very nice lady who was in way over her head,” said (the local SPCA general manager). “She was probably in a situation where she started with one chihuahua and it had babies. People get attached to them and feel that nobody can do as good a job [caring for them], so they end up keeping them. Then other people find out she is the chihuahua lady — her boss died and gave her 12. Pretty soon, her babies are having babies and it’s out of control.” SPCA swamped with tsunami of chihuahuas
posted by KokuRyu at 10:20 PM PST - 52 comments

Mark Twight's Gym Jones

Mark Twight, a prominent alpinist, is the founder of Gym Jones. His training of the actors of 300 has inspired "the 300 workout" as well as some detractors. (previously)
posted by Joe Beese at 9:52 PM PST - 27 comments

"We reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals."

In late July the American Civil Liberties Union released "Establishing a New Normal" (pdf), an 18 month review of national security, civil liberties and human rights under the Obama Administration.
posted by IvoShandor at 9:45 PM PST - 30 comments

Katawa Shoujo

Romance Game Monday: Katawa Shoujo is a free dating game that is in progress, but the first act is available for download on all major OSes and in several languages. Why is this on MetaFilter, when there are other free visual novels? Well, this one is made by a Western team that originated on 4chan's /b/ after Dojinshi artist Raita made a sketch of disabled school girls. [more inside]
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:24 PM PST - 22 comments

You Dirty Chicken Plucker

Howard Bloom: Exercising the Animals in the Brain [more inside]
posted by nola at 8:09 PM PST - 24 comments

Stack em high

We the Giants is a flash platformer where you take the role of an adorable one-eyed rectangular creature trying to touch a star by using or simply adding to a wealth of accumulated knowledge. [more inside]
posted by EtzHadaat at 7:41 PM PST - 51 comments

“Clients aren’t deciding whether to pay you so you can send them your product. They’ve already got it.”

The Music-Copyright Enforcers “A few years back, we had Penn, Schoen and Berland, Hillary’s pollster guys, do a study. The idea was, go and find out what Americans really think about copyright. Do songwriters deserve to be paid? Absolutely! The numbers were enormously favorable — like, 85 percent. The poll asked, ‘If there was a party that wasn’t compensating songwriters, do you think that would be wrong?’ And the answer was, ‘Yes!’ So then, everything’s fine, right? Wrong. Because when it came time to ask people to part with their shekels, it was like: ‘Eww. You want me to pay?’ ” [more inside]
posted by availablelight at 5:35 PM PST - 121 comments

Bridging the Chasm Between Two Cultures

"How did a card-carrying, aura-wearing, chakra-toting leader of the New Age become able to understand and eventually embrace the skeptical culture? Well, it took quite a while, so let me start at the beginning. "
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:53 PM PST - 392 comments

Clash of the Tea Party Travel Agents

There is a bitter feud between the two women who are trying to gain supremacy in the battle to make all of the Tea Party's travel arrangements.
posted by reenum at 2:42 PM PST - 66 comments

Pack a bag, change a life is an online community that helps responsible travelers make a practical difference to the lives of those in developing countries. [more inside]
posted by gman at 2:35 PM PST - 26 comments

'Priceless collection' in Russia was never registered so is therefore worthless and does not officially exist, say developers

In 1926, Nikolai Vavilov founded the world's first modern seedbank, and amassed a collection which today contains over 90% unique varieties of plant, contained in no other collection in existence. For his opposition to Lysenkoism he died in prison, and several of his colleagues famously starved to death instead of eating their specimens during the Siege of Leningrad. Now the Pavlovsk seedbank facility has been seized by the Federal Agency for Public Estate Management, and pending a court ruling will be demolished - contents and all - to build a housing development. The collection cannot be moved in time because it is a working seedbank of living plants.
posted by mek at 2:31 PM PST - 40 comments

They were Giants.

Minotaure published only 12 issues between 1933 and 1939. The covers were by some of the leading artists of the day century. (via)
posted by adamvasco at 2:22 PM PST - 14 comments

Paul Rand

Paul Rand was one of the great graphic designers of modern times, designing among other things, logos for Westinghouse, ABC, IBM and UPS. The website has galleries of book design, posters, logos, and much more (open images in new tab or window to see the full-sized image, some books have image galleries, look for a "see inside" button). You can also read his thoughts on design, watch interviews and videos about him, and follow the many links to interesting online Randiana.
posted by Kattullus at 12:56 PM PST - 24 comments

Brutalism and Ballard

The term Brutalist Architecture comes from the French term for raw concrete, beton brut. The style resonates strongly in the works of JG Ballard. (previously, previously) [more inside]
posted by kittensofthenight at 12:47 PM PST - 85 comments

"See no evil, hear no evil..." "Can you hear me now?"

Despite very strong denials last week from Google and Verizon that they were not discussing ways around Net Neutrality, Google and Verizon held a conference today to announce their agreement to the establishment of price-tiered network services, dividing the current Internet into a "neutral public Internet" that remains "open" (and which preserves access to YouTube and other Google properties), and a set of paid, priority channels that Verizon and other telecoms can use to deliver certain other types of content at higher prices, particularly over cell networks and whatever future infrastructure the Internet will be carried over.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:43 PM PST - 223 comments


They said he could have been the next Sly Stone or Al Green. But after recording only six tracks in the 70s (and, as legend has it, after opening for James Brown), William "Darondo" Pulliam decided to throw in the towel on his burgeoning music career. As he said about his talents and success: "It was mostly me, just having a good time with a real good hobby." He bought a Rolls-Royce with a license plate stamped DARONDO and became somewhat well-known in his hometown of Oakland (most have assumed that Darondo made his living as a pimp, though he has denied this). For the most part he lived his own life, not surfacing in the public eye again until the mid-1980s, when he hosted an Oakland-based cable access comedy/talk show called "Darondo's Penthouse" (clip 1 // clip 2 // clip 3). Record collectors and music enthusiasts generated renewed interest in him in the last few years, and someone even tracked down Darondo and got him to feature in a music video of one his old songs. More songs below the fold. [more inside]
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 12:23 PM PST - 19 comments

Demake Galore!

Gorgeous Demake Concepts: Batman, Bioshock, FFXIII, Guitar Hero, MGS4, Pikmin, Resident Evil 5, Mario Kart (via). [more inside]
posted by tybeet at 12:12 PM PST - 18 comments

Boogie 'til you puke/poop

Boogie 'til you puke: Mountain Climber Jason Kruk got his knee stuck in a 5.11 offwidth called "Boogie 'til You Puke," and required a rescue. Luckily, it was caught on video. [more inside]
posted by spork at 12:03 PM PST - 26 comments

Flooding in Pakistan

Pakistan is suffering the worst flooding for over 80 years. (NYTimes) (Guardian) At least 1600 people are dead, and approximately 15 million are affected by this tragedy. Millions of acres have been swamped by the floods. The United Nations has rated the floods as the greatest humanitarian crisis in recent history. (Wikipedia) (The Big Picture)
posted by seanyboy at 11:29 AM PST - 43 comments

Solution World Hat

Git Gob [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:12 AM PST - 3 comments

Surfs up!

Trailblazers is a live web surf event where you can show off your PRO surfing skills. No keyboard, no google, just pure links! At the event, the participants use a prepared computer with a modified browser: the address bar is removed and each click on a link is tracked by a counter. The goal is to get from one website to an other one by just clicking on links. The winner is the one who had to click the least links. TRAILBLAZERS is a project by Theo Seeman, an interface design/new media student at the Merz Akademie in Stuttgart, Germany. That’s also where the first event took place. One of the missions was to browse from to, an other was to browse from to The next event will be at ARS Electronica in Linz, Austria, September 3rd. Check out this video.
posted by Fizz at 11:10 AM PST - 24 comments

$$ = :) ??

On money and happiness Takeaway: buying stuff doesn't make you happier, although investing in experiences that strengthen social and familial bonds can. Interestingness: savings increased to 6.5% this year and some experts think this is permanent; conspicuous consumption is shifting to calculated consumption; “There’s massive literature on income and happiness. It’s amazing how little there is on how to spend your money.” [more inside]
posted by erikvan at 10:33 AM PST - 55 comments

An animated .gif of Wolverine snacking on a pizza, FOREVER.

Motion comics, why bother?
posted by Artw at 10:14 AM PST - 46 comments

How can I be sure I’ll stay out of jail?

How Will You Measure Your Life? [more inside]
posted by manny_calavera at 9:30 AM PST - 64 comments

Online statistics textbook

Interested in teaching yourself some statistics? Here is an excellent online and interactive statistics textbook developed at UC Berkeley, and also used at CUNY, UCSC, SJSU, and Bard. Here is the syllabus for the course at Berkeley. And here are some insightful reflections from the professor on developing Berkeley's first fully approved online course.
posted by AceRock at 9:23 AM PST - 18 comments

Now Get Off of My Freakin' Lawn!

"Fred is not a real kid, thank God: Fred Figglehorn is a character, a six year-old kid with an alcoholic stepmother and a father in jail."* Created in 2008 and portrayed by Nebraska teenager Lucas Cruikshank, Fred's YouTube videos "have racked up nearly 530 million views in aggregate." On September 17th. 'Fred: the Movie' hits Nickelodeon. [more inside]
posted by ericb at 9:10 AM PST - 34 comments

All this happened, more or less.

Kurt Vonnegut - How To Get A Job Like Mine A lecture at Albion College in 2002. [more inside]
posted by xod at 8:53 AM PST - 12 comments

Bore Now Bore

Though the Boredoms have long been renowned for non-traditional, envelope pushing, and occasionally confrontational performances, frontman eYe's earlier group, Hanatarash, were reputed to have been even more extreme, trading in ultra-violent displays with no regard for performer or audience safety. In particular, there was a story of eYe driving a full-sized backhoe through the back wall of the venue. It's the kind thing you hear about and assume that some level of exaggeration is going on...until you see the pictures. [more inside]
posted by anazgnos at 8:25 AM PST - 23 comments

Pluto should be the hidden track

"I've been studying the planets and learning the personalities of each planet." Dr. Dre is considering a hip-hop instrumental answer to Gustav Holst.
posted by cross_impact at 8:06 AM PST - 34 comments

I Feel Like Burundi For Dinner Tonight

"The goal of this journey is to find cuisines from every United Nations member state, within New York City limits, in alphabetical order. " For your gustatory delight, here is The Confined Nomad
posted by spicynuts at 7:54 AM PST - 33 comments

How to Microwave Gourmet Popcorn in a Brown Paper Bag

How to Microwave Gourmet Popcorn in a Brown Paper Bag.
posted by swift at 6:35 AM PST - 50 comments

I guess it was hot enough for you.

Remember this crazy sport? Well, sort of unsurprisingly, today one of the contestants has died. The World Sauna championships will likely not be repeated. BTW, for those of you who want it, there's video, and pictures, but they're both graphic (as in watching someone voluntarily cooked to death graphic).
posted by jadayne at 5:55 AM PST - 91 comments

Patricia Neal has died

Patricia Neal has died, aged 84. She was best known for her Oscar winning performance in Hud in 1963, in which she co-starred with Paul Newman. [more inside]
posted by MuffinMan at 5:32 AM PST - 30 comments

"But to want to repeat the Cube - that is not the way to live." - Erno Rubik

Every position of Rubik's Cube™ can be solved in twenty moves or less.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 5:28 AM PST - 50 comments

The blues calendar did not start with the birth of Stevie Ray Vaughn.

You play in a Blues band? Ten ways to keep it real.
posted by three blind mice at 5:03 AM PST - 48 comments

You Got My Pig In Your Tiger!

A tigress raised by pigs returns the favor. Cuteness ensues.
posted by biddeford at 4:22 AM PST - 20 comments

Think Pink.

The Independant's 2010 Pink List ... and why Stephen Fry is giving up his Number 3 spot to Louie Spence. [more inside]
posted by crossoverman at 3:59 AM PST - 39 comments

August 8

Complex matters for the millenium

I am pleased to announce a proof that P is not equal to NP. In this paper, Vinay Deolalikar (HP Labs) proposes a proof to answer the most important problem in its field of mathematics. [more inside]
posted by knz at 11:57 PM PST - 113 comments

Doing the Reactionary

"Don't go Left/But be polite/Move to the Right/Doing the Reactionary…" [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator at 8:39 PM PST - 27 comments

"I soon learned that if I was asked to play something over again, it meant that they didn't understand it, not that they liked it."

"But this wasn't quite enough and so then I got the idea of having all thirteen of the lowest tones of the piano played together... In other words, I was inventing a new musical sound later to be called 'tone clusters'... Anyway, this was my professional debut as a composer." Henry Cowell's musical autobiography. Cowell was one of the most important figures in 20th-century American music, described by John Cage as "the open sesame for new music in America." In this hour-long program recorded four years before his death in 1965, compositions from every stage in Cowell's career are contextualized and discussed by the man himself.
posted by No-sword at 8:15 PM PST - 10 comments

Successful fundraising with Kickstarter

"In April 2010, Ashley Rawlings and I used community fundraising to raise nearly $24,000 to breathe new life into our book, Art Space Tokyo. My goal [in this blog post] is to outline what we did and why we did it, with the hope of inspiring anyone with an itch, gumption and a good narrative, to do the same. To bring beautiful, well-considered things into the world."
posted by dobbs at 7:21 PM PST - 9 comments

Anonymous Acts of Kindness and Day-Brightening

Random Acts of Kindness [more inside]
posted by MrBCID at 6:51 PM PST - 38 comments

Dangerous Ideas

Every day in August 2010, the chin-scratching blog Bigthink will post a "Dangerous Idea" supplied by one of its expert contributors. So far it has been suggested that we spike the water supply with lithium, darken the atmosphere to blot out the Sun, and leave lots of children behind.
posted by escabeche at 6:03 PM PST - 37 comments

Speaking truth to power or biting the hand that feeds her? I vote the former.

Valedictorian speaks out against schooling in graduation speech. Last month, Erica Goldson graduated as valedictorian of Coxsackie-Athens High School. Instead of using her graduation speech to celebrate the triumph of her victory, the school, and the teachers that made it happen, she channeled her inner Ivan Illich and de-constructed the logic of a valedictorian and the whole educational system.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:58 PM PST - 178 comments

Getting in (and Out of) Line

Getting in (and Out of) Line [more inside]
posted by modernnomad at 3:45 PM PST - 31 comments

Politics on the March

How broken is the Senate? George Packer asks in his New Yorker piece, "The Empty Chamber."
posted by Trochanter at 2:22 PM PST - 44 comments

Who are these mysterious "they" who say a lot and show up everywhere uninvited?

Why we urgently need to bring the concept of society up-to-date This post is taken from Disputed Questions: a series of debates organized by Neil Turner for the Open Anthropology Cooperative. I would like to argue for the motion: One of the major challenges of anthropology is the redefinition of the concept “society.”
posted by infini at 1:27 PM PST - 13 comments

Position-based quantum cryptography theoretically proved

Our results open a fascinating new direction for position-based security in cryptography where security of protocols is solely based on the laws of physics and proofs of security do not require any pre-existing infrastructure.
posted by Joe Beese at 11:38 AM PST - 47 comments


Monstrous Wildlife, an educational film about Graboids [via]
posted by brundlefly at 10:46 AM PST - 21 comments

"It's awfully small..." "I'd say it's awfully.. cozy!"

Tour of a house that's less than 100 square feet. [slv]
posted by Fizz at 10:41 AM PST - 115 comments

Behind that Curtain

"He leaped from one rooftop to the next, like a “human fly.” When he reached for his whip, thugs scattered and miscreants wept. He once arrested forty gamblers in their lair, single-handed. He was a master of disguises..."
Chang Apana, the real Charlie Chan.
posted by griphus at 9:32 AM PST - 7 comments


Animator and comic book artist Michel Gagné has released his short film Sensology. [more inside]
posted by bonobothegreat at 8:32 AM PST - 10 comments

Imagine an animator's boot stamping on a cartoon face -- forever

Featuring thousands of transformations - from Little Lulu to Donald Duck to Spongebob to Bert from Sesame Street - Love and Theft is a twisted "face kaleidoscope" of the animation living in your pop culture brain. From Andreas Hykade, the creator of the "country" trilogy (We Lived in Grass, Ring of Fire and Runt).

Mildly NSFW - some cartoon body parts visible during the 'transporter-malfunction' morphing. Do not show to the uptight or easily disturbed. [via]
posted by Hardcore Poser at 6:52 AM PST - 39 comments

Er, just natural gas

According to two research scientists the mystery of vanished ships and airplanes in the region dubbed "The Bermuda Triangle" has been solved. [more inside]
posted by twoleftfeet at 5:41 AM PST - 77 comments

Board Games with Scott!

Confused in Catan? Conflicted about Carcassonne? Puzzled in Puerto Rico? You've heard about all these awesome new board games that are out these days, but don't know where to begin? Help is here! Scott Nicholson knows all about 'em, and will explain them in great detail in his video series Board Games With Scott! [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 2:31 AM PST - 56 comments

The Plastic you could get to admire.

Dutch Architects envision a self sufficient floating island in the Pacific.
Recycled Island would be located in the North Pacific Gyre or Garbage dump NE of Hawaii.
Richie Sowa did this before on a smaller scale with his first Spiral Island. You could say that Plastic makes it possible.
( Richie Sowa previously)
posted by adamvasco at 2:00 AM PST - 21 comments

August 7

LeVar Burton never saw it coming

Modern drinking games are often crafted around movies or television, leaving dry those with literary ambitions. Now you avid readers can get in on the fun! (via) [more inside]
posted by Korou at 8:44 PM PST - 95 comments


An undulating 3D tunnel in under 1k of JavaScript - requires a browser which supports the CANAVS tag.
posted by Artw at 8:09 PM PST - 74 comments

Amino acids, break it down

Do you remember where you were on August 16th, '77? (Educational film, Country Public Broadcasting System, 2:58. NSFW because of Science.) [more inside]
posted by Countess Elena at 3:27 PM PST - 87 comments

Tysiąc lat w 8 minut

The history of Poland, in eight minutes, in CGI, from the country's exhibition at Expo 2010 in Shanghai. The film is full of blink-and-you'll-miss-it references - check the date at the bottom-left of the screen and see how many you can find! [more inside]
posted by mdonley at 2:39 PM PST - 24 comments

The Miserable Ones

Opening Night: October 8, 1985 at the Barbican in London. It scored mixed reviews, but word of mouth still took hold. In the 25 years since that first show, 45,000 performances have been produced in 42 countries, 308 cities and 21 languages that have been seen by 56 million people. It is the third-longest running show in Broadway history. 40 cast recordings have been released. And on October 30th, 2010, a special concert production of the play based on the book Les Miserables by Victor Hugo will take place at The 02 Arena in North Greenwich. (YouTube Video) [more inside]
posted by zarq at 12:44 PM PST - 44 comments

Joe Dassin is alive and well and living on YouTube

Joe Dassin was the son of a Russian jewish American film director a Hungarian virtuoso violinist. [more inside]
posted by mvuijlst at 12:29 PM PST - 6 comments

The Video Game Capital of the World

Ottumwa, Iowa has declared itself home to the International Video Game Hall of Fame and Museum. Where the town will obtain the money for the museum building and collection is currently an open question, but Ottumwa, home of Twin Galaxies (previously: 1, 2), the "official scorekeeper for the world of video game & pinball playing," is no stranger to stepping up to fill a void in the world of electronic gaming. [more inside]
posted by EvaDestruction at 11:57 AM PST - 18 comments

What the pangeaists don't want you to know

Don't continue fooling yourself. The earth is growing and expanding rapidly. Despite plate tectonics' popular acceptance in the 60s, Samuel Warren Carey, the father of modern expansion tectonics, was publicly promoting his theories of an expanded earth as late as 1981. One of the theory's most prominent modern spokesmen is comics artist Neal Adams, who has created a number of informative videos about a new model of the universe that even manages to explain why the dinosaurs died out. [more inside]
posted by Lorc at 11:51 AM PST - 77 comments

Google’s Product Development Philosophy

“If you're a politician, admitting you're wrong is a weakness, but if you're an engineer, you essentially want to be wrong half the time. If you do experiments and you're always right, then you aren't getting enough information out of those experiments. You want your experiment to be like the flip of a coin: You have no idea if it is going to come up heads or tails. You want to not know what the results are going to be. ” A Slate interview with Google Research Director Peter Norvig on Google's product development process. [via]
posted by Jasper Friendly Bear at 11:44 AM PST - 19 comments

Tony Judt has passed

Historian Tony Judt has passed away at the age of 62. Suffering from ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease), Judt had recently published Ill Fares the Land, a call for the US to adopt social democratic policies. [more inside]
posted by dhens at 10:24 AM PST - 60 comments

Interesting Situations

Spider-Man snorting cocaine. Catwoman, Robin, & Batman threesome. Suicidal Spider-Man. Spider-Man & Batman hand-cuffed. Wonderwoman & wonder-hands. Italian artist Giuseppe Veneziano has a new exhibition of art on display. And it does seem to be having fun with a bunch of familiar supehero icons.
posted by Fizz at 10:01 AM PST - 50 comments

Tomato, To-mah-toe; Potato, Po-tah-toe; Let's call the whole thing off.

Brasil or Brazil? Aluminum or Aluminium? Yogurt or Yoghurt? Does even Jimbo know when he was born? Wikipedia's lamest edit wars.
posted by scalefree at 9:01 AM PST - 84 comments

High frequency trading crop circles

High frequency trading crop circles. Automated trading is flooding stock exchanges with nonsensical orders making odd patterns like The Knife at millisecond scales. Bugs, emergent phenomena, or market jamming strategies? No one seems to know.
posted by Nelson at 7:52 AM PST - 107 comments

Dancers, going about daily life

"I was thinking about the recession and what that meant for talented people who may have lost their jobs. Are you still a dancer if you are not paid to perform? Or are you still a chef when you don't have a kitchen to cook in? It is about people who walk the streets with this incredible skill who could just advertise their ability any time they wanted. Dance is always a part of them and they are always dancers"
Some dancers in everyday situations. Part of Dancers Among Us. (Via) Photographer Jordan Matter previously.
posted by djgh at 6:51 AM PST - 43 comments

King Kong by '70's Kids

King Kong Remade by '70's Kids SLYT [via]
posted by marxchivist at 6:41 AM PST - 10 comments

Signing Bohemian Rhapsody while driving

Using sign language to rock out to Bohemian Rhapsody while driving down the freeway.
posted by crapples at 6:27 AM PST - 34 comments


Feral hogs can be a real problem. They destroy native ecosystems and are difficult to catch and relocate (previously). But folks, now we have a real problem. Radioactive boars are on the loose in Germany.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 5:59 AM PST - 26 comments

An Imagined Conversation with Four Educators

"Every pernicious practice of modern education originates from the goal of trying to segregate and control the mischievous." A teacher tries to come to grips with the contrary advice of four prominent educators in an imagined dialog. Part I, Part II. [more inside]
posted by rouftop at 12:45 AM PST - 47 comments

August 6

It's 2027. Welcome to Britain.

The Curfew "is an adventure web-game created by Littleloud, published by Channel 4 and written by acclaimed comic book author, Kieron Gillen. Set in 2027 in the heart of an authoritarian security state, The Curfew could be described as a miniature Canterbury Tales set in a not-so-distant future, where citizens must abide by government security measures and 'sub citizens' are placed under curfew at night. The player must navigate this complex political world and engage with the characters they meet along the way to work out who they should trust in order to gain freedom. Choose wisely and you could change the course of history. Choose poorly, and it'll be changed for you."
posted by catchingsignals at 9:01 PM PST - 54 comments

One World Cafe

"There's no set menu, you pay what you can and a national chain is even testing out the business model. Eight years ago, One World Café opened up at 41 S. 300 East with a simple goal: feed hungry people in the community with good organic food. There was no cash register, and diners paid whatever they thought was fair."
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 8:45 PM PST - 45 comments

Suck it Tony Robbins

In 1983, renowned photographer Lynn Goldsmith, became, with a little help from her friends, Will Powers. [more inside]
posted by timsteil at 8:26 PM PST - 10 comments

DIY Jazz Wall Art, just add printer.

Between 1938 and 1948, William P. Gottlieb wrote about and photographed the jazz world. In 1995, the Library of Congress acquired his collection of approximately 1500 photographs covering more than 250 jazz musicians. While discussed here seven years ago, not mentioned at that time was the fact that Mr. Gottlieb agreed to transfer his copyrights into the public domain 15 years after acquisition. Fast forward to 2010, and you will find that the Library has added high resolution TIFFs download links to the image pages (click on the thumbnail images to get to the TIFF download links). A few pictures to whet your appetite: Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzy Gillespie, Cab Calloway, Les Paul, Django Reinhardt, Nat King Cole, Duke Ellington, Sidney Bechet, and Louis Armstrong.
posted by fings at 8:08 PM PST - 19 comments

And what happens if they get the munchies?

Do tigers and other big cats like catnip? [SLYT] [via]
posted by quin at 8:06 PM PST - 45 comments

Hey, Ayatollah, leave those kids alone!

The Pink Floyd rock music classic "Another Brick in the Wall (pt. 2)" has been transformed by a Canadian band to reflect dissent young Iranians have for their government. Pink Floyd founder Roger Waters gave Blurred Vision permission to use the song. Proceeds will go to Amnesty International.
posted by gman at 7:14 PM PST - 31 comments

I was two second’s away from shaking Claudia down for some Snicker’s or something, or maybe just going to grab the Tylenol P.M.

"The Baby-Sitters' Club: Chapter 1" by Bret Easton Ellis
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth at 6:22 PM PST - 35 comments

Nice try, but no legal protection from Sweden, Wikileaks

Swedish law does not protect Wikileaks sources despite what has been reported, the Swedish 'grundlag' does not protect whistleblowers at Wikileaks just because their servers are in Sweden. There's a technicality, Wikileaks the website has no licence to publish material in Sweden.
posted by dabitch at 4:50 PM PST - 36 comments

Beaten to a pulp

Pulpinternational collects pulp. French pulp, Japanese pulp, Spanish pulp, pulp in the news and pulp from the Wild West. Pulp from the past, pulp from the present and pulp in the future FROM SPACE! (Most links, including quite frequently the front page, NSFW)
posted by Dim Siawns at 3:41 PM PST - 6 comments

A City for the Motor Age

New Urbanism (previously) is a hot topic these days, yet its core idea of building walkable cities that rely less on automobiles can be traced to a city plan created almost a century ago: the Radburn Design. [more inside]
posted by barnacles at 3:30 PM PST - 20 comments


Some say the USA is a Plutonomy-an economy dependent on the spending and investing of the wealthy. In a further sign, the top 5% of Americans by income now account for 37% of all consumer outlays (the bottom 80% by contrast share about the same). Consumer spending accounts for roughly two-thirds of U.S. gross domestic product. In a possibly worrisome sign, the wealthy are cutting back on spending.
posted by stbalbach at 3:11 PM PST - 83 comments

Flickr? I hardly knew her.

After an alleged 5 weeks of beta testing Flickr rolls out its new photo page design and boy are members unhappy with the results.
posted by spock at 2:47 PM PST - 102 comments

Like Tremors, Less Kevin Bacon

Friday Flash Fun: Worm Food places you in control of a giant human-devouring worm of legend. Devour villagers, defile monuments and destroy settlements. [more inside]
posted by uri at 2:19 PM PST - 17 comments

Iraq's Garden of Eden

Restoring the Paradise that Saddam Destroyed. "Saddam Hussein drained the unique wetlands of southern Iraq as a punishment to the region's Marsh Arabs who had backed an uprising. Two decades later, one courageous US Iraqi is leading efforts to restore the marshes. Not even exploding bombs can deter him from his dream." [Via]
posted by homunculus at 1:46 PM PST - 20 comments

"I'm Clark Weber, with another Senior Moment"

Clark Weber was a radio personality in Chicago for decades, known for his contribution to the musical tastes of the Windy City. His years behind the mike and turntable led him to write a book featuring his knowledge of rock and roll learned during his years at WLS. Today he runs a radio advertising consulting agency, and has a nationally syndicated radio spot, A Senior Moment. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 1:08 PM PST - 2 comments

New Economy. New Rules. New Social Arrangements.

Yes, I'm Home. No, I Can't Pick Up Your Child. 'Diane Fitzpatrick works from home. To certain friends, neighbors and community groups, that means she's available. Ms. Fitzpatrick, a Jupiter, Fla., blogger and freelance writer, finds that PTAs, church groups and charities zero in on people like her—those who don't work in an office. "You're expected to pull the weight of all the people who can't," she says. "It's as if I have to explain what I do all day." A veteran stay-at-home mom who has been saddled with looking after the kids of working parents, Ms. Fitzpatrick says that at times she has felt like "the doormat of the neighborhood."' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 12:55 PM PST - 65 comments

So straight, I'm so straight.

Arguably, DC's first punk band was the father/son duo called White Boy. The two, Mr Ott and Jake Whipp (real names: James & Glenn Kowalski) self released their records on their own label, Doodly Squat. They are also known to be the first punk record owned by Minor Threat frontman Ian Mackaye. The full story of White Boy is much darker and hasn't been fully put together in the collective recollection of the band. [more inside]
posted by wcfields at 12:25 PM PST - 6 comments

It's all fun and games until level 30 rips your arms off. Then it's just games.

Friday Flash Fun: Color Theory is a puzzle platformer about... um... color theory. And gravity switching. And aliens. Via the eternal font of pleasant time-wasters, jayisgames.
posted by macmac at 12:11 PM PST - 19 comments

Justice in Brooklyn

Justice in Brooklyn My bike got stolen last night and goddamn if I didn’t have it back before noon today, thanks to a curious but powerful mixture of internet savvy, a responsive police force, and one very special “Law and Order” fan.
posted by shannonm at 12:07 PM PST - 61 comments

U.S. returns to Hiroshima after 65 years.

For the first time since the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb [NSFW photos?] on Hiroshima 65 years ago, the U.S. ambassador will attend commemoration ceremonies at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial. But is this an apology? Some say it better not be. The U.S. says - it isn't.
posted by stinkycheese at 11:39 AM PST - 259 comments

LOST epilogue

Jezebel has released the full official LOST epilogue from the Season 6 DVD bonus features.
posted by emilyd22222 at 11:34 AM PST - 71 comments

Second chances in research

He was drummed out of academe after a controversy over his book about guns in America. Now the historian aims for a second chance. [via A&L daily] [more inside]
posted by jb at 11:31 AM PST - 38 comments


Superhero reconstruction vs. deconstruction - Kurt Busiek's Astro City (soon to be a major motion picture) versus Warren Ellis's Planetary ("arguably one of the greatest comic books of all time").
posted by Artw at 11:29 AM PST - 71 comments

A great and unprecedented rage

Russian Satirical Journals of 1905. MeFi's own peacay presents a selection of the amazing images produced after the lifting of censorship in Russia following the 1905 Revolution: "For a few brief months the journals spoke with a great and unprecedented rage that neither arrest nor exile could silence. At first their approach was oblique, their allusions veiled, and they often fell victim to the censor’s pencil. But people had suffered censorship for too long." Much more available at Beinecke, USC, and Wisconsin.
posted by languagehat at 10:50 AM PST - 8 comments

What is the value of a pelican?

What is the value of a pelican? - The Planet Money crew investigates how we can estimate the value of a pelican killed in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. (podcast)
posted by Argyle at 10:13 AM PST - 25 comments

The opposite of a safety video

Tiny cannon
posted by DU at 9:59 AM PST - 61 comments

I See I.P. Funky Colors

Hale "Bonddad" Stewart shows that U.S. Manufacturing is NOT Dead, but says that to zombify resurrect rejuvenate it America should look into Industrial Policy. Meanwhile, in Detroit, a President is saying that the automobile industry bailout prompted an "industrial revival", a Senator is calling it "industrial policy" and an economist is saying even if it is, "it's the most American history". All of which prompts the age-old question.... [more inside]
posted by Chipmazing at 9:16 AM PST - 53 comments

I began to doubt the faith of my own eyes.

Astronomers using ESO’s Very Large Telescope have for the first time obtained a three-dimensional view of the distribution of the innermost material expelled by a recently exploded star. The original blast was not only powerful, according to the new results, it was also more concentrated in one particular direction. This is a strong indication that the supernova must have been very turbulent, supporting the most recent computer models. Super-cool zooming video.
posted by HumanComplex at 8:38 AM PST - 13 comments

Wyclef running for President

Wyclef Jean has decided to run for President of Haiti. He has also resigned from his charity, Yele Haiti. Sean Penn isn't too thrilled about any of it. Previously and more previous.
posted by josher71 at 7:24 AM PST - 149 comments

Epic Coaster

Epic Coaster. Friday Flash Fun addictive one-button game. Great sound effects, though.
posted by yhbc at 7:21 AM PST - 24 comments

When GoodWill Goes Bad

The horror, the horror, the wtf? But, wait! That's not all. Even Facebook has a page with the creepiest baby head ever on it.
posted by SuzySmith at 6:58 AM PST - 32 comments

Jeff Jones Movie

MaCab Films is producing a documentary on artist Jeffrey Catherine Jones. Trailers for the film here and here. Jones is known for her comic book work, fantasy and science-fiction cover paintings, and romantic paintings, usually of women. Some links may be NSFW if your work has problems with impressionistic and artistic paintings of unclothed women. [more inside]
posted by marxchivist at 6:37 AM PST - 13 comments

Turning X-Ray into an Art

Hugh Turvey takes color x-rays of flowers.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:24 AM PST - 9 comments

Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please

Although mainly known as a photojournalist André Kertész had an interesting run in the early Nineteen Thirties with distortion (click through); as is also shown here and here (NSFW; some repitition )
posted by adamvasco at 5:14 AM PST - 5 comments

The Music of Jacques Brel

The Music of Jacques Brel is an article by music journalist Amy Hanson about the career of pop music legend Jacques Brel and his effect on popular music in the English language. A lot of songs and covers are mentioned in the article, below the cut are links to the songs that I could find videos of online. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus at 1:48 AM PST - 49 comments

August 5

129,864,880 books

How many books are there? 129,864,880.
posted by Joe Beese at 11:43 PM PST - 68 comments

And So It Goes...

Mitch Jayne was an author, musician and humorist. After a stint at the University of Missouri, he began teaching in one-room schools in Dent County. His radio show in Salem, MO garnered national attention for it's snake and tick market report, but then he joined the Dillards and brought Ozark bluegrass to Los Angeles. Two weeks in LA and the Dillards had a record deal and a stint on the Andy Griffith Show as "The Darlings." Mitch Jayne passed away Monday at the age of 80. [more inside]
posted by schyler523 at 10:43 PM PST - 6 comments

Do it yourself forecasting

How to forecast weather without gadgets
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 9:53 PM PST - 56 comments

Blogging The War, Seventy Years Later

Martin Cherett is blogging the Second World War, daily, seventy years on.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 8:11 PM PST - 23 comments

Hey white boy, what you doin' uptown

Asians know noodles.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:57 PM PST - 44 comments


A book store is in trouble. But you'll never guess which one. Barnes and Noble, under increased competition, especially in the ebook market, is thinking about putting itself on the market.
posted by zabuni at 7:43 PM PST - 113 comments

Fly Leg Eyelashes

Fly leg eyelashes. Just what it says. Good luck sleeping after seeing this.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 7:31 PM PST - 36 comments

Mary Adams, with the nine and a half fingers.

Amy Sedaris has appeared as a frequent guest on Letterman (David Letterman's late night talk show in the US), usually delivering rapid-fire improvisation to a bemused Dave and Paul under the guise of an interview. With the magic of the internet, some of these videos are now on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by shadytrees at 6:48 PM PST - 34 comments

How Not to Congratulate Your Ex on Her Wedding Day

Hopeless romantic or selfish creep? Andrew Cohen writes an ode to the one who got away on the day she's to be married, and Lizzie Skurnick explains why that's not cool.
posted by ocherdraco at 6:26 PM PST - 238 comments

Massive Right-Wing Censorship Of Digg Uncovered

Massive Right-Wing Censorship Of Digg Uncovered. "A group of influential conservative members of the behemoth social media site have just been caught red-handed in a widespread campaign of censorship, having multiple accounts, upvote padding, and deliberately trying to ban progressives. An undercover investigation has exposed this effort, which has been in action for more than one year."
posted by zwemer at 4:45 PM PST - 244 comments

Super Face-io Brothers

Tired of that NES controller digging into your palms? How about playing with your face? (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by griphus at 4:04 PM PST - 9 comments

What my political views or my constitutional views are just doesn't matter.

Elena Kagan appointed to the supreme court. [Who Runs Govt Profile]
posted by blue_beetle at 3:16 PM PST - 72 comments

Conference Video Organizer

Sitting O is a site aggregating and organizing conferences and videos from the events. You can cross reference any of the videos by subject matter (here is all science-related conference videos), by speaker (here is every Clay Shirky talk), and by conference organizer (here are all TED conferences and associated videos). Pretty fun way to waste an afternoon learnin'.
posted by mathowie at 3:09 PM PST - 9 comments

Your Beautiful Eyes

Macro photos of people's eyes by Armenian photographer Suren Manvelyan.
posted by gman at 2:55 PM PST - 38 comments

Making and sharing deliciousness!

Ice Cream Club is a group in Brooklyn which meets twice a month to exchange homemade ice cream. Today's seen some media coverage, and their website provides tips and troubleshooting.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:11 PM PST - 27 comments

Heat Waves in a Swamp

Heat Waves in a Swamp: The Paintings of Charles Burchfield. "Burchfield’s primary subject was landscape, often focusing on his immediate surroundings: his garden, the views from his windows, snow turning to slush, the sounds of insects and bells and vibrating telephone lines, deep ravines, sudden atmospheric changes, the experience of entering a forest at dusk, to name but a few. He often imbued these subjects with highly expressionistic light, creating at times a clear-eyed depiction of the world and, at other times, a unique mystical and visionary experience of nature." I recommend the slide show in the first link as the best introduction. More audio slide shows from Peter Schjeldahl here.
posted by puny human at 1:43 PM PST - 8 comments

The Real Historical Roots of the Tea Party?

The Rise of the Pseudo-Conservative. Out of context, one could be forgiven for reading the following words as a critique of the political philosophy embraced by the modern-day Republican party and the various Tea Party groups organized around it: "It can most accurately be called pseudo-conservative. . . because its exponents, although they believe themselves to be conservatives and usually employ the rhetoric of conservatism, show signs of a serious and restless dissatisfaction with American life, traditions and institutions. . . Their political reactions express rather a profound if largely unconscious hatred of our society and its ways — a hatred which one would hesitate to impute to them if one did not have suggestive clinical evidence." [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman at 1:12 PM PST - 91 comments

The Director, the Actress, the Dictator, and the Monster who was Hungry for Iron

Shin Sang-ok (1926 - 2006) was a Korean movie writer, director and producer, who studied film in Japan and returned to South Korea, where he gained fame and became the uncontested leader of the film industry in the 1960s, in a time when regulations on the industry limited other studios. In the 1970s under the Fourth Republic of South Korea, the film industry was even further limited, which lead to Shin's studio being closed. Things went from bad to worse, when "the Orson Welles of South Korea" was kidnapped by request of Kim Jong Il, the son of North Korea's dictator, Kim Il Sung. The reason? Kim Jong Il wanted the nation's film industry to promote the virtues of the Korea Workers' Party to a world-wide audience. After being imprisoned for four years, Shin was reunited with his ex-wife (who was also a captive of North Korea) and the given relative freedom, producing seven films in North Korea. While setting up a distribution deal to share Kim Jong Il's vision with a broader audience for a Godzilla-like monster movie, Shin and his wife escaped and sought political asylum in the United States. Their freedom was possible because of that last film for Kim, entitled Pulgasari. But Shin's life in movies was not over yet. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:08 PM PST - 14 comments

Internet as Social Movement: A Brief History of Webism

Internet as Social Movement: A Brief History of Webism. An editorial from N+1 magazine.
posted by chunking express at 12:16 PM PST - 42 comments

These tunnels go down forever

One of the better online random dungeon generators out there. Scroll down a bit to see it. You can change the size and learn more about it from the home page. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 12:08 PM PST - 80 comments

Love, Lies, and Online Dating

"At its worst, online dating becomes compulsive, a kind of mania, and feeds our appetite for endless choice, and the idea that there’s always a better choice. Maybe there’s something to be said for less choice, or at least a sense of geographical limits. That said, I’ve heard from a lot of people, more all the time, who have found the “perfect” person this way. And the stigma of it is rapidly fading ... The worst online dating story I ever HEARD involved a female friend, here is the gist: This really good-looking guy contacts her about her profile and says something to the extent of: “You look beautiful, but are you 100 pounds? I only date women who are 100 pounds or less. If I think you are lying, I will bring a scale.”
posted by geoff. at 11:58 AM PST - 134 comments

"Halo 2600: It Only Looks Old"

What would Microsoft's Halo have looked like if it had been written years ago for the Atari 2600? "Ed Fries, former vice president of Microsoft’s Game Publishing Division, programmed an old-school version of the beloved game that features blocky graphics, deliberately basic sound effects, and simplified movements. And yet it's still recognizable as 'Halo.'" You can play it online here. [more inside]
posted by Daddy-O at 11:33 AM PST - 27 comments

Screeching brakes... but too late... Tommy is crippled for life.

"It's great to be alive!" - Parents! Traumatise your children into safe behavior with this Official Safety Booklet. You'll never hide in a pile of leaves again.
posted by Artw at 11:27 AM PST - 66 comments


99 Weeks Later, Jobless Have Only Desperation. 'In June, with long-term unemployment at record levels, about 1.4 million people were out of work for 99 weeks or more, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.' While the Senate ponders a debate on tax cuts for the rich, jobless claims hit highest level since April. With such unemployment, frustration and despair grow as job searches drag on. 'In her well-thumbed, leather-bound Bible, Terri Sadler recently highlighted in bright pink a passage in the Gospel of Matthew. In it, Jesus urges his followers not to “worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” But Ms. Sadler’s tightening throat and halting breath when she tries to read the words aloud make it clear that she is having trouble mustering enough faith to follow them.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 11:15 AM PST - 82 comments

The Franchise

ESPN takes a look at how Madden NFL became a franchise video game.
posted by reenum at 10:24 AM PST - 48 comments

Freeware Platformer! Frogatto!

Frogatto and Friends! A retro styled platformer made of happiness and frogs! Download free for Windows, Mac and Linux! Pay for it on the iPhone! Yay!
posted by The Devil Tesla at 10:22 AM PST - 7 comments

How Social Science Treats Inner-City Poverty

Anyone who wishes to understand American society must be aware that explanations focusing on the cultural traits of inner-city residents are likely to draw far more attention from policy makers and the general public than structural explanations will. It is an unavoidable fact that Americans tend to de-emphasize the structural origins and social significance of poverty and welfare ... If, in America, you can grow up to be anything you want to be, then any destiny—even poverty—can be viewed through the lens of personal achievement or failure. William Julius Wilson on the political and academic failure to recognize structural causes of inner-city poverty. Wilson interviewed in conjunction with the article. [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 10:21 AM PST - 12 comments

Gamers Are Credit To Team!

Today's issue of Nature contains a paper with a rather unusual author list. Read past the standard collection of academics, and the final author credited is... the FoldIt multiplayer online gaming community. Even though most of them had no biochemistry experience, the human players of FoldIt turned out to be better at identifying three-dimensional protein structure patterns than the algorithms of Rosetta@Home. (Previously on MeFi)
posted by zarq at 10:14 AM PST - 12 comments

Designed to Annoy

How to design cigarette cartons to be less convenient in order to discourage smoking? Designed to Annoy: a theoretical look at designing inefficient packaging.
posted by AceRock at 8:34 AM PST - 133 comments


Pudgy Mao Xinyu is the youngest major general in the Chinese army, perhaps due to nepotism.
posted by xowie at 8:19 AM PST - 33 comments

The Clown Egg Register

The Clown Egg Register: “The eggs are not just a record of the clown's facial makeup, but an actual portraiture in miniature.” Also, Happy Clown Week!
posted by Deathalicious at 8:09 AM PST - 43 comments

Law, economics, and Facebook

"The meteoric rise of Facebook raises four general questions . . . How is it possible for a teenager, however brilliant, to create a multibillion-dollar online business in such a short time? How likely is such a business to flame out? What, if any, legal protection from competition should be given to the ideas that power these businesses? And how far will social networking erode privacy or have other social consequences, good or bad?" Richard Posner (the federal judge and University of Chicago law professor best known as one of the pioneers of the "law and economics" movement [Wikipedia]) answers these questions in his brief history and critique of Facebook. (This is a printer-friendly version that may cause a print dialogue box to pop up, but it's the only link that will work unless you subscribe to The New Republic. The article is nominally a book review but spends barely any time talking about the book that's supposed to be reviewed.)
posted by Jaltcoh at 8:02 AM PST - 41 comments

minor chords and towering fifths

Mountain Goats frontman John Darnielle has been writing free-verse poetry on metal albums and other phenomena on his blog for a few months now. [more inside]
posted by theodolite at 7:47 AM PST - 24 comments

What Lies Beneath

Happy National Underwear Day, everyone.
posted by unSane at 7:37 AM PST - 20 comments

No, REALLY get the lead out

Pencil sculptures: miniature masterpieces carved into graphite by Dalton Ghetti. previous pencil art
posted by allkindsoftime at 5:55 AM PST - 44 comments

The Numbers

The amazingly detailed origin myth of The Numbers, the largest South African prison gangs. Jonny Steinberg details the three largest gangs' (tenuously) shared myth, which accounts for their strangely symbiotic relationships by dictating who may steal, who may rape, and who may judge. [more inside]
posted by pollex at 4:50 AM PST - 35 comments

Life Begins at 200 (mph)

"...Connie set a land speed record on her 1350cc Suzuki going more than 209 mph and Nick, though not a record for the type of bike he was on, managed to top 220. She said setting the mark provided the biggest high of her life. He said he'd like to get up to 300 mph one day. She's 70 years old. He's 80." [more inside]
posted by maxwelton at 3:36 AM PST - 48 comments

Et Tu Google

Google and Verizon in Talks on Web Priority (nyt) [more inside]
posted by Xurando at 3:23 AM PST - 123 comments

The Rap Guide To Human Nature

The Rap Guide To Human Nature is an album exploring the theories and controversies of evolutionary psychology through the medium of contemporary rap, by a guy named Baba Brinkman. (Previously.)
posted by acb at 2:53 AM PST - 9 comments

Digging for dinos. Live.

From August 2 to 18 there are fourteen Norwegian reptile hunters doing field work at the foot of the Janus Mountain in Svalbard, digging for remains of prehistoric sea monsters from the Jurassic period.
And it's all being streamed live, via four webcams. [more inside]
posted by Bukvoed at 1:16 AM PST - 20 comments

August 4

From The Flintstones to The Jetsons

"Heritage Sites of Astronomy and Archaeoastronomy in the Context of the World Heritage Convention" (also available here) is a collaborative study by the IAU Working Group on Astronomy and World Heritage and the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS). The study has been endorsed by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, at its 34th session in Brasília, Brazil, marking the first time a study in scientific heritage has been so endorsed. [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor at 11:19 PM PST - 4 comments

Christopher Hitchens writes about his cancer

Topic of Cancer. "One fine June day, the author is launching his best-selling memoir, Hitch-22. The next, he’s throwing up backstage at The Daily Show, in a brief bout of denial, before entering the unfamiliar country—with its egalitarian spirit, martial metaphors, and hard bargains of people who have cancer." Christopher Hitchens writes about his cancer. [Via]
posted by homunculus at 10:18 PM PST - 94 comments

Avengers Mashup!

According to Comics Alliance, 'if you missed the teaser footage from the Avengers panel at Comic-Con it's online (for now)!' But who would want to watch the real teaser trailer when there are so many fake ones to select from? [more inside]
posted by eccnineten at 9:31 PM PST - 31 comments

"Let's go downtown and talk to the modern kids / they will eat right out of your hand."

Arcade Fire devise 'synchronised artwork' for The Suburbs. Montreal band develop album art in the digital age, providing bonus material to accompany the download of their latest LP. "The idea is simple... Tightly sync a series of images with specific moments in a song using the m4a format. Like some podcasters do, but with micro chapters for each lines of the lyrics. In addition to that, we were able to add good old hyperlinks also synchronised to the song. This gives the possibility for the band to add, at any moments, all kinds of references related to each song. They plan to change and update those links occasionally." says: Vincent Morisset, director of Arcade Fire's Miroir Noir live DVD
posted by Fizz at 7:52 PM PST - 51 comments

Thank you for the love that you gave to me

R.I.P. Bobby Hebb The artist who originally recorded Sunny died yesterday at the age of 72.
posted by Morpeth at 7:25 PM PST - 28 comments

Radical Barksists!

Are you a radical Barksist? Presenting: Beru's Disney Comics Fan Page!

With comics by: Carl Barks (personal favorite: "The Pixilated Parrot") - Marco Rota - Romano Scarpa - Tony Strobl - Al Taliaferro - Vicar - William Van Horn - Don Rosa (including his masterpiece The Life And Times of Scrooge McDuck: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12)
posted by dunkadunc at 5:57 PM PST - 20 comments

Grounded but still working

Airplanes used for other stuff What happens to old airplanes? They often end up as restaurants, houses or even boats. [more inside]
posted by warbaby at 4:11 PM PST - 25 comments

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United Pages of MetaFilter

Congressional candidate (and MetaFilter's own) Sean Tevis (find his previouslies here) and XKCD [Update: nothing to do with XKCD, actually] bring forth a new concept in politics: American Nations, An Awesome and Practical Plan to Re-Balance the U.S. Political System.
posted by scalefree at 3:54 PM PST - 178 comments

Let's all Wave goodbye

Update on Google Wave: Google Wave is dead. (Previously)
posted by Baldons at 3:48 PM PST - 114 comments

Women of the Storm ... and the men who love them?

Women of the Storm ... and the men who love them - anchored by Oscar winner Sandra Bullock and including many celebrities, an advertising campaign called "Be the One," sponsored by the Gulf-Coast organization Women of the Storm, recently issued a "50-state" challenge to develop a "national solution" to problems in the Gulf of Mexico. The PR watchdog site DeSmog Blog alleges that the campaign is an astroturf effort from "BP, Shell, ExxonMobil, Citgo, Chevron, and other polluters." The allegations contend a front group called America's Wetland Foundation is using Women of the Storm to propagate the message that taxpayers should contribute to the oil-spill cleanup. The New Orleans Times-Picayune disagrees. The Women of the Storm and America's Wetland Foundation respond to the allegations. What's the truth?
posted by mrgrimm at 3:41 PM PST - 14 comments

Make a Rape Report, Go to Jail

In 2004 then 19 year old Sara Reedy was raped at gunpoint. Six months later, she was jailed for false complaint. Today, a federal appeals court reinstated her lawsuit against the police detective who orchestrated her arrest. [more inside]
posted by bearwife at 3:06 PM PST - 73 comments


The Video Website, created by Jimmy Kimmel Live intern Jeffrey Loveness, is a parody of The Social Network.
posted by gman at 2:47 PM PST - 8 comments

Quasi-hypnotic mathematical construct

Bruce and Katharine Cornwell are primarily known for a series of remarkable animated films on the subject of geometry. Created on the Tektronics 4051 Graphics Terminal, they are brilliant short films, tracing geometric shapes to intriguing music, including the memorable 'Bach meets Third Steam Jazz' musical score in ‘Congruent Triangles.’
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:58 PM PST - 8 comments

Red Eye

Red Eye, the latest from Christoph Niemann's Abstract City. [more inside]
posted by phunniemee at 1:33 PM PST - 4 comments

OhLife: The easiest way to write your life story.

OhLife: The easiest way to write your life story. "Every night we'll email you the question 'How did your day go?' Just reply with your entry and it's saved here instantly." [more inside]
posted by chunking express at 12:13 PM PST - 64 comments

Dark. Gloomy. Creepy. Claustrophobic.

Other than its former residents, few mourn the demolition of San Francisco's Transbay Terminal.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot at 12:03 PM PST - 39 comments

The Four Lads, not They Might Be Giants

A comprehensive list of songs you didn't know were covers.
posted by LSK at 11:00 AM PST - 180 comments

unseen hands

unseen hands: women printers, binders and book designers. an exhibition from the princeton university library.
posted by tamarack at 10:58 AM PST - 7 comments

There's an official app for that

Did you forget about what the TSA allows in carry on bags? Need to know if that guy behind you in line is on the FBI's most wanted list? Need to look up a zip code? Calculate your BMI on the road? The US Government has an app for that. [more inside]
posted by booksherpa at 10:52 AM PST - 32 comments

We're coming back so you come back. And more.

New York's MTA has a YouTube channel that features some pretty great historical videos from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. [more inside]
posted by millipede at 10:29 AM PST - 11 comments

"This nation was founded on the principle that the government must never choose between religions, or favor one over another."

"On September 11, 2001, thousands of first responders heroically rushed to the scene and saved tens of thousands of lives. More than 400 of those first responders did not make it out alive. In rushing into those burning buildings, not one of them asked 'What God do you pray to?' 'What beliefs do you hold?'"
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has recently defended the planned Cordoba Initiative Islamic Community Center and Mosque to be built near Ground Zero against critics. Yesterday, after the City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to allow the demolition of a building that would be replaced by the center, Mr. Bloomberg gave a speech on Governor's Island (the location seems to have been deliberately chosen) in which he eloquently defended religious freedom. (YT: Video) (Previously on MeFi)
posted by zarq at 8:57 AM PST - 311 comments

The numbers behind H8

With a ruling scheduled today on Prop 8 — the California ballot measure that took away the right to marry from same-sex couples — Dave Fleischer has an in-depth analysis of all of the polling data on Prop 8, and his findings include some counter-intuitive numbers, like that the confusing wording actually ended up helping the No vote more than the Yes.
posted by klangklangston at 8:25 AM PST - 592 comments

For-Profit Colleges Mislead Students, Report Finds

Undercover investigators posing as students interested in enrolling at 15 for-profit colleges found that recruiters at four of the colleges encouraged prospective students to lie on their financial aid applications — and all 15 misled potential students about their programs’ cost, quality and duration, or the average salary of graduates, according to a federal report. NY Times [more inside]
posted by Think_Long at 8:23 AM PST - 48 comments

Weirdo Toys

Weirdo Toys started with a mix between Superman, Green Lantern, and good old fashioned racist characterization. Along the way it's found a demon lumberjack (ok, maybe not), action figures that should probably have never happened, cake decorations, real toys that look like knock offs, and a butt flashing pee boy. My favorites though are Super Spider-Man and Disney Transformers (part 2).
posted by theichibun at 7:32 AM PST - 17 comments

On discovering "the latter in particular"...

"Abwärts is a West German post-punk group from Hamburg. Members Mark Chung and FM Einheit would leave the group in the early 1980s to join the Berlin-based band Einstürzende Neubauten. Their best-known recordings include the single "Computerstaat" ("Computer State") (1980) and the LP's Amok Koma (1981) and Der Westen ist einsam ("The West Is Lonely," 1982), the latter in particular being regarded as a classic of West German postpunk."
posted by electricsandwich138 at 6:48 AM PST - 13 comments

BP killed the well. Again.

BP has stated that the static kill was successful. [more inside]
posted by wierdo at 12:49 AM PST - 132 comments

August 3

makes my fingers hurt just to watch!

Me and Bobby McGee This is worth watching if only to observe Jerry's keyboarding starting at 2:26.
posted by HuronBob at 9:57 PM PST - 46 comments

Bob's On The Job

The eccentric independent Australian MP Bob Katter brings bush poetry to campaigning. SYLT.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 9:01 PM PST - 32 comments

jmtb02 has unlocked an achievement for creating a sequel to Achievement Unlocked

Achievement Unlocked 2 is here. It's bigger, badder, and now with co-op! I'd link to the walkthrough, but, well, it might be best if you found it through the game. (previously) [more inside]
posted by The Devil Tesla at 8:40 PM PST - 25 comments

Who is Huguette Clark?

Tracing the lives of William Andrews Clark and his daughter Huguette, we are left with mysteries. What does she remember of "Papa"? Is she well cared for? What will she leave to the world? "It's hard to find out what the real story was," said nephew Devine. "No one is alive — except for Huguette."
posted by amro at 8:27 PM PST - 26 comments

"No, the sign said “water is not portable.” “Potable?” Is that another one from Doug’s Dictionary Of Words He Pulls Out Of His Ass?"

"Cops said if I get caught huffing again they’re locking me up, but they didn’t say nothing about painting an unventilated bathroom over and over again. You can either join me or judge me, Douglas, but don’t just stand there with the door open. You’re letting all the party out of here." [more inside]
posted by mreleganza at 8:24 PM PST - 38 comments

The Pond: an early US spy agency you've never heard of

Before the CIA, there was the Pond -- a highly secret, unacknowledged, and semi-autonomous intelligence agency created by the US military in 1942 as an alternative to the OSS. According the Associated Press, "The organization counted among its exploits an attempt to negotiate the surrender of Germany with Hermann Goering, one of Adolf Hitler's top military leaders, more than six months before the war ended; an effort to enlist mobster Charles 'Lucky' Luciano in a plot to assassinate Italian dictator Benito Mussolini; identifying the location of the German heavy water plants doing atomic research in Norway; and providing advance information on Russia's first atomic bomb explosion." But the CIA says that its record was "largely one of failure and impermanence."
posted by twirlip at 8:04 PM PST - 6 comments

Glitz, Glamor, Gams, and Grammar

"When I was in New York, I fell in love with some wild ideas in the shape of a woman. An English teacher, who was hard, but hard like a job I never wanted to end. But to her, I wasn't nothin' but a day at the office. That's what they call a Double Negative."
posted by redsparkler at 6:52 PM PST - 34 comments


The Dream of a Lifetime is the inspiration for the recent movie Inception. "That contraption is made to help psychiatrists examine the dreams of their patients! The wearer of such a brain-scanner can mentally enter into the dreams of the subject!"
posted by flarbuse at 6:45 PM PST - 29 comments

"Nah, don't feel threatened. I don't have a gun today."

Tourist Lanes & New Yorker Lanes One afternoon, field agents of Improv Everywhere "...created separate walking lanes for tourists and New Yorkers on a Fifth Avenue sidewalk. Department of Transportation 'employees' were on hand to enforce the new rules and ask pedestrians for their feedback on the initiative."
posted by ShawnStruck at 6:38 PM PST - 70 comments

Trying to "out-terrorize the terrorists"

Soldiers involved in the "Collateral Murder" video have come forward to tell their story. [more inside]
posted by jjoye at 6:21 PM PST - 30 comments

Lanyards, Lanyards, Lanyards.

Laneyards: A Guide for Lanyards, Gimp, Scoubidou, Boondoggle, and Craft Lacing. Square (box), Circle (Barrel), Triangle (3-Strand), Twisted Triangle, Pentagon (5-Strand), Twisted Pentagon, Brick (Supersquare), Twist (Supercircle), Wall (Superbrick), Corkscrew (Supertwist), Quad, Tornado, Fluted Columns, Twisted Fluted Columns, Zipper, Cobra, Twisted Cobra, Super Cobra, Butterfly.
posted by Fizz at 6:18 PM PST - 28 comments

"Acting White" and Desegregation

A new book begins with a quotation from Barack Obama's speech to the Democratic National Convention in 2004: "Go into any inner-city neighborhood, and folks will tell you that government alone can't teach kids to learn. They know that parents have to teach, that children can't achieve unless we raise their expectations and turn off the television sets and eradicate the slander that says a black youth with a book is acting white." The book is Acting White: The Ironic Legacy of Desegregation by Stuart Buck. Buck argues that -- per his subtitle -- the "acting white" phenomenon is the result of the desegregation of America's public schools mandated by the famous 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education (decision, Wikipedia). Taking this book as a jumping-off point, John McWhorter and Richard Thompson Ford have a 36-minute conversation about the "acting white" phenomenon and its connection to desegregation. (In addition to that video dialogue, or "diavlog," you can download the conversation as a podcast.) [more inside]
posted by Jaltcoh at 5:22 PM PST - 35 comments

That's not me. That's Balzac.

In order to master the correct usage of lie and lay, David Friedman tracked every use and mis-use of the two in the series Mad Men.
posted by Captain Cardanthian! at 5:14 PM PST - 25 comments

I've already fucking used that one

What the fuck, you may be asking yourself, is my social media strategy? [more inside]
posted by resiny at 4:57 PM PST - 61 comments

Confessions of a Tea Party Casualty

After winning six congressional elections since 1992, Representative Bob Inglis (R - SC) is now a politician without a party, a policy maven without a movement. And in a few months, he will be without his present job. The reason? "It's a dangerous strategy to build conservatism on information and policies that are not credible...[Obama] is no socialist."
posted by contessa at 4:37 PM PST - 75 comments

None On Record - Stories from queer Africa

None On Record - Stories of Queer Africa. After the brutal 2004 murder of FannyAnn Eddy, founder of the Sierra Leone Lesbian and Gay Association, native South African Selly Thiam decided to start recording the stories of African GLBTs both on the continent and in the diaspora. The result is a growing oral document of "the hopes, struggles, challenges and joy of being a QLGBT African - in their own voices". [more inside]
posted by Ufez Jones at 4:22 PM PST - 8 comments


RACER is a recreation of a Wipeout-style racing game using "a modified vintage arcade machine, a RC model car with a wireless camera, an a self-constructed racetrack/game level made entirely from cardboard." [via]
posted by brundlefly at 3:07 PM PST - 16 comments

This page... This page is fucking terrifying

Breaking the Fourth Panel: Neonomicon and the Comic Book Frame (1, 2) Alan Moore’s recent Lovecraftian comic dissected. (MLYT, Possibly NSFW language and SAN loss)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:34 PM PST - 18 comments

Ultimate reading lists

Five Books claims to make you an instant expert, which it may or may not. What it does do is interview an important thinker every day about a topic, and have them select five books on the subject. The results are often eccentric and usually fascinating. Some samples: Rebecca Goldstein on reason's limitations; John Timoney on policing; Calvin Trillin on memoirs, Marcus du Sautoy on the beauty of math, Judith Herrin on Byzantium, Jonathan Haidt on happiness, and lots more, including five books on puppeteering, Nabokov, books for kids, moral philosophy, video games, terrorism, the enemies of Ancient Rome, and cookbooks.
posted by blahblahblah at 1:05 PM PST - 34 comments

Spot The Differance

Kanye West's entertaining Twitter feed re-imagined as a series of New Yorker Cartoons
posted by The Whelk at 12:58 PM PST - 46 comments

The Facebook comments Sarah Palin doesn't want you to see

Not Sarah Palin's Friends. Slate's script kiddies snag Sarah Palin's Facebook comments stream before its edited by Team Palin. Not a hack, per se, because it was publicly available on Facebook for minutes at a time, but interesting. The deletions amount to a real-time look at how much effort and care Palin puts into protecting her public image. It's not just the number of posts that are screened out that gives some indication of how seriously Palin's team is monitoring things.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:30 PM PST - 79 comments

Chutes and ladders

Crossing Everest's Khumbu Icefall with a helmet cam [SLYT]
posted by grounded at 11:30 AM PST - 23 comments

I will not be just a tourist in the world of images...

Locals vs. Tourists: Eric Fischer maps Flickr pictures taken by city locals (in blue) against those taken by tourists (in red).
posted by karminai at 11:23 AM PST - 40 comments

Big Ol' Bus

China to build ginormous buses that cars can drive under. [more inside]
posted by Chipmazing at 11:11 AM PST - 92 comments

How appropriate. You fight like a cow.

Graphic Adventures is a 500 page book about the classic adventure games. It's available through Amazon and Lulu, but is also free to download and read. [more inside]
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:48 AM PST - 32 comments

The Tiger Mike Memos

Edward Mike Davis was the owner or Tiger Oil, an oil company operating in Houston during the 1970's. His irascible memos have been an Internet sensation for the past few years. Good things are not meant to last forever, and in 1980, Tiger Oil filed bankruptcy. Davis' hatred of people did not confine itself to the office, as this case shows. Tiger Oil was in litigation in relation to the bankruptcy filing as late as 1989.
posted by reenum at 10:18 AM PST - 44 comments

Saving Anwar

You're a 39 year old American citizen born in New Mexico. Though it has convicted you of no crime, the US government is trying to kill you. Your father retained the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights to seek a federal court order restraining the killing. Two weeks later, the Treasury Department labeled you a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist". This makes it a criminal offense for the ACLU or CCR to provide you with legal representation. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese at 10:13 AM PST - 278 comments

additional robot mouse

1. Robot mouse
2. Robot muppet
3. Robot mouse
posted by Pants! at 9:50 AM PST - 12 comments

America Doesn't Have Social Classes

"[Bank robber Peter Barry] Lawrence, 71, made his getaway in his wheelchair, with $2,000 in cash on his lap... he took a meandering route down Seventh Avenue until the police caught up with him five minutes later. But that was all part of the plan." And an embedded reporter in Afghanistan notes that "many young soldiers told me that they actually live better in the army, even when deployed, than they did in civilian life, where they couldn't make ends meet, especially when they were trying to pay for college or raise a family by working one or two low-wage jobs" (p. 1). Meanwhile, "parents of means are now resorting to buying franchise businesses to keep their adult children employed." Economic life in contemporary America.
posted by rkent at 9:29 AM PST - 48 comments

Angie Baby, you're a special lady

Of all the story songs of the 1970s, none was as unexpectedly creepy as Helen Reddy's 1974 hit "Angie Baby." [more inside]
posted by jrossi4r at 8:51 AM PST - 97 comments

A modern self-portrait

Face your pockets. I have no idea how these people got their heads wedged into their scanners, or why.
posted by dabitch at 8:18 AM PST - 33 comments

BNP ftw?

"Labour 51 BNP 0" Shouted the Guardian after the recent elections, as the BNP failed to return a single candidate who stood. Many felt this was the beginning of the end for the BNP, but how true was this? "The stark facts are these. Nationally, the Green Party's share of the vote actually went down 0.1% to 1%. In terms of vote share, the BNP (1.9%) and UKIP (3.1%) both did better than the Greens. Nearly twice as many voted BNP as did Green, while three times more people backed UKIP. The BNP almost tripled its support compared to 2005, while UKIP received around half as many votes again as last time." [more inside]
posted by marienbad at 7:28 AM PST - 51 comments

13 Beers in 13 Miles

“Several of you told me that I was “going to die” if I drank 13 beers while running the San Francisco Half Marathon. I did not die. I puked three times, blacked out for miles 11 and 12, and needed five hours to finish. This is my story.”
posted by sveskemus at 6:34 AM PST - 63 comments

No Citizenship for You, Anchor Baby.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has joined several other key Republican leaders and conservative commentators who are calling for Congress to review the Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Consitution. The Citizenship Clause has been interpreted, since the Supreme Court decision United States v. Wong Kim Ark in 1898, to give "birthright citizenship" to children born on U.S. soil to non-citizens (whom some GOP politicans call "anchor babies"). McConnell's comments are not the first time (see section "A Sensible Immigration Policy") the GOP has tried to question the clause. Some see the move as another attempt to capitalize on anti-immigration sentiment in the build-up to the mid-term elections.
posted by aught at 6:29 AM PST - 212 comments

They are the robots

Botjunkie fulfills all your robot needs, from balancing, cooperating, dancing, aggressive quadrotors (previously); through other combined or perching flying bots (though the birds object sometimes); to the hideous dancing, crying, kissing, babies of the uncanny valley; to the dextrous everyday pancake, chef and origami bots.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 6:10 AM PST - 5 comments


It tasted like wafers made with honey and it covered the ground like frost. There are different sorts of manna, some of which have been tasted and reviewed by the team at the French Culinary Institute. A related article identifies some restaurants using manna today, and you can even buy your own manna online! [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:22 AM PST - 25 comments

The Far Right in Mongolia

The Guardian and Time write about the rise of neo-Nazi groups in Mongolia. The view (or at least a view) from Ulan Bator. Pertinent images from the Guardian and from Time's photographer here and here respectively.
posted by Dim Siawns at 4:19 AM PST - 24 comments

You Have Died of Dysentery

"I'll take four oxen and all the bullets $1600 will get me": The Oregon Trail Official Trailer. [SLYT]
posted by Jacqueline at 2:22 AM PST - 39 comments

Resolution of a makeup controversy

MAC Cosmetics and Rodarte partnered to create a makeup collection. Kate and Laura Mulleavy, the sisters behind Rodarte, "were struck by the ethereal landscape and the impoverished factory workers floating to work at dawn in a sleepy, dreamlike state." People started questioning the sensitivity and intelligence behind the naming, particularly a glittery pink nailpolish named Juarez. [more inside]
posted by nadawi at 1:37 AM PST - 30 comments

Where, oh where, will my space shuttle go?

The Space Shuttle is still retiring but a U.S. Senate plan (full text PDF), (House version) would add one more flight to the shuttle's career, probably sometime late next summer. The move comes as thousands of jobs stand to be eliminated with the shuttle's retirement. [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor at 1:12 AM PST - 30 comments

The Opinions of Tobias Grubbe

I am fully occupied writing Essays for the broadsheets and news webs, as well as in certain Speculative Undertakings, and in missions for Her Majestie’s Government of a secret nature. Matthew Buck and Michael Cross combine under the nom de plume Tobias Grubbe to provide a Pepysian-style account of contemporary events, couched in terms of the language and lifestyle of three centuries ago. [more inside]
posted by three blind mice at 12:20 AM PST - 9 comments

August 2

Sachin Tendulkar becomes the most-capped Cricket player

Today, Sachin Tendulkar is playing in his 169th Cricket Test Match. With this, he goes past Australia's Steve Waugh. [more inside]
posted by vidur at 10:48 PM PST - 43 comments


Tom Schiller is best known for his work on NBC's Saturday Night Live, particularly for his filmed "Schiller's Reels" and "Schillervision" segments from 1975 through 1990. Examples [mouseover for more details on each]: [ Don't Look Back in AngerJava JunkieFalling in LoveThe Land Before TelevisionSwedish TV One investigates Hidden Camera Commercials: What Are They Hiding?Broadway StorySearch For Akasa ] [more inside]
posted by not_on_display at 10:34 PM PST - 10 comments

Wrong Tea Party

Where do Tea Party Patriots go for vacation? Colonial Williamsburg. [more inside]
posted by LarryC at 10:24 PM PST - 85 comments

The Books, Annotated

The Books is a collaboration between musicians and found sound archivers Nick Zammuto and Paul de Jong. If you're not familiar with their music, allow me to recommend giving their newest album, The Way Out a listen over at NPR (where you can no longer stream the album in its entirety, but individual tracks are still available for your listening pleasure). Two videos are already available—the summer camp hit A Cold Freezin' Night and We Bought The Flood, which was 'directed' by archival image researcher Rich Remsberg. Since The Way Out's release Nick has been proceeding track by track through the album, explaining and annotating the techniques, instruments, and ideas used on each song—and resulting in a collage of thoughts as powerful and varied as The Books' collage of sound. [more inside]
posted by carsonb at 10:21 PM PST - 19 comments

Solar everywhere....

New and upcoming solar energy advances: Using heat and light . Tiny? Think solar cells so small you can embed them in windows and not obscure the view, embedded in resins to spray on roofs.... more
posted by edgeways at 9:42 PM PST - 50 comments

take this content and shove it, I ain't workin' here no more

"The mark of a real writer is that she cares deeply about literary joinery, about keeping the lines of her prose plumb. That’s what makes writers writers: to them, prose isn’t just some Platonic vessel for serving up content; they care about words. Any chief product officer who says “quality online does not equal craftsmanship” is channeling the utilitarian gospel of the managerial class, an instrumentalist vision of journalism that presumes writing, online, is just a turkey baster for injecting content into the user’s brain." Mark Dery, on writing for the web.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:36 PM PST - 86 comments

Hike the Appalachian Trail to Morocco

The Appalachian Trail, beyond Mount Katahdin. Way beyond. The Appalachian Trail runs from Springer Mountain, Georgia to Mount Katahdin, Maine. The International Appalachian Trail goes much further. Beginning at the northern terminus of the AT, it stretches through Canada, across the ridge of mountains formed during the continental collision that created the Pangaean continent, as far around as Morocco. The Eastern Continental Trail includes all of the AT and IAT in North America, plus an extension south to Florida.
posted by rmd1023 at 6:47 PM PST - 17 comments

MRSA and Animals

Optimal control of MRSA's spread and diversity would involve attention to the role of pets and livestock, especially factory-farmed livestock (40 minute podcast -- no transcript, but here is the text of an interview that covers some of the same ground as the podcast.) Science journalist Maryn McKenna: "[Bacteria are] unpredictable and dynamic . . . We have few treatment options, so we need to be much more thoughtful." [more inside]
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 6:11 PM PST - 21 comments

Mountains. Madness. Del Toro. Ia! Ia!

Guillermo Del Toro is set to direct his version of Lovecraft's At The Mountains of Madness.
posted by New England Cultist at 5:50 PM PST - 117 comments

APAs: Pre-Internet Communication

Before the internet, nerds communicated through Amateur Press Associations (APAs). Members wrote and photocopied their individual 'zines on a subject, then mailed them to a central mailer, who collated and mailed the completed sets to all the members. The earliest APAs were founded by printers and amateur journalists. The National Amateur Press Association is the oldest, founded in 1876. Later APAs were often the province of science fiction and comic book fans. They are still around [pdf]. A lot more inside... [more inside]
posted by marxchivist at 5:38 PM PST - 12 comments

"What garlic is to food, insanity is to art."

They Draw and Cook: The art world intersects with the food community at They Draw & Cook, a clever blog started earlier this year by sibling design and illustration team Nate Padavick and Salli Swindell (together they run Studio SSS). Each day, They Draw & Cook features a new recipe illustration by a practicing artist, illustrator, or designer. The recipes vary in both style and content and are submitted from all over the world.
posted by Fizz at 5:24 PM PST - 6 comments

Inspire the web with just 10K

10k Apart — Fond memories of the 5K Awards resurface with this modern spin on the idea. It’s time to get back to basics — back to optimizing every little byte like your life depends on it. Your challenge? Build a web app in less than 10 kilobytes.
posted by netbros at 5:21 PM PST - 29 comments

Wanted: Monkey annoyer. Must have own flying squirrel.

The most wonderful headline in the history of the world: Monkeys hate flying squirrels, report monkey-annoyance experts.
posted by scalefree at 5:17 PM PST - 46 comments

Long hard times in space

"Tubes of space borscht are on sale in the museum gift shop. “There are white and black tubes. On the white is written: ‘BLONDE.’ On black one: ‘BRUNETTE.’ " Astronauts relate challenges of life in space.
posted by ambient2 at 4:24 PM PST - 17 comments

Better stay where you are...

Flamethrower vs. Fire Extinguisher
posted by milarepa at 3:17 PM PST - 56 comments


Scienceblogs' aborted foray into Pepsi Blue leads to mass exodus, new home for a bunch of science blogs
posted by jtron at 3:17 PM PST - 36 comments

ce qui m'a permis de scanner en très haute définition ce microcosme en permanente évolution

I installed an ant colony inside my scanner five years ago.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 2:37 PM PST - 40 comments


WaPo sells Newsweek to Harman for $1.
posted by Rory Marinich at 1:29 PM PST - 50 comments

Batman wins... the bride

It's the wedding of the year! No not that one... Batman marries Wonder Woman.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:13 PM PST - 46 comments

VQR editor takes his own life

Heartbreaking news for people who care about reading. Founded in 1925, the Virginia Quarterly Review has become the standard-bearer for long-form narrative journalism - "the sort of articles that make readers want to become writers." "The Life and Lonely Death of Noah Pierce" is a great example of what this kind of writing can achieve, but it's not the only one. The essential Bookslut has called the VQR "the best fucking magazine on the planet right now." Last week Mefi's own Waldo made the blog post we all dread having to make. His friend and boss, the VQR's genius editor Kevin Morrissey made his will, left his affairs in order, called the police to report a shooting that had not yet happened, and took his own life. Previously on the blue.
posted by rdc at 12:52 PM PST - 52 comments

Six Feet Small

Kristian Matsson is The Tallest Man on Earth. Really. [more inside]
posted by makethemost at 12:48 PM PST - 27 comments


After announcing that Lebron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwayne Wade would join the Miami Heat in July the team almost immediately sold out their seasons tickets packages while placing another 6,000 on the waiting list. The result? All 30 seasons ticket salespeople were fired on friday becasuse as a staffer put it `They let us go because there was really nothing left to do anymore.'' [more inside]
posted by jourman2 at 11:31 AM PST - 52 comments

Japanese Horror Bot

Video of horrific, Japanese maggot-man robot allegedly designed to act as a physical presence during phone calls. More info and photos here.
posted by picea at 11:20 AM PST - 84 comments

Sing Along with Mitch

Mitch Miller has died at the age of 99. In the years before rock'n' roll took over, Miller, as an A&R man first at Mercury, and then at Columbia Records, signed and produced hits for a large stable of stars, including Patti Page, Frankie Laine, Johnny Mathis, and Tony Bennett. While he did have a disdain for rock music later, he did offer Elvis Presley a contract and brought Bob Dylan and Aretha Franklin into the fold. Artists like Frank Sinatra would later criticize Miller for forcing novelty tunes like Mama Will Bark on them. In 1955 he had a number one hit with the old Civil War-era standard, The Yellow Rose of Texas. Beginning in 1961 he turned a series of records into a hit NBC series, Sing Along with Mitch and his goateed face became a television staple as he encouraged viewers at home to follow the bouncing ball and join in. The show helped launch the career of future Sesame Street star Bob McGrath and inspired the Flintstones parody Hum Along with Herman.
posted by evilcolonel at 10:59 AM PST - 37 comments

A short drive through hell.

A short drive through hell. NSFW swearing (in Russian).
posted by seanmpuckett at 10:48 AM PST - 65 comments

The Resurgence of Indie Bookstores in New York

Indie Bookstores Rising: New York takes a look at a new crop of indie bookstores in New York City that are defying predictions of the death of the independent bookstore.
posted by ocherdraco at 9:58 AM PST - 49 comments

And now you know...the rest of the story.

A heartwarming story about the resurrection of a beloved neighborhood bar. [more inside]
posted by anazgnos at 9:15 AM PST - 28 comments

Laugh it up, fuzz ball!

"Security officer demonstrates how to easily hack into every imperial computer system with a simple jail-breaked R2 unit. #wookieeleaks"

In response to the leaks of top-secret military documents concerning the war in Afghanistan earlier this week on Wikileaks, (covered previously on MeFi) Twitter users started posting their “Star Wars”-themed parodies of the scandal days later using the hash tags #Wookieleaks and #wookieeleaks. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 7:24 AM PST - 51 comments

The [copyright] maximalist is working for the day when ... all culture is property.

Copying is the engine of cultural progress. [more inside]
posted by DU at 5:39 AM PST - 80 comments

It's a three patch problem Watson.

Sherlock Holmes is running around modern day London. Airing Sundays on BBC1, The BBC has reinvented the master dectective and his sidekick for 2010. Sherlock is cast as a modern day "high functioning sociopath" while Watson is a former army doctor with PSTD returned from Afghanistan. It has been written and created by Doctor Who writers Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat. Reviews are in and the update is a stellar success. The series has been sold worldwide, however UK viewers can watch with BBC iplayer. Rumor has it that those unwilling to wait for release can find alternative sources for viewing.
posted by Funmonkey1 at 3:43 AM PST - 115 comments

The Food Crisis in Niger

An ongoing drought in Niger has resulted in a famine that threatens millions of people. "These are very high levels of child malnutrition, the situation is bad," said Gianluca Ferrera, deputy director for the UN world food programme (WFP) in Niger. "The loss in harvest last year was worse than expected, and the lean season started earlier than anticipated for a larger share of the population. "In some areas, there is a 50% malnutrition rate for children under 2. Many of these children will not survive." [more inside]
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 2:40 AM PST - 64 comments

Take that, flying cars that don't!

I got you this delicious flying car [YT] [more inside]
posted by mhjb at 2:07 AM PST - 44 comments

Derf Scratch has died

Derf Scratch, founding member and bassist for Fear, has died. His sister says he was 59. [more inside]
posted by goofyfoot at 12:53 AM PST - 22 comments

August 1

High-speed lightning videos

Tom A. Warner makes high-speed videos of lightning strikes at up to 9,000 fps.
posted by Termite at 9:32 PM PST - 34 comments

Comme D'Habitude

The original version of "My Way" ("Comme d'Habitude", Frank Sinatra's version was a cover) was written by Claude Francois, AKA "CloClo". Somewhere between a French Wayne Newton and Elvis, he died when he was taking a bath, saw a lightbulb had gone out, and tried to replace it while standing in water, completing the circuit. Some of his hit songs include: Belinda, Belles Belles Belles (cover of "Girls Girls Girls"), Si J'avais un Marteau (if I had a Hammer), Sale Bonhomme (French country, cover of Johnny Cash's "Dirty Dan"), Le Disco est Francais His scantily clad female backup dancers, called the "Claudettes" or Clodettes, were the inspiration for the Solid Gold dancers and had their own short-lived solo spinoff career where they tried to cash in on the kung-fu + disco craze.
posted by destro at 9:05 PM PST - 27 comments

Shelf life

I'm like a character in a dystopian science-fiction novel, holed up in a cave full of cultural artefacts, waiting for the young Jenny Agutter to arrive in a tinfoil miniskirt, fleeing a poisonous cloud on the surface, to check out my stash and ask me: "Who exactly was the Quicksilver Messenger Service? Who was this Virginia Woolf? What kind of man was Jonah Hex?" - Stewart Lee on comics, books, CDs and shelves. Many, many feet of shelves.
posted by Artw at 8:22 PM PST - 26 comments

John Boorman's "Point Blank"

What makes Point Blank so extraordinary, however, is not its departures from genre conventions, but Boorman's virtuoso use of such unconventional avant-garde stylistics to saturate the proceedings with a classical noir mood of existential torpor and romanticized fatalism. (previously)
posted by Joe Beese at 7:52 PM PST - 25 comments

The Ghost of González

After a 5-year hiatus following 2005's Black Refuge EP, José González's band Junip offers up a new free EP download in anticipation of their coming full-length debut.
posted by mannequito at 6:27 PM PST - 17 comments

13 Most Beautiful...

13 Most Beautiful... Songs for Andy Warhol's Screen Tests: Edie Sedgwick - It Dont Rain in Beverly Hills :: Crying Girl :: Ingrid Superstar - Eyes In My Smoke :: Lou Reed - I'm Not A Young Man Anymore :: by Dean and Britta
posted by puny human at 3:36 PM PST - 12 comments

Rumors of its death were greatly exaggerated. is back after three years. Jailbreak even an iPhone 4 without a computer. The server is getting pounded right now so cut it some slack.
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:22 PM PST - 82 comments

Sunday Satire by Mark Fiore.

Mark Fiore is a political cartoonist. Mark Fiore won a Pulitzer Prize this year. Mark Fiore hasn't been featured on the Blue since 2006 (previously). Mark Fiore has animated some amusing cartoons about recent events: Wikileaks, Conflict Minerals, Gaza Flotilla, BP (2) (3), War on Drugs, Climate Gate, Guantanamo, Haiti, and more!.
posted by tybeet at 3:03 PM PST - 15 comments

Particularly catching on in the prison population

The Sovereign Citizen Movement (or Redemption Movement) in the US is based on a theory that the federal government has pledged each and every American citizen, as a fictitious "straw-man" corporate person, for collateral, and that you have the right to assert your "sovereign citizenship," free yourself from liens and taxes, and claim hundreds of thousands of dollars lent to the government in your very own name. This is accomplished by a number of pseudo-legal filings, mailings and renderings of your own name, intended to make you a Free Man on the Land. Although not yet mainstream, believers are becoming more active and visible, from the recent violent deaths of movement leaders Jerry and Joseph Kane (previously) to the rather less threatening Basil Marceaux (dot com), who pledges to get rid of the "gold-fringe flag" (previously). [more inside]
posted by Countess Elena at 12:41 PM PST - 72 comments

Why did Chuck Norris destroy the periodic table? ... because he only believes in the element of Suprise!

Blogging the Periodic Table: Wild, weird, wonderful stories about the elements that make up our universe. All month at slate, Sam Kean has been blogging about the periodic table, in conjunction with his new book, The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World From the Periodic Table of the Elements. Elements covered so far include: Antimony: It might have killed mozart. Hydrogen: Where it all started. Selenium: Is It To Blame for Custer's Defeat at Little Bighorn? Vanadium: Sperm, beware. Copernicium: How elements get their names. Nitrogen and Phosphorus: The Future of Toilet Design Hangs in the Balance. Lithium: Why It Makes Such Great Batteries. Rare Earths: They're Neither Rare nor Earths. But They Could Save the Planet. Ytterby: The Tiny Swedish Island That Gave the Periodic Table Four Different Elements. Strontium: Element Tourists, Sodium Partiers, and Other Periodic Table Eccentrics. Gallium: It Proved That Dmitri Mendeleev, Father of the Periodic Table, Wasn't a Crackpot. The Noble Gases: What a Bunch of Snobs. Promethium: Uranium Stole Its Fire. Thorium: The Nuclear Fuel of the Future? Palladium: The Cold Fusion Fanatics Can't Get Enough of the Stuff. Cobalt: It Makes the Dirtiest of Dirty Bombs. Hafnium: Building the Doomsday Device of Tomorrow. Radium: Cures Gout! (Warning: Also Causes Cancer.). Aluminum: It Used To Be More Precious Than Gold.
posted by Fizz at 11:52 AM PST - 33 comments

Critters online genre fiction workshop

Are you an aspiring writer of genre fiction? Would you like to workshop your stuff before submitting it to magazines and publishers, but you don't happen to have a group of local friends that you can workshop with? is an online, highly automated fiction workshop. You submit your manuscript, it waits in a queue until its time comes up, and then it gets sent out to all the active subscribers, some of whom will hopefully send you some helpful feedback! Make sure to critique at least one story every week, though, or you lose your privileges to post your own stories to the queue. [more inside]
posted by kavasa at 11:35 AM PST - 17 comments

We're so bad, you know we're good.

With the 25th anniversary of the Super Bowl Shuffle rapidly approaching, perhaps the time has come to take a look at its inimitable legacy - one of state-of-the-art video editing, fluid rhymes, stunning choreography and brain-breaking pastels. Will either sports or music ever reach these dizzying heights again? Hopefully not. [MLYT]
posted by Toby Dammit X at 10:51 AM PST - 22 comments

Modesty: To Know a Veil

"We're not telling you what to wear -- we're just telling you what we, as guys, have to guard against." What 1600 teenage Christian boys think girls shouldn't be wearing.
posted by hermitosis at 9:48 AM PST - 235 comments

A Reflection of Civil Disobedience

A Unitarian Universalist Seminarian reflects on a night in jail after being arrested protesting SB1070.
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 9:38 AM PST - 29 comments

99 Names of Allah and the Glassmaker

Andrew Kosorok, a sculpture professor, has embarked on a project to create 100 glass sculptures inspired by the 99 Names of Allah. [more inside]
posted by reenum at 8:23 AM PST - 23 comments


Still Lifes
"Supposedly the still life came to the fore when religion and the state became replaced by the middle class. Do you know when that was. The world began to be run by people who just wanted a lot of shit. And would go anywhere to get it. The Dutch who invented our own dear New York and this is why it is this wayfull of people who want stuffthey were the stars of this moment, collecting shit from around the world and putting big piles of it on shelves, in boats, taking it somewhere else. And making paintings of it. And really this moment never ended. They would paint marketplaces, and the thing that's funny is that if you were a painter and you weren't being paid to paint someone rich you would just probably paint some stuff and sell it in the market and so the place where all this was happening of course got painted too—it's dizzying." (via dd)
posted by kliuless at 7:56 AM PST - 30 comments

Wagashi - Japanese confectionery art

"Wagashi are traditional Japanese confections that evolved into an art form in the ancient Imperial capital, Kyoto." Wagashi fall into the following categories: namagashi, yokan, monaka, manju, and higashi. Playful and inventive examples of confectionery art abound within those categories. [more inside]
posted by needled at 7:53 AM PST - 17 comments

"Democracy is stronger than this."

The Anti-Defamation League has been tracking religious extremism for several decades, including anti-Islamic violence in the United States after 9/11. Nonetheless, the organization joined right-wing opposition earlier this week to the construction of Cordoba House, a 13-story Muslim community center and mosque that may be built two blocks away from the site of the former World Trade Center. The ADL's alignment with calls for "refudiation" by Republican celebrities Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich, along with other members of the GOP who are ramping up angry sentiments in voters during an election year, have puzzled and angered religious, political and cultural figures of various stripes, particularly within New York City itself. [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:27 AM PST - 427 comments