August 2017 Archives

August 31

The Rebel is in full meltdown mode.

Inside Rebel Media by Richard Warnica [The National Post] “Levant, who is 45 years old, founded The Rebel Media from the ashes of Sun News Network in 2015. In the two-plus years since, he has built it from a tiny niche website operating out of his home into a global brand with correspondents on three continents and a footprint in major controversies around the world. The site is a natural climax for Levant’s checkered career. It presents a seamless mix of far-right activism and commentary, the same two-feet-in-two-ponds balance Levant has managed himself for decades. But The Rebel is also something decidedly new. It represents an evolutionary leap for Levant. Free from the limits of broadcasters, of publishers and parties, his already unfettered id is now truly boundless. Levant can say whatever he wants, to whomever he wants, in whatever way he decides. He has the freedom to deride climate science, to embrace Donald Trump, to attack George Soros. He can indulge any conspiracy. Attack any foe.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 10:57 PM PST - 35 comments

In The Darkness Where We Learn To See

I don't know if this is a live performance or a music video, but U2 has released a video of a new song: The Blackout [public-facing Facebook video link]. [lyrics] It's from their upcoming album, Songs Of Experience. The first single, which isn't this song, will be released Sept 6. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 10:15 PM PST - 36 comments

Not Just Another Reunion Concert

(Single link New Yorker review) The Shaggs have been linked to twelve times on Metafilter. But not since 2015. Recently, they had their first reunion concert in forty years. And, perhaps, their last.
posted by kozad at 7:31 PM PST - 21 comments

Exuma, the Obeah Man

"I came down on a lightning bolt / nine months in my mama's belly. / When I was born, the midwife scream and shout / I had fire crystals coming out of my mouth. / I'm Exuma, I'm the Obeah Man!" Being an introduction to the unclassifiable Bahamian musician Exuma (1942-1997). Read a Downbeat Magazine profile from shortly after his death, or a slightly less easy on the eyes profile from Perfect Sound Forever. Or listen to some music after the jump. [more inside]
posted by goatdog at 7:23 PM PST - 10 comments

AI, as in neural nets

Artificial Intelligence Analyzes Gravitational Lenses 10 Million Times Faster
posted by aleph at 7:12 PM PST - 14 comments

Massive "Wooden" Roller Coaster Built from 90,000 LEGO Pieces

Inspired by the El Toro wooden roller coaster at Six Flags New Jersey, YouTuber Lunatic Sekai has put together a pretty impressive LEGO roller coaster using a reported 90,000 pieces. While watching the thing in action is pretty fun, it's also worth looking at the pictures on Flickr to get a sense of both the detail and the scale of this creation. [more inside]
posted by nickmark at 6:55 PM PST - 7 comments

Four hundred thousand ravens, his own torsos

The Winds of Winter as written by a neural network (all chapters here). Also why are a there no female White Walkers? (Game of Thrones spoilers if you're not quite up to date).
posted by Artw at 6:21 PM PST - 15 comments

Sprinkle, sprinkle little star

...when it was my turn, I put in my default order: vanilla ice cream in a sugar cone, with chocolate sprinkles. "You have chocolate sprinkles, right?" I asked the kid behind the counter. "We do!" he said. "Chocolate ones?" I asked. "Well, no," he admitted. "They're rainbow sprinkles. Is that okay?" I told him to forget it. What was the point when, in my world, an ice cream cone without chocolate sprinkles isn't an ice cream cone at all? -- Where Have All The Sprinkles Gone? by Keith Pandolfi, Serious Eats. [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A at 3:26 PM PST - 58 comments

"This is also our fault. Look what we made us do."

"Just as we reached the final, dregs-and-leftovers phase of summer, the first pure, truly emblematic, undeniable piece of pop art of the Trump era landed right in our laps. Two nights before the fight, Taylor Swift unloaded her new single 'Look What You Made Me Do,' and although Trump still seems wedded to 'You Can’t Always Get What You Want' as his signature rally-closer, he really should consider an update. Swift’s tour de force of deflective petulance is amazing: It’s essentially a catalogue of every public feud she’s had that, without naming them, manages to extend, mock, and, most important, commodify them." (Mark Harris, Vulture)
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:12 PM PST - 74 comments

The Mystery of Why Uber Gave Me 77 Free Rides

"For about two and a half years, Uber kept sending me free ride credits. I just went through my receipts and counted 77 free rides in total, averaging one every couple weeks. Then they suddenly stopped. All that time, I never knew why I was getting them — why look a gift horse in the mouth? — but once they stopped I put on my detective hat and did a little digging. I’m pretty sure I’ve solved the mystery."
posted by secretdark at 2:46 PM PST - 17 comments

. . . . . . . . .

The enigmatic Japanese group stylized as . . . . . . . . ., frequently referred to by fans simply as DOTS or Dots Tokyo, are not just a shoegaze band inspired by the likes of Slowdive and Lush - they’re a shoegaze pop idol group consisting of 9 members, all teenage girls. You can listen to a full EP here. They've just released a 70-minute single (?) called Tokyo (you can listen here). One listener explains that it "offers chilling ambient/shoegaze/idol music" that, at the 22:22 mark, "permanently turns into a cleansing, eternal Noise track." Here's a single from the single. DOTS has been rapidly gaining a cult following in the very different worlds of pop idol fandom and shoegaze fandom. [more inside]
posted by naju at 2:39 PM PST - 14 comments

When are we gonna get there? I'm hungry. This car smells weird.

I’m talking about real love. Lasting love. Eating leftovers out of Tupperware because you both agree that it’s madness to dirty another dish love. Lounging in sweats on a Saturday and flicking through basic cable together love. Landing on a movie about Nicolas Cage stealing the Declaration of Independence and deciding to stick with it even though it’s 45 minutes in and you’ve both seen it 15 times but, whatever, it’s not like either of you want to watch Manchester by the Sea right now love. [more inside]
posted by rewil at 1:45 PM PST - 16 comments

Dear David,

Wanna get geared up for fall? In the mood to be spooked? This guy think his apartment is haunted, and he captured it all on twitter (SL Twitter compilation of tweets, videos, and pictures, hosted on a 3rd party site)
posted by FirstMateKate at 10:39 AM PST - 41 comments

"wait this is the start of wonder woman"

Warner Brothers is planning a film version of Lord of the Flies that is--are you ready for this high concept? Are you? No, you only think you are--going to be all girls. And, stop me if you've heard this before, it's going to be written and directed by dudes. [more inside]
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:56 AM PST - 163 comments

One herring to bring them all, and in the darkness fry them

What makes the land of J.R.R. Tolkien so distinct? Is it the sport? The music? The shopkeepers? The tea? The pubs? The manners? The landscapes? The culture? The coinage? Most likely the national dish. Fish and chips EAT ME is, like other staples, originally a food of immigrants. Buy it in a "chippy" (a shop) or a van (modern). Annual awards and previous winners (pictures), though some people pretending to be common may prefer these. Some facts, frying tips, a recipe and some correct chips. Lo! the Chip Butty, a sandwich of chips sometimes found overseas. The modern British (including Scotland; Happy Easter and previously) chippy can make other (healthy) meals and drinks. "Smack barm pea wet". And (previously), far beyond the rip-off Shire in the Grey Havens...
posted by Wordshore at 9:52 AM PST - 22 comments

An unspeakable opinion about Ajit Pai

The Federal Communications Commission "regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable" and "enforces America’s communications law and regulations". Unfortunately they left a gaping hole in their public comment interface, allowing passers-by to upload documents, images, and even executable malware and have them all be hosted at an official address. And so the FCC is apparently hosting an official apology to the American people for inflicting Net Neutrality foe Ajit Pai (previously) on us. (Warning: Juvenile and crude language.) [more inside]
posted by RedOrGreen at 9:08 AM PST - 19 comments

An abandoned resort like you've never seen before.

Abandoned States is a fascinating project by Pablo Iglesias Maurer, who found 1960s matchbooks with images from an idyllic resort in upstate New York. He revisited the condemned site and not only recaptured subjects of original illustrations exactly, but combined them into compelling animated GIFs.
posted by mathowie at 6:55 AM PST - 64 comments

Recreational Activity Vehicle 4-wheel drive

Because it's stupid to throw away that kind of brand recognition, the modern Toyota RAV4 is a bloated, anonymous, mall-going crossover. Things weren't always that way. The Original Toyota RAV4 Was Better And More Important Than You Think [more inside]
posted by timshel at 6:28 AM PST - 70 comments


Everything's big in Texas, including trucks, especially monster trucks, and when it floods, they come to the rescue of stranded flood victims. "That's a redneck rescue, I do believe," said one woman rescued in 2016 floods. The trucks are back in action in 2017 in the wake of Harvey. When asked why they do it, well, "I have to make my mom proud." See the "more inside" for more trucks in action. [more inside]
posted by Muddler at 5:47 AM PST - 14 comments

Dante's 9 Circles of Hell (in a more square-like format)

The Norton Critical Edition's Periodic Table of Literary Villains
posted by invisible ink at 12:22 AM PST - 22 comments

August 30

RIYL Things happening in sync to music for a while

oldest Dan Deacon video with repeated patterns
patterns older Dan Deacon video with repeated
repeated patterns old Dan Deacon video with
with repeated patterns newer Dan Deacon video
video with repeated patterns newest (longest?) Dan Deacon
For the four-part USA Suite on America • Presented as an episode of Off The Air
posted by Going To Maine at 11:58 PM PST - 8 comments

? An Aquarium - Just the sensational tanks - Anemones &c

These notes appear in the archives without an author, but display a series of one-line ideas, added over a period of time (months?) for developing the north London pleasure-ground of Alexandra Palace, which was perennially on the verge of bankruptcy. They provide a unique insight into the mind of a harassed Victorian entrepreneur.” [more inside]
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 11:53 PM PST - 8 comments

Sword Guys Are a Thing and I’ve Had Sex With All of Them

Hana Michels breaks down a subspecies of That Guy [more inside]
posted by coolname at 10:17 PM PST - 244 comments

Emily Flies Solo

Emily Saliers on Her Adventurous Solo Debut is a Paste Magazine conversation with one half of iconic Folk-Rock duo Indigo Girls about her first solo album, 3 decades into IG's career. First single is Poethearted, an admittedly very Emily track. But check out album opening track Spider. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 9:57 PM PST - 4 comments

Playing the saxophone while a brain tumor is removed

The challenge was that Fabbio would be lying on his side, so it would be difficult to play the instrument. Also, the pressure caused by the deep breathes required to play long notes on the saxophone could cause the brain, which would be exposed during the procedure, to essentially protrude from his skull. Fabbio and Marvin ultimately selected a piece – a version of a Korean folk song – that could be modified to be played with shorter and shallower breaths. Abstract.
posted by clawsoon at 8:10 PM PST - 9 comments

I'm not even supposed to be here today, baseball edition

Last week, in the 9th inning of a blowout loss, Red Sox player Chris Young came up to bat... even though he was no longer in the game. According to RetroSheet, "This is the only case of illegal lineup reentry in Major League history. No one appeared to notice – not the umpires or either team."
posted by LobsterMitten at 6:17 PM PST - 42 comments

Fulfilling an obligation

Last Friday, Rob Wilkins, former personal assistant to Terry Pratchett and manager of his estate, fulfilled a promise by having a steamroller named Lord Jericho destroy a hard drive containing Pratchett's unfinished works. [more inside]
posted by metaquarry at 5:55 PM PST - 41 comments


I used to lead tours at a plantation. You won’t believe the questions I got about slavery.
posted by Artw at 5:18 PM PST - 48 comments

“We want our audience, the viewers, to feel the closeness of the dance,”

When Dancing Becomes a Battle “Welcome to the Ballroom” [YouTube] “Poor Tatara Fujita. He’s a junior high kid with no idea what he wants to do with his life. He’s smitten by Shizuku Hanaoka, a smart and attractive girl in his class but he’s too shy to approach her. He has no job and he’s flat broke. What’s the solution to his problem? Ballroom dancing. Ballroom dancing? Well, yes. Even Tatara is surprised, at first. But he learns its value after he’s saved by Kaname Sengoku, a dance instructor who repels a gang of bullies by sheer machismo. Sengoku introduces him to dancing as a professional sport, where competitors earn prestige through hard work and determination. Tatara discovers that dancing is his passion, and thus begins Welcome to the Ballroom. (Ballroom e Youkozo)” [via: Animation Scoop] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 4:27 PM PST - 16 comments


RENDER SEARCH [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:46 PM PST - 5 comments

You know what? This song rules. B.E.R. rules.

How a throwaway joke on Teen Titans Go! helped an unknown song, written more than a decade ago, break into the charts.
posted by rewil at 1:21 PM PST - 30 comments

"Announcers are part of the industrial complex of college football."

Ed Cunningham explains why he walked away from a job as a color analyst for ESPN.
Football has seen high-profile N.F.L. players retire early, even pre-emptively, out of concern about their long-term health, with particular worry for the brain. But Cunningham may be the first leading broadcaster to step away from football for a related reason — because it felt wrong to be such a close witness to the carnage, profiting from a sport that he knows is killing some of its participants.
“In its current state, there are some real dangers: broken limbs, wear and tear,” Cunningham said. “But the real crux of this is that I just don’t think the game is safe for the brain. To me, it’s unacceptable.”
posted by non canadian guy at 12:53 PM PST - 19 comments

In a dark time, the eye begins to see

Anonymous asked: What's your take on non-binary/agender gender identities?

I think those identities represent one of the most important realizations it’s possible for a person to have.

I’ll tell you a story...
A brief piece on power, reason, art, love, and the body. By George Lazenby. [more inside]
posted by Iridic at 12:49 PM PST - 9 comments

How to fake working for the Mann

“It was like night and day,” says Dwyer. “It would take me days to get a response, but Keith could not only get a response and a status update, but also be asked if he wanted anything else or if there was anything else that Keith needed help with.”
Sexism in tech is so bad, Witchsy cofounders Penelope Gazin and Kate Dwyer had to invent a male partner called Keith Mann to circumvent it.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:11 PM PST - 36 comments

Cyborg bacteria in the news

'Cyborg' bacteria deliver green fuel source from sunlight. Scientists have created bacteria covered in tiny semiconductors that generate a potential fuel source from sunlight, carbon dioxide and water. These newly boosted bacteria produce acetic acid, essentially vinegar, from CO2, water and light. They have an efficiency of around 80%, which is four times the level of commercial solar panels, and more than six times the level of chlorophyll. We prize these cyborg bacteria and their ability to make acetate because they produce a substrate that we can already use to produce more valuable and more interesting products," said Dr Sakimoto.
posted by aleph at 10:56 AM PST - 25 comments

Christies: 101 things we have learned from the Online Magazine

The Online Magazine, our weekly email of editorial highlights from, celebrates its 100th edition this week. To mark the occasion, we present a miscellany of useful facts, tips and insights published over the past two years. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:20 AM PST - 6 comments

Exposed bottoms, spherical balls and a moist clutch

So, then; it's back, despite rivals. But Mary has gone. Mel and Sue have, alas, gone. The tent has moved to Channel Four. An off-duty vampire has joined. Why? What were its secrets? Was it the most expensive tent? What's the new tent like? Will the innuendo remain or will it be like Cupcake Wars? Will fans stay? Is that the Frog Chorus?! Just say the code and, as the Clitheroe Cake Diva watches, the reviews come in for the Great British Bake Off... Alice Brine, Guardian, Belfast Telegraph, Independent, Radio Times, Irish Times, Daily Telegraph, Manchester Evening News, and the Great British public. The good news? The cakes were still interesting, and the firmest of British traditions has been upheld. [MetaFilter FanFare, previously and post title.]
posted by Wordshore at 9:31 AM PST - 21 comments

Premium Mediocre

Premium Mediocre is food that Instagrams better than it tastes. Premium mediocre is Starbucks’ Italian names for drink sizes [...] Mediocre with just an irrelevant touch of premium, not enough to ruin the delicious essential mediocrity. Premium Mediocre is a kind of modern proto middle class, born of a vanishing old middle class, and attempting to fake it while waiting for a replacement to appear under their feet while they tread water.
posted by Memo at 9:26 AM PST - 98 comments

The Tale Of Amniarix And The Rockets

Jeannie Rousseau de Clarens, one of the remarkable spies of World War II, died last week in France at the age of 98. Like so many intelligence officers, she had a gift for getting people to talk. But she had something else: dauntless, unblinking courage in facing the enemy.
[more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:06 AM PST - 12 comments

Don't pat yourself too hard on the back there, Starbucks.

At Starbucks, your maternity leave depends on whether you're a barista or a boss. [more inside]
posted by Kitteh at 7:57 AM PST - 21 comments


Microsoft and Amazon partner to integrate Alexa and Cortana digital assistants. At first, it will require explicit call-outs for one to access the other, with "Cortana, open Alexa" and "Alexa, open Cortana", showing that the initial work is them being skills of each other, but both companies expect the integration to become smoother over time. Jeff Bezos and Satya Nadella also say that Amazon and Microsoft would welcome Google and Apple joining in. “There are going to be multiple successful intelligent agents, each with access to different sets of data and with different specialized skill areas. Together, their strengths will complement each other and provide customers with a richer and even more helpful experience,” says Bezos in an Amazon press release.
posted by mephron at 6:58 AM PST - 93 comments

“People are so afraid of Google now.”

Did Google discipline a think tank it helps fund? A New America researcher praised the EU for scoring a massive judgement against Google, then NA's leader threatened to boot his job and team, according to Kenneth Vogel. As New America (previously) CEO Anne-Marie Slaughter (previously) put it, “just THINK about how you are imperiling funding for others.” [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 6:44 AM PST - 20 comments

One family's pursuit of their daughter's killer

"The police knew he had a history of violence. They knew another girl had died in his bed. They knew the width of the sofa. Two people couldn’t sleep on that sofa. It all came out in the trial and the jury took six hours to find him guilty. Why did it take them so long to charge him?” [slGuardian] [CN: domestic abuse, murder]
posted by threetwentytwo at 6:05 AM PST - 14 comments

Shoot, dammit! Shoot each other in your faces!

The Emmy-nominated team at Honest Trailers is back with another hilarious fête, this time for the movie Face/Off. With over 200 titles under their belt, there's something for everyone, from old favorites like Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (Feat. Michael Bolton) and The Princess Bride, current hits like Deadpool (Feat. Deadpool) and Fate of the Furious, and even a few TV shows. Keep an eye out for special features like Retro TV Themes! w/ Michael Bolton & Friends and The Oscars (2017). Submit your own sugesstions on Twitter.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:52 AM PST - 22 comments

All The Stations

Vicki Pipe and Geoff Marshall have now completed their quest to visit all the rail stations in Great Britain, taking 14 weeks, 6 days, 8 hours and 22 minutes. The crowdfunded odyssey was recorded in charming series of videos . [more inside]
posted by firesine at 4:51 AM PST - 14 comments

The Bit Bomb

"Shannon paved the way to do this rigorously, by encoding our messages in a series of digital bits, each one represented by a 0 or 1. He showed that the speed with which we send messages depends not just on the kind of communication channel we use, but on the skill with which we encode our messages in bits. ... If we could not compress our messages, a single audio file would take hours to download, streaming videos would be impossibly slow, and hours of television would demand a bookshelf of tapes, not a small box of discs. All of this communication – faster, cheaper, more voluminous – rests on Shannon’s realisation of our predictability."
posted by jenkinsEar at 4:45 AM PST - 26 comments

August 29

Sunvault: the first English anthology to collect solarpunk writing

Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation is the first English language anthology* to broadly collect solarpunk, "a fundamentally hopeful new genre" that "envisions a future of green, sustainable energy used by societies that value inclusiveness, cooperation, and personal freedom." The included short stories, poems and artwork are almost entirely exclusive works that were submitted by authors and artists from around the world, depicting various glimmers and glows of hope for the near-to-far future. You can find snippets of art and text in this collection of promo material, and links to other works below the break. [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 6:28 PM PST - 13 comments

Not Advertiser Friendly

More and more Youtube channels are discovering that their videos aren't advertiser friendly according to Google's algorithm. It seems to affect channels across all of Youtube and no one knows exactly how the algorithm works.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 5:17 PM PST - 72 comments

You Can Pace but Can You Amble?

Two articles on horse genetics affecting their special gaits: the pace and the amble. The first article discusses the gene that creates the pace, such as the Tennessee Walker has. The second article Vikings Spread Smooth-Gaited Horses talks about the gene expressing the "amble," a gait new to me but can be seen in Frisians. The same research team found both these genes. Fascinating stuff.
posted by MovableBookLady at 4:26 PM PST - 17 comments

You are sitting in jail because you cannot afford bail.

The Bail Trap Game : an 8 bit game that explores money bail and the consequences for different types of people
posted by AFABulous at 4:22 PM PST - 12 comments

“The idea was what I called a ‘real world role-playing game.'”

How Warren Spector Created a Genre, and Set Games Free [Rolling Stone] “One of the hottest games at the moment is Prey. Two of the most ambitious big budget titles released last year were Dishonored 2 and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. What do they have in common? They wouldn't exist without Warren Spector. In 1990s games like System Shock, Spector helped pioneer a genre in which each individual player is able to pursue their own personal playstyle and use the flexible rules of the world to solve puzzles and complete objectives – a genre that's been dubbed the "immersive sim." Spector himself uses that term, though he's not very happy with it. "I've been trying to find a better way to describe the game style, because ‘immersive sim' sounds kind of highfalutin and pretentious," he says.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 1:42 PM PST - 16 comments

Finding Home in War

The history—and limitations—of the international refugee regime. [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus at 11:01 AM PST - 2 comments

well, have a nap.

From Alex Wellerstein, the creator of NUKEMAP [previously], comes MISSILEMAP, "an interactive web visualization meant to aid in the understanding of information about the capabilities and consequences of missile launches, in particular nuclear-armed ballistic missiles."
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:35 AM PST - 7 comments

Let's talk about pies

While some Brits dining out review (picture) what a pie is or is not (derails: cheesecake, tart, more tart, pizza, and quiche on AskMe, and pies, tarts and flans), other folk rank or make, or just eat, them. Or fight you. Pies can be famous or obscure or filled with bolognese. Elsewhere in pie nation, in Leicestershire Pukka Pies are improving while Melton Mowbray continues to be the world pie capital and the home of winners. Order in a Tipton pub ("all 4lb comes to your reinforced table") - a counterpoint - or in Wales enjoy a pastai, in Sheffield add Hendo's, or in Bristol - anyone for cricket? Further west, Chrissy was disappointed, while State Fair attendees were not surprised. And, as we near Christmas, enjoy the mighty British (and legal) mince pie. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore at 9:17 AM PST - 109 comments

How much meatloaf?

Check, please: Couple completes quest to eat at every Cracker Barrel in the USA.
posted by Literaryhero at 8:04 AM PST - 129 comments

A gentleman should be be a rebuke and scandal to venal and vulgar souls.

The Brazilian president Michel Temer has abolished an Amazonian reserve the size of Denmark, prompting concerns of an influx of mineral companies, road-builders and workers into the species-rich forest.
What does it cost to hang onto the office of President? In Brazil, President Michel Temer paid for that privilege with R$13.2 billion (US $4.2 billion) worth of measures — decrees and amendments aimed at securing sufficient votes in the Lower House of Congress to avoid a criminal investigation by the Supreme Court into the president’s alleged corruption. Video (FB)
posted by adamvasco at 7:54 AM PST - 9 comments


Throughout 2012 and 2013, Aaron Cashatt, outfitted in a trademark white fedora, went on an "epic hotel room hacking spree", stealing first linens, then televisions, and finally guests' possessions, fencing them for cash that he would spend on "drug benders, clubs, and casinos." His burglaries relied on a well-known exploit that the locks' manufacturer initially refused to fix for free. [more inside]
posted by uncleozzy at 7:47 AM PST - 25 comments

Character is what you do when you've got a lot to lose

Ed Skrein has had a pretty good couple of years in Hollywood, parlaying his turn as the lead villain in last year's Deadpool into a big role in the Hellboy reboot as Ben Daimio, a Japanese-American Marine officer. Ed Skrein is not Japanese-American; in fact, he is British, and of Austrian Jewish descent, which raised charges of whitewashing. After learning the background of the character and seeing the controversy, Skrein bowed out, saying on Twitter that "Representation of ethnic diversity is important... It is our responsibility to make moral decisions in difficult times and to give voice to inclusivity."
posted by Etrigan at 7:15 AM PST - 28 comments

"A country of inveterate, backwoods, thick-headed, egotistic philistines

Tired of American politics? New Zealand's General Election is fast-approaching... [more inside]
posted by Start with Dessert at 5:00 AM PST - 43 comments

Everyday Cycling in the Netherlands

BicycleDutch is a YouTube channel by Mark Wagenbuur about cycling in the Netherlands (and occasionally other places), with rider povs of many excellent examples of Dutch bicycling infrastructure. [more inside]
posted by carter at 4:24 AM PST - 51 comments

August 28

Provided you accept all the formalities and realize his authority.

Kot Blini (Кот Блини) Literary Analysis (English subtitles). Take a 1:49 break to give a picture of cat with a plate of blinis exactly the amount of contemplation it deserves. [more inside]
posted by automatic cabinet at 8:53 PM PST - 17 comments

This was important to her.

It’s true: Sally Hemings was, by law, Thomas Jefferson’s property. But she was also a human being. Contingency, which historians know is always in operation, plays a crucial role in human affairs, and it did so in the way the law of property shaped Hemings’s story. Enigmatic as she may be, Hemings had a vision of her life and self that she imparted to her family. Her vision should always matter when we write about her. Law was pivotal to Hemings’s understanding of her life. She knew its power.
posted by ChuraChura at 8:09 PM PST - 15 comments

Heffalumps and oliphants

Uli Westphal is a German artist who studies how humans perceive, depict and transform the natural world. In Elephas Anthropogenus, he traces (sometimes quite literally) how European illustrators who'd never seen an elephant reconstructed oral and written histories of what elephants looked like from C.E. 900-1765. All elephants are magnificent, but some elephants are more magnificent than others.
posted by deludingmyself at 7:23 PM PST - 37 comments

Also available as Totchos!

The Tater Tot Is American Ingenuity at Its Finest
posted by Artw at 7:01 PM PST - 70 comments

This is how we do it down in Puerto Rico

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About ‘Despacito’ - Ethnomusicologist Wayne Marshall explains the "Despacito" phenomenon from a musical, cultural, and historical perspective at The Vulture. [more inside]
posted by TheGoodBlood at 4:02 PM PST - 25 comments

Fantasy maps: threat or menace?

Thesis: Maps in fantasy books are kinda shite. Antithesis: They're good actually, when done right. Synthesis: N. K. Jemisin gets it right.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:02 PM PST - 72 comments

Out of Action

Still, what has protest done for us lately? Smartphones and social media are supposed to have made organizing easier, and activists today speak more about numbers and reach than about lasting results. Is protest a productive use of our political attention? Or is it just a bit of social theatre we perform to make ourselves feel virtuous, useful, and in the right? For The New Yorker Nathan Heller writes 4800 words on the history of contemporary U.S. political protesting. [more inside]
posted by cgc373 at 11:55 AM PST - 13 comments

There's nothing I hate more than an alien with no respect for history...

Catch Up On Destiny's Entire Story With This 90-Minute Video [YouTube] [1:31:12] “As we bid farewell to Destiny, a video game renowned for its storytelling prowess, let’s take the time to catch up on the plot so far. This feature-length video, by YouTuber My Name Is Byf, is possibly the best Destiny lore explainer you’ll ever watch. Even if you’ve paid attention to Destiny’s lore over the past three years, this video is full of juicy details about how Bungie’s universe functions, from the early days of the Iron Lords to the invasion of Ghaul that sets up Destiny 2 (out next week for PS4/Xbox One, with a PC release to follow in October). Imagine if the actual game had told its story this well!” [via: Kotaku] [Previously.] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 11:45 AM PST - 10 comments

Toys, Game Electronics, Bread Makers and Composters

Present-day devices as props in Star Trek
posted by figurant at 11:37 AM PST - 34 comments

Blimey! Beyond Buckinghamshire bacon badgers: British bites...

Back in crisp sandwich land, where Quidditch is real and sports stars eat real meals, foods are thrown or combined in imaginative ways. While quinoa burgers are out, Brits are undecided about ketchup on pizza and we've previously had the British burrito (Yorkshire pud around beef), there's bouquets for loved ones (except for Mary Berry's nation-dividing bolognese) or red pudding or meats for protein lovers, or pasty barms for northerners (don't forget side salad or a whole lemon for nutrition). Perhaps smother with Dan's Marmite hollandaise and wash it down with Cornish clotted cream gin? If you missed unclothed dining out, then go and eat at the library or have afternoon tea somewhere or a medieval banquet. And in Glasgow, Mister Singh is launching the avocado pakora. [post title]
posted by Wordshore at 9:11 AM PST - 53 comments

The Lévy Walk, How many creatures scam up meals...

If you find yourself wandering, foraging, sightseeing, join the crowd South African Bushmen lived, (and some still do,) of a seventeen hour work week, spent in a walking pattern called the Levy Walk. Named after French mathematician Paul Levy, a Levy Walk is characterized by many small moves combined with a few longer trajectories. Evidence of Lévy walks has been found in the way humans wander University Campuses, urban areas, and Disney world. Here is a more detailed Here is the scholarly discussion of the flight of fireflies. [more inside]
posted by Oyéah at 8:37 AM PST - 26 comments

a.k.a. Hoover chicken

David McCowan of the AV Club's Supper Club asks "Why have Americans stopped eating turtle?"
posted by Etrigan at 7:09 AM PST - 74 comments

If you think this Universe is bad, you should see some of the others

Ahead of a new UK C4 anthology series Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams, three novelists - Nicola Barker, Michael Moorcock and Adam Roberts - pick their favourite works
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:32 AM PST - 39 comments

Gone With The Wind Gone With The Wind

‘Gone With The Wind’ Pulled From Memphis Theatre After Being Considered “Insensitive” - - winner of eight Academy Awards including Best Supporting Actress to Hattie McDaniel, the first black actor to win an Oscar - - Gone With The Wind has been dropped from the Orpheum Theatre's schedule following numerous complaints.
posted by fairmettle at 4:11 AM PST - 104 comments

August 27

But how does he draw with boxing gloves on?

Strong Bad provides a few short lessons in how to improve your Skills of an Artist™:
Strong Sad’s Severed Soolnds* · Sammich · Cannonmouth · Posh Toilet Paper · Muscleman
posted by Going To Maine at 11:07 PM PST - 7 comments

The Spice Flows

How Mushrooms Became Magic - "Psilocybin affects us humans because it fits into receptor molecules that typically respond to serotonin—a brain-signaling chemical. Those receptors are ancient ones that insects also share, so it's likely that psilocybin interferes with their nervous system, too. 'We don't have a way to know the subjective experience of an insect', says Slot, and it's hard to say if they trip. But one thing is clear from past experiments: Psilocybin reduces insect appetites. By evolving the ability to make this chemical, which prevents the munchies in insects, perhaps some fungi triumphed over their competitors, and dominated the delicious worlds of dung and rotting wood." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 9:41 PM PST - 12 comments

"Myths help us act; history helps us understand."

Max Gladstone: DEAR SOPHONTS—
Your Harvest issue’s cover feature (“Heroes of the Galactic Revolution: A Twenty-Year Retrospective”), however well-intentioned in its commemoration of the anniversary of our galaxy’s liberation from the Palpatine Regime, indulged in and perpetuated many damaging and historically inaccurate popular fantasies. However widespread the folk narrative of the Skywalker and Solo families has become in the decades since liberation, we expect more from a journal of your self-professed dedication to intellectual rigor. The Great Sophont Theory of History has been deservedly discredited for decades; our galaxy’s very size—millions of sentient species spread across billions of worlds—should be enough to discredit any notion its history might be shaped by the decisions of a few individuals. What steersman could seize the wheel of such a vessel?
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:24 PM PST - 14 comments

Integration is a bitch!

In 1969, Tom Floyd, an African-American editorial cartoonist who owned an advertising firm in Gary, Indiana, published Integration is a Bitch: An Assessment By a Black White Collar Worker, a 116-page set of cartoons about his experiences working at the Inland Steel Company and the experience of black college educated workers following the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964. The book has been scanned and posted to tumblr (annoyingly, in reverse order); it's worth starting from the very beginning (scrolling down to the bottom), because although the panels are all vingnettes there is an arc to the book. [more inside]
posted by dismas at 7:31 PM PST - 21 comments

No...Not your weiner!!!

Nap time with a 160-lb Mastiff. (SLYT)
posted by invisible ink at 7:26 PM PST - 18 comments

Hey, You Got Your Jazz In My Math!

'Beginning at one, start counting upwards. When you reach seven, say, "Unh." When you reach ten, say "Woof." When you reach any number containing a seven, or any number into which seven can be divided, say, "Unh, unh." When you reach twenty, thirty, or any number up to seventy that ends with a zero, say, "Woof Woof." All right, boys – here we go!'Mezz Mezzrow and his Swing Band, "I'se A Muggin Part 2" (1936). Milton "Mezz" Mezzrow was an adequate instrumentalist, but was better known for three things: he arranged some classic recording sessions; he was the jazz scene's main weed dealer back in the 1930's and 40's, so much that musicians and others referred to marijuana as 'Mezz'; and he crossed racial boundaries without effort and with pride in an age when it was dangerous to do so, calling himself a "voluntary negro". Here's a link to his autobiography, Really the Blues.
posted by not_on_display at 7:01 PM PST - 6 comments

Twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom!

Another busy week for the President: on the eve of Hurricane Harvey slamming into the Texas coast, Trump pardoned Arpaio, and banned transgender people from future military enlistment, but has difficulty staying on message as historic flooding threatens Texas. Meanwhile, the Russian collusion probe proceeds apace, as additional subpoenas are issued for testimony, while Gorka wins the weekly White House purge lottery.
posted by darkstar at 6:52 PM PST - 2059 comments

Number Five Is Alive

Have an orchestral mashup of Beethoven's Fifth and Mambo No. 5. (SLYT)
posted by Shmuel510 at 5:23 PM PST - 19 comments

Machine Girl Live at Milkrun

Does what it says on the tin. NYC noise/electronic/punk band Machine Girl live at Milkrun in Omaha, NE. (SLYT)
posted by Frobenius Twist at 5:09 PM PST - 2 comments

John's Fake Nantucket Crisis

The sound of the ocean. Two men walk along a waterfront. A young narrator, "People tried to help him. They knew he was searching. He listened... but he knew he was alone." A man stands alone on the beach. "They didn't know him." ... I think? It's mumbled. Anyway, that's it, the whole video: John's Fake Nantucket Crisis is the first clip on the erbp production company's vimeo channel since their last film, Upstream Color. [more inside]
posted by carsonb at 4:10 PM PST - 9 comments

Q: Are We Not Men? A: No, We Are Chi Chi Rodriguez

"All our efforts were, in fact, in earnest," Jerry says. "But what it looked like in the end is that Devo had meanly tricked Chi Chi Rodriguez and put out something that made him look hideous. It was — you know, it was a mess."
posted by jenkinsEar at 1:35 PM PST - 24 comments

Gladwell, eat my shorts P. 2

Mike Boyd is a Scottish lad who challanged himself to learn many specific skills. He documents the actual time it takes to 'master' them (or at least achieve a certain milestones of mastery). So far he uploaded 35 videos. (Previously.)
posted by growabrain at 12:32 PM PST - 12 comments

Savion Glover and Happy Tapping Feet

Savion Glover is arguably the finest tap dancer of his generation, and yet his contribution to the movie "Happy Feet" was widely overlooked. His credit is way way down the list as choreographer for a movie that is based on tap dancing. He is working hard to redress the reputation that tap has. He teaches and tours relentlessly. My first exposure to him was when he was 16 and was already an up-and-coming star—this movie was Tap with not only Gregory Hines but also Sammy Davis jr, Jimmy Slyde, Sandman Sims, one of the Nicholas Bros., and others. It's a loving tribute to old-time hoofers. [more inside]
posted by MovableBookLady at 10:32 AM PST - 9 comments

The Tax Shelter Era

In 1974, in order to boost the Canadian film industry, the Capital Cost Allowance (CCA) was increased to 100%. This meant that as long as their productions met a number of standards that made it “Canadian”, investors could deduct 100% of their investment from their taxable income. Thus began the Tax Shelter Era (1975-1982) of Canadian film. [more inside]
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 10:27 AM PST - 19 comments

All the tea in Marin County

Marin County tea guru David Lee Hoffman, subject of Les Blank's documentary All In This Tea still has literally tons of tea, puer (previously) and otherwise, in his tea cave, but also has long battled county government over building codes and his vision of sustainability (previously, including a link to a 2012 Vice article with more pictures of the Last Resort.) [more inside]
posted by larrybob at 8:33 AM PST - 6 comments

The simple cat and dog comics of Q-Rais

Q-Rais is a Japanese illustrator/cartoonist who draws short stories about cats and dogs. The site is all in Japanese, but the comics generally speak for themselves. You can also browse the site through Google Translate for a bit of auto-translated context, or enjoy a context-free gallery on Imgur.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:48 AM PST - 2 comments

My family's always been in meat.

RIP Tobe Hooper, director of the classic horror film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:36 AM PST - 56 comments

August 26

“But time flows like a river . . . and history repeats . . . ”

Oh my god Secret of Mana is being 3D remastered for PS4, PC and Vita by Robert Purchese [Eurogamer] “The best game in the world ever, Secret of Mana [YouTube][ Announcement Trailer], is being 3D remastered for PC (Steam), PS4 and Vita, and will be released 15th February 2018. Why Switch isn't included I don't know, especially given the game's Nintendo heritage, but as Xbox One is excluded as well, it could be a Sony exclusivity deal. Remember, the Secret of Mana series landed on Switch in Japan in June, albeit in a retro re-release anthology which isn't confirmed for the West. The Secret of Mana 3D remake will have a complete new visual style as well as voiced characters (a choice of English or Japanese), some new dialogue scenes, and a newly arranged soundtrack. It looks like a much newer game now, albeit a slightly more cartoony one. There is mention of upgraded gameplay but no details on how it has changed.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 11:21 PM PST - 22 comments

All dogs have their Day

It's National Dog Day (previously), and what better way to celebrate our best friends than by watching Stacy play Dogcraft? How about watching rescue dogs romping? Maybe a Dog Kissing Booth at the Indiana State Fair (with slow-motion kisses!)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:50 PM PST - 8 comments

13 and alone.

My Hero Grandmother Who Escaped An Arranged Marriage
posted by invisible ink at 2:11 PM PST - 16 comments

The big fight

Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor will face off tonight in what is expected to be the most lucrative boxing match, with the most bets laid, in history. [more inside]
posted by roolya_boolya at 11:20 AM PST - 206 comments

Working From Within

While the DSA National Convention (previously) made headlines, another political convention met in Chicago - The People's Summit - a Bernie Sanders headlined, multiple group organized, 4,000 strong meeting of American Progressives. The Katie Halper Show interviews several uo and coming candidates looking to turn the Democratic Party left. Larry Krasner, civil rights attorney running for Philadelphia DA; Paula Jean Swearengin, a coal miner's daughter running against Senator Joe Manchin to represent West Virginia; Stephen Jaffe running against Nancy Pelosi; Ginger Jentzen, running for Minneapolis City Council Ward 3, and Andre Vasquez, executive director of Reclaim Chicago/Chicago Progress.
posted by The Whelk at 11:08 AM PST - 51 comments

Stop and be friendly

Close Encounters of the Third Kind is a 1977 movie, written and directed by Steven Spielberg and produced by Julia Philips and Michael Philips. The story concerns UFO sightings and encounters, alien abductions, a large mothership, and... It starred Teri Garr, Melinda Dillon, François Truffaut, Cary Guffey and Richard Dreyfuss, with a cameo by Jerry Garcia. A digitally remastered 4K version will be shown briefly in the US in September (in the UK on the 19th for a day, other countries from the 15th); here is arguably the best place to watch it. [Lights up, and post title] [more inside]
posted by Wordshore at 10:32 AM PST - 60 comments

do the right thing and act on those qualms

Last week, in the wake of the dissolution of President Trump's Business Council over his public statements about Charlottesville (previously), many noted that his Evangelical Council said nothing. Ex-evangelical support blogger Chris Stroop called on Twitter to call white evangelical leaders to account with a call to #EmptyThePews of religious leaders who cannot demonstrate enough moral fiber to denounce white supremacy. The hashtag quickly filled with stories of spiritual abuse. Leaving these churches, Stroop acknowledges, is very difficult for many people. But he hopes that this public discussion will help more people to find the courage to leave toxic churches, whether or not they continue to maintain a Christian faith. [more inside]
posted by sciatrix at 9:34 AM PST - 39 comments

Deviations 1

Nine Inch Nails - The Fragile - Deviations 1: 2.5 hours of instrumental tracks, alternate takes, and supplemental material from NIN's seminal 1999 double album The Fragile. #Halo30
posted by hippybear at 7:45 AM PST - 30 comments

Biodiversity Reclamation Suits for Urban Pigeons

Inspired by the traditional use of fiber-craft to provide safety and comfort, California-based artist Laurel Roth Hope (who is a former park ranger and conservationist) has been crocheting small suits for urban pigeons that disguise them as extinct birds, thereby (visually) re-creating biodiversity and placing a soothing "cozy" on environmental fears. [more inside]
posted by Too-Ticky at 6:39 AM PST - 17 comments

Ulysses Bucket List

Before saying goodbye she turned to me and asked me a question that has become a wonderful part of my life; she asked me, “Tell me something you have done, or want to do, that you think I should do? It can be anything, as challenging as you want it to be, or as easy. As long as you give me the rest of my life to complete it, I promise I will do it."
[more inside]
posted by divabat at 5:40 AM PST - 21 comments

Beat your plowshares into swords

Beat your wrenches into swords. Beat your drill bits into swords. Beat your truck leaf springs into swords. Beat your lockwashers into swords. Beat your cables into swords. Beat more wrenches into swords. Let the weak say, I am strong.
posted by clawsoon at 5:31 AM PST - 15 comments

Only the title is longer than Jackson's

If you found Peter Jackson's Hobbit film series a tad padded, maybe the 1985 Soviet television movie The Fabulous Journey of Mr. Bilbo Baggins, The Hobbit, Across the Wild Land, Through the Dark Forest, Beyond the Misty Mountains. There and Back Again, which tells the same story in only 1 hour 11 minutes and 52 seconds, might be more to your liking. Note: you may want to disable youtube's subtitles as the source already has English subtitles.
posted by MartinWisse at 4:18 AM PST - 26 comments

“Here lies one whose name was writ in water.”

The princess myth. "She was the White Goddess evoked by Robert Graves, the slender being with the hook nose and startling blue eyes; the being he describes as a shape-shifter, a virgin but also a vixen, a hag, mermaid, weasel. She was Thomas Wyatt’s white deer, fleeing into the forest darkness." Hilary Mantel on Princess Diana, as we approach the 20th anniversary of the princess's death. (SLGuardian)
posted by Ziggy500 at 1:37 AM PST - 8 comments

August 25

Gary are you okay, are you okay Gary?

Is Elon Musk's pet snail okay? Gary is a snail who lives in a pineapple, balanced precariously on a wall overlooking a deep trench. He is trapped there, waiting for the day when he is forced to race against a giant machine.
posted by Literaryhero at 9:26 PM PST - 20 comments

Why Cops Shoot

In 2014, the Tampa Bay Times set out to count every officer-involved shooting in Florida during a six-year period.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 8:14 PM PST - 16 comments

Babylonian tablet 3,700 years old, first trigonometry

Babylonian tablet predates the Pythagorean Theorum by a millennium The Plimpton 322 tablet, offers Pythagorean Geometry, and a base sixty trigonometry used for measurement and planning, more concise than what we have been using in modern time. The Guardian covers it nicely. The Atlantic has a different take on it, not so fond of the Astrology they used the Astronomy for, however their Astronomical predictions grew more accurate. [more inside]
posted by Oyéah at 6:59 PM PST - 26 comments

I’ve Been Drawing On Beaches Since Childhood, And I Still Do

Dutch artist Tim Hoekstra:
I love the idea of temporary art because all things in life are temporary. I grew up on the beach where I lived during the summer. I have always been drawing on the beach using materials I found there. 6 years ago I started using a rake. This way I could make the drawings much bigger. Because they became so big I wanted to see the result from above. I mounted a GoPro on a kite so I could make pictures. Nowadays I am using a drone. I am inspired by tattoo artists, street art and geometry.
(Instagram, Facebook)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:05 PM PST - 9 comments

“Can Star Citizen be made?”

Inside the Troubled Development of Star Citizen by Julian Benson [Kotaku]Star Citizen’s development has been high-profile enough, expensive enough and, yes, troubled enough to spawn a whole ecosystem of theories as to what’s going on at Cloud Imperium Games, from theorising about the project’s technical challenges to wild accusations about what’s happening to the money. Various community scandals have added yet more fuel to the fire, turning Star Citizen into a lightning rod for controversy. The questions I wanted answers to were: what exactly has been happening over the past five six years? What are the reasons behind Star Citizen’s various delays, and what specific development problems has it encountered? Have things been mismanaged? And, as many Star Citizen backers are now beginning to wonder, can it ever actually be finished?” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 5:48 PM PST - 84 comments

Gossypium arboreum var. neglecta

It was combed by music and woven in mist. neglecta was a cotton cultivar that grew only on a short stretch of the banks of the Meghna river in Dhaka. Local weavers, over millennia, made finer and finer cloth from it, so incomparable that empires east and west traded for it. But the East India Company couldn't profit from it so they destroyed the industry and tried to wipe out the plant. There might be wild specimens left; the cultivation and processing will need to be re-developed; the cultivars can be compared to specimens held at, for instance, Kew Garden. [more inside]
posted by clew at 4:45 PM PST - 12 comments

Britain had ‘got a new suit in exchange for an old trouser button’.

"Britain’s smallest colony, an inconvenient and notoriously discontented border island."
posted by Chrysostom at 4:35 PM PST - 10 comments

A stagnant tide swamps poor boats, but floats the rich ones

Losing Ground: Even as debates over the planned increased to the minimum wage increase in Ontario continue, a new report shows how earnings for poorer families fell between 2000 and 2015, while increasing for the richer 50%. (The first link goes to a webpage, from which the PDF can be downloaded).
posted by jb at 2:50 PM PST - 8 comments

No one involved has yet been made a man out of

Live action version of Mulan , with a cast of quite talented child actors. [more inside]
posted by cubby at 1:47 PM PST - 12 comments

Hoofed Snarch

New My Little Ponies, designed by neural network - some better than others.
posted by Artw at 12:17 PM PST - 64 comments

I love my human. I hate humans.

Miriam and I, after the End. (Friday Flash fiction). "It's been over five hundred and seventy years since the war, since the end. I have approximated this by astronomical observations. The second impact event, the one that hit the southern United States, buried us, Miriam and I, in the rubble of our home in Florida. I was unable to move beneath the concrete and debris. I sent an emergency SOS, wideband, all channels, until my batteries were exhausted and I shut down. That took four months and eighteen days. No one came. My internal clock crystal had it's own, smaller battery but that ran out in only a few years. So I can't be more accurate about how long ago the world ended. I suppose it doesn't really matter but I am a precise machine and so precision matters to me." (5 min. read)
posted by storybored at 10:20 AM PST - 22 comments

Climate Change Changes Bears' Choices; Bears Choose Berries

Every year, William Deacy and Jonathan Armstrong returned to Kodiak Island, Alaska—a place where the world’s biggest grizzly bears gather to gorge themselves. Every year, hordes of sockeye salmon swim up from the ocean and fill the island’s streams in a spawning frenzy. Every year, the bears are waiting for them. But in 2014, the bears were gone. [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura at 10:04 AM PST - 9 comments

When the boat comes in

I certainly didn’t come out of university and think: "I’m going to work with lobsters." (SL BBC) A short photoseries from the BBC on women working in the male-dominated fishing industries of south-west England. Hope they add more narratives in the future.
posted by stillmoving at 9:57 AM PST - 5 comments

Flash Friday?

GDC Vault- Flash Games Postmortem (SLYT) Kongregate's John Cooney summarizes the history of Flash games.
posted by RobotHero at 9:27 AM PST - 15 comments

Camp Logan Riot

A historical marker in Texas was vandalized earlier this week, less than 24 hours after a re-dedication ceremony for the newly restored sign in Houston's Memorial Park. The historical marker commemorates Camp Logan, a training camp established in the park in the months after America's entry into WWI. During the summer of 1917, the Third Battalion of the 24th Infantry Regiment, an African-American unit in the United States Army, were stationed at the camp. One hundred years ago this week, racial tensions between the African-American doughboys and the white residents and police of the city exploded into the Houston, or Camp Logan, riot of 1917. [more inside]
posted by GalaxieFiveHundred at 9:24 AM PST - 7 comments

Truly Up The Junction

Chris Difford of Squeeze talks about going broke and working for Roxy Music's Bryan Ferry. As a chauffeur.
posted by freakazoid at 8:03 AM PST - 58 comments

Surely some revelation is at hand

As a child in Iran, Dina Nayeri belonged to a secret Christian church where the Rapture was welcomed as a rescue. Later, as a refugee in the US, she saw how apocalyptic prophecies masked a reactionary nihilism – which is why they are so tempting. From Guardian Long Reads, "Yearning for the End of the World" is current, urgent and surprising. Nayeri explores what she calls 'rapturous thinking' with an insider's perspective, though she is not the sort of insider who's been visible in the discourse so far.
posted by glasseyes at 7:53 AM PST - 23 comments

In every heroin victim I still see my brother

From Mike Newall, the Philadelphia Inquirer reporter who has written extensive coverage (previously) about the response of librarians at the Philadelphia McPherson Square Library to the opioid crisis on their doorstep: I haven’t written about my brother this summer, but he’s there in every line of every column since that first day on the library lawn. I can’t keep writing about this opioid crisis and not tell about him.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:41 AM PST - 11 comments

Beware of alliterative storms

Hurricane Harvey (WaPo) is approaching the Texas coast as a major hurricane. The Border Patrol has threatened to keep their checkpoints open and lock up fleeing illegal aliens. Always good ongoing discussion at wunderground's Category 6.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:30 AM PST - 757 comments

Demanding Kinder Classrooms Doesn't Make You a Snowflake

"...there’s no question that many of my students are dealing with much more adversity than I (or their critics) ever experienced, and they largely do so with exceptional resolve. Considering that, what does compassion cost me?" A great response to all the hand-wringing about kids today, by Daniel Heath Justice
posted by hydropsyche at 5:30 AM PST - 52 comments

A juice company dumped orange peels in a national park.

Twenty years ago two ecologists approached an orange juice company in Costa Rica with a proposition. The company would donate a portion of unspoiled, forested land to the Área de Conservación Guanacaste — a nature preserve in the northwest — and in exchange the park would allow them to dump a year's worth of peel and pulp waste, free of charge, in a heavily grazed, largely deforested area nearby. Here's what it looks like now. (via Upworthy) Spoiler: it looks good.
posted by valetta at 3:34 AM PST - 39 comments

Every label turned us down. Our booking agent sacked us when he heard it

Everyone thought we were a couple of sad gym queens who’d been put together and got lucky, but we were proper musicians who’d been on the circuit since 1977 under different names.
The making of I'm Too Sexy. ObVideo.
posted by MartinWisse at 3:20 AM PST - 30 comments

August 24

Wake up, Mister Freeman. Wake up and smell the ashes.

The Half-Life series is no stranger to delays, enigmatic disappearances, and sudden reappearances. So it's fitting that the (likely) final chapter of the franchise, delayed now for years and involving an enigmatic ship that disappears and reappears without rhyme or reason, should finally be revealed in perhaps the least likely manner imaginable: not via the long-anticipated announcement of a new game, but unceremoniously published as a plot summary on the former head writer's personal blog (spoiler warning for the non-existent Half-Life 2: Episode 3). Pastebin archive, with all names translated into their assumed Half-Life counterparts. [more inside]
posted by chrominance at 10:34 PM PST - 68 comments


The RV FLoating Instrument Platform is a towed research platform that turns 90 degrees upright, to provide a stable environment for research in the manner of a spar buoy. It's designed to work in both configurations.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:24 PM PST - 11 comments

Siimba Liives Long: golden-era hip-hop sound from Ethiopia/ NYC

Siimba Liives Long is the fire-breathing, lion taming (or at least lion-adjacent chilling) Ethiopia-raised, Brooklyn-residing rapper and songwriter who recently released Zemenay's Gemiinii (YT playlist; alt. YT playlist; Soundcloud), his debut album that starts dark but gets brighter, otherworldly but earthly, aware but not self-righteous.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:55 PM PST - 2 comments

Just What Is a Red Panda, Anyway?

Last week, as it sometimes does, the topic of red pandas came up in conversation. The person I was speaking to was well aware that red pandas are not very closely related to the more famous giant pandas... but he had no idea what they actually are related to.
posted by Wolfdog at 6:39 PM PST - 33 comments

“Saying a game is "dead" can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

Why You Should stop Focusing On Player Counts So Much [IGN] “As soon as LawBreakers [YouTube][Trailer] released last Tuesday, there were people in comment sections and forums around the internet declaring it a “dead game.” According to them, it was already doomed - a game no one was playing that people rushed to put nostradamus-like expiration dates on. The problem is that most of these people have likely never played the game, but thanks to sites like SteamCharts and the less reliable SteamSpy commenters everywhere can feel empowered to make wide generalizations about the health of any game based on “hard facts.”” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 5:13 PM PST - 19 comments

Everyman Jay Thomas has passed away.

A genuine nice guy. The actor known for his roles in “Mork & Mindy” and “Cheers,” has died after a battle with cancer. He was 69.
[more inside]
posted by shockingbluamp at 3:57 PM PST - 35 comments

Policy For The People

Matt Bruenig, creator of The People's Policy Project (a think tank for leftist policy), wrote Common Ownership And The New Antitrust Movement advocating for Market Socialism and common ownership along side stronger anti-trust measures. It stirred debate at Naked Capitalism and Bloomberg, prompting a response: Index Funds Are A Proof Of Concept For Market Socialism. Other PPP posts: The Welfare State Should Be More Than A Safety Net. How the Swedes Addressed Wealth Inequality
posted by The Whelk at 2:16 PM PST - 12 comments

Solved? Century-old mystery of why a legendary Civil War submarine sank

Blasting Through the Hunley Mystery The crew hand-cranked the sub more than six kilometers toward its target—the Union blockader USS Housatonic—and surfaced like a leviathan for the charge. By 9:00 p.m., it was over: the Hunley had thrust its spar-mounted torpedo into the Housatonic’s hull and within seconds, 60 kilograms of black powder had caved in the ship. Just after the brief moment of glory, the Hunley, which had just become the world’s first successful combat submarine, mysteriously sank. [more inside]
posted by Michele in California at 1:23 PM PST - 17 comments

Did This Book Buy Its Way Onto The New York Times Bestseller List?

Did this book buy its way onto the New York Times bestseller list? An interesting read on how Phil Stamper and others dug into a book seemingly no one had heard of showing up at the top of the New York Times YA list, without the notorious dagger (†) indicating significant bulk orders (and usually something fishy). [more inside]
posted by ODiV at 1:00 PM PST - 75 comments

Now you're thinking with pullets

Say you're KFC. Training your new hires on how to fry chicken requires a wasteful 25 minutes. What if you could shave that time down to 10 minutes? What if you could do it without wasting any precious inventory? What if you could do it with a virtual reality locked room game full of Rube Goldbergian devices narrated by an actor as a bellowing, wheezing Colonel Sanders? Now you can!
posted by ardgedee at 12:55 PM PST - 27 comments

Inside, the radio's prayer. Rockall. Malin. Dogger. Finisterre.

Marking a 150 years of The Shipping Forecast. [more inside]
posted by Kitteh at 12:07 PM PST - 17 comments

All We Want To Do Is Eat Your Brains

A Bloomberg report on how offal is re-entering mainstream US cuisine
posted by Copronymus at 11:26 AM PST - 48 comments

RIP Village Voice print edition, 1955-2017

The Village Voice, a storied progressive alt-weekly that has watchdogged New York's political and business classes for more than half a century, is ending its print edition. The announcement is a symbolic blow for alternative weeklies across the United States, which have endured successive cuts and closures in recent years as print advertising revenue has dried up. The Village Voice, founded in 1955, is regarded as one of the first alt-weeklies and counts among its alumni crusading journalists and literary authors such as Wayne Barrett and Norman Mailer. As also reported by the New York Times and NPR. [more inside]
posted by holborne at 10:31 AM PST - 32 comments

Give me two fingers of your best sipping liquor

Old West Recipes: Snakehead Trade Whiskey - Mefi's own Max Sparber recreates the adulterated whiskey of the wild west. It has bits in. [via mefi projects]
posted by Artw at 10:30 AM PST - 49 comments

Rural English pastimes that are not The Hunting of the Earl of Rone

While the upper classes have tea pursuit and riding crop rumpus, we can choose from toe wrestling or hen racing in Derbyshire, wormcharming in Devon, gurning in Cumbria, pancake racing in Buckinghamshire (women only), egg throwing in Lincolnshire, black pudding hurling in Ramsbottom, bottle kicking in Leicestershire, pooh sticks (previously) in Witney, and bun throwing nearby. Sadly, ancient sports such as shin kicking are dying out. But there's also a variety of pub games such as Aunt Sally and Dwile Flonking or stinging nettle eating (vomiting is forbidden), or nurdling in Rutland. And not forgetting tin bath racing, or tar barrel racing (video) and, of course, the Haxley Hood (explained in 1967) in Lincolnshire and the Cornish national sport of hurling the silver ball. [post title]
posted by Wordshore at 9:37 AM PST - 17 comments

Not Blinding Everyone And Setting The World Aflame With Death Rays

Phil Broughton is a health physicist and laser safety specialist at UC Berkeley (and maker of fine turbocoffees). After being introduced to the Kickstarter for Cubiio: The Most Compact Laser Engraver, he has Many Thoughts to share on laser safety and laser device regulation.
posted by Punkey at 9:17 AM PST - 47 comments

Secret Studio

Would you like to come up to my secret studio to see my etchings?
posted by ecorrocio at 9:15 AM PST - 12 comments

Living literary con job

Come for The Stranger's investigation into the past of a writer who seemingly has a glancing relationship with the facts, stay for the the use of Ian Somerhalder's face as a talent agent.
posted by rewil at 9:14 AM PST - 24 comments

The Mindset List has always existed for them

20th in the series, here is the Beloit College Mindset List for the class of 2021, an examination of the culture they grew up in.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:02 AM PST - 40 comments

Pianist Josh Cohen

Josh Cohen is an Australian pianist whose YouTube channel features him performing (among other things) covers of Radiohead songs. Really, really, really beautiful covers. [more inside]
posted by saladin at 8:01 AM PST - 10 comments

Cover version masterclass, anyone?

The English jazz/swing/pop/crossover artist has so far released seven studio albums, sold 10 million copies of them, had Grammy, Brit and Golden Globe nominations, and also has his own show on BBC Radio 2. But Jamie Cullum also has a nice sideline in producing jazz covers of some of pop's greatest hits. [more inside]
posted by Juso No Thankyou at 7:37 AM PST - 5 comments

All dogs go to heaven

The Cult of Guinefort: An Unusual Saint
In the provinces...the method for making someone a saint was more flexible with room for local input and influence. In this environment, someone could be “sainted” without really meeting the necessary qualifications of the central church. One illustration of such a case is that of the thirteenth-century Saint Guinefort who, as it happens, was a greyhound.
[more inside]
posted by misskaz at 7:28 AM PST - 27 comments

Natural History

Why Ecology Needs Natural History "The two fields' intertwined histories show that most theoretical breakthroughs are preceded by the kind of deep observational work that has fallen out of vogue in the past half century."
posted by dhruva at 7:02 AM PST - 20 comments

The Neon God They Made

Three videos about making neon signs.
posted by zamboni at 6:47 AM PST - 6 comments

Put on a bunnyhug and get off the chesterfield!

The Canadian Language Survey results are in! And “Even in other places that have no obvious reason to talk differently, Canadians have developed strong regionalisms.” Toque, Pencil crayons, garburator, oh my!
posted by blue_beetle at 6:03 AM PST - 109 comments

Under cover of anonymity, economics gets more dismal

For her undergraduate thesis at Berkeley, Alice H. Wu looked at the gender breakdown of anonymous postings on Economics Job Market Rumors (a.k.a. EJMR). What she found will be obvious to anyone who's been on the Internet since ever: "the discourse tends to become significantly less academic or professional oriented, and more about personal information and physical appearance when women are mentioned." [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 5:56 AM PST - 13 comments

Stone sky

Photographer David Quentin captures rocks floating above the British landscape
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:10 AM PST - 10 comments

“Show me your luggage and I’ll tell you who you are”

The lost art of hotel luggage labels: a blog post featuring a selection of vintage luggage labels from graphic designer Tom Schifanella's extensive on-line collection 'Art of the Luggage Label' (flickr). [more inside]
posted by misteraitch at 4:40 AM PST - 9 comments

August 23

Because you should dance in the living room

C'mon , it's totally in your key Even if it isn't- sing
posted by LuckyMonkey21 at 10:59 PM PST - 3 comments

If your cat falls out of a tree, go indoors to laugh.

Cats being weird adorable. [ambient noise only; h/t Miss Cellania; this is a good excuse to share Cat vs. Printer again.]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:04 PM PST - 10 comments

Packing your 70s Suitcase

"What if you could send a package (let’s say suitcase-sized) to 1977? It will arrive at today’s date, minus 40 years. You can have it sent to whomever you like, but you can’t personally hang around and make sure it gets used properly. There’s nothing about this delivery that will convince the recipient that this package is from the future. There won’t be any flashing lights or vortexes or portals for them to see. All they see is the package on their doorstep, and they have no special knowledge of this experiment or your efforts. It’s up to your packaging to motivate the people of 1977 to open it and pay attention to the contents." Shamus "DM of the Rings" Young with an interesting thought experiment. Here's his own answer.
posted by Sebmojo at 5:40 PM PST - 174 comments

“Anyone want a popsicle?”

"Rise and Shine" [Overwatch Animated Short] [YouTube] ““Rise and Shine” is the seventh short film the company has released so far set in the Overwatch world, joining “Recall,” “Alive,” “Dragons,” “Hero,” “Infiltration,” and “The Last Bastion.” The almost 10-minute-long video gives fans a deeper look into the backstory of Mei, who was cryogenically frozen for years while doing research in Antarctica, before rejoining the Overwatch organization in the present day. Like the other shorts, the level of quality in the animation really stands out. The company also released a new Hearthstone short, and it’s easy to mistake the animation at first glance for something at the level of, say, Pixar or DreamWorks.” [via: Polygon] [Previously.]
posted by Fizz at 4:02 PM PST - 35 comments


Do patients who hear voices have the right to refuse psychiatric medicine? A growing movement says yes.
This approach underlies a controversial international movement that raises fundamental questions about what it means to be mentally ill. The question at the heart of the debate: Do patients who hear voices — and suffer other symptoms that psychiatrists would consider severe — have the right to direct their treatment, even if that means rejecting conventional therapies, such as psychiatric medication?
posted by Joseph Gurl at 3:37 PM PST - 55 comments

Keep 'er movin'

Ok, ya know what, I'll tell you what, welcome to the Manitowoc Minute! [more inside]
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 3:16 PM PST - 9 comments

Does what it says on the tin.

You must go offline to view this page.
posted by jenkinsEar at 1:58 PM PST - 47 comments

Woodstars, pufflegs and sabrewings.

Hummingbrds: cute, hypnotic, surprising and interesting.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 1:21 PM PST - 14 comments

Mic's Drop

How exploited social justice for clicks, and then abandoned a staff that believed in it [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 11:25 AM PST - 48 comments

Leif Garrett beat me. I would’ve had him if my foot hadn’t gotten stuck

An Oral History of Battle of the Network Stars
posted by Lucinda at 11:14 AM PST - 18 comments

a taxonomy of trolls

But the keystone of this vernacular is “cuck.” A shortening of “cuckold,” an old word used to refer to men who allow their partners to sleep with other men (and often find sexual gratification in the humiliation of it), its use has become the sine qua non of alt-right group membership.
Tim Squirrell explains the linguistic shibbolets of the far right, as researched by the Alt-Right Open Intelligence Initiative at the University of Amsterdam.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:11 AM PST - 68 comments

"Football just sort of happens to them."

SB Nation staffer, master storyteller, and stats geek Jon Bois has a new Chart Party - where he examines the volatility of every NFL team over the past three decades. (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 11:04 AM PST - 19 comments

There's a storm coming in

“It’s in your nature to destroy yourselves” - Terminator 2: Judgment Day as a movie obsessed with nuclear apocalypse.
posted by Artw at 9:44 AM PST - 67 comments

Idiolects in movies

Movie Accent Expert Breaks Down 31 Actors Playing Real People
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:42 AM PST - 14 comments

Fruit brings people together

Want to meet your neighbors? Plant a mango tree. "I loaded brown paper grocery bags with as many mangoes as they'd hold, set them on my doorstep, and waited." [more inside]
posted by veggieboy at 9:05 AM PST - 26 comments

Nice day for a fight wedding

A wedding party turned into brawl at an Edmonton bar. The bride ended up in handcuffs. The radio interview of an eyewitness is a classic.
posted by No Robots at 5:30 AM PST - 75 comments

time to kick out the JAMS again

It's 23 years since they burnt a million quid and the KLF have returned. They have published a book. You can read an extract in the Guardian. Meanwhile, in Liverpool, other things are happening.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:26 AM PST - 38 comments

Oh, no! Not this song again!?

El Patito
posted by Stewriffic at 4:08 AM PST - 7 comments

August 22


Fuck Buttons, an electronic music group dedicated to loud-soft dynamics, cover “Mogwai Fear Satan”, a song by Mogwai, a post-rock group dedicated to loud-soft dynamics. (Original)
Mogwai, a post-rock group dedicated to soft-loud dynamics, remix “Colours Move”, a song by Fuck Buttons, an electronic group dedicated to soft-loud dynamics. (Original)
posted by Going To Maine at 11:09 PM PST - 10 comments

Rebuilding in Miniature

Ali Alamedy, an Iraqi artist living in Turkey after being forced out of his country, makes incredibly detailed dioramas of places he has read about but has never been. From filmmaker Veena Rao.
posted by growabrain at 6:32 PM PST - 7 comments

How to Find a Four-Leaf Clover

When I was in the third grade, we had a scavenger hunt at school.
posted by clawsoon at 5:58 PM PST - 43 comments

Possibly The Best (Cutest) Apology Letter Ever

Letter to park rangers in Sequoia National Park.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 3:22 PM PST - 49 comments

Separate pockets, padded bum rolls

In the 18th century, especially if you were a woman, clothes could be so complicated that you wouldn’t be able to get into them easily without someone else’s assistance. Ideas about privacy and intimacy were different then too – it was normal to be touched by a servant if they were helping you wash or dress. You can now watch a short video that shows how a well-off woman was dressed by her maid servant at that time.
posted by ChuraChura at 1:55 PM PST - 69 comments

“We all make choices, but in the end, our choices make us.”

Did BioShock Define the Last 10 Years of Video Games? [A.V. Club] “Ten years ago today, Irrational Games’ sci-fi first-person shooter BioShock [YouTube] [Trailer] was released, and its story of a ruined undersea city and the brutal objectivist that led it to its doom was instantly canonized as one of the medium’s strongest artistic statements. The art-deco-adorned city of Rapture was realized with a depth and vision few games had ever approached and populated with some unforgettable characters, like the twisted artist Sander Cohen and the city’s power-hungry founder Andrew Ryan. Its grappling with Randian philosophy gave the dialogue a high-minded and dramatic flair, all of which culminated in its iconic twist and commentary on the futility of choice in video games. In the years since, BioShock’s shine has waned. So many of its most foundational elements found their way into games of all genres and scopes, and its flaws practically became more talked about than its merits.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 1:07 PM PST - 65 comments

The richest neighborhoods in many cities are also the most vacant

"But the pushers of market-friendly solutions, and even most affordable housing activists, miss a central point in the housing debate: we already have enough housing in this country. The problem is not supply. It’s just that the supply is owned by the wrong people. From downtowns to suburbs, there’s a glut of vacant housing and land owned by the rich. The one neat trick to solving the housing crisis: give the things owned by the rich to the poor." - Evict The Rich, Peter Moskowitz, Outline.
posted by The Whelk at 12:11 PM PST - 108 comments

Historic Battlefield Women and their Functions

Vivandieres were common and ubiquitous in the French armies up to WW I. The first link is a good overview with some nice paintings/photos. The second linkVivandieres in the military gives a more nuanced view of these women, and has link to references and a one-book bibliography. This last link is a Pinterest page 76 Best Vivandieres images with many of them having info attached.
posted by MovableBookLady at 11:23 AM PST - 15 comments

“Grated cheese to be renamed Pulled Cheddar”

Here on Albion, recent times have not been good for this ancient food. In Brighton, a travelling cheese festival ran out of cheese, causing concern at future locations. Before this, a similar discontent occured at a London cheese festival. Eleven blocks of prize-winning cheese were stolen. In an episode of Midsomer Murders, a wheel of cheese was the weapon of choice. An attractive sculpture in Hull was rejected, and more hatred. To top it all, people have started adding avocado to Mac and Cheese. In positive news, “Cheese is more accessible than ever”, a cheese toastie truck, Liverpool is the city to go to, and Pavé Cobble is named the UK’s champion cheese. Related: how long can you store cheese?, the Illuminati of cheese, and the post title.
posted by Wordshore at 10:29 AM PST - 57 comments

We don land gidigba! ('We've finally arrived!')

The BBC has launched a Pidgin English platform. The new platform is part of the BBC's plans to expand in Asia and Africa. [more inside]
posted by damayanti at 10:04 AM PST - 16 comments

Counterfeit Metal Oxide Semiconductor

Ken Shirriff examined the internals of Intel's first chip (a 64-bit RAM), including taking his own die photos. Fresh off this, he came across die photos of a different 64-bit chip and knew one of them was not what it seemed.
posted by a snickering nuthatch at 7:37 AM PST - 29 comments

Maybe Steve Jobs has a company in the afterlife?

Burning cars and cellphones to keep your ghostly ancestors happy. [SLYT] [more inside]
posted by destrius at 7:16 AM PST - 6 comments

Mystery horse braids

From the Fortean Times: "I live in Costa Rica these days. My girlfriends family here own a farm with many horses. She tells me that many times in the past they have discovered some of the horses in the morning with their manes braided perfectly. She says the horses were in a remote part of the farm where there are no people. Anyone have a clue what could be going on here?" Some suggestions from Fortean Times readers: occultists, Bigfoot, and little girls. Warlocks are consulted. Academic papers are published. It gets a little malicious. Just don't blame the hedgewitch!
posted by misterbee at 2:31 AM PST - 42 comments

August 21

More like Mastodon't, amirite?

Mastodon is big in Japan. The reason why is… uncomfortable
Ethan Zuckerman on a social network's surprising/disturbing source of popularity. [more inside]
posted by Joseph Gurl at 10:45 PM PST - 41 comments

Some rural markets and towns even experienced a 55% decline post-plague

A new study of annual to multiannual levels of lead in the Alpine glacier, Colle Gnifetti, in the Swiss-Italian Alps provides further validation of the calamitous character of the plague and the accompanying events in the 14th century. These new hard-core data demonstrates the impact which the Black Death had on society and economy.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:57 PM PST - 8 comments

Six cents of every tax dollar to the moon

The Atlantic, August 1963: Two scientists argue that sending men to the moon is worth the cost.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:17 PM PST - 16 comments


Dogs on trampolines [bouncy EDM soundtrack]. That is all.

Wait, there is more: Bodega Cats (previously) posted a picture that charmed the internet: This looks like the CD cover for an all-cat, sassy girl band.

Ooh, one more thing: Everyone needs a hug.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:57 PM PST - 12 comments

Syllabus for White People to Educate Themselves

The “Syllabus for White People to Educate Themselves” is the perfect thing to send both white allies genuinely interested in learning more, and that special Facebook commenter who loves playing “Devil’s Advocate.” Whenever anyone asks you for stats, “proof,” or info no one who has an actual human schedule has the kind of time to provide, you can send them here. [Google Docs link via Teresa Jusino at The Mary Sue]
posted by cgc373 at 6:57 PM PST - 17 comments

"Boone... I'm going into the next office."

STAR GATE was one of a number of "remote viewing programs" conducted under a variety of code names, including SUN STREAK, GRILL FLAME, and CENTER LANE by DIA and INSCOM, and SCANATE by CIA. These efforts were initiated to assess foreign programs in the field; contract for basic research into the the phenomenon; and to evaluate controlled remote viewing as an intelligence tool. Records of the Stargate Program were published by the CIA earlier this year.
posted by stinkfoot at 6:19 PM PST - 13 comments

And other kids are being framed too.

Soul Snatchers: How the NYPD’s 42nd Precinct, the Bronx DA’s Office, and the City of New York Conspired to Destroy Black and Brown Lives [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus at 4:07 PM PST - 33 comments

Seersucker's Curious Class Struggle

Seersucker's Curious Class Struggle [via mefi projects] The Whelk provides a thorough, and thoroughly engaging, history of America's most underrated fabric.
posted by tel3path at 3:10 PM PST - 46 comments

Uncanny Japan

Uncanny Japan is Thersa Matsuura's podcast dedicated to Japanse folk lore, customs and historical oddities.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 3:04 PM PST - 3 comments

A Most American Terrorist

[Dylan] Roof was safeguarded by his knowledge that white American terrorism is never waterboarded for answers, it is never twisted out for meaning, we never identify its “handlers,” and we could not force him to do a thing. He remained inscrutable. He remained in control, just the way he wanted to be.
Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah on what created Dylann Roof.
posted by AceRock at 12:58 PM PST - 28 comments

“Use some mercy, human.”

The Undertale Drama by Chloe Spencer [Kotaku] “Undertale’s stigma as a toxic fandom arose after incidents involving harassed YouTubers, pornography, and fans who plastered the internet with in-game jokes. Over time, a game that started out as heartwarming and lovable gained infamy for supposedly having one of the worst fandoms on the internet. Undertale’s descent into online infamy was largely due to the pervasive thought that there was only one way to play the game.” [Previously.]
posted by Fizz at 12:02 PM PST - 45 comments

The Steep Game

Alpine football in the Austrian Alps. SLYT
posted by zeikka at 11:20 AM PST - 5 comments

Neil Chayet (1939–2017)

Neil Chayet broadcast one-minute summaries of quirky lawsuits on the radio for more than 40 years. He died of small cell cancer last Friday, at age 78. Obits at NYTimes, the Boston Globe, and Harvard Law. [more inside]
posted by Shmuel510 at 11:18 AM PST - 7 comments

After 15 years Whedonesque Shuts Down. Site was Inspired by MeFi.

Yesterday, Joss Whedon's ex-wife Kai Cole accused him in a scathing editorial (published in The Wrap) of having multiple affairs with actresses, co-workers, fans and friends and of being a “hypocrite preaching feminist ideals.” Today, in apparent response, Whedonesque has been shut down by its founders/admins. Whedonesque turned 15 on July 29. The site was inspired by MeFi, and its design was based on an early version of Metafilter, with mySQL/Perl code reportedly tweaked by Mefi's Own prolific. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 11:08 AM PST - 319 comments

Another deadly collision.

Top Navy admiral orders fleetwide investigation following latest collision at sea. Previous collisions involving U.S. Navy vessels. Discussion over at r/Navy suggests pervasive lack of sleep contributes to the problem.
posted by Bee'sWing at 10:30 AM PST - 40 comments

How Blind Astronomers Will Observe the Solar Eclipse

Like millions of other people, Wanda Diaz Merced plans to observe the August 21 total solar eclipse...But she won’t see it. She’ll hear it. Diaz Merced is an astrophysicist who also happens to be blind. While searching for ways to study stellar radiation without relying on sight, she has developed a way to represent complex data about our universe as sound (transcript). [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:29 AM PST - 6 comments

Beyond the cheesy fried enchilada funnel cake: 2017 state fair foods

At this years Iowa State Fair (BBC previously) the usual corn dogs, golden fry choco pocket and cheeses and other foods on sticks (more previously) were available, amongst the butter sculpting, baking contests and writing your bucket list. These could be followed by Iowa's big pork leg, or perhaps Thanksgiving balls, apple tacos or bauder mud, washed down with honey lemonade. Or perhaps healthy choices like a vegetable, or peanut butter and jelly, on a stick (previously golden fried), eaten while Skip Hitchcock judges your potatoes or you rest up with your cow. Amongst the 44 new foods, the pork almighty emerged as a popular winner. But, what delicacies were available at other nearby state fairs... [more inside]
posted by Wordshore at 8:35 AM PST - 47 comments

How Hate Groups Forced Online Platforms to Reveal Their True Nature

What gave these trolls power on platforms wasn’t just their willingness to act in bad faith and to break the rules and norms of their environment. It was their understanding that the rules and norms of platforms were self-serving and cynical in the first place. (SLNYT)
posted by Panthalassa at 7:14 AM PST - 36 comments

Bury My Heart at W. H. Smith's

RIP Brian Aldiss, British science fiction writer, part of The New Wave. He wrote the novels Non-Stop, Hothouse, Greybeard and the Helliconia trilogy. He also wrote the short story 'Super-Toys Last All Summer Long' which the film A.I. Artificial Intelligence was partially based on [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:13 AM PST - 59 comments

The Ancient Roots of "Make It New"

The Making of “Make It New” by Michael North is an exploration of the ancient Chinese origins of Ezra Pound's phrase "make it new". At first obscure, the phrase became well known when Pound became seen as the central figure of early English-language Modernism. In the latest issue of Translatlantica Clément Oudart puts North's article in context with recent scholarship in an introduction to a thematic issue on American modernism. In recent years Pound's centrality has been challenged, and his fascism has been recognized as fundamental to his poetry, as laid out in The Pound Error by Louis Menand. The phrase survives as a challenge to authors, and in 2014 Pankaj Mishra and Benjamin Moser discussed whether writers can still "make it new".
posted by Kattullus at 6:43 AM PST - 4 comments

Ellen Pao on sexism in Silicon Valley

"This Is How Sexism Works in Silicon Valley My lawsuit failed. Others won’t." Ellen Pao: "I would sue Kleiner Perkins for sexual harassment and discrimination in a widely publicized case in which I was often cast as the villain — incompetent, greedy, aggressive, and cold. My husband and I were both dragged through the mud, our privacy destroyed. For a long time I didn’t challenge those stories, because I wasn’t ready to talk about my experience in detail. Now I am."
posted by gen at 5:17 AM PST - 38 comments

The Ice Cap Zone discovery shocked me, at least.

Turns out there's perhaps even more than we thought to the "Michael Jackson made music for Sonic 3" thing. Previously.
posted by DoctorFedora at 1:21 AM PST - 3 comments

August 20

The momentum you give is the momentum you get

And yet there was something about electric bikes that offended me. He hadn’t worked to go that fast. And, after he braked, he wouldn’t have to work to pick up speed again. [SLNewYorker]
posted by Chrysostom at 9:10 PM PST - 88 comments

Richard Claxton "Dick" Gregory (October 12, 1932 – August 19, 2017)

"You know the definition of a Southern moderate? That's a cat that'll lynch you from a low tree." That joke, delivered in the 1960s by trailblazing comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory, who passed away Saturday, seems unsettlingly relevant in today's America. Though we aren't in the midst of the struggle for civil rights, that joke was about the evils of white supremacy—something we are clearly still grappling with today.
[more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:45 PM PST - 52 comments


If you’ve never missed a flight, you’re spending too much time in airports. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:00 PM PST - 115 comments

Never Gonna Believe My Eyes

Foo Fighters featuring Rick Astley - Never Gonna Give You Up. The Foo Fighters rickrolled their audience with the real thing in an interesting mashup.
posted by nevercalm at 3:24 PM PST - 25 comments

Edit the NYTimes yourself.

Think you have the editing skills to work for the New York Times? With the feature Copy Edit This!, Philip B. Corbett, The Times’s standards editor, has a number of editing challenges. Even better, there are point-and-click challenges every few weeks. Week 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.
posted by zardoz at 3:18 PM PST - 20 comments

Jerry Lewis is dead.

He was 91. Joseph or Jerome Levitch March 16, 1926
An American actor, comedian, singer, film producer, film director, screenwriter and humanitarian. He is known for his slapstick humor in film, television, stage and radio. He and Dean Martin were partners as the hit popular comedy duo of Martin and Lewis. Following that success, he was a solo star in motion pictures, nightclubs, television shows, concerts, album recordings and musicals. [more inside]
posted by shockingbluamp at 12:05 PM PST - 78 comments


Nintendo Switch owners weigh in on an iconic debate: Are hot dogs sandwiches? [Polygon] “Nintendo posed an important question to Switch owners several weeks ago: Is a hot dog a sandwich? It’s one of society’s most contentious debates, one with no clear-cut answer. But the results of the company’s poll are in — and Nintendo doesn’t seem so happy about them. In a June Ask Me Anything session on Reddit with Super Mario Odyssey producer Yoshiaki Koizumi, fans first prompted the polarizing debate. When asked if Koizumi thought that a hot dog “counts as a sandwich,” his response was a flat “no.””
posted by Fizz at 11:50 AM PST - 139 comments

Lady Kung Fu is Alive and Well and Living in Queens

Ever seen "Enter the Dragon," the Bruce Lee masterpiece? Then you've seen Angela Mao. She portrayed his sister who got killed, in an epic battle between her and Robert Wall, a famous martial artist. I actually thought that was the highlight of the film. Anyhow, she disappeared from Hong Kong film-making in the early 90s and recently resurfaced in Queens NYC. The main article is a NY Times profile of her. This next article was posted last Thursday about an upcoming appearance of hers Angela Mao appearance
posted by MovableBookLady at 10:56 AM PST - 7 comments

Not THAT kind of cottaging...

A public toilet in Ewell Village, Surrey that was converted to semi-detached one-bedroom houses has gone back on the market for a staggering £330,000. While pointing out rising real estate prices, it also highlights the phenomenon of the conversion of public toilets to housing. On the Norfolk Coast, the "Wee Retreat," a public lavatory that is now a cottage, is available to rent as a holiday property, while in 2012, architect Laura Jane Clark finished transforming an underground Crystal Palace toilet into a livable flat. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:23 AM PST - 16 comments

the year of living with banksy

When I first moved to Los Angeles in July of 2013, I found a room for rent in a house on Craigslist. I soon learned the landlord, and the man I’d be living with, was none other... than the famous graffiti artist and incognito street poet Banksy. A satirical bit of prose by the fabulous Demi Adejuyigbe
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:08 AM PST - 13 comments

The Gibson Archives: a graphic and emotive depictions of shipwrecks

The Isles of Scilly (Google maps, Wikipedia) are an archipelago off the south western tip of the Cornish peninsula that include the southern-most point of the UK, and some of the most treacherous waters in the Atlantic. John Gibson, a seaman-turned-photographer, brought his camera to the rocky cliffs and photographed shipwrecks, rescue attempts, and local events, starting in 1865. The Gibsons of Scilly continued photographing wrecks and their community for five generations (website archive). In 2013, the family auctioned off four generations of their photographs, and the archive was purchased by Penlee House Musuem and Gallery. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 6:19 AM PST - 8 comments

Whose Free Speech Is It Anyway?

This week the Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF) posted, Fighting Neo-Nazis and the Future of Free Expression, an essay examining the ramifications of corporate control of free speech. [more inside]
posted by fairmettle at 4:22 AM PST - 96 comments

Decline and Fall of the British Empire, Episode 7,219 - the Walnut Whip

The Walnut Whip is a volcano of chocolate encasing allegedly fondant and topped with a walnut, with spectacular variations. In further evidence of the decline of Britain, Nestlé have removed the Walnut, making it just a Whip and relaunching it in three so-called "flavours". This in addition to previous size reductions (shrinkflation) and the loss of the hidden second Walnut. Over a century old, the Walnut Whip is allegedly eaten every two seconds (not by the same person) and three constitute a luncheon. A rise in walnut costs is being blamed by some, and a poor harvest by others, while six packs with walnut will be allegedly available at Christmas. The Twitter has been unsurprisingly outraged, though you can make your own or even the coffee version.
posted by Wordshore at 3:56 AM PST - 45 comments

August 19

The truth has got its boots on: an evidence-based response to James Damore's Google memo

The truth has got its boots on: an evidence-based response to James Damore's Google memo [via mefi projects]
Mefi's own sciatrix drops science on Damore's unlistening head. Long, dense, and (from where I'm sitting) pretty darn definitive.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 9:43 PM PST - 95 comments

I, for one…

2017 has been a good year for robots, at least: three new world records for most robots dancing, fastest Rubik's Cube solving and First Robot Table Tennis Tutor. Below the fold I list alternate musical accompaniment for each story, from MeFite gmm. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:40 PM PST - 2 comments

900 men went into the water

The USS Indianapolis has been found, 18000 feet below the surface -- CNN story [more inside]
posted by vrakatar at 5:57 PM PST - 30 comments


For families divided by the U.S./Mexico border, there is one place where they are allowed to come together - almost. [more inside]
posted by cynical pinnacle at 5:39 PM PST - 7 comments

Hit that bell down below!

This time of year everyone on youtube has a dumb back to school hack to sell you. Cristine of SimplyNailogical has responded.
posted by phunniemee at 4:58 PM PST - 7 comments

Amazing talent

"For the past 96 years, the annual Santa Fe Indian Market has been the largest cultural event in the Southwest, bringing together upwards of 1,100 Indigenous artists from the U.S. and Canada, and 150,000 visitors from around the world, more than doubling the New Mexican town’s typical population. Indian Market takes place the third weekend in August, and it has long been considered the most prestigious arts show in the Native community." (Smithsonian)
posted by strelitzia at 3:17 PM PST - 5 comments

Artisanal Erasure

"A lie by omission may be a small one, but for a movement so vocally concerned with where things come from, the proprietors of craft culture often seem strangely uninterested in learning or conveying the stories of the people who first mastered those crafts." Lauren Michele Jackson examines The White Lies of Craft Culture. (slEater)
posted by Fish, fish, are you doing your duty? at 1:16 PM PST - 21 comments

'Ghost Signs' Have Stories to Tell

The faded advertisements on old brick buildings often go unnoticed, and they’re disappearing fast. Ghost signs have a special place in any city. Hand-painted signs were a popular form of advertising between the 1880s and the 1950s, before ads could be inexpensively mass produced, installed, and replaced. Their remnants offer a lens into a neighborhood’s past, reminding viewers about elements of commerce and life at certain points in history.
posted by adamcarson at 12:10 PM PST - 32 comments

Walking as Privilege

Discussing a new divide: those who walk because they can and those who walk because they must. Why people walk now and where they walk illustrates a cultural chasm. At the end of this article is a corollary article "The Walking Poor" you can click on to get the other side of the chasm.
posted by MovableBookLady at 9:44 AM PST - 39 comments

Still searching for an escape, she took a hammer to the drywall.

The Moon in Her Doorway. (Saturday flash fiction) "She didn't know why the moon had smashed into her house, trapping her inside. After working a double shift, she had walked home on tired feet under a night sky. The moon had hung large and low on the horizon, like a silver dollar. It balanced on the hill above her neighborhood. She remembered thinking, "It looks like it could roll into my arms."And then it did. Or almost. It was larger than it looked."
posted by storybored at 8:28 AM PST - 6 comments

The Old Skunk in the Outfield

"A typical stolen base is over within four seconds; a typical single within eight; a typical triple within 12. The most elaborate and disorienting plays might get to 20 seconds. I have found a play that took 26 seconds, and one that took 29 seconds, but I have never seen a play that took longer." The Portsmouth High Patriots, though, once tried a trick play that ran two minutes and thirty two seconds.
posted by Literaryhero at 6:38 AM PST - 42 comments

August 18

Misunderstanding Japan

BBC Radio 4: Misunderstanding Japan "What images come into your head when you think of Japan? Dr Christopher Harding explores how Western media representations of Japan, from the very first Victorian travellers through to Alan Whicker and Clive James, have revisited the same themes." [more inside]
posted by gen at 11:59 PM PST - 44 comments

Goodbye, Chuck Entertainment Cheese

In a reversal of the current trend towards automation in the service industry, Chuck E. Cheese [previously] is retiring its animatronic show. Father John Misty has written a touching farewell.
posted by MrVisible at 11:51 PM PST - 24 comments

Surf II: End of the Trilogy (that's the joke, and maybe the best one)

Long ago in "The Good Old Days", surfers ruled. It was bitchin'! That was before the threat of chemical pollution, nuclear waste and the horror of Buzzz Cola....
And so opens Surf II (YT, trailer): The Nerds Strike Back (via), a 1980s teen gross-out surf parody with added nudity*, stocked with some notable actors, and a soundtrack suitable for a surf film from 1984. Currently placed somewhere between one of the worst movies ever (next to another 1980s "sex comedy," Lunch Wagon [nsfw trailer]) and on the other extreme, just as funny as Naked Gun [trailer]. The film is considered an acquired taste, but if it might be your taste, you can watch it on YouTube (disregard the title, there is no second part). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 10:35 PM PST - 15 comments


LCD Soundsystem - tonite
posted by hippybear at 9:07 PM PST - 21 comments

Nature, filling your soul with hope, or...the other way around.

Zero Gravity Canyon, San Rafael Swell, all kinds of swell times. The San Rafael Reef, or San Rafael Swell, is an easy drive from Salt Lake City, and holds many adventures. The Narrows of Little Wild Horse Canyon is a perennial favorite of families who take their kids into the slot canyons for the coolness of them. I had never heard of Zero Gravity Canyon until today, when I read this tale. [more inside]
posted by Oyéah at 7:47 PM PST - 13 comments

At the end of a terrible week, a brief respite

Here are 33 seconds of tropical waves, viewed from above. Let it loop.
posted by not_the_water at 3:03 PM PST - 13 comments


James Hamblin (Atlantic) wonders if the eclipse is a conspiracy: "I am not saying the eclipse isn’t going to happen. I’m just saying there are two sides to every story." Meanwhile, Brian Hickey (PhillyVoice) reaches out to flat-Earthers for their opinions on the so-called eclipse.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:36 PM PST - 34 comments

Reacting swiftly, Mayor Quimby has declared Mob Rule.

A busy week for the President: a Nazi uprising in Charlottesville, resulting in one dead and several wounded, received a slow response and alarming equivocation from Trump regarding which “side” was worse. Widespread public backlash at his Nazi apologia - across the political spectrum - led to the resignation of several industry and public sector leaders from various advisory councils. Charities began canceling Mar-a-Lago events. One Congressman begin steps to introduce Impeachment. A week into the debacle, key advisor Steve Bannon “resigns”, with possibly more to be purged. Undaunted, Trump is planning another campaign rally in Phoenix, making noises about pardoning convicted criminal ex-Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
posted by darkstar at 1:49 PM PST - 2886 comments

A cautionary tale from a small-town newspaper

"The story of the most flagrant mistake in the modern history of sports journalism begins with a 21-year-old editor. His name is Kris Freeman." [Deadspin] [language NSFW]
posted by trillian at 11:32 AM PST - 26 comments

“Nestlé knew exactly what it was doing.”

Bad break? KitKat maker accused of copying Atari Breakout game in ad. [The Guardian] “Nestlé has been accused of copying Atari’s classic 1970s video game Breakout [wiki] for a KitKat marketing campaign. In a complaint filed on Thursday in a federal court in San Francisco, Atari said Nestlé knowingly exploited the Breakout name, look and feel through social media and a video, hoping to leverage “the special place it holds among nostalgic baby boomers, Generation X, and even today’s millennial and post-millennial gamers”. Atari cited an ad titled KitKat: Breakout [Vimeo], in which adults and children sitting on a sofa used paddles to knock down KitKat bars.”
posted by Fizz at 10:30 AM PST - 30 comments

Turkey Twizzlers, cornflake tart, jam roly-poly, and spotted dick.

The Great British School Dinner has significantly changed over the decades, from porridge and bread and dripping, through to pea soup and chocolate concrete with mint custard. Here are 17 dishes from recent decades, what happened to Turkey Twizzlers, the perfect steamy spotted dick, some pink custard, a mention of spam fritters, and mince and dumplings in 1980. Tempted? You can go to a cafe and try some. Nowadays, the options are less stodgier; at "big school" meatballs or curry are sometimes on the menu. Oh, Vienetta. However, not all healthy options are popular. Payment is sometimes complicated and can lead to barm controversy. Though Friday is usually fish and chips day, there's Angel Delight at this school!
posted by Wordshore at 10:27 AM PST - 25 comments

Fair Slice Now

Socialism: As American As Apple Pie (Single link The Nib webcomic history essay)
posted by Artw at 10:14 AM PST - 21 comments

Didn't he do well!

RIP Bruce Forsyth, British showbiz legend and holder of the Guinness world record for longest career as a male TV entertainer. He had hit Saturday night shows in every decade from the 1950s until 2010s (his first television appearance was in 1939 at the age of 11) [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:47 AM PST - 25 comments

Top or Bottom: How do we desire?

Three great minds consider what queer memes of a top shortage reveal about the racialized orders of desire and new directions for gay critique.
posted by Blasdelb at 9:31 AM PST - 31 comments

A Run on Irish Passports

The Irish Passport is a newish podcast about about the culture, history and politics of Ireland, by Naomi O’Leary and Tim Mc Inerney. The newest episode is about The Brexit Irish - the people who have rushed to turn their notational Irishness into a physical passport post the Brexit referendum. [more inside]
posted by hfnuala at 9:02 AM PST - 19 comments

Emotion: Side C

Cold to the Touch is a synth-inflected summer single from Ralph, who released a self-titled EP, her first, earlier this year. [more inside]
posted by Copronymus at 8:23 AM PST - 6 comments

Those are your family and friends, but you won't talk to them.

This Twitter thread nails it: "White liberals spend more time denying reality to PoC than they do hearing reality from their white conservative family and friends." [more inside]
posted by pseudostrabismus at 7:24 AM PST - 156 comments

Mandatory Fun Time

What one company learned from forcing employees to use their vacation time
posted by a snickering nuthatch at 6:35 AM PST - 71 comments

Journey through the centre of the earth

Antipodes map tells you what is precisely on the other side of the planet from any location you give it. In Australia the universal answer is water.
posted by deadwax at 5:29 AM PST - 29 comments

August 17

A Fully Functioning Furry Fiefdom: A Boozy Badger Update

The Boozy Barrister, AKA Lawyers And Liquor, AKA @BoozyBadger, writes about his experience at Indy Fur Con: The End Result Of A Series Of Bad Decisions. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 8:45 PM PST - 21 comments

Off the hook

Walking into the emergency room triage area at the Dryden Regional Health Centre in northwestern Ontario, visitors may notice a wall-mounted display case featuring a number of fishing hooks. What they may not know is those hooks have been pulled out of the bodies of anglers by physicians at the hospital. (SL CBC)
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 3:22 PM PST - 53 comments

the kind of dilettantism you hear in first-year critical theory seminars

The alt-right is drunk on bad readings of Nietzsche. The Nazis were too. They don’t understand him. (SLVOX)
posted by beisny at 11:48 AM PST - 73 comments

Big Oil Has Never Been Cheaper, Lets Buy It

So, you want to nationalize the US oil industry? Bill Humphrey and Nate at Arsenal For Democracy provide a beginner's guide to a pragmatic government purchase of the US oil and gas industry to wind-down fossil fuel production rapidly in the global public interest (Audio, 51:00) Notes, outline, and sources. (PFD)
posted by The Whelk at 11:26 AM PST - 28 comments

The Power of Food in Times of Grief

When my husband left me, everything began to taste like glue. The effect was so pronounced that I began to eat things that resembled glue in other ways: Kraft Mac in its bricky blue box, packaged meals with scores of industrial ingredients; raw ramen, crammed into my mouth over the sink, its perfect squiggles like a child’s drawing of the ocean; furtive deliveries from the all-night Chinese joint leaving sauce stains on my empty bed, in the new apartment, in the new room, in the new life I didn’t want, and wanted, increasingly, to exit.
posted by Emmy Rae at 10:40 AM PST - 26 comments

Terrorist attack confirmed in Barcelona

Van driven into crowd in heavily populated area in Barcelona today. Catalonian police confirm a terrorist attack. Updates from Mossos, Guardian, and NYTimes. (Noted this was getting some discussion on the catch-all thread, so starting a separate one here. Mods, if inappropriate, feel free to remove).
posted by stillmoving at 10:24 AM PST - 51 comments

Gustatorial pedants unite!

Zagat—the almost 40-year old, Google-acquired institution would like to have a moment of your time to explain the error of your eating ways. Trust them—you have a lot of problems. Yes, you. [more inside]
posted by pixlboi at 10:19 AM PST - 45 comments

“In the world of The Witness, solving puzzles is its own reward.”

“If The Witness is about anything —aside from, well, doing lots of puzzles —it's about spirituality and science, their parallels, their differences.” [Polygon] “The assumption is that a simple sequence of hundreds of maze puzzles can't be the next project from the creator of Braid, a game in which narrative was so essential that it was inextricable from the mechanics. Surely it can't be that simple. It is. Oh, don't mistake me: There's a beautiful, defiantly colorful world to explore, and plenty of little hints of how it came to be. The Witness is loaded with "plotmosphere," a useful if pat bit of neologism that would probably make Blow cringe. But, mechanically speaking: The Witness is maze puzzles. Full stop.” [YouTube] [Trailer] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 8:53 AM PST - 48 comments

Food films

What if Alfonso Cuaron made pancakes? What if Wes Anderson made S'mores? What if Michael Bay made Waffles? What if Tarantino made Spaghetti & Meatballs? (mlyt)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:57 AM PST - 18 comments

UK politicians trying to get their cats wedged into Parliament

With one Member of Parliament not finding vermin amewsing and resorting to bringing her cats to work, the problem of effective pest control in the corridors of power worsens. Costs are rising - nearly £9k was spent on catching moths and £16k was spent on a hawk to control pigeons in 2016/17 - but rule-making officials remain unpurrsuaded and cats are banned. This is viewed as a negative catitude to felines, as nearby Whitehall has five cats: Larry the Number 10 cat, Palmerston the Foreign Office boss, Gladstone the Treasury puss and Evie and Ossie from the Cabinet office. Even a nearby cathedral has a cat with a book deal. Rat-infested politicans who have complained for years are holding out for some pawsitive news.
posted by Wordshore at 3:54 AM PST - 27 comments

August 16

Technology adoption swerve

8 lessons from 20 years of Hype Cycles looks at how Gartner's predictions of upcoming tech panned out.
posted by a snickering nuthatch at 9:38 PM PST - 51 comments

Q: Why did the explorers haul a fruitcake to the South Pole?

A: So they could leave it untouched. For 106 years. And it's ...almost... still edible.
posted by not_on_display at 6:17 PM PST - 52 comments

"You are not Anish Kapoor, you are in no way affiliated to Anish Kapoor"

Previously on Metafilter, British tech company Nanosystems created VantaBlack, the world's darkest color. As a promotional push, they sold exclusive artistic rights to the material to renowned artist Anish Kapoor. This didn't sit well with painter Stuart Semple and his contemporaries. [more inside]
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 5:18 PM PST - 48 comments

"We became the party of the status quo."

"Look at the continuing scandals that are pouring out of Wells Fargo, with the most recent headlines about their having sold car insurance to people without any rationale, whatsoever... Lanny Breuer’s articulation of 'too big to prosecute' goes down as, on the one hand, the most honest and also the most disturbing statement made by the head of the Criminal Division in the Justice Department." A two-part interview with former New York governor Eliot Spitzer about antitrust, economic concentration, and regulatory capture.
posted by crazy with stars at 4:52 PM PST - 12 comments

Ball of Confusion

Dogs who think they're cats. Cats who think they're dogs (there are, like, entire breeds of those). IMHO, the cats have the right idea: dogs are indisputably better than cats, despite the propaganda from Big Cat.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 4:10 PM PST - 23 comments

Long Ones, Short Ones, Fat Ones, Skinny Ones...

....Itsy, Bitsy Polychaete Worms: "Leslie Harris, from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, is a taxonomist who specializes in polychaetes. She’s sharing her expertise with the Smithsonian MarineGEO bioblitz currently underway at the Hakai Institute’s Calvert Ecological Observatory." [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 2:56 PM PST - 5 comments

C is for Cookie; That's Good Enough for Me

A Death Growl is the one of the hallmarks of Death Metal. Sometimes referred to as Cookie Monster Vocals. This isn't lost on metal bands. [more inside]
posted by plinth at 2:20 PM PST - 17 comments

Amazing A Capella by the Beach Boys

Just the vocals of "Wouldn't It Be Nice," showcasing the sophistication of Brian Wilson. There's a lot of info here about the actual construction of the song and the harmonies and the advanced musical methodology used. I've been listening to this song for 40 years or so and was astonished at this a capella version.
posted by MovableBookLady at 1:44 PM PST - 33 comments

Freddy didn't kill the kids on Elm Street, the Manson Family did

Cult actor John Saxon is perhaps best-known for his role as Donald Thompson in the first and third Nightmare on Elm Street films. But in 1987, Saxon also tried his hand as a screenwriter with a bizarre treatment for a prequel to the series in which it was to be revealed that Fred Krueger was an innocent man and the real killer was... The Manson Family? (via Bloody-Disgusting)
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:51 PM PST - 26 comments

Wedding rings don't grow on carrots, you know. Oh wait, they do.

August 2017: Canadian woman finds long-lost diamond engagement ring on a carrot growing in her garden. November 2016: German man finds long-lost wedding ring on a carrot growing in his garden. November 2011: Swedish woman finds long-lost wedding ring on a carrot growing in her garden.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:17 PM PST - 29 comments

It Isn't Just Me Then

Brilliant writings on the latent queer aesthetic of Carly Rae Jepsen. Respect between gay fans and the pop music artist is mutual. What is the delineating factor between the headcanon and the truthful reading? Gay publications take notice. What's not to love? Carly puts her money where her mouth is. "Carly Rae Jepsen invented gay people," says a very earnest concert-goer.
posted by lilies.lilies at 11:59 AM PST - 17 comments

Palm leaves and cow dung, less common writing surfaces in India and Asia

Paper, textiles and stone have traditionally been used to as surfaces on which to write and paint, but Warli tribal or folk paintings are done on a cow-dung base on textile (though "gheroo," red mud or clay, is more common now). On the other side of India and throughout South and Southeast Asia, palm leaves have historically been used, including for one of the oldest known dated Sanskrit manuscripts from South Asia, and are still used to this day. If you want to try your hand at making or maintaining a palm-leaf manuscript, there are guides, collected on the AIC Wiki, sponsored by the American Institute for Conservation of Art and Historic Works. [historic manuscripts previously, including rolled palm leaf manuscripts in Nepal; indirectly via Dark Roasted Blend]
posted by filthy light thief at 10:51 AM PST - 5 comments

The kids have gone to the dogs

According to a recent survey, 33% of Americans age 18-36 who purchased their first home did so primarily to accommodate a dog. This exceeds the number purchasing primarily because of a marriage or the birth of a child. [more inside]
posted by R a c h e l at 10:03 AM PST - 64 comments

Who'd Win?

Elektra or Black Widow? Or rather, of their respective stunt doubles, Lauren Mary Kim or Amy Johnston? Part of the Kali Diary video series that Kim put up on her Youtube channel, showcasing this particular brand of Philipino martial arts.
posted by MartinWisse at 9:41 AM PST - 3 comments

Chill out and watch ancient tools be made to work again

Hand Tool Rescue is a Youtube channel devoted to repairing old hand tools. Slightly sped up, minimal commentary work; perfect to relax to at the end of the day. Some choice vids include: an antique nail gun, a 1940s band saw tooth setter, or a handpowered wall paper cutter.
posted by Ferreous at 8:53 AM PST - 9 comments

Socialists, Tenant Farmers, Native And African Americans Against The War

"The aftermath of the rebellion was a radical change in Oklahoma politics, which included a severe crackdown on the Socialist Party of Oklahoma (which had not been involved in the Green Corn Rebellion) and the Industrial Workers of the World. There was also a crackdown on all forms of dissent against the draft and World War I, and a large scale orientation of Oklahoma politics towards the right — a major change in a state which had once had the strongest and most active Socialist Party in the USA." - Remembering The Green Corn Rebellion 100 years later with contemporary accounts, video, Oklahoma issues, and more
posted by The Whelk at 8:35 AM PST - 4 comments

How one man built a $51m theme park for his disabled daughter

A father from Texas realised there were no theme parks where his disabled daughter could play. So he decided to build one. "We wanted a theme park where everyone could do everything, where people with and without special needs could play," Gordon Hartman says. [more inside]
posted by Faintdreams at 5:34 AM PST - 21 comments

My childhood fears realized

On their way through North Dakota, indie rock band Belle and Sebastian made a late-night stop at a Walmart in Dickinson to get some water, and drummer Richard Colburn stepped out to use the bathroom. When he finished, the rest of the band was gone. Not having a phone with him, he spent several hours sitting around in his pajamas before his absence was noticed, but luckily they were able to recover.
posted by ckape at 12:23 AM PST - 66 comments

August 15

“ a sort of mystic version of Ultimate Frisbee.”

Pyre is a Game About a Game —But It's Really About Why We Play [Wired] “We pass through the gate leading up to the summit. When we reach the top, the liberation rite will begin. Prismatic light trickles down from on high as we climb and make our preparations. Set our uniforms just so. Put on the ritual masks. Stretch. This is magic, but it's something else, something much simpler: it's a sport. One last match, this one with huge stakes. This is the world of Pyre. The third game by beloved independent developer Supergiant Games (Bastion, Transistor), Pyre is about a magical tournament of sorts called the Rites. The competitors are all exiles, criminals cast out of the civilization of the Commonwealth into the wilds of a land known as the Downside; for the victors, the Rites are a ticket home from isolation, and back into society.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 10:40 PM PST - 15 comments

Please Don't Bomb Us, North Korea

"Weird" Al Yankovic comes to Last Week Tonight With John Oliver to play the accordion to help communicate how the people of the USA actually feel about North Korea. For context on why the accordion, watch the full episode.
posted by hippybear at 8:36 PM PST - 22 comments

"Eine neue Generation deutscher Philosophen"

Stuart Jeffries, Foreign Policy: Verdirbt Richard David Precht die Deutsche Philosophie? - "Aber Precht lässt das kalt. Als einer der berühmtesten und gefragtesten Figuren einer neuen deutschen Philosophiewelle argumentiert er, dass die moderne Philosophie, um relevant zu bleiben, von ihrem Elfenbeinturm herunterkommen und mit der Masse in Kontakt treten muss." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:09 PM PST - 5 comments

Why doesn't banana candy taste like banana?

Why doesn't banana candy taste like banana? Watch banana candies being formed by hand using Victorian techniques and discover why banana candy typically does not taste like what you think a banana should taste like. Also explore the weirdness of the banana plant and the correct way to peel a banana. [more inside]
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 3:45 PM PST - 70 comments

The endless river is the message.

Hvper is the new PopURLs. Thomas Marban, creator of Popurls has released Hvper, which is a "quick, non-personalised, anti-social and unfiltered news time sink". He explains here.
posted by soelo at 2:54 PM PST - 16 comments

The Last Death-Defying Honey Hunter of Nepal

Three hundred feet in the air, Mauli Dhan dangles on a bamboo rope ladder, surveying the section of granite he must climb to reach his goal: a pulsing mass of thousands of Himalayan giant honeybees. They carpet a crescent-shaped hive stretching almost six feet below a granite overhang. The bees are guarding gallons of a sticky, reddish fluid known as mad honey, which, thanks to its hallucinogenic properties, sells on Asian black markets for $60 to $80 a pound—roughly six times the price of regular Nepali honey.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:34 PM PST - 29 comments

Music that soothes the savage feast

On a muggy day in July, in a Long Island backyard, a group of musicians had gathered for rehearsal. As their conductor gently raised both hands, they steadied their instruments, and played the first notes of a Bach chorale, “Nun freut euch, Gottes Kinder all.” (SLNYT)
posted by strelitzia at 2:17 PM PST - 5 comments

How SB Nation Profits Off An Army Of Exploited Workers

Twelve years ago, SB Nation began as a do-it-yourself venture, by and for fans, more a community of communities than a journalistic endeavor. It has since evolved and rebranded itself and emerged as Vox Media, which was valued at $1 billion in 2015 after a $200 million round of funding from NBCUniversal. The SB Nation network itself, consisting of 319 team websites, has remained in place, a vast operation read by millions of people every month and powered by unpaid and underpaid labor.
posted by crazy with stars at 12:26 PM PST - 32 comments

Will Adam Sandler finally win his Oscar?

The first teaser trailer for Noah Baumbach's new movie, The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) has just been released prior to its appearance at the New York Film Festival in late September. [more inside]
posted by gusottertrout at 11:55 AM PST - 28 comments

Dawn Series

Here's What Coney Island Looks Like In The Empty Pre-Dawn Hours [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 11:51 AM PST - 14 comments

A Sign Of Trouble: The HIV Crisis In The Deaf Community

In July 2016, Smith, who identifies as black, gay and deaf, presented to a doctor seeking pre-exposure prophylaxis. Despite his knowledge of PrEP, the HIV infections rates in the black queer community and his willingness to take the drug, one thing stood in his way: a hearing doctor. The doctor told Smith that Deaf people should not be having sex. Journalist Matthew Rodriquez (twitter) writes about the unspoken HIV crisis in the deaf community for Into, the online lifestyle magazine from Grindr (yes, that Grindr - note: not a link to Grindr)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:43 AM PST - 16 comments

but where are the badger-moles?

Miles of tunnels in South America were excavated by enormous giant sloths. At least, scientists think they were dug by giant sloths. But they're not entirely sure. The giant armadillo, the largest living member of the family, weighs between 65 and 90 pounds and is found throughout much of South America. Its burrows are only about 16 inches in diameter and up to about 20 feet long. “So if a 90-pound animal living today digs a 16-inch by 20-foot borrow, what would dig one five feet wide and 250 feet long?” asks Frank. “There’s no explanation – not predators, not climate, not humidity. I really don’t know.”
posted by suelac at 11:42 AM PST - 34 comments

Wild Geology of the Pacific Northwest

Nick Zentner, of Central Washington University, lectures entertainingly on the rather exciting geology of the Pacific Northwest in the US. Great Earthquakes of the Pacific Northwest discusses the infamous "everything west of I-5 is toast" New Yorker article. Flood Basalts of the Pacific Northwest explains how the Yellowstone hot spot came to dominate the landscape of the Northwest. Ice Age Floods, Lake Missoula, Bonneville Flood and the Columbia River Basalts describes the catastrophic ice age floods that roared down the Columbia river gorge.
posted by Bee'sWing at 11:35 AM PST - 19 comments

Ping! Pop! Poof!

Moonshadow was a ground-breaking graphic novel of exceptional beauty, a "fairy tale for grownups," beloved by Ray Bradbury and Kurt Vonnegut. [more inside]
posted by storybored at 11:06 AM PST - 18 comments

Eight small things worth your time

The New York Times has a lovely feature looking at 8 short things, very closely. A 90 second scene from Freaks and Geeks that "takes you from melancholy to sheer delight." A pizza being made. An Eddie Murphy joke. An amazing adaptation of the Swan in dance. The erection of a building on the High Line. The 2-second bleat of Law and Order. A lyric from Lil Uzi Vert. A shoe painted by Manet.
posted by blahblahblah at 11:02 AM PST - 8 comments

Current female fronted rock

Wolf Alice: Brilliant indie rock, stretching from folk to punk. Watch Yuck Fou and Don't Delete the Kisses, from their upcoming sophmore album 'Visions of a Life', and one of their first songs Fluffy. [more inside]
posted by signal at 7:01 AM PST - 28 comments

Saudi Arabia's Missing Princes

"In the last two years, three Saudi princes living in Europe have disappeared. All were critical of the Saudi government - and there is evidence that all were abducted and flown back to Saudi Arabia… where nothing further has been heard from them." [more inside]
posted by sour cream at 7:00 AM PST - 21 comments


Engine Stop Motion Teardown (2m50s; h/t)
posted by Gyan at 5:45 AM PST - 14 comments

“Let’s not try to make a big deal out of this!”

posted by DoctorFedora at 5:09 AM PST - 32 comments

Cam-girls in Romania

Cam-girls: Inside the Romanian sexcam industry - a BBC News magazine article by Linda Pressly (also available as a podcast) featuring some photographs by Lorenzo Maccotta.
posted by misteraitch at 4:36 AM PST - 12 comments

August 14

Peace and Quiet Ain't What It's Cracked Up To Be

94 yo puts in a pool for the neighborhood kids. Who needs a thousand lakes when your neighbor lets you use their pool? [more inside]
posted by AugustWest at 11:08 PM PST - 30 comments

“This is 'Sonic,' pure and distilled.”

Sonic Mania: The Return to Form You've Been Waiting For [The Verge] “For years, Sonic has been in need of a shake-up. Ever since the 16-bit era ended, the iconic mascot has struggled through one console generation after another. Some of his post-Genesis adventures were terrible, a handful were good, but most were aggressively mediocre — a sorry state for one of the biggest names in the medium. While Super Mario evolved over the years with inventive new takes on platform games, its longtime rival stagnated. Sonic has remained an enduring brand, thanks to comics and cartoons, but it hasn’t been an important force in gaming for some time. Sonic Mania has been billed as a return to form for the series. It’s far from the first game to claim that mantle, so it’s easy to be skeptical. But Mania is different than its predecessors. Most notably, it brings the series back to what made it so popular in the first place: blazing-fast side-scrolling action.” [YouTube] [Trailer] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 7:06 PM PST - 49 comments

Travelers' Rest Ponderosa Stage

I just got back from the Travelers' Rest music festival, two days of music in Missoula, Montana curated by The Decemberists. The main stage acts were all great, but I want to laud their second stage acts, starting with the first band to play all weekend, opening Saturday, Caroline Keys And The Lanesplitters and a sample track: Fort Benton. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 3:24 PM PST - 7 comments

Remember those crazy Danes?

It's been a while. And now, just as they are about to launch their biggest rocket so far, Copenhagen Suborbital's founder Peter Madsen has been arrested for murder.
posted by rikschell at 1:06 PM PST - 54 comments

Crafty Foxes and Smoking Snowmen

Femtasia: The Artwork of Femke Hiemstra
The narrative of my ‘painted stories’ involve characters and (anthropomorphic) flora and fauna and is part real and part fictitious. The characters interact in a figurative surrounding yet all is cast in a surreal light. Although I don’t paint the human figure very often the creatures in the scenes behave like them, with the same glory or shortcomings. Furthermore I’m attracted to contrasts. Humour is part of my stories but I’m also drawn to darker themes that involve strong emotions like battles, a hunt, the loss of a loved one or the ‘romantic’ death.
[h/t Dangerous Minds]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:40 PM PST - 3 comments

In a world where...

The Auralnauts present How To Make A Blockbuster Movie Trailer in 2017. [more inside]
posted by schmod at 12:27 PM PST - 42 comments

Hugos in Helsinki

Women swept nearly every category at the 2017 Hugo Awards - the annual SF award won an award of its own and managed to be largely free of the slating problems of recent years, whose instigators have largely moved on to the Dragon Awards. Worldcon, host of the Hugo Awrds, was without some controversy though, with the withdrawal of A Home for the Old (dropbox PDF) a planned LARP dealing with Alzheimer's disease.
posted by Artw at 11:59 AM PST - 76 comments

Orphan Utopia

The children had one thing in common: all had been orphaned, and most were among the poorest of the poor. Such were the children that John Ballou Newbrough hoped would inherit the earth.
 [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:44 AM PST - 3 comments

Chronik der Mauer

Chronicle of the Berlin Wall - a detailed timeline from 1961 to 1990, supported with recordings, photos, letters, transcripts of speeches, and more. (The text is available in German or English, but most of the supporting materials are German-only.) [more inside]
posted by Wolfdog at 9:27 AM PST - 6 comments

I come when the trumpet sounds

Trumpy Bear: Born on flag day... find the secret zipper, simply style his trademark hair. SLYT, unless you order one.
posted by bendybendy at 7:25 AM PST - 35 comments

August 13

The Moon's origin

One of the earliest known instances of mooning happened during the Fourth Crusade around 1203, when...
posted by storybored at 10:15 PM PST - 22 comments

Why Did This Guy Transcribe All These John Coltrane Solos?

"For nearly 60 years, Andrew White has committed John Coltrane’s solos to paper, capturing the saxophone giant’s famously free-flight improvisations in notes that don’t appear on standard jazz sheet music." As of 2015, White had transcribed 840 solos.
posted by goatdog at 8:52 PM PST - 24 comments

Not a culture fit

Is The Work Environment I've Created On My Team Too Exclusive? Let's Ask A Manager [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 5:58 PM PST - 113 comments

“We were all at fault, and we were all victims too.”

One year on, is No Man's Sky the game it should have been? [Eurogamer] “I still sense another gap to close, though, between No Man's Sky as it is now and the game it is genuinely striving to be. It's a gorgeous prog-rock-album-cover generator and engrossing space exploration sim, but it still has a certain hollow aimlessness at its heart, a sense of something missing. A storyline that makes any kind of sense would be a good start. A still deeper faction system might make the amusing interactions with the three alien species more meaningful. And there's still that promise, never ruled out by Hello Games, that you might, unlikely as it may be in the vastness of space, come across another player. More than new crafting and upgrade paths, it's things like this that will fill the hole in No Man's Sky's heart: humanity; contact; a sense that there's something to look for, that there's someone out there.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 4:29 PM PST - 77 comments

HyperCard at 30

August 11 was Hypercard's 30th birthday, and to celebrate, the Internet Archive has made a bunch of stacks available through emulation. [more inside]
posted by adamrice at 3:44 PM PST - 26 comments


MANFESTO is a Tumblr of Modernist architecture from the Middle East. (Note: heavy graphics) [h/t]
posted by Room 641-A at 3:34 PM PST - 3 comments

So ignore the news and forget about anything stressing you out today...

Man makes a big ol' cat maze out of cardboard boxes. It's cats playing in a cat maze of boxes. Need I say more?
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:27 PM PST - 23 comments

3 slices of white bread

What I Ate Today - Pence is gearing up for Job 1. Pence/Christ 46: President Mike Pence is proud to serve the white and Christian population of America
posted by growabrain at 1:28 PM PST - 28 comments

Who has the better sandwich? Who knows? Who cares?

Wawa opened in Miami, and a local review mentioned that they didn't bother to try the subs "because the lines were too long and plus Publix exists". [more inside]
posted by PearlRose at 12:28 PM PST - 71 comments

Is Trauma Genetic?

People who have been subject to repeated, centuries-long violence, such as African Americans and Native Americans, may by now have disadvantage baked into their very molecules. The sociologist Robert Merton spoke of the “Matthew Effect,” named after verse 25:29 of the Book of Matthew: “For unto every one that hath shall be given ... but from him that hath not shall be taken.” Billie Holiday put it even better: “Them that’s got shall have; them that’s not shall lose.” [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 11:37 AM PST - 21 comments

A squalid shoot-’em-up for the moron trade

Bonnie and Clyde at 50 The groundbreaking film opened on August 13, 1967 to scathing reviews from traditional critics and audience indifference until being championed as a masterpiece by up-and-coming reviewers Pauline Kael and Roger Ebert, finding an audience, going on to be the fourth biggest film of the year and along with The Graduate, ushering in the New Hollywood movement of the '70s [more inside]
posted by octothorpe at 11:24 AM PST - 26 comments

An almost mythical nightmare

The 1986 England cricket tour of the West Indies
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:22 AM PST - 20 comments

everybody just needs to relax

Everything is terrible, it's true. Everybody just needs to relax with Sax With Kids Hour. Because seriously. Everything is still Terrible.
posted by philip-random at 12:17 AM PST - 9 comments

August 12

Neither from owl nor from bat/Can peace be gained 'til I clasp my wombat

When George the wombat was only four months old, his mum was hit and killed by a car. A passer-by found him in her pouch and took him to the Australian Reptile Park where General Manager Tim Faulkner became his new family, as this viral video shows. George recently had his first birthday, and the Park celebrated by creating a shot-for-shot remake. [both videos have cheerful music; wombats previously]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:16 PM PST - 14 comments

90s Nostalgia is in right now, isn't it?

Geocities-ize your Internet! Make Any Webpage Look Like It Was Made By A 13 Year-Old In 1996. [warning: sound, Geocities] [more inside]
posted by chainsofreedom at 6:30 PM PST - 17 comments

“...a long-time industry curse that reflects wider social problems.”

Someone Live Streamed Themselves Sexually Harassing Me by Charleyy Hodson “Last week, following a full-on day at work, and a torturous journey home through central London, I was frazzled and stressed so decided to skip my regular Breath of the Wild stream. Instead, I set up an incredibly shoddy stream in my kitchen featuring me trying to complete a 1000-piece cat puzzle with metal music in the background. It was dumb, but it was also awesome, and my regular crowd seemed to enjoy the change in pace of relaxing in the IRL category, and leaving the Bokoblins for another day. Although I’ve streamed a lot, this was the first time I had ever streamed in the IRL category. I thought there might be new viewers and oddballs popping by, but what happened next left me shocked. My channel was raided by a self-proclaimed “troll militia” with the purpose of bullying my stream, all of which was being livestreamed on their Twitch channel, with accompanying commentary.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 4:16 PM PST - 27 comments

Some people walk in L.A.

L.A. Has the Worst Traffic Congestion in the World (Dennis Romero, LA Weekly), but L.A. — the city of traffic jams — finds a way to get people out of their cars. (Steven Hill, WaPo) [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A at 3:14 PM PST - 53 comments

It means something like "leave luck to heaven"

If you're a trivia lover, you probably know that Nintendo started as a playing card company in 1889, but did you know that they still sell playing cards, as well as game boards and other more traditional games? Expat Brian Ashcraft of Kotaku brings us a gallery of beautiful old-school gaming equipment that you can still get if you're willing to navigate .
posted by Etrigan at 1:09 PM PST - 15 comments

Penguin poop velocity, doo-dah, doo-dah

Science Vault: Projectile Penguin Poop Pressures. Helpful diagram included. See also: 9 Quirky Animals With Very Special Ways Of Pooping
posted by knuckle tattoos at 12:42 PM PST - 6 comments

Lace faces, lace places, lace fireplaces; you know, the usual.

Agnes Herczeg makes lace. She makes lace with wood and lace with ceramic and lace with coconut shell. Sometimes she just makes lace.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:18 AM PST - 5 comments

Unite the Right Descends on Charlottesville, Virginia

On 11 August 2017, alt-right protesters surrounded counter-demonstrators standing in a ring around the Thomas Jefferson statue at UVA in Charlottesville, VA. This was a preamble to the main Unite the Right rally, taking place today. ACLU Virginia is present and posting updates via Twitter. [more inside]
posted by CMcG at 9:48 AM PST - 2200 comments

The 1519 types of humans according to Twitter

Sam Levine at The New Inquiry describes how Twitter aggregates user data from various tracking companies and then provides a basic database of 1519 'user segments' to ad creators. Sam used the data to create fictional ads corresponding to these segments. Link to csv included.
posted by carter at 5:08 AM PST - 59 comments

Not all golf playing politicians are evil

Lord Buckethead interviewed by Ben Fogle whilst playing crazy golf. Thinking of England On Nationalisation On Coalitions On Fair Play
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:59 AM PST - 9 comments

This is a bird with purpose

The sound of little birdie feet
posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee at 2:10 AM PST - 19 comments

August 11

Tommy pulled on his Ramones teeshirt and clicked on his newsfeed

The air was heavy and wet , the condensation mixing with airborne ash leaving long, white trails down the blue paint. Still, he was lucky to have the place: A $1,700-per-month pod stacked on city land near the port until the developer decided to break ground. It was part of Vancouver's affordable-housing inventory and it was a score. [more inside]
posted by mwhybark at 9:27 PM PST - 31 comments

You are the result of many hours of toil.

Gas station hot dogs don't take breaks. You may pull into a rest stop, refill your car’s tank, empty your own, grab some snacks, and peel out again. The whole time, the dogs will have been rotating, slowly, on their shiny metal rollers. When you finally turn in for the night, they may be turning still. Once it has begun its treadmill journey, how far does your average hot dog go before it’s sent to the Great Bun in the Sky? And if, for some reason, it kept going—spinning slowly, hour after hour and year after year—how far could it eventually get?
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:26 PM PST - 19 comments

The Moon's origin

What Made the Moon? New Ideas Try to Rescue a Troubled Theory. "Textbooks say that the moon was formed after a Mars-size mass smashed the young Earth. But new evidence has cast doubt on that story, leaving researchers to dream up new ways to get a giant rock into orbit." [more inside]
posted by storybored at 6:25 PM PST - 27 comments

Clean Up, Clean Up, Everybody Everywhere

Stop. Drop the sponge and step away from the microwave. Scientists have determined that there's really no good way to clean a kitchen sponge. Stock up now!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:21 PM PST - 83 comments

“What makes it a sport as opposed to a different kind of game?”

Should eSports be in the Olympics? [Polygon] “"As esports industry and its own culture is expanding, we, IeSF, as the international union of 44 member countries’ national federations, feel responsibilities to create esports’ own legacy, which can benefit all related parties especially the key stakeholder, the players." But the narrow interpretation of "sport" shouldn’t be taken as a slight against video games in particular, according to Dr. Mark Dyreson, a professor of kinesiology at Penn State University. This is a debate that extends back to Coubertin's first move to reinstate the games. "It’s a big question — what makes it a sport as opposed to a different kind of game? How much physicality should it have to be a contest? Chess was considered to be a sport in some literature, and Sports Illustrated used to cover chess up until the '70s." The debate about whether esports should be included in the Olympics needs to be considered in context, says Dyreson. Originally, Coubertin wanted the Olympics to focus on amateur athletes. That is, those who weren’t being paid significant amounts of money to compete.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 3:23 PM PST - 87 comments

"Don't be dumb" “You’re smart!”

Some people want you to care so much about typography that they create single-serve sites to make their points. Smart Quotes for Smart People tells you when you should use smart quotes (basically always) and how to do it. For a (very slightly) broader view, take a look at Quotes and Accents. If you want a wonderful and more in-depth guide to typography, Butterick's Practical Typography has you covered, including a 10 minute introduction to the 5 rules you need to know.
posted by blahblahblah at 2:05 PM PST - 32 comments

Joni Mitchell - Coyote (Live) - The Last Waltz

Joni Mitchell - Coyote (Live) - The Last Waltz A luminous performance of an amazing song. Reportedly written about a fling with Sam Shepard. [more inside]
posted by OmieWise at 1:32 PM PST - 36 comments

State of the Climate 2016

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Thursday released its annual review of Earth's climate from the previous year. The 27th annual State of the Climate report has confirmed that 2016 topped 2015 as the warmest year in 137 years of record keeping. Numerous records were set, including global CO2 concentration (402.9 ppm), global sea level, and global surface temperature. While fossil fuels are a focus, Vice News argues the report "...appears to largely downplay the scientific consensus surrounding humanity’s role in causing climate change. " [more inside]
posted by Existential Dread at 1:02 PM PST - 15 comments

The frogurt is also cursed.

While Trump continues to ratchet up threats with North Korea, the military is not actually "fully in place" for such a conflict. After Putin expels 755 U.S. diplomats and technical personnel, , the U.S. President expresses gratitude. Meanwhile, Special Prosecutor Mueller's investigation, having already targeted the short-tenured National Security Advisor General Flynn, has also conducted a nighttime raid on the home of former Trump Campaign Director Paul Manafort and subpoenaed his bank records. Many speculate that Flynn and Manafort are just the first to be broken in an investigation that could lead to bigger fish.
posted by darkstar at 12:41 PM PST - 2737 comments

Just ask the water for strength.

Would You Run 2000 Miles to Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline? [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 11:55 AM PST - 3 comments

What It Takes to be a Union Activist

Phil Cohen, a yankee, became a hero to Southern working people. His stories of union activism in the South in the last half of the 20th century are sometimes uplifting and sometimes cynical and sometimes despairing. I kept wondering whether he'd been the model for Yellow Dog Contract by Ross Thomas. This essay Thank a Union shows all the gains unions have given us.
posted by MovableBookLady at 11:48 AM PST - 2 comments

The Legion Lonely

Over the past few decades, loneliness has reached almost epidemic levels, with men uniquely suffering its effects. How and why has isolation become such a threat? The phrase “No known relatives” appears repeatedly in police reports of the dead men’s homes. Letters of regret were found on floors and in backs of drawers: “I would like to see you if that’s possible, when you come to the city”; “It seems to me that our family should have gotten along.” The single rooms of the deceased are described as “roach infested” and “a complete mess,” indicating few or no visitors. The women...had people who checked up on them and so kept them alive; the men did not. “When you have time please come visit me soon at my place,” read another letter, unsent. [more inside]
posted by chococat at 11:21 AM PST - 118 comments

Making excruciating decisions

When Should a Child Be Taken from His Parents? Judges must decide whether the risks at home outweigh the risks of separating a family.
posted by pixlboi at 11:21 AM PST - 8 comments

CHARMANDER used DECONSTRUCT! … It's super effective!

A Postmodern Look at Pokémon [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator at 11:11 AM PST - 1 comment

“What if Friends, but with black people?”

Jay-Z released the music video for his latest, 'Moonlight' - starring Jerrod Carmichael, Lil Rel Howery, Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Issa Rae, and Tiffany Haddish. And Hannibal Buress. Directed by Jay-Z and Master of None's Alan Yang. (there is also a version with outtakes)
posted by cendawanita at 11:01 AM PST - 2 comments


There are very few good roles for women on television. Tatiana Maslany played nine of them on Orphan Black, which will end its final season tomorrow with its 50th episode. The show never had huge ratings, but it did have #CloneClub and sophisticated portrayals of feminism and femininity. Here is An Oral History of Orphan Black from the Women Who Brought It to Life [more inside]
posted by zarq at 7:48 AM PST - 56 comments

Of Valley Girls, Hoobastank, and Dirk Diggler

Two longreads from "Valley Week" at Curbed LA:
How ’80s pop culture typecast the Valley (Chris Eggersten): The region was overlooked in movies and music for years until Frank Zappa and ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’ came along
The rise of ‘three-car garage rock’ (Jennifer Swann): How the tony suburbs of the West Valley launched early 2000s alternative rock
Bonus 1: ‘Boogie Nights’ filming locations, mapped
Bonus 2: Bing Crosby - San Fernando Valley
posted by Room 641-A at 7:37 AM PST - 8 comments

A woo-hoo heard around the world.

"In the spring of 1986, in the bedroom of a walk-up apartment on South Beverly Drive in L.A., a semi-struggling songwriter named Mark Mueller pressed “record” on his rudimentary reel-to-reel tape recorder, sat down at his Roland Juno 1 synthesizer, and started thinking about ducks." The Story of the DuckTales Theme, History’s Catchiest Single Minute of Music
posted by everybody had matching towels at 6:18 AM PST - 39 comments

I don't know how these cats got in this pizza hut

Commercials with cats. A cat branches out in the box business and packs a box for delivery. Gangster cats try to avoid getting baths: "We'll not endure bathrooms any longer!" Two roommates have trouble with their gravity defying kitten. Cats take over a Pizza Hut franchise (YouTube) Need a little kitty pick me up? Chew some gum. And let the cats Nyalan and Deshi be your travel guides. [more inside]
posted by spamandkimchi at 4:01 AM PST - 5 comments

I want to make beautiful things, even if nobody cares

Every Movie Poster Saul Bass Ever Designed [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:39 AM PST - 17 comments

August 10

Frogs watching TV

Frogs + iPhone = hours of entertainment (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by growabrain at 11:27 PM PST - 13 comments

We considered ourselves to be a powerful culture.

Google is helping with Exploring Strategies To Decarbonize Electricity, having developed a visualizer to Understand Electricity Generation. One of the low carbon options is nuclear power ... [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:49 PM PST - 32 comments

How to become an artist- WITH PICTURES!

Because everyone should play .
posted by LuckyMonkey21 at 9:21 PM PST - 17 comments

STEREO At Its Best...When You Hear It On COLD BUSTED

Sometimes, you just want to listen to chilled hip-hop beats, reggae and funk from around the world. If now is one of those times, try some music from the Cold Busted label on Bandcamp, Soundcloud, or YouTube. If you're wondering how the nostalgic visual aesthetic matches the music, their line is that they're trying to capture the sound of today with the looks from the past. A few samplings from the label: Latin-influenced hip hop from Greece, funky Belgian beats and something more upbeat from Azerbaijan, and some headnodders from Manchester. Or if you want a continual flow of something new, check out Cold Busted Radio, streaming instrumental hip hop, trip hop, funk and downtempo 24/7 (playlists linked, and on YouTube live). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 7:21 PM PST - 5 comments

Your least favorite band sucks too.

"I’m actually here to propose this far narrower argument: that the two-week span from June 23 to July 8, 1997, specifically, may have been the worst two weeks for music ever recorded."
posted by jenkinsEar at 6:33 PM PST - 112 comments

That's... a lot of cabinets.

Video game historian Steve Lin gives Cloth Mapper and human meme Drew Scanlon a 360 degree tour(youtube) of California Extreme. [more inside]
posted by selfnoise at 5:39 PM PST - 4 comments

"Don't take it personally. He doesn't really like anyone."

Humans agree with John Oliver that geese are assholes. Zuri the baby elephant will also testify to that.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:22 PM PST - 23 comments

Some helium with your hops?

Testing helium beer (SLYT, subtitles) The beer that is what laughter tastes like... (sorry Mike's Hard Lemonade) "Watch at your own risk!" -My Ribs
posted by Amor Bellator at 2:58 PM PST - 23 comments

Impossible Santa Wife

Another single link of neural-network weirdness: Romance Novels, Generated by Artificial Intelligence. Just titles (for now, that is) but what titles they are.
posted by Countess Elena at 1:32 PM PST - 72 comments

What it says on the tin

Dominoes and Fire. That's it. Just dominoes toppling, mostly thanks to creative application of flames and explosions.
posted by Etrigan at 11:48 AM PST - 12 comments

I Needed Color

"I found myself looking around at one point at a really bleak winter in New York and it was just so depressing, and I think I needed color."
posted by Memo at 8:51 AM PST - 81 comments

We jumped the shark in, like, Episode 2

An Oral History of the Time a Dog Ate a Heart on One Tree Hill. Finally, the story behind one of most amazing scenes in television history has been told.
posted by kmz at 7:55 AM PST - 64 comments

They coalesce into a digital harmony

RandomCity is a project by Patricio Gonzalez Vivo, an artist and engineer who uses code and light to turn data into stunning landscapes. More of his projects here. [more inside]
posted by carter at 7:52 AM PST - 9 comments

It Belongs in a Museum

Defending Indiana Jones, Archaeologist
posted by Artw at 7:49 AM PST - 73 comments

26,000 78s digitised

Through the Great 78 Project, the Internet Archive has begun to digitise 78rpm discs for preservation, research, and discovery with the help of George Blood, L.P. Currently the number digitised stands at 25,989. Four stylii are used to transfer the records – 2.0mm truncated conical, 2.3mm truncated conical, 2.8mm truncated conical, 3.3mm truncated conical – recorded flat and then equalised. The preferred version is then chosen by an engineer.
posted by criticalbill at 5:08 AM PST - 41 comments

Diminished Chords

Why do stars like Adele keep losing their voice? More and more singers are cancelling big shows and turning to surgery to fix their damaged vocal cords. But is the problem actually down to the way they sing?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:11 AM PST - 60 comments

August 9

“The game they said would never be finished...”

After two decades of delay, 'Grimoire: Heralds of the Winged Exemplar' is available for play. [Motherboard] “The next time you miss a deadline, take comfort in the fact that you're almost certainly doing better than Cleveland Mark Blakemore. His RPG Grimoire: Heralds of the Winged Exemplar [Trailer][Steam] was first supposed to hit shelves in 1997, but for two decades Blakemore missed deadline after deadline. To put that in perspective, George R.R. Martin first published A Game of Thrones in 1996. But the wait is over. Grimoire is here. So much time has passed that Grimoire now looks like a relic—something not unlike 1992's Wizardry VII: Crusaders of the Dark Savant. (In fact, Grimoire started life as a cancelled Wizardry sequel.) The good news for Blakemore is that this means it's free to cash in on nostalgia, and it wastes no time doing so.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 10:52 PM PST - 73 comments

the breath of life

Christopher Nolan on the organ used in the soundtrack for Interstellar - "Pulling out all the stops, I now know what that expression means for real." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:59 PM PST - 15 comments

Petrodollar & quango

Merriam-Webster has a new feature where you can see by year what words were coined. [more inside]
posted by Chrysostom at 9:18 PM PST - 23 comments

A Hero's Legacy + The Backstory Regarding Trump Campaign Corruption

Beginning just after the 17 minute mark,a remarkable and succinct interview with Bill Browder, author of the book Red Notice, about the murder of his friend and colleague Sergei Magnitsky. If you've been looking to understand this whole "Russia thing" and why meetings about Russian adoptions and why abolishing the Magnitsky Act is so damn important to Putin, invest 30 minutes in this interview. It's the backstory missing from most coverage.
posted by jbenben at 8:40 PM PST - 23 comments

How Rebecca Solnit Became the Voice of the Resistance

"People have always been good at imagining the end of the world, which is much easier to picture than the strange sidelong paths of change in a world without end.’’
posted by standardasparagus at 8:36 PM PST - 5 comments

Punctuation FTW!

At its leading edge, punctuation is volcanically active, giving shape to concepts that move far faster than words. Anyone communicating today has seen #topics and #themes and #categories identified this way, using a symbol that was intuitively understood and replicated even before it was first called a hashtag in 2007. via daringfireball
posted by cgc373 at 7:25 PM PST - 8 comments

The Beauty and Tragedy of Altering Library Books

DIY book alteration, genderbending, Johnny Law, and unfortunate consequences. Not the first interesting story you have read about queer English couples.
posted by kozad at 7:19 PM PST - 3 comments

"Purrieu," "ptlee-bl," and other vital feline vocabulary words

"Cases have been given of… cats and dogs living together, in the same kennel, of which there have been innumerable instances." In 1895, Marvin R. Clark self-published a 150-page pamphlet, Pussy and Her Language, about how (and why) to talk to your cat. Atlas Obscura's Cara Giaimo helpfully highlights each chapter of the dense text.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:10 PM PST - 16 comments

How do you say "You rock!" in Yurok

August 8 is International Indigenous Peoples Day. To celebrate, UC Berkeley highlighted a project to preserve rare audio of 78 indigenous California languages that uses optics technology to copy content from decaying wax cylinders in a non-invasive way. [more inside]
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 5:37 PM PST - 3 comments

"Cancelling now is really unprofessional."

The Privates They're a unknown rock band struggling to get noticed, but there's just one problem - the uncontrolled bolts of electricity and radiation that their music produces that keep on blowing out amps and starting fires. On the night of their first real show, they have to decide whether or not risking life and limb is worth their 1 AM stage slot. [more inside]
posted by Punkey at 3:05 PM PST - 22 comments

What Eats? - A Food Web Website

Welcome to What Eats? This is a website specifically for kids seeking information about the relationships between predators and their prey. I discovered this site because I wanted to find out what eats Jellyfish. And then I wanted to know what eats Sharks. But they don't know what eats honey badgers yet.
posted by King Sky Prawn at 2:21 PM PST - 23 comments

What the fuck did Guy Fieri ever do to anyone?

Comedian Shane Torres wants to know "I know you think Guy Fieri is just a day-old Hot Pocket filled with Smash Mouth lyrics, but what if he’s actually good?" (SLVulture with embedded SoundCloud) [more inside]
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:12 PM PST - 113 comments

The Busy Life of Bob the Flamingo

Photographer Jasper Doest: I don’t really like to take images where nature is being made fun of...It’s really funny to see a flamingo in a car, of course, but there’s a deeper meaning in those images.”
posted by acanthous at 1:46 PM PST - 5 comments

Gentrification Is Deliberate, Planned, And Political

"What happened? The explanation is simple enough: Freret was designated a “cultural district” by the state in 2012, allowing new businesses—but not existing ones—to operate tax-free. A slew of restaurants opened in quick succession, turning Freret Street into a “dining hot spot” for young, white, subsidized crowds while long-running businesses like the local barber shop were left to fend for themselves. “It’s not sharing the table,” as longtime New Orleanian Ruth Idakula told Moskowitz. “It’s coming here and shoving our shit off the table and then demanding we eat your shit.”" - How To Stop Gentrification - Colin Kinniburgh
posted by The Whelk at 11:49 AM PST - 88 comments

"It's about movement, creation and destruction."

For 20 years now, Swords' house in Camberwell, south London, has had a copy of Hokusai's Great Wave (or Under the Wave off Kanagawa, to give it its actual title) painted across its back. Just as in Hokusai's original - which master cutters carved into multiple blocks of wood, so it could be printed again and again - the wave is cresting, dozens of foam fingers stretching out from it. But on the house it looks as if it's about to break into the alley below, and drench anyone passing by, rather than drench the sailors Hokusai painted in three wooden boats.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:38 AM PST - 25 comments


Meet the latest doggos on the meme scene: Fat Ass Woofers! (Don't hate, everyone loves a thiccie.) Learn the diff between nugs and potates (u can turn into a potate by eatin nugs, but some are jus born into the nug life) and love and respect these beautiful creatures. [mlfb] [more inside]
posted by phunniemee at 11:27 AM PST - 14 comments

Was he asking for fairness or was he asking me to choose sides?

When Michael Deng, a college freshman, joined an Asian-American fraternity, he was looking for a sense of belonging and identity. Two months later he was dead. [SLNYT] ““Asian-American’’ is a mostly meaningless term. Nobody grows up speaking Asian-American, nobody sits down to Asian-American food with their Asian-American parents and nobody goes on pilgrimages back to their motherland of Asian-America. Michael Deng and his fraternity brothers were from Chinese families and grew up in Queens, and they have nothing in common with me — someone who was born in Korea and grew up in Boston and North Carolina. We share stereotypes, mostly — tiger moms, music lessons and the unexamined march toward success, however it’s defined. My Korean upbringing, I’ve found, has more in common with that of the children of Jewish and West African immigrants than that of the Chinese and Japanese in the United States — with whom I share only the anxiety that if one of us is put up against the wall, the other will most likely be standing next to him.’’
posted by protocoach at 10:40 AM PST - 27 comments

How Ice Cream Helped America at War

For decades, the military made sure soldiers had access to the treat—including spending $1 million on a floating ice-cream factory.

posted by Etrigan at 10:13 AM PST - 11 comments

For greed all nature is too little.

Indonesia Again Silences 1965 Massacre Victims.
Last year An international panel of judges concluded that Indonesia's mass killings of 1965 were crimes against humanity, and that the United States, United Kingdom and Australia were all complicit in the crimes.
As John Pilger pointed out; in 1967 The Indonesian economy was carved up, sector by sector. [more inside]
posted by adamvasco at 10:12 AM PST - 4 comments

And God said, “Let there be light,” and it was lit AF.

And God Created Millennial Earth 1. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. #CreationGoals #EarthIsBae 2. Now the earth was formless and basic, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was lowkey hovering over the waters.
posted by straight at 9:59 AM PST - 45 comments

But you don't get to take their words for it

'Reading Rainbow taught a generation of kids that they could (a) go twice as high as a butterfly, (b) go anywhere, and (c) be anything. Unfortunately, if you chose to be “LeVar Burton using his classic Reading Rainbow catchphrase,” the place you will go might be court. According to The Hollywood Reporter, WNED-TV Buffalo, New York, is suing the children’s show host in part over his continued use of the tagline “But you don’t have to take my word for it” on his podcast LeVar Burton Reads.' [more inside]
posted by J.K. Seazer at 9:36 AM PST - 29 comments

Hold me closer

The tiny island in New York City that nobody is allowed to visit
posted by ActingTheGoat at 12:05 AM PST - 54 comments

August 8

Bloody Good Bar Fight Song

Back in 2013, Carbon Leaf released Ghost Dragon Attacks Castle with no advance notice. As a fan who had been missing new output from them, my first listen was really thrilling. If you like rock-flavored Celtic-tinged music, maybe you'd like a first listen too. [YT playlist, 12 songs, annoying silence at the end of track two, sorry, not my fault]
posted by hippybear at 10:16 PM PST - 27 comments

Kasou Taishou, from a history of bunraku and practical effects

Kasou Taishou, or 欽ちゃん&香取慎吾の全日本仮装大賞 (translation: Kinchan and Katori Shingo's All Japan Costume Grand Prix), is a semi-annual television show in Japan in which groups or individuals perform short skits that are rated by a panel of judges. Nothing exceptional yet, you say? In the last decade or two, many of the skits have expanded from the bunraku-inspired performances and revolved around clever methods of "faking" cinematic special effects on a live stage. The most famous is probably "Matrix ping pong" from 2003 (YT re-post; previously), but as gathered in this Imgur gallery and this YouTube playlist titled "Masquerade Japan", there's a lot of creativity to discover. Or sit back and enjoy the complete 2017 94th All Japan Kasoh Grand Prix on Daily Motion.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:58 PM PST - 10 comments

referencing a feeling created by another

It’s not hard to fracture the internet with a movie adaptation of a popular bad book. They’re made into movies all the time. They read like screenplays because they skip complex language that defies being replaced with pictures, and producers can’t resist a baked-in audience, which creates a baked-in counter-audience of critics. These people then meet online and ruin each others’ days. You could be forgiven, then, for expecting last month’s trailer for Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One to break apart the internet entirely.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:34 PM PST - 198 comments

The John Peel Festive 50

From 1974 until his death in 2004, the UK's legendary Radio 1 DJ John Peel's annual rundown of listeners' fifty favourite tracks of the year, 'The John Peel Festive 50' became a Christmas institution. Listeners of John's show picked the chart by voting for their three favourite tracks of the year before the end of November. The Festive 50 were then played on air. And with this Spotify playlist you can stream all 70+ hours --932 songs -- for free. [Requires free Spotify account.]
posted by Room 641-A at 6:18 PM PST - 8 comments

The Legacy of Broadway Icon Barbara Cook

Barbara Cook, the original Marian the Librarian (here with Robert Preston), Cunegonde in Bernstein's Candide and Amalia in She Loves Me (see below), passed away August 8, 2017. [more inside]
posted by NorthernLite at 6:12 PM PST - 15 comments

The Prince Who Would Be King Is Taking His Anger to the Grave

In the Game of Thrones, you win, or you refuse to be buried next to your wife of 50 years after harboring four decades of spite that you were never named king consort (in Danish). Or at least you do if you're Prince Henrik of Denmark, the world's grumpiest royal, who cites Danish support for gender equality as an important reason he should be king.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:07 PM PST - 44 comments

“Her story is one of confusion, sadness, fear, and loss...”

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice [IGN] “It follows the titular Senua, a celtic warrior, who embarks on a mission to the homeland of the Northmen in order to penetrate the depths of their version of hell, the mythological Norse land of the dead called Helheim. It's bound by threads of historical fiction, historical non-fiction, mythology, and metaphor all admirably weaved together to create a unique backdrop that's ripe for exploring the darker tones and themes Hellblade tackles. But as impressive as its story is, Ninja Theory’s smart design reinforces the sensory nature of the harrowing tale through subtle and intuitive mechanics. Even before the game begins, you're prompted to play with headphones in order to capitalize on the binaural audio design (simulated three-dimensional sound). This is used to great effect as the voices that plague Senua are in a constant chatter, dancing around her head in creepy ways that feel as though you're never alone.” [YouTube] [Trailer] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 5:10 PM PST - 11 comments

#5280PostItWars: Do you even Morse, bro?

We've been informed that some tenants are making Post-It art on windows that can be seen from other buildings. (Note: TV news page has auto-playing video.) Please know that this places tenants in violation of their leases. Please have the "artwork" removed by 5 PM today.
posted by asperity at 3:24 PM PST - 47 comments

Glen Travis Campbell, 1936-2017

Glen Campbell has passed away at 81 after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. He released his last album, "Adiós," in June.
posted by me3dia at 2:39 PM PST - 87 comments

If Job had a different job, what job would Job have?

What is Your Opposite Job? What if you could start over and take the career path most different from the one you’re on? Type in an occupation and find out its opposite. The gizmo uses the Labor Department's skills and tasks database to figure out the polar opposite of a listed occupation.
posted by storybored at 1:56 PM PST - 115 comments

En français, mais quel français ?

Français de nos régions. A website (100% in French) that looks at variations in French as spoken in France (and within France), Belgium, Switzerland, Quebec and Canada, and in the French-speaking Caribbean. It discusses and maps issues such as whether that chocolate-filled pastry is called a pain au chocolat or chocolatine, the word used for "mobile phone", how "80" is actually spoken in Belgium and Switzerland , Germanisms found in Swiss French such as stempf or poutzer, which regions of France pronounce the final letters in persil, encens, moins and vingt, and so on. [more inside]
posted by andrewesque at 12:43 PM PST - 36 comments

I don't know why Li'l Mushie sings in allcaps, he just does, ok.

Li'l Mushie, or, Nymphadora Tonks Gets Bored [more inside]
posted by Lexica at 11:41 AM PST - 2 comments

The authoritarian tendencies of the suburbs

"The modern suburb in America began as a means of providing abundant and comfortable housing to white Americans and has now evolved into a carefully tuned media surround — replete with ubiquitous screens running alarmist commercial media — that seeks to sustain that apartheid at any cost. But just as the media elevated a man to the presidency only to have him turn around and name it the “enemy of the people,” the built environment of suburbs is riven with contradictions that will ultimately be its undoing." The Authoritarian Surround, the politics of the suburbs by David A. Banks.
posted by The Whelk at 11:35 AM PST - 18 comments

Why vegetarians should be prepared to bend their own rules

Avoiding meat in all circumstances, including in the circumstances in which the vegetarian guest found herself, is a strategy that can backfire. Plausibly, the ‘right’ message to be sent to non-vegetarians is one that increases the chances that as many of them as possible will give up meat or at least reduce their meat consumption. […] A flexible moral position is more appealing than a rigid one that allows for no exceptions. It is more likely that people would be convinced to become flexible vegetarians – that is, that they abstain from eating meat with some exceptions – than to become rigid vegetarians, and being a flexible vegetarian is preferable, from a moral perspective, to being a carnivore.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:56 AM PST - 128 comments

"It’s not the system that’s broken—you’re just not trying hard enough."

Joining a MLM is appealing to women who find hope in their promises of a better life: freedom, economic independence, and an endless supply of cheery trinkets. Despite professing quick-income prospects though, it’s difficult for MLM consultants to earn more than pocket change. When glitzy recruitment videos yield to the reality of suburban cul-de-sacs, people selling for MLMs can be plunged into debt and psychological crisis.

“I was urged to stop paying my bills to invest in more inventory. I was urged to get rid of television. I was urged to pawn my vehicle. I just had to get on anxiety meds over all of it because I’ve started having panic attacks.” [sl article]
posted by Elly Vortex at 10:16 AM PST - 92 comments

"White Americans are probably the most dangerous people in the world…"

Unlearning the myth of American innocence. "American exceptionalism did not only define the US as a special nation among lesser nations; it also demanded that all Americans believe they, too, were somehow superior to others. How could I, as an American, understand a foreign people, when unconsciously I did not extend the most basic faith to other people that I extended to myself?"
posted by standardasparagus at 9:06 AM PST - 78 comments

But I know y'all wanted that 808

Roland has brought back the TR-808 as the TR-08. Compacter, lighter, portable, and most importantly much cheaper than second hand versions of the original. The new variant is slated to hit the shelves with a USB interface to slot into a modern setup and for only $349, about a third of the typical asking price of an original 808 on eBay. Now everyone will be able to have authentic drum lines for their Marvin Gaye covers!
posted by Talez at 8:49 AM PST - 43 comments

On a microscale, a cookie is essentially a series of small starchy tubes

The Optimal Time to Dunk an Oreo, According to Science. Lucas Reilly of Mental Floss brings us a roundup of scientific research of just how long your cookie/biscuit should remain in the milk, including an actual physics equation and a university-approved chart. Hail science!
posted by Etrigan at 8:42 AM PST - 6 comments

Nick, this changes everything. games journalist Nick Robinson, best known for his work with the irrepressible Griffin McElroy on such acclaimed projects as Car Boys, Touch the Skyrim, and gamestorming podcast CoolGames Inc, has by proxy developed a "soft boy" image of friendly inclusivity and innocent, goofy charm. So it came as a shock this weekend when a Twitter spat over a glitch snowballed into the outing of Robinson as one of the industry's more notorious missing stairs, with multiple colleagues and even young fans accusing him of sexual harassment. Reaction was swift: longtime friends broke ties, Griffin expressed shocked anger and pushed back on calls for proof, and Polygon suspended Robinson pending inquiry. Vice Media's Waypoint podcast sums up the situation with a frank discussion (starting @32:54) of sexism in the gaming industry, power dynamics in a world of personality-driven social media fandom, the difference between legal and social transgression, and how to deal when a favorite artist betrays your trust. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi at 7:42 AM PST - 158 comments

— but where were the women composers?

The top 35 female composers in classical music The Washington Post's Classical Music Critic writes: NPR’s recent list of the 150 greatest albums by women was inspiring — but where were the composers? In the wake of much discussion about the chronic underrepresentation of female composers on American concert programs, I came up with my own best-of list. [more inside]
posted by pjsky at 7:37 AM PST - 13 comments

Very High Confidence

The New York Times has published a report on climate change that has been signed off on by the National Academy of Sciences, but is awaiting approval from multiple agencies before release. The report projects increases of 5.0 to 7.5 degrees Fahrenheit (2.8 to 4.8 degrees Celsius) by late this century, depending on the level of future emissions. [more inside]
posted by MrVisible at 7:36 AM PST - 29 comments

"Butlandings Head Woodhuel" vs. "Bilton-in-Ainsty"

Can You Distinguish These Real British Places From Fake Ones an AI Made Up? Dan Hon dumped 50,000 real British place names into a neural network, and Gizmodo turned the results into a short but entertaining quiz.
posted by Copronymus at 7:35 AM PST - 33 comments

The Complicated Life and Death of Hideki Irabu

Fourteen Julys after he had debuted on the mound at Yankee Stadium in front of 52,000 fans, and nine years after he’d thrown the last pitch of a major league career that had tailspinned from promising to punch line, Hideki Irabu, 42 years old, had died desperately alone.
posted by Literaryhero at 7:18 AM PST - 15 comments

Charles Komanoff and the Balanced Transportation Analyzer

Starting in the mid-2000s, economist and transportation analyst Charles Komanoff began constructing a tool of fantastic complexity to analyze traffic policy impacts in Manhattan and surrounding territories. . . [more inside]
posted by saladin at 7:11 AM PST - 5 comments

There goes Godzilla

Haruo Nakajima, the first actor to portray Godzilla, has died at the age of 88.. He donned the suit 12 times over 18 years from 1954 to 1972. He also had parts in other Japanese tokusatsu movies, and even bit parts in The Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, and The Hidden Fortress. Here's an interview with Nakajima from 2014.
posted by adamrice at 6:47 AM PST - 15 comments

“We hardly go anywhere, and nobody comes here”

The isolation of caregiving (SLNYT) [more inside]
posted by R a c h e l at 6:21 AM PST - 5 comments

High-Level Design in Game of Thrones

The Getty Museum's video (long) on the manuscripts and costume design exhibitions relating to Games of Thrones and the Middle Ages. Fascinating and humorous, e.g. Ikea rugs as GofT robes.
posted by MovableBookLady at 5:16 AM PST - 2 comments

Otterly adorbs

Here are some otters playing in a river, and three going round in a pool, and here is one playing like a dog. Elsewhere, a young otter tries to sleep on mom because otters like their sleep quite a lot. Otters have their own language and like talking to each other, sometimes quite loudly. Finally, a baby otter is introduced to water. [MetaOtter thread]
posted by Wordshore at 5:14 AM PST - 18 comments

Anything Between the Streets and the Trains

Project Subway NYC is a blog by architect Candy Chan that is working towards revealing and representing the three-dimensional structure of New York subway stations and tracks. For example, X-Ray Area Maps.
posted by carter at 4:08 AM PST - 7 comments

Pink or blue

Open your Eyes is a new collaboration between Hollie McNish and Jake Dypka. [more inside]
posted by threetwentytwo at 3:23 AM PST - 1 comment

August 7

#VisibleWomen 2017!

"Hey, folks! We're doing another round of #VisibleWomen on August 7th, 2017. This time we're opening submissions up to include women* colorists, letterers, inkers and writers as well as artists." Advanced search. Via.
posted by Wobbuffet at 10:56 PM PST - 4 comments

Frank is my new hero

Dateline: Bloom County: Steve Dallas started caring for Sam The Lion, a young boy undergoing cancer treatment, I think because he was trying to impress his mother, or something similarly shallow. But he got emotionally involved. The thing is, Sam was in the ICU when a bad storm started. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 10:02 PM PST - 39 comments

I'm with the news, dude

'Driverless' Van in Virginia Is Driven by Man Dressed Like a Car Seat
posted by Cash4Lead at 7:26 PM PST - 47 comments

Just eat less, right? It's so simple!

"Weight isn't neutral. A woman's body isn't neutral. A woman's body is everyone's business but her own. Even in our attempts to free one another, we were still trying to tell one another what to want and what to do. It is terrible to tell people to try to be thinner; it is also terrible to tell them that wanting to lose weight is hopeless and wrong." Taffy Brodesser-Akner explores the changing stories and conflicting messages around weight loss in Losing It in the Anti-Dieting Age.
posted by Athanassiel at 7:10 PM PST - 36 comments

somewhere down the road, somebody is earning more money

Consumers have grown accustomed to being told by insurers — and middlemen known as pharmacy benefit managers — that they must give up their brand-name drugs in favor of cheaper generics. But some are finding the opposite is true, as pharmaceutical companies squeeze the last profits from products that are facing cheaper generic competition. Out of public view, corporations are cutting deals that give consumers little choice but to buy brand-name drugs — and sometimes pay more at the pharmacy counter than they would for generics. - Take the Generic, Patients Are Told. Until They Are Not.
posted by beisny at 6:23 PM PST - 18 comments

Myrmecology dies in darkness

Here at The Daily Ant, our mission is to provide premier ant content for general consumption. The Daily Ant hosts a weekly series, Philosophy Phridays, in which real philosophers share their thoughts at the intersection of ants and philosophy.
posted by Pyrogenesis at 4:01 PM PST - 19 comments

I'd like to know what's your intend

The Toxic Drama on YA Twitter [more inside]
posted by Joseph Gurl at 3:27 PM PST - 151 comments

"In the end, the only person who got really screwed was Sting."

"The mystery of time is such that some of the truly hidden gems of cinema do not fully bloom until all of the historical context surrounding their creation can be stitched together and applauded for the sheer impossibility of the mission and the absurdity of the serpentine path taken to get there. As it turns out, the story on screen and the story of the creation of the story on screen can find a groove so completely and utterly in-sync that the only option is to stand a generous distance back from the epicenter and say "Let's ignore for a second that you literally have groove in your title and ponder longingly that there is no other word that can describe the other-timedness of .... THIS"" [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:58 PM PST - 18 comments

Radiohead hide a beautiful rhythm

Do you enjoy believing Radiohead's song Videotape is a dirge? Don't click this!
posted by klausman at 2:50 PM PST - 25 comments

Everything's Coming Up Rosies

On March 29, 2014, 778 people dressed as Rosie the Riveter, at the Yankee Air Museum at Willow Run Airport, Ypsilanti, Michigan, to set the Guinness World Record for "The Largest Gathering of People Dressed as a Rosie the Riveter”.

On August 15, 2015, a new record was set by the World War II Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, California, with 1,084 Rosies. [more inside]
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 2:20 PM PST - 8 comments

At the intersection of machine learning & journalism: Spy planes

BuzzFeed News Trained A Computer To Search For Hidden Spy Planes. This Is What We Found (Buzzfeed News) The algorithm was not infallible: Among other candidates, it flagged several skydiving operations that circled in a relatively small area, much like a typical surveillance aircraft. But as an initial screen for candidate spy planes, it proved very effective. In addition to aircraft operated by the US Marshals and the military contractor Acorn Growth Companies, covered in our previous stories, it highlighted a variety of planes flown by law enforcement, and by the military and its contractors.
posted by CrystalDave at 2:05 PM PST - 13 comments

seducing them with imagined realities

Only one of Daguerre’s dioramas remains today, but their influence was lasting, as a new exhibit at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris shows.
posted by bq at 1:23 PM PST - 3 comments


Frustrated with Twitter's lack of response to hate tweets, Shahak Shapira spraypainted 300 of them in front of Twitter's offices in Hamburg, filming the response of passers-by. (SLYT)
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:58 PM PST - 25 comments

“Here’s another dumbass thing burger chefs do...”

You Are Cheesing Your Cheeseburgers All Wrong And I Can't Stand It Anymore [Deadspin] “...they flip the burgers on the grill, and then, while the burgers finish cooking, the chef lays slices of cheese on the top of the burgers, where presumably the heat of the grill will aid in the melting of the cheese. Don’t do this. It’s dumb! The cheese does not need a lot of heat to melt, and there will certainly be enough residual heat in the patties to melt the cheese when the patties go into the sandwiches. When you turbo-charge the melting process, all you wind up with is a burger with cheese that is melted too thinly over the top and is all folded up and congealed on the side of the burger.”
posted by Fizz at 12:47 PM PST - 120 comments

It's slow-moving, and it's filled with numbers

That time when Hank Aaron met Paul Erdős - via Numberphile [YouTube, about 9min]
posted by Wolfdog at 12:36 PM PST - 2 comments

The long, dark 'And finally...' of the soul

"Bare in mind it is August"... BBC News presenter Simon McCoy providing all the enthusiasm this story about surfing dogs deserves. (slyt)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:34 PM PST - 11 comments

And I was like, “I got it, just jump.”

Britney Young speaks with UPROXX's Brandon Stroud about learning how to appreciate and perform professional wrestling.
posted by Ipsifendus at 12:33 PM PST - 1 comment

Foal Eagle

The operation appeared at first to succeed...Despite the usual threats from Mr Kim to “wipe America off the face of the Earth” and to turn Seoul into a “sea of fire”, nothing appeared to happen. Mr Trump’s poll ratings spiked and he tweeted: “Fat Kim just got what he’s been asking for. SAD!” Triumphantly, he berated “my generals” for their caution which had stopped him from doing something similar sooner. A cautionary tale from 2019.
posted by fiercecupcake at 12:10 PM PST - 25 comments

The infamous practice of contract selling is back in Chicago

50 years ago, when African-Americans on Chicago's South and West sides weren't able to get mortgages due to redlining, a predatory practice called contract selling sprung up. Later, during the sub-prime heyday, these neighborhoods were targeted with sub-prime mortgages. Now, after credit tightening due to the mortgage crisis in 2008, contract selling has returned and continues to prey on disadvantaged neighborhoods. [more inside]
posted by misskaz at 11:22 AM PST - 6 comments

Cats and dogs are the bomb!

116+ Times Asshole Cats Hilariously Photobombed Purrfect Shots
200+ Times Asshole Dogs Ruined Perfect Shots
To be fair the dogs are mostly goofballs. The cats, though....
posted by Room 641-A at 10:39 AM PST - 9 comments

No gypsum in the impact zone, no sulphuric acid haze

If the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs had showed up ten minutes earlier or later, there would have been no mass extinction.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:21 AM PST - 23 comments


What happens when you're a rescue pup, your best friend has been hospitalized for five weeks, and some strange-looking fella who's fifty pounds lighter shows up? You learn to stop trusting your eyes and start trusting your nose!
posted by zombieflanders at 10:13 AM PST - 20 comments

A Revolution in the Plus-Size Market

"A 2012 market-research study estimated that 67 percent of American women wore a size 14-plus. The number has only grown, and the market for plus-size clothing is valued at $20.4 billion. Revenue in the category increased by 17 percent between 2013 and 2016 (compared with growth of just 7 percent in apparel overall). There is, to put it crudely, an insane amount of money just sitting on the table, and it seems, finally, that there are some savvy entrepreneurs out there ready to shrug off fashion’s inherent snobbery and claim a piece of it." Fashion for the 67 Percent by Ashley C. Ford [more inside]
posted by everybody had matching towels at 10:07 AM PST - 39 comments

The more we dug into this, the more interesting it got

Rich SF residents get a shock: Someone bought their street
posted by Think_Long at 10:04 AM PST - 53 comments

This land is your land...until I steal it.

113 environmental defenders have been killed so far in 2017 while protecting their community’s land or natural resources.
In collaboration with Global Witness, the Guardian will attempt to record the deaths of all these people.
At this current rate, chances are that four environmental defenders will be killed this week somewhere on the planet.
posted by adamvasco at 9:22 AM PST - 4 comments

It's because cocoa and its diseases won't grow in Reading

The exchange of germplasm is important for cocoa breeding and many related activities. The International Cocoa Quarantine Centre (ICQC) at the University of Reading operates to ensure that this vital need can be satisfied without transferring pests and diseases from one cocoa growing region to another.
via No Such Thing As A Fish, the QI podcast [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 8:31 AM PST - 5 comments

There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship

August 6th was Friendship Day in the US, and the Pet Collective observed it with a compilation of pet friendships. In that spirit, enjoy these other videos showing animal BFFs and unlikely animal friendships—but steer clear of toxic relationships [all videos mostly ambient noise with occasional loud music].
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:04 AM PST - 8 comments

August 6

Not a Fish Tale, Really, It's True!

Little kid, big fish. This is no ordinary 11 year old. Chase Stokes caught the Vermont record Carp. 33.25 pounds. He fishes all his waking hours when he is not in school. [more inside]
posted by AugustWest at 8:21 PM PST - 13 comments

LadBaby: the lad's guide to fatherhood

A lad with a relentless sausage roll addiction ventures into fatherhood: date night | the toolbox lunch | buggy horn | dumpster pool party | ball pit trolley | dress for an awards night | learning to walk with dad
posted by Foci for Analysis at 5:01 PM PST - 15 comments

Computational Propaganda & its Adherents

This is a short promotional interview for a book about computational propaganda, and an introduction to the Oxford Computational Propaganda Project. This stuff has been talked about a lot since November 2016, it's not going away any time soon, and the risks are substantial. [more inside]
posted by sneebler at 4:57 PM PST - 30 comments

20,000,000-year-old fungus possibly resurrected from spore

Researchers at the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) believe that they have succesfully cultured a 20-million-year-old fungal spore sampled from a geological formation 2,500 meters beneath the ocean floor in Aomori Prefecture, Japan. The spore has produced hyphae and a mushroom approximately 1 centimeter long. If confirmed, it may shed light on the evolution of fungi and the genetic and physiological differences between ancient and modern organisms.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 4:51 PM PST - 27 comments


Momsplaining is condescending explanations by moms to non-parents. Or children. Or other moms.
posted by clawsoon at 4:13 PM PST - 60 comments

Bob's Docs Episode One: Manipulation

For the month of August [On The Media will] be running a series of interviews Bob [Garfield] has done over the years with documentary filmmakers. In the OTM office, the producers have been referring to the collection as “Bob’s Docs.” Over the next few weeks we’ll go through some tropes of documentary film-making, from prurience to access to the personal journey. Episode one is about the deadly sin of manipulation. [audio, downloadable, 23m] [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 12:56 PM PST - 7 comments

the animal’s head configuration is “unique,”

Disembodied Anus-Eye Terrorized Ancient Earth's Oceans [Gizmodo] “Earth’s ancient oceans were rife with nightmare creatures, from many-limbed worms to six-foot-long crab-ancestors. This week, scientists are taking the prehistoric freak show to another level, with a new paper introducing Capinatator praetermissus, the 500-million year old bristled-jawed worm monster pictured above. You know what it looks like. We know what it looks like. It looks like an anus-eye.”
posted by Fizz at 11:57 AM PST - 36 comments

How We Really Tamed the Dog

The perfect dog. Except it’s not a dog, it’s a fox. A domesticated one. They built it quickly—mind-bogglingly fast for constructing a brand new biological creature. It took them less than 60 years, a blink of an eye compared to the time it took for wolves to become dogs. They built it in the often unbearable negative 40 degrees Fahrenheit cold of Siberia, where Lyudmila and, before her, Dmitri, have been running one of the longest, most incredible experiments on behavior and evolution ever devised.
posted by ellieBOA at 11:38 AM PST - 34 comments

It's the lip syncing that really blows my mind if I'm honest

Episode Four: The Search for the Black Spider. A live-action Adventure Zone fanfilm directed by Curtis McOsker.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 9:37 AM PST - 22 comments

Chopin's unpredictable, quasi-fractal offshoots.

The Joys of Chopin, Our Most Catlike Composer. An appreciation, by pianist Jeremy Denk (with audio/video examples and commentary, SLNYT).
posted by storybored at 8:57 AM PST - 8 comments

Otter Artist

Drawing pictures on a sleeping otter's belly. Does what it says on the otter.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:06 AM PST - 11 comments

Appalachian Dialect & New Jersey Hillbillies

Southern mountain language isn't frozen in time. The "hillbilly" dialect has changed over time, just as American language has elsewhere in the country, but the stigma remains. Here's what they're trying to do to help erase that attitude. And over in western New Jersey is a different kind of hillbilly and the stigma they labor under. The article was referenced in a reply to the first link, but I went and read all about the Strangers on the Mountain, of whom I'd never heard.
posted by MovableBookLady at 7:59 AM PST - 23 comments

Why Australians don't loiter

When the British Empire's Australian colonies were being established, Governor Richard Bourke of New South Wales (which then encompassed Victoria) decreed that, in order to facilitate control and prevent rebellion, the towns being established must not include public squares, as cities in Britain and Europe did. Open spaces, such as those outside public buildings, were enclosed with fences and gates. The impact of these decisions has shaped the Australian attitude to public space, from central business districts which were (until recent decades) deserted outside of business hours as people retreated to their family homes, to tendencies to meet in private buildings and pay little attention to the urban landscape along the way. [more inside]
posted by acb at 7:20 AM PST - 19 comments

It was a national obsession of borderline-insane magnitude.

For 10 long years — all through the crime-ridden, chaotic 1990s, the early post-Soviet years of timelessness and hardship — life in large cities, small towns, industrial settlements, and snowbound villages across Russia’s 11 time zones would come to a standstill as the remarkably cheery sounds of Santa Barbara’s intro issued from millions of TV sets.
Mikhail Iossel explains how the relatively obscure American soap opera Santa Barbara has coloured Russian expectations of the US as well as Trump, recognisable a soap opera villain.
posted by MartinWisse at 5:22 AM PST - 34 comments

First Support for a Physics Theory of Life

Beginnings of how order can arise from disorder? Thermodynamics says everything gets more disordered through Entropy only naturally increasing. Illya Prigogine (Nobel '77) found a different way in the 50's. First description how order can spontaneously develop from disorder with his "dissipative structures". Been several advances since then.
posted by aleph at 5:21 AM PST - 11 comments


Meet SMALT - the World's First Interactive Centerpiece and Smart Salt Dispenser (SLYT)
posted by mathiu at 4:06 AM PST - 61 comments

August 5

"a star that shoots little stars out of its legs"

National Treasure Alexandra Petri ( /ˈpiːtraɪ/ PEE-try) recently visited her childhood home and discovered an example of her own early work:
friends apologies but here are a number of tweets because I have discovered a catalog I made when I was in second grade

I had read a LOT of catalogs and knew what the house style was but I did not anticipate the length required so it went quickly off the rails [Storified]
(Alexandra Petri previously) [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:47 PM PST - 15 comments

Animorphs as Trans Parable

"When I meet trans people for the first time, especially in mixed company, I’ll sometimes try out this line where I mention Animorphs offhand, as if I don’t take it seriously, as if I didn’t spend the majority of my first puberty wishing that I were turning into a bird or a tiger instead of into a young woman. More often than not, trans folks will say something to me like, “Oh my god, right? Tobias was totally trans!” Cisgender people will usually take this as their cue to get another drink."
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:44 PM PST - 8 comments

Somebody gonna win, somebody gonna lose, that's my pay right there.

Somebody gonna win, somebody gonna lose, that's my pay right there. In the historical maritime attraction that is Mystic Seaport, in Mystic CT, a lecture and demonstration and concert is given about what it was like to be a fisherman south of the Mason Dixon in the days before the Power Block. Black Sea Chanties are not only a thing, they are amazing and beautiful.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:24 PM PST - 14 comments

Discerning Russian Propaganda in Social Media

Hamilton68 is a site that highlights the stories and links being pushed by known Russian propaganda sources on social media. FAQ.
posted by JHarris at 4:27 PM PST - 82 comments

Misogyny based on flawed/erroneous/outdated social science theories

A software engineer’s 10-page screed against Google’s diversity initiatives is going viral inside the company. The document’s existence was first reported by Motherboard, and Gizmodo has obtained and published it in full. The memo, a lengthy MRA-rant, is the personal opinion of a male Google employee and is titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber." The author argues that women are underrepresented in tech not because they face bias and discrimination in the workplace, but because of inherent psychological differences between men and women. Motherboard has an internal response from Danielle Brown, Google's new VP of Diversity, Integrity & Governance. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 4:19 PM PST - 1206 comments

The Secret Life of the City Banana

Millions of bananas arrive every week in New York City. It takes a lot to get them from the boat to the bodega. (SLNYT) [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 12:22 PM PST - 34 comments

War is Stupid and Performance Rights Organizations are Stupid

Three weeks ago, Congress proposed a global, centralized music database to ensure that artists get paid on every streaming platform. And, every other platform — digital, physical, and analog — for that matter. It was an ambitious first step. But just one of several competing database initiatives. And the beginning of a pernicious intra-industry war.
posted by gusottertrout at 11:04 AM PST - 12 comments

In Beijing, 20 Million People Pretend to Live

在北京,有2000万人假装在生活 - 张五毛 [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:51 AM PST - 21 comments

Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?

What effects has the widespread use of smartphones had on kids? "The arrival of the smartphone has radically changed every aspect of teenagers’ lives, from the nature of their social interactions to their mental health. These changes have affected young people in every corner of the nation and in every type of household. The trends appear among teens poor and rich; of every ethnic background; in cities, suburbs, and small towns." [more inside]
posted by mareli at 10:16 AM PST - 112 comments

The Ethics of Adjusting Your Assets to Qualify for Medicaid

At any given moment, there is a large group of citizens who want nothing more than to make absolutely certain that they are impoverished enough to qualify for Medicaid sooner rather than later. Someday, you might be one of them. (SLNYT)
posted by strelitzia at 9:04 AM PST - 55 comments

Where the hell did this stuff come from?

Who's shipping what where? This interactive map of all freight, by category, in the USA. So much activity some places, so little in others. No doubt a truer picture of our real world here than your ordinary maps. So much meat from Jersey to New York? Does anything happen in Wyoming? Naturally, a lit of political conclusions can be reached from this, too!
posted by nothing.especially.clever at 8:23 AM PST - 33 comments

People standing on top of things: Norwegian outdoor edition

While the tourist board of Norway already arguably has the easiest job in the world, with fjords, the aurora borealis, arctic landscapes or just everything, drones add another dimension. Now, it's easy to capture the Norwegian pursuit of standing on top of scenery. For example, Norway from Above 2 (especially 3:33 onwards) contains several examples, as does the prequel (1:40 onwards, vertigo). Or, also by Mathias Haughom, there is Trolltunga (and more). Of course, there is also the famous and busy Preikestolen (Preacher/Pulpit Rock) and more, and also by Simen Haughom there is the Kjerag boulder and some more Lofoten. Of course, what goes up...
posted by Wordshore at 7:25 AM PST - 4 comments

What If Obama Said It?

Real Time With Bill Maher imagines Barack Obama saying the same things Trump has said, asking whether Republicans would be outraged or not. [8m50s]
posted by hippybear at 7:22 AM PST - 61 comments

Forever and ever

Motörhead's previously unreleased version of David Bowie's classic 'Heroes'... a new covers album will be out in September. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:33 AM PST - 11 comments

August 4


It's hard to tell which is uppermost in your mind, "Awwww" or "Ahhhh!": behold Jurassic Kitten, (including outtakes). Some like the sequel even better: Purrassic World. But if light sabers are more your thing, you may prefer Darth Kitten, or Star Wars: The Kitten Awakens (also with outtakes).
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:41 PM PST - 7 comments


Classics of Game (previously), the mysterious YouTube channel that posts bizarre game videos free of pesky context, has suddenly resumed updating, this time after a two and a half year absence.
posted by BiggerJ at 10:22 PM PST - 8 comments

The folly of youth may also contribute to blown deadlines

Yes, Your Manuscript Was Due 30 Years Ago. No, the University Press Still Wants It.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:29 PM PST - 20 comments

Michael Stipe & Douglas Coupland talks about Ego

In which Michael Stipe and Douglas Coupland talk about ego at the 2017 Heartland Festival.

Warning: contains a few NSFW moments.
posted by philip-random at 9:08 PM PST - 15 comments

Playing for Change - Song Around the World

Today our heroes and soul brothers, Roger Ridley and Grandpa Elliott, return for a new song around the world, "Sitting on the dock of the bay" To learn more about the work of the PFC Foundation, visit
posted by lungtaworld at 7:32 PM PST - 4 comments

“The heart wants what the heart wants.”

"In a Heartbeat" - Animated Short Film by Beth David and Esteban Bravo [YouTube] “It’s hard to forget your first childhood crush — and the anxiety that accompanied it. (Do you like me? Circle yes or no.) That heart-pounding, sweaty-palmed infatuation is nothing new in children’s animation, but two students decided to tell the tale in a different way, creating an animated short film that is drawing the interest of big production studios. Here, the enamored characters are both middle-school boys. And their dovelike innocence is charming a huge audience on YouTube. Posted on Monday, the four-minute film has already been viewed more than 14 million times.” [via: New York Times]
posted by Fizz at 5:59 PM PST - 16 comments

Enema Man Lives

For twenty years, the same prank caller has dialed the payphone at McSorley's Old Ale House, the landmark pub in Manhattan's East Village, most every Sunday afternoon to say "your enema is ready." [via]
posted by killdevil at 5:31 PM PST - 29 comments

Millennials are Killing

Millennials are Killing is a horror-comedy RPG about the ceaseless need of all people born between 1982 and 2004 to destroy all that we hold dear. (Single link Google Docs RPG)
posted by Artw at 5:19 PM PST - 23 comments

Who, Or What, Is Geedis?

Geedis is a character on an old enamel pin. But a character...from what? "'Nerd culture is so good at archiving...The fact that there is so little information as there is on The Land of Ta is proof that it wasn’t a comic book, or a TV show, or even a game.'" Or was it?
posted by Charity Garfein at 3:18 PM PST - 46 comments

So long and tanks for all the data

Attackers recently penetrate a North American casino's network via an Internet-connected fish tank and made off with more than 10GB of data. [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 2:46 PM PST - 48 comments

DC independent label makes its back catalogue available for streaming

Dischord Records' Bandcamp page has most of their back catalogue available for streaming (via Open Culture which also has a nice introductory article about the label). The DC based independent label is home to such legendary bands as Rites of Spring, Nation of Ulysses, Autoclave, Minor Threat and Fugazi, and also many, many others.
posted by Kattullus at 2:07 PM PST - 11 comments

Where Are You Dear General?

An eerie electronic ballad plays across Pyongyang every morning. One outsider pieces together its history.
posted by JanetLand at 12:59 PM PST - 9 comments

Ta-ta towel, anyone?

Variously described as "a bizarre boob hammock" and "the breast accessory you didn't know you needed," it's an absorbent towel for women that only covers their breasts. (SL BBC) A woman with a broken AC unit in Los Angeles invents a clever way to prevent under-boob sweat, and the women advertising it are larger breasted than average runway models. It's also gaining appeal with breastfeeding moms.
posted by stillmoving at 12:54 PM PST - 41 comments

Family Values

All in the Family Debt: How Neoliberals and Conservatives Came Together to Undo the Welfare State by Melinda Cooper at Boston Review. The essay is adapted from Cooper's book Family Values: Neoliberalism and the New Social Conservatism, published in 2017 by Zone Books. [more inside]
posted by sapagan at 12:48 PM PST - 9 comments

Periodic haikus

The shame of your name/now lost except to the Greeks/no need to fume. (bromine). A personal note/could mefites reply on this/only in haiku?
posted by auntie-matter at 11:44 AM PST - 70 comments

I will not leave Voyager until it ceases to exist. Or until I cease to.

In a rental suite in Altadena, CA, a small team of engineers work to keep Voyager 1 and 2 flying, just as they have for the past few decades.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 11:40 AM PST - 26 comments

Parenting Respectfully When Triggered

"The trouble with triggers is that they can rob us (at least temporarily) from being able to be the parent we want to be. We can act impulsively in a protective way to stop our own emotional discomfort instead of how we genuinely want to for our children." on Parenting Respectfully When Triggered [more inside]
posted by jillithd at 10:50 AM PST - 28 comments

'You know, I could mow that mess for you.'

A handful of pioneer cemeteries in Illinois also represents some of the last remaining acres of virgin prairie in the state, as described in this long piece from Christopher Borrelli of the Chicago Tribune. [more inside]
posted by orthicon halo at 9:34 AM PST - 10 comments

The go-to company for all things immediately.

Everything now has cut out the middlemen, absorbed competitors, and dodged anti-trust violations in order to bring savings to you on billions of products that matter. [more inside]
posted by mysticreferee at 8:48 AM PST - 16 comments

Why the Bronx Burned in the 1970s

It was game two of the 1977 World Series, a chilly, blustery October night in the South Bronx. The Yanks were already down 2-0 in the bottom of the first inning when ABC’s aerial camera panned a few blocks over from Yankee Stadium to give the world its first live glimpse of a real Bronx Cookout. “There it is, ladies and gentlemen,” Howard Cosell intoned. “The Bronx is burning.”
Cosell's quote is a myth, but the game was real, as were the fires. It wasn't due to riots or hoodlums, but a failed attempt to streamline NYFD. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 8:28 AM PST - 13 comments

Nazis. I hate these guys.

In a new book, Hitler's Monsters: A Supernatural History of the Third Reich, historian Eric Kurlander examines the fascination with supernatural and occult ideas in the Third Reich, including Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler's sponsorship of "a fanciful doctrine known as “World Ice Theory,” which posited that history, science, and religion could be explained by moons of ice hitting the earth in prehistoric times. Even in 1945, as the Third Reich was collapsing, the Nazis cobbled together a guerrilla band of Nazi “Werewolves” to combat Communist partisans, who were in turn accused of vampirism by ethnic Germans fleeing the Russians."
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:05 AM PST - 39 comments

6 of some calories, half a dozen of the other calories

Researchers at the NIH have completed a controlled study of Gary Taubes’ theory that efficient body fat loss requires carbohydrate restrictions, with some interesting findings. In an in-patient setting with obese volunteers eating 1900 calories/day, a carb-restricted diet (140 g carbs/day) led to sustained increase in fat oxidation, decreased insulin secretion, and loss of body fat compared to subjects’ baseline diets. However, restricting dietary fat to 17g/day instead caused subjects to lose significantly more body fat (500g/day) than on the carbohydrate-restricted diet (53g/day), with no change in metabolic fuel selection. [more inside]
posted by deludingmyself at 7:29 AM PST - 85 comments

The caves, the daylight, the present moment, Mrs. Dalloway's flowers

"I dig out beautiful caves behind my characters: I think that gives exactly what I want; humanity, humor, depth. The idea is that the caves shall connect and each come to daylight at the present moment," wrote Virginia Woolf in her diary, an insight that Carole Burns explores in her lovely personal essay for Literary Hub, "Rereading Mrs. Dalloway at the Same Age as Mrs. Dalloway." [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:32 AM PST - 9 comments

The Soccer Academies Preparing African Children for D-I Competition

A rising number of academies are opening across the continent with the goal of giving children a better education on the way to a better life.
posted by Etrigan at 6:30 AM PST - 4 comments

Help me get the mysterious library to my sister

So: a recurrent neural net would read 14 years of [Ask MetaFilter] posts, and I’d ask it to write new ones.
posted by Monochrome at 6:21 AM PST - 76 comments

If lightning is the anger of the gods, they care mostly about trees

Taking a photo of a lightning strike is difficult, as is creating a gigapixel image. Doing both together is pretty much impossible - you need multiple exposures stitched together for the gigapixel image. Dan Piech's blog covers in exhaustive detail how he created a photographic artwork of a lightning strike with a resolution of 5,449 megapixels.
posted by Stark at 12:53 AM PST - 11 comments

Caste in urban India

The caste system is almost non-existent, at least in urban areas… How caste prejudices work in urban India - not very detailed but paints a picture. [more inside]
posted by hawthorne at 12:43 AM PST - 12 comments

The Grandest Stage of Them All

Mueller convenes a Grand Jury while Trump tweets concern about our relationship with Russia. [more inside]
posted by AlexiaSky at 12:26 AM PST - 2598 comments

August 3

Cat-Bros Cooler Than You

Includes hi-los, doubles, boops, etc.
posted by MovableBookLady at 9:15 PM PST - 12 comments

Should we stop keeping pets?

It was a Tupperware tub of live baby rats that made Dr Jessica Pierce start to question the idea of pet ownership. She was at her local branch of PetSmart, a pet store chain in the US, buying crickets for her daughter’s gecko. The baby rats, squeaking in their plastic container, were brought in by a man she believed was offering to sell them to the store as pets or as food for the resident snakes. She didn’t ask. But Pierce, a bioethicist, was troubled.
[more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:45 PM PST - 93 comments

All that's missing is a tiny, red Swingline stapler.

Derrick Lin creates vignettes of the daily grind using miniatures and office supplies, then photographs them with his iPhone: "Working in advertising, I constantly have to deal with chaos and curveballs thrown at me from every direction. Seeing the absence of a proper outlet, I decided to challenge myself to turn those little mundane and frustrating moments I have at work into visual stories and inject humor in them," he adds. "The best medium I found for those 'little voices in my head' was the miniature figures. I then started utilizing them as a manifestation of my honest thoughts in a metaphorical or exaggerated way and started my photography series on Instagram."
posted by Room 641-A at 8:38 PM PST - 3 comments

I wonder if we fart less than cows...

Choosing beans could help with climate change. A team of scientists has figured out that if Americans ate beans instead of beef, we could be a long way towards reaching our 2020 climate goals under Obama. Embrace the legume!
posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee at 8:00 PM PST - 28 comments

“ — in sinks, tiles, altars, skyscraper lobbies, busts.”

The Majestic Marble Quarries of Northern Italy [The New York Times] “The story of Italian marble is the story of difficult motion: violent, geological, haunted by failure and ruin and lost fortunes, marred by severed fingers, crushed dreams, crushed men. Rarely has a material so inclined to stay put been wrenched so insistently out of place and carried so far from its source; every centimeter of its movement has had to be earned. “There is no avoiding the tyranny of weight,” the art historian William E. Wallace once put it. He was discussing the challenge, in Renaissance Italy, of installing Michelangelo’s roughly 17,000-pound statue of the biblical David. This was the final stage of an epic saga that, from mountain to piazza, actually began before Michelangelo’s birth and involved primitive and custom-engineered machinery and, above all, great sweating armies of groaning, straining men. But the tyranny of weight was in effect long before that, and long after, and it remains in effect today.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 5:07 PM PST - 8 comments

Spot the Fed

Information security folk hero MalwareTech (a.k.a. Marcus Hutchins) was recently arrested by the FBI after attending DEF CON, the security and hacking conference in Las Vegas. MalwareTech is most famous for stopping the spread of the WannaCry ransomware attack by registering a "killswitch" web domain; however, he was scooped up by the FBI for his alleged role in developing the Kronos banking malware in 2014-15 (see the indictment here). While there are mixed reactions in the community about these events, this is definitely not the first time that tensions have run high around DEF CON. [more inside]
posted by redct at 4:15 PM PST - 27 comments

Cheap, cheerful, and temporary: tropical mascots

"The plastic lawn flamingo was a smash hit across America when it went on sale in 1957, the year of Elvis Presley’s Jailhouse Rock: an expression, perhaps, of a sublimated suburban yen for escape. 'Flamingos aren’t something you see in everyday life,' says interior stylist Emily Blunden. 'And that’s the whole point...'" Club tropicana! Why kitsch is everywhere this summer by Jess Cartner-Morley, The Guardian.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 12:31 PM PST - 20 comments

Ottawa archbishop surprised by negative reaction to robotic spider

The archbishop of Ottawa expressed regret that several Catholics were shocked at the sight of a giant robotic spider perched on Notre Dame Cathedral.
posted by Pyrogenesis at 11:55 AM PST - 39 comments


A Dinosaur So Well Preserved It Looks Like a Statue [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 11:45 AM PST - 29 comments

Ecological Cartography of the Anthropocene

The Atlas for the End of the World is a collection of maps visualizing various global dangers and changes, such as rising sea levels, human displacement from conflict, and deforestation, and related issues such as land use for raising meat, ecotourism, and access to water, also other more abstract matters like biological diversity and the human effect on it. You might want to start by reading the introduction and FAQ before checking out the photos of creatures that have tried to adapt to the changing world and the opening essay, Atlas for the End?, and the concluding one, Atlas for the Beginning.
posted by Kattullus at 11:34 AM PST - 4 comments

“Stalin didn't like anything that made people dance,”

X-ray records of the Soviet Union.
Back in London, he tried it on his record player. “It was obviously an X-ray, but also a record. I played it and I found out it was a 78 RPM: it was 'Rock around the Clock',” Coates tells me. “I obviously decided to find out more about this.”
By Gian Maria Volpicelli in the New Statesman
posted by thatwhichfalls at 9:28 AM PST - 7 comments

A unique Judaeo-Urdu manuscript

"…a copy in Hebrew script of the well-known Urdu theatrical work, the Indar Sabha…" [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator at 9:08 AM PST - 7 comments

A Vatican Shot Across the Bow for Hard-Line U.S. Catholics

"Two close associates of Pope Francis have accused American Catholic ultraconservatives of making an alliance of “hate” with evangelical Christians to back President Trump, further alienating a group already out of the Vatican’s good graces." (SLNYT) Ah, good old religion and politics.
posted by strelitzia at 8:48 AM PST - 59 comments

America's midlife crisis

"Stephen Marche attends the Ohio Preppers and Survivalist Summit and discovers the contradictions in American life are the very conditions that are slowly crumbling it from within." ...An easily readable insight into the American situation for my foreign eyes.
posted by 00dimitri00 at 7:26 AM PST - 59 comments

Bassel Khartabil, In Memoriam

"Bassel Khartabil, the Syrian open source developer, blogger, entrepreneur, hackerspace founder, and free culture advocate, has been executed by the Syrian authorities." Khartabil had been imprisoned since March 2012; we now know that he was secretly executed in November 2015. English Wikipedia page for Bassel Khartabil, #FREEBASSEL campaign, The Cost of Freedom anthology.
posted by brainwane at 7:03 AM PST - 28 comments

Manifest Destreeny

American Trees Are Moving West, and No One Knows Why
Climate change explains only 20 percent of the movement.
posted by Etrigan at 6:29 AM PST - 28 comments

A treasure trove of poor choices

Tired of Neymar's endless transfer saga? Of reading transfer rumours linking players to your team and then watching 3 minute highlight reels with the loudest, most obnoxious music possible? Messi and Ronaldo fans arguing who dodged taxes best? Then, Crap 90s Football is the palate cleanser for all that. [more inside]
posted by lmfsilva at 6:15 AM PST - 7 comments

The UK and USA: two proud nations divided by damp, grey underwear

In another example of UK/US differences for visitors and emigrants seeking a home in the UK, a Quartz article by Corinne Purtill: “He went through a rite of passage that every U.S. expat must endure: an encounter with the typical British combo washer-dryer,” Furseth writes. “It appears to be a stroke of genius until you realize that the dryer part doesn’t really work - and everyone who lives here knows this.” Elsewhere, “ America it is only the ‘hippies’ who put their clothes outside to dry...” while another person fights the washer dryer combo. Many Brits simply sigh and rack, despite the health warnings; there are many options. Tangentially, washing machines in the kitchen, old Yahoo! question and MetaFilter previously: differences, a related Buzzfeed and a drying tip.
posted by Wordshore at 2:41 AM PST - 184 comments

August 2

"We Need to Talk About Digital Blackface in Reaction GIFs"

From Teen Vogue: "There’s no prescriptive or proscriptive step-by-step rulebook to follow, nobody’s coming to take GIFs away. But no digital behavior exists in a deracialized vacuum." [more inside]
posted by Charity Garfein at 9:18 PM PST - 72 comments

The Kid Who Didn't Die at Riverfront Stadium

On April 22, 1981, an Ohio teenager named Randy Kobman almost fell to his death at Cincinnati's Riverfront Stadium when he flipped over a railing trying to catch a foul ball. Deadspin's Dave McKenna tracked him down recently to get the story of what happened on that day and what he's been up to since his amazing avoidance of death.
posted by goatdog at 7:06 PM PST - 25 comments

Moral Quandry

Would you kill a random person for a million dollars? Made by comedy troupe Picnic Face, creaters of Infomercial Voice . Based on a 1985 Twilight Zone episode, (which was also made into a film with Frank Langella). Through a Pictures for Sad Children panel by John Campbell, which was found on mltshp
posted by growabrain at 6:39 PM PST - 44 comments

Resistance Rising

The 2017 Democratic Socialists of America convention will be held this weekend from August 3-6 at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Over the past year, membership in the DSA has quadrupled to make it the largest socialist organization in America with 25,000 due-paying members. Of course, there's a lot at stake. [more inside]
posted by R.F.Simpson at 6:16 PM PST - 182 comments

‘The whole experience was horrifying,’

Cable giants step up piracy battle by interrogating Montreal software developer and searching his home: According to court documents, the group stayed for 16 hours and the plaintiffs' lawyer and independent counsel interrogated Lackman for more than nine hours. He was given a break for dinner and to speak to his lawyer, who was present. Lackman was "not permitted to refuse to answer questions" and his lawyer wasn't permitted to counsel him in his answers. "Any time I would question the process, they would threaten me with contempt of court proceedings," says Lackman.
posted by crazy with stars at 5:51 PM PST - 12 comments

"1000 crickets for thirty bucks. I think that's a pretty good deal."

Guy feeds a whole box of crickets to a bunch of different reptiles. (SLYT, NSFC)
posted by loquacious at 5:20 PM PST - 27 comments

The World's Greatest Car

"You can tell by the way it responds. You just feel the lightness immediately. It’s a joy to drive, a very honest car. Sitting in the middle isn’t disorienting, and the only thing that’s complicated is paying tolls in a foreign country. When you have half of Italy behind you, standing on their horn, when you’re trying to figure out how to get the toll in the damn booth." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 4:51 PM PST - 46 comments

“It's like a mini car wash for books, minus the water!”

This Machine Helps Libraries Clean Books With Ease. [Popular Mechanics] “Libraries have been early tech adopters for decades now, with public internet and digital lending a staple for many municipalities. These innovations, while useful, look past the library's books. No more. Meet the Depulvera, seen here at the Boston Public Library [@BPLBoston]. From a company called Oracle, the Depulvera can handle twelve books a minute, fed by a human librarian. The company calls it a "complete automatic book cleaning system realized to remove dust from books." It's completely portable, which means you could even use it in your tiny shed library in the woods. You can watch a surprisingly dramatic promotional video for the product.
posted by Fizz at 4:26 PM PST - 11 comments

RIP Whittaker the Turkey

As 2016 gave way to 2017, a turkey moved into the left turn lane of a major intersection in my hometown. Some say he arrived in January of this year; others are sure he was around in late 2016. But regardless, once he was there, he was there to stay. (SL The Atlantic)
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 3:49 PM PST - 10 comments

Don't smell the food

Dietary restriction has been shown to extend lifespan in a number of species. But scientists have learned that there's one caveat: Smelling the food you're eating reduces the effect, at least if you're a fly. Using a worm model, they've now found a pathway by which smelling induces the insulin-like growth factor pathway that's involved in aging.
posted by clawsoon at 3:37 PM PST - 25 comments

Architectural Photography as a Construct

These pictures by David Cardelus may be the finest architectural photographs I've ever seen, and they're beautifully presented. And, as an added bonus is a link to a specific piece of architecture, a facade by the Catalan architectect jeroni Granell, which has been preserved even though the house behind is totally rebuilt. 75 Padua St. Barcelona.
posted by MovableBookLady at 3:33 PM PST - 8 comments

Swing Dancers vs. Street Dancers

Vintage and Modern Street Dancers battle it out to their own and each others' music, creating an awesome mix of styles. Part One has the first dances from each group, Part Two has the finale and -- starting at 7:00 -- the crossover section. Vintage street dancers represented vernacular jazz dances like 20s Charleston, the Lindy Hop, St Louis Shag, Tap, Balboa, Solo Jazz and Airsteps, and Modern Street Dancers represent locking, popping, waacking, break, krump, house and hip hop. [more inside]
posted by metaBugs at 3:20 PM PST - 3 comments

“We have a fire station that no one wants to operate.”

"The Rise and Fall of the "Freest Little City in Texas." The town of Von Ormy, TX (pop 1,500) incorporated in 2008 as a an experiment in libertarian city management, relying largely on volunteers for their police, fire, water treatment, and animal control departments, while completely phasing out property taxes. [more inside]
posted by joechip at 3:17 PM PST - 51 comments

What would you do if you found a bunch of old dinosaur bones?

Would you write a song about it? [more inside]
posted by Peregrine Pickle at 2:34 PM PST - 2 comments

Ijeoma Oluo's #Crackerbarrelgate

Ijeoma Oluo (previously and previouslier) writes on Medium about Facebook and Twitter's corporate responses to online abuse she has received on those services in response to her apprehension in visiting Cracker Barrel, an establishment that has already had a rocky past regarding diversity. [more inside]
posted by subversiveasset at 2:07 PM PST - 18 comments

Of Course Abortion Should Be a Litmus Test for Democrats

Abortion is not a fringe issue. Abortion is liberty. (SL NYT)
posted by stillmoving at 11:47 AM PST - 152 comments

Mountains of Mordor, Pyroclastic Flows of Valyria

Geologist and science fiction writer Alex Acks has some problems with the geology of the mountains of Middle Earth, but less of an issue about Tatooine-like desert worlds, and also gleans insights on what the map of Panem of the Hunger Games tells us about global warming. Meanwhile, geologist Miles Traer has exhaustively developed the geography of Game of Thrones, including a fascinating description of geologic causes of the the Doom of Valyria. If you aren't a geologist but want to build a world, you can follow geologic rules when building your own worlds or simulate your own plate tectonics and create a planet from scratch.
posted by blahblahblah at 11:20 AM PST - 37 comments


Vet Ranch is a YouTube Channel created by Dr. Matt Carriker in 2014. Our goal is to spread awareness of the many homeless animals in need of medical attention. It all started when he received an after hours call to euthanize a stray dog that had been hit by a car. After picking up the dying pup from a dark road and taking it to the clinic, Dr. Matt saw a glimmer of life in her eyes and made the decision to try to save her rather than euthanizing. He pulled out his trusty iphone and began to film the process of bringing the sweet black lab back to life [graphic injuries].
[more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:43 AM PST - 13 comments

"It was like Yelp for prostitution."

In January 2016, a Seattle, WA-area, wide-ranging investigation resulted in the shutdown of two sex-trafficking websites, the shuttering of 12 brothels and the initial arrest of about a dozen people. More than two dozen would eventually be arrested. The brothels were operated out of high-end apartment complexes in Bellevue, where prostituted women from South Korea were forced to work -- often for 12 hours a day, seven days a week -- to pay off debts. A Seattle Times report: Busted: How the police brought down the tech-savvy prostitution network. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 10:41 AM PST - 16 comments

They're All Good Employees, Brent

Like most businesses, New Jersey's Josephson Hardwood Floors - a floor refinishing service - has a Facebook page. The owner likes to do a little something fun alongside the usual business posts, though - he takes pictures of the pets at each of the houses where he works and posts them to the site as "Our Employees Of The Week". [more inside]
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:14 AM PST - 17 comments

A Field in Which the Old Devours the Young is a Field that is Dying

Alison Harbin shares her three part story about how and why she came to leave academia: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 [more inside]
posted by PussKillian at 8:09 AM PST - 67 comments

You Can’t Sue People for Being Mean to You, Bob

ACLU brief on behalf of John Oliver The ACLU finally gets to enjoy itself.
posted by blurker at 7:50 AM PST - 56 comments

"That’s your problem buddy, think about it, grow."

Aly Stosz is a designer and event planner who also happens to be 6'9" tall. Her older but smaller sister Amanda interviewed her for Got A Girl Crush.
posted by Etrigan at 6:26 AM PST - 18 comments

August 1

The PEN is mightier

PEN America launches the PEN America Digital Archive, capturing more than 50 years of cultural programming at the intersection of literature and freedom of expression advocacy. The free, online archive makes available to the public long-inaccessible records of literary milestones featuring the world’s foremost writers, intellectuals, and artists. Explore the archive by advanced search, the archive index (by subject heading or participant), or view one of the curated features.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:26 PM PST - 3 comments

Мумий Тролль (Mumiy Troll)

Mumiy Troll is a Russian rock group, founded in 1983 in Vladivostok by vocalist and songwriter Ilya Lagutenko. The literal name of the band, 'The mummies' troll', is a pun on Moomin Troll, the series of Finnish children's books by Tove Jansson.(previously) The band members call themselves “Far Eastern, evergreen romantics” . [more inside]
posted by ambulocetus at 8:50 PM PST - 4 comments

...danced in the wind like an arachnid doing the Hokey Pokey.

Kat Russo of Loveland, Colorado, is the 35th grand-prize winner of the annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, which challenges writers to concoct the worst opening sentence of a hypothetical novel. (Or, to look at it another way, the best sentence in the genre of "bad opening sentences.") The full list of winners, runners-up, and dishonorable mentions. [more inside]
posted by Shmuel510 at 8:13 PM PST - 25 comments

sociopaths, clueless, and losers

The Gervais Principle, Or The Office According to “The Office”, Venkatesh Rao [previously, and since complete]
The Gervais Principle is this: Sociopaths, in their own best interests, knowingly promote over-performing losers into middle-management, groom under-performing losers into sociopaths, and leave the average bare-minimum-effort losers to fend for themselves. The Gervais principle differs from the Peter Principle, which it superficially resembles. The Peter Principle states that all people are promoted to the level of their incompetence. It is based on the assumption that future promotions are based on past performance. The Peter Principle is wrong for the simple reason that executives aren’t that stupid, and because there isn’t that much room in an upward-narrowing pyramid. They know what it takes for a promotion candidate to perform at the to level. So if they are promoting people beyond their competence anyway, under conditions of opportunity scarcity, there must be a good reason. ... The Gervais principle predicts the exact opposite: that the most competent ones will be promoted to middle management. Michael Scott was a star salesman before he become a Clueless middle manager. The least competent employees (but not all of them — only certain enlightened incompetents) will be promoted not to middle management, but fast-tracked through to senior management. To the Sociopath level.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 4:09 PM PST - 44 comments

baby food biopolitics bmi

Food Fatness Fitness is a multidisciplinary scholarly blog on the "power, politics, and practices of food and eating" by a diverse group of researchers and academics. [more inside]
posted by spamandkimchi at 4:02 PM PST - 2 comments

“Stories can dehumanise, demonise and erase.”

Why the Lack of Indian and African Faces in Dunkirk Matters by Sunny Singh [The Guardian] “Knowingly or not, Nolan walks in the footsteps of both film directors and politicians who have chosen to whitewash the past. But why is it so important for Nolan, and for many others, that the film expunge all non-white presence on the beach and the ships? Why is it psychologically necessary that the heroic British troops be rescued only by white sailors? What would change if brave men fighting at Dunkirk wore turbans instead of helmets? What would alter if some of the soldiers offered namaaz on the sands before rising to face the advancing enemy for that one last time? Why is it so important that the covering fire be provided by white French troops rather than North African and Middle Eastern ones?” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 4:00 PM PST - 58 comments

Masculinity Crises

Jezebel and The Daily Beast respond to David Brooks' New York Times opinion piece, Before Manliness Lost its Virtue
posted by Dressed to Kill at 2:41 PM PST - 108 comments

A paean to carbs and fat

Ode to the Buttered Roll, That New York Lifeline. New Yorkers (but no one else, apparently?) love their buttered rolls for breakfast. "I loved and relied on them when I was very broke and young and coffee still only came from a cart or a deli,” the chef Gabrielle Hamilton said. “I was always annoyed that they didn’t spread the butter evenly, so you had to eat a dry outer ring until you got to the center, where you got a gross mouthful of too much butter — if it even was butter. Still, it was a lifeline.” [more inside]
posted by holborne at 12:33 PM PST - 170 comments

You're already at the top of my piss list!

Last night on the Late Show, Matthew McConaughey revealed that he was a great fan of Steven Colbert's work on the 90s Comedy Central sketch comedy show Exit 57, which Steven said "was watched by a baker's dozen people." McConaughey did a couple of bits from sketches from memory, then the two reprised the show's Newspaper Weatherman sketch. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 9:07 AM PST - 32 comments

Welcome to La Machine, eh

Compagnie La Machine is a French street theater company based in Nantes (previously, previouslier, also previouslier) famous for building and operating large-scale mechanical creatures. In their North American debut, they brought a 45-ton mythical dragon-horse and a 40 ton giant spider to battle in the streets of Ottawa as part of Canada's sesquicentennial celebrations. It was, to put it mildly, a roaring success. [more inside]
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:55 AM PST - 36 comments

Our fake history

"Have you ever heard that old story about how Napoleon shot the nose off the sphinx, or that Shakespeare was an illiterate fraud, or that Queen Elizabeth was actually a man? This show explores those tall-tales and tries to figure out what’s fact, what’s fiction, and what is such a good story it simply must be told." In this amazing and well-produced podcast, Sebastian Major sets the record straight. But wait! There are more historical myths that need debunking, so there's more inside [more inside]
posted by Pyrogenesis at 1:29 AM PST - 60 comments